Young Entrepreneurs Round Up

Creativity is step one. Innovation is step two.

Entrepreneurship requires strategic planning and execution. It is comprised of two major processes: creativity and innovation. Creativity is the ability to develop new ideas and ways to look at problems as well as opportunities. Innovations involves application of those creative ideas to actual problems and opportunities to enhance lives and to enrich a society. We all have ideas that we wish to implement but too often we allow these ideas to make our minds their home. Your ideas can become substance but you must be disciplined and determined as our young entrepreneurs.

These young individuals who have taken it upon themselves to bring their visions to reality. It is not easy, and it can be very scary. You may fail the first time or even the fifth time but if you want it, you have to go get it. Don’t live through others succeed, rather, use it as encouragement to obtain your own. Continue reading Young Entrepreneurs Round Up

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God’s Plan vs. Your Plan

Life happens, and well, things don’t always go as we planned. Usually when this happens, we feel the need to hit the reset button. We try to start all over, take a different approach but maybe all you really need to do is hit the pause button. Have you ever just sat down and thought “maybe things aren’t meant to be this way”? We can be overly ambitious as humans, and this causes us to try to pursue things we ought not to at a particular point in time. God’s plan and your plan, like it or not, may just be quite opposite, or maybe your timing is just all out of whack. Continue reading God’s Plan vs. Your Plan

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Limitations and Boundaries: Knowing when enough has become too much

We all go through this process in life called growing up, and the truth of the matter is, it’s more than just a phase. You don’t just pass through it, its lifelong, continuous. I am a firm believer in physical manifestation, meaning that if I cannot physically see with my own eyes what you are saying or claiming then it is null. It’s easy to really want something and declare it and profess it, but yelling and screaming it loud and proud will not bring it to manifestation. You can pray and fast but you are going to have to put in some work! Continue reading Limitations and Boundaries: Knowing when enough has become too much

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The Cut Life

Growing up, I always wanted long hair, waist length to be exact. Unfortunately, my hair never grew that long or that fast even. Before I went natural, my hair was about armpit length, and even after 4 years of being natural, my hair is barely armpit length. I never did the big chop when I decided to go natural, I transitioned because I wanted to retain some type of length so all I did was trim my hair between washes until all the damaged hair was gone. While on my natural hair journey I have come to love my hair, regardless of its length (or so I thought). I love my curls and the fullness of my hair. However, I have come to a point in my journey where I believe I need a change. I will honestly say that my hair growth has been stunted for the past year and a half almost.

I have always been afraid of cutting my hair because I’m not sure if the look will fit me. I’ve been proclaiming for over a year that I will cut my hair but I always convince myself not to do it, and everyone always tells me “You have good hair, don’t cut it,” but they don’t know my personal struggle.

Ironically it seems that everyone around me has just been chopping their hair off and enjoying life, and they make it look so easy. A couple months ago, I came across this page on Instagram called The Cut Life (@thecutlife) and I was instantly inspired. They also have a website (http://livethecutlife.com/) and what they’re all about as they have said is promoting “a lifestyle space for stunners with short hair”. I think that is really amazing and beautiful, encouraging females to embrace their short hair. I want to believe that there is a story behind every cut. Also, no cut is exactly the same as another, each cut is unique to the individual and that’s what really caught my attention.

I think I’m starting to fall out of love with my hair, I spend more time being dissatisfied with its length than admiring everything else about it, so I think it’s time to re-write this love story. Yes! I will soon be cutting ALL of my hair off, and hopefully falling in love with it all over again regardless of its length.

I want to thank The Cut Life for creating such a warm atmosphere for young women to love and embrace their short hair. I also want to specially thank two young ladies I personally know for inspiring me as well. Below are their stories, please read them. Maybe you’ve found yourself to be in a position similar to mine or maybe you just want to try something new, I hope they inspire you to go for it! The truth of the matter is, its hair! Long or short, it will grow back. It may take you longer than it takes the next person but no two stories are the same.

 

Meet Janai Kiristen (Instagram: @janaikristen  Youtube: JanaiKristen)

“Okay so first, I big chopped because my ends were so dead from dying my hair so much. Honestly, I never intended to go natural, but then I kept cutting my hair shorter and shorter because I’ve always wanted hair that was very short but I was always scared. Then I ended up cutting it because I got more confident as time went on and going shorter and shorter as opposed to cutting it all off was easier. Now I keep it short because it’s different and eye  catching and not many people can pull it off. Pretty much, short hair just makes me feel bold and it’s really a confidence booster once you stop caring about what people think of it/you when they see your hair.”

 

 

Meet Eunice Abimah (Instagram: @emefa_)

“April-June were the hardest months for me to get through this year. I went through a lot of stress and pain. I was lost in every way a person could possibly be lost. I felt alone, rejected, unloved, unnoticed, betrayed, and I was angry as hell. With nowhere else to turn to, I started this journey with God, and as the days went by, I grew closer and closer to him. I began to hear his voice literally and understand who he truly is. I began to experience his love by being put in situations where I would see it clearly. So, all the time that I felt alone and rejected, unloved and isolated, God was there with me. He was the only one who truly understood what I was going through, and he has shown me a love that is incomprehensible. When people I called my friends turned their backs on me, God hugged me, comforted me and showed me that everything I needed was in Him. Then one day, I decided I wanted to cut my hair… it really just came out of the blue and I became so pressed to cut it the next day. When I cut my hair, I became a new person. I feel more confident in myself and in the way I look now, more than ever. I know it sounds cliché but after all I’ve been through, cutting my hair made me feel like I cut off all the dead ends in my life, all the hurt and the old habits and here I am… a new creation! Glory be to my Father.”

 

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Claudine’s Go-to Hair Styles

I think we can all agree that one of the major problems with having natural hair is styling. Taking care of natural hair can be very hard and tedious; or maybe it’s just me. However, over time as you learn more about your hair, you figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. some styles look better or are easier to maintain on certain textured hairs than others. So, we often cannot simply mimic styles that we see on others or online. I’m not saying it’s always impossible to get your hair to look a certain way but you may have to do a thing or two in addition to what the other person did, depending on your hair texture.

I have a head full of 4c hair, very kinky. Imagine having to comb and style my hair every single morning… no thank you! (haha) Over the course of my journey, learning and loving my hair, I’ve come across some hairstyles that I love, love, love, and they are really simple and save me about a week or two of having to style my hair, depending on how I choose to maintain it.  For all my 4c ladies, you can definitely try these out and let me know how it works for you, and if you don’t have 4c hair, definitely feel free to try and manipulate the style to get it to work for you hair texture.

I like to call these my signature looks because these are my absolute favorite go to and easy to do hairstyles, and they’re not time consuming whatsoever (well, maybe one of them). So, whenever my hair is not in a protective style (box braids, crochet, etc.) you’ll find me rocking these styles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above is a flat twist out, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. I put some flat twists in my hair and then took them out the next morning. For my particular look, I did about 8-10 flat twists. As you can see in the pictures, I have a part on the left side, allowing my hair to fall toward the right side of my face. I did two twists across the front, toward the right, two on the left side and the rest straight back. I also did bantu knots on the ends because I wanted the curls to be defined.

The first two pictures are the first time I did this hairstyle and I fell in love but as you can see, compared to the last picture, the curls are a bit looser. The reason being that, in the first two pictures this style was done on old hair (meaning, not freshly washed), whereas the second picture my hair was freshly washed and a little air dried. I personally prefer the first look because I’m not a big fan of super tight curls, I like my hair to be a bit stretched.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This next style I call “my puff puffs” which refers to the pictures on your right. As you can see, there’s one puff then there’s two. I find it hard to pick between them because they both have their good and bad days. Like I mentioned earlier, I prefer my hair to be a bit stretched before doing anything to it, because I want it to look a lot fuller and have some length to it (because shrinkage is real!). So, one of the ways I stretch my hair is by doing bantu knots on freshly washed hair, leaving it in for about a week and combing/brushing it out. As you can see in the first picture, my bantu knots are a week old. The second picture is my hair combed out and put into a high puff using a head band, about 3 or 4 days after the first picture was taken. The last picture is about a week after the second picture and I simply applied conditioner to my hair and parted it into two. I don’t comb my hair all the way out because I like to see the curls defined at the ends as you can see in the pictures. I do a lot of finger combing and hand fluffing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is just another way I stretch my hair before putting it into a single puff or two, using the flat twist method. The only difference is, the puffs are a bit rounder; these pictures were taken four days apart. Ultimately, there are different ways to achieve the same look, it’s whatever is best for you!

 

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Major Keys to Success #3: Embracing the Journey

It is very easy to get caught up in visions and dreams forgetting that the end-point is actually but a small fraction of the big picture. In the words of Arthur Ashe, “Success is a journey, NOT a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome”. It is human nature to long for something but not want to put in the work to get our desired end-product. Unfortunately, even when we do choose to put in the work, it is only for the sole purpose of getting the desired outcome, simply neglecting all that the process has to offer.

Success doesn’t come overnight, it takes time and requires honest effort. It is very hard to put in the effort that is needed when we are being narrow minded. There are small victories to be won on the journey to success but we won’t see them as victories if we are so obsessed with what we’ve considered to be the be all and end all. Of course, the journey isn’t going to be easy and yes, keeping the ultimate goal in mind does help push and propel you to keep going, but this often makes the journey a drag. We have to learn to embrace the journey, meaning enjoy every bit of it, even the moments you hate.

The journey to success is a part of the journey of life. I personally like to think they are intertwined because you don’t just want professional success, you want all around success, in every area. On this journey, you discover who you are, you learn new, amazing and fascinating things. You meet some great people and some are there throughout while others leave at certain points and that is completely ok.

Many of us, if not all of us, embark on this journey to success not knowing why or how or if we can even achieve this dream that we have set out for. Then on the journey we are faced with obstacles that cause us to fear and to worry, so we keep reminding ourselves about that dream and try to find another way to make it work. Instead of taking that route, how about you turn that fear into freedom? Take that obstacle head on, and so what if you fail a couple of times, there is no success without failure. With every failure, there is a lesson to be learned. Take what you learn from one failure and manipulate it to overcome the next obstacle. Learn to turn your weaknesses into strengths. That’s really what the journey is all about. It’s shaping and molding you into who you are meant to be, and equipping you with all the knowledge and skills you need to achieve your dream, but this is only possible if you embrace the journey in its entirety.

It took me 20 years to come to terms with this, but I have learned to embrace my journey and I am LOVING every detail of it, so here I am giving you all some insight.

Sadly, we have come to the end of our series: “Major Keys to Success” and I really hope that you were able to grab at least one thing from this series. I wish you all the best on your individual journeys to success. You are more than capable of achieving your dreams. You have all the “Major Keys” now, so just trust the process and remember: find something to believe in (faith), know who your real supporters are, and always embrace the journey, even the ugly details.

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Major Keys to Success #2: Having a Close-Knit Support System

Support comes in various ways, but the sincerity of that support is most important. Sincere support only comes from a genuine supporter.  Who is a genuine supporter? Someone who knows and understands your goals and aspirations, wants you to achieve them just as much as you do and is willing to do all they possibly can to help you in doing so.

In speaking of a close-knit support system, we are going to look at two classes of individuals who play key roles in our individual lives: family and friends. Your support system should definitely consist of both these groups. It is expected that our greatest support comes from our family, our parents. Those who have watched us grow from the diaper stage to the adult stage. Parents and family have our best interest at heart.

However, when it comes to pursuing a career that maybe no one in your family has ever pursued, this becomes something new for everyone. It can become a little hard trying to make your family understand why you must do certain things instead of coming home on holidays and spending more time with them, but it’s the little things they do that matter. Their support now becomes always being within reach when you may want to speak to them, need advice or maybe you just want to talk.  Maybe even just bringing you home cooked meals because they know you have long nights and not enough time to cook for yourself. While they still believe in you and in your aspirations, their inability to fully comprehend the struggle you are currently faced with channels their support to be a genuine act of love, which is very important.

Friends on the other hand, see it all. They are with you on a day to day basis and are possibly enduring the struggle with you as well. Unfortunately, not everyone who says they’re a friend is truly a friend and I’m sure we are all aware of this. There comes a point when you will have to pick and choose wisely who you want to be your friend; many of us have already reached this point or are quickly approaching it. At an early stage in life many of us had more than 20 friends, but as you progress and embark on your journey to success, you will find that that number drastically decreases.

I can honestly say that I have no more than 8 friends at this point in my life and I am certain that as I continue my journey, the number will more than likely drop to about 5 or 4. I’m not saying that those other people are not good or not worthy of being my friends, it’s a matter of who can help me on this journey that I have chosen to take? That’s something you have to ask yourself.

Your support system should consist of individuals that you know without a doubt will put you in check when needed. Individuals who can pull you up when you fall. Individuals you can fall back on and know that they’ve got you no matter what time or hour of the day. Individuals who have something to offer you, something to teach you. Individuals you can growth with.

These pictures I’ve shared are some of my very close friends. Two of these girls have been with me all the way from high school and our bond is one that can never be broken. We have seen each other at some of our worst times and we have tirelessly supported one another through everything. They know how badly I want to achieve my dreams and they want it for me as bad as I want it for myself and vice versa. The other two young ladies I was so blessed to have met my freshman year in college and I couldn’t have asked for more genuine and supportive individuals to call friends, but even more sisters. And you know, friends that slay together stay together, haha !

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Major Keys to Success: #1 Believing in Something

Hi there curly friends! I am super excited about our new series “Major Keys to Success” and I hope you all are too!

Today we’re going to be kicking things off by delving deeper into Major Key to Success number 1: Believing in something. In other words, having faith. Yes, that’s right faith. I’m sure when many of us hear this word what initially comes to mind without a thought is religion, which is absolutely ok. However, that’s not necessarily what we’re here to discuss today. Before we get back to faith and what exactly I mean by that word, let’s talk a little about why having these so called “keys to success” are important.

I want to believe that success is a chief component in the ultimate goal of all human existence. We all work very hard, sacrifice so much all in the confidence that one day it will all pay off. We hope to one day be able to look around and be satisfied but moreover, strongly convinced that we have achieved the highest level of success which we want to attain.

This is the dream, but getting there is the difficult part. Many people start off so well but along the way, things go south because they weren’t equipped for the journey on which they embarked. So here I am sharing with you all some major keys that have helped me on my journey thus far, and these same keys have helped many successful people.

I sat in an auditorium about 3 weeks ago listening to a pediatrician share her story of how she became who she is today, and I was touched because where she is, is exactly where I hope to be in the coming years. She shared with us her top 5 keys to success which I grouped together for a total of three and number one is faith. For the purpose of this journey to success, faith is believing in a supernatural power.  This does not mean that you must be religious, you just have to believe and be convinced that there is a power higher and much greater than your own.

Now you may be wondering why so here it is: There will be times when you want to genuinely give up. There will be times when you sacrifice all that you have accomplished in hopes of achieving one great reward but it does not play out the way you envisioned. There will be times when that dream that seemed so close to becoming reality now appears to be far out of reach. In times as such, only your faith can get you through.

For me personally, my faith lies in God and in Christ. I know that I have only begun my journey and have seen only the smallest of the tests and trials that there are to come. However, I can assure you that during these testing times, the one thing I know for sure that has gotten me through is trusting in God and relying on him for strength to carry on even when I feel that I no longer can.

So, whatever you choose to put your faith in, stick to it because in the toughest of times, that is what will carry you through. Inner strength to fight even when the battle appears to be lost only comes from a greater source. What will yours be?

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