Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Adventures of Inspiration: SmallBizLady’s 11 Bible Verses Small Business Owners Need in 2011

This week’s podcast episode is entitled “The Adventures of Inspiration: SmallBizLady’s 11 Bible Verses Small Business Owners Need in 2011”.


One of my favorite blogs is that of Melinda Emerson (Twitter’s SmallBizLady and host of #SmallBizChat, Wednesdays at 8PM ET on Twitter).  It’s located at succeedasyourownboss.com, and each day of the week it provides an informative blog post for small business owners and solo-entrepreneurs with the goal of ending small business failures.

Last week, Melinda shared her “11 Bible Verses Small Business Owners Need in 2011” (CLICK HERE for the printable copy) and today I’m going to share them with you, because they were very inspirational to me, and spoke to me at a time when I needed inspiration and something more to keep me going.


The post starts with Melinda sharing her theme for the year, which is “Either I win or I learn, but with God’s help I never lose”.  Very inspiring sentiment, which was then followed by the following 11 Bible verses of encouragement for those of us at various stages of our entrepreneurial journey:


1. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 I remember this verse from one of my favorite songs “For the Good of Them” by Rev. Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers of Chicago.  I know that I can state personally that there have been positive things to happen in my life, as close as last week, that pretty much go above and beyond what I could have imagined.  I’m continually amazed at the Blessings I’ve had in my life, and I do appreciate God’s favor and pray that it continues, not just for me, but for my family and loved ones, and all those seeking solace from the negatives in life, than can really wear you down.

2. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3 Melinda says “If everything in your business is done to glorify God, he will Bless your work”.  I think this is something that we as small business owners forget, for many of us, exist in the “worldly sphere”, and I’d define that as anyone not doing business directly within the genre of selling religious works and related artifacts.  One of the best ways that I find I can accomplish the requirements of this verse is to always make sure that I keep myself, and my integrity (which is based in my faith) at the forefront of all of my business and personal dealings.  Since I’ve been working in the field of Technology and Social Media, I’ve seen ample opportunity to run scams on people and possibly make tons of money, with very little effort.  Though this could definitely bring me some money in the short-run, I have to look at the long-term benefits and what’s truly important to me and what I’m trying to build as an entrepreneur.  I can tell you that this journey has not been easy.  Especially when I see people that are taken the “crooked route” and profiting hand over fist.  I try not envy such people, and I’ve continually believed that being square-dealing and honest is going to one day pay off for me.  It’s been a long road, but I’m definitely glad to say that I’ve benefited by staying honest, and I probably sleep better at night because of it too.

3. The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.  Proverbs 21:5 Per Melinda’s advice “A good idea is still a good idea three weeks from now. There are no “get rich quick” schemes. Do not be in a hurry for anything. Learn all you can. Be focused and diligent and your business will succeed”.  Definitely one of the hardest lessons for me to learn, because so much about our society now encourages us to seek instant gratification, especially in the technology and social media realm, where it feels like everything is changing so rapidly that you feel that a week missed could be a missed lifetime opportunity.  Luckily, that’s not true, and I’m surely finding as I continue on with this entrepreneurial journey that “slow and steady” does in fact win the race!


4. I will find the Lord when I seek him with all my heart and with all my soul.  Deuteronomy 4:29 SmallBizLady says: “The best thing you can do for your business is pray daily with an open heart. God speaks to us through vision and dreams. Be open to what God wants you to learn”.  You can’t argue with that.
 

5. The Blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22 This says to me that when God Blesses, it comes with abundance and not sorry and strife.

6. Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? I fix my eyes on God and soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. Psalm 42:5
Here Melinda shares a story about her father and how he used to say “we wouldn’t know God’s day if it weren’t for bad days, so thank God for the bad days too”.  This is something I had to learn from experience.  Everything needs a point of reference.  You can’t truly appreciate the GOOD, until you’ve experienced that bad.  Tough as it may be to get through them, I believe the bad times make us better people in the long run.


7. I fear not, for God is with me; I am not dismayed; for He is my God. He will strengthen me, yes, He will help me, He will uphold me with His righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10 This is a good verse for those feeling doubtful about their entrepreneurial aspirations, especially in the early stages.  I think this is a good verse to refer to during those times of self-doubt.


8. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me. John 5:30 As Melinda says “It’s never about you. It’s about the team around you and your customers”.  I can admit, this is a tough lesson for a narcissist to learn, but it’s possible. LOL.


9. I seriously consider what I am doing before taking on new projects. I expand prudently and I do not court neglect of present duties by assuming too many new ones. Proverbs 31:16 Once again, Melinda gives sound advice: “Be a project finisher. Do not be one of these business owners that run from thing to thing with more than one brand message. Make it clear what business you are in by focusing on one niche customer”.  I’ve definitely heard this advice several times since I started on my first business venture (what is now) many years ago.  And I admit, at the start, I definitely had too many irons on the fire, and they weren’t even "complimentary fires" that worked together.  I was trying to do too many things, and was being pulled in too many different directions.  Even now, some people feel that I’m managing too many brands, but for me, having found the common thread within them, as well as learning ways to reduce a duplication of effort across the brands I’m seeking to manage, I feel that I’ve got a great handle on what business I’m in, and who my customers are.  Of course, I could always fine-tune my niche market, but I think that’s just a natural process of maturation that any good business does as it grows.


10. Pride lands me flat on my face, but humility prepares me for honor. Proverbs 29:23 Melinda says “Do not let your pride keep you from learning a lesson”. I’m trying!  Humility is not my strong suit, in fact, though I don’t think I’m too prideful, I can admit that humility is a notion that often passes me.  But I think that’s a result of what I’ve gone through and triumphed over to get to where I am.  After experiencing so many people telling you that you’re wrong, or that you’re going to fail, or that you can’t do something, once you are able to do it, or triumph over whatever hurdles that were set before you, it’s REAL HARD not to rub others face in it, and by “rub their face in it”, I don’t mean, purposefully taunting the naysayers, but continuing on, doing your thing, and showing them that what they say has no effect on you.  It’s that “you can’t tell me nothing” mentality that I think a lot of successful people where I’m from have.  I suspect it’s a “Chicago Thing”. LOL.  So, if you don’t get it.  I understand!

 
11. I live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 Of all the Bible verses that Melinda shared, I think this one struck a chord with me the most.  It’s been a LONG TIME since I’ve lived by sight.  If I let what I see, or can foresee in the near future dictate what I believe were possible in my life, I’d be nothing! If I didn’t believe, despite all evidence to the contrary that my life was Divinely Orchestrated, and things weren’t happened to me, but for me, and that ultimately, despite all the bad, that things would work out, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I can’t tell you how dead-on this verse was for me.  But I will share with you one of my favorite quotes on faith from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He said “Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase”.  People used to say this when I was growing up, and I thought it was the funniest thing, but it was only as an adult, that I truly learned to appreciate it, and what having faith really means.


I should note that this post from SmallBizLady Melinda Emerson was inspired in part by Joyce Meyer’s book, The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word.  And once again, here's a PRINTABLE PDF COPY of Melinda's post, and more information about her:  Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America’s leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure.  As CEO of MFE Consulting LLC, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine recently named her one of the Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs, and publishes a resource blog at: www.succeedasyourownboss.com.  Melinda is also the author of the national bestseller Become Your Own Boss in 12 months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. (Adams Media 2010)

What about you? Is there a Bible verse that inspires you in your business? Please share.


Please feel free to leave comments below or give me your feedback directly, either by email “podcasts @ exclusivemultiplicity.com”, or by finding me on Facebook, Twitter (@KindraCotton), or LinkedIn.  You can also contact me via Skype at my name Kindra.Cotton, and you can now call me on my Google Voice line at: (201) 870-0234.  If you leave a message on my Google Voicemail line, please be sure to mention which podcast you listened to.
 
Click media player below to listen to this podcast. 

 
If the player above isn't displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free (it may take a few days for it to appear at this link, but you can subscribe directly to the podcast feed via iTunes if you want to always get new podcast episodes when they're first uploaded)! 

Come back next week, and have a Blessed Day!
Kindra

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Adventures of Not Worrying

This week's podcast is entitled "The Adventures of Not Worrying".


I started this week with some bad news.  Literally, the rug was pulled right from under me, and all that I have been working for over these past many months was in jeopardy of coming to a grinding halt.  I was in jeopardy of literally becoming penniless within a matter of days, as opposed to a few weeks, which was my reality until this past Sunday morning, and I was in despair.  I allowed myself to be run ragged with despair and worry for 24 hours, because after bad news, I think it just takes some time to process the information, and deal with it emotionally in whatever manner works best for you.  For me, this 24 hour period of “down time” is how I deal.

On Monday, I said there’s nothing I can do about what’s going to happen, since I’m virtually powerless to changing the decision that was made against me, so I decided to move on, and get to dealing with the new set of problems and tasks set before me.  Essentially, I found myself worry-free, because after that 24 hour period of lamenting, I found any additional worry to be a waste of my time.


By Tuesday, in less than 72 hours from having my world turned upside down, everything had turned around!  And it’s funny, because as of today, I don’t have one more dollar than I did on Sunday, but there’s tons of promise for good days ahead!


So this week’s lesson that I learned: Don’t worry (or at least not that much).  I feel like kicking myself for the times that I’ve wasted fretting!  I can be honest and say, I probably will worry again, because it’s human nature, but this recent experience has taught me not to worry too much.  So, this week’s triumph is realizing that my perseverance is starting to pay off! And this week’s struggles is not getting ahead of myself and “counting my chickens before they’ve hatched”.


At this point, I can say I’ve had some really positive talks and I’m convinced that the fruition of these talks will lead to immense success!


What about you? Got any stories you’d like to share about worrying, or triumphing over those basic fears of worry and fret that we’re all prone too?


Please feel free to leave comments below or give me your feedback directly, either by email “podcasts @ exclusivemultiplicity.com”, or by finding me on Facebook, Twitter (@KindraCotton), or LinkedIn.  You can also contact me via Skype at my name Kindra.Cotton, and you can now call me on my Google Voice line at: (201) 870-0234.  If you leave a message on my Google Voicemail line, please be sure to mention which podcast you listened to.
 
Click media player below to listen to this podcast. 

 
If the player above isn't displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free (it may take a few days for it to appear at this link, but you can subscribe directly to the podcast feed via iTunes if you want to always get new podcast episodes when they're first uploaded)!

Come back next week, and have a Blessed Day!
Kindra

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