Bibles, Business and the Side Hustle: How do I do this thing?
The global church has improved tremendously in educating the body of Christ on personal finance and stewardship over the last decade. We’ve heard more about the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ it’s important to kill debt than in years’ past.
But what about the business side of things? Whether you are in ministry or the marketplace, the set-up of your side hustle is just as important, if not more important, than your personal finances. How do I know? I used to be a tenant in the slums of debt with my personal finances, which didn’t help in process of setting up my side hustles.
I received my business degree with an emphasis in entrepreneurship from the University of Hard Knocks and the Word of God. Over the last fifteen years, those have been the best two professors this girl could ever ask for. Still, it has left me with one question: why has the church picked up mantle of teaching only on personal finance and not business finance and effective entrepreneurship?
Here’s the hard truth though: Church, we need to wake up! We need to find the people who are educated in this subject and teach the body of Christ how to do this well! And I promise it doesn’t start with obtaining a dot.com and creating a catchy handle on Instagram (although that’s what culture will tell you all day long.)
So how do we do this thing called business? How do you launch a side hustle and thrive versus merely surviving (and heaven forbid) having to fold up shop? Here are a few things I’ve picked up along the way in my fifteen years of experience:
- If you are in a bind with your personal finances, you must get that cleaned up first.
You have no business launching a business when you are in personal debt. Launching a business takes…you guessed it, MONEY. And unless you land a deal with Lori Garner from Shark Tank, odds are the cash-ola is going to come from your pocket (because I will never advise anyone to go into debt in order to launch a side hustle or business). Get your personal finances handled before launching any side hustle or business. Proverbs 27:22-24 (MSG) says, “Pound on a fool all you like— you can’t pound out foolishness. Know your sheep by name; carefully attend to your flocks; (don’t take them for granted; possessions don’t last forever, you know.) And then, when the crops are in and the harvest is stored in the barns, you can knit sweaters from lambs’ wool; and sell your goats for profit; there will be plenty of milk and meant to last your family throughout the winter.”
- Understand your purpose according to His will, not culture’s will.
‘FOMO’ amongst entrepreneurs is running rampant these days (and social media isn’t helping either). We have a generation screaming for clarity, discipleship and guidance more than ever before. ‘Earnestly seeking His will’ is mentioned over eighty-fives times in Scripture, yet we’ll go to the phone, our friends or family before we go to our Creator and ask, “what’s my purpose?” Or my favorite, “what should I do?” Stop taking business advice on how to build a side hustle from people who haven’t built ANYTHING. Go to the one who BUILT YOU.
- There is no “laptop lifestyle.”
Stop letting social media fool you into thinking it’s easy to launch a business and be profitable. Thomas Edison messed up 1,000 times on the light bulb before he got it right on time number 1,001 – or as he put it, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Slow and steady wins the race. I love the instruction given in Proverbs 13:11 (NLT), “Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears, wealth from hard work grows over time.”
- You need a business license.
Once you have the business finances in order and understand your purpose according to His will, you need to research what business structure is best for you.
- You have to be in community with other believers who are business owners.
Scripture is clear ‘we will reap what we sow’ (Galatians 6:7-8). You are the average of the five people you hang around most, and your inner circle will tell you quite a bit about the future success (or lack thereof) of your business.
Most important, at the end of the business day, understand He’s the CEO. You’re the manager of the business He’s entrusted to you. He wants to entrust more to you, but we have to clean up our personal finances first. When we make that a priority, the other four things will fall into place. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (Luke 16:10)
Let’s steward what we’ve been given, so we can give more to our businesses, to our families and ultimately, for His glory.