I Didn’t Want to be Labeled

Series: Perspectives on Work, Worth and Faith (Article 9 of 13)

I remember the first day I met Toyin, about 10 years ago. We were driving up to the country’s capital. The drive should have taken us 5 hours maximum. It was -20 degree celsius (-4 fahrenheit) weather. Her car overheated the whole way. We would stop the car for a half-hour at a time then wait for it to cool down. We sang, we prayed, had lengthy discussions and shared lots of laughs. We didn’t get there in 5 hours but it was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken.

CHRIS-ANN: When you think of the word work, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

TOYIN: The first word I thought of, believe it or not, was fun!

CHRIS-ANN: Could you explain this a bit more? Many people I’ve spoken with over the years don’t usually associate work with fun.

TOYIN: Fun is the first thing that comes to mind because I have a lot of fun in my work. The people I work with are amazing. We deal with money; money is a very stressful topic for some people. We teach people that there is a way to have fun and hit your goals at the same time. 

CHRIS-ANN: What kind of work do you do?

TOYIN: I’m a high performance mindset and financial coach. That involves helping those who are stuck financially, whether they have plateaued or are in debt and help them change the way they think about and use money.

CHRIS-ANN: You tell a lot of your story in your book Money Mindset Shift: Church Edition, where you explore 9 myths that many believers struggle with. Could you share some of your journey?

When I decided to go into business full-time, I fell flat on my face. I had amazing mentors around me. I had strategies, but I would continue to sabotage myself. Because I was smart in some areas, I didn’t think of asking for help. I thought I didn’t need help.

TOYIN: When I decided to go into business full-time, I fell flat on my face. I had amazing mentors around me. I had strategies, but I would continue to sabotage myself. Because I was smart in some areas, I didn’t think of asking for help. I thought I didn’t need help. It wasn’t until we ran out of food in our house, and another instance where we had to ask for help from friends and family to cover bills that it really hit me that my business wasn’t working. I was debt free but I wasn’t producing. 

To fast forward a bit, after doing a personality test and speaking with a coach, he explained to me that I was so service-oriented that I was demotivated by money. Even more in my own time of prayer, God showed me that I was afraid of money and reminded me that money is about service to him.

I had to create a program for my own mind to reverse a lot of the mindsets I had, many of which I had picked up from christian circles that weren’t biblical. It changed the trajectory of my business.

CHRIS-ANN: Explain what you mean by you were demotivated or afraid of money?

TOYIN: In the beginning of my journey, I wanted to grow and build wealth for the glory of God but one of my biggest roadblocks was that I didn’t want my friends to think that I had suddenly fallen in love with money. And some of my friends really did think that, because I was no longer depending on miracles to cover my family’s expenses.

I was very, very aware that the conversation of money had been abused in christianity so I stayed away from the conversation entirely. I didn’t want to be labeled.

I was very, very aware that the conversation of money had been abused in christianity so I stayed away from the conversation entirely. I didn’t want to be labeled. Even though I knew that the Bible says we should be lenders and not borrowers (Pro. 22:7), and that we should leave an inheritance for our kids (Prov. 13:22), I would never have a serious conversation about money. I thought if I did, I would be putting money above God. 

Something that trips us up is when we avoid the conversation as a whole. So we fall back on this pray, give and tithe mentality and hope that everything will be okay. When my husband and I spoke to one of our mentors, he told us that praying, giving and tithing was not enough. At first we were like, “fall back sir,” but we also took the time to think about what he said. We thought about how many people we knew that have followed this and died in debt or couldn’t leave an inheritance for their kids. There were many.

As much as some of us would like to ignore the conversation about money, we often use money to do the work of God. As a family, since our financial trajectory has changed, we’ve been able to support more missionaries, more kingdom projects, more stuff for God than we would have ever imagined.

I want the gospel to be preached to the ends of the earth. So what am I going to do? I’m going to do my part in sharing the gospel, wherever I am with whomever I can. But I’m also going to give to the people who are actively doing that work in areas that I can’t reach. If you’re reading a bible, even if on an app, money paid for it. If you’re listening to your favourite worship song, money produced it. We have to stop putting ourselves and other christians in a Catch 22: we want them to have money to give to the Kingdom but don’t want them to be active and intentional about growing their wealth.


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