Our current world is often described as a VUCA world. A world that is filled with Volatility, Uncertainty, being Complex and Ambiguous. This has become clear as powers change on a global economic level, as well as with the emerging disruptive technology and the current Covid pandemic. Change is the new normal. As Christian entrepreneurs, how can we find stability and reference points to make good business decisions?
We cannot find stability in the changing circumstances or in trying to control them. The characteristic of our time, and I think of all times, is that we cannot make or control this world. We should face this fact. While many of us believe that control is possible, time and time again, circumstances continue to prove this theory wrong.
So, what is the answer for stability and certainty in volatile, turbulent, and uncertain times? We can trust one of two things: ourselves or God. Elisabeth, a female business leader of a big international company in Europe once told me: ‘In my business we don’t set course by the circumstances, but on the promises God gave.’ Is that true for you?
Uncertainty will guide us if we have not used vision to set a course. We as entrepreneurs have a calling that is bigger than our companies or the profit we make. Our business, resources, talents are a means to an end. The end counts and not the means. Therefore, the first challenge is to discover our ‘why.’
Last week I spoke with a business owner who received an offer to go for an IPO. He was considering all the pros and cons from a business perspective, but this did not help him and did not give him peace. We discussed the questions: ‘Can you discover why God gave you this company? What is there for God, that He would like to achieve with and throughout your company?’ Asking and discovering the answers to these questions are what will lead us to the right decisions.
As Christian entrepreneurs we should not be overwhelmed by the complexity of life but instead be guided by love. Loving and serving is a perfect guiding principle in complex times. How can I add value to the life and business of my customers and suppliers? How can I increase their well-being or profit?
By thinking in this way, a business friend was able to adapt fast in the changing market of flowers supply. He moved from a logistic company to warehousing to adding value in predicting the demands of the end consumer to becoming the one who is setting the trends in his industry. He is now the leading company in his field.
We overcome volatility through a rooted identity, as beloved children of God. Knowing that we are safe and protected by God allows us to take risks and be entrepreneurial. God’s love will never forsake us.
This is also the testimony of Arthur, a close friend, who wanted to take his own life after being caught in fraud. The moment the fraud came out and he was fired his entire world collapsed. He lost everything in a split second. His name, his reputation, his income, his credibility, and his future. He would never be able to work in the financial world or in a top position in the corporate world again. The moment he wanted to commit suicide; he remembered the Alpha course he had taken with his business friends (the Alpha course is a course to discover the Christian faith). There he had learned that there is a God who cares for and loves him no matter what. That kept him from committing suicide. His identity in Christ kept him grounded, and this peace enabled him to make good and rational decisions although the world around him is in turmoil.
Amidst unending uncertainty, finding stability in God’s Word, understanding our ‘why,’ letting love guide our actions, and rooting our identity in Christ equip us to handle any circumstance the world throws our way.