I am sure there are several people reading the title to this post and thinking we are crazy. But over the years we have found this statement to be proven true over and over again. No debt is needed to start your own business if… you use God’s way.
Deuteronomy 28:12 -“ The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.”
God’s way will often times sound completely foreign, maybe even silly or extremely humiliating. Humility is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and such a beautiful one. C.S. Lewis states: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” God’s ways tend to be the opposite of worldly business approaches.
When we started our business we did so with out any debt and to this day carry no debt, but this took humility, patience, faithfulness, self-control, kindness, love, joy, peace, goodness and gentleness. Sound familiar, all the fruits of the Holy Spirit and we need every single one of them.
The day we decided to start our own business we asked the question, “How the heck are we ever going to afford the gear?” Just to get us up and going the computer we needed was $2000, each camera body was just over $1300 a piece and we needed two of them, lenses were another $1700 a piece and we needed two, then paying for our business license, creating a website, marketing, business insurance and more. Not exactly a small chunk of change. So here is what we did…
- Humility – We asked for help. We dropped our pride and allowed ourselves to be vulnerable. We placed our dream in the hands of our friends and family and said can you help us. Christmas of 2009 they all came together pitching in money so we could purchase just what we needed to get off the ground. It is because of their love, their support, their generosity, their kindness and goodness that our business even began.
- Patience – The first year I worked two full time jobs, being a graphic designer at a huge marketing firm and running our business. Brandon was working full time as a youth minister and part time on our business. The second year I went part time at the marketing firm and kept on full time with our business. Brandon continued on as full time with ministry and part time photographer. It was not until year three that we could finally afford for me to go full time with just our business, however what we did not expect was that this would cause Brandon to work full time in ministry and full time on photography because our business began to grow rapidly. We just had to have patients with the journey. Creating something good takes time.Also, since we did not take out a loan we could not start our business with a studio, home office, all the lenses we now have, traveling gear, a CPA, a bookkeeper, 2 computers and a lot of other things we did with out. We had to rent gear at times, say up late working because we only had one computer. All of this required patience. It was not an over night business. We had to work hard and take it slow.
- Faithfulness – This holds fast to every aspect of our business, we had faith that God was calling us down this journey, that He would provide for all our needs and He would bless the work of our hands. There have been many nights spent in prayer that God would get us through, and to this day we can witness that He always has. Even the scariest moments.
- Self-control – The first three years of our business took a lot of self-control. Working two jobs is never easy and if we wanted to keep in good health, good spirits and great relationships we needed to practice self-control. Everything from how we ate, when we worked out, the music we listened too, the books we read, to what we scheduled for each day and how we used our personal and business money took self-control.
- Kindness, Goodness and Gentleness – Oh these are the BIG 3! They are all related but individually so different. As soon as we came up with our tagline “Capturing Moments of God’s Glory” I looked at Brandon and said “This means we have to be kind, gentle and good to everyone we meet and in all that we do. Because in the end, any single person we run into may one day come across our business. And if they see our tag line we have to live up to it.” It is imperative that we treat everyone with kindness, goodness and gentleness, especially if our mission is to run a business for and with God.
- Spiritual Joy – Over the years Brandon and I have had to learn the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness seems to be fleeting and dependent on what is happening around us. Where spiritual joy however, isn’t dependent on a current situation. Instead joy gave us the freedom to embrace challenges and trials knowing they were there to bring us closer to Christ. We learned to pick up our cross and follow Christ. This joy had brought us through long nights at the computer which were followed by very early mornings, dealing with gear breaking or failing, technical difficulties, challenges with clients, disagreements with each other and so much more.
- Peace – So the crazy thing we have always experienced behind the lenses of our cameras is peace. People have asked Brandon and I, “How do you deal with the stress of a wedding day?.” But honestly we don’t feel any stress on a wedding day. Peace falls over us the second we arrive. We have been sick as dogs having to shoot and by the grace of God the moment we pick up our cameras all the sickness seems to vanish. But it does come back once we are done, we don’t get out of it that easily. Does what you do bring you peace? It is that peace that can and will propel your business forward.
- Love – Self-sacrificial love, it’s hard, it’s challenging and you have to have it to start your own business God’s way. For He is LOVE. We quickly realized that whether or not a person deserves love is entirely irrelevant to the call to actually live it out. There were days when I would get so frustrated with the business I would take it out on Brandon and instead of fighting with me he would just love me. This would end in me crying and him holding me. And yes there have been times when a client has cost us money because of their own mistake, but we are not here to fight with them but rather love them. We also use out time and talent to volunteer because we don’t believe this gift was given to us only to make a living but to also give back.
It is the Holy Spirit which has propelled our business forward. Fruits given to us only by the Grace of God to do His will. There was not get money fast loan to build our business over night. It was all done in his time and in his way.
Today at 2:30pm on FB live via the group Faith + Work + Prosperity Group we will discuss these further and answers questions. See you there!