NEW! SOB Podcast: The Creative Business of Fine Artist Carole J. McCoy

Fine Artist Carole J. McCoy drops in to speak about her journey into art, what has inspired her work and creativity, and what upcoming goals and accomplishments she is gearing her career towards.

In this 35th episode of SOB: Style of Business podcast, Keetria interviews the Los Angeles-based fine artist, sculptor, painter, and arts advocate Carole J McCoy. She shares her journey into art, what has inspired her work and creativity, and what upcoming goals and accomplishments she is gearing her career towards.

Show Notes:

  • Carole is inspired by Los Angeles, which she was drawn to through modeling and acting.
  • She is an arts advocate, she paints, sculpts, draws, writes, and restructures found objects.
  • Tracing images on television as a child was a start, along with being scouted to model and traveled the world with modeling.
  • Carole’s creative process is that she allows herself to be an observer of life, acknowledging that everything was already here, and she needs to co-create with the ultimate creator: God.
  • Creativity = Observation. Appreciation. Curiosity. Intuition. Desire. Creation.
  • An artist’s responsibility is to tell our stories for future generations to learn from.
  • “Bliss on a Arrival” is a piece she created after a Greek Goddess exhibit, and has been intrigued by the body and form. Klimt is an artist was an inspiration also.
  • “Infinito” is defined by Carol as sculpture on canvas due to the multiple layers of paint involved. The spiritual book called: “Infinite in All Directions” provided some of the inspiration.
  • Nature is Carole’s biggest form of inspiration.
  • She did an “inspirational tour” of NY, where she lived previously in the past but had not been to since 1998.
  • Embracing African American ancestors’ endurance and contributions to society.
  • Romance your mind, body, and soul creatively by traveling, observing, exploring, and allowing yourself to be inspired. Figure out what you want to contribute to the world.
  • “Queen Ancestors” concept came to Carole in her dreams. Pulling from the legacy and energy of strong women.
  • Women of color have experienced a harder climb up the mountain of success in the art world.
  • Carole has experienced people not taking her art seriously as being looked at as attractive.
  • Art is Carole’s “high” never drugs. She feels uplifted from creating and expressing herself.
  • Keeping a journal physically everyday with a pen and paper unlocks ideas and refocuses her. “The Artist’s Way” is a book that she appreciates to understand her purpose and avoid the pitfalls.
  • Carole submits for things at least 10 times a week, even if she doesn’t fit what they are looking for in case her work might fit for what they do in the future.
  • Create from a place from your soul being fulfilled, not for money or for competition.
  • Carole supports other artists she enjoys by giving it exposure through social media.
  • “Art Stories” is a book of illustrations and short stories that Carole is working on allow with new projects, shows, and commissions.
  • “Follow your heART.”

3 Key Points:

  1. Carole’s Recipe for Creation: Observation. Appreciation of beauty she witnesses. Curiosity about that beautiful thing. Intuition and instinct. Desire to create. Implementing creation.
  2. Nature is Carole’s biggest form of inspiration.
  3. Romance your mind, body, and soul creatively by traveling, observing, exploring, and allowing yourself to be inspired. Figure out what you want to contribute to the world

Tweetable Quotes:

–   “L.A. is like a geographical muse of mine for the moment.” – Carole J McCoy.

–   “I have like this recipe for creativity. One is observation. Two: appreciation of what is beautiful that you see. Three is curiosity…Four is intuition…Five is desire…Six is creation.” – Carole J McCoy.

–   “My biggest form of inspiration I would say is nature…Anything you want as an artist is in nature.” – Carole J McCoy.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Website – Keetria’s website for the podcast.
  • LinkedIn – Keetria’s LinkedIn page.
  • Instagram – Carol J McCoy’s Instagram.
  • Facebook – Carol J McCoy’s Facebook.
  • Twitter – Carol J McCoy’s Twitter.

The Importance of Thinking Big and Believing in Yourself

These are two suggestions or recommendations that most of us hear time and again. Think Big. Believe in Yourself. And they’re great suggestions, but there are two questions that you might have when you hear that. “What does that mean?” And ‘Why does that matter?”

What Do They Mean?

Thinking big sounds easy, but it may not come easily. It means to consider your perspective and expand it. For example, if you’re hand making a thing and selling it online, that’s great! But could you hire people to make 10 times as many things? Could you sell the training on how to make the thing? Could you create an entire community around the thing? Looking beyond the now, the day-to-day and seeing what an idea, a business, a hobby or a skill could become, could lead to is thinking big.

Believing in yourself is critical to success. It’s not having an unrealistic belief in your abilities or chance or ignoring the risks to success. It’s understanding who you are, how you work and what you’re capable of. But it’s understanding that accurately and truly, from your own understanding and knowledge of yourself and ignoring limitations and restrictions put on you by society, your upbringing or just plain doubt.

Why Do They Matter?

Thinking big is critical to rising above day-to-day existence. Whether it’s moving from a hobby to a business or just finding a new job, if you can’t focus on the bigger picture, on what’s possible, how can you possibly move from where you are? And it’s not required that you take that step, if your hobby is your hobby and you don’t want to leverage that into a multi-million dollar a year job, that’s ok. But knowing and understanding the possibilities lets you make that decision with all the necessary information. And if you are looking to make a change or adjust your life, it’s critical to making the best choice for you. Thinking small, thinking ‘inside the box’ won’t give you the opportunity to really change much. It will keep you where you are, doing what you’re doing. Thinking big is a key to success and positive change.

Believing in yourself is the second key to success and positive change. Thinking big allows you to lay out the goal. Believing in yourself is how you make the plan. If you understand how you work, what you value, and what you can accomplish, you can use that to make a plan, a series of achievable steps, to get to the goal. If you allow others or your own doubt to convince you that you can’t accomplish these things is the surest way to fail to accomplish them. Believing in your capabilities, your ideas, your drive is critical to overcoming all the challenges that face anyone trying to make a change in their life. From going back to school to starting a business to learning to play the guitar, change is hard. Without a strong conviction in your own self, it may well be too difficult.

4 Questions to Consider When Choosing the Right Mentor

As you work to select a mentor, it’s important to ask yourself some important questions. Taking the time to do so will help you to understand what you really need, so that you can make this decision appropriately. As you start evaluating individuals as possible mentors, consider the following:

Do You Look Up to Them?

As you attempt to select a professional mentor, one of the biggest questions to ask yourself is if you look up to them. If you find that you have a great deal of respect for an individual and the work that they’ve done in your industry, they may make a great mentor. However, if you don’t respect them or look up to them very much, and they’ve simply been working in the industry longer than you have, the situation may not be a good fit. Take the time to learn a little bit about the person that you’d possibly be working under and do some self reflection to see how you feel about them.

Can You Work Well with Them?

Take the time to ask yourself if you can work well with the individual, as well. It doesn’t make sense to choose a mentor if you like what they’ve accomplished in the business world but you struggle to get along with them. If you find your teeth gritting and your blood pressure rising each time the person speaks with you, they’re likely not going to make the best choice for a mentor, regardless of what they’ve accomplished in the industry. Unfortunately, some people just aren’t compatible to work together, and you can’t force it.

Can They Assist You with Your Goals?

Can the individual that you’re considering as a mentor help you as you work toward your goals? Do they have skills that they can teach you or information that they can pass on to you that will help you learn, so that you can advance your career in a direction that you’re interested in taking it in? These factors are important to consider as you work towards selecting a mentor that you can work with.

Are They Well Connected in the Community?

It’s important to select a mentor that is well connected in the community, so that you’ll have a person that may be able to assist you with networking, finding connections as you grow your career, and resume building opportunities. These qualities will help ensure that the individual can be a strong mentor figure and assist you, instead of you attempting to build all of these connections on your own and struggling to do so.

As you attempt to select a mentor, take the time to consider these questions. Doing so will help prepare you for the process so that you’re well prepared to choose an individual that you can work well with and that will match up with your needs. A mentor is an important part of your employment journey, and choosing one correctly can help you quite a bit as you go on your way, so making the correct choice becomes very important as you forge your career path.

Positive Thinking: How Does It Affect Your Mind and Body

When you’re down on yourself or your business, it can be tough to even ponder positive thinking. However, there are a wide variety of benefits to focusing on the bright side. Optimism can help your business, your mind, and your body. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of positive thinking:

Build Skills

Positive thinking allows you to build skills that you might not otherwise be able to build, as you can focus on how to build the skill and the technique required, instead of panicking about how you’re going to be able to build it. The more time that you spend worrying about learning something and working yourself up about your lack of skill, the more time you aren’t focusing on mastering that skill. This means that once you’ve wrapped your mind around the idea of positive thinking, it becomes possible to build the skills that you need far faster than you would have previously imagined.

Boost Immunity

Positive thinking can also work to actually strengthen your body’s immune system. This means that instead of your immune system being constantly dragged down by negative thinking and stress, making you sick more frequently, you may actually be able to boost your immune system by focusing on positive ideas instead. This could mean fewer sick days, fewer doctors visits, and fewer days laid up feeling generally unwell. A strong immune system is better for your overall health, but also helps you make it through your day to day tasks more efficiently without the worry of falling behind due to illness.

Increase Overall Resilience

You can also increase your overall resilience by focusing on the positive things in life instead of the negative ones. This can help you to boost your overall resilience as a person, both physically and mentally, so that you can become more powerful and focused. Instead of wasting time worrying about all the things that could happen tomorrow, you can instead focus on the things that are happening today and managing them as well as possible. This level of resilience can help you to go much further in life, allowing you to brush problems off your shoulders and keep moving forward.

Cope with Stress More Effectively

Those who don’t manage stress effectively quickly find that it eats them alive. Stress can cause a wide variety of physical and mental symptoms if it isn’t managed well, and can lead to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, migraines, and heart issues over time. Taking the time to focus on the positive instead of the negative can help you manage the stress that you are experiencing and reframe it more accurately, in a way that you can manage more effectively.

While these aren’t all of the benefits of positive thinking, they’re certainly some of the most noticeable. For busy business owners, focusing on the positive aspects of life can sometimes seem overwhelming, but it’s often well worth the effort.


NEW! SOB Podcast: The Importance of Hitting the “Reset Button”

In this 34nd episode of SOB: Style of Business podcast, instead of conducting an interview, Keetria has a short and sweet discussion about the many benefits that can be achieved when we hit the reset button and include moments of relaxation, self-expression, and socializing into our daily grind. Whether you are feeling overworked trying to balance a business and a side job, or starting a company and taking care of your family – Keetria offers easy options to unwind and re-focus.

Show Notes:

  • Hitting the reset button is important when you feel exhausted or burnt out.
  • Most people probably work more than 40 hours a week.
  • Keetria recently hit her own reset button to unwind from her multiple projects.
  • What is important to me?
  • The reset buttons keeps our lives moving smoothly.
  • Working out, wine, happy hour, reading, painting, yoga, art, and meditation are all reset buttons.
  • There is great value in resetting yourself often – even daily.
  • Maybe pushing to get 150% is too much.

3 Key Points:

  1. If you aren’t satisfied with what you are doing, you can’t be any help to anyone else.
  2. Reset buttons include: meditation, yoga, exercise, wine, happy hour, reading, painting, and art.
  3. Are we trying too hard to push beyond our limits?

Tweetable Quotes:

–   “There comes a time to where you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall, or you just get exhausted…or sometimes it’s just complete burn out.” – Keetria.

–   “40-hour work week is at minimum…probably the minimum for the majority of folks.” – Keetria.

–   “What is important to me?” – Keetria.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Website – Keetria’s website for the podcast.
  • LinkedIn– Keetria’s LinkedIn page.

NEW! SOB Podcast: Meagan Copelin of Maize Consulting

A great interview with Meagan Copelin, the CEO of Houston area human resources management agency Maize Consulting.

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode 33:


During this new episode of Style of Business (SOB), Keetria interviews Meagan Copelin, the CEO and founder of Maize Consulting, a human resources management company based in Houston, Texas. Meagan passionately walks listeners through her inspiring transition from New Orleans to Houston where she overcame adversity and not only educated herself, but built up her human resource business from the ground up. Learn more about the human resource industry, what it takes to build your own business, and advice on how to grow.

Show Notes:

  • Meagan fills in her background, which includes working in human resources since 2005 and starting Maize Consulting in 2015.
  • Maize Consulting provides multiple human resource services for start-ups and medium-size businesses.
  • Maize is able to help businesses with reducing risk, becoming legally compliant, removing burden, increasing profit, hiring, termination, training, conflict resolution, performance management, policy and procedure handbooks, and more.
  • Meagan spends time with her clients to get to know their business intimately and to be more effective for them.
  • It is a misconception that HR is just a “yes person” for management.
  • Meagan moved to Houston for a job in 2013 with $500 for her name – and they rescinded their offer. She had to live in her car for 6-7 months.
  • Aside from extensive learning, Meagan surrounded herself with positive people that wanted her to succeed.
  • Meagan measures productivity by prioritizing, eliminating distractions, using her time wisely, and forgiving herself for mistakes.
  • Some of the courses Meagan is developing include subjects like talent strategies, reinventing yourself, intentional and exclusive leadership, and building world-class cultures.
  • Books that Meagan Copeland is reading are “Fasting for Breakthrough and Deliverance,” “Think and Grow Rich,” and “The Power of a Praying Woman.”
  • It is ok to cry and it is important to focus and get rid of distractions.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people because you don’t know their struggles.

3 Key Points:

  1. Meagan spends time with her clients to understand their business better and to be more valuable to them.
  2. Meagan judges her productivity by who well she did at prioritizing, eliminating distractions, using her time wisely, and forgiving herself for mistakes each day.
  3. Meagan is developing courses for talent strategies, reinventing yourself, intentional and exclusive leadership, and building world-class cultures.

Tweetable Quotes:

–   “This is the definition of human resources, is the organizational function that deals with people and issues related to compensation, hiring, performance management, training, employer retention, employer relations, etc.” – Meagan Copelin.

–   “I’m really, really hands-on. I want to make sure that when I am working with my client I want to be strategic, and I want to know everything there is about my client.” – Meagan Copelin.

–   “It is ok to cry.” – Meagan Copelin.

Resources Mentioned:

3 Creative Ways to Generate Publicity for your Brand

Publicity, if done right, can turn your brand into an instant star. Publicity is a way to spread the word about your business. And if you want your brand to get noticed in a big way, publicity stunts are a great way to get your brand in the spotlight. Here are creative ways on how your small business can turn heads:

Do the unexpected

While following trends is great, going the opposite direction can also do wonders for your brand. Doing something unexpected grabs people’s attention and makes your brand instantly memorable. Some of the most unforgettable publicity stunts recently have stopped people in their tracks and created ripples of delight in traditional and social media. You might get some ideas from these campaigns for small business:

  • No Pants Subway Ride for Shobha

Every January, brave New Yorkers face the challenge of walking around the city without their pants. Hair removal salon Shobha saw a unique opportunity to publicize their service during the event and sent out a team of pants-free individuals wearing underwear bearing the Shobha brand. The No Pants Subway Ride was organized by the Improv Everywhere prank collective and the stunt has succeeded in surprising and delighting the unsuspecting public.

  • Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge was a simple idea started by Chris Kennedy to raise funds for ALS. What started out as few videos showing people’s funny reactions became a viral phenomenon through social media. Soon, local and international media took notice and challenges were done on air by famous celebrities.

Go Guerilla

Guerilla Marketing is an advertising strategy that highlights creativity over budget. Ideas are often unique and yet easy to do on the local level. Concepts are often dynamic and imaginative and focus on grabbing the attention of the public. Here are some Guerilla Marketing tactics you can learn from:

  • Stencil Graffiti

Stencil graffiti uses stencils to create memorable street art. The idea is to paint as many stencils as possible in a given area, in a short period of time. The objective is for the street art to get noticed and create a buzz in public.

  • Treasure Hunts

Treasure hunts involve posting mysterious clues on social media about hidden treasures scattered across the city. The idea is to entice social media users to find the hidden treasures.


Attempt to beat a record

Beating someone’s record is a great publicity stunt because it’s fun and entertaining. There are also plenty of records to beat. When you decide to do this, make sure that the challenge is related to your line of business. For example:

  • If you have a pizza parlor, you can try to beat the 2017 record of created the longest pizza that measures 6,333 ft 3.60 in.
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  • If you’re the owner of a barbershop, you can attempt to break the world record for the number of haircuts done in 24 hours. Proceeds from the event can be given to charity.

3 Amazing Reads for Personal Development

Do you want to know yourself more and how you can live a better life? Do you want to improve how you communicate with other people? These books we chose offer practical and illuminating techniques on how you can make positive changes in your life.

  1. The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

In her latest book, “The Four Tendencies,” bestselling author Gretchen Rubin’s harnessed the power of personality tests to reveal the Four Tendencies that each of us has. We are either an Upholder, a Questioner, an Obliger, or a Rebel. According to Rubin, these Four Tendencies shape how we behave and react to the world, and understanding them will allow us to make better decisions and help us lead happier lives.

Best lesson: You’re more likely to thrive in a work environment that suits your personality

Best review:

“The Four Tendencies will immediately improve every area of your life—and I say this from personal experience. If you’ve been feeling stuck in your relationships, career, health, or self-confidence, understanding your Tendency and how to make it work for you is the game-changer you’ve been looking for.”

-Melissa Hartwig, author, and co-creator of The Whole30


  1. The Code of Trust: An American Counterintelligence Expert’s Five Rules to Lead and Succeed by Robin Dreeke and ‎Cameron Stauth

Robin Dreeke is a counterintelligence agent and the co-author of “The Code of Trust.” His main mission was to recruit American spies and counter the efforts of foreign spies. The way he approached his mission was unique because it was based on the power of trust. His goal was to inspire trust among people who could provide vital information. He believed that every person has a different style of communication. And the only way to get valuable information from anyone is to learn how they like to communicate.

Best lesson: The “platinum rule” is all about treating people the way you want to be treated.

Best review:

“Smart, empowering, and easy to follow, Dreeke’s manual should become a classic business―and personal―primer on the art of building trust.” – Publishers Weekly


  1. The Gifts Of Imperfection: Let Go Of Who You Think You’re Supposed To Be And Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

Do you feel the pressure of living up to other people’s expectations? Do you go through life believing that you’re not enough? Do you feel the need to be perfect in every way and feel that you’ve failed if you’ve fallen short? This book will teach you how to be gentle with yourself and how you can find your path to contentment.

Best lesson: Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.

Best review:

“Brown… urges us to expose and expel our insecurities in order to have the most fulfilling life possible. Her latest is a guidebook for pilgrims on the journey to wholehearted living, which she defines as containing courage, compassion, deliberate boundaries, and connection.”- Publishers Weekly

NEW! SOB Podcast: Laughing Matters with Comedian Deveron “D” Dennis

In this 32nd episode of SOB: Style of Business podcast, Keetria interviews stand-up comedian Deveron “D” Dennis from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

-Podcast Show Notes-


In this 32nd episode of SOB: Style of Business podcast, Keetria interviews stand-up comedian Deveron “D” Dennis from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. This young comic embraces his authentic voice and speaks his truth, while incorporating his observations, without being afraid of expressing vulnerability and self-deprecation. Deveron shares with Keetria how he discovered his passion for performing comedy, his methods of generating new material, how technology has benefited his career, and the importance of honesty on stage.

Show Notes:

  • Deveron “D” Dennis first found comedy first by being a 16-year old rapper called Young Cupid.
  • Deveron’s comedy is observational, self-deprecating, and offers meaningful opinions.
  •  Authenticity, honesty, and getting people to think is important to his comedic material.
  •  “Talk that Talk” is Deveron’s podcast that faces taboo topic discussions for healing and uplifting purposes.
  •  The steps that Deveron took to get started with comedy are realizing he could do it, watching comedian Kevin Hart, studying stand-up comedy, and then he started writing and trying it out on stage.
  • The first time Deveron competed with stand-up comedy in a talent show, he came in second place, and fought back against his nervousness.
  • He experienced the feeling of failing on stage once later in his career, after going on feeling confident beforehand – but he has never been booed yet.
  • Creating new material often comes from conversations and when he is cleaning his house.
  • Deveron’s writing process includes jotting down concepts that he finds funny then later freestyling them into a recorder to see how the humor comes naturally out of him to craft the best parts into a set.
  •  Recording his own comedy special material has helped him challenge himself.
  •  Technology has made it easier for club promoters find him, but he doesn’t want to share too much of his work online to prevent it from being stolen.
  • Being true to himself has made Deveron appreciate his comedy work even more and to tackle topics that are meaningful to him.
  • He finds being an entrepreneur scary, but he finds it inspiring and motivational.


3 Key Points:

  1. Honesty, and getting people to think are important to Deveron’s comedy.
  2. Conversations are a golden source of comedic material.
  3. Follow your dreams, but don’t ignore your realities.


Tweetable Quotes:

–   “Knowing that I am brightening somebody’s day. I think that is so powerful.”           – Deveron D” Dennis.

–   “Every time I’m on stage, I’m conveying the truth. I’m making people think.”
– Deveron “D” Dennis.

–   “A lot of material comes from conversation.” – Deveron “D” Dennis.

–   “The best piece of advice I have ever received was – don’t fake it.”
– Deveron “D” Dennis.

–   “Everyone needs to follow their dreams, and make sure that they are dealing with their reality – while following their dreams.” – Deveron “D” Dennis.


Resources Mentioned:

  • Twitter – Twitter page for Deveron “D” Dennis
  • Facebook – Facebook page for Deveron “D” Dennis
  • Podcast – Deveron’s “Talk that Talk” comedy podcast

3 Easy to Implement Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses

Most small businesses attract customers the old-fashioned way—via “word of mouth.” While word of mouth marketing works, it’s a painfully slow process to build a business. If you have a business, no matter how small it is, the best way to grow your customer base quickly is to advertise.

Here are some easy-to-implement advertising ideas you can do so you can effectively reach your target market:

  1. Make your business newsworthy

If you want newspapers and magazines to write about your business, you need to make your business newsworthy in the eyes of the press. A write-up in a publication won’t cost you anything and can help get the word out about your business. So how do you go about it? You need to think of interesting stories that can create a buzz for your business. Examples of these are:

  • If you have a salon, you can devout a weekend giving free haircuts to orphans or the homeless.
  • If you have a small pharmacy, you can start offering delivery service to your customers.
  • If you have a store, you can have a Kids are the Boss Day and let children of your employees handle the day’s business.
  • If you have a restaurant, you can make a conscious effort to make your business eco-friendly

The key is to come up with stories that hit home emotionally. The story may not be directly about your product offerings but it’s a great PR tool for you.

  1. Make a YouTube video

As focus shift from television to computer screens, YouTube has become one of the most important platforms online. With over 30 million visitors every single day, and five billion videos viewed daily, YouTube is an essential tool for any business looking to reach a large audience. You can create a video demonstrating your product and post it on YouTube. Or you can even create a series of videos that revolve around your product and its benefits and place them all on a YouTube channel. Here are some of the types of videos you create for your business:

  • A how-to video demonstrating how to use your product.
  • A Q&A about your product or service
  • A series of video testimonials from your customers
  • A video how your product is made in the factory
  1. Maximize your Facebook Business Page

The Facebook for Business Page has easy-to-use and affordable advertising tools for small businesses, use it to your advantage. You can boost a post and make it appear on your target market’s New Feed or promote your business page by clicking the Promote button. Here are other ways to advertise on Facebook:

  • Facebook Events – get the word out about your business by creating an event on Facebook. You can invite your friends and prospective customers and watch your guest list grow.
  • Content syndication – if you already have a website or a blog, you can use Facebook’s Social Plugins to enable them to be shared quickly.