Saturday, April 5, 2014

Are You Ready For Love? By Terry D.

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Are you really ready for love? With love comes great responsibility, and if you're not disciplined enough to love you; what makes you think someone else wants to inherit those same disheveled behaviors into their lives? Make yourself more than just arm candy.
Have you ever looked at a couple, and thought to yourself, Howd she get him? Yes, to a narrow judging eye, they seem like a mismatch, but to one another, they're perfect. You see, that person took the time to prep for their husband.  The appeal exudes from what a person innately possesses, not just to what appears on the surface.

Now, this isnt to suggest that you wait to get married, until you have everything together, because you'd be single forever, but there are a few intricate steps we should all want to consider, in order to alleviate any unnecessary added stress that already is the inevitable in marriage.

Don't be afraid to do a self-assessment, and then take that same assessment, and ask someone you trust, their honest opinion. It's never a bad idea to solicit an accountability partner, but make sure they're objective and impartial. You are not looking for someone that agrees with everything you say...

Are you realistic in what your "dream" spouse looks like? If you have the same wish list at 40, that you had at 20, BURN it!!! As you grow, your values and expectations grow, or at least they should. You really do want to know what their long term goals are, instead of, what kind of car they drive.

There are some tough questions that you need to ask yourself:

What have I done to prepare myself, emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and YES, financially? How as a wife, can you be a helpmeet, if you have nothing to offer?

   1.   Have I honestly learned to be alone, and love ME? If you havent learned how to be alone, you will latch onto the first available person, and suck the life out of them, because of your clingy and needy nature.

   2.   Do I have value to add to this relationship, or am I just hoping for someone else to offer that for both of us? Know you, and value you enough to want to have a balanced relationship. Dontexpect someone else to give you, what you yourself cant offer.

   3.   Have I checked my baggage at the door? No one wants to have to live the rest of their lives, paying for the sins of an ex.

   4.   If you're a more seasoned dater, make sure you consider the, "Stuck In Your Ways" syndrome, or this is just how I am - take it or leave it. Newsflash - they really don't have to take it. Remember, there are other people willing to compromise and meet in the middle. After all, relationships are all about compromise. When weve been out of the game for a while, we become accustomed to our own routine, and its not always easy to break those habits, but it is necessary, in order to have balance.

I don't necessarily believe that opposites attract. You won't have everything in common, but its probably not a good idea to not have anything in common.

REMEMBER: Nothing is done overnight, but your willingness for change is a                         start! Dont put off today, what you matter as well get done TODAY!  

Open your mind, and the possibilities are endless
Terry D. helps Grown Folkcreate a lasting foundation for healthy and loving relationships.

Terry D. is an avid Relationship Blogger, and invites you to follow her BLOG at www.lovechapters.net, follow her on twitter @love_chapters 



4 Techniques To Developing A Schedule that will not interfere with your Children’s Schedule By: Tammira Lucas

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Being a mom is such an important and demanding but rewarding job. When I first became a mom it was hard for me to get anything accomplished because I didn’t want to miss anything in the growth of my daughter. There were a lot of times that I felt guilty for being away from her due to work or having to run my business, or times when she had activities going on and I would miss them. As much as I would have liked to be in two places at one time there were times that she could not attend birthday parties or other events because of my work schedule. I felt like a bad mom although many assured me that I was not.

Being part of my child’s special moments was very important to me and I knew I had to do something to ensure I would be there as much as possible. I had to figure out how I would balance being a mom, wife, and entrepreneur without falling short in any of those areas.  Along with those titles we all know there’s always the housework that need to be done, the friends and family that need you to lend an ear, and also your “me” time. After months of planning, research and sacrifice I implemented 4 techniques that helped me balance my schedule without interfering with my daughter’s schedule.

Technique #1
Get a family Planner. Often we get planners for work or day to day activities, but what I found that was very effective was getting a planner that would allow you to write down the entire family activities. This allowed me to get a great glimpse at not only my week or month but also every person in my household. When it is time for me to schedule an appointment for myself or my household I am able to analyze what is going on, what time it is going on and who is involved. It also helps me with planning transportation or pick-up for my daughter. Planners aid you in being able to compartmentalize your life, so you are able to prioritize.

Technique #2
Set Boundaries- It is important that we learn that we cannot do everything. We have to learn to say “NO” to some things and understand that it is ok to say NO. We are already multidimensional as women, and think that we have to do every thing or be everywhere but the reality is we can’t.  You will run yourself dry of energy and never be able to be as efficient, as you would like. Also, learn to draw boundaries with yourself when it comes to business. I am the person that will try to do everything before I hire an expert. What we are really doing is making things worse and wasting valuable time that we can be using somewhere else in our life. So let the expert be an expert and hire out if it is not one of your strengths.

Technique #3

Blend activities- It is important that you give your children your undivided attention. You don’t want them to say my mom was always working so she could not be at any of my games or shows or she was not paying any attention so she missed me make the game winning shot. Instead you want to find time where you can blend your activities with your child/children’s. For example you have to take your child to ballet practice. During practice you are not able to sit in the actual class but you do need to wait for him or her. This is the time you can use to read, send emails, or do some social media marketing. It is times like this that you can utilize to blend your activities with theirs.

Connect with Tammira on Twitter @tammiralucas or online at www.tammiralucas.com


Free Your Mind for Creative Problem Solving By Kamilah Paden

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Over the years, I’ve noticed that in business a lot of time is spent on just getting projects done, and not necessarily getting them done better.  Often, when looking at a problem, the natural inclination is to go with what has worked in the past. 
However, the business landscape is always shifting. Technology continues to evolve.  How we use technology changes.  People, especially entrepreneurs, have to be nimble, analytical and creative all at the same time.

To remain competitive, and dare I say, exceptional, every problem should be looked at with fresh eyes.  And anyone with the will can do that.   

There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
I grew up with my mother saying this. Now, we weren’t cat-skinning people.  However, I always knew there was more than one way to solve a problem.  If you go in knowing there is always going to be more than one solution, you are more likely to look for multiple solutions and not settle.
Don’t just look at what you are asked to do.  Look at the problem(s) you are asked to solve. There is a difference.  Make it a competition within yourself on how many solutions you can find.

Throw your limits out of the door.
My favorite ad campaign is from Adidas, “Impossible is Nothing.” Do you know why impossible is nothing?  Everyday someone, somewhere does something that someone told them was impossible. That person could be you. Don’t scoff.  Believe. 
I once worked with a technology guy that told me that he could do anything with enough time and money.  I understand we don’t usually have enough time or money.  However, limits are the Kryptonite to creativity.  Pretend that you have unlimited resources.  Then, what would you do?

Clear your mind of clutter.
Most people’s creative time is right before bedtime. Why?  Your frontal lobe is too tired to tell you no. So your mind is able to be more creative.  This also happens when you drink.  However, if you’re drunk, you can’t work.  So you have to balance that out.
I’m more creative in the mornings.  My brain is raring to go and all of my ideas are zinging around.  Find your creative time and leverage it to its fullest.
Talk to different people.

Diversity of thought is great for creativity.  Everyone brings different skills and experiences to a problem.  A good conversation can spark ingenuity.
Also, people that aren’t pressured with finding a solution can think more freely. That will help you tap into your creativity as well.
I am always more creative when I’m around creative people.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they will always have the answer.  But I’ve also been a witness to unexpected genius – the skies open up, the angels are singing, and my rear end is saved.
Tap into your child mind.

When you tap into your child mind you awaken your curiosity.  A child will play with something forever. They will touch it, taste it and look at it. They’ll turn it over and look some more.  Concentrate.  What is this thing in front of me?

Why can’t we give ourselves the same freedom and luxury to turn that box or problem over in different ways?  Why can’t we define what it can be and not be limited by what it is?
Also, your child mind gives you fearlessness.  My godson used to run into closed door when he was a toddler.  It was the oddest thing.  But it never stopped him from running.  Sometimes that led to a closed door.  Other times, it led to—Eureka!—an open one.
You may need to bang your head on a closed door to get your “Eureka” moment.  Keep running.  The satisfaction of a great solution is worth it.

We are all pressured to do more with less every day.  However, that doesn’t have to be a sentence for failure.  It can be an opportunity for creativity.  It’s all in how you look at it.


Connect with Kamilah Paden on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/kamilahpaden or visit her Web www.vegaunleashed.com.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We Are Inspired By This BOSS: Lisa Ascolese, aka "The Inventress” - President of Inventing A to Z

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For more than 25 years, Inventor, Expert, Keynote, Entrepreneur Lisa Ascolese aka "The Inventress” www.inventingatoz.com has successfully invented, marketed and launched products on QVC/HSN and now ShopNBC as well as national departments stores.

As the originator of The Bun Tie, The Bosom Buddy (breast feeding cape), The Wrap and Store Organizer, Perfect Pockets Organizer to name a few (products the that have all been replicated), Lisa is an innovator and pioneer in the truest sense. As one of only a handful of women in this field, she owns and operates an invention company 100%.

Her products vary from mother care nursing products, to kitchen organizers/gadgets, hair accessories and much more (i.e., breast feeding cape, bun tie hair accessory, hair accessories, Creative Stirups which is sold in more than 250 motorcycle dealerships including Harley Davidson and J&P Cycles). Additionally, Lisa represents products for large companies such as Sylvania and Westinghouse.

Among hundreds of others, her clients include Jennifer Harrison's Perfect Hair Collection (in partnership with Steve Harvey), Nicole Ari Parker, Dionne Warwick, Celebrity Hair Stylist Daisy Curbeon, Jessica Mindich (Jewelry for a Cause/MTV x CALIBER Collection – in partnership with Snoop Lion & Senator Cory Booker to end gun violence), Jasmine Guy, Harriette Cole, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Sylvania and Westinghouse, among others. 



Black Enterprise (feature/Sept. 2014)

How To Use Social Media To Build Your Brand Online By Quinline Glasper

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When you are trying to develop and build a branding strategy – be it personal or business, possibly the most powerful tool you have at your fingertips is Social Media, and that all important active presence that is needed.

There are so many benefits to being active on different social channels which will really ramp up your branding if you actually take stock and really take advantage of them. 

How I used social media to build my Social Media Brand online? There are many techniques to branding your business online. Use the free social platforms to create your business profiles and begin sharing rich content about your business brand. Having a regular online presence daily helps to get your brand recognized on social media platforms. 

Another great way to get your brand out in the world of social media is to create press release about your business brand with detailed information on what your company has to offer to consumers and businesses alike.

1. Create your brand online destinations.
This is the first step to raising brand awareness and loyalty. Companies with the most successful social media branding surround consumers with online experiences that allow them to select how they interact with the brand.

Consider using popular, free options like blogs, Twitter, FacebookLinkedInYouTube, and so on. Of course, for small-business owners without the manpower to effectively manage too many destinations, you should consider testing each of these to determine which social media service you're most likely to stick with over the long haul. This will become your core destination. All your other online destinations should link back to the core.

2. Establish entry points.
One of the most important aspects to accomplishing this with your branded online destinations is to continually publish meaningful content that adds value to the reader's experience. The goal is to publish useful information that people will want to talk about -- and then share with their own audiences. This creates additional ways for people to find your branded destinations and it can lead to higher rankings from search engines like Google.

Here's one way to think about it: If you have a website with 10 pages of content, there are 10 ways for search engines to find your site. If you attach a blog to that website and write a new post every day for a year, you will have 365 more ways for Google to find your site, and your brand.

I call this the compounding effect of blogging. You cannot buy that kind of access to a global audience.

3. Locate your target audience and bring them back with you.
Where does your target audience already spend time? You need to spend time in those places, too, and engage in the conversations happening there. Get started by conducting a Google search for keywords that consumers would be likely to use when searching for a business or products like yours. Follow the paths that those consumers would follow and you're likely to find them.

Join relevant online forums and/or blogs, and write posts, publish comments and answer questions. Once that audience understands that you're there to genuinely offer useful information and not to self-promote, you can start leading them to your own branded destinations -- particularly your core branded online destination.

4. Connect with influencers.
As you search for your target audience, you should identify online influencers in those communities and get on their respective radars. To do so, leave comments on their blogs, follow them on Twitter and retweet their content. You can even email them to introduce yourself.
The key is to make sure they know your name and understand that you add value to the online conversation. This also exposes you to their audiences.

5. Give more than you receive.
Success in social media marketing depends on being useful and developing relationships. If you spend all of your time promoting then no one will want to listen to you. It's not a short-term tactic, rather a long-term strategy that can deliver sustainable, organic growth through ongoing, consistent participation.

A good rule of thumb is to apply the 80-20 rule to your social media marketing efforts. Spend no more than 20 percent of your time in self-promotional activities and conversations, and at least 80 percent on non-self-promotional activities. In time, you'll see your business grow from your efforts. And it starts with leveraging these fundamentals.

First you should know the purpose of the use of each social media platform and how you will use it to grow your social media presence online.

FACEBOOK: Is a Keep Your Personal Life Private and Keep It Business Life Open Type of Social Media Platform Where Your News Goes Viral Quickly.
TWITTER: Is a great tool to use to build your network, develop great relationships, share ideas and absorb brand building knowledge.
LINKEDIN: Is a keep it all professional social media networking platform. LinkedIn is a platform where you can connect with other influential people from all career fields.

SociallyCued Social Media Network
Top Social Media Influencer
CEO, Quinline Glasper
@SociallyCued