Tuesday, May 23, 2017

3 C's of Success Pivoting by Nicole Woodcox, M.S.W.

The art of pivoting can help the business owner know when it’s time to rebrand or release a partner, the employee of 15 years that has just been laid off have the courage change fields, the college student who has just graduated with a degree in a field they no want to work in or can’t find a job in, the family who just found out they are having twins instead of a singleton, the teenager that just found out they are pregnant and even the family that just found out they may have a hard time conceiving without help. The ability to pivot, aka mental flexibility and adaptability is one of the top ten skills employers look for, according to the University of Kent, and “a critical skill that all entrepreneurs need”, according to Inc.com.  Not only is the ability to pivot critical for success in the business world it is a necessary element in being able to have the resilient mindset to flourish regardless of the situation presented, based on the book “Emotional Agility” by Susan David, Ph.D.  Everyone needs to know have to successfully pivot in life if they want to thrive in this fast-paced world filled with hurting people.  These 3 Cs are keys to successful pivoting in any situation. 

Contemplation is allowing yourself the time to create the space need to temporarily escape the distractions and chaos of life.  This can be a daily practice of prayer, meditation, journal writing, walking in nature, exercising or anything that allows to get away from outside influences and stressors.  This time is so you can observe the thoughts and emotions in your mind, not to judge them but to take inventory of where you are mentally.  Meaning this is the time in the day where you can be honest with yourself, where you can acknowledge that you feel overwhelmed but have also learned some lessons, a time where you can go over your pros and cons of a situation.  Contemplation is an essential key prior to any pivot because it helps us not to lose our voice and values in the face of outside influence, fear, or stress. 


Clarity is usually a byproduct of having good contemplation time. Clarity is when your inner coach voice comes through loud and clear with your best next steps.  Clarity is when indecision takes a back seat. Focus and determination on an
 S.M.A.R.T goal is clarity.  Clarity is essential to a pivot because it allows you to release indecision and organize yourself with clear goals.  


Confidence naturally comes when you know that you are prepared to make the next best steps to achieve your goals. Without confidence, we are sometimes hesitant to say our best yes or say our best no to things that do not help us meet our goals or serve our best interest. Confidence is essential to a pivot because without it we may not have the courage to make those moves that actually lead us to pivot.

These 3Cs are simple but easily overlooked, which can cause us much time and energy. Without these, we sometimes allow life to simply happen to us instead of taking the responsibility of living a life on purpose. So although it may seem hard to carve out time for self-care or saying no to other people’s request of you that do not serve you, it is absolutely essential if you want to live a life on your terms. 

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

BOSS Spotlight: Navigating Life With Confidence


Yvette Gavin, founder and Chief Strategist of Yvette Gavin Consulting is a certified John Maxwell coach, trainer and speaker. An alumna of Oral Roberts University, Yvette is a blogger and author of two books—Recalibrate! Navigating the Job Market with Confidence and What to Do After You Say I Do.

1. What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
My biggest obstacle was overcoming my fear of failing financially. I had become accustomed to a high-paying corporate America salary and the thought of not knowing if I would make the same or higher income running my own business was scary. I knew I would be exceptional at delivering my services but I wasn’t sure about how to get paying clients.  Nevertheless, my fear of not achieving my dreams became bigger than my fear of losing my comfortable corporate America check. So, I developed a growth plan and began to study networking techniques and sales strategies.  This lead to my business and marketing plan and it wasn’t long after that that I was executing my exit plan from corporate American and launching my prospering consulting firm.

2. What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
Encouraging others is something I have always enjoyed doing. But it wasn’t until several friends reached out to me for help with their job searches and or with their marriages that I fully realized that the impact I was making in the lives of others.  I absolutely love coaching, training, speaking, and consulting because this industry allows me to support others in my most authentic way!

3. How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
I consistently start my day with devotion and meditation regardless to what is going on professional or personal.  It helps me to stay focus, maintain peace, and keep my priorities in order.

4.What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
“Don’t ever give up your dreams and never leave them behind.” Elisa Costanza

5. Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
My husband (James), son (Jamison), and my mother (Lois) are my greatest encouragers.

6.What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?
I must have integrity, faith, and peace to keep my business going strong. 

7.What is your definition of a BOSS?
An influencer who leads with candor and care.

8. Provide us with two words that describe you? Ex. "Success Coach" "Beauty Expert."
Strategy Coach

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Turning Bad Experiences in Gold Mines by Vanessa Abrons

Flickr / Neal Wellons
Considering the high-value gold possesses, the path to get to it is rough.  If it were easy, everyone would be there. The same principle applies to the gold mines of our lives. 

Situation A
I had a job at a large corporation upon college graduation.  It wasn't my heart's desire, but I went into it with an open mind to learn and get the most of the experience.  However, I started to dislike my job so much that I cried as I prepared for work each morning.  It wasn’t the place for me and I was trying to find a way out. Nine months later I was let go.  I was devastated but also felt like I just unloaded a pack of bricks off my back. 
Lesson: Sometimes it takes getting lost a bit to get on the right track.

Situation B
When I decided to pursue public relations, I had the opportunity to work with one of the top public relations agencies.  I was excited and was confident that I was going to knock it out the park.  I was wrong.  The internship was hard.  I struggled.  I gave it my all and yet it wasn’t good enough.  I felt like I was failing.  
Lesson: The trail to the gold mine is arduous, and you will get bruises along the way.

Situation C
After hard work, tenacity, and determination, I landed my dream role, or so I thought.  My strengths were put on a backburner while my weaknesses were front and center for open criticism and judgment. The stress of the job showed physically in my overall appearance through rapid weight gain and broken hair follicles.  I had no time for family or friends.  Eventually, I had to walk away from this role.  
Lesson: Sometimes you have to experience fools gold before you get the real gold.

These seem like three horrible stories. However, hindsight is 20/20.  

Situation A helped me realize that I had to stay true to my passion.  Sometimes we pursue opportunities purely for the money.  We have bills, children and/or parents to care for, and personal ambitions that cost money.  However, passion should reign and to not allow money to serve as God.

Situation B was a quick boot camp that prepared me for my career ahead.  At my next job after Situation B, my colleagues and managers were impressed with my experience and the skills. Situation B made me tougher and fully equipped to conquer my next opportunity.

Situation C helped me realize that everything that glitters isn't gold, but also that I had what it took to get the real gold.  I wasn't where I was supposed to be, but at the same time, I was developing muscles that I didn't realize I had.  One could say it was a slight detour or perhaps an indication of what’s to come.  

Each situation was a stepping-stone to where I am now – realizing my potential as an entrepreneur and thus building upon that.  Without taking those steps, I probably would have been too afraid to enter the mine.  However, now I'm here deep in the tunnels with my shovel and pick ax chipping away at my mountain of gold.

Learn more about Vanessa via her website at www.vanessaabron.com and follow her on Twitter @vanessaabron (personal) and @AgencyAbron (business)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How to Master the Art of Follow-Up: A 4-Step Process by Nicole Grimes, M. Ed.

It is so easy to host an initial meeting or consultation with someone. You both have shared key information and discussed the plans to move forward with all ideas discussed. When closing the meeting, both of you share next steps with intentions of following up. Somewhere along the way, you get super busy or super booked, life happens, and the intent to follow-up gets lost. As a result, you lose out on potential opportunities. To send the message that you are serious about truly providing support AND delivering results, as agreed, it is imperative to master the art of follow-up. Through the establishment of a true process for follow-up, you show that you are serious about your business, serious about establishing relationships, and you show that you are committed to both accountability and reliability. 

Consider using the process below to Master the Art of Follow-Up:

  1. Be specific about your expectations for follow-up. Ensure that all parties involved clearly understand that follow-up will potentially occur. In doing so, outline what the next steps are while specifically stating when and how the follow-up will take place. 
  2. Establish a specific time to follow-up with the person or on the task. When meeting with a potential client or key connection, it is important that all parties, including you, have access to your calendars. Take time to discuss and establish a time that works for everyone so that the follow-up can actually occur at an equitable time/date. Then actually set the time/date. 
  3. Use a tool to set a clear follow-up time for all persons involved. We live a busy lifestyle, so it is quite helpful to use a tool to also support the follow-up. I choose to use an electronic tool, such as my phone calendar or Google calendar. Depending on the type of meeting that will occur, I also incorporate the use of various apps to support the process. There is nothing better than a scheduled reminder to keep everyone on task. If for whatever reason, this time doesn’t end up working (because life happens), take a few minutes to talk through establishing another time using the process discussed in Step 2. 
  4. Follow-up on the follow-up. Continue the process. In my research and practice, I have learned that the key to follow-up is following up. Sounds simple, right? Once the initial follow-up has taken place, it is important to continue to revisit steps 1-3 at each checkpoint or after each meeting to truly achieve the intended results in the long run. To establish a true relationship where actual results are produced, it is important to be intentional around the follow-up process. 

By truly investing in The Art of Follow-Up, you show that you are serious about accountability, not only for the person you are connecting with but also for yourself as a professional. Establish a system that works for you and commit to making it routine. 

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

Sunday, May 7, 2017

12 Tips to Survive as a MOMpreneur by Tanya Barnett

When I began this MOMpreneur journey, I knew one thing and one thing only: I did not want to work for anyone ever again in my life. I had been fired twice from jobs because I put my kids’ health first. The last full-time job I had was with the federal government. I quit that job when I heard God say, “Pack your things. It’s time to go.”

Before and after leaving my final full-time job, I had various side hustles to help my husband pay the bills. Some of my entrepreneurial jobs were: owning a home daycare for years (including weekend and overnight care for military families), tutoring, selling Mary Kay, Avon, and Real Estate (I did well until the bubble burst).

Honestly, I did not understand how much time and commitment it would take. After numerous instances of forgetting to pick my kids up, to drop them off or to go grocery shopping, I had to find a way to manage all of this and stay engaged with my kids and husband. I had bouts where I was so overwhelmed that I would snap at everyone or eat excessively to cope.

Eventually, I ballooned to almost 200lbs. I had to make a change for my emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health. Hearing my doctor say the words, “You have diabetes” before my 39th birthday was my wake up call. I was not only failing myself, I was failing my kids too. I was fatigued all the time, which caused my husband and children suffered. I was even to exhausted to give 100% to my businesses as well.

In January 2011, I decided I could do both but I had to be smart about it. I started walking while my daughter was at cheer practice. On days she didn’t have practice, she would go to the track with me. This gave us time to spend together. By November that same year, I lost 53lbs and was diabetes-free before my 40th birthday. I became a better mother and entrepreneur because I put me first. I even started my nonprofit, Forever Free Books and my current purpose-filled mission, The Real Wife Movement. I know this was a direct result of implementing ways to take care of myself and my family.

Some other tools and methods I incorporated were:
  1. Purchase and use a planner
  2. Put my kids to work  
  3. Asked for help
  4. Switched some household roles with my husband 
  5. Gave my kids more age-appropriate responsibilities 
  6. Hired a cleaning service 
  7. Said “NO" to others 
  8. Said “NO” to my family members
  9. Resigned from community groups 
  10. Cooked larger meals 
  11. Began ride-sharing with other families
  12. Took time alone for me 
Being a “MOM”preneur can be stressful if you do not have systems in place. Find things that work for you and implement them. I promise, your business will thrive and your kids will thank you for giving them 100% of their mom.

Be sure to follow Tanya Barnett on Twitter @RealWifeCoach and check out her products & services at www.RealWifeMovement.com and ForeverFreeBooks.com 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

BOSS Spotlight: Corporate and Career Strategy with Nicole Grimes


Corporate/Career Strategist, Nicole Grimes, M.Ed. is an advocate for empowerment, education, image development, and strengths-based coaching, with a passion for leading others to their purpose-driven lifestyle. A native of Louisiana, Nicole is currently employed as a Special Education Supervisor and is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership. 

Q1. What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?

A1:    Creating a new level of balance and making “it all fit”

Q2. What inspired you to break into your particular industry?

A2: I was inspired to break into this industry, over time, through multiple experiences in my life, and through the encouragement of those close to me. Over the years, I have assisted many people with supporting their career goals, personal image development, and maximizing their strengths/talents to create their best selves through coaching. After much prayer, encouragement, and much planning, I took the steps necessary to make my vision a reality.

Q3. How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?

A3: I balance my personal and professional life through time management, prayer, exercise, strategic scheduling, and goal setting. Another key to creating balance is open communication to ensure understanding, commitment, and to further develop trust. When individuals, especially those close to you, truly understand your journey, it makes it much easier to support the process. We often forget that we cannot do THIS alone.

Q4: What is an inspirational quote that you live by?

A4: One of my most inspirational quote is from Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT), “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Q5. Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?

A5: My dad for his focus and wisdom. Over the years I have seen him serve others as a premier educational leader, now a pastor, and own multiple businesses. My brother and sister-in-law also have really been encouraging and supportive. They too have professional careers, and own multiple businesses. Additionally, I have a very tight-knit group of friends that encourage me daily. They are also brutally honest with me which helps me to remain focused. There’s no better feeling than knowing you have true supporters in your corner.

Q6. What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?

A6: My “must-haves” to keep my career and business going include my Bible, my computer and smart devices, a written plan, my business coach, personal mentors, a close circle of family/friends, and a great network to support my vision and execution.

Q7: What is your definition of a BOSS?

A7: My definition of a BOSS is someone who is a leader through influence, service, and the ability to produce results in their particular field. This person is a trendsetter, an innovator, an influencer, and has fought against the odds to manifest his/her vision. A BOSS is someone that is a risk-taker, and lives a life of purpose through serving others.

Q8: Provide us with two words that describe you? Ex. "Success Coach" "Beauty Expert."

A8: Career Strategist

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

Monday, May 1, 2017

BOSS Spotlight: Positive Psychology with Dr. Toya K Wilson


Dr. Toya K. Wilson is a Positive Psychology expert from Chicago, IL. She specializes in the use of both ancient and modern techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, energy healing, and knowledge of Self to help individuals, companies, and communities heal. Her guiding belief is that everyone can live a happy life!

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

A: When I first began the process of starting my business, my largest obstacle was requiring payment for my services. I believe that happiness and peace of mind is everyone’s birthright so it seem counter intuitive to charge clients for it.

2. What inspired you to break into your particular industry?

A: Being from the south side of Chicago and working in the Englewood area, I was surrounded by crime, depression, and dysfunction. But through it all, people naturally reached out to me seeking answers and I enjoyed watching people heal through my “work”, so I built a career around helping people live happier lives.

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

A. I live by the mantra that when Toya’s good, the whole world is good! I take care of me first. By living this way, my professional life flows naturally and i’m able to operate at peak performance and stay balanced.

4.What is an inspirational quote that you live by?

A. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success! If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. ~Herman Cain

5. Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
A. I have a mixed bag of influencers who encouraged me along the way ranging from my mother Alicia Wilson to Dr. Maya Angelou and  Buddha. 

6.What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?
A. Because so much of my business is done online, I must have access to a computer and internet connection. Also, I have to have access to current research in my field so that I can stay in ‘the know’ about current findings and breakthroughs.

7.What is your definition of a BOSS?
A. In my opinion, a BOSS is someone who has found freedom and self-expression through their career. Yes, there’s a cost to being the BOSS, but the reward is the freedom to share your gift with the world on your own terms in your own way. To me, there’s nothing better than being a BOSS,

8. Provide us with two words that describe you? Ex. "Success Coach" "Beauty Expert."
Happiness Coach

Please visit Dr, Toya at www.Drtoyakwilson.com or https://twitter.com/DrToyaK

Friday, April 14, 2017

BOSS Spotlight: Insurance and Financial Services Advisor by Georgelyn Hicks

Georgelyn Hicks has been a top advisor helping individuals and businesses realize their dreams by developing financial security and growth. She operates in multiple states, Georgelyn Hicks dba State Farm Insurance for more than 25 years. Georgelyn and her team of agents, help her clients protect themselves from the consequences of unforeseen events and build their future through insurance and financial products.

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

GH: The dream of business began 10 years before the door opened.  Each step along the way was exciting and hopeful but in the back of my head was that tape of fear, “can I really succeed” So I began practicing faithful affirmation and self- talk. I fight the tendency to become immobile. So I schedule my goal activities to keep me moving and accomplishing step by step.  

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

GH: Through my 13 years as an insurance claims adjuster I realized that many people in the black community and women, did not know what they purchased when they bought insurance.  More were spending money on clothes and eating than putting money away for saving, investments, leaving an inheritance or retirement.  I heard a call in my spirit to help my people not perish from a lack of knowledge. 

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

GH: Balance requires an understanding to keep the first things FIRST. God is the source of life and his wisdom got me to this place in life. I practice a consist time of worship and pray for guidance about my day and business.  My family is a gift, my greatest success is to be a good influence in their time of life.  You will never regret the effort you put into these relationships. 

BN: What is an inspirational quote that you live by? 

GH:  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. Jeremiah 29:11

BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way? 

GH: I follow many women who are influential in their Christian life and business. Here are a few:  Dr. Lois Evans, Dr. Bridget Hilliard, Carly, Fiorina, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Pricilla Q. Williams and Gayle King. 

BN: What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?

GH: By grace, I try to keep from letting negative emotions overcome me. Our thoughts are the building blocks of the outcomes of life. Through guidance, I use my time to grow in life and knowledge.  I am a life learner, I read and interact with others with an open mind.  

BN: What is your definition of a BOSS?

GH: A BOSS is a visionary. She influences others to move into their future.  She creates strategies and systems to accomplish her goals.  She builds a team that can go into the future with her.  A BOSS is a coach and builder of the gifts and talents of the people around her. She is humble and knows by God's grace and plan she is standing in this place of leadership. 

BN: Provide us with two words that describe you? Ex. "Success Coach" "Beauty Expert."

GH:  “Bible Teacher, Financial and Insurance Coach

Be sure to visit Georgelyn Hicks on her website: www.georgelynhicks.com

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Now Let's Get in Formation (Professionally Speaking) by Vanessa Abron

Beyoncé has one of the largest and most devoted fan followings and her level of stardom naturally attracts media, yet she rarely gives an interview. However, we as BOSS women can learn from Queen Bey despite the fact that we aren’t superstars.

Impactful Initiatives

One thing is that when Beyoncé does something, it’s impactful. Since the beginning, almost everything she does incites conversation. 

That’s why when I approach any initiative, the first question I ask is “So what?” While our campaign or project is important to us, why should anyone else care?

If we want people to talk about what we are doing, we have to do something that drives a conversation. We have to do something new to be newsworthy. It is important to analyze what is it about you and/or your business that is worth talking about. Sit and think about how your story is different and interesting from everything else you hear and see discussed.

Ask yourself:

1. What am I doing that no one else is doing?

2. Why should anyone care about me, or what I’m doing?

3. How does this fit into current conversations in a relevant way?

4. Who is affected by what I’m doing and how can I reach them?

5. Is this newsworthy or is it a commercial or sales pitch?

We live in an era where we have information overload. There is so much content available, that we have to stand out if we want our voice heard. Therefore, if we are going to do something, let’s make it impactful.  

Plan and Prepare

To have a Beyoncé-inspired initiative, you must also properly plan and prepare. Shockingly many business owners don’t take the time to write their goals, strategies and overall plan. Their norm is to work month-to- month or sometimes only weeks in advance.

I’ve had to execute projects with only a few weeks lead-time, so I can attest that there are certainly successful moments that happen sporadically. However, relying on this method will only get you so far for so long and Beyoncé certainly isn’t working week-to- week.

When it comes to your PR and overall marketing approach, begin to think months and years ahead of time, while also doing a few short-term projects in-between.

As BOSS women, here’s why proper planning is needed for the “Beyoncé Impact”:

1. A written plan and strategy forces you to identify the steps you need to take to reach your goal.

2. Writing out your goal, strategies and plan makes everything clearer to you and those working on the project.

3. A written plan is a road map for you and your team, and it keeps you on track to achieve the goals you set.

The “Beyoncé Impact” may not be easy, but it is certainly attainable. Now that we know how to formulate creative ideas and understand the need for proper planning, let’s all get in formation.

Learn more about Vanessa via her website at www.vanessaabron.com and follow her on Twitter @vanessaabron (personal) and @AgencyAbron (business)

Stay Focused by Celebrating the Little Victories by Nicole Woodcox M.S.W.

In this fast-paced world of immediate gratification, we can forget to celebrate the little victories.  The little victories are what keep us motivated and focused during the journeys that can’t be completed quickly.  Every journey will have trials. So pausing to acknowledge the little victories helps us not get discouraged when things take longer than expected or when the results are not exactly as planned. 

An example of this is my recent child birth experience.  I was attempting to have a vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC), which can be a difficult and very emotional journey.  I knew I had many factors that would make this journey a bit harder than others, given that I am a plus size woman, who has a history of gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.  Therefore, whenever I noticed my anxiety becoming heightened during this pregnancy, I had to remind myself of all the little victories that I was experiencing.  I celebrated everything from not having to take insulin for the gestational diabetes that returned to having the doctor tell me that he is comfortable with waiting for my body start labor naturally instead of immediately scheduling a repeat C-section.  This simple pause helped to remind me that I was not in a fight against my medical support team but was in collaboration with them.  This pause has helped me to celebrate the fact that my body was able to start labor naturally and dilate quite far instead of being discouraged that I did not get the VBAC that I wanted.  This pause helped to remind me that my goal wasn’t really just to have a VBAC, my goal was to feel listened to and truly supported by my medical support team. This pause is one tool in hopefully avoiding postpartum depression.  As the quote above states, "sometimes its the small things that make a big difference."

What journey are you on today?  Are you trying to start your own business? Are you searching for a new job? Are you starting a new career?  Are you seeking a promotion? Pause today and celebrate all of the progress that you have made.  If you have simply updated your resume or researched how to create a business plan, CELEBRATE!!

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

4 Mindset Shifts For The Purpose-Filled Woman by Tanya Barnett

This past weekend, I did some serious reflecting on my life. I compared this year to last year at this very same time. I saw a remarkable difference in the woman known as Tanya Barnett: 2016 Me vs. 2017 Me. The differences were like night and day. I am walking like a purpose filled woman.
I asked myself what the stark contrast was. After all, I still have the same home, husband, and kids. I did put on a few extra pounds, however, I can still fit my clothes (I refuse to buy a larger size).
All day, I continued to ask God to show me what happened to the old me (not that I was missing her or anything). I’m so glad, He gave me a great revelation: there was a shift.
My lifestyle shifted! My way of living life had changed. My mindset had been renewed.  I adopted strategies to have more control over my life, which resulted in an acceleration in achieving my goals and the progression of my businesses. A new VICTORIOUS ME EMERGED!
The were 4 changes I made and they all stemmed from a mindset shift—-
Devotion: I now begin each morning with a devotion no matter how short. Sometimes, I read a short one from the FIRST5 app. I also love the Bible app on my phone, especially since it reads scriptures to you. I let it play the scripture of the day while I am brushing my teeth; then, I say a quick prayer. This helps me set up my day for good things to happen. I say positive things about my day, my family and my businesses.
Discipline: This is a biggie. After my devotion time, I look over my monthly goals in my Whose Shoes Are You Wearing? 2017 Transformational Calendar by Julian B Kiganda and Christine St.Vil. This calendar has a place to write goals and to write action steps (I needed this part the most.) I look at this daily and keep it on me all day long as a reminder of my purpose and of God’s promises. I love that it has quotes and a prayer in it. I glued Vision board items I want to achieve this year in the section for it. This helps me stay focused on what I need to do for the day and it helps me maintain the discipline to not get off track.
Don’t Over Commit: The major thing I did differently this year was I stopped over-committing. I actually stepped down from boards of 2 groups that I was no longer finding joy in and I also began to tell people “no”. At 1st, it was hard to say “no”, even to my husband, but in doing so, I am not going crazy trying to do 100 things every single day.
Do Take a Break: In the Whose Shoes Are You Wearing? 2017 Transformational Calendar, there is a place to write how you will reward yourself for accomplishing the month’s goals. I am so glad this is in there. It forces me to take time for myself. So far, I began getting pedicures, massages and soon, I’ll go to lunch by myself. I never did these things before. Now, I let my husband know ahead of time, that this is my time and he respects it.
As you continue to walk in your purpose this year, what mindset shifts will you adopt to move closer towards your goals?
Be sure to follow Tanya Barnett on Twitter @RealWifeCoach and check out her products & services at www.RealWifeMovement.com and ForeverFreeBooks.com 

Stop Dreaming and Start Planning 4 Key Strategies for Personal and Professional Goal Setting by Nicole Grimes, M. Ed.

Can you believe it? It seems like yesterday; we were drafting our New Year’s Resolutions and talking to friends about our goals for 2017. I read something the other day that said, “A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” So, my two questions for you are:

1 - Are you dreaming or planning? 

2 – Do you have a plan, and is it effective?
One of the biggest barriers to reaching our personal and professional goals is how we choose to manage our lives. 

Here are four simple key strategies for personal and professional goal setting:

Make the Invisible Visible –  Write it Down!! There is no way that you can keep your appointments or goals (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly) in your head. This could mean use your Smartphone calendar, purchase a traditional agenda, or create a “To Do List.” When you write things down, you provide yourself with the ability to visualize your life. This allows you to create a path for your own life to “make it fit.” I love a free app called Wunderlist. It helps to create efficiency, and “to-do” lists can be shared with multiple people using multiple devices. I use if for everything from my grocery list to planning for a major project in my department.

Create Checkpoints – You set a goal in January that you want to reach by May…It’s February…are you on track? The old saying, “What gets monitored, gets done” comes to mind. To truly reach goal attainment, it’s important to create personal checkpoints for yourself. It’s so easy to set a goal, but what happens? It falls off our radar, and then we become discouraged. By creating personal checkpoints, the monitoring becomes easy. So, if we think about this like baseball, set three bases and the final stop is home plate. Write down the exact date that you will reach First base, second base, and so on. These are the points where you will self-evaluate your progress. If you really want to check yourself, choose an accountability partner. Ask that person that you know will keep it real with you to hold you accountable. Give her your exact dates for reaching your 3 bases and home plate, and have her follow-up with you! 

Pause & Self-Reflect – Each time you reach a checkpoint, complete a week on your list, take a moment to pause and self-reflect. Again, write it down… What worked? What didn’t? What distracted you? What gave you the most peace? Use this feedback to adjust your lifestyle to best fit your life with purpose. Life happens while we are living it so if we don’t take the time to pause and self-reflect, we will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Remix, Reinvent, and Repeat -  In order to reach your personal goals, you must be willing to truly refine your practices and behaviors. Practice makes perfect so after you reach home plate, it’s time to Remix and Repeat. Use your notes from your self-reflection to adjust your routine, tweak your schedule, and change your behavior to create your next cycle of goals. If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan…not the goal. By repeating this 3-Step Cycle, you learn discipline, strengthen your character, and ultimately, reach your goals. Remember, we are all works in progress, but with true planning, we hold the key to making our dreams come true. 

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

Monday, March 20, 2017

BOSS Spotlight: Meet the "Creative Cultivator" Anneka M. Jenkins

Anneka M. Jenkins, Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Alumni NFL Cheerleader, Anneka Jenkins received her B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Radio Broadcasting. Currently lending her skills to Cox Media Group Atlanta, Anneka is also the Co-Founder of Show Me Shoes Foundation. The mission: rebuilding confidence..starting at the "sole".

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

Anneka M. JenkinsAt the beginning of my philanthropic journey, my biggest obstacle was the fear of getting started and not having everything together. When Show Me Shoes started in 2009, our idea was simply to collect shoes for women in need. That mission grew to become something bigger than the initial seed that was planted resulting in missions that serve not just women who new new soles.. but new souls. We overcame these obstacles by keeping the momentum going and living personally through our mission.

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

AJ: My personal journey inspired me to break into the philanthropic space. I was a Midwest girl, who was the only child with big dreams. When I moved to Atlanta to grow my career in media, I was blessed with a large group of interns who were just like me as a freshman or sophomore in college. When I finally figured out that life wasn't about me, yet my story - there was instant gratification in serving others - by inspiring them that they too can live out their deepest desires and dreams.

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

AJ: I have been able to balance my personal and professional life through my morning rituals: prayer, yoga and meditation. My daily calendar could be intimidating, but taking ‘sole’ care of me first thing in the a.m always gives me the “ump” to conquer the day. It's imperative I start the day by clearing my mind of clutter and to-do’s. This allows me to live through each moment and breath through any difficulties or decisions presented to me. I like to tell people, you should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour. :)

BN: What is an inspirational quote that you live by? 

AJ: Be comfortable being uncomfortable.

BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way? 

AJ: There are so many influential people in my life. I am truly influenced by my family, friends, “sole-sisters”, volunteers,mentees and mentors. They have all overcome some sort of adversity, are goal-driven and risk takers on this journey we call life!

BN: What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?

AJ: My “must-haves” to keep my career going strong are my faith; a strong team of supporters, Stop, Breath and Think Meditative app; my Google calendars and a clear, peaceful and open mind.

BN: What is your definition of a BOSS?

AJ: My definition of a BOSS was taught to me by my mentor Janna B and has stuck with me ever since. BOSS is an acronym for a woman who Believes, Owns, Sees and Seizes their destiny.

Be sure to follow Anneka M. Jenkins  Twitter at @annekamaquay and @show_meshoes check out her products and services at  www.showmeshoes.org

3 Habits of a Modern-Day Career Goddess By: Charlene Rhinehart

Some women sit around waiting for others to give them a golden ticket to success. Other women grab their black leather suitcase, put on their power heels, and create opportunities that align with the essence of who they are. 

When you see this woman, she’ll radiate with so much confidence that you’ll automatically know that she is a modern-day career goddess. The most strikingly surprising part is that her confidence isn’t layered with an ounce of cockiness; it comes from having clarity about who she is and having the courage to create the life that she wants. 

She’s mastered the career game because she’s proven that she doesn’t have to compete with anyone to climb the career ladder. She’s distinguished herself in a way that makes her incomparable to any other woman in the room. She’s in her own lane. Her lane is so appealing that other women secretly wish they could be her. 

Now, if you think you are a modern-day career goddess or have come face-to-face with one, here are three frequent habits that will confirm your thoughts. 

She Sets Goals and Achieves Them 
Many people talk about their dreams, but a career goddess takes the extra step to living her dreams. You may find her waking up at 5 AM to prepare for a 5K run or scheduling lunch meetings with accomplished leaders who can help her move to the next level in her career. Her unwavering commitment and daily focus make it impossible for her to fail. She doesn’t have time to engage in conversation about what she wishes she would have done because her calendar is filled with activities that are getting her one step closer to every goal on her list.

She Updates Her Resume When She Isn’t Looking for a Job
A career goddess is always prepared to take advantage of a new opportunity. During her quarterly reflection, she updates her resume to ensure it captures all of her most recent accomplishments and is a reflection of the opportunities she seeks to take advantage of. She understands the value of feedback and makes sure that she has others review her resume. A career goddess takes pride in her physical appearance but also makes sure that her resume equally measures up to the professional image she’s created online and in-person.

She Uplifts Other Women
Jealousy is definitely out of style. A career goddess knows that she doesn’t have to tear other women down in order to build herself up. Her empowering words instantly raise her brand to new levels of leadership. You’ll find her complimenting another woman on their new hair style, giving all-star recommendations on LinkedIn to women who have delivered exceptional speeches or taking the time to mentor another woman in the workplace. A career goddess understands that her success is quantifiable by the number of women that she lifts up, so she frequently invests time and energy into building other women up as she climbs the career ladder. 

Learn more about Charlene via her website at www.charlenerhinehart.com and follow her on Twitter @careergoddess