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When God Operates Differently than You Expect with Josh Barlow - LM0233
Episode 23315th March 2022 • Leaders Moment • Scott McClelland
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Sometimes it's hard to understand how God operates. That makes sense, because we know that God's ways aren't ours. But it can be frustrating and confusing when our expectations don't match our plans.

Listen as Josh Barlow shares how his walk with God has taught him the importance of resilience and reliance on God.

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KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Sometimes our expectations don't line up with what God's doing.
  • Pain can bring growth.
  • We can be resilient and also rely on God.

LINKS & RESOURCES:

ABOUT JOSH BARLOW

Josh is the owner of TechMuscle, Inc. TechMuscle helps companies save time, gain insight, solve business problems and capture marketing opportunities. Their work spans from building websites (large and small) to custom web and desktop applications. They are seasoned in planning and managing large projects with numerous requirements.

ABOUT THE LEADERSHIP MOMENT

The world needs more great leaders, but leadership in God's Kingdom is upside down.

If you're looking for answers and insights from leaders who have served faithfully for years and decades, you've come to the right place. The FXMissions Leaders Moment podcast is for the everyday leader who's not chasing titles or accolades or personal gain. It's for the leader who wants to do the very best with what God's called them to, no matter how big or small it seems.

Start listening today and see what God does with it!

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Transcripts

Scott McClelland:

Have you ever thought God would operate one way and then been confused when

Scott McClelland:

you're starry eyed idealism was reset by reality.

Scott McClelland:

I have.

Scott McClelland:

That's just one thing we're going to talk about today.

Scott McClelland:

If that's you you'll want to stick around for leaders.

Scott McClelland:

Moment episode 2, 3, 3.

Scott McClelland:

Welcome to leaders moment by FX missions podcasting.

Scott McClelland:

We encourage you to take a moment to sharpen the saw of your leadership perspective and performance.

Scott McClelland:

We're bringing you interviews and stories of leaders, much like yourself who are taking action,

Scott McClelland:

learning, realizing potential, and getting results.

Scott McClelland:

Welcome to the leaders moment.

Scott McClelland:

From FX missions, podcasting want to do a little housekeeping here and let you know that we're featuring a new longer format

Scott McClelland:

and we're releasing once a month on the 15th, basically.

Scott McClelland:

Feedback from folks like you.

Scott McClelland:

We want to do what we can to create continuity in the story.

Scott McClelland:

If you want to know all the reasons and, uh, do a deep dive on that.

Scott McClelland:

If you would check back to our special episode on this subject episode 2 32, we appreciate that your feedback

Scott McClelland:

is important to us, and please do keep it coming.

Scott McClelland:

We want to make this show value.

Scott McClelland:

Impactful and have a contribution with it to your life.

Scott McClelland:

So let me know what you think we can do to do better.

Scott McClelland:

You can reach me by email@scottatfxmissions.com today.

Scott McClelland:

Josh Barlow, why should we listen to Josh?

Scott McClelland:

Well, he's been in business around 20 years.

Scott McClelland:

Those details in the podcast.

Scott McClelland:

He's a man of faith.

Scott McClelland:

He's followed, uh, the Lord through some really good times.

Scott McClelland:

And through some really lean times, he's a good friend and I met him some years ago.

Scott McClelland:

Hit it off with him right away.

Scott McClelland:

When you get back to him on the episode, you should ask him about his singing voice.

Scott McClelland:

I think he's got perfect pitch, even though he denies it.

Scott McClelland:

What happens when God surprises you and you discover he's operating differently than you expected that he.

Scott McClelland:

What role can a spouse play in resilience?

Scott McClelland:

Those things are coming up on the podcast.

Scott McClelland:

Also what push Josh away from operating in wisdom and how God got him back, all of that and more on today's leaders moment.

Scott McClelland:

Hi, Josh.

Scott McClelland:

Welcome.

Scott McClelland:

Welcome.

Scott McClelland:

Welcome.

Scott McClelland:

Thank you for being here.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

I'm happy that you didn't disappoint a friend of a friend

Josh Barlow:

and he would've changed me down out of it.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah,

Scott McClelland:

yeah.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

Yuri would have said, man, I was waiting on that episode.

Scott McClelland:

Anyway, of course, Yuri, uh, no St who were referring to a friend of ours and how we know each other.

Scott McClelland:

I guess it's been a few years since we met though.

Scott McClelland:

Like, can we count back?

Scott McClelland:

I don't know.

Josh Barlow:

Maybe I think it's around URIs, bachelor party in the mountains, or we played poker all night.

Josh Barlow:

I think that,

Scott McClelland:

that was it.

Scott McClelland:

And that was maybe 10 years ago?

Scott McClelland:

No, probably about that.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

Something like that.

Scott McClelland:

So yeah, of course I became familiar with your business through URI.

Scott McClelland:

Along that time may be a little bit earlier.

Scott McClelland:

Been on your team at some different levels through the years, but what business are you guys in?

Scott McClelland:

We're

Josh Barlow:

primarily in the, it's like a custom coding space.

Josh Barlow:

We like to get involved with larger organizations that they need software, but they don't know how to create it themselves.

Josh Barlow:

And their internal teams are more focused on support of existing soft.

Josh Barlow:

And they have very limited resources to build new stuff.

Josh Barlow:

So we'll get involved and determine where their custom software needs are and build stuff for them,

Josh Barlow:

whether it's typically web technology, applications, websites, marketing sites, whatever they need.

Josh Barlow:

So that's the primary thing that we do that makes money.

Josh Barlow:

And then we're also trying to build some of our own applications because we'd like to do our own stuff,

Josh Barlow:

but that takes a lot longer to get off the ground.

Josh Barlow:

But yeah, that's.

Scott McClelland:

Awesome.

Scott McClelland:

You know, I don't know a ton about your industry.

Scott McClelland:

I don't code.

Scott McClelland:

I have a, I'm close enough to coding to have a respect for it.

Scott McClelland:

I got to say that it's a guessing evolving industry.

Scott McClelland:

Always.

Scott McClelland:

What are you coding again?

Scott McClelland:

I'm coding in Jaison or I'm coding

Josh Barlow:

JavaScript or a, yeah, that's a tricky question.

Josh Barlow:

So we deal with a bunch of different languages or.

Josh Barlow:

Types typically, because we do stuff online.

Josh Barlow:

Then we focus on the web languages.

Josh Barlow:

So there's the HTML, markup and CSS markup, and then JavaScript.

Josh Barlow:

And then when we talk to databases, we're in CQL.

Josh Barlow:

And when we're dealing with the backend servers wherein C-sharp or vb.net, occasionally we do things in PHP.

Josh Barlow:

Uh, we've done stuff in cold.

Josh Barlow:

Phew.

Josh Barlow:

But primarily C-sharp, uh, for the backend stuff.

Josh Barlow:

So there's, there's a lot of different markets and a lot of different languages that we're switching back and forth.

Scott McClelland:

I'm getting an education here.

Josh Barlow:

I can spend hours talking about the nerd dumb data.

Scott McClelland:

I like the nerdom personally, I'm a next door neighbor, nerd of a different kind

Scott McClelland:

of course, but aren't we all these days, but it's really cool to hear a little bit about your business.

Scott McClelland:

I remember, you know, I remember your team and you know, the guys you had worked in some of the stuff you guys were working on.

Scott McClelland:

Did you get into this business?

Scott McClelland:

On the website.

Scott McClelland:

I think I know that you've got in to the business developing for websites, but I'm not super sure about that.

Scott McClelland:

Like

Josh Barlow:

kind of like why, where I started when I started years ago.

Josh Barlow:

I just wanted my own business.

Josh Barlow:

I just had a hankering to, I mean, it's kind of a long story.

Josh Barlow:

I can get into it at some point, but I did want to do programming stuff.

Josh Barlow:

I did want to deal with stuff more on the web.

Josh Barlow:

I did put my time and effort and energy into getting some clients and groups that needed that particular,

Josh Barlow:

particular skillset and lined up clients that don't have enough to feed my family, you know, and get things going.

Josh Barlow:

So it was a rough start in the first few years, but, you know, built it enough to at least be able to have a lifestyle business.

Josh Barlow:

That's kind of what we have.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

Makes sense.

Scott McClelland:

Makes sense.

Scott McClelland:

Did you start out and, you know, again, my limited knowledge, I'll betray my ignorance again and again, and

Scott McClelland:

this time let's find, did you start where you developing front ends for websites or what, where were you.

Scott McClelland:

Uh,

Josh Barlow:

developing them the top all the way down to the bottom.

Josh Barlow:

So I have a full stack developer.

Josh Barlow:

I'll be able to take it from the client's vision all the way to the backside, to the data, to make sure everything

Josh Barlow:

is done in between correctly, whether I'm doing it myself or having someone else do a different part of it.

Josh Barlow:

Cool.

Scott McClelland:

I'm so well-versed in websites that I can get aside and go.

Scott McClelland:

With a WordPress template.

Scott McClelland:

It's sad, but Hey, you got to focus, right?

Scott McClelland:

You don't have unlimited.

Josh Barlow:

You can't do everything.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah.

Josh Barlow:

You

Scott McClelland:

can't do everything.

Scott McClelland:

You gotta be good at something.

Scott McClelland:

And I, that's not what I'm good at, but I'm happy to at least have checked that off on my resume.

Josh Barlow:

It's respectable.

Josh Barlow:

If you, if you can get a WordPress site up and get the plugins going and make it look right, I mean, that's.

Scott McClelland:

I'm going to just say I got it going.

Scott McClelland:

That's a, that'd be embedding any, uh, excellence I'm going to avoid, but tell us a little

Scott McClelland:

bit about the faith aspect of your business.

Scott McClelland:

I know for anybody who's been in business more than five years.

Scott McClelland:

You know, more than 10 years, I guess you guys have been where you been going 10, 15 years now.

Josh Barlow:

Cheeser.

Josh Barlow:

We're at 1819 now.

Josh Barlow:

Wow.

Scott McClelland:

That's awesome, man.

Scott McClelland:

That is awesome.

Scott McClelland:

Well, we're, we're getting younger by the day here.

Scott McClelland:

It sounds like we're, we're celebrating 20 this year.

Scott McClelland:

Next month.

Scott McClelland:

We're celebrating 20 years.

Scott McClelland:

So I think as believers in business, we are going to run in.

Scott McClelland:

At some point you run into rough water, you run into unexpected outcomes.

Scott McClelland:

You run into.

Scott McClelland:

Incomes.

Scott McClelland:

I don't know yet.

Scott McClelland:

There's a lot going on there.

Scott McClelland:

And so kind of our

Josh Barlow:

core idea

Scott McClelland:

of, for this particular series is to kind of unpack how faith has informed your walk as a business person.

Scott McClelland:

That's kind of what we want to get into.

Scott McClelland:

You may want to talk about some of the business challenges you've had or things that have happened, but in those number of years,

Scott McClelland:

there've been some things you didn't expect or didn't see county.

Scott McClelland:

So you could pick from the list maybe there, but just curious as to how faith has informed generally your approach to business.

Scott McClelland:

And maybe we could dig in from there to one particular example or.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah, I have positive and negative memories of different situations.

Josh Barlow:

Sometimes my faith, I feel really helped as far as I'm a Bible-believing Christian.

Josh Barlow:

I pray, I asked the Lord for guidance and I do believe that he speaks in answers, but I've seen varying mileage

Josh Barlow:

off of that based on how I grew up and what I learned.

Josh Barlow:

About the Lord.

Josh Barlow:

You'd expect God to operate one way.

Josh Barlow:

And then a lot of times the thing about businesses, it's like the rubber meets the road with business.

Josh Barlow:

You can have all kinds of flowery ideas are about how, the way God works and things like that.

Josh Barlow:

But then when it comes down to, you got to feed your family, then it's like, well, you know, platitudes don't help.

Josh Barlow:

I need to be able to make money here.

Josh Barlow:

So it's a very interesting balance.

Josh Barlow:

And I've, I have seen what I believe is God come through.

Josh Barlow:

Sometimes that in ways I could not have come.

Josh Barlow:

Things that I believe that I saw him doing get involved and other times that I didn't see him get involved and I had to

Josh Barlow:

learn very difficult lessons about in my mind, um, what I say over idealizing, how I expected God to operate with me.

Josh Barlow:

So I've been on both sides of it.

Josh Barlow:

It's um, it's not always one way

Scott McClelland:

for sure.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

I think as you mentioned there, can you begin in life and in business?

Scott McClelland:

And not be idealistic.

Scott McClelland:

I don't know.

Scott McClelland:

I'm thinking about my own self here, you know, so I think I started out fairly, as you're saying.

Scott McClelland:

I was idealistic and the way I expected things to happen, of course, being a believer at a

Scott McClelland:

young age and having some ideas there about that.

Josh Barlow:

There's definitely a lot of idealism there.

Josh Barlow:

I mean, you gotta be a little starry eyed, rose colored glasses in order to even start a business.

Josh Barlow:

You know, it's like, I mean, it's the intentional and willful disregard of the fact

Josh Barlow:

that you could completely fall on your face.

Josh Barlow:

And fail that you have to be able to grasp and say, yes, I'm going to go after this.

Josh Barlow:

And I'm going to be willing to ignore the fact that this all might fail in order to do it.

Josh Barlow:

You have to be real about it.

Josh Barlow:

And I do credit my wife a lot of times for being very realistic and saying, well, this might not work,

Josh Barlow:

but we're going to, you know, let's do it anyway.

Josh Barlow:

And she supported me in it and that's good because if I didn't have her support, I wouldn't have done it.

Josh Barlow:

I mean, flat out for sure, for sure.

Josh Barlow:

Dragging her through.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah, but she was, she was very, very into it.

Josh Barlow:

Her parents had a business as well, so she had positive experiences with it.

Josh Barlow:

And then that really helped that

Scott McClelland:

I think is a plus.

Scott McClelland:

I mean, I was like you say, rose colored starry-eyed I think I had a, I mean, we are not here on pack in my

Scott McClelland:

story, but just to your point, I really had a sense that.

Scott McClelland:

I've got the talent and resources in terms of energy or whatever.

Scott McClelland:

And, uh, and I think I can get something at least get some traction, you know, and see

Scott McClelland:

what happens that certainly describes my path.

Scott McClelland:

Can you tell us about a time when something happened?

Scott McClelland:

Kind of as expected from the faith cycle, you know, like, okay.

Scott McClelland:

You feel like your lead, you feel like you understand and hear what you're being told to.

Scott McClelland:

Do you take those steps and then the outcome was predictable.

Scott McClelland:

I mean, is there something that comes to mind for that?

Scott McClelland:

Cause I want to go the other way next.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah, no, that's fine.

Josh Barlow:

On the positive side of things, that's what you're asking for one of the positive stories.

Josh Barlow:

I mean, that was starting the business.

Josh Barlow:

I remember, um, what ended up happening.

Josh Barlow:

I was working in an it department at a small Christian college, not Judson college.

Josh Barlow:

I was working there and the Dean had asked me to get a master's degree because he said I'd be a great teacher there.

Josh Barlow:

So I'm like, great, cool.

Josh Barlow:

I've thought about that.

Josh Barlow:

Let's go get a master's degree.

Josh Barlow:

And so it took me a couple of years.

Josh Barlow:

To go do it because I thought this would be a really cool future business thing.

Josh Barlow:

And after I completed the master's degree, I went back to the Dean and like, Hey, you know, it's done ready.

Josh Barlow:

And he's like, no, there's not enough students in the computer science department to support another person here.

Josh Barlow:

You know, we can't bring you on right now.

Josh Barlow:

And I'm like, well, I got this master's degree.

Josh Barlow:

What the heck am I going to do with it?

Josh Barlow:

So I ended up praying and really kind of felt like I should start a business, but I was.

Josh Barlow:

Picky about it.

Josh Barlow:

I'm like, I really kind of laid out a fleece before the Lord.

Josh Barlow:

I'm like, Lord, I want to do this, but I need like six months of work.

Josh Barlow:

And I don't know how to advertise for this.

Josh Barlow:

I don't know what to do.

Josh Barlow:

I really am going to need your help in order to show me if I can step out and do this.

Josh Barlow:

And so within, you know, next to.

Josh Barlow:

Next to a few weeks.

Josh Barlow:

I started getting people coming to me that never happened before offering me projects and jobs.

Josh Barlow:

I specifically remember one, someone came to me and said, Hey, you know, this one guy wants a website.

Josh Barlow:

He's not going to pay any more than $10,000 for this website.

Josh Barlow:

I'm like, okay, I don't even know what it is, but I'll do it for 10 GS, you know?

Josh Barlow:

And that was what was a few months of support for me and my small family.

Josh Barlow:

At that time.

Josh Barlow:

It wouldn't give me.

Josh Barlow:

That much time right now, but back then it did, right.

Josh Barlow:

Other people heard I was doing this and they started throwing stuff my way and it just kind of

Josh Barlow:

trickled in and it was like, wow, this is cool.

Josh Barlow:

It just happened.

Josh Barlow:

Another thing I had another fleece, I laid up.

Josh Barlow:

I don't really want to quit.

Josh Barlow:

I have loyalty issues with my current job.

Josh Barlow:

I really feel invested with this college.

Josh Barlow:

I care about these people.

Josh Barlow:

I have a real hard time quitting.

Josh Barlow:

You gotta help me with this.

Josh Barlow:

My boss calls me into his office one day.

Josh Barlow:

He's like, Hey, Josh, I can tell you're unhappy.

Josh Barlow:

You're now overqualified because they have this master's degree.

Josh Barlow:

So why don't you go get another job or I'm going to help you find one.

Josh Barlow:

You know, I wasn't depressed.

Josh Barlow:

Most people would come out of that meeting like depressed, but I'm like, well, that was one of

Josh Barlow:

the things on my prayer list that just happened.

Josh Barlow:

And you can kind of put together the pieces that, that might've happened naturally.

Josh Barlow:

But for me, it was a really big sign.

Josh Barlow:

Like this is specifically what I had prayed for and aspect.

Josh Barlow:

And I ended up starting the business.

Josh Barlow:

A few other things just happened that were very unexpected.

Josh Barlow:

I ended up picking up a very large Jesus.

Josh Barlow:

It was like a multi-billion dollar client within seven months.

Josh Barlow:

Wow.

Josh Barlow:

Just from people that I knew and people even ask me, like, how did you get these clients?

Josh Barlow:

And I'm like, I don't know.

Josh Barlow:

I don't understand it.

Josh Barlow:

I don't know where they came from.

Josh Barlow:

This doesn't make any sense to me, but yeah, I don't have quite the same level of charismatic personality that you do, Scott.

Josh Barlow:

So I wasn't out there like wine and dine and making people feel comfortable and handing

Josh Barlow:

me their wallets just because they liked me.

Josh Barlow:

I'm sure that happens to you all the time.

Josh Barlow:

Um, you know, for me that I don't have that level of magnetism.

Josh Barlow:

And so the fact that that would happen to me out of nowhere without.

Josh Barlow:

Really knowing how to get it was like, wow, okay, God exists.

Josh Barlow:

He's real.

Josh Barlow:

And he does support me having this business.

Josh Barlow:

Cause you know, he didn't have to do that and those things didn't have to happen.

Josh Barlow:

And there were so many things that lined up that I was like, wow, okay.

Josh Barlow:

This is what I'm supposed to do.

Josh Barlow:

That was a good side.

Josh Barlow:

That was a good, sure.

Scott McClelland:

And a good start.

Scott McClelland:

I think that's important.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

When you're trying to measure your steps in the beginning, you know, everything is an unknown and to

Scott McClelland:

have your first couple of steps land well like that, it definitely gives you courage for the next few steps.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Josh Barlow:

In the next couple of years are pretty hard too.

Josh Barlow:

So that experience got me through and it's like, well, I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be here,

Josh Barlow:

but I'm on the floor of my basement office.

Josh Barlow:

Like I have no work to do.

Josh Barlow:

And.

Josh Barlow:

My attempts to getting more, not working.

Josh Barlow:

And so, yeah, it got me through a lot that got me through a lot.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

I think for me, and I think it relates to the story you're telling my business experience.

Scott McClelland:

I don't know.

Scott McClelland:

I've been in five businesses.

Scott McClelland:

At the partner level or founder or whatever, the first three were like crash and burn kind of scenarios, you know, like

Scott McClelland:

really a very quick and rapid lesson and what not to do.

Scott McClelland:

Oh, wow.

Scott McClelland:

You know, so I've had other businesses.

Scott McClelland:

Currently, I'm only involved in this one, of course, 20 years, but I've had other businesses that have came and gone

Scott McClelland:

during that period while I was doing this business as well.

Scott McClelland:

So I've had a variety of experiences.

Scott McClelland:

I got to say, it's been an education in my walk with the Lord.

Scott McClelland:

I feel like.

Scott McClelland:

Ben put in situations, like you say, rubber meets the road.

Scott McClelland:

It's quickly reconciling right.

Scott McClelland:

Business is a rapidly reconciling environment.

Scott McClelland:

We're not in a nonprofit here.

Scott McClelland:

You know what I'm saying?

Scott McClelland:

You know, if there's a chance of being sustained or not really quick.

Scott McClelland:

So you've got to honest environments like wrestling, you know, it's a very intimate and

Scott McClelland:

one-on-one is that, you know, no fake and.

Scott McClelland:

Except for the kind of wrestling.

Scott McClelland:

I totally

Josh Barlow:

get what you're saying.

Josh Barlow:

I actually had, my first degree was in biblical studies and then I was going to be a teacher.

Josh Barlow:

And both of those are kind of nebulous things.

Josh Barlow:

Cause like a teacher, you go to classes.

Josh Barlow:

Teach ideas or you're a pastor, you kind of teach ideas, but I mean, I know those rubber meets the

Josh Barlow:

road situations for both of those, but for me, it's like, all I have is rubber meets the road.

Josh Barlow:

I understand

Scott McClelland:

what you're saying.

Scott McClelland:

Yup.

Scott McClelland:

I think that has been healthy.

Scott McClelland:

And at times unwelcome, honestly, a lot of times.

Scott McClelland:

The sequence.

Scott McClelland:

Isn't what you'd choose.

Scott McClelland:

You're a lot closer to the edge, then you want to be most of them or a lot of the time.

Scott McClelland:

And so that's a real-time feedback loop against what you're doing and if it's working.

Scott McClelland:

And what needs to change.

Scott McClelland:

That's

Josh Barlow:

a good way of saying it.

Josh Barlow:

There is always this instant feedback loop and a lot of times it goes directly against the

Josh Barlow:

amount of money you have in your bank account.

Josh Barlow:

And I am down to a thousand dollars.

Josh Barlow:

Okay,

Scott McClelland:

man, I've got some, wow.

Scott McClelland:

A whole period of my story.

Scott McClelland:

You know, I've had a few, I would call a major crisis times and my business.

Scott McClelland:

I think the ones I had early on really prepared me for the ones that would come later so that I wasn't

Scott McClelland:

so thrown about by them, maybe what had happened.

Scott McClelland:

But I think it's been a thing that has helped me deepen my faith.

Scott McClelland:

I want to get you to unpack with us a little bit of a time when maybe expectations were different from.

Scott McClelland:

Outcomes or whatever something happened that you, you expected it to go a certain way and it did.

Scott McClelland:

And, and, and I think we always, and when we're walking with the Lord, we always get a win or we get a lesson.

Scott McClelland:

The potential, there is always on the plus side though.

Scott McClelland:

Sometimes it's an unwelcome instrument that we're confronted with.

Scott McClelland:

Is there something that comes to mind about that side?

Scott McClelland:

When did something like that happen?

Josh Barlow:

Oh, yeah, I always, I mean, this sounds dumb, but I get jealous sometimes reading the old Testament where

Josh Barlow:

they talk about the Kings they'll wrap up a King's life.

Josh Barlow:

And at the end they're like, well, his problem is that he just didn't trust God enough.

Josh Barlow:

And he did this.

Josh Barlow:

It's like nice little bow on it.

Josh Barlow:

Here's this problem.

Josh Barlow:

Done.

Josh Barlow:

You know, we can go to the next king, whereas in my life it's like, I'll be halfway

Josh Barlow:

through something and I'm like, I need that.

Josh Barlow:

From the old Testament to come into my life right now and say, here's the bow, here's the problem grow up in this area.

Josh Barlow:

And usually I'm just like, I can't figure out where the lesson is here.

Josh Barlow:

I think that's the biggest problem.

Josh Barlow:

Like you're saying right now, you got through those businesses and you learn something, but

Josh Barlow:

it's not like the learnings were prepared for you.

Josh Barlow:

It's like, here's a mess.

Josh Barlow:

Can you figure out why you made the mess?

Josh Barlow:

And a lot of times I'm like, I have no clue for a year.

Josh Barlow:

I don't know.

Josh Barlow:

And that's the instances that I'm talking about now.

Josh Barlow:

It's some of those times where I went through those things and I can come out of it now and look back at

Josh Barlow:

it and say, oh, I think I know what it was, but in the middle of it, I was like, I have no clue what I'm doing.

Josh Barlow:

And because business has that immediate feedback, it's just like, something is constantly hitting a buzzer.

Josh Barlow:

You're doing it wrong.

Josh Barlow:

You're doing it wrong.

Josh Barlow:

You do.

Josh Barlow:

Okay.

Josh Barlow:

What is it?

Josh Barlow:

I don't know.

Josh Barlow:

The biggest thing I had was when it was situations, when, um, we had just come off of just ridiculous plentiful.

Josh Barlow:

Of just making money, hands over fist.

Josh Barlow:

And we had really wanted to get into our own software, um, wanting to get into our own stuff because we

Josh Barlow:

were building so many of these hairspray websites.

Josh Barlow:

I could tell you what kind of shampoo you needed depending on your hairstyle.

Josh Barlow:

And I didn't care about that stuff.

Josh Barlow:

And I just knew all of them.

Josh Barlow:

I'm like, I'm building these things.

Josh Barlow:

I don't care about.

Josh Barlow:

I don't like it.

Josh Barlow:

I want to build my own stuff.

Josh Barlow:

So I kind of turned the business in a hard right and really started going after new stuff and we let go of a bunch of people.

Josh Barlow:

We're set up for the old way of doing things and the business financially crash a lot harder than I was expecting.

Josh Barlow:

I had felt from the Lord that he was going to completely provide and take care of it and everything was going to be fine.

Josh Barlow:

And I was going back to when I started the business, like, okay, he's going to do it the same week.

Josh Barlow:

He did.

Josh Barlow:

I'm feeling like he's doing it this way again.

Josh Barlow:

This time, it was much more like, yeah, I'm going to take care of you, but you're gonna be dragged behind the pickup truck by

Josh Barlow:

could giving, given me that detail.

Josh Barlow:

It's more, we started out here.

Josh Barlow:

I went down to pretty much no income, and I had built up such a ridiculously large pad in the old business

Josh Barlow:

structure that we posted on that for a long time, but I was just pushing into the dream of doing my own

Josh Barlow:

software, feeling like the Lord had supported me in it.

Josh Barlow:

And I think a ways into it, I realized that I had made some very critical wisdom mistakes.

Josh Barlow:

It was like, I took what I felt like the Lord was speaking to me and I interpreted it in this overly idealistic way.

Josh Barlow:

Like, what he did is to me that way, that time.

Josh Barlow:

So he's going to do it this way, this time when it's like.

Josh Barlow:

You know, I could have done more to keep current business going or pull in more business at the same

Josh Barlow:

time I was going after these new things, that would have been the wise thing to do that would've been the

Josh Barlow:

thing to do that would make sense in a business culture.

Josh Barlow:

But I still had this thing in me where it was like, well, there's this idealistic way that I'm expecting God to operate.

Josh Barlow:

I expected it so much that I avoided some very telltale signs that I shouldn't be doing at that.

Josh Barlow:

Right.

Josh Barlow:

There's a desire to see God move and the desire to be recognized for what God's done in your life.

Josh Barlow:

And I had all those things come to a head in me and I think pushed me away from a place of operating in wisdom.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah.

Josh Barlow:

Because I mean, even the reality is when I started my business, we did have some money built up in order to.

Josh Barlow:

It was on the backside.

Josh Barlow:

And I knew I was starting with a very low level of needed income.

Josh Barlow:

So I was in an ideal spot to do that.

Josh Barlow:

So I still had the wisdom, but the second time I went through this, I was ignoring the fact

Josh Barlow:

that I had done certain things in wisdom before.

Josh Barlow:

And.

Josh Barlow:

Basically, literally jumping off a cliff, expecting Jesus to catch me with the music flying in the air.

Josh Barlow:

It was just going to be beautiful.

Josh Barlow:

And then when I hit the ground going through the last money that I had, like, what the heck did I do?

Josh Barlow:

What I really thought it was going to turn out.

Josh Barlow:

And it was very hard, very hard for me.

Josh Barlow:

And so.

Josh Barlow:

I had to put the dream of having my own software to do my own stuff to the side while I'm

Josh Barlow:

like, nah, I got to get my money built back.

Josh Barlow:

I gotta get my income built back up.

Josh Barlow:

Cause I can't do anything.

Josh Barlow:

And that's the weird thing about.

Josh Barlow:

When you focus so heavily on God, you get in this place where you're thinking everything's going to be great and

Josh Barlow:

fine and dandy because of that's the way a father works.

Josh Barlow:

But then it's like, well, but a father also wants his kids to be able to live life and wisdom.

Josh Barlow:

I mean, the entire book of Proverbs, you don't just rip it out and throw it away.

Josh Barlow:

He wouldn't have told you that if he was always going to take care of everything, you didn't have to know anything.

Josh Barlow:

It's like, no, you right.

Josh Barlow:

Understand how the seasons work.

Josh Barlow:

You have to understand if you're a farmer, you have to understand how the crops work.

Josh Barlow:

You have to understand how to plant it properly, and God's not going to rush in there and save your crop if you

Josh Barlow:

didn't water it properly, if you didn't plant it right.

Josh Barlow:

And that's the point of a lot of the teachings that he had and I was disregarding them.

Josh Barlow:

So I learned a very fun and hard lesson that God's not there to cover up your mistakes.

Josh Barlow:

There was a comedian that I heard that I was always funny.

Josh Barlow:

He said, why do we always bless our food before we eat junk?

Josh Barlow:

He's like what?

Josh Barlow:

I don't understand that.

Josh Barlow:

Why are we doing that?

Josh Barlow:

Like, God, turn this Cheeto into broccoli on the way down my throat.

Josh Barlow:

But you know, it's just like, it doesn't make any sense to eat better.

Josh Barlow:

You know what I mean?

Josh Barlow:

Like you got this wisdom about things you can't just pray to cover up your own mistakes.

Josh Barlow:

And that's the lesson that I learned.

Josh Barlow:

And in the middle of it, I was blaming it on, got a lie.

Josh Barlow:

Like God, the ground's getting closer.

Josh Barlow:

My bank account getting lower.

Josh Barlow:

I don't have the money here.

Josh Barlow:

You're supposed to come in and save me here.

Josh Barlow:

And your name.

Josh Barlow:

And it was a fun experience.

Josh Barlow:

I was like, oh, I cost this.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

Wow.

Scott McClelland:

It's a lesson in humility, I think for the upside and also for the down right.

Scott McClelland:

Humility.

Scott McClelland:

I mean, if we take it in an ultra classic view, it means we could interpret that as saying everything's God's will, but

Scott McClelland:

humility in this sense meant that your inputs had a consequence, not just that everything's ultimately leaning over on God and

Scott McClelland:

it's going to go that way, whatever you do, but your inputs had an outcome and you know, the collaboration, I think the Lord's

Scott McClelland:

teaching us how to work together with him, which includes with.

Scott McClelland:

Discernment timing, all those kinds of things.

Scott McClelland:

I think it's really important for us to realize that we're not going to overcome the laws that are put in place, the

Scott McClelland:

law of seed time and harvest, and some others of the kind, but there's things that we do that create the outcomes.

Scott McClelland:

And that's what.

Scott McClelland:

Learning, not that we don't depend on God.

Scott McClelland:

I think that's the other side.

Scott McClelland:

Right?

Scott McClelland:

We go too far.

Scott McClelland:

We just for sake, our dependence on God.

Scott McClelland:

And we focus on the, you know, the celestial slot machine, you know what I'm saying?

Scott McClelland:

I'm putting in several quarters and you know, I'm going to make so many poles.

Scott McClelland:

God is I think a lot of people from a faith point of view, They approach God as programmatic.

Scott McClelland:

You know what I mean?

Scott McClelland:

It's just like, we gotta be careful not to take that approach is a relational being, you know, there's something

Scott McClelland:

alive and active going on there and we're learning.

Scott McClelland:

We're learning how.

Scott McClelland:

To collaborate with him.

Scott McClelland:

So thank you for sharing that.

Scott McClelland:

That's a lot of transparency there, and I really appreciate your being willing to say that.

Scott McClelland:

So in some ways we're all still in the process.

Scott McClelland:

Right.

Scott McClelland:

But some of those processes you've gotten through and you learn the lesson, maybe not as immediately as you'd hoped, but yeah.

Scott McClelland:

What do you think?

Josh Barlow:

I think that's the hardest part.

Josh Barlow:

The old Testament teachers, you know, they could, they could tell you what the guy's problem

Josh Barlow:

was in a nice little bow, but in the middle.

Josh Barlow:

You don't know why you're there.

Josh Barlow:

That's the hardest part for me is I'm able to share with you what lesson I think I learned through it,

Josh Barlow:

but it took me months to years to figure it out.

Josh Barlow:

And yeah, it's extremely not fun.

Josh Barlow:

It's really, really unplugged.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah.

Josh Barlow:

It's it's, it's the unpleasant level.

Josh Barlow:

You were like questioning.

Josh Barlow:

Well, did I make up this God thing?

Josh Barlow:

I mean, well, but I've had experiences that showed me that he did things, but I had a very clear expectation that was violated

Josh Barlow:

and I got to figure out what to do with that expectation.

Josh Barlow:

And it is hard, you know, there's no clear answer and you have to just go through it.

Josh Barlow:

So it's, it's fun.

Josh Barlow:

It's really, really fun, man.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

Especially when it's over.

Scott McClelland:

That's better.

Scott McClelland:

I mean, I've got this phrase.

Scott McClelland:

I like to use time flies when you're not in pain.

Scott McClelland:

Oh my gosh.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

I mean it can't time slowed down, man.

Josh Barlow:

That's exactly right when you're in that pain, you're like, wow, I am still here.

Josh Barlow:

And it's been 20 minutes, you know?

Scott McClelland:

Exactly.

Scott McClelland:

20 whole minutes.

Scott McClelland:

I mean, the next 20 is almost, you can imagine going another 20 minutes.

Scott McClelland:

I

Josh Barlow:

know that is such an odd experience to me.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah.

Josh Barlow:

Like this last weekend just flew by and it's like, it's over now.

Josh Barlow:

It's like, oh,

Scott McClelland:

Four days later on a holiday weekend

Josh Barlow:

holiday weekend.

Josh Barlow:

I have

Scott McClelland:

to work.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah, here it is in front of us.

Scott McClelland:

Well, it's cool for you to share that with us.

Scott McClelland:

I really appreciate it.

Scott McClelland:

I do think we have to be honest.

Scott McClelland:

Uh, about the things that happened as expected.

Scott McClelland:

And we have to be honest, how about the ones that didn't happen?

Scott McClelland:

Like we wanted them to or expected.

Scott McClelland:

And I think that's part of the maturing process and it's also helps people who are in the lead up to those experiences.

Scott McClelland:

God is faithful.

Scott McClelland:

Sometimes we interpret what he says in a way that gives our own flare to it.

Scott McClelland:

Right.

Scott McClelland:

We could say, okay, we feel led in this way.

Scott McClelland:

So we started catching a grouping of expectations on to what we sense that may be, uh, a hyperextension.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

That had done that myself.

Scott McClelland:

And many times I would have to say, yeah, I'm confident God is faithful.

Scott McClelland:

But I also think that we are learning.

Scott McClelland:

About his faithfulness and also how to cooperate with him and the process.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah.

Josh Barlow:

I just feel like I'm a little old to be maturing.

Josh Barlow:

It's like, come on, man.

Scott McClelland:

Oh, gosh.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah.

Scott McClelland:

Well, me too.

Scott McClelland:

And agreed and concur.

Scott McClelland:

I can relate directly.

Josh Barlow:

I should be writing books, not, not reading them by now.

Scott McClelland:

Yeah in time in time, for sure.

Scott McClelland:

Once you get that huge pad built up on the second go round, you'll be in a position to take some time off in the mountains

Scott McClelland:

with a quiet Creek flowing and just, just pinning your.

Josh Barlow:

That's a pretty specific dream right there.

Scott McClelland:

Maybe when I can personally relate to, I am hopeful for man.

Scott McClelland:

I thank you so much Barlow for your time before we go.

Scott McClelland:

A couple of things, obviously.

Scott McClelland:

I mean, you're not doing this for business promotion, but I would love to, if people want to get in touch with you

Scott McClelland:

or find out more or be led to a resource or anything like that or not, you know, I like to give you that opportunity.

Scott McClelland:

And one final call for anything else that you'd like to mention about faith business and that arc, if you will.

Josh Barlow:

Okay, I'm kidding.

Josh Barlow:

I'm not going to do that.

Josh Barlow:

Am I?

Josh Barlow:

I make my kids cringe every time I say that they think it's terrible.

Josh Barlow:

I do it when I dropped them off at school.

Josh Barlow:

There's some

Scott McClelland:

dad jokes.

Josh Barlow:

If you're embarrassing your kids, I think you must be a good dad and stuff.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah, you are.

Josh Barlow:

Yes.

Josh Barlow:

As far as the business goes, the businesses@techmuscle.com, it shows the type of stuff that we've done.

Josh Barlow:

We are always looking for clients and it's always an enjoyable thing.

Josh Barlow:

Ramp up a new client, understand what their needs are and see if we can take care of them.

Josh Barlow:

And if we can't take care of them, usually we're just like, well, we think this company over here be better.

Josh Barlow:

Cause we don't take someone on unless we feel like it's.

Josh Barlow:

A really good relationship for both parties.

Josh Barlow:

We've turned on quite a few that way.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah.

Josh Barlow:

It's just the way to do business, honestly.

Josh Barlow:

Yeah, for sure.

Josh Barlow:

For sure.

Josh Barlow:

And as far as overall business thoughts, I think just because of where I am, I do believe that you

Josh Barlow:

have to always be careful of over idealizing things.

Josh Barlow:

It's kind of an intoxicating feeling that as a Christian it's like, I know the creator of the universe.

Josh Barlow:

And man, can the dominoes fall a weird place?

Josh Barlow:

Logically if you take that too far, I know the creator of the universe.

Josh Barlow:

So obviously I'm going to be a bazillionaire cause my father owns the cattle on a thousand Hills, you know, and I've been

Josh Barlow:

around Christians who, who honestly believe that and just take their idealism to the very unhealthy and illogical.

Josh Barlow:

Perspective and, but then they just stay in dreamland and they don't actually go out there and they don't deal

Josh Barlow:

with the difficulty of life and they don't deal with the difficulty of, I have to have that quick feedback loop.

Josh Barlow:

And I guess I want to say, you know, if you are a Christian and you are in business, I think it's great that you're doing that.

Josh Barlow:

Cause you're, you're wrestling with these two sides of things.

Josh Barlow:

You're wrestling with the fact that God is the creator.

Josh Barlow:

He takes care of you.

Josh Barlow:

And yet you can still fall and skinnier.

Josh Barlow:

And you will have to deal with the consequences and you get to wrestle with how do I put these two things together?

Josh Barlow:

It is difficult, but I feel like it is very rewarding.

Josh Barlow:

And in my experience, I do feel like God is real and he does come and he does help you through

Josh Barlow:

things and, and in a very experiential and real way.

Josh Barlow:

And I don't ever want to consider.

Josh Barlow:

Me talking about feeling like God dropped me, was the reality of what actually happened.

Josh Barlow:

I really didn't feel like he'd never really did drop me.

Josh Barlow:

Cause even in the, in the time when I just about hit the ground, things twisted around, I ended up getting

Josh Barlow:

money in a weird way that I didn't even expect.

Josh Barlow:

And I feel like he was kind of like, okay, you quote unquote, hit the ground, let's start back over again.

Josh Barlow:

And I feel like he did kind of pick me back up and help me forward after I learned a lesson that wasn't fatal.

Josh Barlow:

And so, yeah.

Josh Barlow:

I feel like God is harsher than we would think, because he's not up to date with our Teddy bear viewpoints of him.

Josh Barlow:

He does let us hit the ground.

Josh Barlow:

But at the same time, he is a good father and he knows what we need.

Josh Barlow:

Yes, 20 years ago, he did deal with me with some more kid gloves and now he will let me take the punches and I'm growing.

Josh Barlow:

That's the reality in my mind of being a Christian business owner, he will let you take the punches when you're ready.

Scott McClelland:

Agreed.

Scott McClelland:

Very well-characterized.

Scott McClelland:

Thank you for saying so.

Scott McClelland:

And that's helpful encouraging, and I'm going to get me some head gear out of the closet and put it on

Scott McClelland:

right now so I can absorb some more of the punches.

Scott McClelland:

Thanks again, tech muscle.com.

Scott McClelland:

That's got some of your projects and stuff out there.

Scott McClelland:

Folks can get a look.

Scott McClelland:

I appreciate very much being on blessings to you and your family, your continued efforts and your.

Scott McClelland:

Incremental wisdom accumulation as it goes forward.

Josh Barlow:

Thank you, sir.

Josh Barlow:

Thank you family.

Josh Barlow:

Yes,

Scott McClelland:

sir.

Scott McClelland:

Yes, sir.

Scott McClelland:

Blessing studio and we'll back link to your site and that, and we'll, we'll get some stuff out about this episode.

Scott McClelland:

Really appreciate you being here, blessings to you.

Scott McClelland:

Let's stay in touch.

Scott McClelland:

Thank you.

Scott McClelland:

All right.

Scott McClelland:

Thanks Barlow.

Scott McClelland:

I am Scott McClellan for ethics missions podcasting.

Scott McClelland:

If you'd like to contact me or us, please do so@ethicsmissions.com.

Scott McClelland:

We want to say thanks to Josh Barlow for sharing his story, and you can find him@techmuscle.com really

Scott McClelland:

appreciate that brother and everything that he stands for and his walk of faith in the business community.

Scott McClelland:

Have you ever wondered about the interplay between skills and attitude and success?

Scott McClelland:

We're going to talk about that next time as Billy shares about his barbershop in Southern Brazil,

Scott McClelland:

it's a place also not only where people get styled to perfection, but where they receive ministry.

Scott McClelland:

If you haven't already follow the podcast at leaders, moment.org/follow.

Scott McClelland:

Thanks so much for being here.

Scott McClelland:

Let us know if you had a light bulb moment today.

Scott McClelland:

Send a message to us@infoatfxmissions.com.

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