Have you ever tried doing something and it did not go as you’ve expected? Did you just give up after you “failed” or did you try other ways to do it? When should you give up?
Today’s message is all about learning when to give up and when to push through. I hope this message will encourage you as it did to me.
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Should You Give Up?
Did you give up too soon? Did you maybe try one thing and felt like you were a failure?
I just wanted to come on with a word of encouragement to you today and share a little bit about my own story. Whether or not you’re in business, you’re an author, or you’re an artist, I think that this can help you in life in general.
Sometimes it’s really easy to get discouraged and give up.
What I want to share with you today is about giving up too soon. I think a lot of us have what we perceive as failures. Sometimes we just need to try again, try another way, or just continue on for a longer period of time. Amen? Have you ever experienced that for yourself?
I love this verse from Galatians 6:9 and I really think it’s a great verse for this topic:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
I love this verse. I love it because I’ve had my own business since 2011. Then, I started my side business while I was working full time as a physical therapist in 2004. So, it was 7 years working two jobs. It continued until I quit my job as a physical therapist to go full time as an entrepreneur. There have been so many times that I wanted to give up, and if I had, I would have missed all that God has for me.
Black Friday Book Launch Experience
I recently had an experience with this. Last year, I was deciding, “OK, I think I’m going to go forward with my art business and art career. I’m an author coach, I’m successful at that and have a successful business.” But I also thought, “I wonder what could happen with my art.”
I had been teaching on Skillshare, and so I decided to launch my same courses on my website. I thought, “Oh, this is going to be so good! I’ve seen other people doing this and doing it successfully.” So, I thought, instead of being on Skillshare, where you pay a one-time fee, I decided I was going to do a membership thing.
Anyway, I launched it Black Friday Weekend, almost a year ago. It didn’t do well at all. In my opinion as an entrepreneur, it failed. I didn’t earn back the money I had put into putting all those courses on my site, setting everything up, and doing everything I needed to do. I didn’t even break even.
I was so discouraged because I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I really sensed that God told me to do this.
Have you ever had an experience like that? Where you know God is asking you to do something, and yet it doesn’t turn out like you think it was going to? I was like, “This is embarrassing! I’m supposed to be an expert at doing these, and it just totally flopped!”
So, I was ready to give up. As I said, I already have a successful business as an author coach – I have Author Audience Academy. It’s like the enemy was saying, “Shelley, go back to what you know. Don’t press through, don’t do this. This is a waste of time. You didn’t even make back your money – you lost money.” Blah, blah, blah.
The lies of the enemy start to bombard your mind. Then you feel like a failure and discouraged. I was ready to give up and put all my energy back into author coaching. I’m good at that. I’ve been successful with that.
Mastermind – God’s Master Plan
Then, I signed up for Matt Tommy’s Mastermind in March. Matt Tommy is amazing. I had already signed up for that before this failure. I’d already paid my fee and had my airline ticket booked. So, I was thinking, “I’m spending all this money to go to this Mastermind to learn how to grow my art business, and I’m not even going to try to grow my art business anymore.”
But I felt like God was telling me to go to the Mastermind too! So I was like, “Why am I going to this Mastermind, God? It’s a waste of money! Why am I doing this?” But I thought, “Well, I can talk to Matt about running a membership site,” since he runs one for artists and I run one for authors. So I said, “OK, I’ll just try to make the best of it. I’ve already paid so I’m going.”
Matt sends us out homework before the Mastermind. It was basically just a question – I don’t even remember what the question was. He sent us a question, and I began to pray. Immediately I sensed the Lord saying, “Shelley, you’ve only tried one thing, one way, and you’re ready to give up! I didn’t tell you that you could give up.”
All of the sudden I just had all these ideas about other things I could try, and other things I could do. And all of the sudden my faith was starting to be renewed.
Then, I went to the Mastermind, and wow! I got some really, really great ideas and not only ideas but also encouragement and motivation. I met people who were doing this full time as artists, and I was like, “If they can do it, I can do it!”
People prayed and prophesied over me, and gave me words of encouragement. Oh.My.Goodness! I left that weekend with so much, and it was literally the turning point for me of really seeing my art career take off.
Now, at this point, I’m not making a full-time income with art. But I was adding it up and so far, in the first ten months of this year, all my art stuff reached maybe $26,000. That’s pretty good, right? That’s pretty awesome for someone who was ready to give up and say, “Forget this whole thing. I can’t do this. It’s not working. I’m just going to go back to what I know.” The Lord was like, “no. Nope, no. You just need to press on.”
I want to tell you something though. The Lord has shown me several times that there’s wisdom in knowing when to press through, and when to let go. Sometimes it could be something that we’re not to press through. Sometimes we are to let it go, surrender it, and move on to other things.
So, you don’t want to just keep trying to beat a dead horse and trying to get it to keep going. That’s where a relationship with the Lord is essential. It’s in being able to say, “OK Lord, is this something I just need to try again, try something else?”
I have a course called Etsy Entrepreneur which will help you set up a business and get started digitizing your artwork and selling your products. I had one of my course students contact me and ask, “Shelley, I released my Fall collection, and it’s not selling yet. When did it start selling for you?”
Sometimes it’s a matter of learning our audience and learning what kind of products are of interest to them. What would they want to buy?
To be honest, I have a Fall collection too, and I have certain products in my fall collection that have sold zero. So, do I give up and not do my Etsy shop anymore because I’ve sold zero of certain products?
No! I try again. I keep improving my skills as an artist, keep improving my products, and keep listening to my audience. I watch what they’re buying and what they’re not, then I try again.
Especially for artists or authors who are selling products, books, or arts, oftentimes, it’s not the very first product you release that’s going to sell. I have written and published over 40 books, and it wasn’t until we had published many books that I hit a best seller. I think by that time we’ve already published maybe 10 books, and then I published a series on Gratitude. This is a great season if you’re interested, anyway. My Gratitude books are available on Amazon, and my 21 Prayers of Gratitude is available on my Etsy site.
But if I had given up just after our first few books, I would have never written one of my best-selling series! I would have never written my book Broken Crayons Still Color, which is my number one bestseller, probably of all time, of all my books.
Failure Does Not Define You
I just want to ask you again today, did you try one thing where you gave up a little too early? Did you let that discouragement set in? Did you let those lies from the enemy penetrate down and cause you to quit? Did God really tell you to stop? Did He really tell you to quit? Or did you just give up because you thought you were a failure and couldn’t do it?
In my case, God didn’t tell me to quit. I just kind of used my entrepreneurial mind and said, “OK, I tried something, it wasn’t profitable, so this isn’t going to work.”
Don’t give up. Keep asking Papa God. Ask him, “What is it? What is it that You have for me? What products, what books, or what things do You want me to try?” Yeah, we can’t do everything. We can do anything, but we can’t do everything. Press in and ask Him – are you to press through or are you to let go? Is there something else for you?
One failure does not define you. I’ve heard a quote before, “failure is not a tattoo – it’s a bruise.” Did somebody need to hear that today? The only thing that keeps you in failure is not getting up and trying again, right?
Try again with the Lord and ask for His ideas. He has the best ideas. We can have good ideas, or we can have God ideas – which one do you want? I want God ideas.
Of course, sometimes I still press forward and try on my own strength and my own flesh. But the Lord is still teaching me over and over and over again especially the last few years that, “Shelley, if you just listen, if you just press in, if you just come to Me, I’ll show you and give you those ideas.”
Again, I just want to encourage you today that maybe it’s time to try again. Maybe it’s time to try something different and try to keep going even when you feel like giving up.
Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time,” God’s time, right? …”we will,” – it doesn’t say we might, – reap a harvest if we do not give up.” So, I encourage you to keep going friends, and I’m going to pray for you.
God, I just thank You for every person listening today. Whatever it is that they feel like they failed in, in their life, whether it’s work, writing, art, or something else, a relationship, Lord, I just pray first and foremost for healing in their lives, for healing in their hearts. Lord, I pray that You would come in and You would bring healing to the broken hearted, and you would set the captives free, and set us free of any of that stinkin’ thinkin’, the lies of the enemy that holds us back and that keep us down. I pray that You would just release us into moving forward into what You have for us, not what we come up with in our strength, in our own mind, but God ideas, those ideas that You give us, the things that You show us to do. A lot of times You don’t show us months and years in advance, You’ll show us the next step, Your word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, so You put it to our feet for that next step, that next step, that next step. Lord, we do just trust You to give us those God-sized dreams.
We just thank You that You are able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. I just pray Your blessings over everyone, in Jesus name, Amen.
Alright, thank you guys for being here. If you are interested, I am doing a webinar, it’s called 10 ways that I’ve earned income as an artist, and you can too. It was after that turning point of, I tried one thing, and the Lord gave me all these things to try. Now, my art business has taken off.
So I’m sharing with you on that free webinar. It’s at YourCreativeAdventure.com/10ways. I just wanted to share this encouragement with you today, and I hope that it encouraged you.
If it did, just share in the comments below. You can also share this video with someone you know that could be encouraged by it as well. Until next time!
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