Q: My reflections on Holy Week always reminded me that I should read the bible. I am not religious but I am always curious about what the bible has to say about becoming financially independent. Can you share? – Rachel, by email
The Bible is not only a collection of books that teaches righteousness but also a great resource for teaching business values.
Before the New Testament was compiled by the Council of Nicea in late 300 AD, the Hebrew Bible that is now known as the Old Testament had been around for over six centuries. Taught by sages and rabbis, the Hebrew Bible contains a wealth of practical wisdom about building wealth.
While many stories in the Hebrew Bible show God’s relationship with the people of Israel, there are also interesting insights that clearly indicate how God has blessed many people with wealth. For example, Abraham was very wealthy in livestock, silver and gold. Isaac and Jacob were also wealthy with so many sheep and cattle and lots of servants.
Job was a wealthy man before God tested him. He became even wealthier after the test. King David died at a good old age with wealth and honor while King Solomon was said to be wealthier and wiser than any of kings of the earth during his time.
There is no virtue in poverty. God wants you to be wealthy. There are so many lessons that you can learn by reading the Old Testament. Here are five biblical principles that you can start with in achieving financial freedom:
1. Develop the wealthy mindset
“There is one who pretends to be rich and yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor and yet possesses great wealth.” – Proverbs 13:7
Do you always daydream about having lots of money but no idea on how to achieve it? Do you easily give up when confronted with challenging situations? When you see your friend become successful, do you feel that you are not as lucky as him?
Having the right mindset knows no ego when you want to learn. You ask when you don’t understand. You learn how to plan your finances and always find a way to succeed no matter how difficult the situation is. Some people do not simply get lucky in business. Find out how they did it and learn from it.
2. Develop the means to be wealthy
“The sluggard will not plow during the planting season, so at harvest time he looks for the crop but has nothing.” – Proverbs 20:4
If you do not work, there is nothing you can earn. You need to work on something that will provide you regular income. Find an opportunity to solve a problem by starting up a business or offering your skills as a service. Build a business that you can scale up in the future.
3. Develop the work habits of the wealthy
“In all hard work there is profit, but merely talking about it only brings poverty.” – Proverbs 14:23
When you have a great business idea, you need to focus and pour all your efforts to make sure that it will succeed. You may have to spend more time on research and network with people you think who can help you to improve your product or service. You also need to learn to set goals and visualize your achievements as you progress.
4. Develop a roadmap to success
“The plans of the diligent lead only to plenty, but everyone who is hasty come only to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5
Creating a business plan is more than a tool to secure funding; it is a blueprint to help you manage and understand your business better. When you plan, you project how your business will perform under different scenarios in the future. You can identify what kind of resources you will need at every stage of the business growth. You can also set a financial budget to work on to help you control your costs while achieving your revenue goals.
5. Develop your board of advisors
“Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with abundant advisers they are established.” – Proverbs 15:22
Your business can always be better if you have people who can advise you based on experience. There are areas in the business where you may need some expert advice for business decisions. Your core expertise may be marketing but you may not be good in finance. Or you may need advice on organizational development.
Having an advisory board does not need to be formal. You can have an informal group of independent consultants that you can meet regularly to discuss your business issues. You can also have personal mentors who can counsel you on important business decisions as well as help challenge your ideas from time to time.
Henry Ong, RFP, is president of Business Sense Financial Advisors. Email Henry for business advice firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @henryong888