Get Your Goals On

You know I had to write about it … your life goals! We all have goals in life. Some goals are easily attainable, and others will take a ton of time, effort, and focus. The significant part about having goals is you can adjust your goals based on your needs. Your hierarchy of needs will change as you grow. Maslow (1943, 1954) stated that people are motivated to achieve particular needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Maslow’s theory works like this:

• If you have food – hunger need is satisfied
• If you have a viable home – shelter need is satisfied
• If you have friends/family to support – relationship/social need is satisfied
• If you have money to support yourself – financial need is satisfied

How do you know completing your smart goals is satisfying your hierarch of professional needs? You can start by asking yourself a few questions and gauging your happiness based on your truthful answers. When we decide to accomplish a goal, a series of things must happen to make completing the goal a reality.

• Get clarity of the goal – Write it down
• Make a list of steps to accomplish the goal – Write it down
• Inform a trusted friend/family member of your goal – Talk about it
• Make the steps toward the goal a daily reminder – Think about it
• Put the steps into action and find resources for achieving your goal – Act on it

It is that simple. Say it, believe it, and achieve it. I have included some resources to better prepare to for success toward creating and achieving your goals. Remember, allow yourself to let your goals change as you grow. Change is good and constant.

Happy goal achieving,
Jenice

Resources

OfficeArrow.com. (2008). Smart Goals Worksheet. Retrieved from https://www.mcckc.edu/counseling/goal-setting/docs/SMARTGoalWorksheet.pdf

Simply Psychology. (n.d.). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved 2021, from https://canadacollege.edu/dreamers/docs/Maslows-Hierarchy-of-Needs.pdf

SMART Goals. (n.d.). Retrieved 2021, from https://www.baylor.edu/hr/doc.php/308719.pdf

S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet. (n.d.). Retrieved 2021, from https://www.smartsheet.com/sites/default/files/IC-SMART-Goals-Worksheet-9237-PDF.pdf

Your Job of Choice

We are living in interesting times.  The COVID-19 virus has brought about several changes to our everyday lives.  For the vaccinated, it means remaining diligent about potentially not spreading the virus to the unvaccinated.  For the unvaccinated, it means ensuring to wear a mask and take the precautions needed to stay healthy and safe.  Overall, this whole “thing” is not entirely over.  Teleworking has become a common term used during interviews.  Organizations realize the old hiring processes require an overdue refresh based on new candidate requirements. 

The wild part about this time in our history, you have your choice of job options.  “Really!?” you ask.  With which I would confidently reply, “YESSSSS!”  Most candidates have their choice of job options.  If you have been trying to get into teaching, you can research adjunct positions.  If you want to try your skills at being a realtor, go for it since the housing market is hot.  If you have a business idea, you can start a small business.  The best part is that this is the first time in history where every job modality is open and available to apply.  You want to telework; you got it!  You want a compressed schedule, okay!  You want to work remotely while the regional office is in another state, it is possible!  

cheerful black man having video call and waving hand
Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

The key to choosing the best job option for you is to think hard about what your actual needs and wants are from your new job option.  Are you a new mom?  Are you a new graduate?  Do you have student debt?  Do you have accessibility requirements?  Are you a disabled veteran?  Can you only work during the day/night?  Are you not available on the weekends?  Are you flexible?  No matter what your needs or wants are, there is a job option in the market for you.  Now, it is merely a matter of taking the time to create or update your cover letter and CV/resume.  The choice is up to you, now is as good a time to look and seek out employment opportunities as there has ever been before.  

Happy job option seeking,

Jenice

Resources

Jobs in Higher Education. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.higheredjobs.com/

Robert Half. (2021, July 07). 25 Best Job Search Websites in 2021. Retrieved from https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/job-market/10-best-job-search-websites

USA JOBS Shape America’s Future. (n.d.). Retrieved 2021, from https://www.usajobs.gov/

Simple Success Steps

We all have several ideas and aspirations for our future.  Sometimes our dreams come from thoughts, ideas, or experiences that we may have gone through.  We may have had several different types of careers and jobs that never aligned with who we thought we were to be. That is one of the main reasons why it’s important to remain practical, positive, and purposeful in your success journey.

There were a few common aspects that all successful people have. First, successful people don’t wallow in their failures. They use their failures as a tool for their next success. Second, successful people do not blame others for their inability to be successful. We all understand that there are things beyond our reach when it comes to being successful in certain professional arenas, but the good thing is we all still have a choice to choose what arena we want to play the game in. Finally, third; successful people get up each day physically or emotionally from whatever failure they’ve had and realize the blessing of the failure in disguise.

Success is more than just the ability to get what you want when you want it. Success has a lot to do with self-control and being able to understand the difference between what you want right now and what you need to do to get what you want later.

I wish all the success in the world for you and I,

Dr. Jaye

Resources:

Canfield, J. (2005). The Success Principles. Retrieved from https://www.jackcanfield.com/images/stories/the-success-principles-2-chapters.pdf

Edwards, V. (n.d.). Life Design Workbook. Retrieved 2021, from https://www.scienceofpeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Life-Design-Workbook-.pdf

Seligman. (2015). Workbook for Goal Setting. Retrieved from https://wholebeinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/MC-Goal-setting-Workbook-Complete.pdf

Effective Collaboration

“I would like you to all effectively collaborate on this project.” Said anyone in a leadership position. What they don’t tell you is how to collaborate. Collaboration takes professional finesse to meet common organizational goals, the team goals, and the individuals goals. I have to admit, collaboration can be complex, and during this time of 100% telework for most of the workforce, collaboration can offer its challenges with actually completing a task. It can be difficult and one of the most rewarding aspects of a career.

There are some Important attributes of collaboration—the first being communication. Good communication will take you far in your professional career as long as you can effectively present yourself professionally. There are two significant forms of communication that most people are not aware of, there is communication itself, and then there is active communication. Just like listening, there is listening per se, and then there is active listening. The difference is establishing enough self-control in any situation to hear or present clearly, efficiently, and effectively. In collaborative workgroups, communication is vital.

One of the essential second attributes of collaboration is the common goal. Effectively present a common goal to better prepare your workgroup for the task at hand. Transparency is a part of sharing the common goal for your workgroup to understand why they are doing what they are doing. Keeping in mind some workgroup members may require additional details, whereas other workgroup members may not. Either way, it’s essential to share the goal overall to ensure all workgroup members feel their contributions are applicable.

And the third most crucial attribute of collaboration is establishing roles within the workgroup. Workgroup members must understand the roles they play to bring the appropriate talents, knowledge, and skills to the final collaborative project. Roles also provide clarification for a professional road map towards the end goal. Often the workgroup member assigning the roles usually is the leader, but that is not always the case. The critical aspect of role establishing within a workgroup, ensure the role fits the workgroup member.

Collaboration does not have to be complicated, nor does it have to be arduous. With the tools and technology that we have at our finger tips, it should be more accessible than ever to collaborate in an online setting than it was to do so in a physical environment. The important Takeaways in creating collaborative groups, keep your communication positive, practical, and purposeful. Be sure to establish a common goal for the workgroup to move towards and establish appropriate roles within the workgroup.

Happy collaborations,
Jenice

Resources
Callahan, Schenk and White (n.d.) Building a Collaborative Workplace. Full Circle Associates. https://www.anecdote.com/pdfs/papers/AnecdoteCollaborativeWorkplace_v1s.pdf

Stress Management Tools

Asking for help takes guts. In this day and age, it hasn’t always been popular to take a “Mental Health” day or call a time-out to gather your composure. The time has come for people of all walks of life, professional careers, and backgrounds to realize the importance of mental health management. Several of us struggle with different levels of mental health management. Those struggles can range from requiring additional medications (if needed) to learn how to cope with a barking dog. Mental health management is nothing to make light of; it is a serious topic that has become a more common conversation in recent days.

Usually, when you decide to help somebody else, you also wind up helping yourself. Recently, I started researching stress management and mental health theories to help me understand how to manage my stress levels. You’ll be surprised what you find when you use keywords such as stress management, mental health, understanding how to cope with stress, and the like. Upon my research, I found a term of stress management research that I’ve never heard/seen before. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or CBT. I was surprised to learn that CBT has been around for years. I found some valuable tools that I thought would help me gauge my stress, anxiety, worry, and other lower moods. Not only has it helped, but I worked. I am truly overjoyed to have found these tools and share them with anyone interested in better stress management tools.

I do not claim to be nor am I a mental health management therapist; my specialty is business management. The tools provided are ones that I have found helpful for better understanding how to manage my stress levels. Transparency is vital in my writings to ensure that all readers understand that the resources provided may enhance the stress management techniques you choose for your life. From my understanding, CBT allows individuals to understand, manage, and practice stress management tools that work best for their stress management. I have found that CBT has increased my understanding and positive outlook on life as a whole. I hope you find the topics interesting and valuable. We all could use a reset now and then.

Be well,

Jenice

References

Gregory. (n.d.). CBT Skills Workbook: Practical Exercises and Worksheets to Promote Change. Retrieved 2021, from https://www.readpbn.com/pdf/Cognitive-Behavioral-Therapy-Skills-Workbook-Sample-Pages.pdf

Hendricks, Cohen, Mannarino, & Deblinger. (n.d.). YOUR VERY OWN TF-CBT WORKBOOK. Retrieved 2021, from https://tfcbt.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Your-Very-Own-TF-CBT-Workbook-Final.pdf

Hofmann. (2020). The Anxiety Skills Workbook. Retrieved from https://mshoop.org/wp-lib/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/The-Anxiety-Skills-Workbook.pdf

University NHS Foundation Trust. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Skills Workbook. (2016, March). Retrieved from https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/media/1655/wellbeing-team-cbt-workshop-booklet-2016.pdf 

Getting Down to the Budget


There is no doubt about it; 2020 and halfway into 2021 have been rough on all of us. We are all still grappling with the aftereffects of 2020 and the Corona Virus. It has been a tumultuous time for everyone. We need to focus here seriously; we need to realize that creating a budget is more critical than ever. Inflation is insane, grocery prices are outrageous, gas is triple the cost it was a year ago, and kids are getting ready to go back to school. Everyone is stretching their dollars to the limit.

Let’s do it … it’s budget time. I know budgets are intimidating. If you are like me, I always felt like having a budget was like being on timeout with everything fun I wanted to do. But that is the exact opposite. A budget can provide you more freedom, joy, and transparency than you have ever felt before. A budget can strengthen your relationships and give you a sense of clarity about where & what your money is doing. “I need to know what my money is doing?” YES! You deserve and should demand to know what your money is doing at all times. I have found that when I know what my money is doing, I can eat better, sleep better, and be better. It is that serious; money has been said to be one of the main causations of divorce. According to Ramsey (2018), “The number one issue couples fight about is also a topic many couples avoid discussing — money.” The question is, why would married couples allow money to be the cause of their ultimate marital demise? Simple, people want to buy what they want, and when they can’t, they have a full-on adult temper tantrum.

We are better than this; we can master the management of our money. If you can do that, you can master anything. How do you start to create a budget? Simple, you need to know where your money is going and how much you have to spend. Once you gather this information, create a short and long-term financial goal plan. How do you plan on paying off your debt? How do you plan on making a savings plan? Or an emergency plan? Get specific. Once you have all this down on paper, have a conversation with your spouse or family/friends. You may ruffle a few feathers; people don’t like talking about finances. I don’t know why? Everyone has them … get a financial plan and make sure to discuss your financial plan with those you love and live with. I have included some tools for your financial success.

Happy budgeting,
Jenice

Reference:

Federal Trade Commission. (n.d.). Make a Budget Worksheet. Retrieved from https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-1020-make-budget-worksheet.pdf

Financial Wellness Program. (n.d.). Five Steps to Creating a Budget. Retrieved from https://www.umcu.org/umcu/media/Documents/FiveStepstoCreatingaBudget_January2019.pdf

Ramsey, D. (n.d.). Ramsey Budget Useful Forms. Retrieved from https://www.ramseysolutions.com/budgeting/useful-forms

Ramsey, D. (n.d.). Money Ruining Marriages in America: A Ramsey Solutions study. Retrieved from https://www.ramseysolutions.com/company/newsroom/releases/money-ruining-marriages-in-america

Choose Self-Care

Waking up in the morning starts with random thoughts of important to-do list items to get completed for the day. All goes well until your feet hit the ground. A flood of thoughts saturate your mind when you realize that you still have your toothbrush in your hand as you grab the last bit of toilet tissue. Once again, your spouse has left you stranded on the throne. You may as well add this to your list of to-do “purchase more toilet tissue.” Why and how does your day become consumed with other people’s to-do items? You remember when it happened … when you stopped journaling, when you stopped paying attention to your happiness in the simple things … it is time to reclaim your time, your sense of self, and your to-do list!

I became fascinated with “Self-Care” when I overheard my spouse chatting on the phone about how much she had to do, when in fact … her list of to-do lists was my to-do list. I realized I missed doing special things for myself. I started down a rabbit hole of information and found some pretty useful items. To be clear, as stated by Lawler (2021), “Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, you can do your job, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day.” Self-care does not mean to be selfish or acting selfishly, a huge difference. We all need to do some level of self-care.

How do we start to self-care for ourselves? We can start by not feeling like we have to do everything for everyone all the time. We can establish healthy boundaries and ensure that we communicate how and why overstepping our boundaries is inappropriate when people overstep those boundaries. We can express our needs and wants effectively with proactive discussions about complex topics. But what I found to be the most helpful way to start self-care is to wake up with an attitude of gratitude and continue checking in with myself throughout the day.

Self-care may be a new term for you but rest assured that this practice has been around for years. I am encouraging you to choose self-care for a better way of living and interacting with all in your life. I have included some resources for you to utilize for your self-care journey. Remember, we can only live one day, one moment, and one minute at a time; make sure to live it the way you choose to.

Be well,
Jenice

References:

Hardy, J. (2017). Self Care Project. Retrieved from https://www.blurtitout.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/The-Self-Care-Project-worksheets.pdf

Lawler, M., Phillips, Q., Revelant, J., Millard, E., Landau, M. D., & Russell, T. (2021). What Is Self-Care and Why Is It Critical for Your Health?: Everyday Health. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/self-care/

Self Care Challenge. (n.d.). Retrieved 2021, from https://static1.squarespace.com/static/575cf8c120c647c0a0062afa/t/5a1f4308e4966bb1ff15b754/1511998216344/self care workbook.pdf

Organizational Diversity and Inclusion Action Plans

Photo by: Nicolas Swatz

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a must. In light of the recent and past events, I would challenge all organizations to create an action plan for diversity and inclusion. An action plan should include creating real, actual, tangible, active strategic plans for addressing and implementing diversity and inclusion policies and updated training for new and current employees. These actions should include the history of the organization’s workforce and an analysis of the organization’s actual issues of a lack of diversity and inclusion. This is the perfect time to put all the words that have been spoken into action.

The good news is organizations don’t have to make this a large budgetary line item. Implementing diversity and inclusion is super simple. First, create an on-going survey using an online internal or external tool to gather information about specific items that are pressing to employees. This survey can include fill-in-the-blank sections to allow for thorough feedback to be received. Once the survey is completed, organize the data and share the information with the entire organization. This is a fantastic way to ensure everyone has a say, and all are able to share and offer solutions. Keep in mind; there will be a mixed bag of feedback. All feedback is not going to positive. That is the whole point of finding out what employees are thinking, feeling, and suffering with. This action is of little to no cost to the organization.

Create signage stating “No Discrimination” to post on buildings and outside areas for all to have a visual that your organization will not tolerate discrimination. If we can post “No Smoking/Vaping” signage, a “No Discrimination” signage should be just as simple. Using a visual will provide those that feel the need to be inappropriate reminders of the organization’s new culture. This action is of little cost to the organization.

Assign human resource departments (or other qualified employees) the task of conducting individual as well as mass “No Discrimination” training and webinars. We have all been through the traditional diversity and inclusion training (normally completed in an online setting). This is too important of a topic for material to simply be sent out for employees to click through PowerPoint slides mindlessly. That is not effective enough anymore. We need human-to-human contact to grasp the full understanding for real change to happen. This action is of little to no cost to the organization.

Lastly, assign employees the responsibility of holding their peers accountable when inappropriate behavior is seen/heard. Employee evaluations should include any discrimination action taken by the employee to show the severity of the “No Discrimination” policy and standards of the organization. Most onboarding processes include a series of questions. Situational interview questions should also include discrimination for candidates better to understand the organizations culture of “No Discrimination”. This action is of little to no cost to the organization.

With the use of tools and technology, there are ways of quickly gaining an overview of the intrinsic disparities and cultural indifferences within an organization. For organizations to address discrimination in the workplace, real change is needed ASAP. There is no time like the present; this phrase is more than true right now.

If you don’t know where to start, you are welcome to start by utilizing my Prezi Presentation on “Diversity and Inclusion” as a first start.

Reference:  Dr. Jenice Armstead – Prezi Diversity and Inclusion

Just Saying …

One Light in a Dark Place
Let’s start by saying, there is a lot is going on in the world, in society, and everywhere.  I have come to realize that regardless of whether you want to admit it, race is a factor of systematic discrimination. Period. I am sure you have stories, I have stories, and there are plenty of stories in the news to be outraged about.  There comes a time when talking just isn’t enough. Talking is an outstanding motivatng factor for initiating strategic change. But, real change comes with direct actions.  Action is the true synchronized mobility for change.

Too often as a black woman, I’ve been asked by people that don’t look like me how it is that I’m able to stay motivated, positive, and successful. Truth be told, it’s hard. It’s hard waking up and remembering that my natural hair has to be tailored to a customized fashion in order to appease people that don’t understand my hair texture. It’s hard to ensure that I find the right cosmetic foundation that matches my skin tone. It’s hard to ensure not to slip up and accidentally use an urban phrase or term in a meeting for fear of being labeled “ghetto.” It’s even harder to go to the grocery store and pick up a vegan or gluten-free item without receiving unsolicited and passive aggressive opinions about how “good it is” that eat well. Overall, it’s hard being black.

Although, I would not change my culture and my background for anything. What I would change is how people see it as a great divider. Statistically, I should not have college degree, be married, own a business, own home, speak “well” or be a vegan – just to name a few of my attibutes.  I often speak in motivational settings about success and staying focused.  As a segway several speaking topics, I talk about academic disparities I faced.  In tha same thought I speak about how I “blew it out of the water” and earned a Doctorate in my early 30’s.  I realized early on, that I had to mindfuly use approachablity tactics when speaking to predominantly non-black audiances to reduce my intimidation factor.  Yes, black women have to think about things like this – along with everything else.

Way too often, when I’m approached by peers and executive leadership to engage in “small talk” about myself.  I find myself having to explain my cultural background, academic career and how I was able to do it.  The conversation is almost always passive-aggressive. During a diversity meeting at one of the organizations I previously worked for, we had an open forum about “Race in the Classroom.” I knew how it was gonna go, I knew what was gonna be said, and I knew that there was gonna be no change put in place after the dawnting three-hour conversation was over.

At the end of the meeting, nothing was resolved, and nothing was written down toward strategic actions for ensuring the organization had more cultural sensitivity in the classroom. What did happen was myself and a co-worker we’re casually discussing the overall conversation.  I was asked specifically what it was like to be black? I gathered all of the strength from my black ancestors and started to regurgitate a default answer from memory, but instead stopped myself.  I decided to anwer honestly, instead of using my rehearshed template.  I specifically said “it’s hard being black, especially a black woman knowing that each and every day I have to prepare myself for the world mentally. The world does not see me as an educated woman. The world sees me as a black woman. The world does not see any of my accomplishments, accolades, dreams, or fears. The world does not see what I’ve done for my community, what I do for my students, or my motivational drive to ensure to be a good role model to little black girls and boys everywhere I go.”   I remember realizing that it was more than my co-worker could handle.  And decided to stop speaking.  She finally removed her hand from her mouth. I will never forget the look on her face. She simply replied with “That must be exhausting, I don’t see how you do it.” I replied, “I have no choice, it’s just the way it is – for now.”

Unfortunatly, the primitive factor of the color of your skin matters – it shouldn’t, but it does. But I’ve decided that the color of my skin is not a hindrance or a burden, it’s a gift.  I love being black, and I am a strong, educated, outspoken, sponky, lesbian, black woman.  Regardless of what the world throws at black folks, we always regroup, dust ourselves off and try again. It is literally in our DNA. We have a right to be happy, to be upset, to be angry, to be successful, to voice my opinion, to choose who to love, to do anything that brings happiness, positivity, and light to this world. That is where we stand, that is where we are coming from, and that is what we deserve.

Jenice

Take Care of Yourself

People often say as a closing or departing phrase, “Take care of yourself.” One smiles and replies with the same or adding an additional pleasantry. When you think of taking care of yourself, you may think of eating healthy, exercising, or keeping mentally upbeat. When in fact, “Take care of yourself” as a statement is one of the most beautiful phrases one can say to another. Bear with me, simple but true – “Take Care” implies that you should pay attention to how you are taking care of yourself. When you think negative thoughts, you are not taking care of yourself. When you decide on grabbing fast food for convenience, you are not taking care of yourself. Even negative mental “chatter” about how far off from a goal you are, is not taking care of yourself. Deciding not to live out your purpose, is not taking care of yourself. Can you think of ways you can honor the proclaimed statement, “Take care of yourself?”

Let’s start with our thoughts, whether we believe it or not, thoughts become things. They may become negative or positive things that affect our lives in different ways. Today, make it practice to focus on not only taking care of yourself but paying attention to ways that no longer serve you in positive ways. It can be something as simple as waking up and starting a new practice of saying aloud, “I am awake, and for that, I am grateful.” Those that start their day with an “attitude of gratitude,” tend to take better care of themselves and those around them.

Be well,

Jenice

Resources: Gratitude and Hope. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.winona.edu/resilience/Media/Gratitude-Journal-Worksheet.pdf


Don’t Get Mad … Get Motivated

We all have talents. We have strengthens. Do not be afraid of your own motivation and success. We know we have accelerated knowledge in our skill-sets, even when others try to emulate our work. The infringing part of impersonation is, it is never as good as the original. The original is just that, one of a kind, not able to be duplicated with slight or extreme differences. The best part about “the original” is there is and will always be, only one – of a kind. You are one of a kind.

What You Do Matters

Photo: Luke Webb

In this uncertain time, it is not the time to get mad. Instead, get motivated. Get motivated to be the very best you, you can be. There is always a way to look at the brighter side of things, even when all seems far off. You can do this. What have you wanted to do that you didn’t have the time to do? Do you want to get healthier? Come up with a plan. You don’t need a gym to work out and feel great. Have you wanted to start a blog about your favorite hobby? Do it, and there are a ton of free resources for you to get started. You don’t need an elaborate fancy website to share your ideas. Is there a new career venture you have been putting off? Why? The only way to know is to go for it and truly put your whole self into it.

We all have the time to think and seriously ponder on what makes us intrinsically happy. I am sure you have chatted with friends and family about all the things you love to do, that you are currently not able to do. The great part is you will have a chance to do those things you love to do – just in different ways. What will emerge from this significant time in our history? Some of the best ideas came from great disasters (natural and human-made). It is time to get motivated and stay focused. We are all important and have greatness to contribute to this beautiful world. Don’t get mad; get motivated.

Be well,
Jenice

Resources:

Self-Motivation Explained 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself. (2020, April 22). Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/self-motivation/

Boosting Motivation Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://thiswayup.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/This-Way-Up-Boosting-motivation-guide.pdf

How to Write a Business Plan

Two Woman in Black Sits on Chair Near Table

Hey hey hey … it’s Dr. Jaye,

Are you in need of a business plan, yet don’t know where to start? Are you a business owner (large or small), and never needed a business plan and now find yourself having to gather all of your business information and put it in one place (i.e., a business plan)? Do you need a business plan to submit to the Small Business Administration for a loan? What to do? Well, I got you. Let’s jump into this super simple method for getting your business organized and set up for success!

Creating a business plan can be frustrating and confusing. Why do you need a business plan? What do you need to have in a business plan? What are some business plan options?  What can a business plan be used for? Well, I have answered all of these questions and more in my quick video “How to Write a Business Plan,” and I have also provided the template reviewed in the video. The best part about this transparent business plan template is it provides prompts and questions to better allow for successful completion of a clear and concise developed business plan.

Remember, writing a business plan does not have to be an overwhelming task. Take it one section at a time and do your research. There are tons of free resources to help you develop an amazing business plan. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have. As always, I am here for you and your success!

Dr. Jaye

YouTube Video:  How to Write a Business Plan by Dr. Jaye

Reference: Writing a Business Plan. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2020, from https://www.va.gov/osdbu/docs/vepBusinessPlanOutline.pdf

Step-by-Step = Goal Achieved

When we think of a goal, we are often in a state of motivation. A conversation sparked an idea, a movie prompted an inspiring thought, or perhaps a song brought forth a vision to embark. No matter the prompt, there are a few things that need to happen before you get to “happy slappy” about how great it is going to be once you accomplish “that” goal. The idea, vision, and thought are the easy part … the hard part is the work put into achieving the goal. I once heard a motto that I will never forget, “The work between an idea and a goal is the arduous steps that are required toward completion.” That statement has driven each and every goal I have set out to accomplish. You have to remember, there will be hard work involved to attain any goal that is worth your while.

It is in the middle, the hard part, the work, the sweat, and tears … that is where the goals start to come to fruition. That is where you discover who you are and what you are made of. Too often, when things get hard, we simply stop. But, it is in the “step-by-step” brainstorming and mulling over the tasks over and over where the motivation kicks us into high gear. Motivation is not something that you get from a PodCast, YouTube Video, or phone call from a supporter. Motivation is the still and small voice that reminds you of why you started on your “Goal Journey” in the first place. You are welcome to use that phrase to remind you of the hard work you will put in.

I have worked in the private, public, and federal sections. It was in the midst of one of the greatest opportunities that I found my passion for education. I recently found an old photo of myself. I was sitting at a Play School desk, and if you are a Gen-Xer you know the one I am talking about, heck you probably had one too. I actually remember the moment when I fell in love with learning … it was that moment. Fast forward a few years, I was in one of the darkest places in my professional career and reconnected with my love of learning. But, I had to allow something new to emerge. It was from a candid conversation with my supervisor that I realized my life purpose was to work in education. I researched and found the perfect Doctoral Business Management program for my needs, and started out on my goal toward earning a terminal degree in business management, with the goal of working in higher education.

Was the goal hard and far off? Yes. Did it take longer than I thought it would? Of course. But the point is I started. Just start. Start now, you cannot worry about the details if you have not made a decision to start. Start where you are and start now. Stop comparing yourself, your situation or your life to others. Truth be told, there are probably others comparing their lives to yours. Instead of all of the reincarnations of iterations of what we think we should be doing, let’s break the cycle and set an example for “Doing It Your Way” … oh … I think I feel a book birthing out of that last statement. Be the best you, you can be … unapologetically.

Patel, Deep. “16 Actions to Take to Achieve Any Goal.” Entrepreneur, 27 Aug. 2018, www.entrepreneur.com/article/318347.

Getting Positive, Purposeful and Productive …

Let’s keep this good, highly positive energy going. I have to say; it has been a while since I have written two articles in a row. Normally, I try to post at least 1 article a month. I found my time slipping through my fingers minute by minute. People always say, “We all have 24hours in a day – it is up to you to make the most of it.” Let’s digest the “24 hours” we all have:

  • 6 – 8 Hours – People normally spend sleeping
  • 2 Hours – Getting ready for work, school, date or other events, which can take up to (start to finish – bathing, dressing, make-up, getting kids up and ready, etc.)
  • 3 Hours – We seem to take up several hours to eat (in totality)
  • 2 – 3 Hours – Then there is the “Waiting” on something or someone, all together (depending on how fast traffic takes, public transportation, elevators, walking dogs, etc.)

What are we up to now? 16 hours

Okay, 24 Hours – 16 Hours = 8 hours (Purposeful Time Left)

And you guessed it, most of us work at a minimum of 8 hours a day – that is the rest of it. That is what most people’s 24 hours may look like, give or take some adjustments in tasks and responsibilities. That is how one can find time slipping through one’s fingers.

How is this positive, purposeful, or productive information, Jenice?!? You may be asking with learning this frustration realization. I am glad you asked. The key to taking back your time is realizing that you have more than enough of it … simple, but true. Now that most of us are finding ourselves teleworking, on a compressed or flex-schedule, we literally are being the gift of time. Each and every day, you get to choose (hopefully), how you spend your time now. 

Getting positive – if you still are employed in a safe working environment, be thankful. Getting purposeful – If you are working, then what you are doing is purposeful, and thank you for all you do, every day that you do it. Focused on Production – Production is not everything; poor quality is worst than producing nothing. Production is nothing without quality time spent ensuring the product is of good value. Instead of listening to all of the negative jargon all the time, do yourself a favor and find something to be positive, purposeful, and productive about. You will find you have more time than you could have ever scheduled on your calendar. 

Be well,

Jenice

Daum, K. (2014, November 3). 9 Ways to Save More Time. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/9-ways-to-save-more-time.html

Getting to Know Yourself Better with MBTI Test

How often have you wondered why you respond to situations or events as you do? Have you tried to change your behaviors for the better? How successful have you been? The link may be in your intrinsic personality traits.

I have often implemented real-life assignments into my class lectures for students to grow both academically and personally. The Myers and Briggs Personality (MBTI) Test is a consistent tool that is used by several academics for student success. This is a fantastic way to get to know your students and for you to better gauge your behaviors and personality traits. There are plenty of ways to utilize this for everyday situations. I have used the MBTI Test as a for-credit assignment on several topics to include: accounting, business management, organizational behavior, human resources, financial management, and many others.

I often have found that peers enjoy completing the MBTI Test as a way of expressing their strengths. It has been used in leadership training across organizations looking for employees to gain a better understanding of their professional relationships for collaborations.  I find it to be incredibly insightful. Since you have all of this time on your hands, you may want to dive in and get to know yourself a little better.
Be well,
Jenice

Reference: Friedman. (n.d.). MBTI Personality Test. Retrieved 2020, from https://d3jc3ahdjad7x7.cloudfront.net/spokaLTFBEADL9JnMd7njgJd96nyp7YNgICG2tlJWifcI7GP.pdf

Career and Success Tips: How to Use O*Net

It is true; we are living in unprecedented times. The unemployment rate has sky rocked beyond anything any of us could have imagined … but wait – maybe this is just the opportunity we needed to pursue the careers we are meant to be in. Stick with me for a second … I promise I will get there. Life has a way of making us believe that we need to settle for whatever job/career we need to pay the bills. Paying down and getting out debt is essential, but your professional happiness is just as important.

Like many, I have been detoured from doing many of the professional items that provided substantial motivation to “keep going” – and maintaining my professional happiness. The other day, I received a message from a LinkedIn networker. She mentioned she viewed one of my Youtube videos I published at the height of my “Job Classification” research. This contact mentioned that she was looking to learn more about the topic and was open to any advice I could provide. “That’s right! I am a subject matter expert in job classification,” I thought as I pondered my response to her.
I remembered that I purchased a “pop-up” backdrop for future videos. After figuring out how to the contraption up, adjusting the stand, and sitting down at my kitchen table … I began to record a video to better show her, instead of merely telling her about job classification. And why not take it a step further, there were several websites I could include which would also assist her with updating her resume and gaining information about job classification. At the end of the short video, I realized I had forgotten that I thoroughly enjoyed creating videos about business topics to assist others with their professional goals. That being said, I decided and made a promise that I would write up a quick blurb about the entire experience and share it with you as well.

Long story, longer – we should take this time to reevaluate what truly makes us happy. If this entire experience has taught me anything (thus far), it’s that we need to be grateful for our health, our friends and family and our lives. We are social beings, always have been and always will be. Instead of spreading fear and anguish to one another, let’s spread love, life, and encouragement.  I am encouraging you to revamp your job skills, take a hard look at your resume, or start working on or revisit that degree you never finished up. I hope the video I created on “Career Success” assists you with getting the clarification needed to pursue your dreams. If you have any questions – I am here. Believe me … I am here, and you are there … and we might be where we are for a while.

Be well,
Jenice

Dr. Jaye YouTube Link:  How to Use O*Net – Career Success

Dr. Jaye YouTube Link:  Understanding USAJOBs – Career Success

Establishing and Exercising Boundaries

Establishing Boundaries are Important for Everyone

Happy New Year, it is time to “Marie Kondo” a few things.  We all have a few things we need to clean up, throw out or condense.  The New Year means setting new goals, removing old goals and reflecting on accomplishments.  Let’s start off small, boundaries.  Don’t click off of the page just yet … boundaries are good.  They help us to conduct a self “check-in” and ensure things are as they should be for our mental health.  Establishing boundaries assist with stress management, self-value, and creativity.  Whether we want to admit it or not, boundaries are healthy. 

Boundaries do not have to be long and drawn out.  If you have never thought about boundaries, they are pretty simple to implement – be swift and simple, i.e. “I will not accept friend requests from people I do not know on social media.”  Simple and moderate.  It is necessary to be specific, “I will not accept a position for a lower salary than my asking baseline.” Super simple, yet specific.  Make sure your boundaries are also positive and represent your values, “If I am approached by a random person who has little respect for my person, I will choose to remove myself from the situation – I deserve to be respected at all times because I respect others.”  Consequences are a must if a boundary is crossed – give yourself permission to speak up and say something.  Address it, and make sure to state how and when the boundary was crossed.  Consistency and communication are keys to boundaries.  Communicate your boundaries clearly and ensure you are understood by the person(s) involved.  Ensure you inform the person(s) how their lack of respect for your boundaries have caused you to invoke consequences.  This assures there is no negotiations for your boundaries and your expectations are clear.  Make sure to be open if they would like to discuss their boundaries.  You may learn something about their character.  Remember, you have a right to establish and exercise your healthy, positive and affirmative boundaries.  Have a great year, and remember – you have a right to happiness, health, and wholeness.

Reflect and keep these simple boundary indicators as a reference to establish and exercise your own boundaries in your professional and personal endeavors.  Happy New Year.    

1. Be Moderate

2. Be specific

3. Be positive – Virtues-based

4. Have specific, relevant consequences

5. Make consequences educative

6. Be consistent

7. Communicate rules clearly

8. Be sure consequences are understood 

9. Make bottom line rules non-negotiable 1

10. Make expectations clear

Reference: Guidelines for Establishing Clear Boundaries. (2007). Retrieved from https://www.virtuesproject.com/Pdf/ClearBoundaries.pdf

Dr. Jenice Armstead

New Year, New Attitude!

Every year, we strive for new goals. How about striving for a new attitude? An attitude, not merely a positive attitude – but, a better one? Being positive is more than just a state of mind. Being positive is about our interactions with ourselves, others and with difficult situations. We’re often told to “stay positive,” but no one ever tells you how to stay positive. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand that things are going to happen to you, good, bad, and indifferent. The ability to exercise self-control and realize that just because we fail or something negative happens to us, does not mean that we are bad people or that we have a bad experience entirely. Just as it is unhealthy to be Pollyannaish, it is equally unhealthy to be overly pessimistic. How do we balance the spectrum between being positive and being overwhelmed with life? The first step is to remember that there is something good in the situation that you can learn about yourself, others or how to handle the situation better in the future. The second part is to forgive yourself for being negative about a situation. The third part is to realize that your best is going to change from moment to moment. It comes with the realization that you are not a perfect being, none of us are. That is the beauty of life, we can do things differently and in a more positive aspect every time we engage or interact with the negative situation. Keep that in mind this new year, as you go into new challenges, new ventures, new relationships, new everything. Let’s be mindful of our emotional intelligence and our ability to control several aspects of a situation. Truth be told, you have more control over a situation than you think you do.

Reference: Bradberry, T. (2014). 3 Powerful Ways To Stay Positive. Retrieved 2019, from http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/3-Powerful-Ways-To-Stay-Positive-1120740708-p-1.html

Dr. Jenice Armstead, United States Navy Veteran

New Train of Thought: Holistic Learning, Working and Being

Greetings and salutations readers,

There has been a lot that has conspired since the last time I have written to you. I’ve gone through a career change, I’ve changed my eating habits, I have decided to face financial items head on that should’ve been addressed a long time ago, and I have a completely different view on life. Being a holistic teacher has taught me a lot about myself and about those that I educate. I realize it is not only my responsibility to enlighten you with knowledge of business and human resources, but with actual, practical, tactical life skills to help you get to where you need to be in life.

I have been doing a lot of research on the need for understanding the basics. Without the basics of anything, we have a foundation for nothing. The basics provide us with the understanding of why we are doing what we’re doing and where we need to go with what we’re doing. If you’ve been following me or reading my articles for a while, you know that my life mantra is “more being, less doing.” By that I mean we need to decide to be more and stop thinking that just because we say we’re “busy” means that we’re doing something of meaning. In actuality, we are doing nothing if we are not deciding to be more in every moment for the purpose for our own lives.

It is time to think more, challenge more, understand more, realize more, interact more, empathize more and be more. I know firsthand that many of you are going through many different struggles, we all have things and situations that we’re currently dealing with on top of finding our purpose in life. What you must ask yourself in every moment is “Who am I being and what are my doing?” Einstein said something that resonates with me since I have been researching and studying holistic thinking. He said “If you can’t explain something in the simplest terms, in the lowest common denominator then you don’t have a true understanding of it.”

These are the times that we are currently in. We must understand and acknowledge things from the lowest common denominator to get to solutions for the big problems. These are my thoughts, and this is how I will continue to research, think, grow and learn. I thank you for your support, and I hope that you would provide your feedback and input on different topics that you would like me to research, discover and share with you.

Peace and blessings to you and all of your endeavors,

Dr. Armstead

Not Taking on Others Fears and Anxieties

Fears and anxieties arise from a lack of control of the situation or event. When others have a fear of change, unforeseen circumstances and other things out of their control – fear and anxiety start to fester. Today’s Wisdom Wednesday focuses on not taking on others fears and anxieties. When you realize who you are, how to get things done and the purpose of things – your fears and anxieties will turn into motivational driven abilities towards a goal. Goals are great ways to keep track of what you want to do, where you want to be and how you want to get there. We are all human, and fear and anxieties come with the human experience. The growth and understanding comes from understanding that fears and anxieties out of your control may get out a hand when not dealt with face on. One way to deal with fears and anxieties – for example in the workplace, is to gain a better clarification through communication with others. Although communicating with others may not provide absolute clarity, it can provide enough clarity to gain an understanding of how to handle the situation. Make a point to pay attention when you have fears and anxieties come from you by the way of others emotions and reactions to situations. This is a great way to gain understanding and provide yourself the ability to stay cool, calm and collective in any given situation.

Jenice