what does faith have to do with business?

By Aurelia Mitchell Durant

FAITH in business is an interesting notion.  When I started my business it was because I wanted to give back to the community from whence I came.  I grew up on West Oxford Street in North Philadelphia; this was a neighborhood that was considering the “ghetto”.  I was so sheltered and detached from the “essence” of the ghetto that I did not even realize that the hood was the “ghetto”. In my ignorance, I thought that the ghetto was the housing projects!  That came from watching too much of one of my favorite television shows – “Good Times”.  You see I was a child of the 80s, longing for the cool, hip, jive vibe of the 70s; anything to get me beyond the flash dancing, dookie ropes and box haircuts of the 80s.

It was with that back drop that I received my initially confusing lessons about FAITH courtesy of the Baptist church around the corner.  I went to church most Sunday’s with my elderly neighbor, Mrs. Dorsey.  She was a sweet woman with style and grace; she was what I envisioned a woman of FAITH to look like. Here I am a constant daydreamer; I had Mrs. Dorsey as my example of refinement; so I dreamed up the rest of my supporting cast.  You see, it was my constant daydreaming that allowed the ghetto-ness (my own word!) to be omitted from my childhood experience.  It was through Mrs. Dorsey that I learned about FAITH; no matter what – I was clear that FAITH was need for this and any journey in life.

Fast forward 30 years, I am a practicing attorney and an instructor.  My FAITH has no-doubt evolved from Oxford Street.  As a woman in business your FAITH is tested almost daily.  It is not so much the issue of the “glass ceiling” as it is about operating according to your FAITH.  “According to your FAITH be it done to you.” – Matthew 9:29.  Now some would interpret that verse to mean that you are provided for according to the FAITH you have in receiving.  However, the interpretation also extends to what you lacking because of your lack of FAITH.  As a woman in business, there is admittedly a covert feeling of being a “fish out of water”.  There are some facets of “hunting and gathering” that women have to develop over time.  Ok, so let me just use me as an example:  When I started my law firm I felt out of place because my female nature wanted to nurture but my profession wanted me to operate more like a “pit-bull in a skirt”.  It was my FAITH in the pursuit of my purpose that gave me the impetus to push forward. So for me my FAITH operated as the “naysayer” of my personal doubt. It is according to my FAITH and double portions of grace that I live life as a woman in business.

By Aurelia Mitchell Durant

Image credit: http://www.ronedmondson.com/2012/10/the-greatest-obstacles-to-my-faith.html