T. Renee’ Smith, Chief Executive Officer of iSuccess Consulting, Inc., helps small to mid-size businesses develop growth, branding, and marketing strategies required to effectively scale their business and compete for and win B2B, corporate, and government contracts.
iSuccess Consulting, Inc. is proud to be in partnership with PPICW, Inc. and Delta Air Lines in developing and launching their formal supplier development program. The purpose of the program is to identify key diverse suppliers that have the capabilities, capital, and fit within the corporate culture to scale their business.
Program components include a customized curriculum, coaching, mentoring, and access to capital to help suppliers scale their business. Our goal is to help each business grow their revenue at an exponential rate while only adding resources at an incremental rate. We streamline processes, empower team members to be more productive and efficient, and leverage technology to remain as lean as possible.
T. Renee has been featured in numerous local and national publications including Entrepreneur, Cosmopolitan, and The Atlanta Tribune.
Past and present clients include Georgia Power, YMCA, Delta Air Lines, Chrysler Corporation, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, State of Georgia, City of Atlanta, GSA, DeKalb County Board of Health, MARTA, and hundreds of emerging and established small businesses.
T. Renee is the best-selling author of The CEO Life: A holistic Blueprint to Scale Your Business and Life. To get your copy please visit www.treneesmith.com. For more information about iSuccess Consulting, Inc. please visit www.isuccessconsulting.com.
Connect with T. Renee’ on LinkedIn.
Juanda Magwood-Ware, Regional Sales Coordinator at Aflac. Experienced Regional Sales Coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in the Business to Business Insurance Industry, always looking to connect with others looking to do the same either through an Agent, Coordinator or Broker track.
Skilled in Leadership, Recruiting, Training, Sales, Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Disability Insurance and Cafeteria Plans. Strong sales professional with a Doctor of Law Degree (JD) from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.
Connect with Juanda on LinkedIn.
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for Atlanta Business Radio, spotlighting the city’s best businesses and the people who lead them.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:17] Lee Kantor here with Roz Lewis, another episode of GWBC Radio. Welcome, Roz.
Roz Lewis: [00:00:23] Thank you, Lee.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:25] It’s so good to see you every month. This is the highlight of my month coming in here to see who the amazing women that you bring in the studio.
Roz Lewis: [00:00:33] We always try to bring fantastic guests for your listening audience.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:38] I know and no exception this month.
Roz Lewis: [00:00:40] And definitely no exception this month.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:43] So, who do you got today?
Roz Lewis: [00:00:45] Well, today, we have, as a special guest, T. Renee Smith. She’s the president of iSuccess and the author of The CEO Life, her latest book. And Dr. Juanda Magwood-Ware. She’s a Regional Coordinator for Georgia North of AFLAC.
Roz Lewis: [00:01:03] So this month, we have a couple of celebrations. It is the Breast Cancer Month, which one thing we need to keep in mind is that breast cancer not only affects women, it also affects men. And I’ve actually experienced that with someone that was close to me, that was male, who had breast cancer. And then, it is also the celebration of Women’s Business Month by the National Women’s Business Council out of Washington DC. So, even though it sounds like it’s focused around just women, however, there’s always the he’s for she’s that are included in this conversation because it affects everybody, whether it’s dealing with that or any type of life-challenging event that may alter your lives.
Roz Lewis: [00:01:56] But one of the things we’re going to talk about today is not only that, but also about the fact of how we – and I say we – as CEOs, how we get our life back, how do we create balance? And I believe in harmony because you’re going to have ebbs and flows. But how do we go about doing that? And that’s something T. Renee is going to share with us as well.
Roz Lewis: [00:02:23] And on the other side, there’s a lot to celebrate with breast cancer tomorrow. Keep in mind, I’ll repeat it again at the end of the show, but it’s actually the third Friday of the month of October doing breast cancer, it’s about mammograms and that for women to definitely go and get your mammograms because that is key as far as, hopefully, some preventive or, at least, giving you a heads up of how to mitigate and take care of yourself, because we all want to live longer. I’m planning to live to, at least, a hundred and something.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:02] A 120? 130?
Roz Lewis: [00:03:04] At least, at least. I plan on doing that.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:09] So, now, do you want—who do you want to kick it out with?
Roz Lewis: [00:03:12] Well, let’s go ahead and start off with T. Renee because, once again, she’ll set the foundation for us, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:03:17] All right. T. Renee, let us have it. Tell us about your book a little bit, and how that came about, and your work.
T. Renee Smith: [00:03:25] So, the name of the book is The CEO Life and it’s a holistic blueprint to have success in your family and business. And the way that the book started was I was really just becoming very overwhelmed with growing a successful business, being a great wife, and a mom. And my husband and I, we were having a conversation one day and he just told me, there you are burning the candle at both hands. You’re doing way too much. And we need to figure this out. And so, of course, like any good wife-
Lee Kantor: [00:03:52] So, what did you think about that? Did you go, “What is he talking about?” or were you—did you feel that as well?
T. Renee Smith: [00:03:58] Do you want the politically correct answer, sir, or the real feeling?
Lee Kantor: [00:04:00] This is the truth? We want the truth.
T. Renee Smith: [00:04:03] You want the truth?
Roz Lewis: [00:04:03] We want the truth.
T. Renee Smith: [00:04:05] I’m a very driven, strong-willed person. And so, I heard him, but I didn’t hear him because I’m ambitious and I wanted to pursue my goals. And I thought that I could have both the way in which I was handling it. And it wasn’t until much later when we had a serious conversation, and he said, “How would you feel being successful and a single mother?” And so, that hit me. That said that the way in which I’m leading my business could potentially lead to divorce.
T. Renee Smith: [00:04:34] And so, then, I started researching and looking for books out there that showed you how to do both. I found some great business books that showed you how to grow your business. I found some great books about self-care and personal development, but I didn’t see one that combined the two. A lot of the books were written by males who, of course, have a different experience than I do with kids and serving in the role as a wife. And so, I started researching and figuring out what that looked like for me. And I documented my journey in the book.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:03] Now, does the word “harmony” resonate with you more than balance, like Roz mentioned?
T. Renee Smith: [00:05:08] Mm-hmm. And I talk about in the book. Because when you think a balance, you think of somebody that’s juggling balls. And when your hands start getting tired, those balls are gonna start falling. And so, I believe that balance is a myth, and I believe with harmony, because I think sometimes, depending upon the season that you’re in, your business is going to get a little bit more than your family. Or if you’re in a season, let’s just say, where your family needs you more, they’re going to get more. I don’t think that you can operate at the same level of intensity at both business and family at the same time and sustain for a long period of time.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:43] Now, how important is to engage all the constituents to make sure everybody is on the same page?
T. Renee Smith: [00:05:48] I think it’s very important. But I think what happens is most of the time, we don’t have a vision, and we don’t have clarity. So, a lot of times people may sit down and do a strategic plan for their business or they may develop a career path, but they don’t sit down and say, “Well, what is the vision for my family? What do I want it to look like in two years, three years, five years, or a year? And what is it going to take to get me there?” So, we have in our mind, like idea, what I wanted my business to look like, but I never sat down with my husband and said, “Hey, you’re affected, the kids are affected. Let’s figure out how we can do this together, not just what I want.”
Lee Kantor: [00:06:22] So, now, does that meeting with your family look like a business meeting? What does that look—what are, kind of, the logistics nuts and bolts of that family meeting?
T. Renee Smith: [00:06:30] So, I have changed, and I understand that you have to have a family meeting. My husband and I, we have family meetings every week. And I have a family meeting—we have a family meeting with the kids once a month. And so, we have agenda, and we say, “Let’s check in how we’re doing with our self-care, the kids, the finances, my business, the career, and our short-term and long-term goals.” And we have our little family meeting journal that we document everything in, and we go back. And if we’re getting off track, we’re able to see how we got off track.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:03] So, now, how do you fire a family member? How does that work?
T. Renee Smith: [00:07:05] Well, first of all, I told him—my husband jokes, and he says, “I don’t feel like training anybody else.” So, nobody is getting fired.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:16] So, it’s a different dynamic. My point is it’s a different dynamic, the family meeting? Then, the business meeting, right?
T. Renee Smith: [00:07:22] Well, I think you have to start from the beginning and say, “Hey, listen. We are on the same page. This is about we, not about I, and that there is no walking away. You’re not gonna get fired. I’m not gonna get far. And you can’t quit. And I can’t quit.” Even though I do it in my mind, and he does it in his mind, we literally cannot quit.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:41] Right. So, you’re taking some of the elements of a business meeting, but you have a different frame because the family is forever.
T. Renee Smith: [00:07:47] It is forever. Well, I think you still—you have to have the CEO. And I think what happened was I was trying to be co-CEO with him, and that wasn’t working. And so, now, I just say, “Okay, you’re the CEO, and I’m the chief operating officer,” even though, you know.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:01] And that’s every family’s in negotiation?
T. Renee Smith: [00:08:03] Right. And everybody, there is no set rule for every family because you have to understand what is best for you. I think a lot of times, we try to have a cookie-cutter solution and say, “You see somebody else, and it’s working for them, so you try to implement that in your own family.” Well, that person doesn’t have the personality or the experiences that you do. So, you’ve got to figure out what is going to work for both of you guys, and you have to negotiate. It has to be a win-win.
T. Renee Smith: [00:08:29] I think, a lot of times, in marriage, it is about one person winning, and the other person losing. And that’s how you lose a marriage. It has to be win-win. It is what we want. And I told my husband, I said, “You came to the marriage with your vision of what you thought it should look like. I came to the marriage with my vision and my expectations, but I never asked you if this is what you wanted, and you never asked me if this is what I wanted.” So, I mean, after 13 years of marriage, we had to sit down and develop what our expectation and vision was together. And that’s difficult because he was here, I was here, and we had to figure out what did we have in common, and then grow with that.
Roz Lewis: [00:09:07] So, one of the things I really like at what you’re saying too is how you’re involving your children in this, and it’s helping them to understand how to create strategy for life.
T. Renee Smith: [00:09:19] Yes.
Roz Lewis: [00:09:19] Right? Because those are things that they’re going to experience as well, depending upon what stage they’re in, where they’re negotiating with their friends or creating a strategy. But what they want to do when they leave their parents, because at some point, you’re gonna lay them off, I hope.
T. Renee Smith: [00:09:35] At 18. At 18. I’m going to give them the blessing. They have the blessing to leave at 18.
Roz Lewis: [00:09:42] So, thinking about this, and listening to you, and you made a very valid point, there’s a blueprint. But at the same time, each person is gonna have to chart that blueprint, make a few changes to it. So, what advice are you giving in your book to business owners? And for the listening audience out there, it’s not just women we’re talking about. It’s men too because how do they get involve? How do they, also, connect as well or disconnect in order to bring that full self and energy?
T. Renee Smith: [00:10:22] And one thing I’ll say, and I talked about it in the book, and I have a lot of male business clients. People say I am very proactive, #girlpower. But I also work with a lot of men. And one thing that I found is they’re having the same issues that women are, and finding that harmony is just a little bit different. So, a lot of them are very ambitious, and they’re go-getters and they’re missing out on their family life. They’re missing their kids’ sports events. They are no longer having a connection with their wives because they’re working so hard. So, men deal with the same things that we deal with. It’s just a little bit differently.
T. Renee Smith: [00:10:57] And so, one thing I say is, number one, you have to understand what your priorities are in life because everybody has the same amount of time. People say, “Well, I just don’t have the time to do it.” And that’s really not true. It’s just not a priority because you do the things that you want to do. So, number one is you have to set your priorities.
T. Renee Smith: [00:11:16] So, mine, being very transparent, it used to be business, then my kids, then business, then business, then my family, then my husband somewhere. And I don’t even know if I was on the list. And so, I mean that is a recipe for straight disaster. So, I had to reorganize my priorities and say, “Number one, I am a top priority, my spirituality, my mind, my body and my spirit.” So, a lot of people might say, “Well, that’s selfish for you to put yourself first.” But no, that is self-care because if I’m on the floor laid out somewhere, I’m not able to help anybody. So, I have to make sure that I’m taking care, pour into myself, and then help people from a place of overflow. So, number one, you have to understand what your priorities are.
T. Renee Smith: [00:11:55] Then, number two, you have to set boundaries and understand that no is a complete sentence, because when you say no to something else, then you’re saying yes to yourself. I think, oftentimes, as women or even men will say yes to things. A lot of times me, and more so like professional, “Yes, I’ll do this. Yes, I’ll coach this team. Yes, I’ll do this.” And they’re doing all these things. Or as women, “Yes, I’ll be the chair of the PTA board. Yes, I’ll do this.” And so, when we’re saying yes to everything, then that doesn’t leave a lot of room for.
T. Renee Smith: [00:12:23] So, understand your priorities, set boundaries. Number two, have a plan of what it is that you want to happen. So, you have specific action items. One thing I’d tell people is that you need to learn the power of three. And the power of three is you select the top three things that you have to do for that day. A lot of people have this two, three-page to do list of what they’re wanting to get done, and that’s unrealistic that is going to happen in this day. So, you figure out the top three things.
T. Renee Smith: [00:12:53] And then, you can also do it yourself. You can delegate it or you can delete it. Half of the things that’s on your list, you shouldn’t be doing anyway. And then, the other half, you probably need to be delegating it. Like the majority of your time should be spent, if you’re a business owner, on revenue-generating activities.
T. Renee Smith: [00:13:09] And then, finally, you have to have accountability and support team. Somebody that’s going to be honest with you and say “No, you said you were going to do this. That’s not what you’re doing. Let’s get back on track.”
Roz Lewis: [00:13:22] Okay.
T. Renee Smith: [00:13:23] So, that’s it in a nutshell. But all of this is in The CEO of Life book guys. So, take your notes.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:28] So, now, in business, so your businesses look to scale and grow. What kind of goals are reasonable for a family?
T. Renee Smith: [00:13:37] I think it depends on what the expectations are for the family. You may have some families where family is the most important thing for them. You may have where they want to raise children that are spiritually and financially successful. You may have other families where their goals is that their family did not go to college. And so, they want to raise kids that are educationally astute to be able to go to college. You may have others that are philanthropic. And so, their idea of a family is serving.
T. Renee Smith: [00:14:10] So, I think you have to understand, as a family unit, what is it that you want to contribute to society? So, I remember, Stephen Covey, he had—in his books, he had like the seven habits for families, highly effective families. And one of the things that he said was he talks about the family meetings, but he says you have to have a family mission. And a family mission, it takes into your values, your experiences, and what you want to contribute to society, and that guides your life.
T. Renee Smith: [00:14:40] So, I remember, our family sat down and did our mission statement. And it kind of changes a little bit, but ours is to raise children that are financially, mentally, and spiritually givers and servers to society. So, like as we are raising them, and like, I think, once a week—I had a conversation with my son, and he was about to lie about something. And I said, “Sweetie, you walk in integrity. You walk in honesty. You are honest. You are a leader.” So, I’m telling him who he is based on our family mission. And then, I said, “Will you take a minute and think about what you’re saying? Because you’re honest. That is what you are, you’re honest.” And so, then, he came back. He was like, “Okay, well, that’s not really what happened. Here’s the truth.”
Lee Kantor: [00:15:25] Because people like us do things like this, right? People like us do things like this. So, when you’re role modeling this kind of behavior and giving a child, especially this true north and what right looks like, and they see the family behaving in such a way, then that’s a logical progression for them to behave in a certain way, right? Because people like us do things like that. People like us don’t do things like this.
T. Renee Smith: [00:15:51] And don’t get me wrong, I have messed up on plenty of times. And I’ve had to go back and I’ve had to apologize and say, “Hey, you know, I missed it.” And one of the things that I tell my son is that you are independent. You don’t allow somebody else’s opinion to determine how you think or act. And so, he asked me about something that he had on. And I mean, it was every color on the rainbow – red, green, yellow polka dots, stripes. And I said, “Well, honey,” I said, “Well, what about this and this outfit?” He said, “So, we’re supposed to be independent thinkers. I feel like you’re telling me what I should wear.” And so, it comes back on you.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:25] Right? Look, you know-
Roz Lewis: [00:16:28] Actually, you’re trying to save him.
T. Renee Smith: [00:16:29] I was trying to save him, but he didn’t want to be saved.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:32] But that’s it. That’s called free will, right?
T. Renee Smith: [00:16:35] Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lee Kantor: [00:16:35] And part of it is your family’s brand, right? Your brand of your family. This is how our family is. And this is what represents our family. Just like a business has a brand, your family has a brand.
T. Renee Smith: [00:16:45] I love that. Let me write it down, your family has a brand.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:49] Write that for your next book.
T. Renee Smith: [00:16:49] I am going to use it. Yeah, I’m gonna use it, but I will give you credit. I will give. And I think it’s different for my husband and I because he was raised by a single mother. I was raised by very traditional family that tried to shelter me. So, it wasn’t like you’d be seeing in—you know how girl sometimes, when you grew up, it says, “Be seen and not be heard.” We weren’t taught decision making. We weren’t taught—like we were told, “You make very good grades, you’re a leader.” So, I was taught certain things but the whole decision making process, and I have a voice, and I can be authentic, I was not taught that. So, I have had to learn.
T. Renee Smith: [00:17:23] So, I am learning as I am teaching my children. And what I don’t want to do is to live vicariously through them or put expectations on them. I remember I was at a conference. And it was a mother-daughter. Then, the mother was working so hard. She said, “I’m building this business because I want it to be a legacy to my daughter.” And the daughter said, “I don’t want the business, and my mother keeps trying to push it on me.”
T. Renee Smith: [00:17:46] And so, that’s why I say, when you’re kind of developing your family road map or your family brand, everybody has a voice, everybody has an opinion, and you have to develop it based on the whole family, not just what one person wants.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:00] Well, Roz, let’s bring Juanda in.
Roz Lewis: [00:18:02] Yeah.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:02] Get her take on this exciting work that we’re sharing.
Roz Lewis: [00:18:06] Exactly. And so, Juanda, listening to this, part of that are the stressors that happen in life and the things that affect us physically, right?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:18:17] Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Roz Lewis: [00:18:19] And emotionally as well, and as we are talking about how T. Renee, which I have to say is fabulous, and I hope the listeners are really writing this down, talking about mission statement for your family, having those monthly meetings, because I think that is so key and important. But let’s talk about, also, what’s happening, especially as we celebrate this month, breast cancer, as we celebrate.
Roz Lewis: [00:18:49] And I’m saying breast cancer, and we’re utilizing this for the month of October. But just overall, looking at the health of us, not only from a business standpoint, but physically, how do we take care of ourselves? But there’s that other component of it, that financial component, which, to me, causes even a bigger stressor-
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:19:10] Absolutely.
Roz Lewis: [00:19:10] … right, on people that kind of leads to some of the physicalities and challenges that we have. So, I know you’re here representing Aflac. So, kind of give me a day in the life of Juanda Magwood-Ware in the Aflac initiative.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:19:32] Okay. Wow, a day in the life of. Well, I grew up here in Aflac. This is my first time working in insurance. And so, I have grown in my role. Currently, again, I’m a regional coordinator. So, what my responsibilities are-, are to recruit, train, and lead a team of benefit advisors. Their job, basically, is to sell Aflac. So, I lead a team of benefit advisors, along with their district coordinators.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:19:59] And then, what our challenges and what we’re posed with is getting people to understand why they need Aflac, because people understand why they need health insurance, right? But then, there’s this little duck running around, and they’re like, “But why do we need that?” And so, we’re charged with educating, not only the people generally, but we partner business to business, right? So, we’re very much charged with educating business owners. And then, when we’re given the opportunity, also, to educating their employees.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:20:32] And I will tell you one thing that T. Renee said, and I absolutely agree, is that as women, especially, we do, we put ourselves at the bottom of the list when it comes to things. She and I were talking earlier and, Roz had mentioned that the annual mammogram day is coming up tomorrow. And I said, “Oh, my gosh, I meant to schedule mine and didn’t,” because again, always self last, right? But my husband has gone and done what he needed to do. Not a mammogram, but you get my point, right? And I’m like, “Yes, we have got to stop doing that.” But with Aflac again, our thing is about educating people about what it is that we do.
Roz Lewis: [00:21:12] Well, and you—and we all know health care insurance is one of the number one talking points for employees, just for a general public, right, of talking about access to health care, being able to do this. Some families even worry about it. They don’t even let their children participate in events simply because they don’t have good health insurance.
Roz Lewis: [00:21:38] Well, yes, you have to have that primary insurance in order to be able to take advantage of all the products that Aflac offers. But let’s talk about that for a minute, because the one thing I don’t think people understand is that after you have settled on that premium that you’re going to pay on that primary insurance, you still have some out-of-pocket costs. And that literally means just what it says, out-of-pocket costs for you.
Roz Lewis: [00:22:07] So, how is it that Aflac can kind of bridge that gap on this, and it’s not hitting you all at once, because when the accident occurs, or you’re having to go to the hospital, you’re dealing with that life-altering event that’s taking place, the last thing you want to worry about is to financially be able to take care of it.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:22:30] Absolutely. And again, Roz, people know how health insurance works. They know they enroll. They’ll get an insurance card. They get sick. They get hurt. Lady’s maternity. They’re going to go to the doctor, right? They’re going to present that card. And then, that card is basically letting the hospitals know that there’s an insurance company out there that you provide the service. And then, they’re going to send you some of the funds. Again, there’s a lot of out-of-pocket expenses, though, associated with that. And people don’t think about that from the co-pays to the deductibles.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:23:00] Well, when people enroll with Aflac, first thing first, there is no insurance card because we don’t pay the doctors and the hospitals. We literally send the money to our policyholders. I know it’s like, “What is this all about?” But that’s why you’ll see the duck in the commercials running around with money in his beaker bill, whichever one it is he has in his mouth, and he’s giving out money, writing checks because again, AFLAC literally pays the policyholder.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:23:26] Now, one thing that has changed over the years, and I’m glad you kind of sort of mentioned this, is that you actually don’t—in the State of Georgia, you don’t have to have health insurance in order to participate and enroll with Aflac.
Roz Lewis: [00:23:40] Wow! That is fantastic news.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:23:43] Yeah, you don’t. But again, because we do so much business to business, and we make Aflac available through the businesses, the majority of the time, we can still even do that on an individual basis. But when we go through the company, we are helping business owners. Small, medium, large, we’re able to help them because making Aflac available to the employees costs the company absolutely nothing.
Roz Lewis: [00:24:06] So, since our—and I know Aflac is it just sold here in the US because we do have probably a global audience that listens in on this. And also, I know you mentioned Georgia, but are there other states that may also adopt this same policy where you don’t have to have a primary insurance in order to be able to participate?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:24:30] Unfortunately, I can’t really speak to that. But I do know that the majority of the states, you don’t have to have health insurance in order to participate. There are only a few where you do have to have. And outside of the United States, Japan is actually where we do even more of Aflac than in the United States. But I can only talk United States right here today.
Lee Kantor: [00:24:51] Now, you blew by this, and I want to make sure that our listeners heard this.
Roz Lewis: [00:24:56] Right.
Lee Kantor: [00:24:57] The business owner doesn’t pay for this benefit.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:25:01] I know. I know right.
Lee Kantor: [00:25:02] You said that just in passing. So, how does that work? Like, then, shouldn’t every business offer this?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:25:11] Yeah, they should. And that’s why my job is to recruit people to go out and educate business owners about that. But I didn’t mean to blow by it because that is huge, especially when we’re talking small and-
Lee Kantor: [00:25:22] Right, because there’s so many business owners that listen to this. Now, a business owner does not pay for this business, this benefit?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:25:30] They don’t have to. Now, with that being said-
Lee Kantor: [00:25:32] Somebody just could, right?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:25:34] Yeah. Some can, some do, some don’t. And the thing is, is, again, unlike health insurance, where if a company decides to make health insurance available to their employees as a group, they are mandated to pay a percentage.
Lee Kantor: [00:25:47] Sure.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:25:48] Again, with Aflac, they don’t have to pay anything. And by them making it available to their employees, they actually get more of our products, and they get a discounted rate.
Lee Kantor: [00:25:59] So, now, how does this work? Say there’s a company-—is it any size company? Like what is the size that it’s best suited for?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:26:07] Best suited? Well, as long as they have, at least, three individuals. And I do want to say this as well because so many things are changing with the business landscape, everyone doesn’t have W-2 employees. Aflac, we can even make Aflac available to independent contractors.
Lee Kantor: [00:26:22] Really?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:26:23] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:26:24] Wow. That’s news.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:26:25] Roz is giving me a look.
Roz Lewis: [00:26:29] I’m so excited. Well, I am so excited because of the fact the more that we can provide this product and the service, for the healthier our-
Lee Kantor: [00:26:38] Right, everybody benefits.
Roz Lewis: [00:26:40] Yes, everybody benefits from it.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:26:42] Absolutely.
Lee Kantor: [00:26:42] So, walk me through, you’re a business owner, you maybe have some 1099 employees, some W-2 employees, and you don’t offer this yet. Walk me through what is—how it works, and how do I get some.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:26:55] So, typically, what will happen is that they’re going to meet with the benefits advisor. And when I say “they,” the business owner. And typically, that’s who we do want to meet with, the business owner, the C-level executive, the president, vice president. We want to be able to talk to those people who really are experiencing the pain points within the business. And there are just some pain points that we know businesses are going through. Attracting and retaining employees, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:27:19] Right.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:27:19] Presenteeism, which is a term I learned a few years ago. And I’m like, “Okay, I’m familiar with absenteeism. What the heck is presenteeism?” But presenteeism is where you have employees who are physically present at work but, mentally, they’re not because they have things going on outside, whether it’s someone’s dealing with the health challenge or whatever it is, right? So, they’re there, but they’re really not there.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:27:44] So, again, we like to meet with the decision maker. Sometimes, we’ll get moved over and told we need to meet with HR, but we’ll do that. Then, we go over again, the plans with them, and how we can benefit them, how we can be of benefit to a business by helping them, if they do have W2 employees, with some tax savings through the cafeteria 125 plan, which we make available at no cost to them, okay. We, then, like to get a day when we can come in and educate the employees. And that is really key, again, because people know they need health insurance. They don’t understand why they need Aflac.
Lee Kantor: [00:28:19] But does this happen? Like you mentioned, the enrollment that happens towards the end of the year, usually.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:28:25] No.
Lee Kantor: [00:28:25] Is that part of that or this can happen any time?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:28:27] Any time. Businesses start and all of that anytime of the year.
Lee Kantor: [00:28:31] Right. So, that—because it isn’t through the health insurance necessarily-
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:28:34] Exactly.
Lee Kantor: [00:28:35] … it doesn’t have to be kind of tied to that enrollment window.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:28:38] Exactly. And for businesses that do have health insurance, sometimes, we’ll even do what we call an off-cycle enrollment because their plan year may not be until April. Well, they’ve heard about this. They want to make it available to their employees. And why would we wait all that time? That’s a lot of time for a lot of things to happen. So, we can go ahead and get that implemented. But again, once we meet with the business owner, we educate the employees.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:29:01] I know in sales, people think, “Okay, you’ve talked to me. Now, you want to make the sale.” That’s not how we do. Thirteen years in a row, Aflac has been named one of the world’s most ethical companies. And I take that to heart, in the world. And other insurance companies have been on the list, but we’re the only one on the list for all 13 years. So, we don’t even want people to make that decision that day that we educate them. We want to give them 24-48 hours to go home, think about it, talk about it with their significant other, do research, call your financial advisor but determine what makes best sense for you and your family. And then, we get them enrolled.
Roz Lewis: [00:29:38] One thing I was gonna say is, Juanda, can you just explain to the listeners that don’t understand the different types of services and products that Aflac offers?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:29:46] Absolutely. So—oh, there are so many but let me just tell you about the top four, okay? So, our accident plan, because people can visualize and conceptualize that anyone can get hurt. And remember, our plans pay our policyholders. Our cancer plan, which, again, is why I’m here today, our cancer plan actually affords people a benefit when they go and get their annual cancer screening. And I tell people, I think, really, Aflac did this for men because you all don’t want to go and get your annual cancer screening. But this is prompting you because you get a a financial reward. You’re going to save for going and doing that. And then, unfortunately, people get diagnosed with cancer. And if there is a diagnosis of an internal cancer, there’s yet, again, another benefit.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:30:32] Roz talked about out-of-pocket cost. If you can imagine someone getting diagnosed with a form of cancer where their doctor says, “The best care is at MD Anderson.” Well, that’s all the way in Texas, right? Regardless of what health insurance you have, they are not going to give you any type of a reimbursement for your travel to and from. And their health insurance says that this is not medically covered, but it’s medically necessary. It is. My doctor said so. Well-
Roz Lewis: [00:31:03] Or it’s out-of-network.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:31:04] Exactly. That could be the case as well. And so, for Aflac, there are no networks because, remember, we’re not paying providers. We’re paying our policyholders. But Aflac has a benefit for that as well. We also have short-term disability. And short-term disability is something that’s only made available through our business partners. So, again, only for employers. So, not something that someone could just walk up to me on the street and say they want. And then, everybody needs life insurance, right? Everybody.
Roz Lewis: [00:31:35] So, with the business insurance for the short-term disability, do they still have to have the three employees?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:31:41] Yes, always minimum of three. And it doesn’t mean that all three employees have to enroll in the same plan. They don’t. One person might want accident, one person cancer, one person the disability. But we go as low as three.
Roz Lewis: [00:31:54] And talking about those employers, we talked about on the employer’s side, right, and the advantage that they are offering a benefit that they’re not having to pay. However, they do offer the employee a payroll deduct. So, there’s additional savings there because it is pre-tax. Is it not?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:32:14] Absolutely.
Roz Lewis: [00:32:14] Right. When they do that. And I think that’s the advantage. But what’s the other advantage for the employee? This insurance, unlike primary, if I get primary insurance through my employer, I cannot take it with me.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:32:30] Oh, yes, Roz knows all about this. So—and that is an amazing fact with Aflac. You can absolutely take it with you and the rate does not change. Now, where does that happen, right? The rate-
Roz Lewis: [00:32:42] So, what do you mean the rate doesn’t change?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:32:44] So, there—it’s going to still cost the same. So, if I have a business where they’re drafting it out of the employees’ paycheck weekly, if that employee leaves that company, they get to keep it, but they would not pay off like weekly. That would drive Aflac insane. So, instead, they would just pay monthly. So, taking whatever that dollar amount is, multiplying it by 52, dividing it by 12. Now, we’ve got the monthly cost. So, again, the rate does not change.
Roz Lewis: [00:33:13] So, I’m gonna, as an employee, take advantage of the fact that my employer is offering this. You’re then saying if, “For some reason that I leave that particular employer, I am taking this, and my cost is still lower, regardless of the fact that I no longer work for that employee—employer?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:33:33] Absolutely. And remember, I told you the short-term disability, people can only get that through their employer. But even for that, when they leave, for whatever reasons, they get to take that with them.
Lee Kantor: [00:33:44] Even if they are unemployed?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:33:46] They own it. You don’t rent Aflac. You own it. It is yours.
T. Renee Smith: [00:33:51] Wow!
Roz Lewis: [00:33:51] Wow!
T. Renee Smith: [00:33:51] That’s a great tagline.
Lee Kantor: [00:33:53] Well, that’s-
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:33:53] And maybe they will-
Lee Kantor: [00:33:54] But that’s why it’s important when—because in today’s world where people are kind of jumping from job to job, and jumping from job, to W2, to a 1099, if you have an opportunity to get it, you’re—it’s highly recommended to take advantage of that.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:34:09] You absolutely should. Right. You should get it and keep it.
Lee Kantor: [00:34:12] Right.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:34:13] Because even as we get older—one time I called my health care provider because I saw that my premium had gone up from one year. And they literally told me, “Well, yeah, you’re a year older.” I’m like, “That’s the goal. I’m trying to hit triple digits, like Roz here. Yeah.” So, it went up.
Lee Kantor: [00:34:29] So, you’re being penalized for being alive.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:34:31] Exactly, yeah. And I’m like, “But there was nothing else.” Well, with Aflac, again, once you enroll, your rate doesn’t change. So, the younger you are, the better you are because you’re getting it at the lowest rate possible.
Roz Lewis: [00:34:42] So, depending upon your entry age level, you’re saying that if I enter at age 25, whatever that price is, even if I’m 55 or 65, I’m only going to be paying the rate at 25.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:34:59] That’s the way it’s working currently. Now, we know in business, things can change. But I’ve been here 11 years. And when I first started, I did enroll myself in a cancer plan. So, I have the older version, but it’s the one I like. So, I haven’t changed, and my rate is the exact same. And obviously, I am 11 years older.
Roz Lewis: [00:35:19] So what are—we talked about the advantages of this. Are there any risks to the employer at all with the Aflac?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:35:28] Really, there is not. There’s not a risk. But I will tell you, one of the things that business owners tend to think is that their employees can’t afford it. And I will tell you, sometimes, before I approach a business owner, I’m sitting outside just watching the business from the outside, and I’ll see people outside smoking or coming in with Starbucks. And I’m like, “Would you ever say to them that they can’t afford Starbucks?”
Lee Kantor: [00:35:53] Afford Starbucks, right?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:35:53] Right. You would never say that.
Lee Kantor: [00:35:56] So, they’re making kind of the judgment for the employee without giving them—kind of let them decide-
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:36:01] Absolutely
Lee Kantor: [00:36:01] … how they want to spend thei-
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:36:02] Absolutely. And again, it’s not costing you anything. But, yes, we do ask for time with the employees, but yeah. So, no, there’s really not a risk. There’s absolute benefit because we also know this, that employees will actually take a job making less if they have better benefits. And again, for a lot of small businesses, they can’t afford to take on health insurance and pay that out-of-pocket costs that they’re mandated to do. Well, with Aflac, you’ve got a starting point for benefits, and you can definitely differentiate yourself between some other small businesses that do what you do and make nothing available, right.
Lee Kantor: [00:36:40] Now, having been with Aflac for 11 years now, do you have any kind of stories you can share that you’ve seen it make a difference in someone’s life? I mean, you obviously don’t name their names unless it’s Roz.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:36:54] Well, I would let Roz read to that. Actually, I can’t. But I will tell you that since 1995, Aflac has paid out over $136 million for cancer claims alone.
Lee Kantor: [00:37:08] Just on that, wow.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:37:10] Yeah. And there’s a lot, but I can’t speak. I won’t even speak to myself. And I do, I have every—like literally every Aflac plan available. So, I really can’t speak to that. But people can go to our Facebook page and—what is it? It’s Facebook—well, I’ll have to get it for you in just a minute, but they can go to our Facebook page and, literally, see where some of our policyholders have shared testimonials about how amazing Aflac is for them. But I will tell you, as a benefits advisor myself, the best thing is when an employee or a policyholder hugs your neck because you made such a huge difference in their lives. Such a huge difference. They can pay their rent, their mortgage, they can put food on their table, all because of the money that’s come from Aflac when they suffered that health event.
Lee Kantor: [00:37:59] And Aflac’s one of those companies that serving the community’s an important—like that’s part of the DNA.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:38:06] Absolutely. So—and I know I’m going to say this because I really don’t feel that Aflac toots its own horn enough. We do so much when it comes to cancer and children and helping to fight it. Everyone knows Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, CHOA. Most people, when I talk to them, they have no idea that inside of Egleston’s and Scottish Rite, Hughes Spalding’s, that there is actually an Aflac Cancer Center for Children. So, corporately, they’re doing that. Our CEO has said that his goal, Dan Amos, is to eradicate childhood cancer in his lifetime, and they’re working diligently to do that.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:38:46] Now, as part of what we call the field force, I, myself, and some of my co-partners, we give over $6 million a year directly out of our monthly, we’ll call it a paycheck. We actually give that. Now, locally, my team and I, on an annual basis, we do participate with WSP’s carathon where we go in, and we’ll just take calls from callers who are donating to the Children’s Cancer Center. And we partner with VRS, which is Vision Rehab Services. If you’ve ever seen the owl, their seamore is their mascot. And then, definitely, that’s probably one of us in there. And oh, thank you so much. Stone just gave me. it’s Facebook.com\aflac. So, again, if you’re interested in any of our policyholder stories, Facebook.com\aflac. And you can definitely read some of their testimonials there.
Roz Lewis: [00:39:45] Well, you know, we are focusing on breast cancer this month too. And you, kind of, mentioned that about the travel and the other amenities that are a part of that. And I think these need to be brought to the attention to the listening audience because that’s something they don’t do is include all that total costs of being able to manage something as catastrophic as that and the impact that it has. So, when you say that Aflac helps with travel, what do you mean by that?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:40:24] They actually reimburse. And there’s a different dollar amount, depending upon which plan you have. With some of our newer cancer plans, so people might have to travel. Like I said, going to MD Anderson or UCLA, wherever. And again, health insurance is not going to pay that.
Roz Lewis: [00:40:41] Yeah, they’re not.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:40:41] Not one penny, right? So, Aflac does do that. And that is huge. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this. With our cancer plan, it’s the only plan where we actually cover dependent children at no additional cost, because, again, that truly is our cause to eradicate childhood cancer.
Roz Lewis: [00:41:01] So, is that one of the only plans that covers children as well? Because—is it up to age 23?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:41:10] It’s up to age 26 and all of our plan-
Roz Lewis: [00:41:12] Oh, 26.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:41:13] Yes, ma’am.
Roz Lewis: [00:41:13] Wow!
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:41:14] All of our plans excluding short-term disability, because short-term disability is all about your paycheck at your employer. But the other plans, you can cover your children. It’s just that the cancer plan is the only one where when the parent enrolls, we cover the dependent children at no additional cost.
T. Renee Smith: [00:41:31] That’s awesome.
Roz Lewis: [00:41:31] That is awesome.
Lee Kantor: [00:41:32] Now, you mentioned the traveling aspect of going through cancer. How does that work with like the caregivers? Is that—is there a policy that help the caregiver as well? Or is it exclusively on the patient?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:41:45] Normally, it’s exclusively on the patient. But since we’re talking about the cancer plan, in our latest cancer plan, actually, we’ll even cover because we know if I were diagnosed with an internal cancer, and I had to go away, I’m out of my element now, right? I need some emotional support. So, Aflac will also reimburse for one person to go with you. Now, if it’s a dependent child—and, again, this is our current cancer plan. If it’s a dependent child, I think they’re in the best place they can be because we have the Aflac Cancer Center here. But still, if the doctor says they need to go elsewhere, then Aflac will reimburse for that child and two adults to travel as well.
Roz Lewis: [00:42:24] So, you really—when you look at it, Aflac is really looking at the entire family and the support system for the entire family.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:42:32] Absolutely. And when you think, again, the money that Aflac sends—and we really don’t want our policyholders to call us. And it’s crazy. I’ll be driving down the road, and I will get a policyholder to call me, and they’ll say, “Juanda, my son broke his arm.” And I’m like, “Well, great. Wait. Oh, how’s your son doing? Your son’s good. Okay, great. I know you have that accident plan. Let me—” It’s such a double-edged sword, but, literally, I’m like, “Great. Oh, oh, wait, wait, wait, wait.” And I have to circle back around. But the money’s come to them, so they get to use it however they want, right, to include, “Well, mom had to come here and stay with the son while I continue to work.” Okay, compensate mom some, you know, that way. But it’s their money. They get to use it how they want.
Roz Lewis: [00:43:15] I see that as a supply chain to happiness.
T. Renee Smith: [00:43:18] Yes, I love that.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:43:20] Absolutely.
Lee Kantor: [00:43:20] You’re going to write that down.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:43:23] Roz is going on a roll this morning.
Roz Lewis: [00:43:27] Take me on the—I just need credit for all these sayings, right? But when you think about it, and it’s just circling around, right? So, you’re looking at a product and service that can help employees and employers, because we go back to that CEO, right, of having to take care of him or her in their ability to be able to show up their best self-
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:43:53] Absolutely.
Roz Lewis: [00:43:53] … in looking at this. So, this is another way of just engaging opportunities for your employees, providing them a benefit that you as an employer don’t have to pay for. If there is some risk, I would say possibly in the payroll deduct. If you’re payroll deducting and, of course, if that an employee leaves. But, to me, offering that benefit far outweighs that. And knowing that that’s one way you may be keeping your employees.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:44:23] Absolutely. And to that risk, though, Roz, I would say this. If a business owner is mandated by court to take some moneys out of an employee’s paycheck, they’re going to do what they have to do to implement that. It’s the same thing because once you set it up with Aflac, it’s just like health insurance. It’s there until an employee does leave. So, that’s just a few strokes of a key. And even when it comes to that, we have technology, we have enrollment platforms that we make available to our business partners where they can not only have a platform for Aflac and some of the administrative things that they need to do, but also for their health care if they make health care available.
T. Renee Smith: [00:45:01] I do have one quick question. So, for those small businesses that may have one employee or two employees and don’t have three, are their individual plans?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:45:09] Absolutely.
T. Renee Smith: [00:45:10] Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:45:12] So, most of them are going to be pretty much the same. Some different nuances but, again, they won’t be getting the payroll discount. And again, they can not have the short-term disability. And there are a couple other plans that we make available to businesses only that they wouldn’t have access to, but they work exactly the same way. They, again, would get paid the cash to use however they see fit.
T. Renee Smith: [00:45:33] So, they could do the accident, and they can do the cancer?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:45:35] They can do those, too. And life insurance, of course.
T. Renee Smith: [00:45:37] And life insurance?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:45:38] Of course, yes.
Roz Lewis: [00:45:39] And hospitalization.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:45:40] No, they can’t do the hospital.
Roz Lewis: [00:45:43] Okay.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:45:43] That one’s reserved for our business partners.
Lee Kantor: [00:45:46] Now, Juanda, why is it important for Aflac to be kind of affiliated and sponsors some from the GWBC? Like what’s the kind of the tie in there?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:45:56] So—and, again, that would be something that Mr. Haley would more speak to. But for myself, because I have had the opportunity to be with Roz and, of course, as a woman-owned business myself, I think that it’s really important because of the work that they do, especially with helping with the whole certifying the women-owned businesses, so that that way, we can kind of sort of level the playing field. And I know I’m talking to some guys here, but we need to kind of sort of do it. So, it’s very, very important because Aflac, again, is all about just being a part of the community. And if you look, and I hope it’s okay that I speak to this, our President of Sales is a woman, Ms. Teresa White. So, yeah, but they’re definitely at the forefront of it, I think. And that’s why our partnership is so important.
Lee Kantor: [00:46:43] Now, is Aflac, do you find that women-owned businesses are more open to Aflac, or is there any information that you have about women-owned business?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:46:53] I will say that, for me, as a woman going in—
Lee Kantor: [00:46:58] Well, I’m just trying to get like how you see them in there. Are they more kind of empathetic from the standpoint of serving their employees?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:47:06] You have to think it’s a woman. So, women are nurturers, right? So, of course, when we come in, and we talk about all the good that we can do for their business and for their employees, of course, they embrace us. Not to say that men don’t but, again, it’s just women innately. They’re nurturers, and they want to make it available.
Roz Lewis: [00:47:25] So, if you think about that, and getting back, Lee, to your question about Aflac, and their engagement, and involvement in the Great Women’s Business Council, they have been involved for years, and they have stepped forward regarding being supportive on committees. They’re on our board, our board of directors. So, they truly walk the talk. And that is something that is so and key and important for corporations to do is to how they show up. More importantly, who else do they engage in their organization, right, just besides that one-point person. And I think that’s the value that Aflac brings.
Roz Lewis: [00:48:05] Juanda gently mentioned, and it’s Bill Haley, who I’m going to give that shout out to, who’s literally been on our certification committee. As a matter of fact, he heads our certification committee. And that is a key responsibility. He does the site visits as well, reviews the files. And that is a commitment to say how we identify, who these women businesses are to be a part of our organization.
Roz Lewis: [00:48:33] But then, again, circling back to more or less what that product or service is that is available, we look to all of our corporations to identify how they can become more engaged. And for our women businesses, because I always say invest in those who invest in you.
Lee Kantor: [00:48:54] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:48:54] Looking at those products or services of those companies who are investing in the growth of women businesses. And I’m going to say diverse businesses as a whole, that they take that particular process, not program, but process of engaging diverse suppliers within their network of suppliers to provide great products or services. And I have to say, our diverse suppliers are one of the best.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:49:23] And as a side note, another thing that Aflac is doing, they’re a part of GWBC’s mentoring program. And my mentor is Bill’s colleague, Sally Wilson with Aflac.
Roz Lewis: [00:49:34] Oh, Sally is awesome.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:49:35] Yes. Yes. Shout out, Sally.
Lee Kantor: [00:49:39] And it’s important to remember that, especially, T. Renee, you can speak to this about creating this harmony and balance in life and having the right tools. There’s a lot of resources available for people that are just round the corner, and a lot of them don’t cost any money, and they’re just there, and that people aren’t taking advantage. And it’s important for people to be aware that there are places to go for help and to ask for help, right? That’s part of it, too. When you want to grow. Sometimes, you have to ask for help.
T. Renee Smith: [00:50:09] And that’s why I was asking the questions that I was asking Juanda, because most time, small businesses, they’re so focused on growing their business, getting new sales, meeting new clients that they’re not focused on – excuse me – the infrastructure, the operations, and long-term strategy. So, for you to come to the show, to break it down, to make it very real and very tangible for them is awesome because a lot of people, I think are getting overwhelmed with health care costs. And so, they are trying to do the basics or, again, do the baseline. But the way that you present it, it’s a very holistic approach, and it’s saying you invest in your employees-
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:50:47] Absolutely.
Roz Lewis: [00:50:47] … and then they’re going to invest in you. So, this is not a something that’s optional. This is something that’s going to be required if you want to compete at a higher level and attract and keep the right talent.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:50:57] Absolutely, absolutely. I couldn’t have said it any better. And it’s just getting to those right people, because I know when my team walks in the door of any business, that that business owner is grabbing their pockets or their purse saying, “Oh, no, don’t try to take money out.” But again, it’s about us having the opportunity to educate them because, again, they don’t know. And our commercials don’t really say, “Mr. Business Owner, Ms. Business Owner, you can do this at no cost.”
T. Renee Smith: [00:51:22] And the way they—first of all, thank you for explaining the duck walking around with the money. Like I had no idea what that meant. So, you brought clarity. But I think the way you position is that this is an investment in your health. This is an investment in the health of your employees, not an expense. You’re going to get it back because I wrote down the presenteeism. I thought that that was phenomenal. So, I think it’s just, like you said, educating and providing a different perspective.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:51:46] Absolutely.
Lee Kantor: [00:51:47] And then, Roz, this is one of the kind of benefits of being affiliated with GWBC is that you can help connect them with the resources that that women-owned business needs to grow their business.
Roz Lewis: [00:52:00] Absolutely. This is why we encourage you to get involved with the Greater Women’s Business Council or, for the listening audience, any of the regional councils that are out there to please get involved with them. If you want to grow up, you need to show up. And that is more important than anything else.
T. Renee Smith: [00:52:21] She’s on a roll. She is on a roll today.
Roz Lewis: [00:52:26] But that is true. You know, you can think about it. You can sit on the sidelines, you know. Like I said, he knows—Lee knows always do a parting thought, which is a little bit different than what I’m going to say right now. But you can either watch a train go by 60 miles an hour, or you can be on a train going 60 miles an hour.
Lee Kantor: [00:52:46] That’s right.
Roz Lewis: [00:52:46] I prefer to be on that train. I prefer for my women businesses to be on that train. I prefer for our corporations to be on that train because you want to constantly be moving in the right direction for growth.
Roz Lewis: [00:53:02] And more importantly, once again, visit websites. Visit websites. You heard about Aflac today. Yes, there may be other companies out there. However, nobody has the duck.
Lee Kantor: [00:53:15] That’s right.
Roz Lewis: [00:53:16] I have to say, they have some of the best commercials. But more importantly, behind those commercials are the best products. And listening today, we’re hoping that if you’re on the fence about offering this to your employees, that this would be a decision for you now, that you can now make that decision regarding offering this. And again, it helps attract talent. Just like T. Renee says, it’s one of those benefits that you’re offering that you’re really not paying for.
Lee Kantor: [00:53:50] How about some website, Aflac’s website?
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:53:53] So, Aflac’s website is just Aflac.com. That’s A-F-L-A-C.com. And they can go there for general information. But if they want a little more specific information, they can absolutely call me, Juanda, at my office. And my office number is 678-567-4276. Again, 678-567-4276. And I would give my e-mail, but it’s super long. So, let me just give myself a phone number as well. My cell phone is 678-478-7188. Again, you can call me directly at 678-478-7188. And let me just say this. This is whether you live in the Georgia area or not. Because even if not, I can definitely put you in touch with someone in your local market.
Lee Kantor: [00:54:45] And then, T. Renee, the website to get the book and learn more about your consultancy.
T. Renee Smith: [00:54:50] So, the book is The CEO Life, which is available on Amazon, Barnes,& Noble, and where books are sold. Again, that’s The CEO Life. And my website address is www.theceo.life. That’s www.theceo.life.
Lee Kantor: [00:55:07] And they can find more information about the book, and all your books, and your practice?
T. Renee Smith: [00:55:11] Yes, they can find more information about the book, the consulting and coaching. And one thing that I want to say to businesses is that you cannot grow an empire and build a legacy by yourself. And you only know what you know. And oftentimes, you don’t know what you don’t know. So, whether it s getting The CEO Life book or getting other business resource materials, make sure that you have people to join you on this path, because growing a successful business is not for the fainted heart. It requires a team.
Lee Kantor: [00:55:41] That’s right.
Juanda Magwood-Ware: [00:55:42] It does. Absolutely.
Roz Lewis: [00:55:44] Another saying.
Lee Kantor: [00:55:46] Man, a big day for sayings..
Roz Lewis: [00:55:47] I’m telling you, good day for quotes, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:55:51] And you’re going to close with your parting quote.
Roz Lewis: [00:55:53] Exactly. But I always want to thank Lee and Stone for this hour of inspirational and, hopefully, informational nuggets to grow your business that you—constantly, when you’re tuning into us, are listening to some of the things that are going to help you grow your business. And because it is breast cancer month, I found this to be so inspirational, actually, to use beyond. And that is, each day comes bearing gifts. Untie the ribbons. And that is by Ruth Ann Schabacker. And I thought it was great. So, thank you all. We hope you all have a fabulous day and enjoy a prosperous and successful week.
Lee Kantor: [00:56:41] All right. This is Lee Kantor for Roz Lewis. We’ll see you all next time on GWBC Radio.
About Your Host
Roz Lewis is President & CEO – Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®), a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and a member of the WBENC Board of Directors.
Previous career roles at Delta Air Lines included Flight Attendant, In-Flight Supervisor and Program Manager, Corporate Supplier Diversity.
During her career she has received numerous awards and accolades. Most notable: Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2018 Diversity & Inclusion award; 2017 inducted into the WBE Hall of Fame by the American Institute of Diversity and Commerce and 2010 – Women Out Front Award from Georgia Tech University.
She has written and been featured in articles on GWBC® and supplier diversity for Forbes Magazine SE, Minority Business Enterprise, The Atlanta Tribune, WE- USA, Minorities and Women in Business magazines. Her quotes are published in The Girls Guide to Building a Million Dollar Business book by Susan Wilson Solovic and Guide Coaching by Ellen M. Dotts, Monique A. Honaman and Stacy L. Sollenberger. Recently, she appeared on Atlanta Business Chronicle’s BIZ on 11Alive, WXIA to talk about the importance of mentoring for women.
In 2010, Lewis was invited to the White House for Council on Women and Girls Entrepreneur Conference for the announcement of the Small Business Administration (SBA) new Women Owned Small Business Rule approved by Congress. In 2014, she was invited to the White House to participate in sessions on small business priorities and the Affordable Care Act.
Roz Lewis received her BS degree from Florida International University, Miami, FL and has the following training/certifications: Certified Purchasing Managers (CPM); Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD), Institute for Supply Management (ISM)of Supplier Diversity and Procurement: Diversity Leadership Academy of Atlanta (DLAA), Negotiations, Supply Management Strategies and Analytical Purchasing.
Connect with Roz on LinkedIn.
The Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®) is at the forefront of redefining women business enterprises (WBEs). An increasing focus on supplier diversity means major corporations are viewing our WBEs as innovative, flexible and competitive solutions. The number of women-owned businesses is rising to reflect an increasingly diverse consumer base of women making a majority of buying decision for herself, her family and her business.
GWBC® has partnered with dozens of major companies who are committed to providing a sustainable foundation through our guiding principles to bring education, training and the standardization of national certification to women businesses in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.