Ramona Griggie Makes Millions After Launching Line Of Do-It-Yourself Teeth Whitening Kits

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Ramona Griggie wanted to whiten her son’s teeth as a graduation gift for completing his bachelor’s at Duke University. While price matching and trying to find the best teeth whitening service, she found out that the service was quite expensive ranging from $700-$900.

So, Griggie took the matter into her own hands and decided to buy the $250 machine offline and do it herself; this investment has now turned into a business for the mother and wife.

Griggie went full force with her new business as she rented out a work space and began to gather clientele. “It was a cute little setup where people would come and pay $100-$200 for a one-hour procedure,” Griggie told Essence. She began selling $35 do-it-yourself kits online, which became a big hit. After some successful marketing and advertising, Griggie’s product has attracted many celebrities such as Amber Rose, Monica, and Kevin Hart. She made $1 million in her first 60 days of business and she has a flagship boutique in College Park, Atlanta.

Can you say #BlackExcellence and #BlackGirlMagic?!

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Source: Blavity.com

 

Miss USA Kara McCullough Is Reminding Young Girls You Can Have Both Beauty AND Brains

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Kara McCullough is the definition of beauty and brains. The recently-crowned Miss USA is an advocate for women and girls who are pursing careers in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering & Math). As a woman who’s platform generally focuses on looks, this is an important stand the model has taken.

In a video for NOW that was posted on Wednesday (May 24), McCullough talked about the passion she has for her new position as an emergency preparedness specialist with the U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She says the journey wasn’t easy but it sure was worth it:

“Being a woman in the science industry is truly empowering. I walk into my agency knowing that I am meant to be here.” – Kara McCullough

Before she was crowned as Miss USA, Kara started a community program entitled Science Exploration for Kids to encourage young girls and boys to get hyped and interested about STEM subjects. She focused mainly on children like her who struggled with certain aspects of it.

Kara McCullough will be representing us in the Miss Universe competition and we are certainly proud! Go Girl!

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How To Get That Internship, All Summer ’17

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The school year is almost over, and summer is around the corner. For some college students that means going back to their hometown to relax and catch up with old friends and family  and for others that may mean working full-time and getting their paper up. Either way, the Live Civil team wants to make sure that all of our scholars are utilizing their free time and filling it with productivity.

A great way to remain productive during the summer is to get an internship. Whether you’re a freshman or senior in college, internships are one of the most important and influential activities to partake in before you start “adulting” and diving into your career post college.

Statistics show that students who interned during their college career are 13% more likely to find full-time employment. This means a lot considering the fact that getting a job post-graduation can be one of the most difficult tasks to complete after college. With an internship under your belt, you are more likely to get hired over your competitor because it gives you the “experience” that companies are always looking for.

Interning helps build confidence in the workplace, interns get an opportunity to work with the “big dogs” of the company. This is your time to have a seat at the table. You get a chance to shine without having “major” responsibilities. You can be a student (aka young Grass Hopper) and soak up all of the information you need to know about a company and your career of choice. Sometimes we aren’t 100% sure of what we want to do in life and that’s okay. Internships will help you figure that out before it’s time to officially get into your first “real” job and career path.

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Now that you know the importance of internships the next step is getting one. You are already ahead of the competition if you’re reading this, so let’s dive into the steps you need to take to secure the bag. Here is how you get that internship:

The Cover Letter

Applying for an internship with the company of your dreams is nothing like applying for a job at your local grocery store or favorite clothing store. Keep in mind that you are not the only one applying for this position, there are hundreds of other students just like you that are waiting to get their foot in the door. With that being said, how can you separate yourself from the pack?

When it comes to cover letters we advise you to be as unique and professional as possible. When creating your cover letter be sure to tell your story, create a narrative. Let the company you are applying for know why you are a perfect fit for the job beyond the skills and qualifications that they have listed on the job post. Research the companies culture and how it aligns with your personal morals and core values. Google cover letter templates for help and spice it up to make it sparkle with your own magic.

The Resume

Resumes are pretty basic and universal. The resume is where you showcase your specific technical skills and qualifications, google a template and go to work. If you don’t have much experience that’s okay, list your previous jobs and curate a detailed list of the work that you did. When curating the detailed summary of your work experience you want to make sure that you include tasks that relate to the job that you are applying to.

For example, if you are applying for an internship in marketing and you previously worked as an associate at a clothing store you can say that one of your duties was to communicate with customers and get them to buy merchandise. Communication and being a “people person” is key when it comes to marketing, so in actuality, you do have experience in marketing just on a smaller scale. Companies will appreciate you for connecting the dots and thinking outside of the box.

If you are involved in any on-campus organizations, mention it. This will show ambition. Tons of students go to college and get their degree but not all students flourish on campus and participate in extracurricular activities that aren’t a part of their degree plan. It takes a special student to go a step further and give their time to organizations, this shows that you are not a mediocre candidate.

Lastly, make your resume stand out. Read closely because this is a #MAJORKEY to securing the bag. Companies get hundreds of black and white basic resumes. How can you make your resume pop? Google unique/different resume styles and create a resume that aesthetically looks bomb! If you are applying for a content creator or digital marketing position show your skills with your resume. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box, add color, fun fonts, and borders to your resume. Trust us, the HR lady will be forced to take a 2nd look at your dope resume and will realize your efforts. A great website for one of a king resume templates is Canva.com.

Keep it simple and sassy.

The Follow Up

You’re done with your cover letter and resume, Congrats! Now you can chill and wait for someone to call you for an interview…SIKE! The process is not over yet, now it’s time to follow up and show some persistence and determination. A week after you turn in your application you want to send an email to “follow up”. The best person to send this email to is the hiring manager, search high and low for their contact information. In this email you are going to introduce yourself, let them know that you applied for a position with their company and would love to set up an interview at their earliest convenience. Once again, google a basic follow-up email and make it your own.

If you don’t receive a call from the company a week following your follow-up email it is time for the follow-up call. Don’t know what to say? You know we’ve got your back…

Don’t know what to say? You know we’ve got your back…

HR: Hello, this is the marketing company of your dreams, how may I help you?

You: Hello, My name is (BLANK). I sent an email to you earlier this week about (COMPANY NAME’s JOB TITLE opening. Do you have a minute to talk? ( WAIT FOR RESPONSE)

I applied online for the position, but I also wanted to reach out to you personally because I’m so interested in the position and I feel I am uniquely suited for the role. I am highly experience at the (MOST IMPORTANT JOB REQUIREMENT) and have extensive (SECOND MOST IMPORTANT REQUIREMENT) experience in the (NAME OF THE INDUSTRY).

I would love to speak with you in person about the opportunity. When might be a good time to talk? I am available this week. Let me know what works for you. Thank you.

After you’ve followed up, the waiting game commences. If you are able to personally take your resume and cover letter to the front desk at the companies office, do that! Going the extra mile will set you apart from other candidates. Companies love to see determination and persistence. Do you really want this position? If you do you will do whatever it takes to get that interview, and we advise you to go beyond yourself and do so! (But don’t be a pest)

 The Internship

Now you’ve got the internship, but guess what? The bag is not fully secured. Now it’s time to work your butt off and prove yourself. Honestly, it sucks that most internships are not paid, but it is what it is. Getting the job and living the life of your dreams requires sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears. If you aren’t about that life you can go and get hired at a measly mediocre job that pays you just enough to make rent. If you are about that life, it’s time to hustle. Give 110 % while participating in your internship. Ask your supervisors for extra work. Be nice, be friendly, make friends, connect, and most importantly be your authentic self! Nobody likes an obnoxious ass-kisser or a show-off. Do your job and do it right. Do more, say less, and be humble.

Now that you’ve got the keys to get an internship and succeed, go out there and kick ass! Remember that nothing good in this life comes easy, you must earn it. If you need interview assitance check out our previous article that covers “The Rights & Wrongs For Having A Succesful Job Interview”. Good luck and happy internship hunting!

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Jereshia Hawk Shares The 7 Secrets of a Side Hustler

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Meet Jereshia Hawk, a transmission pipeline engineer for a Fortune 500 company and a consulting business for women.

The Detroit-based founder of Goal Getter recently shared with Blackenterprise.com the 7 keys to balancing her full-time position and her side hustle.

She tells Blackenterprise.com, “Create a plan and get specific [with it]. How much money do you want to earn a month? How are you going to earn it? What resources do you need to make that happen? What actions do you need to take to achieve your goal?”

She also told the publication that asking for help is major key part to being successful in life. “Knowing who to ask for help is more important sometimes than knowing the answer. You need to have a friend, a mentor, or a mastermind to turn to, for when you start feeling unsure of what to do next.”

Head over to Blackenterprise.comand check out the rest of Jereshia Hawk’s secrets and see how this millennial leads a $400 million project while running her own business.

Essence Highlights 100 Woke Women In Special Empowerment Issue

This past weekend ESSENCE announced an honorable list of 100 “woke” women who are contributing to the betterment of our society. These women are trailblazers for and spokeswomen for equal rights and inclusion for Black people in America.

This issue of ESSENCE is a special anniversary issue that is 100 percent focused on sisterhood and empowerment. ESSENCE magazine believes that Black women will save the world and we are all here for it!

“Advocacy is a part of Essence’s DNA ever since, for 47 years, ever since its inception. So we understand the role that we play in the community and making sure that our voices, especially the voices of women of color, are not squashed down, that they’re given a platform.” De Luca via MSNBC

The full list was released on Monday (April 17th), and it includes some of our favorites like Shonda Rhimes, Angela Rye, Joy-Ann Reid, Tamika Mallory, April Reign, Luvvie Ajayi, and many more. These hand-selected women talk about how they rise up, speak up, and push the movement forward.

The special empowerment issue will hit newsstands this Friday, April 21st!

Check out the video below and be sure to STAY WOKE!

The First’s: Jayne Kennedy Became 1st Black Woman To Anchor A Network Sports Program

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This #BlackHistoryMonth, Live Civil will be highlighting African-Americans who were the very FIRST to infiltrate an area where African-Americans were once banned from.

These brave individuals stepped into their light and outside of their comfort zone, and disrupted the current and unfair societal norms that they were up against. With all odds against them they persevered and succeeded in a way that no one has ever before, and for that, they deserve to be celebrated.

For our first edition, we will celebrate the hard work from Jayne Kennedy, who became the first black woman to anchor a network sports program. Jayne Kennedy was a dancer, actress, and spokesperson who was told she should stay in her lane by “experts” in the entertainment industry. Jayne knew that she was much more than a pretty face, and thus went on to pursue other opportunities to showcase her true talent and skills as a communicator.

In 1978 Jayne landed her first broadcasting job as a co-anchor at CBS’ NFL Today and held that position for two years. Her signing made her the first African-American woman ever to anchor a network sports program. In the same time frame, Jayne also hosted the syndicated “Greatest Sports Legends” program.

During this time in television history, attractive women were hired merely for ratings and to increase the number of male viewers. The numbers for CBS skyrocketed during Kennedy’s time there, as expected, and it wasn’t for her physical features. Rather Kennedy displayed her knowledge and command of NFL statistics and team rosters while keeping her engaging playful flare that made the show a success when it came to interviewing athletes.

“I like it when someone says you are intelligent or pretty, but universal is a quality most people in Hollywood don’t want to see in blacks. That’s an appreciation of my talent. I did an episode of ‘Police Woman’ last year and I played an inmate, wore no make-up and had my hair pulled in a ponytail. And the producer said ‘I like you because you want to work, you want to be good.’ And that’s the nicest thing anyone could say.” –  Jayne Harrison Kennedy-Overton via The Washington Post.

We celebrate Jayne Kennedy for following her dreams and breaking ceilings for the rest of us in the process, the Civil way! Happy #BlackHistoryMonth, and be on the lookout for more “The First’s” pieces this month!

The Living Civil Series: Nikisha Brunson

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Who? Nikisha Brunson

What does she do? Co-Founder of Urban Bush Babes and PineappleLife

Where is she from? Toronto, Canada raised in Brooklyn, NY

How is she living civil? 

Nikisha Brunson is 1/2 of the popular and critically acclaimed lifestyle and natural hair blog “Urban Bush Babes”. The Urban Bush Babe is anyone who goes beyond the labels and steps outside of the box, they are comfortable in their own skin and embraces others. Nikisha Brunson carries all of these traits and then some, but it wasn’t always that way.

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Nikisha’s childhood years involved being a victim of bullying, issues with self, identity, sexual and verbal abuse. The bush babe grew up in the concrete jungle with her white mother who had the slightest idea of how to handle her ginormous set of beautiful natural curls, but she did the best she could resulting in one slicked back ponytail. Little did she know years later she will be the owner of her very own natural hair care line, (Folie Apothecary) and the co-founder of two successful natural hair and lifestyle blogs.

“Everything I’m not made me everything I am”

Everything Nikisha was not made her everything that she is today. The bullying, dysfunctional family, and sexual abuse led her to identity issues. These identity issues led her to live a life filled with uncertainty, constant exploration, depression, anxiety, and unhealthy relationships. In college, Nikisha had no idea who she was, she became attached to anything she thought was positive and even attempted to commit suicide at one point. Nikisha reached her breaking point and ultimately ended up finding herself through christ. She now lives a full and positive life committed to Jesus and her family. The hair that she was bullied for is now what she is known for. Tons of natural hair ladies look to her for the best tips and tricks. The constant style change led her to her an impeccable unique vintage style which is what made Urban Bush Babes different from other natural hair blogs, they incorporated vintage fashion and thrifting. The depression and anxiety are what caused her to dive deep into health consciousness, she now provides information on how to naturally heal ADHD, depression, and anxiety through living a healthy lifestyle.

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Putting your peace first. 

Because of Nikisha’s anxiety and depression she had to move far away from New York City to a place that is more fitting and relaxing. Nikisha currently resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and son in the cutest cottage. Most people from the south who want to make it in media/entertainment are rushing up north because they feel as though that is where it’s at. Nikisha put her health and peace first and continues to kill her career while living a simpler life in the sweet south.  “First learning who you are, things you are good at and things that you fail at. You can live an amazing life knowing what you are good at, what you are not good at. If you are not good at something you can strengthen it or just leave it alone, say that’s not my thing, accept it and move on.

 “First learning who you are, things you are good at and things that you fail at. You can live an amazing life knowing what you are good at, what you are not good at. If you are not good at something you can strengthen it or just leave it alone, say that’s not my thing, accept it and move on. – (Nikisha Brunson via Kaleidoscope society)

Nikisha believes that it is important to walk with people who understand you and are willing to work with you especially if you are living with a mental illness. It is important to surround yourself with people who will be there with you and pick you up when you feel like quitting.

“To find my inner peace I pray and surround myself with people who are compassionate and considerate and won’t make me feel overwhelmed. To release anxiety and stress I turn to exercising, a good movie or series. I also just started doing yoga again. Providing insightful content for women of color.” – (Nikisha Brunson via Kaleidoscope society)

In this fast-moving society, many of us don’t put ourselves and our peace first. A default of a hard worker is that we completely exhaust ourselves in efforts of being our best selves, and when we do this we are doing ourselves a disservice. When you are not internally centered and balanced you are not your best selves, and you are not putting out your best work. Find what works for you, find people that love you (for you and not what you can do for them), be happy, be healthy, and see how beautiful and effortless your work and your life will become.

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Providing Insightful Content For Women Of Color

Nikisha stuck out to the Live Civil team because of the insightful content that she provides to her following daily. If you ever need a DIY health/life hack, she is your girl! Nikisha is a research junkie and has all of the information that we need to know about living a healthy lifestyle especially for the black community. Growing up in the projects of Brooklyn she noticed there was a lack to access to important information. Her passion is sharing this information and helping others be healthy naturally when it comes to ones physical and mental health. Her natural skin and hair care line came about from her love.

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Women and ADHD

Nikisha is also one of the only women who shed light on ADHD. Nikisha and her son live with ADHD, her son was diagnosed first and then she was. Too many women grew up being called lazy, selfish, spacey, or dumb because their symptoms of ADHD were ignored or disregarded. Nikisha is open and honest with the struggles she faces with herself and her son while living with ADHD. ADHD is a complicated mental illness that is often undermined or undiscovered. For those who have been diagnosed, it is hard to talk about, digest, and deal with and content creators like Nikisha are very necessary when it comes to healing and finding relatable content. Nikisha finds the beauty in her mental illnesses she believes that her ADHD is the powerhouse behind her creativity.

“I come up with the craziest, most creative ideas which I feel like it can only come from an ADHD mind. I feel like every person I’ve met with ADHD is smart. We are emotional and sensitive. We tend to be connected to things more, we notice things, our hearing is heightened, our taste is heightened, everything is heightened.” – Nikisha Brunson

Her ADHD birthed her natural skin/hair care line. She shares with Blavity.com that her ADHD causes her to get bored easily and she always has her hands in something. She realized that she loved to be hands on and tactile, loved cooking, loved crafting, interior design, and DIY projects. Her skin care line came from her love for DIY projects and her need to create something for women who care about what they put ON their bodies.

Nikisha Brunson is living civil because she puts herself and her health first, she works hard, she’s fly, and she helps others along the way. Nikisha can debate some of the world’s most accoladed Doctors and Pharmacist on health issues and the proper remedies for them. Nikisha encourages creative entrepreneurs, to be honest with their selves and work from there. Everything that Nikisha has accomplished and put out comes from the inside out, and it doesn’t get any better than that. Continue to remain open and honest and thank you for putting African American women on to the best natural remedies, you give us life! Keep #LivingCivil <3

Fun fact: Nikisha has a degree in Psychology and Education she is an elementary school teacher.

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Instagram: @nikishabrunson

Youtube: UrbanBushBabes or Nikisha Brunson

Vision Boards: What’s The Big Deal?

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2017 is here, another year under our belt and another year to scratch off a couple of our short term and long term goals.

The vision board frenzy is at an all time high and although it may seem a tad bit corny and cliche to some cynics it is a fun and creative way to put your goals out into the universe. We know you guys have heard of them, seen people throw cute prissy vision board making parties and brunches, or maybe you’ve made one for yourself in the past!

Vision boards are an easy way to start working towards a more conscious and intentional life. Even if you aren’t the craftiest person, making a vision board is still an option for you.

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Visualization and how it works.

The Law Of Attraction states that if you visualize, claim, and work towards your goals with a positive attitude and mindset they are more likely to be achieved.

Oprah claims that vision boards helped her be the billionaire mogul that she is today. Psychology says that the mind responds well to visual stimulation. In lamens terms, if you see it, you believe it. When you look at that picture on your vision board every morning that goal is brought to the forefront of your brain and you are consciously aware of it in your everyday life with will result in you working towards that goal and ultimately achieving it.

So cutting our that picture of your ultimate vacation to Bali and pasting it on your version board has the possibility of reminding you to save. When you think about spending unnecessary money at happy hour with your co-workers or on Starbucks you’ll have that image of Bali in your mind, and hopefully, pass on the extras to save for your vacation.

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Art Therapy

The use of art impacts self-help, self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-exploration.

Art naturally inclines humankind to find healing through creative expression.  We have mentioned previously that adult coloring books are an easy way to use art to relieve stress. Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy based on the idea that art is a vehicle for symbolic communication. So while you are creating your vision board you are doing two things: Working on your SELF and using SYMBOLS to consciously communicate to your subconscious.

While you are making your vision board you are in the zone not really thinking about anything other than what you want on that board, forgetting about all of your past problems and focusing your energy on positivity and your future. You are in a state of clarification, relaxation, and preparation. Art is truly therapeutic, play you favorite album and get to cutting and pasting!

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Don’t Let Vision Boards And Goal Setting Lead You Into Unrealistic Expectations. 

Vision boards are dope but like most things, there is a negative side to them that avid vision board makers need to be aware of and accept if they are being affected.

Cutting out pictures and affirmation may work for some because it helps us organize and make more clear goals but for others, it has the potential of being detrimental. If you make a vision board and don’t work hard to achieve your goals you will end up feeling like an underachiever. Your goals can only come true if you work hard towards them, living in “LALA” land and fantasizing about this perfect self and life can make you feel good temporarily but can limit your ability to make those dreams a reality.

Make your vision boards actions boards. Dream about and be about it, make it happen. You must also be flexible yet proactive because life is “brazy” (YG voice) and your route will take twist and turns but you can not let it get you down. What you want for yourself may not be what god, the universe, or whatever higher power you believe in wants for you. You are right where you need to be and in the words of Bruce Lee the best way to live life is like water.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” – Bruce Lee

Remember that you are the shit even if you haven’t reached all of your goals. You are a walking, living, and breathing vision board so don’t get uber obsessed with the goals you have not yet accomplished, but be obsessed with who you are at this very moment, where you have been, and where you are going. It’s about the journey, not the destination. Enjoy every minute of it!

Happy 2017 and happy vision board making! Tweet us your vision boards, we would love to see them! #LiveCivil

5 Signs You Are Settling In Your Career/Work

By Posted on 65 4 m read

You did everything your parents, teachers, and “society” told you to do. You graduated high school, went to college and picked a major that guaranteed you job security as soon as you graduated. You worked your ass off through college and obtained your well deserved and respected degree, walked across that stage and thought, “This is it, I made it! Life begins now”. I know this sounds like an Everest commercial but hear us out we’re going somewhere with this.

A couple of years later you find yourself lowkey miserable and dissatisfied and you can’t really pinpoint why. You have a 401K(#GOALS), you own a home, and you’re driving your dream car with your very own parking spot at the job that you’re degree promised you. Everything you ever imagined growing up is in the palm of your hands but something just doesn’t feel right. Have you ever thought you might be in the wrong career or settling in the workplace? If you’re experiencing any one of these signs, make sure you ask yourself “why?” Are you just going through a particularly grueling time at work, or are these symptoms part of a bigger problem?

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You feel like you’re a narcoleptic on work days.

When getting out of your bed feels like pulling down an anchor or like the world is ending and you’re about to face the apocalypse. It is normal to feel tired during the work week but if you are constantly nodding off at your desk and downing an unhealthy amount of Folgers coffee you might want to reconsider. Extreme exhaustion are is a sign of depression, if you are only feeling this way when work comes around then 9/10 you’re job is the reason.

You’re bored and disengaged

When you first got the job you were bouncing off of the office walls, on your toes, and 3 steps ahead of the game. Now you could care less, instead of responding to important emails you’re surfing the web, watching youtube videos, and listening to your favorite podcast. You no longer give your input during staff meetings, you’re really just there for the free food and happy that you’re not at your sitting at desk dying slowly while fake working. You have no idea what’s really going on with the company, you’re just doing the bare minimum so you don’t get called into your supervisor’s office. You watch the clock like your favorite movie and run out of the office as soon as it hits 5 o’clock.

You focus on the “extras”

Experts say that if your main focus is always your future bonus, company trips, conference, or milestone anniversaries it means that says a lot about the way you feel about your job on a day-to-day basis. The work perks should not be the only reason you hold your job down. It is important to see your job in the long term, but if you’re focusing on the “extras” because your actual job duties drive you up the wall, there is something wrong. (via www.thefinancialdiet.com)

Negativity, negativity, negativity

Do you find yourself addressing every problem with a negative attitude and no solutions? When you are negative about your work your productivity is prone to slip, and this will cause a rift in the workplace. If your unhappiness at work is all you talk about with your friends at happy hour while downing margaritas, reconsider. Work isn’t always going to be a walk in the park sometimes you are going to feel a certain type of way when unfortunate situations arise in the workplace but if you are complaining daily about your job and all of the work that you signed up to do, all of those signs point to a serious career issue.

You feel as though you have no purpose

If you’re ever asked the question, “What is your purpose?” and you don’t have an answer you need to re-evaluate your everyday life and that include your career/job. Do you believe in the work that you do? Do you have solid reasons as to why the industry that you’re in excites you? Does it even excite you at all? Evaluate your answers and if you begin to feel indifferent this is the clearest sign that it is time to do some soul searching and job searching because finding your purpose and walking in it is how you can live the full life that you deserve.

If you felt some or all of these sign, don’t fret it is okay! Making errors in life and in our career ultimately lead us to where we are supposed to be if we accept them and make appropriate changes. Re-evaluate your job/career and before you make the decision to quit make sure you are doing it for all of the right reasons, make sure they are not based on temporary circumstances. You deserve to live happily ever after in all aspects of your life, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try different careers. Why does society believe that we are meant to pick one career and work with it for the rest of our lives? Change is inevitable and if you feel like making a shift don’t hesitate or feel obligated to stay in a situation that is no longer satisfying you because of what society, your partner, your friends, your family, and most importantly yourself believes. The world is yours, go grab it. Life is too beautiful to spend most of it feeling miserable and mediocre.  Take that leap and #LiveCivil, it will all work out.

5 Podcasts That Will Keep You Motivated In 2017

By Posted on 0 5 m read

It’s 2017 which means “new year, new me, who dis” and all that jazz right? We can all agree that 2016 was quite the bit of a drag, but we’re happy to say that the energy that has been circulating so far this year has been nothing but pleasant and inspirational. Social media has been filled with positivity and hope, and we want this momentum to continue for the rest of the year and the rest of our lives!

How do you plan to grow in 2017?

What small actions and baby steps are you going to take to grow into this new you?

What are you going to do differently this year that you didn’t do in 2016?

To ensure that we stay lit, motivated, and mentally prepared for whatever life throws at us we must proactively feed ourselves with positive words, affirmations, knowledge, insight, and truth. What you put in, is what you get out and that relates to food, energy, thoughts, actions, and basically everything. Motivation doesn’t happen in a day, it takes time, it takes routine, it takes making the space, making the change and flexing your positive muscles.

Motivation is like taking your daily multi-vitamins: you have to take them every day to see a change, it doesn’t just happen instantly. There are so many ways to keep yourself uplifted, educated, and ready for the world. Documentaries, day-time talk shows, self-help books, radio shows, working out, seeing a therapist, you-tube videos, and a millennials favorite: listening to podcasts.

Like anything else, you have to sort through a variety of options to find what vibes with you. Music is great and has served as our daily motivation since the beginning of time, but now it’s time to switch it up. With podcasts, you can broaden your perspective and ideas even more, while also challenging yourself and truly growing intellectually and spiritually.

With that said, here are 5 podcasts that will keep you motivated in 2017 (in no particular order):

BiggerPockets Podcast

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The BiggerPockets Podcast is officially the #1 top rated and reviewed real estate podcast on iTunes. The BiggerPockets Podcast cuts out the hype and BS, and delivers real, actionable advice from active real estate investors and other professionals in the industry. This podcast has everything and anything you’d want to know about investing, real estate, and creating an additional income. This helps whether you are just getting out of college and figuring out your career path to if you are a few years out of school and want to start buying a house or if you’re just simply interested in starting in making more money and shifting your life. The hosts of BiggerPockets not only offer information, but they have a huge online community dedicated to getting people connected to one another in their local area. They don’t care how knowledgeable you are on real estate they are down to help you out and pull you up! Like drake, they just want everyone to have “more life”.

Check it out here: BiggerPockets podcast on iTunes

BlackGirl Podcast

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Black Girl Podcast podcast just launched and is “so fresh and so clean clean”. Hosted and created by 5 up and coming media phenoms who met and became friends at the historical Hot 97 hip-hop radio station in NYC. The hosts include Scottie Beam (@scottiebeam on twitter/IG), Gia Peppers (@giapeppers), Sapphira (@sapphiraem), Bex (@blvckdaria), and Alysha P (@AlyshaP819/@AlyshaP). Listen as they discuss life issues, sisterhood, careers, sex, love, growth, and their journey to being successful in the cutthroat and highly populated media industry. This podcast is perfect for the everyday colored girl and especially special for the colored girl trying to make it respectfully in the “industry” as a blogger, on-air personality, event curator, TV producer, etc. These ladies hold nothing back and are always honest with themselves and their listeners, you’ll learn that you are not alone when it comes to the difficulties of being a young ambitious black girl and laugh your ass off the entire time.

Check it out here: BlackGirl podcast on iTunes

How I Built This

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How I Built This with Guy Raz who does the Ted Talks podcast does a one on one interview with all of the new age icons who have invented and created all of the social media platforms or programs that we use. This podcast gives us an insight on successful innovators stories like the creators of the Airbnb, Instagram, Zumba, DryBar’s, and much more. You’ll get to hear tips, how they learned from their mistakes, and gain major keys from hearing them come from nothing to creating something bigger than they have ever imagined. This podcast is special because of its detailed and intricate stories that show how you can make your vision become a reality with planning, dedication, and persistence.

Check it out here: How I Built This w/ Guy Raz podcast on iTunes

The Read

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Honestly, sometimes all you need to stay motivated and have a good day is a really good laugh and that is exactly what The Read podcast is guaranteed to give you. Hosted by Crissle West and Kid Fury, this podcast is full of life, laughs, and great energy. These two will keep you up to date and on your toes with everything that is happening in pop-culture, black twitter, news, and around the world in a ridiculously contagiously hilarious way. Consistently listening to The Read will also inspire you to be yourself and truly not care about what unwarranted people think or have to say about you. Crissle and Kid Fury are your everyday bad ass intellectual yet ratchet AF individuals, the perfect balance for a wonderful day. If you want to know even more about The Read check out their feature on The Living Civil Series.

Check it out here:   The Read podcast on iTunes

Everybody’s Got Something 

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Hosted by Robin Roberts, this is a podcast filled with intimacy and resliency. The GMA anchor creates and produces extradorinary and life changing conversations with her fascinating guests. Listening to this podcast you will discover how others find unexpected inner strength in the aftermath of adversity. Robin’s empathy and sense of humor inspire all of us to face our “somethings” and believe in the power of resilence. This podcast is honest, uplifting, deep, insightful, and filled with courage. We all have our “somethings” that may be holding us back from being happy and from greatness, fac your “something” and see how much more fufilling and productive your 2017 will be.

Check it out here: Everybody’s Got Something  by ABC News on iTunes

The Living Civil Series: Kid Fury and Crissle West

Who? Kid Fury and Crissle West

Where are they from? Miami (Kid Fury) and Oklahoma (Crissle), now based in NYC

What do they do? Hosts of the chart-topping podcast “The Read”

How are they living civil?

Our first #LivingCivilSeries of the year comes with a bit of a twist because, why not it’s 2017? 2016 was the year of creating your own lane and podcasts became extremely popular. Some of our favorites include, “TaxSeason” “Drink Champs”, “Brilliant Idiots”, “I’ll Name This Podcast Later”, and one of the pioneers “The Read”.

“The Read” is a weekly hip-hop and pop-culture comedy podcast hosted by two millenials that are breaking down barrieres, Crissle West and Kid Fury.  The Read was featured on iTunes’ Best of 2013 and 2014 Editor’s Choice, and is a part of the popular LoudSpeakers network. The pair has also sold out live shows in New York, Los Angeles, London, Toronto, Atlanta, and many more cities.

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The story of how Kid Fury and Crissle became a thing is almost unbelievable, a social media success story to say the least. They were following each other on Twitter for the longest time and decided to meet up in Atlanta where they were both going to be for New Year’s Eve. Crissle is from Oklahoma and Kid Fury is from Miami, but they both wanted to step outside of their comfort zone and move to NYC. Crissle was on her way out and encouraged Kid Fury to put some pep in his step. The rest is history.

Twitter (Social Media) friends can change your life don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Both host’s organically had an online presence on social media. Kid Fury started his urban news/gossip site entitled “The Fury” in 2016 which now has over hundreds of thousands of hits a day along with his YouTube Channel, Kid Fury TV holding over 94,000 subscribers. Crissle is a Tumblr-lovin’ writer who grew up in the mid-west with racism in her face, a strong opinion, and a ridiculous sense of humor. Chris Morrow approached Kid Fury about doing a podcast and he said he would only do it if he could have Crissle co-host with him, now they are the rockstars of podcasting.

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We knew we loved this podcast when we heard the dopest remix to “Oh Happy Day” on the intro. The show is unapologetically black and made for people who know how to properly construct educated arguments about the world that we live in and shake their ass. Their effortless conversation is a mixture of the beauty and the barber shop.

When most podcasts talk at you, “The Read” talks with you and listeners feel included in a genuine conversation between two “clatchet” (classy/ratchet) best friends. The show is off of the cuff and what you hear is what you get. No cliche scripts just two raw infectious personalities covering topics like Beyonce, black excellence, racial injustices, the LGBT community, and anything else that may piss them off or make them happy in pop culture and in their everyday lives. Crissle and Kid Fury say the things that people are not saying but should be saying in a comical and educational way that keeps listeners enlightened and entertained. Other than podcasting the two have their hands full with a galore of opportunities

Use your platform to do all that you can, try everything as long as it doesn’t go against your values.

Furious Thoughts Live”  is a spinoff stand-up comedy show of Kid Fury Tv, and it has sold out multiple shows. He is also a recipient of the #YouTubeStar Shorty Award. Kid Fury says that he will try anything that remotely interests him because he never knows will it will take him and he is going to get everything that he deserves. For example, the duo never thought “The Read” would grow into its own entity, they just did it to add onto their brands and it has grown to be bigger than anything they have ever imagined.

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Crissle has become the “it” girl when it comes to commentating on race, sexuality, pop-culture, and podcasting. Crissle has a way of informing the public on complicated issues in a brutally honest sarcastic way that is relatable comical and easy to comprehend. Crissle is also a writer whose work has been published in ESSENCE magazine and has appeared on panels at NYU, UC – Riverside, Murray State University, and the American Studies Association. She has also appeared on MTV 2’s “Uncommon Sense”, MTV News’ “Decoded”, and Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” where she gave us the ultimate rundown of Harriet Tubman’s journey.

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Be yourself and believe in yourself, everything will fall into place.

The duo has also appeared on Watch What Happens Live, VIBE, and many other media platforms. Their characters and attitudes are the same across all boards, they are black, snarky and outlandishly calm. The two have shown that you can make a career out of being yourself and have statistically proven that the podcasting wave can be lucrative. You don’t have to be popular or come from another medium to have a successful podcast, just be yourself, find your audience, be loyal to them and they will be loyal to you.

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Walk in your truth, even if nobody understands it. 

We love Kid Fury and Crissle because they went to the big apple with a couple hundred dollars and struggled their way into their own lane that nobody can take away from them. Kid Fury and Crissle are completely confident and comfortable in who they are as people, and encourage others to do the same. They speak for millions of African-American men and women fearlessly and will be a staple in media during this transitional and conflicting time in culture and history. This is only the beginning for them and we hope they reach the world with their words while making the money that their talent is worth. Continue to live bold, live free, and #LiveCivil.

10 Women Who Did Incredible Things In 2016

A majority of us have had major complaints about how horrid 2016 was, this year seems to have thrown people for a loop. 2016 was filled with transition, adversity, trials, and tribulations, but even when it’s dark out we must not forget to find the light.

Even though 2016 brought some of us hell on earth, it was the women of the world who truly strived this year, and for that they should be celebrated. Barriers were broken in more ways than one, and it’s remarkable to say the least.

Our voices are being heard and our stories are finally being told. Now more than ever women are gracefully stepping outside of misogynistic societal boxes and getting the credit that they deserve for their hard work and accomplishments. 2016 has brought recognition to the divine strength, potential, and beauty of women and more especially women of color.

Here are a few (out of a ton) amazing women, who have done incredible things in 2016. Add your favorites in the comments section below.