There’s been a lot of new members in our Digital Tentmaking community lately and I couldn’t be happier.
I just wanted to share a few common mistakes I see first-time tentmakers and business owners make.
These are mistakes that I’ve made admittedly more than once.
My hope here is to help you learn from them so that you can give yourself a little advantage.
Mistake #1: They wait for the "right" time to start their Digital Tentmaking business.
I often get asked:
“Hey Cory, I’m interested in your Digital Tentmaking Mentorship but between my family and my ministry work there’s no way I could find the time. Do you think I should wait until I’m able to focus more on the program so I can get through it faster?”
With just about anything in life there’s never going to be a “perfect” time.
Whether that’s starting a business, following a new mission, or simply picking back up an old hobby.
Time is there for us if we’re willing to make it.
Even 5 minutes a day is better than waiting for the time to be “right”.
Because if you have a goal you want to achieve, 5 minutes a day is going to get you much, much closer than doing nothing at all.
You’d be amazed how those 5 minutes turn into 10 minutes..
Then into 30 minutes..
Then into a full hour…
And it turns out that we had the free time all along!
Aside from all that, I believe that if the Lord is placing something in front of you — an opportunity, a challenge, a mission…
Whatever it might be, he does so fully aware of all the other stuff we have going on in our lives at that moment.
Sure, sometimes this might feel unfair.
We might feel like we’re already at our tipping point and couldn’t possibly handle anything more.
But I fully believe He shows us these challenges and opportunities anyway because he knows we can handle it!
We simply have to trust that the opportunity in front of us is there for a reason.
Even if 5 minutes a day is all we have to spare.
In fact, there are many full-time ministers, pastors and servants that are inside our Digital Tentmaking community.
They found it hard too to build a side business on top of their full-time calling. But, because they had a bigger purpose, they worked on their digital business whenever they had free time.
Now, they’re making money from their digital assets.
They are now able to fully support their family, while still serving God and their communities full-time.
Mistake #2: They keep God and their Digital Tentmaking businesses separate
This is something I’ve spoken about many times before, so sorry if you feel like you’re reading this for the hundredth time.
Because so many of us carry the belief that business is NOT one of the traditional ways to bring glory to God, a lot of people make the mistake of keeping them separate.
Worse, they only turn to Him for help when they find themselves facing a challenge or roadblock that requires His wisdom and guidance.
Here’s the thing though…
God wants to be part of your business!
Of course that does not mean to ask Him for wealth and abundance — I do not advocate the prosperity gospel or anything similar. But, where we can lean on Him for help is to keep us focused on the things that matter most.
Providing for our families.
Giving back to our churches.
You see, business carries much temptation. There’s no way around it.
And sadly, this is why there are so few Christian business mentors out there – many fall victim to these temptations and ending serving Mammon rather than God.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
And I think the solution is to simply invite God into your business from the start.
Admit to Him that we need His help in staying true to the mission we first set out on.
Let Him show us how to use business as nothing more than a vehicle to become better servants.
Mistake #3: Tentmakers work too hard at the beginning
I know that might sound a little strange, but stick with me here because I think this mistake also extends well beyond the realm of business:
With the excitement that comes with starting a new journey and pursuing a new goal, so many people jump in head first.
Giving 200% of their effort and stretching themselves thin – trying to get results as fast as possible.
Only to burn-out just 3 to 4 weeks later.
The key to success in just about anything is to commit to a long-term plan and set a reasonable pace for yourself.
If you’re excited to jump in and get to work at the start of something new, that’s great!
I would say use as much of that energy as you can while it’s there.
Just be aware that nothing great happens overnight.
To achieve our goals in life will require us to stick with them even during times when motivation feels hard to come by.
Planning for long-term success and being slow (yet consistent) is the best way I’ve found to overcome this.
Mistake #4: Tentmakers don’t lean on others for help!
This is a simple mistake, but it’s something that seems to happen everywhere.
It’s so often in life that we feel like we have to do things all on our own…
But there’s almost always someone else out there who’s been where you stand now. Who could help you navigate the challenges in front of you.
There’s no shame in asking that person questions, no matter how small or silly it might seem!
Here’s something else I’ve learned over the years:
Those who might judge you poorly for asking your “silly” question, or would look down at you for not knowing what they know…
Those behaviors are a reflection of themselves and who they are as a person..
NOT a reflection of you, your intelligence, or your problem-solving abilities.
Luckily I never see this kind of thing happening in our Digital Tentmaking community.
I’ve been on the receiving end of this kind of behavior many times in the past.
Even though I know that there’s only one person who’s approval I need, I can’t lie by saying that those kinds of judgements still don’t hurt a little.
Even then, what we stand to gain by leaning on others and asking them for guidance far outweighs the discomfort or any potential ‘judgements’.
So don’t make this mistake of feeling like you have to do it alone!
The Best Tentmaking Advice I Ever Got...
Here’s the best advice I got when I was starting with digital tentmaking:
“Not every client is going to see the value in what you do. But don’t let it get to you. Sometimes it’s best to just keep moving along and see how you can help the next person you cross paths with.”
Without a doubt it hurts getting told no by a potential client.
Especially when all we’re trying to do is help them with our work!
But sometimes the people we want to provide our services to just don’t want or need our help at that moment in time.
While it can be frustrating, what we must do is respect their decision.
In fact, when a potential client tells me they’re not interested in working with me, here’s how I usually respond:
“Ok, no worries! Would it be alright with you if I followed up in say, 1 month, to see how things are going?”
There could be a hundred reasons why the business owner on the other side might not want to commit to working with us.
Maybe they’re tight on cash.
Or have a lot going on in their personal lives.
Maybe they just enjoy figuring things out on their own!
Whatever the case, I’ve learned over the years that it’s always better to accept their response.
Rather than try to get “salesy” and try to push anything on them.
We don’t like it when people try to do that to us, right?
Plus, there are always others out there who are in need of our skills and services..
Sometimes it’s better to move on and focus on them instead!
I’ve also found that when I make it a point to accept that potential client’s decision, even if it’s a “No”..
It helps them see that I’m not just after their money!
What happens with a lot of these clients thatfirst say “no”…
They’ll end up emailing me a month or two later, telling me they’re interested in working together now!
The point here is, don’t get too caught up with clients who might not recognize the value you’re providing them.
And definitely don’t let it get to you!
Everyone has their own unique ways of operating their business.
All we can do is show others our ability to accept and understand it.
Trust me, since everyone else out there in online business is trying to force their products and services onto others, you’ll be a breath of fresh air to any business owner.
Even if they’re not looking to work with you at that exact moment in time!
If you’ve ever felt frustrated or discouraged getting a “no” from a client, then I hope this helps.
I hope those mistakes I’ve shared above open your eyes to the opportunity present in front of you at the moment.
And help you move to action.
If you’ve been looking to start a Digital Tentmaking business, now is the right time!
I’m giving away a Free Training that you can access right away. Click on the button below to get started.
Cory Long is the owner and CEO of Yroc Consulting, a local digital marketing company based in San Angelo, TX that specializes in online marketing, SEO, web design, and social media. He has worked full time in ministry for 17 years. Bought several products teaching how to make money online but never found success until he found this model. Five years later, he has a 7-figure Digital Storefront business and has taught hundreds of people how to do this successfully for themselves.