The title of today's episode is, ‘Have You Counted the Cost of the 2020 Vision?’
One more time, Have You Counted the Cost of the 2020 Vision? I was praying earlier this week and just in my extended prayer time like, what did the next few weeks of this podcast look like. I told y'all before, one of the things I’ve been praying and asking God for is to give me multiple episodes at a time. Because I was like, “okay Lord, how can I be a better steward of my time if I don't even know what I'm going to be talking about the next week?”
So in my extended prayer time I'm like, “okay God, what does the next few weeks of the podcast look like” and he gave me of course multiple episodes, but when it came to this one specifically, he wanted me to share this with you guys. He says that “My people are getting so excited about the vision they aren't following through with the details.” “The correct process is that you write the vision, you make it plain then you count the cost and then you add the work to the faith.” Let me repeat that one more time He says, “The correct process is you write the vision, you make it plain” and these are the steps that we all know, especially since everybody mama been preaching about 2020 vision.
He went on to say that you then count the cost and then after you count the cost you add the work to the faith, He says that “I want to bless my people, but I don't want them to lose it, what they perceive as my silence is my protection and my patience. I want to bless the works of their hands, but their hands have to be working.”
I thought this was interesting that God wanted me to speak about this because I believe that it's a loving warning from God to us to make sure that we're not just getting hype about the New Year or the new decade and the 2020 vision all this that everybody is talking about. That we're not just getting hype about these things and to the point where we're not working diligently and strategically for what he says is ours.
I do believe that there is a specialness, that's not the right word but I do think that there's a special anointing I guess is the best way to say it in this time for the body of Christ, people who have been working faithfully towards the things of God. I also think that God doesn't want us to just work and get excited about things or write the prophetic words down and use those to pump us up.
I think he wants us to get strategic about how we're working, to count the cost of the things that he says belong to us so that when we are working, we're working in a way that makes sense and that's going to take us to what we ultimately want. It is so appropriate I believe that we're talking about this today; this is the last week of January so that New Year thing has died down some.
We're going into a new month where we've kind of gotten in the groove of what it is that we're doing this year and all of that. Because the hype and the excitement have died down a bit, I believe now we're able to receive this message with clearer eyes and a clearer heart to understand what God wants us to do and how he wants us to do it. Because we're talking about counting the cost the scripture that we're anchored in today is Luke 14:25-34. I'm going to say that one more time; we're anchored in the scripture of Luke 14 verses 25 through 34.
I'm going to read the whole thing and then we're going to break it down a little bit, not sure if I said this, but I'm reading it out of the Message translation. So, starting at verse 25 it says, One day, when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, “Anyone who comes to me, but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children brothers, sisters, yes, even one's own self can't be my disciple. Anyone who won't shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can't be my disciple.”
Then going to verse 28 says, “Is there anyone here who plans to build a new house doesn't first sit down and figure the cost so you'll know if you can complete it. If you only get the foundation, lead and then run out of money, you're going to look pretty foolish, everyone passing by will poke fun at you, he started something he couldn't finish.” “Or you can imagine being a king going into battle against another king without first deciding whether it is possible with his ten thousand troops to face the twenty thousand troops of the other and if he decides he can't, won't he send an emissary and work out a truce?”
“Simply put, if you're not willing to take what is dearest to you whether plans or people and kiss it goodbye, you cannot be my disciple. Salt is excellent, but if the salt goes flat it’s useless, good for nothing.” I wanted to first give you guys the scripture so you understand what I'm talking about when I say count the cost because this is ultimately talking about you have to be willing to give up everything to be a disciple, which is pretty much to be a follower of Christ.
You ought to be able to give up everything but I do think that in these two examples that he gave, that there's a lot of wisdom here that can be applied to us counting the cost with the things that God is calling us to do this year. To be real, I feel that if you're in that space where you haven't counted the cost when you have gotten excited about it, let's say you did a vision board and now you’re hyped because these are the things that I'm working on for this year. These are goals, I'm putting it everywhere, I’ve written the vision, I have made it plain on tablets, I got it in my house, in my bathroom, in my car and it's the screensaver on my phone.
You've gotten so hyped and you just get deep into the work without counting the cost, I believe that if you find yourself in that place, that is, a lot of us who have found us ourselves there where it isn't a matter of being negligent, that we're not intentionally counting the cost. I think simply put; we just don't know how to do that right, that we feel like because we're working, because we got the word from God. After all, He said that that 2020 is our year.
Because He said, we're going to finally leave our jobs and be full-time entrepreneurs. He said that your husband is coming this year because he said that you're going to reach the six-figure goal you're going to become a millionaire, whatever it may be that God said it's for you. I believe a lot of us get so excited about it that we get right to work and it's not a matter, we're not counting the cost because of negligence. We haven't been counting the cost because of excitement or maybe we just simply don't know-how.
For today's episode, I wanted to dive into a few ways that you can count the cost of the vision that God gave you this year so that we don't continue going on just working, so we don't continue going on building a house without first developing a blueprint for it. So, we don't go and pick the wedding dress, plan the wedding on Pinterest, find our ring, and all of that without counting the cost of lifestyle changes you may need to be a wife. And what adjustments you may have to have to handle the man that God has called for you to marry.
There's so much value in counting the cost and so that's why we're talking about that today because I do not want us to continue into the year without doing things strategically. Counting the cost is about strategy, it's about being strategic and our negligence oftentimes can delay the promise that God wanted us to have right now. We may build a house and then the second that you put something in it the thing falls because you didn't count the cost to be able to lay the foundation the way you needed to be laid.
You may have gotten so excited because he said that this year you were going to become an entrepreneur and so you went and you started selling stuff. But you didn't get your EIN Tax ID number, you didn't establish your LLC, you didn't protect your brand. So now you're going into this thing and if it is successful the way God wants it to be it’s going to destroy you because the proper steps weren't taken before pursuing the thing.
Now before we get into counting the cost for the vision or any business-related things, the first way that we have to count the cost is we have to understand that there's a lifestyle cost to being a disciple. Now, remember, a disciple simply put is a follower of Jesus, there is a lifestyle cost to being a follower of Jesus. You cannot build God's business, his vision, his household, whatever without him, we talked about this on how to build an accomplished business episode.
You cannot build this without him, so before we even get to trying to build something, we need to make sure that we understand the lifestyle cost that comes with being a disciple, so going back to the scripture in Luke 14 verses 25 through 27. That part says, One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, “anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters, yes even one own self can't be my disciple. Anyone who won't shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can't be my disciple.”
What Jesus wants us to understand is, if you're not willing to give up everything to follow me you just cannot be my disciple. The lifestyle cost that we have to consider and understand is that we have to be willing to give up everything, now that's not to say that we will have to give up everything. You have to have your mind made up and your heart set on the fact that I will give up everything, even my self to follow Jesus.
It's easy to get excited about the promise, it's easy to get excited about all the things that God is saying belongs to us this year, but we must not forget the responsibility that we have as his disciples. The responsibility that we have to be willing to give up everything and follow him, the responsibility that we have to be righteous and that's a lifestyle cost.
It’s walking away from everything you knew, everything you may have been raised to be and if you guys grew up in the church it may be letting go of the man-made religious systems to understand what it means to build a relationship with God. That's a lifestyle change for a lot of people because then your relationship is not just going to church every Sunday, going to Bible study, or some type of mid-week service.
Maybe saying a quick prayer in the morning and then hearing what the pastor has to say and that's it, now that's more of how we're taught based on religion. Now you have to learn the lifestyle of building a relationship with God, so that means in addition to those things reading a word for yourself, spending extended periods in silence, in his presence to hear from him directly. That means fasting and praying, that means walking in and learning how to walk in the authority that you have as a believer.
These things are lifestyle changes, which means, “oh well I can't just dedicate now a couple of hours a week to go to a building and say that that's my relationship with God. Now I need to meditate on the word day and night myself, now I need to understand what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit for myself, these things are lifestyle changes. Again, I believe that a lot of us build these platforms without God because we're not counting the cost of what it means to be a disciple of his.
We get caught up, we start building these platforms and now God becomes more so of the marketing tool or he becomes more so of the homie that you shout out now and then but not your Lord and Savior, not the one that you fear. Counting the cost of a lifestyle is so important, especially if you are a person of faith, a disciple of Jesus while being a business owner, that's a lifestyle cost that has to change.
This is something that I even experienced, more so as my business grows lately to where I was frustrated because I want to develop more shows from scratch as we did for the Fashionpreneur Diaries. So, doing that, that process was a little easy because I knew Jessica; I can vouch for her character. I know that if I build a platform for her business, she's not going to be out there spreading foolishness but she's actually going to be out there doing God's work and so it was easy for me to make that decision.
But then, as we are sitting down, planning for 2020 and looking like, “okay I want to now develop more shows from scratch, not just the people that we serve who are new to this but people who have established entrepreneurs who can use a podcasting platform to grow their business as well as reach more people.”
I was frustrated because I was like, “God, how am I going to do this? What does my lifestyle need to look like for this because I have to maintain integrity?” So I would have even people who may work with me saying, “oh, develop criteria for the type of person you want to work with, do they need to profess that they know the Lord on their social media or whatever?'
Because I was expressing this first frustration to people that I trust their businesses and they're like, “you know, write down the qualifications, the criteria and then you can develop a sales process based off on that.” I'm like, “yeah that makes sense but still” and so someone else was sharing with my ideas to bring my ideal clients or people I'm interested in developing shows for together and doing something cool to where we're letting them know like who Anchored Media is and what they do.
I'm like, “yeah that sounds good,” but you got to understand I have a responsibility to make sure that I'm building platforms to spread the good news. The money, the results, and all of this, the stuff that we see as a result of doing the business is great, but my core mission is to honor God. The core mission that he has me on in this media space is to spread the good news and so the last thing I'm going to do is build up platforms and the person gets on there and they're spreading things that are not of God.
I don't need any blood on my hands, I don't want to be a part of anything that is not bringing glory to God or is causing confusion amongst God's people. But then at the same time, me as a business owner, that leaves me in a state of confusion and so I'm counting the cost. This is all counting the cost and for me, now it’s counting the lifestyle cost because then my sales process or the process I go about securing clients looks a whole lot different than what makes traditional business sense.
That means my prayer time has to be a little bit more extensive because I need God to show me who it is I need to work with and not just relying on my carnal mind as to what makes sense or what's going to be the most lucrative. In doing that though, like I said I was frustrated, I told you I was frustrated and so in my prayer time I'm like, “God, what are we doing here? I know the mission you have me on I'm clear, but how am I going to determine who I'm going to work with and how I'm going to pursue them?”
God is so good because he was sharing with me, he says, “Don't worry about that, they're going to come to you.” I was like, “okay that sounds good, but God how do I measure that in my policies and procedures and stuff in this business?” God said, “They’ll come to you,” so I said, “fine” and we had enough to do, I moved on to the next thing. This same week I said that, I don't remember when that prayer was, earlier in the week, by Friday we had two people who want to work with us, who cover all of the bases as far as integrity is concerned.
All the spiritual bases that I was concerned about I didn't have to worry about any of them, Holy Spirit approved. Then the more business-related bases that I have because we do want to work with an established entrepreneur all of those bases are covered as well. They're coming to me like, “Tatum, what do I need to do? I want to work with you, I want you to do this and I'm like, “God, you quick, you real quick” and it just gave me so much peace because I was like, “alright, you're right, you said they'll come to me I'm not even going to worry about it.”
Again, I tell that story for you guys to understand that the lifestyle of being a disciple is you have to have a heart that wants to please God; you have to be willing to give up anything. I'm willing to give up however much I could make in this revenue stream in my business to follow God, I will give it all up to follow him.
I have checked the track record, when God told me to cut off everything I was doing in my business and he'll tell me what to do next to where I'm sitting in the house with no job twiddling my thumbs not knowing how bills were going to get paid. I just wanted to be obedient, I’ve given everything up and there are other things that I’ve lost that have produced great things in my life but I’ve given up to follow God that I don't even talk about.
For me, I want to convey to you guys the importance of counting the cost of the lifestyle and that lifestyle means being willing to give up anything and making decisions that are ultimately what God wants you to do, that are ultimately aligned with what it means to live a righteous lifestyle.
Whatever God has called you to for this year make sure you're counting the cost of the lifestyle. Maybe you need to cut out something so that you can spend more time praying and fasting for those that he's calling you to so that maybe you have to pray and fast for some things to fall off of you for you to be able to handle things.
Maybe God wants to take you to new levels financially, but you got to change your lifestyle, even if we're not talking not even just talking about spiritual aspects of your lifestyle. But you need to be less of a spender because if you got bad spending habits now more money is not going to solve that, if you're irresponsible financially now more money is not going to solve that you're just going to lose more.
So, these are our lifestyle costs that have to change as well for what God is calling you to and a lot of you guys may be newer in your walk and you're at the place where you're deciding to follow God. You are at the place where you're walking away from everything that you're used to to follow Jesus.
I didn't mention this but I want to encourage those of you guys who have given up a lot for the lifestyle that if you go to Mark chapter 10 verses 29-30. It says, Jesus said, “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brother, sister, mother, father, children, and land, whatever because of me and the message will lose out. They'll get it all back but multiply many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land but also in troubles and then the bonus of eternal life.”
“But also in troubles” is a very important point but we don't have time for that. But I just want to get you guys to understand that anything that you give up to follow God he's going to give it back to you and he's going to multiply it many times over.
So don’t think that and don't allow the enemy to trick you to believe that because you have counted the cost in this area or you have made the lifestyle changes and you may not see the results right now. Or you may not see what you're looking for right now that somehow that was in vain because it will never be in vain.
2) Have you laid the infrastructure for what you're building? Talking about counting the cost, have you laid the infrastructure for what you're building?
Going back to Luke and chapter 14 verses 28 through 30 say, “Is there anyone here who’s planning to build a new house doesn't first sit down and figure out the cost so you'll know if you can complete it?” If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money you're going to look pretty foolish.” “Everyone passing by will poke fun at you, he started something he couldn't finish.” And so this is going back of course to our anchor scripture but again, are you or have you laid the infrastructure for what you're building?
If you look up the word infrastructure, it means that infrastructure is defined as the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed for the operation of a society or enterprise. Let me say that one more time, infrastructure is designed as the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.
So going back to our question, have you laid the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed for the vision that God has given you, for the business that God is given you, for the ministry that God has given you, for the family that God has given you? I can relate to this because back in December, last year was a very interesting year, 2019 was a great year but interesting nevertheless. It started interesting but it started off being a waiting season and me being very frustrated but halfway through, God switched everything around and since then I had a year of Amos and that was my scripture.
It’s so crazy, my scripture that I stood on last year was Amos, I believe 9:13 through 15 and the scripture pretty much says, “Yes indeed, it won't be long now, things are going to happen so fast your head is going to swim one thing fast on the heels of the other.” And so, that's the scripture that I set for 2019 and that is exactly what happened about halfway through. Now, once we got to December time, God told me to rest and I was expecting this because for the last few years he's told me to rest in December. But we had a retreat in December so the first half of December, I had to prepare for that; then we had the retreat, and then for the second half of the month I just rested.
And it was during that time where God was sharing with me the importance of infrastructure and especially for what he has me building. I know the vision that God has given me for this year and the years to come is just huge and the things that he shared with me that he has for my business, for me, my family, and all of, these things are huge. It was so funny though that I’m praying and asking God for these things, “well thanks to God, just please continue to expand my territory, continue to guide me in the ways I should go” and he starts talking to me about boring old infrastructure.
It seems boring but it's so necessary because like the scripture says, “Is there anyone who’s planning to build a new house doesn't first sit down and count the cost so you know if you can complete it?” And if you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you're going to look pretty foolish and so I believe God was sharing me the same thing “Yes, I have all these things for you. “Yes, there is this huge mandate on your life and these things that I’m going to do through you but before we get to that level, I need you to sit down and make sure that the infrastructure is correct.
So as I was sitting there and I was like “okay” and I’m resting so I can't just get to work so I’m writing these down, writing them down in my prayer journal; I’m like “I hear you, God, I hear you, God, I hear you, God.” Honestly, this month has been about for me building that infrastructure and he has allowed me to count the cost of the vision that God has given me. I told you guys about my whole mandate of going from entrepreneur to executive and so it's kind of a good time to give you an update on where I am with that. Let me tell you something real quick, my experience is that being an executive is a lot harder than being an entrepreneur.
Everybody may not agree with me but and let me clarify because I’m not going from entrepreneur to executive of somebody else's company that’s already established. I’m going from entrepreneur as somebody who started their own business and was growing their own business to now the executive of the business that I started. To where now, I’m outside of like that grind mentality that “okay, we got to secure the bag, alright let's do that, let's do that” kind of moving in an unfocused manner to taking a step back to be an executive that knows how to make strategic decisions for the greater good of the organization.
Not necessarily running after any sharp, bright object or whatever and I think that the culture of entrepreneurship has been a lot about the grind, hustle, grind, hustle, grind, grind, and not enough about the things that are needed when you're an executive. And that's making strategic decisions, having a proper structure in place in your business and having the right tools and systems in place that support the structure, hiring the right people, and being a good leader. Making sure that your organizational structure is set up in a way that's beneficial to the long-term goals of the organization.
So, these are two different lanes; I had to move out of one lane into the other and it's been so difficult, not overwhelming but extremely difficult for me. I was telling my husband the other day like “Yo, I realized what it takes, I’m learning what it takes to be who God called me to be” and he was like “What do you mean by that?” I’m like “I have to get up every day and I’m a wife, I have to make sure that my husband is taking care of, that my home is taken care of.” “But then I also have to go and be a high performing executive in my business to where I’m putting things in place and infrastructure in place that allows me to reach the goals that we want to reach and allow us to be able to grow to the levels that God has for us.”
Then I have to take that hat off and come back home and be a wife again and be soft and make sure my words are seasoned with grace even if I just had to chew somebody out, a vendor out, or something like that during the day. Also, the time that it takes having to wake up early and making sure my husband is tended to and he's good, I like to do certain domestic things like making my husband breakfast in the morning. I like to cook dinner and stuff so just learning how to handle and properly manage with excellence all of the aspects of my life in a way that is in the executive mindset of being strategic and not just going with the wind has been very difficult.
But, I’m so appreciative of God because I would rather figure this stuff out now than He gives me the millions and give me everything and I’m messing it all up. So, this month making that adjustment and creating infrastructure, the cost that I’ve had to pay for that is financial costs. Because I understood that me operating on the level that I needed to operate to be excellent in all these areas, that there was a gap area for me. I needed help with managing or being as productive and having that system, we talked about it a lot in the How to be a Proverbs 31 Woman episode so I’m not going to get too deep into it. But, I’ve been pretty much just working this system
And so I’ve had to pay the cost financially of hiring somebody to help me learn how to manage this system for my life and then I had to work the system. So I had to count the cost of a lot of time for me to figure out this system's backing system that I used to manage my life so that I could be able to use it effectively. To the cost of where God has taken me I’ve also had to say no a lot and I’ve been very frustrated if I’m being real with my family lately especially if you're a full-time entrepreneur, people think that you just don't do anything all day.
That “oh, she ain't got no job, she got free time” when that is not the case but I’ve had to say no a lot lately and people just had to deal with that but that's the cost. But even though learning how hard it is to be who God called me to be and learning how difficult it is to be excellent in all the areas that God has entrusted me with? The great thing that I’ve learned this month of really honing in on this infrastructure piece in particular for my life is how much more effective you could be if you took the time and put the infrastructure in place. So, if I’m talking about time management, one of the things that I’ve been working on is tracking how long it takes me to do something.
Because I would get frustrated, I hate to have leftover tasks at the end of the day and I would get frustrated if I don't get to everything but what I realized is “well, it's not that you're not getting to everything, it's that you have too much to do within the day.” But then the reason why you're scheduling too much to do within a day is that you don't know how long it takes you to do things. So because you think you're a superwoman, you think you could do all of it; as opposed to being more strategic and moving things around as need be. So one of the things that I started doing is writing down how long it takes me to do stuff and so what I realized is, just take this week for example.
I sat down and I planned out my whole week, everything that I needed to do for every area of my business and at home, and then I calculated how much time it took me to do each task. So, when I added it up, I had one day that was like an 18-hour day and I was like “ain't no way” but then I’m like “okay, well then, let me look at this” and a couple of things could easily get pushed back to the next week. They weren't deadline specific so I could push those things to the next week and then I was able to say “oh, well let me work from home on these two days because when I go to my office I have to get up.”
Remember we said we're getting cute when we leave the house so I got to get dressed and get cute, I got to drive to my office, park, walk to the office, whatever and that takes up time. So if I have a lot to do in a jam-packed day let me work from home because I can then shave off a couple of hours that it would take for the commute and getting dressed and things like that. So just taking the time to put the infrastructure in place though guys are what I’m getting at and it’s so beneficial. Even looking at my business, we create a whole organizational chart for the business, everybody has clear roles, and everybody has a clear area that they're in charge of, how we work together and who works with who is already established.
We put that infrastructure in place so now when we're looking at the return on investment for the people we've hired when we're looking at the numbers and the business, we're looking at the productivity of the company as a whole, now we’re able to make those strategic decisions. And I couldn’t have thought that way or executed at that level if I was still in the entrepreneur ground and not necessarily in the executive mindset. So that's kind of just an inside look on how I’ve been laying the infrastructure and what God has me building but I want you guys to think about that as well. Have you laid the infrastructure for what you're building and if not, what do you need to do to get started?
If not then you need to go get your notebook, have a business meeting with God, and say “God, what type of infrastructure do you want me to build here? Going back to the definition of the word but what organizational structures and facilities do you need for me to put in place for me to be as effective and excellent as possible and what you called me to? So again guys, God is calling us to count the cost in these things because he wants to give us the blessings. He wants us to have everything that he said is ours but he doesn't want us to lose it by not counting the cost and moving strategically.
3) Counting the cost is to count the cost of war.
Going back to our anchor scripture Luke 14 and this one is verse 31-32. He says, “Can you imagine a king going into battle against another king without first deciding whether it is possible with his ten thousand troops to face the 20,000 troops of the other? “And if he decides that he can't, won't he send an emissary and work out a truth?” And in this one, Jesus was just giving examples but I want us to count the cost of war because like I was saying earlier, there is a responsibility that you have.
And a lot of you guys are called to these spheres of influence that are heavily dominated by demonic spirits that the enemy has really taken over and so you have to count the cost of war as well. That you're going to have to make sure that you have anointed yourself with oil before you go into certain spaces, that you've prayed over what spaces you're supposed to be in, that you've prayed over what clients you're supposed to bring in your business. If you're called to platforms that you're fasting and praying for the people that are called to you so that they're seeing things happen in their life.
I pray so hard for everybody who is attached to this show because God has allowed this platform to reach people for his glory in such an unconventional way. I don't take that for granted but I also don't underestimate how bad the enemy wants to shut me up and so I’m not going into anything blindly or I’m not underestimating any type of battle. And so I want you guys to understand the same thing, counting the cost for war means that you got to make sure that you're putting on your armor of God every single day.
That means that you have to spend those extended times in prayer and fasting as we talked about and so I’m not going to go too deep into this because we did a whole episode on how to not be blindsided by the enemy. I think it was episode 160 so please go back and listen to that and apply that to this point but make sure that you're counting the cost of war as well.
1) there is a lifestyle cost to being a disciple.
2) Ask yourself have you laid the infrastructure for what you're building.
3) Count the cost of war.
Thank you, guys, so much for listening to the show!