Being a Faithful Business Owner
Faith is a large part of my life and my business. I'm not shy about sharing the fact that God is the center of my life and the inspiration for what I do in my business. I strive to live my life for God and an open about how God is a huge part of my business. In fact, I often say that this is His business more than mine, and a way for me to be a light to others. In a way, I look at my business like my ministry. That doesn't mean that I'm overly religious and trying to convert you. In no way do I want to turn you off from my business because I talk about God too much. I make it a point to share my faith, but in a tasteful way that will help encourage even the nonbelievers. Faith is a part of my shop collection, and can be found in many of my blog and Instagram posts. I consider my business to be a faith based business in that I put my faith in Him to provide for it. I look to God for inspiration, wisdom, creativity, and anything I need to make this business a success.
Running a faith-based business doesn't mean that your products and services have to be filled with scripture and scream religion. It just means that your faith (whatever that may be) is a part of your business and how you run your business. To dig deeper on this subject, I talked with a couple of successful business owners who make faith a large part of their business. They are sharing their thoughts on what it's like to be a faith based business owner and some struggles they have seen in their journey.
Jess Connolly, Naptime Diaries
For me, there was never really an option of whether or not I'd run a faith based business since my business idea was very much dependent on my faith! Scripture wasn't a gimmick for me and putting it on the walls of my heart + home was very much a spiritual discipline, not a good business idea. That being said - I think we can sell Christian products and not do it in a faith-filled or Spirit-filled way. I think we can market to believers without really believing what it is we're doing.
So I think running a faith based business means starting with faith. Faith in God more than ourselves or our ideas. Keeping our eyes on Him more than our checkbooks or goal logs. I think running a faith based business means asking HIM what He wants us to do and listening closely to His voice more than any others. For us at Naptime Diaries, this looks like a lot of prayer. It looks like a lot of worship when it comes to producing our products. It looks like repenting when we do something wrong, instead of just barreling ahead because that's what business wisdom would tell you to do.
The only problem I consistently come across running a faith-based business is keeping MY faith vibrant and not stale. I think this feels like the very most important thing for any business women, or women in general! Being passionate and genuine about our relationships with the Lord and not just letting it happen or going through the motions. This is our revival, not our recital.
Jillian Dolberry, Hazel Berry Design
My business started off as a creative outlet for me in the form of an Etsy shop. It all happened at a time when I was rediscovering my faith and figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be. It sounds kind of intense, and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. Getting started was a spiritual experience for me. I was overcoming so many fears and uncovering purpose for my life. It took me a while to admit it to myself, but I was desperate for Jesus. I uncovered His love for me through this business journey, so marrying my business with faith always made sense. They were both born/reborn at the same time. Although it has always seemed like the only way to approach this, it has never been easy. Satan still finds you when you are submerged in faith. My heart, full of fear and insecurity, was his hunting ground and allowing doubt to creep in made me the perfect target. I won't say I've overcome that completely, but through my faith I am able to accept God's grace and the confidence that his love offers me.
Sharing my faith openly through my business has been a battle. I think.."Is it too deep and emotional?" "Does this blog post sound too moody?" "Do I really want the world to know this about my life?" But the remedy for that is purely seeking God's guidance on where to take this. Products, blog posts, social media posts, it's all prayed about before hand. And if it isn't, the downward spiral of doubt begins. Then you're stuck in a black hole that only God's grace can get your out of.
I truly feel like my life is enriched because of my business partners with my faith, but I also know that this was supposed to be my story and it is being written especially for me. It's not for everyone. My advice to people who think about owning faith based businesses, or who already do, is this... Commit yourself to the Lord. Put your trust in him over marketing and business sense. You will always be prosecuted by someone for doing something that glorifies God (sometimes even by other Christians), but that doesn't mean it's not meant to be or right. Be courageous!
For me, being a Christian, a believer in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, informs and transforms all areas of my life so that naturally bleeds into my business. In fact, more than spilling into my business I like to think of this faith as the foundation of my business; I just cannot separate or compartmentalize it to just one area of life. What does that mean practically for me? It means I pray over my business. I ask God for guidance and discernment over decision making. I seek His word, the Bible, for direction and wisdom as well. It also means that my goals and definition of success will look differently than that of the world. It means that I ask "will this thing I want to do, pursue, post, sell, buy, etc. point others to Him?"
Practically I think this plays out in a million different ways. It doesn't mean I only take clients who are christian but it does mean I love them as Christ loves them. It doesn't mean I have to only produce products with bible verses on them, but it does mean I ask the question "how will this serve my client in a way that would point them to Christ."
See, this faith is not just a thing I do, it is who I am.
Do you include your faith as a part of your business? Have you run in to any obstacles because of that? Have you experienced more blessings because of it?
PS: If you liked this post, you might also like Setting Boundaries: Where to Draw the Line Between Work + Life.