Monday, May 2, 2016

BOSS Spotlight: Meet The "Millionaire M.O.M." Alicia Bowens

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Alicia Bowens, Known as a “corpora-preneur,” Millionaire M.O.M. Alicia Bowens is a woman of many talents. She is an IT professional by day, and a sought after speaker, author, coach, and radio host outside of her 9-to-5. The certified life coach is the founder of two businesses — BE IT LLC, an IT staffing and consulting company, and BE L.O.V.E. LLC , a company whose mission is to connect teen and single moms to resources, education and information through books, coaching and workshops. A 2015 Crown Jewel Award recipient and 2016 BOSS Influencer, Alicia has been a frequent guess on the number of shows and programs as well as events where she speaks about career planning, entrepreneurship, vision boards, relationships, and her experiences of being a teenage mother. 

TheBOSSNetwork: What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?

Alicia Bowens: Having been a teen mom brought about a myriad of obstacles, most of them being mental. Outside of making sure my son was cared for and attended to while starting my journey, there were many mental hurdles I had to overcome - losing my poverty mindset, forgiving myself for my past actions, and believing once again that not only was I capable of achieving success, but that I also deserved. 

BN: What inspired you to break into your particular industry?

AB: What inspired into my entrepreneurial journey was my desire to not only be an example of success for other mothers, but to also help to show them how they could be a success.  My desire is to share everything that I have learned and continue to learn along my journey so that I can equip and empower others to walk in their purpose.

BN:  How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?

AB:I think that the term "balance" is relative to each individual, based on what works for them at that moment. My fellow bosslady Tiffany Fulcher said it best: "You have to know what you need to be in that moment and be okay with it." Often, as mothers, wives, etc., we tend to want to wear all of the "hats" at once because we feel that if we don't we feel that we are neglecting the hat we decide to take off at the moment.  Having balance is being able wear the one hat that is calling us at the moment and being okay with putting the other hats down.  I think I've gotten more comfortable with balancing my priorities, however, I believe that it will be an ever-evolving process based on the growth that will occur in both my professional and personal lives. 

BN: What is an inspirational quote that you live by? 

AB: An inspirational quote that I live by is "Our Deepest Fear" by Marianne Williamson.  It's too long to put here, but to summarize it, basically it speaks of how we don't allow our lights to shine because of our fears and insecurities or the fears and insecurities of others. However, by doing so, we are doing the world and those we are called to a disservice.One of my coaches, Lynn Richardson, always asks, "Who's name is on your back?" If you choose not to let your light shine, then the people you are called to cannot get in their position to shine their lights for whoever is called to them.   

BN:Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?

AB: Outside of my family, who were my biggest support system as a teen mom, there were quite a few coaches that I've worked with and stayed connected to who helped me to step outside of my comfort zone. Those people were Lynn Richardson, Da-Nay Macklin,Monique Caradine, Bosslady Cameka Smith, and most recently Zenovia Andrews.  I believe it is critical to invest in yourself and keep yourself surrounded by people who are walking in their success, doing it scared, keeping God first, and sharing their knowledge and skills with others. Lastly, all of my mastermind sisters who are doing it scared with me are priceless!  
BN: What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?

AB: My must-haves are God, who keeps me connected to my "why," an ever-evolving vision, my coaches, my mastermind sisters, help, a laptop, calendar, and a notebook.

BN: What is your definition of a BOSS? 

AB: My definition of a BOSS is someone who not only leads, but serves. A true BOSS sees the big picture and understands that their success is not about them; it's about the people who will be positively impacted, encouraged, and educated from their success. A true BOSS leads the way, and paves the way for others to follow.




Connect with Alicia Bowens, on Twitter  @alicia_bowens learn more about her products and services at www.aliciabowens.comwww.beitstaffing.com



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Monday, April 25, 2016

BOSS Spotlight: Meet The "Exercise Habit Coach" Andrea Nichols-Everett

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"Dre" Nichols-Everett, The Exercise Habit Coach and founder of D3: Dre's Diesel Dome Fitness, LLC in Chicago, IL. Led by a divine mission, Dre opened D3 in 2007 with the purpose of helping people make exercise a consistent part of their lives. Dre recently expanded her fitness ministry online by creating fitness and nutrition programs that reach people all over the world. Dre has been featured on Windy City Live, has worked at Harpo Studios, and has been featured in several local and national magazines.

TheBOSSNetwork: What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting you?

Andrea Nichols-Everett: Fear and uncertainty were the major obstacles I faced when I opened D3.  First of all, back in 2007, there were only a few "boutique" style gyms in the country like D3.  I was actually the first to open a boutique style "boot camp" on the south side of Chicago so I was up against the big box gyms in my area.  Secondly, the concept of a smaller more personalized gym had not yet caught on in Chicago so I was pioneering this type of business as well. When something is new, you just don't know how well it will do which causes fear and uncertainty. Also, I never owned my own company before so I really had no idea of what I was doing. I knew I was an excellent trainer but I did not know at that time that running a business is not just about what you "do", it's more about how you market what you "do" and that was new to me. I was able to finally defeat both fear and uncertainty by just DOING things I was afraid to do! Fear and uncertainty are the strongest when you are inactive. Once you move and start to make good decisions, they both dissipate over time. I continue to feel fear and uncertainty at times but I just do it anyway! 

BN: What inspired you to break into your particular industry?

AE: I taught fitness classes at several big box gyms and I always felt like there was something missing from them. Members, who belonged to these big box gyms, were not achieving their goals because they were just a means for the gym to be paid on a monthly basis. To be honest, I was sick of gyms just not caring about their members. I wanted to provide an environment where people could learn to love to workout and live a healthy lifestyle.  I wanted to provide a safe and caring place where members could bond with each other and finally achieve their fitness goals.  I wanted to make my members feel cared for and as if they were getting a personal training session without the high personal training fees. So, I created D3.

BN: How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?

AE: This is difficult for me because I love what I do and I just want to work all the time. However, over the years, I have learned that I am actually better and much more focused when I give myself a break to just enjoy my life. My husband and family also help me with this because they know I am a super “Type A” overachiever and they help me balance my work and my time spent with them. This is my main work in progress!

BN: What is an inspirational quote that you live by?

AE: "People change when the pain of being the same is greater than change". I love this quote because this is where D3 starts. D3 is for people who are ready to make themselves a priority and make a permanent healthy change in their lives. You will not get to this point of permanent change until the pain of being the same is greater than the pain of change.

BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?

AE: My parents are the most influential people in my life. During my childhood, both of my parents were entrepreneurs and I saw how hard they worked to provide for our family. My parents instilled in my sister and I, at an early age, that we could be and do anything as long as we worked hard and never quit. I respect and appreciate their no nonsense stance on making sure we were properly educated and ready to take on the world-on our term. Because of my parents,I am who I am today and can help so many men and women live longer and stronger lives.

BN: What are your ?must-haves? to keep your career or business going strong?

AE: I must have continuing education to make my business and my clients better.I consistently study marketing and new fitness disciplines so that I am always on top of my game on expanding my business and bringing in programs that benefit my clientele. I also must have a solid and well trained staff that understands my mission and vision for D3. After years of being in business, I finally have the best staff ever and I am extremely blessed to have them on the D3 team!

BN: What is your definition of a BOSS?

AE: Being a BOSS is so much more than just a title, it’s a huge responsibility. Being a BOSS means that you are creating and managing a company with your own ideas and creativity to serve and make others better in some capacity.


Be sure to follow on Andrea Nichols-Everett on Twitter @exercisehabit1 and check out her products and services at www.d3getfit.com





 










Friday, April 22, 2016

4 Common Mistakes Made by Small Business Start-ups by Tammy Lewis

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  1. Lack of Capital and Resources:
Way too often small businesses fail before they have a starting chance due to of lack of resources.  Before starting a business, you should always create a budget.  This should be included in your business plan.  Not everyone will have enough money in their savings to support their business start-up; however, you may try to obtain a business loan with your local bank or credit union.  The Small Business Administration also offers small business loans with low interest rates + prime (www.sba.gov).

  1. Lack of Knowledge:
Just because you think a certain industry is glamorous doesn’t mean you have what it takes to be successful in that industry.  I think that being an actress is way past “glam” but I know that I don’t have the knowledge nor the skill set to make it in that type of industry.  You don’t have to have an education, but you do have to be educated about your industry.  Do your research by reading related books, taking a couple of classes or getting a mentor that’s already doing what you desire to do.  You will go a lot further in your business if you have the required knowledge.

  1. Trying to do Everything Yourself:
So many times small business owners wear too many hats.  If you are business owner, you can not also be the Marketing Specialist, Payroll Specialist, Human Resource Manager, Secretary and the list goes on.  You must make sure that when you are creating your job descriptions that you are not the person fulfilling all of them.  Find qualified individuals to work in the positions needed and you do what you know how to do.  You don’t to be a “Jack of All Trades and Master of None.”  Find that one thing at which you are “GREAT” and stick with it. And let everyone else be great at what they do!

  1. Improper Structure:
If you don’t know how to set up your business, find a professional who does.  Seek out proper council before setting up your business to make sure that it is done properly.  Make sure that you speak with a business or tax attorney and CPA to assist in deciding which business structure would be the best fit for you. 

There are so many resources out there to assist with start-up businesses.  Community colleges are a great place to start, as they usually have small business centers that offer “FREE” resources and seminars. The Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) is also a great place to go for assistance with business start-ups.  I’ve also found that SCORE (www.score.org) is very helpful.  SCORE is a non-profit organization that offers mentorship opportunities to business owners.  You are paired up with someone within the same industry to assist with your needs.  These are usually people who are retired and have chosen to become advisors to assist small business owners.  There is no reason that we all can’t be successful.


Follow Tammy at @iamTammyLewis and visit her website at www.iamtammylewis.com/