I was sharing the other day how I had applied to set up a business entity to one day help fund Be the Change, but still do not even know what the business model will look like. Literally, at all- to this day, yet Proverbs 3 Creations LLC exists.
“Well how do you start a business without even knowing?”
Answer: You can apply for an LLC without a clearly laid out business plan.
Just like how I sign up for races in advance to have something to work towards and to keep me accountable, I establish entities and build them out as I go because why not?
I did the same with Be the Change. I had already had our team signed up and ready to fly out to the Philippines before we even got our 501c3 approval. The first thing the consultant asked me when helping me file the paperwork for the 501c3, “What do you plan to do with your nonprofit”
Answer: “Hmm… I am not quite sure actually- is that going to be a problem? I know I want to provide free healthcare to my hometown in the Philippines, but that is about it. Can we still move forward with just that?”
And we did!
Starting off this way forced me to “wear a lot of different hats” aka research how to become competent in A LOT of different roles and execute them. I am grateful for this initial dynamic because it ingrains in me the intricacies of what each role needs to accomplish in order for everything as a whole to continue forwards and to grow.
And we have!
We started out providing free medical care in just the Philippines and then expanded to Myanmar. The free services we provide to our patients have expanded and diversified as well. And this coming June, we will have accomplished our initial and long term goal of creating a permanent and sustainable outreach in the Philippines through our Continuation of Care Clinic!
I have tried to match Be the Change’s program expansion with an expansion of our team in multiple ways:
The method that has stuck the most is reaching out to Joseph Brewster. Because I had done so in the past to pass the baton of coordinating the Mexico Trips over to him when I first started Be the Change, I knew he would be the perfect person to take the reigns of coordinating and overseeing the Myanmar division. And boy he has! He has more than doubled the volunteer sign up in order to achieve TWO simultaneous clinics PER DAY for their upcoming March Trip!
Beyond the roles of coordinating the Philippines and Myanmar divisions, there is A TON that goes on behind the scenes and that could be going on if we had the man power, it is just difficult because Be the Change is 100% volunteer ran and compensation is not a motivator.
So naturally that led me to explore interns. Be the Change has had at least over 20 student interns over the past few years and they have done some incredible work and open exciting doors for our organization, but students are BUSY. Especially Pharmacy students. And a lot of direction is needed with the understanding that this working relationship is temporary.
In my last blog post HERE, I had introduced what I call “God’s nudges”, which is how I sense God’s direction and guidance. The current nudge I am working my way through is that Be the Change is coming up to a Tipping Point: I can only continue to “wear all these hats” for so long and that it is time to build out the foundation before building out the exciting initiatives at hand.
I shared this “nudge” with Joseph and asked him to join me in prayer and would welcome anyone else who’d like to pray over this because to be honest, I am not sure how to go about growing out our team or who would be passionate enough to commit their time to join our team despite the lack of compensation. But that is okay. That is what prayer is for. And as a leader, I have to develop clear roles and expectations, so that is what I am going to focus on first.
So I invite y’all to join me as I continue forward on this “Focus on the Foundation” (FoF) journey and I hope people can find courage to jump into pursuing their dreams knowing you literally can jump right on in and the rest will work itself out as you go with God’s nudges.