What About the Risk?
Many people believe that starting a business is a risk, and it is. But why do Christians often seem the least likely to take risks? After all, do we serve a God who played it safe or a God who was willing to risk it all? Where some see investing or starting a business or going out on their own as taking on an excessive amount of risk, a faithful manager sees this as taking on more responsibility. It has less to do with risk than with taking on a greater role in God’s calling for their lives.
In today’s world, I believe that not having your own business is an even bigger risk because there is no such thing as job security. It is quite possible for someone to work their way up the corporate ladder and be fired without warning.
Take Jim. Jim worked for a marketing company for more than twenty years and was downsized without warning. His wage went from over $100,000 a year to zero, and he still had all the bills to pay from his $100,000-a-year lifestyle. He had no equity ownership in the company and no voting rights. The company owed him nothing, and that’s exactly what they left him with.
How do you deal with risk?
This is not to say that self-employed people are immune to such risks; their business can also suddenly dry up. However, self-employed people generally know how to create their own work. They are looking for work every single day unlike most 9-to-5 employees, who often get comfortable in their jobs and do only what is required to hold on to the jobs they have.
Many who own businesses have developed multiple sources of income and if something was to happen to any one of them, they could survive on the others. Most 9-to-5 workers, if faced with termination, would have very little to fall back on.
It’s true that every investment you make has an element of risk to it. Here are a few examples:
* CDs, savings accounts, Treasury bills, and other short-term investments carry inflation risk. Inflation historically runs at 3-4 percent annually.
* Stocks and mutual funds carry market risk. This means that their value will fluctuate and have the ability to lose principal.
* Corporate and municipal bonds carry interest rate (interest rate changes can increase or decrease a bond’s value) and default risk (potential to lose your money).
The Greatest Risks
But the risks listed above are quickly overshadowed by the two greatest risks of all:
* Lost Opportunity Risk: The risk that you will miss out on an opportunity for gain because you failed to act (invest).
* Shortfall Risk: The risk that you will outlive your money because you invested too conservatively. This is the biggest threat to your long-term security.
Yes, God is in control of wealth distribution, but He cannot bless investments that are never made. And I will tell you right now that God does want to bless you. He wants you to do well fi nancially. He wants you to live a debt-free life. He wants your bank account to swell. But most important, He wants your heart. Will you invest your time, talent, and treasure to glorify Him?