“Because every business and person deserves a chance to succeed regardless of their personal or financial situation”
Vernon Stading, Founder & Chairman
As the owner of many business ventures currently, people always assume it was easy and cannot understand why at this stage of my career would I begin a not-for-profit organizations. Without knowing my life story, they will never fully understand.
My story is less about success and more about struggles and trials since day one of being self-employed. In my life I have been unemployed, bankrupt, didn’t know how to make my car payment or keep the heat on in the winter let alone how to make a mortgage payment. There is nothing worse than not knowing how to get that next meal for your family. I remember when I began my own business many years ago that I would attend free lunch and learn events to network and to be able to eat lunch and save money on our family food bill. Those were tough days. I remember being too emotional to speak when one church member filled my deep freeze with enough meat to feed my family for a year. I remember days when people told me “you aren’t educated enough”, or “don’t have the right connections”, or “you just don’t look the part” (meaning I was too fat, or too bald, or didn’t have the right family or background or whatever their hang up was with me). I remember losing my great paying job in the corporate world for standing up for someone else and refusing to lose my integrity just to start a business with no money. And I remember the hardship that made as we had just bought our dream house and spent our life savings to do it. I remember having a daughter that was so sick and needed so many medical procedures right after being born that I thought she would never get better and that I would never dig out from under the medical debt and the bill collectors. I remember a time being separated from the mother of my children and going through a terrible custody battle. I remember trying to land my first client outside of my network and being scared to death that I wasn’t good enough to do it. I remember sitting in a potential client meeting and thinking that if I couldn’t close the deal that we wouldn’t be able to pay our mortgage. No pressure there…… I remember losing both my parents in a short time, at a time when I needed them the most. I remember cashing out my retirement account and savings to make payroll only to find out that the employee I just paid had been sabotaging the business and current clients and stealing others on the side. I remember being betrayed both personally and professionally by those I trusted in a way that I would not wish on my own enemies. I remember driving 8 hours to meet a huge potential client, charging the last amount left on my last available credit card for gas and hotel and knowing the whole time that I was stranded with a flat tire or any trouble along the way. I could go on and on with the struggles that I have had but prefer to focus on how the Lord provided when I needed the most and changed things forever.
“Destined to Fail”
Most of the things I have mentioned above have never been told to others, let alone broadcasted in a public setting. I felt like the deck was stacked against me in every way that it could possibly be and that I was destined to fail and always to struggle both personally and professionally. I’m telling the world now so that you can understand that what you are going through personally in your professional or business life can be overcome and that I understand it on a deeply personal level. It is temporary and can be overcome. I tell you these things to help you understand why I felt called and led to create this not-for-profit organization called Devoted Foundations SBC. I tell you these things so that you understand that I know what it is like to operate from a position of fear instead of fortune. Devoted Foundations SBC was created to help you understand that fear is a liar and can only hurt you. But with help and support from those that care about you and the Lord, all things are possible.
“Cursed to Blessed”
As things stand now I can say that I am truly blessed. My life has changed a lot. From not knowing how to pay the bills to being able to travel around the world for business and pleasure, flying in private planes with my clients, being on yachts and deep-sea fishing excursions and tropical vacations. I have been able to meet celebrities and even have them as my paying clients. They seek me out and come to me for business advice, support and to meet investors. Not bad for a guy who “doesn’t have the right education and background”. I give myself no credit for these accomplishments but instead to God who can help you the same way. For this reason, I have been helping businesses for free as much as I can and as often as i could for almost 10 years now. I have paid it forward and given a full cow to families in need as their father was unemployed for far too long several times in the past 2 years. This allowed them to not worry about food for an entire year just like was done for me many years ago. The experience I get and the impact that is made from helping those businesses and professionals in need cannot be measured. If you are feeling the pressure of not being good enough or being able to provide and succeed, we can help!
What Do We Hope to Find?
Because I just formed this venture in July, we are still in the beginning stages of growing this organization. Our goal is to help as many people as possible that are struggling in their business life or don’t feel that they have “what it takes to get to the next level” in their professional life. We need donations, volunteers and partnerships to make that succeed. Partnership would be other organizations like Devoted Enterprises, the Small Business Advisory Board and other businesses that can help us provide support to our clients, donations, or sponsorships. All of these partnerships are essential when it comes helping those in need. To find out more in detail just how we help businesses and individuals in need please visit our blog on this subject. You may also contact us at 952-582-4669 to get more information. You may also donate here! Thank you and God bless!