The Entrepreneurial Spirit Sometimes Needs Self Control

Sep 27, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

One of the characteristics of entrepreneurs is that we like to start new things.  We get bored easily.  Or maybe we just like the art of creating.

Either way, no one is surprised when an entrepreneur has a new business idea.  People sort of expect us to throw spaghetti against the wall to see what will stick.

There can be positives and negatives to the entrepreneurial spirit, but one caution is to make sure you don’t pull your whole team onto the roller coaster with you.  You have one business up and running and you want your team to stay focused and stable.

A Case Study of the Unbridled Entrepreneurial Spirit

I know a small business owner who has a business that has many different, yet related,  directions he could expand.  Whenever he would get interested in one of these other spokes on the wheel he would get really excited and share it with his staff.  He would send them home with videos or tutorials to learn about this new venture.  Many times he would assign them extra tasks.

Since he was so enthralled with this new potential opportunity, of course, his team wanted to focus on it too.   That is who he gave the most attention too.  Within a couple of months his base business was suffering.  It would take another month to get pulled back into the old business to start putting out fires and then another couple of months to get things back on track.

Then the cycle would start again.

I think this example is one of the top killers of small businesses – the entrepreneurial spirit. We move on to the new thing before the old thing is secure and stable.

How to Capitalize on the Positives and Minimize the Negatives

As a Christian you are probably quite aware that one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is self-discipline.  This is what we all need to be praying for.  If we can add a little self-discipline to the wonderful creativity and passion of the entrepreneurial spirit then we can keep the good and throw out the bad.

Here are a couple of suggestions for the self-disciplined entrepreneur:

  1. Keep staff on track with the vision and mission of your business. You may have to give them permission to question you if you try to move them into a new direction suddenly without pretty extensive plans.  Or better yet, just don’t tell them the new ideas!
  2. Find an accountability partner or a prayer partner to share new ideas. You know that the ideas will keep coming.  It is who God made you to be.  Look for someone who is similar and can brainstorm with you and satisfy your need to discuss and explore other ideas.
  3. Or, even better, hire a business coach. Someone who will listen, yet gently encourage you to stay on track until your current business is established enough for you to move on.  This is one of the many things I help my clients with.

Success Breeds Success

As a Christian entrepreneur I realize that many, if not all, of your ideas and business ventures are to expand God’s Kingdom.  You may not be out to make a financial killing, just to get a product or service out that will glorify God.

I would still contend that your ability to succeed, even based on Kingdom metrics, requires self-discipline and focus of you and your team.  The more successful you are in your business the more opportunity is created for you to be able to do other things.

Even in non-profit organizations, they require funding and stability to be sustained.  You need to have adequate funding, a stable competent team, strong systems and processes, and excitement behind the vision.

I know it is like keeping a thoroughbred in the stall, but it isn’t time for the race yet!

Reader Interactions


  1. Alyssa says

    I need all of the above. I must be a true entrepreneur because I’m constantly coming up with new ideas that totally distract me. Even though I know my vision, my mission & my goals. AHH the life of an entrepreneur.

    • S_Miley says

      I know Alyssa. I think the inspiration for the post was an idea I had for a different blog. Then I remembered my goals for this one and stopped myself! Good luck with yours.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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