Interested in starting your own journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Cowan, Owner of Living Life Ranch, located in Gardner, KS, USA.
What's your organization, and who are your members?
Living Life Ranch is a 5013c Non-Profit Organization that is designed to set aside a place for people of all ages to come and experience the healing power of love through hands-on experience with horses. Our customers are anyone that is hurting from something. Anxiety, emotional trauma, and life struggles. We are all Certified in Equine Assisted Learning under Elaine Davis's Unbridled Faith program. Two of us are Certified Life Coaches, Certified in Emmanuel Prayer, and Freedom Fighters. We love those that are feeling unloved, down with whatever is thrown at them. We offer the gift of peace while working through horses. We also offer the gift of having a horse experience to all those who want the opportunity to know how to care for and ride horses. We call them Experience Riding Lessons. We work from the ground up, giving a full experience of owning, caring for, and riding horses.
Tell us about yourself
I was a cow horse breeder of Quarter Horses and Paint Horses. One day I was giving children rides around our property, and God led me to stop breeding and use horses to help heal others like I had when I was a child. I came from a very abusive situation growing up. God showed me through my first horse how important I was and loved. I felt peace through turmoil and chaos. Every day I am blessed with the honor of helping someone find their peace within. No job or money in the world can top the feeling I receive when someone feels better because they were here spending time with one of our horses and facilitators.
What's your biggest accomplishment as an organization?
Seeing people at peace and finding joy.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being an organization?
We struggle financially to care for our horses and our facilitator's time. We work mostly for donations, excluding riding lessons. Then we constantly fight the weather because we do not have a cover on our little arena. We make the best of it. You learn to be very flexible.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow an organization today?
Make sure you have your business plan completed before you start. Have the plan put together. Everything flows much better if you have your plan documented. There are several programs that walk you through how to write your plan. This is step 1. Make sure you are surrounded by knowledgeable people, such as a board of directors or just advisors. Whatever skill sets you don't have, you need to add as your experts. Get Copyrights and Trademarks for your branding.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
There are many law firms that offer pro-bono services. A good attorney can help you with all your business start-up needs, and if you are planning to go with a 501c3 company, they can help you get that done.
Where can people find you and your group?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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