“And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me. For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?” (Genesis 30:25-30).
Jacob began his ‘career’ as a worker at Laban’s company, who later became his father in law. So Jacob worked for his father-in-law (Genesis 30:25-30). After years of working there, he asked permission to start ‘his own business.’ So Jacob changed, from worker to owner.
Everyone wants to progress and get an increase in their career. A worker has a dream that someday he will have his own business. He does not want to just be a worker all his life.
But how to pursue a career from a worker to become a business owner? Let us learn from Jacob. There are some qualities that must be owned to increase from worker to owner:
1. Responsible (v. 29).
And Jacob said unto him, “Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.”
Each cattle entrusted to Jacob always maintained perfectly. He did all the work entrusted to him with full responsibility and the result was always satisfying.
When we become workers, learn to be responsible for all works entrusted to us. Do them as good as possible, work to completion so it will satisfy your boss. If you do not work with full responsibility, it’s nearly impossible to become an owner because as owners we have a far bigger responsibility.
As long as we become a worker; it is an exercise to take responsibilities. The more we are responsible the more we are entrusted with greater responsibilities.
It is good if we are trusted to take bigger responsibilities (not only entrusted to hold keys to our office). The more we trained to take great responsibilities, the more we deserve to be an owner.
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10).
Jesus said, if we do not succeed in doing little things (being a worker) then we will not succeed as well in doing great things (being an owner).
2. Do not pick and choose jobs (v. 26).
“… for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.”
During his time as a worker, Jacob worked hard. The word “service” comes from the Hebrew word Abodah, meaning: work of any kind. So besides completing his main job, which was shepherding Laban’s cattle, Jacob did any jobs he could do in his spare time. He did not pick and choose jobs.
Many people when they work, they do not want to do other jobs other than their main jobs. Even though his jobs have finished and other works still need much help, they still do not want to help, with excuse that those are not their jobs.
Yet if it is seen from the point of working as a team, even though we’ve finished our tasks, but there are still many unfinished jobs in other departments, it means, in term of team, the work was not finished.
With this kind of mentality, you cannot be an owner because an owner always sees that his jobs are all departments of the company, not just one department. Not picking jobs makes us understand all types of work and that kind of attitude is required for an owner of a company.
3. Not just seeking and pursuing wages (vv. 28 and 31).
When Jacob asked permission to return to his hometown and started his own business, Laban said, “Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it” (v. 28).
For many people, this is a golden opportunity to mention any number because it will be approved. But not for Jacob.He replied: “Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock.”
Jacob last wages were received by working again for Laban and the result of his work was profit sharing. It showed that Jacob did not merely seek and pursue wages.
Many people work only to seek and pursue wages, but the most important is the pursuit of knowledge. During working, we should seek and gather as much knowledge. Knowledge is what makes us able to have the quality to be an owner.
If during working our knowledge does not increase, then wages will not increase significantly because in the end one will be honored according to the quality that he has.
4. Have a high ‘sense of belonging’ (vv. 29-30).
“And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me. For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: …”
Jacob worked so much that Laban’s business experienced rapid development because he felt he owned that business. He worked hard to advance the business as if it was his.
When Jacob first arrived, Laban’s possessions were not much, but after a few years Jacob worked there, Laban became richer. This is not just Jacob’s words, but Laban also admitted it.
“And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake” (v 27).
In short, Jacob became a worker but with the mentality of an owner. This is the mentality that ultimately led Jacob to become an owner.
5. Moving at the right time.
Many people decided hastily to quit their jobs and start their own businesses and then they failed. Their capitals were gone, their businesses were not growing, they have no income to support their families, and ultimately … they seek employment again, start from zero again.
Tragic! What is the cause? Simple: They moved at the wrong time. They felt ready, but they actually haven’t … and the result … a total failure…
Then when is the right time? How do we know when is the right time for us to move? There are two signs to determine when is the right time to move:
a. When we have proven ability to contribute significantly to the advancement of the company where we work.
“And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me. For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?” (vv. 29-30).
Jacob asked permission to start his own business after he was able to prove that he has contributed significantly to the advancement of Laban’s business. The business was growing rapidly due to his presence and contribution.
This was not only Jacob’s feeling, but it was also recognition from Laban, his boss:
“And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake” (v. 27).
That is a sign that we’re ready to start our own business: there is recognition from our boss that the company has advanced because of us. There are real contributions that we gave so that the boss sees and admits it.
“And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:12).
b. When we received a real confirmation from God.
“And it came to pass when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country” (v. 25).
Jacob asked for permission to return home and start his own business after Rachel gave birth to Joseph. Joseph means: God has and will add. So at that point, God has added a lot of things in Jacob’s life and he felt ready to start his own business.
Jacob believed when he started his business, God would add everything he needed to make his business flourish.
The birth of Joseph was a real confirmation that Jacob received from the Lord, that’s why he had the courage and strong conviction to act, not just recklessness and a strong desire.
Both of these can be strong signs for us to act. If we have already successfully proven in developing business with someone else’s money, then we are ready to develop business with our own money. Plus receiving a real confirmation from God, then the right time has come for us.
We can receive a confirmation from the Lord in many ways; one of the easiest ways is through our leaders.
If five of these qualities that must be owned to increase from worker to owner are met, be prepared! Because you are ready to change position from worker to owner!
Also read: Coincidence that is not Coincidental.