tips for aspiring christian entrepreneurs

February 25, 2020

I always knew I wanted to own a creative business someday. Besides being a mama, working from home, being my own boss, and doing what I love everyday was my dream. Three years ago, at the age of 22, that dream came true & I wanted to share some of the tips I have learned along the way.

I'm very much a "learn as you go" kind of person, I try something and if it doesn't work, I don't give up, I just try something new. Before finding success with my craft, I tried many things. Wedding videography, handmade jewelry, hand lettered wood signs, curated wedding stationary, but all these things didn't bring me much success or fulfillment. 

my first go at wood signs in 2016
That is when I prayed to God to give me something unique to do. I started to dabble in painting bibles for fun. Some of my friends admired them and wanted their own. So I painted them for friends while I figured out the process. I put them on my Etsy shop and soon after I got my first two sales. I was ecstatic! A complete stranger invested in me and my artwork. I still remember that first sale (even her name!) I carefully painted those bibles, packaged them up oh so intricately, and sent them on their way. 
one of the first bibles I painted
Almost four years later, the shop graciously has close to 2500 sales and counting as we expanded our offerings from just painted bibles to journals, apparel, and digital art. For this, I give all the glory to God because it is from Him that I am here living my dream today. This brings me to my first tip for you...

1. Commit your Business to God

When I first wanted to pursue a creative ministry, I prayed that God would give me something unique. I prayed that it would be honoring to Him and bring Him glory. I prayed that He would use me. I encourage you to start by praying over how your business can be used in His name.

Two devotionals that I have loved and gone through for both my creative & wellness business are "21 days of Prayer for your Business" from Monique Mclean (at the time I'm writing this there are free videos taking you along the journey each day on her facebook page) and the 31 days of Prayer for the Dreamer & Doer book. Highly recommend!

2. Connect with Others

Community > Competition always. You can learn so much through relationships with other people that are either doing something similar to you or that inspire you. Collaborate with one another and be a source of encouragement & inspiration for your followers and tribe.

This is important: try not to compare. It really is easier said than done, but no one benefits when you let comparison hold you back from your dreams and creativity. This is something that I personally struggle with and I know it can be hard. There is a root to why I feel this way so I've been doing a lot of personal development to get past this road block. I encourage you to find why you feel this way and work towards kicking this big ugly monster of comparison ouuuuut. We don't have room for that #byeeee.

Another point to consider is to not imitate other artists work. There's a fine line between inspiration and imitation and as someone who has been on both sides of that, I have learned that it is not a fun place to be. After all, people are going to purchase your products because you created them and they are unique to your style, skills, and special flare. Stick with that!

Okay Emma, this all sounds great but where can I actually find people to connect with? Here are some practical places to start:
-hashtags! search hashtags that you use or are similar to the vibe you're going for to connect with people (example #christiancreative #etsyseller #makersvillage)
-facebook groups! this has been a main source of online community for me! search for groups that peek your interest and connect with people there.
-genuinely comment on posts that you connect with on social media (more than just a couple heart eyes) to spark a convo and get to know someone or just let them know they inspire you and go from there! this also goes for sharing posts (make sure to tag them so they can re-share it to their story so you can get more exposure that way too!)

3. Add Value

Whatever it is that you do, add value to your following/customers. What is it about your product/service that is different from other people that are doing the exact same thing? What makes YOU stand out?

Some ideas to add value:
-offer a unique service along with your product (ex. free installation for the website template you designed, a custom Artificat Uprising photo book with your wedding photography package)
-be an innovator by doing something new with what would otherwise be ordinary (ex. hand painting bibles 💁🏼‍♀️, custom hand drawn family portraits)
-simply go the extra mile when it comes to connecting with your customers (ex. unique packaging with a thank you letter, free sticker, and coupon code for their next purchase)

Get out a notepad and start jotting down ideas on how you can add value to your product/service!

4. Be Consistent 

"the day we plant the seed is not the day we eat the fruit"

Show up for your people! This not only gets your products out there and helps you grow, it also establishes you as a trustworthy person that people want to connect with. So when you do offer your product/service they know you're a person they want to purchase from because you commit to showing up and have already built that foundation of trust.

Plant seeds, nurture them, and they will spring forth. Remember that no seed bears fruit the same day it is planted. It does take time & consistency, but growth is inevitable.

5. Invest in Knowledge & Personal Growth

Did I just wake up one day and know how to paint mountains and do calligraphy? No way! I watched YouTube tutorials over & over and practiced lettering and painting in any free time I had. Did growing a business just come naturally to me? Of course not. I listen to business podcasts daily and have learned so much when other successful people offer their advice. Plus podcasts are free so you have no excuse 😉Use them!

Two of my favorite business podcasts that are actually fun to listen to are Rise from Rachel Hollis and Gold Digger from Jenna Kutcher.

Podcasts, YouTube videos, online workshops, in person conferences...there are so many opportunities to learn & grow.

6. Simply Start

What are you waiting for? Get your creativity, spark, and unique self out there! Open your etsy shop, set up your instagram, or sign up for that opportunity that's been nudging you. Give your friends & fam your product for free in exchange for a review/shout out. Collaborate with other creatives on instagram to grow your audience and connect with people you genuinely want to get to know on social media from your business page. Don't be afraid to simply start! Get yourself out there friend! I can't wait to watch you flourish.

I hope this was helpful. Here's to crushing your dreams and going for it! 

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