Two days ago, after three months of prayer, and preparation, we officially launched our new business. I felt a wave of emotions from relief to joyful anticipation to uncertainty. I ran to Ralph after emailing our announcement. “Can we please pray?” We immediately embraced and Ralph began to pray first, bringing relief to my soul.
(Photo taken by Liam Campbell)
As the day continued, doubtful thoughts flooded my mind. Classic enemy tactic. In my head, I was already planning my next business. The one that makes more sense. The one that requires a lot less faith.
Yesterday at church, one of the main points in the message was about many of the things we talk about in this business and want to help people with. We both snickered and nodded as the pastor talked. I have never heard anyone talk about this from the pulpit and we hear it preached THE DAY AFTER WE LAUNCH. Do you know what that told me? That we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing. That we launched exactly when God wanted us to and not a day later.
Ralph jokingly said during the service, “what, are we supposed to be pastors?” Though I would not take on that title, I knew what Ralph meant. I laughed to myself when he said it. It’s the first time he has said it, but not the first time I thought something similar to it OR the first time someone else has said it to me.
After church, my mind was consumed with the gigantic feat of getting this business out in the marketplace. People online need thousands upon thousands of “followers” to sell much of anything. As of today, we have about 80 on our blog, 95 on instagram, 183 on Facebook and 46 on TikTok. That’s 407. I really do not like marketing.
I couldn’t think as we grocery shopped. Ralph was so patient with me as I was in another world. He took my hand and hugged me multiple times as I quietly pondered. I love this man.
In the afternoon, he hugged me again and said, “God hasn’t stopped providing for us yet.” I responded, “there’s no ‘yet.’ He won’t EVER stop providing for us’” I knew what Ralph meant, but IT needed to be declared between the two of us that God won’t ever stop providing for us. I’m sure the enemy was seething.
We’ve never seen anything like what we have built and envisioned. It has been extremely difficult trying to figure out how to shape this business. To be quite honest, we don’t know if it’s ultimately where it’s going to land. We have prepared and done what the Lord has revealed to us and strongly moved us towards so far. He's in the lead. We simply follow.
We have had about ten meetings that have gone until well after midnight with a wonderful online coach. He has been exactly what I needed to get this launched. A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to meet him in person. He was visiting Florida and generously and surprisingly offered to meet up with us. We trusted that this was from the Lord and drove the hour and a half with the kids in tow to meet him for a couple of hours.
Towards the end of this meeting the coach saw a glimpse of my photography website. Though he knew I had that experience, seeing a few of my photos sparked something in him. He was very honest and forthright with me and proceeded to give his professional opinion about the very clear asset I had that could make us money a heck of a lot sooner.
How do you respond to a successful online business man that very clearly knew what he was doing and talking about in his field? It made total sense and we all knew it. I told him that I agreed completely. My skill in photography was not forgotten. Further monetizing my photography skills has been discussed before. Early on, I started building something relating to photography, but I just knew it wasn't the the right time for it.
I can’t explain it other than God. I had to do this business first even if it made no sense. Does the way God works ever make logical sense? Financially, as we watch our account drain much faster than we can refill it, it would be a lot easier to go the photography route.
Doing something surrounding photography is still in the back of my mind for another business. Just not yet. I must do what has the ability to greatly impact our world first. Even if it makes no sense to most everyone.
(How did we manage three boys during a two hour meeting? We stopped at the library on the way, let them pick out their own movies and promised them hamburgers and shakes after the meeting. When we aren't big screens and restaurant people, this is a big deal!)
Faith. The more I live in it, the greater the mountain before me and yet the easier it is to climb. No, God will not fail to provide. Though our resources have become more scarce, they are still there. We still have what we need.
(Photo credit: Liam Campbell)
We are embarking on our most uncomfortable journey yet. This new business demands a big online presence and calls for consistent posting. Neither one of us like to be seen or have chosen to take the time to share a lot of things online. God is funny.
(Photo credit: Liam Campbell)
The other challenging thing for me is caring about how I will be perceived. It’s the people pleaser and people lover in me. To say that I have been learning to let go of what people think about me is an understatement. Ralph and I have undergone a tremendous amount of refinement in last three months. God is doing a new thing and it’s good.
Ralph, my man of integrity, could care less about what other people think or say about him. It’s one of the many reasons for why I adore this man, but I digress. To my surprise, out of nowhere, he said to me yesterday, “I can do the marketing because I don’t care.” My knight in shining armor is coming to my rescue again.
I used to say to Ralph all the time that I wished I had someone to do all the sales and marketing for my photography business. Just let me show up and take the photos. The same thing is proving to be true with this new business venture. Just let me create.
Ralph is very good at selling and I’m good at creating. It’s almost as if God had known this all along when He intersected our lives 20 years ago. We just had to go through a few big things first, but I digress again.
The last three months have been some of our most transformative times yet. I am including our boys in this, too. Overall, they have been used to Mom at home most of the time and Dad around on evenings and weekends. Building a business, creating and designing a website for it is no small feat with three boys at home at ages 10 and under. The temptation to put them in school has never been greater. Trying to create a routine where Ralph can do stock trading and I can work on this business has been extremely challenging for all of us. None the less, our conviction to have them home with us remains.
Two weeks ago, we decided to utilize a new platform for the business side of Simply Campbell that would better serve our future people. Because our blog has already been established on one platform, we didn’t want to move all of that content over to the new one. I had to figure out how to connect the two. Our website was down for almost three days, but I figured it out. Then I had to learn a brand new platform. The one that is supposed to generate an income. No biggie. (Sarcasm intended).
So what is this new business? I still feel a little silly when I share it because it’s so different. Not that I should be surprised by that. Like Ralph said yesterday, “Courtney, we’re different. We’re not like most of America.”
That being said, we are selling simplicity with the intent to move people to the point of wholeness. Over the years, through our own experiences, observing others, and knowing A LOT of people’s stories, we have seen a common problem which leads to much brokenness. People are too busy. In America, it’s actually something to be proud of, but it’s ruining lives.
Marriages, families, children, finances, bodies, and faiths are suffering. We want to help people wake up to this reality, if they haven’t already, and help them through the process of getting out of that vicious cycle. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. We are partnering with Jesus in helping to bring life back and to its fullest.
This is only the beginning. We are in the formulative months. We have a lot of great content and fun ideas planned for this business. As our coach said, “there’s just a milk crate to sit on to begin with, but it’ll grow. A year from now, it’ll look much different.”
That being said, we are humbly asking you, the reader of a few things:
1. If you feel drawn to this idea, take a step of faith and join us in this online community.
2. If you think someone you know could benefit from this, pass it along, or perhaps gift it to them.
3. If you are interested, but not ready, put your email address in here to stay in the loop with how this progresses.
4. Please pray for us. It may seem like a small request, but its impact is greater than can be imagined.
The link to check our business out further is here: www.simplycampbell.com/community.
If you want to join, click this link and put in the coupon code CYBERWEEK to receive 35% off the monthly or annual membership for life. Offer ends Monday, December 4, 2024 at 11:59P.M.