I am grateful to know Ericka Hart. You may have seen her before. Either on my website but most likely when photos of her topless at the Afropunk festival went viral the summer of 2016. She is a breast cancer survivor. She is a sex educator. She is an activist. She is super freaking nice. A friend of mine connected me with Ericka in the fall of 2016 and I got to take her photos. I already thought she was inspiring from afar and now I get to call her a friend. I've learned so much from her in the few months I've known her and she has definitely contributed to me becoming a better person. Keep a look out for more coming from us in the future. Check out my first photo shoot with Ericka Hart here.
I love a good book that will improve some part of me, be it business or self-improvement. I recently started going back to the library because why not support your local library and save money in the process. So let's get into it.
#AskGaryVee // Gary Vaynerchuk
I've been on the GaryVee train for a good seven years now. This book is a collection of questions from his #AskGaryvee video series on his YouTube channel. I really recommend listening to the audiobook because he is so captivating to listen to and his answers tend to be different to what is in the physical book.
Trust Me, I'm Lying // Ryan Holiday
If you really want to hate the media even more than you probably already do, then read this book. It confirms the lies that run rampant through the news and blogs site. This may be a weird book to add to this list but it actually gave me permission to stop caring and just do my own thing and trust my own instincts.
Big Magic // Elizabeth Gilbert
My biggest takeaway from this book is "use it before you lose it". Ideas don't stay with you forever and they may leave you for a better home. Trust me, it's happened to me.
The Obstacle Is the Way & Ego Is The Enemy // Ryan Holiday
These two books are together because author Ryan Holiday went through a lot between publishing Trust Me, I'm Lying and The Obstacle Is the Way. You can tell how cocky he was through Trust Me, I'm Lying but he got knocked down to rock bottom and had to completely start over. These two books share what he's learned.
You Are A Badass // Jen Sincero
Think of Jen as your really cool aunt who wants you to run away and do everything that makes you happy while your parents are telling you to stay home and go the safe route. She knows it's easy to give up and do what is safe but she wants you to remember that you are tough and capable and can accomplish all of your goals.
The Gifts Of Imperfection & Rising Strong // Brene Brown
These two books are together because Brene has written a trilogy of shame, and more importantly how to not be ruled by shame. I haven't read Daring Greatly, number two in this trilogy, but I plan on it because Brene has opened me up to a whole new way of thinking.
How to Live a Good Life // Jonathan Fields
I'm actually halfway through this book but I love the simple ways Jonathan thinks we can make our lives so much better.
Check out some other books I recommend reading to better yourself.
As I was doing my usual internetting the other day, I came across someone saying that she “needed to reconnect to the fight”. I wrote that down because it resonated with me. I also saw a friend comment that she wants to give everything to her children but wasn’t the struggle what made her into the person she is now? There is lots of talk about millennials being entitled but I definitely disagree. I’m a millennial and I definitely don’t expect anything to be handed to me. I work for everything I have and so many of my contemporaries are the same way. We are starting our businesses. Making our side hustles our main source of income. So where is this false perception of millennials coming from?
It’s because no one has patience anymore. When we follow others on social media we are seeing their highlight reels. We rarely see the years of work and struggle that came before those pretty pictures. It seems like everyone is an overnight success. No one is out to play the long game but can you honestly blame them when there are advertisements all over social media on how to make six figures by the end of the year. When no one talks about the struggle it can make you feel like you are failing at your business when in actuality you're right on course with everyone else.
I love Casey Neistat and Gary Vaynerchuk. That is no surprise if you know me personally. These two guys made it cool to put the work in. Both of these men are very vocal about how much work and time it took to get them to where they are now. They are lifting the veil on what it is like to be an entrepreneur. It's not just thinking of a cool idea and getting an angel investor to give you 50k and that's it; you're a success. It's not throwing up a few blog posts and watching the blogs hits come rolling in. It's a constant battle to keep working, keep putting out content, and to keep learning.
I struggle with this all the time. Especially since it's the beginning of the year while everyone is talking about their new year's goals and resolutions, it can feel like you're already failing a few days into the year. We need to remember that the things that we want don't come easy. We have to just start and put in the work. We have to reconnect to the fight and embrace the struggle. Nothing worth having will be handed to us. We have to make the effort to work towards accomplishing our goals. Find a few friends and become accountability partners for each other. Use the Pomodoro system to track how long it takes for you to get work done. It's very easy to get overwhelmed at the mere thought of getting to work. It's ok. It's part of the fight. It's fine to start small as along as you just start.
What can you do to reconnect with the fight? Share your ideas in the comments.
If you know anything about me, you know I love my crystals. So when Larimar Bliss asked if I wanted to pick out a piece from their collection, I was all for it. I don't own many bracelets so I chose the Gridden Stone cuff. After doing more research on the crystal, I wish I got a necklace because Larimar is an active throat chakra crystal. More on that later. First some information on this stone. According to Wikipedia, "Larimar, also called 'Stefilia's Stone', is a rare blue variety of the silicate mineral pectolite found only in the Dominican Republic, in the . Its coloration varies from white, light-blue, green-blue to deep blue."
Larimar promotes relaxation, calms emotions, and is fantastic for alleviating fevers, infections, and inflammation. Again it's a throat chakra crystal so it aids in clearing the way for open communication and speaking from the heart.
I'm currently in New York for fashion week so that means I'm wearing a lot of all black everything so this piece is a great addition to my outfits. Definitely check out Larimar Bliss for more beautiful pieces featuring such a powerful stone.
I barely did anything while I was in Vegas besides walk around the floor at the CosmoProf trade show and attempt to catch Pokemon. I did walk outside the hotel once though. Otherwise, the only fresh air I got was balcony of restaurants. For those who have never been to Las Vegas, it feels like God left the oven door open.
If I wasn't half sleeping on the plane, I was staring out the window. It is so fascinating seeing what the country looks like from that high in the sky.