There are times in life when we sense change is in the air. Such was the case for Jacob as his story is told in Genesis 30 and 31. Jacob had worked 20 years for his father-in-law. He had been a loyal and hardworking member of Laban’s team.
Jacob had done a great job making others successful. His passion for success gave him a burning desire to do his own thing. He felt certain the time had come for him to build equity into his own future. He had developed a sense of urgency to use the gifts and talents God had given him for the purpose in which they were ultimately intended. By seeking to change, he was taking charge of his destiny and fulfilling the calling God had placed on his life.
Jacob was moving from a season of preparedness to a season of achieving his purpose. Ironically, he was motivated by his desire to return to where he had come from. In some ways, it was as if he had been running from God’s calling on his life. He couldn’t shake it. He knew deep in his heart he was meant for more than life as a herdsman working for no inheritance with his in-laws.
Jacob had a wakeup call in Bethel. The Lord made it clear that he was misguided. He was living beneath his potential. Bethel was literally a turning point in Jacob’s life. It was there that he took charge of his life and changed the direction he was heading. The pillow of stone was turned into a pillow of purpose.
Jacob realized he was good at his job and was making life better for everyone but himself. He was a proven growth strategist. He knew how to succeed. He had built things for others. He had worked for wages. Now was the time to work for a better future.
There are several principles we can take away from Jacob’s approach to starting a business of his own; Jacob’s start-up principles if you will.
1. RECOGNIZE YOUR BETHEL MOMENT. Jacob recognized his Bethel Moment. God got his attention and he took it seriously. Bethel was truly monumental in his life. It was a life changing moment, a reminder of who he was created to be. If not now, when? He seized the day and never looked back.
2. WORK HARD BUT BE SMART. Jacob worked hard. He was a loyal apprentice. He wasn’t a slacker. He brought undeniable value to the team. He used the opportunity to learn all he could in hopes of someday fulfilling his own dream. He had worked hard, now was the time to be smart.
3. BUILD EQUITY INTO YOUR LIFE. He discovered a way to build equity and save for his future. Simply clocking in for an hourly wage would not sustain him. Nonetheless, he served wholeheartedly but with a plan in mind. He realized it was better to try and fail than to try nothing and succeed.
4. GROW INTO BUSINESS. Jacob understood it was better to grow into business rather than go into business. He could have made a knee-jerk decision and let his emotions drive his approach but he remained patient, waiting for the opportune time. Timing is everything in business.
5. MAKE SMOOTH TRANSITIONS. Making a smooth transition was the key to his success. He got his house in order. He gained input on his decisions and with confidence began moving toward his goal. His family advised him to do whatever God had told him to do. Don’t delay. Make the change. He had a backdrop of support that helped him make the transition with certainty.
6. TRANSFER SKILLS. Jacob transferred his God-given aptitudes and abilities to the calling God had placed on his life. What had worked for others would work for him as well. He put what he had learned into practice, his own practice!
7. GO WITH GOD. When God said go, Jacob went. Jacob was found listening. He was in step with God. He was in sync with God’s desires for his life. He didn’t miss the opportunity. There was no delay, he was on his way.
8. LEAVE AND LIVE IN PEACE. Jacob didn’t burn any bridges. If he missed God’s best it was that he left in fear. Doing so put added stress on his relationships. However, in the end, the conflict and tensions were worked out. Jacob was able to leave and live in peace as the new venture was blessed and put into place.
Jacob took charge of his circumstances in order to make necessary changes in his life. He could have continued where he was but deep inside he knew he was meant for more. It wasn’t easy. There was plenty of risk and uncertainty but empowered by God, and mobilized by faith, he moved beyond Bethel and stepped into his calling. Stepping out changed his life and history in the process