All I Wish I Had Known about Business with a Purpose
Back in February, Mom published a series of blog posts on her professional website on the lessons she has learned about social entrepreneurship since we launched Threads. We got sidetracked with new product (sweaters!), new interns (Bekah!), and several events in Houston and in Alexandria.
It would be a mistake, however, to not share this series with you. Her thoughtful writing is honest and inspiring. And honestly, it served as a good reminder for me that we have made a ton of progress in a year and a half! Below are links to all five of the blog posts along with excerpts that I particularly liked.
Take the time to read them over the weekend. You'll get to know my mom, me, and our business in a new and personal way. And, if I may chime in for just a moment, I cannot tell you how proud of my mom I am. She is a force to be reckoned with even when she feels in over her head. A friend told me last night that she thinks I am a strong person not because I'm never weak, but because I never stop trying to find a way to get better. I learned that from Mom. - Christen
"From the beginning my daughter and I promised grace and forgiveness to each other and to ourselves.The reality is we are going to screw up. We never know in what shape or form and it may or may not cost money. But when it happens, go ahead and cry a little (or at least I have) and then dust off your britches, give yourself or your partner some grace and move on. I truly believe this is one of things that has strengthened us at Threads by Nomad not only as a team but also in the relationship I have with my daughter who is also my partner."
"Network, Network, Network. Networking comes natural to me. I have been doing it for more than thirty years in my role as a minister. I learned long ago you do better if you join others and if you open your door to them. Relationships are key to what I do as a minister. Truthfully there is little difference between this and what must go on in the business world. You must put yourself out there whether it comes natural or not. I am an extrovert. My daughter is more introverted and pushes herself. People will not purchase usually on the first meeting. I recently heard that it takes seven contacts with one person before someone will actually make a purchase. It is more than purchasing. Maybe one person won’t purchase, but they will refer you to someone else. Or perhaps they will steer you to valuable resources. You never know the gift you will receive in a relationship. Yes, this is extremely time intensive. If you are not up for it, then you might want to rethink your idea."
"However much you think it will cost, it will cost more. Geez, if only I had known this. Over the years that we have been in ministry we have submitted many budgets. The hardest ones were the ones when we were going into something new. We had no idea how much it would cost to do ministry in the new setting. Getting Threads by Nomad up and ready was no different. Rent costs more than anticipated. Fabric cost more than anticipated. Who knew to add renting booths at shows into the budget before beginning? Why is business internet three times the price of home internet for a service not much different? I could go on. I am very grateful for this budget year to have some financial folks who know more about this process and have been a great help. When budgeting for your start up talk to as many people as possible about what you should put in your budget."
"Expect setbacks. Tenacity is the key. My daughter broke her foot just as we were starting up. She had to be carried up stairs to the space for the opening of our kickstarter campaign event. Just a few short months after beginning I fell and ended up with two major surgeries. We had a category 4 hurricane in Houston nearing the end of our first year in business. Hurricane Harvey was a serious setback to most of Houston, Threads by Nomad included. We find someone who seems to be a fit to work on a particular project only for it to not work out. Packages with necessary supplies end up in the wrong place setting us behind in delivering to our clients. We are so very grateful to those who rallied around us during these times to help us persevere. Oswald Chambers states, “Tenacity is more than endurance; it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire.” So hang in there!"
"Failure is nothing personal. We have had failures. Threads by Nomad cannot move over in the “success” column yet. We are hanging in there, but we have not arrived. What if we fail? Dr. Keith Parks of the International Mission Board and later the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship told us many times, “If you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried.” We are giving this our best shot! Amy Robinette of Women Helping Women to Network says, “Whatever you Plan A was that didn’t work, there is always Plan B. Just get to it.” So if we fail, we will get up and try again."