‘Young man’, shouted the conductor, ‘Where’s your bus fare?’ I was rudely shaken from my day dream by the conductor’s voice. I grabbed my back pocket as usual to pull out my wallet and pay my fare when I realised to my shock that my wallet was missing. This was the second incident in a span of less than 3 months that my wallet was jacked from my back pocket, as I took the bus home from work. I was mad, scared & tired at the same time, this was becoming too much. To my uttermost luck, a kind lady offered to pay the fare home for me (God bless her kind soul) but this was one of the final nails on my employment coffin.
This was February, 2010. A few months later, I tendered in my resignation & walked out of my employer’s office. I was not sure about so many things, I had only two things I was completely certain about, there was a God who loves me & a woman who believed in me. We started off our photography business then and if I could talk to the Ben 4 years ago, this was what I would tell him…
1. Follow Your Heart
Many times you will doubt yourself & will feel lost. Listen to that small inner voice inside your heart, learn to listen to it & obey it. Your heart is your best friend, many times God will use that tiny inner voice to speak into your life. Know that you are fearfully & wonderfully made & that all that you need to thrive & succeed in life is hidden inside you. So, never doubt or fear, like Joshua of old, be very, very courageous & know that your gut feeling is never wrong. Follow it & you will never go wrong.
2. Passion 1st, Money Later
Ben, when you are so passionate about what you do, then the world will pay you whatever it is that you ask them to pay. Do not work on developing your business, instead spend time, effort & resource working on growing your passion. Do not turn your business into profit, but turn your passion into profit. Love of what you do is what will set you apart from everyone else out there (The Noise). Everyone can be a photographer, but not everyone can be a passionate photographer. Passion can be detected from a mile away, and people will line up at your doorstep & pay you whatever it is you ask them to pay if you do whatever it is that you do; passionately. So follow your passion, the money will surely follow.
3. Humility Vs Pride
One day, you will become great Ben, people will stop you on the street to say hi to you, others will whisper your name when you pass by. The most important thing to bear in mind while you scale the success ladder, is humility. Have you heard of the old adage that ‘Pride comes before a fall’? Yes that is 100% true!!! Pray everyday that God will grant you true humility, that you will be kind to people, help lift those below you, and learn to listen & learn from those better than you. Never ever think that there is nothing left to learn, always stay humble, foolish & hungry to learn. Listen more, and talk less…do not ever, even for one moment, think that you are better than the next person, everyone’s fighting their own fight, and the person who is below you, can be your master tomorrow. Work in silence, let your success & work make all the noise. Humility, Ben, be humble & in due time & season, the Lord will lift you up
4. Love is the Greatest of them All
Love people Ben, & love truly. Never ever think that you are just providing a solution for the money that a client pays you, take it like its your gift to humanity. When you love people, it shows, care will make you go out of your way to deliver your very best. When you love people, people love you back. No body wants to hire a scrooge!!! everybody loves a happy, smiley, lover of people. Love surpasses hate, greed & evil. People will hire you just for that, because you care. Do you remember that kind shop-keeper while you were growing up? The one who asked you about school & always told you to say hi to your parents when you got back home. The one who always remembered your name & called you by it? YES? Be that shop-keeper in your business, love people & care about their lives, their stories. It will not only make you a better & successful business owner, but it make you a lovelier & kinder person too 🙂
5. In Order to Get, Give
This has to be the simplest yet most difficult discipline to master. Give that which you need the most. The hand that gives the most, usually is the hand that has the most. Do not be afraid to share your knowledge, instead of losing you will gain even more. Look for situations to give & share, for in doing so you will gain much more. Remember that everything that you own or know now, has been given to you, thus give & share freely. You will find more satisfaction & success in your work if you learn to give, give & it shall surely come back to you. Never forget to give 10% of all you make, as tithe to Christ’s church, that money is not yours to spend, it belongs to God. In case someone comes to you with any kind of need, help as much as you can. Go out of your way to serve the world, and the world will generously serve you back….Remember always the golden rule….
Give & it shall surely come back to you, pressed down, shaken together & running over!!!
Hope this post makes sense to someone out there…going through the jungle of running their own small business…
We keep trying, falling, rising & loving Jesus everyday….
Oh & yes, we love you guys ever so much…this is a selfie from us guys to you 🙂
Loads of hugs & kisses,