This week, my wife and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary. When I look at the picture below, I am still to this day amazed at the way God works things.
At the time of our wedding, I was running a few businesses and my wife was working in marketing at a large church. Just five months into our marriage, my wife came home from work one day and while we were out walking our new Labrador puppy, she told me about a prominent Christian magazine that was closing its doors.
One of the ‘few businesses’ I was running was a publishing company and we had three magazines in our stable, so immediately I made contact with the publisher, suggesting I was potentially able to help take over the magazine so this important ministry could remain in business.
I flew down to the city the company was based in to meet with him and within a week, we became the publishers of a major Christian magazine. Neither my wife or I had any idea of the ins and outs of the Christian ministry world, including how important at that time making sure the content was balanced out across different denominations to ensure we were not favoring one over the other. That is a whole other story!
Within five months of being married, my wife, now resigned from her job, had come to work with me. This was the start of building a Christian media company, that neither of us had thought we were destined to do!
While I document this journey in my book, Not Business As Usual, what I want to focus on is simply giving your life to God and letting Him open the doors for you. The business world is dog-eat-dog, as we all well know, and everyone is climbing over the top of each other to make it.
However, as Christians, there is another approach we can take. Finding that time to stop in your day and connect with God is not only important for your relationship with Him, but also, as a businessperson, may just hold the keys to your success.
God is ready, willing and waiting to give you ideas and inspiration, but as the ultimate gentleman, He will wait for you to make the time to come to Him. Even when I look at that photo above, back then I was always praying and asking for God’s help in my business. I am still blown away that just five months later, He completely changed the course of our lives – and our destiny – with that one magazine acquisition.
I consider myself an okay businessman, but I can tell you for sure that our success as a company comes down to making that time to connect with Him. I always say that this is God’s business, so my encouragement to you today is to bring God right into the center of your business.
Even when we took on this magazine, it was highly risky, as we took over the responsibility of all of the pre-paid subscribers. This was hundreds of thousands of dollars in subscription revenue that the former publisher had (quite rightly) banked and spent that we now had to fulfill (until their subscriptions were up for renewal, which posed another challenge of keeping them). It took risk. But aside from the new ideas, He will help guide you and give you that day-to-day wisdom on all the tough things like cash flow management, taxation requirements, payroll and so on.
Pray daily for ideas and opportunities. Work hard, look after your clients, find time to plan and create new ideas, and see the fruit come forward in your business.