Thursday, March 27, 2014

Calling all Start-Up Ladies!

For all of our women out there who are interested in starting your own business, there is an incredible conference happening THIS WEEKEND just for you! (and of course it's FREE!) Here are the details:

Saturday, March 29 12:00pm
5901 Conner St.  
(331) 344-1373
It's that time of year again! Make Your Dreams Come True presents our annual..."Women Business Owners Conference".
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented women! Join us for an exhilarating day of professional development and success strategies for women of all ages...from all walks of life.
The conference will include dynamic speakers, networking opportunities, a question/answer session, and light refreshments.
Learn, Connect, Improve, Share, and Get Motivated!
DARE To Dream And Build Your Business
 Beyond Tomorrow!

For more information contact ECHO (we love to talk!) at 313-674-5077. Remember, we're here to serve you :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Quotes to Keep You Going!

Here are some quotes we dug up from other entrepreneurs. Do you have any to add to the mix? We'd love to hear them!

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”  –Michael Jordan, NBA Legendary Basketball MVP
The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”  –Nolan Bushnell, Entrepreneur
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”  –Wayne Gretzy, Hockey Star
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”  –Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister
 “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.”  –Dave Thomas, Founder, Wendy’s

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”  –Babe Ruth, Baseball Legend

“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle and a victory.”  –Mahatma Gandhi, Political and Spiritual Leader

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring into Spring!

With spring on the way (finally!) things are starting to grow and change and we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about ENTREPRENEURSHIP. Lets start with the basics. First of all, we know you can do it. Secondly, we're here to help. Third, lets dive into some tips. (A mix from a few entrepreneurs themselves... we'll learn more about that tomorrow...and a few tips from us at ECHO!)

1. Put your strengths to work
Remember a few weeks ago we talked about how to identify your strengths? Look back at the post if you need a reminder! What are you good at? What do people ask you for help with? What do you LOVE to do? How can you transfer your answers into a potential business idea?

2. How do I determine whether I'm willing to start a business?
Ask yourself, these things: What will I be sacrificing in order to start a business? Am I willing to sacrifice those things? Do I have interpersonal skills? Do I have leadership ability? What is my outlook? Am I optimistic? (We believe this is 100& necessary for entrepreneurs!)

3. Dream big, but start small
Every entrepreneur  hopes to see their idea prosper into a successful venture, but patience is a virtue. A new business needs time and space to evolve and grow. The key is to start by building a solid foundation through developing smaller, more manageable partnerships and then learn what works or doesn't. In other words, partner with organizations that match your scale. Nobody is too small at the start.

4. Build Street Cred
Get in the neighborhood and get to know people. Make relationships. Form bonds. They will be more likely to support your business if they have a personal connection with you. (and they'll bring in more people!)

5. Choose Your Industry Wisely
Where is there a direct need that your business can address? Perhaps starting a business for cleaning and maintaining swimming pools would not be the wisest industry considering we live in Detroit...follow my drift?

6.  Understand the role of benefit corporations and business incubators
In the past few years, numerous organizations have developed to help make social entrepreneurship more accessible and successful. They can be a source of financial support as well as provide mentorship and guidance. Incubators such as The Unreasonable InstituteCivic VenturesConscious Labs and hundreds of others are springing up. Remember how we mentioned TechTown?! CHECK IT OUT. (here's the link:

7. Don't lose sight of your mission
Merge passion with business. If your business has a strong central meaning and wider goal tahn just making money, it will be more likely to attract partners and customers who are interested in supporting a cause and a story.

8.  Don't be deterred by constant change
It is rare to find your unique selling proposition right away. It takes time for your business ideas and goals to evolve and for things to fall into place. Clarity takes time but it's worth the wait.

9. Use Free Resources

10. Know When to Ask for Help

Other Questions to Keep in Mind!
How do I determine my start up costs and other expenses?
How can I obtain the needed materials to start and maintain my business?
Where am I located and how is that important?
Why is competition important?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Get Event Happy

It's International Happy Day, don't forget to smile!
Warning: There are too many good resources in this post. It might be overwhelmingly helpful ;)
Here are the details (per usual, all events are FREE): 

1. Business Law Basics 
ProsperUS Detroit 
Thursday, March 27, 2014 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Focus Hope 
1400 Oakman Blvd
Detroit, MI 48238

2. Understanding Your Credit Report 
Michigan Women's Foundation

Thursday March 27, 2014 from 12:00PM to 1:00 PM

333 West Fort St Suite 1920 Detroit, MI 48226

PNC Bank will host a free one-hour presentation and light lunch. Please join us at Noon to learn why your credit history is important, as well as how to order, read and analyze your credit report. PNC representatives will also discuss how you can build or improve your credit history and use credit even more effectively as you strive to achieve your financial goals.

3. New Providence 14th Bi-Annual Free Clothing, Shoes and More Giveaway
New Providence Baptist Church
Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (PDT)
Detroit, MI
Phone: (313) 837-0818

Detroit – New Providence Baptist Church will provide thousands of individuals in need with FREE” clothing, shoes and community resources at its 14th Bi-Annual FREE” Clothing, Shoes and More Giveaway on Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

The first 1,000 participants will receive a pamphlet of “FREE” health care resources available to help them in their time of need.

New Providence Baptist Church clothed over 18,250 individuals and fed over 50,000 through this “FREE” giveaway.  The church enjoys blessing the Metropolitan Detroit community during these tough economic times.  “God brings things to you; to go through you; to give to someone else.” says Dr. Everett N. Jennings, Sr., and Pastor of New Providence Baptist Church.

Walmart has donated boxes of new clothing and basic necessities and has pledged to give more in the coming months; Forgotten Harvest will provide food and perishable items to families in attendance. Karmanos Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Program, DTE Home Energy Consultation, HR Strategies Plus LLC will be on site to provide information about their “FREE” medical, utility and resume assistance programs.

Donations of new and gently used infant, children and adult clothing, coats, shoes, accessories,  toys, bicycles, children books, walkers, car seats, play pens, strollers and more are now being accepted Monday-Friday from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Saturday March 1, 8, 15 10:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.   The last day to donate is Saturday, March 15, 2014.  All donations must be clean and in good condition. The items will not be sold.  All items are tax deductible.  Bedding and undergarments ARE NOT ACCEPTED.

The church is located at 18211 Plymouth Road, Detroit, MI 48228 (corner of Plymouth Road and Southfield Freeway).  Admission is free, first come first served.  Free ample parking, gates open at 8:00 a.m.  Please bring a bag with you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Helpful Video!

Good morning! Today for our Inspiration Station, we've found a really sweet guy on YouTube who explains Property Taxes in a VERY clear and concise way. It's important to know where our money is going and to understand the in's and outs of the market. If you are learning how to navigate YouTube, this is a great way to start. Phil Pustejovsky has lots of other videos like this where he explains taxes, making an offer, real estate investing, and lots of other home tips!

If you need help finding other helpful videos on YouTube, please let us know! We'd love to help you discover YouTube as an incredible resource!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Step Forward Michigan

Happy Tuesday everyone! We have a HUGE tip coming your way today. Have you heard of Step Forward Michigan? They have a bunch of different programs, but here's the main gist: they help unemployed homeowners STAY in their homes. They help with property tax, mortgage payment, loans, and those with negative equity. 

Here is a lovely video explaining the details of the program (check it out! such a great tutorial!)

There are multiple ways of applying: 
2. By phone: 866-946-7432
3. We'll help you at ECHO!

We love their mission: A step forward when you're a step behind. 
We're all about that here at ECHO. We know just one single step, one action can change the course of your life and we're here to help as best as we can. If you are having trouble paying your mortgage or are behind in payments with your home, please contact Step Forward Michigan or your ECHO staff for help! We're here to serve YOU!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Healthy Events (& Job Fair!)

There are two health related events coming up next week in Detroit and we thought we MUST let you all know about them. The first is Run Detroit Shoe Demo Day on Saturday March 22nd from 10am-2pm. Here are the details:

Detroit Shoe Demo Day!
Join us on Saturday March 22nd at the Belle Isle Casino to test drive as many pairs of running shoes as you want FOR FREE.  Try out that shoe you read about in a magazine OR figure out if you like trail shoes OR find out if that one shoe you’ve been eyeing feels as great as it looks.  We’ll set up a recommended course with varied terrains and you can run it as many times as you like in as many different shoes as you want.
We’ll also have some compression products, GPS and nutrition for you to try.  Each vendor will be raffling off an item so the first 500 to register will also have a chance to win prizes!
Leave your wallet at home.  This event is completely free and there are no sales (ie no pressure) to buy any of the products you try.

Another event is happening for the ladies in the D: National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day! There will be lots of events happening on Saturday March 22nd! Email or call 517-335-1873 to register for this FREE event!
There will be:
·           Interactive Games
·           Power Testimonies
·           Healthy Relationship Discussion
·          An opportunity will be available to receive open and honest relationship advice from our male only panel.

     All women are invited age 12 and up! Doesn't this sound fabulous?

In case there wasn't enough weekend fun, there is a JOB FAIR coming up as well!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Normally Wednesdays are for inspiring stories, motivational people, and happy things. However, this week we seem to have an overflow of community events coming up. SO, I pulled a few that I thought were most inspiring (and related to our topic of health!)

Guys, Detroit may be considered a "food desert" but Dearborn is not. Have any of you been to the markets out there? Find a way to carpool with your block and stop at these markets: (we promise you won't regret it!)

Papaya Food Market: 16322 W Warren Ave, Dearborn, MI 48212
Westborn Market: 21755 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48124
Greenland Market: 12715 W Warren Ave, Dearborn, MI 48126

Remember how we talked about eating more "real" food yesterday? At these markets you can get fresh vegetables and fruits for CHEAPER THAN YOU'VE EVEN SEEN IN YOUR LIFE. I solemnly promise that. I'm so serious about this that if any of you go, I expect an honest run down of how much money you spent vs. how much incredible produce you walked away with.

Here's a list of what I got with a picture of my groceries. (Clearly I was excited about this and needed to share it with you all!)

8 avocados
2 heads of broccoli
2 heads of cauliflower
2 bunches of parsley
2 bunches of cilantro
6 peppers
12 vine ripe tomatoes
2 bags of spinach
10 lemons
3 bags of pita (fresh baked!)
1 bag of grapefruit (my favorite!)
olive oil
3 bunches of bananas
2 bags of apples
5 boxes of strawberries (all for $30!)