Network marketing is essentially a compensation plan that allows a person to get paid as a business by leveraging their immediate personal relationships or "warm market" to sell a product or service and eventually grow beyond that warm market into the cold market of targeted leads. Many times the network marketing compensation plan allows a person to recruit and teach a system of sales and talent management which allows the recruiter to earn a percentage of the efforts of the team they build. It's a system, which properly executed creates an environment that breeds success.Read More
The hubs and I did our first couple’s scope a few nights ago and it was pretty fun. But apparently it was slightly controversial as well. As the title of this post explains, it’s kind of hard to see why not. Plus, I forgot to include one small word, “business” in the title of the scope. I’m sorry!! Any who, before I go any further, I would like to say that I am not a Trump supporter in any shape, form or fashion BUT because he is a businessman and a successful one at that, there are definitely some business lessons and even life lessons we can learn from him. Just hear me out okay?
You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. While trump has been hitting the campaign trail pretty hard for the race to the White House, he hasn’t exactly wowed the country with his “knowledge” of foreign policy, racial and religious relations on our own turn and many other matters. He has answered with very little facts if any but instead rides on the waves of emotion from supporters who look to him as the voice of what’s often kept behind closed doors. For that reason, they LOVE him and are drawn to him like a moth to a flame. That leads me to lesson two.
Be unapologetically you. The Donald Trump you see today is the one and same you saw years ago. While he can easily be labeled loud, arrogant, sexist and racist by some, that hasn’t changed him or his interactions with the public, celebrities and probably some business constituents. You would be hard pressed to not find a quote that didn’t exhibit one of the characteristics mentioned earlier. Trump is unlike any other candidate who has come before him. By being him all day everyday, he has found his target audience. He is proof that there is a market for everyone and everything. Don’t let the fact that there is someone, a dozen or even hundreds of someones in your industry. You just have to tell your story your way. People are drawn to the unique. They are not necessarily drawn to your business. Your story is what resonates with them. So tell that. Each. And Every. Time. It’s a lot harder to play the role of someone than to be yourself. Be you. Unapologetically. By doing so, your tribe will come.
Know when to walk away. Pretty much everyone knows that Trump built his empire by becoming a real estate mogul. But with any business, there will be some pitfalls along the way. Not every business deal will reward you positive return on your investment. For Trump in those moments, he would choose to walk away (file for business bankruptcy). If a business is costing you more in time and money than what it's returning, then you have to let it go. You can’t afford to stay in a relationship that in essence has become toxic. But, on the flip side, a business doesn’t have to be costing you financially before you decide the relationship has to end. It can simply be that your passion lies elsewhere and so your focus is no longer there. Each of us has a purpose that is fueled by a passion within. Listen to it.
Stay at the forefront of your industry. With the race to the White House in full effect, Trump and his opponents are on the campaign trail making their media rounds almost daily. By doing so, they are constantly in the public eye and on their lips. Their messages are being heard. But all messages are not created equal. Eventually, the empty ones will fade away. The same holds true for you and your business. You have to constantly be in a state of learning be it through books, online courses, certifications, coaching etc. The knowledge gained but also implemented in a way to further expand or simply better your business, will allow you to be looked upon as the expert. You will be the first person people think of when considering a service or product. Then combined with YOUR story (remember lesson #2?), it will be the reason that they buy.
So there you have it kids! That wasn’t to painful was it? Yeah I know Trump isn’t loved by all including me. But I can not deny his hustle. The man didn’t get where he is today by standing idly by waiting for things to happen. You can’t either. Your piece of the pie is waiting. Go get your slice.
In 2007, the Tyler’s had a vision to highlight the positive aspects of marriage and parenting in the African-American community on a blog named
BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. The simple, yet dynamic title has resonated beyond
its belief reaching millions through valuable content, authentic engagement and has
become the largest African-American marriage and parenting site. Lamar and
Ronnie operate Tyler New Media, Inc. specializing in online branding, digital
consulting and documentary creation. They have been acknowledged in ESSENCE
Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 and 2015 finalists for
Infusionsoft’s Small Business ICON Award. Find out how their passion and purpose
continues to grow their business.
It’s been seven years since you established BlackandMarriedWithKids.com, how do you keep going everyday?
Ronnie: Our excitement comes from our mission to uplift and support marriages in
our community. We get feedback from people that state today I was going to give up
on my marriage, but I read something on your blog or I was able to see one of your
movies and it inspired me to keep trying. That type of feedback really helps to keep
Lamar: This is where our three P’s come in. Passion is what drives us. Purpose is
what keeps us tuned in to the work we are suppose to be doing. Profit sustains the
passion and the purpose. We found our passion and discovered our purpose and the
profit is a byproduct. As we have found our passion, purpose and profit we like to
help others walk into theirs as well.
At what point did you discover the three P’s? Was this before or during the website?
Lamar: During the process, when we started all we had was the passion. We had a
passion for showing an entirely different segment of the African American
population that the media did not show. We had a passion to bring those couples to
the forefront and celebrating them.
Ronnie: It definitely started as a passion and turned into a purpose. This is what we
are meant to do. We need the profit to keep going. It started with a passion, went to
the purpose and needed the profit.
During the Blogging While Conference, you stated that bloggers are entrepreneurs. Which did you setup first, the blog or the business?
Lamar: In 2007, the blog scene wasn’t like what it is now. There were not a lot of
examples like you see now. There weren’t a bunch of conferences with every
different niche or with people making six figures and all the things you can do now.
When we started we structured it right and treated it like a business if it ever
becomes one. But we really didn’t have an idea that it could grow.
Ronnie: We didn’t have processes at first. We decided that this is going to be a
business. We are going to leave our full time jobs and that’s when a lot of the
processes kicked in. We have meetings, meeting minutes, plans, schedules,
financials, etc. A lot of people think I’m an entrepreneur I’m going to wake up and
wing it today. That’s not how it happens, if you want to take your business to a
certain level. You have to be intentional in your processes or sales in order to make
your business grow. Have some basic structures in place.
How did you grow Tyler New Media?
Lamar: We got a system in place. The best and biggest decision we ever made was
purchasing Infusionsoft. It gives us the ability to automate a lot of our processes.
Infusionsoft is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool that gathers all our
leads goes into our system. If this person has watched this video we can make them
this offer. We can offer them something they don’t own that’s complementary to the
first thing they purchased. It’s allowed us to take our customer service fulfillment to
another level. Now we can capture and convert them to customers.
Recently the blogging community was shocked that Necole Bitchie is moving on from her blog. Please share your thoughts on that and what’s your take on an exit strategy for bloggers or as a business owner?
Lamar: She’s built such an amazing brand. What she’s done is extremely impressive.
You can just watch people’s moves and know they’re intelligent. I’m looking forward
to seeing what her next chapter is and I’m sure she has a strategy in place.
What we often don’t do, African-American community, they don’t want you to have
an exit strategy. If you build and have a brand, they want you to keep it forever at all
cost. They may or may not support it. They don’t want you to sell to a large
corporation, sell out, and they don’t financially support you. Entrepreneurs should
think would I ever sell this? How will I grow it and transition it into something else?
Having an established brand with BMWK, why did you write the book The Gatekeepers Are Gone: Hustle + Technology = Success?
Lamar: I really have a heart for business and helping people. I help a lot of bloggers
that want to turn their blog into a business. I help a lot of business owners that want
to do more social media and the web. I pulled the book from our own personal
experience and questions I get the most from bloggers and business owners. I
crafted a story that brought all those different questions together. I talk about what
entrepreneurs, bloggers, authors, and filmmakers can do in the book. The
gatekeepers are gone because of the rise of social media and lowering the cost of
technology. For the first time ever the middleman has been removed. We have the
ability to create amazing content. We live in a very special time. I want people to
take note of that, as it won’t be here forever. This book is a manual to get started.
As an entrepreneur is it possible to separate your personal brand from your company brand?
Ronnie: You can’t entirely. It depends on what industry you are in. We have our
company pages and my personal page, but at the end of the day I’m representing the
company. I’m not going to do something on the personal side that contradicts my
brand. You can draw the line with some boundaries when you’re at home, but when
you’re in public it’s hard to separate. You’re representing your brand you can’t do
anything and not think it’s going to impact your brand in some way, shape or form.
Do you think for women it is harder for women to build and maintain their brand because of professional appearance and we are hard to a higher regard than men in general?
Ronnie: A lot of times women put pressure on themselves. We go through the cycle
worrying about our appearance. Men are going to go out there and get it and I’m
going to wear whatever. Some of it I feel is self-inflicted. Women we judge each
other too. A lot of times we are getting dressed up because of the thoughts of what
others may think. There is some extra pressure that we add to it as women. I think
we put a lot of pressure to accomplish things.
You have a new movie coming out soon, Generation One: The Search for Black Wealth. Why this topic? Why now?
Ronnie: It’s an extension of what we are doing in the community to uplift and
support families. It’s a topic that has been weighing on our hearts; we provide
resources, skills and tools to families to strengthen them. Finances are a huge area
for couples with it being one of the top reasons couples break up. When you look at
our community and ask why now? Look at our community and the things that are
happening to us as African Americans. We need to have that community wealth that
economic wealth in order for us to make the changes happen. Why now? It’s the
perfect time for us to talk about generational wealth and the wealth that is in our
community. We need the financial power behind us to implement changes.
Lamar: If we don’t get that financial power we will still be marching 60 years from
now. When you have economic power your money speaks for you.
I’ve been fortunate to participate in your Facebook group Traffic, Sales & Profits. How did you come up with the title and what are your intentions with the group?
Lamar: Traffic, Sales & Profits is an open group on Facebook. It’s a community for
entrepreneurs. Traffic, Sales & Profits come from the three biggest areas
entrepreneurs have problems when it comes to growing their business and online
They have a great product and service but the issue is traffic.
Maybe they have a flood of traffic, but they have a problem converting readers (leads) to customers.
Whether the problem is traffic or sales people are always looking to make profit.
Entrepreneurs don’t have enough experience when it comes to networking and
sales. We started a tour doing workshops to help entrepreneurs and soon we’re launching self-study system.
What else is in store for Tyler New Media?
Ronnie: Our next movie is on blended families. A topic near and dear to us because
we have a blended family. I had two kids before we got married. It’s a topic that a lot
of families are dealing with because a lot of people are having kids before they get
married. Once they find the one they want to marry or at least they need to know
how to co-parent or date. There are plans to release that in the fall.
How do you define success?
Ronnie: It’s definitely a personal question for everyone. I don’t think if you fail
you’re not successful. It is what you do with it. If you’re able to learn from it and
start again. I define success as growth and moving forward.
Lamar: Success is ever evolving. It evolves with your goals. A large part of success is
freedom and the ability to do things I’m passionate about. Doing things you care
To hear the complete interview tune into the podcast Networking With Michelle available on iTunes & MichelleNgome.com
iTunes: Networking with Michelle Podcast
Dion Short Metzger, M.D. is a board certified adult psychiatrist who is passionate about the advocacy of mental illness. She was so gracious with her time that we were able to explore mental health from the Charleston Massacre to the stigma of within the African-American community.
What sparked your interest to go into medicine?
I decided to go into medicine when I was in high school. I always had an interest in the sciences and figured out that is what I wanted to do. My dad is also a physician and he inspired me. When I started college, I moved to Atlanta from New York, starting at Emory University and that started the path. I became involved in the Minority Pre-Medical Society, internships and working in hospitals trying to figure out where I fit in and what I love to do. In the third year of medical school you get to try all the specialties and I realized I love psychiatry. I love the gift to have the ability to treat symptoms of mental illness. It really played off of my major psychology and everything came together.
I love Atlanta. I went back to Emory for my residency and I have been here ever since. After I finished my residency I had some great opportunities to work in all different aspects of psychiatry from hospitals, private practice and now I’m doing community psychiatry.
This is my first time hearing about community psychiatry. What does that mean?
I work with patients who are in and out of the jail systems or hospitals who do not have access to care and proper treatment. We are federally funded to help patients receive Medicaid and resources to get them on their feet and back into society. It’s really been a pleasure. It’s been two years now. It’s been a wonderful experience.
How long did it take you to complete your education?
Four years of college. Four years of medical school and four years of residency. Twelve years total.
So, twelve years is true?
Yes, that is really a fact. I chose psychiatry; if you choose another specialty it can be seven years. Four years is on the short end.
Were you more inclined to become a physician because of your father?
Absolutely. The very interesting thing is my father did not push me to go into medicine. He was encouraging to follow my dreams, but there was no pressure on his side to go into the medical field.
My father was an OBGYN. I was exposed to medicine when I was younger and I would go with him to rounds, the office and private practice. I thought this is really noble profession. That’s when the spark came to me and I was able to grasp it in my adolescence. It’s been a wonderful decision.
There’s a major push for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) in education. What’s your opinion on STEM programs?
What I’ve noticed in inner cities and males they’re pushing them towards STEM. I can only see positive results coming from it. A lot of times people don’t know all the careers you can have. One thing I learned in medical school, there are so many different opportunities. We put so much work into school and becoming what you want to be, go where you passion is. Go for your heart. Life is short. You have to do what you enjoy because we put in so many hours at work on a weekly basis.
You have an impressive educational background and career. What is the biggest hurdle that you had to overcome?
I didn’t like public speaking. When I had to do any presentations I would dread them days before. In med school we don’t do it as much compared to business arenas; I didn’t like it. After I got out of medical school I was doing a lot of teaching and realized it was my anxiety, the fear of the unknown that I like to do this. I joined Toastmasters, which is one of the best decisions that I made to practice public speaking. I went from hating to speak in front of a class of ten to being able to speak on large platforms such as national television. That’s just a testament to God and being able to face your challenge head on.
What has been the most significant success?
The progress I see in my patients is the most amazing to me. Working in community psychiatry I see patients that have pretty severe psychosis. Being able to treat someone like that and have him or her join society and have a better life, that by far is a success.
With such a challenging career, how do you challenge yourself personally on a daily basis?
With medicine we are always in learning mode. There are always new advances, new medications hitting the market and new patients with new diagnosis.
A personal challenge, recently, I had a baby so I’m balancing motherhood. It’s my second. I have a two year old and three month old at home. The biggest learning experience, compared to everything else is becoming a parent, in addition a wife and a doctor. Balancing all three of those has been humbling. It’s been a really great learning experience. It’s something I love learning every day.
This past June the news has been crazy with significant milestones as well as tragedies. In regards to Charleston, do you think a person (Dylan Roof) doing such an act can be considered mentally ill?
A trend that I have noticed when we see such a heinous crime committed often the media is quick to give a mental illness label and sometimes it’s too quick. With Dylan it was too quick. We didn’t learn about the history. We just saw a young white male who committed this awful crime. The instinctive thing is to think this is mental illness. My answer is no, you don’t have to have a mental illness to commit such a crime. In this case, it was very premeditated where a lot of times when there’s violence in mental illness often it’s impulsive and not as premeditated as you seen in this case. As a psychiatrist I can’t diagnose without seeing him as a patient.
Can we consider this a hate crime?
Yes, he pretty much confessed it was a hate crime and he was doing this and the racial slurs. We can say this was targeted towards the African American community.
We are starting to see white people become more involved with African-American matters through protesting, posts and videos are going viral admitting to white privilege. Are we heading in the right direction in order for us to acknowledge discrimination and change it?
Absolutely. I think by speaking out not just about white people, but everybody all races speaking out about this. Although there’s a specific race targeted in this incident every race really spoke up against it. No matter what, it’s hate. I totally agree we are heading in the right direction. I believe there is good in all people in all-different race and that’s something we have to remember. The more races speaking up about this is better.
Do you think we are using technology and social media in the right way?
I see technology as a good thing because it brings awareness and with awareness we bring more change to what’s going on. I see it as nothing but a positive. We have to know what’s going on in order to change it.
How can the African-American community respond to Charleston effectively?
We have to remember there’s good in all people. Try not to label. One person’s actions do not represent a whole race.
There is a big stigma within our community when it comes to seeking help. What can we do to get more people come to terms with seeing a therapist?
It’s more awareness. Part of my motivation is to go to these bigger platforms is to really advocate for that. I noticed in my days of private practice black people don't like to go to a psychiatrist. One of the main reasons is that people are afraid of labels or medication. They do not want people to treat them differently. For us to encourage people to see treatment is education.
What are some common occurrences to see a therapist?
Relationships are usually one of the most common reasons people go. They're having issues dealing with a breakup. Even marital therapy, couples counseling, are usually the first time they see a therapist because they're trying to fix their marriage or start a marriage.
Do we underestimate depression? Can it lead to suicide?
Depression can be just as paralyzing as physical illness as you don't have the motivation to get out of bed, your sleep and appetite changes. It can affect you from head to toe.
Yes, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts that can end fatally. I always give the comparison if you have high blood pressure (BP) and you could go to the doctor that would help you lower your BP would you go. They say ‘yes.’ What if your BP was so high it stopped you from socializing, spending time with your kids would you go? They respond ‘yes.’ Let’s change the word from BP to depression. Depression can stop you from all of those things. The beauty of it is you can be treated. Go and get evaluated. If something can improve your quality of life why not go and get help.
What are some immediate benefits of therapy?
Everybody can benefit from therapy. It’s having some non-bias person sitting with you. You telling your story is therapeutic. Just letting it out and venting is therapeutic. Talk to a professional and see what happens. It can make a difference. It’s completely confidential.
What do you have in store for the near future?
I’m getting back into the TV world. I’m hoping to do more health corresponding. I do have a focus on mental health but also talking from the MD perspective of what’s going on in the health world.
How do you define success?
I’m going to paraphrase what Lacrae said at the Blogging While Brown Conference: Success is what you are currently doing compared to what you are created to do. When you follow what your passion is, when you follow what you are created to do, it is the definition to success and I agree. Success is happiness. When you get up everyday and you are happy doing what you are doing.
For more information on Dion Metzger, please visit her site http://dionmetzgermed.com.
To hear the entire interview, listen to the podcast Networking With Michelle available on iTunes.