There is an ancient book that many today see as merely allegorical, while others may consider it out of date. But I have found that the Bible contains business principles that are very simple to understand, practical today, and that add value to my work. Here are a few principles that have helped me confront the challenges of self employment and build a business that stands out a bit from the competition...
Proverbs 6:6 - 'Go to the ant, you lazy one, Observe its ways and become wise.'
A good work ethic and an industrious 'can-do' attitude is necessary when starting a business. Entrepreneurship is not for the lazy.
Ecclesiastes 4:6 - 'Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of hard work and chasing after
Hard work and initiative must be balanced with modesty and rest. Too much ambition can lead to sacrificing other aspects of life that are more important to our well being - things like sleep, relationships, spirituality, exercise.
Leviticus 19:36 - 'You should use accurate scales, accurate weights, an accurate dry measure...'
Honesty is always a good policy in business. Whether it be in the sales process, deliverables or taxes, being accurate, clear and honest will go a long way to building a loyal client base. We are not in the painting business, we are in the trust business. No matter how good of a painter we are, no one will hire us if they don't first trust us. Trust is earned.
Matthew 5:37 - 'Just let your word 'Yes' mean yes, your 'No', no...'
Being a good communicator and being reliable will help a business person stand out from a lot of their competitors. Part of the key here is under-promising and over-delivering, which requires a sober look at our schedules and abilities to deliver on the expectations we set.
Luke 6:31 - 'Also, just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them.'
Looking out for the interests of others will help us build solid relationships with our customers, our workers, suppliers and even our competitors. How would I like to be treated? is a good reminder to treat all with respect and not look for ways to take advantage of others.
1 Corinthians 10:31 - 'Do all things for God's glory.'
Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation that just does not seem to have any redeeming value. Customers are miserable, we are not making money, the work is difficult, just negative all the way through. Having a higher purpose to the work we do can help us to persevere and give our best when others might look for a way out, or at least for all the short cuts they can find.
Proverbs 22:29 - 'Have you seen a man skillful at his work? He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before common men.'
Developing a skill will make our work stand out, leading to more and better work. Craftsmanship also leads to more satisfaction from our work and builds our self respect.
I hope you enjoyed considering how some of these timeless principles can add value to our business today.