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New Year, New Site

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Happy New Year, darlings! I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for following me on my journey so far. In case you’re not on my email list, you may have missed the memo that I have a new site: http://www.joyfullyj.co. I will no longer make posts from this site. Please check out my new site for my blog, information about my book (which launches in 10 days!), and my services for this year (so far). Again, thank you for your support, and I can’t wait to reach even higher heights this year! To make sure you’re always in the loop, join my weekly little notes.

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Do You Need a Change?

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Jobs can be a lot like dating. When you initially start dating someone, there’s usually a lot of excitement. The possibilities seem endless for your future. You feel like you’re on cloud nine. Then, it happens. The moment comes when you realize your significant other isn’t cutting the mustard anymore. You have bigger goals now, but your partner doesn’t. You still care for this person, but it just doesn’t seem like they are heading in the same direction as you anymore. You’re a new person now.

Jobs can have the same effect on you. Maybe you started off thinking “This is it! I have the job of my dreams.” Yet, after a while, you realize you would rather work in a different position fighting a slightly different problem. Maybe you no longer want to teach the students. Instead, you want to serve as the superintendent over the entire county. Maybe you no longer want to be the builder working for another company. Now you want to own a company that provides housing for battered women. Or maybe, you realize being the president of a company isn’t quite what you expected. The money is awesome, but you’re barely able to spend time with your family.

Whatever your reason, just know that it’s okay to let go of where you currently are. People change. Needs change. Values change. Change is a part of our growth. It is not something to fear, but to embrace. Sure, it can be scary to change. I mean, it’s a big world out there, and you don’t know which way to go sometimes. However, it would be a huge disservice to yourself and others if you decide to stay somewhere that is no longer meeting your needs and values. Don’t stay for the wrong reasons.

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So, what do you do if your values and needs change?

  1. Talk with your supervisor.

What can be accomplished by doing this? Well, your supervisor may be able to give you insights on another position within the company that may be better suited for you. He or she could recommend you for it based on your job performance so far.

If it’s a situation where you love the job, but it’s eating away at family time, your boss may be able to work out a schedule that is more family-friendly for everyone (you never know). Depending on your job, your boss could host a family-friendly event for the company or your boss could pitch the possibility of offering day care services to the CEO.

I know these options don’t work for everyone, but it never hurts to think a little outside the box. The guys and gals in charge are always looking for ways to retain good employees because let’s face it, satisfied employees don’t mind working hard for the company.

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  1. Go on the hunt.

If you’re not able to change the culture of your job to fit your values, then you may need to look for opportunities elsewhere. Before dashing to the job ads, make a list of what really matters to you. Do you want a job that has family-friendly hours? One that has opportunities to earn more? Maybe you want your company to help pay for your expenses as you consider going back to school to specialize in your craft. Maybe you value growth, and want the opportunity to move up in rank. Marinate on these things as you go on your quest to find something more tailored to the new you. If possible, try talking to people who already work where you’d like to, and see if the company’s values really do align with yours (just make sure you have reliable sources).

  1. Start up your own gig.

You know, if you can’t find somewhere that allows you to be the new you, you should consider starting up your own. Now, this option is not as easy as it seems, and it is not for everyone. Just know that you will still have to put in the work to make it work for you. If you truly feel led to create your own company, by all means, have at it! Do your research to see what licenses you may need and survey your area and target audience to see if there is a need for your services. There’s a lot that goes into starting a business, so make sure you do your homework before putting in that two week notice. You may want to also consider how you will fund your new venture. Trust me, the money is out there. You just have to find it!

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It can be pretty tough working for a company that doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t allow you to grow, and doesn’t align with your purpose. So many people stay with a company for all of the wrong reasons. We discussed some of those reasons in this series. One of the big reasons is fear. There is no guarantee your next job will live up to your standards. I have to be honest with you about that. Yet, you have to make the decision to do what’s best for you, and you have to hold yourself accountable for your decision. No more making excuses for why you can’t let go of your job. It’s time to decide once and for all what you really want to do. I’ll leave you with a quote from John Greathouse: “Never let the odds keep you from pursuing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.”

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Are You Suffering From the “Superhero Syndrome”?

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When I think of the word “superhero”, I think of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Wolverine (by far my fav out of all the X-Men), and so many others. What do all these superheroes have in common? They are influential. They are strong. They do what others around them can’t seem to do. That’s why they can save the day.

By now, you’re probably thinking, “Oh yeah, that’s so me at my job!” (smile) Well, my dear, you are super. You really are. Yet, what I failed to mention is that superheroes don’t have to be afraid of moving on once they’ve helped someone. A superhero doesn’t have to only save the people at Best Buy, the local elementary school, or even the hospital.

A superhero can take their assets and use them anywhere. Are you catching my drift? In this series, we’ve been talking about signs to know if it’s time to let go of your current job. One of the signs is if you feel afraid to leave because you do so much for your company, and you’re not sure if things will run as smoothly without you there.

I want you to listen to me. Are you listening? Okay. Good. Here’s what you need to know about being a superhero:

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Every mission has a time stamp.

I believe God gives each of us a mission to carry out, but guess what? Our mission has a time stamp. In Ecclesiastes 3, we learn there is a season for everything–the good, the bad, and the ugly! If you take a look around, you’ll notice this is true! Just as the Earth has seasons, so does your life. You were meant to grow, change, and touch the lives of many.

If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at something new, but the only reason you haven’t is because you’re afraid things may not prosper without you, I urge you to let go of this line of thinking! I promise it’s okay to give someone else a try at being super. Have you ever thought about what awesomeness you haven’t discovered yet because of your fear of letting go of your current job?

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Every mission has a lesson (or two)–for both you and the people you help.

With each mission, the person you help shouldn’t be the only one with a takeaway. You should have a takeaway, too. Maybe you will learn how to refine your leadership skills or maybe you will learn you need to improve in a particular area (hey, superheroes have weaknesses, too!). Whatever it is, take some piece of knowledge with you that can be used for future missions. Just remember the people you’ll leave behind can learn lessons with the help of other superheroes, too!

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Multiple Superheroes Can Co-Exist

I’ve learned over time that true superheroes realize they are around only to solve a part of the problem until the next superhero comes along. I was so afraid to leave behind my awesome students from my first teaching job. My husband’s job moved our family to Georgia, but I wasn’t ready to leave my little darlings (they were like my kids by that point).

I can remember sharing this with one of my counselor buddies there, and do you know what she said? “Oh don’t worry, kids are resilient.” I have to admit I felt a little of my superhero power leave me at that very moment! But you know what? She was right! My little darlings would still be able to thrive without me under the super awesomeness of the next teacher.

You see, sometimes we can forget we are not the Man Upstairs. Our job is to complete the mission so we can move on to the next. So, if you’ve been feeling that little tug telling you it’s time to move on, then do it. Let go. Take the lessons you’ve learned, and the memories you’ve made so you can continue being super at your next mission site, whether that be working for someone else or starting up your dream business. I promise, you can be super beyond your current job!

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Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side?

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I don’t know about you, but I used to be afraid of changing careers because there isn’t really a good way to tell if the grass will really be greener on the other side. I mean, the bills aren’t going to pay themselves if things don’t work out, right? So, do you know what I did? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I was too afraid to rock the boat, and I certainly didn’t want to put my family in a position where our needs would not be met. Was this the smartest decision I’ve ever made? Probably not. However, I did take what I learned from working as a teacher, and apply it to my business now.

If you’re feeling afraid to change careers, jobs, or pursue a business venture of your own, I want you to figure out why. What is it that is so scary? As I mentioned in our previous post in this series, testing out a new “vehicle” doesn’t mean your purpose has changed. So, I want you to dig deep and figure out what’s really going on. What’s holding you back? For me, a big part of it was because it was tough to leave a “secure” job. Yet, when you think about it, are we really able to say we have job security?

Let’s be real here, folks. Anything could happen. I’ve personally seen a business (in good standing, mind you) close unexpectedly because of issues between the owners. It was a few days before the New Year, and when the manager (my hubby) called to verify some information with the owners, he found out they decided to close their business for good. What a way to bring in the New Year! (Yeah, it was tough finding this out, y’all!)

So, what I’m saying is, don’t decide to stay somewhere you clearly don’t want to be just for the sake of “job security”. The cold, hard truth is that you will never know if the grass is truly greener on the other side unless you take some action to find out for yourself. Just remember: every job has pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide what you will and will not put up with.

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Well, what can you do if you’re still too scared to quit your job?

I’m so glad you asked, my dear. I have three things you can do if it still makes you hyperventilate just thinking about leaving your job.

  1. Stay where you are.

You always have the choice to stay exactly where you are and finish out your career with your current place of employment (provided nothing drastic happens, right?). However, if you do decide to go this route, I don’t feel you are justified in complaining anymore about how much you dislike your job. If you’re not willing to change the problem, then you can’t really expect things to be different for you. (Sorry guys, but I had to give a little tough love!)

  1. Do volunteer work at a place that aligns with your passions or interests.

If you’re not quite ready to quit your job, there are other things you can do. Depending on your interests, you could do some volunteer work in that particular field. For example, if your purpose is to help shape the growth of children, you could volunteer to work with the children’s ministry at your church or you can volunteer to do tutoring at a local school in your community. This way, you’re still able to maintain that salary you want, and still have an outlet to fulfill your purpose.

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  1. Start a side hobby / hustle.

Maybe you have a business venture you’ve just been dying to try, but don’t want to leave your job just yet to do it. Not a problem. You could test the waters by doing what you love on the side before diving in. Want to start your own catering business? Offer your services to your church, host parties in your home, or offer to cater food to teachers at a local school. You can do services pro bono initially to gain exposure or you can charge right away—it’s up to you, my dear. Just make sure you get those client testimonies (these will come in handy when you begin marketing yourself)!

If you see that you’re making more money on the side than you’re bringing in from your main gig, then you will need to decide where you want to go from there. (If you want more information on how to start a side business, you should totally check out my girl Natasha ‘Tottie’ Weston’s best-selling book, 10 Effective Ways to Start Your Business with 0 Dollars. No affiliate, just an honest opinion after reading her book myself!)

So, there you have it. Will you ever know if the grass is really greener on the other side? Probably not if you don’t try it. (Don’t just take Uncle Bob’s word, okay?) Even though you may be afraid, I just want you to know that you are more than qualified to succeed in any area you choose. If you want to change jobs, do it. If you want to try a new career, do it. If you want to get your entrepreneur skills going, have at it! Just make sure that whatever you do, it should align with your purpose.

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Is Wanting More a Bad Thing?

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I get it. I really do. I’ve laid in my bed staring at the ceiling as I pondered if this is really all there is to life. I can remember getting super fed up one day and I even looked at my husband and asked him if this is how life was meant to be: wake up, take kids to school, go to work, come home, help kids with homework, eat dinner, bathe and put kids to bed, get myself ready for bed, and do it all over again the next day. I don’t know about you, but this wasn’t working for me.

Now before you start calling me ungrateful, just know that I was truly grateful for my job. I mean, who else can say they know the joy of seeing the light bulb go off when a child finally understands a concept that’s been giving them a kick in the rear end? Teaching truly taught me a lot about life. However, I reached a point where I felt like it was time to do something else that still aligned with my purpose.

You see, I’ve learned that although your purpose stays the same, the vehicle you use to fulfill your purpose may change. Just because you may have been designed to empower others to reach their goals and live a life of abundance doesn’t mean you have to be a doctor, counselor, teacher, or whatever for forever. I’ve learned my role can change as I grow on my journey. And guess what? So can yours.

If you’ve been waking up feeling like there’s gotta be something more to life than where you are, chances are you really may not be operating in your purpose or the right vehicle to help you fulfill your purpose. If you’ve done the self-check test, and you’ve concluded that you’re not just being negative and one-sided, then I encourage you to explore what other options you can take at this point. Call me crazy, but I believe a job is more enjoyable if it’s what you were meant to do!

When searching for the right vehicle, people use various criteria. Some say all you need is a job that pays the bills. Some say, go to college so you can get a degree in a high-paying field. Yet, in my experience, money does not make up for the emptiness. This is why it’s not strange to see someone who makes a 6 figure salary quit to do something that doesn’t compare (financially speaking) to their previous job. Everyone is different. (If you need help finding your purpose, I created a pretty cool editable worksheet just to help you!)

Although some would rather just “go with the flow”, I can’t. I want to make a difference in this world. I also want to leave behind a legacy that I’m proud of. I want the same for you. I don’t want you to continue to feel badly for wanting to let go and move on to a new career or position. Wanting more out of life isn’t a bad thing. Not going after the life you want is.

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Is it You or Your Job?

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Have you ever accepted a job because you saw yourself growing professionally and climbing up the corporate ladder? If I asked you how much growth you’ve experienced since being there, hopefully you don’t feel inclined to shrug your shoulders and look sheepishly at your shoes! Now, before we jump to conclusions, it’s only fair that we explore why you (think you) haven’t experienced much growth. Let’s take a look at these questions to see where you fall.

  1. Has your job mandated professional development within the past 6 months?

Things can change so quickly from one day to the next. For this reason, companies should provide some form of professional development. These trainings can help with managing problems effectively, improving leadership skills, or even tips for customer care management. I would be wary of a company that did not provide mandatory professional development once or twice per year. Professional development should be an opportunity to foster growth and is a way to ensure all staff is knowledgeable of the company’s expectations and the direction the company is heading towards.

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  1. Has your job offered optional professional within the past 6 months?

As a former teacher, there were always several forms of optional professional development that catered to various topics, including technology and best classroom management practices. Yet, every profession may not do this. In these cases, you may need to search for workshops in your area that may offer trainings that could help you personally or professionally. Should you have to do this? That’s debatable. Yet, it does show you know how to take initiative! This could be useful for your current or future job (or even a business venture of your own!).

  1. If yes to either of the above questions, did you attend any?

 The big thing here is that I don’t want you to say you have low to no growth if you chose not to take advantage of any resources offered through your job or a nearby facility. I’m all about honesty—even if it’s a bit of tough love, my dear!

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  1. What did you learn from these trainings?

 If you attended any professional development opportunities, you should have had a takeaway from all of them. You need something that can make your professional life better (and it’s a plus if it touches you personally, too!). If the answer is honestly “no, I didn’t learn a darn thing”, then you may need to evaluate if you’ve outgrown your current position.  The worst thing is to stay somewhere out of comfort, and avoid the chance to increase your knowledge and spread your wings a bit.

  1. How can you apply what you learned?

It’s one thing to learn something, and another to apply it. Do you have opportunities to apply the new skills you’ve learned? If not, how will you know if you really learned anything? Or if the skills are truly beneficial to you? To me, it is not enough to merely be filled with knowledge, skills, and expertise. You need to use what you have to learn and grow.

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So, what about you? Is your current job really offering you limited to no opportunities for growth? Are you destined to be in the same position and pay scale with no opportunities for advancement? If you’re not happy about the answers you just gave, then I advise you to evaluate where you need to go from here. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Heck, even the next two or three years! Once you know the answer, make an action plan, and take intentional steps to get there!

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5 Signs It’s Time to Let Go

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If you’re like me, you may have at some time reached a point where you were simply fed up with your current state of being. The once glorious and fulfilling lifestyle you once had has vanished. You wake up dreading to go to work more than being happy about it. You may have even become unusually frustrated or irritated.

It is quite possible that you may not be walking in your purpose. What do I mean by that? Well, when you are walking in your purpose, you are able to willingly hang in there even during the tough times because you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your why is strong enough to overshadow the challenges you face. Yet, when you are continuously in a state of unhappiness with your career choice, then it’s time to evaluate if it’s time to let go.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not endorsing walking out of your job today if you have no plan of what to do next. However, I do believe it would be worth your while to instead consider what alternatives you have or how you can use your experiences to propel you into your true calling in life.

Let’s talk about 5 signs that it’s time to let go of your current job.

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  1. You are experiencing minimal or no growth.

I don’t know about you, but I like to be in a place where I am growing and learning. I don’t want to be in the exact place I’m at now five years down the road. I need to have some significant growth occurring, whether it’s in leadership, confidence or a particular skill set.

  1. You think there has to be more to life than your present circumstances.

We all experience tough days in our profession. I mean, who hasn’t had the day where you’ve been struggling to meet a deadline, and then you get an email stating your boss is calling yet another mandatory meeting? Yet, when you reach the point where you are constantly left feeling unsatisfied, unimportant and unfulfilled, you may need to question if you’re doing what you were meant to do.

  1. You are afraid to explore unchartered territory.

Maybe you’re the type who already knows you should be doing something else. You may even know exactly what that something else is (I see you nodding your head). Yet, you sit and do nothing because there is no guarantee that the grass will actually be greener on the other side. You’d rather sit back and collect checks because you’ve put in your time with this company, and you’re afraid to start fresh somewhere else (It’s okay, friend. This used to be me, too.).

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  1. You are afraid of not being there for friends and loved ones.

 You see yourself as a superhero—and you probably are. You’re the one people come to for advice. You’re the one people call when they can’t figure something out. You’re the one who knows what to do when the grits hits the fan. If you move on, who’s going to keep things going? Will your peeps really be able to move on successfully without you?! *gasp!

  1. Your values have changed.

 You’ve been with this company for a few years now. They may have given you your first real break. Yet, you realize you are no longer the same person that they hired. You want more out of life, and you feel like you’re settling by staying where you are. You’d hate to feel disloyal, but you really think it’s time to go. Decisions, decisions. (It’s okay if you’re twiddling your thumbs. I’ve been there, too!)

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If any of these signs describes you, then I want you to hang on to your seat. During this series, we’re going to talk about each of these signs in detail and provide actionable tips you can take to help you make an informed decision. Which sign describes you?

P. S. Because I care so much about you, why don’t you grab this free worksheet to help you until our next post?

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Don’t Wait Until 2016 to Do This

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Since I was a little girl, my grandmother has always dedicated a room in her home to be  “The White Room”. Inside this room, everything is mainly white. It looks like an antique dining room. There’s a beautiful, white, lacy tablecloth, white china with gold trim, white drapery, white candles, white carpet, etc. I mean, really it’s beautiful. But here’s the thing: no one ever uses that room. It is simply sitting there, waiting to be dusted every blue moon.

If we’re not careful, we will do the same thing with the gifts and talents inside of us. Our gifts and talents will remain amazing and beautiful, but unused. No one will ever know its value or potential if we don’t use them! We may “dust them off” every now and again in the comfort of our home, but how is that going to help anyone else?

I’m a firm believer that we were all given a purpose and a set of gifts and talents to help us fulfill that purpose. I also believe that our gifts and talents were given to us to help others. We were not made to be selfish, but to serve.

A friend of mine actually reminded me of this concept earlier this year. He kept telling me about the parable in Matthew 25:14-30 where a master gave a certain amount of talents (money) to three of his servants. Everyone doubled what was given unto them except one servant. Instead, he hid his out of fear. This is NOT what we were intended to do with our gifts and talents! I must admit, although I was using some of my gifts, I definitely was hiding others! Right then, I decided to make a change and start using those hidden gifts.

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So,  my question is, what talents and gifts have YOU been hiding away in your “white room”? Are you going to be like the servants who doubled their gifts? Or are you going to continue to hide yours in fear? I challenge you to tap into those talents and gifts, and start walking in your purpose. Make a commitment to do one thing EVERY DAY that helps you fulfill your purpose. Don’t just make the commitment though…you have to actually FOLLOW THROUGH on your commitment.

Don’t think you can do it alone? I’ve got you covered! I’m actually hosting a 5 day Twitter challenge called #thewhiteroomchallenge. If you’re serious about wanting to tap into your unused gifts or talents, then this is the challenge for you! In this challenge, you’re going to identify your gifts, discover what’s been stopping you from using them so far, create a kick butt plan to be proactive, and actually take the first step in using your action plan. I’ll send an email each day detailing what you need to do. Once you’ve completed the task, I’d like for you to tweet about it using our hashtag #thewhiteroomchallenge. I also created a private Facebook group so you can communicate with others in the challenge and help motivate and encourage each other.

If this sounds like the challenge for you, then come join us! The challenge runs from November 30 – December 4. Don’t wait until the new year to make a change. Do it today! I can’t wait to see you get started on a new journey! 🙂

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Why Systems Matter to Your Business

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This is the last post in this series on how to launch a successful business. We cannot conclude this series without exploring one common reason many entrepreneurs give for the success of their business, which is using appropriate systems to manage and organize an organization. As a business grows, it will be more difficult to maintain without the proper use of effective systems, which include planners, organizers, or even software.

Each business is unique. If you are considering launching a business, remember that although it may take time to find the best systems that work for you, you must start somewhere! Without systems in place, even a million dollar business idea can crumble. For help on which kind of systems to consider, try doing a google search or speaking directly with someone in an industry you would like to explore.

Let’s take a look at how business woman Dorian Jeffcoat created two businesses, and how she manages both.

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  1. What do you do?

I own a home care staffing agency (Palmetto Family Homecare) and owner of an Event Planning Firm (SIM Concierge Events & Design)

  1. How did you get started?

Palmetto Family Homecare:

While working with individuals diagnosed with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig Disease I realized that not many people knew what the disease was and how different the care was when dealing with someone with this specific disease.  While working at a local nonprofit I conducted many community education in-services about the disease and how the care should be to many homecare providers across the state of SC.  I realized that there was a “Gap” within the homecare industry and decided to fill it.

Palmetto Family Homecare is a non-medical homecare provider that specializes in Neurological Disorder (ALS, MS, Parkinson, Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury) and Autism Care. I researched different agencies within the area, looked at what they offered, what is/isn’t working, and how we (Palmetto) will be different from all of the other agencies within area.  We developed our business plan, created a marketing plan, services to provide, target population and 5-10yr forecast.

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SIM Concierge Events & Design:

My brother went overseas as a contractor for a year and I helped him with many of his personal affairs, purchasing a home, getting his children settled with school, running errands…you name it I did it.  I felt as if I was working for the president and more as a personal assistant.  My parents always had us involved in the church and community whether it was doing administrative work, volunteering in the community, running errands for the senior community or putting on family/community events we did everything.

The kicker for me was working with…for my brother and later decided to give a shot at starting a Concierge and Event Planning business.  I originally started it with my sisters and making it a family business.  SIM stands for (Sisters in Motion) as we are always in motion doing something whether it’s running errands, planning an event or working on a project for someone else.  I researched the area and determining whether there was a need, determined the type of services to offer, pricing, target population and came up with a marketing plan.

  1. What systems do you have in place to help you run your business efficiently?

My partner and I bring various skills and quality to the business which definitely offset one another and brings a great balance to running our business effectively.  Organization, Communication, Research, Creativity and staying on task are huge pieces to how we run our business.

  1. How do you stay organized?

I have multiple calendars that I utilize.  I have so many things going on that I have to utilize them.  Everything is connected to my phone, tablet and computer with alerts, reminders and tasks going off almost every 30 minutes to an hour.  I LOVE “to-do” list because it allows me to see how my days are set-up, what needs to be done and what’s been accomplished.  When I’m able to check everything off of my list I feel GREAT!!!

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  1. What does a typical day look like for you? How do you prepare for it?

My day always starts at 5am.  The first 30 minutes-hour belongs to me praying, reading my devotional and recapping how my day is going to go.  I get my boys (7yr old son and 9yr old nephew) up and ready for school, drop them off by 7:05am and I head to the office.  Once I get to the office I am running non-stop until 4:30pm when I head to pick the boys up from school.

Once I’m settled at home after everyone is down for bed, I review how my day has gone, what needs to be carried over for tomorrow, but if anything I thank God for the talents, opportunities and people in which he has put in my path.  At night is my best “thinking time” because everything is quiet and it’s just me and God.  During this time, many of my new ideas and venture come about.

My family and friends laugh at me because my mind is always racing with new and exciting projects or business ventures to add to my list or ways of improving my current businesses or how to create an opportunity for someone else in need…so I’m always thinking of the next best thing that can benefit everyone.

  1. What has been the most effective way to communicate with your clients and associates?

Most effective for me is face-to-face and email.

  1. How do you define “success”?

Success to me is of course doing the “Will of God” in which he has called upon our lives to do.  Success is being able to accomplish the goals in which you have set for yourself and being able to say at the end of the day “I achieved my goal, someone else was able to benefit from my doings and I was able to be a blessing to someone else throughout the process”.  Success is having an overwhelming feel of happiness and peace.

success

  1. Describe a time when you feel you were most successful in your business.

I felt very successful when I was able to actually start both of my businesses, before even obtaining the first dollar.  I was successful because I completed a goal (starting a business) that I had set for myself and many people have been able to benefit from my services.  The little things that we may do, is a world of difference to someone else.  Just by being a listening ear, a resource and/or pointing them in a direction that will help alleviate some of their worries or stress makes me feel great…I was able to help!

  1. What keeps you motivated when you want to give up?

Prayer, family and knowing that giving up is NOT an option, and knowing that this was designed for my life.

  1. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Don’t be afraid to take that LEAP of FAITH!  Trust God and know that if he makes a way, puts the tools, resources and opportunity before you…it’s for YOU!  We are the only ones that can stop ourselves…we are destined for greatness and the time is now!  Do your research, don’t be afraid to ask questions, be a RISK TAKER, there will be some rough days, but don’t get discouraged…dust yourself off…learn from it and keep moving! One of my favorite sayings from my mentor…”Choose a Job You Love and You Will NEVER Work a Day in Your Life.”  I Love What I’m Doing…

 Dorian J.

 Contact Information:

Palmetto Family Homecare (843) 323-4270

www.palmettofamilyhomecare.com

www.facebook.com/palmettofamilyhomecare

SIM Concierge Events & Design (843) 608-1495

www.simconciergeevents.com

www.facebook.com/simconciergeeventssc

www.instagram.com/simllc_events

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, try out the tips given to you in this entire series, and let me know how it goes for you! I can’t wait to hear about your journey! 🙂

For weekly success tips, click here.

 

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The Secret Sauce of Any Business

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Launching your own business is a ton of work. There’s so much to think about. You have your business plan, the task of creating a user-friendly website, marketing, networking, creating content, the list goes on and on. For the new or aspiring entrepreneur, this whole process can be quite overwhelming.

Yet, there is a “secret sauce” ingredient that every successful business should have. That ingredient is “fun”. Yes, fun. Most of us didn’t get out of our regular 9 to 5 just to work ourselves to death in our business. We got out because we want freedom, the freedom to work and create the lifestyle we’ve always dreamed of. That lifestyle is one in which work and fun work cohesively.

In today’s post, we will learn how entrepreneur Noel Lorenzana incorporates fun into his business, as well as his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

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  1. Describe what you do and why you chose that role.

My educational background is in accounting. I’ve always known that I was naturally oriented towards business and I figured that accounting would help towards that end. My father was also an accountant, so that probably played some influence as well.

  1. How did you get started? What specific steps did you take?

Years back I was an avid social dancer for several years (ballroom, salsa, swing, etc.) I was immersed in the social dance and amateur competitive dance scene for several years and I was actually pretty good. I happened to meet my wife through dancing and as a result of getting married and having kids, I had to hang up my dance shoes.

At this time, I had accumulated a large amount of instructional dance DVDs along the way, which helped me immensely with my dance education. Wondering what to do with all the instructional dance DVDs, I thought about selling them on ebay, but didn’t think that would recoup much of my cost. Since no one had created a premier online destination to purchase instructional dance DVDs, I had the idea to create one. But for one reason or another decided not to go that route.

Sometimes you start out in one direction, but have to “pivot” in another direction that you realize is more lucrative. One morning I realized the better plan was to just to create a service for dancers to be able to rent instructional dance DVDs using an online service. Like Netflix, but exclusively for dance. I found a reputable web designer who had experience with building the type of site needed and purchased the DVDs. That was in 2010 and the site is http://www.danceflix.com.

  1. What makes you different from others in your niche?

To date we are the only instructional dance DVD rental site that is exclusive to instructional dance. Our service is only available in the United States and physical DVDs are sent by U.S. Mail. There are sites that offer instructional dance vidoes via online streaming, but with those you are often limited to one set of instructors and limited styles of dance. With DanceFlix.com, you can rent thousands of dance related and instructional dance DVDs in all the popular dance styles, from Tango, Foxtrot, Waltz, Salsa, Swing, Bachata, Zouk, Zumba and much more. You also get to choose from many different professional dance instructors. Variety is key with learning to dance and with DanceFlix.com you can sample thousands of titles before deciding on which ones you like best.

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  1. How do you balance the stresses of work and family?

It’s a challenge, but for me, my family comes first. My business ventures including DanceFlix.com invariably get their needed attention and the work gets done.

  1. What kinds of self-care activities do you engage in?

I enjoy spending time with my two young boys … playing, going to parks, strolls, walks in the forest preserve. When possible I do like to stay physically active with physical fitness and biking.

  1. How important do you think it is to build relationships with (potential) clients?

It’s very important. In any online related business, it’s vital for customers to know that there is an actual caring physical human being on the other end of the transaction. Our site is completely automated so unless there is a question or a problem, we may never directly communicate with our customer. When we do have the opportunity, we try to always connect with our customers and let them know that we value them as a customer. It’s not always easy to do that, but we make a conscious effort to be personal and caring when communicating with our customers.

  1. How do you incorporate “fun” into your business?

Dancing is so much fun! I like going to local dance events to meet new people and introduce them to DanceFlix.com. I like to take dance breaks too 🙂

  1. What is the best memory you have of how you were able to have fun while doing your business?

So one day while we were working, the song Uptown Funk starts playing loudly. A bunch of us just got up and started dancing which ended up into a synchronized line dance for the rest of the song. It was so much fun!! I wish we had a video of it. It would have gone viral for sure 😉

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  1. What do you wish you knew before beginning the entrepreneur journey?

I guess I would have liked to have known in advance the amount of work it would take to launch the business. I think anyone will naturally understimate the amount of work that it takes to launch a business venture, but if it is a good, solid plan then the entreprenuer will naturally stay motivated and have ample energy to work until their goal is accomplished.

  1. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Sometimes you have to commit first without knowing exactly how you are going to get to your destination. For the determined individual, the answers seem to present themselves and through hard work, opportunites happen. For example, when first starting on the entrepreneurial journey for DanceFlix.com, the domain name was already registered by someone else. I had originally planned to host the site at DanzFlix.com, which was not my first choice, but I thought I could still make it work. Most domain name investors want thousands of dollars for their domains (if they are even willing to sell it) so I was not optimistic in obtaining it. I contacted the owner anyway and surprisingly was able to purchase it for only a few hundred dollars. That was a big win for us. At this point, I knew without a doubt my plan would succeed. One other bit of advice is that challenges are often hidden opportunities.

noel lorenzana

For more information about Noel Lorenzana, check out his blog, www.noelblorenzana.com. You can also view his site at www.danceflix.com or contact him at PO Box 1449, Morton Grove, IL 60053. Send him an email at info@danceflix.com.

Want to learn more about Danceflix? Check out Noel’s video explanation of his company here.

Interested in trying out Noel’s Danceflix service? Just go to danceflix.com and type in “jumpstart” (no quotations) into the promo section for 50% off of your first month! 🙂

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