For a long time, I have known what it is like to feel completely defeated by the fact that I couldn’t make any money with my company. Whatever I did, no matter how much energy – and prayer – I put into my business, it didn’t seem to come back.
It made me completely despondent. Pulling the plug and applying for a job (with a steady income!) seemed like an increasingly attractive idea…
If you’re thinking: “Jane… that’s exactly how I feel.”
HANG IN THERE!
Money as a success factor
There are some things I’ve learned in those months of hopelessness.
First of all, something I realized was that I only linked my success as an entrepreneur, and also the success of my business, to making money. And since I didn’t succeed in that, I saw myself as a complete loser. A failure. The voice in me said: “See, you can’t be an entrepreneur. That’s not who you are. You’re not capable.”
That voice needed to be silenced of course. It’s not yours, nor is it from God. But that aside, money is a very wrong interpretation of success.
Think about it, what does success actually mean?
- Having a sales conversation even though you find it scary
- Growing as a person and as entrepreneur
- Discovering what does and doesn’t work for your company
- Finding out that your success is in God
To come back to that voice inside of you…
You are responsible for getting that voice out of your system – or letting it in in the first place –
You are responsible for not feeling miserable or lost in your business anymore.
You determine your relationship with money and what it means to you if you don’t earn it (yet).
Important thought: Did you earn your money? Is it by your own works and therefore you should be paid?
Or is it God who takes care of you and gives you money, even though you might not deserve it?
It’s up to you whether to think in uplifting words and let them rejoice you, or to let unloving words enter your mind and destroy your motivation. Our thoughts are so powerful! They have a huge impact on how we feel and how we behave.
Don’t forget that we have a Maker who has given us incredibly beautiful talents and helps us, also through the difficult descents in our life!
Tip 1: Let it goooo
I know, this is advice that you don’t want to hear – at least, I didn’t – but you are a Christian, right? So, God asks us to let go of things. He’s in control. I’ll repeat that: He.Is.In.Control! Trust in that. He allows what you can handle. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”. (NIV)
Let clinging to money, also as a success factor, go! Money can become an idol, especially when you don’t have it or when you have a lot.
It drills its way into our brain and sits there poking us on the fact that it’s not in your bank account. Don’t give it that much credit!
Tip 2: Assign an empowering meaning
Well, a fact is a fact: you have little to no income from your business. That’s an emotionless fact.
But, you are in charge of what you do with that fact. You are the person who can give an emotion and meaning to this fact. When you do, try to assign an empowering meaning.
FACT: I have little or no income from my business.
MEANING: See, I can’t do anything right. Nobody wants to work with me or buy from me.
FACT: I have little or no income from my business.
MEANING: That gives a wonderful opportunity to explore what actually can generate income.
Assigning an encouraging meaning may require some practice when you feel completely defeated, but this way of dealing with a difficult fact is going to give you a different mindset.
Tip 3: Treat yourself as a friend
It’s funny that when we’re not in a specific situation ourselves we can often give lots of advice to the person who is. But it hardly works the other way around.
Well, try it.
Talk to yourself in the third person and motivate yourself to keep on going. Talking out loud seems to have a more positive and powerful effect.
“Dear Abby, listen, God has put you on this path, He’s really gonna take care of you. Isn’t there already something you can do that will lead you to clients? Calling an old colleague? Send ten cold emails? Let three people test your service/product, or taking on a part-time job?”
You get the idea. Apparently, when you talk to yourself in the third person, you become emotionally detached from your situation and can look at your problem like a bystander.
He promised it
I hope these tips help you. Believe me, I know it can feel hopeless, but that feeling is coming from you. You can resist destructive thoughts.
It might be hard to believe now, but God has plans for good in mind. Also for you.
Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (NLT)
Try to imagine the beauty of the situation you’re in: because of the absence of cash flow, you are given the opportunity to look at money differently. Instead of giving it a lot of value, you’ll start assigning meaning to the things in life that are actually important. Like your life with others, and your life in, and with, God!
He is always there, through all the struggles in life! Even as a Christian entrepreneur!