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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


World Muslim News

Muhammad Speaks

Imam Warith Deen Muhammad


QUESTION: What advice would you offer to Muslims seeking to go into independent business?

IMAM: My advice would be, first, make sure that you are not going out half-cocked. Don't think that business is an overnight affair. Business is something that has to be given work. You have to sacrifice for a business. You have to work diligently.

Business is like a baby — when the baby comes you have to work for the baby. You can't expect a baby to work for you.

Too many small business people, from my own acquaintance and experience, go into business expecting a return right away. And they shouldn't, because that's the failure of most of our people in our neighborhoods, in our quarters of the city.

The failure of most of the small business people is that they expect a return right away. But business needs to be fed like a baby while expecting nothing from it until you get it strong. As it gets stronger, you can expect a little something from it. Just as a child grows up and begins to help you with your chores around the house.

Well, a small business will help you the same way but you have to give it years, sometimes, before you expect anything from it.

If you have a job or some income, don't quit that job; find a way to develop a small business while yet staying on that job getting some income. If you see that you can manage to pay your bills while devoting yourself and time fully to the opening of a business and the running of that business, then do that. But don't expect much from it.

Keep your own personal income from that business down to a bare minimum and give the business everything. Put that money right back into the business and that way the business will grow.

But if you start buying new cars, a new wardrobe and spending bigger than you were spending before -- buying more expensive food and having more extensive entertainment -- these are the kinds of things that destroy most of the small business people before they can even get their foot in the doors of business.