Saturday, January 5, 2019

BOSS Spotlight: Tiffany Allen

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Tiffany’s financial services career has spanned over 25 years. It began with Northwestern Mutual and a considerable amount of time was spent with major corporations such as ADP, AFLAC, and Bank of America. The primary focus now includes Protecting Your Family, Living in Retirement, Financial Strategy, and Saving for Education.

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

I faced many obstacles getting started. On one hand, I was so very sure of myself and I knew that I was walking in destiny, but that did not mean I wasn’t fearful. I had grown accustomed to working a corporate job and getting a paycheck and the reality of that not happening was very scary. I also had friends (and very close friends) who did not understand that I absolutely had to make this leap of faith. They did not understand why I just couldn’t be happy in my corporate role. Lastly, I had a limited amount of capital and I knew I had a limited amount of time to make it work. Failure was just not an option.

What inspired you to break into your particular industry?

I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years working for someone else. I have a passion for the financial industry as I was raised on a life insurance policy by my mother who lost her husband and my father at an early age. I also have a passion for legacy planning. We as black people are $250,000 behind as it relates to wealth and I want to reach as many people as I can to do my part in closing the gap. I want to make sure we protect all the people we love and our beloved organizations by understanding how we can bequest life insurance and leave a legacy in that way.

How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
My business is personal and the work I do with my clients is very personal. I do list manage myself daily. I use a calendar and put my personal things on the calendar first. I have three children and a grand-daughter so I want to make sure I attend their events and spend quality time with them. I also need to make sure I stay physically fit and well-groomed so all that goes on schedule first. Everything else works around that. Now, I make sure I have a productive workday each day, but I also work when my clients need me and that could be 7 days out of the week. I measure my week by my productivity and personal goals.

What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
There are several…but I wake up every day knowing that I can’t eat the elephant in one sitting. You eat it by taking one bite at a time.

Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
My entire body of work is dedicated to the memory of my father. I also worked for a businessman when I was 16 and he owned the first black Baskin Robbins in my community. He went on to help others open various franchised businesses and he is a mentor to me until this day. I have a few mentors that I don’t know like Oprah…she reminds me to be my authentic self and that I can truly do whatever I want…just maybe not all at the same time.

What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?
My faith is key. My health and endurance are key. I work and exercise these items every day.

What is your definition of a BOSS?
A BOSS to me is a woman who is authentically true to herself and all that she loves. She is focused on what she believes in. She is focused on her financial success, her intellectual success and supports others around her to do the same. She is a leader and has compassion and walks in great character.

Provide us with two words that describe you? 

Financial Coach

Learn more about Tiffany: www.prudential.com/advisor/tiffany-allen

Friday, January 4, 2019

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Kozi Kyles

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Kozi Kyles, co-founder of Myth Lab Entertainment, is an award-winning content producer and marketing executive with film/TV and media experience.  Her broad industry experience spans developing brand partnerships and producing original content for top brands including P&G, Cadillac, and EBONY magazine. Kozi’s passion is helping brands engage with consumers using a mix of marketing insights and creative content strategies. 

What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career? They say your network is your net worth, but when I started my career in creative production I didn’t have a huge Rolodex of producers, actors, and agents to call on and LinkedIn wasn’t invented yet.  This forced me to get creative and strategic about my networking efforts and reinforced how important relationship building is at all stages of your career.

What inspired you to break into your particular industry? I’ve been interested in creative storytelling and filmmaking since I was a kid.  My sister and I even transformed our playroom into a makeshift film studio.  In college, I got my first real break into entertainment while working for Tracey Edmonds’ production company developing TV & film projects that included the “Soul Food” TV series. That early production experience sparked my interest in pursuing a career in content creation full time.

How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance? As a reforming workaholic, I’ve learned to prioritize self-care to achieve a healthier balance.  For me, that means scheduling more time for reflection and activities that spark my creativity like reading, dancing, filmmaking, and traveling. 

What is an inspirational quote that you live by? I have two:
“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection” - Mark Twain
“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.” - George Bernard Shaw
  
Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way? My father, mother, and sister have been my biggest mentors.  Watching my father pursue his entrepreneurial passion and become a Burger King franchisee gave me the drive to pursue goals and the courage to forge my own path as a business owner.

On the content side, I learned the power of storytelling from my mother who used school plays, creative story time sessions and speeches from great Black leaders to educate her students and create memorable lessons. 

From my super sister and Myth Lab business partner, Kyra Kyles, I’ve learned the importance of leading with integrity and confidence, as well as team-building.

What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong? Creativity, curiosity and a constant willingness to learn.
Technically speaking: Presentations, scripts, and creative pitches are a huge part of my life and Adobe Photoshop, Final Draft, and Proposify are a few of the tools I consider my lifesavers. 

What is your definition of a BOSS? A BOSS is a person who pursues their goals with vision, drive, passion, and integrity. For me, it is also someone who reaches back as they move up.

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

Learn more about Kozi at www.kozikyles.com Twitter: @kozikyles
Instagram: kozikyles