By John Crawford
Special to Inside The Pew
Editor’s note: Contrax Furnishings provides turn-key furnishing and equipment solutions for educational environments.
Why did you create your business?
“Not too long after graduating college with an engineering degree, my business partner and I purchased our business through ac leveraged buyout. To be honest, I had neither history, nor particular affection for the industry in which we had entered. I had been one of only a small number over the last few generations of my family that actually graduated college. Most were businessmen of one sort or another and perhaps that is in part why I was so restless three months into my new ‘career’ as an engineer.
“I had been searching for a number of business opportunities during that time and in God’s grace came across an opportunity that was too good to pass up. Although I am sure it was of some benefit, I promptly put aside my previous few years of university training and jumped into the deep end you might say of the pool of business. It was something akin to boarding a fast-moving train and then working hard to keep it on the tracks. Thankfully, it has stayed on over the years and I have been able to learn, grow and have some fun in the process.”
What is the one scripture (or two) that you draw strength from?
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal” (John 6:27). Although the full context of this passage is richer than just a simple application to business, I have always treasured it as a word from God to direct all of my efforts. In the end, whatever I am doing must contribute ultimately to building God’s Kingdom. All other ambitions will produce fruit that may taste good now, but in the end will perish.”
Share the best advice you can share with an entrepreneur?
“The business world is changing quickly and competition has increased exponentially. Although it may be different than my experience, I think it is essential to get involved in a business that you 1) are passionate about and 2) one that can harness God-given talents or previous experience. If someone is more passionate than you about your business then chances are their passion will translate into harder work and creative thinking on their part. This is an ‘edge’ in business against which it is difficult to compete. Find your own edge and make your contribution where you are most likely to succeed.
“I would also highly recommend a good business partner or at the very least, an advisory board that can be helpful in challenging you in order to make you better. We all need the “iron that sharpens iron.”
Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?
“I have been blessed to experience business on a number of levels. Our current business has grown from just a handful of people in a limited market to a large number spread out throughout twenty states and across a national market. It has been a fun and challenging ride. During that same time I have sought outlets through which to contribute that actually exceed my passion for business. In recent years it has resulted in a book that was published and a website on which I blog regularly, www.CovenantalDivide.com.”