What Christian Entrepreneurs Most Need to Know
Starting your business from a shoe-string and gathering up clients as you go may be an overwhelming task, without faith. But when you have faith and a basic understanding that this is the direction God wants you to go, you already have a leg up on the competition, because they’re starting out from a place of vulnerability. You have the assurance of faith, knowing that you’re in God’s hands. He is your provider.
The conversation might have started out differently had we not been praying desperately for an opportunity to start a business, within a given area of expertise… We knew what we could do, and reminded God in prayer that our skills and abilities were given by Him, we just needed an opportunity to use those skills and abilities in a business He provided. Answers to prayer don’t always come so fast, but we were believing God would provide an answer, and the answer came to us via several messengers. Each one, as if God had sent them.
Answers to our prayers generally come via God’s Word.
No matter how much business we have coming in, the basis, the foundation, and the source of our business must be in agreement with the Bible. God’s word is never returned void, and we will never be left out in the cold, without an understanding of what He intends if we’re following His Word.
Often business owners ask how they can be sure of God’s voice in their business. When I ask, “Are you reading your Bible?” they shrug, or offer an offhand answer indicating that they don’t read it every day, or even very often. That is the answer. If you don’t read your Bible, or don’t read it often, you’ll never know if the answers you’re getting come from the Bible or not, because you’re not opening up God’s answer book. Read the Bible, and you’ll know exactly where those answers come from, and more often how to apply them.
Inspired by God’s Word to fulfill your purpose.
As a business owner, entrepreneur, my purpose becomes crystal clear, because my products, services, and the people I’m intended to serve eventually stand before me waiting. They want what I offer. But they didn’t show up the first day I was in business. In fact, if you want to know the absolute truth of the matter, they didn’t show up until I started defining them.
“Not everyone wants the hoochie-ma-gadget I sell, nor do they all need one.” –Jan Verhoeff
This may be the most important lesson you learn in this entire message, and the one thing that every entrepreneur (Christian or otherwise) needs to know before any other single item in their bank of truths. Not everyone wants or needs what you sell, and you can’t sell it to those who don’t need it. Your market will be very narrow. Remember, narrow is the way…
The broad path leads to the demise of man. Narrow down your niche and identify your buying market.
God’s inspiration didn’t give you a broad market. And your purpose is to fill a very narrow niche of humanity. He didn’t ask you to feed the multitudes, he ask you to bring what you had, which is five loaves and three fishes. HE will feed the multitudes with what you bring to the table.
Do what you can with what you have, God will spread the light!
Be true to yourself in deed and word.
This little light of mine… There was a time when I wondered what God really wanted and expected of me. In that time frame, I thought I had to spew the words of Christianity through my writing, in my work, and on the title of my business. I believed that I needed to proclaim God in my message, in EVERY message, and through every single thing I did. Then, I was asked to write a document for a very liberal college, without preaching to them.
How can a Christian write an article without preaching?
As I fingered the typewriter keys that morning, so long ago, I kept writing words and deleting them. Then as I kept pushing the words, I heard the tune singing in my head… This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. This little light of mine… My grandmother’s words filled my heart and mind and I wrote the contents of my message, appealing to the greater good and benefit of the people who might read it, without referring once to God, or Christ, or Christianity. When I wrote my signature in the tagline at the bottom of the message, I wrote a simple definition of myself, a call to action, and left a directive of how they might contact me. That was literally so long ago that I didn’t have an email address. I had to use my phone number and my physical mailing address.
The document was even written and signed using my maiden name.
In 2009, shortly before my mother passed away, more than 20 years after the original article was penned, I was given an envelope that had arrived at Mom’s mail box. The woman, in a perfect script had shared with me the joy and inspiration she’d found in that “writing” and how blessed she’d been to grow her business based on that article that she read while she was in college.
I noted her name, and realized that she was a student in one of the same classes I was currently taking at Kaplan University in their pre-law studies. I sent her an email and got this in return…
Jan, I was hoping you’d recognize my name, if it was you. The message you shared in our class, and in that writing were so similar, I couldn’t imagine it wasn’t you. Do you have more words of wisdom as my husband and I continue our business?
What Christian Entrepreneurs NEED to know.
You need to know that your faith will carry you through. You MUST understand and pursue God’s purpose for you and your business. You can’t meet the needs of everyone, so you’ll need to focus in on the ones God specifically sends to you. Know them, recognize them and serve them well, because they are chosen for you. You need to share your message, your way, within the realm of whatever means God provides for you.
You shouldn’t have to TELL the world you’re a Christian to be recognized as being like Christ.
Have faith that He who began a good work in you will complete it, because He promised he would.