You’re busy. Here’s my pitch to you: Want to get ahead? Allow me 5 minutes to tell you my thoughts on a Christian approach to business success.
What I’ve learned after building three businesses and talking to other entrepreneurs is there is a method to becoming successful. Getting ahead involves grit, courage, and a steady, unceasing push to fulfill your purpose. It requires sacrificing to the daily grind and doing something unexpected that captures your audiences’ attention. Then you learn to do it better and better. All things necessary for business success.
The foundation to all of this is not simply what we know as hard work.
What I find interesting is “hard work” doesn’t even appear in the Bible, the most printed book of all time. The guidebook of billions throughout history. So if it’s not hard work, is it determination, perseverance, sacrifice? Come on, what is it?
Well the secret sauce, the principle that those in the know have leaned on for centuries is deceptively simple. In a word, the road to success is paved with diligence.
Huh? That’s it? Well there is more. Listen, Alicia and I have started successful businesses from our kitchen table. Employed thousands over the years. We’re proud of that. I can’t teach you how to make a million dollars or become a vice president in 5 minutes, but I can stress that getting on that track will require a heavy dose of daily diligence, planning, and focused execution.
As Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” All successful people likely lead a life steeped in the diligent pursuit of something so enticing they will make a way to achieve it. Where that internal drive comes from can be the mystery.
Some find inspiration in themselves and their deep personal “why” while others find additional strength of purpose from what they see as God’s will for their life.
In God’s Kingdom, diligence is the constant and motivated effort to do what God wants by viewing every responsibility as an assignment from and unto the Lord. In other words, to Christians your business is likely your ministry. The opportunity for you to fulfill an important Godly purpose that will leave a positive difference, perhaps to your customers, coworkers, a family member, or your community. And because of that, you should be consistently engaged in every aspect of your business as if you were reporting directly to the big man himself. Diligently working and reflecting His love. Concerning work, He says we are to work as if working for Him (Col. 3:23). That’s heavy.
Think of diligence as consistently working the plan. And if diligence is your daily investment of time toward achieving the plan, “essentialism” should be how you prioritize and spend those hours. Your pursuit must begin by pruning the non-fruit bearing branches. Reducing time spent on things like tv, social media, just spinning your wheels, and some commitments. One piece of advice, don’t cut out all your family time. Pruning the unimportant is a challenging habit to master, but it gives you more time and energy to do what is truly essential for success.
You can also integrate productive time when doing mindless things like driving your car. My wife has some of her best business meetings while putting on her makeup. Here’s what the Big E really is: It is a disciplined, systematic approach to make the wisest possible investment of your time and energy to operate at the highest level of contribution. In part, the essentialist is able to produce more of what matters by removing more instead of just doing more. As John Maxwell writes, “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” And as Stephen Covey writes, “Doing more things faster is no substitute for doing the right things.”
So be diligent with your planning and execution each day, cut the distractions and be grateful for the opportunity in front of you. Focus on what is essential and has the most impact. Use your position of influence to make a positive difference in your work and community. Do it all with the gusto that you are fulfilling God’s mysterious and glorious mission for your life. Then when you have finally scraped and clawed your way to the top of that mountain, pass these principles on to the next aspiring entrepreneur using your own best 5-minute pitch.