• Jenni Lien

12 Things to Keep In Mind Before Starting a Business


The Yay Project by Jenni Lien of Yay Ministries

Before we start pursuing a new dream — whether that’s a business, blog, novel, [insert your dream here] — let’s make sure we’re rooted in the truth. God’s truth. When we get excited, it can be all too easy to move from prayer to God to dreaming without God, forgoing rest, family time, healthy eating, the sabbath, etc. because we feel we’re right on the cusp of success in this new area. God knows us though, right? Always. He wants what’s best for us and success isn’t great for us if we’ll fall into ungodly habits and patterns. If we want the kind of ‘I feel so happy that I’m doing what I feel I was born to do’ kind of success, we must do it God’s way.


This season, I’m embarking on a new dream. (Are you, too? I think God is pouring out ideas — we’re in for a special season ahead!) It’s a dream that I’ve been dreaming for a long time but tucked it under my ‘someday’ list. Someday, if I had financial support, if the stakes weren’t as high, etc. I’d love to pursue it. That’s real hedging though. At least it was for me. Thankfully God challenges our fears.


Just three weeks ago, I was crying my eyes out after receiving yet another confirmation that I was to pursue this dream (I wanted to do it but it felt so scary). But now, after more time at the feet of Jesus, sometimes with lots of questions and other times just in open-hearted silence, I’m honestly feeling honoured that I have this opportunity to go all in with God and try. Whatever the outcome is, it’s a season where I’ll be doing my best to discern what he’s saying so I can build whatever he’s calling me to build with him.


The Yay Project by Jenni Lien of Yay Ministries

Maybe this is unusual business advice. I’ve known some incredibly successful business people who looked at me sheepishly when I asked them how they prayed over decisions. They didn’t, but knew they should. They wanted to, but felt there wasn’t always time. And in many ways they were successful anyway! But often they were also overburdened, growing in self-reliance, even looking to vices to help curb the pressure. While I do have people in mind, I could also be talking generally. Because humans, as unique as we all are, don’t we often go through the same things? It’s why the bible is so relatable. The above makes me think of Saul and David. Perhaps when we read their stories, we can see parts of ourselves in them, and also Abraham, Joseph, Peter, Mary, Martha, and so on. So let’s keep learning from them — from our God who has blessed us with so much wisdom right in the Bible.


So what are some things to keep in mind before we pursue a new dream?


  1. Don’t seek your own honour

  2. Don’t be wise in your own eyes

  3. Stay close to the Lord… an undeserved curse does not come to rest

  4. Don’t boast about tomorrow

  5. Let another praise you and not your own mouth

  6. Man is tested by the praise he receives

  7. The righteous are as bold as a lion

  8. Those who seek the Lord understand justice fully

  9. He who hardens his heart falls into trouble

  10. A faithful man will be richly blessed but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished

  11. He who trusts in the Lord will prosper

  12. He who trusts in himself is a fool but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe


Read: Proverbs 25-28


If you’re new to The Yay Project, welcome! If you’ve been here for a while, I’m so glad you’re here. While there have been (short) seasons where I’ve scheduled content, what I love and feel called to do is share what God is teaching me in real time. This post wasn’t started with the intention to write the most thorough guide ever on all the things to keep in mind before we pursue a new dream. It was simply what God impressed on me as I did my quiet time this morning. How many times have I read through the Proverbs? Countless. And yet never have these gems of wisdom hit the way they did today. These truths are SO relevant for aspiring business owners / dream builders (and meaty enough to warrant meditating on them / filling a whole blog post!).


The Yay Project by Jenni Lien

Four years ago, I wanted to write a novel. I was convinced it was my ‘thing’ to be a young adult author and basically locked myself in a bedroom and wrote and wrote and wrote in all my spare time, ignoring friends and fun, because I wanted to just finish the thing and get the book deal and be catapulted into my future. Nothing came of the novel (though I hope God will redeem it — I have some ideas!).


Then a year later, my ego and properly shattered, I spent time at the feet of Jesus, craving nothing but his sweet healing, and one step at a time he uprooted lies and replaced them with his truths. Three months into my healing, he challenged me to start writing about faith. I said “...” I mean I was brokenhearted and just feeling broken and hadn’t gone to seminary. It hardly seemed the right time! But the nudges kept coming so I took one step of faith at a time. I wrote anonymously, a few sentences at a time, with no plan. Just a “God, if you want me to do this, you have to give me the words, because I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.” And he did. He did beyond what I ever imagined I was capable of doing… and showed me how the best place to be is close to him.


The Yay Project by Yay Ministries

Once we’ve tried doing things God’s way, I want to say there’s no going back. But I don’t think that’s true. When we’re more successful, prominent, strong, etc. it’s maybe even more tempting to do things our own way. To skip those sessions at the feet of Jesus because there are more things to chase. We can even think of it as souls to be won. But, as our God says, What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mark 8:36).


So as we pursue our God dreams this season, let’s make sure we can handle what God is about to do. Let’s not fail tests because we stopped studying and forgot God’s principles. May we truly keep the whole context of why we work hard in mind — for God. We’ve got to do things his way. :) Who knows better than him?