Seeking God first in your business with Polly Payne; this is episode 3 of 4 of the Faith-Filled Business Series on the Book More Clients Photography Podcast.
Today, we have a special guest for the Faith-Filled Business Series, I am honored to welcome Polly Payne.
Polly is a wife, mom of two, a daughter of the King and Christian entrepreneur. She loves coffee and dancing. She started Horacio Printing when she was living on Horatio Street in Manhattan in 2014, her first product built was the Dream Planner, and since then she has built other products; Bible studies, journals and seasonal subscription boxes. Through building her business over the past couple of years, people began reaching out to her about coaching and that brings her to where she is today, and part of why I asked her to be a guest for the Faith-filled Business Series.
I’m loving being able to present different perspectives of what it looks like to partner with God in our businesses. So, I want to ask you, Polly, how do you partner with God in your business?
Polly: Great question. I’m a spherical thinker. So, when you give me a question, I think in a bunch of different directions. If I have to get granular with, how do I partner with God right now in my business? When I sit down to work in my business, one of the first things I do is I give my first time to God. Let’s say I have a two-hour work block, my first little time in that work block is going to be dedicated to just centering on God. Because above all else, guard your heart, everything you do flows from it. Heart centering is critical, I believe.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I sit down and just get into work, something’s on fire or whatever the case may be, I don’t have a perfect streak on this. This is just what I’ve seen that is successful. And, while I don’t have a perfect streak with this, more times than not, I do prioritize that time with God first. That’s how I would tell someone to partner with God in their business.
Especially if you want to start with your creative work. Let’s say you want to write an email of encouragement, or you want to work on a nurture sequence for your customers, get centered on the fruits of the Spirit or in God’s Word first. God is creative, and when you tap into his divine creativity, you’re going to be more creative, more at peace, and calm versus sitting down with the stress of, ” how do I get more clients today” or “how am I going to make it all work”.
You need to give it to God before you get into work, because that’s going to make you more creative as well.
So, being real here; I was just a workaholic, and basically, I felt God speak to me and say, I’m going to take your gift, this gift I gave you of connecting with people and building relationships. I’m turning this into a ministry. That was a moment that really was a catalyst of a big divine shift in my life. First off, because I was living in such a disconnected from my soul place, I was a mess. I was partying too much for sure, and in that moment, having God speak to my soul, was awakening because I didn’t feel like I deserved that. Saying, “God, are you serious”?
So, it was this real moment for me of now I have to get serious, and so I partnered with God at the very beginning. That was kind of the moment God started turning this into a ministry. It started with God, and I knew from the beginning, it wouldn’t succeed without him.
Brooke: What an incredible story!
I love that you brought up two things. And the first one is, that you’re a creative and an artist. We as photographers, get into seasons or head spaces where we don’t feel creative. We feel like we’re just doing the mundane things, on repeat, there’s nothing about it that’s creative or different. I know that the reason photographers get into that space is because they fill their entire schedules, and they don’t give themselves that dedicated whitespace and time in their schedule to get alone to get quiet, lean into God and just be in that space.
Because we don’t have that whitespace on our calendars, and our society is go, go, go, hustle, hustle, hustle, you can’t slow down. If you’re not doing something for a 2, 4, 6-hour block, then you’re worthless. That’s literally what I feel like society screams at us. So, I love the point that you made, Polly, it’s time to get rid of distractions.
The second thing: putting God first and I’m like you, I try to dive into my Bible, spend time with the Lord first before opening my laptop and starting my workday. I feel like it is the cliche statement of, “I fill my cup first so that I can pour out to others”, and as cliche as it is, it’s true. And, like you, Polly, I’m also not perfect at this, but I do recognize the difference in my day & the value in seeking God first in your business.
Polly: So good.
I’m currently reading this book called Silence and Solitude. The forward is by Dallas Willard, and he says, “it’s not that we need more time, we all think we need more time, but if we had more time, we would continue to fill it with what we’re filling out time with now”. That hit me because that’s probably true. I’d fill it with another TV show or another hour scrolling, or what I call reflex addictions that we have to break of that reflex for the phone. Dallas continues to say, “we don’t need more time, we need to make a decision and follow a practice and the decision is to let the outcome belong to God”. “To still show up and do your work, bring your excellence & do what you can do with what you know, and give the outcome to God”.
It’s getting alone with God, even if it’s just 5or 10 minutes with a timer, and it’s not just about reading a Bible study, the Bible, or listen to something and talk about it. It’s literally silence, which is not easy to do, it’s a hard practice, you’ll be terrible at it at first, but just sitting down in literal silence, opening your palms and saying, “welcome Jesus, I’m here”. Sit in the stillness, let your soul reconnect to your body, to God. It’s life changing.
Brooke: You’re speaking to me, here, Polly. I am also going through a season of where God is saying, “you don’t have to be busy all the time. Every time I pull out my planner, and I start planning for the week ahead, or when an opportunity for a podcast interview or something else happens, I always hear this little whisper of, “leave the whitespace in the calendar”. Give time to God, give him room to move, give him the whitespace in your calendar.
That’s something I have been moved and convicted by. I will be the first to tell you, I am super uncomfortable with silence. In fact, it feels like you’re doing something wrong. It’s weird, you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t know what to do with this”, and that’s because we do have all these addictions of needing validation, receiving notifications or meeting someone. It takes hard work to undo what we have set up. It’s not something Polly can give you, it’s not something I can give you; you have to do it for yourself.
What season do you feel like God has you in right now, Polly?
Polly: I feel like the season is a lot of listening and shifting because largely, I’ve been known for helping people with their productivity and pursuing their dreams. One of the most important dreams God keeps bringing me back to is the dream of being connected to your soul and living fully in God’s will and the peace that comes from that. I have so many ideas around this, too, but I keep hearing God tell me to “settle down”.
Brooke: I think we’re in very similar seasons. Obviously, the physical looks different but I think spiritually we are very much sharing a similar season of being pruned and stripped away. It’s very much “lean in, come to me first, seek me first”.
My word for the year is peace. So, this should not be shocking at all that I’m walking through that right now I was given the word peace, so I should have known that in order to create peace., chaos was going to come so that we could get there.
I want to circle back to you doing a social media fast; being off social media for the time being and as business owners, especially photographers, we freak out over it. If I were to poll my audience, I’m willing to bet the majority would vote, “I want to take a social media break.”
What does that look like, Polly?
This is my second social media fast, my first one was at the beginning of the pandemic, I did 30 days. I came back with a subscription box, and I worked on building that community and that subscription box. I launched it, and I had one of my biggest launch days ever.
Honestly, when I did come back, I feel like the algorithm was like, “hey, you guys want to see her? She hasn’t been around a minute”. It seemed as if I got a boost when I got back.. So, there was that, but also God said, “thanks for being obedient, you needed to chill out and get off the internet”. Mind you, I did download Tik Tok for about 10 days, and then I thought, “wait, this is cheating”. So, I deleted it.
Yes, I have someone that runs my social; she has her roadmap; we have a library of images, and she knows what to do. I think as a photographer, if I were you and I thought, “okay, how do I set up a social media fast, I’m on a budget, I can’t hire anybody”.
You could hire an intern or do some kind of swap with someone. There’s also scheduling apps, you could put a whole month’s content on Planoly and have your grid active versus stagnant. In terms of long form content could actually be more powerful for you when it comes to promoting your photography business. For example, you could have a blog that has really sticky posts to help brides or to help whatever audience you’re looking for. Pin those to Pinterest and get with Tailwind and have a campaign going that drives people for the long game. Long form content back to your blog back to your funnel.
Then you just step away and let it be. Use that time to be creative, delete the app and let that whitespace happen so you can be creative. Without that boredom, you’re not going to create something new. You have to let your brain sit with stuff; your brain is so powerful, and as a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit within. So, if you’re not taking time to use your brain to come up with original, creative ideas, you’re really underutilizing one of the core assets of your business, which is your brain and the Holy Spirit within you.
Brooke: I agree with that. Sometimes we get so lost and obsessed with the scroll. God has so much more for you, and He wants to give you creative, unique ideas. But, if you’re not getting away, you’re not giving him the whitespace then it’s going to be really hard. And, as a side note: you don’t have to take a complete social media fast to do that. I know a lot of our hearts are aching for one. Honestly, I’m aching for time away on social, it is something that has been so pressed into me and I just haven’t been obedient with it. So that’s something that I’m probably going to do after this Faith-filled Business Series.
I highly recommend a weekend, all you have to do is Friday 2PM, delete the app off your phone. On Monday, you get it back. That’s two days for you to dip your toe in the water. You don’t have to do 30 days, just take the weekend.
Take your Sabbath.
That’s a great way to start and you didn’t miss anything. You’re back on Monday.
Want more of the Faith-Filled Business Series, tune into the Book More Clients Photography Podcast.
Horacio Printing That’s where you’ll find Polly’s physical products, planners, Bible studies, journals, etc.
If you want to look into Polly’s academy, there are two options: The Dream Crafting Course & The Faith Filled Business Bluerpint; you can find the information at Horacio Printing Academy.
Polly also hosts a podcast, The Dream Planning Podcast.
Polly also has a fun, free Facebook community that just went live right after the summit, you can find that at Christian Dreamers Community.