Category Archives: corporate speaking

Lessons on My Birthday

speaker-flyer-lenise

GOOD MORNING!!!!! HEYYYY!!! Today is my BIRTHDAY!

(insert a dance move and big smile here)

What better way to spend it than working, right?! Lucky for me what I do does not feel like work. I love what I do.

Today I am in Marrakech, Morocco. It is a beautiful city!! the culture is so intriguing.

I was invited by a group called Freedom Village to represent the United States as we speak at the United Nations Climate Change Conference November 13- 20. I am one of four African Americans (and the ONLY African American female) invited to empower others to sustain themselves in this changing world. I will speak specifically on innovation and the female entrepreneur.

I’ve been awake consistently refining my speech in preparation for my first international speaking engagement. I will stand before Global influencers including 10,000 heads of state plus the 160 United Nations Presidents – yes, including our own President Barack Obama!

I am grateful to be among a delegation of elect Global leaders who will convene in Marrakech, Morocco and speak on an international stage for #COP22 with an emphasis on Climate Change and saving our earth with a focus on Innovation, Sustainability, Renewable Energy, Green Tech & Building Smart-Cities.

Last night I think it all hit me. WOW! I did it! I traveled internationally all by myself. I took two planes, 2 trains and a car…I navigated alone. I am also staying in a riad, a tradition Moroccan home, with the local people in their community.

That’s big for me. When the opportunity presented itself I almost said no.

“I can’t leave my kids for a week!”

“I can’t speak in front of a huge crowd like that!”

“This is over my head!”

“I can’t travel that far alone!”

All those doubts crept in my mind…quickly. I fought to dismiss them and seized this amazing opportunity. I have learned that whenever we step into a new level old doubts and fears show up. It is normal because we become uncomfortable with the change. It is not healthy to let those thoughts take over to the point where we block our own blessings.

Amazing things happen when we allow ourselves to become uncomfortable. We open ourselves up to new experiences, new people and things.

The key is to get passed the uncomfortable feeling and just do it anyway!

For my birthday I would like for you to give me a gift. I don’t want anything tangible. I want you to determine what makes you uncomfortable in your life and in business. Decide to JUST DO IT this week.

It does not have to be getting on a plane and traveling to a foreign country and speaking to national leaders (YIKES..I am still a little nervous..lol). Your uncomfortable thing may be tackling social media, doing a live stream, making a cold call, starting your book…

Do me a favor for my birthday and start it this week. That one thing you are fearing may be the one thing that takes you to the next level. Tackle the unknown with determination. 

Complacency is easyDo something difficult.

Wishing you the best this week,

Lenise

3 Reasons Why I Prefer Personal Brand vs.Business Branding

FullSizeRender-39

 

Often I am asked by entrepreneurs whether they should focus on branding their business or branding themselves. A personal brand is typically a business that is built around a person and their name. A business brand is an identity (fictitious or not) that is created for a business. It promotes the brand name of the business as opposed the the specific talents/expertise of the owner of the brand.

Many think that personal branding is only for actors, artists and those that want to be famous. Guess what? It’s not! Personal branding  is for those who wish to improve their career, climb the social ladder and improve the brand equity along the way. Personal branding is also critically important for leadership.

Business branding may be preferred by some. There are many companies that do very well without their founder having a strong personal brand. It is definitely not a requirement.  Many purchase products simply because they like them and what the company is all about without knowing anything about the face behind the business.

However, I see so much earning potential behind creating a personal brand. It is a method that has worked for me and countless clients. It is a method that helps entrepreneurs create multiple streams of income through product endorsements, their own products, services, public speaking, personal seminars, books and more.

Here are three reasons why I prefer creating a personal brand over a business brand:

1. Never Run Out of Customers: Yes, the customers know that you exist. They know that SOMEONE created this business. They know that someone is behind that logo. If people are raging fans of your product/services they can also become raving fans of YOU as an individual. That allows you to build an audience that will support your new endeavors such as writing a book, public speaking, a clothing line, a new enterprise you want to start, etc.

2. Your Business May Change: As you learn more in your business and expound you may change your mind about some things. You may decide that you no longer want to offer a particular service, product, etc. One of the things I like about your using own name & creating a personal brand is just that: you can evolve with it.  You’ll learn new things, start new companies or websites. And when you do, why would you want to leave all the amazing work ,followers, readership behind? Creating a business brand makes it difficult for a business owner to evolve into doing new things under the business brand.

3. Builds Loyalty: When you work on creating a personal brand you are choosing to show others parts of your life and/or your personality. Building a personal brand encourages you to become transparent about some things in your life and/or your business. This transparency and the sharing allows people to personally connect with you. More and more people want to do business with people..with PERSONALITIES not large businesses. Once a consumer feels that connection with you, your journey and your story they will feel that you are the only person in your particular industry that can solve their problem. Allow people to know you and to like you. That will eventually build the trust. The trust will lead to them referring others and much more loyalty to your business.

In conclusion personal branding has its pros and cons. One “con” you may have to face through personal branding is criticism. When you brand yourself as opposed to your business you will be looked at with much more scrutiny. People watch your every move very closely and your privacy may take a hit. In addition, if you make a mistake you will have to answer tough questions and bail yourself out. I think we all learned this through Tiger Woods.

Business brands are less likely to fall under the microscope and can rebound more easily from negative publicity because the relationship with their followers is less personal.

I’d love to help you with building a personal brand. Check out my new book. It can help you on your journey! Click here  to order your copy. To learn more about me and what I offer visit www.LeniseWilliams.com

IMG_5325

SPEAK UP only if you want to earn more MONEY!

IMG_2608

Public speaking. Does the thought of it make you cringe or does it excite you? The thought of speaking in front of more than 2 people that I know made me break out in hives. Well, maybe not that extreme but it did make me pretty nauseous! Throughout high school, college and even law school I was scared of speaking publicly. I was forced to get over it once I retained my first client in my law practice. The day of the trial I was petrified. It was either sink or swim! I am happy to report that I swam and haven’t looked back. Since “swimming” I have realized the importance of public speaking. Public speaking can help take your business to the next level even if you never have to step foot in a courtroom.

Here are four reasons why entrepreneurs must master public speaking:

1. You made need money Will your business need capital? Have you considered trying to obtain a loan or investors? If so you will need to clearly articulate many things about your business. You may have to pitch your business  in front of a crowd of people. If you are scared to speak publicly you may miss out on a loan or a big fat investment check!

2. Increase sales: Public speaking helps you to establish yourself as an expert. Think about it….when someone invites a person to speak to a group of people the audience will recognize that person as an expert before that person even steps foot on the stage. The more you speak the more of an expert you become. The more of an expert you become the more people will become interested in your products or services. The more interested they become, the more money they spend. BAM! It is just that easy.

3. Think Big! You may be operating your business from your kitchen table today. However that can all change at any time. If you go to a one member business to a business with 10, 20 or even 50 employees will you be prepared to address them? Yes, they will want to hear from the leader at some point! Employees expect to hear and see their executives.

4. It Can Make or Break Your Company: There are 5 key business skills that can make or break your company.

  1. product development
  2. writing
  3. time management
  4. sales/marketing
  5. public speaking

Four of these key skills can easily be outsourced. Which one cannot be outsourced? Yep! You guessed it… Public Speaking. The good news is that this skill can be learned. With practice you can become a great public speaker. Once you learn exactly where your fears stem you can tackle them and overcome. Try hoping on the live streaming app, Periscope. This allows you to get comfortable with speaking to a group without having to physically see the group in front of you Also check out groups like Toastmasters International where you can get real experience & feedback with a group of people also trying to improve their skills.

Here is a great article on overcoming your fear of public speaking.

Whether you are in the early stages of entrepreneurship or if you are a seasoned entrepreneur you will be a better entrepreneur by mastering public speaking.

If you want to learn more about obtaining public speaking gigs,creating public speaking topics, the proper contracts for public speakers and more you will want to check out Girl Biz Academy. The “Senior Program” in Girl Biz Academy offers a comprehensive guide and step by step tutorial on how you can emerge and/or grow as a public speaker. Don’t forget REGISTRATION CLOSES NOVEMBER 15!

3 Ways Authenticity Puts Money in the Bank

AUTHENTICITY

Think about successful entrepreneurs that you know or follow. One thing you may find that they all have in common is that they are authentic. They open up about their lives, they share their passions, they give you an invitation to get close to them although you never really meet them.

That authenticity comes from confidence. You see, when you are confident in yourself and what you believe you really don’t care about what anyone may think about you. Therefore you don’t really hesitate to share your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc with others. There is no hesitation even if  it requires going against the grain in order to stay true to yourself.

I am going to share 6 reasons why being authentic PAYS. For the sake of time (and not losing your attention) lol I am going to share three of them today.

1. It’s Super Easy To Make Great Decisions For Your Life & Business:
If you remain true to yourself and your visions nothing will distract you.Confident and authentic people do not feel the need to be like anyone else. They do not feel pressure in making a decision or in voicing their own truths. Outside influence does not bother them.

Once your vision is clear you will begin to spend less time explaining yourself, explaining your prices and explaining how you do business. Therefore sticking to who you are, what you believe in and remaining focused on your goals makes the decision making process easier.

When you know WHO you are and WHAT you want to do it becomes easy to see what decisions will go in furtherance of your mission. The more consistently you do things in alignment of your mission, the more people understand and see that you are genuine. Once others see that they trust you more people will do business with you. Confident and being genuine is the catalyst to trust.

2. You Will Attract the Best Customers That Will Pay You:
People want to do business with HUMANS. Humans make mistakes, humans have feelings… people don’t like robots.

When you convey your feelings, admit your mistakes, share your story (even when it’s not flattering) you gain respect. Real leaders are those that are capable of gaining respect. People will pay someone that is human.

3. You Learn More:
Have you heard the saying:  The more you learn the more you earn? I have no idea who to credit with that, but I am honest enough to say it is not my quote..lol. Regardless of the author, this statement is true. If you are “perfect” you lose opportunities to learn.

Authentic people are open to admitting that they do not know everything. Therefore they are open to learning about new experiences and subjects. Authenitc people can admit when they need help. They recognize when it is time to hire an expert and when they coaching.

Avoiding the pitfall of being a stubborn entrepreneur that can do everything yourself will help you stay in business, develop new strategies and EARN MORE MONEY!
I hope this is helpful. Please share your comments/ thoughts.

What Home Depot Taught Me About Vision Boards

homedepotu

Earlier in the year I sent several messages out about goal setting, visions boards and having a 2015 mission. For the most part I try my hardest to practice what I preach. This year I decided that I wanted to speak in a different capacity. I speak at events that I plan and at conferences, but I wanted to speak at corporations, at international conferences… I wanted to take it up a notch! Although I often speak on business and legal topics I wanted to add more. My question to myself was how I would transition and merge into a market of this nature when I ordinarily speak on entrepreneurship. What company would want me to talk to their employees about opening a business, right?! I sure they would be itching for someone to come in and tell their staff how to quit …. that was not going to work LOL

“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” -Habakkuk 2:2

Well it happened! I put it out there that I was a corporate speaker. Although I had not done corporate speaking before I just declared it! Well within a few weeks of putting myself out there I got a call from Home Depot Corporate office. They invited me to tell me story and speak to their female leaders at their annual Women in Leadership Conference on the importance of women in leadership. WOW!!! I was blown away! I of course said YES 🙂

The conference was yesterday and I enjoyed it. I spoke to the female leaders from three divisions in Georgia. I shared my story of how I was a recent law school graduate that had to seek food stamps. I told them I pushed through that period of my life followed by a heartbreaking divorce to build a multiple 6 figure law practice. I then told them how I walked away from it all! Eyes always get really big when I tell that story..lol I then shared statistics with them on how women make up 52% of the population, but only hold 18% of leadership positions. I gave them my reasons of why I think this exists as well as offered my personal suggestions of how we as female leaders can change that.
The most profound moment was when I asked the ladies that would rate themselves as a 9 or a 10 as a leader to raise their hands. No one raised their hand. I asked those that would rate themselves as a 5, 6,7 or 8 to raise their hands. At that point all of the hands went up high. My point: had I asked a room full of males that same question the majority of the hands would have been raised the first time.

As women we need to give ourselves more credit. Malcolm Forbe said it best, “Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”

My point in sharing this with you is to stop doubting what you can do. If you want to do it just make it part of your vision and make it happen. If I doubted whether I could speak in a corporate setting I would not have put myself out there. Had I not put myself out there I would not have spoken at not just any company, but a Fortune 50 company. That still blows me away!

HomeDepotsmock

Promise me that if you did not already make your vision clear you will do it today. Promise me that you will start to celebrate all that is great about you and continue to make a difference. The world needs you; they are waiting. Home Depot taught me that vision boards can work. Just remember to couple it with action! What are your thoughts on this? Comment below; I’d love to her from you.

Business Blessings,
Lenise