Archive of ‘Entrepreneurs’ category

Motivation Monday: Don’t be better. Be the best.

Martell and Melody S. Holt of Holt and Holt Entrepreneurship (Photo by: Chanda Temple)

Martell and Melody S. Holt of Holt and Holt Entrepreneurship in Huntsville, Ala.  (Photo by: Chanda Temple)

 

 

By Chanda Temple 

How good are you at what you do? Are you so good that if a consumer approached one of your competitors, the competition would send them your way because they knew you were the best?

It may seem like a far-fetched concept but there’s nothing wrong in wanting this for your business. It only helps you grow, according to Melody S. Holt of Holt and Holt Entrepreneurship, which she runs with her husband, Martell, in Huntsville, Ala.

Such advice is what she shared this weekend as one of the speakers at the Sixth Annual Hair and Health Expo in Birmingham. She opened up her speech with “Are you hungry for success?” Turns out people were. Here are six nuggets she served piping hot  …

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How Coca-Cola is helping women get in the game of running a successful business

Eyvon Austin

Coca-Cola knows a lot of its consumers are entrepreneurs, which is why it started an online program in 2011 to give female business owners resources to help them break through barriers in business. Coca-Cola rep Eyvon Austin was in Birmingham today to discuss the program, which has a goal is to empower 5 million women around the globe by 2020.  (Photo: Chanda Temple)

 

 

 

By Chanda Temple 

In between a DJ cranking out beats and hair stylists creating coiffures at the Sixth Annual Natural Hair and Health Expo today, several hundred attendees were getting down to business – the business of being in business for themselves.

“If you are not at the top of your game in business, find someone who is,” said Eyvon Austin, programs director of supplier diversity for Coca-Cola North America. She was one of several speakers present to discuss how to be better in business. One way of doing that, Austin says, is to check out Coca-Cola’s STEP program (Supplier Training and Empowerment Program). It offers free, online training and resources to help women business owners with leadership, financial management, advocacy and more. The plan is part of the company’s bigger initiative, the 5 by 20 campaign, which aims to empower 5 million women around the globe by 2020.

“We hope that by providing these free tools and resources, it will give the next entrepreneur an opportunity to say,  ‘Hey, I can make this. I can do this,’ ” Austin said. “And then that empowers them to give that same level of empowerment to others.”

During part of her presentation, Austin discussed six ways women can transform their leadership in business. A main point: It comes from within.

Coca-Cola was one of the sponsors for the Sixth Annual Hair and Health Expo at the BJCC on March 11. (Photo by: Chanda Temple)

Coca-Cola was one of the sponsors for the Sixth Annual Hair and Health Expo at the BJCC on March 11. (Photo by: Chanda Temple)

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Coca-Cola’s STEP program gives female entrepreneurs a leg up in business

Coca-Cola's 5by20 program is a global initiative focused on bringing economic empowerment to 5 million women by 2020. The program focuses on business skills training, loans and financial services, and building peer networks and mentoring. (Image: Special)

Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program is a global initiative focused on bringing economic empowerment to 5 million women by 2020. The program focuses on business skills training, loans and financial services, and building peer networks and mentoring. (Image: Special)

 

By Chanda Temple

I’ve always loved Coca-Cola. It’s refreshing, bubbly and goes great with a good burger.

But after learning that the company offers a global program focused on helping new female entrepreneurs address barriers in business, my love for the red and white soda brand just deepened.

Cue the crush music.

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National Lipstick day is made for makeup mavens like Jestina Howard

Aware Cosmetics founder Jestina Howard believes in beautiful faces and healthy bodies. She started her Birmingham, Ala.-based company in 2003. A portion of her sales go to help the American Lung Association. (Photo by Liesa Cole.)

Aware Cosmetics founder Jestina Howard believes in beautiful faces and healthy bodies. She started her Birmingham, Ala.-based company in 2003. Check out her line on July 29, National Lipstick Day and every day. Her products are free of paraben, talc and gluten. (Photo by Liesa Cole.)

 

By Chanda Temple 

For years, I wore Desire, a plum lip color from MAC. It was my signature shade.

Little did I know I was only supposed to wear it in the colder months. (It took my aunt to break the news to me when she saw me on TV one morning. She said it was too dark and not the best look for spring.)

I lightened up on the lip color the next day.

But I want to also credit Birmingham, Ala. makeup maven Jestina Howard for challenging me to step outside my makeup comfort zone. In 2013, I contacted her to buy my favorite plum color from her line, Aware Cosmetics. (Hey, let’s just say I’m addicted to plum.) Anyway, Jestina said that color no longer existed in her line. Then, she encouraged me to try a bright red.

Ummm, excuse me. Bright red?!! Oh no, I thought. That’s not me. (more…)

Motivation Monday: University of Alabama graduate and designer Smith Sinrod talks fashion, rejection and Southern grits

Inspired by architecture and art deco, designer Smith Sinrod likes to work with Thai silk, vibrant colors and bold patterns to give a spin on classic looks. Photo credo: Special.

Inspired by architecture and art deco, designer Smith Sinrod, 28, likes to work with Thai silk, vibrant colors and bold patterns to give a spin on classic looks. Photo by: Chanda Temple.

By Chanda Temple

When starting your own business, you can’t be afraid to hear the negative feedback because it’s bound to come.

It happened early in the career of clothing designer Smith Sinrod. She was at her first trade show when a woman walked by and said, “Eeew, look at that.” The woman didn’t know Sinrod was the designer.

The comment hurt so much that Sinrod wondered, “Gosh, should I be doing this?” But Sinrod recovered, telling herself that for every 10 nos the one yes she gets will make it all worth it.

“People are very opinionated. I’ve heard it all,” she says. “I think it’s important to have a little criticism. That’s the only way to evolve.”

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9 ways to make a sales call

Is your sales pitch strong enough to get potential clients through the door?  Image via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Is your sales pitch strong enough to get potential clients through the door?
Image via Flickr/Creative Commons.

By Chanda Temple

For the last three weeks, business expert and social media guru Melinda Emerson has been hosting webinars on how to improve your sales game. I’m not in the sales industry, but tips from the webinars can be applied to any industry, including public relations.

Today’s post includes Emerson’s nine tips on how to make a sales call. If you like these tips, she has two more FREE webinars. They will be on Thursday, Nov. 20 and Thursday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. EST. Visit http://www.getsales14.com for details. Her webinar co-host is Jeffery Gitomer and he’s just as awesome as Emerson.

1. How to make a bold call

Call someone you’ve already met. Cold calling does not work. Do your homework. Use LinkedIn to look for info to connect. Look at your contacts’ volunteer interests to discover their passions. It can help with your conversation. People give their time and money to things they care about.

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Motivation Monday: What would you do if you lost an eye?

Kenisha Shamburger Photo by Handy Media Photography

Kenisha Shamburger Photo by Handy Photo Media

By Chanda Temple

Picture this: You’ve just pulled out of your driveway and you’re headed to work. On the way, you hit a patch of black ice and your car goes zooming into a ravine. You hit a tree, head on.

The airbag deploys and you walk away – without a drop of blood on you. Minus a swollen right eye, you think things are good.

But future doctor examinations will reveal something else: You have high pressure in your eye, which threatens the life of your right eye. Your vision is touch and go. You develop glaucoma and later have a cornea transplant and then an eye transplant. Two years after all of that, your eyelid begins to droop. What would you do?

For Kenisha Shamburger, all she could do was lean on her faith.

“For a long time, I couldn’t read or watch TV. Things were blurred and I couldn’t see,” she said of what she experienced before the eye transplant. “I would literally have to sit in bed and talk to myself, saying, ‘You will not die. You will not quit.’ ’’

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Motivation Monday: Author Fights Cancer to Write Children’s Book About the Magic City Classic

Tuscumbia, Ala. native Sherri Graves Smith wrote "Magic City Classic Game Day Rules.'' She'll be in Birmingham on Oct. 24 - 26 to sell and sign books. (Image: Mascot Books)

Tuscumbia, Ala. native Sherri Graves Smith wrote “Magic City Classic Game Day Rules.” She’ll be in Birmingham on Oct. 23 – 26 to sell and sign books. (Image: Mascot Books)

By Chanda Temple 

On Saturday, Oct. 25, Birmingham, Ala. will welcome the 73rd Magic City Classic, the annual football showdown between Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University in Birmingham, Ala.

Thousands will pour into the city for the rivalry and reunions at Legion Field, where everyone from celebrities and fashionistas to alumni and grill masters will gather. If you’ve never been, consider putting it on your calendar.

For me, this year’s Magic City Classic comes with something special – the release of “The Magic City Classic Game Day Rules,” a children’s book that highlights the long football tradition.

Written by Tuscumbia, Ala. native Sherri Graves Smith, the book stresses the importance of manners when it comes to attending the game and other Magic City Classic festivities. The bands, the teams and the fans are featured in cute illustrations by Damon Danielson.

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Motivation Monday: How to make money from your website

The free workshop, "How to Make Money From Your Website'' will be held on Thursday, Sept. 18 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Birmingham Public Library. (Photo credit: Hubspot)

A free workshop called, “How to Make Money From Your Website” will be held on Thursday, Sept. 18 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Birmingham Public Library, 2100 Park Place.  (Photo credit: Hubspot)

By Chanda Temple

So someone told you that you needed a website to bring in more customers for your business.

You created one and nothing happened. Now you’re wondering what went wrong.

Andrea Walker, a digital strategist and start-up marketing expert based in Birmingham, Ala., may have some answers.

On Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 she will lead a free workshop on how to make money from your website. The session will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Birmingham Public Library, 2100 Park Place. It’s free but registration is required, via this Eventbrite.

The workshop is part of an ongoing entrepreneurial series sponsored by Renasant Bank and Trudy Phillips Consulting Service. (Go here for the entire schedule.)

“A lot of small businesses don’t have the money to do advertising and ad campaigns, so (this workshop) will really be for how to use content marketing and social media to attract the right kind of customers they are looking for,’’ Walker says. “At the end of the day, I want people to walk away learning something they haven’t learned before and knowing they can do it.’’

Her session will address several topics, including the importance of content marketing, which is how to create and share free content on the web with the goal of attracting potential customers and turning them into repeat customers. In order to do that, here are a few things Walker says you should to consider:

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