In my last blog post I shared 4 more principles of Biblical money management for the aspiring joyful steward.
In today’s post I’ll share my current journey on overcoming the fear of failure.
April 2020 presented the reoccurring musings on the future of Mallowri.
I’ve laid the ground work, moved from concept to reality and making small but steady steps. I’ve rolled out a few products, gained some traction with customers and a few influencers.
But then the plateau.
The business reaches a phase where only an exponential level of labour and resources will bring it to the next level. And then the crippling thoughts resurface…again
Should I waste my time on this? Maybe my time and effort could be better placed doing something else? Gosh imagine investing so much time and effort just for this all to FAIL.
These thoughts were further compounded by the comparison trap. My industry is just way too saturated–the barrier to entry is far too low. Everyone seems to be introducing new products to the market. How can my brand, with limited resources and a doubting creator, set itself apart from the competition? All my products have been made simply out of passion, research and effort and sometimes that’s just not enough.
I searched long and hard for GOD to give me insight into His plans for Mallowri. Then He let me know it straight–
“I’m not going to let you know if the business will fail or not. Be faithful with the present vision. Put in the work as is required.”
He also encouraged me to consider that even if the business were to ‘fail’ by society’s standards, that would not have meant that I was not a good steward of the vision and concept. I would have gained so much. It would not have been wasted effort.
Now I accepted this as head knowledge and it was moving towards heart application. But as I scrolled through Instagram and saw how great “everyone” was doing while my page remained stagnant, I couldn’t help but feel as though this was all wasted effort. I considered starting another venture–a unique one where I could easily set myself apart and with a greater likelihood of success.
In the quest for more certain answers, I came across a 4 day devotion plan, ‘Is God calling me to start a business’. Each day the author presented excerpts from Ecclesiastes, a book I didn’t venture much into. Day 2 provided the clarity I needed and echoed the sentiments GOD had voiced some months before.
Potential in a business idea is just that; potential. It is the possibility of something happening in the future but only GOD knows its beginning to end. And beautifully, that’s what makes Him who He is in view of who we are.
The devotional noted that-
“When we realize that only God knows whether our startup will fail or succeed, then we can stop grasping for control and gripping the gears, hoping we can steer this thing where we want it to go.
Instead, we can work as hard as we can and then do everything we can to put our labor into the hands of the one who is actually in control. We can stop worrying about what might happen tomorrow and choose to be faithful today.”
That was all that He required of me! Choosing to be faithful today. Letting go of the reins of control and trusting Him in the process.
I reflected on how each day I would wait for the perfect opportunity and for the details to be clear as crystal before I gave greater effort to my business. I wanted the assurance of success.
Perfection was not what He required of me. All He required was obedience to His initial nudging to start the business and faithfulness in my stewardship of it.
As I sat overwhelmed with the weight of these scriptures, I carried out an audit process of the business. I appreciated my starting point and where I stood now; most importantly I evaluated my WHY.
The why behind your dream is the impetus that encouraged you to move it from concept to reality. It could be passion, direct encouragement from the LORD, identifying a need in your world that you believe you have the skills/knowledge/expertise to create solutions to, a memorable past experience that serves as motivation or a combination of all these things.
For me, I’ve always been passionate about hair care. This was largely birthed from a place of slowly but surely learning to love the kinky hair and dark skin that GOD has blessed me with. Battling with the idea of starting Mallowri also helped me to conjure up the concept of ‘intentional living’. I’m in no way laying claims to the phrase but I believe that GOD made that concept so real to me when I decided to start and it currently serves as the business’ tagline.
An important part of overcoming the fear of failure is appreciating 3 things:
- Being a good steward over the current vision will achieve the satisfaction of the master and this is my ultimate goal. That is ‘true success’, as I would have achieved His objective for the vision.
Check out this blog post to get some more insight into stewardship.
- My desire for society’s version of ‘success’ is subject to GOD’s sovereignty. GOD is not obligated to give this to me and being a ‘good steward’ over the vision cannot strong arm Him into giving me what I want. This applies to everything.
- GOD assures me that “all things will work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) ALL these things. Even if my business were not to achieve society’s version of ‘success’, I know He would be orchestrating that, along with all other things in my life, to achieve His plan of what is good for me. I rest in that.
What a freedom! With that load taken off, I can keep my eyes laser focused on the more important thing; being faithful with the current vision. What does that look like?
- Prayerfully considering all business decisions.
- Learning as much as I can on business generally, my business model and the industry in which it operates.
- Focusing on setting my brand apart and satisfying the needs of current and future customers.
- Setting S.M.A.R.T goals that will help the business to grow and make greater impact.
- Consistently creating content and learning new marketing strategies
- Constantly reminding myself of the WHY and being inspired rather than crippled by the competition.
I believe that this business will be ‘successful’ and serve my community well. I’m working towards that. Notwithstanding this, I’m more concerned with it achieving His objective and I’m slowly getting a glimpse of it.
I’m not sure these lessons would have impacted me as much and I would have never discovered my love for entrepreneurship and business without Mallowri. It has also provided a new passion for empowering christian businesses. Also, the concept of ‘intentional living’ provided the foundation for my understanding of ‘stewardship’ and the impetus for this blog.
The application of these concepts are not limited to entrepreneurship but apply to the journey of moving all dreams GOD has entrusted to us into reality.
I’m just striving to love Him as He works out all these things.
Instead of building our businesses on the potential of tomorrow, we can build it on the faithful stewardship of what He has entrusted us with today. He knows all things.
Let me know if you’d like me to create more blog posts on entrepreneurship.