Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Ease on Down the Road

“Come on, ease on the down the road. Pick your left foot up when your right foot’s down. Come on legs keep moving, Don’t you lose no ground. You just keep on keepin’ on the road that you choose. Don’t you give up walking ‘cause you gave up shoes.” The Wiz, 1976

Saturday, I had my official book launch for Entrepreneurial Elevation, 31 Strategic Lessons and Life Stories. It was my first opportunity center stage to discuss my business and background. When I was given the mic I stumbled despite all of my preparations. Here’s my lessons learned and steps that I’d recommend to others to replicate. 

1. Reclaim My Time and Protect My Efforts:
As a mom and an entrepreneur, my efforts and time are prime real estate in that my bandwidth can only handle so much at a time. Whether it’s your calendar, connections or your health you have to take measures to reclaim and protect them. Don’t let every activity be worthy enough for your calendar. Choose strategically where you will make an appearance. You should be able to promote your business and learn some valuable information when you reserve time on your calendar. I’ve had situations where every webinar or workshop was enticing but I had to be realistic about my bandwidth and my efforts. Your connections too (friends, family, and acquaintance) can be time sucks also so pick them wisely. Believe me, I’ve had to nix several connections over the past 6 months because they deliberately disrespected my time, resources and efforts. Bye, Felicia. Many times connections not focused on their own goals will hang around to distract you from yours. As JayZ says, “Loiterers should be arrested” One to the Next One, 2009. Don’t forget your health because you can’t do either if your health is in the poor. Pick up a regular exercise routine, develop healthy eating habits and an appetite for reading. I know you’ve seen the memes that read, Leaders are voracious readers. Two years after my business launched I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and determined to be pre-diabetic. A close connection mentioned a plant-based diet and I have been on this path ever since. No cholesterol and no pre-diabetic indications.  In fact, my blood work this past May was that of a 16-year-old as my doctor reported. My grandma used to say the bought wisdom is better than taught wisdom. Lesson learned-Be strategic in your efforts. #Strong

2. Just Keep Swimming:
Listen, Momma, I was prepared with my elevator pitch. It was concise and with a consistent message. But when I walked on stage and saw the audience everything went out of my mind. I haven’t had an experience such as that since high school. Nevertheless, I spoke off the cuff with a smile and no one was the wiser. But as soon as I left the stage, my mind began to work and regroup my efforts. I thought strategically about my best qualities and how to have them reconstitute my efforts for this very important day. It was time for table discussions, 3 mins a piece at each table. It was time to regroup. I was not going to lose this opportunity. There’s never a lost opportunity just missed opportunities. Meaning, if you keep swimming you will see an alternative option to accomplish your goal around the corner. Just keep on keepin’. #Resilient

3. Accentuate the Positive
Bing Crosby had a great lesson in this song.  Eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative. Even when you stumble about keep shining. I’m here to tell you that to keep going in the face of disappointment and failure remaining positive is more than a notion. My table talks were nice! If I do say so myself. Once it was time to speak at tables I felt more comfortable with connecting with others about my business goals and experience. I was able to answer specific questions and speak directly to each attendant. One of my best qualities is a personal connection. I owe that to my Southern upbringing and my dear old grandma who was also an entrepreneur. I planned to blow the table talks out of the water. This was my time to shine and I had 20 mins instead of 5 to put the word out! I used every minute to connect even when waiting patiently for my co-author was speaking. Even when it was time to sign/sell our books, I connected with each person by asking their name so that I could personalize my book signing. One young man mentioned that I was the first person to ask him his name. I told ya, personal connection is one of my best qualities. I used it to shine on! #Luminous
Truly,

DBC 


Mother of Pearls

Get your copy at PayPal.me/BCC2019 


Books By Dori B. Cook




https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ZV7HrJe93DL2qOlZWBDDcs2XknVs5j8H https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1AhlLJLeW-gFt801wHUhgdaG8ITG_P2m7
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1P3CSgbkuj9-HH6FEkhr-AXELrpZEyGVJ



Books By Dori B. Cook


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Ten More Days!

Hey Moms,

Today marks Day 10 of the countdown to the BIG LAUNCH DAYJuly 20, 2019. Have you purchased your book yet? Let me tell you... this book is Fire Knowledge! Every woman in business for themselves MUST GET THIS BOOK! There are 31 women offering up their knowledge and stories about being in business for themselves. You better get your copy today. All sales prior to 7/20/19 will be officially signed copies.

Sending love your way 💗

       DBC
Mother of Pearls




Monday, July 8, 2019

What's In it For Me?


Contracts, Agreements, Retainers, Bill of Sale...

Each of these documents requires finesse and proper skill to develop and maintain. At both, the stage of development and maintenance, the most important skill to employ is the Art of Negotiation. Do you have this skill; are you willing to take the time to hone it and become adept at it? While speaking with a colleague earlier this week, we discussed 3 important areas to understand before you approach a negotiation: Attentiveness, Pain points, and Assertiveness. Here's how this is another pearl to culture.

A. Attentiveness is a nice and professional word commonly used for the phrase "Shut up and Listen". Be sure to do your research on the matter before negotiation talks begin. Once you do begin negotiating with anyone, seek an understanding of the impact of your request on the other person. God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason, I do believe. Negotiating is persuasion that listens. Effective negotiating requires discipline to communicate your request while strategically considering motivating factors for the other person. Listening to the other person allows you to consider what is important to other negotiators and will likely lead both of you to a happy resolution. #STRONG


B. Pain points are both you and your opposite negotiator's non-negotiable. What are you (or them for that matter) willing to leave on the table if talks become unfavorable?  Having a clear idea of your starting point and the most acceptable minimus. Identifying what could possibly be the pain point for the opposite negotiator will prove to be critical in strategy and tactic. There are at least 4 types of pain points to consider and each come with their own strategies. They range from Financial, productivity, process, and support pain points. Also identifying pain points allows you to maintain open lines of communication and equips you with the perspective of how the other side may respond to your requests and their motivating factors. Pain point information allows you to present your request professionally and a likely viable solution for both parties. #RESILIENT


C. Assertiveness is different from aggressiveness! There is a time and place for aggressiveness but negotiating requires a certain finesse so we will be assertive instead. Once you have considered your attentiveness and the pain points for each party, don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Each of us knows how to be respectful of all parties. Assertiveness can be direct and non-threatening. Using I- statements instead of you- statements when speaking. Be mindful of your body language when being assertive because body language can change the entire tone of a statement. Being aware of your hands, stance and facial expressions can send negotiation talks down the drain quickly. Being attentive to your ability to be assertive in your ask/negotiation is a time to craft your assertiveness skills and shine like the professional mompreneur that you are! #LUMINOUS

There are plenty of negotiation experts online with literature to read and follow up on. There are also consultants that provide intensive and individualized training to sharpen your skills if this is critical to the success of your small business needs. If this is an area that you need help in be sure to get the proper support.

Here is a link to a nice article on negotiating by Cara Hutto, from InHerSight.com, an online literary magazine.  Although the article's title talks about arguing at work, the steps are great when thinking professionally about negotiating.
https://www.inhersight.com/blog/how-to/how-master-art-arguing-work

Enjoy negotiating Moms!


Yours Truly,

DBC
Mother of Pearls

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Entrepreneurial Elevation-Mother Of Pearls

Good Afternoon Friends,
Today marks 15 days until the Book Launch of Entrepreneurial Elevation, where my chapter is Mother of Pearls, Mompreneurship. Pre Order your copies now! Help me reach my goal to sell 100 books by the launch party on July 20, 2019. Thanks so much to those who have purchased the book. Still looking for my supporters to come through.




Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Perspective



Life is always about perspective. Look at today's political scene, wouldn't you say perspective plays a significant role in how our current legislators govern? From the president to the news media to social media to answer the question, "Who are you voting for this coming election?" it is all about perspective. 

What's your perspective when you sit down to map out your plans to work on your dream? Are you thinking positively about your next steps? Describe your business perspective? How do you sharpen your skills and strengthen your mental dexterity? How do prepare your business for a transformation? Do you have a growth mindset as it relates to your family and business goals? 

Gain a perspective:  Set a time and place for you to focus on tasks related to your business goals. This space should be separate from the space for other responsibilities. Allowing other responsibilities to crowd this space is distracting and clutters creativity. It doesn't have to be an office if you have a small space it could be a corner in your bedroom where you have items that serve as your muse for creativity. Here's an example: you may work on your business goals at a small desk in your bedroom. Responsibilities for your family are listed and updated in the kitchen with the family calendar and message board.  Keep these two places separate for inspirational purposes. Sitting at your desk creates expectations for incremental progress by the time you decide to leave the desk longer than an hour.  In your efforts to be organized in each space,  you can set small steps to ensure productivity. This perspective is helpful when searching for inspiration to transform your business. #STRONG

Dream but be Pragmatic: Having a growth mindset doesn't mean you can't dream or that being pragmatic will stifle your dreams. Having a pragmatic approach to your goals helps to maintain the proper perspective as to your success.  Remember earlier, when I said you should make use of the resources you currently have to start on your goals. Don't wait until you have a separate office before you get started on your work. (There are definitely financial perks to having a home office but there are also guidelines. Check out irs.gov for more information or speak with a certified public account or licensed business and tax professional.) 

I once heard a woman say that 'men tend to have big-picture thinking even about their own dreams and women think smaller to be detailed and not as over-the-top about their abilities'. It's also safe to say that Moms are always thinking of contingencies and therefore we have to have the ability to have a microscopic focus on issues. We have our ability to focus on a reason and be flexible enough to consider big-picture ideas. #RESILIENT


Participate and Partner in Collabs: After gaining a perspective, keeping your growth mindset alone with being pragmatic about your goals, get out there and participate in collabs. An entrepreneur community is important in building working relationships with other SBOs. Other SBOs can also share insight and lessons learned along the way. And one way to build those relationships is by participating in collaborative efforts within your operating communities. Many times bartering can be a sure way to demonstrate your work/product for future business or leads. Partnerships are crucial to solving problems, preserving community assets, and building social capital in communities. Participating in collabs improves business health through collective action and can take on various forms that range from networking to coordinating, cooperating, to collaborating. Don't be afraid to dream big and shine, keep thinking your passion is what the world has been waiting on. #LUMINOUS


Enjoy yourself, Momma!

Yours Truly, 

DBC
Mother of Pearl








Thursday, June 27, 2019

Friday-eve! When Do You Take a Break?

Wake Up!?

What am I talking about? Moms are already up and at'em this Thursday. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine told me that Thursday was considered the Grown Folks Weekend, not the normal Friday evening but Thursday. Mainly because you can have a great time without all of the large crowds out enjoying the Friday break of the workweek. Me, myself, I absolutely love Thursdays! Though most Thursdays, I am working and working, and working. I like to think that if I would like to do something cute or special it will likely be on a Thursday. 

This week I have been preparing for my customary break in the work cycle. I have been getting some new things in place like securing training and attending networking opportunities and meeting with new clients. 

On Monday, I began a new commitment to service by learning about strategic planning for large non-profit organizations. This is a familiar area of expertise but I am not an expert, yet. I look to gain some useful knowledge and make it applicable not just in my service organization but in my personal and professional life. I absolutely love this organization. While in the meeting I recognized my professional talent of coaching will support my efforts as a committee member and the role of being a liaison to others. The meeting was organized and informative, so much so that I was amped to get my additional duties as soon as possible.  Organization and order are like the sirens in Greek mythology for me...I am lured away in delight when I encounter them. I am eager to get to work. Disorganization can be a debilitating occurrence in life. Thankfully you can put systems in place to stave off such negative factors.  As for my new 'iron in the fire', I am glad that I have some skills that can be aligned with my new role this year. Being aware of my talents and recognizing how I can use them to further develop or to acquire a new skill is what I call being #STRONG

Tuesday came. I had some issues recur and pose a level of uncomfortability for me. I immediately recognized how I must resolve this issue soon because of its impact on my productivity. After serious focus on several solutions, I decided that this issue will not have the control it once had and I created steps to wrap this matter up and tie it off with a nice bow that says, 'Leave this issue where you found it'. Listen Moms, if you don't have to endure negativity whether it be a person, place or thing, leave it alone. Don't take on worrisome issues or tasks if you can delegate to someone else or not pick it up to begin with.  There's a saying, 'if you want something done, give it to a busy woman'. No, correction! Busy woman don't stretch yourself thin and don't entertain issues too long that may interrupt your productivity...destroying your inner peace. If the issue is persistent and must be attended to, do so with the most effective approach possible. Map out a plan and work it. Protecting your bandwidth is important and it must be managed appropriately to prevent burnout, depression and imposter syndrome. I call it being #RESILIENT

On to Wednesday... met with a team of collaborators. As the newest to be included in this group, I knew that it was up to me to show how my talents will not only have a positive impact on the work but that my talents are also critical to the success of the project. As a Southern Belle, I have learned how to master the ability to shine; luminosity is what I call it. A smile, a kind look of the eye and and a tactful tongue peppered with assertiveness and sincerity (something that I learned from the women in my circle growing up) is key to working collaboratively in my field of expertise. I don't do disrespect and aim to be business minded and not easily distracted by tandem discussions. My grandmother's favorite phrase was (may she RIPower) 'you can always attract more bees with honey than with vinegar'. My honey may have a little cayenne pepper in it but you're likely not going to notice until after you've tasted the sweetness. Bon Appetit! Being prepared for the work and the discussion helps to remain focus on the task at hand and organized in my thinking and more productive in the implementation of my ideas. Later on, I had a new team mate follow up with me and rave about how I shined and rose to the occasion just as expected. Keep up the good work and carry on... #LUMINOUS

Here we are at Thursday. I am on my way to continue building my community of support as an Mom- Entrepreneur. No break in the lineup of today's tasks yet. I look to explore issues such as improving content writing, mental supports for entrepreneurs and understanding the mind of grantmakers and successful bartering and collabs. This summer is about making me better and planting seeds that are bound to bear the fruit I need and want. Thursday is the start to my weekends and a day that I associate with a scheduled break. But not today, I am off to make my dreams come true. It's ok to take a break.  Pearls work HARD and play HARDER. Even when we know there's a need for a break,  at times we elect to put the break off until our work can support a better time. Be Strong, Resilient and Luminous as move toward your work break. 

Checking in with my Pearls!

DBC, 
Mother of Pearls



   

Monday, June 24, 2019

Just another Manic Monday...

It's just another Manic Monday for many Moms, but it doesn't have to be.

I heard a sermon yesterday that really spoke to me. The topic was about depression but the points made were really relative to healthy living whether you have depression or not and especially as a mompreneur.

The lesson was based on a scriptural passage taken from 1 Kings 19 involving Elijah, Ahab, and Jezebel. The story deals with Elijah feeling alone in his quest to do what he felt he was called to do. Elijah felt he needed to steal away in fear of being punished for his mission. He felt alone and left behind. God reassured Elijah that he would be ok and to continue on his path. God gave Elijah 3 things to do as he encouraged him to continue on his path. I am not going to rewrite the sermon. I will expound on the key points as to how I interpreted the relation to my life as a mompreneur.

1. Rest Well.
2. Eat Well
3. Live Well

As mompreneurs, we need these 3 points as a daily mantra in our lives and in our family's lives.  When I decided to become a mompreneur, I too had to adopt these rules for my life.

Resting Well: Take the time to get your enough rest daily. Moms wear so many hats and have so many responsibilities and that's just with managing her own family. Now couple this with managing a business. Whew! I have to wipe my forehead just thinking of all of the multitasking we are required and elect to do. Resting is important for restoring our bodies and mind. Good rest helps with clearing your mind to be its most productive self. #STRONG

Eating Well: Be deliberate about your eating decisions. Not everyone will choose to have a plant-based diet. (I wish everyone would). So make choices that are healthy but also work for your lifestyle and life choices. Take it from me, it is difficult to make eating habit changes for more than just yourself. If your eating habits are becoming detrimental to your health and your family's health, then seek a positive change soon. It will be difficult to devote the time and attention to your goals and your family for that matter if and when your health begins to breakdown and cause additional problems to contend. Healthy eating choices equals a strong mind and body equal to #RESILIENT. 

Live Well: This part of the message really spoke with me in that making choices to live well is extremely important. Sometimes it's difficult to consistently live well especially when you have hit a wall in your goal development or your family has hit upon a crisis. Disappointment sets in and you can become discouraged to continue on your path. Success has been defined as the ability to keep the same passion between failures.  This was a phrase used by my mentor to encourage me on my path. Hiccups and roadblocks are sure to come just as sure as the sun rises every morning. So after much success when disappointing moments arise, keep believing in your dreams and keep living well. #LUMINOUS




Ease on Down the Road

“Come on, ease on the down the road. Pick your left foot up when your right foot’s down. Come on legs keep moving, Don’t you lose no ground....