The Courage to Risk Failure

Focus Your Organization

With any business venture, it is tempting to dwell only on success because we rarely hear stories of failure, let alone applaud them. But there is great freedom to be found in trusting God with whatever outcome He desires in our work. In this post taken from the course, Social Entrepreneurship: Committed to the Needs of People, Will Haughey argues that business leaders today ought to consider the prospect of failure from the start, as doing so liberates them to love and serve others without constraint.

Will is the Co-Founder and Chief "Blockhead" of Tegu, a toy company based out of Honduras that sells magnetized wooden block sets. He and his brother launched their business in 2006 out of a desire to help meet the needs of Honduran poverty. Since then, it has grown to support hundreds of employees and has been featured nationally on TODAYPeople Magazine, and The Oprah Magazine.

Will said that entrepreneurship is one of the hardest things he has ever done, but God has used it to deepen his faith and to bless many in need. If you find yourself feeling the weight of your calling then you are in good company. 

Entrepreneurship begins with an idea that blooms to fruition through committed effort. Has God given you an idea or vision for a better future? What steps have you taken in pursuit of it? What, if anything, has caused you to hesitate?
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Proverbs 15:22 (ESV)

22 Without counsel plans fail,

but with many advisers they succeed.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

As you pursue your entrepreneurial vision, who are some people that could help advise, plan, and mentor you in the process? What steps will you take in reaching out to them this week?
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With any business venture comes the risk of failure. How do you handle the prospect of failure? In what ways does it affect you? How can considering failure from the start change the way you approach your plans?
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Will said, "When we embrace the reality that we are not in control it liberates us to love in ways that we have never loved before." Have you found this to be true in your own context? In what ways have you have been liberated to love by giving control to God? What are some areas of your work that He is leading you to surrender to Him today?
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In any business, it can be tempting to dwell only on the prospect of success because people rarely share their stories of failure. We are called to work for more than success alone, which means that we need to trust God with the outcomes. Doing so is an opportunity to realize all the more that God is the one in control. Listen as Will shares how to "bear the mark of Christ" through the ways in which we operate in our work. 

The majority of our waking hours are spent in the context of work, which means that the workplace offers an abundance of opportunity to model Christ to those around us.

How do you model your faith in your work? What are the values and convictions you strive to live out on a daily basis? What are some areas where you would like to improve?
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Will pointed out that bearing the mark of Christ does not happen overnight. Shaping your business in this way can take time. As you think about your own context, what are some small "wins" you could accomplish to begin building momentum for living out your faith in the way you work? What kind of influence do you see these having on your company as well as those it serves?
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Bending the arc of your organization to bear the mark of Christ means entrusting God with the outcomes of your efforts. As Will said, "the Lord may choose to use failure to bring about His greatest glory and your good." If you find yourself experiencing hardship in business, know that you are not alone. Continue taking risks and seeking opportunities success, but more than anything, fight to make yourself available to God's call on your life and trust Him with the outcomes.

For more insights and teaching from Will Haughey, check out the full course, Social Entrepreneurship: Committed to the Needs of People.