One of the greatest understandings that guide me as a microbusiness owner is that every single day, no matter what I’m doing, is preparation for tomorrow. Within our best efforts, we can’t possibly foresee what tomorrow will bring so how do we know how to prepare if we don’t know the what or where, or when?
Before I try to answer that better, let me start with a recent event that opened my eyes to how important preparation is, and how I was very thankful I had been preparing – even though I wasn’t sure what I was preparing for exactly.
Several weeks ago, an acquaintance contacted me requesting I do an interview with her. She has a larger platform than I do so I was honored. In my head, I thought it would be a simple, casual interview over the phone and then she’d mention me in an article or something like that. What it turned out to be was a live zoom call being recorded and then uploaded to her social platforms! With only a couple of days notice I had to prepare for a one-hour live interview. My initial reaction was panic but as I sat down to write out a few notes, I realized that what I needed for this particular interview was already deeply ingrained inside of me because I had been preparing and didn’t even realize it. Even more so, she wanted to announce my latest project to the world and that made me nervous as it was months before I was thinking I’d make it public. But you know what? I was ready.
[View my interview with Chicago Faith Broadcasting Network here: https://youtu.be/wDKNJNlIcrM ]
Do you know how thankful and relieved I felt knowing I had already done the work I needed for this opportunity? That’s the thing about opportunities – we have to be ready or we’ll miss them.
That brings us back to the question I mentioned previously. How is preparation for tomorrow possible if we don’t know the what, where, or when?
There are two questions that guide me as I choose what I do with my day:
- What’s on my heart?
- What do I want to prepare for?
As I ponder what’s on my heart, I cover it with prayer. As a follower of Jesus (Yeshua), I have the Holy Spirit in me and He guides me spirit to spirit. I bathe myself in prayer so that I can hear the voice of God and sense the direction of His Spirit clearly. Knowing that my desire is to follow His leading, I can confidently consider the desires of my heart. This is the best way to be led into the unknown.
I don’t know what tomorrow’s opportunities will be so I can’t possibly be fully prepared on my own, so I listen and consider what’s in my heart, through the Holy Spirit, and do that.
My project, Paola Lane, is a perfect example. The idea for Paola Lane came as a way for me to write about a wide variety of topics in one space. There was no particular plan or purpose at first. I simply wanted to write about anything I wanted. As I prayed over it and wrote out ideas as they came to mind, the thought came to include other people; to create a site of collaboration.
More ideas poured out and I wrote everything down though I had no idea what to do with them. I wasn’t looking to start a new business, but it was in my heart to create. Out of these promptings from God, I worked on what became a fairly large project. Ideas came together and started taking shape. Despite having an audience, I built a full website, wrote articles, invited guest contributors, and made it to be everything that was in my heart AS IF I HAD A HUGE AUDIENCE ALREADY.
So when the invitation for a live interview came, I had a fully functioning website with content that was ready for a new audience. It took me over a year of preparation, but when an opportunity presented itself, I was ready. By the time to share it publically came, it was like looking at a flower that recently bloomed. I was surprised and delighted at the same time.
The other question to consider in how to prepare for tomorrow is equally important: What do I want to prepare for?
I try to think of the opportunities I WISH WOULD COME and then do things to prepare for it.
For example, I want to publish books. There’s a lot to consider in that because I have so many ideas. Keeping in mind my desire to be an author, I consider what actions I need to take now to position myself as best as possible to be ready for opportunities. For example, what I read and how I spend my time. I intentionally do things and participate in activities that will make me a better writer and put me in the path of other writers. I also write something every day. Even if it’s only 10 minutes. It can be content for my business or something more personal. This is preparation.
Where would you like to go within your existing business?
These same two questions are what we should ask ourselves within our existing business(es). Where would you like to go with your business? What’s on your heart to focus on in your business?
By asking these questions and acting on them, new opportunities for growth will appear as we prepare. You might get a new product idea or you’ll get a thought to do something that seems irrelevant. But, by acting on it, perhaps you’ll meet someone or read something that takes your business to the next level.
This happened to me last year when I came across a video on YouTube. Normally it wouldn’t have attracted my attention but something in me said to stop and listen. I didn’t have the time, but I listened anyway. As a result, I purchased and read the book PROFIT FIRST by Mike Michalowicz and it transformed the finances of our business, greatly increasing our profitability. (I now recommend that book to everyone I talk to who is in business.)
The point is, even when we don’t know what we’re preparing for, the very act of preparation for tomorrow attracts and produces new opportunities! In a sense, we are creating our tomorrow by the choices we make today.
How do you start preparing for opportunities that may come?
- Pray. I pray, “God open my eyes so I can see, ears so I can hear, and give me a heart that understands. Also, open my eyes to the opportunities you have for me today.”
- EXPECT opportunities every day. (That way you’re looking for them)
- Get quiet and write down what comes to your mind. (i.e. Brainstorm) Check out my content planner here. It’s what I use for my 10-minute daily writing session.
- Pay attention to what’s on your heart/what comes to your thoughts. (i.e. don’t blow off random thoughts)
- Be courageous enough to act on #’s 1-4.
[RESOURCE: Content Logbook for Entrepreneurs ]