Moving Forward: What the Future Holds

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So many of you you know our journey over the last few years: Searching for over a year to figure out what Joshua’s health issues were,  and finally finding out that he had Celiac (as well as more than a dozen food allergies). You know how, because of that, we learned that Celiac was also the culprit in Jeff’s host of food allergies and frequent illness, and that it was even a problem for his mother!  Through all of this, I was also able to help another family member on my side uncover a Celiac diagnosis. It has been so clear to me that God has used this trying situation to shed light on the need for healing and to allow for healing in so many others.

Since we began delving into this wide, wide world of health and nutrition; learning how to nourish our bodies best, and learning how to reduce other stresses and try to live more simply, so many people have crossed my path. Some of them had insight or wisdom to offer that helped us, and some of them were just starting out and looking for insight from us. Especially in our region, resources for some of these diet and lifestyle changes are fairly limited. For instance, the nearest support group for allergy moms is over an hour and a half away by car, which is where the vast majority of functional medicine offices, naturopaths, and the only GAPS practitioner in the state are all located as well. For some time, I have wanted to be able to be a resource in our area in a more official capacity, but I was really unsure of what course of action was the best. I have prayed about it, thought about it, and puzzled over it. How could I get the “expertise” in a way that is affordable but also  provided valid credentials (let’s face it, in the field of nutrition and in a time when so many misrepresent themselves, the credentials are important!)?

Even still, I have been wary of going “back to school” because, while I LOVE listening to lectures and reading the books, I don’t have time for a lot of research papers and hours upon hours of homework. I’m a special needs mom who has to spend a big chunk of her day in the kitchen because of our dietary limitations. Becoming a nutritionist or dietitian was out of the picture, because it would require years of schooling even going full time, and part time would take even longer.

Enter the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. All the experts whose resources I have spent time searching to find the right answers for us, the folks who have spoken at the web summits I have been signing up for? Several of them are course instructors through this online program. Better yet, it is a one-year program that specializes in a myriad of nutritional theories and ALSO teaches you the business tools to make sure that your health coaching business is a success. They have great success rates, and they take care of a lot of the details for you (for instance, as long as I keep it active, they will host and maintain my professional website, and all the costs of materials are included in tuition). They support and partner with charities that I have an immense amount of respect for, such as Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, and Food for the Poor. All my lectures are available on my mobile device, so I can listen and learn while I work in the kitchen, like I do now with sermon podcasts, kitchen tutorials, and the like. Basically, the folks behind IIN want to make sure that their students succeed, and that they and their students have every opportunity to make a positive impact on the world around them.

The more I read, the more I wanted in on this great thing. The only catch was….tuition. Money is not easy to come by for so many these days, and that includes me.  None of the (very flexible) payment plans are really an option for us, either.  So, after giving it a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to run a crowdfunding campaign to raise what I need for tuition and some start up business expenses.

The cost of tuition is $5995, and of course there are the fees through gofundme.com  as well. On top of that, I am going to need some help with the kiddos (childcare budget) for some of my study time, and I would like to be able to be sure that I have basics covered for starting my health coaching business when I am finished my classes (including  funds to secure an inexpensive office space). All told I am going to be raising about $12,000 (with as much as $1,000 of that possibly going to gofundme.com, depending on transaction fees).

This is where you come in. You, my family and friends, can help me out even if you cannot give so much as one dollar. You cannot “crowdfund” without a crowd. I would like each of you to Tweet, “Like & Share,” or Email this post (as well as my gofundme.com page, once it launches), so that my campaign reaches as many potential donors as possible. I cannot do this without you!

Part of the unique and creative atmosphere of many crowdfunding sites is to offer non-monetary incentives to backers; and mine will include personal Thank You emails & newsletters at the lower tiers, as well as 1 free coaching session, and a package of 3 free coaching sessions (by web, phone, or in-person) at the higher tiers. I will actually be able to begin taking clients after successfully completing 6 months of classes, so you do not even have to wait for me to graduate before you can begin receiving those incentives.

The biggest reason I want to do all of this, however, is to make an impact on my community, which is where “stretch goals” come into play. If I am able to raise MORE than I initially need, I have plans in place for extra monies that come in. For example, a good car is on the list, so that I can get to clients who cannot get to me; as well as a specific budget to enable to me to take some clients who cannot afford such services. Extra monies that come in will cover consultation costs as well as supplements and such for these clients who need help navigating nutrition but cannot afford it. I have been so grateful for some of the practitioners along the way who gave us needed help and never even sent a bill, as our finances have been incredibly tight, as well as farmers who have given us more than we’ve paid for and helped us to be able to feed our family in ways that would make us well, instead of relegating us to foods that would make us sick. People have given so much to us, and I want the primary goal of my coaching business-to-come to be giving back to my community in a vital way.

The comments are open, tell me what you think! But more than that, please like & share. I really want to get this training, so that I can have this positive impact in my community! And who doesn’t want to be able to make a living doing something that they love?! But, I cannot do this without each and every one of you! So let’s get started!

 

Update: Visit My GoFundMe Page Here: http://www.gofundme.com/bi9d34

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