Meet Brittany Polk!

Name and Location

Britany Polk

1.    What is your passion in life?

My passion is to be a successful creative director/designer/stylist lol.  I love helping people, especially when it involves clothing and accessory choices.

2.    What is your current job?

I currently work as an accounting assistant in a law firm.  This by no means is my career.  It’s that “I needed a job out of college and this is what I came up with” instance.  I received my Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications and am looking to utilize that degree in the creative field.  So now I am on a serious job hunt (anyone in the Chicago area can definitely forward me any job openings if you hear of anything lol).

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

I did take a leap of faith and launched my own business called Luxcheri, pronounced “luxury” with Cheri being my middle name.   Right now it is a compilation of handmade jewelry and accessories along with vintage jewelry.  I plan to add my own clothing line and reconstructed/thrifted vintage clothing, but I am starting small first in order to build a solid customer base.  The mission is to provide unique options for anyone’s styling needs, whether it’s with jewelry or clothing.  I am all about one-of-a-kind pieces because it allows people to express their personal style without being cookie cutter.

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

I have what you call kakorrhaphiophobia, fear of failing.  I know I am not the only one.  Sometimes, that gets the best of my and like in so many past projects, I would just give up.  But this time, I am like, what the heck, if I fail, at least I tried and I can always try again until I succeed.  After all success is nothing without failure.  So this time in my endeavors, I am really pushing myself to go beyond the limits and just produce things that I like and stick with it, good or bad.

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

Yes!! I always get this feeling that people will not like what I produce and that scares me.  Often times, I hold back more in those instances rather than just letting it be.  I put a lot of time, energy, and thought into the pieces I create, so just like anyone else, I always want to hear good feedback.  But I have realized everyone rocks to the rhythm of their own drum, so I have to understand some people will like it and some people won’t.  I just make sure I go hard for those who do like it.

6.    Describe your brand in one word.

Powerful

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

I have failed many times, so it’s hard to pick just one instance, but if I had to pick one, it would be not going for my dream in the beginning.  What I mean by that is, I wish I would have followed my heart when deciding on college.  Don’t get me wrong, college is and has been very great to me, but I just wish I would have went to fashion school instead of the traditional college.  I let people get into my head saying it’s going to be hard, not enough money, blah, blah, blah.  If I had followed my own heart, I think I would have been better off.  So I would consider that a failure, not following my own heart.  But now I try to listen to my gut instincts and just go for what I like instead of letting others persuade me.

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

Urban professionals are my target consumer.  I don’t think I would change this.  I think urban professionals have a lot of purchasing power, which is a very good thing.

9.    What inspires you?

This is a hard question because it is literally everything from color to art or even random people on the bus or walking down the street as I go to work.  I love looking at things and picking them apart to see what else it can become.

10. Who inspires you?

I have a few people who inspire me.

My mom – for her creativity and sense of style.  I learned a lot from her.

My pooh Felix – for his motivation, drive, and positive reinforcement that actually helped me jump start my business.

Aunt Bonita – the most outgoing and creative woman you’ll ever meet. She keeps it real all the time and she’s herself without any regrets.

Andrea aka Peachie – She is a very influential and inspirational person in my life as she is a young entrepreneur who has really been a mentor to me in helping me start my journey.

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

I am always trying to figure out what’s next and how can I make it unique.  Everyone and their momma create jewelry or clothing to some capacity and what I don’t ever want to do is copy or mimic someone else.  I always want it to be a reflection of me.  I have found that hard as some of the bracelets I create are similar to other designers, and that is one of the main reasons I decided to expand outside of that.  I like things to be my own.  Of course if my customers ask for something, I make it happen, but I always try to put my own twist on things.

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

The monotony.  I like to be moving around, not stuck at a desk entering in data all day, and that’s pretty much what I do.  It becomes very hard on some days when there is absolutely nothing to do.  I want a job that I actually look forward to going to everyday.  But as of now, I have to be thankful that I have a job.

13. What advice do you have for others?

Go for what you know and what you like.  Once you get that mindset, nothing can really stop you at that point.

14. How do you motivate yourself?

I look at my current situation and ask myself is this what I want to be doing in the next 5, 10, 15 years and then I kick it into high tail gear and start sketching and creating.  I want to enjoy my life, not be a negative Nancy about why nothing is going right.  You have to enjoy life.

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

I think during this whole process, I have had to become more talkative.  I tend to be a tad quiet and very modest/shy when it comes to projects I am working on or am a part of. It’s weird because a part of me does like the limelight, and then the other part is like, no it’s too much.  But I definitely have been coming out of my shell more and that’s pretty big for me.

16. Where can we find you on the web?

I am working on getting my website together as we speak. The launch  date was suppose to be on August 17th, an ode to my mother for her birthday, but there have been some technical difficulties that have come up. So I am planning to launch in a couple of weeks.  I at least hope to be running on August 31.

Website: www.shopluxcheri.com

Instagram: luxcheri

Twitter: @luxcheri

Blog: www.luxcheri.blogspot.com


CubeClasses

Danyelle Little of  “The Cubicle Chick” is now having classes for those who need a little help on the direction of their business, blog, and life… They will be called “CubeClasses” and I just LOVE that name. She will be having the first two classes next month.

Thurs., May 17th, 2012- 6-8pm So I Have a Blog. Now What? Learn Six Crucial Steps You Need to Take to Create Traffic & Make Money on Your Blog.

Sat., May 19th, 2012 9-11am ‘Are You Afraid to Launch (Get that Business Off the Ground’).

I will be attending the one on Saturday because deep down I am afraid to launch… Fear must leave my life, mind, and vocabulary… Danyelle is a force that cannot be stopped!!!!  She’s fabulous and a wife with children so we young-ins who do not have a family per-say yet have not one excuse as to why we are steady talking about our dreams but not acting on them.

Check out her CubeClasses website for more information!!

 


FAITH

When you believe without fear many doors will open for you.  There has been many times where I felt that I did not know what I was doing where I was going, and plain ole stressing about day-to-day expenses.  Since I have learned to stop stressing things have been better for me. BUT my ego and pride was hurting me with out me knowing it.. Since I let go of stress AND my Ego, Pride I have not been as sick and I am happier about living.  Stressing brings about many issues that you wouldn’t realize until after you have gone through that time.  I was raised to be very independent and at times I have to look at myself and shake my head because of the things I struggled with alone that I do not have to.  I firmly believe that when your ego and pride prevents you from asking for simple things the universe makes it harder for you.

I will give you a real example from my life:

Last month I had my rent, when to turn in my rent check and then left to go work out.  While drive I was hearing this loud noise coming from the left back side while my car was moving but would stop when I was not moving.  When I got to my friends house I got out to look at the back of my car my tire was flat with this biggggg ole piece of metal in my tire.. I immediately was like, geez if it is not one thing it is another.

But I did NOT stress, I just took it with stride.  I was calm and felt that I couldn’t not do anything about it then, so to just keep it moving and worked-out.  Even when I went to a mechanic, and they could not patch it because the hole was too big I remained calm. I was sent to another mechanic and they were able to help me. A patch was $15 and a used tired was $40. I got the used tire because that metal ripped my tire on the inside. When it came time to pay, I handed the mechanic one of my credit cards, that card was declined.  I then gave him another credit card that card was declined as well. I gave him another credit card and that card was declined.  I was like damn, three credit cards and none are going through… my thought was “well my rent check will bounce”.  I handed him my debit card. Then started stressing because I did not have any extra money to pay for this tire. After I left I called my apartment complex to see if they could hold my rent check because I was going to get paid on that coming Wednesday… They have a check scanner and had already scanned my rent check. I was trying to figure out where I could get $4 from. I went through my change and did not have it, looked through old purses and wallets and could not find four dollars..

Through out this whole process the thought of calling my family NEVER crossed my mind.  I cried myself to sleep that night,  woke up, and THEN thought about what family member I was going to call for help.  Didn’t want to call my brother because he had just helped me pay a minimum balance for one of the credit cards that was declined. I called one of my aunts and asked for $4.  My aunt was like why would you just ask for $4, and my response was that is all I need auntie.  We talked and I then sent her my bank information.

That one phone call stressed me out to the point where I was feeling like a failure for not having $4.  Simply because my ego and pride was too big to pick up the phone and call home, I also learned a valuable lesson.

The devil has a way of holding you back when you are not humble. Now I have been yelled and fussed at on numerous occasions about now calling on family when I need something.  When your pride is bigger than life because you don’t want to seem like “whatever” God will being you back to a reality that you don’t understand while you are going through whatever you are going through.

Plain and simple I was embarrassed.

 But WHY?

I felt that I should be at a place in my life where I should not have to call and ask for help or money.  Well…… truthfully I NEVER call and ask for help.

I just suffer.

I just starve.

Until my next payday…. Which is a little extreme.. I NOW know this..

Once I figured out that I was suffering and struggling as much as I was because of my ego and pride I vowed to stop.

Here are the steps I took (disclaimer, this is how I got over MY issues, this may not work for you but feel free to use them if you want):

  • Prayer. Once I prayed to God asking him to take my ego and pride from me I have been responding and reacting to situations differently.
  • Practice. I started practicing on how I would ask for help when I NEEDED said help.  I made up scenarios and practiced how I would react.
  • Reassurance real like events.  Something happened day after day and that is how I got my conformation that I needed to let that ego and pride go for good.

My faith is getting stronger daily and I know that there is reason behind this.  I am so thankful for the learning I am being provided.  When you are going through trials you may not understand at the time, but after those trials are done. YOU will see and understand.

What stress and struggle have you forced onto yourself? How did you overcome and stop bringing pain onto yourself?


Meet Tiffany “The Budgetnista”

The Budgetnista Interview


Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche / On a plane and Newark, NJ

1.  What is your passion in life?

To live a purposeful, passionate life and to help others along the way.  Oh and traveling.

2.  What is your current job?

I’m self employed as a fun, financial literacy coach (heavy emphasis on the fun).

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

C.L.D. (Control, Lead, Develop) Financial Life / The Budgetnista

The mission and vision of my firm CLD /The Budgetnista is to teach all of my clients how to Live Richer (to purposely and passionately pursue your ideal life). Personal finance is one of the tools I use to achieve this goal.

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

Of course!

– Not being able to make enough money to support myself

– Lack of knowledge

– The opinion of others

– Making mistakes and their subsequent consequences.

– My unknown future

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

Yes, I was insecure about my abilities. I wasn’t sure if I was capable of delivering on the promises rendered. I’ve since learn to under-promise and over-deliver.

6.  Describe your brand in one word.

Possible

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

Yes. I was fired from my very first speaking engagement because of a tweet. After being hired by the company to do a series of financial literacy seminars, I excitedly went on twitter and tweeted the details of the job in a reckless and arrogant way. I’m ashamed to say it but I tweeted:

 

“___________ company in _____, NJ just hired me to speak & I’m getting paid doctor rates!!”

 

I can laugh about it now, but they weren’t laughing. Someone in their corporate office found the tweet and faxed it to the location were I was to speak. I was immediately un-hired and told that I was a security risk and that I showed very poor judgment in bragging about the rate we agreed upon. Needless to say, I felt terrible.

The lessons I learned from that embarrassing experience are, the power of social media and the importance of humility.

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

My target consumers have chosen me, so no, I wouldn’t want to change them. Although I have customers from every demographic imaginable, the overwhelming majority are professional women of color ages 21-40.

9.  What inspires you?

Books

My motherland; Nigeria, Africa

My failures, my successes

10. Who inspires you?

My parents

Dream Catchers: My entrepreneur friends

My 4 sisters

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

There is NO plan B.

I was not built to be ordinary

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

Although I have a long way to go, I’m just were I should be. To me, success is just as much about the journey as it is the arrival. And I’m thoroughly enjoying the ride.

The only real change that I’d make right now, is that I’d really like an active mentor.

13. What advice do you have for others?

Live Richer: purposefully and passionately pursue your ideal life.

It doesn’t make sense to wait to live ideally “one day”.  Figure out how you can get your Happy now, and do it.

14. How do you motivate yourself?

I read A LOT. A good book can be a reprieve to help me recharge, give me new ideas, and push me to stretch my abilities.

I also study successful people. Some well known and famous, but most are not.

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

Yes, the biggest one was convincing clients to take a chance on an unknown brand, The Budgetnista. Finances are difficult enough to share, but especially with someone you don’t know.

Another obstacle was writing and self-publishing my book, The One Week Budget. I cried so many times!

When you self-publish you have to do EVERYTHING; write, get the cover and inside pages designed, market yourself, figure out printing and pricing, and pay for everything.

It was one of the hardest times in my life because I didn’t have a road map and no one I knew had done it before me so I stumbled around in the dark. It was also one of my most rewarding experiences and I now help coach other authors on how to navigate the process.

16. Where can we find you on the web?

On my site: http://thebudgetnista.biz/

 


Do YOU need HELP?

For Suicidal Thoughts or Actions?

Do you know someone who has made suicidal comments recently or in the past?

If so please take the time out to read this post and HELP…..

                                                                                                  Image Source

As someone who tried to commit suicide to end the pain I was going through at the time (I thank God daily that  I did not succeed), I always want to help others who are feeling suicidal. I work at a crisis call center for individuals who are suicidal or homicidal. I go out into the community to prevent suicides.  At times it does not always work.  They are too far depressed or was not able to get help sooner.

If you know someone who has said anything to you Suicidal please call the hotline number 1-800-273-8255 to get them some help even if they protest. Suicide is nothing to make light of..

If someone is coming to you saying “odd” things or acting “odd” it is usually a cry for help. Don’t let that cry go unheard. Some individuals don’t want to come out and say the words be it embarrassment or shame. I know that if my college roommate hadn’t walked in when she did, life would be different for me. I never went to my friends and said that I wanted to commit suicide… I was “all smiles and jokes” hurting and rotting on the inside…

If YOU reading this is going through hard times and you want to commit suicide to end the pain I BEG you to try to get help first and know that whatever you are going through right now will get better. You have to work at it and be patient. Please call that hotline number, it’s 24/7 so someone will be there to talk to you any time of the day.

Remember someone loves you. And that someone should start with YOU.

 

Here are some links that you can read to get familiar with suicide:

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

http://helpguide.org/mental/suicide_prevention.htm

http://healthmad.com/mental-health/myth-and-facts-about-suicide/

http://suicidehotlines.com/

http://suicidehotlines.com/national.html

That Suicidal Hotline Number again is 1-800-273-8255


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.


How To Love Yourself

DISCLAIMER: I don’t claim to know everything and I don’t claim to be an expert.  I am however someone who used to hate looking at myself in the mirror, I used to hate what everything about me looked like. I used to tell myself I wanted to just die.  These are TWO of the exercises that I DID for myself to get out of the negative place that I was in.  These exercises may not work for YOU. You have to get into the habit of finding out about YOU and how YOU will respond to retraining your mind to be positive.  I happen to believe in God… I talk and answer to him. If you decide to do my exercises you can take out God, or if you don’t believe you don’t have to think about a higher being.

Enjoy.

Exercise 1:

It is important to be honest with yourself; you have to answer to your eyes and God (if you believe or if you believe in something else).  Write out things that you fear then write out why, and then steps that you will take to get rid of your fear.  Being fearful holds you stagnant in your growth and makes you comfortable.  You never want to be okay with not changing and facing dears.  You have to learn to overcome your fears.  Lying allows you to not change.  If you really sit down and figure out what bothers and scares you, life will become better.

Exercise 2:

Everyday for thirty minutes write down something that you feel you need to change about yourself, why, and how you plan to make these changes.  There needs to be at least four steps on how you plan to make these changes in your life.

 


“Ask Javania” Question

Question:

“every since i’ve come out i’ve always been in a relationship or talking to someone. i’ve never experienced being single. and i don’t know how. like i know i want to learn how to be by myself and not have someone to answer to, cuddle with, talk on the phone. i want to learn how to be about ME, not me and whoever i’m involve with. what are the first steps i can take to learning to be by myself and happy? i know this story is everywhere but i hope you get what i’m trying to say lol”

My Answer:

You have to learn how to LOVE YOU. When you are constantly in a relationship you are not getting to know who you really are. You are picking up habits from other people that you start to think are your own habits. I say go on a strike. A strike of not having sex or dating for a while to get to know who you are. Take yourself on dates, go to the movies alone, go out to eat alone, journal what you do on these solo dates. That is the best way to finding out who you are. And as far as not answering to others… Just don’t answer. You owe no one a explanation when you are single. If you really want to take the time out to get to know who you are the end all correspondence with others who will not understand that you are not in the position to date or kick it, or cuddle. Become your own date, and enjoy doing so.
Side note: I’ve done this and it was the best thing I ever did.

Hope this helps you and if you have any more questions feel free to ask.

Take Care..

God is Love,

Javania Michelle Webb, MHP

“Empowering Through Experience”: Speaker on Worth Seeking, Inspirational Speaking, and Empowerment Teaching


Meet Kelli

Name and Location

Kelli Barnes from St. Louis

How old were you when you “came out”?

I came out when I was 21 or 22 years old

How old were you when you knew that you were attracted to the same sex?

I realized that I was attracted to the same sex when I was in high school.

How did your family react?

I had a mix of reactions from my family.  My mother is religious and is not accepting of her daughter being a lesbian.  We have had many disagreements and even periods of time where we were not talking because she was struggling with how to deal with it.  At this point she is better; I wouldn’t say she accepts it, but she tolerates it.  Hopefully we will get to the point where she accepts me completely.  I have some aunts that were very accepting…they had questions, but there was no judgment.

Do you label yourself?

If by label, you mean “femme” “stud” or “aggressive”, I would say yes.  I consider myself to be femme.

What is one misconception about the LBGTQ “Lifestyle” that you want to get rid of?

One misconception that I would get rid of, especially among lesbian relationships, is that someone has to be the “man” of the relationship.  I personally do not feel that heterosexual constraints should be placed on a lesbian relationship.  The implication that a woman has to play the role of man suggests that a lesbian relationship is somehow incomplete without a masculine presence.  This misconception shows how much people need to learn about the dynamics of a lesbian or any other LGBTQ relationship.

How can you help the LGBTQ Youth?

I feel that by being out and visible I am helping LGBTQ youth.  The more they see us being proud of who we are, they will realize they have nothing to be ashamed of.

Do you think that you were born gay?

I don’t know if I was born gay or not.  I believe that some people are, but I’m not sure if that applies to me.

How do you feel about religion being the basis of homosexuality bashing?

I feel that people who use religion to justify bashing or discriminating against homosexuals don’t know anything about God.  I believe that God created all of us in His divine image and therefore we all worthy of His love.  People use religion to justify the oppression of the minority because of fear and ignorance.  Until those people release that fear and ignorance they will continue to hide behind bible scriptures to make themselves feel valid in their hate.  It is my humble opinion that God does not want any of His children to be treated unfairly, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Do you have children? If yes, how do you “successfully” parent being LGBTQ?

I have a son.  My success as a parent really doesn’t have anything to do with me being a lesbian.  I’m trying to make sure that my son grows up to be respectful of himself and others, to have integrity and morals, to value his education, and to be a proud African American young man.  I would parent the same exact way if I were straight.

How do you make sure that you are being positive?

Being positive can be a struggle.  Going through stressful times can sometimes make keeping a positive attitude difficult.  However, I try to be mindful of my blessings and remind myself that valleys in my life are always an opportunity for growth. 

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me on twitter @Boho_Radical


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