In the business of web and graphic design, there are lots of steps to completing a job. There are many places the project can go wrong. There’s a lot of possibility that the customer can be displeased. When you’re dealing with someone’s identity, a lot is at stake and you have to make sure the job is done perfectly.
I spent a lot of time on my systems and processes. I wrote out training manuals, scripts for customer service, and invested in making sure my team knew how to complete jobs.
One day I get a call from a client towards the end of the project and it was to tell me about the horrifying experience she had had with my company. I was devastated, angry, frustrated, and determined to fix it. I made some drastic changes including letting go of some people.
The point of being an entrepreneur is to be able to build a business the way we would run it, put the right people in place that will duplicate our ways, and hopefully be able to walk away and have a steady profit coming into our bank accounts each month. When we come in, it should be to check-in, put out fires, and contribute more ideas that could help turn a better profit for yourself.
But what happens when we come back and the system is bad? The people we left in place aren’t doing their job and the product or service we thought our customers were receiving is not something we would approve?
Nehimiah experienced the same thing when he returned to Jerusalem after 12 years (I don’t suggest leaving your business for 12 years….or even 12 months….maybe 12 days MAX). When he returned, the city had fallen back into sin. The Sabbath wasn’t being honored and systems and processes weren’t being followed according to the law of the book. Needless to say, Nehimiah was upset and acted harshly to fix things.
Nehemiah 13:19-22 reads
When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day. Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.
Can you see how disobeying God’s laws, even in the simplest ways, will eventually lead to committing a full-blown offense?
It’s the same in our businesses. You’ve spent all of this time to RESTART your business, why wouldn’t we continue to do ‘business by the book’?
The sins of entrepreneurship can easily come back into play: pride, envy, greed, sloth.
My recommendation is 1) have a systematic weekly meeting to check-in with your team and make sure systems and processes are being followed. 2) make sure that you keep your relationship with God in tact, always reading in the mornings and praying for your business, clients, employees, vendors and contractors. 3) make harsh changes when you feel the spirit leading you to.
We Godpreneurs have a blessing to be able to carry out businesses for God. But like Jerusalem, they can fall if unattended. And like our own spiritual walk, it can fall if unattended.
My prayer is that these 40 days have helped you grow more spiritually than as an entrepreneur, but that growing in both together you’ll be able to impact the work we are all committed to in growing the kingdom of God.