Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Entrepreneurs and Risk

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

I've heard it said that entrepreneurs by nature have a greater tolerance for risk than other individuals. Certainly, starting an enterprise takes confidence when the odds say that greater than 50 percent of ventures will fail in five years. Even so, I believe that entrepreneurs do not have more tolerance for risk but actually have less. Entrepreneurship is all about managing risk...identifying opportunities and then developing a business that minimizes the risk of failure. So a successful entrepreneur may appear to be hyper-vigilant to all the possible dangers to his or her business and strategic about developing corresponding answers.
For a follower of Christ, there is a danger that this attitude may lose sight of one of Jesus' core teachings. As humans, we are powerless to control outcomes. They are in the realm of God. As much as we would like to manage risk and guarantee success, we must recognize our human limitations and trust outcomes to God. Jesus teaches that he will pull our loads in Matthew 11:28-30. We need to first seek God's purposes and then trust that, if we yoke ourselves to him, we will find rest for our souls by giving up control of the results. This is counter-intuitive but a truth that sets the faithventure apart from other business enterprises. It is something that bears more exploration in the future.

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