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Your Business Matters-Malaika Paul
From guest blogger: Victoria Garrison
"A dream is a wish your heart makes..." These words represent the first lines of the popular Disney song from the movie Cinderella. They tell the story of how a dream turned a young woman from an indentured servant to a princess in what is easily one of the most well-known fairytales ever told. Ah, but I know what you're thinking: life isn't a fairytale. And the lyrics to that song are little more than just a catchy tune that replays in our heads and reminds us of childhood. Well, I'm not suggesting we all head outdoors to sing and dance with the birds and solicit help from the mice to complete our house chores. But I do wonder, how many people have given up on "the dream"? How many people no longer believe in the power of a dream, a wish, a prayer, or a hope? It's no wonder we lose our dreams; just watch the news for about ten minutes and you'll be halfway to depleted of all hope. But what if people stopped allowing outside influences to affect or dissuade their dreams? Imagine the overflow of purpose and drive that leads to the ultimate freedom of an abundant life!
It's safe to dream again. It's safe to open yourself up to the limitless possibilities of life, to make a wish in your heart, say a prayer in your spirit, lift up a vision for your life. It's safe! Drop your baggage, your past, and your skeptical outlook on life at the dumpster of a dissatisfied life. It's time-- now more than ever-- to take action on your dreams. Pick one, find one, develop one, or just keep one. A dream leads to a prayer, which leads to an answer, which leads to an action, which leads to a lesson, which leads to success, which leads to ABUNDANT LIFE, which leads to FREEDOM! To those of us who are willing to take that path....
Here's to the JOURNEY, Victoria
Dream again! http://www.garrisonprosperitysolutions.com
Photo taken from DebraWarren.com
Okay, yes the title may tell you I know a little something about martial arts...but no, I don't. Only as much as the last Karate Kid movie
(which is one of my kids' favorites) and the line from Kung Fu Panda
which says that Kung Fu stands for "excellence of self".
I was thinking about that today after having watched the main character, a Panda named Po, one of 50 jillion times. I think personal brand work is like working out your Kung Fu - it truly stands for mining
and understanding how to portray your self excellence.
I thought I'd share how you can strategically do some kung fu kicks with identifying your personal brand strategy below. One approach is using the SWOT analysis.
SWOT Analysis is a well-known method of identifying your Strengths and Weaknesses, while also examining the Opportunities and Threats you face. All four areas can help you clarify your personal brand and your
distinctive and unique value.
Often carrying out an analysis using the SWOT framework will be enough to reveal changes that need to be made in your plan.
Try to work through the following questions and think about what insights you have from this focused work:
- What do you do well?
- What can you do better than anyone else?
- What comes naturally for you?
- What could be improved?
- What might you do poorly?
- What comes with more difficulty for you?
- In what areas do you see possibilities?
- What resources or circumstances can you leverage?
- What trends might you use to your advantage?
- What obstacles are in your way?
- Who is your competition and what are they doing well?
- Are you financially challenged?
- What else do you find yourself up against?
About the Author: Tanya Smith, Career & Personal Brand Coach, offers women professionals, with dual roles in a corporate career & solo side business, access to cutting-edge strategies to help them thrive
and promote themselves as experts in a progressively competitive work and
marketplace. Claim your free instant access to two fill-in-the-blank brand templates and a special report, The Beginner’s Guide to A Successful Career
Brand at: http://www.bepromotable.com.
I have really begun to mentally process how the discipline of marketing a business and many of the principles that come with it are just as critical for personal success.
There is great value in developing a personal brand marketing strategy that helps you stand out, and that makes you more credible in the eyes of your select audience. Unfortunately, it is way too easy to ignore because of competing priorities for our time.
Here is a short list of though provoking questions and action plans for you relevant to your personal marketing strategy:
- Do you have a personal brand marketing plan or do you personally market yourself unintentionally?
- If you have a brand marketing plan, does it include specific promotional activities and are these tied to events?
- Have you taken the time to identify a target customer, or employer? What desired characteristics have you named?
- Does your personal brand strategy identify ways to sell to and maintain your current clients while attracting new ones?
- What are the demographics of your key prospects? What makes you distinctly different, or unique as compared to your competitors?
- What is your personal brand marketing budget? How will you distribute these funds?
About the Author: Expert-ize your personal brand. As a Personal Brand & Marketing Coach, Tanya Smith offers female professionals with dual career & entrepreneurial roles access to cutting-edge strategies to help them thrive and promote themselves as experts in a progressively competitive work and marketplace. Claim
your free instant access to a special report at: http://www.bepromotable.com.
Maplewood, NJ February 2010-On Tuesday February 9, 2010 Ms. Boss Academy whichis a collaboration between Ms. Boss International and My SistahzKeeper held a small ceremony for Zoey Wiggins who was the first personto graduate from the pilot entrepreneurship program. Zoey attends MySistahz Keeper in Jersey
City, New Jersey through the AWEP/CWEP program for women who are onpublic assistance. There were 13other women who also attended the program and who were enrolled in Ms.Boss Academy, but only Zoeycompleted the 8 week business start-up program. Thewomen who are also on public assistance dropped out of theentrepreneurship program for a variety of reasons. The program walkedZoey through the basics of starting a business right up to creating apresence on the Internet bysetting up a website.
By some standards some may view the entrepreneurship program as a failure because only oneperson graduated,but to Audrey Bell-Kearney who is the CEO of Ms. Boss International andthe creator of the Ms. Boss Academy program she views that one graduateas a success. She states that you have to understand the population thatyou are working with. The goal here is tohelp these women learn how to become self-sufficient so that publicassistance is no longer needed. By helping one person learn how to startand run their own business successfully, this will open updoors of employment for others. Small businesses fuel the economy andright not that economy needs some fuel with thenational unemployment rate around 10%. Kiwan Fitch who is the ExecutiveDirector of My Sistahz Keeper has gone a step further by turning one ofthe office spaces inside the My SistahzKeepers headquarters into a small business incubator for the graduatesof Ms.Boss Academy. Kiwan who is one of the co-founders of My Sistahz Keeper anon-profit organization understandsthat small businesses need to be nurtured so that they can grow. This iswhyshe has opened up another door for these women offering them the spaceso that they can stay connectedto positive people who have goals and dreams that they want to see cometrue. To keep the graduates connected there will be ongoing mentoringfrom Audrey and also from Stephanie Wilson who is theProgram Director at My Sistahz Keeper. Zoey who has only been anentrepreneur for about two months already understandfrom going through the Ms. Boss Academy program how important mentorsare that is why she has stepped up to be amentor with GEN (Gurls Empowerment Network) another program offered byMySistazh Keeper for teenage girls.
The next Ms. Boss Academy is scheduled to start on March 2, 2010. Audrey who created thecurriculum andfacilitates the program hopes that more women take advantage of theprogram this time, but if they don’t as long as we can graduate at leastone the program is still a success.
To find out more aboutthe Ms. Boss Academy contact Audrey at 888-229-1238 or email her at Audrey@msboss.net. For moreinformation about the programs thatare offered by My Sistazh Keeper call 201-706-2107 or email Kiwan atKFitch@MySistahzKeeper.org. You can also visit the websites for bothcompanies at http://www.mysistahzkeeper.org and http://www.MsBossInternational.com
I would like to wish you Much Success In 2010Audrey Bell-Kearneyhttp://www.MsBoss.net
I believe the process of questioning is one of the greatest skills a business woman can have when it comes to staying in touch with how your business is performing and how you are doing as the CEO of your company.Asking yourself the right questions and finding solutions and answers to them will not only help you to stay on the road of being real with yourself, but it will also help you to see the necessary changes that need to be made for business growth.Below are 12 questions you can use to start the evaluation process:1. Have I completed a current cash flow analysis to measure my business financially?2. What are the weak areas in my business that need improvement?3. Have I implemented a consistent marketing strategy?4. Is my marketing strategy working?5. What is my sales ratio (the # of prospects you convert into customers)?6. Do I stay “sticky” (in consistent communication) with my current customers/clients?7. What skill sets do I need to improve in as a business owner?8. What business services and/or products do I need to eliminate?9. How are my competitors marketing?10. What is the latest information and updates about my industry?11. Does my business support my overall vision and goals?12. Am I willing to make the changes necessary to help my business to grow?Ask yourself the above questions on a quarterly basis and Keep records for comparison and positive changes. Also, create your own questions that will help you to better evaluate yourself and your business. Once you have identified processes that are not working positively in your business, it will be important to make a sound decision on how to eliminate or change them.About the Writer:Trina Newby is founder of Women About Biz an online small business education and connection network just for business women. For more than 20 years, she has helped thousands of women start and grow their small business.
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