Finding Inner Strength as an Entrepreneur

Anybody else besides me ever just feel completely and extra raw in their emotions?  Like you can’t even describe anything specific, you are just deep in your thoughts about life and your not sad exactly, you are just sitting there, in your emotions?  as I write this post, I’m there, listening to music about God, thinking about His awesomeness, His grace towards me and crazy deep into worship and thanks to Him, that even though I feel  crazy emotional, I am still so grateful that He keeps me.

Let’s face it, personal issues and feelings bleed over into our entrepreneur life.  We sometimes may not be willing to admit it because we feel it will make us seem weak.  But how powerful is it in being transparent to explore how we are truly feeling and what we are going through on our journey?  I was going to post my thoughts in an Instagram and I realized there is so much more that I want to say.

 

You see this picture right here?

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This was the picture I was going to post.  In this moment I am crazy tired.  I’m at a point where I’m waking up tired, I am forcing myself to get up and go to my full-time job, I’m cringing when my Living Faith clients are asking me to complete tasks, I miss my family like crazy, the day before I silently worked through the 1 year anniversary of my grandma’s death and there is no vacation in sight until MAYBE Thanksgiving…maybe.

I’m just tired.

I made a post about healing your inner self on Facebook and its probably a passive-aggressive call to God for help, when I know talking to Him directly is the best way, but I think somehow the validation that other people like that post, helps me know other people are going through the same thing, or at least know what I’m talking about.

I googled healing your inner self and Psalms 46 came up.  It’s in an article by Bill Gaultiene called Inner healing Prayer using Psalm 46 as the basis.  He suggests breaking this verse into parts and meditating on each station.  He says “inner healing prayer is a way to invite the Spirit of Christ to minister to the inner parts of our person that have ben damaged.

The first verse of Psalm 46 says

“God is our refuge and strength and a very present help in trouble.”

I have to remind myself of this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  The stress and strain of life will try to convince you that you cannot do this.  you can’t run your own business…Are you crazy??? You can’t even keep your life together!!!!But I’m reminded that I have help!  And you  may  not be spiritual or religious or may not even be Christian, but the message still remains the same.  You CAN make it no matter what!  I just happen to be certain where I stand personally.

Inner healing is about finding your inner strength, knowing that no matter what, I can push through!  I’m encouraging myself as I’m writing this! I recently finished a book by Sarah Jakes Roberts, her very first book titled Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life.  She tells the story of her becoming pregnant at 14 years old and stress of having a high profile and finding one’s strength.  She says so many profound things are said by her in this book, but something stood out to me.  She says:

“Grace is not the absence of the struggle; it is the presence of protection”

This is SO TRUE! There are two definitions of grace in the online dictionary: “1) simple elegance or refinement of movement. 2) (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”  In both definitions, it is the idea that we are to cast or cares away and move through life with ease.  As a Christian, I do so because I know God has my back no matter what, I am protected!  Such comfort in a time of stress, chaos and busyness of the life of an entrepreneur.  So I am here today to let you know two things: 1) It’s okay to admit when you are overwhelmed, stressed and hurting 2) Its also okay to release it and let it go because you are protected and your inner strength, wherever you find it, will protect you!

Until next time.. #Connect #Create and #Inpire

 

 

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Organized, no Chaos: How I use Binders to Keep my Business in Order

 

Binders help me to prioritize different aspects of my business.  Each business and/or individual I work with receives their own portfolio after working with me.  Right now I am in the process of revamping the order of each book but I am giving you an exclusive view of a very raw process in case this is something that will be helpful for you and your business in the future.  So the examples I’m sharing are my own business binder, the binder I’ve crafted for Dream Makerz, my Faith Walkers Church folder as youth ministry leader and My client Mrs.Dee Edwards.  Now as a disclaimer whenever a client and I terminate a contract, which will mostly be because they’ve gotten the management of their business under control and they don’t need me anymore, I will “prettify” (no that’s not a word, but its mine, you can’t have it!) their portfolio, with a nice graphic, labels and all that jazz.  Here you are just getting a VIP into the process.

In here I have all establishment documents, so that Name Reservation certificate, the Articles of Formation documents and EIN information are all in one place.  Then next I have meeting information, notes, etc  For my notebook, I have a section for all of my podcast and blog content.  I have a notebook that I jot in from time to time, but it seems helpful to have paper I can tear out of that notebook and organize directly into my binder.  I have found that the spiral notebooks keep me confused because I have to thumb through to find what i need way to often.

In Dream Makerz folder I have the same startup information that was described in my folder.Thus is highly important with this organization because Hiranda prefers to not  handle any of the administrative tasks and/or paperwork if she doesn’t  have to, but I

need to be able to access it at anytime when she needs it and get it to her and then I have each event and the supplies (sign in sheets, surveys, consents, etc.) because she holds these  events on a regular basis.  I also have a section for ideas because she often calls me with them and I have to be ready! 😊

Mrs Dee’s folder is a little different. I provide her with virtual assistant work for her multiple businesses, so her notebook is actually digital which is something I didn’t realize was my best option for keeping up with her files until after I started writing this post.  Each folder is divided by her different businesses and categorized accordingly. For example, her IRS Tax schooling has all of her grade books, her Startup Business Factory has forms and signup sheets I created and her Accurate Tax has all the forms I created for her. She now has easy, organized access to all of these things that I can send to her at anytime and will be compiled in a zip file if were were to ever terminate services.blog-picture  This also provides the opportunity for transparency and checks and balances for me as her virtual assistant. She receives monthly updates from me from myhours.com that provides a record of the time I spend on her projects.

 

If you are interested in becoming a virtual assistant, you will need to do your research on how you will provide your clients with a compiled representation of the work they are paying you for. This is extremely important to me both as a business manager and virtual assistant because I want them to see it is more beneficial to them then hiring someone to come to their office and that they are saving money and time by utilizing my services.

So here  is a glance into my organization style. You can utilize this for your own business or if you are a virtual assistant, administrative assistant, personal assistant or business manager, here are some ideas for you. I try to keep it simple so I can personalize it for my customer. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below! Until next time

#Connect #Create #inspire

chronicles

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The Time is Now! 3 Tips I Used to Start my Business

 

“The one thing that I think is critical in the entrepreneurial spirit is that it’s all attitude. If you think you can, then you’re half way there. If you say, ‘I can’t,’ then you’re defeated.” – Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies

Have you been trying to find out how to start your business?  Do you have an idea but don’t know where to start?  Are you running a business but you can’t seem to figure out what is going wrong?  Starting a business is hard!  For real!  It is one of the hardest things I have done in my life!  Of course, I haven’t had any children yet, so ask me in a couple of years, lol!  In all seriousness, though, this is the truth, but I realize that so many people don’t take that step or give up because they are afraid of the unknown or of what is too hard.  So in one of my most recent podcasts, I talk about how I got started with my business and what worked best for me!  I am always very transparent in sharing that the information and stories I tell about myself and my business may not apply to you, but it should cause you to think about your goals for your entrepreneurship journey.

Ms. Debbie is onto something.  It really is about your attitude and your thinking.  If you think, I’m not going to be able to do this and you say it with your actions and your demeanor, then honey, you probably aren’t going to do it.  But let me tell you all something.  The time really is now!  There is a shift occurring in the atmosphere and you should want to be apart of this movement!  Be proactive in the progression of your life.  Don’t just sit back and wait for someone to show you or tell you how to do it!  I have been blessed to have been in the presence of some amazing business men and women in the past couple of months and I am so motivated to continue to strive to build a business that operates in excellence and greatness!  The time is now!

And if you are struggling to find a way to get started, guess what…..there are so many people out there willing to help you!  So let me give you a couple of tips on how to get started:

  1. RESEARCH!  Start googling “how to start a business” or “entrepreneur,” look up information on the Small Business Administration website, they have so many great tools!  Start looking at Facebook live and Periscope to listen to those who are already in business!  This is what I did and I have learned so much to help my business.
  2. Connect with the right people You will hear me talk about partnership in an upcoming podcast and its importance.  You need people in your corner who you can trust, but make sure you do so with careful evaluation, you can’t trust everybody!  I utilize prayer often to make sure I am connecting with the right people.
  3. Don’t give up! If you started and reached a point where you feel this wasn’t the right choice, don’t stop!  Reevaluate and repeat the first two steps.  Failure and setbacks are meant to grow you and help mold you!  Utilize those hardships to propel you higher in your business!

Luckily for you, Living Faith Management and Consulting specializes in helping you to reorganize, restructure and get time back you are losing due to stress, confusion, and fear!  We can help you to manage what feels out of control!

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I’m Stuck!

This.. is an account of my struggles.

help

And I, Ebone Watkins, AM STUCK! Lord!  The moment you realize you have so much going on!  And you are not typically a complainer, you believe in God, you have strong faith, but you just realize that there are so many elements of yourself going into your success and you just feel your wheels are turning, but you are not going anywhere!  Anyone else feeling or felt this way?  I think sometimes we don’t realize how far we are stretching ourselves and we need to take a moment to stop and think.  Even as I write this blog post, I don’t have the answers right now, but I can guarantee you when I come back to it, I will.  Sometimes you just have to come to a realization you need to stop and take a moment.  Starting a business is not an easy jump to take, but I know, we all know, it’s worth it, in the long run. This is just a part of it!

I consistently watch people talking about business, including their struggles and the years of sweat and hard work they put into it.  And honestly, sometimes it’s just pure difficult to listen to them talk about it and realize you are at the point of that struggle and all you want to do is be at the end point!  That’s just the plain truth!  But on the other side, I also don’t want anything handed to me!  I want what God has for me according to his desire and His plan, not Ebone’s.  So I know what I’m going through right now, is a part of the divine purpose and plan.  In other blog posts, you will get to know my specific struggles.  One of them is finding a balance between putting the time and work into my business and juggling that with the work I am assigned to help my clients.  Business is a work in progress, right? So things change as we go.  I am constantly trying to put systems in place to discover what can make things better for myself and my clients.  Then, life settles in, day job, church, family, etc.

A couple of things I have been reminded of in this realization that I am (WAS) stuck!

  1. It’s a part of the journey.

God has revealed to me numerous times in the past couple of weeks that even those individuals whom I look up to and utilize as my examples struggle sometimes too.  I am so grateful for the transparency of others because it reminds me that I am not alone.  No one said this was going to be easy, but the theme stands that it’s totally worth it!

  1. Slow down!

I realize at times I have wanted to reach the success far more quickly than what reality will allow.  This realization has allowed me to slow myself down and scale back to take some more steps to build.  I am constantly adjusting, changing and consulting with others who are deep in the small business and entrepreneurship game.  I have a mentor in place and I am now seeking a business coach.  This is a process as well and takes time and I have accepted this.

  1. It’s okay to readjust your goals!

I set a goal a couple of months ago that I would be engaged in my business full time by the end of the year.  This was weighing on me so heavily as this goal was obviously not going to be met.  But after consultation with God and my bestie and business partner, I realized that sometimes our goals need to be readjusted.  Exploring the first two things, allows you to do that and make sure you are on the track that is appropriate and realistic.  (Aka: Child I don’t have any money to go into business full time!  Get a grip Ebone! Haha! )

So at the end of the day, It’s okay!  Pick yourself up, keep moving and keep praying!  Admit when and where you are struggling, get some guidance and help and go after your dreams, goals and your purpose!  That is your transparent moment for the day!

Until next time, #Connect #Create and #Inspire! Toodles!

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Have You Ever Googled Yourself?

Listen! This was the craziest experience for me! So as a new entrepreneur, it is difficult sometimes to maintain your confidence when you are in a pool with multiple successful, well groomed experienced entrepreneurs who are well established and get gigs and clients left and right.  It’s slightly intimidating, right?  Well, you can pretend if you want, but for ME, it is at times overwhelming.  At times you may get in your head and forget your faith filled walk into your business and think, um, who is going to listen to ME? I’m NOBODY! LOL You understand it’s a mind battle to ensure yourself that your platform, your cause, your purpose matters to other people.  Well, either way, I will admit sometimes I just feel very small.

BUT, let me ask this question, have you even Googled yourself?

So I was clearing out old emails and ran across an article by Bryce Bladon called “Feedback from the Inferno:  “My Boss doesn’t want me to have a side gig.”  You Should read it, it’s awesome and totally inspired me to write about my experiences with that but only AFTER I’m no longer working for my job.  ( I don’t want them problems! HaHa)

So anyways, in the middle of the article, I read him talking about the fear of being googled by a current employer and them finding out about your entrepreneur journey.  So a light bulb went off in my head because this whole time I had convinced myself that I am invisible from my co-workers and bosses well because, you know I unfriended them on Facebook and everything, but then this has me thinking, um…. What if they Google me!!!!  I was like oh crap!!! Haha So I stop reading the article (which I eventually finish) and find all this awesome credential on myself, out there in the open of course, but the coolest thing happened that really took away my concern.

For those who don’t know, my full-time job right now is as a social worker who advocates, teaches and trains in regards to youth in foster care ages 14-21.  You can follow what we do at ilconnect.org.  I speak out a lot about the challenges and wins as far as they are concerned.  A while back I wrote an article on Linked In about something called Permanency Pacts, which is a document created by Foster club to help youth in foster care form connections with important people in their lives before they age out of the system.

Do YOU KNOW in googling myself I found out this NATIONAL company referred MY article on THEIR website!  I mean it was RIGHT HERE staring me in the face… Read the article yourself!  I was just like….  EYES WIDE HAHA!  I could NOT believe it, I was praising God in my little office! 🙂 Little ol me referred on a national website.  I AM Relevant!  What I have to say, the content I provide is worthy!  Man, I had to send praises to God on that one because listen, you have to believe in your brand and what you are doing.  It will pay off!

What you have to say is important and don’t let anyone tell you different.  Being a new entrepreneur is hard enough without us doubting ourselves.  It was certainly a lesson for me, I hope it is for you as well.  Comment below and let me know about your aha moments in being a new entrepreneur.  Until next time…

#Create # Connect #Inspire

Love

Your Favorite Business Manager

Embracing Mistakes: I Spelled Something Wrong and Shared It!

I really did it! Welcome friends, entrepreneurs, business owners, aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs and anyone else I may have missed!  Have you ever made a mistake and thought, what was I thinking? Yes? No?  Well, both my blog and podcast are meant to be transparent and I wanted to share this with you because I want a struggling business owner out there to know it’s okay to make a mistake.  We ALL go through it!

So in the beginning stages of my business, I quickly realized there were

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This is an example of me doing it myself until I could get the real deal! My logo!

major costs to everything from start up fees, to taxes, to your website and logo creation.   I also realized from the beginning I honestly did not have enough money and/or revenue to do all of
these things, so I convinced myself, “Okay Ebone, when you get paid, when you make that MONEY, you can do all those things, but before then, I am going to learn how to do things on your own!”

 

By now, you all should know I am the Google research queen and I also found it helpful to read articles and books which included a lot of information.  Here is a handy list of some of the resources I have used during my journey:

U.S. Small Business Administration website

IRS website

Off the Mark IP Solutions (Check our her book AND her courses, they are ALL amazing!)

I Am Allison Denise ( As matter of fact I need to go back and read this book!)

Book: Start Your Own Consulting Business: Your Step by Step Guide to Success by Eileen Figure Sandline

Book: 10 Mistakes Small Businesses Make and How you can Avoid Them by Dee Edwards

To get to the point, I needed graphics for my marketing.  I know many people who do these things, but since I started my business, I was determined not to over ask for favors because I know what it feels like for people to continue to ask you for discounts and freebies.  With all that being said, I had to figure out how to make my own graphics.  In a later blog, I will talk about the apps I used in detail and which ones worked best for me.  Until then, here are some you can try out and practice with(Disclaimer: I do have an android phone so if it’s not available to iPhone users, don’t blame me! lol): CanvaPicsArtFont Studio

After about a month of playing around with PicsArt, Font Studio, and Canva, I was able to create some good ones to start promoting myself.  One, in particular, I created for this very blog, Chronicles of a New Entrepreneur.  Can I mention also that I am a trained, licensed social worker and therefore I am an um “okay” speller and there are certain words I struggle to spell correctly….consistently.  SO below I am going to post the graphic and I am going to see if you all can catch the mistake! Lol

Seize the Day

 

Listen! I can NEVER spell “entrepreneur” right, spell check ALWAYS calls me out on this word!  Well apparently, spell check (And the grammar check app I installed on my computer, don’t judge me) decided to take a day off when I created this graphic! Y’all! Can you imagine my panic when I realized this?  I was searching where I had posted it because I was certain people weren’t booking my consultations because they were probably thinking, “how can this woman help me when she can’t even spell???”  I had to laugh at myself though because really who doesn’t make mistakes?  Now I am not talking about major mistakes such as giving bad customer service (NOT cool!) and backing out of engagements without communication (WORSE of the WORST!).  I’m talking about the things that happen in our business that causes our hearts to drop, it wasn’t intentional, we just simply were not being attentive or had too much going on.

The reality is…THINGS HAPPEN! Mistakes happen! I made the change and all was well.  If, and this is a big IF, I lost potential customers, okay, that is fine, I will work hard to do four things:

  1. Try to win them back.  If people discredit me because they think I was unprofessional, IT’S OKAY!  I will do everything in my power to convince them I’m worth it.
  2. Work towards showing my credibility through  my continued hard work aka I will learn from this mistakes and be better at checking my spelling!
  3. Continue to be honest and transparent about my mistakes.  I will admit when I have messed up if needed and work harder to prevent it from happening again
  4. KEEP MOVING FORWARD

There are many people out there who will try to shut you down and many times you might be your own source of dismantling.  Don’t give up! In my next blog, I will go deeper into how I do those four things for yourself and your business and you can assess if they help you or not.As always I hope and pray my transparency will help someone out there to keep pushing and not give up!  Please leave comments and feel free to ask questions.  Until next time #Connect #Create #Inspire

As always I hope and pray my transparency will help someone out there to keep pushing and not give up!  Please leave comments and feel free to ask questions.  Until next time #Connect #Create #Inspire

Love

#TheConnector