Summary: Everyone makes mistakes with money. Apply these five simple but profound principles from God's Word to your life to make fewer mistakes.

Introduction: Money’s Fun . . . If You’ve Got Some!

How many of you grew up like I did—not rich?

We weren’t poor; we just weren’t rich. I remember when I was about 12 years old, I wanted to ride my bicycle about a mile down the road to the local Quick Sak. I was going to go down there and get an Icee. I said to my dad, “Dad, I need some money to go to the Quick Sak.”

My dad said, “How old are you?”

I said, “Well, I’m your son. I’m 12.” And he said, “You’re 12 years old. You don’t need money. You need a job.”

Y’all know the kind of dad I’m talking about? Some of you had one like that. My dad didn’t think that work was a management theory. It was something you did. It was an activity. And so he said, “You need to get some money. Where are you going to get some money?”

And I said, “Well, some of my buddies are cutting grass. I guess I could cut grass.” How many of y’all ever cut grass? Isn’t that fun? Especially when you’re doing it for other people.

So he took me to—true story—down on Nolensville Road. I grew up in Antioch, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. He took me down the main drag to a print shop and printed up 500 business cards that said “Dave’s Lawns.”

I said, “Dad, this is a little overkill. I just wanted an Icee.”

I came home, and he said, “You’re going to knock on the closest 50 doors here in the neighborhood, and you ask those people with enthusiasm if you can have the opportunity to provide their lawn-care needs. Don’t you knock on the door and say, ‘You don’t want me to cut your grass, do you?’”

That’s how he taught me marketing.

I went and knocked on the closest 50 doors, and it worked. I’ve got 27 yards to cut. I was 12 years old. This is child abuse.

I mean, 19 of them were right in a row. I just went down the street. He made me keep a profit-and-loss statement on my business—my income minus his lawn mowers I tore up equals net profit. Yeah, I found out the difference in gross and net pretty quick.

It’s good to work. Work is a good thing. I’m proud of my dad teaching that mean little bald-headed kid that stuff.

Common Struggle: Broke Is Normal

• Pain can be a good teacher

I graduated from high school at 18 years old. Three weeks later, I passed my real estate license and started selling real estate. I took off to college and went through college in four years, which is what you do if you’re paying cash for it. You don’t hang out. You know, it’s like every time I stay here longer, it costs more. I figured this out, you know.

So I was working my tail off, getting all the way through college. And I met my beautiful wife, Sharon, and we got married. We graduated, and we started off our lives broke.

How many of y’all remember when you started broke, right? Oh, man. “We ain’t got money, honey, but we got love.” It was a good thing, too, because we ain’t got no money. I mean, it was . . . It was bad. We were eating off a card table. She was driving a 1902 Pinto. For you young people, that’s a car, not a bean.

We came out of college, and I went through a couple jobs. I started buying and selling real estate. I grew up in the real estate business. Mom and Dad were in the real estate business, and I was good at it. Starting from nothing, by the time I was 26 years old, I had about $4 million worth of real estate, a little over a million-dollar net worth, and my best year ever in that business, I made $250,000 cash taxable income in one year. That’s $20,000 a month. I don’t know where you grew up, but in the neighborhood I grew up in, that’s known as rich. I was having so much fun.

And here’s what’s weird. I do everything backwards, y’all. I didn’t grow up in church, and I met Jesus on the way up.

You know, most people meet him on the way down. Not me. I’m driving the Jaguar, everything’s going good, but I can’t get it to work in my head, and I went to a business conference, and this guy said, “You’ve got to have God in your life to succeed.” I came home and told my wife we were going to church, and she said, “Who are you and what have you done with my husband?” And so we started going to church, and I met God. I met him on the way up.

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