allo en welkom terug’ means ‘Hello and welcome back’. Grab a cup of coffee or Rooibos and your favorite chair. In this issue, we will take a trip to the most ravishing, magnificent and captivating continent in the world. I believe it’s time to explore more of the place where humankind began, the so-called Cradle of Humanity - AFRICA. The place where our gifts, talents, skills and abilities were birthed. After you read this issue, I assure you that Africa will be added to your “must visit” list. African prints have clothed generations of continental Africans for centuries. However, African print fashion is now taking over the globe. Exploding down runways, in stores, online and just about everywhere you look, color, fabrics and style shaped by Africa are prevalent in fashion today for people of all colors, races and creeds. Our cover entrepreneurs are playing a major role in its global expansion. Kedar & Cheryl Brunson of CK Marketing partnered with the phenomenal seamstress
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Annie V. Jordan of Q’Bella-V Fashion to form a powerful family owned business. You will learn what moved them to identify their inherent gifts and then utilize them to extend the stylish fashions of Africa to the U.S. Be sure to watch the 2 videos that accompany their article to get a look at their product line as well as a glimpse of the beautiful sites and people of Africa. Have you used LinkedIn lately? It is key to your success as an entrepreneur. Listen up as Karen Albert teaches us the top 2 ways entrepreneurs should leverage LinkedIn. Also, in this issue Ophelia-Nixon Uke talks about how living confidently is key to your success as an entrepreneur. Many entrepreneurs lack confidence in their gifts and talents. They don’t believe they have what it takes. I used to believe that about myself. Ophelia will help you break free from that prison. Enjoy, Publisher -
Kelli M. Williams
4 | I ncorporate Artificial Intelligence with Human Selling Elinor Stutz
18 | M y Little Secrets For Your Success Gordon Tredgold
6 | 5 Quality Quotes for Business Entrepreneurs Nikki Felder Murrill
20 | Th e New Rules of Networking Meridith Elliot Powell
47 | Annie V. Jordan Bio
8 | S uccessful Personal Branding Rhoda Johnson
22 | N ew Rules of Networking (Video/Books) Meridith Elliot Powell
51 | Lane Sports Group
23 | C ornbread/800 Credit Score Paranda Davis
53 | Created 4 U
10 | C onfidently Living Ophelia Nixon Uke 12 | C ommon Entrepreneurship Obstacles and The What Ifs Tahir Hussain
26 | E ntrepreneur Consultants
14 | R est Recovery Brian Benson
27 | E ntrepreneur Books of the Month
15 | M aximize Your Credit Score Paranda Davis
28 | M y Mother (land)Dressed Me Angel A. Wellington
16 | T op 2 Ways Entrepreneurs Should Leverage LinkedIn Karen Albert
42 | Tribute to Africa Video 43 | C K Marketing Products Fashion Show Video
44 | Kedar F. Brunson Bio 46 | Cheryl Brunson Bio
50 | Ripple & XRP
52 | Katie O’Reilly
54 | The Millionaire Maker Game 55 | Well World Official 56 | Financial Literacy Paranda Davis 57 | Get Featured Entrepreneur Platform Magazine 58 | Q’Bella-V Fashion
Contributing Writers MERIDITH ELLIOTT POWELL
ANGEL A. WELLINGTON
KAREN LIZ ALBERT
G. BRIAN BENSON
ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE | 3
Incorporate Artificial Intelligence with Human Selling Elinor Stutz
ur beliefs about combining artificial intelligence and human selling are in the beginning phase. The question is, are we willing to consider varying perspectives for a better conclusion? On my first sales job, I was expected to sell copiers and fax machines. I knew nothing about the equipment and was nervous given my lack of technical understanding. My secret desire of taking the easy path was quickly tossed aside. My new habit became keeping up with evolving times. Activity on Twitter now includes reading many of the available articles about Machine Learning, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence.
The differentiator for standing out from all others, including technology, is to add these additional factors into our delivery: • Smile as much as possible • Show empathy as people discuss their pain points • Share intriguing personal stories • Build professionally personal relationships
“Combining old-fashioned etiquette with new age technology is the savviest strategy of all.”
Essential Lessons for Human Selling
Combine Artificial Intelligence with Human Selling
• Listen about 70% of the time • Be precise in communication • Question the unstated topics • Always ask for clarification to avoid missteps • Follow-up with precision
You most likely have ideas about how artificial intelligence and human selling will interact. Some people believe the technology will eliminate many jobs. Others see the new method as a boost for improving performance and possibly society.
Robots can most likely implement the bullet points that include ‘precise’ and ‘precision.’ But recognizing what is missing from a conversation or providing related ideas require human thinking. 4 | ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE
The entrepreneurial spirit will figure out ways in which leveraging the technology can create new jobs and wealth. In your spare time, consider these three questions: 1. Do you ever think about how robotics and artificial intelligence may change how we live and work? 2. If you are an entrepreneur or salesperson, do you wonder how to remain ahead of the curve? 3. If you are a job seeker, how will you explain your thought about how to combine artificial intelligence with human selling?
Your clientele will want to know how you plan to combine artificial intelligence with human selling. While the in-depth answers are the department’s responsibility, we will each need to become familiar with what is possible.
Top the Sales Scoreboard Embrace the idea of using artificial intelligence with human selling. When you add the human element to business conversations, you distinguish yourself. Done well, you become seen as a unique welcome being. Showing empathy by listening and sharing ideas with prospects will help create your client fan club. And it is your client fan club that will always have you at the top of the sales scoreboard.
Reality Check: Is Your Business Future Ready? Women are finally rising to have their say. Is your company prepared to have women participate as equals in the Board Room, in the Executive Suite, and provide new ideas to help you become future ready?
My first strategic plan was to take a three-month long public speaking class. It put me on the path to confidently speaking up in a more persuasive style, perfect for convincing management to do better. Even on the fourth job proving to be the best of all my career, management believed they could undermine my value. Wrong! 100% commission instead of a ridiculous base salary proved to be the answer in addition to doing right by my clientele. And when a base salary became the new requirement, with the suggested amount seen, I walked out of the office while saying, let’s try again tomorrow when you aren’t joking around. The next morning the offer on the table was doubled.
Corporate Boards The perfect example is that of a Board Meeting in India comprised of nineteen men and one woman. Companies miss out on the fact that men and women perform differently just as people from varying cultures differ. But when you strive to bring everyone together to speak up, business soars.
The best motto I learned in my youth comes from the Girl Scouts ‘Be Prepared.’ On one level it is easy to prepare for new appointments and follow-up calls. We can keep running task lists for each day and prioritize goals for the month, quarter and year to make quota. All of these items lead us to successful sales. But the part that can catch each of us off-guard is societal change too. In the past, women stayed home to take care of their families. Slowly our gender was ‘allowed to’ become teachers, nurses, and secretaries. When it became my turn to plant my feet solidly on the ground, I knew I belonged in business. But sadly no one wanted me nor did they see the wisdom of having women on their teams. I was not prepared for the ill-treatment. However, I was well-prepared to speak up and fight back strategically each time I landed on a new sales team.
Bringing together varying genders and cultures is no different than that of negotiation and sales. Begin with the broadest picture possible and together narrow down the elements that excite everyone the most. Continued on page 24
ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE | 5
NIKKI FELDER MURRILL
5 Quality Quotes for Business Entrepreneurs Nikki Felder Murrill
ny business man or woman knows the struggles on the ladder to success. A study completed in the last five years according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) reveals that over 27 million working adults in America aspire to become entrepreneurs by having their own establishment in the marketplace. How many of these motivated Americans truly fulfill their dreams?
Nikki Murrill is a proud mother of four fabulous children, wife of a preacher/musician, a school teacher, and a freelance writer. To read more of her work, visit her blog at http://nikkimurrill.
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Barriers in Business • loss of money invested • lack of investment capital • overwhelmed with the learning curve • limited resources for business • failed networking connections • fierce competition in your niche • surmounting naysayers’ negativity • geographical challenges • time constraints
NIKKI FELDER MURRILL
The above list is timeless and reflects but a little of the plight of those with a start-up business, an established business, or even a company with much longevity. In an effort to edify like-minded individuals who yet strive and endeavor to make their mark on society in the business realm, five inspirational quotes from influential pillars in the business community will be discussed.
Don’t Stop Get it, Get it 1. “But you have to do what you dream of doing even while you’re afraid.” – Arianna Huffington Ever heard of the Huffington Post? Co-founder Arianna Huffington along with former AOL executive Kenneth Lerer have much credence in the area of stepping out on faith, even when gripped with fear. Their news aggregator and respected online column, Huffington Post, had undergone scrutiny in that their content is said to be largely recycled information with a link back to the original creators. Despite such negative press, Huffington post has grown to amass a sticker price of $315 million as it was sold to AOL!
2. “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos
Too often we get bogged down with the probability that our business venture will go unnoticed. Well Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, declares that if you build it well, they will come! There is nothing like free publicity from word of mouth recommendation. The astronomical price of advertising and somewhat complexity of placing ads can be enough to cause anybody to quit. Nevertheless, every entrepreneur should focus on producing the best product and service possible. Secondary comes the promotion, branding, and ultimate popularity of your business due to the natural demand of quality. Who better than Jeff Bezos to support this notion? Bezos’ Amazon is a household name, and his affiliate program is just as well known among the digital marketers’ sphere. Products sold on Amazon Marketplace can be promoted by individuals like you and me online on websites, blogs, through ad campaigns, or just through simply telling others to use your unique Amazon affiliate link when making a purchase (influencer). In return, Amazon affiliates receive a commission.
3. “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar Exacting the needs of your target market is the end goal of any business model. In terms of a business owner getting guidance from other experienced business executives, apprenticeship is an awesome means of helping others and in return learning the terms of success. Many are on the race to the top, but do not have the footing to endure hardship, trials, economic shifts, and many other hurdles experienced entrepreneurs have already scaled and conquered. Zig Ziglar, no doubt, understudied countless to achieve his net worth of $15 million. Zig Ziglar has left behind a legacy in business that still affects many as evidenced by Ziglar Corporate Training and even the success of his son’s book Choose to Win by Tom Ziglar. Continued on page 25
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SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL BRANDING Rhoda Johnson
turn into a very nice restaurant and my heart sank when I realized I was not dressed to gain access to the restaurant to pursue his autograph. What a missed opportunity, it never presented itself again!
uccessful personal branding starts with being intentional in the way you express yourself with respect to your personality, skill-set and goals. This is a personal discipline that is required daily to show up consistent in all your settings. Wherever you go you are your personal brand. Years ago when I lived in Los Angeles and worked as a Hollywood trained Makeup Artist and Image Consultant, I left my apartment to run errands with no makeup and just something I threw on that was slightly wrinkled. As I drove down Hollywood Boulevard I noticed my favorite actor at the time, Billy Dee Williams, in my rear view mirror. I was so excited!! I watched him 8 | ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE
Many people miss opportunities because they are not prepared for them appropriately. They may have gained experience and education to pursue their goals but they do not have a polished image that reflects their credibility. Others are working hard but canâ€™t seem to access opportunities and social circles to advance because their image is not aligned with their value.
How we present ourselves is not only reflected in the way we look but also in the way we carry our selves in posture, conversation and personality. Being positive, humble and compassionate to ourselves makes being this way with others effortless. Others notice these social skill-sets and value them over credentials because it allows authentic connection to happen. You are viewed as a fellow human who understands the struggles we all have and become trustworthy.
In business settings and with head shots it is important to present an image that is polished and professional. Details that are not flattering to you or aligned with the setting are distracting. This is especially important for speakers. Some people view personal brand development as a single life event and get stuck in an image that no longer serves them. As your internal narrative changes about who you are and are becoming, your outer expression should reflect this so when you speak you are actually being heard. Trends come and go quickly and if you rely on them to define your image you never develop a personal brand that is uniquely you. Your lifestyle, friends and interests are part of the image you will want to reflect.
details of your image to show up so you and those you want to attract feel respected. Like any healthy relationship it’s a compromise. When personal branding is given this meaning you are not an “imposter”; trying to please others while abandoning yourself. Check out this brief video which has the details of self care with skincare, makeup application, wardrobe styling and statement jewelry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i64oa4VjAoQ Rhoda Design Group for weekly insights on personal brand. To Your Success, Rhoda Johnson, Image Brand Strategist, Rhoda Design Group
The objective is to feel confident and look credible so you attract people to you socially and professionally to gain access to the life you desire. It requires self awareness to consider all the
ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE | 9
OPHELIA NIXON UKE
Ophelia Nixon Uke
ow many times have you felt as though you were inaccurately defined by the people around you, in ways that were not a true depiction as to who you are? Each time you make attempts on re-branding or redefining you, somehow you’ve found yourself right back at square one, wherein you are still trying to prove yourself to others? For a long time, I myself was stuck in a role for which I was thrust into involuntarily. Being able to fully and adequately express myself became so daunting to the point where it was easier to not care, than to continually try just to see myself fail again. In short, I was gradually losing myself in order to fit the ideals of others. Yet, today I look back and ask the question, who was I back then that I thought I was losing, especially when I had no clue as to who I was. When you have no knowledge of who you are, then how can you be certain as to the person you’re supposed to be. Sometimes finding you means stepping away from everyone and everything we know in order to figure out the direction of our own life. Quite often, the very people or things that we are desperately fighting so hard to hang on to, is the very thing that is posing a threat to our self-worth, and purpose. There are blueprints that are intricately customized for us, however, many of us will try to make someone else’s journey our 10 | ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE
own, while we are left wondering why we continue to fail. The fact is, we cannot create miracles off of someone else’s blueprints, nor can we be our better selves if we are constantly trying to be who we’re not. The question you must ask yourself is, “whose standards am I basing my successes, failures and life off of?” Why are you constantly seeking approval from others? Why are you always doubting yourself even in the midst of situations that are bound to work in your favor? What needs to be understood is, the more we stay focused on negative things, walking in ones purpose will yield fruitless efforts. Therefore, it is of great importance that we remove all things which introduces toxic behaviors and thought patterns. The more you focus on negative things, your reality will be that of complexities wherefore living a fulfilling and wholesome life will be beyond the bounds of possibility.
“With Confidence One’s Esteem Cannot Be Broken, And With A High Esteem One Can Empower A Nation” Confident individuals exhibit no signs of feeling inferior in the midst of others, nor are they disinclined to accept responsibility for their emotions, doings or beliefs. When you choose to subject yourself to operate in a place of insecurity you are more likely to create excuses rather than stepping up and being bold enough to just be you with flaws and all. That is a mindset of scarcity.
OPHELIA NIXON UKE
Take this moment to be honest with yourself as to who you are, who you’ve pretended to be and who you truly want to become. The harm is not found in your unwillingness to be an open book for others, it’s found in your unwillingness to be true to you. You are your best critic, and your worst enemy, because it is impossible to make changes to what you are reluctant in acknowledging or confronting. It’s only by you investing in yourself that you will really start living. Then you will know exactly what it is that you are fighting for. Don’t wait until everything in your life begins to fall apart before you decide its time for you to do something different, because not everyone is blessed to get a second chance, some only have that one moment in life to make something spectacular happen. What trips many of us up when we hear
this, is that we believe it has to be some type of grandiose gesture in order to keep everyone talking for years. But, what is being missed is that it’s not everyone we are looking to impress. Seek only to impress oneself, because that is who our allegiance must always be to first and foremost. Today, I need you to make a choice to walk in your power, wherein you are no longer relinquishing self-worth to keep a smile on someone else’s face, while you pretend to live just for the sake of keeping certain people in your corner that should have been released a long time ago. Remember this, not everyone needs to have access to the new you or the new season God is prepping you to walk into, some doors require being shut permanently instead of us making it a temporary situation. Ophelia Nixon-Uke
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Common Entrepreneurship Obstacles and The What Ifs
n becoming an unstoppable millionaire, you must absolutely provide value to the customers you serve - and the best way you can do that is to do one thing very, very well. In fact, no matter what your business is or does, you must always learn one thing well, and if you do that thing very well, you are sure to become quite rich. Even when you are the best at what you do, there will undoubtedly be some obstacles you will face on the road ahead. All entrepreneurs face them, so the good news is that you’re not alone. Some of the most common obstacles that you will face include: n Risk: Starting any new endeavor will involve risk. But, as the saying goes, ‘No risk, No reward’. There is always the more comfortable route of simply getting a basic job. Nothing against those who have jobs, but those who are unstoppable know in their hearts that this isn’t the path they desire. The risk that you take will be well worth it in the long run. Breaking through the paradigm of knowing that risk is a part of being unstoppable in your journey of becoming unstoppable in any endeavor and is key to growth.
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n Self-Discipline: For many entrepreneurs, selfdiscipline is an obstacle – at least initially. This can especially be the case if you have always worked for someone else and are used to having a set schedule, with someone else telling you how to spend your time throughout the working day. You will no longer have someone telling you what you should be doing or when you should do it. You will also have many distractions that compete for your time and attention – and unfortunately, many of these will not be profitable. In order to overcome this obstacle, you must maintain a strict focus on your business every day. In doing so, set a schedule for yourself that includes certain production goals. In example, set goals for making a certain number of calls or meeting a certain number of people. Then, once you have accomplished these, reward yourself. n Self- confidence: Starting and successfully running a business means that you must have the belief that you can succeed-because if you don’t, you are essentially going to fail. Therefore, you must think positive right from the start. By setting goals and remaining focused on those goals, you will be able to propel yourself forward. You must first believe in yourself in order to become unstoppable. n Time: Finding and managing the time that you need to get your endeavor up and running successfully are bound to be a challenge. No matter how much time you initially thought it would take, it is likely going to take a lot more! Even before you actually begin, it will be necessary to spend time
planning and researching. Then, once you are up and running, you are likely to be working many more hours than you did as an employee at your job. At the end, we all have 24 hours in a day and how we use those hours effectively determines a lot about our productivity. In overcoming the obstacles of time, it is important not to overextend yourself socially or professionally. Having a good system for time management will help. Going into your endeavor, know that you must do whatever it takes in order to become unstoppable. Having this mental attitude will help to propel you forward.
FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real
Fear is the reaction that we have sometimes when we know that we must do something, or when something is going to happen soon that we are not fully prepared for. Everyone experiences fear
at one time or another. But unstoppable people are courageous and able to act. They have the confidence to move forward regardless how fearful they might be feeling. In order to overcome your fears and remain focused on your journey forward toward success, you want to:
q Remain Positive q Continue to Learn q Give Up Excuses q Visualize Your Ultimate Success q Answer Your ‘What if ’ Questions q Ask for Help When You Need It Continued on page 45
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REST RECOVERY G. BRIAN BENSON
G. Brian Benson
’ve been a bit hunkered down lately. I haven’t been doing my usual amount of posting, blogging, or even meeting with as many people. I have felt like I needed to give myself a bit of a time out to recalibrate as I move to a new place. I also need a break from relentlessly moving forward through life’s changes and challenges, all the while still creating new projects. It’s all been a lot of work and I need this opportunity to rest, reflect and make room for the new. It’s all good and exciting, yes, but also allowing the recognition that sometimes it’s just as important to not rush forward into the next exciting opportunity, but to enjoy the process, remember to take some time to rest, to revitalize, to recalibrate. It used to bother me to take time out. Now, I realize that it is a gift I can give myself. There’s nothing wrong with rest. In fact, if we don’t rest, we run the risk of burning out, of compromising our health and our relationships. Resting makes room for the new. It’s a necessary component to growing into the best person we can be. It’s a way to honor our whole being. We were never meant to just keep going. When I used to race in triathlons, there were 14 | ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE
hard days of tough training with miles upon miles of running, cycling and swimming, I would have to make sure that I incorporated rest days to allow my muscles to recover and come back even stronger. The same thing applies now. Even though I am not physically training for an Ironman triathlon, my mind, body and soul still needs rest and recovery from the work I have been doing, the creative projects, and the transition of moving my belongings to a new home. The rest and recovery are still vitally important regardless of the reason. I’m choosing to see it as a great opportunity to take a step back and take stock of what’s going on from a different perspective. Sometimes when we are always in go-go-go mode, we can’t see the whole picture. We don’t pick up on the unnecessary, and possibly unhealthy, habits that we have created for ourselves to keep pushing to just keep going. We feel stressed or anxious without knowing why. We have more caffeine, more sugar, anything to keep going. Without a break or some down time, we might not even realize that we are actually in a rut or not moving forward at all. It’s important to pause, take a breath, take a walk, or even take a nap and then take stock of our lives with a fresh, rested, perspective. Whenever we create something new or experience change, it’s easy to lose sight of everything else. And it can be exhausting. Suddenly we can’t see the forest for the trees. Of course, that’s when we need the trees the most. I often take a hike to clear my mind. It’s another form of meditation for me. I will put down my phone, close the computer and simply step away. It’s a great time to think about changes I might be going through, to allow new ideas, to daydream, to just be. Allowing the stillness of a rested and quiet mind is a wonderful way to make room for new ideas and new ways of thinking. Give yourself the gift of rest. Your body, mind, and spirit will be grateful. G. Brian Benson
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Top 2 Ways Entrepreneurs Should Leverage LinkedIn Karen Albert “To me LinkedIn is useless!” is a statement I hear quite often by entrepreneurs and small business owners when I start to discuss the importance of being active on LinkedIn. A statement founded on the fact that many LinkedIn users don’t know what to do with all the LinkedIn connection requests they receive and/or why they should even be on LinkedIn since they are not looking for employment.
Here are a few things you can do to optimize your page and increase your position in LinkedIn search results: 1. Name and Headline. Ensure your name and headline are populated with very descriptive keywords that will help the search engine, as well as LinkedIn users, understand what it is you do, who you do it for and where you do it (i.e. your geographical area if that is relevant to your service)
My response to this statement is this; over 65 million professionals use LinkedIn to cultivate their careers and businesses and unlike other social networks in which you might become “friends” with anyone and everyone, LinkedIn is about building strategic relationships. Thus, the number of connections is less important than the type of connections. In fact, LinkedIn stops showing your actual number of connections once you have 500 because it’s about quality, not quantity.
2. Your About Section. Ensure your About section is full of the keywords that best describe your service(s) and also clarifies who your services are best suited for (i.e. “The clients I typically work with are..”). Make it less about you (don’t just copy/paste your bio or resume) but rather help the users understand who you specialize working with and how it will benefit them.
Here are the top 2 ways Entrepreneurs user should utilize LinkedIn and why…
1. BE FOUND BY THE RIGHT PEOPLE... LinkedIn is a search engine just like Google except
that the search results LinkedIn produces is limited to that which is contained within LinkedIn. In fact, users search more on LinkedIn than any other social media platform. So, in order to take advantage of this, your LinkedIn contact page needs to be fully optimized.
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3. Skills and Endorsements. Create a concise list of Skills/ Endorsements. If you have skills listed that are not that relevant to your actual profession, get rid of them. For example, if you are a Real Estate professional and you list skills such as Sales-force or Microsoft Word your reducing the chance of your LinkedIn profile appearing in search results from your desired LinkedIn user/ community. Skills should be relevant to your profession. 4. Recommendations. Not only is it important for your LinkedIn profile to be fully optimized for search engine results, it’s also important for your LinkedIn profile to communicate to users viewing your profile that you are a seasoned LinkedIn user and professional. Having received recommendations, and given recommendations helps with both. Note: feel free to review my LinkedIn profile as a best practice example: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ socialmediawithkarenlizalbert/
2. FIND THE RIGHT PEOPLE... Working much like the “Six Degrees of Separation” concept, you start by connecting with those you know and who know you, and through them build a larger network for the purpose of gaining resources, finding freelance work or clients, and building alliances and partnership. Here are a few strategic ways to enhance your LinkedIn connections: 1. Using LinkedIn Search - LinkedIn has a fairly advanced search functionality that allows searching for people by name, title, company and even profession. Consider searching for a profession that caters to the same customers as you (i.e. a mortgage lender is a great professional connection for a real estate professional). If you narrow your search to your geographical area, it will give you a list of those professionals in your area that you can connect with. When connecting with unfamiliar users, consider sending a note at the same time you send the connection request. A note that indicates your interest in learning more about them and their services as you believe your customers may benefit from their services (Be sincere! Don’t give them this impression and then only sell yourself). Once
connected, make an effort to take that connection off-line, such as a phone call or, if they are in your geographical area, for coffee or lunch. We all know that the real connections happen when done in person. 2. LinkedIn Saved Searches - Once you have found a resourceful list of professions you can save them as a “Saved Search” which will then send you email alerts whenever a new user falls into that search criteria. 3. LinkedIn Hashtags - LinkedIn now offers the ability for users to follow specific hashtags. The benefit of following hashtags that are relevant to your industry and/or niche market, is it allows you to filter your news feed to see only the LinkedIn posts that contain that hashtag. Unlike the traditional news feed, where you see only posts from the LinkedIn users are you connected with, the news feed of a followed hashtags displays posts of anyone on LinkedIn (regardless of your connection). Therefore, giving you visibility into LinkedIn users you may want to connect with as well as content you may want to share as one of your own posts.
Watch this video to learn more on using hashtags:
“How To Easily Follow & Use Hashtags In LinkedIn”
About the author:
Karen Liz Albert is the founder of Behind Your Curtain and has 20+ years marketing experience providing impactful social media
marketing consulting, training and services to hundreds of business owners, real estate professionals and authors. She is the host of her WomenOnTV.tv show, “Behind Your Curtain” and is a regular guest on some of the top radio & podcast shows for entrepreneurs. Download her free guide “10 Ways To Boost Your Business Using Social Media” Want to chat with Karen on how she can help you maximize your use of Social Media: Schedule A Call Here
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MY LITTLE SECRETS FOR YOUR SUCCESS Gordon Tregold
he next step is to celebrate your progress. I must stress the importance of the celebration and the essential role it plays in your journey towards your success.
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It’s a fact: what gets recognized get repeated. So we must recognize and celebrate our successes, especially the earliest ones at the beginning; it helps to motivate and create a positive dynamic. When I say this in business, people often tell me that I’m wrong because they prefer to wait for big goals to be achieved before celebrating any success. And if I ask them how many great successes they have celebrated in the past, they scratch their heads and say “not a lot“. That does not surprise me. I also ask them if they remember how they reacted when
their child took the first few steps and fell on the bum. Like everyone they applauded and cheered on their child. But why applaud? Itâ€™s not like your child has broken the 100m world record or run a marathon? And each time they try to justify themselves by telling me that it was their first steps and that they wanted to encourage them to continue the effort. To keep doing it again and again because thatâ€™s how we learn to walk, then run, and maybe even run a marathon one day.
This same principle should apply to you and your team. If you want to encourage people to repeat the effort, then you too should celebrate their first steps, their first efforts, their first success. If you only celebrate the goal once completed, you will probably have to wait for ever. Self-esteem and recognition are two of our basic needs. By celebrating, we meet those needs and we encourage ourselves to continue. We must begin by recognizing the effort, then the small success, and by constantly raising the bar of recognition, the performance will follow.
k firstname.lastname@example.org www www.gordontredgold.com/speaking ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE | 19
MERIDITH ELLIOT POWELL
THE NEW RULES OF NETWORKING 3 Strategies To Become A Natural Networker
Meridith Elliot Powell
love networking, oh not because I love to walk into a room full of people I have never met and start engaging in conversation; but because it is one of the most powerful tools we have to grow our businesses. In addition, it is inexpensive, it is simple to do, and it is oh so effective. In today’s economy networking is as important to your success as serving existing customers or managing your budget. To achieve today you have to get above the white noise, be visible and make honest and true connections with both your prospects and your customers. Just like this economy has changed, so has how and why we network. You’ve heard the old networking sayings, “It is not what you know, it is who you know” or “It is not who you know, it is who knows you.” When it comes to networking today, “It is not who knows you, it is who is GLAD they know you.” Networking used to be about getting out there, and getting to know as many people as you can. Today, given our economy that goal has changed. The goal of networking today is to build trust, and you build trust through relationships, and you build relationships by networking. Now I know, the moment I say the word
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I can see your eyes roll, and your resistance heat up. Networking has to be one of the most dreaded words in the world of business. I think it ranks right up there with “public speaking” and the 360 review. .Now I get it, who in their right mind would want to network? Who would actually want to go into a room full of people they do not know, alone and start making conversation? Yeah, I mean you would have to be sick twisted and confused to want to do that right? Well, believe it or not some people love to network. Now, I am not qualified to assess whether they are sick twisted and confused, but I can tell you they are the lucky ones, the chosen few. Simply because they love to network, simply because they are willing to push out of their comfort zone, great things happen for them. Research tells us, that over the course of a lifetime, all things being equal, just because they love to network, these people will make more money, get more promotions, experience more lucky breaks, have more fun and suffer from less stress. Why? Simple, because they are willing to push out of their comfort zones and take an interest in other people. Wow, now that is what I would call a pretty strong return on investment. So if networking is so great for us, why do we dislike it so much to? I believe we do not like to network, because we were either not taught, or taught incorrectly. Think about it, when in school or at home did someone ever sit you down and tell you the power of connecting with other people? Never right? In fact you were taught the opposite, not to talk to strangers.
MERIDITH ELLIOT POWELL
Then if you were ever lucky enough to take a class on networking, some well meaning business trainer told you he had the “secret” to how to network, He then proceeded to teach you “networking skills” that felt pushy and awkward. Techniques like “repeat a person’s name three times,” “pass out business cards like a blackjack dealer”, and my personal favorite, the thirty-second elevator speech. Uncomfortable yes – effective no! But see, there is a secret – something that those that love to network know – and that secret is that networking when it is done right, how to do it just comes naturally. And when we network according to our natural instincts networking is fun, it is easy and it is effective…
3 Strategies To Natural Networking First – Learn To Serve. Take the stress out of networking by approaching any event with the attitude of being there simply to serve others. Enter any event or room with the mindset of giving rather than taking. To network naturally, we need to first build relationships and establish trust, and we do that when we first learn to serve. Networking is about investing in others before we even think about asking them to invest in us. Step 2 – Engage People always tell me they don’t like to network, because they do not know what to say, what to share about themselves. Well do I have good news for you, networking is not about you. To network naturally you need to engage other people in conversations first, learn about them. You already know all about you right? So what is the point of talking about yourself. I mean, you said it makes you nervous, and let me tell you that I can guarantee it bores the person you are talking to. People love to talk about themselves, and when we engage others When we
ask people questions, it not only takes the pressure off of what you need to say about yourself, but it puts the focus on other people. Putting the focus on them endears them to you, because again they love to talk about themselves. In addition, you find out great information about how you develop the relationship, introduce them to others or find a way to work together. Step 3 – Expand First, congratulations! Just by doing the first two steps you have truly mastered being a natural networker. So this last step is just icing on the cake! To truly reap the rewards from your networking efforts you need to expand your network. In other words, one networking event does not a relationship make. If you meet or connect with someone, and you think there is potential there, take the next step. Do not wait on them to call for coffee, lunch or to set up the meeting – you do it! Believe me, you have done the hard part. The difficult task of making the connection, and pushing out of your comfort zone. With the introduction made, the relationship started, why would you drop the ball now? So there you have it; that is all there is to it! Follow these easy, fun and effective steps and watch as your transform into not only a natural networker but a true master in the art! Motivational Keynote Speaker & Business Growth Expert, Meridith Elliott Powell works with clients to help them instill ownership at every level to ensure profits at every turn. Meridith is the author of several books, including her latest, Own It: Redefining Responsibility: Stories of Power, Freedom & Purpose. An innovative and revolutionary approach to mastering the challenges of employee engagement. When not keynoting and leading workshops, she looks for inspiration cycling, golfing or hiking her favorite trail.
k http://www.meridithelliottpowell.com ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE | 21
MERIDITH ELLIOT POWELL
Meridith Elliot Powell
THE NEW RULES OF NETWORKING
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ELINOR STUTZ Continued from 5
Incorporate Artificial Intelligence with Human Selling
“We accomplish much more when we work together.” Live Your Legacy by Paving the Way Upon becoming an entrepreneur, my goal was to teach the best and worst of what I learned in the sales environment in the hope that situations will change for the better. Many of the awful experiences hurled at me in the corporate environment became the centerpiece of my book, Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building that Gets Results. Exclaim and disturbing reactions to my book came my way. Some were astounded that I remained in corporate for eleven years. A few said I had no right to have the stories published. Others said the stories are laugh-out-loud funny, but I certainly did not see the humor at the time. Looking back, I see the humor in the strategic responses to the ugliness such as the lingerie fashion show hosted in honor of my numbers. It is gratifying to learn that I am helping younger women also to become future ready. Upon openly sharing what took place in the sales environment, women from around the world savored the book as they were and still are experiencing the same. Within a very short time-span, it became an International Best-Seller and received remarkable publicity. Today #Empathy is trending on social media sites. And I’m happy to report that men say they gain insight from the book. Hopefully, the good ‘ole boys’ club will soon be forgotten.
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Ask Yourself If You Are: • Observing the actions of both men and women • Asking questions and requesting feedback from both genders • Treating everyone as an equal? • If you are an executive, are you paving the way for equality on your Board of Directors or in the C Suite? • Are your recognition events typically one-sided or do you strive to reward varying genders and nationalities?
Summary: Technological and Societal Change Dictate Future Profitability Playing catch-up is never fun, but being out front in the lead is what makes all the difference and makes you future ready!
Sales Tips 1. Be human by sharing that you care and wish to solve problems 2. Listen with your mind 3. Speak with heart 4. Work to the benefit of communities 5. Provide possibilities for a solution 6. Foresee using robotics and artificial intelligence for repetitive assignments 7. Incorporating technology improves productivity 8. Ask clients for feedback on the new and tweak systems accordingly 9. Do comparison checks between just human interaction versus added technology 10. Celebrate Success!
NIKKI FELDER MURRILL
Continued from page 7
Nikki Felder Murrill
5 Quality Quotes for Business Entrepreneurs 4. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney The mind and heart possess the vision of your dreams for business which can someday impact the world. The business savvy have to unleash their dreams in order for the masses to reap the benefits. Walt Disney undoubtedly had insight on what makes a child happy and knew how to capture that all under one roof. His dominance in amusement and theme park design still reigns true and his poster child in Mickey Mouse will remain an icon throughout generations.
5. “Work like there is someone working twenty-four hours a day to take it all away from you.” – Mark Cuban
Opposition lies all around us oftentimes, especially when chasing a dream to own a business. Mark Cuban says we should not allow the enemy to steal from us what we’ve worked so hard for or what we are yet building. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Cuban, once experienced the inability to open a bank account which had a minimum deposit of $200 . He did not have it. Cuban worked his tail of to go on to sell his startup company for $6 million dollars. This accomplishment alone is indicative of someone who puts their hands to the plow to work with endless drops of sweat upon their brow! Be certain to give life your all. As it relates to business pursuits, entrepreneurs must strive daily to attain greatness. Each of the individuals above encountered countless challenges, but they succeeded. Stopping short of your dreams fulfilled will never do you justice!
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My Mother (land) Dressed Me
ANGEL A. WELLINGTON
ith a shift in cultural norms comes a new appreciation for all things colored. There is a national defining of what it means to be black in our country and a celebration of what God, our collective Creator, gave each shade to share. Not since the 1970’s have we seen this much interest in who we are and the greatness that birthed us. The present political tensions have contributed to a desire for ancestral research and re-established the goodness of our own blackness. From visiting the mythical Wakanda to vowing to pray while Kaepernick took a knee, we – the children of darker-skinned royalty – have faded to black. So, this is as good a time as any to wear what makes us feel connected to our authentically beautiful and blessed selves. There is no longer as much veiling who we are and how we got this way. We have never just shot a ball, sprinted, swung, or served-it-up like normal. Gifting dictates extra. And we are, finally, at ease with hair that coils and springs, skin that is as black as the sweetest berries, music that we make, dances the way we do them, words we create, and fashion uniquely tailored to our creative impulses. The prints and patterns we like are as bold and glorious as we are, by divine design. 28 | ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE
That is what Kedar F. Brunson believes. That is what his wife, Cheryl, agrees with; and what his aunt, Annie V. Jordan, knows. Together, they are joint business owners of CK Marketing and Q-Bella-V Design. African-American garb is their specialty. They are the triple-threat awakening a re-evaluation of the style our “mother” gave us. “She” is the endued continent across troubled waters – Africa. While living in poverty, the child Annie discovered that lack and long legs were enemies. The remedy, her mother suggested, was making her own clothes to avoid the taunt that was sure to accompany “highwaters (pants peers considered too short).” Heeding mom’s advice, Annie took to the sewing machine, discovering a natural knack. Today, in their business, the skilled seamstress is the on-hands genius while nephew, Kedar, lends his creative fashion-sense to all their brand. Cheryl advises and sees to it that administrative details keep the family business alive and thriving. As today’s clothing market has expanded with the introduction of online retailing, it helps to have a niche. African attire has traditionally catered to a particular demographic, but this family is
ANGEL A. WELLINGTON
looking to color outside the lines. Their product generates interests from other people groups. Much of that may have to do with the expert tailoring and exceptional look of their clothing. Far from merely a dashiki, the vibrancy of seldomseen fabric woven into headdress, tunics, pants, skirts, tops, outerwear, ties, and bags cause customers to crave what Annie V. is designing and Kedar is directing. He holds firm to the dream of seeing statement pieces worn by everyday fashion forward men and women of myriad ethnic backgrounds. In addition to wears, CK Marketing offers Afrocentric health and beauty aids. Top sellers include fragrant oils, goat milk soap, shea butter, and black soap. Not one of these entrepreneurs would dare mislead anyone by suggesting that business ownership is for those inclined to rest on their past laurels. Contrariwise, the three, family and friends would be the first to say that since they all have other jobs, this new fashion venture demands nights without sleep and sacrifices of every sort. The toll taken made it easier to discuss discontinuing shortly after start-up. But the chants of encouragement from an audience, following one of their many successful fashion shows, gave them second wind and second thoughts. With a community support system in place, they launched out further, finding a growing market for the exclusivity they bring to the clothing industry.
the presence of her mother, Annie B. Jordan, brings immense pleasure. Each business professional enjoys travel; but finds little room for that these days. What they do make time for is their relationship with God, as He is deemed the source of all they have, are, and do. It is He, they contend, who has gifted each of them with the obligation and imagination to bring beauty to a world that can be “ugly,” especially to people of color. In their hearts are more ideas and concepts. In their hands are ability and agility. In their bloodline is the talent of kings and queens who were entrusted to pass down tools unique to their own experience. Among them, a flair for the fabulous. No evil could keep us from it. No waves could drown it. It is part of our heritage as children from the Motherland.
For the few and far between creative blocks, Kedar boxes, competes in table tennis, collects beads from other places, and reads ferociously. Cheryl kicks-back with a good book as well; but is especially benefited by time spent in Biblical text. Because of work demands, she, too, values stress relievers like her Zumba class. Aunt Annie finds a good time over a good pot of anything her hands are cooking up. In rare downtimes, being in
CK Marketing Products &
Q’‘’ Bella-V FASHION
Music/Song Credit - Manu Dibango - Soul Makossa Background Photo Credit: Conny Müller: Beautiful Morning http://blog.africasphotographeroftheyear.com/en/2017/09/11/wonder-of-the-african-sky/
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Q 'Bella-V Fashion (Custom Made)
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Music/Song Credit Akon - Mama Africa
Entrepreneur Platform Magazine, LLC Founder & CEO
Kelli M. Williams COO
Donkiya Robinson-Dailey 42 | ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE
CK MARKETING PRODUCTS
African Jewelry Kaftans Headwraps Scarves High/Low Dresses Princess Dresses Mudcloth Dresses Gaucho Pants Tunic Skirt Sets Raija Dresses
CK Marketing Products
African Queen Jackets Long Skirts African Sarongs Kente Pant sets (M&F) Essential Oils African Pocket Books Natural Hair Products African Black Soap Goat Milk Soap Shea Butter
Music/Song Credit: Manu Dibango - Soul Makossa
Music/Song Credit - Manu Dibango - Soul Makossa
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Kedar F. Brunson
■ MIT- Minister In Training ■ Native of New York
■ Married to Cheryl Brunson… blended family of 4 children and 8 grands. Co-owner of C&K Marketing and Q Bell V Designs ■ Owner of Kedar’s Kustom Mobile Detailing ■ Hobbies include: boxing, table tennis, power lifting, reading, music and collecting necklaces from different countries ■ Interests: Public speaking (trouble youth and adults) emoved from my mother, who had her issues and not wanted by my father who was in that life. Raised in foster homes in NY, NJ and PA since the age of two. I learned early in life the cruelty of foster parents and the foster care system. Eating food off the ground just to survive. I was denied the healthy emotional aspects of family. Early in my adolescent years I found that I would have to fend for myself or be consumed by the wolves of society who pretended to be sheep. At age ten I was in the streets in the drug game, but found the much older males would attempt to take my product. Being a very bitter and 44 | ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE
self destructive kid, who wouldn’t allow that, I became known and left alone quickly because of my intense acts of aggression towards anyone who even slighted me. This landed me in Jamesburg reformatory (Gladiator School) at age twelve, where I learned the sweet science of pugilism with all its dirty tactics. Released at age fourteen back to foster care, I picked up where I left off in a town called Willingboro, NJ. Now I was meaner and selfcentered and worshiped money. At age 16 (1976) I met my biological father in Newark, NJ. Nothing good came out of that. At 21 (1981) I found my mother through the
Brunson Dorchester County Sheriff Dept, Charleston, SC. There was no emotional connection at all. On December 19, 1985 I received a phone call that my mother was dying. She later died on December 20, 1985. At the time of her death the bitterness was still there.
January of 1986 I moved to Killeen, TX where I opened the Playmaker night club. Injuries from a serious car wreck caused me to close the club and move back to NY. In 1987 I was sentenced to a prison term for various money related criminal offenses. After years had passed, I remembered one day looking out of my cell window sad and very deep in thought. I vowed to myself that my life story would not end in a prison cell. I realized there was a deep void in my life. Something was missing. Approximately two and a half years before my release I began to seek out the word of God and talking with Him. I told God if He was real to come into my life and take the helm. I simply couldn’t do it any more on my own. While I never experienced any bright light or spectacular event…I felt an inner peace that I had never felt in my life. Upon my release I asked God to send me a woman that loves and serves Him. I told God the woman
He would send would be my wife. On May 17, 2013, He brought me to her. She was unaware that she was meeting her husband-to-be for the first time. I was detailing cars including hers that day. Was it love at first sight? No, it was much deeper than that. A knowing in a definitive conclusive way... This was my wife God had sent. We are married now and have been inseparable ever since. A love story most can only imagine. We are living it! My best friend, my soul mate, … my wife! Continued on page 48
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Brunson ■ Cheryl Brunson
■ A woman of God on a mission to show God can restore one’s brokenness and use it for His glory. ■M arried to Kedar F. Brunson with a blended family of 4 children 8 grands. ■C o-Founder/Co-owner of C&K Marketing established in 2014 but not before the love story began. uring the divorce although I had two daughters in college I went back to college and obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Management from the University of Mount Olive. I worked fulltime and went to school at night. It was not easy however, the fruit of my labor was very well worth it. Having my own business has always been a personal goal but never sought after until...After a divorce and brokenness, God began to heal the emotional scars. I remember my sister once telling me, “Tell God what you want.” Write it down and pray over it everyday.” This proved to be a true statement. I wrote about things in my life that I would like to improve on as well as accomplishments I would like to obtain. I also wrote about the man that God would bring into my life. I knew this was important. A Godly man, my prayer partner, a man who would enjoy studying the bible together. A man of INTEGRITY and one who would love my children as his own. Although they were all grown, my family means the world to me. Although hurt and deceit had found its way into my previous life…I didn’t give up. I wasn’t looking for a new someone however, I trusted God to know if he sent someone to me I was healed Continued on page 48
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Jordan ■ Annie V. Jordan
■ A native of Burgaw, North Carolina ■ Founder & CEO of Q’Bella-V Fashion ■ Began sewing at the age of 12. The oldest daughter to her mother, Annie Bell Jordan. nnie was poor growing up and would play with blades of grass. She eventually taught herself how to make grass dolls. From there her desire to learn to sew blossomed. Annie received her first sewing machine at age 14. She would sew scraps of cloth together as she began to understand the concepts of stitches. By the time she had reached high school she decided to sew her own clothes. She was tall and was tired of wearing “high water pants.” Thus helping her mother to be able to afford clothing for her other siblings. She would share her clothes with her younger sister. It really meant a lot to her sister to be able to wear her sisters designs. Although Annie was gainfully employed by General Electric for over 35 years, she continued to sew not only for herself and her family, but also for her coworkers all the way into her retirement. Some would think the services they asked of her were a bit far fetched but she never disappointed them with the finished product. Annie had several nieces and tried relentlessly to convince any one of them to join her at the sewing machine. One might make pillows and another might make a dress but none developed the craft as the unique seamstress herself. One of Annie’s biggest supporters who loved to wear her designs was her oldest niece, Cheryl, who is now one of Continued on page 48
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Continued from page 45
Continued from page 46
My wife saw that I loved to dress and that I had my own style. I loved African attire and in 2014, Cheryl and I launched C&K Marketing. In 2015, we formed a partnership with Q’Bella-V along with grandmother, Annie Bell.
and readily able to meet my King. God answered my prayers!! I also found out He had a sense of humor. Let’s just say country girl meets restored city bad boy, but most of all a man of God.
Since then, we market through our fashion shows which are unique. Our goals are realistic. Our success is not about money, it’s about fulling our vision and bringing enjoyment to others. My tips for success…have alligator skin, think outside the box, identify problems as a way to challenge you to create solutions, look at any failures as mere stepping stones to success, stay true to yourself and your vision. However, most of all put God first in all you strive to do, because His word is “yes and in Him amen”. Kedar
ANNIE V. JORDAN Continued from page 47
her business partners. Sometimes when they are together reminiscing...Cheryl likes to remind her auntie of the time she made her a beautiful black suede coat. The finished product was too large for Cheryl, therefore Annie’s mom suggested they give it to another little girl in the neighborhood whom grandma said could really use it. This is one of the stories that continues to bring about laughter during Annie’s years of designing, sewing and making others happy. Annie is also known by her alter ego and designer label…Q’Bella-V. The Queen of her designs. Q’Bella-V along with her mother, Annie Bell, are the business partners of Kedar and Cheryl Brunson, also known as C&K Marketing. Annie 48 | ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE
I don’t know what the future may lead me on this journey but today happiness is where I am. I thank God for not allowing me to wallow in self pity, nor to hold any grudges ...This would have allowed the devil to have too much power. I would like my sisters out there to know that God can and will heal all the hurt and pain if you allow Him to. Restoration is far greater than you could ever imagine. As the scripture says… ”weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.”- Psalm 30:5 Cheryl
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TAHIR HUSSAIN Continued from page 13
Common Entrepreneurship Obstacles and The What Ifs LET’S DO THIS: Help with the ‘What lfs’
they need it, but this can be a big mistake. When you run into challenges, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. Let’s look at who you can turn to.
1. What if: ______________________________ __________________________________________
One of the most fear-inducing elements in a new entrepreneur’s life is the crop of ‘What if ’ questions, such as ‘What if it doesn’t work out?’ or ‘What if I run out of money’. To help relieve some of your fears, you answer the questions realistically. In example, while you’re starting your business, if you run into financial troubles, you could always get a part-time job in order to earn some extra money, or an investor with the same vision can loan you the funds that you need. Getting an investor and utilizing their capital is a terminology we commonly refer to as using Other People’s Money (OPM) which we cover in great length in our wealth coaching.
List three ‘What-if ’ questions below and the take some time to answer them realistically. Combine this activity with noting who you can turn to for help, if this ‘what-if ’ arises. Many new business owners are too proud to ask for assistance if or when
Then I could turn to who to ask for help, advice, mentoring: A. _________________________________ B. _________________________________ C. _________________________________ And, realistically, this is what could happen and how I could handle it:
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