Author: veumagazine

Meet Serial Entrepreneur Jeff Lopes of the Jeff Knows Inc. Podcast Show

The Jeff Knows Inc. is a Entrepreneurial podcast, hosted by Jeff Lopes.  Jeff has over 2 decades experience as a serial entrepreneur.  Building brands like Kimurawear from his home basement to a multi-million dollar global brand that has sold over a quarter million pairs of boxing gloves worldwide.  Jeff’s here to educate, guide and drive you on the process from bringing your ideas and dreams to reality, with the inspiring stories from some of the top business minds.  

Tell us how you got started off: 
 I have always been a hustler, from selling sports cards at a young age, to registering and operating my first business before the age of 17, it has always seemed becoming an entrepreneur was part of my DNA.   My businesses have always been created with as a passion project and that is why I feel, most of my ventures have always succeeded.  Don’t get me wrong, I have had my taste of failure, I take those moments as lessons that fuel me to work even harder.  My passion for branding has allowed me to build brands, that are fueled by what I love doing.  

  Talk to us about your current businesses and stages for each
 I have two main companies I have founded and currently operate.  The first is Kimurawear, which I founded in Jan 2006 as a Boxing and Martial Art Equipment Brand, by creating unique and forward thinking active training and lifestyle products.  The brand grew from a home office start up to now selling in over 1800 gyms across North America and the brand has now sold over a quarter million pairs of boxing gloves.   My second company I have founded and currently operate is True Blue Homes, which is Holding company for Real Estate and has a portfolio of commercial properties and vacation rentals properties.  The vacation rental business is one I am very passionate about. I currently own and operate 4 vacation properties in a four season resort in Blue Mountains and currently working on building a 16 acres resort in Muskoka, which is a gorgeous, popular vacation destination for Canadians.   

What is the most rewarding part for you about what you do?  
Being an entrepreneur has been hands down is the most rewarding thing for me.  The reason is the 3 “F” Bombs – Freedom, Freedom, and Freedom.

1. Freedom to wake up each day and follow your passions by creating and developing things you love.

2. Freedom to spend quality time with your family and loved ones and be able to pick up and make your own schedule.

3. Freedom to make you rich, not stuck at a 9 to 5 job, behind a desk making someone else rich.

What have been some of the biggest lessons about overcoming obstacles and failure that you have learned throughout your business journey?
The two biggest lessons I learned as an entrepreneur are: 1. Always be ready to be the hardest worker in the room, no matter how successful you become the minute you take your foot off the pedal, there is always someone in your rear view mirror trying to pass you.   I learned very early, when you taste a bit of success it’s easy to feel, you have made it.  That feeling changes, quickly when your competitors, start taking a bigger share of the pie in your space.  That feeling forced me to understand, to be on top, and stay on top, you cannot question or fear early morning and late nights and always be the hardest worker in the room, which will motivate your employees to work as hard as they can. 2. Believe in your vision and passion, there will always be doubters and individuals that will question your concepts and goals, you cannot waste energy on those individuals, focus your energy on obtaining your goals you have set.  When I started Kimurawear over 15 years ago, I had plenty of doubters, questioning my new venture, saying it was too small of an industry or too hard of a market to break into.  I find this great pleasure in proving people wrong, and the negativity and questioning, seem to fuel my passion to succeed.  Always understand the individuals that questions and try and stop you from your dreams, are doing that because they are too scared to follow their own dreams and do not want to see other succeed. 

Tell us about any new or upcoming projects you are working on

 I have been doing business consulting, for the past three years, not as a business, but more of passion, giving back to young entrepreneurs and passing on my knowledge I have obtained over the last 24 years.  Recently I turned that passion in to a fun project, The Jeff Knows Inc. Show, an entrepreneurial podcast.  The podcast is driven around; successful entrepreneurs true life stories from around the globe. Never in a million years had I ever thought the podcast would grow so rapidly, it’s quickly turned from a passion project to now a longer term goal of mine, as an outlet to pass on knowledge and lessons to entrepreneurs around the globe.  The amount of quality guests we have had on and have lined up to appear is extraordinary.  Just having down to earth business and life conversations with these guests,  is so awarding, I feel I am constantly learning and growing as an entrepreneur myself.  

  Leave us with some words of advice you can offer to aspiring and current entrepreneurs?

 The three things I tell all entrepreneurs is:
1. Find a passion and turn it into a business, the greatest gift of entrepreneurship is waking up each day and doing what you love.

2.  Set Goals on a personal level and your business and write them down.  I like setting quarterly goals every three months, as that period is short enough not to get bored, but long enough to achieve something special.  Once you have created your goals, now create a process to achieve those goals.   Each goal should have a step by step process to reaching that goal and I truly mean a step by step process.  

How have you used social media to help leverage your brand?
We live in an age of technology, everyone now a day has a smart device around them at all times, and as a business if you do not leverage that, you are going to fail.  Social media is a massive part of our marketing budget and we utilize social media to help continually growing all of the brands, from Kimurawear to all the way to the Jeff Knows Inc. Show. 

What are 3 fun facts most people don’t know about you?
1. I have an obsession over buying watches and sneakers. I currently have over 20 plus watches and seem to buy new sneakers ever few months.  This all stems from years back, I had an entrepreneur I looked up to, that never dressed up, put on a pair of jeans, nice watch and some new sneakers and was able to walk into a room with suited up CEO’s and still control the room.   He always said, as long as you have a nice watch, new clean sneakers and confidence in who you are, that will resonate and others will want to surround themselves around you.

2. I have a passion for fast older American Muscle cars. A few years back I took a 1979 Camaro which was parked in my parent’s garage for over 20 years and did a full bumper to bumper restoration and did ,most of the work myself.

3. I enjoy getting my hands dirty, and building and creating on my own.  I am a strong believer in sweat equity and a big portion of my rental businesses I have personally done most of the full renovations myself.   I love creating and I always start with a vision in my mind and find joy in seeing the step by step process in the creation of my vision.

To learn more about Jeff and listen to the podcast, visit www.JeffKnowsInc.com

Why Leadership Skills are Important for Workplace and Business Success

Leadership is not only leading a bunch of people. It’s not only ahead of the crowd for them to follow you. But the initial step of becoming a leader of people is a leader of yourself. Being able to hone your wildness and to bring professionalism in your nature will be the first step towards the success of your business. And once you start leading your heart, your brain, and soul, only then can you lead people who will be aiding or working for your business.

Mere power can not help you be unique, but your leadership skills sure do. Someone having the right leadership qualities in oneself helps one take initiatives and work in an innovative and active surrounding to meet the business ROI goals in minimum time. 

Following are some reasons why having leadership traits is vital for business success:

1. Adaptability brings business success:

The business world is ever-changing. To be an effective leader, one must change according to the conditions to bring success to his name. This is a leadership skill that takes the leader and his business quite the long way on the road of success. Tre leaders always act according to the situation and always devise out plans to solve upcoming problems.

2. People skills enable a leader to be more in control of the workforce:

Many leaders fall short when it comes to this trait of a good leader. Having the right kinds of people skills can help a leader bring the most out of the man force in business. This way, the entire business can achieve its results faster, and the ROIs can be done in minimum time. 

3. Decisiveness allows a leader to always or mostly be right:

Making good judgments and doing so promptly is a distinct characteristic of a leader. A leader never gets tired of being right all the time. He puts in the right amount of effort and time to devise our decisions that are most probable to be right. Having a fear of being wrong is a good trait as it makes the leader ponder upon the solutions to any problems more keenly and deeply. He can this way bring in use his management skills of the workforce and business processes.

4. Collaborative skills help a leader be ahead of all:

A business is never done alone. A leader understands this and never forgets this rule of thumb. A good leader always keeps his subordinates and fellow workers working with him side by side. He believes in working as a team and never does anything all on his own. He trusts his employees and hence makes the business team more impact, which hastens the profits and business success.

These were some of the reasons why having leadership traits can play playa vital role in the business world. These skills make or break an entire business. One must try his best to have these skills and win the road to success in the business he is leading.

Seven Reasons Why Leadership Development Programs Fail

Leadership development programs are the ways to expand the capacity of people working in an organization to perform in various leadership roles. These programs include mentoring and coaching, and they result in a boosting of employee morale and transform any company for merely a workplace to a great place to work. These leadership development programs reinforce a company’s vision, missions, and values by defining out examples. 

But sometimes these leadership development programs also fail. The top 7 reasons for the failure of these programs are stated below:

1. Failure to communicate:

Today’s organizations are complex. These complex levels require thorough communication among all the levels and tiers of the organization. But during the Leadership development training programs, when there is a lack of communication from the leader’s ends to the employee end, then chances of failure increase. A leadership training suggests that the boss or the team lead must have an individual level connection with all its employees to promote a sense of “we” rather than “I.”

2. Lack of accountability:

Tracking of results and keep all the processes accountable in any organization is very important to let the leadership development programs be a success. The organizational development track must be recorded, and every individual must be self-disciplined and focused.

3. Fear of firing:

A team lead must not have a fear of firing an employee just because he has been working with the company for so long that you know their family now. When someone isn’t performing well and needs a rest, then he must get it to keep the organization afloat and all the development programs working successfully.

4. Lack of alignment:

You might have read in many books on leadership that it’s the leaders who keep the whole organization and its key players aligned. When your key players are not all on the same page, then leadership development programs are destined to fail. Sure, disagreements can happen, but a leader solves them all to keep everyone united.

5. Lack of clear vision:

Organizational leadership stands firm on a strong vision. You can not move ahead and grow as a company if you don’t have a clear and compelling vision for your company, then you are moving to nowhere. It’s like aiming an arrow in a foggy forest. As a leader, you need to build a strong vision that keeps the fire in your employees’ ablaze. This will help the organization to keep moving in a single intended direction. 

 6. Poor execution:

When leaders don’t follow their plans, fail to keep a score of what’s important, and they don’t assign the right jobs to the right people, then they make the perfect formula for leadership development programs fail. But if these three puzzle pieces are put together perfectly, then any company can be put on a winning track.

7. A company culture by default:

Company culture is consciously thought and designed and not just brought into being on its own. By doing so, your company culture will be an advantageous competitive thing that will attract top talents and will drive success. 

Leadership skills aren’t always learned from birth. They can be learned and can help any organization to turn itself into a thriving one. Team leadership can take the sails of any company and move it upstream with the help of some of the company’s aligning points stated above.

Divorce Attorney, Leslie Montanile, Gives 5 Ways New Divorcees Can Rebuild Their Lives and Live Out Their Purpose.

One of the things that most people hate the most in life is change. Any change can be hard, but especially leaving a long term relationship and marriage. Moving on is hard, but usually what we need to live a more fulfilling life. Divorce Attorney Leslie Montanile spoke with us to give a few tips for those who are starting their new journey in life.

1. Envision your life as you want to live it

Seeing what your life can look like in your mind can help you plan for the future you may have been dreaming about for some time. Writing down your dreams, desires, and goals for your life in a journal will allow you to explore yourself and dig deeper into what makes you tick and ultimately make you happy for your life – your purpose.

2.     Make a plan for getting what you want

Once you are clear on your purpose for your new life achieving those goals can seem like a daunting task.  Creating a plan, like a road map, will enable you to take one step at a time – one day at a time- to get you where you want to go.  Your plan should include where and how you want to live, your financial picture, career goals, and social interests. Defining each of these in writing will give you the ability to take steps towards creating your new life.  For example, when you understand your finances, savings, earnings, credit, retirement, etc…, it will help you decide how you want to live (buying vs. renting) and where you want to live (city, suburbs, farm, beach, lake or mountains.  It will also give you security, knowing what you have exactly and what you are comfortable living with.  Social interests are vital as it encompasses your life outside of work. When rebuilding your life, you want to include those things that bring you joy from daily living.

3.     Learn from others

Whether you are starting a new career, learning a new craft, or delving into a new social arena, be open to learning from others. Specifically from those that have been there before and or have the expertise to teach you something new or help you have a deeper understanding of something you already knew.  Networking groups, exercise classes (in the gym and outside), card clubs, cooking classes, book clubs, knitting – whatever moves you there is a pretty good chance there is a group out there that you can join to learn or enhance your skills while making a new friend and contacts all at the same time.

4.     Change your daily routine

To truly move on from your old life prior to divorce, changing your daily routine is a must. Every week change something old to something new.  Take a different route home.  Exercise at night if you used to in the morning. Change your bank or location.  Try a new supermarket for your groceries. Try a new nail salon or go with colors you would never have used before, its only paint.  Explore what is around you. Say yes to all the things you said no to in the past for all the wrong reasons. Skip the excuses and embrace the new you.  

5.     Create a contract with yourself

It’s your life, and if you agree with yourself, in writing, what you will set out to achieve and take those steps to get there, you will succeed.  Even if the path leads you down a road less traveled or not anticipated, you will move towards that life goal that you set for yourself if you hold yourself accountable for your personal happiness and success.

About Leslie

LESLIE MONTANILE began practicing matrimonial law in 1992 in Los Angeles, California. Working in a prestigious boutique law firm she worked closely with clients to successfully achieve their desired goals and immediate needs. Upon moving back to her native home in New York and working at NBC between 1997-1999, Montanile decided in January of 2000 to open her own law practice and dedicate her legal career to helping women effectively navigate the process of divorce and achieve independent financial success. Montanile received her law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, and is admitted to practice before the Courts of the State of New York, California and Connecticut. She is a member of the Family Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, a Woman’s NYC mastermind group and both the California and Connecticut Bar Associations. She has made guest appearances on Women’s Radio network and morning show, Connecticut 1 speaking about women’s issues that occur before, during and after a divorce. Her work has also been referenced in Westchester Magazine and Inside Westchester. 

Why Small Businesses Need an Online Presence/Website?

The world is online! The Internet is booming with leaps and bounds, and you can’t deny it. Having a business these days mean being online and giving your clients access to reach you through anywhere in the world. A website in these times is not only a great way to introduce your products and services; it also to acknowledge your customers that you exist. The consumer market now is heavily relying on the Internet from purchasing something to seeing its reviews. The following are some of the reasons why small businesses and start-ups must have an online presence. 

1. It looks professional:

A website will always prove your business to be of credibility. When your clients find you online, they instantly hit with the idea that you are safe to buy from. About 65% percent of businesses choose to have a website because it gave them a vibe of being more credible. It can boost your reputation, give you exposure, and also generate leads from all over the world and not just your town.

2. Give you the spotlight:

You need to be in front of your customer’s sight and reach to make sales. And in this competitive online market, you would easily lose any leads because you don’t exist online. Existing online and having great content to represent your business will boost your sales by letting your content reach your audience. Now Google has algorithms that allow you to appear higher in your local surrounding areas search results.

3. You stay competitive:

Eighty-five percent of customers search anything online before buying it. When you have an online presence, and optimized content on it exists, then you can get the opportunities that your competitive businesses without an online presence won’t. Being online and responding to user queries readily will give your business the boost it needs.

4. Reach out:

Having a local business without an online business means that you are missing out on all of the sales opportunities you have around the world. Your competitors simply will get them because they are online and can easily be reached. You can have all your products listed on your website, have a purchasing option straight from the website, and get the products shipped to customer address and have a win-win business process across the globe right there. Your business needs to reach out to its potential clients and get the sales it needs to become an enterprise.

Conclusion:

These were the top four reasons why you need an online presence. Having it will make your reach out to all of your potential clients across the world. It will make you boost sales. You will be able to win against all your competitors who don’t have an online presence, and you will gain the credibility businesses gets when it has an online presence. Your customers will love to buy from you if you have an active customer service.

Santia Deck Becomes the First Woman Athlete to Own a Sneaker Company

Santia is known for breaking records that are typically reserved for men athletes only. She recently signed a multi-million dollar contract with WFLA or Women’s Football League Association. This is the biggest contract that WFLA has signed with a female athlete. Her talk show, Queen of Abs is also available on iSHE TV, iHolyfield TV, and NPOWERED. Deck is using all the available platforms for inspiring young women. She has overcome many challenges in her life like scoliosis and bullying. Deck is an inspiration for all young women. Aside from that, she just launched her own sneaker company, and is the first women athlete to achieve this feat.

Deck new sneaker company is TRONUS and it has already received an amazing response. WFLA has done years of planning for this moment. Santia has already represented many shoe brands in the past. She has been the brand ambassador of various amazing shoe brands. Santia has finally achieved her goal of owning a sneaker company. Her team has brought on Jamine Sills. Jamine Sills is an amazing footwear designer and he is now working as a creative consultant for Santia Deck. The project got delayed as Santia wanted some non-negotiable things in her shoe. She wanted her shoes to be both fashion-forward and unique. The shoe should have a lightweight feel. She wanted a shoe that her fans can collect and show off. Deck wanted to make sure that her first attempt is successful. Thus, she and her team spent a lot of time learning about the shoe industry. Their project has evolved into a big shoe empire now.

Deck has been teasing TRONUS to her fans. She has already uploaded many original concepts on her social media accounts. The fans were flooding with her requests before even she launched the official website. Thus, her shoes were already hit. TRONUS is now offering free registration to their users.  You can get VIP access on TRONUS. This will ensure that you will get priority. Thus, you can buy the shoes before they are available on the general website. There are also many other perks that TRONUS is offering to the VIP members. TRONUS has gained 10 times the VIP members that they have first anticipated. They had a rough figure in their mind after they saw the response of fans on the Santia Instagram page. However, fans have completely blown away that figure. The team is worried now as they think that their entire first limited edition shoe will be sold to VIP members only. They won’t have enough shoes for the general public. The best thing about this is that they have still advertised their product. Thus, Deck is very happy with these initial numbers. Multiple resellers now want to sell these shoes. One reseller is even ready to buy the entire stock of TRONUS. However, Deck and her team have already declined this offer. They know the value of their brand.

There are many other business-savvy women like Rihanna and Serena Williams that have already collaborated with big brands. They are already working with big brands like Puma and Nike. Santia Deck is also trying to expand their brand in the same direction. They want to build a big brand. Deck also wants to compete with these big players. She wants to create a big brand like Nike and Puma.

Independent Film Director Rahim Brazil Tackles Mental Health, Addiction and Therapy in His New Film

Music artist, film director, and entrepreneur Rahim Brazil, just celebrated the screening of his new film “When Love Takes Over,” in Atlanta, Ga . We had the chance to speak to Rahim on the new film, and what it takes to be an independent film director and music artist in this era.  

Interviewed by Adrena Martin

First let me tell you how proud I am of you. I remember you from the beginning when you were just a music artist, now you’ve evolved into so much more. Where did the inspiration come from to get into films?

Thank you, this is definitely been a journey for me as a music artist turned into a film director. The inspiration from getting into the filming industry has come from me being a part of a film project in 2016. After being on set, I really liked the whole vibe of the behind the scenes work and felt a need to dive into film creation. I always strive to enhance my brand, but also enhance my gifts. I used to act  in middle school and I wrote my first script in the eight grade, so I always had that passion, but when I jumped into film in 2016, it sparked up that passion and a new desire for me to direct and create my own content.

“When Love Takes Over” is your latest project. Is this inspired by true events or how did you come up with the storyline?

I would not say this is inspired by true events, but it is inspired by true situations. I actually wrote this one because I wanted to work with a particular Actor and really wanted to mold a different type of story for the community within itself. So I created this story to tackle different issues within this movie and within the script. It really dives into the different things that people face like suicide, therapy, alcoholism, relationships etc. So it is really a layered story that I believe people can really relate to. I really feel that it is a story that needed to be told in a way that people can understand from a perspective of realism. 

As a creative and entrepreneur, what is one of the most challenging things for you to overcome with your projects?

One of the most challenging things for me to overcome within my projects is getting things done with minimum budget. Things like finding locations being able to pay Actor’s being able to solidify myself as a reputable creator who is able to take care of his people. For a while we were trying to Give people opportunities, but also help people to receive the compensation that they deserve for their art. So my challenge was more so centered around being able to actively create, while trying to work a 9-to-5 to support the dream. The last and final challenge would be having a solid team in place. I have really struggled to find individuals who match my level of productivity, focus and drive, but now I believe I am in a better place with the people that are standing behind me and my projects, but it definitely took some time to maintain. 

How did you go about casting for this project, and what are some things the actors had to do to really get prepared for their roles?

This casting was a little different than our other castings because I purposely selected actors that I believed would do the script some justice. I did not hold auditions or anything like that, but the actors all had to attend a table reading and a rehearsal. So doing the rehearsal process, I was able to work with them on their characters, work with them on particular scenes and also do some improv exercises in order to make this project stand out.  My goal was to make sure that whatever emotions came across the screen would touch the viewer. 

What message do you want viewers to get from the film and where can they find it?

The number one message that I want people to receive from this film is that therapy is OK. Therapy  is fine and therapy is helpful. I want people to not feel ashamed for needing help and actively asking for it when they know they need it. They can find this film on my new network www.dreamhousetvexclusive.com By subscribing for $5.99 a month and they can watch all of the shows that we have on there and will be uploading soon. Also feel free to subscribe to our YouTube page Dream House television network.

What advice do you have for other independent directors looking to get their work out? 

My advice for other filmmakers is to make sure they continue to learn, elevate, and grow. We are never too intelligent to learn and providing information to ourselves will help enhance our creative process. I will also give advice on building good connections with other creatives, from actors to crew because having a good set of people behind you will help you create better films. You are as good as your team and the people that’s walking beside you. Be hands on with direction and prioritize your filming process. 

I just really want to say thank you VEU Magazine for this interview and thank you for bringing awareness to what we have going on as creatives, I really do appreciate you for allowing us to use your platform to speak about what we have going on.

About Rahim Brazil

Rahim Brazil is a Hiphop artist/entertainer, Actor, Director and Radio personality from Baltimore, MD. It is rare that anyone comes across an artist that is self-motivated, inspirational, extremely talented, and a genuine representation of true artistry. Rahim Brazil has all of these qualities and more. His music offers an invigorating sound that captures his listeners attention. His unique music style is made of melodic harmonies, lyrical punches, energetic movements, and realism. Currently Rahim Brazil has released a new single “Superstar” off his sophomore  album entitled Closure. He shares stories of his past to where he acknowledges the ending of cycles that no longer serves us. Currently residing in Atlanta, GA, he intends to make his way through the industry performing at shows, killing stages, speaking on panels, hosting events and inspiring the upcoming generation. When Rahim is not working on music he is actively creating movies and tv programs. I’m 2017 he proudly created Dream House Television Network, an in-line streaking Platform that show movies, docu-series and various shows. He is the writer and director of the Hit series Twisted, which gained over 500k views on YouTube. 2020 will be the start of a new journey as he takes it up a notch and stepping into his star potential. Rahim Brazil is more than a star, but a trailblazer.  

Meet Rachelle Lawson, Author of the Self Help Book Girl Get Yo’ Life

Give us a little bit of your background and what inspired you to write your story.

I am a Motivational Teacher, Speaker, Author and Relationship Coach to young women.  My life mission is to motivate abundant life in young women.  The book as well as my life’s work is inspired by the outcry that I perceive from the hearts of women, as well as my own.  As a young woman, I set out to understand myself more intimately to answer my life’s most burning questions, “Who am I and why am I here?” I learned that the best place for that answer is the creator. The answer key is in the mind and heart of any creator. As a college instructor, I saw that young women were struggling in life, school, careers, and relationships. They would come to class broken and in tears about their lives.  They didn’t know what they did not know. I decided to write so that I could give this tool or resource guide to support them on the journey.  I realized that I could reach far more young women with a message in a book, than I ever could in a classroom.

What is your book Girl, Get Yo’ Life! A Young Woman’s Guide to Life and Relationships That Win all about? And what can readers expect from reading it?

This book is about 3 foundational concepts to a win in life: identity, purpose, and healthy relationships. We are not often taught the meaning of life and our role in it.  We are taught to go to school, be a good citizen, be nice to friends and strangers, etc.  When do we learn the meaning of life, the purpose of friendships and marriage or why we should speak life to the spirits of children?  One of the primary goals of our lives is to discover ourselves authentically and be complete individuals.  As complete and whole individuals, our goal is to pursue our life purpose and live fulfilling lives together in harmony with others.  The challenge becomes that we don’t know enough about ourselves and are unfulfilled in life, thus our relationships suffer, as a result. Readers can expect to get clarity of the meaning of life and that they have a unique role to play, for which they are responsible.  They will see learn that to have good success in relationships, it begins with us, not others.  Good relationships do not just exist, they have to be cultivated and nurtured.  Ultimately, we can choose well in every area of our lives when we know and embrace ourselves authentically and live with intention.  

What has been one of the most challenging things throughout your writing process?

One of the most challenging aspects of my writing process was determining when to stop adding content.  There is such a vast array of information to share with my “little sisters” that I did not know when to stop.  So, in this first edition, I included topics that I believe are most significant. Keeping the audience in the forefront of mind, helps to maintain topic focus. As I write, I keep an image of my nieces, great nieces, and goddaughters in mind and talk to them.  

Who are some of your literary inspirations and why?

Bishop TD Jakes is one of my favorite authors.  I enjoy the way that he paints pictures with word choice.  He is a magnificent storyteller.  The details really bring visual clarity to a written work.  Michelle McKinney Hammond is another favorite writer of mine.  She is a girlfriend of all girlfriends. As you read her books, you feel as though you are just chatting in the room right where you are.  

What other projects are you working on along with your book?

I am excited to announce that I am developing and launching an online course entitled Journey to You: Pathway to a Thriving Life. It is an extension of the book and a deeper dive into the work of self-discovery. Additionally, I have created a workbook to accompany the book.  The pair would be great for individual study, small groups, or workshop sessions.

Leave us with some final words of encouragement to your readers and aspiring authors.

Everything that you need to be your best self and thrive in life is INSIDE you. God made no accidents. Don’t go about life blindly. Get on the journey to self-discovery and WIN in life.  You can live a free and fulfilling life, authentically. Your best life is calling. Will you answer?

I want to encourage aspiring authors to be selfless and write the books and stories in your heart.  It is how we grow, transform, overcome, inspire, learn, and release healing to others as well as ourselves.  Your life will not be the same and your legacy will serve far beyond you!  

Eight Ways Your Business Can Survive the COVID-19 Recession

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our lives and left us with much uncertainty in the world. The coronavirus has already thrown the world into a recession. In this article, we are going to share some tips that will help you in preparing your company for the post-coronavirus recession. 

1. Assess your financial situation

If you want your company to survive, then you should use a performance monitoring system for understanding the financial health of your business. Companies should use effective methods for monitoring cash flow, costs, and revenue. This will help you in surviving in the post-coronavirus recession.

2. Assess your data 

You should first focus on understanding the current financial position of your company. After that, you should focus on understanding your market trends, operational challenges, and market trends. This data will contain all the things that you need to do. Every company should work on creating their own data strategy. This data strategy will help you in identifying important data. 

3. Create multiple revenue streams 

The best way to survive a recession is by creating more revenue streams. Your organization will be more resilient if you have multiple revenue streams. Coronavirus has already forced many organizations to look for new channels. For example, schools are using virtual learning for teaching their students. Restaurants are also offering delivery and take-out to their customers. Companies that were already using a digital framework can provide better user experience to their users. You should focus on creating a multichannel sales strategy. If you have a multichannel sales strategy, then your customers can interact with your business in multiple ways. 

4. Review Supply Chains 

The resiliency of your supply chain is the most important thing during the high-uncertainty environment. Every company should try to reinforce their supply chains. This will help you in recovering from the economic damage done by Coronavirus pandemic. Many sectors will go through a structural transformation due to this coronavirus pandemic. This will impact their existing supply partners and they can finally collaborate with new partners.

5. Flexible Workforce 

Companies are using freelancers and temporary workers for scaling up and down according to their needs. This is helping them in withstanding the economic downturn. A flexible workforce will help you in making your company more responsive and agile. Thus, your company can quickly get back on track. 

6. Automation 

Automation can help you in saving a lot of money. Thus, many companies invest in automation during challenging times. The human workforce becomes very expensive during a recession. Companies are now focusing on digitization and automation. You should focus on becoming fully automated as it will help you in preparing for the next pandemic or economic recession. 

7. Review Processes 

This is a perfect time to evaluate your processes and operations. You should try to remove the inefficiencies from your business processes as it will help you in trimming down your costs. Focus your efforts on improving the efficiency of your time-consuming business processes. You should put your time in identifying inefficiencies in your business process. This will ultimately help you in improving your business processes.

8. Build Strong Customer Experience 

According to a report of HBR, more than 1/5th of the companies didn’t survive the last economic recession. Economic recession can hit your company very hard. It is always a good idea to build strong relationships with your customers. You should use multiple online channels for getting closer to your customers. Many companies are using the latest technologies like Big Data for predicting their customer behaviors. You can survive this economic recession by working closely with your customers. Make sure that you are responding to their needs during this tough period. Customer experience will always act as a competitive differentiator for companies. Thus, you should focus on providing a good customer experience. 

Learning the Power of Your Influence with Nedra Buckmire

Give us a little bit of your background, and what inspired you to write your story

I have been an administrator for many years and still function in this capacity. I am also a speaker, mentor, certified life coach and author. My passion is helping others unleash dormant dreams by teaching them how to release their inherent excellence. When an individual can see with eyes of renewed hope and ultimately realize what they’ve desired brings me great joy. One of the central reasons that inspired me to write Harness The Power of Your Influence was to let every reader know influence is a force, yet it’s not forceful. Being able to intentionally channel one’s force to effect change in a person’s behavior, character, development, or overall outlook is immensely rewarding. The impact of shaping, empowering or lifting someone’s life because of deliberate interactions can certainly rewrite a person’s future.

What is your book Harness The Power of Your Influence all about, and what can readers expect from reading it?

The book’s central focus communicates the significance of comprehending the power one’s influence can wield. When a person is keenly aware they are influencing even when they are not being intentional, it brings a heightened awareness in this area. Readers can expect to understand at the basic level what is influence, their sphere of influence, how to embrace their influence and ultimately how to harness the power of their influence. When influence occurs, the impact should produce measurable results in the lives of those touched.

What has been one of the most challenging things throughout your writing process?

One of the most challenging things experienced within my writing process, which I am still in, has been replenishing my creative energy once I completed my master’s degree. I felt depleted and mentally exhausted from the countless research, papers and writing. Thankfully, I’ve completed my degree, a Master of Science in Psychology, and am working towards completing the book.

Who are some of your literary inspirations and why?

When I look at my library, I have tons of books on leadership several of which are written by John C. Maxwell, Dr. Samuel R. Chand among other others. As a leader in a nonprofit organization, I endeavor to stay connected and grow while remaining relevant in the field of leadership.  These books provide guidance and knowledge which can be utilized as resources to aid me as I impart to those I lead. Other literary works within my library are books that deal with the total person—spirit, soul and body. Some of those authors relating to those areas are Dr. Myles Munroe and Dr. Cindy Trimm. These books deal with aspects of life as we seek to become or remain whole in our spirit, soul and body. Understanding these areas that commonly hinder people’s ability to release dormant dreams and desires, can help me help others find resolve. These literary works have educated as I help lift others that may be stuck with unrealized expectations.

What other projects are you working on along with your book?

Right now, I’m finalizing a mentoring program for the Ravens Hope International organization. Ravens Hope International is teaching and training organization founded by Karen Robinson. I am part of this organization. The program was founded in Houston and is based in Cambodia. It exists to provide spiritual growth, leadership development, life skills, internships and mission opportunities to women ages 18-30. The mentoring program is entitled Maximizing Excellence. Many of the women in Cambodia lack education due to a myriad of factors.  The mentoring program provides further development in specified areas requested by the graduates of the Ravens Hope International instructional program. In addition to this program, I am continually creating content for my empowerment encounters and coaching programs.

Leave us with some final words of encouragement to your readers and aspiring authors

The journey of writing can be laborious and yet immensely satisfying. No matter where you currently are in your journey, keep going. The vision of your book has a story to tell, a truth to reveal and an answer to someone’s dilemma hidden within your words—make sure you tell them.  Your literary work can influence masses but it must first be released. I encourage you to inspire hope, ignite passions and rewrite futures as you impact others with your literary excellence. Harness your power and release your greatness! 

Follow Nedra on social media @ladybuckmire