4 Tips for the Business-Minded Woman
If you think the “Proverbs 31 woman” was just a quiet, stay-at-home mom who loved knitting and baking cakes for her husband, think again (and this is nothing against stay-at-home moms or women who love to cook for their men!)
The woman addressed in Proverbs 31 has a lot going on. She plans (v.15), she invests (v.16), she works hard (v.17), and knows how to make a profit (v.18).
She was a boss.
And like her, many women have business mindsets. Maybe you feel led to start investing, or to turn your love and passion into a profitable business, or to get that promotion at work and take on a managerial position. Whatever it may be, don’t ignore that feeling. . .God could be calling you to do so. Don’t think that just because you aren’t teaching Bible Study or singing on the worship team at your church that you’re not using your gifts for the Kingdom or honoring God. Many important biblical figures were still walking by faith in their day jobs. Remember:
Jesus was a carpenter.
Moses was a shepherd.
Peter was a fisherman.
David was a soldier (then a king).
And let’s not forget about the women:
Deborah was a judge who led the nation of Israel (Judges 4).
Sheerah was an architect (1 Chronicles 7:24).
The woman of Abel Beth Maacah was a wise negotiator (2 Samuel 20:13-22).
Candace was a queen from Ethiopia, in charge of her country’s treasures/finances (Acts 8:27).
And you are. . .still trying to figure out how you can serve God and slay in the corporate world simultaneously. Let me break it to you, sis, you can. And here’s how:
1. Be Intentional & Influential
As Christians, everything we do must be intentional. We must remember who we do it for (God), and why we do it (to represent Christ and advance God’s Kingdom). When Jesus called Peter and the other fishermen to follow Him as disciples, He was intentional in His approach and strategy. Jesus gave them instructions to help perfect their fishing method:
“Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” [Luke 5:4-7]
And when the fishermen discovered Jesus knew what He was talking about (catching more fish than they’d ever caught), He became influential.
From your business proposal to business cards, and even down to the outfit you wear to work each day, be intentional. Show your peers, future clients or business partners, you know what you’re talking about, that you’ve invested time, sweat, and tears into what you’re doing and that it will benefit them in some shape or form. Build their trust in you and what you have to offer and follow through on those promises. In this manner, you are representing Christ by showing integrity in your work.
2. Be Humble & Open to Feedback
Never throughout Christ’s ministry did He ever say He was there on His own accord. Jesus always acknowledged His Father, our Lord God, as the One providing His Words, miracles, wisdom, and reason for being. The disciples, as well, always acknowledged Christ in their teachings and missionary work. In that same manner, you will never meet a CEO who doesn’t enjoy reading and learning from other entrepreneurs. You will never see a successful company without a board of directors. You will always here an honoree acknowledge their teacher, mentor, or role model in their acceptance speech.
Be teachable, understanding that there’s always room for growth and knowledge. We learn from others every day, no matter the age or experience. Every follower needs a leader, and every leader was once a follower. Ask questions and talk to other entrepreneurs or colleagues who were once in your shoes. Be open to receiving feedback and take notes on areas you can improve. The Lord honors humility, and doing so even while in the corporate world shows godly character.
“For those who exalt themselves with be humbled; but those who humble themselves will be exalted.” [Matthew 23:12]
3. Guard Your Heart
Not everyone is going to understand or be on board with your vision. . . and that is okay. What’s not okay is when they try to deter you from what you know God placed on your heart to do. Avoid those type of people and negativity. If who you are associate with does not inspire you, encourage you, or assist you in building towards your goals, then they’re a hinderance. When the Word of God instructs us to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23), it’s referring to all areas of our life. Whatever you allow into your thoughts, spirit, and environment can influence your decisions, good or bad. This is why scripture specifically says “Above all else, guard your heart…” Be protective over the vision and assignment God gave you, including your job or business.
4. Network Like There’s no Tomorrow
Last, but not least, you must understand the power of networking. Any business owner or entrepreneur will tell you the importance of having connections and collaborations. If you want to build, you cannot do it alone. Whether you’re at a job conference, cocktail party, or simply waiting in line at Starbucks, striking up a conversation with a stranger just may be your next big break. Build professional relationships with other business owners, associates, fellow alumni, and friends. These are your resources, ears to the job market, prospective clients, business partners, and more.
Embrace areas you are strong while accepting areas where you are weak. Some people have the gift of gab—let them assist in your PR and outreach. In exchange, you can offer your services for their benefit. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to networking. Any opportunity is beneficial, whether you’re out volunteering with a large non-profit, or catching up with a former colleague over coffee. Make the most of your connections.
And sis, remember this: as long as you’re obedient to what God is telling you to do, you’re giving Him glory. The success of your jewelry business may fund a new community rehabilitation center; your new management position may lead the company into opening a new department that provides dozens of new jobs to individuals who were once unemployed; your digital magazine may help hundreds of women feel beautiful, confident, and encouraged to draw closer to God (shoutout to Kesha, the founder and editor of Christian EnVogue!). You never know how God will use you. If a business-mindset is what you’ve been given, use it.
With a B.A in English, Ashley Cottrell has written blogs for Virginia Bride Magazine, Bronze Mag, and has been a contributing writer for numerous other digital entities. Although a Virginia-native, Ashley resides in Puerto Rico fulfilling her passion as a freelance writer. She aims to use her gift of writing to inspire others and share the gospel of Christ. When she's not writing, you can find her nose-deep in a game of chess, Salsa dancing, or making homemade skin care products.