Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Final Post… (Well, that gets graded anyway)

There are a lot of things that we’ve talked about this semester…and this post is supposed to be the cherry on top, the pick of the litter, the tale to end all tales. But I have a hard time writing it out like that. I think that it’s mostly because the really isn’t a way to end something like this. When there’s always something new to learn, it’s hard to state anything as a sure fact, because something will come along that will deepen your understand of said “fact”, or even convince you that it isn’t a fact at all. 

But I think that there are a couple truths that have stuck out to me more than others.
First comes from the beginning of the semester when we talked about branding yourself, making your mark. This isn’t easy, and it requires that you have faith in yourself, which can be the hardest thing to do. I don’t know about you, but I can’t see into the future. I can’t tell if the current plans I have are going to work out, and the idea that I have to trust my future with someone as fallible as I am…haha, well it scares me.

But (and forgive me if this gets a little personal), it all has to come back to faith. And not faith in myself per say, but faith in God. A fear of mine is that I will miss the right place and the right time (especially for meeting that special someone)…that I will ignore the promptings from the Lord and then *poof* opportunity gone. But God isn’t spiteful, and I think that if something is truly good for us, and is critical to our development, He will give us multiple opportunities. So who are we to decide that if we follow a path we’ll fail? Who am I to tell the Lord what will and will not happen?

Yes we make decisions, yes we are responsible to make sure we’re proactive and industrious, but if we miss an occasional opportunity that isn’t the end. One of my favorite Bible stories is about Peter, and how he denied Christ the three times. He knew that would happen, Christ had told him. So could he have avoided it? Yes, he probably could have. But he didn’t, he failed. Yet, because of that failure, Peter was taken to a point in his life where he had to do some serious self-searching, and I believe that this was the point where Peter’s inner resolve became settled, and he never denied the Christ again. So in the end, I think that small failure set him up for success as one of the greatest biblical teachers in the New Testament.

So remember, there will be times that we fail, where we fall and believe that we’ve hit the bottom. But that failure could well be the springboard into successes that we never imagined were possible. So if there are two points that I guess I’d like to narrow down from this they are these:
  1. 1.      Do what you believe isn’t possible, and believe in yourself.
  2. 2.      God’s end goal is His own, so when you feel that you’ve been set up for failure, remember that it could very well be your own springboard to success.

It’s been a fabulous semester, and I look forward to seeing the growth and changes that continue to happen in my life because of the principles that I’ve learned here.

Thanks Brother Nygren for an awesome semester of learning!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

End Results

So last week I talked about how we were doing a bake sale to save money for Kiva and so this week I get to give a follow up about how it went. 

Well we set a goal to raise $200 for our bake sale, and we ended with $203, a net gain of $143. We were super excited to reach our goal! Even though we didn't win out of our class, we were happy to have met our goals. 

Here are some of the pictures we took of bake sale. It took a lot of work, but it was well worth it! :)

Made with a blue velvet cake mix...we called them the Monster's Inc. Cookies

Oreo Brownies...proof that Pinterest is full of good ideas.  

So these were a lot of fun to make, We dipped them in the first layer of chocolate and then drizzled the chocolate. Some of them just had chocolate, the others were covered in salt. They were super yummy!

Fun little combo packs that we put together: Pretzels, a watermelon cake pop, and Sha-la-las (crushed oreos with a marshmallow center).

These actually sold out! We put an assortment of treats in these bags and it was kind of the luck of the draw type of thing. People got really excited about it. We thought they'd be fun, but they were more of a hit than we anticipated. 

This whole thing was a lot of fun, and did much better than we thought. We've talked about doing it again, but in the summer when the weather is nicer and when we can be outside (better location). Such a success in so many different ways! To be honest, we were worried that we wouldn't even make a normal profit, so even though we didn't "win" we felt pretty victorious.

I think if we learned anything, it's that the best success is defined by how we do compared to our own personal expectations, and not by how others do. Overall though stressful, the whole thing was a ton of fun!

- Shayla 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Reaching Goals

This week was super fun! We're getting ready for a bake sale that we're doing, and it's kind of the best thing. I've done house cleaning, but never run anything like this before, so it's super exciting. I think thought the icing on the top of the cake is that we're doing it to help entrepreneurs in third world countries get a start...and that is pretty satisfying. :) I hadn't realized how motivating it can be have a purpose in making money. I mean, I like money, but it's fun to help somebody else.

This is a great video that shows the power that Kiva can have to change lives, the power to help others live their dreams.

If you want to participate in this awesomeness visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cookiesforkiva and learn how to help.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Financial Peace

Where does happiness come from?

Does it actually work like this? Can having money make us happy and bring us deep satisfaction? That was one of the topic's of our class yesterday and it was based mostly by a talk given by Stephen W. Gibson, a professor at BYU.

A couple of his points stuck out to me, and helped me understand the nature of money a little better.

First: God wants to bless us financially, but like the other blessing we receive from him, they depend on our obedience to principles He teaches us (pay tithing, stay debt free, have a rainy-day fund).

Second: Be your own master. You cannot consider yourself a free person until you are free of your debts to other people. That money isn't yours while you owe it to someone else.

Third: That once the basic needs are met (food, housing, clothing) with maybe a little extra, people are happy. And while having lots of money can buy you things that bring temporary gratification, it rarely changes any lasting satisfaction. This is in contrast to people who can't meet their basic needs who are always worrying about where dinner's going to come from.

There were several other good points, but these were the ones that stuck out to me the most. I think that money can bring us peace when we have control of our finances. That while we are in charge of our budget and we aren't in debt than we're in a good situation. So does money effect our happiness? Yes, when we're constantly worried about where money for food is going to come from it's hard. But once those fears are gone, we can relax and focus on what is most important.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Reaching Higher Ground

Do you ever feel like you can't do something? Well, don't let that slow you down, have a look at this clip and decide if this take on a true story doesn't lighten things up for you.

Disclaimer: While Hugh Grant is irresistible, that shouldn't be the only take-home message!

If you have Netflix I'd advise that you take the time to watch the movie...because it's fabulous and there's a lot to be learned from it. We all have our goals, our impossible aims, but these people...they turned a hill into a mountain! 

How easy it could have been to go, oh well, no mountain? A lot easier than carrying tons of dirt and sod up a hill/mountain! But it was worth it to them. Are our dreams worth it to us? Are we willing to put the work in? 

Whenever I need help deciding what I want to do, I just imagine myself standing on top of my "Mountain" and how I feel there. That feeling is irreplaceable.

What are you doing today to turn your hills into mountains?


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Lesson in Humility

I've learned a lot about humility this week. While we talked about things like being a leader with a under-case l, and doing things to support and uplift the people around you, I kept being impressed by the knowledge that really, the best thing I can do to be a better leader is listen to that little voice that comes from God. 

The past few weeks I've gotten comfortable, and pretty content with my life. These are both dangerous places to be at, because if you aren't actively trying to move forward, you are moving backwards. And I have a responsibility to myself to be the best person I can be. That person isn't determined just by the things they accomplish, but the things they do to lift others up. 

The people I respect the most I respect because of the positive effect they have had on me and my loved ones. Their care and their sincerity really is what draws me to them, and I want people to be drawn to me in the same way. 

I've been trying to get a little direction lately, and haven't had much luck. That's kind of new to me because I'm used to having a clear course put before me. I started doubting my dreams and my goals and even began to question the wisdom of trying to start my own business. The idea scared me (still does actually), and I wasn't sure I could do it. 

But then something changed. I failed a test that I thought I'd do well in, didn't lose as much weight as I thought I should, and didn't have the kind of social life I wanted. I wasn't succeeding. I turned to the Lord, asking why I couldn't do it, why things weren't working out. That's when I realized what the problem was, the same problem with this blog post....there's too many "I"s, too much of me. 

The Lord was trying to get into my life to reassure me, and I had been focused on my abilities. The truth is, on my own I don't have what it takes to be a business woman, but with God I do have it. While maybe I don't see it in me, God does. There's such a relief when, instead of, "what's the best path for me?", you say "where will I do the most good?". Then your priorities change. When our goal is to help others we will succeed. 

So this week I learned my duty isn't to be the top of the world, but to help put other people up there. 

Good week. I'm grateful that it happened!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tolerance for Ambiguity

Some days I walk out of class and the ringing message in my ears is "so you think you want to be an entrepreneur? Prove it." And at times my gut response is "Yeah! Lets do this!" and then, sometimes I just close my eyes and have to fight really hard to see myself in that future. But the biggest thing that I learned from this week, is that by having specific expectations for how things should work I could set myself up for failure. 

In everything there is a certain level of ambiguity, and the sooner I learn to accept that the better for my business. I'v had a couple really major transitional moments in my life, I served a mission for my church (pretty life changing!), I moved off to college, started to live on my own (and loving it) and though each of these steps were crucial to helping me become who I am today, I found that all of my set expectations were always blown to bits. 

The sooner I learned to get rid of my set expectations the sooner I was able to settle in and get things together. It's an easy lesson, and I find that I'm learning it over and over again in all new situations. But as I keep looking for ways to think outside of the box, I see fewer giant walls and I find a lot more doors. It's not the easiest thing, but the results in the end are always worth it. 

So when things happen and we didn't see them coming, we shouldn't panic, because there is always a way around it. It may be a little unorthodox, and perhaps a tiny bit nontraditional, but as long as we aren't breaking any moral or ethical boundaries we all have the potential to become the next Thomas Edison (who, may I remind you, didn't make the light-bulb in his 1st, 100th or 1000th try).