To Succeed in Your Career and Business: Less Talk, More Action
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Many people know me as a bit of chatterbox, especially when it comes to something I’m passionate about. Whether it’s commentary on the latest news, opinions on celebrity fashion, or the constant flow of ideas that clutter my head, I’ll talk … and talk … and talk about it with excitement to any and everyone willing to listen.

But when it comes to making real boss moves, I’ve found that many of my friends and colleagues doing big things often move in silence, not letting the cat out of the bag until something is up and running or confirmed.

Much of their “talking” is strategic: You wouldn’t know about a new project until it officially launches via a press release or an invite to join in celebrating a new venture, career advancement or personal achievement.

People who talk a lot about their aspirations and what they are planning to do are what my Granny calls “I’mas,” and she constantly warns me against becoming one of them: “Don’t be an ‘I’ma’ … Always saying, ‘I’ma do this … I’ma do that.’ Those people never do what they say they’re gonna do, so busy talking and looking like a fool when all the talk amounts to nothing.”

I’ve met many I’mas in my life. One would often boast about upstart ideas he had and ask me for insight on how he could make his visions reality.

“I’ma get rich with this one!”

“Ima send you the business plan tomorrow!”

“Ima call you so we can trade some ideas next week!”

I’ma … I’ma … I’ma …

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.


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