Who are you?
Hi, we're Shae Bynes and Antonina Geer and we are Founders of Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur™.
Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur is a community for entrepreneurs of faith who desire to build thriving businesses so they can serve their families, truly impact lives, and advance the Kingdom of God.
We activate marketplace leaders and facilitate divine connections and collaboration through our online community as well as offline through our live events and Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur Small Groups across the world. We equip the entrepreneurs in the community to do business God’s way through training, The Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur Podcast, as well as our Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur books, devotionals, and curricula!
Why Did you start your business?
This may sound very unusual, but we started our business because it was an assignment given to us by God to do. While we are business partners and great friends now, we didn't even know each other existed prior to working together to do Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur.
Our connection was initiated by a friend of mine who insisted that I meet someone he met, and then when I met that person, she insisted that I meet Antonina. We connected on Facebook and scheduled a phone call.
We had our first phone call which was supposed to be a simple introduction and we spoke for 2 hours. We were definitely kindred spirits! We talked about business, family, our journey in entrepreneurship, and even talked about the things that we believed the Lord called us to that we hadn’t started to do yet.
We recognized an opportunity to do something to help each others’ audiences, so I led a training for her coaching clients and she was a guest on my podcast to share tips on business finances. We did that over the next couple of weeks, but after it was over there was still a sense that there was another reason why we met. We agreed to pray about it and meet back together in a week. We spoke on the phone again and discussed some ideas, but none of them sounded right. We decided to go pray again and come back. On the third round, Antonina said the words “Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur” and my spirit leapt! I said something like “That’s it! That’s it! It’s a community....it’s a movement and it starts with a book.” It was a completely divine and masterfully orchestrated moment.
Over the next hour, we outlined our entire first book The Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur: Doing Business God’s Way. Antonina had never written a book, and I had written only one e-book. We divided up the writing work, and went off on our individual ways to write. When we exchanged our first chapters with each other we were blown away. Our chapters read very similarly as if the same person wrote them. We continued to write and exchange chapters throughout late summer and early fall of 2012.
When the book was completed, we decided that it would be nice to meet face to face before launching a new business together. We met and had a wonderful time together, and the Lord confirmed our direction to start a community using our book. We launched the book in November as a free Kindle download, hit the Amazon best-seller list with over 2,000 downloads, and started a community of over 500 people in 3 days. It was all rather surreal.
We didn’t even know what we were supposed to do after that. We only had two instructions: write and release the book and start a community. It wasn’t until we were radically obedient to take that step that the Lord began to reveal more for us to do.
Here we are now, 16 months later (at the time of this interview), with 8 published books including 3 Amazon best-sellers, a well-received weekly podcast, a global online community with thousands of entrepreneurs, a successful national Retreat, and Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur small groups launching all over the globe.
What makes your business unique?
We don't do business as usual. We believe in radical giving. We are motivated to grow our business not for how much profit we make, but how much we can give. What this means is that we give big when profits are small and we give big when profits are big. While it may seem unusual to do this and may seem on the surface to be a quick way to stunt business growth, it actually does the opposite! Like farmers, we're constantly sowing seeds and as a result we receive harvests from them.
What's the biggest mistake you've made with your business and what did you learn from it??
The biggest mistake we've made in our business is to repeat what we've done in our previous businesses, attempting to use the same blueprint. Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur is a different business with a different blueprint. We were navigating into new and unfamiliar territory and it was a little intimidating which caused us to revert back to the familiar.
It's so important to give yourself permission to break out of your box. Don't make assumptions that what worked for someone else or even worked for you in a previous venture is the same thing you should do again.
It's actually exciting to do things that we haven't really done before. We depend on God in even greater ways and it's a wild and fun adventure. Ultimately, we can't go wrong following His lead.
what big goal do you have for your company and how do you plan to achieve it?
One of our goals is to grow a community of a quarter million faith driven entrepreneurs in the next few years -- we call them Firestarters. We plan to achieve this by growing our Small Groups across the world, continuing to publish inspiring and activating content through our books, and hosting both online and offline events. We don't have the entire blueprint yet, but whatever God calls for us to do, we're going to go do that! Our vision is to make Jesus Christ known in the marketplace globally, and with an army of Firestarters, together we can accomplish great things and see lives changed in radical ways.
what advice or tips do you have for people wanting to start their own business or follow their dreams?
(1) Know why you want to start your business. If you have a vision in mind (and written down) for your life and business, you're less likely to create something that works against that vision.
(2) Surround yourself with supportive people. Your environment shapes you. If the people you spend the most time with are miserable, unmotivated, or complacent, it makes it tougher when you have to fight against that in order to thrive in your new venture. Place yourself in an environment that inspires you.
(3) Don't be afraid to start without knowing the entire picture. If we waited to start Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur (or our other businesses we had prior to beginning this one) until we had the entire plan mapped out with every detail accounted for, we never would've started. Many times the next steps won't be made clear to you, until you have taken action with the first few steps. Once you start moving, you gain momentum.
(4) Following God's dream for you always is greater than your own dream. His plans are always bigger, more impactful, more fulfilling. Seek Him first in all that you do.