Welcome to Faith Positive Radio with Dr. Joey Faucette. The Christian business coaching conversation that increases your faith with greater joy at work so you’ll love God and others more. Dr. Joey interviews Christian business professionals just like you to discover their secrets for working faith positive in a negative world. Welcome to Faith Positive Radio with Dr. Joey Faucette.
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Faith positive nation, some days you go to work and you just don’t know what’s going to happen right? If you’re there, and you think you’re going to do your job, it’s going to be another normal work day, and then they call you into HR or someplace like that and they say, well sometimes they don’t say I’m sorry, I was about to say I’m so sorry, most of the time they’ll just say, “You’re laid off.” Or, “We no longer need your services.” or some euphemism for sorry your job is gone.
That happened to today’s guest, and God intervened in such a powerful way frankly because he allowed him to and transform today’s guest life in an incredible, mind-blowing way. So faith positive nation gives me a great deal of pleasure to introduce to you today, Chris Parker. Chris is the owner of whatismyipaddress.com and the odds are you’ve used that site somewhere along the way because he gets over 6 million unique visitors every single month which is incredible if you know anything about web traffic at all. Basically, God did a zero to hero story with today’s Chris Parker. Faith positive nation, help me welcome today’s hero Chris Parker. Chris welcome to faith positive radio man.
Chris: Thank you very much, glad to be here.
Joey: Yeah, you go in 2014 right? This is 2018 we’re doing this, four short years ago, you go in to what kind of company were you working for?
Chris: I was an online life insurance broker.
Joey: Okay so you’re doing your thing, you walk in, did you have any warning at all?
Chris: Yeah, we know definitely with the financial crisis it impacted a lot of businesses and unfortunately, theirs was one of them and, they’ve been struggling for a while so it wasn’t entirely out of the blue.
Joey: Yeah but you didn’t know it was going to be that day did you?
Chris: That’s correct.
Joey: Yeah, so you walk in and they deliver those fateful words.
Chris: Yup, “Sorry, we can’t afford to keep you on, we’re going to have to let you go.”
Joey: So what was your immediate reaction to, “We’re going to have to let you go?”
Chris: I think part of it because it wasn’t a surprise, I wasn’t totally alarmed and it’s never what you want to hear, even if you see the writing on the wall, and it’s okay, what am I going to do now, how am I going to make ends meet.
Joey: Yeah because you got a wife and a miniature schnauzer right?
Chris: Yeah, I got a family to take care of, I’ve got bills, and can’t afford to go without working for 10 years, I’m not independently wealthy and fortunate that way, I got to start doing something more effectively and I’m currently doing it.
Joey: Now, tell faith positive nation what God had began doing in your life what about 14 years prior?
Chris: Yeah, about 14 years prior, the start of the website as an absolute hobby just almost as a fluke. It was just a side thing like, this to be a convenient thing to do, this would be helpful for people out there.
Joey: How did you come up with the name whatismyipaddress.com.
Chris: It was the question that I was typing into the search engine at the time. And I didn’t get an answer.
Joey: You didn’t get an answer so you said to yourself, I wonder if anybody else is asking this question.
Chris: Exactly. Someone else has to be asking this question, and I know how to answer, so let me just throw together a little website and run it out of my house. That’s how it started.
Joey: I’m sure you just immediately went to six million hits a month right?
Chris: Honestly, for the longest time I didn’t even look at the traffic. it was never monetized there were no ads on it, it was just a, “Hey, let’s just put this thing together and let it go.” and at some point, my log files got huge and I looked at it and went, oh my goodness there’s an opportunity here. People are using this website, this is amazing. So I started to put a few ads on the site, make a little bit of money here and there, and was like, “Hey, this is a little traveling money, a little vacation money for my wife and I, and a little spending time.” Over the years, I started to put more effort into it. I started to write content for it. At the time that things started going bad with the economy, it wasn’t enough to supplant my daily income by itself. When that transition happened, my wife and I sat down, we talked and said, “Honey, do you think I should try this full time?” We said okay, let’s give it a year, there’s some income coming in so we’re not going to be out on the street right away. Let’s give it a year, see if God allows this to happen, if He does, we’ll do it, if not, it’s back to finding an office job and do work for somebody else. Typical, which is not a bad thing. I’ve been in an office for many years, and it’s not a bad thing.
Joey: Not a bad thing at all. when you made this decision and I love the way you said, “Let’s see what God does with it, let’s see what God allows to happen.” So how was your faith engaged in this decision because it’s a pretty big deal not to immediately rush right back at cubicle nation but instead to just say, “We’ve had this, maybe God’s prepared for this moment.” It was coming 14 years ago, what was that like for you in terms of your faith journey?
Chris: It was definitely a part of that decision, there was a lot of prayer, and between my wife and I, walking the dog and praying every night, praying in the morning and getting input from men my life that I trusted and who wouldn’t just be like, “Just jump in. Just go for it,” but people who would say, “Have you thought about this, have you thought about this, okay, what if it doesn’t start doing well, how are you going to transition? How are you going to explain being out of work for six months, nine months, a year when you go apply for a job?”
Joey: So you had trusted advisers that you really leaned on to help you?
Chris: Absolutely, I mean Proverbs 27:17, as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. it’s important for me even today to still have people involved in my life to make sure I’m making the right decisions, that I’m making fateful decisions, that I’m thinking about is this how God wants me to move forward in my business.
Joey: So you started full time in 2014 seeking trusted advisers because iron sharpens iron, good friend helps good friends to grow. Did I just hear you say that you continued today and with an accountability group of some type?
Chris: Absolutely, there’s a group of older men that I try to get with every Tuesday morning at a local restaurant for breakfast and it’s great because most of these guys are about 20 years older than me, and I know there’s a tremendous amount of life experience. A couple of these guys have owned their own businesses, or has business experience. It’s a great time talking about the challenges that we have in our faith, the challenges that we have in our marriages, in our life. There’s another guy that I know, he’s about 10 years younger than me, and he and I get together at this coffee shop, and have the same conversations. It’s not just that I’m looking to get fed by other people, but I’m really trying to take what I’ve learned and help pass it on to somebody else as well.
Joey: Which only causes it to grow more intentionally within you as you love God and others more. What are some of the benefits of being in this group? I mean, it’s obvious the benefit of well, if I’m going to try and say, I need some wisdom from some other guys, but four years later, you’re getting six million hits a month. Most of us would regard that as successful. What’s the benefit to you at this panicle of success to continue to be in this accountability group?
Chris: Well I think it’s still even talking about the challenges that I face on the day-to-day, do you think this is a reasonable company for me to work with, how much risk should I be willing to take on things. Part of it is just, life continues. It’s not like just because you have success in business doesn’t mean you don’t get in a disagreement with your spouse.
Joey: What? You have a disagreement with your spouse?
Chris: It’s not like we don’t have bad days, we need those people whether it’s a good day, and I think as the business has grown, there’s new challenges personally, and then I look like okay, the company’s done well there’s more money in my bank account than there’s ever been before. I need to make sure I’m not being greedy about it. How do I deal with my finances. How do I make sure that I’m not being selfish with what I have. that’s where it’s important having people that know you, know your character, and know how you make decisions to say, “Hey, you’re being selfish here, you’re looking at your neighbor, and you’re looking at their BMW and you’re wanting a BMW, is that really what you should be doing with your money?” It’s good to have people that ask you that.
Joey: Right, to hold you accountable for that. Particularly round motives, which is what I just heard you saying. By the way, BMW’s making nothing off of this podcast.
Chris: Not for me either.
Joey: No Mercedes or BMW’s were injured in the creation of this podcast. So what I hear you say is regardless of which stage of business you’re in as a business owner, there are challenges and success brings a different set of challenges.
Joey: You just mentioned something that’s really current, we’ve had people like Ron Blue on, and recently had Scott Allen Turner on our show here. How do you deal with money is such a tough topic for a lot of people. Even Christians, we don’t want to talk about it, don’t ask me if I tie. What I just heard you talking about was a sense of stewardship, financial stewardship that’s rooted in and understanding of God’s blessing. So tell me more about that, where did that come from?
Chris: It actually comes from what has become one of my favorite scriptures of last couple of years, and it’s kind of my favorite because it really challenges me, it doesn’t necessarily inspire me or make me feel good, but it really challenges the way that I think, and that’s the second part of Luke 12:48 From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. And it really makes me question, okay, God has given me not just financial resources, but the business experiences, and the life experiences, how intentional my being in the way that I administer these resources.
Joey: How intentional in my being and how I administer these resources. Two keywords there for me were intentional and minister. Talk about the intentionality of what you’re doing with your stewardship.
Chris: I think part of it is making choices and deciding okay, I’m going to do this, this year. My wife and I at the beginning the year look and say, okay, we’re going to above and beyond what we give to our local church. We’re going to give to some particular cause or some particular need this year. We’re going to do it in increments throughout the year, so it’s not just set it, and forget it, and move on, but it’s something that we have to continue to think about, continue to plan for, continue to do, so it’s not just, “That feels good, let’s do that,” but, let’s really commit to doing something and let God move in that action.
Joey: So you guys pray about to give, you come together and have a family meeting, so Bailey the miniature schnauzer gets to participate in those?
Chris: He actually did get to participate in one.
Joey: But doesn’t Bailey always want to give the SPCA, I mean what is that all about? So you guys have a family meeting, and following your prayer time, and you ask God to whom you’ll give that extra above the ties to your church.
Chris: Yeah, exactly.
Joey: Is that a new practice for you guys?
Chris: I think it’s something that we’ve developed over the last couple of years. Our church does a lot of youth camps and things like that. We would help sponsor some of the kids to go to that. One year as part of our special missions they were talking about a program in central South America that would teach English local communities knowing that as people learned English, it allowed them to get better jobs to support their family, support their local church, and have a greater impact in their community. We thought wow, for that amount of money that we were giving to help kids go to camp, which is a great thing, there’s people that their lives, their whole families can be impacted significantly on that. Here in Orange County, you can do a fundraiser and raise $100, but in central South America covering the cost of books, and classes, it’s a lot more difficult.
Joey: So that really drew your hearts towards that and it was a global need. I mean our own backyards are really important. Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and other parts of the world, I got that. Man that was reaching out for you guys. So you were intentional about it, you prayed. Your hearts were prompted to give intentionally in that way, and the other you said you administered, you intentionally administer your stewardship resources. What do you mean by administer?
Chris: I think part of it is making sure that what we’re doing has value. What I was talking about the comparison between giving to help a kid go to a camp, versus being able to help somebody support their family more effectively. Not just being flip about where we give our money and just throwing it, but what does this program really do, how’s it really impacting people’s lives, is it a good use of the money. At times it could be, there’s natural disasters, people have more pressing needs, learning English is not important when you need food and water, and so I think sometimes, there’s different pressing needs.
Joey: Yeah, well they’re in California, you guys have had wildfires and mudslides. You talk about a pressing need.
Joey: And when your home is gone by fire or it’s hidden under mud. There’s an opportunity to give immediately. What I’m hearing you say then is that success brings a challenge of additional financial resources. You and your wife, you’re business partners who have intentionally set out to administer these gifts that God’s blessed you with in response to your understanding of that passage from Luke, To whom much is given, much is required. Quite intentional about being good steward. What other challenges have you discovered as you reach what many would consider the pinnacle of success for somebody with a website?
Chris: I think one of the particular challenges for people who work from home is that we have a tendency to be disconnected from people. when you’re in an office, you have a lot of interaction, there’s a lot of opportunity to share your faith, to interact with people, to be encouraged, and to encourage other people, and when you’re like me and you work from home, it can be very easy to isolate yourself, if that’s your character which it is mine. I’ll just stay in my nice cozy little office and do my thing without interacting with people. But I’ve got to make decisions to get out, be involved in people’s lives, and to be active in that way and not let these things which could be a benefit of being home and working by yourself. It’s a benefit but it also can be a hindrance as well and being able to realize that there are those types of challenges with success.
Joey: So did you anticipate the potential of isolation when you said, “Yeah, I want an office at home.”
Chris: That’s absolutely something that we talked about, and prayed about when we made that decision because I was like, I don’t know if I can, I’m going to go stir crazy sitting at home, and part of it was, I don’t know if I can be effective working at home. I don’t know if I’m going to get distracted, want to turn on the TV and watch TV, and not work at all, or whatever else the case might be.
Joey: Eat cookies all day, not that I have ever experienced that particular challenge.
Chris: I have never experienced that.
Joey: What’s your favorite cookie?
Chris: Chocolate chip.
Joey: Okay, I’m going to be erasing that. We’ll ship cookies across country to each other, how about that. Now does Bailey get treats too?
Chris: Yes he does, he gets his dog treats after his morning walk.
Joey: That’s great. One of the challenges is you figured you’d isolate yourself, are you naturally introverted, or naturally extroverted in terms of your desire to be with other people?
Chris: I’m very naturally introverted, it takes an effort for me to engage with people. It takes a conscious decision for me to go out of my way to interact with people that I wouldn’t normally interact with.
Joey: Well thank you very much for speaking with a faith positive nation today. About a third of the population is that way. Even though you’re in an office setting, it’s a bit of a push for you to be with other folks. How have you as an introvert recognize the need to have other people in your life to proactively, socially invest yourself with other people? How do you address that as working from home because again, we’re talking to stir a ship are we, people resources.
Chris: I think part of it is over the course of my Christianity and having people involved in my life who see me and say, “Hey Chris, you’re being into yourself, you’re sitting in the corner, you’re being a wallflower, you need to engage with people.” That’s part of the course of my Christianity, it’s a recurring theme that I need to continue to work on that and to grow in that area. Calling people, texting people, sometimes it is part of that being intentional like okay, I got to make sure I text somebody, have I interacted with anyone today, I need to, and I know it’s good for me, in my heart to do things like that.
Joey: What’s the benefit to you as an introvert? I mean that’s the way God designed you is as an introvert, about 30% of the population is as well in the US right? What’s the benefit to you of reaching out? How does God bless you for reaching out to folks?
Chris: I think it blesses me in a wealth of friends and people that I otherwise I wouldn’t have ever met, wouldn’t have any other interaction with. I believe it’s important for us as Christians to be able to share our faith for people to be able to see our lives if we’re isolated in our office, and no one can see us living out our Christianity and see how we deal with our challenges, how can we possibly have impact on them.
Joey: So it’s been a bush to lower the light?
Chris: Yeah, exactly.
Joey: Yeah, so you’re going to let your light shine. You talked about Tuesdays I think it is, you go out to meet with these guys in your accountability group. Then you have your one-to-one time with guys a little bit younger than you, you do that as well. Are there other prescribed activities in which you seek to get out of the home office, and go out and interact with others so your light will shine?
Chris: We have a Bible study group that my wife and I participate in. we have the church that we are actively involved in. we’ve tried to serve within our church for a number of years, we are involved in the singles ministry even after we were married. Going on double dates with the singles, inviting them over for dinner, just being active instead of being at home doing nothing.
Joey: For you, that’s a sweet spot right? Because you enjoy yourself in those private conversations don’t you?
Chris: That I do, but that doesn’t mean that that’s what I should be doing all the time.
Joey: Yeah, so sometimes the only intelligent conversation you have is with yourself all day.
Joey: I love it, I absolutely love it. Well man, I love the way that you understand that’s a growth edge for yourself as a business person. That’s why it’s quite a benefit, it’s not that Chris Parker is out there trying to network, and drive more business to his website or anything. Man, you feel the call by Christ to be out there letting your light shine. You place yourself in situations where you may not be naturally comfortable, but you seek to be a light. Man, that’s a beautiful thing, I love that. What other challenges are you facing in your business right now? I mean, when I go to whatismyipaddress.com, I won’t probably see any of those challenges, but you’re the man behind this massively successful site, what are some other challenges?
Chris: I think part of it is, not resting on my laurels, not just, “Hey, it’s bill, let me walk away from it,” but as with everything these days on the internet, if you’re not continuing to make your site better, add more content, make the content better, if you’re not swimming upstream, you’re going downstream. It’s a constant fight to make sure that me and my team are producing quality content, and looking for ways that we can help people, that we can simplify concepts, and communicate technical things in nontechnical ways.
Joey: Man, you try to increase communicate technical things in nontechnical ways. I call it geek speak.
Chris: That’s what we’re trying to prevent with what we write on the site.
Joey: So when I go to whatismyipaddress.com, what kind of content am I going to see?
Chris: We initially started with, “Here’s your IP address.” You’ve given me a number, that’s not particularly useful unless you’re looking for it. over the years, we added the ability to look up under IP addresses, people who run websites who want to know who’s visiting their website, people that run forums and blogs want to know who’s commenting, is this the same person with 16 different accounts.
Joey: Same jerk right?
Chris: Same jerk being a troll and just trying to stir up problems. A lot of people unfortunately become victims of like romance scams. So hopefully, before that, if they start having questions like, “This person seems a little shifty, the story seems a little funny, maybe I can figure out where this person really is.” from the information in their email, technical stuff that we try to simplify for people. that’s led to building a lot of content on teaching people how to be safe online, how to not get into these romance scams, and not to be a victim of you know, that Nigerian prince really doesn’t have $10 million in a lock box for you.
Joey: He emailed you too?
Chris: He emailed me too. I guess since I didn’t want it, he went to you also.
Joey: I check my bank account every day, I just know the money is going to show up.
Chris: But it’s unfortunate that a lot of people fall victim to these scams. I think a part of it is education.
Joey: Sure, because we don’t know what we don’t know.
Chris: That’s the challenges.
Joey: Really what you’re talking about is personal safety and security while out on the internet.
Joey: Yeah, which is a very timely topic in addition to cyber security.
Joey: Who’s trying to break in, right? What are some of the more common questions that you get from people who come to your site and topics they want you to address?
Chris: A lot of people are coming, they’re trying to figure out like I said, “Who is this person I’m talking with.” Usually, when you ask, “Why are you suspicious?” It usually comes out, “There’s a military guy that I met on a Christian Dating site, and after two emails, he told me he love me, and he wants to marry me, I think that’s kind of odd.”
Joey: Man, I’d like to read those first two emails. I’ve written a few to my wife but nothing like that, it took me months to convince her to marry me.
Chris: Same here. We also gets lots of questions from people who think their computer has been hacked, and there are some good signs that it has, we try to give them some, “Here’s some things that you can do to rectify that. Here’s some things that you shouldn’t do going forward.”
Joey: Okay, what’s something that faith positive nation should not do, going forward?
Chris: Things that people should not do is never use a default password. You buy a new piece of hardware, and the login is admin, admin, you need to change it right away.
Joey: Okay, you got that faith positive nation, you plug something in, you change your password.
Chris: And probably the second thing is, use a password manager. You should never use the same password anywhere over and over and over because Yahoo has been breached. Assume that every company, every organization that you do business with, that you’ve given an email and a password, that that’s going to get compromised. If you use that same email and password for your bank account, you can lose your life savings overnight and really not be able to do anything about it.
Joey: Wow, is there a particular password manager you recommend Chris?
Chris: There’s a lot of good ones out there, 1Password, LastPass, a bunch of free ones, a bunch of ones that are $5, $10 a year, like use multiple devices, that way you don’t have to run back to your home computer to remember what your password was.
Joey: So you want to be able to access it in several places. Okay, that’s great. These people you hear from come to you with problems, and I know you want to be a light unto the world, and this is darkness we’re talking about here. Computers hacked, somebody stole your password, they’re ripping off your bank account, what have you. What’s one thing that you do to be the light of Christ in this dark world of cyber security and online security?
Chris: I really try to be compassionate with people. You go on social media these days and someone says something bad happens and 20 people say, “Well, you should have known better.” That doesn’t help them.
Joey: That makes me feel immensely better. Thank you so much for being in touch with me today.
Chris: Thanks. I didn’t know I made a mistake.
Joey: So what you try to do is say, “Hey, it’s okay. It happens to everybody. Going forward. Do this.”
Chris: Exactly. Let’s see what we can do to help you resolve the problem. Here’s what you should do going forward, so it doesn’t happen again to you.
Joey: Wow. Really nonjudgmental, right?
Chris: That’s right. It’s very hard to not judge people when they come with problems.
Joey: Didn’t I read that somewhere?
Chris: I think I read that as well.
Joey: Same book, right? I love that you are out there, incarnating Christ in a world in which people come to you with big problems. I mean, that’s a big deal. And they’re looking to you for advice in how to deal with this things. Just knowing that you’re out there being Christ with one of the world’s most popular websites.
Chris: Thank you.
Joey: That blesses me, Chris. I know it blesses all the Faith Positive nation. Behind all of this, Chris Parker, there’s got to be at least one Bible verse that drives you. You may already shared it, I don’t know, just playing a hunch there. What’s that Bible verse that drives you, man.
Chris: I think the one’s that’s been on my heart recently is the Luke 12:48 and because I’ve been given a lot, I think God has a lot of expectations from me and I need to make sure that I don’t take God’s resources likely and make sure that I’m a good sort of what I’ve been given of.
Joey: Yeah, intentionally administering what we have learned today. The website is whatismyipaddress.com and email address is?
Chris: [email protected]
Joey: Okay. You were mentioning before we came on that you have something for faith positive nation that you want to share with them, because I’m sure there’s been many questions raised about online security and things like that as we chatted today.
Chris: You’re very welcome. I’ve got a free downloadable eBook from our website about online privacy, online safety, how to keep your family safe online, is available from https://whatismyipaddress.com/faith
Joey: Okay, whatismyipaddress.com/faith. You mentioned, how to keep my family safe as well, is there something in this free eBook about parental controls for children’s and things like that?
Chris: No, but I think it’s practices that you need to teach you family as well, don’t just send your kids out into the world using the same password everywhere.
Joey: Yeah. There are actually lessons that you can teach your children for how to be safe?
Joey: Okay. That is awesome. It’s so generous of you. You said this is free, right? A free eBook?
Chris: It’s absolutely free.
Joey: Wow, I am struck by your generosity and blessed by it. Thank you so much. Chris Parker, owner of whatismyipaddress.com. He has over six million clicks every single month on his website, so you be sure and go there to whatismyipaddress.com/faith, so that you can get this free eBook that Chris has prepared, for all of you be safe and secure online.
Chris, thanks so much. I pray God’s blessings on you, your incredible wife, Bailey, who has been so quiet during this interview today, is he asleep or quiet?
Chris: He is busy there licking is paws.
Joey: Okay. You gave him a treat before we came on. I just pray God’s blessings on you and everything that you touch and all the people whose lives you helped improved. Thank you so much for your time today, Chris.
Chris: Thank you so much for your time as well. Have a great afternoon.
Thanks for listening to Faith Positive Radio, the Christian business coaching conversation, that increases your faith with greater joy at work, so you love God and others more. Suggest guests, and ask questions when you email Dr. Joey at [email protected] and be sure to get your free gift of the five positive business conversations to have today, coaching program, at getpositive.today. Until next time, may God bless you with everything your heart can hope for, and more than your mind can imagine.
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