If you wrote down a list off of the top of your head about all of your business worries, how many of them would be about money, success, and how the world sees your business?
Periodically I find myself analyzing my business based on these criteria. It is only normal that I want to be able to pay all of my bills and pay everyone that works with me, right? Am I adding value? Well revenues are up, I must be.
Will this continue? Do people see my business as successful? Should I try to grow?
The wheels in my head start turning and the myriad of thoughts and worries gain momentum. Then I start to kick into control mode
- How can I grow my business?
- How big can I get?
- Can I make enough money to cover the investment?
After a few sleepless nights I am praying to Jesus, “Please stop the worry train in my head!”
I turn to God through a 2:30 am journaling session and ask “Why am I so anxious?”
“Nothing is going wrong Lord. Thinking about growing is a good thing right? Making sure I can pay my bills is just good stewardship, right? I am trying to follow you Lord…..shouldn’t I be worry free!”
This is what I write to the God of the Universe, only it isn’t quite so succinct.
What do I get back? Silence.
Maybe I need to re-work the numbers again. Maybe I am making a mistake and God isn’t giving me peace because He wants me to check everything again.
Suddenly, in my sleep-deprived state, I think about what He would say back to me. I do this when I don’t feel like I am hearing back from God. Yes, I have a listening problem. And a patience problem. So I try to figure out what God would tell me if I would shut-up, be still, and wait on His response.
Thankfully He is a God of mercy, and when I focus back on Him, it flows right out.
Of course the answer is different depending on the issue, but regardless of the issue, 9 out of 10 times, God’s response is….What is all of this I stuff? I don’t care about any of the stuff you are worrying about. Look at what you wrote. Do you think I care about how much money you made last year? Do you think I am worried about the amount you invest back into your business? Really, where is that in scripture?
Ok Lord, then what do you care about?
As many times as we have gone through this cycle, I truly believe you can answer that yourself.
Then the fog begins to lift. I think about the nature of God and all that Jesus teaches us in the gospels.
- He cares about me helping and loving others.
- He wants me to trust Him to make ends meet. Give up the I.
- Growth is up to Him not me.
- What is too big for me to consider is never too big for God.
- He will work through me, even my weakness, if only I will get out of the way!
- This isn’t my business anyway. It was always His vision for me, and the business.
When I started my business it was all about helping people. I wanted to help people find God’s path for their life and business. I wanted people to have a place to go with their challenges, and opportunities, to be encouraged and helped.
If you have ever tried to hire a new vendor of any sort you wonder:
- Do they really do good work?
- Do they care about you and the work they do?
- Will they provide value for the price?
I experience that every day. I didn’t want people to have to worry about that when they came to Crossroads. I wanted to be a part of their journey so that they had a place they can keep coming back to where they do know we care and they do feel they get value.
Time and time again, God’s message has been the same to me.
- Look to me for your vision. My vision for you is BIG and BOLD because it is I AM who will achieve it.
- I want you to stay focused on the basics, love me your God and love others as I have loved you.
- Do your work to glorify me, not to achieve worldly success.
- Don’t try to jump into your Type A control mode, turn to me to help you when the storms come.
The message is always the same.
Worry doesn’t work. It robs you of your health, your time, and your sleep.
What do you do when you are worried about failing, or even, when you are worried about succeeding?
1. Remember your God vision. – God gives us everything, even our vision for our business. If it is truly a God vision, then your purpose is more about passion than dollars. What is it?
2. Focus on relationship with Him. We will always be in a better place and respond better to others when our relationship with God is solid. When we are connected to the vine. We have to turn back to Him to stay attached and focused on the right things.
3. Spend time on His priorities. God will always care more about how we help people and love them. He will always want us to work for Him and give Him the glory.
4. Get over yourself. Remember it isn’t about you or your efforts. Only when we can truly let go of our own performance can God work through us. If we want to fight Him for control, He will give it to us. I don’t know about you, but it never works as well!
5. Trust Him and Step Out In Faith. We may not have a crystal ball, however, if we focus on what we know is important to God, and if we know our vision came from Him, we need to trust Him for the results. This may require that we step out in faith and hire that extra employee, buy that new building, or offer that new service. We need to trust that God will shut the door if it isn’t the right direction or that He will provide something of “good” if we make a mistake, even if it is just valuable learning.
God is so amazingly faithful. Once I get over myself and start to focus back on Him, His vision, and follow His path……
…..I am sleeping like a baby again!
How do you measure your success? Is it based on Kingdom-metrics or the world’s measurement? How do you return to your God vision?