The Sure Foundation of Success

Everybody desires success and whether we actually say it or not, we all want to succeed in life. And for more than 2 million small businesses in Australia, success is everything. But first, let’s look at some recent examples of failure in the business world:
• An investigation into an Australian convenience-store chain found systematic underpayment of wages, doctoring of time sheets and payroll records, with threats of deportation to workers who complained.
• Union administrators are being investigated for the use of union credit cards for personal purchases.
• The CEO of a fleet management company was charged with paying corrupt commissions to a soft drink giant in exchange for leasing contracts worth millions of dollars.
• A global car manufacturer deliberately cheated on emissions tests with software that would change performance readings to improve results.
It seems extraordinary, but these examples are probably the tip of the fraudulent business iceberg in society.

John C Maxwell, a leadership author says, “Character creates a foundation upon which the structure of your talent and your life can build. If there are cracks in that foundation, you cannot build much.”
John goes on to say that there are four areas that make up our character: Self Discipline: Core Values; A Sense of Identity; and Integrity. Yet it’s easy to think, “I’m pretty disciplined, I have good values, I know who I am, and I have a strong moral compass.” So how is it that we can still make decisions that lead to failure? What is it that can misdirect us towards poor decision making?

The Word of God presents great wisdom on these matters:
“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have…” (Hebrews 13:5a)
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope…” (Romans 5:3-4)
“For this very reason, you must make every effort to supplement your faith with moral character, your moral character with knowledge, your knowledge with self-control, your self-control with endurance, your endurance with godliness, your godliness with brotherly kindness, and your brotherly kindness with love. For if you possess these qualities, and if they continue to increase among you, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive…” (1 Peter 1:8)

The Kingdom Principals to come out of these Bible verses are:
• If we prioritise money over everything else, we weaken our character.
• If we run into business difficulties, we must use the situation to make us stronger, and not resort to bad decisions.
• It takes a range of virtues to build strong moral character that will ultimately lead to a more successful life.

Being in business is a constant challenge, it is highly competitive, demanding, and the environment is continually changing. When tough times come, and you are under pressure to make compromising decisions to survive, remember that the sure foundation to your long term success ultimately depends on your Good Character.

Tony Elshof
Tony Elshof
I’m a Wollongong boy, and absolutely love the coastal life. I’m married to Michelle, and we have two beautiful children, Joshua and Ariel. I believe the meaning of life can be summed up in 10 words, “Find God, discover His purpose for your life, follow it!”
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