Entrepreneurship and Serving the Church: 3 Tips for Embracing Failure and Persevering through Discouragement

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Young Business Professionals

Over 180 members of the Young Catholic Professionals group came out on the second Tuesday in October, to the Cathedral Guadalupe in Dallas, for a great event with CEO John Williams. Mr. Williams, who has been an entrepreneur in various businesses since he graduated with his MBA from Stanford University, spoke to the group about the lessons he has learned for true success in entrepreneurship. He focused throughout on the importance of passion and determination in achieving goals, and attendees took away these three lessons:

  1. Never be discouraged by failure. As John Williams reminded the group repeatedly, 8 out 10 new businesses will fail in the first 18 months. Mr. Williams encouraged us to think, at every instance of personal or professional failure, of all the souls we may have touched in our efforts. Even if our business, our organization, or our plans must eventually come to an end, the souls we affected through them are eternal. Give thanks to God for that. 
  2. Stay close to Christ at work. Design your own “program of life”. Entrepreneurship begins each day with an act of humility. Mr. Williams reads the daily readings before he checks his email, says a decade of the rosary over his lunch break, and takes every opportunity to associate an everyday professional task with a daily devotion to Christ. By keeping this simple “program of life” he keeps his faith strong in the midst of distractions. 
  3. God makes the impossible, possible. Before his talk, Mr. Williams shared a clip from the 1993 film Alive, the nonfiction account of a plane crash in the Andes and one man’s climb to bring help for the other passengers. “This would have been impossible without God. Man on his own could not have done it,” said Mr. Williams. We all have our own mountains, whether it be a difficult task at work, a personal relationship, or even a chronic illness. With God, we climb even the steepest of them. 

Though not all young professionals are called to be entrepreneurs, we are all called to take up our place working with and serving the Church, which can often entail some of the same sacrifices of time, passion, and determination in producing fruit. Both Mr. Williams and the group’s chaplain encouraged guests to take this challenge to prayer and ask God where He wants them to build his Church. At the beginning of each Executive Speaker Series, attendees write their names and professions on nametags they wear for the event. Father Benjamin Ciepley challenged the group—what would you have to write, if you put down not just your profession, but also your role in serving the Holy Catholic Church?


Teresa Amador Gallagher is a Management Associate for Young Catholic Professionals, a 501(c)(3) which encourages young adults working in various professions to “Work in Witness for Christ.” Learn how to bring YCP to your city at www.youngcatholicprofessionals.orgRead a recent interview with the group’s Executive Director at http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/young-catholic-professionals-on-a-mission/


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2 Comments

  1. Great to see people starting their businesses right, the most successful person I know starts each day askijng what he can do to improve someones life each day. He is thoroughly Catholic! Best of luck to you all!

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