Get yourself a personal Board of Directors!

As you start thinking about 2018…

Get yourself a personal Board of Directors!

I heard about this personal Board of Directors Concept at a conference that I attended earlier this year and I love it. Most of us already have a group of people that we run ideas by, this just makes it more official.

It’s mentorship multiplied. Instead of having only one person that you exchange ideas with, you have a group of people that will help take your career, business and/or ideas to the next level.

When you think about who you want as part of your Board of Directors (BOD’s), here are some things to consider:


  1. Someone you work with
  2. Someone who has more experience than you
  3. Someone who thinks differently than you
  4. Someone that will provide candid advice/perspective
  5. Someone that has expertise that you don’t have
  6. Someone that is authentic
  7. Someone that you have good rapport with
  8. Someone that has your best interest in mind
  9. Someone that will help you stay balanced
  10. Someone you trust


    Based on this list, your BOD’s can include co-workers, existing mentors, someone you look up to, family and friends.

    The important thing to remember is that this is not a one way street. As you are asking for feedback and recommendations, make sure that you are also bringing value and perspectives to the table.

    What are your thoughts? Would you consider a personal Board of Directors?  Leave your comments below!


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    Other articles:

    "A life where every dollar you earn is..."

    I've mentioned before that every single woman that I highlight on this platform has inspired me one way or another. I've known Edyth since college and one thing about her is that she's relentless. When she puts her mind to something, she will do it. Read more of some of Edyths' practical steps that she took to pay off debt. I hope it encourages you as much as it has encouraged me!

    Name: Edyth Adedeji

    Based In: New York City, NY

    #MadeInNigeria: Lagos, Nigeria

    Tell me a little bit about your educational/career path? 
    I studied information systems in undergrad and worked in consulting for about 5 years. After 5 years of being on the road practically every week, I decided to get my MBA with a concentration in Finance and from then on started working in Finance in the airline industry.  After 3 years in Finance, one of my mentors mentioned that I should explore Sales because he thought I had the personality and skill set for it.  I was skeptical but after networking with some of our Sales leaders, I fell in love with the division and jumped on the opportunity when a great role opened up.  Today, I am a district sales manager in New York.

    You love helping people get out of debt, why are you interested in this? What inspired you to start?
    If you are like most people, you were never thought how to manage money and your experience of managing money probably started when you moved away for college because you had to pay rent, buy books and for the first time in your life, feed yourself.  At the same time, this is when most of us discovered credit cards and student loans. 

    Post my MBA, I moved to Atlanta and then I met a couple around my age who mentioned they had paid off their mortgage and they literally had no debt in their name.  I thought for sure they were making it up.  After all, everyone had a 30 year mortgage right?  So they shared information about Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and I decided to take the class. And I can say that this class definitely changed my life.

    What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get out of debt?
    1) 1st take stock of everything and everyone you owe money to, sort these in order of smallest to largest balance and identify the due dates of all your bills.  

    2) Then create a thorough budget per pay check that includes your living expenses and the minimum payment for every bill you have.  Be sure to assign every dollar to a budget line item - this includes gifts and events.  If you are a person of faith be sure to include your tithes/offerings to your budget.

    3) Do a reality check on your budget to make sure you are not overspending in any area - For example is your eating out allocation too high?  Do you need cable if you watch TV one hour a week?  If you have an accountability partner, have them review your budget with you as well.

    4) Once you have paid for your living expenses and have paid minimum on all of your bills, apply all the left over funds to your lowest balance bill. This way you are attacking your lowest balance bill with all the funds you have left over and you can make a major dent in the principal.

    5) If you are a fan of excel, you can duplicate your budget so you have a full year's financial plan.

    I asked Edyth if this was a difficult change and she said don't think about it all at once. Have a goal and a time frame. For example, for your 2018 birthday, have a goal to have something paid off AND reward yourself when you meet that goal (withing budget of course!).


    If a little girl walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?

    For children, I will say, make sure you start saving early!!! Never spend more than you make and make sure you give to those that are less fortunate than you are.

    Read: The Richest Man in Babylon - there is a kids "story" version out there.

    What words/quotes do you live by? 

    Honestly there are so many but a few financial quotes

    1)  Never invest in anything you don’t understand - The Richest Man in Babylon

    2)  Never spend more than you earn - The Richest Man in Babylon.  Sounds like common sense but somehow we supplement our income with our credit cards.  Remember when you can’t pay cash for an item, you can’t afford that item

    3)  You can’t win a war by divvying up your soldiers to many different battles - Focus on one at a time (I honestly cannot remember where this one is from - I think from Machiavelli's The Prince)


    Anything else you would like to add?

    - Imagine what your life would be like if you've paid off all of your credit cards, student loans, and mortgage.  A life where every dollar you earn is not being pulled to bills or interest rates.  What would you do with your life?  How much can you give to those that need it?  When you realize that you work too hard to be paying interests for the rest of your life, I hope this wakes you up to do something about your financial situation.

    - Don't Stress.. Make a realistic plan and stick to it.  You too can get out of debt!  

    - If you can, take Financial Peace University. It covers so much more than the get out of debt.  It includes so much more like - planning for retirement, saving for college, what to think about when you want to buy a house, and insurances - life and health.  The beauty of this program is that it teaches in very simple terms so that everyone can learn and apply them.

    "Wisdom is sweeter when shared" ...Are you ready? Plan, Set A Goal, Focus!! - Thank you, Edyth!

    "Gentle Reminders"

    Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been inspired and I’ve been encouraged, so I want to share some of the things that I’ve been reminded of by strangers, mentors, coworkers and friends.

    I’m using the letters “A” “S” and “K” to summarize my thoughts because one simple ask has grown into something bigger than what I expected.

    Ask and be Authentic – Ask for what you want. When I was in sales, I was trained to always ask for the business and I’ve used this concept at home, at work, job interviews, everywhere because the worst that anyone can say to me is No. I’m of the mindset that it’s better to ask instead of regretting later. So that thing you’ve been thinking about…just ASK! I’m a testimony that great things happen when you do.

    Be Authentic. Be unapologetically you, stand for what you believe in and at the same time be open to learning and growing. You add value to this world by being you…you are a gift!

    Carry Someone Along – You are blessed to be a blessing.  No one has gained success by themselves. Surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you and encourage you to keep moving forward.

    Knowledge – pass on the things you have learned to someone behind you. Be a mentor and do things that future generations can benefit from. It can make a world of difference and frankly, this world needs it.


    Ayo D.

    "The Relationships You Nurture, Will Grow"

    Name: Adesewa “Sewa” Faleti

    Currently Based: Austin, Texas

    #MadeInNigeria:   Ogun State via Bronx, NY

    Adesewa went to Bowie High school in Arlington, Texas and then went to Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas where she obtained a Bachelors Degree in Business Management. College is where she made some of her closest friendships. Going to a place, away from her support system, created an opportunity for Sewa to become more independent and rely on her circle of friends. She went through the good, the bad and everything in between with that local support system.   Till this day she and her college friends are still very close because where there was an intentional goal to help each other succeed. “Friendships are important” Sewa says “and the relationships that you nurture will grow.

    After college, Sewa moved to Austin, Texas where she currently resides. Though her location changed, her gift to make *and keep* friends didn’t change. Sewa truly enjoys being around people. “I enjoy what people bring to my life,” Sewa says, “I dont agree with the #NoNewFriends concept because people are in my life for a reason and having a variety of friends adds value.”

    Connecting with people is a conscious effort. If she thinks about someone, she will text and/or call and if possible, get together.  At her young age, Sewa has already buried several friends so she knows time is precious and doesn’t take her friendships for granted.

    Sewas gift for staying connected with people aligns with what she’s passionate about - seeing people succeed.  She loves when people utilize their gifts and skills to benefit those around them and because Sewa knows everybody….well almost everybody, she’s always connecting people with opportunities.

    If a little girls walked up to ask Sewa for advice and she only had a few minutes to give ‘em her best tip, it would be to Live life with a purpose and on purpose, find time for what you love, listen to your heart and cherish every single moment.

    Words/quotes that Sewa lives by:

    Expect the least expected, from the least expected, when least expect it.

    Whew!! I’ve been challenged and I plan to do better. I’ll pick up the phone, send that text and schedule that date. Will you join me?

    Connect with Sewa

    Follow her on IG and Twitter - @AdesewaF

    FB  - Adesewa Faleti Entertainment


    "Purpose Driven Career"


    Name: Titilope Adenike Fasipe (nee Ishola)

    Currently Based: Houston, Texas

    #MadeInNigeia: Born in Lagos but hometown is Ogbomoso, Oyo State

    I've known Titi pretty much her entire life, though we are not biologically related, we are family. Titi epitomizes grace and humility. She's a genuine person that is passionate about her work and she is super smart! As I say about every woman that I've had the opportunity to showcase on this platform, she's doing some pretty amazing things!

    Read more about Titi's education, career path and why she decided to go the route that she did.


    Titi's Education & Career Path:
    -BS Biology -- UTA, Arlington
    -MD, PhD -- UTMB, Galveston
    -Residency -- Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati
    -Fellowship -- Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Baylor/Texas Children's Hospital,  Houston

    That's a lot of school! :) 


     (Pictured with 18th Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin


    Why did you chose to take this path?

    1. Childhood reasons: I love kids, so growing up I wanted to either be a teacher or a doctor. I was also influenced by my fascination with science (go STEM!) and having a nurse as a mother (I was always reading her nursing textbooks).

    2. Impact of Nigeria and Sickle Cell: I suspect most people would think I chose my career because I have sickle cell disease. Well I do have sickle cell, but it's actually more complicated than that. You see, between the ages of 11 and 16, I lived in Nigeria and saw a different side of healthcare. One defined by limited resources and where bad outcomes always had more questions than answers. This really hit home when I heard my beautiful cousin passed way at the age of 17. She had sickle cell and she had been a role model to me. I wondered and still wonder: could her death have been prevented?

    3. The Others: that is my countless brothers and sisters who also have sickle cell in America, Nigeria, and worldwide... The ones I have met along the way have inspired me with their stories, all different, yet with common threads.


    What do you hope to accomplish?
    Initially, I pursued a dual degree because I wanted to "cure" sickle cell, a genetic disease. As I went through my training, I realized there are many areas to make impact. I admire those researching cures (and obviously grateful for them), but my dreams have been adjusted. I have decided to focus on other troubling crises for sickle cell - the psycho-social burden of this chronic disease (especially with the associated racial/ethnic stigmas and disparities), the complexities of transitioning to adulthood with this disease, and of course the overwhelming global burden of sickle cell.

    This means I still do research, but I focus on patient outcomes and also on the utilization of the current/future therapies.

    Correspondingly, I've joined forces with others to spread awareness of sickle cell, starting with my institution , my city/county, and also the state .

    Titi is passionate about her path and though things may get challenging or discouraging, she will never give up. Her goal is to create/revitalize/ promote sickle cell programs. Accomplishing things step by step and bit by bit... the hope is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by sickle cell!

    Advice that she would give to a Little Girl:
    1. Be yourself (which is easier said than done)

    2. Identify mentors/role models/sponsors at each stage of life. Some of these people will be nearby (your parents, a teacher, etc), some may be not as easy to reach but their stories can inspire you (e.g., Michelle Obama, Katherine Johnson and other ladies of Hidden Figures, and Chimamanda Adichie to name a few)


    Quotes Titi tries to live by:
    1. "...Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God"
    -Micah 6:8

    2. "The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story."
    -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


    One of our friends has already claimed a Noble peace Prize for Titi, I join him and look forward to the day she receives it!

    Has Titi's story inspired you? Leave a note in the comment box or send her an email at


    Additional information:

    "Garden of Purpose"

    Name - Buky aka Ms B


    Currently Based - Atlanta, GA


    #MadeInNigeria  - Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria


    Tell me a little bit about your educational and career path? 

    I've always been inquisitive, enjoy finding backdoor solutions and was that kid that would pick logic and math puzzles for my gifts. I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer but my dad took me to meet the school of business dean at Florida A&M, where he graduated from, as an option. My heart wasn't in it but at 16 and getting  a full scholarship for undergrad and grad, I said sure why not. I got a BA and Masters in Business administration and worked as a business analyst until 2 years ago.


    Any regrets on taking this path?

    No regrets taking this route because great friendships came out of it. However, knowing what I know now, I would have put more focus on classes, people, situations, and opportunities that motivated me and truly made me happy.


    Tell me about your business/hobbies?

    I picked up gardening about 3 years ago after my mom passed. I had failed at my previous attempts but something clicked this time around. The first time, it was just something I wanted to do for aesthetics and hadn't gone thru something to make me appreciate it in it's pure essence. This time though, it was something I needed to do to nurture my spirit and in this space of focus, I was able to hear God's voice in a language I now understood.  The garden needs the gardener (God), the plants (Human), and the soil (Spirit) working in harmony to have a flourishing garden. It has since evolved into a living oasis where we've hosted retreats, people use it for their events and photo shoots, helping others redesign their yards, and recently an Instagram page where I share my journey and inspirational lessons I've learned and learning from the garden.


    Life Lessons from your Garden

    1) I had planted tons of flowers in the heat of summer before going to help my mom. They ended up neglected for weeks due to staying for the funeral. When I came back, most of them were just sticks with no leaves but were fuller and bushier the next month. I learned that when a plant is stressed from lack of nutrition/ resources,  it focuses it's energy on digging deeper roots, sheds it's leaves, then regenerates. Likewise, there'll be times in our lives when we feel neglected, stressed and the gardener (God) is no where to be seen. But it's in those situations that we're being pushed to dig deeper,  strengthen our spirit, and shed the superficial things draining our energy; so that we can rebuild, be better equipped to handle different circumstances , and produce more than before.


    2) A plant doesn't decide what kind of fruit/ flower to produce based on who bought it. So a roma doesn't give me cherry tomatoes just because I like salads or a beefy tomato because I like burgers. It simply produces what it's been programmed to do. Likewise,  I believe we're programmed with specific talents. And instead of trying to tailor them to everyone, just produce what's in you and let those that consume it decide how it will serve them. In essence, I believe our purpose is simply to produce the best of ourselves, not figuring out how we're supposed to be used.


    3)  Plants often need pruning to remove dead limbs and keep them in the desired shape. Also, pruning triggers a "healing" mechanism, which encourages production of new limbs for a bushier, fuller, more productive plant. Likewise to be healthier, balanced, and more productive, there are people, habits, work, behaviors (etc)that are growing out of control, no longer productive and need to be removed from our lives.



      If a little girl walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?  

      Don't let the expectations or opinions of others determine your life. Know what impact you want to make and that'll guide you to who and where you need to be.


      What words/quotes do you live by?

      To thine own self be true; get over yourself; it's not just about you.


      Follow Buky on Instagram @bdeeplyrooted