I first thought of the idea of God and Business over a year ago.It turned into God and Business Today because the other URL was taken. I wanted to interview people about the role God, faith and prayer play in their business lives. And I’ve been completely derailed, off-track and wrongly focused because I paid attention to one simple and seemingly harmless question:
"Yeah, but how will you monetize it?"
While monetization would be great, when I felt stirred and called to do this, when I felt like it was the best and most inspired thing I’d ever felt to do, when I sat in the car and said to my husband, "I think I’ve found the thing I want to do for the rest of my life!" the objective was not to make money.
So what was the objective?
I wanted to create a place where we could all share experiences about answered prayers. I wanted to inspire you and be inspired by your stories. I wanted to make it safe for you to come out and say, "I didn’t know what to do about my business. I prayer about it. I felt inspired. And that’s why I made this decision." And I wanted you to be able to do that without anyone looking at you funny, dropping their jaw and saying, "Are you out of your mind???"
Because the fact of the matter is this: the world is full of people of faith. While there are plenty of gurus ready to tell you how to market and how to make more money than you’ve ever imagined, there are a lot of us that get down on our knees, feel inspired to do something that real "business" people would think is ludicrous and cry tears of yearning because we want to make something real.
But then what happens?
Here’s what happened to me. I overcomplicated everything because of what I "know." You see, I’ve studied with a number of experts. If you happen to know about Infusionsoft (automated marketing and email autoresponder provider), I worked with their founder for nearly a year. I learned everything there was to know about what your website should do, how to collect leads online, how to sell stuff online, how to upsell, downsell and follow up endlessly with people until they either die or buy. I studied copywriting with Dan Kennedy. I’ve attended conferences and listened to every guru under the sun.
And all their "expert" advice is now stuck in my head.
Here’s why that’s a problem…
When God gives me something to do–an idea about blogging about my experiences in building God and Business Today, for example–instead of just feeling the Spirit guide me and saying "yes" to it, I enter into a completely new conversation with the marketing voices in my head.
It goes something like this:
Tami: Okay, I’m going to do some interviews.
Gurus: Excellent! What are we going to charge for them?
Tami: Well, I don’t know. I just wanted to interview regular people and put the interviews out there.
Gurus: But how will you capture people’s email addresses? You should interview some amazing people first and charge people for the interviews.
Gurus: Host them on your website and create a subscription program like Joe Polish has.
Tami: What if I did monthly calls that people could register for?
Gurus: That works for opt-in but then how will you monetize it?
Do you see how I’ve progressed from pure revelation to a bunch of great ideas that have completely STOPPED my progress?
I’ve been hung up on how to get this thing going for ages. Every time I think of giving things away or just doing things to inspire the world, my trained business mind throws in so many technical questions I can’t answer that I don’t do anything or do very little.
While marketing works and these ideas are great as long as I’m obsessing over them I’m not doing God’s work. I’ve wanted to write about my progress in building God and Business Today for ages! But I haven’t because of what the gurus say:
- You should develop a persona and decide how you want people to perceive you
- Your website, fan page and social media pages should all match and look the same
- You should share failures and experiences strategically selected to help you connect with your audience
- BUT…any failures you share should be old enough not to tarnish the guru status you are currently trying to build
But you know what? I don’t have the focus and concentration to try to concoct myself. I don’t have the mental energy to strategize how I must appear in the world in order for you all to like me (and I don’t mean in the FB sense). And I am soooo tired out by the thought that if I don’t do everything the online marketing gurus and blogging experts tell me to do that this God and Business Today thing won’t go anywhere.
If God gave this to me then it will fly. And He did.
So Here’s What I’m Going to Do…
So I promised my coach today in a coaching session that I’m going to follow my heart rather than the staunch advice of expert online marketers. Call me a fool if you’d like. (That’s what comment boxes are for, right?) But I’m going to inform you about what it’s like to try to build the God and Business Today online community. I’m going to cover the business and technical side as well as the inner spiritual struggle I’ve been going through to make this work as best as I can.
You’re going to see that I don’t have all the faith in the world but that I’m moving forward anyway. And I hope that by sharing my struggles with you that you’ll be inspired to move ahead too.
Let’s follow what God has given us to do…together…and in spite of ourselves.