MONEY SPENT IN YOUR HEAD PT. 2

stresspressure

Making the change/transition from personal to business is never easy.  It takes a complete transformation of the mind.  It would benefit all of us to view our personal lives, especially the financial portion of our life in a business sense, setting up systems for receiving and distribution of funds; planning and implementing plans for growth, pursuit and securing the desires of life.   That method is much great than our current one of moving forward and figuring it out later.   Not everyone has the desire to move from their job to entrepreneurship and still the benefits of taking a ‘business’ approach to handling their personal finances cannot be denied.  It would decrease the age-old and ineffective process of buying what we want and begging for what we need.

For those who do take the plunge or even have the desire into entrepreneurship, one of the most difficult things to do is to change the way he or she handles money.  “Adding a business,” to your schedule, your life means just that; “adding, in addition to.”  So, your regular schedule will require adjusting and it means alleviating unnecessary portions of your life out.  It would also require one to change his or her financial approach.  If spending your money in your head was proven ineffective personally, can you imagine the epic failure one would feel trying this method in business.

Systems implemented is forethought for receiving more than a small amount of funds.  You can ‘get by’ or ‘fake’ managing small amounts of money but to manage large amounts requires a system, thoughts and a process for both the receiving and the distribution of funds.  There is a time to bill customers and then there must be a consistent method for the customers to pay as well as a timeframe.  All of which require strategic planning and implementation.

Money is both a seed of opportunity and when used correctly can become the wealth of harvest.  However, a change in mindset is crucial.  You cannot spend, evaluate or use money in the manner you’ve been accustomed.   Exposure to better, capacity to acquire knowledge, wisdom to gleam from the knowledge and courage to do better are all required to grow and for your money to grow as well.

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5 QUESTIONS THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER ANSWER AS A POTENTIAL EMPLOYEE & EMPLOYERS SHOULDN’T ASK

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Finding the right employees is really scary and tough.  I’ve worked with many small businesses as a consultant and more of them as an employee.  One of the things I’ve been able to do is understand the relationship, fears, concerns, ideas and thoughts from both sides of the coin which allows me to be an effective consultant.  Employers want to be protected.  Employees depending upon the position being filled are able to see, hear and gather sensitive information about the company specifically financial information, vendors that the employer uses, banking information and more.  The initial impression of a company can be tainted hearing certain sensitive information, not to mention that once an employee hears something he or she can and will discuss the company’s business not realizing that doing so places their job in jeopardy.
 
Employees are just as vulnerable but in a different way.  Accepting a position with a smaller company gives one access to information, some information you want, other information you may prefer to not know!  Hearing sensitive information can make one skeptical about the company and its ability to be their livelihood.
 
Bringing the two parties together isn’t easy and most employers are better at doing the business that makes them money than Human Resources and recruiting.  That fear will make employers do desperate things, ask the wrong questions to prevent turnovers which are costly to the company in terms of dollars as well as reputation.
            Here are 5 questions as an employer you shouldn’t ask and employees you shouldn’t answer.  

1) HOW OLD ARE YOU?  Most employers know better and will not ask the question directly but will subtly allude to age by asking questions like “when did you graduate from high school?”  The Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967 protects workers over the age of 40.  Employers want quality but worry about age in this new world of technology and just how well older people can compete.  There are a multiplicity of ways that you can check skills without breaking the law.  Skills testing in the area of employment will help you as the employer evaluate just how productive the potential employee can be in the office.  As an Employee, advert the question, by saying something witty like “old enough to work for your company and young enough to get the job done.”  

2) DO YOU HAVE KIDS AND ARE YOU PLANNING TO?  A huge NO NO! Of course, the Employer is concerned about giving an employee time off for maternity leave.  The other assumption is that a person with children will want time off and is not able to keep regular hours.  Although this question is illegal, a recent study shows that over 75% of women (of course) interviewed are asked this question.  As an employer, it sends the wrong message.  It’s negative. Automatically, you’re thinking about what or how their life affects YOUR business.  Now while your business is the reason for the opportunity, it’s not a person’s whole life.  Employees spend more time at work than home but to ask this question is intrusive, rude and yes illegal. As an employer, the worse thing you can do is to not plan for an employee to have time off.  EVERYONE needs a break.  Always allow for PTO.  Not doing so is unrealistic pressure.  Whether a person has children or not, their hours of working is the same hours during which any personal business that they must conduct would take place.  Making an employee feel like his or her personal things don’t count is not a good feeling and an employee who feels worthless will not be a good employee for you and your company.  Also, PSA, EMPLOYERS, PARENTS ARE GREAT AT MULTI-TASKING, you cannot be a good one without it.  They tend to prioritize better, respond instead of react and are accustomed to making decisions quickly and under pressure.  These facts tend to work against the misconceptions employers have about hiring parents or potential parents.  EMPLOYEES OR POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES, never answer this question.  Just say something like, “that’s not an issue” (no explanation, no yes or no).
 
3) ARE YOU MARRIED?  Sometimes used as way to get to know you but at worse case, potential employees this question can be used to discriminate against your sexual orientation.  Employers, these line of questions leave you vulnerable to potential lawsuits.  Again the idea for employers is to determine one’s commitment to the job, but never answer this question.  It’s illegal and unnecessary.
 
4) WHAT COUNTRY ARE YOUR PARENTS FROM? Irrelevant and again very inappropriate. Fear is most likely the source of this question and this line of questioning can be very uncomfortable for both the interviewer and the interviewed.  In short, this serves no purpose at all.
 
5) WHAT WAS YOUR SALARY AT YOUR LAST JOB? In some states, this question isn’t legal.  Even if it is legal in your state, potential employees you gain nothing by answering that question.  Also, while it may not be illegal for them to ask, it is against the law for the potential employer to verify your answer.  As an Employer and Employee, educate yourself on salaries for positions according to experience.  Employers complain about quality employees and then refuse to pay employees what they are worth but always want the most for the least! NO! That’s a poor method of hiring and/or retaining quality employees that can build your business and take it to the next level.
 
Potential employees, instead of answering that question, ask the employer “what is the budget for this position?” Follow up question, “what is the level of expectation for this position?”  Follow up question, “what is the system for reviews and raises?”  Too often employees are degraded for focusing on salary but the employers do the same.  Many gain a sense of just how low they can pay and yet demand the greatest work from.  Again, this mindset works against ‘turnovers.’
 
Employers, Small Business Owners, should employ the assistance of professionals for their recruiting process.  It ensures that the company and its’ interests are protected and when done effectively, it allows for an excellent work environment for the employees as well.
 
Human Resources is by far one of the greatest resources for any business.  Fear of the unknown will prevent a company from growing to its full potential.  Outsource these services to professional companies.  Elite Expert Business Solutions is but one of those.
 

DEFINING MOMENTS

Obstacles I will not quit, I may bend but I will not break

Overcoming_Obstacles

I recently wrote an article, maybe at the beginning of this year about defining moments.  I think every person who has ever reached a milestone in life or become successful has had a, or several, defining moments.  Sometimes a moment can thrust one into destiny and other moments build upon the momentum of the thrust.  Although the defining moments are not the best moments one can have, they definitely are instrumental in changing a person’s attitude, thoughts and dreams.

Having a defining moment, doesn’t mean that obstacles will not come.  I think one of the greatest untruths is that people who are successful do not encounter obstacles like “normal” people.  I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve had those conversations with friends, family assuming that people with money, people who are successful are so without obstacles because otherwise they would be normal like those of us in the conversation.  I must admit there were times when I felt the exact same way.  I felt that my past was bad and that’s what I kept getting trouble and that trouble kept me from succeeding.  Based on that logic alone, I was preparing myself for mediocrity.

Nothing goes wrong until you decide to do something! Nothing! Life is easy, care-free, smooth sailing almost dull.  In fact, it’s the carefree, extra time on your hand that prompts and promotes one into action.  It’s in the quiet moment you begin to think about the things you could do, places you go and life you can live when the times are quiet and smooth.  However, the minute you decide to take action obstacles appear.  Obstacles are never a sign to stop, there are the bridge that separates the doers from the talkers, they are the bridge of decision because at the sign of obstacle either you will move forward crossing the bridge or enjoy the view from the side of the bridge.

One moment can change your life but that moment must be followed by other actions that lead one progressively forward even when it would appear that things are working against you.  Successful people are determined people, they are positive people who have learned that every obstacle isn’t meant to break, most, are meant to build you.  Real success means entering into a place that one has yet to see before, a view that one hasn’t even imagined, to enter into a season of winning, and overcoming, well you can’t enter that season without preparation and expectancy.  Obstacles come to operate the muscles required for the new level of your aspirations.

Maybe you started out the new year with goals, a new mindset and now you feel that you’ve lost your way or fallen off.  Okay get back on! You don’t need a new year on the calendar to begin again, each day is an opportunity to do, move and grow! So let’s get busy.  Oh and look for the obstacles instead of allowing them to shock you, be ready for them and strategically dance over or around them but accomplish your goals!

 

GET YO HUSTLE MIND

HUSTLE MAN!

 

Hustle man, I believe was one of the favorites on the hit TV show “Martin.”  The actor Tracy Morgan gave us laughs every time he was on the show.  Hustle is a very common word in the African American Community.   It’s the word we used before many of us understood or respected Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship.  Yes, for many those words were taboo.

There is a discipline that comes from working for someone.  They tell when you  when to come in, how long you get a break, what you can do, what you cannot do, how long for lunch and when you leave.  They even dictate for you the order you do your work, the way it is prioritized and then evaluate how well the work is performed.   However a majority of society still feel that the pursuit of obtaining a job (just-over-broke, jumping-over-bills) is by far the most admirable thing one can do.   In the African American Community, too often an entrepreneur meant someone who couldn’t hold a job or keep one long, it would also be the ‘code’ for illegal activity.  There were so many things that could go wrong for the person that didn’t work the regular 9-5.  He or she stood out and standing out has never been a good thing in the hood.  (I refuse to go into the details of that last statement because it would change the entire blog, we’ll discuss later).

Hustle was a dance move in the 70’s, but more importantly in the African-American community it was used to describe that person in the streets that worked multiple jobs, angles to provide a living for his or her family hence the funny character known as Hustle Man.  Every community has one!  I would argue that the best and most successful entrepreneurs have a hustle mentality that is key to their success!

I could refer to Webster but I will not.  A hustle mentality for an entrepreneur is having multiple plans for not returning to a job.  In Caucasian terms, (please no offense, I’m exaggerating for effect not offense) the term would be building an empire or enterprise.  Basically, one would take a series of jobs, or hustles and make them work.  It’s something as Black people we’ve done for years just to survive.  Accustomed to never being paid enough to do the same job as a white counterpart, taking on other jobs has always been the plan!  The jobs became entrepreneurial and at one point the service industry was shades of black n brown.  Somewhere along the line, we lost the hustle as opportunities opened up for more professional jobs.  Nothing wrong with the professionals, the doctors, the lawyers, nurses, scientists, paralegals, bankers and the like but if one is to survive and thrive, we’ve got to get the hustle mind back!

As an entrepreneur, the ability to focus on multiple projects is key.  I’ve heard people say recently that we as people don’t really multi-task but yet on every job description, I read the ability to do so has landed me in multiple places.  Not only that, as a woman, I multi-task daily balancing work n family and oh yea my hustle!  I digress.  Part of the entrepreneurial pursuit is being successful and that formula must include being focused enough to complete a pursuit and yet focused enough to work on others as well.  Having an entrepreneurial hustle may mean working two projects at once or working a regular job while building the business on the side.  It can be done but not with a limited mind.

The entrepreneurial mind has to grasp the concept and the discipline of working for another and yet understand the grasp of leadership and building USING the discipline gained from being under leadership.  He or she has to have a hustle, a get up and go when everyone else is stopping and resting.  He or she has to multi-task, working today but planning and thinking about tomorrow.  YEA it sounds impossible and sometimes it feels that way but entrepreneurship and a hustle mentality is beyond the right here and right now, it’s only for those who are really generational changers!

We called the guy in the hood a hustle man because often his product would change.  One day he was selling t-shirts, the next day purses, the next hour hats and the last thirty minutes of the day, watches.   People would laugh at the hustle man talking about how confused he was or that he couldn’t keep a job.  I wonder why we don’t laugh at ourselves going to work for enough money to keep us coming back the next day.  (just say hmmm)  NO One has ever gotten rich nor will they ever get rich working for someone else.  Not only that, the more you make the more you spend.  The thing about a hustle mind is the value of the dollar is ever present in your mind.  The discipline (ah ha) of having to make things happen takes your mind to new levels, new ideas and possibilities.  All of a sudden, you think more and think greater than 40 hrs a week and two weeks vacation.  It causes you to leave the wheel, hamster.

Yeah get the hustle mind back!

DEFINING MOMENTS

In life, the people who achieve any level of success, seem to have a defining moment or defining moments.  You know the moment in or of time where things are different, things change, the point of no return.  The place and moment of life where one feels either I do or I die; maybe not the physical death, but all of the other deaths of and in life (socially, emotionally, mentally, and financially); one can have before physically dying.  My defining moment occurred Tuesday November 1, 2016.

Working for a property management company (contract), Tuesday was only my 7th day and it was payday.  For six days, everyone was so polished (as much as they could be).  Unfortunately, this was something I that was not new to me.  I’ve known for about 15 years that I am an entrepreneur soon to become a business owner (those two are different and that’s for another blog).  My gift of business specifically accounting provides me and has afforded me multiple opportunities with diverse companies while building my own business so having said that, allow me to set the atmosphere.   I’m in preparation for the busiest time in my business, end of the year so for entrepreneurs that means tax season is around the corner and simultaneously preparing for Christmas. So, outsourcing myself to a company meaning working as a contractor is typical for me.  It is a typical company for me, million-dollar company with the working conditions of hundred-dollar company or a startup.  Old computers, with older key-boards, paper EVERYWHERE, chaos is the norm rather than the exception.  Coming in on the heels of so many who have come and gone before me for any number of reasons; it was exciting, frustrating, and odd all at the same time.  For me, the work I had been given wasn’t enough to do, not on the level to which I have been accustomed.  I love to be busy and I love doing accounting work which is what I thought I was hired to do but it was a job that paid and paid decently.  Additionally, it allowed me to flex my auditing skills of an accounting; dealing with a company from the inside out, discovering their weaknesses, strengths, grey areas and for this company answering/fighting a lawsuit (which is pretty phenomenal).

Tuesday (November 1st) was the first payday with this company and suddenly everything changed.   There was a nervous and anxious feeling in the atmosphere, poised employees looked frustrated and angry.  I begin to hear how they all really felt.  It would seem that each payday the owner of the company did something to make them wait or feel that they may or may not be paid and today was no different.  I listened, said nothing.  I took it all in.  It’s now 4:30 and every one was looking defeated and the office manager is like “well maybe he’s not coming in.  He’s not responding to my texts or anything so maybe we will get paid tomorrow”.  Then I spoke, “Oh not me, I will be paid today one way or the other.”  Everyone looked startled to say the least.  It’s 4:55 and guess who strolls in, yep the owner.  My desk closest to the door and I looked up at him and gave him a look that if looks could kill would have rendered him DOA.  He settles in his office and then begins yelling out to the employees, *** come here.  He questions her for a minute and she comes out with her check smiling as if she won the lottery.  I wait for a few minutes (because I’m still on his time, he’s paying me to wait for my pay!)  It becomes evident that he wanted to see my response because as he has other employees to do other work or questions them as if making them earn the pay that they have already earned, he never acknowledges me at all.  The office manager and supervisor who has then begun a call that he instructed her to do, looks at me frantically unable to stop me from walking in his office.  He’s speaking with someone and I stand in the door.  He looks up barely, seriously, and says “I’m talking to him.”  I reply, “yes, I know.  Do you have my check?”.  Voice is calm, face is serious and disposition firm.  He pauses and we stare one another down.  I feel my anger mounting and because I have no poker face it shows and I shift my foot prepared to get REAL UGLY WITH him!  Quickly he signs my check, he says I need you to make a copy of it first.  I take it giving him an additional ugly look and never acknowledge what he says.  Yes, I make the copy but I treat him the way he treated me, making him wonder if I did or not.  As I turn to leave, I said, “I’m the wrong one!”

As I drove home, I fussed, and yea said a few choice words (I’m working on that) but when I settled down, I begin to furious with myself.  This man was despicable, ignorant, barely spoke English and no I’m not prejudice against foreigners but he knew nothing and didn’t even respect the laws, this man had been doing business, cheating people, making them wait for their checks, and paying them as contract workers when they were actually employees! For some people, like me, it was fine because I own a business but for others they lived in fear but couldn’t afford to quit, leave or walk away.  AND THAT’S WHERE I begin to look at me!

It doesn’t matter what I said about him, I couldn’t talk about him without talking about myself!  I KNOW, KNEW AND UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING THAT THIS IGNORANT MAN needed to do in his business.  I saw the flaws in the financial structure, the accounts payables, the receivables, the areas of weakness and strength and yet I WAS WORKING FOR him!  Ummm Hmmm  My entire focused shifted and changed.  Fear of what people thought, who would question me, speaking up, speaking out, frustration over a few clients that fell off, frustrated with trying to teach close friends and even family about where I’m going and a million other insecurities and doubts pushed me into a delay until this day!  YEP MY DEFINING MOMENT!  I’ve heard words before, I’ve spoken and encourage quite a few people and yet always managed to allow people and their influence to be a hindrance to me.

TODAY WAS DIFFERENT!  I didn’t talk, I didn’t explain, I didn’t tell anyone, my actions became different.  Instead of sleeping, when I wanted or rushing to be with the family or allowing the plans and actions of people in my home to hinder me, I stopped and put my efforts into my business.  No more explaining, hoping, no extra calls that were unnecessary, I prioritize my thoughts and actions moving closer to all the things that I know lie within me!

The fear of working for a fool prevailed over the fear of stepping out and maybe failing!

THANK YOU LORD, FOR MY DEFINING MOMENT, FIND YOURS AND SHIFT!