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The main point of business for every Christian should be to take something that is temporal and use it to point to the eternal. Your business operating with a Kingdom mindset changes decisions you make and how you view everything. Not only is it a better perspective as far as fulfilling the commandments that God gave us, but it leads to better business practices.

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

Often we can put God into a box for church and other activities, sectioning Him into certain areas and out of other areas. Giving God our business should be the top priority. If I’m honest though, many times in my life God is the last option or who I turn to when I get a bad profit and loss statement. To lead in the business world while living for Christ, follow these 4 principles.  

Long-term perspective. In order to live out our faith in the workplace we must have a long-term perspective of eternity. Not just five-year goals, but down through future generations and beyond. Decisions through the lens of eternity change what may be a right or wrong move. It increases our patience and gets our focus off of just dollars and cents. We make choices beyond ourselves when we keep focus on eternity. It becomes less about us and more about saving people for the Kingdom. Reframing our business in the scope of eternity must take place to live out our faith within our business.

Matthew 6:19  Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.

Stewardship. Stewardship means the activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something. Stewards care for other people’s things as if they are their own even though they don’t own it. To properly run your business as a Christian man or woman you must remember that God owns everything. You merely manage it for Him. I tend to drift toward selfishness and self-centeredness, but when I am living my faith out I am laying myself down because it’s not about me. It’s about taking care of what God has entrusted me with. To live out your faith in business you must remember that it’s not yours, but God’s.

Colossians 3:23-24  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Excellence. We are called to do everything as if we are doing it unto the Lord. That means that we are doing everything with intention and excellence. We are being the best business owners we are capable of being. If you want to make impact you must live with excellence. You represent the King of the universe. If you want to influence people for God, you must show yourself excellent in your field. It is easy to wait for perfection, but perfection is a myth. Excellence is not perfection; it is continual improvement. We must run the race to win even though we will never “win.” Honor God in business by rising above mediocrity.

Priorities. Maintaining biblical priorities while running your business is a necessity to showing Christ in your business and having a healthy life. Biblical priorities are there like everything else in the Bible. They are there for us to have healthy lives. Biblical priorities start with your relationship with God, then spouse, children, church body, and lastly your business. There are two things to keep in mind. Your time spent is not always the same as priority. Also, it is not a balance. Trying to balance is a good way to fail. It is a heart position that is easily seen and felt. Priorities in your business show Kingdom level behavior.

God desires your whole life. Allowing Him in all areas of your life will bring all the fruits of the Spirit with it. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, thankfulness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Now that is a business I would be proud to own and that is a business that honors God. You spend too much time working in and on your business to not have God at the center of it. In the long-run doing things God’s way will always yield the proper harvest in the right time. You will fail like I do, but get back up and try again. When the fruits of the Spirit are missing that is a good sign that you are operating outside of God. Stop, back up, reevaluate and lean into God. Pray for God to strengthen you and ask for His vision for your company. He will take you places you would never expect. Be blessed on your journey.

What are other tips to living out your faith in your business?

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With the fast approaching of New Year’s, it is a time when I and many others look back at the year and plan for 2016. This year I have had so many good things happen, however, it has also been a year where I have lacked focus and intentionality. I was moved too often by emotion and ran from exciting thing to exciting thing. With my family, health, spiritual life, and personal finances I would draw this year up as a success, but with my business both online and offline I lacked more focus as I would have liked. That’s a nice way of saying I adopted a shiny thing syndrome this year. “Oh look at that! That looks cool, I’ll try that. Oh wait, look at that!” This would sum up my year in business. It has not been a year of failure, although I need to come up.

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“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams

I am dedicated to getting more out of 2016. Here are 5 things I am using to set and keep my goals.

Make Plans. Where do you want to be in 12 months? Year goal setting is really as simple as asking that question and writing down what you want. As a Christian I get caught up in thinking, Is this what God wants? Though that should happen it shouldn’t be an excuse to not move. If you are frozen in fear, stutter stepping with every goal and plan, stop it! What I have begun doing now is praying and then moving in where I think I should go. If you don’t have a point of reference in where you are going you will not get there. Make a plan for 2016 to get more out of it.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established.

Submit Plans. Just like submitting our architecture plans to the building department, you and I need to submit our plans to God. We do not want to get frozen in fear, however, we do need to remember that without God we are a shell of what He intended. It is all about Jesus and sometimes I can get caught up in my goal that I forget this foundational thing. If we submit our plans to God, we need to trust that if we our outside of that plan He will guide us and put our feet back on our path. Submitting your plans to the Lord is necessary to get the most out of 2016.

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

Shut up? There is a great Ted talk by Derek Sivers and a great post by Matt McWilliams on shutting up about your goals. The long and short of it is that your goals are less likely to happen if you are sharing them. The reason is that sharing your goals give you psychological satisfaction like you have reached your goals. So this year my inner circle that will hold me accountable will know my goals. Other than that I am keeping my goals to myself. Zip your lip to reach your goals.

Make a commitment to yourself today. Vow to yourself today! That you will make whatever sacrifice! That you will pay whatever it takes! That you will do whatever you have to do! To be amazing.
– Eric Thomas

Decide. There comes a point in every journey that we need to decide. Setting principles to live by and making a commitment to the process is key to hitting any goal or vision for our lives. If we don’t make a decision to the process we will be moved and swayed by emotion. Though emotion can be great for starting, it is horrible for keeping you going. Emotions are fickle and no matter how awesome and cool your goal is your emotions will eventually turn on the goal. Decide and commit to the goals that God has placed in your heart to reach higher in 2016.

Move. Don’t sit any longer analyzing once you have prayed, submitted your plans, and decided. Run! Focus on one thing that will move the needle the most in your life out of the goals you have written down and move. Dave Ramsey calls this gazelle intense. You have to move like you are a gazelle being chased for dinner. This does not mean that you don’t rest or that you can’t enjoy life, but each and every day first thing in the morning you must move toward your main goal. If you don’t take actions goals are worthless. Run toward your goals to make 2016 the best year yet.

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” ― C.G. Jung

Focus in on what you want out of life. Submit your plans to the Lord and He will bless them. If you didn’t get as much out of 2015 as you would have liked, it is okay. Neither did I. It does not mean that the year was a waste or that you failed. Let’s learn and grow together making this next year a prosperous and significant year. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps you reach your goals?

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This week has been a whirlwind. There are so many things that have just happened and I am stunned with the speed of breakthrough. I will be launching a new podcast with a good friend. We sold our home in less than 24 hours and found a home that is a house I use to only dream about being able to afford. I landed two huge writing opportunities and have watched all the timing work out perfectly. Finances, favor, and timing have been seamless.

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If you looked at this week you would think that everything is just happening. You may wonder how all of this happened overnight? You may want to know what the secret is to having any of these opportunities. Isn’t that how we operate? We want to know what the secret is and how can we get there quickly. I have done this as I fought and still fight jealousy. I have focused on the wrong things and as a result instead of blessings I got frustration and burnout. These 4 things will lead to sudden breakthrough.

Run your race. It takes discipline to focus on what only what you are doing instead of what other people are doing. You easily can lose yourself in the shuffle. I struggle with seeing a shiny new object and getting distracted from my goals and what I sense God is calling me to. You have been entrusted with certain things that only YOU can do. Stay in your lane and do your thing. Be faithful and you will see breakthrough.

Pain. To accomplish breakthrough you will go through a lot of pain. The fact is no matter what, we will experience pain and discomfort. We will either have pain then a harvest or have a false harvest and then pain. Pain is inevitable so you might as well get a reward from it. Falling for the instant gratification of debt will only prolong and put off your breakthrough. By trying to avoid the pain of cutting expenses you will cause yourself a greater pain. Embrace pain and you will leap forward.

Focus. In a culture that can’t focus on anything for five seconds you will need to buck this trend. When aiming at a goal or vision you will need to work at it a long time without seeing any results. We have been paying extra on our mortgage since we moved into our house nine years ago. Nine years has not been a piece of cake. We have had lean months and months of abundance, but we kept hammering at the mortgage. We haven’t done everything perfect, however, we have stayed focused. Focus over time will carve out your own personal breakthrough.

Abundance. One of the biggest keys to enjoying the journey on your way to breakthrough is having a world view of abundance. To be totally transparent at times, I struggle here and it leads to jealousy and covetousness (having or showing a great desire to possess something, typically something belonging to someone else). On the journey to breakthrough we must remember that God is the God of more than enough. Someone else getting what you desire does not stop you from getting it. I believe that God tests our hearts on this journey. We must be faithful with our attitude and we will see breakthrough!

I wish things just happened like it appears. I wish that there was a magic bullet, but I haven’t found one that exists. I looked for the painless and quick answer for so long that I missed the answers that I didn’t want to hear. Pain, focus, and time are not fun things to talk about, however, it is how businesses are built and dreams are fulfilled.

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Keep grinding and keep trusting God. Your harvest is coming. Be blessed on your journey!

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The Correct Way to Hustle

Zechariah Newman —  September 6, 2015 — 5 Comments

It seems like everywhere you look whether it is a blog, podcast, or YouTube video they are telling you to hustle. In fact, I have even posted about this very subject. I have encouraged and exhorted you to hustle. To throw a brick through your television and get out and get things done. The problem is that some people need to get off their rear-end and get stuff done, but most entrepreneurs don’t struggle with this type of hustle. Most entrepreneurs struggle with a different hustle.

Most entrepreneurs struggle with and confuse busyness as hustling. Scurrying around doing a bunch of things is not hustle. It looks like it, however, really it is undisciplined and unfocused behavior that ends in burnout and frustration. I have been guilty of this more time than I can count. No time for faith, family or living, this “hustler” blames the dream. I have fake hustled and blamed everything except the man in the mirror.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

I have had enough! Enough blaming the dream instead of the way in which I was going after the dream. Blaming the business instead of the way I was running the business. Anytime we allow the vision and plan to rule us, there is a problem. The dream becomes the master and we slip into the role of the slave. These are 4 ways in which you should redefine and start proper hustling.

Intentional. Hustle is being intentional. It is making sure that our activity is focused on the correct things. Rather than running around like a chicken with its head cut off, it is focusing on one thing at a time until it is done. Getting maximum use of time and energy with intentionality is crucial to the hustle. Equally as important with intention is knowing what not to do. Knowing what to avoid and leave undone will catapult your life to a whole other level.

Rest. Hustle is resting. This eluded me for a long time. I would work non-stop and take twice as long to do activities because my mind was numb from overworking it. Hustle to me now is taking time off. It is resting and recouping making sure that I am sharp and ready for action. Rest is not only crucial for enjoyment, but also for productivity and efficiency. Rest is an essential part of a healthy life and a healthy hustle. Take your hustle to the next level by resting.

Grit. Grit is defined as courage and resolve; strength of character. Grit gets one dreamer and entrepreneur back up while a lack of grit moves someone else to the sideline. You must rest, but you must never quit. Get back up when you fail, have some resolve and decide that you aren’t going to stop until you cross the line. Back up, rest, reexamine and shoot again.

Enjoyment. We must build our vision in a way that causes us to enjoy the journey. Waiting to enjoy the journey until the end will make for a miserable ride. This kind of limited destination type of dreaming is short-sighted. We need to come from a place where we are living out our calling daily no matter what is going on. Your family, vocation, and rest should all be part of the journey; don’t leave any of it out. Enjoy and savor the moments because you will look back fondly on the early years.

Next time you hear the word, “hustle,” think of these 4 areas. Your hustle should not be exhausting. If it is for a long period of time you are doing one of these things wrong. Realign back to what is truly important in the hustle. Hustle with wisdom and passion and you will be blessed on your journey.

Are you hustling the right way?

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