The biggest risk I’ve ever taken and 3 ways you can help

biggest riskA crazy thing happens when you write about chasing your dreams: you end up remembering what they are.

A few weeks ago I wrote about walking in the middle of the road to create space to dream. On the day I wrote that post, I had a thought pop in my head while walking the dog:

What would it look like to be a freelance graphic designer working with churches and people to impact the world?

By the time the dog and I got back to my house, I’d pushed the thought to the back of my head as a dream that could one day happen.

Over the course of the weeks after that intial thought, the idea kept coming back over and over. For the last 20 months or so, I’ve had an uneasiness within me saying there was something more out there for me. I never could put my finger on what exactly it was, but I always knew it was there. Maybe this idea, this dream, was what was next.

I processed things with a lot of people to see if there was even a market for my idea. To my surprise, every person I asked said the same thing: there’s definitely a market for it. I’ve just got to find the right people to partner with.

About a month ago I began conversations with the leadership of my church. As I told them my ideas and my dreams, they were on board with them. I remember my executive pastor telling me he knew there was a higher calling on my life and this idea would let me reach it.

So what’s the idea?

Starting January 1, I will no longer be on staff at Two Rivers Church. Instead, I will be a full-time freelance graphic designer.

My hope is to partner with 5-6 churches and organizations on a retainer basis to provide them with consistently great designs. I’ll be able to give churches a decade of design experience for the cost of an intern.

The beauty of this is that Two Rivers is going to be my first client. Nicole and I will still be a part of Two Rivers Church. I’ll still get to work with the amazing staff at Two Rivers. The biggest change is that it’ll be on a contract basis instead of salaried.

My hopes for this dream are three-fold:

1) I want to equip the saints for the work of ministry. I hope to help churches, organizations, and businesses make the biggest impact they can. I want to do whatever I can to help them in changing the world for Jesus.

2) I want to write more. My hope for being my own boss is that I can carve out more space to write consistently on here and anywhere else that will allow me to write. I eventually want to write a book (or three) and I believe this business is a way to do that.

3) I want to begin speaking at camps and retreats. I have a gigantic dream of speaking at 10 retreats or camps a year. It’ll take a while to build to that, but after teaching a retreat in October, I’m hooked on it and want to do it even more.

While I believe this is a God-given dream and a God-ordained decision, I also know I can’t do it alone. Nicole and I have a baby on the way, a mortgage to pay, and a mountain of student loan debt. We are taking a massive risk by stepping out to follow what we believe God is calling us to do.

There are three ways you can help us achieve this dream:

1) Would you help me get the word out? Would you share this post on your social media accounts? Or do you know a church, organization, or business who could use design work? It could be a simple project or a monthly retainer. Whatever it is, would you mind sending them my way? I can do business cards, mailers, print design, or any digital design they might need. You can find my portfolio and recent designs at CaroneDesigns.com.

2) Would you pray for Nicole and I? This is an exciting time but it’s also very scary. We can use all the support we can get. Also, would you pray God will provide the right people for me to partner with? My specific prayer is I will find one more retainer client by the end of this month. One more partner will allow us to at least pay the bills in January. Our dream as a family is for Nicole to be able to work part time after the baby gets here. To do that, we will need God to provide in big ways over the next six months.

3) Would you help us out financially?
I know that’s super awkward for me to ask but I ain’t too proud to beg. The bills don’t stop because we are stepping out in faith and following Jesus in what he’s invited us to. There are startup costs and other things as well. With little guaranteed income starting in three weeks, anything will help. If you’d like to help us out, you can give securely through PayPal (put my e-mail in the box: jonathan.carone@gmail.com) or contact me and I’ll give you our address. Believe me, it was as awkward for me to write this paragraph as it was for you to read it, but any little bit will help us out.

I can’t thank you all enough for the support you’ve given me through the years on this site. I also can’t express how awesome it is to have the support of my church leadership in this next move.

I’ll leave you with this:

God is good.

He keeps his promises.

He will provide.

Now let’s go change the world.

Say your prayers and take your vitamins.

Have a nice day.

-Jonathan

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