by Jay Whisenton, Business Owner- October 2015

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Are you walking with your head up or are you walking with your head down?  I was walking with my head down when it came to my business until Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute (RMMFI) showed me how to lift my head and keep it up! My mentor, Ben Weeda, was the first person at RMMFI to help me recognize where my business was heading if I didn’t make changes.  Ben encouraged me to attend my first RMMFI classes. Once I did, the realization kicked in for me: My business was failing. During a one-on-one with Ben, I began to cry, but not for long as he was quick to snap me out of it, reminding me that there was still hope. I just needed some guidance and a reminder to keep my head up.  When I was accepted into Business Launch Boot Camp I knew I was at a crossroad for Feeding the Multitudes Catering. If Boot Camp did not work, I would close the doors of my business for good.

After 12 weeks of intense Boot Camp classes, my eyes were opened to a new direction toward business success.  In August 2014, Feeding the Multitudes Catering re-launched.  We made twice as much money in the last five months of the year than we had in the first 7 months of that year. It was incredible! My business went from being “the best kept secret” to a well known catering company that continues to grow.

Success is not built on your knowledge of the business alone, but also on the relationships that you create along the way, that is what I learned from Stacey, RMMFI’s Development Director.  Annie, the Boot Camp coordinator, always encouraged me to be who I am and use my strengths to further me.  Brendan, the Director of Programs continually challenged me to go deeper, beneath the surface of my vision for Feeding the Multitudes Catering.  The staff at RMMFI continues to urge me endlessly on and has continued to encourage me long after I graduated from Boot Camp. With my mind set to give my very best to my business, I press on. I want to go beyond expectations, build relationships, be myself and enjoy the fact that in the year 2015 my business has made money to strengthen my family and to do what we love the most: Provide catering for low-income families and non-profits.

I have always believed that what you reap is what you sow. There have been countless times that others have sown support into my life through my many ups and downs. Thanks to them, I am still standing. I am a successful small business owner because they invested in my potential.  Sometimes all we need is a “bootstrap up”. How many others now stand in the position that I was once in?  I am forever grateful for the opportunity provided to me through RMMFI!

Thank you to the donors who helped RMMFI help me to keep my head up, to better support my family, and to serve all of the low-income families and non-profits that I am now able to help. Now is a great time to help someone else out!  You can sow a seed and see the results of your contribution to a small, local business. Make a donation to RMMFI today!