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means consulting and rereading the plan as needed to ensure that it is followed or to understand why you strayed from it. This will help you to react appropriately and make conscious decisions when they present themselves. Your business plan has the potential to quickly and easily show you the impact that your decisions will have on your business.

financials without trying to understand or interpret the facts. The most important part of financials is to understand the difference between the anticipated financial figures and the actual finances: namely the net profit, sales, and costs. It's important to not only consult the financial section of your plan, but also to understand the variations and discrepancies in your plan since the inception of your business, and to seek to explain the impact this will have on elements of your business including such things as: inventory, disposable income, and employees. If you can't do this by yourself, then make sure to provide monthly financial statements to your accountant, bookkeeper, or account director, and then ask them to explain what it means. Understanding your weaknesses and anticipating the consequences (how your limitations can make your business vulnerable) will allow you to set up emergency responses and contingency plans when necessary.

The healing arts have always involved an exchange of energy. A few generations ago a farmer might have offered a chicken or a goat in exchange for a healer's remedies; today this exchange involves money. I often hear herbalists and healers say that they don't feel comfortable accepting money in exchange for their services. It's as if money itself is somehow tainted with a negative energy, and that being poor will make you more honest and pure. Money is simply the new currency - the modern day chicken and goats. In order truly to thrive doing what you love, it's important to make peace with money as today’s accepted form of energy exchange. As an “herbalpreneur”, understanding financials can be the most challenging aspect of writing a business plan. In fact, it can be the one factor that dissuades you from beginning the process in the first place. Understanding your strengths and limitations - and seeking appropriate help to support you in areas where you need it is crucial. When I initially wrote my business plan, for example, I had a lot of help with the section on financials - so much, in fact, that I barely understood what it all meant. I wasn't too concerned by this, however, because at the time my ultimate goal was to use my plan to secure funding. Over the course of the first two years in business, all of my financial paperwork remained a blur - I had a complete mental block about it; I would look at a page of numbers and they would all melt together. I could ask someone to explain the basic terminology to me in great detail, and still forget it the next day. I completely relied on my accountant and bookkeeper to let me know how my business was doing. I was in the driver's seat, but I was definitely not in control. When I finally signed up for a series of business classes and began learning how to manage my own finances, I couldn't believe that I had gotten so far without understanding this basic information. I had made the very common error of looking at my

In the current economic climate, long gone are the days where people stay in one organization for 30 years, work their way up the corporate ladder, and then retire with a fat pension. These days the majority of working professionals are building a diverse resume and leveraging their current job to land a more desirable job at a different organization. Therefore, most people are essentially entrepreneurs regardless of whether they run their own business or have a traditional job. Being an entrepreneur is about creating a career for yourself and generating your own income – sometimes that income may come from a position within an organization, and sometimes that income may come from a clientele or customer base. Accepting your entrepreneurial nature and taking responsibility for own career trajectory will empower you to create the kind of livelihood you want. This makes becoming a professional herbalist not only feasible, but profitable on so many levels.

Global Industry Analysts, Inc. "Alternative Medicine A Global Industry Outlook."PRWeb. N.p., 10 Jan. 2012. Web. 28 June 2012. <http://www.prweb.com/releases/ prwebalternative_medicine/homeopathy_chinese/ prweb9087888.htm>. 1

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