Entrepreneurial Evangelist Patrick Kucera, founder of The Jetstream Network, talks with Opportunist’s Managing Editor Leslie Stone about his entrepreneurial message of hope and innovation and why he believes now is the time for Americans to begin working on “The Revival of Revenue.”
Patrick “PK” Kucera has consulted and trained leaders at the highest levels of business and ministry for nearly 30 years. A pioneer of today’s popular “marketplace ministry” and “impact-investing” movement, he is internationally recognized as a dynamic speaker and trainer in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. He has addressed and advised global leaders at the World Prayer Conference held at the United Nations regarding global economic development. As an entrepreneurial evangelist, proprietor and pastor, he has been described as the Billy Graham of business, a modern-day Napoleon Hill, and compared to Zig Ziglar. He is an inspirational instructor with the ability to reach and communicate with people from all walks of life. He has traveled extensively to all corners of the globe, bringing his entrepreneurial message of hope and innovation to multitudes of people in Asia, China, North and South America, Africa, Europe and the Philippines. Kings have embraced him, politicians have entrusted him, and he has been a trusted advisor to entrepreneurs, corporate CEOs, church and denominational leaders alike.
As a young boy growing up in Nebraska, Kucera was inspired by fellow Omahan and self-made billionaire Warren Buffett. “As a born entrepreneur, every time I turned on the news and saw the richest man in the world, who happened to live up the street, it influenced me,” he says. The two men have more in common besides being born and raised in the same Midwestern town: both showed an early aptitude for making money; both ran businesses while still in childhood, and both have a philanthropic spirit.
Opportunist: When did you first realize you were destined to become an entrepreneur?
Patrick Kucera: It’s part of my DNA. I believe God created me this way. The first time I went fishing I watched all the other boys catch fish. They used worms for bait and I used corn instead. However, the trout didn’t like corn so being a competitive kid, my brothers and I dug up worms and went back. After catching a stringer full of trout, an older gentleman asked if I had any worms he could buy from me. I sold him what I had left, and he asked for my phone number. Several days later he called to say he’d buy more worms if I’d dig them up for him since he was too old to be doing it. What started to happen, quite honestly, was this entrepreneurial spirit grew. My older brother and I started digging up worms and catching night crawlers to sell. My mom let us bring the dirty clothes inside, and my dad let us use the garage. Thousands of night crawlers and worms died, though, because we didn’t know they needed to be kept cold. Then my dad and I saw an ad in the newspaper for three refrigerators for $99. We got the money together and my dad drove me to the guy’s house, where I announced: ‘I’m here to pick up the three refrigerators you have listed for sale at $99.’ He said ‘No, no … they’re $99 each.’ Well, my negotiation skills must have worked because I walked out of there with all three refrigerators for $99.
Soon we were paying the neighborhood kids 25 cents a dozen for night crawlers and marking them up to $1.50 a dozen; we even imported worms and marked those up. Whenever someone wanted to buy a dozen worms, I’d encourage them saying, ‘you’ve got to buy two because the worms are so good.’ My brothers and I started making good money for kids, and next thing you know I’m walking into the bank with money and opening bank accounts. I was fortunate to have great parents and great brothers to work with!
I remember customers started showing up in my life and encouraging me ‘you’re gifted; you’ve got a spark.’ I met the legendary Mrs. B, who had founded Nebraska Furniture Mart with her late husband. She lived to be 100 years old and when I was just a little boy she was scooting around in a go-cart. She saw something in me and said ‘you’re going to work for me one day.’ Even the people at the bank said I would be president of the bank one day. I never did work for Mrs. B or the bank, but the power of their positive words spoken into my life during my early childhood certainly did encourage and shape me.
An even bigger influence was customers also started handing me and encouraging me to read books like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale and many others. So I can honestly say that earning my own money, reading books about business, sales, marketing and leadership—plus having the richest man in the world up the street are what sparked my entrepreneurial spirit. While I was trying to create revenue and build a small bait business with my brothers, word had it Mr. Buffett was researching revenue of companies to buy and building Berkshire Hathaway. His influence and inspiration on my young entrepreneurial perception of life’s opportunities and the American Dream were both formative and priceless.
Opportunist: What exactly is an entrepreneurial evangelist?
Patrick Kucera: Entrepreneurs create revenue and evangelists create revival. Therefore, I am leading ‘The Revival of Revenue.’ I teach people how to be resourceful, and I teach profitability. Economic and spiritual freedom were the foundation of our nation’s beginnings. ‘In God We Trust’ is still on our currency. I want to know what that means. I am not proselytizing or coming at business from an ideology standpoint. I believe there are two economies … one with God and one without God. I simply want to teach people what it means to trust God relationally in having to create revenue and make more money. Some people might say, ‘that’s an oxymoron: a pastor or evangelist who says it’s OK to make more money!’ Yes. But, you see, the church has always taught the message that you need to spend less and get out of debt and has warned against the evils of money. Rarely do people hear how to make more money or it’s OK to make more for The Glory of God. The Good Lord did caution, ‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?’ But I believe it is possible, and I have witnessed many times, people being more profitable and gaining in this world and finding their soul in the process of doing it. That’s what an entrepreneurial evangelist does.
I am driven by economic empathy for those who lack revenue. I’m also driven to help the executive who has cash flow issues, government regulations or employee issues. King Solomon said a simple person sleeps well at night but a person with a lot of responsibilities and possessions loses sleep. Just because a person has a boat and a lake house doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have financial trials where they are asking for God’s wisdom and help. I am here to help those people.
Opportunist: Please tell us about the Jetstream Network.
Patrick Kucera: The Jetstream Network is a digital, media and entertainment company. Our mission is to rebrand, recreate and redefine money and entrepreneurialism and ministry and evangelism using media and entertainment as our delivery system.
The Jetstream Network is an expanding global network of entrepreneurs, innovators, passionate communicators, skillful writers, and thought leading content providers who want to ‘Change the Way the World Works.’ We believe there is a void in the corporate landscape of America because God’s wisdom has been removed from many aspects of our work life.
We are providing investors and entrepreneurs ‘generation changing’ products and services, training, coaching and consulting solutions for leaders searching for original thought and fresh perspective to the gauntlet of challenges facing them in today’s ever-changing world. We operate globally under The Jetstream brand and business model designed to provide our clients with the highest quality of professional service and overall profitability. We want to be the go-to resource for maximizing your God-given potential. Whether you’re an employee, an executive or an entrepreneur we believe The Jetstream Network will be the go-to resource known for bringing ‘sacred solutions that solve secular problems.’
Opportunist: What are some of the changes you see facing us today in the new economy?
Patrick Kucera: The growth of free markets in emerging countries impacts our middle class here in the U.S., which is way behind in understanding that the world is changing the dynamics here in America. People still think I’ve got to get my résumé together and look for a job and the market is going to bounce back, but in some ways those days are gone; at best, less reliable. If people don’t look at the marketplace from a global perspective and realize people on the other side of the world are hungry to get to the top, they will be left behind.
Our education system isn’t teaching people the way I am suggesting nor is it changing as fast as I am advising. More and more high school and college students are realizing they aren’t prepared for what they have to do in the world to make it financially. I look at the educational system and I don’t see grade school, high school or the collegiate world speaking into the lives of young people about how to become as resourceful, entrepreneurial and profitable as they need to be in the present economic conditions. They tend to teach people how to come out with an education that is conducive to becoming an employee. Employees are a company’s greatest asset and I am suggesting that their mindset must become more entrepreneurial in order to keep up with the changing speed of business and evolving global economy. I believe that is the problem right now and the solution is The Revival of Revenue that is found in The Jetstream of God’s Economy.
Opportunist: Tell us what you mean by ‘impact investing.’
Patrick Kucera: When I talk with people, whether the middle class—and/or even the wealthy—about who’s handling their money, I typically hear something along the lines of, ‘Hey honey, what’s that guy’s name? Isn’t he with Prudential? No, he’s with Morgan Stanley’ and ‘Hey honey, what is it we’re investing in, some mutual fund? Something like that.’ And I think you’re asking God to bless something that you don’t have a clue about? At The Jetstream Network we are creating opportunities for me to go to the market and ask people ‘What if you could do good for people, and honor God in a fully transparent, profitable investment? What if you could invest in a W.E.A.L.T.H. 20/20 initiative funding Water, Energy, Agriculture, Learning, Technologies and Healthcare solutions for people around the world? An initiative where you could redirect your IRA, Roth or 401k to benefit the lives of people and make a return on investment at the same time. That is impact investing. We are creating an alternative to the stock market and finding impact investors who want to make a positive impact in this world. We are creating a business model that creates better returns and returns greater benefits to God and His people at the same time.
Opportunist: Is The Revival of Revenue only for people of the Christian faith?
Patrick Kucera: The Revival of Revenue isn’t about just Christianity even though I am a Christian. These principles are universal in nature. The Revival of Revenue will show people how to maximize their God-given talents and abilities to live the most profitable life, both personally and professionally regardless of their race or creed. Saturday and Sunday are the most segregated time of the week, but Monday morning we all go to work. The beauty of this is that the economy is the one thing we all share. I teach the world how to do commerce and use free market capitalism to be more creative and have more courage and build strong convictions to create cash. To me, the catalyst is tapping into the creativity that God has wired us with.
Opportunist: We understand you are also involved in the production of a film project.
Patrick Kucera: Yes, it is called ‘Outwitting the Devil,’ which is the last book written by Napoleon Hill. It is the sequel to his book Think and Grow Rich. Currently, the film is being produced by my partner Jeffery Ross of Stellaris Films. Accredited investors can join the Investor’s Club and get access to the screenplay, private placement memorandum and return on investment analysis. For more information, visit dmthemovie.com and Jeff Ross can be reached by phone at 702-280-6813.
Opportunist: How can we get more Americans back to work?
Patrick Kucera: The best way is to become self-employed. It’s easier now to become self-employed than ever before. It used to be that you needed a lot of money and charisma to get started. Now, thanks to the Internet, it takes less money and less time to create a revival of revenue. There are literally hundreds of ways to make money in markets all over the world. The key is to discover your God-given gifts and talents so that with less money, time and energy you can start becoming more profitable than ever before.
Opportunist: What are your suggestions for boosting the economy?
Patrick Kucera: As far as getting the economy flowing again, believe me, I could give very specific political answers from both the left and right perspectives but my opinion is that the average American cannot control what goes on in Washington. They can only control their own economy. The U.S. economy right now is more of a global economy, but most people are behind in their mentality in regards to the changing global economy that we have. Americans still think with yesterday’s paradigms and cannot understand that emerging countries around the world are making advances. We have to get our fannies in gear and stop looking to employers or congressmen or senators or even the president. People need to look at the business within themselves and look to God to stimulate their own economy that He has given them the abilities to create. People need to figure out how to monetize their gifts and create revenue from those gifts for themselves and the benefit of the global economy that benefits us all.
I’m concerned about the economy within each person to become resourceful, productive and profitable. The majority of people in America do not know how to produce wealth. Wealth is not automatic. It has to be engineered and it has to be generated. They need to know how to engineer their own wealth. People have to understand whom they’re competing with. It’s not just the person next door. They now compete with the world. Many Americans are tired right now but they are going to have to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and tap into the enthusiasm that’s inspired by God Almighty. My goal is to introduce people to The Jetstream, get them into God’s Economy so they can experience The Revival of Revenue. As an entrepreneurial evangelist, that is what I’m born to do.
Opportunist: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Patrick Kucera: Not to be mushy, but throughout all my travels, trials and tribulations, my teenage sweetheart and bride of 24 years still loves me. And we have six children—three in high school and three in college—who love me and still run to me like Dino to Fred Flintstone. [Laughs] So it’s not really about where I’ve been, whom I’ve met, or what I’ve done. It’s what’s going on inside my home and heart, and I feel pretty good about that.
Leslie Stone is an award-winning writer/editor with more than two decades of experience covering business, finance, real estate and lifestyle issues for newspapers, magazines and online publications. Originally from Virginia, she currently resides in Florida. Follow her on Twitter at @lescstone.