5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Pursuing My God-Given Vision
I remember when I was in high school and I was so eager to graduate. If you asked me then, graduation couldn’t come soon enough. I had already planned out what my life would be like as a college freshman. I would have my dorm meticulously decorated like the rooms saved on my Pinterest board. My grades would be perfect (that was a given), and I would have the most popping social life on Howard’s campus. I had my whole college experience perfectly mapped out. I would go to sleep ready to dream about what campus life would be like. Would it be similar to what I’ve seen on TV shows and on YouTube? Would it be like what I read about in books? Would it be everything I imagined? Well sadly to say it wasn’t (minus my grades. I graduated with honors and in Phi Beta Kappa). My college experience was nothing like I planned and neither was adulthood after I graduated. I had this perfect idea of what post grad and adult life would look like.
No amount of planning and dreaming could prepare me for the realities of real LIFE. I had no idea of what faith really looked like. I had no idea of what it meant to make really tough decisions, and I had no idea of the struggle that came with being a college student and a post grad trying to navigate life. I wish there had been someone there to educate me on what life would look like. I wish I had someone there to prime me for the experiences I had yet to encounter.
And now I’m year two into my coaching business, and I wish there had been someone there to prepare me for the long coily road of entrepreneurship. When I first started Fearfully Fashioned as a fashion blog, I wasn’t even thinking of running a business. I was just caught up in the world of fashion blogging and YouTubing. I saw others making money from what they loved to do, and I knew that I had the ability to do the same by sharing my story. But when God told me to transition into coaching, I had no idea for the journey that was ahead. I would watch other influencers and business strategists on Periscope and in the blogging sphere and assumed I would have it easy starting out. I thought that I could just blog and post on Instagram and clients would come flooding in. I thought that I would be able to make money in the first year of me creating coaching packages. I thought because I was called that it was going to come easy -- the followers, clients, money, and exposure. Well, let me tell you something: that is so FAR from the truth.
The journey to entrepreneurship has been a faith walk in itself. It’s nothing that I thought it would be. Since starting, I have sobered up from the dreamy imaginations of what it LOOKS like to be an entrepreneur. I quickly realized that it’s more than blogging. It’s more than having a 100K followers on Instagram. It’s more than just working from home. It’s HARD WORK that no one can truly prepare you for. It’s a daily act of dying to yourself, doing the work (a lot of it behind the scenes), and trusting that what you plant, God will grow. It’s not for the lazy or the faint at heart. It takes true grit, determination, perseverance, and grace from the HoIy Spirit. I wish I had someone there to let me know what was truly up with this whole entrepreneurship thing, but if I did, here are the 5 things I wish I had known before pursuing my God-given vision.
1) It’s a process.
And when I say process, I mean a process similar to a hazing process. If you’ve ever attended an HBCU (Historically Black College or University), you would know that joining almost any organization is basically in some capacity signing yourself up for some type of hazing. They may not call it that, but it is, and that’s exactly what it’s like when you decide to pursue your God-given vision. At times you will feel like you are “on line” trying to get your letters (a.k.a. crossing over into the organization, or in this case successfully transitioning into being a full-time entrepreneur). You will experience the emotional, physical, spiritual, and even mental stress that comes with pursuing your God-given vision. It’s a process that is not for the faint at heart. You have to get some skin in the game, and because of that, many don’t make it to entrepreneurship, because they quit just at the moment they were about to cross.
2) It’s an investment.
Pursuing your God-given vision is an investment in your time and money. In order for others and even yourself to take your vision seriously, you must put your money where your mouth is and then devote the time that is necessary to back it up. Now I’m not saying you need to invest $1,000 into your business to get started, but you have to learn to be comfortable with investing money to uplevel your vision. This could mean spending $15 on a book about business or setting aside money to enroll in a class to help you sharpen your skills. You may even want to fast track your vision by investing in a coach, but the bottom line is you have to invest. And don’t forget about your time as well. It’s just as important that you invest your time into your God-given vision. How much time you invest is a direct correlation and indicator of how your vision will grow. The more time you spend on growing yourself and your vision, the more you will see progress and results. So if you haven’t already, sit down and determine how much money and time you are willing to invest into your God-given vision.
3) It requires sacrifice.
In order to see your God-given vision fully manifest, you’re going to have to be willing to let go of some things. I think Paul explains it best in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Now in this verse, Paul is referring to sin, but I believe the same can be said for any type of distractions that are holding you back from pursuing your God-given vision, whether good or bad. Are you accustomed to binge-watching Netflix every night after work? Netflix may have to be sacrificed during this season to do what God is calling you to do. Have you made one or two commitments too many to volunteer in your church? You may have to cut back the number of activities you are involved in right now to fully dedicate the time necessary to get your vision off the ground. The best way to do this is to ask yourself, “What is God calling me to do in this season? Where is He asking me to simplify?”
4) It’s important to build a strong foundation
Before thinking about your social media followers and blogging editorial calendar, think about the foundation of your business. This is crucial. Not taking the time to set a strong foundation and systems in your business, blog, or ministry is like building a house on sand -- it will sink. Lay a strong foundation starting with a business plan. It doesn’t have to be this long, drawn out, corporate designed plan. I love how simple and actionable Christy Wright’s Business Boutique Business Plan is. She shows you how to set up your business in tiers like a four layered cake, starting with the foundation. For $30 a month, she gives you access to a growing video library that shows you step by step how to grow your business. And if you’re not ready to join the academy yet she walks you through the business plan in her book Business Boutique. Trust me. It’s better to grow slowly now by building a strong foundation than to throw something up for the sake of followers and fame.
5) It’s worth it.
Although growing your God-given vision can be a struggle at times, it’s worth it. It’s worth all the hours you put in. It’s worth all the blood, sweat, and tears that come with being extremely passionate about the burden that God has placed on your heart. It’s worth the late nights that are sometimes required in order to launch and get things off the ground. Why? Because your vision is greater than you. It isn’t for you. It’s for the people God has called you to. It’s so that His Kingdom can grow bigger because of the passion and purpose He’s placed inside of you. Once you see your purpose being manifested in this God-given vision, it will be worth it to see how you touch the lives of others through what He has called you to do. So when you’re tempted to build your own kingdom, you will remember that it’s for His glory not your own. It’s all worth it.
So there you have it. I wish there was someone around when I got started to expose the behind-the-scenes of entrepreneurship. It’s by no means glamorous, especially when you’re getting started. Make sure that you really count the costs. If you’re thinking about doing it for showmanship or just because it seems like the right thing to do because everyone else is doing it, please think again. This is not a game. This is real. The struggle is real. But the good thing is if you’re serious about pursuing your God-given vision, you don’t have to do it alone.
If you’re wanting to launch or grow your God-given vision and you need clarity, accountability, and strategy to pursue your goals, the Visioneer Coaching Program is for you. This one-on-one coaching program walks you through exactly what you need to write, cast, & pursue your God-given vision. You’ll gain the clarity, confidence, & strategy to build a strong foundation, take consistent action, & manifest God-given success. If you’re ready to pursue and invest in your God-given vision, join the Visioneer Coaching Program today.
Have you already started pursuing your God-given vision? What is one thing you wished you had known? Tell me in the comments below!
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