Many small business owners will tell you that running your own company offers a spiritual path you must walk day after day. The business arena is where you get to play out your spiritual values in the real world. And if you’ve never struggled to meet payroll, you may not yet have truly tested your faith. Here are seven spiritual aspects I’ve noticed being frequent lessons of small business:
1. The Zen of cash flow: Money flows in and money flows out. The key, of course, is to have more coming in than going out, but the other key is not to freak out. Sometimes you’ll be in a tight spot. Other times you’ll have more money than you ever expected. Try to maintain your equilibrium at both extremes.
2. Growth through hard times: No one wants to go through tough times. But there’s no substitute for the gift they offer. Survive a painful stretch of business, maybe so painful that you think you might actually go under, and afterwards you’ll be very difficult to scare. That’s valuable.
3. Embrace the fear: Now that we mention it, if you scare easily, the life of an entrepreneur might not be for you. If you can let the scary parts be exciting and fun, you’ll have an easier time. Think of it as a game, like Russian roulette maybe.
4. Focus on the joy: There’s not much that’s more fun than building a company. If you’re the kind of person who can create a company out of thin air, then you have every reason to enjoy what you do every day. Have fun. Keep in mind why you’re doing this. Remember that other people are stuck in their cubicles somewhere, working for someone they may not even respect.
5. Take the high road: And remember that your people are watching you. When a client double pays, when your company messes something up, when someone needs to be fired, you set the tone for how everyone at your company will handle future issues. Make sure you’re setting an example you’d want them to follow.
6. Follow your bliss: Do what feels fun and exciting to you, and don’t bother with the rest. Or delegate it. Use your enjoyment (or the lack thereof) as a guidance mechanism for where to spend your time and where to take your company next.
7. The power of faith. Call it what you will – God, your inner wisdom or even the AA’s higher power – but do call on it. Sometimes you just have to hand the reins over to God, or whatever, and accept that there are some things that are simply beyond your control. Everything tends to work out. Believing that seems to help.