“I’m going to tell you something that every successful person in this world has done in his or her life or career. Every successful person has jumped! They have taken their hopes and dreams and took a leap of faith toward them. If you desire greatness in your life, eventually you are going to have to jump.” (Steve Harvey)
Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs are often closely associated with risk. In fact, if you look up the definition of ‘entrepreneur’, risk is often part of this definition. The entrepreneur is one who throws caution to the wind and takes the plunge to fulfil a dream.
Jumping into a Gorge
In a mountainous area near my home, there is a hiking trail called ‘Suicide Gorge’. This particular hike is so aptly named as you face canyon scenery, rock pools and huge waterfalls. As you hike down the gorge, you are faced with higher and higher jumps over waterfalls into pools of icy water.
Initially, you could walk around the waterfalls, climbing down to continue the hike. However, as the hike progresses, climbing down is an impossible task, the only way is to jump – hence the name ‘Suicide Gorge’. The jumps become higher and higher, with the last one being in the region of about 30 meters high. To complete the hike, you have to jump quite a distance. This hike is most definitely not for the faint hearted!
Similarly, in life as in business, to realize your dreams, you need to take a leap of faith and ‘jump’. You will need to step out of your comfort zone, take risks, overcome your fears and step into a more uncertain future. You cannot grow and prosper in business unless you are willing to take risks and face the unknown.
Help Along the Way
As Christians, God promises that we do not have to face the future on our own. We can and should place our faith in Him, who knows the future and promises to step into that future with us. Hebrews 11:1 says that “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Martin Luther King Jr said that, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” Faith means exactly this – stepping into the future even though we can’t see the steps ahead.
The Bible clearly demonstrates that the life of faith is trusting God at His Word, taking the step of faith and receiving God’s guidance and help as we trust in Him. In the Bible we see this scenario played out time and time again.
God tells Gideon to do something and even though he feels inadequate for the task, as he steps out in obedience, God’s power is evident in his life. Similarly, Jesus, walking on the water, calls to Peter and says “come” and Peter steps out of the boat. Peter then saw God’s power acting on his behalf. Gideon and Peter had to step out and do something in obedience to God’s Word before they received and felt God’s divine help.
As a Christian, my own thoughts and actions are dominated by Christian principles. In this regard, I learnt early on that God has called me and you into a great adventure, but to step into this journey, we need to trust Him and take a step forward.
Moving forward is not that risky, but to jump will always require something extra, that something extra I term ‘stretched faith’ – which means placing no confidence in one’s own abilities. When we stretch our faith, one cannot be ruled by feelings, or ruled by circumstances, only to be governed by a firm trust in God.
To truly trust God is foremost a matter of experience and knowledge (being exposed to the knowledge of the truth tells me that God is sovereign, wise and loving), then secondly a matter of the will, and only when these traits are firmly in place will you have the courage to jump.
About the Author: Dr Alan Louis is a third generation entrepreneur in a family with a 100-year business history. He devoted his life to Christianity as a child. Awarded a PhD in Commerce, is an Ultra Ironman Triathlete Gold medallist and was inducted in the IBC Hall of Fame for entrepreneurship. Internationally he has served on more than 100 private corporate boards, and has experienced the trials and successes of commerce for 3 decades.