Apr 27

10 Easy Things You Can Do To Grow your Business

~by Haley Gray~

There are lots of people out there right now looking to buy whatever it is that your business is selling, but they don’t know about you, or your product or service. That is absolutely true whether you are cleaning houses, or whether you are a travel agent, real estate agent, or a business coach, life coach, or any other business.  So, how do you close that gap right now to get in front of those people? What are some easy, inexpensive things that you can do right now to tell the world about your business?

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  1. Create a Facebook Page, and put pictures up. Then invite your friends and family to like and share it. They are your team.
  2. Add Your Business to your Facebook Profile. Easy, right? Yet, how many of us just think that Facebook is for friends, and don’t link to our business that way? You’re doing yourself, and your potential customers, a disservice.
  3. Add your Business to your Email Signature. This one is also super easy.  Put a link on all of your email signatures, so that people can see what you do. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but tell the world what you do – they DO notice. I can’t tell you how many comments I get about my signature, and about quotes in my signature.
  4. Build Relationships in Your Community. People buy from those they know, like and trust. They have to have a relationship with you, or perceive that they do, in order for them to want to do this. That may mean figuring out where your target demographic hangs out, and putting yourself there by volunteering.
  5. Facebook Groups. Find Facebook groups where your target demographic hangs out, and hang out there too. Never, ever do drive-by postings about your business, but instead become a trusted resource. If you don’t have time to make a meaningful contribution, do NOT use this method.
  6. Magnets on your car, especially the back and sides.  I get stopped regularly in the drive-through with people asking me if I am with the business on the magnets on the side of my car. I’ve gotten clients that way. How easy is that?
  7. Carry Business Cards. You can order business cards super cheap from Vistaprint, and should carry them with you wherever you go. Hand them out like candy. 
  8. Write Thank You Notes to Current Clients, and Ask for Referrals. After you perform a service or sell something to someone, ask them to refer someone else to you if they liked your service. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive!
  9. Use LinkedIn to Network. It’s amazing how many people you’ve probably worked with in the past, and how many people you know in the community.  Use LinkedIn to connect to people and reach out to them for business.
  10. Ask Your Friends and Families for Referrals. Your friends and family will be your biggest advocates, and they will be your first customers. Make sure you are asking them for those referrals!

I hope that these steps will help you grow your business easily – and inexpensively. 

 

Haley Gray

Haley Gray

Meet the Author: Haley Gray

As founder and owner of Leadership Girl, Haley Gray offers Business Coaching, support and resources to entrepreneurs. Whether you want to get a new business off the ground, or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

To learn more about Leadership Girl’s Business Coaching Services, please visit our Services Offered page: http://leadershipgirl.com/services-offered/


To Contact Haley:

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/10-easy-things-you-can-do-to-grow-your-business/

Apr 24

3 Problems that the 21st Century Entrepreneur Faces!

~by Donya Zimmerman~

Being an entrepreneur in the 21st Century has many advantages and disadvantages at the same time. Entrepreneurs today are not afraid to take the risk of going out on their own to start a new business.

Many small business owners have made countless personal sacrifices in order to start their own business. But at the same time, there have been innumerable individuals who have decided to not start a business because of fear of failure. The most successful business owners understand the risks of starting a business in this day and age, but they go for it. Nearly all successful entrepreneurs understand that there are some serious risks with starting a business, but they go for it anyway. Astute business owners will prepare themselves for the possible problems or issues they may face with becoming their “own boss”.

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Here are 3 risks that the 21st Century Entrepreneur deals with on a daily basis:

  • Risk #1: Cyber Security. It’s become necessary to establish a good cyber security system to protect your business. Cyber crimes have become a major problem for small businesses, big companies and governmental agencies. There are computer criminals out there who make it their personal mission to destroy and disrupt our everyday lives. Major companies like Target and Home Depot have recently faced issues with computer criminals hacking into their major computer systems, who then steal customers’ personal information like credit card numbers. But, cyber security corporations try to stay ahead of these cyber criminals by improving the security systems of many companies both large and small. Many cyber security companies are hiring the very criminals who have committed cyber crimes to teach them how to stay a few steps ahead of the criminals. Small businesses are starting to realize the importance of setting up good security precautions to protect their business computers, personal information of customers, and their products or services.
  • Risk #2: Identity. Many small businesses have a major problem with their identity being stolen and copied by another business, and this trend is growing. One major problem that entrepreneurs may face with social media is individuals pretending to be them on social media platforms. Some people will pretend to be another person to commit criminal activities or just to be a pain. Small business owners are starting to see the importance of protecting their personal image by trademarking their brand. There are scores of impostors out there who have no issue with pretending to be someone else. That is why it is extremely important for entrepreneurs to protect their personal brand and market their brand by trademarking their business names, business brands, company products and services, and company logo.
  • Risk #3: Intellectual Property. Entrepreneurs often fail to understand the importance of protecting their intellectual property. The business owner must protect all of their business ideas, materials, products, services, and goods from infringement by other businesses. Trademarking, patenting, and copyrighting will protect all of your hard work from being ripped off by someone else. 
    • Trademarking involves protecting the following: any name, word, symbol, or device used by a business to identify their goods and differentiate those goods from goods being sold by other businesses. The trademark will indicate the origin of the goods or services. It is always good to register your trademark with the Patent and Trademark Office in your country. In the U.S., the trademark is only recognized by the U.S. government and not in other countries. Trademark registrations are good for about ten years and you have to renew the trademark during the ninth and tenth year of the trademark.
    • Copyright is a form of protection for authors and writers of their original writings, whether it is literary, musical, artistic, or other types of intellectual works. A copyright is secured automatically upon creation. You have to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, and the copyright is valid up to 70 years after the author’s death.
    • Patent: This is the grant that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gives to an inventor to a particular invention which gives him or her certain rights concerning the invented item. The patent is good for about 17 years from the date the patent application was approved.


Meet the Author: Donya Zimmerman

Donya Zimmerman

Donya Zimmerman

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience. Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. 

She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC), both of which are based in Baltimore, MD.

Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance; Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance; and Business Organization Assistance. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization, do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so.

For more information about Donya:

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/3-problems-that-the-21st-century-entrepreneur-faces/

Apr 22

Entrepreneur Interview – Malia Bracken-Downey

Malia Bracken-Downey, President and Founder of Yeepos LLC. designed and patented Velcro fleece leg warmers known as Yeepōs®.  Yeepōs® are a stylish fun spin on the traditional leg warmer. They are functional and easy to use. This revolutionary new product takes the traditional leg warmer to a whole new level.
After working 24 years in Corporate America, it was time for Malia to move on and become a full-time Mom with her first child on the way. With three and a half months to go until her due date, she received the surprise of a lifetime: a baby girl! Since then, her top priority has been caring for a premature child.
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Malia Bracken-Downey

Interview Q & A

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

Yeepos LLC manufactures Velcro fleece leg warmers for added warmth for all ages; available in youth and adult sizes. Yeepos leg warmers are available through our online store at www.yeepos.us , direct sales and vendor shows.

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

My journey started back in September of 2013 when my daughter went off to kindergarten to a local Catholic School. The winter weather was fast approaching and my concern was knowing how to keep her warm in her school uniform. I decided to send her to school in standard leg warmers or sweat pants. I discovered, when having a conversation with the teacher’s aide, that most of the children were unable to tie their shoes after removing their winter wear each morning. It was taking too much time in the morning to retie their shoes. I quickly decided to make a pair of Velcro leg warmers out of an old pair of leggings so my daughter could put them on and take them off without removing her shoes.

After receiving an overwhelming response about the leg warmers, I decided to research online to see if I could buy a pair, and realized the product did not exist. This led me to improve the design by using fleece and Velcro tabs along the outside seam of each leg. The feedback I received from my new design was so positive that I realized that there may be a market for this product.

After initially receiving a provisional patent, we proceeded to manufacture the leg warmers to sell during the winter season.

3. What have been your biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge is maintaining a healthy balance between launching a new business on a shoestring budget and motherhood without a guilty conscience.

4. What has been your greatest reward?

My greatest reward is being able to see my product come to life, which allows us to pay-it-forward by giving back to the charitable organizations that make a difference in children’s lives.

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

At this point, I would not change anything. My journey has been so exciting and rewarding, as well as educational.

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

Building relationships is the most important aspect in starting a new business. The relationships I have built so far have led me to new and creative opportunities that I didn’t think were possible.

7. Social Media.  Yay or Nay?

Absolutely.

8. How do you market your products?

Networking with my local community, social media, online store, vendor shows, and athletic tournaments.

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

Product. Our product is hand-crafted in a small cut and sew facility in our local community.

10. What is unique about your business?

When I originally designed and patented my product, my goal was to solve a problem. Now I have discovered that my product has so many more uses than I originally thought. What makes Yeepos so unique is that we are the only company that sells this product.

11. Sell me your product/service.

Yeepōs are the Re-invention of the leg warmer—with LOVE! I created a Velcro fleece leg warmer for added warmth that you can put on and take off without removing your shoes. Initially, I designed the leg warmers for children who wear school uniforms. Now, I have learned that there are so many uses for Yeepos. My clients are wearing their leg warmers participating in sports, such as soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, horseback riding, and dance. I am also receiving an overwhelming response from special needs children and senior care.

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

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/entrepreneur-interview-malia-bracken-downey/

Apr 21

Email Coping Strategies for Dreamers, Doers and Creators

~by Wendy Kuhn~

I worked for a boss once whose email management strategy was to have me review all of his emails and bring those that were important to his attention. While flawed, this strategy could have worked except that he was never willing to discuss my list of his important emails.
Now I have my own business and email is crucial to my success, yet I found I had to stop and think about the best way to use it to maximize efficiency and minimize stress. Those of us who have chosen to step away from Corporate America and invent or re-invent ourselves also have to manage life in the digital age.

A few of my favorite email coping strategies:

  • MailRoll with it. I like supporting and learning from fellow solo-preneurs, but sometimes I end up with so many subscription emails in my inbox that I am too overwhelmed to see what they have to say, and I miss important emails. Then I found unroll.me, one of several tools that allowed me to unsubscribe from lists, and to see a daily digest of all the subscriptions that I enjoy reviewing at my leisure.
  • Schedule it. While not possible for all people in all jobs, set specific blocks of time to read and respond to emails. Setting an alert for urgent emails might make this easier. It is also possible to schedule sending email if that helps. Check out Boomerang or other tools. 
  • Don’t go to bed with it. One of the joys of being a solo-preneur is that I won’t get an email from a boss yelling at me at 11:00 at night, as I used to.  Now, I often get fun and interesting work related emails late in the day, but even these can interfere with sleep. I try not to email after a certain time in the evening or before a certain time in the morning. There is scientific evidence that time spent on a computer screen in the two hours before bed significantly interferes with sleep. Poor or insufficient sleep directly impacts job performance. 
  • Read it. Read the entire email. Especially on mobile devices, it is possible to miss part of an email by accidentally not scrolling all the way down. Missing a key part of an email exchange can lead to a huge email miscommunication, which is both a time and energy drain.
  • Use a computer to respond. Responding to important or long emails from a smart phone, unless absolutely necessary, can lead to miscommunication.  Most of the time, for important issues it is better to have a moment to think about it rather than responding on the run. Responding on a larger device is easier and will enable a more thoughtful response. 
  • No Affect. Even with emoticons, email does not convey affect very well. This often leads to miscommunication, hurt feelings, or lost business. In the midst of a frustrating email conversation, the other person or people might be equally frustrated. Pick up a phone and call or walk down the hall to have an actual conversation. 
  • B-r-e-a-t-h-e. It’s easy to feel hurried when responding to an email; don’t give in to the temptation to just get one more thing off of your plate. Rather, on important email responses, take a deep breath before hitting send and be sure it says the right thing in the right way. I often take a moment to practice HeartMath™ at these times. Consider that the recipient will not be able to see your face or hear your voice. Ask the questions, “Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?”. Similarly, when reading an email that seems distressing, take a moment to breathe and re-read it. I try to ask myself whether it is likely that this person is actually saying what I think they are saying, and to consider that I might be reading too much or too little into it. In the moment, all of this feels like it requires time that is not available, but an extra twenty or thirty seconds up front may save not only time down the road but also anxiety and stress as well as money and clients.
  • Don’t hit send when you are angry. Anger clouds judgment. Even if anger is justified, an angry response will often exacerbate the problem and reflect poorly on the sender. Wait until the anger subsides when it is easier to articulate a more strategic, thoughtful and effective response. Another option is to write an email response but not send it until the next morning when the anger has cleared. My strategy on these emails is to leave the To: field blank as I have inadvertently sent emails I meant to sit on for a day.


Most days I have no interest in moving off of the grid and there is much about email that I enjoy.  I like that I can respond to someone when I want and that I can be thoughtful in my replies whereas sometimes on the phone I offer my first thought rather than my best thought.  As someone with horrible handwriting, I like the ease of typing my correspondence, and I thoroughly enjoy the easy, casual way I can keep up with friends and colleagues all over the world. At the same time, all too often I find myself checking email rather than being fully present in the moment or feeling anxious about an email rather than considering that I may have misinterpreted its intent.   I hope that by adopting two or three or four of these suggestions, you are able to better focus your energies and enjoy your email more.

 

Meet the Author: Wendy Kuhn

Wendy Kuhn is a holistic health coach, a HeartMath™ mentor and a solo-preneur. She happily shares her tips on building a business with like-minded people. She believes that through eating well, avoiding toxins, and taking steps to be happy, people can achieve great things. Wendy works with organizations looking to integrate health and wellness into the fabric of their culture through Break Through Consulting (www.breakthroughconsultingllc.com) Together with her husband, she runs the non-profit, Break Through Academy (www.b-t-academy.org), where they work with clients, using their i-ASK approach, to explore the idea that it is your life and your choice. 

Subscribe to her newsletter to receive her monthly tips. (http://eepurl.com/AvUdj)

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/email-coping-strategies-for-dreamers-doers-and-creators/

Apr 18

Working Mom Interview – Samantha Herring

Samantha: “When I was first married, the thing I wanted more than anything else was children. I have been blessed with two beautiful girls, ages 17 and 21. When my first was born, I put my college career on hold. Once my youngest daughter was in high school, I decided to finish my degree. I am now a proud ECU alumna and have a dream job working as the communications manager for Extension of You Home Care. (You know how I love to write Haley – I couldn’t write this part in less than 2-3 sentences.)”
Samantha Herring

Samantha Herring

Interview Q & A

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

For 20 years, I stayed home with my daughters. I kept very busy outside the home, volunteering for things at their school and in church.

2. How many kids do you have? 

Two amazing, almost-grown girls.

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

Well, funny you should ask. During most of my married life, I have been responsible for family meals. A couple of years ago, my husband decided that he really enjoyed cooking and took over that responsibility. He actually loves to go to the grocery store too, so I let him. I don’t mind one bit. Most of the time, I don’t even have to think about what’s for dinner. It’s a bit of a role reversal I suppose—one that we are both very happy with.

Go-to recipe: Cincinnati Chili. The whole family absolutely loves

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili

4. What are your best tips for staying sane?

Yoga, meditation, music, and staying positive. I believe that the energy you put out into the world is the energy that you get back, so I try really hard to be positive. I truly believe that good things will come to me (and they have!).

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

My calendar. We are now a Mac household, so I can sync all of my Apple products so that I am (almost) never without my calendar. Sometimes I still manage to forget things though.

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

Our family has a gray Boston Terrier and a white English Bulldog. They are currently eating their way through the baseboards and sheetrock in our house. They are very destructive puppies, but they have great personalities and we love them bunches.

7. What are your hobbies? 

Since I started back to school, graduated, and started working outside the home, I haven’t had a lot of time for hobbies. I do love to travel immensely — especially internationally. I love learning new things, reading, riding my bike on the local greenways, practicing yoga, and singing in the CFX Praise Band at First United Methodist Church Cary.

8. What’s on your bucket list?

I’ve been blessed to have completed a lot of things that were on my bucket list already: hike the Swiss Alps, spend time in Italy and Sweden, fly in a small prop plane and a helicopter (over the Grand Canyon), sing backup in a band, graduate from college, edit a published book, be on a television commercial, help create a television commercial, learn how to play the guitar, participate in a study abroad program (in Poland!). Still on the list?  Hike Machu Picchu in Peru, go on an eco-friendly trip to somewhere in Africa, discover my German descendants and visit the area in Germany where my family is from once I do. It’s hard to say what’s still on the list. I don’t really spend a lot of time thinking about it. I just try to be ready to grab an experience when it comes within my reach.

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

I am a communications major, and I work as communications manager for a home care agency. When I returned to school several years ago, I chose a degree that sounded like it would be fun. I really like writing, and that’s a large part of communications.

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

The work I do helps bring assistance to those who need it. That’s something that I can believe in and feel passionate about. It’s rewarding to have such a multi-faceted job: I am responsible for public relations, communications, and marketing functions. Things change daily, so I never have a chance to get bored.

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

The one I’m in now. I’m living the dream.

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

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Learn to take things in stride.

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/working-mom-interview-samantha-herring/

Apr 17

Thriving as a Female Entrepreneur in the 21st Century!

~by Donya Zimmerman~

As a female entrepreneur, you must learn to discover the “true you”. You cannot be like anyone else if you want to have a thriving business. You must know your niche and how to get your message across to your ideal customers.

Being a “true entrepreneur” involves being genuine, unique and different. The most successful women entrepreneurs are those with integrity. Also, successful women entrepreneurs love what they do and have no problem sharing their gifts with others. 

Many female entrepreneurs are a success because they are spiritually grounded.  Many women business owners have learned to take their special gifts and talents given to them by God and use them in a positive way. Female entrepreneurs must learn to stand out from the crowd and try not to be part of the “in crowd”.  Also, women business owners must realize that they cannot run their business like other business owners. They should run their business in a way that suits them and is comfortable for them. 

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As a female entrepreneur it is okay to be unique, authentic and out of this world.  Many female entrepreneurs have realized that the way they run their business is right for them, and find no reason to change their daily operations to please others.  Successful women entrepreneurs are seen as pioneers and beacons of light for up and coming female entrepreneurs.

Romans 13:11, “And that knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”  As a female entrepreneur, the number one way to fail at a business is by your “thinking”. Many women desire to start their own business, but have the “mindset of poverty”. Many women have the following thoughts of why they should not start a business:

  1. They don’t have the time to start a business.
  2. They can’t do it.
  3. They are too scared to start their own business.
  4. They don’t have the money to start a business.
  5. They will not be successful at it.


Many women are afraid to start a business because they feel that their business will take up too much time. Also, they will not have time to take care of others (especially family). Women must get out of the “mindset of poverty”. God created women in His likeness and this means He wants women to use their gifts and talents to uplift others. Also, women should use their God-given gifts and talents to make a better life for themselves and their families. 

It is time to create a “mindset of prosperity”. It is time to get rid of the “shackles of self-doubt”, and become free to live out your dreams. Get rid of the “slave mentality” that you can’t do it, and create the “freedom mentality” that you can do it. Women entrepreneurs have to understand that some opportunities only come once in a lifetime, and they must grab every opportunity and run with it. 

Time to wake up from your sleep, my sisters, and get going on that business idea.  Time waits for no one.  As God states, “It is high time to awake out of your sleep and receive your salvation.”
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Meet the Author: Donya Zimmerman

Donya Zimmerman

Donya Zimmerman

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience. Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. 

She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC), both of which are based in Baltimore, MD.

Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance; Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance; and Business Organization Assistance. 

If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization, do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so.

For more information about Donya:

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/thriving-as-a-female-entrepreneur-in-the-21st-century/

Apr 16

Increase Your Business Success With the Power of Positive Thinking

It’s no secret that with entrepreneurship brings huge amounts of stress, but learning to maintain a positive

 business outlook can be a learned skill. It will help to stay upbeat, productive, and help keep order and balance in

life.

think positive

Here are the best ways to maintain, and even increase, a positive attitude to multiply success in your life and

business.

Give. Negativity can be caused by concentrating on what you think are negative parts of your life… or by focusing

on what you DON’T have. You can immediately change your negativity by giving to others and share your skills

with the people around you. Helping others always creates positive emotions and forces you to focus on others,

rather than on yourself and what you think you’re lacking. Never hesitate or doubt your value. Even the smallest of

gestures you share can cause a massive change in another’s perspective and attitude, and when you see what a

difference you can make in others, you will feel better and more positive about yourself.

Show Appreciation. One of the easiest ways to increase your positivity is to express appreciation. Showing

thankfulness for what you already have will let go of any negativity that you may be holding on to. Gratitude

immediately puts you in the feeling of love, and wherever love resides, fear and other negative emotions cannot.

The most effortless ways to put more gratitude in your life is to show it every morning. When you wake up tell

yourself at least 5 things you are thankful for – it can be spoken aloud or in your head, but they must be detailed

and come from the heart. Close your eyes and feel it in your body and mind, think of how grateful you are for all

that you have and has happened to you. The feeling of positivity and happiness immediately upon waking is the

perfect way to start your day and will make your day more successful and far less stressful.

Imagine Your Success. Many of the world’s greatest and richest people use the power of attraction and

visualization to magnetize toward them everything they want in their lives.

To use the power of attraction, just close your eyes and think of a positive event that has happened before. Think

of it exactly as it happened and place yourself within it. Feel the emotions you felt when this positive event

occurred. Keep yourself in this positive feeling and imagine your day and events of your day going exactly the same

way – they go exactly as you want, with yeses and positivity throughout your day. When you have a particularly

important event or meeting, use this method to prepare your power for the attraction of positivity.

Control Your Breathing. There is a common belief that those that can control their breathing can control their

lives, and the more balance you have in your breath, the more balance you’ll find in your life. Think back to a time

when you feel you lost control of a situation – What happened to your breathing pattern? Your anxiety or anger

caused your breathing to become quickened and shortened.

Once you learn to control your breathing, then you will better understand the effect it has on your emotions, both

positive and negative. To learn better breath control, escape to a quiet space. Take a breath in through your nose

and feel the air enter your body and go deep into your lungs. As soon as it hits the deepest parts of your lungs,

breathe out through your mouth to release all tension.

 

Haley Gray

Haley Gray

Meet the Author: Haley Gray

As founder and owner of Leadership Girl, Haley Gray offers Business Coaching, support and resources to entrepreneurs. Whether you want to get a new business off the ground, or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

To learn more about Leadership Girl’s Business Coaching Services, please visit our Services Offered page: http://leadershipgirl.com/services-offered/

.

To Contact Haley:

 

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/increase-your-business-success-with-the-power-of-positive-thinking/

Apr 15

Entrepreneur Interview – Karima Mariama-Arthur

Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WordSmithRapport™. Prior to this, she spent more than a decade working exclusively with corporate litigation based firms where she focused on corporate compliance, commercial transactions, and complex foreign litigation. Karima is also an author, corporate speaker, expert facilitator, strategic leadership advisor, professional development expert, and executive communications consultant… and she speaks both spanish and english fluently.

Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq.

Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq.

Interview Q & A:

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

WordSmithRapport. We’re an executive consulting firm specializing in professional development. We work with individuals, corporations and their executive teams to solve performance challenges in the areas of leadership and communication.

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

I wanted to utilize the amazing skills that I mastered as an attorney to expand my reach. As a consultant, speaker, trainer and coach, I empower my clients, add value and provide them with tools that they can access for the long-haul. I saw an opportunity to help every client improve their condition.

3. What have been your biggest challenges?

Not making key decisions sooner. Looking back, I realize that doing certain things with a sense of urgency could have made the road much easier. But those challenges have empowered me to make better decisions in the present.

4. What has been your greatest reward?

Seeing the powerful transformation that clients go through after working with me.

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

I would have given myself permission to make more mistakes, and therefore be committed to taking action on a larger scale.

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

To take action in spite of fear, and to move forward with a strong sense of urgency.

7. Social Media.  Yay or Nay?

It’s a critical component of branding and increasing your business footprint.

8. How do you market your products?

N/A for now.

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

Services. We have new products coming out later this year.

10. What is unique about your business?

We offer customized services for every client.

11. Sell me your product/service.

Everyone has blind spots. Our job is to help you find yours. If you dare to go from good to great, we look forward to working with you.

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

WordSmithRapport

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/entrepreneur-interview-karima-mariama-arthur/

Apr 13

Beware the Social Media Trap

~by Haley Gray~

LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Pinterest… the list goes on. There are so many different social media platforms that it boggles the mind. It used to be that you could advertise on the TV or radio, and know that you were reaching most of your target audience. Nowadays, that’s not true anymore, as more people have quit cable, and are instead on Hulu, Netflix, or hanging out on the internet on their computers, cell phones, or tablets. The market has segmented wildly, which means that it can be harder than ever to find your ideal clients. Don’t fall into the Social Media Trap!

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It’s tempting to start opening accounts on all the different platforms, then creating a YouTube channel, an email list, a blog, and then try to maintain all of those as a startup company. Even if you had a dozen people working for you managing social media, it can be an incredible time sink, and you may not even be reaching your ideal clients on all the platforms because they may not even hang out there. Or, you may fail to respond to inquiries because you have so many points of contact that you lose business.

Neither scenario is particularly pleasant, so what is a business owner supposed to do?  In short, you need to do a little bit of research, and think about who exactly your ideal client is, and figure out where they hang out online. Then you create an account in that place to reach them. For example, for Leadership Girl, my ideal client is a female over the age of about 25, who has job experience, and is in a leadership role, or is contemplating owning her own business. My ideal client for my Home Care business is actually the daughter of the client. She will typically be between the ages of 40 and 65, and likely will still have children at home, or recently graduated from college. In both cases, those ideal clients tend to hang out on Facebook and Pinterest. That’s where I focus my time, and focus on engaging clients. 

I make sure that where I’m spending my time is where that ideal client spends their time.  I limit the amount of time I spend on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and SnapChat. I’m pretty sure I’m not ever going to find a client on SnapChat, so I don’t even have an account there. 

In the words of one of my friends, time is money, so unless a particular platform is going to be bringing in clients, and thus money, don’t bother with it. Don’t try to open a gazillion accounts that you then have to monitor for activity. Don’t do it. That way lies madness, and you won’t have time to focus your time and energy on doing the things that matter the most to your business. 

Subscribe to the KISS principle when it comes to social media. Focus on the ones likely to bring you revenue, and ignore the rest. You can’t be everything to everyone, so it is not even worth trying. 


Haley GrayMeet the Author: Haley Gray

As founder and owner of Leadership Girl, Haley Gray offers Business Coaching, support and resources to entrepreneurs. Whether you want to get a new business off the ground, or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

To learn more about Leadership Girl’s Business Coaching Services, please visit our Services Offered page: http://leadershipgirl.com/services-offered/

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To Contact Haley:

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/beware-the-social-media-trap/

Apr 11

Working Mom Interview – Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke is an author, photographer, lawyer and business consultant for photographers and bloggers. She currently helps creative industry and blogging professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.

Interview Q & A


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

Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

I manage several businesses of my own. Some of that is done in my home, but some of it requires I go to our studio.

2. How many kids do you have? 

Five: Three boys and two girls.

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

Grilled chicken and veggies – super easy and don’t have to think about it. If it’s not chicken we do steak. In the winter and busy season I’m a big fan of crock pot recipes, but my husband gets a bit tired of those.

4. What are your best tips for staying sane?

Schedule everything! I use lists with deadlines. I also have calendars that are color-coded by operations, personal etc.

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

This is the same answer as #4. I schedule everything and take breaks when needed. I’m big on prioritizing what I need to do and I outsource what I can’t physically find time to do. When it comes to outsourcing, I really like the app, Slack, for keeping all of my communications in one place.

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

I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix named Archer.

7. What are your hobbies? 

I love traveling, and I’m a pretty avid runner as well.

8. What’s on your bucket list?

I’d love to: visit Australia, run a marathon, and finally have a formal wedding (we eloped to courthouse).

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

I have several businesses: TheLawTog, Blog Legally, and SnapSpace Studios. The first two businesses use my legal expertise along with my experience as a photographer and blogger to provide customizable contract templates specifically for photographers and bloggers. SnapSpace is a studio that photographers can rent for their photo shoots.

I decided to start these businesses while my husband was in the military. I had a law degree, but couldn’t always practice where we were, and in those times I was offering my photography services. In the end, I decided to combine everything to create my businesses.

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

Knowing that my financial return and flexible schedule are a direct result of my actions.

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

I’m actually doing pretty close to what I want, but I would love to volunteer more in the court system with child abuse victims.

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

Pick your battles – especially in business. If something is too hard, too mysterious, or just takes more time than you have, then get help!

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/working-mom-interview-rachel-brenke/

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