Kudos to my friends, Nancy and Stacy, who are among the 9.4 million women who own their own enterprises – 30% of all businesses in the country.* Last week they both revealed some of the first fruits of their work.
Talent, Passion and Trust
Each week for several weeks, Nancy and I would phone huddle and pray for God’s vision and ask that He would guide each stroke of her paintbrush. Last Monday, Nancy texted me a snapshot of her most recent spec painting named “Fireball.” Her art captures a football in flight on a 7×7 foot canvas. Now it is ready for market.
Saturday, my wife Kristy and I joined Stacy and her husband Robert for a small gathering of friends to give thanks, praise and ask God’s blessings for her first house transformation. Laying aside her corporate career clothes for a tool belt, she bought a 1939 vintage house on the edge of uptown Charlotte. Stacy envisioned, designed, permitted, and oversaw construction, which included stripping the inside to the studs and building a master bed and bath addition.
Stacy and Nancy share key traits.
- Both are talented and know their craft.
- Both are passionate about what they do.
- Both developed expertise through personal projects.
- Both invited and trusted God to start and finish their work.
Both also experienced days of anxiety and nights without sleep. Worry threatened their work, but faith and prayer provided them a path forward.
Advice and Counsel
If you have been dreaming of starting your own business, let me recommend that you explore your talent, passion, and trust.
I am not trying to talk you into doing your own thing, but rather put your thoughts to the test. Start small, be patient, and take one step at a time.
First and foremost, pray for direction. Check your attitude. Begin freeing yourself from anger, fear, and depression. Inventory your gifts and passions. Target potential customers or businesses who need most what you do best. Talk to them and learn what they need. See if they will buy what you are offering. Take little risks and learn to earn as you go.
For more to explore, get a copy of our Crossroads Career Work Book: 7 Steps to Jobs, Careers and God’s Calling. Step 4 is Altitude in which you will find the six factors that will help you target opportunities:
- The services or products you can offer.
- The types of individuals or organizations that will be your customers.
- The geographic areas or locations where you will find customers.
- The price range you can sell your services or products.
- The types of platforms on which you can operate.
- The social, economic and cultural demographics of your customers.
The Church Can Help
Your local church may or may not be ready, willing or able to help, but The Church can.
I am talking about all Christians who are part of the body of Jesus Christ, those who are believers and follow Him. Many of them are church pastors, leaders and staff, but the majority are working in non-ministry vocations and members of the larger community. Some are members of your family or are friends.
How can they help? Everyone can pray of course. Many could help you research, network and make referrals. Some could be customers themselves. Others will give valuable advice and encouragement. A small percentage may be professionals in whatever business you decide to pursue.
Some churches are equipped with career and business ministries with staff and volunteers trained to provide counsel, contacts and encouragement.
If your church pastors and leaders would be interested in knowing why the Church should help people find jobs, develop their careers and follow God’s calling, let me recommend our newly published book: “Created for Good Works”
* For the fifth year running, Womenable has combined forces with American Express OPEN to analyze trends in women’s enterprise growth and development.
updated September 3, 2016