My first business was a dream. It was three best friends coming together to “stick it to the man,” leave corporate America and start an agency on our own.
We grew to 8 full-time employees, an amazing office on South Beach with views of the ocean, and investors who paid us handsomely for a percentage of our company.
My partners and I were in our 20s and living the dream!
Then my accountant calls me into his office one day because he had some important information he needed to share with me. It turns out that I wasn’t paying employment taxes to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an entire year and I had accumulated a bill for $20,000 that needed to be paid…immediately.
I was shocked. I didn’t have the cash, and I didn’t know where I was going to get it from.
I got on a repayment plan with the IRS. My parents gave me a loan so I could be on my way to recovering from this mess I had created.
I made some cuts at the office and eliminated people I had brought on board. I had to start over.
I was humiliated and depressed.
I felt like a failure.
I’ve carried this “guilt” with me my entire entrepreneurial career. This traumatizing experience is why I didn’t make any more big attempts to hire a lot of employees again. I’ve purposely kept myself a “boutique” firm, so I don’t have to relive that embarrassment. That feeling of guilt is a big reason why I’m constantly reluctant to launch businesses that require many employees.
This IRS experience was so painful for me that I wanted to bury it deep in my mind and pretend it didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t affect me and the businesses I would continue to launch.
When we entrepreneurs do that, it’s like putting a toxic wastebasket in our brains, showing what we don’t want to deal with in our businesses into it and putting the lid on tight. And the next time we want to launch a venture, if we don’t invite Jesus to come and deal with what we’ve put in there, it will affect our mindset and decision making – stopping us from launching the business God intends us to be in.
However, the bible says
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:26-28 NIV)
This means that even in the worst of your business circumstances, God is at work to heal you and save you. Nothing you’ve done in your past businesses is beyond His power.
Launching your business can be a story of God’s redemptive love and healing power if you allow Jesus into the place where you’re storing the hurts of your business past.
The only way forward to launching your business is to stop hiding, face what we’d rather keep buried, and let God deal with it. It will be a gradual process, but God will heal.
First, we have to truly feel “forgiven” for anything in the past, regardless if we were guilty or not.
We can’t launch a business freely, until we are free of guilt, no matter what we’ve done or how much shame we feel.
Second, we must share this guilt with someone and ask them to pray for us.
The bible says,
“If we admit our sins – make a clean breast of them – he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.” (1 John 1:8)
Those of us Godpreneurs that struggle with guilt need to embrace that we don’t need to shove guilt into the back of our minds – we must release it completely.
This is the beginning of the freedom that will allow us to launch the business God intends for us. But… Holding on to that guilt for many years means that there’s still a ways to go to be healed from it entirely.
In my case, the type of guilt that I lived with for so many years is the feeling of responsibility for the crime of not paying my employee taxes and the embarrassment of having to let them go.
The enemy loves to keep entrepreneurs trapped in a place of feeling guilty because when we are stuck there, we won’t be able to launch, grow, and develop business God’s way.
Imagine if we all didn’t hide our feelings of guilt, and instead, faced what we’d rather keep buried, and let God deal with it.
Guilt is a major obstacle we will overcome when launching our businesses if we can give it over to God.
If you need prayer for this, drop a comment, and our team will pray for you.