Every Christian business owner and leader makes mistakes–it’s inevitable and it’s part of the learning process. But there are some mistakes that you can and should avoid if at all possible.
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In this episode of our Business Series, Holly and I are discussing 6 different mistakes that Christian Business owners and leaders should avoid. Some of these mistakes are things that we’ve learned the hard way, and others are ones that we’ve seen people doing and want to avoid ourselves.
While we are talking mostly about business, these mistakes can apply to leaders of any kind. Be sure to listen to the end so that you can hear our “Take Action” section and make some changes based on what we share.
6 Mistakes Christian Business Owners Make:
Mistake #1: Making it all about YOU [3:50]
So many times I see business owners and content creators who are trying to build a business online or who are working to grow a blog, podcast, or social media channel. And when I look at their stuff, I quickly can see why it’s not growing – at least not at the rate they want it to. It’s because it’s all about them!
It’s not bad to include your personality and even some fun stuff about you and why you can offer this particular service or product, etc. But when every post is about you, or your website is all about you… it’s going to be tough to grow.
Here’s the honest and somewhat harsh truth: no one cares.
But here’s what people DO care about: “What’s in it for me?” or “why should I care?”
If you can show people why what you are doing, saying, or sharing matters to THEM, then they will care! Then they will want to listen.
Mistake #2: Neglecting your finances [8:20]
Whether you own a business or run a ministry ignoring finances can be a major mistake. In either situation, it’s all about stewardship. We believe if God has called you to your business he has also called you to integrity in that calling. Neglecting or ignoring your finances is not coming from a place of integrity.
A few practical ways you can get your finances in order:
- Keep track of your income and expenses.
- Don’t dodge or cut corners on your taxes.
- Pay yourself a livable wage.
- Give generously.
Reach out to Holly if you need assistance in this area.
Mistake #3: Becoming Prideful [17:10]
When you start to see success in what you are doing in your business, there’s a risk that you will start to become prideful.
It’s easy to think that somehow you created this success and then you begin to rely on your own abilities and skills rather than on God.
Valerie Woerner talked about this last week in our conversation on Episode 90. She pointed out how important humility is for her and some ways that she practically stays humble.
Holly asked the question: How do we as leaders have confidence without becoming prideful?
I asked a related question on my Facebook Page recently:
The general theme is that yes, it is possible for too much confidence to turn into arrogance.
The way I define confidence is this: “A quiet resting in the truth of God and who He is and who He has made me to be.”
But pride or arrogance is focused on self and how much better I am than someone else.
Mistake #4: No strategy [23:00]
Some businesses tend to fly by the seat of their pants. They created something pretty fantastic, people love it, and their product is flying off the shelves. Or people are knocking down the door for their services.
This is a great way to start but not where you can stay as an entrepreneur. It is our responsibility to bring steadiness and efficiency into our business so we can honor those we serve, the people we employ, and the calling God has placed on our lives.
A few things you can do to become more strategic in your business:
- Listen to Episode 85 on how to create a strategic plan
- Get clear on your mission, vision, and values
- Determine what needs to be systematized in your business
You may need to bring in someone who has this strength or gifting to help you create a strategic plan or implement systems. No matter how you get it, make sure you utilize strategy to give steadiness to your business.
Mistake #5: Chasing Numbers [28:53]
This is a common trap for any business owner as well as many leaders. In an effort to reach the most people, we attempt to become all things to all people. We sometimes end up chasing the numbers, whether that’s financial numbers or followers, rather than focusing on doing what God is calling us to.
I don’t think that working to grow your business or audience is wrong. We just talked about this in Episode 89 about how to build your foundation to grow your biz or audience online.
But it’s when the numbers become an idol or a distraction from doing the work God has asked you to do — that’s when it’s a problem.
Beth Moore’s Instagram post speaks about the dangers of seeking the spotlight:
View this post on Instagram
I feel grateful for the way God has brought listeners to this podcast and the way we’ve been growing. But I also pray that God will keep us humble AND that we will stay focused on the mission and purpose that we believe God has given us for this work.
Mistake #6: Giving Up Too Soon [35:00]
Just because God has called you to it does not mean it is going to be easy. In fact, if God has called you and your business or ministry is going to have a big impact you have a target on your back in the eyes of the enemy.
Scriptures to keep in mind:
- Ephesians 6:12
- Galatians 6:9
When things are going wrong in your business, it’s possible that you are experiencing oppression. Make sure you go to battle in prayer over your business. Get your friends to pray for you or call your Pastor.
Don’t give up on what God has called you to do. Don’t give in to fear and isolation. Be faithful to his calling, be faithful to the work, be faithful to the battle.
Take Action [42:00]
Identify which mistake might be tripping you up right now and choose one thing to do about it! Share in our private Facebook Group this week and tell us what you’re going to do differently.
Key Quotes from the Episode:
“Confidence is a quiet resting in the truth of God and who He is and who He has made me to be.” – Esther Littlefield
“I don’t think that working to grow your business or an audience is wrong in and of itself. But it’s when the numbers become an idol or a distraction from doing the work that God has asked you to do that it is a problem.” – Esther Littlefield
“Just because God has called you to something does not mean it’s going to be easy.” – Holly Cain
“One of the enemy’s strongest weapons is isolation.” – Holly Cain
“The irony of the spotlight is how it attracts darkness. Do not crave it. It will swallow you whole. Crave the Holy Spirit then, if He puts you on some kind of platform, be obedient and fulfill your calling but never lose your fear and trembling. And do not get in the trap of catering to an audience and confusing God’s blessing with numbers.” – Beth Moore (Instagram post)
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My biggest struggle is giving up too soon!!!!!! I am learning to lean on others for prayer when things get rough. I need to lean to stick things out when the going gets tough.
Yes! Giving up too soon is definitely a major challenge for many of us. I am glad you have a plan in place for when you feel this way.