The Wise and Foolish Business Builders: How to Start a Business Right

how to start a business
Looks good but fragile
Entrepreneurs: Are you the wise or foolish business builders? Will your business be successful in the future? The answer might lies in the Bible verses below:

The Wise and Foolish Builders

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27 NIV

The verses above actually talks about how Christians should build their life upon; the verses talk about obedience – you should practice the Words of Gods, or else you will be an empty (foolish) Christian who knows the Words but don’t practice them in your daily life.

I’m far from perfect… thus I try to learn about everything – how I live my life and how I do business – based on the Words of Gods. Without Him, I am nothing but a fool, literally.

In term of business, the particular verses – Matthew 7:24-27 – talks about how to start your business.

It’s only make sense: If your foundation is strong, the building above will withstand harsh conditions; if your foundation is weak, the building above – no matter how perfect it is, it will “fell with a great crash.” If you start with the right “foundation” you will likely to achieve success; if not, you will end up having business issues in the future (even if today your business seems to run well…)

I see doing business like a racing or running event. In such event, starting a business requires a good start. You start wrong, you will need to clean up the mess, pick up the pieces, and go on.

Just like a good athlete – especially in running events, you want to prepare in such a way that you can start your business well. Running athletes work hard in practices for years to prepare themselves to be able to start well and run the race well. A couple of milliseconds late, you will end up losing the race.

If you are driving a race car, a perfect start requires you to rev your car engine to certain RPM in such a way that when the light turns green, you can accelerate well and reach your race car’s optimal speed as quickly as possible.

How to start a business on the right foundation

From the examples above, I do have some tips to help you start your business with the right foundation…

1. You need to have the right mindset

Do you trust your God? If so, follow His lead and just trust Him. In general, you need the right mindset to get you where you want to be.

For example, if you want to establish a new franchise unit, you need to know that opening a franchise unit is different with starting a business; franchising requires you to follow your franchisor’s rules (limited freedom, to be honest,) whereas starting your own business depends on your intuition and your past experience.

2. You need to have the right reason to start a business

You also need to know your reason in starting a business; do you want to get rich quick? Do you want to secure your financial future? Do you want to solve a particular social issue?

You need a solid business plan and you need to revise and refine it along the way of your entrepreneurial journey. You and I might start a business with some wrong reasons, but we can fix things along the way.

I started my webpreneurial journey with the wrong reasons, and along the way, the truth reveals and through trials and tribulations, I start to be able to discover the real reasons, and in doing so, my business starts to grow well beyond my expectations.

3. Well-prepare your business startup phase

I started my business without proper preparations – I just go out and do it. This might work for others, but not to many, including me.

I conclude that, somehow, you need to plan your startup well and do your due diligence: Do your research, prepare your business funding, consult with your local city council about licenses, etc. Sure, there are some who stuck at planning stage – so be sure you take action; otherwise, why you prepare a plan in the first place?

4. Start a business with the highest ethical standard

Last but not least: Regardless of your reasons in starting a business, you need to start with the highest ethical standards.

Doing unfair business practices and dirty tricks, that may involves tricking your business partners, doing illegal business activities, or “selling your soul to the devil,” is like building a house on sand; you will eventually fell with a great crash.

Are you a wise or foolish entrepreneur?

I was a foolish entrepreneur; I’m still a fool in some ways, but I keep on learning from my mistakes. I want to be a wise entrepreneur, and I hope you want to be one, too… otherwise, why do you pursue entrepreneurship path, anyway?

So, who are you? Are you a wise or foolish entrepreneur? If you acknowledge that you are somehow a fool (sorry!) – do you want to do what it takes to be a wise entrepreneur? If so, understand this: The price to pay is expensive, but the reward is abundant. Get ready.

Ivan Widjaya
A fool who is working hard to build his life upon a strong foundation
Image: manolo