How to Grow a Hedge Around Your Business

by Brad Harmon on November 3, 2010 in Entrepreneurs

How to Build & Maintain Your Hedge Fund | marketplace christianity

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

In my last post I discussed why your business needs a hedge fund, but I doubt it’s what most people thought they would be reading about from the headline.  We looked at several examples from the Bible that spoke about this protective barrier surrounding and protecting something valuable to the person who built it.

You may have thought to yourself, “that’s great, but how is it a fund?”  Or perhaps, “how do I build such a hedge around my business?”  That’s what I want to look at in this post.  It’s not something that you can create overnight – it will take a large investment up front, but the dividends are eternal.

Why I Call This Hedge a Fund

This investment is not funded via money and capital.  That’s a great relief since many small business owners are often strapped for both.  I call it a fund because it’s more like what Stephen R. Covey calls an “emotional bank account.”

I sometimes use the metaphor of an Emotional Bank Account. Like a financial bank account, you can make deposits and take withdrawals from the account. When you make consistent deposits, out of your integrity and out of your empathy—that means your understanding of what deposits and withdrawals are to other people—those two things—empathy and integrity—that little by little you can restore trust.

This spiritual hedge that you build around your business requires similar deposits of time, prayer, meditation, and faith on your part to grow the hedge into a protective barrier.  If these deposits are not made, or if you rely to heavily on withdrawals from the fund, the hedge will either never grow large enough to protect your business or will wither away.

A Successful Hedge Requires Fertile Soil

We learned from the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:3-20 that the success of your efforts in sowing seed depends heavily on the soil upon which the seed falls.  If you haven’t heard Jim Rohn talk about the Law of Sowing and Reaping you’ve missed some really great insights how it applies to your business endeavors.

In Isaiah, there’s a great description of planting a vineyard protected by a hedge.

1Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: 2And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.Isaiah 5:1-2

Notice that he not only fenced the vineyard with this hedge, but he removed the stones out of it as well.  Why?  Grapes have a hard time growing in rocky places – so do hedges.  For this spiritual hedge to grow strong enough to protect your business it must be planted in fertile soil.  This means a commitment from you to build and operate your business on Biblical principles.

Job was protected by his hedge because he lived his life and operated his businesses by God’s principles.  Had he not, Satan would have been able to come against him without worry about the hedge.  Why?  Because his business would have been outside of it – it would have been completely unprotected.

A Successful Hedge Requires Ongoing Maintenance

Operating your business based on Biblical principles isn’t a one-time decision.  It requires an ongoing, day-to-day commitment to study God’s principles and to feed your hedge through meditation on these principles and regular doses of prayer.   This is where the fund concept comes into the equation.  A hedge is a living barrier that requires these investments to grow and to sustain itself.

What does this look like in practice?  Many Christian business owners will gather friends and church members to literally surround their business and pray over it especially when launching it or when hard times hit.  I’ve always liked this idea.  Yes, your neighbors will likely think you are very strange; however, I think God honors these types of open displays of faith.

Sue Miley writes in her post, A Simple Plan to Reflect God in Your Business Today, about a great way to make daily deposits into this fund.

I get to the office an hour early.  It is quiet and I can get settled.  I start by walking through the office praying.  I want this place to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  I walk by desks and offices praying for each individual.  Something specific or general, depending on the need.  I end up on my knees in my office praying for the Holy Spirit to guide me and work through me today.  I pray He will provide the clients what they need.

I love this!  Each day, she’s making little deposits to this fund just like Covey’s deposits to his emotional bank account.  I know that God honors her decision to seek His will and guidance on a daily basis in such a tangible private display of faith.  Are you making these deposits in your business?

Are you growing a spiritual hedge around your business?  What types of deposits are you making to make sure your hedge fund grows?

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