For years, Jess Olivito has informally ministered to women in an effort to advance God’s Kingdom. She felt a call to turn this into a more formal ministry, but wasn't sure what it would look like. Last fall, she received a vision to coordinate a Women’s Worship Experience that would unify women across denominational lines and teach them more about the Holy Spirit. On November 23, almost 250 women participated in an interactive worship night. “It was a powerful night of anointed musicians and speakers and I also had the opportunity to publically give my testimony and story of redemption. I know God used this event to change women’s lives forever. Almost a third of the crowd came up for personal prayer at the end of the night and several had major breakthroughs. The biggest reward for me was watching God use my past pain to help set others free! As a result, I know the Lord wants me to orchestrate more of these events”, says Olivito.
As a result, Jess knew it was time to get serious about building a solid business plan for her non-profit ministry. She enrolled in Michelle Smith’s Magnify Your Marketing program to get quality results she could implement for 2015.
“Michelle’s Magnify program allowed me to define my true purpose. I enrolled in the 3 session group program with several other motivated entrepreneurs. In the first session, I brainstormed my best ideas, asked questions of my classmates, and developed a solid mission and vision. By session 2, my dreams were being transformed into a tangible, realistic, and doable action plan intended to quickly advance the ministry. And by session 3, I had built a thorough, foundational marketing plan for 2015 that I then presented to my classmates for feedback and additional input. Magnify helped me define: who I should serve, what my true goals were, and how I was going to accomplish everything… step by step!
“Literally days after completing the program, I was talking to a pastor about my future goals and pulled out my 2-page marketing plan to be more specific. The pastor was so impressed by the serious time and energy I had devoted into building such a solid, executable plan…that she immediately started sharing ways her church could partner with us!”
“Without having FIRST worked through all my ideas with Michelle (and then documenting them concisely into a plan of goals and actions), I would NOT have had the confidence or credibility to take my ideas to the next level for The Sozo Group. I look forward to Michelle’s continued coaching in 2015 as I get support carrying out my plan in her Maximize Your Marketing program!”
Want to connect with Jess Olivito, plug into one of her future worship experiences or serve God using your specific professional talents? Check out The Sozo Group’s website ( www.thesozogroup.org) for more details about upcoming events and project-based volunteer opportunities.
Self Care is such an important part of our everyday lives. It's especially important for the success of our business. With all the busyness that's been present in my personal and business life, I was starting to feel overwhelmed and to lose my passion. I wasn't being my best self and could feel it in my gut. Despite the feeling, I knew I needed to just trudge onward if everything was to get done and I was to meet my goals. Fortunately a couple of close friends noticed I was slipping back into the workaholic mode I was so used to throughout my career. They know one of the reasons I started my business was so that I could stay out of that mode and be happier and healthier for myself, my family and my clients.
At the advice of my friends, I scheduled a call with my business coach. Going into the call, I was certain I needed her to help me pull all the parts of my to-do list into some sort of order. My coach, though, realized that what I really needed was to put aside all the to-do's and start focusing on taking care of myself. A past workaholic herself, she noticed the writing on the wall and was able to share how she puts practices into her day that ensure she has the attitude and creativity she needs to be successful for her clients and family. From blocking time for lunch to exercising each day, the list of examples went on and on throughout our call. Nearly one month later, I'm happy to say that I've manged to start taking care of myself little by litte and am achieving better results because of it.
One of the things I've started doing is taking a walk each day. Some days it's harder than others and I definitely notice a difference on the days I don't go. I like to go first thing in the morning and to listen toRick Warren's Daily Devotional while I walk. It's about 25 min, so the length is perfect. While walking I often take time to stop and look at the trees. The beauty God puts in each one is so unique and so nice to look at. The tree I saw today had little berries growing on it. I also stop at four different points along the way to do push ups; both at the start and end of my walk on my front porch and then during my walk on the park bench and hills in our subdivision. I've been told to walk forever and could never get into it because our subdivision isn't the most beautiful to walk through and it doesn't have any sidewalks. I also couldn't come to grips with walking in the winter. It's amazing, though, how none of that matters when you start being present and can see beauty anywhere and in anything. I love looking back on this transformation and thinking of moments like last night when even the cold rain didn't stop me from taking a walk last night. I just held my umbrella and stayed close to home.
In additon to getting exercise and listening to a daily devotional, I've also been trying to make better food choices. Since that perfect time has yet to come (and I now realize it never will!), I've started by just doing something. After my walk I make a smoothy from the 10 Day Detox program I have been wanting to start again. Although I can't do the whole thing right now, I've been trying to focus on incorporating bits and pieces. I even sat the family down yesterday before my husband went grocery shopping to make a list of fruits, veggies and dinners we all like and then make a plan for our meals these next couple of weeks.
One last important thing I've been doing to take care of myself is to spend more time with God. Each night I've been searching for a quote in the bible related to how I'm feeling and then reading it. I then have a guided conversation with God about my day and what I've learned. Putting him first allows me to focus my actions on the work He has put me here to do and not the work I want to do. It also gives me the strength to keep moving forward a little at a time.
My business coach was the one who helped me see that self care was slipping away and how it's the most important task on my list. The presence of the many positive people I've pulled into my village this past year helped give me the tools and skills I needed to quickly change focus. Both the village of people, and my coach that keeps me focused and on track, have made a huge difference in my life. All are needed to achieve the work that God is wanting me to do. Building this village of support is the one MAJOR thing I've done different as I've stared my own business that I never thought was important when I was working for others throughout my career. This difference has led to my success. I'm thankful to each of the people in my village- you know who you are!
If you haven't yet built your village, I encourage you to do so. Building a village is at the essence of my Magnify and Maximize programs which begin this February. If you'd like to learn more, I encourage you to set up a Get Aquainted Call. I also encourage you to attend the Sparkle & Thrive Conference which will be held on January 24th. I will be speaking on the topic of how it takes a village to have a successful business and life and we have built a vendor village to make it easy for you to quickly start building your village.
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