In this interview with Tim Shrout, we will talk about how to build God’s kingdom by investing in the right businesses.
“You know, when we hear the stories of other people’s journeys, their successes, their struggles, you know how they really kind of got their hands dirty and got where they are today, it really can encourage us. It really can give us some perspective on our own journeys. And so, that’s what we want to do today. We’re going to talk to my friend and one of our founding board members, Tim Shrout. He’s going to share some things that I think will energize and encourage you on the journey you’re walking, Marketplace skills are. So, if there’s, you know, if there’s an up-and-coming entrepreneur out there, he’s tinkering with an idea or he’s tinkering with an investment idea, how do you decide if a business idea or opportunity is worth pursuing?”
“The answer is going to be a little difficult because I’ve always been kind of a gut guy. Okay, that’s fair, just to be frank, yeah. Um, and I think there’s a certain amount of, of talent in that, you know, if talent’s the right word, but you know, the characteristic of an entrepreneur that is successful is, do you have a good judge of character? Do you have a good judge of research? Do you have the judge of an idea and what it can and can’t do? Yeah, and sometimes, as in my synthetic cell situation, you bite off more than you can chew. Um, sometimes you don’t, so I have one more that I’ve lost, which is the way you want to keep it, right? Like you say, you will lose some, but I think for me, I really try to keep my eyes on Trends, you know what’s going on in the world, how is technology changing things, like an insurance company that I invested in.”
“A small group of guys, all they needed was 100 Grand and some office space, right? Remodel Health, yep, and great group of Christian guys, and we’ve grown that from a few guys using my office to outgrowing my office. Right now, they’ve got their own space, and now they’re looking to exit out of that, probably next year or two, yep, and I think it’ll be a big exit, yeah. Uh, and they’ve just grown that through technology. It’s an insurance business, you know, what’s new in Tech, what’s new in Insurance? Nothing much, but they came up with a technology platform, yeah, uh, kind of like the progressive with Otto, you know, it’s kind of like that for healthcare.”
“So again, it sounds like an easy idea, but they’ve got a very, very, you know, proprietary software piece that does a job that no one else can do. So I saw that in those guys or smart guys, um, and it’s worked out wonderfully. And again, they’re good Christian guys, and I’m not saying you got to be a good Christian guy to be a good business guy, right, right? It does help, I mean, it gives me some level of comfort if they’re truly good guys, yeah, uh, and most of the deals I’ve gotten involved with, I don’t make that like a litmus test, but it’s part of the program, right, because I know if they’re at least, you know, stable family people, yeah, uh, have you, know, whether it’s Christian religion or AG or whatever, you know, yeah, as long as they’re committed to a proper religion, yeah, yeah, it gives me some good feelings that hey, these are quality individuals, they’ve got some good moral standards.”
“So I, I had a venture capitalist tell me one time, I asked him a similar question, and he said, you know, really for him, it was two things: is the idea good, like, do I buy into the idea, you know, is the model right? But then, exactly what you’re saying, do I believe in the person, yeah, and really for him, both of those things had to be present, because he had invested in bad ideas that good people brought him, and he had invested in, you know, good ideas that people maybe not that were bad but weren’t capable of maybe performing, yeah, performing at the level that they needed, and I see that all the time, I get calls constantly, and yeah, I got one the other day from another Insurance, uh, property Casualty Insurance kind of thing, and after 15 minutes on the call, I realized this was not the guy, you know, his idea was, was Fuzzy, yeah, Ed bass had not been thought through, in my opinion, totally, um, and him as a person, he was pretty wishy-washy on answers, and I’m like, okay, I, I can’t invest in something like that, and I gave him a list of things I had to have to continue the conversation, I’ve never heard back, so I think my gut was good, because he realized when he got off the phone, ah, I’m not gonna get this guy to invest, yeah.”
“When you talk about gut, though, I mean, I think there is something to that, but gut actually comes from experience, it comes from wisdom, yeah, it’s not, it’s not, you know, mystical, yeah, it’s not some mystical thing, right, um, you know, maybe a little of the Holy Spirit involved in that process as well, but yeah, but you know that does a gut response does come from, from doing the due diligence over right, I mean, a period of time, yeah, in your brain, you’re ticking off the Rolodex of what makes a good business, right, is this guy a good business, right driver? Is the idea a good business to be? And is the market a good business for the idea to come to, uh, is there financing available for it? I mean, there’s all kinds of things, sometimes you just take a flyer, I’m kind of more of an angel investor, you know, early early risk than a venture capital guy who’s taking risk, but the idea is pretty well baked, yeah, um, so it’s, it’s, it’s, again, kind of getting back to that what gets your juices flowing kind of thing, you know, um, I enjoy the angel part, and you’re gonna, you’re gonna miss a lot more on the angel Parts because they may just not work out, um, but, but it’s still the same process whichever one you’re going through, it’s just a matter of how much risk you’re willing to take on an idea, yeah, so I, I mean, what you talked about, you study Trends, you see, you, you look at the, you look at the world, you look what’s happening in the world, if you were going to talk to some other maybe potential entrepreneurs, what do you see happening out there that you think, A, is interesting?”
“Um, and B maybe could be harnessed for, you know, Kingdom work in the world, I mean, is there, is there some, is there something out there that is intriguing? Well, I mean, I think any business, you know, any profitable business can be harvested, right, whether it’s real estate that you’re right moving along with and a small amount of cash flow and you sell it for a ton of money or whether it’s a high net income producing software company that’s just right making it like crazy with 90 margins, any of those things I think can be can be used as a tool like we’re using uh with CRF. It’s just a matter if that owner wants to take a piece of that action and put it into a non-profit, uh, it’s a pretty simple process, right? In fact, it’s even simpler with some of that stuff, so, so I think as far as the, I don’t think what, I don’t think it matters what kind of business it is, it can fit our template of how we’ve done things and of course taking that further and enticing the countries we go to to start their own businesses that we help support so they’re being self-supportive which is kind of the part I’m sure you’ll talk about with with others but yeah uh but yeah that’s the whole circle so uh I don’t think there’s any barriers to that situation as far as trends go uh software right now is just so hot, you know, the chat GPT stuff I don’t know if you’ve paid much attention to that, I’ve played around with it, it creeped me out, well we’ve got another, yeah, we’ve got another company that we are doing things with right now that that we’re a big part of and it is a it will utilize chat GPT uh some of those type AI things uh for it but it it goes a few steps further in the actual help of a business as far as interacting with your accounting system and stuff so it’s kind of uh I look at the current chat AI stuff as a user interface more than I do a functional kind of a thing but that’s going to change pretty quickly probably um so yeah the company that we’re working with right now I’m really encouraging them in fact we got a call today to really step it up because the problem with software is what’s great today is worth nothing two years right I mean you look at exact target here locally yeah uh those guys made you know hundreds of millions a piece this company sold for 2.4 billion I think it was I think if that company existed today versus five six years ago when they sold I’m not sure it’d even be in business wow if it was no one would be paying 2.4 billion for it unless they change drastically from what they were doing at the time so you really have to keep tabs on especially nowadays things are just they’re just they’re so quick and when you hear guys like Bill Gates and and uh Eric Schmidt and all these really brilliant software guys talk about you know this is the new internet I mean this is this is as big a deal as the internet was or PC’s invention yeah that’s scary right because now you’re sitting there thinking okay what do I have going on right now that’s going to be obsolete in years so yeah um you know health insurance you know the the computerization of health insurance computerization of medical records all that stuff’s huge you know so uh those are kind of the I don’t know esoteric you know software things that I think are really hot real estate’s always good you know I mean you’re always going to have Apartments but you’re always going to have hotels we were in the hotel business too and all that stuff’s always going to have a place I think uh but but I would argue we could take any industry out there that someone has an interest in or or wants to get involved with with missions more and and show them quite quickly how they could benefit from a personal standpoint Mission standpoint tax standpoint uh inheritance standpoint hey thanks for watching if you like this video maybe give us a like a comment share it with some friends if you’re interested more resources from the stone table you can find those at thestonetable.org forward slash start uh before you go hey check out this other video we’ll see you next time, thank you.”