Part 1 – Prophetic Advice: The pillars of business success (Part 1)
Often times I [Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, Major 1] get asked by young people who wish to enter into business what the pillars of success are. The questions maybe phrased differently, but they seek the same answer at a structural level.
To begin with, one thing we must understand is that business is an extension of character. It is a reflection of character. Character is the foundation by which all things are built.
Character is a broad term, which needs a separate thread detailing its various aspects. I intend to touch on each and every single one of them in the coming days.
However, today, it is critical that we address it in general terms.
Your general behavioural attributes, values, ethics, attitudes and habits are what make your character.
If you wake up every day, for 365 days, and go for an early morning jog, it is a habit that builds your character and becomes who you are. The days when you are not in the mood, your body will still wake you up, and you will feel funny if you do not do this routine.
If you set your alarm to go off at 05:00hrs every morning, after several weeks you will realise that automatically, even without an alarm your body will wake you up at 05:00hrs.
If you, commit, always seeking to do good, for no return, that is an attitude that defines your character.
What you do everyday, what you think, what you aim for, and what you desire make up your character.
Why character is important?
Character is one of the few constants in life. In an ever changing world, products change daily, profitable realms shift, and even perspectives change.
So, if investments change, it means success can change too. To guarantee the future you must invest in two things that do not change.
Invest in your character, and invest in God.
The bible, in the book Romans says
Romans 5:3-5 – “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
If you invest in a noble, humble, and hard working character and you are faithful to God, then you are guaranteed endless hope.
Success is not quantified by the size of your bank account. In fact, monetary success is only a result and an extension of character success.
It is impossible to be a public success, if you are a private failure.
The ingredients that generate repeat and sustainable success depend entirely on character.
If you work hard, if you are resilient, committed, consistent, righteous, steadfast, faithful then success is the result, in any business you decide to venture into.
Just like life, business brings tests, of varying magnitude. Hence success is not a destination, but a process. If the attributes mentioned above are not within your character, when the test of sustaining success comes, you will falter. You will grow weary and fail.
But if your character is who you are, then you cannot get tired because even when desire and strength is gone, your own self will persist.
That is the importance of character.
I have said before, when i taught about the Tuchia wisdom, that i do not have money because i pray. I have money because i work, labour, and toil using Godly principles.
I pray that you seek a righteous character, and that you invest in your heart. For out of your heart’s character, and faith in God, will come sustainable success.
Part 2 – The metaphor of streams that feed the vast ocean: The pillars of business success (2)
Through scripture we know that God wants us to succeed in life. By growing and using our faith and trust in the Lord we can be strengthened to fulfil his will for our lives- this is true success.
A few days ago, i promised to share business principles, values, ethics, and attitudes that you can adopt and will help you establish what i called sustainable business success.
I took time to mention, that, the pillars of success are broad and many, and i added that i would take time to explore each and every single one of them.
I wrote about Character. I stressed that a noble, humble, and trained character is necessary for you to achieve any success. I also added that it is key for one to be able to maintain any kind of success. I highlighted that the human body may grow weary, that in a changing world vested interests change, and so to do profitable realms. Above all i stated that a righteous character precedes all.
If you missed it, you can read more about it here
Central to the subject at hand, i described success using the allegory of a building; one the requires a foundation and pillars in order for it to be erected firstly, then to remain patched high.
The analogy of a building was also deliberately metaphorical. A building is a place of sanctuary. Buildings protect your body and properties from harsh exposure to the elements. Business success, is a sanctuary. A safe haven which allows a life of ‘no stress’.
But I (www.facebook.com/shepherdbushiriministries) do not wish to allow you to see success in this rigid manner. This is why today i shifted the metaphor and used the analogy of the sea.
You see, the ocean, is vast. Most of the Earth’s surface is ocean. But marine life accounts for only 15 percent of the world’s species.
The ocean is big and abundant.
The ocean is big. Very big.
With all our modern technology, we still have not been able to assess it in its entirety. It is huge, and it is abundant.
The ocean is not running out anytime soon. It will not run out anytime soon either. Water is an endless commodity in the seas. In fact, the seas are the commodity.
I want you to think of success in this way. As a place of abundance. A place where limitless possibilities exist. Life in ways you are not aware of.
Many a times i speak to young people i am often told of opportunities being hard to find, and hard to get.
I think this is false, or partially correct if you think of success in a rigid manner.
The ocean only accounts for 15% of the world’s species today. So it is clearly not over crowded. The ocean has only been partially exploited so far. So there are clearly several other new places to explore.
The lessons of the water cycle
Understanding that success is like the great big ocean; it is not only a body of vast rich abundant life whose depths can never be fully explored, it is also a process arrived at by channeling several streams, rivers, and rain water towards one grand reservoir.
The ocean does not run dry because water is continually fed to it through the water cycle.
The image above here shows aptly how several small processes send water to the ocean. Be it ground water run flow, or surface run off. Basically there are several arrows there, which all feed into the ocean.
For you to be able to achieve the state of the ocean, you need to have several streams, rivers, and attributes that all feed towards your ocean.
A building cannot stand on one pillar. An ocean is fed by various streams and methods.
Now you may be wondering that your streams are.
This is why this series is significant. I wrote about character before. That is one stream. I (http://AfricanDiasporaLeaders.com/shepherdbushiri) also mentioned then that it was imperative to also have things like consistency, commitment, courage, wisdom. All those pillars that you need simultaneously. They are the various streams that feed into the abundance of the ocean.
The bible says, in the book of Psalm 1:1-3
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
I pray that you may meet such abundance. I pray that you realise that you can succeed in conquering parts of the remote ocean which have never been seen, that your success is not just a building but can be the vast ocean. I pray that your leaves do not wither. That you commit to character. Tomorrow, i will touch on the importance of another pillar, another stream. I will write on commitment, and why it is important.
Part 3 – Pillars of business success: The importance of Commitment
The biggest tragedy is not that people fail. The biggest tragedy is that people do not finish what they start. That they give up when they fail. That they give in when they face resistance. That they stop when they can’t go on anymore.
In fact, most of the time, people fail because of themselves, and nothing more.
It is very easy to want something, to want to achieve something. I always tell young people i meet, that desire is easy, and that desire on its own is not enough.
Desire is all too often tied to motivation and inspiration. Desire instructs your dreams. You set your goals based on a desire to achieve them.
Yet, desire is difficult to maintain. Desire disappears over time. Desire succumbs to pressure. Desire crumbles under pressure from resistance.
Previously i wrote that character is important. That the heart precedes the head.
Desire alone is not enough. I [Major 1] know desire can come from both your heart, and your head.
This is why commitment is very important. Commitment. Commitment. Commitment.
If google the word commitment, there are two inherently different definitions. Both are true for this lesson.
1. The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
(dedication, devotion, allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, bond, adherence, attentiveness)
2. An engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.
(responsibility, obligation, duty, tie, charge, liability, burden, pressure; undertaking, task, engagement, arrangement)
Commitment goes beyond these things. In theory, dedication sounds easy, devotion appears simple. In practise, you do not just need dedication, you need dedication in spite of…, and despite the…
In Economics, they have a law called the law of diminishing returns. In simple terms, it refers to a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.
In simple relative terms to what i am speaking about. When you start of on a venture, the energy you need today is less than the energy you will need tomorrow. It is considerably less than the energy you will need next week, just to achieve the same results.
This is why it is so easy to start a venture, but so difficult to maintain one.
This is why commitment is key.
Commitment is staying true to what you said you would do, achieve and get, long after you have changed your mind.
I always say, aim to complete your actions as opposed to aiming to reap the rewards of your actions.
Commitment comes from the heart. Desire comes from your head.
For you to achieve anything, and maintain that achievement you need to be committed. To never give up or give in, even when it seems senseless to continue.
The bible says, in the book of Galatians 6:9 ESV
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
If you have faith and trust in the lord, and use Godly principles, and remain committed to these, then sustainable success is your portion (www.youtube.com/user/propheticchannelTv).
The bible says in the book of Isaiah 40:29-31
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
It is normal to burn out. The bible says even the young, who ought to be full of strength develop fatigue. But, if you trust and hope in the lord, and remain committed, you will reach the pinnacle.
In the book of James 1:12, the bible says
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him”
Make a decision to learn how to commit today. Start by setting an alarm and waking up at 05:00 to take a jog. Do it and stick by it. Make a commitment to doing good, to improving your character.
Set goals, and aim to achieve them. It will be difficult.
The bible acknowledges this. In the book of Hebrews 12:11, it says,
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
After character, seek to be a person of unwavering commitment. If you can do this, then your success if guaranteed.
This article was written by Major 1 and originally published under the title: