As a woman growing your business, relationship building is one foundational piece. Whether you are a solopreneur, corporation or non-profit, you have to establish relationships to move your business forward. Doing business God’s way is no different. In retrospect, God expects women to seek His blueprint on business practices.
I’d like to introduce my co-blogger for this piece, Ashley Lounds-Brooks, who is an author and business strategist. Along with me, she will share some of her wisdom in this post on how women of God should operate in business. In this post, we will share three key principles of establishing your business doing things His way.
View your professional relationships as covenants. Tonya’s words of wisdom: God never makes a mistake when He makes possible for the relationships we develop. The people we network with are for our development. In business, we have to change our point of view in how we see those relationships. For example, In my book Women on Purpose: Bible and Business, God addresses the covenant between Jacob and Esau. God views even our relationships as covenants. When we sign the dotted line to take on a project, job, marriage, etc., we have just entered a covenant. A relationship ties us for specific purposes. Covenants are more than just mere promises, they are guaranteed connections that last beyond the initial association. Have you ever thought about how a relationship that you established ten years ago could catapult you in your professional destiny ten years later? View your business relationships as seeds to nurture your purpose and destiny along the way, instead of mere occasions or acquaintances.
The relationships that we establish benefit in people getting to know not only about us, but actually know who we are, what we stand for, and our business ethics and principles. This goes a long way when you’re growing by leaps and bounds in your business and needing avenues to perform that growth.
Ashley’s words of wisdom: You should always be growing your following and in doing so that means establishing relationships with people. People do business with people that they like. No one can like you, if they don’t know you. Relationships can carry you a long way. You never know who people know. If you have a good relationship with someone, doors and opportunities can be opened for you.
Address complacency with a vengeance. Ashley’s words of wisdom: Complacency is friends with familiarity and comfortable. Complacency is defined as a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc. I want to focus on the first part that states “often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like”. When we become complacent, we have a false sense of security. I’ve see this a lot in business. We get to what we think is “our arrival” and we celebrate. Which is great because you should celebrate your victories but you shouldn’t stay there. You should always be learning and finding ways to not only improve your business but improve yourself.
Tonya’s words of wisdom: Complacency can be a killer to your business. There are key tools that you need to destroy complacency. One tool is drive. Don’t be satisfied with just doing the norm. There are over 300,000 people who start businesses a MONTH! That may seem like an overwhelming number, but barely 1% of those actually sustain their business after the first year. Just starting the business can’t be enough. Stay attentive to your business by asking yourself these questions: What is your “why”? What is the reason you’re taking the leap into entrepreneurship? It is easy to become complacent in where you are out of fear to move into the unknown of your next level. I address complacency in Women on Purpose. Israel had become accustomed to the norm of their religion, in hopes that it would carry through in the favor of God. Their relationship with God was no longer driven by passion, but became an item on their religious to-do list. This leads to my next key tool, which is have passion. Just as Israel had lost their passion for their relationship with God, we tend to lose passion when it comes to building our businesses. We settle for whatever comes, taking the scraps of the industry, when God is leading us to go higher.
Operate your business with integrity. Ashley’s words of wisdom: Being integral (honest) is essential in the Christian walk and especially in business. You should want to be known as a person who can keep their word. If your word is no good, why should anyone trust you or what you may be offering? Matthew 7:16 tells us that we are known by our fruit. Let us be examples by living lives of integrity and truthfulness.
One of my business strategies that I teach women who want to start successful businesses from my Groomed for Excellency program, is to do things God's way, using Godly principles. God is the author of integrity, and who better to pattern starting and building a business?
Proverbs 10:9 says, whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes a crooked path will be found out. Simply put, if you tell the truth you don’t have to remember a lie. Have you ever meet someone that whenever they tell or story or give information something always seems off, or the facts change each time they tell the story? So now every time you hear them talking you doubt what they are saying is true. You don’t want to be the person, no one believes. Proverbs 18:6-7 states ‘Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating. The mouths of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their lips.
Proverbs 22:1 states ‘A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.’ Having ‘goodness’ associated to your name is valuable, it provides you opportunities that money can’t buy. Being a woman of good character and integral has proceeded me so, that I have been given opportunities by just my name alone. It is a virtue that should be treasured and in due time provide with a reward that you couldn’t imagine.
In starting - or starting over - in business, use these key tools to serve as a foundation to build upon. They are not only essential, but they are tried and proven to yield a return beyond imagination. Seek to start, nurture, build and empower your business, God's way by God's principles.
Guest co-blogger: ASHLEY LOUNDS-BROOKS is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and the creator of the Live By Faith brand. She is an author and business strategist that specializes in helping millennial women start successful businesses using a 7 step system. She is the founder of a nonprofit organization C.L.A.S.S.I.C. (Christian Ladies Altogether Standing Against Social Injustice Corporation), owner of Christian apparel company 1st Kings Apparel and creator of the Live by Faith app and brand (www.livebyfaithbrand.com). Her ultimate goal is to be an example of living a fulfilling life while serving God.