Today we’d like to introduce you to April Nowlin.
April, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Let me start by saying that I have always thrived in chaos. There’s just something about the challenge of solving an impossible problem! In 2013, I founded Event Cultivators. At the time, I loved the excitement of supporting small businesses with their marketing events. This was a part-time side hustle simply because I loved the thrilled of it. It was like piecing together new and innovative equipment then hoping (and praying) that it would work. This is when my business was officially born, however, I had been creating memorable events since high school.
After a few years of coordinating events and a few weddings, I realized that this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Quite honestly, I was bored and I knew I had more to give to this world. During this time, I was employed professionally as an instructional designer and then a marketing guru in several SAAS organizations. However, a few things were missing. Firstly, I didn’t like the idea of someone dictating how I could serve a customer nor did I care to have my income capped or financial increases dependent on others. Lastly, as a single parent, I desired to have a more flexible professional schedule and live the quality of life that I wanted.
In July of 2015, I decided that full-time entrepreneurship was the right path for me. I put a 12-month exit strategy in place and began to work my plan. Making this decision was not as easy as it sounds as this was the same summer, I received a huge promotion that came with a $15,000 pay increase. Also, I had gotten married that February and was scheduled to close on a newly built home that August. If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan.
Just four months later, I walked into my office to discover that I and many of my colleagues no longer had ample employment. We were being laid off. For me, this was my second time being laid off in just two years. On my drive home I called my then husband to tell him the great news and explained how excited I was. Excitement was nowhere near the emotion he was feeling. I just knew this was the time to jump off the cliff into full-time entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, the parachute was only half-built at that time.
Over the next two years, I grew my clientele as a marketing strategist and consultant for small businesses. There were many ups and downs and lots of days that I wanted to throw in the towel. Thank God for the support system in my life that refused to let me abandon my dreams! As much as I loved the work I was doing, I felt something was missing. Again.
At the beginning of 2018, I was invited by my Pastor to support my church’s marketing department. At first, I was a little skeptical, you’ll understand why as you continue to read, but over time I realized that this was the missing piece. There is something so fulfilling about doing what you are put on this earth to do. I was more fulfilled in my business than I had ever been. It almost, and I mean almost didn’t feel like work. I had known for a long time that my passion was for churches, but for a myriad of reasons, I never focused on them. It was at that time that Cultivator Consulting was born.
I was raised in church and have spent most of my adult life being part of a church community. In the early 2000’s I was a staff member at my local church. It was not a pleasant experience, to say the least. The leadership had great vision and passion for what they were called to do but the church was unhealthy and there wasn’t a sustainable strategy for growth. There were disjointed processes, unhappy volunteers, church members jumping ship and our paychecks even bounced once or twice. Yikes!
That church had to close its doors and left me with a terrible taste in my mouth for ministries. Unfortunately, there are many more like it closing each week. In many cases, the cause is a lack of business acumen, tools, and resources. I’m here to support the leaders of established churches with succeeding in the business of ministry.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ll answer that with a resounding NO in blinking lights! But nothing worth accomplishing is ever easy. There’s a sign in my office that says I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy; I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it. This reminds me to keep going.
In the six years I’ve been in business there have been struggles to gain clients, get clear on my business and personal identity and develop valuable partnerships. There were long hours and some months with little to no income. I even tried to buy another business because I thought it would be easier than building my own. That almost cost me my home. (Thank God, it did not).
As entrepreneurs, we have to get out of our heads that this journey will always be filled with sunshine and roses. Remember, the best flowers grow with a little manure.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Cultivator Consulting helps churches grow to healthy, cultivator their vision and impact more people. I want to reduce the rate of churches that close their doors because they don’t have the business savvy needed to flourish. I do this by providing the data to help them understand where they are in their growth journey. I then help them to gain clarity on where they want to be and to create actionable strategies to get to where they need to go.
I UNDERSTAND CHURCH! For over 20 years I’ve partnered with churches as a volunteer, staff member, and consultant. I’ve experienced firsthand the ups, downs and growing pains of church growth.
As a small business owner, I understand the challenges that leaders and their teams face with growing their vision into reality and walking out their purpose. Most of my professional career has been spent supporting start-up organizations and helping them grow into flourishing companies. Now, I share that knowledge with the ministries I am blessed to support.
As a company, I am most proud of the ability to overcome the hurdles I’ve faced to get to where I am today. I love that what I do is changing lives in positive and lasting ways.
What were you like growing up?
When I was younger, I wanted to be Indiana Jones. I loved how he could solve any problem and get out of any situation! He was resourceful and funny. I have a very sarcastic sensor of humor and I love to talk, which got me into a lot of hot water as a child. I was also constantly organizing things. Now, I’ve turned those traits into a successful business. The basis of being a great consultant is being able to talk to people and tell them what to do!
- 3 Assessments to choose from: Congregation, Volunteer, Staff – Investment: $1500 – $2500
- Customized Consulting – $225 for a 90 minute session.
- Marketing Jumpstart – Investment $1000
- Website: http://cultivatorco.com/
- Phone: 623-215-6998
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cultivatorco
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprilnowlin/