Do you want to start a business, but you’re not sure how to start a business that succeeds? Are you afraid of failure, and therefore frozen in place?
If so, I want to share the simplest, but perhaps most important key of wisdom the Lord has ever shown me for what kind of business to start:
Monetize your calling. Start a business that monetizes your calling.
See, the Bible says you should get paid for what you do. First Timothy 5:18 says:
“For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages'” (1 Timothy 5:18 NKJV).
When you attempt to go out and find work that you’re not called to do, you will still get paid for it (Lord willing!). You should get paid for your work, no matter what you do. However, doing work you are not called to do will not satisfy your soul.
I’ll say that again:
Doing work you are not called to do will not satisfy your soul.
I worked 14.75 years for a Fortune 500 financial services company. It was a great job. I was paid well. I worked with some great people and climbed the corporate ladder. I learned a lot.
But it was a soul-sucking job merely because of the fact that I was not called to it.
Now, I had to have a job. I had to support my family, and I had not yet started a business in the area of my calling–so I had no alternatives. I was trapped.
But I hated it. I knew I was called to minister the Word of God full-time. And even though I prayed for people in my cubicle all the time and ministered to people whenever and wherever the Lord opened a door during the workday, I still knew I was not called to that environment. I was called to preach, and the Word of God was a fire in my bones.
And until I took purposeful steps toward being able to preach full-time, I struggled with a lot of depression in my job.
Proverbs 18:4 says this:
“The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook” (Proverbs 18:4 NKJV).
This Scripture might feel mysterious when you read it the first time, but look at the second half of the verse like this:
- The “wellspring of wisdom” is God the Holy Spirit. (Water references in the Bible generally refer to Holy Spirit: as in, “Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water.”)
- Holy Spirit is a flowing brook. Brooks flow continuously. And if you stand in one spot and watch it, there is no end to the water coming down toward you nor any end to the water going past you.
What does this mean? Holy Spirit FLOWS. It’s who He is. Even when He’s in you, He still must FLOW.
And He IS in you. But if you are not able to FLOW with Him in your calling, you’ll become more like a stagnant pond than a running, flowing brook. And you need to flow. To be mentally and emotionally and even physically and spiritually healthy, you must FLOW:
- flow in your calling;
- flow in your spiritual giftings;
- flow in the things that bring you joy;
- flow in your daily activities as Holy Spirit leads you.
But when Holy Spirit in you is trying to flow and you give Him no opportunity to flow, you’ll often get depressed.
That’s why it’s so important to start a business in the area of your calling.
If you start a business that monetizes your calling, you will no longer be trapped in a job that monopolizes your time without allowing you to flow. You will still get paid; don’t quit your day job until your business income is enough for you and your family to live on!
But, while you’re working and getting paid, feeding your family like the Word of God says you should, you will simultaneously be walking in the gifts and calling God gave you.
And that’s how to start a business that succeeds: Simply monetize your calling.
There’s nothing dirty or ugly about monetizing your calling. Don’t let a religious spirit or a poverty demon get hold of you here. God Himself ordained that even the priests and Levites should receive their wages from the tithes and offerings of the people.
Whatever God has called you to do is a worthwhile service for which people can, will, and should pay you.
But if you start a business doing something you’re NOT called to do–simply because you want money–you might still be frustrated.
On the other hand, if you launch a business that allows you to operate fully in your calling, you will be taking your place in the world and the Body of Christ that God always ordained you to occupy.
Of course, wisdom is still required. You will still have to learn how to operate your business and develop good business skills.
Customer service is still important. Budgeting and planning are still important. Marketing and sales and bookkeeping and taxes are all going to require your time and attention. Then, when you add employees, you will have even more to manage.
But your shoulders will grow as your experience grows.
When you first start your business, it will be small. You may not be able to handle much. But your shoulders will grow–in other words, you will be able to carry and handle more responsibility and blessing–over time. That’s always how God works; His Word says “little by little I will drive them out from before you.”
Read Exodus 23:28-30:
“And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you. I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land” (Exodus 23:28-30 NKJV).
God always works “little by little” when He grows us.
Of course, the “little” can be faster or slower, depending on how much time, attention, effort, prayer, and diligence we put into the thing. But growth still comes little by little.
It is typically the same for a God-ordained business.
When you’re new at entrepreneurship, God has to help you learn. Growth comes little by little. As you learn and grow and exercise your faith, though, growth does accelerate over time. In five years or ten years, you’re not even likely to recognize the place you used to be because you will have grown so much! (This is good news.)
But you have to start in order to see growth. And I would never recommend that you start anything you’re not called to do.
If you’re called to do something, why would you want to spend 8-12 hours a day doing anything else?
Operating in your calling brings joy. It brings spiritual, mental, and emotional fulfillment.
Sure, times are tough sometimes. You still have to rest to avoid burnout, like with anything else. But working full-time in your calling is what ALL of us ought to be doing. That is God’s best plan for each of us–even though our callings all look different.
I’ll leave you with this:
Christ came to redeem us from the curse of our work being HARD, bitter, and unpleasant.
In Genesis 3:17-19, God cursed Adam’s work:
“Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:17-19 NKJV).
God cursed Adam’s work. Adam’s work had been to tend the garden, but God said that Adam’s work would henceforth be hard, painful, and difficult.
Jesus died to remove that curse, for cursed is the man who hangs on a tree.
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As it says in Galatians 3:13:
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)” (Galatians 3:13 NKJV).
Beloved, Jesus redeemed your work when He died on the cross.
That doesn’t mean you can go quit the job you hate and leave your family without provision. No; the Bible says not to tempt God–meaning, do not be presumptuous toward Him. Quitting your job without having another job in place is not a wise thing to do, and the Bible says to get wisdom. Wisdom is the principal thing!
But we are to follow God AND submit to His wisdom at the same time.
That means being diligent to fulfill the work of your ministry while also going about it in a wise way.
And that, my friend, means taking steps. Wisely-planned, well-researched, practical steps to walk in your calling full-time and get paid for it.
The world is waiting for you, and for your message.
What will you do today?
Is this word about how your business should monetize your calling speaking to you today? If so, please leave a comment below!