Life as an intern at CLC Group

So my boss just happens to be my Mom (she is so different at work! – tough for me at first). One of my first tasks is to add value to the firm’s “Blog”. My first blog assignment is to write about something significant and relative to business this morning …and to be honest, I feel a little overwhelmed. My mother Bridgette Chatman Lewis is a CEO, MBA grad, has a certification of law from Yale and she is pioneer and inspiration to everyone she touches. It just hit me; she’s leading this firm to pure innovation that will expand across the Globe! …and what better way to christen my first blog entry, than to show her my appreciation for hiring me, paying me and training me in Global Business. Not to mention all the support and push she has given me through out the years.

One, my mother is fastidious. She never stops short of anything-she goes the distance. Whether it’s work or family, she tries her best to strive for greatness. Two, she is annoyingly brilliant. Her nous relative to business and the emerging markets in developing countries is unparalleled, and when she tried to explain it to me, I feel a little…how should I put this…uneducated. Even though I have learned quite a few lessons of cultural assimilation (being a student at a university abroad) and have obtained some knowledge of the markets abroad she insists on having me read every trade journal that comes to our home and the office. She says, I still have a lot to learn. I agree.

By no means do intend on this post being gloat fest, or fictionalizing the actual representation of my mom. She has her flaws just like anyone else, but it always seems like the good outweigh the bad. Recently she has put me to work as her intern. The job is intense and exciting. I make contact with some real heavy hitters in the market(s). I would like to think of the job as the ultimate learning experience.

A few weeks back she had me sit in on her Global Business Forum and it completely blew me away. The people that she is connected with are influential in a major way, and have the potential to change the Global Economic Landscape. Additionally, she had me assemble a press release kit including a YouTube video for “The GINE Event” on September 12th in Oak Park IL. At this event; international and domestic business venture capitalists can network with international delegations and government agencies to further enhance a company’s brand and profit(s) all while creating JOBS!!!. Now that’s powerful.

Overall it has been an exciting time as an intern at CLC Group. I knew (instinctively) this was the Summer job for me when I gazed out the window in the office and saw a clear view of the Lake, skyscrapers and people pounding the pavement in an effort to work and change the world. This is where it happens and I want “IN”! I know there are many more adventures in store for the firm as long as she is in charge and continues to inspire others to impact the lives and livelihoods of others!

Here is a YouTube video describing the “GINE Event”

Best,

Evan
What successful people do

Flying High…

Flying High…

Superman-Logo_001

The Kryptonite to my Superman is focusing on my Dreams and Aspirations and staying the course.

The Superman to my Kryptonite knows one calculated conscious act of Risk creates a greater Good towards a better Humanity.

Thus, I can fly and save just as Superman…one act at a time.
If only I save one; that is Priceless!

All the Best ~ Bridgette

What is an Emerging Market Like?

So what is an Emerging Market like in 2014?

I am often grateful for the things most of us take for granted here in the West, The USA.
Albeit we have an over-abundance of many products, goods and services, it suffices to say that we are enormously blessed.

When was the last time you:

Used a public phone?
Walked more than a mile to procure groceries?
Had a leaky roof that could not be repaired?
Spoke your mind in public and was arrested and lost your livelihood?
Your salary was $1,700.00 per year while supporting a 3-4 person household?

Many emerging markets have problems that are impeded by government corruption, non- empowerment, infrastructure and technology deficits. Thus, without assistance from world agencies and organizations such as:

USAID
UNDP
World Bank
IMF
WTO

the markets remain irrelevant.
Additionally, low literacy rates coupled with governments that are not fully democratized make it difficult to facilitate partnerships and route imports throughout the various regions in said countries.

It is my aspiration to mitigate such impediments in light of improving the economic and socio economic opportunities in the markets.

There is an anonymous quote that reads:
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. – Unknown

All the best,
Bridgette

Why I do what I do….

Why I have chosen to do what I do.

Unstoppable

I. Millions if not Billions of people do not have access to resources or employment
II. That has to change
III. I’ve decided to be a catalyst for that change

Poverty is an Awe Consuming MONSTER!
I have spent many years in the work force. In fact I started working at the age of 13 in a hospital cafeteria as a Dietician’s Aide. I (quite frankly) lied about my age to get the job- desperate to work and help out at home. I come from a large family (10 siblings) where I am the ‘baby’ of the bunch. I worked to put myself through high school and college; doing such labor as a bindery and press girl at a large printing company. Talk about a hot tin factory. I worked that job for two of my college years over summer and winter breaks. I also worked for a large fortune 500 company for two consecutive summers as a service administrator. While in college I worked two jobs to stay afloat. One was at a local movie theatre and the other was at a local convenience store where I worked the 6-10pm shift after a full time school schedule and putting in three hours at the movie threatre. My access to employment enabled me to not live in subsistence and live a dignified life. And I spared my parents from worrying as to how they were going to send their last kid off to college. It was important for me to do my part.
I promised myself- I would never be poor if I had anything to do with my destiny or could make any contributions to my journey.

I fully realize having the ability to work and having access to employment are two variables that can enable success or disable success and cripple communities. The communities that become disenfranchised usually end up crime ridden and deplorable eye soars. No good can come of that; especially if those of us can enable access and opportunity. Looking the other way has to change.
Monetary solutions are not the only solutions. The total solution involves you and me “figuring it out” to the extent we use our gifts and talents in light of creating a solution. That solution will encompass understanding policy, legislation, government corruption and regulation, demographics, the sociology and psychology of what makes one want to live a dignified life free of poverty, psychographics of consumer trends- how people allocate resources and acquire resources and goods, partnerships with corporations, governments and of course funding “MONEY”. Once we have a viable, sustainable solution/ model- we take it live and pilot it where scale is not too broad. Further, we continue to tweak the model until it works for the greater good.
You see; the greater good should always be the Goal.
The greater good keeps our communities intact and safe.
The greater good makes the world a better place.

A luxury retailer once stated (and I paraphrase) – Perfection is unattainable, but if we chase perfection long enough, we attain excellence.

Thus, it is at this time that I feel a need to Shake things up and be a catalyst for change to help out in any way that my gifts and time permit.

I make No Apologies for my Loving Kindness.
I make No Apologies for my Hearty Work Ethic and my Life Balance (Pleasure)
I make No Apologies for my way of Loving Hard.
I make No Apologies for Living Hard.
I make No Apologies for my Gifts, my Faith, my God or my Hope for a better Humanity.

I also realize… I am fundamentally flawed, but I try hard and I fight harder!

That said, I will do my part and continue to Press and I invite you to join me.
Life can be Beautiful if we matter to others and others matter to us. More importantly, if we appreciate Blue Sky’s, Sunshine, Snow, Sand, Water, the beautiful lines in a simple rose or hydrangea petal, green grass, trees that sway in harmony with a bird’s song- we will be better and can aspire to be better. We become better after such realizations because we know we could not have created such things that are simply perfect. However, we can create and give birth to innovation and other such things that help mankind to the extent we eradicate poverty across the Globe.

All peoples will not be wealthy (nor do all peoples desire to be wealthy) but they sure don’t have to live in subsistence given the numerous resources (including people, talent and natural resources) here on this planet Earth.

It is for that very reason that I Do What I Do.

I am well educated; I hold an Executive-MBA, I am Constitutional Law Certified from Yale University and I am Global Business Certified. My biggest accreditation is knowing that I am to give back simply because I have been taught Love and its power and enormity.

A good work helps me- the reward is enormous and my Heart becomes full of warmth, and that enables my Head continue to “Figure it out”.

In Love with all of life’s potential,
Bridgette

Well Put Together…becoming a Success

Success and becoming ‘Well put together’. succesful execs

I have spent many years surrounded by legislators, business executives, business professionals, commerce and retail. Some say I have a natural knack for putting things together and have a penchant for professionalism. So what does one have to do with another?

A lot.

If you are in business or aspire to be a entrepreneur, business professional or become a business executive, you must know your environment, be highly skilled and you must look and behave like you belong in the business environment, For some, the art of finessing situations and understanding protocols is almost innate. For others the skill set must be acquired. Not to worry it is not rocket science. You can master the art.
Let’s start with your look.

I grew up in a family where we were taught to never leave the house looking as though we had no training. This meant specifically:
Always be neat, clean, tidy and of quality- never look ‘cheap’ or like you are a throw away (mother used to say). And by all means acquire and continually seek knowledge and wisdom.
Thus, I will share my knowledge and value system that has attributed to my success.
Part of any Success formula and strategy should include the obvious – Be well read, be a good communicator, build your brand, be likeable (not in a phony way) and stay educated on important and relevant topics…
Besides that- Looking and Feeling good is paramount.

I like a well put together ensemble. Whether it be at work, the office, in a home environment or all of the above.
I’ve spent time with many business professionals, designers, factories, factory owners and in their ‘material vaults’- literally. I have mastered what is important relative to quality and how perceptions are sometimes everlasting and not easily changed. On a side note: I can tell you whether baby crocodile or larger crocodile is relevant, what colors are better suited for business, what business casual and business formal means (there is a distinct difference- neither of which includes jeans, leggings or flip flops) what accent pieces are staples- must haves (for both men and women) and why you should invest in quality things. Quality is not synonymous with Luxury nor is it an offshoot of Cheap.

This is not to say that one will have to invest an extra-ordinary amount of capital in one’s appearance, however, one should have the core pieces in business attire and business casual attire be on point and of show good quality. Quality pieces may cost upwards of US $100.00 to $500.00 plus and good quality writing instruments may cost up to $100.00 plus.
Pilot Vanishing Point Gunmetal Matte Fountain Pen

Trends are not relevant in this arena. Good pieces are. A good suit can last you 15 years plus. A trendy suit can become ‘so last year’ fast. Don’t waste your hard earned money on trendy pieces. You can add trendy accents to freshen up your core pieces and in some instances, the 15 year old suit, trousers, or dress can take on a new purpose and look new and fresh. Word to the wise: select pieces that are well fitted to your body type. I did not say, ‘skinny or tight’…I said well fitted (nicely tailored). Designers actually design their patterns of clothing or footwear to fit certain body types and certain foot types. If you are not of a particular type that suits (no pun intended) their brand, be assured, the pieces/ items will not fit you well. There is nothing worse looking than an improperly fitting garment or shoe. You will look un-kept.
well dressed

Enough of that…

Moving on to why looking good in quality clothing, footwear and accessories etc… is relevant.

Let’s start with your ambition. Let’s say you want to be a Successful Business Executive.

First start by defining your success template (your plan;that should include a clear entry and exit strategy in the environment you desire to be successful in.. Second, target your financial goals. Third, plan to work and work the plan. Fourth, know your targeted culture and environment- fit in or don’t apply! , Fifth, look successful- get your look together. Last, be a WIP (well informed person) and learn fast, then go hard towards meeting your goals and ambitions. Always make a point of understanding that you are your best competition and always rise to the challenge with excellence and knowledge.

DO NOT Compare yourself to other people! Compare yourself to your targeted goals and Excellence…in short; Where will I be in One – Five Years? Not- how long did it take for someone else to get there? Your circumstances are almost guaranteed to be different.

Exercise decorum along the way, be firm in your convictions and be both passionate and compassionate about your work. Compassion does not mean weak; it simply means that you must keep your eyes and ears attuned to what is going on around you in light of understanding circumstances. Once you understand circumstances you tend to make better decisions. Decisions should be made with your head while understanding (but not always agreeing with) the heart.

Remember…
When you look good, you feel good. A Dis-shoveled look is very telling about one’s Psychology (not a good look or story). When you feel good, you have the emotional energy to tackle the day. Just remember to play the part you are auditioning for (becoming a successful executive etc…), surround yourself with people that are on par and smarter than you, Work Hard, Play Hard, Love Hard, Live Strong and Stay Strong, reach back….and do so while ‘looking good’ and feeling better!

All the Best,
Bridgette