Graduation is about one month away (eep!!), and I have plenty of school projects, assignments, and tests just around the corner. Yet here I sit with my mind wandering back here to this place. And tonight I just want to write, so I will. I had lunch with a friend today at a favorite local place. We talked about what it’s (really) like starting and running a company as a twenty-something year old with a passion and a dream. To be honest, it’s not easy. But every part is worth it completely. Even when comparison is loud. Even when striving feels like it’s taking over. Even when doubt creeps in. It’s worth it because it’s the vessel through which the Lord shines through with the gifts He has graciously given. It’s the way I live purposefully; to the praise of His glory. And that bring so much joy.
I was working in the studio this afternoon and scribbled down a few of the little revelations I’ve learned over the past few years of owning (now 2) companies. If you have the entrepreneur bug or just want a nugget of encouragement to pursue your calling, follow along below. I write these to remind myself, too.
- God is abundance not scarcity. The world begs to differ, but God redeems us from the temptation to believe there is not enough fill-in-the-blank to go around.
- Comparison steals joy. Theodore Roosevelt said something like this. Press into your calling because it’s unique just like you! Then we are free to celebrate others and their talents, passions, and paths. Whatever you do, do NOT let comparing yourself to others steal your own joy.
- Grow slow. I’ve been saying this grammatically incorrect phrase a lot lately. I don’t think I understood its value until senior year of college. It’s okay to start small! Just begin where you are and walk one step at a time. Big dreams often require small beginnings – the Lord works even when your dream job is a side hustle. Even when you have to choose studying for an accounting exam over designing a new product line.
- I’m not able on my own. I love having my hand in every.single.part. of the company…. But I am one human who sometimes cannot even cut with scissors. Not only do I need the Lord who is my Helper and I will not fear, thank you verrrry much! But I also need community both within and without the company. We are not made to do it all on our own. Thank goodness we don’t have to!
- Ride on the highs and lows on the wings of Jesus. There is a crazy mix of victories with an extra helping of challenges and a side order of why-did-that-happen-? when growing a company. Really. It’s a roller coaster sometimes. I’ve learned the only way to hold on is to ride it out with Jesus. He is the one true constant in the midst of change. No matter if business is great or something has taken a turn, my identity rests steadily on the God who carries me through every high and low.
- Sabbath. As graduation comes and I step into business full time, I am preparing for making conscious rhythms of work and rest. I cannot work well if I do not rest well, no matter how much I can’t seem to sit still. I’m especially working on this one right there with ya!
- All for His glory. What is your purpose? Your “why” behind what you do? This one is mine, and it orients the sheep inside of me that always needs direction.
So whether you are wanting to pursue your own passion on the side or jump into full time entrepreneurship, take the leap! I’m here for it, friend. Looking back over the past 5 years of straddling school with running a company, I’m elated to run full-time into Winnefred Austin. I have been preparing ever so slowly since I was 16, and it’s crazy to think these days are about a month away. Is it scary? Yep. Is it unknown? You bet. But it’s also my bend. Even though I can’t see the full picture, I joyfully run the race set before me, fixing my eyes on the pioneer and perfecter of faith.