Running a business can be so unpredictable. The highs and lows come in waves — from month to month and even from hour to hour. You get a guest article published online one minute, and a client fires you the next. The roller coaster called entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart!
Before I quit my day job to run Jess Creatives full-time, the biggest concern my husband and I had was the lack of financial security. The ups and downs that are talked about so often in entrepreneurship include finances! The lack of money, or fear of lack of money, can cause a lot of worry.
Whether you provide a service or sell a product, it’s the clients and customers that help us pay our bills. There are slow times of the year for businesses, but there’s also times that you’re just not finding the right people. You get inquiries, but no one books you; people ask for refunds, or maybe people just aren’t coming to you at all.
Dealing with rejection can be really difficult. It can almost feel like a double-whammy when we’re rejected. First they reject our business, but as the owners it then feels like they are rejecting us as a person, too. It’s in these hard weeks, months, or seasons that it’s so easy to be fearful.
I have to remind myself of a few things when I begin to worry:
- Has God been faithful thus far? (Yep.)
- Has God ever let me go without the things I need? (Nope.)
- Is God limited by my resources? (Absolutely not.)
One of my favorite passages comes to mind when I begin to worry:
“Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?"
“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?"
“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.” — Luke 12:24-34
I find that this passage in particular applies to worry in business because the talk of birds reminds me of all the moving pieces in a business. You need clients to make money. You need the money to pay for tools and software, to pay people (if you have people to pay), and to pay yourself.
But, the great part is that we are more valuable than birds. He cares for us more than flowers. We can stop worrying about gaining clients and making sales when we remember that this is His business, and He’s in control. (Though that doesn’t mean we don’t still have to put forth effort.)
So, how do we best handle these hard seasons when they come our way?
1. Extend Grace
In business, there is a daily need to extend grace – sometimes it’s to ourselves, sometimes to the client, employee, or vendor. Running a business is hard, and often it feels like we need to be running it with a 100% rate of perfection. Not even CEOs of Fortune 500 companies get it right 100% of the time, so why do we feel like we have to be perfect through the good and bad?
When difficult situations arise, as they always do, it’s upsetting and unfair – but we need to handle the situation with grace. Unfortunately, in these situations, people can get mean and nasty with you. This doesn’t mean we react the same way. Use the love and self-control God has given us (2 Timothy 1:7), and be graceful.
The hard seasons of business can be so discouraging as a business owner. I know for me it has sometimes caused feelings of fear and doubt to creep in. Pray for your business, for opportunities, and that He would equip you in your business.
His grace is sufficient for us but only for us to take it one day at a time. There is so much talk about setting goals in business – weekly, monthly, bullet journals, chalkboard methods, big picture, small picture. We run our businesses day to day, but we always have the bigger picture in mind, which can sometimes be overwhelming.
The more we worry, the more it begins to pile on heavier and heavier. The devil knows that it is far too easy for us to get trapped in a cycle of fear and anxiety – and God never intended for us to carry these heavy loads.
If we continually read His Word, and renew our minds, it becomes easier to fight off these anxious thoughts. The more aware we are of Him, the less anxious we begin to feel. It’s like when we want to get fit, we act on it – eat more veggies and less sweets. We can take that same action in our faith – take in more of the Word and worry less about our problems.
I know many business owners, including myself, who are so “attached” to their businesses. They are a huge part of our lives, especially when we’re a one-man show. Our businesses are not our identities — they are not meant to fill a void that only God can fill.
Bad days or seasons don’t affect the value of you as a person. You are still creative, smart, and worthy. Separate yourself from your business. Even if you have one bad client, it doesn’t affect the value of your business either!
Business is not always easy, and it’s not always fun. I believe God uses these instances to grow our faith in Him because nothing is a surprise to Him, even in our businesses! I believe every “no” is making way for a better “yes” that He is sending our way to work through us and our businesses.
I would love to hear how you handle worrying in your business as well as your successes. Leave them in the comments below.