Today I would like to teach you some Biblical principles on how to become successful entrepreneurs and businesswomen and be an example to the world on how it must be done. This comes out of my own experience in the business world.
For those who do not know my humble beginnings, herewith a short introduction on how my journey in business started:
In 1992 there was an economic downfall in the construction industry in SA. My husband, who was a building contractor, could not provide the necessary finances for the family household. My request to God was that He must help me to find something to do to help to provide for our family’s expenses in general. Today, 26 years later we have an award-winning apartment hotel with 30 guest apartments and won several Awards of excellence in the hospitality industry. I was nominated as Business Woman of the Year, after only three years in the business. Last year I was a finalist in a prestigious Entrepreneurial competition.
So let us start with some principles in becoming successful – this complies to all kind of jobs, even if you are employed by someone, not having your own business – the rules stay the same:
When I was interviewed for the Business Women of the Year Award, one of the questions the judges asked me was: “What is the most important factor that helped you to make a success of your business.” My immediate answer was the following:
Firstly, I appointed God as the CEO of my business. I, therefore, ask His advice before I make any decisions regarding my business; remember that I told you that I asked God to help me find a way to provide for our family finances? He gave me the insight, therefore I must still trust Him to make the right decisions regarding the business. If you want to be successful, you will have to be obedient to His voice, instructing you on how to run this business or how to act in the workplace.
Secondly, I believe in giving tithes. Here I refer back to a book that I’m reading at the moment, Giving it all away and away and Getting it all back again, written by David Green. David Green is the CEO of Hobby Lobby the USA’s biggest Chain Shop, specializing in Hobbies. He truly believes in the principle of tithe giving.
Exactly a year ago, while I’ve been in NYC, my husband went to show me where the Hobby Lobby shop in the Hudson Valley is situated – wow – what a big shop – it looks like a Hypermarket. I’m honest to say that I would love to have a cup of coffee together with this man. He inspires me so much.
Thirdly, I believe in Service, Service, Service and what else is service than Excellence? Excellence is a subject very near to my heart. Today after 25 years in the hospitality industry I am still thankful for this principle that I invested in my staff.
A lack of excellence can cost you your business. After I started Smithland, many others (people whom I know personally) also decided to get onto the wagon, also having self-catering apartments. Many of them left the industry and I am sure in most cases it was because of a lack of excellence they showed towards their clients.
STRIVE TO BE EXCELLENT
Mat. 5:13-16 – VERSE 16: You are the salt of the earth – you are the light of the world – in the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Anyone have the ability (potential) to be excellent., but there is a price to be excellent in Christ – you will have to choose yourself if you want to strive for it.
APPRECIATE EXCELLENCE FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH
Strive to excellence and it shall flow through to others who follow you!!!!
Many times my staff will come to me, telling me that people recognize them because they are employers of Smithland, because of the way they act.
If you are not excellent, the Bible describes you as:
Tit 1:6:They profess to know God [to recognize, perceive, and be acquainted with Him], but deny and disown and renounce Him by what they do; they are detestable and loathsome, unbelieving and disobedient and disloyal and rebellious, and [they are] unfit and worthless for good work (deed or enterprise) of any kind.
Many people claim to know God. How can we know if they really do? We will not know for certain in this life, but a glance at their lifestyles will quickly tell us what they value and whether they have ordered their lives around Kingdom priorities. Our conduct speaks volumes about what we believe (see 1Jn 2:4 – 6). (AMC+): 4 Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [ N1 of the Gospel] is not in him. 5 But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him: 6 Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as N1 a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.
What do people know about God and about your faith in watching your life? Can I walk into any meeting, anywhere in the world, knowing that I do not have to fear that I will meet someone over there who will say: “she is not what she pretends to be?”
Do not accept to be average – STRIVE TO BE EXCELLENT: God is excellent – I am His child and I seek God’s character in me too.
Daniel 5 – 14 : ((MSG) I’ve heard about you–that you’re full of the Holy Spirit, that you’ve got a brilliant mind, that you are incredibly wise/(ANV)
I HAVE HEARD ABOUT YOU!!!! WHAT A TESTIMONIAL!!!! – A person’s name goes far ahead of him or her. I experienced it in my own life – I am not much known for the fact that I am a pastor – I am not such known for my ministry, but…. I am known for my integrity and my excellence. This is one of the reasons why I am here today. My friends are known as people of integrity and excellence, therefore they associate themselves with people similar to them. If I was known as dishonest, I would never ever been privileged to get an invitation to accompany missionaries into Africa.
Further on in Daniel. we learned that Daniel prospered during the reign of King Darius Daniel 5:29: Then Belshazzar commanded, and Daniel was clothed with purple and a chain of gold put about his neck, and a proclamation was made concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. Why – because of his excellent spirit!!!
Excellence is always visible – in your church, in your marriage, in your ethical standards, in your relationship with the Father.
Here are some points on how to be excellent:
- LOOK AT DETAIL – Do things the right way – teach yourself
- COMMIT YOURSELF TO EXCELLENCE You as Christian and you as a church will not make any impact on your society if you are not excellent.
- WALK THE EXTRA MILE: Luke 16:10 – Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be
trusted with much – –
- Be EXCELLENT IN THE SMALL THINGS AND THE BIG ONES WILL FOLLOW.
- DO MORE THAN WHAT YOU ARE ASKED TO DO.
- KEEP ON GIVING – give and unto you will be given said the Lord. If you have an attitude of: “I’m not going to do it”, your future is unsecure. If you have an attitude of doing more than what they ask, your future is secured!!!
- BE TRUE TO YOUR PRINCIPLES. People easily forget how quickly you have done a job – but they remember how good you’ve have done it
2 Tim. 3: 10 – 12 ‘You will, however, know all about my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings – yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.
Excellency can be :
- To be clean on yourself – you do not have to wear the most expensive clothes, but if you are clean on yourself you deserved a lot.
- to have a clean house/office – it says a lot to a client or a visitor if they walk into a clean environment. My grandmother always said that a person can be poor, but it doesn’t mean you have to be dirty.
- be observant of things around you – My staff is very careful to leave sweet papers and cigarette sticks on the lawn – when I book clients into my apartments, I am all the way picking up stuff and I confront my staff, by asking them: “Why didn’t you clean up here?
- NEVER GIVE UP IMPROVING
- BE TEACHABLE Learn from God – through your relationship with Him and His word
- To have high standards is not to become rich, but to build your character.
The 10 commandments are the best measure in the Bible you can use in your road to excellence.
Another very important thing in your strive to excellence is how to work with your
Finances: One thing I have noticed over the years is that there are a lot of reborn Christians who do not act in excellence, managing their finances:
If you want to live a life of worth, you will have to be wise in the way you are managing your finances.
- Debt is one of the factors in life that cause the most stress and unhappiness.
- People make more debt than in earlier years.
- The average family spends more money in a year than their yearly income.
- Up to 50 % of the man in the street’s wages are eaten away by debt which has to be paid every month.
- Debt is the cause of up to 60% of divorces.
I read a book from Bruce Wilkinson: ‘A Life that counts’ which meant a lot to me personally. Out of this, I would like to carry a lifetime principal over to you today:
Give ownership of everything you have over to God today. Everything you have, belong to God. By carrying it over to Him literally and figuratively, you’re making one of the most liberating decisions in your life.
1 Chron. 29:11 (MSG) Riches and glory come from you, you’re ruler over all; You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand to build up and strengthen all.
Hag 2:8 The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine, says the Lord of hosts.
Deu 8:18 But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you the power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Secondly, whether it is of personal related or church-related, if you are not sure what to do, don’t hesitate to seek reliable advice when you must make financial decisions –
If you and your spouse both are responsible for the financial expenditure in the household, you must communicate about your finances. Don’t make any debt without your spouse’s consent.
My husband has his own business and sees too the financial well-being of it, my daughter and I are responsible for our business’ financial well-being, but when it comes to combined assets, like the household or property that’s in both our names, we sit together to discuss it.
Pro 13: 10: By pride and insolence comes only contention, but with the well-advised is skillful and godly Wisdom. 13: Whoever despises the word and counsel [of God] brings destruction upon himself, but he who [reverently] fears and respects the commandment [of God] is rewarded. 14: The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death. 15: Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the transgressor is hard [like the barren, dry soil or the impassable swamp]. 16: Every prudent man deals with knowledge, but a [self-confident] fool exposes and flaunts his folly.
To be a wise manager of your finances you must have a financial plan:
BUT the most important one is that an excellent child of God also knows how to sow into the Kingdom:
The Bible teaches us that we must sow generously into the Kingdom of God – here I am coming back to the point on which I ministered before.
2 Corinthians 9:6-10 (AMPC) [Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings.7 Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purpose in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. [Pro 22:9] 8 And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]. 9 As it is written, He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice, goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever! [Psa 112:9]10 And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity]. [Isa 55:10; Hos 10:12]
- It is wise to save money for unforeseen crisis
The Bible also teaches us that we must spend our money wisely. Pro 17:16 Of what use is money in the hand of a [self-confident] fool to buy skillful and godly Wisdom–when he has no understanding or heart for it?
- To draft a budget is the most effective way to sow, save and spend.
If you are in debt, aim to solve your debt as soon as possible, rather spend less money and you will enjoy the benefits of it. Financial freedom ask more than just changing your habits, it requires a change of heart.
What are Tithes and offerings
It’s the principle of sowing – a lifestyle of giving. In the Old Testament, we read as follows: “Early in the morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel.
Then Jacob made A VOW – SAYING – If God will be with me and will watch over me on the journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I can return safely to my father’s house, then the Lord will be my God …… and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
When we fail to give unto God what he asks from us, we rob from Him: Mal 3:8 Will a man rob or defraud God? Yet you rob and defraud Me. But you say, In what way do we rob or defraud You? [You have withheld you] tithes and offerings.
The Israelites who did not give their tithes and offerings unto God robbed Him in the same way as someone who steals money out of the offering basket. Tithe giving was part of their lifestyle. Lev 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. [1Co 9:11; Gal 6:6]
The children of God must give part of their income to God.
1Co 16:2 On the first [day] of each week, let each one of you [personally] put aside something and save it up as he has prospered [in proportion to what he is given],
Give with sacrifice – you will be blessed far above you can imagine.
I know an elderly woman in SA who is a government pensioner. She and her husband stayed in a poor part of the city for as long as I remember and never had any riches in their lives. One day I offered to give her a lift to her daughter, who is a pastor’s wife in a rural area, about 200km from Cape Town. While there at her daughter’s house, I noticed that she gave her daughter an envelope, marked tithes. I realized that she is sowing her tithes into their church and stood amazed at her obedience to God.
On our way back to Cape Town, God spoke to me, telling me that I must give her a certain amount of money – I must be honest, when I opened my purse I realized that this was the only money I had in my purse. When I dropped her at her house, I gave her the money and she started crying. She told me that she desperately needs some underwear and that this amount was exactly enough to buy it. She also told me that is was three times more than what she tithed earlier that day. When you are obedience to God’s commandments, you will reap the fruit of it.
Often people can’t break through in the giving of their finances because they have never reached the level of sacrificial giving.
At times you may sow and sow and sow, expecting a harvest that never seems to come. Finally, you get to the place where you don’t seem to care anymore if there is a harvest, you’re just giving because you love God and want to obey Him.
It is at this point that some of your greatest financial breakdowns can take place – the moment your focus is back on God and not on the harvest, the moment His principles of sowing and reaping begin to work for you.
I want to finish off with Php 1:10 So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble].
Whatever you do, do it in EXCELLENCE, as if for the Lord.