2017- The Year of Empowerment

by Latoya Bullard-Franklin – CEO, The Bulsard Group, LLC

Happy YOU Year!

This is your year, the year to focus on YOU! Your dreams, your goals, your aspirations!  Every year for the past few years, I have noticed a central theme to manifest itself in my life throughout that year.  This same theme manifested itself in the lives of many women in my circle as well.  For 2017 it will be the year of YOU-the year of Empowerment!!!

What is this thing called empowerment?  Empowerment is defined as the state of giving power or authority to someone or something officially.  So, let’s officially give the power over our lives to ourselves, control our own destiny, and not let others control us.  When we ask ourselves the following: “What will they think of me? What if they don’t like…? Who will support…? When will they…?”; we are enabling others to control who we are and what we do in our own lives.  The energy spent on these statements should be put towards those that affirm like “Wait until they see me now!”, “Wait until I…!”, “What will I do to achieve…?!”

In 2016, I, like many others, experienced many adverse events in the quest for increasing my reach in the world.  I have many battle wounds and scars, but these life moments have taught me a lot about myself.  Many of these life moments had me to question myself and ask “Who am I at my core? Should I stand up for myself?  Should I use all that negative energy that I would expend on that person who tried to control me, and put it into what I should be doing to reach the destiny that God has put inside of me?”

As we all know, with every new year brings new resolutions and a new desired YOU. Everyone excitingly jumps to conjure up all of these magnificent resolutions to lose weight, finish a degree, get a new house, obtain a certification, and the list goes on and on.  But, the one thing that people fail to develop is a clear path to success. 

Life is all about a healthy balance, the positive force to balance the negative, an equal give and take.  In our lifetimes on this earth, we are only given a finite amount of energy in a finite amount of time, and how we use this energy is up to us.  We can only do so much in a given time period-a day, a week, a month. So the questions become-how do we move the needle? How do we make it all happen? And most importantly-How do we avoid FOMO-the fear of missing out?! We do this by following these steps below:

1. Develop your burning platforms:  What are those things that if you don’t complete and execute, your life will be out of balance? Our main goal should always be to find balance in all areas of our lives.  Let’s take for example the frequently used resolution of “eating healthier”.  The why this is important to your life balance is “I want to reduce my cholesterol level”.  This is your burning platform.

2.  Harness the Power of Three: This universal truth helps us to keep focus on only 3 key area and 3 key performance indicators at a time to optimize success.  From your list of burning platforms, select 3 as your key focus areas for 2017. 

3. Use the Lean-Six Your LifeTM plan: The Lean Six Sigma methodology used in business can be used for personal success as well.  Now take each of the 3 key focus areas and complete the 6 steps of the Lean-Six Your LifeTM plan.

  • Define your vision for the future and identify a deadline. This is the only way to hit your mark. Where do you want to be in 3 months? A year?
  • Measure and determine a baseline. We can’t change what we can’t measure. 
  • Analyze your data. Track your measurements and review at the 2nd or 3rd week mark. What trends are you noticing? What are your habits?
  • Improve your current state and develop a plan for how to reach your goals in 8 steps or less. The number 8 signifies new beginnings.  Identify an Accountability Partner to keep you motivated.
  • Control your impulses and sustain your plan. Remember, it takes 21 days to develop a healthy habit, let’s get going to sustaining a leaner life!!!

More details will be available in the upcoming issue of the Enterprising Women magazine.

Check back at the beginning of each month for more tips on an Empowered 2017! 

Visit us at www.bulsardgroup.com or twitter @leansixyourlife.


Latoya Bullard-Franklin’s destiny has brought her from humble beginnings in New Orleans, LA to become a successful Entrepreneur in Houston, TX. She is an experienced Master Black Belt Facilitator of Lean Six Sigma, Change Management, and Organizational Strategy Development. As an Agent of Change, she believes the best way to achieve business success is to “remove barriers and think outside of the box.” Her current role is CEO of The Bulsard Group, LLC-a firm focused on partnering with clients to uncover value, create value, and deliver value in the pursuit of Operational Excellence. She believes her POWER Principles are the way to ensure success: “Persevere, Own, Win, Empower, and Respect.”

She has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana State University, and a M.S. in Project Management from Boston University. Her career as a leader in Oil & Gas began with Texaco and bp oil as a Reliability Engineer, and then continued as a Process Engineering Lead with Raytheon Company. During her tenure with Chevron Company, she has led the execution of many projects with a strict focus on delivering value and enhancing growth. Recognized as a trailblazer by Fortune 500 companies, she has led various teams of Vice Presidents, Directors, and Managers to maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of their organizations.

Recently featured in Forbes Magazine as a premier business woman in the state of Texas, Black Enterprise, and Essence Magazines as one of “40 Next” young entrepreneurs to “Transform” the world, she was also recognized in Who’s Who in Black Houston as a leader in her community. Her passion has led her to motivate excellence for organizations such as WBENC, HCCoC, and NMSDC.

As a role model to her two daughters, she enjoys encouraging and instilling excellence in young women with her non-profit organization, The Girl POWER Network at http://www.thegirlpowernetwork.org. In her spare time, she pursues her ultimate dream of becoming a published author.

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