“Inclusive 360” by Bernadette Smith – NOT Just Another Diversity Book!

Bernadette Smith, author of “Inclusive 360: Proven Solutions for an Equitable Organization”

This new book launches on September 21st and do join Bernadette for her LIVE launch party on her Facebook page on that date at 1:00PM Eastern Time

* * * * * * * * * *

As a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consultant and trainer, I do like to read various books on this topic and blog about them. And every so often, an author I personally know sends me a pre-publication book to review and blog about.

Such is the case with “Inclusive 360: Proven Solutions for an Equitable Organization” by Bernadette Smith. I met Bernadette several years ago at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s annual conference (our companies are both certified LGBT-Business Enterprises via the chamber) and later enjoyed coffee with her when I traveled to Chicago where she shared about her plans to write with me.

Seriously, this is one of the very best diversity books for organizations I have read in years, and I plan to use it as a resource in my consulting work. So why is this book so outstanding? Five reasons:

1. The book is packed with ideas and dozens of examples of various innovative and impactful actions organizations have taken. Bernadette covers employee belonging, diversity in product and offering design, inclusive recruiting, pay practices, employee benefits, procurement practices and more. I cannot think of an area of business she did not cover. And all of this in under 200 pages!

2. She structures the book within the 3 main topics often included in all diversity work – part 1 is diversity, part 2 addresses equity and part 3 addresses inclusion.

3. Bernadette provides a very useful construct that she repeats in each chapter called ARC – Ask, Respect and Connect:
• Asking is about being open and inquisitive; asking good questions to better understand someone’s issues, struggles or position and then listening intently
• Respect is about actively listening and then accepting the input provided or data with an intention to honestly gain insight from it.
• Connecting is then providing appropriate responses and actions
Bernadette uses this ask, respect, connect methodology as she explores the various aspects of DEI

Order your copy today!

4. A high percentage of the book contains realistic actions that organizations can take on the various areas of DEI ranging from basic and intermediate tactics up through leading edge, truly inspirational actions.

5. And finally as appropriate and when totally relevant, Bernadette is authentic and transparent and shares some difficult parts of her own learning journey around diversity, equity and inclusion.

I highly recommend this book as a great tool to help you and your organization in your DEI journey no matter the size of your company or what stage you are in.

Here is the link to order your copy now, and I hope you are fortunate as I am and get to meet Bernadette in person some day.

4 Reasons for Females, Minorities to Consider Entrepreneurialism After a Career Setback

Photo Credit: Rawpixel

From time to time, I post guest-written blogs that are pertinent to my consulting areas of diversity and career development. Within diversity, as a certified LGBT-Business Enterprise via the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, I am very interested in diversity within the small business realm, and want to promote larger companies doing business with diverse suppliers.

Last month, I published by first guest blog from Marissa Perez, co-founder and head marketing writer at Business Pop, “Competing in Business as an Underrepresented Entrepreneur.”  Marissa has spent the last 10 years honing her marketing skills, and now is sharing her small business / entrepreneurial expertise through this second guest blog she has provided.

# # # # # #

Career setbacks can feel devastating at first, but how you respond and attempt to move on can make all the difference. For women and minorities, who can both experience more hardship in corporate environments, this could be the perfect chance to spread those entrepreneurial wings and soar. Still not convinced? Here are some small business facts that may just change your mind, and your life for the better:

1) Your Time Really is Valuable

If you have been stuck in a corporate environment for some time now, you’ve likely gotten used to hustling and pushing the limits on your daily schedule. This sort of mentality is common within corporations, with a primary focus on profits. While profits are important in business, Inc. points out time is really your most precious commodity. If you’re spread too thin, you can’t give your all to your top priorities.

Now you may need to spend more of that time getting your new business started, but at some point it may be helpful to take a step back and delegate some of your work. Upwork is an amazing resource when it comes to finding and hiring freelance talent, from graphic design help for your website to a virtual assistant to assist with administrative duties. You can post your job description within minutes and start looking for freelance help to expand and evolve your business, and to make the most of your valuable time.

There are a multitude of financing options available to new entrepreneurs.

2) Your Funding Options are Plentiful

Time is certainly your most precious asset when it comes to your professional and personal life, but there’s no denying that having the right funding can help any new business succeed. Thankfully, there are quite a few options that you can use to help get your business up and running, from business loans to angel investors to crowdfunding.

While any of these funding sources can be a lucrative way for entrepreneurs to secure the financial resources needed to start a new business, women and minorities should also consider using special grants and loans to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true, and the former may not need to be paid back. Many companies and organizations provide funding to businesses owned by women or minorities, so you just need to do a little digging to find one that will benefit your new business.

3) Your Setback Can Provide Opportunities

Career setbacks can feel like any other loss, so it’s important for you to take time to grieve any losses and process any negative feelings, especially if you lost your job. Feeling angry, unfocused and even a bit depressed is completely normal after being laid off, let go, or quitting a job. When that work environment was toxic, which can often be the case for women and minorities who are working in the corporate world, you may need some additional time and self-care to recover and move on.

One of the most important things you can do to expedite this recovery process is to avoid internalizing any toxic behaviors from others and to recognize that those behaviors had more to do with your former boss, co-worker or environment than you. As Thrive Global explains, learning from setbacks is also an important step for ensuring your success as an entrepreneur.

4) Your Small Business Options are Endless

If you’re not sure what type of business would be best for your interests and goals, however, know that there are endless opportunities for both minorities and women in the small business world. If you have a creative talent, such as woodworking or writing, then you can always turn your pastime into a lucrative new small business. You can also secure licenses that can help propel you into a new career, whether that’s as a massage therapist, electrician, web developer, or veterinary technician. Offering freelance services through Upwork can also be a good option and you can maintain a freelance side gig if you ever decide to return to a full-time position.

Working for a corporation can leave many women and minorities feeling unappreciated and left behind. Consider turning what feels like a loss into an opportunity to start your very own small business. Then you will be in control of your time and your success.