Activation Time: A 1/2 Year Review

activationThis is a recap of the 1st half of the year, so I tend to get long-winded. You have been warned…

About the Blog

For those of you who are new, (or returning after a hiatus) to the blog put on your seat belt, I’m about to take you for a ride.

Asummermoon.com pretty much started as a recovery blog that I was encouraged to write by 2 of my former co-workers (my sister/friends) who thought it would be a healthy outlet for me as I was going through a transition. In time, I concluded that the experiences I documented were no longer just about me, but about the energy we all put out into the universe when we share pieces of ourselves via blogging and social media.

I later developed a vision for this blog which strives to Inspire Action despite fear, lack of confidence, and lack of experience; Revive Passion, despite trying to convince yourself that contentment and fulfillment belongs to everyone you bust your butt for and not yourself; and Empower the Inner Child inside, despite growing up in a society that does its best to stifle the very part of you that still believes in the power of dreams.

And now, I’ve finally written out a straight to the point mission statement, and in doing so I’m revealing my new tagline: Activate Your Inner SuperHeroine.

moonpwr

Moon Power! Property of Asummermoon.com

Meet ‘Moon’, my inner superheroine; she’s my nurtured and uninhibited inner child all grown up, sharing her light, and being the change.

You can read more about how I activate my inner superheroine in order to encourage and empower you to active your inner superheroine on my revamped about page.

This is the finished draft. My new header will showcase the digitized character design (with proper credits to the illustration team).

 

 

A special thanks to Shauna for the coaching and inspiration!

Alrighty then! So, I’m actually going to keep the rest pretty short as I seriously want to hear from you. Hit me up in the comment section below or on Twitter.

About Life

The theme for this year is: Choose To Dance

My word for the year is: Purpose

As I’ve shared before in previous reviews, I center most of my goals for the year around 6 areas or slices of life: Personal, Social, Physical, Spiritual, Professional, and Financial. Under each slice of life I set about 3 intentions to work on at the start of the year So my theme is in essence the vision I have for the year and the slices help me organize the steps I need to take in order to realize that vision in a balanced way.

I pretty much chucked most of the goals I set in January as they either no longer astonished me (like hire a bookkeeper) or they became somewhat muddied in clarity as to the ‘Why’ and therefore needed more TLC (trip to Kenya). So I’ll focus the rest of this blog on a few of the goals that stuck. I hired my own virtual assistant so I could focus on growing my social media management firm and in doing so I was able to bring on new teammates to help me grow the businesses of the clients we serve. I created a free toolkit for those wanting to know more about hiring a virtual assistant.Starting to have a better relationship with money. I made an investment in a long-term mentorship program. I’ve been meeting with an accountability every month. I see and feel the positive impact of both a mentor and accountability buddy.

My relationship with my mother and little sister has been better than it has ever been. I’ve been committed to a church ministry despite my ambivalence with church itself. I went on a workcation with plans for a real vacation alongside my companion aka ‘him’ in August, the 1st I’ve had since I’ve started my business almost 3 years ago.

So, that’s a quick recap of wins for year, (sprinkled with some realistic setbacks) thanks for reading to those of you who stuck around!

Again, I’d love to hear from you! What have you been up to these past 6 months?

 

Until next time…

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Becoming A Craft Show Vendor

Photo By: L. Davis

Thanks to social networking on Facebook, I was invited by a fundraising event planner to participate in a craft show that would benefit a local nonprofit. After reading more about branding and growing my business through different marketing venues, I decided to give it a try and become a vendor.

Because it was my first craft fair, I made sure to do a little research in preparation for the event. I found that because La Bella Baskets was an online store and my budget was extremely small, I had to do a lot of improvising, but I made it work. Here are some things I did to prepare for my craft fair:

  1. If you’re a newbie vendor I would suggest reading articles like this to get an idea of what to expect.
  2. Because my business is online, I decided to set up a booth to recruit people interested in a work from home opportunity. I brought my laptop with me so anyone interested could enroll right on the spot. I also made sure to advertise my gifts for anyone interested in purchasing from my online store.
  3. I ran around like a mad woman gathering supplies such as: a table and table cloth, chairs, etc.  
  4. I shared the event on my facebook and twitter business accounts.
  5. I hired my little sister to lend a hand and traded an “I owe you” with my good friend to help me set up and (wo)man my battle station.

 Here is what I learned:

  1. Even though I read up on vending at a local craft fair, I wish I attended one as a spectator first. I became very anxious because I didn’t have a cool banner or proper signage. If I had gone to another small town fair, I could have saved myself the unnecessary stress. I realized that most of them don’t have an over the top set up like the kind you would find at let’s say a big expo center event.
  2. I borrowed a table for this particular event because we were advised to bring our own table and chair. When I arrived, tables happen to become available, and so I used the provided table rather than haul mine out the car. Unfortunately, my table cloth was too small for the provided table. Next time, I’m bringing more than one table cloth.
  3. Hauling my stuff back and forth, even though I traveled light, was literally a pain in the neck. Thankfully, I was surrounded by friendly vendors who saw that I was new and offered a helping hand. They also suggested I get a cart or small hand truck to transport my items.
  4. I figured I could lure customers with free candy and that would get them to take my materials and ask questions. What I received was a lot of children running over as often as possible to take the candy and run. Next time, I think I will put the candy along with marketing materials in a nice mesh bag.
  5. Although I posted the event on Facebook and Twitter, I left out the actual address so my friends and supporters could stop by and show some love. I assumed that sharing the link to the event was enough and was sadly mistaken.

Overall, the craft fair was a wonderful learning experience. I made some new contacts with other vendors, was invited to do another craft fair, and hopefully earned some new business partners and supporters. Do you have any tips you would like to share? I would love to hear suggestions and I’m sure other readers would too!

Are you looking to become a craft show vendor? Besides looking in local newspapers and magazines, I’ve added some resources below to help you locate some events in your area.

http://www.craftlister.com/

http://www.artfaircalendar.com/

http://www.fairsandfestivals.net/

First Social Networking Event

Photo by: M. Abanye

A while back I stumbled across this article on face to face networking. It was truly by coincidence that my spiritual leaders had a vision to start up a business professionals networking group. Out of that vision birthed the Victorious Business Professionals (V.B.P.) “Helping today’s business leaders to experience victory in their professional lives.” After reading the mission statement of this networking group I knew this would be a great place to get my feet wet in social networking offline.

Once I discovered that the first event would be a breakfast gathering, I immediately connected with the coordinator to volunteer in anyway she deemed useful. Volunteering gave me a first hand look at the business leaders who were going to attend the event and I couldn’t believe that my church housed all of these awesome people. The impressive list of entrepreneurs ranged from inventors and software designers to bakers and shoe designers. I became ecstatic as the days drew closer to the event. On the day of, I was ready to venture and network like a mad woman. I went speeding down the highway yelling “Hi-Ho Silver!” to my silver/gray (when cleaned) car. My very extroverted friend was running behind and so I would be solo to start. As soon as I walked into the event, took a look at all the people socializing, I immediately felt the urge to coward back to my car and wait for my friend. After all of the excitement and confidence building too!  As I turned to make a dash for my car I agonized over the fact that I recognized some of the faces, yet felt so imitated around so many people. Luckily I recognized what I was doing; (not valuing my own worth by assumptions and comparing) sucked it up and took a brave small step that I could handle. I walked back into the event and noticed a vendor that looked interesting, made my way to the table and listened to the presentation of the representative.

Letting her do the speaking, and watching her professionalism was just what I needed to ease into the networking mindset. Turns out she wanted mentors, sponsors, and businesses to partner with her as she empowers young women desiring to live in their purpose and calling. She thought I would be a great fit as an internet marketer for my gift basket business and surprisingly a social media consultant, (Things I’m still learning how to do productively.)Needless to say, we are now connected Facebook friends. Soon after listening to her business pitch, I found myself with small groups of people answering questions about my products and services making sure to engage with them about their businesses taking mental notes on who I needed to follow up with afterwards. My friend eventually showed up but we never networked together throughout the entire event. I confidently found my groove by starting small and working my way around to various groups of people and vendors.

By the end of the event, I had plenty of business cards with permission to send emails (very important to build a legitimate mailing list.) I found a local computer technician, honed a relationship with a nonprofit startup that I have already begun volunteer work for, and found two awesome nonprofits that I will have to do separate blogs about because they provide local resources I’m sure somebody will seriously find useful (Free entrepreneurship training including computer classes!)  So that sums up my first social networking event. I would love to hear your social event stories. Did you shy up like I did? Did you brand yourself and make awesome connections?

Black History Now: Meet Diera Shaw

As promised in my post Black History Now , I would like to introduce Entrepreneur Diera Shaw!

Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?

I think of myself as a Jill of Many Trades. I work for Philadelphia Academies in its Business and Community Relations Department overseeing its volunteer efforts.  I am a minister at New Beginnings Worship Center.  I also have a couple side hustles, which include public speaking with a program I started called young.savvy.successful and selling jewelry on Facebook at Eco Chic Jewelz.

What do you love most about what you do?

I am pretty imaginative, so all of the work I do has been born out of some idea that I conjured up.  I love my flexibility.  I love the variety of work that I do.  But ultimately my goal is to start my own non-profit that has a counseling focus.

What prompted you into entrepreneurship?

I like the idea of being able to leave my mark on something and really develop an idea around my own values.  Working for other organizations and causes can be great, but you are often limited to someone else’s vision.  Building my own entity allows me to let my creative juices flow and craft my own vision and mission.

Why did you choose to pursue this career path?

I am still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.  But, whatever I do, ministry is by far at the forefront.  I never once thought I would become a minister so this is definitely a God-led calling.

How do you handle obstacles and roadblocks?

Prayer and perseverance.

Who has had the most impact on your life?

Too many people to count.  I am thankful for those that have had both a good and negative impact.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I daydream a lot, and often times that is when new ideas are born.

How do you define/measure success?

I am getting better at setting measurable goals.  But overall, just knowing that I am in the will of God despite what my circumstances may show.

What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?

Learning to trust God.

Where do you see yourself and your business 10 years from now?

I would really like to go back to school for counseling so that I can open my own practice and nonprofit.

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Develop at least a minimal plan as a guide, but be open and willing to change and adjust as necessary.

You can follow Diera at  http://twitter.com/dierashaw

Black History Now: Meet Wan-Miz

As promised in my post Black History Now , I would like to introduce music artist Wan-Miz!

Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?

What’s up? My name is Wan-Miz, I am an underground hip hop artist from the city of Camden, New Jersey where I was born and raised. I am part of a group called the Nu Treez. I’m a man on a mission to get my music out and heard.

 You can check out my music here:

 www.youtube.com/wanmiz

 www.highsoulciety.com

 Catch me online:

http://twitter.com/wanmiz

http://www.facebook.com/wanmiz

http://www.myspace.com/nutreezwanmiz

What do you love most about being a hip hop artist?

Everything about music is love to me. I enjoy music with a meaning and concept behind it; no matter the genre, if it’s good I will listen to it. I also love being creative. I try to step outside the box and do the unthinkable. 

 How did you get started? 

(Ha Ha Ha) Well I could take all day telling this story but I’m gonna try to condense it as much as possible. I’ve always loved music ever since I was young, mainly the melodies and beats. When I was about 12 years old I had a cousin (R.I.P Rome) who loved everything that was music; rhymes, beats, dancing etc. One day he introduced me to Bone Thugs N Harmony’s ” East 1999 Eternal”  and I was like whoa! I had never heard music put together so well; the melodies, fast flows and rhymes, I memorized the whole album and grew fans from my “Bone [thugs] flow”. As time went on, I eventually found myself sitting on an abandoned step with a group of friends who started freestyling. Since I felt confident enough with my poetry and story writing, I took a chance and let my words flow into rap lines. After that, I jumped in any freestyle battle I came across and got better and better each time. Since I couldn’t afford studio time, I bought an old radio with a built in microphone and started recording my freestyle vocals with my cousin in the background screaming WAN MIZ PRODUCTIONS (Ha Ha Ha) As I grew popular I used to hate of other contenders and people who rejected my style as fuel to fight harder for my dream.

 What were the first steps you took towards making your dream into reality?

I started writing more, trying to create my own unique sound and style. I knew I needed to constantly work on my skills, so I devoted many long days and nights trying to perfect this art I love.

How do you handle obstacles and roadblocks? 

The one rule I have set for myself is FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION period. I’ve always been a very competitive person and always believed I could do the impossible if I put my mind to it. I take obstacles and roadblocks and learn from them to make me stronger. It’s the best thing to do.

Who had/has the most impact on your life?

My mom and dad have the most impact on my life. I love them dearly.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from LIFE; my ups and downs, my smiles and frowns, my trials and tribulations. You become a stronger person each time you go through something in life. I’m inspired by what people tell or told me I couldn’t be or do. I remember when I was just a child; there were teachers and even family members that used to say I wouldn’t be anything in life but a bum begging in front of Mc Donald’s [A common occurrence in downtown Camden]. Why, because I was a typical kid [from the ghetto] who just wanted to have fun. People expected me to act older when I was trying to enjoy MY LIFE. Being told I would amount to nothing when I know better IS MY MOTIVATION FOR INSPIRATION.  I WILL MAKE SOMETHING OF MY LIFE and I live by that.

How do you define and or measure success?

When you are at the point of interest where YOU want to be or are at least headed in the right direction. 

What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?

Being very observant and learning from all situations. I also network with people who share my similar interest, that way we all learn from each other.