Bestof2016

Now You're Staring At A Queen

Now You're Staring At A Queen

“You think you know, but you don’t know the half, you think you beat me down, but I’ll have the last laugh, I’ll keep getting up, ‘Cause that’s what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna be the best me, I’m sorry if it kills you.” Mary J Blige, Doubt, from The London Sessions

As human beings, we can be our toughest critic. I have many insecurities, and one of the biggest is self doubt. Am I good enough? Am I capable of pulling this off? Am I smart enough? You name it, it runs through my head daily.

Negotiation Tips from Angelina Darrisaw of C-Suite Coach

Negotiation Tips from Angelina Darrisaw of C-Suite Coach

“Salary negotiation should be win-win. Your boss wants to motivate you to continue to do well if you’re a strong performer.”

Angelina Darrisaw, Founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach, understands the value of negotiation from both an employer and an employee perspective. A New York native, she began her career in digital media for ESPN, and has worked at other companies like Viacom and HBO. Through C-Suite Coach, Angelina now works with employers to create and facilitate training seminars that engage millennial employees both personally and professionally.

Angelina, who is a powerhouse speaker and fan favorite at our Career Boot Camps, sat down with us to offer some tips on more effective negotiation:

Grace Makes Room For Space

Grace Makes Room For Space

When I jumped into the back of the Uber a few weeks ago, I noticed my driver had on an “Italian t-shirt.” My mother coined this phrase because she hates the word “wife beater.” (She’s so cute.) Somehow, I knew I would be annoyed with this gentleman before I even put my seatbelt on. I was right: he ended up going in a circle twice before getting on the freeway. I took a deep breath and said "Let's use my GPS."

Fast forward 35 minutes later, and we’d become fast friends. We spoke about everything in that time, and I learned more about this man in the “Italian tee shirt.” Who knew!

I was reminded that oftentimes, we judge a book by its cover, and don't give people space to be themselves, without judgment.

Don't Wait For Your Chicago To Come

Don't Wait For Your Chicago To Come

Recently, I’ve been thinking about a close sister-friend of mine who passed away last year. I affectionately referred to her as my Silver Dollar. In college, there were three of us that made up this "silver dollar trio." I know what you’re thinking, but in 2001 it sounded like a cool name. We were thick as thieves, and we definitely believed our own hype! In the words of Kanye West, "Can't Tell Me Nothing." The Silver Dollars even went so far as to get matching “SD” ankle tattoos. After college, people always thought SD was some ex lover’s initials - boy were they wrong!

I would give anything to hear her voice on my voicemail saying. “SD call me back!

My SD, Liz, died too young and in her sleep.

Focus On Your Successes

Focus On Your Successes

A few months ago, I dusted off my (rarely) used athletic shoes and hit the basketball court with a close friend. We played a quick game of H-O-R-S-E to warm up, followed by a game of one-on-one. I’d played basketball in high school and was a good outside shooter back then. My friend is a solid player, and we'd done a lot of trash talking leading up to the game. While I didn’t count on a victory, I did not expect what happened next.

Taking Your Stand

Taking Your Stand

“I want to live my life, not record it” - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

By: Minda Harts, Founder and CEO, The Memo, LLC

The last two weeks have been a little unnerving in the United States. I wrestled with whether or not I should address our country's tension(s) or move forward with my Blublockers on and pretend things aren’t tense.

I searched for comfort at church, with friends, family, and the news. And yet, I still felt hopeless - the same hopelessness when young lives were taken at Sandy Hook, and the same hopelessness when Trayvon Martin’s life was taken, too. In every situation, I wondered: What could I do? And what does that even look like? Then I got to thinking... Speaking up is so important. Not just with policies, but as a woman in the workplace. If you live in New York City, you always see the signs that read, If You See Something, Say Something. Sometimes, being the only voice can be lonely. Our voices can inspire others to speak up. This led me to think about some actions can we take today...

Make a Note to Do Great Things!

Make a Note to Do Great Things!
Every January, a few friends and I decide on a theme for the year, typically pulled from some popular phrase we all know. We take the theme and use it to set our actions and intentions for the year.

Meet Cee Sando, Social Media Marketer, Fashion Stylist

Trust Your Gut

1) Do you remember the moment when you said, I have to pursue my dreams and do work that I am passionate about?

Absolutely! I was living in Toronto, at a job I could not stand and that I dreaded going to every day. I KNEW that it was absolutely NOT the life I was meant to be living. I vowed to do everything I could to drastically change my situation. First, I did the responsible thing and started saving every single penny – I downsized my home, liquidated most of my material items, and even sold my car to be able to have as much saved money as possible. Then I did the ultimate crazy thing and
moved thousands of miles away, to a city I had never lived in, and where I did not know a single person. Plus, I had no idea how I would support myself. My gut told me that I needed to be there at that time and I listened. Craziest and best decision I ever made!

2) What’s next for you in 2016?

This year has already been a huge one for me! I can honestly say that I have never been better or happier than right now! I have finally come to terms with being a typical Gemini in all things, including my career. For years, I battled between focusing on practical/ business/ left brain pursuits versus artistic/creative/right brain interests. I have now created a career that is the perfect marriage of the two! I know I am the only person able to do what I do exactly in the way I do it, and that is incredibly gratifying. I love being a wardrobe stylist, working on set and dressing my private clients just as much as I love putting together social media marketing campaigns for retail stores, training beauty corporations on how to make the best use of Snapchat, and posting on Instagram on behalf of a favorite fashion brand. Merging my love of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle with my obsession for social media in this way is what my education, training and experience has been leading me to. I have a number of fashion editorials coming out in print this season and I did costume design for my first film, which comes out this summer. I also have a limited list of incredible social media clients that I am super proud of!

3) Where does your inspiration come from?

Everywhere! From a cup of tea, the street style I see on daily walks through my Hollywood neighborhood, or the ideas I get during my yoga practice... all of my experiences inform my work.

4) How important is a good support system?

Having a good support system is huge! As an entrepreneur, I know having the right support can mean the difference between success and failure. No woman is an island and it is a waste of time and energy to think you need to do, be, or handle everything on your own. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I did not know a single person and it has taken me time to find the right group of positive, driven, energetic people to surround myself with. It has been 5 years and I am still working on it, but I am finally in a place where I feel brave and comfortable enough to turn to my system and ask for help when I need it.

5) What advice would you give women who want to start a business and/or pursue their dream?

The best advice I have ever received and the one thing I will say time and time again is TRUST YOUR GUT. You have all the answers to every possible question you can think of, because only you know what is best for you! Learn to listen to that inner voice that might be very quiet right now. Regardless of how weird, crazy, or counter intuitive the voice might seem, trust what you hear, and everything else will come naturally.

6) You’ve been in the entertainment/fashion industry for some time now, what are some lessons learned?

I'll double back to the previous answer here, because after making so many mistakes I realized that if I had been able to trust my gut a lot sooner, I could have saved myself a whole lot of money, time and disappointment. Besides this, the best lessons I have learned are:

  1. Stay true to yourself.

  2. Be 100% true to your word.

  3. Punctuality is a game changer.

  4. Impossibility is relative

  5. Jettison trends, wear what makes you feel like your best self.

  6. You only have 1 pair of feet so be good to them, even if that means wearing sneakers to work!

7) What are a few of your favorite must-haves?

 My phone (obviously)

 Lip Balm

 My rescue pit bull/ service animal, Stokely

 My styling kit (because I never know when I might receive a last-minute booking)

 Tea in a travel mug

 A killer pair of sunglasses (right now I am absolutely obsessed with a new local brand, Burkinabae)

To learn more about Cee Sando, and to see some of her great work, visit her website, Facebook, and Twitter

Gotta Let It Go!

Gotta Let It Go!

I realize that carrying around hurtful stuff might take time to heal, but you can start celebrating the life you get back.  Think about how much energy you gave those moments in your life.  I think about one instance in particular and now I laugh out loud about it.  And back then, I could barely get out of the bed because it made me so sad.   Find your faith, say RIP to the past, and put on your best outfit, because we have your future to celebrate.

Be The Captain of Your Career!

Be The Captain of Your Career!

You are a strong woman and made to be fearless.  Don’t let fear rob another day of your confidence and clarity! You can’t control everything that happens in your life, but you can take accountability for the plan you put in place for your success!

Let's Get In Formation

Yesterday, like many others I watched the Super Bowl and over indulged in a lot of junk food. Some of us watched because our favorite team was playing, some watched because we wanted to be social, and others watched to see the Beyoncé concert. While watching the game, I thought a lot about team work!

Teams are better than a single player. Teams can be hard to beat, but individual players get hurt, get ejected out of the game, or just have an off night. I believe the most well rounded people build their teams down to each person. Most of us probably don’t know many of the player’s names outside of Peyton Manning and Cam Newton. Having a good quarterback is extremely important, but the Broncos played and won as a team. When you’re part of a team, you want to put your teammates in a position to succeed and you never want to let them down.

Who is on your team? Some of your teammates might include: family members, a spouse or partner, children, colleagues, and friends. What if you started your day with the initial goal in mind—I want to enable each person on my team to succeed. How would that change the “plays” you make if that was your goal? How would that impact their role to enable your success? Can you point to the people on your team and say they are supported enough by you and the rest of the team to perform at their best?

This way of thinking can be applied in your home, in the office, and in your career development. I think team development can be easily overlooked! Let’s keep it real, no one is getting paid enough to get any less than that kind of support from you. Let’s do our best to build the best teams and be an award winning team member. If we play well together, we win together! Pass this memo along to one of your team members!

Weslee Cheung Vann, Elementary School Teacher, Vancouver Public Schools

Weslee Cheung Vann, Elementary School Teacher, Vancouver Public Schools

I remember that I always wanted to be able to make a difference in the lives of others; however, I received a lot of pressure from my family to pursue a career that would ensure financial stability. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer for the longest time because I felt that it would give me the opportunity to help others while satisfying the hopes and dreams my family had for me.