Monday, September 25, 2017

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Jena Bell, Founder/CEO of J Coach International

Jena Bell is a former Senior Healthcare Executive with over 30 years experience. She was the first female and African American to head a $29 billion national health program. Jena is a coach, entrepreneur and motivational transformative speaker that inspires her audiences with her message of your setback is your next comeback.

1.    What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career? I have been on the journey for over 32 years with 30 years in the corporate environment. The obstacles as an entrepreneur are similar as a corporate executive.  Whether a career professional or running a business, you have to market (promote) yourself because you are your brand. It is sometimes difficult to remember that as a soloprenuer that it’s up to you.  I have learned that having the right systems in place is critical and to outsource certain tasks so I don't get bogged down and can focus on the development side of my business.  Also, obtaining a sponsor/coach early on is important. No matter what stage you are in, learning from others and being willing to be coached is key. Act early and take steps to align with others in  your field. Networking, identifying the right organizations and strategically focus your attention to build your network through active communications and in some instances strategic alliances.

2.    What inspired you to break into your particular industry? My inspiration to enter the coaching and speaking business emerged as  I transitioned out of corporate.  I chose to take time to really focus on me, my hopes, my dreams and my relationship with God. Through that period, my purpose was revealed. I answered my calling to serve others. Coaching  and speaking became the vehicles matching  my purpose, passion and profession with my gifts.  I believe we all have inherent gifts and a call to purpose and when we harmonize the two, we find greater joy and rewards.

3.    How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance? It’s always a struggle for anyone that is passionate about what they do to know when to break away and truly experience downtown.  But what I learned when going through my personal transformation, I must make time for me to refuel, reset and restore my inner being and spirit.  To do that requires that I make time for the downtown. My favorite examples are working out, holistic self-care, travel, weekends off, and some days off in the middle of the week. I may close down and simply take in activities that  I enjoy without ever feeling guilt.  It’s my choice.  
4.    What is an inspirational quote that you live by? I am inspired by 2 quotes “ I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” and “I walk by faith, not sight.”  I believe that all things are possible when we believe, think it, and act upon it.  
5.    Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way? Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?  There were so many people that have influenced my path.  The ones that I hold dearest are my parents who always supported me and made be believe that I could achieve what ever I wanted to if I worked for it and put forth my best. That belief,  was supported and validated throughout my life and my career by teachers who were influential as early as kindergarten  and throughout college.  I have always been blessed to have someone champion for me or lift me through encouragement. I still remember them all!
6.    What are your “must-haves” to keep your career or business going strong? My must-haves to keep my business strong include continue to develop myself as a continuous learner, development of  products that impact and transform lives,  a strong, diverse network of like-minded people, faith, a voice that makes a difference in the lives of others, systems and processes,  and a strong team.

7. What is your definition of a BOSS?

A visionary, compassionate, leader who influences and impacts others,  who is not afraid but willing to partner with others unconditionally. She shares her gifts and talents so that others walk in greater enlightenment.  She does not compete, she collaborates!

Jena L Bell - “ The #1 Possibilities Coach”

To find out more about Jena Bell, visit her at:

Twitter: @jenalbell

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Leadership: Building A Great Team by Dr. Catrina Pullum

Over the past few weeks, I have been asked by entrepreneurs and business leaders to provide training on to build a great team. How do leaders create and sustain change? What style of leadership is needed to motivate people to undertake change? A leader provides resources and rewards in exchange for motivation, productivity, effective goals, or task accomplishments. An effective leader can get their team members to change and to lead change. This type of leadership
empowers employees to make a difference.

As organizations demand more from their work forces, they are finding that the old tried
and true methods of staying late and working longer aren’t working. Instead, this is creating an energy drain on the employees, which is being seen as the cause of lower productivity. This is due to the employees being exhausted, disengaged, and stressed out to the point of becoming ill. Employers should develop practices to help employees renew four different aspects of their personal energy: physical energy, emotionally energy, mental energy, and spiritual energy. By helping their employees build habits to renew those aspects of energy usage, it opens the door to increase overall productivity for the employee.

A good business owner can also implement strategies to save poor performing employees
from well-meaning managers. What could be happening when poor performers fail to improve? Sometimes it is the manager, unintentionally setting the employee up to fail. A failure on the employee’s part leads to micromanagement on the manager’s part, which causes the employee to doubt himself and shy away from decision-making, leading the manager to trust the employee less and micromanage more beginning a death spiral. You might call this the “set-up- to-fail syndrome”. You ultimately wind up with an overworked manager, and usually a lost employee. It does not have to be fatal; it can be reversed with a simple course of treatment. The primary treatment being to change the communication dynamic between the manager and the employee to help restore trust.

To build a great team, a leader must understand how to create the experience of team
building to develop an effective team. To do this, your team must: Be Innovative; Be Collaborative; Communicate Effectively; Be Organized; Have a Robust Work Ethic; & Promote Diversity on the team. Innovative thinking involves risk, so you and your employees must demonstrate the courage to thrive. Your team members should encourage each other to be successful and build on one another's accomplishments. A diverse team allows more perspectives and introduces new and unique ideas. Having a diverse team enhances creativity and group problem solving.

As a leader, my team and I quote one of our favorite Lady General Facts (KC Fox, The Lady General Foundation), "No Woman Is Greater Than Her Team".

Learn more about Dr. Trina via her website at www.pullcorp.comand follow her on Twitter @drpullum

How Adopting Mindfulness Can Benefit You and Your Business by Dr. Toya Wilson

What is mindfulness?

A simple definition could be stated as: the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It’s a pretty straightforward word. It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. That might seem trivial, except for the annoying fact that we so often veer from the matter at hand. Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious.

Why should business owners care about mindfulness?

Top executives are starting to see by decreasing how much they stress out over today's problems, and decreasing anxiety over tomorrow's potential woes, they pave the way for mental clarity, creative thinking, higher-level awareness for better decision making.

But what about entrepreneurs: The startups, the one-woman show, life coaches, mentors, speakers, and authors— those out in the wilderness on their own, taking risks and trying to change the world in their own little (or big) way. How can mindfulness help these ladies?

When we give ourselves 10 minutes (or more) of space to quiet our mind we become better at noticing the opportunities that otherwise might pass us by as we go around in a state of overwhelm. As you create a regular time for yourselves you’ll notice that you can achieve more in less time, interruptions become less bothersome and life feels more effortless.

By creating time and space for you to think, to quiet your mind and focus you can grow your business without distraction and hard work. I don’t mean you don’t need to work hard, I mean it doesn’t have to feel like hard work. Here are 3 mindful practices you can incorporate into your day to help yourself and grow your business:

1. Create time for a ‘Creative Hour’ where you turn off all external distractions, gather your thoughts, settle into what you want to achieve for the day and bring your full attention to the tasks at hand. Perhaps you don’t need an hour – do what works for you.

2. Make time for regular breaks – get outside if you can and go for a walk around the block. It can transform your mindset and bring inspiration, focus, and insights.

3. Practice "active listening". When we focus on listening fully to what the other person is saying we have to be present. Go into conversations with clients/potential clients/stakeholders with an open mind, trusting your intuition to guide you to say or do the best thing.

The benefits of all this on your business will be reduced stress, more time to think about your business and making decisions from a place of wisdom and authenticity, and strong working relationships with those you do business with and the clients you serve.

Learn more about Dr. Toya via her website at and follow her on Twitter @DrToyaK