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Rashaan Everett’s Quest to Support Black Owned Businesses with ‘The Greenwood Project’

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Howard University graduate Rashaan Everett took advantage of his educational experience to bring knowledge and financial support to black-owned business owners across the country.

In a world where there is no hiding the disadvantage minorities face, The Greenwood Project is the investment game-changer that many have been waiting for. By starting the company, Rashaan has created the much needed step in building the Black market: finding investors. The GoFundMe –styled organization gives aspiring business owners the ability to earn the financial boost needed to form their independent startup company. Not only does the savy self-starter take pride in being able to help his community monetarily, but he also enjoys knowing he can help their self confidence as entrepreneurs.

Take a look at how The Greenwood Project came about and how Rashaan plans to boost both your self-esteem and wallets!

Lessons From a Life Coach: Love, Success, and Health

My Life Keys

Stephanie Alva didn’t always have all the answers.  And she still doesn’t, necessarily.  But what she does have is the key to helping you unlock your own.  As Founder, life coach and motivational speaker of My Like Keys, she’s helped guide everyday people to top-notch entertainers from unemployment and unhappiness to success and confidence.  We had the pleasure of briefly speaking with Alva about her ladder to success, and ended with a heap of tips on success, weight loss, love, depression, and more along the way!

Early Beginnings

“I feel like I’ve always been a life coach.  Like, as long as I can remember, people would come to me and I would just innately see a solution to their problem. When I was with the Gospel Gangstaz, for me it was a learning experience because we were on tour, and we would having to deal with fans and imaging: what’s our image, you can’t leave the house unless u look a certain way, you have to spend such-and-such amount of time taking pictures and signing autographs, [etc].  As far as personal management goes in the entertainment industry, I really was just a life coach who also organized their work schedules.  I was dealing with their personal problems, and problems they were having on set.  I really just life-coached them 24-7 and added the responsibility of negotiating and getting their contracts signed, and organizing their schedules.  So I sort of always been a life coach.  I feel like it was just what I was born to do.”

Catering To

“Yes, my practice is made up of a mixture.  I do life-coach celebrities; I life coach actors, models, actresses.  I have life-coached singers and rappers in the past.  But my services are also available to the average person.  You know, I ‘ve done corporate as well. Group-life coaching, weight-loss life coaching, I have some clients who are unemployed right now, and they make a way out of no way to pay for their coaching schedules and sessions.  I have clients who came to me on unemployment and who are now gainfully employed.  So, that’s a big misconception.  Especially when people will see certain celebrities speaking to me on twitter or on facebook, and they automatically assume I just coach celebrities, but I don’t.  My services are available to whoever needs them.”

On Weight Less

“A large portion of my coaching practices, people are dealing with weight issues.  Some of them, it is obesity, some it is addiction to food– which is something people don’t talk about a lot, but it’s a real thing.  And I have a lot of clients that are struggling with gaining weight.  You know, they have issues where they’ve been big before, they’ve gotten really small, and they’re afraid to get big again.  So really all of those things are based in fear and in control.  And probably 99.9% of the time, the person’s life is out of control in various areas.  And the only control that they feel they do have is with what they do, or do not, eat.

“I spoke to a friend of mine, David, and he was a big encourager of mine in becoming public with my weight loss journey.  It took me a while to do that because it was private and personal and I didn’t want to open myself up to judgment and persecution because people can be, sort of, mean.  But I spoke with David about it and he was like ‘who cares? People talk anyway and there’s probably people out there that you can help’.  And as soon as I became public with it, I started getting a lot of people wanting to know how did I do it, how do I maintain it, and they signed up for weight loss coaching.”

How To Lose Weight

Stop focusing on weight loss. Stop focusing on it.  Stop weighing yourself everyday, stop talking about it.  Stop! Stop!  Just stop!

“Very first thing: start being kind to yourself.  People with weight problems typically talk to themselves, speak to themselves very poorly.  They’re probably more abusive to themselves verbally than anyone else can be.  Start being conscious of yourself.  Start loving yourself.  But stop immediately focusing on weight loss.  Think about what you are doing that has contributed to you having a weight problem.  And then do the opposite of that.  Being kindly to yourself, forgiving yourself… Don’t cut yourself off from all types of food;  Don’t go on these, you know, six months vegetable juice fats diets.  You don’t need to do all of that.  Stop focusing on the weight loss itself.  Start focusing on whole health.”

On Depression and the stigma of suicide.

“The thing with social media is that it can be a blessing and a curse.  It gives people the anonymity that they need to live out who they are in the moment.  And unfortunately, there’s people in the world that have a lack of love and attention, and they feel that any attention is good attention.  And so they get on [these networks] and talk about wanting to kill themselves and people stop taking it seriously; It becomes the boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome.

“Let’s say for arguments sake that the person was just trying to get attention, and then they get 50 tweets from various people around the world saying ‘we don’t care, nobody will miss you, etc.’  That may be the thing that sends them over the edge.  So it’s very important to remember, ‘How would I want to be treated if I were in that case?’”

How To Address Suicide on Social Networks.

“My advice is if you’re on social media and you see somebody cry out for help, regardless of whether you think they’re doing it for attention or not, you have a responsibility to act on behalf of the person.  So send them an encouraging word.  You can look at their twitter or facebook account, find out what city they’re in, call 9-1-1 in their city and say, ‘listen, this person, all I know is this is their name on[insert network] and this is the city they say they live in, and they’re talking about killing themselves.’  Do what you can in order to assist.  Don’t add to the problem.

“I’ve tried to commit suicide before, I have suffered from depression my entire life.  I come from a bloodline of people that have suffered from depression.  The person is broken in some way, and us adding negativity to it is not solving the problem. So just remember you get back what you put out.”

Valentine’s Day and the slump of Singles Awareness Day is true?

“I haven’t had a whole lot of people come to me around Valentine’s Day. I get a lot of people coming to me in the middle of the year, and then again towards the end of the year. So it kind of goes up and down as far as that goes.  But I do get a lot of people coming to me wanting to know how to attract their soulmate; you know, [wanting] to get married.  And surprisingly enough, men come to me wanting me to help them attract their soulmate too; it’s not just women.  So I have a lot of clients, I would say, at least 40% of them, part of their coaching is wanting to attract their soulmate.  Around Valentine’s Day, I do have clients that get into a funk, and are sort of like, ‘why don’t I have a beau’ and ‘why aren’t I getting married’ you know?  But if the client has been with me for any length of time, they’re not typically in that frame of mind.  I don’t teach that.   The new clients, yes.”

Most Common Issues

“Everyone wants to be in a loving, healthy relationship.  It may not be what they come to me with initially, but after working with me at least one or two sessions, I’m able to point out to them these things in your life, your love life, your career, your purpose, your financial life, all of these things are suffering because you have something going on in your past that needs to be healed. There’s a disconnect that needs to be reconnected.  And so I find that a lot of people are unaware that stuff that happened to them when they were a kid, when they were a teenager, as a young adult, that these things were not dealt with properly will have a great impact on every area in your life. So the common thread is the unconscious way that people speak about themselves, about others, as well as past wounds, past habits, or addictions that need to be dealt with in order for all of these other areas to fall in line.”

Job Searches & Financial Guidance

“A lot of times, again, it’s this sort of  unconscious talk that we do: [saying things like] “I’m never going to find a job”; [hearing things on the news like] “in today’s news, the unemployment rate is such-and-such”;  like all of this information that you’re being inundated with is simply adding to the problem.

“My very first stage of advice: stay away from the media.  Don’t tell everybody in the world that you’re struggling, or that you quit or that you don’t have a job.  [Then] not only are you battling your own fear and your own doubts, but [also] taking on the energy of battling other people’s fears and other people’s doubts.  So be careful who you talk about your  problems with and above that, be careful about how much you talk about the problem.  Become solution focused and stop focusing on the fact that you don’t have a job.  Start pretending that you do.  Your energy will begin to change.

“Get up in the morning, set a schedule for yourself as if you already had a job, get dressed as if you already had a job, get yourself in the frame of mind of already being employed.  That changes your energy. And once your energy changes, the responses you begin getting from people will change.  It has to.  It has not choice.  Also, think positive affirmations: I will stand out in the crowd, I’m worthy of attaining my dreams and my goals, I’m priceless, I’m worthy of my heart’s desire, etc.  Speak to yourself what makes you feel good.  Your energy enters a job interview before you do.  So when your energy is positive and upbeat and when you feel like you’re priceless, and you feel like you can bring a lot to a company, the person interviewing you will feel the same way as well.”

Most Memorable Memories

“Every day I coach people, I’m inspired. There’s this [saying]: ‘The thing you need to learn the most is what you teach.’ I’m being healed every time I share an idea with somebody.

“I remember this one client, her name is Danny.  She is no longer a client of mine, she sort of graduated.  But I remember the first session I had with her, she was having issues with people at work.  The tools that I gave her worked overnight.  The people that were giving her issues either quit, or were transferred to other salons.  So everybody was sort of managing themselves, and she thought it was her fault.  Just the hilarity of it, it touched me so deeply.  I was like, ‘Just because you [cause change] doesn’t mean that the universe is gonna be like ‘Oh, I’m gonna screw everybody else so she’s happy.’  Whatever happened, was for everybody’s highest good.

“And there was a couple times where I’ve given money manifestations techniques to clients, and one client manifested 75,000$ in 3 weeks.  Another client of mine was wanting to do a lead role in a movie and he kept getting kind of like the side-kick roles.  I gave him some affirmations, he started on a daily program, and in about a week or two, I got a phone call from him saying that he got the lead in a movie that will be coming out this May.

“I think that the thing that touches me the most is when people understand that they participated in creating this life, and then all of a sudden they have this moment where, ‘If I created this bad life, that means I have the power to create a good life as well.’ And once they get that, life is no longer happening to them.  They’re creating this life.  They are happening to life.”

So, now it’s time to take this great advice (given for free, by the way!) and make the necessary changes in your life today.

[Follow Stephanie Alva and her team on Twitter @MyLifeKeys, visit the site here and her nutritious blog here]

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