This week I had a course correction as I conducted business God's way. You see, I've felt inspired of late to create a new service product for my target market of self-employed and small business owners. While flushing out the way I'd planed to deliver and set about pricing it, I get to the point of cementing it in internet-stone. Yup, I wrote out my sales page copy and posted, that, along with my prices, live.
That was when God decided to step in and fine tune what I was doing ... Ahem.
I've noticed that when I write and then share the same story in person on video it comes across rather different in its telling. Enjoy both versions, watch the video and allow the blog post give more context. - Tania
Like many others in business for themselves, I've gleaned a lot of information on actually how to do business from those who've gone before me over the years. Books, network meetings, courses, observing and asking questions have all served their purpose in propelling me forward with those 'aha', 'got it', 'run with it' moments.
But, a couple of years ago I wanted to be a little more bold and ask God not only to be an active participant, but to lead the way in our little business. I really had no idea what I was asking, nor the changes it would go on to make in me. I'm only starting to 'feel' like I'm getting traction now, but mostly what I'm seeing is... this isn't business as usual, and I'm having to unlearn many tactics that are generally used by those of us working for ourselves, going from grind to grace, or as my friend Shae coined and titled her book, Grace over Grind!
Case and point, the changes He's just suggested I make in my pricing is not something a business coach would of perhaps advised me. In fact, I might of even been challenged to think about what I believe about myself giving away the value of what I'm offering for my new price. And please don't assume because He's told me to do business this way, that you should take it as advice for you! He'll give you your own unique plan. But this isn't how God works, he challenges us for completely different reasons other than self-worth, with Him it's about trusting Him over everything else!
This week He brought to mind three conversations we'd shared over the previous few months, the last one was only a week ago. This was to prove a point and give me direction. He'd said,
'Your business is your ministry.'
'I want you to be ready to receive a retaining client.'
'Don't despise the little things.' from Zechariah 4:10.
If it's not a common occurrence for you to hear from God in your business, you're in for a treat if you ever would like the chance to experience it first hand, it's a trip! The thing is, usually, in my case at least, whatever He advises me, there seems to be nuances and layers of meaning in a simple instruction.
For example, 'Your business is your ministry'. To me, it came across as Your business IS your MINISTRY, meaning, my ministry (in this case the volunteering aspect of Drawer Full of Giants) is my business. I spent a day wondering if I needed to pivot everything I did as it seemed important to Him. Then it began to take on a different meaning, Your BUSINESS is your ministry, meaning, that how ever I'm serving the marketplace, I need to be giving my best to it as if it's my service to mankind.
See? Layers and meaning. And I've realised that both are actually true and correct! My business is my ministry service and my ministry service is my business. Deeeep.
So what has this all have to do with my new product pricing? Good question.
Does it ever frustrate you that it seems everything costs? It leaves me deflated at times, as I love and need someone's service but their cost just doesn't suit my business budget. We all need to make a living and I don't mind paying someone, but I'm bootstrapping so I'm careful who I give my cash to. We all like freebies, but we know if we really want it, we'll pay for it as it's in the paid area we get the quality. The more precious it is the more we'll give to have it. We expect it and within reason, we'll accept it. There are amazing deals 'out there' that can help us in business, or other areas of our lives, and often we're offered an introductory price we can't pass up. Life has taught me that this entry level price is the hook to move me up the food chain once it's over.
But it got me thinking. Am I any different in how I priced my service? In a word. No.
Before me I had 5 new pricing tiers for my offer coving all bases ranging from the basic economical option to the exclusive VIP one.
Then a thought comes to me, 'Could THIS be the retainer that the Lord wanted me to be ready for?' I push it away as it wasn't the picture of a retainer client I was expecting.
I've come to realise that word 'expecting' is a trigger word for me, as I've learned the hard lesson of where my expectations get me - usually back to the drawing board! As soon as I heard myself tell the Lord 'But this isn't what I was expecting' I knew, just knew, I'd gotten the wrong end of the stick and I'm in for another lesson on 'expectations'.
Then a new thought came to me reminding me that I'm not to despise the small things. Thank you Holy Spirit for that niggle in my spirit. Then the penny dropped as the two memories came together.
I look at my prices, then I think about what He's just said. Prices. Be ready for a retainer client. Prices. Don't despise the little things. Prices. Little things.....
'Really Lord? The little things.... the little number?' I get it. He was pointing out to me the most eccomical number in my pricing range and saying 'Don't despise the $20 even though it's a little number.'
He doesn't leave me there grappling with this either. No sooner had I grasped His intention and meaning He shows me past conversations I've had with Him, they come flooding back to me to reiterate His point, and plan. Although long-ago written down in a journal and now only a dim memory, it's not to Him, He remembers and brings these to the forefront.
In a quick succession of revision, bam bam bam, He shows me what I'd thought and said,
I really want to create work that has a real practical help.
I wish everything of quality didn't cost so much as it's really frustrating when I really need the help but because I'm bootstrapping my biz I just can't afford it.
I want to experiment with God to learn to lean on Him in business.
The time He told me not to do business as others do.
Don't hold back, give your very best.
At this piece even I can afford it!
He showed me with Him leading it's always a win/win. He brought to mind the choice people make if given the chance of taking home a big-wad of cash vs choosing a few cents a day for a lifetime - and it was in the few cents a day, compounded, that you find the greater prize, He was offering me this. This is now a test of my faith in Him to provide. Remember earlier when I wrote that I didn't need to go look for clients? He promised me He'd provide them. So cool!
Will I trust Him in these less than ordinary business dealings? In a word, Yes. It may of taken a few hours to come to terms with the reasoning of it all, but when I did, I was all in.
I spent the rest of the day changing my sales page to reflect my new price of $20 a month for my new Digital Subscription, offering all the bells and whistles I had planed to offer a few tiers up. I'm fully on board in giving my best to support other entrepreneurs in building their important business relationships.
Good business practice? Well, a sense of lightness and peace came to me as I made the changes to my website - and we're told 'let peace be our umpire' Colossians 3:15, so yeah.
That was what it was like doing business God's way this week.
Off course, since I've been talking about it, you might now be curious about my subscription toolbox, so please feel welcome to check out Drawer Full of Giants - Digital Subscription Toolbox
Until next time
To your business success