When you write a blog about a business venture you’re going to start, you get the question all the time, “How’s the business going?!”
I have loved the accountability this question provides, and would like to take a moment to update you on what life looks like now, things I’m learning, and where Tidy My Place is in it’s development.
Mostly, I pray this is inspiring and informative for anyone else dreaming of starting a business or new endeavor. You don’t have to quit your job to do it, just take steps today towards that dream.
Julie’s daily journal:
My last day of my regular job at By The Hand Club For Kids was Jan. 19. It took me till they shut my e-mail off around the 25th to truly unplug from it, and still, I closed out conversations from my personal e-mail. By The Hand Club is never just a job – it’s a call with a community of believers serving together. It was an honor to serve there for 2.5 years, and it’s a blessing to have had my e-mail cut off, because I just don’t think I could have separated from it on my own.
The week of Jan. 22nd was my first week as a “full time entrepreneur” I like to say. It’s more invigorating than thinking, “I lost my regular paycheck!”
Thoughts like, “I don’t owe anyone anything,” and “This day will be whatever I choose to make it,” and “WOW! God, I REALLY need you,” cycled through my head often reminding me what a different journey this will be, and inviting me into a place of trusting God. I’m privileged to be in this space and step into trust in a new way.
I loved his response to my waking thought of how much I need him. He said, “You need me EVERY day. You always have. Your life simply was in such a way that your skill set matched what was required and you were duped to think you didn’t need me on some days or for stretches of days at a time.”
I repent, and I ask, “Lord, don’t let me live another stretch of days again unaware of my need for you. I don’t want to miss anything you have for me.”
I keep hearing a lot of affirmation about being brave, and to that I say: I think I was supposed to take this step 6 or 8 months ago. Fortunately, God has patience and continued to give me practical provisions as well as prophetic encouragement to the point it would have taken me more faith NOT to pursue this call, than it would to pursue it.
It’s always been my dream to start a business, and he gave me a very ripe moment to do so. I don’t want to miss that. I don’t feel brave most days. Little waves of fear come, and I move forward still, and I’m happy to say these fears are currently being drowned out by an awareness of what God is doing. It’s plenty to focus on and be filled with hope.
Business as mission
The mindset shift from non-profit to business has been a fun awakening, especially when my boyfriend had to remind me to add a profit margin for my business in one of my mock proposals.
I’m hearing phrases like, “Business as mission,” and “second-chance employees”. These are justice-driven phrases that are tagging me and my business as a sort of missional hub. While this is what I want, I have to intentionally weight myself to be about business, so I don’t one day despise a blessing from it. Most of us have grown up in a church where it’s frankly “less spiritual” to be a business person or make a lot of money. Some even tag it as evil. This is a lie we must push past so we can make money to advance the Kingdom and do some of those things God put on our hearts that require resources.
While I am most prone to dream about ministry opportunities that come through being on a job and in new places, one morning God reminded me what’s also on His heart to dream about, “LET (as in allow) your business be blessed. Business is a gift to resource ministry and Kingdom work (and be a blessing to your employees). Let it be blessed financially.”
It’s a reality – we must prepare for an inflow of finances that we will have an opportunity to steward if we truly want to see our country look more like “as it is in heaven”, including people restored to wholeness, family, society, health, etc.
The Lord is so incredibly good to me and bringing about people with experience and knowledge who have generously given their time to me to teach me about how to run a business, teach me how to clean, offer me supplies at cost and lend me their paperwork and important resources to edit to make my own. I’ve had amazing friends who have offered to look over my legal agreements, advise on the set up of my accounting functions and review my business plan and financial projections for accuracy and clarity.
I spent three days in Upland learning from some of the kindest, most personable and passionate people I know. Taylor University housekeeping, you work from love for God and love for people, and it’s so inspiring. Following this visit, I shaved an hour off my normal cleaning time for a coffee shop and was thrilled about the new tools and tricks I learned and what it will free up time to do.
I updated my website and added the employee application and got a new logo (thank you, Kristen Henry).
My business plan and financials are near to complete (they would be done if I wasn’t formerly an editor who can always make things sharper). Please feel free to e-mail me if you’d like to see it. I have forged a couple partnerships for the referral of young adult employees from the neighborhoods I want to target for hiring. Lastly, I have a couple walk-throughs of buildings lined up in the next couple weeks to give a bid for. I’d appreciate your prayers for the right initial contracts that will help me build a healthy business on and new opportunities to give bids.
Do you have prayer answers?
Tons. Call me if you want a story or two that will encourage you. I also send prayer requests to a few close people every other week or so. E-mail me if you feel so led to cover specific needs over the next 6 months.
Where cleaning and culture converge.