It’s a calm, new day and quiet optimism abounds here at ChrisBell3rd. As most of you already know, in May 2010 I was announced as a winner of the “Become Your Own Boss $25,000 Entrepreneur’s Challenge” which was sponsored by Melinda Emerson (aka Smallbizlady.)  Melinda has established a stellar reputation as a small business expert, public speaker, and as the author of an awesome book entitled “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works.

One of the conditions of my being a contest winner was a requirement to blog about my experiences working with Smallbizlady.  I knew I’d gain access to her business expertise but I didn’t know that I would also be the beneficiary of her encouragement, empathy, energy, inspiration, tactful correction, generosity, and personal authenticity. I didn’t just get a business coach… I found a friend. Here are some of the things we’ve covered:

The rules: Smallbizlady set the ground rules and preferences for interaction in our upcoming coaching sessions. My challenge: ensuring my client/customer requirements don’t encroach on my pre-scheduled business coaching sessions – we’re working on it.

Financial review: I submitted my company’s quarterly financials, but my business plan and marketing plans were obsolete in 8 months as I had surpassed all my initial Year-1 objectives. Now I needed a makeover. This became a priority for complet ion as Ms. Emerson needed more detail into my company’s core competencies to ascertain paths and opportunities for growth. Truth: I was impressed and… I’m not easily impressed.

Life Plan: every legit business owner understands the necessity to complete a business plan, but Smallbizlady introduced me to the benefit of using a “life plan” as an integrated part of my business plan. Have you ever busted your butt to achieve a goal or objective in life and then find yourself asking: “Is this it?” Never again… I’m workin’ on a life plan.

The new “normal”:  I soon discovered there was nothing crazy or unusual about my life or experiences as a new entrepreneur and that I should look to model the mindset and leverage the experiences of others who’ve been successful in my moments of doubt or in times of extraordinary challenge.

Pray for me and of course… I’ll keep you up to speed as my coaching sessions with Melinda Emerson, the Smallbizlady continue to unfold. By the way, a complete chapter of  Smallbizlady’s book is being featured in 4 pages of Black Enterprise magazine this month. Check it out!

Winning with you,

-Chris Bell III