Well, can you beleive it? We are fastly approaching the end of another year. If you have not done so, I recommend you review the year, and identify key highlights. My highlights will include the things I am grateful for, lessons learned, new adventures, and challenges.
Evaulating the year, is very important as it relates to growth. We have to identify the good as well as the bad. The good experiences are a reminder of our success, goals achieved, and a sign we are moving forward. The challenges we experienced are, lessons learned, opportunities for improvement, and a reminder of growth. Growth is a great part of our awareness, and from that awareness comes true transformation. Finally, transformation allows us to move forward and experience a greater expansion of our lives.
I also recommend everyone conduct a personal SWOT Analysis, to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is an exercise, I love to use in classroom with students. When you can identify and understand these crucial areas, you can use this information to your greatest advantage, as you move through the new year.
Therefore, as we move through the final day of 2022, take a look back and identify some highlights. Conduct an analysis of your personal landscape, and decide what you will leave in 2022, and what you will take into the New Year. Celebrating the good times is always important. Learning from the challenges, helps to prepare us for growth, expansion, and success. Determine how you will succeed in 2023.
Today, we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was born in Atlanta Georgia in 1929 and died by assassination April 4, 1868 in Memphis Tennessee. Dr. King was a Baptist Minister and lead the Civil Rights Movement from the mid-1950s until his death. He advanced civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience.
He is often remembered for his “I have a dream” speech, but throughout his life he shared many words of wisdom. Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes from his speeches, books, and writings.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
—Strength to Love, 1963
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
—Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
—Strength to Love, 1963
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
—Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
As I thought about Dr. King today, I thought about all the struggle for equality, and the fight to make life better for all. I agree that we have made great strides, but we must continue so the dream of a better world never dies. My mission is to use my gifts and talents to help others discover theirs. I believe that when a person is walking in their purpose, they do not have time to hate, or mistreat others, because they are on their own mission of greatness. So today, as you celebrate his life and legacy, I think it is important to think about your own. How will you be remembered? What will people say?
I end with another one of my favorite quotes, by Dr. King, and that is “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
We all have to determine what matters in life, how we want to be remembered, and what impact do we want to make. Therefore, make a lasting impact.
During the month of February, we honor notable African Americans. Today, I want to talk about Booker T. Washington and the concept of striving. Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was born into slavery and rose to become a leading African American intellectual of the 19th century. He was one of the founders of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, renamed Tuskegee University in 1881. He also founded, the National Negro Business League.
After the civil war, his family relocated to Malden, West Virginia. His mother later remarried and then took on the last name of his stepfather. Booker had to work and was only allowed to go to school after his morning shift.
He learned about the Hampton Institute, a school for former slaves, and would walk 500 miles to Hampton, where he excelled. He went on to study at Wayland Seminary in Washington, D.C., but after impressing Brigadier General Samuel Chapman, he was invited to return to Hampton as a teacher in 1879.
Booker would go on to be an advisor to multiple U.S. Presidents, and was a dominant leader in the African American community and of the contemporary black elite. Booker became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants who were oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws.
Booker’s life was not without challenges. He found himself at odds with other negro leaders, over the issue of racial equality for African Americans. He called for black progress through education and entrepreneurship, while others sought to fight the laws of Jim Crow directly. He remained a leader and figurehead at Tuskegee University until his death.
Booker’s story is important, because he shows us that we must all strive to survive. And we must also strive to thrive. Life is not easy, it is filled with challenges, failures and setbacks. In most cases, only those who are determined to press through the challenges and setbacks overcome their adversity.
Many people created dreams and visions for 2020 and may have already given up because of a challenge or a setback. However, in order to achieve your dreams, you must push through the adversity and get to the other side. Nothing that is worth something comes easy. It is when you are challenged the most, that you must push the hardest.
Remember this quote by Booker T. Washington. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
Strive to survive and strive to thrive in 2020.
Dr. Regina Banks-Hall
Bridges are structures designed to cross an open space or gap. When most people think of bridges, they think of crossing a body of water, valley, or road without hindering what’s underneath the bridge. The bridge is designed for providing a passage over the obstacle, which is often difficult to cross. Some bridges are unique because a pathway has been provided for you to walk alongside the bridge in order to get to the other side. Finally, bridges serve a particular purpose and are designed by bridge builders for different situations.
The concept of the bridge is very important when you think of people. As I begin to narrow my 2020 vision, I want to focus on how we can become bridges of society. As a bridge builder, we can use our knowledge, skills, and abilities to help bring people together. When we become the bridge builder, we can often become the catalyst that introduces opportunities and learning experiences to others, allowing them to find and use their gifts. We have all heard the saying, “Be the bridge.” Well, today is a great time to start.
If there were no bridge builders, many people would never know what is on the other side of the river, lake, stream, valley or ocean. In other words, without bridge builders, so many people would never know what they could have become. Remember, when we share our experiences, education, testimonies, wisdom, resources, stories, advice, connections, and gifts, we become a bridge of opportunity, possibility, and vision for those who have never seen what is on the other side.
So, I am challenging you for the year 2020. Don’t be a wall, a border, or a blockade. Instead, be a bridge builder and usher someone over to a bright new future.
Today is January 6th, and many of us, my self-included, have created goals that we want to accomplish for the year. As you begin to create goals for yourself, and think about how you will impact 2020, one area that I want you to focus on is looking beyond where you are. Often when I conduct vision board or leadership workshops, or do motivational speaking, I share with my audience the importance of looking beyond what is in front of them.
You may be saying to yourself, why is this important? Often as individuals we become accustomed to the status quo. We expect nothing better. We buy into other people’s comments about our abilities. We sometimes overlook the notion that they are afraid of what we might become, so they plant negative seeds. Finally, we hold back our dream, because we are waiting for someone to validate our ideas instead of moving forward with our vision.
In order to grow and truly live out your purpose in 2020, it will be important for you to look beyond what is in front of you. It is important for you to visualize success. There is no limitation to your success, there is only the limitation to your vision.
Today, find the courage to venture out. This venture can lead to a new promotion, a new book, or a business opportunity. For years, I had a dream of becoming an author, professor, life coach, and motivational speaker. Yes, I wanted it all. I knew the odds were stacked against me, because I knew there were people who did not want me to succeed. However, I was willing to look beyond what was in front of me, because what I saw was people standing in my way.
I began to change my attitude and my inner circle. I began to put action behind those goals by writing the book, becoming a motivational speaker, coaching others to success, and my favorite of all, becoming a college professor. I held onto the faith I had, that I could do it. I realized that the purpose of my goals was bigger than me. These goals were associated with helping others see that, if I could do it, so could they. But most importantly, I held onto my faith in God, knowing that he had a plan for my life.
As we begin to move throughout this year, and you begin to formalize your goals, think about how your desire to change your story can affect your community, your family, your church, or your organization. Do not sit back and accept the status quo. Instead, step up and accept the challenge of looking beyond the wall. Realize that today can be the day that changes everything.
Well, today is the final day of this year. As part of my own goal planning process, I conducted my 2019 year in review. I checked off my accomplishments and reprioritized my goals for 2020.
Like many people, I worked through some challenges in 2019. But through it all, I will enter 2020 renewed and ready to use my gifts and talents in this year. As you evaluate your 2019, reflect, evaluate, and celebrate your story. Remember that your failures or setbacks do not define you, because you still have a chance to rewrite your own story.
I want to remind everyone of an important biblical story. In a biblical passage, a Master gives his servants several talents, according to their ability. He then plans to take a journey but vows to return. The Master gave one servant five talents, which the servant doubled. The next servant was given two talents. He did the same. The last servant was given one talent and he buried it in the dirt. This servant, in his mind, played it safe. He was afraid of the unknown, or possibly lazy, so he buried his talent. The servant expected his Master to be thankful for protecting the talent. When the Master returned, he congratulated the first two servants for their diligence. But with the third servant, he was infuriated and dealt with him harshly. The key point in this story, is that we have all been given a portion of talent or ability. However, it is what we do with it that counts. Do we multiply it, or do we bury it?
As you enter 2020, know that it is okay to step outside your comfort zone. In order to change the world and leave a lasting impact, it requires that you take a risk on yourself. Do not be like the servant in the passage and bury your talents. When we bury our talents, we hold back solutions, knowledge, skills, innovation, and creativity. We literally rob the world from utilizing and benefiting from our giftedness.
As a professor, author, speaker, coach, and leadership expert, my goal for 2020 is to convince you not to bury your gifts. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year, start the year off in grand fashion by utilizing your God given gifts and talents.
Join “Dr. Regina’s World” by following me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube and let’s start using our gifts together.
From my family to yours, I wish you a healthy, successful, and prosperous New Year.
For many small businesses, 2019 was a pretty good year. As I spent time evaluating my community, I saw several help wanted signs. I noticed local coffee shops and restaurants full with customers, and I saw the opening of several new businesses. As a small business coach, I know that many business owners sometimes just want to enjoy their success. However, we must always take time at the end of the year to reflect, evaluate, and strategize. As you get ready to end the year, I wanted to share five areas to review, to ensure a successful 2020.
As an Economics Professor and Small Business Coach, I share with students the principle, that every business must understand the market or industry in which it operates. Therefore, it is important to understand your particular industry. What is happening in the coffee, t-shirt, restaurant, or retail industry. Is your industry thriving? Is your industry maturing? Where are opportunities for growth?
When you create goals for your business, remember that these goals may require a full year commitment. Therefore, the first quarter of next year should be used to evaluate your year-long strategy. You may also find that the goals you created require a longer implementation plan. Therefore, decide what’s first, second, or third on your list.
Review your cyber security measures. Think about how you can back up your company’s data and create a firewall that prevents hackers from accessing your corporate newtork. Determine if you are using the latest security software for your computers. Is there more efficient way to handle moble transactions. Finally, encourage employees to change their passwords on a regular basis.
Reduce Debt – As a small business owner, it is important to review and understand your financial outlook. Therefore, look for ways to eliminate debt. For example, can you take out a business line of credit, and take advantage of lower interest rates. Can you consolidate credit cards, or can you pay off a loan with a year-end bonus and free up your credit cards.
Review your growth plans. Look at your product and services. The beginning of the year, may be a great time to add a new product or expand your services. Researching growth opportunities in your particular industry, can also help you identify opportunities in this area.
As you end the year, review your 2019. Reflect, evaluate and determine your goals for 2020. You may not eliminate all your business debt, but your strategy to expand your product and services may increase your profitability. You may find through your reflection and evaluation that 2019 provided a solid blueprint for 2020. Remember business goals are designed to provide improvements to your business. Therefore, think about your goals carefully and strategize for a profitably 2020.
Dr. Regina Banks-Hall
For more information, on how we can help you create your 2020 vision, please complete the contact form below.
I know it has been a while since I shared a post. I took some time, spending the last few months, conducting small business workshops, finishing up two books for a fall release, and getting ready for my fall teaching season. As I began to reflect on the first half of this year, I was reminded that no matter how strategic your plans, life will provide you some unexpected twists that can impact your future.
As an Leadership Expert, Assistant Professor of Business, and Small Business Coach, I am always reminding everyone within my reach that life is a risk. Today, I was looking at the board game called, The Game of Life. It is a game I use often, while teaching my economics class. In this game, a person travels through his or her life, from early age to retirement. During this journey around the game board, it covers jobs, marriage, career opportunities, pitfalls, and the possibility of children that can be added along the way. It is a reminder that in real life, these things can happen, and we can also experience a twist or turn, along the way.
As I was looking at this game, and reflecting on the year, I was reminded that we cannot control the events that come our way. Some of the events I am referring to are, the loss of a job, a bad relationship, or a death in the family. We certainly can’t control these events, however, we can control how we respond. We must always keep in mind that pitfalls can also be stepping stones. For instance, the loss of a job may open the door to a future opportunity that you never noticed. Getting out of a bad relationship may open the door to you meeting the right person. A death in the family, though painful, can give someone a renewed sense of how important life really is, or how important it is to spend time with those you love.
When you view life as a journey, you open yourself up to embrace the unexpected. The journey into the unexpected is where you discover who you really are. It is where your character is tested, yet you make the choice to maintain your integrity. It is during the journey of the unexpected that you send a message to your critics that you are still standing, in spite of their attempts to bring you down. It is during the journey of the unexpected that you find yourself on top of the world one day, and down in the valley the next. The key to success here is to remind yourself that these small setbacks do not define who you are. When you know who you are, you know you can recover, and you are always looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.
History reminds us that some of our most successful people did not succeed because they knew they would. They succeeded because they would not allow doubt, and the fear of the unknown, to derail their progress. They understood that the unexpected opened the door to opportunities.
I believe that the thing that hurts people the most is banking on the status quo. Successful people understand that they can lose it all. However, they know by pushing through the challenges and setbacks, they will achieve a winning outcome. The game of life is a reminder of what could happen. Yet, real life is not a game at all, and should be embraced in a meaningful way. Success is often determined by the choices you make, and your ability to embrace the unexpected. These two variables will help you navigate towards a winning outcome. As we move through the rest of the year, choose to implement these measures, embrace the unexpected, and prepare to win.
As a business coach, professor, and leadership expert, I have the opportunity to witness up close, new entrepreneurs launch their business ideas. These entrepreneurs have fresh and exciting ideas, big dreams and a boatload of optimism. This excitement is contagious and their energy is overwhelming.
However, I have also seen individuals stumble, fall, and ultimately fail in their business pursuits. Sometimes, this happens, because success is a tricky thing, and not easily achieved. Therefore, if you are ready to launch into a new business, let me share five tips that will increase your odds for success.
#1 Keep your vision in sight. When things go wrong, you can use your vision to maintain your focus.
#2. Understand your competition. As a professor of economics, I share with my students all the time, that every business must understand the market in which it operates. Therefore, you must identify the competition, and determine how your business will compete.
#3. Provide a good service. It is important to know your capacity to deliver what you’ve promised. Therefore, do not overpromise and under deliver.
#4. Keep track of your expenses. As a new business owner, it is important to create a system for managing your expenses. Managing your expenses, allows you to track your progress and keep a handle on your debt.
#5 Hire a business coach. If you are starting a new business and are unsure of what you should do, hire a professional to assist you. There is no substitute for experience, and a business coach will provide the expertise you need.
If you are launching a new business, I recommend that you attend my workshop this weekend, (Saturday April 27th at the VisTa Tech Center in Livonia), entitled: “Handle Your Business.” See the video below for details.
Today, I want to talk about the word GRIT. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, GRIT is defined as, “firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger”. Angela Duckworth, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in a Ted Talk, associated GRIT to the passion and perseverance you need to achieve long term goals. Perseverance, of course, allows you to maintain your commitment to overcoming obstacles that lie in the way of you achieving your goals.
As a motivational speaker, professor, author, leadership expert, and business coach, I beleive that our understanding of ourselves helps to define our GRIT. As people, we have to know how we feel about courage, our knowledge, our skills, and our ability to handle adversity. Often we can determine our grit when we overcome an obstacle.
As I look at the word GRIT, I agree with Webster and Duckworth, that it includes courage, perseverance, firmness of mind and spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship and danger as you pursue purpose and long-term goals. Therefore, examine your grit today, by examining yourself. Define who you are as it relates to courage, passion, purpose, and firmness of mind. Utilize your strengths to overcome adversity, and learn from your weaknesses to challenge failures.
We are all uniquely made, however, when we truly understand our GRIT, we can strategize for success.
Dr. Regina Banks-Hall President, RBH Professional Development Institute
Contact us today to learn about our leadership development programs, vision board workshops, business coaching, motivational speaking programs. Please visit our website at http://www.rbankshall.com to learn about our upcoming workshop, entitled handle your business. Let’s take what you know about your GRIT, and launch your dreams.