Tag Archives: business

2017, The Year of Collaboration!!!

2017, The Year Of Collaboration!!!

      So many new businesses were started in 2016. So many of my social media friends made the leap into entrepreneurism. Whether it was starting their own company, or joining a multi-level marketing business, they made decision to leave their typical 9 to 5 to branch out on their own. Especially among African-American women who began businesses at a staggering rate. I like to call 2016 the year of the entrepreneur.

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      We all know initially the excitement and enthusiasm of anything new keeps you going for the first few months. However after that wears off, and the reality of uncertain cash flow, delayed or cancelled meetings start to happen the feeling of concern becomes real. This happens to just about everyone, some quit and some push on pass this give up point.

     For those who push on pass that checkpoint I believe they have an oasis in the desert coming. The most logical step I see is to partner with a business or individual who is in line with your vision and build together.  Now I am not saying to close up shop and merge with another company but I am saying that partnership can be a key way to grow your relationships, income and influence. Partnership may not be for everyone but here is why I think it can be a solid idea.

     1) Credibility– One reason some businesses are not as successful as they can be is simply because of credibility. When people do not know you or your product they don’t know if they can trust you. If they can’t trust you why should they support your business? Partnering with a credible business immediately can help your presence. When Gayle King invited TSY to her home and donated suits/ties to our organization that did a great boost for our credibility. Same result when Butch Graves (CEO Black Enterprise) invited us to his home to gather suits.

     2) Exposure-Being able to partner with a larger organization helps with tremendous exposure. Once they post on the social media pages that you have a partnership with them, your value increases. Always have video, photos, etc. to take advantage of your relationship and share it with your clients/customers/audience. When TSY partnered with HBO/ABC/CBS, we took a tremendous amount of footage to capitalize on the relationship and shared it to show the collaboration and work we were doing.

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3) Growth– Maybe your collaboration is not with a larger company but with someone who is growing like yourself or slightly bigger. That is still great because both of you can build off the other. Together an alliance is still greater that just going at it alone. Since the year has started I have personally partnered with 3-4 individuals for a new book deal, fashion show, service partnership, and a couple of other activities still in the works. So mutual growth is fantastic and exciting.

     Either way major work is always the common denominator but if you come across the right person, or company at least consider the idea of how a partnership can work to help you to build your brand.

 PK

How To Build a Business Empire While Not Destroying Your Family

How To Build A Business Empire While Not Destroying Your Family 

by PK Kersey

 

New businesses are popping up all over. Entrepreneurs are fulfilling their dreams. Men and women all over are no longer working for companies for 40-50 years and then retiring. So many individuals are launching out into the arena of entrepreneurism to test the waters and building their empire.  The reason being, some people are fed up with their 9-5, others are curious to see if they can do it and lastly some because that is all they can think about. But, whatever the reason people all over are making that shift.

One of the biggest surprises many find out when they make this shift is the time factor. Many people are really not prepared for the dramatic shift in time and effort it takes to really build a business. As stated earlier, many people are coming from a 9 to 5 where it was just that 9 to 5. Punch in at 9am leave at 5pm. Now I have been a government worker for years so let me examine that a little closer. 9 to 5 is not really 9 to 5. There is the occasional late days, long break days, extended lunch days, and don’t forget leave early days. Then also there is conversing with co-workers during the day, surfing the internet, and especially wasted time spent on social media. So if a person tries to bring this type of work experience with them when they start a business they are destined to fail. When you are the boss EVERYTHING changes.

This means there can be no more lateness for meetings, which is a reflection of you and your brand. No more long breaks, playing around, delays could cost you money. Every minute has to be accounted for and planned. The 9 to 5 aspect is over, building a brand becomes a 24 hour 7 day a week mission. That is a real culture shock for some people. What can happen is the passion that they have for their “Brand” is not matched by their passion to do the “work” of the brand. No matter how good the product is, the work has to be far better. I know so many individuals that have awesome ideas, products, inventions, however their work ethic lacks in so many areas. They are always tired, they can’t make it to this event which will really help them, because they are sleepy. Their body hurts, they need rest, they have a cold, and they don’t feel well. So many excuses because their “work” doesn’t match their “passion”.

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Now putting in this work will have some effect on your family life. For those of us that are married, this mission can put a strain on a marriage, now add kids, and maybe your spouse has a job or is also building a brand, wow, that is a lot of variables going on. Now I am not saying that singles have it easy as they also have issues. But as a married man I know that if communication isn’t prioritized then frustration will be maximized. If I don’t communicate and plan with my wife about events to let her know, then I could be expecting to go to a college to speak to 1000 students about image and she could be expecting me to go to art class with 2 boys (my sons). Conversations have to be made up front that this brand is going to take up a lot of time but family time must still be made. It would be terrible to build a strong successful brand that makes millions at the expense of an awesome family. But equally as bad would be having a strong family unit but not have any finances to pay bills or to live. Some people may not like that last sentence but I believe that strongly.

I believe that sometimes we settle for less because it is challenging. We settle for not building that dream because it isn’t a simple process. However, when that happens not only do we suffer but our next generation suffers as well. Our children are depending on us to live our best life so that we can help them to live their best life as well!!

So building that business will be demanding,  it will mean long days, and no sleep. But it should not mean that your family life is ruined. In fact it should be enhanced but only with maximizing communication and being committed to make both family and business successful.

How To USE People!

In this day and age the importance of building relationships is more important than ever.  As more and more people are becoming entrepreneurs the need to partner with individuals increases. Linking yourself and your brand to others can be a key in whether or not your business succeeds or fails. Or maybe you don’t necessarily want to partner with them but you want to make an inquiry to get some wisdom and direction. Better yet this particular individual has tons of followers or connections and you just need them to give you a SHARE on Facebook, or a reTWEET on Twitter, that shouldn’t be too much trouble. As innocent as that request or expectation may seem there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to connect with individuals to make these request known.

 

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Here are 4 keys to USING people….

 

  1. Don’t be so aggressive– Aggression is a key characteristic for most entrepreneurs which helps them to be effective in what they do. Taking charge, taking risk and being pushy helps them achieve plenty of their goals. However when trying to build relationships and connecting with new individuals being too aggressive can be a major no-no. Remember most of the people that you are trying to reach are business owners like yourself. Aggression can be taken as rude, which is a characteristic most people do not want to deal with.
  2. Don’t be selfish– I have people that I have never met  in person (only social media) or have just recently met, ask me:  How did I get on ABC? How did you get in Black Enterprise? How do you get a vendors license? How do you get your 501c3? Now I am all for sharing information and helping people to make solid connections and build relationships. However, I am not for people selfishly taking everything they can from me and not reciprocating the effort. Before I generally ask someone for their information I make sure that I am prepared to do the same. In no bank can you make withdrawals without first making some deposits!
  3. Don’t be a bug-If you have reached out to someone and they said they would get back to you, give them that opportunity. No one likes a person constantly bugging them about anything. Give them some space. If they haven’t gotten back to you after the initial contact,  reach out at a later time, (as sometimes people forget) and say I am just following up on our previous email. That is it, if they still don’t respond, then drop it and move on to someone else.
  4. Nurture the connection–If I give someone some excellent information or solid connection and I never hear anything at all from that person again then that speaks volumes about their motive. When people assist me I make sure to let them know that I truly appreciated it. Hey, Thanks for that information, it was really great and helped me alot. That makes a world of difference. Also later on I would follow up and ask them how they are doing? It is small talk but people remember little things like that.                                                                                                                                                                             It is nothing wrong with using people if you use them the right way. However it is everything wrong with abusing people. Use these keys to make connections and to build solid relationships and grow your brand!

We All Can’t Be Business Owners, Can We?

I remember listening to Dame Dash interview on NYC’s Power 105.1 Breakfast Club earlier this year. There was a statement that Dame made that had everyone thinking. They were either highly in favor of what he said or highly critical of it. He basically said that he felt EVERYONE should own their own business and not work for others their whole life. Some of the Breakfast Club members disagreed for various reasons and they debated the point most of the interview.

I must have watched this interview over 50 times, and I totally, 100 percent agree with Dame, and I will tell you why.

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Some of the reasons the Breakfast Club members (DJ Envy, and Charlemagne Tha God) and so many others disagreed with what Dame said were

1)Not everyone has the resources

2)Not everyone has the ability

3)Everyone can’t be owners because then who would do the work

4)Not everyone has the opportunity to be an owner

I emphatically disagree with all of these reasons as to why people cannot be owners because…

NOT EVERYONE HAS THE RESOURCES– If you read books about most successful people, so many build empires from apparently having no resources to begin with. The apparent lack of finances should not be a deterrent to achieving ownership. I say apparent because if we just look at what we see with our eyes we often miss out on so many opportunities which can only be seen with vision.

NOT EVERYONE HAS THE ABILITY-In this day and age whatever you do not know you can always learn. Whether through the internet, books, HOW TO FOR DUMMIES, or by partnering with someone who has that skill you lack. If you lack the ability to do a certain task there are several ways to overcome that. So even if initially you lack the ability to do something, it doesn’t have to remain that way. When someone is great in one area but needs help in another,  partnering with someone is a key strategic move done by many successful people all the time.

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EVERYONE CAN’T BE OWNERS BECAUSE THEN WHO WOULD DO THE WORK-I find this to be a very weird concern. Do you think Oprah ever thought, “I don’t believe I should build an empire because someone may need me to work for them”. Or Michael Jordan said, “I can’t worry about winning championships because I may be needed to work for someone”. No, those are not even concerns that business owners think or care about.  They are just focused on being the best person they can be. They are dedicated to fulfilling their purpose. The only people who may be worried about that are people that are looking for excuses not to own their destiny and control their future.

NOT EVERYONE HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE AN OWNER-We have this misconception that opportunity comes to us knocking. I haven’t heard a knock, doorbell, phone call or email from opportunity. I believe opportunity passively waits around to be discovered and only the courageous, focused and determined are bold enough to take advantage of it.

So yes I believe we all can be owners, but will we? Probably not, but not because of the reasons listed. Many will not simply because they CHOOSE not to, but they definitely can, just ask Dame.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Periscope and instagram @Thatsuitsyou @pkspitch

I am at a Networking Event…. Now what?

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As an entrepreneur you have most likely heard how important it is for you to “GET OUT AND NETWORK”. If you are on social media (and I strongly recommend that you are), you have without a doubt seen numerous flyers, invites or post about networking events. Network, network, network, is being shouted all over the place. So as an upcoming business person you decide to go and see what the hype is all about.

Now coming from someone who attends networking events regularly I can definitely share a few tips that I have learned. First, let me start off by saying that like anything else, networking is what you get out of it. Meaning, just by listening to some, they would give the impression that simply attending a networking event would guarantee you an increase in clients or knowledge. No, being successful at these events requires you to master the 3 S’s; Selective, Strategy and Smart.

Selective: Being selective in regards to the events you go to, and the people you spend time engaging with. Like I mentioned earlier there are network events going on several times each week. The most popular days seem to be Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. So knowing this you have to plan accordingly and be very selective to which events you believe would be most beneficial to your brand and business. Attending too many events can be counterproductive as you may meet more people but not necessarily the right people for you. Also the travel and hours of attending too many events will definitely cause fatigue.

Strategy: Strategy is displayed by seeing where the event will be held, who is attending the event and how many people are they anticipating.  All of these are very important and will help you in being strategic about attending or not. If the event is far away but they are anticipating some key people in your field attending, you would make the decision that it will be worth the travel. However, if they are expecting a large turnout to an event near your home but not one person attending fits your brand you might decide to sit this one out.

Smart: Perhaps the most important S is be smart. After being selective and strategic, when you arrive at the event, be smart. Dress the part. A good networking experience is like having several mini interviews throughout the night. The rule; make a good first impression stands, so always dress to impress. It would be foolish to do all this work preparing for the NETWORK event and then simply stand against the wall and make it a NOWORK event. Be smart and work the room, listen to different conversations, use a firm handshake when meeting people and be very specific and brief when introducing yourself. If there is a connection with people, there will be time to get deeper into your business. Be smart, always have several business cards. To many times I am at these events and people say , “I don’t have anymore”. Not smart at all.

Finally, although there most likely will be food, music and drinks and it may seem like a party, it isn’t. You are at work, building your brand. Sure, have fun but the priority is to make connections and spread the word about your business.

Follow Gerard Kersey

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@thatsuitsyou (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Periscope)

@pksesquire  (Facebook, Twitter)

I DON’T HAVE TIME TO DO SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MY SMALL BUSINESS

Kiev, Ukraine - August 26, 2013 - A collection of well-known social media brands printed on paper and placed on plastic signs. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram and Tumblr logos.

So often when I come across an interesting small business I immediately run to Twitter,  Instagram or Facebook to get more information or just to make a quick connection with them. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to find out that many of these small businesses do not have a social media presence.  I am not talking about 2 or 3 but from my studying more than 60 percent of the small businesses I came across did not have an active social media presence. Not only businesses but so many churches across the country have totally ignored this opportunity to reach the masses.

Make no mistake plenty of people are like me and would much rather link up with a business on social media before going to their website. So when business neglect to add this vital feature to their profile they are missing out on customers, exposure and more importantly income.

Now I’ve had small business owners tell me, yes I am all over social media; Facebook,  Instagram and Twitter. However, when I go to the page the profile is incomplete,  it contains an old logo and they haven’t posted anything in 24 weeks. Now to social media pros this is a no-no. This is worse than not having any accounts at all. People will not follow your accounts if they see that you are not active and will have questions about your business as a whole.

Also business owners will say, “well I don’t have the time”. They would rather function on the part of the business that they are good at, which is understandable, but not acceptable.  Being a business owner will require you to wear many different hats and some of the hats are not as comfortable as others, but all are needed. Like you would do with any other part of your business if you are not qualified to do it, you hire someone who is.

As for the churches, from the several I have contacted many have some mystery person who I could never reach who “runs” their social media department.  Again another missed opportunity.  In today’s world,  social media is a monster and must be tapped into with just as much tenacity as any other area of your business.

Social media was so instrumental to me in running  Www.thatsuitsyou.org, (a non-profit where we provide suits to men for work), I was able to connect with businesses like BLACK ENTERPRISE,  ABC, CBS, MLB and individuals like BILL RITTER, DON CHAMPION and TOM LLAMAS. Also everyday business and individuals from all over the country. I was actually on the cover of a magazine in Hawaii simply based on social media. So I know the value that it can bring. As a result I began managing social media accounts for individuals and churches who realized they needed one but didnt know how to manage one or just didnt have the time to do it.

Whatever you reason may have been for not having a strong social media presence prior to reading this, make every effort to change that as you could be costing yourself customers and money by being ANTI SOCIAL!!!

THE EFFECT OF A SUIT ON A MAN

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When I was out of work and trying to get back into the workforce someone reached out to me and helped me tremendously. A mentor of mine who saw that I was beginning to make positive changes in my life took me to a suit store in Brooklyn and purchased me a brand new suit, shirt and a tie. I will never forget that moment, I practically cried from the emotions of another man buying me these items without wanting anything in return. That moment was etched in my heart until this day. It is that moment that I think about constantly when we give back to the men we serve today. It is that moment that got me started and keeps me going.

While cleaning out my closet of older suits I decided now was the time to make this dream of assisting men with professional attire a reality so I started That Suits You, a nonprofit organization that provides suits to men looking to get back into the workforce.

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The journey of starting the organization involved collecting suits from family and friends. I was amazed at the results I was received. My wife and brother joined the team and we began holding suit drives and reaching out to churches, businesses and individuals all over. I have found that people don’t mind giving these items if they know it will be helping people. The idea of men who have completed training and are ready to work but do not have anything to wear to their interview is heart wrenching and very sad to see. However when we see their face when we present them with a suit, tie, shirt and occasionally shoes, all at no cost to them, it is priceless. That same emotion I felt when I received my suit is what we strive to do to these men. When I received that first suit I felt empowered, I felt important, and I felt like I could take on the world. We want the men we assist to feel the same way and we have seen it time and time again.

There is something about a man in a suit. There is something empowering about it. Women love to see them, and men love to wear them. A man in a suit, says he is working, he is making things happen, he is successful. That may not be the reality but it gives that perception. When people see young men saggin their pants, that statement speaks volumes to the world. That look says they are not working, they are not being positive and they are not being successful. Although that may not be true, that is the image it portrays. A lot of times men dress that way because they haven’t been taught better or they don’t have the means to obtain better. We want to be a part of changing the culture, look, dress and perception of men all over. We want to be a part of teaching men to dress better. We want them to have that look of a well dressed man. Once I had my first suit, I wanted to wear them more and more. I believe once we get a man in his first suit, he will have that same feeling.

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We recently did a job conference workshop with NYC College of Technology, where we donated ties to some of the young men who came. We also taught men how to tie a tie and did mock interviews with the young adults. However to me, the most powerful part of the day was the time we spent speaking and sharing to everyone there. Having the opportunity to pour my heart into these young people was priceless. I shared with them about starting a business and seeing a dream become a reality. I also expressed the importance of dressing appropriately and being professional in everything you do. That Suits You places us in position to give back to teens and young adults and hopefully steer them in a positive direction to being a success story.

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Church 2015…Do We Still Need IT?

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Growing up my parents made sure that my brother, sister and myself attended church EVERY Sunday. When I say every, I mean every Sunday. Even when my parents didn’t go my aunt Linda was sure to pick up the slack and bring us….by the way, auntie, I meant to thank you for that!! Sheeshhh. It seemed to me like that was the core belief back then. Making sure that children received that basic belief of God, church, etc. Like it or not I do believe that has helped mold me in many ways to be the person I am today. However, it really got me to thinking, Is this still being taught? Is church attendance stressed like before? Is going to church still a priority for people of all ages in 2015?

No way am I saying growing up in the church leads you to have a perfect, no problems, everything about you is on point and you never make bad decisions, kind of life. That is not it at all. However I do believe that it can have some effect and help us in our decision making.

I had a long conversation with a few people about this topic and here are some of their views. I will use fictitious names (they may sound familiar to some of you) to protect the innocent..lol

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Fitz: My view is that I definitely believe that church is crucial to society today. If we look around and see all that is going on it seems obvious to me. If you ride the subways and listen to our youth, 90 percent of what you hear is “this nigga, that nigga, that bitch, this bitch. When you go to social media, it is definitely obvious. I can look at a timeline and see updates that say “PRAISE THE LORD”, “GOD IS GOOD”, and then the very next update is a twerking video, or naked photos from the very same person. I believe 2 reasons for this is a lack of understanding of who God is and the lack of the family structure. No one to show them examples of Godly living and no to take them to church. I am not perfect at all, but I do believe church and the teaching of the Bible have helped me in my life.

Hakeem: My view is on one hand I definitely believe that church can add value to one’s life, however on the other hand I have seen too many hypocrites in the church that it makes it hard for me to go back. I believe it adds value because the principles and teachings that you learn in church are very valuable. Especially if it is a church that teaches the Word. I am not one to be yelled at and condemned for 5 hours on a Sunday, no thank you. But if it is a church that teaches and explains how to make better decisions, then yes. On the other hand time after time I see too many people proclaim one thing and then purposely live in total opposition to that. Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying people who go to church won’t miss it from time to time, but when they purposely gossip about others, have double lives for years, or other judgmental actions, it is contradictory. God will have to heal my heart to return because I know church has value but right now I just can’t get past the people issue. Now I know people say well it is hypocrites at the mall and I still go there but like I said right now I just can’t get past the people thing in the holy place.

Olivia: My view is people have it all wrong, the church is just a building. I am the church. The Bible clearly states that we are the church. The place of worship is just a building. Since I am the church, God is with me everywhere and I don’t have to go to a building to worship him. I know God loves me just the way I am. As a matter of fact I am doing better in life than most of my friends who go to church 3 times a week, which proves my point. Not that I am comparing myself to others but, it is what it is…

Andre: My view is I am God!!!

Maryjane: My view is I love God, I love the church but I really don’t have the time to attend. Although I don’t have any kids, I travel, work, and do more work. I run a few businesses so it leaves me very little time to attend a church. Like I said , I love the Lord and read the Bible every so often but I don’t have time for church.

Cookie: My view is I agree kind of with Hakeem. I keep the love of God in my heart but church just isn’t for me. I love to party, and I can’t lie, I love sex. I have to be real. I just can’t deal with the judgmental folks who would try to condemn me for what I enjoy. I mean, it may be wrong but at this point in my life this is what I enjoy. Maybe my future husband is in the church but until I find him I will continue to enjoy myself. I still pray every day and listen to Creflo Dollar from time to time, and I might occasionally attend a church but just not regularly. You are not going to include my real name right?

Ghost: My view is, I agree totally with Cookie, especially about the sex part.

Tommy: My view is a love God and I love my church. I will continue to go every week and bring my family

Do you see yourself in any of these? What is your view? We want to hear it…..