Part Three: Principles for Success
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shall make thy way prosperous, and then thou shall have good success.
— Joshua 1:8
There are many principles in the scripture which direct us how to conduct ourselves to achieve success. As we focus on putting old failures behind us and seeking new successes, there are three principles I would like to recommend that you consider.
Principle One: TITHE
Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. – Proverbs 3: 9-10.
Use whatever means the Holy Spirit leads you to use in determining your increase, and give your tithe (one tenth) to honor God. Your tithe can be in the form of a cash donation to your church, to a specific ministry, or to a community-organization that you want to support because of their mission. Giving will make you feel like a success, because you will be doing what God wants you to do. However, there are many ways to give beyond your tithe.
For example, if you run a floral shop – you could easily donate potted plants or fresh cut flower arrangements to a nursing home, hospice, or church. If you provide services like financial planning, you can donate your time and expertise as well. Helping at a women’s shelter or offering a presentation to children through a mentoring or after-school program are alternate ways to give. Please consider your talents and abilities as your “substance and first-fruits” from God and tithe from those increases well.
Principle Two: WORK PURPOSEFULLY
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; – Proverbs 3: 9-10.
God does not want us to be lazy. Neither does God want us to be overburdened. If you have established set hours for your business operation or if you work according to specific tasks that need to accomplished, be diligent and be faithful to get the work done, but remain flexible.
In other words, seek balance. Some days you will be more productive in your eyes than on other days. If you work for yourself, the biggest challenge may be the days when you don’t feel like doing anything specifically work-related. Or, on some days it may seem that although you are on the job and applying yourself industriously, you run into stumbling blocks at every turn and that you are just spinning your wheels.
Everyone has days like these. But if you are prayerful each day about the purpose God has established for that day, you will see your productivity increase. It may be that God’s real purpose for you that day was to take two hours to comfort a friend or to attend an event at your child’s school. There is purpose in the work it takes to be a good a wife, sister, mother and friend. So don’t discount the purposeful work of exhorting, comforting, praying, nurturing, celebrating with, and loving.
Principle Three: PAY ATTENTION TO THE SEASON
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: – -For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work” – Ecclesiastes.
There are annual business cycles (seasons) that we all acknowledge like tax season. But there are also specific seasons for your particular enterprise. Pay attention. For example, if you provide food service products there may be set times for your customers to receive your delivery. Trying to deliver to a restaurant during their noon rush is not working in season. You would be frustrated and the manager or owner of the restaurant would be upset or even angry that you didn’t follow an established rule. That is a very simple example.
But, let’s suppose you are considering taking on a new client or you are being offered a big project at work. Is it the right season? Are you too overburdened with other responsibilities to handle this assignment effectively? Should it be rescheduled for a season when you have more time and financial resources to give to the project? Can you divide the work into phases, tackling each sequence in order?
It can be hard to say no to anything that gives the appearance of success. Focused, determined women usually don’t like to hear no, but sometimes no (or not right now) is the answer God is giving us and therefore ultimately the best answer for us. We may reap a small reward (like picking a crop before most of it has matured), but we will not get the full measure of gathering until the true harvest time.