Doing Business with Godly Principles

Doing Business with Godly Principles

Background

Family

Married to Margaret, now for 33 years; We have two adult children, girls: Nyakio, married to Edwin Kariuki and Wanjeri, Married to Jef Oguya. Both our children (and their husbands) are currently involved in our business, Akili Holdings Ltd and Akili Development Sacco. In addition to our family business, I also consult in value chains development.

I have previously started or managed several businesses, including

  • EzyLife Holdings (K) Ltd a last mile distributor of carbon-offset linked consumer products
  • Information Technology Associates, a software development company
  • Jomo Kenyatta IT Training Centre, a joint venture with the university to franchise IT education across Kenya.
  • Diamond Systems Ltd, the first company to assemble computers in Kenya.

Employment

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers as a manager for 5 years and an associate consultant for 15 years while simultaneously managing my software development business.
  • Step Magazine as a writer / Editor

Education

Daystar University, Sunderland/JKUAT and Liverpool University all while working.

My baptism of fire in business

  • I became a Christian at 18, after high school. My first business: making tea and mandazi
  • I was arrested before the first month for not possessing a health certificate, and the way out, I was told, was to give a bribe
  • I refused. I told the cops that I was a Christian; that I couldnt pay a bribe.
  • I was taunted, humiliated, made fun off, till I cried. Till I paid the bribe.
  • I felt dirty, sinful. I was a hypocrite, the very thing I had seen in so-called Christians that had kept me away from salvation!
  • I begged God for forgiveness, closed that business, bought two small goats that I thought would never ask for a bribe
  • 40 years later.

A personal calling

  • The difference between religion and Christianity:
    • Religion is a set of rules, dos, donts
    • Christianity is a PERSONAL CALLING, a relationship between the Lord and an individual believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved
  • The new believer is to take up his cross and follow the Lord, at the exclusion of all others (Matthew 10:38; 19:29)

    We are called To BE His followers and TO DO (John 15:14) our Lords will, in all that we do (Col 3:17)

The principle of counting the cost

  • Plan for risks in business before jumping in. The most significant costs I have seen in my 40 years in business include
    • The possibility of compromising under pressure
    • Unfaithful partners / employees
  • Change (need to be adaptable)
  • Managing personal greed / desperation (cf Matt 13:22 the seed that fell among thorns. Riches vs cares – Both choke the word)
  • Count the cost first:
    • Luke 14:28,For which of you, intending to build a tower does not first count the cost
  • Smart planning and execution can mitigate many of these risks; or prepare us to accept an eventuality

Write / communicate the vision

  • Good businesses have a clearly stated vision: a purpose for existence
    • From a biblical perspective, a business vision must line up with the Word of God.
    • Whatever you do whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Colossians 3:17
  • Advice from Habakkuk

    And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. – Habakkuk 2:2

The principle of profitable work

  • Work is HARD because, a draw-down from our fore-father, Adam
  • However, the Lord expects us to be engaged PROFITABLY
    • Proverbs 14:23: All hard work brings in a profit; but the talk of lips leads one only into poverty
    • Matthew 25:14 30: The parable of talents
  • Learning from the ant (Prov 6:6)
    • Planning (looking ahead)
    • Teamwork and specialization
    • Storage (savings) and Investment (they build a lasting business / location)

The principle of diligence

  • Being in business is a long-term engagement. Requires a long-term commitment to focus, hard work, perseverance
  • Seek out diligent and capable business partners; and diligent and capable employees.
  • A diligent person stand before kings.

    Proverbs 22:29,Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

  • Count the cost first:
    • Luke 14:28,For which of you, intending to build a tower does not first count the cost
    • Smart planning and execution can mitigate many of these risks; or prepare us to accept an eventuality

The principle of integrity

  • Integrity is about Christ-centered living; about doing what is right rather than what is expedient.
  • Doing everything in the Name of Jesus Christ, to bring honor to Him; expecting reward from HIM only
  • Colossians 3:23-24: Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
  • Acts 5:29 Peter: We must obey God rather than human beings

The principle of outreach

  • As Christs ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20)
  • We have a commitment to excellence.

    This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone (Titus 3:8).

  • In season and out of season
    • 2 Timothy 4:2 We are to preach the Word in and out of season; tocorrect, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.
  • Being examples

    1 Peter 5:2, 3: not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock

The principle of accountability

1st Corinthians 3:10-15

  • One foundation: Jesus Christ.
  • Choice of building materials: those that can burn or those that can withstand fire
  • Ultimately our work on earth shall be tested as we enter the life to come
  • A reward or loss awaits us, in view of our conduct today

2 Corinthians 5:10

  • For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad
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