An Awkward Name is All You Need

January 17, 2018

with Trish Pauls

Trish started her business with a name that isn't so easy to remember.

She started in a location that wasn't exactly her first choice, either.

But here's the thing — none of that matters.

Actually, in some ways it's even better.

Trish is a therapist at Hope Encouragement Laughter Peace Psychotherapy Services (HELPPS). She helps people to find their hope, "through encouragement till their laughter returns and peace resides."

How did you get started?

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.

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.

My faith journey is a love story. Of a God who never stopped loving me no matter what I was doing.

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, 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.

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.

If you want, can you explain a bit about your faith journey?

I do not think there is enough space to talk about my faith journey.

My faith journey is a love story. Of a God who never stopped loving me no matter what I was doing.

He wooed me back to Him through painful experiences.

If someone reading this wants to know more, I'm always happy to share it, but the depth of it would be lost here.

Do you think of your business as a ministry?

I do think of my business as a ministry because it is what God has called me to do.

I'm to minister not only to the hurting that find their way to my door, but also to the therapists and other business professionals I meet during my journey.

My job is to let my light shine before others so that they may see my good works and give glory to my Father who is in heaven.

What are some ways in which you run your business differently than someone who is not a believer?

There are too many ways to count.

Everything is in God's control. I do believe in utilizing the brain God gave me, but when I make a decision, it has to align with God's word.

Something as simple as doing my schedule looks different because I see Jesus taking time for rest and sabbath, so from the beginning that was built into the business.

Overall, it's just a different way of thinking.

Instead of thinking, "this is the way it's always been done in the therapy world", I think, "why is it done that way and should it be done that way?"

Do others in the church mistakenly believe you are in business only to "get rich"?

I doubt anyone believes that I am in this business to get rich.

Most comments to me indicate that I am poor when no one really knows as I don't talk about money.

I think they can believe what they want about my motives as the only one that matters knows the truth.

Have you ever seen a conflict between serving profits and serving God in your business?

No, I have not seen a struggle between serving profits and serving God. I've struggled with serving other's expectations versus serving God.

When I'm struggling in my faith sometimes people's peer pressure gets too much and I start doing things in business that should not have happened, rather than waiting for renewal and doing it well.

Is there a time when you really had to rely on God for something? When you have had to make a "leap of faith"?

All the time!

If I looked at my schedule, I would freak out because if it was about the bottom line I would wonder what do I have to do to fix this. But I have to take a deep breath and remind myself God is in control.

Always, my schedule is light when something major is going to happen that I need extra time to deal with. And the schedule is heavy when I have an unexpected expense come up.

In other ways, there was the leap of faith when I started as I was not prepared either financially or cognitively.

I think that was because I can never say this practice success is mine, it can only be God's because I wasn't ready.

How do you think about work/life balance?

I believe in life balance, not work/life balance.

Work is just an activity that happens inside life. It has its time and place just like everything else.

I schedule my work hours and if something does not get done there is always time next week. It is rare that something does not get done in the time allotted because I realistically look at how much time everything takes and schedule appropriately.

Do you have any books or other resources that you would recommend to other Christian business owners?

The Bible — its all there.

Then secondary resources are actual people.

Whether they have succeeded in business or not, other people have valuable knowledge that will help you.

What habit have you developed over the years that you think others would benefit from having?

Schedule a sabbath. If God is first then even the painful, difficult times end up being manageable.

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