Written in HerStory | SJ Meeson
In her search of a group of women who shares her passion for God and business, SJ built a community that serves to empower women to push forward for God in their businesses. Christian Women in Business has served women all across the globe and continue to become a place where women can learn more about business and God in one place.
Hey SJ! Thank you so much for volunteering your time and sharing your life with us. To kick things off, in a speed dating style, tell us five fun facts about you.
I grew up in the land of Robin Hood, the king of thieves
I love mountain biking, skiing and climbing. They are my happy places.
My first business was wedding singing.
I played Mr. Bumble in a school play. *hahaha*
I admit that I wanted a fur baby before a human one. *hahaha*
That's so funny! I love it! Let’s get right to it - so, when you were 21 years old, you moved to Australia from UK. Was it a step of faith, or have you always wanted to move to Australia?
A complete last minute, I think it’s time to go travelling kind of choice… Where is the easiest place to work and travel? Australia, right that will do. I packed up my stuff and was on a plane 4 weeks later.
WOW! From your move to Australia, your “purpose” journey began. Now, you are a founder of Christian Women in Business, hosting podcasts and workshops and have impacted thousands of women around the world. Tell us about your journey and the path that led you into founding Christian Women in Business and the heart behind the movement.
That’s a really big question! It happened over a 10 year period *hahaha*. Let’s keep it simple.
I got into property investing and wanted to connect with other Christian women who were building businesses and investments so I formed a small bible study at our church and loved it. I got into digital marketing trying to help my husband set up a membership site for motocross coaching and got hooked, (he never went ahead) so I decided I was going to do something about it.
One day on the kitchen table, he had written down our strengths and under my name he wrote “to inspire women” and so I thought that would be a cool thing to do and put both passions together and formed Empowering Her Business (EHB) which was all about mentoring women, and from that I launched The Digital Project Manager which I helped businesses set up automations (now known as The Automation Girl). I decided in 2016, I was going to add God into EHB and into my marketing and that’s when Megan found my post on Instagram and said, “We have to chat”.
So we met on Skype and it was like we were long lost sisters. We couldn’t believe there wasn’t a place where all Christian women could get together and talk about God and business. After some time, (maybe 4/5 months of praying) I decided to search and see if CWIB domain was free, it was. So, I bought it. Told Megs it was a yes, (what a legend this woman is BTW Megan Horsfall from Happy Splat Design <<< If you don’t know her, you should, she rocks!) Megs told me not to worry about anything else and that she was going to take care of the branding and website design. And the rest is history.
Now we’ve impacted over 30,000 women across the globe (including NZ). We have a flourishing membership, active community, podcasts and a digital magazine, and it’s all for Him and all we want to do is encourage, strengthen and unite women in business. God’s taken care of the rest really. We’re so thankful for Him and how He makes our job very easy when we keep ourselves in His grace.
Wow! That's still an amazing journey even in a quick nutshell. Just getting a much bigger picture of your journey - did you blog at the start, followed by doing workshops and then speaking in events? Could you still remember the first time you hosted a workshop or was invited to speak in an event?
I started with podcasts for my business and have never really “blogged.” For me, it’s easier expressing things through speaking words. I’ve always been into drama and have been “on stage” since the age of 4 doing ballet as a little mouse in “Puss in Boots”, through to being an instructor in the Army Cadet Force in the UK, then to singing in the worship team at church.
My first ‘business’ workshop was about four years ago. I got a group of women who ran businesses in our church together and we spoke about God and helped each other brainstorm *hahaha.* It’s amazing how things work out. The first invite I had to speak at an event was when we were launching Christian Women in Business. We’ve all got to start somewhere, may as well be on the day you launch your business, lol.
Yes, so true! Were there lull moments when it came to running your business and ministry that it came to a lull for whatever reason? It may be for any sort of reason but one that is most common to many is when your brain just runs out of ideas to talk about. How did you handle this lull period and what were the ways that you got back up and kept going?
Hmmm, I can honestly say I haven’t reached a “lull” period in my business… The main reason I think this is its because I keep myself constantly within God’s grace and in a relationship with the Holy Spirit. I don’t make the things up that we talk about, God does! So that makes my job very easy. He lets me know what to talk about, and so I talk about it. If I'm in the podcast or on stage, He is my guide. In fact, I rely on God that much, that now I don’t prepare what I’m going to say at events until I’m there, because whenever I’ve planned out something to say, He’s guided me to do something different on the day, so I’ve given up on planning (which sounds completely opposite to what some tell you to do) but God is the one in control, not me. I’m just here for the ride. Let’s do this God…! WooHoo!
So good! As you went for and with the ride, what were the challenges that you went through in your business journey and how did you get back up and kept going? Was there a verse of scripture that you held onto?
We’ve had a few times in CWIB which I would definitely call as, “HOLY SMOKIN’ BACON GOD WHAT’S GOING ON?” moments *lol* spiritual warfare, attacks, division – no business is perfect.
I wouldn’t say I’ve had one particular scripture that’s helped me through it. Instead, I would say it’s the God time I have on a regular basis, and amazing team of intercessors & prayer warriors and angels that have got us through.
I make sure, like Jesus, I have my close circle of strong women, then a team under them. Then separate to all the inner circle and leaders, I have intercessors who are part of the community, but keep themselves separate so they aren’t “involved” in the pack but have a broad vision of what’s going on.
We have a God army you might say, ready to fight with God’s strength. I then make sure I have weekly God time where I get deep into the Word, like really deep, like, I’m aware of things now that are just blowing my mind, like Jesus and His authority!!! BLOWING MY MIND, GOD! That time with God praying (warrior praying) help me realise who I am in Him and what authority He brings. I’ve heard of “God confidence” but now I’m experiencing it.
Then finally, I rest.
A simple method of sitting in my PJ’s and doing nothing or getting out in the bush (woods/forest) on my mountain bike and breathing in the fresh air. I don’t think about business or anything, that too is resting to me.
You’d be amazed at how powerful it is to not think about your business and work on it can be. We need to rest more than we think we do.
Rest definitely is key when it comes to running a business, as well as trust and surrender. As a woman in business, start-ups are the thing of today as people around us take steps into making their dreams a living reality. What are your top five pieces of advice to women who want to take steps of faith towards their dreams and start their own business?
1. Don’t rush.
Pray and get yourself into God’s grace and pace before you do anything. Once you’ve got yourself in this habit, business will be a hell of a lot easier.
2. What’s the problem you’re going to solve?
Remember, a business is solving a problem for people. If the problem isn’t big enough, people won’t buy the solution.
3. Test the market before you do anything.
I see so many businesses start up and fail because they’ve not tested the market to see if their idea is something that people will actually buy. Attend something (hopefully with your target market, not your friends - friends are your easiest customers and will buy anything from you because they love you) and put your problem solver out in the open a little, and see if people show interest in it. If yes, great! Get their contact details and tell them you’ll let them know they’ll be the first to hear about it.
4. If step 2 & 3 work, go back to God and thank Him for the idea and ask Him to bless it.
Ask Him to help you find the right name that will be perfect for the problem you’re solving. Thank Him for the resources He will provide for you to help you get it set up. Thank Him for the wisdom you’re going to receive – because the first year in business, you’re going to realise all the things you don’t know and that’s a sucky moment in business. God is going to be the person to get you through it, so if you did step 1, you should be right.
5. Rest and take days off.
Even though you might feel like you’ve get heaps to do, if you’re in God’s grace, it will get done in the right time. Jesus didn’t run anywhere. He walked and He took days off and so should you. Jesus managed to get everything done in His three years in ministry. You have a lifetime to build your business, so take that day off each week.
So full of wisdom! We are almost the end of our interview *cue the tears* and we want to ask you two things that we strongly encourage in our community. Firstly, what does it mean to be a work in progress to you?
It means that we’re humble enough to understand that we can always learn from someone and to be a woman who knows she still has some much more to learn.
And secondly, we encourage women around us to practice self-celebration where we celebrate ourselves. To you, why is it important to celebrate us and our journey, and in what ways do you celebrate you?
I celebrate by paying myself and taking time out to explore the outdoors, whether it’s mountain biking with friends or climbing in the gym. This time out fills my soul and reminds me how blessed I am to live the life I do.
We always want to support the women we connect with because if we can’t support each other, who else would, right? Where to from here: Are there any goals that you are working towards on? Are there any workshops or speaking events that we need to look out for?
Always keep your eyes out for the next CWIB Digital Magazine, we like to develop pretty things for women in business that helps them feel refreshed in the Lord with practical tools to help them in the business. We also have a little something secret coming out very soon, if you subscribe to our email list we’ll let you know when it’s launched, but trust us, you’re going to LOVE it!
CWIB Website: www.christianwomeninbusiness.com.au
CWIB Instagram: @christianwomeninbusiness
CWIB Facebook: www.facebook.com/christianwomeninbusinessofficial
SJ's Instagram: @sarahjanemeeson