Monday, April 1, 2013

King Bey’s School of Business: Lessons from “Life Is But A Dream” By Brittany Applegate


If you tuned into Beyonce’s documentary “Life Is But A Dream” on Saturday, February 4, you saw the many faces of King Bey. Aside from learning about Beyonce, the musician, wife, and mother; we saw Beyonce, the businesswoman. Beyonce taught many lessons throughout her documentary. From making the decision to part from her father’s management, to having tough skin while handling business; Beyonce took us to class. Check out the top 3 lessons I learned from King Bey’s School of Business.
Lesson 1: No Skirts In The Boardroom
“I think I realized that business and being polite, doesn't match. You can be fair but me being polite was not me being fair to myself. Now, I’m learning how political things are and a lot of the crazy things [my father did] was necessary.”
When you have important decisions to make, deadlines to meet, and products to release, the last thing you want to do is be polite. When handling business, being polite can put you in a position to be taken advantage of. All of the wonderful ideas that you were once very certain about become a cloud of confusion. You become insecure about your craft and sensitive to criticism. Like Beyonce said, “you can be fair” but not polite.” Develop tough skin and remember, “NO SKIRTS IN THE BOARDROOM!”
Lesson 2: Forget Being Cool!
“I’m gonna take a risk…I’m gonna do the opposite of what I thought I was gonna do. I’m not gonna try to be cool. Forget being cool. I’mma to be honest. I’mma be sad, I’mma be passionate, I’mma be vulnerable, I’m gonna sing from my heart.”  
My generation (GenY) tends to follow trends and create what’s “hot” at the moment. We should create for the long-run; create something classic. Classic comes from the heart. It comes from being vulnerable, being honest, and being passionate. Forget being cool! Be yourself! Do what works for you!
Lesson 3: Communication is Key!
“I’m like most women — very generous, and I’ll compromise,” she says in the movie. “I used to be afraid of people thinking I was difficult or too critical, and you know, I don’t really care about that anymore.”
Throughout Beyonce’s documentary, I noticed numerous times that she was an effective communicator. Details were important to her. She asked questions, played the devil’s advocate sometimes, and stood up for what she believed in.  She never hesitated to speak up. She was the captain of her team, the creator of her craft, and ultimately, the BOSS. If you want to be successful in anything, you must communicate effectively. Never be afraid to speak up and stand up for what you love and believe in!
Share your thoughts or get additional advice from Brittany Applegate! Follow this BOSS on Twitter @bdapples

Fear of Success: The Real Reason You Fall Short of Your Dreams By Lakara Foster


Everyone has heard of the dreaded “fear of failure” and how it is usually described as one of the main reasons why people will not after go after their dreams. But I believe an equally terrifying culprit that causes dream deterrence is “fear of success”.  While much has been written on the topic of overcoming the fear of failing, discovering how to conquer this irrational fear of success has not been an easy journey. I have come up with three steps that serve as my personal testimony for creating a life worth living.

Three steps to getting over your fear of success…

1. Decide you Deserve It:
One of the most difficult things to do when it comes to success is to decide that you deserve it. Deeming ourselves worthy is a very difficult task for most women especially when we rely on most of our validation from outside sources.  These sources usually dictate how we should feel about our weight, our hair, our style of dress, and what we feel we deserve in life.  The truth is only you can decide that you are worthy of all of your desires and understand that life will only give you what you feel you deserve.  So go ahead and DECIDE RIGHT NOW to be successful in all of your endeavors!

2. Lead by Example:
My mother has an intense fear of dogs and because of this we were never allowed to have pets. I never understood how people could become so attached to animals until I became the co-parent of a beautiful puppy named Hali. A few months ago I had to break the bad news to my mother that while she was deathly afraid of dogs, this little one was coming home with me for Thanksgiving, because I did not want to leave her in a kennel. No way! No How! My mother agreed since she was a “little” dog. However, when I walked into the house with the puppy in tow, my mother jumped onto the couch screaming and was almost in tears. My two year old niece and nephew quickly followed suit. In that moment she realized that she had just imparted her own fears onto two very innocent souls. She quickly got down off of the couch and as hard as it was for her, she reached down to greet Hali by rubbing her little head and just as expected, the two year olds repeated her actions. “I did not want them to grow up being afraid of dogs”, my mother said. I was so proud of her in that moment for putting her own fears aside to demonstrate to her grandchildren that there was no need for them to be afraid either.
This is how I try to live my life as well. I know that there are other women who look to me for courage and encouragement. Since completing my book, I have had several women to start writing or complete an unfinished book project because they said “if she can do it, then so can I”.  When you know that others are watching you, it makes it a little easier to set the stage. So, don’t be afraid to lead the way!

3.  Know that Success begins with Failure
I know this one might sound a little absurd, but I have found it to be quite true. While writing The Grown Woman’s Guide to Greatness, I was forced to reevaluate my entire life. I looked at both my successes and “failures” and was shocked to discover that right before any great accomplishment happened in my life there was always a series of detours, delays, and major distractions. I realize now that the things I had deemed “failures” were actually the very things that were setting me up for success. In fact, the day after I wrote the very first chapter I was informed that I would be laid off within the next few weeks. Instead of feeling like I had somehow failed, I embraced the idea of having time off to complete the book and to begin the new journey of becoming an author and spiritual development coach. Being laid off taught me how to budget my money, time, and resources better and pushed me right into full time entrepreneurship where I had always longed to be. I have made more time to exercise which has led to me losing 25 pounds and looking and feeling better than I have in years. Oftentimes when we lose jobs, we feel as if we have failed. I honestly felt like losing my job enabled me to find myself.

While these steps are definitely easier said than done, I challenge you to try each and see how overcoming your fear of success will open doors you never imagined and lead you to a life of ultimate fulfillment and joy.

On your journey toward greatness and success, be bold…be blessed!

Visit to learn more about this BOSS or follow her @shespeaks11 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Genius Zone By Dorothy Enriquez


I love bubbles. I bought a bubble machine once, for a photo shoot. I had loads of fun with it until it broke. I wanted to catch every single bubble that came out of the machine: big ones, small ones, some as big as my head--But there were just too many.  After a while, I got tired.

Accomplishing tasks in our business, whether it is a 9 – 5er, our side-hustle or a self-owned-business, it can feel very similar to trying to pop all of the bubbles coming out of the bubble machine. There are too many, how big they will be can’t be pre-determined and there is no way of knowing when it will stop. This is analogous to our laundry list tasks, self-inflicted honey-do lists as well as unexpected fires that need to be extinguished. Covey describes our lives as having four quadrants. He indicates we should spend most of our time in quadrant 2. But, how many of us really do?

The DOT-Tributors have gotten this down to a science. We have a system we affectionately call The Genius Zone: that special part of us where all of our skills, talents and knowledge collide and our specific magic mix cannot be duplicated by any other team member. When in the genius zone, a DOT-Tributor can accomplish a 60-minute task in 2/3 or even 1/2 the time. How, you ask?

We love you--so we’ll give you a few ingredients to our secret sauce:

1.       Know Thy Strengths – Identify areas where you’re strong and really excel. Share those highlights with the team. This will help your manager and/or team members strategically plan what tasks to assign you. You’ll not only like the new projects/assignments, but you’ll also shine because you can now enter your genius zone and stay there for extended lengths of time—instead of being a firefighter. Don’t know your strengths? An excellent book to help aid in the self-discovery is Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton.

2.       Delegation – It’s not all about YOU boo! Company first, then team, then you. After considering the company’s strategic goals and visions, the team is the next priority. There’s no ‘I’ in team. But, there are other human resources. Use them! Why pull your hair out when help is a phone call, IM, or cubicle away? Delegate things that you can’t do and even things you don’t want to do. In many cases, things that we don’t like can be delegated to someone who loves it like a fat kid loves cake. Done and done!

3.       Tri-Comm
a.       First, we need to say what we’re going to do. This ensures efforts will not be duplicated or attempted by other team members so we can avoid re-work. This saves the company money or at least keeps us on budget.
b.       Second, we must do what we said we were going to do (in the working world we call this accountability and responsibility). It sounds simple enough. But so often we add something to our list and the lack of follow-up in the corporate and entrepreneurial world is staggering. As fellow BOSS Brittany Applegate once said, the favor is in the follow-up.
c.        Third, communicate when we cannot accomplish what we said we were going to do. In the end, we’re a team. We are working towards a common goal: to help our organization go from good to great. We’ll need to band together and figure out how to support our fallen soldier in any and all uncompleted tasks. Ultimately, we are only as strong as our weakest link. When we enter the hemisphere of our genius zone we communicate to the other team members via text, email or phone call that ‘we’re in the zone’. We know to give that individual time and space to ‘zone in’ and make magic on behalf of our organization. In today’s society, there is a lack of focus due to impacted attention to multi-tasking. For us Gen Y-ers aka Millennials, we LIVE for multi-tasking; however, for the rest of the team who could be comprised of X-ers and Baby Boomers, all that multi-tasking is not sexy. Moreover, studies have indicated that it is not as effective or efficient as working on one task as a time. According to Psychology Today these findings demonstrated that when we shift focus from one task to another, the transition is neither fast nor smooth. Instead, there is a lag time during which our brain must yank itself from the initial task and then glom onto the new task. This shift, though it feels instantaneous, takes time. In fact, up to 40 percent more time than single tasking -- especially for complex tasks.

Therefore, we embrace and encourage the genius zone--and we think you should too. How awesome would it be to have the opportunity to do what we do best every day?! For those of us who are solopreneurs, stay at home mommies, working in Corporate America or at a start-up, there’s no feeling quite like being in the genius zone. Feeling like we've brought the best of who we are to the team is rewarding; it keeps us engaged and continually wanting to not only do our best but achieve more.

Cheers to the geniuses at The BOSS Network

Connect with Dorothy Enriquez on Twitter at @dot_magazine  or learn more at 

Why Women Entrepreneurs Rock By Shontaye Hawkins


Women entrepreneurs are finally discovering the strength and power that lies within.  A strength and power so strong that we’ve only began to scratch the surface. A woman’s strengths are found in her innate ability to create, nurture and transform. With that, women are boldly stepping into their creative power to create the life and business of their dreams. So how does the undeniable strength to create, nurture and transform, translate to our businesses? 

As women, we give life to our businesses, nurture them then change them as deemed necessary. When we tap into our creativity, building a business is done with a great deal of care, naturally. Our business will reflect our individual values, personality and style because it is who we are.  Think of it this way. When a woman carries a child she’s very careful about what she puts in her body. Why? Because she doesn’t want to eat or drink anything that could potentially harm the baby. This is the same way when we create our business. We seek those relationships, resources and tools that will help us build and grow a business that thrives.

Just as a mother raises a child and does everything to protect him or her, so do women entrepreneurs in our businesses. We create plans, processes and procedures, all to protect and keep our businesses on the right track. When a plan or process doesn’t seem to be working, what do we do? We evaluate what isn’t working and make adjustments.  A mother wants the best for her child and it’s no different in our business.

We understand that building a great business takes time, discipline and dedication. We were born to create, nurture and transform this world, it’s who we are, it’s how we were designed.  When we truly believe in the vision, the time and energy it takes to create, nurture and transform a business is just a part of the investment. An investment we’re willing to make because the benefits are truly immeasurable.

Grab Your Free Audio Gift, “5 Critical Keys To Emerge, Thrive and Create Breakthrough Results In Your Business”:

Shontaye Hawkins, Business Success Coach is the CEO of Emergence Success Solutions, the premier coaching company for entrepreneurs. She worked for Fortune 500 companies like Goldman Sachs to build wealth in excess of $1 billion and attract high net worth clients/investors. She now helps entrepreneurs create massive growth, success and profits in their businesses!
Learn more about Shontaye and connect with her below: