Patrice Tsague, president of the Nehemiah Project is a gifted and experienced godly entrepreneur. He writes a weekly devotional which I appreciate very much. I thought this one was a good one to pass on to the IBEC readership. He shares Five Essentials for Entrepreneurs in the Startup Phrase. 1 These essentials provide a good start for a wise man in the Kingdom business life cycle.
Larry W. Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. – Proverbs 13:22
Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. – Proverbs 16:3
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7
Are you beginning your new venture well? What are some essentials that a biblical entrepreneur should think about in the startup phase of a Kingdom business life cycle?
Every business, like a new building, is built piece-by-piece, brick-by-brick. In the startup phase, there are 5 “BRICK” essentials that an entrepreneur should use as he or she begins their journey:
- Begin with the end in mind. An entrepreneur should be driven by a vision – he or she is able to see what could be, given sufficient resources, opportunity, and effort – and they begin the new venture with that vision in the forefront of their mind.
- Review your cash flow daily. In business cash is king. Cash flow is crucial to any new business and should not be ignored – pay attention to your pro forma cash flow statement. Avoid cash issues by having an aggressive collection policy. Collect payments up front as much as possible.
- Identify and intentionally live out your values. These values, if lived well, will shape the culture of your organization. Identify and write down your values even if your new business consists of just an idea, you and the Lord. Is it common knowledge that your industry follows a corrupt business practice? Commit to doing things the right way in that area. Put your list on your smartphone background, or on the wall next to your desk.
- Commit to building a three-generational business. Scripture tells us that a righteous man leaves an inheritance for his grandchildren. Like Abraham, who managed a successful ranching business that Isaac and Jacob inherited, a biblical entrepreneur should approach a new venture with succession in mind and a commitment to building something that will last at least three generations.
- Know your exit strategy. How long do you plan to run the business? What kind of business are you starting: a lifestyle business that will provide income for your household, or a company that you hope to sell in a few years? How and when will your investors receive a return on their investment?
The startup phase is a fun phase for the entrepreneur. There is the thrill of a new idea, the risk of the unknown, and many possibilities. It can also be a dangerous phase, with too much optimism and hope and not enough resources to fuel the business. Without adequate capital and business planning, a new venture can end quickly. In this phase, it is important for the entrepreneur to stay focused on the vision while building in a wise and practical manner, counting the cost as he or she begins.
An entrepreneur is sure to run into many problems during this phase. When this happens, it is important to pursue peace first! Most entrepreneurs, when faced with a problem, immediately begin to go after the solution. Their fear and anxiety may lead to the wrong solution, which may make the problem worse. Pursuing peace — not the absence of problems, but a state of complete trust in the sovereign will of God – empowers the entrepreneur to equip himself or herself with confidence that God will provide an answer. Once peace is present, the mind is clear to think clearly and wisely about a solution.
My prayer for you today is that you would enjoy the startup phase, being filled with wisdom, peace, and the Holy Spirit as you begin the journey of stewarding your business.
Patrice Tsague, Co-founder and Chief Servant Officer, Nehemiah Project
1. Kingdom Business Life Cycle: Five Essentials for Entrepreneurs in the Start Up Phase, Patrice Tsague, May 2015.