Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bringing Out The Best In Our Children by Dr. Deborah Tillman

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Parenting is a journey not a sprint. There will be many peaks and valleys. There will be wins and losses; ups and downs but through it all, Jeremiah 29:11 says; “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.” These words must be placed deeply in our hearts and souls as we raise our children. After working with children and families for over 26 years, there are some crucial things we as parents can do to bring out the BEST in our children.

First, Expect the Best: If you think they can or if you think they can’t you are both CORRECT! It is important that we always look for the silver lining. Children need to know that we are their number one cheerleader and that we will stick with them through thick and thin. We do that by leading by example. Children will BE what they SEE so show them what kindness, forgiveness, character and humility really look like.

Second, Eliminate Excuses: We live in a country where everyone is so busy that we don’t have time for anything including the children we birthed. I will tell you like my mother use to tell me… We make time for what we want to make time for. Children are a gift and no matter how busy we think we are our children should be a top priority when it comes to sowing seeds of success in their lives because LOVE to them is spelled T. I. M. E.

Third, Effectively Discipline: Discipline comes from the root word to “disciple” which means to teach. It is imperative that when we discipline our children we are teaching them a valuable lesson. A lesson that does not require inflicting pain which leaves them feeling humiliated and embarrassed but a lesson that they can glean from and think
twice before doing it again.

And finally, it is imperative for we as parents to Evaluate Our Words: Life and Death is in the power of the tongue. Some forty and fifty year-olds are still suffering in silence from something someone negatively said to them when they were younger. Let us all begin to connect with our children before correcting them. Respond instead of reacting
and speak life into our children no matter what they have done and give them the grace that we so needed and perhaps didn’t get growing up. When we say, “there is greatness in you; you are a winner; I believe in you; you are enough, you are fearfully and wonderfully made,” they will believe in themselves. As they do, they will realize that all things are possible even their opportunity to be their BEST!

Learn more at about Dr. Tillman via her website at www.deborahtillman.com  follow her on Twitter @deborahltillman


Friday, August 11, 2017

5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Find True Happiness: Here's a Hint, Make More Money Is Not on The List by Dr. Toya Wilson

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What is happiness? Many entrepreneurs measure happiness by their level of accomplishments and achievements. However, research has shown that happiness is not achieved by obtaining a certain measure of success. Instead, it's actually the opposite. True lasting success is obtained as a result of living a life of intrinsic happiness.

Entrepreneurs have a tendency to buy into the 'I'll be happier when....' myth. Living in a current state of stress, and unfulfillment in hopes of a future payoff to come as a result of their sacrifice. Hiding behind the belief that money and success will bring them happiness. But, how many times have we seen interviews with celebrities and well-known public figures revealing their inner turmoil and the unhappy lives they led? If money and accomplishments were the measuring stick for true happiness, people like Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and Phyllis Hyman would have been some of the happiest people on the planet. But, they are each clear examples that money and status are not what brings true happiness.

So if more money doesn't automatically equal happiness, then what can we as entrepreneurs do to have it all? How can we run successful businesses, have fulfilling personal relationships, and enjoy the fruits of our labor? I believe the answer is to adopt a balanced mind, body, spirit approach to life. This requires working on yourself with as much intent and care as we work on our businesses and to understand that we are the fuel that drives the business. If we're running on E, the business can not succeed and lasting happiness is not possible. But being happy right now isn't as easy as it may sound.

Here are 5 ways entrepreneurs can ensure personal happiness that excludes the pursuit of money

5. Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure you have at least 3 people who can serve as a positive and supportive voice when you need it.

4. Take time to assess your internal condition. Are on the verge of being depressed, exhausted, or overwhelmed? If so, take steps to bring yourself back into balance.

3. Take care of your body. Eat healthy fruits and vegetables. Drink water as often as possible. When your body is healthy the mind is happier

2. Contribute to something greater than yourself. Helping others in need is an amazing way to be internally happy. It also puts the Law of Reciprocity into action. The more you give, the more you and business will receive. (Please note: there's a wrong way and a right way to give. Giving from an empty cup causes stress and dysfunction. Giving from the overflow brings happiness and joy to all parties involved)

1. Be in the moment. Remember, every moment is always NOW. Tomorrow is a myth. Everyday is always today when it arrives. So stress yourself out tomorrow. Don't forgo joy now by having an 'I'll be happy when..." attitude. Live, laugh, and love in the present moment.

Learn more about Dr. Toya via her website at www.drtoyakwilson.com and follow her on Twitter @DrToyaK

Work Smarter Not Harder by Dr. Catrina Pullum

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Interpersonal relationships are a basic element of workplace environments. Navigating those relationships, either as a “boss” or an “employee”, is key to workplace happiness. In this post, I am going to discuss how to manage your boss and how bosses could be sabotaging their subordinates.

Managing your boss sounds counter-intuitive, but it is actually the opposite. A key to building a great working relationship with your boss is understanding how they think, process information, their strengths, weaknesses, goals, basically what is going to drive them in their assignment. Once you understand these things, managing to these expectations is how you truly “Manage your Boss”.  Presenting them the information they need, in a form that they can quickly and effectively process it, shows how much you value their time and energy, and allows them to focus their time and energy where you want it, solving your major issues and accomplishing your goals.   

Why are low performing employees at the bottom of their workforce pools? If it is not energy levels being below normal, sometimes it is their manager. Managers can unintentionally set an employee up to fail. When the employee fails to perform, the manager can start micromanaging to compensate. When the employee experiences micromanagement, they doubt themselves and their abilities and begin to move away from decision-based tasks. Lack of initiative from the employee leads the manager to up the pressure, causing the employee to withdraw more and ending up in a spiraling, cataclysmic finish, usually ending with the employee’s dismissal.

            Typical workers, as they have more to do, stay longer at work. Companies foster this culture as well, asking employees to work longer and harder. Smarter companies are finding a new methodology to get more productivity from their work force. Companies are looking at the employee holistically, and dealing with four different aspects of the “self” of the employee. These employers are developing practices to help employees renew themselves in four different ways: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. This is combatting the energy drain on the employees, the actual cause of lower productivity, which shows in symptoms like: exhaustion, disengagement, stress, and illness. Helping the employee build habits to regenerate these different areas of energy usage, create opportunities to increase overall productivity in the workforce.

            As a Boss or Manager are you working smarter or harder? To work smart is to assess your team along with yourself.  Do not be afraid to delegate and utilize your team strengths. Every week, dedicate time to learning something different by doing team building exercises. Also, educate yourself on your industry. Be prepared to leave your comfort zone.

Research taken from Harvard Business Review’s On Managing Yourself, and Harvard Business Review’s On Managing People

Learn more about Dr. Trina via her website at www.pullcorp.comand follow her on Twitter @DrPullum

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

BOSS Spotlight: Anita Washington "Founder of That Anita Live"

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Talk Show Host, Podcaster, and Speaker Anita Washington, M.Ed, MBA, CEO and Founder of That Anita Live LLC provides emotional healing to help women pivot their lives, rise above the glass ceiling and feel free to live true to their own personality, spirit and character. 

1.    What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career? 
My biggest obstacle was clarity versus purpose. It was very important to me to align my next move with God's purpose for my life. Even though others were trying to rush me into areas they knew I could do and do very well, I waited until I was sure the path I chose aligned with God's purpose for this season in my life. 
The next obstacle would be balancing cash flow. I tend to spend on the level of my dream, not the lower level where I'm starting. Sometimes the ugly poster or ad has to be good enough if that's all there is in the budget.
2.    What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
My current industry is a second career for me. My first career was counseling, so you could say I'm returning to my first love. I chose it initially because I enjoy being the pivotal point in a person's life, the point where change happens for the better. 
3.    How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
Most people strive for balance on a daily or weekly basis. What works best for me is balancing on a seasonal or annual basis. When I have an objective, I go hard for mine. I'll forego everything but the tasks and actions that lead me to obtaining my objective. I can only relax and participate in other things after I've won.  
4.    What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
Isaiah 41:10 (RSVCE)
"fear not, for I am with you, 
be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."  

5.    Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
My 10th grade Biology teacher, which is my Aunt Dee. She always kept me after class and gave me separate advice from what had been said to the rest of the class. One time she told me, "...it's ok to give back and help people but you need to keep your eyes on somebody that is already where you're trying to go so that when you get there you know how to be"
My undergrad professor Dr. Paschal who told me, "Washington you're cut from a different cloth. You're smart! You need to work up to your potential and be true to yourself". 
My grad school professor Dr. Samuel L. Creighton who told me, "Anita people don't treat you like your stupid, you treat people like they're smart".  
6.    What are your “must-haves” to keep your career or business going strong?
My cell phones, social media and my Bible. 
7. What is your definition of a BOSS? 
A #BOSS is someone humble enough to accept help from those ahead of them but self-assured enough to be a help to someone behind them. Even if the student one day becomes the teacher. 

To find out more on Anita, visit her at:

Website: https://thatanitalive.com/

Twitter: @thatanitalive

Thursday, August 3, 2017

BOSS Spotlight: Kimberly Jones "CEO of Spiritually Provoked"

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Kimberly Jones born and raised in Southern California.  She is an Activist, Philanthropist, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend, President of 5th Amendment Entertainment, VP of Blood Money Entertainment, and Founder and CEO of Spiritually Provoked.
Spiritually Provoked is a celebration of one’s journey in discovering the pleasures of self worth, the power of prayer and finding that inner peace when balancing life’s most taxing roles. Our spiritual journeys resonate with us.
Clarify your life and understand your own compass for where you want to go and who you want to be.
1. What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
Some of the obstacles that I faced in starting my business was fear and putting everyone else’s wants and needs before mine. I would put so much time into taking care of others, I never really had time to stop and focus on starting my business. I absolutely knew that God was calling me to do great things in my life to help and to serve others, however, the fear of how I would accomplish and execute my purpose became a roadblock at times.
2. What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
I currently own an independent record label.  My husband and I stared the label after so many years of doing management in the entertainment industry.  What inspired to start Spiritually Provoked is that I have a love for people.   I was a teenage mother and I have to overcome a tremendous amount of obstacles.  God has done so much for me and has brought me to a level of success in my career that I never imagined I would be.  I just want to inspire and help others accomplish the same.
3. How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
I balance my personal and professional life through spiritual guidance, exercise, and spending time with my family.  I always maintain a prayer life, I involve my family in what I do, and I stay away from negative people so that spirit is not affected. “For to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required,” (Luke 12:48). I live by this scripture because as women, we have so many tasks to complete so I just do what I need to do to get it done. We can do it, that's what we are made of.
4. What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
There are two parts to t this question. One is a quote and the other is scripture:
“These are things we all go through and I think you sort of fine tune it every decade of your life: in your twenties, then in your thirties, and then you redefine it again in your forties and fifties.” Julia Roberts, Eat Love Pray.  
“But see ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
5. Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
I feel like powerful women all over the world influence me.  My aunt who held one of the highest government positions in LA County, Mona Scott-Young, I love that she has expanded her brand to so many different entities of being an entrepreneur. I think my biggest encouragement comes from ministry.
6.What are your “must-haves” to keep your career or business going strong?  
My must haves to keep my career or business going are self-discipline and a good sense of direction. Also, never make excuses.  
7. What is your definition of a BOSS?  
A definition of a boss is a leader.  Someone who has authority over their life and a desire to fulfill their purpose in life and actually puts it into action.  A BOSS is aligned with their values and passions.


To find out more on Kimberly, visit her at:


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

BOSS Spotlight: Sharice Bradford "Certified Life Strategist"

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Coach Sharice is a Certified Life Strategist who also has a doctorate in Counseling Psychology.  Her work is centered around helping women to recover, rediscover and redefine their lives through transformation, empowerment and a focus on wellness.  She is a teacher, speaker, facilitator and author.

1.  What are some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?

My biggest obstacle in starting my own business was myself.  Fear of failure, fear of success, fear.  And for many years, I let fear hold me back from starting my business.  I was afraid to fail, I was afraid to try.  Once I overcame my fears and relied on my faith and the abilities I had, I was able to overcome the obstacles.  So this year I decided to finally step out of faith and make things happen.  After several years I finally put a plan into action, left my 9-5 and started working for myself.  While there have been some minor challenges, I can say that it was the best decision I ever made.  


2.  What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
My passion for helping others inspired me to break into the coaching industry.  I have always wanted to see others succeed.  Anything I can do to help contribute to the growth and well being of another person I am willing to do.  Working with women specifically has been a passion because I have been nurtured and mentored by some very strong women and I believe that we can individually and collectively achieve anything.  However we can do more collectively.  


3.  How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find balance?  
I do my best to find balance between my personal and professional life.  This means adhering to set office hours and certain days of the week where I work on certain tasks.  This helps me to stay focused.  There are times when the lines can become blurred, however being intentional with my time helps me to keep the balance.  It is also important to know when to quit work mode and move into personal mode.  


4.  What is an inspirational quote you live by?  
Psalms 139:14 which states that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  

5.  Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
My close friends deserve a great deal of credit for encouraging me and providing assistance and feedback along the journey.  They are always there when I need them and vice versa.  The other credit goes to my significant other who came into my life and became my rock.  He encourages me, provides the best feedback and support and he also provides the brutal honesty I need during this journey. He is an amazing partner!  I was also encouraged by those who doubted me because they provide the fortitude to keep me moving toward my success.  Finally, my nephews and younger cousins encourage me to be successful because I want them to know that there are no limits to what they can accomplish in life.  


6.  What are your ‘must haves’ to keep your career or business going strong?
-  Faith, prayer and devotional time
-  Clients, without them I have no business.
-  A notebook and a good pen to keep track of all of the ideas I have.
-  A creative outlet, because it help you retain your sanity.  

7. What is your definition of a BOSS?
A BOSS is a person who is action and goal oriented.  Not someone sitting on the sidelines claiming the title without the work.  To be a real BOSS, hard work, dedication, drive and sacrifice are required.  You are not a true BOSS until you have master all of those things.   


To find out more on Sharice, visit her at:
twitter @coachsharice7

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Dreamless Entrepreneur by Nicole Nixon

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The Dreamless Entrepreneur

As the CEO of my own data technology company, I wish I could say I was one of those people that had “big dreams” of what I wanted to become. Sadly, that was not me.

And I did not have “DREAMS” or so I thought!

I was raised by a single father of 3 girls which I’m the oldest. Although my dad was a minister, he
worked 3 jobs as well as a member of the US military. Needless to say, when my dad wasn’t working, my family was in church. It was rough growing up without having a mom in the house. As the “oldest” of 3 girls, I was always reminded of my responsibility to “set an example”. This was NOT what I wanted to hear. I was not happy. Dreams did not live here.

After graduating from high school, I entered college to obtain a degree in Business Administration.
Within a year, I became pregnant with my first child which suspended my college education. Two years
later, I welcomed my second child and was no longer focused on resuming my college education. As a
mother of two young children, my focus shifted from getting a degree to my new path in life; becoming
the best “mother” I could be.

With that in mind, I applied to Verizon Communications to start a new career, and was hired within 30
days. Even though I was not able to finish college, I decided to make Verizon my college. I volunteered
for EVERY project and worked many weekends to learn as much as I could. Aside from my normal job duties, I also performed multiple other jobs within the Verizon organization. My focus was to simply be the best professional and mother I could. Nevertheless, I still didn’t have a “dream” but something was pushing me to be "great"!

After Verizon, I was invited to join the management team at Time Warner Cable. It wasn’t until my time
at Time Warner Cable that I found a missing link in the telecommunications industry; Data Flow. I
pushed myself to study industry trends which led to my entrepreneurship journey. It was then I realized
that even when I thought I couldn’t dream, God dreamed for me until I could dream for myself! So just
when I thought I was a Dreamless Entrepreneur, my push for greatness allowed my dream to capture
me!

For those who are still trying to find their passion, and find that winning “Dream”- Don’t Worry! Even if you think you cannot dream for yourself, keep living to your fullest potential, and your “inner” dreams.

Learn more about Nicole via her website www.listingcentralllc.com and follow her on Twitter @ListingCentral


will become a reality!

PARENTS: DESTINY is calling… Will YOU Answer? by Dr. Deborah Tillman

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Destiny is not something you wish or hope for. It is something you believe is meant to be. As I see it, we have three choices when Destiny Calls. First, we can choose NOT TO ANSWER. Motivational speaker, Les Brown said the richest place on earth is the graveyard because it is there that you will find hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared and the cures that were never discovered simply because someone was too afraid to fail so instead of running the risk of failing they didn’t try at all.

It is true that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Fear holds us back from living the life God  intended for us to live. Life doesn’t happen when the alarm clock rings, life happens when we
wake up and realize that we still have a PURPOSE and that our past doesn’t dictate our future and our current situation doesn’t equal our permanent destination. We have to know that BEST
is our Birthright and that we were BORN TO WIN.

The second choice we have when Destiny calls is to put it on Call Waiting Destiny is calling US but we WAIT for someone else to answer the call. We expect someone else to fix what is broken, to mend what’s been wounded or to change what is not working. It is time to stop expecting others to come and save our children, families and communities. It is time to get out of our comfort zones and stop settling
for safe. Destiny does not call us to be comfortable. Destiny calls us to be committed to something greater than ourselves. My life and your life is suppose to make the lives of others better simply because WE WERE BORN.

Finally, when Destiny calls the last choice we have is to simply Answer the call. We have a legacy to leave to our children and our children’s children. The car we drove, the clothes we wore or the square footage of our homes will not determine that legacy. It will be determined by every life we touched, every tear we dried, every smile we shared, and every heart we held. You and I were born for such a time as this and encoded in our DNA is the millionaire mind of Madame CJ Walker,
The scientific hands of George Washington Carver
The strength of Sojourner Truth
The persistence of Mary McLeod Bethune
The voice of Marian Anderson
The passion of Barbara Jordan
The leadership of Dorothy Height
The character of Dr. Maya Angelou
Going with us are the values and principles of hard work, humility, self-reliance and respect for all people, kindness, empathy, faith and love knowing that in the end our DESTINY WAS WORTH FIGHTING FOR
Learn more at about Dr. Tillman via her at www.deborahltillman.com and follow her on Twitter @deborahltillman




WORTH FIGHTING 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

See Your Path, Hear Your Destiny, and Speak the Vision by Dr. Catrina Pullum

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We are a little over half into 2017. What have you accomplished thus far? You still have
five months left to make your vision a reality. Take a moment and think about the word, Vision. Within the bible, there are over 100 verses relating to vision alone. We normally cast our vision at the beginning of a year as New Year’s Resolutions. According to history.com, 75% of people manage to keep these resolutions for one week, 71% for two weeks, and by 26 weeks, only 46% of people are still maintaining those lofty goals.

To start building your vision, you must see your path. Your path is connected to your
purpose. To know your purpose you have to know yourself, and know what drives you to action every day. You must have a clear understanding of who you are and whose you are, and what parts of your purpose drives you to get up in the morning. Once we have established these things firmly in your mind, we want to take the vision, the images that we have seen for our lives, along with the message of the call of our destiny, and record them in a format to remind us what they are.

As we search for items to place on the vision board, we need to listen for the call on our
lives. Get magazines, newspaper ads, any sources of words and pictures you are comfortable cutting up, and as you begin to leaf through them, listen to your heart, listen for that still, small voice, listen for what calls to you. You might see affirmative words like “hope”, “love”, “beautiful”, “strength”, “joy”, “business”, or “family”. These words might speak to the chains you have recently broken in your life, or resonate along a chain still waiting to be broken. Search for and find the things which call to you, and speak to your destiny, to your calling.

Finally, you must give birth to the vision. Record it all on the vision board, all that you have seen and heard for your life. Once it is complete, stand in front of a mirror with your vision
board and explain the board to yourself, out loud. Speaking your vision out loud has two
purposes. First, is to sow the message of what you want to accomplish into the universe. 
Second, to show that there is clarity in your final creation for yourself. By voicing it aloud, you are able to show that the vision you saw was clear and plain. If it is not understandable to you, or everything you want is not represented there, work on it some more. If it delivers the message you desire, you then know that the message will resonate with you every time you see it, and that if you want to explain your vision to someone else, you should be able to state it clearly to them.

Learn more about Dr. Catrina via her website at www.drcatrinapullum.com (personal) & www.pullcorp.com or www.coe4youth.org  (business) and follow her on Twitter @drpullum (personal) and @pullcorpmedia & @centerofempower (business)

Monday, July 3, 2017

BOSS Spotlight: Lakara Foster "The Empowerment Speaker"

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Lakara Foster, M.Ed serves as the CEO of She Speaks! Institute For Women, Inc., whose mission is to educate, empower, and enlighten. As a speaker, author, and spiritual development expert she has appeared on several television shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show and VH1's Atlanta Exes as a Life Coach.

1. What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
Honestly, I was my own obstacle in the beginning. I feared asking for help and was unwilling to admit that I didn’t have all the answers I needed to be successful. I spoke to a friend who reminded me that Jesus recruited disciples because he could not do the work alone. With that one statement, I began building a team of people who believed in me and my God-given vision to empower women. Over the years they have served as friends, confidants, and my event staff at workshops, retreats, and seminars. I have also built a powerhouse mentoring team of individuals who selflessly invest their time and knowledge to ensure that this vision comes to pass.

2. What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
When I was five years old, I received my first report card and my grades were all “A’s” in academics and a “C” in behavior because the teacher said I talked too much in class. My father looked me squarely in my little face and said, “Unless you are getting paid to speak in that teacher’s class, I suggest you remain quiet”. All I heard in that moment was “get paid to speak” and realized at a young age that I could actually make money for something I loved to do! Although, it took 30 years for me to step out on faith and make that dream a reality, it was the best decision I have ever made. 

3. How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
I believe in playing as hard as I work. It is vital to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health that you carve out sacred time to rest and rejuvenate. Also, because I am constantly pouring into others, I make sure to surround myself with people who will pour back into me.

4. What is an inspirational quote that you live by?  
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

5. Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
Maggie and Ernest Foster, Oprah Winfrey, Bishop O.C. Allen, Donny Walker, Tasha Reid (Mentor), Dr. Tonya Moore (Mentor), and Dr. Daniel Black (Mentor).

6. What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?
I “must have” daily prayer and meditation time, strong mentorship, and a desire to serve God’s Women.

7. What is your definition of a BOSS?
A BOSS is someone who has accepted the calling on her life and walks in her assignment daily. 

To find out more on Lakara, visit her at:
twitter @lakarafoster


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Interviewing to the Finish Line By Nicole Grimes, M. Ed.

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Whether you are interviewing for your next job or planning to meet a key business connection, planning ahead will always add value to your journey to the finish line – securing the opportunity. It starts by thinking about an interview as a process, and not a one-time event.

While we all are familiar when it comes to going to an interview, it is imperative that we are truly intentional when entering a competitive atmosphere. Quite often, you have less than 30 minutes to make a lasting impression…What you do before, during, and after the interview could determine your next level on your corporate/career ladder.




Before the Interview

  • Prepare copies of your resume & cover letter, and bring multiple copies to the interview.
  • Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. This means that you need to GPS the location, in advance and estimate time for any traffic you might encounter.
  • Do your research – Know what you are walking into, and be able to refer to important facts about the company during your conversation.
  •  Work on Your Elevator Pitch – Be ready to tell your story when you are asked to “tell  us about yourself…”
  • Electronics Off – leave your phone on silent or leave it in your car.
  • Dress for success – Regardless of the position you are interviewing for, you want to show that you mean business. A well-fitted black or navy suit with conservative shoes sets a polished tone while making a powerful statement.


During the Interview:

  • Come prepared to share – After conducting your research about the company/organization, come prepared to share how you can help to support the mission and vision through your body of work. Reflect upon your prior experiences that would contribute to making the company or organization a success.
  • Take notes and Take Your Time – Bring a notepad and a pen to take notes during the interview, jot down thoughts, and to stay focused on questions being asked. Keep your thoughts organized throughout the conversation by trying not to keep everything in your head.
  • Prepare Questions in Advance – In that same notepad, prepare 3 – 4 key questions to ask the interviewer/contact about the company. Don’t waste their time or yours by trying to come up with questions out of thin air. Be prepared. One key question should be about your next steps.


After the Interview:

  • Follow-Up, Follow-Up, Follow-Up – Send a thank you within 24 hours of the actual interview. In this message, revisit the key points of your elevator pitch to remind the interviewer of why you would add value to the company/organization.
  • Take time to reflect – Jot down your strengths, and areas you need to personally work on following the interview. Use those thoughts to fuel your next interview, and to strengthen your personal toolbox.  

Implement these key strategies to create your path to navigate your journey to the finish line.

Remember, everyone’s journey is different so be intentional on your way to the top!!

Make sure you follow Nicole at www.thenicolemg.com and on IG, Facebook and Twitter @thenicolemg 

Knowledge Hoarding: The New Procrastination by Nicole Woodcox M.S.W

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When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.  African Proverb

How much education do you really need to do your job well? Do you believe it is more important to either receive knowledge or apply knowledge? Is knowledge truly powerful?  These are some of the questions that ran through my mind as I contemplated purchasing yet another course that promised to make me a 6-7 figure super awesome business maven and read yet another book on living my best life.  I have 3 degrees and more certificates than I can count, but I question whether my life actually correlates with all that knowledge I have received. Then it hit me. I am a knowledge hoarder!

In this article, a knowledge hoarder is defined as someone who is on a perpetual treadmill of collecting information before taking significant action to utilize the collected information. 

I am a collector of knowledge but share and apply only a very small portion of it. If I am truly honest I only apply the part of my knowledge that tends to allow me to stay in my comfort zone. For example, I understand the basics of marketing very well and know that I need to be consistent with whatever strategy I use.  But I still tend to say to myself, "Oh I don't want to be a pest to people". "If I just send out an email once a month or shoot out a few tweets here and there, they will still remember my business, because I am respecting their inbox and am so genuine." Everyone with any sort of business sense knows that is a strategy for failure, but somehow, I try to blame my failed marketing strategy on a lack of knowledge and seek out yet another course on marketing.

Once I was able, to be honest with myself and admitted that I am a knowledge hoarder, I had to face a hard truth. I was using my knowledge seeking as a tool to procrastinate on doing the necessary things that needed to be done in my business or life.  Then I had to face the harder truth that I had not done some of the necessary inner work prior to taking the leap into entrepreneurship.  The reality is that I have been procrastinating and hoarding knowledge because I do not truly feel worthy enough to request payment for my skill set or even just consistently sharing my knowledge.  I keep telling myself if I just get this certificate or that certificate I will finally have all that I need to really advertise my business and charge what I am worth.  Well, finally I am saying enough is enough!  No more hoarding! Now it’s all about applying what I already know.  The dress rehearsal is over. Will you join me?  

For the next six weeks, let's really stand in our power.  Use the hashtag #LovingMeFirst so we can interact with each other while on this journey.

Learn more about Nicole via her website at www.thrivingwithbaby.com and follow her on Twitter @thrivingwitbaby 

BOSS Spotlight: Keeana Barber "The Marketing Visionary"

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As the CEO of WDB Marketing, Keeana Barber, focuses her day on expanding the impact her company has on small businesses.  At the core, WDB is a branding and printing company, a place over 1,000 businesses proudly call their marketing headquarters.  However, the imprint Keeana would like to have is much larger.  Our focus as a company is more than delivering a service, more than printing — it is to truly help businesses build a foundation for success.







1. What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?The biggest obstacle I faced at the beginning of starting my business was a lack of a business network/mentorship.  I started my business fueled by the passion to continue my brother’s legacy, who had recently passed away.  Without any investment or support I hosted an event in his honor, months within his passing. The event was surprisingly successful but from there I had a string of hit or miss events as I learned from the ‘school of hard knocks’ about business.  Although I have no regrets I realize that it took years to learn what I could have possibly gotten from the right mentor within months. Although I had a vision and drive for success I was not following a business model with a strategic plan.  After a few years of hosting events I finally found my niche and transitioned to a full-service marketing/design firm. 

2. What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
Although I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur I was unsure of the exact path.  My brother, Bobby Barber, passed away in November 2004, directing me to the field I am in now.   Before passing, he started a promotional and entertainment company in California called What’s Da Bizniz.  I decided to keep it going in his honor.  We started out as an event entertainment/promotional company and over the years have transitioned into a full-service marketing and printing firm. 

3. How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
Work-Life balance is challenging as an entrepreneur. It feels like there is always more work to do and you feel guilty when you take time off.   However, I discovered that those breaks that feel like indulgence are truly necessary to bring out the best in you – personally and professionally.  I schedule my personal time in and although it is a challenge, I do my best not to flake on myself! My business coach once asked me, what do you do to reward yourself?  There will always be another milestone to reach, another item on your to do list, but to be our best self we must take the time to reward and enjoy ourselves along with the way.  


4.What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
“Luck is when opportunity meets preparation”

5. Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
My mom has been my biggest support system; she has worked in the business with me since day one.  My mentor, Dr. Jeffrey Sterling has been integral.  He runs an organization with over 500 physicians, consults internationally, is the President of a 5,000-member organization but still has time in his day for golf.  I am learning efficiency from him. 

6.What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?
My must-haves for business is an updated ‘To-Do’ list.  I rewrite my to-do list at least 2x a day, just to stay focused and organized.    My second must have is integrity.   You can make mistakes, no one will ever be perfect in business, but it is how you handle those mistakes and challenges that defines your business culture.

7.What is your definition of a BOSS?
BOSS is someone who has a vision and can clearly articulate and execute that vision without having to do everything.  I learned a long time ago – if your business cannot run without you, you work for yourself.  If you can leave and it keeps running, you are a BOSS.

8. Provide us with two words that describe you? Ex. "Success Coach"
Marketing Visionary