A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great. – Proverbs 18:16
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. -Proverbs 22:29
I love entrepreneurs. They are savvy, creative, and change makers. They create ways for the everyday consumer to live more efficiently. Entrepreneurs are the reason we can enjoy sweet simplicities like the a/c on a hot summer day. I, myself, have had a desire to launch into the realm as an entrepreneur and I must say I have failed a time or two or three but I have also had many successes. My drive for entrepreneurship truly has come from my desire to do more with the gifts God gave me. In the past, I’ve worked for major corporations and with each passing year, there was this looming feeling of dissatisfaction. There have been many times that I debated if I should become an entrepreneur and the answer always – yes. There are so many people saying don’t do it. Don’t launch out! How can you serve God as an entrepreneur? Many of the people that I have worked with have struggled with that same issue. They knew they were called to more but they simply felt stuck.
Does God want his people to be entrepreneurs? Absolutely! Why aren’t more believers in Christ pursuing their gifts? Simple. Fear and lack of support. I have always believed that we do not have enough of God’s children pursuing their gifts. We are stuck in jobs that stifle our creativity and cripple our ability to reflect the gifts of God. What does the bible say about being an entrepreneur or self-employed? Again, the answer is simple. Do it! If you are being called by God to launch your own business or to become a freelancer or self-employed – Do it! Your faith to launch into the calling God has placed in you can be the inspiration other believers need to launch into their businesses. You, yes you, are setting an example for the next stage of believers to step out of the shadows and pursue what God has called them to. Also, pursuing what God has called you to opens up an entire arena for you to sow seeds of the Gospel into the life of your customers. No matter what your title is, you were called to serve. As entrepreneurs, we serve God by serving others and using the opportunities he provides to point others towards Jesus.
Let me break down some mental barriers for you. You were not called to be Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or Oprah. You are called to be you. Sometimes we get so caught up in thinking we have to run some fancy million dollar company, that we despise the small beginnings and never launch out. You do not have to run some grand enterprise. The person that owns a small flower shop, a resale store or even a small barbecue restaurant (Praise Jesus for BBQ!), are equally as important in their endeavors as business owners and can make an impact on those around them. Sometimes we are stifled in our journey because we get caught up in trying to act and look like someone else. Your journey as an entrepreneur will look different from a lot of people in the mainstream media. Honestly, as a Christian, your journey as a business owner should look different. Don’t get caught up in comparing other businesses to your business. Let God lead your business and enjoy the ride.
Another barrier to breakdown is overcoming the fear of your past. We are inundated with this idea that not having a college degree disqualifies us from starting a business or helping others. That is simply not true. In the New Testament, some of the very men who were sent out to establish the church were fishermen. Really think about that. These men caught fish for a living and then God used that skill and sent them out to fish for the hearts of men. They did not have a Masters in Fishing and Agriculture from Yale yet they become the greatest “fishermen” known today. While certificates and degrees are fine to have they are not an indicator of your ability to run a business or your ability to help others. If you just flip through the pages of your Bible, you will find tons of people diligently working – most of them being entrepreneurs. There were farmers, seamstresses, fishers, carpenters, shepherds, doctors, and so on. Very few of them were considered “learned” people. The were everyday people who used a skillset or gift to make a living and to help others. God either used these entrepreneurs’ businesses to help others, he placed them in a new position and used their skills from their former work to accomplish His will or both.
We’re in our 2nd month of the year. Be the example to others. Anchor down and commit to using your gifts to glorify God. Our world is flooded with people who do not serve Jesus. They are overcoming fear, taking chances, and in many cases gaining great influence in local communities. They are setting the standard for what people should desire and try to obtain. Now imagine how our communities could change if Christians became the face of business. What if we set the standard for proper customer service and business ethics? In the coming weeks, I’ll be launching some programs to help Christian entrepreneurs shift their perspective on business, overcome fear, and start pursuing life God called them to. Are you ready to get started? As you debate about pursuing the call on your life let me encourage you with a word of the Scripture… “Now when he(Jesus) had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught” – Luke 5:4. Launch out into the deep and cast your net and watch what the Lord will do.