Month: April 2014

MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight: Toushonta Hogan

I woke up so happy and excited this morning because it’s time for another round of the MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight! Every Monday, I will feature a new rising entrepreneur to watch.

Today’s spotlight is on Toushonta Hogan, founder of Scentsational Soaps, a company that specializes in handmade, all natural bath and body products (they’re body butters will have your skin feeling like SILK…my fave is the Passion scent!)

I first met Toushonta through a Facebook group that we were mutually a part of.  Originally, I was really impressed by her business savvy…this woman seemed to be rocking it with her biz! As I have gotten to know her more, I am equally impressed by the fact that she is such a caring and sweet person (she has reached out to me on several occasions just to offer kind words, support, and prayers), and that she is able to run a thriving business all while being a busy wife and mother.  Not exactly an easy task, but she makes it look so effortless!

Over the last year or so, I have watched her business continue to grow and evolve, and knew that she would be the perfect person to interview to share her story.

Check it out…

Toushonta Hogan - Founder of Scentsational Soaps

Name: Toushonta Hogan

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Business Name: Scentsational Soaps

Years in Business: 6 years 9 months

 

Are you a full or part time business owner?

I’m a full time business owner

Why did you start your business?

In 2007, I graduated from Cal State University Dominguez Hills with my Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Human Resources and immediately begin looking for a job. Unfortunately, during that time the economy was dwindling down, making it much harder to land a career of my dreams. A month later, I decided to take my children to the Strawberry Fest in Oxnard, CA. While there, I was mesmerized by the different vendors who displayed their beautiful soaps at the fest. I went home a couple of days later and began making melt and pour soap with my kids for fun and to release the inner creative side within me. Not knowing that this would be the start of a new career, I later decided to make it a business and began doing the necessary things to put that in place.

Scentsational Soaps Logo

What has been the most rewarding aspect of having your own business?

The most rewarding aspect of having my own business has been the unlimited supply of opportunities, meeting people from all walks of life, waking up to a new day and each day is different from the day before, embracing the learning curve that comes with growing a business and lastly, and my all time favorite, is my favorite word: FREEDOM! Freedom to be able to do the things that I want to do, when I want to do them.

What are your biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge has been juggling the many roles that comes with a business. Marketing, Branding, Shipping, Labeling, Packaging, Customer Service, etc. Overseeing these things and making sure that everything is in sync. There are some days that are chaotic, however, it allows me to learn from various issues that arise.

 

Scentsational Soaps
Honey Soap
Scentsational Soaps
Sea Spring Soap

What is the best business advise you have ever received?

The best business advice that I have ever received has been the importance of building & nurturing relationships. Relationship building is crucial in, not only business, but in life. They can take you very far if you continuously foster them.

Do you have a team or are you a one woman/ man show?

Yes, I do have a team. My team consists of my graphic designer, marketer, and accountant. They have been with me since the birth of Scentsational Soaps. I call them “Family.” They also help with product making, labeling, and shipping. However, we are looking to expand with more help in the near future.

Scentsational Soaps
Sugar Scrubs

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

In the next 5 years, I see our product in more stores while creating more jobs in the economy as we expand.

What advice would you give to other Moguls in the Making?

My advice would be “Don’t Ever Give Up.” Although, it may sound like a cliché, it really isn’t.  There will be days that you may want to give up, or throw in the towel. You will cry, you will laugh, you will scream, yes, you will have all of these emotions, but none can put a price on the product or service that you are offering to people to make a difference in their lives. Stick with it and move forward!

 

I hope this interview with Toushonta serves as inspiration that you can grow your hobby into a successful and thriving business!

For more information on Toushonta Hogan and Scentsational Soaps, find them online at:

Web: www.scentsationalsoaps.com 
FB: http://www.facebook.com/scentsationalsoap
IG: @scentsationalsoap
Twitter: @Scentsational

If you would like to be featured in the MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight, please email your request to nikolaahaiwe@gmail.com

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe
Business & Success Coach/Motivational Speaker/Blogger

Nikola Ahaiwe - Business Coach, Motivational Speaker, Blogger

P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

 

Weekend Inspiration: Office Design

Hey there!

I am a firm believer that your surroundings play a HUGE part in your mood.  Lately, I’ve been feeling so BLAH whenever I sit down to work at my desk, which is situated in a tiny little nook in my bedroom.

As we head into the weekend, I am feeling motivated to do a major haul to my workspace.  I am making sure to include a trip to IKEA before the weekend is over, so I compiled a few pictures from around the web of some inspiring workspaces I love:

 

Office Inpsiration

Photo Credit

Office Inspiration

Source

Office InspirationSource

Office InspirationSource

Office InspirationSource

Office InspirationSource

Office InspirationSource

Do you have a designated work space or home office? Does it inspire you to do your best work? Hop on over to my Facebook page and share a picture!

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe
Business & Success Coach/Motivational Speaker/Blogger

Nikola Ahaiwe - Business Coach, Motivational Speaker, Blogger

P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

 

 

MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight: Gabrielle Norton

Today, I’m kicking off a new series on the blog: Mogul in the Making Entrepreneur Spotlight.  Every Monday, I will feature a new rising entrepreneur to watch!

My first interview is with a gal after my own heart, Gabrielle Norton of Cause We Can Events.  In case some of you didn’t know, prior to starting Mogul in the Making, I was a wedding/event planner, so I was beyond excited to interview Gabrielle because we share a similar passion for planning and executing wonderful events!

Check out her story…

Gabrielle Norton - Cause We Can Events

Name: Gabrielle Norton
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
Business Name: ‘Cause We Can Events
Years in Business: 2

Are you a full or part time business owner?

Full time

Why did you start your business?

After working for event planners as an intern I realized that we used so many resources (money, energy, cars, supplies..) to put on an event and after working 16 hours straight we would go home and just get ready for the next event. There was no reward other than what we got paid that day. I wanted to make events more earth-friendly and try to bring in the community by giving back so I decided to start my own eco-
chic event business!

Cause We Can Events Logo

What has been the most rewarding aspect of having your own business?

The flexibility of my schedule. I get to actually enjoy my little beach apartment, take a stroll to the farmers market and have coffee dates with clients midday!

What are your biggest challenges?

Meeting the right client. There are a lot of event planners out there but I have a very niche market. I’m not the right event planner for everyone and they are not all the right clients for me. It’s just a matter of pairing the right client with the right event planner and in order to do that I attend a lot of networking events and love getting new clients through word-of-mouth.

Gabrielle Norton - Cause We Can Events

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

Do something for your business every day. I can’t even remember where I heard that but even if you have no business background all you need is an idea and the drive. Do something, anything, to improve or grow your business everyday and resources will come your way. People are always willing the help out because they were in your shoes before and they know how valuable a mentor can be.

Do you have a team or are you a one man/woman show?

I’m a one woman show! I do hire assistants if the event is big and I need more design or set up help, but I tend to wear many hats and it’s working for me right now.

Gabrielle Norton - Cause We Can Events untitled (4)

Where do you see your biz in the next 5 years?

I see myself as THE Eco-Chic Event Planner in Los Angeles and slowly expanding. I’d love to have a small team by then to bring in fresh ideas.

What advice would you give to other Moguls in the Making?

There will never be a PERFECT time to quit your job and start a business so just do it! You’ll make mistakes but in the end you will be so grateful that you’re spending your years doing something you love instead of counting down the hours at your corporate job. But don’t get me wrong, it can be a tough and lonely road being an entrepreneur, but never forget why you’re doing it.

I hope you enjoyed this interview and the golden nuggets Gabrielle shared about entrepreneurship and pursuing your passion.

For more information on Gabrielle Norton and Cause We Can Events, find them online at:

Web: http://www.causewecanevents.com
FB: http://www.facebook.com/causewecanevents
IG: @gabriellenorton
Twitter: @causewecanevent

If you would like to be featured in the MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight, please email your request to nikolaahaiwe@gmail.com

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe
Business & Success Coach/Motivational Speaker/Blogger

Nikola Ahaiwe - Business Coach, Motivational Speaker, Blogger

P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Think Like An Employee, Act Like a Boss: 5 Tips to Working Productively

Tips on Woking Productively

Source

Making the transition from employee to full-time business owner can be a tough adjustment for some.  After years of living the cubicle life, and sticking to a strict, structured schedule, it is natural to want to break free from the life that you used to know and settle into a life of freedom!

But when you make the switch to being your own boss, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all structure and discipline should go out the window. In fact, that mentality is the quickest way to set you and your business up for failure.

A smart mogul in the making knows that there has to be some sort of structure to keep things flowing smoothly and make your working time productive.

When I decided I was ready to be my own boss and became a full-time entrepreneur, I thought that meant working in my PJs from the comfort and warmth of my bed, “multi-tasking” by watching television or chatting with friends and family members (you know, to make the day go by faster), and doing whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it.

There was only one problem: I found myself not getting much work done.  I realized that I was treating my business more like a hobby rather than the budding empire that I was trying to build.

It wasn’t until I made a conscious decision to make these changes that I saw a drastic difference in my business:

Think Like a Mogul

Coming from a corporate background, I realized that what made the company I worked for run so smoothly was the structure.  There were set working hours, checklists of what needed to be accomplished each day, and deadlines.  When I first made the switch, I was lacking all of these things.  Then, I had an AHA-moment: what if you ran your business as if it was already a major empire. These days, I follow a schedule pretty closely to make sure I am actually getting work done and moving my business forward. Now, I know you probably decided to go into business for yourself to free up more of your time, but the reality of it is you STILL have to work, sometimes harder than if you were an employee (more on that in a future post). Set a schedule that you will be able to keep up with, make daily to-do lists, give yourself deadlines to finish projects, and work as if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Entrepreneurship does not mean you get to slack. Always keep in mind that you are trying to build an empire.

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions, such as watching television and taking phone calls, are the biggest productivity killers.  It’s very hard to focus when you’re trying to catch up on the latest episode of Scandal (or whatever shows you can’t live without) or when your phone is ringing off the hook from friends that want to chat you up at any given time.  I’m all for multi-tasking, but this will get you absolutely nowhere, fast.  Turn off the television,  make sure your friends and family members know and respect your work schedule, and stick to it.

Schedule Breaks

I confess, I am a Facebook junkie! I am one of those people who must check the goings-on every few minutes. Yep, I know it’s bad (hanging my head down in shame). My solution: I’ve decided to schedule breaks into my daily schedule.  Just like if you were a 9-5 employee, you would typically get two 10-15min breaks, and an hour lunch.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking you have to work straight through the day in order to be productive.  Breaks are actually necessities.  Make time to stretch, grab a bite to eat, and even pencil in social media or other activities you feel that you can’t go without.  Depriving yourself only makes you want it more, so allow yourself to take a breather.

Get Dressed Up

Sitting around the house in PJs all day is a sure-fire way to stay in lazy mode.  When you get up in the morning, get dressed, comb your hair, put on your makeup, etc. Do whatever it is you would do if you were heading into the office to work.  Studies have shown that the way you look is directly related to how you feel. So, if you stay in that just-out-of-bed, hair all over your head, fluffy pajama wearing mode, you’ll likely feel sluggish and unmotivated to get much done.  However,  if you pull yourself together, you’ll feel more ready and willing to tackle your to-do list head on.

Location, Location, Location

Sure, working from the bed is the most comfortable place in the house, but it’s also the most dangerous. Not in the actual “danger” sense, but meaning, it is probably the place that you will get the least amount of work done because to the average brain, bed = sleep, relax, tired, etc.  Your environment can drastically affect your work productivity, so choose a location that is more conducive to getting things done.  If you have  a place in your home that can be turned into your “office” that would be the best choice. If not, consider the kitchen table, or any other quiet area that will allow you to stay alert and get things done.  Also, if you need a change of environment from time to time, drive over to your local coffee shop, café/restaurant, or bookstore.  The bumbling atmosphere will keep you awake, and just being out of the quiet and stillness of your home or office will up your mood, which is very important if you plan on getting anything done.

What other tips do you have for staying productive and getting things done when working for yourself? Please share in the comments below.

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe
Business & Success Coach/Motivational Speaker/Blogger

Nikola Ahaiwe - Business Coach, Motivational Speaker, Blogger

P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

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