Have you ever spent what feels like a lifetime preparing for something, just to be in the middle of it and suddenly realized you still weren’t ready at all?
Maybe it’s because we spent so much time preparing and not enough time preworking. I have come to understand, from my own experiences, that preparing for something is quite different than working on something. For example, the average job-seeker spends days in advance preparing for interview by buying or preparing their outfit, modifying their resume / CV and honing their interview techniques. The job-getter has already done the prework in the field, and researched the company. So, the interview becomes a formality that allows fellow colleagues to enjoy a pleasant conversation about emerging trends in the industry.
Similarly, we often spend most of our lives preparing for a moment…a breakthrough in our lives rather than just living in it. When the opportunity comes, it slips between our fingers because we didn’t do the work beforehand to know how to fully grasp what it is that we’re supposed to hold on to.
God promised us a breakthrough and you better believe that He is going to keep His word. But when it comes, will you be able to hold on to God’s promises? I am often humbled by the fact that I can’t see as many moves ahead as God. So, I can’t possibly prepare for everything that He has in store for me. But, I still have to trust His will and understand that there is work that He has called me to do while I wait earnestly for the fulfillment of His word. We may not always understand it, but it’s not our responsibility to understand everything. Rather, we are called to obey and follow His will as the Holy Spirit leads us into what He has prepared for us.
Often, what He prepares for us involves closed doors. It can be frustrating, but it is all apart of Him fulfilling His promise to us. In doing so, some doors will close that cannot be reopened, and some will open that no one can close. Wisdom comes when we understand which doors need to close and stay closed and have the forward-thinking ambition to perceive which ones may be open…or which ones has been open for some time now that we haven’t fully committed to walk through.
To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
Revelation 3:7 NIV
For 12 years, I’ve owned and operated a marketing agency. And for 12 years it’s been a secondary or tertiary priority in my life. I’ve put the business objectives of several organizations ahead of my own personal ambitions. In essence, I have spent my whole life preparing for job interviews to have a career and be a “boss” that will take me to the places I’ve always wanted to go. As high as I’ve gone in the ranks of the workforce, I end up back at this place of unemployment. Yet, no matter what I’ve gone through, my business is always there for me to make a little extra money when I need it. In some strange irony, I have found more job security in entrepreneurship than in a career working for someone one else. It seems my business has been that door that has been open for 12 years that I’ve only had one foot inside. I had been preparing when I should have been already at work.
God has allowed the door to close on many great opportunities in my life: culinary arts, the military, corporate careers. But, entrepreneurship has always been an open door that only seems to open wider the more places I travel to, and the more people I meet. Somewhere deep within me I’ve always known that I could be a very successful entrepreneur. But, I was always afraid that I was not ready yet. That there was some business acumen and wisdom that I was lacking to be confident enough to take that leap of faith and know that I will fly. My problem was that I was so concerned about how prepared I should be that I missed the revelation that I was already doing the prework for the blessings that are now coming my way.
All these years, I had been building a strong brand as an entrepreneur with a 12 year track record of proven successes and sustainability. Now, when I pitch for access to capital, bankers “Google” search my business and then scurry to get me in their seats to make a deal when they get the results. So, I’ve decided to pursue opportunities to work my business full-time. I still have some pre-work to do to make sure that I don’t lose my grip. I have also enrolled at Keiser University to pursue my Master’s of Business Administration in Marketing to legitimize my professional experience and fill in the gaps of my business acumen and resources.
During an interview, I was once asked what was my professional goal in life. Who or What do I want to be? My decision to work toward being a full-time entrepreneur was confirmed at that moment. I then thought to myself, I don’t want to be anyone or anything else. I just want to be the best version of who I am now. A worshipper, a husband, a father, a business owner, and social innovator. I already am all of those things. But, I still have some work to do in order to be better and do better. I believe that is what prework is all about – that’s God wants from us. To stop preparing to do something or become someone. He just wants us to just….be. [Hayah]