Are you finding it just a bit tedious to make money in your business? Maybe you have been hurt countless times by a lack of support from friends and family?
If so, you’re not alone. I’ve been there. And through the process, here’s what I have learned when it comes to balancing my spirituality and growing my business.
1. Abundant living is not a bad thing
“Entrepreneurship is a beautiful picture of the gospel — risk prompting reward, faith prompting work, vision prompting real-life action.” — DesiringGod.org
Quite a number of us were raised with the incorrect biblical understanding that “money is evil” or that becoming financially successful will ensure that evil can make its way into our hearts. (The misuse and abuse of money is an entirely different thing.) Yet, this has caused many Christian entrepreneurs (or would be business owners) to operate in a mindset fixed on the false theology that money and abundant living come at the price of our salvation.
This mindset causes us to automatically stunt our earning possibilities (even when we know we have an idea that could change our lives and the lives of others). Some of us will even scale back when we realize our business is growing.
This mindset is simply not a true depiction of what God wants for us. How do I know this is true? God calls us to abundance … to be lenders, not borrowers.
2. Stop discounting your products and services (i.e. talents and gifts)
Here’s a sample scenario:
Mary, a woman from church, loves your sweet potato pudding. She tells you quite often what a great baker you are and that everyone should have the chance to taste your delicious treats. She even nudges you to start a small home-based business selling your confections. So, you take her advice and start a bakery business. Upon launch, Mary places a $20 order for Banana Pudding to serve at an upcoming family event. She follows up her telephone order with, “Now, make sure you give me my special pricing.”
This must stop! When others manipulate and guilt you into offering repeat incentives, this behavior shows a lack of respect for your time and talent as a business owner. Should we give? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean you have to give a discount to every “customer” with their hand out for a handout.
Many people in the Christian community have become incredibly nonchalant about paying their family and friends for the worth of their work. Be advised that giving friends and family handouts won’t pay your bills.
If you’re making pudding as a hobby, that’s an entirely different story. But if you run a legitimate business, you have already priced your goods and services and should expect and communicate to others that they should treat you and your business with respect.
Make a conscious decision to stick to your pricing. Strategically build incentives and loyalty programs into your revenue model to support giving in a way that makes sense for your bottom line. Every business is supposed to generate money. If you aren’t making money you simply have an expensive hobby.
If your family and friends aren’t willing to exchange value (i.e. money) for the value you create, and pay what you charge, then they are not your customers, look elsewhere.
3. Remember ‘why’ you are in business
No matter your religion, nobody goes into business to continue to struggle financially. Your business is not a hobby. It should be something you’re passionate about and eventually give you the freedom of time and resources. This will afford you the ability to walk in integrity and set an example for other Christian entrepreneurs — and the world.
A word of advice, never be afraid to invest in yourself. As Christians we are more often than not willing to give to our church, yet neglect the importance of investing in ourselves to enhance our God-given abilities.
God has called us to a place of wisdom. While we know our Heavenly Father requires that we give, we should also study to show ourselves approved.
4. Get to the root of your business struggles
This is major guys … so pay close attention.
The reason you may be struggling in your business is because you don’t know it all. While I’m a firm believer that God sets us up for abundance and to fulfill our purpose, we have to take action.
In the Bible (Mark 5:24–34 and Luke 8:42–48), there was a woman that was healed from her disease, and her radical faith and action (as she pressed through the crowd to touch the hem of His garment) was a pivotal part of her story.
In the same way, many of us know that our businesses can be healed, flourish, and be marketed in a better way, but we are simply not willing to actively reach out and grab a hold of the resources available to us.
Instead, we ask ourselves questions like, “Can I afford a business coach?” Or “Can I afford this online marketing workshop?” The right question is: “Can I afford not to do any of the above?”
This should be followed by a statement and leap of faith.
I have been doing a lot of soul-searching lately and I want to challenge you to search your heart too. Remember that God gave you your gifts and talents to make His glory evident. God has called you to a place of abundance (right here, in His word). Build your business with intention and with God as the foundation. Do not run away from the blessings that He is trying to give you.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Hayley J. McKenzie resides where faith and business intersect. She is an author, speaker, coach and consultant; combining her love for an intentional relationship with God and entrepreneurship to serve faith based brands and spirit-led entrepreneurs. Her expertise has been cultivated in holistic balanced living, brand development, business and launch strategy, content development and client attraction. Through a holistic approach, Hayley J. focuses on mind, body, spirit and business wellness so her clients can sustain and enjoy the powerhouse brands they’ve built on such a solid foundation, God — our Father. Connect with @hayleyjmckenzie on Twitter.
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