Stepping Out in Faith for A New Business

Stepping Out In Faith For A New Business

Georgia had been creating Biblical resources for her Sunday school for years. She loved getting to design the beautiful study pages. When the women’s ministry leader saw her work, she encouraged Georgia to begin selling her creations on Etsy as digital products.

Georgia did some reading about how Etsy worked and prayerfully decided to give it a try. To her surprise, she received her first sale within just a few hours of uploading a collection of worksheets. So, she uploaded more of her digital products, filling her shop with resources for those in women’s ministry.

She started making good money, and two months later, when her husband lost his job, they could still pay their bills thanks to her business. Looking back, Georgia sees God’s provision through the minister’s suggestion.

Few things are scarier than starting a new business. Many business owners fail within the first three years of business, and a startlingly high number experience subsequent debt and bankruptcy.

But just as God led the Israelites through the wilderness, He can guide you through the adventure of starting a new business.

We have a printable worksheet available to help you begin to plan your new business. Click >>here<< for the worksheet.

Is God Calling You to a New Business?

You have an idea for a new business, but you’re not sure if this is something the Spirit is leading you toward. Here are four quick signs that God might be calling you to a new business…

Sign #1: You Can’t Get the Idea Out of Your Head

Often, the best business ventures are those you’re passionate about. It’s the idea that’s been stuck inside your head for weeks, months, or even years.

If you’re like most people, you have thousands of thoughts a day. Most of these thoughts fade away quickly after a few minutes. But then there are the thoughts you come back to again and again. This one thought may be the Spirit nudging you to consider starting a new business.

Sign #2: You’re Passionate about Serving

The best business owners are passionate about serving through their business. This might mean selling handknit wearables for the whole family or designing beautiful printables for busy moms.

What your new business does isn’t nearly as important as how you do it. The more focused you are on serving your customers and helping them achieve their goals, the more likely you will succeed.

Sign #3: You’re Hearing Good Feedback

Georgia spent years learning how to design her printables. It was only the past year or two that she heard from several friends (including the women’s minister) that she should sell her designs. When she heard this often, she started to question if God was telling her to take a chance on this.

If you’re not at a point where you’re comfortable sharing your work, hearing honest feedback, and accepting advice, you’re not ready to start a new business. Instead, focus on finding ways to share your work with others. Try to share it with people who will give you gentle critiques so you can improve.

Sign #4: You Know the Timing Is Right

This doesn’t mean everything is perfect in your life. But you have the space and time to dedicate to a new adventure. If you’re busy homeschooling four kids, working a full-time job, and trying to care for an aging parent, the timing to start your new business may not be ideal.

If you know the timing is right despite already balancing a full schedule, it would be wise to take a hard look at your schedule. Search for anything you can delegate or even remove from your plate entirely.

Be Patient in the Not Yet

Just because you have a fantastic idea doesn’t mean the timing is right. It might be months or years before you’re ready to start a new business. But don’t despair if God whispers to your heart, “Not yet.”

Many famous Biblical heroes and heroines went through years of “not yet” until they reached the place God had intended for them. Those “not yet” years turned out to be what they needed to grow into their dreams.

Pause & Pray

If you identify with the signs above and you feel the timing is right, prayerfully consider this new adventure. But don’t fly solo. Ask friends, family, and other Christians to pray as well.

Seek God’s wisdom and discernment. In Psalms, David boldly declares, 

4“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Who Is God Calling You to Serve?

Many times, God gives entrepreneurs a passion for a specific segment of His flock. That’s what happened for Diane.

When she started her online business, she knew she felt called to help Christian teens who needed help deciding their next move after high school. This made starting her new business easier as she knew who she was serving and how she would be helping them.

But if you’re a new entrepreneur, it’s not always easy to tell who you’re called to serve. Here are some things to help you find clarity around the issue…

Think about Who Naturally Gravitates Toward You

Sometimes, discovering who you’re supposed to help is as simple as looking at who approaches you. For example, Sarah found herself surrounded by new moms. They came to her, trusting her wisdom and advice. She was a patient teacher who never judged and always listened. As a result, new moms felt safe sharing their struggles with Sarah.

When it came time to start her new business, Sarah knew instinctively that she was passionate about serving new moms.

Understand You Might See an Overlap

Keep in mind that you may be serving more than one flock. As Sarah’s business grows, she’ll most likely serve new moms and moms of toddlers. She may even decide to eventually help moms of school-age children.

When managing multiple flocks, you’ll want to focus on what they have in common. For Sarah, she can serve both audiences effectively by keeping them focused on their core goal of raising godly children. By doing this, she unites her audience and keeps them interested in her business for years to come.

Don’t Be Afraid of a New Flock

Sometimes, you may have served a flock in a past position. For example, a youth minister’s wife spent years happily serving teenagers by writing Sunday school lessons and creating books.

But when it came time to start her new business as a virtual assistant, she felt the Spirit leading her to serve Christian entrepreneurs. It’s who she was excited to help, and she loved getting to work with new clients.

Avoid Flock Envy

When it comes to leading your flock, it could be easy to become jealous because someone else’s audience seems more exciting or better than yours. Maybe you serve single mamas while your friend serves six-figure executives.

It’s easy in these moments to envy your friend. You might think that your business would be better if you could serve a different audience. But God gave you the flock He chose for a reason. Trust His care, and remember that He knows how to supply all of your needs.

How Is God Asking You to Serve?

Stepping Out In Faith For A New Business

As you begin thinking about your audience, you may naturally know how God is asking you to serve them. For example, Mark was a web designer, so when he felt the Holy Spirit nudge him to help authors, he knew he would build websites for them.

However, there might be times when God tells you about your flock. But He doesn’t seem to give specific instructions on how to serve them. In these moments, it can be helpful to answer four specific questions…

Where Are You Gifted?

God gives us gifts because He longs for us to use them for His glory and the enjoyment of both us and those around us. Sometimes, how to apply these gifts might seem obvious. After all, if you’re good with technology like Mark is, you might find it easy to create websites or clean up computer viruses.

But sometimes, God’s gifts to you might seem like a collection of unusual items. For example, you might be gifted with the ability to see unusual solutions, beautify your surroundings, and organize well.

Using these skills, you could easily become an event planner, a graphic designer, or a professional organizer. Of course, all three of these roles have very different requirements, and it’s figuring out which one God called you to that is the exciting part!

What Do People Compliment You On?

Not every Christian recognizes what they’re gifted at. If you struggle with low self-esteem or have people around you who are unkind to you, it can be difficult to see where you really shine.

In these cases, it might be helpful to stop and think about what you’re complimented on frequently. For example, if the women at church rave about how you always look so well-dressed, it might indicate you have an eye for patterns and colors. This is often the mark of someone highly creative.

What Brings You Joy?

Think about the tasks that you spend hours lost in. Do you get completely absorbed when you’re writing or painting? Maybe time flies by when you’re dealing with machinery such as repairing a vehicle.

Often, the things that bring you joy are a good clue about what God might be calling you toward. You might find it helpful to make a list of tasks that bring you joy—whether they’re big or small. Then prayerfully consider the list and how you can use these moments of joy to bless others.

How Have You Served in the Past?

Another way to gain clarity is to look at how you’ve served in the past. Consider the positions and opportunities that were a fantastic fit and those that were a terrible match.

For example, David tried to write devotionals for his church’s website. But he struggled with creating the content and putting his thoughts together in a way that his readers could follow. He also struggled to upload the devotionals to the website since he wasn’t tech-savvy.

But when David volunteered to lead the youth camping trip, it was a massive success, with many of the teens finding David relatable. He didn’t try to teach the kids anything. He simply showed up and served as opportunities appeared.

Like David, you may have a few failed service attempts in the past. Keep these in mind as you consider starting your new business. They’re usually a clue as to what you shouldn’t be doing.

When it comes time to write his business plan or create his website, David should probably get help. But given his genuine personality and his love for others, he’ll most likely excel at one-on-one meetings with his clients.

You Are Special

As you seek to figure out where you’re gifted and what God is calling you toward for your new business, it’s normal to experience doubt. You might worry that you’re not truly gifted or be concerned that your gifts aren’t as good as someone else’s.

But God made you. He created you and uniquely gifted you to fulfill His purpose for your life. In Psalms, David proclaimed:

13“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)

You are wonderfully made, and using your gifts is a way to celebrate God’s workmanship!

What Sacrifices Will You Make for Your New Business?

Starting a new business typically means that you’ll have to make some sacrifices. Some of these sacrifices may feel big or small to you, depending on your current lifestyle and the type of business you want to start.

Sacrifice #1: Time

The most obvious sacrifice for a new business is time. You will need to create more of it in your schedule. However, just ruthlessly slashing things from your day planner isn’t likely to work.

Instead, try ranking your priorities, then slowly removing the priorities that don’t rank as high with you to make room for your business. For example, Cheryl looked over her daily schedule. She had typical things on there like:

  • Her morning run
  • Prayer time with her husband
  • Work projects
  • Household chores
  • Evening cuddles with her kids

She knew her top priority was her husband and her kids. This means that her prayer time with him and her evening cuddles were non-negotiables. But there were a couple of work projects that she could ask for an extension on.

She also talked with her husband to distribute the household chores differently. He would handle them during the weeknights so she could work on her business while she would tackle them on the weekends.

Like Cheryl, you’ll probably need to work with your spouse or family members to make sure all the important things get done while you’re starting up your business. Take the time to thank them for their help and let them know how much it means to you right now.

Sacrifice #2: Money

Some businesses require tiny investments to get started. This is especially true of online businesses where you may only need a domain name in the early stages of building your dream.

However, some businesses require a substantial investment. If you have a spouse, you may need to talk it over with them before moving forward. Treat your spouse like you would an investor. Focus on showing them the benefits of your business and be realistic about the costs involved.

Lisa’s spouse peppered her with questions about what would happen if she started the business and something went wrong. At first, Lisa resented his questions. Then she realized that he was trying to be supportive and prepare her for the possibility of failure. Together, they came up with a plan B that they both felt comfortable with.

Sacrifice #3: Pride

When it comes to starting a new business, there’s probably a lot you don’t know. Sure, you might be skilled in a particular area, such as writing or graphic design. But do you know how to do your own bookkeeping? Are you familiar with your local business permit laws? Do you know how to protect your business with the right insurance?

A new business can be a humbling experience. Often, Christian entrepreneurs jump in excitedly only to realize they don’t know enough about running a business.

If you’ve hit this particular snag, now is a wonderful time to pause. Ask God for wisdom and discernment. Then bring in the people who can help you achieve your goals for your business. Maybe this means hiring a business coach or getting a lawyer specializing in LLC formation to do the paperwork for you.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and get others involved. A business can grow by leaps and bounds when you invite community into it!

Sacrifice Can Be a Good Thing

Every new adventure requires sacrifice. Some of these sacrifices might be easy to spot and easy to give.

But some of them may not be so simple. In these moments, it can be helpful to remember that God has called you to this business. He has gifted you with the abilities to do it, and He will strengthen you along the way.

Take heart from Paul’s words in Philippians,

13“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Why Are You Starting This Business? 

As you begin your business, it’s easy to let the excitement carry you. It’s still new, and everything feels like a grand adventure. It’s fun to pick out colors for your website or decorate your new home office. But at some point, this shiny enthusiasm will fade.

You’ll face things like demanding clients, an unsupportive spouse, cranky customers, money issues, and an overwhelming to-do list. It can feel as if you bit off more than you can chew, and you may wonder if you made the right decision.

In these moments, it can be helpful to pause and remember why you started the business in the first place. Maybe you created it to give your kids a better life, to fund your ministry, or to take your spouse out of a job they hate.

Whatever the reason, remember that you’re not just working for customers or clients. In Colossians, it says, 

23“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Colossians 3:23) NLT

Grace and peace,

Alicia

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