Welcome to Missions and Marketplace podcast. Join us as we talk to business and thought leaders to discuss their passion in and outside of business and how it drives them to give and be citizens of goodwill. Let’s get started.
PW: Hi everyone. Welcome to the show welcome to Missions and Marketplace Podcast. I want to welcome our guest, Jason Caston, who is creator, innovator, spokesperson, speaker, author. We’re going to about all these cool stuff that he’s into. One of the big things that he has out right now is the iChurch Method. And that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to take some time right now to talk to Jason and kind of let him outline what the iChurch Method is and what it means and how you guys can take advantage of it and see what it can offer everyone. Jason, welcome to the show buddy.
JC: I appreciate it my friend. Glad to be here.
PW: Thank you. So tell the public here about the iChurch Method. What is it that you’re doing with this here?
JC: Alright the iChurch Method is multi-faceted, so I’m going to talk about it from quite a few different perspectives. First thing it’s a methodology so I talk about how organizations can advance online and the way to go about it, and breaking it down into five key areas which is websites; multimedia, which is your online video streaming and stuff; ecommerce, online sales online donations; social media; and then mobile. So that’s one of the aspects of it. Just explain that methodology and how any organization whether you’re faith based non-profit, political, health, anybody could utilize that.
Second thing is it’s a book, a series of books, actually. I just released the third one early this year in March. But it’s a series of books that talks about this methodology. And I’ll break it down as far as how to utilize it, talk about which platforms actually to use for each area, and then the last aspect of it is it’s a platform we are building because in addition to teaching this methodology I work for The Potter’s House T.D. Jakes Ministry as well as other churches in Dallas and in Los Angeles that I actually have applied this methodology to and seen it work in growing these platforms from a couple of thousand to millions of users. So it’s a platform that we’re building as well to help any organization grow their online presence.
PW: Wow! Let’s take this step back, Jason, and let’s first delve into the fact that you and I, I followed you for a long time as you know so I know you have a lot to offer from a technology standpoint. So tell us a little bit about what lead up to not only the iChurch Method but kind of got you into the tech industry as a whole. And then I’m sure you’ve seen the gap between churches and what they were able to implement from a technology perspective. So talk about those two things and then let’s lead in to the iChurch Method and what it can offer non-faith based programs and otherwise.
JC: Initially I started off went to school for a computer science, so when I got into the corporate marketplace— well, actually, let me step back. When I went to school for computer science, web design and development was just getting started. I graduated in 2000. At that time if you wanted to really learn web development or any type of web courses – because they were so new; they weren’t really in the college environment yet –you had to teach yourself. So when I came out and started working in the corporate arena then I saw that, you know, I started doing…
PW: Where did you start with, FrontPage or something like that?
JC: Oh, man, you taking it back. So, yes, we’re talking about FrontPage and before even Dreamweaver really took off with Macromedia. It was called HomeSite.
PW: Oh, yeah.
JC: So, yeah, way back. I’m coding in that on notepad, of course, where I actually had to learn HTML code and all that type of stuff and with CSS just getting started. So I’m actually coding back then working for a variety of consulting gigs; had a few long term position stuff like that. So for me I had the corporate experience. I had the tech skills and all that good stuff and I was just learning how to build and scale and operate in that arena.
It happened in my 2007 when I left Chicago and moved to LA and I started working for a church, a large church out there called Crenshaw Christian Center. And now it’s the first time I worked in a church arena and so I already had the technical expertise as far as that was needed to help advance this ministry. But in working with churches the thing I learned more often than not was that they were very much far behind the curve. So this is all churches across the board: African-American, evangelical, any denomination. Churches were behind the curve.
PW: Disconnected from tech in general.
JC: Absolutely! And it came from— I think it started off from I want to say theological perspective, just doing church in the old manner. So throughout the week people would utilize technology in all other aspects of their life, but when it came to church they would immediately step back in time because church had to be a sacred experience that mimicked what was done thousands of years ago.
PW: Wow! You know that was funny because they did that radio, too; for a long time church wouldn’t adapt with the radio. And now you hear about all kinds of churches that they have overtaken the radio. But it’s interesting that they looked at technology as kind of a sacred piece or something that they didn’t want to interfere with genuine worship, which I’ll kind of ask that question later which I don’t think it affects genuine worship. It’s just amazing how sometimes churches are slow to adapt to the newer technology that comes out.
JC: Definitely. And let’s make sure we talk about that because I do have a good example that I’ve used that help a lot of the churches understand how technology is impactful. They’re already using it, not even knowing it. So then from there working at the church I was working at I was a one man department. You know they’re like, “You’re the web guy. Just fix the website. Make it work. Make all the web stuff work.”
And that’s where the iChurch Method came from because as I’m going through this church, a large church I’d followed for a while, I’m looking at all their different web presence and I’m seeing a lot of different things that I can help and fix. Everything behind the scenes wasn’t working as well as I thought which is: one, why I got hired; and two, I saw how it could impact and make things work. So I started looking at these key areas that I named earlier that I laid out in iChurch method and also the five key areas that I worked and helped focus on with this ministry.
It just happened that when I moved from LA to Dallas and started working with The Potter’s House I started to see— and it worked with a lot more churches whether I’m speaking at conferences or stuff like that. A lot of them needed guidance as far as how to have the success of mega churches or large organizations, but they don’t have the budget of those organizations. And that’s where the iChurch Method came from is just me putting out a manual that can help walk them through the process. But I got into tech straight out of school and from there I moved over to church just on a whim. I want to go work for church or anything like that. It’s just I had my opportunity to work with consulting companies, corporations or a church and I just happen to choose a church.
PW: Wow! That’s really cool. So it’s just like a podcast that I’ve done in the past where I was talking about entrepreneurs they see in me and in your case it’s at a church. And it’s very true because I’m a believer. I go to church as well and I’ve seen kind of the back in tech side where there’s always a disconnect. Sometimes for a lot of reasons, one of them you just mentioned, whether it’s budgeting or whatever it may be or just the lack of knowledge, there’s nobody like a Jason Caston that come in and say, “Hey, look, I think I can figure out a way for this church to start connecting with the community out there, whether it’s socially or mobile and all those things that people are typically afraid of.
So you’re at this Crenshaw Christian Center. You start to perfect the iChurch method or at least are coming up with some principles around it. You go to The Potter’s House and then you really start to perfect it there. But you saw a connection between the two churches and other churches as you started working on this thing that there was a disconnect from a technical standpoint, so you start creating this iChurch Method. Where do you start and where do you begin to go from there?
JC: Well, from there I think the thing that really started to get me really to take off with this methodology and stuff was where I first— working at The Potter’s House they gave me a platform to actually start speaking at conferences, so that’s when I got to teach on a much grander scale and actually see other churches. If you’re in a room of, say, a hundred people speak into a room you’re seeing a hundred different churches tell you their problems and ask about, “Hey, how can we do this? How can we do this? How can we do that?” And so as I’m starting to see all of their issues— I’m basically crowdsourcing my book at that time because it was not written yet.
When I came back the following year and said, “Hey, in addition to me speaking, I’ve taken all the things that I’m going to teach you today and put it into a manual.” That book seem to establish me not only as an authority or somebody who has knowledge well enough to put inside of a book, but also gave me a platform to say every time I walk into a meeting, “Here are the five key areas that I know because working with The Potter’s House I had an established case study that showed how well these principles and this methodology worked. I can now say, “Here are the five key areas I know you need to look at and then from there we can look at it on a grander scale.”
That’s pretty much for all the listeners. When you’re looking at how you’re going to take yourself to the next level, once I found my niche, which, again, if I was working for Capital One or any other corporations I would just be another coder.
JC: But because I walked into the church arena I had my niche and now I became a commodity because I’m a tech guy who’s working for churches, one of the top churches in the nation or actually around the world, and able to convey tech in a way that I can speak to geeks. I know the tech because I’m an actual coder. I roll up my sleeves and actually write code. But I’m also an extrovert and that I can teach and articulate concepts and all these stuff in front of a crowd and not get nervous and actually speak to them, and then, of course, put it in a book. All these different ways that I could communicate how to get this tech done and reach the world made it so that I was able to go around and speak and, of course, get invited to speak outside the country
PW: That’s really good. So that book, the iChurch Method book, is that a book that essentially you could take rather blue in the church and just give them the book and say, “Hey, learn these principles from Jason and implement this for our church,” or do you have to have some kind of tech background?
JC: Well, that’s one of the key ways I wrote it. It has a dual perspective. If you’re a tech person like, say, myself then you can look at that book and say, “Okay, here are the platforms and stuff that I need to utilize,” and from a tech perspective you’ll see how to look at them and implement them on a grand scale. If you’re just a regular, you know, hey, you’re a pastor and you’re not tech savvy, but you don’t want a tech person to take advantage of you because we’ve seen that in churches where they hire a consultant who doesn’t have the church’s best interest in mind. You don’t want them to take advantage of you. Here are some tech jargon and tech principles and platforms that you’ll know about so that when you’re having a conversation with them and they start trying to throw those big words out there now I know I read about that in iChurch Method. I know here’s what I want: this, this, and this, and don’t stray away from the conversation and try and up sale me on stuff that I don’t need.
PW: Right. That’s a really good point. You know the iChurch Method, so as I mentioned some time ago you know I’ve been following you. I looked at the program, the platform. I know there are many facets. You mentioned a lot of it. I’m sure you’re going to get into some that a little bit more because we were talking earlier about that you have several sides to it. The one side is you can offer the platform within itself, but then you also kind of have a consulting side to it so I like you to talk about that. But then kind of lead into this is kind of a different question but with this whole internet technology age that we’re getting into do you think that pulls anything from worshipping the church? Does there become a disconnect in— look, I know you’re only working on the platform side. You’re the code guy. You’re what some would call a propeller head, but are you— I shouldn’t say propeller head. That’s not a nice word.
PW: [Laughs] But are you the guy— and you’re not responsible for this, but do you think there’s a disconnect in our worship when we focus online?
JC: Okay. Well, yeah, I’ll answer that question first and then jump back to the other ones.
JC: The worship experience when we add an online aspect to it we have to look at it from the perspective the Great Commission, okay? So we want to take the gospel to the four corners of the earth and if you ask somebody who’s not church affiliated, “I have a message that I want you to get around the world as quickly as possible. How can you do it?” Years ago they might have said, okay, pony express to boat to these different manners. But if you want to do it today it’s internet and if you want the most fastest form of internet would be mobile. So when you start looking at how to take the church’s message around the world, it’s not the message that changes; it’s just the method.
So when I’m talking to churches I say, “Hey, we’re not talking about two things here today, the message and the method. The message, the pastor has that; same message we’ve been talking about for thousands of years. But I’m going to tell you about the evolution of the method starting from stone tablets to parchments to scrolls to the printing press which was technology that gave us the Bible written in book form that every church seems to be so gravitated towards.” I’m like without technology we’d still be using oral history or parchments to get the word out about the message that we hold so holy. But radio, TV, internet, and now mobile has just basically changed the method in delivering that same message.
So don’t knock the method because it’s not the way that you received it in your prime because now when we’re looking at these different churches I say, “How long do you want to stay relevant and how old were you when you first got saved or heard the message?” And they’ll say, “My grandmother put a Bible in my hand, etc.” and I say, “Okay, what age was that?” and let’s say they say 12. I say, “Okay, if I look my child I’ll put an iPod or iPad in her hand at eighteen months and she was able to navigate the iPad without me telling her what to do and she got to Netflix and watch Dora. And so if the iPad was the earliest technology she saw that’s her Betamax. That’s her eight-track.”
And so now in order for church to stay relevant to her it has to meet her where she’s at and if now she’s as technically savvy and technically advanced for these digital natives in the future for church to be relevant to her it’s going to have to have a digital component, too, because that’s what her life will be based around. As I explain it to them to look at it from the perspective of relevance as time continues on with a digitally ingrained culture that we live in.
JC: That’s why I really like the name the iChurch Method because you’re absolutely right. It is a method in a way of delivering a message and I tell a lot of people this but we kind of forget that as Jesus was ministering— we’re not going to turn this into a church crusade but we’ll say this so that people can understand this conceptually that when Jesus was ministering he didn’t get further than Dallas or Raleigh, North Carolina. It was because of the other vehicles whether it’s radio, television, scrolls, whatever it may have been at its time, as the communication advanced word got out more in better. So we have to remember there’s a lot to be said for that.
And you bring up a really good point as you’re talking about mobile because there are businesses, and you and I both are in the business sector. I’m certainly in it. You know there are a lot of businesses that are still struggling with understanding mobile. The church, especially with mobile and other pieces to it are starting to get out ahead of this stuff. I mean you become more advanced than some respects than the world does, if that makes sense. That’s really good stuff.
You talked about kind of your other pieces. Did you kind of want to back up a little bit and go further into the iChurch Method? Was there anything else you wanted to point out there?
PW: Oh, yeah. I want to talk about two things that really helped the iChurch Method or this methodology that I was talking about really go to the next level. One, the thing that I really got was my wife helped me turn it into a method. I had five key areas but she’s a psychology major, family and marital counseling. When she was studying and she would be telling me some of the things that she’s reading about she kept talking about methods. All these people that she studies had methods. That’s where I got the iChurch Method from was that I saw that these methodologies took these what seemed as complex concepts and broke them down into such in a way that people could consume them easily.
For me, technology, from a church perspective, again, as we talked about earlier seem to be very complex and complicated. But if I said here is a method and it’s just five key areas that you have to work on, then people were able to more easily consume that. That’s why I came up with a methodology. When you’re coming up with a way to advance yourself with your platform in your niche you have to present it in a way that people can consume it, so I just chose a methodology.
Additionally, the platform, one of the things I saw was, yes, I have a consulting company and we can build these solutions for you, but the platform we’re developing will automate all of that. As we look at, you know, the listeners here you have to look at how you can automate your processes and scale them up to something that grows much larger than what you can tangibly put your hands on. In order for me to scale my business I have to develop a platform that could be automated and grows much larger without me having to put my hand on each client so they’ll see how far the reach of my business can get. That’s why we’re developing the iChurch platform as a whole. And then here’s the last thing, the book, writing a book and publishing a book.
PW: Now that is a whole podcast we could do on our own but I’m going to give a few key tips on that. The first thing I did was I came up with an outline; these five areas, I already have them. Under each topic I had I put three sub-topics. That’s how I started writing this book out as far as in basis of topic and sub-topic so that I didn’t try to write it all at once and it didn’t seem overwhelming. I had my book cover designed by a professional, and the reason I’m saying that is because I tried to design my own book cover and it looked terrible. When you want to put this book out here and I’m going to tell you how to put on Amazon so that where the high profile authors are you are as well.
Your book has to look like it was published by a major publishing house, but, again, self publish to start because, again, you want to keep control of your intellectual property. You want to own your book just like we know about the recording industry. We heard about, you know, I won’t say any names of moguls we know of, but they own the masters of their artist and the artist get mad about that. Own your own intellectual property. You’re looking for distribution deals more so than somebody signing you to a publishing deal. But we’ll get to that later.
And then the last thing is I used the website called www.createspace.com and that’s how I was able to get my book on Amazon and other places, the Kindle and all that kind of stuff quickly and able to position my book in the same manner that all these major publishers and authors position their book. Where you see them just as professional as those books look like so does mine. I had editor go through mine just like editors go through theirs and I’m able to publish my book in three months as opposed to waiting and be on the shelf for a year while somebody else decides your fate. I’m not going for that.
JC: Wow! That’s really good stuff. Obviously you did your own social behind it and started to push it in terms of promotions and stuff like that and then it started to pick up. And then the fact that you kind of speak at conferences and other places; you can kind of generate some excitement around it that way, too, right?
PW: Oh, absolutely, absolutely! And then I know something else we want to delve into which I’ll leave and start focusing and talk about right now is when I established myself as a thought leader in this area and spoke at conferences and became the leader that I wanted to be that I saw myself as probably about two years after I started doing all this, then, of course, that’s when a came knocking, AT&T, and I became the spokesperson for Inspired Mobility. That’s when you start to see— when you establish yourself in your niche and you keep going and you keep learning and keep putting out contents, blogs, books, etc. then the sponsors and the people who want to get into your arena they start coming and looking for you because you have established yourself, but it takes time and be patient.
With AT&T they came and wanted me to be a spokesperson for their campaign on Inspired Mobility. I’m talking about how we connect and utilize mobile technologies in our faith-based lives and our spiritual lives and inspirational lives. That’s the campaign we have now. We used to have tech Inspired Mobility and we talk about these things online.
JC: Wow! That’s really cool. How long have you been doing that for Inspired Mobility, Jason?
PW: Probably about a year and a half.
JC: So if I want to go out and find out about it I can just go out to Twitter and do #inspiredmobility or just even go into Google and just simply search it and I can find all the information right there, right?
PW: Oh, absolutely. Or you can go to www.about.att.com. That’s the AT&T newsroom. Search the keyword inspired mobility and you’ll see all the articles and the press releases and stuff like that and we’re just now gearing up for another press release on some statistics about the use of technology in the faith-based experience that AT&T just released last week. Now it’s about to pick up a lot more right now going forward.
PW: Got it. Jason, this is really good stuff. Listen, we’re going to take a quick break here, but tell them how they can find out about the iChurch Method, get more information on that for the pastors that may be interested and involved in something like that within their church. Where can they find that information, Jason?
JC: Oh, they can stay connected with me at www.ichurchmethod.com or connect with me on Twitter @jasoncaston, j-a-s-o-n-c-a-s-t-o-n.
PW: Cool. So we’re going to take a break. When Jason and I come back we’re going to talk a little bit about diversity in technology. We’re going to get his thoughts. I want to share a little bit of mine. Hope you guys stick around. Thanks a lot.
Hey, guys. I’m back with Jason here. As promised we’re going to talk a little bit about diversity in tech. I wanted to hear his thoughts. He’s been a guy that’s been in the industry for a long time. In our previous segment he just talked about how involved he was, so I wanted to hear his thoughts around it. Jason, tell me, I mean just generically speaking, why do you think there just continues to be a problem within the tech space after we all understand it being an issue? I mean why do you think it continues to be one?
JC: I think that right now I think I as we look at what people see as possibilities as far as what minorities or African-Americans can see in the tech space there aren’t a lot of examples of, “Hey, I can go and do that.” As more people like myself, yourself, other people that we know get more visibility, then I think it will become more of a reality and that includes us growing our businesses larger to where we get more publicity going back into these different schools and different community places and showing them that we’re able to do this.
Because if I look at my own examples of what I thought I wanted to do coming up there was nobody in my family or even close to me that was in tech. I happen to go into tech because of a computer class in high school that eventually got cancelled because not enough people signed up for it. But that was my thoughts. But my parents gave me a computer at a young age. There was nothing I saw that I was like, “I’m going to go ahead and grow up and be that.” In addition to the tech piece there weren’t many entrepreneurs that I knew so that I think if as long as they’re not seeing that in abundance, then it’s hard to blame them for trying to mimic something that they don’t see play it out as reality in their world.
PW: Now that’s a really good point. I mean I had to be maybe about 19 years old too when my mother and father bought me a computer. They’re like, “Hey, learn how to figure this thing out,” and I happen to get right into the hardware. But you’re right. If you know a lot of folks don’t have access to the technology, then it’s hard for them to get into it.
But I started looking at numbers where we’re talking about Amazon that only has 15% black people. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, each only have 2% of black people that work within their industries. Sometimes you’re trying to really find out is this really an explicit case of segregation or is it intentional? You know you’re always trying to figure this out, but you absolutely hit the nail on the head that a lot of this comes down to access which you just mentioned, education, which you just mentioned.
We talked about you going to school in 2000. There wasn’t a lot of tech then either so it took a long time before colleges started getting on this whole wave of teaching students, 1) how to be entrepreneurs, and 2) how to get involved in tech. We had generations of minorities that went through college without that kind of knowledge. What do you think the importance is of diversity in tech to begin with? Why do we even think that’s important?
JC: I think it’s important because I think that, 1) showing a diversity in the tech arena, again, gives more. It helps people, again, the next upcoming generation to see that this is an opportunity that they can get involved with. Also it helps people to see, hey, this company supports people like myself who look like me who share the same values, beliefs, and do the things that I want to do. I think that it helps with that. For us with like Google and Amazon and online platforms that we patronize daily and support daily we do want to believe that there isn’t some type of agenda where they’re trying to heat people up that look like me and you from being employed by them. But on the flipside they have no problem having us as customers or taking our money or utilizing our data to grow their business. I think that’s very important.
But I think the main thing that I want to see as far as diversity in tech is the opportunities that tech provides for entrepreneurs, programmers, coders, etc. to advance their platforms, their businesses, their brands and just their financial livelihood. We don’t want to feel like that door is only limited to people who look a certain way, our friends or only know certain people, and therefore there’s a gatekeeper at the door saying you have to have these qualifications before you can come to this tech door. We don’t have to feel like that.
PW: Totally! And you brought up a really good point. I mean I don’t know that number statistically, but you and I both know that black folks, minorities in general, are some of the largest carriers of cell phones and purchasers of things and stuff. I mean they are a large segment of consumer is what I’m getting to. For them not to be representative at places like Amazon— and this is by no means I’d knock at Amazon. Again, we just touched on some of this could be a slight towards education and even access within the homes and other stuff. But it’s a huge loss because in a lot of respects when you have somebody that looks like us, as you mentioned, those are people that can connect most because they understand the community best in a lot of respects.
I bring this up and I mean this. I mean you’re somebody that is a prime example of it. You saw a need. You went into a position. You saw a need, you saw a disconnect, and you knew how to respond. I mean you’re involved in the church, you know to speak geek, as you put it, but at the same time you also know how to connect the dots from a technology standpoint. So I think culturally that can also be done, too, by shifting how we see the representation within somebody’s larger businesses.
JC: Yeah, and I’m not sure and I’m just now learning this as I was relaying it to you earlier, I’m not sure exactly how people like me and yourself can be mobilized to go on strategically to go on to different schools and community centers and different areas and just increase our visibility online to let younger generations of colored know, hey, you guys can do this. And it has to be two-fold because from my perspective growing up, 1) you guys can go into tech whether it can be coding or whatever type of aspect it is from a tech perspective.
On the flipside, the entrepreneurship aspect of it, you can actually build a business or platform, an app or what have you and ran that and actually to grow that and have the support of investors or what have you to take it to another level. It has to be something where it shows people of color are doing that so that our younger ones can understand it as possible because, again, I didn’t see that growing up. Even now when I look for mentors or people to communicate about how my business is growing I don’t have a model so I just have to network to the best of my ability and learn how to interact with people who are doing things on a much higher level than I am. Therefore— and then I have to in turn reach back as well. Otherwise, it’s a lot of information that I withhold to myself and that’s not fair.
PW: Totally! Yeah, and you brought up kind of the last question here which was some of the issues rounding or launch in a startup especially for minorities, and it’s you saying, hey, we kind of have to kind of take a step back and start even whether it’s high school or even earlier than that and start letting some of those kids know that it’s possible, 1) to get in tech, but 2) we have to start teaching students less about how to be workers in companies. That’s not a knack either. I mean I’m just saying that we need to teach them how to be entrepreneurs more so.
JC: Yeah. One of the things I’ve learned and this is one of the key things that I relate to my daughters is when I make them do coding everyday on www.code.org and so I got them Google Chrome books and they do coding every day. But I told them the best way…
PW: Jason will you be my dad?
JC: [Laughs] You just want a Chrome book. It’s not going to happen, buddy.
PW: [Laughs] That’s it. I’m the using child. No hits. So you got them a Chrome book. That’s good stuff.
JC: And so with them coding, but I let them know, hey, I have no problem with you when you grow up getting a job working with a company. But utilize what you’ve learned to figure out your path to step up on your own because one of the key things I’ve learned in building my business was I worked for companies and I watched their processes. I watched a lot of things. As a matter of fact my example right now of how I build my platform is I watch Bishop Jakes day in, day out. I help him build his digital platform, but I watched how he maneuvers when he releases a book. He goes on a press tour. He tells us we have strategies digitally as far as how we’re going to put information out about him. He has all kinds of businesses. When I watched what he’s doing as I’m…
PW: Is it like that where it’s almost project management point to point as he’s pushing new items out? Is that exactly how it’s done and how the blueprint that you’re kind of taking for your stuff?
JC: Oh, absolutely! It’s a strategy and when I say strategy I mean it’s a machine that runs how he does things and that all of us who work for him so we know our parts. All I have to do is watch how the strategy comes together and do it for myself on a much smaller level than what he’s on. But that’s a lot of the ways I come up with some other things. A lot of stuff I know because I do the things for him digitally, but the stuff I don’t know I just watch certain people maneuver. Like the PR team, what are they doing? Okay, cool. I need a PR person to do that. What are the writers doing? Cool. I need to get me a writer. And I just watch how things are happening. I tell my daughters if you’re going to work for a company watch how the company acts, watch the things that they’re doing, watch the processes so that when you step out you can mimic that on a smaller scale until your business grows and then you become a competitor to them.
PW: Look that is great advice especially for your kids because you’re already starting with the access and education that we kind of talked about. But people also have to understand. They think they have to be multi-millionaires to get to the point. First of all you got to have a plan. You said you’re watching T.D. Jakes. People need to start— and when we hear talking about mentors we’re not always told to bother people and reaching out to them. Sometimes it’s just good enough for you to step back and watch them do what they do. When you do that eventually you’ll start to pick up some of those habits and things. But you don’t have to have a lot of money to launch up. I mean go to Fiverr. Go to oDesk. Start doing things on a small scale to get you to the next point and then build yourself up from there. That’s really good stuff.
JC: That’s the key. I mean I really wish there’s a way we could take what you just said and package that and like get that out to the masses. That’s the hardest thing when I’m going to teach at these different conferences to tell them, “Hey, you can look like a mega church on the budget of somebody who’s preaching out of your mom’s living room.” Likewise with a business you don’t have to have a million dollars to look like a million dollar business. The internet has leveled the playing field to where, again, I got my book published for a fraction of the cost of what it costs a publishing house to publish my book or I ran my business for a fraction of what a corporate 500 company does. But I have access to all the services that they have because I know the online platforms that would do what they do.
That’s the thing that I think a lot of people don’t believe. I didn’t believe it. It’s not like I grew up knowing this stuff. The way I started my business was my friend just told me one day after I got laid off from like my 25th job. He was like, “Man, why don’t you start your own company?” And if it would have come from somebody else I would be like that’s unattainable. The only people I know ran their own companies are rich, etc. But my friend told me that. That made it real. That’s what I was talking about with me and you talking about the younger people growing up with diversity in tech. I think they need to see people that they can trust and relate to be able to— that they’re doing it and they’ll realize, yes, I can do that as well.
That’s one of the things I like about Twitter. With me and you we can always stay connected. If somebody sees me doing something that they really like, like they might see me being a spokesperson for AT&T like, “Oh, my God! How do you get connected to AT&T?” You know on Twitter I actually respond. You can attest to that. I respond and talk to everybody.
PW: Yeah, let me say this. Jason and I, we have a friend in common and him and I just connected. But I reached out to him. Jason hit me back right away and him and I just kind of built a friendship and we’re talking today, right? So he is absolutely right. He is reachable. But even beyond what him and I had built here, you know, there are other people like that as well. He’s right. We have to stop thinking small. I mean here, Jason, he just told you that a friend told him he should start a business after being at so many jobs. I’m sure a lot of us have had the same experience. Now he’s a spokesman for AT&T in their Inspired Mobility campaign. He’s worked at two large churches. Currently working at a large church, created his own iChurch Method. It is possible for everyone to create something. Now you got to gain in your lane. You can’t say, “I’m going to start, go out, and create the iChurch Method.” That may not be for you. But you have to find out what’s for you. That’s good stuff.
JC: Oh, absolutely, absolutely! I mean just to sum up everything we’ve talked about, just looking at many things that I’ve been able to do and the many things that everybody’s able to do. You don’t have to do everything that you heard today, but do something. Start somewhere and find somebody who will encourage you. The reason I even have an iChurch Method book is because my wife encouraged me to find somebody to help me get it up the ground. I set up that book for two years and she finally was like, “What do you need to get it done?” And I said I need an editor to help me take my book out my head and put it on paper, and my editor helped me do that. From there I was often running. That was three, four years ago.
PW: Wow! Jason, you’ve been an inspiring man. I really appreciate you taking the time out to talk with us a bit.
JC: Thanks for the opportunity my friend.
PW: Thank you. I appreciate it.
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