Navigating the Storms of Life | Conversation with Attorney Teresa DeFord

Teresa DeFord is an attorney with DeFord Law Firm in The Woodlands, Texas. Passionate about helping women protect themselves legally and financially, whether they are impacted by divorce or death, her goal is to help women navigate these storms of life to create a new “normal” for themselves and their families.

How did you get started in your business?
I practiced law for a long time representing corporations before I realized that I could make so much more of a difference. The death of a good friend got me interested in estate planning after watching what his wife went through in trying to sort things out.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
The biggest hurdle is something I am still dealing with: respecting myself enough to charge for what I do to allow me to effectively represent my clients.

How has this hurdle made you better?
Working on this hurdle has helped me help my clients to realize that they are worth spending money on in order to protect themselves and their families and that they deserve it.

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?

What does gratitude mean to you?
“Gratitude” means to me that I am happy and thankful for the present moment no matter what that moment or circumstance is. It is always looking for and hopefully seeing the positive in any situation.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
I appreciate my kids for keeping me grounded. I appreciate my husband for being there even when I totally screw things up. I appreciate my parents for being so strong for their family, for their friends and neighbors and most of all for each other.

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Gratitude means that I am happy and thankful for the present moment. @woodlandslawyer Click To Tweet

Interview with Sagan Morrow, Freelance Coach

Sagan Morrow is an author, lifestyle blogger, and freelance coach, based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Describe your work.
I’m a professional lifestyle blogger, blogging about topics related to food & fitness, style & beauty, writing & business, feminism & social issues, and healthy living.

A major part of my business is that I teach new freelancers how to achieve success in their own freelancing businesses — after freelancing for 8 years myself, it’s wonderful to be able to help out other people in the freelancing industry!

How did you get started in your business?
I started freelance writing and editing because of my passion for those two activities, as well as because I wanted to be my own boss, work my own hours, and go to work every day with true joy. Thanks to my blog, I soon “fell into” freelance social media management as well!

From there, I’ve transitioned from doing freelance projects for clients to helping other freelancers rock their businesses. I’ve received so many questions about how to be successful as a freelancer, and I’ve seen so many people struggle in their businesses, that I realized it was time for me to really give back and make my main business focus about helping these people succeed and sharing my own knowledge and learnings from being a successful freelancer.

The Business of Writing and Editing by Sagan Morrow

“The Business of Writing and Editing” by Sagan Morrow

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
Being true to myself and the shifting directions that my business took. I’ve had so many opportunities to take the “easy road” by accepting projects and working with clients on things that I wasn’t actually that interested in. Being honest with myself about the direction I wanted to take my business, and being aware of when I wanted to shift gears, and putting together a plan of action (and implementing said plan!) to make those dreams a reality, is no easy task.

How has this hurdle made you better?
This has been SO important for my business. It means that I’m happier, the quality of my work is higher, and my productivity levels are through the roof. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?
I’m also going to nerd out here and point to the One of my favorite books for personal growth is “The Alchemist.” Such an inspiring and thought-provoking story (and it’s so well-written!).
Oxford English Dictionary
as one of the best books for both personal and business growth — learning new words and the meanings behind them help us to better express ourselves and communicate with others, which is so priceless.

Of course I have to give a shout-out to the book that I wrote! It’s called “The Business of Writing & Editing: Practical Tips & Templates for New Freelancers.” It has received five-star reviews including comments such as “this book has been literally life-changing for me.” It’s a really accessible, practical guide for business growth!

What does gratitude mean to you?
To me, gratitude is all about the meaning we give to things, and what we learn from them… and understanding that even when we make mistakes, even when we receive criticism, even when we receive feedback that isn’t as positive or uplifting as we’d like, we are still able to think critically about that and interpret it in a way that we can make real use out of it to improve ourselves and increase our understanding about ourselves and the world around us.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
The list is too long! I’m so appreciative of the support I’ve received from all the people in my life, even when they didn’t quite understand what I do. I’m incredibly grateful for the amazing encouragement and positive, constructive feedback I’ve received over the years which has helped me to learn, grow, and be who I am today.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?
Thank you for this opportunity!

Gratitude is all about the meaning we give to things, and what we learn from them. -@saganlives Click To Tweet

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Sagan Morrow

Sagan Morrow

Suzy Snow | 30 Women Who Mean Business Series

Suzy Snow is Jamberry Independent Consultant in the Greater Houston area.

Describe your business (work, passion) in 3 to 5 sentences.
I am a busy mom with two sets of twins who never had time nor the money to get my nails done. When my girls and I tried Jamberry wraps, we fell in love with how long they last, the adorable designs & salon quality nails for a fraction of the cost. Now, I am blessed to get paid by having pretty nails! Yay!

How did you get started in your business?
I originally joined only for the discount because my husband lost his engineering job at the time and I couldn’t afford to pay full price. I wanted the whole kit with the heater and wraps and figured purchasing the consultant kit was a good deal, even if I never sold it but could buy it at a discount. I had a launch party and made my first 3 fast starts and it took off.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
Finding the time to consistently devote each day to my business.

How has this hurdle made you better?
I learned about the power hour and started implementing it. This has helped.

Top books for personal and business growth?

What does gratitude mean to you?
Gratitude means to be thankful, joyful and content in all circumstances.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
I appreciate my husband for encouraging me to do well with Jamberry. I appreciate my sweet girls a.k.a. my business partners. They love Jamberry as much if not more than I do. I appreciate everyone in my “Jamily” and the support they provide.

Connect with Suzy Snow

Star Wars Inspired Jamberry Nails

Star Wars Inspired Jamberry Nails

Tangela Harris | 30 Women Who Mean Business Series

Tangela Harris with AFTER THISSS… offers leadership and life coaching for transitioning women.

Describe your business (work, passion) in 3 to 5 sentences.
I experienced the impact of domestic violence and discovered the real me. Now, I’m navigating women in their journey to discover themselves. There is life AFTER Divorce, Domestic violence, Marriage, Career Change, and the list goes on.

How did you get started in your business?
My ex-husband assaulted me and he is now serving 4 years in jail. That was a terrifying experience and I would not want anyone to go through life happenings alone.

I am a professional hairstylist and I have decided to come from behind the chair. I have been coaching clients for 28 years, so I became a certified life coach. I discovered the authentic me AFTER the assault, so I allowed my pain to push me into my passion of coaching my sisters into their AFTER THISSS… divorce or marriage, birth of kids or empty nest, gaining or losing a job…

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
My biggest hurdle was disconnecting my emotions from my story and stop seeing myself in my clients story. Domestic violence is real and it leave some real scars. Fear is paralyzing.

How has this hurdle made you better?
It has made me stronger and more resourceful for my clients. I know how my clients feel, I’ve walked in her shoes. But After Thisss… she will soar beyond current and past positions in life.

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?

What does gratitude mean to you?
Gratitude means being appreciative of the chance you have been given and showing it through your actions.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
I appreciate Brandy Woods for giving my family a home AFTER the assault. She didn’t let me stay in my mess. She never judged me, instead empowered me to move forward.

And Larissa Gaines for providing shelter when the police told me to get out-of-town for my protection. She and her family allowed my family to stay with her in Slidell, LA.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?
There is power in unity. No one has to be alone.

Gratitude means being appreciative of the chance you have been given and showing it through your actions. Click To Tweet

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Tangela Harris | After This.....

Tangela Harris | After Thisss…

Terri Ellis | 30 Women Who Mean Business Series

Terri Ellis owns Pillow Talk with Terri in Houston, Texas.

Describe your business (work, passion) in 3 to 5 sentences.
I educate and empower men and women in their relationships! Helping people to understand their bodies so they have a healthier and more fulfilling love life is my goal as a Passion Parties Consultant. Helping others is definitely my passion and I get to do it while partying and having a blast!!

How did you get started in your business?
I originally joined Passion Parties for the discount, but quickly realized I would love to get out to meet new people and share my knowledge with others to hopefully impact some lives in the process…so here I am!

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
Anxiety about approaching others to ask them to book parties has been a huge hurdle for me. I have a huge fear of rejection and I’m definitely a work in progress!

How has this hurdle made you better?
It has forced me to get outside of my comfort zone. Every time I do it, it gets a little easier…and getting a ‘no’ never has hurt me so I just continue to push myself!

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?

What does gratitude mean to you?
Gratitude means being thankful and appreciative of everything I do have and everything I’ve accomplished!

Who do you appreciate? Why?
I appreciate my husband for all his support and encouragement!

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Terri Ellis | Pillow Talk with Terri

Terri Ellis | Pillow Talk with Terri

Peggy Vincent | 30 Women Who Mean Business Series

Peggy Vincent is the founder of Comfy Cozy, Inc. in East Fallowfield, Pennsylvania.

Describe your business (work, passion) in 3 to 5 sentences.
I create designs that are whimsical and inspirational which are printed on Pillowcases. In addition, I work with clients to create exclusive, custom designs for events, business, personal, teams, etc. My passion is taking an idea, theme or image and designing fun & functional products that serve as keepsakes or marketing materials.

How did you get started in your business?
My first Glow in the Dark pillowcases were created in 1989 as Christmas Gifts for my nieces and nephews. The idea came to me as a fun gift that they would use over and over again. From there, after requests to hand paint more pillowcases for friends and family members I decided the idea was worthy of developing and starting a business.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
There wasn’t just one “biggest hurdle”. Initially finding funding to start the business. Once we had gotten started, marketing was always the biggest obstacle to growing the business. Another was maintaining confidence in the product and myself.

How has this hurdle made you better?
Finding funding helped create a solid mission statement and objectives for starting the business. In addition to being fiscally responsible. Finding inexpensive and cost effective marketing options helped me step out of my comfort zone and try new techniques. Maintaining confidence still is somewhat of a hurdle, but facing it every day helps remind me of who i was when I decided to start a business and keep working.

Top books for personal and business growth?

What does gratitude mean to you?
Gratitude means understanding and appreciating the value in people, words and actions. Being thankful for the big and mostly the little things that happen in my life, accepting that life isn’t always perfect but more often than not, what we think is important really isn’t at all.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
My family – immediate, extended, distant and deceased, for giving me life, love and a beautiful sense of belonging. My friends – those that truly know me, guide me and hold me up. My dog – for the undeniable sense that all that I am is all that he needs.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?
An important aspect of starting a business that I had never considered was the possibility of ending or changing a business. I’ve learned that facing that question BEFORE I reached that point would have been a very wise thing to have done. Setting some goals and guidelines beforehand allows you to make a decision with some clarity and maybe, a little less emotion. Allowing yourself to change your product, your customer base, your overall business isn’t a sign of failure but a sign of growth. That’s difficult to do when you’re standing mid stream and don’t know if you should turn back to what you know or push to the other side to follow a new path.

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Peggy Vincent | Comfy Cozy inc.

Peggy Vincent | Comfy Cozy inc.

Francine Clouden | 30 Women Who Mean Business Series

Francine Clouden, founder of Callaloo Soup, lives in Privas, France.

Note:  This interview occurred several weeks before the bombings in Paris. Ms. Clouden is safe.

Describe your business (work, passion) in 3 to 5 sentences.
My mission is to inspire and help busy and creative women to craft a simply beautiful life & create projects that truly reflect their values through the use of simple ideas and products like printables. On the flip side I encourage women to notice and capture the beautiful everyday moments, and to find a way to document them simply. My mantra is creative simplicity, and I emphasize slow and simple living.

How did you get started in your business?
It all started with my love for scrapbooking, which then morphed into a love for all things crafty. Due to a combination of budget restraints, plus unavailability of many crafting supplies in my area (France), I started making lots of my own home decor items, and creating my own paper craft supplies. Once I noticed that many creative women like me were tired of being overwhelmed by all the stuff that’s out there, I started offering my printables for sale.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
Lack of self-confidence. It was hard to put myself out there, especially trying to compete against the big names, and the mainstream way of doing things.

How has this hurdle made you better?
I’ve learned that women out there do appreciate what I have to offer, and this has made me more willing to take risks and try new things.

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?
Oh you’re speaking my language now! I’m a huge book nerd. Only three though?……

I talk about even more books like these in this blog post.

What does gratitude mean to you?
It means being aware, and taking the time to stop and notice the good things, even in the midst of the busiest day.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
My parents for instilling in me the love of learning. My husband for doing most of the cooking. And my son for his bright-eyed approach to living life.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?
I love connecting with other creative women who crave a simple life. My favourite way to do this is on Instagram and in my Creative Simplicity group on Facebook.

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francineclouden1

Rhonda Dallas | 30 Women Who Mean Business Series

Rhonda Dallas is the founder of R2EWD:  Reaching To Empower Women Daily, in Houston, Texas.

Describe your business (work, passion) in 3 to 5 sentences.
R2EWD is a non-profit organization whose mission is to mentor women who are facing everyday challenges through coaching, and consulting. I also mentor children in combating obesity. I coach, teach, and train people to turn their dreams into reality

How did you get started in your business?
I started by building partnerships within my community and seeing there was a need for small women business owners to brand and grow themselves and or their business so I started hosting coaching classes.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
Myself and not being fearful but being faithful.

How has this hurdle made you better?
I am a stronger and more confident woman.

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?

What does gratitude mean to you?
Being Thankful to God for where I am and how far He has brought me. Having a healthy family, friends, and ministry.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
My mom for life and support, my husband for unwavering love and support, my children for their love and support and my friends who tell me the truth.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?
I am a certified Life Coach, A certified nutritional counselor.

Follow Rhonda Dallas

  • Website:  rhondadallascoaching.com
  • Facebook: facebook.com/dallasjrus
Rhonda Dallas

Rhonda Dallas