Friday, May 24, 2019

10 Motivating Quotes on Personal Branding and Why you Should Care By Yvette Gavin

What’s your brand? Whether you realize it or not, you have a brand. Similar to product branding where marketers focus on product, promotion, place, and price to establish expectations for consumers, your personal brand is your reputation. Every encounter you have with another person, you’re teaching them what to expect from you.

Developing an authentic professional image – your own unique brand – that’s truly right for you is a valuable asset in the workplace. Branding is about building a name for yourself, showcasing what sets you apart from others, and describing the added value you bring to an organization. Here’re some of my favorite personal branding quotes. I hope they inspire you to take your brand to the next level.
10 Personal Branding Quotes
“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU.”  Tom Peters  

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”  Jeff Bezos

“At the center of your being you have the answer: you know who you are, and you know what you want.” Lao Tzu  

“Be intentional about creating a personal brand that reflects your personality and values and don’t allow others to make you a clone of who they want you to be.” Yvette Gavin

“Personal branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable.” John Jantsch

“If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.” Philip Kotler

“If you’re not branding yourself, you can be sure others do it for you.” Unknown

“In a world where you can be anything, be yourself.” Etta Turner

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” Malcolm Forbes

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Warren Buffett

Which quote resonates with you the most? If you have a personal branding quote you would like to add, please leave it in the comments section. Before you do, share these inspiring quotes with someone you know who could use a boost of inspiration!

Learn more about Yvette Gavin via her website at and follow her on Twitter @yvette_gavin

Friday, May 17, 2019

Learn How to Start your Business While Working a Full- Time Job by Priscilla Q. Williams

Entrepreneurship is becoming an everyday normal thing, and according to INC Magazine people are starting businesses at an all-time high. The question is do you quit your job and just start your business? Or do you start your business while working your full-time job? For me, I work full-time in my profession as a registered nurse and run a successful business. It’s not because I am in fear of leaving my profession, but it is because I love the work that I do as a global nurse educator for oncology patients. I want to share some simple steps with you on how you too can start your business while working a full-time job in your profession.

Start with what you have

What is your expertise, skillset, or knowledge? You are the expert in your field, and you have something that no one else has. Start your business based on your expertise, and not based on what everyone else is doing. Passion and purpose are also a huge part of starting your business, but you must provide people with what they need. Your business should solve the problem and help people become better. So, in my case, my expertise is healthcare and my passion is helping women live out their dreams. I combined those both and I am helping nurses start their businesses through their knowledge and expertise in the healthcare industry.

Know your market

Do your research and provide people with what they need. For example, If you are opening a coaching business, do some research on the type of coaching practices that are out there. Get feedback on the type of coaching that people are looking for and look at the results that people are receiving from coaching. In my business, I started working with nurses because I heard nurses complain about working the long hours and not making the income they were looking for. So, I decided to share with nurses exactly how I did it and how I did. This is an open market because there are millions of nurses looking to do more in their profession.

Don’t quit your job yet

I know you may enjoy the freedom of working for yourself and making your own schedule, but make sure you are mindful of not jumping off the horse too fast. There are many who make the argument that you are not a “real” entrepreneur if you don’t work for yourself full-time. This is far from the truth. Being an entrepreneur is a person who owns their own business and it’s up to you how you work it. For me, I love the work I do as a nurse. I also love learning, growing and being abreast of the latest information by currently working in my industry. If you hate the work, you do in your profession then that’s a different conversation to be had. Then this is the time to create an exit strategy by replacing the income from your job. Another benefit from starting your business while working is you can use your benefits from your job to set you up to work for yourself full time. This can be done by taking advantage of everything your job has to offer, like education reimbursement, retirement accounts, certification and personal development training, health insurance, and whatever other benefits they offer.

Know your value

Knowing your value is important in starting any business. You must know the worth you bring to the table and to your clients. One of the biggest mistakes I made in starting my business was not charging my worth and downplaying my business. I would discount prices or provide too much because I wanted to prove what I was offering. The downside in doing that was, I was not being fair to myself or honoring my gifts. I was also lowering my value because I invested so much in myself that I wasn’t receiving what I put into my own personal development. How you treat your business is how others will treat your business. If you treat it as a hobby or side-hustle that’s exactly how others will see it.

Overall if you want to start a business while working a full-time job in your profession, it can be done. It may be a little harder or take a little more time, but it will be worth it in the end. Take it from me, I am doing it now.

Priscilla Q. Williams is a Registered Nurse, Global Nurse Educator, Speaker, Author, and Certified Overflow Coach. She helps women see their brilliance and live the life they truly desire.
Learn more about Priscilla 

Twitter: @thenursescoach_  Instagram: @thenursescoach

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Sharon Smith

Sharon Smith is a natural negotiator and a self-professed romantic. Her genuine interest in people combined with her unmatched passion for helping singles find lasting love exposes her to willing participants everywhere she goes. 

In addition to being the founder of Love Match, Sharon is also a Certified Dating Coach. Her savvy coaching approach in areas of love, life, and relationships enable singles to feel confident in areas where they were doubtful before. Holding a B.S in Business Management and Human Resources, she has a successful professional career spanning over 20 years in Human Resources where she cultivates her expertise in interviewing candidates, assessing talent, and personnel development.
What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career? Some obstacles I faced in the beginning process of starting my HR career, was learning to be patient. I thought no one could perform better than me, but climbing the Corporate ladder takes patience.
What inspired you to break into your particular industry? I am a hopeless romantic. God blessed me with the love of my life and I want every single person who has a desire to meet the love of their life to experience true love without all the drama.
How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance? I make time for my family. I also include my husband on everything...every event so he doesn't feel excluded. We also have a designated day, we call family time.
What is an inspirational quote that you live by? Leave a little Sparkle wherever you go.
Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way? My parents always encouraged me. I also have a small but AMAZING circle of friends. I also admire people who work hard to accomplish their dream and when they do, it just motivates to continue on my journey.
What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong? To know that someone walks away feeling empowered. It's not about the number of people or the appearance, but the impact. To know that I have made a difference in someone’s life. This is a must-have for me to continue walking in my purpose and for my business to remain strong.
What is your definition of a BOSS? Being your own person, loving who you are. It's not always about money or status quo, but walking in confidence with a mindset that I can do anything. That's a BOSS!
Provide us with two words that describe you? Dating Expert

Learn more about Sharon Smith at Twitter: @CoachDate

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Why it is Important to Establish Business Credit Early by Aminah Knowles

Building business credit is probably the most important thing to prioritize for business owners. Many startups depend on the use of their own personal assets to secure their funding. This is because they want to increase their creditworthiness. But today, building business credit is preferred by most business owners.
The National Small Business Association has surveyed and as much as 27% of businesses claimed that they weren’t able to receive the funding that they needed. For many businesses, the impact of the lack of funding was stopping them from growing their business.
Unfortunately, one cannot build a successful business and business credit without having a good credit history. Creditors will be reviewing your credit scores, and if they have nothing to review, they won’t know the risk they are putting their-selves into, worse than that is you will definitely not be approved.
You might have heard somewhere that building business credit does not matter. If that’s true, then why are lots of business credit reports being pulled daily? Business Credit reports are pulled for all kinds of reasons from gaining knowledge that manufacturers pay their bills, suppliers pull business credit on them. And to know that suppliers are dependable and reliable, manufacturers also pull business credit on them.
Building business credit is something you should look forward to. Why? Here are some reasonable statements:
It protects personal credit. With the use of business credit, you can leave your personal credit out of the equation. It divides your business decisions from your personal credit history.
It improves credit capacity. “Businesses have 10 to 100 times greater credit capacity compared to personal credit”, according to the SBA. This is a great chance for your business to qualify for financing factors which are strictly related to the business.  
It helps to grow your business. Some companies, investors, and banks mostly rely on business creditworthiness when determining insurance premiums, setting loan terms and many more, considering you as a feasible partner.

Learn more about Amina Knowles:  Twitter:@pawfundingsoln

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Brilliant and Built For Success Part 1 by Dr. Catrina Pullum

As my husband, Shawn, and I prepared to launch our entertainment management company, we sat down with each other, as we always do, and talked about our vision, and what we were setting out to embark upon. We’d spent countless hours up until that point, planning, pinpointing, and, most importantly, praying, about what we desired for our lives, our business, and everyone we would touch through it.

We knew the type of clients that we desired to serve and how we wanted to nurture them and their careers within our firm, but we needed to go beyond that. We needed to think about not only how far that we as a team had the capacity to take people, but how far our clients, these brilliant, black stars (in every sense of the word) could take themselves.

So, we came up with a quote that is now the guiding principle of our business:

“Reaching beyond the limits of success.”

There it was. With that handful of words, we set out to powerfully and intentionally redefine what success means. In our company and in our lives, we are purposed to help people to see, reach, and achieve beyond their normal limits. We want to show people how to take the lid off of success and ignite them to keep striving for that next level, that higher plane. We want people to continue to move. Upwards. Beyond what they can see.

Think about the flow of water. It’s kept alive because it’s constantly moving. It’s trying to get somewhere to do something. When water becomes stagnant, there is a pungent smell that rises from it and fills the air. That scent reminds us of death and decay. Yet, when water is in flow, we see that movement as life. We are no different. We were created to move. To flow. To live.

So, we ask you, are you flowing? Have you become stagnant? Where is that you are striving to get to? Is it financial gain? Or is it something higher?

When many of us first step into building something for ourselves, be it a business or a career, we take a leap a faith with the intention of creating something better than we had before. We want to bring a sense of financial ease to our lives. We want our children’s paths to be easier and their futures brighter. So sometimes, oftentimes, success begins to look like things and not impact. You don’t have to stop here. You shouldn’t stop here. The success that you’ve achieved thus far is a way-point, not an end-point. There are new limits—new heights—for you to reach. Because we, as black people, as the descendants of a people destined for greatness beyond comprehension have more work left to do.

That is flowing, growing, sowing, and bestowing. That is what we do for our clients and help them to do for themselves. That is reaching beyond limits of success!

Learn more about Dr. Catrina via her website (personal) or and follow her on Twitter @drpullum (personal) and @pullcorpmedia & @centerofempower (business)

Why Discovering Your Purpose Can Elevate Your Life by Jena Bell

Do you know your life’s purpose? Have you ever reflected on your life and wondered what is my purpose? Why am I here?
These are great questions to ponder if you have not done so previously. 
Why? There are three reasons.
First, I believe that each of us has a purpose and a calling on our life. 
Second, it is up to each individual to discover what that purpose is and to make a decision to be obedient to the calling. Because understanding your purpose, gives meaning to your life, it serves as a compass for how you live and how to prioritize things that are important to you. 
Third, When you are connected to your purpose, your reason for being, you elevate your life,  show up powerfully in the world and increase your impact on the people you ultimately serve.  I believe that our life is about serving others. 
Now many people talk about purpose, but for the sake of our discussion, let’s make sure we are on the same page.  I am specifically focused on the belief that we each have been designed to fulfill a mission during our time on earth. I am not referring to roles that you may fulfill, such as an accountant, lawyer, doctor, executive, mom, or dad, these are all titles we have given ourselves. I am talking about the measure of the mark you chose to make in the world. Your impression on the lives of people you serve. It’s who you are regardless of the roles you engage in during your lifetime.  The purpose shows up in your role. For instance, if you are purposed for healing and transforming lives, you may do that in the role of a nurse, musician, speaker, or even an accountant. Yes, amazing, right? I share this short story as an illustration. A fellow Purpose-Driven Woman is a talented accountant. But what sets her apart, is the mission embedded in her work. She heals the financial health of her clients. As a healer, her purpose is manifested through how she deploys her skills as an accountant. Her focus is not just the transactional part of her work, it’s the powerful impact to change their relationship with money, so they become better stewards over their finances, invest, and build a legacy. She is a purpose-driven, mission-based financial accountant who heals her clients’ finances.  She loves her work and her purpose brings greater fulfillment in what would be a mundane transactional business.  Operating in your purpose gives you clarity, elevates your creativity and allows you to operate fully in who you are intended to be.
If you struggle with knowing your purpose or would like help in deploying your purposefully in your business or career, let’s Connect so that you start to live fully in your purpose.
Jena L Bell, Author, Mirror Affirmations, International Speaker and Founder, Purpose on the Rise and Pathways to Abundance. I can be reached at or Connect with Jena, Instagram, Linked-In, Facebook.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Time to Re-Invent Yourself by Corvet Williams

Do you need to reinvent yourself? What does reinventing yourself look like to you? What does it mean to you?

Reinventing yourself is defined as “to change the way that you behave or the things that you do
so that people think of you as a different kind of person.” As life happens, you may begin to feel

that what used to work no longer works or is just too hard to maintain. Everything from children, marriage, to physical change can take a toll on how well you used to do the things you used to do. So the idea of reinventing may not all the way be based on what you do but more so how you do it. For example, if playing sports used to be your thing but lately you have been physically challenged, a healthy change may be to become a coach or a personal trainer. Other examples may be needing more flexibility in your schedule. Now, what do you do? How do you ‘reinvent’ yourself?

I think it would be a good idea to write down all your skills, salary requirements, schedule availability, etc. Once you have that list, now it’s time to research industries and roles that match. If you don’t know where to start, consider Glassdoor, Linkedin and other career/job sites.

You can search by title and skills. From there you will discover companies you may not have been familiar with and the roles you didn’t know were a match. If you are moving to a new state,

these are also a great research tool since you can narrow your search by city and state. Not to mention, maybe reinventing yourself may involve starting a business or even becoming a consultant.

The result of this process may look a little something like this. Someone who is a well-seasoned sales person with excellent customer service experience, that needs a flexible schedule with no
cap on their earning potential may consider becoming a real estate agent. As a real estate agent, you are not required to work in an office from 9-5, you have to be able to work well with multiple
personalities (customer service), meet their needs to close a deal (sales experience) and you can earn as much as you choose and put in work (uncapped earning potential). This industry may never have crossed your mind but it just so happens to be a great match to your skills and new life requirements. Sure, you may be required to learn a few things you never knew before, but that’s the fun part! Does that make sense?

I truly hope this inspires your change. Get started today. Make the best of it!

Find out more about Corvet at Twitter: @CorVet

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Power in Uplifting the Next Generation by Dorinda Walker

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining The BOSS Network as the keynote speaker for its annual Boss On Campus High Tea event at Howard University. The students in the room were highly engaged and eager to be motivated by the women leaders who dedicated their time to share the life and career experiences that propelled them to success!

There was a dynamic panel that featured business and personal growth strategist, Yvette Gavin, savvy music executive, self-taught serial entrepreneur and business strategist, Kimberly Jones, certified dating coach and entrepreneur, Sharon Smith,  RN. Speaker, Author, Global Nurse Educator, Certified Life Coach, Priscilla Q. Williams, moderated by Cameka Smith, founder of The BOSS Network, which is named one of the Top 10 Entrepreneurial Websites for Women, by   

The women reflected on how they transitioned what they learned in their traditional nine to five jobs into successful entrepreneurial careers. Their stories of struggle, strength, and triumph not only inspired the students, but they also had a profound impact of motivation for the adults in the room, including me as a new entrepreneur establishing my own business.   

After my keynote, I was approached by several students who shared their appreciation for my words of encouragement and transparency in sharing my journey.  There was one young woman, a college freshman who really encouraged me and touched my heart. She told me how inspiring my story was and gave me the biggest hug as she began to cry. She confided that her mom was a drug dealer, her siblings were homeless, and she has been struggling to change her life for the better.  She told me that I gave her the motivation she needed to stay focused.

She had a special aura about her, and I could feel that she was destined for greatness! I instinctively knew that she struggled with feelings of guilt for leaving her siblings to pursue her education in order to live a better life. Some of you may understand the burden of being “the one” in the family who succeeds, in spite of all the obstacles that life throws our way.  She will certainly have to pay the “Black Tax”, but hopefully her journey will inspire her siblings to follow her lead.

I encouraged her to stay strong and diligent in pursuing her dreams and assured her that God didn’t bring her this far to let her fail.  I gave her my personal contact information and told her to reach out to me anytime she needs encouragement or advice. It was at that moment that I knew my purpose for being in the room on that day. She inspired me to keep sharing my story! I had been contemplating doing less speaking about my book and personal story to focus on building my business. At that moment, I knew that wasn’t an option.

One of the greatest rewards of my career is the impact my work provides to the younger generations. There’s such power in sharing our experiences and life lessons. Ideally, it will help someone avoid the pitfalls that we’ve made along the way, but what I know for sure is that they will remember how you made them feel on that particular day!

I hope this blog inspires you to share your stories with the younger generation. I promise you, it will be a very rewarding experience!

Peace and blessings,

Dorinda Walker

To learn more about Dorinda Walker: 
Twitter: @DorindaWalker

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs of Today through Business Funding and Tax Preparation Assistance by Aminah Knowles

Over the past years, women have been creating their spotlight in different industries. They are now being recognized – may it be in the crafts of arts, business or any other profession. After the years of stigmatizing their capabilities, it doesn’t stop them from excelling on their own chosen path. Thus, in the present era, we are now seeing
successful and independent women taking over their respective crowns and thrones.

Business industries are no exception in empowering their potentials as entrepreneurs. A lot of them are now successful CEOs, businesswomen. Some big names in this industry are Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce Knowles, J.K Rowling, and many others.

Now you, who is also dreaming of your own business, building up your company and creating a big name in the business industry. You’re on the right path! Today is the time for you to start up your entrepreneurial career!

However, first, let’s walk slowly and talk about some valuable information and notes that you should have.

Do You Want to Be an Entrepreneur?

The EIP has proposed the following conceptual definition of entrepreneurs:

Entrepreneurs are those persons (business owners) who seek to generate value, through the creation or expansion of economic activity, by identifying and exploiting new products, processes or markets.

It’s like cooking wherein you need ingredients. For you to become a successful entrepreneur, you need the main condiments in building your own business. The kind of business that you are going to start should be your number one priority. You are going to thoroughly plan the objectives and then prepare the blueprint of the company that you have in mind. A clear set of goals must also be included so you will envision where your business is going, and even the layout of possible expenses and future expansions.

Capital or the source of your money should be your next priority. In this part, knowing what’s available to you as your source of funding will help you to understand your goals and expenses. In this matter, having a well-established plan for business funding is all you need.

Business funding will be your primary investment to accomplish these main goals:

• Looking for workforce, staffs

• Covering payrolls and extra labors

• Buying new equipment for utilization

• Setting a facility for a well-conducive business place

Aside from business funding, you will also need a good tax preparation company.

Tax preparation is the process of preparing for income tax returns. A tax preparer is a person who does all the works of arranging the necessary legal documentation.

As a professional in this line of business, your dream of having a company is just a step away!

Start your own business and be on the same level as these great women who dared to across the fast-growing business world.

Now is the time to let out your creative ideas in a kind of business that, who knows, maybe five years from now, will become one of the most excellent companies in your chosen industry.

Learn more about Amina:  Twitter:@pawfundingsoln

It’s A Time to Heal through Forgiveness Now by Jena Bell

In my book, Mirror Affirmations, I spend time talking about the mind and how it ultimately serves as the navigational tool for our lives. It is the control center for our emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and actions. I like to look at it as the GPS of the navigational system of life. See the soul provides the roadmap that we should follow, the guidelines and sets the topography of the landscape. The landscape is influenced by the source that is downloaded from our spiritual beliefs and soul rendering. The soul then supplies the language that the heart speaks. But the mind then controls the actions and even the interpretation of the language that the heart speaks. So when we do not control our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, we find our actions out of alignment with our soul’s purpose.

To truly become that woman in the mirror who is standing strong in her purpose, we must begin to heal our emotional wounds which impact our thoughts, beliefs, and actions. That healing begins with forgiveness.

Defining Forgiveness

If you look at a formal definition of forgiveness, you will see something like this:

Stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

To forgive means you now have given yourself permission to accept the situation as it happened and to move on with your life. While you may not like the situation, you really have no choice but to accept that it happened. No matter what happens from this point forward, whatever happened in the past is a done deal. There is no way to “undo” it. The betrayal can’t be undone. The act can’t be undone, and the words can’t be taken back.

This is not to say that the pain from the situation is not real. It is very real and very painful. This is not to say that you agree with what happened or that you are letting them “get away with it.” Extending forgiveness does not mean that you are weak. It’s exactly the opposite. I love this quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Because it says forgiveness is not about them, it is about you. It is about allowing yourself the freedom to live your life without bitterness. Forgiveness allows you to stop the cycle of abuse.

When you forgive, you give yourself permission to heal. You get off the emotional roller-coaster and allow yourself to move forward.

We don't always know what God has in store for us or see beyond the circumstances. So, when negative situations happen, that's when our faith comes in and we have to trust God. As one of my favorite scriptures says:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 (KJV)

Allowing yourself to heal through the act of forgiveness is giving yourself permission to navigate life purposefully with intention so others experience your greatness freely. Put it in action now, by affirming “I forgive….now. I surrender to my new beginning.”

Jena L Bell, Author, Mirror Affirmations, International Speaker and Founder, Purpose on the Rise and Pathways to Abundance. I can be reached at Twitter @jenalbell

Monday, April 8, 2019

Non-Profit Board Formation – By the Numbers by Dr. Catrina Pullum

Initially, in forming the board of an NPO, the "CEO" model of leadership (Conger, 2001) is useful, where the Board Chair and CEO is one person. Later, the two leadership roles could be split. To start, you need an odd number of board members, a minimum of three, I suggest five. Your bylaws should allow for the addition of board members as the NPO grows.

The first board member is the CEO/chairman, also known as the foundation’s founder. This person’s role is the vision caster. It is their passion for the issue that led to the founding of the NPO. This role will be to help craft the mission statement of the organization and to ensure the board stays on mission. It is also a part of this role to attract board members that have the same passion and who can contribute constructively to the organization. They will work with other board members to locate grant funders and attract donors to the organization.

The second member of the board is a local community council member. This person will serve as a community liaison. It is important to have someone familiar with the target community in order to gain acceptance and participation. This person will also be beneficial in dealing with local customs, zoning laws, 
and networking with other community leaders. Additionally, they will be able to provide insight into getting into the community’s mindset, arranging a venue or location for the NPO, recruiting youth, and navigating local ordinances.

The third member of the board is a subject matter expert. This board member would be invaluable in recruiting, forming programs, and helping the board set a direction for the organization in this area. He or she would also be helpful in gaining support for the program, both financial and goodwill. Such a person would understand how to communicate the impact the NPO wants to have in the community to beneficiaries and stakeholders.

The fourth member of the board is a non-profit management specialist. This person will provide operational expertise to the board. He or she will be able to give insight into corporate finance, tax issues, and volunteer recruitment. Budgetary planning would also be under his or her purview, along with that of the chairman.

The fifth member of the board should bring some additional expertise to the table for the NPO. Business skills, fundraising, project management, community engagement, etc.

An example of how the board would interact would be within the committees. The committees will be made up of at least two board members and possibly an employee or a volunteer who has expertise in the committee’s focus area. The NPO will have a number of committees that will be used to help the board govern effectively and efficiently. This is essential because it is in committees that board members have their most influence (Conger, et al, 2001). 

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

Loss + Grieving = Healing by Syreeta Talbert


On August 29, 2017, while celebrating with family my father’s 75th birthday, my son, unbeknownst to him, was being lured into a remote area in the farthest suburb of Chicago and shot to death. He wasn’t in a gang, he didn’t know his victims. He was simply targeted, set up and killed. He was 3 months shy of graduating with his BA in Audio Engineering and Recording. Unfortunately, I wasn’t new to this type of traumatic loss. 20 years earlier, I lost a brother, the same way. Talk about losses of great magnitude.

I knew immediately that I needed to get into grief counseling before I lost my mind and sense of being. I questioned myself constantly, as to why I wasn’t grieving the way I was “accustomed” to seeing those on television grieve. Once I started grief counseling I learned everyone grieves differently; some quietly, some become despondent, many don’t even know how, so for me, I wanted to learn how to grieve healthy.

In my grieving and healing process, I’ve learned I grieve out loud, I am very transparent with my feeling. I like to remind others that though I am grieving and healing from a traumatic loss, death is not the only trigger of grief. Grief can occur after any kind of loss — the loss of a job, foreclosure, a divorce, a relationship or even from bad decisions.

As a woman, we, unfortunately, make everyone in our lives a priority and have a tendency to suppress our feelings. This causes people to label us “strong”, and we have unconsciously learned to “just get over it”. We do not take the time and allow ourselves to grief whatever unfortunate “situation” we may have experienced. I urge you to start including some non-negotiables in your life, one being, allowing yourself to recover from a life “loss”, by truly feeling the pain, anger, and sadness inside you.

There are many different forms of mental illness that most of us don’t feel like we identify with. However, at some point in our lives due to a “loss”, we may have experienced a bout of depression, anxiety, change in personal habits and/or social withdrawal and we suffer silently. Unknowingly, if you don’t allow yourself to grieve, it will have some negative repercussions in how we handle other aspects of our lives.

If you really want to thrive in your job, your business, with your family and in your life, take time for you. I encourage you to make an appointment to talk with a counselor, and doing so doesn’t mean it is a sign of weakness. Its a part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you need to do to stay healthy: mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually.

Until next time, stay blessed and healthy healing.

Learn more about Syreeta at Twitter: itsrhee360

Quitting for the Sake of Winning by Alexie Young

Soon I will be known as the woman who put Chicago’s Westside arts and culture scene on the map in a new way. While using this opportunity to affirm what is becoming of my art career, I’d like to share my artrepreneurial journey.

After I gave birth to my son in 2010, party time quickly came to an end. While I had much time on my hands, I hadn't figured out how to relieve stress. My love for art influences me to paint. I simply went to the art store and bought supplies. I had no clue what I was doing but it felt right. I shared the paintings with my boss, and she was ready to purchase. Not before long, so were others. I never thought about selling art but it was bringing in some extra cash.

I continued to work in the educational field and youth development. That is where I learned the art of facilitating and creating workshops. Over time, I learned to use the fusion of art and workshop facilitation to step into the sip and paint industry. While it was my side hustle, it brought in some steady money that was at least a weeks pay.

After having clients all over the city, I decided that I was ready for a storefront. Girl, I was not! However, I saw the MLK Exhibit Center and was fixated on how I could take ownership of a space that I wanted others to see and enjoy. Meanwhile, I kept working but was implementing phase two of my business. I began offering workshops to organizations and bigtime clients using art for team building workshops. It rendered more money in two hours than I made from my job in two weeks. Whoa!

Eventually, I decided that it was a good idea to quit my job and go after a position that doesn’t exist. I first had to evaluate what my job description would be, what I wanted to do, how I wanted to do it and who would support this effort. Through my network, I found a funding source that would pay my salary for a director position. I was then able to make more money than I’ve ever made from work thus far.

The moment, I knew it was time to quit my youth development job was the moment my proposal to become the director of the exhibit was approved. The comfort that I once prayed for was no longer for me. Imagine leaving a job with benefits, freedom, work-life balance, a great team, and it’s only a few minutes from home. Quitting for the sake of winning has now allowed me to impact the arts and culture scene in my community but the next chapter involves the entire Westside of Chicago. I’m unsure of what kinda money I could potentially bring in but I am almost certain that this level of fulfillment is priceless. 

Learn more about Alexie  Twitter @invizioncolorzinc

Thursday, March 7, 2019

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Dawn Kelly

Dawn Kelly is a courageous entrepreneur. Trusted, seasoned and proven public relations and strategic communications adviser with a track record of developing and implementing large-scale innovative, integrated communications plans to build brand awareness for businesses. Well versed in leveraging multiple channel approach, including research, digital and social media, traditional print and broadcast communications to define, favorably position, and communicate the value of thought leadership, brand, services, and solutions. Great manager of people, team leader, and relationship builder.

What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
I have enjoyed a lengthy career as a senior public relations and communications executive and now I am an entrepreneur running two operating businesses; Metropolis Group US/Global Connect and The Nourish Spot Inc.  I am presently partnering with two friends/colleagues on a third business that will provide back-office administrative assistance to busy professionals and entrepreneurs.  The obstacle, in my opinion, was the same; fear.  Once I fought fear with faith, nothing seemed impossible with patience, hard work and determination. 

What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
What inspired me to break into public relations and marketing was first realizing that my dream to become an attorney was not to be realized and I had to satisfy my desire to purpose all of my talents, aspirations, and capabilities into a role that would allow me to help others and positively impact the world. So instead of practicing in the court of public law, I ended up practicing in the court of public opinion as a public relations and marketing executive. 

How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
I don’t look for balance anymore. I seek fulfillment and just spend my time accordingly. 

What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
Lift as you climb. 

Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
Terrie Williams and Ofield Dukes 

What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?
Rest & Relaxation

What is your definition of a BOSS?
Living a fulfilled life on your own terms. 

Provide us with two words that describe you? 
PR Maven

Learn more about Dawn at 
Twitter: @prmaven17