You know that feeling when you're on borrowed time? Well, I've felt that way for about a year now when it came to having help for my coaching business. Year before last I had a great assistant who did more than "assist" me; she pushed me to see and create things that I may never have done on my own. I am forever grateful for Ashlee! And then, destiny called and she was offered the job of her dreams and off she went to follow the yellow brick road.Because I am #blessed, I had my right and left hand, Jazzy, to step in and stand in the gap. For about a year, she juggled this workload for me on top of all of her other responsibilities. It was great because of how close we are how well she knows me and my M.O. But guess what happened a few months ago? Yup, destiny called again and Jazzy was off to pursue a new chapter in her story.And that's when sh*t got real.I had been ignoring the inevitable and therefore not preparing for it. So, here I was, help-less (literally) and scrambling to keep all of the balls in the air while figuring out my next move. Luckily someone else that I am lucky to have on my team was able to send several referrals my way for virtual assistants. Between those and some other acquaintances of mine, I was able to interview 6 different candidates for the role. They all had a variety of experience and qualities that they brought to the table, and I was able to narrow the decision down to two.But here was the question: Hire the one with the most experience but whose personality didn't really connect with mine, although she was perfectly nice; or hire the one who was fairly green but whose good energy I could sense through the phone?I mulled this over and over and asked friends and colleagues their opinion. This was a big decision as I want someone to be with me for the long haul and I become very attached to whom I'm working with. I also didn't want to be naive about it and to make the right choice, business-wise. But in the end, I went with my instinct - it's carried me this far, and I've been able to trust my gut more often than not.I remembered hearing at a conference once: "Hire for attitude, train for skill." And so I did. I ended up going with the one who has only been working in this capacity for under two years. But there was just something about her personality and spirit that made me feel at ease. She is high-energy, and a self-proclaimed fast learner. Also, her somewhat limited experience is in exactly the area that I need. I'm feeling good about this new addition to my support team, and thankful that my intuition strengthens with each decision that I make.Whereas I used to see it as a vulnerability, using my heart in my business is something that I now proud to put first. … [Read more...] about Hire the Person, Not the Skills
A few months ago, I was attending a parent meeting at my daughter's school where the principal was explaining their approach to academic placement, homework, and the middle experience in general. He said that his philosophy was that children should experience what he calls: "Productive Struggle."On the one hand, we want our children to be challenged and pushed to maximum potential; on the other hand, we don't want them to be challenged to the point of frustration and overwhelm, which can cause them to become disengaged and lose confidence.The happy middle ground, he suggested, is where they are being challenged, but also being successful and making progress. This is what he identifies as "productive struggle." When he said this, bells started going off in my head! I thought it was brilliant, while at the same time, being such a simple yet effective approach to learning.Ever since that evening, that term has stuck with me. I've mentally applied it to my children's participation in sports activities, and even selecting books at the public library. It works when considering troubled relationships too. I surprised myself, however, when I unintentionally applied it to a fellow entrepreneur (and adult)! She was lamenting how difficult keeping her business running had become, and was questioning whether it was time throw in the towel. It made me think: maybe the way to decide when it's quitting time is to determine when the entrepreneurial struggle is no longer productive.Being an entrepreneur is the opposite of easy. The "hustle" is glorified these days and those who are pursuing their passions and are quitting their day jobs and are on #TeamNoSleep are championed through an incessant amount of colorful quotes on Instagram. The truth is, being an entrepreneur is grueling - mentally, physically, financially, emotionally and more. (The ones who are honest will talk about these aspects too - not just that one time they had a 5-figure month or when Usher posted a pic of himself wearing their t-shirt on IG). Let's be real: those of us on the full-time entrepreneur grind probably question our sanity about once a week.Tweet It: Let's be real: those of us on the full-time entrepreneur grind probably question our sanity about once a week. SN: I was joking (sorta) with a fellow girl boss over text last week that sometimes I fantasize about working at the soft pretzel kiosk at the mall. Clock in. Serve pretzels. Clock out. Sounds glorious.But you know what keeps us at it? The fact that our Struggle has definite moments of Productivity. The good outweighs the bad. We have that bang-up month after barely breaking even for weeks. We land that client that we've been courting for months. We finally figure out a sales funnel that converts. We get a book deal. A media outlet asks to interview us. And so on.It's when we are stuck in an endless, fruitless struggle that might be the clue to re-evaluate. What that looks like? Only you can … [Read more...] about Is your entrepreneurial struggle no longer productive? A perspective.
Tomorrow women around the world are being encouraged to make a statement by participating in the #DayWithoutAWoman movement through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity. The circumstances are unfortunate, but I am truly emboldened by the swell of empowerment happening amongst women as of late. Earlier today, thanks to my friend Claudia at TrendyLatina, I learned of another campaign - the #EmbraceAmbition initiative - launched by Tory Burch and her foundation.Now, you already know I am a superfan of Tory, her business savvy, and the work she continues to do for women and girls, so it didn't take but a minute for me to Take the Pledge and download my Ambition Guidebook. The premise of the initiative is to inspire women to: own your power, your drive and your dreams. Yes Tory! Yasssss.Part of taking the pledge includes the opportunity to create a photo with a word that defines your drive. There were several to choose from (and you can even choose your own), but I decided to go with "Visionary." Here's why...I'm an idea person. I mean, buckets and buckets full of ideas! Not only do I conceive oodles of crazy concepts, but I also endeavor to make them come to fruition. Back in 2010, I worked with a career coach who assessed my characteristics and concluded that I'm one of those rare people who is both a creative and someone who executes. There is also rarely a time when there is an idea that I don't think I can bring to life. Call it naive or insane, but whether it's a spill-resistant, stylish apron for moms or a business beach retreat pulled together in 8 weeks, I'm always up for the challenge. More importantly, I see the vision clearly and vibrantly.My work is all about helping women to embrace their ambition. From Blogalicious serving as a sisterhood and platform for multicultural women to elevate their media brands, to my coaching clients and Rockstar students via my Justice Fergie Lifestyle Media brand; my only goal is to help women design a life and career that they love and that makes them feel free. Over the last decade, I've been brave enough to leverage my gifts of event planning, relationship building, communications, and creativity to create brands and businesses that allows me to help women embrace their ambition, all while I'm embracing mine.Visionary. That's me.The word itself is a little pretentious, I'll admit. But we're being encouraged to own our power, right? So, I'm owning it.Visionary: a person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like. And boy do I have ideas. … [Read more...] about How I #EmbraceAmbition in Life and Business
Did you watch The New Edition Story on BET last week? I sure did! And I enjoyed every second of it. After the finale day, I went to sleep and, as my mind tends to do, I started thinking of the strategic lessons to be learned from Ralph, Ricky, Bobby, Michael, Ronnie and Johnny, and so I thought I'd share them with you. So here they are:image credit: Variety.comONE. Let your fear drive you to find another way. We have Bobby to thank for this one! Remember when he competed in his first talent show and caught a killer case of stage fright? He could have decided right then and there that the showbiz life was not for him. But, instead, because he knew deep in his heart that he was an entertainer and that he had a gift for the world to see and hear, he got creative. Bobby rounded up his boys to create a group so that he wouldn't have to face the stage alone. Not only was that extremely strategic on his part, but he also was acknowledging his own shortcomings and giving himself a way to get around that roadblock. Little did he know, a musical sensation of a group was about to be birthed thanks to his roadblock. And? once his confidence was built up and he got to a place where we was comfortable in his skin, Bobby went solo. And that was all she wrote!Apply it! Is there something you're scared to do in your life or your business right now? Try taking a step back and looking at the challenge creatively. What other ways can you take in order to get to your goal destination? It will take some soul searching and being honest with yourself, but if there's a will, there's a way. Tweet it: How can I conquer my "stage fright"? Bobby Brown started a group. What's my fear and the creative solution? #StrategyMagic by @justicefergie TWO. You can't go it alone. Find the RIGHT person to help you win. What's the first thing the boys did once they decided to make their singing dream happen? They sought out a manager. Once they were under Brooke Payne's guidance, they began to take structure as a group and he was able to negotiate opportunities for them to advance their careers. Not only was Brooke there for them on a professional level, but on a personal level, too. So much so that their later record label hired Brooke to come back to work with New Edition when things were getting rocky. Even at a young age, the boys knew that they needed someone with the expertise and connections to help them along. As young adults, that same person would prove valuable to keep them on track.Apply it! Maybe you don't need a manager, per se. But do you have a mentor? An advisor? A coach? Someone to provide guidance and to open doors for you. Think of yourself and your gifts as "the talent" - what kind of "manager" could you benefit from?Tweet it: Don't underestimate the power of a mentor, advisor or coach in my business. I can't manage my talent alone! #strategymagic by @justicefergie THREE. Persevere. In the mini-series, we had a front-row … [Read more...] about Three Entrepreneurial Takeaways from The New Edition Story
I'm not even going to talk about the election. If you are Facebook friends with me then you know that I shared myself silly with articles and think pieces about how the end is near. I took the results pretty hard and I think my hyper-productive personality kicked in its protection mechanism in order to save me from shriveling up into a ball. [Stacey isn't at all dramatic. Said no one, ever.]That protection mechanism manifested itself in the form of launching a new business out of thin air in a matter of days. TBH, I had thought of the idea of creating specialty gift wrap before, but it was always just a fleeting thought because (a) who has the time, (b) I have zero experience in this lane, and (c) WHO HAS THE TIME. After hearing Arsha Jones' workshop during the Blogalicious Weekend 2016 VIP Mastermind Day, I started hearing a little voice that said: "just do it."And so I did.Check me out on Shopify. I'm having such fun with it and the reception has been fantastic.Case study on how I made it happen coming next... … [Read more...] about When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Creative: Introducing Fetti Wrap!