Every week, I am asked this question in some way shape, form or fashion: ”How do you support yourself and your family as a full-time Christian DJ?”
The answer I usually tell people is “by the Grace of God.” And while this is a true statement, I’m not sure it tells the full story. I believe that phrase only addresses the spiritual side of things.
While the Grace of God is significant, it is only the tipping point for how we pay my bills and put food on the table.
So today, I want to let you in on a little secret that very few people will discuss in detail. I want to share with you how you can leave your job and pursue your passion, ministry or business full-time. I am going to give you 5 questions that you must ask yourself before you make the leap. If you answer any of them incorrectly, I’d recommend you keep your day job.
So with that, are you ready?
Take out a piece of paper. And then right down your answers to the following questions.
Question 1: Why do I want to do this full-time?
The answer to this question will reveal your motives. Do you earnestly have a passion that warrants you leaving your present situation or do you simply dislike your present situation so much that you’d just like to try something different? If so why? Don’t be like Jonah. God may have you where He has you to solve the very problem that you are running from.
Also, are you currently pursuing your passion part-time? Are you successful at it? If not, how do you know you are good at your “passion.” I like how Nathan Brandford puts it, “There’s No Such thing as an overnight success.” If you are going to be successful at your passion, start laying the ground work now. Success occurs when preparation meets opportunity.
In addition to those three, let me also encourage you to enlist the counsel of those closest to you. Share your honest answers with them and gauge their reaction. Look at Acts 13. The entire church at Jerusalem was in agreement when it was time for Paul and Silas to pursue their passion of spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles as God gave them all confirmation.
Also, evaluate what doors have begun to open for you. While, most new ventures are not a walk in the park, the Lord will issue confirmation signs when He wants you headed down a certain path.
Sure you may not have a burning bush experience like Moses, but if God is calling you to preach the Gospel full-time, I’m positive He will line up speaking engagements for you, open doors for you to be taught your craft or even a combination of both over time. Starting with Abraham, God has a track record of doing this in the Bible.
Question 3: Will I be able to handle my financial obligations if I do this full-time?
Be detailed. Create a budget if you haven’t already. Determine precisely how much you will need to live on. If conditions aren’t ideal during the first year (they never are by the way), will you be able to support yourself or your family?
When I first left my job at Alcatel-Lucent in 2007 to pursue The Wade-O Radio Show full-time, I had over $50K saved that I could live on. At the time, I could have lived comfortably for 9 months to a year if I didn’t make a dime from the Wade-O Radio Show.
My life changed drastically 6 months after I left Alcatel-Lucent, however, as Belinda and I got married. Yet and still, we were able to have a nice wedding, and be debt free because I had money saved and didn’t carry any debt into our marriage. You won’t have a successful transition, without a robust financial plan.
If you are in debt or just need help budgeting, I high;y suggest checking out Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. It’s a game changer.
Question 4: If you leave your present situation to pursue your passion, what specifically constitutes a successful transition?
Write down the ideal scenario that you’d like to be in 5 years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now and even 40 years from now. What will it take to get to that point? How realistic are your chances of executing the steps to get there? The answer to this question will give you an excellent idea of the practicality of your potential move.
Also, consider what timeframe are you willing to set as a drop dead date for completion. Meaning, if you are not at predetermined point within a pre-determined time, you will agree to walk away. Why is this important? It will ensure that you don’t carry a failing business or ministry on too long.
Question 5: What Happens If I Fail? Do I have a back up plan?
I know. Your plan is full proof. You don’t even want to think about failure. The reality is though, most businesses fail during the first few years and having a back up plan is just as important as having an initial plan. You want to ensure that you are able to pick up the pieces if things fall apart. Make sure you have a plan for that before it happens.
The heart can be a very tricky organ. We can rationalize anything we want in our minds, but our hearts don’t lie. They problem is, if the answer that lies in our heart is not the answer we want to hear, we will ignore it and go back to rationalizing a way to OK things in our mind.
The answers to these questions will reveal not only what is in your heart, but also the practicality of making the leap to pursue your passion right now.
Have you made the leap to pursue your passion full time? Are you considering it?What other things should you consider when considering a large move like this?
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