Amidst the love laughter, tummy filling and gift giving, lets not forget the true meaning of Christmas. Wishing you God’s blessings and favour!

Merry Christmas!

 

He who works his land will have abundant food,
but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.
- Proverbs 12:11 (NIV)

 

What If Starbucks Marketed Like The Church?

My friends (FYI, they are not yet aware of our friendship…lol!) at Inside Work posted this video from Beyond Relevance. I could not resist posting it here. It certainly gets you thinking. It made me consider the church and the way we try to reach out to people in our immediate community and beyond. As a business woman it really makes me question how I am perceived by potential clients. Could i possibly be coming across as trying too hard? Check it out!

 

What fruit is that?


I walked into a health food store I visit ever so often this morning. When I got to the checkout it was the same guy that had served me several times before. I am always so taken by the way he deals with all visitors to the store. He is always very pleasant to everyone which is probably why he is extremely popular amongst the regular customers. He advises clients about products with such keen interest genuineness and goes well out of his way to ensure that customers are satisfied. He is not the store manager or owner but he always has a happy and helpful countenance and personifies the phrase service with a smile. During a brief chat with him this morning about how well he deals with everyone that comes into the store, I hardly allowed him to complete his final sentence before I interrupted him with my repetition of the words “I knew it”. It turned out that he is a Christian, living his beliefs and ministering by his actions.

This made me take stock of my business practices. What do my clients say about me? As business owners are we able to provide more than a service or product? Do we leave positive lasting impressions in the minds of potential and existing clients? Is it all about the money or are we affecting lives by causing people to wonder why we are the way we are or do the things we do? Do we set good examples? Do we cause people to doubt our integrity? Are we marketplace ministers? Good fruit or bad fruit, what are you producing?

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. - Matthew 7:16-17 (King James Version)

 

Spotlight: Amber Vlangas


For my first feature interview, I had the pleasure of interviewing Amber Vlangas Owner/Principal Consultant of A.Vlangas Consulting, a management and development consulting firm for non-profit organizations. Amber is a Christian mom of three beautiful children; 11 year old Timothy, 8 year old Deborah, and 3 year old Lilliana. She has been married to a wonderful Navy Musician, Christopher for 12 years.

CBW: When and why did you start your business?
AV: I started my business earlier this year, after spending years working in the areas of management, marketing and development for nonprofit organizations. I had been taking freelance consulting jobs on the side for some time, but finally felt led to break out on my own.

CBW: What obstacle(s) did you face in getting started? How did you overcome it/them?
AV: I think the biggest obstacle that I faced starting out was transitioning from a stable paycheck to contract work. Having a background in marketing and management made startup easier, but it is always scary making a big change. I overcame this obstacle through faith. God always came through, giving me the wisdom and strength that I needed to move things forward.

CBW: We sometimes loose sight of God's ability to give us all that we need to bless us. Do you have specific habits that help you stay focused?
AV: The truth is that having faith is hard-especially when we do not understand God's time table or methods. We need to try to differentiate wants from needs. There were times for me that were harder than others, financially and otherwise. I found myself giving concerns to God and then taking them back, trying to do it on my own. Keeping a prayer journal has become invaluable to me. It is a place that I can write down not only my concerns but also the things that I am thankful for. It is fun to look back in the journal and realize how good God has been. It truly helps me understand that he will not forsake me. The history, coupled the reading of scripture, refreshes my spirit and helps me stay focused moving forward.

CBW: What is your favourite scripture?
AV: That is a very hard question, as there are so many that I hold dear! Galations 5:1 is definitely one of my favorites. It reads: "Christ has liberated us into freedom. Therefore stand firm and don't submit again to a yoke of slavery." In modern days slavery can be so many things...sin, anger, disbelief, fear, or doubt. How great it is to know that when we trust in Him, he releases us from the "slavery" of all those things!

CBW: What is your favourite business tool/resource?
AV: By far I would have to name the web as my favorite tool/resource. It is a great place to get a business out there, learn new things, and connect with people that share the same interests as yourself. Social Networking (myspace, facebook, linkedin, twitter, blogging forums, etc) really takes traditional "word of mouth" advertising to a whole new level.

CBW: How do you balance running your business with managing your family?
AV: Every woman constantly struggles with this question- it is difficult to juggle it all. In this age of technology, clients can reach you at all hours of the day and demand more work in shorter periods of time. For me it has been important to set boundaries and schedules, even if it means saying no to a client or sending them to voicemail. I have had to train myself to live for God and family first, then let everything else fall into place. I have even had clients comment on how much they respect me for that! In my experience, the key has been to be responsive and clear with my clients, setting boundaries in the beginning of the relationship.

CBC: What words of wisdom would you offer an aspiring business woman?
AV: The best advice I can give to any business woman is to set up a time with God on a daily basis and keep it like it was a business meeting! The busier you get, the more you will need this (though we all will have our moments of weakness). Prayerfully ask Him to reveal what the focus of the day should be. Then be still and listen! Don't make business decisions without consulting Him. He so much more equipped to handle everything than we are.

To learn more about Amber please visit her website and blog. Please let me know if you have been blessed by this interview, I certainly have.

 

Business Startup 2008

I recently found out about Business Startup 2008, an event taking place in London England. It’s promising lots of great exhibitions, workshops, seminar, networking opportunities and more. And best of all it is free! For further details click here.

 

What...Failure Can Be Good?

I love Seth’s blog and books for the simple reason that he gets you thinking and possibly causes a shift in your attitude or actions. This time, he is talking about failure and how such an experience can work in our favour ultimately if we learn from rather than dwelling on it, we can sharpen the saw and emerge better.

"I try hard not to keep a running tally of big-time failures in my head. It gets in the way of creating the next thing. On the other hand, when you see failure as a learning event, not a destination, it makes you smarter, faster.”

Read more

 

Why do you do what you do?

A friend of mine recently asked me why I created this blog and why I decided to call it Christian Business Woman? My response was that this blog allows me to fully express my interests and the very things that are important to me. For me Christianity is not my religion but my way of life and when speaking to people in the business realm its often quite tricky or considered outright inappropriate to bring up ones spiritual beliefs. I am also a woman (as well as a wife and mother) which means I’m often wearing different hats. Here on this blog, I can express all those different elements without appearing unprofessional or inappropriate. Why do you do what you do?

 

Spotlight

Are you a Christian business woman? Would you like to be featured/interviewed here? Do you know someone that will? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment here or send me an email at cbizwoman dot yahoo dot co dot uk

 

Small Business Week 2008

BT’s Small Business Week commences Monday, 13th October 2008. It promises lots of free information and advice through daily, webinars, competitions, face to face events and opportunities to be marched with mentors. For further information, visit the website.

 

Don't Know What Business to Start

I received an email last week, which I would like to share for your advice and input. I NEVER publish emails sent to me, but the writer stated that in addition to my opinion she would like to hear from other Christian women and asked if I would post it on my blog. Here goes…

“I have toyed with the idea of contacting you for a while but finally just feel I really need some support. I have wanted to start my own businesses for ages. I am stuck on the fact that I do not know what kind of business to start. I have read lots of books and sought the Lord but after several years I have still not made any progress. I continue to work in positions I do not like which adds to my misery. I do not seem to have any clearly defined passions or interests and the fact that I am a quick learner adds further mystery to my strengths; I seem to be a jack of all trades but master of none.

Do you know other women that have experienced anything similar and know how they overcame it? Do you have any advice? Please support me in prayer.”

Please offer your opinion, support and advice.
p.s. I respectfully ask that you do not post any ads.

Blessings

 

When the going gets tough – Part I

As though the challenges of starting and running a business aren’t enough, we have everyday personal challenges to further complicate our lives. How do you deal with difficult and serious situations in your various non business relationships, sickness, personal losses etc. and keep your businesses running without your business grinding to a halt under the strain of your personal challenges?

My mother is seriously ill (even though I am thankfully believing God for her complete healing) and it can be pretty challenging updating this blog and keeping up with my other commitments under the strain. But I thank God for encouraging me and keeping me strong. I have drawn so much strength from reading His word and worshipping him. I recently read a comment on a blog (don’t remember the name) that overcoming challenges in life is 95% our reaction and 5% finding a solution, and I find this to be so true. Bearing that in mind, everytime I feel a little discouraged I get into the Word of God (even when I’m not feeling quite like it) to re-align my focus and I find so much strength in this. I encourage you to find scriptures applicable to your personal challenges and meditate upon them even when things look bleak. God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19), let His word work in your life

 

£20,000 Grant up for Grabs



Visit Essence of the Entrepreneur for more details

 

What’s Holding You Back?



Lots of people have great ideas but are unable to bring them into reality. There are inventors that this world hasn’t known, real estate investor’s, retail chain owners, etc. lounging in the hall of mediocrity instead of taking their places in the hall of fame. They’ll give a thousand reasons why they cannot venture out to build their idea and refuse to recount the reasons why they can. Blinded by their own weaknesses they do not see how God wants to use them, how He perceives them or the many gifts and strengths with which He has blessed them.

We all have and will experience “holdbacks” in some form or the other, but we have to be willing to deal with them in order to attain what God has for us in our businesses as well as our personal lives.


  1. Like all things, a good place to start is prayer.
  2. Study the Bible to learn what Gods says and thinks of you.
  3. Consciously think good thoughts and watch what you read, watch on TV, listen to, etc
  4. Remember that the bible says that “Faith without works is dead”1, so after you have sought a strategy from God,2 and done the required preparation, take action.
  5. Realize that it may not be easy, but hang tough, knowing that God will see you through.
  6. Through your victories and challenges, stay focused and continually give God the glory.

I highly recommend Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer, it changed my life.

In the words of one of my favourite authors John C. Maxwell, "For most people, it's not what they are that holds them back, it's what they think they are not."

Wishing you great success!

1. James 2:14
2. Jeremiah 33:3

 

Christian Women in Business Together

I came across a blog post today that expresses the reality of having a friend as a business partner and how one should seek to manage a business relationship with a partner while maintaining a healthy friendship.

“My faith is very important to me. But, my dear friend, Kim, is as well. So, I would like to learn how to be a good friend and business partner, grow our business and do it all in a way pleasing to God. (I welcome all advice! Or a book you have found I did not know about.)”

It’s the delightful blog of Princess Bubble, check it out.

 

A Business that's Part of His Plan

I see running a business as part of God’s plan as well as part one's purpose and ministry. As such, I think it is important to seek God’s guidance on the type of businesses we should run as well as all the seemingly fine details of our business. And like a pastor or preacher, we need to know where God wants us to take our business as well as how to positively impact the lives of those we come in contact with while conducting business. So my prayer today is, Lord reveal to us how our businesses fit into your master plan. Amen.

 

Success

I just had to share this article I came across that explores how to be a success based on the word of God.


"A look into God’s Word quickly reveals that material blessings were given because God loved His people, not because His people deserved those blessings. They were withdrawn from those who used them foolishly and transferred to more faithful stewards. "You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures" (James 4:3). "

 

Who Needs A Mentor?

Finding a business mentor is great way to jump-start new and seasoned businesses. Having the input and support of one who has walked the path that you intend to, or has accomplished goals similar to the ones you want to achieve can be really beneficial. But finding a willing mentor can be a little tricky. Understandably, there is a time commitment involved and unless your proposed mentor is someone who really wants to sow into the life of another, this may not be top priority for them, amidst a busy schedule. I know of people who have been mentored by people they do not have established personal relationship with; by reading their biographies, books they have authored etc. and learning from their experiences; but that still does not beat having a one-on-one where you have an opportunity to ask pertinent questions and rub minds.

When looking for a mentor, consider the following:
  1. You should have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve or benefit from the relationship.
  2. Do they possess relevant experience and knowledge in the area in which you require growth?
  3. Proposed mentor’s ability to relate to you and communicate effectively and vice versa.
  4. Commitment and availability to the mentoring relationship.
  5. Objectivity and ability to provide constructive feedback.
  6. Their ability to encourage and support when necessary.
  7. Find a mentor who is enthusiastic about the mentoring relationship and process.

I am commited to supporting 5 women in getting their small businesses off the ground between now and October 2008. If you are interested, please email me at cbizwoman at yahoo dot co dot uk or leave me a comment.

 

A Prayer for Endurance

Lord, give me the endurance to hold on during tough times in my business; when things look hopeless and I feel the need to throw in the towel; when I feel unable to handle the pressures that come my way help me to keep my gaze on you. Help me to hold on when I can’t seem to find new clients; help me to know when to accept closed doors of opportunities, as a sign that it isn’t the right one and help to know when to refuse to accept “no” for answer. Give me continued strength so that I do not faint (1) instead teach me to wait on you (2). When I am discouraged because things don’t seem to be going my way, or the way I expect them to, remind me of your promises. But through all the ups and downs and many windy roads of building my business uphold me so that I may stand strong and come out victorious.

Amen

(1) ...O my strength , come quickly to help me." Psalm22:18
If you fail in the day of adversity your strength is small." Prov24:10
(2) "They that wait upon the lord shall renew their strength..." Isaiah 40:31

I am commited to supporting 5 women in getting their small businesses off the ground between now and October 2008. If you are interested, please email me at cbizwoman at yahoo dot co dot uk or leave me a comment.

 

Love Song to the Lord

I just stumbled across this fantastic worship song. I listened to it for the first time and absolutely loved it...you be the judge.



Found it at Empowering Christian Women

 

Christian Business Woman

With the many hats we have to wear and the added demands of everyday life, more women are striding out to create the kind of work life balance that they want by creating their own businesses. Starting out in business takes courage, hardwork and the grace of God. But even for the Christian woman, this is no small feat.

This blog has been created for you and I; for me as an outlet to relay my personal experience from time to time as well as share the knowledge I have acquired; for you, you'll be assured that you are not alone and find ideas as well as encouragement.

My prayer is that through the words here you will find some inspiration, tools and resources that will support you in your endeavours. Should you have specific questions or concerns, please leave me a comment. I encourage everyone to leave me comments to let me know what you would like to see here, your opinions and experiences and how I can further support you.



I am commited to supporting 5 women in getting their small businesses off the ground between now and October 2008. If you are interested, please email me at cbizwoman at yahoo dot co dot uk or leave me a comment.

 

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