FWB – National Mentoring Month – What SCORE Can Do for You

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Hello, friends!  Did you know that it’s National Mentoring Month in January?  I sure didn’t!

Check out this article on just what a mentor is and what they can do for you and your budding small business.  Even if you just have an idea and need some input, a mentor is a great way to see if entrepreneurship is something for you.

If you haven’t heard of SCORE yet I would highly recommend scooting over to their site to check it out.  You can join a local chapter or get in contact with a retired entrepreneur to help mentor you through the business-starting process – how cool is that??

The SBDC is a really great resource too – face to face counseling for FREE??  Yes please!

Go, go and be one with these resources.  Use them for all their worth and gain more knowledge on your own quest for entrepreneurial domination!

FWB – Grad School: The Final Frontier

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

I think I’ve done it – officially become a graduate student. . .  I’m super intimidated just thinking it let alone typing it and putting it out there for all to see.  What if I fail?  What if it’s a huge waste of money?  What if I HATE it???

Panic!

I applied and was accepted into the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship in Applied Technologies at the University of South Florida.

This is huge for me.  At the age of 29 I will be going back to college and trying my hand at something I think I’ll find interesting enough to finish.  I loved undergrad but this is a whole ‘nother level of pressure.

Pending my student loan coming through (yup, one more loan for me to pay back. . .) I’ll be starting classes in a FEW DAYS.  Did I say PANIC! already?  Yeah?  Oh, ok. . .  Well I’m nervous as all holy hell.

So here I go – one more step toward entrepreneurial domination!!

Wish me luck!!!

FWB – 2014: The Year of Creativity

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

That’s it!  I’m calling it!  2014 will be the year of creativity!  Get out your thinking caps and rain jackets as you prepare for brain storms galore this year.

I found this great article that should help you jump start your creative juices and keep them going all year long.  Go ahead, read, take notes and conquer 2014 by thinking outside of the box!

Happy New Year!

FWB – SBA – Small Business Administration – What they can do for you

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

This. . .  This right here is an AMAZING tool for those of you wanting to start or are already running a small business.  It gives you access to videos, training and even chat counseling.  REAL COUNSELING!  On the internet!  FOR FREE!!!  How can you pass that up??

Do yourself and your budding business a favor and browse that site.  Share what you learn with others, too!

Yay helpfulness!

FWB – Personality Types and the Roles They Play

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Facebook can be a great tool – or a great waste of time.  Recently for me it was. . . enlightening.  One of my friends shared this personality test.  I found it pretty accurate but what’s more, it included ‘career advice’ catered to my type – how cool is that??

Turns out I’m a ‘Spontaneous Idealist’ which sounds about right.  I’m creative, a little emotional, and all over the place with ideas and projects.

The test goes on to suggest that in my career I’m enthusiastic and intuitive which others appreciate – yay!  It also points out that I’m easily bored (true!) and like to work in groups.  I’m not one to buy into everything I read but this is pretty spot-on.  It didn’t tell me much that I didn’t know but it did explain a little bit more what it’s like to work WITH me – and that’s helpful.  Sometimes I can be difficult (shocker) but if I know how to prepare people for it then it may make it a little easier – we all win!

So I invite you to take the test yourself – see how you can improve simply by understanding where you’re coming from!

FWB – Write

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Hooray more blog posting!  I started this blog with the intention to write something every day.  As we can all see, this did not pan out.  I tried/am trying!  But it’s hard to come up with something every day.  I don’t want to just write fluff – I want to document my actual journey to entrepreneurial domination and create posts that genuinely help others.  But alas, that’s more difficult than it sounds.

Today I share some inspirational tips from one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman.  Here he outlines his 8 Rules of Writing. The first three are something I’m going to try to apply to my writing here.  Write, one word after the other, and FINISH!  I can do this!

You may think that writing has nothing to do with starting your own business but think a little more about it.  What are you doing when you sit down to work on your business plan?  Writing!  What steps do you need to take to actually get your business up and running?  These tips apply!  I promise!

So read the rules – think about how they can be used in your business ventures – and maybe write some of your goals down, just to see where you are along your journey.

Hope to see you back here soon!  Let’s see if I can stick with this ‘every day’ thing.

FWB – Creativity: Inherent or Learned?

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

I often get asked how I’m so creative.  I’ve tried, nay, WRACKED my brain to think of an answer.  Turns out I have no clue how I can just make things up out of thin air.  It’s hard for me to believe that some people CAN’T just come up with things on the fly.

Ever since I can remember I’ve been altering things to make them more uniquely mine – from giving my Barbies their very own mohawks to putting Lisa Frank stickers on nearly EVERYTHING that I called mine.  I’ve just never been happy with things as-is.  Something has to be tweaked in order to better represent ME.  I craft like a BEAST – all the time.  I see things differently than most people.  I’m told this is creativity.

I recently read an interesting article on the contradictory qualities of creative people.  I gotta say, I agree with most of them and see a lot of it in myself.  I think creative people are capable of being two polar opposites at any given time.  I’m both fickle (which lends itself to plenty of new ideas in frequency) and stable (which allows me to keep with an idea just long enough to see it to fruition).  I’m super outgoing but crave time alone as well.  I get bursts of creativity (partly due to the bipolar I’m sure) but also bunker down to try and hammer out the logistics of things.  It’s just the nature of the beast they call creativity, I suppose.

Anyway, it’s Thanksgiving and the whole thing that inspired this post is what I’m thankful for.  I’m grateful for the fact that I’m creative.  Whether I was born this way or it was nurtured, I have no idea.  Without my creativity I fear I would live quite a dull life indeed.

Hope you have a great holiday!  Enjoy this time with your loved ones and eat ALL THE FOOD!

FWB – Women in Business

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

This is a great place for resources – from business plans to accounting Excel sheets – super great!

I’m currently the Vice President of my local chapter of the American Business Women’s Association for the 2014 year.  It’s a lot of leadership skill practicing – in a safe and encouraging environment (I SO appreciate that!).  Through ABWA I’ve found a really great group of ladies to practice my business skills with – they taught from the ground up how to be successful and be taken seriously as an adult.  (I totally struggle with the whole adult thing. . . it’s so weird, I don’t feel like one so it’s more like I’m playing an adult rather than being one.)

If you happen to be of the female persuasion I highly recommend checking out your local chapter of really any women’s business group – there’s quite a few to choose from.  Even if you’re of the male persuasion most women’s groups accept men and it’s a really great opportunity to learn about other views and different skills.

That’s all I got today.  It’s short and sweet and hopefully HELPFUL!

FWB – The Business of Bipolar Disorder

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Hi, my name is Jessie and I’m bipolar.

True story.  I’m Type II with rapid cycling and hypomania.  I’ve been medicated for a little over a year now and let me tell you, medication and health insurance have saved my life.  I’ve spent the majority of my life in some depressive state.  I’ve avoided making friends, dealt with a rather extensive list of insecurities (beyond the ‘normal’ amount), ruined relationships, missed countless opportunities, and just existed for so long it’s an amazing change to be balanced out now.  I finally love life and appreciate the majority of my days (no one is perfect).  I still struggle with depression from time to time – even all the medication in the world can’t fix everything.  

Bipolar, in my own little explanation, is an instability in moods.  I can’t control my ups and downs which range from feeling on top of the world to contemplating what life would be like without me in it.  It’s serious business and not a fun thing to struggle with on a daily basis.  I firmly believe in chemical imbalances – I think that I was wired this way and I thank the heavens for medication that can help alleviate my most interruptive (I made up that word) symptoms.  I go through cycles of a couple months of normalcy, a couple weeks of hypomania (less intensive mania), and a couple weeks of depression – all interspersed at random intervals and timing.  Truly it’s really annoying and I feel like it hinders my success to a degree.

So what has this meant for my various business ventures?  I haven’t functioned steadily – with predictable moods – in quite some time.  I love the customer service aspect of my job most days; making people happy makes me happy in turn.  However, when I’m in a depressive mood it’s a huge burden to get up the strength (yes, it takes strength) to get my tone to the level that it is when I’m doing fine.  I turn into Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh – it’s just ridiculous.  Most of the time I’m super upbeat and positive almost to the point of annoying my friends but as soon as the depression kicks in I withdraw from everything I love and cower in my bed for a couple weeks.  I can’t concentrate at work, I’m nervous about everything, I doubt myself, I don’t see a point in doing anything and human interaction becomes a huge stressor.  When I’m in a hypomanic phase I’m writing and completing to-do lists, I’m emailing like a machine, I’m confident, I plan for a bright future and I’m overall a super happy person – it’s GREAT!  I wish I could be in that state all the time!  (Side note: full on mania is NOT a good thing, I’m not trying to make a case for it – I’m talking about my own personal version of hypomania.)  When I’m functioning normally it’s a nice balance of reality with a slightly elevated mood (I truly am a positive person at my core).

So there you have it.  It’s so weird to have something that you feel like you need to admit to other people.  I wish mental health issues didn’t have such a stigma to them in our society.  It’s like a diabetic dealing with their diabetes – I take care of myself, am knowledgeable about my condition, and I take my medication.  I don’t feel that I should be judged any differently from someone with a balanced brain chemistry – we’re all the same when it comes down to who we are as humans.

And that, my friends, is my personal explanation for the day.  I hope you can appreciate my openness and maybe go forward with a little more knowledge than before – the more you know and such.

FWB – Different Generations and How They Impact Your Business

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Good afternoon!  Today I want to share with you a few pearls of wisdom that I learned from a business presentation that I attended last night.

I’m part of the American Business Women’s Association – I’m the Vice President and Membership Chair of my local league, the Ringling Chapter of Sarasota, FL.  We’re a great group of diverse active and retired business women.  We meet once a month to learn, network and catch up with each other.  We do a lot of work with local and national scholarships which is a great asset to our community.  I love it.  I’ve been a member for 3 years – but I grew up with the chapter since my mom has been a member for many many years.  Once a month we have our educational programs covering topics from healthy living, current business trends, and anything affecting women or business in the modern world.

Last night Daniel Bloom of DBAI Consulting spoke to us about generational differences that exist in the workforce today as well as the ones that will exist in the future.  It was chock full of good information so I thought I would share some with you.  He referenced the book “The M Factor” by Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman.The synopsis that I gathered from his presentation was that ‘millenials’ are a great influence within our workforce and they are different from previous generations in many ways.  I’m part of Gen Y – which I didn’t know (there’s too many generations named with letters of the alphabet to keep track of) and his presentation gave me a little more information not only about my own generation but how to relate to others as well.

As a generalization the Traditionalists are looking to build a legacy and appreciate the chain of command.  The next generation, the Baby Boomers, changed that chain of command and have affected every market that they entered.  Generation X (from 1965-1980) are looking for a portable career, they want freedom and will go anywhere (or to any job) to find it.

MY generation, the Y’s represent!, is the most connected and tech-savvy.  Born from 1981 to 1999, we’re looking for our work to have MEANING.  We want two successful careers – our working one and our personal one.  We multi-task like a fox and feel empowered to take action.  Dan explained that my generation needs to know who we are in our company/business and why we’re there.  If these two things aren’t clear we’re likely to leave the job within 18 months – which costs companies A LOT of money.  I’m super fortunate to count myself as one of those lucky few who enjoy their 9-5 job.  My job has meaning, I like my company, my coworkers are pretty rad and I feel a challenge is most of my work.  Yes, my ultimate goal is to be running my own business by the time I’m 35 (5.5 years from now, I have time!) but in the meantime I understand the importance of a career that I enjoy.  Anyway – enough of my personal jazz, on to the information sharing! . . .

Regeneration, or Generation Z, is coming into the workforce soon and they will be more connected, more tech-savvy, and more diverse than any other generation.  Have you seen what kids can do these days??  10-year-olds developing apps and stuff – CRAZY!  The freaking internet was brand new when I was 10!!  Just imagine what this new generation will bring to the table – new businesses, smarter operations, connected commerce, and perhaps robot unicorns.  The sky is the limit!

What generation are YOU?  What do you think that means to your business?

You can check out Daniel Bloom’s website here.