In the running community, there is a common saying, “the first step is the hardest.” You can really want to get fit, have a closet full of shorts that makes your butt look good (or even a corporate sponsor), and have the perfect playlist all lined up. But that’s not the same as running. And you won’t derive any of the physical and mental benefits you could from the activity, if you don’t put in the work. Mustering up the motivation to clear your schedule, gear up and step outside – no matter the weather or your current mood – takes a bit of initiative. But once you’re out the door and running, it’s usually just a matter of keeping one foot in front of the other. Starting a business is the same.

You can want to own your own business, have a journal full of bright ideas, and a God-given talent (and His unending favor) all lined up. But that’s not the same as running a business. And you won’t derive any of the spiritual or financial benefits you could from pursuing your purpose if you don’t put in the work. You can’t daydream into your destiny – you have to run towards it.

Realizing your entrepreneurial dreams and aspirations may require you to reprioritize your time and resources, re-educate or equip yourself, commit to focused planning and obedient action, or take a few steps in boldness outside of your comfort zone. I can’t prescribe exact steps for you, but I can suggest a new kind of launch plan that will help you get past the hurdle of the first step and set you up for success for the long run – one that has little to do with financial projections, product pricing or location strategy. Before we run, let’s have a look in the mirror.

Look at what God has for you in this season

I have learned that God’s spiritual calendar for my entrepreneurial life has three seasons; Rest, Build, and Run. Yours may look completely different – perhaps so different it’s like you’re living in a different hemisphere! Just like in nature, we don’t control the seasons of our lives – or their length. They all have their purpose and unique beauty, and I believe our role is to choose to be thankful for the season we are in, and learn to enjoy it while it lasts. Perhaps most challenging, we also need to undertake seasonally appropriate activities – and not try to go skiing in the middle of summer, right!?

For me, the sweet seasons of Rest have meant time to heal, recover, restore my faith, and renew relationships. The methodical seasons of Build have taught me to walk by faith and not by sight and to approach my startup activities in confidence, just as I would approach the throne of grace. The all-in seasons of Run have demonstrated God’s perfect sustaining love and provision, allowing me to accomplish good work at a pace that would not have been possible if I had been running on my own steam (or in my own direction). Do I always want to just rest in a season of rest? No!! But I want to remain in His favor and be shaped by the lessons He has for me at each stage. So I rest.

As you launch, consider; what spiritual season are you in? It may seem like a non-step when you have a passion for your idea and you feel like you’re ready to get started, but pause just for a minute and consider what spiritual season you are in. Because just like skiing is easier, safer, and more enjoyable in winter, so will your startup process be if you wait for the right season.

Look at the authentic you and what she believes

My first job out of business school was at a non-profit organization that funded medical research for diseases like cancer and diabetes. I knew nothing about fundraising or medical research, or even about working in a large organization. But here’s what I did know; I wanted to help people, and this organization was in that business. I knew who I was, what I was passionate about, and I believed in what the organization was doing. Employees, donors, and scientists with the same desires and beliefs aligned themselves to this mission. That’s important, because curing cancer doesn’t happen overnight.

The same goes for my newest venture. I believe that life should be a celebration where we honor each other with time and joy and gifts. I also believe that just as I have been blessed in my own career, I can do the same for others as an employer. And, I happen to love weddings and afternoon tea and pretty lacy things. So everything about this business aligns to these two beliefs and three interests.

Can you say that about your concept? Are you clear on how your personal desires and ideas can combine with a purpose that other people can understand and support? Sure, we all like flowers and tulle skirts, but why are you selling them? Why has God placed that desire in your heart, at this time, for His purposes? How can you do good things with this venture? Why should employees choose to work for you, customers choose to buy from you, or your family choose to support you? When you can articulate these, briefly and clearly, then you’re ready to launch, because all of the decisions you make will flow from these foundational beliefs.

You see, a host of stakeholders of your business are relying on you to be authentic about who you are and what you believe in, because it will give you direction and stamina as you lead, and it will give them direction and commitment as they follow, work, buy, promote, and invest in your mission.

As you launch, consider if you are walking in rhythm with God and his specific seasons for your life. Don’t go skiing out of season. Acknowledge the specific desires that God has placed on your heart and whether there is alignment between what you desire, what you believe, and your vision and plans for the business. According to Ephesians 2:10, you are God’s masterpiece, created so you can do the good things He planned. Remember that, my darling, when you look in the mirror. Then you can run, geared up with His favor to launch.

Do you have a longing to launch a business, ministry, or new career? How can you apply these truths and take that first step?

Danielle Voisin

Danielle is an author, entrepreneur and event designer. She loves afternoon tea, weddings, and finding the perfect gifts for her favorite people. Her mission is to hire and train the unemployed, and to help women joyfully celebrate life. Danielle was a corporate banker for years and has lived and worked in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

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