Friday, May 18, 2012

Education: A Different Kind of Wealth by Dr Dawj

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I had a conversation with someone after winners were announced for the recent $600 million dollar mega millions jackpot recently. I was asked my thoughts on winning and the importance of building your wealth. Those that know me know that I go into education mode frequently, so my response was geared towards the building of educational wealth because our minds are truly powerful.

Oftentimes people think of a monetary value when it comes to finances. There are thoughts of how much money will be needed to get a job done; buy a car; a house, travel or expand a business. People think about how much money it will take to start a business, buy fancy things and live a fruitful life. However, I immediately ask the question, “what knowledge can I gain that will help bring me closer to achieving goals I have set?” Keeping in mind that the purpose for setting goals is to create strategies for achieving them.

The reality is that no matter how much money you have, if you don’t have the knowledge to invest it properly or spend it wisely, you will go broke in no time. What are some things you can do to increase your educational wealth?
  • Go back to school to get a degree.
  • Take some junior college level courses related to your area of focus.
  • Attend some seminars related to the topic.
  • Join some business networks and network with others and attend meetings geared towards your area of study.
  • Volunteer for organizations or schools where you can gain valuable knowledge
  • If you give of yourself, you can get for yourself, keeping in mind that it really isn’t about the money all the time.


My follow-up question is, “what knowledge can I share with others that will help bring them closer to achieving goals they have set?” This is a powerful question. It is powerful because in your learning, you are developing a mentality of sharing that learning with others, which helps to plants seeds of your legacy. When you share, you spread the wealth of education, thereby increasing the chances that the person you are sharing with will use it in a way that will yield a return on its investments. 

Lastly, The real power and wealth in all of this is a return that makes a 360-degree full circle back to you. So the questions you should keep in mind when it comes to building educational wealth are:
* What knowledge can I gain that will help bring me closer to achieving goals I have set?”
* What knowledge can I share with others that will help bring them closer to achieving goals they have set?”

These are powerful and productive steps if used correctly and without selfish intentions that will change your life for the better.

Learn more about Dawgelene “Dr Dawj” Sangster at http://dawgelenesangster.com/


Black Enterprise Small Business University Technology Course Review Week 3 by Lashana Thomas

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Lesson 1: YOUR GADGET GUIDE

This week for Black Enterprise Small Business University, we’re giving you a course review in Technology—helping you choose the right gadgets (and avoid the wrong ones!) for your business. Mario Armstrong a digital Lifestyle Expert and technology contributor for CNN and NBC shows you all the latest tech tools in this lesson titled “Your Gadget Guide.”
For this lesson Mario Armstrong is taking you to the tech lab, to introduce gadgets that can make your business and lives efficient and better through technology.

First up: The Power Bag: This gadget is essential for every entrepreneur and small business owners, doesn’t waste time searching for outlets, having the power bag provides instant power up to 4 devices simultaneously. The Power Bag comes with a built in battery that’s charged directly into an outlet.


2nd: Tablets:  Tablets keep you productive while on the go. The new Ipad shoots in 1080Hd, and you can edit from the tablet as well. Outstanding for presentations for visual businesses.


3rd: Note taking is critical to any entrepreneur or small business owner. The Livescibe smart pen is a great tool because while your note taking, it captures the audio that it hears and links the 2 together so you can hear what was recorded for accurate notes. This feature allows you to focus more on listening than writing.  For digital note taking the best App is Evernote, a free App for tablets, desktop, laptops users, and your smart phone that synchs across all platforms. This invaluable tool will help you keep track of your ideas, your projects, work flow, and help you collaborate with team mates.

Next up: Video Conferencing helps you save time and cost on traveling and help you meet with your clients faster, but to do this right you need the right equipment.  First is Skype certified webcams: Logitech HD pro  and Facevision both shoots in full HD. Finally the laptop, Mario recommends the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook, lightweight, long battery life, and it boots up quickly.

Lastly: After investing in your technology you have to protect it. Lojack for laptops is a great product, you install the software on your computer, it will allow you to track your computer through GPS, and give you the ability to lock it down or wipe the data off remotely.

Tips to remember:
  1.  Identify your problems then buy solutions
  2.   Invest in training
  3.   Don’t get overwhelmed. Implement first. Master. Then Repeat



Lesson 2: SETTING UP YOUR BUSINESS FOR SUCCESS – HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

James Andrews, founder of Social People specializing in the creation of digital/social technology strategies, online communications, and web content production is a strategic communications agency that focuses in helping brands and individuals navigate the social media and online space to build better connections with their audiences.

In lesson 2 social media savant James Andrews tell you how to set up your business for success using the latest and most efficient tech tools. This lesson starts with the basics. A computer is the nexus of your business operation. One of the best simple and standards computers that have the same functions as desktop is a laptop, when searching for one, look for durability, good battery life, and wireless connectivity, size, and screen dimensions. 

Another fundamental piece for your business is your online presence.   The first thing you want to do is develop a web domain for your business. The best way to create one is yourbusiness.com , this tells the world your open for business, and tells people you’re ready for new customers. First thing is selecting a name, once you select the name, go to Godaddy.com and see if it’s available, then you buy the name and claim your business. In most cases you want to purchase the .com extension, if yourbusiness.com isn’t available then try yourbusiness.net or research different extension suitable for your business. Godaddy allows you to park and build a simple web page but James Andrews, recommends hiring someone with experience in web design and creation.

Just as important as your online presence and website is phone system. A phone service is paramount to how people reach, perceive, and look at you.  There are many solutions to create an in office experience online. Try services such as grasshopper.com, the entrepreneurs phone system, they offer you a toll free or local number, unlimited extensions, call forwarding to mobile phones, and voicemails that go right to your email, all for less than $10 per month but if you’re on a tight budget, Google voice can do the job for free.  Another service is video conferencing; iMeet.com combines video, audio, and web conferencing in one platform. iMeet is great tool that allows you to connect with employees, customers, and people around the world.

Managing multiple team projects can be difficult without the right tools to keep you organized. Basecamp is a project management software and online collaboration tool, this allows you to manage projects and organize documents in one place and share information across teams.  An alternative to Basecamp is a free project management platform that is just as efficient is Asana. Asana is the shared task list for your team, the single place to quickly capture, plan, organize, track, and communicate everything you and your team are working on.

Lesson Recap:
  • Technology is critical no matter what size your business is, whether your brick and mortar or all online.
  • Computer: A desktop or laptop
  •  URL: A URL, yourbusiness.com, tells the world you are open for business
  • Phone is critical: Grasshopper.com, iMeet.com, and Basecamp


Lesson 3: TOOLS TO GET YOU TO THE NEXT LEVEL – FROM SOFTWARE TO HARDWARE

Mel Parker is Vice President and General Manager of the North America Consumer and Small Business at Dell. In his role, Mr. Parker is responsible for leading sales, marketing, strategy and operations. Additionally he is Chairman of the Dell African American Employee Resource Group.

Access to resources is the key for any entrepreneur at any stage. Dell wants to make sure you have everything you need. General Manager Mel Parker tells you how and why the company is dedicated to helping your business be successful.

If growth is your business goal, the key is to implement the right technology solutions to address both your immediate and long terms needs for your small business. You should view technology as an accelerator and enabler to help your small business grow and thrive.

First – Do your homework: Find credible and knowledgeable resources, family, friends, trade associations, and industry online communities. Compile this information and engage the experts for comprehensive solutions.

Second – For on-the-go solutions, identify the most durable and up-to-date hardware products available. A durable mobile tech solution for every member on your team is a Dell Ultrabook or a Vostro PowerBook, these tools allows for sharing information and staying connected while on the go.

Third- Integrating flexible software that addresses your changing needs and challenges. A comprehensive technology solution designed to address your unique business needs, will help your business grow faster and more efficient.  For small businesses and entrepreneurs Cloud is a great way to access and share data in real time.

Finally - Partner with a service provider, like Dell for business support that will support you every step of the way. Consider security needs, IT department that can provide support, and the best IT concierge service that can help take your business to the next level.


Teachers:

Lesson 1 – Mario Armstrong

Lesson 2 – James Andrews

Lesson 3 – Mel Parker



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Weekend Giveaway: Attend The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, Chicago, IL - Winners Annouced

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The BOSS Network Wants To Send Two Lucky Entrepreneurs To The
Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference in Chicago, IL


How to enter: What do you hope to gain professionally by attending the Black Enterprise 2012 Entrepreneurs Conference? (Value at $695 per registrant).

Answer this question in 3 places: on the http://bringingoutsuccessfulsisters.blogspot.com/ website, then head over to our Facebook Page by including The BOSS Network and post your response, and finally tweet your response @thebossnetwork, include #BEEC2012 in your response and you will be automatically entered to attend the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference in Chicago, IL May 23-26 giveaway.

The person who has the most likes on Facebook and Retweets on Twitter wins!

Winner will be announced on Monday May 21, 2012

Rules to Apply: You must be a current member of The BOSS Network


Contest Ends Sunday May 2o, 2012 at Midnight


Good Luck!

 The BOSS Network Team

Health and Wellness: "The Importance of Calcium" By Coach Princess Carey

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Knowing the importance of minerals that may be vital to our health can help us manage our health and balance our diets. At a young age, we are encouraged to drink milk regularly and take in daily doses of multivitamins which contain Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to normal mineralization of bone health and promotes bone growth. As we grow older, we tend to disregard milk in favor of sugary drinks and alcohol. Especially as young adults, we still need calcium in our body to prevent blood clots, promote heart health and keep our bones strong. An average healthy adult requires about 700 to 1300 mg of calcium daily. This of course changes, if you are an adult with bone problems like osteoporosis. You should not exceed 2200mg of calcium in a day or else it can have an adverse effect, causing kidney dysfunction and other dangerous conditions. Osteoporosis affects more women than men, mainly because of the lack of estrogen when a woman starts menopause; Making it crucial for calcium to be replaced through Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

In a woman’s diet calcium and iron are recognized as the two most neglected minerals. When pregnant, women could suffer from hypertension and many other blood issues. Calcium can help control and stabilize blood pressure. It also helps the health of the unborn child up to the first year after birth, if the mother intends to nurse her baby. The importance of calcium is not just in the areas of teeth and bone strength, or while pregnant. You need calcium to help control your cholesterol and cell environment. Most impressive for women, it helps contract muscles and prevents cramps. This is very crucial during the time ‘Aunt Flow’ comes to town. I’m sure you can appreciate this information lady-folk, for that reason alone!!! *Hi five*. It is very important that every woman know her body, which minerals and nutrients is needed to provoke good health. Some of us may be allergic to milk products but there are many alternatives for calcium. Most milk products (yogurt, milk and cheese) have around 300mg of calcium per serving. Milk is not the only source of calcium. You can take vitamins, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil, even primrose oil. Green leafy veggies, beans and walnut all have at least 400mg per servings. Raisins and oranges have around 55mg of calcium. Look for food-like juices and dairy products that have calcium in them.

By understanding the importance of calcium in your body, you can take the necessary steps to including it in your daily diet.

Nutrition tip: Soy milk has the same amount of calcium as regular milk but without the fat and calories. 



For more information and to start your journey onto a healthier lifestyle path please visit http://coachpcares.info/

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

PUT YOURSELF SECOND By Kara Davis, M.D.

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Some sobering news was released last week.  According to the CDC, by 2030, 42% of Americans will be obese.  That’s significant enough, but what’s even more disturbing is this: currently 51% of African American women over age 40 are obese, and 88% of us are overweight.  So where will we find ourselves when 2030 rolls around?  In 18 years, will the statistics show that 60% of black women are obese and 95% of us are overweight?

As an internist, I treat women (and men) with conditions that are related to lifestyle.  The foods we eat (or fail to eat), physical activity and body weight all play a role in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and even some forms of cancer.  Many times I find women who, for a variety of reasons, are not motivated to make lifestyle changes, even when their health is at stake.  So lately I’ve shifted gears with my approach.  In the past, I’ve told women never to forsake their own needs while they care for others, but now I’m encouraging them to put the needs of others first.  Maybe this approach might hold the key to success—instead of dropping a few pounds for yourself, do it for someone else.

Do it for your friends   Research has shown an interesting phenomenon when it comes to weight gain:  people are more likely to gain weight when their friends gain weight.  So if you can’t get motivated to eat right and move more for your own sake, then do it for the sake of your friends!

Do it for your children  Childhood obesity is an epidemic with dire consequences: we are leaving our kids an inheritance of illness.  But this doesn’t have to be.  The next time you can’t seem to compel yourself to exercise or cook a nutritious meal, then think about your children and do it for them!

Do it for your country Much of our healthcare dollars are spent on diseases that are potentially preventable through following a healthy lifestyle.  Regardless of your opinion about government and irrespective of your political party, we owe it to our country to do what we can to curtail this healthcare crisis.  So if you can’t seem to push the plate away for yourself, then do it for your country!
I’m interested in hearing what you think about this novel approach.  

Contact me through the BOSS Network, or at www.drkaradavis.com, www.facebook.com/DrKaraDavis or Twitter @DrKaraDavis.

Once-Homeless Celeb. Stylist Gives Back to Women in Need

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About the A-line Foundation
The A-line Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization that offers no-cost, therapeutic life-enhancing workshops and head-to-toe makeover services to mothers living in transitional housing facilities & shelters.  Our vision is to make every woman that has experienced homelessness feels inspired, beautiful, and believes in her own strength. www.alinefoundation.org.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Black Enterprise Small Business University Week 2 Review

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This week personal finance expert and founder of Ask the Money coach.com , Lynnette Khalfani-Cox is teaching a course on Financing and Investing.

Lesson 1: HOW TO RAISE CAPITAL FOR YOUR BUSINESS (LOANS VS. INVESTMENTS)

Raising capital for your business is tough, but just because it’s tough doesn't mean you can’t do it. First thing to remember is financing starts with you not someone one else. Start financing your business with your own personal money, look into second car that you can sell, whole life insurance policy that's been building cash value, furniture , assets that you own  that you can sell and electronics . Be prepared to show that you've put up money of your own for your venture and have some sweat equity invested.

Secondly, get in touch with your local small business administration office for financing options. They maintain a data base of loans and funding initiatives for different types of business owners. There are loans for startup companies, women owned, minorities, home based businesses owners and other types of entrepreneurs.  A great resource to find based on certain criteria is business.gov.  Bank loans and financing from investors are another option but first you will need to build up your personal credit rating. You’re personal credit rating is what really matters most when attempting to secure government loan, commercial business loan, or a business credit card.  Many lenders require you to offer a personal guarantee on a business loan. So anything that you can do to improve your credit score will greatly improve your chances of a getting a yes from a lender.

If your personal credit history makes getting a traditional business loan impossible, consider non tradition resources for funding such as asking friends or family members for help. Be sure to frame your request as a business loan not a gift and be prepared to put everything in writing. Have a plan b in place; be sure to explain to family members what would happen just in case everything doesn’t go according to plan. There are also other loan options to think about, small business owners are leaning on peer- to-peer lending. They are a number of online lending networks such as prosper.comlendingclub.com, and kickstart.com.  You can also use online tools such as Go Big Network to find venture capital and angel investors. This site has a network with more than 20,000 investors who can review your funding request and provide you with the funds you need.

Finally, creativity can sometimes trump cash, not everything requires upfront money to finance your operations. Consider bartering, renting or leasing equipment instead of purchasing, or what low cost ways can you creatively come up with in order to meet your company goals.  Remember sometimes success in business isn’t just about dollars, it’s about the heart and passion you have for your business too. And when funds are little tight, a little creativity goes a long way.


Lesson 2: PERFECTING YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH

An elevator pitch is a short statement about your business that tells others what you do and how you help clients. The key to the best elevator pitch is to convey just enough information to peak someone’s interest. When you’re trying to raise capital for your company, having a killer elevator pitch is crucial, you only have a few moments to grab someone’s attention and make your business memorable and interesting. The strongest elevator pitch doesn’t sound like a sales pitch, that’s a turnoff for anyone listening to you. Let your passion shine through!

Three essentials ingredients to perfecting your elevator pitch:

  1.  Keep it short and sweet - Your elevator pitch needs to be concise but it needs to contain some of the key information that will make people perk up and listen. It should take no longer than 20 seconds to spit out. If you’re elevator pitch is any longer than that, you need to go back to the drawing board and rework it.

  1. Describe how big a problem you’re solving - Be sure to describe the scope of the problem that you’re solving in specific terms. For example:  If you have a business that is a transportation service that offers delivery of meals and medical supplies to home bound senior citizens and others. A good elevator pitch should sound like this: 12 million Americans are home bound due to age, illness, or medical disabilities. My company delivery service helps people who can’t leave their homes get the food and medical supplies they desperately need.

  1. Position your company as a solution - When you describe your company be sure to state specifically how you will help the market place, particularly your target clients.  Avoid abstractions and metaphors, and stick to one main tangible benefit that you offer. If your elevator pitch is done right you will have another opportunity to tell an investor or a potential customer more about your business.

As your delivering your pitch, pass along your business card to the person and expect a phone call or an email later. That’s the benefit of developing a well-crafted elevator pitch; it makes you and your company irresistible.


Lesson 3 - WHAT TO SPEND, WHAT TO SAVE – MANAGING YOUR BUDGET

When deciding how to manage your business budget, start with the basics; get into the habit of doing proper budget and tracking every time. Especially keeping an eye on your spending in different categories, like your marketing expenses, distribution and production costs, and of course your payroll costs. Having 3-6 months’ worth of saving set aside is good initial target. If you’re funding most of the business with your own money, having a 2 year savings and spending plan, will give you insights as to what you can expect from this new venture.

 Make realistic projections, look at the numbers, and make sure that launching this business makes financial sense.  If making future projections about income and expenses fall outside of your comfort zone get professional help, get an accountant, or use online budgeting software for small business owners.  

To keep business expenses low don’t buy everything new or all at once, you made need basic equipment to get things going.  One of the smartest money moves you can make is to wait before making certain purchases. And when you do buy, consider purchasing certain things used.  Search local classified ads to see what former business owners are selling that you can use, that should cut down on your startup costs.

Here are 3 pointers that can help you manage your business budget:


1. Create a savings and spending plan – Create this plan before you get started. If you’re already launched your business, it not too late to, create a plan that shows you exactly what you expect to spend, save, and earn over the next year or two.


2. Get professional help – If managing your business budget is too difficult for you or too time consuming, considering hiring a part time accountant to help out with bookkeeping and related tasks.

3.  Question every purchase – Don’t make the mistake of buying a laundry list of things that can mess with your cash flow, be smart about the purchases you make and when you make them, that will help keep money issues to a minimum.

Making smart money decisions and managing your business budget wisely, will free up your time to focus on what matters most. Running your dream business and doing it well!


Student – Lashana Thomas