For five years, I have chosen a few words from the bible to help encourage entrepreneurs as well as myself. It is a blessing to be able to share these words with so many around the world. It's important to remember that "we are God's hands," as my pastor recently reminded me. It is our responsibility to show His love through our actions and words. I do my best to be a role model and an example of his light and love. It is my prayer that these words will also encourage you to do the same.
1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
If you think of your business as a form of service, you will love your customers and they will feel your love. To many small business owners treat their customers like they are a bother. Be grateful for customers, they are how you feed your family. Try to always have a YES attitude.
Hebrews 13:5-6 (NIV) Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"
I have met many entrepreneurs who fall into the success trap. Once they start making real money, that's the most important thing to them. Don't let money or success change you; neither will give you peace or make you happy. Let your brand be love and a spirit of gratefulness, so regardless of what is in your pocket, no one will know the difference from an up day or a down day.
Proverbs 12:1 (NIV) Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.
Honest feedback is a gift. Seek it out and embrace it as a learning opportunity. Try not to be defensive. Focus on growth. Being a life long learner is key to being successful in business. Make yourself into a student of business, and you'll never go wrong.
1 Peter 5:5 (NIV) In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble."
Seek out mentorship. Make sure to position yourself around people who can help you grow.
Colossians 3:13 (NIV) Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Forgiveness is such as asset in business. There will be people who will try to use you, trick you or get over with a better deal than they deserve, but when you hold onto anger you to drinking poison hoping it will make someone else sick. Let it go. Have a short memory when it comes to those who have wronged you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) Rejoice always, Pray continually, Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
The most valuable thing you can do for your business is pray over it everyday. You should thank God for the good days and bad days, because bad days are just learning opportunities that help us appreciate good days.
Ephesians 6:7-8 (NIV) Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
Be known for great leadership and service to your customers, but also to your employees and vendors. If you make it about serving them, they will do all they can to serve the best interest of your business. Don't forget to serve your family too. They go through a lot to support your travel and long work hours. Treat them like your number one customer.
Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Be patient! What God has for you is for you and it will be amazing when it comes. He can dream it bigger than you can. When I think about what my life was like just seven years ago, and I see how he continually blesses me as @SmallBizlady, I am living proof of this bible verse.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Make time to encourage other entrepreneurs. Sometimes we all get busy, but don't ever be too busy to share a meal to inspire, mentor or be a sounding board for another business owner. It's a heavy burden we carry as business owners, and we all need to remember we are not alone.
I believe that these encouraging words will help your businesses in 2015. Please respond to this post by reaching out to me and telling me how you are applying this message to inspire you and your team. Now it is your responsibility to use this to benefit others. Judges 18:6 (NIV) says, "Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord's approval."
This article was originally published under the title 10 Bible Verses Every Small Business Owner Needs for 2015 at www.succeedasyourownboss.com
Melinda F. Emerson, SmallBizLady is America's #1 small business expert. She is an author, speaker and small business coach whose areas of expertise include small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. She writes a weekly column for the New York Times, publishes a resource blog, www.succeedasyourownboss.com which is syndicated through the Huffington Post. She also hosts a weekly talk show on Twitter called #SmallBizChat for small business owners. As a brand, she reaches 1.5 million entrepreneurs a week on the internet. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. Forbes Magazine named Melinda Emerson one of the #1 Woman for Entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. Melinda has been featured on MSNBC, Fox News, NBC Nightly News, and in Fortune, The Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Black Enterprise. She is the bestselling author of "Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works," and the ebook How to Become a Social Media Ninja; 101 Ways to Dominate Your Competition Online.