Sista's Blog

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  • Made for Each Other

    My experience with independent professionals (consultants, entrepreneurs, small business owners) is that you do what you do because you love it. You truly enjoy sharing your knowledge and expertise with those who need it.  You enjoy the flexibility of being independent and not being tied to one company or organization. You really don’t mind the travel and quick changes of direction that often come with being a solo act, but let’s face it, you can also wear yourself out trying to do it all yourself. True, most independents don’t need traditional staff but they do need reliable administrative support. The kind of support that helps you always perform at your best.

    Research, marketing, scheduling, writing and creating presentations between gigs is a big energy drainer. This is where a good Virtual Assistant can make all the difference. You’re not committed to an “employee” but you now have someone who can make those calls, build that presentation, do the research and help you grow your business.

    From the beginning VA’s and independents have been a great match – practically made for each other.  But many started to feel a pinch as VA rates began to increase. My advice –take a fresh look. Consider the real value of having a good V.A. who can take so much off your plate. It’s well worth it and still costs less than a traditional admin – full or part time. 

    Here are 3 Tips to Help You Determine Whether a the Right One For You

    1. Determine what things your VA can do that would have an immediate impact on your time. for example:
    • Managing email – Checking, responding, screening and organizing into folders that will save you time.
    • Database/contact management– Keeping contact information up to date for use in marketing, mailings, etc.
    • Social Media Marketing – Consistently posting relevant content about your business on your Social Media sites to keep your name in front of clients and potential clients.
    • Developing documents, spreadsheets and presentations that you use regularly.
    1. What type of personality would be compatible with yours?
    • Do you want someone to just take instructions and not ask a lot of questions?
    • Do you want someone who asks important questions and makes suggestions based on professional experience and knowledge?
    • Do you want someone with a lot of experience or someone who may be just starting out?
    • Do you want someone with an energetic personality and good customer service skills?
    • Do you want someone with good or excellent communication skills?
    1. What kinds of questions should you ask during the interview process to determine whether a VA can handle your business needs?
    • How long have you been in business?
    • Do you have experience in handling (specific task)?
    • What services do you provide (and what services do you not provide)?
    • What are your fees? Do you bill hourly, by project or on retainer?
    • What are your hours (times & days) of operation? What about weekends?
    • Do you have a team to support you? If so, will I be working directly with you or members of your team?
    • Can I contact some of your current and past clients?

    Want to know more? Contact me, Becky Gregory, and let’s talk about how I can help you focus on your business while I focus on you.

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  • The System of Racial Inequity

    This week I had the privilege to provide technical support for the The Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund's who hosted and facilitated the "Baltimore: A Trauma-Informed Resilient City Breakthrough Series Collaborative. In one of the segments, the topic was Racial Justice in Trauma and Resilience, in which clips from "Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity," was presented to inspire discussion on institutional racism. Oh My God, what a powerful segment. This even was very transformational for me. After visiting the website  . Below are some clips that I pulled from the website to get your juices going (:

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  • The Difference Between

    What an excellent reminder as to what it means to be a Leader.

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  • Having systems to achieve goals is an important ingredient for the success of anything that you want to do. This is a great article from Goals On Track. Enjoy.

    4 Easy Steps to Reach Your New Year’s Goals and Perform Better in 2016

    By Brian Tracy

    Do you want to make 2016 the best and most successful year of your life?

    I want to explain what you can do to make it happen! These tips are very practical and easy to do, but they will be greatly beneficial to your success. Keep reading and I will show you how…

    How to Reach Your Goals in 2016

    One of your most valuable financial assets is your earning power. They call it your human capital or your intellectual property. What you have to do is constantly increase your earning ability.

    Image climbing a ladder. When you start climbing in your career and most people have no earning ability, but after 10 or 20 years some are earning 20 to 50 times more than others! Even though they started out in the same spot.

    What’s their Secret?

    The difference was that the top people based on years of research have continually learned new skills as they go through their careers. Like climbing a ladder. Every new skill increases your ability to get great results. It increases the value of your contribution. It increases your ability to earn more money.

    If you want to earn more money in and accomplish your goals in 2016, create more value. It’s as simple as that.

    How do you make 2016 a great year?

    The only way you can create more value for yourself in 2016 is to learn and apply new skills that allow you to get better results. Results that people will pay you more and more to get.

    1) How To Write Goals for 2016

    Some people don’t know where to start and wonder how to write goals. Ask yourself this question…

    “Where do I want to be in 12 months?”

    Write down 10 goals that you want to accomplish in the next 12 months of 2016. Look at your goals that you have written down and think to yourself, “If I could wave a magic wand, which one goal would have the greatest impact on my life.” For most of us, it’s a financial goal.

    For some of us it might be a fitness goal, a relationship goal, or a business goal, but for most of us it is a financial goal. You can still use these tips on any goal.

    2) Focus On One Skill at a Time

    Write it down very clearly and set a date. Then make a list of everything that you can do to achieve this goal. Then, the next question you want to ask is,

    “What one skill will help me the most to achieve this goal?”

    Think about all of the skills that you have and find out one skill. Focus on learning one skill that can help you achieve your most important goal.

    This formula is the reason why people go from the bottom to the top of anything. The most successful people are very clear on where you want to go.

    You must have a very clear goal. Then you must be very clear about the skills you must acquire that will get you there. When you acquire new skills, it helps you climb the ladder of success, every new step of the ladder you increases your earning potential.

    When you increase your earning ability, you open up new opportunities for yourself. Keep adding new skills and keep growing to achieve your most important goal.

    3) Manage Your Time

    Today we are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time.

    You must plan every day in advance…

    The simplest way to do this is to make a list of everything that you have to do in your coming day. If you are going to invest your time into anything, you want to do the thing that gives you the greatest return on energy, or your mental and physical energy.

    Some people work all day and make a few dollars and some people work all day and make thousands of dollars.

    Which one do you want to be?

    Make a list of everything that you have to do in the coming day and identify your most important task. Which one item will have the greatest value in your work? The greatest value in achieving your main goal? Work on this task first. Work on it until it is 100% complete.

    4) How to Develop a Good Habit in 2016

    Start each day by completing a task first thing in the morning. This is one of the great psychological tricks of success…

    Start and complete one task, first thing in the morning.

    If you’re going to complete a task in the morning, start and complete your most important task! Do that every day before you do anything else. Repeat this over and over again for 3 weeks and you will develop a habit.


    Focus on your most important goal in 2016 by developing skills to achieve it. Manage your time by completing the most important tasks first and develop a new habit of completing your most important task first.

    If you do follow these 4 tips, I promise that you will have great success in 2016 and develop great habits for years to come.

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  • Self-Discipline is one of the hardest attributes to acquire. However, it is required to reach any goal that you set out for yourself. I ran across this article from Goals On Track, which I follow regularly, which highlighted some great points in achieving Self-Discipline. I can think of more to add to this list, as you will probably also be able to do. However, I though it was a great read to wake up your consciousness.

    Ten Top Habits To Grow Self-Discipline

    By Julette Millien

    Over the years I have worked so hard on being self-disciplined. It surely DID NOT come easy! These ten habits took time, sweat and some tears to create.

    And it’s not just me. Based on the many, many conversations, sessions and interventions over the years, with people who were desperately trying to grab control of their lives, these are the “gateway” habits that come up again and again.  Create any one of these and you will see and feel immediate impact on your productivity and level of joy. Create all ten and you will hardly be able to touch the ground!

    1. An attitude of gratitude - having a habit of saying and meaning “thank you” throughout your day is powerful.  What we are grateful for expands in our life.  I’m presently [as it has not always been the case] in the habit of saying thank-you for the challenges as well.  The really are tomorrow’s blessings. This has been demonstrated more times than I can count. Thank everybody for everything – not just with words, but with your attitude and actions. Be grateful!
    2. Reading and Learning – being on a continuous quest for knowledge about the world, your self, your “work,” parenting, technology, etc keeps you at the top of your game.  Whatever industry you are in, in terms of knowledge and information, it’s growing.  I’ve been on a “learn at least one new thing per day” journey to stay informed. It’s also my ‘stay young’ strategy!
    3. Exercise. Need I say more?  Whether it’s in the gym, walks or play…all successful people schedule some sort of physical activity that keeps them alive, healthy and well.
    4. Eating well. Another obvious one.  Limiting caffeine, alcohol, sugars and general junk food is essential for good health.  Good health is an essential aspect of “success.”  Successful people understand that their health is directly linked to their creativity, energy level, mindset, emotions and output.
    5. SMILING – yes, smiling:-) .  I’ve worked with several people and actually live with one very successful person – my husband, who has worked on “smiling” more as a priority habit.  It’s not just about the smile…it’s the spirit of optimism behind it.  It’s the commitment to joy and laughter behind it.   Optimistic, joyful people produce more and do more.  Did the success lead to the smile or the smile to the success? Well a whole book can be written about that one…suffice it to say, if all a person has to smile about is their success, they are anchored to a moving target and are dependent upon outside factors.   Not a good thing.  Smile easily, frequently, deeply!  It’s a tonic for the mind, body and soul.  It breeds success.
    6. Be STILL…that would be the habit of PAUSE.  As with sentences – can you just imagine this blog without punctuation?! So is a life without stillness and pause and rest.  Be still long enough to connect to your source.  For me that is God.  Successful people know how to tune out and get re-energized.  Stillness is the most powerful way to do this. It’s called meditation by some.  But don’t get confused with technique, just get still, get present and permit your mind to concede ‘power.’  Thoughts and thinking can really keep a person busy, even when they’re sitting still. The idea is to tune into your deeper source, not your patterned thoughts and self-centered cares.
    7. Deep Breathing. ..which by the way is what you can do when you pause throughout the day.   Breath, deep breath is a habit that is MOST understated and underestimated.  It’s actually not one that gets mentioned often by folks I coach.  But I have to bring it up because it’s pivotal to success. Breathing  from your diaphragm  is breathing to excel. That’s the kind of breath that pushes the needed substance into our blood stream to our brain. We simply need oxygen and all that’s in it for a reason: LIFE!  Ask any high performing athlete or performer, they will tell you about the power of breath.
    8. Patience & Calm. This is the habit to develop if you struggle with anger, intolerance, hasty decisions, dependencies, worry, anxiety, disorganization, and more.  Having a habit of patience allows you to remain present – not in the past, full of anxiety and not in the future, full of worry. Of course there are other characteristics and habits that would would need  to be developed to support this place of patience and peace.  Truly successful people know what the “small stuff” is and they know how impotent and effective  it is to fight against circumstances outside their control. They’re wise.
    9. Forgiveness.  Having a habit of letting things go, releasing, not taking offense, not holding on to guilt is most powerful.  And of course with this habit and mindset, patience, calm, inner peace, joy, stillness, smiling, gratitude, creativity, kindness, productivity, accountability, self-discipline…all flow naturally  and powerfully. The extra personal baggage created by un-forgiveness blocks the blessings you work hard to create and receive.
    10. Bedtime/Wake-up routine that WORKS – Going to bed early enough to get up at the time needed to have the day start right is a habit successful people ALWAYS reference as a key to their success.  Not only does our bodies and minds REQUIRE adequate sleep and rest, but rising early enough to get those quiet things done impacts the rest of my day every time.
    11. I KNOW I said 10! But this one just can’t be left out….ORGANIZATION! From goal-setting to keeping ideas properly housed to clearing your work space and knowing where to find what you need when it’s needed, it all adds up to running an efficient and organized operation at home and at work.  At one level or another, being successful depends on being organized.

    I know…1, 8 & 9 are not as simple and straightforward as the others…they require more soul searching but you can create specific action steps to build these success habits into your life.  As for the others, they each require a commitment that is lasting and anchored to your overall plan for your life.

    These are some of the habits over the years that  people –  super successful people – have identified as having the most impact in their lives immediately and permanently.  They lead to self-discipline and self-mastery.    These habits won’t have major impact in just one area of your life.  They will impact your entire life  – personal, relationships, community, home life and work life.

    These are the self-discipline “gateway habits,” create these and many others  will follow.

    So take another look and see which of these powerful success habits you will tackle first.

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  • September 21st is National Gratitude Day. Although everyday I am grateful for the things going on in my life. Gratitude is powerful mind-set. It allows you to get through the good and the bad by finding something positive in everything that happens. It keeps you from complaining about what's not right. Why?, because if you are focused on being grateful there just isn't time for complaining. Be grateful everyday. What are you grateful for?

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  • Now on to the Dance and Music Festival, September 27th

    This festival is geared towards our youth. bringing them positive music, health, fitness, and non-profits. We need your help to put this on. Please donate.

    We at Dance 4 U and Entertainment are excited about hosting our 2nd Annual Dance and Music Festival event that will be held at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring, Maryland on September 27, 2015.  Thank you for taking an interest in our community affairs.  We would like to start off by giving you some background on our event.

    Our focus is to maintain this family friendly festival for many years and continue to develop communities and strengthen neighborhoods by providing educational resources and professional trades to youth and small businesses which establishes a solid base for a positive community self-image.

    This is a free, Community Based Program event featuring a wide range of music and entertain- ment. The Festival will host Dance Music DJs, Singers, Dancers, Clown Entertainment, Droid Exhibit, Personal Trainers, Guest Speaker(s) and much more.

    Thank you for helping us makes the 2nd year of the Dance and Music Festival bigger and better than ever. Just your consideration speaks volumes within the Montgomery County community.  

    Date:             September 27, 2015
    Location:    Veteran Plaza, Silver Spring, MD 
    Time:            4:00 PM to 9:00 PM 
    Cost:              Free 

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  • Collective Minds Festival

    I would like to say a big Thank You to those who came out and supported this year's festival. We had over 5000 in attendance, including the Oriole Bird and a stilt walker.

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  • In Blink of An Eye

    Yesterday, morning I woke up fixed breakfast and told my kid to have a great day at work. About 3 minutes later, my son calls and said the car was hit. Thank God, everyone involved was fine. Today, I learned that a co-worker's wife was killed in a card accident and leaves behind 4 small children and a husband. My heart goes out to the family who I know is having a hard time in this moment.

    Today I had a lady walk up to me and tell me how beautiful I looked and asked,  "Has anyone told you that they loved you today?" She gave me a hug and went on her way.

    To reflect on the events of the last 24 hours, I couldn't help but think about how quickly life can change and how valuable every breathing moment truly is. How important it is to love on family and friends. Today, tell your family how much you love them. Remember, life can drastically change in a blink of an eye.

    Speak of From the Soul

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  • I wanted to thank Ms.Ida for allowing Tracy Stevens from Stray ink and La Naturalle represent the Sista's Circle today by speaking with numbers of our youths. Ms.Catherine Trotter had different people from different industries and business owners to speak on varieties of topics. I never felt so privilege to be among those amazing group of people. To see those little faces watching every step I made. Touch my heart. I will never forget that experience with our beautiful youth here in Baltimore City. I encourage you if you never done that please reach out to them because they are our future. Like I said to Ms .Ida and Catherine I hope I reach one child I did my job. Thank you my beautiful , powerful sisters.Your sister KarenM from LaNaturalle Products.
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  • I was checking my email this morning Goals on Track sent me a newsletter entitled, "7 Good Habits of Highly Successful People" I'm sure many of you have read the book by Stephen Covey. I have read it several times. In fact, I use it as a workbook. It is important that constantly revisit ideas that work to keep them in the forefront of our minds and brains. Please take a minute and reconnect with 7 Good Habits of Highly Successful People


    Have a Blessed Day!

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  • Which One Are You?

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  • I Needed This

    This morning, I saw this on Facebook which represents where I am in this moment. I truly needed this reminder that everyone is not going to have the same heart as myself. Everyone is not going to do for me as I do for them. Some will see the value and others will not. Some will make it a priority and some will not. Some are ready and some are not. Some believe and some do not. It's okay because God will send those who do have the same heart and I just have to be patient and wait on the Lord. I am moving at the speed of God. I must always remember that. Thanking you, Lord for all that you have done and will do going forward. Amen.

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  • Thanksgiving Is

    Thanksgiving for me is everyday. Through all my trials and tribulations, God always gets me through. I am Thankful for it all because I realize that it is all apart of the purpose. In 2011, A Sista's Circle Empowerment Network, LLC was a vision. Today it is reality. Thank you, Ladies for saying, "Yes" and supporting your "Yes".  Love each and everyone of you.

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  • I'm Being Stretched. What About You?

    I've been in my office most of the day, jamming on some nice smooth jazz and entering my business cards in an excel spreadsheet. I know I would not be doing this if it were not for our calendar project. This is one of those tasks that I had been saying I was going to do and never got around to it. I'm sure many of you are being stretched as well. Being Stretched to do something to make your business and your life flow better is huge. What has this project stretched you to do?

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  • Stand By Me....What do you see?

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  • Good Morning World

    Everyday when I wake up in the morning, I feel this way. I love my life!

    Have a Great Day, Ladies Everyday.

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  • I Believe I Can Fly

    I am grateful for the opportunity to be invited  to do a lunch time workshop at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The theme is "I Believe I Can Fly" It's about doing the thing that you are afraid of. Not so long ago, public speaking was my biggest fear. I heard somebody say "Do the Thing That You Are Afraid Of: Those words resonated with me. Motivational speaking goes along with life coaching. I knew I needed to over-come this fear in order to build my practice. So I decided to join a Toast Masters group. I attended every other week religiously for 2 years. My practice group started with kids, as I speak for the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. Going forward, I have done some other speaking engagements at churches and expos

    I say this to say, we're all afraid of something. Do it anyway. Do it afraid. If I had stayed in that place of fear, the opportunities would not be presenting themselves today. Don't get me wrong, I'm a little nervous, but I'm not afraid.

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  • I'm really blessed and happy to be apart of the sista circle, or as I like to think of us "ASCEN". Ida and Tracey Stevens are helping me with my business and website projects. The encouraging feeling I've received from just listening to all the women who come to the CIRCLE is incredible.

    I told the group that I was looking into using a room at Joanne Fabric store, for teaching beading, Ms Bunny suggested I start at her Senior center community instead.  

    Karen Mcfadden was so nice and helpful to show me how to boost my instagram page. I look forward to further engagement with ASCEN!!

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