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As I rekindle my thoughts about formalising a business structure, I want to take a firm stand within culture, especially when I feel compelled to go against the norm of corporate mentality. What am I saying exactly? In layman’s terms, I stupidly want to pursue business integrity, which is a rare and a potentially risky trade-off. I’m not even sure if it would attract serious investors with that unusual mindset.

Offshore banking is rather tempting for adventurous entrepreneurs, especially those who are already raking ludicrous amounts for the fat cats (and themselves). Meanwhile, it’s the regular plebs who struggle to earn and sustain a living. And though welfare is available for most, it is never a consistent system to rely upon.

For someone who has legitimate options to bank overseas, I’m also strongly against it. At the end of the day, one should be paying corporate tax according to the origin of the founding company (and corresponding business operations that are based in other countries). Unfortunately, we still have major multinational brands happily taking advantage of ‘legitimate’ tax loopholes in Ireland and Luxemburg.

I’m curious to learn if the general public are actually bothered about corporate brands who do business honestly? After all, we are the ones who define new trends, not the marketing hipsters. For the corporate giants who are firmly established as household names, they market themselves as honest, but they have nowhere to wash their dirty hands and faces. For us plebs, for the most part, folk don’t seem to care unless it’s issues that affect them directly, or from vocal supporters who value green credentials (aka ‘tree huggers’).

Nonetheless, there is an air of relief and thanksgiving in my heart that I am progressing (slowly) with this Kingdom-focused vision. Much like an architect planning a building… the foundation has to be perfect, otherwise the building will deteriorate very quickly, much like Jesus’ parable concerning the house being built upon sand.

Though it feels like I am improvising, I now have access to new and credible insights with regards to further researching this proposal through trade magazines across multiple markets. I am still saving up my coppers for the expensive market research from respected industry sources. Overkill, perhaps, but I will never know what lies ahead unless I take that step of faith and see how the LORD leads. I know how to take risks (including financial risks), but I want God to be at the centre of this proposal. And I still pray that this is not of my own imagination.

And it does seem such a coincidence that I have a paid role, where I am learning much about business operations, travelling to sites, and understanding business solutions from an ICT perspective. Coincidence or God-incidence? Time will tell.

Looking back in faith-leaping opportunities (and there are countless examples to recite), I recall my initial fears when nobody stepped forward to lead our Christian Union society, back in the day of my student days in Dundee. After much time in prayer and reflection, I allowed myself to trust in the LORD fully to see what He could do with me, should a young heart be willing to serve Him in the capacity of a diverse student campus. Oh my! What a privilege to see God at work on campus, and what an eye-opener to grow in spiritual discernment and recognise of true brothers and sisters in Christ who seek to build for God’s Kingdom (including students and staff).

Fast forward 11 years and I find myself on familiar grounds. In a nutshell, I am afraid because the LORD revealed this Kingdom-focused vision to me (2 consecutive days in a row), which I struggle to forget and move away from. It doesn’t help the human brain to recognise regular paths of opportunity have unexpectedly shut, except for this intriguing path. How curious! And yet, it’s amazing how the LORD has been scoring off links, people and opportunities either for me to follow through in His perfect timing, or to caution me to wait, or to warn me of folk to collaborate with, or things to avoid.

I admit, I have been more attentive to the news regarding another referendum vote, this time the whole of the UK will cast its vote in whether to stay glued with the EU (European Union). My gut reaction is to stay… and not for the benefit of the SNP. Like my previous referendum vote, I am not a fan of divorce, especially when an economic divorce can seriously affect free trade for imports and exports.

From a business perspective, I want to stay because the pool of talent from European nationals, and we also have access to crazy EU funding grants, and it’s easier to do trade with EU nations. It’s also a bonus, should I feel compelled to work in Europe. If we, as the United Kingdom choose to divorce from the EU, then it will be interesting to say the least.

Ironically, the Scottish liberals and the William Wallace patriots would rather divorce the UK, and have an affair with the EU. Scotland isn’t exactly a superior nation (perhaps for heart disease and diabetes), yet the Scottish rebels seem to think we can be the next USA. And look at our friends across the pond, stuck between a Trump and Clinton showdown potential, unless others can show passion for their own people.

As for the EU vote, ironically, some of the more vocal supporters are pastors of independent denominations, which surprises me why they seem to chant for divorce… especially the Reformed-labelled churches who preach otherwise. Hence, why I genuinely struggle from Reformed circles, because they often come across as hypocrites in biblical doctrine and Christian living. And why do some Christians insist on labels that are not even in Scripture? Evangelical… Reformed? What’s wrong with the term born-again? Or is it considered too charismatic for some?

With regards to the EU referendum, who am I to judge? Here in Scotland, we may be privileged with free education, free health care, free dental check-ups, free prescription, and free bus passes for the over 60’s. With regards to our health care system, we are better supported than England and Wales due to our smaller population, but we are historically a bunch of patriotic nutters who wear our hearts up their sleeves, whilst wearing tartan skirts and blowing wind inside a noisy contraption… the bagpipe.

Enough about politics. It did however make me think at the potential of losing out on the ludicrous EU funding pot, which curiously, a similar competitor has used, though this bloke has crazy links with a Scottish millionaire. And here I am, struggling to form a lasting team of like-minded peeps (ideally with brothers and sisters in Christ), never mind acquire funding.

It wouldn’t surprise me, if I sourced individuals who prefer others to do the donkey work, or folk who have an underlying agenda, or wish to bring their dream team, which often consists of family members, or sharks hunting for a golden package and personal benefits. I may be cynical, but I consider myself honest in my thinking and personal reflection.

At the end of the day, I realise that I shouldn’t be afraid EU funding, because ultimately, the LORD has a funding pot that is beyond earthly value. Essentially, I will play it by ear. I may need to consider a working prototype, before reaching out to the ‘angel’ investors.

In the meantime, there is much preparation needed before I can begin to scout for parties of big wallets. And though I look foolish in striving to pursue business integrity, it is the LORD whom I want to please, thus I am not wanting to pursue this vision for any selfish gain, but rather, because I long to serve and build for the Kingdom of God outside the comfortable doors of a local church.

~Richard