Entrepreneurial Spirit Series – Your Blessing

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country (Deuteronomy 28:3-5 NIV)

As the year quickly draws to a close, I recognize how many people are hurting and struggling.  The time of year that is supposed to be filled with joy seems to be dichotomous.  On the one hand we are celebrating the Savior’s birth, the gift of giving, and the festivies shared with loved ones.  On the other hand, people are remembering lost loved ones, experiencing new losses, and dealing with unexpected personal and professional issues.  In addition to that, many people feel insecure about thier future and are questioning everything they formerly believed about how things truly work.  The world seems to have turned upside down; fake news proliferates; and truth has become an individual’s perspective.

It can be challenging to live in a world where things don’t make sense; where bad things happen to good people; and joy is under attack.  The good news is whether the attack comes against you or your business, it is always good to remember that God is in control.  I do believe He has a blessing with your name on it. The thing is, when we are going through the storm, we just can’t see it.  It’s not until He safely carries us through that we are able to look back and see what was truly going on.

The storms that I’ve navigated in the past, have only been done so through a constant faith in God. I’m not sure how it can done without Him.  Faith is so powerful that it will transform situations.  God’s got a blessing with your name on it!  However, the way can get so challenging and dark, that we can’t make out the path forward.  This is when you trust and believe with every fiber of your being that this too shall pass.  When it does, you shall come forth as pure gold (Job 23:10)

Andrea Scott is the Purpose Guide. She helps you to discover your purpose and to create plans for doing what God is calling you to do. With her guidance you can make your dreams a reality, stop talking about what you’re going to do, and finally live the life you were created to live. Get more inspiration in her books Purpose Quest and Purpose Prayers. Share your faith with the world, check out True to the Word Apparel.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Series – Partnerships

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14)

We typically hear this verse quoted in reference to marriage and relationships. However we must consider  that business partnerships are just like marriages. Jason Ayers shares 5 tips that we should consider when forming partnerships; particularly with friends and family members:

  1. Realize there’s a difference between friendship and partnership:  We all want to work closely with people who we know, like, and trust.  This is what makes entrepreneurship so great.  We get to choose our partners and our co-workers.  We get to be “yoked” with like minded individuals who share our perspective, beliefs, and our vision.  This  makes it even more difficult for us to draw the line between friendship (and family of course) and partnerships.  If we are not careful, we’ll blur the lines and  run into all kinds of problems with authority and responsibility.
  2. Inspect what you expect:  Most of us might go blindly into a partnership with a friend or family member.  After all, we feel confident that we know them.  At least we know what we are privy to.  However, it is best to do our homework and make sure there are no skeletons in the closet that can come out to harm us.  To make if completely fair (and not at all awkward), we should make an agreement to do background checks on each other.  Check everything — especially credit, criminal and civil databases.  As Ayers notes, we are looking patterns of behavior which do not align with our values, integrity, or ethics.  These are red flags that we cannot afford to ignore.
  3. Have a solid legally executed agreement:  With family and friends, the temptation is to talk about it in passing or forgo a discussion and document all together.  This is a huge mistake.  It is always better to hash things out when thing are going well ; before hot-tempers prevent us from thinking clearly.  In doing so, we need to consider every contingency.  Time invested upfront will create better interactions down the line.    Detailing contingencies upfront will ensure that we won’t need to make just-in-time decisions when there is a disagreement or when someone is leaving; wants a buyout; wants to bring someone else into the business; wants to take funds out of the business;  gets sick and is incapacitated; or heaven forbid one of the partners dies.  If we think through how to handle each of these scenarios and we have it documented and notarized it will ensure no surprises in the end.
  4. Put protections in place: It is important for business partners to be protected.  The best way to do this is to put key systems and processes in place.  This way, everything is not all in one persons head and if something does happen, the systems can be accessed to continue operations.  In addition, it is important that both partners are transparent. Each person may have a primary role but communication is essential. This means that everyone know what is going on with the clients, the finances, and the management of the organization.
  5. Evaluate the relationship for the most important factor – trust:  It is essential that both parties trust each other.  There is nothing worse than being in any kind of relationship with a person whom you cannot trust.  If you don’t trust your spouse, your relationship will be strained and possibly end in divorce.  It’s the same with a business partner.  If you don’t trust your business partner, you can either work out your issues or  consider dissolving the business.  God has given us the gift of discernment, we know when something is not quite right.  Once again, we should not ignore red flags.  Discuss your concerns and if you can’t get past them consider you alternatives (I refer you back to tip 3).

Being in partnership with someone else is not to be taken lightly.  If we align ourselves with people who have completely different beliefs, values and ethics, we are “unequally yoked.” We have to be careful about doing this.  There is a temptation to say, “so what, everyone is entitled to their own worldview and practices. ” However, being yoked to another person means that you have to go in the same direction – whether there is agreement or not.    Typically, the more powerful person (physical, emotional, or spiritual) wins the struggle.  The last thing you want to do is have someone take you down a path that you do not desire. However, if two are already aligned (“equally yoked”), there is no struggle. The partners join forces to move powerfully in a singular direction.

Andrea Richards Scott is the Purpose Guide. She helps you to discover your purpose and to create plans for doing what God is calling you to do. With her guidance you can make your dreams a reality, stop talking about what you’re going to do, and finally live the life you were created to live. Get more inspiration in her books Purpose Quest and Purpose Prayers. Share your faith with the world; check out True to the Word apparel.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Series -Rise

Katy Perry’s Rise is a call for the world to unite.  It encourages all of us to be our better selves — no matter what is going on around us.  It doesn’t hurt that there are beautiful inspiring images of Olympians in the background.  I don’t know about you, it makes me want to do what I do best.

Katy says,

When, when the fire’s at my feet again

And the vultures all start circling

They’re whispering, ‘you’re out of time.’

But still, I  rise.

This is no mistake, no accident.

When you think the final nail is in; think again.

Don’t be surprised, I will still rise.

Listening to the words of this song should encourage us to get back up when we fall.  Looking at the Olympians no doubt inspires us to push ourselves beyond what we perceive our limits to be. Being a Christian entrepreneur doesn’t mean that we will never fail.  It means that, “though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes” (Proverbs 24:16).  When things don’t work out the way we would like them to, we keep pressing forward because we realize that if we don’t give up, we will ultimately win.

Andrea Richards Scott is the Purpose Guide. She helps you to discover your purpose and to create plans for doing what God is calling you to do. With her guidance you can make your dreams a reality, stop talking about what you’re going to do, and finally live the life you were created to live. Get more inspiration in her books Purpose Quest and Purpose Prayers.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Series – Rules for Success

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”  Proverbs 11:14

We tend to think that other people have it so much easier.  Thing seem to come so easy to them.  Some people make it big and others struggle their entire lives.  We are tempted to think that othere’s have so much more talent and skills that we do. Yet we can all be successful if we embrace sage counsel.  Studying  successful entrepreneurs, we soon learn that there are certain rules that we can live by such as:

1) Plan: understand the next right move’ life is not a checklist of achivements; plan your day; keep progressing; have a plan

2) Take action: seize your opportunity; take action on your ideas; every one has their talents’ reach for the Stars’ run with your idea

3) Learn from your mistakes: everyone makes mistakes’ failure helps you discover yourself; you can’t look back; trust yourself; don’t take yourself too seriously

4) Develop yourself: work on yourself; you will be criticized; have confidence in yourself; be competitive with yourself; be your own customer

5) Work hard: run the race as hard as you can; persevere; it’s all about hard work; work hard; work really hard

6) Have faith: believe, dream big; always be creative; obstacles can be solved

7) Seek more: we are all seeking the same things; we have the power to imagine better; make people you love proud; we are all stars; be curious

8) Find your purpose: dreams can happen; focus on what you do best; don’t give up on your goals; learn something every day

9) Ground yourself:  stay grounded; remember where you started; consistency is key; keep you life balanced; gain their tust

10) Stay calm: relax it’s going to be okay; there is always going to be trepidation; take it day by day; get up when you are down; don’t cry in business.

Andrea Richards Scott is the Purpose Guide. She helps you to discover your purpose and to create plans for doing what God is calling you to do. With her guidance you can make your dreams a reality, stop talking about what you’re going to do, and finally live the life you were created to live.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Series – Wisdom, Communication, and Persuasion

The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips (Proverbs 16:21-23).

Wisdom, good sense, judicious speech, and persuasiveness. These are all great qualities that will serve us well as entrepreneurs. Being in business can be challenging. We have to make numerous decisions on a daily basis. Sometimes, we even have to make decisions about situations with which we are unfamiliar. Wisdom and discernment will help us to make the appropriate decisions. Entrepreneurs also exercise good sense by scanning a situation and quickly ascertaining what is going on. With a critical eye, we can use sound judgement to determine the correct directions/ paths to choose. How we communicate will have a huge impact on how successful we will ultimately become.

Communications is an essential skill whether we are dealing with our clients, employees, suppliers, or other key stakeholders. Judicious speech is foundational to strong negotiation skills. Our ability to persuade will enable us to develop a successful business. With persuasiveness, we attract more clients and investors. The art of persuasion allows us to convince our clients and customers that our products and services will meet their needs. It enables us to convince investors that our businesses have long-term viability, limited risk, and high potential return on investment. The effective use of persuasion ensures financial stability – a requirement for longevity. It allows us to share our vision with others and encourages them to support our mission. Entrepreneurs need to be adept at many things. Chief among them are wisdom/good sense, judicious speech/communication and persuasion.

Andrea Richards Scott is the Purpose Guide. She helps you to discover your purpose and to create plans for doing what God is calling you to do. With her guidance you can make your dreams a reality, stop talking about what you’re going to do, and finally live the life you were created to live.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Series – Pride

Proverbs 16:18
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.

There is a huge difference between being confident and being haughty.  In business we want to exude confidence. We want our customers to have confidence in our expertise.  We need to avoid is anything that would offend those whom we seek to serve. Obviously it is important to clearly define our target market. This is essential because we wouldn’t want to target a upscale product to people she have no need for it, can’t afford it, or don’t see its value.

If we think we know everything or if we refuse sage advise we run the risk of falling or destroying everything we’ve worked hard to build. No matter what level we have obtained, we need to be humble.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Series – The Road Less Traveled

How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver!  The path of the virtuous leads away from evil; whoever follows that path is safe (Proverbs 16:16-17)

As we go about our business and attend to all the responsibilities and activities required for success, it would be beneficial to have some guiding tenets. For all entrepreneurs who are serious about managing their businesses in a godly way, the concepts found in this focus scripture seem like a good place to start. If our focus is on gaining understanding and wisdom, we will fare better than if we focus on gaining wealth. This seem somewhat counter intuitive. But isn’t that exactly how God operates? He tells us, that His ways are not like ours (Isaiah 55:8).

The other concept to hold near to our hearts is related to choosing the virtuous path. It’s often easier to get on the road that everyone is going down. That road is well travelled and wide open. It would appear to have few pitfalls and traps (except for the ones we knowingly allow ourselves to fall into). However, the easy typically leads to mediocrity, complacency, and apathy. The Bible tells us that the wide road leads to destruction but the narrow road to life; and few choose the narrow path (Matthew 7:14). If we choose the narrow more challenging road, chances are that we will go farther and accomplish more than our competitors that choose the easy path. Unlike the wide path that appears smooth and easy, the narrow uncharted path has difficult and rugged terrain. It’s up to us to be Mavericks. Often we have to be willing to go where few have gone before. Some times we have to make attempts where others have failed. We can’t let other people’s short comings deter us. We even have to keep trying in areas where we have previously failed. Until Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile barrier in 1954, people thought it was impossible. Since then, it has been broken numerous times.

Although being successful in our chosen profession or calling isn’t always easy. Don’t be fooled, no matter how easy others seem to have it – it’s an illusion. Some people make it look easy. Maybe this is because people often brag about and promote their successes rather than their failures. We need to be like Roger Bannister and break away the barriers that stop us from reaching our goals. We have to focus on the power that is within us. We have to pull out all the stops. We have to acknowledge that our success comes from our faith in God, our perseverance, and follow through on solid plans.  Traveling the road less traveled will require faith, fortitude, courage, and ingenuity.

Andrea Richards Scott is the Purpose Guide. She helps you to discover your purpose and to create plans for doing what God is calling you to do. With her guidance you can make your dreams a reality, stop talking about what you’re going to do, and finally live the life you were created to live.

 

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