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Setback in Business
June 30, 2022

We All Have Setbacks In Business

We all have setbacks in business. Here’s how I deal with them.


We all suffer setbacks from time to time in our personal lives and businesses. So often, we can invest a lot of time and money in a project, only to see it not even get off the ground. These are times when it’s easy just to give up and resent whoever you’ve decided is at fault. But, as Christian business leaders, if we align with God’s will, we can benefit from His word and wisdom to help us reevaluate and bounce back when things don’t go the way we hope.


Setbacks are only failures if you don’t learn from them.

There are learning opportunities in every setback. I try always to view initial disappointments as a time to pray, evaluate, and course-correct if needed. That means that when something doesn’t go as planned, I’m open to the idea that God might want to teach me something. This goes for the folks at my company as well.


Recently, our land development company took significant time and financial investment preparing a proposal for a big development deal. When we presented the deal, we felt very confident in our direction.


Then we heard that it was rejected.


It was a big letdown, and if I hadn’t been prayerful about it, I might’ve been tempted to give up or, worse yet, use my influence to go over the heads of those who rejected our deal. But I didn’t even consider either of those approaches because I’m confident in God’s voice in my life.


“My sheep hear My voice.”


My sheep hear My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.”

John 10:27 NIV


As we pursue a relationship with God through prayer, scripture, and godly counsel, we can trust He leads us in His wisdom. So when this meeting didn’t go as we thought it would, we didn’t give up. We just needed to change our approach. But how?


We did two things:


  1. We focused on the process and left the result up to God.

          Sometimes we focus too much on the end goal and not enough on the

          road to getting there. However, God is just as much in the process as in the

          result. We learn things along the way, develop relationships with others, and

          the process may even lead to opportunities we didn’t see before. We can

          trust that when God leads us somewhere, it’s for a purpose – and

          sometimes, the process is the purpose.

          As we aligned with God’s plan, He was able to help us rethink our approach

          to develop and implement a new strategy.


  1. We turned our focus from a win for us to finding a win for them.

          In most business deals, there are several decision-makers involved. While

          respecting each person’s role, we chose to go back to the beginning and

          present our case to the landowner. We discussed and explained how we could

          serve them and ensure this was a good deal for them.

          We must remember that we are called to serve. First, to serve God and then

          to serve others. We can miss this if we get too focused on pushing our

          agenda or the bottom line. Even in setbacks. We have to remember our

          responsibility as Christians to love others.

          This particular opportunity isn’t a done deal. But I feel that no matter which

          way it goes, we’ve honored God in the process.


Setbacks can be wins in the long run.

I’ve found that when I focus on an outcome over the process, I get so dependent on that end goal that I can forget that I am simply a steward of all that belongs to God. The businesses are His, and the end results rely ultimately on Him. When I remember to leave the outcome up to Him and focus more on the process, things go a lot smoother. And the result is usually better than I could have imagined!


When we see and serve others, we usually have better results and can be confident God will bless our efforts. God wants us to serve Him and help others. Everything we have belongs to him. When I remember those two principles, the rest falls into place.


Questions you might ask yourself:

  • How can I value the process as much as I do the results?
  • Am I content to be God’s sheep, or am I trying to be my own shepherd?

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