I see a lot of motivated Christian Businesswomen but unfortunately, not a lot of successful Christian Businesswomen. And by successful, I mean they are satisfied with how their business is going and feel fulfilled with how they are living out their calling.
You may have some of the five characteristics of an entrepreneur listed below, and you may have to work on some of them as well. Either way, there is power in knowledge and awareness.
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Two Common Thought Patterns of Entrepreneurs
I have found that many of the Christian Businesswomen and Entrepreneurs I work with have two different and detrimental thought patterns for being an entrepreneur.
Thought 1: Clients will come to me
The first thought pattern I see is God will bring the clients once they launch the business. So, for example, they spend time, effort, and money building a website around this brilliant idea for a product, program, or membership and then expect the clients will come in after the launch.
I did that once. I built a website around an idea that I knew every Christian Businesswomen and Entrepreneur needed. I was so excited that it would help them connect their heart to God’s heart faster and more in line with who God created them to be. Great idea, right?
Just because you build it does not mean they will come.
What happened? Nothing. I struggled for years trying to get just a few clients. Why? I didn’t do the research first to determine if anyone would even WANT what I had to offer.
Thought 2: Making it too big
The second thought pattern I see is God gave them the idea/calling/inclination (whatever you want to call it,) but now they take that idea and make it as big as possible (and, of course, in their power). I also tried to do this. Surprise! ?
At one point in my business, I was doing everything to make my business a success. For example, I led a networking group for Christian Businesswomen and Entrepreneurs. Also, I owned a Business and Educational Center where I rented out space, had sponsors, and held events such as workshops, guest speaker nights, and other networking opportunities. On the side, I also spoke at conferences and other events.
It was tiring, and it was unnecessary.
What happened? I was doing too much, the Center closed. In this video, I go into more detail about what God taught me at that time. Why didn’t it stay open? I was making the decisions about how my business needed to go based on what I saw in others, but I missed God’s design of me.
To be in business means you must have a solution for a problem you know exists for someone, and you are ready to work hard.
God Will Use Entrepreneurship To Make You More Like His Son
This entrepreneurial adventure is NOT for everyone. Be honest with yourself and God as we go through these five characteristics. God is calling you to be an entrepreneur God, but it is hard, it takes work, and it is the one thing God will use to make you more like His Son.
You may have some of the five characteristics of an entrepreneur, or you may have to work on some of them as well. The key is in knowledge and awareness.
Five Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
As we go through the five characteristics of an entrepreneur, ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself:
- Do I have this characteristic?
- Do I have the motivation to learn and become more like this characteristic?
1. You genuinely care about what you do
God has put so many experiences in your life to prepare you for this moment. He has guided you through education, jobs, relationships and allowed you to improve in many areas. Those experiences, good or bad, have shaped you and equipped you for what He is asking you to do now.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. –Ephesians 2:10
Just because you are good at something does not mean it is your calling. Therefore, you have to care about why you want to solve this problem and who you want to solve it for.
Our Clients are a Reflection of Ourselves
Our ideal clients are often a reflection of ourselves because God has gotten you through something, and now you want to help others.
Think about what you see in others out there that breaks your heart, and you would LOVE to fix it if you had the power.
For me, it was seeing Christian Businesswomen and Entrepreneurs feel guilty for not ‘getting to church‘ to serve God.
This traditional view of separating work and their service to God through volunteering kept them from fully living out the Great Commission to go and make disciples.
We don’t only tell others about Jesus when we are at church or doing church-sponsored activities. We tell others about Jesus every day, to our sphere of influence. My goal was to teach Christian Businesswomen and Entrepreneurs to serve God by working their businesses well (with consistency, excellence, integrity) every day.
So what is your WHY and your WHO? What do you genuinely care about? Knowing your why and your who is essential because entrepreneurial life will be frustrating without a more critical mission.
2. You are a curious strategic thinker who can also be decisive
I know that is a lot of words so let’s break it down a little. There is a piece of entrepreneurship that involves trial and error. That’s the curious part. The willingness to experiment with various approaches is crucial because there’s no one-size-fits-all for business.
Unfortunately, many coaches offer a ‘blueprint,’ but they do not work for everyone. You will not create a successful business unless you are willing to keep trying, to develop strategic solutions, and then take action.
Curious Strategic Thinking
Strategic thinking looks different for everyone. Some are verbal processors. Others want to think, journal, and pray alone. What I have found works best for anyone/everyone after taking it to prayer, and getting it out of your head by writing, is to Mastermind.
Being a part of a group where you can bring your challenges and get the strategic ideas of others is powerful. Of course, you don’t have to act on all the ideas, but you have to be willing to listen to others’ ideas and then decide on which to take action.
To be decisive means that you can’t be wishy-washy, procrastinate, or sit too long before taking action. Once you’ve gathered all the available information, it’s time to make a plan and execute it.
When I decided to have the Business and Educational center, I took a long time to make it a reality. But, I knew it was something God wanted me to do. The idea almost nagged me.
I even tried to do some things my way, like exchange services with someone else so I could use their space. But, every time I had a meeting set up in that space, something always went wrong. But, God was making me more decisive. Once I got into the Center, a load was taken off my shoulders.
It reminds me of Proverbs 16:1:
We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer. –Proverbs 16:1
He was undoubtedly leading me to the right answer. How do you make decisions? Do you have a wait-n-see attitude? That is dangerous when in business. There is no time to sit on your hands. Instead, think through a problem and decide what action to take. And that brings us to the third characteristic.
3. You execute your ideas on time
So now that you have made a decision, you need to take action productively. Remember, you are a curious strategic thinker who is trying things. So you have to see what is going to work for you.
Here’s what I see many times, women doing too many things. They don’t give themselves enough time to act on their ideas. They are spinning too many plates, and therefore they put things off and drop a few plates.
To be successful, you need to have a handle on your time. Make sure you have time to do the things that need to get done. Many people talk about having balance in their lives, but prioritization is what it really should be called.
What you give priority to gets done. If you do not decide what is to take precedence and then abandon all else, it will not get done. This doesn’t mean you work so hard that you ignore or neglect your other responsibilities.
A prioritization method that creates a working schedule and a calendar with the end in mind is critical. Then, you can break down a project into manageable steps with the end in mind. I call this deconstructing the hamburger. This video explains how to break down any project with this method.
Honorable means you are doing things with integrity, doing things well, and living up to your responsibilities.
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. –James 3:13
Look at your daily, weekly, and monthly calendars. Are you meeting all the goals you have for your business? Won’t let busy work that distracts you from executing those business ideas eat up your time. If God has called you into business, you need to take that seriously with your efforts and time.
4. You manage risk and get over failures quickly
Remember I said you have to count the cost of being an entrepreneur? This is the most difficult of the five characteristics of an entrepreneur. This is reflective of what Jesus says to us as believers. n Luke 14:28-30, Jesus compares us following Him to making a budget to construct a building. You would not do it, begin the project, for fear you could not finish it, and everyone would laugh at you.
Every worthwhile project or endeavor contains risks. Therefore, weigh out as much as possible to minimize risk and handle the uncertainty of the what-ifs.
Fears Keep Us Stuck
Many Christian Businesswomen get stuck in fear and stuck hard. They aren’t moving forward because of fear. The classic concerns too: rejection, which is just fear of what others will say; fear of success, which is just thinking their life will not look the way they imagine and it will be too much; or fear of failure, that it just won’t work.
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to try things and fail fast. Trial and error are what keep us curious. So push through the fear and know that you can use that information to your advantage, whatever happens.
Failures are Learning Opportunities
How can you take risks and still get over failure quickly? By turning each situation into a learning opportunity. It is necessary to reframe the experience and move on.
Remember I told you the business and educational Center failed? I took the risk even after doing the research, had lots of commitments, and did my part to minimize the risk. Although I lost a lot of money when it closed, I let myself feel that failure.
But I didn’t stay there long, very quickly I saw an opportunity. With my coach friend and accountability partner, we decided to do a Bible challenge at the beginning of the year. I wrote out the devotionals and activities for the challenge.
The Center closed in November, and by the beginning of December, I was deep into writing these devotionals out for January. Instead of focusing on my loss, lamenting for a long time, and thinking I could never recover, I reframed it and shifted to a new project. That project became my first book, CLARIFY. And, I was able to take all that information from my workshops, networking, and other learning and put it into that book.
It takes determination to try and fail fast, but when you are doing what God has called you to do, He is in control.
5. You are a life-long learner with resilience and persistence for long-term focus
Entrepreneurship is the long game. I know some coaches and consultants promise you the moon in the next 30- 60- 90-days, which isn’t realistic.
The last of the five characteristics of an entrepreneur is the most important. God’s purpose for you is to make you more like His Son, and He is using your business to do it for you. That is why you should stick it out. That is where your success will be, in the satisfaction of knowing you are doing what God calls you to do.
But, you don’t know everything. God puts resources in front of you. When you are a passionate life-long learner who has the resilience and persistence for long-term focus, you have the desire to learn what you don’t know, want to serve your clients with excellence, and the desire to continually improve yourself.
Grow in Self-Control
The last of the Fruits of the Spirit is Self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). In Greek, that means self-mastery and self-restraint. We grow in self-control because He lives inside of us. So we continue to learn what’s needed to live the godly life we are called to live.
I read books, listen to videos and podcasts, watch documentaries, take courses, and hire coaches in my own life and business. I do whatever is needed to get to the next level by learning.
I hired a coach when I needed to figure out my business and how to brand myself. When I need to know specific best practices for networking, I download resources. When I realized I wanted to improve client relationships, I studied Emotional Intelligence.
Going into business doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers right away, but it does mean you have to be willing to continually learn and get better at what God has called you to do.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, –2 Peter 1:5b-6
Each thing rolls into the next. You cannot expect to grow as an entrepreneur if you are not taking your learning seriously. Only then will you have the resilience and persistence it takes to have a business.
Faith Grows Your Business
There are no shortcuts. There is work and focus. Be a willing learner. Learn more about God through His Word.
Faith fuels business because faith helps us grow in moral excellence, knowledge-self control, and endurance leading to godliness.
Which of the five characteristics of an entrepreneur do you know you have within you now? Which are you willing to work on?
I have something that I know will help. I call it my Business Mastery Partnership. It is a mastermind and learning program that combines personal development for both business and faith.
I would LOVE to have a Clarity call with you to talk about your business and what you need to be the entrepreneur God is calling you to be.
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