Isn’t it true that necessity can be a strong motivator?
Clear paths become overgrown with weeds, and streams dry up until dust forms.
Staying with water metaphors, when a river gets obstructed by rocks and debris the flow decreases. But here’s what sets it apart.
It seeks out another path until it once again flows freely.
Sure the path may look different, but does the river remember the obstacle any longer? Normally no.
Except when God is the one causing the obstruction. Rarely in the moment is this viewed in a favorable light, but I plan to show it’s central to enjoying true riches not of this world.
Purposefully Rocking the Boat
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Towards the end of this book in the Bible, one of my favorite verses jumps off the page. It’s glaring because so much of what the weeping prophet shares is on coming judgment and destruction.
But who better than our God to make beauty from ashes?
Two key life events were used powerfully in leading me to my necessity:
- Earning my college degree as a returning student
- An inability to get a career job for over a year
And one thing adulthood does, especially marriage, is motivate you to provide through hard work. But here’s the spoiler, job searching doesn’t always feel like real work.
After all, doesn’t work entail some kind of return on your investment?
Unknown to me at the time, the seeds were going deep and the Lord was already busy watering them!
Can I See Option B?
Trusting the Lord isn’t easy on purpose.
Look at King David. In Psalm 32:13 he says,
For I hear the slander of many; fear is on every side; while they take counsel together against me, they scheme to take away my life.
He goes on in verse 14.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord.
“Do you trust me?” When a parent says this to their child, it’s because a scary possibility is about to arise. The boy or girl must decide whether that literal leap into their arms is worth it.
My last year of college and one year after that, I operated as a part-time independent contractor. Without realizing I was already a small business owner, I honestly refused to leap.
Doing what I knew to be comfortable and safe seemed so much more pleasant. Keep reading to see how shifting my mindset led me to close my eyes and jump!
Unstable Ground Is Actually Solid Ground
Fast forward to June 2021 and I moved from employee to entrepreneur. What was the secret formula?
- Necessity + God’s leading + “How To Start a Freelance Writing Business” book
My crash course in launching and running a wordsmith content writing business involved another major step. Ditching traditional forms of digital marketing.
The only problem? All my professional experience was on Big Tech platforms.
Being censored, fact-checked, and other forms of adversity on my personal Facebook posts helped the transition though. Because it made me uncomfortable.
Discomfort is good when it leads to choices you’d normally avoid. And one I’d pushed off for some time was Gab.
Blessing in Disguise
My wife had recommended it long before I joined, and now I see why. It was the spiritual rocket fuel I needed to push past my comfort zone!
But when she first mentioned it, I probably injured eye muscles from rolling them so dramatically. Even if I did it in my head. After all, I know better than to upset my wife!
Soon after joining the community I connected with a like-minded digital marketer who’d found success by putting Christ first. Learning from her example and reading up on the platform, I got to work.
Tools I used:
- Gab social
- Gab groups
- Gab Marketplace
Did I miss anything?
One of the most frustrating parts of Big Tech is being treated like a child. By this I mean if you stray from what’s deemed acceptable you’re put in a digital timeout.
Controlling the narrative is their greatest joy, and they seem to revel in the power of silencing your views. And here is a differentiating factor between Gab and those other guys.
Adulthood is encouraged in terms of group moderation. I formed a healthcare related group to bring healing between patients and medical workers. Guess what?
Over the span of 5 months there’s only been one post that was off-topic and needed to be removed. But I sent a direct message to the person who shared it and explained why.
They didn’t leave the group and are engaging as we speak. Imagine that? Allow people to be adults and they can handle things cordially!
Overall, God has more than confirmed this is the road less traveled He wants me on. How?
Over 60% of my clients are freedom-loving business owners who are on Gab!
Besides time, early success looks like investing before revenue starts coming in.
Beyond Gab there are two other awesome tools I highly recommend for your freelance business:
- ClickUp (project management)
- Canva (design & scheduling social posts)
The operational side of running any business, even if it’s not of the brick and mortar variety, can be intense. From taxes to invoicing, it’s smart to invest in a system to keep things organized.
ClickUp achieves this through:
- Recurring tasks
- Duplication of processes
- Integration with other tools
- And pretty much everything else
Based out of San Diego, this startup recently reached a $1 billion valuation. Friendly to small businesses, it’s worth upgrading from their “free forever” option. How come?
My financial output was $39 for the first year, which can’t be matched by competitors. One word of caution though. Expect to become highly organized after you make the investment.
Next on the list is Canva, a non-designers best friend. I say this because my design skills are right up there with my ability to throw left-handed. Also known as falling way short.
Their templates are useful for:
- Business cards
But what really stands out is the ability to design visually pleasing social media posts and schedule them to go out. This feature alone can save your business $468 over the paid plan for the ever popular Hootsuite.
Earlier I mentioned success doesn’t happen unless you’re willing to spend money. But that doesn’t mean you have to make unwise purchases!
He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much. (Luke 16:10)
God has an amazing way of summing things up doesn’t He?
He Guides My Pen
A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 29:20)
This speaks to me on many levels, which is unsurprising considering it’s from the Bible. But viewing it from a business owner perspective it speaks of:
- Enjoying the journey and not just focusing on the destination
- Being faithful with “little” even if that’s only one client..or zero
- Not taking shortcuts or using others for a faster rise
Patience isn’t just a virtue. It needs to be a guiding principle for any entrepreneur who wants to be their own boss indefinitely.
When research suggested I could expect results from my efforts in as little as 6-12 months, let’s just say I wasn’t thrilled. God used this experience to humble and test me.
He also taught me the benefit of consistency.
Imagine early road workers methodically tunneling through a mountain. They literally wouldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for days, weeks, maybe even months.
But now consider their excitement when the first ray of sunshine pierced through the hole they’d formed on the other side. In that moment, the exhaustion and uncertainty was gone.
Just remember that as you chisel away honestly each work day.
Bucking the Trend
Unless you’re off the grid where the internet can’t reach, you’ve at some point had an advertisement pop up. And most of them promise hacks or secrets to earn six figures yesterday, or something along those lines.
Hogwash I say. These are unfortunately the marketers and salesmen who give our industry a black eye.
My father has been in sales for decades, and I respect him tremendously. He always says, “it’s about relationships.” Jesus is a big proponent of those, so who am I to question the truth behind my dad’s words?
With this in mind, my main priority is bringing integrity back to marketing.
And one of my goals is to give small business owners across America the online voice they deserve to effectively compete. But even more important than that is spreading the Truth of salvation and hope.
Examples of adversity small businesses are facing in 2022:
- Constantly evolving requirements surrounding Coronavirus
- Lack of lobbying support for favorable federal and state legislation
- Supply chain issues affecting inventory and the costs of goods
- Pressure to go woke and reject their moral convictions
It’s worth unpacking the last example a bit more.
We Are Lions
Be strong and courageous. (Joshua 1:9)
There’s a famous line in the movie Three Amigos which ties in nicely to this beloved verse. “No we will not die like dogs, we will fight like lions!”
During the BLM riots there was the social media trend of posting a black square on your business pages. Now the popular look is a Ukrainian flag or talking about how your company thinks Putin is Satan incarnate.
And even before these recent events, the LGBT pressure was intense to condone their sin through your messaging. This fact eventually led me away from pursuing digital marketing roles within corporate America.
There’s many aspects of Gab that align with my inner convictions:
- Certain banned industries (holistic medicine, firearms) are free to advertise
- Small businesses are viewed as partners in its further expansion
- Many of the owners are faith-based and don’t hide it
But do you want to know the best part?
Even outside of managing my church’s online presence, it’s the one place I can fully unlock the gift God has given me. Please note that I greatly respect the leaders of our church and am friends with the head pastor.
They love God and preach directly from His word. But there’s certain topics that I’ve had to avoid writing about.
Not the case on Gab. My spirit is literally lifted when I log in, something unique to what Andrew Torba and the team have built.
My suspicion is it has something to do with the amount of little Holy Spirit’s typing away while I am. Where two or more are gathered there He is, right?
Christians have unlimited potential because we were made in His image. But so often we choose to limit ourselves.
Maybe that worked prior to living in the end days, which my soul feels we’re presently in. Today however, He is looking to and fro for men and women who will dare to be different.
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. (Matthew 9:37)
Of course this describes our call to save lost souls, but there’s also a second possibility. Could it also be referring to blessings He wants to bestow on us if we’re bold enough to stand up for righteousness in our businesses?
There’s been examples of owners saying no to this world, losing everything, only to have it restored tenfold. The owner of the “cattle on a thousand hills” is more than capable of such a thing is He not?
I didn’t start Elijah Wordsmith content writing to get my name in lights, in fact most scribes like myself prefer to be backstage. Should He choose to stretch me in being a voice for the voiceless however, I welcome it with open arms.
Help your own small business stand out online and schedule a discovery call today!