In 2014 when I started my business, Aligned Solutions Group, I wanted to speak openly about my values and be able to live and work according to my guiding principles:
1. God 1st in everything I do, think and want;
2. Relationship strengths with my family and friends 2nd in priority in life;
3. And serving my community 3rd to be a blessing and bring wealth.
I worded my LinkedIn profile to reflect the above principles and my past accomplishments. I thought before I post my profile on LinkedIn, I should ask for feedback from people I trust and respect. Several said my LinkedIn profile and website looks good except I should downplay God. I wanted to know if there are many companies out there who are successful and able to speak about God. Low and behold there was a list of them in Business Insider (Jan 19, 2012 by Kim Bhasin & Melanie Kicken). Here they are (17) and more to come in the future:
$3.85 Billion in revenue. Founded in 1984, by a Christian woman who decided to follow the prompting of God to start a retail business that brings runway fashion to everyday people at a discounted price. Mrs. Chang has the following bible verse written on the shopping bags: “John 3:16”
Chik-fil-A: $5.1 Billion in sales as of 2013. The famous Chairman and CEO S Truett Cathy was a devout Southern Baptist and made headline news with his anti-same sex marriage stance. As it turns out, instead of being a media fiasco, thousands of new clients/people flocked to his store to show their support by buying Chik-Fil-A for the first and second time in their life. Most of his employees love his policy of leaving Sunday close so they can spend time with their family. This is the teaching in the Scripture that says we should leave the 7th day to honor God and give rest from our work.
$1.1 Billion in market Cap; Founded by Harry and Esther Snyder. They put biblical citations on their cups and food wrappers. This practice of putting Biblical verses on their wrappers, cups and cardboard containers were instituted by their son, Richard Snyder.
$2.9 Billion in Market Cap; Jeff Swartz was the CEO @Timberland and famous for his environmental responsibility and social justice. Jeff is of the Jewish faith and believes companies have the moral obligation to generate wealth for their shareholder and to do good for the world. He stated in his biography, Faith and Fortune: How compassionate capitalism is transforming American Business. “I can’t show you the scripture that relates to the rights of a worker, but I can show you text that insists upon treating others with dignity,” he said. “It says in the Hebrew Bible one time that you should love your neighbor as yourself, but it says dozens of times that you shall treat the stranger with dignity.”
$22.38 Billion in Market Cap. Founded by John Willard Marriott and a devout Mormon. His legacies carry on after his death in 1985 by continuing to providing the “Book of Mormons” along with the Bibles in their hotel rooms. They recently announced they will no longer offer pay-per-view pornography in their hotels.
$6.75 Billion in Market Cap. Founded by a devout Mormon David Neelman. His work as a missionary in Brazil made him have a disdain for class distinction. His religious roots inspired him to do “home sourcing” relocation of its phone reservation system to 700 stay-at-home workers based in Salt Lake.
$1 Billion dollar and sells 16,000 different batteries with the #1 replacement brand battery in North America. Their mission statement in their company’s website reads, “To glorify God and enrich lives as we deliver the most trustworthy source of power to the world.”
Trijicon: They are a weapons-sight maker and are used by the US military and law enforcement agencies. They had received bad press from ABC nightline because they found biblical references on their high power rifle sights. Though Trijicon has been pressed to eliminate the coded biblical passages, Trijicon is still winning government contracts to this day. The practice of coded biblical passage was started by founder Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian who died in 2003 plane crash.
Unknown market cap because they are a privately owned family run corp. They are in 45 states with more than 600 stores and is ranked #3 craft store in the nation. CEO David Green, who owns the company, founded Hobby Lobby in 1972 and operates it according to biblical principles, including closing shop on Sunday.
ServiceMaster: $4.76 Billion in Market Cap. Well known for their household names like Merry Maid, Terminix, and American Home Shield (I purchase American Home Shield for my home appliance insurance). Former Minor League Baseball player Marion E Wade founded the company in 1929. He incorporated his “strong personal faith and a desire to honor God in all he did.” It’s in their mission statement.
George Foreman Cooking: Famous Boxing Pro who turned into cooking entrepreneur genius. He attributes his personal integrity in his business decisions as part of his religious re-awakening. I have a George Foreman grill in my house, how about you? Chances are high that we all have some form of George Foreman grill/cooking accoutrement in our home.
$15.10 Billion in revenues. A private grocery chain out of TX and Mexico started by Florence Butt in Kerrville, TX in 1905. Company Vice Chairman Howard E. Butt Jr. is also a self-described “spiritual reformer,” who joined with Rev. Billy Graham in the 1950s to create “spiritual programs for business professionals.” He also oversees the administration of “Laity Lodge,” a Christian retreat center in Texas. (Source from Business Insider 1/19/2012)
Tom’s of Main: Tom’s of Maine hopes that natural health will lead to corporate wealth. The company has built a business by selling the firm’s flagship toothpaste (responsible for more than half of company sales), as well as mouthwash, dental floss, deodorant, soap, and shaving cream made from natural ingredients and distributing them in environmentally-friendly packaging. Tom’s of Maine gives 10% of its pre-tax profits to charitable organizations and encourages its employees to use 5% of their paid time doing volunteer work. CEO Tom Chappell and his wife Kate Chappell founded the company in 1970.
Seeking entry into the specialty toothpaste market, Colgate-Palmolive bought Tom’s of Maine for about $100 million in 2006. Tom’s philosophy worked its way into Tom’s mission statement, which says it exists, in part, “To help create a better world by exchanging our faith, experience, and hope.”
As demonstrated by the companies above, I am confident that it is ok and most encouraging to be speaking about my faith that guided my principle in my business and show it through my work. I know that “if God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31.
What do you think, let me know your thoughts? Please share if you want others to know.