Should We or Shouldn't We?
We asked ourselves this question for a while. I kept telling my husband he could do it. But he said no he can not. There is much more to it than just doing it, he would tell me. Little did I know. :) We kept talking about starting our own business and even went to a class in order to get help in getting started. HA! The class only confirmed in our minds that it would be impossible and we could never make it. After all, you had to have money to start a business and a plan and so many other things and we really did not want to get a loan.
Now Is the Time!
Finally we knew it was time! The Lord confirmed it in our hearts and minds. I can't really say why or what. We just knew. It is so important to stay in touch with the Lord on a daily basis and to not run ahead of Him. He knows what is best; He has a plan for all of us and His timing is perfect. It was time to step down from his full time job where he did daily maintenance at a Christian college and step out on our own. We took that step of faith; my husband resigned from his job and we were on our way. He started His own HVAC business. He had actually worked in this field for years, maintaining and repairing at the college as well as helping others on the side. He had already taken his state test and received his license so he was prepared in some ways. But could we make it?
WELL, let me tell you . . .
It Is Amazing
God has done and continues to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think.
- We never got a loan.
- We just started with what we had - There were regular customers that had been serviced on side jobs and that was a beginning spot.
- We have had all our needs met and more!
- Most jobs came and still do come by word of mouth. Even though we have a website, a facebook page, and do minimal advertising, because most of that is time consuming and need somewhat professional work, still most of our jobs come by word of mouth.
- We have been able to purchase a work vehicle, two trailers, a newer car, and a shed for storing materials - all fully paid for with no loans. LOOK HERE for an example of God's provision.
- We have had good and regular customers
- Many people, family and friends, have and do pray for us. That is such a blessing! There have been some slow times when it seemed like we had no business. Prayers were offered for God's provision and He has always answered. I love that blessing!
Is it Really Worth all the Hassle?
Often people don't realize what really goes into running your own business. I never did! As a result, lots of times people just don't understand.
- There is always someone who complains about something. Isn't that human nature?
- Some people call, want estimates, and then for one reason or another decide against it or get another company. This is sometimes disheartening because on this end there has been much research done to help this customer and then he changes his mind
- People do not realize the countless hours that my husband spends at the computer and on the phone researching the best products as far as quality and price and many more countless hours searching for answers to specific problems regarding their system or problem. Once again, this can be disheartening especially when a friend betrays you and chooses another company.
- In one sense you can set your own hours, but when you are mostly a one man show, there are often long days and weekends full of work. My husband often comes home after 8, 10, 12 hours a day of work and still has to sit down at his desk to to paper work. It is definitely NOT a piece of cake to go on your own.
- Not only does my husband work hard, but there is a built in secretary at home who does all his book work and tries to be on her toes about reminding him of certain things that need to be done. Wonder who that could be?
- Can't Can't, but Can Can. I used to say this to my kids all the time and now to my grandchildren when they tell me they can't. It is true, if you think you can't, you probably can't, but if you think you can, most likely you can, but only with God's help of course. I had a teacher in college who used to say all the time. If you can't do it, then just do it! So I (we) are learning that we certainly can do it when God is on our side.
- Don't judge others in their own business. There are so many things that you may not see, such as the things mentioned above so if you think prices are too high, consider what might be going into it as well as the fact that this is how this person makes a living. Remember that person's time, travel expense, gas expense, research, license and permit expense, paper work and bookkeeping, time giving free estimates and consultations, working extra long hours, tool and equipment expense, insurance, taxes, and on and on the list goes. I would sometimes get upset with the price a person charges, but now I can look at things differently. That was a good lesson for me to learn.
- It has helped me sympathize with the customer. When there is a complaint or when one seems to betray us, I remember times that I may have felt like they did, because I simply did not see the other side.
- Where God leads, God Provides. That is not a new saying and I have heard it said many times. We have seen God provide for us over and over throughout our walk with Him. And it was true again. This is the direction he led us, and He has continued to provide. He has provided over and above all that we could even ask or think. What a great God we serve! We have been able to give to local charities as well as our regular giving to church and missionaries and have found that we cannot outgive God. He has and will continue to meet our needs. Note: We pay thousands, yes thousands of dollars in taxes each year! Don't ask me how! When I think about it, I get angry; How in the world is a small business owner supposed to make it! But then I remember, where God guides, He will provide and He does and He has, and He will! It did not take Him by surprise that we would have to pay out so much. I don't understand it. I don't know where all this money comes from because humanly speaking, we could never make it. I just know that as Christ brought the coin in the fish's mouth to Peter and told him to pay his taxes, He too provides for us in unusual ways. We may give what we think is robbery to the government, but God can and will provide it in unusual ways. We simply cannot out-give Him. He meets our needs over and above our expectations. I am also reminded once again that this world is not my home and the treasures I lay up ought to be in heaven, not here on earth!