March 24, 2016

Passion, Business or Both? by Tandy Balson



I believe the words God has placed in my heart are his gift to me.  When I write them down to share with others they become my gift of obedience back to him.  For me this is the fulfillment of a passion he’s given me.  The intention was not for it to become a business.

The questions I struggle with are, “Can my passion also be a business?” and if so, “How do I turn this into a business that is honouring to him?”

To figure this out, I turned to the “experts” online.  Before long my inbox was cluttered with course offerings and information on how to create catchy headlines, increase my tribe and make stacks of money.  Is this really what I need to do?

My focus has always been to share messages of hope and encouragement that would point readers to God. So much of the expert help I received was about self promotion.  Do I have to promote me in order to promote him?  

Currently I am a member of a “Women in Business” group and a “Christian Women Entrepreneurs” group.  When I attend meetings or join online discussions I feel like a fraud.  It doesn’t seem like I’m in business and I’m far from an entrepreneur.  

As a writer, where do I fit in?  To be perfectly honest, I still haven’t figured that out.  I’m afraid I’ll lose my passion for writing if it becomes a business.  For now it’s an either/or situation.  Maybe it’s possible to have both.  I’m not sure how to do this but am open to suggestions.

9 comments:

  1. Figuring it out, this business of writing, comes from experience too and you are experiencing it through what you currently are involved in. Finding our way may mean we need to jump out of our comfort zones but which way to jump sometime becomes the question too! I have no suggestions except keep moving and praying. :)

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    1. Thanks Lynn. Sometimes I wonder if it's a comfort zone thing. For now, as you say, I just need to keep moving am praying.

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  2. I love the frank way you approach this topic, Tandy. Many authors feel the same way you do. (Myself included at times...) I guess the first and most important thing is to honor God in whatever capacity He has called us to. We get sucked into thinking we have to be doing all those self promotional things that everyone is talking about online, when maybe those things aren't right for US at this point in time. Conversely, some Christian authors legitimately want to grow their writing 'career'. I suppose that is the clarification that is needed ... is my writing a hobby, a career, a calling, a ministry...? Some of us are still trying to figure that out.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in these feelings Tracy. I feel that God wants me to do more but I need to trust him to guide me and not rely on self promotion that feels self-seeking. I appreciate your comments.

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  3. You have posed very valid questions Tandy! Finding your own place in the writing world is not easily navigated. The only thing you can do is be true to yourself and be open to whatever God brings

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    1. I'm new to writing so I am still trying to find my place. Your advice to be true to myself and open to whatever God brings is exactly what I need to do. Thank you.

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  4. Thank you, Tandy, for your insights. So often God opens doors for us at the right time, despite what "experts" say. We just need to trust Him.

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  5. "Do I have to promote me in order to promote Him?" Good question Tandy--one that my husband and I have learned to accept as part of our calling as faith missionaries and our answer would be, "yes." After all, He is the one that has given us the calling, He is the one who has made me with certain gifts and abilities. If we are giving God ALL the glory, if we keep thankful hearts and shine for Him when we use our expertise for His glory, then we should go for it, believing that this too is part of His calling.

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  6. These are good questions, Tandy. I set out the goal to be still enough to listen to what God is saying to me. In response, to what you are asking, the first thing that came to mind was the portion of Scripture in Philippians 4: 4-7.4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    When we are joyful or enthusiastic about our living for Christ and writing about it, we will overflow with joy ourselves. But then we need to be gentle, rather than aggressive, about how we proclaim Christ's message and how much we "brag" about ourselves.

    In the KJV, we read, "Let your moderation be known to all men." Recently I was asked to connect with someone on LinkedIn. As soon as I responded, I got a quick reply that told at least a dozen things that this person had accomplished. Please forgive me if I sound judgmental, but I felt like a dump truck had unloaded gravel on me. I believe I got way more than I had expected or asked for.

    The following verses remind me that God is near to guide me on how I should approach each situation. I can ask God about promoting my writing and I believe he will guide me and give me peace about it.

    I need to consider all of this too, Tandy. Thanks for raising the questions.

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