Jesus told a parable about business. And the story goes like this:
A man was leaving for a trip. He gathered his servants around and gave them each an amount of his money.
One servant he gave 5 bags of gold (known as a “talent” back then). To another, he gave 2 bags of gold. And to the last, he gave 1 bag of gold. He dispersed it this way according to the abilities of each one.
The one with 5 bags of gold went out and invested. He earned 5 more bags.
The one with 2 bags of gold went out and also invested. He earned 2 more bags.
The one with 1 bag decided to bury it.
When the man came back, he was pleased with the two who had invested and said to them, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
He was not pleased with the last servant. He said the servant should have at least put it in the bank so some interest could have been made on it. He called the servant lazy and wicked.
An Explanation about Business
Obviously, Jesus told this story because of the spiritual implications. The gold is like the various resources God has given you in your life. The return on investment is like the spiritual accomplishments in your life, whether bold steps of faith, evangelism, good works, using your spiritual gifts, etc.
In other words, you should use every resource in your life to glorify God. Then one day, Jesus can say to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
I can only imagine what that will be like!
But you can’t get around the fact that this is a parable, which is first and foremost about money, investing, and business.
You see, it is a very good thing to want to invest in starting a business. It shows that you want to take what you’ve been given and put it to work. To build a positive return on investment.
But there are considerations you must think about before you jump in. One primary consideration is the focus of this article:
You should not start a business just because you’re really good at your job.
3 Functions of Workers in a Business
In this book, he explained that there are three types of functions that workers fill in a company. The Technician, the Manager, and the Entrepreneur.
The Technician is the one who does the actual work. The one who makes the product or does the service. The lineman. The nurse. The clerk. The cashier. The cook. The waiter. The designer.
The Manager is the one who oversees the Technicians. They make sure the work is getting done efficiently, accurately, and economically. In essence, the managers actually run the inner-workings of the business.
And the Entrepreneur is in charge of the growth of the business. He or she focuses on vision, expansion, partnerships, deals, and strategy.
The Pitfall People Fall into When Starting a Business
You’re working a job for 10 years (You’re a technician). Let’s say you build furniture. So you work and work, and one day you realize you’re the most senior builder in the company. You design new pieces. You do the work of obtaining materials and actually build the pieces.
This goes on long enough and you start getting frustrated with your manager because he doesn’t understand how hard you work. How difficult it is. And how much better off the company is because you’re there.
Then one day the owner of the business comes in to check on the day-to-day. He comes over to you, shakes your hand (you’re a little impressed because he remembers your name… or did the manager remind him of it?). He walks away to go mingle with other workers.
You think to yourself, “How much more money do you think he makes? 5 times what you make? 10 times? 100 times?”
Then another thought pops into your head, “Well, he wouldn’t be making this money if it weren’t for me. If I left, this company would fall apart.”
And finally, “Maybe I should leave and start my own business. I’m the one who does all the work anyway.”
And there it is – the infant-stage (idea-stage) of your first failed business.You should not start a #business just because you're really good at your #job. Click To Tweet
Why Would a Business Like This Fail?
In simple terms, technicians are not entrepreneurs. Or at least not without very serious re-calibration.
You see, if you, like so many before you, start a business with the mindset described above, you will be thinking like a technician.
You’ll start your business, and you’ll make all the furniture. Maybe you’ll even hire people. But they’ll rarely work out because they never produce to your high standards.
So you’ll keep doing the work yourself. And you’ll see very little growth because you can’t produce more than what you’re own hands can manage.
One day, after you’ve already become extremely burned out due to the stress of building furniture as well as running the whole thing, the bills will pile up. Without the needed growth, you won’t be able to pay them. And you’ll quit. Maybe not immediately. But soon.
You see, a technician is not ready to be an entrepreneur, until he can take his hands out of the work. The jobs of the two are very different. Just because you’re a great technician, doesn’t mean you have acquired the skills to be an entrepreneur.Technicians are not #entrepreneurs. Click To Tweet
Does that Mean You’ll Never Get to Start a Business?
You absolutely can start a business. You just need to be prepared for the drastic change.
Your goal as an entrepreneur is not to make all the furniture yourself. It is to build a quality team which can build the furniture for you.
That way, you can be freed up for the work an entrepreneur must focus on – vision, strategy, and expansion.
You’ll be the one rallying your team together to meet common goals. The one who designs the strategy that will raise production 200% in the first year. 500% in the next three years. It will be you who is talking with developers about that next property you’re buying for the next store. And you who will design a process which can be replicated for those who wish to franchise in the future.
Be the Faithful Servant
So go out and learn how to be the faithful servant who doubled his master’s investment.
God has given you resources. Use them to maximize your return all for the glory of God.
It won’t be easy. You’ll need to gain a lot of skills on the way. But you can be assured that the investment will be worth it.