Archive for the ‘professional development’ Category


December 30, 2013

free business tips, training in business, Robert De Niro actor, Michelle Pfieffer, The Family movie, best Christmas movies, New Years movieI rarely get to sit still long enough to watch movies.  But, for Christmas, we bought “The Family” DVD from Walmart.  This movie features Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfieffer.  It’s a really, really funny movie about a gangster who is in the witness protection program.  If you haven’t seen this one, I highly recommend that you buy or rent it.

Robert De Niro plays the father and Michelle Pfieffer is his wife.  Well, the father decides to write his memoirs and outlines 10 rules he lives by.  If you following my blog articles, you know I love to cull business lessons out of movies.  I have written two (2) blog articles about lessons we can learn from The Godfather trilogy.   For fun, here are 10 business lessons we can learn from Robert De Niro’s character:

1. I don’t like to cause pain for no good reason because all of my sadistic urges are satisfied when I cause pain for a reason.

In business, there is no need or good reason to cause anybody pain (smile).  For example, there is no need to chase down your competitors’ clients and customers by pointing out negative things about your competition.  I have observed a lot of this ill will and bad behavior in the consulting arena.  Most of the people that behaved that way toward me in response to my entering the arena are now out of business.  Deliberately trying to hurt people in order to get work will rebound against you.

2. Anybody who doesn’t contradict me can expect nothing but good things from me.

This is actually a bad belief to embrace.  The best lessons you can learn will likely be from wise mentors and coaches that contradict what you believe and what you practice.  The good mentors and coaches will push you to think outside the box and to move outside your comfort zone.

3. When I ran the community, there was never a single robbery in the street.  People lived and slept easily.

Casting the mob boss role aside, it is indeed very important to be a part of the community and to try to make your community a better place.  Business owners can attend city council, county commission, and regional development meetings.  We can become active in civic groups like Civic Leagues, Rotary or Kiwanis.  We can also get active in church activities.

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By Clovia Hamilton, President

Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.


Quicksand and Business Failure

July 21, 2013

failure of business, failure in business, overcoming fearOne of my favorite scenes in the movie Replacement Players is where the Quarterback Falco (played by Keanu Reeves) tells the team that his greatest performance fear is “quicksand”.  He says that he feels as though he’s in quicksand when everything is going fine; and then one thing goes wrong; and then another; and then another.  He says that you try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink until you cannot move.

Many entrepreneurs face paralysis.  They may have some active clients and work, but not enough to make ends meet.  They may get work but cannot perform due to lack of competence or the lack of physical manpower.  Falco describes quicksand as a situation where you cannot breathe because you are in over your head.

In the movie Replacement Players, Falco was accused falling apart and choking whenever the game was on the line.  His coach tells the team to face their fears and overcome them as a team.  He tells them they need hear t and they need to play like winners – – because winners always want the ball.

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By Clovia Hamilton, President of Lemongrass Consulting

Training on Sales

May 8, 2013

I am in an Executive MBA program at Wesleyan College.   I am amazed at how many business schools do not teach sales.  Regardless of whether or not we are in business, we all sell.  We sell ideas, knowledge, skills, abilities, products, services, etc.  Yet, I rarely come across business degree programs that include sales training.  There are MBAs and MBA students that cannot sell themselves well enough to get work – – how ironic!

I did a cursory search and found a class in Salesmanship at Devry.  Also, Ball State University has a Center for Professional Selling and offers a major in sales.  The classes and programs are few and far between.

There is also a shortage of free or affordable sales training offered by the SBA Small Business Development Centers and Department of Defense funded Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.  Many of the training and coaching programs offered by business trade organizations do not include sales training.

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Small Business Hoarders and Fear of Lost Control

March 3, 2012

I enjoy the television show Hoarders. I love it when the troubled folks’ homes are transformed for the better. My mom (now deceased) was a hoarder. My brother and I would clean and put things in the alley; and she would go behind us and bring the items back in. It did not matter that some items were full of mildew or had other issues. Our home never looked like the homes featured on the show Hoarders. But, we had stockpiles of stuff stored everywhere. There are a lot of reasons my mom held on to things closely. She grew up poor; suffered a lifetime of losses; and she was a housewife with very few things she could call her own. It was always about not wanting to lose anything; power and control. For my mom, to lose things would be to lose apart of herself.

Hoarders and their struggle to change remind me a lot of struggling business owners. Well, I recently read Deborah Jeanne Sergeant’s article “Fear Means Failure” for the Home Business magazine March/April 2012 issue. She interviewed author Tom Rieger about how fear impacts home businesses. Tom Rieger talked about territorialism and empire building. Tom stated that territorialism is when someone exerts excessive control over budget, information, or employees. He stated that the fear of loss of that control is what drives these business leaders. With respect to empire builders, when they feel their empire is threatened, there is conflict.

Tom Rieger explained that people will do things to prevent the loss by erecting walls or holding onto processes – no matter what. Rieger stated that success requires change and to change you have to give up something. The lost is fearful.

I have had several business coaches and mentors. The best ones have urged me to get pass denial, get at the root of what fears me, and to be about making improvements. Change is tough. I have counseled business owners at the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center. The struggling businesses are led by folks that are in denial and are unwilling to make changes.

Some struggling business owners need to give up entirely. Some need reinvent themselves. Either way requires change.
What gets in the way? Some of the folks featured on the show Hoarders have stated they fear they will lose everything.

Here are some of the traits that hoarders have. If you are a small business owner, these are traits to beware of. Do a self assessment. Do you exhibit any of these traits?

1. Obsessive Compulsive behavior

a. Compulsive shopping

i.      obsessive need to acquire and keep things (in business it can be inventory, supplies, or tech toys)

ii.      keeps collecting

iii.      too attached to objects; believe that the stuff is apart of themselves

b. Hoard busy work

c. Hanging onto stuff – not delegating, not letting go

d. No limits are set

e. Think that all things have unsurpassable value

2. Depressed, Unhappy, Discouraged, Disappointed

a. Feeling let down
b. Letting others down
c. Use anger to control others and to get what you want
d. Have intense sadness

3. Confused
a. Lack direction
b. Lack focus
c. Lack clarity
d. Lack structure
e. Lack stability
f. Indecisive
g. Poor judgment

4. Babied
a. Don’t want to take responsibility
b. Not doing for self; looking to others to take care of them
c. Looking for others to say “clean that up”
d. Surrounded by enablers
e. In perpetual victim role blaming others

5. Overwhelmed
a. Under a lot of pressure, stressed
b. Have a lot of weight on your shoulders
c. Feeling that it is just too much to handle
d. Allowing things to get too out of control
e. Taking on too much
f. Completely disorganized; so cluttered (mentally and/or physically) that even the most basis tasks have become impossible

6. Low self esteem
a. Not caring enough about appearances
b. Not caring enough about hygiene
c. Minimize their own care, standards, and needs

7. Avoidance
a. In denial and do not see anything wrong; thinks everything is fine when it is not
b. Delusional, Desire to escape reality, living in a fantasy
c. Alienates oneself from the world of criticism
i. Lonely
ii. Isolated; little interaction with others
d. Not wanting others to see what is really going on
i. Ashamed
ii. Embarrassed
e. Not wanting to deal with tough issues
f. Showing no emotions, no responses about the bad situation
i. Keeps a tight leash on emotions
ii. Don’t allow themselves to have their emotions; push emotions away
iii. Avoid painful emotions
g. Just go with the flow; don’t get excited about things
h. Just don’t want to think about it
i. Don’t realize you are in a state of crisis; don’t realize how bad things are

8. Stuck, not moving forward
a. Emotional paralysis
b. Lost inside their own head
c. Don’t care anymore
d. No energy

9. Fear of losing memories of the good times

10. Hard and ugly
a. Hard to handle
b. Hard to take
c. Hard to be around, drives people away
d. Abusive, antagonistic
e. Extremely stubborn

Besides the show Hoarders, we see these traits in the business owners featured on shows like Tabatha and Kitchen Impossible.

Hoarders hoard control. Fear keeps them enslaved. They cannot picture someone coming in and telling them what to do. If you are a struggling business owner and you suffer from any of these characteristics, get help. You may not have a home or business establishment that looks like the extreme cases we see on the show Hoarders, but most struggling business owners exhibit some of the characteristics of hoarders. They need a business coach or mentor to help them push pass their fears. They may also need an organizational assessment, direction, clarity, leadership and organizational skills.

Our businesses are our babies. Our babies deserve the best. On the show Hoarders, when children are involved, the hoarder may be threatened with a call to child protective services. In a failing business, there is no such agency to call.

The struggling business owner may need to let go and cut losses by selling or closing the business. They may need to reinvent and make some changes. In business, we have to be able to feel distress and be able to push through distress. There is a lot of rejection in sales. Rejection is painful. You have to be willing to go through the anxiety. Connecting to people is what’s important – not to objects. You have to be able to focus on the big picture.

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with nearly 30 years of government work experience and has served as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including organizational assessments, government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, social media marketing strategic plans, and other services.

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5 Ways to Exercise and Increase your Energy

August 17, 2011

My latest quest is to lose weight. I lost 30 lbs a few years ago and it returned home with some friends. I am a task oriented creative. So, I read a lot and come up with great ideas for business development. I then write my ideas on Q cards and try to implement my new plans and strategies. What I have learned is that I simply need more energy to get it done. This is especially true since, like most small business owners, I cannot afford to hire a team to delegate it all to.

Exercise is not all bad if you develop the right attitude toward it and view it from a perspective that makes sense to you. For me, everything is pretty cerebral. So, that has to be my approach to getting right about exercising.

A few years ago, a business coach Gretchen Sutherland encouraged me to teach my 10 year old daughter better eating and exercise habits and serve as a role model to her. Of course, at the time, I did not listen. But, we are now pursuing it as a quality of life issue and I am viewing myself as a role model to my daughter. As I get older and really begin to combat the adverse impacts of aging, this is becoming more and more important to me.

Well, here are 5 ways we get our exercise in despite my busy schedule:

1. We walk. We actually walk and swing on a swing set. Swinging has always been one of my favorite things to do. So, we will walk around the parking lot of our local park and our end of walk treat is time on the swings.
2. We bike ride. This has been a bit of a challenge recently. My daughter has a flat tire. Also, I borrowed my son’s bike and took his bike back. Well, he’s now in the military. So, I plan to take my daughter’s bike to Sports Authority for the repair; and I am going to confiscate my son’s bike back (to save money).
3. We attend dancercise and step classes. I am most excited about these classes. I see my daughter getting stronger and coming into her own space. We go to my Health Management Organization (HMO) Kaiser Permanente. The classes are free. You cannot beat free; and they play hip hop music which is fun. My daughter wants to eat junk after the workout. So, I prep apple slices and a little caramel dip for her as a post class treat.
4. We follow aerobic instruction on DVDs. I found a great cardio workout DVD for just ten bucks at Walmart. My business coach told me that my sit ups, leg lifts and stretches were fine for toning. But, I did not break a sweat. I had to rev it up in order to burn calories. The DVD is not as excited as being around other motivated folks in live dance class.
5. I love to dance. I recently joined a local ladies club for divas in my community. We get together for activities like plays, movies, horse back riding, and dancing. I decided to really get out there and create a work-life balance – and just “plain ole have” fun! Although many of the activities are not really exercise. I think the mental downtime from work is important. Most importantly, networking and getting outside of your own head is priceless.

The key for me is to mix it all up so that I do not get bored.

How do you get your work out in?
By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with nearly 30 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, social media marketing strategic plans, and other services. Contact Clovia at:
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9 Business Lessons from the Green Lantern

June 19, 2011

This weekend, I watched the Green Lantern movie. It was awesome! Here are nine (9) business lessons I learned from the movie:

1. Green Lantern operates on green energy and the color green represents a species’ will. Our will allows us to create what we imagine. Anything the Green Lantern could see in his mind, he could create. He just needed to focus. We are only as strong as our will. The business lesson here is that every business leader needs to utilize laser focused creativity and imagination to develop a vision for what the business needs to look like and for strategies the business can use to overcome barriers. This is where a sound business plan and strategic planning comes into play. To stay creative, business leaders also have to overcome getting into ruts and feeling burned out.

Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur’s Council recently wrote a Huffington Post article on how entrepreneurs can get back to being creative and productive. The answers included: 1) taking on a hobby other than the startup; 2) delegate and outsource certain functions; 3) take time to recharge and get away; 4) focus on activity that gives you energy; 5) find a business partner; 6) read about art, literature, history; 7) mentor others;  8) work out; 9) pick a company that is getting it right to emulate and track; 10) conquer a fear with sky diving, mountain climbing or some other adventure; 11) invest in something creative or different for your business; 12) turn to your mentors; 13) network with folks in other fields; 14) take up creative writing; and 15) change your routine.

2. Your will is what makes you take action.
3. The Green Lantern Corps is only as strong as its weakest link.
4. In the movie, the villain Parallax had the color yellow and fed on the fear of others. This is actually the color I associate with cowardice. Fear stops you and makes you weak. Ignore your fear. Last year, Karen Klein wrote a BusinessWeek article about Nell Merlino and what holds women business owners back. Nell Merlino advocates that women business owners need to hire. However, Nell acknowledged that many feared doing so because they were afraid they would not be able to make payroll or would cede and lose control and management of their brand. In Nell Merlino’s self help memoir entitled “Stepping out of Line”, she advocates that whatever you can imagine for yourself, you can achieve – and imagination and dedication are the keys.
5. The Green Lantern ring chose the character Hal to be the Green Lantern. In the movie, it was stated that the “ring” chose Hal; and the ring never makes a mistake. I think the ring is symbolic of a higher spirit or God. Just as Hal was chosen to serve as the Green Lantern, I think God chooses individuals to be business leaders.
6. In the movie, the villain was an evil power of darkness that fed on fear. In business, our enemies are naysayers or competitors that block the market entry of newcomers. It was stated in the movie that the will is the sole weapon against the enemy of fear.
7. One of the Green Lantern Corps members wanted to fight fear with fear. The Green Lantern disagreed. The business leadership lesson here is that we do not have to become like our enemies in order to succeed. I have observed this time and time again. When I first opened my business in 2005, several competitors wanted to meet and talk. Some wanted to find out my weaknesses and fears. Some were really ugly about blocking me from entering their arena or space. I thought this was awful – they were fighting fear with fear – trying to make me be afraid about moving forward with my plans. I also encountered loved ones (friends and family members) that really did not want me to be “that” successful. So, they tried to play on my fears by telling me how hard it would be; how costly; how foolish.
8. Parallax is generally defined as the displacement of an observed object due to the change in the position of the observer. In the movie, the villain Parallax could see your memories and read minds. This is how it could feed on the fears of others. In business, you have to be careful sharing certain memories, thoughts, and fears to prevent enemies from preying on your fears. Guarding the business position is important.
9. The Green Lantern had to recharge his ring; i.e. recharge his will. I think this is analogous to prayer and having faith. I think we need to take time to pray, meditate to recharge and gain strength to overcome barriers.

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, and social media marketing strategic plans.

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3 Sources of Limiting Thoughts – Don’t Put Limits on Yourself

April 24, 2011

I attended a black business expo in southwest Georgia this past weekend. Allen Payne, one of the actors on Tyler Perry’s show House of Payne gave an appearance. He spoke about being from Harlem and how he was headed for trouble in the streets until he began to study acting. I too grew up in a rough and tumble inner city neighborhood. I was raised on Chicago’s south side in Roseland. There were drugs, there was prostitution, and there were fights. But my parents raised us differently and encouraged us to go to college.

What resonated with me as Allen Payne spoke was the message that to succeed, you must stop putting limitations on yourself. He spoke about limits that our loved ones can put on us; our peers; and ourselves. I think this is a valuable lesson for anyone, especially small business owners. This article shares some thoughts I have about how this rule of thumb should be applied by small business owners.

First source – Loved Ones

You may have to love some friends and family members from a distance. If they are being negative about your desire to start and grow a business, then love them from a distance. Distance yourself from them. If you cannot physically relocate, then find a group of like minded individuals that can give you support. You may have parents, spouses, children, and others discourage you and tell you that you cannot make money. Find strength in God and don’t quit.

Second source – Our peers

Allen Payne talked about having to pass the thugs he once hung out with in order to get to the Actor’s Studio for training. I had a similar experience as a youth. I attended college classes at a local junior college and at Chicago State when I was in high school and participated in college prep programs at the University of Illinois in Chicago. When I was sixteen, I worked as a civil engineer in training at Harza. I had to pass our neighborhood thugs, and others that labeled me an uppity goody two shoes. Luckily, my parents taught us at an early age to hold our chin up and walk pass taunts.

That life lesson still applies. As a small business owner, you have to hold your head up and walk pass peers that are jealous, petty, unsupportive, or evil. You must surround yourself with supportive people. The use of social media and trade organizations are a great ways to find like minds. Meet online and take the conversation offline when there’s synergy.

Third source – Ourselves

You can put limits on yourself with nay saying thoughts and reluctance to move out on tasks that can catapult your business. From time to time, I talk to a fellow female business owner that I met in a small business development program. We share our business development challenges and ideas about how to improve our businesses. What I have notice over time is that on some ideas, she is quick to point out (a) how she has tried it once already and failed; (b) how it may become too costly; (c) how it can get you in trouble; and (d) how she would not try this and that because she just hates it.

Well, first of all, hate eats up A LOT of energy. You cannot succeed in business by trying something only once. You have to be consistent, work a routine, and be persistent. For example, it may take 6 to 24 months to land a first government contract. Further, successful entrepreneurs are optimists rather than pessimistic, risk averse people. Business owners can plan ahead to control costs and risks. One of my favorite quotes is “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. George S. Patton”.

Getting back to Allen Payne – he shared a few other important lessons that I have lived by for years. It was refreshing to hear him share these sentiments. Allen spoke about seeing your life as a miracle and finding strength in God. He compared his journey and relationship with God to riding a wave. I have a similar experience.

Years ago I more than doubled my salary. I called it being on auto pilot. I simply moved out on faith; focused on my career goals and dreams; and set out on a journey that took me to several states and great career posts. This is the mindset you have to have to survive this down economy. Having the support and strength of a Higher Spirit certainly helps.

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Contact Clovia at or follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans

New Years Resolutions – How to Self SWOT

November 7, 2010

New Years Resolutions are due in less than two (2) months.  The strategic planner in me urges you to conduct a quick Self SWOT to list your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  The key is to be honest.  I cannot tell you how many small business owners and other professionals that remain in denial for years.  It is painful to list your weaknesses and there may be even more pain to actually do something about it.

My Self SWOT revealed the following:


*I write well;

*I enjoy coaching and mentoring others;

*I am very organized; and

*I am very productive.


*I have a youthful voice;

*I have debt due to the down economy;

*I have low income due to the down economy;

*I need assistants to help with sales; and

*I need to lose weight.


*I can hire a speech therapist;

*I can pay creditors via a debt management plan;

*I can improve sales and increase income;

*I can hire student assistants and volunteer interns;

*I can exercise and eat right.


*I am my only threat!

The real threat is how we may get in our own way.

Once you have completed your Self SWOT list, the results can become your New Years Resolutions for 2011.  Take your list of Weaknesses and resolve to do something about them to convert them into Strengths.  Plan implementation is crucial to achieving success.  Commit to viewing your Opportunities as means to convert each Weakness into Strengths.  The key is to approach this exercise with zeal, discipline and commitment.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at

Top 5 Leadership Lessons

October 19, 2010

This article reflects on my 27 year old career as an engineer, strategic planner, and attorney. It lists 5 traits of strong leaders that I have had the pleasure to work with.

(1) Be organized

One of the first lessons I learned was from Ronald Collins who led the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) Materials Research Lab years ago. Ron taught me to act on it, file it, or trash it. That was in 1990. I still act on every piece of paper in this manner to this day. It keeps down clutter and chaos. Taking action simply entails making the decision to delegate it to others or respond to it yourself. The key is to not linger. You have to read it and make the decision as soon as it arrives in the mail or hits your desk.

(2) Help pre-professional buds grow into professional blossoms

Carl Spinks was one of the coolest cats I ever worked under. Carl led Statewide Planning at GDOT. Carl delegated program management and projects to his team members and he gave us our space. If we needed insight or help, he would be there for us. But, he let us do our thing. He did not micromanage, sweat us, or be-little anyone. He was always cool, calm and collected. I recall only one time that he got irate with me. I did not want to go present the status of the Transportation Enhancement Activities program. I shared management duties with another young lady. We were both pointing to each other, telling Carl that we each did not want to do it. Carl said we lacked discipline and we could both use some time in the military. Seeing him upset was enough for me to straighten up.

Carl allowed us to complete management training courses. Some of us attended graduate school in civil engineering or law. Continued education was supported and appreciated.

(3) Hold “everyone” accountable

In every organization, there are heavy producers and there are slack folks. I have always been a heavy producer. I can multi-task and wrap my brain around a myriad of different ideas and data simultaneously. It would upset me when others did not do the same. I worked under the direction of Fernando Costa at the City of Atlanta that on the one hand was extremely organized and seemed to hold folks accountable in staff meetings. He had a cool system of using sticky notes.

For example, we would have a staff meeting of functional area urban planners on Friday. On sticky notes, our director would list each of our tasks that we needed to accomplish during the week. If the task was complete, the sticky note would get balled up and tossed. If the task did not get completed he would inquire further.

While I loved this system, the truth was that not everyone was held accountable for their responsibilities. If someone routinely did not get their work done, eventually their work would end up on my desk. That was annoying and over time I felt burned out. We had an assistant director that gave me the questionable advice to slow down in getting work done so that it would appear that the director would not give me so much work. Wow! What a solution?! I resigned instead.

(4) Share the limelight

I think one of the worse things a leader can do is take all of the credit for program implementation, project completion, or events. If the leader has a team to lead, then the entire team should get the credit. Published photos should not be of the leader only. The photos should show the entire group and behind the scene action. All professionals want acknowledgment and recognition. After all, they are trying to establish themselves. Many deserve it.

(5) Have the ability to envision outcomes and guide others

To lead is to guide. You cannot guide or direct anyone if you are doing it all yourself. Here is a Webster’s Dictionary definition of lead: “To go with or ahead of so as to show the way”. If you do not have a clear vision or way, then you cannot lead. If you are not willing to walk alongside or ahead of your team members, then you cannot lead them.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at

Re-engineering: Balancing Patience with Time Management

October 10, 2010

I am writing this on 10-10-10. I once read that the number ten (10) means being “One with God” in Egyptian Numerology. If that is true, I am getting a triple dose today. The Godly virtue of Patience has been a common theme for me recently. I have been trying to re-engineering and rebrand my firm away from an emphasis on working with land development teams and more toward offering services that translate to and are helpful to a wider variety of industries.

Rebranding and Re-engineering requires patience. I was once told that one of my great grandmothers was a slave named Patience. I sometimes think of what she could have looked like and how she behaved. I think she was tough, strong, reserved, and quiet. Slaves were often named for a virtue their parents had or wanted them to have. Being patient is to bear misfortune and pain without complaint or irritation. Patient people have quiet, even tempered perserverance.

I have a healthy dose of patience in my fabric. Others have told me so. I also see it in myself. But, I have learned that the real challenge is time management and working with others that may not be so patience.

Here’s a case in point. You may need to hire help with rolling out sales campaigns and prospecting. If you cannot afford to hire, you solicit help with the terms and conditions (TCs) that when you get paid, they get paid for helping you. If “you” have patience, you can live with these TCs. But, if they cannot patiently await compensation, you are in trouble. Here’s a solution: hire folks that have other sources of income or compensation. For example, ideal assistance can come from retirees; married stay at home moms; and students that can earn course credit for helping you.

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I think I inherited it. Although my parents and family members never labeled themselves “entrepreneurs”, we always found innovative ways to make ends meet to survive. We sold chicken plates, sold items at flea markets, home renovations, and home cleaning. When we would hit a stumbling block, the perspective that it was minor and needed a solution. So, if you cannot afford to hire, do not give up. Just do it. Find an innovative way to just do it.

Although it takes patience to re-engineer and rebrand your firm, it also takes balance. I am learning that you cannot attribute a lengthy amount of time to “just do it” to your having the Godly virtue of patience. You could easily take your sweet time and tell others that it is alright to saunter because you have patience. Well, is your patience paying the bills? Will your patience save your company?

The balancing act is balancing having the patience to see things through with having a clear strategic plan with set goals and deadlines to have things completed. Time management is a key skill. What works for me is calendaring everything. If I want to hire help, advertising and outreach has to be put on the calendar. Now, the pressure is on. The start and end dates are set. I can tell myself that I have the patience to await responses, but I have to balance that with the reality that the responses need to come in and be acted on by a certain deadline. I put myself under a little pressure. It will not break me. If I do not get the responses I need, I find a solution. I cast a bigger fish net.

Just do it. Do it with style, class, and patience. But, do not use that virtue as an excuse to watch your vision and dreams disintegrate before your eyes. There is an old saying that if you do the same thing with the same bad results, you are insane. Well, you may call it having patience. Others see it as a mental disorder. To truly persevere and be diligent, you have to achieve real change and real results.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at