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WHEREVER YOU GO,

GOES WITH YOU.

Visit www.theavidmagazine.com to start enjoying AVID Magazine today!


TABLE OF

CONTENTS

IN EVERY ISSUE

16 20 21 22 23 24 26 28

THE EMBRACE MOMENT ASHLEY THOMAS INSPIRES COUCH TIME WITH SONJA EVENT SMALL BUSINESS LOANS SONJA LOWE, THE EMBRACE COACH AVID IN THE CITY EDITORS PICK AVID BUSINESS DIRECTORY ROSES AND THORNS KELLY RICHARDSON, SUNFLOWER NET WORK MARKETING 10 BUSINESS TOOLS FOR SUCCESS READ, LEAD, SUCCEED

EDITOR’S PICK TOP FOOD SPOTS

READ, LEAD, SUCCEED

BOOKS YOU SHOULD BE READING

LET TER FROM EDITOR FINDING ME

THE EMBRACE MOMENT EMBRACING MOMENTS

F O L LO W U S

8 10 12 15

FACEBOOK @AVIDMAGAZINE INSTAGRAM @THEAVIDMAGAZINE_ T WIT TER @AVID_MAGAZINE WEBSITE WWW.THEAVIDMAGAZINE.COM

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About Us:

AVID magazine is a business magazine that provides a platform for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals. All stories featured are geared to uplift and provide support for other entrepreneurs.

Our Mantra: Networking one business at a time.

TALK TO US AVID Magazine welcomes your comments and suggestions. Please email info@theavidmagazine.com, and connect with us on social media. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and grammar, and to publish at our discretion. All submitted copies and materials become the property of AVID Magazine. We do not guarantee the publication of unsolicited materials. For features or publication requests, please email info@theavidmagazine.com.

Last Issue: May 2019

AVID MAGAZINE (ISSN 2574-5263) Is A Digital Business Magazine That Is Published Quarterly Only! For Questions Or Advertising Opportunities Please Email Info@Theavidmagazine.com. Issue Month Is May 2018. Copyright 2018 By AVID Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction Of This Magazine, In Whole, Or In Part, Is Prohibited Unless Authorized By The Publisher. The Advertising Space Provided In AVID Magazine Is Purchased And Paid For By The Advertiser. None Of The Products Or Services are Necessarily Endorsed By AVID Magazine.

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Finding me Everything that happens in life; happens for a reason. This project has been on my heart since a little girl. In the midst of starting AVID Magazine life happened. I kept putting it off and second guessing myself. Everything else in life became more important than AVID. It seemed as though everything and everyone else’s problems, dreams and projects became mine. But in everything there is a lesson. “Build your own dreams; or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” -Farrah gray I admit most of it was me; we can become our own worst enemy because the pressure of being gifted is very hard. Sometimes I just want to blend. But blending in is not in ME; I AM extraordinary. Steve Harvey said it best; “If you don’t jump; you will never soar.” In all of the challenges that we face there is a lesson. Here are somethings I learned during my challengres. 1. Make decisions out of faith and not fear. 2. Don’t hold grudges! Forgive and move on. 3. Never forget why you started. 4. There is growth in your trials and tribulations. 5. Stay humble. 6. Ask “What I am supposed to learn during,” instead of “Why is this happening to me?” 7. Learn from your mistakes.

8. No one has ever became successful without the help of other people. Lastly, success comes with a price that all of the money in the world could never afford. The price is not monetary; the price is the struggle. Honestly, the struggle is real! Struggle makes you hungry and fearless because you don’t want to be in that state longer than you need to be. In your struggle it is important that you find your purpose. “The purpose of life is to find your gift; the meaning of it is to give it away.” Picasso. Remember to always be Ambitious, rious, Inspiring and Determined! Be

VictoAVID!

Twitter: @avid_magazine Instagram: @nancy_theavidmag

Nancy Jackson


Live Your Dream I’m Ashley N. Thomas - an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and author. I specialize in restoration and revitalization of youth and young adult women who, like myself, have experienced traumatic life events such as teen pregnancy, while offering tactical guidance of how families can navigate their paths toward success.

Everybody had a story before they were great. Before they were somebody worth writing or talking about. I will be the person believing in our girls so they understand that they can do any and everything they want in life; that they too can live their dream despite their circumstances. Will you join me in supporting this movement and believe in these young mothers and their dreams with me? Donations can be made via PayPal.me/AshleyThomasInspires or https://www.ashley-thomas.com/liveyour-dream-campaign

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WE PROMOTE

Since being contracted with Spring ISD the past two years, I’ve been determined to leave teen moms better than I found them. This Career-Focused makeover movement was laid on my heart to uplift and empower our young mothers to move forward and progress even when it seems impossible.

W

e Promote, Wednesday’s, is our social media weekly campaign. Every Wednesday we advertise nine different businesses. We offer information about their product or service along with contact information. To get featured on We Promote Wednesday’s send an email to info@ theavidmagazine.com. Please include your logo (if you have one), basic business information, social media names, and your contact information.

F O L LO W U S FACEBOOK @AVIDMAGAZINE INSTAGRAM @THEAVIDMAGAZINE_ T WIT TER @AVID_MAGAZINE


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The Embrace M

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by Sonja Lowe, The Embrace Coach

You desire to be an entrepreneur. Y ou are ready to be your own boss, schedule your own office hours, take off when you feel like it and name your salary.  You have this idea that you feel is the perfect idea. It is the perfect fit for you. You are excited and ready, right?   As we all know things do not always turn out the way we hoped.  No one told you about the correct way to file paperwork, the longer hours and more sleepless nights, how to handle when you have hit a record number of “Thank you, but I’m not interested” answers and month after month your accounts payable and accounts receivable don’t add up.  As an entrepreneur for 15 years, I totally understand. I experienced every one of these and at times my motivation, passion and drive began to fade. I had to find some nuggets to pull me through.

When this happens you must stay grounded. Here are a few tips to help you on your journey.

Remember the reason you said “yes” to entrepreneurship and if you must quit, do so only for the time it takes you to blink your eyes.

See no evil, Speak no evil, Hear no evil. “You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”- Patrick Ness

“You must have the right prescription to see your why and keep it in focus.” -Sonja Lowe, The Embrace Coach

What are you watching, speaking or listening to on a daily basis? Are you feeding your mind with positivity? The old saying...see, speak, hear no evil should really be taken to heart.  In our society today, we are surrounded by so much negativity and pure evil.  Every day we must intentionally remove the evil and negative information from around us.

When no one believes or supports your vision, it is very easy to get discouraged and have the desire to quit.You must remind yourself constantly of your “why”.

To stay encouraged on a daily basis, make sure you intake more positive stimuli than you intake negative. Find some daily dose of inspiration to watch, read, or listen to. Speak daily words of affirmation.

Your why must stay in focus.

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Your eyes may get blurry at times as you walk this journey, but take the time to put some drops of clear eyes in each eye so you can re-focus and have clear vision again. Imagine a target. When your eyes are focused on the center dot, your “why”, everything else around the target will become blurry.

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Moment Write them down and speak them aloud daily. This is a great way to push out the negative chatter. Just as we make time to schedule other important appointments on our calendars, make an appointment with yourself to feed yourself daily whether it is reading, speaking or listening to positive content that encourages you and feeds your mind.

Surround yourself with people who are for you. “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey Who are your 7 closest friends? Do they understand anything about being an entrepreneur? Do they support your vision? Can you vent to them without them having and giving their opinion? Having a small accountability group promotes your growth. Make sure they are positive, supportive, encouraging and motivating. Motivation feeds on motivation. If people are for you they will lift you to be the best you possible.

Photo Credit: Choice 1 Media Group

Treat your dream as a puzzle. Instead of looking at the entire puzzle, break down your puzzle into small pieces. Although it may seem like the puzzle will take a long time to complete it, take it one piece at a time. As each piece begins to fit, just keep moving forward. You will have moments when you want to stop because no pieces seem to fit. I encourage you to repeat the nuggets above and keep moving forward. Even if you only find one piece to fit in the overall puzzle, it is still progress. The only way to go backwards is to stop forward progress. Slow progress in forward motion is still progress in the right direction. Embrace Entrepreneurship,You are worth it! Sonja Lowe, The Embrace Coach www.sonjalowe.com

Only move forward “If you crawl, walk, run or fall moving forward, then progress takes care of itself.” - Sonja Lowe, The Embrace Coach

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MOTHER~MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER~AUTHOR~ ENTREPRENEUR “DESPITE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES; LIVE YOUR DREAMS.”

DESPITE HER PAST HARDSHIPS AND PAINFUL EXPERIENCES ASHLEY THOMAS INSPIRES EVERYONE WHO CROSSES HER PATH. AT 5 YOU SHOULD BE HAVING FUN, PLAYING WITH DOLLS AND COLORING BUT INSTEAD THOMAS FACED THE TRAUMA OF MOLESTATION. UNBEKNOWNST TO HER ALL OF THE PAINFUL EXPERIENCES THAT SHE WAS WOULD ENCOUNTER WOULD SOMEDAY BE USED TO IMPACT THOUSANDS. FOR YEARS, THOMAS SEARCHED FOR A SENSE OF NORMALCY AND ACCEPTANCE IN SOCIETY AFTER GROWING UP AS A PASTOR’ S KID. IN SEARCH OF FILLING A VOID IN HER LIFE SHE RECONNECTED WITH A CHILDHOOD FRIEND WHOSE LOVE SHE WAS ALWAYS ABLE TO RECOGNIZE. THE TWO STARTED DATING AND SHE BECAME PREGNANT. “DESPITE THE OBSTACLES I WOULD FACE, I WAS DETERMINED TO BE GREAT.” THOMAS CONTINUED TO TELL HERSELF. THE PRESSURE OF BEING A SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD MOTHER, A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL, A PREACHERS KID AND UNWED LED TO SO MANY EMOTIONS. DESPITE HER OBSTACLES SHEWOULD FACE, SHE WAS DETERMINED TO BE GREAT. SHE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN THE TOP 10

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24% AND WENT ON TO COLLEGE TO GRADUATE IN THE TOP 10%. WANTING TO BE MORE THAN A STATISTC WAS EMOTIONALLY DRAINING AND IT LED TO THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE, INSECURITIES AND DEPRESSION. IN 2014, THOMAS MADE UP IN HER MIND THAT SHE WOULD NO LONGER BECOME A VICTIM OF HER CIRCUMSTANCE. SHE SOUGHT TO DISCOVER ASHLEY NICOLE THOMAS AND SHE HAS NOT LOOKED BACK. IN 2015, THOMAS INVESTED IN HERSELF AND LAUNCHED FIRE ANT MARKETING. SHORTLY AFTER SHE LAUNCHED HER BUSINESS SHE DISCOVERED HER TRUE PURPOSE TO BE A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER. SHE WANTED TO BE TO TEENS MOM WHAT SHE NEEDED IN HIGH SCHOOL. SHE ALLOWED HERSELF TO BE VUNERABLE AND TRANSPARENT ABOUT HER PAST EXPERIENCES THAT SHE HAD SUPPRESSED FOR YEARS. SHE BEGAN TO HEAL THE WOUNDS THAT WERE OPEN FOR YEARS. SHE NOW WORKS IN LOCAL SCHOOLS MENTORING TEEN MOMS AND VARIOUS SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS. SO, WHO IS ASHLEY THOMAS? ON A REGULAR DAY I’M JUST REAL CHILL. I LIKE TO WORKOUT SOMETIMES, I LOVE BEING A MOM, I’M A HARD WORKER, I LIKE TO LAUGH, I LOVE WATER AND TRAVELING. THAT’S

ME AS A WHOLE. HOW DO YOU INSPIRE? I WORK WITH TEENS MOMS IN HIGH SCHOOL. MOST PEOPLE VIEW THEM AS “AT RISK TEENS”, BUT I SEE THEM AS “AT VALUE.” EXPLAIN WHAT YOU CURRENTLY DO WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT? I WORK WITH TEEN MOMS BY HELPING THEM UNDERSTAND THAT THEY CAN STILL LIVE THEIR DREAM DESPITE THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES. I WANT THEM TO KNOW THAT NO MATTER WHERE THEY COME FROM, WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN THROUGH THERE IS STILL LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL. WHEN DID YOU START WORKING WITH AT VALUE TEENS? AFTER I LAUNCHED MY MARKETING COMPANY IN 2015 CALLED FIRE ANT MARKETING IT LEAD TO ME NETWORKING AND NETWORKING TURNED INTO PEOPLE WANTING TO KNOW THE WHY. THAT OPENED THE DOOR FOR ME TO FINALLY SHARE THE STORY THAT I HAD BEEN ASHAMED OF TELLING. I WAS A TEEN MOM. PEOPLE WERE SO INTRIGUED BY EVERYTHING THAT I HAD OVERCOME BY FINISHING HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND TAKING MY SAVINGS TO START A COMPANY THAT PEOPLE STARTED ASKING ME TO COME SPEAK AT DIFFERENT EVENTS. IT WAS LIKE I HAD AN AHA LIGHT MOMENT.

LIKE, THIS IS WHERE GOD WAS ULTIMATELY WAS TRYING TO BRING ME TO. BUT HAD HE JUST TOLD ME THAT 24 OR 25 YEARS AGO I WOULDN’T HAVE LISTENED. SO IT’S LIKE WHEN WE ARE DRIVING AND WE MISS OUR EXIT BECAUSE WE ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO THE GPS IT JUST RE-ROUTES US. I WAS BEING RE-ROUTED TO WHERE HE ULTIMATELY WANTED ME TO GO. THAT IS TO BE THE SPEAKER THAT I AM TODAY AND GOING BACK INSIDE THE SCHOOLS, WORKING WITH THOSE GIRLS, SPEAKING AT DIFFERENT CONFERENCES AND EVENTS. WHEREVER I AM NEED THAT’S WHERE I GO. WHAT ARE YOUR BEST QUALITIES AS IT RELATES TO MENTORING THE YOUNG GIRLS? REALLY GETTING THEM TO OPEN UP AND CREATING A SAFE ZONE. I ALWAYS LIKE TO SAY “WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS IN VEGAS.” SO ANYTIME I WALK IN AND WE ARE HAVING AN INTIMATE SESSION, THAT IS OUR VEGAS. THEY ARE FREE TO JUST BE FREE FOR THAT BRIEF MOMENT AND NOT FEEL THAT THEIR PEERS OR ANYBODY IS GOING TO JUDGE THEM. IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM TO START HAVING SOME SORT OF BREAKTHRU AND SOME SORT OF FREEDOM. WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN REGARDS TO ASHLEY THOMAS INSPIRES?


ASHLEY N. THOMAS “Forgive ourselves, Forgive others, and heal. Your scars tell a story. They are a reminder of when life tried to break you but failed.”

MY JOURNEY AND WHERE I CAME FROM. WHERE I STARTED, BECAUSE I STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW I’M HERE. AM I AS SUCCESSFUL AS I WOULD LIKE TO BE? ABSOLUTELY NOT BUT I AM NOT WHERE I STARTED. HEALING THE LITTLE GIRL INSIDE OF ME, HAVING ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS. DOING THE WORK, GETTING THE THERAPIST, AND GETTING MENTORS, JUST PEOPLE AROUND ME THAT BELIEVE IN ME AND DOING THE WORK SO THAT I CAN BECOME THE BEST VERSION OF ME THAT I HAVE BEEN. CONTINUING TO EVOLVE AS AN AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN. WHEN YOU MENTIONED ‘HEALING THE LITTLE GIRL INSIDE OF ME IN A PREVIOUS ANSWER, DOES THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE BOOKS THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN? YES, “A LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF UNMASKED. THE THIRD BOOK THAT I WILL BE DOING IS, “A LETTER TO MY TEEN SELF UNMASKED. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS? MY FUTURE PLANS WOULD BE TO WRITE MORE BOOKS AND HOST COMMUNITY NON-PROFIT EVENTS.

WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE AND SETS YOU APART FROM OTHERS WHO ARE DOING THE SAME THING THAT YOU ARE DOING? WHERE I AM RIGHT NOW AT THE STAGE THAT I AM AT I GIVE THE GIRLS ACCESS TO ME AFTER I AM DONE. I KNOW THAT WON’T ALWAYS BE BUT JUST ALLOWING THEM TO STILL REACH ME AND BE ABLE TO CONNECT WITH ME. WHO

INSPIRES

YOU?

HON-

SO SHOW HER NO MATTER WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN IN LIFE WE CAN STILL REACH OUR GOALS AND DO WHAT WE SET OUR MINDS TO DO.

HOW DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO REMEMBER YOU? THAT I WAS ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICAN AMERICAN SPEAKERS.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU HAVE LEARNED IN LIFE, THAT IF YOU COULD OFFER SOME ADVICE TO SOMEONE ELSE WHAT WOULD IT BE? “BUILD YOUR MIND, FACE THE PAST AND THE THINGS THAT HAVE HURT YOU. FORGIVE YOUR-

ASHLEY’S MESSAGE CONTINUES TO BE SHARED ON A LOCAL AND NATIONAL PLATFORM. WHETHER YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A SPEAKER FOR YOUR WORKSHOP, CONFERENCE, HIGH SCHOOL, OR COLLEGE CAMPUS PROGRAM, ASHLEY WILL CUSTOMIZE AND SHARE A TAILORED MESSAGE THAT WILL ENSURE MAXIMUM IMPACT.

“I found the courage and the desire to turn my past pain into my purpose because when I realized I had the power to be victorious, I no longer wanted to be a victim.” -AshleyThomas ESTLY MY DAUGHTER, WITHOUT HER I WOULDN’T EVEN HAVE THIS JOURNEY OR THIS PATH. HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR DAUGHTER HAS SHAPED YOUR LIFE? SHE HAS SHAPED IT IN A GREAT WAY. SHE HAS FORCED ME TO DISCOVER ME. SHE’S PUSHED ME TO GO BEYOND JUST A DREAM. WHAT I THOUGHT WAS JUST A DREAM. WITH EVERYTHING I DO I WANT HER TO PLEASE GOD. MORE

SELF AND FORGIVE THE PEOPLE. DO THE WORK ON YOU TO CONTINUE TO EVOLVE AND BECOME WHO GOD HAS CREATED YOU TO BE.” WHAT’S NEXT FOR ASHLEY THOMAS? CONTINUING TO IMPACT, SUPPORT MY DAUGHTER, AND CONTINUE SPEAKING AND TRAVELING AROUND THE WORLD. EVENTUALLY I WANT TO GET MARRIED AND HAVE MORE CHILDREN.

FOR BOOKINGS OR MORE INFORMATION, CALL (936) 228-9295 OR EMAIL INFO@ASHLEY-THOMAS.COM FOLLOW HER ON SOCIAL MEDIA: INSTAGRAM: @ ASHLEYTHOMASINSPIRES FACEBOOK: @ASHLEYTHOMASINSPIRES TWITTER: @ASHLEYINSPIRES VISIT: WWW.ASHLEY-THOMAS.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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Small Business Loans

W

hen starting a small business most entrepreneurs face the same question, “Should I apply for a Small Business loan or not?” Before considering to take this route for your business there are several things that you MUST have in order. Understanding how to properly approach the lender can help aid in your approval. Here are some MUST-HAVES before applying: 1. Patience. Applying for a loan can be a very stressful and long process. Be prepared to get denied, laughed at or told NO several times before someone says YES. 2. A Business Plan. What goals do you have for your business? Where would you like to see your business in 5 years? This is your ultimate vision board and roadmap to success written out. 3. Credit Score. “Money makes the world go round,” has been a trending statement heard for years but actually “Credit makes the world go round.” Credit is in the center of just about everything in society. Check your scores and get your report. www.annualcreditreport.com offers 1 report a year for free. Also, consider joining www.creditkarma.com. 4. A Business Checking or Money Market Account. Most financial institutions DO NOT offer business loans to businesses unless your business holds an account. 5. Rapport. Get to know the employees at the financial institution that holds your business account. Make sure you go inside and are friendly at all time 6. The purpose of the loan. What are you

specfically going to do with the money that you are requesting? Loan officers

will ask you several questions about your needs and might request a business plan. 7. Collateral. When considering a loan make sure you have some type of collateral. Lenders for Small Businesses want to ensure that if the business is struggling that they will still receive payments. 8. References. Lenders will need contact information of individuals who are aware of your business. This would not be family members but it should be partners, customers, a team of employees, or other business owners in which your business collaborates with. Have this information ready to give to the lender. Also contact all references to let them know that lenders will contact them. Being prepared when considering a Small Business Loan is very important. Research all avenues as it relates to applying for a Small Business Loan and it will help in speeding up the process of approval.

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Photo Credit: Choice 1 Media Group

SonjaThe Lowe Embrace Coach

As I walk into this room filled with familiar furniture, lights, and cameras I realize that I am on the set of Couch Time with Sonja. Wow this is where all the magic happens. Shortly after, in walks the lovely Sonja Lowe with a beautiful smile on her face. Immediately she embraces me and I feel a spirit of peace. As we chatted we caught up, had some great laughs, and talked about God.

was ready and willing to be completely honest about her journey.

Sonja is a visionary, a people person, versatile, astounding, an embracer, and a lover of God are just a few words and phrases used to describe Sonja Lowe. Known to many as The Embrace Coach and the host of the TV series Couch Time with Sonja, Lowe is so much more than that. A true embracer she is but to me she is a woman of strength with a beautiful spirit who gives her best to everyone she encounters.

You have so much going on give us a run down of you ventures? I am a motivational speaker, personal and group coaching, a licensed minister, executive leadership coach, life coach, founder and facilitator of the Bare Experience for women. Visionary and Executive Director of 1Embrace, SL Boutique, Columnist for Evellis Magazine, and Choice 1 Media Group.

Born in Lufkin, TX and raised in Beaumont, TX, Lowe, the wife Bradford Lowe and mother of 3 beautiful children is a true queen who isn’t afraid to help other Kings and Queens fix their crowns.

About how many hours of sleep do you get ? I average about 5 hours a night at the most.

After 25 years, Lowe decided that it was time to make some things official by making her dreams become realities. All of her business ventures were dreams that are now breathing and making a difference. Of course things have not always been easy when it comes to starting a business. Often times no one is open to speak the truth but Lowe

Who is Sonja Lowe? A lover of people. Nothing stands in my way. True person of the people, an embracer. I allow people to believe and dream. I am also a dedicated member of the Grace Church.

If you could pick one word to describe you what would it be? Why? Resilient, nothing can keep me down no matter how many times I knocked down I always get up. What is your philosophy in life? “You have greatness inside of you...Embrace it and let the world see it.” W W W. T H E AV I D M AG A Z I N E.CO M

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Who is your greatest inspiration? My parents. My mom taught me power and she encouraged me to be the best that I can be. My worth, ethics, and values were instilled in me by my parents and have helped to shape me. What is Couch Time with Sonja, Houston’s Newest TV Talk Show? Couch Time with Sonja is a place where your story matters. We believe everyone has a story and it matters. Couch Time with Sonja Airs weekly on Eyeconic Television Digital TV - KVVV 15.10 Sun. and Thurs. evenings at 7pm CST. Outside of the viewing area you can watch at the same time online at www. sonjalowe.com/couchtime. What motivates you? Seeing others dreams come alive once they realize it and start to walk in their purpose. You have a business start-up initiative for women called Rise Up, tell us about this initiative? I helped 14 women launch their business. We went over everything from business plans, getting an LLC, website domains and so much more. The purpose of Rise Up is to encourage and empower new, mature, and aspiring entrepreneurs. The next Rise Up opportunity will be in May 2019. The process starts in October 2018. For more information visit www.sonjalowe.com. What are some challenges that you had to face in entreprenuership? Learning how to reamp. I had a business venture that did not survive. My husband and myself wanted a Retreat Center for the 16

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longest and we had told everyone we know that we were getting this retreat center. We were close to closing the deal and it did not go through. It was a very hard moment that we had to walk away from. I was very angry and depressed but I had to realize that God saved me from what I did not know. We can make plans but God’s purpose will prevail.

What are your future plans for Couch Time with Sonja? To be a voice for everyone. To become a faith based show where everyone’s story matters. I want people to see the Christ in me and be able to build a relationship through that. Couch Time with Sonja will become a household name.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your business? Building and seeing the dreams come alive. Each one was a dream that is now breathing and making a difference in someone else’s life.

How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as the one who embraced everyone.

How is your business involved in the community? We deal with mostly non-profits in the community. We help cater towards women, marriage, and fatherless men. We also volunteer with many other organizations.

For more information about Sonja Lowe or Couch Time with Sonja, visit https://www. sonjalowe.com Follow Sonja on Social Media: Instagram: @couchtimewithsonja Facebook: @couchtimewithsonja

If you could give some advice to someone wanting to step out on faith what would you say? Have crazy faith. Trust God and trust his process. When you have a nodge, follow peace and trust God in it. We love to take the step but we fail to trust God with the rest of it. Just know that you will fail, but fall forward and get up. In those moments we learn. What are some business nuggets that you can share? Let go, go with the focus, and say no. Stay focused with purpose and most importantly learn the value of no.

Photo Credit: Choice 1 Media Group


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Couch Time with Sonja Live at The Bender on August 4, 2018

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AVID

1. WBEA Expo

3. Beauty Meets Media

IN THE

CITY

2. Couch Time with Sonja Event

4. Watch Her Work Event

Have an event coming up? Invite AVID Magazine, email us at info@theavidmagazine.com and include the event details. Please submit all request 3 weeks in advance to ensure coverage.

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H

EDITOR’S PICK

ere are this quarters Top 5 places to eat in Houston - all owned by small business owners. Who doesn’t love a good food spot? If you are looking for great food and a bang for your buck, be sure to try out one of the following spots.

TOP 5 FOOD SPOTS 1

KRAB KINGZ 6600 ANTOINE DR, HOUSTON, TX 77091 (832) 667-8799 *TRY THE SNOW KRAB AND SHRIMP PLATE, DELUXE PASTA, AND DONT FORGET TO CHOOSE YOUR BUT TER FLAVOR LEMON PEPPER GARLIC,HONEY GARLIC, ORIGINAL

2

BEST DAMN NACHOS WWW.BESTDAMNACHOS.COM 713-364-4739

*TRY THE NACHOS AND THE CHICKEN WINGS.

3

OHMYGOGI 5555 MORNINGSIDE DR, HOUSTON, TX 77005 CHECK OUT T WIT TER FOR DAILY TRUCK TIMES AND LOCATIONS!

*TRY THE OMG FRIES MIXED WITH CHICKEN AND BEEF, AND THE CHICKEN TACOS.

4

THE BREAKFAST KLUB 3711 TRAVIS ST, HOUSTON, TX 77002 (713) 528-8561

*TRY THE CHICKEN AND WAFFLES, KATFISH AND GRITS, AND WINGS AND GRITS

5

BURNS BBQ 8307 DE PRIEST ST, HOUSTON, TX 77088 (281) 999-5559

*TRY THE MONSTER BAKED POTATOE, RIBS, LINKS, POTATOE SALAD AND MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THE BBQ SAUCE.

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AVID

IN THE

CITY

SIGN-UP FOR OUR BUSINESS DIREC TORY

BUSINESS DIRECTORY

Have you submitted your business to be apart of AVID Magazine’s Business Directory? This directory includes small businesses from all over the city of Houston and surrounding areas. Join the business directory today to have your business highighted and advertised by one of the fastest growing business magazines in Houston. Visit our website www.theavidmagazine. com and click on Business Directory to see all of our current businesses.

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Prices like these won’t last long. Hurry space for this quarter is limited. Get started today for only $10 a month! Get listed for 1 month free with purchase!

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“You learn something new every day” is a philosophy Ashley M. Martin lives by. She successfully blends her love for educating, encouraging, and empowering others into dynamic conversations, coaching sessions, and talks. After ten years in the public-school system, she took a leap of faith and followed her heart expanding her work as an author and speaker. She still loves the next generation and serves them through her nonprofit. Ashley has a great appreciation for all things gold, green tea, journals, and travel.

Roses & Thorns

Photo Credit: Headshot JoJo Photography

In 1998, Aretha Franklin released an empowering anthem penned by Lauryn Hill called “A Rose is Still a Rose.” The lyrics tell the tale of a beautiful, young woman who made a bad relationship choice. She ended up compromising who she once was and started to head down a path that she should have never been on. She later receives advice from a seasoned woman who reminds her of who she is and of the beauty that faded but was still within. The Queen of Soul sings, “cause a rose is still a rose, and baby girl you’re still a flower. Can’t lead you and then take you, make you and then break you. Darlin’ you hold the power.” Ms. Hill ends the chorus with “Cause what I am is what I am.” These lyrics are all too real and relevant for many who have found themselves in the midst of picking up the pieces from choices they made or choices others made that impacted them in a certain way. *Staying in that relationship you knew you were supposed to let go off a long time ago. *Allowing behaviors from yourself or others that no longer serve anyone in a positive way. *Not pursuing the dream. *Settling.

Like many, at some point in life, you have been there. Like thorns on roses, those choices can sometimes overshadow the beauty of who you really are because they are the first things you grab a hold off. Thorns hurt. They sting. They puncture. They wound. Once you get past the sting of a thorn, then you can appreciate the rose, see its beauty, and admire its value. Did you know that you have the power to get rid of the sting? You can make a choice to exercise your authority while enjoying the beauty of who you are without stinging yourself or other. One of the first steps in the right direction is cutting the thorns off. Most people who want to hold a rose up close will cut those irritating things off to enjoy it. Have you considered cutting off the bad attitude, erroneous mindset, or the tolerance of ill behavior? It is one way to ensure that you or others don’t miss the benefit of who you are or what you carry. Be sure to remind yourself daily of you are. Others will begin to see it too.

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Photo Credit: Lanaki Photos

Photo Credit: Lanaki Photos

K E L LY R I C H A R D S O N Kelly Richardson, owner of Sunflower Networking Marketing is helping tackle businesses one client at a time. Sunflower Network Marketing, LLC is a Houston area based company dedicated to serving your business needs. Sunflower Networking Marketing is your local, friendly, marketing company that wants to see your business thrive. Sunflower Network Marketing helps develop marketing strategies that you are able to implement right away to attract customers. One on One Coaching Sessions are available on the topics of advertising, communications, event planning, marketing plans, networking, online marketing, search engine optimization, selling, social media, website design, business start-ups, emails and finances. For more information visit www.sunflowernetworkmarketing.com. Being an entreprenuer is not always easy and sometimes in the process hard decisions have to made. Richardson sat down to give us an insight on her journey to help other business owners.

and how to manage your businesses. Anything that helps the client promote their businesses. I specifically do coaching. A big part of it is really helping business owners become confident by putting together a plan of attack to market their business and gain more customers.

Tell us about what you do. I coach businesses on marketing and small business startup. For example, I have coached clients on finances, how to network with other businesses, marketing, website building, advertising,

Was Sunflower Marketing your first business? Yes, this is actually my first business. I set this up years ago but I never did anything. Just my logo, business name, and LLC. Last year, I started-up and I got an official

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How did you get into doing this? I set-up the business over 5 years ago and I knew I wanted to provide a service. I was working as a project manager and I learned that I like doing things that involved organization. At the same time I dedicated a lot of time to volunteering. I helped run a non-profit, all of their events, raised money and anything that needed to be done. From technical events, volunteer events to social events. I asked myself what does every business need? Every business needs the opportunity to get in front of other businesses. There’s always going to be a need for marketing since there is always owners and operators that are starting up.

office. My last office was opened a month before Hurricane Harvey. We all know how that went so I said to myself we are not going to let that set me back. I moved into my current office in January of this year and begn seeing clients. Last year, you stepped out on faith and started working in your business full-time, how did this process go for you? I was in the Oil and Gas field and I got laid off. The jobs I was offered, I either had to move out of state or a longer commute. In some job offers for project management I had to take a cut. I asked myself why move down lower and honestly every opportunity that I took in jobs I always moved up and it seemed like when am I going to stop trying to move up the corporate ladder. I kept thinking after Project Management what’s next. Why not own your own business? I just didn’t want to feel like I had to sacrifice what I wanted to do just because I was married. Once you started your business, what was some of your biggest challenges? The first challenge that I had was not having a defined service that I wanted to offer as a company. When I took on my first client, he was happy with the services that I provid-

ed for him but he wanted more and they were all outside of the scope of what I was able to provide. At time I didn’t have a contract written down so that was definitely an issue. So you need to know what it is that you are going to provide and how much you are going to charge for your services. This year, I have developed my marketing materials and I have a workbook for all of my clients to follow along. This defines what I offer and what I don’t offer. When you go out of your way to offer something that you had not planned on originally offering because you are just interested in getting a client or the money, you end of spending a lot of wasted time, money and resources. The second challenge was determining what was original about my business. It was really hard trying to define that as I was going out marketing and also networking with other business owners. I ran into a lot of individuals who were saying oh we are doing marketing as well. At that point I realized that there are a lot of marketers out here. How do I distinguish myself from other marketers who are out here? Originally I thought I would be doing website design, then it was a magazine and then I finally realized that I wanted to do coach-


ing. I really like the coaching aspect. And the last challenge is when business owners first start out they are hesitant to spend money. It’s kind of hard to convince clients to spend the money on coaching. I had a couple of clients who purchased coaching sessions with other individuals who have signed up with me. You stated one of your biggest challenges was defining your uniqueness, tell us what makes you different? One of the things I do with clients is I sit down with them and I actually go through things with them like, let’s get your business listed, let’s work on your website, that’s the main thing that I do that is different from other businesses. I actually help people put things into action right then and there so when they do leave they don’t feel like they have not received their money’s worth. At the end of the 12 courses I out together a list of accomplishments that they can see during the time that we spent together. People are skeptical about marketing and the value that they would get from paying. I definitely made it where from day one when you meet with me you are putting marketing into action. Sometimes it’s just a little step. If it is something that you implement it takes time it’s not an immediate thing. When you implement one thing after another thing it adds up. How are your coaching sessions set-up? Most people meet with me weekly, and I start you off with what you are struggling with. One of my clients could not figure out why she was not getting any sales on her website after spending a ton of money on her website. Her sales site was messed up and during that one session we figured her problem and developed a plan. How much of an impact do you think that made in the clients business after that coaching session? It was a lot because she said on a average she was getting one sale a day in her clothing business. Her sales were only averaging $40-$50 a day and for months she could not figure out why. It could become something serious but when you are bogged down sometimes you miss the small stuff. Why should business owners consider coaching sessions with you?

I help people stay focused and put a path together. Instead of you going this direction and that direction which a lot of entrepreneurs do especially when you first start out. Most people have multiple businesses that they want to work on and I’m like just choose one. That’s something very easy that you can fix but when you are bogged down in your own business you don’t see problems like that. I don’t tell people no, I work with them to help them figure things out. I give you tools, I’m not telling you no. Are there any time limits on the coaching sessions? I have a one hour in which I may have to give homework because the time is so short. For the two hour session, I’ll work hands on with you and you will get an homework assignment depending on what we went over or discussed during that session. For example, if we went over search engine optimization the homework would be something like go home and research keywords. When you come back to your next session I review what we talked about last time

and we go on to the next subject. At the end of every session you get action lines. What motivates you to get out of begin the morning? I want to see my business thrive and the return on investment is the main thing. When you are putting in efforts, you want to see those efforts and how they pay off. For me I love meeting with clients who are happy, encouraged and who want see their business grow. Most of them are at the point where they know that they need some help. The clients are happy that they have someone to sit down and talk with that is going to help them improve their business. So I would have to say being around happy business owners and being able to

be that person that they are really happy about. Another thing would be realizing my dream of owning my own business is now a reality. How do you balance being a wife and owning a business? That has definitely been a struggle. I try to set a schedule and only work 5 days a week as opposed to working all seven days. Sometimes I go to a lot of networking events I usually go to them on a Saturdays. If I go to an event on a Saturday then I take Monday off. Having this office is a big help because before I was working from home and that was a big mess. Having an office helps to separate your home life from business and it definitely helps me to focus. It does not always stay separate of course but my husband is ok with me working at home. I look for his feedback and I always want to get a second opinion. He’s really good with helping me with some tips and advice. I try not to spend that much time doing stuff at home. I probably should be doing more. How do you stay focused? When

I start my day I write down a few items usually about 1-3 things that I plan to accomIfocus on making them achievable during the day. That is been one thing that help me stay focused. What is your philosophy that you live by? “Go for no.” based after a book and I learned about it through Score, a free mentoring service. It’s all about not being afraid. If you want to accomplish any goals, make sure you get out there in front of people and don’t be afraid of rejection. For example with my business, I should be doing whatever it takes to get clients whether it’s cold calling, knocking on doors. Just hearing the word no over and over again until I hear yes. It takes a certain amount of no’s

before you can get a yes. Even looking for a job is the same thing. Just persevere, be determined, be driven, don’t give up. No one else will doing things for you the way that you can. Do you have specific packages that cater to your clients needs? I only have the basic packages but I have been asked to offer some packages outside of that. I try to stick pretty much to my packages but I always ask my clients of there is something else that we did not discuss that you want to learn about let me know. For example, I had a client that wanted to know about sending automated emails. If someone brings up something to me that I think is going to benefit them and future clients then yes I will definitely work something out. I have expanded a little bit with the business classes. Initially I didn’t think I was going to be doing the business side of things. I try not to venture out too much I try to stay where my expertise are is. If there was one thing that you could tell yourself when you first started in business that you know now what would it be? Stay on track and don’t compare yourself to other people and other businesses. Stay confident and positive, don’t give up. Set goals especially with revenue so that when I do start to get clients I can improve from where I started. Last thing, make good financial investments. Believe in yourself because you may not make money right away. What’s the next step for Sunflower Network Marketing? I want to start doing presentations in the community. I also want to start incorporating the networking part of the business by planning and hosting events that go beyond the typical networking. Sunflower Network Marketing offers serveral packages to help meet your marketing needs. Visit www.sunflowernetworkmarketing.com. Schedule a 15-minute phone consultation, or an in person for a consultation today at no cost to you! E-mail: info@sunflowernetworkmarketing.com Telephone: (832)-544-2585

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10 Business Tools To help your Small Business

BUSINESS TOOLS

Living in a very innovative time period has been a plus for business owners especially Small Businesses. Here are 10 business services that could help your business thrive.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

1. Google Wallet

A fast and free way to send and receive mon- ey by just using an email address or phone number. The best part is that they do not have to have the wallet app. The money is deposited into the account of your choice. However, you will need a google account to access your money.

2. Wave

Create and send professional invoices, estimates, and receipts with a click of a button. Track your income and expenses without hassle. You are also able to pay your employ- ees and provide online pay stubs. Using Wave is free invoices, accounting and re- ceipts. However, if you choose to accept credit card payments or pay your employees it is on a pay as you go basis. www.waveapps.com

AV I D M AG A Z I N E

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Photo by Elyssa Zornes

3. Square

This service has been around for a while now but it keeps getting better. With Square you are able to get a free Square mag-stripe reader to swipe credit cards anywhere with the use of your phone or tablet. Now the lat- est readers are chip enabled. Square has also added Square Point of Sale for businesses and Square Stand for Ipads. The fee is per swipe or keyed in transaction.

4. PayPal

With PayPal you are able to make purchases, send money, receive money and keep record of all transactions. The easiest thing is to skip entering payment details. PayPal also offers a link to text or email so that you can by rawpixel.comTo sign up visit www.payget paidPhoto directly. pal.com


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

5. Square Cash

8. Mailchimp

6. Google

9. Hootsuite

Get paid instantly with Square Cash. It’s of- fers fast deposits, it’s easy for customers, has affordable pricing as well as quick cash.me profiles for cashtag. Available online at www.cash.me.

Google has transformed their entire brand becoming one of the top free email providers. This new google platform offers applications within the site to get answers, watch, listen, play, do more with google devices, stay connected across several screens, stay in touch, organize stuff, work smarter and grow your business. For more information on all the great supports that are offered by google. Visit www.google.com

7. Wix

Offers a way to build an online presence for your business. Wix is a simple drop and drag process that includes all the necessary tools needed to run a business. For more information please visit www.wix.com.

Provides a free email campaign and professional marketing automations. The free account allows for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails sent per month. Visit www.mailchimp.com.

Hootsuite is a dashboard that helps you man- age all of your social media accounts in one. It’s safer, faster and smarter. Several plans are of- fered including a free plan for up to 3 social profiles. www.hootsuite.com

10. Acuity Scheduling

A client scheduling database that allows clients to book their own appointments as well as pay for the services online. This self serve scheduler is very user friendly and at your fingertips. www.acuityscheduling.com Look for more tools to help your businesses in our next issues. Be sure to follow us on Social Media! If you have tips or you would like to contribute any information please contact AVID Magazine.

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READ

LEAD

SUCCEED

Sometimes we just need a push to remind us of our self-worth. Reading has always had a way of motivating entrepreneurs. The books listed below are MUST reads for every business owner.

1. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene 2. Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne tha God 3. The Power of Broke by Daymond John 4. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren 5. I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manuel by Luvvie Ajayi 6. Jump: Take a Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance by Steve Harvey 8. Destiny: Step into your Purpose by T.D. Jakes 9. I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart 10. The Startup Owners Manuel by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf Photo by Gaelle Marcel

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Favorite Reads Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum. The 48 Laws of Power is ideal whether your aim is conquest, self-defense, or simply to understand the rules of the game.

You need to JUMP like your life depends on it—because it does—if you truly want a life of peace and abundance. At the heart of this mesmerizing read is faith—the confidence in knowing that leaping will elevate our lives, and that we will be caught when we fall. Don’t stand on the cliff of life and watch others soar by, Steve tells us. If you take a leap of faith, God will open your parachute and “Give you life more abundantly.” Life is an incredible journey. It’s not good enough to exist—you need to live. You need to JUMP—to take a leap of faith, a risk toward the rich life God has planned for you.

Whether you are just starting out, starting over, or wondering if there is greater success than what you’ve already accomplished, now is the time to reset your inner compass. Clear your path of distractions and disruptions. Correct places where you have veered off course. Get unstuck. Embrace your God-given purpose and, with this revelatory guide from T.D. Jakes, dare to pursue the unseen order in your life circumstances that is your DESTINY.

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Photo Credit Craig Whitehead @sixstreetunder

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AVID Magazine Issue 3  

AVID Magazine Issue 3