When I retired in 2013 from the U.S. Navy after 21.7 years, I stepped out on faith to start my business Inspirationally Speaking, LLC as a professional motivational speaker. In addition, I was simultaneously writing my first book to self-publish. I prayed, planned, researched, and got mentors because I knew the make or break point for a small start-up business was between three to five years, and I needed to give myself the best chance to succeed. Like any company, I needed clients to take a chance and give my services a try. I made phone calls, mailed letters, sent emails, attended networking events, scheduled meetings, asked for referrals, and followed up on everything. Some doors opened and many other times my direct approach (the elevator) had me chasing my tail, only to get delayed and denied. Even though I was discouraged, I focused my energy elsewhere and figured the doors I wanted to open, were just not for me.
Now, I am coming up on my third year business anniversary. I have kept God first, tried to remain humble, and built a consistent brand. I am here to testify that the doors that I peeked through or that never opened for me, are about to swing wide open that not even the devil can shut. I didn't realize it in the beginning, but I understand now that God is the ultimate strategist. The route he had me take (the stairs) was long, windy, and unknown. Although my journey has been exhausting (and still have a ways to go), it has taken me to a huge penthouse filled with people who are willing to come alongside the vision. Contrary to the route I tried to take earlier, it would have led to a small janitor's closet with mice and roaches. So please stay encouraged and don't despise small or slow beginnings. Do not give up, sometimes the reward is bigger than you can imagine when you have to climb the stairs. The direct and easy route may not always be the best or safest. Habakkuk 2:3 "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." Trust the process and know that a delay or denial does not always mean defeat.