The time is NOW! Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. You’re only stealing from yourself when you do. Seriously.

Yes, I’m talking about the new book Believe Bigger: Discover Your Path to Your Life Purpose

Invest in this book, this guide, this map to explore sides and crevices of YOU that you have overlooked, neglected, abused, misused, underutilized—yet you want to RECLAIM, RESTORE, RENEW, REINVENT, RECHARGE, REACTIVATE and REALIGN.

Get your copy of #BelieveBigger by my dear friend Marshawn Evans Daniels if you want to do more, see more, experience more, give more, receive more, and be more.

Abundance of anything positive can ONLY come from faith, discipline, and action.

You have to DO. You have to MOVE. You have to GET UP and GET OUT OF YOUR WAY, THE WAY, GOD’S WAY.

It starts by thinking abundantly, feeling it, visualizing it, speaking it, and believing it LONG BEFORE you see the first buds sprout, long before the first harvest becomes ready.

To #BelieveBigger you have to have FAITH in what you hope for, in that which has yet to arrive—but you have already staked your claim as YOURS!

Health, financial wealth, intelligence, a fulfilling and rewarding career, work-life balance, to travel more, marriage, or to start a family of your own—whatever it is—YOU MUST CLAIM IT AS SO—CLAIM IT AS YOURS, and then do your part to make the puzzle pieces come together.

God has already shown you what is possible. He’s already said it can be yours. But do YOU believe in His vision for you? Or will you settle on the small—lower your expectations below what He wants to gift you? Will you let fear tell you it’s not possible or will you let faith tell you “Oh yes it is!

Every successful entrepreneur knows that their forward-thinking vision must be stated, shared, and reinforced constantly and consistently in order for that vision to be fully comprehended and embraced; and the more that the vision is shared and embraced the more energy and passion is poured into making sure that vision becomes a reality. That’s the difference from merely being a dreamer and a doer. It’s seeing where you want to go and putting together the resources, and doing the job to achieve what you desire.

In organizations we focus on two primary drivers (besides our triple bottom line) which are Mission and Vision. A mission is your purpose—why you’re in business, why you do what you do. Your vision states where you want to go, what you want to be, what type of impact that you want to have as an organization.

Those same principles need to be taught and embedded in the mindset of individuals, not just business leaders. It’s not necessarily tied to your profession or you finding the cure for cancer (side note: but if you do please make sure that you keep those costs affordable for all).

Vision-tied-to-Purpose-aka-Mission….

What is your purpose in life? What is your purpose in your neighborhood or community? What is your purpose in your house of worship? What is your purpose as a member of your family? Why do you get up out of bed every day? Why do you keep living? Why do you want to keep living? Purpose is so bold and deep, so scary, so what if you swap the word and said “mission”, does it help? Probably not. Because purpose, mission, and vision, no matter what you want to call them they are all bold and dynamic, and anything worth achieving is a scary proposition. But if it doesn’t scare you a little or a lot then it’s not big enough, it’s not bold enough. You need to BELIEVE BIGGER!

A lot of people are suffering in their career and in their home life because they lack vision, and their hope is dwindling and dying a slow and painful death. They are focused on their present, their lack of, rather than on where they could be in the near or distant future. When you’re blinded by what you don’t have you don’t see the opportunities opening up around you and ahead of you. You walk right by them or you stop short of achieving them. You need to grab a defibrillator, also known as an AED, and you need to resuscitate your hope and vision.

Stop relying upon New Year’s Resolutions and start with (and be fueled by) vision and action plans. Resolutions are what we aspire to resolve to one day do, but we have become so casual and relaxed with them that we rarely achieve a quarter of the things on the list, and most of the things we aspired to achieve we fell short by January 15th of the year and never tried again.

An action plan fueled by a vision is our road map to GET IT DONE!

Some of you have fulfilled one mission in life and now you’re wondering, “what next?” well maybe, just maybe, Marshawn’s book can help you answer that question.

If you’re ready for that next level, of whatever it is and wherever it may be, then you need to get your copy of Believe Bigger at BelieveBigger.com or at any retailer that sells books, so that you can get moving and start claiming what’s waiting out there for you!

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant/Natasha L. Foreman.
All images within this post have a copyright protection enforced by Marshawn Evans Daniels.

Some people wonder why I’ve always wanted to be a teacher and even more perplexing (and in recent years), a college professor. Below are some of the comments from students in my most recent Business Management course that just wrapped for the semester yesterday. We spent 17 weeks together, learning and sharing, and as they have learned from me I have learned a great deal from them.

It touches my heart to know that I made and make a difference, that the information that I’m sharing is not falling on “closed” ears and minds, and that they are not only implementing (in their professional and personal lives) what I’m teaching but they are empowered to challenge themselves in those areas of their life.

If I can help encourage them to be better students, employees, employers, managers, leaders, family members, life partners, and members of their community–then I’ve done my job. There are thousands of established organizations and thousands of future startups that will build and nurture a culture that will either thrive or die. My goal is pour into my students enough information and learned lessons that they can take with them to help positively change the culture and environment of organizations and communities all over. You never know who the next “big time” entrepreneur may be. It could be one of my students. So I’m going to give them all that I have and more!

I love to see those “light bulbs” come on when they grasp a concept that I’m sharing, or finally see “why Professor Bryant made us do this assignment“. I love to see my students step up, accept my challenges, and succeed. I love to hear my students share how they tested one of my concepts to see if I knew what I was talking about, just to discover I was right. That shows me that they are listening and not just regurgitating information to pass tests and get out of my class. I’m reaching them and what they are hearing and learning is “clicking”. Oh how that brings me so much joy. These are the the reasons why I’m a college professor and why I love what I do.

I won’t lie, after reading some of these comments below I shed a few tears:

Dear Prof Bryant,

Thank you so much for really challenging me and being there every step of the way. There were times when I felt like giving up, but thanks to you and the self discipline that I’m still practicing, I survived from flunking and I will still read my book and reference it as long as I’m in the workforce and when I get enough courage to become the entrepreneur that I dream to be. Thank you! God bless!!! 


Hello Class & Ms.Bryant 

This semester has been very interesting. This has been my first online class that required a weekly assignment and a discussion. I really enjoyed that there was weekly assignments and we were able to communicate with each other. Being able to see how others react and think about situations help me understand that theres always different ways to solve problems. I really learned some great knowledge of management and will always apply them to my everyday living. I’m going to continue  to read my book so I will have all skills mastered.


The time I have spent in Prof.Bryant’s class has been fresh and a new breathe of air. I have been a student online and have never met any of you, but still felt a big connection to this wonderful class. I enjoy reading everyone’s discussion posts….I also intend to use my management information from this class to better understand people of all levels,whether an owner of their store. The management sides are enormous and able to advance to top level with hard work. I have really enjoyed this class. Thank you


I really enjoyed being in this class.  I learned a lot from the other students.  I wouldn’t mind having some of them as my supervisor or manager.  I learned a lot about them, such as what goes on at their job, how their family lives and their lives are.  I can learn from the feedback that they gave me during our discussions and apply it to my everyday life or with events happening in my family.  They were an excellent group to participate with and I enjoyed my instructor.  She said she was going to shake us a little and she did.  She kept me on my toes and there was a little pressure which made me concentrate and get the work done like it was supposed to be.  Thank you Prof Bryant and thank you class.


These 17 weeks went by very fast and I’ve enjoyed learning and growing with this class. I’ve learned so much from motivating employees, building an effective team, planning, control, ethical responsibilities, how to handle stress, along with many other things. This class also taught me management isn’t as easy as I wanted it would be but I’m more knowledgeable and gained confident. I plan to further my education and continue to learn everything there is about management.


   This semester has been great and very informative. The information I learned during this course will definitely benefit me while pursuing my dream as the future owner of my own radiology clinic. Ms. Bryant you have showed me different fundamentals of management and made me realize that its not as easy as it looks. Now I feel somewhat prepared to be a manager and I will always go to my references to refresh my memory….Thanks so much for being a great professor Ms. Bryant!!!


I am glad that I took this class with the instructor that we have had because at first I thought the class was going to be hard, not to say that it was easy writing all those assignments on Zestiful, Inc., but I must say it was a lot better experience than I thought it would be when I was sitting at my computer 17 weeks ago.  Truthfully, I thought the class was going to be a lot harder. We did work our butts off though. I am also glad that we used the whole book, even though reading it was a chore. Being that I work in a college bookstore, the main complaint that I hear from students is that the instructor never used the book at all, so I am glad we used the whole thing.      


I have learned a lot from the Principles of Management class. Professor Bryant I enjoyed being your student this semester!! Thank you for being a great professor!! I enjoyed interacting with my classmates weekly through the discussion board. I pray that everyone pass this class. I gained a lot of knowledge from this class and I will apply the management skills to my career and  everyday life.


…I have learned a great deal about planning and setting realistic goals and also about the different levels of management and what decisions and issues each level should handle. I have also learned about some of the different unethical situations that happen in the workplace and some of the ways to solve them. Learning the principles and fundamentals of management in this class has prepared me for my future in Property Management and will also help me to continue that success even in my personal life.


 

One of my students [hi Michelle!] shared this TED Talks by Jason Fried, co-founder and president of 37signals.

Fried’s theory is that the office isn’t actually a good place to work, and that M&Ms are the real problems in the modern office today. “What?” you ask. Watch the video and hear what this brilliant software entrepreneur had to say, and see why I love how his brain works: https://www.ted.com/talks/jason_fried_why_work_doesn_t_happen_at_work

By Natasha Foreman Bryant, MBA

As I get older and more mature I am realizing that although I should give myself more “breaks” and be less obsessed about fitting everything in every single day, I also need to have more structure in my professional life if I want any semblance of “balance” in all areas of my life. I’m a night owl who knows that I need to go to bed earlier so that I can gain more daylight working hours to be with the rest of the world, but I thrive after 6pm, so I struggle with going to bed before 2am and then popping up with energy several hours later like most people. Hey, I’m still a work in progress being molded into a better person, woman, wife, mommy (to my dog), professional, entrepreneur, and business owner. Cut me some slack. [Smile]

I have unwritten (until now) “scheduling rules” or what I like to call my “game plan” that I try to follow each week to help with my productivity and efficacy. It’s not rigid, because life happens, but I try my best to stick with it. If I need to call an audible, I will. What’s amazing is that it becomes very clear, very fast, when I steer off this path. Check it out…

Monday
Mondays are my “jump right in” and pick up from the weekend day. With the backlog of emails, phone calls, and incomplete tasks from the week before, I’m really not jumping at the chance to sit in meetings on Monday, unless they are time-sensitive and extremely urgent. I’m more of the thinking: let’s assess where we are, get things completed or caught up, and then we’re ready for the week ahead. Grind. Grind. Grind. I will share more of my thinking here in another post.

On Monday, I may also take the time to run urgent errands that I didn’t get the opportunity to run over the weekend. This is an occasional thing, or if we’re expecting unpredictable weather (like the madness when Atlanta was shut down last week due to nasty ice on the streets and highways). I’m grateful that I ran errands on Monday, because Tuesday and Wednesday I wasn’t leaving my house. Make sense?

Tuesday
Tuesdays I schedule in meetings and errands around my day. I can breathe a little (just a little) easier on Tuesdays because I have a better outlook for the week, and have a greater opportunity to make adjustments if something pops up out of no where. Which as you know, happens.

Wednesday and Thursday
I’m pacing things by Wednesday and Thursday, and making sure that I’m not losing momentum or my mind! My schedule is free for meetings. If I freak out on Thursday then that let’s me know that I “dropped the ball” somewhere between Monday and Wednesday, and I better recover quickly so that I’m not building a much larger tower of tasks for Friday and the weekend.

Friday
Friday I’m (hopefully) rolling in steady and trying to see what I can get accomplished before 7pm. I try my best to be done by 7pm so that the rest of my evening is devoted to my family. Whatever I don’t get finished or at least caught up with, I push over to the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday
These are my touch up and recover days. The days I double back on tasks, flag and/or respond to emails that I missed, and I prepare myself for Monday and the upcoming week. These are also the days where I may put in more hours working on projects because the rest of the world is relaxing for the most part, the phones aren’t ringing off the hook, I most likely haven’t agreed to a meeting, and I have less distractions.

Exceptions to the “Rule”
Now there are times when this weekly breakdown gets all screwy and my productivity and effectiveness are in the dumps. Thank goodness for my supportive husband who also serves as my sounding board, and personal chief of accountability—-he lovingly helps me refocus and get back on track—most of the time he doesn’t even know that he helped me through a slump. Sssh don’t tell him!

There’s an additional exception to the “rule” that I will share in another post.

At the end of the day my reality is this: I’m a wife to one of the most hard-working and passionate men in the world, mother (to our adorable dog), community leader, professional, entrepreneur, business owner, Stella & Dot Lead Stylist (I just had to throw that in), and a PhD student (who can’t wait to be done with this maddening process). I’m trying to find a way to make sense of things, fit all that I can in each day, without flipping out and acting like a crazed cartoon character.

Yes, go ahead and take a moment to visualize that please!

So my game plan may change when an audible is called, but I work hard to quickly get back in the swing of things. As I focus on growing my Foreman & Associates team I also have to think about their strengths, and whether or not they can fit into and work with my “game plan”.

Your Schedule/Game Plan
How does your weekly schedule (game plan) resemble or differ from mine? How do you know when you have fallen down the rabbit hole of “uh oh I messed up”? Is your weekly framework more rigid or flexible than mine? What type of structure works best for you to leverage your strengths?

When do you schedule most of your meetings with clients? Employees? Prospective clients? Is there a pattern? If you have employees, does their “game plan” resemble yours or in what ways is it vastly different?

Share your comments and feedback. Hopefully we can all learn something from each other, and about ourselves, through this interaction.

~Natasha

Natasha Foreman Bryant is the CEO and Managing Consultant for Foreman & Associates, LLC, a business management consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. To learn more about her company, and the services that they provide, please visit: http://foremanandassociates.co To learn more about Stella & Dot and their product offerings, visit Natasha’s website: http://stelladot.com/nfb

Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.

“Look I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, let’s just do a little spit and polish, and spruce it up a bit…let’s combine my thoughts with what you worked on and make this a masterpiece…” Natasha L. Foreman (while working on details for a 2012 project).
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

by Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Employers are quick to provide assessments to new hires, and sometimes invest in the administration of these learning tools periodically for certain key employees; but how many business owners and entrepreneurs are also investing in self-assessments for themselves, and then concentrating efforts on assessing every employee regardless of position or title? I would say very few.

It is extremely important to pull out the metaphoric mirror and look closely at yourself, your skills, interests, abilities, and strengths. It is important to know your and your employees insights surrounding personality, values and attitudes, motivation, decision making, productivity, emotional intelligence, communication skills, leadership and team skills, power and conflict skills, and how well you (and they) do in and with certain organizational structures, change, stress, and work-life balance.

Taking assessments frequently, learning from the results, and applying what you have learned both in your career and personal life, help you to become and remain a balanced individual. Your focus should not just be on changing others and the world, you must first look at your personal change through growth- for positive results only come through change.

At Foreman & Associates, LLC we help entrepreneurs and their team work through and learn from the assessments we administer. Organizational behavior concerns arise when you don’t truly know those individuals who make up your company, and when they don’t truly understand you and their value in your organization. Crafting and executing strategy within an organization is pointless if you do not have the complementary variables and assets (employees and leaders) to help your organization get where you desire most.

If you don’t know how to properly engage, motivate, inspire, work with, communicate, and lead your employees effectively, guess what? They will model what they see and hear. If you (or a manager) are like a canon ball exploding in a crystal shop, but you need someone who has the finesse of a feather, how else will you initially filter through your team to find this person without using an assessment tool?

As a prospective or new business owner you have to ask yourself what type of decision maker, leader, delegator, manager, discipliner, and team builder you are. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses, and then build your strengths as you delegate in areas of weakness. An assessment can help with this. It will also help an existing entrepreneur who may be struggling with team alignment and organizational behavior concerns.

Think about the boss or manager that you had (before you became self-employed) who drove you batty, was stressed out, ornery, and ruled through fear and not care. What if he or she had been given an assessment to see which type of environment and position that fit best with their personality? What if an assessment was used to weigh their ability to lead with the type of respect and care that the organization expected? By highlighting that this person is a brute, narcissist, unethical, or has poor communication skills the manager has the option to change through growth and application of skills taught through a training program, or they can leave and go to a company willing to put up with their bulldozer mentality.

When building teams you need to see each member’s strengths and weaknesses and line them up accordingly. There has to be a well-blended and balanced mix that is mutually rewarding for all parties and stakeholders. An unmotivated person will only give partial effort…how does this affect your relationship with customers, vendors, and investors?

When considering the cost of investing in assessments for yourself, your leadership team, or your entire company, consider how much you will lose because you did not take the time to invest in those that make up your company. Consider how much you will lose because you didn’t take time to invest in making sure that all of the components and parts needed to make your dream a reality were present and aligned with your mission.

How much time and money do you have to lose? What are you willing to invest in your and your organization’s future? Contact Foreman & Associates, LLC today! http://foremanandassociates.info

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. Foreman & Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

I just read a very interesting article by Sabina Nawaz, written for the Harvard Business Review that encourages executives, managers, and other professionals to take two hours per week out of our insanely busy schedules to create our own personal ‘white noise space’, separate from the ‘noise’ of mobile devices, iPads, iPods, tablets, video games, laptops, computers, telephones, television, radio, and the like. Instead, Nawaz suggests that for two hours each and every week we should be taking a relaxing walk, drive or bike ride; or sitting in a comfortable location and doing absolutely nothing but thinking and reflecting; allowing our minds to totally dump all thoughts and ideas where we can quickly write them down in a journal or notepad (plain ole’ pen/pencil and paper, no electronic devices).

This is similar to a method that I have used over the years and have suggested to my clients and mentees; but I use ‘alone time’ to ‘idea-dump’ or ‘stress-dump’ on paper everything that is in my head; but it has never been a requirement to do so in the absolute silence of non-silence, and without any distractions from electronic devices, etc. Nawaz’s method expands upon my thinking, eliminates all possible distractions (except whatever could pop up while driving in our car or riding a bike) and measures the results from doing so on a regular and consistent basis. She has shown the positive outcomes of creating and building our our white noise space.

Nawaz suggests that in our constantly moving and changing lives we can be so overly consumed with deadlines, projects, and closing deals that we may miss or overlook a great idea or concept that can be used strategically in our business, simply because we don’t take a few moments consistently each week to take in the non-silence of silence, and allow our minds to do what they were created to do…process, strategize, and create. She also suggests that by building this white noise space to think, we can also find ways to creatively free ourselves for our personal lives so that we can spend this time with family and friends, whom we oftentimes neglect because of work commitments.

She makes note of when in 2004, the BBC Symphony Orchestra gave a performance of the modern classic 4′ 33″ by John Cage, a composition that was made famous for “its counterintuitive focus on the sounds of music not being played.” John Cage, “…believed that true silence did not exist; he wanted people to pay attention to what was all around them, to recalibrate their perceptions of sound and silence. He wanted them to hear in a new way,” Nawaz wrote.

I agree with Nawaz that in business we rarely take time out to let our minds wander and breathe. We think that the only time we can ‘allow’ ourselves this moment of freedom is when we sleep, and if you’re only sleeping 3-5 hours per day yet up ripping and running 19-21 hours, that’s a great portion of your day being spent in high stress, high intensity environments where you don’t make the time to “wander around the edges of seemingly intractable problems.” Nawaz suggests that, “Building white space in your week lets you hear and think in a new way.”

I believe that it is something worth trying, especially since it has been proven effective with other managers, executives, and business leaders Nawaz highlighted in her article. So I’m going to give it a try for several weeks and see what changes I notice in my stress levels, clarity, business, and in my personal life. It takes my idea and stress ‘dumping’ to a higher level of thinking. So I’m inspired.

I recommend that you read Nawaz’s article in its entirety then share your thoughts: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/07/this_space_intentionally_left.html

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman and Foreman & Associates, LLC. Some Rights Reserved.