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!

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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

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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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#Sunday’s Thought: Do You Have A Fork??

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What’s up everyone! It’s been a minute since I did a Sunday Thought, as a matter of fact this is the first one of 2019 and it’s a good one. So stick with me for about 5 min, if you read faster than that well this is going to be a breeze!

So Get Those Forks & Let’s dig into it…

I want to ask you a question: Do you happen to have a fork? I’m sure you’re probably thinking, who doesn’t?? Which takes me to my next question: Do you know what the meaning of the silverware trio when it’s placed in front of you at a restaurant? I have to be honest; I learned what those shiny utensils truly were in the movie “Pretty Woman” haha, to those that have seen the movie – remember when he was trying to teach her what the salad fork was and the dinner fork and the placement of each? Yeah, I was learning right along with Julia Roberts. I just never knew that there was any meaning behind utensils, I just knew that some were BIG, others were small and okay, now where’s the food! Lol..

#This is Me!

But everything in life has some type of symbolism and/or meaning to it. As the adage says “There’s a reason for everything” and that statement couldn’t be further from the TRUTH! Since that time of learning what utensil was used for what, I never really gave another thought to utensils having any other meaning until my sister sent me a story some weeks back that brought a somewhat spiritual meaning to one particular utensil and that was the FORK.

The story goes a little something like this:

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things ‘in order,’ she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. 
She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

“There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly..”What’s that?” came the Pastor’s reply.
“This is very important,” the young woman continued. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.”That surprises you, doesn’t it?” the young woman asked.”Well, to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. “My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, “Keep your fork.” It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming …. like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!”So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder… “What’s with the fork?” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your fork … the best is yet to come.”


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The Pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming. 
At the funeral people were walking by the young woman’s casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, “What’s with the fork?” And over and over he smiled. 

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. 

I’m sure after that story, you’ll begin to look at your fork as not just some small eating utensil but now you’ll look at it and eat off of it with PURPOSE!

I don’t know what you may be going through today or even what battles you may face tomorrow or in the months to come, but I want you to keep these quotes in mind “Trouble don’t last Always”“Joy Comes in the Morning” but most importantly “YOUR BEST IS YET TO COME!!” – the bible says, we’re supposed to count it ALL joy when we fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith, produces patience (James 1:2-3)

So, hold on to your fork knowing that SOMETHING GREATER IS COMING!!

Let this song by Martha Munizzi encourage you today, it’s one of my favorites!!

Make Time For Who?….YOU!! – Simple Self-Care Tips For The Busy Person In Us All.

Feature Image: Bing/Huffpost UK


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I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard the statement above quite a plenty in my life time. So, what do people mean when they say “Take Care of Yourself” it’s literally a statement that seems to be said more than it’s done because in reality, How many of us really do it?

Which brings me to my next question: “How does one really take care of themselves?”

Most people tend to think Self-Care is all about the loofah’s and the lotions and going on some expensive spa date with the girls or guys and don’t get me wrong, that’s a part of it – but it’s not the WHOLE cake of the matter, if you can see that analogy. It’s just the icing; the outer part but it doesn’t begin to touch the core of what self-care really is.

I love this statement/quote – in which pretty much sums it up.

Self-Care is not Selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

Eleanor Brownn with 2 N’s – eleanorbrownn.com

We’re ALLLL busy, I mean every single one of us. If we’re not engulfed in our careers, thinking about how to make money, raising a family together or alone, taking care of an ill parent, parents or child, trying to be a good friend or trying to fit in with the “in” crowd, managing our own health (if we don’t overlook it trying to make sure someone else manages theirs…been there?) or just catering to everyone else’s need except our own…..self-care can be pushed to the back burner when it comes to our own sanity.

Sometimes after giving so much of ourselves to others, there’s literally only one thing left for us and that’s “THE BED!” because we’re too burned out to do anything else. I get it, life gets busy and when it does, it seems to never stop. However, if you don’t take control of LIFE…? I’m sure you can finish that sentence, right?…

The tips below are not new or rocket science, but they are tips that I use to take command over life, even if it’s just for 5 min. Maybe they’ll be able to help you too OR get you back on track to taking care of the person that matters the most and that’s YOU! (And No, that’s not selfish to say)

Self-Care involves:

The Mind


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You’ve heard the saying “A MIND is a terrible thing to waste” and it’s true, especially when it comes to self-care. It’s amazing how we exhaust our mental capacity on things that ruin our day or mood. It doesn’t help the case either when we consistently think about it or go to sleep with it on our minds. The older I’ve gotten I realized that I have to protect my energy and my mind when it comes to negative thoughts, negative images, negative news and NEGATIVE PEOPLE! (see how I bolded that last statement). We have to choose our battles wisely…even the more when it comes to our mental health.

MIND Suggestions:

  • Turn off the news (it’s always negative) and I’ve determined that watching too much of it, ruins my mood and effect my sleep pattern.
  • Have you heard of Luminosity? I love this game, it’s a fit game for you mind. It has a lot of little puzzles that challenge your cognitive thinking, it’s a mindless activity that gets my mind off of other things.
  • A cross word puzzle, puzzle or other word games are good to play to keep your mind sharp.
  • Last but certainly not least, meditation music or just taking 5 min, even if it’s after work in your car. Tends to work wonders for your mental sanity.

The Body


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Our body is the first thing that feels the effects of any stress that we may endure or have going on. It’s a shame that we neglect it often and push it past it’s limits just to do the things “we” deem as necessary. My mom used to always say “You don’t ever want your body to become your enemy” and boy was she right. It can turn on you at any second, in which is why it’s a good thing to take care of it, after-all; we only get one of them.

BODY Suggestions:

  • Plan a walk. I tend to be more motivated when I have people that are willing to do this with me, but taking a walk is always a good destresser.
  • A little sun doesn’t hurt – as an African American woman I’ve been told by doctors that we don’t get enough sun, in which is why we have to take high dosages of Vitamin D. But a little sun in your face or down your back is good, if you can stand it =)
  • Massages are LIFE! – I always tell people, if I get a little extra or if God sees fit for me to get a little money….I would personally hire a masseuse! Massages are great for your body and relieves stress, it’s also good for the mind too.
  • Oh and eating healthy is always a good choice for your body!

The Soul


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Your soul is very, very important. It’s good to be able to connect with a higher power. Whether you believe in God or not – spiritual renewal, prayer, meditation, reading scriptures or listening to a good inspirational or motivational sermon, teaching or talk always brings balance to your inner core, which most times is the beginning of everything. If we can get our soul in order, it tends to make everything else come to order as well. I like to spend time with God, reading scripture or just listening to meditation music or gospel songs, this tends to mend me back together on the inside and reflects positively on the outside.

SOUL Suggestions:

  • Donate to your favorite charity, it’s nothing like being able to give back instead of always take.
  • Watch the clouds – Yes, you read that right. It’s something about looking up at the clouds that’s so spiritual and good to me. I have a favorite spot at my job that I go and do this on my lunch break or just getting up from my seat to go take a break. It’s the first place I go, it helps to do this because we’re high up. I just stand there and look and most times I’m talking to God. It’s a small thing, but I find such peace and tranquility just looking out that window and looking up.
  • Ever eat or drink alone? – Going places alone to some people may seem a bit daunting, but it’s actually good. It’s just you and you alone with your thoughts and plans. This gives you time to think about what your goals are, what goals you’ve met and what you need to achieve. And you can’t always do that when people are constantly talking or needing your “undivided” attention.

So, there you have it! As stated these are simple suggestions that you can do or start practicing today. Life, as crazy as it is will have us rushing, ripping and running to get somewhere and it will keep this cycle up as long as we allow it. Learn to discipline yourself long enough to take a breather. Don’t rush home from work every day, maybe sit in the car turn on some music and eat that leftover sandwich from lunch (literally just did this the other day). Just let your mind, body and soul relax.

Now, say it with me “Who’s your most favorite person in the world?” Don’t be shy, I know you want to say it and just in case you forgot? IT’S YOU BOO!! So, go and really “TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF!” because 30 min or an hour A Day? Keeps the Insanity at Bay!

Do you have any Self-Care tips that you do to stay balanced? Share them Below.

Spring Break Staycation Ideas for the Family & Kiddo’s

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Spring has sprung and it seems like the weather is sort of cooperating – sort of. And while the weather is figuring out what it really wants to do, there is one thing that is happening right now, regardless of whether mother nature decides to cooperate or not and that’s SPRING BREAK!!!!! That means yes, if you have children small or tall, young or older – it’s Easter week in which means, kids will be getting out of school and hanging around the house for a week….OH BOY!!

That means my fridge will be confiscated the entire week and while it has food in it right now by the end of spring break it’s going to look like someone held it up in a robbery (no pun intended), the fridge is not the only thing that will be robbed, your sanity will too by the end of the week…hehehe…it’s so true!

It’s hard to try and find something for the kids to do for a full week, especially if you’re working while they’re at home (that’s if you have teenagers that is) and even at that, it can get pretty costly leaving kids at a camp or etc for a week, most camps are costing nearly $160.00 (Yes, for a week only!!) I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that type of money to give….instead, you can take that money and plan some trips outdoors or inside.


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So, let me give you a couple of tips that will help get the kids out of the house. At least for a little while, for the fridge’s sake!

When was the Last Time You Went for a SWING!

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter (an aspiring photo journalist) wanted to get out of the house and go take pictures. While I didn’t want to do it, because I was comfortable in my bed. I got up and went to take her and my son out and boy was I glad I did. We went to a trail and walked around, ran a little and talked. After that we went to a local park where they had a playground and I have to say, I had SOOO much fun. We swung, went down the slide, they even had a merry-go-round and a hang glider! in which I fell off of…lol. Pictures I wish my daughter hadn’t taken, but we had fun and guess what – it didn’t cost a thing!! The only out of pocket money I spent was getting them something off the dollar menu at the Burger King. So, this spring break? Get out and go for a swing, my kids are teens and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves, I’m actually thinking about doing it again.

Picnic in the Park

Now for the working parents, such as myself. I know this may be a bit hard to do because all bosses are not created equal. However, if you have a boss that let’s you off work early, use that time to have a picnic at the park with the kids. They’ll be excited and surprised that you took off to spend a day with them, if the weather is not so great. Then you can always go to a nice restaurant and maybe catch a matinee’ – see how that week camp money can be used??


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Puppet Shows are NOT just for small kids

When I was about 8 yrs old, my mom made me a puppet out of a paper sack. She brought him alive by her imagination and quirky voice sounds and I loved it. I forgot what I named it, but I remember it. That’s what Spring Break is all about, memories! My mom didn’t have a lot of money and she had 3 small girls that she took care of, I remember when we couldn’t go outside, she would always come up with things for us to do inside the house. We played water guns, hide and seek and she even made an obstacle course one time for us to do. I just remember it being so fun until I didn’t realize the weather outside was bad, I just remember how the weather on the inside felt – SUNNY!

So get those creative juices going!! You can do it!

What’s Downtown?

Every city and county has a downtown. To me, downtown is where the REAL history is. I love visiting art galleries and old unique shops. There’s usually plenty of things downtown that either yourself or the kids can do! My favorite place in downtown New Bern, NC is the Cow Cafe and the Bear City Fudge Company. You can get some good ice cream and some good chocolate as well as old fashioned candy. I also love the Bakers Kitchen, it’s an Amish restaurant that serves up the best food I’ve ever tasted, hands down!! There’s a waterfront and museums. You see?, there’s a lot going on downtown that I’m sure you, the kids or the family can enjoy! Have you checked out your downtown lately?

Board Games, Scavenger Hunts & Food

Yes, I’m a foodie so I had to put food in the title – those close to me already know..lol. Who doesn’t love a good board game such as Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Jenga, Uno! If you’re a parent who doesn’t or can’t get off work, the day is still young and these are things you can do while the kids are out as a family. You can also scavenger hunt, pick out about 10 unique things, write them down and hang them up for everyone to see and let the games begin. You can offer a prize for the one that got the most things – you can also use this time to cook up something good together or just order a pizza. Whatever you do, it’ll be memorable and fun.

Well, that’s it! I hope you have a wonderful spring break and a very happy Easter! Have fun, make memories and let’s remember the real reason for celebrating this week and that’s Jesus Christ!

Next week, I’ll have tips for the parents on how to stay sane during Spring Break. Hey, we need some alone time and a break too! =)


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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.