Tuesday’s Tool Time™

 Tuesday’s Tool Time™ 

RochelleSA signature column featuring conversations with extraordinary solopreneurs all over the world. Starting a business is one of the biggest challenges a person can take on in their lifetime. Tuesday’s Tool Time™ honors the art of entrepreneurship and represents the very best of entrepreneurs of the new millennium in any genre, trade or profession: visual artists, athletes, strategists, storytellers, chefs, screen directors, clothing designers, authors, beauty connoisseurs, kid entrepreneurs and more! These awe-inspiring conversations (in podcast and print) will uncover the habits and routines that make these professionals the best at what they do. They’ll share their journeys of gratitude, innovation and challenge, and provide valuable tips and tools for creating personal, emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial success.

Implemented in the spirit of empowerment Tuesday’s Tool Time™ will address many of the common issues faced by entrepreneurs and small business owners and encourage original thinkers on how to be practical, proficient, and productive. Tuesday’s Tool Time™ Podcast Interview Series airs once a month and is hosted by creative author Rochelle Soetan.

iTunes & YouTube coming!


May 2017

Moziah Bridges

15-year-old CEO and Designer of Mo’s Bows 

Rochelle Soetan: Some kids know early on in life what they want to be, long-term, and what they want to do. Surprisingly, they are able to differentiate between their hobbies and their passions. Besides dressing well at age six, when did you know that going into the fashion business was something you really wanted to do?

Moziah Bridges: I knew that I wanted to go into the fashion industry at a young age. My dad was very fashionable. He would wear a suit and tie just to be going absolutely nowhere! I use to see celebrities on TV wearing bow ties, too. I wanted to do something more, something better, and something unique. One day, I went to the mall and saw these very beautiful and expensive bow ties. I decided, then, that bow ties was it. My grandmother is a retired seamstress and I asked her how to sew. I wanted to do something fun, something that no one else was doing. I think I found that.

Podcast: 

ABOUT THE TEEN ENTREPRENEUR

From his kitchen in South Memphis to Haute’ couture boutiques in Bensheim, Germany, crafty CEO Moziah Bridges takes pride in his vision of being the “NBT” (Next Big Thing). Moziah, who goes by the name of “Mo” knew by the time he’d reached the second grade that dressing well gave him more confidence, made him feel like a leader, and enhanced his overall presentation to the world. But never did he imagine that his leadership skills would someday transpire into a successful business of his own.

Image: Moziah Bridges and President Obama (provided by Mo’s Bows)

At the early age of nine, Moziah positioned himself to achieve his vision and mission by jump starting his business, Mo’s Bows, a jazzy apparel brand that is raising the bar on the quality of handmade bow ties and men’s accessories. Since then, this young fashion mogul has progressed from the playground to the publications of Esquire, GQ, Ebony, Oprah Magazine, and in the presence of Steve Harvey, Good Morning America, ABC’s Shark Tank and more. His abiding mantra “to wear Mo’s Bows you have to look good and feel good” has made him a front-runner in generation and industry.

Mo’s mother and greatest supporter, Tramica Morris, also known as “CEO of Mo” is much of the glue that keeps it all together. She says that Mo is a beautiful reflection of his birth name, Moziah, meaning admirable, visionary, ability to influence the masses, which was given to him in the spirit of Jamaican Political Leader, Marcus Moziah Garvey. Mo is just as much of an inspiration to his mom as she is to him. Together, they continue to find creative magic for expanding business, brands, passion and purpose. As a motivating brother, he inspires his siblings to be better every day. As an inspirational speaker, he travels across the globe reaching teens and adults alike, reinforcing messages of audacity and assertion. He has been asked to facilitate classes everywhere on teaching children how to tie a bow tie.

With a focus on philanthropy, customer-service, excellence and leading by example, Mo has made it a priority to serve kids everywhere. His charity “Go Mo” was created as a nucleus to send kids in Memphis to summer camp each year. Upon completion of high school, his plans include attending the New School for Design in New York City, getting his driver’s license, and expanding his voice of fashion through a new design of vintage sweaters and the publishing of a first-time book.

Moziah Bridges print interview can also be viewed at Black Enterprise Magazine Online.

To Connect with Mo’s Bows
P. O. Box 30634/ Memphis, TN 38130
Phone: 901.315.8425
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube Channel


May 2017

Mason Ashe

President of Ashe Sports & Entertainment Consulting and Adjunct Professor at Howard University School of Law

Rochelle Soetan: Over the past 25 years of experience as a sports and entertainment attorney what has been the most gratifying aspects of your work?

Mason Ashe: The most gratifying is helping talented people modify their talent which empowers them to do things they always wanted to do. I typically meet people before they have learned how to figure out their market value and monetize whatever that is. It seems very fulfilling to play that role in the lives of people who are ready to burst out of whatever their current status is and fulfill their dreams and goals.

Rochelle Soetan: As a mentor, teacher and motivator, what tips would you give to a young professional who wishes to study sports law and marketing?

Mason Ashe: (1) Dream big; (2) Never doubt yourself; (3) write down your goals and objectives and map out your strategy on paper; (4) network like crazy and don’t hesitate to contact the people wo are doing things you want to do; (5) don’t try to reinvent the wheel; (6) be humble, and (7) always thank the people who have helped you.

resume podcast here: 

ABOUT THE SPORTS ATTORNEY

Mason Ashe photoMason P. Ashe is a native of Buffalo, NY and is Founder & CEO of Bethesda, MD based Ashe Sports & Entertainment Consulting, Inc. He has over 25 years of experience as a sports and entertainment attorney, talent manager, brand strategist, and teaches Sports Law as a member of the adjunct faculty at The Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Howard University School of Law. He has formerly worked as a summer associate, associate, and partner at national law firms, and was also a Vice President in Team Sports at the global sports marketing and management agency — International Management Group (IMG).

Mr. Ashe has served as the lead contract negotiator and marketing consultant for professional athletes (in the NFL, NBA, WNBA, and various Olympic sports), professional teams, league and team executives, coaches, financial advisors, entertainers, on-air personalities, celebrity chefs, news anchors, senior leadership at publicly traded and privately owned businesses, film producers, producers of TV and web-based reality shows, as well as a few pioneers of online New Media platforms changing the way digital content is created, published, distributed, and consumed.

Mr. Ashe earned a BA degree in Psychology from Hamilton College, and a Juris Doctor degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School. He was selected twice by Sports Illustrated magazine for its “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports” list, received the 2015 Sports Lawyer of the Year Award from the National Bar Association, and was recently selected for a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award in Business from the SUNY at Buffalo Law Alumni Association.

To connect with Mason P. Ashe
Ashe Sports & Entertainment Consulting, Inc. (ASEC)
Web: www.ashesec.com
Twitter:Mason P. Ashe
Linkedin: Mason P. Ashe


April 2017

James Fleming 

Owner and Founder, Fleming Financial Solutions, Inc.

James Fleming, Owner of Fleming Financial Solutions

Rochelle Soetan: What are some of the things small businesses can do to better prepare for their tax return?

James Fleming’s Tips:

  • Establish a small business account and do not use it for personal expenses
  • Use a debit or credit card associated with the business for all business expenses. (The bank account will show who the charge was made to and the dollar amount. Checks will only show the check number and dollar amount but not who was paid.)
  • Keep your receipts and make a note of who, what, when, where and why to prove it was a legitimate business expense. (A program like Neat Receipts is excellent for scanning the receipts and recording the purpose.)
  • If you pay cash for an item, keep the receipt in a monthly folder (or scan it in) and record the purpose of the charge.
  • Use a spreadsheet program or bookkeeping software to keep track of your profit and loss each month or at least quarterly. Most programs can upload your bank statements so that you can reconcile the bank account each month.

Rochelle Soetan: What are six (6) tax tips for small business owners?

James Fleming: 1). Business meals are only 50% deductible. However, if you pay for a dinner meal bought for your staff working late, the meal could be 100% deductible. The same for a sales staff meetings. 2). Professional Development costs and training are tax deductible. 3). Vacation combined with business travel can be tax deductible if you can prove that the travel was business focused first and the vacation was a side benefit. 4). Auto expenses may be preferable for deduction instead of mileage. If you have an older car that is starting to need repairs, actual expenses may be the way to go. These expenses include auto loan interest, tires, oil and filter changes, insurance, tolls, parking, car washes repairs and depreciation. 5). Hire your children over 7 years old to work in your business. You can pay them (in 2015) up to $6,300 and still claim them on your personal tax return as dependents. 6). Hire your spouse (if married) to work in your business.

Resume conversation here: 

ABOUT THE ACCOUNTANT

Fleming Financial Solutions

James Fleming is an accountant with over 35 years of experience working in and with small businesses, such as real estate brokers and investors, construction and home improvement companies, IT services,  Plumbers and HVAC, hair salons, direct sales, authors, and network marketing companies.

He opened his first company in 1982 offering bookkeeping and tax preparation to small business across the globe. Mr. Fleming was licensed as a Life Insurance, Health and Annuities representative for 27 years and did extensive study in personal financial planning and the application of financial planning concepts, techniques and technology. Additionally, Fleming has created and/or participated in over 20 financial planning, marketing and business consulting seminars and workshops. Subjects have included Debt Management, Credit Repair, Life Insurance and Annuities, Cash Flow Planning, How to Grow Your Business, and Marketing for Small Business and Entrepreneurs.

To connect with James Fleming:
Fleming Financial Solutions, Inc.
4200 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 206
Lanham, MD. 20706
www.flemingfinancialsolutions.com
Phone: 240-356-5050
E-mail: james@flemingfinancialsolutions.com
Linkedin: James Fleming
FaceBook: James Fleming
Twitter:James Fleming

The IRS is planning to get your money. You need a plan to keep your money. Call me at  to find out how to beat the IRS – legally.


February 14, 2017

Alfred A. Edmond, Jr. & Zara D. Green

Co-principals of A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, Creator(s) of The Grown Zone, Author(s), Speaker(s), Trainer(s), Entrepreneur(s)

Grown ZoneRochelle Soetan: What are the greatest benefits and challenges of successfully managing a business partnership with a spouse?

Alfred A. Edmond, Jr.: All healthy relationships – whether they are business relationships, marital relationships, family relationships, or friendships – have to be built on a foundation of honor, esteem, and respect. That has to be the foundation of the relationship. If that is the foundation of the relationship and that is the foundation of interactions, then that is what’s guiding the motivation of people in the relationship. The fact that they come from two different perspectives and they may have two different viewpoints, and maybe two different skill sets and career experiences, they are two different people. What makes a relationship a healthy relationship between any two people, despite all of their differences, is their agreement on the foundation. We believe and teach that a foundation of honor, esteem, and respect is necessary towards the healthy functioning of any relationship.

Zara D. Green: Yes, all of that that Alfred just said…honor, esteem, and respect is the basis of any relationship. If you do not have that, or if at any point that starts to break down, the relationship is going to break down. The other side of that is having some interpersonal savvy; knowing your mate. Understanding that we are all different and not just that we are different, but how we differ. Alfred says all of the time, “I’m his favorite subject.” And the reality is…he’s my favorite subject! And if you care enough about a relationship, then you do have to care enough to pay attention to how somebody operates.

Resume conversation here: 

ABOUT THE ENTREPRENEURS

Grown Zone CoverZara Green and Alfred Edmond Jr. are co-principals of A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, a media company focused on the development of products, events and communications to inspire personal growth and better decision-making and producer of The Grown Zone a multimedia initiative leading the way to better living and loving.

Zara Green has had a professional blend of her educational background, communications and psychology – from news reporter to counselor – currently an author, speaker and trainer specializing in personal growth, resiliency development and individuality advocacy. For nearly two decades, she has taught professional development (communications, leadership and interpersonal skills). A certified Heal Your Life™ Workshop Leader (based on the philosophy of Louise Hay), she is best known for helping others to understanding individual temperaments as a key factor of healthy, productive life management in order to empower them to make their Next Decision Better™.

The New Orleans native was once the director of public relations for the City (during Hurricane Katrina) although best known for her popular Grown Is Sexy™ and PooNannie Principles™ content and products, which focus on teaching healthy relationship choices founded on love of self, respect of others, and taking personal responsibility for securing both. For women in particular, Green has garnered a passionate and vocal following for her teachings on helping women to proactively make H.E.R. ™—Honor, Esteem and Respect—a non-negotiable priority in order to secure happy and fulfilled lives.

Green enjoys enthusiastic and loyal social media followings on Twitter and via her Grown Zone Facebook page as well as her popular Grown Zone blog (produced along with her life, love and business partner Alfred Edmond Jr.).

GrownZone-4628med (2)Alfred Edmond Jr., best known as an award-winning journalist, editor and media executive with Black Enterprise and host of the nationally syndicated radio feature Money Matters for American Urban Radio Networks, is a widely recognized expert on personal finance, entrepreneurship, mentorship, leadership development and the practical application of faith in daily living.

A highly sought-after public speaker, he is also known for his A Grown Man Knows™ content on the values and behaviors of responsible, life-affirming manhood, which has garnered enthusiastic appreciation on social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook.

A native of Long Branch, NJ, Edmond appears regularly on television and nationally syndicated radio, including serving as a contributor to The Doug Banks Show radio program; and guest expert on MSNBC’s Your Business and CNN. He’s a regular live-event interviewer and moderator, and judges several business competitions per year. Also known for a unique sense of personal style, Edmond is a former spokesperson and co-designer of the Alfred Edmond Jr. Bow Tie Collection for Nashville, TN-based Windsor Neckwear.

To connect with The Grown Zone:

Web: Loving in the Grown Zone

Contact: info@grownzone.com
Twitter: @GrownZone
Facebook: Facebook.com/GrownZone
Instagram: GrownZone
Zara Green
Twitter: @ZaraGreen
Instagram: TheZaraGreen
Alfred Edmond Jr.
Twitter: @AlfredEdmondJr
Instagram: Alfred Edmond Jr


March 2016

Larry Stevens, Jr.

Former NFL Player, Pro-Athlete/Business Connector & Mid Atlantic Area Operator, PACC Pro-Athlete Business Network Entrepreneur

Larry Stevens SpeakerRochelle Soetan: What propelled you into entrepreneurship?

Larry Stevens: Part of my transition in my career was that I was always great in product sales, but I could never surpass an assistant manager position to branch manager. There were people getting paid more than I was that were doing less than I was. I took that personally. I love connecting with people and I turned out to be great at it. During my transition period, I began working with Enterprise. I sold at a very high level and consistently doubled the next person, and it wasn’t just me that was doing that. I was helping other people that they had given up on and had not given opportunities to. So I would tell them, “Don’t give up. Come with me.” Within thirty days they would be at the top of their class. It felt good to have the ability to help other people overcome. Other managers began to call me to train their staff of people. And although I was doing all of the branch manager tasks, I was still getting paid at the assistant manager level which was a difference of 23k. It fueled me as to why I wasn’t getting those opportunities.

What propelled me to this mindset was that I soon decided that I didn’t want to exchange my worth, my time, for what someone said I was worth. My time means more to me. I was working 50 to 70 hours a week building someone else’s dream. A lot of people are great at what they do, but a lot of times it’s hard for people to take the next step. There are people with ideas who don’t have money, but there are investors who have money but don’t have ideas. The company already knows what you can do for them. What you must know is that you have acquired all of the resources and skills to stand on your own. That’s the great thing about this country – you can create your own situation. You can take what you have and take a risk sometimes. That doesn’t necessarily mean to immediately quit your job, but what it does mean is that while you’re working your day job, be prepared. Position yourself. Build your own brand. Build your own dream.

 Resume conversation here: [uploading momentarily]

ABOUT THE ENTREPRENEUR

Larry Stevens

Larry Stevens, Jr.
PACC-Vice President Director of Sales
877.341.0070 x 801
PaccProNetwork.com
Linkedin: Larry Stevens, Jr.
Wikipedia: Larry Stevens, Jr.


February 27, 2016

Gail Crowder

One Sexy Wife Image Consultant, Speaker, Author, and Workshop Facilitator building a firm foundation for your wardrobe
Because it’s Your Life, Your Style, Your Image

Author and One Sexy Wife Image Consultant Gail Crowder
Author and One Sexy Wife Image Consultant Gail Crowder

Rochelle Soetan: February is traditionally a month centered around romantics, gift exchanges, flowers, chocolate and other centuries-old traditions from ancient Roman rituals to the customs of Victorian England. You have been successfully married for 27 years now. What does love in marriage mean to you?

Gail Crowder: Love in marriage to me means communication. A lot of times, people will say, “I love you all of the time” or “Oh my gosh, thank you so much for doing this kind of stuff for me!” But love in marriage means communicating on a consistent basis. I believe that is a good platform for not only marriage, but also for healthy relationships in every area of your life. Communication is the biggest thing that keeps any relationship healthy and strong.

RS: Throughout your 25 plus years of experience in the fashion industry and as a personal image consultant you’ve dressed everyone from political figures to some of the most notable celebrities, brides, and even First Lady Michelle Obama. Why is personal image so important, not just for a marriage, but also for self?

GC: Your personal image is so important for the simple fact that people judge you in the first 3 to 7 seconds that they see you and it takes 10 impressions after they first see you to change that perception. So, when you walk into a room or people first meet you they have determined your economic status, they’ve determined your education, and they have determined so many things and have not said one word to you. We’ve all been in a place where someone has walked into a room and they’ve owned the room, and people began to whisper about that person that has walked into the room. To me, really knowing your personal style and developing your best is the most important thing you can do for yourself. At the end of the day your clothes are talking and the question is…what are they saying about you?

Resume conversation here: 

ABOUT THE IMAGE CONSULTANT

GCrowderGail Crowder is a wife of 27 years, mother of two and the Founder and President of Bringing Sexy Back to the Marriage (BSB). BSB is a conference dedicated to the spiritual and sexual enhancement of marriages for the modern-day wife. Gail has been responsible for spicing up thousands of marriages through the BSB conference and continues to change lives every day. An author, stylist and consultant; Gail has appeared on dozens of television and radio shows as a specialist and seasoned lifestyle expert.

In addition to BSB, Gail Crowder has founded several other enterprises including, Gail Crowder, Inc., a full service image consulting firm in Maryland; One Sexy Wife, which currently offers specialty novelty items and apparel; and Glamour At Its Latest (G.A.I.L), an image consulting brand dedicated to transforming its clients through its motto of “Your Life, Your Style Your Image”. With over two decades of professional experience in the styling and image industry, Gail dedicates her time to building the self-perception, public image, spiritual values and individual life purpose of her clients.

Tall Glass of Water Cover

 

As a member and former Vice President of Education for the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International, Gail has authored five books to include Your Purse Sized Fashion Guide; Chronicles of Real Sexy Wives; Tall Glass of Water; Bringing Sexy Back To Your Marriage and NEW release KEEP YOUR LEGS OPEN. Her extensive educational, professional and personal experience and commitment to community makes her a highly regarded teacher, speaker and workshop facilitator.

 

To connect with Gail Crowder, Inc.

www.gailcrowderinc.com
Twitter: @gailcrowderinc.com
Twitter:@BSBMarriage
Facebook: Gail Crowder
Facebook: Bringing Sexy Back To The Marriage
Instagram: Gail Crowder
Email: gail@gailcrowderinc.com

 

 


February 9, 2016

Zara D. Green & Alfred A. Edmond, Jr.

Co-principals of A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, Creator(s) of The Grown Zone, Author(s), Speaker(s), Trainer(s), Entrepreneur(s)

Grown ZoneRochelle Soetan: Inquiring minds want to know…what are the greatest benefits and challenges of successfully managing a business partnership with a spouse?

Alfred A. Edmond, Jr.: All healthy relationships – whether they are business relationships, marital relationships, family relationships, or friendships – have to be built on a foundation of honor, esteem, and respect. That has to be the foundation of the relationship. If that is the foundation of the relationship and that is the foundation of interactions, then that is what’s guiding the motivation of people in the relationship. The fact that they come from two different perspectives and they may have two different viewpoints, and maybe two different skill sets and career experiences, they are two different people. What makes a relationship a healthy relationship between any two people, despite all of their differences, is their agreement on the foundation. We believe and teach that a foundation of honor, esteem, and respect is necessary towards the healthy functioning of any relationship.

Zara D. Green: Yes, all of that that Alfred just said…honor, esteem, and respect is the basis of any relationship. If you do not have that, or if at any point that starts to break down, the relationship is going to break down. The other side of that is having some interpersonal savvy; knowing your mate. Understanding that we are all different and not just that we are different, but how we differ. Alfred says all of the time, “I’m his favorite subject.” And the reality is…he’s my favorite subject! And if you care enough about a relationship, then you do have to care enough to pay attention to how somebody operates.

Resume conversation here: 

ABOUT THE ENTREPRENEURS

Grown Zone CoverZara Green and Alfred Edmond Jr. are co-principals of A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, a media company focused on the development of products, events and communications to inspire personal growth and better decision-making and producer of The Grown Zone a multimedia initiative leading the way to better living and loving.

Zara Green has had a professional blend of her educational background, communications and psychology – from news reporter to counselor – currently an author, speaker and trainer specializing in personal growth, resiliency development and individuality advocacy. For nearly two decades, she has taught professional development (communications, leadership and interpersonal skills). A certified Heal Your Life™ Workshop Leader (based on the philosophy of Louise Hay), she is best known for helping others to understanding individual temperaments as a key factor of healthy, productive life management in order to empower them to make their Next Decision Better™.

The New Orleans native was once the director of public relations for the City (during Hurricane Katrina) although best known for her popular Grown Is Sexy™ and PooNannie Principles™ content and products, which focus on teaching healthy relationship choices founded on love of self, respect of others, and taking personal responsibility for securing both. For women in particular, Green has garnered a passionate and vocal following for her teachings on helping women to proactively make H.E.R. ™—Honor, Esteem and Respect—a non-negotiable priority in order to secure happy and fulfilled lives.

Green enjoys enthusiastic and loyal social media followings on Twitter and via her Grown Zone Facebook page as well as her popular Grown Zone blog (produced along with her life, love and business partner Alfred Edmond Jr.).

GrownZone-4628med (2)Alfred Edmond Jr., best known as an award-winning journalist, editor and media executive with Black Enterprise and host of the nationally syndicated radio feature Money Matters for American Urban Radio Networks, is a widely recognized expert on personal finance, entrepreneurship, mentorship, leadership development and the practical application of faith in daily living.

A highly sought-after public speaker, he is also known for his A Grown Man Knows™ content on the values and behaviors of responsible, life-affirming manhood, which has garnered enthusiastic appreciation on social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook.

A native of Long Branch, NJ, Edmond appears regularly on television and nationally syndicated radio, including serving as a contributor to The Doug Banks Show radio program; and guest expert on MSNBC’s Your Business and CNN. He’s a regular live-event interviewer and moderator, and judges several business competitions per year. Also known for a unique sense of personal style, Edmond is a former spokesperson and co-designer of the Alfred Edmond Jr. Bow Tie Collection for Nashville, TN-based Windsor Neckwear.

To connect with The Grown Zone:

Web: Loving in the Grown Zone

Contact: info@grownzone.com
Twitter: @GrownZone
Facebook: Facebook.com/GrownZone
Instagram: GrownZone
Zara Green
Twitter: @ZaraGreen
Instagram: TheZaraGreen
Alfred Edmond Jr.
Twitter: @AlfredEdmondJr
Instagram: Alfred Edmond Jr

 


January 26, 2016

Blanche A. Williams, M.S.

CEO Greatness By Design LLC, Leadership Expert, Former XM Radio Talk Show Host, Founder National Black Women’s Town Hall, Ethics Facilitator, Author, Executive Business Trainer, Speaker, Visionary

BlancheRochelle Soetan: Your mantra, your creed is “Success is by choice, not by chance.” Why does this statement hold such strong conviction?

Blanche Williams: When God placed my company “Greatness By Design” on my heart, it was very specific. It was about making a choice. And success is a choice; it doesn’t happen by chance. You don’t just wake up and you’re Dr. Maya Angelou or Quincy Jones or Nancy Wilson or Spike Lee – or Rochelle Soetan! Success is a series of deliberate and calculated choices. And sometimes, we don’t want to feel as if we’re being calculated, but those are words that I embrace. I am very strategic. I don’t do anything just to say that “I’ve done it!” I’ve thought about it. I’ve made choices. I’ve made decisions. I’ve analyzed it. I’ve researched it. I’ve tried something and if that didn’t work, I’ve tweaked it. Success is a choice. Whatever we decide to do whether it’s business, relationships, family, whatever it is – it’s a choice. And we have to be held accountable. The goal is to choose wisely. 

Resume conversation here: 

ABOUT THE ENTREPRENEUR

Blanche WIlliamsBlanche A. Williams, M.S. is President/CEO of Greatness By Design, LLC specializing in leadership training, organization development, team building, and coaching. Her expertise is complimented by her Masters in Leadership from Nova Southeastern University Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship and Bachelors in Communication Studies from University of Maryland University College. She is a former XM Satellite Radio Talk Show Host holding live interviews with high profile guests including Dr. Stephen Covey, Quincy Jones, Dr. Maya Angelou, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Nancy Wilson, Kerry Washington, Suze Orman, Faye Wattleton, Susan Taylor and others, along with providing live coverage of the 2008 Presidential DNC Nomination in Denver and front row coverage of 2009 Obama Presidential Inauguration.

As an author:

Published in International Business Management Journals including her
article, “Creating and Maintaining an Efficient “Built Ford Tough”
Learning Organization: The Evolution of Organizational Success.”

Self published How To Design Your Mind For Greatness: A Blueprint to Design, Build, and Achieve Your Personal Greatness, along with the “21st Century Sisterhood of Greatness Manifesto: A Guide with Codes of Conduct and Values for Women and Girls “ published in How To Be A Sister by Angela Coleman, Founder of the Global Sisterhood Agenda.

Featured article “Greatness By Design” and a contributing author in the bestselling Chicken Soup Series for the African-American Woman’s Soul, and published in several books and business journals.

Featured interviews in The Color Complex (Revised): The Politics of Skin
Color in the New Millennium and Self-Seduction: Your Ultimate Path to
Inner and Outer Beauty.

Blanche is a member of the Women’s Leadership Exchange, Capital One Businesswomen’s Advisory Council-Washington, DC, Board of Advisors Diversity Discover, and expert for SHESOURCE Women’s Media Center in Washington, DC. She has received Advanced Training Certification in Situational Leadership® Model taught by its founder Dr. Paul Hersey as part of Master’s at Nova Southeastern University.

To connect with Blanche Williams:

Email: blanche@greatnessbydesign.com
Web: http://www.greatnessbydesign.com
NBWTH: http://blackwomenstownhall.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/blancheisgreatnessbydesign
Twitter: https://twitter.com/blanchewilliams


 

January 12, 2016

The Breath Sekou Ayo Handy-Kendi

Breathologist, Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, Stress Management Coach, Author, Speaker, Wellness and Fitness Professional

Ayo HandyRochelle Soetan: Why is learning to breathe properly a bare necessity of life?

Sekou Ayo: Breath is life. We can live without food for 45 days. We can live without water for 21 more days. But without the breath of life, in six to eight minutes, we’ve gone home to glory. To have the greater ability to master the use of this phenomenon that we take for granted, which is a very critical element of life, then enables our breathing to become the tool; more than just a happen stance. We are then able to control our breathing. The breath is the one mechanism within the human body that we can control. When we learn to control the breath, we’re able to maximize the many benefits of breathing such as calming the nervous system, cleansing and detoxifying, better digestion of our food, and we can use the breath as an anti-aging system and much more.

Resume conversation here: 

ABOUT THE BREATH SEKOU

AHKAyo Handy-Kendi is the founder of PositivEnergyWorks, LLC, a wholistic health and wellness company specializing in Breathology, Relaxation, and Cultural Awareness.

Sekou Ayo Handy-Kendi has over 40 years of experience in working to advance human and community development. She is a renown “Breath Sekou” or Breath Master Teacher having studied “the breath” since 1970. She has “breathed” with billions over radio, television, in print, on stage, and in private practice. She is also known as “Mama Ayo, the Kwanzaa Griot” who offers cultural storytelling and re-enactments.

She is the Author of Power of the Breath Book; How the Breath Has So Much Power with Asthma Guide for Children, The Black Love Book; two stage plays and has working book titles in progress. Her DVD compilation consists of Applied Breathology; Relaxation Moments; and Audio CD Time to Celebrate: Cultural Songs for Holidays, Celebrations and Rituals. She has co-produced and composed with her husband, John, four cultural DVD’s and four relaxation CD’s of which she performs “tune-up” music to breathe by.

Ayo Handy-Kendi founded Black Love Day on Feb 13, 1993, which is recognized and celebrated worldwide. As well, she is the founder and director of the non-profit organization The African American Holiday Association AAHA). She is the producer of the weekly radio show The Sage-ing Baby Boomers Show on Inner Light Radio.

Her credentials and training span far and wide as a Certified Breathologist (CB); founder/teacher, Optimum Life Breathology (certifying over 81 Breathologist in 5 states); Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher (CLYT) trained by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of Laughter Yoga; Certified Laughter Yoga Leader (CLYL); Certified in: Qi Gong, I, II: Reiki Master 3; Ra Sekhi I, II; Transformational Facilitator (CTF); Diversity Healing; Sound Healing; Speaking/Storytelling; Community Organizing; Counseling; Prejudice Reduction; Conflict Resolution; and Empowerment Coach.

To connect with Sekou Ayo Handy-Kendi:

Web: www.PositivEnergyWorks.com
Phone: 202-667-2577
Email: Ayo@PositiveEnergyWorks.com or AyoMeansJoy@yahoo.com
Skype: Ayomeansjoy1
Twitter: AyoHandyKendi@twitter.com


 

December 2015

Chris Daniel

Author, Global Consultant, Corporate Trainer

Chris Daniel Tool TimeRochelle Soetan: Your new book Consult In Jeans was tailored toward Generations X and Y. For clarification, Generation X represents those born after the Western Post, World War II/Baby Boom, roughly 1961-1979. Generation Y, better known as the “Millennials” would be anyone born between 1980 and 2000. Why was it so important to reform a model of tools for these particular generations?

Chris Daniel: Great question! So I’m six foot four inches tall, 250 pounds with dreadlocks. So clients would get my bio, my profile, a head shot, my name – and then this football player would walk through the door! And I’d get the look like, “Excuse me, can we help you? ‘ And I would reply, “Yes, I’m your consultant.” And they would say, “Oh, you’re Chris Daniel?!” And I got that repeatedly when I ‘d go into organizations. On paper they would love it, but when I would walk through the door…I’d get some kind of sigh.

I had to write this book because I want young entrepreneurs to understand that I’m what consulting looks like now. It’s not salt-n-pepper hair, gold watch, black suit and gold tie anymore. I wrote this book for Generations X and Y to empower them to thrive in any business, understand the impact they make, and think like a consultant. And I’m showing them that they don’t need thirty years in the workplace to do it. I’m bringing something innovative and showing businesses how to turn their business around. 

Resume conversation here:

ABOUT THE CONSULTING AUTHOR

Chris Daniel - Author, Consultant, Speaker, Corporate Trainer
Chris Daniel – Author, Consultant, Speaker, Corporate Trainer

Originally from Thomaston, Georgia, Chris Daniel relocated to Washington, D.C. in June 2001 to pursue a career with the federal government. While there, he learned corporate training and consulting, working with Congress, the public sector and a few nonprofit agencies. After almost a decade, he had the itch to leave and begin a private consulting practice.

While running his practice Regroup Consulting Daniel also wrote and published his debut book, Consult in Jeans (Tate 2014). Regroup has been in business for 5 years today, and Chris travels the country speaking and training leaders on how to get the best out of their people and ideas!

Daniel has since published 2 eBooks: The Leadership Jumpstart Plan and Make Money Consulting THIS WEEKEND.

 

Consult In Jeans


To connect with Chris Daniel:

Chris Daniel, PMP©TieThe Consultant in Jeans Pants☛Author & Super Trainer Across the Globe ️
✉︎ bookchris@onechrisdaniel.com | onechrisdaniel.com
FB (personal): https://goo.gl/048nca
FB (public): facebook.com/1chrisdaniel
IG: @consultnjeans
Tw: @consultnjeans
YouTube: clamarism
Blog: onechrisdaniel.com/blog

 


November 2015

Chef Cheo Garabito

Culinary Professional, Philanthropist, Healthy Cuisine Practitioner

Master Chef Cheo Garabito
Master Chef Cheo Garabito

Rochelle Soetan: From where do you draw much of your inspiration and love for food?

Chef Cheo Garabito: It comes from everywhere. TV shows, magazines, dining out, following current culinary trends, even going to the grocery store! Sometimes, you’ll get rare visuals on what’s available at the supermarket and you see inspiration there. I say, “Hey, let me see if I can make that!”

RS: Where are some of the places you’ve traveled and practiced your art?

CG: I believe that the bridge-way between cultures is the food. I’ve been all over the world: Asia, South and Central America, North America and all of Europe. It’s interesting to see what other cultures have to offer with their food. There’s a huge, huge difference. The difference with international markets may be that you only have one or two choices, but what remains constant is the love for the food and the passion for fresh and organic things.

Resume Conversation Here: 

ABOUT THE CHEF

Chef Cheo Garabito, Image by The Grio
Chef Cheo Garabito, Image by The Grio

Healthy eating and lifestyles are hot topics of conversation today for everyone, from U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who champions more fruits, vegetables and exercise for the nation’s children, to the news media, who continue to report on the increase of obesity (and the health problems resulting from it) in our society.

For culinary professional and healthy cuisine practitioner Chef Cheo Garabito, a healthy lifestyle is not a new concept. After applying his masterful culinary skills at the finest restaurants, nightclubs and hotels, Chef Cheo has become an expert at advising his celebrity clients on how to live a more health-conscious lifestyle, encompassing healthy eating choices, nutrition education and eliminating unnecessary stress.

Over the years, his private clients have included and continue to grow with a wide range of star athletes and media celebrities: filmmaker, actor, producer, director Tyler Perry; baseball pro Gary Sheffield; actress Jennifer Lawrence; pro basketball stars Patrick Ewing, Jeff McInnis and Caron Butler; media executives Cathy Hughes (TV One) and Alfred Liggins (Radio One, Interactive One); cast members of Marvel Film Studios, and many more.

In 2006, during a four-year stint as personal chef to pop superstar Janet Jackson, Chef Cheo was able to assist her in re-shaping and maintaining her healthy lifestyle goals – healthy eating and weight loss – with spectacular results. He literally helped Janet to sculpt her body to its well-documented ideal. In 2010, he started working with New York Yankees superstar pitcher C. C. Sabathia. As the Yankees gathered in Florida for 2011 Spring Training, the team – and the news media – was all abuzz about the pitcher’s weight loss. Just another example of Chef Cheo’s knowledge and dedication; for his clients, he has quickly become Master of Sculpting Your Body.

Today, Chef Cheo has become the go-to guy for celebrities and professional sports figures that want to get into better shape, and focus on better diet and lifestyle choices. Through partnering with a nutritionist, he rebuilds the client’s food plan, eating habits, and lifestyle to get them from where they are – to where they want to be.

To stay connected with Chef Cheo:

www.chefcheo.com


September 2015

Maryann Reid

Author, TV Radio Social Commentator, Global Content Strategist

 

Maryann Reid PhotoRochelle Soetan: You have been profiled everywhere and it’s quite impressive, including USA Today, The New Yorker, Oprah.com, Essence Magazine, ABC News, The Wendy Williams Experience, The Michael Baisden Show, The NY Daily News, CNN and the list goes on. What has been the most valuable lesson in sharing yourself as a speaker, change-agent, and author?

Maryann Reid: I think what I learned and I learned this pretty late…is to give within your limits. That’s one thing I’ve learned. I’ve always been that person who wants to help people and very early on, I did it without having limits. I was just kind of doing stuff and figuring it out the process – and saying “yes.” But now, I give within my limits and it may not go beyond a certain point, depending upon the project or the need. There’s no guilt involved and there’s no confusion on my end or anyone else’s; I’m very comfortable doing that. That’s the one single piece of advice I would give – and the one thing I learned. 

Resume Conversation Here: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000045_00041]Award-winning author and tv/radio social commentator Maryann Reid has been featured by countless media outlets including USA Today, Essence, Glamour, The CBS Early Show, and The Wendy Williams Experience. She is an expert wordsmith and has a plethora of connections with women all over the world from her travels to Europe and The Caribbean, and is a popular guest lecturer at colleges, where she has taught her writing and business skills to groups who want to lead their ideal life on their own terms.

Maryann has been profiled in The New Yorker, Newsweek, Oprah.com, and NBC Nightly News for her innovative approach to life and solving its
complex issues, including creating the uber-landmark event Marry Your Baby Daddy Day at www.marryyourbabydaddy.com. This event originated from her third book, Marry Your Baby Daddy (St Martins Press, 2005) that was optioned by Hollywood actress Holly Robinson-Peete and Dolores Robinson.

As an author and professional speaker, Maryann has gathered a diverse
roster of credentials and affiliations:

–Author of several books and short stories by St Martins Press and
Penguin Putnam

–Published her first book, Sex and the Single Sister (St Martins
Press) at 25 years old in two weeks

–Lecturer at various universities including St John’s University and
Fordham University in NYC in Creative Writing and Business
Communications

– Philanthropist, referred to as the “Oprah of Brooklyn”, for her work
arranging all-expenses paid weddings for loving moms and dads, via her
event Marry Your Baby Daddy Day

– Expert and social commentator on top-rated nationally syndicated
radio shows like NPR’s Fresh Air, The Michael Baisden Show, Fox News
Radio, CBS Radio, The Gayle King Show on Oprah Radio, etc

– Invited by USATODAY to write a novella, Single Black Female, for the
acclaimed Open Book section of their website

Since her debut book Sex and the Single Sister, Maryann has been
invited to speak to some of the most innovative groups all over the
country and has received over 20 million media impressions worldwide
via major news outlets like ABC News 20/20, NBC Nightly News and CNN.

Maryann received her BA in Journalism from Fordham and developed her
writing and love for news at Random House and CNN. She later received
her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami. She
currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and steadily working on new products
for women. Maryann welcomes ideas and collaboration.

To learn more about Maryann Reid:

Author Website: www.maryannreidinc.com
Amazon: This Life, A Novel by Maryann Reid
http://booksandbuzz.com/
Email: maryann@booksandbuzz.com


August 2015

Scott Hastie

Poet, Author, Artist, Master Teacher, Humanitarian

 

Master Poet, Author, Artist Scott Hastie
Master Poet, Author, Artist Scott Hastie

Scott Hastie: [One Poet’s view on the very business of poetry itself] Of one thing I have always been sure – Poetry is the purest of all art forms. For me, as a full time writer, a fairly rigorous, almost monastic daily routine is very important and underpins all my efforts. Not just in creating an exterior environment that is conducive to a concentrated and undisturbed focus on my craft – but one that also allows important preparatory time of an almost religious nature – given the spiritual themes that run through my work.

On a normal day, this would involve around two hours of advance preparation: morning exercise (normally running in the countryside and/or rowing) followed by breathing exercises, body stretches and meditation – sometimes some music also… Before even beginning to think about any writing.

Having also eaten simply, I then would normally write in silence for between two to five hours – losing any sense of time, till my body tells me it is time to refuel. Immediately after lunch, I would then have a shorter 1-2 hour session (often the most exciting time of the day when earlier writing can begin to coalesce) Evenings are then usually important down-time from what is a quite an intense and tiring process. However I would still normally have a couple of short sessions early, right after my evening meal and also last thing before bed – which are more about reviewing existing work and quick, little polishing sessions – looking afresh and anew at whatever has emerged that day.

For me, it’s very important that every day (whether a writing day or not) begins and ends with me quietly reading through my last half a dozen pieces – in order hopefully to stay ‘in the flow’ and ‘in the voice’, clinging on tightly to that ‘silken thread’ that, once it slips from your grasp, can often be so hard to regain! Unless I’m away travelling or have specific social commitments, then EVERY day is a writing day.

Rochelle Soetan: Teaching is both a gift and responsibility. Maya Angelou once said, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” I know that one of the things you most enjoy is mentoring and encouraging young writers. How does that fulfill your life as a teacher and what are some of the most valuable lessons your students take away?

Scott Hastie: Whenever I am blessed with special moments or insights in my life, then my first instinct is to share the light and energy that comes from this experience with others. I am particularly keen to reach younger readers and students, still at a formative time in their lives and am always especially gratified when this group of readers in particular is touched by my work. It can sometimes be a bit challenging. A lot of people who come to me or send me their work, do so, somewhat tentatively. I always make it point to be very honest. I don’t spare anyone the truth as I see it. Pretty much everything I see, I see potential. It’s relatively easy to spot those and deliver back to people, and encourage them and affirm them that yes, there is something here that you can develop. Because I think we can all shine with enough encouragement. The greatest reward is when that starts to happen and you can see people growing. For me, life is about giving. Not taking.

Resume Conversation Here: 

ABOUT THE POET

UK Poet/Author, Scott Hastie
UK Poet/Author, Scott Hastie

Scott Hastie is a successful British born poet and writer, who has been has been commercially published in the UK for over twenty years now. He currently has eight titles in print, including a novel and four collections of poetry.

In recent years, the spiritual tone in his maturing poetic voice is starting to draw increasing acclaim and attention from a worldwide audience, especially in the U.S. India & the Middle East. Scott’s current poetry is very much a positive and sparkling affirmation of human potential, with a growing emphasis on spiritual awareness.

Given the impact of his recent pieces, published in titles like the soulful and beautifully designed anthology Meditations and their fast growing cross-cultural popularity around the world, a much more definitive and comprehensive collection of all his latest work, entitled Angel Voices was brought forward for publication by CENTURIA in September 2014. Fortunately, it is already very easy to dip into Scott’s poetry at his highly visual and popular new web site, which freely displays samples of both his already published and latest unpublished work.

As a writer, Scott is very open and likes to encourage maximum participation and feedback from his readers. His web site offers the chance to post comments, both on individual pieces or more generally. The site also encourages more general dialogue about writing and Scott offers mentoring services to other creative writers/students around the world.

As an openly generous humanitarian, Scott is also passionate about visiting and learning from other cultures and his web site offers the bonus of featuring many fascinating photos from his extensive travels around the world.

To learn more about Scott Hastie:

Official website: www.scotthastie.com
Official twitter account: @scotthastiepoet
Public Facebook page: www.facebook.com/scotthastiespiritpoet
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Hastie
Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1698160.Scott_Hastie
PoemHunter: http://www.poemhunter.com/scott-hastie/
All Poetry: http://allpoetry.com/Scott_Hastie
Amazon Author Page: Scott Hastie


 

 

July 2015

James Brandon Lewis

Saxophonist, Composer

James Brandon Lewis 2015 New Album 'Days of FreeMan'
James Brandon Lewis 2015 New Album ‘Days of FreeMan’

James Brandon Lewis: Advice I would give to aspiring musicians is to keep a journal. Stay hungry. Stay open. Stay on your grind and stay motivated. Use everything as fuel. Get up. Practice. And when need be, put your blinders on. Above all – trust your voice.

Rochelle Soetan: I define music as love. As God. Difficult for some to define, easy for others. How do you define music?

James Brandon Lewis: It depends. Are notes transformed into emotion? That’s what I feel like. From an intellectual standpoint, we know that music is notes and succession. Another approach would be sound waves mathematically wooven into a song. For me, music is all around. When you go out into the world you hear the birds. You hear the cars. That’s music. When I go outside, I hear a car or a train or birds chirping. I walk away with a piece. I definitely feel that music is given to us by the Creator. Music is an art form that once it’s played – it’s in the universe. It cannot be contained in a bottle. It is infinite. 

Resume conversation here: 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

James Brandon Lewis, Cover Photo and property of 'Jazz Thetik'
James Brandon Lewis, Cover Photo and property of ‘Jazz Thetik’

Hailed by Ebony Magazine as one of the ‘7 Young Players To Watch’, James Brandon Lewis is a trailblazer of his time. His most recent feature in Jazz Thetik magazine highlights the height of his artistry and most recent album Days of FreeMan, a lyrical tribute to Hip-Hop. Releases today, July 24th in the USA. Read More Here: aiartists.com.

Press Release: http://ift.tt/1JCqOtQ

As well, he has been featured in numerous publications such as Critical Jazz Review, Chicago Reader Review, Capital Bop, Aquarian Weekly, New York Times, All About Jazz, Jazz Times, Downbeat Review, Something Else, Jazzls Summer, Quote Sheet, Straight No Chaser (A Jazz Show) and Audiophile Audition.

Divine TravelsThe title of James Brandon Lewis’s critically acclaimed former album, Divine Travels, pays homage to his belief that the music contained within is an expression of his own spiritual journey, marking both distance traveled and experiences yet to unfold.

Lewis’ travels began in Buffalo, New York in 1983. He was raised in the church, which formed the core of his spiritual outlook. While many musicians are inspired by the church, Lewis says its most important impact was not musical – but personal, laying the foundation for his creative approach.

After graduating from the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts, he attended Howard University where he studied with Charlie Young, performed with the likes of Benny Golson, Geri Allen, and Wallace Roney, and backed John Legend, K. D. Lang and Vanessa Williams at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony with the Howard University Jazz Ensemble.

In 2006, Lewis moved to Colorado and pursued a career in gospel music, working with Grammy® Award-winning singer Dorinda Clark Cole and the late Queen of Gospel Music, Albertina Walker. He moved on to earn his Masters at CalArts, where he was mentored by Charlie Haden, Wadada Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, and Weather Report bassist Alphonso Johnson, who later hired Lewis to play in his ensemble.

Lewis released his debut album Moments in 2010 and before moving to New York City in 2012. Since arriving in the city, he has performed with a wide range of artists, including Charles Gayle, Ed Shuller, Kirk Knuffke, Jason Hwang , Marilyn Crispell, Ken Filiano, Cooper Moore, Darius Jones, Eri Yamamoto, Federico Ughi, Kenny Wessel, Marvin “Bugalu” Smith, and Sabir Mateen, and has worked with the dance company CircuitDebris under the direction of Mersiha Mesihovic. He currently leads his own trio with Luke Stewart on bass and Dominic Fragman on drums.


IMG_0676 (2)To learn more about

James Brandon Lewis:

http://www.jblewis.com

http://www.twitter.com/jblewis1983

https://www.facebook.com/JBLEWIS1983

Video Link: Days of FreeMan https://t.co/7ivgzvMJLi

Video Link: Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis joins Voice of America News Host, Eric Felten, at Blues Alley in Washington D.C. to perform music from his disc “Divine Travels.” Roiling sounds in the free-jazz tradition…and even some  poetry. http://www.voanews.com/media/video/2424346.html

 


June 2015

Beverley Golden

Author, Songwriter, Storyteller, Optimist

BeverleyGolden_frameBeverley Golden: “I call myself a ‘complacency shaker’. One of the things I find is that a lot of people settle into a comfort zone. There’s so much to do in life. Add your voice to something. Whatever you’re passionate about, whatever you’re interested in. Trust your intuition when no one else sees your point of view.”

Rochelle Soetan: What advice would you give to someone who wishes to write a book, someone who may be battling health issues but find it very difficult to tell their story?

Beverley Golden’s Tips: There’s various ways of doing that. I listen to a lot of the ‘theories’ that writing takes discipline, that it takes hours and months to write a book. Having had the experience that I’ve had, I realize that when we get out of our ‘left brain’ way, because the left brain is the analytical (the talking voice that’s there all the time), we can work. The experience I had of just being in the flow and writing, it was, in some ways quite effortless. It’s really possible to write regardless of your situation. If you can write from your heart, if you can write from your soul, if you can just start writing and not be critical of what it is you’re writing – let that flow from you in some way.”

Resume conversation here: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BeverleyGolden_worldBeverley Golden is a writer, raconteur, peacenik and self-professed guinea pig, who loves testing unconventional ways to shift paradigms in the playing fields of health care, storytelling and creativity as a path to world peace. She courageously uncovers the humour in life’s crazy situations, offering hope, while promoting inner wisdom through the written word. “Trust your intuition even when no one else sees your point of view” is her signature mantra.

Confessions of a Middle-Aged HippeeHer best-selling book, Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie, bursts with anecdotes from her years in the entertainment industry, coupled with her stories of survival from a life lived with health issues. Her passion is turning the “impossible” into the possible and she shares her thought-provoking observations on the Huffington Post, among others.

Beverley lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her at: www.beverleygolden.com

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/BeverleyGoldenWriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoldenBeverley


May 2015

James Fleming 

Owner and Founder, Fleming Financial Solutions, Inc.

James Fleming, Owner of Fleming Financial Solutions
James Fleming, Owner of Fleming Financial Solutions

Rochelle Soetan: What are some of the things small businesses can do to better prepare for their tax return?

James Fleming’s Tips:

  • Establish a small business account and do not use it for personal expenses
  • Use a debit or credit card associated with the business for all business expenses. (The bank account will show who the charge was made to and the dollar amount. Checks will only show the check number and dollar amount but not who was paid.)
  • Keep your receipts and make a note of who, what, when, where and why to prove it was a legitimate business expense. (A program like Neat Receipts is excellent for scanning the receipts and recording the purpose.)
  • If you pay cash for an item, keep the receipt in a monthly folder (or scan it in) and record the purpose of the charge.
  • Use a spreadsheet program or bookkeeping software to keep track of your profit and loss each month or at least quarterly. Most programs can upload your bank statements so that you can reconcile the bank account each month.

RS: What are six (6) tax tips for small business owners?

JF: 1). Business meals are only 50% deductible. However, if you pay for a dinner meal bought for your staff working late, the meal could be 100% deductible. The same for a sales staff meetings. 2). Professional Development costs and training are tax deductible. 3). Vacation combined with business travel can be tax deductible if you can prove that the travel was business focused first and the vacation was a side benefit. 4). Auto expenses may be preferable for deduction instead of mileage. If you have an older car that is starting to need repairs, actual expenses may be the way to go. These expenses include auto loan interest, tires, oil and filter changes, insurance, tolls, parking, car washes repairs and depreciation. 5). Hire your children over 7 years old to work in your business. You can pay them (in 2015) up to $6,300 and still claim them on your personal tax return as dependents. 6). Hire your spouse (if married) to work in your business.

Resume conversation here: 

ABOUT THE ACCOUNTANT

Fleming Financial Solutions

James Fleming is an accountant with over 35 years of experience working in and with small businesses, such as real estate brokers and investors, construction and home improvement companies, IT services,  Plumbers and HVAC, hair salons, direct sales, authors, and network marketing companies.

He opened his first company in 1982 offering bookkeeping and tax preparation to small business across the globe. Mr. Fleming was licensed as a Life Insurance, Health and Annuities representative for 27 years and did extensive study in personal financial planning and the application of financial planning concepts, techniques and technology. Additionally, Fleming has created and/or participated in over 20 financial planning, marketing and business consulting seminars and workshops. Subjects have included Debt Management, Credit Repair, Life Insurance and Annuities, Cash Flow Planning, How to Grow Your Business, and Marketing for Small Business and Entrepreneurs.

To contact Fleming Financial Solutions, Inc:

Fleming Financial Solutions, Inc.
4200 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 206
Lanham, MD. 20706
www.flemingfinancialsolutions.com

The IRS is planning to get your money. You need a plan to keep your money.

Call me at 240-356-5050 to find out how to beat the IRS – legally.

E-mail: james@flemingfinancialsolutions.com

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/FlemingFinancialSolutions?fref=ts

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/jflemingjr


April 2015

Larry “Poncho” Brown

 Artist and Entrepreneur

Poncho Headshot 1 (2)RS: Throughout your 35 plus year journey as an artist, what have you come to appreciate most?

LPB: Being able to create images that are positive depictions of every aspect of the African American experience in the 21st-century.

What are some of the things you employed as a young adult artist and in an effort to raise the bar for yourself?

One of the things I employed to elevate myself was to always be associated and mentored by entrepreneurs and artists that engaged in different aspects of art, and in turn, pay it forward by mentoring young artists shortly after beginning college.

What are three of the most important aspects you value as an entrepreneur?

Doing good work, being a good listener, and being loyal to my customers.

How does color play a significant role in your spiritual life?

Color plays a role in so many different aspects of our lives that we often don’t realize. Color has completely altered my view of religion, because the African origins in modern religion are misrepresented. In my research, I found that many elements from Christianity have been borrowed from predated African history.

Poncho Studio/Gallery
Poncho Studio/Gallery

Every artist has a particular project or piece of work that speaks to the deepest part of their emotive soul. What has been your most meaningful project yet?

My most noteworthy project would be my Raising The Arts project. With this project, I have created over 70 images for nonprofit organizations, to assist them with documenting their efforts and fundraising.

If you were not a visual artist, what would be your talent?

I had an interest in mortuary science once. Had I not been an artist, I would have likely pursued that interest. My grandfather was a pathology denier and my cousin was a funeral director, so I have always been interested in both careers. Thank God I chose art!

studio.1What does success mean to you?

Success is when you use the gifts that God gave you to fortify your spirit and benefit others.

What is your most creative approach and what is the stimuli behind that motivation?

My most creative approach would be the countless daily drawings and sketches I do in my journals. They allow me to express my concepts, while putting my thoughts and images together. I am a classically trained graphic designer, so much of my approach to creating work is based on that indoctrination.

How did the most unsuccessful moment in your career change you?

My studio fire of 1995 was probably my most unsuccessful moment. It was the first time in my career that I had to start over again. It also gave me an opportunity to look at what I could have done to protect myself from such a tragedy. It totally changed the way I approached solving projects and problems. I began to rely less on research material – and more on my imagination from 1995 forward in my work.

What is your “mantra” or approach to failure of any kind?

I believe that art is a series of corrected mistakes, and so I view the possibility of failure in that same framework. I believe that each time you fail, the lessons you learn re-position you for growth.

What advice would you give to aspiring visual artists?

LPB’s Tips: Never rely on the ‘slickness’ of modern technology to resolve creative problems. Work, work, work, and work. The old adage of “practice makes perfect” still applies in the 21st-century.

Poncho’s 15th Annual Studio Show will be held on Saturday, April 25th and Sunday, April 26th in Baltimore, MD. To attend or for more information, please visit:

The Art of Poncho/ 1100 Wicomico Street/ Studio 316 / Baltimore, MD. 21230-2046 /443-478-9211 Studio

 ABOUT THE ARTIST

61656Larry “Poncho” Brown is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He started his first business as a sign writer at the age of 17, and has been a full time artist ever since.

Poncho received his Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. His art, both fine and commercial, has been published nationally in Art Trends, U.S. Art Gallery, Images, Upscale, Ebony, Ebony Man, Essence, and Jet Magazines.  His work is also featured in the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History Textile Series book entitled Wrapped in Pride.

His work adorns the walls of the likes of Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Anita Baker, Susan Taylor, Bernard Bronner, Ed Gordon and Charles Bibbs just to name a few.

In pursuing his philanthropic goals, he founded “Raising The Arts” which provides fundraising opportunities for non-profit organizations. He has created over 70 images for such organizations over the past three decades. Poncho was awarded Artist of the Year by the African American Visual Arts Association in 2000, the Heritage Arts Festival Palette Award in 2003, and the Save the Arts Award”as Museum’s Choice in 2010, and The Jan Spivey Gilchrist Visual Arts Award in 2013.

Poncho’s unique style combines past and present art forms to create a sense of realism, mysticism, and beauty, giving his art images universal appeal.  His contemporary creations are a reflection of his personal values and pay homage to ongoing themes of family, unity, spirituality and perseverance.

“The African American art realm has been pressing onward because of the positive images that have become a narrative of our perserverance. My works attempt to capture SOUL while purposely depicting positive representations of African American culture. Art and imagery are the strongest forms to challenge the perceptions of African Americans in our society.”

– Larry Poncho Brown

4 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Tool Time™”

  1. I am so very proud of you as an artist, as a man of great integrity, as an awesome role model for our youth, a wise teacher and mentor, and last but not least I am proud to say you are my nephew,
    Thank you for using and sharing your God given talent. May His Grace be with you always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rochelle, Rochelle I told you Poncho is Awesome your questions were Amazing. Poncho’s answers were worth the weight in GOLD. I am sitting here at the Sports & Learning Center, clapping! Glad you got him before BET, Black Enterprise, and Essence Magazine. Until then, great work “Little Oprah.” Thank you for having a platform that acknowledges Extraordinary People Doing Super Natural Things….!

    Like

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light for the mind, heart, and soul

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