Thursday, December 15, 2011

Give Your Business The Gift Of Technology This Season

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Avoiding The Top 5 Entrepreneurial Mistakes Of 2012

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2011 came and went, and now we have a chance to do it all over again. I was taught to learn from others’ mistakes so you don’t have to repeat them. Whether you’re pursing entrepreneurship for the first time or are a seasoned veteran, I’m sure you can identify with these misjudgments that none of us wants to make:


1. Overcommitting: Yes, the new year is a perfect time to plan to do all the things you didn’t accomplish in 2011. Saying no can often be a very difficult thing. It can cause an extensive amount of anger, damage to relationships and an overwhelming feeling of guilt. But overcommitting can overwhelm you and, in return, slow the progress of growing your business. Take time out to make an action plan for the year and take strategic steps to make them happen while celebrating each achievement. For more great tips on how to stop overcommitting, click herehere and here.

2. Avoiding Technology: We are in the technology age, when everything happens via the Internet. Not being up to date on the latest technological information and software can ruin your business. Take advantage of social media — outlets like Facebook and Twitter, which can expand your brand to a larger audience while building relationships with new potential customers. Internet marketing for your business is no longer an option — so visit sites like Mashable to get started with your social-media tutorials. Read technology magazines and get industry information from sources such as InfoWorldInformation WeekCRN.comDarwinMag.com and BlackEngineer.com.

3. Miseducation: It’s your absolute duty to educate yourself in the area of business you choose, so you know about all the pitfalls, resources, research and benefits your industry has to offer. There’s no reason to re-create the wheel for tools that can propel your business when you have access to information from the Web. We have all we need at our fingertips; we just have to be open to seeing it or reading it. In business, it’s very important to read magazines that will provide educational information about business. Every week, visit sites or subscribe to newsletters from great business companies such as Entrepreneur.comInc.comBlack Enterprise, BusinessWeekFortuneForbes and TheCASHFLOW.

4. No Team: “Together Everyone Achieves More”: T-E-A-M. No one can do it alone, whether you find the right people to work on your team who believe in you and your vision, or whether you’re getting the right mentoring to learn how to develop your organizational chart. Make sure you have a solid team that will support your efforts and can help take your brand to the next level. Teamwork makes the dream work! For great tips on maximizing your team, click herehere and here.

5. Lack of Confidence: This is your dream, and if you don’t believe in it, who will? It’s important to have a sense of self when growing your business, because people will surely tell you that it can’t and won’t work. Confidence is key! For tips on building confidence, click herehere and here.

Now that you know these mistakes, don’t make them.

Happy New Year!


Cameka Smith, Founder
The BOSS Network
“Bringing Out Sucessful Sisters” in 2012

Visit www.thebossnetwork.org today!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Day In Her Life Interview With Dr. Tomekia Strickland

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Dr. Tomekia Strickland
A Day In Her Life: Dr. Tomekia Strickland, Obstetrician and Women’s Health/Maternal Child Health Advocate at Tucson Medical Center in Arizona.

Her Day Begins…
Early with a simple tweet quoting the legendary journalist Belva Davis that reads, “Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you dream it, you can make it so.” The inspirational quote could just as easily summarize Dr. Tomekia Strickland’s spirit and life mantra as a compassionate physician on a never-ending quest to help heal the human spirit, using medicine as her medium. Her main goal, as she will tell you, is to “help, heal, love, inspire” each and every day.


The minute the hospital doors swing open that morning, she’s on.  More than likely the day will be intense and rushed, and it could easily proceed well into the next day depending on what awaits her when she arrives. The days for an obstetrician can be a rapid sequence of rewarding, sometimes heart wrenching moments of delivering babies, performing surgeries, caring for an expecting mother, comforting a mother who has just miscarried and educating a young mother about contraception-all while mentoring other young physicians on a daily basis.
Dr. Strickland and Patient

“One minute you can have a healthy mother and a healthy baby and then the next minute they’re at risk …so being able to manage situations like that and then being able to cope when situations don’t always go as desired can be an emotional, challenging part of it,” explains Dr. Strickland. “Many times you have issues where you have to respond to something in a second.”

For Strickland, her career extends far beyond any hospital wall. It is a deep spiritual calling that has taken her half way across the world in the fight for women’s health and global health issues. Even with all she has already accomplished, it seems Strickland is just getting started with all she has planned for changing the world around her, one patient at a time.

The Journey…
Born in Atlanta, Strickland nurtured her natural curiosity about science as a teenager while attending the Benjamin E. Mays Academy of Math and Science. It was there she was introduced to the Morehouse School of Medicine for the first time taking part in bio medical research before majoring in biology at the illustrious Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. Many years, national science competitions and awards later, she would return to Morehouse on full scholarship, where she received her doctorate in medicine.

In medical school more accolades followed including the Dr. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Disease Fellowship Award by the Centers for Disease Control for her research work at Alaskan Native Hospital in Anchorage. But it was her experience working with HIV positive women at a prenatal clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa that ignited her even more about the parallels of women and children in other countries who struggled for access to adequate healthcare.


“Just looking at them often times you never know their reality,” she says of her work in South Africa. “Rates of HIV among young women in those parts of the world are disproportionately higher than we see here.”

Following her residency, she spent just over four years living and working on Native American reservation Chinle, Arizona, caring for women and children, sometimes in places with no electricity or running water.

“When you are in a place of true adversity, when you’re truly seeing people suffer…you identify more with the human spirit,” she says.  

Now aligned with an even deeper sense of purpose, the doctor has evolved her role more into a global advocate for female maternal health in developing countries like Haiti, Africa and India as an outspoken supporter for several major organizations like singer Alicia Keys’ "Keep a Child Alive"  foundation and the Liya Kebede Foundation. She proudly volunteers as a maternal advocate for UNICEF and a blue key champion for the UN Refugee Program. She’s written articles dissecting issues such as the famine aid in Somalia for media outlets such as the Huffington Post. Ultimately Strickland says her priority is helping others and always being accessible to people in need, be it as a doctor or otherwise. She encourages other women to do the same, just simply by being an example.

“There are millions of people in the world and everyone can choose something that’s meaningful to them. So we can all disperse support everywhere.”

Her Advice to You…
“Never let the concept of your gender, your race, or the commitment of time intimidate you from what you really want to do in life.  Stress is everywhere, so you might as well do what you are passionate about.”

Best Part of My Job…
“The gift of being one of the first persons to touch a newborn. It’s always a new sense of promise. It’s a beautiful fusion of spirituality and science.”

To find out more about Dr. Tomekia Strickland’s journey, please visit her website: http://drstricklandobgyn.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter: @DrStrickland.

Featured Writer: Lenora Houseworth is a published writer, editor and social media strategist. She can be reached at lenora.houseworth@gmail.com. Find her on Twitter: @LHouseTweets. 

A “Day in Her Life” blog series gives an insider view into the professional lives of successful women from various fields with the intended purpose of educating and inspiring the next generation of BOSS women.

Managing Holiday Stress Tips For The Female BOSS

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The end of the year and holiday season typically mark a festive time with an abundance of invitations to holiday parties and social gatherings. For entrepreneurs, the end of the year is also the time for fourth quarter financial and business reporting, end of year employee evaluations, company goals review, contract re-negotiations and so much more.  As women entrepreneurs with multiple obligations and demanding personal and professional roles, we often find ourselves dealing with excessive stress during this time of year.  Stress can take a heavy toll on our mental health and overall well-being.  Fortunately, there are some effective ways to manage stress.  Five strategies are outlined below:

1) Find a Support System
Seek professional help from a licensed therapist or life coach; join a support network or organization, such as the BOSS Network or talk to a friend or family member who is a non-judgmental good listener.

2) Take Care of the Physical You
Eat healthy, exercise and get a good night’s sleep.  Regularly, eat well-balanced meals that are low in sugar and low in salt; engage in a physical activity such as walking, running, aerobics, gardening, swimming, or tennis; and make a habit of getting 6 – 8 hours of sleep per night.   

3) Get in Touch with your Spiritual Self
I have found in my practice that our clients who have some connection to their spiritual self, show fewer symptoms of stress.  Take time daily to meditate for 5 – 10 minutes, practice yoga, or become involved in an organized religious practice, such as praying or attending a religious service.

4) Find Time to Relax
Entrepreneurs may work upwards of 70 hours per week.  Make time in your schedule to relax and do something that you find enjoyable.  Look at your calendar and schedule a weekly “break”, such as a massage, lunch date, a visit to a park or museum, a nail, hair or spa appointment, or an exercise or yoga class.

5) Practice Visualization
When you begin to feel stress coming on, stop, close your eyes, and visualize a peaceful, calm, beautiful place.  Pay attention to the colors you see and the sounds you hear.  Are you sitting, standing or lying down?  How is the weather or temperature?  Are you alone?  Remain in this peaceful place for 5 minutes.  When you open your eyes, you should feel a bit calmer.

Ladies, do what it takes to put these 5 stress management strategies to use and you will be amazed at how much better you feel.  During this season, take some time to focus on you.  As women, we have a tendency to put the needs of others before our own, but it is absolutely important that we first address our own mental health needs so that we can more effectively address the needs of our employees and family members.  I hope you have a stress-less, happy holiday season!    

Sunday, December 4, 2011

MY FAIR WEDDING Private Dinner with DAVID TUTERA

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David Tutera and Lucky Bride
Thursday evening, a few BOSS ladies had the opportunity to attend David Tutera -- celebrity wedding planner and star of WE tv’s MY FAIR WEDDING –  intimate dinner with local Chicago press at Devon Seafood Grill. Tutera was in town promoting the fifth season of his popular show, in which he gives everyday brides the wedding makeover of their dreams. Guests dined on scallops and salmon, while previewing an upcoming episode. Attendees were given a DVD copy of the best of MFW -- Weddings WE Love: My Fair Wedding with David Tutera – and a rhinestone pin from Bridal Collection by David Tutera. To cap off the night, one lucky guest – NBC Chicago’s Pam Oliver – walked away with a diamond watch from David’s jewelry line at Sears. “I have the greatest job in the world,” said Tutera during the post-screening Q&A. “I get to be a part of the happiest day of people’s lives.”

MY FAIR WEDDING with DAVID TUTERA airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on WE tv! Visit the show at http://www.wetv.com/shows/my-fair-wedding.


EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS
Episode 4:  “TUSCANY BRIDE”
SUNDAY, DEC 4 AT 9PM ET/PT
Bride Jane just loves Tuscany, Italy, and wants her romantic outdoor wedding to resemble it. But her vision of Tuscany is more than a little skewed, and her bright orange bridesmaids’ dresses are only adding to the disaster. Worst of all, Jane, her fiancé and her father all just lost their jobs. With the wedding plans going up in smoke, David harnesses his skills to bring Tuscany to southern California and create the wedding of his bride’s dreams.

Episode 6:  “HOLLYWOOD GLAM BRIDE” ß This is the ep we showed at the dinner
SUNDAY, DEC 18 AT 9PM ET/PT
Bride Benita and her fiancé, Arlen, are both actors, and fittingly want a Hollywood glam wedding.   But having procrastinated on all of the details, Benita’s decorations are better suited for a child’s birthday party.  The ‘Old Hollywood’ glitz and glam are seemingly absent from this wedding.  David steps in and takes his bride and groom back in time with wedding fashions from the ‘40s, ’50s and ‘60s.  Can he pull together a swinging, classy affair for this couple in time?


VIDEO Clip from 12/4 episode (“Jane’s Ring”): http://www.wetv.com/my-fair-wedding/videos/my-fair-wedding-janes-ring

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How To Become A Successful Woman In The Boardroom

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Are you a woman who wants to know how to become more successful in the boardroom?  I’m not speaking of just any boardroom.  I’m speaking of a boardroom where your presence actually counts. If you answered “yes”, grab you paper and pen and take notes because this has all you need to greet success at the boardroom door.

On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, I had the distinct pleasure of representing The BOSS Network at the 2011 Women In The Boardroom Conference. The event was held in Atlanta, GA, and the theme for this year was: “Learn. Advance. Lead.” Sheila Ronning, the President and CEO of Women In The Boardroom, says “Our organization is on a mission to help women figure out if corporate board service is the right path for them.  If it is, we help with the road map to getting them on the right board.” 

The event’s panel facilitator was award-winning journalist and business owner, Cynthia Good. Have you ever heard of the Little PINK Book?  Well, Cynthia Good launched it in 2005 as a website, event series, and national magazine which now has a readership of over 650,000 women! Check it out!

The panel for the conference consisted of :  Veronica Biggins, Managing Director of Diversified Search; Janice McKenzie-Crayton, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta; and Mona Pearl, Global Entrepreneur and Strategic Developer and author of Grow Globally .  Together, the women on this panel offered a wealth of knowledge that all can benefit from. Therefore, I took my own set of notes and other resources on the conference to share with you. So, here are my “take aways” from each panelist listed below (I told you. You need paper!):

“Take Aways” from Cynthia Good:
·         Be an advocate for increasing women opportunities in representation on boards.
·         Remember servicing on a board is not a gender issue; this is a business issue and women are missing from that picture.
·         Everyone has an opportunity and women should be given just as much opportunity as men.
“Take Aways” from Veronica Biggins:
·         If you are are a business owner, you have to be open minded not narrow minded to serve on a board; corporate or non profit.
·         A firm handshake is still important and says a lot about you.
·         Use resources, like websites, and people you know to get on boards.
·         For example: www.catalystwomen.org or www.boardrecruiting.com (Also mentioned Spencer Stuart, but I am not sure if this is right)
·         The best way to get on a nonprofit board is to tell them you love fund raising!
·         3 T's that are critical for a nonprofit board:  time, talent, treasure
·         You have to bring to a board form and substance.
“Take Aways” from Janice McKenzie-Crayton:
·         Your resume is not something that you need when you show up; what you're walking around with is your resume.
·         So often an organization reaches out to choose you to serve on a board and if you're out of your element, it's o.k.
·         Fake it till you make it, but be willing to learn.
·         Show up for meetings on time.
·         Ask good questions.
·         The idea of great committee work, yields great board work.
“Take Aways” from Mona's Pearl:
·         Being on a board is for people who are driven.  They want to be a part of something that is bigger.
·         If you are leaving a board, try to move diplomatically. Explain that your commitment time has ended. Or you may just choose to not be re-elected to the board. If you are getting off the board before your contract time is up, it is best to say, "Due to personal reasons, I am stepping down."
·         Remember, don't burn your bridges.
·         Boards should have insurance to cover board members.
·         Have insurance terms evaluated by an attorney (to know clearly what all the fine print is about and its terms).
·         Research more about the company before you sign on to be a board member. It is up to you to do your due diligence and find out all you can about their mission and if they are legitimate.

Now you are fully equipped with the tools to be the BOSS you were made to be! For more information on Women In The Boardroom and their upcoming events, visit www.womenintheboardroom.com .

Andrea L. Griggs is the Executive Producer and host of Females With A Mission Radio. Tune in to the show every 1st and 3rd Fridays on www.blogtalkradio.com/fwm. You may also join the Females With A Mission Fan Page on Facebook , and Follow Her Fearlessly On Twitter.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Starting a Jewelry Line With Basketball Wives LA, Malaysia Pargo

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Every now and then we like to bring the best in conversations from Entrepreneurs and Corporate Professionals who are making a difference, starting a new venture, or who simply have an amazing story to share on The BOSSNetwork Twitter Channel; #BOSSChat.

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Mom, Wife, Fashion Executive, Business Owner, Malaysia Pargo @styleingrace of Basketball Wives LA, who is launching her first Jewerly line titled Three Beats @Three_Beats


The Jewelry line is set to launch 11.11.2011 and you can learn more at http://www.threebeatsjewelry.com .  We decided to bring you an excerpt of the interview for your reading enjoyment. Until next time, know that you have the power and ability to achieve your heart’s desire.

The BOSS Network: Malaysia Pargo @styleingrace Walk us through your career path. How did you get to this point? #BOSSChat

Malaysia Pargo @styleingrace :I did some modeling, videos and styled athletes and wives. I’ve always been big on accessorizing.

The BOSS Network: Jewelry for kids is a great idea. What is the best advice (career/personal) you've received about this business? #BOSSChat

Malaysia Pargo @styleingrace :The best advice I received is to have a great team. Your team will either boost your success or cause you to fail. Successful women have a BOSS squad behind them. I love it! A #BOSSSquad or team is necessary for success when building your empire. No man or woman is a one person Island. Build your team ladies and hold everyone accountable. #BOSSChat

The BOSS Network: Great point. I don't think enough women realize the importance of a strong team! What do you do to stay on top of your game professionally? #BOSSChat

Malaysia Pargo @styleingrace :My hubby is a professional athlete and watching him taught me the importance of being competitive. I work hard because I know that’s what it takes to win. Knowing how to compete and maintaining balance is important #BOSSChat

The BOSS Network: What advice would you give to a budding Entrepreneur or Professional woman? #BOSSChat

Malaysia Pargo @styleingrace :My brand manager Halleemah Nash (@halleemah) told me once that "without balance success is an empty reward". Success is great but family is number one. I also believe in speaking positivity. Take "Can't" out of your vocabulary. My perspective is; if life is a prison; I always say its a prison of your own making! Don't limit yourself! #BOSSChat

The BOSS Network: What does being a BOSS mean to you? #BOSSChat

Malaysia Pargo @styleingrace :BOSS means knowing you can have it all. I'm walking in Gods purpose. I’m a mom, wife, business woman, and I’m fly all at the same time.

The BOSS Network: Final question and I must say it's been a pleasure. What can everyone look forward to in the near future from you? #BOSSChat

Malaysia Pargo @styleingrace :A lot more with my jewelry line Three Beats(@Three_Beats) launching tomorrow 11.11.2011, and maybe some style editing or my return to modeling. No limits #BOSSChat

Learn more about Malaysia Pargo new venture follow them on Twitter: @Three_Beats

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

7 Ways to Build Your Entrepreneur Support Network

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Tina C. Wells
Everyone needs a network of people they can count on, in both in their personal lives, and in business. For entrepreneurs especially, these support networks can make the difference between feeling like you’re out there on your own, to being deeply connected to other entrepreneurs and having a team of friends, advisers or partners to turn to when you’re not sure which direction to go. 
Here are seven tips for building the ultimate network to support your entrepreneurial goals.


CREATE A SMALL GROUP OF FIVE LIKE-MINDED ENTREPRENEURS. You may have already heard of these “mastermind” groups. But what do you call a group for those who haven’t yet mastered something? Call it whatever you like, but build one — quickly. Make sure that the four other people you engage don’t have competing businesses, and think of ways you can help each other. I know of groups that meet monthly and each member has to come to the meeting with at least one lead for another member of the group. Also, be mindful of time. You’re all very busy entrepreneurs, so don’t schedule more than 60 to 90 minutes once each month.


JOIN SOCIAL CLUBS. It’s important to build your personal network, and joining social clubs is a great way. Not only will you be exposed to great events, you’ll also meet potential clients, employees, and friends. Check out clubs like the Union League for “Young Friends” memberships, as well as the Young Friends clubs at your local museums, orchestra, and ballet.


JOIN ASSOCIATIONS. If you’re a female entrepreneur, look into local chapters of the National Association of Women Business Owners. If you are starting a plumbing company, check out the local chapter of a national plumbers association. You’d be surprised how many fields have associations. You can receive great product discounts, invitations to great conferences, and a network of peers. Entrepreneurship can be lonely, so cultivating a group of peers is important. And of course, there is the newly formed Young Entrepreneur Council (I’m a board member!).


Read more tips from Tina C. Wells at: http://networkedblogs.com/pJEkm

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No Money No Business by BOSS Member Aundrea Y. Wilcox

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If you are thinking of starting a business with no money, THINK again. Why would you do something so stupid?! It’s like going to a bar without your wallet or purse. You can’t buy. When you go into business without money, you can’t serve—not well anyway. If you want your customer’s first experience with you to be pleasant, you’re going to have to spend some money, whether for packaging, a well-done and presentable menu, bagging and labeling, or a professional-looking invoice or receipt as a minimum.

And why is it that you don’t have any money anyway? If and when you decide to go into business, it’s going to take real discipline to stay within your budget and spend according to a plan. You will also need to continue (not start) to save money for a rainy day. If you’re not saving any money now, how can you expect to start a business and do any better? Don’t start a business thinking that you’re going to solve your money woes in a hurry. Trust me, if you have no money now, cash flow will only get worse. There are so many “unexpected” expenses associated with starting a business. Marketing can be especially problematic, if you don’t have a budget and a plan. You’ll start spending money on this or that to promote your business, but you will quickly find out that sales revenue will not follow so soon. The upfront investment required for integrated marketing, if it’s done correctly, can be thousands of dollars to get the smallest home-based startup on its feet.

If you have no money of your own to properly start a business, you have no business being in business, or attempting to borrow money to start a business. Get your finances in order BEFORE you start a business. Start today, by obtaining your free credit report and credit score from annualcreditreport.com. If you can’t afford to pay the small fee for your credit score, you have a long road ahead of you, so put on your comfortable shoes and let’s take this walk together one step at a time.