It was the Friday before Memorial Day a few months ago. I was in the kitchenette at work, cutting up some strawberries for breakfast when my boss came in and said “Jason, can you come into my office for a minute?”
I thought to myself… “Finally this was the job promotion meeting we had been quietly talking about for a few months.”
When my boss looked at me straight faced and said in a deadpan tone “we’re eliminating two positions today and your position is one of them” I initially thought he was joking.
I had worked for a company that had gone out of business in the past, but I had never been fired, and certainly wouldn’t have seen it coming… I was an account manager, and my sales numbers were fine… We had been talking about running all sales opportunities through me.
We discussed his reasons, the terms and conditions, exchanged some pleasantries, they thanked me for my work and I thanked them for the opportunity to learn… and I left.
The 10 minute ride home seemed surreal. I wasn’t supposed to be heading home from work at 9:30 am. My brother Jeff got the only car-ride phone call and when I told him what happened, my voice started to crack. He quickly reminded me how easily I found jobs. He was right, I had never had trouble finding the ‘next thing’.
When I got home and told my wife, she was super supportive (as usual). She suggested we take the weekend to pray, talk and just spend time with our kids. Then, she said something I wasn’t expecting. “Maybe NOW you will start that business you are destined to start.” She followed that statement up with “God told me that this was going to happen. He’s given me a total peace… We are going to be fine and I believe in you.”
That was the first of daily blessings that have been raining down on me since that moment in my boss’s office.
There are the friends and business owners that reached out, some before the holiday weekend was even over, asking for help with their websites, blogs and social media marketing.
There was the friend that called and said “I’m paying for your membership so you stay with the Tennessee Christian Chamber of Commerce”. (I would have kept my membership for sure, but the gesture was incredibly helpful).
There is the partner that just happened to be available and interested and possessed a perfectly designed skillset to compliment mine. He was the same friend that gave me a book to read that has helped shape the way I’m approaching my personal business development.
There are the mentors that have called to check in, challenge and encourage… some of them daily.
There was the call from the newspaper that saw the only article I had posted on my less-than-a-week-old website about an idea that I had for generating meetings and business (100 Cups of Coffee in 100 Days). They asked for an interview, and then featured me as the entrepreneur of the week the following week (before I had business cards or a business license.)
There was the discovery of new opportunities to develop Facebook Fan Pages using a coding language to make them look like fully designed websites (examples below) and developing creative marketing strategies to generate traffic to and from those pages so I can help my clients build THEIR businesses.
Even though the entrepreneurial desire has been there for as long as I can remember, I may never have started this business. Now however, instead of relying on a company to give me what I thought I needed (in the form of a paycheck), I’ve been placed in a position where I am forced to rely on God to meet those needs. There are a few moments of panic, but they are quickly squashed with prayer, a call with a mentor, and the blessing of even a small business success.
I view what I’m doing now as an incredible opportunity to build a company based squarely on the principals that I’ve embraced, the principals of treating others like Jesus did. He was bold, an excellent leader. He was creative, inspiring, funny, and rejected the rules of the status quo. He paid taxes (dangit).
I talked to my business partner about this and I asked him “do you think it’s possible to build a company based on loving on people?” He said “Jason, if anyone COULD do that, it would be you.”
Please join me as I pray for success, opportunities to show light to others, and a grounded and humble spirit.
Psalm 34:9 (The Message)
Worship God if you want the best;
worship opens doors to all his goodness.