rewards,
risks,
38M 04S

Episode 88: Risks, Rewards, and Leaving

July 19, 2019

Episode 88: Risks, Rewards, and Leaving

Robert Cortes speaks out about risks he has faced as a Christian business man and using his God-given gifts to reap rewards for the Kingdom. He also shares on the importance of being a good steward through transitional seasons in your life.

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Episode 88 Transcript

Mingo Palacios:

Welcome to the Purpose Driven Church podcast where we sit down with leaders in and around the church to discuss current trends and challenges and how the five purposes of the local church matter today more than ever.

Mingo Palacios:

Welcome to the Purpose Driven Podcast. My name is Mingo and with, I think at this point we’re somewhere in the seventies or maybe breaching into the 80s. This is our late 70th episode or early 80th episode. I can’t even fathom that we’re this far into the podcast. And if you’ve been following along in any way, shape or form, you know that we’ve had a major transition. We were at Saddleback in Lake Forest connecting with pastors everywhere. And an opportunity came to actually pastor a church personally. Fallon and I, you know, the other players in the podcast, John Allen, we’re all in this crazy transition right now as the Lord has called us to lead locally, a personal church expression. What I love about it is it’s inside of a much larger family, the Eastlake Church Network. And for 30 days we’ve been at the helm there and it’s been an awesome collision of friendships, old friends that we’ve invited to the new ministry. Robert and Liz fit inside of that equation and new friends that we’ve met along the way. So, Daniel, thank you for coming.

Daniel Santos:

Thank you guys. Thank you.

Mingo Palacios:

Thanks for being on the podcast. I heard it was Daniel’s first time on a podcast ever.

Daniel Santos:

In my life.

Mingo Palacios:

Welcome dude.

Mingo Palacios:

Today’s episode, we want to talk about three things, risk, what it looks like to risk, why we should take risks, when we should take risks, what are the motivations for taking a good risk? Certainly there was risk involved in saying yes to Torrey Pines leaving such an amazing camp inside of Purpose Driven. But you know, here we are on the podcast, so it’s not really like we left, understanding that all risks are not the same. We’re going to talk about reward, right? What’s the return look like? Do we take risks based on return? And does return come in different channels despite the risks we know we’re taking? This has everything to do with entrepreneurship. It has everything to do with personal leadership and also ministry. And then lastly, what it looks like to leave well, and this is kind of a personal endeavor. I was wrestling with this question. Did I leave well? Did I transition well? I want to have a couple of thoughts and a couple of conversations about that as we unpack this episode. So let’s get into it. Risk. What do you know, Robert, about risk, especially as somebody who has so much of it tethered to your personal finances, right? In your company you take risks sometimes when you see or hear of a particular vision. I know you took a risk with us. What does it look like when you’re evaluating the kind of risk and whether it’s a good one or a not so good one in your own personal lens of leadership, business and ministry?

Robert Cortes:

Wow that’s a good question, I’ll try to make it as short as possible. I think when I process like how to take a risk, I don’t really say that to myself, but I do go through a mental process, I guess, in every situation. And I guess over the years, my experience has helped me guiding any type of risks that I take. But when someone comes with me, I actually look for a good fit. And when I mean a good fit, we have a culture of mission. I actually had a doctor yesterday, a dentist in San Clemente, California that literally on the call with his staff, he had a staff of like half a dozen people on this conference call and he’s interested in becoming a client of ours. And he literally told me, “What is my ideology for RebelFish Local?” So I had an option at that point. I could either tow the line of like, “Let me not offend anybody and I just put, I just like, you know what I, the risks that I am going to take right now as part of my faith, like what I believe and I said, “Great. That’s a really great question. This is why, this is how we came to RebelFish Local. Rebel because Jesus was a rebel in His love for people, how He did his ministry.”

Mingo Palacios:

It was countercultural.

Robert Cortes:

It was countercultural. And then I said, “Fish came about because we’re here in like an ocean based community but also fish more or less because in Roman times Christians would have to crisscross the fish to communicate because otherwise they could be persecuted or jailed or you know, by death. And then local because we help local businesses.” And so I just took a risk. I always do that and come to find out later after I looked him up, which I should’ve done a little bit more research in that moment, he’s a veteran owned business. He’s a Christian. He serves homeless vets in his community.

Mingo Palacios:

So good.

Robert Cortes:

So who knows how it’s going to turn out.

Mingo Palacios:

If I hear what you’re saying, I love that story. And P.S. you’re going to hear some plate ware. That’s because the fall is upon us. It is sweater weather. It is soup weather. So we’re all like having soup in the studio. Thanks Liz for sharing your wonderful culinary skills with us. You had an opportunity to speak that which you believe your faith, even if it was at the potential loss of a client, somebody who can help pay your bills.

Robert Cortes:

Correct.

Mingo Palacios:

And the prompting that you feel or the risk you choose to take is to continue to like witness, if that’s even if that’s the right word. Or you just self declare, “Hey, this is why we are called what we are called.” Super cool that you end up finding common ground with somebody. I’m certain that’s not the case every time.

Robert Cortes:

No, it’s definitely not.

Mingo Palacios:

But in this particular case there’s a comradery that’s built, maybe even a trust that’s established because you decided to come out and say, “This is who we are. This is why we are. This is what we are about.”

Robert Cortes:

Yeah, I think it’s important. You know, it’s just something we felt from the beginning that, you know, we’re in a culture that has lots of division in terms of political stuff. I won’t get into that.

Mingo Palacios:

Of course.

Robert Cortes:

But obviously I am who I am and this is my faith and I’m going to declare that when I have the opportunity. I’m not going to blast it-

Mingo Palacios:

Right, you’re not megaphoning. You’re not bull horning it.

Robert Cortes:

Yeah. But if there’s an opportunity, I’ll be glad to share it and that was an opportunity. And when I deal with other risks, like if it’s client based or ministry based, like for instance, Microsites. That was a risk on like literally like death in some cases, you know, there was a knife or potential knife fight at one incident and you know, someone found a dead body at another microsite a long time ago. I mean there was a lot of stuff that happened.

Mingo Palacios:

Hashtag awesome ministry.

[crosstalk]

[laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

Hashtag more dangerous than parking ministry.

[crosstalk]

[laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

Risk versus reward on that one is huge. It’s huge though. For anybody listening, so we ran Microsites, which is like, you know, putting churches in places that people least expected it. In San Diego, there’s a lot of least of these places and you know, I certainly believe there was a, “Is the return on this risk going to be worth it?” In that case you’re dealing with the Gospel. So of course the answer is yes. The question is whether or not we actually can stomach enough courage to go in boldly, faithfully, consistently to see what God might do through us and what Robert’s talking about, that knife fight and that potential, well that body was in Chicano Park. Right?

Robert Cortes:

Yeah. Yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s big. I liked what you said about just, it sounds like you predetermined that that was going to be your stance, right? That the idea of taking a risk doesn’t happen in the moment, it’s something that you’ve determined, We’re going to be open about our faith. We’re going to be kind of willing to share.” As a pastor or in ministry, they kind of come to you. So I like Daniel that you’re at the table here because you live in the flux to a certain degree. You’re not a professional Christian. You’re not paid as a full time staffer, right? You have a contract for the ministry that you do, but what does it look like in your personal world when you consider risk when it comes to your faith or assuming the gifting that God has given you. Some people think it’s just quitting a job. Other people think it’s making a stand. That’s kind of what Robert gave us. What’s that look like in your own space? And just for the record, I’m in my thirties, Daniel’s in his twenties, Robert’s in is forties so we’ve got this really great multigenerational viewpoint on it also.

Daniel Santos:

So, um, I mean, at least in my twenties, it feels like you’re still kind of learning along the way. Like you don’t really have a handle on what’s going on. You just kind of like, you take each wave, I guess, as it comes to you. I think I read in a book somewhere, it said like, “You can’t choose or you can’t stop the waves from coming in, but you can choose which ones to ride.” So I think with that, like in my mind a lot. I’ve been married for a year, so-

Robert Cortes:

Congratulations. Wow.

Mingo Palacios:

One year married?

Daniel Santos:

Yeah.

Robert Cortes:

Nice.

Daniel Santos:

You know, so it’s definitely like you’re risking is not just me anymore. It’s not just, “Oh, like I can always, you know, bounce back, you know, whatever. I’ll take the loss. It’s, I’m risking myself. I’m risking my wife. I’m risking our marriage. So not to say that it’s more of a risk, but it’s definitely added risk.

Mingo Palacios:

It’s heightened.

Daniel Santos:

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And so, recently I left the job, um, and that’s kind of been like my risks, at least in my twenties, you know, trying to find the right job that, “Hey, this is what I want to do well into my thirties.” You know what I mean? This is what I want to do for the long run. Um, and just, I’ve been really trying stuff out, seeing, “Oh, like maybe this is what I want to do.” I just quit my job at a bar. And I’m kind of like nervous. Like I think even now I’m still kind of like nervous ’cause it’s like, “Shoot, like what? Okay, so like, Lord, like what are you going to do?” I was meeting with my mentor recently and he told me, we were reading through John and we got to the part where Jesus is telling the disciples like, “Hey guys, like you can’t serve God and money, you know? Like, you’re either gonna love one and hate the other.” And so with that, in my mind that was kind of even more, that was like God will talk to you in like the most quietest of ways. And so talking with him through that, I realized, I was like, “Man, like I clock into this job and like I’m just kind of there for the money. I’m there for the tips.” Because like as a bartender, like, tips are nice. You know what I mean? Everyone’s just kind of you know, in their own, “Hey guy, like thank you.” So definitely nice to go home with an extra-

Mingo Palacios:

Wad of cash?

Daniel Santos:

Yeah. You know, so leaving that was like, “Shoot, like this is-

Mingo Palacios:

It’s security.

Daniel Santos:

Yeah, absolutely! And it’s so neat that you mentioned that ’cause it’s like, “Shoot, like I’m depending on this wad of cash instead of like depending on the Lord.”

Mingo Palacios:

Hey! Now we’re talking.

Daniel Santos:

For like, you know what I mean? Like, I go to work with mind like, “Okay, I’m going to be here for x amount of hours. I’m going to get like, I know how much I make an hour, so this is how much I’m going to make baseline.” Now tips is like, “Okay, excellent. I know I’m working on a Thursday night, you know? Things are pretty busy on Thursday, so I know I’m going to get an x amount of tips.” So then from there I’m like, “Okay, cool. This one I’m going to use for gas. This is what I’m going to use for a,b,c.” So then like I go into work with this dependency on people and then dependency on money, you know? And it really took a while for me to realize-

Mingo Palacios:

Connect the dots.

Daniel Santos:

Yeah. You know, like “Wait, like this isn’t worth it. I’m here. This is very like-” I love engaging with people. You know? I think I might miss that aspect of the job, but I think the rest is like, “Lord, help me depend on You or at least help me realize to depend on You.”

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good. I think that Daniel’s talking about the idea that when you identify something that you shouldn’t be leaning on to take the risk to detach from that.

Daniel Santos:

Absolutely.

Mingo Palacios:

I love that you probably caught it early. Imagine going 10 years where you’re relying on income and relying on a significance of people and you know, all of a sudden the Lord starts to challenge you. Better to address that in your twenties, to continue to fall back on the gift giver than to continue to rely on the gift itself. And what I love is that you leave a job at the bar and on the conversation on the way down to record this episode, we may have found even a solution inside of your wheelhouse by way of your giftedness, creativity, photography that could easily potentially supplement your income.

Daniel Santos:

Which was a risk. You know what I mean? Which was, “Okay, this is something that I think to some degree, it’s what I grind. It’s what I hustle.” Like, you know what I mean? It’s not just, I can go to a spot and be like, “Hey, I do this. Pay me money.”

Mingo Palacios:

Totally. You know, so many times I think our faith is grown when we put something out there that is unresolved. So for instance, you quit your job at the bar knowing that money helps. It’s not like you’re attached to it. You’re like, “Oh, I need it.” But you know we sometimes have to come to the end of something before we see the beginning of the next thing.

Daniel Santos:

Totally.

Mingo Palacios:

Right? And you in like professing just what you believe as a client asks like, “Why are you named the way you’re named?” You’re almost coming to the end of, you’re saying, “Hey, what we believe is more important than what we might be able to strike up in business.” Um, and the Lord allows those things to happen I think to increase our faith because you have to make that decision in the moment.

Robert Cortes:

Yeah. And what he’s talking about is great. It’s just a new season. Yeah. And one season has to end for God to provide an opening or a door for a new season.

Mingo Palacios:

Totally.

Robert Cortes:

Or for you to create a new season.

Mingo Palacios:

And because we’re right in the middle of fall, if you’re going to hold that analogy running farther forward, you start to see certain things. Like, you felt certain tendencies inside of that particular role at the bar where you’re like, “I think there could be a change coming.” And I don’t think that it was any coincidence. We had a very critical conversation about responsibility and all that stuff where you are managing it well despite the feeling that change might be coming. It’s super important for us in ministry to understand that you might get inclinations of change. You’ve got to be smart about what you choose to step into, the risk involved, right? Everything involves a degree of risk, but you have to ask yourself, “Is this a God centered risk or not?” Because sometimes we take risks that are only going to benefit us, how we’re seeing, how we’re perceived. Those are usually the ones that crash and burn.

Robert Cortes:

Count the cost, right?

Daniel Santos:

Absolutely.

Mingo Palacios:

Yes. So good. So let’s talk about return in the second. We got five minutes on the idea of return because I want to leave 10 minutes for the idea of leaving or transitioning well. Robert, how has God shown return in the degree of risk? How have you seen those two play together or are they distinctly different? How does it look?

Robert Cortes:

Return versus risk? You know, it’s a lot to be said about that outside, inside secular nonsecular. But I do believe, you know, you have to risk for anything. And for us and for me personally risking for, you know, when I think of business, I think about I’m taking care of my family, but I also think I’m taking care of my staff and I’m also taking care of the businesses I’m serving.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah.

Robert Cortes:

And I put them first before myself and our company essentially because I know that if I risk for them, the return, do I think the return will be there? Yes. Do I know for a fact? No. But I think when we risk, God’s in it with us and He will provide even when we think we’re doing everything right, but things aren’t working the way we want it.

Mingo Palacios:

So good. I remember this conversation when you’re doing everything the way you think it should be done and the outcomes aren’t the way you perceive them or hope them to be, you’ve got to be looking for God’s unique fingerprints because oftentimes I think that the reward is directly correlated with the risk. So I’m waiting for like, you know, the scales to tip in a certain way. And how many times have you been in a situation where you make a risk with your left hand thinking that the reward is going to come back in that same hand and God totally sidelines you with something in a different avenue through a different person and a totally different format and you see that return, right? We’re not talking Prosperity Gospel here. I’m not like asking for Creflo Dollar’s gulf stream, but I’m just saying like sometimes God really blows you away when you take a risk knowing, “He’s calling me to this” not knowing what the outcome is going to be and sometimes the return or that like resolve comes on like the farthest unexpected channel.

Robert Cortes:

And for us it’s usually when we’re asked to stretch beyond our means when there’s an ask in front of us or we feel a pulling, a tugging and then I know and I have a conversation with my wife about how we are in terms of risk and generosity and when we’re being asked way more than we can actually handle in the moment. But a lot of times we do it anyway. Not all the time, but we weigh out, you know, like what can we do? What’s going to really risk us?

Mingo Palacios:

So good. That question is massive. What can we do? That is so counter culture to, “What can I get?” asking yourself, “What can we do?” We’re going to ask you to talk about that this weekend. If you’re following along in some way, shape or form, Torrey Pines, we’re going through a series called iHeart SD. I love San Diego and we’re kicking that series off, but it’s all about, “What can I give despite what I can get back?” That in itself is counter human in and of itself. It is-

Robert Cortes:

But in all honesty, confession-

Mingo Palacios:

Confess, Robert.

Robert Cortes:

Is that when I think of risking, whether it’s ministry or personal or business, that there’s always the thoughts in your head like, “Well wait a minute, what’s going to happen on the other end? What’s going to happen for me in this end?” And then immediately go, “Wait a minute. It’s not what this is about.”

Mingo Palacios:

So good.

Robert Cortes:

And so for us, for me, you know when that voice or those thoughts happen, I have to distinguish what do I believe?

Mingo Palacios:

Like, what’s your motive?

Robert Cortes:

Yeah, like what’s my motive? It’s almost like a heart check, posture, check, whatever you want to call it. But it’s important for us at least for me and my wife, we really, we consider stuff. But if you ask us stuff we’re not going to say when asked, “Hey” we don’t go, “hey, we’ll pray about it. We’ll get back to you in a few weeks.” We usually know like that and we-

Mingo Palacios:

That can be a total excuse. Tell me it is. Like, let’s just pop the can on that.

[crosstalk]

[laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

Like, when somebody says, “I’m going to pray about it.” It’s because they’re not willing to address the risk and say, “Yes.” Despite what the outcome might be. Granted there are things that you need to pray about like saying yes to pastoring a church. You want to take that back to the Lord in your quiet place. But I think that we’re met with more opportunities that we can instantly say yes or no to, but we pander or we waffle because we don’t want to hurt somebody’s feelings, you know, and say, “I’m not into that right now.”

Robert Cortes:

And also it helps me sometimes for us when the generosity hurts-

Mingo Palacios:

Oh, that’s good.

Robert Cortes:

It helps us feel like reevaluate and it re-centers us like, “Oh wow, that was really hard.” But it actually re-centers us and goes wow. And then the funny thing is every time we stretch, God just literally pours it on. And not just like favor, like those kinds of things, but just, I guess it is favor but then clients, new people call and say, “Hey, we want to do business with you.” It’s so weird. It’s like when we actively market ourselves and we actively go after clients, it’s always this hard resistance. But when we stop and we breathe and we serve and we’re generous and we love our neighbor to our left and our friend to the right, it just seems to-

Mingo Palacios:

Those things seem to fall in-

Robert Cortes:

Yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

I’m fully aware, a couple of years ago when Robert went on tour with us, he was like, “The minute I stopped trying to do business and I started doing ministry, I felt like all of the business just kind of lined up.”

Robert Cortes:

It happens every time.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, and not again, not saying like, “Just, it’s going to happen.” But like you’d be shocked at like how much God has gifted you with the ability to take care of other people in need and when you start to make that your focus with the gifts He’s given you, instead of using them to try to get something for yourself, thinking, “Once I get it, Lord, then I’ll be generous” He connects the dots in the middle for you so that you can continue to love other people well so that you can continue to be generous, so that you can continue to share all the gifts that He’s given you so that you can proclaim His name. Daniel, any thoughts as we move through the idea of return as we talk about leaving?

Daniel Santos:

Well, yeah, I think with the idea of return, I wrote down some notes. Like, is the return as great as the risk? Is what I risk am I getting this and then some? I think oftentimes, at least in my life, I’ve always found that not only does God come through every time, but it’s every single time it has always been, “I got you and then some.”

Mingo Palacios:

To the fullest degree plus.

Daniel Santos:

Always.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. That’s good. That’s really good.

Daniel Santos:

And whether it’s, you know, your time, your money, whether you’re donating you know, stuff I guess-

Mingo Palacios:

Your talents or whatever.

Daniel Santos:

Yeah. It’s always been, it’s always been, “Hey, I see what you’re doing and I see that you’re walking out in faith. I see you. You may not be running but I see that you’re taking the big steps.”

Mingo Palacios:

One foot in front of the other. Yeah. So good.

Daniel Santos:

Exactly. And I think that, I don’t know, at least in my mind, I think that’s what God really enjoys and really loves. Like, “Oh, like, look at you dude. You’re going.”

Mingo Palacios:

“Look at your yes.”

Daniel Santos:

Yeah! And just like in this last week, I think you mentioned earlier about like the whole saying yes to like opportunities and stuff, just in this last week, there’s been twice in my life that I’ve been asked this like, you know, random, radical, like, “Hey, like do you want to go on a train ride with me?”

Mingo Palacios:

[laughing]

Daniel Santos:

Like, “Do you want just go hang out?” And I was like, “I don’t know what it is that we’re going to do at all but sure, why not?” And so it’s not necessarily like say yes to everything, but it’s saying yes to the right people.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good.

Daniel Santos:

You know, like saying yes to the people that like, “I know you. I know what you’re about and yes, absolutely. I do want to take a random train ride.” Like, “Yeah, sure, I’ll come hang out with you and a buddy at the house.” You know, and then you just kind of see like saying yes to the right people oftentimes leads to just-

Mingo Palacios:

The right opportunity.

Daniel Santos:

Absolutely. Like, like things that you never imagined that you would ever be doing. You know what I mean? And so you look back and you’re like, “Oh wow, I want to do more of this.” You know? So it just kind of prompts you to, “Hey, I’m going to start reaching out a little more. I’m going to start giving-”

Mingo Palacios:

Risking more.

Daniel Santos:

Risking more. Yeah. You know?

Mingo Palacios:

That’s how they’re connected. I love it. I love, Daniel, you brought up the idea of saying yes to the right person, not necessarily the right project or the right opportunity. Sometimes we eyeball the opportunity alone, not realizing that when we say yes to the right people, I’ve said yes to Robert on a million occasions where I was like, “Robert, I want you on this project with me, understanding that something deep is going to happen between us.” God uses events in our life, but He speaks through people, right? So when we invite the right people through and to our lives to do things with us, I think that’s where the most growth happens. An event is just that. It’s just a thing. It comes and it goes. But it’s the relationships that we have when we risk with people and, you know, the reward is mutual growth and mutual experience and side-by-side things that we’re like, “There’s no way. There’s no way I knew you could break into that door the way you broke into it and you saved me on that one. You know?”

[crosstalk]

[laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

So reward is an interesting thing because return, reward, what we get back, it’s not that it’s not biblical, right? I think scripture calls us to be wise about what we invest in, right? Thinking of the parable of the talents. There’s a reckoning when it comes to the reward, but it shouldn’t be our driver, right? The driver should be who gave you the talent to begin with? And what are you going to do when you get back in like proximity, face to face with that talent giver, He’s going to say, “What did you do with it?” I want to be somebody who is like, “Man, I risked smart and I risked big and the return was way more than I expected. Thank You for motivating that, activating that. Thank You for moving that in my world. I’m just thankful You gave me enough faith to say yes.” Right? The right yes. Lastly, leaving well. So many of us, I think this conversation has to do with the idea that we’re in a place that we know God is calling us through, right? Sometimes God calls you through a place. Sometimes He calls you to a place. That’s amazing Saddleback language. And recently I felt that call to go through the organization, right? Landing at Torrey Pines as the senior pastor. Now high level of risk, uncertainty on the reward, but understanding that leaving well is something that all of us have to do our part for. I was on the phone with Sam Song. Sam is in our ministry at Purpose Driven. He’s one of the most intelligent people I know. Shout out to you Sam. And I called him because I had this fear that I didn’t do everything I could have to leave on the best foot. And it was largely due to the fact that there had been radio silence between me and PD. Unaware of the fact. He pointed out later, “Mingo, you’ve been in Brazil, you’re preaching for like the organization. You were up at Hume Lake. You’ve been preaching there. Both of those places lack cellular contact.” Like, that silence, I felt like the enemy was getting into my head space and going like, “Man, you didn’t leave with honor. You should have done things differently. Could you have done this like in such a better way? The lack of communications means that they’re really disappointed in you. They may even be upset with you. You probably shouldn’t call. I would suggest you just leave it be.” And man, that narrative ran through my head when it came to the hindsight of me looking back at the decision I had made. And for somebody going through transition or assessing risk and potential reward. If you’re looking back and you’re going like, “Man, is everything falling apart because I decided to take this risk? I want you to be very clear and very aware of the fact that the enemy loves to meddle in that potential regret and it doesn’t have to be regret. It can literally be as simple as a phone call that says, “Hey, I just want to make sure that, I know it’s a different season, I know we’re in a different place. I just want you to know that I love you and I cannot with words describe how much you gave me in the season that led me to this place.” For some of us, I want to just encourage you and I want you to know that your season of change is coming and it’s your job to steward that change well, but don’t be paralyzed by the potential regret or the potential relationship rift that might happen. Just remember that God created you, God created the people that you’re doing ministry or work with, even the people at the bar and like, it’s your job to steward that transition well. Any thoughts on leaving well that you’ve personally experienced that you go, “You know what Mingo, this is worth saying”?

Robert Cortes:

Wow. I can definitely say one thing that it’s coming up for me that I’m remembering was that me and Liz, my wife, we were contractors for a digital agency prior to starting our own. We’re ending our fourth year of having our own digital marketing agency. And I remember that other agent that we worked really hard for, we had built up a revenue stream with that client. And I don’t want to go into too much detail, but we went our separate ways for many valid reasons. And it left us in a position where we didn’t know if we were going to be able to pay rent the next month.

Mingo Palacios:

Oh Wow. Heavy risk.

Robert Cortes:

Heavy risk. And they decided to, you know, they made some decisions, and their business that led to a massive shortage of their cash flow despite the fact that if the business had grown while we’re there. And so what happened at that point, I had an opportunity, I was thinking, “Well, Lord, where am I going to get these new customers for this agency?” Then I had a little email pop up or like a reminder and I looked at it and I was like, “Wait a minute, I actually have access to all the past customers that I was getting paid on that I helped bring.”

Mingo Palacios:

Of course.

Robert Cortes:

Right? And I talked to my wife and I’m like, “Yeah, you know what? Let’s make a list and I’m going to call every single one, every single client from the other agency, even ones that I didn’t get personally. I’m going to call them, tell them, ‘Hey, come work for the new guy.’ ” Right? And I had a prompting that says, “Don’t call single one of them.” Like what?

Mingo Palacios:

A prompting like you felt it, don’t call it.

Robert Cortes:

Yeah. It was like, “Don’t call anybody.”

Mingo Palacios:

Best idea ever. But then a prompting to say don’t call a single one of them.

Robert Cortes:

Yeah. It was a great idea. I know these people, my wife knows these people and the ones that don’t will get to know us. Well, what an opportunity to have all that in front of me like dialing away out of however many there were. I mean, I know one or two.

Mingo Palacios:

Totally.

Robert Cortes:

We might make rent, you know, but it was funny, we decided not to, that prompting was don’t touch it. There’s also a prompting like of anger or frustration. Like why did this happen.

Robert Cortes:

And I was like, “Oh wait a minute. I could turn off all their billing. I could make this really bad for them.”

Mingo Palacios:

Literally like screw the guy behind you.

Robert Cortes:

And the prompting was, “Don’t go there. Don’t touch it. Don’t make any phone calls. I got ya”. And that was a prompting. It wasn’t like words.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, of course. That was your heart.

Robert Cortes:

I told my wife about it, she’s like, “Yeah, you better listen to that.”

[crosstalk]

[laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

God bless our wives.

Robert Cortes:

And so I didn’t. And inside of that, the next day I got a phone call from someone who had said that owns all these laundromats. He says, “Hey man, uh, you know, we fired our marketing team and I want to hire you. Come by tomorrow, pick up a check and we’re going to pay you that every month.” First client. Client is still with us four years later. And they said, “I didn’t trust the company you worked for before, but I trust you.”

Mingo Palacios:

Ah, so good dude.

Daniel Santos:

That’s so good.

Mingo Palacios:

There’s the golden nugget.

Robert Cortes:

And then I said, “Hey, I’ll be there tomorrow.” And everything changed. I mean, obviously that day there was a lot more to it but we’re running out of time, but-

Mingo Palacios:

Of course. But the lesson that sometimes you can be in an organization that you feel doesn’t represent you well or isn’t giving you what you thought you would be getting out of it. But the idea of respecting despite the environment or despite-

Robert Cortes:

The desperation.

Mingo Palacios:

Uh huh. And God honoring you, your character, your decision in a new season. Massive. Great one, Robert. Daniel Santos.

Daniel Santos:

Repeat the question please.

[crosstalk]

[laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

Can I have the word in a sentence? Just the idea of leaving well.

Daniel Santos:

Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve made a lot of friends at the bar. I’ve made a lot of homies and I really hope that even after I leave, I hope that like as I’m walking my dog, as I’m walking around, as I’m walking to my car, like sometimes I’ll bump into them, I’ll be like, “Oh hey, like, what’s up? How’ve you been?” And like, it’s neat because yeah, maybe it didn’t work out with the company that I was with, but the people that I met there, like I liked. It even happens now. Like, I would hope that the relationship continues even from across-

Mingo Palacios:

Despite.

Daniel Santos:

Yeah. Despite. Like, maybe I’m not handing you a beer anymore, but like we can still hang out. You know what I mean? So I think the leaving well, even in regards to the company, like you did, you know, I put in my two weeks notice. I did. It’s, “Hey, this is me leaving, I guess.” In the most professional way, just kind of like, “Hey guys, like as of this date, I resign from-

Robert Cortes:

That’s good to do for employers to say, “Hey, here’s my two weeks.”

Daniel Santos:

At like the very baseline.

Mingo Palacios:

You hear that everybody in your 20s? Give them the two weeks.

Daniel Santos:

Yeah. The whole, like walking out, “Man, I’m done with this job!”

Mingo Palacios:

Flipping tables on the way out.

Daniel Santos:

Yeah, don’t do that. Like, I totally understand being upset or mad or maybe angry at them, you know? But the just leaving on a bad note is never good.

Mingo Palacios:

Your reputation goes out the door with you. That’s the thing.

Daniel Santos:

Absolutely.

Mingo Palacios:

And that you don’t shake. I know from personal experience over a decade in ministry, sometimes working in ministry, it’s such a heated thing because you’re dealing heart to heart with people. You’re dealing brokenness with humanity and that’s just on the staffing side. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing to honor the place or the person that you feel like did you wrong?

Daniel Santos:

Yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

But if you remember, you know, scripture reminds us like we don’t work on demand, we work unto the Lord. So even in your exit, that is an opportunity to either honor the Lord or not. And for somebody who is so bent and so like burnt up or burnt out by maybe a really unhealthy season of ministry or an unhealthy job at the season, you have to remember that like you have enough in you by a very gracious God to get to the finish line well, despite your circumstances. God says that He’s given you enough to manage, to walk through with diligence. You cannot give up before you cross the finish line, when it comes to character. I think that’s actually been the thing in my own world. I look for people who have transitioned well through organizations in determining whether or not I want them to enter into my own because chances are how they’ve gone through, unless God is doing a very big thing on their heart, renewing them as a person, that’s going to be very similar to the exit that they’re going to experience through your organization eventually, one day, be it 10 months or 10 years later, right? So, if you’re on the lever and you’re on the wire and you feel like you don’t have another day in you just remember this is the season to press into Jesus because that transition matters so much. You can have 10 years of amazing work, 10 years of amazing ministry, then you can blow it in 10 minutes. You can ruin all that equity in that 10 minute emotional explosion that would sacrifice all the work that you did leading up to that point. Why would you do that? So I appreciate that, Daniel, that that commitment to responsibility is massive, especially on behalf of millennials. You know, that’s important. For all of our listeners, I hope this conversation was super good and thank you for tuning in. I know time is of the importance and for you to give us this amount of time, I hope that it pays dividends in your own world. For our Facebook-livers, if this conversation blessed you, would you do me a favor and would you share it or even better, would you tag somebody into the conversation who might benefit from some of the things that we talked about? Thank you for your comments. Thank you for your shares. Thank you for your likes. We love you guys. For the podcast, we’re so grateful to be on this journey with you. I pray that you have some major risks that you now have more clarity over, that as you assess returns or rewards, that you would do it with the right motive. And when you think about the next season in your ministry, whatever that looks like, whether it’s in the same camp or a different camp, that you would understand that God has given you enough to lead well, to finish well and to start smart.

Mingo Palacios:

We love you guys. We’ll talk to you soon. We hope today’s insights left you feeling inspired and propelled towards your greatest potential. Thanks again for joining us for another episode of the PD Podcast. Until next time.

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