It’s Time to Step Out on the Water

Today is a very special day.

Today, I go to work in the shelter for the very last time.

After today, I will be working PetCorps full-time.

For me this is very exciting. I started PetCorps 7 years ago but I always had a safety net. I started PetCorps in response to a sermon from my pastor in 2006 that suggested God would inspire people in my church to start businesses.

When I first started, I was excited about PetCorps but I was nervous that it wouldn’t work. Because of my fear, I decided to go to college for business. Doing so helped build my confidence level but it still wasn’t enough.

I truly believe that PetCorps was a God-inspired idea. My problem was that I never fully stepped out onto the water. When the disciples saw Jesus walking out on the sea, Peter said, “Lord, if it’s you, command me to come out on the water.” Jesus said, “It is me. Come.” Peter climbed out of the boat and walked on the water. He only started to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus and noticed the wind and waves around him. The natural things scared him out of his spiritual walk.

I had my Peter moment, too. Because I was a scared inexperienced entrepreneur, I had a safety net. While starting my business, I worked part-time at a coffee shop my pastors opened. I was also a soldier in the Kentucky National Guard. I later quit working at the coffee shop but I didn’t take advantage of my position. If I had, I could have grown the business big-time in 2008 despite the recession.

It was challenging. Many times, I wanted to quit. I felt as though I had failed God. After all, He inspired me to do this and I was following the path. But I was failing. The only thing that kept me going was the question, “What are my customers going to do if I were to quit?” So I pressed on.

When Jeannie and I were married in 2009, the business was not making enough money to support me and my GI Bill benefits were running out. I needed to take action because the Bible says that a man who doesn’t take care of his family is worse than an infidel. I didn’t want to be that guy. So I took a full-time job at Cardinal Health with the hope that I could do my business part-time until I could grow it and quit working at Cardinal Health.

In 2013, my part-time business grew after I graduated from Sullivan University. I went from 7 customers to 14. Because I had doubled my business, I could no longer work full-time. I needed to go part-time. Cardinal Health did not allow it. Therefore, I quit and took a part-time job at Hardin County Animal Control. While working there, I increased my customer base from 14 to 37. What changed?

Besides having more time to work on my business, I truly believe the change is because I started listening to Dave Ramsey. Learning to get on a budget for my personal finances was a key step in my personal life and my professional life. Second, Dave has a great deal of wisdom when it comes to business. I started reading books that he talked about on the air. I started with EntreLeadership and then I read Jon Acuff’s Quitter. I read Gary Keller’s The ONE Thing and just finished two books a week ago, Dr. Henry Cloud’s 9 Things a Leader Must Do and Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It!: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion.

I only wish I had learned of Dave Ramsey 7 years ago. I wish I would have had the knowledge I have today. But I don’t regret it. Not one bit. These past 7 years, was my wilderness experience. Just like Jesus went out into the desert to be tempted of the devil for 40 days and 40 nights, this was my proving ground. Now, I can confidently say, I know who I am, I know what I am called to do, and I am confident in my God that I will be able to succeed.

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