My Business Failed, Now What God?

by Brad Harmon on June 28, 2010 in Entrepreneurs

My Business Failed, Now What God? | marketplace christianity

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One of the most trying times in an entrepreneurs life is when everything goes south and you are forced to shut the doors of your business.  As this recession keeps its stubborn stranglehold on our economy, entrepreneurs by the thousands face the decision of holding on for another day or calling it quits.

Every entrepreneur is different, but for many this will be a gut-wrenching and life-altering experience that ranks just short of losing a child.  The toll it takes on one’s psyche is not to be underestimated.  It can cause the strongest of us to become immobilized in self-doubt and grief.  I have been there myself.

As a Christian Entrepreneur, it can be one of the most trying times of our Christian walk shaking the very foundations of our beliefs and stretching our faith to the breaking point.

Were We Not Faithful?

After examining our experience against the traditional reasons that businesses fail, it’s natural for us to start questioning God about why our business failed.  Did God punish us for something?  Were we not faithful stewards of the business?

Far be it from me to speak on behalf of God, but my I’m pretty sure that if this is the situation then He will quickly reveal our transgressions to us.  It’s not likely that closing down our business was His first attempt to let us know.

We know from Scripture that God chastens those He loves.  We are all fallible beings this side of Heaven, but continued willful disobedience could result in God getting our attention through the failure of our entrepreneurial ventures.

Were We Not Called?

The failure of an entrepreneurial enterprise is seen by some as a sign that either there is no such thing as a calling to be a Christian Entrepreneur or that the entrepreneur who closes their doors misunderstood God’s calling.

The fundamental error in this logic is assuming that God sees success the same way that we do.  Does a calling from God to be a Christian Entrepreneur ensure our ventures will all be monetarily profitable? I see no evidence of this.

As Christians, we are often guilty of judging ourselves and others by results rather than by actions.  We share the Gospel and, unless there is a conversion, we count it a failure forgetting that we are not charged with the converting but the telling.

Tethering our calling to our financial success means we fail to grasp what it means to be a Christian Entrepreneur.

What Are You Trying to Teach Us?

We tend to be pain adverse by nature.  I think this is why we learn more from our failures than our successes.  The pain is so great we pay greater attention to avoid it in the future.

I do not believe that God calls people unless He also equips them.  This certainly includes some natural ability, skills, and aptitude; however, it also requires experience.  There is only one way to get experience.  You have to dig in and get your hands dirty.

For an entrepreneur this means launching and running businesses.  It’s like riding a bike – some will get it the first try.  They may only run one business and grow it into a giant.  For most of us, we will have more than one attempt at it.

Your Business is Not Your Calling

Never forget that YOU are the Christian Entrepreneur – it’s not one particular entrepreneurial venture.  When one of these fails (you will probably experience some whens) it is an opportunity for you to grow both as a Christian and an entrepreneur.

While they may be quite painful to go through it is often the only way we can grow both our entrepreneurial skills/experience and our faith.

While they are often unexpected and confusing, they are neither to God and we will be better for having gone through it if we trust Him.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Christopher Jennings June 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Running a business is no easy task and I agree with you that for most of us, we're not going to be that lucky to hit success at our very first try. I know this because I myself have failed in my first few cracks as an entrepreneur. Bottom line here is I have learned from my mistakes and with my faith in God guiding me in my decisions and actions, I feel I can better tackle the challenges I will be facing ahead .
My recent post Avoid the Hassle of Selling when Divorcing

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Brad Harmon July 1, 2010 at 10:37 pm

I'm almost tempted to say there are no entrepreneurs worth their salt that have not failed at least once and likely numerous times. There are some out there I'm sure that got lucky, or were very well prepared, their first time out. So many times we're tempted to quit after our first attempt.

For some, it may be a needed reality check that they were not cut out to be an entrepreneur. For others, quitting only leads to a nagging feeling the rest of their life that they should be running their company instead of working for it. I'm glad to see that you a) learned from your failures and b) kept your faith and let God stay in control.

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Aimee July 31, 2012 at 8:49 pm

This was a very timely discovery for me. I recently left a great, secure, full time position in ministry to start my own business. It quickly became an all consuming nightmare and it folded, I folded…everything folded. I am now trying to navigate my way through the loss, dissapointment and failure and all the while trying to restart my life and figure out where the reset button is. Thanks for helping me look at the many sides of where is God in this failure? did I hear him incorrectly? and what now.

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