Friday, May 15, 2015

5 Basic Business Ethics Tips By Angelia L. White

Sometimes I think I should host monthly lectures on all of the lessons I’ve learned as a publisher. Maybe I could have something like a TED Talks and stand on a stage with a PowerPoint presentation or video highlight reel that features the lesson of the day. I would be on that stage for hours on this one topic: business ethics.

What is business ethics? Well, I will give you the Angelia definition: Business ethics deals with the conduct of a person or a business that is rooted in an ethical or moral foundation. In short, it is those questionable things that are not always easily covered legally. 

Learning business ethics or ethical practices has been ongoing for me, and I believe it will continue to be ongoing, because there is so much to learn. Also, business ethics lessons always come when a new situation arises, and there are always new situations.

I’ve decided to share a few business ethics tips I’ve learned over the years: 

  1. If you have access to someone’s professional and personal information in the capacity of a contracted professional, then you don’t use those contacts to further your own cause or agenda. Their contacts are their property, and to use them is to steal them.
  2. Confidentiality is a no-brainer, whether you sign the agreement or not. It takes a pretty unethical person to divulge another person’s business strategy, information or intellectual property under the guise of “I didn’t sign an agreement.” Either you are trustworthy, or you are not trustworthy.
  3. My clients are my clients. My vendors are my vendors. If you have been contracted to work for my company, then you will not solicit my clients or vendors for your own purposes. That is stealing. 

The above are three examples from my perspective as someone who hires people with the risk of them sharing my intellectual property or company trade secrets. Those are three violations that happen all of the time, and each example is about the character of an individual. The following two tips are based on my moral compass as a leader, business owner and person. These are two things I stand on:

  1. Product integrity is everything to me as a publisher. If my print or digital download or even website are not offering my advertisers and readers quality, then I should just stop now. I stand behind our quality not our perfection. Perfection is arbitrary, but quality is a standard that never changes. I owe product integrity to the people who support our business.
  2. I must create a work environment that is safe for all to enter. We are very customer service driven, but we are also driven to take care of those who make Hope for Women magazine happen. As a matter of personal integrity, no one is allowed to mistreat staffers, as I do not mistreat staffers and contractors. 

Here are some documents you should always have on file: a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), a confidentiality agreement, a code of ethics document and a core values document that outlines your ethics foundation and principles. Legal Zoom and other sites have examples and templates for each, though the principles MUST be your own.

Why does your company need to have a code of ethics and/or conduct? It sets the tone of the business and protects your business. It also sets the tone and builds company morale. It will pre-warn people with bad intentions and reputations about your intolerance for bad behavior.

Connect with Angelia White on Twitter @angelialwhite Learn more about products and services at Hope For Women Magazine. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

5 Tips to Launch a New Career Using Your Transferable Skills By Natasha Miller Williams

Photo Credit:
I was a six-year-old entrepreneur, selling gently used items from my parents’ porch. Opening day I sold my father a whistle and my brother a tchotchke I’d borrowed from his bedroom. I had a knack for identifying commercial value, and my enterprising skills were beginning to thrive. This inclination was essential a week later when I became the founder of our family’s newsletter. The first cover featured a compelling, breaking story: “Family Thrift Store Closes.”

From thrift store and newsletter, to client service, operations, marketing, and now human resources, I’ve taken my ability to articulate a value proposition to each new job. These moves weren't all easy; hiring managers want someone with experience. It was up to me to express my capabilities, even if I’d never done similar work.

At times, you, too, will want—or need—out of your field. Changing fields requires showcasing your transferable skills. Transferable skills are aptitude and abilities that you can take from one job to the next—special things you do exceptionally well that others seem to always call upon. Whether learned or innate, used at work, home, or volunteering, your transferable skills are your ticket to a different career path.

Think you’d like to launch a new career using your transferable skills? Here are five tips to get started:

1. Know your transferable skills. Ask yourself, “What do I make look easy?” Think about your personal and professional accomplishments and the common themes of your contributions. Jot them down and look for words that are repeated. Words like: Delegated. Time Management. Solved. Organized. Operated. Analyzed. Efficient. Dependable. Resourceful. Developed. All reflect your transferable skills.

For example:
Establishing timelines for your family’s move is extremely relevant to organizations seeking project managers (key transferable skills: “organized,” “managed”).
Ever worked in food service? You know first-hand the patience and empathy required to get an order correct. You can easily take these attributes to a career in client service (key transferable skills: “patient,” “empathetic,” “attentive to customer needs”).
Specialized skills can set you apart—like being a subject matter expert of your employer’s systems. You can’t take the software to your next job, but your ability to train others on systems makes you an attractive candidate (key transferable skills: “leadership,” “training”).

2. Identify what you don't want to do. Leveraging transferable skills will allow you to consider hundreds of new roles. While this breadth is exciting, it can also be intimidating. Where do you begin with all those possibilities? When you aren’t exactly sure what you want to do, try saying what you don’t. If you know you don’t want to work in business development or enter the manufacturing industry, cross them off. Eliminating potential jobs helps whittle down the list to areas that interest you most.

3. Create a skill-oriented resume. Organize your resume functionally versus chronologically. Take all of the bullet points from your resume and put them in a single list. From there, begin grouping by similar skill. You should be left with categories of your transferable skills. Each set represents how you've applied that specific ability across various jobs. Review each bullet point, tap into your inner narcissist, and describe your skills and accomplishments putting yourself in the best possible light. Nothing is more off-putting than a resume that highlights what everyone but the resume-holder accomplished. Say what you did and how it benefited your employer. Title each section with a clear, punchy heading that allows readers to envision your success at their company, like “Rich Mix of Project Management & Sales Skills.” See sample resumes below.

4. Make friends across industries. Bachelor of Arts? Bachelor of Science? Haven’t we been separate too long? If you’re a member of any association, it’s probably related to your current job. What better low-risk way to get a glimpse into a field than to join an association that differs from your background? There’s no reason a data processor can’t be a member of the Association of American Educators. Attend a conference or volunteer in your area of interest. You’ll meet new people in your aspirational field and have an inside track to industry news. This helps when you begin to interview.

5. Be open to the job even if the title is over- or underwhelming. Be aware that when switching fields, your current title might not await you. This doesn't mean it's the wrong move. The fact is, seniority and responsibility vary widely across industries. Your Manager title at your current employer could align to a VP (or Analyst) at the next. Don’t be overly concerned about whether the job title is moving in the direction you envisioned; just be sure your interests do.

You must be able to articulate your strengths and the results you've seen from leveraging them. Sing your own praises unabashedly. But don’t stop there; take it a step further and connect the dots for the potential employer. Some hiring managers or recruiters will need you to bridge your transferable skills to their open role, so be prepared to explain how the thrift store you opened and managed developed your procurement and sales skills. Tell them how you can apply both to their open sourcing manager role.

Oh wait, that’s my story. But you get the point.

Connect with Natasha Miller Williams 
on Twitter @nlynniewillie and follow her Linkedin

Success Steps for your Entrepreneurial Journey By Audrey L. Woodley

How To Become A Successful Businesswoman 
Women can be successful in business as much as men can. In today’s world, women are quickly changing the face of society and business by moving into leadership roles as managers and business owners in enterprises and corporations. With gender equality becoming more acceptable by the society, a lot of women have now become a significant part in the business sector. With the prevalence of women in business, more and more women are now encouraged to become entrepreneurs, and make a significant impact in the economy and industry.

Becoming a successful businesswoman, however, can be very challenging. Like men, women have to take a lot of serious strides to become successful and productive. To become a successful businesswoman, you need to take note of these pointers and suggestions: 

  • Find your niche
  • Educate yourself
  • Have a positive attitude

 Entrepreneurs will always be their number one cheerleader. A lot of entrepreneurs don’t invest in themselves or their company. The best investment that one can make is an investment in oneself and giving your time. The risk is high but the potential return is higher. It is important to build a strong foundation and understand the fundamentals of your business.  Entrepreneurs who invest in their skills and their growing business stand a much better chance of succeeding. Here are three ways to invest in your business:

Communications is very important in growing a successful business.  You need to be able to communicate clearly and confident about your business to potential clients, investors, and the community. Solid communications skills is required.  If you are not comfortable in communicating take a communication class at your local community college or join a local Toastmasters chapter. Investing in your communications skills will set you apart from some of your competitors. 

If you are stating and business you cannot afford not to invest into branding.  Standing out from the crowd in your industry is essential.  Creating your brand is your lifeline to your business. Customers will identify you and your values before they even purchase your products or services. Branding is more than having a professional website designed, a great logo, and business cards. Create a strategy.  Know your selling proposition, develop an online presence, and get to know your ideal client. By investing in your brand your business will generate a presence to your ideal client and you will be selling to them at the same time. 

Hiring a Coach
As an entrepreneur we tend to try to do everything in our business.  Most entrepreneurs fail because we are only one person trying to do everything on our own.  You need mentors and coaches to help you get to the next level.  Business coaches and mentors are there to help motivate you and help you align your goals. Most coaches have the expertise to place you in the right directions and give you the tools to be on your successful entrepreneurial journey. They will keep you accountable and help you steadily grow your business. She/he is your cheerleader. Cheering you on to great success.

Connect with Audrey L. Woodley on Twitter @AlwoodleyCEO and Facebook. Learn more about products and services at


In 1957, a monastery was being relocated to make room for a highway through Bangkok. The group of monks needed to relocate a giant clay Buddha statue from their temple to its new location. When the crane lifted the massive idol, the weight of it was so tremendous that it began to crack. The head monk, who was concerned about damaging the sacred Buddha, decided to lower the statue back to the ground and cover it with a large canvas tarp to protect it from the coming rain.

Later that evening the monk went to check on the Buddha statue. He shined his flashlight under the tarp to see if the Buddha was staying dry and noticed a gleam of light shining through the crack in the clay. As he took a closer look, he wondered if there might be something underneath the clay. He ran to wake the other monks. With a chisel and hammer in hand, the monks began to carefully chip away the thick clay from the Buddha. As they knocked off shards of clay, the little gleam grew brighter and bigger. After hours of chiseling, the monks stepped back and stared in awe at the sight before them. There, in front of the monks, stood a solid gold Buddha.

Historians believe the Buddha had been covered with clay by Thai monks several hundred years earlier. After realizing their country would soon be attacked by the Burmese army, these monks covered their precious golden Buddha with an outer covering of clay in order to keep their treasure from being looted by the Burmese. Unfortunately, all of the monks were killed in the attack, but their well-kept secret of the golden Buddha remained intact until its discovery in 1957.

“We are all like the clay Buddha covered with a shell of hardness created out of fear, and yet underneath each of us is a golden Buddha, a golden Christ, or golden essence, our natural self. Much like the monk with the hammer and chisel, our task is now to discover our true essence once again”  -Jack Canfield        
With faith, courage and diligence, you have the power to chip away at the layers of clay that are imprisoning your true essence, your beauty, and your worth, freeing your radiant soul to shine bright.  Consciously you can then know the greatness of your soul, manifest your dreams, and live a life full of abundance.

The Creator has encoded your very DNA with an intelligence that will allow you to reach unimaginable heights. Your journey began before birth.  God knew you before he formed you in the womb.  The potential inside will collide with his power and release you into your purpose.  There are gifts, abilities, and talents awaiting discovery or “un-covering”.  You have a specific calling.

The Creator strategically placed you here and now, in your gender, gifting, ethnicity, age, and talent for his Divine Purpose.  You were fearfully and wonderfully made.  You were created with awe.  God wants to use you at this particular time and in a particular way.  His Divine Power has given to us, all things that pertain to life and godliness

We are God’s masterpiece, created in his likeness and image.  He has created us so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  You were hand-crafted and custom made-to-order.  Your design is directly connected to your purpose.  This includes your personality, physical features, style, IQ, and temperament.  There are secret discoveries inside of you that are uniquely yours.  Trust in God’s design and plan.  Your Creator has plans for you.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you hope and a future. 
If you or someone you love needs a little help chiseling away the clay so that the gold can shine then you don’t have to look very far.  Whether it takes additional schooling, classes, instruction, or training, you must pursue learning and wisdom.  Go after everything that will assist in developing your Divine Purpose.

Connect with the “Divinely Empowered Goddess”, Dr. Mimi D. Johnson on Twitter @doctormimij and Facebook.  For more information on Life-Empowering speaking or coaching services visit:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

BOSS Spotlight: Meet The "Fashion Designer " Laurie Underwood

Laurie Underwood, Owner and Designer of Wanda Grace. While following her childhood dreams, Laurie took on the challenges to see what successes she could accomplish by becoming an independent fashion designer. Laurie started her design business in 2008 and continues to grow her brand through style inspiration and empowerment.

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

Laurie Underwood: One of the biggest obstacles I've faced when I started my business was the fact that I had to wear many hats at once, while juggling my day job and my role as a mother. Starting off, I was the Designer, Stylist, web designer, publicist,  brand manager, the customer service rep, basically, just about everything for my business. I wasn't at the point where I could pay people, nor was I at the point where I could trust others with my brand. But, with personal growth and patience, I found it easy to delegate certain roles and responsibilities without compromising what my brand stands for. 

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

LU: Since the age of 9, I've wanted to become a Fashion Designer. I believed in myself so much as a little girl, that it became a truereality for me. I often visualized it and I was always drawing fashion illustrations, while admiring women who displayed confidence with style. I wastruly inspired by the idea of having the ability to build a look for someonethat allows them to display who they are without having to speak a word. Today,this still inspires me.  

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

LU: I find balance by having good mornings, eating well, feeding my mind with non toxic information and daily visualization of how I want to build my lifeand I practice having faith without insurance. I found that when you decide how you want to live your life, balance will find you and you will eventually be able to live according to your life's purpose. Yes, I have long nights, a high-demanding day job, I'm a mother trying to maintain balance and I am always working on other projects that I have interests in but, it's all a part of theprocess that will lead me to where it is I should be.   

BN:.What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
LU: Dress for the life you want, not the life you have.

BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
LU: This is actually a long list in my book. My journey has and still is being inspired by so many individuals. But, on a daily basis, I am inspired by my daughter Journe. She's six. I learned that she listens to everything I say and watches everything I do. This in turn, builds her character, which is basically turning out to be a mini me. So, she'll speak my own advice to me, which is amazing. One day, she came out of nowhere and said to me, "God is going to make you a brand new person".  I don't take this lightly. Sometimes your inspiration and encouragement can come right from YOU! Literally. 
BN:What are your must-haves to keep your career or business going strong?       

LU: Strong support system of family and friends-Daily style and fashion inspiration-My sketchbook to illustrate my ideas and thoughts as a Designer- Maintaining my passion, so that I continue to do what I love.

BN: What is your definition of a BOSS?

LU: A boss is someone who knows that her passion will lead her to her purpose. She uses her purpose to be in charge of her destiny, while empowering and inspiring others to do the same.

Connect with Laurie Underwood on Instagram  and Twitter
@shopwandagrace and
learn more about products
and services at

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