Do you feel like you’re praying for something and God either isn’t listening, or is God saying ‘No?’
God may not want for you what you want for yourself, so the answer may be ‘No.’ Or, He may want it for you, just Not Yet.
As It Relates to My Christian Tshirts Business…
Before I even bought the domain ‘jesus-t-shirts.com’ I consulted with Christian business coach, Rev. Ron Gelok. We had a lengthy virtual chat and he really liked my idea for Christian tshirts. We researched the domain name for viability and prayed over the business before I launched it.
The business idea just felt right. With the way things are going in the world, we can all use more Jesus! Being disabled and not leaving the house much except to go to church and church functions when I’m able to, I really believe in my business of putting God’s Word on t-shirts. They’re like moving, portable billboards.
You Have to DO Something, My Child
I launched my business back around 2013-14 and it hasn’t been all that successful. I haven’t really sold much. And I don’t spend money on marketing; my advertising budget is about zero.
Now, I didn’t go into this business with the idea of ‘If you build it, they will come.’ I knew I had to do some marketing and I also had to come up with hundreds, if not thousands of designs for my shop. I haven’t reached that yet.
I went through a couple of years of a deep slump after my little brother was in a fatal motorcycle accident on New Year’s Day 2017. It’s now spring of 2021 and it’s only been recently that I’ve gotten the motivation to get moving again on my t-shirt business.
So should I really expect God to say ‘Yes. I will make this business successful for you.’ I think the delay in success is me; God saying, ‘You have to do this, My child, so get moving!‘ Do I think, is God saying ‘No, this isn’t going succeed?’ No. I believe it’s been my lack of motivation holding me back. I have to take responsibility for this myself.
The Downside Yet Importance of Social Media Marketing
Like I said, I’m rarely spending any money on marketing. I have an annual payment for my domain name and monthly payment for my web hosting. That’s minimal and affordable. I don’t use any paid ads, but I do subscribe to PlaceIt.net for help in designing the t-shirts and creating mock-up images and videos to use on social media.
Since social media is ‘where it’s at’ today, it’s critical to get noticed on the various platforms, especially Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
But with some platforms, I’ve had to find a work-around because a couple of these platforms are outright anti-God, anti-Jesus and anti-Christian. I am literally blocked from sharing this blog link – my business link – on two of the platforms, namely Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook did let me create a business page with the name “jesustshirtsbykaren.” Since Facebook owns Instagram, I figured I’d try to put my Facebook business page link in my profile, and it worked! So now I can share my designs and business on Instagram instead of using the link directly to my shop or to my YouTube channel.
So far both YouTube and Twitter still allow me to use my direct website link in my video descriptions. Yes, thank God for that because they both need Jesus!
Shadow Banning Conservatives and Christians
Another downside to using social media as a Christian business is the blatant disregard for God on some of these platforms. Now, I can’t prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, but I believe my content gets ‘shadow banned‘ from Google searches and YouTube searches primarily.
I actually stopped using Google as my default search engine for that reason and use DuckDuckGo. My content actually shows up on their search engine, as do many of the conservative media I subscribe to.
It’s Not About the Money
I didn’t start this business as a primary way to make an income. I’m disabled and unable to go out and get a “real” job. My primary income is Social Security Disability, but we all know how far that goes when you have a mortgage and bills.
Fortunately, God gave me a talent for writing, so that is how I earn my supplemental income, through a site called TextBroker where I get paid to write content for other peoples’ blogs. It’s not a ‘full time’ income, mind you, and it’s not meant to be. But it allows us to make sure our bills are paid on time without running out of cash before the end of the month.
So if I didn’t start my t-shirt business to make money, then why do it? Not everything has to be about money. Remember, the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
I’m not a preacher, Sunday School teacher, evangelist or missionary, so putting messages on t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, etc., is my way of ‘planting the seed’ of salvation. It makes people think and since almost all of my designs have a Bible verse reference, I always pray that those who see my designs will open a Bible and look up the passage that the design words refer to.
That is my primary motivation for this business – spreading the Word of God. And if people who see my designs learn something and it leads them to the Lord, that’s great. I am successful, even if they don’t make an actual purchase. If they buy my t-shirts or other apparel or accessories, that’s a plus, obviously.
But my primary way of making a supplemental income is with my writing. The Christian tshirts business is secondary.