Welcome to Startup Revival, the number one podcast for Christian entrepreneurs, with your hosts Matthew Bell and Rafael Simpson. The world needs more entrepreneurs. Build something.
Matthew Bell:???????????? Welcome to Startup Revival Podcast. We’re super-excited that you joined us today. This is the first podcast of what will become a weekly podcast. I am your cohost, Matthew Bell. Joining me is my cohost, Rafael Simpson, also the cofounder of Startup Revival with me. And we, we’re entrepreneurs. First and foremost though, we’re Christians. We’re sons of God and we like to bring faith and spirituality and all the things that are less tangible that we all have inside of us to the business world and because you can’t separate the two, and Startup Revival is a place for us to share our stories for entrepreneurship and business as well as interview successful Christian businessmen and entrepreneurs as well, and share with you the stories for how you can go and do it yourself. And today, we want to introduce ourselves because this is the first podcast and we want to get to know you, for you to get to know us and set the stage for what will become a regular time together.
Rafael Simpson:????????? Yeah. I’d like to first say though it’s a little unfair since you’ve got that great radio voice. I don’t know how I’m going to compete with that on this podcast. So yeah, I’m Rafael Simpson. It’s an honor really to just be having this podcast with Matt. We’ve known each other for a really long time and one thing I’d say is I don?t really even know how people are entrepreneurs and not Christians. It’s a crazy situation because if you’re not depending on God and you don?t feel like you have direction in your life from the Lord, it’s hard to make these big decisions and really life-altering decisions to get into businesses that can succeed or can fail depending on the decisions you’re making.
So yeah, Matt and I met, have been in all sorts of industries, started all sorts of businesses, anything from tech all the way through physical brick and mortar. Right now I own and operate a distribution company that distributes products into the Caribbean. I also own a couple of web properties, a consulting agency, and my latest and greatest venture so far has been in real estate development working on about a $300-million real estate project right now. But everything that I’ve done really stemmed from, number one, stepping out in faith and building relationships, and it really set me in a trajectory that maybe I didn’t really expect to go, but that’s the exciting part about stepping out as an entrepreneur to do something. So yeah, that’s a quick intro. Matt, I’m sure you might be able to add some since you know everything about me at this stage, since you are probably not only a cofounder of Startup Revival but I’d say my closest business confidante at this juncture in life.
Matthew Bell:???????????? Yeah, absolutely, and it didn’t really?it started organically, and that’s kind of what we wanted to really just hit on during this first initial pilot podcast, which is that God has a purpose for your life, whether that’s building something from scratch or ultimately becoming the CEO of a billion-dollar tech company or launching a franchise business. Whatever it is, we’re really hitting on the purpose around your purpose in the marketplace that God has for you.
And so I’ve been in the digital tech space for about 10 years, worked with a company in New York City in the New York tech scene. When I joined with them, they were at growth stage and I was with them all the way up through IPO. So I’ve seen everything from early-stage businesses all the way through to public companies, and during that journey I left the comforts of my nine to five for the first time?this is around 2011, I’d say?and started a digital content company with a friend of mine, which actually led me to meeting Rafael. So we met organically through the pursuits of our own visions and purpose and we were both launching companies.
And we’ve both hit some rocky roads in those initial companies. I think that that’s probably saying it lightly. I don?t want to undercoat it there, but we were first-time founders and we had some issues ultimately scaling those businesses, and both businesses ultimately we had to exit from, and not multimillion-dollar exits, but we had to find other ways to move on with our lives. But we stayed in touch and we didn’t know what that original purpose looked like, we didn’t know why God brought us together, but about five years after those initial businesses that we were working on together we reconnected, ultimately through what was the very beginning idea of Startup Revival, and started working together on some other projects. And here we are today.
So timing is everything, relationship is everything, it’s not what you know but who you know, and if God gives you a vision, he’s going to bring it to pass. That’s the main thing that I want you to take away from today, is that it’s not going to be necessarily in the timeline that you expect, it’s not necessarily going to be how you expect it, but if He gives you vision and desire in your life He’s going to bring it to pass, and he’s going to give you the skills, the resources, the people, the support, all along the way in your journey to make that happen.
And I feel like what?s really exciting is, based upon Rafael, and I know you’ll support me on this, is that we both care about starting businesses, we both care about being entrepreneurs because we want to have unlimited upside and the uncapped ceiling that you don?t necessarily get with a nine to five or a corporate job, and we also feel very deeply passionate about seeing other people pursue those desires as well. So that’s kind of what we’re doing here with Startup Revival. It’s an online community of Christian entrepreneurs and businessfolks, and our motivation is to see, if I had to look ahead 10 years, what we’ve achieved is we’re getting inbound emails telling us that, ?The first time I listened to your podcast,? or ?The first time I saw your resources online, it inspired me to start a business, and today it’s doing $10 million in revenue.? And we want to hear those types of stories because if we can have that type of influence in the marketplace as Christians, we can start to have a really great impact economically globally all throughout the world. So that’s kind of what we’re endeavoring to do here.
Rafael Simpson:????????? Yeah, I think that’s great. One of the things that it’s so tough sometimes just to step out and face and do something, but one of the things that we’re passionate about at Startup Revival is, ?Use your talents that God gave you.? And yeah, there’s practical steps that we can take and we’re going to get into it in future podcasts, we’re going to get into some great practical steps you could take whether you’re launching a full-time business or even just launching a part-time side-income business to help get you that freedom you want in your personal life?we?ll get into all those practical steps?but the big thing is stepping out, trusting the Lord, and really going after what God puts in your heart. And the best thing along the way is, you’ll realize that when you step out and you start to do something and you have a vision and you start to cast it, you’ll build amazing relationships. And there’s a specific way you can get out there and start to build those relationships, but without sort of the failures that you could call ?failures? that Matt and I had, we would have never come together, we would have never enjoyed the years we had in New York City, and frankly still have and to this day, from my very first company and Matt, probably the same true for you, but some of the investors in our very first companies or in my first company I still have a relationship with today, they’re still wonderful advisers for me, and some of them are actually involved in other businesses with me. So what God has for you you really have to step out into and you may not see the exact fruition of it right away, but I will tell you that over time God will reveal His plans and it’s just an amazing thing. So we just want to encourage you step out and really pursue your passions.
Matthew Bell:???????????? Absolutely. And Raf, you hit on a really interesting point that keeps coming up in my own thought process as I think about encouraging other Christian entrepreneurs and other business folks to go out and create things and follow what they believe is their vision that the Lord has given them for their life or the desires of their heart, but you mentioned talent, and there’s a great parable that Jesus told of the master who gives his servant talents. And I won’t go into the entire thing, but the servants? task was to multiply those talents or to be a good steward of them, and one buries them, one invested a little bit, and one takes a bigger risk and returns a larger return for the master, and the one who buried them and felt like he was doing a good job protecting them wasn?t the one who was rewarded. So all this to say is if you feel like the Lord has put entrepreneur in your DNA and you’re called to that but you don?t take the risk to go out and start, if you have whatever it may be, fear or lack of confidence or there’s a million things that can get in the way from you pursuing what you feel like the Lord has put on your heart, well, we’re actually not honoring God unless we are doing what He has called us to do.
So I just spoke to a really interesting entrepreneur who’s launching a world-changing fintech company and he made the point that said, ?If God?s called you to be an entrepreneur and you don?t go and start a business as He’s called you to do, you’re not honoring what He?s put on your life.? Now, the Lord is gracious and He’s always going to bring us to where we ultimately need to be, but also it’s a two-way relationship with God and our own lives, and when we put action behind the vision that he’s given us we’re actually honoring God with our lives. So that’s the way I want you to think about it.
For me, I never felt right in a nine-to-five prison as I call it, but I’ve always felt more comfortable when I’m out there creating and I’m out there working for myself and I’m out there building products and I’m taking ideas that the Lord has given me and I’m turning them into reality. And that’s where I’ve always felt the most comfortable, but it took me a while to get there. And I want to encourage all of you today that if God gave you an idea or a vision or a passion and you haven’t taken the leap, He’s going to be with you every step of the way to see that through. And it’s not going to be easy all the time, it’s not going to be without challenges?nothing is in life?but He will provide the resources and the people. And that’s really what it comes down to. It’s the right people He’s going to put in your path to help strengthen you, mentor you, advise you, and take that thing that you’re birthing and bring it into reality.
Rafael Simpson:????????? Yeah, I think Matt, I mean, you’re hitting on exactly what our heart for Startup Revival is. I mean, look, it’s a nerve-wracking thing to step out, spend real money and leave security or try something new, but one of the things we want to do here is Matt and I have a very specific set of skills and frankly experiences that we want to lend to this group and just help advise you and prepare you to take that step so that when you do take it you are not only following what God?s put on your heart but you’re being diligent, you’re using wisdom, you’re preparing for it. There’s no sense in just jumping off the ledge into the water if you haven’t learned to swim yet, so Startup Revival is going to help bring some practical tools to your life. We’ll get into even things like different technologies you can leverage, different strategies, how to raise money if you want to raise money, how to make an extra thousand dollars a month through a couple of practical steps. I mean, we’re very excited to share this stuff with you guys and really encourage you to get out and pursue your passions in a smart way.
Matthew Bell:???????????? Yeah, absolutely. And I’ll just wrap it up with this. This is just kind of an introductory?this is our first podcast, want to get to know you, want you to get to know us, but Raf and I met when we were first doing our initial startup deals, and when I say that we had some failures along the way, it’s to be expected in your first deal, it’s to be expected in your tenth deal. But ultimately, we’ve gone on to start successful businesses after those initial attempts and I had a mobile app company that I launched and sold to a larger tech company; Raf doing a million dollars a year in e-commerce sales for one of his businesses; I’m running a successful consulting practice now; he’s doing multimillion-dollar real estate deals. So we’ve come a long way, we’ve learned through trial by fire, and we want to impart that to you. And again, this is going to be a mixture of the spiritual things and biblical things that you need to just strengthen yourself personally so that you’re ready to take on the challenges as well the practical things from getting your first customer to negotiating the exit of your business once you’re ready to sell it, and everything in between. So that’ll I think wrap it up, Raf, I think for Day One. I think this has been a nice introduction to the vision of what we’re trying to do and really looking forward to seeing what we can explore together and bring in these fresh revelations and ideas to the audience.
Rafael Simpson:????????? I’m with you a hundred percent, plus I always like catching up with you anyway, Matt. [00:14:48] have to do it one or two times we can share it with a bunch of people. It’s wonderful [00:14:53]
Matthew Bell:???????????? Exactly [00:14:53] two birds with one stone. So just on that note, thanks for listening to Startup Revival. We will be a weekly podcast moving on from here. We look forward to tuning in with you again next week, so have a blessed week and a successful week.
That was Startup Revival, brought to you by your hosts Matt Bell and Rafael Simpson. Tune in next week to hear more stories from entrepreneurs and businesspeople to inspire, encourage and motivate you in your business journey. Have a great week.
Take that step so that when you do take it you are not only following what God?s put on your heart but you're being diligent, you're using wisdom, you're preparing for it.