WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF?

OMG it is almost the end of 2017! Are you thinking of your new year's resolutions? I know you are. I am all about self-improvement coming to 2018.

Here's the thing, sometimes, when all our doubts, fears and insecurities wrap ourselves up, we always come up with the idea of I wish I was somebody else.  More often than not, we think and believe that someone or rather, most people are better than us.- when in reality, the fact is, most people are more scared than us.

You spot a totally eye-catching girl sitting by herself at a party, casually sipping on a glass of wine.  You think to yourself, she looks so perfectly calm and confident. But if you could read thru her transparent mind, you would see a bunch of clouds of thoughts and you might just be amazed that she's thinking are people talking about why I am seated here alone?... Why don't guys find me attractive? I don't like my ankles, they look too skinny. I wish I was as intelligent as my best friend.

We look at a young business entrepreneur and say Wooh what else could he ask for? He stares at himself at the mirror and murmur to himself, I hate my big eyes. I wonder why my friends won't talk to me. I hope mom and dad would still work things out.

Isn't it funny? We look at other people, envy them for looking so outrageously perfect and wish we could trade places with them, while they look at us and think of the same thing. We are insecure of other people who themselves are insecure of us. We suffer from low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and lose hope in self improvement because we are enveloped in quiet desperation.

One key to self improvement is to LISTEN and TALK to a trusted friend. Find someone who you find comfort in opening up with even the most gentle topics you want to discuss. Ask questions like do you think I am ill-mannered?,  Do I always sound so argumentative?,  Do I talk too loud?,  Does my breath smell?,  Do I ever bore you when were together?.  In this way, the other person will obviously know that you are interested in the process of self improvement. Lend her your ears for comments and criticisms and don't give her answers like Don't exaggerate! That's just the way I am! Open up your mind and heart as well. And in return, you may want to help your friend with constructive criticism that will also help her improve her self.

In order to love others, you must love yourself too. Remember, you cannot give what you do not have.

Before telling other people some ways on how to improve themselves, let them see that you yourself is a representation and a product of self improvement. Self improvement makes us better people, we then inspire other people, and then the rest of the world will follow.

Stop thinking of yourselves as second-rate beings. Forget the repetitive thought of If only I was richer... if only I was thinner... and so on.  Accepting your true self is the first step to self improvement. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others only to find out at the end that we've got  10 more reasons to envy them.

We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. We always wish we had better things, better features, better body parts, etc. But life need not to be perfect for people to be happy about themselves. Self improvement and loving yourself is not a matter of shouting to the whole world that you are perfect and you are the best. It's the virtue of acceptance and contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we then begin to feel contented and happy.

Listen to my self-improvement podcast series where I dive in even further in this subject and give you tricks and tips on how to become a better person.

 


 

LaDonna Smith - Author and Publisher

I recently had a chance to connect with author and publisher LaDonna Smith.  With her platforms, she is giving hard working independent authors, screen-writers, song-writers, booksellers...all creative entrepreneurs, the opportunity to gain exposure with their work which they would be challenged to do otherwise on their own.  She is an author, a mother, an educator and a true inspiration. 

How did you get started in this business? How long have you been in business?

As the mother of four African-American children, I feel it is extremely important that children of color have access to quality reading material. The lack of diversity in children’s literature inspired me to start a publishing company that creates material featuring characters traditionally under-represented in American children’s literature. In 2013, I started FYD Publishing and self-published my first financial literacy children’s book, The Money Tree.

Along with running FYD Publishing, I recently launched a program called S.W.A.G. (Saving With A Goal), where I partner with both schools and banks in an effort to provide students in grades K-12 with high-energy and interactive financial literacy workshops. Through my publishing company I create and publish a plethora of items including: children’s books, financial literacy based games, and educational music for children

In 2016, I went on to launch “Writer’s Life Magazine.” Writer’s Life is a literary publication designed to acknowledge the hard work of independent authors, screen-writers, song-writers, and literary organizations.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

For Saving With A Goal

Growing up, my family never taught me about money management. Therefore, I wanted to introduce my children to financial literacy early so they wouldn't have to learn through mistakes like I did. If children are properly educated surrounding money, when they are out on their own, they don’t have to learn about money the hard way. However, no matter how enthusiastic parents are, trying to formally teach finance to young children can be extremely difficult. To help parents along the way, I created products that keep money lessons relevant, age-appropriate and a bit playful.


For Writer’s Life Magazine

“Sorry – no self-published books accepted.” After hearing those five little words from literary agents and bookstores over and over again, I decided to create an avenue for myself to promote my own books and products.

Once I realized how many other authors were experiencing the same issue and struggling with the “self-published” stigma, I decided I to create a publication to not only showcase my work, but to also showcase the work of amazing independent authors all across the country.


To what do you attribute your success?

Besides hard work and a dedication, I would have to say the talented authors that have graced the pages of Writer’s Life are the reason for the success of the publication. I’m so grateful for all of the authors who have joined the Writer’s Life community.

What were some of the biggest lessons that have impacted the way that you work? What was the lesson, and what was it like before and after?

Everyone looks at failure as a bad thing. There is such a negative connotation regarding failure. However, in business I quickly learned that failure is progress. I learned to take any failure not as a loss but rather a lesson. 
 

How is social media marketing impacting how you are conducting your business?

Social media has a huge impact on how I conduct business. The use of the internet has allowed me to reach authors from all over the world. Within our first year of business Writer’s Life has already promoted books from authors from England, Germany,  Africa, and Sri Lanka. If used correctly I believe social media marketing can be an absolute blessing for any business. 

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?

For Writer’s Life to be a new publication, we have made tremendous progress already. The publication has already featured the stories of over 100 authors, as well as celebrity authors like NBA champion Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) and Fitness Olympian Laticia “Action” Jackson.

Writer’s Life Magazine has so many amazing things in the works. In the next 5-10 years I see Writer’s Life hosting networking events,  book fairs, and so much more!! 

Benjamin Yee - CEO and Founder EMERGE App a Workflow Management Solution

Benjamin Yee is the CEO and Founder of EMERGE App which is a workflow management solution for small traditional trading. This single platform can create invoices, sales shipment delivery notes, receive inventory and more.  Benjamin wanted the interface to be easy to understand and user-friendly for the home based solopreneur to the large corporation.

10 years ago, when he was still in school, Benjamin was running a custom t-shirt business in Singapore.  He realized back then that he needed a simple solution, that didn't cost too much, that was efficient and productive to help him with the distribution, purchasing and inventory management for his small business.  He couldn't find anything and so thought well if I am having this challenge, others may too. Therefore, I will create the solution.

Benjamin believed in his product from the start and with his determination, he successfully acquired venture capitol and started the development of EMERGE App.

10 years later, Emerge App is a available for the globe to sign up and alleviate their workflow management and as a return increase their sales.   

Benjamin's motivation and passion teaches us that you have to persevere.  When you believe in your product and how it can transform others for the better, your once upon a time dream becomes a reality.  Many will say "NO" as Benjamin shares, but the few that do say "YES" is all that counts. 

 

Natasha Bray - Founder NJ Black Businesses

On November 25th 2017 NJ Black Businesses Honored Amazing Creative Entrepreneurs at their 2nd Annual Best in Business Awards. In one room gathered outstanding brands. Awards such as Best in Health, Best in Retail, Best in Media were amongst a few. Kaderique had the opportunity to participate this year. NJBB is a really great organization and I commend founder Natasha Bray for orchestrating such an amazing platform to give us all a chance to be recognized.

As a Content Creator for small businesses, I personally just love being around serious entrepreneurs and experiencing their journey. The story that they all have is so inspiring.

 

Kaderique Martine Cadet: How did you get your idea or concept for the business? 

Natasha Bray: As a small business owner prior to NJBB, I realized the power that social media had in terms of building clientele, and ultimately revenue, however some of the black-owned small businesses had no presence from a marketing/advertising perspective for their business via social media and potential clients were unaware that a particular business existed, even so close to their homes. I wanted to support BOBs and I knew others that desired to as well, so as a result NJ Black Businesses was born!

Kaderique Martine Cadet: To what do you attribute your success? 

Natasha Bray: Two words sums that up: PASSION and WORK. Once the passion for a particular thing is embedded into your heart, it will force you to commit to the daily work and effort to ensure that your dreams have come into fruition.

Kaderique Martine Cadet: What were some of the biggest lessons that has impacted the way that you work?

Natasha Bray: What was the lesson, and what was it like before and after? One of the lessons that is actually cliché is that "you cannot please everyone". Once you realize, understand and appreciate your truths and live out your passions, then success for you and however you may define it is more attainable. 

Kaderique Martine Cadet: How is social media marketing impacting how you are conducting your business?

Natasha Bray: Social media marketing IS the businesses. NJBB was conceived via social media; Instagram, specifically. NJBB events and functions are primarily marketed via social media. Our social media platforms and audience (IG, FB, Twitter, Website, YouTube) have grown since we were established on 2014 and with continued strategic planning, I hope to continue with that trend going forward.

Kaderique Martine Cadet: Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?

Natasha Bray: Within the next year, I see NJBB bringing more opportunities to small BOBs and the community that supports them. Within the next 5-10 years, I see NJBB as being a premier organization for small BOBs that have helped contribute to the successes, sustainability and growth of our local businesses.

POP ARTIST KENDRA BLACK

She decided to pursue her passion at the age of 12. Today at 22 years old Kendra Black is striving even more. She's got a single featuring Snoop Dogg, “Rude” from her debut EP, The Edge. She's armed with LA’s Trend Def Studios (French Montana, Rich the Kid), as producers, style and looks that kill.

I had the opportunity to chat with her at Hypr Media studios in New York City and got to know her more and hear her story.  By the way one of her favorite snacks is avocado!

Kendra Black to me examplify everything about what it takes to be a creative entrepreneurs.  She is a dancer, a singer, a songwriter and a business owner.  I mean really? That's just amazing.

During the interview, Black touched upon some of her biggest milestones that have lead to where she is today and helping her achieve even more greatness.  See, Black grew up studying music as well as acting and ballet. She trained  and performed with teachers from the Music Conservatory of Cannes (France) and from The Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. After graduating from the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington DC in 2012, Black relocated to New York City where she put together her team of producers and band members. She collaborated on song co-writes with Bravo’s Platinum Hit finalist Nick Nitolli and Grammy-nominated singer/producer Lachi, and teamed up with the producers at Trend Def Studios in Los Angeles. The resulting product is Black’s new five-track EP, The Edge

Black has performed on stages in France, Monte-Carlo, Italy, Egypt, the Caribbean, and the US. Her most recent performance was headlining at Webster Hall Studio in NYC, which was hosted by Hot 97’s Laura Stylez. The Hot Zone USA described Black as “an up-and-comer to watch for,” while AXS called her live performance “smoldering” and her voice “intoxicatingly sweet.”

Kendra Black followed her passion and had the support from her parents to support her.  This girl knows what it takes to brand! I am really impressed and I look forward to seeing her perform live! Check out my interview with her and ensure to follow her on social media so you can attend her latest gigs and find out about her new songs!