Tuesday, December 1, 2009

COMMITMENT

Why are we afraid of commitment?
This week, I taught the social media for business class to 4 students. Although I received e-mails from at least 15 people saying they were going to attend. The 4 students who came had pre-registered for the class months in advance unlike the 15 who just sent an email. Why are we afraid of commitment? As I pondered this question, I looked up the word in the merriam websters dictionary - Commitment is an act of TRUST. Ok, so that is why we are afraid. It is hard to put faith in the future. But for business ownership, failure to plan for the future is akin to being caught in complacency. There is no standing still in business, if we are not moving forward, we are moving backward.

It is running that taught me how to be in training mode and plan for the future. Today is the first day to register for the SheROX triathlon on August 22nd, 2010. Though I don't know how to swim and haven't rode a bike in years, I am registering and making a financial and time commitment in this future activity. It is time to stretch myself and move to the next level so I can lift the lid on my personal leadership skills (John C. Maxwell - Leadership 101 and Sulaiman Rahman) and help more businesses navigate the road blocks in business ownership.

I found a great little article in my google search and it laid everything out in this one statement - "The most important single factor in individual success is COMMITMENT." Commitment requires practicing your beliefs consistently and fully adhere to those beliefs with your actions. My mentor, Sulaiman Rahman, likes to say that you have to practice little commitments to get to the big commitments. My business partner and I have an accountability call every single day. This is our journal of what we need to do for the day and it was her idea to add this activity to the schedule (Thanks Tara!). I am committed to running 4 times a week which translates in to the business commitment of creating a weekly (what is the schedule and what needs to get done), monthly (close the accounting cycle and publish the newsletters) and yearly (how many employees will we have, who are the strategic partners, what certifications do we need) list of what my business has to do to move forward. Sulaiman, I agree it is those little commitments not just saying the words but doing the action which builds belief into completing bigger goals.

The article also states that commitment is demonstrated by a combination of two actions - supporting and improving. "Genuine support develops a commitment in the minds and hearts of others. This is accomplished by focusing on what is important and leading by example." It is my hope to show this by using and supporting businesses in the network and uncovering opportunities and new avenues to market their businesses with cost-effective marketing solutions. The second action is improving. "Improving stretches our commitment to an even higher level. Commitment means a willingness to look for a better way and learn from the process." Though it was my dream to complete a triathlon, it started with a commitment to walk 1000 steps a day use what I learned to walk 10 miles a week ; use what I learned to complete a 5K race which has lead me to register for the tri. Though we can never stop improving, this is where the fun is! My lifetime is not long enough to learn everything so we must use our networks to shorten the learning curve and learn from each other!

That is why I am not afraid of commitment, I TRUST that I don't know everything and would be honored to learn from YOU! I will see the next group of students at the social media for business class part II and COMMIT that the coffee is on me!

Also - women business owners commit to a 3 day conference to learn from your network of like minded businesses who are working together to move to the next level at the 1st annual relax and learn conference at the 4 star Heldrich Hotel and Spa from 4/23/10 - 4/25/10! 100 deposit due now!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

National Minority Economic Development Week Recap

I had the pleasure of attending the national Med Week celebration in Washington DC on behalf of DiversePhilly. The national director, David Hinson, University of Penn Wharton School of Business alum (and a former business owner) talked about the importance of strategic alliances (partnerships, joint ventures, mergers/acquisitions) as growth strategies instead of the traditional organic growth. Then Ervin "Magic" Johnson, former team captain of the NBA champion LA Laker's and business owner, spoke about his growth strategies and his partnership with Starbucks (he owns 105 stores in the urban community). I wish I could copy his speech but these are highlights from my notes. When he approached Starbucks, they had no stores in the urban community. He went to them with a value added proposition about how the urban population (a previously untapped market) is critical to the growth of the Starbucks brand. So the owner of Starbucks said he would come down to LA and conduct due diligence on the Magic Johnson movie theaters. Magic said when he conducted his SWOT (strengths, weeknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, the strengths were Him (passion, drive, brand name and competitive nature), a great management team and excellent customer service. He listens to his customers because they will tell you what they want to make your company successful. As he is from the urban community he identifies with his target market. The fountain drinks in the movie theater chain have not only the traditional Coke but also strawberry, fruit punch and grape because his target audience grew up on Kool-Aid! He asked the food vendors if they had enough hot dogs and the food vendor said they had enough for a month but they sold out of hot dogs on the first day because his target audience does not do dinner AND a movie, they do dinner IN the movie! As a result of seeing the revenue generated at the AMC/Magic Johnson theaters (which was a proven track record) the Magic Johnson/Starbucks deal was done. Now Magic has proved that the urban community can pay $3.00 for coffee but he offers pound cake and red velvet cake among others because the target audience he serves won't eat scones.

Magic talked about how every other community has figured out that partnerships and trust are needed to do well in business but the message has been sadly lost African American community (see Nicole's Commentary 5 August 2009). I would rather have 25% of 10 million than 100% of 10,000 any day. What really struck my heart was when he talked about passing the knowledge to the next generation. The story behind the story of Nicole Newman is my grandfather, Robert Newman. Robert Newman came from a farming family in Virginia to build a life and new home out on the main line. The key to his new life was creating a paving business which did residential beautification projects in Delaware and Montgomery County. He was blessed with three sons before my aunt, the baby girl, was born. None of his sons (including my father) joined him in the family business which unfortunately closed doors (he did not sell the brand name, client list and goodwill, the business just shut down) before he passed in 1991. That family history taught me the importance of passing the knowledge. Magic shared a similar story of getting your children involved early in the business. He started his own son as a janitor and an associate on the concession stand. Last Sunday, I had a meeting with a client and I took my children along. My 6 year old son was so excited to go to a business meeting at Chili's, he asked could he give me a kiss. I said "No, not now". He said "when OUR clients leaves can I give you a kiss?" My client and I shared a laugh because he identified her as OUR client. Magic, I agree start them young in the FAMILY business and make it a prioirty to pass the knowledge to the next generation.

I will be front and center as my inspiration, Nakia Stith from Top of the Clock, receives her award from the 4th annual "Passing The Torch" ceremony at The Enterprise Center. This is my annual event as I watched with great pride as our friend, Sirena Moore from Elohim Construction Company received her honor last year. It is these events which continue to inspire me to build this company so that my children, Sahar Omar and Nasir will be standing next in line with a chance at being honored at the 24th Annual "Passing the Torch" ceremony....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nicole's Commentary 14 August 2009

I feel like I have not addressed this audience in quite some time. This is been a busy summer! I have been creating relationships and dissolving relationships that do not align with the mission of growing YOUR business. There are a couple of competing beliefs on how business is done. Newman Networks is in the midst of a hostile takeover. There is a belief that this is just a part of business but it is my belief that our clients and the services provided are relationships. Relationships can not be randomly traded. We do not sell inanimate objects, like widgets, that are bought and sold. We sell relationships and those relationships are the key to taking YOUR business to the next level.

DiversePhilly members, I have not forgotten about YOUR business. The Wealth Building Series at IKEA is back, the Breakfast With Fran series is back and soon your network and all associated jobs, events and new members will be back. This has been a learning experience and that IS apart of doing business. The key is to learn the lesson and modify the behavior so it does not happen again. I have gotten much stronger in the process and strengthened my belief in YOU and DIVERSEPHILLY. Special thanks to The Credit Woman, Zana Cakes, LifeSpirit Photography, Hackett Global Marketing, Mitchell's Accounting and Tax Solutions, The Enterprise Center Capital Corporation, Goldflam and Associates, UrbanPhilly, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, IKEA, Arnez Exquisite Catering, ClientLink , Meleta Lambert Enterprises, Eatible Delights, Women's Yellow Pages, Urban League Entrepreneurship Center and Ultimate Concrete LLC for making sure I did not get distracted and keep focus on the mission of growing YOUR business. Special acknowledgement also goes to our website development company, JeterActive who once again stood by my side.

Looking forward to a continuing partnership, Nicole Newman.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Felicia's Commentary - It's Not Easy Being Green

One of the many things I love about this network is knowing that I don't have to have all the answers. Collectively, we all have the answer. As I was talking with Felicia Middleton of Urban Aestethics, we chatted about the Sustainable Business Network (we are members) and being green. I was looking for a way to save energy by not utilizing gas. I have already switched the heat, dryer and oven to electric (getting ready for solar energy). Let's thank Felicia Middleton for giving me the answer for my hot water tank (tankless water heater!). This month we are sharing her knowledge....

It’s not easy being green but if you are advertising as a “Green” business, I hope that you, yourself are practicing a green lifestyle, no matter how difficult. Do you recycle? Do you reduce waste? Do you seek to reuse items as much as possible? Being green is not an easy task. However, as you start the change in your habits, it will begin to feel more normal. Old ways of living are difficult to change but with the right mindset and effort, being green is possible. I will admit, it is not easy being green. It is easier to through your water and / or soda bottle in the trash while you are out instead of taking it back home to your recycle bin. It is easier to have an item placed in a plastic bag in the store instead of refusing the bag and placing the item in your briefcase, pocket of purse. Now I will admit, all items cannot fit in your purse or briefcase or should be without a bag but if we start to think about it, many items that we purchase do not require a bag. It’s a challenge being green. Purchasing recycled paper and printing on recycled business card stock requires additional thought and money. You have to be committed to the cause in order to take on the responsibility. You have to want to be different than before; want to make a difference and want to help the cause. It’s really not that easy being green. Especially in my business. We have a bad habit of using a lot of paper. It’s the nature of the business. Normally, we make a practice out of printing drawings, checking the prints and reprinting. Over the years, the level of difficulty in cutting back on these practices has gone up and down. In the early years, I made a conscious effort to cut up unused drawings into scrap paper to make small tablets. Recycling the paper was always a general practice. In the present, I offer “Green Client Services”, where drawings are not printed, they are emailed. Although it’s not easy being green, here is:

This Week’s Green Tips for You and Your Business:
1) Carry a refillable mug with you to your favorite coffee house.
2) Read emails online as opposed to printing them. If printing is required, print on a sheet of paper that has been used on one side.
3) Recycle Batteries and then invest in rechargeable batteries and a battery charger.
4) Recycle printer cartridges. Staples offers a return on investment for all recycled printer cartridges.
5) Purchase recyclable paper.
It’s not easy being green. But I hope you will join in and make the color change. For real.

Click here to read the full article...

This Week's Green Tip: Install a tankless water heater.

Help save the environment by cutting back on energy usage. Conventional water heaters utilize energy (gas, electric, etc.) to consistently heat a tank full of water in order to keep steady temperature. In contrast, tankless water heaters have a heating element that heats water on contact. This cuts back on the continuous energy used to heat water in a tank. An added benefit is the constant flow of hot water as opposed to using all of the water heated within your hot water tank.

Thank Felicia Middleton of Urban Aestethics LLC, a full service MBE/WBE design and project management firm located in Philadelphia for this blogpost. Urban Aesthetics provides complete building planning, design, green design, construction and permit services.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nicole's Commentary 11 May 2009

What DiversePhilly means to you?

As we revealed in the 1st Annual Membership meeting last month, DiversePhilly has a 4 quarter strategy to position your business for growth. The merger with Premiere Brand LLC gave DiversePhilly, which in turn, your business more cost effective marketing solutions. The 1st quarter, which completed April 30th, consisted of branding the DiversePhilly website, branding the Wealth Building Series and implementing a brand management strategy. The 2nd quarter consists of implementing the referral program to consistently grow the membership base through revenue sharing initiatives, convenient solutions to find your business on mobile devices and implementation of a business to consumer card program to move Diversephilly from the consumer's computer to a consumers wallet!

What does all this mean? This means that we can create buying power. It is the collective buying power of DiversePhilly that will lower the cost of doing business in Philadelphia. Just as Target uses it’s giant distribution network (plus a lot of importing from China) that allows this mega-chain to beat the neighborhood stores prices.

Just this year, we added the following member benefits:

1) Partnership with the Philadelphia Business Journal to create a savings program for DiversePhilly members - http://www.bizjournals.com/circPro/promotion/jnsy28.

2) Partnership with the Urban League Entrepreneurship Center - $10 off Membership to ULEC for seminars and workshops on growing your business and access to FREE business consulting

3) Partnership with The Enterprise Center's Capital Corporation which provides a no fee application (50.00 savings) to the strategic growth loan Program.

We leveraged the collective buying power of hundreds of business owners working together to create costs savings for DiversePhilly members. As we move into phase 2 of our growth strategy, we are looking to leverage thousands of business owners to create even greater cost savings and opportunities to position your business for the growth cycle that comes after the recession - underneath all the Information Technology and Marketing, I am an economist at heart. It is the harmony of the members working together like the game face coaching event featuring DP businesses The Career Makeover Coach, Jennifer Dent Events, Urban Momentum Network or the after work mixer hosted by (Urban Aestethics, Provident Business Services) or Motivating Mondays with DP businesses (GPW Towing, Abundant Home Inspection, Tara Colquitt - The Credit Woman, Ultimate Concrete LLC, JSPN & Company LLC, Soul Purpose by Veronica Freeman, FullCircle Aestethics) or the 4th Friday Wine and Cheese Events (featuring FullCircle Aestethics, Mary Kay by Mylisa Flowers, Whole Unit Studios and Whole Unit Artisitic Development Inc.) that will increase the return on your DiversePhilly investment ten-fold and move DiversePhilly from a business to business network to a business to business and business to consumer network. Stay Tuned!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 2009 Wealth Building Series

video
Join DiversePhilly Business Owners Brian Williams , Tara Colquitt, and special guest Michael Bing from The Enterprise Center Capital Corporation as we share our collective knowledge to show you how to build wealth!

Register for the next event at http://wealthbuilding3.eventbrite.com

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nicole's Commentary 16 April 2009

While I was waiting for the next newsletter topic to come my head, I did a quick search on the internet. In about 10 minutes , I found a great article on the right topic - Speed of Business. I had the pleasure of attending the Entrepreneurs Forum Group monthly meeting yesterday on Commercializing Intellectual Property (thanks Tim Bosworth for the gentle reminders). As we talked about the very expensive patent process and the very expensive litigation fees to protect the very expensive patent (do you see a pattern?), all the panelists agreed that for the small business it is to beat the competition in the market place than trying to obtain a patent and protect it. Understand that we live in the "Internet Time". When I was growing up, my mom had to thaw the food from the freezer, cook the food and then finally after 2 hours it was time to eat. Then when I was a teenager, microwaves came into existence but at first the food did not taste very good until the market changed to fit the new technology and now I will take a microwave dinner from Trader Joe's any day (my favorite are the fish tacos!).
When I started my IT career in 1995, the commercialized version of the internet was just getting started. In 2009, we are perfecting the technology platform to our lifestyles. My mom will call me on my cell phone and spend 3 minutes leaving me a message. When I call her back in 5 minutes, she will ask if I listened to the message and I, of course, say no. (Why would I spend 3 minutes when I would just call back anyway, let's save 3 minutes and just get to the end result..). My friends, on the other hand, rarely leave messages, they just call until I answer the phone or their number pops up 4 times as a missed call. We live in "Internet Time" which is even faster than the microwave.
The objective for our businesses is to go big and go fast! This is not just applied in growing your business but in any process. Though I only made 1 connection from that event, I am positive a VP from Open Source Business at a fortune 500 company who took the time to respond to my linkedin request (fortune is in the immediate follow-up!) will come in handy. As the article stated (even though the article was 9 years ago) take some time move fast and smart (this can be accomplished by surrounding yourself with people smarter than you). It will require some sacrifice in the beginning but envision the reward at the end. We added this guideline to the confirmed detail of "Smart Marketing always trumps a good product". This is just a a gentle reminder -- Premiere Brand Marketing is just getting started! Learn more on April 28th, 2009 at the DiversePhilly Membership meeting!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Nicole's Commentary 3 April 2009

This is the beginning of our 3rd year in business and today, we have alot to celebrate! It is official, Nicole Newman has found a group of individuals who have put ego's aside to work as a TEAM - TEAM work makes the DREAM work! Network marketing taught me that it takes at least 5 individuals/businesses who were willing to lock arms to make the dream work. Dreamer #1 - Nicole Newman is a lady with a vision who was busy marketing (marketing comes before any product is sold) and found Dreamer #2 - JeterActive who could turn the vision into a concrete product (at the right price of course!). After almost a year searching on the internet building an e-mail distribution list, we found Dreamer #3 -Tara Colquitt, the Credit Woman by her response to a newsletter. She is my right hand woman, sometime editor-in-chief and founder of her own networking group, Motivating Monday along with fellow DiversePhilly business, Abundant Home Inspection! One of the businesses that signed up from an on-line conversation on the Urban Philly Professional Network was Dreamer #4 - Williams Accounting and Tax Service. After a few one-on-one appointments, Newman Networks became a client of Williams Accounting and Tax. I can't forget Universal Concept, they played an integral role with the logo design. See, I was using DiversePhilly to build my own company.

Facebook is becoming a new favorite website and alot of people tell me they don't like facebook because strangers can find them. That is the point! New clients are the lifeblood of your business. Facebook proves that we are all connected. Just going through the contacts shows the overlap in mutual acquintances. I was out and about on facebook looking at the profile of Sherman Toppin (we meet people through people - in this case through a profile) when I saw a group, Keep Arts in School on their profile and found Dreamer #5 - Malik Boyd. After corresponding for a while, we found out that we were both alumni of Masterman school. So now we had a common connection, just like each of you do by listing your business on DiversePhilly.. Based on this one little detail, we decided to turn on-line conversation into off-line business meeting.

Network marketing taught me that businesses only make money in 2 ways - selling products/services and recruiting talent. I was so busy recruiting him that before I could blink he had recruited me! Partnerships can be a little scary because you are no longer in control but the benefits far outweigh the risks. Not every business can partner with another business. What makes a partnership/relationship/marriage stong is having compatible value systems. If one partner does not value the work the other partner is doing then the relationship will not work. As we were looking at the possibility, we had to know that we valued each other's ideas and businesses. Our values translate into the mission statement of the company and now we can strategize to reach targeted goals. We have a goal to triple the membership base allowing more relationships to happen (common connector) by enhancing DiversePhilly and with working with and recruiting more people. Recruiting people is how you get exponential (not linear growth) to create leverage. Come meet your TEAM and learn Premiere Brand Marketing 's plan on making 2009 a great year for all the businesses who are apart of the DiversePhilly network on April 28th, 2009 from 7:30 am - 10 am!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nicole's Commentary 16 March 2009

If you have been keeping up on my book that is featured in the Notes section of my Facebook profile, you know two of my friends own small businesses (though neither of them advertise on DiversePhilly - friends are the hardest to work with). Just the other day, I ran into one of my friends, let's call her Sue, at her business and she said I should stop speaking to her. I asked her "What is the problem?" She said, I was disloyal to her by taking my daughter to her ex-employee's competing business. She also said, "If I am her friend and she does not like someone, then I should not like someone."

There are a few problems with this scenario. As we move the company to the business owner stage, these are the lessons I take with me:

1) Employees are not your friends. Sue thought her employee was her friend and that is why she was upset when she no longer chose to work for her. You can be friendly with your employees but they are not your friends. The employees can become resentful if you hold a paycheck over their head. Always treat your employees with respect (they generate your profit margin) and create an environment conducive to friendly relations.

2) Loyalty - As a customer I am known to be hard to satisfy. Treat your customers as you want to be treated. I stopped going to Sue's business because they have been known to smoke inside of the business and use foul language. Instead of asking why I did not use her services and use that as a learning experience, she used the guilt tactic of loyalty.

My loyalty exists in servicing my clients to bring them information, relationships and success stories they can use to be inspired and grow their business. Though we are friends, loyalty will not keep me as a customer. I left my children's day care center (which is owned by another close friend) on three separate occasions (and I still manage to come back) because my philosophy has been yes, we are friends, but when it comes to exchanging money for services, it is strictly business. My friend who owns the day care center was able to take me back (after some begging) because she shares the same philosophy. Creating a business relationship should not enhance or deter a friendship. I recently found a LinkedIn profile that had 58 recommendations. That is my new goal to reach this year. I only have 50% of that number and am looking to find ways to add more value to my clients and garner more recommendations of a job well done. I want to create an environment where the standard is excellence (see success stories above). Though excellence is not obtainable, it can still be a goal. I am already planning what it takes to win the Greater Philadelphia Chamber's Excellence Awards. Will you join me?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nicole's Commentary 27 February 2009

My personal and business philosophy is to make everyone that I come in contact with better by creating relationships that will enhance their business. The niche market that we serve are business owners. Most people can tell when we meet them that my company is about working and building together but there was a need to find a way to translate that message utilizing technology. This would allow us to connect with more people than we could ever meet in a person. My facebook profile has 954 friends and business associates half of which I don't know (YET!). It has been the use of technology (sites such as DiversePhilly, linkedin and facebook) that allowed my company to improve our productivity and now we are using videography services (Thanks Red Sun Multimedia and Beckett Concepts) to spread the message across the internet and reach more business owners. The internet can be used to connect but if you are only using it to promote your business, the internet will also be used to disconnect. I recently found out that my e-mail address was in put in a clients spam folder :-)

Does your philosophy show that you value others by sharing information in your newsletter or does your philosophy show that you are using the internet to promote your business?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tara's Commentary 16 February 2009

Read this section to see how the Wealth Building Series speakers use DiversePhilly for "Each One, Teach One" to share our knowledge and grow together...

Newman Networks is led by a dynamic individual who knows the power of relationships. And I want each of the attendees of the Wealth Building Series presented by Newman Networks' Diverse Philly to understand what we are presenting. In the inaugural workshop, Steve Goldflam of Goldflam and Associates, an accounting firm, spoke about "falling in love with reality". And although Valentine's Day was days away the topic was your real financial numbers, i.e., your budget. The numbers I want everyone in my segment to "love" are your credit scores. Perhaps love is not quite the correct adjective, so let's say to change your Relationship with Money which directly affects your credit rating. And just like with any relationship, if you haven't been exposed to healthy ones it may be difficult to emulate.

President Obama wrote of the 'audacity of hope' and we as individuals and/or business owners must be proactive instead of reactive. You always have choice...even if you don't like the options. Make a decision to move forward. Today. NOW.

Your assignment: Get current (less than 6 months old) copies of your credit reports preferably with scores. There are many sites you can use, but try www.identityguard.com. I am not endorsing this site, just letting you know of an affordable way to get your reports instantaneously. Contact me if you have any problems obtaining your Experian, Equifax or Transunion reports [TheCreditWoman@gmail.com].

In addition, this is an educational series. Whether you attended the first session or not it is just as important to do that assignment. Your budget. Ask yourself this question: Without knowing what I am earning and spending, how can I possibly manage my credit rating?

Looking forward to discussing with YOU how to increase YOUR bottom line in 2009.

About Tara Colquitt, featured in Essence November 2007 for becoming wealthy through real estate as part of the House Depot:
I have a proven track record of helping others improve their credit scores and I educate and mentor clients with diverse circumstances about using credit properly to gain access to wealth. Most of us need to change our relationship with money while building a relationship with people to potentially gain leverage to secure financial freedom for future investments. I believe everyone has knowledge that can assist others in achieving their highest potential; therefore, it is imperative that like-minds work together to reach financial goals and create paths for others to follow.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Nicole's Commentary 2 February 2009

How is generational wealth created? By using financial discipline of paying yourself 10% of your income first and investing that money over time. But you must first allow yourself to be wealthy. We have to give ourselves permission to afford the lifestyle, responsibilities and habits that the wealthy have. From the consumerist article (http://consumerist.com/consumer/bad-decisions/1-in-3-lottery-winners-broke-within-5-years-316502.php), 1 in 3 lottery winners go BROKE within 5 years. These instant millionaires have not developed the habits to retain wealth. I have personally seen a family receive multiple 6 figures from a life insurance policy, buy 2 houses in the suburbs to eventually lose the houses to foreclosure within 4 years. The family then had to return back to the original house in a worse financial situation then before they got the money. One of the mistakes they made, among many others, was starting a business without the network and resources to sustain the business.

A network marketing executive recently told me a saying that continually plays in my mind “How you do anything is how you do everything”. In my own life, I am attending the wealth building seminar at IKEA as a student. I have had 2 practice rounds at building wealth. Just like it took me 3 attempts at weight loss to finally learn from the correct teacher (Thank you, Melanie Marchand) and add the healthy life style disciplines of cutting down on carbohydrates at night and adding 32 ounces of water to my diet. This time, I will implement the financial disciplines that are required to build wealth by budgeting the required 10% percent, giving 10% to charity, setting 10% away for fun, using 10% to continually improve myself and living on just 50% of my income (Thank you, Brian Williams for that formula).

When I opened my fortune cookie from my favorite Chinese Truck on 38th and Walnut, my fortune read “You will spend old age in comfort and material wealth”. I plan on doing everything possible by learning from the DiversePhilly network to make that fortune come true!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nicole's Commentary 15 January 2009

Knowledge of self is the foundation upon which all other learning is built. The last few commentaries, I have described the knowledge my grandmother, my mom and my dad laid upon my foundation. My grandmother gave me the key to success by valuing my relationships. My mother gave me a writing style full of wisdom and discernment and my dad gave me sympathy. All these influences have touched my heart but now I get to pull it all together and talk about my grandfather who touched my spirit.

Robert Kiyosaki wrote in "Cashflow Quadrant" how to achieve wealth through understanding the 4 types of cashflow. There is employee cashflow - cashflow that is linear, the self-employed cashflow - cashflow that depends 100% upon yourself, the business owner cashflow - cashflow that allows for exponential growth using leverage and the investor cashflow - where money works for you. The goal in life is to move through the quadrant to become an investor where you don't work for money but money works for you (see Professional Insurance Planners, First Financial Group, Prescott and Associates, May Financial Services). My grandfather, Robert Newman, came from a farming family who owned 200 acres of land in Montross, Virginia. When his father passed, the land was willed to his 5 children. Each child received 40 acres of land, but no mule. Because of his upbringing, my grandfather went out and built a landscaping company on the mainline. I really did not get to know my grandfather but after 32 years of being dormant, his entrepreneurial spirit awoke in me.

As I continue on Robert Kiyosaki's path of the cashflow quadrant, I want to prepare (because failure to plan equals planning to fail), for the final quadrant of investor. I know that SUCCESS IS A HABIT. Using the slight edge of having financial discipline is the key to wealth and that is why we will start off wealth building classes with the main accounting component of budgeting. Then we will know how much to pay ourselves first. It was my grandfather's financial discipline that allowed him to use the assets he built in his business for generational wealth. See, my grandfather had the thoughts to invest in the people who will carry his name and that forethought keeps his legacy alive. Even though he passed away 16 years ago, 9 years before my children were even born, he thought enough of his future to ensure that they were placed in his final will and testament. When he passed, he willed the estate in Virginia, like his father before him to his heirs, which are my three children. He did what is quoted in the Bible, proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just." Now I have the pleasure of preparing my business to do what was carried in my spirit by my grandfather. I have the honor and privilege of hosting your network as we each one, teach one, the skills necessary to create a financial path to become investors. Now is the time to create the habits of financial discipline and create businesses as vehicles for real wealth that can affect our generation and more importantly, create wealth for our future generations to come. Thank you, IKEA and First Financial Group as we learn how to build wealth starting February 2nd, 2009! REGISTER: http://wealthbuilding2009.eventbrite.com/