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Category Archives: Entreprenuership

His and Hers Ride Hailing Services?

As a mother of an out-of-town, non-driving female college student, I am a HUGE Uber supporter. Just the other day, I was remarking about how the creators Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had truly earned their billions. I love, love, love that I can see a picture of the driver, license plate and make/model of the car picking up my daughter who is 250 miles away. I know when she’s going and where! She doesn’t ever need cash or have to wait for long periods alone.

The female-only ride hailing apps are an interesting, but not surprising development. Given the unfortunate Uber-related assault cases and personal feelings of female acquaintances, safety is a real issue especially at night. However, from a legal standpoint I understand how such services present the proverbial “slippery slope.” I hadn’t even thought about opening the door to discrimination or exclusivity regarding other groups. It is unfortunate that in our “civilized” society, women have a need to feel safer.

 

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do!

Logo Family Final

Why is following my own professional advice so HARD?!?

I have a girlfriend/colleague who incorporated her nonprofit a few months ago, Empowering Single Moms, Inc. and is having a launch event on May 16. We’ve been friends since college and this has been her vision for a long time; it is so exciting to witness it coming to fruition!

With that said, I have been working at warp speed trying to teach her about the critical importance of branding, PR and media relations.  This is what happens when your client/sista girl pulls you in after-the-fact and doesn’t have a communications plan…don’t get me started.

Anyway, I sent her a quick and dirty task list on Monday to get her to the launch event, including roles, deadlines and notes. After work (yes, we are hybrids: both have 9 to 5s) I gave her a “social media for your biz” crash course via phone while she was in the barbershop with her sons. After hanging up, I heard my voice ringing in my ears: “Keep your Twitter fresh!” “Is your Twitter linked to your Facebook page?” “Have you invited your friends and colleagues to follow you?” Sigh…a long one.

If you are on Twitter, please be kind and follow me @joyinhome

 

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She Rocks Rough & Tough With Her Afro Puffs

 

moxie girl

Seven-year-old Natalie McGriff is the creator of The Adventures of Moxie Girl, a comic book about a young, female superhero. McGriff won $16,000 for her creation at a crowdfunding festival in Jacksonville, Fla.

The protagonist is a girl who uses a magical shampoo that turns her curls into super-powered Afro puffs. Her mother revealed that Natalie was having problems loving her hair and that was the origin of the story.

I decided to help Natalie write this book because she was having self-esteem issues regarding her hair and she hated to read. She now realizes how powerful and awesome her hair is and that in order for her to write a cool book, she needs to read more books and learn different words. – mother, Angie Nixon

I will be ordering comic books for some young girls in my life and you can too, as well as other Moxie swag! Wanna see more in this series? Contribute today!

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in Arts, Entreprenuership, Fun, Girls, writing, Youth

 

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Work Your Package

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Later this month, I’m excited to attend the 2015 Work Your Package event.

This women’s conference is the brainchild of a talented colleague and began as a book or success guide if you will. It’s a simple concept: creator Ayanna Castro decided to take hard lessons learned and share those experiences with others.  Moreover, she decided that she already had all that she needed to achieve her personal (and professional) goals, therefore she should “work her package.” Castro’s premise is that we can enhance what we have to become extraordinary. .. why not?!?

As I said, it’s a women’s conference; however she plans to tweak it for men after a member of her brother fraternity pointed out that he found the tenets in the book valuable. But for now, she’s focused on the group to which she belongs: we tend to be less confident as a whole, especially when it comes to business. So let’s get to it.

If you’re in the Washington Metro area or don’t mind traveling, ladies may want to check it out. March 28 9a – 5p at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve in Hanover, Maryland. The venue is gorgeous and sometimes we need a little girl time! A girlfriend is coming with me so you should make it a destination! On another note, this is a female entrepreneur working to empower other women, from all walks and I respect that.

And although WYP addresses beyond physical appearance- health & wellness, career, finance, style, personal branding- I am also attending a pre-conference event that is a make-up 101… I could use a few tips… So with cosmetic bag in-hand, I’ll be there Friday night.

 

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Generalist or Specialist

Entrepreneurs_Evolutionary

As a former consultant and entrepreneur at heart, I really appreciate this article. I had to answer this question myself a few years ago as I weathered the peaks and valleys of self-employment.

I was a truly a generalist having worked for many small companies and nonprofits while donning many hats BUT as a consultant, I tended to market myself as a specialist. And I was, having kept ahead of certain trends and skills sharp in areas such as social media management and website content creation and management. AND, I thought generalist had a negative connotation… To throw in another twist, I had small clients to whom the generalist title resonated. What to do? How to self-market?

Alas, as they say hindsight is blah, blah, blah… I kind of knotted myself into a pretzel which compounded by an economy that was still limping and clients who paid when (and if) they wanted, I made the switch to a “traditional” career path. But be clear, I have not abandoned my heart’s desire- just put in on the shelf. 🙂

So as you dust off that resume in this new year, ask yourself (and answer) this question: am I a generalist or a specialist?

 
 

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Mayor For Life

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Understand that this man was loved by many native Washingtonians, myself included. He was also hated by some. It’s a strong word but it was freely used in the 80s and 90s. Marion Barry was a Robin Hood of sorts. He came to power in a powerful city and spread the wealth around. That angered the greedy who didn’t want fair play for DC residents, businesses and families.

A community organizer at heart, Marion Barry moved here from the South fresh from the front lines of the civil rights movement. He was an entrepreneur (Pride Incorporated), served as a school board member, council member, then Mayor for 16 years. Then councilmember, then Mayor again until the control board was created only to oust him and bring in Bowtie. He continued as councilmember for Ward 8 until his death.

During his original post as Mayor, he re-distributed wealth, created a black middle-class, gave every teenager a job, developed leadership programs for youth and told developers “no” if it didn’t benefit the city and ALL residents. He served as the gatekeeper angering the influential and powerful. Next, they exploited his personal problems and set up the FBI sting at the Vista…you know the rest.

What people outside of DC don’t seem to understand is the affection we have for this man. Why we forgave his transgressions and supported him. Yes he stumbled, but he did his job AND he served the people who elected him. Imagine that. It is such a rare occurrence that people don’t understand.

There is so much more that I could write. Instead I ask those who only know the negative to do some research. He was imperfect as we all are.

He was loved by many, hated by many but will be remembered by all.

-Sam Ford, News Ch. 8

 

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Let’s Forgive Paula

PaulaDeen

There are people who will disagree with me.

It’s time to forgive Paula Deen. She is re-launching her career after it went down in flames last year when she admitted to using the word Nigger, more than 30 years ago… THIRTY years.

When the story broke, I didn’t follow it closely. I understood that people were disappointed and hurt, but I thought that she had been punished too severely. Hear me out. We don’t know if she used the word as alleged in the suit. She was not caught on tape, so who knows. But she admitted to using the word in the 60s?!?

Now. Paula Deen is from Georgia. If you think that wasn’t a household word at that time – especially in the South – you’re kidding yourself. And many people everywhere still use it. I’m sure she was raised with it. Does that make it right? NO. And let me be clear, I have been called a Nigger to my face and you have no idea what that feels like.

I have always been a Paula Deen fan. I loved her, so I was disappointed if that was something she felt and expressed in private. However, that is not the energy that I ever got from her. And I could be wrong.

But the other part of this story is forgiveness. How long do we ostracize? Do we ever forgive? Clearly the parent companies of her former endorsements do not forgive but I believe they pulled the deals out of fear rather than morality; again, I could be wrong. I can only truly speak for me…and I think she deserves another chance.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2014 in Career, Entreprenuership, Family, Race, women

 

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Mama Raised Him Right

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Nine year-old Hector Montoya of Texas spent his hard-earned money to help someone else.

That PS4 was within his grasp! Then he saw that a mother and child died in a house fire because they had a non-working smoke detector. Hectors took his $300 and bought 100 detectors to distribute at no cost.

Go Hector!

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Entreprenuership, Family, Youth

 

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A President for the 21st Century

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Have you ever worked with someone or known someone who performs a task just because it’s always been done or because it’s always been performed a particular way, without regard for purpose or end goal? Who has no interest in the fact that it could be completed more effectively or efficiently? I am, by all accounts, an impatient person. So this makes me want to tear my hair out!

And this is exactly my feeling about Congress and this country, in general. And I can’t be alone. Partisanship aside…C’MON!!!

Last night, our President reminded this nation of who we should be if we would get out of our own way. Stop making everything so difficult and get to the job at hand. This is a new era with new challenges; stop dragging collective feet and invest in TODAY… the issues of today.

I was glad to hear the tone of a second-term President ready to exert executive power. Americans need jobs, our kids need access to education (Prek thru college), technology and innovation are critical, we can’t be bruisers and fight always and fair pay is fair. It won’t be easy, but it ain’t rocket science! And if it were, we have great minds who could figure it out.

It will take cooperation.

ACA was voted into law, get over it! America elected a Black president (twice), get over it! Marriage equality is here, get over it! Pope Francis is shaking up Catholicism, get over it! Women bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan, get over it! Young people don’t get mired down in race and culture; get over it! We need to take care of our veterans, get over it! We have to fix the planet that we hurt, get over it! People do not need high-powered, automatic weapons to hunt, get over it! Everyone in this country at some point was an immigrant, get over it!

WHEW!!!!

Now, can we get to the America that our President talked about? The one founded on opportunity, equality, perseverance and freedom? I would like to catch more than a glimpse before I die.

 

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Five and Five

hi 5This year I actually completed my goals for the upcoming year at the optimum time during Winter Solstice (Mom would be so proud!). With that said, I will review what was “tops” for me in 2013 and what I think will blow the roof off the muthasucka in this new year.

Five in 2013

5. Children – The kids are fine. Wasn’t that the name of a movie? Anyway, they are…in fact they are fantastic and thriving in spite of their crazy mother.

4. Family and friends – Reconnected with estranged family members and past friends whom I missed dearly.

3. Photo Shoot – My children and I were photographed and will be featured in a campaign to encouraging people to donate bone marrow. Specifically, helping people with tips for talking to their kids about their upcoming donation.

2. Poetry – I finished tweaking my series of poetry books for publication!

1. Mother/Daughter Bonding – Kicked off the college tours in Atlanta, sharing laughs and some serious chats with my favorite girl.

Five in 2014

5. Wealth & Finance – New and exciting clients as well as long-term projects that will hasten numbers 1 & 2.

4. HGTV Dream Home at Lake Tahoe – I WANT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3. Health – To learn that my stem cell recipient is thriving and living the life that a teenaged girl deserves.

2. Home – I am finally able to use all of these ideas that I have collected to renovate my home.

1. College – My daughter is admitted to her top choice with a full ride and I won’t stay in the fetal position too long once she’s gone. (My five year-old wouldn’t stand for that foolishness for too long…)

Oh yeah and…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
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