Gabrielle Bourne SMARTWomen

Archive for the ‘Empowerment’ Category

One of our favourite films of 2016 was The Hundred-Foot Journey, directed by Lasse Hallström. The film’s title comes from the distance between two rival restaurants in a rural French countryside.

Our favourite quote from that film was, “Asking for a discount doesn’t mean I’m poor. It means I’m thrifty.” This line was stated by “Papa,” the Patriarch of the Indian family who owned one of the competing restaurants,  in his response to Madame Mallory, this restaurant rival.

In some cultures, “haggling” in the marketplace is the norm. Requesting a better price is not out of the ordinary, as it might be in “Western” or “Anglo” societies. Being frugal is often mis-characterized  as having no funds, when in fact, it could be the exact opposite.

It is ironic that society ignores the fact that celebrities get “free stuff,” but are critical of “average” people receiving the same. It might not be a $100,000 gift bag from the Oscars, but scoring a free meal or getting a great bargain for clothes, travel, hotel or special events is a wonderful feeling!

Some of the wealthiest members of society are very frugal, but no one ever made light of their frugality. Rose Kennedy, for instance, shopped at the five and Dime. Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett does not need a fancy address, designer clothing or bling. He plans to give his billions away when he passes onward.

The secret of being the “The Millionaire Next Door” (reference: Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko) is no secret at all. It is to know the value of your wealth and how to maintain it. TRUE net worth never make excuses for why we prefer sensible $50 shoes over an $800 Jimmy Choo; but then the latter could be a $50 “value” for those who could truly afford it.


©2017  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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Hi Peeps,

There is a lot to be said about the “Human” condition. We all strive, to some degree, to manipulate and control the outcome, as in achieving our dreams of being on stage, starting a business or graduating from university. A pod of Dolphins would work together to capture fish, by striking their tale on the sand and encircling their meal. In both instances, manipulation and control was used to fulfill a goal or objective in a productive way. The main difference between animal species and humans is the former is about survival and we are about preservation.

Humans are predatory creatures that mostly hunt for sport, not for survival; whereas most animal species hunt to survive. We have a longer range plan, whereas other animal species take one day at a time. Other animal species manipulate and control to build resources and product such as food, shelter and off springs. Humans, however, have learned to use it as a coercive mechanism to sway opinion, gain power and take resources.

Humans have the capacity for “Self Control.” This learnt behaviour is not a natural occurrence. Those that lack this trait believe they are always right and everyone else is wrong. They waste so much time creating one outcome, forcing their view and will upon others, they miss the important outliers. They work diligently to prove their point, but cannot produce the evidentiary data when requested. Even when the data is clearly against their argument, they choose to ignore it.

In some instances, they “Over-work” to discredit someone else because they lack the abilities to succeed themselves. Their manipulative and controlling behaviour has no bounds; but their personality traits become more evident, with time. These personality traits include The Multi-tasker, the Interloper and; the Over-sharer. We call them, “Too Busy,” “The Fixer” and “Loose Lips.”

  1. The Multi-tasker strives for control outside of their “Too Busy” environment. They are also resolved to force the control on others, if necessary, because they feel out of control most of the time. They are bolstered by their self-involvement in keeping “busy” for busy sakes and ignore the fact that it is a diminishing return. They excuse their lack of involvement in other areas because they believe what they are doing is more important than “Showing up.”
  2. The Fixer wants to make things right, by meddling in other people’s affairs, even when s/he lacks the knowledge or resources to make it happen. They get all flustered when you refuse their help. Most times, they come “Uninvited” and like a bad guest, overstay their welcome. They compensate their lack of success by lashing out and; fail to understand that not everything can be fixed.
  3. The Loose Lips is responsible for sinking ships. S/he is the go to person to spread rumours but not to keep secrets. Both the Fixer and the Multi-tasker have the propensity to be the Loose Lips, through their lack of regard for other’s opinions, time and energy and; their consistent vigilance to their own task despite their lack of success.

People who use manipulation and control as a coercive mechanism to sway opinion, gain power and take resources,  DO NOT offer choices. They want everyone to see it there way or no way at all. People who cannot provide evidentiary data for their “Argument” should be viewed as “Dangerous” and “Egotistical” fools…plain and simply. The best course of action is to cut them off all together. It is more fruitful to take your business, your money, your resources and yourself elsewhere where it would be appreciated and valued.

The manipulative and controlling personalities will be one sided…their side. Regardless of what agreement you had with them, they will work to change it to their advantage. They will be closed to all argument but their own.


©2016  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

Related: Interpersonal Communications Data & Privacy

Hi Peeps,

It is not enough for Starbucks to charge $5.00 for coffee, now they want you to spend at least $62.50 BEFORE they even give you a reward!

Starbucks Coffee rolled out their “New” rewards programme today which does not bode well for our frugal team members. The former reward programme allowed registered users of their smartphone APP or card to obtain a reward after 12 stars. In order to sweeten the pot, Starbucks would email opportunities for bonus stars for certain purchases. Users received a full year’s membership when they obtained 30 stars in a given year.

The “New” Starbucks Coffee programme states that users will only get a reward AFTER 125 stars. Users will earn 2 stars for every $1 spent. By our calculation, that is $62.50. The “Old” reward programme provided one star for ANY purchase made on the smartphone APP or card. A tall tea purchase of $1.53 would have the same star value as a $5.45 venti Mocha Frappuchino . The same tea would not be worth a full star, according to Starbucks’ “New” rewards rule. The “New” rewards programme favours those who spend MORE.

The only good news about the “New” rewards programme is that you can capitalize on an EXTRA membership year. Just make ANY purchase using your registered Starbucks’ APP or card BY MAY 2, 2016.


©2016  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

“I don’t need a Prince,” she stated

Screened and reviewed: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 

Theatrical release: Friday, December 25, 2015 

Joy is a revelation more than a “How to manual” for young girls with big dreams. We can also undo the mistakes that often trap us in a mundane and unfulfilling life cycle.

Joy tells the story of real life inventor of the “Miracle Mop,” Joy Mangano. You can Google her name and read more about her. She is quite the interesting personality.

Just like any other average CEO of her household, Joy too had challenges, such as mopping. Her mind went to work and her heart built useful products that addressed every day life and household challenges. Voila! The “Miracle Mop” that cleans floors, wrings without touching dirty water and; can be thrown in the wash and reused. It was billed as “The only mop you will ever have to buy.”

The film revealed Joy’s dysfunctional world. This included a mother who was trapped in her recorded soap operas; a father looking for a “love” connection and; oh yes, she was divorced too, with her ex-husband living in the basement. Life was further complicated by a dead-end job; a house that needed constant repairs and; life/life balance as a divorced mother of two.

One evening, Joy was reading to her young daughter about Cicadas, an insect with a strange life ritual. She was struck by the revelation that they spent 17 years of their life underground, then emerged above ground. This revelation was so “unsettling” to Joy. How could anything stay hidden for 17 years? Joy found the number too “random.”The book did not provide a reason why.

Could this life cycle mirror her own existence? In a related “dream” sequence, her younger self says they had been “hiding out for 17 years.” She continued by stating they used to make things 17 years ago and asked “What happened?” The “funny thing about hiding is that you are even hidden from your self.” Joy graduated Valedictorian of her high school but; her current job barely paid the mortgage.

Joy had several revelations throughout the film, an emotional roller coaster with a satisfactory resolution. The guiding force and narrations by her grandmother complemented Joy’s journey.

Joy was less a story of a dreamer and more about an activator. She learned from her first business mistake that when an idea comes, take it to market quickly. As a teenager, she failed to patent her fluorescent flea collar for dogs, which Hartz Mountain did the following year.

Joy is a pure pleasure of a film. It is a testament to resolve; celebrates creativity and; applauds fair trade practices! The film is also a guide on how we ALL should conduct business; where adversaries become well-intentioned “friends” and where we help each other to get ahead.

“I know what it feels like. I know what it feels like to be in that chair,” Joy stated knowingly to a fledgling inventor during a pitch meeting. Joy indeed understood!


©2015  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

Joy Jennifer Lawrence 122315

We don’t think anyone would disagree that being financially independent is a GREAT feeling! There are plenty of books about it. Television programmes promote it. Events are full of well organised topics on it. Yet, why is it that less than 20% of the population are thriving and more than half the population is barely surviving?

Finances are of a personal nature, but honest and open discussions need to happen before any “breakthrough” changes can occur. Unfortunately, some of the core financial competencies are neither taught in the classroom or at home.

Most people know the difference between expenses and revenue, BUT when equating assets to liabilities, the main stream might get lost in defining it. Simply put, assets are defined as “book value” of tangible or intangible products that can be used as a resource. Liabilities are exactly how it sounds, or what we call, “things with a price tag that needs to be paid out.” We can look at a car as an “asset,” but IF you still have debt on it, throw it in the liabilities column. The difference between the two is what is known as the “Networth.”

We don’t know what percentage of the population know their networth, but in 2010 after having conducted a focus group research of 386, a staggering 86% did not know the definition of a “networth.” One of the main reason consumer debt is back on the rise, according to Consumer Reports, is that consumers are getting more comfortable with the idea of spending money. There is nothing wrong with spending money, as we know how it can stimulate the economy, it is when spending outpaces the ability to pay back on the debt.

The 30 minute segment on “Assets and Liabilities” just scratched the surface, but in the world of finance, personal finance should precede investments, otherwise investments which should be viewed long term, will get wiped out before they are needed.

Today, whilst there are many citizens saving up for retirement in their 401(k), 403(b), Roth IRA, KEOH, there are still many withdrawing from retirement accounts at an alarming rate. Retirement accounts are the basic investment vehicles. The more advanced portfolios include stocks, mutual funds, Forex, ETFs, etc.

Many small business owners don’t realise that even well-meaning celebrities and “Captains of Industry” carry huge liabilities. ALL FORTUNE 500 companies do. They have to make up for payroll and invest back in their business. Businesses do get in trouble when the spending is not managed appropriately and “creative bookkeeping” occurs. Remember Blockbuster, Chrysler AND the fall of Enron?

Small business owners have a great challenge when it comes to creating networth for themselves and their business, and most times, the line gets blurred between personal accounting and business accounting. It is vitally important, for the long term health of the business, to keep accounting separate. SMART Business Owners also know how to “Pay themselves first.”

The concept of “SMART Women” derives from this very idea that when you apply the S.M.A.R.T. strategies for your business, profession and life, you can achieve an extraordinary human experience! “Achievement” and “Thriving” are two driving forces behind “What S.M.A.R.T. Women Know,” a program specifically designed for women by Gabrielle Bourne and the T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. We help women align their vision, mission, dreams and game plan for life!

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. Ask questions at hashtag #TEAMSOUNDOFF

©2011  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

Strategic Planning and S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting is a practice of many highly regarded companies, businesses and even cities, yet, most of the smaller businesses and professionals don’t use or apply them.

When a business launches, there should a process to design and implement a plan that includes the business plan, the “blue print” for the business, and the strategic plan that will help the business achieve their objectives and goals. The two plans combined is a “winning” partnership as one feeds into the other and they both will support the growth of the business. Professionals looking for work or currently in a career field can also tailor these plans for their specific needs.

No plan is “perfect,” and as with anything that is on a “growth” path, it needs to be managed. This includes reviewing the plan, revising expectations and working the plan throughout the process of its “evolution.” Within the body of the plan you have the goals, but how do you effectively implement them? You make them S.M.A.R.T.

Strategist talk about making goals S.M.A.R.T. because it is the most effective way to accomplishing them. The difference between a S.M.A.R.T. Goal and just a goal is that the latter is a statement, whilst the former is a “Process.” When goals become S.M.A.R.T., they become (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)ttainable, (R)elevant and (T)imeframed. Goals become “visualized,” with a real date and time stamp to accomplish them. They help you become results oriented.

The concept of “SMART Women” derives from this very idea that when you apply the S.M.A.R.T. strategies for your business, profession and life, you can achieve an extraordinary human experience. “Achievement” and “Thriving” are two driving forces behind “What S.M.A.R.T. Women Know,” a program specifically designed for women by Gabrielle Bourne and the T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. We help woman align their vision, mission, dreams and game plan for life!

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. Ask questions at hashtag #TEAMSOUNDOFF

©2011  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

Hello Peeps!

We are very excited to launch this new BETA programme for women! For the next twelve (12) weeks, we have partnered with strategically SMART professionals from the USA and UK who will take “centre stage” as our Moderators and Mentors and; to lead a group of women to do amazing things in their life, their profession and their business.

“What S.M.A.R.T. Women Know” is a Programme specifically designed for women to achieve the extraordinary; create limitless possibilities and to implement strategies that will launch their vision, mission, dreams and game plan for life!

We know the “power” that exists in women. We are the nurturers, the gatherers and; the cheerleaders and supporters. We have an amazing ability to thrive, because we know what it takes to be the CEO of our household and our business.

For the next twelve (12) weeks, take a journey with us as as we unleash the “power within” to do just about anything we put our minds and hearts to accomplishing. Our Moderators and Mentors are your guides for a fulfilling life of possibilities, opportunities and accomplishments.

“What S.M.A.R.T. Women Know” is an altruistic programme developed by the T.E.A.M.@gabriellebourne to support women through their life stages. Women are great supporters of each other. In addition to our regular meet up venues, we promote a healthy dose of life with afternoon tea, spa and; day trip excursions.

Registration for this programme is closed.

Disclaimer: “What SMART Women Know” is is a sponsored, tuition-free programme, specifically designed for direct community impact.

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne.

©2011  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne