3 Mistakes I Made in My Business & How YOU Can Avoid Them

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WOW! I literally just realized that October of this year will be 8 years since I launched my brand, Women of Standard and 4 years since I walked away from my job in Corporate America.

I was the girl who was willing to put the time in building “God’s dream” for my life in the  midst of going to work everyday and putting in 40+ hours a week.

During this process of building my brand, I made a lot of mistakes and today I want to share a few of them with you today.

Despite my success today as a 6-figure earner through my coaching & consulting, and publishing business, there are things I experienced early on that if you take heed to could save you a lot of time, energy and money.

Here they are: 

  1. I didn’t develop a financial plan before leaving my job- Now, for me, my exit from my 9 to 5 was a straight up faith move. I turned in my two week resignation and at the end of its term I was now on my own with only $250 in the bank with the words, “Will you trust me?” repeating in my ear.

    For me, this was a faith walk because I had no desire to step out and do the things I felt called to do such as host events, launch a magazine and inspire people around the world. Initially I was scared to death and often wondered if I had made the right decision.

    The first three weeks were rough. I had no clue what to do with myself. I hadn’t created a plan on how I was going to make money or take care of my daughter. I cried for two weeks straight feeling as if I had made the wrong decision.

    Then one day something snapped and it was as if I could now hear and see clearly and I sat down at my computer and ideas to create trainings, programs, events (both live and online) began to flow. Now everything was up from there and truth is my lights never got cut off, my car was never repossessed, my daughter and I never went without a meal. I stood flatfooted on the scripture that says, ” The blessings of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22)

    Now although this worked for me I don’t advise everyone to try this. I am all for Faithing It; however, one must know that they know, that they know, that they know that God has called them down that path. I know people who thought they heard God and moved prematurely and it cost them everything including their wife.

    Why am I sharing this? Because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being sure. Write out what you desire to do, How much money you desire to make, How you intend to make it, the turn around time in which you hope to do so. Write out EVERYTHING. Then after you write it out, pray over it and seek wise counsel.

    I remember when the Lord laid it on my heart to become an entrepreneur, I went to my pastor at the time to discuss it with him. Being that he his background was in Corporate America and he was making over a hundred thousand dollars a year I just knew he would encourage me and have plenty of strategies to share with me.

    NOT! I sat in his office for over an hour as he shared every failed business adventure with me. Not one idea did he share with me that worked;and he had many successful endeavors.

    I remember him telling me basically that there was no time for dreaming and I couldn’t gamble my life because I must always ensure my daughter had a place to call home. I was told to focus on my daughter…in my mind… she was all I was thinking about.

    I left there feeling defeated, disappointed and confused. If my own pastor didn’t believe in me then how the heck was I going to get this done. Note: I had never really (at this time) been validated by my natural father.

    I cried for weeks after that and because my pastor was a trusted voice in my life I began to lean in to him more than I was to God.

    Until one day the Lord placed a woman by the name of Real Talk Kim into my life. After sharing what I had felt the Lord was telling me, Kim was wide open and said, “You better obey God! Nobody has to understand but you and God!” She then went on to share her journey of coming off her job at Bloomingdale’s. It wasn’t until last year at my Women of Standard Experience Charlotte that I learned when I was actually the first person to book Kim as a speaker for my event after she quit her job. How awesome is that?
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2.  I wanted to help EVERYBODY!– I will keep this one short and to the point. If you are going to lead a profitable business you are going to have to get clear/specific on who you are called to serve.

My problem was that as a “church girl” I wanted to help everybody and it wasn’t until one day I was in prayer and literally felt that I heard the Lord’s audible voice say to me, “The Gospel is for everyone but your business is only those whom I have assigned for you to serve. 

It was then that I had to purchase books on business and attend webinars, workshops and trainings to get educated on how to find my target audience, identify my niche and stand out in a crowded market.

Know that what you have no matter how great it is, someone will reject it. That’s okay, because it was not intended for everyone.

3. I hadn’t deal with my rejection issues- One thing I learned early on was that if I wanted to thrive as a business woman I had to first be healthy as a WOMAN.

What no one tells you when you decide to go into business is to first: GET YOURSELF TOGETHER!

Before you can try to help everybody else you must first deal with your own demons, fears and issues because if not the first time someone says, “No thanks,” and you have unattended wounds of rejection you’ll take it personal and could possible shut down your entire operation because of one person.

Even with your personal finances; however you are with your personal finances is the exact same way you’ll be in your business. Get a hold of your personal funds and you will properly handle your company’s funds.

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If you found today’s blog to be helpful and you are an aspiring, emerging or even an established entrepreneur and currently find yourself stuck, I’d love to assist you as I too know how that feels. Click below to learn how we can work together. I’d love to be your coach- http://carlacannon.com/trailblazer-1-on-1-coaching/

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As your Breakthrough Coach I am here to build, strengthen and encourage you from the pulpit to the marketplace on how to operate authentically and un-apologetically in your divine calling with a spirit of excellence.

This week I want to share four strategies on how to get unstuck NOW!

1. You must experience a change of mind.
The #1 reason individuals are held back is due to fear. Fear of failing or fear of success. But either way you must embrace fear and allow it to work for you rather than against you. Bishop T. D. Jakes said this once, “If your dreams don’t scare you then you need to go back to sleep!” In order to experience a change of mind you must say NO! to fear, slothfulness, anxiety, doubt and small minded thinking!

2. Acknowledge where you are.
In doing so you must self-access. Evaluate where you are and where you desire to be. National Evangelist, Paula White says, “You can not conquer what you are unwilling to confront, and you can not confront what you are unwilling to identify.” 
Remember: NOTHING changes if NOTHING changes.

3. Identify where you want to go.
Before you can move forward you must
a. Experience a change of mind
b. Acknowledge where you want to go
c. Identify where you want to go.

ACTIVITY: I want you to get out a sheet of paper and draw a straight line down the middle. To the left I want you to write, “Where I Want to Go” and to the right insert, “What It Will Take to Get There.”

Now this activity is to help you identify what you want out of life such as: Become debt free, write a book, launch a business, start a movement, get a degree; etc. Next, acknowledge what it will take to get there: Example, save money, hire a coach, develop a business plan, identify your purpose, apply for college;etc.

4. Determine what it takes for you to get there. In completing the above activity you have not only identified what you want out of life and what you want to accomplish but you have also identified what it takes to get there.

You also must be willing to:

a. Sacrifice: #1 thing you can sacrifice is your TIME. If you are currently working a 9 to 5 it is essential that you work on your personal vision for a minimum of 30- 60 minutes per day. This will help you implement discipline, accomplish your goals and lead you to living a fulfilled, purpose driven life.

You also must be willing to sacrifice your money. Understand this: If you are currently working a 9 to 5 that you do not thoroughly enjoy, instead of growing frustrated change your perception and understand that your current job is an investor of your business. Because of this job you are able to hire a web developer to design your website which creates a “hub” for your tribe to opt into and remain connected to you. No longer can you rely on social media to keep you connected to your followers. Because what if one day Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) or Kayvon Beykpour (Co-Founder of Periscope) decided to shut down both of those sites? What would you do? How would you remain in touch with your “fan base?”

b. Be committed: No longer are you to just date the vision but you must consummate it and marry it. Just as you make love to your spouse you make love to your vision as you work on it daily. Now, if you are single disregard this analogy (ha-ha!) and think of long term friendships and how they take time to nurture and develop. The same applies to your vision. You will not become a mogul, millionaire or even a social media mavon without sacrificing your time (and money) being committed and

c. Remain steadfast: Refuse to waver in your decision to pursue your dreams, goals and vision. Refuse to allow doubters to contaminate your space or cause you to think small or succumb to their poverty stricken mentality. The most powerful thing you can ever change is your MIND!

I pray you have a blessed week and remember you do NOT have to remain where you are for today is your day to say NO! to mediocrity and YES! to extraordinary living!

P.S. I am now offering Trailblazer Mentoring. See the flyer below for details and if interested reply to this email. Please note: There is a financial investment for mentorship and coaching programs.

First Steps to Writing a Book

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Are you interested in writing a book but have the first clue as to where to begin? I personally know how that feels because when I set out to write my first book two years ago entitled, The Power in Waiting I had no clue what I was doing. Actually, just like you may have done, I also sat down and just started typing until I ran out of words for that day then when done I would put it down and pick it back up the next day.

What I did not know was that just like anything else in my life I needed strategy. I knew I desired to write a book but in order to make this dream a reality I had to put my faith into action and execute! I like to say it like this:

A goal without a strategic plan of action is simply a wish!

Anything you desire to do in life you must first have a game plan! One of the key things I teach in my company, Inspiring Hearts Coaching Institute (where I teach aspiring authors step by step how to become published authors) is that before you can write the book you must first identify the following:

  1. What do you have to say? Before you can write a book you must first identify what you have to say and why should anyone care? I know that may sound cold but it’s quite the opposite. These are hard truths that you must answer BEFORE you set out to write a book. Always identify a solution you are providing to a specific problem. Now sure, you can provide several solutions to multiple problems but be careful not to be too vague that you are unable to identify your target market specifically.
  2. Know who you are talking to- Who is your target market? What are their demographics (statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it)? What are their psychographics (the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research.)
  3. Identify the strategic plan of action you will implement in marketing this project- Too often I see authors who have a great story line or content, phenomenal graphic design for their book site and a website you just love visiting but yet they aren’t selling any books. Why is that? Because they waited until after the book was written to develop a marketing strategy. This is a big no no!! You do NOT wait until your book is complete before you are talking about it, hosting live readings about it, teleconferences; etc. That is just like a film director waiting until the movie comes out before they advertise it. No! The reason we run to the movie theater is because we have seen the same commercials over and over and each time our anticipation grows stronger and stronger. What is this called? Marketing strategies. Now the only way you don’t have to market a project prior to release is if your name is Beyonce’ and you have half the world who already knows and loves your stuff. I know that was pretty cool when she did this back in 2013 and her fans went crazy and she sold millions of records in a matter of hours when she released it without a warning.

The only way you don’t have to market a new project is if your name is BEYONCE’!

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If you enjoyed this tips head over to http://carlacannon.com/bsb7program/ and check out my upcoming Write the Book Already Two Hour Writer’s Intensive Teleseminar in I will be hosting for the first time ever on Monday, November 2, 2015 at 7-9pmEST.

During this tele-seminar I will be taking you step by step on how to write, publish and market your book as well as teaching how when you write a book you actually launch your business!!! I also teach you how to prevent writer’s block FOREVER! I’ve been writing for over three years professionally and have NEVER ran out of words to say or drew a blank. Don’t miss it! It’s going to be epic!

When you sign up you receive full access to this one of a kind teaching, my book: Write the Book Already absolutely FREE (that I am only offering via this program) along with a 30 minute Breakthrough Coaching session with me absolutely FREE! Head over to http://carlacannon.com/bsb7program/ now to learn more and sign up! Trust me it will be well worth the investment!

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The Unexpected Guest: Will You Pass the Test?

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It is my prayer that this email finds you in great strength, encouragement and an abundance of joy which will get you through another great week! Sure, I used the word “another” when last week was one interesting and challenging week for me. I was sick for the majority of last week with the chills, then sweats, headaches and more. Then I was faced with a spiritual challenge of a woman who entered into my office claiming to want to invite me to be a part of her event only to try to intimidate and break my spirit (which did NOT happen) and to top it off I was unable to travel to DC to attend Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Success Conference.

But even in the midst of the trials I faced on last week I still identify it as a great week. Here’s why: (1) Because I made it out! Hallelujah! (2) I learned that I am a lot stronger spiritually than I thought I was because although I was highly disrespected in my office I did not allow what the woman attempted to do to enter into my heart. But instead I was filled with the love of God and actually felt very sorry for her to the point that I began to minister to her. That’s right! Her planned attack turned into a ministry moment for her! I ended up with her in my office for over 2 hours and by the end of our meeting I (by the grace of God) had turned her nasty (defensive) attitude and judgmental spirit to one of her saying, “Carla, you are indeed the truth!” LOL I know it sounds comical but initially she flat out told me that she thought I was fake and that all the things I was doing on social media was one big fluff. When she said that I immediately burst out laughing and said, “Are you serious?” She sat there, “straight faced” and said, “Yes.” I then said, “Well darling, I am indeed real about what I do for the Lord so what you see is really what you get!”

I turned that sour moment into one of laughter and I began to find out this was her first event and I began to share wisdom with her concerning things she could do from a professional standpoint. I went as far as  sharing my resources and wisdom with her in which she was very receptive. (But who wouldn’t take free information right? HA!) As she sat in my office all I kept hearing was the scripture that reads, “By loving kindness have I drawn thee”. So obviously this sister had been hurt by women in ministry and was still carrying church hurt in which we dealt with some of it while she was here and I believe her perception of me may have been formed by the thoughts or opinions of others. But guess what? What other people think about you is none of your business!

When she left I flopped in my chair now feeling spiritually drained and said okay Lord that’s why you wouldn’t allow me to come out of prayer this morning when I wanted to. I laughed, got on the phone and shared the experience with my Mom, she praised Jesus that “Cece” (the old me) didn’t show up. We laughed; I hung up then went back to work as if nothing had ever happened.

vintage-exhausted-woman-photo(this is exactly how I felt after she left my office! Spiritually drained because there was some warfare going on in the spirit!)

WHAT’S MY POINT? In the midst of all we face in life it is up to us how we allow things to affect us. We may not be able to control what happens to us but we can control our response to it. We reside in society where everyone is “reacting” versus “responding”. Your reaction is what you do on impulse. But your response is what you do once you have carefully considered all facts and details.

Women and men who are wise know the importance of being slow to speak but quick to listen and slow to judge yet quick to forgive. This is the motto I live by and I admit it is not always easy. Sure, when that woman appeared in my office rude, uptight and with a judgmental spirit (which she admitted to), I instantly had to make a decision whether I was going to allow “Cece” to come out or  remain“Carla” the professional and woman of God who rules, reigns and dominates over the spiritual wickedness that had entered into my office on this particular day.

Which do you think I chose? Absolutely! I chose the latter because one thing I’ve learned in life is we can’t control what people say about us but we can control whether or not we add more fuel to the fire by giving them more to talk about. This is why I decided to go the extra mile with her because how many times has Christ gone the extra mile with us? How many times have we been stubborn or did things that offended God? So although her spirit was off I couldn’t allow her to “infect” me by causing me to act out of character.

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Ok, I promise you this is not what this blog was supposed to be about lol I was coming to talk with you about the secret to success which I read in an article about Dr. Phil and how Oprah started out as his lawyer, and she then invited him on her show and he became well known across the world instantly due to that one platform. I guess I had to get some things out first (smile). How about I save that story for tomorrow! Join my email list by going to http://www.CarlaCannon.com and you will receive the story directly to your email on tomorrow!

I like to share my experiences with those who are in my “tribe” (as Motivational Speaker, Lisa Nichols puts it) to expose you to my world and how I choose to handle things. Now, don’t be alarmed I had already warned the lady that I was going to write and talk about this experience because too many women “size up” other women and in doing so they miss out on great personal and/or professional relationships because upon meeting they entered in the wrong spirit and attitude. She laughed when I told her, but I assured her I was “dead serious”. HA!

So, what can you take away from this story:

– Begin each day in prayer, meditation & studying the Word of God

– Never allow someone else’s issue to become your issue.

– Do not take personal attacks personally.

– The love of God conquers all

– You were created to rule, reign and DOMINATE!

– Do not allow evil spirits to intimidate you

– The Word of God and even the love of God is your weapon

– Never react to situations but respond to them

As you go about your week know that you are indeed a force to be reckoned with! I believe the Holy Spirit wanted me to share this story with you to help strengthen you as well and to bring you into higher accountability. As Christians it is truly time for us to walk the talk and do so rather quietly. How we do what we do should speak the highest volumes without us ever having to open our mouth!

Be blessed, remain encouraged and allow no one to tell you who you are for that has already been established in Christ!

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Carla R. Cannon “The Trailblazer”
Join me on Instagram & Twitter @CarlaRCannon