Build relationships. It is the key to your success. Every time you meet someone, you should reach out to them and see if there is an opportunity to follow up. Even if they can’t help you, they may be aware of someone in their network who can.

 

Froswa’​ Booker-Drew, PhD has been quoted in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets, due to an extensive background in leadership, nonprofit management, partnership development, training and education. She is currently the Director of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. Formerly the National Community Engagement Director for World Vision, she served as a catalyst, partnership broker, and builder of the capacity of local partners in multiple locations across the US to improve and sustain the well-being of children and their families.

She was a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that follows a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. She is the recipient of several honors including semi-finalist for the SMU TED Talks in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and was awarded Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Froswa’ graduated with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change with a focus on social capital, diverse women and relational leadership. She attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and has completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change based on the work of Kegan and Lahey of Harvard. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations. She is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last. Froswa’ was a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. She was a Post Doctoral Fellow at Antioch University and an adjunct at the University of North Texas-Dallas. She is a writer for several publications around the world. Froswa’ is the mother of a 18 year old daughter.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

I was always intrigued by the importance of the solstice. It always signifies change and the expectation of something new. I wanted individuals who met me to experience a change, a transformation of not just their thoughts but their spirits were different from the interaction. Hence, the name Soulstice was created.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Because I have a full-time job, my typical day is spent meeting with individuals and organizations in our local area in the areas of education, nonprofit management, philanthropy or community development. After work hours, I am usually connecting with clients and finishing up my third book, a book for young women in college based on thoughts I am sharing with my daughter for success in young adulthood. Scheduling is critical to me. Because I am juggling a lot of projects in both my job and my business, time is a commodity that I take very seriously. More importantly, I value relationships. My productivity is based on building positive relationships that can create impact.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am very focused and as a result, I am committed to making my dreams a reality. I create not only to-do lists, but I am intentional in creating the space to focus on ideas and projects that are very important to me. It is a balance; there are times when a meeting that was scheduled for an hour runs over. Because of the importance of the content or the relationship, I must be flexible and willing to adjust as needed. You can miss so many opportunities being rigid and yet, you must know when it is important to keep strict boundaries. I can’t say this is easy but over the years, my skills in this area are becoming sharper in reading individuals and the environment I’m in.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I am excited about the amount of information on relationship science. I think we undervalue the importance of building connections with others. Sometimes we relegate this information to having transactional relationships but there is proof that positive relationships can impact our health and well-being.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Listening, Learning and Reflecting—they are a combination for me. I spend a lot of time listening and learning from others. Even with a PhD, I am keenly aware that there is so much learning that is not contained in literature. Listening is not just the act of hearing, but it is paying attention to non-verbal cues, the environment and even understanding as much as possible cultural and historical implications that can impact individuals, organizations and communities. I love the work of Bolman and Deal in the book, Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership (1991). They mention four frames that are important to pay attention to: Structural, Human Resources, Political and Symbolic. Early in my career, I was so fixated on relationships (Human Resources) that I focused on how things made me feel instead of being cognizant of power dynamics (Political). Power dynamics exist in EVERYTHING and it is important to know that sometimes, it isn’t about you but who is and who is not in control. We don’t realize the role of Structural (Policies/Procedures) and Symbolic (Organizational Culture) in organizations and systems and without actively listening and paying attention to these frames at work, we can miss out on so much. It is important to take that information and reflect/analyze it to then incorporate it into who you are and what you do.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell myself that things will change and to be patient with the process. When you are young, there is a sense of urgency that you must complete this imaginary list of activities to be successful. It is getting a degree, married, purchasing a home, etc. by a certain age. I think in the quest to have the accomplishment completed, we miss out on the process that we go through. It is in that process is true learning and growth take place. At 20, when we fail, we believe it is the end of the world. At 40, you realize it wasn’t a failure and that the experience could have been the best thing that happened for you. Things change and that isn’t always a bad thing.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Our current political environment isn’t the worse thing. Yes, there is a lot that is wrong, but I see so much hope. There are groups coming together, working with one another that in the past didn’t even consider collaborating. I am hopeful that this will create opportunities for cognitive dissonance so that people can challenge their way of thinking. Having those types of experiences can result in opportunities for growth and reflection. I’m not naïve in believing this will happen to everyone but I think when enough people are in community with people who are different, perceptions can change.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Build relationships. It is the key to your success. Every time you meet someone, you should reach out to them and see if there is an opportunity to follow up. Even if they can’t help you, they may be aware of someone in their network who can.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Asset Mapping has been critical for me. Knowing who and what is in your community can really help you think critically about your strategy to engage, who else is doing similar work and if there are opportunities for collaboration.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Undervaluing my work was an issue for me. Early in my career, I had clients who would try to renegotiate the price of my services. They wanted me to do more work but not pay me for it. I was so excited to have the opportunity and build my credibility of doing a great job, but it wasn’t beneficial to me. It took time to learn that my experiences, my education and skills were worthy and deserved to be compensated. When I learned the value of what I had to offer, others began to respect it and do what was necessary to acquire my services.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

A great business opportunity is being a relationship broker for executive leaders. How can you help companies and their leadership with introductions to markets that they do not have access to?

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Spending time with family going to a wonderful restaurant before my daughter left for college. Making memories is so important. A friend made a comment to me that was so impactful, he said, “No one at their deathbed ever complained that they spent too much time with their family.”

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

There a few things that help me with peace of mind which allows me to be more productive—Fabulous helps me with being consistent with good habits; Happify allows me to focus on positivity and Pacifica helps me think about things that make me happy and give me hope. I try to surround myself with as much positive energy as I can.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Building the Bridge As You Walk On It: A Guide for Leading Change by Robert Quinn. If you want to be a better leader, this book is the one. There are several others I would love to recommend but you only asked for one…LOL!

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is by Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Key learnings:

  • Relationships are critical to your success. It isn’t just about meeting people but it is being intentional to create win-win opportunities.
  • Listening, Learning, and Reflection are habits that can impact your success as an entrepreneur greatly.
  • Recognize that dynamics such as emotions, power (or lack of), structures (policies, procedures, regulations), and culture with an individual or organization can have an impact on your relationships.

Connect:

​http://www.linkedin.com/in/froswabookerdrew

​http://froswasrules.com/main_page.html

https://authorsama.amafeed.com/ive-been-quoted-in-forbes-ozy-bustle-huffington-post-and-other-media-507173

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