This article is by Sue Miley and published by Crossroads Professional Coaching
This may be a rhetorical question at this point. If you are a believer, you are probably thinking that your faith is all that can get you through business these days. If that is you, you may be right.
Small business owners all know that the myth that people imagine about business owners is just that, a myth. That you can make your own hours, follow your gut, and get to do it your way are true, however, business owners also have now experienced that those hours are longer, your gut isn’t always positive, and you ask God daily if your way is the right way.
Small business ownership carries a weight that isn’t measured the way that others measure things. If you have started your own company, much of your own personal resources are tied up in it. You are wearing many different hats, several of which don’t even fit you. And you are responsible for everything, during operating hours and in the cold, dark night when you wake up and can’t go back to sleep.
Add to that the pandemic, pivoting to stay in business and adjusting your culture to constant change, and you have the picture of the new American Dream.
It isn’t all stress and anxiety. Hopefully, you are in a business you feel called to and have a true God vision for it. And if you have been doing it for a while, you have experienced some professional and personal fulfillment, and hopefully some financial benefit.
Current Impacts of COVID-19 on Small Businesses
Given the current state of the world, you are probably experiencing one or more of the following:
- You can’t find qualified employees even though everyone supposedly needs a job. I have never seen a more difficult hiring environment than right now.
- You have employees, family members, and maybe even yourself out with COVID; either exposed or diagnosed.
- You have some employees working from home, some in the office, and whichever you prefer, your employees want the opposite.
- You are ever dependent on technology, and the strain on technology is making it even less dependable.
- After spending all of your time during shut down last year trying to determine if you are eligible for a PPP loan and how to apply, this year you are spending too much time trying to figure out how to get it forgiven and if you are eligible for the ERC (Employee Retention Credit).
Of course, this is occurring whether you are in an industry that is surging right now, or one that is still limping along.
Before all of this happened, we needed God. Now, we still need Him, but some of us recognize it more.
My Faith Has Helped Me Navigate Business
I have always thought that my faith was a key strength in business. I started my business as a true calling. I knew this was what I was supposed to do. I also learned in my studying of the Bible that I wasn’t supposed to worry all the time. I named the verses Mathew 6:26-34, the worry verses. I also understood that I wasn’t supposed to do everything in my own strength. Who else was going to do it all?
It took a little figuring out, but these are some of the ways I have learned that my faith is a strength in my business:
- God cares about my business as much as He cares about the rest of my life. He gives us our calling and our vision. He cares.
- God will help us in our weakness. I firmly believe that God wants us to try. We can’t just sit there and tell God to rain down success on us without us doing anything. However, He promises to work through our weaknesses. He may do that by helping our weakness show up as a strength. Or He may bring other resources to bear that compliments our weakness to help us. If we have faith and turn to Him, He is faithful.
- If I have faith, I will not try to take control of everything in my own strength. Just because He says He will help in our weakness; I don’t know that He will necessarily fight us for control. Until we look to Him, He may just let us do it our own way. That never has worked out as well for me personally. And, I have learned to tell when I am holding on. Again, I feel like we need to do our part and try, however, when I am trying to move mountains and becoming a control freak to make it happen, I can tell because it usually includes a fair dose of anxiety. However, when I do my best, but turn the outcome over to the Lord, I don’t feel anxious. I know that I will be okay no matter what happens. And probably if it isn’t what I wanted to happen, it is for my own good. If not, God can at least turn it into good.
- I have always taken the pray without ceasing to heart. Our problems large and small are never too difficult for the Lord. I also pray thanks for the favor and fruit that shows up in my business. I know that all comes from Him also.
- Praying before major decisions and giving it to the Lord helps me more tangibly give up control. When I give it to the Lord, I don’t worry (as much). When I don’t worry, I make better decisions.
Living out our Christian values in our business is good business. It creates a culture of community, trust, consistency, and much more. Even if you are not a faith-based business, you can still build your company on a foundation of your faith.