Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How To Choose A Business Idea - Part Two

Courtesy of Faithwalk Photograhy
Last week we looked at how to determine if an entrepreneurial idea is the right idea. Seeking the Lord, being grounded in the Word and thinking about our relationships were the first three filters we looked at and today we're going to talk about time, health and money.*

Time

Can I make a confession? Time is an area where I'm still in kindergarten. I'm constantly riding the pendulum between over-committing to being slothful with the time God provides. So this tidbit on evaluating how much time an idea will consume, comes from having learned the hard way. In the adrenaline rush of a new idea, entrepreneurs tend to underestimate how much time they truly have. Time is so precious, and God has made us the guard. Sometimes being the guard means barring entrance to an idea. Other times it may mean casting out something else less important or being disciplined enough to schedule our time and follow through. Whatever the course, life will be more peaceful if we reckon honestly with time.

Health

Like time, we only have so much physical stamina; we need to be humble enough to acknowledge how much our bodies can take. Wood chopping isn't the best match for a female entrepreneur and neither is sewing for those who can't sew straight for anything (like...ahem...yours truly). It's only prudent we match our work to our physical endurance.

We also need to scrutinize what health changes our idea will require. Entrepreneurs have to fight the temptation to sacrifice healthy, regular meals, sleep or exercise for extra time to work. This will look different for everyone, since we all have different physical needs, but it is wise to acknowledge the strains different kinds of work will have on us and judge it accordingly.

Money

I purposely saved this one for last, simply because money is usually the first thing we think about. Yet of all these areas, monetary funds are the easiest to change. When it comes to funding an idea, we have a two part question:

       1. How much potential income does this idea have and how
          long before I see that income?

    2. How much money do I have to spend on this idea?
     
Question 1 is by far the most important. Finding out income potential requires diligent research, talking to those in the field and knowing what your regular expenses are going to be. Follow Jesus' instruction to “count the cost” and carefully do your homework on what level of income you can realistically expect to make from your idea.

On question 2, it is prudent we only jump into enterprises we can afford. But I also encourage you to see that sum through eyes of faith. If our idea is getting a green light from God, His word, our counselors, time and health then the next step may be trusting God to provide the dollars. The Christian entrepreneur is always walking the tightrope between wisdom and faith when it comes to money. Never presumptuously spend money God has not provided, but as you commit your ideas to the Lord, be ready for Him to do big things too.

*Blogger Jonathan Milligan was the first person I ever heard point out that there are six main areas we all share in life, only his list was spirituality, identity, relationships, time management, health and wealth. While I did not agree with all parts of his article and have used no quotes from it, I did find it very helpful seeing how these areas affect everyone and want to credit him as the one who identified them.

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