I’ve learned that a God-first business is a blessed business from the start.
— Teri Fode

From the day I walked away from the security of my 9-5 job, I vowed to “give my business to the Lord”. It was a scary time for us because during that season of our lives, my income was our sole income.

Knowing that He was in charge gave me comfort. But also, I didn’t want to fail and I knew that if I chose to seek Him in all ways, He would guide the way to success.

I’ve had a personal tagline for over 20 years. I posted it on my very first blog and have kept it all along the way:

I live my life like this: God first, family second, everything else after that. It makes life sweet.

But what exactly does that mean, “God first”? And what does it mean to have a “God-first business”?

Well for me, it comes down to this: making sure that He is given the first fruits of my time and resources and that my family is next in line. In other words, making sure that my business doesn’t get more of my time and love than God or my family.

But here’s a secret: I truly failed at this for the first 5 years while I was building my business. It’s the single biggest regret of my life because my kids were 9 and 11 and I can never reclaim those years.

I write this article partly to share how I got it right thereafter, but also, as a wake-up call for even one mom who might read this and realize that she is putting the “best of herself” into her business and giving the “left-overs” to the ones she loves the most!

So with that being said, here is what a God-first business looks like in my life:

01/ TIME He gets the first precious hours of my day. I spend time in prayer and in the Word. This not only honors Him with my time, but also, it sets the tone for the day. It’s a mindset. In addition to praying for my family and loved ones, I also pray over my business and everything I have to do that day. I talk about my to do list and the challenges and dreams I have. Basically, I invite the Creator of the Universe into my day.

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You. Psalm 143:8

02/ TRUST There is a season for everything under the sun, including the growth of business. I trust Him in every turn and pray that He gives me the patience to allow “planted seeds” to grow with His timing, not mine. I learned early on that when I rush something, invariably it just goes wrong. But as I trust Him with patience and consult Him with decisions, my business prospers beyond my wildest expectations!

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

03/ HONOR As parents, Don and I taught Tori and Jordan to honor the Lord in all ways. When it comes to our business, we do the same. We honor Him. Right down to being honest with our money. If we are given cash by a client, we don’t “take it under the table” and hide it from our taxes. We claim it on our tax return as if we had been given a credit card. Honor God and He will honor your business.

Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the first fruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10

04/ SHARE HIM BOLDY When I started my business I was warned by experienced people in my industry not to talk about my faith because it might turn potential clients off. I considered that for about a hot-minute and then decided that wasn’t how I wanted to run my business. From the very beginning, I’ve shared my faith boldly. It’s in my bio on my website, it’s woven throughout my writings on my blogs and included in my social media, and it’s been something I’ve shared in keynote presentations I’ve given. I believe God has blessed us for it. Basically, be bold or go home. Amen and amen.

Grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word. Acts 4:29

Maybe you’ve struggled with putting your own goals over your God-given purpose in business. Maybe you’re feeling out of balance, ridden with guilt that your family gets your leftovers. Maybe you’ve felt fear about sharing your faith boldly in your business but have wanted to step out more and more about it lately.

No matter what, I’m here to tell you sweet friend, that it’s never too late to ask for grace to get this right. God will help you with the how. All you have to do is ask Him.

Blessings, Teri