Thursday, February 13, 2020

Shoestring Budgets

What do you do when you have big dreams and a small piggy bank? 

Maybe you have a budget, but it's only the size of a "shoestring". The other day it occurred to me that shoestrings may be small and short, but they hold my shoes together!

It's been over six years since I gathered a group of volunteers, offered to buy them breakfast and asked them if they would help me 'fill the seats' if I pursued my vision for an annual Christmas concert—using an orchestra. 

I really didn't know how I was going to pull it off, but I just kept taking one step at a time. 

These days, when I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself of that magical discipline of simply taking the next step. It's worked all these years.

In those days, I didn't even have the money to buy everyone breakfast but I went ahead and sent out the invitations and reserved the room at Momma Spriggs.  I'd find a way to earn the money to buy their breakfast. I really believed in the dream! Well, most days I did. Other days, I was terrified. 

Portraits of White was just an idea at that point and I knew I'd need help to make it happen. I gathered about 10 people who said they had been touched by my music ministry and told them of my vision while we enjoyed breakfast together. When the day came for our breakfast meeting, I had the money. I said I'd put on the show if they'd spread the word about it and they did. 

After breakfast someone else picked up the tab without me knowing it. They used the excuse that they were going to the bathroom but had actually paid the bill. That was just the start of so many blessings I've experienced along the way as I've walked this road of following my dreams.

So here's a few things you'll need to get started (that don't cost you any money):

1) Clarity 
  • Get very clear on what your dream is. (I wanted to offer hope during the holidays using an orchestra).
  • Write out ALL your thoughts. On paper. If you had the resources you need, what would your dream look like? (I'm still working at producing what I envisioned years ago. It's ok that it's not ALL of what I envisioned—yet. At least I'm on my way and I'm learning a lot as I go.) 
  • If you made a bumper sticker of your dream, what would it say? 
  • What's the first (or next) step you need to take toward seeing it come to pass?
2) Ask good questions
  • Find a few people (or even just one) who are walking a similar path but are further along than you and ask them good questions. Treat them to coffee or lunch at least. Ok, so that costs a little bit of money, but it's well worth it!
The first year I started Portraits of White, I reached out to Kurt Bestor (via Facebook). Kurt is a musician in Utah with a 25 year track record in doing local Christmas shows with an orchestra. My brother-in-law told me about this event because he had attended a few of the shows and said I should reach out to him. So I did. I sent him one question and wouldn't you know, he answered me! 

That proved to be some of the best advice I have received and it didn't cost me any money. I simply asked him what 5 things he wishes he had known when he started his Christmas show.

As I continue building my dream, I ask more questions.

3) Pray - This is the best thing you can do toward your dream and it doesn't cost a dime.
  • Start with setting a timer for 5 minutes a day and take that time to pray about the desires of your heart. You'll need to increase that time as you grow. 
  • Ask for divine appointments, resources and wisdom. I often pray: "Father, may your Kingdom come, in my life, in your time, in your way, with your resources."
  • This morning I prayed for a box truck. Maybe someday I'll share why.  ;-)

"My child, never drift off course from these two goals for your life:
to walk in wisdom 
and to discover discretion. 
Don't ever forget how they empower you."
Proverbs 3:21 TPT