“So, here’s my offer. I will give you $100,000 for 30% of your company. However, you will create a board of directors with three people. You and I will be on the board and I may pick the third person.”
The young entrepreneur slowly nodded his head. “Okay, I like that better than the other offer to get $300,000 for 51% of the company. This way I don’t have to give up control and ownership of my own company.” Looking up and smiling, he exclaimed, “You got yourself a deal!”
Smiles all around, except for myself. I was watching a popular television show that featured nascent entrepreneurs pitching their product to a group of seasoned entrepreneurs and investors with the objective of receiving funding from them. This offer that was accepted was different from most offers which simply offered a cash investment in exchange for a percentage of ownership. It was a twist that seemingly offered the young entrepreneur an opportunity to gain the expertise of additional members on a board of directors.
I have no formal business training but I do have a great deal of practical experience. The scenario I witnessed reminded me of a professional colleague who lost their business because they forfeited control of their own board of directors. After completing a round of funding which placed several new members on their board of directors, the new members garnered the support of other board members until the majority were on their side. They then unceremoniously fired my colleague. He lost everything. I feared this young entrepreneur on this television show may suffer a similar fate.
I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.
Proverbs 24:30-34 (NKJV)
Some of us may look upon a situation and arrive at completely different conclusions. In business and relationships, this is very common. What may appear to be a good opportunity may harbor sinister details upon closer inspection. An investment in a thriving company may uncover a relationship with human trafficking. The amiable supervisor who reshuffles staffing to accommodate an employee’s personal needs now expects sexual favors from that same employee.
We have ears to hear and eyes to see but are we willing to understand and discern what is truly happening within the situations we encounter? Our spiritual lives are no different. As Christian believers, we need to continually rely upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit to enable us to discern and make decisions that honor God and not man.
You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:17-18 (NKJV)
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.