Josh Simmons is the founder of one of those rare Catholic Businesses that are both legitimately Catholic and legitimately a business. By Catholic I mean that the company culture and mission is specifically grounded in the Catholic faith. And by business I mean an organization that is sustained by the providing of products/services to a market (i.e. not just a donor driven charity or a hobby - not that there is anything wrong with those things, of course!).
But it's refreshing and hopeful to find thriving businesses like Josh's that are both authentically Catholic and, by the way, directly serving a great need in the Catholic Church (while creating jobs!).
Josh's company, eCatholic, provides "parishes, schools, dioceses and ministries with beautiful websites that are easy to update." When the company started back in 2005, it had one employee and a few clients. Seven years later, eCatholic is a team of 5 people and serves over 850 Catholic clients around the world.
Oh, and they're hiring, too! (check out the opportunity here!)
Originally, however, the seedlings for eCatholic sprung from Josh's work as a Catholic youth minister. It's there that he experienced, first hand, the great need for utilizing the web effectively in our work as the Church. And it's also there, as a CYM, that he learned some key lessons that would later help him succeed as a CEO.
I recently asked Josh to share what some of those lessons were. This is what he said:
There are 7 key lessons that I learned as a youth minister that I have found to be the biggest reasons for our success at eCatholic:
1) Pray - "...because without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). This is just as true in business as it was in youth ministry.
2) Build an all-star core team - The secret to a building a great youth program - and a great business - is to surround yourself with an awesome team.
3) Be relational - The most effective form of ministry is relational. The most effective form of business: foster relationships by providing unbelievable service.
4) Create cool flyers and quirky pulpit announcements - We live in a noisy world. If you want to capture the attention of teens, you have to be creative and unique in your marketing. The same is true in business.
5) Be authentic - Be real. Be authentic. Be transparent. If you don't, your teens will see right through you. So will your prospects and customers.
6) Be passionate - Passion inspires. Passion is contagious. Passion sells. Lead, serve, and sell with passion.
7) Empower your teens - Great youth ministry empowers teens to live out their faith. Great companies empower their customers to be more successful.
If you know of any parishes or other organizations in the Church who need a great looking, affordable, easy-to-update and care-free-to-manage website...I'd definitely recommend checking out eCatholic. You'll get an excellent product and be supporting a great company in the process.