TDW #035 Beyond the Jesus Fish: Integrating Faith in Business in Subtle Ways
If you're a Christian entrepreneur or business owner, you might be feeling a bit of a tug-of-war between wanting to bring your faith into your business and not wanting to push it on anyone who doesn't share your beliefs.
But good news! There are some low-key ways to weave your faith into your business without turning it into a preachy pulpit.
The Importance of Intentional Influence
Why integrate the two? Why not, as some are fond of saying, just “let business be business”?
Aside from being impossible (we all worship something), it’s about influence. If you're going make it in business, you have to be able to influence people. That's just how it is. And if you’re a faith-filled person, you want to impact others positively—some might even say influence—with your faith.
As an entrepreneur, you take all your experiences and use them to gain knowledge. That knowledge creates a foundation of wisdom. Wisdom, applied correctly, attracts influence.
Bing. Bang. Boom.
Influence is like a secret weapon you can use to make your business awesome and change the world.
Incorporating Faith into Business
But you don't need to put a Jesus fish on your window or add Bible verses to your receipts to integrate faith into your business. Here are some subtle ways to incorporate faith into your business:
1. Don’t Be Weird
This one’s first for a reason. It would solve a ton of problems for most Christians, but sometimes we just can’t help ourselves! And for the record, here’s how I define being weird: violating established cultural or societal norms in order to prove a religious point.
Here are a few examples I’ve experienced personally:
- Weird: Going to a business function where alcohol is being served and declaring, very publicly, that you aren’t drinking. Making a show of it.
- Not Weird: If you don’t want to drink, just don’t. And don’t tell anyone.
- Weird: Saying to every customer when they leave your store, “have a blessed day in Jesus’ mighty name!”
- Not Weird: Blessing each customer silently when they leave your store. Better yet, say a prayer at the beginning of your work day for everyone who will come into your store and be done with it. (I’m all about being practical!)
- Weird: Over-spiritualizing a business decision in front of employees (e.g. “I need to pray about whether I give you a raise,” “God told me we should fire Jim,” “this marketing plan isn’t anointed”).
- Not Weird: Process business decisions in private, with God, and then just take action.
If your faith is important to you, chances are your values are based on biblical principles. You don't have to be super religious to lead with those values in your business.
For instance, if honesty is a big deal to you, make sure you tell the truth. Even when it’s painful. Especially when it’s painful. But tell the truth in a way that honors the one hearing it, not just yourself.
2. Deed Follows Word
St. Francis is quoted as saying, "Preach the gospel at all times. And if necessary, use words. (Nevermind the fact he may not have actually said it. Solid quote either way. So I’m going with it.)
What does this mean? It means people are watching you. All the time.
Actions speak louder than words, right? You can say you’re a person of faith, but if you leave a chintzy tip after taking your team out for lunch, your generosity towards them will be overshadowed by your stinginess towards your server.
Here's a little tip for all you introverts: You can totally offer to pray for your customers or clients without coming off as pushy or overbearing. Just ask them if there's anything specific that's been weighing on their minds, and let them know you're there for them. It's a great way to show you care about them as people, not just as customers.
Personally, I know I have made bad decisions that negatively impacted the way someone perceived Christians. You can’t beat yourself up over it. You acknowledge it and move on—intentionally lining up your actions with your beliefs.
3. Follow the 80/20 Rule
Listen, there’s a reason why people get annoyed with:
- Tesla owners
It’s because they’re always talking about their pet causes! At the end of the day, no one really cares. And if they show any interest at all, it’s likely because they’re just being polite.
If you’re not careful, integrating your faith into your business can put you in the same camp as a CrossFitter—no one really wants to hear it.
The way I think about it is by using the 80/20 rule.
80% of the time, just live your life in full-view of others:
- Build your business
- Create amazing products
- Market them
- Sell them
- Reap the rewards
- …and have fun!
But with the remaining 20% of the time, be strategic:
- Maybe you mention something you heard in a sermon over the weekend
- Offer to pray for a client, customer, or team member
- Talk openly about personal struggles you’re having
- Suspend any and all judgment about nearly every topic and be ridiculously difficult to offend
Just because you value your faith doesn’t mean you have to talk about your faith all the time.
As a former pastor, when someone can’t carry on a conversation without mentioning their faith, it’s usually a sign they’re hiding something. Not always. But in many cases the faith fixation helps drown-out the conviction they’re feeling.
BONUS: Create a Spirit-Led Business Plan
The Spirit-Led Business Plan is a 12-section, step-by-step document that any Christian entrepreneur or biz owner can turn to. The whole point of it is to help bring your faith into your everyday business practices in a subtle way.
(For instance, one section of the SLBP is all about reminding us that we're not the ones in charge of providing for our employees or clients — that's God's job!)
Integrating faith into business practices ain't about trying to convert people or push your beliefs on them. It's about being real with yourself and walking the walk in every aspect of your life (even—especially—in business). If you sneak some faith into your business practices, you can make a work environment that lines up with your beliefs and does some good for the world.
When you're ready, there are two main ways I can help you:
Pray For Your Business Challenge: Say 'goodbye' to gimmicks & discover the prayer 'secrets' for abundant financial provision in your business in just 5 days. (enroll now)
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Join the 7000+ creators & entrepreneurs growing their brands + income.
Contrast, Don't Comply. I'll Teach You the Wisdom of Doing Different & the Folly of Following the Status Quo.
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