• David Oaks

Buy The Truth & Sell It Not: Personal Growth Is Gonna Cost You!

When I was a teenager, I became enamored with the Proverbs of the Hebrew King Solomon. Reading them over and over, year after year, became an obsession. King Solomon, who lived nine centuries BCE, is often described as "the wisest man who ever lived." Of course, somehow, I hoped that the guy's wisdom might rub off on me! In the last few years, I have become enamored with Proverbs "The Thirty Precepts of the Sages." (read here starts with verse :17). The fifteenth saying always intrigued me: "Buy the truth...wisdom, instruction and understanding." "Buy" is doublespeak, for this is not going to be free; it will cost you. The sage says that living a life characterized by truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding will never happen by accident. Living with your eyes open will happen only when the price is paid. I think living with your eyes open means that if you could kick the person most responsible for your failure as hard as you can… you would likely not be able to sit down for a week! Living with your eyes open... Selah, pause and think about that. Growing up poor, I was enamored with money. I learned that nowhere is the love of money greater than among those that don't have it! I lived enamored with money and filled with questions. How do you get it? How do you keep it? How do you give it away? I always wanted to help the underdog. So I became a pastor: A poor pastor. I then learned that one of the worst strategies for helping the poor is to be poor. One of the worst strategies for helping the underdog is to be one!


...nowhere is the love of money greater than among those that don't have it!

Early on, I learned that not much good happens in this world without the money to make it happen. I remember wondering why some leaders seemed to have all the money their organizations needed. I remember wondering why some leaders, like me, seemed never to have the money they needed? I remember the depression that hounded me like a rabid dog after its prey because I never had the confidence or resources I needed. I made it my determined purpose to understand why that was. Along the way, I learned a lot! I learned that most nonprofit leaders are angels, but we are challenged in organizational development and fundraising. I began to learn the strategies to get the money I needed when I decided that I would "buy" what I needed no matter what it would cost me.

One of the first "truths" that I paid the price to learn was that "Your choice of people you associate with will have more impact on what you become than any other single factor" - Brian Tracy.

I remember meeting a young pastor many years ago, John Maxwell. Talk about stunning. A young, up-and-coming pastor, he began to give seminars on leadership in Atlanta. While he talked, my heart burned within me. He spoke about why I should be skilled as a fundraiser. "The person who funds the vision gets to set the vision," he said. He explained how organizational leaders want to set the vision, yet they cannot fund the vision. I was blown away. He was talking about me. That day in Atlanta was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between John Maxwell and me. I went out to his book table, took out my credit card, and bought one of everything on his table. He supplied the leadership, I supplied LOTS of money!

"Your choice of people you associate with will have more impact on what you become than any other single factor" — Brian Tracy.

Following John's challenge, I made the quality decision that, for the next twelve months, I would

  • Read one book per week (he supplied all the books)

  • Listen to one tape per day (he supplied all the cassette tapes)

  • Do a daily devotional/journal (he supplied the material).

You can talk to my inner circle; in one year, that decision totally transformed my life. My closest friends today still marvel at the total transformation in my life in that year.

In the past three years in my life as a nonprofit consultant, I have learned that most nonprofit leaders spend their lives trying to get the money they need, but they never learn how fundraising works.

SO many nonprofit leaders whine about the poor wages their organization pays them. If this is you, I would tell you to grow in the knowledge of fundraising, and trust me; you will get the paycheck you deserve! THERE IS NO WAY YOU WILL RAISE MILLIONS FOR YOUR NONPROFIT AND THEY WILL PAY YOU MINIMUM WAGE! If you learn how to fundraise, you can stop blaming your town, your nonprofit, your boss, your low pay... You can stop living your life waiting for that big wealthy person to give you all their money. Remember the wisdom of the sages: Buy the truth, buy instruction, buy understanding. It took courage for me to buy everything on John Maxwell's table that day. I didn't have the money. That's why I put it on my credit card. That day I decided that I could not live the rest of my life playing it safe. I took a HUGE risk! I couldn't keep playing it safe, not having any courage. That day I faced my terror for taking a risk. That day, I faced my fear of doing something different, and I embraced the idea that I could grow as a leader no matter what the cost. Will you play it safe? What or whoever you are blaming, is in your way. When you understand that the answer is in growing yourself, you take action. All of human life is a struggle between ignorance and illumination. It is never ending. Once you stop seeking personal growth, at that moment, ignorance steps in; this struggle is a moment-by-moment decision - to learn to open or close your mind. We go to school for 12, 16 or 25 years... For most people, this is the end, not the beginning. To spend your life living in fear, never exploring your dreams is cruel. Ignorance about fundraising causes so much greed, fear and love of money. Remember the truth I learned in the beginning: "Your choice of people you associate with will have more impact on what you become than any other single factor" — Brian Tracy. _________________________________________________________________________

I have an opportunity to share with you:

I am teaming up with fundraising superstar Mary Valloni to offer twelve nonprofit leaders a spot in a mastermind group. Mary has raised millions for the American Cancer Society, ALS, and many others. She is a best selling author (Fundraising Freedom), the founder of Fully Funded Academy, and Fully Funded Orgs. She and I both agree that we want to offer ourselves in a mastermind group at a rate that smaller nonprofit leaders can afford: $250 month or $2500 per year. "Your choice of people you associate with will have more impact on what you become than any other single factor" — Brian Tracy. This is for you if you are looking for:

  • An actual, guided group with structured leadership and accountability — not another commitment where you get loaded down with videos, ebooks, and other distractions that do nothing to advance your success.

  • You're willing to let others in the group (Mary and I included) get to know you and speak into your life.

  • You are coming into this intending to build actual relationships with your fellow members, relationships that could potentially last a lifetime.

  • You understand that making a financial investment in the group is essential to getting maximum value and results.

  • You're willing to share your wisdom, best practices, and advice with other members. While Mary and I will provide regular input, this is a place where everyone will have an opportunity to lead and contribute. None of us is as smart as all of us.

  • You understand that this group's true value is not the amount of extra "fluff" piled on to make it have perceived value but in actually having legitimate value. Having direct access to this group's minds could give you the confidence and fundraising ability that will make you a superstar.

  • You are not an excuse-maker, whiner, drama king/queen, complainer, gossiper, pot-stirrer, or negative person. We are here to build each other up.

"A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could "-Zig Ziglar A year spent with a great mastermind group is worth far more than a graduate degree followed by post-graduate study! This mastermind group can reduce your learning curve by ten years for every year spent working and learning in it. This mastermind is an opportunity that we can only offer to twelve leaders. It cannot be a large group and be effective. Interested? Contact me at my email: david@wsdevelop.com or sign up at this link:

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