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Business & Money -

I get a lot of emails from aspiring coaches who are looking for advice about starting their practice. Because I offer coaching as a part of my business here on happyblackwoman.com and over on rosettathurman.com, it seems that many people think I have this big, profitable coaching practice. Not so. In fact, if I were to just rely on the income I receive from my coaching services, I’d be broke! Although I certainly cultivate a steady stream of coaching clients from month to month, it’s crucial that I also maintain alternative streams of income to ensure that my business is sustainable.

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Business & Money -

Ever since I started Thurman Consulting, the services that have brought in the most money to my business have been speaking and consulting. Every month, I typically have at least one speaking engagement on my calendar as well as a recurring consulting client. But this month, I‚Äôm traveling around Europe ‚Äď which means I have no speaking gigs on the books for over a month. Yikes!

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Business & Money, Personal Development & Spirituality -

When I quit my job in 2010 to work for myself, I didn’t do it without a safety net. I had already secured two anchor clients. Anchor clients are contracts that provide a guaranteed stream of work for a defined amount of time, while you figure out your next move. When I left my job, I had one six-month contract and one 12-month contract. Financially, I was pretty set for my first year. Those initial contracts drastically reduced the monetary risk of self-employment.

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Business & Money, Lifestyle & Travel -

I‚Äôve decided to stay in¬†Charlottesville, Virginia¬†for the summer. It was a beautiful place to spend the spring and it‚Äôs been a great ‚Äúhome base‚ÄĚ for my work. I‚Äôve¬†learned¬†that it definitely helps a lot to stay put in one place when conference organizers are trying to book your travel arrangements! It makes planning so¬†much¬†easier when I know what airport I‚Äôm going to be flying out of.

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Business & Money, Personal Development & Spirituality -

‚ÄúMost of us have two lives.¬†The life we live, and the unlived life within us.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Steven Pressfield

For most of us, there seems to be this huge gap between the life we live and the life we really want.

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Business & Money, how much to charge for speaking, professional speaking -

This is the hotel room I¬†stayed¬†in last week when I went to Harrisonburg, VA to¬†teach¬†a¬†social¬†media workshop¬†at a nonprofit¬†conference. It was at the Fairfield Inn. Nothing too¬†glamorous. But then, hotels¬†don‚Äôt have to be extra¬†fancy¬†for me to enjoy them. I love them all, really ‚Äď from the¬†Holiday¬†Inn to the W. I love the whole process¬†of checking in, getting warm¬†cookies (at the¬†Doubletree); sleeping on (hopefully)¬†crisp, clean¬†sheets; getting to watch the¬†Food¬†Network for a few hours; having someone else clean the bathroom; sipping hot tea in my room; looking out the¬†window¬†when I have a great view; hanging out in the jacuzzi (if they have one); eating the free breakfast (if they have one);¬†scheduling¬†a wake up¬†call¬†so I don‚Äôt oversleep, getting restaurant¬†recommendations¬†from the concierge or¬†ordering room¬†service¬†that I get to¬†charge¬†to the¬†client (at a reasonable¬†cost, of¬†course!).

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Business & Money, Lifestyle & Travel -

This is me in Baltimore last month.

It‚Äôs been almost eight months¬†since¬†I gave up my apartment in DC to save money for travel. What‚Äôs really happened¬†in that time is that I‚Äôve¬†learned¬†a ton about myself ‚Äď who I really am and who I really want to be. At this point in my journey, I thought it might be helpful to post a brief timeline for those who are new to the blog and my¬†experience¬†exploring¬†location¬†independence¬†‚Äď the ability to live and work anywhere.

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Business & Money -

Yesterday on the Happy Black Woman Facebook community, someone asked me where I find my speaking engagements. (Speaking at conferences is a low-volume, high-price service that makes up the bulk of my income most months.) My response was that they find me! I’ve been speaking professionally since 2008 (when I got my first paid gig) and most of my clients just come to me through the various marketing channels I’ve cultivated over the years. Now I know that generic answer is not very helpful to you if you want to start getting paid as a speaker, so I’ll break down a few of the steps I think are important to the process.

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Business & Money -


The most surprising thing I’ve learned in my business (so far) is just how incredibly important marketing is. Unfortunately, clients and customers don’t come to you automatically.

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Business & Money, Lifestyle & Travel -

Last month, I was in Springfield, Massachusetts to speak at a conference. As part of my trip, the event organizers also arranged for me to be interviewed on WGBY 57, the public TV station for Western New England, about my keynote speech. Below is the full interview.

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Business & Money -

A lot of ladies say they want to work for themselves. It sounds so glamorous, so fun, so footloose and fancyfree. No boss! No clocking in at 9:00am! No dressing up for work! No stupid staff meetings! No office politics!

While those are definitely some of the benefits of having your own business, people often forget to acknowledge the reality that you still have to do the work. Freedom is priceless, but it’s not free. You can’t have the freedom of being your own boss if you don’t have any money coming in to support yourself with. And getting that money takes a lot of work. It’s not impossible work, but it is work. And lots of time. Depending on the type of business you have, it can take a long while to even figure out what the work really is.

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Business & Money -

Last week, I revamped both of my main websites myself using new themes. It took many late night hours, but since I’m not ready to hire a web designer just yet, it was the next best thing. As I was getting the new sites all set up, I kept muttering to myself that the next time I change my blog designs, they will be totally customized and blinged out by a creative professional.

But what I have right now? It’s good enough.

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Business & Money, Lifestyle & Travel, Self-Care & Wellness -

This is the room I’m renting in Charlottesville, Virginia. I’ve been here over a week now. 

I found it as a sublet on Airbnb (referral link) for the month. This is the second time I’ve used Airbnb to find a really cool place to stay during my little nomadic adventure (without having to sign a lease!). I used it to find the place I stayed at in Baltimore, which was a great experience. You can use the site to find a room to stay in for a night or a week or a month (or more), in pretty much any country it looks like. To me, it’s like a cross between Craigslist and Expedia. I love that the site allows you to see who your hosts are, view photos and details about the room they’re renting out, plus read reviews of guests who have stayed in the room before you. My current host has about a dozen positive reviews, so that helped me with my choice. She is also an artist and I love artists. Her home is beautiful and old and full of original art and flowers and light. The neighborhood is very walkable, lined with trees and plants and situated just a few blocks from the University of Virginia. This is why I didn’t mind paying $800 to stay here for a month. I have full house privileges, so I’ve been able to cook, do laundry and drink bourbon on the porch whenever I want.

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Business & Money -

. . . and light a candle . . .

Nah, this post has nothing to do with the Teddy Pendergrass song of the same name. Although, it is one of my favorites.

Turn ’em off!

I‚Äôve been in Charlottesville, Virginia for a little over a week now. (Much more about my new ‚Äúhome‚ÄĚ later!) Half the time I‚Äôve spent enjoying the Virginia Festival of the Book. The other half I‚Äôve spent working on revamping both of my main websites. I wanted them both to be mobile-responsive, so people could see my content better on their iPhones, iPads, etc. I wanted my nonprofit-focused site to highlight me more prominently as a speaker. I wanted happyblackwoman.com to look like a cleaner, more personal Tumblr-style site ‚Äď without having to actually use Tumblr. (You can see the new layout here, if you‚Äôre reading this post by email.)

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Business & Money -

Over the past two years, I’ve written numerous posts about my entrepreneurial journey as well as tips for other ladies who want to start working for themselves. Here are my top 10 posts about how to start a side hustle or a passion-based business doing what you love.

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Business & Money, Personal Development & Spirituality -

When I was a little girl, my family¬†used¬†to¬†call¬†me ‚Äúnosy Rosie.‚ÄĚ That was my¬†nickname. They¬†called¬†me that¬†because¬†I was an extremely curious¬†child. I always wanted to know what everyone was doing, how stuff worked, why¬†certain¬†things happened in the world.

I had a beautiful love affair with Encyclopedia Brown and idolized Nancy Drew as if she were a real person.

I wanted to know everything about everything.

When I was about six or so, my grandfather (or uncle, I can’t remember which) gave me a magnifying glass to play with. I thought it was the best gift ever. Now, I thought, I have the key to all the secrets of the world!

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Business & Money -

I‚Äôm on the road again after being ‚Äúhome‚ÄĚ in Baltimore for the past few weeks, exploring the city and working on my business.¬†I flew into Springfield, Massachusetts this afternoon for a keynote I‚Äôm giving at a women‚Äôs conference tomorrow. Actually, I flew into Hartford, then one of the lovely organizers picked me up and took me to dinner, and then on to the Marriott where I‚Äôm writing this blog post. I was walking around the hotel room with my trusty iPhone and just started recording a video about why I‚Äôm here, which led to me telling the story of how I even got started with professional speaking in the first place.¬†Click here to learn about my 3-hour training on becoming a professional speaker.

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Business & Money, Videos -

I thought it was high time I test out this fancy iPhone video function, so here we go! In the video below, I answer a question that ladies ask me all the time, ‚Äúhow can I get paid to do what I love?‚ÄĚ I‚Äôve been supporting myself from my passions of writing, speaking, training and coaching for the past two years, so I wanted to share an important lesson that I‚Äôve had to learn along the way.

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Business & Money -

This is the seventh post in my How to Start a Side Hustle series. 

I get a lot of questions from ladies who want to begin selling products or services on the side to supplement their current income or start working for themselves full-time. The first thing I tell people is that it largely depends on what you want to sell. What is your passion and how can you earn money from sharing it with others? What’s your side hustle sweet spot? I have been working for myself a little over two years now and I found my sweet spot through selling both products (books, ebooks, online training programs) and services (speaking, coaching) in my business.

My last post was about how I’m using the technology of iPhone apps to support my ideal life, especially my business. In this post, I wanted to share the two basic tools that have been essential for me in starting a side hustle that turned into a full-time business based around my passion, expertise and lifestyle.

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Business & Money, Lifestyle & Travel -

Yesterday, I traded in my Blackberry for an iPhone.

My Blackberry had been acting wonky for months now, and lately it had begun shutting off for no reason in the middle of phone conversations. My mom had gotten into the iLife a month before, so her enthusiastic recommendation of the iPhone as a tool for my business was what brought me over to the other side.

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Business & Money, Lifestyle & Travel -

I’ve been traveling a lot this month for my business. So far in February, I’ve been in Modesto, Miami and Biloxi. When you hear me say I’m going anywhere in the United States, it is usually for a speaking engagement. Right now, professional speaking is where the bulk of my income comes from. Companies and...

The post How I Travel: The Basics appeared first on Happy Black Woman.

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Business & Money -

As 2012 begins, many of us are looking at our monthly budget and wondering why we don’t make more money than we do. The good news though, is that this year offers new business and career opportunities for all of us! Here are just a few ideas you can try in your career or in your business....

The post 5 Ways to Earn More Money appeared first on Happy Black Woman.

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Business & Money -

Someone asked me if I ever worry about going broke. The answer is an unequivocal YES. It’s been two years since I’ve been working for myself full-time. And cashflow still seems pretty unpredictable. Sometimes I don’t have enough work. Sometimes I have more work than I can handle. Some months I don’t make enough income. Others I...

The post When I Worry About Going Broke appeared first on Happy Black Woman.

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Business & Money, Personal Development & Spirituality -

Over the past four years, I’ve developed quite a few blogs for my personal and professional development. I’ve also helped others launch their own websites as well. I’m no web design guru, but I can figure out how to get a simple, functional site up and running with relative ease. (For example, I designed the Happy...

The post Go Live appeared first on Happy Black Woman.

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Business & Money -

I get a lot of emails from ladies who are in the beginning stages of starting a side hustle that fits their passion and aligns with their ideal life. In fact, over half of them say something like: I love what you’re doing on Happy Black Woman, how can I do that, too? The problem...

The post What Are You Selling? (Hint: It’s Not Your Blog) appeared first on Happy Black Woman.

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Business & Money -

All of us have said it at least once in our lives. If only I could win the lottery . . . I remember going down to the corner store with my grandmother in Ohio when I was a little girl. She had this little booklet of lottery number combinations and what they meant, sort of like an astrology book. It all confused me at the time,...

The post Win Your Own Lottery appeared first on Happy Black Woman.

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Business & Money, how to start a side hustle -

This is the fifth post in the How to Start a Side Hustle series. Whenever I have a conversation with someone who says they can’t start their dream business because they don’t have the money, I immediately go into brainstorming mode with them. Why? Because I see people making money with their talents and passions every.single.day. using free or cheap online marketing...

The post How to Start a Side Hustle: 28 Passion-Based Business Ideas You Can Launch Online appeared first on Happy Black Woman.

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Business & Money, Personal Development & Spirituality -

Yesterday, I spent some time with my mom, a.k.a MY business coach. She’s been the ultimate accountability partner in helping me get to the next level in my business. We talk almost every day and she knows how to ask me the tough questions about how I’m spending my time and reminding me of the goals I set out to accomplish this...

The post Do You Have an Accountability Partner? appeared first on Happy Black Woman.

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Business & Money, Personal Development & Spirituality -

‚ÄúA year from now you will wish you had¬†started today.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄstKaren Lamb In my¬†recent¬†post, I shared with you my story about¬†achieving¬†my initial¬†income¬†goal within my first year of working for myself. Have you ever¬†accomplished¬†something that at first seemed impossible? If so, then you know how I‚Äôm feeling right now. Hopeful. Motivated.¬†Optimistic¬†for the future. And the best...

The post Start Today (an Affirmation for Aspiring Entrepreneurs) appeared first on Happy Black Woman.

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