Professing spirituality and having a belief in God is something many entrepreneurs think is too risky of a business move in the 21st century. However, I strongly believe in order to be successful in life and in business, you must be true to yourself. As such, I am a believer in God and it is my faith that equips me for the constant perilous journey of entrepreneurship. My faith is what I have drawn upon in times of challenge, sadness, triumph, sickness, happiness, failure, success and everything in between as a small business owner.
As a faith-based entrepreneur for the past 8 years, I’ve often researched other business owners who weren’t afraid to speak about their christianity or belief in God. Some of the christian business owners I have always admired are: Sarah Breedlove a.k.a. Madame CJ Walker, Truett Cathy, Mary Kay Ash and Oprah Winfrey to name a few. Each one of these entrepreneurs are known for embracing their spirituality and/or expressing their beliefs in a “Higher Power” as well as principles of divine living.
The following are a few examples of how the aforementioned entrepreneurs infused their personal, spiritual beliefs in business.
- Madam C.J. Walker was the first self-made Black millionaire in the U.S. and is known for admonishing the women who sold her products; the Walker agents to have honest business dealings.
- Truett Cathy founded the fast food restaurant chain, Chick-Fil-A and he would often attribute his success to christian principles. He is quoted as stating: “the Bible is the guidebook of life.” Due to his strong religious beliefs all Chick-Fil-A stores whether corporate or franchise are typically closed on Sundays allowing employees to attend church and spend family time.
- Mary Kay Ash was founder of Mary Kay company. The founding principle of her business and her golden rule, was centered on allowing women to advance by helping others to succeed. She advocated “praising people to success” and her slogan “God first, family second, career third” expressed her belief that women in her company should maintain balance in their lives.
- Oprah Winfrey is the founder of the OWN TV Network. She is known for her wildly successful career as a TV talk show host, media mogul and philanthropist. She created a TV series which airs on the OWN network called Super Soul Sunday which focuses on programs that nourish the mind, body and spirit and highlight holistic living principles. Oprah unashamedly declares her belief in God and often interviews people about spirituality.
I am sharing these examples to demonstrate that many people use different methods to express their belief in a Higher Power as well as find a way to weave their spirituality into the fabric of their businesses.
My personal decision to incorporate my favorite book, (which is the #1 best selling book of all time), The Bible as a resource has assisted me through various business decisions and helped me tremendously. Many of my favorite scriptures also have a business application that can be applied for instruction and guidance. Below, are my top 8 favorite scriptures for purpose-driven entrepreneurs to tap into as they climb the ladder of success and entrepreneurship.
Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) – “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
This scripture tells me that if you accept no divine guidance, you fail: but if you obey the law, you’re joyful. You must have a vision in life and in business to ultimately be happy. The warning here is to get a vision for your life and your business and have a clear idea of where you want to accomplish. This concept is very appropriate for business.
Matthew 6:31-33 (KJV) – “ 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
This scripture explains that if believers put God first, He will grant you all of the things that you desire. Many times, as business owners we want to do it all. We don’t realize that we can do a lot of things but we can’t do everything. Or at least not well. However, this passage tells us that whatever it is that we want to accomplish, God doesn’t want us to worry about because He knows exactly what we need and if we simply focus on Him, he will provide everything else.
James 2:26 (KJV) – “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
This scripture compares the uselessness of the body without spirit and same for faith without action. This is a lesson for the business owner who believes in success principles but does not put the necessary action and implementation behind such beliefs.
Proverbs 16: 3 (KJV) – ”Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
This scripture tells me to commit my actions to God and my plans will succeed. This simply means, give it to God and He will handle the rest. It’s that simple.
Philippians 4:13 (KJV) – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
This is one of my favorite scriptures. It simply assures me that I can do everything I desire to do with the strength that God gives me. Apart from God we can do nothing and with God everything is possible.
II Timothy 1: 7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
This scripture is my source of courage when I feel uneasy about what lies ahead. I know that my heavenly father wants me to feel powerful, loved and secure in my thoughts which means there is absolutely nothing for me to fear.
Philippians 3:13-14 – 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The reason I love this scripture so much is that it encourages us not to dwell on the past. The past is history. If we have made mistakes along the way, it’s in the past. I know I have personally made countless mistakes in my business. But in this passage the Apostle Paul was giving instruction to focus on what is in front of you and to press toward the mark, in other words the destiny that God has given you…(not what is behind you.)
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
This passage gives me so much hope and helps me to understand that God knew me before I knew myself and his plans for me are good. And if you the believer, trust in God, He will have the last word and your end will be good.
Psalm 23: 5-6 – 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
In life and in business, if you live long enough you are bound to have enemies. In business you may have haters or those who secretly wish for your demise. However, there is consolation for the believer because God will make a way for you in the presence of your enemies and cause them to witness your success.
Being an entrepreneur in business is no easy feat. There are tests, trials, pitfalls and lessons on every turn. However, your victory is assured when you give your heart to God. He will assuredly help you to win.
I hope the scriptures I’ve shared and my interpretation of them, give you some hope and reassurance. May you be abundantly blessed today and always by our heavenly Father, the omnipresent and omnipotent Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Now I’d like to hear from you. What is one of your favorite scriptures and how do you apply it in business? Share your comments below.