I love the show Shark Tank. If you are unfamiliar with the premise it is simple. Business owners present their ideas to a group of multimillionaires and billionaires with the hopes one of these investors, or “sharks” as the show calls them, will be their partner. They look for the sharks to put in an infusion of their time, money, and know-how to help their business perform better than they are currently. But the sharks don’t just give away their money… they expect something in return. The show is simply the negotiation of owners trying to partner with someone that has more than enough resources and someone who needs those resources.
This virus has caused a financial effect across many levels of our economy. Businesses that we thought could not be touched are being affected. Small businesses are checking their savings to see how long they can keep going like this. Then there is all of us and our personal finances. We are looking at our nest egg wondering why it looks so small and wondering if we will have a job as companies across our country are making cuts to just stay afloat. As we look at our reality, we sit there fearful that our financial picture cannot take one more hit.
I feel in the game of personal finances, we all can take some learnings from the Shark Tank.
We all need help right now:
I don’t care who you are… there is a financial fear in you at some level. Fear is simply this: a lack of certainty of what’s on the other side. When we lack certainty, we get fearful. We are scared of heights because we aren’t certain we won’t fall. We are scared of love because we are uncertain about how the possibility of rejection could harm us. We are fearful of an economic downturn because the safety net of money seems to be quickly disappearing. Moments like this are sobering as we realize we do not control nearly as much as we thought and/or hoped. We become like those business owners on Shark Tank looking around at what we can do and who we can invite into our finances to take the pressure off. You are not alone. We are all fearful which means we want some certainty that we and our finances will be okay. To find certainty, we need to acknowledge we need help.
We Want God as a Partner:
As our days spin by without resolution, we are all getting desperate enough to call on God and ask him to help. Whether we believe in God or not, we are not able to control what is happening around us and so we are hoping there is a higher power to reach onto because there is nothing earthly that seems to be working. Regardless of our faith, we want there to be a God who can step in and help. We want God to provide a job if we are out of one. We want God to provide money as ours is seemingly scarce. We want God to do something where we cannot. We want him to take the power and resources he has and throw it in our direction. We want him to touch on finances and bless us especially now that they seem to be scarcer than they were a few weeks ago.
Our End of the Deal:
Whenever someone talks to an investor for money, the investor has standards he needs that person he is going to invest in to do. It could be giving them a certain percentage of their company or a commissioned payout. We all know that should be an expectation of the investor. God is no different. He has no problem partnering with us in our finances but he has some expectations of you as his partner. Give first. Before you do anything, give money away. That’s it. You give money away on a regular basis. God says if you do this, I’m willing to partner with you and your money. Let’s be honest, it isn’t whether or not we want God as a partner. We just don’t know if we are willing to trust He will come through on his end of the deal. We love the idea of calling God in as long as he does not ask for too much.
Here is what you need to know—if you want God to touch your finances ,we need to follow the deal he sets out. “You give to me and I’ll take care of you.” His standard is simple. For every bit of money you get, you give just a little money away. Have a plan to be generous. Have a percentage in mind that before you earn another dollar – you will give a certain percent of that dollar away. If you want an investor in your company, you have to give some of it away. If you want God to show up in your finances, you have to give some to him.
Which question will haunt us the most?
Any time I struggle with a decision I use this question as a filter: What would I wish I had done one year from now? It is a test I give myself because the pressure of present circumstances can skew the right decision. One year ago, do you wish you would have started a workout program or a Netflix binge? One year ago, do you wish you would’ve saved your money or gone through the drive-through for the millionth time? One year from now will come and you will think, I’m glad I did or I wish I would have. Here is my question to you: One year from now do you wish you had invited God into your finances to allow him to provide, or are you glad you hung onto it all to figure it out on your own?
So… do you want to do the deal?