I asked a question a few weeks ago on my social media about what podcasts do you listen to and I got some really great responses. So I decided that I would compose a short list of people that influence me and a great place to to look for inspiration. I know when I was getting started I was so overwhelmed and was in information overload. I know you may be wondering who to listen to so here you go because it took a minute for me to find what I needed. I was so glad to find encouragement and motivation from these amazing female bosses because they sound like me. Now my list is short but packed full of power because I need the in your face type of energy because they speak hard facts and truth.
(1) I needed a starting point and the first personal branding strategist that I took to was Maya Elious. She is a personal branding strategist helping female entrepreneurs monetize their expertise. I used her Narrow your Niche workbook even when I didn’t have a clue as to what it meant to niche down and purchased her Content Creator Starter Pack that included 150 Blog Post Topics. As a beginner she helped me paint a clearer picture and I still use those resources to this day. Visit her site to subscribe to her newsletter for FREE business advice.
(2) SideHustle Pro is my personal favorite podcast to listen to and is known for being the first and only podcast to spotlight bold, Black women entrepreneurs who have scaled from side hustle to profitable business. The founder of SideHustle Pro (Nicaila Matthews Okome) shares her personal story of trials and triumphs and what she learned when she began to entrepreneurial journey. She interviews other female bosses and share actionable tips on being productive and running a business. Visit her site to subscribe to her newsletter and learn how to grow your business fueled by your passion.
(3) As a teacher that wants to change the trajectory of my career within the next couple of years, I find Jasmine Womack the example. The cool thing about her is that she has worked with Maya Elious who has also appeared on SideHustle Pro. She has managed to turn her experience in teaching and writing her book into a profitable business and she shares her expertise along the way. I actually stumbled across her because a friend of mine tagged me in a post on instagram about the release of her book and I subsequently enrolled in The Author’s Bootcamp when she offered it for free on Facebook. It has been a year of following her and I see so much of my journey that resembles hers. I’m so ready to get into the business behind the book with the self-publishing expertise that she shares. Visit her site to learn how you can work with her and participate in her programs and courses.
(4) When I want a good laugh and sound advice with in your face realness, I turn to Sharon Beason. Now I follow her primarily on instagram and her different entities, @SharonMayBeason, @womeneur, and @InstaGSociety and all of her posts give me life. She is a startup and strategy boss in these instagram streets and she is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs monetize their social media. Her boldness is what draws me in and keeps me checking back daily. I know that when I am on either of those profiles she is sure to have something to meet my needs or inquiry for the day. Visit her business link for all that she has to offer. She is amazing!
(5) Coach Stormy is unabashedly herself and she magnetizing. She is a true product of her product but her “sister talks” and motivational videos she comes through with are also real to core. She does not hide her struggle or past and let’s it be known that you have to hustle and grind hard to get yourself to the next level. She is not telling people what they want to hear. She gives people hard conversations and she is in your face about business and you continuously have to step your game up to survive, Her daily motivation will give you the kick that you need. Hate it or love it, she just keeps it real. Visit her business link for her motivation and coaching.
As a mom first, author and teacher on this entrepreneurial journey I have to feed my mind the things that will help me along the way. These women are my good buddies in my head and I look forward to the jewels they drop each day. Be mindful of what you consume. Everybody ain’t for you.
In 2016 I thought that this mompreneur thing would be easy and my oh my was I wrong. I was just winging it until I realized that my vision was too broad and I had not niched down enough. Yes, I am a teacher but my skills as a mom are what help me organize my day to walk into my classroom more prepared. I need my working women with business aspirations to know that while you are working, raising your children, planning a wedding, or being a wife, you can still chase your dreams. Life happens and even when you survive divorce; knowing your mission and why will carry you farther than the obstacles that you face. Those trials become a part of your story and fuel your purpose. So be clear when you set out to make a difference. Be the problem solver to those that need to hear your voice and don’t give up until you make an impact.
My Mission: I help working moms find balance between their career and home life as they gain clarity in pursuit of their dreams.
Once I sat down and did a business plan and really thought about what I was trying to do and my message, things began to click. Even though I have been trying for a few years now, once I gained clarity, I can better see the direction I’m heading in for 2020.
Branding Myself Properly
I thought that by merely saying, “I am my brand” was enough but I was wrong again. My personality, my quick wit, my authenticity was going to set me aside but I was nobody in the realm of blogging and entrepreneurship. Now don’t get me wrong, I have some faithful followers and listeners but as I aspire for a further reach I realized that I had to do more. I had to figure out I wanted to be recognized. Yes, I’m the tattooed teacher in my building as I teach throughout the day, but that’s not my ideal for my Mom|Author|Teacher (mompreneur) brand that I am working to establish for myself. And guess what, even after I find some comfort in my visibility, branding is ongoing and may even call for a re-brand down the road. So, LaTilya Rashon is my name in real life. So I did not over arch with something off the wall because my approach is to just be real with my message and what I create. Pieces of me will be ingrained in everything that I do. In these internet streets I will show you my dedication, my authenticity, and my perseverance (D.A.P.) through my storytelling. I love acronyms so you’ll see more of those in the future because they are easy to remember. Make sure your brand attracts your tribe. That’s the whole point!
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
Ya’ll there are levels to being in business for yourself. Being a NOVICE, brand new and not knowing what to is the very first level. Your eyes are bigger than your follow through and you are more busy than productive and you just know you are getting things done. I had to tell myself to have several seats plenty of times between 2016 and 2017 because I didn’t have a clue. I was not creating anything of value outside of my first book (My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching). Once those wheels starting turning, you are now in the DEVELOPMENTAL stage of business where you are connecting the dots and things are beginning to make sense and you have a better understanding of what you are trying to do. Your growth is beginning to show. Then ultimately, the EXPERT. We all aspire to be a household name in these internet streets because of our extensive knowledge and expertise. But you have crawl before you walk. Maintain your own lane and know that everybody has different skillsets so processes are not one size fit all and we are all essentially running our own races. Focus on what you are creating and less on others. What you have inside of you is just as needed as to what the people around you are doing. NOTE TO SELF!
Taking on too Much
When you don’t have a vision you will easily take on too much too soon and it will leave you overwhelmed and ready to quit. You need clarity and this can’t be emphasized enough to avoid repeat failure. Now this does not mean that some things won’t launch as successfully as others, it just means that we will eventually get it right. Even if you plan properly it’s a 50/50 chance of things going wrong, so we have to prioritize our tasks as to not give up before we ever get started. What is urgent versus not urgent then go from there. Decide what you can DO now, what you can PLAN to do later, who or what you can DELEGATE, and truly ELIMINATE. We are what holds us back when we are sure, so be intentional.
Failing to Invest in Myself
Listen, you can google until your finger tips hurt but pretty soon you will find that in information overload, everything will start to look the same. I have downloaded so many free worksheets, ebooks, tuned into LIVE training, you name it and none of them gave me the clarity that I needed. Then I started making small investments in resources because I needed to streamline my message and my business. Find someone that speaks to your style and let them coach you. I have following one particular author/coach for the past year and I am ecstatic about my latest investment of myself. You have to do your own research to determine who is best suited for your needs. You can only Free.99 to a certain degree but when you want results, you will begin to make the right investments. Even when you think you don’t have the money, you will find a way.
So with all of that being said… I decided that I no longer wanted to function in mediocrity. I want to scale up my message and visibility so that I can do great things in the months to come. I have set some very intense goals for myself and the steps I’m taking along the way have me very excited. Let’s just say as I’m approaching my 38th birthday, I have for certain two years to make some things shake and that is exactly what I plan to do.
So back in September I thought that it would be a great idea to really map out my business and the direction that I want to go. I completed a full business plan and everything then I feel like I hit a brick wall.
My big picture is being able to run a successful business online and become my own boss. Creating ways for people to expand their creative abilities, speaking when given the opportunity and ultimately enjoying the things that I love doing.
2019 put a little bit of a fire under my ass, especially back in June when I spoke at the Teacher Self-Care Conference. I transferred schools. I became the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) Coach. But I also began to experience the growing pains of raising teenage boys. They are night and day. Needless to say I feel like I am behind, but then I think about all of the work that has been accomplished behind the scenes that I actually have to stop and give myself a break.
I have planned my brand content and though I am not as confident in it at times that I should be, I just ask myself a lot of times if I am doing the right thing. I totally get that I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, but damn they make it look easy. So I hit the reset button and told myself to not let the internet rush me. After all, this blog has been up for three years, semi-consistently. I have written three books. I do freelance academic writing and editing. I have been busy. But self-doubt creeps in and make me question everything.
I’m not experiencing burnout or anything, I just want to begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That is such a cliché. And even though I’m building my own table and opening my own doors, the truth is that entrepreneurship is hard as hell. Luckily for me I have decided to partake in a “Secure the Bag” webinar because 2020 is the year to erase the doubt and just strike out. I’m thinking “The Journey to Here” which is a compilation of themed story telling that explains my journey of living, reflecting, writing, and learning.
I have dumped my brain a lot over the past few months and I am passionate about writing of course, goal setting, African-American youth (I don’t want to see them get lost in the system) and of course being a successful author with a message that I get to share through speaking engagements. I’m not stalling anything, I’m just being careful as I go back to look at drafts of all of my book titles. I have a couple books I need to finish or put the final touches on. I am definitely going to make it happen.
These are just my Tuesday thoughts as I prepare for my conference in the meantime. I’m a lifelong learner. So this journey continues.
You have permission to tell your story and your story only. Your story will inspire people that can relate to your trials and your triumphs.
Moment of transparency: This time last year I said I’d be teaching somewhere else, and in the spring I interviewed and got the job. I had been in my old district since July 2008 so I knew I was ready for something different. Today I will be introducing our new behavior matrix to support our P.B.I.S. initiative because I stepped into the coach position when it was in need of a new one. It’s a lot of work but I’m doing what I can, and the leadership team will receive this information in today’s meeting.
So I’m giving myself 90 days to cement some other ideas because I want to see more results on the business side of what I do. I wrote a couple of books, I’ve spoke a couple of times, so now I want to do more with all of my experience and be a full time mentor, speaker, facilitator because I KNOW I can do.
I’m trying to secure my own bag. I’m not concerned with what others are doing around me that does not feed this mindset and place in my life. I was going hard, now I’m about to go harder.
Crazily there are people in this world that want to see you fall. In fact they are counting on it. It is up to you to show them what you’re made of. It’s not easy being a mom trying to keep it all together with tears in your eyes. It’s tough being an author when you’re independent and just out here trusting God. It’s equally difficult being a teacher and pursuing your dreams and you keep trying until you find your groove.
So being a business owner or entrepreneur or whatever you call yourself just make it happen. You have an unofficial fan club that’s watching your every move. Wave 👋🏽 at them through your content and keep shining.
You inspire people that pretend not to see you. Trust Me!
Be sure to check out my ebook store latilyarashon.selz.com