Issue #6 Business Transformation

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CREDITS Founder & Editor-in-Chief: Mercedez J. McIntyre

Contributing Expert Writers: The Mind of an Entrepreneur »» Kara L. Stachel, Esq. »» T-Kea Blackman Mental Health Advocate & Founder of Fireflies Unite, LLC www. »» MiraZyra Amethyst Design Business Structure: Start, Manage & Grow »» Deanna Singh Author & Chief Change Agent Flying Elephant »» Krystal Nelson Founder, i impakt, LLC Https:// »» Annie Dickerson Goodegg Investments »» Samuel Stokes Director of Master Your Business »» Matt Edstrom CMO of GoodLife Home Loans »» Sarah Spitsen Feya Candle Co »» Sheryl Brown. CEO BIONICsocial, LLC »» Emily Paige Director of Operations and Creative Services EKOH

»» Branden Zavala Owner of Open44,an events + media company »» Devin Beverage Business Growth Strategist at Dev Bev Co. Dev Bev Co., Digital Marketing Agency Finance: Business & Personal »» CPA Kyle Brown Andrew Sather Founding Publisher The Sather Research eLetter »» Todd Christensen Education Manager Branding & Marketing »» Michael J. Snell Marketing Director Americas Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, New Jersey »» Tom Jullings Director at onefoursix Digital Marketing Agency »» Dewayne Hamilton Director Web Cosmo Forums »» Dave Poulos The Marketing Doctor »» Kat Rosati Apparel Booster »» Narendra Kumar Founder, The Digital Education

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»» Hamna Amjad Community Manager at Ridester Lifestyle: Health, Style, Nutrition »» Rachel MacPherson Certified Personal Trainer (ACE), Founder of Radical Strength »» Melissa McKinney with The Hive Law Legal Protection & Business Laws »» David Reischer, Esq. Attorney & CEO of »» Alton Moore Attorney at Law »» Nicole Gaither A trademark and copyright attorney with my own virtual law firm, Creativa IP Law LLC. »» Nance L. Schick Tech Tools »» Gabriel Ruane Founder of Turn Agency »» Ricky Wolff Founder of Markletic Cover Graphic Design: Abdhesh K. Jha Proofreading & Edits: Olivia Gates


Theresa Siaw

Mourning to New Day Starting Again Life after losing her community leader, best friend..husband. She stepped up to the plate at home and in the business. Thriving on the memory of how he shaped a community. Theresa found a new birth even in loss keeping the pace of legacy alive.

Finding New Life in Uncertain Places:

Pastor Keion Henderson Growing up in the church can be a good experience, but this was a tug of war with Keion Henderson.

Lauryn Williams

Kenneth Watson

Olympic Star to Financial Leader

The Road to Transformation

Many have the impression that they can’t perform excellently in areas beyond what they are used to, and therefore would rather remain in their comfort zone than venturing out.

Drawn in by well designed “Dine” events, dynamic food pairings and visuals that would send an appetite into overdrive.

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Contents 2019


Mind of an Entrepreneur 08 10 14 15

Mental Health as an Entrepreneur Theresa Siaw/ OMNI Healthcare: Grief to triumph- FEATURE Boundaries & Accountability Take the Mask off

Business Structure Start, Manage & Grow 17 19 23 25 26 28

Be a Purpose Driven Company Pastor Keion Henderson FEATURE Getting a Return on Every Investment- ROI To Many Networking Events? The art of Delegation: Building the right Team around you Event Planning 101: Start to Finish

Finance: Business & Personal 31 33 34 36

Break-even analysis Taxes for the Solopreneur Lauryn Williams: Olympic Star to Financial Leader - FEATURE Credit Repair: Payoff Debt vs. Save to have current payments on time

Branding & Marketing 38 40

Marketing with Integrity The rebranding process

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Lifestyle: Health, Style, Nutrition 43 Kenneth Watson / Esquire Meals - FEATURE 47 Your Health is your Biggest Investment 49 Personal relationships taking a toll?

Legal Protection & Business Laws 50 52

Choosing the best Business Lawyer for your business Legal service to have on-hand with a startup budget

Tech Tools 55 57

Website & Landing Page 101 Summer Ready- Automation, Your Business Best Friend

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2019 has been a time of Transformation all around us. From politics, technology, business, social impact and even the way we see the world around us.

In the atmosphere around us, there seems to be a consistent tug to take what presently is and adjust humbly to the direction of tangible change. Sometimes we see the need for change as an overwhelming or yearn for it with negative hesitation. Instead, we can see it as the image of a pyramid. What we initially learn is our base or foundation. As we grow, explore, learn and evolve the bricks are laid as we reach our peak as a beacon of light for ourselves and others. This issue packed with not only business wisdom, application, and knowledge but each article written by an expert in their field vulnerably sharing their story and lessons learned that you, your team and business can apply immediately. Questions to ask yourself and business. Provoking ways to reassess your mission, purpose, business, and self. Features who transformed their lives and business by learning to ride the waves that life can bring while balancing a successful business. We at Urban Freedom also accepted the challenge when we took a 9-month research interlude to take action in the way we operate in order to meet the needs of a generation driven to be the best they can be in a challenging world.

The “Business Transformation” Issue was birthed from this time of learning. You will notice changes in graphic design, web presence with resources for you to take hold of inbetween issues. Social Media channel delivery of daily news and an email newsletter to keep you in the “know” with business news, stories of inspiration, events, and opportunities you don’t want to miss. We even changed the way you receive your print delivery which is sure to make each issue a double gift surprise. All by entrepreneur creatives for the unconventional thinker.

I can’t mention all of this without being transparent myself. As we roll into our 3 year Anniversary this fall I had to ask myself the tough questions as a Founder. How do we evolve, not at the pace of our existence but at the pace of our readers? One might say that 3 years is too soon to shift any business model. Honestly, this was a personal concern I had that weighed heavily as my personal life began throwing its own curveballs. I realized the curveballs in my personal life gave me a yearning for nothing else to change around me. To catch up per se. Yet as I worked with the team on this issue, reading the articles and making sure we implement what we advise with integrity. I had to take notice that all of you as readers and supporters gave the answer needed. Do not go against the wave but embrace where it is going. Which means

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to stretch, push, get uncomfortable and smash every voice of self-doubt because our purpose goes beyond self and even beyond your business. Entrepreneurs are leaders and examples, geared to be community changers and disruptors with moral sincerity. I look forward to hearing how your season of transformation goes and will absolutely share the feedback of our own season of Transformation. Please share with us your journey at any time and look for our response in the next issue “Creatives in Business” [Subject Line: Transformation Season]

Mercedez J. McIntyre Founder & Editor



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Mind of an Entrepreneur

By: Kara L. Stachel, Esq. “Transactional residential and commercial real estate and probate law”

Mental Health as an

Honest Self-assessment Your personal issues will affect your business when you no longer enjoy your work - when it becomes work. People become entrepreneurs for the freedom it offers, but when entrepreneurship feels more like a ball and chain, it’s time to do a mental health and personal check up on yourself. We all hit those walls, but when it gets to the point where you are no longer productive or your business stops growing, then it’s time to evaluate what is going on in your personal life that is holding you back. I have certainly had to do this more than once in my four (4) years of being a business owner and once I pinpoint what it is that is holding me back in my personal life, and figure out how to correct it, my business relationships flourish, my productivity increases and my work becomes fun again. I remember why I do what I do and what I love about it; no one starts a business to do something they hate. When I put my mind in this mindset, it becomes a win-win for my clients and me.

Creativity Must Flow It is difficult, if not impossible, to be creative when your mind is focusing on negatives and you are consistently stressed. When you are focused on the negatives and stress, your mind and body go into survival mode, rather than the creative mode. You are no longer thinking of growth and the future, but rather how to survive the present. It is like running on a hamster wheel - you will not get anywhere. Once you are able to clear your mind, you are able to think about the bigger picture with your business and how to foster growth and improvement. It is not only important but absolutely necessary in the

formula for success. Clients and employees will never want to work in a negative environment, but a positive environment will always foster growth and productivity.

Be bold in business and in a balanced personal life Scheduling is so important for balancing business and your personal life. Plan everything and stick to that schedule, including when you are going to make your first cup of coffee in the morning and your children’s soccer game or practice schedules as soon as you know them to ensure nothing interferes with that important time. Schedule breaks for yourself - you are human and we all need them. Schedule specific days and times that you will set aside for meetings, networking and even exercise in order to develop a consistent schedule that you are able to stick to without excuses. If you and your friends have a favorite yoga instructor on Tuesdays, block that class on your calendar for every Tuesday for an indefinite period of time. That way, when someone asks if you are available on Tuesday at that time, you can let them know you have another appointment, but offer another day and time that you are available, preferably during your blocked meeting days and times. Also, try to maintain consistency with the days that you network, whether it is a group event or a one-onone with a potential client or referral source. You are an entrepreneur and you chose to be for the freedom it offers. If you are not able to create your schedule then you are doing it all wrong!

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Mind of an Entrepreneur Photography by Edwin Andrade @theunsteady5

Be bold in business and in a balanced personal life Physical activity and surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is priceless. Your physical health plays a huge role in maintaining your mental health, so be sure to maintain a consistent schedule that includes physical activity. I recommend at least three (3) days a week. Even if that means just taking a walk in the middle of your work day. There is no reason you cannot give yourself fifteen minutes of fresh air or to close your office door, put your phone on do not disturb and meditate. Also, meet with other entrepreneurs and vent to them and use them as a sounding board for ideas of what works and what does not. They will be your best resource and lift you up on days when you are down and you will do the same for them. Moreover, you will likely end up being referral sources for each other, so you can share in the successes. I meet with two other law firm owners once a week and it has been a game changer for my

Photographer Anderson W Rangel

mental health, in addition to learning from them things that I can improve on to make my own practice more efficient. Also, I have discovered they face the same struggles and learning from them how they handled certain situations has made me feel less alone and more like I am part of a tribe of entrepreneurs that have come much further and experienced much more success than previously thought. Remember, you are part of a small group that had the audacity to start your own business and you made it this far. There is nothing standing in your way of success, except you. Get out of your own way and own your success - you deserve it and you are more than capable!

Physical activity and surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is priceless.

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Mind of an Entrepreneur

Theresa Siaw

Mourning to New Day Starting Again

Trying to process grief is hard enough on its own, let alone trying to get back into the swing of things with work, especially when taking on a bigger role to help fill the gaps.

Theresa Siaw lost her partner in life & the father of her son about a decade ago, and it changed her career and life path forever. In his honor, Theresa decided she wanted to honor his legacy as a medical clinic doctor and philanthropist. Through the pain of her loss, she vowed to help keep his clinics, OMNI Healthcare, open and continue to serve the disenfranchised communities they are located in. She became the Director of Business Development and helped expand the clinic and its mission to multiple new locations and hospitals. Through OMNI she went on to open the OMNI Medical Student Training Program, which helps international medical students prepare and secure residency programs in the states. Throughout this journey, Theresa faced multitudes of backlash for being a black female entrepreneur despite her efforts to help the community. She never let any of it stand in her way to pursue and reach her goals.

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One of the ways Theresa stays positive is knowing that her goals are to help people and no amount of negative backlash was going to prevent her from providing a much-needed service to the members of her community. Surrounding herself with a strong support system and committed team of employees has also helped her stay positive in the face of personal and business adversity. Struggling with the decision of whether to give up or keep pushing forward, things changed and resulted in tangible results her community and former clinic patients rallied around her and uplifted her to remember why she was doing this in the first place. The support of the people she was trying to help and seeing how much her mission mattered to them gave her the final push to stay committed and execute her mission.

Mind of an Entrepreneur Currently, OMNI Healthcare operates nine clinics and is in close to a dozen different hospitals. They are much more than a health clinic but offer a safe haven to those in need and provide help with a multitude of task such as filling out forms, paying bills and helping find housing at no cost to those in the community that need assistance due to elder age, lack of speaking the language or any other reason. OMNI Student Medical Training Program has placed over 100 students in residency positions. How long after your sons father’s passing did you decide that you must continue the legacy? There was a grieving period, but I knew almost immediately that I wanted to carry on his legacy. I saw how much the community meant to him, and him to them. I wanted to carry that on. It was important to me to make sure that his kind-hearted nature never left the community just because he is no longer with us. Were you already in the medical field? My degree is in marketing, but I had worked in one facet or another for OMNI Healthcare for many years before I became the Director of Business Development and went on to create the OMNI Medical Student Training Program.

the office. The hardest part to pick up where he left off was his community service. He did so much for the community, it was a lot to figure out where to even begin, being half as helpful and charitable as he was. I was determined to do so. What was the process of balancing grief internally while making business progress externally? Trying to process grief is hard enough on its own, let alone trying to get back into the swing of things with work, especially when taking on a bigger role to help fill the gaps. While there is grief going on, businesses don’t stop because of it. The most important part of finding a balance is remembering to take care of yourself. It is easy to get wrapped up in trying to sort out funeral arrangements and throwing yourself into work as a distraction, but it usually leads to forget about self-care. If you don’t embrace the grieving process and overextend yourself at work then you will burn out and be useless to both your loved ones and coworkers.

Was it hard internally to pick up where he left off? Or were you already aware of how things were running business wise? It was hard to pick up where he left off in the sense that he was such a big presence, he was a man who could not be replaced. Luckily, on the business side, I was already pretty well versed and knowledgeable on the run of the show in

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Mind of an Entrepreneur Summer is coming up and with students out of school, I am focusing on creating more summer programs to enrich the youth and keep kids off the street.

This situation was a little different in that everyone at the clinics was grieving. Everyone grieves in their own way so it was important for everyone to be mindful and patient with each other. It was important for all of us to be there for each other and to try and keep things moving forward as “business as usual” for our patients, who were also grieving the loss of a beloved doctor. It wasn’t easy, but by being a support team for each other, we all made it through. Do you have programs that help those who are also interested in the healthcare field? I do a lot to help educate and help those interested in the healthcare field. The OMNI Medical Student Training Program which helps students who have trained at foreign medical schools to prepare for their first job in the United States. The main mission is to help integrate students from Caribbean countries to different hospitals in Chicago for their residency training. They work with three medical schools in the Caribbean and help up to 100 students each year. In addition to running the OMNI program, I also do speaking engagements with high school students to educate them on how to get into the healthcare field as it often comes across as a very daunting task. I want them to know that when there is a will, there is a way and that just because they may not be from the best part of town that the healthcare industry is not a pipe dream. What advice would you give others who have a vision of the future but crippled with grief from the past? My main piece of advice for others with a

vision of the future but are struggling with grief is to take it one day at a time, as cliche as that sounds. Grief doesn’t have a timeline, but we also should not let it rule or dictate our lives. It is important to process grief in a way that is healthy for you, but it should not be a roadblock to the future. Taking everything one day at a time, with a plan, helps alleviate the guilt of having a bad day and feeling like you can’t progress on without completely derailing the end goal. Sometimes if we think too far in advance we get disheartened at the first obstacle or when things don’t go as planned. We saw you were running for Alderwoman in Chicago. Were you always interested in politics or was this a better way to be a community advocate? My run for Alderman was initially prompted by my community. Everyone told me that given all I was doing for the community already, I should take it a step further and run for public office to make an even bigger impact. Initially, I was apprehensive but start-

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ed educating myself on policies and taking a hard look at what the current Alderman was and was not doing for the people. I realized that I wanted to make changes on a systemic level not just for my community but for the communities across Chicago. How can our readers support your positive impact? Other entrepreneurs and readers can support the positive impact by using their own unique and individual platforms to make a change in their own communities. Often times people think that just because they are one person they don’t have the power to make a change, but that isn’t true. Everything starts with one person, so believe in yourself and the opportunity to be better, which in turn will make the world around you better. What is next for you with all of the amazing work you have already done? What is next for me is continuing to better my community. Summer is coming up and with students out of school, I am focusing on creating more summer programs to enrich the youth and keep kids off the street. In the past, I have started sports camps and theater programs, so in addition to those this summer I will be setting up a coding camp.

Mind of an Entrepreneur Theresa’s key piece of advice to others is “never give up”. There will always be people who are going against you and want you to fail but rise above it. Giving up only gives them the satisfaction they want, but proving them wrong by taking the high road and continuing to move forward is almost as great a success as achieving your goals.

Theresa Siaw is a social entrepreneur currently directing Omni Healthcare, a multi-location health clinic for the underserved. She also runs Omni Medical Student Training, which helps students who have trained at foreign medical schools prepare for residencies in the United States. It is her passion for improving not just physical health but also the whole life of the community.

Facebook: Instagram: @theresasiaw Twitter: @TheresaSiaw

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Mind of an Entrepreneur

Boundaries & Accountability By: T-Kea Blackman Mental Health Advocate & Founder of Fireflies Unite, LLC | Bringing Light Into Darkness

As an entrepreneur and suicide survivor, I have become self-aware through my recovery, as burnout can be a trigger for my depression.

I also practice gratitude and focus on my spirituality by growing my relationship with God which has helped me to remain positive.

Photographer Michael Sykes

This is why it is important for me to check in with myself to see how people, places and things make me feel. A clear mind and spirit helps with not only being creative but also increases productivity and ability to focus. I’ve noticed that when my mind is not clear, I am unable to put my best foot forward and become easily distracted.

Photography by Samuel Martins

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Boundaries Boundaries are key to ensure that I am mentally, emotionally and physically healthy and have healthy business and personal relationships. This includes saying no when my plate is full and keeping my values at the top of my mind. For example, my phone goes on “do not disturb” from 9pm-8am so that I can have adequate rest and get up early in the morning to workout. This also includes scheduling time on my calendar to spend time with family/friends and taking time to unplug and rest. Overcoming I’ve overcome being in the darkest place of my life which motivates me when I’m presented with challenges. I remember positive experiences that bring me joy. I challenge my negative thoughts by telling myself thoughts that prove the negative thoughts are wrong. I also practice gratitude and focus on my spirituality by growing my relationship with God which has helped me to remain positive.


Mind of an Entrepreneur

Take the I’m a millennial entrepreneur, and I’ve been running my own business for 3 years now. I run a small agency with my business partner. We have a few employees and are growing steadily. I, like all other people who decide to start a business, have had to navigate the challenge of creating balance in my personal and professional life. When you run a business, especially as a Millennial (because let’s be honest student loans add a nice cherry on top of the rest of your worries) your personal and professional life blend together and there’s so much grey area. It’s foolhardy to think that you can cleanly compartmentalize the two, and both ultimately affect each other in ways you may never even realize.

Whenever I have a bad day, I go through the jar and feel grateful for everything good that I’ve taken note of.

If your personal life is turbulent, even if you keep your composure at work, it still undoubtedly affects the quality of your leadership. The only real way to know how your personal baggage affects your business is to be truly in touch with yourself and your needs. You also have to be honest about what you may have to give up in terms of personal comfort while your company is going through growing pains. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices, and you need to really examine what you can do without (time with family, hobbies, privacy, social life, down time). You also have to make sure that when those sacrifices are in your personal life, you still maintain balance. It’s hard and it takes a lot of trial and error to get it right.

By: MiraZyra Amethyst Design

This isn’t easy and you’ve got to work at it every day. One thing that helps a lot is to have a business partner who will call you out when necessary. Giving your employees license to speak up in an honest and constructive way without fear of backlash is also key. Anybody who surrounds themselves with “Yes Men” is never going to gain the skill of constructive introspection. A clear mental state will ultimately mean that you’re not devaluing your own ideas. You’re not nervous to voice your creative ideas. You’ve got the confidence to lead with them. Imagine if you let anxiety get the better of you, how many missed opportunities that would mean. If you’re not confident in yourself, how can you expect to be a leader to your employees and be respected by your peers? You need to cultivate confidence in yourself. It’s a practice like any other. I think of this the same way I think of meditation, and in a way I think it is. There are few tricks I use to keep myself on track. I keep a glass jar on my desk in my office so that I can see it every day. Whenever I notice something positive that happened in my life, I write it down on a slip of paper with the date, and put it in the jar. Whenever I’m having a bad day, I look through the jar and remember all the little things that made me feel that glow of positivity and gratitude for all the good in my life. It’s important to me to write down as many of the small things as possible like my friends were emo-

Photo by Prince Akachi

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Mind of an Entrepreneur Photography by Adeolu Eletu

tionally supportive today and it helped a lot, or my cat fell asleep in the cutest way today or even the fact that I had a good day. The really helpful ones are the ones where I was in a bad situation and a small act of kindness made it better, like my neighbors unexpectedly cleaned my porch when I was laid up with a back injury. Whenever I have a bad day, I go through the jar and feel grateful for everything good that I’ve taken note of.

When dealing with a Mental Health Diagnosis I struggle with ADHD and Depression and I’m on medication for both. I know there’s stigma surrounding mental health issues and I’m hesitant to talk about being on medications for my issues but I also know that the only way to de-stigmatize it is to talk openly about it. I’ve also had to manage employees who were going through mental health struggles and that’s a uniquely challenging thing to navigate since it’s not openly talked about by people in real leadership positions, and there’s also the question of employee privacy. I make a point to have open discussions with my employees about mental health, how the workload I assign may affect it and how we can all work together to help each other out. You’ve got to draw a clear line in the sand between recognizing when your mental health issues genuinely impede your ability to perform certain tasks, and when you’re using it as a crutch or excuse. For me, that line is when communication breaks down, and/or you’re not actively working to improve your mental health.

Photo by Alvin Balemesa

I believe that the mind is far more powerful and influential over our lives than most people are willing to acknowledge. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and you don’t need to be afraid in reaching out to others when you need help. It’s tricky and there’s no one blanket answer,

but you need to build up your available resources. Go to therapy, journal, make time for fun things, list out your problems and tackle them systematically, try different things until something works. The only real advice I can give on this subject is to try in earnest and keep trying even if you’re not making progress as quickly as you’d like. Sometimes, it’s one step forward and several steps back but that’s just part of the journey. It’s messy and it takes grit but most people are a lot stronger than they give themselves credit for, and progress looks different for everyone. Finding what works in terms of mental health is just a process of elimination. If you think of it that way, even failures are technically successes because you’ve discovered what doesn’t work and that’s a step in the right direction.

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Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and you don’t need to be afraid in reaching out to others when you need help.

Business Structure Start

Be A PurposeDriven Company Purposeful “Hustle” I define “Purpose” as what we are uniquely positioned to do. Purpose-driven entrepreneurs should ask themselves: what are you—given your passions, experiences, and skills—able to do to make this world better? Everyone has a purpose; however, the question is whether you are aware of it and hustling to bring it to fruition. If you are clear on what and how you want to make the world a better place, then your opportunities to do so are endless. Your purpose can show up on how you treat your employees, where you source from, how you make decisions, where you are located, how you market, who you partner with and how you use your platform.

Photo by Malik McCotter

My book and keynote address, offers practical and accessible steps on how to live within your purpose. One that I would focus on in this article is: be clear on what your purpose is. Write it down and share it with other people. Incorporate it into your culture. Don’t just say it, but help people to use it to make decisions within the company. When members in my team ask, “Well, what decision is most aligned with our purpose?” is when I realize I have been successful at infusing an organization with purpose. Deanna Singh Author & Chief Change Agent Flying Elephant

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Business Structure So, what is a Purpose-Driven Entrepreneur... To be a purpose-driven entrepreneur is to be an entrepreneur that understands their WHY. An entrepreneur that understands their Why will be resilient and focused even through challenging times. The answer to their “Why” acts as a compass and drives the decisions, and in extension, the direction of their life and company.

Photo By Ryan McGuire

When many think of a purpose-driven entrepreneur they think of a social entrepreneur such as a company on a mission to impact a social or environmental cause like poverty eradication or provision of clean water. However, this is a misconception because there are social entrepreneurs with no purpose. Shocking? But yes, that’s true. Purpose is the song in our heart that drives us even after the instruments have been put away. Each of us was born with a different song in our heart that only we can sing. As an entrepreneur, your company will answer the question “Why” in a unique way that cannot be duplicated. Your company’s purpose can be as simple as making people smile every day or it can be as complex as rev-

olutionizing the way people think about space. The common theme is that it is uniquely yours. Google is an example of a purpose-driven company. Their purpose is documented in their mission and manifested in our everyday lives. “Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Their purpose led them to where they are today and inherently to where we are today. »» Identify your Purpose. It’s okay if you’re unsure but now is the time to put intentional thought and give yourself the space to explore in order to identify it. »» Recognize distractions as distractions. There will always be distractions posing as great opportunities. »» Before you make a decision, ask yourself what decision will align with your Why. »» Write down your Why and review it daily. »» Surround yourself with constant reminders of your Why. Krystal Nelson Founder, i impakt, LLC Https://

Benefits for your Company & Customers

Photo by Ian Schneider

Every business has the opportunity to serve their customers and leave a positive impact on the world, whether they’re building orphanages or designing t-shirts. A t-shirt design business that creates designs that question the traditional norms or incite a movement uniting groups of people can absolutely be purpose-driven because their purpose is at the root of what they do and why they do it. It’s not just about the money. It’s about the impact they’re having and the value they’re adding to their customers’ lives. It’s not enough to just create a company with a strong purpose. A true purpose-driven entrepreneur must live and breathe that purpose every day.

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Every action taken by the company should go back to the overall purpose and the core values, and the team should continually assess everything they do against the benchmark of that purpose. Over time, that purpose may evolve or take on different forms, but it’s crucial to continually gain clarity on the purpose. To remain purpose-driven, the business must continually keep a pulse on their purpose, thread messages of their purpose into all communications, and revisit their purpose often to make sure that it still rings true for the business. Annie Dickerson Goodegg Investments “Helping women, particularly moms, to build passive income so they can work less and spend more time with their families”

Business Structure Finding New Life in Uncertain Places:

World Leader


Henderson Growing up in the church can be a good experience, but this was a tug of war with Keion Henderson. He had a turbulent period during his formative years and never knew that the presiding pastor was actually his father, who in turn never acknowledged him. Today, many of our entrepreneurs have family baggage that has kept them stuck. Not minding his background, Keion trusted God and his pain was turned into a divine mandate. He went from being an entrepreneur to a Pastor. Once again, he was at a crossroad when the church authorities where he was serving promised to promote him, but in a twist of fate, he was fired. Several years later, Keion Henderson now has one of the largest churches; The Lighthouse Church. He remained steadfast and God never failed him.

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Mind of an Entrepreneur

The Business Lab is the brainchild of my staff and I. Over the years, we’ve received countless requests for advice on business and leadership. How did your highest moment of promotion take a low turn? My lowest moment came with the promise of my highest promotion. I was asked to move to Houston, Texas to succeed an outgoing Pastor. To my surprise, three months before the transition, I was fired on the spot and in public. I had no idea that God had smuggled a deliverance into that dilemma. The Lighthouse Church was birthed out of that proverbial abortion of destiny and here we are now with opportunities to minister around the world when just nine years ago we couldn’t even speak in a local congregation. The moment prior to things changing for us dates back to a one bedroom apartment that my wife and I lived in. The problem was at the time, we had two daughters and they were sleeping on the couch with no bedroom. I remember looking at my daughters sweating on that leather couch and deciding that I had to do better for my family. Something snapped in me that day and motivated me to get my children off of the couch and into comfort. How did you stay faith-based and motivated in the midst of rejection? I believe that staying motivated is an inside job. I believe that most people lack consistent motivation because they

look for it to come from a source that is outside of them. The problem with depending on an outside source is it has to be available when you need to be motivated. The blessing of being motivated intrinsically is that you can reach for it whenever you need it. I believe having a great deal of knowledge also keeps you motivated; so you have to be well read. Lastly, I think surrounding yourself with people who are light years ahead of you is important. This is dangerous because it can be both motivating and depressing. But if you manage the distance properly, it can definitely pull you into destiny. I often tell people I’m not just a preacher, although I am that. I am an entrepreneur who got called to preach. Business is in my blood. It’s what I graduated from college in, and it is the way we (my wife and I) construct all of our ministries. How did you handle being fired on the spot, especially when trying to follow God’s purpose? The story of how I was fired is one of those situations that you would have had to see to believe. After resigning from a local church that I had built and organized in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I received the call to come to Houston, Texas to succeed a retiring pastor at a pretty substantial size church. I have to be honest; I had my doubts. I grew

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up in Gary, Indiana and moving to a big city like Houston was frightening. To add insult to injury, the day I was scheduled to move to Houston was the same day that one of the most massive hurricanes in Houston’s history (Hurricane Ike) would hit the city. I thought the storm was a sign that I should just stay where I was. I now know that all storms are not bad. Everything was going according to plan. Until that fateful Sunday morning when the Pastor stood up in front of the congregation and announced that he would no longer be retiring and I would no longer be succeeding him. As you can imagine, shockwaves went through my system with a force, unlike any earthquake that has ever shaken the earth. What I didn’t know is that

TD Jakes/Keion Interview

Mind of an Entrepreneur being fired on the spot was God’s way of getting me to the spot He had already planned for me. How do you manage the thin line between keeping God’s Vision as a pastor and what you learned about business in college? There is no line to manage. That’s what I had to learn. If there is a line, it is manmade. God found Peter with a fishing business when He called him. God knew I was an entrepreneur at heart when He called me. He knew I had a business degree when He assigned me. Therefore, I believe He intended for me to use and merge all of my interests and gifts for His glory. I don’t manage lines, I manage time. We read that time ago you also went through not being publicly accepted by your father who was also a pastor. These life traumas can create stagnancy or fear of disappointment. How do you internally address those issues in order to transform your life? I didn’t have to transform my life. No doubt I did experience a great deal of pain, but I didn’t have to transform my life because I didn’t allow His absence to translate my story for me. I basically decided to make something of myself with or without his help. Sure, I would have loved to have his presence in my life. I pursued his approval. But my arrival and your arrival at destiny should never be predicated on who was absent or present. Growth is an inside job and you’re the only one qualified for the position. I used the trauma as fuel and fire. Would you say you are a performance-based person? If so how do you pace yourself when growing with purpose instead of feeding the internal love of performance? Oh yes. I am performance based. As are most men. We identify with what we do. Internally all men want to know, “How did I do?” I’m not so good at pacing myself when it comes to working. My default setting is to work. Why? Because

number one, I recover in activity, not in rest. Second, work always responds to me on the same level I respond to it. If I work hard, work pays me back. You can give a person all you have and if they are having a bad day or don’t understand what you put into the action, they may not respond as you anticipated. I love performance and I love people who produce and perform the task set before them. I’m not saying it’s right, but I am saying it’s me. Lol We came across an overview of the “Kieon Henderson Business Labs”...Can you tell us more about it? The Business Lab is the brainchild of my staff and I. Over the years, we’ve received countless requests for advice on business and leadership. From that demand, we developed a series of high-level business and leadership programs to offer insight to others on how to get started and grow their business. Most people have ideas and concepts that have millions of dollars of potential income inside of them, but they don’t know where to start. So, we gathered all of our legal, technological, and strategic minds together and created a catalyst for aspiring entrepreneurs to launch them much further, much faster. I recommend it for anyone looking to climb the business ladder. How can entrepreneurs join? Is it only for those in Texas? People can join the Business Lab by visiting the website at We have people from all over the country as participants. It’s largely a virtual program with a few live events each year. Over the last 12 months, we have seen tremendous results for those a part of the Business Lab program – More than 70 leaders have been trained from four states and two countries. Over the last year, Business Lab participants have published books, started more than 30 businesses, created products for national distribution, launched

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Business Structure churches, created non-profit organizations and more. What do you see as the future of faith-based entrepreneurship & collaboration? I think the future is bright. The limits on ministers being diversified in the market are quickly dissolving. Maybe they are still there and I’ve chosen to ignore them. Either way, the future promises to mesh ministry and marketplace in a way that few generations have ever seen. You see pastors producing movies, owning record labels, and leading companies with global influence and confluence. Jesus was a carpenter, and redeemer, a creator, and a human. What would be your closing advice for our readers? It has been said that the opportunity of a lifetime is only good in the lifetime of the opportunity. Waiting until you are mature enough, or smart enough, or connected enough as a stamp to pur-

sue your dreams is malpractice of destiny. I believe that maximizing opportunities is the responsibility of the one who has been given it. You may not succeed but you can always maximize. Keion’s recent accomplishments 1. He was just nominated for his FIRST Stellar Award, for his very first album, The River. 2. The album was recorded in less than 3 weeks as Keion Henderson felt the desire to expand his ministry through music---offering a creative alternate way to connect more people to God than traditional preaching. 3. Yolanda Adams has adopted him as her nephew 4. Keion Henderson & T.D. Jakes recent interview. 5. He’s hosting his annual event, The Well Experience with several guest speakers including Evelyn Lozada, Shaunie Oneal and more June 14-16.

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Keion’s current hit song: H.O.L.Y.

Upcoming Engagements:

The Well Experience with several guest speakers including Evelyn Lozada, Shaunie Oneal and more June 14-16 Instagram & Facebook: @PastorKeion @lhhoustonchurch 6650 Rankin Rd. Humble, Texas 77396 281-741-3693

Business Structure Getting a Return on Every Investment R.O.I.:

Stop wasting Cash Flow By: Samuel Stokes Accountant Business Strategist Director of Master Your Business

I’m Samuel Stokes from “Master your Business”. I’ve been an Accountant and Business Strategist since the last 15 years; in that capacity, I’ve worked with thousands of business owners to build and scale their business. I have often found that Entrepreneurs waste vital cash flow that could be better put to good use in growing their business. Every entrepreneur knows that they need to grow their business in order to succeed, but unfortunately they are missing a few essential tools to make sure those funds are being spent effectively. Most entrepreneurs are so driven to grow their business that they don’t stop to ensure that the money being spent is actually generating a return.

Oftentimes, this is because they are not quite sure how to work it out. One common mistake business owners make is to compensate for this lack of knowledge by throwing more money at it. The problem is, if the money being spent isn’t generating profit, the business will begin to leak cash. The solution is easier than you would think. It all comes down to working out your Return On Investment or ROI. It is one of the most valuable tools for decision making you have at your disposal. ROI, so what are you expecting to get back out of the money you are spending? ROI is essentially the ‘What’s in it for me’ for your business.

Photo by Mediamodifier

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Business Structure Photo by NESA by Makers

Advertising ROI = $4300 / 2300 X 100 = 186.95% An advertising ROI of greater than 100% means that you have made back everything you have spent. In the above example we made back everything we spent plus 86%. We almost doubled our money. In essence, we should continue that campaign. If the ROI % was less than 100% we should either stop the campaign (as it’s sending us backwards) or adjust its messaging or offer to improve its effectiveness. Launching a New Product Products and services can be expensive to develop. Performing some preliminary calculations can help us work out whether or not it is worth our time and resources, or whether we should devote the resources to more profitable products and services.

Products and services can be expensive to develop.

By Ryan McGuire

R.eturn O.n I.nvestment ROI % = Net Profit / Total Investment X 100 It’s important to remember Net Profit is what you make after all the costs of delivering that product or service. If you sell something for $100 and it costs you $30 to manufacture and deliver it, then your Net Profit is $70

If a new product is going to cost us $100,000 to develop we can use other numbers in our business to determine what it will take for us to break-even on this launch. We simply turn our formula around. Let’s say our product retails for $250 and our costs are $75, we know that we make a Net Profit of $175 on each unit. Break-even would be a ROI of 100%. Everything above is profit. Anything below is a loss.

Let’s look at a few common decisions every entrepreneur must face.

Break-even = $100,000 / $175 = 572.42

To Advertise Or Not to Advertise Of course you need to advertise, but it’s more important that you do so profitably. Advertising ROI = Net Profit on the sale of your products / Total Ad Spend used to generate the sales X 100

So we know that we would need to sell at least 572 units to make back our investment. Knowing our break-even point allows us to work out how viable our new product or service might be. It also helps us choose between several potentially profitable new products and services.

Example: Our latest campaign in Urban Freedom Magazine cost us $2400 but brought in $8750 in sales. On those sales we made $4300 in Net Profit.

Using these simple tools, any entrepreneur can ensure their hard earned cash goes back into building their business and their future.

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Business Structure Manage

Too Many Networking Event Invites? When is it worth your Time? By: Matt Edstrom CMO of GoodLife Home Loans

#1 Identify Your Purpose for showing up: One of the most critical aspects of obtaining value from networking events is identifying what you have to gain. Recognizing your weaknesses is an effective way to identify how you can benefit from a networking event. Pinpointing areas of improvement in your business model can aid in discovering what takeaways you should seek out. Once you’ve identified where you have room for growth, whether it be operational, managerial, or even personal you’ll be able to identify what you have to gain. Identifying areas for growth can assist in deciding which events will be most beneficial. If technical aspects are your bread and butter, but interpersonal communication is your weakness, seek out the latter. Once you’ve recognized what you need to learn or improve on, being excited and motivated for your event should come naturally.

#2 Build Relationships: Business professionals need to be reminded of why the best business relationships are built on trust and accountability. By placing these values at the forefront of your mind, you’ll be motivated to familiarize yourself with attendees personally before seeking out a business relationship. Getting to know attendees before trying to build a business relationship will help you decide to recognize the value of building relationships in relation to developing their careers. Before attending a networking event, take time to think about the values you would seek out in a co-worker, business partner or employee. By focusing on what values are important to you, people are sincerely aligned with your values and business ethics. If not, you should decide if it is truly the best idea to make future business decisions together. #3 Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Truthfully, if attending a networking event isn’t pushing you outside of your comfort zone, then you likely aren’t benefiting from it. If the idea of attending a networking event alone makes you nervous, then that is exactly what you should be doing. Going to networking events alone may spark a sense of excitement, even if it is accompanied by nerves. Excitement and nerves are better than boredom or absent-mindedness. By attending networking events outside of your normal social circle, you may find yourself more receptive to new ideas and with a refreshed sense of energy.

Photographer Ryan McGuire

Photo by Jonny McLaren

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Business Structure

The Art of Delegation By: Sarah Spitsen CEO of Feya Candle Co

Photographer Clem Onojeghuo

I’ve been a solopreneur for about 10 years. Always prided myself on reciting my dad’s old mantra of “if you want it done right, do it yourself”.

panic, I started working with a business coach with one goal in mind: in 9 months, delegate all tasks in the company.

However, my business grew over the years, but not at the rate I would’ve wanted it to.

I succeeded in this goal, and my one fear of becoming obsolete in my own company was completely squashed when I came to the realization that when I step out of my company, I get to truly work on the vision. No more creating the company but taking 90% of my time to do the tasks, I now get to run the company I’ve always wanted. We’ve grown exponentially and my employees are staying longer and are more dedicated than any employees I’ve ever had.

Fast forward to 8 years in business, I have a few employees, we’re on the brink of a growth spurt and my husband and I realized that I was pregnant. I went into a panic at the thought of taking maternity leave - this surely means that if I have to embark on one; I’ll go out of business. So, to cure this complete work

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When learning what roles to delegate Take one step at a time. When you’re the ‘everything’ for your company it can seem overwhelming to delegate, however when you identify your employee strengths and one by one assign them tasks within their achievement zone; it will start to become a routine rather than a daunting task. If I’m delegating a lot, I take one major ‘part’ of my job at a time, break it down on paper and over a week to two weeks, slowly start to train my employees on each task one by one to ensure I don’t load too much on them (or me) at once. This also

Business Structure

This constant communication and accountability allows me to talk through everything I’ve delegated to them and ensure things are being handled the right way. Photo by Annie Spratt

allows time, if the employee is not suited for the task, to move it to someone else. Lastly, the best way to know WHAT to delegate! The moment I feel either overwhelmed by my job, or I’m embarrassed with how many tasks I didn’t get done within a period of time, I know I need to delegate. I look for the tasks I’m not completing to the best of my ability and I delegate at least half of them. If in a few weeks time I’m still not getting the remainder of the tasks done, those will have to be delegated too. Choosing the right team member for the task I mandate all employees to take an enneagram test when they come into the company (there are also SAFETY tests, DISC assessments, Gallup strengths finders etc), this makes it possible for me to know them beyond the interview stage where everyone puts their ‘best foot forward’. I further understand how they communicate, how they are motivated, and how they react to situations, this knowledge has been essential to finding what tasks fit them best.

My team also operates remotely around the USA, so I keep weekly catch up calls with each one - always with their Enneagram results in front of me. This constant communication and accountability allows me to talk through everything I’ve delegated to them and ensure things are being handled the right way. Lastly, I usually ask my employees what they “want” to do! I firmly believe in hiring individuals smarter and better than you so when they

come into the company, they first get to pick their own job title (another great way to better understand how they see themselves and operate), then they get to tell me what their ideal work day would look like. Although, I can’t promise their perfect work day every day, this question gives me an insight on what they’re motivated to do, and what they’d truly put their heart into. I try to assign them more tasks in their passion, than not, so overall they’re motivated to have a great work day, every day.

Photo by RawPixel

Sarah Spitsen Chief Candle Lady & Food Giver Feya Candle Co (402) 413-0068

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Business Structure Grow

Event Planning 101: Start to Finish When is the right time for your business to have an event? Business owners must remember event planning is a very big part of their marketing power, especially when combined with social media prowess. In financial services, as an example, I recommend scheduling your marketing plan over a 3-month (or 12-weeks) period and making certain it includes all of your events. Think this through from the CLIENT’S perspective for it to be most strategic.

Questions to ask yourself, and answer them while planning

Photo by Raw Pixel

»» How small or large do you want the event to be? Intimate soirees garner a system of inclusivity while larger events allow your client to bring a friend. »» What would your client’s like to do? Would it be an event that supports a non-profit in your area (making your event more about others than yourself)? »» Would it be an event to support another client’s business - a new restaurant that’s opening and you have a wine and appetizer event to support local businesses while intro-

ducing new possible patrons? »» What RSVP system/process will your client prefer to use? Is it easy and straightforward? Does it require a bunch of steps they have to surmount just for them to let you know they are going to be there! »» Will your RSVP system/process be shareable through the client’s social media presence (such as Eventbrite which allows your client to tweet out their attendance or Facebook Events which allows your client’s participation in an event to be seen by their connected audience). »» When you’re at the event how do you intend to make every client feel connected? How do you plan to meet new faces - and how to remember their names? (Name tags help!) »» Who will be there to take pictures of the event to share on your social media sites? (Hint: NOT YOU - hire someone or ask a friend you trust to focus on this.)

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»» What is your follow-up process with the client? Not only about the event itself (great events need to be repeated!) but also to get referrals for new business or new appointments? What is your follow-up process for marketing? Are you going to write a blog article or a follow-up post? Were there clients at the event who have a venue or offering to do another event at? Think every detail through because there are tons of marketing nuggets that fall to the side of events - missed opportunities to make your brand bigger, bolder, and more amplified if you fail to pay attention. The ROI is about the Return on Impact which will affect your Return on Investment! Sheryl Brown. CEO BIONICsocial, LLC @BIONICsocialite pretty much everywhere online!

Business Structure

Event Purpose... In my years of experience with leveraging events as a marketing tool, I have found many tricks to leverage the data received at events to drive present and future sales. Events can be used to build a brand long term by making available to your desired Customers; a platform to interact with your brand face to face with a positive experience. People are more likely to remember the last event they attended rather than the last website they visited. HOWEVER, when you pair potential customers who have attended your event with the correct marketing funnel, you can mine for gold!

If anyone signs up that day/makes a purchase, they should be given a special bonus gift they can carry around which shows the other potential customers in the room that other people are saying yes, so they should too! Be sure to have plenty of extra staff to take care of these customers so they will be more likely to make EVEN more purchases with you in the future. In the past, I have always aligned my events with charities that are relevant to my marketing client’s goals for a few reasons.

2) They usually have an email list and will invite their supporters 3) If a portion of your proceeds from the event are going to a charity, you can usually get alcohol sponsors and other companies to donate to your event 4) It’s a great way to network Emily Paige Director of Operations and Creative Services EKOH Marketing-

1) It feels good to give back and help a charity

Having different places and things for your potential customers to interact with while at your event, giving them the opportunity to ask questions, and play raffle draws for a chance to win SPECIFIC prizes, is another avenue to segment your marketing strategy to retarget for the CORRECT kind of relevant content your desired customers will love and appreciate because it’s relevant to them! Every event should have a way for people to be tagged with their specific interests, so the follow-up content can be as relevant as possible to them. Even if people miss your event, send them a follow-up email the next day saying you’re sorry you missed them and show them some fun pictures of the event (this will make them less likely to miss the next event.)

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Business Structure Photo by KT Photography

After the Event: Make it Known that you Will Be Utilizing Media Cover Create a media opportunity for the guests to repost and coach them up on how to tag your business and the event on Instagram. You can also create custom Snapchat filters for your event that is geographic specific to within a mile of the location, so your brand can overlap fun photos taken. We specialize in event videography to showcase the event for our customers as a package when taking on the event project management. Post event depends on the preparation of information gathering prior to the scheduled event date and the man hours to follow up...key:personally! Consumers hardly read all the way to the end of an email. Branding is about your dedication to your business industry and market. New relationships are forged at events, especially when unexpected B2B or B2C networking happens. It has the most gravitational pull away from our smartphones and tablet gratification when we connect with people again.

Do’s & Don’ts 1. Don’t add them to your email drip campaign without asking first. Seriously. In a way, you probably stand out by not doing this. 2. Connect on relevant social media if appropriate for your industry - real estate, for example, can generally be pretty comfortable regarding this. 3. Don’t harass people with calls, texts, and emails. People get freaked out - give them time to respond. Be courteous and have it in mind that they have their own lives too. 4. Follow up on any promises you made to people you spoke to. If you put someone’s email address in the margin of your notes because you said you’d send them something they requested, do it. Think hard! First impressions are important, and you’d be better off surprising someone that completely forgot they asked you for something than have someone left waiting and disappointed that you dropped the ball.

Branden Zavala Owner of Open44,an events + media company in Arizona.

Devin Beverage Business Growth Strategist at Dev Bev Co. Dev Bev Co., Digital Marketing Agency Photo by Chuttersnap

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Finance s Busines

Break-even How much are you Really Making? By: CPA Kyle Brown

As an entrepreneur and a CPA, I see this all of the time in my community. A majority of within the field is only worried about the product/service and has disdain for the accounting and finance side of entrepreneurship. A break-even analysis is both simple and essential in the business world and involves three main components revenue, fixed costs, & variable costs. When revenue equals fixed costs plus variable costs you have achieved a break-even point.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao Photographer Austin Distel

Your fixed costs never change - imagine rent, salaries/admin labor, insurance, etc. These expenses are the same every month whether you sell 5 floral bouquets or 5,000 floral bouquets. Your variable costs represent costs associated with the floral bouquets you sell. Think about the flowers, the wrapping material, direct labor (cost of the labor making that actual bouquet). When you subtract the variable costs of each bouquet from the sales price of each bouquet you have your contribution margin - this is a very impor-

tant number to know in your breakeven analysis. Example: Let’s assume Rent and Insurance are your only two fixed expenses and they amount to $10,000 combined. »» You sell your floral bouquets for $50 and each one costs $20 to make. The $20 consists of $12 of flowers, $1 for the decorative wrap, and Employee A gets paid $14 per hour and is able to make 2 bouquets per hour - therefore costing $7 in labor per bouquet. »» Your contribution margin is $50 sale price minus $20 variable cost - $30 contribution margin per bouquet. Now that you have your contribution margin that math is simple - Take your fixed costs of $10,000 per month and divide it by your contribution margin of $30 - you need to sell 334 bouquets to break even for the month. If that number is out of reach, whether it be because of storage space, production abilities, or product availabil-

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Finance Most likely you will raise the variable cost of your product by doing this - but can always rerun your break-even analysis to make sure you are in the money!

ity and you believe the most you can produce is 250 bouquets per month you back the math in to find where you need to price your bouquets. $10,000 in fixed costs per month divided by 250 bouquets produced yields a contribution requirement of $40 per bouquet. Your options here are: 1. Raise the price of your bouquet to $60 ($60 - $20 Variable costs = $40 contribution margin) 2. Improve the efficiency of your operations - source cheaper product, invest in employee training to become more efficient, etc If a price increase is unavoidable hopefully there is not an existing customer base with expectations set. If you are in the planning phases and have not released a product yet, then a price increase is not that difficult.

Photo by Cassandra Hamer

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If you have a customer base already, you will really need to find a way to add value in order to avoid a poor perception in the customer’s eye. Most likely you will raise the variable cost of your product by doing this - but can always rerun your break-even analysis to make sure you are in the money!


Taxes for the Don’t forget about selfemployment tax When estimating how much to withdraw from your gross, don’t just jump on Google and look up your tax bracket. For employees with a w-2, not only are they taxed in their bracket but they are also taxed on Medicare and Social Security. Small business owners don’t pay those taxes, but DO pay a self employment tax instead, to the tune of around 15%!

Photo by Charles Deluvio

Consolidate banking accounts if you can Even with an accountant to prepare my taxes when they are due, I still have to track all of my income and expenses (unless you want to pay a bookkeeper). Once you throw in business credit cards into the mix, it can be difficult to track deductible expenses each month as you have to switch between statements constantly. If you can, try and consolidate to just use one business credit card, or even just your debit card (so that all you have to do is look at your checking statement). 1099 forms and paying contractors When you pay a contractor for more than $600 of work during the year, you have to present them with a 1099. Luckily, if you’re paying with Paypal, Paypal will take care of it for you. This can be one less headache for a small business owner and is a pretty convenient and quick way to pay. Andrew Sather Founding Publisher The Sather Research eLetter

Photography by Adeolu Eletu

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Lauryn Williams

Olympic Star to Financial Leader

Many have the impression that they can’t perform excellently in areas beyond what they are used to, and therefore would rather remain in their comfort zone than venturing out. However, Lauryn took an exception to that norm. Not only was she an Olympic track and field Medalist but equally went on to become a bobsled Olympian. She pushed past certain barriers before she was able to excel in the field of finance. In doing so, she was able to assist other athletes and fellow students on how to manage their debt. Lauryn is a good example of how one should trust their instincts. Lauryn Williams an Olympic Medalist, but also Founder of Worth Winning Financial. Highly experienced in discussing the effects of student loans. We can’t forget to mention her five-star rated podcast “Worth Listening”. Lauryn empowers people in need to plan for financial success. How did your own life experience transition you from being an Olympic star to becoming a financial expert? I saw gaps in the information I was looking for as an athlete and the information I actually needed. I wasn’t sure what a financial advisor did and I also didn’t know there were different types of financial advisors. I was busy and wanted to make good decisions but with the help of an expert. I asked friends what they were doing to be responsible with their money and seldom got a clear answer. These were

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Finance the gaps I wanted to fill and what led me to financial planning as a career. Before anyone publicly knows our new route of passion and purpose feel it internally. Did you have any apprehension when letting others know publicly about your transition? I did not have apprehension but I was met with a sort of shock and even subtle disappointment by many who only saw me as an athlete. I got to follow up questions like “what aren’t you coaching?” This led to me feeling a little less confident because I saw that people were doubting me before I even got going. How did you begin the process? I went to a conference for young financial planners that specifically aim to help young professionals. There is a conference for just about everything nowadays and getting to be in the same space with like-minded people and to have the opportunity to do some fact-finding about best ways to proceed is very important when beginning a new venture. When thinking about moments that standout, what was your greatest moment when starting and your lowest moment? My greatest would probably be getting my first client to say yes without questioning my fees. Rejection is apart of the process when starting something new however it is incredibly painful in the beginning because you are so eager

to get confirmation that your idea, pricing, and process are valuable to others. A good brand will repel those who won’t value your service and that is a good thing but it definitely stings when you follow up and a prospective client doesn’t bother to even respond. Sometimes it’s worse when they do respond simply saying no thanks with no further explanation. What skills as an athlete did you acquire that also helped running your business? Two main ones would be the ability to adapt and the ability to persist. Your ability to adapt when things don’t go quite as planned is crucial as an athlete you can not allow yourself to be rattled by a change of plan you have to think fast and keep moving forward because success is not going to wait for the perfect conditions to return. You can make the most of the moments you have. Persistence is about showing up even after things don’t go well. So whether you lose a race or get rejected by a client. Persistence says it is worth it to get back up and try again the next day. Very important in both worlds. Do you feel that professional athletes are at financial risk even with making so much money? Everyone who does not have financial literacy and an objective person to run financial decisions by is at risk. The secrecy and feeling that money should be a very private thing is very destructive. Having discussions about money is key for

anyone to reach their full potential. You have already accomplished so much, what is next on your “Career Bucket list”? I am working on a course to bring GOOD financial information to those who usually are priced out but other financial services offerings. The focus of the course is literacy. Financial Retreats is also something on my short term bucket list. I would like to get two more certifications one for taxes(EA) and one for financial counseling (AFCPE) which is different from financial planning. Improving my public speaking skills is also something on the short list to better command an audience. I am great at doing interactive speaking but could improve when it is a Keynote situation. What advice would you give others who have created a solid name for themselves in one area but seeking to start a new purpose having to start fresh? Lean into what you are doing now. If you spent time connecting with your fans during your first venture they will follow you. Those that were only interested in thing one will move away and that is ok because their will also be new followers who connect with your new purpose and join your current journey. Twitter: @worth_winning Instagram: @worthwinning

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Finance Photography by Reshot

l Persona

Credit Repair:

Pay off Debt or Save Up for on-time Payments

By: Todd Christensen Accredited Financial Counselor Education Manager at MoneyFit

As an Accredited Financial Counselor(r), and a community financial educator since 2004, I have led nearly 2,000 workshops and counseling sessions on various personal finance topics. In my mid-20s, I maxed out my Discover card to over $4,000 (twice that in today’s dollars) then didn’t pay at all until the company called to arrange monthly payments. We closed out the account, converted it to a monthly installment

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loan, and I paid it off in 12 months. I hated the feeling of not wanting to answer my phone because I knew it could be a creditor asking for me. Pay off Debt or Save to have current payments on time when budget is low The answer depends on your goal. Credit and debt are connected, but they can also be separate goals. If your goal is to get out of debt, it might make more sense to focus on one particular debt

Finance while ignoring others, although this generally results in penalty fees and possibly even lawsuits, judgments and wage garnishments by the ignored creditors. If your goal is to rebuild your credit, focus on getting caught up on your monthly payments, starting with your newest account first. The newer the account, the greater the effect it has on your credit rating. Tangible Directive Steps If you are late on your accounts, contact your creditors to notify them of what you can afford and what you will send. Have a plan worked out ahead of time. Creditors will appreciate working with someone who knows what their financial reality is. Come up with extra cash to send with your minimum payment in order to accelerate your debt reduction. Use what we call PowerCash. Take 10% of your monthly groceries, entertainment, dining out, gift giving and vacation contributions to add to your monthly debt repayments. Pay off any collection accounts on your credit reports. Until 2018, this was often a difficult decision, because by paying off your collection account, you also reset the reporting time period back to 7 years. However, starting in 2019, FICO’s newest scoring model ignores all collection accounts that have a zero balance. To save the most money in interest charges, focus your PowerCash on the account with the highest APR (this is known as the debt avalanche method). If you want to see progress sooner than later, focus your PowerCash on your account with the smallest balance first (this is known as the debt snowball method). If your goal is to rebuild your credit, then you will have to focus your PowerCash on your newest account (this is known as the debt landslide method). If you struggle to afford even monthly payments, find a nonprofit credit counseling agency (start at the industry trade group, Financial Counseling Association of America at They can often get your creditors to lower your interest rates into the low to mid-single digits or, in the case of collections, work out a one-, two- or three-year repayment plan. Fees are minimal and capped by each state.

Photography by Ruth Enyedi Photographer Jon Tyson

If your goal is to rebuild your credit, then you will have to focus your PowerCash on your newest account (this is known as the debt landslide method).

Todd Christensen Education Manager Money Fit by DRS (a nonprofit credit counseling agency founded in 1996) Headquartered in Boise, Idaho (800) 432-0310

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Branding & Marketing Photo by Jakob Owens

Marketing with Integrity By: Michael J. Snell Marketing Director Americas Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, New Jersey

A significant portion of today’s media that is put out there uses manipulation through either digital, copy edits or the run-of-the-mill sales pitch. This can stem from a multitude of sources ranging from businesses influenced by other businesses, the direct copy approach, or an entrepreneur guiding a team in the wrong direction and most commonly – not understanding your product’s/service’s intention or your audience’s needs and using everything you can think of to make them want what you are putting out there. Guiding your business directly from company to consumer is the key.

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Branding & Marketing Photo by Geralt

Photo by Toa Heftiba

You want to create a truthful brand with its own personality, and use the energy and intention of what you bring to drive consumers back to you. Today, people are smart and educated, things are changing and today’s consumers are craving the authenticity factor – so build up your story and position it as a lifestyle rather than a cold and impressionable product. This stems from you identifying your ideal client so you can understand them enough to provide that service-forward approach into your unique brand space. Always be clear about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Many consumers are extremely observant when it comes to business who market aggressively Most customers feel like they have something to hide or are offering products/ services that are cheap or useless. The approach I take within my company is selectively targeting your audience’s attention, for it’s a valuable asset that could either result in a sale/s or a total disengagement. Once you position your brand accordingly with the consumers you feel could use or want your product/service, then you maximize the visibility through an elevated activation – this could be a magazine ad in a specific niche, extremely well-produced commercial or radio spot to even in-person client activation.

By investing a few more dollars and time into 3-5 marketing activities rather than spreading it over 20, your result would be exponential due to the brand impact you will have to create that drive and interest rather than over-saturating with information that today’s consumers have been accustomed to tuning out. The mystery of a brand is a good thing. Simple marketing tools that are organic to the business owner and consumer I discovered that whether you are a small business or a multi-national corporation, the starting point to drive marketing (and generally at a low cost) is on Social Media. This platform allows you to truly showcase your brand and you will be responsible for what goes out into the publics’ eye. Here you have the ability to create and drive impressions on an extremely personal level, giving you the advantage to touch the buying or inquisitive minds of those who are on that platform, searching specifically for that topic. In addition to social media, you have the ability to utilize the integrity of your branded website that gets tied back to those platforms providing backing for what you and your business stand for. All of this will continue to organically grow your business while boosting your visibility on search engines and product/service highlight pages until you get to the visibility level that you desire.

You want to create a truthful brand with its own personality, and use the energy and intention of what you bring to drive consumers back to you.

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Branding & Marketing

The Rebranding How do businesses go through a rebranding process without alienating their customers and losing the trust they’ve built? As businesses change, the brand may need to follow suit. Whether through setting up extensions to the existing brand or making design changes that reflect the services and products the business offers, there is a balance to strike that engages existing customers and helps to attract new customers. That balance needs to be a gentle evolution rather than a complete revolution.

Business brands, much like their customers, evolve & change

Straying too far from your existing branding will give your existing customers a reason to reconsider their loyalty to you, which you obviously would want to avoid. Your customers may query why your business is making branding changes. Firstly, you need sound reasons for rebranding. It should be because there is a business benefit in doing so. It could be a costly process. If you are convinced that the branding needs to evolve, make the rebrand something your customers should be excited about. Create a rebrand launch

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date. Use social media to advertise your rebrand and maximize your exposure through PR. Your energy and passion for your business will be the biggest factor in delivering a positive message. Adding an additional product or service may require attracting a different type of customer. You need to balance keeping your existing customers and attracting

Photo by Geralt

Branding & Marketing Photo by Jo Szczepanska

new ones. You should start by analyzing the habits of your new customer base. Do they operate in the same circles as your current customers or does your business need to market to that new customer base in a different way? Then consider how you can attract your current customers to your new products and services. It’s much easier to keep a customer than it is to attract new customers. Existing customers may feel alienated by a rebrand or by the business focusing on a new market. But you can use the opportunity to show how your business is growing, thriving and expanding. Don’t give the impression that your business is moving in a new direction because you’ve exhausted your existing customer base, even if you have. It’s important to recognize and respect that your business has the opportunity to move into exciting new directions because of the engagement you’ve had from your existing customers, so don’t forget about them. Show them, love. Your business should really focus on why the rebrand is important and what you expect it will deliver. What new opportunities does it open up? A business rebrand is a significant investment. It’s much more than a logo. It’s about perception, language, identity, and belonging. Give your existing customers plenty of reasons to stay engaged with you and potential new customers a reason to be a part of your project. Tom Jullings Director at onefoursix Digital Marketing Agency

Your business should really focus on why the rebrand is important and what you expect it will deliver.

Being Organized & Methodical The new brand and company identity should be presented to the public in a very systematic way to avoid dissatisfaction with old customers while trying to gain a potential new one. Rebranding should be thought of as a methodical process that involves careful strategy, personal interaction, and easy-to-remember visuals, which must affect the trust of clients to accept the new brand. While it is very difficult to know what the outcome of the questions users asks, it is important that all employees, even some long-term clients, are engaged in order to become ambassadors of the new brand. Dewayne Hamilton Director Web Cosmo Forums

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Branding & Marketing Photo by Reshot

Remain Loyal to your Customer Base Keeping the existing audience is largely a matter of maintaining the core qualities that attracted them and making sure that they are shown not to have changed. Quality and functionality should remain staples of the brand to retain the audience they attracted initially, but can be updated and refreshed, potentially by adding new uses for the product or category, or by partnering with another brand to create a combined product (Cleansers of many different types containing Clorox comes to mind as an example). Dave Poulos The Marketing Doctor

Options to consider when “Rebranding�

The main thing is, well two things...

How to present (launch?) the new brand to the public? There are a number of strategies for this, the slow roll, (an introduction in ads and on packages as a specialty subbrand of the parent or existing brand [Glow Wax, an S.E. Johnson company]), the gradual take over,(where one old brand is gradually taken over by the new one. The old one gets smaller and appears less often, and the new one gets larger in packaging and in ads and marketing as the old one fades away) the band-aid method, (where the new brand is launched in every media, in your face, all at once and the old one just disappears). Which one you select depends on the reason for the rebrand, and the level of expediency needed to accomplish the change. The slower you go, the more time the existing customer base has to adjust to the change and the fewer you will lose as long as the product QUALITY and FUNCTIONALITY remain the same.

1) Validate with market research and Time. 2) Do it in phases. Begin to phase out the old branding and incorporate the new branding. Del Taco did this recently with their focus on freshly made food. They are slowly changing their consumer perspective of a fresh and affordable brand rather than another fast food taco shop. But by doing it in phases it hasn’t been a shock to their current customer base. When you shock the current customer base they can feel alienated and stop patronizing you. Kat Rosati Apparel Booster

Looking to build your fashion business? Fix common fashionpreneur problems with self-paced courses in market research, branding, e-commerce and more in Fashion Business Labs

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Lifestyle: Health, Style, Nutrition

Kenneth The Road to Transformation

Drawn in by well designed “Dine” events, dynamic food pairings and visuals that would send an appetite into overdrive. Esquire Meals caught the attention of our lifestyle editor beyond his exquisite presentation, although undeniable. Lead by an entrepreneur who has a moral compass to create meals that cater to our taste buds, yet fueling our nutritional needs. Founder Kenneth Watson Jr. went from a driven attorney to a social impact leader changing our taste buds and nutritional awareness. Sitting down with Kenneth he explained his direction into law as a journey that felt like it was “suppose” to happen. All the while Esquire meals had begun without him even knowing it. While in law school Kenneth used the idea of meal prep to stay in line with a student budget as we all would. However, he ensured he had meals which gave him the energy a driven law student would need. This lead to other students purchasing from him as well. Still focused on being a lawyer he saw Esquire meals as a way to fund his original goal by all means necessary. Creating an Instagram page to see if others would be interested. To his surprise, they were! Esquire meals was born as a consistent form of supplemental income.

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Lifestyle: Health, Style, Nutrition Kenneth didn’t originally see the full potential Esquire meals had due to tunnel vision to become an attorney. Without a tunnel vision, it would be impossible for anyone to accomplish such a professional dream as an attorney. With major focus, Kenneth passed the bar exam and was on his way to the journey he designed. Born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina with two parents who are career professionals, he was given a great example of hard work and the outcomes of work over entitlement. Along his journey, unsure if law was his purpose he moved to live with his godparents initially for summer; for what would be life-changing growth. While living with his godparents he was reintroduced to an entirely new way of living. His godparents also entrepreneurs, added a to major piece to his growth as a man that he didn’t even know was missing. Showing him ways to eat not only healthy but to eat with purpose preventing health risks before they arise. Leading by example on how to manage a company, employees and quality.

Growing up loving Soul food you can see how Kenneth infuses both upbringings in his business. Nutritional food that feeds the soul. After many twists and turns as an attorney, his inner compass was pulling him out of the dream he created. Inspired by his ability to seek purpose over self-design. He accomplished his goal, became an attorney. Most would think their journey is finished. After making a decision to leave a law firm which showed him the ugly side of law, as well as the benefits of proper business structure. Kenneth made another life decision in one weekend. “I will not be returning to work on Monday.” Unsure as to the next steps but trusting his gut that he could not work anywhere that diminished his integrity. Throwing all of his passion and eclectic skills into Esquire Meals. As we can see today he made a decision that will positively affect generations ongoing. When you look at your life and future legacy, describe what you feel your Purpose is? My purpose is to do good and be

Currently, we are in the Baltimore/Maryland area. We have had major interests from across the country.

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good while feeling good. My greatest asset to my life and my future legacy is being unapologetically me. I dream big and jump fearlessly because I know no matter what happens in life, my purpose will make any dream a reality. What is Esquire Meals? Esquire Meals is a gourmet health-conscious meal prep company based on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. Whatever goes into your body should have a purpose and Kenneth believes that food can be a catalyst to good health, quick recovery and in extension, success. Cooking, delivering and of course, eating the food the same day it was prepared is a perfect way to remain consistent with your nutritional goals. With a personal belief that life should be experienced and enjoyed, Kenneth adds culinary excitement for food enthusiasts who would not just want to stuff their guts but equally enjoy every bit of the dinning.

Lifestyle: Health, Style, Nutrition

“Dine dinner series� as a nice way to connect innovators as well as strengthen community bonds through private themed dinner events. What is the relationship between food, good health, and success? What we eat either fuels us or begins to tear down our own bodies. Many in our community are taught to not pay attention to what we eat and then pay for it later with prescription medicines. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other issues that are even apart of generational illness. By taking small steps we can prepare for our future health, in turn, this allows us to be as healthy as can be to take care of our families, home and career. What can a customer expect from Esquire Meals? The ability to know ahead of time you have your food prepared to fuel your day and compliment your budget. Many of our meals are the same you

would pay for your own groceries but without the worry of time, quality ingredients or taste. We work with fresh suppliers and a team that ensures quality and on time delivery. How crucial is it for food to be delivered on time? Cooking, delivering and of course, eating the food same day it was prepared is a perfect way to remain consistent with your nutritional goals. With a personal belief that life should be experienced and enjoyed, Kenneth adds culinary excitement for food enthusiasts who would not just want to stuff their guts but equally enjoy every bit of the dinning.

Where do you deliver to presently? Currently, we are in the Baltimore/ Maryland area. We have had major interests from across the country. However, I want to always make sure the presentation is delivered as its packaged, fresh as possible. Until I setup a way to make sure quality is compromised we will keep pushing in our present community. Yet and still we are expanding very soon. Stay posted! What can we expect cost wise? Budgets are real! I promise you our prices might beat your own grocery store visits! We have multiple options. You can set up reoccurring meals, single order or even bulk orders and subscrip-

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Lifestyle: Health, Style, Nutrition bonds through private themed dinner events. We have had great feedback and will continue with the series to new heights each time. These events are extremely special because I get to engage with customers, clients, and the community directly. What other ways are you involved in the community? Collaborating with others in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area to promote healthy lifestyle living events. I also presently Chair, Commercial Development Committee, Southwest Partnership of Baltimore bringing awareness to property ownership and community development by those who live in the community.

tions. Also with catering options. We have snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This week we have Shrimp Teriyaki Over Zucchini Noodles, Flank Steak with Bamboo Shoot and Plum Sauce with Jasmine Rice, Protein Brownies, Shrimp, and Polenta Grits and about 15 other options. What goes into you choosing your menu? Is each meal designed with specific ingredients for specific nutritional needs? Creating a menu from scratch takes a couple of hours. When creating a menu, I attempt to have as many flavor profiles as possible, that blend together in perfect harmony. Since our menu options are customizable down to the protein, veggie, and carb, it

can be matrix equation planning the options weekly.

For one to go from being an attorney to a Social Impact founder would certainly be described as the height of passion for a niche. Kenneth Watson helps in no small measure by ensuring that disenfranchised communities and entrepreneurs are able to eat healthily.

What would be the best meal on the menu for sustaining entrepreneurs on the go? All of them. But seriously, being an entrepreneur on the go is difficult. If you can remember to eat 3 times a day you have won at adulting for the day. If I had to choose, the Chicken Shawarma Bowl would probably be best. It gives a full feeling and impactful flavor, without a heavy gut feeling. It’s the perfect fuel to keep you energized throughout the day.

A man with a big personality, contagious smile, and a mind that is always on the go. We have many many entrepreneurs but Kenneth stands out with his humble passion to truly be the person he speaks of. Personal conviction to deliver quality and standards that allows us to trust that “Esquire Meals” is here to disrupt meal preparation and events as we know it. Be sure to look out for upcoming collaborations and contact him to share your thoughts.

What role can food play as a bonding tool? The “dine dinner series” as a nice way to connect innovators as well as strengthen community

Esquire Meals Founder: Kenneth Watson Jr 203.927.0099

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This week we have Shrimp Teriyaki Over Zucchini Noodles, Flank Steak with Bamboo Shoot and Plum Sauce with Jasmine Rice, Protein Brownies, Shrimp, and Polenta Grits and about 15 other options.

Lifestyle: Health, Style, Nutrition Your health is your businesses biggest long-term investment By: Rachel MacPherson Certified Personal Trainer (ACE), Founder of Radical Strength

Photo by Whitney Wright

Your diet may have taken a back seat to your business if you find Yourself… Constantly seeking out whatever is convenient after you’ve already gotten to the point of extreme hunger and lack the ability to make good choices. As a busy professional with a lot on your plate, you are required to make decisions all day long. Studies have shown that willpower is finite and when it comes to food when hunger is motivating you, you aren’t thinking about properly balanced macronutrients, you are thinking about that street-side burrito or giant muffin. Setting aside time for meal prep can be challenging when you don’t have a lot of free time leftover during the day or week Needing to be ever vigilant and responsible as an entrepreneur means you don’t have typical work hours and off hours where you can consistently schedule in time to prep meals. This means that you need to write it into your planner as an important meeting with your own needs. Knowing that a healthy, well balanced and energizing diet will make you much more proficient and efficient at your job. Less brain fog, less fatigue, and improved concentration will result from a well-balanced diet and good sleep habits.

Set aside a certain amount of time to choose healthy, easy-to-prepare and quick to make meals that are also easy to store and reheat well if necessary. Write out a grocery list and purchase everything you need for all the meals. If you will have meals with clients or friends during the week, take that into consideration. Remember that perfect is the enemy of the good and aim to make meals that are acceptably healthy and easy without being overly complicated or time-consuming. As motivated as you might be in that moment, you want this to become a sustainable habit.

Studies have shown that willpower is finite and when it comes to food when hunger is motivating you, you aren’t thinking about properly balanced macronutrients, you are thinking about that streetside burrito or giant muffin.

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Lifestyle: Health, Style, Nutrition Photo by StockSnap

Photo by Daniel Monteiro

Photo by Mike Fox

Foods that are ideal for sustaining energy are key This means avoiding highly processed, sugary carbohydrates and making sure to get in all three macronutrients at each meal. Whole, complex carbs are best such as oats, rice, potatoes, quinoa, and high fiber fruits and vegetables. Fiber is also a key component, helping to aid digestion and balance blood sugar to prevent energy spikes and crashes. Adding some healthy fat such as avocado, dairy, olive oil, and nuts will also slow down the release of glucose from carbohydrates into the bloodstream and increase meal satiety and satisfaction. Lastly, make sure to include nutritious sources of protein such as eggs, red meat, chicken, and fish, or tofu and beans if the meat isn’t an option. Try not to eliminate or restrict macronutrients, especially carbohydrates if you are lacking energy and focus. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel. Making your health a priority as a business owner is imperative if you want to accomplish everything on your giant to-do list. In order to perform optimally, continually crush decision making and goal setting, you will need the right fuel. If you are irritable with clients, you will hurt your business. If you are feeling hungry, sluggish or stressed, you will not be able to focus properly on climbing that mountain of competition. Most importantly, you will crash and have no energy to really enjoy your life, your family, and your downtime. Take care of yourself first.

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Lifestyle: Health, Style, Nutrition Photo by Hian Oliveira

When your personal relationships are taking a toll…

Balancing Love & Business By: Melissa McKinney with The Hive Law

Next step I took was to basically disconnect from my phone after 4 pm altogether. Since I have all my work emails, contacts, etc. at the press of a button on my phone, I decided to just be phone-free (as much as possible) once my husband got home from work. This forced me to be in the moment and not jolt at the sound of an incoming email. It also helped me to unwind before bed, so that was a huge plus.

Photo by Ty Williams

Finally, I made a conscious effort not to talk about work in a negative way. When I first started out on my own, I was forced to do a lot of hustling. I didn’t have partners to feed me clients or a well-known firm’s name attached to my business card. This meant I had to go on a lot of coffee dates, networking events, and call up other small firms to see if they needed help.

Eventually, I had to face the facts: “I wasn’t present in my marriage.” SoI had to make a change; it came in increments, though. It was difficult for me to just stomp on the breaks and automatically have a perfect balance. It took a lot of purposeful planning to help me really let go of the work day and transition into my non-working self.

I was so focused on building this monster of a business that my home life took a toll. At the time, my husband and I had only been married for a little over a year. So the honeymoon phase had passed and we could no longer excuse the fact that I was spending almost every waking second thinking, planning, or talking about “The Hive”.

Since most of my work was done from home, I made sure to keep the office door shut after office hours. So from 4 pm to 7 am the next day, I wasn’t allowed to open that door. It helped for me to physically turn off my work mode. That was probably my biggest struggle. Work was so accessible; it was literally under the same roof!

When “The Hive” was first starting, it was very easy to complain. Complain about all the work that needed to get done, all the clients I wish I had, and how law school doesn’t prepare you for this. I was a real wet diaper when I think about it. I was bringing all of that negative energy into our house. Now, I make sure not to complain on and on about how hard work is. For starters, everyone’s job is hard; it’s not like my husband’s work is a walk in the park. So now, I make sure to talk positively about my day, clients, and opposing counsel. I can definitely tell that it makes a difference in the mood of the house but also with how I see work.

I decided to just be phone-free (as much as possible) once my husband got home from work.

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Legal Protection & Business Laws

When Considering a Business Lawyer The purpose‌ David Reischer, Esq. Attorney & CEO of David Reischer is a practicing attorney in New York City in the areas of civil litigation, commercial litigation, education law, and business law. There are many reasons why a business should find and retain a business lawyer to address important legal needs before the business even begins operations. There are many legal parts that have to be complied with before a business can start operating and it is critical to consult with lawyers to ensure everything is set up correctly. Many clients do not realize that as a business moves forward that there will still be the need to have legal counsel on hand. By having an attorney on retainer before any legal troubles occur, the attorney will already be familiar with your business and there will be the advantage of having a head start to avoid activities that put a business at legal risk in the first place. Also, an attorney’s upfront familiarity with your company will help to streamline the process of working through legal issues when the time comes and increase the likelihood of prevailing against any obstacle.

A business should hire an attorney based on the lawyer’s familiarity with the industry the business operates within. Many legal services companies can help identify a qualified attorney but developing a rapport and feeling comfortable working with your attorney is a personal decision. A lawyer needs to be qualified, competent and also understand your business and top management. The primary benefit of speaking to a lawyer from the moment a business begins operation is that the company can get adequate advice and counsel to avoid dangerous legal jeopardy that could put the business at risk in the first place. It is always good to sit down with your lawyer before any legal difficulties arise so as to get counsel before making any major business decision. Changing a lawyer in the middle of an active situation is like changing pilots in the middle of a flight. It will take time for the new attorney to become familiar with the business, particularly if the litigation becomes complex. A new attorney will bill a business for the time spent performing that review and getting up to speed. Having an attorney on retainer will likely save money in the long run.

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Photo by Andrew Worley

Legal Protection & Business Laws What to look for when retaining a lawyer for a start-up… Alton Moore Attorney at Law

Photo by Timon Studler

Alton Moore is an attorney with experience in a diverse set of fields, specializing in individual, corporate, and partnership tax compliance and advisory engagements at the state, federal, and international level. There are many purposes to having a lawyer on retainer as a business owner. In a complex legal world, you’ll need a highly trained professional who has navigated those murky legal waters before, and leads you as a start-up business owner in the right direction. There are a few categories that you should look for when retaining a lawyer for a start-up. (1) Business and entity formation. This really requires a lawyer to work hand-in-hand with the start-up owner to understand where the start-up is currently, where they plan to be in the near-term future, and even where the start-up plans to be in the long term. From this, the lawyer should be able to help the start-up form the correct legal entities that best fit the owner’s plans for their business. This considers a number of things— how many owners and employees the start-up envisions, how owners want to limit their liability, and where they eventually see their exit happening, and even consult with the start-up how they should form their business relations with their intended business partners.

(2) Contract Drafting. This is really a subset of the first category, but owners of start-ups should be wary of the provisions in operating agreements, employment agreements, and other general business agreements they are entering and how they will impact the business going forward. Generally, every business will need its own personally tailored set of contracts moving forward—this takes an attorney who can really understand all of the aspects of the start-up’s business and begin to implement these agreements in order to position the owner and the company. Also, this is a recurring relationship—throughout the life of the business; there will undoubtedly be new agreements that neither the

attorney nor the owner of the business envisioned at the beginning. (3) Regulatory Consulting. This is a big one—all businesses should aim to be the in good terms with the regulatory authorities, however, not all start-ups or their owners understand the regulatory requirements that are imposed on them. When you think about it, these regulations vary on the federal, state, and local levels— that means you as the owner would have to understand and correctly implement three layers of regulations. This is no easy task, and an attorney who has worked in the specific industry should be retained to help the owner and the startup navigate these waters to make sure that the business is and stays in compliance with all applicable laws.

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Legal Protection & Business Laws

Legal Services on a Start-up Budget How to choose an option with a small budget: Signing up for large-scale services like Legal Shield V.S. choosing an inperson lawyer

Nicole Gaither A trademark and copyright attorney with my own virtual law firm, Creativa IP Law LLC. I work with small businesses, startups, future entrepreneurs, and creatives to protect their brands, their content, and grow their businesses.

Using a service like “Legal Shield” may not give you the attention you need as a startup. Some of those attorneys sign up to be a part of the service for extra revenue. They might not take the time to learn about your business, your goals, your plans, and what you want to achieve because you are just another number or source of quick revenue for them. In addition, the plans only cover a limited number of services each month (some you might not even need). You are only getting a consultation for legal matters that truly matter for a startup business. The fees for the attorneys are discounted for some services, but they are based on the attorney’s “corporate hourly rate.” A retainer may be required and even then, it only covers a limited number of services that might not be applicable to your business in the startup phase. You can choose to have an in-person lawyer, but keep in mind that those can be expensive - most will charge for phone calls (and some charge in 6 to 15-minute increments), emails, copies, mail, etc. Some firms are moving to a new model to work with startups because they understand that they are on a budget. A lot of attorneys now have virtual firms and conduct almost all work electronically and remotely. They do not have the overhead expenses like rent that some other attorneys have because they do not work from an office or for a large firm with billable hour requirements. Most charge flat fees for services and will set up payment arrangements with you because they have that flexibility.

Photo by Steve pb

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An even newer billing model - subscription services - is starting to become popular. Attorneys have clients pay a set and predictable monthly fee (which makes budgeting easier because the amount is the same from month to month), and provide a group of services, depending on the plan that was selected. You can get unlimited legal advice, business coaching and strategy, document drafting and review, and even intellectual property identification, registration, enforcement, and monitoring on a monthly basis.

Legal Protection & Business Laws Relationship & Expectations

Photo by Wesley Tingey

Nance L. Schick A small business attorney/mediator who has also run her own firm in New York City for nearly 16 years.

What to expect during your first Meeting... During your first meeting with your chosen lawyer, you should expect your concerns to be addressed. We might know the law better than you, but you know your business better than we do. So, we should be listening to what you think you need and why. From there, we will ask questions about your business structure, your products or services, your vision and current goals, your workforce plan, and other unique needs. We will discuss the risks you need to be aware of and steps you can take to insulate yourself. We will probably review your formation documents and ask about your record-keeping, so you don’t lose the separate entity treatment you sought for personal protection. We’ll be screening you as well to make sure we are the right fit for your needs or have access to attorneys and resources that meet the ones we can’t. We’ll be considering how well your business and our firm will work together in a strategic legal partnership. We hope this will be a good fit for everyone involved, but we have ethical obligations to point you in other directions if we don’t think we have the appropriate competence. So, you can relax. It’s rare that we counter our negative public image. Pricing… Lawyer fees will vary greatly. Some law schools and bar associations offer low-

cost or free clinics. In some areas, there are subscription services and flat-fee options, as well as attorneys who charge by the hour. The rates attorneys charge by the hour varies greatly, too. In small towns or mid-sized cities, attorneys might charge $200.00 to $300.00 per hour. Attorneys who operate in metropolitan areas, have the large firm experience, and got degrees from expensive universities will probably command higher fees ($450.00 per hour and up in Manhattan) and might not provide you anything different from what the graduate of a state school provides. All of us practicing in the state in which you are operating presumably passed the same bar examination, have the same license and abide by the same laws. So, shop around for someone who can provide you the services you need within the budget you have. Don’t screen solely on price. Ask about experience with service versus retail businesses, the size of most of the firm’s clients, the most interesting business they’ve worked with (not the name of it) and what they did for it, what they think are the biggest legal challenges for businesses like yours, and more. Choose someone you feel comfortable sharing your secrets and financial reports with. There will be times when you need to confide things that embarrass you, and you’ll want an attorney who can be honest, clear, direct, non-judgmental, and results-focused, regardless of the circumstances.

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Tech Tool

Website & Landing Pages 101: Rep your Brand!

By: Gabriel Ruane Founder of Turn Agency

Social media is a great place to engage and rally fandom. But you need a bridge from that social effort and engagement to sales. Directly or indirectly, you need to be able to harness the excitement you generate on social channels and move those potential customers through to your site or your brick and mortar storefronts - the places where business is transacted. There are ways to sync up your Instagram and Facebook with various e-commerce storefronts - but remember that someone scrolling through their feed may or may not be in a buying state of mind. Putting a buy-now link on an Instagram post can seem presumptuous. Use IG to get them to want what you’re selling. Then make it easy for them to give you their money on and offline, once they’re ready to buy. Tools to creating your first landing page until you have a site The tools to build a landing page are just as accessible as the tools to build your first site. Your first site can be a one-page landing experience that

Photography by Fanette Rickert

serves both purposes - validation that you’re a real company and has an online presence, and a landing spot for potential customers that you’ve connected with on social channels. Whenever our agency works with startups, as soon as the brand identity is ready to roll, we put up a 1-page

website. The full website effort can take a lot of time and energy, but there’s no time to wait on that process. Get something simple up on Squarespace or Shopify on day one. As soon as your social channels are live on Instagram and Facebook (YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, wherever), your fans will

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Tech Tool check your profile and look for the link to your site. Have something ready! Your landing page should be disciplined and focused Don’t try to put all of your thoughts down in one place. Show who you are, what you sell, and maybe a short paragraph or two about why you’ve launched your business. Branding should be consistent with your social profiles. If you can make it clear who your audience is, the right people will feel like they’re in the right place when they get there. Then there should be ONE very clear CTA (call to action) - what is it you want people to do next once they’ve hit your site? Get in touch, make an order, follow you on Instagram? Based on your business goals, figure out that one next thing you want them to

do, and then ask them to do it with a concise sentence and a button. Don’t bury it at the bottom of the page. And don’t forget to infuse your personality in your writing style. Most people are pretty boring with their copywriting - often trying too hard to sound established or serious. Just be you. When your business requires a web designer for brand development Like every other aspect of your business, hiring specialists for complex tasks will always level-up your results. If you’re bootstrapping though, and most startups are, I’d recommend you hold off on any big budget engagements for web design, web development or brand identity. Those three things make up the core of my business, and I know they’re all hugely important, but they can be

expensive as well. Start by rallying the design and development experts in your inner circle. Ask for free or cheap help to get started. Offer delayed compensation of some kind, like bartering. Build out an affordable site on Squarespace. Get what you need to get off the ground, and then as you build revenue and cash flow, you can come back to a more formal branding and/or web engagement with an agency or freelancer that does work that resonates with you. And keep an eye on your product/service at all times - if that offering is strong, and people like what you do, they won’t care that your website and logo aren’t high-end. If people don’t like what you’re selling, it won’t matter how much money you spent on that awesome logo and a slick website.

Photography by Carl Heyerdahl

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Tech Tool

Summer Ready:

Automation, your Business Best Friend By: Ricky Wolff Founder of Markletic

Business and marketing automation tools are critical for the scalability of your company. I started using business automation tools to increase the productivities of my team and reduce the number of human errors. The main marketing automation tools I currently use are CoSchedule, Hubspot and Marketo. I’ll describe these tools below:

Photo by Marvin Meyer

»» CoSchedule combines the marketing and social media calendars so you have a clear overview of your omnichannel marketing approach. You can even connect your email marketing platform to include that as well. »» The tool also comes with a neat feature called ReQueue. This essentially allows you to automate your social media and therefore easily enlarging your social media footprint. ReQueue will detect if there are gaps in your social media calendar and automatically fill the gaps with evergreen content. If you have an in-house marketing team, or you are working at a marketing or growth hacking agency, CoSchedule can really save you a lot of time with managing editorial and social calendars.

The team at Hubspot are the kings and queens of inbound marketing.

*CoSchedule* CoSchedule is a tool very suitable for in-house marketing teams or growth hacking agencies. CoSchedule provides a platform that allows you to create an integrated marketing calendar with team management functionality.

*HubSpot* The team at Hubspot are the kings and queens of inbound marketing. What I love about Hubspot is their focus on customers. Hubspot supplies software for marketing, sales, and service to help you growth hack your company to the moon.

When you are creating your content marketing plan, you need to think about timings. Where is your target audience based and what would be the best time to get blogs and social media outings in front of them?

»» Hubspot provides a free CRM platform and in addition has many packages available for lead generation, marketing analytics, marketing automation, email automation for sales, scheduling meetings, and much more.

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Tech Tool Photography by Alexander Kaufmann

With growth hacking, you need marketing automation, email marketing, and lead management, and that is what Marketo is able to deliver.

»» Basically, Hubspot provides all-inone inbound marketing software for your entire team. It allows you to create landing pages without writing code, it provides real-time SEO suggestions, allows for advanced personalization, and lead management functionality. Hubspot provides a bunch of tools for free, including chatbots for conversational marketing and live chat functionality. *Marketo* I’ve used Marketo a lot and it is a great tool for marketing automation, email marketing, and lead management. Marketo integrates with your website perfectly and helps you keep track of the entire buyer journey. »» With Marketo, you can track every move of leads on your website. If they download something, you will know. If they visit a webpage, you will know. If they watch a video, you will know. You might think, what is the difference compared to Google Analytics… Google Analytics data is anonymous whereas with Marketo you have personally identifiable data.

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Tech Tool »» Marketo lets you assign scoring to leads. For example, if a leads downloads a whitepaper, you give them 10 points. When the lead has reached 100 points, you can mark the lead as MQL. »» Marketo lets you segment the database and therefore you are able to create an extremely personalized experience. You can send your leads different emails based on their location, or if they clicked in an email, or if they visited a certain page and much more.

»» Marketo also provides you with advanced analytical tools. You can track exactly the impact of your marketing campaign and calculate the ROI. You can track how many touches you need to average to convert a lead into an MQL and much more. A growth hacker should be data-driven and Marketo is a dream come true. With growth hacking, you need marketing automation, email marketing, and lead management, and that is what Marketo is able to deliver.

Photo by Thought Catalog

Here is a link to 51 of the best tools growth-hacking tools for exponential growth.

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