Egypt Sherrod isn't your average real estate agent.
Turn your television to the latest episode of HGTV's Property Virgins and you'll likely catch her showing half million dollar homes for her first-time home buyers in a stylish pair of pumps. Her favorite pair? Green crocodile Casadei heels that she admits she hardly ever wears. Her shoe game will surely make any retail addict go into relapse. “I like to buy really nice things, but on sale," she assures me. “I believe in treating yourself, and I don't feel guilty at all."
And that she shouldn't.
The award-winning agent works hard for her money, and is no stranger to finding the best deals and turning them into long-term investments. Her motto:
In fact, she's made a career out of it. She recently landed a new show on HGTV called Flipping Virgins, where she helps buyers purchase, flip, and sell lower priced homes at high profit margins. Add that to her broad portfolio of careers including radio, television, real estate, author and philanthropist, and it's clear that the wife and mother of one certainly knows how to finesse her skill sets both on and off camera.
For Sherrod, the key to wealth lies within the ability to have multiple streams of income—at least that's what has been the foundation of her success.
“My mentor told me early on, if you want to have longevity. You have to have a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C and work them all at the same damn time!"
Talking with Sherrod, it's easy to see why she's been able to have longevity in multiple industries. I'm immediately drawn in by her warm personality and “sister girl" demeanor, and have decided that if I ever purchase a home in her current city of Atlanta, then she would be my go-to realtor. It's not just the fact that we share an appreciation of quality homes, but as our conversation would later reveal, it's also her confidence in knowing who she is and what she's talking about it.
Earning a spot as one of HGTV's coveted show hosts takes time and dedication of learning the game, and Sherrod's certainly no novice to the real estate streets. A brief look at her resume would reveal that during her 20s the young Temple University graduate could be found buying dilapidated homes to renovate and resale, allowing her to sock away funds for rainy seasons when radio would no longer pay bills.
“I would get some money, and instead of putting it into some shoes and pocketbooks, I would put it into buying properties."
It was that hustling mentality that kept her pockets cushioned during periods of unemployment before being called back into radio to work the primetime slot at New York's WBLS 107.5. Unwilling to part with her more stable source of income, she chose to keep both career paths moving and rebranded herself as the go-to real estate girl, picking up a high profile list of clientele including athletes, celebrities, and record label executives. Although she was successfully balancing her careers in entertainment and real estate, she couldn't ignore the feeling that there was something more that would bring her fulfillment.
“Radio had been excellent to me, but I was growing out of it. I definitely was growing out of the gossip, I really didn't care who was doing who…I hated that I had to do entertainment and gossip reports. But unfortunately it was something very popular that I had become known for."
Determined to take her career to the next level she auditioned for Property Virgins, and in 2010 snagged the role as the show host—it was just the big break that she needed to begin her transition from radio to real estate.
But her excitement quickly came to a halt after learning she was pregnant four episodes into shooting the first season. During a time when she should've been celebrating her motherhood, the mom-to-be found herself hiding her pregnancy in fear that her growing belly would lead to her termination. In radio she was used to competing against the youngest and the next best thing, and she was sure that being on primetime television was no different.
“I wasn't trying to be dishonest, I was just trying to make it just like everybody else. You want to fulfill your dreams, but you want it all. And I wanted my baby, and I wanted my happiness, but I wanted my dream too."
To her surprise, and relief, she was wrong. “I laughed and I cried because they were like we don't care we were waiting on you to tell us."
Her second obstacle came in the form of a snowstorm during October 2011. As a mother-to-be juggling two careers, being trapped in her home gave her a case of cabin fever. She decided that it was time to take her talents to another city, pitched the team at HGTV to move Property Virgins to Atlanta, landed a new role at WVEE V-103, and relocated south with her husband and four-week-old daughter.
It was a necessary move that also came with heavy consequences. The boss mom struggled to balance her marriage, motherhood, and a new territory in both radio and real estate. She describes this period one of the most challenging times in her life.
“I'm not going to say I failed in the radio industry, but it was wrong of me to try to take it all at once. I was forced to choose, and I chose to take a leap of faith and leave the business that I had ran for almost 20 years."
Already desiring a change in her career made the decision to leave easier. She was also battling postpartum depression due to breast feeding, sleepless nights, and working multiple jobs.
"And priority number one was my daughter, she was the single most important thing in my life that I am the most proud of. So she had to come first."
Focusing solely on real estate gave Sherrod just the balance that she needed, and enabled her to give time to both her career and family, and, of course, herself. Now when she wants a little personal time, she hits the gym or does a little meditation. She also finds balance in her friendships, keeping a positive group of lady friends who pour into and challenge her to not settle for mediocrity. There's no room for “yes women" in her circle.
Through the Egypt Cares Family Foundation—a non-profit dedicated to financial empowerment and awareness—she's able to give back to her community, and her priceless real estate advice, as detailed in her book Keep Calm…It's Just Real Estate, has become the go-to guide for homebuyers who are looking to get the most bang for their buck, both in their home and their realtor.
As a future homebuyer, I drill her with questions. How much money should I save for a down payment? How do I find a good real estate agent? I'm looking to add another stream of income, how do I become a real estate boss, too?
Her first piece of advice? Don't take advice from people who have no experience in real estate.
"Be careful who you listen to and get real estate advice from," she warns. "Sometimes our family members really want what's best for us but they don't realize they're giving us bad advice. In some cities the real estate market is booming! While in some cities it's still doing really, really bad. So why would we take advice from Auntie Vera who living in California if we're living in New York City?"
The rest of the answers to my questions? Well, they're all detailed in the book. No spoilers here.
One thing I can say about Sherrod is that she definitely knows her stuff. She's a woman that many women aspire to be: career-driven with a relentless work ethic, humbly confident and purposefully passionate. Even her definition of what it means to be a woman is an accurate reflection of her mentality.
“I realized I had gone from being a girl to womanhood when I start taking responsibility for my actions and not being afraid to apologize, being okay with starting over being 100% comfortable in my own skin, learning the importance of humility, and being well-rounded as a person, not one dimensional."
Find out more info on Flipping Virgins on HGTV.com.
All images courtesy of Egypt Sherrod
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Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Over 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's, and it is anticipated that by 2050, this number will almost double. With staggering rates of this disease impacting senior citizens and the families caring for them, the need to boost awareness around this neurological condition is greater now, more than ever.
November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, which presents an opportunity to educate the public about Alzheimer's disease and increase understanding of its causes, symptoms, and impact on individuals and families with loved ones who have or could develop the condition in the future.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
According to the CDC, Alzheimer's disease, the most prevalent form of dementia, is a progressive condition starting with mild memory loss and potentially advancing to an inability to engage in conversation and respond to the surroundings.
The disease impacts areas of the brain responsible for thought, memory, and language, significantly hindering a person's capacity to perform daily activities.
The exact cause of Alzheimer's is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
The warning signs of Alzheimer's disease can differ among individuals and typically emerge gradually. While Alzheimer's is not a normal aspect of aging, age is the best-known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Memory problems commonly represent one of the initial indicators of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, especially if they worsen over time.
In addition to this, Healthline notes that symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may show up as one or more of the following:
- Alterations in mood, personality, or behavior.
- Disruption of daily life due to memory loss, like becoming disoriented in familiar surroundings or repeating questions.
- Difficulty in accomplishing routine tasks at home, work, or during leisure activities.
- Diminished or impaired judgment.
- Misplacement of items with an inability to retrace steps to locate them.
Who Does Alzheimer's Affect?
The prevalence of Alzheimer's in the United States is rapidly increasing, with an estimated 6.7 million among those aged 65 and older in 2023. Approximately 73% of individuals with Alzheimer's are aged 75 or older, and the overall rate for those aged 65 and older is 1 in 9 (10.7%), according to the Alzheimer's Association.
One out of every three seniors passes away with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, surpassing the combined mortality of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Elderly Black Americans have approximately twice the likelihood of experiencing Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia compared to elderly white individuals.
Prevention and Support of Alzheimer's Disease
The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease remains unclear, and scientists believe it is likely influenced by multiple factors such as age and family history, but genetics do not determine one's fate or outcome.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's, and caring for a loved one with the disease can take a financial, mental, and emotional strain on the family as the disease progresses. Caregivers face daily challenges, adjusting to changing abilities and behaviors, and as the disease advances, more intensive care is often required.
As more research and awareness spreads around Alzheimer's, taking the proper measures to improve and manage brain cognition is essential. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, a nutritious diet, limited alcohol consumption, and not smoking, may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Raising awareness helps reduce the stigma associated with Alzheimer's and related dementias and can foster a more supportive and compassionate community for individuals affected by the disease.
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