Embarking on the entrepreneurship journey can be a thrilling adventure reminiscent of a roller-coaster ride, with its exhilarating highs, daunting lows, and unexpected twists and turns. While the daily grind of being an actual CEO can be enjoyable, achieving success can sometimes feel like an obstacle course, leading us to question if entrepreneurship is indeed the right path for us.
Obstacles are inevitable in the world of entrepreneurship. However, you can overcome these challenges and achieve your goals with the right mindset and approach. Three essential tips can help you navigate obstacles as a faith-based CEO.
1. Prayer: Keeping God at the Center
As a faith-based CEO, prayer is a powerful tool to help you overcome obstacles. Keeping God first and at the center of your business decisions is essential. This means taking the time to pray and seek God’s guidance before making any significant decisions.
When you face obstacles, it is essential to trust God even when you cannot track Him. Remember that God’s ways are not ours. Sometimes, His plans for us may not be evident initially. However, with faith and patience, we can trust that God will work all things together for our good.
Prayer is also a great way to stay grounded and focused on what is truly important. When we spend time in prayer, we can be reminded of our purpose and mission, which can help us stay motivated and focused during challenging times.
2. Patience: Allowing Yourself Time to Grow
As a faith-based CEO, it is essential to understand that growth and success take time. It is easy to get discouraged when things take longer than we want them to. However, being patient and allowing yourself time to grow and develop is essential.
Remember that obstacles are not necessarily roadblocks; they can be opportunities for growth and learning. Instead of becoming frustrated when things do not go as planned, try to see obstacles as opportunities to learn and improve.
It is also essential to be patient with others. As a leader, you may be working with people who need to be on the same page or need more time to understand your vision. Take the time to communicate clearly and be patient with them as they learn and grow alongside you.
While being patient with others is essential, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of self-criticism and harsh judgment. However, as a faith-based CEO, it’s crucial to remember to give yourself grace in the process. Building a successful business takes time, effort, and patience, and it’s essential to acknowledge that there will be setbacks and mistakes along the way. Giving yourself grace allows you to learn and grow from these experiences without being weighed down by self-doubt and negativity.
Furthermore, as a mompreneur or anyone balancing multiple responsibilities, it’s essential to recognize that taking breaks and prioritizing self-care is okay. Burnout and exhaustion can easily lead to a lack of focus and productivity, making it vital to take the necessary steps to recharge and refocus. Giving yourself grace and prioritizing self-care creates a space to thrive as an entrepreneur and achieve your goals without sacrificing your well-being.
3. Pivoting: Learning to Start Over
As a CEO guided by faith, developing a mindset that is comfortable with starting over is crucial. Failure is an inevitable part of the entrepreneurial journey, and it is vital to have the ability to pivot and adapt your plans when God is leading you toward new paths. Ignoring signs of new direction can hinder your progress, making it essential to remain open to God’s guidance and ready to make necessary changes.
It is easy to become attached to a particular idea or plan, but sometimes, letting go and trying something new is necessary. Learning to pivot can help you overcome obstacles and find new opportunities for growth and success.
When you face obstacles, take the time to reflect on what went wrong and what you can do differently. Use this information to adjust your plans and try something new. Remember that success is not about avoiding failure but learning from it and using it to improve.
It’s crucial to remain innovative and adaptable in the face of challenges. Returning to the drawing board and reevaluating your strategies can be an excellent opportunity for growth and development. By reflecting on your business’s strengths and weaknesses, you can identify areas for improvement and implement new ideas and approaches. It’s essential to remain open-minded and willing to try new things, even if it means stepping outside your comfort zone.
Being innovative allows, you stay ahead of the competition and keep your business relevant and up to date. Additionally, remaining innovative and flexible shows a willingness to learn and grow, demonstrating a solid commitment to success as a faith-based CEO.
Overcoming obstacles as a faith-based CEO requires a combination of prayer, patience, and pivoting. You can navigate obstacles and achieve your goals by keeping God at the center of your business decisions, being patient with others, and learning to shift when things do not go as planned. Remember that obstacles are not roadblocks but opportunities for growth and learning. With faith and perseverance, you can overcome any obstacle that comes your way.
Marquitta DaShae’ Johnson is a transformational leader, speaker, and author who helps faith-driven moms launch high-ticket coaching businesses in 90 days minus burnout. With her Mom To Millionaire model framework and Mommies Making Millions brand, Marquitta empowers mompreneurs to achieve their goals while managing self-care, motherhood, and business. Her mission is to inspire and empower moms globally in the areas of motherhood, mindset, and millions.
As more women than ever continue to move into positions of leadership and all women seek their purposes it is important to have role models from Scripture to help inspire and encourage us. Michelle McClain Walters has identified not only role models, but Biblical principles that can be learned from their stories to help women and men discover and walk in God’s calling for their lives. UrbanFaith sat down with Michelle to talk about her new book Legendary Woman: Partnering with God to Become the Heroine of Your Own Story, which captures the wisdom and encouragement we need for this moment. The full interview is linked above and more about the book is below.
In today’s times of women go-getters, entrepreneurs and bosses, Michelle McClain Walters uses her faith and God’s promises to motivate women to their calling! The book highlights the legendarywomen who aren’t just those in traditional powerhouse positions in business, finance or politics, but also the everyday women — the single mom, the prayer leader, the stay-at-home wife— who choose to say yes to God, are also indeed, legendary. She also shares the twelve characteristics of a legendarywoman,and challenges women to identify their defining moments—those moments when your destiny intersects with an epic need within your family, community, nation, or your world—and be willing to say yes to the legendary role God has uniquely fashioned for them.
I can’t remember not being an athlete. From the time that I could walk, I participated in sports and extracurricular activities. During my earliest years of life, I danced. I did gymnastics for several more years, though I wasn’t good at it. (I was too tall and flimsy to control my body.) By the time I was 11, I started racing competitively, and that’s where I found my niche. I was fast and strong with nearly a perfect hurdle technique. I worked hard. I won often. I grew confident.
As I reflect on those small wins in life, I think about the women Olympians I looked up to over the years … gymnasts like Dominique Dawes and Mary Lou Retton. (As a young girl, I actually met Mary Lou at a “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Winning Without Drugs” event.) I looked up to track stars like Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the late Florence Griffith-Joyner (“Flo Jo”), and of course the star hurdler, Gail Devers.
These women athletes are God’s image bearers who display his confidence and character. They remind us with their physical ability and strength that our bodies are good. With their performances, they sacrifice not only for personal honor, the team, or our country, but by disciplining their bodies, they honor their creator who is the Lord.
As they perform with neatly placed hair and perfect makeup (I never did that), they celebrate God’s beauty in the masterful creation that is the human body. They acknowledge that God does care about our bodies and participating in sports is one way we can celebrate its beauty.
Our bodies are created to worship. With so many negative images bombarding our young women today (see the video clip below), it is important that we raise our voices to share a different message. Young girls need to know that they are not simply a consequence of what they wear, their body size, what they eat, or how men (or other women) view them. The airbrushed images in magazines and commercials should not define them.
I am calling now for a release … freedom … a proclamation that young girls everywhere have a choice to take on positive images. I am not implying that we encourage more self-help or self-esteem building techniques. I am rather stating that we should encourage girls to value the mind, body, and soul, realizing that they are not separate entities from each other.
By the time I entered college, I was meditating on passages like the Apostle Paul calling all Christians to approach life as a runner who desires to win a prize. In order to win, Paul says we must all go into strict training (1 Cor. 9:24-27). Strict physical training requires countless hours of focus, dedication, and hard work. It requires personal sacrifice and a reordering of priorities if you want to win. With that understanding, this passage provides a simple truth: focusing to develop physical discipline (particularly early in one’s life) can correlate to the development of spiritual discipline. Disciplining ourselves in mind, body, and spirit is as an act of holistic worship toward God since we are called to do everything as unto the Lord.
God’s image bearers should reflect his character and the reality that his creation is indeed good. God’s image bearers should reflect his desire for creativity and honor and excellence. Encourage girls to honor God with their bodies for “the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Cor. 6:13b, NIV).
We can honor God through physical conditioning; therefore, in the words of that great motivator Edna Mode from The Incredibles, “Go! Fight! Win!” Let the girls run, jump, spike, throw, leap. Let them sweat, burn, and sacrifice. Let them honor God with their bodies. Let them play sports.
A week ago, I was reminded of something that I didn’t realize I needed to be reminded of. I’m a Christian, so I know that I am loved, that I was created with and for a purpose, that I have power available to me that doesn’t come from this world. But as a Christian black woman, I was reminded that I also rock.
I haven’t had cable television for years, so this was my first time watching the BET broadcast of the Black Girls Rock! awards event. And when I saw previews for the show, old questions like those that have been asked since the initiation of Black History week-later expanded to Black History month-crossed my mind. Questions like, Is this type of show really necessary?If white women televised an event called “White Girls Rock,” blacks would go crazy and call it racist. Isn’t this kind of show racist, too? And finally, any recognition of girls and women automatically includes black girls, so why should the whole society have to especially recognize black girls?
On a more personal level, I wanted to form a faith-based opinion of both the movement and the show that would be airing. So I asked myself, Is it okay for me, as a Christian woman, to accept a recognition and celebration of something created specifically to honor just women of color, particularly black women? Is this an exclusionary event, and what’s the right way to think about it?
Furthermore, I must admit to a little stereotypical thinking. Was everyone going to look like an audition prospect for a Lil Wayne video? If so, I was definitely not interested. So I felt some hesitation. But I am so glad I did watch.
The power of the show comes from the purpose of the movement. Black Girls Rock! was started by former model and DJ Beverly Bond as a way to “build the self-esteem and self-worth of young women of color by changing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons, and helping them to empower themselves.” Her organization does this by exposing girls age 12-17 to diverse arts-based experiences including writing, Broadway performances, and a workshop that teaches DJ’ing skills and techniques. Back in 2006 when she started BGR, Ms. Bond was concerned about young black girls’ likely inability to process and resist the onslaught of negative media images of themselves, and the consequences they were vulnerable to because of that inability. Five years later, Black Girls Rock! has evolved into a meaningful brand which includes the awards telecast.
Check out the video below for background on the movement’s history:
Everything about the show reflected not only BGR’s purposes to uplift and inspire, but also Ms. Bond’s personal commitment to integrity, a visual ethic, and dignity. The overarching themes of strength and resilience were strikingly displayed in Mara Brock Akil’s characterization of black women as those who never give up, and her entreaty to us to make our voices heard in all kinds of conversations at every level in society. This was echoed in Angela Davis’ Icon award acceptance speech in which she challenged black girls to imagine themselves part of a community of resistance. Jill Scott’s bold performance of “Womanifesto,” Estelle’s haunting “Thank You” to a former lover, and Mary Mary’s vibrant remake of “Keep Your Head to the Sky” were part of a memorable soundtrack of the evening.
What pulled the whole experience together for me was the segment highlighting the role of faith in helping black girls experience the strength and resilience they are being encouraged to develop. Seeing Shirley Caesar accept the Living Legend Award resonated with me as a Christian and helped answer my questions about possible conflicts between the movement and the Christian faith.
My hesitations are eased because I see that while this effort to specifically empower black girls and women could possibly be portrayed as a misguided and exclusionary attempt to engender feelings of superiority, it is actually just the opposite. It challenges the exclusionary rhetoric of superiority by strengthening the self concept of those being excluded as inferior, and elevating equality as the basis of inclusion. In fact, this movement could be especially game-changing for Christian women of color by helping us re-frame our identity so that we include ourselves among those creations of God which He called “good,” rather than how others image us. It actually puts ethnicity in perspective. Ethnicity and color are means to an end, not ends unto themselves. They are ways to show the glory, beauty, and wisdom of God; to demonstrate the truth of His claim that He uses the things considered weak in the world’s eyes to shame those who consider themselves mighty (1 Cor. 1:27); and to prove to us that because He has overcome the racism, prejudice, misperception, and oppression of the world, we can too (John 16:33).
So to all the black girls and women out there who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, yes, we rock too!
If you’d like to encourage a girl or woman of color you know who rocks, give her a shoutout by listing her name in the comments section below.