2018 Blog

One of my favorite resources to get information on starting my own business is the Entrepreneur website and magazine. I subscribed to the online content but if you sign up for their newsletter you still get a lot of free tips as well.
I thought that I would share this list of the "12 Steps to Start a Business" written by Matthew McCreary on Entrepreneur.com. It is very detailed and offers links to other resources. I also love the fact that you can print it out and use it as a check off list as you complete each task toward starting your business. Some of the topics include: evaluating yourself to see what type of business you should start, how to come up with business ideas, the legal structuring and financing of a business and much more.

One of my favorite resources to get information on starting my own business is the Entrepreneur website and magazine. I subscribed to the online content but if you sign up for their newsletter you still get a lot of free tips as well.

I thought that I would share this list of the "12 Steps to Start a Business" written by Matthew McCreary on Entrepreneur.com. It is very detailed and offers links to other resources. I also love the fact that you can print it out and use it as a check off list as you complete each task toward starting your business. Some of the topics include: evaluating yourself to see what type of business you should start, how to come up with business ideas, the legal structuring and financing of a business and much more.

It's exciting stuff if you are looking to be an entrepreneur but it can be a lot and can send your brain into information overload so maybe break it down into shorter goals to tackle on separate occasions. It is great to have it all in one place though. I hope that you enjoy it and will utilize the information toward starting your new business. We would love to hear about where you are in your journey toward being an entrepreneur on our Facebook page.

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The Complete, 12-Step Guide to Starting a Business

www.entrepreneur.com|

14 mins read

 

There are no limits on who can become a great entrepreneur. You don't necessarily need a college degree, a bunch of money in the bank or even business experience to start something that could become the next major success. However, you do need a strong plan and the drive to see it through.

If you're on Entrepreneur, odds are you already have the drive, but you might not know how to start building your empire. 

That why we are here.

Check out this step-by-step guide to help turn your big idea into a successful business.

Related: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an Online Business

1. Evaluate yourself.

Let's start with the most basic question: Why do you want to start a business? Use this question to guide what kind of business you want to start. If you want extra money, maybe you should start a side hustle. If you want more freedom, maybe it's time to leave your 9-to-5 job and start something new.

Once you have the reason, start asking yourself even more questions to help you figure out the type of business you should start, and if you have what it takes.

  • What skills do you have?
  • Where does your passion lie?
  • Where is your area of expertise?
  • How much can you afford to spend, knowing that most businesses fail?
  • How much capital do you need?
  • What sort of lifestyle do you want to live?
  • Are you even ready to be an entrepreneur?

Be brutally honest with your answers. This will create a foundation for everything you do moving forward, so it's better to know the truth now than later.

Related: 15 Free Online Learning Sites Every Entrepreneur Should Visit

2. Think of a business idea.

Do you already have a killer business idea? If so, congratulations! You can proceed to the next section. If not, there are a ton of ways to start brainstorming for a good idea. An article on Entrepreneur, "8 Ways to Come Up With a Business Idea," helps people break down potential business ideas. Here are a few pointers from the article:

  • Ask yourself what's next. What technology or advancement is coming soon, and how will that change the business landscape as we know it? Can you get ahead of the curve?
  • Fix something that bugs you. People would rather have less of a bad thing than more of a good thing. If your business can fix a problem for your customers, they'll thank you for it.
  • Apply your skills to an entirely new field. Many businesses and industries do things one way because that's the way they've always been done. In those cases, a fresh set of eyes from a new perspective can make all the difference.
  • Use the better, cheaper, faster approach. Do you have a business idea that isn't completely new? If so, think about the current offerings and focus on how you can create something better, cheaper or faster.

Also, go out and meet people and ask them questions, seek advice from other entrepreneurs, research ideas online or use whatever method makes the most sense to you.

And, if you've exhausted all your options and you're still stuck, here are 55 great business options you can start.

Related: 63 Businesses to Start for Under $10,000

3. Do market research.

Is anyone else already doing what you want to start doing? If not, is there a good reason why?

Start researching your potential rivals or partners within the market by using this guide. It breaks down the objectives you need to complete with your research and the methods you can use to do just that. For example, you can conduct interviews by telephone or face to face. You can also offer surveys or questionnaires that ask questions like "What factors do you consider when purchasing this product or service?" and "What areas would you suggest for improvement?"

Just as importantly, it explains three of the most common mistakes people make when starting their market research, which are:

  1. Using only secondary research.
  2. Using only online resources.
  3. Surveying only the people you know.

Related: How to Start a Business Online

4. Get feedback.

Let people interact with your product or service and see what their take is on it. A fresh set of eyes can help point out a problem you might have missed. Plus, these people will become your first brand advocates, especially if you listen to their input and they like the product.

One of the easiest ways to utilize feedback is to focus on "The Lean Startup" approach (read more about it here), but it involves three basic pillars: prototyping, experimenting and pivoting. By pushing out a product, getting feedback and then adapting before you push out the next product, you can constantly improve and make sure you stay relevant.

Just realize that some of that advice, solicited or not, will be good. Some of it won't be. That's why you should have a plan on how to receive feedback.

Here are six steps for handling feedback:

  1. Stop! Your brain will probably be in an excited state when receiving feedback, and it might start racing to bad conclusions. Slow down and take the time to consider carefully what you've just heard.
  2. Start by saying 'thank you.' People who give you negative feedback won't expect you to thank them for it, but doing so will probably make them respect you and encourage them to continue be honest in the future.
  3. Look for the grain of truth. If someone doesn't like one idea, it doesn't mean they hate everything you've just said. Remember that these people are trying to help, and they might just be pointing out a smaller problem or solution that you should look into further.
  4. Seek out the patterns. If you keep hearing the same comments, then it's time to start sitting up and taking notice.
  5. Listen with curiosity. Be willing to enter a conversation where the customer is in control.
  6. Ask questions. Figure out why someone liked or didn't like something. How could you make it better? What would be a better solution?

Also, one way to help you get through negative feedback is to create a "wall of love," where you can post all of the positive messages you've received.Not only will this wall of love inspire you, but you can use these messages later when you begin selling your product or service. Positive reviews online and word-of-mouth testimonials can help make a big difference.

Related: 12 Mind Tricks That Will Make People Like You and Help You Get Ahead

5. Make it official.

Get all of the legal aspects out of the way early. That way, you don't have to worry about someone taking your big idea, screwing you over in a partnership or suing you for something you never saw coming. A quick checklist of things to shore up might include:

  1. Business structure (LLC, corporation or a partnership, to name a few.)
  2. Business name
  3. Register your business
  4. Federal tax ID
  5. State tax ID
  6. Permits (more on permits here)
  7. License
  8. Necessary bank account
  9. Trademarks, copyrights or patents

While some things you can do on your own, it's best to consult with a lawyer when starting out, so you can make sure you've covered everything that you need.

Here are some questions you can ask when looking for a small-business lawyer.

Related: The Top 7 Legal Documents for Every Startup

6. Write your business plan.

business plan is a written description of how your business will evolve from when it starts to the finish product.

As angel investor and tech-company founder Tim Berry wrote on Entrepreneur, "You can probably cover everything you need to convey in 20 to 30 pages of text plus another 10 pages of appendices for monthly projections, management resumes and other details. If you've got a plan that's more than 40 pages long, you're probably not summarizing very well."

Here's what we suggest should be in your business plan:

  1. Title page. Start with name the name of your business, which is harder than it sounds. This article can help you avoid common mistakes when picking.
  2. Executive summary. This is a high-level summary of what the plan includes, often touching on the company description, the problem the business is solving, the solution and why now. (Here's what you should include in the summary and how you can make it appeal to investors.)
  3. Business description. What kind of business do you want to start? What does your industry look like? What will it look like in the future?
  4. Market strategies. What is your target market, and how can you best sell to that market?
  5. Competitive analysis. What are the strengths and weakness of your competitors? How will you beat them?
  6. Design and development plan. What is your product or service and how will it develop? Then, create a budget for that product or service.
  7. Operations and management plan. How does the business function on a daily basis?
  8. Finance factors. Where is the money coming from? When? How? What sort of projections should you create and what should you take into consideration?

For each question, you can spend between one to three pages. Keep in mind, the business plan is a living, breathing document and as time goes on and your business matures, you will be updating it.

Related: How to Start a Business With (Almost) No Money

7. Finance your business.

There are a ton of different ways to get the resources you need to start your business. Angel investor Martin Zwilling, whose business Startup Professionals provides services and products for startups and small businesses, recommends 10 of the most reliable ways to fund your business. Take a look and consider your own resources, circumstances and life state to figure out which one works best for you.

  1. Fund your startup yourself. Bootstrapping your business might take longer, but the good part is that you control your own destiny (and equity).
  2. Pitch your needs to friends and family. It can be hard to separate business from personal relationships, but if you're considering asking for a loan, here's a resource you can use to make it as straightforward as possible.
  3. Request a small-business grant. Start by checking out our guide to small-business grants. Then, head over to Grants.gov, which is a searchable, online directory of more than 1,000 federal grant programs. It might be a long process, but it doesn't cost you any equity.
  4. Start a crowdfunding campaign online. Sometimes power is in numbers, and a bunch of small investments can add up to something major. If you think your business might be a fit for something like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, you should read up on 10 of the best-crowdfunded businesses ever or check out the most popular crowdfunding websites.
  5. Apply to local angel investor groups. Online platforms such as Gust and AngelList and local networking can help you find potential investors who relate to your industry and passion.
  6. Solicit venture capital investors. VCs typically look for big opportunities from proven teams that need a million dollars or more, so you should have some traction before approaching them.
  7. Join a startup incubator or accelerator. These companies are designed to help new or startup businesses get to the next level. Most provide free resources, including office facilities and consulting, along with networking opportunities and pitch events. Some, also provide seed funding as well.
  8. Negotiate an advance from a strategic partner or customer. If someone wants your product or service bad enough to pay for it, there's a chance they'll want it bad enough to fund it, too. Variations on this theme include early licensing or white-labeling agreements.
  9. Trade equity or services for startup help. For example, you could support a computer system for office tenants in exchange for free office space. You might not get paid for this, but you won't have to pay for an office, either, and a penny saved is a penny earned.
  10. Seek a bank loan or line of credit. Here are 10 questions you should ask before applying for a bank loan, including whether you will qualify. If you do meet the requirements, a good place to start for loan opportunities is the Small Business Administration.

Related: 7 Seed-Stage Funding Sources That Might Finance Your Startup

8. Develop your product or service.

After all the work you've put into starting your business, it's going to feel awesome to actually see your idea come to life. But keep in mind, it takes a village to create a product. If you want to make an app and you're not an engineer, you will need to reach out to a technical person. Or if you need to mass-produce an item, you will have to team up with a manufacturer.

Here is a seven-step checklist -- including finding a manufacturer and pricing strategies -- you can use for your own product development. A major point the article highlights is that when you're actually crafting the product, you should focus on two things: simplicity and quality. Your best option isn't necessarily to make the cheapest product, even if it lowers manufacturing cost. Also, you need to make sure the product can grab someone's attention quickly.

When you are ready to do product development and outsource some of the tasks make sure you:

  1. Retain control of your product and learn constantly. If you leave the development up to someone else or another firm without supervising, you might not get the thing you envisioned.
  2. Implement checks and balances to reduce your risk. If you only hire one freelance engineer, there's a chance that no one will be able to check their work. If you go the freelance route, use multiple engineers so you don't have to just take someone at their word.
  3. Hire specialists, not generalists. Get people who are awesome at the exact thing you want, not a jack-of-all-trades type.
  4. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you don't lose all of your progress if one freelancer leaves or if a contract falls through.
  5. Manage product development to save money. Rates can vary for engineers depending on their specialties, so make sure you're not paying an overqualified engineer when you could get the same end result for a much lower price.

To help you have peace of mind, start learning as much as you can about the production, so you can improve the process and your hiring decisions as time goes along.

This process will be very different for service-focused entrepreneurs, but no less important. You have several skills that people are willing to pay you for right now, but those skills can be hard to quantify. How can you establish yourself and your abilities? You might consider creating a portfolio of your work -- create a website to show your artwork if you're an artist, writing if you're a writer or design if you're a designer.

Also, make sure you have the necessary certificates or educational requirements, so that when someone inquires about your service, you're ready to jump at a good opportunity.

Related: 105 Service Businesses to Start Today

9. Start building your team.

To scale your business, you are going to need to hand off responsibilities to other people. You need a team.

Whether you need a partner, employee or freelancer, these three tips can help you find a good fit:

  1. State your goals clearly. Make sure everyone understands the vision and their role within that mission at the very start.
  2. Follow hiring protocols. When starting the hiring process you need to take a lot of things into consideration, from screening people to asking the right questions and having the proper forms. Here is a more in-depth guide to help you.
  3. Establish a strong company culture.  What makes a great culture?  What are some of the building blocks? You can see our list of 10 examples of companies with great cultures, but keep in mind that you don't need to have Google's crazy office space to instill a positive atmosphere. That's because a great culture is more about respecting and empowering employees through multiple channels, including training and mentorship, than it is about decor or ping-pong tables. In fact, office perks can turn out to be more like traps than real benefits.

Related: 10 Online Careers You Can Start Today With Basically No Money

 

 

10. Find a location.

This could mean an office or a store. Your priorities will differ depending on need, but here are 10 basic things to consider:

  1. Style of operation. Make sure your location is consistent with your particular style and image.
  2. Demographics. Start by considering who your customers are. How important is their proximity to your location? If you're a retail store that relies on the local community, this is vital. For other business models, it might not be.
  3. Foot traffic. If you need people to come into your store, make sure that store is easy to find. Remember: even the best retail areas have dead spots.
  4. Accessibility and parking. Is your building accessible? Don't give customers a reason to go somewhere else because they don't know where to park.
  5. Competition. Sometimes having competitors nearby is a good thing. Other times, it's not. You've done the market research, so you know which is best for your business.
  6. Proximity to other businesses and services. This is more than just about foot traffic. Look at how nearby businesses can enrich the quality of your business as a workplace, too.
  7. Image and history of the site. What does this address state about your business? Have other businesses failed there? Does the location reflect the image you want to project?
  8. Ordinances. Depending on your business, these could help or hinder you. For example, if you're starting a daycare center, ordinances that state no one can build a liquor store nearby might add a level of safety for you. Just make sure you're not the one trying to build the liquor store.
  9. The building's infrastructure. Especially if you're looking at an older building or if you're starting an online business, make sure the space can support your high-tech needs. If you're getting serious about a building, you might want to hire an engineer to check out the state of the place to get an objective evaluation.
  10. Rent, utilities and other costs. Rent is the biggest facilities expense, but check out the utilities, as well, and whether they're included in the lease or not. You don't want to start out with one price and find out it's going to be more later.

Once you know what to look for and it's time to start searching for a place that fits all of your qualifications, these four tips can help.

  1. Think on your own timeframe. Landlords are starting to offer shorter-term office rentals. Don't get stuck in a long-term lease if it doesn't make sense for your business.
  2. Play the whole field. There are all sorts of places to use -- co-working spaces, office business centers, sublets and more. Keep your options open.
  3. Click around town. You might be able to find the perfect place by using online resources.
  4. Do the deal on your terms. Again, you have options. Don't get roped into something that makes you uncomfortable.

After you have a location, you can focus on the aesthetic. You can check out a few design ideas here.

Related: 5 Best Online Businesses to Start This Year (Infographic)

11. Start getting some sales.

No matter your product or industry, your business's future is going to depend on revenue and sales. Steve Jobs knew this -- it's why, when he was starting Apple, he spent day after day calling investors from his garage.

There are a ton of different sales strategies and techniques you can employ, but here are four tenets to live by:

  1. Listen. "When you listen to your clients/customers, you find out what they want and need, and how to make that happen," says investor and entrepreneur John Rampton.
  2. Ask for a commitment, but don't be pushy about it. You can't be too shy to ask for a next step or to close a sale, but you also can't make customers feel as though you're forcing them into a sale.
  3. Don't be afraid of hearing "no." As former door-to-door salesman (and now co-founder of software business Pipedrive) Timo Rein said, "Most people are too polite. They let you make your pitch even if they have no interest in buying. And that's a problem of its own. Time is your most important resource."
  4. Make it a priority. As entrepreneurial wizard Gary Vaynerchuk said, "Actually creating revenue, and running a profitable business, is a good strategy for business. Where are we that people think users or visits or time on site is the proxy to a successful business?"

But how do you actually make those sales? Start by identifying targets who want your product or service. Find early adopters of your business, grow your customer base or put out ads to find people who fit your business. Then, figure out the right sales funnel or strategy that can convert these leads into revenue.

Related: 63 Businesses to Start for Under $10,000

12. Grow your business.

There are a million different ways to grow. You could acquire another business, start targeting a new market, expand your offerings and more. But, no growth plan will matter if you don't have the two key attributes that all growing companies have in common.

First, they have a plan to market themselves. They use social media effectively through organic, influencer or paid campaigns. They have an email list and know how to use it. They understand exactly who they need to target -- either online or off -- with their marketing campaigns.

Then, once they have a new customer, they understand how to retain them. You've probably heard many people state that the easiest customer to sell to is the one you already have. Your existing customers have already signed up for your email list, added their credit card information to your website and tested what you have to offer. In doing so, they're starting a relationship with you and your brand. Help them feel as good about that relationship as possible.

Start by utilizing these strategies, which include investing in your customer service and getting personal, but realize your work will never be done. You'll constantly be competing for these customers in the marketplace, and you can never simply rest on your laurels. Keep researching the market, hiring good people and making a superior product and you'll be on your way to building the empire you always dreamed about.

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I read a devotional from, The Word For You Today Devotional called, "What Season are you In"? The devotional talked about being in a season of small beginnings. My favorite passage from it says,
"Are you in a season of small beginnings? If you are, God says, "Do not despise these small beginnings (Zec. 4:10 NLT)." The richness and stability that comes from small beginnings and gradual success are more lasting than the temperamental theatrics of those who have never learned their vulnerabilities or developed a true sense of dependence on God."

"Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin (Zec 4:10, NLT)."

I read a devotional from, The Word For You Today Devotional called, "What Season are you In"? The devotional talked about being in a season of small beginnings. My favorite passage from it says,

"Are you in a season of small beginnings? If you are, God says, "Do not despise these small beginnings (Zec. 4:10 NLT)." The richness and stability that comes from small beginnings and gradual success are more lasting than the temperamental theatrics of those who have never learned their vulnerabilities or developed a true sense of dependence on God."

I love the fact that the passage talks about the richness and stability that small beginnings give. Based on the scripture God knows us well enough to know that most of us dread starting over, and we dread when we must start over and then our efforts are small.

What can be even worse is when we have put a lot of time into something like our dream of having our own business, but the business fails, or we dream of finding that special someone but each person ends up not being who they say they are. We could have just failed at anything that really meant something to us and now we must start over and we feel like after all that we have been through we deserve a quick and grand beginning.

I get it. There are promises all over the place with people telling us how they lost 100 pounds in 30 days, how they found their love and got married after only knowing them for 3 months and how you can start a business and make $50,000 in less than 30 days. This is exaggerated of course but I'm sure you get what I am saying….lol.

But apparently, we need more than fast starts. We need a firm foundation. We need to learn ourselves and regardless of what is going on around us because of why we are starting over, we must learn to depend on God. We must learn to depend on Him for what we think we have lost or what we think we will lose while we are in the process that comes with the small beginning.

After being laid off from my contract job the end of last year I realized that although I was disappointed and the voices in my head tell me to rush back out there, I am blessed with the opportunity to re-establish who I am in Christ and to renew my trust in Him. It applies to starting my business and to my personal life.

This is not a time for rushing or panicking. This is a time to begin again, small and gradual. Things may not always be easy, but the Lord is going to keep things together until we reach our destination whether that be the new job, the new business, marriage or the baby that we have been praying for.

"He is before all things and in Him all things hold together (Col. 1:17)."

We have been given favor as a sign that we are headed in the right direction and it is also a little something to hold us until we make it to our dreams, so we cannot take it for granted.  

So, for me a small beginning task might be taking some small action that I had never done before concerning starting my business like making an appointment at my local Small Business Association to request help from a business mentor or filling out an application to go to college to start my bachelor's in business administration. A small start can get your momentum going.

Father we thank you for small beginnings.

What about you? In what area are you starting over in gradually? Have you had to begin again in your business or somewhere in your personal life? What have you learned?

Share with us on our Facebook page.

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There are several certification programs that offer great pay. Most people think of certifications that offer careers in the healthcare and IT field but there are certifications that pay well in almost every industry. Today we are going to highlight Human Resource Certifications.

There are several certification programs that offer great pay. Most people think of certifications that offer careers in the healthcare and IT field but there are certifications that pay well in almost every industry. Today we are going to highlight Human Resource Certifications.

This area of business administration involves work related to employee recruitment, training, health and safety, compensation and benefits, and a lot more. A human resources professional acts as a link between employees and upper management.

 

3 Great Reasons to Pursue Training in Human Resources

 

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

 

1. Job Variety

Working in human resources often involves taking on an interesting variety of enjoyable challenges. And that means you probably won't get bored. In most HR jobs, there is always a lot to do. Yet this field also lends itself well to establishing a good work-life balance. For a lot of HR professionals, the variety of tasks keeps them engaged and satisfied without making them feel overwhelmed.

So, what does an HR person do? Depending on the organization and position, the work can involve tasks such as:

 

  • Helping employers identify their staffing needs
  • Directing employee recruitment efforts
  • Attending career fairs and other recruitment events
  • Conducting interviews and calling references
  • Ordering background checks on job applicants
  • Formally hiring new staff
  • Coordinating orientation for new employees
  • Explaining employee benefits
  • Placing employees in positions that match their abilities
  • Processing and maintaining employee records
  • Consulting with upper management about workplace policies and strategies
  • Providing managers with advice about issues like sexual harassment and fair hiring practices
  • Mediating workplace conflicts and helping to find resolutions
  • Overseeing disciplinary measures
  • Planning and organizing additional training for employees
  • Coordinating employee compensation and benefits plans
  • Making sure that employers comply with employment laws and regulations

2. Opportunities to Advance

The field of human resources provides a lot of professionals with clear paths to advancement. In fact, it's often possible to start your career in an entry-level position, gain some experience, get noticed for your efforts, and move up into a management role. Some HR professionals even become executives.

Most HR positions will require at least a bachelor's degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field. That's particularly true for management or specialist roles. However, many organizations also hire HR assistants who only have associate degrees.

As a result, you may be able to begin your career after just two years of college. And if you find an HR job with education benefits, then you might be able to earn a more advanced degree online while working and have it partially or fully paid for by your employer.

Voluntary certifications can also enhance your advancement prospects. Some of the most popular certifying organizations for HR pros include:

  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • HR Certification Institute (HRCI)
  • Institute for Human Resources (IHR)
  • WorldatWork
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP)

3. Terrific Pay

Careers in human resources often come with good wages. And the pay potential increases significantly as HR pros move up into higher positions. Many experienced people in this field even earn six-figure salaries. For example, take a look at the average salaries from 2017 for the following occupations:****

  • Human resources assistants—$40,700
  • Human resources specialists—$66,220
  • Training and development managers—$117,690
  • Human resources managers—$123,510
  • Compensation and benefits managers—$130,010

                                                 (adapted from https://www.trade-schools.net/business/human-resources.asp)

 

 

References

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), website last visited on October 17, 2017.

** Center for American Progress, "There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees," website last visited on October 17, 2017.

*** Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, website last visited on September 24, 2018.

**** Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on June 12, 2018.

Trade Schools, College and Universities, https://www.trade-schools.net/business/human-resources.asp

 

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Lauren Daigle is a Christian singer and songwriter from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is signed to the Centricity Music Label (Wikipedia.org). I recently came across her new album, Look Up Child. This album is at the top of the music charts, beating Ariana Grande, Drake and Nicki Minaj (CBN.com). The entire album is a musical connection to God for me.

(click the picture link to hear snippets of songs on the album)

 

Lauren Daigle is a Christian singer and songwriter from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is signed to the Centricity Music Label (Wikipedia.org). I recently came across her new album, Look Up Child. This album is at the top of the music charts, beating Ariana Grande, Drake and Nicki Minaj (CBN.com).

The entire album is a musical connection to God for me. When I listened to the songs at certain points I felt healing and encouragement. Feeling more in touch with God, I was reminded of His love for me, my identity in Him and His protection.

It's not just the music although that is perfect also, but if you love words as I do you will feel like Lauren is singing what your heart needs and wants to express to God.

I have included a video to one of the songs from the, Look Up Child Album below. I pray that it encourages your heart.

 

 

 

References

https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/entertainment/2018/september/lauren-daigle-tops-music-charts-beating-ariana-grande-drake-nicki-minaj

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauren_Daigle

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Obtaining a college degree can be one of life's greatest achievements. It can also be an expensive one with the rise of college tuition from year to year. On our last blog post on alternative education titled, Free College Tuition, we talked about an online university that offers free tuition to it's students.

By Ann Gant

 

Obtaining a college degree can be one of life's greatest achievements. It can also be an expensive one with the rise of college tuition from year to year. On our last blog post on alternative education titled, Free College Tuition, we talked about an online university that offers free tuition called, University of the People (see link in references below).

Today we are talking about websites that offer individual low-cost college credits. Once you complete an  exam at the end of your course the credits can be transferred to many colleges all over the United States.

Some of the benefits of taking individual college classes online for credit include:

  • It speeds up the time it takes to complete a degree.
  • You can take classes while in high school or working full time.
  • You can take general education courses now.
  • You can try out courses without having to commit to find your ideal major.
  • You can avoid risking your GPA before you transfer.
  • It can be worked on anytime since your classes are online.
  • You can watch short animated videos that will keep you from being bored.
  • You can learn anywhere, anytime. You can watch from your smartphone while you are on the go and even take final exams.
  • Study at your own pace. Focus on any material that you find difficult, without being concerned about deadlines and time restraints.

 

Study.com ( https://study.com  )

Video lesson are fast, fun way for students to cram for exams, prepare for tests and even earn college credit.

 

edX ( https://www.edx.org )

Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world's best universities and institutions to learners everywhere.

 

Coursera ( https://www.coursera.org )

Coursera provides universal access to the world's best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online.

 

References

www.study.com

College offering free tuition- https://www.uopeople.edu/

 

https://www.edx.org

 

https://www.coursera.org

 

 

 

 

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You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what he wanted to make.

By Russell Kelfer

 

You are who you are for a reason.

You're part of an intricate plan.

You're a precious and perfect unique design,

Called God's special woman or man.

 

You look like you look for a reason.

Our God made no mistake.

He knit you together within the womb,

You're just what he wanted to make.

 

The parents you had were the ones he chose,

And no matter how you may feel,

They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,

And they bear the Master's seal.

 

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.

And God wept that it hurt you so;

But it was allowed to shape your heart.

So that into his likeness you'd grow.

 

You are who you are for a reason,

You've been formed by the Master's rod.

You are who you are, beloved,

Because there is a God!

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I read a devotional recently that really spoke to me about where I am or where I have been with my career/entrepreneurship dreams. See, I am one that is blessed with many good ideas, but I have sometimes let them slip away because I have become overwhelmed with the question, "what if it doesn't work?" I would think of all the reasons why it could fail, why I am not the one that should be doing it, what I lack to get it done or I would just stay in the planning phase until finally I was convinced that too much time had passed.
I found later that I was really procrastinating out of fear of failure.
The devotional, titled: Trust God and Step Out in Faith, reminded me that I must be careful. When I have a dream that I believe God has given me I cannot give into my own fears of past or future failure. In order to bear fruit that will bless others I have to put my trust in my creator to help it come to pass by doing my part.

"Begin the…tasks I have assigned to you."  Mt 25:21 TLB

I read a devotional recently that really spoke to me about where I am or where I have been with my career/entrepreneurship dreams. See, I am one that is blessed with many good ideas, but I have sometimes let them slip away because I have become overwhelmed with the question, "what if it doesn't work?" I would think of all the reasons why it could fail, why I am not the one that should be doing it, what I lack to get it done or I would just stay in the planning phase until finally I was convinced that too much time had passed.

I found later that I was really procrastinating out of fear of failure.

The devotional, titled: Trust God and Step Out in Faith, reminded me that I must be careful. When I have a dream that I believe God has given me I cannot give into my own fears of past or future failure. In order to bear fruit that will bless others I have to put my trust in my creator to help it come to pass by doing my part.

Because really, it's not about me.

I have included the devotional below and I hope it blesses and encourages you as it did me. I hope that it inspires you to step out and do the thing that you never thought you could. I pray that you apply for the position, take steps to start the business or fill out the application for college. Whatever it is, God is with you and because of that you can do it.

 

Trust God and Step Out in Faith (1)

(From The Word For You Today Devotional, dated 08/18/2018)

Nicole Unice, director of women's ministries for Hope Church, says: "There are ideas I know would be beneficial, yet I hesitate to share too much or dream too big. What if they don't work? Or people don't like them? What if the people above me second-guess hiring me? One day I scrawled on my office wall: So, what if it fails? Question: What are you yearning to try and haven't because you're afraid you'll fail. What programs do you keep alive even though they aren't serving their purpose? What technology are you avoiding? What learning are you circumventing because you feel old and rusty? If you don't have anything on the horizon that might fail, you're failing as a leader. Unless you push for innovation and creativity you'll keep attracting the same people. When you 'Begin the …. tasks [God] assigned to you' you'll have to push boundaries and try things that might fail. "John Mason writes: "Don't be afraid to fail…if you're not failing you're not growing. When successful people stop growing and learning, it's because they become less willing to risk failure. Failure is delay, not defeat. A temporary detour, not a dead-end street. We all make mistakes—especially those who do things. As Paul says, "God…gives us the victory through…Christ' (1 Co 15:57 NKJV), and failure is often the first step toward success. Unless you're willing take a risk, you won't get the chance to succeed." Today trust God and step out in faith!

 

 

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Are you thinking about going to college? It can be a tough decision whether you are fresh out of high school or trying to go back to school after many years of putting your degree on the back burner. One of the reasons that some people can struggle with going to college is because of the rising cost of tuition. Then after graduation a nice chunk of your salary can go to paying off student loans.
Am I saying that people should not go to college because it's too expensive? No. But what I am saying is that because of the internet giving us the blessing of online learning there are alternatives to high college tuition like free college tuition.

Are you thinking about going to college? It can be a tough decision whether you are fresh out of high school or trying to go back to school after many years of putting your degree on the back burner. One of the reasons that some people can struggle with going to college is because of the rising cost of tuition. Then after graduation a nice chunk of your salary can go to paying off student loans.

Am I saying that people should not go to college because it's too expensive? No. But what I am saying is that because of the internet giving us the blessing of online learning there are alternatives to high college tuition like free college tuition.

University of the people is an online university that offers free tuition. Check out some of these highlights about University of the People.

 

  • University of the People was founded in 2009 and is the first non-profit, tuition free, online American accredited university.

 

  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency. DEAC is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  

 

  • The university's mission is to ensure that no student will be denied the right to access higher education due to financial constraints.

 

  • Students are not charged for courses, course materials or annual enrollment.

 

  • Degrees are offered as an Associate and or Bachelor degree in either Business Administration, Computer Science, or Health Science.

 

  • An all tuition free online MBA is also offered.

 

  • The University has backing from major donors such as Google, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett Packard, Twitter and many more.

 

  • The president of the University is Shai Reshef, an education entrepreneur. The President's council is led by current and former leadership from several of the foremost institutions including: John Sexton, President Emeritus of NYU, George Rupp, President Emeritus of Columbia University, Nicholas Dirks, former chancellor of UC Berkeley and many more.

 

  • University of the People has partnered with Yale Law School, NYU, the University of Edinburgh and UC Berkeley, where qualified students can apply to transfer and continue studies.

 

  • 92% of UoPeople's graduates are employed at such companies as Amazon, Apple, Dell, Deloitte, IBM, Microsoft and JP Morgan. As well as institutions such as the UN and the World Bank.

                                                                                                 (Highlights adapted from uopeople.edu)

 

 

https://3w1fdw3g237j15p5421zov1f-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/join-2018-2.png

 

 

So, by now you must be thinking, what's the catch? Well in my opinion there isn't one really. The website states that there is a $60 application fee and an assessment fee of $100 at the end of every course. The fee is $200 for the MBA program. The exams are given at the end of every class. 

 

The good news is that University of the People offers a scholarship for anyone who cannot afford the fees.

 

Based on this, an associate degree can be completed in 2 years for $2060 and a bachelor degree can be completed in 4 years for $4060. The MBA could be completed in 15 months for $2460. The university's website explains that these fees ensure that the University remains sustainable.

 

If you would like to pursue a degree and don't have a scholarship or a lot of money to put into tuition this could be a good source for you. But make sure you check out the website and do your research on other options as well. Online learning is not for everyone. I will keep researching and share any free or low-cost education methods that I find here on the blog.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever attended University of the People? What low cost education routes have you taken? Please share on our Facebook page.

 

 

References:

 

https://www.uopeople.edu/

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Are you starting the process for a big dream? Are you starting a new business or going back to school? Truth is being a dreamer can be tough. Just thinking about a process that you must go through to get to your dream can make you want to give up before you even start. Believe me I truly understand the feeling. I too am starting businesses, working on school and working full time along with being a wife and mother. It can be a lot.
But you know what I am going to say. No, we can't give up. It does take perseverance to win.

Are you starting the process for a big dream? Are you starting a new business or going back to school? Truth is being a dreamer can be tough. Just thinking about a process that you must go through to get to your dream can make you want to give up before you even start. Believe me I truly understand the feeling. I too am starting businesses, working on school and working full time along with being a wife and mother. It can be a lot.

But you know what I am going to say. No, we can't give up. It does take perseverance to win.

We are going to make mistakes. Sometimes we will fail and must start over with the broken pieces of the last attempt. Sometimes people that are closest to us won't believe in our vision, not because they do not love us but because sometimes we are hard to understand. We go against the grain. We think outside of the box. Maybe our dreams are too big to stay confined in the corner cubicle forever and that's okay.

Gandi said, "You may never know what results come from your action, but if you do nothing there will be no results."

We must make peace and understand the fact that some people won't always understand and just keep going. More than people, God is with us (2 Co 4:8-9 CEV). The dream that He has placed inside of us is too important to give up on.

According to the Word for You Today Devotional dated July 18th entitled, "If You Persist You Will Win, Nehemiah rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem in just 52 days. He 1st sought God's help, "we prayed to our God" (Ne 4:9 NIV). Secondly, he protected his vision. "We…. posted a guard day and night to meet this threat" (v.9 NIV). Thirdly, he refused to quit. "Should a man like me run away?....I will not" (Ne 6:11 NIV).

The devotional also talks about the great inventor, Thomas Edison. He gave the world, electric light, microphones, storage batteries, sound films, phonographs, and a thousand other inventions. The principles that he lived by includes:

  1. Work to obtain all the knowledge you can about what you want to achieve.
  2. Fix your mind on your purpose. Persist! Seek!
  3. Keep searching, no matter how many times you meet with disappointment.
  4. Refuse to be influenced by the fact that someone else tried the same thing and failed.
  5. Stay "sold" on the idea that somewhere a solution to the problem exists, and you'll find it.

The life of a dreamer can be a struggle but it's worth it so don't give up. I pray that God gives you favor and strength.

Reflection

So if money or time was not a problem what would you do or are you doing now? What is your dream?

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