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The 7 Habits: Godpreneurs Put First Things First



This post is the 6th in a series of posts where I've been studying the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey from a Christian entrepreneur’s perspective, and I'm summarizing and Biblically backing up each of the seven habits. Scroll to the end of this article for links to the entire series.

 

Welcome back to my series that summarizes, expands, and brings a Christian entrepreneur's perspective into each of the seven habits laid out in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.


Covey’s first two habits are big picture and abstract.


Habit #1 — “Be Proactive” — is about Godpreneurs proactively obeying God based on His word, and never reacting to situations in our business based on feelings alone. Imagine a world where all of us God-first business owners, when tempted, we allow the Holy Spirit to engage our minds and proactively reflect through the temptation, so we see the way of escape and obey God.


Habit #2 - "Begin with the End in Mind" - builds off of the first. It's about taking the time required to visualize the business God has inspired you to build - your calling and assignment here on earth. Better to ask God now than to lose your way pursuing worldly desires. It’s much more productive to spend time in prayer, meditation and thanksgiving anticipating an action and visualizing the desired outcome, than just plowing hastily on, possibly in the wrong direction. Then, once you know your God-given purpose, you create a personal mission statement based on Biblical principles and Christian values that help guide your entrepreneurial journey.


Habit 3: Put First Things First


Habit #3 - "Put First Things First" - is where we take the two previous big picture concepts and apply them to our daily routine. And nothing is more important to a daily routine than the personal development we do in the morning. It’s about taking actions in the morning that match your entrepreneurial calling.


What does the Bible say about putting first things first? How does this apply to a Christian entrepreneur's success in business?


Let's discover how.


The Perfect Morning Routine for Christian Entrepreneurs


I wrote an article describing the routine that I go through before arriving at my office at 11am.


To summarize, here is what I do:


  • 6 am : wake up

  • 6:20 - 7:20 am : meditate, read Bible, wrote blog post for Daily Godpreneur

  • 7:50 am : listen to inspirational message on way to gym

  • 8:30 - 10:30 am : CrossFit, stretch, sauna, shower, drink protein shake

  • 10:50 am : meditate for 10 minutes

  • 11:00 am : begin work


Notice that before all of the unforeseen events that can come up on any given workday, I have already


  1. connected with God,

  2. received a message from the Bible,

  3. taught the lesson to others,

  4. worked on my physical fitness and taken care of God's temple (my body)

  5. fed my body healthy food


What most people struggle to do all year, I've accomplished before 11 am….every week day!


We could all agree that I have a better chance at being proactive and staying focused on my calling in business with this morning routine than, for example, a person who wakes up stressed about a project and rushes to the office to try to figure things out. This person is in "reactive" mode, disconnected from God, and is likely not on the "path" he or she should be on for that day.


I attribute 100% of my success in business to the fact that I have figured out what the BIG PICTURE items of my day are, and I've attacked those first. My rule is that personal development must be the priority so that the rest of the day flows with the holy spirit alive and well in me.


For us entrepreneurs, we have 12 hours in the day to be of service to God through our businesses. We'll have a whole bunch of tasks that need to be done, but they aren't so important — the endless to-dos and fires to put out.


And as Christian entrepreneurs, we also have a lot of personal development we want to do in our daily life. These are important things that might not have a hard deadline like a project does, but help us achieve our goals, as well as our overall mission and calling as a purpose-focused Godpreneur. These important personal development tasks involve spirituality, health, relationships, and business purpose — the things that ultimately develop our virtues.


Many business owners I know decide to go to the gym after work and do their Bible reading at night. The problem with this is that it's backwards to the third habit of highly effective people, which is to put important things first. Our personal development is more important than our business operations. If we're not operating at 100% internally, then our business is getting short-changed by it's leader.


There are many examples in the Bible where God stresses putting first things first.


The Bible says


“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Proverbs 3:5-6 says

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths."

Proverbs 3:9-10 says

"Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine."

Notice that in all three of these verses, the reader is being instructed to prioritize personal development, and that there is a natural consequence of success that follows?


When you decide to take care of the most important thing first - drawing closer to God in the morning - you end up having time and energy to accomplish and deal with the everyday business tasks, as well as for relaxation and fun after work. However, if you start off by dealing with business tasks and putting our fires, you risk not connecting with God and you miss out on the energy you need to sustain you through the day and make God-first decisions. This is why entrepreneurs complain about life being super busy, frustrating, and stagnant. Every day your days feel crammed, but you don’t seem to be making any progress on your goals, and in becoming the Godpreneur you want to be.


So we know why it’s important to put first things first, but how do we do it? What are the best “management” practices to help us Christian business owners properly order our priorities?


Your Morning Routine is Sacred


If you want to make sure you accomplish your personal development goals, then you need to literally make them the first things you do each day.


How do you decide what tasks you need to schedule first thing in the morning? As a God-first entrepreneur, the answer should be obvious: you need to make your morning routine a sacred time with God. This will make sure you're always checking in with your purpose.


Your routine might be:


  • Strengthen your relationship with God

  • Create content for your calling

  • Do physical fitness

  • Eat nutritious breakfast


God has given us entrepreneurs a tremendous responsibility: to co-create solutions that will alleviate problems in the world. We're not going to be able to do any co-creation very well unless we get our mind right and connect with our partner in creation: God.


What that means practically is that the very first thing we need to do when we get out of bed (and make coffee) is to engage in a set of mental and spiritual exercises: pray, read scriptures, meditate, and throw in a worship song for extra credit!


Before having this routine, I remember the first thing I would do is check my email, but I found this set my mind up for a day guided by whatever came into the inbox. Good emails meant I was in a good mood. Bad emails meant bad mood. It made me a slave to outside circumstances and not subject to God's calling over my life.


After connecting with God, we can continue to gain momentum by doing physical exercise. This will strengthen our positive, confident attitude with which we approach the day.


Now that you have connected with God and done physical exercise, our spirit is ready to work! It's time to get to the office and follow a similar routine of taking care of the big projects first, then moving on to smaller tasks.


Our morning routines set us up for business day success. Do this habitually for the rest of your entrepreneurial journey, and it will keep you in your purpose and calling.


 

Read the Whole Series: A Christian Entrepreneur's Perspective on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People



I pray you enjoy the series as much as I enjoyed creating it!


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