Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have several extensive three-month-long Self-Reliance courses that lead to college credit if completed. One such course is the business course that I completed this spring (2019). I got six business credits for it through the LDS Business College! It wasn’t about the college credit for me, though. It was about the skills and the guidance and the group atmosphere cultivated by the faith-based approach that we used. Starting and growing a business takes a whole lot of YOU – your enduring faith and confidence in your ideas, your creative approach(es) to marketing, your ideas about what you want your product or service to be and what niche you want it to fill, who your customer base is going to be, how to gain and keep customers, how to please customers, how to take and use support and constructive criticism or feedback of all kinds, sorting out what’s working and what’s not, managing money, keeping your finances straight, not mixing business and personal finances, attention to detail, keeping up with change, being willing to change elements or approaches to all aspects of your business, identifying what might be missing or could b better, letting go of the pet idea that didn’t work in favor of a suggestion that appeals less to you but works better for your business, financing your business, managing cash flow, knowing the laws about small businesses and taxes in your city, state, and country, keeping good records, coming up with a business plan and being able to make changes to it quickly and decisively, being flexible, being personable, being fair, actually listening to customers (and employees, if you have them), soldiering on when the going gets tough, and knowing, unfortunately, when to hang it up if things just don’t work out. I’m sure I haven’t even touched on all of the things that starting and growing your own business entails, but those are a few challenges that you have to be ready for. Perhaps the one key element that I haven’t mentioned yet is the most important – right up there with faith in your own abilities – and that is faith in the One that gave you those abilities (depending on what you believe – I’m writing this from a Latter-day Saint perspective).
Heavenly Father gave each of us talents, gifts, and abilities that we are to use here on the earth. It’s only good stewardship to use those talents, gifts, and abilities in a responsible manner that enriches life for ourselves and others. If no one ever shared or developed their talents, gifts, and abilities, just think where we’d be! We wouldn’t have all of the great technology that we have today, or the wonderful inventions, or electricity, clean running water, or a legal process of any kind. We wouldn’t be civilized – we’d be primitives, lapsed into man’s lowest state, of which we cannot even fathom. We need to develop and share our gifts, talents, and abilities not only for our own sakes, but for the sake of others around us and around the world. You never know how you might impact mankind forever! So, if you have an oppportunity to gain more education, have faith (in yourself, at the very least), and take the opportunity to learn! There is no such thing as too much knowledge! Learn! Then apply what you’ve learned in a way that will benefit someone. You’re here for a reason. Seek it out and make a positive change in the way you and others are able to live life. You’ll feel better, I guarantee it!