I graduated from Cornell University in 2003 with over $100,000 in debt. Here I was, 21 years old, carrying around that kind of weight.
From the moment I graduated, I was always stressed out about this debt. How was I going to get ahead with a $750+ monthly payment?
I got a job. But the job wasn’t paying enough. So I started throwing parties on the side. Since I was making money promoting, I quit my other job to do that full-time. But that soon wasn’t paying enough, so I started a web & graphic design agency with a couple of my friends.
This same trend continued for over 10 years. Although I kept the agency for over a decade, I kept on pursuing new entrepreneurial ventures and working hard because…well…I had $100K to pay off after all.
I didn’t want to be addicted to working and starting businesses. It came at our the stress that debt caused. I figured I needed to work harder and do more so I could free myself from the shackles of bondage.
But it didn’t work. In fact, I got into MORE debt.
We entrepreneurs have various “stressors” in our lives that lead us to the work addiction. For me, it was this looming debt and need to prove to my parents that I could pay it off myself. Now we’re getting deeper….
In order to understand our addictions, we entrepreneurs need to go deeper below the surface to understand WHY we’re even addicted to working. Work addiction isn’t shallow. It’s developed over time, over many layers. And if we’re pursing or worshiping it more than God, we have a problem.
Entrepreneurs face many opportunities for stress: bad partnerships, unstable client relationships, thoughts of scarcity, feelings of inferiority, keeping up with the Jones’s, social media envy, and coveting other people’s businesses, just to name a few that I’ve been through myself. Essentially, anything that takes us out of our comfort zone.
What happens when these “stressors” persist over time? They become deeper, and we become confused and think we have no purpose or identity….and we even question our faith in God.
How do we get out of this mess we’re in?
The bible says
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11 28-30 NIV
You are a Godpreneur. You are made in God’s image. Because of this, you must deal with whatever stresses you in the way that God, your designer and CEO, has made you to, rather than allowing your stresses to lead you to addictions. God has built you in a way such that your ultimate happiness and relief can only be found in Him. All other solutions are temporary, and in many cases you will be worse off than when we started (like me…I got into more debt).
If we pursue temporary solutions rather than taking our stresses to God, we will develop work idols and addictions. Ultimately, God has provided the best solution to our pain—the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Godpreneur Rule #92: Godpreneurs are too blessed to be stressed.