At the beginning of this year, I decided that I was weary of doing business in my own strength. I just couldn’t do it anymore. The only way I was going to keep going on this journey of entrepreneurship was if Jesus was central, woven into every moment of my business day. I had no desire to keep going, burning myself out as I had done for the last year. I needed to rest in Him, even as I worked. I felt desperately that it was the only way forward.
So here are the five practices that have transformed my business, from one done in my own strength, to one lived Coram Deo (Latin for “before the face of God”).
Adopt a COO mindset. I know that what I’m about to say could sound super corny. But it’s the actual language I have used that has helped me to run my business differently, so I am going to share it with you. I like to keep it real around here, even if it’s a little out of the ordinary. The Bible teaches that everything we have, has been given to us by God and does not belong to us. We are His stewards. We see this most clearly in Luke 16:1-13 which recounts the parable of the talents, but it’s a theme all throughout the Bible. So I began to think of Jesus as the CEO of my company (He owns it, He runs it, He makes the decisions) and myself as the COO (I carry out the management aspects). The analogy breaks down pretty quickly in many ways, but it’s still been a helpful mindset for me. This company isn’t mine. It’s His. I get to be part of what HE is doing in this business. This mindset is contrary to many of the girl boss mantras out there. This simple mindset shift has helped me be more faithful to Jesus in my business.
Ask Jesus about your daily business decisions. I realized that I was often going to my husband to ask him his thoughts on my business decisions. What if I asked Jesus in the same way? In the past, I have felt that I need to have an “official” prayer to start my business day. And that’s great. But what I’m talking about here is just that casual, conversational kind of prayer. When I have a question or a concern, stopping to ask Jesus what He thinks, as if he were sitting next to me. These prayers are usually short, maybe a few seconds long. Should I make this purchase? Hire this person? How do I get this code onto my website? What should I write my next blog post about? We should never reduce Jesus to simply a friend, but we should never deny the fullness of what He is to us, either; that He is our companion and friend throughout our life. Conversational prayer is something I have wanted to grow in for many years, and praying about my business decisions has been where that practice has most flourished.
Prioritize time in the Word and in prayer. As George Mueller once wrote in his autobiography, “I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man may be nourished…I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it.”-George MuellerThere have been many days when I felt that to take time to read the Bible and pray was too much of a sacrifice of time. I just had too much to get done. I couldn’t afford it. But I’ve since come to see that those are the days when I most need to take that time to do something “unproductive”. When my soul is anxious, and thinking that everything rides on my performance, that’s when I need to disengage from business most. That disengaging is an act of faith. It’s saying with my actions, not just my words, that I really believe that Jesus is the priority, Jesus is the most important thing about my life, and Jesus is the one who gives the increase. And you know what always happens? I end up having my most fruitful, joy-filled days, instead of spending my day spinning my wheels in anxious task-switching.
Rest. It can be so hard to disengage. I feel it most on Sundays. I’ve made it a personal rule to not work on or think about my business on Sundays. There are exceptions, but generally speaking, other than a bit of planning right before bed, I disengage completely. Sometimes, it feels like it takes all of my energy not to work. And that’s when I realize how badly I need to preach to myself. I need to reorient myself to what matters eternally. I need to rest in Jesus. I need to stop my anxious toil. God was so wise to command us to take a day of rest. Like fasting, it’s a chance to constantly remind ourselves of truth and enter the new week resting in Him. Sleep is another important way that we rest, honoring our bodies, and accepting the limitations God has given us. Sleep is an act of faith.
End the day with gratitude, thanking Jesus for each victory. At the end of the day, I like to fill out my Evergreen Planner prompts. There’s a small box for gratitude, for lessons learned, and for victories. I used to ignore those boxes, but now I use them as a time of worship. As I’ve been conversationally praying throughout my day, I look back on what Jesus has answered. What mistakes did I make, or what challenges did I face? What did He teach me? What victories did I have? Taking time to meditate on how He has worked in me throughout the day is a powerful practice.
John 15:4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” Let’s do business today from a place of abiding, doing everything before the face of Jesus.
Comment below and tell me which of these things resonated most with you!