Solomon’s Business Principals Part 2
Bread of deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward, his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
Proverbs 20: 17
Today, we’re approaching things with a unique twist.
Begin with a brief prayer.
Lord, our God, we express gratitude. Thank you for providing us with and preserving the stories of extraordinary leaders from our history. We pray, God, that you would enlighten our minds with your wisdom and knowledge.
In Jesus name, Amen!
In the upcoming week, we’ll further explore the business principles of King Solomon in greater detail.
Keep in mind that even if you’re not involved in business, these principles can still be relevant to your daily life, and you can draw upon the wisdom shared in this devotional.
His second guiding principle involved approaching work with wisdom.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom. And with all that you get, get understanding (Proverbs 4:7).
Effort alone isn’t sufficient; working intelligently is equally crucial.
You have to capitalize your business and your life with wisdom as well as with money because wisdom is a defense as money is a defense (Ecclesiastes 7:12).
A significant portion of business startups are bound to fail, and this holds for ventures initiated by Christians as well.
The statistics might be unexpected.
According to the data I came across, a staggering 97% of startup businesses face failure within the initial year. From the remaining 3%, merely 1% manage to survive up to the 5-year mark. Zooming in further, a fraction of that percentage (forgive my not-so-great math skills) reveals that only 1% of those businesses endure for a decade.
If my calculations are accurate, we face a slim 0.003% likelihood of establishing a business that will thrive for a decade.
The success of a business, even one founded with the noblest of intentions and dedicated to the glory of God, is not guaranteed.
Achieving success as an entrepreneur necessitates training and skill to recognize and capitalize on opportunities, combining wisdom and diligence in the process.
His third guiding principle involved the pursuit of excellence.
Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings (Proverbs 22:29).
Avoid settling for mediocrity. You have the power to establish your standard of excellence, so set it high and maintain it.
Vince Lombardi, the legendary football coach, expressed in his initial address to the Green Bay Packers (who had previously finished in last place): “Gentlemen, our pursuit is perfection, and we will pursue it tirelessly, acknowledging all the while that we can never reach it. However, in the process, we will achieve excellence.”
Following that, the Green Bay Packers went on to secure multiple Super Bowl victories.
By opting to raise their standards and pursue excellence, not settling for mere adequacy…
Take a moment to ponder it…
Would you prefer to hire a plumber who is just satisfactory, or would you opt for the absolute best in the field?
We all want the best of the best, especially when it comes to avoiding water leaks in our basement every time someone uses the shower or flushes the toilet.
Raise your standards higher than you believe you can reach, and make it a daily mission to strive for excellence.
Take the initiative and work proactively to anticipate and address challenges before they arise.
In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty (Proverbs 14:23).
While careful planning is valuable, action is ultimately necessary.
As I’ve emphasized repeatedly, the crucial initial step is taking action. Without it, progress remains stagnant.
If you aim to reach the town, start by taking a step towards the door, followed by another and another. The key is continuous progress.
Numerous businesses struggle to thrive or collapse due to a reluctance or inability to make decisive moves.
How often have you received a God-given idea but failed to act upon it?
Even for me, it’s a daily occurrence.
He nudges me to reach out to a potential client, yet I hesitate. Or he encourages me to drop by and say hello to someone, but I drive past their house.
I don’t act on everything he presents to me.
Are you proactive in taking decisive action?
Solomon was extremely proactive, constantly building and always reaching toward the next venture (I Kings 7).
His fifth principle was to embrace honesty at all times.
Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight. (Proverbs 11:1).
Honesty in business should be given without exception.
Think about who you would want to hire—someone honest or someone dishonest.
If you know me, you know that my guiding principle has been honesty, and it has been this way for a while now.
But it wasn’t always my guiding principle.
There was a time when I used to conceal the truth or present only a partial story to avoid trouble or enhance my image. Then, a shift occurred within me, and I started taking full responsibility for my mistakes. Surprisingly, I became even more successful. Despite facing reprimands and having to admit my errors, God consistently protected me from serious harm.
“Bread of deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward, his mouth will be filled with gravel” (Proverbs 20:17).
Honesty should extend beyond individual dealings and reach larger societal issues. Reflect on the last time you were tempted to “enhance” the truth to save face. How did you handle it?
“He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches… will surely come to poverty” (Proverbs 22:16).
Solomon ruled with “largeness of heart” and was generous to all (1 Kings 4:29). With honesty comes giving, aligning with God’s desire for us to be generous to those in need while maintaining absolute honesty.
PS: If you can’t ask for something in person, you probably don’t deserve it. Trying to gain riches through a note is dishonest, as God discourages such actions. Be honest and approach things in person.
Take action. Review the principles we’ve covered so far. Identify areas for improvement. For me, it’s all of them. When preparing to engage with someone, pause and think, “Who would I like to deal with? What type of person deserves my business?” Now, go out and embody that person.
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