We are told early on in our Christian walk that the Lord’s timing is always perfect. Even if it doesn’t line up with what we want it to be or pray for.
But, how do we wait?
How do we wait without messing everything up? How do we know it is God’s perfect timing, not a message to us that seems completely black and white, that you just need to move on?
God could be telling you that this isn’t the plan, couldn’t He?
Then: Sometimes it feels like a ping pong game and you’re the ping pong ball, doesn’t it? This is the plan. This is what you are passionate about. This business was a God thing. He told me to do it. I am sure.
Now: This business isn’t taking off. I am not gaining traction. If it is a God thing, wouldn’t He just make it work? Should I do something else? How can I fix it? Maybe I need a partner. Maybe I need to add services. Maybe it never was a God thing.
It can be downright confusing.
How exactly do we sort through it?
I have always used a dual approach. I use the pray, ask, wait, listen, hope, and keep praying method of business start-up and growth. Then I add in the foundational business building blocks to stay on track and not mess it up while waiting on God’s perfect timing.
Actually, we can also add in the praying-that-I-don’t-mess-it-up part. The praying to not make things worse is sometimes the straightest path to waiting patiently for God.
Here are some fundamental components of moving forward and waiting. (Yes these are not always mutually exclusive in God’s kingdom!)
Why Did You Move Forward to Begin With?
This is the it was totally a God thing part. Really, I believe God gives us everything. Even our vision for our business. You need to not only remember what made you want to start your business to begin with, you need to capture it. You need to write, draw, tell the story of how your vision, your business, came to be.
When did you know it was going to really happen? When were you completely positive that you were going to quit your job or quit looking for a job because this is what you were meant to do in this season of your life?
Capture this moment in whatever creative way that you can keep it forever in front of you. This is not only what you must remember for yourself as you wait to grow traction, this is what you must share with everyone else – your prospects, your customers, your team and never, ever forget your family. Whether they are called or not, they are in it with you.
What Does The Work Look Like?
What does the work look like if you are fulfilling your God vision? What does this work or product or project look like if you are glorifying God in doing it?
This is the crossroads. This is the crossroads of idea and business. If we don’t execute in a crazy, focused, I-want-God-to-be-so-proud-of-me-while-I’m-trying-so-hard-to-glorify-Him way, we are leaving a good idea to dissipate into the small business graveyard.
If we are ever to build traction in our business, we must execute. We have to do the work even if it is only for a few customers at first. We have to put our whole heart into it even if we are giving it away in the beginning. We have to do it like we would if we had perfect success. Why?
- This excellent execution is what will make your business stand out from the others. This is what will create raving fans and word-of-mouth growth. This is what businesses that last do. They do the work. They do the same work for one that they would do for many.
- Our hard work and full heart show the Lord and the world our It shows others that you really do believe that God’s timing is perfect and you know that your business is a God vision and that you believe that He will not forsake you.
What Do We Do While We Wait?
We can wait and move forward. We can. In God’s kingdom these concepts are not mutually exclusive. I know that the parable where Jesus talks about building your house on rock and not sand pertains to our spiritual foundation. However, I like to visualize it also in the business arena. We want our business to be built on a foundation of rock.
A rock-strong business foundation is built on Christian values and sound business building blocks.
While you are not slammed busy you can put in systems and processes to handle more customers and more employees. We always hesitate when we are a one-man show to spend time on processes and procedures. Who is going to follow them? Me?
I believe in planning for success. Why would we start a business if we believed it was going to fail? And if we believe it can thrive, we need to put the foundation in place to be ready for that momentum.
We can get busy doing things, as long as the doing things is not the messing things up kind of activity.
What Does It Look Like to NOT Mess Things Up?
Anything that is taking you away from your God vision is messing things up. Staying focused is the antidote to not messing things up.
Messing things up can be wide and varied:
- Lose focus on your vision/mission – add services and customers who do not match your ideal client just to make money.
- Waste money and needed capital on unnecessary expenditures that will impact your cashflow and ability to wait on God’s timing.
- Lose faith and worry and fret over everything. This will show up in how you treat people, your confidence in selling your product or services, your personal relationships. Including your relationship with God.
- Entering into agreements to hurry up the process rather than waiting on God.
- Doing low quality work or using low quality materials or labor to save on costs.
The best thing we can do to not mess things up is to remember why we started our business. Find the heart of our purpose and focus with all of our heart on executing it without concern of the results. I know it sounds crazy. I know it is almost impossible. But even if it is for a few hours during the day, focus on the vision and the work.
And trust that God will provide what you need. And trust that His timing is perfect.