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The #1 Way to Build Sales, Improve Customer Service and Grow Your Business

What kind of magic do you think the Walt Disney Company uses to keep its large and sprawling staff of smiling, friendly and competent workers all on the same page? Disney learned quickly that internal employee and leadership development was crucial to the company's success.

Employee Development is Key to Business Growth
Leadership expert Robin Sharma states, “The competitive advantage of your business will be your ability to grow leaders without titles faster than your industry peers.” He goes on to say, “The quickest way to grow the sales of your business is to grow your people.” Even if you’re a one person business operation, as I am, it’s important that you continue to sharpen your saw to increase your capacity to upgrade the value and service that you provide to your customers.  Sustainable success in business requires a commitment to continuous improvement at all levels within the organization. One must remain hungry for being the best at what you do, regardless of the size of your enterprise. I believe as a small business leader/owner personal development is a critical factor in building and maintaining a successful business. Investing in yourself, increases your capacity to deliver more value in your particular market, improves your customer satisfaction which often leads to word of mouth referrals and an increase of revenue. 
     One of the most common ways businesses lose promising employees is to think that because they have no promotional opportunities available, there’s no need for staff development. When employees begin to feel that their opportunities for growth are limited, those that have great expectations of themselves and what they can accomplish will eventually get frustrated, disengage and resign themselves to doing just enough to get by until they find a work environment that provides them with the opportunities to learn and grow within the company.     
     According to Paul Sarvadi, the “Human Resources” coach at Entrepreneur.com,“In today's economy, if your business isn't learning, then you're going to fall behind. And a business learns as its people learn. Your employees are the one that produce, refine, protect, deliver and manage your products or services every day, year in, year out. With the rapid pace and international reach of the 21st century marketplace, continual learning is critical to your business's continued success.”

Employee Development Builds Loyalty and Increases Engagement
Your employees want to be developed whether you have a promotional opportunity for them or not. They want to feel they are valued and that they can contribute to the success of your organization. When business leaders make a commitment to developing the seeds of greatness dwelling in their employees, their efforts motivate and boost the level of camaraderie in work groups which stimulates creativity and a results-oriented mindset. Do you have any idea of your employees' dreams and professional aspirations?
     Our knowledge-service based economy is increasingly demanding that organizations engage the smarts of their workforce to remain competitive. Business leaders who are attune to this fact take a proactive approach towards cultivating smart thinking and smart behavioral habits among their workforce. By equipping their workforce with working knowledge that enhances their smarts they are better able to manage challenges and achieve the business objectives. What steps are you taking on a consistent basis to develop and engage the smarts of employees at every level in your organization? 

Employee Development Influences a Business Culture
Leaders that are multipliers recognize how the collective habits of their workforce play a critical role in the organization's ability to execute strategies and achieve operational excellence and business success. The collective thinking and behavioral habits of a workforce establishes the culture of a workplace environment and whether excellence or mediocrity becomes its norm. Does your workplace environment reflect a culture of excellence or mediocrity? 

Leaders that Build Winning Teams...Do This
Business leaders who are able to achieve and maintain operational excellence and business success understand the importance of engaging the reservoir of potential dwelling within their workforce. Their efforts to enhance the smarts of their workforce increases the probability that staff members will feel more respected and valued. As a result, more of them are willing to contribute a greater measure of discretionary effort which is most often necessary to accomplish business goals and objectives. Your staff doesn't care as much about what you know until you show them how much you care about them. Do your staff feel that you care about the challenges they're facing on and off the job?
     Developing the leadership capacity of your employees at all levels in your organization demonstrates that you care enough to invest in their potential. Developing the leadership capacity of your workforce displays your commitment to helping them be better and do better at work and in life. When employees believe and feel that their employer cares about their well-being enough to invest in them, they are more apt to be loyal to their manager and display a greater measure of discretionary effort towards the achievement of the organization's goals and objectives. This is a win-win for everyone.

I'd like to know your thoughts. How important is it for the growth of a business to have a strategic plan in place to develop its employees? Share your comments below.

Did you like this post? If so, please share it with your network.

Champion for Your Success


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15 Inspirational Image Quotes on Living Your Life to the Fullest


Today, December 3 marks the day that I was born. I am feeling grateful for the start of my personal New Year! I felt inspired by these quotes as I consider how I can expand my capacity to live my life to the fullest. I do hope that they inspired you to consider the same.

The month of December is the time of the year in which I spend a lot of quiet time by myself for reflection on the year that is about to end and to tune in to my inner guide.

It's important to me that I align my aspirations and lifestyle with my soul's calling. The more that I am congruent with what is true for me, the easier it is for me to identify what is and what is not best for me when the calender rolls into a New Year.

In the first quarter of 2015, I will be moving the Grow Forward & Flourish community to the Rainmaker Platform. I'm excited about upgrading the culture and experience of the Grow Forward & Flourish online community. The mission of the blog: Equip members with insights, strategies and tools that empower them to hold themselves in a higher light and become the best version of themselves.

 As I create content for the new site while maintaining this site, I would love to receive your feedback about your personal development needs. Completing this 10-minute survey will help me in the development of the new site. Click here for survey. I would appreciate your help in this matter. I really want the new site to be a collaborative creation.

Thanks for reading and sharing posts with your network. Your efforts are helping to build our community of like-minded folks who earnest desire is to express the fullness of their uniqueness in ways that blesses their lives and the lives of others. I am humbled by your presence and continuous support.

Champion for Your Success

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Day 30 of The #FeelingGrateful Blog Series: 5 Amazing Videos to Inspire You to Develop the Practice of Gratitude in Your Everyday Life!

This is day 30 of The Feeling Grateful Blog Series. I am humbled by the individuals who raised their hand and said YES! to my request of participating in this series. My heart is full of appreciation for those who submitted their responses on why they are feeling grateful, and for those of you who embraced the series as readers and took the time to share many of the posts with your network. 

Each of your efforts made this the most viewed series that I have published on Grow Forward & Flourish to date and the most successful. Thank you.

As a way of thanking each of you, this last post in the series showcases 5 Amazing Videos to Inspire You to Develop a Practice of Gratitude in Your Everyday Life.  Enjoy!

Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

Brené Brown on Joy and Gratitude

Jane Ransom: Discover the Three Keys of Gratitude to Unlock Your Happiness & Life

Gratitude Meditation

Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey on Abundance and Gratitude

Thank you for being apart of this amazing journey. Little did I know that the inspiration I felt to do this series after reading the November issue of O magazine would allow me to connect to so many wonderful people in the world.

The satisfaction in my soul as a result of this series and its success cannot be measured. The opportunity to dig deeper into the subject of gratitude has certainly increased my level of joy and expanded my view of abundance in the world.

It is my hope, prayer and intention that you have discovered the power that comes with practicing gratitude in your everyday life. It is truly life changing.

Grateful Heart

Jackie Capers-Brown
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish
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#FeelingGrateful by Catisha Asbury

This is Day 29 of the 30-Day "Feeling Grateful" Blog Series on Grow Forward & Flourish. My heart is full of gratitude because of individuals like Catisha Asbury, who raised her hand and said YES! I'll be a part of encouraging others to embrace the power of gratitude in their everyday lives by sharing reasons why I feel grateful. Thank you Catisha!

Catisha Asbury has been a born again Christian since 1996 and was called into ministry in 1999.  God has enabled her to serve in the Body of Christ as a street preacher, intercessor, youth minister, spoken word poet, and now called to pastor.  

She began as ministry director, Women of Harvest in 2011.  Women of Harvest based on Luke 10:2 has ministered in coaching/encouragement to women and consult with them in ministry.  “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.  Pray to the Lord to send forth laborers.”  The ministry had a name change to Seeds of Harvest and has expanded to men, women, and youth.  The internet via Blogtalk radio and Facebook(s) has been the primary resource in getting this work accomplished.  The ministry has just celebrated a three year anniversary in May 2014

Contact information for Catisha Ashbury:

Here are a few reasons why Catisha Ashbury is #FeelingGrateful…

1.     I'll never be stop being grateful for... God and Jesus in my life!
2.   My favorite way to say thank you is... Taking Action (Speak Louder)
3.   The best thank you I've received was... (Letter from my daughter)
4.   When I was a kid, I didn't realize how grateful I should have been for...my single mother taking me to church and learn about God and Jesus)
5.    (Bonus) The attitude of gratitude helps me to... Keep the right perspective and focus! Most of all get over minor things to focus on what really or Who is important!

I’m so grateful for Catisha for raising her hand to be a part of The Feeling Graeteful Blog Series. Her willingness to share how her faith in God keeps her focused on the importance of our spiritual journey is a testament to the transformation that occurs in one’s life when we believe that no matter where we are in life, the grace and mercy of God is sufficient and that he welcomes each of us like the father of the prodigal son in the Bible with compassion and everlasting love.

Last but not least, I'm soooo thankful for all the readers that have traveled this journey with me as the series comes to an end tomorrow. Many of you have returned day after day, shared posts with those in your network and on your websites. I’ve received emails from many and replied to comments made on various social media sites about how one of the posts inspired you to embrace a daily practice of gratitude. This series would not have been as successful without your engagement. A heartfelt thank you to each of you.

Grateful Heart 

Jackie Capers-Brown
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish
Author, Get Unstuck Now

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Day 28 of The #FeelingGrateful Blog Series: The Most Powerful Gratitude Practice You're Not Doing by Marie Forleo

In a recent post on her website, Marie Forleo states, "Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, the most fundamental practice to quickly transform your life — any time of year — is gratitude.”

She goes on to say, “Gratitude is simply a deep and genuine sense of appreciation for what you have in your life. For things big and small. For the air you breathe; the unconditional love of your pet; for blessing of someone who loves you.”

Marie asserts, “And this shouldn’t just be an intellectual or mental exercise, it should touch you and fill you up emotionally. Because when you genuinely fill yourself up with the emotion of appreciation, it changes how you feel and it completely alters the actions you take and, therefore, the results you’ll create.”

In the following video, Marie shares a “simple yet highly effective and science-backed way to take your gratitude practice to the next level.”

Marie Forleo is one of my go-to people on the Internet for practical advice on how to create and live a life that I love.  She delivers award-winning videos weekly to subscribers of her website that educates, empowers and inspires millions of people (including myself) to play a bigger game. If you are not on her list to receive weekly updates, I highly recommend that you seriously consider doing so. She is a game-changer! And if you want to elevate your game, you have to interact with game changers.

Just two days left before the end of The Feeling Grateful Blog Series. I am so appreciative of how many of you have returned to the site either through signing up for email updates, RSS feed or because you remembered. In either case, you have helped to make this series a success and for that I will be forever grateful.

Grateful Heart,

Jackie Capers-Brown
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish
Author, Get Unstuck Now

For more information visit Marie's website. 

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#FeelingGrateful by Jackie Capers-Brown

Gratitude in our heart is a reflection of our appreciation for our life. For me, this includes being grateful for the good and the not-so good. I have come to realize that I’ve learned just as much, if not more, about life, who I am and the strength of my spirit from difficulties as I have from my successes.

Gratitude sustains my faith in God's faithfulness and my belief that each of us have so much more potential to be realized.

As I celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I am grateful for following the call in my soul to start this blog five years ago. It has truly expanded my way of thinking and being beyond what I could have imagined. As I make plans to move my blog from Blogger to the Rainmaker Platform, I'm excited about how this new platform will enable me to expand my intention of helping people champion themselves and become the hero of their story.

Tiffany Shlain stated, “When we are in the womb-the umbilical cord keeps us connected to something larger than ourselves. When that cord is cut at our birth, we spend the rest of our lives seeking to be connected to something larger than ourselves.”

In addition to our faith, I believe gratitude connects us to our Divine Source, who is much greater than ourselves. When we establish a practice of gratitude in our daily life we tap into an energy that empowers us to expand our lives beyond all that we can imagine and think.

Gratitude sparks the light within us so that as we go forth in the world, our lives illuminate what’s possible. It enables us to center ourselves by being present with all that is going well in our lives. The practice of gratitude in our lives focuses our attention on what really matters in our lives. It diminishes the mind chatter we experience that says, “There’s never enough” and “I’m not enough”.

Gratitude ushers us into a state of contentment that provides us with peace of mind and clarity. A heart full of gratitude quickly acknowledges, “All is well in my soul.” This doesn’t mean that we aren’t diligent towards manifesting new possibilities. It means that we are appreciative of how much we’ve overcome and how far we’ve come. Instead of rushing past the present for the future, the practice of gratitude keeps us grounded in the now which is where all the power is to redefine possible in our lives.

Today is the Thanksgiving Holiday in the USA. I want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving Day and I pray that today and every day you and your family will continue to be blessed beyond measure with love, happiness and success.

A few reasons why Jackie Capers-Brown is #FeelingGrateful

1.     I’ll never stop being grateful for my parents. As the vessels used by God to create my DNA, I continue to be in awe of the foundation of faith and fortitude they were able to cultivate in my young soul before they died. By the age of 20, my parents, Willie Mae Capers and William Mills had died. Yet, their spirit remains strong within me. To this day, one of my heart’s desire is to honor the legacy of their lives with what I accomplish in my life.

2.   My favorite way to say thank you is by utilizing my gifts and talents to make a difference in a person’s life. When I’m in my zone of service to others I am my best self. It brings me much pleasure and satisfaction to know that I have contributed in some way to another person’s ability to see and hold themselves in a higher light and to take actions that lead them to living a better life.

3.   The best thank you I’ve received has been from my daughter, Derytah’s ability to live her life based on her terms. There is nothing more rewarding to my heart than to be alive and have the opportunity to witness her growth and transformation. I consider myself fortunate and blessed to have a daughter who owns her story, voice and power. She makes her Mom proud.

4.   When I was a kid, I didn’t realize how grateful I should have been for my childhood and adolescent friendships. I regret that I didn’t see the importance of maintaining the strong bonds of friendships I had when I was younger. Today, I am mindful of how important it is to my well-being to nurture quality friendships. I am forever grateful for the few friends who have been with me for an extended time and I look forward to making new friends and cultivating those relationships.

5.    (Bonus) The attitude of gratitude creates a space of abundance in my heart. If fuels me with the belief that the Universe is continuously expanding so I should be seeking opportunities to expand my life in ways that contribute to the well-being of others.

Thank you for traveling this journey with me. The success of this series would not have been possible had it not been for readers like you. There are a few days left before the series ends however from the comments and emails that I’ve received, I believe the #FeelingGrateful series have awakened many of you to the power of gratitude and the benefits that come with a daily practice of gratitude.

Grateful Heart

Jackie Capers-Brown
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish
Author, Get Unstuck Now
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#FeelingGrateful by Tamara Canzater

Tamara is a wife, mother, friend, daughter, entrepreneur and community activist. She became an entrepreneur in 2006 when she decided to create a business from her passion for cooking. She started a family run catering business called Creative Cooking.

On October 21, 2013 she started a non-profit called Woman to Woman Entrepreneurs' Association with the goal of empowering women entrepreneurs by offering networking opportunities that provide them with valuable resources, education and support.

On October 21, 2014 the City of Columbia recognized Tamara and Woman to Woman Entrepreneurs' Association with a proclamation for the efforts she and her organization have demonstrated toward promoting and supporting women entrepreneurs.  The City of Columbia declared October 21, 2014 as Woman to Woman Entrepreneurs' Association Day in Columbia SC. 

Tamara feels that her experiences have given her a purpose for her journey. She aims to continue to promote, support, and bring awareness to women owned businesses and entrepreneurs and the value they bring to the marketplace. She shares the following words of wisdom to all women in business or considering going into business: Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It.

For additional information about Tamara, visit her websites: http://www.womantowomanentrepreneurs.com

Here are a few reasons why Tamara Canzater is #FeelingGrateful…

1.     I'll never be stop being grateful for... my husband and children.  They have always been believers in me and all that I do.  
2.   My favorite way to say thank you is:  through prayer for all my wonderful blessings and by paying it forward.

3.   The best thank you I've received was … from the City of Columbia on October 21, 2014.

4.   When I was a kid, I didn't realize how grateful I should have been for … God’s favor.

5.    (Bonus) The attitude of gratitude helps me to … be thankful for every moment I have with my husband, children, and people in my network. Gratitude inspires me to believe that all things are possible. It inspires me to find ways to encourage others each day.

I’m so grateful that Tamara Canzater raised her hand and decided to be a part of The Feeling Grateful Blog Series. Tamara’s sincere appreciation for her present blessings is expanding her influence in the Columbia area while increasing the success of women entrepreneurs.

Last but not least, thank you for taking time to read this post. Embracing the power of gratitude for all that  is going well in your life right now creates more space for more good stuff in your life.

Grateful Heart,

Jackie Capers-Brown
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish
Author, Get Unstuck Now

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#Feeling Grateful by Tamara L. Dean

Tamara L. Dean is the visionary for PrayHers. PrayHers is a mindset that positions women to give birth to their dreams by sowing their gifts, talents, and prayers into the dreams of other women. 
Tamara believes, “When women of faith come together with a sincere heart before God, praying one for another, we access more power to give birth to our dreams."

It is Tamara's passion to help women across cultural lines fulfill their God-given assignment. Instead of preying on each other's accomplishments, Tamara encourages women to pray for each other's success.  This idea birthed the brand, PrayHers. Tamara believes that as you sow into HERS you will reap YOURS.
Tamara is touching the hearts of many with her new book, PrayHers 31-Day Challenge - In Hers is Yours. "This is a book that demonstrates how rewarding it can be to pray other women out of the pit and into their rightful place of authority and blessings."
Tamara L. Dean is a graduate of Central Michigan University.  She and her husband Freddy Dean live in Dallas, Texas with their daughter, Destiny.

Here are a few reasons why Tamara’s #FeelingGrateful…

1.     I'll never stop being grateful for...LIFE, and the use of my limbs. I know it might sound menial, but I don’t take it for granted, or lightly that I can wake up each morning and brush my own teeth, get dress, and fix my own meals. All which make life easier and more rewarding. I think many of us take for granted our health until we are robbed of it. When arthritis took over my grandmother’s body leaving her bedridden, and no longer able to even bath her own body, she would often talk about how she wished she could go in the kitchen and cook a simple meal. She spoke of it with such aspiration and longing.  She truly enjoyed cooking, so for her it was something she took for granted, and perhaps that is the reason why I try not to.

2.   I will never stop being grateful for the privilege of being a mother. To be the conduit of another being is phenomenal! I value my child’s life and her time here on this earth. I don’t take for granted that I can wake up and see her smiling face, or hear her 8 yr. old voice, say, “Good morning mommy.” When I hear of mothers who had to endure the tragic loss of a child; it breaks my heart and help me to look into my daughter’s eye and value every moment.

And of course, last but definitely not least, I am eternally grateful for Jesus Christ. He gave His life for me. Without Him I am nothing, but with Him I can do ALL things!

3.   My favorite way to say thank you is...I love when I can thank you with a gift. It brings me great joy to express my appreciation by being a blessing.

4.   The best thank you I receive happens … when someone tells me that something I did, or said has made a significant difference in their life, I am grateful. Their words of encouragements, or motivational thank-you are the best, because they challenge you to continue doing what you are doing, and it’s a way of assuring you that what you are doing is not in vain.   

5.    When I was a kid, I didn't realize how grateful I should have been for...growing up in a household with both parents present. Although, mom and dad had a lot of rocky days, they stuck it out for 27 years until my dad passed away. I thought my dad was mean, and I couldn’t understand why a woman as nice as my mom could hook up with a grouch like my dad (lol.) Now that my dad is gone, and I am older, I am ever so grateful for who he was. I understand now that he was trying to instill ethics and responsibility into us.  Today, I can’t help but wonder what kind of advice he would have to offer me.

6.   (Bonus) The attitude of gratitude helps me... stay appreciative, focused, and out of bitterness. It can always be worse.

I am so grateful for Tamara for participating in the #FeelingGrateful Blog Series. Her passionate work demonstrates gratitude towards all of the people that she serves.

And last but not least,  I’m grateful for you taking time out of your schedule to read the #FeelingGrateful Blog Series. This series have added so much to my life as I read the comments on various posts and how they are reminding readers like you to embrace the power of gratitude in their everyday life.

Grateful Heart


Jackie Capers-Brown
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish
Author, Get Unstuck Now

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