I Am My Brand

by Dr. Sheila Pope

What are You Selling?

I remember having a discussion regarding the best way to sell my products on my website. I had so many services to sell but my website did not have a focus. I could not figure out what was main product. I do so many things. During a conversation with Khufere, a great consultant from LEAP72, he said, “Dr. Pope, you are your product.” Suddenly, fireworks and bombs exploded immediately in my mind. The light came on because within an instant I understood my real role in the building of my company. I could move forward with branding because I understood how to sell my thoughts, my work, and my skills.

The Right Fit

Image: Pexels.com    The Right Fit

Who Am I?

It was easy for me to decide how to best promote my skills once I asked myself a great question. The question: Who are you at your core? My answers were as follows:

  1. I am a business woman.
  2. I am an avid reader, writer and a critical thinker.
  3. I love to laugh at myself.
  4. I find humor in almost any situation.
  5. I make no apologies for loving money and the freedom that it brings.
  6. I love convertible cars and the freedom they make me feel.
  7. I have opinions about everything and I do not mind sharing them with the world.
  8. I love technology and I understand its power.
  9. I am a woman who supports and promotes other women.
  10. I love generating ideas and concepts that result in profits for my businesses.
  11. I am a woman that works best in a pair of Cole Haan shoes or a good pair of sneakers.
  12. I enjoy my classic a Movado watch with diamonds.
  13. I rock Coach and Dooney and Bourke handbags.
  14. I was meant to drive a Mercedes.
  15. I make no apologies for being honest, direct, and thinking outside the box.
  16. I will spend my last dime on furthering my education.
  17. I sign important business deals with my Mont Blanc pen.
  18. I prefer T-shirts over suits because I love comfort.

Branding Me

Once I said all these things outloud and owned them, it was easy to see how I wanted to market myself and my company. I knew where I wanted an office. It had to be a location that I could afford, close to home, and it had to scream “You must pay me!” The location had to speak to my consumer base. I needed a location that I could expand and grow my companies. When I saw the conference room and the view from my office, I knew it was the spot.

A Simple T-Shirt

T-shirts

T-Shirts Image: Pexels.com

Next, I needed to find the right product to push my company’s name everywhere I traveled. I decided the best product for me, my supporters, and my customers to wear consistently anywhere was a T-Shirt. For 10 years I wore suits to work. As my own boss, I decide what I want to wear daily. When I am in the office, running errands as a mom, my T-shirt comes in handy. When I am creating my blogs, working in the community to bring awareness to my company, when I am collaborating with partners, recording my podcast, conducting FB Live segments, and writing my books, I wear my brand. When I wear my T-shirt, people often ask me, “What is the Resource Center?” I take the opening and I start to sell services, to promote services, and to share information about my company. Plus, my T-shirts represents who I am at my core.

My friend and Boss Lady, Susan Gonzales, founder of Chic Blessings worked with my logo and designed my first company T-shirt. The shirts sold super fast. Then, I decided I needed to produce more shirts at a lower cost. Eventually, I went to a T-shirt company and had them print bulk orders of my shirts. I love the finished product. The shirts are simple and comfortable. I can easily transport them anywhere. They do not cost a great deal to ship to consumers. I use them as gifts for fundraisers donations and I sell them in my e-commerce stores @TheResourceCenter. I plan to sell more products online soon. However, I must admit they are one of my best ideas. It is so cool to see my entire family rocking my brand (see slide show)!

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Shocked to See: Slavery in 2017

By Sheila Pope, Ph.D

This morning I was shocked to see Matt Lauer had been fired from the “Today Show”. I was shocked to see so many of my African American political Facebook Friends still support State Representative Ron Reynolds after he was found guilty of stealing his client’s money from settlements. Yes, I question how we can uphold any government officials with serious integrity issues and act as if they need to be in photos with candidates that have yet to prove themselves. It taints their credibility before they get elected.

However, I was more shocked to see that in 2017, we have allowed our people to be sold into slavery in Libya! This image says it all! Black Friday has a whole new meaning in the world. The images of Africans men being hung upside down by their feet should make all Africans and African-Americans living in the USA get up and get active. What about Caucasians you ask? What about them? Our President tells you where he stands on race relations on a daily basis.

We have a responsibility to understand, what happens around the world is a threat to us in America. Dr. King said it best, “Moreover, I am cognizant of the INTERRELATEDNESS of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Letter From Birmingham Jail, 1963).

If we allow this to continue to happen in Libya soon, we will find more of our people missing and being shipped overseas into slavery. While some of us travel internationally, we should consider how easy it would be to become “lost” and “found” in shackles. Sounds like hyperbole, but it is real people. The climate is set for more stuff like this to happen in our backyards. Thanks, Steven Solari for the image.24291751_10215594255517246_4536367000504789490_o

Something New! by Dr. Sheila Pope

cropped-cropped-20170423_185636.jpg

I have been super busy evolving and changing my mindset. On January 30, 2017, I made some tough decisions that propelled me to my next level. Many of you know that I have has a small business for 10 years. However, I considered it to be my part-time business. 

In February, I decided to pour into my small business so it can become a major contributor into my multiple streams of income. I am proud to announce 

HUB Certified

The Resource Center has been certified as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) by Texas Comptroller. What does that mean? It means my business is a vendor for the State of Texas.  I am also going to be a vendor of other agencies. Yes, that means I am now an employer for multiple people instead of a few.

Thanks to this awesome group, NAACP’s SMAART Incubator,  lead by Mr. Allen Provost, chair of NAACP Economic Chair Committee, and Khufere 

A SMAART group of business people

Qhamata,  I am surrounded by African American entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas and plans. Khufere Qhamata, called Q, helped me move to the next level of branding myself in the publishing industry. Thanks to Q’s fabulous knowledge of the publishing business, I have my own publishing company under the umbrella of my company, The Resource Center.

Under the umbrella of The Resource Center, I have also earned my first tech client, Peoples United Summit 501c3 (nonprofit).  I am their website designer. I also built their social media platforms, and I manage those platforms.  

I make sure their mission and goals are visible via social media. I am helping to build their brand.  I am finally a CEO of a tech company! Peoples United Summit and my company, The Resource Center, have partnered together to serve the Sunnyside Community. We are focusing our efforts on improving education in the schools and ending sex trafficking. 

Supporting Worthing High School

My partnership with Peoples United Summit has helped me see myself as a Superintendent, CEO, and an employer.  It is an exciting time in my life.

I also joined this fabulous group on Facebook called Courage to Earn-The Community (closed Group with 2.3K Members). I am learning so much about using my blog to earn serious income. The women in the group are powerful entrepreneurs.  More important, they support each other, and they share valuable information that is practical to use.

I have more to share, but I will stop here. I will start posting weekly blogs from this day forward. I have had a ton of false starts with other business partnerships, but they paved the way for me to reach this level in my adventure.

Dr. Pope