By Denise Willms
"If you're not in business to make money, you're not really in business at all."
The speaker was a successful businessperson whom I admire, and I have learned many sound business principles from her over time, but that one sentence just didn't sit right with me. Everything inside me told me this time she was wrong.
I couldn't collect my thoughts fast enough to respond immediately, but her words have stayed with me. Iíve since spent many hours thinking about why I'm really in business. Can I be a successful businesswoman if making money is not my primary goal?
Perhaps it sounds naive and idealistic, but I'm not in business to make money. It's something I expect to gain from my hard work, but it's not my main motivator. I can't escape what the Bible says about the pursuit of riches, particularly:
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)
So why am I in business? Here are some of the reasons on my list:
* Build God-honoring relationships with people who share my interests
* Help these same people reach their goals
* Develop and use my unique set of God-given talents and skills
* Be creative
I do know that money matters. It pays my bills, fills my fridge and clothes my children. But I don't need to pursue it. If I pursue a relationship with my Lord Jesus first and build up my treasures in Heaven, He will look after me here on earth. His way of providing for my needs may not always be exactly what I think it should, but thatís only because Heís so much wiser than I am.
So am I still in business? You bet.
When I look at my list of reasons for being in business I realize that if I focus on these, I'll have a unique service or product that is valuable to people I've developed strong relationships with, and that I'm dedicated to maintaining and improving. Better still, Iím honoring my Lord and His call on my life.
Sounds like the ingredients for a successful business to me.
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