Signs You’re Financially Ready to Cut the Strings From Your 9-5

Written by Salina Jivani

Early morning alarms, traffic, office politics—these are just some of the reasons why people don’t like going in to work. Add to that the fact that you’re spending most of your life working for someone else and at their terms, and suddenly going in to the office seems like a life sentence for a crime you never committed.

The luckier ones break free from the daily grind by venturing into entrepreneurship, you’ll probably at some point venture into thoughts of quitting your day job and starting your own business. And that’s great. Here are three things to keep in mind before you jump in head first.

 

You’ve got enough dough for a rainy day (or ten)

Businesses are like roller coasters: they experience their fair shares of ups and downs—often when you least expect. To carry you through the troughs and peaks, a good general rule of thumb to follow is to keep enough money in your account to carry you through at least six months of zero income.

 

You’ve got your debt under control

Student loans, medical debt, credit card debt…debt, debt, debt! One of the nice things about a 9-5 is that you can depend on a consistent amount to pop up in your account once payday comes rolling around. With a business, you might not always hit that magical number, which means managing your debt can become difficult. Make sure before you quit your day job, you’re confident you can handle chopping away at your debts consistently and constantly!

 

You understand how to curb your expenses

If you’re notoriously known for having a free hand when it comes to spending, you’re going to have to rein yourself in. Depending on a business to cover your expenses means being able to resist temptation and getting by with the bare necessities when necessary.

 

If you’ve bagged these three basics, we’d say you’ve got a strong foundation, at least, for being able to break away from your 9-5 ball and chain with confidence.

 

Why Socializing at Work Makes You Cognitively Sharper

Written by Salina Jivani

Remember in elementary school when you were always in trouble for talking too much? Turns out when you enter the workplace, those early childhood rules of staying focused on work and limiting conversation don’t apply, because chatter isn’t so bad after all—especially when it’s happening at the water cooler or even as you’re swinging by a colleague’s desk.

 

According to researchers at the University of Michigan, based on a study, small talk can actually make you better at your job. Before you spout that tid bit of information out to your manager, let’s talk about how these researchers came to this conclusion.

 

In the study, the researchers separated the study participants into different research groups:

 

One group was asked to spend 10 minutes conversing with one other to get to know the other participants, and then after those 10 minutes were up, they were given several cognitive tests to finish.

 

The second group was asked to engage in competition-based talk with one another for the first 10 minutes, and once that time was up, they were handed the same cognitive tests as the first group.

 

The third group, or the control group, was given the cognitive tests to complete as soon as they arrived, without being offered the opportunity to converse.

 

Of these groups, the first group performed significantly better on the tests, indicating their brain’s superior performance in executive functions, or mental processes that control focus, organization, prioritization, and planning.

 

So what does that mean in layman’s terms? It means that having some healthy chatter at the office can actually help you perform better at many aspects your job.

 

Take that for break room discussion!

 

3 LinkedIn Features You Should Know and Use

Written by Salina Jivani

Remember the days when you’d actually be able to stroll into a place and apply for a job on the spot? And then—yaay!—the internet arrived, and everyone was thrilled about posting for jobs in their PJs, happy to forgo the laborious process of going door to door with a stack of resumes.

 

Luckily, LinkedIn has transformed the job-hunting process, creating a social platform for professionals in the job market and getting talent in touch with opportunities like never before. But to reap the maximum benefit from this platform, make sure you’re using of a few of its key features that can improve your job search experience.

 

Preset congratulatory messages

LinkedIn keeps you up to speed on your connections’ anniversaries and work accomplishments and even has preset messages you can click on to quickly congratulate someone—all it takes are a few clicks and less than two seconds. Wishing your connections during milestone occasions will help you better remain connected with them so when it comes time to ask for a job-related favor, you’re not embarrassed about popping in randomly after a long period of radio silence.

 

Open Candidate Status

If you’re wary about putting it out in the universe that you’re actively looking for a job (because heaven forbid your manager gets word!), worry not. Go to MeàSettings & PrivacyàPrivacyàJob Seeking, and invisibly “raise your hand” to recruiters to let them know you’re interested in openings by turning on “Let recruiters know you’re open to opportunities.” No one on the front end who is visiting your profile will be able to see that you’ve selected this option.

 

Commenting and Liking

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to connect with people and meet new ones to add to your network is by commenting on and liking posts. Doing so gets you favorable exposure and also makes you appear friendly—a great way to get your foot in the door with recruiters and other authoritative connections.

 

Like with any other social media, the more you use LinkedIn, the better versed you’ll become with its features and benefits. So make sure you’re active on the platform and are exploring the many other features the app has to offer.

3 Sneaky Downsides of Working From Home

Written By Salina Jivani

You’re sitting in your PJs, snuggled under the covers and sipping coffee from your favorite smiley face mug. Oh, and you’re getting paid to do it—because you work from home. Sounds blissful, huh?

Working from home (or WFM, as it’s more famously known in acronym lingo) has its perks, but don’t be fooled. It doesn’t come without downfalls.

Here are three reasons why trading in the luxury of the workplace for your PJs can be not so great.

Your best friends are the four walls around you

Working remote means you don’t get to mingle around the watercooler with your best buds or get caught up on the latest office gossip. It also means you’ll go from being a social butterfly to being socially isolated, which can be a huge adjustment…and a huge downside.

People think you have all the time in the world

Research shows people who work from home are more productive than those who work in the office. Ironically, people who work from home are often thought to have all the time in the world. So don’t be surprised to pull a 12-hour shift only to have your friends and family think you’ve done nothing more than twiddle your thumbs all day.

You bring work home…and take home to work

When you work out of an office, you’re able to physically step from one realm of your life to another, making it easier to separate work from home, but when you’re working from home, you lose the advantage of that barrier. All of a sudden, you’re juggling laundry while taking on a crucial meeting while cooking lunch. Pretty soon, the lines between work and home blur and it feels like you’re in a constant state of movement, trying to get it all done—which can get exhausting.

Working from home can be great, but if you do have the opportunity to do so, make sure you take frequent breaks to grab a breath of fresh air, set an office space to help create a barrier between your personal space and works space, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Take these simple steps and your sanity will thank you later.

 

13th & Joan Publishing CEO Makes History with Publishing Deal to Pen Book with First Black Female to Receive Funding on Shark Tank

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: 13th & Joan Publishing House CEO Signs Publishing Deal with First African American Woman to Receive Funding from Shark Tank for New Book To Empower Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Orie founded 13th & Joan Publishing in 2015 and named the company after the two women that raised her. Her grandmother was born on the 13th of October and her mother is named Joan. Orie maintains that her personal story is an intersection of the two women who most influenced her life and who she became. 13th & Joan offers start to finish book publishing services, ghostwriting services, multimedia production and branding and marketing services for authors.


“We’d like to consider ourselves to be a one stop shop for all of the things that authors need to either construct a brand or reposition their brand for premium market access”, states Orie.
In February of 2012, a business owner by the name of Raven Thomas delighted the country with her wit business acumen as she appeared on Shark Tank. Not only was America engaged but most importantly, the Sharks were in awe. Raven’s pitch was so convincing that it scored her a business partnership with Mark Cuban.
Prior to her appearance on Shark Tank, Thomas had already managed to execute over 60K in sales. Thomas had also walked away from a $2M order from SAM’s Wholesale Club because she did not have the capital to fill the order. Her goal would become to lease an industrial kitchen space to accept the massive orders and scale her business.
Managing a business in this capacity has often been reserved for men but Thomas is proving that women can rake in the numbers just the same. Thomas has managed to transform The Painted Pretzel into a multi million dollar business and now partners with brands such as Movado, Chick-fil-A, and Nordstrom, among many others.


In July of 2017, Orie sealed the publishing deal with Thomas to share her knowledge and passion with the world by publishing a book. When asked what plans Orie and her company 13th & Joan have for Thomas and her book, Orie gave the following: “Raven’s forthcoming book will prove to be a wealth of knowledge and insight for entrepreneurs who begin with very little seed funding. Raven’s story is a true testament to the fact that faith, persistence and a belief in self, above all, affords you an opportunity to swim with sharks.”

To learn more about Raven Thomas and the Painted Pretzel, visit www.thepaintedpretzel.com.
To follow Raven Thomas on social media @thatssoooo_raven
To learn more about Ardre and 13th & Joan, visit www.13thandjoan.com
To follow Ardre Orie on social media @IAMArdreOrie

Hurricane Survivor Turned Entrepreneur Started Her Business During Breast Cancer Recovery

 
Daddy’s Girl BBQ owner Markie Darling, knows all about overcoming obstacles. Her ability to cook came from Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The hurricane destroyed a lot of things however it left a barbecue grill in the backyard. That is how she learned how to cook. Markie can cook anything on the grill, and her catering business in 2015 during the recovery process from being diagnosed with breast cancer in her right breast. We had a chance to catch up with the small business owner and get to know more about the BBQ Queen and her brand.

As a hurricane and breast cancer survivor, how have you been able to remain strong through all of your obstacles?

My faith first and foremost. Cooking is my go to end all be all. It helps me whenever I have an issue. Regardless if its a happy moment or a sad moment cooking ALWAYS helps me.

What motivated your to start your business during your recovery process ?

Cooking is my comfort zone so when one of my Pastors asked me “What is the only thing that you can do and not be paid and still have fulfillment?” I knew then that I needed to start my catering business.

How has the journey of entrepreneurship been so far?

Humbling to say the least. Learning how to establish business relationships,cost containment, profit and loss statements, etc. It has all been very humbling!

 

What is the most rewarding thing about being a caterer for you?

The smile on my clients faces is the more rewarding than EVER!

Favorite dish to make ?

My Original slab of ribs and Jerked Meatballs

What separates you from other chefs and catering services in Atlanta?

With my main focus being food quality and good customer service, I am in a lane all alone and I am loving it!

Give us 3 things that people don’t know about you.

This is a hard one because I am an open book. Ummmmm so I had to call on my friamily (friends who are closer to me than my family)

1.I make more sacrifices than most people will ever know about
2. My finger nails are REAL and I will have a DIVA fit if I were to break one
3. I am very sensitive
4. I make the best BBQ Sauce in the world ( BONUS )

What advice do you have for aspiring caterers

Find and work with a mentor for 2 -3 years before branching out on your own. The knowledge and experience is PRICELESS

What upcoming projects or events are you working on

My 3rd year as the dedicated caterer for 102.5 Praise In The Park on 7/29/17
Also the wedding of the Future MRS. THOMAS on 10/28/17

To learn more visit www.daddysgirlbbq.com and follow her on social media @daddysgirlbbq

Nipsey Hussle Opens The World’s First Smart Store in Los Angeles

Photo Source: Facebook- Nipsey Hussle

 

Independent rapper Nipsey Hussle made history this past weekend on June 17th,  with the opening of the worlds first smart store. Friends and fans alike were invited to the star studded grand opening event of his Marathon Store. Hosted by Big Boy of of Big Boy’s Neighborhood on Power 92.3 , this monumental event featured celebrity appearances including his longtime girlfriend Lauren London,  Nav, 21 Savage, Russell Westbrook, Vegas Jones and Demarcus Cousins, Jim Jones and more. The new smart store, which houses his Marathon clothing brand,  comes equipped with programable technology, which gives  customers exclusive access to the rappers music with their purchases. Nipsey also created a downloadable app that gives customers special features for each item they purchase.

Photo Source: Facebook- Nipsey Hussle

In a recent interview with Los Angeles based radio station Power 106, the Mailbox Money rapper discussed the importance of having ownership,  and stated one of his biggest accomplishmnets as being the owner of his full music catalog. Having full ownership of his music catalog  gives the young music artist and entrepreneur  the ablility of creating passive income for himself, with the monthly collection of streaming revenues from all of his work.  The entertainmnet field, with all of its many perks and stipulations, can sometimes bring out the worst in celebrities and cause them to “sell their soul” as the common saying goes, but we applaud Nipsey Hussle for always staying true to his roots, and the legacy he wants to leave with his fans. It is important for the younger generation to realize the importance of investing and have ownership of multiple assets, rather than just racking a laundry list of liabilities.

Dare 2 Aspire Conference Provides Encouragement for Moms and Entrepreneurs in Atlanta

On April 28th and 29th,  Tosi Ufodike, hosted her 7th annual Dare 2 Aspire conference in Atlanta, Ga. Dare 2 Aspire Conference is an annual conference aimed at encouraging women and Moms to start and/or grow a small business. 

Speakers for this years conference included:

Melissia Rene- CEO, Devanna Love Boutique

Lydia Evans- CEO Swag Essentials
Shalawn Willis -Celebrity MakeUp Artist
Shanicia Boswell- CEO, Black Moms Blog
Lenise Williams, Esq.- IP Attorney & Business Consultant
Monica Awe- Etuk- Influential Fashion Blogger
 
Tosi states on her website that “I firmly believe that starting a business and creating your own destiny is always possible, no matter the age or circumstance. Remember starting a business is not solely about profits, it is about finding your God-given purpose in life. As we trust God to move us outside of our comfort zones, that is when we Dare 2 Aspire.” The next Dare 2 Aspire stop in Houston, Texas.
 
Tosi Ufodike is a wife, mom, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Founder of My Good Nanny, and also the organic hair care company Hair Yum. My Good Nanny is  the leading site dedicated to connecting diverse babysitters and nannies with loving families.
 
For more information visit www.d2aspire.com

8 Ways to Help You Become a Millionaire

Written by Ariel Wallace

Here’s a helpful article that so many could only dream about ! Let’s face the facts there aren’t so many “Rags from Riches” stories, but there is hope alongside helpful hints to produce millionaire qualities. Focus more on the aspects of money rather than spending it. Learn how to make revenue and keep producing it. You don’t have to always land a dead end job that can sometimes lead to you to nowhere. Instead change the way you think. Train yourself to adapt to more informative ideas on wealth. Study the Forbes List and get intuned with Wall street. The world is playground if you take a chance and go outside.

1. Follow The Money:

Get engaged in seminars. A well known seminar is” Rich Dad, Poor Dad founded by Robert Kiyosaki. Another engaging way to learn how to establish your empire and stay afloat.

2 .Don’t Showoff, Show up!

You don’t have always look like money to have money! Even though it wouldn’t hurt your image there’s more important things to worry about. Do not let having less in your current situation discourage you, show up with the Will Power within you.
3. Save to Invest

If you are a Business minded person, you may want to think about putting money to the side to invest in your own business. A simple business account could make the difference.

4. Avoid Debt that doesn’t pay you

If you’re the type of person that loves to help everyone you may want to reconsider helping everyone you know. It’s like having a full pitcher of lemonade, the more you pour out the less you have.

5.Treat Money like A Jealous Wife

We all love money! So let’s treat our money like a very special insecure person. Learn not to be so wasteful, become more conservative. your money is your lifestyle what you eat, where you sleep, and what you wear.

6.Money doesn’t sleep… neither should you

You should always have a grand scheme of plans how to earn more income. Money doesn’t have a curfew and neither should you.

7.Poor makes no sense

We all heard the saying “You have not because you ask not” you are the only one that can change the situation. Being a Hard worker can quickly change the situation.

8.Get a millionaire mentor

What can be better than shadowing a millionaire? They have already lived out everything. Soak up as much knowledge as you can. The best experience yet.

5 Things We Can Learn from Malena Crawford’s New Book

Malena overcame her struggles and fears through faith, vowing to help heal other women along the way. Her debut novel “A Fistful of Honey is sure to be one of the hottest, unforgettable, inspiring tales of the year.   Iyanla Vanzant called her novel “a healing balm of a book” and a “must read.”

Malena stated “Writing A Fistful of Honey was life changing and life affirming for me. It was adventure that literally had me on the banks of the Oshun River in Ogsobo, Nigeria to the Gullah Sea Islands of South Carolina. It transformed me as a woman and a writer. I offer this work to the reader to receive whatever is there for them to behold.”  Below she gives us the 5 things readers can learn from her book on various topics.

Perseverance

Alena Ford, our protagonist, had to persevere or she stood to lose everything- including her own daughter’s life. She had to find enough love in herself to endure the darkness, the dark forces that plagued her, and keep going. Perseverance doesn’t require that you be strong all of the time. Alena was weak, she lacked faith , and she was a very reluctant hero. Perseverance requires that you keep going, keep fighting even if you are fighting through your own fears- until you get to your destined place! You have to let your vision of that destined place pull you through all of it.
Overcoming Failure

The novel opens with Alena having what some call “a dark night of the soul.” A dark place that exists right before the breakthrough. She’s lost almost everything she held dear, everything that she leaned on to give her life meaning and value- or so she thought. Alena’s failure is like ours, it was Spirit getting her attention, a clarion call moving her to a destiny she could never have imagined. She slowly overcame all of those failures when she started to gain true vision. She found a whole new perspective when she started to meet Mary Magdalene, the Orisha Oshun, and even Jesus. A Fistful of Honey reminds us that failure is an illusion, and in most ways a divine setup for something only God can orchestrate.
Making Sacrifices

There are so many layers of sacrifice in this novel. There are sacrifices that are far too great and cost too much. Alena’s journey in and out of the spirit realms delves into the enormous sacrifices that the black and brown races have made for the good of all humanity. She unknowingly meets ancestors who endured the horrors of slavery, those that took the night so that she could have the day, the “honey”. It is a sacrifice that she (and I) deeply resented but eventually consider the miracle and the honor of it. Now that Alena has the “choice” that her ancestors did not, she must learn to put herself first. Alena had been sacrificing herself all of her life, and her self abuse was not required. Alena was the prize, she was the destination. All that was required was her acceptance and agreement with that truth.

Staying Motivated
The best lesson on motivation I received was in the completion of the novel. My motivation to begin it was to heal myself. My motivation to finish was to share that healing with millions. It kept me up late at night and nudged me awake in the early hours.

The importance of religion in your life

For me, God moving in and through me, and in and through my life trumps religion. Religion is the beautiful package but God is the gift. My relationship with the Divine is what stirs my soul. I want every reader to reflect on the calling and the lessons from the God of their own understanding.