Updated: May 1
One of my guilty pleasures is searching the Clearance section of Book Stores for books that look interesting - at $3 to $5 per book, it's easy to talk myself into buying them and taking them home. Unfortunately, my love for bargain books exceeds the time that I have to read them all and I currently have 19 books on my 'must read' shelf at home.
A few weeks ago, I started to read We Make the Road by Walking (Brian D. McLaren) and realizing that I probably bought it a year ago. The timing of when I finally moved it to the reading table was ideal - I started reading it on Good Friday and it's a fresh look at the Biblical story and living out a faithful life in the chaotic, crazy and confusing world in which we all work and live.
Inspired by McLaren's book, I am challenged to look for the pattern, meaning, wisdom and logic of God in my daily life...and it can be difficult. McLaren states, "...the universe is God's creative project, filled with beauty, opportunity, challenge and meaning." Yet on any given day, I find myself beaten down by the selfishness, ugliness and emptiness of the social discourse in this world and I find myself discouraged and depressed.
In January, I was asked to speak to an Organization about small businesses. My presentation was titled the P's to Success in Business (not very creative...but you have to admit the alliteration is spot on). The first P is purpose - what was the reason I started my business? What is your "why?"
Small business owners have a multitude of reasons for starting a business and I encourage all of them to know your why. What is your purpose in having your own business? I've met people who've started businesses for reasons that are very shallow (want to make more money) to the very "deep" (promote healthy eating habits in my community). It's not my goal to change your purpose, but I do believe it's important to remember and embrace your purpose on a regular basis.
My hope is that my consulting work is anchored in creativity, wisdom, love and beauty and yes, I know those are not normal words for a CFO. But, these are the patterns I see in the creation of God and the patterns I hope to replicate in and through my work with others. It is easy for me to be dragged into the negativity that seems to be omnipresent in the business world - ugly rivalries, toxic relationships, narcissistic people, power hungry politicians and bureaucrats - but I am going to do my best to focus on the freedom and the joy of working in, through and with small businesses.