A Businesswomen Finds A Working Partnership With God
I have always been a businesswoman, even as a small child. I guess you could say I think like a businessperson. My first business venture began when I was 21 and newly married. My (then) husband was from an entrepreneurial family and so was destined to have a business of his own. I more or less went along for the ride.
What a ride it was! We knew very little about running a business. We were young and had no money in savings. We borrowed money from a family member (which is another story). What we did have was a lot of discipline, passion, commitment, perseverance, and time. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. The business failed within 2 years For many years I considered myself a failure. Thankfully, one day my dad said, “You didn’t fail, the business did.”
That was BDA Lesson No. 1: We surrendered to the idea that we are neither our business nor our debts. I thought I was the business. I was relieved that the business failed so I didn’t have to do it anymore. Where was God during that 2-year period? Nowhere to be found.
I moved on to Business No. 2. I started that business while finishing up with Business No. 1. I was proving to be a diligent workaholic, as many business owners are. I was 23 years old and full of wounds associated with “not being enough.” Through this business, which I stayed involved with for another 2 to 3 years, I performed for others in order to seek the approval of others. It certainly satisfied that goal, but again God was nowhere to be found. About this time, I fortuitously entered 12-Step recovery and began to allow God into some areas of my life, but not business. In a few years I was completely burnt out, hated the business, and was in the middle of a divorce.
Enter Business No. 3, a business built purely on survival. I had very little money, a rocky self-esteem, and no direction. I was just trying to get by. Since I was in the beginning of my recovery I devoted a lot of time to personal growth. This was great for me, but not so great for building a business. Where was God? Nowhere near me with this struggling business. It failed shortly afterwards.
I began my DA recovery in 1988. I got solvent quickly and fell in love with Debtors Anonymous. A few years passed. I remarried, to a man who had a strong work ethic but little business background. Although I hadn’t been involved in a successful business, I was growing as a businessperson The two of us made a great team and built Business No. 4, a successful business. There was a DA meeting in my area with an emphasis on business ownership that I began attending. I slowly began to allow God into my business. We had this business for 6 years before we sold it for a profit It seemed to me to be a miracle. Looking back, I see clearly that I was letting God into this area of my life.
My husband and I took jobs and began to build personal wealth. I applied the DA suggestions and principles and have remained solvent ever since. We owned a rental property, which was Business No. 5, and I began a Business No. 6 on the side. Although I was personally working diligently in DA, I reverted to a state where God was nowhere to be found in these businesses. Both of them proved to be unsuccessful externally. Internally, I viewed them as learning experiences and moved on.
About 3 years ago my husband started Business No. 7. I wanted nothing to do with it, declaring that I’d “been there, done that”. It was about a year before I felt called to join in the venture. When I got involved I knew I was going to need all the help I could get. It is a large company with shareholders, many independent contractors, and was growing rapidly. I felt overwhelmed. I joined with a fellow DA member who was starting his first business, and began a Business Debtors Anonymous group in our area. God was definitely with me!
With Business No. 7, I have considered God my Business Partner. With this focus, business has taken on a whole new meaning. I surrendered to God’s will with my role being a participant in the business. The first thing that happened once I claimed God as my Business Partner is that a contract with God came through during my writing time. It states essentially what I am willing to provide, and that God will give me the power to carry out my part.
In BDA I have learned to put myself, my relationship with God, and my family all before my business. Often I have referred to the "Additional Tools For Business Debtors Anonymous" list of 12 suggestions that are guidelines for recovery. When I first began BDA, I had only completed 3 of the 12, and I was very discouraged. I had no choice but to work through all 12. I needed help, so I got to work. A year later I can say that all 12 are integrated into the business. It was a triumph to go to my home group to celebrate my success.
In BDA I am reminded by the "How Does One Know If He/She Might Be Compulsively Debting In Business" list what’s important NOT to do in building a prosperous, debt-free, and solvent business. There are 14 behaviors noted that eventually lead to compulsive debting in business. I am heading for problems if I don’t heed any of these warning signs. In BDA I am reminded that “as grateful as we are for these Tools for business owners and the other tools of DA, we have found that it is only through working the Twelve Steps of Debtors Anonymous that lasting solvency, recovery, and serenity may be obtained for our businesses and ourselves.” (Business Debtors Anonymous pamphlet).
The most important thing I have learned in BDA is that God has been with me in all of the businesses. It is I who has not been open and receptive to His partnership. I know today that they are God’s businesses, and that I am a steward of the gifts and talents that have been given to me by Him. One day at a time I can show up to the business knowing that God is with me every step of the way. When I get completely off track I have the 12 Steps of DA that will assist me in coming back into alignment with God’s will for me and the business. Anyone who owns a business and is lucky enough to find BDA is truly blessed. Today, I am grateful to call God my Business Partner!
I still occasionally struggle with feeling overwhelmed by the many roles I play in the business. I still resist God’s calling to be a steward of my gifts and talents through the business. I am learning to accept the success that I deserve. I still feel angry when it’s not easy, and I still want to quit about once a month.
Even with all the “stuff” that goes with business ownership, I know deep down I was born to be a businesswoman. It is when I step into this role with God as my Business Partner that I can clearly see His will and accept His power in carrying it out. BDA is my reminder that there is enough time, love, and money for me to be the best businesswoman I can, one day at a time. Today when I ask, “Where’s God?“ the answer is: God is walking with me, guiding me, every step of the way.