Why I did it and still am at it
About four years ago, I left full-time employment. I left the cosy place of earning a monthly salary. I left the boring place of the same daily routine every day. I left office politics behind. Why?
The story begins in 2010, when I lost happiness, peace and hope due to work overload, stress, burnout, politics and conflict in a full-time work environment. I wasn’t happy. The people around me weren’t happy. I was ill. Was this what God had planned for me? In a sense, I was busy gaining much-needed experience in the school of life, though, and I praise God for helping me through those times of struggle. I came out wiser and readier for what He had planned for me.
In that time, I started experiencing God urging me to take up prayer about my job. So, I did. I prayed for about two weeks, asking God what His Will was for my career. One morning, as I was having my quiet time with the Lord, I felt His voice inside of me urging me to resign from my full-time job. So, I did. At that time, I had been thinking about quality of life for a while already, and I frequently asked myself the question – is this worth it? I was convinced that there had to be more to life than this monotonous existence…I started dreaming about having my own company. God new my dream and shared my passion for greater quality of life. I know, because He led me into exactly that.
Now, I should say something here. This isn’t everyone’s story. Everybody don’t walk the same path. Don’t just go and resign from your job. You shouldn’t be making the plans, God should. We’re HIS followers, so He must make the calls. In order to stay on the right path, you must start at the right place: OBEDIENCE TO GOD.
So, I was unemployed and at God’s mercy. What a great place to find myself at the age of 30! I had a dream. No, it wasn’t my dream. It was God’s dream for me, and I was living it. Obedience is a sharp edge. Living on that edge is sometimes nerve-wrecking. It was indeed the latter for a couple of years, as I registered my company and started building my brand. Obedience is a safe place but being there didn’t exempt me from passing through the normal stages of entrepreneurship. I had to learn the hard way, not because God didn’t love me, or because He was angry with me. I had to build experience in the usual stages of entrepreneurship, because very soon I was going to start consulting other entrepreneurs who were looking for advice, and at the same time teaching students the art of entrepreneurship.
I furnished an office at home, developed a website, set up my company’s social media presence, and started tendering for part-time lecturing contracts and advertising my business consulting service. I also registered my company as a recruitment agency because I was, and still am, passionate about the studies-to-work transition where graduates find themselves.
…some months were quiet. I had to borrow money from my wife to keep my business alive. This wasn’t easy and no fun at all. I think God was teaching me something about humility, and at the same time, taught me why He gave man a helper, in my case in the form of my wife. Living on the sharp edge of obedience sometimes hurt, as God peels away our layers of sinfulness to get closer to our hearts. Other months I experienced abundance! Praise God for allowing me to save up for the unsure future.
At the moment, I am hardly advertising by services. God is blessing me with contract offers almost entirely through referrals. Now and then I apply from an advert that I come across, and that’s necessary, because I need to still get out of the boat sometimes to extend my network. As I’m typing this article, I have a number of options to consider. Some in industry, others in academia. As I pray for God’s guidance, He is showing me take up one specific industry contract with least remuneration of all, almost one third of what another contract in academia pays. I realise that God’s economy doesn’t work with money only. There are some things that money can’t buy – sufficient sleep, quality time with friends and family, time to exercise, health, happiness, time to study the Word, pray and sit at God’s feet – things that God has available for each one of you reading this testimony. In closure, my questions to you are these: Are you where God wants you to be? Are you serving God or are you clenching onto worldly comforts?