Tag Archives: work

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

Help!!! I Hate My Boss!!!

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How many times have you heard this? How many times have you said this? I know I have heard and said this many times.  Actually a great number of people feel this way at some point in their professional career. From my personal experience and from the individuals I have spoken to It comes down to 2 reasons.

The first reason many individuals hate their boss is because their boss lacks people skills. That is a tough situation to be in. The person that you get your guidance, direction, input and leadership from talks to you in such a harsh, disrespectful manner. Whenever this is the case the dynamics involved in that work relationship can make things very ugly. The supervisor may know the technical or book knowledge to advance to be the supervisor but may lack in knowing how to express themselves properly. So people begin to hate any encounter, meeting, or discussion with them. This can also effect performance because feelings for them will leak over into other work areas. This can lead to not being as excited about their job because of a fear of being addressed by them. Some people I have spoken to even fall into a severe depression that spills over into their family life. They also feel trapped because they know they need the job to pay bills but hate going to work. The strange thing is  the boss may not have a clue that they lack people skills and may even begin to look at workers like they have no idea what they are referring to.

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The second reason and the one that I can relate to is the season may be up for that boss or job. So It may not be that there is hate for the boss but a hatred for not living or building their dream. I know this feeling to well. It really has nothing to do with the boss or job but more so because of a desire to fulfill my dream. When a woman is 9 months pregnant, all she knows is I have to get this baby out of me. Everything else becomes less significant and not as important, getting this baby out takes priority. Well when someone has a vision or dream that they have been pregnant with for a long time, sooner or later it will be time to deliver. When the time for delivery is near, the dream demands action. If noaction is taking then that is where the frustration comes in. So many people who say that they hate their boss or jobs actually are hating their lack of movement or action on their part to deliver their dream. So when they enter work M-F 9-5, they are becoming more and more frustrated and upset. So now they must redirect that energy and use that same passion positively to build and create their future. Once they begin to do that, they will no longer hate their boss because they will be their own boss

 

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.

Merry Christmas!! Are you Hiring?

Happy holidays everyone!

Doesn’t it seem like everyone is just a little bit happier and nicer. As the song goes, “This is the most wonderful time of the year”. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is such an exciting and fun time, unless of course if you are an unemployed man with a family.

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     Being unemployed during the holidays is not fun at all, add in being a husband and a father, and that can make a person very frustrated and depressed. In fact contrary to popular belief, December is the month when most people get stressed, upset and depressed.  So while some are thrilled and excited a good number of men, especially black men, are looking for something to smile about.
     Also this comes at a time when black women are soaring in the corporate world and as business owners.  I just read a report that stated, black women are becoming entrepreneurs at an alarming rate, which is a fantastic fact. So imagine a man, who cannot find work, being married to one of these smart, intelligent, and successful black women. No matter how strong he is, the fact that she is so successful is a tough task for some men. Men like to be seen as the bread winner, and the king, but when they cannot support their family that leads some men into serious depression, and some even to violence.
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     Some of these men maybe well educated, some may have just come home from prison, and some may just have been laid off by their companies. Either way, finding work is a big factor for them. God has called us men to work, because when we work we have a sense of pride and accomplishment. When we don’t it is as if something is missing. I remember when I first got married, I was unemployed for about 2 years. I used to see my wife go to work every day and I would feel sick. I wasn’t working because of lack of trying, I just had a hard time getting hired. I thank God that Keenya (my wife) didn’t make me feel worse than I already felt. She was very encouraging and supporting. Ladies, if you have a husband that has recently been laid off or fired, or is having trouble finding work, take these tips from me
1)      Be encouraging – I know it may be frustrating if you are bringing home the bacon, cooking it and cleaning it, but you will get more out of your husband by building him up than by tearing him down.
2)      Talk to him not down at him- So often I hear from men that one of the worst feelings they have is when their woman talks down to them like a child. That feeling is the worse. Men don’t want to feel like they have another mother. I can’t tell you how empowering it is for the woman you love to respect, honor and cherish you. Even though you may not be on top of your game at the moment, but to know she still has that respect for you is such an amazing feeling.
3)      Never compare -Men come in various forms and talents, each of us bring something special to the table. Another negative is for women to constantly compare other men to their mate. Again this may be a tough time as it is by not working but to hear comparisons will only make it worse. Appreciate his good qualities and talents. That will help keep his spirits up. I don’t care what those talents are, cooking, taking care of the kids, dart playing, whatever.
Now this goes without saying that he is looking for work, assisting with the home and not playing Madden all day lol.
This time of unemployment will eventually pass and your relationship will be able to grow from these tough times. But don’t let a little blip destroy something that has the ability to be great. Christmas comes once a year but the relationship is every day. Like in my situation,  I eventually found work and later on started <a href=”http://www.thatsuitsyou.org” target=”_hplink”>That Suits You</a>, (we provide suits for qualified men to go on interviews) I will always remember how I was treated during the tough times. People will never forget how you made them feel. Everyone loves sunny days but just remember rainy and snowy days are a part of life as well.

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)

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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Walk A Day In A Black mans New Shoes

I wake up, say my prayers, listen to some motivational words from Pastor Mitchell, Pastor Freeman, Bill Winston, TD Jakes or some other minister. Turn on the news and hear 3 black men arrested in a shooting spree, 2 black men caught robbing a bank, black man leaves his child home alone for 3 days, cops shoot and kill unarmed black man, or armed black men kill police officers, etc. I put my boys on the school bus, kiss my wife and get to work.

Getting to work may involve carrying 4 or 5 suits to a few different job training programs throughout the city. I have founded, That Suits You, which is a nonprofit organization that collects and distributes professional attire to qualified men. The team at TSY does this to try to help change the image of today’s black male. While we have given suits to all races and will continue to do so, I do not believe any image has a worse perception than that of the black man.

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The argument can be, well they deserve it or they bring it upon themselves by their actions. There are many occasions when the negative actions of some black men are totally irresponsible and definitely add to the perception. But from what I have witnessed all races have similar isolated incidents all the time. Yeah, but with blacks it is more frequent. That may be true, but if we just go by what we see in the media it would leave individuals to believe that 80-90 percent of black men are criminals, which is not accurate. I really dislike when I hear a black man proudly say, “I am one of the good ones!”, or “We are not all bad” Like there are only a handful of good black men around. But again that goes to that perception. Since starting up That Suits You I have come across plenty of “good” black men. However, that negative perception is very hard to shake. The “general” perception of almost every other race is nowhere near as bad as that of black men.

So as I am carrying these suits to men to help change that perception, I see difference all the time. We have some very wealthy donors, so when I enter their buildings or homes I can see the looks. When I am on the train, and someone decides not to sit next to me, someone holds their bag just as I walk pass them, as I enter a designer store security just decides to walk down my aisle, when I walk into a meeting and they say, “Oh you’re the founder”, when people say “Oh, I know they taking and selling those suits”, when I am the only person of color in an important meeting, and all this happens while I am wearing a nice suit, with a lapel, pocket square, colorful socks and shoes. So I can just imagine how black men are viewed who are not dressed in suits. Now I know simply wearing a suit will not change everything, but it can help men get to a place where they can do more for their family. I always tell people, a suit is not just for work, a suit is for you. You are the CEO of YOU, so always represent yourself the best way you can.

Another big thing also is that this perception is taught to every generation. ..lighter is better, don’t support black businesses, blacks are inferior. These thoughts most times are from other blacks. Yeah black men get it from all sides. The experiences, situations and challenges that black men go through daily from all sides can quite daunting. So it is time we stand up and not wait for the change to happen, but make it happen. Let’s destroy every misperception about black men and what they can do. Lets make a stand in unity and lets do it suited as well.

So through all the misperceptions, and negative images that we see on tv, or on the front of newspapers on news stands, through all the young black men we see sagging, through all the driving while black police stops, racial profiling, through all the jealousy and envy from different races, we can still stand strong and help others to stand with us. Some people say it’s lonely at the top, and I say only because you didn’t help others get there with you.

So after a long day, I go home to my boys and feed them, shower them, pray with them, then put them to sleep and do it all over again.

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Follow @PKspitch @thatsuitsyou