#MompreneurMonday Produce 3 Ways to Get Over Being Busy and Start Being Productive

Has this ever happened to you–24 hours have past and you’ve spent it doing this and that, but you feel like you’ve done nothing? You’ve definitely been busy. You’re perspiring and a good chunk of your to-do list has been checked off, but the time has not been productive. Most likely if you’ve had this experience or a similar one I know what else you’re experiencing or rather not experiencing.

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You’re not experiencing any type of prosperity or growth in your business. Things are happening here and there, but nothing that you could anchor yourself on.

Are you over it?

I’m over it.

Yes, this has happened to me. The first step for getting over it was one having a reality check. This tip is a bonus tip. A friend of mine sat me down and said, “Nigeria, we need to figure this out. We need to figure out what’s blocking you.” After that conversation I discovered two things that were blocking me and one of them was I was too busy to be productive.

Mompreneur, it’s time to break from being busy and not being productive and move into prosperity and growth.  Here are the three things you need to:

  1. Meditate. Psalms 1 recommends you mediate on the word of God both day and night and whatsoever you do shall prosper. Set some time up for meditating on the word of God. If you’re not used to this start with one minute a day. When you get it down pact include the family too.
  2. Automate. Automate. Automate. You can’t automate when you’re kids are going to need you to take them to the hospital and you can’t automate playing with them in the park, but you can automate your email sequences, you can automate/schedule your social media updates and respond to notifications at a later time.
  3. Organize. Instead of having things posted on a ton of different calendars and good ideas in different books and your to-do list somewhere else put it all together in one place, so you don’t have to waste time scratching your head trying to figure out what’s going on.

If you want access to a solid planner that combines everything a millennial mompreneur and faith based owner need to get organized and get PAID click here to order the Passion and Purpose Planner.

 

IMG_6881Can I tell you why the Passion and Purpose Planner was conceived??? Many people only share their strong side on social media, but let me keep it real with you I am organizationally challenged and easily distracted. That makes motherhood and managing a business hard. In order for a business to succeed you need organization, focus, and discipline and for a faith based brand to make bank Christ has to remain at the center. So, I created a planner that combined every aspect of running a 21st Century Faith Based Biz. 👉🏾👉🏾Click here: www.inheritancebooks.co/PassionandPurposePlanner to order your Passion and Purpose Planner Quarterly Planner. Take a look inside the Passion and Purpose Planner. 

#MompreneurMonday 3 Self-care Tips to Increase Productivity

The nature of motherhood and the  conversation our culture has about motherhood is that self-care should be last on the list and your family first. The mom that wants to be a mogul at some point and time completely abandons self-care. But, ff you want make magic happen then you have to take care of the wand and that would be you. 

Here are 3 tips to incorporate self-care into your work routine and become more productive. 

Tip #1 Get Dressed Up

Polish your nails, paint your face, or get dressed up–even while you’re in the house. Yes, working from how has it’s perks like wearing pjs while taking a client call or uploading content to your blog, but when you look good you feel good. When you feel good you are more motivated to get stuff done. So, at least once a week dedicate some time to spicing up your look before dropping the kids off at school or tackle your to-do list in stellar pair of pumps and watch how quickly and smoothly you get things done. 

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Tackling that To-Do List Like

Tip #2 Put the Donuts, Bacon, and Bread Down

No, not forever, but again at least once a week you need to cut out the salt, sugar, and the bad carbs. What are bad carbs? You know, the ones that make you feel so full you can’t get anything done after eating them.Swap out fresh fruits and veggies. If you’re like me short on time or just not the magic bullet kind of girl, run into your local grocer and grab a bottle of Bolthouse Smoothies. You won’t be disappointed and your energy levels will be through the roof. More energy equals more productivity. 

Tip #3 Go to Bed Early and Sleep Late

Sleep deprivation is not conducive to running a business especially if you are the business. You may have some super creative hours–like at one am your best idea may come to you, but if you’re not sleeping well you’re abusing your body and brain, both of which you need to function. If sleeping at regular intervals isn’t possible take a nap and then attack the to-do list. It will change the way you do business trust me. In my new book,  Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion, I discuss the devastating effects sleep deprivation and stretching myself too thin had on me. I wound up in the ER (you don’t want that). Rest that mind then capitalize on the new ideas that freely flowing. 

Now, those are just three ways I use self-care to increase my productivity, but I’m open to suggestions.

How do you use make time to care for yourself as a mompreneur? 

#MompreneurMonday Get Respect While Working From Home

R-E-S-P-E-C-T isn’t that what all small business owners want? Of course, but sometimes it can be really difficult for a mompreneur to get some respect while working from home.

Raise your hand if you know what I mean. You’ve got the kids running around, the husband making requests, and those pesky Facebook notifications can be downright disrespectful.

The only way to get respect is to demand it.

 

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Not quite like this, even though that’s how you may feel.

What you have to do be firm and about your business. Just like you would at your 9 to 5 create an environment that demands every member of your household respects your mompreneur hustle. It might be a fight and difficult for them to see it and grasp it, but go for it.

Here are 3 tips to create an environment of respect for your home based business:

  1. Set office hours. Sometimes your day will just run together, but realistically if you want people to respect what you do have to set the tone. Some of my early Periscope videos and live classes have traces of my children’s voices in the background. Then I finally sat them down and explained the seriousness of what I’m doing and now I have almost no background voices in my training. Put your foot down and explain it in a language that they understand. Just like your kids or husband can’t just pop up in the middle of a meeting at your office they can’t just pop up while you’re working at home.
  2. Keep your working space a working space. I don’t care if you have a table top tray or full-fledged office (I’m IN between the two. I have a cubicle) keep all non-business related items out of your working space. Evict all the sippy cups, crayons, etc. Make your working space working space. As your family sees you respect your working space they will.
  3. Quantify your contributions or  your potential contributions. Just like you would go before your boss for an annual review, sit down with the hubs or your partner and show them what your are earning and how those earnings have enhanced the household. If you’re just starting out–show your mate what the earning potential is and how much time you need to put to reach that point. Most men will be all for a few extra dollars coming in without you have to go out to get them.

Will it be easy? Absolutely not. You might have to struggle a little while to get into a routine that works for the family and has you feeling like the boss you are. Fight for it though. Your contribution is valuable and your dreams are worthy of respect.

Which one of these tips will you implement today? What tips to have for your fellow mompreneurs who are looking for some respect.

Born at Dawn Soundtrack: Cynthia’s Anthem “Pause” by Lisa McClendon

While tuning in to my Christian Fiction shero, Michelle Stimpson conduct an interview tonight I heard the song “Pause” by Lisa McClendon and it was like a double scoop of blessings. After having Michelle not only minister to my personal life and minister to my professional career as an author I then heard a song that not only captures the frustration that many women feel, but gives Cynthia, the protagonist of Born at Dawn a voice. I shared this song with a friend on Facebook and she said “Pause” will be on the Born at Dawn soundtrack “when it is optioned for a movie” or the stage play should I chose to do that. Music is one of the minor characters in the novel and I can’t wait to share other songs with you, but for now please enjoy Cynthia’s anthem, “Pause” by Lisa McClendon and don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Born at Dawn 

 

More Than Monday featuring Nigeria Q. Rolling-Ford of Couture Cake Boutique

The Neophyte Author is excited to present a woman who went into business to dispel the myth that black businesses have horrible customer service. This week’s “More Than” Monday feature is a sweet treat coming from a mom who demonstrated the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman when it came time to provide for her family. Nigeria Rolling-Ford owner of Couture Cake Boutique, LLC shares how to overcome when you feel like giving up and the process of re-branding, which is something important to consider when trying to elevate your business or stand out from the crowd. Not only is Nigeria a great baker she’s my name twin (LOL).

What motivated you to start Couture Cake Boutique?

Couture Cake Boutique began with the realization that my family’s financial needs outpaced what we were currently earning. We would corset cakesoon have a high school senior that would need a ton of financial help and I needed to generate more income by doing something that I loved to do.

Your company recently underwent the process of rebranding–can you explain what that is and what prompted you to do this?

Yes. Rebranding is when a business changes their logo, mission statement, and/or advertising with the goal of taking the business to another level.

My rebranding began in January of 2014.  As I mentioned earlier, when I began this business it was more out of a financial need.  However, Lil Man Bronx Fondant Cakeas my customer base began to explode through word of mouth and social media, I decided to make a real go at it with the hopes of being able to one day leave my day job and focus solely on Couture Cake Boutique.

How do find time for yourself in the midst of running your own business, running a family, and working full-time?

I multi-task.  Those of us who are moms or actually anyone in today’s fast-paced world knows what it means to wear multiple hats.  I have extended hours and am always available to return a request for a quote or question from a client simply due today’s technology.

Has there ever been a moment in which you considered giving up? How did you resist that feeling?

Yes.  I recently took on a job that was larger than I could handle.  This particular job simply did not turn out well and I was crushed.  I wanted to all but hide under a rock.  But, I learned what my limits are.  The very next day my phone began to ring off the hook with potentialruffle cake business.  Lol.  We don’t actually have phone hooks anymore.

What advice would you give to any woman who desires to be “more than”?

My advice to any woman who desires to be “more than” is to simply be more than.  Sometimes if you walk in the actions of what you want to be, you will find that you have become just that.

 

For some custom made cakes, cupcakes, and excellent customer service (trust me I know Couture Cake Boutique supplied the cupcakes for the Born at Dawn Cover Reveal Party) please visit Couture Cake Boutique online at: 

Fast to Bring Our Daughters Back

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Mordecai spoke these words to Esther after asking her to get the king to do something about the decree issued to murder all the children of Israel in the land. I keep hearing these words each time I look at the images of the mothers in Nigeria crying and begging an unstable government that is apparently incapable of protecting their people from terrorist to bring their daughters back.  free our girls

Approximately two weeks ago over two hundred Nigerian girls were kidnapped from their school. Reports have been made that some of the girls have already been sold into marriage or sexual slavery. Generally, I steer clear of politics and I have never undertaken any type of project related to anything that looked political, but this isn’t political this heart breaking. I can’t stand by and watch this happen and I hope that you feel the same. While our Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that the U. S. will help support the Nigerian government in getting these girls back home; he has not explained how and when this aid would come. They can’t wait.

I don’t know Kerry and I don’t Obama. Even if I did I doubt that I could have reached them fast enough to help these girls, however I know the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and I know that He is concerned about whatever concerns me. I believe that we have been prepared for a time such as this.

Please join me in a three day fast for the safe and speedy return of these girls.

The fast would begin tomorrow, Sunday, May 4th-Wednesday, May 7. During those three days let us lift our voices to the Lord Jesus Christ and watch Him move on their behalf. 

If you would like to join me please post your prayers in the comments section and be sure to share this with your friends and family until there are at least two hundred people fasting for each one of these girls. 

If you aren’t going to join me please share and repost this anyway. 

More Than Monday featuring D. J. Blackmore

This week our “More Than Monday” feature comes to us from Down Under. The Hunter Valley of New South Wales Australia is mostly known for coal mining and Sermilon, however it is also the fertile ground that author D. J. Blackmore grew up on. D. J. began writing at the age of fourteen and has not stopped even though she was told that only “the very good and very lucky” become published authors. Despite rejection and five children D. J.’s words have grown into more than what was predicted, but exactly what she wanted them to become. 

 

What motivated you to become a writer?

DSC_9302altI liked words. Right from my very first days at school, I have vivid memories of the first learning words on cards, and having the pleasure of recognising them. I was encouraged by an English teacher in my teenage years never to give up my writing. I don’t know that I ever could. It is both my master and my friend. It drives me on to create, and comforts me when I want to talk.

 

 Are you a full-time writer?

I am a mother of five, so there are days when I don’t write at all. I’m not perturbed by this, and I don’t feel especially guilty, because there are times when I work day in, day out, and it’s a hunger that drives me on. There’s always some laziness when I put something down and have to sometimes push myself to start over where I left off. Yet when I do, inspiration eventually flows, but only through the effort of labour.

 

Ultimately, what is your vision for you, your books, and your writing career?chartertoredemptionlarge

I don’t know how many books are in me. I don’t know how much time I have on this earth to share all I would like to, but I’m in a hurry. It’s important to me to give this gift of words while I can. My vision for my career is ultimately to flourish, but in all honesty, from the moment of
publication, that was honour enough for me. The years of hoping, and trying and waiting, the years of rejections are over. The hard part is over. The best is yet to come. 🙂

How were you able to overcome and deal with the frustration of being rejected? 

I suppose that for the most part, I didn’t take the rejections personally. Sometimes I did question whether I was wasting my time in continuing to write, but the fact was that the enjoyment and the thrill of writing didn’t diminish, regardless of outside opinion. I had enough belief in my ability that I thought that determination would win through in the end.

What role does your family play in your writing career?–support system or inspiration?

My daughter Sarahane has been an endless inspiration and encouragement to me. We have plot talks that we share as friends, and it’s an enjoyment to both of us.

What advice would you give to any woman desires to be “more than”?

We can never rely on anyone else to give us belief in ourselves. No one can ever truly give us a sense of worth of who we are. That’s something that comes from within. In the long run, if you think you’ve got it, keep going, long after everyone else has forgotten about you. Continue on with determination. Don’t feel the need to try and win people over with your talent, because your ability will shine in the end.

And for those of you desiring to become published authors, If all else fails, have your work professionally edited, check to see if that particular publisher is looking for the story you’d like them to accept. It may be that the manuscript is too long, or too short. It may be that there’s such an influx of work that they need to delve into, and they just happen to be having a bad day when they look at your work …  

 

To learn more about D. J. Blackmore and her work please visit http://www.djblackmore.com.au/

If you’re looking for a great historical fiction read or you want to try something new please order D.J. Blackmore’s debut novel, Charter to Redemption.

Connect with this fabulous mom of five and author of Charter to Redemption of Twitter @DJBLACKmore1

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If you know a woman whom you believe should be featured in More Than Monday please feel free to nominate a woman by sending her information including where she can be reached at to the Neophyte Author at nigerialockley{at}hotmail{dot]com with “More Than” in the subject line. 

Born at Dawn Cover Reveal Recap

Have you ever watched an episode of a reality show and one of the characters is about to host an event and they start flipping out because everything just started falling apart at the last minute (and yes I watch reality t.v. in moderation)? Well, I had a few of those moments and I also had some totally great moments that I’d love to share with you. 

 

 

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By the grace of God I survived the event and things ran smoothly, however not because of my efforts or the efforts of the event organizer. We forgot things and had to rush through some parts. It ran smoothly because the Lord showed up and allowed His grace to flow-proving the word to be true, it’s not by my might or strength, but the spirit of God. So, to God be the glory. Here’s Evangelist and first lady, Peggy Dunkley of my church, King of Kings & Lord of Lords helping me give God the glory. 

 

I am so glad to share my debut novel, Born at Dawn with the world!

 

Pre-order Today!
Pre-order Today!

More Than Monday featuring Shaw Bernard

Boy or girl. Adult or child. We have all pursed our lips together or practiced raising our eyebrows in an effort to ensure that we give good face in any photograph being taken of us. For Shaw Bernard giving good face comes so naturally that she is now image (1)molding the next crop of models and actors at Strut Modeling House, Brooklyn’s Premiere Modeling School. As CEO of Strut Modeling Shaw Bernard demonstrates that at the end of the day it isn’t just about what on the outside that counts. 

This Monday she shares with the Neophyte Author the importance of having a backup plan, self-confidence, and how to stay rooted and grounded when you are successful. 

How did you get your start in the industry?

At the tender age of fourteen (14) people started suggesting that I should consider modeling because I was standing at almost six feet (6’0) at the time. I had no idea how to go about pursuing that and neither did my mom. Eventually, I started getting connected with people in the industry, (makeup artists, hairstylists and photographers) who wanted to work with me. I enjoyed the experience and everything that I have learned has been very beneficial in the operations of my very own modeling school.

With your stunning features and portfolio you could easily just be a model–what led you to step behind the camera to groom future stars?

Being just a model is unrealistic, at least for me. Unless you are a super model, you should always have something to fall back on, especially since longevity in the industry is very few and far.  At this stage in my life I am concerned with building a brand, and not just being seen as a model.  I am extremely passionate about modeling and I also feel compelled to empower young people. So, starting Strut Modeling House was the perfect combination of my two loves.

How do you manage to maintain your sense of self in an industry that is focused on the image or appearance of things rather than reality? 

First things first, I have to give credit to my relationship with God now. Prior to that, I did fall prey to pressure of the industry standards to the point where I did not even feel adequate to model anymore. Now, I understand that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and no one can fit me into their box of what is considered beautiful.  I also have a ton of love and support from my husband, relatives, and close friends.  They keep me grounded and constantly remind me that I am capable of being anything I want to be.

Since you run a specialty business how do you manage to turn a profit during difficult economic times? 

Fortunately because what I do can translate into an academic atmosphere, I receive contracts from schools and non-profit organizations to teach modeling as a way of enhancing self-esteem and building strong characters. When things are not progressing as I would like them to at my studio, I have those other outlets to keep me a float. My studio is 1100 sq feet so I also rent it out for various events and that covers the bases as well. Needless to say, I am able to capitalize on many different levels.

The fashion industry has gotten a bad rap when it comes to embracing the beauty of African-Americans, have you found that to be true? If so, what does it take to make an impact in an industry that isn’t always accepting of African-Americans?

image (2)100% yes. I have personally encountered situations where they blatantly expressed no desire to cast black models, or agencies saying to me “you’re not what we are looking for.”  I believe that doing the work I do at Strut is a step in the right direction of change. I expose my students to the industry and teach them about having self value, the importance of perseverance, and to never let anyone discourage them by projecting their own insecurities on to them.  The industry is the way it is because not enough people are standing up for the injustice. Since the desire of many is so strong to make it as a model, they compromise at all costs.  Personally, I am not interested in doing so, which is why I am making my own path.

What advice would you give to any woman who desires to be “more than”?

Women should know that they are more than, rather than desiring to be so. It is important to have self-worth and surround yourself with others who value you as well.  A woman who is more than lives according to her own rules. She is not confined to the limitations placed on her by others. The first step to knowing that you are more than is embracing who you are, the good, bad, and indifferent. Believing that there is no one else like you. And lastly, a more than woman should not be afraid to stand out from the crowd despite when others are playing it safe.

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If you’d like to learn how to give good face and strut down the sidewalk or catwalk like a pro with Shaw Bernard please visit:

Follow Strut on Instagram @strutmodelinghouse

 If you know a woman whom you believe should be featured in More Than Monday please feel free to nominate a woman by sending her information including where she can be reached at to the Neophyte Author at nigerialockley@hotmail,com with “More Than” in the subject line. 

More Than Monday featuring Nikki Gwinn of Beyond Kids Foundation and Rich Girls Chocolate

This Monday the Neophyte Author is pleased to introduce you a CEO who is using her passion to effect change in the lives of young people through her fashion forward foundation, Beyond Kids Foundation, in Stamford, CT. Beyond Kids helps foster creativity and educate kids who want to get involved with the fashion industry. Besides ensuring that the future of fashion is solidified Nikki works hard at offering up couture chocolates for the woman who not only has a flair for fashion, but would like some flavor to savor as well. And she’s a mom. 

It takes a certain individual to work with children and it takes a certain kind of person assess a need and create the solution for it. Nikki is a blend of both. Take a peek at how Nikki Gwinn of Beyond Kids Foundation and Rich Girls Chocolate makes moves and maintains her home, to get “more than” out of every experience. 

Nikki, what motivated you to open a not-for-profit organization?

photo 2 Fashion has always been a passion of mine since my early childhood days. I’ve always been inspired to advocate for the youth, educate, empower, and instill confidence in the youth pertinent to fashion design and modeling. I look forward to bringing education growth and creative experiences to the youth.

How do you get through the difficult days of managing a foundation and working with at-risk youth? 

photo 3There always going to be obstacles and challenges we face throughout any journey, but positivity and keeping the faith is what encourages me. My program is a fun program so youth in general enjoy the curriculum and are intrigued by it. My belief and model has always been no child should be left behind. Having the ability to bring out the creativity within our youth and being able to teach them the adolescences of life inspires me to keep going.

In addition to running Beyond Kids you also run a specialty chocolate business. What prompted you to open another business in such a different field?

They are two different fields, but they both relate to fashion. Chocolate was something I used to eat in college to comfort me photo 4when I was designing. I had a best friend who specialized in making chocolate lollipops, but nothing pertaining to fashionable three dimensional chocolate. So, I decided why not invest into making fashionable accessorized pure chocolate candy called, Rich Girls Chocolate. Rich Girls Chocolate specializes in handmade premium chocolate. We offer a large variety of award-winning fashionable chocolate candy. We have a a wide selection of gifts whether it’s for a special business client, a loved one, to celebrate a holiday, or an event. We have many years of creativity design experience. If you don’t see exactly what you need, we cater to each of our customers, and provide them with personalized customer service to ensure their satisfaction! 

Do you find it hard to strike a balance between your professional and personal life? What do you do to maintain that balance?

Absolutely, as a single mom of two boys, I have a 19 year old who is currently in college and a 6 year old that I love dearly and wouldn’t trade them in for the world but they are very supportive and understanding. I make sure that I incorporate time in my schedule to ensure that I am being a mommy. My children are aware that they can utilize me as a resource, and I am someone who will always care. I have always managed to be a very active parent, which I think is important. Interacting with your kids is imperative whether it’s over the phone, or in person. I have learned to separate my personal life from my professional life, it truly boils down to how you manage your time.

What advice would you give to any woman reading this who desires to be “more than”?

There are always going to be trials and tribulations you’re going to face. Be strong-minded, never give up, and if you fail, then try again! Motivation, perseverance, and integrity are the keys to success.

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For those of you want to help develop the future of fashion by either enrolling your child donating your time, resources (materials or finacial support) contact Nikki Gwinn of Beyond Kids Foundation at beyondkidsfoundation@gmail.com *Beyond Kids is a not-for-profit foundation

 

 

 

 

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After doing your good deed get decadent with some customized chocolates from Rich Girls Chocolate

If you know a woman whom you believe should be featured in More Than Monday please feel free to nominate a woman by sending her information including where she can be reached at to the Neophyte Author at nigerialockley@hotmail,com with “More Than” in the subject line.