Black History Now: Meet Tina Wells

In celebration of Black History Month, I’m conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs-the History Makers! My guests are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders who are willing to step up and make things happen for themselves and those around them. I would like to introduce to you all the final guest of the series…

Meet Tina Wells-Marketing Maven

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1) Tell me a little about yourself and what you do.

My name is Tina Wells and I am the founder and CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, which is a company that creates marketing strategies for various clients within the beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle sectors.

2) What prompted you to start your own business?

I am admittedly lucky because I found a calling and an opportunity when I was rather young. I was only sixteen years old when I came across the chance to start my own business – I had been writing product reviews for a newsletter that was geared toward young women and one my clients mentioned to me that she had just paid another individual $25,000 to do the same exact thing that I was doing for free. To me, that was amazing and inspiring. With a lot of support from my family and help from my mentor at Hood College, I was able to turn my big ideas into a reality and soon legitimized a business that eventually evolved into Buzz Marketing Group.

3) What were the first steps you took towards making your dream into reality?

Planning. Lots of planning. Before I even started this business, I used all my knowledge from classes and spent a lot of time discussing with my mentor in order to create an incredibly extensive business plan. By learning as much as I could before the fact, I was able to utilize strategies and schedules to keep my eyes on the goal and achieve what I wanted to achieve. More importantly, planning allowed me to adapt when things didn’t go as expected.

4) Where does your inspiration/motivation come from?

There are a lot of day-to-day events that I’m inspired by, but I’m most inspired by the freedom that my business allows and encourages. When I was growing up, a career was defined by 9-to-5 cubicle jobs that were “safe.” Breaking into a field that pushed me to do my own thing and follow my dreams my way was electrifying, and I continue to be motivated by the fact that I am not at the beck-and-call of someone else, the fact that I create my own income, and the fact that I am sustaining a business based on doing something that I love to do!

5) How do you define and measure success?

I believe that success is defined and measured on a person-by-person basis. For some, it can be all about the number of A’s on a report card and for others, it can be all about the number of shoes in their possession! Of course, the easiest way to measure success in today’s world is to just evaluate yourself financially – but my definition of success is based on the impact and the quality of the impact that you have on your community and on the world as a whole. That’s not to say that financial success isn’t helpful in creating that impact but it is definitely not the only factor that matters. For instance: although the business world can be focused on quick transactions, superficial relationships, and rapid developments, I have an enormous amount of respect for the men and women that take it a step further and aim to make a positive difference on the people and groups around them. To me, those are the people that are truly on the path to success.

6) What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Networking is incredibly crucial. As always, stay true to your vision, mission, and personal brand – but sometimes it is important to focus on who you know and how you interact with them. A woman you bump into at a conference might end up being your partner in business, and a guy you sit next to on the bus to New York might end up being your next biggest client! So it is important to stay on top of your networking game and take note of all the people with whom you interact. Especially when you are starting up a business, networking can be an incredibly useful tool to spread the word about your services and your organization.

You can learn more about Tina’s company Buzz Marketing Group over on their website: http://buzzmg.com/

Feel Free to follow Tina on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/tinacwells

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Black History Now: Meet Thilana Chandler

In celebration of Black History Month, I’m conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs-the History Makers! My guests are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders who are willing to step up and make things happen for themselves and those around them. I would like to introduce to you all my 3rd guest…

Meet Thilana Chandler-Music Director and Vocalist Extraordinaire

Here’s the direct link to the YouTube video in case you weren’t able to play it here.

1) Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?

I am a wife, mother of five, educator, musician, arts director, and entrepreneur. I graduated from Rowan University with a degree in Special Education. I also earned a Masters degree in Educational Leadership.

I am the Founder and Co-Owner of Higher Standard Performing Arts Preparatory, LLC which is in the business of shaping and preparing skillful dancers, musicians, actors, and artists to develop their creative mind, unique ability, and powerful presence to make a positive impact within their communities when they share their gifts and talents.

2) What prompted you to start your own business/be your own boss/ build your personal brand?

I have a passion for the arts and I know it is my life’s mission to share my gifts, talents, and instruct others within the performing arts. I started foremost out of a love for what I do. I then realized that what better way to make a living than to work in my passion. I am strong believer your “work” should be something you are strongly committed and passionate about. So, I set forth my goal by starting my own business teaching and providing instruction within the performing arts.

3) What were the first steps you took towards making your dream into reality?

The first step I took towards my dream, was I worked under my father who was a successful educator and musician. I come from an extremely musical, creative, artistic family. My father ran a private music studio, Cary’s Music Studio, for 25 years and he began to teach me the in’s and out’s of running a private music studio. I worked with him giving private music lessons and gaining a small clientele of my own. As I was learning, I continued to volunteer my time by being the musician and Worship leader at my church which, gave me more experience by teaching others the gift of music.

Overtime, I developed connections to expand my own business and volunteer work with other organizations and churches. As a result, I gained the opportunity to go into the school systems to teach music, dance, and drama under my own business and offer an after school program to students. This led to more exposure which required the need for a separate location which my partners and I have now acquired in Woodbury, NJ.

4) How do/did you handle obstacles and roadblocks?

I have maintained the viewpoint that, “Every delay will work out in my Favor!” I have learned to be patient, diligent, and to stay positive when dealing with obstacles. It is important to maintain a relentless attitude that believes, I will overcome, regardless of what obstacle the business or life in general I am facing. I have learned that I must continue to believe that I will find a solution to overcome any roadblock and work towards that solution.

5) How do you define and measure success?

Success to me is a life lived on God’s purpose and plan. I know that God has good plans for my life and the process towards fulfilling my purpose must align with him. I know I am successful when I am doing what he desires and created me to do.

6) What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?

The one action plan I know that has accounted for most of my success is seeing the importance of my volunteering and giving of my time and talent. By giving, I have gained so much more in return. I have made connections, friends, partnerships, and business by giving.

7) Where do you see yourself and your business 10 years from now?

I believe in 10 years that Higher Standard Performing Arts Preparatory will be a leader in the Arts Education field. I believe Higher Standard will be a safe haven for professional and aspiring artists to learn, grow, and take their craft to a “Higher Standard”.

I also believe we will be implementing a quality performing arts after school program via our Mobile Arts Education Program in public, charter, and private school systems.

I also envision the Higher Standard Performing Arts K-12 Preparatory School. We understand that we are in the business of shaping lives. My goal is through Higher Standard we leave a legacy for future generations. This includes a comprehensive, rigorius, academic, school infused within the performing arts.

8) What projects are you currently working on that you think could benefit some of my readers?

I am currently, looking forward to our Grand Opening in March of our new location in  Woodbury, NJ. We are excited to be the first business located in the newly renovated G.G. Green Building. We are currently registering students of all ages for music, dance, art, and drama lessons. You can check out our website at www.hstandardprep.com. We are also on Facebook.

I also have my own blog that chronicles my journey towards reaching my life’s goals. I write about the good, the bad, and the journey towards being all God created me to be. My blog is called JourneyTowardsPurpose.

9) What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

The advice I would give to aspiring entrepreneurs would be to enjoy the journey, learn from the obstacles, keep your vision in focus, and believe you will have what you see!

Thilana’s Closing words….I would like to acknowledge my partners my husband Nate Chandler and Tellie Johnson. They are an integral part of my success and I would like to mention them some way.

Tune in next Saturday for my next guest entrepreneur!

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Black History Now: Meet Coach LaKia Allen

In celebration of Black History Month, I’m conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs-the History Makers!  My guests are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders who are willing to step up and make things happen for themselves and those around them.  I would like to introduce to you all my 2nd guest…

Meet LaKia Allen- Life Coach Helping Women Bounce Back from Burnout!

Here’s the direct link to the YouTube video in case you weren’t able to play it here.

1) Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?

I am a wife and mother to beautiful baby girl.I was born in Philadelphia but raised primarily in South Jersey. I attended Hampton University and graduated with degree in Accounting. I also have a Masters degree in Business Administration. I worked in Corporate Accounting for approximately 12 years before getting certified as professional life coach.

Currently, I am certified and professionally trained life and health coach. I’m also the owner and founder of Connect 3 Coaching which is a coaching and consulting practice dedicated to helping high-achieving, busy working moms who have found themselves lost, overwhelmed, frustrated, stressed, and basically burnout after putting themselves last. Though these women are very powerful in their professional positions they often feel powerless to take control of their lives.

My clients are empowered to make a transformation from the inside out.  So we are the catalyst to our clients embracing a healthy lifestyle, not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually.

2) What prompted you to start your own business/be your own boss/ build your personal brand?

Before becoming a professional life coach I felt powerless to create the life I really wanted, the life that would allow me to truly experience greater fulfillment, happiness and peace of mind.

Just a few short years ago, I was the woman that I just described.  My life was picture perfect, on paper. I married my soulmate, had a job that paid me really well, I was living in a beautiful house that my husband and I had built and most importantly I was a new mother.  However, I was also lost, overwhelmed, and stressed out.

After returning to work from four months of maternity leave I knew instantly that my personal values had changed. I had zero passion for the work that I had been doing. I was no longer willing to work long, hectic hours only to come home and have nothing left for my family. Being a mother brought incredible clarity to my life. I became more aware of who I was being versus who I wanted to be. I knew that I was only getting by.  And the reality of that was just too much to bear. I knew that I wanted to be more of an example to my daughter. I also knew deep down in my soul that something was missing. Being a mom gave me meaning and purpose. I had to return to work but I wanted to do work that gave me meaning and purpose.

Through my self-discovery and research I learned that we as women, (and men too) are the most powerful when we align our personality with our soul. When that connection is made we gain confidence and courage because we are able to be and share who we truly are. My personal mission was to find the work that feeds my spirit and suits my personality. 

It fuels my spirit when I am coaching and empowering my clients to have the courage and the confidence to create a life that is centered on their personal values as opposed to life that revolves around the needs and expectations of others.

My thoughts back then were, “well as long as everything looks good, then I’ll just “fake it, until I make it”. I thought things would just magically get better, not realizing that it was up to me to create a better reality. My thought back then was, “what else is there to have or want”? It was this nagging feeling that wouldn’t go away. I realized that looking good wasn’t enough, actually feeling good was more attractive. I realized that life is too short to only be concerned with the “look of your life”.

3) What were the first steps you took towards making your dream into reality?

Besides enrolling in a coach training school to get certified, the very first thing I did really was begin to work on shifting and challenging my mindset.  I knew that owning and ultimately operating my own business/coaching practice was going to require me to adopt a whole new way of being.  I knew that I could no longer play small. I was going to have to step outside of my comfort zone and have the courage to just BE.  I had to literally let go of who I thought I was and embrace who I am, to the core.

Fortunately for me, I was given a gift that tested my true intentions. The economy affected the company that I was working for hard and I was ultimately laid off. The easy thing to do was to go get another Accounting job and do coaching as a hobby.  Coaching as a hobby would have kept me safe and comfortable.  A steady 9-5 offered incredibly stability that I had taken for granted. With the understanding that I would have to sacrifice my comfortable lifestyle, I stepped out on faith believing that building a coaching practice was what I was meant to and wanted to do.

4) How do/did you handle obstacles and roadblocks?

BREATHE and have FAITH.

I do my best to embrace those moments when things are hard and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I truly believe that “trouble don’t last always”. Obstacle and roadblocks are meant to make us stronger and I know that building a business and in even in life in general it’s all about the journey not the destination.  In those moments I try to get present and know that I’m building my resilience muscles that enable me to bounce back in the long run.  Also, those roadblocks become testimonials that will inspire others to keep pushing in their journey in what ever it is they are pursuing.

5) Where does your inspiration/motivation come from?

I have a personal life purpose statement that goes:

I LaKia Allen hear, see, feel, and know that the purpose of my life is to be the beacon of light that God created me to be. To enjoy everyday and to live it as if it’s my last and to inspire, motivate and empower myself and others.

I have a genuine desire for people to achieve their personal mission and be their personal best; that inspires me and motivates me. I love a redemption story.  And I can honestly say that if money weren’t a factor I would do this work for free.

6) How do you define and measure success?

There are many definitions and formulas for success. I like the definition that says success is the accomplishment of one’s goals. So personally, success for me is having balance and peace of mind. It looks different for everyone (a lot of things add up to peace of mind). For me, I feel successful when I’m doing what I love but also being able to make my family a priority as well.

7) What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?

Consistency and being authentic to my personal vision

8) Where do you see yourself and your business 10 years from now?

In 10 years I can see myself sitting on the coach at the OWN network, chatting it up with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday.  ;)

Expanding the Connect 3 Coaching brand as a premier coaching and consulting practice that is nationally recognized and leading in advancing a whole team of coaches

9) What projects are you currently working on that you think could benefit some of my readers?

Youtube channel where I’ll be sharing some useful health and wellness tips

A personal radio show on Life Coach Radio Network where I’ll have guest appear on the show and we’ll have a fun time discussing potential teachable moments on reality television from a  the life coach perspective.  (Take the drama from the reality tv and make them teachable moments)

Bounce Back from burnout process!

10) What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Never lose site of your personal vision!  It’s easy to get side tracked and move away from your original intention or mission. Create a personal mission statement, stay consistent, focus on the process and let go of expectations. Who you want to serve will eventually come.

coachlaCoach LaKia’s Closing Thoughts….The way you do anything is the way you do everything! When you master one area of your life, you are gaining the skill to master any area of your life whether it’s your career, your relationship, your physical health, your creativity. The goal is to expand your comfort zone so you won’t be defeated by fear and you’ll follow through with your goals and intentions. Consider the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out. Progress is not quick and easy.  It’s more slow and steady. Be willing to take the risk and make the effort.

You can reach out to Coach LaKia online at her website: http://www.connect3coaching.com/

Tune in next Saturday for my next guest entrepreneur!

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Black History Now: Meet Roger Lee

In celebration of Black History Month, I’m conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs-the History Makers!  My guests are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders who are willing to step up and make things happen for themselves and those around them.  I would like to introduce to you all my 1st guest…

Meet Roger Lee- Artistic Director and Professional Problem Solver!

Roger Lee Headshot

I’ve made available a downloadable mp3 recording with parts of the interview. Click here to listen!

1) Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?

My name is Roger Lee and I am an arts entrepreneur, administrator, and educator from Philadelphia, PA. I am the Owner and Artistic Director of Roger Lee Dance, LLC, an award-winning business providing dance instruction, entertainment, consulting, and speaking services, concert series, and merchandise. I have been blessed to teach at Broadway Dance Center and The Rock School for Dance Education and write for Dance Magazine and Dance/USA.

I am also the Founder and Executive Director of Philadelphia Arts and Entrepreneurship Festival, a new non-profit organization debuting Spring 2015.

2) What prompted you to start your own business/be your own boss/ build your personal brand?

I decided to start my own businesses and organizations for three main reasons: 1) to continue exploring my creative passions as an adult 2) to uplift people and inspire them to channel their own inner creativity 3) to create networking opportunities for people.

3) What were the first steps you took towards making your dream into reality?

The first step I took was developing my entrepreneurship skills as an undergraduate student at Ursinus College. I spent 3 seasons as President and Artistic Director the student-run dance company, overseeing the board of directors, membership enrollment, fundraising, marketing, and productions. As a senior, I re-vitalized the student-run television station and served as its President and General Manager. These experiences prepared me for my current work as a creative entrepreneur.

4) How do/did you handle obstacles and roadblocks?

I handle obstacles and roadblocks as they pop-up on my entrepreneurship journey. I pray, keep my faith, and my perspective during trying circumstances. I am learning more each day that the right perspective diminishes problems. When I suffered a serious dance injury in college, I thought that it would be the end of my career. Looking back I realize that that injury actually gave me the boost my career needed. It forced me to tap into my journalism skills, miss dance, and come back to the field with full force. That injury turned me in to the dancer that I am today. The moral of the story is that God can use your most challenging obstacles and roadblocks to bring victory into your life. The key is keeping the faith, staying persistent, and working towards your goals no matter what stands in your way.

5) So, I know you’ve heard of feast or famine when it comes to business…if you’ve ever experienced this how do you overcome the “famine” and/or how did position your business to get out of this cycle?

The rough economy and competitive dance field really forced me to get creative with my business strategy. I positioned my dance business to be a leader in getting the world dancing. Not just professionals or dance enthusiasts, but the world. My business is proud to work with people of all ages and backgrounds. This unwavering dedication to the public has been the foundation of my business since day one. It has also helped us stay afloat!

6) Where does your inspiration/motivation come from?

My biggest inspirations and motivators are God, my family, and my creative colleagues.

7) How do you define and measure success?

I always say that success is in the eye of the beholder, much like beauty. However, I personally define success as the achievement or surpassing of goals. I measure success both quantitatively and qualitatively, looking at both numbers and happiness.

8) Speaking of success…What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?

Reaching out to local media professionals was the step that helped set my business’ success into motion.

9) How has your business helped with community growth or development?

My business has helped bring communities together with dance. I will never forget hosting my first open dance workshop for the community where people from all walks of life came together with one common goal; to experience the joy of dance. By the end of the class people were exchanging contact information, building friendships, and planning to attend the next workshop. Another way my business has helped with community growth and development is through our advertising program. I have provided local businesses with more exposure and networking power.

10) Where do you see yourself and your business 10 years from now?

I see myself continuing to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I also see myself continuing to educate and mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs. In 10 years, I see Roger Lee Dance, LLC celebrating its 12th anniversary!

11) What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

I live by the words “be the change you want to see in the world.” My advice is to think about what things you would change about the world, develop a plan for changing those very things, and then implement your plan. This process will give you clarity, purpose, and vision for your entrepreneurship journey, Also, never give up! No matter what comes your way, do not allow yourself to quit. You are closer to your finish line than you think you are. You are too close to stop now. So push your shoulders back, stick your chest out, and put your chin up proudly. You have what it takes to succeed and be the entrepreneur of your dreams. All you have to do is see it, believe it, and achieve it!

12) What projects are you currently working on that you think could benefit some of my readers?

I am currently producing Roger Lee Dance’s 1st Annual Black History Celebration Concert BlackHistoryAd copySeries for the community. Each show features my choreography and the work of 7 guest choreographers. I think that the community will enjoy seeing black history celebrated through the lens of live dance and music. I am also launching and promoting new dance merchandise including the Roger Lee Dance Cardio Workout Video for beginner students, my debut e-book “3 Steps to Overcoming Dance Fear,” and full-color prints featuring live dance action shots. Lastly, I am booking clients for my dance services including private and group instruction, entertainment for kid parties and special events, public speaking about dance, health, and wellness, marketing and publicity, and entrepreneurship, and consulting for marketing and publicity, programs, and special events.

Buy Tickets here for Roger’s 1st Annual Black History Celebration Concert on the 21st and 22nd.

You can reach out to Roger online via his self-designed website www.rogerleedance.com.

Tune in next Saturday for my next guest entrepreneur!

Did you enjoy reading this? Awesome! I’d like to invite you to sign up here to receive new blog posts in your inbox when they update.

 

Black History Now: Meet Darnyelle Jervey

In celebration of Black History Month, I’ve been conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs who are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders. I would like to introduce to you all my final guest to conclude this series…

Meet Darnyelle Jervey Speaker, Award-Winning Author , and Your Incredible Factor Catalyst

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Darnyelle A. Jervey is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises, LLC

In this video interview Darnyelle shares with us

  • How to stand out in the crowd when it seems everyone is doing the same business as you
  • How a $500 investment is just enough to grow big business
  • What an Incredible Factor is and steps you can take to unleash it in 2013

You can reach out to Darnyelle online via her site

http://www.incredibleoneenterprises.com/

You can register for the Unlease Your Incredible factor Tour at

http://www.unleashtour.com