Solomon’s Business Principles Part 2
“Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man; but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.”
Proverbs 20: 17
Today we are going to do things a little bit differently.
Let’s start with a quick prayer.
Lord, God, thank you. Thank you for giving us and documenting such amazing leaders throughout our past. We pray to God that you would open up our minds to your wisdom and knowledge.
In Jesus name, Amen!
This week we are going to continue diving deeper into King Solomon’s business principles.
Remember that even if you’re not a business person, these principles can still apply to your everyday life and you can utilize the wisdom throughout this devotional.
His second principal was to WORK WISELY.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding (Proverbs 4: 7).
It is not enough to work hard. You also have to work smart.
You have to capitalize your business and your life with wisdom as well as with money, because wisdom is a defense as money is a defense (Ecclesiastes 7: 12).
The great majority of business start-ups will fail. The great majority of businesses started by Christians will fail.
The numbers might surprise you.
The statistics I found said that 97% of all startup businesses will fail in the first year. Then of that 3% of businesses only 1% will make it to 5 years. Of that decimal of a percentage (I’m not great at math) only 1% of those businesses will make it to 10 years.
If my numbers are right we have a .003% chance of starting a business that will make it to 10 years.
It doesn’t matter if the business is founded with the best of purposes and dedicated to the glory of God.
Being a successful entrepreneur requires training and skill to be able to see and seize opportunities, working with wisdom as well with diligence.
His third principal was PURSUE EXCELLENCE.
Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings (Proverbs 22: 29).
Never be satisfied with being satisfactory. You get to set your bar of excellence, so set it high and keep it there.
Vince Lombardi, the great football coach, said in his first speech to his Green Bay Packers (who had finished in last place the prior season): Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.
Shortly after that the Green Bay Packers went on to win multiple super bowls.
Because they chose to set their bar high and pursue excellence, not just good enough.
Think about it for a few seconds.
Would you rather hire a plumber that is good enough, or would you hire the BEST of the BEST?
The Best of the Best right! We don’t want water leaking into our basement every time someone takes a shower or flushes the toilet.
So set your excellence level higher than you think you can reach and strive for it every day.
His fourth principal was WORK PROACTIVELY.
In all labor there is profit; but idle chatter leads only to poverty (Proverbs 14: 23).
There is great benefit in careful planning, but in the end, you need to act.
You have heard me say it constantly. The first step is action! Without action, you will never move.
If you want to go to town, the first thing you need to do is take a step towards the door, then another step, then another. I think you get the point.
Many businesses fail to grow, or fail altogether, because of an inability or an unwillingness to act decisively.
How many times have you been given an idea by God but not taken action?
For me it still happens almost every day.
He urges me to call a potential client, but I hesitate. Or he urges me to stop by and say hi to someone, but I drive right by their house.
I don’t take action on everything he gives me.
How about you? Do you take decisive action?
Solomon was extremely proactive, constantly building and always reaching towards the next venture (I Kings 7).
His fifth principal was to BE HONEST ALWAYS.
Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord; but a just weight is His delight. (Proverbs 11: 1).
Honesty in business should be given and without exception.
Again think about who you would want to hire? An honest person or a dishonest person.
If you know me you know that my principles are honesty and it has been for a while now.
But it wasn’t always my principal.
There was a time where when I thought I would get into trouble I would hide the truth, or only tell part of the story so that I looked better.
Then something clicked inside of me and I started taking FULL responsibility for my mistakes.
Guess what happened, I became even more successful.
Yes I had to eat more crow, and I even got reprimanded several times by people. But in the end God always protected me from real harm.
Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man; but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel (Proverbs 20: 17).
Honesty should extend beyond individual dealings and reach to larger societal issues.
Think back to the last time you were tempted to hide the truth to save face. How did you handle it?
He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches will surely come to poverty (Proverbs 22: 16).
We read that Solomon ruled with largeness of heart and was generous to all (I Kings 4: 29).
With honesty comes giving and that is exactly what God wants from us. He wants us to give to those in need and be 100% honest all the time.
PS if you can’t ask for something in person, then you probably don’t deserve it. Never try to gain riches through a note! God is telling you that it is dishonest and that is why you can’t ask for it in person.
Look at the principles that we have learned so far. Which of them can you improve on?
For me it is all of them.
When you get ready to deal with someone, take a few moments and think, Who would like to deal with? Which type of person would I give business to?
Now go out and meet that person.
Lord, God, today we come to you with an open mind. We pray that you fill our mind, body, and soul with your wisdom and encouragement. As we learn more about Solomon’s principles of life and business we find that they are more than business. But more like ways to lift a WHOLE life full of your goodness.
And we are thankful that you chose to charge them with us. Thankful that you had them written down so that we might be able to easily decipher and understand them. We are so blessed. God, today we want to ask for your help. We need lots of it (or at least I do). We would like to ask that you help us to live by these principles.
Help us to GROW daily in your word, help us to stay strong and move forward in the direction you need us to. Not the direction we want to go in. Help us to take action every day when you speak to us. Help us to hear you and listen. See God we do need a lot of help and we are thankful that you are willing to give it to us.
Lord, today we also pray that you will continue to forgive us when we make mistakes. Because I know that I make tons of them every day. Please not only forgive us, but help us to forgive ourselves, help us to forgive others. Lord, we ask these things in your precious son’s name.
A Little More
Recently we were blessed with the opportunity to consider the acquisition of multiple businesses. And in the end we chose not to move forward with at least 2 of them.
We could get into details, but we won’t for the sake of time.
The key is that we were blessed with the opportunity. Even if it didn’t work out.
And in the end, we had to listen to God and what he was telling us to do and where to go.
You see as an entrepreneur (that is a huge word for me and I still misspell it every time, thank you spell check, lol) sometimes we feel that it is a badge of honor to have 2,3,4,5,6,or 10 different companies functioning at the same time.
And believe me I am the worst at this.
Heck just the other day I was online looking for businesses that I could purchase and then turn them into a profitable business again.
Anyways back to the real meaning of this, (oooOOOooo something shiny, I have to go look at it)
We feel sometimes that the more we own, the busier we are, the more society thinks how important we are. And we all like feeling that we are important.
The truth is that unless you have set your business up to run itself then you need to stay dedicated to one business until it reaches that point.
A place where you can hire a COO to run it and step out.
Until then you need to be 100% dedicated to that business and growing it the way God needs it to grow.
I am a very visual guy so let’s use this explanation of how businesses work.
Let’s say that God plants a seed in you for an idea, just like a farmer plants a seed in the ground. What happens if the farmers go on vacation for 2 months and do not take care of that seed?
It most likely will never sprout and grow.
Just like if we don’t nurture the ideas God gives us.
Now let’s say that the farmers nurture the seed and get it well established in the field. It is growing well. Then he hires the neighbor to water his field while he goes on a 2-month vacation.
Do you think the neighbor is going to pull the weeds around his crop or just water it?
He is just going to water it.
When the farmer comes back he finds that his crop has been stunted by the weeds that started growing while he was gone.
Then the farmer has 3 times as much work to do to get all the weeds pulled. So his crop can start growing again.
Just like our businesses.
WE take time and get them off the ground, they are functioning and growing GREAT. Then we see another shiny object and go look at it for a while and BAM our business has tons of weeds that have grown up and are stunting the growth of the business. The weeds are absorbing all of our hard work and effort.
If we would have stayed there in the business instead of chasing shiny objects we would have been miles ahead of where we are right now.
My whole point of this is that while we really want to chase shiny objects, like acquiring new businesses and starting more businesses, we are really hurting ourselves in the end because we are’t giving the proper attention to the blessings we already have.
So, today I want to encourage everyone to stop what you are doing, look around and start pulling the weeds out of your life that are sucking all of the nutrients away from the real crop, YOU.
Some of those weeds might be social media, the news, TV, radio, friends that are really friends, people who are negative, I think you get the point.
Remember that when you pull these weeds out of your life, it might be tough, especially when that weed has been growing for a while there, but in the end you will be so much better off.
I should also note that some weeds you have to pull out in small increments, because if you pull a weed that is too close to your root system then it could cause you to fall over with them.
Will you pray with us?
Mankind throughout the world throughout our current situation
All Law enforcement and emergency response personnel
For all military personal serving our country and their families
Those in Leadership positions throughout the world