1. KNOW YOUR VISION —What will be your business? What will it offer? What needs will it fill? How will it change in a yer? In five years? What type of business will it eventually become? How will the changes that it brings fit in with your particular Christian values and lifestyle?
Most successful people, whether in sports, entertainment, business or other fields start out with a clearly focused vision. Then they put all their time, energy and interest into achieving it. Many unsuccessful people however start out dreaming only of the pitfalls and the "what if''s." And as a result they become too easily discouraged and give up. It is important to have confidence that your vision will be fulfilled.
"Where there is no vision, the people perish...." Proverbs 29:18
It is important as well to know the difference between thinking positively, or having faith in God's leadership, and positive thinking, the established philosophy that is recognized by the world as the path to success. Positive thinking is not of God. Colossians 2:8 speaks to this, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ."
Know your vision, but purpose in your heart that you will accomplish it only as you seek God's wisdom rather than through man's vain philosophy.
2. MAKE A PLAN —Notice how your vision answers the "what" and the "why" aspect of your business. Then as you develop a business plan you will be able to answer the question, "how." Once you have a clear understanding of your what and why you'll want to set about establishing your plan of action. And perhaps no greater guideline could be given us than that found in Joshua 1:8;
"This book of the law (God's Word)... you shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."
Naturally, your initial planning stages will include finding a product or service, determining the best method of marketing it, obtaining start-up costs and advertising. Then contacting people, setting appointments and establishing deadlines. But the most important part of your business plan is in your following God's ways — and to know them you must spend time in His word. (We will continue this in the next blog.)