I am attending the T.D. Jakes’ International Leadership Summit. The day before the summit starts, they are launching “Good Soil” which is a one-day business initiative. This initiative is replete with training, networking, and funding opportunities tailored to entrepreneurs.
I registered months ago.
I wanted to bring my new docu-series that is rooted in my methodology about monetizing to “Good Soil.” I’ve evolved from individual to powerful and empowering partnerships.
I’ve been guided by God to seeking support instead of doing things by myself.
I have been sitting in Spirit and really grounding every dimension of my identity in God.
Including how I do business.
As I sat with Spirit, I realized my previous success was rooted in survival.
The historical trauma of class, race, and gender shaped how I did business.
For me, that looked liked doing it alone.
I was proud that I had never received loans or grants for my business.
Until the pandemic hit.
Then I, like so many other small business owners, couldn’t make money because we couldn’t gather. As a best-selling author, speaker, and business mentor, my money came from touring and live events. When the pandemic came and stayed…
… and stayed…
…my business came to a screeching halt.
I had to humble myself and let my accountant apply for grants and a Small Business Association (SBA) loan from the government.
My team was composed of mothers with children as well as ailing family members. I couldn’t let them starve because I was too prideful to use the VERY structure designed to help small businesses keep their doors open during disasters.
So we applied and were awarded an awesome low interest loan.
Then something happened internally that I had not anticipated.
For the first time in my business, in my life, really, I didn’t HAVE TO HUSTLE!
This was the first time in my life, I had WORKING CAPITOL!
Can you imagine what it feels like to have the money to EXPERIMENT with new business ideas instead of generating money to just run the business?
If I tell the truth, I felt lazy.
I have been working hard since I was a teen. First, to help with the bills, then when I was living on the streets.
It took me a while to realize that I SHOULD have working capitol as a business owner.
As a poor, Black girl from the streets, I never knew it was possible.
I never considered it.
I just worked harder, sacrificed more, and REFUSED to quit.
(Can you relate?)
I brought all these strategies I had inherited to my business and succeeded. But the cost was high.
There were two survival strategies that really ran the show:
- debt vs investment and
- doing things myself vs collaboration.
As Black folk we tend to count our cash and credit cards. We will fund our dreams with our savings, 401k, or work while we build.
Black Women are the least funded demographic in America and yet we are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs in the USA.
We tend to NOT apply for business loans because we tend to have bad credit and no collateral.
And we don’t always have people that have the resources we need who CAN invest in our dreams.
So we do it ourselves.
That’s what I did. I funded my own dream and taught/teach my clients to do the same.
It was only AFTER I received my SBA loan did I experience the energetic shift.
I had the space to not worry about generating money to run the business WHILE creating new business.
Or pivoting from my old business model to a new one.
The SBA loan was an INVESTMENT not like a car loan which is a DEBT.
This internal healing created a shift in how I have chosen to evolve as a business women. I now partner with platforms and networks where I can lead MY genius to THEIR business.
I have built and funded ALL of my platforms—tours, events, books, merch, social media, clothing, travel, transportation, gifts, printing—ALL OF IT!
I’m no longer willing to bring the survival strategies from the past into what God is guiding me into for the future.
In order to collaborate, I had to heal my mistrust. Like so many of us, people lied, stole, betrayed, blamed, sued, and slandered my name. I had to pray and sit and meditate and contemplate until I heard from God.
My God gently whispered into my heart…
“…Bae, stop putting your trust in people.
They will fail you.
They can’t help it.
Put your trust in me.
I will never let you fall.
In that moment I forgave the past and took my Father’s hand. It’s in his hands I place my dreams. So I’m going to Good Soil with my Daddy holding my hand.
I asked my God should I go to Good Soil as a Believer or as a business? My God took an inhale of his Cuban Cigar and smiled with his eyes.
“Go as both. And take your new docuseries.”
“It’s not fully baked yet. You know this.”
“I know. It’s cooked enough.”
I started to shake.
“Why do you ALWAYS do this to me???”
“Because I love you and you’re my favorite.”
I glare at my God and he just smiles at me.
Then he gently says…
“…This is the right place to share the concept.”
“But Jirah, the series is for television.
Good Soil is for entrepreneurs.”
“Do you trust me?”
“You know I do Yahweh.”
“I know you do. I asked you to say it so YOU remember you trust me.”
Now I smile at the love of my life.
He is so good with me.
“It’s the right place for you to begin.
They will be able to hear you and get you to the right places and people.”
“It’s only the concept Lord.”
“Get a deck made that clearly lays out your concept. Then talk people through your vision.”
“Why would anyone talk to me about a series that is still in the ideation stage.”
(My God smiled with a gleam of reckless provocation.)
“Give them a reason to.”
“Like what Ralpha?”
“Oh I don’t know… wear a tee shirt daring folk to ask you about the show.”
My jaw dropped.
God laughed out loud!
It was a precious sound to my soul. Like petals falling into the seven seas and breaking the surface as eagles gliding upward toward the sun.
I started to smile.
I do love my God.
“You got jokes.”
“I’m serious, Bae.”
“You know,” he pauses as he indicates to Gabriel to pour him another shot of aged bourbon, “you could ENJOY this.”
I sat back and received this gentle wisdom.
I don’t have to work hard?
I don’t have to make it happen?
All I have to do is trust my God, be my authentic self, and share my dream?
What if this is what it means to transform?
To literally let go of all that has worked in the past and just go and trust?
I’ll get the deck and some tee shirts made for Good Soil—“
“For the entire summit.”
“THE ENTIRE FIVE DAYS????”
“Because you need to practice talking about your dreams, my precious one.”
I became still on the inside.
My Daddy gave me a gentle hug and whispered in my ear,
“With every vision, I provide provision.
Share your series, your story, your success. Let yourself shine.
The right people reveal themselves.”
God held my face in his hands.
He does this when he wants me to deeply comprehend his will for my life.
He looked into me and spoke with the quiet conviction only a father can give his child…
“You are safe.
You are ready.
You are not alone.
I am with you.”
I hugged His neck tight and cried.
Yahushua held me close.
He rocked and baptized me with own tears.
I AM safe.
I AM ready.
I AM not alone.
I AM with God.
My God is MY good soil.