Don’t want. Written on white paper

The commitment I made to write everyday for 100 days, consecutively, is not always easy to do. There are days like this one that I don’t feel the creative juices flowing. My muses are all still sleeping.

But I get out of the bed, put on my workout clothes (workout is now one of my rewards for writing) and sit in front of the laptop (okay the Chromebook)! Then, I let the thoughts flow, like these, of exactly what is roaming about in my pretty little head…one of my brothers have said that I have a peanut head…guess that is little enough.

Writing for at least 15-30 minutes shouldn’t be so daunting. Yet, the times like this one, are like riding that mountain bike up that last hill before you get to the finish line. You have to decide whether to quit at this moment, or do you just push on through the pain to get across that goal line.

Here I am pushing through the fog. Did I tell you that there are fogs floating in my brain? How can a peanut head have fog? I don’t know, but it seems I do. Thank goodness there is a cure for this: Caffeine!

The will to write can be strengthened by just writing. The thing that motivates me is that I’m not writing for myself. The message that is inside of me (screaming to get out} is meant to be shared with others. My message may help someone else.

So it is with your message. If you don’t feel like writing, or you doubt what you write will be good enough…write anyway. Write in the mindset that it’s not for you.

Write about a problem that you encountered and how you solved it. Write about love. Remember, love conquers all. Write about arguing with yourself about buying that pair of shoes. Okay, maybe that was me arguing with myself about the shoes. Recovering addict here.

The point is, just sit and write. Just maybe, maybe you will surprise yourself with the outcome.

Now to reward myself with 30 minutes of workout. Happy writing.


Marlene M. Bryan is a Distinguished Toastmaster, DTM. She is a certified speaker and leader by Toastmasters International. Marlene is the owner of Small Biz Evolution, LLC. She is a Keynote Speaker, an Author and a Business Consultant.

Three-year-old girl in pink playing with a laptop computer.. Shot with Canon 20D.
Three-year-old girl in pink playing with a laptop computer.. Shot with Canon 20D.

“Dang it.” I uttered as I struggled to get the screw to turn as I attempted to fix my mom’s cabinet door. I really wanted to say a cuss word, but I’ve cut that out, mostly! Plus my three year old niece was right by my side. She insisted on helping me get the job done.

If I needed a screwdriver, she handed it to me. If I needed more light, she pointed the flashlight in the right spot. After I grumbled about the screw giving me trouble, my little three year old coach said, “You can do it, Auntie Marlene. I know you can.” She had a serious look on her face and great conviction in her voice. This made me know that she believe with every fiber in her body that I could fix the door.

As I twisted in the small area to find the right tool, my niece would say, “Why don’t you try this one?” Sometimes it wasn’t what I wanted, but I smiled at her encouragement as she pulls out the tape measure. Other times, I would say I need the drill bit and she knew exactly what it was.

As I worked I thought that my niece has the skills to coach and encourage me. She didn’t need years of experience or a certificate to make suggestions to help me solve the problem. She is also very honest when something isn’t working well by saying, “Auntie Marlene, that’s not how it works.”

Oftentimes, folks have asked me to coach them in business . I only agree to do so, if I truly believe they were serious about applying my recommendations to move forward. If they appear not to be open to these recommendations, or have not made progress in getting certain tasks done, I’m not willing to take them on as a client.

The reason why I say my three year old niece is one of my coaches is that I didn’t dismiss her suggestions because of her age. I realize the value in her opinions and looking at the problem from a different angle. I value her honesty and her words of encouragement. I also know she has my best interest at heart.

2016 is less than a day away in this part of the world. If your are seeking a business coach or a personal coach, here a a few things I think work better with your coach:

  1. You should ensure that this person has your best interest at heart. Some folks care more about the money than your success. Surprised? A great coach would tell you whether you and they are a great fit or not.
  2. A coach should be encouraging while keeping it real. Like my niece, good coaches will let you know when they truly believe you can accomplish a task, or project. They can also be honest when things aren’t being done well and help you find a solution.
  3. You have to be open to receive constructive feedback and applying the recommended solution.

It was a joy to have my little niece believe in my abilities to get the job done. We both celebrated when the door was fixed. We danced to the song “Cheerleader” by Omi. I hope you are successful in finding the right coach to make 2016 an outstanding year. Happy New Year to you all.


Thank you for reading my post. Please hit the “follow” button at the top of the page to allow me to share more Purposeful thoughts, ideas and experiences with you. Feel free to leave a comment or share the article with others.


Marlene M. Bryan is a Distinguished Toastmaster, DTM. She is a certified speaker and leader by Toastmasters International. She is currently member of the Public Relations Team. She provides her services to over 3800 members throughout the district. Marlene is the owner of Marlene M. Bryan, Corp and Small Biz Evolution, LLC. She is a Speaker, an Author and a Business Coach.

MMB Book Signing Small Image

Buckets of rain  kept pouring down as we drove through the streets of Manhattan. My nephew maneuvered in and around the traffic to get me to my book signing event at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore. He was determined to get me there on-time for my “Special Event” as he called it.

The torrential rain was just another obstacle I had to face on Tuesday. The day started with me arriving at the airport only to be told that my flight. This was cancelled due to some difficulties at the arriving airport. My heart almost stopped! I told the valet that there is no way I will miss getting to New York that day. I had my book signing after all. He instructed me to go to the main reservation desk.

Wheeling my bags frantically and praying unceasingly, I found one of the JetBlue personnel who directed me to the front of a line. She told me someone would be able to help me. When I approached the counter the young man said there is a seat available at the same time to JFK instead of Westchester, my original destination. I told him I would take it. A little over an hour later I was on my way to New York.

Knowing that I made it to NYC on-time gave me the strength I needed to be optimistic that folks will turn out for the book signing despite the rain. This faith proved to be true. When we walked into the store, I was greeted by one of my sorority sisters. She came all the way from Sheepshead Bay to support me. This was more than an hours ride on the train.

MMB Book Signing Image 5

Not long after, others turned out for the event. My heart was filled with joy as my friends and family came out to support me. I saw folks I hadn’t seen in years, including my brother that lives in the United Kingdom. This will be one of my favorite moments in this journey called “Life!”

MMB Book Signing Image #3

If you are faced with obstacles today, here is what I recommend:

  1. Don’t give up.
  2. Take a deep breath and believe that it will work out.
  3. Have faith in yourself that you are strong enough to handle it.
  4. Enlist the aid of others that will take some of the burden off you.
  5. Push forward and see the magic unfold.

MMB Book signing LIn Image 2

It was a thrill to be able to conduct one of my book signing in one of the few books stores left in Harlem. I am so grateful to the owner, Jenifar (I even like the way she spells her name), and her assistant in being such wonderful hosts. If you are in Harlem, check them out at 1942 Amsterdam Ave.  They were a part of my Magic in Manhattan.

MMB Book Signing Image #4


Thank you for reading my post. Please hit the “follow” button at the top of the page to allow me to share more Purposeful thoughts, ideas and experiences with you. Feel free to leave a comment or share the article with others.


Marlene M. Bryan is a Distinguished Toastmaster, DTM. She is a certified speaker and leader by Toastmasters International. She is currently the District 47 Public Relations Officer, and leader of the Public Relations Team. She provides her services to over 3800 members throughout the district. Marlene is the owner of Marlene M. Bryan, Corp and Small Biz Evolution, LLC. She is a speaker, an author, and a coach.

Beautiful Little Business Woman With Briefcase

Have you ever dreamed that you would do something that made a difference? So did I. One of my aspirations was to start and operate my own business. I had a stable 9-5 job but lacked fulfillment and wanted to pursue my DREAM! How about you, do you desire to have your own BUSINESS? If yes, the following are some tips to help you on your way!

The Internet has lots of information about starting your own business. Perhaps too much. As you search you find that the rules vary from state to state, province to province, country to country. It can all be overwhelming.

Here are some basic steps that I find work for me after starting a few businesses or helping others to start theirs:

1) Choose the Right Name: Creating the right name for your business is one of the basic steps for creating a successful Brand Name that others can easily associate your business for its expertise, products and services. If your business is part of an established industry, I suggest that you include something about your offering in the name of your business.

For example, if your target market is small businesses, you may want to include something about small business or some word associated with small business in your company name.

In an episode of the CNBC series “Profit,” one of the companies featured was called “Green Tea.” Most people polled thought the company was selling tea. It was actually an ice cream company. This didn’t cause the business to fail, but it may have slowed the growth because of the lack of name association to the product it was offering.

2) Corporate Structure: Structuring your corporation requires a little more thought and homework; if you are not familiar with setting up a company. Deciding whether your company will be a sole proprietorship, S-Corp, C-Corp, Limited Liability Corp, etc. is very important for not only decision making process, but taxation purposes, liabilities and any future sale of the company.

The rules surrounding these various types of corporate structures are different based upon where the company is established. In Florida, the definition of the Managing Member of a Limited Liability Corporation has been modified with huge implication on who has the authority to make decision in such entities. Do your homework and/or consult with a corporate attorney to help you understand the rules.

3) Virtual Presence: Today, if you are do not have a virtual presence (website, social media page, etc.), most folks, at least in the USA, would question your business validity. If you are reading this article, I presume that you are in an area where people have access to the Internet.

Having a virtual presence will help you reach an audience outside of your local area, if this is one of your goals as an entrepreneur. It gives you the appearance of being an established company just like the larger corporation. It gives you access to a wider marketplace with more buying power.

4) Brand It: When you think about your company name also think about things such as:

  •   What should the company Logo be?
  •   What are the color schemes for the Logo?
  •   How about the company other marketing materials and virtual sites?
  •   What should your tag line be?
  •   What do you want your company to be known as or for?

Create marketing materials that support these aspects of your business. Include them on your business cards, virtual cards, brochures, letterheads, videos, podcasts, etc. You don’t have to do all of these, but even if it is only your business card, make it count. Brand your business to standout from the crowd.

5) Give It A Heart: In your Vision, Mission and Values statements, give your company a heart. I call these three your companies Heart Statements. Put the things that you envision your clients would experience from purchasing your products, services and ultimately you and your employees! Then live this heart. Don’t just state it. Live it.

I find that I am willing to purchase from companies that live their Heart Statements. There are arguments abounding whether a corporation is a person or a thing. I won’t get into them. My views about it is that someone creates a product or offers a service for another person to purchase and use. When a company makes it all about the money and nothing else, I’m not willing to share my hard-earned dollars with this type of business. Many of my friends and colleagues feel the same way. Again, give it a Heart by offering products and services that benefit others.

I hope these tips help to guide you in your steps towards becoming an entrepreneur. There are more to these as you may expect. Take it one step at a time and before you know it, you can hang the “Open for Business” sign literally, figuratively and virtually!


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The Girl

Many people dream about starting their own businesses, but they haven’t started planning for theses dreams to become a reality. Others are stuck in the planning stage. They keep waiting for the right situation or hoping for the right person(s) to come along and help them. My son, Tarik, and his friend, Daniel decided not to wait on others or for the perfect situation.

Instead they started from where they are with what they have. Tarik and Daniel met at the University at Miami during freshmen year. They bonded right away. Tarik attended school for acting, but he also loves writing and directing. Daniel went to school for film production and editing. They are now living in LA working hard to get into the entertainment business.

As most of us know, it is a very difficult industry to break into. The competition is very strong. Here is the interesting thing. Daniel and Tarik isn’t waiting to be discovered. They are not sitting around hoping that someone will give them an opportunity to act or to produce movies. They started their own business on a shoestring budget. They enlist the assistance of their friends who are fellow budding actors.

This cuts down on the need to spend large sums of money for actors. This gives the others opportunities to  showcase their skills in these mini-videos that Daniel and Tarik create. Working with their small budget, Tarik and Daniel also learned to film in areas such as their apartment, public places, etc. I’m happy to see that these young entrepreneurs are creating their own opportunities. They are not waiting for the right circumstance, they are creating their own.

Do you dream of starting your own business? Learn from my son and his friend. Don’t get stuck on dreaming or planning. Create your own circumstances. Give it a try. Here are some suggestions to get started:

1) Create a Business Plan – Yes. Although it is not a most, it is recommended that you put together a business plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated. The business plan should help you 

  • figure out what it is you will be offering
  • what are your costs
  • what will you charge for your product or service
  • how you want to market your product or service
  • who is your target audience
  • who are your competitors

2) Create a name for you business. Purchase the URL for the business name. The fee is low of this. You don’t have to establish a website right away. Yet there are lots of free sights such as WordPress that you can utilize to establish a website.

3) Marketing Materials – You can have someone create marketing materials for you on websites such as or for relatively low cost.

4) Network with Complementary Businesses – In my speaking business I reach out to event planners or organizers as a part of my networking circles. They are a great lead source for my speaking business. I also provide them with names of speakers for their events. Always work to have it become a win-win relationship. If you are constantly taking and not giving you will lose your contacts.

5) Tell everyone (not necessarily your boss; if you are still working a full-time job) what you are doing. Word of mouth is still one of the greatest way to get the news out about your new endeavor. My friends and family are my biggest advocates. I get referrals from them. They also send me leads and give me great suggestions for making improvements in my business.

Starting a business can be scary and exciting at the same time. Yet as I observe my son and his friend in their pursuit of building their business, I’m proud of their efforts. Although they are both working jobs to fund their business, they continue to work at making their dream a success. My son called me the other day to tell me he is working three jobs. I said: “Great! Now you are a true Jamaican! Your grandmother will be proud of you.”

Both he and Daniel wants to succeed and they are doing the things that will bring them closer to achieving this. Here is the latest video they made. I hope you enjoy it.

The Girl:


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