4 Easy Steps to Follow When You Doubt Yourself as an Entrepreneurby David Ferguson
There comes a time in every entrepreneur’s tenure when you will start to doubt yourself. Let me correct that…almost everyday as an entrepreneur, you will doubt much everything you do.
Doubt is not necessarily a bad thing. No one knows all the answers, so when you’re facing a decision and you’re not sure which way to choose, doubt gives you that natural ability to question yourself and examine the decision a little closer. However, doubt can be crippling if you don’t know how to handle it properly. You don’t want to get into a “paralysis by analysis” mode and never make any decisions. You also don’t want to waffle and be indecisive as a leader.
The types of doubt mentioned above are very common in our lives, but I want to talk about the type of doubt that seeps into your spirit when things are going badly in your business. The type of doubt that strikes at your core and makes you doubt your own abilities. This doubt may even make you doubt if God ever told you to start your own business in the first place.
This kind of doubt generally happens when things are going badly in your business. For example, you launched a new product and it didn’t fly off the shelves; and you just thought about how much money you spent to create it. You’re working your butt off to find new business; and you don’t know how you’re going to meet the next payroll. Every sales call you do results in a new excuse on why now is not the right time for them to do business with you. Yeah, I’m talking from personal experience, but the good news is that as a Jesus Led Business you do have a plan of action on how to deal with that type of doubt. Here’s what works for me.
1) Reflect on Your Original Calling. Think back to why you originally started your business and reflect on the promise that God gave you back then (or if you found your calling after you started a business, reflect from that point). God put you in the position of a business leader for a purpose. Examine if you have strayed from any of your original vision and calling. Keep in mind that your business may not be going well because you have deviated from God’s plan. Why did you deviate from His plan? Because you thought you had a better one (and you don’t). What I have learned from my own doubt is that most of my doubt arises when things don’t go according to MY plan. When I take time to pray and reflect on what God’s plan is for me, I realize that I’m measuring my success by the wrong standards. Proverbs 3:5 tells us to trust in the Lord and not on our own understanding.
2) Be the Best Steward of What You Have. Once you are clear that you are still on God’s plan (and not your own), the next step is to move into survival mode. Realize that the particular issue that you are going through, which is causing you doubt, is just part of the overall path to get to the blessing that God has in store for you. Think of the present struggle as a “storm”, a “dark period”, a “time for sowing.” This is your time to prove that you can do right with the small things you have before God is going to reward you with more. Think of this as a learning period that you need to make it through to get into the season where God’s blessing (Luke 16:10). From a business perspective you need to become very lean. Cut out all unneeded expenses and focus on just the bare minimal things you need to continue in your business. This probably means reducing staff and doing more yourself. It’s critical to have a very tight budget and to know down to the dollar each month what money is coming in and what is going out. The solution at this stage is not to go into debt to save the business, the solution is to manage what you have properly.
3) Keep Moving. At this point in the process you don’t have your financial situation solved but at least you have a good picture of what type of mess you are in. By knowing what you need, you should now be able to put a plan of action into place to start fixing the situation. I find this is the stage where I kick doubt to the curb. It’s that moment where you know God is with you. You know what you need to do and you scream, “Devil you can’t stop me now!” The key is to keep doing the things you need to do to be successful. If it takes 101 attempts to get a contract, get the other 100 finished so you can get to the 1 that counts. The main point here is that God is not going to do the work for you. When in your doubt crisis don’t scream, “God I can’t do it, you take the steering wheel!” It’s time for you to show a little faith, stop doubting, and put Colossians 3:23 into action and get to work!
4) Have Faith. Lastly, and most importantly, have faith. If you’re taking the actions you need to, you’re being a good steward of your assets, and you’ve been given a vision of what God has in store for you and your business, then you just have to stand in faith. Regardless of what the situation looks like at the moment (Hebrews 11:1), you have to stand in faith. I have experienced this in my business… that in all situations, there is a lesson to be learned. And sometimes that lesson cannot be learned until you are at the point where you realize you can’t solve the problem yourself. So when God comes in and solves it, you give Him the credit instead of yourself. I’ve gotten to this point a lot and as a result my faith has grown so strong and confident that what I felt was my original calling to go into business is as strong of a pact with God as he made with Abraham.
Each time you face doubt in your life or your business go through the 4 steps above. The longer you stay in business the more practice you will get because the doubt will come often. But the more you go through it, the faster you go through it. I’m not perfect, but when I feel that doubt creeping up in my mind, it’s almost a reflex for me now to jump to step 4 and have faith. My faith is so strong, I know the doubt is unreasonable, so then I go back and check my budgets, tighten up my stewardship and put the new plan into action. The Devil doesn’t stand a chance with me and he doesn’t have to stand a chance with you either.
I challenge you to stop doubting and put these 4 steps into action when you do. What triggers your spiritual doubt? Please share what triggers your spiritual doubt in the comment section below. Also, check back often and sign-up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any future posts about being a Jesus Led Business and other actionable steps to help drive your business.
And, in the meanwhile, continue to… Pray About It, Be About It, and Praise About It!
Thanks for reading and God Bless.