Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Meet Yvette Masterson, President of Y Communications & Consulting

The beautiful Yvette Masterson,
president of Y Communications
& Consulting.
Y Communications & Consulting is a full service agency, specializing in beauty. Y Communications & Consulting offers clients everything from traditional PR, social media to product development consulting. Prior to starting the YCC Agency 15 years ago, Yvette Masterson was a fine jewelry and cosmetics buyer at Macy’s, so she has an understanding of what retailers are looking for. As a result, her clients greatly benefit from her experience in that arena. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Yvette Masterson. Here is what she had to say...

Sarah Afshar: Hello Yvette. Thank you for speaking with me today. What is the inspiration behind Y Communications? Can you tell me a little more about that?

Yvette Masterson: I am just a people person. Ever since I can remember I have been out there speaking with people about anything and everything. So the inspiration behind starting YCC was to create an agency that would create that kind of excitement, speak about our great clients and focus on what sets them apart from everyone else. Technology has really taken over and evolved, so we try as an agency to actually speak on the phone (when possible) and have that personal touch. Our team at YCC is a tight group of talented women and we all support each other. I really believe it’s important to have a strong unit.

SA: That is fantastic. Now, I have to ask - taking you through a 24 hour day, can you describe a day in the life of Yvette Masterson?

YM: Wow, it is never a dull moment. Always on the go! I am a mother, wife, and business owner. I’m based in Las Vegas, so when I am not traveling on business, I usually get up at 5 am and start my day at Zumba. I am an avid dancer, so I love to start my day with a 6 am Samba. After that, it’s school drop off and to the office. YCC has offices in NY and LA also, so we all have our daily calls to go over client strategies, events, etc. After a day at the office, I go to my other job as a mom and work on homework. My son, Blake jokes with me that he has to do his own projects…not me! I always have these big ideas and he says “STOP PR’ING me, Mom!” I have to say, I love creating over the top projects. I just can’t stop. Then, my husband Brad comes home from his job and we just hang out till 9 pm, then all the Masterson’s go to be. We are early birds.

SA: That is amazing. Let's talk about beauty! What are some of your favorite beauty products and why?

YM: I love lashes, lip gloss, cheek stains, and dry shampoo. Those are my go-to products. I just feel great when I have full lashes and rosy cheeks. If I was a stranded on a deserted island with these products, I could somewhat survive.

SA: Do you have an ultimate favorite? What is the holy grail beauty essential right now?

YM: My skin essential is Revive Light Therapy devices. I never thought I would be so hooked on a device. My panel is an investment at $350, but does everything and is so portable. The LED lights help treat acne, skin repair and prevent wrinkles with the amber lights for anti-aging. I can’t live without it! Now for my lashes, I get lash extensions which have changed my life so, I am ready to go as soon as I wake up. A total eye opener!

SA: What is your beauty regimen?

YM: I have been moisturizing my face since I was 9 years old. Seriously. My mother taught me to wash my face and moisturize every night, so it stuck. I am so glad because it really has proved to be an anti-aging preventative measure. I use the Peter Lamas Evening Age-Defying Facial Treatment, the Nourishing Buriti Oil Moisturizer and Firm, and the Lift Age-Defying Eye Serum. My skin just loves this natural line, Peter Lamas.

I don't wear makeup everyday so I keep it simple. My beauty go-to is Pixi Beauty. I love Pixi Beauty because every product has skin loving ingredients and makes you look like a fresher version of yourself. I am obsessed with the Mattelustre Lipsticks as they are long-lasting and provide your lips with full coverage. I also love the bright vivid hues.

SA: The holidays are approaching. What is happening at the agency?

YM: I love the holidays and it always comes way too fast. Time moves very fast in PR Terms. In December, we are working on client strategies and spring influencer events. I love holiday music, so we blast the tunes in the office and are knee deep in 2016.

SA: What beauty collections are you most excited about?

YM: I am all about new fun nail colors, so I am excited to see new hues from KBShimmer Nails. This indie line has the best shades and Crellys – a mix of a cream polish and glitter is amazing. I am obsessed! I’m also super excited to see the launch of Mix-o-logie fragrances this month, as they have 8 vials of rollerball fragrances that allow you to create new, custom scents. I love customizing my beauty, so this is right up my alley.

SA: For all of those beauty enthusiasts reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for Yvette Masterson?

YM: Well, I am 48 and I just love beauty, skincare and hair. It keeps me happy and it keeps me young. I enjoy learning about all the new innovative treatments and technological breakthroughs in the industry. I love what I do. I wake up every morning and look forward to what the day brings. I started the agency 15 years ago and so proud of what we have built. My parents instilled in me to work hard for what you want and that is just what I have done. My day really never ends. I work until the job is done and sometimes it is not as glamorous as it sounds, but I still get so excited when we get a client featured in a magazine, TV or online. It’s a great buzz.

Catch up with Yvette at YCCAgency.com today.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

First Person: I am a great boss because I am not your friend

Listening is one of the most important qualities any great boss should have. It is extremely important to have effective communication skills, especially in the workplace. Without communication in the workplace, there is no production, and without production, there is no success. I listen.

Below are some ways that I exemplify a great boss on a daily basis.


Macro-managing. Micromanaging embodies workplace bullying at its finest and is quite malicious. I am a great boss because I refuse to do it. In order to have an effective team, kicking someone when they are down is never the answer.

Empower and Empathize. I invest my time in empowering my team, not rejecting them. One of the most problematic issues that occur in workplaces today are that some leaders focus on being negative and critical. Since day one I believe the key to being a great leader is to have a strong decorum and ability to empathize with a worker.

Optimism. In order to be a great boss, one must be open-minded yet optimistic. Sure I possess self-awareness, as any effective leader should, but I am also relatively universal in terms of decision making and look at any situation fully rather than one dimensionally.

Encourage Strengths. It is important to recognize the strengths over the weaknesses. I believe in order to develop a successful team, you must recognize a worker's individual strength and morale.

Put out Fires Quickly. I believe in addressing problems instantaneously before they become a major issue. Without addressing the obvious problem before it turns into an even greater issue, you'll never find a real solution. It is important to extinguish the fire quick.

Love the Job. This is the key to being a great boss and leader. To possess the experience, education and skills to complete the job is one thing, but to actually love your job...well, that love triumphs everything. In order to be a great boss you have to love what you do or you're never going to be successful.

I am a great boss because I am not your friend. When it comes to establishing a strong work ethic with a team of hard workers, I never mix business with pleasure. When you are working, it should always be about business and nothing else.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Project management basics: People and politics

When it comes to classifying people and politics, there is a lot to contemplate as both have a tendency to develop numerous conflicts. I will be honest, I have witnessed quite a few, when working in project management, however; nothing compared to one I had several years ago (which I will never forget).

I've had the pleasure of working on a group project with two individuals who clearly proved how unprofessional they are. This happened years ago. I have never witnessed anything so "extreme" and had no idea that politics could set two people off, as what I had witnessed. As I find politics important, I felt compelled to recognize these two individuals work ethic and selfishness. One of the individuals was a Democratic liberal and the other was a Republican. Both individuals were women and both were rather radical in their political beliefs' and their general views on government. Of course, I was unaware and never thought anything of it, as did our supervisor at the time. I am Independent and although I wasn't radical in terms of general view, I was moderately swayed to never engage in political discussion in the work place or when working on any type of project, unless a political opinion or stance called for it. I was rather extroverted, yet obscure and I tended to focus primarily on the project.

As I was writing a minor dissertation from an outline I created, I decided to go find a pen that would work. I'm not a fan of pencils and there were no pens in sight, so I attempted to go into the other room. All of the sudden, without hesitation, I heard yelling. Of course, I didn't think much of it, as I assumed it was two people arguing elsewhere. It continued and I began hearing it again. At this point, I knew something was wrong. I walked up the hall and could hear some vile words exchanged. In my mind, I was thinking "that sounds like, wait a minute" and as I entered the door, they were arguing with each other. I've never heard so much yelling in my life over political rants. The argument was so immature and so weak, without hesitation, I told them both to stop and to grow up. Of course, they both blamed each other for the outburst and continued to argue, despite my attempt to break up the argument. I was so appaulled, I just left the room. My supervisor wasn't around, so I just waited for him to show up, so he could witness their behavior for himself.

Eventually my supervisor showed up and had the opportunity to solve the argument. However; things took an interesting turn shortly after. These two people were not "done" with their argument. In fact, this was only the beginning. As both of these ladies were married, they decided to involve their husbands. The next day, I get to work and anxious to finish the project, I heard what sounded like an argument between two men. Neither sounded like my supervisor nor any of the coworkers that generally show up early. I look outside and there are two men yelling, if not screaming at each other. In fact, it got so bad, that they started shoving each other and one of the women's husbands says "let's go". At this point, one of the ladies who worked for a company in the same building, threatened to call the police if they didn't stop, so eventually they did stop. I was rather shocked that these women, who are professionals, would allow an argument over government affect their life to the extent, they had to involve others in their argument.

Politics are on the same wavelength as religions, in terms of individual views and the general belief system to some people. I was unaware that politics would create such an affliction in the work place via project management to the extent that professionals would involve their loved ones. Although, political views and overall insights add a little extra to what you are delivering in a project, as well as, rational discussion (or potential rational discussion), it truly depends on the people who embrace them. Politics are able to cause more damage than none and prove to be a true conflict in the work place.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Originality, the key factor that contributes to a successful business

So, I am sitting here thinking about what makes a business successful. When professionals refer to the purpose of a business, they believe that marketing and innovation are two very important provisions. Based on my experiences, I believe that these two very important formations of a business, integrate to form the ultimate macrocosm, making them radically important, as a result. However; in order to form the ultimate macrocosm, you must be an independent thinker that doesn't solely rely on concepts and individual philosophies, that have been repeated and/or are guaranteed to fail. You must also think ahead and think about what your consumer will want most.
 
Problems don't exist without creators. If these problems were created by us, then we also have the ability (and stability) to fix any trial and tribulation we are faced with. The world has a weakness and it is banality.  In order to sell a good and/or  a service and market it's strengths in a positive notion, one must create an innovation that is original and will benefit the consumer, as the consumer is the business. In addition to creating a product and/or service that can suit many people's needs, one must collaborate several individual factors that makeup a business and separate their tasks.
 
Although business is filled with an array of risk and expected concern, your goal is to not worry about whether a product and/or a service will triumph other innovations, let alone competition. Your goal is to find ways and means of allowing your innovation to succeed and develop, while catering to individual demographic. In order to create a successful product and/or a successful service, one must know their product/service inside and out, with the intent to deliver it on a professional wavelength, using a strict informative approach. You can make many promises, but if they don't sell, you have nothing. In my 26 years of living I have yet to see any logic that can really refute this particular mindset.
 
The statement that several business professionals believe that marketing and innovation are the two most important aspects of a business is not only applied to the advertising, selling, and delivering side of the business structure, but also determines those key elements as being the most important out of other significant factors. With that stated, I believe the most important key factor of a business that elaborates beyond the standard marketing and innovative quo, is originality.

Why? Because when you stand out, many people are going to be interested in you. Difference equals uniqueness. And the equation is like a domino effect and makes perfect sense - uniqueness equals success.
 

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What is a continuous improvement plan

The continuous improvement plan impacts all individual responsibilities of the business, but creates higher alternatives that can develop within the business. In order to make this or anything happen, it's a fact that individuals must be willing to contemplate the problematic issues and work through ways and means of fixing them. This can be anything from a standard evaluation of the overall organization that links directly to the problem to specific actions that can be taken to improve the business immediately from the problem. The continuous improvement plan is more than just evaluating and analyzing, as well as, organizing and planning, the continuous improvement plan is the future. It is a goal every business should aim to achieve and it represents evolution, transformation and change - for the better.

Every business is different and therefore; will use a variety of different continuous improvement plans, as a result. If you are an entrepreneur or a business (whether sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation) chances are you will never settle for less than excellence. Does excellence exist? I think many would like to think so, so yes, it does. With the continuous improvement plan, you are destined to be on the road to excellence. Some people would love to settle in the beautiful cottage in the Paris with multiple waterfalls and peace, however; some people would rather have all of France.


Do you see the distinction?

If the business is doing well, you will want to maintain that level of performance and overall productivity. But like anything that is good, it doesn't mean it cannot be better. If the business is doing well, does it mean that your business is well? Absolutely not. The "If It's Broke, Don't Fix It" only applies to smaller things and is clearly hypothetical in this scenario. Businesses are big, whether sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Like anything that exists today, there is always room for improvement to create something better, as a result. If the business is doing bad or poorly, you will want to improve the level of performance, as a result. This is where you put the continuous improvement plan to use and develop a keen likeness to the method.

Monday, May 14, 2007

How to deliver bad news for project managers

No one loves to hear bad news. Especially, if the news is something that makes a huge impact on your overall business and work ethic. In fact, you never know how an individual will react towards something that is "bad" or of a negative nature. Although delivering bad news is very hard because everyone is different and impossible to predict, it is something we must do if that person (in this case, project manager) is not working up to standard.

The important part of delivering bad news is simply "knowing" the person. If you know nothing about the project manager, including his/her work ethic and overall business contributions and benefits to the business, you need to simply find all of that out. Take sometime to separate the individual from his/her job and position, to focus on who this individual is as a person. If you haven't done so, it is also best to prepare yourself with questions you may expect the project manager to ask you. Perhaps, think of the most common and make sure you have an answer for them, because they may put you on the spot.

It's ok to be professional, but do not be afraid to be a little personal. The key is being impersonal, yet personal. This doesn't mean befriend them. This doesn't mean they must be your best friend. You want to find out what you can, because when you present them with bad news, you can use several alternatives in your method, involving things you know about them (good things that is) that will give them hope.

What kind of bad news are you delivering to the project manager?

When presenting bad news to project managers, it is best to be passive, yet alert, but also direct. It is important to use tact, no matter how they act because you are the professional and you are the person that has a standard to set. To react in a negative sense would be not only selfish, but rather foolish. You are also representing a company and therefore, should always respect the company you are representing.

After you deliver the bad news, it is best to tell them what they want to hear, without being personal. For instance, you used tact in your approach, now you need to sympathize, although empathy works best. Perhaps, think of something that occurred in your life and use that as an example of what it has done to improve your work ethic and overall stance. Give the project manager the same guidance and hope, as no hope should ever be lost.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Project Management Basics: People and Politics

When it comes to classifying people and politics, there is a lot to contemplate as both have a tendency to develop numerous conflicts. I will be honest, I have witnessed quite a few, when working in project management, however; nothing compared to one I had several years ago (which I will never forget).

I've had the pleasure of working on a group project with two individuals who clearly proved how unprofessional they are. I have never witnessed anything so "extreme" and had no idea that politics could set two people off. As I find politics important, I felt compelled to recognize these two individuals work ethic and selfishness. One of the individuals was a Democratic liberal and the other was a Republican. Both individuals were women and both were rather radical in their political beliefs' and their general views on government. Of course, I was unaware and never thought anything of it, as did our supervisor at the time.


I have always identified as Independent and although I wasn't radical in terms of general view, I was moderately swayed to never engage in political discussion in the work place or when working on any type of project, unless a political opinion or stance called for it. And even they, biting my tongue was always an additional skill I would enforce upon myself. I was rather extroverted, yet obscure and I tended to focus primarily on the project. After all, a project has deadlines and there is no time to engage those who share a different point of view than you do.

As I was writing a minor dissertation from an outline I created, I decided to go find a pen that would work. I'm not a fan of pencils and there were no pens in sight, so I attempted to go into the other room. All of the sudden, without hesitation, I heard yelling. Of course, I didn't think much of it, as I assumed it was two people arguing elsewhere. It continued and I began hearing it again. At this point, I knew something was wrong. I walked up the hall and could hear some vile words exchanged. In my mind, I was thinking "that sounds like, wait a minute" and as I entered the door, they were arguing with each other. I've never heard so much yelling in my life over political rants.


All I could think about was how immature and weak were these two individuals to argue over something that had nothing to do with the project we were all working on. Without hesitation, I told them both to stop and to grow up. Of course, they both blamed each other for the outburst and continued to argue, despite my attempts to break up the argument. I was so appalled, I just left the room. My supervisor wasn't around, so I just waited for him to show up, so he could witness their behavior for himself.

Eventually my supervisor showed up and had the opportunity to solve the argument. However; things took an interesting turn shortly after. These two people were not "done" with their argument. In fact, this was only the beginning. As both of these ladies were married, they decided to involve their husbands. The next day, I get to work and anxious to finish the project, I heard what sounded like an argument between two men. Neither of these men sounded like my supervisor nor any of the coworkers that generally show up early.


I proceeded to look outside and there are two men yelling, if not screaming at each other. In fact, it got so bad, that they started shoving each other and one of the women's husbands says "let's go". At this point, one of the ladies who worked for a company in the same building, threatened to call the police if they didn't stop, so eventually they did stop. I was rather shocked that these women, who are professionals, would allow an argument over government to affect their life to the extent, they had to involve others in their argument.

Politics are on the same level as religion, at least that is what it seems to be. I am speaking in terms of individual views and the general belief system to some people. I was unaware that politics would create such an affliction in the work place via project management to the extent that professionals would involve their loved ones. Although, political views and overall insights add a little extra to what you are delivering in a project, as well as, rational discussion (or potential rational discussion and/or dialogue), it truly depends on the people who embrace them. Politics are able to cause more damage than none and prove to be a true conflict in the work place.

Friday, March 9, 2007

How to develop an integrated project plan

In college, I've had the pleasure of learning more about integrated project plans than the average student quo. In fact, one of my first projects consisted of developing an integrated project plan for a make believe company. How did I do it?

I wrote down several ways to start a project. This could be anything from a visual module to an experiment based on surveys and statistics to actual ideas in chronological order based on importance and relevance. In fact, I refreshed myself with marketing knowledge and created a huge outline of project ideas, as ideas are the starting line. Lets face it, it is crucial to be a visionary in this world. I wrote down questions I would ask someone, in terms of projection and connection. In order to create an integrated plan, you must possess knowledge of any type of project you tend to use or the company tends to use, but you must be original and offer commentary to support your idea.

In order for any integrated project plan to be successful, one must understand the individuals functions and contributions of the project. It is extremely important to assign tasks (unless your goal is to complete a singular project with no help at all) to different individuals participating in the project. You want to decide who is in control (or who are, as it can be more than one person). You want to decide who is in charge of organizing the project, as well as, analyzing the advertising and promoting of the project. You also want to focus on who will be responsible for the presentation, as well as, questions asked by individuals who you will present this project to.

When creating each individual project, several important factors come into play. In fact, these things are truly relevant in terms of developing a successful integrated project plan. Some of them include: actual idea or subject of the project, cost of the project, the risk of the result of following the project, how much time devoted to the project, time to complete the project, the benefit of the project, and the overall effectiveness and quality of the project. This excludes what the end result will be.

After you discovered answers to the actual idea and subject, you want to work on the project itself including the end result. That includes the content, as well as, overall presentation. Focus on the idea you choose, instead of flopping onto another right away (in fact, starting off with one idea is highly recommended) and if that idea doesn't work or make any sense, move onto the next idea. As you continue, work on connecting with your project by sharing it with others.


Believe it or not, developing a successful integrated project plan is hard work. You want to make individuals believe what you say and be interested and motivated in your integrated project, as they are your audience and most of the time, your capital and/or funding which will support the project and allow it to grow.

Once you have finished, it's important to analyze your project leaving no stone unturned. Once your project is analyzed, it can be finalized with additional editing from a third party source. Finally, you can present it to the appropriate individuals.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Overcoming the fear of selling

For many of you the fear of selling anything is a huge challenge and obstacle for you from day to day. The first thing you need to do is find out exactly what it is you're afraid of. It is crucial to identify what is holding you back.

Are you afraid of success? Believe it or not there is an actual fear of success, as with success comes consequences and sometimes those are extremely hard to endure let alone deal with. Are you afraid of failure or rejection? Everyone gets rejected as everyone has failed at something. Does that mean to not try and to stop? Giving up is as good as losing, as not trying is basically losing already. This leads me to the question - do you fear being perceived as being pushy or persistent? You shouldn't care what others think of you, as it is your work that will do the talking. Do you fear that your product may not meet the expectations of your customer? There are billions of people on this planet. There will be many who love your work, some who will hate it, but in the end those who appreciate it will be those who are willing to help you grow.

The fact is, you can't come up with a solution if you don't know what the problem is. There's a huge misconception in direct sales being that you think you're 'imposing' on your friends, family or just a customer in general. As long as you feel as though you're imposing...you are. You need to love your product and feel as though you are offering a service. You're filling a need not a want and in the end, you need to be true to yourself and your product, as the rest will sell itself.

The reality is this - people are natural-born sellers. We just don't realize it when we're not making money from it. Let's say you go to a movie that you loved. And you have a friend who would enjoy it too. Wouldn't you recommend it to him/her?

So why is it that as soon as we go into sales we automatically feel as though we can’t recommend the products we sell? Especially if we possess knowledge about them and are confident about them. Wouldn't you want to recommend those to others? Why is it that we tend to feel guilty because we’re going to make a profit off of it?

If you are one that has a fear of selling, take some time today to figure out the cause of your fear, and take action to fix it. Don't think hypothetically, think practically. It is that simple.