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 Forbesand 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.
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports