Launching a Dream God’s Way

Do you have a great idea that the world is going to love? Have you always wanted to be your own boss? Entrepreneurship may just be the path for you!  Read on for a few things I’ve learned from launching my own business.

#1 – Find Your Launchpad

Your passions are the perfect launchpad for starting a business. Ask yourself two questions: What do I LOVE to do? How could I make money at it?

When I was 17, I loved health and nutrition.  I walked around health food stores looking at all the products and planned my weekly meals using lots of new recipes. The idea came to my mom first.  She said “Isabel, you could make money doing this!!” Fast-forward a year later, I was working full time planning menus, grocery shopping, and cooking for my very own clients!

Don’t feel passionate about anything right now? Use a problem as your launchpad. Billions of successful products and businesses exist today as a result of yesterday’s problems and inconveniences. I always use kitchen tools as an example. Do you find slicing a banana by hand annoying? Go grab the Chef Matic Banana Slicer!  Never have a free hand when headed to the kitchen trash can? Luckily someone invented the hands-free step-on trashcan a while back. Keep a notebook of all the little inconveniences or problems you experience every day, and try to come up with at least 25 good solutions for each of them. Chances are, you may end up with a really successful business idea!

#2 – Team Up with God

We all know when we surrender our thoughts and ideas to God, they flourish.  And when we try to do things in our own strength, things are often sour from the start. Talk to God about your dreams and desires.  Ask Him what he thinks about your business ideas.  If you don’t have any ideas, ask Him to give you one.  He will help you find your launchpad! God put desires in all of our hearts so they may bear fruit. If your dream is to start a business, chances are, God gave you that dream and he’s going to help you achieve it! Submit your desires to Him and let Him lead you.

Starting a business isn’t easy and can be discouraging. In the very beginning of my business, I hardly made any money.  It was almost impossible to imagine that my business would actually be successful someday. When I prayed and asked God if I should keep pursing it, He gave me a vision of a sign that read “Success.” Any time I would get discouraged and pray, I would see that same vision! Now two years later, I have eight employees and we made six figures of income last year! God is always faithful!  He knows the plans He has for you, so trust Him even when you can’t see the big picture!

#3 – Get the Ball Rolling

The first step to people buying your product or paying for your service is visibility.  People have to know your business exists. Social Media is an awesome tool you can use to create awareness and excitement to grow a following. A website is an essential place for people to learn more about what you offer. The most successful form of advertising is word of mouth, so make sure your family, friends, and your friend’s friends know about what you’re doing!

It’s also important to surround yourself with people who support, encourage, and believe in you and your business. This stage can be scary, I know it was for me! Sometimes it’s hard to feel like your business is valid when you don’t have any paying customers yet, but keep pressing on. The success God has for you may look different than you imagined!

 

Bio: Isabel Young is 21 years old and lives in Westerville with her husband Michael. She owns Food by Bel, a healthy, prepared meal delivery and personal chef service company that services the greater Columbus area. She enjoys traveling, hiking, making spreadsheets, and is a mom to over twenty house plants!

Promises

Another school year has passed by and you are facing another summer. You are looking ahead to another school year or even adventuring now to college! So many new feelings come with new seasons and many dreams come alive when our surroundings change. As you take on these next life decisions you may be also remembering some promises God has made to you for your future. I encourage you to hold onto those promises!

God loves speaking promises to His children, and He’s done it again and again in the Bible. How do you know it’s a promise from God, because it’s good and it could only come from someone who has perfect plans? You know it’s a promise from God, because it’s a desire of your heart that’s too big for you to accomplish by yourself. I know that you have dreams of the future and God gave you those big bright dreams.

It’s frustrating sometimes when you have a great dream, vision, and promise in your heart but it seems so out of reach. Maybe it’s financially out of reach or maybe you’re not old enough. I want to encourage you with Philippians 1:6

Philippians 1:6 says, And being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

One of the pastors at my church, Pastor Michael Yergan, likes to always tell people that God is the “Author” and the “Finisher”. We know that these are true characteristics of God because it is stated right there in Philippians. God has not forgotten the promises He has made to you. In fact, He’d love to talk to you about them again! Those promises are specific and precious to your life, and God wants to make them come true in your life!

Whatever this next season brings into your life, wherever the next steps lead you, remember the promises God has made to you and the dreams He has given you. He will be faithful to complete them.

Carly Sage is a Ministry School graduate and she plans to use her experience on the mission field. She loves to write and hopes to have the opportunity to write a book in her future, and keep touching other people with the Gospel through written word.

What’s your New Year’s Plan?

girlwritingDecember is here and the end of 2015 is closing in on us! This is a great time to look ahead and set goals for the New Year.  Goals are different than a “New Year’s Resolution”. It’s creating a list of things you hope to accomplish, but then also a plan of action on how to get them done.  A lot of times, we make resolutions – things we hope to accomplish but don’t take time to think through what it would take to get these things done.  In order to lose 10 pounds in January, I must cut out sweets in January, work out a few times a week and find an accountability partner to hold me to it.  This is a goal with tangible things to do in order to achieve it. (NOT that weight loss is the most important thing… any goal, a vacation, a new job, or whatever else you want to do…)

When we look ahead we should make plans and goals for different areas in our lives:  personal, relational and academically.  Here are a few ideas as you think about 2016 and some things to consider in order to achieve your goals:

  1. Set attainable goals. When you set goals for yourself, be realistic. If you do not work out at all right now, don’t say that in the New Year you will work out an hour every single day of the week. Give yourself some grace and be realistic. Work out ½ hour 3 x a week. This gives you days off in between, but gets you exercising.
  2. Put a plan together. Write out ways you will attain your goals. If you want to start a blog – figure out how you will do that. What topics will readers be interested in? When will you write, when’s the best time to post? How can you stay connected with your bloggers? Make a plan so your goal can be achieved.
  3. Make time for your goals. Just like everything else in life, make time to work on your goals. Put it on your calendar, and try to work on one goal every day if you can. If not, mark off a couple times a week to get things done. Schedule time for writing or working out, or travel or whatever else you hope to do this year!
  4. Be accountable. Find people you can share your goals and dreams with and ask them to hold you accountable. Choose someone who will be “tough” on you when you don’t get it done. (Don’t ask your BFF who will give you grace every time you give an excuse.)
  5. Check in on yourself. Every three months, see how you are doing. Go over your goals and see where you are at. Change goals or deadlines as needed, but hold yourself accountable for the things you had hoped to get done and find ways to work on those goals you haven’t started on yet.

Even if you don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, I’d encourage you to be a person who sets goals.  If you don’t set goals and make plans for your life, where will you be a year from now?  You won’t know, because you don’t even know what you are aiming for!  Take some time this month to plan ahead and set goals for the next 12 months.  December 31st, 2016 will be here before you know it!

pamphotoshootPam Lozano is the Founder and Executive Director of Pure Design Ministries & Magazine.  A magazine to inspire teen girls in self-image, self-worth and pure beauty.  She loves mentoring teen girls, leading worship, writing and taking long walks.  She also loves fashion and decorating and thrifting with her kids.

Capturing a Dream with a Camera

Happy Thursday everyone!  We are continuing our dreams and goals theme for the New Year.  Today we get to hear from Glenna Koepnick of Glenna Elaine Photography.  Glenna helped us out a few weeks ago with our holiday trends shoot blog featuring Katelin from our Pure Design team!

Glenna Koepnick went to college for graphic design and found her love of photography while working on assignments.  After a year at The School of Advertising Art she transferred to Ohio Institute of Photo and Technology. Once she graduated from college she dabbled in different genres of photography but nothing seemed to fit.  She almost gave up on her dream and tried to sell her equipment but her family would not have it.  They saw the talent she had and believed in her during her roughest moments.  They encouraged her to pick her camera back up and keep going.  Now she has an independent photography business with her husband that focuses on weddings, portraits and commercial photography.  One of Glenna’s favorite things about photography is capturing moments of emotion that others miss and giving the world a new perspective on a moment.

Here are five tips from Glenna if you want to pursue photography as a career or a hobby!

1.)  Do not let the price tag scare you away.

Photography can be pricy but don’t let that scare you away from trying it. There a ton of places you can rent equipment from! Or even better, if you have friends and family that already do photography ask them if you can borrow it. They would be able to teach you about the equipment too. It’s always great to try something out and see what you like best before committing to a purchase.

2.)  Always be shooting. 

This is key!  Practice makes perfect with everything, especially when it comes to photography.  When I started I was always shooting, trying out different lighting and settings.  Don’t be afraid to take your camera out for practice shoots.

3.)  Surround yourself with people that believe in you.

If it wasn’t for my family I wouldn’t be doing what I love.  I almost gave it all up because I was discouraged and wanted to quit.  It’s important to have supportive people to keep you going in those rough seasons.  They see your potential and know you are capable of accomplishing your dreams.

4.)  Get educated. 

Photography is one of those things you don’t have to go to school for, but it is necessary to be knowledgeable about it.  Personally, I’m really glad I went to school for it.  I learned a lot that I wouldn’t have been able to on my own.  Technology in this field is constantly upgrading and changing.

5.)  Keep an open mind with clients. 

Everyone is different.  Go with the flow of whatever they throw at you.  Make sure you do your best to be confident because it will build confidence in the client and make them more comfortable.

For more of Glenna’s work check out her website!

Next week we will be talking with someone in the health care field on becoming a nurse!

Pursuing a Music Dream

Last week we talked about accomplishing dreams. This week we are going to focus on some of them.  Music is a wonderful outlet for a lot of us.  As for some of us, pursuing music may be one of those New Year’s Resolutions scribbled down on paper.  Today we are hearing tips from Laurel Powers, a pop singer/songwriter, on how to start writing music.laurel

I’ve known Laurel for several years and watching her passion grow to write songs has been a privilege.  She never gave up when challenges seemed impossible, which deeply inspires me to keep going after my own goals.  She started singing at 12 and then taught herself piano at age 13.  With her music she strives for women to be encouraged and to know that they are not alone during struggles. For all of you Taylor Swift and Zooey Dechanel fans you would love Laurel’s piano driven pop sound. Here are a few of her tips:

  • Write all the time. Work on your craft whenever you can!  Even if you think a song sounds bad at first, keep going,  I promise you’ll get better.   As we all know, practice makes perfect.
  • Be open to the fact that your process might be different every time. Each time I write something new, it’s going to be different.  There is not a particular formula for it.  Each song is a new thing to discover.
  • Know that inspiration is often inconvenient. Take advantage of the lyrics or melodies that pop in your head at random moments of the day and jot them down on scrap paper or record them in your phone.
  • If you cannot afford lessons, it’s easier now than ever to learn. I learned piano by watching other people play on Youtube.  There are all kind of tutorials online.  To be self-taught takes dedication and discipline but it’s definitely possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. When you finish a song be proud of it! Show your friends and family or share it on Youtube.  It can be nerve wrecking at first to share something you created but it’s always great to share triumphs with people you love.  Know that if you do share something on Youtube people will post harsh comments.  For me, I can have twenty really encouraging comments and then that one bad comment will devastate me.  You have to weigh out the good and bad. Focus on the positive feedback.

This is her newest song about writers block!

You can keep up with Laurel on her Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.

Until next week ladies! Keep making those goals and going after them.