How can you help others learn the skills required to increase their own income?

There is an old saying that you cannot lead people where you have not been yourself. It makes sense really as you need to have done the reconnaissance so that you know what works and what does not work.

If all you know is how to find a job and there are no jobs out there for the people you want to work with what do you do? There are many who would say set up your own business and just get on with it. That is easy to say for someone who has not done that but how do they know what it really involves.

How can you be an effective support to someone else unless you know what it is like to walk in their shoes? God thought it was a good idea to reassure us that He knew it was like to be a human, even one who who suffered more than we are ever likely to do. In the same way we need to reassure those who are looking to us for help that we know what it is like to face and overcome challenges.

The challenge itself

Setting up a business is not something for wimps. It means stepping out and doing things that stretch you and that often demand a lot of inner strength. It involves persuading other people that you can add value to their lives and that you should be rewarded for what you do for them.

How can you persuade others that you can add value to their lives if you do not value who you are and what you do? If you do not value who you are then you will not charge prices that will make it possible for you to survive financially. If you do not value what you do you will never be able to persuade others to buy what you  have to offer them. After all if you do not value something how on earth will you ever be able to tell people that it is valuable enough for them to part with their hard earned money to buy it. Knowing how valuable you are and how you can prove that value to others is essential if you are going to succeed in the business arena.

It means facing up to your fears. It means facing up to the fear of rejection when people do not buy what you want to offer them. It means facing the fear of the unknown when starting something new.

It means stepping out on your own without the support services those in a job take for granted. If something needs doing you have to find a way to get it done. Either you learn to do the accounts or you hire a book-keeper.

Going into  business is not a get rich quick scheme. However, it is probably the best personal development programme that you could ever embark upon.

Learn from doing

We look at people who have succeeded in business and forget that in order to get to that stage of life have had to face some failures as well. Teachers talk about discovery learning i.e. setting up ways of learning by doing. Entrepreneurs learn from their unsuccessful business ventures, the launch that flopped, the product that did not sell. Many tell the story of the thing that they did not do in their first business that eventually caught up with them and put them out of business so teaching them a valuable lesson they never forgot.

There are no guarantees in business. Some things work and some things don’t. Experience shows what you need to put in place to minimise the risk. Failure is always a possibility. In fact when it comes to business start ups the majority do not survive past their first birthday.

However, it is possible to succeed. In fact in some communities being in business is the norm. They know that the skills and attitudes needed to succeed can be learned. In fact setting up and running business ventures has become part of the informal learning that takes place within the family.  That used to be very common in the UK until the industrial revolution when one factory with its economies of scale took over the work done in many different homes.

Leading from the front

Ever thought that before Moses led God’s people though the wilderness he gained experience herding sheep in the wilderness. He knew how life in Pharaoh’s palace worked but then he had to learn what life was like in the wilderness before going back to the palace.

I wonder how many of the people he was leading knew what it was like to live in the wilderness. Yes they knew how to live as slaves in a town but did they know how to live as free men and women in the wilderness. Moses knew how to live as a free man in the wilderness and he had to help his people learn to live in the wilderness and in addition how to live as free men and women.

These are two rather different skills. Life in the wilderness meant learning skills like finding food and water. The stories of their time in the wilderness show that this was not straight forwards. In addition to that they had to learn how to live as free man. Thankfully their leader had already been in situations where they had managed to learn these skills. He had already been on a God designed training programme to prepare him to lead these people through the wilderness.

If you are going to lead people through the trials of being self-employed then you need to know what life as a self-employed person is like. It takes quite a different mindset and way of thinking being self-employed than it does having a job. For example if all you know is working according to the rules of your employer it could be very difficult adjusting to the idea that you are the one setting the rules.

In other words if you want to help people though the wilderness of setting up a business then you need to have some experience setting up your own business. So what are you waiting for it is time that you gained that experience for yourself. The sooner you do the sooner you will be able to help others do the same thing.