There's nothing in this world that a good Tedx Talk can't fix. Feeling yourself spiraling into chronic depression? Try a Tedx Talk. Want to learn how to have better sex with your partner? Try a Tedx Talk. On a quest to master the Art of The Hustle? Karen Civil's latest Tedx Talk has you covered, sis.
Over the past decade, Karen has risen to prominence as a go-to digital marketing strategist to the stars and was formerly dubbed by XXL as the Oprah Winfrey of hip hop. Along with being an author, philanthropist, producer, and professional badass, Karen also finds time to drop gems on how to make our own visions come to fruition. This 32-year-old Brooklyn-born, Jersey-raised go-getter recently slid through our YouTube feed with a whole word about the steps you need to take to become a full-time CEO, and xoNecole has all the details.
Here's are 6 essential business tips from Karen that every mogul in the making should have:
Use What You Have To Get What You Want
You have everything you need to be successful.
I'll run that back just in case you didn't hear me the first time. You don't need more time, money, or resources to be successful, you just need to use what you have. According to Karen, that's exactly how she became one of the most sought after media professionals in the game. Along with using an AOL disc to jumpstart her career in the industry, Karen also used her ingenuity in other ways to get ahead:
"I would do an interview for my site and I would gift them to the talent, and I would have them take funny pictures or use them for the studio, and I ended up sending these pictures to Beats because I saw that their Facebook was in dire need of content. This led to the Marketing Executive, Omar Johnson, reaching out to me and one conversation later, I was moving to Los Angeles with a new position within the company. That was 9 years ago to this day."
Take The Time To Celebrate Each Victory
A 10,000-mile journey starts with one step and truly bossing up starts with taking the time to celebrate your small wins. Karen explained that while being your own boss can be satisfying, it can also be scary AF:
"When you work in a traditional job, there's the glass ceiling. You're trying to break milestones, you can track your way up like any employee of the month, promotions, etcetera. But when you're an entrepreneur, there's no ceiling. There's not even a floor, just walls that will close in on you if you doubt yourself."
Your Insecurities Are Excuses
Let me tell you something. The self-sabotage struggle is real; but at some point, you realize that there's only one person stopping you from becoming the woman of you dreams. It's you, sis. You're that person.
Your weight, your bank account, your age, and your gender are not the determining factors in you achieving your goals, how you see yourself is. According to Karen, getting to the root of her insecurities was key when it came to building her empire:
"There are three reasons for not achieving anything and those are: giving up, failing to gain momentum, and becoming distractions. I had to learn to categorize all my insecurities and process all of the obstacles in as nothing more than an excuse that I was doing nothing but sabotaging myself."
When you're not early, you're late, and this principle should also apply when it comes to your work ethic because an early bird may get the worm, and a proactive woman secures the bag.
In order to design the life of your dreams, you first need a blueprint, and Karen said that started with eliminating any and everything in her life that didn't align with her vision.
"When you fail to plan, all your plans fail. My journey to walking my purpose and building my brand has its ups and downs but I've always wanted to be the master of my own life and not a victim of circumstance or chance. So I put in the long hours and could control my day-to-day and could continue turning my ideas into a fruitful reality."
Your Mind Is A Muscle, Work It Sis
In Karen's Tedx Talk, she shared that in China, work ethic is valued more than talent and no matter how good you are at what you do, you can always get outworked. According to her, much like muscles, our minds are instruments of the body that must be trained and conditioned to be successful. One way to pump the iron is by setting attainable goals:
"Setting goals and achieving them will always keep you motivated. The actual act of achievement is something that can be learned over time. You need to treat it as if it's a muscle, and once you learn to properly work it out and condition it, there is no end to what you can accomplish in your life."
Play The Long Game
In the words of the great African-American poet T.I., I was looking through my rearview at all the times I had, sh*t seems a lot clearer after time had passed, and boy, isn't that always the case? Hindsight is 20/20, and Karen revealed that insight is the most valuable thing you can have when it comes to being an entrepreneur. The CEO stressed the importance of being a star player when it comes to preparing for the long game:
"It's easy to get caught up in the day-by-day challenges of running a business, but you literally have to carve out time at least once a week to take stock of what you're doing for the long-term health of your business. Do you have an exit strategy? Do you plan to just wake up one morning and close shop? Are you looking to be bought out by a bigger corporation? Do you plan to transition your brand into something different down the line?"
Watch the full video below!
Visionary: Forging Your Own Path Forward | Karen Civil | TEDxBethesda www.youtube.com
Featured image by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Beautycon
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.
Many have wondered if one time is ever enough to see Queen Bey. Some argue yes. However, many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum, including myself, would disagree. Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" is a universal yet varying experience for everyone who attends. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, the concert is "transcendent." For millennials, we have over two decades of her catalog that has served as the soundtrack for many of our lives and painted a personal portrait of our most coveted thoughts. Her music provides mental clarity and self-expression by serving as a universal language that has united fans from all walks of life through community, fashion, self-acceptance, and healing.
With a multi-layered approach to her artistry, just as she did on that winter day in December 2013 with the infamous digital drop of her self-titled album, she changed the game again on February 1, 2023, when she announced her world tour in support of Renaissance, her seventh studio album. Her cultural impact set the internet ablaze, with everyone trying to gather their coins, barter for presale codes, and figure out which cities to attend. The group chats were lit, and the Beyhive was stressed trying to get their hands on tickets.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Unfortunately, I was in that number. As the concert dates passed by and the one in my city drawing near all roads led to disappointment. With time ticking on the day of the Miami show and less than two hours to spare, my wallet bit the bullet, and I purchased three last-minute tickets, costing roughly $700.00 a piece (including fees) for me, my 9-year-old and 16-year-old nieces in Section 121 at the Hard Rock Stadium. With 10 minutes before showtime, we eagerly awaited the Queen to take the stage. A sea of metallic fringes, cowboy hats, disco fans, and western boots were in full effect and filled the entire stadium.
As the lights dimmed, a flood of emotions instantly overtook my body. It continued with each note she belted, along with nearly 50,000 roaring fans. The reverberating sound of the music through the stadium transported me from one era of my life to the next. As a teen girl in her bedroom daydreaming about her first love to blossoming into an unapologetic Black woman who is still on a road of self-discovery while learning to lean into the power anthem of "You won't break my soul." For over two hours, and with each set, I felt joy, love, peace, and a commanderie with fellow concertgoers. It was therapeutic as I danced like no one was watching and sang as if I were alone in my bathroom mirror.
There were no bars held, and I realized at that moment, "Nobody can judge me but me." The "Renaissance World Tour" proved to be so vast, and my Black girl joy was re-invigorated. It was magnetic and liberating, and I had to attend again, but this time, I needed to be up close and personal; I needed to be on the floor. In the days that passed, I watched more social media clips in different cities and asked myself if I would really splurge again to attend another Renaissance show.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
After all, this would be my thirteenth time (maybe more because I lost count) seeing Beyoncé live, whether she was on tour with Destiny's Child, as a solo artist, or doing a live appearance. I contemplated for a while, but it worked itself out on its own. I was gifted two tickets and the next thing I knew, I was off to LA to attend another Renaissance show with floor seats at SoFi Stadium during Beyonce's 42nd birthday weekend! This time, things were different: no kids were allowed. It was adults only this go round.
Although the energy at the Miami and Los Angeles shows was empowering, infectious, and a celebration of life, happiness, and identity, they each provided their own unique experience. However, both concerts were what I needed for my well-being, leaving me with sore feet from dancing the night away, on vocal rest for the next few days from screaming at the top of my lungs, and on an indefinite high on life.
My introduction and love for Beyoncé began in 1996, while my older sister lived in Houston, TX, right before Bey hit the scene in 1998 with "No, No, No" as a budding R&B member. Her evolution twenty-seven years later as an international superstar and into womanhood has been an incredible journey to witness. As Mrs. Carter reminds each of us in the audience every night before the curtain closes, "I want you to remember this moment, where you're standing, who you came with, and take it with you. I hope you feel inspired."
I truly felt inspired, so thank you, Queen Bey. You awakened my inner child, and I will definitely remember these moments and take them with me.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood