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.

How to Discover What You’re World-Class at Doing


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

#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.

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

#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.

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

#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

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#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.


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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.

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#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.

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Black Girls RUN! … To #MentorMonday

mentormonday guest host torrey black girls run

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Introducing The #MentorMondayMastermind…

Are you looking to dig deeper to find answers about how to grow your business or create more success in your personal life?

We hear you!

We are introducing the #MentorMondayMastermind!


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Super-Size Your Dreams: Why The Great Reach For Greater

When you hit the 2012 Ebony Power 100 List – sharing the spotlight with Oprah, Toni Morrison, Ava DuVernay, LeBron James and more, it’s only natural to think, “This is it. I’ve made it!” Right?

Well, that’s what I thought you’d think. And, I did, too, having yet to be inducted into the elite club.

Lamar and Ronnie Tyler had seen the promised land. That’s why I was surprised when I learned he didn’t feel quite as pleased as one would expect. When I asked Lamar about his night with the stars, he mentioned that he didn’t just want to be in the room…

Ronnie and Lamar Tyler

He wanted to be in the front of the room. What the…?? 

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