Christian Gap Year for Entrepreneurs


Mark Almand is the Corporate Director of Elliott Wave International. Below is the transcript of an interview between the Global U gap year class and Mark.

Kelson Mudd: We're ready to go. So if we could pray it in real quick, I thank you so much for these just amazing mentors. And the wisdom that they just want to pour out on us so freely.

I pray, Father, that you just open our minds and open our hearts. Father. Two more, two additional all the business and all of the economics and everything that we can learn, Father, but also to just the way that Mark really does keep in contact with your heart. Father, I just pray that you give us listening ears and watchful eyes for this next half hour. In his name we pray. Amen.

Mark Almand: Amen.

Kelson Mudd: Alrighty. So, Mark, you work for Elliott Wave International, which is, I'm sure having an interesting time. Right now. Could you explain exactly what Elliott Wave International is?

Mark Almand: [00:00:49] So the idea behind the Elliott Wave methodology is that, it was discovered by a guy named Ralph Nelson Elliott back in the 1920s. He was sitting on his porch in the sun recuperating in San Francisco. He was an accountant, and as only an accountant would do, he's going through for relaxation.

He's going through price charts of the markets, you know, and he's just kind of flipping through these price charts. And he noticed that the market seemed to move in patterns and he began to dig in and try to determine exactly what these patterns were. And he ended up putting together, you know, kind of codifying it through a series of letters he wrote to people who are big wall street people at the time.

And he started trading on that information and started doing very well. He wrote a small book that didn't do much, and then he died. And the people that he interacted with on Wall Street recognize this as something important. And there would be a sort of like every generation subsequently would have one or two people who were sort of the.

The Elliot people, the people who understood Elliot, and they would use it themselves and they'd talk to each other about it right back and forth about it and so forth until my boss in the 1970s was working for Merrill Lynch in New York. And he was, going through, you guys know what microfiche is?

Does anybody know what that term is? Microfiche well, it's how you used to do research. You'd go to this big terminal, it's like a computer, except there were no computers and it's kind of like etch a sketch. Everything was captured on film. You know, analog film, and you would move the dials and you'd be able to read old newspapers this way.

It was sort of white on blue. I remember this from my days as a student, way back before, before. So you wouldn't, you know, there was no such thing as Google, obviously. So anyway, Bob came across on microfiche, some of these old letters buried just buried in the New York library, and he was fascinated by it.

And he began to use this information himself in his analysis and ended up writing a book with that prior generations. Top Elliot guy named Aja Frost. And this book is called the other wave principle, a key to market behavior. And it's a legendary book now on, you know, for traders all over the world.

Basically what it says is that the markets move in patterns regardless of what's happening outside. So whatever market you're looking at, oil, the price of oil was not dependent on interest rates. Interest rates are not dependent on stocks or the fed. There are some radical things in here. You know, stocks don't move because of a coronavirus or because of Wars.

They move because their pattern declares that they must move. And the pattern itself comes from it's a phenomenon that happens in society when people, groups of people get together, they have a mood, a group mood, they're unconscious. It's unconscious. They don't recognize it, they don't realize it.

And it is impelling them to make decisions based on that mood. So they swing from excessive. Optimism, too. Excessive pessimism. And on top of that, for you, math geeks out there, I see Tyler, he already knows all this. Tyler should be given this, this explanation, not me, but you know, it's fractal. So t's like nested Russian dolls.

Each pattern sits inside of another pattern. So it sounds very complicated. I'm probably making it more complicated than it is, but that's what Elliott wave principle is and it states that these patterns in the markets are not independent of the rest of society. They are a result of society.

So you will see in bull markets, you'll see that people like Disney movies and they drive fast cars and they travel a lot. And music is very, you know, at a peak you'll see bubblegum type music coming to the fore. And in bear markets, you see the opposite. You know, cars get heavy and windows get small, and everybody's about protection.

And that's because the movies, you know, horror movies become really super popular in bear markets. And that's not because the market drives them to that point, but because the mood is the source of both of those groups of activities or is happening at the bottom of major bear markets.

Because people are, you know, ticked and angry they go to war with each other. At the top of bull markets. You see countries come together and they form major agreements. The European union codifies at the end of 2000, which is, you know, the top of a big, big bear market and then it falls apart during bear markets.

Kelson Mudd: [00:06:04] Wow. Yeah, that's fascinating. So even I've got on your website, and the headline on your website right now is no, we are not in uncharted territory. So I think it really speaks to the Elliott Wave principle of nothing is new. There's nothing new under the sun.

Mark Almand: [00:06:19] Yea that's right.

Kelson Mudd: [00:06:20] Even in conversations I've had with you in the past, something you do really well is you always loop back to where's the Kingdom in this? So I was just curious. I let her in on LinkedIn. I think your company has about 70 people's, obviously those ministry there, but how does discipleship and how does your faith in general play into your daily, your work, but also just with your company.

Mark Almand: [00:06:44] Yeah. The big thing for me is, you know, listening prayer, I'm where I am with my job because of that. I mean, I haven't left where I'm working. I'm called to that place and you know, I really try to, I don't do this all the time, but I try to at least once a day commit. To some time with God to really listen.

And everything else for me comes out of that. Really. Um, so discipleship opportunities come out of that. Um, discussions with my boss come out of that. He's an atheist, brilliant guy, wonderful person, very generous. But, um, but an atheist. And so, um, for me. It comes from, from listening prayer. It's the way I get intimate with the Lord.

It's how I know what I'm supposed to do, like in life, from purpose down to the next couple of minutes. Um, and I actually wanted to talk about that during the teaching session.

Kelson Mudd: [00:07:47] Well, we're right there. So

Mark Almand: [00:07:49] Yeah, the timing is, the timing is right. So. Yeah, as I was praying this morning doing listening prayer, I sense that I should talk to people about listening prayer.

And I know you guys are familiar with it, very familiar with it. Seth's book was a landmark book for probably many of you. It was for me. Just to kind of get an idea of where everybody is, how many people, like would you say you do quiet listening prayer where you stop and ask God questions and listen for an answer?

Say like on a weekly basis. Is that happened for everybody? Most everybody. Everybody. Yeah. Every day happen every day for folks. Some people sort of, I got my hand sort of raised.

Yeah. Well, what I want really wanted to do is encourage people in this to make this an ongoing habit, not just a certain time of day or anything like that.

But when you hit questions, I find in my own life that it is the source. It's the wellspring for so much else. And you know, the way people do listening per in different ways. This is what, this is how I do it.

This is from this morning, I guess three 30. Yeah, so I just sit down with a pencil and a piece of paper. And I ask God questions. And typically my first question is, God, is this a good time for listening prayer? And usually it's, yeah, you know, but sometimes it's like, ah, no, go apologize to Katherine for being a jerk yesterday, you know, that literally happens to me pretty regularly, or call, you know, a friend and offer blank.

Many times it's kinda like, well, first take a look at such and such, an area of scripture and then something will happen through that area. So I'll just go through and say, okay, so what first this says, get clean. So I just, you know, I got on the floor and I confessed, now what?

Worship. So I worshiped. It's not always like that. It's oftentimes it's different, you know, a different order or not. All of those things are part of it. Now, ask for help with the Global U meeting with this meeting. Review the invite down here is very clear direction on how I should handle this, this time.

So I've got other examples. You know, the other day our company's working from home and has been for a month and the other day I kind of sense that the marketing group needed some principles that we could live by. We'd been doing it long enough that we kind of had it, we were able to accomplish some routines, you know, put some routines in place.

And so I sort of stepped back and asked God about that and said, you know, he said, So what now make a list for work. A list of priorities. Yes. Here we're on email here, and then I got a list of daily priorities from the Lord. Number one, we should change the hero daily. Number two, we should change the graphics on the hero every two to three days.

It's very detailed. And so sometimes this is what happens in my prayer times. And, so I know you guys are, you know, you talk about pivoting a lot, especially right now. One of the advantages of listening prayer is that it helps you make sure that you are constantly connected to God's plan for you and, and your plan for the world, his plan for the world through you, on a moment by moment basis.

So that, for me, listening prayer has kept me flexible, has kept me. I'm constantly in a posture of questioning whether I'm to continue what I'm currently doing. It's corrective, you know, and that's not even, that's just on the business side or on the life side. Then there are all the other things that it does.

So I want to encourage people to make sure that you're doing that and to think of it first. You know, many times I'll think of my strategy first. I'll think of planning first. I'll, I'll grab a spreadsheet, you know, but I would encourage everybody to sort of, make listening prayer I go to for every question that you face.

Kelson Mudd: [00:12:18] Yeah. That's really, really good. So something we ask a lot of the mentors about is what is work life balance? What, first of all, what would you define like an ideal work life balance? Cause it's just something. Yeah. We just like, there's like the startup mentality of, you know, you're working, you know, all, all the time, all the time, all the time.

And then, but you see people leave their families behind, but then you still have to able to provide for your family. So what is, what does work life balance look like for you?

Mark Almand: [00:12:45] Yeah, that's a really, really interesting question and a really good question because I get it wrong all the time, know. And where I'm going to get it wrong is I'm going to get it wrong on the work side.

And on the ministry side, I'm going to just throw, cause it's there. There's, you know, I can be effective. I know that I mean, it's just like there's, there are needs, there are always needs. Things aren't going right there. They're in their visceral needs, you know, where sometimes maybe on the family side, you know, on the life side, it's not as visceral.

Those needs, you know. So for me, with my personality and probably 100% of you guys that are going to be where you're gonna go, you're gonna, you're gonna overwork and under relationship, you know, what is the balance? For me, it's a moving target. I mean, I happen to be married to somebody who gets this, and Catherine is, you know, terrific this way.

It's just for me, it's seasons. There are seasons where I just go after something and then, and then I overdo it and God, I mean, it's going to come back to prayer. Listening prayer I'll get, I'll get a correction from God. I mean, there are multiple times, like landmark times in my past where I've been overwhelmed with what I have to do and I can't even.

See the future with hope because it's so, because all of this looms for me. And typically it's because I've become over committed. I've committed myself to things, and I mean, I've got times that I can think of where I, I said, you know, Lord, can you. Please help me with this. And the first thing that comes to mind typically is confessing that I've taken on a lot of things that aren't mine to take on.

And so I'll confess that, ask him to help me out of it. And he'll say, call so-and-so, and asked to be released from this and right so-and-so, and asked to be released from that. So the balance for me, I can't give you a formula, right? I can give you something better. Which is an admonition to stay connected to God.

If you do that, the work life balance thing will work out. You'll make mistakes because you're human, but God will correct you because he's faithful to do that. So I mean, I work, a typical week for me right now is I'm putting in, you know, 18 hour days because I've got so much going. And we're trying to it's our season of expectation from people in the world and, and, and, and our business.

And this is the time when, like my boss says, he says, you know, we're, this is the time we need to cook. And so. That's just what's going on. And that's at a certain point and you can get caught up in that, the intensity of it and the, in the rush, you know in the 70s meaning of that word, it's intense.

It's fun. It's a rush, you know? It goes to your head, adrenaline, and you can get caught up in that, but at a certain point, if you're connected to God, he's going to say, okay, hang on, Mark. You know it's time to shut it all off and go for a walk with your kids or your friends.

Kelson Mudd: [00:16:18] That's really, really good. Thank you.

Mark Almand: [00:16:20] You're welcome,

Joshua Owen: [00:16:23] Mark. Good morning.

Mark Almand: [00:16:25] Hey, what's up? Josh?

Joshua Owen: [00:16:27] So one of my questions, you know, we talked about this in Spain, when you're out there, and I'm sure a lot, you know, a lot of the students or people might be this, the teacher like listening prayer. So, you know, it's kind of like stage in your journey with a ward where I grew up in a Baptist background. So you know, you have your Bible and then kind of hear from the Lord, but like progressing and Hey, God still speaks today. I can still hear from them. Like, how did you make that progression, if you still remember, like how did you want to learn to trust the voice of the Lord and what have the patient like here in the small whisper from God? What was that early journey in your listening prayer life?

Mark Almand: [00:17:10] . Yeah. I mean, I didn't grow up in a Baptist background, so I didn't come with the need to sort of break that form. Will you lay a approach? You know, I became a believer in my twenties and at a nondenominational church.

And I had a massive hunger for the word. And I would propose to people that if they just read the word, they will likely come to the conclusion that God speaks to people today, or has in the past. And there's no reason to think that he wouldn't today in my own life where it became.

A thing that I recognized that I was doing and that I was depending on was in 2001 when my dad died. And he and I were very close and he died. It wasn't unexpected. He was sick for a long time, but after he died, and we had the funeral and whatnot. I was in my late thirties. He died pretty young.

And so I came home. We all came home after the funeral, and I said to Catherine, my wife, the kids were little, you know, and I said, honey, is there any way I can go away? And she said, well, what do you mean? You know? I said, I just need, I think I need to get in the woods for a couple of days. And she said, yeah, absolutely.

So I packed a bunch of stuff and went up to this place nearby here on a mountain. And I pitched a tent. And that, and I, I remember trying to go to sleep. I heard every mouse within two miles every rustle. It made, you know, and I'm like, what am I doing here? This is stupid. I'm not. And I, I would get a, you know, a few minutes of sleep and then wake up and the next morning the sun came up and I got together a cup of coffee somehow.

And I'm sitting there watching the sun come up. And. I had a notepad with me and I thought I was just going to write, you know, but instead, it was a prayer. I began to ask God what my dad's life meant, it was Holy and I couldn't, there's no way I could have conjured it up. It was honest, you know, it wasn't like my dad.

Had it all together or anything like that. But I loved him and I had a sense that God loved him. I knew he loved him. And I also knew because of that, that he was in heaven because of that time, that listening per time that my dad had gone to heaven. It wasn't that open of a question, but there was some question in my mind.

And so I still have these notes. I need to frame them. I mean, you know, I want to make a monument out of them but I got hooked. Because that and it was maybe an hour or an hour and a half, I don't know. Time stood still as they say, you know, and then I was done and I was like, all right, I'm outta here.

I packed up, I drove in the driveway and Catherine is like, I thought you were gone for two or three days. And I was like, nah, I got what I need. And I just, when God speaks to us, to me it's more than food. It's a whole other category of sustenance, you know? I got hooked. I got hooked right there and then, and I, but I never told anybody except my wife, you know, that this was going on.

So every once in awhile I'd be like, well, I got this question about the kids, you know, one of the kids would be doing something or, and I, I tried this listening prayer thing, you know, and, and lo and behold, you know, I'd get a word from the Lord. And so. Where I would use, I used to do it maybe once every six months cause I didn't know what I was doing.

And then I started to do it more and more and more and more and more. And now I have seven folders full of listening, prayer notes that go back 30, 20 years. And then a few years later, Seth, I never talked with him about it. A few years later he wrote this book, you know, listening prayer and asked me to edit it.

And I was like, Whoa. And this to me. Was reading something that really kind of codified for me what was going on and explained it to me. And then about a year later, I went to him and I said, Hey, can I show you something? And he's like, yeah, what? And so I showed him my listening prayer notes and I was kinda like, fearful cause here's the guy, you know?

And I was like, is this, you know, acceptable? Is this okay? And of course he endorsed it readily. So did that answer your question, Josh? I kind of went off a little bit there.

Joshua Owen: [00:21:53] Absolutely. Thank you. Thanks for sharing that.

Mark Almand: [00:21:55] Yeah.

Kelson Mudd: [00:21:56] Yeah. Well, thank you so much for hat, for hopping on. And Mary, would you like to bless Mark as we finish up here?

Mary Korch: [00:22:02] I can, I thank you just for the opportunity for Mark to share his perspective and pieces of his life with us. Father, we've been blessed and I pray that, you know, through, through all of the events that are happening, you continue to wash peace over him. And just when relationships seem to be strained, it's actually a really fruitful time.

And that somehow Mark's able to have even stronger relationships with family, with coworkers, with friends, through this time of what is perceived isolation greater than he ever expected. So thank you again and we lift the city to you. Amen.

Mark Almand: [00:22:42] Amen.

Kelson Mudd: [00:22:43] Amen.

Mark Almand: [00:22:46] I wanna I wanna pray for you guys too. Can I do that.

Kelson Mudd: [00:22:49] Absolutely.

Mark Almand: [00:22:51] Yeah. Lord, what a great thing you're doing with these young people. I pray, father, that you would set them apart even as they're going about the business of the world and they are primarily concerned with the business of the world. I pray that you would set them apart, Lord. That they would be distinctive in you and I pray, father, that your spirit would settle upon them. Lord, your Holy spirit and, that your Holy spirit would fill these people. Lord, they are your select for this time. The world needs them. You know this God, because you've ordained this from the beginning.

So God, I pray that even as you know, we're talking about things of the world today, that Lord, you would hide, deepen them, a fount of the word metaphysical comes to mind that something beyond the physical here beyond the money, beyond the businesses that they're, that they're thinking of.

Lord, I pray for that kind of a blessing for them. God, in Jesus name. Amen.

Kelson Mudd: [00:24:15] And then thank you so much. Yeah.

Mark Almand: [00:24:18] Okay guys. It's good seeing everybody again soon. Okay, bye.

Kelson Mudd: [00:24:26] Bye.