Usually, I’m not one for a controversial topic or sharing an unpopular opinion on my podcast or blog. But when the Holy Spirit gives me a message to share with my fellow high-achieving sisters in Christ, I’ve got to be obedient even when it’s uncomfortable.
Well, here goes: my unpopular opinion that will probably bring me some hate mail and unfollows/unsubscribes.
Sometimes the world is just so loud with its mantras about going to “make it happen” and being a “boss babe” or “boss mom,” that it wears me out. How about you? And sometimes those mantras for women in business really kind of makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. (I know…gross!)
Let me take you back to 2010…
When I started my network marketing side hustle in 2010, I remember how empowering it felt to say I was a business owner. Being the proud person I was, I brought it up in every conversation I could. It usually sounded something like, “Now that I own my own business, I’m just working this job while I build my million-dollar empire!”
I imagine you’re rolling your eyes…and it’s ok, because now I do too when I think back about it.
Some of the mantras that I remember hearing back then still permeate our world today:
- Find your tribe and love them hard!
- Go make it happen!
- Run with the big dogs!
- If it is to be, it’s up to me!
(PS, who are these “big dogs” we’re supposed to run with, anyway? And does anyone really like to be called a big dog?)
Because I was “all in” for “rocking it to the top,” I bought into these words, the sentiment of them, and, perhaps most dangerously, I bought into the approach to business they suggest. That buy in lasted a while, and in fact, it probably took root early in driver, striver and achievement chaser approach to life. And the last thing I wanted to be was unpopular!
But let me tell you about my Jesus (who loves even the most unpopular)
The fateful day I woke up and thought, “this is NOT what I thought success would be like!” with my outward, measurable success yet inward emptiness, He met me face down on the berber carpet. And with His invitation to salvation, everything changed. It changed the way I viewed business, the way I did business, and my vocabulary.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
It was truly a fresh beginning, with the gift of a new wisdom: no longer my own understanding (go listen to episode 199 the myth of leaning on our own understanding). As I learned that God made me ambitious, yet didn’t make me to work the world’s way, those mantras began to grate on my nerves. “Boss Babe” and “Boss Mom” were chief perpetrators. In a recent poll of “how does the title ‘Boss Mom’ strike you?’ on my Instagram stories, responses ranged from the vomit emoji to “my client actually trademarked it,” to “it sounds empowering.” I may or may not have lost some followers for my unpopular statement.
I get that last one because of the world’s “girl power” roar: we women have fought for the right to vote, the right to equal pay, and so on. Yet let us not forget that as Christians, we’re not to boast of ourselves and our power. We’re to boast of God alone.
God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. Galatians 6:14
Dr. Charles Stanley comments on this verse in his Life Principles Bible, NKJV, “When we take our eyes off the cross, we get into trouble because we place our confidence in things that do not endure eternally.”
As high achieving, ambitious women, we’re “supposed” to embrace being strong, powerful go-getters, right? We’re taught to place our confidence in these attributes, in our achievements and measurable results. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had shifting sand moments where I’ve placed my confidence in things that didn’t endure. Mostly because I was leaning on my own understanding and boasting of my own strength.
But wait, there’s more:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
If everything – salvation, success, etc., were dependent solely on our actions, our strength, and our power, we would always be in danger of losing it all because we aren’t meant to carry it all. If we’re taking all the glory with an attitude of “if it is to be, it’s up to me,” then what happens when we fall (because we will)?
We cannot save ourselves.
Here’s part two of my unpopular opinion:
I believe that this noise is meant to distract us from the full surrender to Jesus, His power and strength. I believe these mantras lead us to lean on (and boast of) our own power and strength, because to operate otherwise is seen as weakness to the world. Trust me, Satan wants us believing our own hype!
Yet we are made to be counter-cultural because we are not citizens of this culture and world.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20
Again, quoting Dr. Stanley, “As believers, sometimes the way the world functions may seem strange and even unconscionable, and often we may be persecuted for our relationship with Jesus and the stand that we take for what is right.”
Friend, the Lord did not give you your business — a vehicle for kingdom impact, a vehicle for crossing paths with people for whom you may be the only way they’ve experienced Jesus, a vehicle for our ultimate purpose to love people and make disciples — because he thought you were a good person. He didn’t put you in this position. He didn’t give you the awesome responsibility to serve people through a business so that you could raise your hands and proclaim glory for yourself.
In a recent video from The Bible Project, I found this calming reminder: “following Jesus involves risk and tension. This is not a sign of Jesus’ absence, but instead, it is in dark and difficult moments that Jesus’ love and faithfulness are tangible and real.” When you share your unpopular opinion based in Biblical truth or you do business WITH God vs. the world’s way, it will be uncomfortable and you’ll get some sideways looks. Focus on how God defines and directs you. Put that into disciplined action, and let Him develop you (just like I teach with my 4 Keys to Redefine Hustle).
Drop those mantras and replace them with statements of praise for all God is doing in your life and through your business. That’s what I’ve done, and I’m here to hold your hand through it if you need me.
If you have outward success but inward warring with your faith and priorities, I hear you. I see you. And it doesn’t have to be this way. God made you to be ambitious, but He didn’t make you to work the world’s way. I’m the coach that can help. Let’s chat about working together: https://erinharrigan.com/discoverycall