We have dreams when we are growing up. Most of us have vivid visions of what we imagine our lives will look like and be when we grow up. Here’s the thing, most of us forget those dreams as the realities and responsibilities of living day-to-day shove the dreams down, to be buried and forgotten.
Even though these dreams may have been rooted in our passions, we are slowly taught to be practical or that we don’t have what it takes to achieve our dreams. The messages may have been subtle or they may have been loud and clear. Maybe the pragmatism is warranted, but you don’t need to abandon a dream altogether.
So I ask you, did you pursue your dream or did you betray it and leave it buried?
The Bible has so much to teach us about how to lead a successful personal and business life. It really is one of the most comprehensive sources of so much of how we should conduct ourselves. The Bible even addresses shyness or speaking out for what we want. It can apply to our business, as well.
So many of us are shy and fail to speak up for ourselves and we also have a difficult time speaking up for our business. With that kind of behavior, we miss many opportunities to allow our businesses to stand out, thrive, and succeed.
It is Women’s History Month and there are many examples of courage, ingenuity, faith, and more to be found if we pay attention to the contributions of women. We find in the Bible are tremendous examples of women’s accomplishments and contributions as well as incredible lessons that these ancient women’s stories can teach us. If applied to our business, the precepts us can help us become successful.
It seems we live in really great times and we live in awful times when we look at the opportunities and the challenges of our economy. When I think of the economy, I think of a line from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” The dichotomy makes it appropriate to ask, “Is now the time to activate the entrepreneur in you?”
In 2015, there were millions of Americans who were caught in the recession – downsized, laid off – whatever you want to call it – the result was that they lost their jobs and for many, the recovery is still going on. For them, it remained the worst of times. Others found different jobs; maybe not in their chosen carer field, but a job nonetheless. Still others chose to reinvent themselves; chose to follow a dream; chose to follow a different path. For them, it is the best of times.
Every business – large, small, or solo entrepreneurship – must have a heart. Just as everything of flesh and blood has a heart, so must your business. Without it, your business will whither and die. It will not thrive.
Does your business have a heart? The answer can be found in the reason your business exists.
If you have never developed a mission or vision statement for your business, or if developing it was merely an exercise in putting words together, correct that immediately. Your vision statement and mission statement speaks to the heart of your business. It speaks to what your heart holds for your your business.
As I review my company and what I want it to look like in the coming year, I realize something very important to the company’s survival: Just because one is a solo entrepreneur or very small business owner does not mean that you are running or, even should be running, your business alone. Admittedly, it can sometimes make you feel very powerful when you are in control of all the various aspects of your business, but the elation only lasts a short while. You cannot know it all and there is certainly not enough time in the day to address all that needs to be done.
Sometimes there are individuals you consider members of you team who don’t even know they are. I have team members like that. These are persons you might emulate or follow. Usually they are in the same business you are and have already made through many of the challenges you know you may face in the future.
February is the month for matters of the heart. Throughout the month, we are reminded to develop and follow habits, i.e. eat the right foods, exercise, that promote a healthy heart for longer, more vibrant life. As I did in my previous blog, I encourage you to have heart in your business – it is the way to ethically succeed. Also, to that list I would add guarding your heart.
I encourage you to guard your heart against callousness of others and from situations that will deplete your energy and spirit. However, don’t interpret this to mean live in fear. On the contrary, your life should be full of love, free of groundless fears. John 14:27 reads “…Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Guarding your heart is more about allowing others into your lives wisely. Belief in the Word of the Lord is your protection and should be your guiding spirit.
How do you define wealth? Sounds like a simple question, but in truth, it can be a very difficult (not to mention different) answer depending on who you ask. If that is the case, how do you know when you have it?
Many people appear to live meager and miserly lives because they are unable to step back and define what real wealth is to them. They are unable to embrace the thought that real wealth does not necessarily begin and end with having lots of money. That is very one dimensional thinking which can lead to a life spent in continually seeking and acquiring money, but never reaching satisfaction.
Prosperity means many things to just as many people. For some prosperity is limited to the amount of money you have, for others it takes into account the quality of health, relationships and the ability to maintain a particular lifestyle.
However, and here’s the thing, many Christians are actually reluctant to add monetary wealth to our list of what prosperity means, partly because of what is often taught about money. We are often taught that money is a bad thing and that God will frown upon you if you prosper monetarily. In reality, money has no value except that which is assigned to it by one’s culture.
D.E.A.T.H. is the design on one of my t-shirts. It stands for “doing everything according to Him.” I believe that simply following those words gives you the road map, a virtual guide, for your life. So many of your questions and dilemmas can be answered and solved with those few words.
I couldn’t resist a design illustrating those Words. It’s a shock at first glance, but D.E.A.T.H. is an inescapable truth.