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In this episode of Sharpen Your Axe, Mike Hardwick, Churchill Mortgage founder and president, and Matt Clarke, COO/CFO of Churchill, talk about the belief that it’s important to invest in others, without expectations or desired results of how you want the relationship to materialize.

Your Core Conviction

Matt shares his personal core conviction – that he was created to serve others, without exception. “It’s important to treat people well and believe the biblical rule that it’s truly more blessed to give than to receive. Sometimes relationships lead somewhere you didn’t expect, but a relationship should never begin with the thought of ‘what can I get from this person.’”

The Dave Ramsey Connection

Mike discusses two of his friendships that had humble beginnings and blossomed to be unexpectedly valuable business relationships and friendships – Richard Harrington and Dave Ramsey. Mike and Dave’s friendship grew during a time when they were both facing potential bankruptcy.

Churchill Mortgage became Dave Ramsey’s first sponsor for his radio show, back when it was just a grand idea (which Mike didn’t actually think would work!) And look at Dave now! He’s moved way past the radio show from over 25 years ago!

Mike and Richard Harrington's friendship grew when they started a bank in Franklin, TN in the late 1980’s. At the time, Mike was trying to recover from nearly going bankrupt, and mainly thought of the idea as a job opportunity. Ultimately, with Mike’s perseverance and utilizing all of the things he had learned about running a business, the bank developed into a profitable venture in the end.

Neither relationship began with desired results in mind, other than helping each other through difficult times.

A Valuable Lesson Learned

“When I was 11-years-old, one of my baseball coaches taught me a valuable lesson. We were playing in a league of 11 and 12-year-old boys. The first year, my team was all 11-year-olds and we lost every game. The next year, my team was filled with all 12-year-olds so we had grown physically and had more practice playing the game. We were on a winning streak and started to get a bit cocky," shared Mike.

"My coach didn’t like what he saw in his team and reprimanded us! He told us: 'It’s important to treat others well on your way up the ladder, because at some point you will see them on your way back down.' That has stuck with me over the years. It’s always important to treat people well.”

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