Why are You in Business?

Most people start businesses – not because they think they can make a ton of money, but because they “fall into it” – they have a talent or competency that is rare and that is needed by a market. So they see an opportunity to make some cash and they think “Why not?” So they start a business.

I was surfing the web this morning and came across this site that listed the 7 reasons that businesses fail. Interestingly enough, the first reason had to do with a person’s motivation – why they are in business in the first place. What struck me was that they felt that being in business solely for the purpose of making money was a sure sign you were going to fail:

“Would the sole reason you would be starting your own business be that you would want to make a lot of money? Do you think that if you had your own business that you’d have more time with your family? Or maybe that you wouldn’t have to answer to anyone else? If so, you’d better think again.

On the other hand, if you start your business for these reasons, you’ll have a better chance at entrepreneurial success:

  • You have a passion and love for what you’ll be doing, and strongly believe — based on educated study and investigation — that your product or service would fulfill a real need in the marketplace.
  • You are physically fit and possess the needed mental stamina to withstand potential challenges. Often overlooked, less-than-robust health has been responsible for more than a few bankruptcies.
  • You have drive, determination, patience and a positive attitude. When others throw in the towel, you are more determined than ever.
  • Failures don’t defeat you. You learn from your mistakes, and use these lessons to succeed the next time around. Head, SBA economist, noted that studies of successful business owners showed they attributed much of their success to “building on earlier failures;” on using failures as a “learning process.”
  • You thrive on independence, and are skilled at taking charge when a creative or intelligent solution is needed. This is especially important when under strict time constraints.
  • You like — if not love — your fellow man, and show this in your honesty, integrity, and interactions with others. You get along with and can deal with all different types of individuals.”

This site is hardly Christian in their viewpoint. Yet, the elements they point to that will ensure you have a better chance of success – passion, love, drive, determination, persistence, independence – these are some of the same elements that exist when God calls you to business.

As part of the Christian Business Reference Architecture, we find that in order to run a business God’s way and be successful at doing so means that you have a call from God to be in business. God’s call to business – just like any vocational ministry – is a passion to perform a certain business, the skills to do it and the funding to make it happen. In my experience, God “bridges” what we’re good at with what is needed in the Kingdom – we put our work toward furthering the Kingdom when God calls us.

Why are you in Business? Hopefully, it is because God has called you to business – to the marketplace – and has given you a passion, drive and determination to run a business His way. If you’re in it for the money, you won’t last long. Owning a small business is not for the faint of heart. I always say – if you can do something else other than owning a business – go do it. Only own and run a small business if it’s all you can ever see yourself doing and if you sense God has called you to this endeavor.

Bill English
CEO, Mindsharp
Associate, The Platinum Group