On today’s show, we visit Oklahoma City for a conversation with PaceButler Corporation Founder and CEO, Tom Pace. Tom shares his passion for reading and the tremendous impact it has had on his life, despite struggles with dyslexia and ADD, and the ways he is infusing that passion into his company. He also discusses the lowest points in his career, when a lawsuit nearly ruined his business and drove him to the brink of depression, and how his faith carried him through.

Tom Pace started PaceButler Corporation in 1987. He currently serves as the CEO of PaceButler, MentorHope Publishing, and World Book Bank, Inc. Tom is a popular author and business mentor, helping people become successful in their business and personal lives.

“People with self-esteem do estimable things.”

“The more we give the more we live”

“We don’t have a choice as to whether or not we get older but we do have a choice of whether or not we grow up.”

Key Takeaways:
1. Have an idea, take action, stay committed.
2. Tipping with $2 bills
3. Focus on solutions, not the problem.
4. We get paralyzed when we get in fear.
5. R.E.D.

Atmosphere statement
Reading program
Tom Pace mentor
World Book Bank

Full transcript:

Ray: Hello everyone, this is Ray Hilbert. I am your host here at Bottom Line Faith. We’d like to welcome you back to another episode of the program where we love to bridge the gap between faith and business and leadership in the marketplace. And if you’re a regular listener, you know, we get the opportunity here at Bottom Line Faith to literally travel the country North to South, East to West and talk with some of America’s most amazing Christ followers who are living out their faith in the marketplace. Where we find ourselves today is in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. And I am at the headquarters in Oklahoma City of Pace Butler. I am speaking with the CEO today, Tom Pace. Tom, welcome to Bottom Line Faith.

Tom: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having me on the show.

Ray: Well Tom, you and I met, gosh, we were talking about this earlier, roughly a decade ago and you’re in a new facility here and that is so exciting. Help our audience to understand who you are here at Pace Butler, what you do, and a little bit of background of the company.

Tom: Okay, well I started the business Pace Butler Corporation in 1987 with an idea. You have to have an idea, you have to take action, you have to stay committed. So I had an idea that I wanted to buy and sell used IBM mainframe computers. So I only had $62 and 53 cents. I had an idea and I started taking action. You know a lot of people talk about you have to have a really well thought out business plan. I used a legal yellow pad, I wrote half a page of what I wanted to do, and that was my plan.

So in 1987 we started buying used IBM mainframes throughout the United States and then reselling them to other companies that wanted to use them. And we did that from 1987 until about 2002 when we had a huge change in our entire company. We now buy used cell phones here in the United States and then we export the cell phones throughout the world. And so we’re helping developing countries, countries all over the world to be able to communicate via the cell phones.

Ray: Okay. So let me ask you about that. So in my mind’s eye, I’m at my local cell phone provider or I’m at Best Buy or some retail establishment and I see these boxes in a corner somewhere. It says, put your phone here or turn in your phone. Is that who you guys are? Is that what you’re doing?

Tom: We do buy from some organizations that collect cell phones, like you’re talking for recycled benefits. We do that, but we also buy from organizations throughout the United States, businesses that issue cell phones for their employees, organizations, government agencies, cities, municipalities throughout the United States. And we buy large quantities anywhere from 10 phones on up to thousands of phones at a time. We do a little bit of phones from consumers and that’s via our website.

Ray: Okay, fantastic. And so 1987, $62.53, half page on a little legal note pad is your business plan. And here you are 32, 33 years later. And doing some amazing things. Well, Tom, tell us a little bit, I had an opportunity this morning to sit in your, I guess daily, I don’t know what you call it exactly, daily staff meeting. But you have some amazing things that you do here in building your culture. Would you share with our audience a little bit of some of the things you do here that are unique? Why you’re doing them and maybe how they might implement them in their companies?

Tom: In 1990, I wanted to close the business. I wanted to give up. I had not received a paycheck and I didn’t get my first paycheck until 1991, started in ’87. So years without any income and I borrowed money and I’ve rented out bedrooms in my house to be able to exist, and coming into work was a real drag. There were only seven employees here and there was a lot of politics. There was a lot of backstabbing. People weren’t helping each other. There was low level of respect and honor and I brought in a consultant and he said, let me interview the employees. He did and he comes to me and he says, you need an atmosphere statement.

I said, what’s an atmosphere statement? I’d heard of mission statements, but I never heard of an atmosphere statement. He said, we’re going to write an atmosphere statement so that when someone walks into your business, they feel this atmosphere. And so he, with the employees that we had at the time without me, wrote an atmosphere statement and he presented it to me after it came together and I approved it. I was a little bit hesitant because it talks about God and his principles in it, but we read that atmosphere statement every day, Monday through Friday. Everyone that’s on property comes into our conference room and that’s the way we start the day.

Ray: That’s what I participated in this morning.

Tom: Right.

Ray: And so we’ll probably post that on the website here at Bottom Line Faith, so folks can read that and follow along. But in essence, what is that atmosphere statement saying and what impact does it have on the company and the people here?

Tom: Let’s speak words of truth and encouragement. Let’s support one another. Let’s make this a place where you come to work. Say your energy level’s a six when you come to work in the morning, when you leave in the afternoon or the evening, we want your energy to be at eight. We want you to be more energized by the end of the day than you were at the beginning of the day. So it talks about some principles. It talks about giving God glory for what our success is that we have in life. It just creates this incredible energy. When you come into our company, you walk by somebody, they’re going to say hello, everybody says hello. I mean everybody wants, we’re all on the same team. And when one of the things we try to do is eliminate internal competition within our company, we want to support one another and contribute to one another to make this a better company.

Ray: Yeah, and I’ve noticed that and I got to feel that this morning and I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least ask you about the company song you told me going into that meeting this morning, say, Hey, you’re going to love our company song. What is the company song? It was awesome.

Tom: Well, the company song came from a book called Imperfect Harmony. I read that book, which is about a two inch thick book, over 300 pages, it was recommended to me by Rick Warren, the gentleman that wrote Purpose Driven Life, indirectly through one of his sermons. And so I read that book and it said that every organization needs to come together and songs will do that. So I wanted a really simple song that we could sing, that everybody would know. And so we sing one verse of If You’re Happy And You Know It, Clap Your Hands. And when a new employee comes in or a visitor comes in and we don’t tell them about the company’s song, they are shocked that here are these adults singing. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.

If you sing that song anywhere, you got to smile. And sometimes I’ll even use it in an audience. I’ll say, let’s sing a hymn. And I call it a hymn at that time instead of a company song. But if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.

Ray: Really simple. But you’ve talked then about the atmosphere statement. You’ve talked about the company song, but you do some other really amazing things here to not only grow your people but to impact the world. Let’s talk about two or three of those things. When you’re out sharing about your company and your culture and the things that you’re doing, what are those things that you share to, Hey, here’s what we’re doing to build our companies, to build our people and to make a difference in the world?

Tom: Well, every Monday at 7:30, we normally start work at eight o’clock except on Monday. Monday we start at 7:30 because we have a personal development class that’s from 7:30 to 8:55 every Monday. And during that, we are exposed to information of spirituality. We watched a Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. We watch sermons by Rick Warren by Craig Rochelle. So we work on spirituality and we also work on financial. So Dave Ramsey this next week we’re going to have a gentleman come in from Charles Schwab to talk to the people about how to open an IRA and what kind of IRA, what kind of investing to do. So it’s a personal development class. It’s not about training about how to be a better employee, but how to be a better person. We have relationship classes.

One of the books that’s really a lot of people around here read is Love and Respect, and we have open discussions about that. We watch also, we just watched the movie Miracle about the U.S. hockey team. There’s so much to learn in that movie. Another movie that’s really, really popular around here is Rudy.

Monday morning is about personal development and it cost us about 175 to $225,000 a year for us to be able to have that class. But I think it’s a great investment in people’s lives. Our company aim is to build great lives. That’s our company aim. And probably one of the reasons why I do that Ray, is because I need to grow up. I personally need to build a great life. I need to take actions. You know, we don’t have a choice as whether or not we get older, but we do have a choice of whether or not we grow up. And so I’m continually reading books, going to seminars, going to church, watching videos, listening to podcasts to learn how to grow up.

Ray: Well, I love that. And I had a chance to sit at the table today and one of the young men that was there very openly shared what these daily meetings and conversations meant. You talked about the compliments that they were. First, they complimented themselves as they went around the table on something that they had done the previous day. And then they went around the table and complimented every other person at the table on something that they see in them. And this young man was sharing with me very openly, shared with me how he’s taking this home, how it’s changing the way he’s raising his kids, how he speaks to his wife. I’ve got to believe that’s part of the design to making great lives. Is that not true?

Tom: Oh, absolutely. We have a reading program here where our employees, if they read a book that’s a nonfiction or a spiritual book or a personal development book, and it’s a hundred pages or more, we pay them $10 and we pay them in $2 bills and they can read up to two books a week, which means $1,040 extra. Not only do they get the $1,040, they get them in $2 bills and they get a lot of knowledge. But what a lot of our employees have done is they’ve gone home and started paying their kids to read books and they pay them in $2 bills. You can get $2 bills at the bank. It’s kind of a secret. Everybody thinks $2 bills are out of print, but they’re cool and you can tip with them and it brings conversation. So when I go out into the marketplace and I tip someone with a $2 bill, they ask why. I tell him we get paid to read where I work. They say where? And so a lot of those people have applied for a job to come to work here. So we have a reading program and if you go on our websites you go to about us and you can see all the books that people have read and their comments about the book.

Ray: Well, books is a big part of your culture here. Not only internally but externally. You showed me a case like a fish tank and I don’t know how many letters in that thousands. I suppose maybe tens of thousands. But what were those letters? Where did they come from and how do books play a role in that part of your company?

Tom: Well, once again, I do a lot of work on myself and then I share it with others. And so at age 26 I read at a fourth grade level. Obviously I couldn’t read very well. I’m dyslexic and I have attention deficit disorder. And I didn’t read because I believed I couldn’t read. And then I started to read in 1983 someone gave me a book called The Greatest Miracle in the World. That took me three days to read this book. And normally it would take about two hours to read it. But for me it was a struggle. I’d fall asleep. It was a struggle. I had to really, really work at it. And after I read that book, it did two things for me.

One, it gave me hope. It’s written by a guy named Og Mandino. So it gave me hope. You know, I want to be a rag picker. I want to be a person that helps other people that are lost, that want to be found. I mean, they want to have a life. You’re a hope dealer.

Ray: I love it.

Tom: Yeah. So I read that book. And then I started reading more books and more books and now I’ve read over 850 nonfiction books and I learned so much like Phil Knight, the guy that started at Nike, he put it all in a book called Shoe Dog. So you can read how Phil Knight went from basically nothing to Nike. There’s all kinds of books. The guys that started Home Depot, the guys who started UPS, Rick Warren’s book, the Purpose Driven Life. So I decided a few years back that every time we buy used cell phone and we’re going to sell the cell phone for a profit, right?

So if you have a phone, we’ll buy the phone from you at a reasonable price, a fair price, and then we will sell it to someone else in another country. Or even here in the United States, we’ll make a profit. And part of that profit is going to go to give away a brand new book to someone in need. And so the books that we’re giving away right now are Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, written in the 1930s. Classic. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, Alcoholics Anonymous, the basic texts that came out in the 1930s also. And then the book I wrote Mentor: The Kid and the CEO. And so we give away these four books throughout the United States to people that are in jails and prisons. There are so many people in jails and prisons that number one, that don’t have the knowledge they need in order to be successful in order to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

They’re lost and they’ve been fed stuff. Well, in the Purpose Driven Life, there’s over a thousand Scriptures. So people that read that book, when I first started reading, I’d never read the Bible from cover to cover. And if I continued to read the Purpose Driven Life over and over, and then one day I sat down and I made a goal to read the Bible from cover to cover. And even though my reading skills are not that great, I learned a tremendous amount. I started changing, my heart started to change. I wanted to give more, I wanted to help more. And so after I read the Purpose Driven Life, I finally said, I’m going to read the Bible cover to cover. And I did. And what I would ask my friends is you ever read the Bible cover to cover? No, I’ve studied this part. But it’s different when you read it cover to cover.

So right now in the United States, there’s about 3 million people that are in jails or prisons or under the jurisdiction. They need that knowledge, and so we donate books for those people to have that opportunity. They’re going to be getting out of jail. They need to have the right kind of knowledge in order to be successful. Zig Ziglar talks about a guy named Emanuel Ninger back in the 1800s that went into a store to buy something and he paid with a $20 bill back in the 1800s. Huge amount of money, and when the clerk took the money, the ink came off on her finger, so it indicated it was counterfeit. So she called the sheriff. They went out and they found out that Emanuel Ninger was actually counterfeiting $20 bills, but he was doing it one at a time by hand. He was an incredible artist.

There were three paintings that he’d done. They confiscated the paintings, they put the paintings up for sale through an auction. The three paintings sold for over $16,000. Each painting was worth over $5,000. Emanuel Ninger had a talent and he was stealing from himself and from society. We have a lot of people that are in prisons and jails that have incredible talents, but they’re using it in a negative way and if they can refocus and take that energy and put it in a way that helps people instead of a way that takes from people. So we want to supply them with books that will allow them to see the possibilities.

Last night I was in Oklahoma County jail. Every Monday night I go to Oklahoma County jail and I pass out books. I gave over 140 books away. I met people eye to eye, people that are just like your next door neighbor, kids, people that you’re in society with all the time. Maybe they were there because they got out, they didn’t pay a traffic ticket or maybe because they got in an altercation and they got in a fight. I met all kinds of people last night and I passed out books and now I’m just trying to share some hope with them.

Ray: And you showed me a case then that’s got, I don’t know how many letters in it, but tell me about those letters. That was powerful to see.

Tom: We get letters from people all over the United States that are in the institutions and also at homeless shelters and mentoring programs and schools and job corps centers that they’ve read. The books that we send out and they send back how these books have affected them. On page 41 of the book Mentor, I recommend through the story to write a dream list. There’s really not much difference in my opinion of a dream list or a goal list, but to write a dream list and from page 41, 42, and 43 it lays out a simple plan on how to write a dream list.

And I get letters from people that thought this was crazy to do that and they did it. And then here they are three years later and all those, a lot of those dreams that they put down have come into fruition, into life. Those dreams have come in. Like I want to be married to the right kind of person and they get married to the right kind of person. I want to have a good job or a good career or I want to start a nonprofit and I want to travel, I want to go to Jerusalem. You know, I got to go to Jerusalem. And the reason why I got to go to Jerusalem is because in growing through reading the Purpose Driven Life and reading the Bible, I got an invitation to go to Jerusalem and I just took action. You know, that’s a huge key. Quit thinking about it and just do it. It’s better to have a plan that’s not so well designed and just take action on it. And then when we fail, learn from that. And one of the greatest books I’ve ever read on that is Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck.

Ray: And so as I’m listening to you share the story, I love that because a lot of people feel like you got to have this 20 page detailed business plan. You’ve got to have all the scenarios and cash flows and pro forms and this dream, this company Pace Butler started on a little scratch. I always think the best ideas on the back of a napkin, but started on the half page of a legal pad and here it is today and you’re impacting hundreds of thousands of lives globally through books, through your employees and learning and all that. It’s just phenomenal. And Tom, before we go on, if someone would like to learn more about you, the company, how they can learn from what you’re doing? What’s the best way for them to check you out?

Tom: Well, just go to PaceButler.com or I started doing some YouTube videos and my channel is Tom Pace Mentor on YouTube.

Ray: Yes. Fantastic. One other thing. I want to talk about your culture and then I want to talk about a little bit of the story and some of the challenges in your faith and so forth. You got this commitment: no gossiping, complimenting. Tell us about those core behaviors and your work and how you reward them. I think this is a fascinating best practice.

Tom: Several years ago, a friend of mine gave me a book called a Complaint Free World, written by Will Bowen, and it sat on my desk for about six weeks before I got to it and I started to read the book and I loved the message. The book is well written. It’s got some great stories, some great experiences that happened in Mr. Bowen’s life. He was a minister in Kansas City, Missouri. He wrote this book. I read it and as soon as I got done with the book, I called the author, Will Bowen and I ask him a simple question; will you mentor me? And he said, sure. Basically I flew up to to Kansas City, sat down with him at the airport. We talked for a couple of hours and he agreed to mentor me. Now in Will Bowen’s book, he says there are four things to quit doing in order to really develop a great character and one of them, the very first one is quit complaining. And he tells us in the book why we complain and the benefits of not being a complainer. Secondly, he talks about don’t gossip. Gossip is saying something negative about somebody that’s not in our presence for whatever reason, whether it’s a president of the United States, a celebrity, or relative.

Don’t gossip, don’t say anything negative about somebody that’s not in your presence. Then he has two other things. One is no sarcasm and the other is no criticism. Now after I read the book and he says he’s got a system. Systems really, really help us to be successful. He’s got a wristband. You put the wristband on either wrist and you leave it there until you gossip, complain, use sarcasm or criticism. The goal is to go 21 days without doing one of those four activities. So I made some adjustments. I think that’s what entrepreneurs do and I finally have got it to where I like this, the system we have, which we have three different things to quit doing. One no complaining, two no gossip, and three no cussing. Because I used to cuss all the time and one of the reasons why I cussed is because profanity is the language of the hurt.

The first time I ever cussed, I had seriously cut my hands. I was probably four or five years old. I had heard the cuss words, I never said a cuss word out loud until I hurt. And then I just every cuss word I knew I’d dropped them out there. And so I had made a commitment not to complain, gossip, or cuss. And our program is, we have a wristband but it’s for three days, no complaining, no gossip, no cussing. And once one of our employees goes three days without complaining, gossip or cussing, we award them with a $20 bill. And we do this every month. We also put them into a drawing where they can win $500. Right now we’ve got about 70 employees. We’ve got approximately 20 people so far. We’re about halfway through the month so far that have gone three days without complaining, gossip or cussing.

You just don’t hear a lot of complaining around here. You don’t hear people complaining about the weather. You don’t hear people complaining about traffic. You don’t hear people complaining about their health. You hear people talk about things that they’re doing to become more healthy. You hear things about how to take different routes to get to work easier without having to deal with traffic. Champs, we want to focus on solution, not the problem. And you don’t hear, you don’t hear much gossip. And when someone’s gossiping, myself included, we simply take that wristband and move it from one wrist to the other and start over. Today I am on day seven. I’ve gone seven days without complaining, gossip or cussing. And I feel good about that. People that have self esteem do esteemable things and if you can go seven days without complaining about anything, without gossiping, and without cussing, that’s incredible.

So I continue to do that. And that’s very scriptural of course, because the Bible talks about that. What’s in our heart flows out of our mouth and so if we’ve got criticism, critical spirit, it’s going to come out in critical words, but if we’ve got a blessing in the spirit, it’s going to come out in the blessing of words.

Ray: Well, so far we’ve had a great conversation. We talked a little bit about the history, about what you do, how you’ve developed the culture and the people here, how books have played such an incredible role not only in your own life and development but in your employees and the culture here, but also through prisons and jails and so forth. I know that not every step along the way has been easy. I’d like to talk for just a couple of moments because what we like to do at Bottom Line Faith is, I like to encourage other business leaders and other entrepreneurs who maybe are in challenging times, may be trying to figure out that next thing God wants them to do. Take us back, Tom, through your journey and you talked earlier about thinking we’re about four years in, hadn’t gotten a paycheck yet. That had to be a dark and lonely time for you and maybe a discouraging time. Was that the most difficult season for you in all the years in the business? And if not, what was? Talk to us about some of the tough times you’ve had here and particularly how’d your faith draw you through that?

Tom: So in 2002, I came to work and I met the CFO of our company at the front door and she said we are being sued. And I said, well okay, we need to deal with it cause we try to do everything the way we’re supposed to do it. You know, one of my philosophies is if someone’s going to get the short end of the stick, it’s going to be our company. So we want to do the right thing as many times as possible. So do you know what a class action lawsuit is?

Ray: I believe I do.

Tom: I didn’t know. But I can tell you that I have become somewhat of an expert on what a class action lawsuit is. There were some attorneys in Chicago that decided to file a class action lawsuit against our little company. Now they were saying, there is a law that we were breaking. It was a minor law and I felt justified in breaking this law, which I shouldn’t have felt justified. It is a law and I should have abided by the law, but I thought it was an unreasonable law and it was a simple law that you cannot send a fax to someone without their permission. If you send a fax for solicitation without they’re permission, they’re entitled to $500 if they can prove you didn’t have a permission.

So we were sending out faxes to businesses to buy their IBM mainframe computers. Well, the lawyers found out about this and they filed a class on everybody that had ever received a fax from us for $500 per page. Well, we were sending out 200,000 faxes a month. We were sending out to businesses all throughout the United States, not to individuals, but to businesses, and this law written in 1996 was for consumers, not businesses, so I had justification all over to do this.

Well, once that happened, that shut down our marketing and when that shut down our marketing, our top people left and started their own businesses with our customers, so it became everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Here’s some of the things that happen. One, class action lawsuit. Two, our top people left and started other businesses. Three, we found out that our inventory was off over $700,000 then we found out our checking account was off over $200,000 then we found out instead of making $50,000 a month in profit, we were actually losing $50,000 a month because we would buy stuff as is and we were selling it guaranteed and we were doing refunds of over $50,000 a month. Then we had some dealers that took our money but did not give us the goods, did not provide the the computer equipment. It’s the perfect storm. My house even got termites. It was in the summertime when all this happened. It was extremely hot and the air conditioner in our house quit working.

Everything that could go wrong went wrong all at once and I was like, God, why is this happening to me? I got so depressed, Ray, that I checked my life insurance policy which said it would pay even if I committed suicide after so many years and if I would have committed suicide, they would have paid $1 million. I lost everything financially. I remember when we got hit with a class action lawsuit, I said to my wife, we were married in ’98 this is 2002. I said to her, I said, Leslie, this is going to destroy our marriage or this is going to bring us closer together, and she said, it’s going to bring us closer together.

She would wake up in the morning and I would be in bed, rolled up like a little baby and I couldn’t get out of bed. I would lay there in bed and cry. I had no energy to deal with all the stuff that was going on. The class action lawsuit, my employees leaving and starting competing businesses, the betrayal that I felt, I mean these people, they had been with me for years. They had learned how to do the business and they just left with our customers. It was a very, very dark time. Luckily I met a mentor. I did a lot of things to get out of this. One of the things I did, I had to sell our corporate building and use that money to pay off the debts to IBM and to the bank and to American Express. And I was able to sell the building and I was able to take that cash.

But then once we sold the building, we needed to have another place. And so I called a guy that I had rented from in 1980 and I said, I need to rent a space. And in the middle of this conversation he perceives that I’m depressed. He says, you sound depressed, Tom. I said, I am. And he said, what’s going on? And I told him just a little bit what I just told you. And he said, let’s have lunch. I said, okay. So I show up at this restaurant, I walk in, I sit down, he says, this is what he says, Ray. And I’ll always remember. He says, I know how you feel. I’ve been there and together we’ll get through this.

Ray: Oh wow.

Tom: That’s what a mentor does. Not only things when we have setbacks to get through it, but how we are successful and we share how we do it. And that’s what he did with me. He became very transparent. He shared with me his story, took him about 10 or 15 minutes to share his story. He was like me at the time before it happened. He was bulletproof. It was all about him. It was all about me. And then God said, you’re not as powerful as you think you are. And all that stuff was taken away. And he walked me through the process of things that I needed to quit doing and things I needed to start doing. And he mentored me. And today is 2019. That was in 2002. I just left Panera Bread and we sit down every week we’re in town and we spent about 30 to 45 minutes talking about our lives, talking about our business, talking about our relationship with God, talking about our family. He still mentors me today and I have other mentors in my life too.

Ray: Well, I don’t want to leave that just yet because there’s somebody listening to this conversation that God’s speaking to right now. Maybe they’re discouraged, maybe they’re frustrated, maybe they have everything lined up against them, just as you just described, and God brought you somebody and said, I know how you feel and I’m going to walk through this with you. So Tom, let’s just pull up beside that person in their car right now. Maybe they’ve got their headphones on. Maybe they’re listening to this as they work out or as they are at their computer. Let’s pull up beside them right now and let them know. You know how they feel. So what words of encouragement will you have for that discouraged business leader who’s listening to our conversation?

Tom: We get paralyzed when we get in fear and we don’t see all the possibilities. So one of the things my mentor recommended that I did was take a piece of paper out and start writing solutions. Start writing possibilities. Now I need to surround myself with people that are successful. So one of the greatest places to go where people are successful is church. I was not an active church member in 2002. I was one of these Christians I can worship God at home with you know, and all that stuff. But so I got involved, really got involved in a church. That was 2002. We’ve not missed a Sunday when we’re in Oklahoma City to go to church. And when we travel, we go to church also. So going to church, you start meeting successful people. The building that we’re in right now that we bought well under market because of the conditions, I bought it from a broker that goes to our church. I have developed great relationships from people at church. We all have this serious time in our lives where we had these huge setbacks and we’re not alone, but we think we are.

Satan wants us to think we’re alone and no one else has experienced this stuff. And there’s a saying, we are as sick as our secrets, so we try to look good on the outside and we’re dying on the inside. That can kill us. And so it’s really important to get around other people that have been there and done it. Not only to just a mentor that I was so blessed to have. And Ray, I’ve had mentors in my life all the way through my life. Mentors in different areas, not, you know, you can’t get a mentor that’s going to have everything together. Oh, I guess you could. His name would be Jesus.

Ray: Yeah. So that’s great encouragement. It’s get in community, realize you’re not in it alone. Maybe find help at church, but get into relationships and those who are going to walk through the journey. That’s my takeaway from that part. So kind of the last section of our conversation, you’ve shared several times the importance of mentor and advice and counsel. So I’d like the last little segment here of our time together. I want to ask you two or three questions around this idea of advice and counsel. So let’s go back to the 21 year old Tom Pace. If you could give advice to the 21 year old version of you, what would you tell you?

Tom: Red, red, red. The color red.

Ray: Okay, I’ve got to know more.

Tom: Okay. The color red. So I’m mentoring this kid, and he’s from Mexico and he’s awesome. He’s got so much energy, just raw energy, and he just wants to accomplish so many things that I ask him the same question. I said, you know, what is the best advice I’ve given you? He said, red. I said, what do you mean? He said, one, you encourage me, Tom, to read before we met, he didn’t read. He mostly his primary language was Spanish. He comes to the United States. He doesn’t read English. So he starts reading and he read the same book I did: The Greatest Miracle in the World. And from there he’s continued to read books and I bet Domingo has probably read over 200, 300 books, nonfiction books. He’s introduced me to Warren Buffet, but number one is reading. Number two, E, stands for exercise. We got to exercise. No matter how old or young we are, we need to exercise. And the third one, D stands for dreaming. Read, exercise, and dream. If you read, exercise, and dream, you’re going to have an incredible life.

Ray: That’s fantastic.

Tom: As long as you take action. You don’t take action, don’t you take action.

Ray: I love that. So that’s great advice to not only the 21 year old, but to any person who’s listening here. So for regular listeners here at Bottom Line Faith, they know that I have one question that I ask at the end of every conversation, but before I get to that, is there any other thought, truth principle that you want to share with our audience that you want to make sure that they hear before I get to my question?

Tom: Something that has really become apparent to me in the last five, ten years. I mean, it was there but it wasn’t crystallized. And what it is is my philosophy. My philosophy is the more I give, the more I live. When I give good, I experience good in my life. It’s that simple. When I love someone unconditionally, it comes back to me. If we do good, we’re going to have a good life.

And just like Emanual Ninger where he was trying to steal from society by doing counterfeit twenties he could have painted beautiful artwork that would have sold for over $5,000. So the more we give, the more we live.

Ray: I love that. The more we give, the more we live. So Tom, just one last time, folks want to learn more about Pace Butler, yourself, direct us again. Where’s the best place to connect with you?

Tom: PaceButler.com or YouTube Tom Pace Mentor or the last place would be WorldBookBank.org is where if you are doing prison ministries or you’re going into a mission and you want these books that I talked about, if you go to that website, we provide those books for free.

Ray: Love it. Okay, so here we are. The last question, Tom, that I ask every guest here at Bottom Line Faith. I call it my 4:23 question based on Proverbs 4:23 where Solomon writes above all else, guard your heart for from it flows all of life. So Tom, let’s just assume for a moment you’re at the end of this side of eternity and you have a chance to gather your family, your friends, the most precious people on the planet, and you have a chance to pass along one piece of advice. I want you to fill in the blank. Above all else…

Tom: Love God and love people. Love the unlovable. You don’t have to love the behavior, but loved the people. Love the person. And love is an action. It’s not just an emotion. It’s about, you know, Gary Chapman wrote a book called the Five Love Languages. So when I love people, when I love the people that are in jails or prisons or at the country club, I love him through acts of service. I love them through gifts. I love them through quality time. I love them through words and I love them through touch. You know, a hug, a handshake, just love people. If you study Edward Deming, he talks about quality improvement, but it’s all about love. It’s all about just giving unconditionally to the person but not to the behavior. Bob Golf’s book, Love Does. It’s an action. Love does.

Ray: Tom Pace, thank you for being our guest here at Bottom Line Faith. What an honor and I hope I can come back and we can continue the conversation.

Tom: You can come here anytime you want and if some of the listeners want to come and visit our company to see what we’re about, just give us a call and go to our website. Send me an email. We’d love to have you come and see what we’re doing and how we’re developing a culture of giving and a culture that really cares.

Ray: And I just want to say say one thing about that. I have a chance literally to travel the country north to south, east to west here at the program and I get to sit in a lot of companies. I talk with a lot of owners and CEOs and it is truly, truly unique and I shared that at the table this morning with the team members here at Pace Butler. This is a unique place. You’ve got to come see it for yourself. It’s unique, it’s different. It’s a little hard to believe that it’s real, but it’s real. It is real. And so congratulations and thank you for being our guest here at Bottom Line Faith.

Tom: Thank you very much for having me.

Ray: We’ll folks there we have it. Another great guest, another great episode here at Bottom Line Faith. Couple of things. We constantly get emails and texts and social media posting. Hey, what’s the best thing we can do to help the program? Well, tell your friends and family about it. We are trying to be an encouragement to you as a Christ follower in leadership and in business. We’re trying to bridge that gap between our faith and business and leadership. Just as you’ve heard Tom talk about today, so that’s how you can help the program. So check us out. Become a regular subscriber. You can go to Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play. All the podcast platforms are available to you. So folks, thank you for joining us. I am your host here at Bottom Line Faith, Ray Hilbert, encouraging you to live out your faith each day in the marketplace. God bless. We’ll see you next time.