There is nothing that gets me quite as excited as when I see Christians using their God-given creativity to create things or start companies.
This week I had the opportunity to catch up with Corey Jackson, a Christian entrepreneur and the Founder & Chief Planner of Pretty Good Planners. I really love to hear what makes entrepreneurs tick, learn about the stuff they are working on, and simply support their work. Corey just launched a Kickstarter campaign for her project, and she’s gearing up to do some pretty big things. Her product solves a real problem that many of us face, and her inspiration comes from God. I’m sure her story will inspire you!
Let’s hear what she had to say…
Matt: Tell us a little about your project.
Corey: The Healthy Habits System™ of Planners is designed to cue busy people to build activities that support their health into their daily lives. It serves as a reminder to properly steward the body we’ve been given, even while we are pursuing the mission that God laid on our heart.
It’s all too easy (and too common) to dive headlong into a big project or goal – or even our day-to-day tasks of house and home, family, and work – with little care for our health and fitness. We begin eating what we can grab quickly, opt for caffeinated beverages over water, neglect exercise in favor of the hustle-bustle of living, and start cutting our sleep short. But those sacrifices – while they may seem admirable and temporary – set us up to be more susceptible to diseases such as type II diabetes and heart disease.
Our Father loves us and wants us to be healthy. John wrote “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you would prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2). Our health is impacted by our habits more than any other factor under our control. Science has overwhelmingly shown that lifestyle contributes more to health than genetics. We are not cursed to live in a state of disease. Lifestyle can either overcome or overwhelm our genetic inheritance; our habits can help us immensely, or harm us. We have control over our health and well-being, and I believe that God expects us to steward our health and the body He gave us by our lifestyle. So, I created a tool to help make the daily work of stewardship a little easier for us as we live increasingly busy lives.
Matt: What was your inspiration for the Healthy Habits System?
Corey: My own experience and observations. Shedding my weight provided the first steps to overcome negative thoughts that had captured me in a cycle of defeat. My healthy-habit driven lifestyle allowed me to maintain my health and organize my life and responsibilities so that I could continue achieving the life goals that I knew God had written in my heart for a reason.
As I was getting fit, I started observing people I care about making great strides toward their work, life, and ministry goals, but neglecting their health in the process. That impressed me, as the Holy Spirit started showing me the vital need to steward our health. Our body is like the car that we drive around life in. The difference, though, is we only get one body; we can’t trade it in once we’ve worn it out. When our body quits, our effectiveness in this life and on this earth for the Kingdom, is done.
When I went back to school to study biochemistry, metabolism, nutrition, and health and fitness (a ten-year process that resulted in two degrees), I started putting together the time management principles that helped me graduate with honors, raise two children, stay involved in my church, and maintain my health and fitness. The result is the Healthy Habits System™ of planners.
Matt: Sounds interesting, but why make a planner instead of writing a diet book?
Corey: It’s a good question. The truth is, there is a lot more nutrition and lifestyle information that I could include in a full-scale book – and I will in the future. But at the same time, a traditional book wouldn’t cover everything the workbook and planner system does, because it would only allow a user to read it. The workbook allows the user to customize a framework of healthy habits that fits their life, and the planner lets them write it all down in one place. The Habit Tracker surrounds the productivity section of the daily spreads so that, just like the habits themselves, it supports the actual work of their daily life and goals.
Matt: What inspired you to change careers and start over in your 30s?
Corey: When a dream wakes you up excited to make it a reality, you know you’ve been given the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 tells us that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts. I believe that has a double meaning: He will reward us with the things our heart desires, but also, He will create the desire in our heart for things He wants us to have. Because He delights in us too!
This desire to help set others free from the same cycle of defeat, dis-ease, and disorganized wandering I had been in was a calling, discovered later in life that I just couldn’t escape. It was worth going back to college to change careers, and it is worth starting a business to provide this and other tools to help people set themselves free! Everyone needs a system to organize their life and health, and this is such a great tool for that. The benefits users will receive from this system will allow them to impact the world around them in a way that could never manifest otherwise. So not only will it change the user’s life, it will change the lives of those they touch. Talk about return on investment!
Matt: Why Kickstarter?
Corey: Crowdfunding is such an amazing concept! So much creativity has benefitted the world that would have otherwise remained undiscovered without Kickstarter. It allows makers to bring their products to life without the traditional barriers of upfront capital, while also allowing backers to help them do it. It’s a team effort between makers and backers that is mutually beneficial. I feel honored to bring this project to life on Kickstarter.
If you are interested in entrepreneurship and starting something of your own check out: www.startuprevival.com and download a free 21-day devotional for Christian entrepreneurs and folks who are interested in starting their own companies.