Success, what is it to you?

In life as well as in business, success is a personal thing. You reach a goal, or a place in your business or in your life that you may have dreamed about for a long time and for many that is the definition of success. For each of us it is different.

For one person it may be accomplishing something which no one else in your family has accomplished, such as graduating from college which was one of my own steps toward my perception of success. For another, it might be getting an award of some kind, like an Olympic medal or an Oscar. For some, it may be simply to live without being in debt. For others, it might be just to live another day. Success comes to us in many forms, some of them are financial but some are not.

Sometimes, our success is defined by our perception of it and not by any measurable way outside of our perception. We can be successful in our lives, but to others it may appear to be not so much success as in how the world might perceive your success. For many financial success and rewards and success in life are the same and that is fine, but where did your success come from? Is your business or the practice of your business honorable and true to the person that you would like to be? Would you be proud for your son or daughter to take over the business that you have created?

Would you show your business to and explain how it came to be to your grandfather or mother? If the answer  to this question and the ones before this one is “No”, then you have a serious problem. Living in this world, at this time we are supposed to be true to our calling. Many people don’t know or realize what their calling is until much later in life, but yours and mine can be determined by looking into our own life and our hearts.

What is it that makes you truly feel good about something when you have finished it? The answer to this is usually, pride. You are proud of your accomplishment and what it took to get to that point and that is a good thing, if you don’t allow that pride to become boastful and cry out “Look what I have or what I did!”. As Jesus said, those who seek the approval of men have their reward (paraphrase of Matthew 6:2).

Being boastful about your accomplishment is your pride prompting you to let everyone know what you have done and in some arenas that is OK for a while. Taking it to an extreme will only drive away your family and friends and may hurt your business if your clients find out about it. So, what should you and I do about the successes that we experience in our lives?

First, give credit to the one who is due the credit. If an employee or a partner helped or was instrumental in your success, then acknowledge them in some way. Don’t claim that it was all your idea or your hard work that brought you to this point if it really wasn’t! Because it really wasn’t just you or your talent in the first place…God gave you the talents that you possess and the ideas that brought you to this place too.

Think about that the next time you are successful at finishing a project or bringing in a sale.

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Small things bring great things

This is a saying, a wise but confusing verse that is quoted to many. Great things can come from small things, so what does it mean? Think about what it is saying: Great things come from small things; a business comes from a thought or an idea. It is not concrete, it is not something that is even tangible, but just an idea. Maybe even a small idea, but it is like a seed. What comes from a seed?

A tiny seed from a cone that only weighs a few grams, falls into the ground and winters during the cold months of the year. Then in the spring it sprouts into a small seedling a few inches tall, as the years pass it grows and grows and in a few hundred years it is a giant red wood tree that stands over three hundred feet tall and more that ten feet in diameter! From something small and tiny grows something great.

All of this from a tiny seed, whether it is a seed for a redwood tree or an idea for a business, yes it can be done. Not just under your power or by your own strength but by the power of God and His empowerment of you and your idea. I know that many of you who read this will say that your business is not anything that God would have anything to do with or maybe you don’t even believe in Him and may not even want Him in your life.

Why not? Your life was given to you by Him! Whether you believe in Him or not, He believes in you and He loves you. He can use you and your business, if it is a business that will glorify Him, to let others know exactly Who is in charge.

God uses a tiny grain of sand to irritate an oyster so that a beautiful pearl is created. There is a seed that farmers use to plant that is as tiny as the head of a pen. It is a mustard seed, yet if you allow it to grow beyond producing a mustard plant it can grow into a small tree. Your life is small compared to God and His purposes but He can use your life and your business to bring salvation to others. The influence that you can have can extend far beyond what you think it can.

Think about the story of David and Goliath. The entire army of Israel was afraid of him, he kept taunting them daily and yet the army didn’t do anything. Then David came and heard his taunting and the insulting things that Goliath was saying about the Israelites. David was only a teen aged boy who has kept his father’s sheep and protected them from wolves or bears. So, he said that this Philistine is no different from them, I will go down and strike him and God will give me the victory. A teen aged boy, a sling and a rock was all that conquered Goliath. No, God was with him so the army of the Philistines was in trouble the minute David took a step toward them.

All that it takes is to dedicate your life and your business to His service, begin each day with reading a few verses from the Bible and pray that your day will be used by Him to touch someone. The day will be more productive, more rewarding financially and more of a blessing to you and to others if you will plant that seed, no matter how small it may be.