Bishop T. D. Jakes has never shied away from mixing fortune and faith—his last two books, Destiny: Step Into Your Purpose (FaithWords, 2016) and Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive (FaithWords, 2015), urge readers to follow their dreams by strengthening their faith and focusing on a higher calling.
Now, Jakes is looking at the role faith can play when it comes to entrepreneurial success in Soar!: Build Your Vision from the Ground Up (FaithWords, Oct.), which explores “strategies and structures, and [how to] rethink ways that we can build our dreams,” he told PW. With an initial print run of 300,000 copies, according to FaithWords, the new book addresses issues including unemployment due to dwindling manufacturing jobs and how to find job satisfaction.
“I wrote Soar because we need creative ways to go forward into the future,” said Jakes. “From the Rust Belt to urban centers, people are trying to reboot and remake their lives to replace or subsidize their incomes. Entrepreneurship can help us survive the turbulence of these times—this is an opportunity to redirect our energies toward our God-given gifts and talents to provide for our families better.”
Jakes, who was born in West Virginia in 1957 to a businessman/entrepreneur and an educator, preached his first sermon in 1976. Today, he is the founder and lead pastor of The Potter’s House Church in Dallas and the CEO of the film and television production company, TDJ Enterprises. He also hosts the television program The Potter’s House and is a bestselling author, film producer, and the host of conferences which draw thousands of people annually.
Drawing on his personal experiences with business ownership, Soar features advice including, “Get around somebody who is doing what you think you would like to do—imagining and reality aren’t the same things.” Jakes believes that a selfless attitude modeled after Jesus can help individuals develop a sense of leadership. “Find somebody who can mentor and model what you want to do, and enter that world from a position of servitude,” he writes. “When you enter serving, you can see what it takes to lead.”
The book is geared toward a wide range of readers who want or need to shift their focus, according to Jakes. “The only thing consistent about life is that it will change,” he said. “I wrote to include people who are moving into the next step and need to rethink how to evolve.”
Rolf Zettersten, senior v-p and publisher at FaithWords, said Soar is the first book of its kind from Jakes, and it stems from the pastor’s observations of his congregants’ needs.
“Soar! is unique because it’s a business book; his others are Christian living titles,” said Zettersten, who has worked on two previous Jakes’ titles at FaithWords. “Bishop Jakes offers advice and inspiration for people who want to start a business, take a new direction, and relaunch their careers.”
Marketing and publicity for Soar included a pre-order campaign that began at MegaFest in late June. FaithWords also launched national television and web ads—including on BET and Oprah.com—and a social media campaign across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as cross promotions via the publisher’s FirstWords bloggers. Jakes is promoting the book to his 11 million combined followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, on his television show, and on a speaking tour that includes Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Nashville until Nov. 11.