BUILDING A BUSINESS – #1- Follow your Passion

This sharing is from the first of Six Keys to Building a Successful Home-based Business.

It all started the summer none of my kids found a summer job…not the 3 teenagers at home…not the 2 living away from home and going to school.  It was a sad thing for a mother to see.  Not to mention frustrating to see kids sleeping their days away because they had nothing else to do.

September rolled around and I started re-evaluating our goals.  It happens every September and every January.  I’m not sure if it has something to do with being a homeschooling mom, or if this happens to everyone.  So, I started praying.  Asking God what direction He wanted to take the family, and a home based business seemed to be where He was leading us.

Of course, I wanted to test this idea because I wasn’t quite sure in what direction to take this.  What could we do?  And how could we do it?  I started to take stock of what I had to work with.

When my older ones were little I had been in business for myself making and selling chocolates, and a little bit of fudge.  At the time my vision had been to work with my kids in a business where they would learn about the business world and also make some money, to be a part of their education, but life with little ones had gotten busy and it was no longer feasible at the time to continue.  It now seemed like the time to take it up again.

My first step was to contact a local farmers’ market and see if I could set up there.  No problem.  I made some chocolates, gathered some supplies and headed out.  It was already nearing the end of the market season, so it was almost a test market for me.  I brought the youngest kids with me and they had fun.  Next we set sold at a few Christmas craft sales.  Nothing spectacular happened, but I was experimenting and learning.

The following summer 2 of my older girls committed to working with me – one at a farmers’ market close to where she was living, the other at fairs around our house.  I started calling around and paying fees – and we were now committed and going full steam.  There were so many things to learn and so many mistakes made that first summer, but God was evolving the business.  Again none of my kids found a summer job (we live rural…), so I was employing 4 of my older kids, 3 “tweens” and the 3 little girls.  It was definitely a family run business!

We evolved from selling mostly chocolates with some fudges, to 20 varieties of fudge and some chocolates.  It was what the people wanted, and it was worked better for us.  Word was getting out there, people loved our fudge and we started to get invited to events.  That was the best feeling of all!  We had made it.  Or so it would seem.

Year 3 brought even more events with hardly a weekend off.  At first we loved it, the kids were keen and everything went well.  Then it was harder to find kids to commit, the stress was starting to take a toll, there was less time for other family activities and no one managed to save any money.  Time to re-evaluate.

Now we’re taking time off to re-evaluate.  I’m sure God still wants to use this experience and one of the kids is considering taking the business over.   I’m not sure what my role will be in this yet.  I also don’t want to lose the friends I’ve made while selling, or waste what I’ve learned.  I’m sure God has a plan and it is slowly unfolding.  Will it be running a support group?  Or selling Christian crafts?  Or both.  I want God to be at the center of my life, and I also want Him at the center of my business.  He is and always has been my passion, and I want to share Him with everyone I meet.  I’ll start with an online selling business with my youngest girls, help my teenagers to find jobs – and enjoy the journey!

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