This is Entrepreneurs of Faith, a Sunday episode of Monetization Nation. I’m Nathan Gwilliam, your host. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss the concept of entrepreneurship as a stewardship.
Rapunzel’s Dream vs. Flynn Rider’s Dream
In the Disney animated movie Tangled, after Rapunzel escapes from the tower where she has been imprisoned, the character Flynn Rider takes her to a tavern full of ruffians to convince her the world is scary and she should just go back into her tower.
While they are in the tavern, the ruffians sing a song called “I have a dream” in which they share their touchy-feely dreams such as collecting toy unicorns and making cupcakes. The ruffians then coerce Flynn to reluctantly share his dream, and Flynn says he wants to retire alone to a deserted island surrounded by enormous piles of money.
Rapunzel shares her dream that she wants to see the floating lanterns that appear each year in the sky on her birthday.
Shortly thereafter, the authorities arrive to try and catch Flynn. One of the ruffians opens up a secret door to help Rapunzel and Flynn escape. The ruffian tells them “Go and live your dream.” Flynn responds, “I will,” and the ruffian says “Your dream stinks. I was talking to her.”
Do Our Dreams Sometimes Resemble Flynn Rider’s?
Each of us has dreams. However, sometimes our dreams might resemble Flynn Riders a little bit, where our focus becomes to make a lot of money to spend on ourselves, and not use to help anyone. When we have this kind of dream, it can be very uninspiring and off-putting to those around us, such as the ruffian expressed when telling Flynn that his dream stinks. People around us, such as customers and team members, don’t care about a dream we have to make a lot of money. They care about how we can help them achieve something they are passionate about.
There was an ancient prophet who lived among the native Americans who taught, “But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.” (Jacob 2: 18-19)
After we have found God, He can help us to use our gifts, talents, time, assets and other resources to do His work and to help others. For entrepreneurs, that work might be creating a business and generating profits. And when we are successful in generating wealth, we will seek to use a portion of our wealth to help others, such as the poor, hungry, sick, and afflicted.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)
God has given each of us gifts, talents, time, assets, responsibilities, and other resources. These are our stewardships. We have a responsibility to protect, take care of, expand and put to good use our stewardships. For entrepreneurs, those stewardships might be our businesses and the ability to create ventures, jobs, and wealth. God expects us to be good stewards over those stewardships He has given us.
Joseph’s biblical story found in Genesis 39 is a great example of stewardship. After Joseph was sold by his brothers into Egypt, he was a good steward, and quickly grew his trust and responsibilities. Genesis 39:4 teaches, “So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had”. In that role, Joseph prepared by storing large quantities of wheat, and when a 7-year famine hit Egypt, Joseph’s good stewardship saved Egypt and his family.
Working to make a lot of money just to spend on ourselves is a shallow dream. We must have a deeper dream that gives us meaning and purpose.
Adoption.com has been one of my stewardships for decades. In addition to providing well for my family, we strive to help children find loving, permanent families.
Monetization Nation is a stewardship where I help entrepreneurs and CEOs better grow and monetize their ventures, so they have the resources to take care of the things that matter most in their lives.
When we look at our ventures as stewardships, our work will have deeper meaning and passion for us and those around us. When we view our work as a stewardship, we will seek to use our ventures to help and serve others, make the world a better place and do God’s work. As a stewardship, we are more likely to love and serve our employees and customers, and they will then feel that genuine love. It’s not just a good thing to do, but it’s also good for business.
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” (Source: Winston Churchill)
Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. A dream to make a lot of money to spend on ourselves lacks depth, meaning, and purpose.
2. God has given each of us gifts, talents, time, assets, responsibilities, and other resources as our stewardship, and expects us to use that stewardship wisely.
3. As we gain wealth, we should use a portion of it to do good, such as to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.
4. We should look at our ventures as stewardships, and seek to use them for good.
5. We make a great life by giving to and serving others.
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