Posts Tagged ‘Entrepreneurship’

Biblical Entrepreneurship – Part 2

This is the second article in the series dealing with Biblical Entrepreneurship. In this article, we will focus on one of the main components of being a Christian entrepreneur. The topic of today is service.

A business that is based on biblical principles must be grounded in service. Focusing on servicing your customers’ needs will set your organization apart from your competitors. To truly have a customer-focused business, your company must have a ministry philosophy. In order to get a clear understanding of ministry, you can model yourself after a great person, Jesus Christ.

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Online Entrepreneurship – Where the Virtues Outweigh the Vices – But Beware!

The life of an online entrepreneur is extraordinarily rewarding. In fact, so far this decade the growth of successful internet home-based businesses is an absolute phenomenon. Indeed, much discussion on forums and message boards across the internet is devoted to the topic of online businesses. Forum participants freely state their opinions about online business -- the good, the bad -- but rarely is the ugly discussed to any depth. Why? Noteworthy is the fact that many individuals who regularly participate in such forums are successful or relatively successful entrepreneurs. For that reason alone the majority of what they say is overwhelmingly positive. Therefore, it is safely assumed there is a "thumb on the scale" concerning the positive aspects of online entrepreneurship since those engaged in such discussions have "skin in the game". If discussions of the day-to-day challenges online business presents became decisively negative before an audience containing potential business partners and customers, the long-term outlook for internet-based enterprises could turn quite bleak. It is, thus, necessary that all aspiring netpreneurs realize there is an inherent conflict of interest in the glowing statements online business pros make from time to time. With this thesis in mind, let's take an "eyes wide open" review of e-commerce and consider how online business might be disadvantageous. Profitable, yet -- as with most things worth doing -- problematic.

First, there is distraction: the enemy of every successful online entrepreneur. Working from home means myriad common domestic distractions such as leaking faucets, crying children, or neighbors at the door. These intrusions divert focus from the daily business tasks at hand. Once such events intervene and interrupt the daily "to do" list, concentration flees like a thief in the night. It could be hours before a serious return to work occurs. Those successful at their home businesses develop strategies that jealously guard their concentration in the work-at-home arena. Why jealously? Because it is concentration which leads to the laser-like focus that supplies the drive all entrepreneurs need for success in business.

Distractions represent the "camel's nose under the tent" in the home work environment. Much of the work entrepreneurs do when developing a business involves repetitive, tedious tasks alternated with challenging efforts to master new information and skills. Without vigilance, pacing, and proper balancing of work versus personal time, it is only human that attacks of boredom or, conversely, frustration may set the stage for continuous cycles of self-defeating distractions. Once such distractions become pervasive, the competitive, driven characteristics of a once-ambitious online entrepreneur become dull, lackadaisical and -- without disciplined self-correction -- ineffective for developing a successful business enterprise.

Then there is the big C: competition. As collegial and helpful as the online business community can be, it is also highly competitive. Sometimes even brutal once you begin to develop your personal "brand" within your niche. Within the internet business community, entrepreneurs with bigger "brands" can and do crush rising businesses if they think such nefarious acts will maintain their advantage within a particular niche market. Some competitors think nothing of discrediting each other in writing across many well established online forums and in e-mails to their respective downlines. Ultimately many are only interested in selling their products and making money in an incredibly cutthroat manner. For this reason, many talented online entrepreneurs find their way to personal and financial success quietly, avoiding the more distasteful aspects of the business by "flying under the radar" of some of the internet's more infamous "birds of prey".

So, yes, there are disadvantages to online business. The life of an internet entrepreneur can also be incredibly rewarding and liberating, personally and financially. The internet opens avenues to relationships with people otherwise inaccessible because of geographic and cultural barriers. Pursue the virtues of every opportunity, steer away from the vices presented by distraction, competition, and pettiness and you will be victorious online.

Copyright 2008

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My Road to Online Entrepreneurship

I first heard about being an online entrepreneur from one of my friends. I asked her work and that's what she said to me, honestly I do not have an idea about her work except that it's through the internet. When I got home, I browsed some sites and there I discovered what being an online entrepreneur means. Working at your home and running a business at the same time, no wonder my friend seem to be relaxed and has a lot of time to bond with her family.

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A worthy bride for Jacob: a tale of entrepreneurship and opportunity

"You should leave the village and never look back," Isaac advised his son Jacob. "This place is too small, the mentality of the people here too narrow. If you stay, you will never be able to realize your ambitions."

Isaac blessed Jacob and, standing in front of the house, he watched Jacob walk away under the sun until Jacob's shadow merged with the horizon. Seven days later, Jacob arrived at Paddan Aram, a nearby town, and began to look for a job.

When Jacob heard that, Laban, a wealthy farmer with two daughters, was looking for a shepherd to take care of his sheep, he found out where Laban's house was, and went there to introduce himself.

"If I hire you, will you double the number of my sheep within a year?" asked Laban full of suspicion. Jacob nodded. "Yes, but any additional sheep born beyond that number will be mine." Jacob's answer pleased Laban, but did not fully eliminate his misgivings.

"But if I hire you," the wealthy farmer insisted, "will you watch my sheep every hour, day and night, never letting them out of your eyes?" Jacob nodded again and, this time, Laban accepted to hire him as a shepherd.

A year later, Jacob returned to Laban's house and asked to see the farmer. "Your flock has doubled in size and, in addition, it has produced seventy-seven sheep, which are mine," explained Jacob. "As of today, I will be working only for myself." Laban was pleased with his own gain, but unhappy to see that Jacob had accumulated such a substantial profit for himself.

"Now that you are a wealthy shepherd, it is not time for you to take a wife?" suggested Laban. "My daughter Lea is the most beautiful young woman in Paddan Aram. If you wish, you can have her in exchange for your seventy-seven sheep."

Jacob laughed at the proposal and shook firmly his head. "No woman is worth seventy-seven sheep," he replied without hesitation. "Besides, I have never met your daughter." Laban said that this could be arranged right away and sent a servant to bring Lea to his presence.

When Lea arrived, Jacob had to admit that he had never seen such a beautiful young woman. Lea's delicate white hands and perfect teeth contrasted with her long black hair. Her voice was soft and her perfume sweet, although her eyes were as cold as her jewellery. Jacob hesitated. "But if I give you my seventy-seven sheep," he said to Laban, "then I will have nothing left for myself."

At that moment, Laban's youngest daughter, Rachel, entered the room. She stood still in front of her father, turned to Jacob, and examined him from top to bottom. "Your clothes are torn, your sandals broken, and your beard is a mess," she remarked with a smile. "No wonder that you need a wife."

Jacob's face became red but, as he heard Laban admonish Rachel for her foolish words, he could not turn his eyes away from her. Rachel's traits were regular, her tunic simple, and her figure unremarkable. On the other hand, reflected Jacob, Rachel's eyes and smile were as warm as fresh milk from a sheep in a winter morning.

"Take Lea as wife," insisted Laban. "To make up for Rachel's silly words, I will let you have Lea in exchange for only seventy sheep." Jacob made a quick calculation in his head. Laban's new offer meant that Jacob would be left with seven sheep. Would he be able to survive on such a meagre flock?

While Jacob was still pondering Laban's new proposal, Rachel broke into laughter. "What a fool you are, shepherd! Before you know, you will have to sell your own clothes to pay for my sister's oils and perfumes."

Rachel's words made Laban so angry that he called in a servant and instructed him to take Rachel away. "Wait," said Jacob concerned. "Is that true?" Laban reassured Jacob that Rachel's words were pure nonsense, but that, in order to make up for any inconvenience, he was ready to let Jacob have Lea as wife in exchange for only seven sheep.

Undecided, Jacob contemplated Lea's delicate white hands, perfect teeth, and beautiful hair. "What a fool you are, shepherd," repeated Rachel, this time in a low voice. Suddenly, Jacob turned to Laban and pointed his finger at Rachel. "And for this one, Laban," he inquired, "how many sheep are you asking for in exchange for this one?"

Laban was taken aback by the question, since no one had ever asked him to have his daughter Rachel as wife. He reflected for a long moment and shook his head. "That one," he replied reluctantly, "that one, you can have for free." Then Jacob looked at Rachel, Rachel looked at Jacob and, shortly after, the two became one.

JOHN VESPASIAN has lived in New York, Madrid, Paris, and Munich. His stories reflect the values of entrepreneurship, tolerance, and self-reliance. See John Vespasian's blog.

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