Thursday, 31 December 2015

Simply Inspirational For Women in Business Journal ™ Volume 4


Dr. Cheryl Cottle, Ed.D

Monday, 28 December 2015

Balancing Act

Author: Dr. Zoee Bartholomew, Ed.D. 

Entrepreneurs are challenged daily on operating, managing, and conducting business. When faced with life challenges along with striving to be a successful entrepreneur you often find yourself off balance. Business and life become “one” yet you are the only one who understands this concept. People often don’t understand the mind of an entrepreneur. The common question is “why would you want to take on so much on your own?” and my response is “freedom.” 

Freedom is state of mind than an experience. You will never know true freedom unless your mind is free. Entrepreneurs must be more focused and less distracted than the average person. I often have to engage in sacrificing my time, sleep, social life, and any other distractions to maintain meeting my set goals. The next question I’m asked is “how do you stay focused?” My response is simple “I have help.” 

My help comes from God and He is my strength in all situations. When I am faced with feeling defeated or excited about my accomplishments I remember who has brought me through. I realize not everyone is a believer, which is your choice, but for me I can’t stay grounded without Him. I’m able to refrain from losing my mind because I know God is with me every step of the way. The final question I’m asked is “what does His strength look like?” My response is radical and uncommon, which is His strength is “me.” 

God’s strength is within me. I’m able to fight the day-to-day grind of battling to be a successful entrepreneur because I have His strength. Meaning if I tried to do this on my own I still would not be in business. For the last 11 years, during a recession and in a field (education) with the lowest paid wages, my business still stands. I was forced to make adjustments when legislative bills caused layoffs, revenues decreased, downsizing my office, and back to being the “one woman show” (I’m the only employee), I’ve continued to endure. I’ve learned you can’t give up, but I couldn’t do it on my own. Learn to balance by seeking help and accepting your current situation knowing this to shall pass. 

The Resilience Factor And Its Significance To Women's Success

Author: Marcia Buxton, BSc, MA 

At a recent roundtable I hosted for women entrepreneurs, we discussed why resilience is important to our success as women in business. Each of the women in attendance mentioned the need to deal with constant pressure, daily challenges, and overcoming setbacks. Many challenges were common to all the women: lack of support at home, financial struggles, debt, and loss of a loved one; miscarriage; loss of a job; workplace bullying; loneliness; ill health; childcare challenges; and other traumatic events. Then there were the business and career challenges - bullying; contracts falling through; associates dropping out; cash flow issues and uncertainty. So how do women deal with such difficult events that change their lives and affect business?

Many people react with a wave of emotions, feelings of overwhelm and a sense of uncertainty. Yet, people can adapt well over time to such stressful and challenging situations. So, the obvious question is what enables them to do so? I believe it is the power to bounce back, the capacity to overcome - the resilience factor Recovering from the unpredictable is one of the biggest challenges faced by anyone, and you could say, particularly difficult for you as a woman managing your own business - including your day to day activity and your energy. Things change, people disappoint, setbacks happen, all of which can be beyond your control. We have all had difficult weeks and challenging periods in both our professional and personal lives. Sometimes things simply do not go to plan. Entrepreneurs talk a lot about balance and often feel frustrated at the lack of any in their lives. Wouldn’t it be great to know you have the resilience to bounce back quickly? And what about the ability to build a personal model for living and running your business in an adaptive, health and productive way? 

Resilience is the process by which you function well under pressure, recover quickly from adversity and develop adaptive coping behaviours. “Enhancing mental toughness, highlighting and honing strengths, and fostering strong relationships are core competencies for any successful entrepreneur.”

We all have three connected sources of resilience: 

  •  Cognitive resilience that supports positive and constructive thinking.
  •  Emotional Resilience supporting how we handle our emotions. 
  •  Behavioural Resilience supporting effective action. Strengthen these three areas and your resilience will be built on solid foundations. 

  1. For Cognitive Resilience: Be Optimistic Successful people are resilient because they exhibit a positive mindset. They are optimists. They see the facts with clarity and do not let negative feelings distort reality, that is, exaggerate the challenge or problem or limit their capacity to overcome. Decide to challenge your negative beliefs recognising any unproductive negative thinking styles and letting them go. Instead choose optimism and look for positive in all you do. Women who are optimistic believe they are in control of their futures, that they can influence the outcome and learning. Optimism correlates with resilience and therefore with success.
  2. Emotional Resilience: Recognise the Signs Self-awareness is important as you need to develop insight into your own emotional style and behaviour in stress situations. Although, easier said than done, relaxation works when feeling stressed, uncertain and overwhelmed. Setting aside some time to unwind can be a good way of easing the pressure. Whether its yoga or meditation, or even a walk in the park, time out of a normal busy schedule can help you get a new perspective and support you in building both your emotional and cognitive resilience. Take time to make sure you are having fun. After all, isn't that one of the reason why you are in business in the first place? Laughter can reduce stress and help us feel more positive. Even if you don’t feel ‘in the mood,’ making an effort to do fun activities, particularly when they are with friends, can mitigate the effects of pressure and overwhelm.
  3. Behavioural Resilience: Know your strengths and look after you. Think about what you do really well. What kind of work comes really easily to you? In what particular situations do you fly? The strengths you utilise in these situations, the strengths and capacities you are excited about when you use them, the strengths that set you apart are your core strengths. Whether - wisdom, courage, integrity, self-control, perseverance, forgiveness. Whatever they are — use them with confidence. Your competence level will determined how adaptable and resilient you will be. With energy, you have resilience. When adverse situations occur, you burn physical and mental energy to face them, often running down your reserves. But resilience will allow you to quickly get back into a place where your strength is renewed and you are enjoying life again. Women need to be resilient in order to keep functioning at the peak of their ability. One way to do so is to create a personal model for living that keeps the mind and body fit healthy and productive.
This approach will need to include simple strategies, such as: 
  • Making sure you have enough sleep 
  • Exercise and pay attention to your physical health.
  • Nurture and extend your support network. A strong support network of family and friends who believe in you, whether the winds are blowing your way or not. Have a positive influential group of supporters around your business who are willing to help you. 
  • Make time for creativity

Allow resilience to be the secret factor of your success as female entrepreneur. Resilience takes time to build, so it’s important not to be discouraged if you don’t see the effects immediately. Instead, persevere with the strategies you find work best, and be assured that resilience is not innate and is something that can be learned. 

The woman who trusts her ability to understand, perform and master the world around her will get up faster when knocked back, because she take this as a lesson rather than defeat - she has the resilience factor and it has a signature in her life.

I will like to end by sharing this quote by Mike Norton about resilience :-
Never say that you can't do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can't be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible. Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds, chastisement, exile, doubt, or any fears prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be its conqueror. 

Friday, 25 December 2015

Why Women Are Better At Business Than Men

Author: Dr. Carol Soloway

We have different leadership goals
Do you remember bosses you’ve had? 
Women’s number one priority is community
Men’s number one priority is winning. 
Think about football, soccer, baseball, any sport. They bond faster, better, get workers to do more if they know they care.
In business, community 

We have biological differences.
Women have better peripheral vision
Men have better tunnel vision. 
Men were the hunters and would laser focus on their targets. Women were the gatherers. They would care for the children and had to watch while performing their cooking. They had to know where every child was.
In business, peripheral vision is needed to consider all scenarios, prepare for challenges and know the ways around the obstacles.

We have emotional differences
Women want to be inclusive, make sure emotional needs of co-workers are met; they care about the feelings of others.
Men don’t often value or care about the emotional needs of the co-workers; they want the tasks to be completed. 
This is evident in the way both network.
When women network, they strive to help each other.
When men network, they don’t ask for help; they try to prove why they are the best for the job.
When women help each other, they are supportive and often connect each other to people who are power partners. This often results in influential connections which build businesses. 

We have physical differences
Men are taller and stronger 
Women are smaller and more physically fragile
It is a known that men who are six feet tall, or taller, are considered authority figures. Most presidents have been six feet. 
In the physical arena, women are at a disadvantage. They are considered more fragile. Women are judged by their physical beauty, and if the woman is no beautiful, then she is often not taken as seriously. A woman is judged first for her physical appearance.

Considering the differences, there are advantages that women have and can thrive; however, there is one stumbling block that they have to overcome. That is learning to delegate.

Think about the women who tend the fires. They can’t also be on the trail, killing the prey. Women have to learn they cannot be in two places, cannot do it all. We have to learn to delegate, ask for help. When we come home from work, exhausted, we want to, need to be there for our families, but it’s hard. We need to find help with the mundane chores, the chores that no one wants to do, but the ones that are needed to sustain a family. We need to engage our children in tasks, make sure our partners are doing their part. It’s not selfish; it’s self-sustaining to delegate. Then we can have it all because we are just as good, maybe even better in the business arena. 

In summary, it is possible to be a successful business woman without sacrificing anything. Sacrifice only leads to resentment and makes us less productive. Go for it all and do it with gusto — you deserve it.

Work-Life Integration For Women Entrepreneurs

Author: Eileen Lichtenstein

Many women entrepreneurs are integrating work and life which synchronizes efficiently with fast paced technology, especially for millennials who are adapting well to this reality. The new phrase “work-life integration” is blending what you do professionally and personally in order to make both happen. The trending shift (away from work-life flexibility and balance) has happened as fast as development and speed of technology, creating difficulty in taking a step back and coming up with a better solution. Boomers, on the other hand, often find it difficult to step away from the work-life balance they have worked so hard to attain.

There are several reasons why mastering work-life integration is so essential right now, as well as for maintaining personal balance – the kind where you can stand on one foot and not fall down! The balance need not be equal pieces of “the wheel of life,” and compromises can be made without sabotaging your well-being, a happy family life, and relationships. Keeping a flexible calendar and jotting down exercise/gym time, family time, etc., can be helpful in maintaining balance. Taking meaningful time away from work, whether it be a few hours a day, a weekend or a few days, and more vacation, can be wonderfully recharging. Below are a few reasons work-life integration for women entrepreneurs or a variation of it is necessary.

Tips towards achieving work-life balance and maintaining personal balance are outlined below:

  1.  A recent study by the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) found that more than 50% of workers say that work conflicts with life responsibilities at least two or three times per week. Due to this, about 40% of women have delayed having children.
  2. Many entrepreneurs have one phone for both business and personal calls, so it becomes difficult to avoid either. There are more entrepreneurs working remotely than ever before, made possible because of technologies like Skype, social networking, and Google Docs. The work is often from a home office, making it harder to separate work and life, and creating a natural integration.
  3. It’s important to honor your own bio-rhythms so that you work when you believe you can perform at your best, and get involved in personal activities to break up your day. This is one way you can integrate work and life so that you remain sane and are able to accomplish (almost) everything you want to do from both a professional and personal perspective. Taking joy and exercise/stretch breaks throughout the day clears your mind, stretches muscles, ups the endorphins (feeling good hormones) and your creativity factor. 
  4. Keeping a flexible calendar and scheduling things such as going to the gym, writing articles, reading, meetings, and doing research at around the same time each day can be helpful habit, and give you more control over what you’re doing and when.

Whether the problem is too much focus on work or too little, when your work life and your personal life feel out of balance, often times stress, along with its harmful effects, is the result. The good news is that you can take control of stress levels by giving yourself the time to do the things that are most important to you. When life literally is beginning to feel “out of control” or “lopsided” and you feel discombobulated, give yourself the gift of time to restore balance. Consider disconnecting as much as necessary for stress reduction and for the restoration of balance.

Here are some tips to do throughout the day:

  1. Take Cleansing Breaths: Three sets of deep inhalations through the nose (belly rising) and exhaling through the nose, (abdomen deflating) can (temporarily) change your physiology.
  2. Stretch: Practice Office Yoga and the Moving Meditation® Fitness Program throughout the day to release/reduce tension and increase energy. 
  3. Walk: A five-minute walk outside can change your mood and mindset. 
  4. Listen to Music: A mood changer. Eat Peacefully: This aids the digestion and gives you “time away”. Leave your office! Allow Time: Give yourself extra time for the unexpected. 
  5. Smile and Laugh: Humor has been proven effective in reducing stress. When an entrepreneur makes the conscious choice to take a vacation or simply a few hours and disconnect, take heed of a few tips to avoid difficulties in disconnecting and re-entering the integration mode:
  6. Anticipate having a wonderful time. . If something goes wrong or not according to plan, try to see the humor in it and move on. Once you’re settled in and go exploring, allow yourself to “get lost," in other words: don’t have your nose glued to a map. 
  7.  Know key phrases in the language. . Take some downtime every day or a siesta to relax and recharge. . Take extra time for family when you’re visiting.
  8.  Stay unconnected to the internet, phone, TV, newspaper for as much and as long as possible.
  9. Bring home meaningful mementos/souvenirs/photos. 
  10. Compromise as much as possible with your travel mate(s) – After all, you are together to have a good time. 
  11.  On your return trip, try mentally “reliving” the highlights of your time away, like a slide show that you may access in the future for a few relaxed moments. No guilt!

My own life-work balance and integration is always a work in progress! I’ve found as have many working/career-minded Baby Boomers, that maintaining flexibility and a positive attitude and has become easier over the years. Taking time for myself is now a recognized necessity and high priority, no longer a doubtful question mark on my calendar. I no longer feel scrunched in the “sandwich generation”, having raised two wonderful daughters together with my husband (we worked through many rough patches). They are grown now with babies of their own,, living in Europe – a great reason to travel several times a year. Caregiving for my mom is less hectic now after my husband and I helped her move from Florida and got her settled in a nursing home nearby, situated near the beach. Visiting her is gratefully combined with a beach or boardwalk walk, or bicycle ride (weather permitting).

Combining tasks and priorities whenever it is possible (versus multitasking) is a wonderful way to get more accomplished in a short time! Sometimes simply looking at a “to do” list of important "I must do today" tasks in an unhurried, thoughtful and self-brainstorming way, creates doable combinations. I’ve consistently been a fan of you can “have your cake and eat it too” philosophy when that makes sense and doesn’t create conflict.

It is my hope that you, dear women entrepreneurial readers, create happy, productive lives for yourselves, abundant in all that sustains you! I encourage you to pursue your passions and dreams, complete your goals and be grateful for it all, as it is not possible to feel sad or overwhelmed in the same moments that you feel grateful!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

How Do Mothers Who Are Entrepreneurs Find Quality Time To Spend With Their Children?

Author: Tai Aracen

I am an entrepreneur. Before I opened my first business, sold my first program or even had my first client, I was an entrepreneur. When my husband and I decided to expand our family and get pregnant I admit that one of my first, and biggest concerns was what a new baby would mean for my business and my life as an entrepreneur. I knew more then anything that I needed to be fully available to our child and there was a certain lifestyle that I wanted to provide for him. So we planned a perfectly balanced schedule that allowed just the right amount of time for business and new mommy duties. 

Everything was ready for this new little human, and he arrived in a flash! Then it all fell apart. My perfect little prince didn't sleep like the books said he would. He cried around the clock in 20 minutes increments. He wasn't nursing like the consultants promised he would. Between tandem feeding and attempting to sleep, my husband and I barely had time to shower, much less think about launching new products and services. I literally contemplated letting go of my life as an entrepreneur which is one of the most important aspects of what makes me, well, ME. Thankfully we pushed through, learned some tough lessons and made it work. Fast forward a few years, we have now added a new precious little one to our family, two thriving businesses and tons of experience.

I'm going to share something with you, promise you won't get mad at me. What I have learned, about being fully engaged in motherhood and entrepreneurship is that there is no such thing as 'balance'. There is give and take, sacrifice, imperfection and crazy messy fun! But you won’t find that idea of balance with motherhood on one side and entrepreneurship on the other hovering in perfect order, so don’t waste your energy trying to make it happen. You will breathe so much easier when you just let that idea of balance go. Here is what I have discovered on this perfectly flawed journey as a mother and entrepreneur:

There are no separate hats to wear: It's impossible to compartmentalizing your role as an entrepreneur separate from your life as a mother. They are intimately intertwined and your success in one does not come at the expense of the other. You have to find your own rhythm, and accept the totality of ALL that makes you the wonderful person that you are. It's kind of like walking and chewing gum. They take different skills and thought processes to do each, but you can totally rock at both at the same exact time! You can do this, I know you can.

Ditch the “Priority” System: I use to believe that my duties as a mother were my top priority and everything else fell below that on a diminishing scale of priority. Having that as a hard fast rule meant that I didn’t give myself the freedom to be the best that I could be at any given moment. My children are my heartbeat and they are immeasurably important, but sometimes (more often that I would like honestly) I have to make the decision to handle business while someone else takes care of their immediate needs. Not because they are not important, but BECAUSE they are important. Being an entrepreneur and running my business makes ME a better person, a better mother. It gives my family the lifestyle we want, it allows me to build a legacy for my precious little ones. Having a hard fast “priority” system would mean I would miss out giving my business the attention that it needs to continue to fuel our life. That is not an option.

You are Independently Important I am really involved with my children, their development and their education. I am sure some people will call me a helicopter mom. I am cool with that, because my children rock and a lot of that is because I made the decision to be present and “hover”. Even if that isn’t quite your parenting style, I think it is fair to say that raising little ones take a LOT of time and effort. Its really easy to get so wrapped up in your children’s lives that you get lost. Our children are a reflection of us, and the choices that we make. But they are NOT the essence of who we are as women, and sisters, and friends, as lovers, and CEOs, as worldchanging humans. Allow your children to be as much a part of all aspects of your world as you want, but make sure you keep a sense of independent self. You are important, needed, wanted and special. Completely and totally outside of those little ones that you call your own.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Thriving As A Female Entrepreneur In The 21st Century!

Author: Dr. Donya Zimmerman

As a female entrepreneur you must learn to discover the “true you”. You cannot be like anyone else if you want to have a thriving business. You must know your niche and how to get your message across to your ideal customers. Being a “true entrepreneur” involves being genuine, unique, and different. The most successful women entrepreneurs are those with integrity. Also, successful women entrepreneurs love what they do and have no problem sharing their gifts with others.   

Many female entrepreneurs are a success because they are spiritually grounded. Many women business owners have learned to take their special gifts and talents given to them by God and use them in a positive way. Female entrepreneurs must learn to stand out from the crowd and try not to be part of the “in crowd”. Also, women business owners must realize that they cannot run their business like other business owners. They should run their business in a way that suits them and is comfortable for them.

It is okay to be unique, authenticate, and out of this world as a female entrepreneur. Many female entrepreneurs have realized that the way they run their business is right for them and find no reason to change their daily operations to please others. Successful women entrepreneurs are seen as pioneers and beacons of light for up and coming female entrepreneurs.

Romans 13:11, “And that knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” As a female entrepreneur, the number one way to fail at a business is by your “thinking”. Many women desire to start their own business, but have the “mindset of poverty”. 

Many women have the following thoughts of why they should not start a business:

  1. They don’t have the time to start a business.
  2. They can’t do it. 
  3. They are too scared to start their own business. 
  4. They don’t have the money to start a business.
  5. They will not be successful at it. 
Many women are afraid to start a business because they feel that their business will take up too much time. Also, they will not have time to take care of others (especially family). Women must get out of the “mindset of poverty”. God created women in His likeness and this means He wants women to use their gifts and talents to uplift others. Also, women should use their God-given gifts and talents to make a better life for themselves and their families. It is time to create a “mindset of prosperity”. It is time to get rid of the “shackles of self-doubt” and become free to live out your dreams. Get rid of the “slave mentality” that you can’t do it and create the “freedom mentality” that you can do it. 

Women entrepreneurs have to understand that some opportunities only come once in a lifetime, and they must grab every opportunity and run with it. Time to wake up from your sleep my sisters and get going on that business idea. Time waits for no one. As God states, “It is high time to awake out of your sleep and receive your salvation.”

Friday, 18 December 2015

Be Open To Constructive Criticism!

Author: Dr. Donya Zimmerman 

You must understand that sometimes you will need to be “called out” for certain behavior or actions that are not becoming of you. There is nothing wrong with receiving constructive criticism as an adult. Constructive criticism helps you to grow as a person and will make you a better person. Some adults have this misconception that because they are grown and no longer under their parents’ care, they do not need to be taught anything new. But in reality, you never stop growing and learning as a person until the day you die. 

Here are four qualities of individuals who have no problem with receiving “constructive criticism”: 

  1. Teachable. They are always listening, love to learn, and are open to being counseled to. 
  2. Available. They are not trying to avoid anyone and are seeking out others for guidance. 
  3. Vulnerable. They have no problem admitting when they are wrong. 
  4. Honest. They love telling the truth and love to be told the truth, even if, the truth may sting a little.
People come into your life to be open and honest with you. In turn, these individuals will help you grow personally and professionally. These individuals will ensure that you are successful in whatever you do in life.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Inspiration Corner!

How to Succeed, Time to Renew Your Mind for 2016! 

Author: Dr. Donya Zimmerman

2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.” Sometimes it can be very hard to move forward and let the past go. Many people find it very difficult to cope with change and many individuals do not like to grow in their spiritual life. Imagine waking up one day and realizing your world has been turned upside down from a natural disaster, loss of a job, or death in the family. Some individuals find it very difficult to deal with such change because to them it’s too devastating and too scary. But for other individuals, it is just another bump in the road that they have to walk over to get to their destination. Many people believe and understand that with God, they can get through anything.

Sometimes change just happens and you just have to be prepared for it. You must remember that everything changes minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day, whether you are ready or not. Have to realize that with change comes new beginnings and new opportunities for you to grow spiritually and mentally. So, it is time to get your mind in gear for all the changes that God will be bringing to your personal life, social life, and professional life. 

Do not be afraid of change because God knows how much you can bear and how far you can go with change. In Christ, you are becoming a new and better person each and every day. When you commit your life to Jesus Christ, you are no longer living the life you used to and you are becoming a new person in Christ. In Christ, your desire to do certain things or act in certain ways changes as well. 

 In Christ, there is a renewing of the mind and renewing of who you are as an individual. Time to renew your mind for 2016 and do not be afraid of the new changes coming into your life. The year of 2016 has many wonderful things waiting for you to explore and learn.

Finding Happiness and Contentment

Author: Dr. Cheryl Cottle, Ed.D

We owe it to ourselves to find happiness and contentment in order to find a balance , emotionally, mentally , physically and spirituality. But, how can we achieve this state of holiness? I believe that there is one sure way to do that, and that is to take time out of your busy work schedule to spend time with you —  get into a reflective mode —  think back on some pleasant moment in your life and smile. Really savour those moments  make them pleasant memories.

Here are some things that you can do to strive that balance that is so needed for our overall well-being:

Get to know the environment that you live in   regardless of whether you live in a buzzing urban city or a lush green rural community.

If you live in the city get to know your neighbours. Have a cup of coffee or tea in the neighbourhood's many cafes. There you will meet the people in the neighbourhood whom you might normally pass and give a nod . Here you can have a chat.

The bookstore in you neighbourhood is also a great place. Most bookstores today are designed with nooks that you can sit in quietly and read or browse a book. Here we also get to connect with others, through you are finding some moments to relax, and become contemplative while enlarging your knowledge base. You can also select books that meet your creative needs —  it does not always have to be serious book. I have found books on fashion or interior designs also meets my needs and interest; and while they are informative, they are quite enjoyable to read. They also provide  great ideas for dressing and decorating your home. 

Bookstores are also great places to sit and have a cup of coffee or tea or a cold beverage. This activity also provides opportunities to connect with others. If you are a parent or grand-parent you can also take your child or children or grand-children to the bookstore and have them enjoy the "reading circles". Most large bookstores in the city have included this activity in their spaces which serves as a great learning space for the young and a great place to meet others and network.

Walking is another pastime you can engage in. If you live in a metropolitan city, getting to know it can be an enjoyable pastime. Enjoy the overall beauty of the city —  the very seasons are beautiful  —  winter, spring, summer and autumn are all beautiful in there special way — and as the season go through its many changes, its transformation  I think it is something that we can identify with. We are changing you too changes and sees the seasons change and it helps you to become more accepting of the changes in your life.

Visit some of the beautiful parks that most cities are noted for, particularlly during the summer months. Some of the parks are also designed with paths to encourage walking. Take the opportunity to walk. You can also use the park as a place to take some outdoor exercise. You can practice yoga or spend some time meditating. You can also have a picnic — create a basket with some goodies, find a beautiful shaded tree, spread your mat and relax. You can also take a pillow, and a great book and relax and read. Find peace and make a connection with nature, and at the same time get a chance to enjoy the beautiful flowers, trees and animals  squirrels and pigeons which are generally in abundance. Most parks in North America has squirrels and pigeons during the summer months.  

If you live in a rural community, enjoy the woods. Take walks along the trails. If in your community there are lakes and rivers, enjoy them. At least sit on the lake enjoy the ebb and flow of the water as it hits the shoreline. Enjoy the flora and fauna.

These are just some things that you can do to find happiness and contentment. They make your soul blossom  bloom and grow! 

Have to Believe in Yourself, When No One Else Will!

Author: Dr. Donya Zimmerman

There will be times when you may feel that you are not worthy of success. During these times of self-doubt, it is advisable to make a list of your accomplishments. It is always good to write down at least five accomplishments that you have completed in the past week. Keeping a list of successes will remind you of your pure awesomeness. It is good to keep a grateful list as well. A grateful list will remind you of the many blessings you have and what a wonderful life you have. Doing an accomplishment list will keep you focused on your goals and dreams. With a grateful list, you will be reminded of how blessed you are. These two lists will remind you that you can do anything you set your mind to. Numbers 13:30, “We can certainly do it.” God reminds us every day that no matter what, we can accomplish anything we set out to do.

All it takes is the “faith of a mustard seed” to know that if you believe it, you can achieve it. Whatever you set your mind to, it can be accomplished. You should not be afraid to live out your dreams because God does not give you more than you can handle. When you lack faith in self, it is difficult to fulfill your desired goals. With lack of faith, nothing can be accomplished. With a little faith in God and self, big things will occur. Remember that it only takes the “faith of a little mustard seed” in self to get the job done. Be willing to believe in your own capabilities to turn your dreams into a reality. Do not worry about what others believe.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Women in Business Book Review: When Women Lead By Angela Pride

Book Review By Dr. Cheryl Cottle, Ed.D

When Women Lead is a well written book that draws readers into the narrative where you enjoy the author's story and identify with her acquisition of leadership, learn and empower oneself, at the same time. When Women Lead meets the needs of women in this millennial; as so many women, both older women and young women, are striving to be all that they can be  to live purposeful and meaningful lives; and to be leaders. This book addresses their dreams and vision of being progressive leaders in their endeavours. 

Angela Pride -Author
The author, Angela Pride starts the book by paying tribute to the women in her life. Women who have been instrumental to her growth and development of her leadership skills and abilities. Women who have created the environment for her to be nurtured; and be allowed to grow and blossom to become the woman that she is today. These women were her grand-mother and mother. I love her show of gratitude, appreciation and love for their unwavering love, support and guidance.

When Women Lead is a quick read; and it is written at a language level that is easily comprehended by many readers. You can easily sail through it as you savour the topic; a very popular topic in the academic, in the media, at the organizational level, and in business  by women who are now forging to create change around them, and relying upon their leadership abilities to be transformational change seekers. It is a great book for such a wide and diverse audience. When Women Lead  is a great book for women  women entrepreneurs, women in leadership, women aspiring to be leaders, moms, single moms and men. It is a book for women leaders whose social objective is to educate and empower other women — When Women Lead is for them. It's a book that transcends age, cultures, social and economic class  anyone can benefit from its lessons  and be empowered to achieve their goals

I highly recommend When Women Lead to young girls, women leaders and women aspiring to be leaders.

Spirituality A Leadership Style For Entrepreneurs

Author: Dr. Cheryl Cottle, Ed.D

Spirituality as a leadership style is a move away from the traditional autocratic leadership style that strives on command and control. We are seeing a movement towards a more collaborative -approach to leadership that is built upon team-approach and collaborative decision-making; where the team members' views, opinions, ideas and creativity are valued, respected and accepted. It's also inclusive and recognises diversity — diversity from many perspectives  including: knowledge acquisition, gender, race, social class, job position, age, sexual orientation, religion and culture.

Entrepreneurs, particularly women entrepreneurs are moving towards what is defined as the spiritual leadership style. This style of leadership is a movement away from the traditionally used model that operated within an hierarchical structured framework —  a model that was embraced by companies, businesses, organizations, corporations and government-based institutions. It is also reflective of an autocratic approach to leadership. It is the traditional model on which all businesses was founded. 

Spirituality as a leadership style augers a change in how management relates to their employees/team-members, customers or clients, and the many stakeholders that form part of their network. It also reflects how problems are solved, decisions are made, and strategic planning is arrived at. In the traditional approach these functions were made by a few considered the elites, but with the spiritual approach to leadership style we are seeing a more collaborative approach where participation is inclusive of everyone within the business/company or organization contributing to its success. 

In today's economies, we are seeing that the team approach is very important when decisions are to be made. This approach has become central to decision-making and functions within a more flattened organizational structure. It's a more egalitarian structure, whereby all the employees are valued for their intellectual capabilities and innovative ideas. This is evident as we see more organizations creating innovative cells within their organization comprising of their most creative employees who contribute to the knowledge resources of the company. Companies who are using this innovative strategy is expanding their competitive position in the marketplace. With the knowledge and innovations they create within, they are better able to position themselves to exploit the marketplace, thus expanding their "absorptive capacity".. 

Additionally, this type of management style facilitates greater motivation and incentives for employees to contribute. It allows greater employee's participation and fosters a feeling-of-belonging, commitment, loyalty and dedication. Spirituality as a management style does have a powerful effect on the culture of your business or company and transforms your business; becoming a place where we see people working together to achieve the goals of the company. There is open-communication, that exists, that is based on transparency and accountability. Also existing, is a high level of acceptance for risk-taking; and an environment where innovation and creativity is germinated and nurtured. What we also see in environments like these, is cooperation, collaboration and a culture that is devoid of internal politics. The spiritual leadership style is also grounded in a human-centered approach to management  a style that is people-focused, heart-centered and socially-oriented.

In companies, organizations or small business where a spiritual approach to management is practiced, there is greater equity in the distribution of its profit.  Salaries, profit sharing, and opportunities for promotion and overall mobility, are provided both laterally and horizontally. Employees or team-members who contribute to the generation of new ideas and knowledge creation are recognized and commemorated at acknowledgement and recognition events, and are also showcased for their contribution in the company's annual publications. Further, they receive opportunity to pursue higher learning, receiving full -funding support with very low interest rates, to not having to reimburse the sum: and are given time-off to facilitate their educational and professional advancement. And on returning to their job are given the opportunity to be "gurus" in their field, as well as opportunities for horizontal promotions. 

Organizations and companies that are heart-centered also include their employees in the profit that they make because they acknowledge the roles in its acquisition as a result employees are a part of the profit sharing. In addition, opportunities for promotions are fairly implemented, and as noted every employees has the opportunity to be recognized for their contribution at award ceremonies and in the company's newsletter, at the very least. 

As employers, you must be reminded that you should treat your employees with love, respect and compassion, and at the same time, you should extend that same treatment to your customers and everyone that you interact with,
 to grow and develop your business; and it is only by practicing a spiritual leadership style this can be achieved. It will guarantee their loyalty, commitment and dedication, and will also foster the type of relationship you have with them and further facilitating their social-connectedness they form with you, and your company. In addition, it will also foster a feeling-of-belonging that will ensure their commitment towards your product or services and the overall philosophy that underlies your business. 

Many entrepreneurs love to practice the command and control management style because that is the style we have worked with in the workplace for many years. It's what we see practiced in many organizations, whether it's businesses, corporations or government-based services. It is a leadership approach that gives you the feeling of power and a sense of authority. "It's my business attitude — that suggest "I am the boss", "I make the decision". While this approach to management may have worked in the past or was practical years ago  it has been recognized that it was limited in its human and social interaction. For ideas to be generated and new knowledge created, one person, regardless of his or her level of intelligence, imagination and innovation is not enough  more people will more likely create a lot more. As a result, we are seeing this shift. Remember a workplace is a community built on collaboration and team-work. It's a space where the intellectual capacity of your company or business works to ensure your growth and development, and sustainability. Be mindful that your employees also come to the table with valuable skills, knowledge, experiences, and resources that if managed properly will help in your bottom line. Respect them! Why have ten pot of gold and only utilize one? Can you not do more with more pots?

Do you think that a spiritual approach to leadership will work effectively for small women owned businesses? 

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Women in Business Book Review: 12 Ways To Put Money In Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part-Time Job by Jennifer S. Matthews

Book Review By Dr. Cheryl Cottle, Ed.D

12 Ways To Put Money In Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part-Time Job authored by Jennifer S. Matthews is an instructional and an interactive book. It has been designed where you can learn step-by-step how to make decisions around your money issues. Through this medium, Jennifer teaches her readers how to address and identify issues around money so that we can have more money in our pocket-book. It's a book that teaches how to spend wisely and make the most out of the money we earn. It  teaches you how to "fill the money-gap", how to eliminate "spending cycles" and at the same time to become free of money challenges.

Jennifer S. Matthews, Author

Ms. Matthew's book is designed for everybody, regardless of gender, marital status, age, and economic status. Every one of us, need some guidelines into how to manage our money; maybe with the exception of the rich at least they do not live paycheck to paycheck, but they must have been practicing money management for years, how else did they become who they are?

Ms. Matthews has provided us with a 12 Steps Money Opportunities. In each opportunity she focuses on one aspect of our spending, particularly focusing upon our "needs" as opposed to our "wants". She takes you down a pathway analysing what you do need and identifing what your really don't. She provides some hard questions for you to answer in order to resolve these challenges and provide some strategies and alternative ways to reduce your debt, and put more money into your pocket. If you are tired of being sick and tired of having to work very hard, and not have a savings, the author suggest that you take the exercises in the book and follow them as they are given, and you will see that you will be able to save money, not just what she suggests alone, but much more. She however recommends that you should be committed to changing your financial situation, and becoming more versed in management and gain financial freedom. 

The author also recommended that while her 12 steps are effective and fool-proof, she also recommend that to fill the "money -gap" you can also find alternative ways of gaining a supplemental income through a part-time-job, through a home based business, and or by becoming an entrepreneur.

While 12 Ways To Put Money In Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part-Time Job is designed for a more adult audience, she recommended that parents with child (ren) can also included them in the training afforded. This book is an easy read, written in a language level that is easily comprehended. She uses analogies which appeal to our senses, evoking our imagination. She gets her point across very creatively. 

Jennifer also introduces her book by sharing her "Faith Walk" and how she came upon this journey to become a Leader of Basic Money Management, assisting others with their money management challenges. While her audience is directed to individuals in the United States of America, I believe that 12 Ways To Put Money In Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part-Time Job has universal appeal. It can positively impact people across the globe who are thinking of ways to better manage their money and fill the money gap. I therefore recommend this book very highly without any reservation to any reader. It's a knowledge development lesson on Money — from everyday spending to money as it pertains to Taxes, and many in between.
Get hold of a copy and take the 12 Money Opportunity exercises!

A Nook Of Simple Quotes!

This year’s feature of our nook of simple quotes is comprised of sayings that are intended to touch our hearts and soul. It reflects how we should live and lead our lives to achieve happiness, joy and abundance. I believe that true joy and happiness comes from being able to move away from the materialism of this world and truly grasp an understanding of the spiritual world —nature’s world and all its bliss. 

 The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles. ~ Anne Frank

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods. There is a rapture on the lonely shore. There is society, where none intrudes — by the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more. ~George Gordon Byron

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. ~ Rachel Carson 

This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable. I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours. Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an up rise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing. If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much. ~ Mary Oliver

Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go. ~ May Sarton

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. ~ Dale Carnegie

Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes - every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man. ~Orison Swett Marden

What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn't have any doubt - it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn't want to go anywhere else. ~ Hal Boyle

This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy. ~ Susan Polis Schutz

Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature. ~ Steve Maraboli,

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Are You Lonely? My Reflection!

Author: Dr. Cheryl Cottle, Ed.D

I just thought that I will share this reflection. It's my response to a question that was posed in a network group for women after sixty. The host posed a question regarding, loneliness and whether you are lonely. I took the challenge to respond to this question because it was only a few days before that I was speaking to a woman about being alone and being lonely. In that discussion, I shared with her how I met an elderly gentleman whom I have known for many years, and he was telling me that he was lonely; I guess realizing that I lived alone, he assumed that I needed his company to pass my time and day. In responding to the host's question, I shared this note. 

This is a very interesting topic and its a real social phenomenon that I see existing in both men and women in this age group. However, I do not experience loneliness, although I have lived alone for a while. When I was a younger woman, I lived alone with my daughter  as a single parent and during that time, I also never experienced loneliness. I have been living in Canada for more than two decades, and when I was younger my daughter lived with me. As time went on and she got married, I moved in with her and her family  my son-in-law and older grand-son. She did not want me living alone. I have since had another grand-son who is five and my life with them is so happy. I really feel that I am living a life of abundance and bliss.

I enjoy living in an intergenerational home. There are so much to do. I find great pleasure in cooking and sharing my many favorite dishes with my grandboys and my son-in-law although I am not the primary dinner maker. They enjoy what I prepare and I love that.  I particularly love when my younger grand-boy wakes me at 6:00am and asks that I make his breakfast. I will often ask him "where are your parents?" and he would say "Gammy, they are still asleep". I will then ask him, "what do you want for breakfast? and on his reply, I will get up and prepare his breakfast and prepare mines as well and have a sit down of two and enjoy his company, conversation and breakfast  well that and more are the benefits of living in an intergenerational home. 

There are always people around me with whom I can talk with, things to do, and opportunities for sharing. They also value what I do and is happy that their gammy is an academic with a doctorate degree  and that I am great at research, project development, radio hosting, computer-based technologies and social media. Their friends are also very proud to know, Matt's Grandma. I will often meet my grandson's friends during his birthday parties and sleep-overs; so I know all the boys in my first grandson's class. I don't think that getting older is an index of whether one experiences loneliness. I believe it has to do with our psycho-social development; our sense of self and our self-worth  our feeling of belonging.

I have never felt lonely in my years of living  some people call it selfish if you can spend alone time with you. Earlier in my life, I enjoyed the silence, only being in tune with nature  the chirping of the birds in particular  that's one of the joys of the Caribbean. Today on my sabbatical, I enjoy the many infectious radio programme, and you will often hear loud music emanating from my home throughout the day. Funny, music does not distract me as years gone by. 

Recently, particularly during my last sabbatical in the Caribbean, I have met a lot of people whom I have known throughout the years who are in their early sixties who complaint of being lonely. I guess that I do not feel lonely, because at the end of each day before bedtime I create a calendar showcasing what I want to do the following day if God permits me to have another one of those precious moments  if I awake in the morning. On being granted that special day, I make the best of it. I follow through with my plans for the day; and I always have something to do or places to go. 

Some of the things that I look forward to is gardening — potting, pruning, and I also love visiting agricultural shops for their latest flora finds; and right now I am working on preparing a kitchen garden. It's my first real attempt at creating a kitchen garden. My plans are to first start with some herbs, a few holes of tomatoes, ochroes, melongenes and cucumbers: And I am finding new ways to compost, so that I can repurpose the weeds in my yard for my garden. The photograph that is included in this reflection illustrates me in one of my most blissful moment  an afternoon on the lake. Although I sat there alone the environment was so all embracing, and though alone the photographer was there with me also. She was my precious daughter. She insisted that she joined me on the lake that day so that she could capture my blissfulness and inner strength and she did.

I also spend time researching, writing and journaling  I am working on a few books, and right now I am editing and designing a woman in business journal that I published in December. It is an online publication and it's in it fourth year of publication. There goes loneliness. I am always cognitively aware. Maybe that makes the difference in being lonely and happy with you  maybe it's what makes you enjoy and treasure your solitude. I think that we need solitude to continue to be creative and innovative.

I am glad that I am happy in my skin and in my own presence. Yes, I do have friends, lots of them. Come December a friend with whom I worked with as a teacher is celebrating her 65th birthday and her daughter asked if I could write something about our first meeting and throughout the years that we have been friends, so that she could compile a book for her as a way of celebrating her life. I did, and come December 27th I will be at that celebration. Great discussion. I hope I haven't bored you!

My question to you is, are you lonely, whether you live with your spouse, alone or in an intergenerational home? and what do you do to deal with your loneliness? It will be nice to share your experiences or your perspactive on the topic.