Stop Waiting!

Two women began their journey to become successful fashion entrepreneurs at the same time, attending the same university, networking in the same circles, and having access to the same resources. After graduation one sent resumes to various clothing and fashion corporations seeking employment. She mailed, e-mailed, and faxed then waited for a response. The other also sent resumes seeking employment but did not solely wait for a response. While waiting she also designed, cut, and sewed together original fashions that she then took to local boutique in an effort to get them on the rack and noticed by consumers. What she did not sell to boutiques she promoted on social media and sold online and out the trunk of her car. She went to the local office supply store and purchased paper for letterhead and business cards. She did what she could with what she had to get where she wanted to go while waiting for her resume to be noticed. Soon her finances looked up. Her fashions were seen all over town and abroad. Her name became known among the up-and-coming in the fashion world and she received more responses then she ever imagined. Eventually, the first woman was able to get an entry level job with a clothing company and progress but never saw the success of her former college classmate.

GET THIS!  Standing still gets you nowhere.  Really, what are you waiting for? We have been programmed to believe we have to do what we can to get a job. We work very hard to fulfill someone else’s dream. The person who owns the company you work for has fulfilled his or her dream of being a successful entrepreneur, why can’t you. The person who does your hair is living their dream of owning a salon, why can’t you. The person who educates your children is succeeding in walking in their purpose of educating and empowering others, why don’t you.

Everyday you should be doing something to get you closer to achieving your purpose and fulfilling your dreams. That doesn’t always look like business ownership for everyone; no doubt.  It is about living your dream and doing the one thing you were created to do. That is your purpose. While you are waiting for something to happen, looking for a sign, or waiting for the right time – do something. Order some business cards with the title you want, not the one you have. Register your business name so the possibilities become real to you. Trust and invest in yourself. Walk in your success before you can see it. If you do not do something and move forward, you are guaranteed one thing – NOT to reach your goal.

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Every Day, One Thing

Sexy moms are often busy moms. We are public transportation shuttling our children and their friends from activity to activity, chefs able to create full buffets on a budget of leftovers and air, and even medical personnel taking care of wounds and wiping noses. It is easy to look up and years have passed without accomplishing our personal goals or aspirations. That book goes unwritten. Fitness goals go unmet. Businesses go unopened.

There are 24 hours in a day. There are 365 of those days in a year and every four years (leap year) we get an extra day to help make things happen. If we took an honest look at how we spend our day we would have to admit there is more than enough time to put toward living our personal passion and achieving our goals.

I am one of those fanatics that believe doing is more important than sleeping. Each day I am learning more how to find balance. Until I reach that sweet spot in life I am going to work as hard (if not harder) for my dreams as I am willing to working a job that fulfills someone else’s dream.  I do not expect everyone to think exactly like me but you must be willing to do something –just one thing – everyday toward your goal.Whether you print out business license apps today then complete them tomorrow, write one page of your book a day, or finish one section of your business plan each day, if you make the time to do one thing each and every day toward completing your goal your efforts will yield success.

Hockey star, Wayne Gretzky, said it best when he said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” If you do nothing, you are guaranteed to have no results. Start the ball rolling. If you started and life took over so you stopped, then start again. Schedule the time through an alert on your phone. Wake up 15 minutes early or go to bed 15 minutes late. Do what you need to do. Make time for you to do one thing every day. Invest in one of the most important women in the world – You.

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How to Make a Business Vision Board

I have several girl friends that are into this vision board thing. All around their offices and homes are poster boards and foam core displays of magazine ads, collages and pictures of random people doing what they, one day, want to do. I have tried to understand their enthusiasm over spending countless hours searching for the right picture to express their desires, and mounting them like a fine piece of art. I would much rather spend my time actually working toward making those things a reality that visualizing myself living them through random pictures and quotes. Maybe I could see it for material things like a picture of the house I want or the car I want or maybe my dream vacation. But for my business, I have business plans, marketing strategies, benchmarks and tasks lists to compile. How would a business vision board work?

Just in case this is an unfamiliar area for you too, let me explain. Vision boards are a visual representation of your goals and desires. They can be made many different ways, but their main purpose is to help you see, and therefore feel, how you want to feel when your goals are ultimately achieved. Many believe the Law of Attraction plays a role in this process. By simply putting your desires out there and believing in them, you use the power of your mind to translate whatever is in your thoughts and materialize them into reality.

I believe words give life and belief without action produces nothing, so I speak it and then put in the work. Believe me, I put in a lot of hard work so if there is a way to work smarter and not harder, I am open to it. So I have come up with a Business Vision Board that I am hoping you will try with me. It is actually more a visual representation of a business plan. Every business, no mater how large or small, should have a detailed vision of where they are going and how they are getting there. Since writing such an intricate document is one of the most challenging tasks for a business owner and typically goes undone, this Business Vision Board will serve to both help you visualize your goals like a typical vision board, and provide your focused benchmarks and tasks you can work into your business plan.

  • Break your board into sections labeled “1-Year,” “3-Years”, & “5-Years.” If there is space for a fourth section label it “SUCCESS.” That will encompass whatever your ultimate definition of success would look like to you for your business.
  • Within each year should be pictures of your product, service, you (or someone doing what you want) in action according to where it/you want to be at that time. If you want to be a speaker, for example,  in year 1 you may have a picture of you speaking to a small audience. In year 3 your picture may be of you at a specific conference you desire. For year 5, you may see yourself with a television show. Your Success section may have you speaking internationally with a 3-book deal and a successful consulting business.
  • In addition to the pictures, place post-its or small memo pad papers in each section. There you will write specific tasks (phone calls, get logo, build website, attend training, finish school, etc.) you will need to accomplish within that timeframe. If you can, give specific benchmarks. You may write, “Finish 1st draft of book by May.” You can translate this timeline to your business plan, especially if funding will be needed.
  • Utilize the inspiration of others. I love reading the autobiographies of successful people. Why reinvent the wheel? I can gleam from their experiences and use their words for inspiration. You can too. Put your favorite, most inspiring quotes on post-its and include them on your board.
  • Stay focused and dream big. The purpose of the timeline is to keep you progressing and focused on building a strong foundation for the long term success of your business so stay focused. However, do not develop tunnel-vision until you can only define your success by what others have accomplished. Dream BIG. If there is no picture available for where you ultimately see your business, draw one. We are going to have this vision board, the visualizing our success, and the law of attraction work in combination with our vision and our faith to WIN.
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Are You a Boss B****?

A Sexy Mom understands her responsibility to leave a legacy for her children. It is not solely about leaving material things like houses or money in the bank. Those things will definitely help. But that legacy should also include a good name, a circle of influence, and ownership of something that will bring perpetual success and resources for generations. Yet, for some reason, the definition of a “boss” has been redefined by some women to include flossing labels, materialism, and messy promiscuity all under the guise of feminist strength, independence and self-reliance.

I DO NOT want my daughter thinking lyrics like those in Nicki Minaj’s song, “Boss A** B****,” is what a successful woman entrepreneur (or a boss) truly is. I am the example before her of a woman and mother who is working hard to leave a legacy of ownership and open doors so she can just walk into because of the value attached to her name and all it means. Moms must be the example for our children of how to be responsible, purpose-filled, business-owners and change-makers. It starts with a radical, bold, and unapologetic change of how we think about our businesses and what we will allow to affect and influence our legacy. What are your thoughts about what Damon Dash says about the mentality of a boss?

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Your Business: It’s a Family Affair

Whether you are mom, wife, sister, aunt, or caring neighbor, there are many facets of YOU, all requiring your attention. The decision to become an entrepreneur only increased your work load. In addition to your usual titles and tasks you are owner, employee, receptionist, accountant, IT professional, and more. To say you are a “multi-tasker” would be an understatement. You are able to do each job, but are you able to perform them effectively, efficiently, and successfully? Are you growing and building your business or barely functioning and holding on in the midst of the chaos? If you are going it alone, chances are you are just holding on. One way to grow your business and ensure your success is by building your team.

Your first team members should always be those closest to you; your family. Where spouses are concerned, involvement is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship. The trails of business are littered with the carcasses of failed marriages due to the growth of one spouse over another or emotional distance created by a shift in focus. Including your spouse in the building and managing of your business helps preserve the emotional connection of the relationship, instills accountability, and allows him to tap into his gifts and talents as you have yours. If you are connected to him and he is connected to your business he will have a vested interest in securing its success.

Being an entrepreneur and a mom has spawned the catch phrase mompreneur and its popularity created more accepting professional environments for parent and child. While some advances have been made, the daily challenges of being a mom and businesswoman remain. You have to balance your schedule with their schedule, give them attention when the business needs attention, feed and nurture them to grow and feed and nurture your business so it grows as well. Similar to how, if married, you involved your husband in the operating of your business is how you must approach the issue of children.

This is a scary concept because you have seen how your kids break up their toys and you do not want them to do that with yours. Remember the biblical principle of training up a child to prepare them for their future. We tend to apply that solely to their spiritual development. In fact we must train them up in finances, time management, communications, phone etiquette, organization, promotion, and several other areas that, coincidently, are areas you need assistance with in your business.

By working with and for you, your child can learn skills and values like being rewarded for hard work. For the hour or two you have a meeting where he/she is a perfect assistant, you immediately reward them with an hour or two doing their favorite activity or by going to their favorite spot. For every minute they are able to sit quietly while you are on the phone they get a quarter or dollar toward that must-have video game. Even for every flier they walk through the neighborhood distributing there is a reward. For every bag they help you carry, vendor table or event they help you run, there is a reward.

With youth come young bodies capable of moving quickly and working hard. Youth also brings sharp minds able to problem-solve and support you in understanding new technologies, for example. Young people offer insight into niche markets and emerging trends. By working with your children rather than seeing them as a distraction or chore, you are filling some of your labor voids while training and preparing them to succeed in business and life as adults.

Though you are the business owner, you cannot go it alone. Your success directly impacts the success and prosperity of your household and family. Recognize that your business is not just YOUR business. It is a family affair.

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Are You Sleeping With “The Enemy”?

I remember when I wanted to start my business Nadine Renee Naturals.  My husband wasn’t fully convinced that all this “natural stuff” actually worked.  It wasn’t until I made a believer of him, but using the natural remedies, that he changed his mind.  The more I made, and exposed him to, the more he was convinced.  He is fully convinced now, and supports my career choice.  When I decided to start SexyMomsRock with Denise, he was supportive once again.  He loved the idea, and thought women would respond well to such a positive business.

Thankfully, I haven’t had to battle with my husband about supporting my business goals.  While we both continue to maintain two completely different viewpoints of business, we continue to support each other, even through the discouraged days.  Please believe that there are days when you do feel discouraged, and you don’t want someone around you that would dump on you during those days.  You want to be with someone who can encourage you on those days, and allow you to vent.

So what happens when the person you’re with is rooting for your failure? What happens when they want to be in control, and can’t bear to see your business or vision thrive?  What happens when their insecurities make them say things so hurtful that you second guess the choices you’ve made, and the vision only you can see?

Insecurity can cause people to turn on you quick.  Insecurity can cause a spouse, or significant other to become someone unrecognizable.  Chances are, if this rings a bell with your mate, you’ve already seen the warning signs long before you showed them you wanted to go forward in your career or business.  These are warning signs you probably chose to ignore, or thought you could “fix”.  In only a few cases is this something that only arises when the situation arises.

So what do you do?  There are only a few things you can do in this situation.

1) Counseling: You can do couples counseling to find the root of the problem, and to see if this behavior can be changed.  Unfortunately…or fortunately, you will get out of this what you BOTH put into it.  Often times the root of the jealousy, or insecurity is rooted in the mate feeling like they have not achieved the potential for their own lives.  While it is not your personal issue, but one that they need to handle, it allows you to get a clearer picture in to the heart of the situation.  This will show you whether the situation can even be changed, or if it’s a dead relationship.

2) Decide: You will need to decide how important having your partner’s support and encouragement is to you.  for some, they are able to turn the views of their partner around by exposing them to what it is they do, or exposing them to the profits of the job or business.  If you are one of the people that can stand on your own, and that is not a major factor in your relationship, then it may be an area you both need to keep separated, but the relationship itself can continue to stay intact.

3) Follow Your Dreams: If the encouragement and support is something you desire, and require in your relationship, and your partner can not or will not fulfill that need, you may have to follow your dreams and let go of a dead relationship.   Sure, you can stay and hope they will change.  You might even be able to convince them.  After you’ve given it your all, you need to decide what’s best for you.  Following your dreams may be the choice you have to make.

As for me, support is a desire and requirement for my relationship.  It would put a major strain on my marriage if my husband could not, or would not support my dreams.  I support my husband’s vision and his dreams, and I expect the same in return with mine.  This is a non-negotiable need in my relationship.

So let us know, have you been sleeping with “the enemy”?  What have you done about it?  What worked/didn’t work for you?  Do you regret your decision?  We’d love to hear from you!

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Sexy Moms Rock is Sponsoring the 100 Women Entrepreneurs Run/Walk

The 100 Women Entrepreneurs Run/Walk is a 5k race designed to bring together career and women entrepreneurs who wish to join us for a day of sisterhood, fitness and raising money to support charity.

The run was founded and  created by entrepreneurs Vicki Irvin, Chereace Richards & Erana Tyler who all have reputations for empowering and leading women in life and business.

The run is designed for women of ALL fitness levels to come together and help us accomplish our mission.

A 5k race is a distance of 3.1 miles and very doable for EVERYONE, so please join us regardless if you run it, or walk it, we want YOU in attendance!

We are raising money for the Women Veterans Interactive (WVI) which is a women owned non-profit who assists women in the military and veterans on a healthy transition back into the workforce or with shelter.

Registration for the race begins at 8:00am on event day with the actual run starting at 9:00am.

Click here to register for The 100 Women Entrepreneurs 5k Walk/Run

The race will be held:

Bowie Town Center
15606 Emerald Way
Bowie, MD 20716

Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM (EDT)

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Pay Attention to Your Business

While on the radio in New York I had the privilege of interviewing Essie Moss. Essie is the mother of super producer and gospel recording artist J Moss. When I interviewed her it was less than a year after the passing of her husband. Believing there are valuable lessons in every challenge, I asked her what she learned from the loss of her husband. She said, “To pay attention to the business.” It turns out her husband took care of all the finances, documents, contracts, policies, everything. When he passed she did not know where any papers were or the financial status of things. She said, “Denise, tell the women, pay attention to what he is doing in the business.”

Her words hit close to home. I was recently divorced and forced to rebuild my business from scratch. My husband was the one who maintained business licenses, designed the website, kept records, everything. When he left, the structure of my business left with him. I had to go through a complete re-education that stunted my business growth by years.

If you are married, it is wonderful to be in a business partnership with your spouse. Often times, with great communication and mutual respect, that partnership can make the marriage stronger. Even if not married but in a business relationship with another, it is important to maintain communication so all information is disclosed and everyone is on the proverbial ‘same page.’ Roles can and should be defined and duties divvied out to those who are strongest in specific areas. However, accountability among each other is vital. It improves communication, exposes potential issues, and ensures productivity and, ultimately, success.

Technology makes this super easy. Skype, texts, to-go-meeting, google+; the options are endless. You can meet over long distances, do document sharing, and keep transcripts of conversations. Any and everything you need to keep you connected to the logistics of your business is readily available to you. Others may be gifted in areas of business where you lack. Giving them responsibility over that area does not absolve you of yours. Learn everything and stay on top of your business.

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