The Jesus Picture by Akiane Kramarik
When it comes to both a startup business and businesses in general, there are six questions (the other four are in my book How to Start a Business: Mac Version) that need to be answered by every startup entrepreneur and one of the first questions you almost always have to answer first is:
Who is my customer?
The next question is just as significant in that it dovetails into the first:
What am I providing to my customer?
If you don’t know who you’re defining your product for and what problem you’re solving, you’ve missed most of your effort.
But as a Christian, both of these questions boil down to this one.
As a Christian entrepreneur, it never ceases to amaze me when God does something in my life, mostly it’s the little things. A small blessing here, a bit larger blessing there, but after this last event, I see how God goes over the top to show Himself to us.
And by over the top, I mean He stretches our belief and faith in ways only He knows will stretch it. Just as beginning to run a marathon, you don’t start out running 26 miles, you build up to it.
Same with God and our belief. Our belief is so small that if He did do something big, we’d most likely have unbelief, and that is what He does NOT want us to have. So it means we have to learn and grow our faith over time, ever bigger and bigger over time.
There is a familiar recruiting saying in the U.S. Army, “Be all that you could be.” In most cases, nearly all of those that enter basic training, no matter the branch, have never been pushed as hard or as in basic training or later on in other training, such as Army Ranger or Navy SEAL training.
As with all such training, it’s to weed out those that may not or can’t handle what is expected.
Too often the “be all that you can be” is translated that most don’t know their full limits, but are VERY aware of the limits they have come to believe or are lead to believe either by parents, friends, or even Satan himself. Those beliefs limit our capabilities in doing what God wants, and often needs, us to do.
It begins with our worth.
A familiar refrain in the Christian community is “I’m broken,” or “God broke me,” or even “he/she is broken, or the phrase “the beauty of brokenness.”
Are Christians like horses? Where we need to be “broken” like a horse and for God to treat us harshly to get us to do what He wants? That’s what some may see how God is or how we present God to others.
But we need to take a look at what the word “broken” means.
When it comes to our God-given talents, we are often bamboozled by the Devil and his schemes, namely, to keep us out of God’s fight to do good. And that includes our work purpose in life.
We’re ambassadors for God in Satan’s kingdom, not to work for him, but for God.
But once Satan’s negative ideas take root, they’re like weeds, you need the shoots and the roots to get it all out of one’s mind. It’s not easy, but it needs to be done. But it comes down to one question:
Are you obeying God’s calling with your God-given talents and abilities to the fullest for His glory?
When it comes to how each of us have been designed by God, normally we think of both our strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes we either elevate our strengths and minimize our weaknesses as the world does or we emphasize our weaknesses and minimize our strengths in order to be more “humble” in other people’s eyes. In the real world, we need to show both our strengths and weaknesses to others because of how God has designed us. He created us so we had to work with others, just like when a man and woman marry to create a family.
Because two things happen when we show our strengths and weaknesses. But first, let’s take a look at what the Bible says about strength and weakness.
Matt 7:7 (Amplified Bible) Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.
The question is the start of the answer
Most Christian parents ask their children when they come home from school, “What did you learn today?” Jewish parents, on the other hand, ask their children, “Did you ask a good question today?”
As Christians, we’re not to act like Christian drones as part of a “Christian collective” like the Star Trek enemy The Borg, a fictional alien race that appears as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek series. We’re to ask questions and actively engage our brains to learn, to grow, and then do what is right based on who we are and who we work with.
Stationed at Hill AFB, UT I attended the Bible Church of Salt Lake where Pastor Charles E. Clarke did expository preaching. He used Greek, Hebrew, history, and biblical categories to expound biblical truths, for instance taking three years to go word by word through the book of Ephesians. He showed the depth of what could be learned and the richness and confidence that came with the knowledge that was gained.
For instance, in Matt 7:7 the Greek verbs ask, seek, and knock are all in the present tense, active voice, and in the imperative mood. The greek imperative mood says we’re commanded to continually “keep on asking/seeking/knocking.” But what are questions and answers?
This has been a rather interesting week for me. Was invited to a luncheon held by Nation Christian Foundation of Colorado, met some interesting new people there (including Gary Hoag of Generosity Monk where his It’s a Wonderful Life life and business illustration prompted me to write this blog post), and then meeting and connecting with a number of other people. The events of the week hit me all at once.
I had a George Bailey moment.
You know the moment. George has been working all his life, feeling like he’s spinning, working, and seemed like he was getting no where. While for some, their George Bailey moment is a negative one of desperation and they’re at the end of their spiritual, physical, or emotional ropes. To others, it becomes a positive one with clouds clearing and it’s a moment of clarity, when George Bailey sees that he IS wealthy and loved. Still others, it is being “in the moment” and taking in what is happening, soaking up the joy that they’re encountering and pondering it like Mary did with her life events.
Luk 2:19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
But let’s walk through to my moment.
There is a familiar saying within the Christian community, and that is “God is not going to give you more than you can handle.” This comment is a paraphrase from the Bible and is said to people who are going through difficult times, but there are two things about this comment. First, it’s in the negative regarding life, i.e. you’re going through some pain and God is allowing to happen to you and you’re suppose to endure it.
Second, it comes from this verse:
When it comes to becoming a startup entrepreneur, especially a Christian startup entrepreneur, there are a number of factors that affect one’s decisions. But recent research has shown that those that believe in God have a greater and more successful chance of starting a business over those that may not.
Why does a belief in God cause more people to become startup entrepreneurs? What are the motivations? In an unscientific examination, let’s take a look at why individuals would take this non-traditional route in life.