Doing A New Thing: What Am I Doing?

Doing a New ThingIf you have been following along, you’ll remember that I first posted this laundry list of activity with 5,000 accomplishments toward realizing this ministry. (Ok, not really 5,000.) I omitted that this took me a few weeks.

Then, the following week, there were not quite so many accomplishments.

I’m not exactly sure how to explain what happened next. There were moving trucks and strange men packing up all of my possessions. Nice men, mind you. But, it’s strange having other people pack up your stuff especially when you hope to do some work on your soon-to-be realized internet ministry when one of these strange men knocks over the modem and…. No internet. I worked a bunch those few days after all of my stuff started its trek across country but then the road trip began with one of my dearest friends. We went hiking. We saw some National Parks. (Side note: I must write a post about how much I love National Parks.) We ate burgers and drank beer. It was awesome.

But, let’s be clear: I did three hours of work in that time. Three hours. I’m pretty sure that Chris Guillebeau had something else in mind when he talked about creating your own life so that you could travel the world. Because this trip was poorly funded by any sort of entrepreneurial feats. And then, when I finally settled down to get to work after this amazing road trip, there in my inbox was a message from the person that was supposed to help me within my denomination. During that three hours, I had tried to do a bunch of networking as it had been suggested by Chris Guillebeau or someone else. I sent a bunch of emails to begin conversations with people that might be excited about this nebulous thing I’m trying to start. Every single one of those emails referred me to this one person who would make every connection there ever could be. His email was less than enthusiastic. His email articulated all of my fears. I’m so new to this world. I have no idea what I’m doing — and harder still: there is no way to create spiritual community around the military that is collaborative and engaged with the various branches of the armed services. I should give up. That’s how the email read.

So, of course, I found myself asking: What am I doing? There may have been some profanity in this statement. Ok, there was a lot of profanity. In the past week, I have tried to tell myself that being an entrepreneur requires seeing something that others don’t see. It means that sometimes others aren’t supportive. They are anything but supportive as they insist upon the way things have always been. I began this post 17 days ago — and I haven’t truly convinced myself that If my hopes aren’t welcomed or listened to, I really can shake off the dust from my feet. It doesn’t mean it’s the worst idea. It doesn’t mean I’m wrong. But, I haven’t still unconvinced. I’m still asking myself: What am I doing?

But, I’m stubborn so I haven’t given up yet. I still managed to do make some things happen. Here’s an account of the past few weeks of trying to do a new thing.

    • I finished Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. (I actually finished this in the car somewhere in Utah. I am insanely proud of this even if it was my only road trip accomplishment.)
    • I added more content.
    • I missed an entire week of adding content.
    • I berated myself.
    • I tried to do some networking. As I’ve already mentioned, only one of those connections seems to be panning out at the present moment in time. I’m trying to do the whole brave affirmation: I got one connection!!! Woo hoo! How awesome is that. But, I am much better at berating myself. So, I did that some more.
    • I received an email from this one person and consequently decided to redesign the entire site instead of adding more content. You can see the pretty new design here. (Not that you saw the old version because I haven’t really shared that with you yet.) I’m much happier with the look of the site. So that’s good. It did not however truly help me escape the doubt and self loathing that obviously came from this email.
    • I dabbled on social media and worked on building my blogger network. This requires lots of time on Facebook and Twitter and blogs — which feels like it doesn’t result in anything. I’m reflecting on this a bit because what I love about ministry is the relationships. You get to slowly immerse yourself into a community. You get to hear stories and tell a few. This all feels so different on social media than it does sitting in a coffee shop or someone’s living room. I would never call that wasted time — but this feels like it might be. It probably isn’t but I’m fascinated by my own reaction to it. Here is where I will ask for some morale support. Please follow this project on Twitter and Facebook. It would so warm my heart to see you cheering for me.
    • Recently, I’m spending more and more time trying to figure out how to earn some money blogging. I have to be honest about this: it feels icky. I don’t do ministry for a pay check — except that now, I have no job and I am trying to believe that there are ways to fund ministry that push beyond the passing of the plate. But, holy moly, I feel like I might be shoving an offering plate in people’s faces and I hate this feeling. I want to build community. I want to make connections. I want to change lives. I do not want this to be boiled down to a bunch of numbers.
    • I am not sure how the hell to launch this blog officially and am wondering if I wasted a bunch of time trying to imagine such an announcement. For the moment, I’ve given up on that thought.
    • I’m starting to brainstorm the next step. As my mentor in Beyond the Call suggested, this crappy email is an opportunity to ideate. This is what I hope to spend some time on next week.
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