by Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
Carole's Granddaughter Julianna on Her First Day in
Kindergarten in 2013
Now is the perfect time to wish that young school girl or boy the very best as they start a new school year. Across the country students are ending their vacations and heading back to the classroom. Some schools, like those in the Atlanta area or parts of Nebraska have already started their new term. Other school districts in Connecticut, Massachusetts and elsewhere will be starting soon.
In addition, colleges and graduate programs have freshman/first year students either moving into their dorm rooms or apartments or will be doing so shortly.
So now is the time to encourage our young people to do their very best this new academic year. Have a word of prayer with them or give them a card filled with encouraging words. If you can (but it’s not necessary) give them some pocket change to kick off their new term.
Most importantly, just share your support with them and let them know that you care about their academic success. An encouraging word from adults in the community can go a long way.
May this year begin a new blank canvas of academic success and achievement throughout our society and throughout the world. Our young people deserve it!
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 Carole Copeland Thomas
Sometimes you just need a little inspiration. Described as a blue eyed soul sister, Rev. Katherine Brooks, a Harvard educated pastor and theologian of the African Methodist Episcopal Church delivered a spellbinding message entitled "Shine" at the Missionary Annual Day Service at Grant AME Church in Boston. Trained by Rev. Alvan Johnson (in the background of the video clip), she masterfully weaves the purpose of a lighthouse into the duties of missionaries, with rousing choruses of "Amen" shouted by the congregation.
Enjoy this short clip...and Let The Church Say Amen!!
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 W. Gould, MS
When you communicate, are you communicating with love, care, and service? Watch out for the language you use that speaks to your life. The language you speak to yourself determines your attitude.
Here are a few practical tips:
- Make your words "speak power" as a means of communication that will determine the action you take for your relationship.
- Avoid words like "I wish" because it means surrender. Do say, "I will" because it means you are determined.
- Your attitude determine your energy level
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 Michelle Porchia
Women have created businesses and impacted history, the economy, and personal lives throughout history. As a Black woman entrepreneur myself, I am highlighting a few historic, successful and impactful Black female entrepreneur who paved the way for Black women and all women to become entrepreneurs. There are 24.9% Black women entrepreneurs (catalyst.org). Many people have heard of Madam CJ Walker (1867–1919), a millionaire who built a business on hair-care products. I want to share about the women most have not heard of, except of course Suzanne de Passe, whom most people have heard of.
Although many details of Mary Ellen Pleasant's (1814–1904) life are obscure, she lived for a time as a free woman in Boston before coming to San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush in 1849. Taking advantage of the opportunities available in the booming new city, Pleasant started working as a cook for wealthy clients but soon began opening laundries, boardinghouses, and restaurants, using the $45,000 she inherited upon the death of her first husband. Her establishments were patronized by many of San Francisco's newly minted elite, enabling Pleasant to interact with the city's most powerful businessmen and politicians. An ardent abolitionist and racial advocate, Pleasant employed many African-Americans and used her businesses as a way to promote Black employment throughout San Francisco.
Elleanor Eldridge (1784–c. 1845) stands out as an impressive success story from the beginning of American history. The youngest of seven daughters born to Hannah Prophet and Robin Eldridge, a slave who won his freedom fighting in the Revolution, Eldridge began working as a laundress at age ten following the death of her mother. Industrious and naturally bright, she quickly became adept at arithmetic, spinning, weaving, cheese making, and all types of housework. Drawing on her skill with numbers, at age nineteen Eldridge took over her deceased father's estate and quickly opened a business with her sister in Warwick, Rhode Island, weaving, nursing, and making soap. Realizing that investment and versatility were the keys to success, she used their profits to purchase a lot and build a house, which she rented out for forty dollars a year. Eldridge eventually settled in Providence, where she opened a profitable business whitewashing, painting, and wallpapering. Her hard work and enterprising nature enabled her to eventually purchase several houses in Providence for rent income.
A strong voice for education, Maggie Lena Walker (1867–1934) became the first African American female bank president. Walker was a member of the Independent Order of St. Luke, an organization founded by a former slave dedicated to the uplifting of African Americans. After becoming leader of the Order when it was on the verge of financial ruin, Walker became the first female bank president in the United States by founding the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in 1903. Succeeding in her twin goals of revitalizing the Order of St. Luke and encouraging economic security for the black community of Richmond, Virginia, Walker grew her business by welcoming small depositors and helping to finance black home ownership. Her success is evidenced by the fact that the bank, now named the Consolidated Bank and Trust Co., remains open today as the oldest continuously black-owned bank in the United States. True to the Order of St Luke's goal of uplifting African Americans, Walker went on to found other businesses and advocate tirelessly for black rights and women's suffrage throughout her life.
Suzanne de Passe (1946 - ) has won numerous awards, including Emmys, Peabodys, and Golden Globes. She is so well known for her managerial abilities that Harvard Business School has conducted two studies of her management style. The twentieth century has seen the slow emergence of Black women in positions of corporate authority, a number of them in the entertainment industry. Suzanne de Passe was one of the first African-American women to become a power player in the music, television, and film industries. Beginning her career as a creative assistant at Motown Records in the 1960s, de Passe rose to become a vice president of the company before turning her attention to screenwriting. After achieving acclaim for works such as "Lady Sings the Blues", the successful film biography of Billie Holiday, de Passe eventually founded her own entertainment company, de Passe Entertainment, which primarily produces material for television. Her ability to balance her projects' creative integrity with the bottom line has proven so successful that Harvard Business School has conducted two studies of her managerial style. De Passe's versatility, creative integrity, and sound business sense has enabled her to become one of the most influential women in the entertainment industry today. Courtesy the Austin/Thompson Collection, by permission of De Passe Entertainment.
There were many women to choose from, and it was hard to narrow it down to just a few for this article. I chose women from diversified fields and eras to give a snapshot of the impact that Black women have made to the business/entrepreneurial world, not just for Black women but for all female entrepreneurs and business owners. Keep reaching toward your dreams. Women have sacrificed for us to live our dreams, build our businesses and make an impact.
Your Comments Are Welcome
By Michelle Porchia
Now that the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, visiting, stressing, over-eating is over --what do you do with yourself?
Are you a person who makes New Year’s resolutions or sets goals that are rarely fulfilled? Do you have high hopes for a better 2014? Let’s look at some overall skills that can help you with entering 2014 in a good space. First, INHALE/EXHALE. Secondly, be still. Third, reflect.
It is important that you breathe. Inhale peace and exhale stress. We tend to breathe shallow and breathing is life to our body. So take time to breathe fully and completely
We are told to “be still.” You’ve heard me say this before. We’ve become human doers and we were created as human beings. We need to learn to simply BE. Yet we feel living is about being in constant motion. Not so. Try this exercise: turn out the lights, light a candle or use a battery-operated candle and just be still. Focus on the flame. Listen to your inner voice. Try this for at least 5 minutes.
Reflect. Try journaling your thoughts. How was 2013 for you? What went well and would you have liked to have done differently? Did you spend time with the people who are important to you – including YOU? Did you spend your time when and where you wanted? This is also where you can address the questions above. Don’t beat up on yourself. Simply listen as you reflect and then decide “now what”?
My suggestions for 2014:
· Set SMART goals. (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed). Goals are usually personal, professional, spiritual, etc. Whatever is important to you and usually not all in one area. Write them down. Break the goals down into small pieces and then make them part of your daily action list. Example: Rather than saying, “I want to lose weight”. A more realistic goal is I want to live healthy. I will: work out 3-5 days a week. I will drink at least 6 glasses of water a day, eat 2-3 vegetables a day (corn is not a vegetable), and eat 1-2 fruits a day. I will go to bed at a reasonable time (set the time and your alarm – yes to go to bed). I will spend at least 15 minutes a day being still.
Clear out clutter. Mental clutter. Physical clutter. Emotional clutter. Get help. It’s hard to receive if you are full. The season may be up for some relationships, for some of our “stuff”. During these times, people could use that coat, suit, coffee maker that you haven’t used in years. Donate them to the church store or other organizations. Do a swap.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2014.
Your Comments Are Welcome
by Michelle Porchia
There is the age-old statement that “knowledge is power.” I’ve often disagreed with that statement. I think having the right knowledge but knowing how and when to use acKNOWLEDGEment is more powerful.
If you want to get the best out of an employee, a colleague or even a child, I think that acknowledgement is very powerful. Basically, everyone wants to feel appreciated and wants to be acknowledged for what they have done.
Too often we focus on what someone has not done or what they have done “wrong.” I think to help a person grow into being good at, or even the best at, whatever they are doing, we need to focus on what they have done well; meaning acknowledge and thank them for it. If there are areas of improvement needed, then we can devise a plan–together–on capitalizing on their strengths and extending those strengths into areas that need more work. (I don’t believe in weaknesses, only areas that need a little more attention or development.)
The next time you want to approach an employee or colleague about something they have done, start off with acknowledging. It is important to be specific. “Thank you for stepping in when we were short on help.” “Thank you for catching that error; you saved us a lot of time/money.” You do not want to make a general acknowledgement of “good job.” Be specific!
When we acknowledge someone and they feel valued and appreciated, that is powerful and it inspires them to want to do more and/or better.
For more information on innergizing or to schedule time with Michelle to help you to innergize, click here to visit Michelle's website.
NECN-TV News Anchor Latoyia Edwards with Carole Copeland Thomas
at this summer's National Association of Black Journalist Convention
in Orlando, Florida
by Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
Latoyia Edwards, one of the most enthusiastic and spirited television personalities in the New England region is our opening keynote speaker at the November 7th Multicultural Conference. She kicks off the morning of more than 20 GREAT speakers, panel presenters and diversity advocates who will be a part of our upcoming event.
Did you know that Latoyia is a former Miss Massachusetts???
If not...read on!!!!
With two weeks to go, we hope YOU are planning to attend this exciting conference.
The Multicultural Conference and the Multicultural Symposium Series (MSS) are the brainchild of entrepreneur Carole Copeland Thomas.
DESPITE THE ROLLER COASTER ECONOMY, MSS has been going strong since 2008.
It is the only initiative of its kind started and operated by an African American business owner in the region.
Here's more information on Latoyia Edwards. Hope to see you at our exciting Nov 7th event.
Latoyia Edwards is the weekend Anchor for New England Cable News (NECN) in Boston, Massachusetts.
For 13 years Latoyia has had the privilege of covering breaking news and human interest stories for television and radio outlets in New England and in New York. Latoyia is a regular on Boston's WGBH's Basic Black, a live television program hosted by a panel of the region's sharpest observers, who discuss and debate current news, events, and topics that impact the black community locally and nationally. Latoyia recently served as president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists. During her spare time Latoyia enjoys delivering keynote addresses and motivational speeches to youth groups and school children. Latoyia's story of her rise from the projects to the pulpitis able to connect with young and old alike.
Prior to joining NECN, Latoyia worked as the weekday 5pm News Anchor for WWLP TV Channel 22 in Springfield, MA. Latoyia's experiences with Channel 22 took her as far as Paraguay, as fast as Richard Petty and as high as the Blue Angles.
Before joining Channel 22 Latoyia was crowned Miss Massachusetts, USA 2002. Latoyia accredits the pageant experience for helping project her career.
Before joining the 22 News team Latoyia provided local new updates on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Drive Radio Show for WILD 96.9 in Boston. During that time Latoyia taught Performance for Television at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.
Latoyia first anchored television for Media One Cable News Network in Lowell, MA where she covered local news and political stories for Billerica, Tewksbury and Lowell. Prior to that Latoyia got her start in television as a news reporter for WICZ Channel 40 a Fox Affiliate in Binghamton, New York.
She began her career in news during her college internship as a news writer forWBZ-1030 AM radio. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College in 1998 Latoyia where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism. Latoyia was a scholar athlete who not only excelled in the classroom but on the basketball court breaking numerous NCAA Division III rebounding and blocked shots records. Latoyia currently ranks 5th in the nation in blocked shots per game 5.1 and 4th in the nation in rebounds per game 15.2.
While at Boston Latin Academy High School Latoyia knew she wanted to be a news reporter - it was in her blood. Latoyia is the oldest on 9 children who grew up the notorious Columbia Point Housing Project in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. As a member of the Strand Theatres Teen Players Latoyia found her solace in competing in city and school sponsored oratorical, speech competitions and plays.
Latoyia is a proud Boston native who was recently names to Boston Business Journal's 2010 Top 40 Under 40 a recognition of Boston's top 40 young professionals who have established themselves as leaders to be watched in their fields.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE NOVEMBER 7TH CONFERENCE.
Carole Copeland Thomas
C. Thomas & Associates
26 Years In Business 1987 - 2013
By Carole Copeland Thomas
Every school year provides a fresh start for EVERY student. In essence, every student starts with an A. Carole explains why embracing education and the start of a new school year is the gift to EVERY student each year. The trick is to maximize the school year so that the A can be preserved through the end of the year.
Your comments are welcome below.
Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.