I hear that in my head all the time — “oh Ye of Little Faith!” Matthew 8:26. As a solo entrepreneur, my income needs to be more than half of our household income to meet our budget but there is never any certainty in exactly how much I will actually bring in during a given month. Thus our life has been a continuous feast and famine cycle often leaning toward the famine end of things.
Making huge mistakes
The budget would be much less had I not made some huge mistakes for a period of time. One of the other issues a solo entrepreneur faces is in the word solo. By being every part of a business, there is really no one but yourself to rely on for all the different aspects of running a business. You are the head of marketing, purchasing, accounting, advertising, and operations. You would be the head of human resources, but oh, you are the only human resource when you are a solo entrepreneur.
For awhile, the big mistake I made was putting too many dollars into ineffective advertising. But the greatest mistake I made was buying office equipment (in 17 years that was a $60,000 mistake!) The equipment was big enough for a much larger organization and I had no good reason to keep buying and replacing the equipment. Just plain old stupidity! I learned from all of this stupidity but the financial impact is still there. For a long time, I felt that I was being punished by God for my unwillingness to follow his Word which clearly states that debt is bad.
The impact of worry
Now I have rectified most of those mistakes through seeking expert counsel and I don’t make them any more but it doesn’t stop me from worrying when the month is one of those famine months. Worry never does you any good. It just stops your momentum. It’s really hard to focus on marketing when you are worrying. You wonder if you will have enough for the mortgage or this bill or that bill.
My marketing coach saw this early in our relationship. Now I do hear his voice when I am thinking it is a bad month. He reminded me often that I can’t call the month until the month is over. By determining that it is a bad month on the 8th or the 15th, we set ourselves up for failure.
Amazingly, God told us this in Philippians long before my marketing coach told me. The Bible says in Philippians 4:6 “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” The Message
I’ve been trying to reach that level of trust and faith in my life because when I do, he takes over. When I pray instead of worry, the phone rings or the emails come in or sometimes a new client will just buy a package through PayPal without even talking to me. It’s those times I know for sure that I am not in charge of my business, God is.
I may be hearing “Oh ye of little faith” but then I also remember this promise: “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Mustard seed faith is all I need.
Julie Walraven is a solo entrepreneur and professional resume writer as well as a member of Wesley United Methodist Church.