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Necole Kane Shares The Most Important Lessons While Rebuilding Her Brand With 'Forbes'

Someone's dream is attached to the vision you've been sleeping on.

Business

Someone's dream is attached to the vision you've been sleeping on. Let that sink in for a minute. The vision you've been given is only yours, so I'm sorry to break it to you, but you're the only one capable of living out the destiny you were given.

Issa fact that someone you don't even know is waiting on you to bless the world with your purpose, and yet, for some reason, you spend most of your time doubting your ability. It's time for you to stop playing with your goals sis, someone else's game plan depends on it. Just ask our CEO, Necole Kane, whose dream made room in the industry for the vision of dozens of other women. To her, designing a life she was proud of was so important, that she shut down her already thriving business and started from scratch with new values.

If at first, you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again with new intentions. That's exactly what Necole did when she shut down NecoleBitchie.com in search of a business venture that aligned with her purpose. Four years later, Necole has successfully rebranded her business and invented a new formula for success that's based in self-love and positive affirmation. Since the site's launch and subsequent acquisition by Hollywood heavy-hitter, Will Packer, we have garnered millions of unique viewers and created a one of a kind community of women who respect and empower each other, and it all started with a woman who has a dream bigger than most people could see at the time.

She recently sat down with Forbes and gave us 5 important things to remember when forging a new path in a jaded industry, and we are taking notes:

Plan With A Purpose

Everything that looks good ain't good for you, and this is this principle also applies when it comes to business. When it comes to deciding whether an upcoming project will be a burden or a blessing, it helps to decide whether or not that endeavor aligns with your purpose and your long-term goals:

"It's so easy to get knocked off your path just because of opportunities that people bring to you. They may sound good at the moment but then you look up one day and you're way off the path that you had."

Surround Yourself With Bosses

You can't pick apples from a banana tree, and you can't expect to get solid business advice from someone who's never started or ran one effectively. That's why Necole says it's important to keep a tribe of experienced bosses around you to help you navigate uncharted territories. According to Necole, this advice came in handy when Will Packer offered her an acquisition deal for xoNecole:

"When I was pursuing an acquisition, I had this huge fear because I didn't know anyone that had ever sold a business before and the only black woman I knew that had sold a business at the time was Lisa Price [of Carol's Daughter]."

Necole said that although it's cool to get advice from your homegirls from time to time, it's also important to consult with mentors who have already pressed past where you are right now.

"Side to side mentorship is super important but I don't think we pursue it as often because we look at mentorship as someone that has been in the business for 'x' amount of years. Sometimes that's really not the case, it could just be pursuing mentors that are in fields similar to you - you guys can have an exchange of information, you can contribute whatever your expertise is and vice versa."

Know Your Audience

When it comes to your business, it's easy to say that "everyone" is your target audience because when it comes to customers who will spend a coin, we don't discriminate. But ultimately, to run a successful business you have to define, understand, and cater to a unique customer who is crazy about your product. For Necole, she found that xoNecole's tribe was comprised of predominantly Black women from Atlanta, so she packed up her things and moved to the big peach. Since then, our readership has quadrupled and she feels more inspired than ever before:

"The Atlanta move was the best move we could have made for the brand, that's where our audience is."

Don’t Forget About Mind & Body Maintenance

One thing Necole doesn't lack is body, child, just thinking about her makes me feel like I need to hit a few squats. But according to her, her bomb body and ferocious abs didn't come without hard work and discipline, both qualities that have helped her along her business journey as well.

"When I went into my fitness journey, that's when xoNecole started to really take off in terms of me pouring what I was learning from fitness and getting in the gym every day and the discipline it takes getting up at 5 am every morning to get your cardio in before work, getting your meals in on time."

To Necole, working out isn't a chore, issa gift; one that she takes full advantage of every damn day.

"As an entrepreneur, our whole day is a hustle and grind, and there is no space for things that fill us up and for me its fitness."

Put It On Paper 

The Lord told us that if we have a vision, we should write it down and make it plain and this phrase is more than just some scriptural mumbo jumbo that your grandmother used to say, it's big facts. A little over a year ago, I wrote in a personal journal that I wanted to be paid to write. Today, I'm a full-time freelancer who works for one of the women who inspired me to be a journalist in the first place. Little did I know, only years before that Necole was somewhere writing intentions that helped my vision become a reality. Necole explained:

"I used to set intentions every morning. I would write out exactly what I wanted to happen. The day I started doing that was January 2016 and one of the things I wrote that day was 'You will receive a huge opportunity today.' And that's the day that Will Packer emailed me. I wake up every morning and I write down exactly everything, and I'm detailed. If I want 2 million new readers tomorrow, I write that down."

Read Necole's full interview here!

If you want to hear more about Necole's transitional story, come out to ElevateHER on Saturday August 3 in Atlanta where she will be discussing her career pivot for the first time in an intimate conversation with Dr. Key Hallmon. Click here to purchase your tickets today here.

Featured image by TAILIAH BREON.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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