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6 Temptations of an Entrepreneur

A friend who devotes his time helping equip others effect transformative change, like us here at Better Capitalism, shared with us a summary of a talk titled 6 Temptations of an Entrepreneur. Reportedly presented at a Stronger Network Conference, and with credit to Stronger Network, here we share this summary. We trust you will find it as insightful and helpful as we do.


No doubt you’ve heard or read the words, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Probably also, “Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil [the personification of harmful temptation] and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8).


So how do these quotes translate and what do they look like for a modern entrepreneur? To do all things? To be strengthened? To draw near? To resist harmful temptation? The presentation appears to have asked the question in terms of temptations and answered in terms of practical guidance. We found both the framing of temptations and guidance to be accurate, consistent with our lived experiences, and encouraging.

We trust everyone reading this - entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, solopreneurs, and however else you'd like to classify yourself - will find as much value in these insights as we do. And that value helps you on your better capitalism journey.

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Temptation 1: Fear - listening to the undermining voice of fear. Practical guidance:

  • Confess your fear to God and trusted wise counsel. Seek prayer cover.

  • Revisit the big picture. Hold tight.

  • Break the fear down into smaller chunks to see what you actually need to deal with today.

  • Consider the worst-case scenario? Is it that bad? God is BIGGER ...

Temptation 2: Impatience - expecting long term results in the short term. Practical guidance:

  • Remember there's no such thing as an overnight success.

  • Pray for God to strengthen your resolve and provide encouragement along the way.

  • Be disciplined with your goals and be clear about what the next steps are for today.

  • Celebrate the moments that reveal something of the big picture.

Temptation 3: Perspective - thinking that working harder is just better than working smarter. Practical guidance:

  • Step back for a moment and remember this is a marathon rather than a sprint.

  • More hours don't mean more success. Review current working patterns before burnout occurs. [Paul here: but know you have to put in hours, probably more than you think or want. And know that burnout is an off the scale difference from merely being tired or stressed from the hard work of accomplishing anything worthwhile.]

  • Identify the things that only you can do. Who else can you involve in the other things?

  • How long have you been saying, “when I've just done x, then y”? What do you need to adjust?

Temptation 4: Affirmation - idolizing the rags to riches success story. Practical guidance:

  • Let go of the rags to riches story, it's so rarely true as to be unhelpful. Trust in the Lord, he is faithful.

  • Re-orientate your thinking and pursue faithfulness [or fulfillment] above success.

  • No success can fill a hole, so find affirmation in the Lord.

  • Fix your eyes on Jesus [or Christ Universal] and take each step as it comes.

Temptation 5: Perfection - aiming for perfection more than progress. Practical guidance:

  • Perfection can sometimes paralyze. See where things are being held up and review again.

  • Perfectionism is often built on fear. Consider where fear is at work for you.

  • Don't try and do God's job, invite God to be strong in your weakness.

  • Be clear and realistic about what success for you looks like this quarter.

Temptation 6: Ambition - sacrifice whatever it takes to succeed. Practical guidance:

  • Make sure you've set your course: your highest ambition is to reflect the love example of Jesus [and modern examples like Mahatma Ghandi, MLK Jr., and similar voices].

  • Look around you, what has been sacrificed on the altar of ambition? Do things need to change?

  • Make some time in your day to worship. Ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit to do His work to the benefit of as many as possible.

Again, we trust everyone reading this, not just entrepreneurs, will find as much value in these insights as we do. And that value helps you on your better capitalism journey. Meanwhile, consider virtually joining the next Stronger Conference (currently January 9 - 13, 2024), designed to strengthen your faith and help you impact the world.

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"This book merits close, sustained attention as a compelling move beyond both careless thinking and easy ideology."—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"Better Capitalism is a sincere search for a better world."—Cato Institute


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