Anything worth doing will always cost something. The problem is often when you are venturing out into new territory, you don’t always know what the cost will be.

You may weigh out the perceived risks or sacrifices involved and try and decide whether it’s “worth the cost,” but you will not really know the true cost of starting that new business, church, or non-profit until you do it. You don’t know what it will take when you decide to get healthy, sign up for that marathon, or decide to try something new, or take a risk in a relationship. You won’t know until you actually try.

The truth is: you may not really know the cost of doing something of value and meaning until you actually step out and do it.

The truth is: many times the cost of doing something worth doing will be more than you imagined, but the benefit can also be so much more.

The truth is: most people who have done anything great have hustled, worked, sacrificed, put in the time, and there has been great cost. And most people who have done great things have failed over and over along the way, but have picked themselves back up and kept going.

What we often don’t see when we look at what we consider to be “successful” people (another blog for another time) is the blood, sweat and tears behind it all. We don’t get to see the business owner doing hours of inventory at his home before any employees were ever hired, we don’t get to see the writer revising and editing again and again until the words on the screen become blurry, we don’t get to see the artist setting up the paint and canvas and working into all hours of the night, we don’t see the musician practicing the guitar until her fingers bleed, we don’t see the athlete up at the crack of dawn for another grueling workout.

What we do see is the end product. And the problem with this in our fast-paced, instant gratification society is that we want the end goal now. And we don’t want it to cost anything. Often times, we don’t want to sacrifice. We want results, but we don’t want to put in the hard work it takes to get there.

There are no short cuts to real, meaningful gains.

The question is, what will you do when what you are doing starts to cost you something? Will you give up? Will you abandon the dream and the goal before you or lean in further?

In planting and re-planting a church from scratch we have learned that there are several things that are incredibly helpful in leaning into your goals and dreams when it starts to cost you something.

Make sure you are pursuing these things when you are going after your goals and dreams:

1. Community– don’t go it alone!

Whether you are an artist or an entrepreneur, … don’t go it alone. Find your people.

This sole factor will make all the difference on the days you feel like throwing in the towel. There is solidarity in community and in a tribe of people who are going after their dreams and goals together.

2. Stay balanced– it can’t always be work. Things will have to be moved around and shifted in order to meet your goals, but don’t give up doing the things that give you life.   Take time to rest along the way.

3. Set small goals and when you accomplish them, celebrate and take a break. Even if it’s just a 5 minute walk around the block before you get back at it.

4. Find a mentor- find someone or some people that have gone before you and done similar work and lean on them. Ask questions, stay humble and take advice. Learn from their mistakes and from their successes. Allow them to speak into your situations and share their own experiences.

5. Remember that there are seasons- if you are starting a business, or church or non-profit, there will be a season (the first 3-5 years actually) where the work will be very heavy and most the weight will be on you. Remember, that it’s not forever and that once you establish a healthy foundation, you will begin to be able to hand off some of the load.

6. Embrace failure- you will fail and make mistakes along the way and it’s all part of the journey. Don’t fear it. Grow from it.

7. Make sure that it’s costing the right things– regularly check in with your values for your life. Is it costing you valuable relationships? Is it compromising your faith or your integrity in any way? If it is costing you any of these things- it’s time to re-evaluate and make changes.

While doing anything meaningful in this life is costly, it’s also so often worth the cost. Keep going! Dance, create, work, sweat, write, sing, run, stack those boxes, tally that inventory, play that instrument, push through the uncomfortable. You are not alone! You have a creator who designed you uniquely for your task and an army of people who are walking beside you!

Jen Wood

Author Jen Wood

Born and raised in Southern California, Jen loves the beach, spending time with loved ones and being active. She believes wholeheartedly in living life to it’s fullest and that following God is the greatest adventure you could ever experience.

More posts by Jen Wood

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