business |ˈbɪznɪs| noun [ mass noun ]1 a person’s regular occupation, profession, or trade: How to grow your business in a Godly way.
My husband, Field, and I have a great love for business and a passion to bridge the gap between the church and the marketplace. God calls each of us to grow His Kingdom with the specific gifts and callings He has placed on our lives, and I am a strong believer that your business is a perfect platform for ministry!
I used to think that I would need to become a pastor in order to be in “ministry”, but nothing could be farther from the truth. I believe God can actually reach more individuals through marketplace ministry if we will only allow Him to use our businesses, talents and gifts!
I love that my husband has incredible knowledge in the business world, but more so that he submits himself to Biblical wisdom and God’s leading. He spoke about the very beginnings of his entrepreneurism with our company, MINT Dentistry, at MegaFest this year, and like a good wife–I took notes for my blog readers!
I am so proud of Field for his Godly character and for the faithfulness he continues to display for our business, our family and for me. I hope these Biblical, business principles will help to encourage you in your marketplace ministry!
Enjoy and be inspired for more and more!
The Top 10 Biblical Business Principles I’ve Learned Along the Way… with My Husband, Dr. Field Harrison
- Live Below Your Means
This simply means, “don’t spend more than you make”! I remember learning this principle when I was in college, years ago. I lived well beneath my means because I knew if I could live at $20,000 while I was making 6 figures after I graduated with my dentistry degree, then I would be rich. At that point, $100,000 felt like a million! It gets harder to live beneath your means as you get older because the bills will start to rack up (i.e. when you get married, when you have kids, supporting your family, and on and on…). Living beneath your means requires sacrifice, but in order to accumulate wealth, you cannot run from this principal. I still live this way today!
- Never Get into a Business You Don’t KNOW
I have a doctor’s degree and 30 successful businesses, but I bought a home health business a few years ago, and I can’t wait to sell it. It’s the worst business in the world. Why? Not because home health is dead. Because I personally don’t KNOW home health. If you don’t know an industry–stay out of it! It takes years and years to become an expert in your field. Put in the time, and stay where you’re strong. I love being a dentist. I love the dental industry. I’m confident that MINT is the best dentistry in the world. That’s why we’re growing, and we’ll continue growing–because I know that field better than anyone. Stick with what you know! Become the best in the world at your craft, and people WILL pay you well to do it.
- Determine and Define what “Success” Means to You
“Success” is many things to many people. Success to me is when my wife and I are getting along. Success is when my family is safe and happy. Success is when my business is running smoothly and my employees and customers are satisfied. Ultimate success is when God is pleased with me and I’m doing all I can to honor Him through my life and business. Determine what success is to you and set goals for yourself and your business with that in mind.
- Don’t Get Greedy
The first thing that happens when you get money is, you get greedy. I realized when I started becoming “successful” that I was tipping less at restaurants than when I was putting myself through college. I kept thinking, “What is wrong with me?? I used to be a waiter!” Now I have the means to tip, and I’ve stopped tipping people. The first thing you are going to have to battle when you begin making more money is the spirit of greed. If you don’t deal with this right away, it will only get worse the more money you make. Know it’s coming and fight it with everything you’ve got. Make an effort to be generous. Try to out-give yourself. Tip at LEAST 20% when you go out to eat. Keep tithing 10%, no matter how much money you make. Remain consistent by setting up systems for yourself, and live by those principals as you grow in wealth so you are not overcome by greed. Remember, it’s not faith if it doesn’t hurt!
- How Do You Know What Dream or Business to Pursue?
I knew I was “called” to be a dentist on a missions trip in a third world country. I went to volunteer, pulling teeth. There was one really hard case, and I remember getting that tooth out feeling like I had just won the Super Bowl. I told my Dad in that moment, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” I know I was not “called” to run a home health care company. You’ll know what you are “called” to do by understanding your passions. There is a huge difference between being called to do something and wanting to do something. I really wanted to run a successful health care company–but I was clearly not called to that! I tried so hard, but if you are not spiritually led to something, you are going to fail at it. What you know, understand and are passionate about is generally where you will find your “calling”.
- Save, Save, Save & Learn from Your Losses
It is harder to keep money than it is to get money. If anyone has had money and lost it, you realize how easy it is to get rid of it. Losing money is way more painful than making money to make up for it. I’ve been losing money in my home health company for years, and it hurts me! But I am grateful for the experience because I have learned so much from this loss. I could write a book on all I’ve learned in the failure of home health. I learned more from the pain of losing everything I had over a company I knew nothing about in an industry I wasn’t an expert in, than all the gains from my dentistry business.
- Choose Godly Relationships and Partners
Surround yourself with business partners, coworkers and friends that pray and believe in the same Godly principals you do. This is the same in marriage, when you’re picking a spouse. If someone lies or cheats around you, then they will lie and cheat to you. Who you are friends with and associate with is incredibly important. Look for Godly character in your relationships. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to become rich. Link up with someone else who is blessed in business and see where it leads you. God-willing, everyone connected with me is going to become wealthy! The vast majority of successful entrepreneurs got there from linking up with other successful business men and women.
- Humble Yourself if You Want Your Business to Grow
If you’re going to start a business, you need to be humble before you’ll get honored. I remember, when I was first starting MINT, I would go to college football games and stand outside at the tailgating parties handing out flyers and begging people to come get their teeth whitened at my business. I did this for years, just trying to fill up my daily and weekly schedule. Now, there are waiting lists to get into the office I used to work at. The moment you sign up to start your own business is the moment you start working 24/7. Be prepared to work for free. Be prepared to work long hours–for YEARS! Put in the time and invest in your business, and you will reap a harvest in due time.
- Grow in Your Godly Character
Godly wisdom is key when growing a business because the more successful you become, the more your character will be challenged. People are going to come against you. They are going to try to tear you down and find your weak spots. Be prepared for that. I’ve had to learn to let “little” things go, and trust that God is going to take care of me and honor my business when I honor Him.
- Use Biblical Wisdom to Run Your Business
My wife and I are great believers in bridging the gap between business and the church. If we are going to create heaven on earth, it’s not going to come just from church–but through the business community building that bridge. Ultimately, as believers, we are here to reflect the heart of God. I want to do that through my business by being the best steward I can of all that He has given to me. I read the book of Proverbs daily to gain Godly wisdom about my life, family and business. If you live your life according to these principals, God is going to bless you.
Always ask God for more. Keep pushing and keep dreaming. Be grateful. Be obedient. Be a giver. I can’t wait to see all that God does in and through your life and business! – Dr. Field Harrison
My prayer for you today: Father, I pray that you would continue to bridge the gap between the church and the marketplace through business leaders and believers across the globe. Draw people closer to your heart and your presence through our efforts here on earth. Thank you for using every gift and talent we have to honor you, not letting any lie dormant. Where there is vision there is provision that comes from you, so I thank you God for giving us ideas, divine connections and finances to pursue all that you have for us. Thank you for enlarging our territory today. Let us be good stewards of all that you have blessed us with, making a great impact in our homes, businesses and communities. I pray you would grow heaven on earth through our businesses, in Jesus’ Name! Amen!