Starting a business is a risky endeavor. At the age of 25 the Lord was calling Cameron Doody to do just that. In 2011 Cameron and a friend launched what is known today as Bellhops, a modern moving company that combines technology and a talented workforce to provide a fun, friendly, and professional moving experience. It is in over 15 cities and was named Best Company Culture of 2015 by Entrepreneur Magazine. As a man of faith, Cameron quickly learned that starting a company and seeking the Lord in the midst of it all was easier said than done. I had the chance to meet with Cameron Doody and talk to him about his experience in building a company as a Christ-follower.
Tell me a little about your vocational journey.
The early twenties is a scary time. I had no idea what God wanted me to do. I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and lack of fulfillment in my current job, which ultimately led me to starting this company. I quickly learned that starting a company is all consuming. It was not your typical 9-5 job, and I found it difficult to invest time in my spiritual life. I unintentionally lost closeness to Christ in the first two years purely because of time. It seemed like everything other than this company and my wife was taking a back seat. God never left my mind, but there were times where my natural tendency was to clam up and try to do everything myself.
Ultimately, trying to build a company and not having Christ as my immediate thought caused me to have anxiety attacks. I physically needed God. Experiencing anxiety attacks was a huge wake-up call for me, and I knew that I couldn’t do this alone. Since then I have strived to seek Christ before all things, but it hasn’t been easy. The demands of building a business are real and tough.
How have your Christian values manifested themselves in your business specifically?
The culture here at Bellhops is very positive and family oriented. Bellhops is built on a foundation of truth, honesty, and integrity. Christianity shines through in unstated ways: how you react to things, how you prioritize things and how you treat other people. If you are truly living your life for Christ, that should be clear and as a believer, it is our responsibility to act in a certain way.
Is there a book and or mentor that has helped you in your faith and business journey?
A huge mentor for me throughout the years has been Krue Brock. That man is good at understanding when something isn’t being said. He reaches out to me when I’m not doing well. He encourages and lifts me up. I have seen the power of prayer through Krue in how God puts it on his heart to pray for me and reach out to me when he does. It is so important to have somebody like that in your life when starting a company.
What does being a Christian business leader mean to you?
When you are put on a pedestal and put in the lime light where you are leading and providing for a lot of people and families, you have a responsibility to act in a certain way, and clinging to Christ is of the utmost importance for me. If you are truly living your life for Christ, it should be clear in the ways you care for your employees.
What are some verses you rely on in your job, or that help you form your bases of Christian values for your company?
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
I think this is such a perfect verse to consider at work. Work is a place that can consume a lot of your thoughts, and certainly a lot of your time. Are you serving yourself, or your company? Or are you here on earth to serve the Lord? This is a great reminder of what is really important.
Do you have any specific advice to future Christian business leaders?
From the start, think about whether you are going to build a Christian organization and one that welcomes anyone. It is an important question to ask. As Christians, we are called to bring non-Christians to Christ. How best can we do that? You can’t do that when you are in an echo chamber (only surrounding yourself with other Christians). As a Christian you have an obligation to build an organization based on Christian values, whether employees are believers or not. To bring in employees that do not consider themselves Christians is a God-given opportunity that as a leader I believe we shouldn’t let slip away.
If you could say one thing to other Christian business leaders or to business leaders as a whole, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to voice your faith. Bringing faith into any conversation is not an automatic pass. It’s hard to justify a faith based decision unless your company is openly rooted on Christian values, it’s almost impossible to make decisions otherwise. If you want to be making faith based decisions at work, build a company openly based on Christian values.
Cameron didn’t do everything perfectly; he even admits today that it is still a struggle integrating his faith alongside his work. Yet Cameron is continually striving to understand what it means to live faithfully in the world of business. Praise God that there is grace for all, and praise God that there are men and women out there like Cameron seeking to unify corporate America with Christian values.