Join our call this Monday! #motivation #branding #success

Join our call this Monday! #motivation #branding #success

Entrepreneur Empowerment Call, “Commitment to Consistency” this Monday at 7:30 pm will feature Brand Strategist Lashonda Vinson and Author, Graphic Designer and Entrepreneur Julie M Holloway. We are going back to the basics of Entrepreneurship, Branding and Design!!

This is going to be a super informative call for Entrepreneurs! Register — with Lashonda Vinson and Julie M Holloway.



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ETC – Elgin Tech Meet-Up for Entrepreneurs

ETC – Elgin Tech Meet-Up for Entrepreneurs

Introducing Ignite, Monthly Sprints For Suburban Entrepreneurs


When I first started working on Reading Glue nearly three years ago, I found myself attending a lot of startup focused meetup groups around the area.2014-06-06 14.34.04 I spent a lot of time learning from other people’s experiences. There was nothing wrong with this, but I really needed to be getting my feet wet with my own experiences. It is so much easier to sit in a room and hear someone else’s story rather than getting out of the building and writing your own.

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
― Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

Learning from others and learning on your own are equally important. Sprinkle a little accountability into the mix, and you have the perfect recipe to help ignite your process of validating and building an idea. This ideology has been used by myself and other members at the Elgin Technology Center for some time now, and we thought it was time to open it up to the public by creating a new meetup group called Ignite.

Ignite is focused on providing education, collaboration, and most importantly holding entrepreneurs accountable so they can continue to make progress in validating and building meaningful solutions to problems.


We will focus the first half of each meetup around a new startup topic. One week we might be discussing how to build a killer UVP (unique value proposition), and the next might be about ways to create a MVP (minimum viable product) for validation purposes.


One of the most important aspects of Ignite is collaboration. Are you struggling with something as you try to launch your startup? Do you have any interesting “A-ha” moments you want to share with the group? We will dedicate plenty of time to help each other out in a collaborative setup.


Holding yourself and / or co-founders accountable can be a very difficult task. We will wrap each meetup with a sprint meeting where Ignite entrepreneurs make goals to hit by the next meetup. Our goal is to provide you with a little extra motivation to take action and produce results that you can share with the team next month.


Join us for our first meetup on Wednesday August 26 at 7PM. We will meet in the 3rd floor meeting room of the Elgin Technology Center. RSVP for our first meetup at

Hit us up on meetup with any questions or suggestions. The entire team at ETC is super excited to share this collaboration process with the public, and we hope that you are just as excited to participate.

Ready for co-working? Join ETC Today!

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The Entrepreneur Within

The Entrepreneur Within

by Julie M. Holloway

· · ·

This year I set out to discover my “true” WHY. After much artistic and internal exploration, I found these simple words lit up my every day “let your soul sparkle.”                   

I am Julie Holloway (best known as JMH). I am an artist, author and graphic designer. For 16 years I worked in corporate America only to realize I did not quite fit in. My calling has always been my art and living a colorful lifestyle. I can finally say that after 38 years on earth, I am able to do that. I live and work from my home in Hanover Park, IL and I am on a continual journey of making sure that the work I am doing aligns with my “WHY”.  11760132_403559593185338_8418241033455689884_n (1)

A few years ago, I went through a tumultuous journey of being slightly abused by my last boss. He was very controlling, rude, argumentative and demanding. I could not thrive while working for him no matter how hard I tried. Out of the sheer need to voice my experiences of wanting so badly to be a full-time entrepreneur, to ultimately wanting to bless others with my “quit story,” I began to write my first book, an inspirational business anthology titled The Entrepreneur Within You (TEW), and we just launched the third volume!  I want people to know that, “Dreams are REAL, and that sometimes, success is the best REVENGE for the ultimate challenge.”

I went to The School of The Art Institute of Chicago for one year, quit, and never jumped into the art industry as a career.  About seven years ago, I finally made the jump back into my passion for art and design. A cousin in Chicago asked me to design a logo, so I bought a program off of Craigslist for $50 and taught myself graphic design. I started freelancing, and my business grew from the ground up. I’ve now been able to include my other artistic talents, drawing and painting, into my design business. I do get burned out from time to time because being an entrepreneur is hard work, but I’m learning daily how to be better at what I do and I’m working to become an even better mother and wife. 

After leaving a corporate job to start my business, I had to become a salesman, bill collector, accountant, financial planner, and marketer, when I really just wanted to focus on my artwork and graphic design. As entrepreneurs, we want to do it all, but sometimes that isn’t possible. I’ve been very lucky to have a lot of positive and influential mentors, friends and family members. I’m very thankful, and I try to repay the support they’ve given me by creating a strong entrepreneurial community with my book series, TEW. Aside from coffee, I need a strong network and the support of my family, which I’ve been lucky to have. 


Julie M. Holloway is an artist based in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She is the founder of JMH Cre8ive Solutions, a boutique graphic design agency and is the curator of a book series titled The Entrepreneur Within You. She loves coffee, collaborating and hanging with family and friends. Learn more about her creative endeavors at, and or contact her at or by phone at (630) 855-3351.



“If the creative artist worries if he will still be free tomorrow, then he will not be free today.”                       

 – Salman Rushdie

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The Art of Corporate Gift Giving in an International Business

The Art of Corporate Gift Giving in an International Business


The majority of businesses give gifts; these may be at specific times of the year; such as Christmas or at annual celebrations. Research shows that mostaa of these gifts are issued to business clients; this is to cement the commitment each business has to each other and continue to build on their existing relationship. Long serving employees or those who have performed exceptionally well also receive gifts. Most businesses also give gifts to prospective new customers.

There is limited research into the effectiveness of gift giving as an incentive to new customers but the studies which have been completed show business which give gifts do gain more customer enquiries.

Gift or Incentive?

A gift must be seen as something which is unexpected and delivered spontaneously. An incentive is a designated prize or gift for achieving a specified goal. It is important to know the difference as one is used to motivate employees whilst the other builds relationships.


Different businesses have different rules regarding giving and receiving gifts. This can be particularly true when dealing with different countries and different lifestyles. There are also tax implications of certain gifts or value of gifts and you need to be aware of these. There are several occasions when you should never give gifts as they may be misinterpreted:

  • During the bidding process; a gift may be considered a bribe
  • Expensive gifts can send the wrong message and question both the business and the receiver’s motivation. It will also be likely to fall foul of modern gift regulations.
  • Gifts given publicly can cause embarrassment, particularly if they are inappropriate or provide the wrong impression.

Giving the Right Gift

It is very easy to give a gift which will cause more harm to a relationship than good. It is important to stick to the following guidelines:

  • The gift must be appropriate. This is not a matter of cost but rather of whether the gift will be gratefully received by the recipient. If you attempt to use a gift to break the ice with a new client it is likely to backfire. Gifts should be given no more than two or three times a year and should never be excessively lavish.
  • The gift should be relevant to the receiver, this way they will both appreciate the gift and the effort undertaken by you.
  • Timing is essential. A gift should only be given when there is a solid reason; preferably one that recognizes the value of the relationship. This could be the anniversary of a business relationship or their birthday.
  • Present the gift nicely. After having put some serious thought into what gift to give you will need to present it nicely. This includes deciding whether it is more appropriate to mail the gift to their work or home address; it may even be better to deliver it in person.

The Gift

Knowing how to give and when to give is not enough! You must also choose what to give.  There are many options and the following are some of the best:

  • Food items, particularly baskets can be a good choice as they can be enjoyed with family and friends. However, some of the selections can be very bland and not speak directly to a person. A little more thought may help. It is also worth considering whether the gift will get past the receptionist or whether it will simply feed the admin staff!
  • Alcohol has always been a favorite gift although it is imperative to pick something that the receiver will enjoy. This is a gift which should be bbconsidered carefully, wine or whiskey collectors will appreciate a good bottle, other people will not.
  • Tickets for sporting events can be an excellent gift. As long as your client has an interest in the show or event it will be a great thrill and a great gift. Provided you pick an event they will actually enjoy!

Whatever gift you choose it is essential to think hard and choose the gift carefully. The gift must be something that the recipient will like, not something that you like. If gifts are not appropriate it may be worth making a donation on their behalf to their favorite charity.

By John Smith and!


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Would you consider supporting my avaHour?

Would you consider supporting my avaHour?

Hi everyone! I am excited to support a new company ava. This company was built by a 14 year old entrepreneur has some AWESOME bug spray, jmh-imagejasmine scented mist, amazing candles, organic deodorant and other cool stuff. Would u consider, buying something for like $20 for my ‘party’ 🙂 🙂 no obligation; just wanted to ask everyone! P.S. You can also come, if you are off mommy duty, daddy duty, work, or otherwise! We’re meeting at Dulce Vida Juice Bar in Hanover Park at 3:45pm for happy hour!


Enter: Party ID 65804 to order


Thank you so much!

<3 JMH

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