Christian Gap Year for Entrepreneurs

"I will change the world!"

"I will change [insert anything]."

"I will make X better for Y."

When was the last time you said any of these, out loud, mentally, or even subconsciously? I mean, chances are that you've had one of these thoughts at some point.

Humans are wired to want to change things whether to survive or better yet, thrive! This is the heart of entrepreneurship, my heart. My heart is to eventually, and quite literally, change the entire world through businesses.

Along my 3 ½ years of pursuing businesses, watching thousands upon thousands of videos on this topic, and more tangibly through starting my own up-and-running business (Voyage Coffee Company), there are 5 core features of this process. It’s not a glorious process, then again, neither are most things in life.

For man was made to work. In Genesis 2:15: "The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.", this for survival. In Genesis 1:26: “Let us make mankind in our image”, and this to thrive, as God is a creator who made us in his image being creators ourselves.

With that being said, this is about entrepreneurship… and about change… and, well, just being human. The 5 core features are as follows:

  • Assumptions: We're all filled with preconceived understandings about life, people, likes, dislikes, what’s inherently good or bad, even who we are as an individuals. These are things that need to be challenged. Meaning to change anything, we first must be open to changing ourselves. We have to kill our ego and challenge our assumptions while allowing grace for ourselves.
  • Beautiful Questions: This is hard, takes years of practice, and you will never perfect it. Though, it is a worthy quest, nonetheless. These can’t be answered with “yes” or “no” answers. In fact, it’s not even the ones that can be answered with an essay. These are questions that lead to further questions.

Some examples of beautiful questions:

“What is art?” → Well, that depends on how you wish to interpret it.

“Why does God love us?” → What does the bible say? Why does the bible phrase it like that?

“What would happen if I dedicated my business to God?” → What would I lose? What could I do? What couldn't I do?

  • Experiments: This one is ingrained in our DNA at this point in Gobal U, but if you're not intentional, you will loose it. You did it growing up (especially if you had siblings) when you would think “Maybe IF I asked dad, THEN he would let me eat chocolate even though mom said no”. Then you learned it again in 5th grade with scientific experiments but rather than “IF I change the chemicals…”, for entrepreneurship, it becomes “IF I put out twice the content, THEN my engagement and therefore sales would grow by at least 15%”.
  • Pivots: Yes, this is exactly like in basketball. It is once you realize what you're working on, or how you are working on it, won't get you toward your goal, you'll need to keep one foot planted while you swivel the rest of your body. The foot that stays put will represent your core. For Christ-centered businesses (like Voyage Coffee Co), you would be pivoting on Christ, keeping Him the center and changing what you are doing to find an alternative path to your goal.
  • The Grind: This is the worst and the best days. This is otherwise known as perseverance. Not letting go, giving up, or complaining. If you chose change, YOU chose it! Own it! I can’t tell you how many times I was mad or frankly petrified while working to start Voyage Coffee Co. However, every time I did, I would have to tell myself very bluntly “YOU CHOSE THIS LIFE”. All the days I didn’t feel good or motivated, telling myself “No one else will do this for you, get up”.

If this doesn’t sound glamorous, you’re right! Though if this doesn’t sound worth it, you’ve missed the whole point! Like in life, there are a million different nuances and therefore there is a lot missing from this blog, more like an article, than could be said. But it’s a journey, a process and a blessing that God has given us, YOU, the resources, ability, and heart to do.

Change is worth everything as long as you pivot on the right things and push through the hard ones, so is entrepreneurship, and so is being human.

-- Stephen Barton, Global U Alpha/Beta Class Student