As a 21-year-old millennial woman, I was excited to start off this article by sharing all the statistics and success stories of our fellow millennials dominating the entrepreneurship sphere. I mean, social media – yes just like Nicki Minaj called out Miley Cyrus, I’m calling out Instagram and Twitter for creating this fairytale of entrepreneurship being a norm amongst millennials when it’s not. I’m not saying it’s nonexistent but according to Score.org we’re less likely to follow through on becoming an entrepreneur. The interesting part is, 78% of us equate it to success and 62% considered starting a business. Mentally, we’re more entrepreneurial than past generations, we just don’t have much to show for.
Our primary setbacks are student loans and our lack of taking risks whether that is because our parents, especially if they’re immigrants conditioned us to be “practical” or the prices of cost of living. When womanhood is added, society alone tries to limit us from living our best lives.
Now, I bet you’re wondering where the Christian millennial woman has a place in all this. Girl, there’s a place in every market, demographic and area of expertise. I know the statistics makes it look like a place for tumbleweeds and not faith but that is where you back away and allow God to come in. A disclaimer before I carry on is there is nothing wrong with working for someone or having a “regular” job because our careers don’t define us, our proximity to Christ does, and therefore our character does too. As I was doing my research, majority of the sources acknowledged us for being genuine, more educated than past generations, innovative, creative, charitable and devoted to a life of a learning versus a life of wages. My observation is, the only thing we lack in is the fear of failure, but who can blame us?
First things first, God already has a plan for you, “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV). As we all know, God created us with a plan to conquer anything through the power of love. His greatest commandment is for us to love Him with all our heart and to show that same grace and mercy towards others and ourselves. Entrepreneurship is a tool to help us get there while making a steady income. What’s great about God is He’s going to give you something your passionate about even if you’re unqualified. Here 7 tips to align your entrepreneurship endeavors with God’s will:
- Your business is a ministry.
As Christians, we live for Christ. Your business needs to live for the same thing. There needs to be problem you are solving whether that be creating a restaurant in an overlooked neighborhood to give them an option to having affordable wholefoods or making natural cosmetics. Be very direct on what you can accomplish. A mission statement and SWOT analysis shouldn’t be taken lightly, however don’t be concerned if you have to change them. Just make sure all your decisions are Holy Spirit led; don’t overcomplicate things.
- Don’t trip on yourself.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”. Even if you’re broke, don’t have a degree or anything to fall back on, if God has called you start a business, you better work with what you do have and stop wallowing in what you don’t. Also setup a savings account for resources you may need, cut back on costs, ask for help, do research in your market and find out what your customers and/or audience need.
- No market is off limits…within reason.
I thank God for DeVon Franklin because he is the first Christian I heard who is successful in film production while standing his ground in maintaining his duty to God. Not every market is for Christians; just use discernment and common sense to figure that one out. Perhaps if you don’t see Christians in a particular industry, it’s because you are the one to break that barrier. If God trusts you to do it, why are you limiting yourself?
- God, Family, Ministry.
Your first priority should be God. When you work on your relationship with God by becoming familiar with His word and following through with it, simultaneously you’re also loving on and caring for yourself because who knows you better than your Creator? Major key: God cares about your soul more than your ministry. Second is family, make sure your family is good before you advocate for others. Then ministry.
I’m a Christian Seventh-day Adventist; I follow the Sabbath (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown), which means no work for the purpose of profit, I don’t cook or do house chores. I spend 24 hours resting from the complications of the world. I use it to read the Word uninterrupted, fellowship and exhale. Scientists say it leads to breaking toxic sleep cycles, restores your mental health due to stress, become more productive during the week to name a few. It’s also an act of faith to tell God, “You got this”! Also spend time taking risks, take a trip, go out with friends, and love your family.
- You better love yourself to health.
There’s mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health we need to keep up with. This may sound like a bold statement but I believe mental health is number one because it sets the tone for all the others. Millennials struggle more than past generations. In Canada, millennial women are the 2nd in the three high-risk groups for mental health issues. To maintain your mental health you should eat clean, drink lots of water, create healthy boundaries between yourself and your vices including every relationship you have, exercise at least three times a week to your comfort level, spend time in nature, set attainable short term then reach for the stars for long term goals and show love and allow yourself to be loved. Also read the Bible every morning, pray, journal and stretch!
- Use your schmoney wisely.
When money is funny and change is strange girl, give. Make sure you tithe and give offerings because the only thing you have to lose is the opportunity in gaining. Save for your passion project, pay your bills on time, if you don’t need it and barely want let the store keep it so you’ll have money for recreational things that will fulfill you.
That’s all! My last piece of advice is don’t police yourself. If you mess up here and there just get back up. And remember, you can only be a failure if your business becomes your idol. Don’t get caught up on what social media masquerades millennial entrepreneurship to be because now you know it’s mainly alternative news. Stop desiring entrepreneurship and finally take the steps to become an entrepreneur!
Self-sabotage is the #1 anxiety reliever for millennial women.
Self-sabotage is the fear that our best isn’t good enough, so in order to avoid this anxiety and potential disappointment, we choose to freeze, stall, neglect, forget, and delay ourselves.
Even for me, I almost didn’t write this article. I almost sabotaged a perfectly good opportunity to be seen, heard & connected with. All things I actually want and desire, but another strange part of me simultaneously fears.
This is something many of us don’t like to admit. A lot of us sabotage the fruition of our own dreams because we fear the person we would have to become in order to live them.
Whether its fear of judgement, looking stupid, failing at something we love, or not feeling “good enough”, we often struggle to get out of our own way.
Self-sabotage occurs when your conscious mind (the logical one that tells you to brush your teeth or download all of SZA’s music) is fighting with your subconscious mind (the lazy one that accidentally sleeps through your alarm or scrolls on Instagram for hours to avoid homework or cleaning your room).
That disconnect -that clash of needs and wants- manifests itself in self-sabotaging behavior. Getting drunk the day before a big presentation, forgetting to reply to emails, not planning a busy day properly, missing submission deadlines for a competition you know you’d be great for, the list goes on!
It’s all our subconscious way of preventing disappointment and coping with fear.
Even though I’ve been a fashion model for 4 years now, owning my passion at first was often uncomfortable for me. I felt awkward when people asked me if I was a model and wanted to quickly minimize my achievements. I’ve been published in Vogue Italy and featured in Maxim USA’s web series called ‘What Beautiful Women Want’, before all that I competed in a beauty pageant and that’s where I got my start.
Not owning your story is also a form of self-sabotage.
I didn’t want people to know about my talents or aspirations because I feared that I would have to prove myself and not measure up. Or if I failed, more eyes would be on me and I’d feel more embarrassed.
But in reality, who are we not to express our highest, creative selves? Who are we to not share our light, beauty, or truth, especially when others notice it and want to support or celebrate it?
Over the past few years I’ve reviewed my own self-sabotaging patterns and worked hard to call them out and change my subconscious beliefs. I used the power of self-love to claim my right to shine!
Now when I catch any habits of the Sabotage Squad sneaking into my life, I clap back & ask them to take a seat while I go forward & be great!
So, what does it really take to move in the direction of your dreams, without all the internal drama?
Here are 3 Self-Love Secrets from a former Self-Sabotaging Beauty Queen:
- Find yourself.
To begin to make progress, it’s important that you find the areas where you are practicing self-sabotage. Look at the various areas of your life, such as finances, health, career and relationships. Determine which areas you need to kick the sabotage squad of out of.
- Choose to accept or change yourself.
Accept that you’re afraid of success! It means you that you really do care about your future. But then sit with your fears for a minute.
Can you live with not having your dreams come true? Will your family and friends actually dislike you if you pursue your passion? Maybe you’ll find your tribe as you pursue your goals, maybe you really are great photographer, writer, event planner and the world is just waiting for you to show up!
Thankfully, fears are not fixed. Start to question the actuality of your fears. Or accept that you’re scared and prefer to stay safe. That’s okay too! Accept that you’re not ready, but do your best to get ready!
- Love yourself & courageously commit to change.
Now that you’ve changed your beliefs around your fears, summon up all the courage within you and commit to pursuing your goals drama-free. Write your to-do list and love yourself enough to move in the direction of your dreams, one step at a time.
These steps have helped me remove mental blocks and get a hold of my self-sabotaging patterns. I know it’s so much easier to play small sometimes. To continuously quit before even trying. To squander our talents and procrastinate.
We ruin our chances at success and happiness by not raising our hands, speaking up, showing up, and sharing our unique brilliance with the world.
Our anxieties and fears might be temporarily alleviated by self-sabotage, but practicing self-love is the cure that allows us to show up on time fearlessly for our dreams.
To your self-love and happiness,
Self-Love & Confidence Coach
And just like that Baby Jah Jah is 4 months old. As often said, time moves quickly. In the first few months of motherhood it seems it doesn’t move quick enough.
Life as a new mom is amazing! It’s also crazy, frustrating, and rewarding at the same damn time. I frequently catch myself trying to prolong the amazing moments while fast-forwarding the frustrating ones. One thought that has helped me cherish and appreciate each moment for what it is, whether good or bad, is knowing that “this too shall pass”. As a result of each fleeting moment, I thought it best to document my journey thus far.
Here are a few lessons I have learned these past few months since becoming a mother.
- Motherhood is Hard AF!
Yes, they told me. Every single mother that I came in contact with while I was pregnant told me how hard being a new mother would be and the ways in which i’d find myself wondering what I’d gotten myself into. And yes I knew it wouldn’t be easier for me but something in the back of my mind was like…it can’t be THAT bad! Can it? For those women who are expecting or see themselves having children in the future. Let me be the millionth person to tell you, IT IS THAT FRICKEN HARD!!! It’s Hard AF. Nothing can fully prepare you for the sleep deprivation that will smack the shit out of you or the multiple sudden cases of OMG I DONT KNOW WHAT THE HELL I”M DOING! Not to mention the isolated feeling you get because it feels like it’s just you and baby all day every damn day. Nothing. Absolutely nothing can prepare you for all the emotions, new and old, that will catch you off guard and have you questioning your sanity. One new mother warning/advice that made a huge difference for me was from my sister-in-law who said “accept all the help that is offered you because you will never know fatigue, like the fatigue that will hit you when you are 3 weeks in with baby”. I chuckled a little when she said that but I also had no clue what she meant. All I know was that I was looking out for this life changing fatigue before baby was even born. When baby finally got home each day I would gage how tired I was and try to see if this was the “fatigue” my sister-in-law was talking about. And for several days, I was like, man I’m tired but it’s not that bad. I think I can handle team no sleep for a good while. Then week 3 1/2 reared its buck-teeth aliens from mars attacks head and I was finished. Like DONE. To the point where I’d catch a 5 min snooze on the toilet just to say I rested my eyes and actually really rest my eyes. I remember my sisters offering to watch baby and I practically hail-mary passed him to them with no shame and ran to my bed. I became one with the bed almost instantaneously. It was when I woke up after having a full nights rest and STILL feeling like I hadn’t slept in weeks that I knew what real fatigue was. Fatigue is just the tip of the iceberg. Your emotions will uppercut you to the moon and back. The pressure of wanting to be a great mom from the moment you popped that baby out will have you wanting to pull out your hair. Then out of nowhere your hair falls out without you even touching it. My take home message…You think you know, but have no idea.
I am now used to functioning on limited amounts of sleep and because of co-sleeping, I’ve now found myself taking unnecessary naps with baby just to keep him asleep during nap time. All in all, the fatigue isn’t that much of an issue now but the extra energy is being used to keep up with Baby as he is staying awake for longer periods of time and requiring more of my attention.
2. It’s Not Just You and Baby.
This for me has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned during these past 4 months. Mostly because it made me realize that I am fortunate enough to have a third person who is also immediately affected by and involved with the addition of a new baby. It’s so easy to get caught up thinking it’s just you and baby. I had to be reminded that I have a loving husband who is also going through his own adjustments as a new father. For the first few weeks after our families left, it did seem like it was me and baby ALL THE DAMN TIME. Hubby was putting 15+ hours at the office and out of town a lot. I had to remind myself that Hubby is an active member of this new family too and to give him as much attention and time with baby as possible. Once again my sister in law advised me to allow hubby to bond with the baby solo and not be “Ms. Super Save A Baby” and rush to baby’s rescue at any sound he would make. It was like I would watch him like a guard dog every time he would interact with the baby. My husband must have thought that I was a creepy mom. I didn’t know I was doing this obviously, but once I got called out on it, I realized it the moment it happened again. It’s funny, I had to be reminded to share the baby with my husband. I’ll never forget that lesson and I make it a point to find me something to do whenever hubby is hanging out with baby no matter how limited or extended that time may be.
This is also true for family members and friends who have genuine love for you and have been eager to meet baby from the moment you announced your pregnancy to birth. Give them the opportunity to support you and show this love in any capacity with baby. Since I live in a different country, It was especially important for me to share baby with my family. It’s hard on them to want to be active in the life of the baby but not be able to because of distance. That’s why every moment they spend with baby should be their own and should be maximized by any means. This leads me to my final and most important lesson so far.
3. It takes a Village
I 100% believe that motherhood is a collective effort. Being away from my family and close friends made me realize just how true the cliche statement is. I grew up watching many women transition into motherhood with an incredible amount of support and I expected this same support for when I made my debut as a new mom. I had never imagined motherhood any other way. I would not have made it through the first 6 -12 weeks without the help of my family and friends. Especially the first 6 weeks. We were blessed to have various members of our immediate family fly in to help us out with the new baby and I will forever be grateful that they did. I’m sure I would have survived without their help but I cannot imagine going on this journey otherwise. With a C-Section delivery, recovery is important for the health of Mom and baby. There were mobility limitations that restricted how I’d care for baby and do household tasks. Even though I still tried to do everything out of sheer pride and inexperience, having someone around to help with baby during the recovery period allowed me to not over exert myself and made me be at my best for baby. It also made me recover fast. Veteran moms and people who have been around new mothers just know what needs to be done without being asked. These following examples are how I benefited from having my tribe around:
- Getting foot rubs and massages from my mom and mother in law
- Assistance with getting in and out of bed in the early days after surgery
- Looking after baby while you get your whole life together in the bathroom or any random place in the house
- Giving you a needed break to take a 4-hr nap!
- Running errands or whatever you cannot or do not want to do, they will do. HAPPILY!
There were times I’d wake up starving and to come to the kitchen with my favorite breakfasts prepared. Jesus is on the throne! I’d even have an endless supply of freshly fried plantain to feast on throughout the day. I literally gave birth and went straight to plantain heaven!! I seriously believe it was these moments that heed to keep the baby blues at bayIt’s the little gestures of kindness and care from the people who know you the most that make a world of difference. Trust me, whoever you consider to be a part of your village, enlist their advice and help. Their presence and assistance are invaluable.
As hard as being a new mother is, it definitely gets easier. I do say this somewhat lightly. I’ve found that as I begin to get the hang of a certain skill/habit, something new pops up that will need some adjusting to. Meh. Such is life. Honestly, these past four months have been an adventure. I’d would never guess in a million years how my life would change as a mother. I’m sure the lessons will not end. I hope they don’t. I am grateful for every diaper explosion, projectile spit up, sleepless night. and joyous experiences I’ve been blessed with so far. Being able to watch baby develop and grow makes it all worthwhile. As I raise my cup filled with another lactation smoothie, cheers to another lesson filled 4 months!
I would love to hear some of your experiences and lessons as new Moms and Dads. What have been some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned as a new parent?
On Sunday, March 19th, 2017, Rebecca Nobrega founder of Aspire to Inspire with bbnobrega organized a magnificent Women’s Pampering Day event that took place in Downtown Toronto. The day brought joy and flawlessness to a group of lovely women from a women’s shelter, who took part in getting pampered by a series of beauty experts. The event room was set up with multiple beauty booths sponsored by varies companies and businesses who specialize in nails, hair, makeup and eyebrows, and a fun play station that consisted face painting and arts and crafts for the children.
Aspire to Inspire is Rebecca’s way of inspiring other people to make a difference in the world, making her an inspiration to women everywhere and although the event was not a simple task to organize she is grateful she gets the opportunity to help the twenty women who attended.
“Today is a day to celebrate them, women’s empowerment making them feel good and beautiful and to spark a light in their hearts that was dimmed by someone else” – Rebecca Nobrega.
The purpose of preparing a Women’s Pampering Day, Rebecca explains is that it is a way for women to love themselves despite the unfortunate past they have endured because they deserve to recognize their inner and outer beauty. Simply getting your hair and makeup done can boost confidence and change someone’s life forever.
“There is no better feeling than seeing a smile on someone’s face” – Rebecca Nobrega.
I sat down with an inspirational woman who was a resident at the women’s shelter and attended the event, Jessica, a single mother enjoyed every moment of Women’s Pampering Day and wishes to participate in future functions. Jessica attended the event with her two beautiful daughters and expresses that, “Everyone is so friendly, I love it here. Today was the first time I got my eyebrows done and I’ve never felt better. I am happy that I have the chance to spend a day with my girl’s do these things”.
Rebecca was not alone in planning the pampering day, after reaching out to plenty of sponsors to donate for the cause, the room was happily filled with delicious treats from a variety of bakeries in the City, lunch was served, refreshments were handed out with entertainment provided by a life DJ throughout the day. Accompanying the DJ was a live singer, and a photo booth was set up to document the fabulous event.
The day ended with a motivational speaker who shared her personal experiences, expressing her fight to success. This is not the end for Rebecca, as she will continue to #aspiretoinspire and
You work hard to build your brand and you shouldn’t be the only one who loves it. In fact, it’s important that your target customers do. They are the ones who continue to make you successful. Some brands have managed to make people fall in love with their work and obsess over the effort they put in giving them huge popularity. Having an emotional connection to a brand sparks interest for the customer and allows them to stay engaged in your work.
Shoutout to the loyal fans who are committed to your brand, but in case you’re in need of more love, here are some tips to get customers to fall for you and what you do:
Make your work relatable
People love to know they are not alone. Connecting to your audience builds attachments and a sense of belonging that people seek out in their lives. Know who your audience is and understand what they like or don’t like so that your brand suits them.
Bring joy in your message
Happiness is a MUST in your work. Happy work makes for a happy customer, which will impact the way people perceive your brand. Not only will your customers be happy, but this will increase profits, especially if they recommend you to other viewers. A loveable brand makes their audience feel valued and respected, making for a happy you, as well.
Show people what you got
The first impression is everything and people will connect more with your brand if they like what they are seeing. Organizing a clear and compelling platform will lure customers in and keep them interested in what your brand has to offer. Allow your social media to do some of the talking for your brand by displaying eye-catching and inspirational images /designs that your audience can identify with.
Let your audience see you
Don’t hide behind your brand. Show your costumers who you are so they can have a stronger connection with the brand they love. Put your personality into your brand and prove you are just as emotionally involved as you are professionally.
People LOVE a brand they can trust
Your customers are relying on you to be genuine. It is up to you to make sure your work benefits your audience and is a reliable business for them to be invested in. Forbes released a list of ways to help build trust in your brand including listening to your audience and keeping your messages concise. Trust is hard to build but do not let that discourage you. Be patient and let your customers grow to love what you have to offer.
Don’t make love complicated, use these tips to encourage and engage your audience into falling in love with your brand. But don’t forget to fall in love with it too.
‘Tis the season for hot chocolate, sleigh rides and smooching under the mistletoe. Every year my family puts up a mistletoe, and every year I am reminded about how single I am during one of the most romantic season of the year. As much as I would like to treat the mistletoe like a piñata, I can admit the holiday tradition is actually a pretty magical one. Secretly I wish to be standing under the love plant with a special guy, and waiting around doesn’t seem to be working out anymore. Thankfully, times are changing, and we ladies don’t have to sit around waiting for Prince Charming to sweep us off our feet. If want to spend this holiday season snuggled up with the cute guy down the street, be the hero in your own fairy tale and go get him girl. Follow these tips to be the one smooching under the mistletoe this year.