The Shepherd's provided me the opportunity to have a business that was more like a ministry and to be able to do something I strongly believed in; working in the Christian community.
Brevard County, FL (PRWEB) February 15, 2012
Local Shepherd’s Guide publisher Tom Jackson has announced the release of the 18th edition of The Shepherd's Guide for Brevard County, FL. All of the Shepherd’s Guide publishers work extremely hard at publishing The Shepherd’s Guide, from sales to print, and they are all passionate and dedicated. Tom, as well as his advertisers and consumers, are extremely happy with the results.
Tom Jackson was born in Philadelphia, PA and raised in Erie, PA. He has been married to his wife Nancy for 47 years and still going strong. Tom graduated from the University of Buffalo with a Bachelor’s degree in business management. He has his own accounting firm and is a practicing CPA, a financial and investment advisor, has his own small tax practice, and publishes The Shepherd’s Guide. Needless to say, Tom is a busy Christian businessman. Tom has full faith that God leads him every step of the way.
In 1992, Tom started his own CPA practice. It was known around the area that Tom was a Christian in business. Incidentally, it was around the same time that he started his CPA practice that a representative from The Shepherd's Guide Brevard contacted Tom about advertising in the book. He decided to advertise with The Shepherd’s Guide. In 1997, the owner came to Tom and asked if he wanted to buy the Brevard territory. Tom saw this as a blessing from God because he had been praying for something else to do in addition to his CPA practice. Tom said that the biggest reason he decided to buy the territory and publish The Shepherd’s Guide was that he appreciates Christian businessmen and women working together and saw this as the perfect opportunity to mix Christianity and business; to keep God in the workplace. In 1998, the same owner that sold Brevard to Tom came back and asked Tom to buy the Orlando territory. Tom accepted the offer, and took on a partner. They worked together for four years, and in 2002 Tom assumed full ownership. Tom has since been operating both Orlando and Brevard counties by himself. An impressive feat considering all his other commitments.
Tom quoted that the most intriguing aspect of The Shepherd’s Guide was “the opportunity to have a business that was more like a ministry and to be able to do something I strongly believed in; working in the Christian community. It just so happened to be a business as well, which is something I already did and enjoy doing.” He also mentioned that he loves the fact that The Shepherd’s Guide has a statement of faith that Christian business owners agree to before advertising in the book. He said that it makes doing business with The Shepherd’s Guide “mean more than just going out and doing business with people who only claim to be a Christian; there was more validity in their commitment to Jesus Christ and in doing business with a Christian mindset and work ethic.”
The mission of Shepherd’s Guide is to “list everything Christian,” not only so that families can find local trusted Christian businesses, churches, and ministries to strengthen the Christian community, but to also provide a sense of security and trust for consumers. One of the ways The Shepherd’s Guide provides this sense of security to potential consumers is the statement of faith. Advertisers sign a statement of faith that promises that they have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior and pledge to hold the highest Biblical code of ethics in their business transactions. The most prominent aspect of how The Shepherd’s Guide spreads their word and accomplishes their mission is their logo; a logo you can trust. Advertisers and consumers that have been using The Shepherd’s Guide for a long time always know they can trust the business or resource they are using as soon as they see the logo. The Shepherd’s Guide provides a sense of comfort to all consumers.
When asked what he sees as the most important aspect of The Shepherd’s Guide’s mission, Tom stated that he thinks it’s extremely important that The Shepherd’s Guide provides a place for people to go to find good, trustworthy businesses. He sees it as a “win-win” situation. The advertiser gets more business, and that is a blessing in and of itself, while the Christian consumer gets to find people and businesses they can trust with good service and good values. The Shepherd’s Guide provides not only strong business relationships, but friendships as well. Tom expressed his opinion that “...any time you get Christians working together, especially in business because you can feel like you’re alone as a Christian in business, it’s good to know that there is someone you can relate to and talk to in a way you can’t with other people. It’s good to be able to talk and work together with other Kingdom-minded people, as opposed to people who are strictly business.”
Advertising in The Shepherd’s Guide results in many success stories for both the businesses and the consumers, but when asked to name a few, Tom’s answer was a little more sentimental. He stated that “...the thing that meant the most to me was when a couple calls came in close together, and the callers had said that they appreciated and were blessed by the inspirational fillers in the book. They were at a point in their lives that they needed God and inspiration, and some of the fillers had really touched them. The fillers are chosen carefully, they really mean something to us and we hope it means something to others. It was great to see that other people do feel blessed and get something out of it as well.” Tom did mention that multiple advertisers that have been advertising for years call up to express how much business The Shepherd’s Guide has provided them, and how great they think the mission of The Shepherd’s Guide is and that they love doing it. However, in Tom’s opinion, as nice as it is that the advertiser’s benefit financially, he believes that blessing people without financial benefit is just as important.
Tom also talked about how The Shepherd’s Guide has affected his life on a personal level. He stated that he “has the demeanor and personality of an accountant, not a salesperson. Yet I always felt the desire to go out and do what I need to do if I believe in it, and I believe in The Shepherd’s Guide and what it does and felt that I had to go out and give it a shot. It has truly been a blessing. I have built great relationships with advertisers that have been with me for a long time, as well as new advertisers. The Shepherd’s Guide has given me an opportunity to reach out and do business with people that I otherwise never would have met, and it’s great to be able to expand my reach both in business and personal relationships.”
Tom was extremely happy to have been given the opportunity to publish The Shepherd’s Guide because he had always wanted to incorporate his Christian faith into business. Having faith and God at work is something Tom was always passionate about, and feels extremely blessed to have been given the chance to do just that. Tom remains grateful to The Shepherd’s Guide for providing him with opportunity to spread the word of Jesus Christ through business and the chance to make lifelong business relationships, as well as friendships. Tom expresses his gratitude to God for blessing him with a prosperous life, full of opportunities that he has taken full advantage of.