Saturday, April 1, 2017

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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