What a Gen X Lawyer Learned Mentoring a Gen Y Employee

This is a representation of a Christian Mentor and not people mentioned in this story.

The Mysterious Fax

In June of 2019, our office received a fax from a young lady named Karen Sears who had just graduated from Tomball High school near Houston. It was addressed to the name of the law firm. She was a young lady who had been thru financial hardships, her father had lost he job the year before and she was trying to find a way to pursue her dream of going to law school. So, what she was doing was sending faxes out to every law firm in town that basically told her story and were asking for someone to help her financially to go to paralegal school. Her plan was to get a paralegal certificate so she could work as a paralegal when in law school.

Are We Listening When God Speaks?

When I read the fax, I thought, out of 35 people working in this office how in the world did this wind up on my desk? And, of course, being the good and faithful servant who is always mindful of the messages God sends us I took it seriously, right?

Nope. I tossed it in that one drawer where you put those all the miscellaneous papers that eventually get cleaned out and thrown away.  I saw it as one more thing I didn’t have time to deal with. I wasn’t listening.

Lighting Strikes Twice

Four months later, I walk into my office to find another blind fax on my desk. As I start reading it, I’m thinking, “I know this story.”

Girl graduates from high school and needs financial help. Only now the story is a little longer. She has now completed paralegal school thanks to a generous donation from a local Christian attorney, Mark Lanier. She has also enrolled at SHSU on credit with no money to pay for it and she’s asking for help. 

As I read on, I learned that she had begun a business selling items she would order from bulk suppliers in order to raise money to pay the college costs her loans would not cover. It was called itpaysmycollegetuition.com She had a retail website she had managed to set up and was doing craft shows to make the sales. But, sales were not going well.  Buy something. Sponsor me. Whatever you can do to help.

God Delivers

This time the letter caught my attention because I realized she had been sending this out blindly to every law firm in Houston she could find. Twice. I thought, “are you kidding me? You sent almost the same letter out to the exact same attorneys who turned it down the first time and you are now hoping for a different result?”  It’s a miracle it wasn’t thrown in the trash straight from the fax machine since it was addressed to no one.

Then I realized something. I am not a lawyer who deals with the hiring at our firm. I hire my own assistant when I need one and that is it. What were the odds that this letter would find its way to my desk–the desk of the wrong person–twice only four months apart?

She didn’t know what she was doing so she was sending out a plea for help.  That plea found it’s way to me against the odds twice. Suddenly I thought, what if this is a God thing?  What if I ignore him again?   I have always found that when God asks me to do something for a third time, that third request feels a lot like a club to the head. God knew exactly what he was doing when he caused it to be placed on my desk twice.

So I thought, you know, I used to have an marketing online assistant, she seems to have some online skills if she can build a marketing website, I can work with that.  Besides, she’s got more perseverance than I’ve ever seen so what would that look like working for me?

God’s Plan is Not Always as Clear as It Seems

When I got the first fax, I not only wasn’t listening, I wasn’t asking. I saw it as junk mail and went about my business. The second fax was like a wakeup call.  I just knew that God wanted me to hire this young lady immediately and help her.

I began typing an email in which I suggested she consider coming to work for me.  She promptly turned my job offer down. She had a flexible time job as a dentist office receptionist. It was close to home and she was not ready to give that convenience up.

So I said responded back, “why don’t you come meet with me anyway? Worst case scenario I can give you a lot of good advice on how to market your online business better and make more money with it.”   I thought surely once she saw what I do with online marketing, she would want to learn it and use it for her own business.

The funny part is that it wasn’t until I looked back later and was asked specifically how prayer played a part in all of this that the problem I was struggling with was truly clear to me. I thought that I knew exactly what I was supposed to do…I…I…I…  But even after a wakeup call, I still wasn’t listing. I was assuming I knew what God had planned. I should have been praying for God to reveal His plan, not assuming I knew what it was.

Pride Reveals Itself

So, she came to meet with me and she brought her dad with her.  I have to admit, I’ve never had anyone bring their dad to a job interview before. That was a new experience. I showed her what I did and how it could help her website and she still turned me down.

“Can you believe the audacity of this girl?” I thought. But it was not her audacity, it was mine.

My mistake was pride.  I presumed to know exactly what God was doing. Sometimes, even when you truly feel like you are doing exactly what God is asking, you can still let your pride get in the way. You think you know exactly what He is doing and you don’t listen.

I gave Karen a lot of tips on how to make her products more presentable as presents so people would buy them as gifts. I gave her ideas on selling sponsorship links to businesses as well as getting businesses to sponsor her booths at craft shows by paying the booth fees. She seemed like she was excited and gung-ho to try these things. I was still stunned she declined the job.

After the second meeting, I prayed that God would bless Karen. Then my prayer finally turned to asking God what He wanted me to do to help and not simply presuming that I knew what He wanted. I admitted to Him that I was confused and did not understand what he wanted of me in the situation. That is when things started to happen.

The Craft Show Flop to Pop

She went home after our meeting to prepare for a craft show starting the next day. Day one, she did not follow any of my advice and had no sales.  That night she repackaged everything as I suggested and promoted additional sales as I suggested.  The next day she made a lot of sales. But it didn’t stop there. Over the next week, she had orders coming in from the website from people who had seen her stuff at the show She had one order over $3000 and several other nice sales.

A Mentorship is Launched

After her sales popped, I became sort of coach for her online business.  I even redesigned the look and some of the layout to make it more professional. I worked with her to teach her how to seek sponsorships in exchange for links back to the sponsor sites.

After awhile she started asking me for help with college.  She asked me to read over a paper before she turned it in.  I hated it. I made her rewrite it. In fact, I made her rewrite it six times.  Most students would have said “forget it, I’ll do it my way.” But she did not. She got an “A” on that paper. I got to review and critique every paper after that!

I have looked at a lot of papers for her since then and she has rewritten a lot. Sometimes I’ve said scrap it and start over, sometimes I say you just need to organize it better.   But she has without a doubt gotten better at writing. She makes A’s on most of her papers and has even nailed it with several 100s. In fact, she’s gone from being a B student to almost straight A’s while working a parttime job 3-4 days a week and running her own online business.

God Blesses Me with an Employee

By The end of December 2019, she realized that working in a law office would be a good idea and she agreed to come to work for me as an online marketing assistant.  At that point I began teaching her how to do things like build links to improve website rank and write and post blogs.  Not only has her writing continued to improve, her last few blogs have been posted without me recommending a single edit or redraft.

Karen still works for me today. She does a lot of writing for me now still, but I cannot wait to see how well she writes for class next semester.

Receiving Blessings by Giving Back

One of the things I told Karen early on is that it is important to give back.  She took it to heart and took it up in prayer. 

In December of 2019 she told me that God had placed it upon her heart to create a special gift basket and give it away to one need child.”  She asked me what I thought of the idea. I thought it was a great idea.

So, she created a social media post saying people should send in a name and why that child should get the gift basket and she was going to pick a winner.  Then came the floods of emails. Sad, sad stories of needy kids that just brought Karen to tears.

She said to me, “Paul, I don’t know how I am going to pick one.” So, we talked and came up with the idea that she could get sponsors to pay for the materials and she could give more baskets away.  She posted requests for sponsors and God sent them her way. In the end, she gave away about 25 gift baskets through the generous donation of friends and sponsors, including taking about a dozen or so to Texas Children’s Hospital for kids who were spending their Christmas time in the hospital.

God’s Pats on the Back Beat Those Third Requests

A few months ago, Karen came to me and said, “I want to tell you something. I’ve submitted your name to several organizations for awards for mentorship and the Houston Young Lawyer’s Association has selected you for the 2019 Outstanding Mentor Award.”

 I said, “The what award?  No way, there’s an award for that?”  

I had never heard of it.  I thought, “I don’t lead any major groups or anything to deserve that, I just decided to help a kid out.”

 Here I was before she came along in my own world doing online marketing the hard way. Writing and publishing and trying to get my firm name out. A Mentorship Award? I could not buy that kind of press and here she is writing letters on her own making it happen.

Let’s face it, all I did was help someone out mainly because I was afraid if I made God ask a third time it was going to leave a mark.  It sure is nicer to get an award for mentoring voluntarily than it is to get clubbed over the head for not listening.

Lessons Learned from Mentoring Generation Y

What I learned from Mentoring a Gen Y Employee is this:

  1. Every employer should be a be looking to hire mentees not just employees.
    1. You will never, ever find a more dedicated harder working person, than someone who’s goal is to become you.
    1. They are more teachable than the average employee because they actually want to understand for their own personal reasons. They are learning to benefit themselves not just to benefit you.
    1. They have the potential to exceed your expectations by applying your teachings to their fresh perspectives.
  2. If you hear what God is saying to you and you do it, He will bless you in ways you cannot imagine but make sure you are asking and listening the entire time.
  3. When you show a complete stranger with a dream that you believe in them too, they will excel like you never imagined.

We are blessed to have this special Guest Post from Paul H. Cannon. Please see his bio below.


Paul H. Cannon is an attorney and shareholder at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. He has been practicing personal injury law since 1995. He is Certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2005.


Serving God in Business

how to serve God in business imageHave you ever thought about your business as a way to serve God?

Your business is where you put your time and where your treasures build.  It is the main place where the actions in your life and spirit of God impact your community.

The Bible says we are called to make disciples. (see Matthew 28:19) It is an ongoing action.  In other words, we are to make disciples as we go.

When we own a business all that we do becomes a way to serve God and spread His word.  We are making disciples by being in business.

Take time today to reflect on your impact for Christ.

  • Are you striving to honor God and serve Him with all that you do?
  • How are you honoring God each day with the way you run your life and business?
  • What actions are you taking to make disciples as you go?


Take 10-30 minutes to really reflect on each of these questions. You may even want to adjust some of the day to day routines to better align with what God wants from you in your business.

In business, we serve God with the impact we make in changing lives. #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

Today’s video is from Smart and Relentless.  They show you 20 ways to become a better Christian.  And they do it in a video that is less than 4 minutes!

As a business owner and a Christian, the more you grow your spiritual life, the more your business life will blossom.  God wants to show you to success, but he wants to do so by first fully trusting in Him.


Spend time seeking God's guidance and your business can't help but grow. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

Business Bible Wisdom: Purpose

business potential purposeBusiness Bible verse wisdom: People want to find their purpose.

Let’s look at Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Quick Wisdom from this Business Bible Verse:

As business owners we are specifically positioned to help others find their purpose.  Outside of parents, the only role that is more important is that of a teacher.  Yet, in reality that is what we are as leaders in our business.  We are teaching people about a solution we have in our business.  We are teaching people about their role in our business.  We are helping people develop and become the person God created them to be.

God plants a seed of purpose inside each of us.  Then God uses people and situations to water and care for that seed so that it may grow.  Each person you talk to becomes a seed that needs your care. As a business owner, you have the responsibility to care for all the seeds that God puts in your life.


Putting this Business Bible Verse in Practice:

Pray that God will confirm your purpose in your business.  Go back to the reason…the why…you started in business.  Why did God draw you into this business?

Find one person in your business that you believe has good potential.  Encourage them this week and water their seed of purpose.

Take the next step and select one person to mentor.  Create a specific time outside of business hours.  It could just be one evening or one morning a week.  Lead this person in understanding the Bible and help them find their purpose. (If you are a free faith member, you have Bible Study resources to help you in this process.)


Business is an opportunity to water the seeds of potential and help people find their God-given purpose. #ChristianEntrepreneur #Christianbusiness Click To Tweet

Business Bible Wisdom: Respect

peoplewantnoticedBusiness Bible verse wisdom: People want to be noticed and they deserve respect.

Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”


Quick Wisdom from this Business Bible Verse:

As business owners we must realize our impact on others.  The world is craving someone to notice them.  One little moment of respect from you can make a difference in someone’s life for months.  We have the opportunity to change lives because the God who created the universe sent His Son for us.  And, He has given us the message to bring others to Him.

Reconciliation means to bring together.  We bring together the power of God into the lives of those whom we touch.  We have the power of God to help others make their lives better when we take time to notice others and show them the value they have as a child of God.


Putting this Business Bible Verse in Practice:

  • Write down a list of every person you come in contact with every week.  Think about the janitorial staff, mail carriers, neighbors, etc.  Evaluate how well you have showed this person the mission of love and respect God gave us.
  • Take some time to think deeply about anyone who needs your forgiveness.  If you are harboring bitterness or holding a grudge you are only hurting yourself and your relationship with God.  Don’t let that get root in your life; release it to God.
  • Find one person who needs a special touch from God and go out of your way to encourage them this week.  Send a hand written note, encouraging email, share a video with them on social media


Business owners have God’s mission of love, respect and reconciliation. #ChristianEntrepreneur #Christianbusiness Click To Tweet

Bible business wisdomBusiness Bible verse wisdom: Play the Role You Were Given.

Let’s look at Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


Quick Wisdom from this Business Bible Verse:

As business owners we wear many hats.  We have many roles to play.  We have to be the boss, accountant, mentor, leaders, pastor, spouse, parent, priest, etc.

Each of our roles are part of who we are.  Our personality should remain the same through all the stages and all the roles we play.  We stay ‘in character’ by being the person that God created us to be.

Take each of your roles seriously.  Take time to evaluate all the roles you play.  You may not be an accountant, but you should know enough to evaluate the work of your accountant.  You should have a basic understanding of how money works and finances.  You should know how to read reports and evaluate them quickly.

God created you for a specific purpose, but as a business owner, we have to play all the roles that we are given to the best of our ability.  We must learn, grow and become all that God has create us to be.  We are God’s ‘handiwork.’


Putting this Business Bible Verse in Practice:

  • Evaluate Roles: Write down all the roles you play in your business.  Give yourself a grade for each role.
  • Educate Your Roles: Read a book or watch some video training to better develop in an area that you are weak in.  You don’t have to master it, you just need to know more than the average person who works in your business.
  • Delegate Your Roles: Evaluate your interest level and skill level in each of your roles.  Then, evaluate the cost of each role.  If you are spending time doing tasks that could be hired out at ten dollars an hour, you are costing yourself money because you are more valuable than that as a business owner.


You were created by God to be the best You, You can be. #ChristianEntrepreneur #Christianbusiness Click To Tweet

Business Bible Wisdom: Control

business bible verseBusiness Bible verse wisdom: Understand who is in control.

Let’s look at Isaiah 46:9-10 to see practical Business wisdom from the Bible.

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isaiah 46:9-10


Quick Wisdom from this Business Bible Verse:

Too often we try to control everything we do in this life.  We should plan and make every effort to the best we can in every situation, but at that point we have to let Go do what He is best at: taking care of us.  Ultimately, He is in control.

I used to tell a story.  Imagine the three strongest people you can think of (The Rock, Arnold, etc.). They are standing behind you.  A car has fallen on someone you love.  Would you ask these strong people to stand aside as you try to lift the car off your loved one?  That would not be wise.

We must release things to God if we really understand He is in control.  We do as much as we can and then let God take over.  The old saying goes: We have to let go and let God.

It is a good balance.  Remember the serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”


Putting this Business Bible Verse in Practice:

  • Post the serenity prayer somewhere close by or make it your computer screen wallpaper.  Just use it to remind yourself that God is in charge.
  • Write down anything that is stressing you out on a sticky note or scratch paper.  Pray about each item one at a time and crumple it up.  Throw it in the trash physically and release it mentally.
  • Commit to praying no less than five full minutes a day for a part of your business that is frustrating you.  Don’t allow any distractions, commit that time to one specific focus.
  • Take a long walk in a park or some sort of nature.  Just look at all the things that God takes care of.  Take a deep breath and release it.  God is taking care of you by providing the air you breathe.  Take the rest of your walk to thank God for all that He provides for us.  (If you can’t get away to take a walk in nature . . .you need to get away and take a walk in nature!)



In business, we do our best and let God take care of the rest. #ChristianEntrepreneur #Christianbusiness Click To Tweet

business bible verseBusiness Bible verse wisdom: Life does not have a sound track.

Let’s look at John 10:10 to see practical Business wisdom from the Bible.

The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. John 10:10


Quick Wisdom from this Business Bible Verse:

If life had a sound track, we would know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.  We know by looking at the history of politics that it is not always easy to spot the good guys.  We must have discernment.

We live in a world where people can pretend to be good, only to be harboring evil as they move forward in their personal plan.  Look at how many televangelist’s empires crumbled when the truth came out or how many Christians failed in business because they cheated on taxes or lied to employees.

We can look at this verse we find the answer.  We have to look at the fruits that people produce.  Are they honest? Do they protect others? Do they build up others and add value to life?  Those are the opposite of what the verse defines as a thief.

Jesus came to give us life to the full.  He wants to take our personalities and explode them with His power.  He wants to bring out all of the best of our life and show the world His face shining through us.


Putting this Business Bible Verse in Practice:

  • Realize that you are a child of God and should reflect Him.
  • Read Galatians 5:22-23.  Evaluate yourself by fruits.
  • Create a list of the fruits and give yourself a grade for each.
  • Pick one fruit to develop.  Pray for guidance and create a simple plan.


Live life to the fullest. Become a life-giving, fruit-developing child of God. #ChristianEntrepreneur #Christianbusiness Click To Tweet

Today’s video is about our perspective here on earth in light of scripture.  Bible verses, visual images and a perspective of life are included in each part of this scripture.

If you are a faith member, you can download any of these images with the Bible verse and the wisdom thought from ‘images’ in your dashboard.  It’s totally free for you!

All of these Bible verses talk about a perspective in business.  The business Bible verses focus on you and who you are according to the Bible.  We just need to understand who we are and help others in the world understand who they are.

The 7 Bible Verses used in this video are:

  1. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
  2. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. I Peter 2:9
  3. Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ Isaiah 46:9-10
  4. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
  5. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
  6. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
  7. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
Impact lives for Christ by seeing the world the way God does. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

Investing in Yourself

investing in yourselfWhen it comes to owning a business, your most valuable asset is you.  You were given the dream, desire and decision to grow your business.  God created you in such a way that you were meant to do something to impact the world.

Before we go too far, let’s look at the biblical foundation for this concept.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

You may say, “This is not about investing.  It’s about worshiping God and loving others.”  I would agree to some extent, but I want you to look further.

The verse says to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  How can you do that unless you are healthy in heart, soul, mind and strength?  How can you do that unless you have invested in yourself in all four of those areas of growth?

When we invest in ourselves we are investing in our worship of God. 


We want to love God with all of our heart.  We must invest time in emotional development.  We must seek deep into who we are and find our purpose.  We must then, worship God out of that purpose.

We want to love God with all of our soul.  We must invest time in developing our spiritual lives through Bible study, involvement with church, accountability, giving, worship, prayer, etc.  We must develop who we are as spiritual beings and children of God.

We want to love God with all of our mind.  We must sharpen our minds so that we can worship God with all of our faculties.  We must be ever growing our minds in the purpose that God has given us here on earth in order to honor Him.

We want to love God with all of our strength.  We must start by understanding that our body is God’s temple.  We must feed it healthy food.  We must commit to regular exercise, rest, etc.  We can’t worship God unless we first have the strength to do so in our body.

Investing in yourself is the first way that you begin honoring God.  If we go back to the verse, it says to love our neighbors as ourselves.  If we don’t love ourselves, how can we love our neighbors?  If we don’t love ourselves, how can we truly worship a God who created us the way we are?

As Christians, we should always be striving to be better in all areas of live.  When we start with the simple things we can control, we find ourselves loving God and loving others in increasing capacity.

Think of a 1% growth in each category over the next year. Here are some ways you may want to consider investing in the following areas:



  • Take a personality test and get to know yourself better.
  • Evaluate your family life and your relationship with friends.  Get rid of any grudges and live in forgiveness.
  • Read Psalms and other Bible stories to identify emotions you relate to and see how people in the Bible dealt with those same emotions.



  • Take a spiritual gifts test online and determine how God has made you to interact with the world.
  • Commit to regular spiritual habits: Bible reading, Prayer, Church involvement, Giving, etc.
  • Listen to Christian music (any style you prefer).
  • Listen to Christian leaders in business, pastors, or other areas that interest you (Youtube, Podcasts, etc.)



  • Read a book that helps you in business.
  • Listen to a podcast from a leader you respect in the business world, preferably Christian leaders.
  • Watch a video about a topic that stretches your mind. (Don’t be afraid of opposing views.)



  • Keep a food journal for a week and evaluate your typical diet. Adjust small areas to better your nutrition.
  • Implement a simple exercise routine start once a week, then three times a week, then six!
  • Get a fitness coach or accountability partner to help keep you on track.


I am not saying do all of these at once.  Pick ONE AREA and do ONE THING. Investments grow best little by little.

Life and growth is about small incremental moments.  1% growth in any area is easily attainable.  It could be a simple walk around the block, read a chapter of Bible each day and find a Christian podcast to listen to.

Note: you can do all three of these at the same time.  Listen to the podcast while you walk and eat a fruit or veggie while you walk . . . that’s a three for one . . . and if the podcast is Christian, it could be a little growth in all four areas with one simple activity.

Investing in yourself is not hard.  It just takes a bit of planning and strategy.  If you need help, contact a Christian business coach or find a mentor in your local area.

Remember, investing in yourself is honoring God with all of who you are. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet