Have You Counted the Costs? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Faith-Based Business
Nowadays, everyone wants to start a blog, ministry, or business. And although these people are very passionate and even skilled to do so, only about 2% will probably follow through. Why may you ask? Because a lot of people are great at talking about it. A lot of them are even good at planning, but when it comes to followthrough and execution, are they about that life? Ehh…not so much. I’m not talking about those who want to run a blog, ministry, or business as a hobby; I’m talking about the people who want to make those hobbies their full-time gig.
I’ve learned over the years that a lot of people are lured by the free products, money, and even the exposure that these platforms have to offer. They are committed to the popularity and the results of having these things, but not to the process and the work that it takes to get there.
I can only speak so frankly on the matter because, in the beginning, I was the same way. I saw all the bloggers and online business owners who had a substantial following, were receiving coveted sponsorships, and who had palpable influence. I envied the benefits that came with that position, but at the time, I was unaware of all the commitment and work that it took to get there. I hadn't counted the costs.
As Jesus was talking to His disciples in Luke 14:25-31, He explained that in order to follow Him, they needed to count the costs.
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away.” - Luke 14:28-31 (NLT)
These same principles that Jesus taught to the disciples can be applied to your blog, ministry, or business as well. Have you counted the costs that come with taking on these projects? Have you thought about how much time, money, and effort that must be spent working on these things? Have you thought about how much hard work and commitment goes into reaching your end goal?
Now, like I said before, these questions aren't for the ones who are looking to do these things as hobbies, but for the ones who are seriously pursuing one of these endeavors. I want to ask you, have you counted the costs?
A lot of people want full-time benefits while giving a hobby effort, and that’s not how it works. It’s important to be mindful of what’s associated with a role before you take on any new project. Here are five questions to help you count the costs before starting your blog, ministry, or business.
"Do I have the time?"
Identify how much time you have to commit to developing and working on your blog, ministry, or business. Depending on what season of life you’re in, the time you have on your hands might vary, but it is essential that you make the most out of the time that's available. If you don’t have additional money to pay someone else to help you or the time to do it yourself, intentionally set aside the time that is needed to learn any skills that you need to work on your project.
"Am I committed to the process, and not just the result? "
The journey to doing whatever it is you want to do full-time is a process, not a sprint. An overnight success is rare and is seldom to come by. You have to decide that no matter what it looks like, you are down for the process. In a recent article on XO Necole, full-time blogger and influencer, Mattie James of Mattieologie, discussed the truth of the matter when it comes to blogging and business:
“A lot of people do not follow through because of the responsibility of having to do it again. Winning is not accidental. It takes a commitment, and people don’t want to be held responsible. The more you succeed, the more responsibility.” - Mattie James
It takes a continuous commitment to make your business happen. You have to decide that you’re going to have faith and stay committed even when you don’t see the progress. It’s about having tunnel vision and staying focused on the end goal.
“Am I consistent?”
How often are you working on your business, ministry, or business? Are you consistently delivering value to your audience? Frequency + Value = Consistency. It’s hard to build a following or a consistent income when you’re doing the bare minimum with minimum quality and effort. Step it up! Blogging, ministry, and business, in this digital age, are so developed and saturated that if you aren’t consistent, you can’t expect consistent results. People want value and they want something to refer back to, and it’s up to you to deliver that to them. Wanting it is not enough. You have to decide that you are going to be committed and consistent to see results.
"Frequency + Value = Consistency."
“Am I a self-starter?”
If you are putting yourself in a position to influence others, you must realize that you are a leader. Therefore, you need to be a self-starter. When you are ministering to and encouraging people, your purpose is to serve others. In order to effectively do that, you can’t wait or put off what God is calling you to do. A self-starter moves with purpose and intention. It’s your job to push and motivate yourself to do whatever it is that's needed to position yourself to serve your audience the best way you can.
“Do I have a strategy?"
A lot of people fail with their projects because they lack strategy. No foundation has been established, no goals or deadlines have been set, and no strategies have been made. It’s not enough to just plan, you must execute. Be intentional and map out a plan for your blog, ministry, or business. Then, take action towards that plan by acting on the strategies you’ve come up with to execute that plan. Oftentimes, we don’t fail from the lack of vision, but the lack of knowledge from not planning and strategizing accordingly.
Once you have taken the time to count the costs, it doesn’t stop there. It’s a daily thing. Every time you sit down to work on your faith-based business, you have to remind yourself of the costs that are associated with His plan for your life. When you find yourself discouraged from the lows, and even when you are celebrating the highs, remember that you’ve signed up for this. For better or worst, and through the good and bad, count the costs, make the commitment, and trust the process.