All posts by Ella Rucker

About Ella
Ella Rucker is an advocate for entrepreneurs and their success. She is the Community Director for, Director of Operations for #MentorMonday and co-founder of Weekend Startup School. You can find more about Ella by following her on Twitter at @EllaLaverne.

Patti Pies And Tonight’s #MentorMonday

Patti Pies And Tonight’s #MentorMonday

What can you learn from Patti Pies?

RSVP for #MentorMonday here.

By now you may have heard about the infamous Patti Pies.  These are the pastries made by Patti LaBelle and sold at Walmart made a bit more famous by the viral video of James Wright Chanel.

Recently Ms. LaBelle is under fire for proclaiming Chanel didn’t make her pies famous. (Read how the pies got famous here.)

If you ask me it doesn’t matter if Chanel made LaBelle’s pies famous or not; and it really doesn’t matter what LaBelle says about Chanel’s involvement. She thanked him on social media and may have also sent him a gift, but when TMZ asked her if Chanel was responsible for being sold out at Walmart, LaBelle took the credit for the pies.

And well she should have!

You see, I remember LaBelle being on Arsenio Hall – you know when he did the show originally 20+ years ago – talking about pies.  LaBelle was approached by Walmart for her cooking prowess to bring some oomf to their pastry offerings.  This was in addition to LaBelle’s long-standing divaship as a singer, actor, and author.

LaBelle has been building her brand since the 1960’s!

So while Chanel may have brought some light to LaBelle’s latest offering, he got all the recognition he should have because instead of going viral for Patti Pies, Chanel needed to have some sort of product to sell On His Own (that’s a small shout out to one of LaBelle’s songs Chanel sang during the video).

That’s right.  I can’t take credit for anyone eles’s hard work. And when I hit the limelight I need to be ready to sell…ME!  Chanel is credited by some for spiking the sales of Patti Pies by $2.5 million in 72 hours.  Now if LaBelle makes $1 per pie (and that’s a very high estimate), Chanel made her a quarter of a million dollars. This is LaBelle’s side side hustle so that is a nice passive income for a weekend.  However, what if Chanel took those three million YouTube views and made himself $2.5 million dollars?

How could he have done that you ask?

That’s where #MentorMonday comes in.  This week’s guest, Tracey La’Stell Slates, is a senior producer for the Steve Harvey Television Show and is going to tell US how to get ourselves and our products on television.  And she is also going to talk about the impact we can make once we get there. Chanel made an impact, but once he hit the spotlight what was his next step?  What product did he have ready for the marketplace?   Would he have even had the fame he did if he hadn’t used Patti LaBelle’s product as the backdrop for his talents?

If you stay ready you don’t have to get ready and today’s episode of #MentorMonday is all about getting ready.

Join us tonight at 9PM by RSVPing here.

We’ll see you tonight for all the fun and information you’ve come to expect from #MentorMonday.


Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.

The Sex And Relationships Talk You’ve Wanted Is HERE! (And We’ve Got Prizes)

The Sex And Relationships Talk You’ve Wanted Is HERE! (And We’ve Got Prizes)

#MentorMonday, a popular mentoring platform for entrepreneurs and visionaries hosted by Paul C. Brunson, has been known to “go there.”  Paul has been known to surprise guests with dating games, conversations about health and wealth turning into how to use pineapples during lovemaking, and many more super seductive conversations having portions of #MentorMonday lovingly dubbed #MentorMondayAfterDark conversations.

And here we go again!


For two hours on November 10th starting at 8pm ET, Paul C. Brunson will have a few special guests on the Sex and Relationships episode of #MentorMonday sponsored by and #ThxBirthControl. Celebrities, doctors, and authors on relationships will be brought onto the hot seat to talk about their personal lives in a way most interviews will never be held. Last year’s episode had one panelist admit to masturbating before his date could return from the shower; the pair never spoke again.

You are invited to join us for this high-level adult discussion on one of the most taboo but necessary functions of the human experience. Sex.  Don’t worry. This isn’t the baby making episode! and #ThxBirthControl are sponsoring the event and they are more than prepared to offer great tips on how we can all plan for our baby having days.

PLUS, we are giving away an awesome gift pack!  You’ll receive an Astroglide gift basket and the book 20 Things You May Not Know About The Penis by Dr. Draion Burch, It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have To Be) by Paul C. Brunson, and $100 gift card to get you ready for that special night.

Second and third place prizes will be Dr. Drai’s book 20 Things You May Not Know About The Penis.

Sign up to enter the drawing below and then RSVP to the Sex and Relationships #MentorMonday episode you don’t want to miss here.


Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.

#MentorMonday [Recap]: Being A Speaker Starts With Marshawn Evans And These 3 Steps


#MentorMonday started out with practical advice for your BIG dreams when Paul gave this tip for Twitter:

Depending on your posting frequency on Twitter, post more content, not less.  Paul has increased his postings on the social media platform and has been getting about 100,000 click throughs per day!  By tweeting at all times of the day he is seeing much better engagement on his quality content.

And then, drumroll please…

He also announced that his producer, Ella Rucker, is speaking at Social Media Week Lagos AND #MentorMonday alum Russ Terry, CEO of @CoachHostRadio, is a sponsor of #SMWMastermind at @SMWLagos.  #MentorMonday is about building a community and we are grateful that we are supporting each other.  Spreecast is also a proud sponsor of this huge step in growing the #MentorMonday family internationally.

Also, if you have signed up for Weekend Startup School, but haven’t gotten any response, please email Ella.  The Weekend Startup School has been expanded so if you would still like to participate or need more info you can go to

Next up was our guest, Marshawn Evans.

In his intro, Paul testified that he has followed Marshawn’s advice for his public speaking career and has seen a rise in the income he is able to make.

Marshawn shared her story on how she became one of the highest paid and most in demand speakers in the world.  She started in daycare centers and then worked her way through the pageant circuit.

She advised the #MentorMonday community on one of the first things they need to do when they decide they want to start speaking.

Be clear on where you are in your speaking career.  You are an

1.  Aspiring speaker if you haven’t found your story or your brand.

2. Emerging speaker if you are in business, but have inconsistent income and inconsistent visibility.

3. Established influencer if you are having problems monetizing your influence.

Marshawn and her team are creating #Speakerpreneurs (trademarked phrase, of course).

She also gave information on how the “big four” speaking opportunities for beginner entrepreneurs can make you more money.

But the BEST gift to speakers from Marshawn’s visit to #MentorMonday? Access to her new, 3-part video series for FREE (you can find it here) early for the #MentorMonday family!

You can find the whole conversation on Spreecast by clicking here.


Marshawn’s Free Video Series

Marshawn’s Twitter

Ella’s Social Media Week Lagos Speaker Profile

Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.

#MentorMonday [Recap]: Defining Your Mission And Your Vision With Angela Benton

This week on #MentorMonday we welcomed on Ms. Angela Benton.  Angela came on #MentorMonday to talk about how to define your mission and your vision for a better business and better life.  How did Angela define her life and her business?  She saw a need and made it her mission to help entrepreneurs.  Angela brought diversity to Silicon Valley.  As the founder and CEO of the NewME Accelerator program, Angela has accelerated hundreds of entrepreneurs.  Since 2011, NewME entrepreneurs have raised over $17 million in venture capital funds.  So it is safe to say that Angela has certainly defined success in Silicon Valley.

Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.

#MentorMonday [Recap]: Conquering 2015 D.U.M.B. Goals With F.O.C.U.S.

Happy New Year!  Welcome to 2015 and the first #MentorMonday recap!

Let’s start this recap doing something different.  Share in the comments what you did in 2014 for your business or your life in general that will set the stage for 2015 being all the better.  You never know who will take your best of 2014 to make 2015 their best.

Now, to the #MentorMonday recap.

Paul started off the session in a new location which later played a part in one of the big surprises of the show.  We lost him mid show and he had to be replaced with a #MentorMonday alum, Chris Burns.

To begin, Paul shared a story from the death bed of his uncle-in-law.  This 78-year-old man revealed, “Man, this thing goes by fast.”  And “this thing” is life.

So how do you make the most of this thing that goes so fast?  Setting goals, staying focused, and rolling with the entrepreneurial, life, and technical punches that are dealt to you.

The first question (after who was drinking what, of course) out of the #MentorMonday box was, “Do you need goals?” And the answer was surprising.

Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.

#MentorMonday [Recap]: Don’t Be “A Damn Fool!” Monetization Panel

Our host, Paul C. Brunson, started off the night with maybe one of the biggest shocks in #MentorMonday history!  In #MENTORMONDAY HISTORY!  But you have to watch the show to find out what it was.  (Spoiler alert: Red Stripe and Blue Moon may be heartbroken.)

He also took the time to remind us of one of the most phrases uttered on #MentorMonday. Yes, Chris Burns (who was in this week’s Spreecast audience) gave us this bit of wisdom and quite possibly the most retweeted #MentorMonday quote from his time on the #MentorMonday Entrepreneur Panel: simply, “Get money.”

But how do you “Get money”?

And just as important, if not more so, how do you monetize your business and then build several streams of revenue? Our #MentorMonday monetization panel with Tionna Smalls, Jullien Gordon, and Trent Shelton share how they do it.

#MentorMonday; monetization

Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.

#MentorMonday [Recap]: 3 Myths about Entrepreneurs Lauren Maillian Bias Slayed

This #MentorMonday was advertised as “…how to grow your small business revenue to over $1 million annually.”  And when it was all over someone in the chat room wondered why that question was neither asked nor answered.

I understand.  We all want “the answer,” but as #MentorMonday guests have proven and shared, there is never just one way to reach the top.

Lauren Maillian Bias did answer the question though; maybe not in her words, but in her work ethic and practices which she shared.  She explained how her natural inquisitiveness keeps her learning from the best, how she parents two children as a single mother, and what she does in business which makes her ventures thrive.

So without further ado, here are 3 Myths About Entrepreneurs That Lauren Maillian Bias Slayed On #MentorMonday.


Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.

Where To Find #MentorMonday Caribbean Heritage Month Sponsors

Where To Find #MentorMonday Caribbean Heritage Month Sponsors



#MentorMonday offers practical advice for your BIG ideas.  We are a community of entrepreneurs that meets for encouragement, positivity, laughs and a few drinks on Monday nights.  As such we invite sponsors that add value to these conversations about our BIG dreams.

Recently we had a show featuring Cedella Marley and Caribbean Heritage Month on #MentorMonday.  We’d like to take time to introduce you to those sponsors as well as tell you a little about their sites.  You can click on any logo to find more information.



292610_339910849402000_568414161_nA special shout out goes to Caribbean Fortress Ltd for the Cedella Marley interview.  Without their dedication to bringing value to the Caribbean Heritage Month conversation, #MentorMonday wouldn’t have had that wonderful island insight to bring to our audience.

Caribbean Fortress Ltd is working to “connect the dots” among Professionals. Investors. Entrepreneurs (P.I.Es) with premium business mixers and events, across industries, in the Caribbean region.


inter caribbean airway

Air Turks & Caicos began in 1991 as InterIsland Airways Charter Service. In 2003 the Turks and Caicos Government started a push toward regional and international development and it seemed that the time had come for the Turks and Caicos to have its own airline.  Still the only scheduled airline serving all the Outer Islands today, Air Turks & Caicos also serves several key international destinations, with daily scheduled flights to multiple cities in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

elite island resorts

Elite Island Resorts offers an impressive collection of all-inclusive Caribbean resorts and the best variety in Caribbean vacations; your perfect all inclusive Caribbean holiday is just a call or click away. We specialize in relaxing escapes, honeymoons, weddings, and spa holidays, ideal for couples, families, friends, and groups.



The Spanish Court is your premier hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. Whether you’re traveling on business, taking a romantic getaway, or vacationing with the family, The Spanish Court offers a wide array of exceptional services and amenities, as well as a prime location in the heart of New Kingston, sure to please the most discerning individual. At The Spanish Court, we are dedicated to providing you with incomparable comfort, convenience, and luxury.

popup gourmet

Pop-Up Gourmet Jamaica takes you on a never ending epicurean experience across Jamaica – from delicious recipes and trendy, hot & new ‘foodie’ spots to Jamaican Chefs insights and extraordinary Gourmet Experiences across the island.  We keep you up to date on the latest in Food & Beverage Trends and Events – in Jamaica and abroad and more! Want to know more about Jamaican Cuisine? Why not join us on a Culinary Tour on your next visit to Jamaica? Come  Experience, Taste & Enjoy Jamaica!


Lillie and Ivan Cowan established Lillan Ltd in 1982. Lillan is a dynamic, privately owned company dedicated to providing the highest quality meats, fish, grains, and pickled meats to Jamaican consumers.  It was born out of a commitment to provide a cheaper alternative to wholesalers and grocery stores with the highest integrity. To date both Peter and Andrea have endeavored to fulfill the dreams of their parents, providing only the very best service, which can be clearly validated by their rapid growth in a very competitive, challenging environment.




When the escaped Maroon slaves needed to preserve their meats in the 1700’s, they turned to the process of jerking and slow roasting.  Dr. Dread perfected the process and now Dr. Dread’s Famous Jamaican Jerk is now available after all these years for all to enjoy.


yum yum 2


A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Nadia DeMessa was born into a family of bakers.  In 2005, Nadia took note of the growing popularity of food trucks and decided to implement her own mobile operation, Yum Yum Cupcake & More.  With a full industrial kitchen in Decatur, GA, Nadia has recently expanded her operation to include extensive catering services. Nadia’s renowned dessert tables can be found at corporate and private events all around Atlanta. In addition to her signature cupcakes, Nadia offers a wide variety of gourmet cakes, pies, ice cream and pastries.


Written and Published by Caribbean people, is the voice of the global Caribbean Woman. Still an evolving niche publication, it was founded in 2005 by Virgin Island native, Janette Brin. Each month, provides a diverse assortment of articles that offer an in-depth look at issues and things of interests to the Caribbean Woman. Their features cover Fashion & Beauty, Culture & Lifestyle, and  Music & Entertainment.


bryans bookstores logo

Bryan’s Bookstores Limited (formerly BCR University Bookstore Limited) started at the University of Technology, Jamaica catering mainly to the campus community by providing textbooks, trade books, snacks, stationery and other supplies.  Their product range is consistent with their motto ‘Nourish and Excite Your Mind,’ and they offer a wide range of books and other materials that promote good morals, values and attitudes especially targeted to children and young adults.

tropics isle living

Tropic Isle Living was launched in 1992 with the conviction to bring to market a range of Jamaican herbs and herbal products valued for generations for their benefits to the hair, skin and body. Our flagship product is Jamaican Black Castor Oil which we have successfully transformed into a hair food, conditioner, soap, and body butter. We are also proud of our Jamaican aromatherapy herbal bath and body oil collection. This collection was inspired by Jamaica’s “bush bath” tradition where herbal baths were and continues to be used for healing and spiritual purposes.


Have a product you’d like to introduce to the #MentorMonday audience?  We’d love to add you to the list!  Click here to email Ella Rucker, the director of operations for #MentorMonday.

Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.

#MentorMonday Recap: Black Girls RUN!…Fearlessly!

Torrey McGraw stepped in to guest host #MentorMonday this week. As the former host of Grind and Thrive, and having interviewed Paul back in 2011, Torrey was the perfect person to pinch hit in his absence.

This week’s guests, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks, the founders of Black Girls RUN! have created not only a business but an entire movement! They shared stories of building their brand and community, the lessons they learned and how much of a recurring role mentors and fearlessness have played in their success.

Black Girls run

In 2009, friends and runners, Ashley and Toni were discussing how there weren’t that many African American women in their running circles. They found themselves informally educating friends and family. So, they started a blog about healthy eating, exercise and running. Two years later, they launched running groups and the brand quickly grew and evolved.

Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.

Black Girls RUN! … To #MentorMonday

mentormonday guest host torrey black girls run

Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.