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5 Things Successful People Don’t Do

Fotolia 71500867 XS 5 Things Successful People Dont Do

I previously wrote a post about 5 Things that Successful People Do.  I realized when I created that post that there are just as many things that successful people don’t do as well.  Or rather things that successful people do to overcome challenges.

Things Successful People Don’t Do

  1. They don’t allow negative thoughts to take over their minds.  That is not to say, that they should be unrealistic, but I’ve found that successful people generally do focus on the positive, rather than the negative.  And they don’t talk bad to themselves.  If you see yourself as bad, dumb, stupid, or whatever, then you project that image.  I frequently laugh, because I am a fat lady, and I think that a lot of times people don’t realize it, or realize just HOW fat I am because I don’t project that image.  It comes across in so many ways, but it does get to be downright comical at times.  Yes, I know I need to lose weight, and I work on it constantly.  But I don’t beat myself up for it either.  It is what it is, and it is changing, and I don’t allow it to rule my life.
  2. They don’t allow excuses to get in their way. How many times have you heard someone say that they’ll do something once they lose weight, or that they’ll do something once the number of hits on their webpage gets to where they want, or wait to publish a book because the bounce rate on their website is too high?  Seriously.  I think that sometimes we are our own worst enemies here.  Between the negative talk and excuses, how do people get any work done?  Simply?  They don’t allow them to.  Just set a goal and go for it.
  3. Allow analysis paralysis take over – One of the worst things you can do is to allow analysis paralysis to take over.  Sure, there will always be a better way to do something.  But, if you spend too much time trying to figure out which way to do something, you can really cost yourself in time, and money.  Sometimes a good enough answer is going to be fine.  Will it be perfect?  Nope.  But, the decision is likely to be serviceable, and allow you to move on with your life.  Take that as being good enough.
  4. Burn Bridges – Remember that the world is an incredibly small place.  If you burn bridges and annoy people, it will come back to you.  Karma is a bitch.  And be careful about stabbing people in the back too, or setting them up for failure.  You could be setting yourself up for a later act of revenge or Karma.  Just don’t go there.  It’s not worth it.  You’ll give yourself a lousy reputation.
  5. Lie –  Mean what you say, and say what you mean.  Don’t lie.  It never goes over well.  You may get away with it for a while, but eventually, you will be found out, and you will destroy your reputation.  Once you’ve done that, it’s nearly impossible to get back.  It’s easy to start good, and stay that way.  So, just tell the truth, and it will go much better for you.

What things can you add to this list?

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Entrepreneur Interview – Stephen C. Allison

SevaStone Case 300x198 Entrepreneur Interview   Stephen C. AllisonStephen C. Allison

Biography

Stephen Allison is a former US Naval Officer, from Kansas City, Missouri. He let the good times roll in New Orleans where he attended Tulane University and he earned his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Stephen has been to six continents and lived on three. He’s crossed the Grand Canyon on a donkey, the Caribbean Sea in a submarine, the equator on a ship, and the prime meridian in a plane. Now he is trying to cross his KickStarter campaign funding goal! He is married to Colleen Allison and together they have a daughter, Elia.

 

Interview

  1. What is your business/Business Name? What does your business do?

    SevaStone makes integrated accessories for tablet computers, currently iPad Air and iPad Mini with more designs on the way.

  2. Why did you get into this field? What opportunities did you see?

    SevaStone Cover 300x276 Entrepreneur Interview   Stephen C. AllisonEver since the first iPad hit the scene in 2010, I’ve been an avid tablet computer user. As a member of the military and an avid travel enthusiast, I use my iPad in a lot of different ways, and in a lot of different settings.   As an example, I even did the final term of my MBA program using only an iPad, mostly as a personal challenge to get away from more traditional computers.

    As it turns out, I am also a family man, and around the time my daughter hit her “terrible two” stage, I began leaning on Peppa Pig and Dora the Explorer to help get me through temper tantrums in the car. One day as I was pulling an iPad out of a protective case in order to put it into a headrest mount in the car with a two year old yelling in my ear, I thought “Why is this taking so long!” I mean it was only a minute, but somehow a minute stretches into an eternity with a little kid yelling in your ear.

    This led me to the internet to investigate rapid mounting solutions for iPads. I couldn’t find any that also provided full protection for my ipad. There were a lot of cases to protect, and lots of mounts for different situations but none of them worked together in a comprehensive way. As I did more research I realized that I was using my iPad the way my accessories allowed me to, in a very limited way, not in the way that way best for me. Further, I had invested in a line-up of accessories that were specialized for a particular model of tablet computer (e.g. iPad Air or iPad Mini) that meant double the accessories just get the same affects. Thinking of a way to quickly mount any kind of tablet using a universal mounting mechanism while also providing tablet computer protection led me to SevaStone.

  3. What have been your biggest challenges?

    SevaStone Roadtrip 300x253 Entrepreneur Interview   Stephen C. AllisonThat last sentence was a bit of fib, my little epiphany actually led me to “Tablet Turtle” and one of my biggest challenges so far. Tablet Turtle was the name we came up with for this system in the first place, but we were unable to obtain a trademark on the name. That sent us back to the drawing board, and finding a name that is appealing, can be trademarked, and has an available website name is actually a grueling process and set us back quite a bit of time even while our design effort moved forward.

    The biggest challenge we have faced is that the tablet accessory market is a busy arena, and standing out requires a lot of work even with a product that provides a unique functionality compared to the competition.

  4. What has been your greatest reward?

    Having an idea and turning it into a real product has been one of the best experiences of my life- totally worth it to look back on all of the hard work and see what the design started out as and what it has ended up being.

  5. If you could change something, what would it be?

    SevaStone Family 300x198 Entrepreneur Interview   Stephen C. AllisonIt would be to help people truly appreciate what an amazing time it is to be creative. A lot of people I meet really focus on the negative things in the world, but there are so many positives out there. The technologies that we have employed to develop SevaStone weren’t widely available even five years ago. 3D printing, rapid 3D modeling, cloud computing for distributed work teams, social media for marketing, crowdfunding, just to name a few. Heck even the iPad, the device we’ve built this system for, is only a few years old. There are so many disruptive technologies built to enable your creative voice to be heard, use them!

  6. If you could give a new entrepreneur advice, what would it be?

    Being an entrepreneur is a lot like running alone through a jungle that becomes ever denser the further in you go. You’ll need courage and resolve to keep moving when sometimes it feels like stopping is the best thing. Surround yourself with positive influences, friends and family to help keep you pushing through the tough times- because there will be tough times. Facebook friends may help you build your business, but real friends will be the ones that help keep you sane along the way!

  7. Social Media. Yay or Nay?

    Yay, these won’t be the connections that turn into sales right away, but they will be the influencers who help spark interest in your product/service. These social networks help put the small guy in a better position to engage their niche than any marketing tool before.

  8. How do you market your products?

    Combination of social, email, and other web-based services.

  9. Is your business a service or a product? If you are a product, how do you handle production?

    We are a product based company and use a manufacturing firm based out of Massachusetts to handle our production.

  10. What is unique about your business?

    Our product is the only one on the market that protects tablet computers while enabling rapid mounting in a variety of situations.

  11. Sell me your product/service.

    SevaStone Gekko 300x228 Entrepreneur Interview   Stephen C. AllisonAt SevaStone, we invented a universal mounting system that takes your iPad’s portability to the next level!

    Our innovative system of integrated accessories gives you the FREEDOM to switch between mounts and locations in seconds.  We take our patent pending mounting receiver and built it right into a super protective case.  While in its case, mount your tablet on your car’s headrest, a piece of workout equipment, on the side of our specialized messenger bag and so much more.  Our hands-free system is universally compatible with all our accessories regardless of model (i.e. – iPad air, iPad mini).  SevaStone saves you a ton of money and time.

  12. How can people get in touch with you? What’s your website/Contact information?

    I can be reached at stephen@sevastone.com and you can check out our website at sevastone.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Things Successful People Do

Fotolia 71178139 XS 5 Things Successful People Do

I’ve been looking at my life over the last year or so, and thinking about what specifically sets successful people apart from others.  My life has changed dramatically in the last 5 years, and it accelerated dramatically about a 15 months or so ago when I changed careers.  I started wondering, what do successful people do differently from people who are less successful?  What is it about those things that they do that makes them successful?

5 Things Successful People Do

  1. Set Realistic, Achievable, Aggressive Goals –  Seriously, if you’re not going to do anything else, you have to do this.  You’re not going to go anywhere if you don’t have any idea of what it is you want to do. Not all outcomes are created equally, and while you can float along in life, it will only take you so far.
  2. Stick With It – The things that are most worth having are worth working on.  But that means sticking with them.  Persistence pays off.  It can be hard to stick with things when the shit hits the fan, but that is likely precisely when you need to stick with it.
  3. Make Continuous Improvements – Things rarely work out perfectly the first time, so the key is to make continuous improvements over a longer period of time.  Every time you do something, stop and analyze how you did on it.  Then figure out what you need to change to do it better.  I’m sure you’ll find many ways to improve, and can focus on making those changes, and seeing how they impact the outcome.
  4. Know When to Fight – It is worth knowing when to fight, and when to just ignore something.  Just because you aren’t arguing with someone doesn’t mean that you are agreeing with them.  It just means that you’re not wasting your breath arguing with them.  Let’s face it, not everyone is going to like you, or respect you.  Arguing with them isn’t going to change that.  Save your breath and energy, and focus on positive things.
  5. Let Little Things Go – Sometimes you have to decide when to let something go, and concentrate your energy on the big picture.  For me, that happens in a lot of different ways.  I have gotten help with the yard for instance.  That means that I don’t have to focus on pulling weeds, and mowing grass.  I can focus my energy on spending time doing the things that have a bigger impact, and make more of a difference.

The key here is focusing your energy on what is important.  Figure out which steps you personally need to follow to ensure your success.  That will require actually doing something towards those goals.

What about you?  What things do you think that successful people do?

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Speaker – LaTracey Copeland

LaTracey Copeland

Mother in Zion And Sister-Teacher Available For Speaking Engagements

 Speaker   LaTracey CopelandOcean Springs, Mississippi, August 30, 2014 – It’s hard to sit on your talents, retreat from your destiny or settle for a less than optimized life when there’s a spur in your side goading you to excellence. Memphis born LaTracey Copeland Hughes, also known as the Purposeful DIVA, has been that spur in the sides of countless audience members and readers of her dynamic recently released book. DIVA stands for Divinely Inspire Visionary Achiever, which describes this wife and mother of four. Her book, “Raising A Proverb 31 Woman: Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, and Self-Discovery of a Young Woman” debuted in March 2014. Through her works, she encourages and motivates others to excel, kick off shackles and live abundantly by overcoming adversity and casting off a faltered start.

Be it poverty or a catalog of layered challenges, she knows what it’s like to persevere and overcome through resilience. When she teaches and writes about the Proverbs 31 virtuous woman; she is drawing from the wellspring of her own life.

She has risen from the ashes of what seemed to be defeat and destruction and emerged victorious and triumphant. Described as a gem in this season who has demonstrated that she’s not easily broken, she has experienced success as CEO of the non-profit organization, Capstone Experience, Inc. She teaches others to do the same by thinking outside of the box, and using experiences as stepping stones to destiny and purpose.

“I want to leave my mark as a professional, virtuous example; in my home as a wife and mother, and as a business consultant, speaker and author/publisher,” she states.

Copeland Hughes is not only modeling the examples she holds dear, but also teaching the virtuous lessons through the Proverbs 31 Woman Project. Her daily life serves to inspire others and her engaging presentations help people to envision greater outcomes. As a speaker, she provides her audiences with the essential elements that fuel her own vision of entrepreneurship, leadership, purpose-motivation, innovation and bravery.

LaTracey Copeland Hughes is available as a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, in-house tailored speaker or for book signing events.

Audiences will hear how she trimmed away past hurts and pain to create passion, profit and purpose. She highlights the distractions that are keeping those from moving in their God-given Purpose. LaTracey will leave your audience with a sense of restoration in the areas needed most! She specializes in meeting women right where they are and supporting them not to stay Stuck On Purpose!

As an author, publisher and speaker who rose from very humble beginnings, Copeland Hughes imparts a powerful message to woman’s groups, non-profit organizations and schools. Her signature style is appropriate, real, raw, and unedited; while at the same time provoking thought and rich with clear points of value. She meets the needs and answers the heart-cry of her audiences.

For more information, or to book her for your ministry or woman’s group, visit her website at www.RaisingAProverb31Woman.com.

How to STOP Running in Heels and Get a Life you Want! – Jackie Ruka

jackierukaheartphoto How to STOP Running in Heels and Get a Life you Want!   Jackie Ruka

By Jackie Ruka

Are you a woman running heals, frantic to figure out your time with career, money, family and social life but end up not doing anything at all to resolve this feeling of disarray? Well, join the club! Each and every one of us has been there. I coin this as “women running in heels”, as we tend to do it all, want it all, try to make it ALL happen and end up stressed and simply exhausted. This was me some 2 years ago, giving, giving , giving to others with barely enough time to renew myself or adjust to a life worth creating, without falling short on quality people time, sleep and a life outside of my career!   According to the American Psychological Association stress gender survey, stress has been significantly more on the rise for women than men. Almost half of women surveyed (49%) reported a rise in stress over the past five years. We , as women, are all too willing to please others holding a false belief that if we handle it all, then life will be easier by doing it ourselves versus delegating the details to someone else.   So how is that working for you?

 How to STOP Running in Heels and Get a Life you Want!   Jackie RukaThe bottom line is, life  is running YOU, instead of YOU creating the life that you desire and deserve.  So, what do you really want or better yet, what do you want to get out of life, right now? The one constant that we can never capture again is our time.  Perhaps it’s time to just STOP  the crazy life treadmill and determine what feels right versus what is wrong? Step back and begin to get clear and envision your happiness , as this will attract the abundance, joy and desire you deserve! I learned this the hard way with a come to Buddha moment, where my company car almost crashed from going out of control and landed in front of two eight foot Buddha statues outside a furniture store in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Talk about a wake up call to the antithesis of my chaotic life careening me to the edge of no return.  I certainly would not want this to happen to you. However, in hindsight what I learned was the best choices are the one’s we make consciously, not from reactive measures or societal demands. We are human and the Universe has a funny way of  journeying back to self  to  determine if we are practicing self – love and self – care.

My story, as a woman running in heels , was an opportunity for me to go deep, recognize my soul calling and begin to consciously transform myself to the writer , now, published  Author and Inspiration Coach that I deeply yearned to be. I invite those women, who I see have so much magic within and are running from their own soul calling to take a listen to how I turned my challenge into opportunities,  in an interview with psychologist  Dr. Laura Ciel,  on her radio show, which empowers individuals going through life transition.  It’s short and to the point , however, I would love your feedback! Take a LISTEN! The Happiness Journey with Jackie Ruka

Inspirational Quote: ” The Purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Ready for a Happiness Smackdown? Jackie Ruka is America’s Happyologist and LifeStyle Strategist. She teaches you how to live from the heart and align yourself with your true potential with her step by step system for Self Empowerment toward Creating a Life You Desire! Join the tribe and opt-in to receive weekly news, programs, events and a Weekly Happiness DOSE full of wisdom to keep your vision in perspective at www.gethappyzone.com. To purchase her book “Get Happy and Create a Kick-Butt Life” , it is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, www.gethappyguide.com or order it at your favorite bookstore! Thanks and welcome to the  HAPPY ZONE!

Working Mom Interview – Amy Hageman

Linked In pic 300x300 Working Mom Interview   Amy Hageman

I’m so pleased to introduce you to another one of my working mom friends- Amy.  Please welcome her- You may remember her from the 4 is More blog post.  I love her witty sense of humor, and perspective.

Amy Hageman

After earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and a master’s degree in accounting from Kansas Student University (K-State), Amy worked for several years as a CPA at a Big 4 accounting firm in Kansas City specializing in state and local tax consulting. She then returned to graduate school for her Ph.D. in accounting, graduating in 2009 from the University of Central Florida (UCF). After working as a research fellow at UCF for a year, Amy was thrilled to return to her alma mater, K-State, as an assistant professor of accounting beginning in June 2010. She lives in the idyllic college town of Manhattan, Kansas (aka “The Little Apple”), where she is joined by her husband, Will (an assistant professor in electrical engineering, also at K-State), and her two delightful children, Annika and Daniel.

 

  1. Do you stay at home, work at home, or work-outside the home?

I work full-time outside of the home.

  1. How many kids do you have?

We have two children – Annika is 10 years old (5th grade) and Daniel is 6 years old (1st grade). After years of juggling separate school and daycare schedules, we are thrilled that they are both at our neighborhood elementary school together – and that the school is within walking distance!

  1. What’s your go-to dinner during the week? Do you care to share a recipe?

Um, purchasing a sandwich from Subway? Or perhaps eating our church dinner on Wednesday nights? Cooking dinner is not my forte. One tool that does help me is cooking large batches of freezer meals together with friends every few months, which gives us something to grab and warm-up on crazy nights. And let’s be honest, aren’t all nights crazy?!

  1. What are your best tips for staying sane?

Hmmm…medication? Seriously, staying sane is a daily work in progress for me. I promise to let you know when I have it figured out.

  1. What are your favorite tools for time/household management?

My absolute favorite is a streamlined To-Do List. I use the “Mom Balance Sheet” as a master to-do list of all of my irons in the fire at both work and at home. It is available here:

http://www.mommytracked.com/files/downloads/download2.pdf

The other that I use for getting tasks at work or home done is the “Pomodoro Method,” in which you focus very hard for 25 minutes on a task and then take a 5-minute break. I use this website below frequently to stay on task and to track what I have accomplished for the day.
http://mytomatoes.com/

  1. Do you have pets? If so, what kind?

We have three cats, one old and feeble (and formerly cantankerous) 19-year-old cat, and two “kittens” that are brother and sister and are 2.5 years old. We also have a string of seven recently departed small animals, and have decided that cats are the only creature we can keep alive.

  1. What are your hobbies?

My favorites are running and reading. I absolutely love road races and have a goal of doing one race a month. This year I had one of the best experiences of my life, walking a full marathon with church friends in Estes Park. I also love to read and am in several book clubs, ranging from serious to light-hearted to my favorite, mother/daughter book group with my daughter and other moms and tween-aged girls.

  1. What’s on your bucket list?

Travel! Our family loves to travel and we have several “family bucket list” goals. One is to visit all of the National Parks in the continental United States. We have visited 10 parks as a family so far and have more planned in the future. Another is to visit Europe as a family – including returning to Slovenia, the only European country I have spent time in so far.

  1. If you work, what do you do? How did you decide?

I work as an accounting professor at a state university. I went back to school for my PhD when my daughter was one year old, had another baby, and am now in my fifth year of my dream job. I had taught accounting as a graduate teaching assistant while earning my master’s degree and loved it. I then worked in public accounting for a couple of years, when my husband and I decided to quit our jobs, sell our house, and move with our baby to Florida so that we could be broke and each earn our PhDs. Best thing our family has ever done!

  1. If you work, what’s the most rewarding part about it?

What’s not to love? I get to work with bright students and teach them to love accounting in general and taxation in particular. I get to conduct research that I love, including understanding tax compliance, how tax professionals make decisions, and public interest aspects of tax policy. I have terrific colleagues. Oh, I thought of one thing that isn’t rewording – grading. Grading is the pits. But almost all of it is pure joy.

  1. If you could choose any career, what would it be?

Honestly, I am already in my dream job. I feel that part of my purpose in life is to be an accounting professor and I am so fortunate enough to be able to do that. If I won the lottery, I would still plan on working at the same job. I have definitely already won the job lottery, that’s for sure!

  1. If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?

When I think of my younger self, I see myself as this strange mixture of insecurity but also over-confidence. I would tell myself that I was just fine the way that I was – and was everyone else, even if they were on a different path.

Handling Adversity

Fotolia 55813386 XS Handling AdversityThe reality of the situation is that everyone you meet is going through something, or has gone through adversity.  The devil is in how they hey handle adversity when it does strike.  It’s not so much about completely avoiding problems, and never having them, but rather how you deal with them when they do happen.  Because let’s face it, stuff happens.  If you’re like me, it happens far too often for comfort sometimes.

A lot of people who are acquaintances of mine assume that nothing bad ever happens to me.  Actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Currently, I’ve been diagnosed with Melanoma for the second time, and will be having surgery for that.  This time, I caught it sooner than last time, so it was in Situ.  I’ve had to deal with a child who was born 3 months early, who had a lot of hurdles to overcome.  I was on bed rest for 6 months with the next pregnancy, and 2 months for the third pregnancy.  My mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was only about 13 years old, and I became one of her primary caregivers.  In fact, my dad used to leave on business trips for up to a month at a time, even when I was that age, and I was responsible for cooking, grocery shopping, and even paying the family’s bills, because there was no such thing as automatic bill pay in those days.  I’ve known adversity.  The question is how I’ve handled it.

The deal with adversity is that everyone faces some problem or another.  To each of us, it is in biblical terms, our own cross to bear.  What defines us, and sets us apart is how we bear that cross, and how we handle the adversity which is placed in our way.  Do you choose to let it take over your life, or do you deal with it and move on?  Do you ever just want to crawl up into a ball, and ignore life?  Or do you pull out your big girl panties and just deal with it?  I do get that some people have mental health issues, and deal with depression.  In their case, seeking medical attention, and taking medication may require great courage, and may be what they need to do to handle adversity.  Not everyone’s problems are the same.

How do you deal with adversity?  Does it fire you up, and make you want to fight, and win?  Or do you run away?  Do you pick your battles, and decide what’s worth fighting for, and what night be worth shouting about?  Everyone handles it differently, but it does speak volumes about who we are as people, and how we value ourselves.

Leaders embrace adversity, because they know that it is how they handle that adversity which sets them apart from the crowd.  They don’t shy away from problems because they are uncomfortable to deal with.  Neither do they just rip people to shreds, roughly.  They face adversity head-on, with kindness, and with skill.  That is the mark of a true leader, and someone worth following.

What do you think?

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4 is More: Feeling Groovy

This is a great article from my friend Amy… I know that I have found myself just going WAAAY too fast at times, then I start dropping balls, left and right.  My worst offense is usually forgetting appointments, because I fail to write them down.. UGH!  I hate when I do that.

rainforest 4 is More: Feeling Groovy

………

Slow down, you move too fast.

You got to make the morning last.

Just kicking down the cobblestones.

Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.

-The 59th Street Bridge (aka “Feelin’ Groovy)

Simon & Garfunkel

I am definitely a girl who moves too fast. In fact, I think the exact words of “Slow down, you move too fast!” have been said to me in the past. I am a very fast walker. I am a decent public speaker, but am often told that I speak too quickly. I was usually the first one finished on exams in school. I type quickly. I can regularly get my kids ready from waking up to walking out the door for school in 20 minutes flat. And I am afraid to slow down.

Being fast has become a defining quality for me. I have so many balls in the air between work and home and parenting and church and other activities and people that I feel like I am rushing around from one commitment to the other,with the hope that if I do it quickly enough that no one will notice that I am running on empty and totally valuing expediency over quality to get by.

Recently, I have dropped several balls and made several mistakes and had enough of a wake-up call to realize that I need to slow down. And the thought is terrifying. How do people determine what to drop? If I work slower and move about life with more deliberation, what if I still drop just as many balls? What if people figure out that I can do a lot of things with mediocre quality, but am not as good at actually excelling in any one particular thing ?

My goal is to figure out how to slow down. And to feel groovy. icon wink 4 is More: Feeling Groovy

POSTED BY 4 IS MORE AT 11:04 PM

via 4 is More: Feeling Groovy.

Entrepreneur Interview – Jordan C Lofton

 

GSC0921 Entrepreneur Interview   Jordan C Lofton

Jordan Lofton

After completing her Bachelor’s in Business Management from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business, Jordan began her career in consulting.  Starting with one of the Big 4 IT Consulting firms, Jordan quickly found herself engaged in the firm’s two largest Telecommunications, Media, and Entertainment projects.  During her time in the Big 4 Jordan had the unique experience to see a project from cradle to grave, spanning multiple roles and supporting as many as 14 applications and a client base that spread a three state region.

Jordan was known for her strong work ethic, attention to detail, creativity, and commitment to her team and clients.  After 4.5 years of learning her craft in such areas as project management, business process design, training, quality assurance, and business analysis, Jordan left the Big 4 to go independent.  In doing so, her goal was to continue to build relationships across the industry, as well as to engage herself in new and challenging roles.

It was during this time that the first conversations of creating a consulting firm formed.  Conversations with colleagues and clients about what the consulting experience “should be like” began to drum up ideas for what is now Golden Source Consultants.  When Jordan entered Duke’s Cross Continental MBA program the dream of pursuing entrepreneurship and in building a consulting firm that provided the very best to its clients and employees was realized.  After conversations in each of the international residencies, Jordan talked through project management and process challenges that classmates were facing.  It became a regular occurrence to “talk shop” and to help brainstorm creative strategies.

It was in July 2012, that Jordan finally made the move to create Golden Source Consultants.  After graduating with her Duke MBA with a Strategy Concentration, Jordan’s focus has been on building out the Golden Source toolset, to ensure that the entire GSC team comes to the table with not just professional certifications, but with consulting skills that are superior.  Her commitment to her team and to her clients is to always exceed expectations and develop the organization through a golden quality.

 

  1. What is your business/Business Name? What does your business do?

Golden Source Consultants is a boutique management consulting firm, with a mission to raise the bar on quality and delivery for our clients by developing the next generation of management consultants. It is our belief that the model of the Big 4 consulting firms, while scaling for any client challenge, has over time eroded the basic value that consultants have. Namely, to come in and deliver a short term project more quickly and efficiently than the business.

The focus of Golden Source Consultants offerings is intentionally narrow, but with broad application. Our firm delivers project management, business process design, strategy, and training development and facilitation. These areas of focus are chosen because they are the pulse of any business, and drive value and excellence throughout the entire organization.

Our model for delivering these services is also unique. The firm is built to identify and grow Millennial talent to become the next and best generation of consultants. The vague career paths and titles are gone, the personal values and needs of our team considered, and the team is invested in for the long term rather than expecting high turnover. Our managers and above, are chosen because of their demonstrated excellence and their excitement to work as a mentor to build something bigger than their own legacy. In creating a work environment where the value of each individual is never lost, each consultant becomes eager to deliver more for GSC clients, partners, and peers because it is work they see meaning in and enjoy doing.

  1. Why did you get into this field? What opportunities did you see?

I spent 4.5 years in the Big 4 IT consulting world, and 2 years as an independent contractor. I entered the field straight out of undergrad. I must say during my time in the Big 4 I learned many valuable skills and I was given the opportunity to be a part of and lead things that many people wait their whole careers for.

What I saw was an opportunity to do things better for the client and for the consultants. I saw an opportunity to identify and grow talent for a long term career, and the ability for my clients to harness that expertise that is grown with them in mind.

If GSC is successful, we will change the way all management consulting firms do business…for the better.

  1. What have been your biggest challenges?

I think that all of the challenges Golden Source Consultants has faced in our beginnings really boil down to one thing. People don’t believe that management consulting can change. It’s sad to say, but most people believe that the show the “House of Lies” is either the way consulting is or should be.

What the industry was founded on was brilliant thinkers like Edwin Booz who said “Start with character.” Or James O. McKinsey, who left his academic career and became known for providing management advice. These were the pioneers in our field. They were partners first, and the money came in because they provided value. Would they be proud of the legacy we now have?

The challenge now is to change the way consultants think about consulting and how businesses think about using consultants. At Golden Source Consultants, the challenge we give ourselves is to be that model, so that we affect change within our own industry.

  1. What has been your greatest reward?

My greatest reward is my team and their successes. It has been truly humbling to have the caliber of people we have take a step to join a startup, and also believe in our mission. When I see their faces light up about the training, a new project, client feedback, or a step forward in the business, it takes whatever that feeling of personal accomplishment I have and magnifies it exponentially as a victory for the whole team.

That is a close second to hearing a client say they are excited and surprised by the high quality we brought to their project. By going back to the basics of producing extraordinary work consistently I think it takes our clients by surprise. They really think our mission is just a sales pitch, but when they see it in action we have never left without a “Thank You.”

  1. If you could change something, what would it be?

I see the business grow and change every day. I think as a business owner and leader I am accustomed to change, so I never get to comfortable in any one moment. I am always eager to tackle the next challenge and pursue the next goal.

If I could change any one thing about GSC to have the biggest impact, I would have to say to spend more time one on one with my team and client to hear their feedback. With all of the growth this personal time sometimes gets scheduled “as I have time”. My clients and my team, ARE my business, so I would spend more time listening and planning for their needs.

  1. If you could give a new entrepreneur advice, what would it be?

Don’t get lost in the noise. You will have so many people giving you advice, offering to help, asking you questions, needing you to do something, requiring a document, a form, to file for a permit, review a contract…the list is never ending. It is easy to lose focus.

Remember your goal, remember your mission, and then find ways each day to finish tasks that help you accomplish it. If a task is not going to help you move forward then either deprioritize it, or eliminate it.

  1. Social Media. Yay or Nay?

I believe Social Media will play a key role in the growth of GSC, but I think we have to be careful in how we use it. Our blog, The LION’s Den, is the best way for the company to showcase our thought leadership. The entire team can contribute and show how we think. It feels more natural than something I might have printed and bound for marketing collateral. It has the potential to reach a larger audience than I might target.

I believe as our team grows, the Millennials will continue to find new ways to communicate with fellow consultants through Social Media. That is actually one area that in the next year I see a great group forming and getting excited about talking about GSC and their experience with the company through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Social Media.

GSC logo v black large TM1 Entrepreneur Interview   Jordan C Lofton

  1. How do you market your products?

Golden Source Consultants is all about quality, quality, quality. That means the growth plan is about first proving we can provide that, then proving we can reproduce that. That has been our focus in year one and two. This means word of mouth has been our best marketing so far.

Next year, we will get a little more targeted and begin to take our marketing to the next level. I don’t want to give away the big reveal, but there is a lot in the works for 2015 on many fronts. The marketing has to reflect our quality and core values, so I know our market will really recognize and appreciate that when it is revealed.

  1. Sell me your product/service.

Have you ever used a management consulting firm who came in with a big promise and a big team, and were let down with the results? Did you feel you received the value you paid for with each consultant you worked with or was it a hit or miss experience? Did you feel like you were teaching the consultant your business rather than them providing insight into it? Did you feel like once you signed the contract you could not see the end in sight for the work?

Golden Source Consultants focuses on one problem at a time through projects that last no more than six months. It’s not that we want to leave you after six months, but that we want to solve one problem then the next and the next. We stay focused on our goal to deliver exceptional value that the business maintains, not the consultants.

Our team is trained extensively to ensure that each consultant meets our strict internal standards and can deliver consistently in each of our core areas. Training doesn’t stop after employment, and it doesn’t start on your project. We continually invest in our team’s development, so they invest in you.

  1. How can people get in touch with you? What’s your website/Contact information?

www.goldensourceconsultants.com

info@goldensourceconsultants.com

404-692-5540 Office Line

Pick One Challenge

Fotolia 56815978 XS 150x150 Pick One ChallengePeople continually comment on how much I get done in an average day, and ask me pretty much daily if I actually sleep.  The answer to that question is yes.  I do sleep, and quite well.  What I think sets me apart from many other people is that I set challenges for myself and commit to going after them.  Do you have a challenge?

For me, those challenges have included getting into Duke for my MBA, then completing the degree.  I also challenged myself to completing my Entrepreneurship and Innovation concentration while I was there, which was additional work, beyond the regular classes, and took several extra months of work.  I then challenged myself to start Extension of You Home Care.  Then I challenged myself to also buy and successfully run a Care Patrol Office, at the same time I was starting Extension of You Home Care.  Pretty crazy, right?  Then I challenged myself to write a book, and I have done that as well.  We are nearing the final stages before publishing the book.

What do all of those challenges have in common?  Each of those challenges is a single challenge on a longer road.  I didn’t try to do all of them at once.  In fact, I couldn’t have done so, because that would have been impossible.  But each one was a challenge, a stretch, when I started.  Each one required hard work.  Sometimes a LOT of hard work.  Some of them continue to require a lot of hard work, and dedication, and will need a lot of care and feeding for the next few years.

My challenge to you is to pick something that’s important to you, and maybe a bit difficult to obtain, and go for it.  Figure out what it will take to get there.  Have you thought about what your goals are?  In 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years?  What steps is it going to require to get there?  I have found that it’s important to pick one of those steps and set it up as a challenge to achieve.  Because if you challenge yourself to accomplish that task or challenge, then you are much more likely to do so.  Goals are an amazing thing.  Pick a challenging goal, and go for it.

Better yet, set yourself a goal, and tell others about it.  You make yourself much more likely to achieve that goal.  How cool is that?  Getting somewhere you never thought you’d get, and amazing yourself.

Where is your life going?  What are your goals?

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