Career Passion vs. Just Working

I appreciate people’s advice when it comes to my career. Today, while networking at the Small Business Expo, two people suggested I should think about utilizing my public relations services into the healthcare or political sectors. Immediately, this places me in an uncomfortable stance of confusion. Why are they making this suggestion? Did they not comprehend my 30-second elevator pitch? “Hi, my name is Parisnicole Payton. I am a public relations strategist who helps sports and entertainment professionals, small businesses and non-profit organizations that struggle with creating a customized public relations plan of action for brand awareness and national exposure.”

To suggest I should expand my public relations services into other industries goes against my advocacy and passion I have for working in the sports and entertainment industry. Public Relations is a passion driven profession. To be productive, effective and successful, you must have a passion for the industry you serve. I get why many may feel I am of a great asset in the other industries, but to place limitations on my industry choice tells me many do not know what Public Relations entails. When I introduce myself, I convey a compelling message with passion about working with athletes. In addition, I do offer my services to small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have an align interest to partner with public figures in the sports and entertainment industry.

In your industry choice, you will encounter challenges; however, never persuade someone to do other than what they desire to do and the field they want to serve. In 2015, I was working as an independent career contractor at a consulting management firm. I can recall counseling a with a woman laid off after 15 years of services working at a law firm. Prior to that, she was an administrative assistant for the Philadelphia School District. She enjoyed being an administrative assistant and working in the school district. Her career took a derail when she was laid off. Thereafter, she found herself working at a law firm. At this point, she has encountered two laid offs. She was at a crossroad and had no interest in working in the law industry. The career consultants helping her only offered the career advice for her to continue seeking employment within the law industry. She was clear on having no interest working for another law firm or the law industry. Although she spent 15 years at a law firm, she did not enjoy. Over time, she became upset, frustrated and depressed. She felt no one was listening to her. I decided to listen. During our career sessions, I understood her passion was administration, and she enjoyed and had the passion for the school system. I worked with her for two days on her cover letter and resume. We discussed her career options to seek employment opportunities in working for the high schools and universities. We tailored her cover letter to demonstrate an interest in returning to working in the academic field. After a month of several interviews, she secured an Executive Administrative position at Temple University. She was extremely happy.

My point, never try to deter someone from following their passion in working in their industry.

“A job pays the bills. A career feeds the soul.”


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After attending the Mega Speaker Conference with TJ Foxx (Disclaimer – This is not to promote or endorse JT Foxx), I was extremely overwhelmed. During the full-day conference, I learned so much! I never think I know it all. I am always humble to learn more. Well, I got more than what I expected out of TJ Foxx. This guy was overly confident in his position as the #1 public speaker in the world alongside Tony Robbins. Throughout the conference, I was a little taken back by many of his comments, and bragging about all of his value, successes, and relationship with celebrities he does business with. His presentation had you on a live roller coaster ride! After the fun filled conference; I joined a few attendees for dinner. We all agreed, JT Foxx had the right to be as proud about of his accomplishments, achievements, and accolades. For years, he put in the work! His

Some people may have been offended. On Google, there are negative reviews of the conference and about JT Foxx. You know, he was spot on! I could not help to be so engaged by his cockiness. I could not take away from the fact he spent eight hours in giving VALUABLE information about the business of public speaking, branding, and marketing. In addition, throughout the conference, he kept saying, “write this down.” And he watched to see who was writing down what he was sharing. One of the attendees was a 14-year-old male with his mother. JT Foxx asked him, why was he not writing anything down? His mother speaks, I am taking notes for him. JT Foxx said, “If your son missed school to be here, he should be writing down his own notes. No disrespect to you, your son needs to retain all this information for himself.” Another WOW moment. Again, he was right!

JT Foxx shared if you are giving a presentation, and folks are not writing down what you are sharing, then that person is not serious about retaining the information that is given. JT Foxx knew the information he was sharing was extremely valuable, so he placed the accountability on his audience. He did not care what anyone in the audience thought. He knew his VALUE! Take it or leave it.

To see all this live was magnificent!

Let me tell you why I am sharing this. I have accomplished so many things and have endured many successes in my career as a publicist. I have worked with many celebrities and athletes as well. My work speaks for itself. Over time, I have scaled down my value to appease others who were in no position to retain my services. Honestly, many should have never been given the privilege or honor to work with me. However, I was raised to always be and stay humble in the midst of your personal and professional journey. You know what? Humbleness was not paying the bills. People take advantage of humbleness. People take advantage of only receiving and never giving. People gained their own agenda in their ROI on my humbleness, as I walked away with ZERO.

Over the years, I consult with my attorney, business mentor and spiritual advisor as to why I was not much further in my career that I should be. Over time, they ensured me; I was doing all the right things. I kept second guessing myself. On a high, self-doubt kicked in. I would think, I need to change this, change that, scale this down, do this, blah, blah, blah, in hopes to gain more clients and sustain and increase revenue. I made sure I only surrounded myself with the best.

Again, something was still not right. I kept hitting a brick wall.

“You don’t live once. You live every day. You die once.” – JT Foxx

As I am writing this post, I received an email from a potential client informing me that right now she cannot afford my discount March rate.  The remaining fact is, she can’t afford me at all and she is not serious nor ready to evaluate her brand. So, she wasted her time, more importantly, she wasted my time.

“Don’t trade time for money.” – JT Foxx

In going forward, I excited to apply the business fundamentals and adopt the cockiness characteristic from JT Foxx. After attending two events, I have more clarity to better align and position my business model. I am more fired up than ever! First thing first, in order of business, I will no longer discount my services, nor give away freely my intellectual property. Lastly, my cockiness swag and prices have increased.

“Protect your brand” – JT Foxx


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Public Relations

How to Hire a Publicist or Public Relations Firm

Last week on Instagram, I responded to someone on a Public Relations associates page a sharing their bad experience in hiring a publicist on several occasions.

Many times I have received several complaints such as the post about many people retaining a publicist or firm, to then feel as though they have not received any ROI nor the publicist or firm failed to deliver on the services rendered. My advice, during an initial consultation, 1) Make sure you know what #PublicRelations entails and the budget you need to retain. 2) You need to have a checklist on why you are retaining the services of #PublicRelations. 3) Ask, ask and ask questions, not only on what they know; also on the work they have accomplished. Request a portfolio, resume, current 1-3 Letters of Recommendations. 4) Ensure there is a contractual agreement outlining all terms and conditions of services. 5) You must be held accountable for your due diligence. You are investing in your brand. I must reiterate, #PublicRelations is not a product, it’s a process. A clear compelling #PublicRelations campaign takes 3-6 months to gain results. #SocialMedia along is not the foundation spectrum of means to base an executive decision on hiring a publicist or firm. I took the person’s post very seriously because I pride myself to uphold to all business standards to maintain the solidarity integrity of #PublicRelations.


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Public Relations

How to Know When You Need a Publicist

When you are inquiring to retain the services of a publicist or firm, always be prepared and do your own due diligence. In determining the need for publicity, which all businesses do need, determine your niche, target market, and outline advertising, marketing, branding and promotion options. Request an initial consultation to ask the hard questions and to find a mutual alignment of partnership with your publicist/firm. You both will be collaborating daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly on the “plan of action” of the public relations campaign, which takes approximately 3-6 months to gain ROI. Remember, Public Relations is not a product; it is a process.


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Something to think about in our busy, very challenging lives by Sheldon Jones

“I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind”                           –Edgar Allen Poe

When times are toughest please remember the serenity prayer, my friends.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace…”


Life Challenges

Today’s life challenges are overwhelming. It’s hard and extremely difficult to try and keep up with everyday tasks. I have truly delicate my blog due to my schedule have been occupied with pursuing my Doctorate degree at Walden University.

In the interim, I have secured new clients. So you can imagine my life and schedule is fully filled.

As we continue our life journey, we have to be mindful to slow down. We move so fast throughout the day, we tend to miss what is actually happening. We don’t embrace each moment grant and blessed upon our day. We miss many opportunities to learn and receive blessings.

We must prioritize our day to reflect what is important. Many of the things we are doing are not relevant to our journey – and we are wasting time. Time is of an essence. You can’t get back time nor make up for time wasted.

We are excessively consumed with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now Snapchat!! I have to admit, I am addicted to Snapchat.

All is good, but we must remind ourselves the essential importance of taking the time to slow down and handle our life challenges before they become life threatening crisis.


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Catching Up

Well, it is 2016 and I have been MIA.

Let me share what I have been doing the last year.

I have been pursuing in complete a Doctorate of Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership at Walden University. Thus far, my experience as been rewarding. The work is hectic and the commitment to pursue is very desirable. My doctoral study will be a qualitative case study. I am still working on the subject matter of the study. I want to focus on Organizational Sustainability and Crisis Management. I want to outline the success of the corporate sector in utilizing a crisis management strategy, in which, the sports sector can benefit. I am in my last year of the doctorate program, and 2016 will be a long journey of determination and sacrifices.

In addition,  I have taken on bigger public relations and crisis management opportunities within the corporate sector. I continue to work with NFL players, that will never change. I want to expand my profession in Public Relations and Crisis Management further into the sports industry such as MLB, NBA, and NHL.

I have a lot going on….


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Business · Public Relations

Leadership: Manage Your Emotions by Jasbindar Singh

I will be the first to admit, I am a very emotional person. I work hard; I feel hard, and I play hard. However, being an overly emotional person can damage one’s business and personal relationships.  You have to put things in perspective in “real” time. Over the years, I had to learn to take each moment for what the moment presented. Emotions can carry out in the wrong direction when we start to build upon our own reality of a situation. As a leader, we have to check our emotions at the door and keep them checked in order to sustain healthy personal and business relationships. It’s imperative to take the time to digest what is happening accordingly to respond in an ethical and moral fashion. Basically, keep your emotions intact at all times.

Leadership: Manage Your Emotions

“Self-knowledge is something everyone can grasp. When you understand your emotions, you will have the capacity to understand other people’s emotions too.”
Swami Suddhananda

The gift of emotions

The spectre of emotions we experience is a true gift. Imagine a world without the contrast and diversity of experiences and emotions. spectre of emotions we experience is a true gift. Imagine a world without the contrast and diversity of experiences and emotions.

In the work place, this can range from the incredible sense of success and team work of a well-executed project to those other times when we have missed out on something, feel mis-understood or attacked.

Feelings and emotions are also viral.  

We have to be conscious that we are not unduly affecting others with our negative emotions which could just be “passing clouds.”are not unduly affecting others with our negative emotions which could just be “passing clouds.”

As  managers and leaders we are setting the tone, expectations, climate and culture of our teams and organization.

And nothing seeps or gets picked up faster by others than the non-verbal vibes or careless throw-away comments.

The EQ skills of self-awareness and self-management are vital here to avoid the reactive response when confronted with the unexpected, which one invariably regrets.

Some self-awareness and self-management pointers:

  • Don’t minimize your emotions as they are always giving you information. They can be communicating what even your rational mind has not yet caught up to.
  • The key is to identify and acknowledge fully whatever emotions you are experiencing and to then use it intelligently e.g  starting with “ I feel let down, angry, put out, hurt or whatever else.
  • Try and identify what might have contributed or caused these underlying feelings.
  • You can then explore the range of options and actions available to you.  AND THERE ARE ALWAYS OPTIONS even though we may not see it at the time.  For example, “ I could set up a meeting with Jo and talk this through her,” or  “ I need to get more information and get my trusted colleague Bill’s take on this.”
  • Blame, denial and making excuses typically leave us stuck with our negative feelings. There is little scope for shifting state and finding other more effective and empowered responses.

Coaching Insight:

Sometimes when we are feeling very strongly about something – it can be an indicator that one of our values or goals may be being threatened or thwarted.  are feeling very strongly about something – it can be an indicator that one of our values or goals may be being threatened or thwarted.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is it that you feel you can or cannot do?
  • Who is a ‘trusted other’ you could talk to?
  • Are there other ways of looking at the situation and or ways around it?
  • What responsible action can YOU take which will feel restorative and or empowering?
  • Are you trying to ‘fix’ some thing ‘that you are ‘not in your control?’ Perhaps  Letting go is a better strategy?


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Business · Public Relations

The importance of Team Synergy by Ken Robinson

This article is very essential.  In working in the Public Relations industry, and servicing NFL Players, I have gained a new profound respect for “Teamwork.”  While I’ve spent  many years in Corporate America, teamwork was hard to develop and establish. Everyone had their own individual goals and did not put enough energy to cultivate synergy with peers and superiors.  My business acumen is extremely strong when it comes to teamwork. I believe there is no “I” in a team. We have to understand that so much can get accomplish when we come together to create and build.  We all have the same common goal, to be successful. So why not work together to achieve success as a team.


Team Synergy problems are caused by human discrepancy such as difference in individual priorities, talents, interests, ego, habits, strengths, weaknesses etc; ineffective communication; poor management/coordination/strategy; poor leadership and followership; individuals not playing as team players; or people simply not pulling their own weights. The by-product of team synergy problems in essence is low productivity; miscoordination, inefficiency, overlap or gap of work, individuals not performing at their best, lack of responsibility and accountability, people not mindful about holistic process, people blaming people, etc.

A Team Peak performance can be achieved if every team member knows their roles and responsibilities, takes upon themselves what is their share of the load, works at their best and furthermore collaboratively sees the whole process through to completion. Superbowl champions don’t become champions because the Quarterback single-handedly rushes the football for each touchdown – it takes the whole team’s effort.
I’d like to share with you the basic fundamentals in creating a positive Synergy:

Company Vision, Mission Statement, Core Values, Goals & Targets.
Begin with the end in mind. Give your People a sense of purpose as to why they come to work everyday and contribute to the company. Goals work as a motor for motivation, however a shared goal needs to be matched with clear roles, by putting the right people at the right time and at the right place. When each team member has clear roles and responsibilities of their own and others’, the risk of overlap or gap of work can be reduced significantly. Goals will also create challenge. A team that has dealt with a trying situation and come out successful together will typically have a stronger relationship. Review Review Review. Whether your team has or has not done well together, always review where you did right and wrong – and improve!

Can someone lead if no one follows? Leadership is intertwined with followership. Most times we only talk about the importance of good Leadership, but there’s not enough emphasis in good followership. In order to create a good team synergy, good leaders and followers must co-exist. In our training programs, there’s an exercise in which a group of 12 people, as a team, they have to solve a strategy problem in a given time. If they fail the first time, they get another try in a given time, with two of the member’s eyes blindfolded. If they fail the second time, they get another chance in a given time, however with two other member’s mouths closed. Participants are typically able to solve the problem in 3 tries, with each try completed in much less time than prior, even after taking handicap factors into consideration. One of the most valuable and most common insights of this exercise is about leading and following. When less people try to lead and actually be good followers, willing to be led and listen to and cooperate with others, the task at hand can be completed much more efficiently and effectively.

When every individual works and communicates with the basis of trust, respect and compassion, everyone will feel that their contribution is as valuable as the next person – and vice versa, and therefore each person will give their best work for the Team. A compassionate individual will be conscious of the impact of their action on others. In result, everyone will pull their own weights, and collaboratively reach Synergy. In all of our Team Development programs, we begin the course with Trust activities. Under the supervision of our Outward Bound instructors, every team member is challenged to put their own safety on other people’s hands – sometimes colleagues, sometimes friends, family members, but sometimes also complete strangers. In all cases, as the subject, he typically has hesitations, worries or even fears. However, once they each are able to overcome their fears and completely trust others for support, surely the team is set off on a great start. This exercise also exemplifies that in a trusting environment, the trustee and the trusted parties are both interdependent with one another. They both have the same responsibility to each other, no one is at a better or worse off situation than the other, one person’s success is the team’s success.

Like human relationships, Synergy is a constant process and must be managed. It’s not a destination that you arrive to and just halt, it’s a never ending journey that you and your team as the crew of a ship, embark upon together and must constantly row and work to reach it. Effective communication is key to creating and maintaining Team Synergy, and part of it is Conflict resolution. An effective Team is capable to resolve differences by finding and managing the best solutions from the team member’s contributions, despite differences of skills, opinions, strengths, weaknesses and talents. Managing and resolving human relationship conflicts clearly differs from fixing a broken machine. There’s no surefire formula to do it, it’s not as straightforward as 1+1 =2; in which, aside from knowledge and skills, it requires practice, experience, time, patience and commitment. In order for Synergy to thrive in a community, a positive Teamwork culture as foundation is paramount, where engagement of each team member is encouraged. Fine management is an important element to create order, nevertheless great human relationships are the key ingredient in creating harmony.


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

Women need to stop giving away their services by Jackie Harder

This article speaks volume!!!


If you don’t value yourself, no one else will, either. Don’t give away your expertise. Charge for it.

This comment kicked off a firestorm in my social media group recently. One person said, “Sure, I get that. But how does that mesh with the whole ‘pay it forward’ thing? Or ‘If you give it away, it will return to you’?”

These excellent points have merit – as long as they are applied with carefully thought-out boundaries. And while women are more likely to to have permeable boundaries in this area, many men fall into this trap as well.

How to help others without going broke

First: You don’t have to give away your services to “pay it forward.” Join a community-action group. Donate money to your favorite cause. Tutor students in English. Volunteer to shelve books at the library. Join an Adopt-a-Highway group and pick up trash alongside the road. Sponsor a worthwhile event in exchange for publicity.

There are hundreds of opportunities right in your own town and none of them involve giving away the farm. Check them out.

Second: You already are helping people, through social media and your blog articles. You are giving tips and tricks. You are giving them the benefit of your vast storehouse of hard-earned knowledge and experience. You are sharing insider information about your industry and helping them make informed decisions. You are building your authority.

Third: The “giving in order that you may receive” is a lofty philosophical position, and one that will assure practitioners a spot in heaven. Give away too much, however, and you’ll end up in the poorhouse.

So what is the balance? Where do you draw the line and say, “Beyond this point, you will need to hire me or buy my program or book”?

Think of your knowledge or service as a product in your local grocery store. Can you imagine the owners allowing people to help themselves to cakes hot from the oven? Of course not! If these cakes are exceptional, on occasion they will offer prospective customers a little taste, just to show them what they’re missing. But the reasonable expectation is that customers will buy their own cake to take home and enjoy.

Why is it any different with your service? As a savvy business woman, you’ve given them a taste through social media and your blog articles. They know what you can deliver. If they want more than a sample, they need to open their wallets.

And probably most important of all: Why would anyone buy from you at all if you keep giving it away? You’re in business, not running a charity. Don’t forget the value of your time. Your expertise and experience didn’t come cheap, either.

If you don’t recognize your own value, no one else will.

There are exceptions, of course. Here’s how to handle people who want something for nothing:

  • Create a policy so you’re not caught flat-footed when someone wants to spend 10 minutes with you to “pick your brain.” For example, you might want to reserve “free help” for family members and close friends. For the others, you’ll want to come up with a script you can use. See below for a sample.
  • Decide in advance how much time you will spend with these exceptions to the rule. Establish parameters and clearly communicate them – you will work with them for X amount of time a week or a month. Or you will only handle it by email. Make sure it works for you because even though you may love these people, they are still taking away time from you earning your living.

For everyone else who wants more than what you’re willing to give away in your social media and blog, try this approach:

Tell them their question/issue is an excellent one, and you would love to work with them on it.  Say something like: “If you’re serious about moving forward with Y, I’d love to set up a time to talk about working with you on this topic. I think we’d be a good fit to do business together.”

This will winnow out about 90% of the “gimme” types who want something for nothing. Of the 10% you do speak to, probably 9% will decline once they know the investment. But that 1%? There’s your sweet spot! And if you’re a really good sales person, you might be able to convert more of the 10% you talk to.

So go ahead and give – but be judicious and thoughtful about it. I think you’ll still end up in heaven!

What has worked best for when dealing with people who want something for nothing? I’d love to add to my repertoire!


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