Tag Archives: business consulting

3 Reasons Why I Prefer Personal Brand vs.Business Branding

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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

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3 Ways Authenticity Puts Money in the Bank

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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.

Want Location Independence?

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My children spend each Summer with my ex-husband in Louisiana. I usually spend my Summers in Atlanta working and missing them. I think I am like many other mothers. We tend to live these lives that revolve around our children. Once they are gone for even a short period of time we are sometimes left trying to figure out how to live and what to do with SOOOO much free time.

When I was in college I was a free spirit. I would jump in my car and take road trips with very little money in my pocket. I would hop on a plane without a return flight. I did not know how I was going to get back, what I was going to do when I go there, but I did it! Those were the best years of my life! Of course given the responsibility of raising my boys (and being a real adult..lol) I do not have the luxury to be as carefree.

When a friend mentioned to me on Sunday a trip to Mexico that they were taking on Tuesday I decided to go. I had a million reasons why I should not. I didn’t plan it, I had things to do around the house, I had errands to run in Atlanta…the list went on and on. However I stopped making excuses to enjoy myself and I packed my bag and bought the plane ticket before I could change my mind for a third time.

The biggest part of this is the fact that I am always talking about location independence and the happiness that comes from it, but I don’t always do it. Location independence is having a business/career which allows you to work from anywhere with a wifi signal. My business is 100% location independent.

Many of you know my story. You know that I built a multi 6 figure law practice from nothing in Louisiana and that I walked away from it all to focus on the entrepreneurship portion of my business as opposed to the court appearances and legal practice. I relocated and starting buying businesses. What I don’t like to talk about is the $100,000 plus of my own personal savings that I lost in a business. It hurt like hell. I was depressed and devastated. After walking away from that venture I really did not have much money left. After a few months I did not know how I was going to pay my bills and take care of my boys.To put is bluntly- I was scared shitless! I could have moved back to Louisiana and started defending criminals and helping clients in custody battles, but the thought of going back to that made me want to cry. That path made me miserable; I did not want to go back to it. Besides my boys were settled, thriving and so happy in Georgia. On top of that there would still be a high expense associated with moving. Ughhh..I was in such a pickle!

I had to figure it out quickly. Shortly after that venture I started business consulting. I knew what I was good at, I knew why many of my ventures were successful and I knew why my most recent one was not. People wanted to know what I knew that came naturally to me. That info coupled with my personal experiences in business was actually something people would pay for. I honestly did not see my worth outside of a courtroom or managing a business. I shared my info and I started charging for it. I built a website and started putting myself out there just for fun really. Within a few months I built an entirely new business on the internet. CRAZY! I have built my business from social media, google and word of mouth. People from multiple states and countries have all been able to find me and actually hire me for my services as well as purchase my products.

I do not need to be at a desk in a high-rise building. I do not need some pricey phone system and a big staff! I could not use work as my excuse not to go to Mexico. I rescheduled a couple of calls and ensured that the resort had wifi and was ready to go. the one consulting call that I could not miss was done via FaceTime on my laptop. The projects I am working on can all be typed and emailed from my laptop. I have created a business that I love and that I can do from this beautiful beach in Mexico..HA! It can all happen when you put yourself out there, provide good services and work on branding yourself as an expert in your industry. It is really that simple. I can help you do it too.

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Have you grown tired of feeling stuck? Are you ready to work on your own schedule from a beach, from any Starbucks, from your sofa??? I would love to help you. I just started taking new clients again. I have a few slots that are still open for 3 month or 6 month consulting. If you have an interest in working with me in your industry on doing exactly what I have done we need to chat..ASAP. Click here to see available consulting packages. If you are SERIOUS about success just reply to this email. I would be happy to set up a call once I return from Mexico next week.

Looking forward to working with you!

XOXO,

Lenise

What Home Depot Taught Me About Vision Boards

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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!

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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

Do as I Say Not as I Did

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I met or connected with many of those that follow me and my endeavors through an organization I started some time ago called Mompreneur, Inc. Mompreneur, Inc was designed to celebrate and educate the mompreneurs- the female entrepreneurs that are successfully running their business and being the matriarch of the home. As you may personally know that is NOT AN EASY TASK!

Mompreneur, Inc provided education opportunities for mompreneurs. This was mostly done through live events. I then started providing more private consulting and legal services to entrepreneurs which left me with less time to focus on Mompreneur, Inc. With so many women-owned businesses closing and women feeling frustration and losing hope it was important to me to find the resources and experts to help ensure success. My passion remained with the organization.

However in addition to the time constraints there where other struggles. My primary struggle was that I found it was incredibly difficult to impact a community of mompreneurs when they were spread all over the globe. So many women were requesting live events and for chapters to be organized in their city I found myself overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed with trying to manage my own start-ups, my children AND attempt to execute the organization. I honestly stepped back because I could not handle the demand. I was not expecting such a huge global response. I was thinking a small local organization meeting at a small table at Starbucks! SURPRISE, SURPRISE! It was a classic example of thinking too small and not planning BIG enough.

After months and months of brainstorming and talking it out with my team of advisors I feel I have created the perfect solution to reach the masses! ***Clears throat and smiles****I am pretty darn excited about it too!

(INSERT DRAMATIC DRUMROLL HERE PLEASE)

I am pleased to have the ability to unite and educate mompreneurs nationwide through a virtual subscription box. Do you love subscription services as much as I do? This works much like a subscription box service that delivers hair products, jewelry, snacks, etc to your door step every month. However instead of delivering beauty and snack treats to your MAILBOX every month we deliver educational services and resources straight to your email INBOX every month.

This will provide education and resources to help subscribers’ grow their business. It also provides tips on the balance that mompreneurs have been yearning for. The service also provides monthly e-books, virtual business group coaching, business motivational conference calls, access to a private online community, specialized business educational webinars from industry experts, access to exclusive interviews with successful mompreneurs, a mobile app with discounts to over 200 vendors and MORE!

I already know you will LOVE it!! For more info on the service and how it works click here.

Mompreneur, Inc launches at 12 am tonight (June 7). For the month of June there will only be 100 subscriptions. FIRST COME FIRST SERVED. Here is the secret… Registration is open for a few hours RIGHT NOW for my VIPs. HURRY UP!!!  Click here.

I hope this relaunch helps you to see the importance of thinking BIG. Had I thought and planned for big initially there would be no need for a relaunch. Nonetheless it was a learning experience and I good story to share with my clients. “Do as I say, not as I did”!

Hope to see you on the subscription list!

I’d love your feedback! Check out the site and let me know what you think below.

XOXO,

Lenise

My Top 3 Mistakes as an Entrepreneur

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I am addicted to making my own money. When a first time entrepreneur earns their first 50 bucks ON THEIR OWN WITHOUT A BOSS the feeling is empowering. Well, I can only speak for myself. 🙂
I have been a business owner in some capacity for eleven years. I absolutely love it and would not have it any other way. However in buying businesses, starting businesses and growing businesses I have learned so much. Many of the things I have learned I learned by making mistakes…plenty of them. I want to share the top three mistakes I made as an entrepreneur with you. Hopefully you can learn from them. Here are a few more tips on budgeting.

1. Don’t think every opportunity is the best opportunity.
In the beginning I thought everyone that reached out to help me or support me were all “Team Lenise”. Guess what? Many of them were not. People that I thought were “Team Lenise” would present to me what I thought are opportunities. I would jump at them without hesitation. After getting burned several times I realized that some (not all) get close to you because they want to see you fall. Some disguise that with what looks like an opportunity that you just can’t pass up. Do me a favor: investigate, investigate and investigate again. Trust your intuition. If it seems too good to be true it very well may be too good to be true!

2. Create a budget and stick to it.
Whether you have created a budget for the year or for the month try your hardest to stick to it. Troubled financials is one of the biggest reasons that small businesses close. Every dollar counts…it all adds up! Don’t be scared to switch vendors and price search. If you are going over budget research other vendors and make sure that you are getting the best price possible. I had an office supply vendor that I worked with for years; however I had to stop doing business with them after finding lower prices elsewhere. Loyalty is great, but business is business!

3. Don’t ever get comfortable.
Business is booming. All that marketing you did has really paid off. Here is my tip: DO NOT STOP! Keep marketing and keep working hard like you did before anyone knew anything about you or your products/services. It is that same hunger that will keep you afloat. I remember when my phone in my first business (my law office) never rang. I did some effective marketing and for 2 months straight the phone rang off the hook. I got comfortable and way too confident. I stopped airing commercials as often. I figured I did not need it. Needless to say my phone did stop ringing and I had a drought for awhile. Once I started marketing again it picked back up. However had I kept the momentum going I wouldn’t have experienced that drought.

There are so many other things that I have learned. However these stand out the most. Take the time to listen to stories from others. You can learn so much and avoid so many pitfalls if you just take the time to listen. I did not have the privilege of having a mentor when I started my first business. It was so competitive that everyone feared that the other person would take their clients. Silly, I know. Back then I did not know that business coaches, consultants, etc even existed. Had I known I could have saved myself lots of time, headache and money. But then again if I had known then I wouldn’t be able to share with you!

What is your biggest lesson learned? Share below.

Why an E-Business Makes Me Happy

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Have you like many others considered starting (or growing) an online business? A business owner who does any, or all, of their business using the internet, is running an online business (also known as an ebusiness).

It has become the business of choice for many boutique owners, consultants, coaches and more. There are so many benefits to having an online business. Here are my top 3 reasons:

1. Location Independence: The internet reaches across the world and spans all time zones. That means that when businesses take their operations online, they have the same capabilities. With a physical store/office, customers are limited by how close the store is and its hours of operation. Ebusinesses, on the other hand, are accessible from any area with internet access and open 24 hours a day.

The best part of that is that you as the business owner can be ANYWHERE! You can provide your services online or via phone, Skype, etc. or you can fulfill orders for products from anywhere with an internet connection. That means you can work from your home, from an office, from a local coffee shop or even from the beach!

2. Lower Overhead Costs: If you have ever owned a brick and mortar business you know the huge financial stress that places on many. The demands of paying for storage space for your merchandise, paying overhead for your office space, building out to make a place suit your needs….the list goes on and on. However with an online business the only expense you are faced with is the cost for a great website, your internet bill and a computer. Sounds pretty great, right?

3. You Stay Relevant: The internet is a big part of our lives, and isn’t showing signs of leaving anytime soon. Opening an ebusiness keeps you in touch with what’s current: it levels the playing field and gives you the resources needed to compete in today’s increasingly digital marketplace. For example, having an online presence on social media websites is a big part of getting your name out there. To stay relevant, businesses need to consistently post content on these outlets that interest their consumers. Having an online presence forces you to keep up with the changes thereby making you continuously relevant.

I started LeniseWilliams.com, an online source for female entrepreneurs, and haven’t looked back. I sell products online to people as close as Alabama to as far as Africa and Dubai. In addition I coach and consult business owners nationwide through sessions conducted via Skype or telephone. It is hard to believe that I have almost matched my salary from my brick and mortar law office in a very short time! The best part is that it gets better each and every month.

In addition to that the impact that I have had on people in multiple states and countries blows me away. None of it would be possible if I had not decided to launch an ebusiness.

Do your research and determine if it is the right move for you. You would be surprised at the impact AND the money you’d make. Generating a great income doing something that I absolutely LOVE, being home for my children and having the freedom to work from practically anywhere has changed my life…for the BETTER!

Are you ready? If you need help starting your online business I am here! I will show you everything I learned and everything I have done.