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Mind Your Own Business

The Power of Collaborations

As the last quarter of the year rolls in, it spells out many things--it marks the end of the year and it is also preparing us to usher in the new year. Which means--new beginnings. But in business, the fiscal year will show where we stand in business, where we need room for improvements--our report card.

For the sake of this column, we are going to discuss how we can use the closing quarter as a reason to Mind Your Own Business. I mean it exactly how you are reading it--why should you use this time to sit and reflect on the last quarter of the year to reach your goals? How can you look back, see and review that list you created earlier this year and find out where you stand so you can fall back on a bed of leaves that will sprout new beginnings for your life and the longevity of your business.

My personal mission is to create an environment that is truly based on inclusion, diversity, and opportunity. I have been invited by many of the industry's most respected figures to speak on the subject I love the most--What Does Diversity and Inclusion Look Like Today. Yes, we are still talking about it, because this is not something that was going to be solved in 15 months because we were on lockdown. While many things have begun to change--so much work remains to be figured out.

But I am a firm believer that the change also comes from within--by looking in the mirror. We sometimes have to look at our own businesses practices, leadership positions, and vision, either we will have to adjust them, revamp them or in some cases burn them and start new. Doesn't mean you quit, but it simply means--we need to ask ourselves if my vision is still relevant to today's audience, demographic, and each of our consumer reach.

One company that recently saw they had to do a major shift to attract today's demographic of consumers is Tiffany & Company.

They selected power couple Beyonce and Jay Z to grace their new advertising with Beyonce wearing the coveted legacy piece worn by only three other women in its existence and Beyonce being the first Black woman to do so.

This 128-carat diamond necklace was not the only thing that struck controversy, but it was with a rarely seen Jean-Michel Basquiat painting that was recently acquired by the jewelry brand’s new owner, LVMH. But what I found interesting it seemed to echo a modern take of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” which lead to a storm of debates.

Which, from a branding and PR perspective was well-intended, and I am sure was perfectly planned. However, knowing Beyonce and Jay Z, their team knew what was on the horizon and were well prepared for the tsunami controversy.

What lesson can we walk away from with me telling you this news--what are you doing about your business? Are you modeling Tiffany and Company by finding strategic partnerships or aligning yourself with the right people that will assist you in strategically planning your company's end game, to where you need to go? Even if everything is not perfect. But part of growth with any business is accepting you know what you know and hiring the right people to know what you don't know. It is ok not to know everything--that is why it is important to build a great team that will build you to where you dare dream and take you beyond. But you have to be open to listening, hear things you don't want to hear, and make necessary changes. That is the challenge--you can be your own stumbling block if you don't separate your emotions from your business sense. Don't mistake passion, drive for sensitivity. You just have to know when it is best to let it lead your business because you will need it for the days when things are not going as expected or planned.

So let us all start wherever we are--committed to forming relationships that can be mutually beneficial and sound, forming alliances that will enhance all of our goals.