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!

Want to get updates from my blog?  Leave your information below and I will keep you posted!  Also! Don’t forget to go to my group and join Chronicles of a New Entrepreneur, you don’t want to miss that experience!

 

I’m Stuck!

This.. is an account of my struggles.

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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

 

 

T I M E Management My way…or your way…….Your choice!

I did a podcast on time management and I wanted to go a little more in-depth to what I talked about and give you all some hands-on tools that I personally have tried out for my business and be honest in what does and doesn’t work well for me!  In the podcast, I talk about calendars and I also want to go over why I love apps so much and discuss binders as well.  Lets get started!

Calendar for podcast

In the picture I shared above you will see my wonderful color-coordinated calendar and why it works so well for me!  The different colors are divided into different categories.  So speaking engagements are blue, pink is my day job activities and orange is Living Faith activities.  What I haven’t gotten to include yet is blogging and podcast planning which I will have to eventually add.  I also plan to schedule myself to focus on 3 different categories of my business a day so, I named the categories Business Planning, Networking, Finances, and Functioning, which covers the operations of my business.  My goal is to focus on one of these 4 aspects of my business a day so that in working with my clients  I will not neglect my own business.  Like I said in my podcast, this is not fool proof and sometimes I have to revisit and I know if I revisit every 3 months, I can stay on track.

So next I will tell you about my binder system.  This helps with both organization and time management, but today I’m going to discuss the latter.  Binders are something I have been obsessed with since I was in high school!  They save time by being a one-stop shop for everything you need.  I have binders for both myself and my clients.  If they need something quickly, it is all in that binder.  For example, my client Dream Makerz just had a major event at the Birmingham Housing Authority, check out a link to a cool article about that here.  I had to create a couple of different forms for that event.  Having all of those forms and information in one place drastically saved time because we had a large influx of individuals come in at one time.  I had originals in place to make copies as soon as we ran out!  Just think how drastic that would have been having to run to the car to find it or having forgotten it at the house!  Or think of going to a meeting and someone asking for a flyer or information sheet about your services or your product, do YOU have that right on hand? Having a binder with those tools will be and ARE essential to the success of your business!  Don’t knock it until you try it!

 

The last thing I will tell you all that works for me with Living Faith in regards to time management and it’s going to sound really cliche, so forgive me, but APPS!  I’m going to do a blog soon on the apps that I have tried, used, like, dislike, etc,but the truth is living without them is way worse than living with them!  Apps allow you to capitalize on your time.  With phones being mobile, you can do anything involving your business and even your personal life with the touch of a finger.  I can pay bills, give my tithes, accept business payments, schedule meetings, check email, follow up with clients and market all at the same time.  I recently was faced with a dilemma in trying to figure out how to create receipts without having to buy a receipt book which in my mind is just another form of paperwork for me to lose.  I simply did a search online and discovered an app that will allow me to create a receipt and digitally send it to my clients and their customers!  So DOPE!  No? YES! HAHAHA! I get excited about these things!  One of my favorites right now is called Trello.  I found it was a good tool for me to record my tasks and figure out how to remain on top of things and allowed me to put in new tasks and cross tasks off the list as I went.  If you want to try it out for yourself, the link is conveniently here.

Anyways!  I realize these things are not for everybody.  Some people just don’t function based off of calendars or apps.  I am a very visual person!  Seeing things in front of me, live action right there, right then, where I can process later, seriously gives me life and that is what calendars, binders, and apps do for me.  But some people need to write things down or have something to listen to, some people prefer to think off the top of their head (I don’t recommend this) but either way, you need to find what works for you!  I again will admit I am not the know it all, but I can only share with you what works for me and my business.  And if you find yourself trying different things that are not working for you and you still need help, you know your favorite Business Manager is here for you right?  CALL ME!  Let me do these things for you! I already know what works for me because I am a recovering perfectionist and this allows me to try several different tools, which we all know you don’t have time to do!  Let me help you get your time back and get your time management in check!  Click here to schedule your free consultation, let’s talk!  You can also call 205-319-1371 and we can work together!  Talk to you soon!  Until then #Create #Connect #Inspire

 

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Dream Makerz Pop Up shop Coordinated by Living Faith Management and Consulting

 

Reasons why you need a Business Manager pt. 2 (A Periscope series)

 

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Hello friends! Below you will find a sneak peek into my new series on Periscope “Reasons why you need A Business Manager.” This is part 2 and talks about how I can help you get your life together when it comes to business meetings. In part 1 I talk about voice-mail! Stay tuned for more! Follow me on Periscope @livingfaith111 #livingfaith

https://www.periscope.tv/w/apYf4DFQWEtkR3FKTm9RZXZ8MWxQS3FxREJ2em1LYhxk_7Wcy-AC3KibFlQrzvzDB7g1d4K9HA6w5KYEfHq-