I often visit with my friends about the journey of womanhood. Where we’ve been, where we are and how we’ve arrived at some of the places in our lives. A common denominator is the sting of overwhelm that most of us have felt, but usually don’t talk about. As women, we are challenged with the heroines of our childhood, both fictional and non-fictional, who’ve made it look easy. They swoop down in their beautifully fitted body suits, brightly colored capes and high heeled boots, with every hair in place and their makeup unflawed, as they tackle the villains of the day and fight the obstacles that attempt to stand in their path along the way. It’s an amazing scene, but one that I have not been able to live up to after many years of trying!
When I think about the things that pull me into the lulls of lack, I am failing to recognize that I’m there because I miss the realization of what it took to make it to that place. Let me explain; when I was a young new mommy working my way through the day to day tests of motherhood, my daughter would sometimes have these massive diaper explosions, where remnants of the disaster would ooze onto her usually soft pink or pastel colored outfit. I remember the feeling of utter disbelief as her small face would look up at me as if to ask “what now, Mommy?” Along with the second expression of the same question peering from my husbands’ eyeglass covered, brow raised gaze. The truth is, I waited for my out of body experience, where I would watch in amazement as this quintessential version of me would rise up confidently without pause, and save the day with her superfast diaper changing skills and extra outfit (that of course she had tucked away for emergencies) in hand, scoop up my precious baby girl, rush off to the ladies room and return moments later as if she’d just stepped away to powder her nose. This never happened. I quickly realized that my fantasy would never be my reality. That my out of body experience was a dream that would be put on pause until after the other six hundred and fifty two things were completed – or at least attempted – so that I could retreat to my bed for a few hours of sleep and continue my dream of the adventures of the woman that I waited for anxiously to snatch my body. What I didn’t recognize was the outstanding job that I had done to make it to that point of the day. I mean, I’d actually made it out of the house with my little person while not forgetting the other necessities for the outing. She was clean, prior to the explosion, and so was I! We’d actually accomplished a great feat to make it out of our house, and that simply was enough. But in that moment, I couldn’t see any victories.
After four decades of living, with nearly two of those spent as a wife and a mother trying to measure up to who I thought were the Wonder Women of life, I’ve finally found my own recipe for seeing success in myself!
Don’t Beat Yourself Up! I am not perfect and it’s not personal, even if it is. I don’t set out each day to make myself look bad, perform mediocre or fall short in my day to day tasks. My plan is always to get what I have to do done, but sometimes things are tossed my way that throw me off. It’s not personal if I forget to do something – it’s a reminder that I’m not perfect and that’s ok, because I will always strive to do my best.
Girlfriend, you’ve got this!
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of your brand and that its true value is held in its core, the substance. Now, while that still holds absolutely true, I don’t want you to think you can ignore the visual elements of your brand. The visual elements are the details that triggers the consumers’ interest. Did you know that appearances or first impressions really do matter? It is the #1 element that initially determines a perception of you and your business. Our unconscious mind starts from whatever objective data is available (such as your appearance & first impressions) and then works to shape a more complete picture we consciously perceive. You see, as humans, we process images 60,000 times faster than we do words. We are able to recall images quicker and faster than we do words. Appearances & first impressions has the ability to make or break your business. You’ve heard the phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, right? Well, it’s absolutely true!
With this information in mind, you can’t ignore the power of the visual branding elements. What are visual branding elements? They include, but not limited to your logo, business card, attire, grooming, website, brochures, social media platforms, landing page, professional photo, packaging of products, book cover, media kit, speaker reel, audios & videos. These examples represent a “peek inside your business window”. Before a consumer decides to inquire or to learn more about you or your business, they will take a “peek” inside your business window. What will they see? Will the appearance of these items trigger interest or not?
Make the right first impression by taking the branding aspect of your business very serious. Do the research. Hire a branding agency, if warranted. Don’t rush through the process.
You only get one chance! WOW your consumer from start to finish! KJ is the owner & Master Brand Expert of KJ Strategy Design Studio with over 25 years of experience, with numerous awards, accolades & nominations for her work, including being named as one of the Top 25 Purpose Driven Women to Watch, one of the Top Sales Trainers, awarded & honored at the annual Making History in Heels for her contribution to the community as a woman-owned business, just to name a few. She is a trainer/speaker, helping faith-based women owned businesses, educational institutes (educators, student-athletes & students) to understand how a strong personal brand breeds a positive culture of diversity, creating exponential results & profit. Book her to speak at your school, conference or event and/or for a free-30-minute Brand Discovery Chat.
You’ve heard the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. And while the human mind will forever initially do just that (which is why appearance and your presence should look great), it’s the substance that will determine the ultimate value of your brand. Now, don’t misunderstand, our worth is determined by God; however, if you’re not committed and dedicated to doing the work, you are not able to inspire, impact, influence & leave a positive imprint on the minds and hearts of those you encounter.
Too many times, our focus and time is spent on the exterior: a sexy logo, a beautifully designed website, top notched business card, best looking banner, gorgeous social media feeds and even our personal exterior of makeup, attire, shoes & accessories. But, upon closer review, the substance of what is being delivered is not up to par. Too many times, we are super excited to launch a product or service that the time, research, planning & adequate funds needed are not applied to the process. The product or service would actually be the solution needed to solve a major problem, but because the due diligence and process was seen as a “waste of time” and/or too long, it was rushed or totally eliminated and now the end result doesn’t hold any value.
Remember, the magic is in the process! Spend time in your prayer closet to better understand how God wants you to proceed. Research, research & research. Understand your targeted market’s needs. Understand the market/industry. Develop a marketing strategy. Map it out. Determine costs. Conduct a beta-test. Complete an analysis. These are just some of the steps and work you should be conducting before launching. Once the “main course” is cooked, you can now begin setting the table. You now are ready to send out invitations requesting the presence of others to an intimate, well-cooked and scrumptious meal in a brand-tastic atmosphere.
KJ is the owner & Master Brand Expert of KJ Strategy Design Studio with over 25 years of experience, with numerous awards, accolades & nominations for her work, including being named as one of the Top 25 Purpose Driven Women to Watch, one of the Top Sales Trainers, awarded & honored at the annual Making History in Heels for her contribution to the community as a woman-owned business, just to name a few. She is a trainer/speaker, helping faith-based women owned businesses, educational institutes (educators & students) to understand how a strong personal brand breeds a positive culture of diversity, creating exponential results & profit. Book her to speak at your school and/or for a free-30-minute Brand Discovery Chat.
I remember when my daughter was younger, I would come home and tell her Mommy needs an hour for me time. I have always believed in "Me Time" but ask me did I do it consistently? No, I didn't, but now...
As women we have so much to do and so little time to do everything. Have you ever felt like your world was caving in on you? You know that feeling, can't concentrate, not organized, emotional, and so on and so on. This happens when we don't have me time to regroup and get restored. I know you are probably thinking what does she know about my workload or my family, you're right I don't but what I do know is if you don't start allowing me time in your life your career, your family, and your dreams will falter and or fail, it's called life burnout.
Me time is nothing but making sure you take care of you. You may be asking well how do I take care of myself? It starts with designated a time every day to do whatever relaxes you.
Me time is nothing but making sure you take care of you. You may be asking well how do I take care of myself?
Tonya is a speaker and Henri Award nominated author. Tonya is the CEO and founder of Godsdiva, LLC and The Worth Within Project, her company vision is to teach women about their worth through speaking engagements and workshops. If you would like to book Tonya please visit www.godsdivallc.com.
Goal setting seems simple on the surface. You define what you’d like to accomplish and take the necessary steps to make those accomplishments a reality. Setting and achieving a goal is more than simply deciding and wishing. Each year, millions of people set New Year’s resolutions. Few of those people are still on track after just 10 days. By then end of the first quarter of the year, less than 5% of people who set those goals are still on track.
If setting and achieving goals were easy, there would be more happy, successful people running around. How many people do you know that are happy and pleased with their lives? Not very many. You can be one of the few people who know how to master setting and achieving goals.
Set goals and achieve them more reliably:
Goals are necessary if you want to consciously change your life. Everything else is a matter of opportunity and circumstance. Most people struggle to set and achieve goals. The most successful people are people who set goals, focus on those goals, and hold themselves accountable for achieving them. Whether it is a personal goal, spiritual goal, or professional goal, you should be SMART about how you set and pursue it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.
No matter where you are on your life journey, setbacks can cause disappointment and a loss of momentum.
Whether it’s a new career you’re working towards, a new business venture, or an overall appreciation of life, every step towards fulfillment can seem financially, emotionally, or psychologically draining from time to time.
To boost your confidence, here’s a list of the top 10 strategies and tips to keep you motivated and passionate, no matter what life throws your way:
1. Purpose. Whenever you’re feeling discouraged or disappointed, always remember your original purpose. Reminding yourself of the original reason for venturing down your path in the first place will help refresh your mind when things go sideways.
2. Planning. Though you may think that you’ve done enough planning towards the fulfillment of your goal, thinking it through again will help eliminate aspects of your plan of action that may be causing you setbacks. Put all your thoughts down on paper, from the smallest details to the largest details.
• Being able to see the timeline of your mission will help you focus on taking one step at a time to reach your goals.
3. Acceptance. Accepting that you’re a human being who’s bound to have ups and downs is absolutely crucial to your success. Without this self-acceptance, you’ll be subject to a foggy mind that’s unable to think positively, clearly, and innovatively.
• Acceptance of what hasn’t worked in the past helps you gain a better knowledge of what will work in the future.
4. Reward. When your motivation starts to wean, it’s crucial to give yourself rewards along the way. This is one of the best ways to stay motivated on your path to success.
By giving yourself a taste of what you’re working for – whether it’s financial freedom, career responsibility, or your dream lifestyle – you won’t feel like you’re working so hard for nothing. This refreshes your mind, re-ignites your passion and helps you work more productively.
5. Health. You know what this entails: moderate exercise, a healthy diet, at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Feeling worn-down will make it almost impossible to pursue your goals and vision with the same clarity and vigor you had when you first set out.
• Take care of your basic needs first, and you’ll be strong enough to pursue your dreams.
6. Motivation. Indulge in motivational books, videos, workshops, and courses. Sometimes hearing motivational tips from a different perspective can greatly motivate you to act and succeed. It’s important to feed your mind with things that motivate you.
• Find a source or two that touches you in some way and keep them close for those moments when you feel discouraged. After all, we all get discouraged at one time or another.
7. Organization. Ever feel depressed and worn out, and then you clean your surroundings and instantly feel more focused and motivated? The same applies to your goal. Organize and clean house when it comes to the operation of your goal. Are your success tools and resources organized for easy access and use? Is your email overloaded with a bunch of distracting junk?
• Organizing yourself gives you a fresh start and a feeling of clarity. In doing so, you’ll be able to attack your short and long-term goals more vigorously and effectively.
8. Refresh. Refresh your plan with something new. It could be a different tactic, setting, or career. Whatever it is, break out of the pattern you’re in and try something new. Even if this new tactic doesn’t yield positive results immediately, at the very least it will make you aware of the availability of your options. Your comfort zone could be holding you back. Go ahead. Try something new!
9. Networking. Reach out to people in your industry or those who share common goals. You can do this a number of ways: attend professional networking events, join a membership organization, talk to existing contacts that may have already succeeded in what you aspire to achieve, seek a mentor.
• Having someone to voice your fears, struggles, questions, and experience to will invigorate you to keep moving forward.
10. Action. Taking action, despite doubts and setbacks, will further your progress. By moving on, despite any pessimistic thoughts, you will motivate yourself by the sheer momentum of doing something proactive to change your circumstances. Execution is important. You can not expect results if you never take action. You have to do the work that is necessary to reach your goals. Don’t just write them down and put them away….. execute them, one by one.
Whenever you feel like your progress has stalled, or you simply want some quick inspiration, look to these 10 powerful words and strategies to spur you on. You’re sure to find something to get you back on track toward success!
It's not a secret that approximately 50% of small businesses will fail within the first 5 years of operation. For me, as a success-strategist, that's not the most compelling factor. What's most interesting to me is what the entrepreneur does after the fail. Do they wave the flag of defeat or do they give it another go?
It has been tried and proved to be true that the reasons new entrepreneurial pursuits don't make it past the five-year mark is due to correctable mistakes on the part of the entrepreneur. These are most likely mistakes that could have been avoided had more thought been put into the planning and strategic process used to launch the business. Below are a few common mistakes that cause businesses to fail early in the game:
Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s already 2019? This is the time of year where most of us make
New Year’s resolutions and we promise to make changes. We create new vision for ourselves regarding
our personal life, and careers. Often we set new goals we are willing and excited to meet.
Unfortunately, the majority of people do not successfully achieve their New Year’s resolution. Why? Most times people struggle with the commitment of the statement. I truly believe, the greatest reason is
they don’t take the necessary time to reflect over the past year. How many of you in 2018 experienced
a loss of employment, a death of a loved one, divorce, financial difficulties, foreclosure, a miscarriage, a
defiant child(s), relationship problems, health issues, job relocation, suffering from anxiety or
depression, and the high demands in life. The list could go on and on, but you get the gist of where I’m
going? Our lives are still affected, and more than likely out of balance from the negative stressors that
took place in 2018.
Nonetheless, as women we are natural nurturers. We put everyone and everything else first while
putting ourselves on the backburner. Our children come first, our careers come first, our spouses or
significant other come first; most times without giving it a second thought! Ladies, let’s do better
with our self-care and self-love.
I’m sure you have all heard of several types of Detox Cleanses. When a person detoxes their body they
do so with the intention to rid themselves of toxins. I have news for you… whatever you encountered in
2018 that was negative…. left behind mental toxins. These toxins have affected your beliefs, emotions,
decisions, and your feelings. We tend to bury or suppress things/trauma hoping they will just go away.
I’m here to tell you, feelings buried alive never die! Ladies, it’s time for a Mental Detox!
The following are steps you can take to start a mental detox:
1. Forgive- Are there people you haven’t forgiven? Let go of the bitterness and offense.
2. Re-evaluate your relationships- Not everyone that was in your tribe in 2018 can come along in
3. Pinpoint Distractions - Whatever is not aligned with your goals, vision, and standards can
possibly be a distraction in your life.
4. Confront Insecurities - How do you feel about yourself and why?
5. Identify Unhealed Areas - Hurting people hurt people. Seek Counseling or a Life Coach.
6. Face Your Fears- The acronym is False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR). What story are you
telling yourself about your fears?
7. Take a Social Media Break - It can be a way you look for validation, for you to compare yourself and
situation to others, and it takes up time you can’t get back.
8. Journal- Journaling helps to process your emotions, gain insight, and clear your head. You can
also reflect back on your achievements and accomplishments.
Ladies, let’s enter into 2019 renewed and refreshed, leaving behind the mental toxins of 2018.
Remember, to put YOU first as a way to show self-love. You can’t give what you don’t have. Your external demeanor and countenance is a definite reflection of your internal being. So, whenever it’s necessary partake in a Mental Detox… your life depends on it. It may not be easy, but it’s necessary!
Katrice Cohen is a Certified Empowerment Life Coach. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. You can find out more about and connect with her via her Website: www.katricecohen.com Email: email@example.com IG: @lifecoachkatrice
(CNN)Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson has succeeded in breaking through a few glass ceilings in the US Army. Now she's set to break a new one.
For the first time in US Army Forces Command, or FORSCOM, history, a woman will be leading the largest command in the Army, representing 776,000 soldiers and 96,000 civilians.
This may be a first for the Army, but Richardson has had other firsts.
She has been with the US Army since 1986, and in 2012 she became the first female deputy commanding general for the 1st Cavalry Division, known as "America's First Team."In 2017, she became second in command to Gen. Robert B. Abrams, when she was named the first female deputy commanding general of FORSCOM in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the US Army reported.
Now, Richardson will become the first female commanding general of the US Army FORSCOM as Abrams steps down from his post, reported CNN affiliate WTVD.
On Tuesday, Abrams announced he would be leaving his post to become commander of United States Armed Forces Korea. The farewell message was tweeted by FORSCOM.
"It has been an honor to serve these last three years as the commanding general, US Army Forces Command," Abrams' message read.
Abrams also thanked FORSCOM soldiers for their work, as it increases "readiness of our Army across all three components -- regular Army, Army National Guard and US Army Reserve."
Richardson will serve as acting commander until a replacement for Abrams is named and confirmed to the rank of four-star general by the Senate.
"She will continue to be the deputy commander as well as the acting commander during this interim period," FORSCOM Director of Public Affairs Colonel Michael Lawhorn told CNN. "LTG Richardson is one of a number of highly qualified officers that are being considered as potential commanders for the Army's largest command."
Lawhorn also told CNN that during Tuesday's ceremony, General Mark A. Milley, the chief of staff of the Army, said a nominee has been identified but also clarified that Richardson's tenure would not be brief."I don't know how long it's going to be to be honest with you," Milley said, according to Lawhorn. "You're going to be in command of this command for a considerable amount of time."
In her career, Richardson has served as an Army aviator, as the military aide to the vice president and as one of the Army's liaison officers to the US Senate.
Every now and then, you probably wonder if your job-career status will change. The most important thing about change is that you know full well it will surely come and often without notice. Change is one of the things that we typically fear without understanding fully how and why change has to occur in the first place. At your current job, look around and you’ll notice some of your colleagues have been in the same role as long as the company had been in existence!
On many levels, staying in a particular role at a company is a good thing. i.e. Opportunities to be the first to expand your knowledge in other departments may be presented to you by management and/or company decides on promoting you unexpectedly since you’re the most likely employee that knows the in’s and out of what drives their organization while helping them reach their bottom line metrics.
With that said, it’s never too late to prepare for your next career move. To simplify the process, embrace change one step at a time. Yes, you may change your job title, take on more responsibility with the same pay scale (lateral move) or you may accept a role that pays you a competitive salary which most usually jump at that opportunity even if they’re not really certain of the consequences of the role overall… No matter what happens, it’s common to over think everything when it comes to change especially when it concerns our career journey. For example, many will accept a new career role which comes with all the bells and whistles but still self-doubt whether they’ve made a smart career move. Keep in mind, as you embark upon an unchartered career journey, you won’t have all of the answers at once. Once you’ve let your career guard down a bit and think outside the box, doors will open and your career journey will begin to soar and change for the better!
Being open to change overall and embracing the positive instead of negative components of change will keep your career development status moving in a forward direction!
Toye Johnson-Vincent, Motivational Speaker
*Career Development *Life Skills
Invite me to SPEAK and INSPIRE at upcoming events:
INBOX via www.TJVEMPOWERSU.com