Meet Nicole Clark

Name and Location: Nicole Clark, New York City

1. What is your passion in life? : My passion centers around educating, including, affirming, and empowering women of color (women who identify as Black, Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Indigenous) to becoming change agents in their lives around sexual and reproductive health. I work to make sure that women of color have equal access to medically accurate throughout the spectrums of sexual and reproductive wellness.
2. What is your current job? : I currently work as a social worker at a national advocacy organization that serves people affected with and by HIV/AIDS and homelessness.

3. Do you own your own business? If so, what is the name and the mission? : I recently began my consulting business called Nicole Clark Consulting, where my mission is “Infusing Passion & Creativity to Improve the Health and Lives of Women & Girls of Color”. I share my experiences and expertise on sexual health, reproductive justice, advocacy, images of women of color in the media, street harassment, HIV prevention, community organizing, gender-based violence, and self care.

4. Did you have any fears when first starting your business? : My initial fear was wondering if I had anything to add to this particular field of activism, followed by if I could ever fully get to the point where I can make a substantial living writing, consulting, and speaking on these issues.

5. Did you have any insecurities when first starting your own business? : As I got more into my blogging and started back conducting workshops and speaking engagements (I took some time off between 2008-2010 to attend graduate school for social work), I started to worry more about my personal brand and how I can strategically set myself apart from others in order to generate better opportunities.

6. Describe your brand in one word. : Empowerment

7. Do you have any past failures that you can tell what you did to learn from them? : I haven’t been in my consulting business for very long, so I don’t have any marked failures yet. I guess one ongoing problem I have is over-extending myself and taking on too many opportunities, which has led to burn-out on occasion. Also, trying to balance my 9-5 with my consulting business is always a challenge.

8. Who are your target consumers? Would you want to change this?: My target audience is women and girls who indentify as Black, Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Indigenous.

9. Who inspires you? : I often get inspiration from women of color who have decided to live life on their own terms. On my blog, I’ve created the Women Making Moves! series, where I interview women of color in various fields who have found passion in their lives and work. I initially began the series as a way to encourage myself, but I’ve found from many of my readers that the interview series is a favorite of theirs as well.

10. What is always at the back of your mind? : I’m always thinking of how I can be more effective in my blogging style and how I can interact with my social media followers to increase their trust in me. I also think about my family a lot. I’m originally from Georgia and the majority of my family is still in the south. While I’m grateful for the chosen family I’ve developed in New York City, there’s nothing like being with the people who make you…you. I try to go home as often as I can.

11. What do you want to change about your job or career right now? : The biggest change I am making in my career is getting everything in place to fully transition into full-time consulting.

12. What advice do you have for others? : One biggest piece of advice I have comes from a song called “Open Your Eyes (You Can Fly)” by Vanessa Williams and Me’shell Ndegeocello . The lyrics are “You can’t wait for others to applaud what you do. So just congratulate yourself and start something new.” Receiving recognition is always nice, but when we rely heavily on it to the point where it affects our sense of self, it can become problematic. We should also be striving to grow better and to strive higher, and to help others along the way.

13. How do you motivate yourself?: I motivate myself by surrounding myself with friends and family that love me for me. I also create communities that are reflective of who I am as a personal and professional.. Since I am a social worker, activist, and college/graduate school graduate, I try to keep strong ties with people I’ve met that fall into these communities for me.

14. Did you have any obstacles that you overcame to get to where you are now?: The biggest obstacle I’ve ever faced (and continue to face) are the self-defeating thoughts and negative self-talk. Perception is reality, and how you feel about yourself ultimately manifest itself into your surroundings, how you interact with others, and how they respond to you.

15. Where can we find you on the web? You can find me at my website, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


2011 In Review

Me in March 2011.

Happy.

Sad.

Monumental.

Gazillion of lessons.

Lost friendships.

Gained friendships.

Ended a relationship that never should have been.

Semi-Rekindled a relationship with a close family member.

Met some women.

One is a potential.

Got a couple of jobs (PT but helpful nonetheless).

Decided that I am not going to pigeonhole myself to stay here in St. Louis.. I am single with no dependents.

Hosted two events… One here in Saint Louis and another in Chicago:

“Embracing Who You Are”

“Youth Self-Empowerment”

Learned my niche and how to stay in my lane.

Was apart of “Embrace The Skin You’re In” hosted by Brittany “Miss Fitt Britt’ Ramsey.

Got burned by people using me and stealing ideas.

Placed myself into some financial troubles.

Went to Florida to see my nieces, oldest brother and sister in law.

Watched my older younger brother complete one of his biggest dreams (Becoming a Police Officer).

Got the EIN number for my business.

Met and interviewed Lisa Price.

Met and got business advice from Rae Lewis Thornton *Sad that I don’t have a picture :-(.

Was apart of a great movement “Show Me The Blog” birthed by Danyelle Little.

Met and Stanned for Miss Robbie of Sweetie Pies.

Gained three mentoring clients.

Became apart of a movement “I’m Gay Now What” which is a mentoring Non Profit for LGBTQ Teens.

Did a guest post on a national blog Nicole Clark about “Hate in the LGBTQ Comminity”.

Applied for Graduation and will be walking across the stage May 11, 2012.

 

Me December 2011

I came into my own this year. I love who I am and no one can take that away…

Always make sure that you learn from the lessons that you go through in your life. Good or bad, there is always a message.

I want to take the time out to thank you all for reading and supporting my blog. I started this blog on WordPress in August got way over the amount of views that I expected. That means a lot to me and you all can expect more blog posts (not gonna say daily) from me in the new year….

Love you all, God Bless and Happy Early New Year.

 

XoXo, Javania


Career/Professional Goals for 2012

 Every year in my birthday month (October) I sit down and make out goals for the coming year, and I have finally finished them to my liking. I will not share ALL of my goals but I will let you in on a few.  This year I have big goals that I KNOW I will make and I am sooooo excited.

Career (Javania M. Webb, LLC)

  • Network, Network and more Networking
  • Create and Finish Proposals
  • Monetize www.javaniamwebb.com
  • Research and study career professionals before me

Career (Non-Profit Administration)

  • Full Time job at Youth, Women, or LGBTQ Organizations
  • Continue at Part Time job for Savings/Debt

Professional and Networking Conferences

  • Momentum Conference 
  • Sexual Assault Conference

Networking Opportunities for Javania M. Webb, LLC

  • Officially Join four Professional Organizations

My Memoir, My Story

  • Work on it daily

Business and Networking Travel

  • New York
  • Washington D.C
  • Chicago
  • Philadelphia

Money

  • Save six month Emergency Fund
  • LIVE UNDER my means
  • Consolidate Federal Student Loans
  • Pay whatever EXTRA I can to Sallie Mae and CITI Bank Student Loans (both private)
  • Save up for down payment on townhouse or condo

Life

  • Get rid of toxic people and things

School

  • Finish Graduate School with a 3.5-4.0
  • Look to see who can supervise me for Counseling License
  • Take four extra classes to meet the counseling license requirements

 


Meet Alix B Golden

Alix B. Golden, Atlanta, GA

1. What is your passion in life? My passion in life is writing. It’s the one thing I can always remember doing from the time I was a small child up to today. It’s something I would/am doing without any type of monetary reward. I do it because simply the act of writing makes me feel good.

2. What is your current job? My job as a Product Expert for a software and web design firm keeps the bills paid. I am secretly a techie nerd, so it’s a great fit for me.

3. Do you own your own business? If so, what is the name and the mission? I’m not sure I would call what I do a business. I have two websites, abrowngirl.com and ibleedinkmagazine.com. It’s never been my goal to make money with either site, but that will change in the future.

4. Did you have any fears when first starting your business? When I started my blog (abrowngirl.com), my fear was that no one would read.

5. Did you have any insecurities when first starting your own business? I didn’t think that I would be embraced by other brown girls like me. Honestly, I didn’t know there were other brown girls like me out there. I didn’t know that so many people could identify with my life.

6. Describe your brand in one word. Intimate. When I read things that have been written by others about A Brown Girl, there is a common theme of my readers feeling as though I was having a conversation with them, like we were just sitting around having girl talk. It’s my intimate express of myself to the world.

7. Do you have any past failures that you can tell what you did to learn from them? Anybody with the smallest amount of success has had failures. There is nothing I can say I did specifically to learn from them, it’s just not in my nature to accept any type of failure. If there is something I want to do, just because I couldn’t get it right on the first try doesn’t mean that I will just sit down and never try again. I will always continue to move forward no matter what comes my way.

8. Who are your target consumers? Would you want to change this? When I initially started writing, my target was black lesbians. It wasn’t until after I started writing that I realized that somethings cross the boundaries of race and sexual orientation. Everyone knows what it’s like to fall in love, to fall out of love, to experience pain/loss/happiness/success. My target hasn’t changed and will never change, but my writing now reflects an awareness that no matter who I may target, I can’t control who I attract.

9. What inspires you? I am inspired by stories. I enjoy having conversations with people and hearing their stories. While someone’s story may be completely different from yours on the surface, there is always something there that you can identifiable. That’s what inspires me.

10. Who inspires you? My favorite writer of all time, Toni Morrison. Her words make me feel .

11. What is always at the back of your mind? My responsibility to the community. My responsibility is to share and expose stories, mine and others to help bridge the gaps within our community and between other communities.

12. What do you want to change about your job or career right now? I work with clients on a regular basis. There are times when I feel as though I don’t have enough time to spend with them to make a real impact on their day to day. I’d love to have the flexibility to give them more of me.

13. What advice do you have for others? If there is something you want to do, don’t think about if you should or shouldn’t do it. Just make the decision to do it and figure the rest of it out later. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to talk yourself out of it.

14. How do you motivate yourself? I know what I want to accomplish. I stay focused on my goal.

15. Did you have any obstacles that you overcame to get to where you are now? Of course, but doesn’t everybody?

16. Where can we find you on the web? abrowngirl.com, ibleedinkmagazine.com, facebook.com/alixbgolden, twitter.com/abrowngirl


Meet Tiffani

Tiffani

What is your passion in life? My deepest passion is to live my life as freely as possible to help others do the same. I love to inspire my peers!

What is your current job? I have an online talk show, EmbraceLifeRadio.com! I also work with an AMAZING company (Body By Vi) to help attack the fastest growing disease in the country, obesity.

Do you own your own business? If so, what is the name and the mission? My company name is Embrace Life Media, LLC. The mission is to help my peers b/n ages 17-39 to overcome obstacles in life and always embrace life with ambition.

Did you have any fears when first starting your business? No fears.

Did you have any insecurities when first starting your own business? No real insecurities. I sometimes get nervous but I embrace being nervous. It means I’m thriving and I’m alive.

Describe your brand in one word. Inspiration

Do you have any past failures that you can tell what you did to learn from them? Not so much failures. Maybe trial and errors, which is the only way you learn.

Who are your target consumers? Would you want to change this? Male and Females b/n 17-39.

What inspires you? Knowing that I’m only going to live once.

Who inspires you? Eurie Jabar, Dani Johnson, Oprah, Rachel Jackson, Mashonda

What is always at the back of your mind? Making it out of the hood for my people

What do you want to change about your job or career right now? Nothing

What advice do you have for others? To always go after what makes them happy no matter what ANYONE says or feels about it.

How do you motivate yourself? Listen to music. Pray. Imagine. Always stay tuned into positivity!

Where can we find you on the web? www.twitter.com/EmbraceUrLife


Show Me The Blog Confrence

20111029-153652.jpg

I was apart of the staff this weekend that helped Danyelle Little and I must say that she is amazing because of the way she works “a work-a-holic” and handles stressful moments. We had a couple of OMG moments but nothing to cry or write about. This was my first time being apart of and helping out at a conference so I was able to see how to run and do so CORRECTLY while looking FABULOUS. When you have a vision it is important to work through the vision and make it happen… This was the second year and it grew DOUBLE from what it was last year.. That takes dedication and support. We all love Danyelle and were happy to see her dreams live and will continue to come alive in the future.. She is definitely someone to keep your eye on and to look up to.. I am happy and excited to work and learn under her.

I salute you Danyelle!!!!

You can check her out her blog The Cubicle Chick and here She is also on twitter at @thecubiclechick


Meet Alexandra

  1. Name and Location: Alexandra, Maryland.
  2. What is your passion in life? My passion in life to impact people in a positive way. Especially young women of color who think they have no voice or options.
  3. What is your current job? I am a student, mother, blogger and entrepreneur.
  4. Do you own your own business? If so, what is the name and the mission? Yes, I own shopALS which is my jewelry line and Safi Hair Care which is my natural hair product line.
  5. Did you have any fears when first starting your business? No, not really. I have always been encouraged to take chances and to not be afraid of failure.
  6. Did you have any insecurities when first starting your own business? No, I didn’t.
  7. Describe your brand in one word. Me.
  8. Do you have any past failures that you can tell what you did to learn from them? With my natural hair line, Safi, it was hard to keep up with the supply and demand of the people. It still is. I would suggest that entrepreneurs prepare for “popularity” even when you don’t except your business to boom. You want to be able to give the consumers what they want and when you can’t that can be disappointing to those who shop with you.
  9.  Who are your target consumers? Would you want to change this? Both of my brands are for geared toward whomever. I don’t really have a “target” market or at least I don’t think so. Even with Safi, women who aren’t natural have still purchased and loved my products.
  10.  What inspires you? Seeing people smile and be satisfied with one of my items/products.
  11. Who inspires you? My parents, my daughter and my mentor, Markeeta Young.
  12. What is always at the back of your mind? Will I be a good role model to my daughter as she gets older?  I think about that a lot.
  13. What do you want to change about your job or career right now? I am only 22 and still in college so I don’t have a career yet. When I do have a career I hope I won’t want to change anything about it. I want to do what I love.
  14. What advice do you have for others? Be confident and secure in who you are.
  15. How do you motivate yourself? I always say to myself, “You are living for your daughter…” I keep that in mind often.
  16. Did you have any obstacles that you overcame to get to where you are now? Yes, but I have learned that God places us in certain situations that we are forced to deal with and overcome. Any obstacle I encounter now, I tell myself that it’s for a reason and I will grow from it.
  17. Where can we find you on the web? Twitter: AisforALEX Blog: thegoodhairblog.com Shop: shopALS.etsy.com

Meet Cheryl Mapp

Cheryl N. Mapp, Westchester IL

CNicole’s Chest is the name of my business

1. What is your passion in life?

It is to help others in any way possible.

2. What is your current job?

I’m currently unemployed

3. Do you own your own business? If so, what is the name and the mission?

I’m starting my own accessory line. My mission is to glamorize ladies one piece at a time.

4. Did you have any fears when first starting your business?

Yes, start up cost and if the business will be successful.

5. Did you have any insecurities when first starting your own business?

No, I know they products I produce are quality, and I’m proud to share them with others.

6. Describe your brand in one word.

Unique

7. Do you have any past failures that you can tell what you did to learn from them?

No, I’m new to this.

8. Who are your target consumers? Would you want to change this?

Women ages 15 to 50. No I would keep it the same. I want to make pieces for all are groups.

9. What inspires you?

The thought of successfully owning my own business.

10. Who inspires you?

My line sister. She just started her own online boutique.

11. What is always at the back of your mind?

Monies to finance the business, I want to use my own money. I don’t want to take out any loans.

12. What do you want to change about your job or career right now?

N/A

13. What advice do you have for others?

Follow your heart; don’t let others negative inputs deter what you want to do.

14. How do you motivate yourself?

The fact of me working for my self motivates me.

15. Did you have any obstacles that you overcame to get to where you are now?

Working with someone else who did not have the same passion as I do. I’m no longer working with anyone.

16. Where can we find you on the web?

For now facebook.com/cnmapp I’m currently working on a website.


Meet Markeeta Young

Markeeta Young (aka KeetaRay) – Maryland/DMV

  1. What is your passion in life?  To help other women feel beautiful inside and out and know their worth. Showing women how powerful we are and how much we have to give is what drives me.
  2. What is your current job? I am a Software Test Engineer for a large computer company. That is my “9 to 5”.
  3. Do you own your own business? If so, what is the name and the mission? I have 2 businesses that I want to eventually make full-time. One is my Life Coaching business and the other is Freelance Makeup Artistry and Skincare. I am currently in school to get my Esthetics license. My freelance Makeup Artistry business is “Faces by KeetaRay”.
  4. Did you have any fears when first starting your business? Definitely. Although most people are afraid of failing, I was afraid of succeeding. Sounds strange, but to me succeeding meant that I’d have a huge responsibility and I wondered if I could handle it all.
  5. Did you have any insecurities when first starting your own business? Yes. I was afraid that people wouldn’t take me seriously. I wasn’t sure if I was good enough. But one day I realized that everyone has to start somewhere and this is what I LOVE. So why not just do it and continue to get better and better? I decided to no longer live my life in fear.
  6. Describe your brand in one word. Inspiring
  7. Do you have any past failures that you can tell what you did to learn from them? The first thing that comes to mind is not taking myself seriously and not knowing my worth as a person and as a woman. I always had the desire and passion for skincare, makeup, and for helping other women by sharing my own life experiences and what I’ve learned, but I wasn’t sure how to get started. When I changed my inner circle, I started noticing positive changes in my life. You must truly understand that who you hang around and talk to on a daily basis affects your mindset and what you do. Surrounding yourself with positive people who share similar interests and are successful will in turn make you successful. Another thing I have learned is that we are ALL afraid of something. Even the most successful people are afraid. But what differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is that successful people work THROUGH their fears while unsuccessful people allow their fears to stop them. On the other side of fear is your blessing. Keep pushing!
  8. Who are your target consumers? Would you want to change this? My target consumers are women of all ages, all races, all walks of life. We all need mentors to give us the push we need and teach us things we don’t know. And we all, as women, like to feel beautiful on the outside as well as inside. By teaching proper skincare techniques and proper makeup application, along with providing support with my Life Coaching business, I plan to do just that. I want to have women looking and feeling their absolute best.
  9. What inspires you? Art, creativity, music
  10.  Who inspires you? God, first and foremost. Then my friends and family. I am truly blessed to have some wonderful people in my life who support me and want the best for me.
  11. What is always at the back of your mind? To never quit on my dreams, no matter how hard it may seem or what things look like.
  12. What do you want to change about your job or career right now? Ultimately, I want to “retire” from the technical world and work as an Esthetician, Makeup Artist, and Life Coach.
  13. What advice do you have for others? Take steps each and every day toward your dreams. Set goals for a 3-month, 6-month, 1-year, 5-year and 10-year period. Post them someplace where you will always see them. Re-evaluate them and cross things off your list as you reach those goals. The key is to get them out of your head and into the universe. Write it down so you are always conscious. Secondly, NEVER give up. There will be naysayers, people will tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. Everyone has an opinion on your life. But ask yourself who you are seeking advice from. Have they done it before? Are they successful? If not, keep it moving.
  14. How do you motivate yourself? My relationship with God and going to church helps a lot. Everyone there is so positive and encouraging. Also, having positive friends and mentors helps. I read a lot of inspirational things like my morning devotionals from Joel Osteen. And I pray a lot, too.
  15. Did you have any obstacles that you overcame to get to where you are now? Of course. My obstacles were more internal than external. I used to be VERY negative. I didn’t even realize it at the time but I was blessed with friends who cared enough about me to point it out in a loving way. My mindset was terrible. I was very insecure and lacked confidence in myself. Once I started working on myself and developing a healthy, positive mindset, my life changed beyond belief.
  16. Where can we find you on the web? I’m all over the web! Lol Twitter: @1KeetaRay; Tumblr: keetaray.tumblr.com; My Blog: www.allthingskeetaray.com; MUA Site (still in progress): www.facesbykeetaray.com

Pitching Your Services

When you are a speaker and no one really knows who you are, getting your name out in a positive way is hard at first.  Yes, you send out emails and might get a response or two but you are not getting the responses you hope for.  You are putting yourself on the line for  your business and if you are a starving entrepreneur then you are REALLY praying for someone to respond to you.  After all you are not sending out pitch emails and proposals for fun or your health.  If you have sent out 5+ emails and no one has responded to you, there is someone wrong.  Maybe they feel that they don’t need the service, or  you have not sold yourself, and there are typos in your emails. Something!

When I would send out pitch emails and proposals I would either not get a response, or I would get something like “Javania, we would love to have you come and speak to our students but there is no money in the budget to pay you”.  Now maybe some schools, NPOs, or churches really  do not have money to pay but EVERY response should not be like that.

And then I would send “I am still willing to come and speak because I need the experience” (wrong move)

I went deep and figured out what I was doing wrong.

1. I talk too much.

2. What I thought was a proposal was NOT a proposal.

3. I did not make them feel as if they needed my services over all the other people who sent pitch/proposal emails.

4. I spoke about money first.

If this is you also, it’s time to make some changes and only you know those changes, or find an editor who can help you.  They are a life saver.

The changes I made are

1. Found a editor to edit what I was sending out.

2. Stopped pressuring myself to feel as if someone needed to respond to me. (They now know where to find me)

3. Left a lasting impression so that they will feel compelled to respond.

4. Let go and Let God.

When you have a service that is needed you breathe and live for your work, and people will come.  As long as you are authentic and real in your approach, they will feel like they just have to have someone from you. So put on your thinking cap and figure out how to change your approach and you will be amazed as how many people come knocking down your door.