Coming to the table too

I have been on a journey to uncover my family’s genealogy and I recently had my DNA test taken by AncestryDNA.

I anticipated finding out what my ancestral countries of origin were in Africa and hopefully the tribes my ancestors belonged to. The good ole “this” percent African and “that” percent what-I-thought-was-Native American.

Well, I didn’t find a single trace of Native American DNA. But I did find 28% European.

AncestryDNA provided a three person genetic match with a man named Gustavus Boone Robertson and his wife Isabella (Gentry) Robertson.

On my father’s side, my paternal great grandmother is Gladys Gentry. I know nothing about when she was born or when she died. I have her husband’s name, Henry Jackson 1874 – 1967. What I do have from her is her blood. Her memory. A suggestion of a tragic memory from her family’s past as enslaved Africans.

What I ended up finding was DNA traced to a genealogist that suggests we are 3rd – 5th cousins with a three-times great grandfather in common, Elijah Gentry Jr.

After trading many emails, running DNA into two different systems, and analyzing the data, my cousin Judy G. Russell wrote this blog post that brought me to tears and gave me goosebumps.

It gave me something I never anticipated finding, and brought two people from different worlds together who may never have met if it wasn’t for advancements in technology.

The confirmation of pains of a traumatic ancestral past as the descendant of enslaved African ancestors and also the hope for a future built on knowledge and acknowledgement as well as love.

“But as she and I are turning to that paper trail now … we do so with an eye on a dream. It’s a dream articulated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his speech at the Washington Monument on August 28th, 1963. It’s a dream, he said he had, “that one day… the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”So maybe it won’t be the sons, Dr. King.Maybe this time it’s going to be the daughters who will sit together.”
Read the blog post for yourself.
 
Contemporary African Ethnic Groups

Contemporary African Ethnic Groups

This article provides a list of the ethnicities that today’s American descendants of African ancestry are genetically connected with.

Looking at my own DNA summary, this is what 70% of my genetics break down to:


According to my genetic breakdown, I have 32% Nigerian and 6% Benin/Togo and 2% Cameroon/Congo in my ancestry.

The article describing the ethnicities, originally posted by TheRoot.com, provides a list of ethnicities that I have been able to compare to my DNA break down.

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Comparing these ethnicities to my DNA break down, it appears that I have Ibibio and Yoruba ethnicities. If I did not have Benin/Togo or Cameroon/Congo in my DNA, I would have narrowed down my ethnicities to several of the ethnicities under the country of Nigeria. Because of the trace amounts of Benin/Togo and Cameroon/Congo, I can confidently narrow down my ethnicities to Ibibio and Yoruba. This finding is exciting!

To confirm the ethnicities, I will have to get further DNA testing done, as I plan to do through AfricanAncestry.com.

46 Ethnic Groups

When it comes to pinpointing your DNA, most Americans of enslaved African ancestry come from only 46 ethnic groups.

The areas that Africans were enslaved in and brought to America from during the transatlantic slave trade were few and were documented by both European and American slavers.

This article explains in detail how DNA is used to find out where your African ancestry is traced, both by country and by ethnicity.

When tracing my DNA, I found out that I am 32% Nigerian and 19% Malian which is common for people who are descended from Nigeria. While Nigerians certainly see themselves as citizens of Nigeria, they recognize their ethnicity first. I will need to get further DNA testing done to determine which of the 300 ethnicities in Nigeria I am genetically connected to.

I recommend that you take either a maternal (if you are female) or paternal (if you are male) DNA test from AfricanAncestry.com to get the full picture of both countries and ethnicities.

Can a mom work from home?

Legitimate Work From Home Opportunities for Moms

“For in the end, freedom is a personal and lonely battle; and one faces down fears of today so that those of tomorrow might be engaged.” Alice Walker

Busy Busy BusyI left my job in May to work my business in credit consulting full-time after I received a sizable royalty payment from the sales of my book.

I no longer have to pay for childcare, worry about high gas prices from my daily commute, and I can raise my own children and be there for all of their school trips and events. I am truly grateful!

My situation isn’t typical, but people ask me often if it is really possible for a mom to work from home.

While you may not have an interest in writing your own book, moms can still work from home if they just know where to look.

I decided to give Google a search for actual opportunities that would allow you to stay at home and work comfortably in your pajamas and was surprised at the great information I found.

Unfortunately, I did find a lot of scams, so when you’re doing your own searches, be careful!

Scams ask you to pay money up front in order to get a job working from home. You can tell if any of those opportunities are scams because a job should never require you to pay them!

I also found some fantastic resources that outline what you can actually do to work from home and make great money.

Work At Home Jobs to Avoid

Before I get into which work at home jobs are legitimate and deserve your time, it’s important to show you which ones to stay away from because they are scams.

Rebate Processor – All signs point to this type of work being a scam. A company has you pay a fee (remember I said that scams ask you to pay up front for work?) just to sign up for a program that is really free in order to market products yourself – get this – as an affiliate! I had never heard of something so bogus! Rebate processing also mentions a requirement of forwarding a portion of your commission payment to someone else – which is just plain crazy.

Affiliate marketing is legitimate, you will see ads around this site marketing relevant products, but it is completely free to do that. You have to establish systems and offer great content to your customers in order for affiliate marketing to work for you.

If you are interested in affiliate marketing, you can check out an excellent program called Wealthy Affiliate. They provide training on how to profitably create a blog and they are free to use. They have an excellent community of people who will answer all of your questions and help you troubleshoot your success every step of the way.

I also recommend LaShanda Henry’s resources for setting up your own blog and affiliate marketing.

Data Entry – Type a couple lines in a simple form and Wa-La! You’ve made thousands of dollars with only a few minutes of work. Yeah right! This is also a scam. There are definitely real data entry jobs out there, but they pay per project, not hourly, and typically for pennies on the dollar per project. They require adding up to an amount, say around $50 – $100 in some cases, to be deposited into your account. Stay away from anything that says you’ll make lots of money just by doing menial, grunt work. It doesn’t exist.

“Purchase a List” scams – You will find plenty of scam jobs online that claim that if you pay for a list of customers up front, you can make money because they are hot leads that are ready to buy or sign up for a service or any number of ridiculous claims.  There are “medical billing work from home” jobs that scam people this way – one of my sisters was scammed like this – and contract typing jobs where the leads are random numbers that don’t amount to any type of work. Usually what happens is that you will purchase the list and the company will disappear and none of the leads will be real.

Forbes.com outlines some other common scams that claim to allow you to work from home that you should steer clear of.

Non-Phone Work From Home Jobs

Most moms who want to work from home would prefer not to use the phone because of not being able to control background noise.

My business includes telephone consulting, so using a phone is part of my job, but there are plenty of jobs that you can work from home that don’t have that requirement.

Quality Rater – From entry level to a four year degree in any discipline, you may be interested in rating search results from home.  Appen, LionBridge, LeapForce offer work at home Quality Rater positions directly on their website. ZeroChaos, Inc. is searchable directly through Google if they have open positions.

RealWaysToEarnMoneyOnline.com has compiled a list of 100 non-phone, work at home jobs that anyone can apply for.

Categories include: 

Data Entry

Transcription

Writing

Editing

Chat Jobs

Email Support Jobs

Online Academic Tutoring

Academic Test Scoring

Moderation

Search Engine Evaluation

Virtual Assisting

Translation

Paid Experts

Short Tasks

Misc. Non-Phone Jobs

Work At Home Phone Jobs For People With Kids Do Exist

You may be surprised to hear it, but people can actually work from home and use a phone.

It all depends on your flexibility.

Maybe you do better working your own flexible schedule instead of set times during the day or night?

Maybe you’re better working set hours in the early morning or third shift?

Have you considered getting care for part of the day or having another adult in the home that can watch your kids for you? I didn’t have that option, so I made my business work for me

There are companies that don’t mind background noise such as phone mystery shopper.

What would the ideal situation be for you to stay home?  Have you ever thought about working from home? What jobs have you had where you could work from home, or what jobs would you like to have?

Top 5 Grants For Black Women Entrepreneurs

Free money to build your business

“Bit by bit . . . she had claimed herself. Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” Toni Morrison, Beloved

moneyFree money by the billions is available to black and minority entrepreneurs to help them build original businesses as well as assist existing businesses.

One of the biggest problems with grant funds is that people just don’t know the money is available, how to apply, where to find an application, or if they qualify for these funds.

Here are my top 5 grants picks that black women entrepreneurs can apply for today to grow their business:

1. The Dare to Dream Grant Program allows students to build their businesses using seminars and provides up to $10,000 in funding. You can learn more here: www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/dare_to_dream_grant_program.html

2. The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program provides grants as well as business resources to mothers in order to encourage moms to continue to build upon original ideas for products as well as startup businesses. Find out more here:  www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/huggies_mom_inspired_grant_program.html

3. The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program provides an opportunity for business owners to apply for funding for a specific area of their business such as hiring help part-time, purchasing technology, as well as creating materials for marketing. www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/national_association_self_employed_nase_business_grants.html

4. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) provides support for minority businesses by organizing funding provided by angel investors. Learn more atwww.businessgrants.org/opportunities/minority_business_development_agency_mbda_business_grants.html

5. The Miller Lite Tap the Future Business Plan Competition (previously called the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series) is a yearly contest where minority business owners are able to compete for funds sponsored by Miller Lite. The program is designed to invest in the dreams of entrepreneurs in urban areas. For more information, visit:  MLTaptheFuture.com

If you would like more information about grant programs, visit: www.BusinessGrants.org.

Please take my 2015 Reader Survey

I want to continue to make my blog better and more relevant to your needs. In order to provide you the best information, I need to know more about YOU. As a result, I have created my 2015 reader survey.

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Would you please take a few minutes to fill out the survey? By doing so, you will ultimately be helping yourself. Why? Because you will be helping me make my content even more interesting and relevant to you.

Your input is important to me. The survey is easy to fill out. The survey results are completely anonymous. I can’t tell who said what. And it will only take five minutes of your time.

Yep, I’m happy to help. Take me to the survey!

 
Thanks in advance for your help.

Successful Home Business Ideas

“The hardest work in the world is being out of work.” Whitney Young, Jr.

There are tons of successful home business ideas on the internet for you to sift through, but how do you know which of these ideas are legitimate?

One of the best ways to determine what home based business idea is good is by looking for books that will outline what you should be looking for.

Here are some excellent books on creating a home based business:

                           

                           

What home based businesses have you been interested in? What can you do today to move you in the direction of getting started?



How To Outsource Work Overseas

Delegate Your Work To Free Up Time

“Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.” Marian Wright Edelman

ID-100294505It’s easy to believe that every job has to be done by you alone.

The saying, “If you want something done right, you must do it yourself,” rings in the back of my mind whenever I talk about delegation. We tend to believe that our way is the only way to do something right and that ends up turning us into a micromanaging control freak.

The reality is that there are only so many hours in a day and every person who helps you adds an additional 24 hours.

So how do we create successful online jobs for others while freeing up our time?

By delegating!

You can delegate tasks such as filing, telemarketing, lead generation, creating status messages and blog posts for social media, and many many other tasks, creating successful online jobs for others and helping to sustain their lives.

Onlinejobs.ph is a great website for hiring low cost, high quality workers for a variety of tasks for your business.

There are three major ways that outsourcing allows businesses to break down prejudices about working with people overseas:

  1. Outsourcing overseas allows businesses to diversify into other markets.
  2. Outsourcing overseas allows the sustaining of economies both here and abroad.
  3. Outsourcing overseas bridges cultural gaps by introducing individuals overseas to American customs.

Filipino workers enjoy a lower cost of living – so low that $2 – $3 dollars per day is equal to being paid around $24 an hour in the US.

Filipinos are highly educated and learn American English so that their accent sounds more Hispanic.

They are eager to learn your business, to be trained to add the training to their resume, and are looking to align with your business and support you.

Don’t forget to hire your new workers as independent contractors in order to reduce your tax liability.

Entrepreneurs are job makers and innovators. Delegating is an invaluable tool for your business.

Virtual Assistants give you your life back

I never imagined myself as someone’s boss, but someone gave me a really good reason to hire data entry clerks, telemarketers, and virtual assistants.

Because there are jobs that I just am not good at or don’t like doing and it is so much more efficient to hire someone who does really like those jobs!

You don’t have to do all of the work in your business yourself. And most of the time, it will cost you around $50 per week to hire someone who will work 20 – 40 hours per week for you organizing your business.

Another great place you can find assistants, data entry clerks and more is UpWork, formerly ODesk, formerly Elance.

You can hire individuals for most administrative and clerical positions without overspending.

Be sure to budget your money wisely to ensure that you can spend the extra money, and set specific goals for what you need that person to accomplish to make the money you’re spending worthwhile.

I hired an assistant through Elance to help me compile a list of contacts to market to. My goal was to gather the contacts for speaking engagements, but to pay off the expenses I incurred with a new assistant with the paid speaking engagements I booked.

Plans like these help you to recoup your investment, however, make sure what you’re getting back is measurable and scalable for your new assistant to accomplish.

While I ended up letting my virtual assistant go, I learned a lot about what my actual needs are. I learned that I needed to hire a data entry clerk and a telemarketer because my needs were more specific.

When outsourced, these two positions are even less expensive than a virtual assistant!

Do you have obstacles when considering outsourcing work overseas? What kinds of workers would help you become most efficient in your day-to-day work?



Why you should work and own a business at the same time

Top 5 Jobs To Help Make Ends Meet While Growing Your Business

“I didn’t have anybody, really, no foundation in life, so I had to make my own way. Always, from the start. I had to go out in the world and become strong, to discover my mission in life.” Tina Turner

ID-10093150I have had challenging times in my business where I felt like I was recreating the wheel and was unable to make ends meet.

Bills got behind, my ego was bruised, and I made the decision to apply for jobs and work to recover from being financially unstable.

Have you had times like this?

Going back to work is not quitting.

Sometimes, in order to carry your plans forward, you need a sustainable strategy to help you meet certain goals.

Going back to work provides you with the opportunity to come up with funds that you did not have an option to create for your business otherwise.

After a while, I was able to create a sustainable income from my business and was able to leave my job to run my business full-time again.

There have been other times where it was necessary to take on a part-time job in order to create funds to help me bridge a financial gap that my business wasn’t meeting.

Soon, my business covered those expenses too, and I was able to let go the part-time job as well.

Some jobs you may consider taking on to make ends meet are: 

1. Breastfeeding Peer Counselor – If you’ve had children and you have experience breastfeeding, your local Women Infants and Children (W.I.C.) program may be looking to fill these positions.The pay is decent, around $13 – $15 per hour, and will help you to make ends meet. This position is M – F and is usually part-time, up to 29 hours per week.  Prepare to look for childcare to cover your M – F schedule with this job and you will need car insurance and proper tags to drive to different W.I.C. clinics to meet the needs of breastfeeding mothers.

2. Career Placement Jobs – If you have experience writing resumes, running workshops, and helping others to meet career goals, this position may be for you.  It may require you to drive to different locations once or twice per month, so having car insurance and proper tags is necessary. The pay is decent, around $13 – $15 per hour, and will help you to make ends meet. This position is M – F and is usually part-time, up to 29 hours per week.

3. Janitorial – If you are interested in work where you can punch in, work without much interaction with others, and punch out, janitorial work may be just what you were looking for. The pay can be anywhere from $8 – $10 an hour, but it may also be around 4 hours per night with more hours on the weekends.

4. Home Care – Many home care positions do not require a certification such as Certified Nursing Assistant or any other type of certification and are entry level. If you are compassionate, have a good work ethic and arrive to work on time, you can find a good home care position to take on hours in the evenings or on weekends to make ends meet.

5. Tutoring – If you want to make your own schedule, you can look for a tutoring position where you can schedule students at your convenience usually twice per week. Tutoring can pay very well, up to $15 per hour or more depending upon whether you have degree or certifications of your own. Certified teachers make more when tutoring than non-certified teachers, but you can still create a decent income.

What kinds of jobs did you take on while building your business? What were you able to accomplish when you did take on that job?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



How To Turn Your Life Around

My Key Secrets To Becoming A Successful Black Woman Entrepreneur

“I always wanted to be somebody. If I made it, it’s half because I was game enough to take a lot of punishment along the way and half because there were a lot of people who cared enough to help me.” Althea Gibson

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I made the choice to be successful in business, it meant that I wasn’t going to make excuses anymore for why my life had become so challenging.

No more saying, “If my mom hadn’t neglected me as a child, I would be further ahead!”

“Not making excuses” doesn’t mean that my reasons for being upset, sad, or angry at people in my life for difficult situations I have gone through weren’t legitimate.

I was angry at my children’s father for not being the promise I wanted him to be. I was hurt that my mother didn’t show me the love that I felt I deserved as her daughter and still doesn’t. I was upset that I was abused physically and emotionally in my marriages and miscarried two babies due to that stress.

But when I decided “not to make excuses” it means that I decided that I wasn’t going to be fueled by those negative emotions anymore. I was going to forgive for ME so that I can move forward in positivity and optimism and favor.

I was going to take full responsibility for turning my life around. I was no longer going to blame others for my impeded progress, even if it it was certainly true.

I was just going to put my focus on changing my life.

This was a defining moment of responsibility and determination to steer my life in a particular direction.

I had decided that no matter what my circumstances were at the present moment, they wouldn’t stay that way as long as I could do whatever I could to grow and change and do better in my own life.

That’s a lot. 

That’s telling all of the universal forces at work in your life that you’re not going to stand for a lower standard of life and that you’re worthy to achieve greatness in your lifetime despite your environment.

Powerful words. Powerful feelings. Powerful woman. 

No circumstance is beyond your ability to achieve more.

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Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your world is only as big as your thoughts about it are.

This means that your ability to believe that you can become successful is the first obstacle you have to overcome.

I blamed my mother for not providing the necessary foundation I needed to know my value.

Once I realized that I could believe in myself and create my own foundation for knowing my worth, I didn’t need to blame anyone else for what I didn’t have.

This is not easy.

It takes time to get to know yourself.

Learning how to love yourself is the key to realizing that you are capable of being able to nurture yourself.

Many times we are angry at others for not providing the nurturing we felt we deserved.

Part of being an adult is learning how to be that nurturing figure for yourself. Learning how to heal your own wounds is part of being an adult and learning how to grow and move forward.

You can do it and you can live life well despite the existence of those obstacles.

If you don’t see people like you achieving success around you…

…then look outside of your environment.

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Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You will try to adapt to your surroundings, so if others around you are struggling, you will reflect their struggle out of empathy.

Seek to surround yourself with people who reflect the success you want.

You can model after anyone you choose.

Or you can become that picture – create what you believe there should be more of in the world.

There is always something to give up for success. Becoming successful is a trade off.

Sometimes you have to give up friends that you once had a lot in common with but have since out-grown. This can be painful to lose friendships that have been dear to you.

Sometimes you have to give up large amounts of your time while you overcome learning hurdles and become better familiar with your business. This can also be painful when you miss out on family time or time with friends.

Know that this should be temporary and that you need to schedule time for you family!

What do you believe are your greatest obstacles to success? Are they internal or external?