It's so easy to expect that you will fail at something. Sure, you have dreams of what success would be like, but in reality, you expect that you won't be successful at all. This is especially true when you're an entrepreneur doing something that so many other people seem to be doing. It's hard to pull yourself out of the comparison game when the people you admire or those you want to work with, are promoting someone else who has the same skills.
As a designer, it's hard not to compare myself to other designers, especially those who are more successful than I am.
Just try posting that you need a designer in that Facebook business group you're a part of: you'll see just how many people out there are competing for the same jobs. And believe me, it's hard to add your services in response when there are already 24 other comments from designers (especially when you know them and you admire their work).
So it's easy to feel like a failure (or just one of many) when you're promoting and working in your business, but it also seems like it's always the people who expect to do really well that are succeeding. Doesn't seem fair right? You want to do well (maybe not six figures well, but enough to prove that your business is viable and that you can support yourself without having to go back into that office cubicle full of noise and misery), but you just can't seem to get started. You're putting yourself out there, but nothing seems to be working. You're doing the 50 things you've read on 5 Things You Need to Do lists, but the promised success isn't showing up.
Yep, I said it: Yet. That's a huge word in business (and in life). You're not succeeding YET.
Now, as many of you know, I'm big on faith and trusting God, but I think this applies even if you don't agree. You have to trust that things are going to work out when and how they're supposed to. I believe that God has a plan for my life, and by extension my business. Even if I don't know where He's leading me or when I'm going to arrive, I have faith that the timing and the destination are exactly right for me (even if I don't have the patience right now to wait for that). God reminds us over and over again in Leviticus that we have to follow Him (particularly, in this case, His laws) because He is the the Lord. That means that He is in charge and that everything we do, in life or business, should be to glorify Him. After all, my business is not really my own. It's been entrusted to me by God and my responsibility is to follow Him, trust His plan, and then give the rest to Him. He never asked us to carry the weight of success or failure because it's totally out of our control.
So if you know that your business really belongs to God and that He has a plan for it, why can you expect great things?
If you read the whole passage of 2 Kings 4:1-7, you'll get the context here: A widow was left with nothing when her husband died and was required to pay off his debts. When she could not, her sons were to be taken into slavery as payment. She asks Elisha for help, but tells him that she has nothing to pay off the debt except a small jar of olive oil. Elisha tells her to ask her neighbors for empty jars. NOT JUST A FEW. He then has her fill the jars from her own. When each is filled, the oil stops pouring, and she is left with enough to pay her debt and live on the extra.
The biggest lesson for us is that Elisha told the widow to gather NOT JUST A FEW jars. And she did. Had she gathered less, the oil still would have run out and she would have been left with a debt to pay. The widow collected many jars, as many as she could, because even though she didn't know what God was going to do, she trusted that He was going to do something.
That's the mentality we need to have in business. Yes, we have to do the work of collecting and pouring, but God is going to provide what we need if we expect Him to show up. The more we expect, the greater the things that can be accomplished. See, so often we put God in a box. We only believe that He can do so much because that's what we have been able to do. But, in fact, God can do anything. He promises that if we ask for something and have faith in His provision, He will do far more than we could ask or imagine.
If you read Luke 5:1-11, you'll see that when Jesus first meets Simon, James, and John, they have been fishing all night unsuccessfully. Then, out of nowhere, Jesus shows up and tells them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. Now, the fishermen know what they're doing and they know that changing sides of the boat isn't going to catch more fish, but they do it anyway. And a miracle happens: they catch so many fish that their boat is overflowing.
We have to trust God to do great things, but we also have to allow Him to do them. If we ask for great things, but then keep trying to do everything on our own, God has no room to work. Instead, we need to have faith and patience to wait and see what God has planned. It's all about His plan in His time. If God isn't in the work that you're doing or the business that you're running, you may be successful for a while, but you won't have long term success. When you're seeking His will and following Him, He will do more than you dreamed possible.
So, what am I expecting great things for right now?
First, my business as a whole. I've been watching it grow slowly and I'm excited to see what God has in store for it.
Second, I'm starting my new project: Inspired Online. I'm going to be interviewing creative and business entrepreneurs about their business and how they're grown. Each guest will discuss a topic that they're passionate about and that will help YOU to grow in your own business. I've got the first interviews lined up, and I'm excited to get started. If you want to get the emails, you can sign up below. If you have a topic you'd love to chat about, shoot me an email and tell me about it!
Tell me what you're working towards and the big things your expecting! I want to support you as you grow!