Black Entrepreneurs Are Leveling Up with TD Jakes

On April 6, we soared to new heights with TD Jakes in Atlanta, Georgia, as we kicked off the first installation of the SOAR Empowerment series hosted by Nationwide. Over 700 entrepreneurs, business men and women, and leaders convened at the Georgia World Congress Center to receive wealth building resources.

After remarks from BLACK ENTERPRISE president and CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. and Lu Yarbrough, associate vice president, Enterprise Diverse Marketing; TD Jakes opened the morning with a powerful message on the importance of building healthy relationships and breaking gravitational pulls that hold people back.

His message resonated with the aspiring, emerging, and established entrepreneurs and professionals in the room who were looking for an uplifting word as they prepared to soar.

The event continued with remarks from Karmetria Burton, general manager of Supplier Diversity for Delta Airlines, who encouraged attendees to understand their unique value proposition as they do business. Lamar Tyler, BE Modern Man and founder of Traffic, Sakes, and Profit and TSP Live, shared how to be intentional about your passion, purpose, and profit to monetize a business idea.

Here are five questions Tyler says you should ask yourself before you start a business:

  1. Can you do this without a cheerleader?
  2. Will I invest what’s required?
  3. Will I keep going when it gets tough?
  4. Is my WHY big enough?
  5. Are you ready to soar?

Koreyelle DuBose, founder of WERK PRAY SLAY dropped massive gems during her presentation on maximizing your earning power.

Health is wealth

Eli Lily challenged event-goers to prioritize their health with a relevant conversation about diabetes prevention. Dr. Rovenia Brock followed up with an informative presentation on how to create a personalized nutrition plan.

The afternoon continued with a riveting talk given by Dr. Dennis Kimbro on what it takes to “Think and Grow Rich.”  “I’m really into wealth, not income…big difference.”

JP Morgan Chase also gave a special presentation on their program Advancing Black Pathways. And as the number one employer of Morehouse graduates — they are committed to hiring 4,000 black graduates over the next five years.

Make your money work for you

Ash “Cash” Exantus, founder and chief financial educator shared how to build a financial freedom fund to set oneself up to win. “If you are exchanging time for money, you are wasting it,” he told the audience.

Charreah K. Jackson followed up with an engaging presentation on how to negotiate your way to the top.

Dr. Michele ‘Fit Doc’ Reed gave a final presentation on how to develop and maintain a fitness lifestyle by being mentally fit and physically strong.

If you’re interested in soaring to new heights, we’ll be taking flight in multiple cities so stay tuned for more updates!

The post Black Entrepreneurs Are Leveling Up with TD Jakes appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


10 Common Health Issues Entrepreneurs Face

There are many perks of being the head honcho, but the toll of pursuing success in entrepreneurship can also be enormous if you don’t protect your biggest asset: your well-being. Below are 10 common health issues entrepreneurs face:

1. Depression: In a recent landmark study by Dr. Michael Freeman, a clinical professor at UCSF and entrepreneur, 49% of the more than 240 entrepreneurs surveyed reported having a mental-health condition, with depression as the No. 1 reported condition among them.

2. Anxiety: Dr. Freeman’s study also indicated that 27% of entrepreneurs surveyed indicated issues with anxiety. That’s more than the whole U.S. population, (at a rate of 18.1%.)

3. Addiction: Recent research has found that habitual entrepreneurs display symptoms of behavioral addiction similar to other traditional behavioral addictions, such as gambling or internet usage. Symptoms can include obsessive thoughts and sometimes there are negative emotional outcomes such as guilt, high levels of strain, and abuse of foods, alcohol or even drugs.

4. Hypertension/Heart Disease: It’s no secret that being responsible for the financial prosperity of others as well as the overall success of a business can be quite stressful. High stress has been shown to temporarily heighten blood pressure and can trigger habits such as unhealthy eating which can lead to heart disease.

5. Lack of Health Insurance: A recent Gallup-Healthways analysis conducted for The New York Times found entrepreneurs are less likely to have health insurance, with solopreneurs in particular often have to choose between covering everyday necessities vs. paying high monthly insurance premiums.

6. Joint and Circulation Challenges: Entrepreneurs have been found to work 63% longer than the average worker, and many spend a lot of that time at a desk, behind a computer or on their smartphones: a welcome environment for circulation and joint challenges.

7. Sleeping Disorders: With a large percentage of founders working at least 52 hours per week (with some even working a whopping 70 hours), there’s not much time left for sleep. Experts recommend 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day, but entrepreneurs working long hours are getting more like 4 to 6 hours. Also issues like insomnia and jet lag are common with busy CEOs.

8. Vision-Related Problems: The average adult spends 11 hours per day on gadgets, and entrepreneurs are more than attached to their smartphones, laptops and computers. And there actually is a such thing as computer vision syndrome, also referred to as digital eye strain.

9. Migraines: Of course, being an entrepreneur doesn’t directly cause migraines, however, many of the triggers for them have been found to be a weekly norm for ambitious startup stars.

10. Sexual Health: Stress, anxiety and depression have all been linked to issues such as erectile dysfunction and hormone suppression in women. They can also have an opposite effect, leading to unsafe sexual behavior which can lead to risk for STDs.

The post 10 Common Health Issues Entrepreneurs Face appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Entrepreneurs: Here Are 3 Ways Bad Health Habits Can Cut Into Your Bottom Line

Not living as healthy a life as possible can lead to more than just physical challenges. The fiscal results can add more problems to your life—but some are avoidable. Here are three bad health habits and how they can affect your financial health and that of your business.

Smoking: Quitting smoking is considered one of the hardest endeavors to take on (and science backs this notion.) Besides the fact that a pack of cigarettes can cost you up to $ 17, the American Cancer Society reports that tobacco-related healthcare costs are more than $ 130 billion and the direct healthcare cost for those who smoke cigarettes is about $ 35 per pack. (So, let’s say you smoke only a pack per day. That’s more than $ 13,000 per year.)

Recent Wallet Hub research also indicates that smokers can lose up to $ 5,932 per year in income, and more than $ 156 billion is lost in productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke. In some states, health insurance premiums are higher for smokers—up to 50% higher than those who do not smoke.

The American Cancer Society and healthcare professionals cite options for quitting including counseling, nicotine-replacement therapy, and prescription drugs. Smokers are also advised to seek help from a licensed medical professional or to take advantage of cessation programs covered by insurance.

Overworking: There are several health-related effects of overworking and researchers have found that the resulting stress can lead to depression, heavy drinking, impaired sleep, diabetes, and other conditions and illnesses. It can also lead to a loss in productivity, which is quite counterproductive. The domino effect: absences at work, appointments, and business meetings, which then leads to a breakdown in your reputation and credibility as a leader. If you’re missing a meeting that could have netted you that lucrative partnership, that’s money lost to your business. And even if you show up, you won’t be at your best—yet again risking the loss of money-making opportunities.

Productivity experts suggest working in 60-to 90-minute intervals throughout the day, and to manage your time in a way that promotes a healthy balance between professional and personal time. Prioritizing deadlines, being prompt for meetings, and avoiding distractions are all ways you can avoid unnecessary midnight oil-burning sessions.

Skipping Doctor’s Appointments: No-show rates for doctor’s appointments can range from 5% to 55%. Not scheduling routine exams, especially for conditions and diseases that disproportionately affect black women and men or people of a certain age range, can mean missed diagnosis and exposure to health challenges that could have been avoided or treated earlier.

The CDC indicates that getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, help your chances for living a longer, healthier life, and catching things early can help to avoid the healthcare and insurance costs that you could face if a condition is not detected early enough, gets worse, or leads to a more serious one. It’s definitely less expensive to go to the doctor regularly than to avoid it for years and end up having an extended stay in a hospital or high costs of a lifetime of prescription drugs or medical treatments.

Editor’s Note: This article originally published on July 2, 2016 

The post Entrepreneurs: Here Are 3 Ways Bad Health Habits Can Cut Into Your Bottom Line appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Want to start your own business? These entrepreneurs will teach you how for less than $20.


The term entrepreneur tends to evoke images of a tech bro who spends way too much time on LinkedIn, where he brags about being “CEO at Self-Employed” and writes quasi-philosophical posts about the #hustle. (See the Twitter account @StateofLinkedIn for real-life examples, if you dare.) 

That stereotype applies to a handful of self-starters, to be sure, but you probably won’t find them among Silicon Valley’s success stories. The entrepreneurs whose innovations and ideas have actually changed lives are too busy trying new things and dreaming big to spout vapid humblebrags on social media. If you somehow found a way to connect with them, you’d probably get some legitimately helpful tips on how to establish your own business.  Read more…

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Black Entrepreneurs Rejoice! People Are in the Mood to Spend This Holiday

Many retailers–whether owned by black entrepreneurs or white–will get an early gift with Americans expected to spend more this holiday shopping season than last year, a new survey shows.

Consumers overall are anticipated to spend $ 1,536 versus $ 1,226 a year ago, according to the 2018 Deloitte Holiday Survey of Consumers. A stronger economy and rising consumer confidence are among the biggest contributing factors for the gain and bullish outlook.

Holiday sales could top $ 1.1 trillion this year, up 5-5.6% from 2017. Online sales could reach $ 128 billion, rising some 17-22%. Purchases online will make up 57% of total sales while 36% will come from stores.

Mobile usage to buy goods for the festive season keeps rising, but other digital platforms like desktop, laptop, tablet, and social media are flattening in usage.

When it comes to giving presents to others, gift cards/certificates, clothing, and toys are respectively the top picks for consumers.

The average spend on gift cards this holiday season is projected at $ 139, up from $ 113 last year, and some 78% of people plan to shop for themselves during the holidays, spending cash mainly on food and liquor, clothing, and shoes.

The top destinations to buy goods this year will be online retailers and auction sites. Sixty percent of people will buy goods at those spots versus 55% in 2017. Conversely, 32% of us are likely to shop at traditional department stores, up 4% from 2017.

Naturally, the trend of online retailers giving brick-and-mortar stores beefed-up competition continues to rise.

Yet for consumers who plan to actually shop in stores instead of online, 60% plan to do so to interact with the product.

The ability to not pay shipping costs and shopping inside of stores for inspiration is why almost half of consumers – actually 47% each – will buy goods those ways.

There are other reasons for shopping in-store: It’s more fun and put folks in the holiday spirit, easier to make returns later and fulfills the need to buy goods immediately.

The survey was developed by Deloitte and done online by an independent research firm in September 2018. A national sample of 4,036 consumers were polled.


The post Black Entrepreneurs Rejoice! People Are in the Mood to Spend This Holiday appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise


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Freelancers, Remote Workers and Entrepreneurs: Here’s How to Find a Mentor

When people ask Kristi Porter for business advice, she first tells them to find a mentor.

Porter is the “chief do-gooder” at Signify, an Atlanta-based business specializing in marketing for nonprofit and for-profit organizations helping specific causes. Over the years leading up to and after the launch of her company in 2016, she sought the guidance of several mentors on how to set up her website and run her own business.

For freelancers, entrepreneurs and people who work independently, she says, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking they have to do everything by themselves. But that’s not the case. Mentors can be a support system offering guidance on overcoming the hurdles preventing your business from improving.

“It’s just great knowing that you’re not doing it alone,” she says. “Having outside perspectives and voices help[s] you get through the good and bad times.”

So having a mentor can be beneficial, but how do you find one if you’re a freelancer, an entrepreneur or someone who works from home? To find out, we ask some experts what to do when finding a mentor.

Full-Time Remote Worker? Make Yourself Visible

Not reporting to a central office can make finding a mentor seem impossible. That’s why Brie Reynolds, senior career specialists at FlexJobs, encourages remote workers to be as visible as possible. You can get on your co-workers’ and your boss’s radar by sending weekly job-related updates and setting times to chat about things other than work.

By making time to reach out and get to know your remote co-workers via instant messaging programs, phone or email, you’ll start to build a solid rapport. Those people may develop into potential mentors or point you toward someone who’s a better fit.

“Finding a mentor is ultimately about building a relationship with somebody, so you have to start at a small level,” Reynolds says.

Leverage Your Networks

Kristi Porter works from home in Atlanta, GA, on November 21, 2018.

According to Porter, one of the easiest ways for people to find a mentor is by letting their personal and professional networks know that they’re searching for one.

When the Atlanta-based nonprofit Plywood People introduced its new community manager, Porter seized the opportunity. She asked if the manager knew anyone with expertise in running an online business.

Within a day or two, the manager responded and set up an introduction with someone who she thought might be a great match. The recommended person ended up becoming a mentor to Porter. Over their yearlong mentor-mentee relationship, Porter learned the technical side of setting up an online business.

“Sometimes it’ about being bold and putting the ‘ask’ out there, and letting people know rather than continuing the hunt on your own,” she says.

Attend Professional Networking Events

During her days working as a restaurant sales manager, Beth Lawrence was regularly attending industry and non-industry-specific networking events around Philadelphia.

But after a layoff, she decided to become an entrepreneur and open her own event planning and marketing company, Beth Lawrence LLC. This time she wanted to seek out business groups featuring people going through similar situations.

Now she attends networking events aimed at helping female entrepreneurs and freelancers from different industries. “I just always find that I really learn a lot from people who aren’t necessarily in my same profession,” she says. At these events, she was able to develop new skills and get her business-related questions answered in a group setting.

It was at these networking events she found one of her mentors, an attorney. Despite not being in the same industry or having a similar career path, Lawrence always sought her advice when making major career decisions.

She says if you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur considering attending a networking event for the first time, go with a friend. By going with a friend, someone you know or a group member, it’s easier to make casual in-person introductions. “At the end of the day, a warm introduction is way better than a cold email or cold call,” she says.

Consider Creating an Accountability Group

When looking for potential mentors, Reynolds says, you don’t have to stick to the traditional mentor-mentee relationship. Try lateral relationships to start.

“I think sometimes people hear ‘mentor’ and think that it has to be this very formalized relationship, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” she says. “It can really be even just a couple of freelancers who are at the same level helping each other out.”

Porter says accountability partners — or mentor groups — are peers who are in the trenches with you. These are often fellow freelancers or entrepreneurs all working on their personal businesses who are willing to lend you a hand when needed. Her accountability partner’s background is in selling physical products online, but Porter’s is in service-based business.

While working together in person is one way to hold these accountability or mentor groups, Reynolds says there is no specific format when structuring these relationships. They can be done in person or with email chains and instant messaging threads. She says, “It really just depends on what you are all comfortable working on.”

How Do You Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor?

Kristi Porter poses for a portrait against a backdrop of fall leaves.

After all the networking, email exchanges and coffee dates, if you see someone as a potential mentor, all you need to do is ask.  

It doesn’t have to be something incredibly formal. When Porter asked her mentor if she wanted to take the role 10 years ago, it was done via email following a coffee meeting. Porter recalls they both hit it off so well that she decided to be bold and ask.

“I know a lot of people in high-level positions are willing to give back in some capacity and do want to share what they’ve learned,” she says. When Porter’s mentor opened the email, she was flattered. “She thought, ‘Yeah, this is something I can do. I like you and want to see you succeed,’” Porter remembers.

But if a potential mentor isn’t willing to take you under their wing, don’t worry. Porter tells freelancers and entrepreneurs to be patient when searching for the right person.

“It sometimes takes quite a while to find these people, so don’t give up, keep trying,” she says. “Once you find somebody that works with you, it’s a really great partnership and you’ll be so glad that you waited.”

Matt Reinstetle is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers career advice and side gigs. You can follow him on Twitter @MattReinstetle.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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