How did a small business man go from bankruptcy to prosperity to zero again and then to boom? This is a real life small business success case.
On January 1, 2003 a newly converted Christian woman brought her middle-age bankrupt husband to my house for counseling. They have just closed down their food and beverage retail business. He was declared a bankrupt because his electrical contractor dad used his name to secure a business loan and defaulted. All his savings went toward repaying the many creditors of his dad. After closing down his own business he had been working odd jobs and could not even make ends meet. His family were living with his own parents under very bad condition. He had tried many jobs and failed.
After hearing his case, I asked him one question, “What are you good at?” I then found that he has been a very experienced and skilled electrical wiring technician working for his dad since a teenager. And he has passed official exam and has his own trade license for electrical contractor business although he never utilized his license. The final decision at the end of the counsel: he agreed to try getting some electrical wiring jobs as the first step to being an electrical contractor. He prayed and accepted Christ that same day. The wife volunteered to be his assistant until he could employ someone. She learned everything from scratch and became his capable and faithful assistant! She daily rose early and cooked for the whole family before they went out to work. During their lunch break, the couple read the Bible and prayed together. They listened to Bible verses and messages while in their van driving and also in their workplace. They prayed in tongue all their time when not disturbing others in their workplace. They even joined our 5am prayer and Bible study time! And they witnessed the amazing mighty work of God in their lives.
To cut the story short, God did not fail this couple. Several Christians pooled together a small capital for him to start off. After praying with his wife on the first day in their van by a roadside with no direction where to find work, he called a lamp shop owner, who offered him some small jobs, installing lamps for a new house. While installing lamps the house owner came and asked him whether he could do plumping, and offered him more jobs etc. Many other new house owners got to know him and got him to do their houses as well and so on. His business boomed until a point when he and his wife could not handle on their own. The rest is history. Their three daughters accepted Christ, did well in college, and now have stable jobs. Family relationship vastly improved from anger, frustrations, guilt and accusations, to a warm and loving and mutually respectful and united family. The last I heard is that they have moved to their own new house!*
*As illustration of how they advanced in prosperity, I would add that when I first took up their case, they were living in the man’s parents’ rented home together with the man’s siblings and their respective families. It was a very oppressive environment. His wife and children lived in anger, shame and frustrations. After the counseling and his conversion to Christ, the man started his electrical contract business and experienced God’s shower of blessings in income. He and his own family moved into a rented house near our church. Within two years they were able to buy their own house near our prayer and Bible study small house group, and continued to enjoy financial increase in income. When the three daughters grow up (each has a stable job), and need more space, the family bought a new, big house in a newly developed township, with good and fast accessibility to highways, a place suitable for the man’s business. The amazing fact is that God always gives him the best deals in terms of the renting and later buying of houses. The grace of God is so real in his life after he accepted Christ!
They put God in their family and everything transformed into abundance and harvest (John 10:10).
A summary of what he and his wife did right:
- They remain faithful in their belief and trust in God after hearing the Good News.
- They apply what they learn from Bible teachings and revelation from reading the Bible themselves.
- They put God first over their own lives.
- They focus on prayers (often in spirit) even as they work.
- In practical matter, they paid off their debts, including the loans given by the fellow Christians who helped them to start off their business.
- They are trustworthy and really do a good job and give the clients quality output at a competitive price. Most of their businesses come from words of mouth referrals from satisfied clients, many of whom give them repeat business. For example, they often give the clients the better and less costly options, explaining the pros and cons and give their recommendation.
- They responded to the Lord’s prompting by faith. For example, after they began to prosper and bought their own house at t a big discount, they decided to stop the business, sold the house at half the market value to the man’s siblings so that they can take care of their parents, and took two years off, to serve full time in a ministry in another town where they continued to seek and learn more about God.
- They met with and overcame adversities and adversaries without wavering in their faith in God: For examples, several life threatening accidents, unresolved issues with co-workers and superiors, and very difficult issues with their children who became disillusioned and discouraged.
After returning from their ministry mission they had to start afresh from the beginning in their previous business. They lived humbly in a rented house, and took the road in their old van like old time. I met them sometimes and they never uttered one word of complaints. Soon, I heard that they were prospering again, and moving into a newer, bigger house in a much better location. Their story reminds me of the Lord’s promise, making His people the head, and not the tail.
Deuteronomy 28:12-14 New Living Translation (NLT)
12 The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them. 13 If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom. 14 You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them.
Application: Ask yourself, “what can I do best?” Do an inventory of what you can do. Find out what people still need at this time. I find that most people still need food, and basic amenities. A woman who used to sell her foodstuff at a stall now makes them in her house and deliver them to her regular clients. Many other entrepreneurs are doing the same. Home catering and delivery have become a norm. A highly qualified couple who lost their highly paid corporate executive jobs in the city moved back to the man’s parents’ home in a smaller town and started a thriving home catering and delivery business. They also do homeschooling for their young children.
These are just some simple examples. In my next post I will discuss in greater details on how small businesses can survive by thinking outside the box and doing what aligns with the recent year’s changes out there, that affect the whole mankind except a few elites.
Here is a preview of the key success clue: We are in the world but not of the world. Jesus has promised a unique positioning and protection this way.
Kainotes, revised and expanded on 2021-06-12