I had a great interview on Business Radio X on Monday
So yes, this is a pretty bad pic. I told you in my previous blog post that I had a rough 10 days!! lol If you missed it, check it out here. My interview starts around the 17 minute mark ;)
Confession: When I woke up Mondaymorning I was dreading the fact that I had to go into the studio for an on air interview. I was drained! However, I got myself together and sat through the interview. Guess what the result was? THEY GAVE ME MY OWN SHOW!! Crazy, right?! My interview was conducted by the owners of the Radio X and they support what I am doing for the female entrepreneur. They offered me an opportunity to speak about entrepreneurship on their tour next year and to also host a new show about Mompreneurs! You can check out my first episode on December 5 at 10am ET. I will remind you closer to the date!
Yes! Just in case you did not know, we have our own DAY!!! What are you doing to celebrate YOU today? Regardless of whether you are an aspiring, new or a very well seasoned entrepreneur I congratulate you on your journey! I know what it is like to wish all that ambition, passion and all those ideas would just go away sometimes! I know what it is like to wish you were "normal" and could find happiness in a 9-5 job. I have come to accept and embrace that I was just born this way; it's not going away.
There are so many challenges in being an entrepreneur. Time, money, space, you name it. What many do not talk about is that sense of loneliness you may feel when you are starting or growing a business. That loneliness takes root when you are sticking your neck out to do something different from what your friends and family understand. You may be trying to do something outside the box of what people find standard and stable. This desire inside of you to defy mediocre may not be something that people are grabbing their pom-poms to cheer about. But today, celebrate why you started this journey anyway! Don't let those with limited vision blur yours!
That other pesky thing I mentioned- TIME. Do you feel like an octopus- doing some marketing, generating leads, paying bills, creating products, picking up kids, cooking dinner...the list is endless, right? Today, on YOUR DAY, take a little time to just breathe! Honestly, that is what I am doing! I am constantly helping others with their business, sharing bog posts, sharing videos, sharing emails....oh my! In the past 10 days my car has broken down and I've had to wait all day for a tow truck b/c none of them had the equipment to help me, I got slammed with a hefty repair bill, my son was getting in trouble at school, I was scheduled for 4 interviews to promote my business/ events, family showed up for a surprise extended visit.... all this and work can't stop! Can you relate? HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME!!! lol If you have missed my blog posts or video blogs.. don't fret! I WILL BE BACK!!!
Take time to breathe, relax, slow down, kick up your feet, go to dinner, GO TO BED! If you can't commit to doing this often at least commit to joining me today in having a big WOOOO SAAAA moment! Promise?
If you have a question you would like for me to answer, please send your name, location and your question to Lenise@LeniseWilliams.com
I'm hopeful that this helps someone! Sharing is Caring.. if you have any other great tips on building or increasing your email list please post them in the comment box below!
Check out my very first Business Q & A Session! The question today: "I struggle with putting myself out there as an expert of any type. How do I get past this?" If you have a question that you'd like me to answer please email me: Lenise@LeniseWilliams.com Let me know your thoughts on this topic below in the comment section!
It is that time of the year when the leaves fall and the trees look bare and not so pleasant anymore. However when the seasons change again after the new year, the trees come back greener and even stronger. The entire time the tree was perceived as "ugly" it was preparing for new leaves, a fresh look and a new season. Are you ready to drop some leaves and get ready for a new season?
I know I typically talk/write about business, business, business, but today I am going to take a different route and get a little personal. I hope that is ok with you :) I am in no way a life coach, a therapist or anything even closely related. However as an Entrepreneur Educator, Consultant and Attorney I have seen it all when it comes to business. I tell people all the time that I see the good, the bad and the ugly of business!
One thing that I have seen consistently is that when an entrepreneur gets impatient or feels frustration in their season in life and in business they lose confidence. Maintaining confidence is key for an entrepreneur.
Here are 3 tips for my rockstar entrepreneurs to keep their confidence high & hang on through the "ugly" season:
Remain Grateful: Things may look grim in life and in business, but hang on to the good thoughts. Make a list of all your accomplishments large and small. Reflect on them daily and remember how you were able to achieve them. In addition be excited and proud of yourself for your accomplishments! Way to Go!!! (Insert virtual high five here)
Let Go: Make a list of what causes you stress in your business as well as your personal life. Whatever is on that list that you can eliminate or delegate do it ASAP! This does not apply to things like paying bills, caring for children and showering!
Same Goal; New Plan: Things may not be going the way that you would like. That does not always mean that it is time to throw in the towel. Now may be a good time to reorganize your ideas and restrategize your efforts. You may need the help of a mentor, consultant or just a great friend with amazing insight in the area which you are having difficulty. Having someone on the outside looking in with a fresh set of eyes can bring you to new levels of success. Your goal is likely driven by your passion. Don't let go of your passion, just go in full speed and attack it from a different angle! POW! BAM! BOOM!
Even if you are not in an "ugly" season which of these 3 techniques can you improve or implement TODAY? I'd love to know! Comment below.
1. Take yourself seriously. If you treat your business like it’s a quick way to make money it will become just that. Believe in yourself and your services/products. Tell people you are a professional, present yourself as a professional and maintain a work ethic like a professional. Invest in your business, your business development and mentorship. If you take yourself & what you do seriously so will others.
2. Do your homework. Yes, your history homework. Look at businesses or entrepreneurs that you admire. Those superheroes likely had humble beginnings. Do a bit of research to find out what their early days were like. Learn from their lessons and study how they grew their legacy.
3. Think BIG but start SMALL. Entrepreneurship is a marathon not a sprint! Take your time. Don’t make your business a big business until you have established yourself in the industry. Instead let the business grow with you. Trying to grow with the big business you create may set you up for a quick hustle instead of a lasting legacy. However plan and run your business like it’s an EMPIRE! If you are prepared for the business to become HUGE it won’t take you by surprise.
4. Redefine. There comes a time in your business when you may have to reinvent your brand. Redefining and reinventing your business to stay relevant is necessary! You may need to redefine things a bit when you grow, or when you want appeal to a new audience. Don’t be afraid to take your business in a different direction than you initially planned. You can tweak things, but still stay inline with your purpose, mission and personal morals.
5. Watch your cash flow. Always pay attention to how much money is coming in and how much money is going out. Find ways to keep your overhead low. I do not encourage any business to cut corners; however if you can save a few dollars here or there do it! Buy things in bulk, buy less of something you do not use often, shop around for the best pricing from manufacturers. Losing or wasting money is the quickest way to have to stop your hustle and get a new one. I don’t know about you, but I want a consistent business/ legacy and not the stress of finding new hustles!
I know everyone is different so I ask: what would you rather a hustle or a legacy?
Photo Credit: E37 Photography
1. I love to learn
I was able to walk way with little nuggets from each break out session. At the conference in Baltimore I was invited as a speaker; however I see it more as an opportunity to travel and get access to great information from other speakers without having to buy a ticket! HA! Before and after I speak I am typically the person in the front row with my pen and paper ready! Although I am a business consultant and I eat, sleep and dream business and entrepreneurship I never feel as if I know everything. Hearing different perspectives, different techniques and strategies is a method to learn a new style or it confirms that your way works best for you. Regardless of how much an individual may feel that they know; it is always advantageous to be a student.
2. The networking/netweaving is better than the food
Well the food was pretty darn amazing at both conferences, but if I had to pick networking/netweaving (see this posting for explanation of netweaving) over the yummy grilled chicken or the delicious grilled salmon I ate, I'd definitely forego the food! Most times I eat before I go to events. I eat so that I allow myself more time to talk to others. If I am so busy stuffing my mouth with food it makes it very difficult to connect with others. It is so very important to take advantage of so many like-minded people being in the same space. It is the best time to chat with some you may have been wanting to meet or an opportunity to reconnect with others.
I like to look at the list of speakers before the event and decide which sessions I will attend before I even purchase my ticket. If someone that I have been wanting to connect with is speaking I make sure to attend that session and sit front and center! Front and center is the easiest path to enable you to speak with them after their session concludes. I already know what questions I want to ask, I already know what I want to tell them. I don't like wasting anyone's time for I don't like for anyone to waste mine. If you do not go to a conference to open up and meet prospective clients, prospective joint venture partners or marketing partners, you should save your money and just attend a virtual seminar. MAXIMIZE the value of that ticket you purchased!
3. I Run Out of Content Ideas
As a person that likes to provide great blogs, webinars, etc I sometimes run out of good stuff to write/talk about! That has no measure on how much I really know. That just lets me know that I need to get out and learn more about what people want. Many times the conference organizers research what the hot topics are; they know what the people want to know about. I will be honest, I often have so many trademarks to register and so many deadlines to meet that I honestly go brain dead when it is time for me to give you all great content. The organizers eliminate the hard work associated with research. Why reinvent the wheel, right?! Seminar titles, tips that the speakers share or even just a quote that they recite triggers my brain and gives me an idea for something amazing to provide to my readers/listeners. That is why my pen and paper or sometimes even my iPhone notepad is a MUST! I jot my ideas and refer to them later. Ha... now you know my secret for maintaining good content ;)
4. I just need to get out (sad, i know...lol)
I spend a lot of time behind my computer drafting documents, emailing and assisting my clients. The other part of my day is spent on the phone. When I imagined my life as an entrepreneur I imagined a bit more excitement! Yes, it gets lonely sometimes. I learned a few years back that it is important to make an effort to be around people other than your clients and your team. It is great to get out and socialize with an entire conference room of people that actually are like me and like to talk about business. I am so "business obsessed" that I even like to talk about it when I am not even paid to do so. It is exciting to be in a room full of people that are just as eager to talk about the same things for which I have an interest... I am a bit of a nerd lol
I encourage you to invest in yourself and attend as many Conferences as possible. It is said that many deals happen on the golf course. However I can say the same for the deals made at conferences. Maximize your experience! That way even if the conference provides poor content you won't feel regret! As for myself, I do not plan to rehabilitate myself from my addiction. I have 2 more events on my October calendar!
For more info on Moms as Entrepreneurs visit: www.maeentreprenur.com (Launch Oct 15)
For more info on Altanta Business League visit: www.atlantabusinessleague.org
Enjoy this great article taken from HuffingtonPost.com by Jack Nadel:
July is the month when NFL football teams open their preseason training camps. Hundreds of young men compete for coveted roster spots, and it's safe to say most started playing football back in grade school. The value of this early exposure is also true for elite athletes in any sport. Think Tiger Woods, Venus and Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter and Kobe Bryant. Acquiring skills at a young age with the help of experienced teachers can make all the difference.
A while back on 60 Minutes, a segment featured the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship, a special program founded by Steve Mariotti, and the crucial role of entrepreneurship in our economy and the advantage of getting an early start, especially for those who come from low-income communities. One conclusion was that preparation for a business career should begin in high school. In my case, I started at the age of 13 during the Depression. I worked as a florist delivery boy in New York City, and the experience provided an excellent foundation for future success. At a young age, I helped support my family while learning to deal with challenging people and unpredictable situations.
At the age of 19, I enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and my education took a huge leap. I served as a navigator and radar bombardier on 27 dangerous missions. In 1944, radar was a new technology, and I learned to embrace this leading edge in order to survive. Another lesson was how important it was to fly in accordance with a pre-designed flight plan. Each crew member had a specific role to play, and if anyone did not do his job correctly, we could all perish. Despite coming from vastly differing backgrounds, we developed infinite respect for each other and realized that relationships form the basis for success.
After the war I was ready and eager to immerse myself in commerce. Trans Pacific Traders was the first in a series of my profitable ventures, and each one was built on the knowledge gained from its predecessor. Later in my career, I came to understand that, in most cases, success is an evolutionary process. Today, my business journey spans 70 years, but even now it is still evolving. At this point, my major ambition is to help others become successful entrepreneurs. Our very democracy depends on a middle-class producing better goods and services and creating wealth.
In many ways, an entrepreneur's career is like a football game. Both combine a swift pace with a highly competitive atmosphere. The "game" is divided into four quarters. In the first quarter you assess the other team's strengths and weaknesses based on your scouting report. You size up the opposition and create a specific strategy to cross the goal line. During the second and third quarters you execute your game plan to the fullest. Getting there should be as much fun as scoring. In the fourth quarter you consolidate your gains and seek to safeguard a positive outcome.
These days, I'm not only in the fourth-quarter, I'm in the two-minute drill. There isn't much time left. I know exactly what thought processes brought me through so many situations, and now I have to get my message across succinctly. In essence, "targeted thinking" is at the heart of my advice. It is the ability to zero in on an objective and totally concentrate on efforts to make it happen. This is the most powerful ingredient in the recipe for entrepreneurial success. Along the way distractions will arise, and it is vital that we learn at an early age to harness the power of zeroing in on our business goals.
Change is always occurring, and the only thing that remains constant is that your future belongs to you--you are the one who makes the choices. This is the risk that everyone faces, but it is also the excitement. Overall, I am an opportunist pure and simple. We've all heard the classic debate about whether the glass is half empty or half full. Pessimists reflect on what is missing, while optimists see a brighter future. However, sometimes during their discussion, opportunists will walk in and drink the water. The advantage of starting early is that we allow ourselves time to grow into entrepreneurship. When the right opportunities come along, we will see them and act with confidence.
In light of my desire to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and pass on what I've learned from a successful career, and especially with those whom I can personally relate to and who may need it most, I've pledged to gift up to 100,000 high school students in the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship program with a digital copy of my award-winning book, "The Evolution of an Entrepreneur," featuring 50 of my best tips for surviving and thriving in business.
Both the NFTE organization and I agree that students can learn to become entrepreneurs and that entrepreneurship can be a gateway for those who might not otherwise have opportunities for financial prosperity.
At 90, I firmly believe that early entrepreneurial training can make all the difference for achieving success, and NFTE is proving this theory with their program statistics. Entrepreneurship became my ticket to get ahead in life, and I know it still does and will for others, too, I just hope more embrace entrepreneurship and take their future into their own hands sooner rather than later, for their own sake and for the sake of our economy.
Have you ever had a business that you felt inclined to close? Are you currently considering closing the doors to your business? Does the thought of it all give you anxiety? Do you wonder what to do next? You are not alone. Countless other entrepreneurs, including myself, have had those same feelings. I look back on those moments and I can now see that those were "breakdowns before breakthroughs".
Often times those breakdowns can be the best thing for you to experience growth. Several clients have asked me "How do you know when to walk away?" My response to each of them was the same. It is truly a personal decision that no one except the business owner can answer. Today on Social Media's "Throwback Thursday" I posted a picture of a private preschool that I owned for several years that I eventually had to walk away from. I have not openly talked about that situation for it was such a hard decision and it still stings a bit. So ladies, bare with me in this blog entry for it is a bit of a therapy session for me. :)
After the birth of my first son I was practicing law full time and had to rely upon childcare providers. I quickly become very unimpressed with the quality and high pricing of childcare providers. Those feelings caused me to begin to have visions of owning my own pre school. It came to fruition 6 years later when I purchased a daycare center that was literally in its last days. There were less than 20 kids enrolled and the center and it had a $7200 per month financial deficit. I worked soooo hard to pull the center out of the mud! I believed in myself and what I could do. I worked with professionals to create a structured curriculum, implemented extra curricular activities, introduced a foreign language program and so many other things. In less than a year I quadrupled enrollment and pulled the center from the grim financial state. As an attorney I knew very little about the childcare industry aside from what I would expect as a parent. I studied, I researched, I WORKED. I put countless hours and over $100,000.00 of my personal savings into this business. (Yes, that's the part that stings!)
Eventually obstacles started to arise. Obstacles that made it very hard and incredibly stressful for me to run the business. Telling you about all those obstacles would be an extra long post all in itself... or maybe even a short TV drama series :) I stuck it out as long as I could, but eventually made the personal decision to walk away from the business. I had to weigh my options. The stress that the business was causing & the attention it was taking from my family was not worth it. The amount of money I made from that venture could not possibly justify the huge effect it had on my quality of life. I loved all those children in the school like my own; however my quality of life was much more important. I considered those factors and the length of time that I endured the stress and it just made sense to walk away and maintain my sanity!
For awhile I felt like a failure. I cried, I was upset, I was disappointed....so many feelings at the same time. I spent so much time in the business that I honestly just felt lost and confused about what to do with all the extra hours I had in a day. Looking back on it I am positive that was the BEST decision; however at the time I could not see that.. not even a little bit. LOL. The only things I could think about was how this private preschool was what I wanted and how I worked so hard. I also beat myself up because I had spent money that very well could have funded at least one of my children's college education.
I'm slowly coming out of being hesitant to talk about it. Why? Because I no longer feel like a failure. I do not feel like a failure because now I know that I am NOT a failure. I turned the business around and accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. I had the pleasure of meeting and having relationships with over 100 sets of parents, loving on and nurturing over 100 children, supplying over 13 ladies with a job and was able to scratch a big task from my bucket list! I lost money. So what? Money comes and money goes. If I was able to save that amount once I had to reassure myself that I was totally capable of doing it again, but now because of what I learned in that savings journey, I can do it quicker than I did before! One business did not work out the way I had liked. Ok. So what! There are several others that have and still are doing well. That is the chance one takes as an entrepreneur, right? It took me 6 weeks to continously remind myself of this and grieve. After that I picked up my feelings and was on to the the next venture.
It was a tough experience, but a necessary experience. If you are considering closing your business here are
3 Questions you should ask yourself before shutting your doors:
1. Is what you are experiencing truly your hearts desire?
2. Is continuing in this business going to drain you even if its a raging success?
3. Does the thought of the business magically disappearing and you moving to something new bring you excitement and a sense of lightness?
Once you have the answers to these questions you can make a better decision. Remember, when it comes to tough decisions like this it is your heart that has the answers; not your mind. If you have a business that you are considering closing or if you have a business that closed, don't let that be the end all! It happens. It is the UGLY in the good, bad and the ugly of entrepreneurship. When you were learning to ride a bike you fell off, right? You did not get on the first time and ride with ease. If you were anything like me you were determined to learn to ride even more after a fall! I bet after you fell and put a bandage on your knee you got right back on. It is the same thing with entrepreneurship. If it is in your blood to live a life of entrepreneurship there is nothing you can do about it! It is a trait that you are stuck with. Knowing that fact about yourself, don't let one disappointing experience keep you off the bike. Get back on the bike, regain your balance and peddle with even more force and determination! A quitter never wins and a winner never quits!
Have you ever walked away from something and found that walking away was a huge blessing? Leave a comment below and share your story- including the biggest take-way lesson learned. Let someone else that ma be experiencing this know that it is ok!
1. Create a strict budget and live by it. As an entrepreneur your income may not be steady; you may have good financial periods as well as low financial periods. Creating a realistic budget and following it will prevent you from over spending and feeling regret later. It will also allow you to have a resource for the periods when your income is low.
2. Commit to a savings plan. Even if it is $5.00 per week, get into the habit of putting something on the side. The easiest way to commit to saving is to make it automatic. Having an emergency fund can help with unexpected car repairs, an emergency plane ticket, etc. There are so many unknowns that can happen; it is important to be financially prepared.
3. Set weekly financial goals. As an entrepreneur there is no cap on how much money can be made. I remind myself of this as I determine how much I would like to make for the week. I pick a realistic number and I write it on a post-it and stick it on my bathroom mirror and another on my computer. I am reminded all day of what I need to attempt to achieve. It is a great motivator and the incentive is twice as great J
4. Think about retirement. Given the fact that as an entrepreneur you may not have a 401k plan to contribute to, I suggest opening an IRA or creating some other financial plan for retirement. Although you may be a young entrepreneur now you will one day be an old entrepreneur. Plan now so that you will not be an old broke former entrepreneur!
5. Invest in Yourself. Making and investment in yourself can be the best business investment you will ever make. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” Imagine yourself as the axe. You can accomplish so much more and accomplish your goals so much quicker once you have honed your skill. Honing your skill can come from purchasing material to improve, seminars, training, etc. Take advantage of as many opportunities to improve yourself and your skills.