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APRIL 2016 EDITION HOUSTON

MAGAZINE

Chairman John Cruise President/Executive Publisher Steve Levine Vice President/Publisher/ Creative Director/Editor Barbara Davis-Levine Associate Publisher Jerome G. Davis Graphic Designer Lavinia Menchaca Photographers Gwen Juarez

AND THE BEAT GOES ON…

Contributing Writers Sonia Clayton Barbara R. Davis Priscilla Duckworth Ruben Gonzalez Bruce Hurta Hank Moore Howard Partridge

Debbie Roman Christi Ruiz Kim Sawyer Gail Stolzenburg Tyler Turner Holly Uverity Aimee Woodall

Chief Advisor Hank Moore Publisher’s Advisory Board Denise Adjei Sonia Clayton Donna Cole John Cruise Dirk Cummins April Day Dr. John Demartini Maya Durnovo Kathie Edwards Mila Golovine Dory Gordon Greg Grant David Holt Richard Huebner Jeffrey Jones Darryl King Sandy Lawrence Craig Klein Wea Lee Bertrand McHenry

Hank Moore Lisa M. Morton Mike Muhney Leisa Holland Nelson Tony Noun Annise Parker Page Parkes Howard Partridge Susan Repka Maria Rios Grant Sadler Rita Santamaria William Sherrill Gail Stolzenburg Pam Terry Linda Toyota Jack Warkenthien Carlecia D. Wright Aaron Young

Phone: 832-419-2814 E-Mail: Steve.Levine@SBTMagazine.net Or Write: Small Business Today P.O. Box 31186 Houston, TX 77231 See us on the web at www.SBTMagazine.net

SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY LEGACY PUBLISHING GROUP, LLC. P.O. BOX 31186 HOUSTON, TX 77231 EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER - STEVE LEVINE: 832-419-2814 CHAIRMAN - JOHN CRUISE: 832-460-2020 WWW.SBTMAGAZINE.NET ADVERTISING RATES ON REQUEST. BULK THIRD CLASS MAIL PAID IN TUCSON, AZ. POSTMASTER: PLEASE SEND NOTICES ON FORM 3579 TO P.O. BOX 31186 HOUSTON, TX 77231. ALTHOUGH EVERY PRECAUTION IS TAKEN TO ENSURE ACCURACY OF PUBLISHED MATERIALS, SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR OPINIONS EXPRESSED OR FACTS SUPPLIED BY ITS AUTHORS. COPYRIGHT 2012, LEGACY PUBLISHING GROUP, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED.

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his Issue marks the 4th Anniversary of publishing Small Business Today Magazine. Now going into our 5th year, just as we have done at the beginning of each new year, we like to improve our publication by updating it and making other changes. Unfortunately, as Barbara can tell you, I am not very good at dealing with change. But, things never stay the same. If I had my way, the magazines that Barbara, John, and I publish would never change! But after 35 years in publishing here in Houston, I can tell you that every year or two the look and feel of a magazine needs to change.  It needs a fresher, cleaner look and feel to keep up with the preferences of our subscribers. Last May, just after we started our 4th year, we changed the look of the cover of the magazine and the masthead (logo) and most of the page layouts. With the cover change, we wanted to focus strictly on the individual being honored and less on the background of where we shot it. We dropped the editorial “call outs” from positioning on the front cover to the bottom of the cover. We felt these changes would give it a cleaner, more professional look. The feedback we received from you all was that you agreed with the changes. The other big change was a roll out of a new look of our website. We added an archive for our YouTube videos of our talk radio shows, a master calendar of all events offered by us and our strategic partners, and a search engine to search for editorials by topic. These last two items are still in the works. This month’s cover honoree, Mr. Ervin Hughes of Dominion Capital is a testimony that adversity is never an excuse for failure. His story is so compelling that he has even been a great inspiration to us in not giving up even though we are still dealing with the effects of being flooded twice in one year. We know when you read Ervin’s story that you will be equally inspired to never quit! Good Reading, Good Sales, & Success to You,

STEVE LEVINE

President/Executive Publisher, Small Business Today Magazine


INSIDE APRIL 2016 / EDITION HOUSTON

06

FEATURES

GFL@=;GN=J ERVIN HUGHES, JR. —

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Publisherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Column

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Drive Results with Commitment,  Consistency, and Momentum  

Progress and Growth Corporate Cultures Reflect Business      

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Getting Organized: The Importance of Planning

    

20 21

Resolve to Create Culture 

22

Using the F.A.I.L. Model to Leverage Success

23

Financial Astrology  for April 2016

Networking Disconnect 

  

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GPS for Phenomenal Success

PROFILE

Brice Everhart â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men A Precocious, Young Man with Very Grown-Up Dreams of Success

BY BARBARA R. DAVIS

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At Small Business Today Magazine, we love supporting minority, women, and veteran entrepreneurs but we especially love to help our â&#x20AC;&#x153;youthpreneursâ&#x20AC;?! SBTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite and youngest youthpreneur is Brice Everhart who has a 40-year-old businessmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind in a barely 9-year-old little boyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body! Even though Brice is in the gifted and talented program in KLVHOHPHQWDU\VFKRRODQGPDNLQJVWUDLJKW$ÂśVKHVWLOOÂżQGVWLPHWRUXQ is own business, Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men, where Brice designs and custom PDNHVIDVKLRQDFFHVVRULHVIRUPHQLQFOXGLQJĂ&#x20AC;RZHUODSHOSLQVSRFNHW squares, and bow ties. Brice was inspired to start his own business by witnessing the success his sister, Brooke Vallaire, has had with her own haute couture fashion design business, Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, which she started when she was 14 with the help from their mother. Brice and Brookeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother, Shareca Vallaire, is the founder of Success for Kidz and has been nurturing children for years in developing their potential for success in life. Always soft spoken and genteel, Shareca proudly reflected that Brice and Brooke are her greatest accomplishments. She is right to feel that way because both of them are confident, well-spoken, polite, caring, and free-thinking individuals. Not only are they highly intelligent, but they are high achievers as well. Since Brooke began her fashion business, she has gained recognition in a short period of time. Brookeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s custom designs have been commissioned by some very successful women in Houston including Kim Roxie, owner of LAMIK, and Judge Clarease Rankin Yates. In addition, Brookeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fashions were worn by the models on the Small Business Today Magazine cover featuring

Page Parkes. During this time, Brice has paid attention to all of the details. Regularly asking his mother questions regarding Brookeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business, Brice would also discuss various ideas he had about starting his own business. Since August 2015, Brooke began attending college in Dallas on a full scholarship in the field of fashion. That is when Brice told his mother that it was his turn to start his own business and that he wanted her to help him launch Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men, his own fashion line. When asked why he wanted to have his own business, Brice replied, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to help my mommy.â&#x20AC;? Not only has Shareca shown Brice how to run his business, but she has also taught him how to create his products. Wise beyond his years, Brice meticulously hand makes each accessory on his own while Shareca just supervises. Brice insists on being hands-on in all aspects of his business. He even selects the fabrics. Recently, when Shareca was with Brice shopping for fabric, the precocious, young man told his mother that he needed to stay current and wanted to add

a new selection of fabrics that included patterns such as Swiss dots and plaids. Although Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men has only been open for a short period of time, Brice is proud to have his accessories already being worn by many successful leaders including those on the cover of Small Business Today Magazine, Nelson Mandelaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s granddaughter - Ndileka Mandela, HMSDC President - Richard Huebner, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner! Brice looks forward in attending Small Business Today Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exclusive launch parties so that he can get the autographs of the successful business owners featured on the magazine covers. Always polite but never shy, Brice carries his little brief case filled with his wares and shows them off to prospective customers at these by-invitation-only events. When anyone is introduced to Brice, there is no doubt in their mind that this precocious, young man will achieve all of his grown-up dreams of success. Keep an eye on Brice; he is definitely going places!!!

To find out more about Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men, call 346-804-2496, send an email to VallairesforMen@Vallaires.com, or visit them on the web at www.Vallaires.com. Be sure to like Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men on Facebook. Brice is available for speaking engagements and also loves to help with nonprofit groups. Not only are Briceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s custom designed accessories great for men but women love them too. They are wonderful for bridal parties and Briceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flower lapel pins make lovely mementos for memorial occasions.

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PROFILE

Brice Everhart â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NYddYaj]k^gjE]f


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<geafagf;YhalYdEYfY_]e]fl Leading by Example that Adversity is No Excuse for Failure BARBARA R. DAVIS & PRISCILLA DUCKWORTH

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othing in Ervin Hughes’ life has ever come easy. His achievements have been the result of hard work, resourcefulness, positive thinking, and dogged determination. When Ervin was barely 17 years old, he experienced a devastating tragedy. There was every reason in the world for him to have spiraled downward, but instead, he chose to take the high road and live his life by example as a testimony that adversity is no excuse for failure. Many years later, after achieving success in the field of commercial banking, Ervin became keenly aware of the tremendous struggles small business owners were experiencing due to the American financial meltdown of 2008. Ervin knew that he could use his own personal experiences in overcoming adversity and inspire others to do the same. As a result, he and his wife, Veril, founded Dominion Capital Management to not only assist small business owners in accessing needed capital and lines of credit but to also help them achieve their business objectives by properly managing that capital and credit line.

Ervin and his lovely wife Veril are a terrific partnership in life and in business! Photo by Gwen Juarez

6 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ APRIL 2016 ]

Growing up in Houston, Ervin’s parents had always been good to him but they were not so good to each other. They drank heavily and fought often. One night, at age 17, Ervin had been in a dead sleep but was awakened by his father’s screams. Just as Ervin made it to the doorway of his parents’ bedroom, he witnessed his mother pointing a gun at his father. He then heard his father say to his mother, “What are you going to do with that gun, shoot


me?” His father then lunged at his mother and started to attack her as the gun went off. His father then staggered to the other side of the bed where Ervin was standing and fell into his arms. He looked up at Ervin and said, “Promise me that you won’t have any quit in you.” As Ervin said, “I promise”, his father’s blood suddenly sprayed all over Ervin’s face and pajamas as he died in Ervin’s arms. Ervin then looked up to see his mother pointing the gun at her own head. Ervin leapt across the bed toward her and grabbed her arm as she fired the gun. The bullet whizzed past his ear and barely missed his head. If it wasn’t bad enough that Ervin had witnessed his father’s death and mother’s attempt at suicide, his struggles were far from over. His mother was taken away by ambulance after she collapsed into a vegetative state, unable to deal with what she had done. Because his mother had suffered a mental breakdown and incapable of explaining what had occurred, Ervin was erroneously blamed by his father’s family as a participant in his father’s death. Rather than use his family’s tragedy as an excuse for giving up, Ervin was steadfast in moving forward. One of the first things he had to do was go to court to have himself emancipated because, as a 17-year-old, he could not receive his father’s life insurance which was needed to pay for his father’s funeral. Ervin also needed the funds to look after his mother who was institutionalized for quite some time after her mental breakdown. Although today Hughes helps others find the funds they need to survive in business, at only 17, he had to help himself find the funds necessary to survive. Always resourceful and determined, Ervin was able to attend college at Texas Tech on a full scholarship. After a period of time, Ervin found the need to return to Houston and transferred to the University of Houston. No longer on a scholarship, Ervin worked full time as a phlebotomist at Methodist Hospital and attended classes in the evening at U of H. At one point, he considered working in a division at American Ex-

press and took a test for the position. He was quite surprised to receive the highest score possible and was told that he had a very high aptitude in grasping the concept of finance. He didn’t accept the job but ultimately, years later, his propensity for finance led him into the field of commercial banking. Also, while attending U of H, Ervin first met Veril Randolph through mutual friends. The first thing he noticed about her was her red hair. She was a chemical engineering student, as were all of their mutual friends. Initially, Veril didn’t really like Ervin. She found him a bit too loud and brash. But after being around him for awhile, he kind of grew on her. One of the things that attracted Ervin so much about Veril was her “can do” spirit. Her can do spirit was also what motivated him to pursue her so doggedly. Eventually they dated for two years and now have been married for 32 years! In addition, they have three children, Ervin III, Ellena, and Evan. They are also blessed to have one grandson, Ellington. Long after marrying Veril, Ervin started working as a commercial banker for Central Bank. In 2003, he left the bank to start running a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program called the Community Express Loan Program (CELP) for Covenant Capital. It was the only SBA program at the time that was specifically targeted for small businesses that were minority and women owned. The CELP was targeted for companies in low to moderate income areas to foster entrepreneurship, free enterprise, and economic development. Ervin enjoyed it and did well. From 2003 to 2008, he and his associates were able to facilitate funding for more than 4,000 companies with an average loan size of around $30,000. Covenant Capital became the largest privately owned technical assistance provider in the country, but in 2008 when the financial meltdown occurred, they had few banks to work with. Basically, the banks had “turned the

switch off ” and were saying no to loans. As a result, Covenant Capital went out of business. So, rather than give up and surrender, Ervin moved ahead again, this time with his wife Veril plus two other partners, Derrick Jones and John Lewter, a U.S. Senate member (now retired). Dominion Capital was founded with Ervin as the president and Veril as the executive vice president. They started Dominion Capital to help business owners with their own struggles. Because small businesses couldn’t get access to money from the banks, they focused on helping more businesses get into government contracting. But, there was still a vacuum. As Ervin explains, “If you’re a government contractor and you win a contract but you don’t have the financial capacity to do the job, you’re going to get into trouble; it’s not if - it’s when.” Ervin continued, “In 2008, a lot of businesses were already doing government contracting. Many were running lines of credit from their banks only to have the bank say, for example, ‘You have a revolving line of credit of $100,000 but you’re only using $15,000 of it. So the good news is we’re going to take away your revolving line. Now, you’ve just been blessed with a loan for $15,000 dollars.’ That is called terming out, which means the business now does not have the flexibility of financial growth like it used to.” Dominion Capital realized that this was an area where they could be of the greatest help. For example, if a contractor is providing goods and services or construction to government agencies or government contracts at any level, Dominion Capital provides access to needed capital. Whether that is through lines of credit, loans, equipment leases, or unsecured capital, Dominion provides help. Office furniture, office vehicles, or anything a small business needs capital to pay for, Dominion provides that. But, as Ervin points out, Dominion is a non-traditional finance company; it is structured differently than banks and traditional finance companies. [ APRIL 2016 ] WWW.SBTMAGAZINE.NET 7


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Hughes elaborated, “Essentially, what we do is the opposite of what banks do. We seek to understand the business model of our client and then we design the financing to fit the model. In the traditional sense, the opposite is true. The business owner will go to the bank or whatever lending institution and they’ll ask, ‘What’s your interest rate? I need this much money; I want to do this with it,’ and so on. The lender dictates to them what they’re going to do. We do the exact opposite. We don’t take interest in the company at all. We literally are a capital management company, and that’s really the key.” Dominion Capital does two things: 1) It helps people get access to capital and credit, and 2) It helps them manage that capital and credit so that they can meet their business objectives. Dominion works with all types of lenders, from community development groups to financial institutions. For example, they work with groups like LiftFund, a nonprofit organization that helps finance new small businesses and startups. Ervin remarked, “A lot of people think, ‘Well, Dominion, you guys must be brokers.’ No, we are a hundred miles from being a broker.” Instead, Dominion provides the education, the training, and the assistance that business owners need upfront before they even get into the lending process. Many small business owners have no real clearcut path to how they’re going to get access to the capital and credit they need. Dominion is a niche organization that provides upfront education to help each business owner really focus on the right financial tool for that business based on his or her business model.

the face of the earth because our economic system works. And it works really well. Free enterprise works, but the idea about how our financial system works escapes many people.” Dominion had a client whose business bought raw material, created a product, and then sold the product. They needed funding, so they went to the bank, and the bank gave them a loan. As their business grew, the client bought more raw materials, created the product, and sold it. Their volume increased, and the client had to go back to the bank and get more money. This continued for a series of seven different cycles. When Ervin met the client, the business had seven concurrent loans going and the first one had not been paid off ! Most people can see where this is headed. The client then got a huge business opportunity and went back to the bank. This time, the bank said no. It wouldn’t loan this business any more money. The business owner was in need of help to manage the working capital that he was getting. Based on his business model, he should have never been getting a loan in the first place. Instead, he should have been using a revolving line of credit that could have moved up as his volume grew, but loans don’t do that.

Often, business owners are not aware of how different financial tools work because nobody educates them. So Dominion Capital provides that education and support. Once Dominion knows what a client’s needs are, it provides the client with a written proposal that the client can then approve or decline. Right upfront, they know what’s going to be done, when it’s going to be finished, what they’ve got to do, and what it’s going to cost. Dominion not only Ervin also teaches financial literacy to provides access to capital but also provides the community and does that free for busi- ongoing support to its clients as long as ness owners. He is certified by the FDIC to they’re willing to pay for that support. teach the Money Smart for Small Business As the Dominion developed and began course. Ervin says, “It is just education; it’s not a sales pitch or any of that. Here, we helping clients nationwide, it became more are in the United States, arguably today challenging to do everything in person. the richest country ever in the history of Now, Dominion uses webinars and social 8 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ APRIL 2016 ]

media to communicate so people around the country can get access to what Dominion is doing. Offices of business opportunity are great partners with Dominion including the Office of Business Opportunity, which helps people get started in business in Houston. They provide them with training to navigate the maze, which can include a lot of paperwork, permits, city filings, and so on. This is often a first step towards somebody being certified as a small business or as a woman-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned business. Another new business partner of Dominion’s is an old, multinational, multibillion-dollar partner that is supporting a program developed by Dominion called Government Contracts Made Simple (GCMS). This program that has been met with great reviews provides working capital credit lines of up to $100,000 for startup businesses that are going into government contracting. Dominion just implemented a new, unsecured business funding program. There are just a small number of banks that are still providing funding in the small business space. They are essentially doing cash lines of credit or revolving credit lines. Ervin explains, “We’ve basically licensed a system that allows us to take in and prequalify people up front without any fees. We give them an estimate on how we believe they could qualify and then they tell us whether to continue or whether to stop. If they want to continue, we put them through the process where they can raise anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000 per principal in their company.” That is what Ervin is doing differently with Dominion’s process. “Bankers take your application and somewhere down the road they’re going to run through all of these underwriting processes and checks and verifications. Nine times out of ten, you’re going to be declined because you’ve missed one of those steps. What we do is


At the center of Ervin and Veril’s world and the motivation for everything they do is their wonderful family. Despite Ervin’s very difficult upbringing, he was determined to break the cycle with a family whose roots are deep-seated in love, respect, spirituality, and empowerment. They are (left to right) Ellena (daughter), Johnathan (son-in-law), Evan (son), Ellington (grandson), Veril, Tammy (daughter-in-law), and Ervin III. Photo by Gwen Juarez.     

we say, ‘Okay, you want to get financing? Let’s take you through a prequalification process and all the stuff that the bank is going to do. If we find anything that’s going to give you trouble, we’re going to ferret that out and we’re going to fix it before you go in and put in an application,’” explained Hughes. As Ervin tells people, “Before you start looking for money, there are things that you need to do in your business, things that you need to put in place before you ever get in front of a lender. Taking care of credit problems is the first thing, even though it’s the last thing that someone with credit problems wants to look at. Often, credit files aren’t accurate. A lot of people get into trouble by just having the same name, similar zip codes, or similar social security numbers. Some people actually have accounts that are reported as late when the amount is in dispute between them and the creditor. Then there’s credit fraud and identify theft.” Ervin understands and says, “So my point is, when you stop and think about

how our credit system works, it leaves a lot to be desired as far as how accurate that credit profile is. If somebody says they have credit problems, we pull the client’s credit and verify how much of that data is accurate or obsolete. Then we educate our clients about their rights and their responsibilities under the law. We’re not attorneys but we make them aware of the resources that they can go to like credit.gov or ftc.gov to read about what their rights and responsibilities are. Then, they can take steps on their own to correct their credit.” Besides credit, another issue is income. Many people don’t know how much money they should be earning. Hughes explains, “Many financial experts tell you to cut up your credit cards. Eat beans and weenies. Don’t take your wife out to dinner. Cut back. Buy a tiny house. Drive a tiny car. It doesn’t sound fun because that’s not the way. We’re not even wired to do that! What’s interesting is they’re quick to tell you to basically stop your life and save your money. What they don’t talk about is what’s causing the problem. The

problem is not necessarily spending - the problem is income.” “Living below your means is good advice but the experts only talk about one side of the coin,” explains Ervin. “They don’t focus on how to fix the problem. It’s not enough to coupon your way into a million dollars. It’s not going to work. But entrepreneurship, capitalism, and free enterprise are elements of our society in America that allow people to increase their means. I want people to understand that it’s not enough to live frugally. You do need to live financially responsible and there is a difference.” Ervin believes that if you don’t know how much income you should be earning each month, then, you’re probably going to fail. Ervin travels all over the country and asks people if they know how much money they should be earning each month. Hughes explains, “I’m always amazed at no matter what income level or intellectual or educational level somebody might be at, they can never answer that question. I’ve learned that same thing about [ APRIL 2016 ] WWW.SBTMAGAZINE.NET 9


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want to discount the cost. They don’t want to pay for what it takes to be truly successful. “And I’m not talking about money,” Ervin points out. “I’m talking about the hours, the commitment, the tenaciousness, the finding a solution to a problem. Those are all the costs - the emotional costs, physical costs, mental costs, and intellectual costs. Oftentimes, I find people say they want to be an entrepreneur but they don’t want to pay the price for it. But, you’ve got to pay for it because you’re going to pay either way. You’re either going to pay the price for not making sufficient income, or you’re going to pay through hard work and dedication and eventually become successful.”

The Leadership Team at Dominion Capital Management are Ervin (President), Veril (E.V.P.), and Dundee Davis (Chief Credit Officer). Missing in photo is John Lewter (CEO). Photo by Gwen Juarez

credit while I was in banking. It was amazing to me because I saw it in the numbers. Everyone who made a substantial income paid their bills on time and people who didn’t make a substantial income never paid their bills on time. But, when you talk about credit, nobody wants to have the income conversation. That works great right up until you decide you want to be an entrepreneur. Those principals don’t work anymore. Those principals are designed for people who are wage earners. The minute they set up a business, the minute they start towards entrepreneurship, now they’ve got control over how well they can increase their income. Nobody is going to be successful on a budget when you simply don’t have the income to budget. That’s not an option.” Being a good entrepreneur is about considering all the options, acting on them, and then moving forward and Ervin is a perfect example of those skills. One minute, he was a 17-year-old high school student and the next minute, he was an adult with no parents around — one was in the hospital and the other was in the morgue. Somehow, through grace of God, he found the fortitude to handle everything. Ervin’s mother was never the same after that tragic night. Ervin took care of her because she

was his mother. Later, she developed lung disease and needed 24-hour care. In addition to Ervin, Veril and other family members also helped care for her. She was still very much the patriarch of Ervin’s family. When she went into a hospice, she told Ervin to get out of the business of taking care of her. She worried that Ervin would go bankrupt taking care of her and told him, “You’ve gone from a business owner to now a business owner and a caregiver. So, you’re getting hit twice and you’re expenses have doubled.” His mother passed away in 2012, and Ervin says he would do it all again. He says, “Because I’m an entrepreneur, thank God I didn’t have a job because I would not have been able to take care of her to the degree that we did. It was worth it to me to see my mother in her later years literally giggle like a schoolgirl because we were able to get her a brand new apartment. She could get around in her wheel chair, and she had her grandchildren around. We made it as positive of an atmosphere for her as we possibly could!”

Some business owners believe that just because they’re not making enough money, or they’ve failed at something, or lost a contract, or “crashed and burned” in business, they have surrendered. But, according to Ervin, they have not surrendered. Ervin believes that failure and surrender are two different things. “Some people have really bad attitudes about failure,” says Ervin. “People need to understand that failure is not something bad; failure is the asphalt that paves the way to success.”

Hughes is often asked how he overcame the trauma. He responds that he’s not so sure that he ever will, but through faith he has found a place to put it away so that he can function and move on. “If you don’t, that kind of pain and trauma can bleed over into your future,” explains Ervin. “You have to make a decision at some point that you’re going to recover and you’re going to move forward. And the same is true in business.” Ervin listens to many business owners who fight the struggles of being in business or the struggles of making their dreams come true, and they say they just can’t do it. But, Ervin doesn’t believe that. He is a shining example that adversity is no excuse for failure. He shares his story to inspire entrepreneurs to steady the course and not give up. Ervin stresses, “If you believe in what you’re Ervin believes that success comes with doing, and if you believe in the business a price and the cost of that is overcoming you’ve been blessed with, then it’s worth whatever problems or trauma you’re going sticking to until you’ve seen it through.” SBT through to end up successful. According to Ervin, so many people in business today

10 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ APRIL 2016 ]


=jnafk:]klOgj\kg^9\na[] 1. Do plan for your success. Don’t wing it.

6. Tell all of your customers and colleagues the truth, whether they like it or not.

2. Get help. No one knows everything. No one is good at everything. 7. Don’t quit. Failure does not mean you have surrendered. Failure is the asphalt 3. Pay the price and pay the whole price. that paves the way to success. Not just money but also time, energy, effort, and intellectual capital. Pay what 8. Every company, no matter how large or it’s going to cost to get where you say you small, is made up of finders, minders, want to go. and grinders. They are the people heading up the three basic components of 4. Don’t say you want one thing and then every business: administration, finance, do a hundred things contrary to what and operations. Stay in business long you just said you wanted. enough to find those folks. 5. Be honest and be fair.

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PROFILE

Brice Everhart â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men A Precocious, Young Man with Very Grown-Up Dreams of Success

BY BARBARA R. DAVIS

At Small Business Today Magazine, we love supporting minority, women, and veteran entrepreneurs but we especially love to help our â&#x20AC;&#x153;youthpreneursâ&#x20AC;?! SBTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite and youngest youthpreneur is Brice Everhart who has a 40-year-old businessmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind in a barely 9-year-old little boyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body! Even though Brice is in the gifted and talented program in KLVHOHPHQWDU\VFKRRODQGPDNLQJVWUDLJKW$ÂśVKHVWLOOÂżQGVWLPHWRUXQ is own business, Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men, where Brice designs and custom PDNHVIDVKLRQDFFHVVRULHVIRUPHQLQFOXGLQJĂ&#x20AC;RZHUODSHOSLQVSRFNHW squares, and bow ties. Brice was inspired to start his own business by witnessing the success his sister, Brooke Vallaire, has had with her own haute couture fashion design business, Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, which she started when she was 14 with the help from their mother. Brice and Brookeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother, Shareca Vallaire, is the founder of Success for Kidz and has been nurturing children for years in developing their potential for success in life. Always soft spoken and genteel, Shareca proudly reflected that Brice and Brooke are her greatest accomplishments. She is right to feel that way because both of them are confident, well-spoken, polite, caring, and free-thinking individuals. Not only are they highly intelligent, but they are high achievers as well. Since Brooke began her fashion business, she has gained recognition in a short period of time. Brookeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s custom designs have been commissioned by some very successful women in Houston including Kim Roxie, owner of LAMIK, and Judge Clarease Rankin Yates. In addition, Brookeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fashions were worn by the models on the Small Business Today Magazine cover featuring

Page Parkes. During this time, Brice has paid attention to all of the details. Regularly asking his mother questions regarding Brookeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business, Brice would also discuss various ideas he had about starting his own business. Since August 2015, Brooke began attending college in Dallas on a full scholarship in the field of fashion. That is when Brice told his mother that it was his turn to start his own business and that he wanted her to help him launch Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men, his own fashion line. When asked why he wanted to have his own business, Brice replied, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to help my mommy.â&#x20AC;? Not only has Shareca shown Brice how to run his business, but she has also taught him how to create his products. Wise beyond his years, Brice meticulously hand makes each accessory on his own while Shareca just supervises. Brice insists on being hands-on in all aspects of his business. He even selects the fabrics. Recently, when Shareca was with Brice shopping for fabric, the precocious, young man told his mother that he needed to stay current and wanted to add

a new selection of fabrics that included patterns such as Swiss dots and plaids. Although Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men has only been open for a short period of time, Brice is proud to have his accessories already being worn by many successful leaders including those on the cover of Small Business Today Magazine, Nelson Mandelaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s granddaughter - Ndileka Mandela, HMSDC President - Richard Huebner, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner! Brice looks forward in attending Small Business Today Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exclusive launch parties so that he can get the autographs of the successful business owners featured on the magazine covers. Always polite but never shy, Brice carries his little brief case filled with his wares and shows them off to prospective customers at these by-invitation-only events. When anyone is introduced to Brice, there is no doubt in their mind that this precocious, young man will achieve all of his grown-up dreams of success. Keep an eye on Brice; he is definitely going places!!!

To find out more about Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men, call 346-804-2496, send an email to VallairesforMen@Vallaires.com, or visit them on the web at www.Vallaires.com. Be sure to like Vallaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Men on Facebook. Brice is available for speaking engagements and also loves to help with nonprofit groups. Not only are Briceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s custom designed accessories great for men but women love them too. They are wonderful for bridal parties and Briceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flower lapel pins make lovely mementos for memorial occasions.


EDITORIAL FEATURE

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;gjhgjYl];mdlmj]kJ]Û][l:mkaf]kk BY HANK MOORE, CORPORATE STRATEGIST

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very business, company, or organization goes through cycles in its evolution. At any point, each program or business unit is in a different phase from the others. Every astute organization assesses the status of each branch on its Business Tree™ and orients its management and team members to meet constant changes and fluctuations. It’s not that some organizations click and others do not but multiple factors cause momentum or the lack thereof. As companies operate, all make honest and predictable mistakes. Those with a willingness to learn from the mistakes and pursue growth will be successful. Others will remain stuck in frames of mind that set themselves up for the next round of defeat or, at best, partial success. The saddest fact is that businesses do not always know that they’re doing anything wrong. They do not realize that a big picture must exist or what it could look like. They have not been taught or challenged on how to craft a big picture. Managers, by default, see band-aid surgery as the only remedy for problems. Is it any wonder that organizations stray off course? Perhaps no course was ever charted. Perhaps the order of business was to put out fires as they arose rather than practicing preventive safety on the kindling organization.

,DYq]jkg^Gj_YfarYlagfkl`Yl?g :Y\l`jgm_`K]d^%afÛa[l]\;jak]k 1. Self Destructive Intelligence - There exists a logic override. Since the company does not believe itself to be smart

enough to do the right things, then it creates a web of rationalism. Since the mind often plays tricks on itself, management capitalizes upon that phenomenon with people who may question or criticize. 2. Hubris - This quality destroys those who possess it. Such executives exhibit stubborn pride, believing their own spin doctoring, and surrounding themselves with people who spin quite well on their behalf. They adopt a “nobody does it as well as we can” mentality. Such companies scorn connections, collaborations, and partnering with other organizations.

4.

5.

6.

7. 3. Narcissism - Company executives possess excessive conceit. They are disconnected from outside forces, self-centered, and show a cruel indifference to others. The view is that the world must gratify them. 4. Collective Stupidity - Such organizations have totally reshaped reality to their own viewpoints. The emperor really has no clothes, but everyone overlooks the obvious and avoids addressing it forthrightly. The organization dumbs down the overall intelligence level so that people are in the dark and cannot readily make judgment calls. Some departmental units do not interface with others.

/<]^]Ylaf_Ka_fk^gj?jgol`;gehYfa]k 1. Systems are not in place to handle rapid growth. 2. Their only interest is in booking more new business rather than taking care of what they’ve already got. 3. Management is relying upon financial people as the primary source of

14 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ APRIL 2016 ]

advice while ignoring the rest of the picture. Team empowerment suffers. Morale is low or uneven. Commitment from workers drops because no corporate culture was created or sustained. Customer service suffers during fast-growth periods. They have to back-pedal and recover customer confidence by doing surveys. People do not have the same vision as the company founder who has likely not taken enough time to fully develop a vision and obtain buy-in from others. Company founder remains arrogant and complacent, losing touch with marketplace realities and changing conditions.

Everything we are in business stems from what we have been taught or not taught. A career is all about devoting resources to amplifying talents and abilities with relevancy toward a viable end result. Business evolution is an amalgamation of thoughts, technologies, approaches, and commitment of the people who ask such insightful questions such as: r 8IBUXPVMEZPVMJLFGPSZPVBOEZPVS organization to become? r )PXJNQPSUBOUJTJUUPCVJMEBOPSHBnization well, rather than constantly spend time in managing conflict? r 8IPBSFZPVSDVTUPNFST r %P TVDDFTTGVM DPSQPSBUJPOT PQFSBUF without a strategy-vision? r %P ZPV BOE ZPVS PSHBOJ[BUJPO QSFTently have a strategy-vision?

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EDITORIAL FEATURE

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;geeale]fl$;gfkakl]f[q$Yf\Ege]flme BY DEBBIE ROMAN & TYLER TURNER, FOUNDERS OF TYDE MIND & BODY

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hen you start a workout program there are a lot of things that can derail your goals or keep you from truly succeeding in what your want. No matter if you are trying to lose weight, increase your cardiovascular endurance, increase your muscular strength, develop more energy to take care of the everyday tasks, or to flat out just look and feel better, commitment, consistency, and momentum are the three crucial pillars that drive results.

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task regardless of the outside forces that may detour you. If you write down what workouts you have completed, it will help you stay consistent as well as help you develop patterns of healthy behavior. This is a form of self-monitoring and it is a way of truly knowing your current behaviors and realizing the progress you are making toward new behaviors. Behavior is the force that drives everything that we do. If you can develop some consistent, healthy behavior patterns, you are now two thirds of the way to succeeding throughout your workout program.

r$PNNJUNFOUis the first pillar. True commitment is pushing your self when no one else is around. It is critical that you establish realistic, clear goals. It is also imperative that you have a complete understanding what is at stake and acknowledge that there will be challenges you will have to face in the future. There will be cravings for bad food, days you don’t feel like putting in the effort, as well as people and other distractions that will threaten to detour you from your objective. It is important to be aware of the things that can contribute to derailing your success, including: self-generated time-wasters, lack of organization, procrastination, and the inability to say no. All of these can be challenges but the good news is that they are the easiest to control. If you can accept the fact that these things are inevitable and you have a strategy implemented towards dealing with them as they occur, you’ve won a third of the battle!

r .PNFOUVN is the third and final pillar. The reason for momentum being the third pillar is because, sometimes, we can get caught up in a negative state due to stressors related to work, family, financial, or whatever the case may be. These stressors can cause us to instantly forget about all the things that we have accomplished so far since starting the program. We also shouldn’t start thinking about programs that might have not worked in the past nor blame ourselves for the failure. We need to focus on the positive and take time to reflect on our why – why we started the program in the first place. It is extremely important that our goals are realistic ones and that we don’t expect to accomplish too much too soon. Reflecting on the small victories and carrying that momentum forward with you is the crucial third piece of the equation. It also helps you to keep momentum by not trying to do it alone. Either have a workout buddy to compete with or get a personal trainer who will give you the support you need to stay focused and keep up the momentum. SBT

r$POTJTUFODZ is the second pillar and is extremely important. Everyone is very eager to start a workout program, to do something proactive and ultimately beneficial for their health. But this type of intensity can be very difficult to maintain over a prolonged period of time, especially when the desired results may not be immediately forthcoming. Consistency is necessary for any program to be successful. When you are consistent with something, it means you have developed a discipline to focus part of your day to that specific 16 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ APRIL 2016 ]

Debbie Roman and Tyler Turner, TYDE Mind & Body founders, believe in delivering greatness. Both Debbie and Tyler are nationally certified health coaches with ACE. Debbie is certified as a Change Manager with PROSCI and Tyler is certified in Trigger Point Therapy and Myofascial Release Techniques. By using their own unique combination of personal training and coaching, they empower clients to transform their lives and get the results that they never before dreamed were possible. You can contact them at 281-620-3703 or visit them on the web at www.tydemindandbody.com.


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EDITORIAL FEATURE

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The Importance of Planning BY HOLLY UVERITY, CPOÂŽ, OFFICE ORGANIZERS

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ever underestimate the importance of planning. Period!

someone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to get back on your own track?

When people are asked how much time they spend planning, they normally say things like:

Planning is essential in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business environment â&#x20AC;&#x201C; specifically because there are fires to be put out and your coworkers and bosses have needs and demands that must be met.

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*EPOUIBWFUJNFUPQMBO *NBMXBZTQVUUJOHPVUĂłSFT /P NBUUFS IPX * QMBO NZ UJNF  JU @]j]Yj]bmklY^]oj]YkgfklghdYf2 never happens so I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bother anymore. To See the Big Picture .Z UPEP MJTU JT UPP MPOH TP * EPOU r)PXEPFTXIBUZPVSFEPJOHĂłUJOUP know where to begin. everything else thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on?

People often think that planning is a waste of their time; that the time they spend planning could be better spent on actually DOING something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on their list. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the fallacy because planning is never a waste of time. One of the fundamentals of diving is to never get into the water without a dive plan. On the surface, you and your dive buddy determine how long the dive will be, how deep youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll go, where youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll go, what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do if you get separated, what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do if thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an emergency underwater, and anything else thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique to that dive. In the course of creating your dive plan, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also creating your contingency plan. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a rule in diving that says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Plan your dive and dive your plan.â&#x20AC;? That is definitely not a waste of time. So why canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you create a rule that says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Plan your work and work your planâ&#x20AC;?? Why canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you spend quality time planning instead of putting out fires? Why canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you create contingency plans so that when your plans get derailed by

To See the Details r8IBUTTMJQQJOHUISPVHIUIFDSBDLT 5P.FFU:PVS(PBMT r)PXEPFTXIBUZPVSFEPJOHĂłUXJUI what you want to accomplish?

To Be Flexible r)PXDBOZPVRVJDLMZTIJGUHFBSTJGZPV have no room for movement? Think of time in terms of different sized containers. Your day is a small container; your week is a larger one that holds your days; and your month is an even larger one that holds your weeks. You can expand this thinking to include your quarters and your year, each holding the other sized containers. You know that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t haphazardly put items in a container and find what you need. If you haphazardly put items (tasks) into your day, week, or month containers, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll end up with a jumbled, disorganized mess.

Break your work into manageable chunks and then start mindfully placing your to-dos, tasks, and projects into your To Determine Resources r)PXXJMMZPVHFUXIBUZPVOFFEJGZPV day, week, and month containers. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fill your containers to the brim because donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what you need? just as you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find anything in an overTo Work Proactively Instead of Reac- stuffed drawer, you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get your work accomplished if you overstuff your day. tively r)PXZPVDBOZPVDSFBUFBOZUIJOHJO As youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re planning, be sure to leave plenyour work if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re always working reac- ty of time unscheduled so you can be flexible when priorities change and your tively? work shifts. 5P (FU #BDL PO 5SBDL 8IFO :PVWF As we begin a new quarter, this is the #FFO 1VMMFE "XBZ 'SPN :PVS 0XO perfect time to shift your thinking and Work r)PXDBOZPVHFUCBDLUPZPVSXPSLJG move into a new, organized way of workyou donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re supposed to ing. SBT be doing? Office Organizers is The Entrepreneurâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Organizer. Founded in

5P$MFBSMZ*EFOUJGZ8IBUT*NQPSUBOU 1993, they work with business people to create solutions for their UP:PV organizational challenges. Contact them at 281.655.5022, r8IZTQFOEZPVSUJNF NPOFZBOEFO- www.OfficeOrganizers.com, or www.fb.com/OfficeOrganizers. ergy on low payoff items?

18 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ APRIL 2016 ]


EDITORIAL FEATURE

?HK^gjH`]fge]fYdKm[[]kk BY HOWARD PARTRIDGE

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ave you ever used a GPS (Global Positioning System)? Of course you have! GPS is used by many to get from point to point these days. When I started my business almost 30 years ago, we used something called a map and it was made of this interesting material called paper!

But today, we simply get out our smart phones and it gives you turn-by-turn directions to get you to your destination. Do you know where you want to go? Are you clear about where you want to go in life and in business? And more importantly, do you really know where you are now? The first thing a GPS does is determine where you are. In addition, it is the first step toward getting you where you want to go. One of the biggest weaknesses one can have is not being able to accurately assess where they presently are.

vital that you create a really good map and follow it closely. S is for Systems. You must choose what vehicles you will use on this amazing and exceedingly important journey. Your business is a vehicle, and like any vehicle, it has a number of systems that work together to operate it. A bicycle has the wheel system - the gears, the frame, the braking, and steering systems all work together as a system. An automobile has a number of systems such as the combustion system, the drive train system, and the steering system that work together. A Boeing 747 aircraft has many systems that work together and can take a lot of people a long way!

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There are five systems of a business that make up the vehicle necessary to get you where you want to go and help you stay there: 1. Marketing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything you do to attract prospects. 2. Sales â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything you do to convert prospects into customers. 3. Operations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything you do to serve your customers, clients, patients, or guests. 4. Administration â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything you do to track the numbers. 5. Leadership â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Everything you do to guide your business.

(JTGPS(PBMT Without clearly defined goals, you will never know where you are going or if and when you will get there. You must have clearly defined life goals and business goals. They must be written down. They must be yours. They must be meaningful to you. They must be specific and measurable.

The stronger the systems, the smoother they work together and the better your trip will be. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no fun running out of gas or breaking down on the side of the road! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no fun having to rely on a vehicle that is falling apart, which is the case for many small businesses.

Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s say you want to go to Orlando, Florida but you have been blindfolded, driven around for hours, and dropped by the side of an unmarked road. Unless you know where you are, you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get to Florida, let alone Orlando. On the other hand, when you have a GPS, it locates where you are and you can type in Orlando and it will give you step-by-step directions to get there.

P is for Plans. You need a map. Would you try to go somewhere youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never been without a map? You need to have a simple business plan that includes your business goals, your mission, a 12-month budget, and a marketing plan. It sounds like a lot but it can be really simple. It is

So, set your Goals. Develop your Plan. And build Systems in your business. SBT Howard Partridge, President of Phenomenal Products, Inc. and International Business Coach, is the author of 7 Secrets of a Phenomenal L.I.F.E. and 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business. Get a Free CD that reveals the 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business by visiting his website at www.HowardPartridge.com/SBT. [ APRIL 2016 ] WWW.SBTMAGAZINE.NET 19


EDITORIAL FEATURE

J]kgdn]lg ;j]Yl];mdlmj] BY AIMEE WOODALL

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f you haven’t already planned for this in your first quarter, now is the time to resolve to create culture. Before you make any other changes to your company, you need to figure out who you are, what you stand for, and how people can participate in it. That might sound like a tall order, and it just might be, but it takes a lot of thought, evaluation, and consideration to figure out what’s most important and creating culture is the most important work you can do. Don’t let that hard work part scare you off. You probably already have enough on your plate but creating your unique culture is a natural process of paying attention to how you operate and you are probably already doing it and didn’t even know it! Going into your second quarter, it’s a good time to write down all the ways you’re going to be a better, tougher, and stronger business owner than you were in your first quarter. Start building your culture from the inside out, starting with these three tips.

)&Cfgoqgmjk]d^& To find your culture, you have to start with yourself. As a business owner, your company is an extension of YOU, so it makes sense that your culture is something that has a lot in common with your values and your personality. Identify ways that you can translate your quirks and superpowers into making people feel welcome, valued, and part of a bigger story.

can do that by establishing special terminology, rituals, team huddles, high fives, or other things that people can relate to. For example, take a moment to be grateful for the small things and celebrate these tiny victories with your team. You can do it each Friday and call it Champagne Friday. It’s important to notice and appreciate the hard work your team does each week. Not only should they be aware of how proud you are of them, they need to be proud of themselves.

+&Afnal]h]ghd]lghYjla[ahYl]& Like Champagne Friday, you have to have an element of participation in your culture no matter where they encounter it. Invite people in so they can be part of the experience by sharing your culture internally as part of your recruitment and ongoing efforts. Roll out your culture externally by sharing photos, quotes, or other elements of your culture on your website and social media. By creating a culture, you create something people can relate to. You give them information about who you are and how you operate, offering a human side to your business and a story for people to follow along with. Your culture is your strongest asset as a business owner. It markets you; it guides you; it compels you to look closely at what makes you unique; and it shows that to the world. Instead of resolving to work for one hour each day on your networking skills, do this instead. SBT

*&K`goo`YleYc]kqgmmfaim]& Step one had you diving deep into knowing what makes you special; step two is grabbing a bullhorn and shouting those truths from the rooftops. You have to be ambassador number one for your culture and demonstrate it to your employees, customers, and community. You 20 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ APRIL 2016 ]

Aimee Woodall is the owner of the Black Sheep Agency, a Houston-based strategic brand shop specializing in cause-driven marketing, public relations, social media, and community outreach. You can contact Amy by phone at 832-971-7725, by email at aimee@theblacksheepagency. com, or visit the website at www.theblacksheepagency.com.


BY GAIL STOLZENBURG

A

re you one of those people who are unsuccessful in networking? Is it because the people you are talking with are unreceptive? Does it have to do with your approach? Are you talking too much about yourself rather than asking questions about them? Maybe it is a case of “Networking Disconnect”. Imagine a group of experienced networkers in a room when they are asked, “Who came here today to make contacts, get some referrals, or even make a sale?” Almost every hand is raised. Then the question is asked, “Who came here to buy?” and no hand is raised. They all claim they believe in the Zig Ziglar quote, “You can get anything you want in this life if you just help enough other people get what they want” and they also say that they practice the law of reciprocity. But their actions speak louder than their words. They forgot the principles of servant leadership and paying it forward. That is what’s called a networking disconnect.

Networking requires work and it requires keeping your ego in check by focusing on what you can do for someone else rather than what you can receive in the form of instant gratification. It requires more of working on yourself than selling yourself to others. “Attracting and engaging” is better than “pursuing and convincing”. You have heard that an attitude of service begins at home and that also translates into networking. It begins when you wake up and look in the mirror. Are you in your best “state of mind” to attend a networking event? Your presence and your confidence are what people notice first. It you are in a lesser “state of mind”, another networking disconnect situation might occur. People like to tell you about their USP (“unique selling position”). When they do talk about it, the focus should be on providing solutons, solving problems, and offering resources. Businesses are about relationships and relationships are built on trust and rapport. If you go for the close before that trust is built, there is going to be a networking disconnect. It may be difficult to accept, but people will not care in the least about who you are and what products you have until they know that

AeY_af]Y_jgmhg^]ph]ja]f[]\f]logjc]jkafYjgge o`]fl`]qYj]Ykc]\$ O`g[Ye]`]j]lg\YqlgeYc] [gflY[lk$_]lkge]j]^]jjYdk$gj]n]feYc]YkYd]7  9degkl]n]jq`Yf\akjYak]\&L`]fl`]im]klagfakYkc]\$

O`g[Ye]`]j]lgZmq7 Yf\fg`Yf\akjYak]\& you sincerely care about who they are and what their problems and needs are. One of the best or worst examples of the networking disconnect is “upchucking” (also called premature solicitation), where you talk about how great your company is, how great your products are, and how great you are. The person whom you are talking with may appear to be listening, but the odds are that they have already decided to never get near you again! Another way to avoid a networking disconnect is to have a reputation for being professional and that you are consistent not just face-to-face but also on social media. In addition, it helps to be memorable so make sure that your conversation is interesting, that you use effective body language, and that any commitments you make are kept. Last but not least, make sure that you follow-up in a timely fashion. You will avoid the all too common way of networking disconnect if you use this simple follow-up formula when meeting new contacts called the 24/7/30. When you meet someone at a networking event, drop them a note within the first 24 hours; within 7 days connect with them on social media; and, finally, within 30 days reach out to them to set up a face-to-face meeting. Most importantly, make sure that when you do reach out to them, your communication needs to be memorable, personable, and that it reminds them how you can help them with their needs. This will help you establish an excellent referral partnership and avoid the disconnect. SBT Gail “The Connector” Stolzenburg’s new book, “CONNECTIONS: Contacts to Clients”, was recently released. For more information, Gail can be contacted by phone at 281-493-1955, by email at Gail@GailStolzenburg.com, or visit his website at www.GailStolzenburg.com.

[ APRIL 2016 ] WWW.SBTMAGAZINE.NET 21

EDITORIAL FEATURE

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EDITORIAL FEATURE

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Model to Leverage Success BY KIM SAWYER

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ailure is a fact of life. People fail all the time. In fact, in order to succeed, you have to fail. There is little incentive to move to the next level when you’re succeeding where you are, right? You’re about to learn how one executive used a powerful technique we call the F.A.I.L. Model to leverage a period of failure in his career to wind up at a point of phenomenal success.

The F.A.I.L. Model is a valuable technique to very simply and practically turn failure into success, and it involves much more than just making lemonade when life gives you lemons. It works like this: r 'BJMVSF Something in your life has you up against your limitations and things begin to go wrong for no apparent reason. Choice of response: Blame it or own it. r "UUFOUJPO You recognize and take ownership for the difficulties and accept that the solutions are in you. Choice of response: Deny it or accept it. r *OUFHSBUJPO You learn and practice new ways to become competent. Choice of response: Avoid it or practice it. r -BVODI Your competence at the new ways gels into mastery, and you begin to operate almost effortlessly. Choice of response: Hang on to it or surrender it. At each stage you will encounter a pivotal choice of response and choosing rightly is the price of admission to the next stage. These steps take the specific qualities and components of any failure

DgmZ]_Yflgafl]_jYl]o`Yl`] gZk]jn]\aflgYhjg[]kkg^\ak[gn]jq lgÚf\`akhYkkagfYf\\]l]jeaf]Y f]o[Yj]]jhYl`& and leverage them to create a higher level of achievement and success than would be possible if the failure had never occurred.

K]]`goalogjckafhjY[la[]2 Lou was at the top of his game, or so it seemed. He had been a Senior VP at one of the country’s top airlines for many years, was earning big money, and was respected throughout the industry. Yet he was failing. Unsatisfied and unhappy, he felt lost. He had reached a point where he wanted to quit, retire, or find a new career. In other words, he was experiencing what many executives experience as they achieve high levels of success. In one-on-one coaching sessions that focused his attention on the factors that were affecting his experience of life, Lou came to realize he had not been proactive in going after the assets that would form a complete life portfolio. He had assumed the aspects of his career that didn’t suit him were just negatives he would have to accept. He reevaluated his options and further realized that he didn’t necessarily have to quit his job to change his career. Lou began to integrate what he observed into a process of discovery to find his passion and determine a new career path. He engaged his superiors at work to let them know he was dissatisfied and have them explore ways to resolve his concerns. His explorations led him to realize his real calling was to lead a gov-

22 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ APRIL 2016 ]

ernment agency or NGO involving the international economic redevelopment. He and his coach built a powerful résumé. Then he started to talk to recruiters so that he could begin a process of discreet strategic networking. One day, quite out of the blue, Lou received a call from someone who didn’t even know he was looking and offered him an opportunity to direct the efforts of the State Department to rebuild the transportation infrastructure of a wartorn nation. It was a two-year commitment. He approached his CEO and asked him if he could take the position and still keep his job with the airline. His boss not only embraced the idea, he figured out a plan to use Lou’s position to benefit the airline, and gave Lou a substantial bonus to boot. His assumption that he would have to quit not only proved to be false, the opportunity became a win-win for everyone involved. This was Lou’s launch into a new level of success that never would have been possible without his initial failure. But the F.A.I.L. process doesn’t end there. His experience in his overseas post was richly rewarding, and when he returned to his old company, he was given a promotion to an exciting new position, plus a raise. But then something odd began to happen. The new position turned out to be project-specific with a lifespan of only a year, after which he would be left with no path for advancement at his level of leadership within the company. And thus the fail cycle began again.

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EDITORIAL FEATURE

>afYf[aYd9kljgdg_q ^gj9hjad*(). BY CHRISTI RUIZ, BUSINESS, SPIRITUAL, AND INTUITIVE LIFE COACH

"3*&4 .BSDI   "QSJM  The Sun unites with Uranus on the 9th to produce disruptions. It can be volatile or destabilizing. On the 7th Uranus and Aries New Moon come together with Pluto to create triggers for conflict with those around you. Mars goes retrograde until the end of June so keep your eyes on your bank account numbers and other relevant paper work.

when everything you do matters on your work and business activities. You have 3 retrogrades (look inward) Mars in Sagittarius on the 17th until end of June, Pluto retrograde 1st of July, and Mercury retrograde on the 28th. These all come together for it being a time for you to reassess, reconsider, or revaluate your business.

5"6364 "QSJM.BZ The Sun in Aries square (obstacle) with Pluto on the 6th creates challenges, frustrations, and new strategies. The New Moon in Aries creates an inner problem of worry or limitation. Mars goes retrograde (look inward) on the 17th and Mercury goes retrograde on the 28th creating signs to look for of weaknesses or flaws.

7*3(0 "VHVTU   4FQUFNCFS 

The Sun squares (obstacle) Pluto on the 6th which influences your relationship with money and your commitment to your business. Aries New Moon on the 7th brings unexpected moods and routines. Venus retrogrades (look inward) on the 17th till late June; make sure your communications are clear and understood or received.

(&.*/* .BZ+VOF On the 5th and 18th Saturn trines (luck) the Sun and Venus in Aries that will give you a positive impact on any of your partnerships. On the 22nd Scorpio Full Moon creates sudden or immediate money opportunities. Mercury retrograde (look inward) on the 28th until the end of June encourages positive feedback, understanding, and goodwill. $"/$&3 +VOF   +VMZ  The Sun square (obstacle) Pluto on the 6th makes it difficult to express your feelings. Pluto retrograde (look inward) on the 18th is a good time to consider your resentments, inner power, and need to be calm. On the 22nd Scorpio Full Moon you should be cautious about the people you associate in business with and reassess your involvements. -&0 +VMZ"VHVTU The Sun on the 19th and Venus on the 29th is a time

-*#3" 4FQUFNCFS   0DUPCFS 

The Sunâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Pluto square (obstacles) will make you use your diplomatic abilities instead of forceful ways to influence others. Plutoâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Uranus are engaged to Aries New Moon on the 7thand draw your line on commitment and competition. You will be tested with power struggles. Mars in Sagittarius goes retrograde (look inward) on the 17th until June which makes it a great time for self-analysis and also a time to rethink your fiscal agenda.

4"(*55"3*64 /PWFNCFS   %F DFNCFS This month is for creative and self expression to be used all month. This is a great time to review and revise your business. On the 18th Pluto retrograde (look inside) brings intense focus to financial affairs and growth. Scorpio Full Moon on the 22nd makes it a time to rejuvenate your mind-body-spirit for better health so you can move forward in your business. $"13*$03/ %FDFNCFS   +BO VBSZ Aries and the New Moon on the 7th bring unstable, unexpected events. Much is going on with Mars in Sagittarius retrograde (look inward) from the 17th until the end of June and will make you feel confined or trapped. Pluto turns retrograde (look inward) on the 18th which will bring power struggles. On the 22nd Scorpio Full Moonâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; with Venus conjoins Uranus to create exciting situations and new business opportunities.

"26"3*64 +BOVBSZ   'FCSVBSZ  On the 7th Uranus-Pluto charged Aries New Moon precedes the 9th Sun-Uranus conjunction (new beginnings) in businesses and will make you feel that you should use out-of-the-box, new ideas. Mars retrograde (look inward) on the 17th brings the need for growth and 4$031*0 0DUPCFS   /PWFNCFS evolution. Promote your reevaluation  Aries energy on the 5th brings frus- in business relationships. Scorpio Full trations and drains your energy. Aries Moon on the 22nd makes you watch for New Moon on the 9th brings roller coast- breakthroughs, or changes in your busier-like emotions. Mars retrograde (look ness or work, and can add coins to your inward) on the 17th until late June. This coffers. is the time to reconsider income and assets. Reexamine what you earn and ;gflafm]\GfHY_]*, spend money on.

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[ APRIL 2016 ] WWW.SBTMAGAZINE.NET 23


Âť;gflafm]\>jge HY_]), Progress and Growth Corporate Cultures Reflect Business

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r "SFCVTJOFTTFTSFBMMZMPPLJOHGPSDSFBUJWFJEFBT 8IZ r *GOPDIBOHFPDDVST JTUIFSFTFBSDIBOETFMGSFĂ´FDUJPO worth anything?

1*4$&4 'FCSVBSZ   .BSDI   Uranus-Pluto fueled Aries New Moon creating a conjunction (new beginning) with Sun-Uranus makes you focus on your fiscal and income matters and can set off emotional triggers. Mars retrograde (look inward) on the 17th makes it time for review and revision about finances. The conjunction (new beginnings) of Venus-Uranus will bring about your desire for risk. Scorpio Full Moon on the 22nd will make you desire to explore foreign opportunities.

Failure to prepare for the future spells certain death for businesses and industries in which they function. The same analogies apply to personal lives, careers, and bodies of work. Greater business awareness and heightened self-awareness are compatible and part of a holistic journey of growth. Hank Moore has advised over 5,000 client organizations including public sector agencies, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and 100 of the Fortune 500. Contact Hank by phone at 713-668-0664, by email at hankmoore4218@sbcglobal.net, or visit his website at www.hankmoore.com. Hankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new book â&#x20AC;&#x153;Houston Legendsâ&#x20AC;? can be ordered at www.houstonlegends.net.

Financial Astrology for April 2016

Christi Ruiz is a business and spiritual life coach. She uses her skills to assist with oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success in real estate, business, and personal matters. In addition, Christiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s many years of experience working for banks and mortgage companies gives her an extra edge in understanding the world of finance. You can contact Christi by phone at 713-773-0333-O or at 281-904-2658-C. Her email addresses are christiruizchristi@yahoo.com and christisportals15@yahoo.com and her website is www.ChristiRuiz.com.

Âť;gflafm]\>jge HY_]** Using the F.A.I.L. Model to Leverage Success So, he immediately applied the F.A.I.L. model again â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this time with deliberate intention â&#x20AC;&#x201C; focusing attention on the realities and possibilities, integrating his findings into a plan to faithfully practice new behaviors and ways of thinking, and launching into an even higher level of his career. The end result of this cycle through the process was that even before his project at the airline ended, he had already landed his dream job as the high profile executive director of a prominent government agency and launched once again to a higher level of accomplishment. What would have happened to Lou if he had blamed his company for his dissatisfaction and resigned? Of course, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never know, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safe to say that his use of the F.A.I.L. model in pursuit of a richer, more satisfying career played a substantial role in Lou being catapulted through several levels of success! President of theWealthSourceÂŽ, LLC, Kim Sawyer is also a highly-respected executive coach, business facilitator, and engaging professional speaker. To find out more, visit Kimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at www.theWealthSource.com or contact him by email at kimsawyer@ thewealthsource.com.

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