“I’m afraid my new bright idea will never catch on. What if we fail? What if sales stay flat-lined for five straight months? I’m scared we won’t be able to handle the pressure.” A host of fears can haunt even the best of your business psyche. Perhaps 2013 found you gripped with workplace paranoia. Fortunately, the New Year holds opportunity for fresh courage in your business endeavors—and every new life challenge in 2014!
I recently had the privilege of interviewing Donna Alexander. She opened an amazing business in 2012. Pies Galore and More supplies phenomenal baked goods to residents in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania—but what Donna has created is so much more than delectable pastries. She’s launched a wonderfully inviting atmosphere that serves as a connecting point in the community.
Donna has demonstrated tremendous courage in the opening two years. I was curious how she is conquering her business fears, so I tossed some big questions her way.
Pletch: What did you most fear about starting your new business?
Donna: Fear of failure—would the business really work or would I be completely embarrassed and lose a lot of money trying? And just to be clear, my fear-conquering is still very much a daily work in progress! I suppose we never reach a point (in this life) of having completely won over fear.
Pletch: SO true! That’s great authenticity. I’m wondering. Did you have a spot where you almost did not “pull the trigger” or you considered backing out of the start-up?
Donna: Once we got going with the process, I didn’t really think about backing out. But I did say “no” to the idea a couple of times when it was it was first presented to me. I didn’t think I was ready for it; the expense and risks seemed too scary. God kept bringing it back to me, and once I started taking a few steps, the doors started “flying open.” I truly believe now that this is where God wanted me to be, even if I didn’t want to embrace it at first.
Pletch: What helped motivate you to take the risk, step out, and go for it?
Donna: The encouragement of friends! There were a couple of people who kept letting me know how much they believed in me and the idea. They believed in me more than I did myself, because I tend to be overly self-critical. Second, Christian music has been very encouraging, specifically from WJTL radio. At times it seemed like God was putting together special playlists for me, reminding me of His never-ending presence and His faithfulness. I decided I should give the business a try or I might regret it later.
Pletch: Yea, it’s fun to choose to let our fear of regret trump our other fears. So one final question: How has your faith in God sustained you and resourced your leadership and the life of your business?
Donna: This has been and continues to be a huge faith journey. I struggle almost daily with my fears and being tempted to despair. It’s easy to wish that the road would be less challenging. Going in, I thought if I could just get through the first year—well, we’re in year two now and it’s still very demanding physically (the amount of hours worked) and financially. But God has continually been there reminding me that I am not alone and that this was His idea, so it should be for His glory. The capstone of the building I’m leasing states that it is to be used “for the glory of God,” and that is what we are striving to do, with His help. I continue believing that He wants to work through me and through this business to touch other people, and that means I have to keep “pushing back the dark” (a line from a song by Josh Wilson playing on the radio right now).
Obviously, Pies Galore and More is indeed so much more. Donna is seeking to vibrantly live out her faith through her workplace endeavors everyday—all for God’s glory!
What risks will you take this year? How about saying “NO” to those shaking knees and instead, say a big “YES” to taking that bold step forward? Trust God deeper. He is with you. Take more risks, and walk boldly into your no-fear year!