Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Social Media Do’s & Don’ts

Standard

eyes computerAm I the only one in a love/hate relationship with social media these days? At times I find myself spending too much time on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and being less productive in my personal and business goals as a result. Does that sound like you? In order to overcome this challenge in the new year, I’ve created some social media guidelines in order to discipline myself and the time that I spend on such sites. These suggestions for participating online are my attempt to intervene social media addiction. Having an online presence is a great networking and marketing tool for business; finding like-minded groups of people with similar hobbies/interests; and for staying in touch with family and old colleagues. However, individuals should assess the time they spend online and if it’s making him or her counterproductive. An intervention may be necessary; as I mentioned in an article post on Yahoo Voices, “Social Media Burn Out: Do You Need An Intervention?”. It is my hope that these unspoken rules will help me maintain focus and monitor time spent online for greater productivity in my life because “time is money”. Enjoy!

1) Do give yourself a weekly or daily time limit. It can be addictive; so all day everyday is not cool. There’s a real world going on outside of social media.

2) Don’t use it to communicate with close family and friends—unless it’s only for fun.  Talking on the telephone is more intimate, and sending a text message is more personal than communicating online; even in business.

3) Do use it for positive social networking, business connections, and promotions. You never know who you might meet that can invest in your business idea or become a potential client, customer, business colleague, or employer.

4) Don’t use it to “vent” about your personal life or personal business unless it’s funny lol. Remember every one of your FB friends or Twitter followers is not necessarily your real friend; some of them are just lurkers and “haters”.

5) Do use it to keep current with media, social, and world news; especially if you don’t have a TV like me. I’m going to get one of those antenna devices this year and get some local news and TV programs running so that I know what’s going on in the world.
computer burn out

6) Don’t over-post random shit. Your Timeline is constantly being bombarded by randomness from you, your friends, celebrity and support group pages you follow. Give it a rest sometimes. If you are annoyed by some of the same posts that you see all day everyday, people are probably annoyed by your posts as well.

7) Death to the “Selfie”. I am guilty as charged on this one. If you must take selfies, pictures of yourself, personal photo shoots in your bathroom, just text the selfie to a friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Resist the urge to constantly post them on your social media sites; even Instagram, because some people are lurking or could be stalking you without your knowledge. I’ve watched enough “Criminal Minds” and “Lifetime” movies to believe that serial killers do exist. I have over 100 selfies stored in my phone and all of them have not been posted online, but many of them have. I’m thinking of deleting some of them off of my Facebook page and saving them to my computer’s hard drive. If you happen to go through an introverted social media phase, don’t become the “lurker” or stalker yourself because you really don’t have time for it.

8) Don’t use it as a public display of your relationship status especially if it changes weekly and “it’s complicated”. Social media has turned us all into V.I.P.s so stop being the headliner of the day or week. I’d love to change my status from “single” and post lovey-dovey pictures, but I have none to post. Suit yourself on that one.

9) Do use it to check-in with old classmates and networks from past jobs, church, or groups with whom you’ve been affiliated . Your former colleagues may have job leads or information about a city to which you want to relocate. I believe in its inception some of these social media sites were created for these purposes only. There was one called “Classmates”. It pre-dates Facebook. Also, I remember when Facebook first began, you had to be a college student or in one of the school networks in order to join the site. Now it’s open to everyone and everything. Social media has definitely changed in the last ten years.

10) Don’t believe everything you see or read on there. Everyone is not who they say they are online. Don’t feel bad if your real life doesn’t match your online life. I believe in stretching the truth and acting as if to become all you desire to become; thereby creating the life that you desire. However, you don’t have to become a totally different person as some people online are doing. I believe this tidbit of advice will help those who are considering online dating, certain job posts, or Craigslist advertisements. Just be cautious overall when dealing with people you meet online. You won’t know who’s who until you actually meet them in person.

Goodbye 2013!

Standard

newyear14It’s almost over! Woo Hoo! Around this time every year, most of us are excited to cross over into a new year. Why? What makes the end and beginning of the year so different than any other time of the year? I believe it’s because  of our belief that the beginning of the year, or first month of the new year, gives us a clean slate. We feel that we have a chance to set new goals for our lives. I have retired the practice of making New Year Resolutions. It seems that resolutions are harder to keep so in 2013 on January 1st I made a “New Year Wish List”. Guess what? It was very effective as I checked things off of my list throughout the year. There are a few things that I did not check off, but that has given me an opportunity to do some reflection over the past year, that end of the year review, and re-evaluate what I want to accomplish for the upcoming year. As I stated in my recent YouTube VLog, my biggest 2013 lesson was knowing and walking in my Life’s Purpose. This is really all that matters for me in this lifetime. I know my purpose, and now I must walk in it.

I allowed the basics of life to distract me from my overall life’s mission and goals. I know that I’m not alone when it comes to the distractions that life will throw your way. You will be tested and tried. There were certain situations that I thought would turn out differently for my life, especially over the past two years since moving back to my hometown, St. Louis, MO. Through it all, God, the Creator of the Universe has been guiding me toward a Higher Purpose and Calling. My biggest challenge over the past couple of years has been learning that having a life purpose, we all have one or more if/when we realize it, is more important than job status; relationship status; and income. When I think about my book, that I self-published two years ago, and its message, this is its prime message. Find your life’s purpose and pursue it! Geez, I could be so much further along on my path, if I would just take my on advice right?!

Well, enough is enough! I’m ready to pursue and mow this thing down! I’ve had enough of being depressed or sad about my life conditions! I’m ready for change! Are you ready for MAJOR changes in some areas of your life? Is it your finances, career, or love-life? It may be all of the above. You can do it! And why not start in the new year? We have to plan for it and set the goals; we have to write out a new vision and fresh approach to how we are going to achieve what we truly desire from life. You know how fast a year goes by so start today!

action14I also had to continue to learn that loving myself is also apart of my purpose and yours too. Self-love; life purpose; and pursuit of your own happiness is a life long journey. Life will challenge you in every area or maybe just the areas in which you need to grow. As you become stronger in the areas where you are challenged, the challenges become easier and you overcome them. As we go through the new year, it’s important to remember how you felt during the tough times. Those were learning opportunities. What can you do differently in the new year to prevent or prepare for tough times and challenges? You have to allow the tough experiences to make you stronger and better with faith in God and yourself. That’s what I’ve done. It’s easy to get down or have a pity party, but that will not bring you prosperity but only more negativity. Let’s vow to focus on what is going to bring us the results we desire for 2014. As with New Year Resolutions, the New Year Wish List takes some work and action. It is great to have a long list of wishes, desires, and even a vision board, but faith without works is dead. We must take action on what we want to manifest in our lives.

Here’s something different you may want to try, make a Self-Love Mission Statement and Self-Love Affirmations. When we love ourselves, we will not settle in any area of our lives. For example, your goal may be to see financial or an increase in your career. You can affirm and write out a mission statement such as “I love myself and want to see a financial increase in my business. Therefore I will take daily actions to work on my business goals, blogs, networking, services, and events.” Your goal may not be for business but for your health. You can write a similar but different statement like “I love myself and want to lose weight and take care of my overall health. Therefore I will eat healthy foods, exercise, check-in with my doctor, and commit to an overall lifestyle change”. Are these sounding too much like new year resolutions? Whatever you want to call them, the consistent theme is that you must take action. Not just in January, but you must make a commitment to what you desire to see change in your life all year long. Print your mission statement and affirmations out and place them in multiple places where you can remind yourself of your goals everyday. You may even want to just focus on one goal at a time; or take a holistic approach by having multiple goals to loving yourself and your life in the new year.

selflove14I’m very excited about what the upcoming year has in store! I’m making a commitment today to seeing my vision come to fruition! I look forward to hearing about your new year plans. Love you all and wishing you LOVE, Good Health, and Prosperity for 2014! Also, if you have a Self-Love; Dating; or Relationship question please reach out to me for my “Ask Dr. Rae” segment. I will address your question via YouTube or my blog here. Feel free to Tweet me @raeluvs2write or on Facebook at drraelovecoach or email at dr.rae31@gmail.com which is also my paypal address if you would like to purchase a signed copy of my book “Journey to Self: Journey to Love”. Happy New Year Everyone!!

Self-Love Girl of the Month, Crystal Morton Hill

Standard

What a year folks!  We have officially crossed over into September; closing out the Summer, and approaching Fall which is my favorite season, right after Spring!  Why do I love the Fall? Well because September marks my birthday month, the beginning of Fall, and Libra Season.  The Fall is for Harvesting!  What does the word harvest sound like to you?  ABUNDANCE!  Yes, I’m talking preparing for a Season of Purpose that we’ve worked so diligently for throughout the year.  This life is like a rollercoaster and a Six Flags Theme Park!  We must ride the Tidal Waves of life as they roar through!  Can you keep up?  Our Summer was heavy as we had to muddle through the typical growing pains and ins & outs, literally, of relationships.  Some relationships ended; some budded; and some, well stayed the same.  For the month of June, “Self-Love Month”, we did some inner-investigating while dating.  Once July hit, it was every woman for herself trying to figure out, “what’s this thing called life again”?  “Does my life have meaning, and am I living my purpose”? What is my purpose, again?  Sometimes life is like that, just up and down as you grow and learn and experience relationships, challenges, good times, bad times, and situations; even in your career.  I know that some of you are like me trying to figure out how to get your money up, or make a career transition without disrupting your family and home life or your whole life in general.  Let’s just face it; some things are in our control and some things are not.  We have to trust the Infinite Wisdom of our Divine Creator every step of the way!  So how do you do it?  How do you navigate the winding road of life while maintaining your sense of purpose?  Allow me to introduce a young woman who has traveled that bumpy road of unexpected events, and how she has maintained purpose through it all; my “Self-Love Girl of the Month”, Ms. Crystal Morton Hill!
Twin-profile pic

Ms. Morton Hill is a Birmingham, AL native who possesses an extreme drive and zest for life.  She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from
Talledega College; Alabama’s first private Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Talledega.  Crystal also achieved a Masters in Public Administration; with a concentration in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL.  Further, she is also a proud and active member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.  Ms. Hill told me that she always wanted her own business.  She just didn’t know what it would be; and that’s how she chose her first degree’s major in Business.  As a result of her desire to live out her life’s purpose and start her own business, Crystal is the CEO and Founder of her own company Jazzy Jewels by Crystal!  Jazzy Jewels by Crystal includes Ms. Hill’s custom-made, uniquely designed, and creatively expressed jewelry pieces for women and men.  I wanted to know her story; how long she’d been making jewelry; how she got into the industry; and at what moment she realized that she wanted to be in business for herself.

In the Summer of 2009, Crystal lost her job and almost lost her mind.  Jewelry-making became her therapy while looking for jobs.  She was also very active in her Sorority at the time.  When new women would join the organization, she’d give jewelry as gifts, “poodle charm bracelets”, to save money instead of buying gifts.  Her sorority’s chapter President was so impressed, just as her Mom, Dad, and friends had been for years, and told her that she needed to “do this BIG”.  At that point, her president’s fourteen year-old son made Ms. Hill an Instagram page for Jazzy Jewels by Crystal, and she immediately began “getting hits online”.  “I didn’t believe it!” Ms. Hill expressed.  After seeing the online attention she received from unknown browsers, Crystal decided to create the Jazzy Jewels by Crystal Facebook page.  What inspired her even more was the number of people who saw a picture Ms. Hill’s sorority sister posted on Facebook sporting the jewelry.  She was tagged in the photo, and people kept inquiring about the cost of the jewelry.  Crystal was stunned at her initial success!  In this moment, she knew that it was time to move forward with her childhood dream.
JJSTL

As a little girl, Ms. Hill admired her dad and wanted to be just like him.  He was in business for himself and was a published Author who illustrated his own books.  He told
Crystal that “your name is everything”.  Therefore, she believes that you have to create a dynasty for yourself and your children; and this is her motivation for Jazzy Jewels by Crystal as well as her love for high-end fashion and creativity.  I asked Crystal if there is a need for more custom jewelry making artists.  “No, I will handle it for everybody!  I don’t want any competition! No!” she replied.  If there are too many custom jewelry designers, then the jewelry becomes mainstream, Ms. Hill informed me.  She has been well received by the industry.  They have loved, embraced, cheered, and invited her to several trunk shows all over Alabama; in Atlanta, GA; and in St. Louis, MO.  While being accepted by many designers and consumers, Ms. Hill has had to fight against some misconceptions of spectators. “I look like a Rich Bitch!” Crystal exclaimed.  It upsets her that people judge her by the way she looks; they don’t think she looks “handy” or “artsy”.  Consequently, consumers would also be surprised to know that Ms. Hill is a member of the Greater Birmingham Bead Society, where she earned the “stringing jewelry artist” shirt.  Overall, Crystal attributes her creative genes to her left-handedness.  She stated that her brain just thinks differently and uniquely.
Spectacularspecs
So what about love?  I asked Ms. Hill her definition of self-love.  “Self-love is what you do to yourself; for yourself; and with yourself”, she described.  Crystal shared that what you do “to” yourself includes keeping up your personal hygiene, going to doctors’ visits, being in the healthy zone, eliminating “B.S.” from your life, and living stress free.  What you do “for” yourself involves what you do to make you happy, and the extra things that make your day.  For example, Crystal enjoys taking professional pictures, skiing, and going to the casino, which usually involves time spent with others.  However, what you do “with” yourself are the things that you don’t necessarily need or want others to do with you; because you are doing them with yourself.  Ms. Hill likes going out to the movies, making jewelry, and going on yogurt dates.  It is a date with yourself.  What an inspiration!  When your self-love is in order, you can prioritize your life and stay focused on your purpose.

I was interested in Crystal’s future goals for her business.  Ms. Hill aspires to have her jewelry line featured in fashion runways; and to enter into mass production by offering a few custom-made items in select department stores.  “I wanna see it!” she shouted; but she doesn’t want her jewelry in small local boutiques because there isn’t room for much exposure in that type of venue.  Furthermore, Crystal informed me that she works her business “all the time” not just part time.  When people see her, they see jewelry.  Sometimes she feels that she is “on-call” like a doctor, and people expect her life to stop to fulfill a jewelry order.  Ms. Hill’s customers return because of the exclusivity of her designs for graduation, wedding, and bridal shower gifts.  She rarely duplicates the jewelry items; remaining consistent with the custom made-to-order and timeless products.
Jasperandseashell
With all of this work on her own business, I wanted to know if or when Crystal has time to date.  She jokingly expressed that she is dating her jewelry.  Ms. Hill goes on dates but is not exclusively dating anyone.  She said that she views herself as “an aggressive little ‘spit-fire’ and a “slab of marble”; “pretty to look at but hard to crack”. Crystal has to defend herself because often people try to tell her what she should be doing regarding her jewelry, but everyone has different tastes and there are so many different people.  As she quoted, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but talent and creativity is in thine hand”.  I’d agree, no one can tell you the “how to” for your own God-given and creative talent!  Ms. Hill is a “go-getter, uberly professional, and excited about life and any opportunity to put new jewelry out!”  She wants readers and her fans to know that “your name is your dynasty”.  She encourages, “do something in your life to make sure that your name and legacy lives on after you’re gone”. Crystal says, “jazz up your wardrobe, jazz up your life!”
Menleathercuff
Find Jazzy Jewels by Crystal on Facebook and Instagram @JazzyJewelsbycrystal.  She can also be contacted at jzyjwl@gmail.com or call 706-50-JAZZY to place your order!

Twin-vending2

If you are interested in becoming my Self-Love Girl of the Month or would like to recommend someone please contact me directly at dr.rae31@gmail.com; State why you or someone you know should be considered the Self-Love Girl of the Month and your definition of Self-Love.

Love ya All!