I am so excited that my 100th post on A Dreamer’s Wife is such a great one today! I get to share with you my amazing interview with this month’s featured dreamer Ryan Eggenberger of EntreCatholic, “a (personal) blog about business, leadership, and the New Evangelization”! Ryan’s answers blew me away. Be sure to read all the way through until the end, because that’s the really good stuff!
1. You recently announced on your blog that you quit your job to be a “solopreneur.” How did you decide it was the right time to take this next step?
I knew for two reasons – one personal and one practical. I knew that I was ready personally because I was ready to give myself as much as possible to the New Evangelization as a layman with the skills I have; namely, new media, marketing, and online platform building. But of course, jumping into entrepreneurship with a dream and a desire is not enough to pay the bills. Over the past several months I have worked on the side to bring in half of my normal income during my off hours. Once I accomplished that, I was ready to jump.
2. Please share a little bit about your mission in regards to the New Evangelization. What goals do you have for your business?
I honestly don’t have a real mission in regards to the New Evangelization. I suppose you can say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” All though I am not the model Christian by any means (in fact far from it), I hope to always go where Jesus tells me to go.
With that said, at the core, I am a teacher. I have the gift of being able to quickly learn the language of the party with whom I am speaking, and break down a concept – be that theology, technology, or marketing strategies – and systematically walk with the student or client through the teaching.
3. Many people who will read this post have their own websites and dreams. Do you have any special tips for those who are trying to reach more people online?
Sure! I think this has to be answered in three parts:
First, if you want to reach more people online, you have to know why. Is it to gain personal fame or is it for the Lord? Is it because you want to eventually land a job and your site is an online resume? Is it because you have a book idea and you’re hoping a publisher will find you? There are no right or wrong answers here – you just need to know what you’re purpose is.
Second, in order to connect effectively, you must resolve to love authentically. You have to remember that a follower on Twitter is a real human being, not just a follower (generally speaking). Behind every ‘like’ on Facebook is a real person with real passions, problems, and dreams. If the way you speak to people on social media would get you punched in the face in real life, you need to re-evaluate your motives and your means.
Lastly, just use this: plan it, do it, tell people about it. Just start! I always recommend that you blog on a self-hosted WordPress site. You can download a free guide on how to do that from the front page of EntreCatholic.com. I often blog about tools, tips, and tricks regarding social media and platform building. I’m also thinking of starting up a social media class, if there’s interest.
4. What advice do you have for those of us who find it uncomfortable to self-promote?
Great question. I can’t quote any theology or research here, but with the vast and rapid changes to the norms of making money and finding work, having an online platform – like a blog or social media accounts with followers – is like having a resume, but online. Fortunately, it’s out there 24/7 in case an editor with a company and money likes your stuff happens to find you.
In addition, if your efforts are directed toward leading people to Jesus, you should not worry. Do you need to talk about Jesus all the time? No, of course not. If your expertise is in interior design, you don’t need to always mention Jesus in a post about picking the perfect shade for your living room.
Listen, there will always be some people who will not understand, not agree, and not like you, your work, or your goals. Worry not at all about those people. Jesus had the same problem 2,000 years ago and in fact, still does today. When people give you trouble, just love them! For me, loving people that disagree with me, for the most part, means giving them a word of encouragement and moving on with my life. You don’t need to justify your actions to folks who don’t care to understand anyway.
5. Do you have a favorite song, quote, or movie that motivates and inspires you?
Yes. I heard a story about Mother Teresa that is applicable, and necessary in my opinion, to effectively engage in the New Evangelization. Some years ago, a Novice Sister in the Sisters of Charity was standing with Mother Teresa at the motherhouse in Calcutta, when they both noticed a regular visitor approaching the door. The visitor was an old man; difficult to look at, smelly, and often inappropriately obnoxious. Upon seeing the man stumble toward the door, the Novice took a deep breath, and exhaled in irritation. Noticing the Novice’s annoyed attitude, Mother Teresa leaned over and whispered in her ear, “Look – here comes the Lord again in his distressing disguise.”If we’re going to effectively bring people to Jesus, we have to first love them, no matter the circumstances. Why? Because He loves us first. Even while we are still sinners, he loves us.
Everybody – every single person – is worth it to God. That means everybody – every single person – is worth it to you and to me.
Wow! See what I mean about the best stuff being at the end?! Absolutely powerful! Be sure to follow Ryan on Twitter @RyanEggenberger! He’s doing great things for the right reasons!
Thanks, Ryan, for taking the time to share more about yourself and inspire all of us! Great advice!