Have you ever been in situation where you feel you have exhausted all options and are running out of creative solutions? At that point you wonder whether your efforts thus far have yielded into sensible results? You feel like you might as well be at square one? I have.
At the beginning of 2016, I left the safety of full-time employment to seek the adventurous world of entrepreneurship. I must say that God has been very faithful to me and I have not lacked. I believe that because I stepped out in faith, God has in turn, granted me the grace sufficient for the past months. Surely, I needed His grace and favor immensely because they have been a couple of trying months. In the beginning, I was excited and resilient however over the months, business slowed down and I gradually found myself in a place I never anticipated being in. For a while, even though I knew there was still hope, I allowed myself to get discouraged.
If any of you can identify, the life of a young entrepreneur, especially one who has had no formal business training like me, can be very trying. As I attempted to grow the business, I found myself encountering all sorts of unanticipated challenges and having to think of solutions on the go. My point of breaking came at a point where I felt I had done everything within my means and I had hit a ceiling.
It was then that I started to feel like I may have been back at the beginning, at square one.
However, God is His graciousness, still reached out to me in that moment. He spoke to me through a conversation with a friend. She asked me to look back to where I started and where I am now. Immediately, I could see that much as I am far from where I want to be, I am definitely not back at square one!
I have gained knowledge, skills and experience in fashion and business. My mind is not the same. I have tangible resources at my disposal (for example machines) that I can count as assets. These resources can still yield great opportunities despite the funding challenges. I began to count all that I have gained from my entrepreneurship experience from the initial five months and I became increasingly encouraged.
In one of my reflection moments, God also spoke to me and asked me, “What do you have?”. I realized that the reason I got discouraged was because I was focusing on all the things I didn’t have or wanted to have in terms of business growth and personal development. When He asked me though to look at “what I have”, my mindset changed. In addition to all I mentioned above, I also thought about the skills and education that I already have which I can do so much with. More and more, I realized that my feeling of being back at square one was exactly that; just a feeling! It was null and void because I have so much.
A change of mindset propelled me to move forward. I have seen God speak to, and mentor me throughout this process and He still continues to. I give thanks.
One scripture that came to mind in this time is “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.(Hebrews 11:1)”
This calls us to always hold on to our confidence in God’s promises. God is not man that He should lie. He keeps His word. Furthermore assurance and conviction are words that should immediately give you peace and confidence because they are words filled with certainty.
Where should our confidence come from?
In a Joyce Meyer podcast, I was reminded that our confidence is in Christ. Knowing that I serve a God of immeasurable awesomeness, should give me confidence through any situation. Confidence that is based on self will easily fade away. However confidence that is based on the very nature and qualities of our God lasts. This kind of confidence is humble yet majestic. This kind of confidence also does away with any negative feelings of insufficiency or doubt. This kind of confidence is assuring and real!
In your journey of growth, on any chosen path, you may get to a place which feels like you are back to square one. You may be tempted to get discouraged but never forget that you can never be the same after experiencing something.
Oliver Wendell once said “A mind once stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.” If a mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions, imagine what happens if that idea is implemented. This implementation experience births new ideas and the ripple effect continues. The only thing that will happen for sure is growth. For as long as you keep consistent and persistent, growth will continue to occur and from growth comes progress.
You have definitely learnt something. You are not the same. Therefore the question at that point shouldn’t be “how can I go back to the beginning?” or “how do I start over?”.