by Michelle Porchia
The earth is preparing to rest from all the splendor (and turbulence) it gave us this year. It has been a year of extreme weather and extreme changes. Even more so, I encourage you to slow down and rest, relax, rejuvenate yourself.
"I just don't have time to do the personal things I want or need to do for myself."
Have you ever said that? If you have, it is time for you to take an Innergize Day. It is a day set aside for you. It is a time when you can devote some attention to your own personal endeavors—a "do anything you want to do for yourself" day!
My goal is to get people to start with one day per year, progress to one day per month, then one day per week, and eventually an hour per day. It is a time of "self-celebration" to be incorporated into one's daily lifestyle. Nowadays everyone is so busy going and doing instead of being. Below are five steps on how you can innergize. It is scheduled for the day after Autumn begins every year (this year September 23) because that is when the earth goes to rest. I want you to rest.
Step One: Give Yourself Permission (I've said this before). Give yourself permission to put yourself first and NOT feel guilty. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of others. When you rest, relax, renew, rejuvenate, you have the energy and clarity to do what you want to do.
Step Two: Schedule an appointment with YOU. We put everyone else on the calendar. It is time to put YOU on the calendar. Start small; schedule 15-30 minutes a week to do something for yourself. Try to expand it to 15-30 minutes a day.
Step Three: Take Your Breaks. There is a tendency to skip lunch and breaks while we work or we eat while we work. It is important to take periodic breaks to rest your
body and mind. When you rest your mind, you are more productive
and creative. It is also important to eat properly (this does not mean eating at your desk and working through lunch).
Step Four: Entrepreneurs: You Are Your Business. Investing in taking care of your mind, body and spirit is investing in the foundation of your business. If you are not able to work, your business will suffer. It is crucial to make health and happiness a priority while developing your business. If you work 24/7, you will burn out. You need to schedule time for you in the same way you do for your clients. You can't give 110%, you don't have it to give.
Step Five: Celebrate. There were two very popular songs out this year, "Let It Go" from the movie Frozen and "Happy" from the movie Despicable Me 2. Both songs talk about being yourself and enjoying life. You need to celebrate yourself. Celebrate life. Celebrate the little things as well as the big things. You don't have to celebrate elaborately. You can do simple things like treat yourself to flowers, a new book (and allowing yourself to read it), buying a Pumpkin Spice Latte, going to bed early, watching a movie in bed, etc.
Your Comments Are Welcome!!
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
In the complex world of change, chaos, and uncertainty, we must examine the attitude we embrace. One quick way to assess an attitude of another person is to ask yourself how you feel when they leave your presence? Do you feel inspired and charged up ready to take on the world or you do feel like the life has been zapped out of you? Ask yourself, how do people feel when they leave your presence? Each and everyday you must decide the attitude you will embrace. You maybe faced with challenges and difficult people, but it is still a personal decision as to how you allow the attitude of others to influence your attitude. Consider the following seven strategies for improving your attitude.
1. Surround yourself with positive people. Look at those people that are a part of your network and examine the weather (attitude) that they carry. If gloom and doom is all they bring to you consistently, give them a reality check and make them aware of what they are doing. So often people who are consistently negative are not aware of their negative energy. If they are non-responsive, you may have to minimize the time you interact with them. People who fail to change often become toxic and if you stick close to them that toxicity may rub off on you. Seek out those people who recognize the challenges of the day but continue to face them with a positive attitude. Strive to align yourself with people with energy, excitement for life and a positive outlook on the circumstances they face.
2. Read and listen to motivational and inspirational books and tapes. This is a great way to keep yourself inspired and focused on the possibilities of life. When you wake up in the morning, instead of turning on the television, spend those first minutes reading inspirational, biblical, or motivational books. If you drive to work, put in a CD or tape. If you ride the train or bus, read books or invest in a personal CD player and fill your mind with positive thoughts. You have no excuses because you can go to your local library and get books and tapes. Information on anything you want is on the Internet. You simply must have a desire to find ways to maintain a positive attitude.
3. Count your blessings. Recognize that no matter how things maybe, see the blessing in the midst of the chaos and confusion. As you reflect on the blessing that will help you get things in perspective and help you see the glass half full versus half empty.
4. Smile. Be mindful of your countenance and body language. What messages do you send to people when they interact with you? A smile says to others that you are approachable and it costs nothing.
5. Take time to appreciate the simple things in life. Take a walk in the park and don’t just rush by the roses, instead take time to enjoy and smell them. Take time to watch a sunset and remember who to thank. Spend time with those less fortunate and seek opportunities to give words of encouragement to those who pass your way.
6. Believe in yourself. Recognize that you are special and unique. There is no one else quite like you. So let your positive attitude shine. Walk and talk with confidence and know that you have something special to contribute to the world.
7. Live each day to the fullest. Quit putting off some of the things you want to do in life and go for the gusto now. Learn to maximize the minutes of each day. Practice these strategies to help you maintain a winning attitude; an attitude others want to catch!
Your Comments Are Welcome.
By Debra Gould, MS
Ebony Speakers first successful creation was a book project entitled “Real Women, Real Issues: Positive Collaborations for Business Success” is a unique collaboration between four dynamic women coming together from many years of varied experience and from their mastermind group experience.
Out of that experience came the concept of communicating with other women on the importance of maintaining quality personal, professional and business relationships with other people who promote positive living.
Ebony Speakers is excited to announce that our second project was a recent webinar on Wednesday, June 18, 2014. It was just another example of the next level of connecting our audience to the powerful message of real women working in collaborations.
During one of our unique mastermind sessions we all determined that it was time to launch a webinar. We are blessed to have a technology savvy business woman like Carole Copeland Thomas to lead the way to address the program logistics to host this webinar series. Nancy J. Lewis agreed to take on the online registering process and it was onward to create the webinar entitled Savvy Sisters: Share Strategies for Everyday Life.
The day of the webinar Carole Copeland Thomas welcomed our guests to sharpen up their skills while moving forward in life. This important webinar will covered these topics.
Your Personal SWOT Assessment by Debra W. Gould
Taking Charge of Your Career by Nancy J. Lewis
Using INNOVATION to Get Things DONE by Michelle Porchia
Reinvent Yourself & Stay Relevant in Technology by Carole Copeland Thomas
Here are a few highlights of what we shared with our listening audience on June 18.
Debra's conversation on how can I use the SWOT Assessment to validate my strengths and opportunity to attack the guilty feelings every time I decide to take time for myself.
Nancy's conversation was discussed the difference between whining and winning and addressed the tough questions regarding taking charge of your own career.
Michelle's conversation discussed technology, tools, your game plan, and work boundaries.
Carole's conversation was on the rapidly changing world, connections, collaborations, and effectively using social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LInkedIn.
We realize seating was limited for this online registration at only $29.00 per person. If you missed out on June 18th due to meetings, business travel or whatever let me suggest a way to get you plugged into this informational, educational, motivational and inspirational webinar. Ebony Speakers still want to invite you to attend our exciting “special one hour” webinar held on June 18, 2014.
Here's how it will work:
First, register and purchase the webinar.
1. Go to www.ebonyspeakers.com
2. On the top menu bar drop down the Savvy Speakers box found underneath the Webinar Series Box.
3. Our Savvy Sisters Webinar is a Password Protected webpage on our website.
4. You can also download the slides on this page
All I can say is WELCOME and get ready to explore your ability to excel, enjoy the webinar and thank you to our guests.
Lastly, we are in the process of scheduling future webinars by Ebony Speakers. From years of experience in training, human resources and corporate consulting Debra W. Gould, Nancy J. Lewis, Michelle Porchia and Carole Copeland Thomas have crafted a power-packed business guide for women and men of all ages and ethnicities. We hope you'll join us for future webinar discussions!
Topics in the webinar toolkit include:
•Starting and Running A Business
•Working Through Difficulties and Challenges
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576,
email: email@example.com and website: www:gouldassoc.com
Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
In today’s world of business, it requires you redefining your process, redesigning your process, retooling and reframing how you do business. It is no longer business as usual, but rather business as unusual. So get over the way things have always been done and don’t think outside the box; throw the box away. One thing is certain, you must understand the VIP effect to propel your business or career forward in these challenging times. So here are my pointers on the VIP effect.
V-Visibility is key. You must may sure people know who you are and what you do. A friend once told me the first rule of networking is you must show up; but once you show up what happens next. You must learn the art of connecting. Find ways to get your name or company name in the spotlight. It might be in newspaper articles, blogging, volunteering, etc. just get visible in ways that work for you.
I-Image is key. What kind of image do you radiate to others and does it represent the authentic you? You must make sure you are true to yourself and the image you project to others. How you dress, talk, act are apart of your image.
P-Performance is essential. Once you are visible and have the right image, you must be able to perform the job in the spirit of excellence. No excuses will do as you must autograph your work with excellence. Perform so people will tell others about how great you are.
Go for it and create a winning VIP!!
Your Comments Are Welcome!
By Michelle Porchia
We have four to five generations of women alive right now. In the workplace we have supervisors, mangers and leaders in their 20's responsible for staff that are older and have much more work experience. When I was a corporate trainer, I often advised more senior workers (work wise and age wise) on how to work effectively with their younger supervisors and colleagues.
This is not about generations though. I want women to understand the value of encouraging, teaching and sharing your experiences with younger women. Conversely, more experienced women can learn from the younger women as well.
I have had many mentees and our relationship has been mutually beneficial, as I would hope all mentor/mentee relationships would be. I’ve asked them what they wanted me to share with them, I shared what they wanted and more. I also learned tremendously from them. One thing I learned from my INROADS advisees was to lighten up. I have stayed in touch with all my mentees and many of my INROADS advisees. Several of them have brought me in to their organizations and/or companies as a speaker or trainer. They’ve also referred people (not just women) who became my coaching clients. When I moved to North Carolina, many gave me names of people they knew to network with.
I conduct workshops for youth. My two oldest granddaughters have given me ideas, information and helped me to understand so much about high school and middle school aged behavior and their thought processes. I have learned so much from my granddaughters and I have a great deal of respect for the two oldest. I have imparted much wisdom, knowledge and experience to them and I have gained so much from them. Again, during my transition to NC, when I was grappling with some things, my oldest daughter reminded me of some of the philosophies I have shared with her over the years.
There are more women in higher positions, in different industries and trailblazers than there were when I was growing up. In fact, when I was growing up, the only women I saw were actors and actresses. I was blessed to have good role models about life. My grandmother was even-tempered. My aunt Gerri taught me the importance of the image I projected by the way I dressed and took care of myself. My aunt (by marriage) Joan showed me that you could be assertive and graceful. She was (is) beautiful, worked in corporate America, had a great sense of humor, was (is) a wonderful cook and was able to stand up for herself. I still look to her for advice. My mother, though I struggled with our relationship as many mothers and daughters do, taught me the importance of education, having a strong work ethic and taught me about accepting cultural differences and exposed me to so many cultural aspects of life. My mother was a concert pianist and an opera singer who never realized her dream. She was a civil worker in Detroit and I don’t remember her ever missing a day of work for illness. I have developed wonderful relationships with some of my younger cousins and continue to learn from them. One cousin has pursued many of her dreams with much success. She has been a news anchor, a director of diversity and now is the president and founder of her own company, Lothery and Associates. Another cousin of mine is a cancer warrior and survivor. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in two areas of her body. She has gone through all the treatment, fought the battle and is now cancer clear. She did it all with style and grace and a smile. She now speaks to
women who have been newly diagnosed with cancer. The nurses and doctors couldn’t believe how she always came to treatments looking glamorous and with high energy and a positive outlook.
We have a responsibility to mentor, sponsor, and guide, encourage and support the women that are following in our footsteps and creating their own paths. We also, even as the older person, can learn from them as well...it’s not too late. We are our sisters’ keeper.
Your Comments Are Welcome
By Debra Gould, MS
Now that the economy is on the slow road to recovery, you might be breathing a big sigh of relief. You avoided the last round of layoffs, so you should be feeling on top of the world, right? But instead, you might be feeling down or unmotivated.
Many people go through intense feelings of guilt after a round of layoffs. They're glad they still have a job, of course, but they often wonder "why me?" They feel guilty they're employed when their friends and co-workers are not. Or they feel remorse in that they're left to pick up the slack and sometimes take on additional roles they were never meant to do.
Experts tell us that feelings like this are quite common after layoffs.
So, what can you do?
1) Stay motivated. Understand that your job exists for a reason, which means you're doing something that benefits someone else in some way. Figuring out how you're helping someone else can dramatically improve your energy level and productivity on the job.
2) Keep your morale up. One way to do this is by volunteering. I know what you're thinking, more work? Think of it as a work 'investment'. You could help someone learn to read so they could get a better job. You could teach computer skills, or mentor a teenager to ensure they get a leg up in their quest for a good job. There are hundreds of ways you can get involved to help others succeed. Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding way to spend your time, and it can really help you keep up the motivation and morale at work (and at home).
3) Reach out. Sometimes being social with people on the job is the last thing on people's minds. But getting to know your co-workers (and even your managers) as people versus just 'work people' is a good strategy. So get out or go out with people from work. It's a fact most of the internal information is still shared outside of the office. Winding down from work with a social outing with your co-workers may be your remedy for seeing work in a different light. But be forewarned, be on your best behavior because work outing behavior may come back to haunt you in the workplace.
It's important to actively combat low motivation and morale after a round of layoffs. You, and your role, survived for a reason. Finding out how you're helping others at your company, and volunteering to help someone else get a better job, can help spark your motivation and make you feel good about what you're doing.
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and website: www.gouldassoc.com
by Debra Gould, MS
When times are tough, it's tempting for managers and business owners alike, to hunker down and wait it out. Competition increases, and tempers can get strained.
Instead of focusing on scarcity (scarcity of profits, customers, suppliers, etc.), there is another option: we could focus on confidence. We could reach out instead of pulling back.
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
1. Form Strategic Alliances
Chances are your business is loosely related to other businesses in your area, servicing the same customers. For instance, customers who use a CPA probably enlist the services of a professional investment counselor, or a lawyer. The people in these industries could form a strategic alliance and offer customers a reduced rate if they bought "package" services.
Strategic alliances can equally be used in the workplace. Make sure to identify other people in roles that complement yours. This way, you can service clients (or even your employer) by using a tag-team approach. This can dramatically impact your or your business in a positive way.
2. Develop Joint Ventures
A joint venture is when two companies agree to share resources and capital in order to succeed as a team.
Why think about a joint venture? Well, joint ventures can be a wonderful way to increase your market share and revenues, develop new technology, reduce costs or eliminate barriers of entry into your market.
Most of the time joint ventures work much like strategic alliances. Often, however, competitors will form a joint venture if they can both bring unique skills or technology to the table.
The idea behind the joint venture? Don't reinvent the wheel, connect with the one who has!
3. Take Referrals to the Next Level
Are you acting on your referrals? It's surprising how many people let those gold mines go to waste, or don't actively try to get referrals.
Now's the time to take your referrals to the next level. As a business owner, offer incentives to your colleagues and customers to get referrals, and make sure you follow up within 24 hours once they start coming in. Make sure all your customers have your marketing materials to hand out, and make it a goal to provide exceptional customer service so that you keep getting those referrals.
As a manager or employee, keep up with performance reviews (especially the positive feedback). Encourage managers and peers that speak highly of you to document their feedback. Keep a file of your 'testimonials' for present and future opportunities. You never know when a better opportunity may arise, so it's best to dig your well before you're thirsty.
It can be tempting to think that there aren't enough opportunities to go around. But when you approach business and marketing from a "scarcity" mindset, that's exactly what you're going to get. Move forward and take action with confidence instead, and see what happens!
Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.