Integrating Work and Faith with Kaylan Thomson
With the knack of creating from a young age, Kaylan Thomson turned her passion for dreaming, seeing, writing and creating into a content strategy business. She is the owner and founder of Bushel & Bunch, a faith-founded content strategy and management agency for online entrepreneurs with heart, faith and mission.
She helps women pioneer their businesses and find the real heart and story to create marketing strategies.
Kaylan is a woman who walks by faith and strongly integrates this in her work both in her full-time job and business.
What was your childhood like and how has it influenced you to who you are now?
As a kid, I was always wrangling my two younger sisters into games I created. I remember converting my walk-in closet one year into a library and took all the books in the house to fill it up. I decked it out with a bean bag and a desk and even created laminated library cards. My sisters and I would play for hours and hours day after day. I was always creating little “worlds” like that and it brought me so much joy to see my sisters enjoy what I had created. I guess that’s where my entrepreneurial drive comes from - the joy of creating and seeing the creation being enjoyed and used.
What was the path that led you into discovering and founding Bushel & Bunch? What inspired the name?
I’ve always known I wanted to run my own business, but it never took shape until this past year when I created my first blog Honest Womanhood, a faith-based inspirational blog. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew I needed to just start, so I began writing. As things evolved and I grew in passion and knowledge for content creation and strategy, I shifted my blog to form Bushel & Bunch, the business that I run today!
The name is a tribute to the two women in my life who have believed in me the most - my mom and grandmama. My grandmama would always say, “I love you a bushel and a peck,” it was like her motto. And my mom always says, “love you bunches!” So, Bushel & Bunch!
Tell us more about your ministry. How did your passion for people turn into your ministry? What is the heart behind it?
I believe businesses and ministries come from the strengths God gave us. Mine has always been dreaming, seeing, writing and creating - the four keys to being able to envision a future and develop a content strategy that gets you there. My passion is to help others cultivate and channel those same strengths to create content that serves their audience and grows their business or ministry. I serve entrepreneurial women by helping them determine their business goals and then map out content strategies that help get them there, showing them how to uniquely position their brand across social media platforms, their blog, website, email marketing, etc. to grow their communities and businesses. As entrepreneurs, we tend to think we have to “do it all,” but really we need to clearly see our goals, determine the few, powerful steps we need to take to get there, map them out, and execute. I help women do just that.
The millennial generation is all about starting up their own business. As a business and content strategist, what is your advice for young women who want to put their name in their industry of interest?
Just begin. That is the most important thing. We freeze up and fail to move forward with our dreams because we haven’t yet become the person or the business we envision for ourselves. We see this beautiful future and believe we can’t start until things look like that. That is a lie from the enemy and he’s using it to destroy God’s work in us. I’ve discovered and am continuing to learn that our job is to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, take the first step, and follow the rest of the way. He will lead when we follow.
"I’ve discovered and am continuing to learn that our job is to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, take the first step, and follow the rest of the way.
He will lead when we follow."
Women who start their own business or even a blog have a lot of drive at the very beginning. What is your "secret sauce" in keeping the momentum?
I fight demotivation every day, and honestly, I’ve been in a season of succumbing to it. I recently had a breakdown while sitting in my car on my lunch break (I still work a 9-5 as well), and was just listening and believing the lies of the enemy. He kept trying to tell me that this unmotivation is proof I’m not cut out for this journey, that I’m on the wrong path entirely.
Here’s what I did to fight it. I pretended I was me one year from now, talking to myself as I cried in my car, and I gave myself a pep talk. It was kind of like a prophetic prayer, in a strange way, because I felt the Holy Spirit speaking my words. I told myself,
“You are strong, you are learning, and you are growing. This part of the journey is painful, but that’s so incredibly good. You’re learning to chase the things that matter and learn why they matter. One year from now you will be a different person, a stronger person who has grown and evolved and pushed herself and created something beautiful. You have no idea what’s coming - it’s going to be amazing. But to find out what it is, you have to get out of this car and make a move. What’s it going to be?”
I got out of the car with the decision to journal every day - to write my fears and to watch myself grow. I’m ready to accept the pain of trudging on when the motivation disappears. That’s my secret sauce I guess, that you just keep going.
Many women start up their business or ministry part-time along with their full-time jobs. What is your advice in making a part-time passion into a full-time profitable ministry?
Soak in the now. It’s easy to start resenting your full time job and think “If only” all day long. But your full-time job is a blessing! It allows you to fund your dream and continue your livelihood while you pursue your passions. Yes, it’s hard to do both. Yes, you will feel the pain of working two full-time jobs. But, what better training for your coming years in entrepreneurship? I’m learning to embrace the hardship because I know a stronger me awaits on the other side.
What has been a challenge for you in working with your clients?
My biggest challenge in working with clients is learning how my personality best serves others. The services I offered when I began are completely different than the ones I offer now because I learned what worked for me and what didn’t. The services or products I offer a year from now will be different too. It’s all about being willing to listen and adapt.
As a content strategist, how do you value intentionality and vulnerability in your blogs and your ministry?
Being authentic and heart-driven is the number one thing our content needs from us. It needs us to see and listen to the needs of others, to be completely in touch with our own strengths, and to listen to the leading of the Lord so we can lead and serve others with intention, transparency and humility.
"Being authentic and heart-driven is the number one thing our content needs from us."
What is your relationship with God?
It’s ever-evolving and growing and fluctuating. Becoming an entrepreneur has been both the most straining and the most connecting thing that has ever happened to my walk with God. It’s straining because there’s even less time in the day to connect with Him, but He’s the foundation to my whole mission and business, so it’s shown me sides of Him that I had never seen before. It’s been amazing.
What is a verse of scripture that has helped you along the way and why?
“The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:24)
When I feel weak, I remember that I didn’t call myself here - He did. If He called me, He has a plan for me and will show me what step to take next.
As a faith-driven entrepreneur, what are your thoughts in integrating faith and work?
Faith is the foundation to our work, otherwise why are we even working? We work because God has called us to a purpose and mission - you can’t separate our earthly pursuits from our calling and our faith. They are one.
Lastly, what does it mean to be a work in progress to you?
Being a work in progress, to me, means submitting completely to the Lord’s work in me. It means submitting my own plans for myself and allowing Him to always work and build in my life, my spirit, my relationships and my business.
So, where to from here: what does the future look like for Bushel & Bunch?
I’m 21 weeks pregnant right now, so the future for my business is a beautiful, blank slate and I have no idea what the Lord will draw on it. I will say that I’m working on a content creation and strategy online course as well as product that I’m looking to launch in the next year. Exciting things are ahead, and I’m excited for the adventure!