Epiphany Alert! – Make sure your financial footing is solid.

I really had to think about this post before I put it out for public viewing — it seemed like a fine line between my thoughts on the MOSO lifestyle and getting a job (by the way I heard that the acronym JOB stands for “Just Over Broke” — well we don’t want that). Here’s what I want to say before you read the rest of this post, if you’re pursuing your JOB with purpose and NOT JUST working for a paycheck (but as a means for financial stability, so you can pursue your MOSO passions — then getting a job may not be a bad idea in the context of my post). Ok — I think you’ve got it. Here we go……..
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You know you’ll get a lot of epiphany moments when you Re-assess, Release, and Rejuvenate! Ooooh but this weekend I had a big one. Is it ok for me to be transparent?

I’ve taken pride in being out on my own with NO ASSISTANCE, cutting my teeth on the good, bad, and ugly of small buisness ownership.  (SAD TO SAY IT) But I would snub at folks who had worked their way up the corporate ladder and decided to step out into entrepreneurship as if they hadn’t done it the way “real” entrepreneurs did it — I know that’s horrible, but just being real.

I had an epiphany this weekend! As i re-assess (October is my Re-assess month), I do a lot of self-evaluation and reflection — what’s going on with me REALLY, is the question I must answer. As I struggle to find financial stability in my MOSO business, I believed I was doing a great thing — following my passion. The truth of the matter is that I was creating an atmosphere that promoted LACK — NOT ENOUGH. For instance, making ends meet (a big one for me), how I would generate the finances of the next project, and so on while I built this wonderful, fulfilling business of mine.

Who would have thought that my constant thoughts of making ends meet, paying the next bill, how I was going to get the next business project off the ground without money, etc. was the very thing that was causing my efforts to go un-fulfilled (That LACK – NOT ENOUGH mentality). Gist of it is this ……

I won’t have those snub thoughts any longer about the 9to5 entrepreneur. Actually strategically getting a job while you get things going is probably a more solid idea to MOSO living. And you could find that you will enjoy the process,when you’re not having to concern yourself with “just getting by” and that becomes your every moment thought. 

Don’t get me wrong — I’m a MOSO chick for life. But my perspective about how MOSO living can work is slightly changing. This 90 Days to Re-assess, Release & Rejuvenate allows me to be free from distractions so that I can HEAR myself better.

I’m all for fueling aspirations, more so when we are doing it with the right tools and with transformational information. Always do what’s best for you — I’m just sharing my epiphany today — it was truly enlightening.

Fuel Your Aspirations!
Monique

Be honest — are you working your passion or just working?

Ok — this really spoke to me this morning. So I’m sharing with information with you so you too can experience how it fueled my aspirations! I worked with Elizabeth (Beth) Dowd and Office Angels several years ago — at a crossroad — on whether to get a fulltime corporate gig or staying out on my own, as a MOSO. Well, my issue was really about how I could successfully do both. I don’t believe you have to choose one over the other (that’s my opinion), until you HAVE to REALLY make a choice. Sometimes life just throws you that curve ball, right?

On the other side of that, I’ve got many MOSO friends who hold down careers (the 9to5 entrepreneur) while they pursue their passions. I believe that your full-time work should be your passion as well.  What Beth and Office Angels have put together in this program is awesome, and at the many crossroads you’ll face in life, it’s really good to know that you can WORK YOUR PASSION.

  • Do you jump out of bed when the alarm clock goes off, knowing the day holds adventure, challenge and satisfaction?
  •  Did you know that 80% of adults working in large organizations say they’re not using their strengths in their everyday jobs?
  •  Why is it that the longer an employee stays with an organization and the higher he climbs the traditional  corporate ladder, the less likely he is to strongly agree that he is playing to his strengths?

Forget what “everyone” is saying about the job market and global recession. Now is the time to _nd your dream job even if you have to switch careers to do it.

  1.  Discover what you were truly meant to do and where you were meant to do it
  2. Create a customized resume and cover letter that will set you apart from other candidates
  3. Identify target-rich posting sites
  4. Present a professionally packaged image
  5. Master the interviewing process
  6. Negotiate the perfect offer
  7. Execute follow-up activities to close the deal

Best of all, Beth supports you with unlimited telephone and email support until you land that dream job.

Don’t believe us—here’s what two of Beth’s former clients had to say:

I just landed my dream job! The smartest thing I did was hire Beth with Office Angels who re-wrote my resume and, even more importantly, coached me on what to do and what not to do to get my dream job. She helped me to know where to go to look and then she coached me on every aspect of the interviewing process. I felt extremely well prepared and competitivethanks to Beth.” ~Jan D. Geiger

Elizabeth D. Dowd, Career Coach
Working Your Passion – Office Angels beth@officeangels.us

Fuel Your Aspirations!
Monique

 

Building Critical Relationships for your business and personal BRAND

Hello Friends! Just thought I’d share this bit of info with ya. I don’t usually use this blog to share this kind of information but I’m making an exception today, because it could be a help for your business and personal BRAND as you move into the 2012 year.

I will be hosting a webinar tonight for the Global Institute for Enterprise Development this evening at 7:30PM ET. A subject near and dear to my heart: the importance of Cultivating Critical Connections — you’ll be hearing more about that in the future, I’m almost sure of it.

I discuss one of many methodologies for building critical relationships effectively and authentically. I like to call it the 3C-Technique Approach or Methodology, whatever terminology suits your fancy. Join me, if you can, and let me know your thoughts as we POLL what you believe is the best approach for you. Hey….can’t have too many approaches if they’re all working, right?

Topic: Building Critical Relationships for your business and personal BRAND “expansion”
Time: 7:30-8:30PM ET
Dial In: (512) 400-4809
Access Code: 5289870
Webinar Platform: http://www.anymeeting.com/theglobal1

BUSINESS ACUMEN

So on September 20th I posted on the MOSONATION.COM blog that I was taking  90 days to reassess, release, and rejuvenate (RRR). Sounds like a lot of time huh? Well it will be January 1, 2012 before you can even say boo. Well a week prior to that post I started reading a book called BUSINESS ACUMEN: Insights from the faculty and friends of the Coles College of Business by Sheb True, Ph.D. a professor from my alma mater Kennesaw State University. Oh my goodness — it’s so good. I’m not just saying that because I’m a graduate of their Executive MBA Program (yes I’m a proud OWL), but really — the articles in this book will cause you to think about how you conduct business in the area of Strategy & Leadership.

Though our creative thought process and business interactions may be different, small, micro and solo business owners still have to think like the large corporations who must consider organizational culture and the happiness of the individuals that work for them (even on project teams). I’m just tooting my horn about this book! Let me jus give you a little light into the articles I will be consuming from this book over the next 90 days:

Strategy:
1. Managing Happiness: Tapping the Power of the Individual, W. Ken Harmon
2. Organizational Character Equals Strategic Execution, George E. Manners, Jr.
3. It’s The Culture, Stupid, Dana R. Hermanson
4. Globalization of Financial Services for the Unbanked and Underbanked

I know you’re probably wondering why a creative like myself would enjoy these kinds of articles, well I’m the consummate learner and this stuff excites me (I’m a business nerd). Tons of other articles to read ……but you’ve got to get the book.

Leadership:
1. Lessons in Leading by Example, Billy Hayes
2. Leading Through Relationships, Jean Creech Avent
3. Entrepreneurship vs. Employment: Take Charge of Your Destiny as a Leader!, Harsha V. Agadi

I love reading about change and new concepts in business. Most importantly I like reading about what our young adults are learning in our Colleges & Universities these days, as it relates to business. Here’s the link to the netbook http://coles.kennesaw.edu/BusinessAcumen/index.htm if you’re interested in reading an article or two. Enjoy!

Fuel Your Aspirations!
Monique

90 Days to Reassess, Release, and Rejuvenate

Every year’s end, for the past 4 years, I’ve embarked on a 90 day passage to reassess, release, and rejuvenate (RRR) personally and in business. It is the time of year when I prepare for FINALS. In my quest to make sure that my day to day business is a success, I don’t typically take time to breathe and plan – because I’m moving at warp speed. During this time, I’m hoping that whatever I planned the year prior is still in effect – Isn’t that interesting?

Well, the time has come for FINALS and there are 3 R’s that help me to be exam ready!

Reassess:  In order for me to know if I’ve added value to my business or if I’ve added value to the customers and clients I serve – there is some reassessing to do, right? For example: As a micro/solo consulting business, with multiple clients, I like to reassess whether I’ve fairly given all my clients the amount of time and energy necessary to help expand their businesses. Am I giving my customers/clients more in USE value than in MONETARY value (I can do a whole blog post on that alone)? If you’re cheating your customer/clients in USE value, then increase is deferred. If there is an inkling of question in this area, then this is a great place to start the RRR process. This is the time to make necessary adjustments.

Release: When I get to a place where I’ve reassessed and made the necessary adjustments, and now I can RELEASE it’s a beautiful thing! However; I find that this can be very difficult for the driven, save the world centric, and most ambitious of business owners (I’m talking about me –ha). Releasing is a very emotional, mental, challenging process for me. For example: I want to save the world – no really, I do. I want to be the best marketer of my clients – with no mistakes, lapse in judgment, just perfect. On a more personally note – I want to save my family from all the distresses the world would bring, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Well, the reality of that is, I’m not GOD. So hence; I must RELEASE – there’s a lesson there that I need to learn real QUICK.

And then there is Rejuvenate: I like this! I need this. For example: MOSO NATION is all about fueling aspirations! It’s about the rejuvenate aspect of business. I know for sure that my micro/solo business would not have been in existence since 2001 if this weren’t an on-going process at the end of each year. I really look forward to rejuvenating and sharing that energy with others for the purpose of their own stick-to-itiveness. So after all that reassessing, releasing, and rejuvenating, January 1, 2012 looks really SWEET doesn’t it?

Take the 90 Day RRR Challenge with me. October 1  thru December 31.

Fuel Your Aspirations!

Monique
Chief Tribe Rambler

Intellectual Property: Protecting Your Trade Secrets

Most MOSOs don’t think of their companies as having intellectual property.  In their mind, intellectual property is reserved for those billion dollar technology companies like Google and Apple.  But thinking like that is not only incorrect, but could be costly.

Many MOSOs have valuable intellectual property called “trade secrets” within their business.  A trade secret is generally defined as information that (1) has economic value, (2) is not generally known, (3) is not readily ascertainable, and (4) is the subject of efforts to maintain their secrecy.  In plain English, that means it is a competitive asset of your business that you keep secret.  This can include recipes, formulas, techniques, customer lists, data, plans, and many other sorts of information.  Famous examples of trade secrets include Coca-Cola’s secret formula and Kentucky Fried Chicken’s 11 herbs and spices.

Some advantages of trade secrets are that they can be kept secret forever, there is no requirement for registration, they help build mystique, and many states have special laws for their protection.  However, if you don’t protect your trade secrets, the law will not protect them for you.  And far too often business owners neglect their trade secrets until it is too late.  A knowledgeable MOSO should be proactive and take the following steps to protect their trade secrets:

(1) identify the trade secrets that drive your business,

(2) keep access to the trade secrets on a need to know basis,

(3) make those who are trusted with trade secrets sign confidentiality agreements,

(4) educate employees as to what information is and isn’t okay to disclose to others, and

(5) make sure employees return information containing trade secrets upon termination and are made aware of their confidentiality obligations.   

If you do all this, you might just find that your company is a hotbed for intellectual property.

Fuel Your Aspirations!

John Monahon,
is an attorney with Trusted Counsel (Ashley), LLC,
a boutique corporate and technology law firm. 
You can find him on the web at www.trusted-counsel.com

5 must-haves for an effective business card

A business card is one of the first things you create to brand your business. But once printed, it’s probably the thing you think least about. Among certain people it’s still the most important, triggering a recollection of your and your business. I recently had to replace mine, and I visited several online printers. The selection and arrangement of type was easy enough, but the process got me thinking. What does each element on a card say about me and about my business? How can I create a card that people will keep? It’s quite simple really, and comes down to five things:

1. Legible type: How big is big enough. Frankly, your mother should be able to read it without squinting. The size depends on the font, but unless your customers are under the age of 14, you want something that can be read without glasses.

2. Simple design: Less is definitely more here. The less cluttered your card, the more easily people can find your contact information. If you can’t decide on a logo or design, don’t just pick something you like from a template. It’s likely hundreds have chosen and are using the same image. Select a simple, tasteful typeface in a color that stands out. If you think black is boring, opt for dark brown or blue, olive green, graphite. Choose a white or off-white background; either always conveys good taste.

3. Consistency: When you can, match the typeface and color on your card to those on your website and other printed communications, such as stationary or direct mail. Consistency is an element of brand building, and the repetition and continuity help reinforce your message and image.

4. Currency: I don’t mean money. I mean something that indicates you are current with the times. In addition to your address and phone, include your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Make room for a Q R (Quick Response) code to display contact information or open a webpage in a mobile phone’s browser.

5. A memorable message: Not so long ago, people and businesses left the backs of cards blank. Increasingly, this space is used for a tagline, a logo, or a message about the business. If you have a service-based business, you can use it for making appointments. Your card should be considered part of your advertising or even used to offer a promotion.

Finally, a few words about size and shape: There’s no evidence that sticking with the standard shape, a rectangle, will get a more positive response than, say, a square, an oval, or an oversize card. But that shape should say something about your business and what it stands for. If you have a gardening business, for example, then a leaf-shaped card makes sense. If you are in a creative field, such as an interior designer, a special paper or deckled edge communicates your artistry. Whatever you choose, make sure you have a reason to back it up. That’s part of branding, too.

(This article was also featured in the Special Edition Issue of MOSO MAG — Main Street Matters! August 2011)

Fuel Your Aspirations!

Charlotte Barnard
Senior creative management professional with proven experience creating content for major brands
charbarnard@yahoo.com
917-834-1778

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