Have you ever wondered what mindset you need to succeed as a podcaster? Or maybe you’d like to know the secrets behind my success and never giving up? Welcome to part three of the behind the business series! Today’s blog covers a Q&A about the Holy Spirit-led mindset that has gotten this podcast I started four years ago to a 1,000,000-download show and thriving online business.
Thrive in Your Podcast and Business With a Holy Spirit-Led Mindset! Q&A with Stefanie Gass
Today’s blog features a Q&A with Stef Gass and Lydia, Stef’s right-hand woman. These questions were pulled from The Stef Gass Show community over on Facebook, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t already!
Get ready to dive into the Holy Spirit-led mindset which has allowed this podcast and business to succeed!
1. What did you do when you wanted to throw in the towel?
First of all, I allowed myself to feel the thing; I cried and whined. Wanting to throw in the towel is a real emotion, but it’s not valid! It’s important to take the time to feel the thing that you are going through. For me, it can be for an evening, a couple of days, or even a season. Let it be what it will be because if you stuff it away and refuse to look at it, it will turn ugly.
Once you’ve let it out, pray and surrender it to the Lord. Sit with God and find out what He has to say about what you are going through, the emotions and feelings. Then, inventory it; why do I feel like I want to throw in the towel?
Once you’ve felt it, prayed, surrendered, and inventoried, the fourth step is to do the opposite. Press forward, and go even harder on it. Doing the opposite of your feelings will help get you over that hump.
The last step is to keep going. Trust in God with unwavering trust (see Psalm 26). Even though you want to quit, God isn’t a quitter, and you can grab His coattails and let Him drag you if you need to. Stand firm on your commitment to not quitting. A Holy Spirit-led trust will keep you going!
2. How do you balance growing the business with honoring the Lord? Making the BIG goals but guarding your heart, head, and ego from, look what I did here?!
Firstly, I stay in the Word. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s true. It’s that easy. Yes, we all fall away from it at points, including me! But when I realize I’m being super grumpy or triggered by my kids or husband, it reminds me that I haven’t been in the Word in the last few days.
There is something about sitting with God every morning, even just for 10 minutes. It refreshes us and helps us focus on how I glorify God today in my business, which results in this culmination of glorifying God in every single step and outcome.
I also know that everything I have is from Him, for Him, and by Him. But, He’s called me to have a seat at that table. Before, when I’d built my business my way, it was hard. It was so hard, and all the money I had to show for it was by my own strength. I had to force it; it was exhausting, hustling and sacrificing things that God wanted me to be.
But now, it’s been easy with God helping me build this kingdom business. It’s been light, fun, filling, and balanced. It’s been Holy Spirit-led every step of the way. So I know God did this piece because it feels and looks different. I like to describe this business as God being the CEO and me being His integrator, action taker, the hands and feet. It’s teamwork, you and God.
3. How do you keep going when you aren’t seeing instant results or aren’t making any money yet?
While so many other coaches are like, you need to work harder, do more. But no. The situation is, don’t jump off the bridge unless there is water underneath. You don’t know how long God needs to prepare you. I thought I was ready five years ago, but there were all these pieces that God was still doing. At one point, God prompted me to hire an accountant and a bookkeeper, which seemed crazy then. But, as soon as I had all those pieces set up, boom. My business exploded, and I was hiring an employee and needed an HR. God knew the pieces I needed.
You don’t know when you’re ready or how long it will take. Don’t jump off the bridge and try and force something to happen by quitting your job if you have no water underneath. And by water, I mean money. If you’re not making any money, don’t quit your job. Even if you hate your job, it pays the bills. Maybe you can phase out? Go part-time? Unless God has told you extremely clearly, it’s not wise to quit your job until you start making money.
God’s plan is Holy Spirit-led
If you are panicking for revenue, it shows. When the money is gone, it gets ugly. If you are panicking, trying to do everything to make money in your own strength, that’s when you grow away from God’s plan for your life. You grow away from God when you think you are in control of making up that financial difference.
My advice is to take it slow. Let your side hustle be just a side hustle until it’s not anymore until it grows past the point of being a side hustle. Also, recognize what’s realistic for you in that season. I see in hindsight that God wasn’t giving me the breakthrough then because I had these little babies, and He wanted me to chill and be with them. Have a Holy Spirit-led approach to this decision and trust that God’s timing is perfect.
Let go of the outcome and just show up for the work.
4. How do you get your family to back your dream in the busiest times? Some entrepreneurs feel estrangement because their families can’t understand why they can’t be fully present during those peak times.
I find it comes back to two C’s. Communication and Compromise. Firstly, any time we tell someone how it is, it won’t be well received. We have to be careful about how we communicate.
As entrepreneurs, it’s vital to look at our business in seasons. You will have sprints in your business and restful seasons. It is not the same every month or even every day. You’ve got to be mindful of what’s coming up, so you can prepare your family.
Personally, I sit down with my husband (include your kids as well if they’re older) and say, “next week, I’ve got ____ coming up. I just wanted to remind you I’m going to be super busy. Is there any way, you can take dinners? How I can help you be successful? How can I help support you?”. I make it about him and the kids, not about me needing time. It’s all about semantics.
Ask for help and support!
The only reason your family wouldn’t be supportive of you is if they are afraid of the loss of you; your support, time, focus, and all the things they look to you for as a core pillar in the family. It all comes back to how I can support you to be successful while I’m working a lot next week. Do we need to pull in any outside support?
Once you’ve supported them, now, how can they support you because you need this focused time? One of the best pieces of advice I have gotten is you’ve got to ask for what you need in a clear way. You have to be clear. As women, we struggle with this, dance around what we need, and then get passive-aggressive when it doesn’t happen. It’s hard to ask for help, especially if you are the CEO and are used to just showing up and doing everything. But it’s really important to ask for help!
Also, if people get weird about your dreams, it is often just a reflection of where they are. So don’t let someone else’s stuff attach to you. Love them through it and have compassion for them but not stopping. If you know where you are called to go, go with communication, compromise, and compassion, knowing that God will make a way for you.
5. Who are your top 3 mentors, and why did you choose them?
Lastly, my father-in-law is my business mentor. He runs a very successful small business where we live, and he’s who I go to for all my business, finance, hiring, legal, taxes, etc., questions and advice.
Currently, I have a mentor in almost every area of my life. It’s been an evolution and takes a lot of time, energy, and effort.
If you’d like a mentor but can’t afford one, trade services! That’s how I started with Jess; we traded business coaching for health coaching for a year.
As for why I chose them, I wouldn’t say I chose them; rather, God led them to me or vice versa.
6. Have you ever taken long breaks or sabbaticals, and if so, how did you navigate those start and stop seasons?
While I’ve never taken a sabbatical for my faith, we do take long family holidays. I guess it depends on what you mean by long, we tend to go away for 10-14 days, but I know people who take entire summers off. I also know someone who’s taken a whole year off before.
You’ve got to decide and discern what that looks like for you. I recommend starting small and practicing, ensuring you have all your systems set up. I go all in before I leave, pre-record all the podcast episodes, and have meetings with my team to ensure all their bases are covered.
Lydia is also brought up a level because she has to cover all the gaps of me being gone. I also have to ensure she’s not out, doesn’t have things going on, is healthy, etc., so she can pick up my slack. Then, I kinda disappear, they know how to get a hold of me in an emergency, but aside from that, I’m gone. Once I’m back, though, I’m back with a vengeance!
7. What kind of mastermind are you personally in?
I’ve been in peer-led masterminds for the last six years, and I love them. A peer-led mastermind is when you get together with a group of people at a similar stage to you in business, priorities, etc. For example, if faith is important to you, is it important to them? I don’t normally join big paid masterminds because it’s a big group of people who aren’t yoked with me, and I haven’t found them to be that helpful.
So what I do is hand-pick a small group of people who are where I am, and then we get together and jam. I’ve been in my current mastermind for about two years, and we started with six women, which has dropped to three naturally and organically (which will happen!). We meet bi-weekly, pray, and work on different launch tactics, podcast growth ideas, or personal issues.
These people stand beside you and guide you to make the right choices in your business, but they also become a bigger piece; they become friends. That’s the kind of mastermind that I love, but you will have to play with it and try different things to see what fits you best. Make sure your decision is Holy spirit-led!
8. As you grow bigger and bigger, have you noticed more criticism and haters? If so, how has that affected you in your business, and what are some tips to stay focused on God and your mission?
I have had a few haters and critics but, thankfully, not too many; I believe it’s my niche. It does get me down for a bit; we’ve had some mean emails come in and grumpy-pants people. And for 30 minutes, I do go down into a bit of a spiral; as Lydia pointed out, things feel really big for me in the moment with my personality type. So I usually go on a bit of a spiral for 30 minutes, wonder if I suck or should quit, and I get a heightened emotion of some kind, like anger or defensiveness. But then, I’m pretty good at turning to the people who are very grounded in my life, and they help talk me through it; we pray, and then typically, God will release it for me so I can move forward quickly. I get a Holy Spirit-led peace that allows me to move on. One great indicator of where you are in your spiritual maturity is how quickly you can surrender this thing to the Lord.
In the past, I would have held on to something for a week, but now, mostly, I can move on within 24 hours.
Handling criticism the Holy Spirit-led way
Remember, if someone is throwing hate or criticism your way, it’s not about you; there’s actually something else going on. One great stretch exercise you can do is to pray for that person right there at that moment. Because whatever is going on for them is causing that hardness, hurt, or pain to come out of their mouth and attack other people. So they obviously need prayer, which has helped transform my heart about what they might be going through.
So there you have part three of the behind-the-business series. A Holy Spirit-led mindset is vital when growing a kingdom business. One of the best things you can do for your business is to put your head down, focus on what God has called you to do, and not look up. Not for the haters, difficult family members, and especially if you aren’t making money or instant results. And remember, no matter what you do when incorporating your family and business, compromise with them and communicate with compassion. They love you; show love back to them.