The E-Zine for the Female Entrepreneur
The Third Testament G. Michael Dobbs talks to the film's star and producer, Amy Weins-Dallman
Being Sexy, Sassy,and Taken Seriously Erin Corriveau reflects on today's woman in business
Back With a Vengeance
Music journalist Mara Hunter chats with R&B singer Syleena Johnson about her new album
Building Your Social Power Network Maegan Brooks tells you the 4 people that should be in your circle
Stop Trying to Micro-Manage the UNIVERSE National Relationship/Life Coach
Tony Gaskins, Jr. lets women know they can leave the boss mentality at work
Lion s Den Inside the
in every issue
Managing ME Page 22
Shine on Sista... Illumination (and Inspiration for the Daily Grind) Page 18
"Being Sexy, Sassy, and Taken Seriously”
Erin Corriveau reflects on today's woman in business
"The Third Testament"
G. Michael Dobbs talks to the film's star and producer, Amy Weins-Dallman
"The 2nd Time Around"
Laurie Williams shares her personal account of changing careers later in the game
The Stiletto Statement Page 19
The Power Position Page 16
"Building Your Social Power Network”
Maegan Brooks tells you the 4 people that should be in your circle
"Back With a Vengeance”
Music journalist Mara Hunter talks to R&B singer Syleena Johnson about her new album
“Stop Trying To MicroManage the Universe”
National Relationship/Life Coach Tony Gaskins, Jr. lets women know they can leave the boss mentality at work
s s e e n n e o i c L lS a i c o S
You donâ€™t have to wait until the next issue ... Stay connected on the Social Scene
Women Arou n d th e G lo b e
s Snape n e c S e th B e h in d M o n th â€™s is th m o r F s h o ts Cover Shoot R e a d s o f th e We e k
We e k e th f o s g n o S
Connect. Share. Discover.
Editor - At - Large
We Want to
Art Director Scott Sheehan
Did you and your Denise Smith colleagues just Columnists Crystal Senter Brown return from an inspiring seminar? Feature Photographer
Brendaâ€™s Child Erin Corriveau Dawn Leaks Katelyn Gendron
Is our cover story really speaking to you? Did you and your
sorority sisters help out at a n Tony Gaskins, Jr. local nonprofit event? a Lamara Hunter e n v Send us your pictures, ha rt i w pe s letters, thoughts, & o n ex ea k suggestions! u an d i o . y y u r e o to E-MAIL US! m n o y o e s il.c e r r m A ou a o s ?
Lioness Magazine is the first e-zine geared toward female entrepreneurs. We deliver sharp and compelling information on a variety of topics that are relevant to female entrepreneurs and professionals. Our mission is to elevate, educate and support female professionals.
We celebrate the unique challenges and achievements of women in business. We believe women are multi-dimensional creations who flourish, personally and professionally, when they take time to nurture their spirits.
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Letter From The Editor Let me start off by saying that I am in awe of you. Yes, you. You are funny, smart, thriving, fresh and inspiring. Each day I am blessed to interact with you. You come from a variety of backgrounds, have a multitude of interests and smiles as bright as the moonlight. It is from you that I find support, motivation and just plain ol’ fire to keep my passions burning. We hug upon greeting. We start our sentences with, “not to complain or anything,’ when we know we will vent endlessly. We’ll talk well into the night after we’ve spent the entire day texting. Sometimes we even give one another that ‘I have one at home, too’ look when our kids are acting up in the grocery store. You are woman. My sister. Cut from the same cloth of beauty and complexity. It is acceptable to tell everyone what we are NOT (weak, inferior, dense). However, if one of us shares what we ARE (bright, capable, successful); we are immediately deemed conceited and arrogant. There is something undeniably wrong with this scenario. This magazine is a manifestation of a dream I first had nearly eight years ago. I now present it to you as a tool to elevate, educate and empower female entrepreneurs and professionals who are taking control of their lives and careers. We, collectively, are here to say it is OK to be vibrant, passionate and authentically YOU at work, home and everywhere in between. That spark inside of you comes from the depth of your soul. It is a fuse that can stay continuously lit if you feed it. Do you have a talent? Hone it. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? Do it. Are you biting your tongue in the boardroom because you’re afraid of what others will think? Say it. There are women around the world who are risking their lives to get the very freedoms many of us enjoy. Life is a gift. Unwrap it. Dance, sing, shout, love, break a dish or roar! All are reminders that you are alive and in the here and now. Fight for what you believe in and fight against what you don’t. Strut (literally and figuratively) hard enough to leave your imprint anywhere you go and on everything you do. Women like Shirley Chisholm and Jody Williams didn’t create their legacies by being invisible. We are all born with a purpose. Seize yours. Reach out and take a fellow woman on your journey. Always share your blessings. There’s room for each one of us to shine. A lioness does not travel alone. They travel together in a pride. Every year you are changing the face of entrepreneurism and enterprise. This publication is for you. Welcome to Lioness Magazine …
Being Sexy, Sassy, and Taken Seriously The movie is Up Close & Personal. The actress is Michelle Pfieffer. Cut to the opening scene where she is being interviewed about her career as a TV reporter. The cameraman asks her how she got started. She looks reflective as a slight, gutsy smile appears in the corner of her mouth
and she replies “I dealt craps.” “You dealt craps?” he says. “Had to start somewhere,” she replied. Flashback to Vegas in the early 90s. Pfieffer strolls into a local TV station, a vision in a hot pink “power suit,” head held high and a fresh, bright smile, complete with matching lipstick and black pumps. 7
Some of Erin’s Outfits Courtesy of Surdoue
Women everywhere watching are practically humming, “I am woman, hear me roar” and are cheering her on ... until Robert Redford rains on her pink parade by telling her she has a lot to learn and she would have to start at the bottom. We quickly learn that this means the bottom of his dry cleaning pile; However, this tenacious beauty sticks to her guns, happily accepts and after much hard work and persistence swiftly grows into a famed reporter. There were many lessons taught in the first ten minutes of this movie and they all point to the same conclusion: You can be sexy, sassy and taken seriously. You just have to want to be. How do you do it? With an edge!
Don’t Underestimate Yourself. The most damaging mistake that any woman can make is to underestimate who she is and what she can do. Never
underestimate what you have in you as it’s far greater than you think it is. Think about a time in your life where you’ve worked through a personal or professional issue that seemed overwhelming or terrifying and came out stronger for it. You may not have thought you would, or could, but you did. Say it with me ladies – “Yes I can!” Oh, that was weak come on ladies; say it again “YES I CAN!” Let’s practice:
Illusion: “I could never express my opinion in that meeting. People won’t take me seriously.” Ladies: “YES YOU CAN! And yes they will!” Illusion: “I would love to apply for the promotion but I would never get a second look. I’m not sure I have what it takes.” Ladies: “YES YOU DO! And if THEY believe that YOU believe you do, they will look again…and again.” Illusion: “I could never wear those yellow shoes with that zebra skirt.” Ladies: “YES YOU CAN! And please do!”
You get the point. Assumption and doubt are waiting just around the corner for the chance to prove you right. When we assume we can’t, we don’t. When we doubt that we will, we won’t. Michelle Pfieffer left dealing craps to become a reporter because she believed she could and what she didn’t know is that her self-assurance led Robert Redford to believe in her, too. He began to take her seriously the more he saw her confidence grow. Oh, and one more thing – confidence is sexy ladies. Wear it well.
So I Have the Confidence, Now What? Deliver. Be smart. Let me clarify – I’m not suggesting that you break out the fancy “word of the day” desk calendar that you got for a stocking stuffer last holiday season and use today’s word in a sentence to impress people. I’m talking about using your “smarts” – educational AND intuitional. When you are hired for a job, learn it. Learn about your company and its history. Learn past and current leadership, the dynamics surrounding the company’s inner workings and how your role plays an important part in its success. Understand the current mission and strategic plan. These tools are readily available to you at any time and will only help you become more attractive to co-workers and management. It will be impossible to perform at your personal best if you aren’t invested in your company.
Be lively. Smile at your co-workers. Laugh a good belly laugh. Go ahead and have a snappy comeback at the right time during a meeting or general discussion. Show your “edge”… your attitude….your appeal… your presence. People are naturally drawn to forces – and you are no different. Please remember one golden rule – be appropriate. Nothing takes the wind out of the sassy sail at work like inappropriateness.
Confident, Smart Party of 1…Now Whatever Shall I Wear? Ladies, we are not all the same. We are made up of different shapes, sizes, careers and have different ways of expressing who we are through our clothing. We wear what makes us feel good, confident and happy and when we feel good, confident and happy – we are! Luckily we live in a day and age where many past styles have been redefined to better represent who we are – women!
Nothing takes the wind out of the sassy sail at work like inappropriateness.
Confidence? Check. Smarts? Check. What’s Next? Bring in the sass. The first definition of sassy per Daniel Webster is “impudent.” OK, not good. The second definition is “vigorous” or “lively.” Ah, that’s better. To take it one step further, vigorous is defined as “full of physical or mental strength; an active force.” We have a winner. Be full of mental strength. Be an active force.
Gone are the days of the linebacker-esque female “power suit”. Desperate to prove we deserved just as must respect as men in the workplace we forced ourselves into these double-breasted concoctions of wool and hounds tooth that were enough to scare Dolce and Gabbana right back to the drawing board (Amen!). In today’s corporate world, wear what speaks to you but also states that you are to be taken seriously. You can achieve this by adding your own flair or panache – a fun piece of jewelry, a bold shoe, a bright-colored scarf etc. If you are having doubts about your outfit chances are it’s just not suitable for the workplace. Leave it on the hanger for an upcoming girl’s night out. And please, for the love of Diane Von Furstenberg, leave the flip flops and ripped jeans at home…unless that IS appropriate 9
dress for your career.
Youâ€™ve Got It Now Ladies: Be Smart. Be Sassy. Be Confident. Be Edgy. Be Stylish. Deliver. Find your voice. Be a presence. Oh yes, you certainly can!
Sexy Sassy Seriously Erin Corriveau is the National Sales Manager for ECS Eclipse which provides creative underground and above ground storage tank compliance solutions to tank owners across the country. An avid writer, Erin has primarily worked in community and public relations adding MassMutual Financial Group and Baystate Health among her previous employers.
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THE BOSS is back with a
vengeance Syleena Johnson is a Grammy-award nominated R&B singer and songwriter, known best for her work with Kanye West on the single, “All Falls Down,” but that’s just a glimpse of who this woman is. Syleena holds five chapters to her story and offers the very best of her to fans. Her new album, Chapter V: Underrated is due out September 27th. Chapter V is being released on Shanachie Records, home to such artists as Calvin Richardson, Jody Whatley, Walter Beasley and Swing Out Sister. Syleena’s fans and critics pretty much named this album because of her lack of support from the industry. “This industry is not peaches and cream,” she expressed. “But I am excited and happy to be a part of this new label, Shanachie, and to be working with Cornerstone Marketing and Promotion.” Her hot new single, “A Boss” is hitting the airwaves with a vengeance. Not just another women’s anthem, but this song was selected personally by Mrs. Johnson to help uplift women.
What is “Fierce”?
Fierce is being marked with unrestrained zeal or vehemence. Fierce is being furiously active or determined. Fierce is Syleena Johnson. Her raspy, soulful voice is known across the land and when she sings with that commanding power, the world listens. Now that’s fierce!
“When I heard this track, I knew I had to make it my own. This song empowers women to be strong and demand what they want from a relationship,” she noted. A great voice of our time once said, “It’s a man’s world, but it’s nothing without a woman,” and we have been doing it for ourselves for many, many decades. Sometimes it’s really hard to find a man that can meet us at 12
at that level or do one better. This song is simply saying, “I want a partner that can meet me where I’m at, career wise and beyond. With a course and choppy beat and progressive rhythm, this song makes you want to stand up, loud and proud and let your demand be known. It’s definitely worth a standing ovation.
nodules, (a growth on vocal cords genuinely caused by vocal abuse) and went through speech therapy, which ultimately gave her voice the strength and texture that contributed to her unique sound. She went through many challenges and struggles, but she came to find that by writing about these issues, she could overcome them.
The Many Hats of Syleena Johnson
“Music is my therapy, all these albums are chapters in my life,” she recalled. By recording her life’s journey to the tune of soul-tinged tracks, she was able to help grab her audience’s attention, tell her story and hopefully help somebody else.
For Mrs. Johnson, it’s not just business as usual and she’s not just another songstress with a mean voice. This entrepreneur is a wife, married to Kiwane Garris, former basketball player for the Sacramento Kings. She’s a mother, as well as an actress and Chief Executive Officer of her own label, Aneelys Records. I had the very distinct pleasure of talking with “Mrs. Boss Lady” herself about her music, family, struggles, victories and the many other hats that women wear in this industry. Let me tell you, anyone who could simultaneously, record and/or perfect a track in the studio, hold down an interview and the kids all in one sitting is definitely a Boss! She does it all and does it well. It’s been said, that the high road is the road less traveled, so it’s no surprise to know that the percentages are not that high for successful women execs in this industry. Syleena knew she wanted to sing at a very early age. Compared to great songstresses as Angela Winbush and Tina Turner, she feels privileged to be linked to such great divas in the industry. Bred to the musical influences of her father, Syl Johnson, a 1960s R&B singer and Brenda Thompson (the first black female commissioner in America), she was destined to strive and be successful. Her love for pure, unadulterated soul was made evident as she went through her childhood listening to such soul greats as Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Mavis Staples (of the Staple Singers) and though trained to become a star, the road to music was far from being an easy one. As a teenager Syleena suffered from vocal
Syleena is an amazing songwriter and documented the chapters of her life in a meaningful way that her fans could relate to. She worked in classical and gospel choirs as well as jazz ensembles at Drake University and at Illinois State University, where she majored in music. Syleena released two independent albums, Love Hangover and This Time Together by Father and Daughter before landing a Major record deal with Jive Records. She released Chapter I: Love, Pain & Forgiveness, Chapter II: The Voice and Chapter III: The Flesh with Jive Records. In 2008, I Am Your Women: The Best of Syleena Johnson was released. Chapter IV: Labor Pains was released on her own label, Aneelys Records. With Aneelys, she learned to do for herself what others hesitated to do for her and with the help of her long-time manager sister, Dr. Syleecia Thompson, who began managing Syleena Johnson’s career in 2005 and is currently the 13
President of Aneelys Records; she is getting the job done.
It’s all in the family. Sisters Syleecia and Syleena. “My sister being my manager is the best thing for me. I know that she will do her best and I can trust her with my life. To me loyalty and genuine concern is what makes a great manager. Plus, she lives in NYC and that helps her reach,” said Syleena.
So, what is the sixth chapter looking like? Syleena is already back in the studio working on a soul album with her father. She also headed back to school and is an online student at Kaplan University to get a degree in Nutrition Science. Be sure to catch Syleena in the upcoming reality show, Diary of a Diva produced by Faith Evans. It is a show that “depicts the life and struggles of an R&B female singer, trying to juggle being a wife, mom, business woman, etc. and the struggles of the career,” said Syleena. Being in the business for years is one thing, learning the business is another and ultimately taking the business to another level is what great entrepreneurs are made of. This Lioness is definitely running things, making waves and is someone to watch in the music industry. Keep striving to the top!
Mara Hunter, 32, is a multi-talented individual with the gift to create expressive pieces. This single mother of three is a native of Springfield, MA via Jacksonville, FL. She’s a Freelance Writer, Staff Music Journalist for Total Eclipse Magazine, Contributing Writer for Lioness Magazine, as well as a poet and dancer.
Get YoUR MInd seT In my work with small business owners I notice when there is a set back or when things don’t go according to the master plan, there can be a tendency for the business owner to blame the area. They’ll say make comments along the lines of “People in this area just don’t support businesses.” Yet, as I drive around the area, I see hundreds of successful businesses. What is it that makes some entrepreneurs more successful than others? Do successful business owners have better products? More education? More access to capital? It’s possible. Yet, there are successful entrepreneurs that sell novelty items like the pet rock, have no formal education, or start with limited funds. So, what is it that makes some businesses rise to the top while others fail? If you’ve had any conversations with me at all, you’ve probably heard me say “the mind is powerful” at one time or another. Well, the mind is powerful! How we think shapes what we do and for the entrepreneur, a healthy and productive mindset is an absolutely essential ingredient for success. It’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming others when things don’t work out the way we plan but one thing every entrepreneur should be prepared to do is take full responsibility for
his or her business. That includes every success and every failure.
Here are three things to think about if you are a budding entrepreneur: • Don’t pressure your family and friends - It would be fantastic if all of your friends and family not only purchased your products and services but also promoted your business to everyone they know right? Chances are it probably won’t happen quite that way. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by setting unrealistic expectations for your family and friends. They are not going to morph into top notch sales people just because you started a business. And it’s not fair for you to expect them to. Start thinking about how you would promote your business if not one friend or family member ever purchased anything from you or told anyone about your business. • Be prepared to work – Your ultimate goal may be to have a thriving business complete with a full staff. That’s a great goal and while you’re working toward that goal, you have to be prepared to do every job that needs to be done. That includes the things you don’t like to do and things that my not be your strong suit. Until you can afford 16
to hire staff or until you can recruit reliable volunteers, it’s all up to you. Mentally prepare yourself and make the commitment to do whatever needs to be done for your business from cleaning toilets to running executive meetings. • Look at failures as opportunities – Setbacks can certainly be discouraging and it’s easy to start looking for someone to blame. Ultimately, as the business owner, the onus is yours. When things go wrong it’s a great time to stop and self evaluate. Ask
yourself a few questions: What steps can I take to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future? Am I working with the right people? Am I putting the same amount of energy into my business that I’m asking of others? A positive attitude can go a long way in life and in business. Each of us decides what we will focus on. We decide what drives us. Focusing on what other people are or aren’t doing is a huge mistake. Take control of your business and your success by focusing on the one thing you can control – you.
Dawn Leaks is a marketing professional for a major non-profit organization where she specializes in public relations, communications, and special event planning. An entrepreneur at heart, Dawn is working to open a family-owned and operated fitness studio in the Greater Springfield area. Visit www.curvytalk.com.
Power Position 17
STEP AWAY FROM THE SMARTPHONE! It goes with me everywhere. It sits on my desk while I am working and in my cup holder when I am driving. It peeks out of my backpack during class and sits on my lap during church service. Even when I am sleeping, it sits on my nightstand. It is a constant companion – a 24 hour technological connection to family and friends. I probably check it 100 times daily, and I didn’t realize how dependent I had become on it until I was forced to go without it for a few days last summer.
My challenge to you this month is to STEP AWAY FROM THE SMARTPHONE! Schedule “phone-free” time (at least an hour or two) every day and use this time to reconnect with a friend or loved one. Instead of checking Facebook for the twentieth time, invite a friend to go for a walk. Instead of sending yet another text message, visit a family member. God never meant for us to do all of our fellowshipping digitally. He wants us to share face-to-face conversation on a regular basis!
The first time I was By reconnecting with our inner selves with the without a “connection,” and people who love us, we will be I thought I was going re-energized when we step back into to lose my mind! the hustle and bustle of
My grandmother lives in a small Tennessee town. When I visited her last summer, the signal for my cell phone became weak or nonexistent. During that time I was forced to go without cell service for a few days. No Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, CNN or other online outlets. Text messaging was even limited. The first time I was without a “connection,” I thought I was going to lose my mind! But I didn’t. Instead of losing my mind, I rediscovered myself! In the stillness of those days “off the grid,” I was reminded of how much I love face-to-face conversation, reading books and listening to music. My grandmother and I attended church services, went out for a meal or went to the mall. As I disconnected from the rest of my busy life, I reconnected with the virtues of patience and attentiveness. I had almost lost those attributes after years of constantly being “plugged in.”
our daily lives. We may never truly be able to live “off the grid” but by remembering to take a step back from technology every now and then, we can rediscover our most valuable resource: OURSELVES!
Shine On Sista! Illumination (and Inspiration for the Daily Grind) Crystal Senter Brown has been a performance poet for most of her life. Born in Morristown, TN she has performed at thousands of events. Her song "Large and Lovely" was nominated for several music awards including the Billboard Music Song Award, Peacedriven Song Award, ASCAP Music Plus Award and the Urban Music Award. Visit www.crystalsenterbrown.com.
STILETTO They say we are what we eat, but we’re also the clothes we put on our backs. We live in an industrialized nation where clothing, accessories, hair and makeup can quickly determine job placement with a single glance. Like it or not ladies, your credentials aren’t the only things being considered in the workplace.
certainly make an impression.
For those who took to my least favorite trend from last year, the pixie haircut made famous by Emma Watson’s dramatic chop of her post-Harry Potter locks, try experimenting with extensions to create a waved bob. Longer hair can prove Why not try setting to be a valuable yourself apart from the accessory as an updo other granola grannies from 9 to 5, followed Try bold lips and a fresh wavy bob to at your job by exploring by the natural grace revamp your look instantly. the realm of untapped of wavy length during accessories. Remember that accessories are happy hour or drinks with a colleague. not just jewelry or shoes and purses but also Don’t underestimate the relevance your hair, makeup, skin bronzer and nail of highlights and lowlights while at the hair polish. salon: a seemingly subtle red or blonde tint can give your hair added dimension. The fall and winter months are a great time Well-manicured hands and feet are to experiment with color, as well as hair also very important within the professional extensions, weaves or skin toner because setting. You don’t want to shake the hands one can always hide any unsightly foul-ups of new clients and chafe them with your with a trendy long-sleeved camo or polka sandpaper palms. Refrain from French dot frock, which are just two of this fall’s manicures, yes they’re classy but they’re also notable trends. dull, and you want to give the impression that you’re more forward thinking: a frosty If you’re not a fan of head-to-toe polka dots, color for winter or a metallic hue during the which are spotting the runways courtesy of fall can make all the difference. Marc Jacobs and other industry Be wary of over the counter bronzers heavyweights, try adopting one of Jill that often turn one’s skin orange. This may Stuart’s “Working Girl” dresses or be common sense but you don’t know how incorporating the fall’s trendiest colors: jade, common a problem this can be for some. rust and mustard. For those with paler If you’re so inclined, visit a creditable salon complexions mustard clothing paired with a for all your bronzing needs. You’ll be thankful dramatic red or burgundy lip-gloss will you spent the extra cash in order to look like
a professional, not a pumpkin. I must admit that I’m not a fan of bronzers or tanning salons. I’m blonde and freckled and own my complexion. If you’re like me, use the pasty
look to your advantage and try bright red nail polish or lip-gloss to accentuate your complexion.
So have fun with it, experiment, and remember ladies, you’re only as good as your last outfit.
Katelyn Gendron is a native of New York, who is currently living and working as a newspaper editor in Western Massachusetts. She is a college-trained journalist and world traveler, who has documented her journeys for various publications spanning five of the seven continents (she plans to visit the remaining two during her lifetime). Her motto: “Life’s a ball. Let’s play!
Stop Trying to Micro-Manage the Universe It is ok to let a good man lead at home. Contrary to popular belief, submission to a man is not a weakness. It is a strength. To be able to voice your opinion and then let your man have the final call takes a lot of maturity. That is what being interdependent is all about, and it makes for a strong, healthy relationship. For a man, being able to lead is connected to his self-esteem and his role on this Earth. If that is taken from him, it could ruin him and lead to many problems in the relationship. Innately, men want to protect and provide. A large part of that is also being able to decide what is best for his family. If a woman takes the lead and makes a mistake, her man may never live it down. But if he makes a choice and he makes a mistake, it’s all on him. Having the agency to do so makes him much more pleasant to be around because he feels as though he is fulfilling a part of his purpose as a man.
A man’s ego is bigger than a woman’s ego; so if you feel the need to lead, imagine how he feels. Don’t strip your man of his pride and dignity by making him ignore the essence of his being. It’s ok to have a strong mind but don’t disrupt the natural order or you will suffer the consequences. Here are some great tips to walk away with:
Identify his “A man’s ego is bigger leadership qualities and reinforce than a woman’s ego; so if them. Express your you feel the need to lead, opinion but let me you trust his imagine how he feels.” know final decision.
If you don’t feel that your man is fit to lead, then you may need to question your reasons for being with him to begin with. A man who isn’t fit to lead hasn’t fully grown into his manhood yet and should be given time to mature a little more. But if you have a man who is fully capable of leading yet you choose to run things yourself, you are asking to be cheated on and eventually to be left high and dry. If a man cannot be a man in his own home, then he will find a home where he can be a man.
If he doesn’t do what you suggested and it turns out wrong, don’t rub it in. He will feel bad enough already. Even when you know the answer to a question, ask him anyway. If you feel you don’t have enough of a voice in the relationship, in a time of peace say to him, “Baby, I really thank you for giving me a voice in this relationship and for making me feel like my opinion counts.” By expressing yourself in this manner, he will be encouraged to get your input more often. Remember, “Life will get a lot easier when you stop trying to micro-manage the universe.” Tony A. Gaskins, Jr. is a highly sought-after life/relationship coach and motivational speaker. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Tyra Banks Show. Visit www.TonyGaskins.com. 21
Time T Spare Time management can be a difficult undertaking regardless of the circumstances but especially when trying to start a business while working a 9 to 5 (or a 4 to 12) job. Add in daily family and domestic obligations, factor in unexpected scenarios, and we can be left feeling like an utter failure. Sometimes we find ourselves wishing there were 27 hours in a day so that we can get more and more things done. Before we know it, six months have passed and all we have is an unexecuted idea. Sound painfully familiar? Time management can indeed be difficult but it is possible. Here’s how: Step One: Take out your monthly planner. If you don’t have one, stop reading this article now and go get one! Most cell phones have a planner as well. If you don’t have a cell phone either, maybe you should reconsider your goal of becoming an entrepreneur (just kidding). Step Two: Find one hour of time in the next week that you have free. This can be any hour, any day when you don’t have any scheduled appointments, practices or exercise. Step Three: In that free one hour block of time, pencil in the phrase TIME FOR MY DREAM. (Actually using a pen is better so that you are not tempted to erase.) Step Four: Find one free hour block of time each week for the next three weeks and pencil in the same phrase: TIME FOR MY DREAM.
early morning, late evening, right after dinner or on the one day of the week when you don’t have to chauffeur your kids anywhere. Step Six: Another helpful tip for keeping your appointment is to send yourself a reminder the day before via email or alarm (on that cell phone). If you want the world to take you seriously as an entrepreneur, you first have to take yourself seriously. Step Seven: Finally, if you happen to look up at the end of the hour and find you have a few more minutes to spare, consider it a bonus and keep working. The most difficult part is done. You have managed your time and started working toward your dream!
Managing ME Brenda’s Child has made it her life’s mission to inspire people through poetry and stories and through leading by example with courage, confidence, and integrity. She emphasizes self-love, worth, and value. She also feels obligated to tell the truth... even if it hurts. Visit www.brendaschild.com.
Step Five: Now that you’ve scheduled the time, keep this appointment no matter what. I can hear the “what if’s” churning in your head right now, but think about this. When you call to schedule an appointment for your annual exam with your OBGYN or for your semi-annual visit to your dentist, sometimes you have to get where they can fit you in. If you must cancel the appointment, you may have to wait for what seems like an eternity to get another one. Your time is just as valuable as your physician’s. So to avoid cancellations as much as possible, try to plan your one hour around a time of day when things are slower for you. This could be in the
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The Third Testament would be.”
Weins and Dallmann studied musical theater and theater in college, respectively, and when they met Dallmann was writing screenplays in hopes of selling one to a producer. Weins said the couple wondered why not write one for a film they would do themselves. Moviemaking is not the couple’s occupation. Dallmann owns a medical billing company, while Weins is a real estate agent. Their strategy was smart; Dallmann would write a script that could be produced between $25,000 and $50,000, the amount the couple decided they could spend one a film.
The story behind the new thriller “The Third Testament,” is almost as intriguing as the one on the screen. The movie, told as a mockumentary, presents an interesting religious question: what if a new testament of the Bible was discovered and what if it presented teachings that reflected social concerns of today’s world? And what if a major corporation was behind the validation of those ancient texts? Take one part “The Da Vinci Code” and one part of any Alex Jones conspiracy rant, and you have elements that are from writer and director Matt Dallmann’s screenplay. “The Third Testament” is more than just a first effort for the young filmmaker. It is also the product of a married couple determined to see a movie career launched. Amy Weins is the film’s executive producer, lead performer and is married to Dallmann. “We were naïve,” she told Lioness Magazine with a laugh. “We didn’t realize how awful it
Weins, through her real estate connections, had plenty of locations where shooting could take place. Although some of the performers are friend or relatives – Wein’s sister played her character’s sister – the couple used Screen Actors Guild actors in key roles to insure professional performances. The shoot was scheduled for three to four weeks and Weins said the crew was very helpful in creating the sets and assisting in the lighting. She credited Director of Photography Aram Spike Bauman will helping her husband. “He was fantastic,” she said. Filming wasn’t easy and Weins said, for her husband, “It was a very stressful undertaking. I’m glad we did it before having a child,” she added. Part of the stress came from her being the lead character in the film and adding the layer of being directed by her husband to their relationship, she said. “I would never do that again,” Weins added.
Even more stress came after the film was completed. Weins and Dallmann entered their film into various festivals, but “winning awards doesn’t mean distribution deals,” she explained. The couple decided to self-distribute their film, which also has proved challenging. The movie is available for purchase through Amazon.com and it can be streamed to a viewer’s computer for $4.95 from the couple’s Web Site, www.thirdtestamentthemovie.com.
Weins explained. The easy availability of cameras and editing software has meant an influx of self-financed independent films, she said. “Everyone and his dog is making films,” Weins added. The couple has utilized Web sites that cover independent films as one way to get the word out on the film. They also reached out to religious organizations and have had professors show the film to their religious classes. Despite the reality of low budget filmmaking, Weins wouldn’t mind doing more. “I enjoyed definitely acting and the subject matter. If we make our money back, I’d do it again. If someone paid us, I’d do it again. If I had to do it again, I would do it,” she said.
The couple is selling the film themselves, as well. Weins said they have about 1,000 copies sitting in their New Jersey home right now. Even though the film has garnered positive reactions, Weins said the nature of the narrative makes it as difficult sale. Because it’s a thriller, a social commentary and the story of a young woman searching for answers about her missing husband, the film is difficult to pigeonhole. “We don’t know how to market it,” she said. Netflix, which now dominates the DVD rental industry, won’t even look at new independent movies,
One of the worst things I think I can say about a movie is I’ve seen the story or premise presented before and nothing new was added. I can’t say that about “The Third Testament.” This very low budget film does have a lot going for it, including an engaging multi-layered premise and a solid performance from Amy Weins. In the low-budget film market place, a film made on this kind of budget that doesn’t have significant doses of sex, nudity or violence is a rarity. The simple fact is that it’s difficult to produce a comedy or drama on a budget no more than $50,000. Exploitation films have an easier time finding an audience and making back their money on that budget level. “The Third Testament” isn’t an exploitation film. It’s a film with a lot of ideas and one that an adventurous movie fan should embrace. A young filmmaker is shooting a documentary about a new part of the Christian Bible, a third testament, and goes missing. His wife, Carolyn (Weins) embarks on a search for him, one that is chronicled by another filmmaker. Along the way, Carolyn’s faith is questioned and she discovered her husband may not have been exactly who she thought he was.
G. Michael Dobbs is a writer, film historian, college instructor, and former radio talk show host with now 30 years experience in mass communications. He is also managing editor for Reminder Publications in Western Massachusetts which is read by about 120,000 to 130,000 people every week. Visit www. outoftheinkwell.blogspot.com.
From a technical viewpoint, the film is shot and edited well. My biggest concern is that Dallmann tries to pack too much story into his film. There are times one has to pause to try to tie the various story threads together. Dallmann wants the viewer to question his or her own faith as part of the film’s experience and I think he largely succeeds in that goal. He’s a young filmmaker to watch and this movie is worth viewing.
Changing Careers Later in the Game I am 46 years old and have just obtained my BS degree. Thank you, God! It was not an easy challenge but it comes with great rewards. I was 39 years old when Aetna Inc., laid me off. Getting a job has never been a problem for me. I thought as usual, I will find another job. Having been out of the job search arena for some time, I didn’t realize what I was now up against. The competition had changed. In the past I was up against peers that had about the same level of education that I had; a high school diploma and perhaps a business certificate and experience made up for anything else that may have been lacking. Times had changed. My competition was now those who had college degrees and new innovative minds; younger and more education. “How can I compete with that”? The knowledge and expertise that I currently held, had taken me as far as it was going to. I could no longer skate by on my ability to acquire a job, excel, and move up the corporate ladder, without having a degree. I had always thought of going back to school and had made plans many times to do so, however life got in the way; especially with getting promotions every year and making a good salary without having the degree, it was very easy to just put it off. The reality of going back to school did not make me joyous. In fact, I had doubts about my ability to do the work. I suddenly felt very inadequate. I felt that I had wasted my life and this should have been done along time ago. “I should be thinking about retirement not going to school”. Yes, I know that
people go back to school in their 50s and 60s; however that is usually to get a 2nd or 3rd degree or even their PHD. In my case, God had truly looked out for me, I had gotten far in Corporate America without even having an associates degree. I didn’t know what I now know, that I was actually in a good place. Often time when we are in our twenties we don’t have a clue as to what we want to do with our life. We spend a lot of money on getting degrees that we never use or we do it for our parents. The career chooses us, and in most cases it’s not our passion. While in college I was introduced to Erik Erikson, a theorist who is known for his research in the 8 stages of Human Development. Stage 7 in Human Development, according to Erikson, calls for a yearning to be productive and having a purpose. I learned that I was actually in a place that we all will come to in our 40s, whether you have education or not, whether you are a doctor, lawyer, or have traveled the world, you will come to a place where you will reflect on what you have or have not accomplished and suddenly become unfulfilled and want more or something different.
You come to a point where you want to be happy not only in your career but internal fulfillment within yourself. Whether you like making jewelry, writing a 26
book, cooking, or expounding on that hobby you have, and making it a career. Whatever it is that fulfills you that is what we start looking for in our 40s. Knowing that I was right where I was supposed to be gave me the drive to continue the journey with zeal and not as if I was making up for lost time, because lost time is time you can never get back. Knowing that going back to school in my 40s was not a reflection of my own lack of accomplishments, but actually human development doing what it does making me take a look at my life and reflecting on what I can improve upon.
A second chance; and I get to choose the career that will bring me fulfillment in the second half of my life.
Masters of Science degree in Social Work. I chose this discipline because of my love and passion for helping others, empowering our youth, making changes in the community, and advocating for those who can not or will not speak for themselves. As long as you have the strength, ability and desire, it is never too late to do what you could have done. Eleanor Roosevelt, the creator the Universal Declaration of Human Rights once said, “Someone once asked me what I regarded as the requirements for happiness. My answer was: a feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you, a feeling you have done your best in our personal and professional life, and the ability to love others.”
My favorite Quote: “Be the change you want to see” ~ Mahatma Ghandi
I am so excited about education that I have decided to continue on and obtain my
Laurie Williams recently studied human services at Springfield College and works with a number of nonprofit and community organizations including fundraising and planning for the Step Out: Walk for Diabetes and the Western Mass Kidney Walk. She is the administrator of The Lioness Group and also sits on the Board of Directors for the Alliance of Black Professionals.
Social Power Network the 4 people who should be in your social network, plus tips on using social networking for professional gain. Building relationships takes time and commitment, but it can provide significant benefits to your business (or career). Take the time to review the individuals in your network, identify individuals who will help you grow personally and professionally, connect, and unleash the power of social networking. An important factor in advancing your business is networking. However, if you attend a couple of events at your convenience throughout the year, it is not sufficient. If you are interested in moving forward and seeing some real advancement, you have to get out of your shell and interact. If “99% of success is just showing up” is your motto, ask yourself, how far has it really gotten you? When you leave a networking event, do you have solid leads that will follow through and buy your product or service? Or did you just have a good time? Many business owners are satisfied with joining networking groups, which can be a good way to get leads. The typical structure of established networking groups involve stringent time commitment and require a certain level of lead-exchange. This type of structure can work for some business owners who may provide a basic, sometimes one-off service in a competitive industry. However, if your business is predicated on trust, confidentiality, and relationship-sensitive service, it may not be beneficial for you
to join this type of networking group. Further, if you only know professionals through the group, and are unaware of their abilities within their profession, you may be setting yourself up as an untrustworthy professional if you refer them... and you don’t want that to happen with your clients. However, if you have built a relationship with a financial planner, for instance, whom you trust, to whom you’ve sent family and friends, and about whom you have received great feedback, it would be easy to simply refer your client to this person, letting them know, with confidence, that he or she has provided great service. Identifying Your Goals The best first step to take is to identify your goals and needs, now and projected: Personal planning? Legal advice? Accounting advice? Goal setting is important. Be clear, focused and specific. Look for individuals who will help you achieve your goals and with whom you can build a relationship based on trust. Identifying Your People There are four professionals who should be a part of your social power network: an attorney, an accountant, a financial planner, and a marketer. Find them, bond with them, and keep them. 28
the way in which you do business everyday. Look for an individual who will help you understand the tax implications of your current business structure. He or she can aid in evaluating your business as it stands currently, and offer tips to get you to the next level.
The Attorney: People hire lawyers for counsel and legal advice for a plethora of situations. Attorneys pride themselves on being able to point people in the right direction of resources, too, and attorneys are often well-connected in the community. If you are interested in estate planning, real estate investment, or business development, the attorney in your network can help you with your needs or, at the very least, can easily provide you with the contacts to help you.
The Accountant: Forging a relationship with a Certified Public Accountant can provide you with an opportunity to obtain information on tax position and legal protections from potential tax liabilities. Just as important, an accountant will offer a different way of looking at the world. When you have a CPAâ€™s point of view at your fingertips, you can use this opportunity to influence
The Financial Planner: Personal and business finances are a difficult realm to navigate on your own. With a financial planner in your network, you can better prepare for your future and assess your level of financial risk. Look for someone who will not hesitate to sit down with you to talk about your retirement needs, elder issues with long-term care, savings for college, and the types of investment vehicles that match your values.
The Marketer: The marketer is often the most outspoken in your network, which makes him 29
or her your greatest asset. This person may be the person you want to bond with the most because when a marketer likes you, you get free advertising. You may want to provide your service to this person at no cost in order to ensure that he or she has a clear understanding about what it is that you do. This person will go out and tell your story, helping you to reach out to new people and aid in meeting your organizational goals. How to Find Your Network It’s possible that you have already identified certain individuals whom you have met, heard of, or who are already positioned in the power network of someone you know. Barring stalking or cyber-stalking these individuals, find out a little more about them using an internet search engine to find out: · if they advertise the services you think you may need now and in the future · if they have provided discussion on these topics at seminars or workshops · any organizations for which they may participate as board members, or community involvement that may match your interests
your own service or expertise. Conclusion While the four above-mentioned professionals are important, you may have one or two more professionals who you believe can round out your circle. Following the same course in finding and cultivating relationships with these people, you will be on your way towards developing a power network that will help you to navigate your way through the many ups and downs involved in business ownership. Also remember that sometimes those you identify now may not be as helpful to you later, as you have progressed and your needs become more sophisticated, or scaled down. Revisit your process for starting the network, and use that process to welcome in the next professional.
Gaining more information about them will provide you with a better idea as to whether you can use them in your network, whether you’ll be able to get along with them or agree with their ideology, and will put you in a better position to have a discussion about things in which you may share an interest. Cultivation of Relationships In order to move your business forward, you have to cultivate relationships. Building a social network is important, but making sure this network contains people with knowledge on how to get you to the next level provides a door to success. Ensuring that they trust you enough to provide you with this important information is the key. There is a give and take with relationships, so understand that you have also become part of your network members’ own networks, so you should expect to be asked to provide
Attorney Maegan Brooks represents individuals and families, emerging and established business and non-profits, community economic development and sustainable initiatives. She handles corporate, non-profit, landlord/tenant, civil litigation, estate planning, divorce, and real estate. Attorney Brooks has a passion for business development and the creation of social enterprises. Visit www.brooksandpowe.com.
5th Annual Next Level Development Conference for Women of Color
Turning Your Missed Step Into Your Next Step! BREAKOUT SESSIONS Career • Efficacy for Women of Color • So, You Want To Write A Book? How to Get It Written and Published!
REGISTRATION & INFO WWW.URNEXTLEVEL.COM What is it? A personal and professional development conference for women seeking to take their lives to the next level. Why should you attend? YOU! Get inspired, motivated and connected! Hear stories of success and tools of the trade from other successful women. Group Registration: $60 - $70 after 9/7/2011 (5 or more people) Single Attendee: $75 - $85 after 9/7/2011 Vendor: $100
Business & Finance • Taking Your Small Business to the Next Level • Investing & Financial Planning • Budget & Credit Management • Leading from a Strengths Based Perspective Home & Life • Mama Knows Best! Being an Educational Advocate for Your Children - from Birth to 21 • “The Doctors” A Conversation About Your Health • A Story of Success: The Women of Color Giving Circle of Berkshire County
SHIPS SCHOLAR LE AVAILAB
Friday, September 30 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM &
Saturday, October 1 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Registration includes: Attendance both days, Continental Breakfast, Full lunch & Refreshments Springfield Sheraton Hotel s Springfield, MA Presented by Next Level Development www.urnextlevel.com * email@example.com * (888)702-7739 (phone) Find Info on LinkedIn & Facebook Groups – Next Level Development Look for Updates on Twitter – NextLevelLady