It’s Your Business. So Set The Tone!

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So you want to be a boss, already a boss or thinking about becoming your own boss – No matter where you are in this process, let me be the first to say “CONGRATULATIONS!!” and now my little celebratory business dance…

Okay, just wanted to celebrate you a little bit because whether you’ve been a boss or thinking about stepping out on faith to become one – it’s a celebrated moment. You should give yourself a BIG pat on the back for making what some call THE BIG LEAP!!

However, while becoming your own boss is exhilarating – it can also be very scary and you’ll doubt yourself many times during and going through the process “Can I really do this?” “Why am I doing this?” or “Do I really have the skills to do it!” and I will say “YES! YOU DO!!” otherwise why would the thought even come to your mind..

These were all thoughts I had when I ventured out into blogging and now/recently into my own writing and creative design publication business, happily entitled “RoshondaBCreative” – I create flyers, social handles, brochures, newsletters, resumes and so forth for others. I even can write up blog posts, content and copy-write as well. As a matter of fact, just last week I received my very first customer whom wanted me to create a flyer, she loved it! and for the first time in history outside of doing everything for “free” (more on that in a jiffy). I got my very first payment!!!! I was elated, excited and it gave me that extra push to confirm, I was in my right lane.


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But before that happened, I had to get my business etiquette together. After-all, I had never ran a business before and had no idea as to what it really detailed. The only thing I knew is that I had to be professional because “first” impressions are lasting impressions and I’m a firm believer in “How you start” will definitely set the tone for how everything else in your business will run. Over the years, I’ve worked alongside some good and not so good business owners. Even if the business owner was not that great, there are still lessons that I took from them because in business everything won’t be rosy, there will be shortcomings and mistakes made but it’s how you handle those grey areas that will determine it’s success whether your business is BIG or small.

Listed below are a couple of “Tone Setters” I believe every business should have:

1st Tone: Get Your Paperwork Together


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When I first learned that I wanted to turn my passion into a business, the first thing I did was get my paperwork together. What I mean by this is – I looked for contract templates, proposal templates and business card designs. I even took a free business class to find out what my business would be registered as, either an LLC or if I’d be considered a Sole Proprietor. If you’re just starting out I would suggest going ahead and getting your name registered at least as the cost is minimal. Once your business takes off, then I would go deeper into getting it trademarked and so forth. While you’re in the process, don’t forget to come up with a BOMB slogan! Something that identifies your business characteristic.

However; the main thing is making sure you have your contract, prices, proposals and business cards ready because when you announce “Open for Business?” you may not have time to get those things prepared because no one likes a messy business man or woman.

2nd Tone: Communicate Properly


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Oh gosh! I’ve seen some really messy communicators in business. If you say you’ll get back to someone in 24 hours, please make sure you do that. If you tell someone you’ll have their product ready in a week, please make sure you hit the deadline on the head or before. If someone sends you a message, please answer them and if you don’t answer within a specified period of time, just say “I apologize for the delay in getting back to you” first before you go into what their need may be.

Having good communication skills in business is a TOP priority and very essential to your business. Good communication can build your business, Bad communication can and will tear it apart before it gets off the ground good. Remember: Words travel faster than lighting!!

3rd Tone: No Freebies!

Photo by Bing/Empty Wallet

You’re going to always have that person that wants you to do something for free! However, you have to set the tone and let them know that you’re running a business and this time, you need to get paid. I remember accepting a job from a person that I knew very well. They needed me to update a resume they’d gotten from someone whom they stated “Didn’t do a good job” – they asked how much I would charge because they were going out for a job and desperately needed it the following day. I told them $5.00 and that evening I put everything aside just to get their work done. I sent it promptly the next day as suggested and after that…..silence….

I get an email about a week later telling me they ended up not using the resume and therefore because they didn’t use it, they figured they didn’t have to pay me my $5.00! Now don’t get me wrong, I know you might say that’s nothing but my TIME was everything! It was then that I decided to put a stipulation on payments. Anything $50.00 or less, I need the full payment unless we discussed you giving half down first. Value your time and your business enough to get your money upfront because your business doesn’t run off of “non-payments”

4th Tone: Don’t Be Afraid to Say No or Be Intimidated to Sell Yourself Short

Photo by Bing/Intimidation

When you first start out in business you may want to say YES to everyone and while that’s great in a rainbow world, you’re going to have to exercise your right and say NO! Only you know how much time and effort it’ll take you to complete a project. Think about that when you take on jobs, don’t allow someone to come into your business space and tell you what they want and what they need you to do. You’re the BOSS, you set the rules and tell them what YOU need them to do in order to complete their work.

Most times when this happens we feel as if we’re going to lose clients based off of our demands for our time and craft but that’s not the case. Don’t succumb to selling yourself or your product short, I mean you have to make a living as well…..what you start out doing for that one client will set the tone for what you do with other clients. If one client feels as though they can get over, guess what! That spirit will soon surround your business and the next thing you know, you’ll have other clients coming along wanting a handout or for you to sell yourself short & your response to that should always render a BIG NOOO!!

** ** ** **

These are just a couple of experiences I’ve experienced with “finally” starting my own business. Your business is like a newborn child in which you want to protect, nourish and watch it grow and grow and grow. Remember to stick to your guns and set the right tone because your business is depending upon you to shape and feed it. How you start is definitely how you’ll finish…

Do you have any business tips or stories? Share them below in the comments!

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I Survived Hurricane Jeanne

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It was September 2004. It was supposed to be our vacation.

My parents, my maternal grandmother and I flew down to Orlando on September 20th from Indianapolis to check on the damage done to our mobile home from Hurricane Charley.

Jeanne was out to sea. She was not going to hit land, meteorologists said earlier in the week. “Jeanne won’t affect the United States”, one said.

A couple of days later, she made a sudden left turn and headed straight for FLORIDA!


Bing/Hurricane Jeanne

Meteorologists told residents to brace for yet another hurricane. People were putting up plywood and using tarps in an attempt to protect themselves.

Local government officials were giving frequent press conferences urging residents to evacuate. Shelters were being set up and the Red Cross was getting prepared.

My family and I sat watching the coverage, trying to decide what to do.

We had decided to change our plane ticket but, we were a little too late as the airport just got it’s orders to close. We called the rental car agency to see how much it would cost to drive our rental back to Indiana but it was going to be too costly.

So it was official. We were all going to experience our very first hurricane!


Bing/Hurricane Jeanne

On September 25th, a member of the Orlando Police and Fire Department drove around the mobile home park -a retirement community- with a bullhorn announcing we had by 6 PM to evacuate.

A cousin of ours -who also lived in the park – invited us to join him at his son’s house. Jeanne hit the Orlando area between 3 and 4 AM the next morning.

She was a Category 3 with winds between 80-95 miles per hour with a gust of 70 and left several inches of rain. The media coverage was very professional and calm. I admired their courage to go out and report. Very brave souls!

One got tossed several inches live on the air but fortunately wasn’t hurt. As for me and my family, we were all basically calm. I sat on the living room sofa reading “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” with an amazing view of the storm through the picture window.

I really can’t put it into words what I saw: just the work that I saw God due was just simply incredible!


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The city curfew lifted the next day and we returned back to our home.

The level of destruction in the park left us all in a state of amazement.

Parts of or whole roofs were gone. Front and back porches were gone.

Carports, awnings, trimmings and siding were gone.

The canal, lake and swimming pool were overflowing.

A tree with a birdhouse near the lake was leaning sideways.

The shuffleboard court had puddles of water.

Trees were snapped and leaning or were completely gone.

Very few homes sustained little to no damage. Luckily, our home was one of them.

Now I’m not going to get all “I-saw-my-life-flash-before-me” on you because I’m not the dramatic type. Going through a hurricane was very exciting but it was not a life-changing experience…

It was one very memorable vacation!

Have you been through a traumatic event such as a Hurricane or maybe even a Tornado? Tell me your story below and let’s chat!

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

Reflection: The Number 4 & It’s Celebratory Moment In My Life

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Ahhhh, or I guess I should say “WOOSAH” Where in the world do I start. Ever since I beat out shyness at the age of 30 (Yeah, late bloomer here), I’ve really never been at a loss for words but for some reason when it came down to reflect on the number 4 and 40, you’ll find out those meanings in a sec. I honestly didn’t know where to start, what to really say or if I should just skip this week and not post at all…

I have to admit, I’m usually prepared and have things scheduled, but this post is literally coming at you word-for-word as I sit at my computer and type away. Well, here it goes…

So the number 4 and 40 are celebratory because the number 4 represents a hurdle crossed that I didn’t think would last a month, less known a year. The number 40 represents the turn of a century that I honestly didn’t think I’d live to see. Without further ado, let’s begin with the number 4 in which all started in March when I got this beautiful notification from WordPress:

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

I mean, has it been 4 years already?? – Geesh, where has the time gone? I remember the month and day that I started this blog. It’s amazing because months prior I was beginning to wonder, what in the world my purpose/gift was. You know there’s a time in all of our lives where you want to become more strategic with your purpose and you begin to put more thought into what you’re doing and how what you’re doing is affecting the people around you. I had no idea what my true purpose was, I did in a sense but I hadn’t began to really cultivate it.


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Mind you, I’ve always been known as the “jack of all trades.” I could tell you how to do anything but I wasn’t a master at any of it. At one point I felt as if I was just put here on earth to just fly with the wind but deep inside I knew something more was there – people would look at me and the only thing I would get was “There’s something about you, I just can’t put my finger on it” In any case this could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it…lol.

However, In my spirit, I felt as if I should be doing more as if whatever it was I was doing, was nothing compared to what I should’ve been doing – if any of that even makes sense. As I scrolled through my email one day I saw the advertisement for WordPress and starting a blog, as soon as I see that advertisement – something in my spirit jumped as if to say “THAT’S IT!” needless to say, I didn’t take the bait and waited another 6 months in which I see the same advertisement and again, my spirit leaped and again, I didn’t do it. March 13, 2015 – there it was again except this time, the feeling I felt was forceful as if I was in labor and the baby was coming…whether I was ready for it or not.


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I felt something deep inside me say “DO IT NOW!!” and I did it, right then and there. I was hesitant about paying for my domain name, choking up the excuse of “I didn’t have the money” I learned a lesson from that experience and through it – I birthed my first blog post on this site entitled “Invest in Yourself……First!” and the rest as the old adage says “is history” I had no idea what I was going to talk about or even if this blog would last. Sometimes I can be an “it’s new” type of gal and once I get bored, It’s thrown to the side with other unfinished projects. I have to say, I acknowledged God every step of the way and 4 years later, here I am and I’m so grateful for the love, the support and the followers new and old who have stuck with me throughout this time.

I know there’s people out there that read the blog and never like or leave a comment but they read it and I’m even more grateful for that support as well because there’s a lot of things out here that could get your attention but to give me 5% of it, I count it an honor and I’m humbled. If we never meet or speak to each other, know that I feel the love.


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SOOOOOOOOOOO……that’s that, now you might be thinking, what’s up with the 40! Well, that’s how old I’ll be turning on tomorrow! I’m nervous, scared, disappointed, happy and optimistic all at the same time. Not sure if you can have all those arrays of emotions going on but I certainly do.

My doctor told me earlier this week that his friend told him that his 40’s were his best decade ever and I’m soooo holding on to that. There are so many things I can say about going into 40. I’ve experienced a lot of ups as well as downs getting to this point and I’ve made some terrible mistakes but I’m going into 40 with a little more wisdom and a lot of more love for myself. It’s sad because if I can be honest, I messed up my 20’s and most of my 30’s and even though, by 30, I’d finally discovered my voice. I had trouble using it and continuously welcomed, unacceptable behavior in the terms of “toxic” relationships.

Over that period, I’d gained many friends and lost just as many. Some for no apparent reason at all – I just happened to look around and realized they were no longer there. Some instances of that happening hurt like hell (pardon the language) and in other circumstances, I was glad for the departure. I’ve learned a lot getting to this point and it’s true what they say, the older you get you tend to become less worried about what people think, what people say and how people view you. I now realize my worth and KNOW who I am. I’m no longer hungry for love, attention or friendships. I allow things to happen organically now, which in my opinion – is best.


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The one thing I’m looking forward to in my 40’s is my kids graduating high school and completing college if I should still be writing at 50 and if their heads are screwed on right (fingers crossed) They’d be done accomplished both by the time I reach the end of my 40’s. So it’ll be cool to see what my reflections I write at that time for sure.

Going into 40 while I’m working on my emotions towards it. One emotion I’m sure of and that’s the bittersweet moments. (Okay, the flood gates are about to swing wide open..) I miss my mother dearly. Every year, no matter what age I turned, she would always have her “mother-daughter” coming of age talk with me. My mother had experienced it all and seen it all so she was destined to tell me every year what the new age would hold for me and how I should conduct myself as a lady. It was her thing and I loved it. Every time I would get ready to turn an age, I would ask “Okay, mama when do I need to schedule my talk with you” – haha. If she was here I would have gotten my birthday present in February….lol lol. She always gave birthday gifts EXTRA early.

It’s funny because I wonder what wisdom she’d share with me in regards to the 40’s, I would give anything to have at least 15 min with her – but mama’s gone now…

Please help me say “WHOOSAH!!”


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Moving Forward >>>

You know Life is unexpected and while living it – you’ll have your many ups, downs and coming out of nowhere situations but guess what – you just have to live it, make the best of whatever it throws at you and celebrate every…single…moment! I mean, every one of them, no matter how big or how small. Because we only are guaranteed one shot, some are lucky and get more – but you have to live it as if ONE is all you have and will ever get.

Embrace it, Cherish it, Hug, Love, Kiss and CELEBRATE!

I don’t know what this next phase will hold. I’m sure like with everything else, there will be many ups and of course some low downs but I’m praying for bigger and better accomplishments, I plan to continue to be on the grind and crush goals. I plan to produce one, two or more books to be published – prayerfully from a traditional publisher. Build my business (RoBCreative), raise these teenagers into something great (again, fingers crossed) and LOVE, give back and invest. I think love has finally found me, maybe i’ll be able to write about that someday.

Whatever comes and whatever goes, I’m standing with open arms ready to embrace it and like my doctor said, maybe the 40’s will truly be my best decade starting tomorrow and to infinity and beyond….I’M READY.


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If you made it to the end of this post, Thanks for sticking around, I truly winged this one ; )