Making that leap of faith to start a new business can be really scary.
Sometimes we don't know what we're getting into, or we feel like we don't have the skills to succeed.
Other times it's plain and simple — we're running away from what God has called us to.
These 3 amazing entrepreneurs had to take on these challenges, but God's patience and love saw them through. Now they are running successful businesses that are glorifying God each and every day.
#1 — Stumbling into a Consulting Business with Jannice Moore
Jannice is the owner of a small company that provides coaching to governing boards, specializing in teaching a servant-leadership style of governance.
A Sudden Opportunity
When I first began the business nearly 25 years ago, it was a big leap to go from a regular paycheck to the unknown. But there was such clear guidance from God that is was the right thing to do.
I worked for many years in health care in administrative and consulting capacities, most recently with a provincial health care association, where I directed the development of education for boards and CEOs.
I had been toying with the idea of starting my own business for several years
When the government decided to regionalize health boards in 1994, our association staff was drastically reduced, and my entire department disappeared.
I had been toying with the idea of starting my own business for several years, but was enjoying my work, and just didn't take that step. This situation now left me with an opportunity.
I had been praying about what I should do for about 6 months, and kept getting the answer, "wait."
So I waited.
Waiting Patiently for God to Provide Abundantly
Then one day I received a phone call from someone who knew I was doing work in the governance area as part of my job. She was sitting on a board that had some problems, and basically wanted to pick my brain.
So we talked for an hour or so.
Then I heard coming out of my mouth, totally unplanned by me, "well, I suppose I could come and talk to your board some weekend if they want to know more." The conversation ended and I basically forgot about it.
About 2 weeks later, she called me back, and said her board wanted me to visit them, so we set a date.
Shortly after, I received a call from someone I didn't know at all. She was the CEO for a neighbouring board, and had heard that I was coming to do a session for them. She wanted to know if I could do the same for her board.
Within 3 months I was completely booked!
So, within a short time, I had two clients.
As it turned out, the dates booked were the very next week after my job disappeared. I didn't know if or when that date might be when booking the two boards.
To me, that was very clear direction that God wanted me to start this consulting company, so I took the leap.
Within 3 months I was completely booked!
Since then, the company has grown from me, myself, and I, to 8 additional consulting team members across North America, and a support staff of 3.
#2 — God Doesn't Care About Your Qualifications with Gary Gehiere
Gary does accounting and consulting for a large client base of loyal customers.
Life is Great... Until You Fall Flat on Your Face
I started out as an articling student, employed full time with a national firm of chartered accountants.
I was taking correspondence courses from Queens, doing summer sessions, and writing three days of exams each year. The whole process lasted for 5 years.
I was one of the ones who failed
Nonetheless, not all who go through this process end up succeeding.
I was one of the ones who failed.
And when you fail for the first time in your life, after investing the best years of your life, it is a moment of crisis. I regrouped, and without a designation, carried on as a staff auditor for eight more years.
Restless and Without a Calling
The work offered little personal satisfaction.
And although I was an active believer in Jesus, there was a separation between my faith and the tough issues of life. I "toughed it out" until one day, I reached the end. Something had to give.
I prayed. The answer came quickly.
In that moment I realized the value of who I was and what I had been given
The word from the Lord for me came in a short phrase from the story of Moses being called to lead Israel and feeling unprepared and unqualified. The Lord said "what is that in thine hand?"
In that moment I realized the value of who I was and what I had been given.
I realized that although none of my efforts would be valued on a CV, when given to God, they would be invaluable. In that moment, I accepted my call to help people using my training in accounting.
I gave notice, left the firm, and within days had my own clients!
So today, 45 years later, I continue. The orders still stand. I have a large client base, including several who have been with me from the beginning.
#3 — A Modern Day Jonah with Trish Pauls
Trish is a therapist at Hope Encouragement Laughter Peace Psychotherapy Services (HELPPS).
What Do You Do When God Won't Let You Run Away?
I'll start in the middle, where the actual business started.
There were difficulties at the practice I was working at and I kept feeling God prompting me to start my own practice.
But I was afraid.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden
Then one night when I couldn't sleep I thought, "I'll listen to a sermon, that will put me to sleep." I turned on a random sermon and it was on Jonah.
It convicted me about how much I was running away from the Lord because of fear. Even though God was using me like He used Jonah in the boat, I still was not following His will.
Then I started reading my bible and Matthew 5:14-16 stood out as a charge that I was supposed to be letting my light shine so that others would glorify God.
Then the next day was Sunday and in church the sermon was on Joseph and Jacob talking about how when Joseph was sold into slavery Jacob gave up and went to his death bed to grieve, but there was this little word, "meanwhile".
God was still doing a miracle even though Jacob couldn't see it. I realized I had to trust Him even though I couldn't see what he was doing.
On Monday I went into work and told my boss what had transpired
On Monday I went into work and told my boss what had transpired, and she said that if I felt I should start my own business then I should leave.
She gave me 5 days to wrap up everything and be gone.
Listening to God's Guidance – Even When it Seems Completely Wrong
In 5 days I was launched.
I spent days praying for guidance while doing the practical things that had to happen. God provided everything — when I needed it.
I had several thoughts on a lot of things that God changed.
For instance, the name of the company. I would have never named it a mouthful, but God knew what He was doing when He picked it. The location was not where I wanted, but again, it's been a blessing being in Uptown Waterloo.
Basically, I was doing what I needed to do and relying on God to steer the ship. I saw my first client in my new practice 2 weeks after that night with the Lord.
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