There is much talk about becoming an entrepreneur; many people desire to own their own business. That is good and we should encourage the spirit of enterprise. However, business or entrepreneurship is not meant for everyone and business comes with peculiar challenges. Sometimes, atmosphere or environment for business could be so intense one almost feels like he is a hitting a brickwall. When this happens there are some basic spiritual principles that can help to break the brickwall and breakthrough to the other side.
First, you must be sure that God is calling you into that business; you must be sure you are doing what you are meant to be doing; you must be sure you are in it for the right motives. And not just because it is the trend or because your best friends are in it. Having established this, then you can begin channeling your energy into making that business idea a reality. If God has given you the seed of the idea, you must be ready to cultivate it, labour over it and bring it into fruition. You need to be diligent to make your calling and election sure.
Integrity never fails. The business world has come to realize this, though some have not; when someone engages in sharp practices and underhanded practices, it has a counter effect, though the person may think, he has played a fast one on an unwary client, but what he doesn’t realize is that it would backfire when the client realizes he lost something. And then he spreads the word that so and so duped him, and people start to avoid that business. Eventually he has lost a bigger clientele. On the other hand, if people have derived satisfaction from a product or service, they would spread the word around, and before you know it the business has a big customer base. Businesses that have lasted for centuries and generations thrive on integrity, their products or services are ever genuine with improvements from time to time.
DEALING WITH BRIBERY & CORRUPTION
People say it is hard to get by without paying your way through in Nigeria. In fact, Nigeria is being adversely affected by the corruption image in the international community. You have to “settle” this person or that person, or a high ranking government official before you get a contract. That is one of the challenges of a hostile business environment. How does a believer get past these hurdles and maintain his righteousness? However, as a believer you must first have the determination that despite the rottenness in the society and the system, you would remain upright. Daniel, during his time took that kind of decision and he was better for it. He chose to be different from the Babylonian system and not to defile himself with the king’s delicacy. He became one of the most intelligent men in the country, the king had to make him one of the foremost leaders in the country.
As a business man with integrity, you need to comply with government policies and laws. You should not be the one that evades taxes or fails to complete your remittances. For example, if you are an importer and you know that some goods are contraband, you should not be part of the people smuggling them in. Someone may think that what if my line of business suddenly becomes illegal? This could be quite challenging, however God would not leave his own without a solution. This situation happened to one of my mentors, the government made a policy to stop importation of the goods she sells, God gave her wisdom; she went outside the country, got international partners and they started manufacturing locally. The company never went under, in fact, the company today is a strong indigenous company in Nigeria and they’ve been doing well for over 25 years.
NETWORKING AND RELATIONSHIPS
It’s been said that two are better than one, but it is unfortunate for a man to fall and not have someone to pull him up. As a business man, you need to have a strong network of friends and relationships that can add value to you and you can add value to them too. Everybody is still in the learning process; particularly if you are a start-up, you need mentors who have gone ahead and are successes. You can leverage on their wealth of experience and knowledge and avoid making the same mistakes they made or going through the painstaking process that they went through. They do not necessarily have to be in exactly the same line of business that you are, but there are learning points that you can glean from them; they can offer advice and counseling that could you need to pull through a particular situation.
Adaptation from Mrs Awosika’s materials