In 2016, I was a partner in a struggling business. Things seemed fine on the outside, but the inside was not healthy. We struggled to keep everything afloat. Rather than slow everything down and regularly evaluate our situation, we continued to operate business as usual, primarily on the hope of “it’s gonna get better.” We depended on every sale that came in to pay for things and try to catch up on debt or items we needed to purchase to fill orders. Our business bank account went negative so many times. There were months that we incurred over $1000 in overdraft and returned item fees. Many of the clients that we had were tied to government money and were slow to pay, which exacerbated our cash flow problems. In 2011, before I first joined the company, my wife Jessica counseled me not to do it. But, being the eternal optimist that I am, I didn’t listen. At the time, I had multiple streams of income. I was leading worship, consulting businesses, and brokering jobs for businesses. So adding this business in seemed like just another stream to supplement everything I was already doing. Plus the opportunity was exciting. But, what began as a promising opportunity, slowly turned into a defeating burden. I didn’t take much out of the company for the first of many months, so that the business could sustain my partner and it’s operations. But rather than get better at our operations, we just did more of the same. In the back of my mind I thought there would come a day when there would be enough money in the bank to pay me back for that time. In order to keep this new business afloat, I moved many of my outside clients into the company. Fast forward five years, and my multiple streams had either become part of the partnership or been reduced. So I couldn’t afford not to use the partnership as a primary support. We had employees, lots of commitments, and ourselves. All of that had to be paid, but there just wasn’t enough. For years, I knew I should have just walked away. I kept thinking I needed to work harder to earn back that initial pay deficit between my partner and I, and I couldn’t just let go. I had so much blood, sweat, and tears put into building it. What I didn’t realize was, my brain was holding on to the pain I knew, afraid of the pain I didn’t know that would come if I walked away. After much prayer and counsel, at the end of 2016, I laid it down. I realized so much through that experience. First, I need to listen to my wife more. Second, holding on is not always a good thing. It’s ok to let go and fail early. Third, God’s grace is always bigger than my stubbornness. A year after leaving the company, my family decided to move to North Texas, but quickly realized it wasn’t the best move for us. So we moved back to Houston three months later. Had I not made the decision to let go of my company, there’s a good chance we still would have been in North Texas holding on there too. Five years now feels way too long to hold on to something I know I shouldn’t. Letting go and failing early is hard at first, but I now know to listen to God and my wife more than my stubborn self. Since that time, Jess and I have been able to pay off a lot of debt and the streams of income I lost are stronger than they were before.