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Dr. Karen’s


Monday Greeting!

Start with PURPOSE!!!

efore we can move forward in life, we should know, without a doubt, our purpose for being on the earth.

Letter from the Editor

My purpose is to assist visionaries implement their visions and goals within ministry and in the marketplace. I am passionate about providing strategies, resources, and support. When I am doing that, I am fulfilled. I feel accomplished and have a sense of satisfaction. Implementing strategies is something that I do well. One of the most fascinating things about being a strategist is having the freedom to be innovative. Believe it or not, you actually have what you


Strategy is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve major or overall vision. In order to implement vision and goals, creating strategy is a must. It’s the organizational foundation on how to implement vision and goals. The strategy is the “how” something is implemented. If two people have the same vision, the one with the best strategy will implement quicker while using less resources. Have a great month and don’t forget to implement strategy for your goals. Dr. Karen S. Ratliff Editor In Chief, I Love Mondays with Dr. Karen

Letter from the Editor

Not knowing who we are, what we were created to be, and why we were born can damage and detour our journey. If we know our purpose, we can work daily towards fulfillment in life because we are doing what we are called to do. You can sometimes identify your purpose by acknowledging your passion.

need inside of you. You remember that time in your life when everything seemed impossible to accomplish, right? Yes, the time when you felt overwhelmed and insecure about getting things done.

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Rainy Day Savings Funds Tip! 3 powerful apps that can help accelerate your savings funds.


Understanding balance through capacity. How do you balance your entrepreneur lifestyle and your personal life.

Power tools you can use as an entrepreneur! Using the power of this digital age to maximize your influence as an boss entrepreneur.

Q & A Real Estate talk with Expert Jerome Cook! Tips for home purchasing and loan services.

Photography Professional Cydni Polk talks about the transition from struggling mom to flourishing entrepreneur.

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About the Editor. Contact page.

10 Facts that confirm your choice to be an entrepreneur! Monthly Video Cast!


Table of Contents

The Ten Commandments of Goal Setting. Learn the do’s and don’ts to reaching the highest point of your goals.



tools to help you with savings it. It is important to understand which tools and strategies are more comfortable to use. What works best for you may not work at all for someone else. So ask yourself these questions: How do I prefer to save my money? Do I prefer using electronic tools to help me stay focused and on track? How can I capitalize on the benefits for saving?

The importance of saving is crucial, especially during a time and season where the economy is unpredictable. Put yourself in a place that if you are laid off unexpectedly, you wont need to change your spending habits. Set yourself up so you will have a six months cushion. If you are sick and tired of your 9-5, you will be able to leave and not skip a beat. Working towards savings also helps with short term goals (e.g. purchasing your home office furniture or a new laptop).

The best tip to give when figuring out how to save is to find the best financial tool that help make life simple and reduce stress. There are many apps that can do things for you. Here are three that put your savings on autopilot.

According to CNBC (2017), more than half of Americans (57 percent) have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. Having a savings can leave a cushion for emergencies and assist with obtaining long-term financial needs and desires. Furthermore, saving your money starts with shifting your mindset, then finding

Acorns App: Start saving immediately using this app. The easiest way to start saving on this app is to make an ordinary purchase. Yup, it is that simple. Make your regular purchase and round up to the nearest dollar, then invest the change. For example, if you spend $8.41 at a store, round up to $9.00. The $.51 will be invested. Imagine how quickly and how much can be saved and invested by using this method. Three pros to using this app are:

Qapital App: Qapital is a personal finance mobile application for the iOS and Android operating systems, developed by Qapital Inc. The app is designed to motivate users to save money through a gamification of their spending behavior. Three pros to using this app are:

1. You are only saving change (one purchase at a time) that adds up quickly 2. The system is automatic

1. You can save and pay bills using this app 2. No fees and easy to use 3. Great tool for budget beginners

3. Easy set-up and easy access (the app stays on your home screen on your phone Here is the most common con:

Con: 1. Difficulty linking checking accounts

1. Once your savings account reaches $5,000, .25% is charged back for “fees.”

Personal Financial Tip

Digit App: Digit is an iPhone app that strives to make saving money as passive as possible. To do this, Digit analyzes your income and spending patterns, and then automatically dips into your checking account and puts a few dollars into a savings account (typically $2-$17 every 2-3 days). Don’t worry about if you are saving money. These apps ensure that you are. If you use an app or not, saving money is importThree pros to using this app are: ant. You deserve to have growing money in your bank account. 1. Saving bonuses 2. BBB Rating (A-) “A penny saved is a penny earned.”- Benjamin Franklin 3. No savings account is required for setup Con: 1. A $2.99 monthly fee


Understanding Balance Through Capacity Balance is an area of life where many business owners and entrepreneurs struggle. But, being balanced is not really difficult to master. Understanding balance is to understand the capacity that we carry. We must identify our capacity of what we need to carry in the current season before we identify and understand what we are able to balance. The best way this can be explained is to describe two seasons that one may experience. /One season can be described as being single while the other as being married. While married, little capacity may be required because of the responsibility of taking care of an entire family versus just taking care of yourself. So much can be done while being single. As a single person, we can work a 9-5, have our own business on the side, start a non-profit, take great care of ourselves, volunteer, and


work on several additional projects without realizing that we have a lot going on. That’s a lot of capacity. However, as a married person, trying to juggle all of those areas and attend to a spouse and children will become more than we are use to and will eventually break us down.

Another example of understanding balance through capacity is taking care of a sick parent for a season. During that season, capacity will be limited because the attention that would usually be focused on dayto-day will need to shift to take care of loved ones. The question then becomes, “what must shift or move to the back burner for just a while?” Once seasons change, so does the capacity and ultimately what we balance.

Balancing Acts Don’t be stressed out if you are unable to accomplish some things that you have vision for. Instead, make sure that you accomplish all that you can, if you have the capacity to do so in your current season. 1. Identify your season: What are you doing that informs you of your capacity band? What are you currently facing that is temporary? Focus on the more permanent things/ people in your life, then grab the extras until you reach capacity.

3. Build a team: Two are better than one. You cant and shouldn’t do life by yourself. Allow others to assist you along the way and keep them around so you can have others to celebrate with.


4. Move forward wherever you are, either by baby steps or leaps and bounds, any movement forward is progress. Get started right where you are. Don’t feel bad about not being balanced. Relax. If you don’t have capacity to do more in this season, wait and master what is currently on your plate until your season changes.

Balance Tip

2. Evaluate what you would like to focus on. Different seasons require different goals and visions. Where are you now? You shouldn’t be in the same space that you were three years ago and this season should be different than you next season.


Products for the Serious Entrepreneur! If you desire to be, or consider yourself an entrepreneur, you should have some type of digital information products and/or services floating around in the worldwide online community. According to Forbes, the online learning industry made $107 billion in 2015. Are you sold on providing digital information products and services yet? If not, you probably haven’t thought about the major benefits of doing so. There are many advantages to selling digital information products and services. If you teach or facilitate trainings, have you considered implementing paid videos? If you are selling your new book out of the trunk of your car, how beneficial is it for you to sell an e-book that can reach millions? E-books, workbooks, courses, webinars, virtual summits, membership sites, and phone applications are all digital products that can make you money (that can be made while you are sleep). The benefits for using digital information products are endless. Check out these tips to encourage you to transition from brick and mortar to the online world.

Entrepreneurial Tip

Digital information products and services simply mean that your products and services are delivered online. The services of selling songs/movies on iTunes are considered digital services. Facilitating life-coaching groups via webinar platforms is considered a digital information services. Digital goods or services that are untouchable exist in digital form so you should consider providing both. Products and services can give you a boost in revenue and add an additional stream of income. If you provide a service, what product do you have to sell with it? Life-coaching services can be coupled with organizational journals or e-books.


Low Overhead Costs. How much does it cost to rent a space for selling products versus selling products online? There are three types of overhead costs, business, admin, and manufacturing overhead costs. You will save money on facility costs, include accounting fees, advertising, insurance, interest, legal fees, labor burden, rent, repairs, supplies, taxes, telephone bills, travel expenditures, and utilities.


A Larger Market. The Internet reaches more people online than a physical location could reach consumers. The Internet targets the largest audience for business, products, and services and does not have any borders or boundaries. Anyone can access it from all over the world.


Work from anywhere: another major benefit of selling digital information products is having the ability to work from home, on a beach, or in another country. Take advantage of digital information products and services while living your best life.

Consulting services can be offered with supporting products that align with your services (e.g. online leadership courses, sale online products to support your brand, etc.). Get started by simply creating a small e-book on your favorite topic or inviting 10 people to a webinar on a topic that you have mastered. No matter what you decide to do in the digital information world, just remember there’s never been a better time to do it.



Expert Q&A

Jerome Cook


. What questions should someone ask a realtor when looking for a new home? A: How many clients do you have? What area do you cover? What is your ratio of buyers and sellers? How long have you been selling real estate?


. What questions should I ask a realtor during a home tour? A: How long has this property been on the market? Has the property had any contracts before? How old is the roof, when was it last renovated? Is the electrical updated?

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. When is a good time to buy a home? A: Anytime. Most buyers purchase from March-September.


. What makes a realtor “good” vs. “great?” A: A great realtor has a wealth of knowledge, tenacity, aggressive yet polite, hard working, trust worthy, extremely organized, and groomed.

. What are the major steps to purchasing a home? A: 1. Start your Research Early. Step 2: Determine How Much House You Can Afford. Step 3: Get Prequalified and Preapproved for credit for Your Mortgage. 4: Find the Right Real Estate Agent. Step 5: Shop for Your Home and Make an Offer. Step 6: Get a Home Inspection. 7. Continue to work with your lender. Clear to close!


. What should I look for in a home before I purchase it? A: You should have a home inspector to inspect the property. This will allow you to negotiate with the seller on anything found during the inspection that you would want to have repaired or receive a credit towards the repair.



. How do I know if I am getting a good deal on a home? A: Have your realtor prepare a CMA (comparative market analysis) report for you. This will help you compare to other properties that have sold in the area.

. Where do I find homeowner assistance programs? A: Ask your realtor, most banks and lenders have programs available.

. What qualities/standards should I look for when selecting a realtor? A: You should look for knowledge base of real estate, how long they have been practicing real estate. Look for strong communication skills, and very integral characteristic. Prime Time Realty Group 21141 Governors Hwy Ste 102 Matteson,IL 60443 Office 708-377-0768 or Cell (708) 846-2304 Fax (708) 377-0068


Expert Tip


M CP ydni olk Why did you decide to launch your business?

As a single mother of two young boys, Xposeur Photography was created Spring of 2015 because I simply could not make ends meet. It was both exhausting and stressful having to choose between basic necessities like groceries and gas for transportation each week. My full time job was not enough to meet the demands for our family. I knew the only way for us to progress was to bring in additional income--- but how would I do that? My time was already limited; I worked a full time job, and being a mom of a 5 year old and 2 year old was another full time job; working for someone else’s company, making “their dream come true” was impossible.

The skill that I was most confident in was my ability to take a quality picture. I fearfully brought the concept to my parents, who though no longer a couple were both pillars in my village.

Entrepreneur Highlight

I thought, “How would I justify needing to spend over $600 on a camera , when I have had to ask them for grocery money on occasions ?.” Both were supportive, I explained “I believe photography is my way out of poverty--- .” I worked with an artist to create a logo, and reserved the handle “yourxposeur” on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I lightly mentioned my dream to a couple friends, and I researched beginner cameras but still did


not have the money to purchase one. I convinced myself that there were many ways “I could do the possible.” I learned about photography, etc. before I actually owned a camera. Early one Saturday morning my mother called me, “Cydni, come to my house--deposit the first payment of the camera you want into your bank account, and order your camera.” Me and the boys immediately got up, got the $115 dollar investment from my mother, and did exactly like she request-




ed. At that time, I was extremely concerned that the $115 payments would be too much of a monthly addition to add to my already strapped budget; but it was a moment of faith .

Days later, my camera arrived, a Canon Sl1 from QVC which allowed me to make payments. My first picture was a picture of my oldest son Drayk. I added my logo on top of the picture, and Xposeur was born. Since that day Xposeur has shot hundreds of events and portrait sessions. I have ranged from shooting movie premiers, with celebrities, to content shoots for other small businesses.

Who is your target audience?

No matter how over saturated a field may be, there is not another person that can do it quite like you. We can all have the exact same camera, with the same lens, focused on the same subject— and our results will be completely different. Don’t be distracted by how many other photographers there are in the world, because our “eyes” both figuratively and literally are different— and the world needs what we have to offer. Challenge yourself to take pictures everyday; you may not have the equipment you want now, but using your cell phone will force you to hone your eye . There are monthly photo challenges on social media that

Y Shot

Xposeur is open to anyone! Most of our clients are small businesses looking to increase content, families capturing special events in their lives, and portraits. It is important to me that Xposeur is seen as sophisticated and timeless. I stay away from trends, and focus on images that will be appreciate for years to come—that has attracted a certain type of clientele , and has worked for us.

will challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone , and push you to capture images you would normally ignore. YouTube has a wealth of knowledge, and there are numerous artists who have succeeded in the filed who are open to sharing their knowledge. Be open to covering shoots for free as you work to build your clientele, and content. Know someone getting married? Ask if it would be OK if you take a few pictures [as long as you don’t get in the hired photographers way, lol] . Introduce yourself to photographers you see at events, and just do it— there is room for you!


What advice would you give to someone interested in launching the same type of business?


Thou Shall Not: The 10 Commandments for Goal Setting Strategies 1. Thou shall not be visionless: It

is unacceptable to live your life without vision. The purpose of having vision is to have something to look forward to, to grow in, and to obtain for a better and fulfilled life. Always keep vision in front of you. Strive for greater!

f. Career- Increase your professional knowledge at work. Improve your communication skills, apply for the promotion, maximize relationships, and learn all that you can there. It will help you in your business.

2. Thou shall not set specific goals loosely: Categorize your goals into

g. Personal- how do you desire to improve personally? Do you want to stop procrastinating? Build your confidence in a particular area? Would you like to travel more? Make yourself a priority and focus on yourself too. Be selfish.

seven areas:

a. Entrepreneurship- Entrepreneurship should always be a goal. No matter if you have a 9-5 and love it, build your own business. Once it’s up and running, continue to expand yearly.

3. Thou shall not ignore balance:

Leave room to rest and live your best life.

Goal Setting

b. Spiritual- Grow more in your relationship with God. Learn more about 4. Thou shall not implement Him by reading His word often. Pray alone: Get your tribe around you. Tribe and fast. members should include life coaches, prayer partners, mentors, mentees, c. Academic- Never stop learning. friends, and counselors. Take an online course to keep you abreast on your favorite topics or 5. Thou shall not be selfish: Once skill. you master a goal, help someone master their goals. d. Financial- Pay off more debt so you can save more money. 6. Thou shall not be fearful: Know e. Health/Wellness- Be intentional and specific about your health and wellness goals. Focus on what is needed to ensure you are healthier.


who you are, build confidence and walk in your authority. Remember, you were made to be who you are. You have everything inside of you to be the best you. Be


7. Thou shall not procrastinate: If you have a vision now,

8. Thou shall not over or underestimate your potential: Realize how large/great

your potential is. It is important to acknowledge it, but most importantly act on it.

9. Thou shall not confess:

“Loose lips sink ships.” Don’t talk about it, be about it. Stay quiet until your work is complete. You never know those who are silently preying against you. Keep your mouth shut until the manifestation of your projects.

10. Thou shall not make moves aimlessly: Have a

strategic plan. Make sure every move counts towards your vision. If you are unsure about the next move, wait for confirmation. It is better to wait than to make a wrong move that will cost you time and resources.

About the Editor in Chief


Dr. Karen Ratliff is a native of Chicago, Illinois. As the founder of 365 Consulting Group, she assists individuals and corporations reach their desired visions, dreams, and goals. She is an author, motivational speaker, certified life coach, ghostwriter, and consultant. Her motto is “How May I Help You Win?”

Dr. Ratliff was the writer for Jet Magazine “Cents and Sensibility” column. She is also a professor, course designer and curriculum developer. She is the trailblazer for the approval of a charter school located on the south-side of Chicago, where she now serves as the Board President. Most recently Dr. Karen became a 2018 recipient of the “40 under 40,” Young Women Professional League where she is recognized as a trailblazing professional under the age of 40. She loves Mondays because Monday is the day that sets the tone for the week. Don’t wait until Friday to get things done. Get it done early and chill the rest of the week.

Connect with I Love Mondays with Dr. Karen! @ilovemondaysdrkaren @ilovemondaysdrkaren

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About the Editor

your time to implement is now. Gather your strategy, resources, team, and move forward. Time is passing by so don’t let any opportunity miss you.


The Video Cast

Click here for this month’s VideoCast w/Dr. Karen

Oh, so you are an entrepreneur now? Facts to prove that you are destined to be an entrepreneur! Fact # 1

You’ve always been interested in being your own boss. Being an entrepreneur was never a question in your mind, it was only a matter of time. You know that being an entrepreneur is a part of your destiny.

Fact # 2

You own a business as your main job. According to Kauffman Foundation (2016), six percent of the US population owns their business as their main job and source of income.

Fact # 3

You never stop learning. You desire to stay abreast to what is new and great in your field.

Fact # 4

Video Cast

You are currently working another or multiple business ventures. According to SSRN (2006), entrepreneurs who succeeded in a prior venture have a 30% chance of success in their next venture.

Fact # 6

Whenever a new idea pops into your head you instantly jot it down and build on the idea. You don’t allow any idea to lay dormant.

Fact # 7

You desire to make a positive impact on society.

Fact # 8

You are organized. You pretty much know what is coming ahead because you’ve planned weeks and months in advance.

Fact # 9

You are not afraid to take risks. If anything, new visions, ideas, and dreams sound good and exciting.

Fact # 10

You live a balanced life. You love creating todo lists and set measurable goals. You are also a pro at managing your time and resources.

Fact # 5

You are a natural leader. If you desire to lead or not, you are usually appointed in leadership or naturally make your way into the leadership spot. It is the story of your life.



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I Love Mondays with Dr. Karen December 2018