Tag Archives: business

Protect Yourself From Brand Thieves!!

Brand Thieves and Squatters

I LOVE business. I find having a business idea, developing a plan, giving “birth” to it, watching it grow and generate revenue is so exciting. What can be worse than building it all and  having someone snatch not only your business idea, but also your business or product name?!! YIKES!!

I help so many people develop amazing businesses and the last thing they think about is protecting their name. I get it. Often I meet people that have been in business for awhile and STILL aren’t concerned about it. They get real concerned about it- to the point of tears and a bunch of bad words- once someone else starts using the same (or a very similar name). The anger and fear is at even higher levels when they learn that someone else may have even gone as far as obtaining a federal trademark registration for the name.

It is a sick feeling. The thought of “your baby” being snatched from you, all the money you spent on branding and possibly merchandise flushed down the toilet. They got the trademark registration and now own the name, right? WRONG! It is still yours, but just like a great relationship, you may have to fight for it.

Don’t feel intimated because you think someone “one upped” you. Here’s the deal:

If you were the first person to use the name in commerce before the weasel trademarked the name, you can have their trademark canceled. Great news, right?!

So, what does “use in commerce” mean? Briefly it means a) when the name is placed on the goods, labels, tags, etc ; b) the goods are sold or transported in commerce; c) on services, when the name is displayed in the sale or advertising of services.

One may feel intimated upon receipt of a demand to stop using the name because it has been registered by another person. However, knowing your rights and having the proof of when you began using it in commerce, can help in your fight for your name.

Although it may not be hard to prove, it is a headache to present everything and seek cancelation of the other person’s trademark so that you can then seek registration. A headache that can be avoided. My advice is to just handle this before it can ever become an issue. Seek trademark registration early on in your venture. In today’s social media age, when someone sees a name that they like, unfortunately they “take” it. They will bully the real owner, ignore all requests to stop and even offer to sell it back to the real owner.

Treat your business like a REAL business. Handle your intellectual property/ brand ownership before someone mishandles you!

Need help? Click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation.

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Lessons on My Birthday

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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

The Most Important Factor in Your Marketing Plan

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Marketing is a very important part of your business. I would go as far as to say that it is crucial. If you have a great product, but no one knows about it you won’t make much money! You must market. However, you must do it the right way. I have noticed that many people forget about one key component. They focus on the wrong aspect of marketing.

 So here are three keys to your marketing plan and what I feel is the most important:

  1. Leads: The first part of marketing is getting new leads. Leads, leads, leads. You want to get as many leads as you can because the more leads you get, the more potential clients you have and the more potential clients you get, the more clients you have. Potential clients turn into clients. Here is an example. If you are in the online sector you will need about 1,000 leads to generate ONE SALE! So, how are you going to attract people to your business? How are you getting the leads?

  2. Experiences: What type of experiences are you going to create for your customers? Give them a great experience. WOW them! Even though you make think your idea or business is original, you are most likely not the only person doing what you are doing. The customer can choose you or 25 others in the same industry. Therefore, it’s essential to create an experience for your clients that will have people walking away from your services raving about you and your business!

  3. Current Customers: How are you going to appreciate your current clients/loyal customers? These are the people who are currently using and enjoying your services. They are the people that are going to be able to provide word of mouth marketing for you, telling their friends how much they enjoyed your services. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT!

Most people focus on number 1 and not number 3… The majority of people lose money in the long run by not focusing on developing and nurturing relationships with current clients. When you spend all your time on number 1, the people in the third category  3 are getting left out. So, how are you going to ‘wow’ them? How are going to go above and beyond to nurture and appreciate your current customers?

The existing customers will be the walking mouthpiece for your business. They will tell a friend that will tell a friend that will tell a friend.People tend to trust a direct referral before they trust a stranger in their email inbox! In addition the existing clients can grow to be the most loyal clients. They can be the clients that support you and hire you for years to come. Many of your future clients may be your existing clients. Therefore you have to treat them right.

Let me know below how you will nurture your existing clients.

 

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