Solopreneur Spotlight: Whitney James | @wnicjames

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My faith. It’s imperative to my journey in becoming a better wife, business woman and entrepreneur. 

The Blogging Solopreneur. Today’s Solopreneur Spotlight goes to Whitney James of the Whitney Nic James brand. Hailing from Columbia, MD, Whitney’s goal is “to promote stylish, budget friendly and inspiring living one article at a time!” Her mission is to uplift and motivate women by encouraging them to be a #FearlessWoman and with her brand, this mission is accomplished daily. Whitney’s positive and inspiring spirit jumps off the pages of her blog as well as throughout this feature. Read on to see what we mean.

 

What is your biggest challenge as a solopreneur?
Knowing when to take a break. I work hard and I’m passionate about my mission. But understanding that it’s OK to take a break from time to time is definitely a challenge.

How have your relationships (or friendships) changed since becoming a solopreneur?
My circle of friends is tighter and more secure. I can trust my circle to be honest and give constructive criticism. They’re supportive and always in my corner! The relationship with my husband is stronger. He is my ride-or-die and partner in all that I do. His belief in me is sometimes greater than my own, and his unwavering support pushes me through the tough days.

What is the biggest/best investment you made toward your brand/blog?
Hiring a professional website designer (Her Name is Kim) to revamp my site. It was something I’d been putting off for months, but once I made the step it opened so many doors for my brand and business. Sure, I could have done somethings myself, but that’s why there are professionals. Lol. Made my life easier and allowed me to focus on other aspects of my blog/brand.

If you could have dinner with three people, who would you invite?
Myleik Teele, Beverly Bond and singer Brandy. These ladies are my bff’s in my head. They’re strong business women who go after what they want and make a strong impact on women! They exude what a #FearlessWoman is. 

If you could outsource one task so that you can be effective at your brand/blog, what would that be?
At the moment, I’m good with who I have on my team. 

What’s the one thing you cannot live without?
My faith. It’s imperative to my journey in becoming a better wife, business woman and entrepreneur. 

What is your dream job? Are you doing it right now?
Professional Blogger, Speaker, and Author. I’m working on making that a reality daily and in a way, I’m already doing it, lol!

Talk about motivational! Faith, and surrounding yourself with amazing people while on your journey as a solopreneur, will take your dreams to the next level. We believe that and it is obvious that Whitney does, too. To learn more about Whitney and her blog, visit: WhitneyNicJames.com. Follow her on social media @wnicjames.

 

Thank you for gracing our Solopreneur Spotlight, Whitney!

Would you like to be featured in our next Solopreneur Spotlight? Simply fill out this form and we’ll contact you shortly.

 

#Solopreneur Spotlight: Kirstin N. Fuller | @TheTravelinDiva
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The Traveling Solopreneur. Nothing does a hardworking solopreneur justice like a traveling break! That time can be used to see the world, meet new people, experience culture, or get must needed rest. But what about those of us who aspire to travel, but don’t know the best ways to book hotels, flights, car rentals, and really experience the traveler’s life? This is where we’d enter Kirstin N. Fuller, the travel lover behind Passenger 156.

Passenger156.com is the hub for everything travel. From exotic destinations, fab deals, to the latest travel news and must download apps and travel products, Passenger156.com packs it all! 

When she’s not traveling herself, Kirstin is ensuring the success and solidity of Passenger 156. Read what being a solopreneur looks like to her (and the cool way she unplugs) in today’s spotlight.

Do you work alone? Work with a partner or team?
I work with a few key people: web designer and 3 guest bloggers.

Tell us about your typical work day. 
Rise and shine around 7:30a, check blog email and stats in the back office, then what’s hot on Facebook. Get dressed and head to my 9-5. Checking social media and emails during lunch. After work, I write a blog post or two and create a plan for future posts and schedule a few twitter and Facebook posts. Go to sleep around 10:30p/11p and start the process all over the next day.

What is your biggest challenge as a solopreneur?
Not having enough time to accomplish all of my tasks for a given day. 

How do you unplug? How often do you unplug?
I literally put all electronics on ‘do not disturb’ from 10:59pm to 7:30am daily. I rarely totally unplug/turn devices completely off for days. 

What are your favorite brands to follow on social media and why?
Apple! They’re a beast and when they decide to launch a new product they do so with the worlds undivided attention. Once they have your attention, they reel you in with media campaigns that are amazing.

My favorite book is… and why?
The ‘Four Agreements‘ by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book gave me the tools/mantras to help me to not stress myself over things I can not control. Just helped me de-stress my life completely and not worry.

The one piece of advice I wish I knew when I started out is…
Start tracking analytics from day one! 

Thank you for gracing today’s Solopreneur Spotlight, Kirstin!

Find Kirstin and all things Passenger 156 on social media @thetravelindiva or at her website, www.Passenger156.com.

Solopreneur Spotlight: Roshell Rosemond

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Kicking off our Solopreneur Spotlight is Roshell Rosemond, owner of Liquid Courage Cosmetics. We partnered with Roshell’s company to create our signature Blogalicious Liquid Courage lipstick for our #CourageToWrite campaign, and later promoted it for our February #Courage2Love campaign.

Roshell describes Liquid Courage Cosmetics as the go-to beauty destination for courageous women.

“We are the beauty brand of choice for modern & upwardly mobile woman on the go. Liquid Courage takes pride in serving women that provide meaning and value to their families, communities, and businesses. Liquid Courage is more than an empowerment beauty brand…it’s the armor worn by courageous women worldwide”

Oh, Roshell, we couldn’t agree with you more! Be inspired by her wonderful Solopreneur Spotlight feature.

Do you work alone? Work with a partner or team?
I am a #solopreneur but I partner with blogger communities, make up artists, and brands for certain activations/campaigns

Tell us about your typical work day. {We love details!}
I currently work a traditional 9-5 in addition to being a solo female founder for my passion-based business. I typically wake up at 6:30am. Living on the west coast gives me an opportunity to take most of my calls with prospective east coast partners/leads before I start my 9-5. 6:30-8:00 am is dedicated 100% to Liquid Courage on most days. I review the prior days Google analytics, fulfill orders, and post content across all of the LCC social media platforms and/or respond to comments from LCC followers. I use my lunch time to respond to LCC e-mails, post content across the LCC social media platforms, or make calls. From 8:30pm-midnight I prepare for the following day and make a list of my big ticket action items that I need to complete. I’m currently enrolled in Accelerate with Google, so I’m usually doing homework for at least an hour a night.

How have your relationships (or friendships) changed since becoming a solopreneur?
My relationships are very important to me and that hasn’t changed as a solopreneur. The biggest change I’ve made is triaging my list of “friends” and really being deliberate about what friendships I plan to invest in. As a solopreneur and being recently engaged, I have to be smarter with my time. With the launch of my business it’s really opened up my eyes to who my “real” friends are. It’s hard to be friends with someone who doesn’t support you and your business in some way, either through a purchase, hitting a like or share button or offering words of encouragement on good or bad days. It was easy for me to de-prioritize friendships using this as a guide.

What are your favorite apps or websites that help you succeed in your business?
Instagram/Facebook, WordPress, Google Analytics, Hubspot, Mailchimp, & Adwords.

If you were given $5k, what would you do with the money?

1. Build a booth for live/vendor events. This is a major source of revenue for LCC.

If you could have dinner with three people, who would you invite?
Katia Beauchamp, Mark Cuban, and Beyonce.

The one piece of advice I wish I knew when I started out is…
Being a customer centric company doesn’t only include ensuring the customer has a good experience with your product during and after the purchase, but keeping the customer engaged with the brand post the purchase i.e. focusing on collecting customer info such as e-mails, demographics (age, ethnicity, etc.) and providing a service (content, incentives, etc.) that motivates them to stay engaged.

Did you enjoy Roshell’s Solopreneur Spotlight?

To learn more about Roshell’s company, visit LiquidCourageCosmetics.com and Twitter @liquidcourage_c.

 

#IAmMissJessies | Miss Jessie’s Book + Giveaway

miss-jessies-book-giveaway-be-blogalicious-blog One thing that I love is entrepreneurship — the newness of ideas, relationships, and goals achieved. Contrary to popular belief, the truth is that this lifestyle isn’t always glamorous. In it lies feelings of fear and isolation and, in those moments, it’s important to have realistic and like-minded people to pull you in. Enter the new book from Miss Jessie’s CEO Miko Branch titled Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch — Naturally. This book single-handedly intertwines those tough (and not-so-tough) entrepreneurial moments with inspiration and a Can Do attitude. It also has the perfect dose of humor and personality in it! I am honored to be among top influencers who were called to be apart of the Miss Jessie’s book blog tour. When I learned that the #IAmMissJessies campaign was to not only promote this book, but to stand with Miko Branch while celebrating the life of her sister and business partner, Titi Branch, I couldn’t agree quick enough. For any woman thinking about starting her own business — no matter her industry of choice — I’d recommend ordering this book as a reference. The Miss Jessie’s brand started in the sisters’ shared Brooklyn brownstone and transformed into a multi-million dollar empire, with products in Target and CVS.

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Miko speaks from the aspect of being a steadfast mompreneur, with an emphasis on being a mother first. There’s also lengthy insight on having a successful partnership that turns into an even more successful empire! Our goal with this year’s Blogalicious conference is to give you guys the tools to build your own empires - just take a look at the Blogger Tour graphic above - each of these women are building empires worthy of their own books; I’m honored to be invited to be amongst them. Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch — Naturally will be available everywhere today. Reading this book (and our new Solopreneur Spotlight series) is a great way to kick off your second quarter of 2015. You’ll smile, take notes, and feel inspired to take your product, idea, or business to the next level. Why? Because if the Branch sisters have shown us nothing else, they’ve shown us that with hard work and consistency, and a positive spirit, you can do anything. miss-jessies-book-giveaway-be-blogalicious-blog

Miss Jessie’s – Creating a Successful Business from Scratch – Naturally is a memoir and business guide rich with inspirational life lessons and unique business advice from Miko Branch, the Chief Executive Officer of the dynamic Miss Jessie’s — the company that revolutionized the hair care industry. Miko recalls that when she and her sister, Titi, were children, their grandmother, Miss Jessie, taught them independence and showed them the value of being “do it yourself” women, all while whipping up homemade hair concoctions at her kitchen table. As co-founders of Miss Jessie’s, Miko reveals how she and Titi applied those lessons to create a successful business from scratch. A family memoir with a wealth of practical business advice and handy hair tips, told in Miko’s funny and relatable voice, Miss Jessie’s chronicles Miko’s remarkable story from her childhood learning independence as a latchkey kid in Jamaica, Queens, to co-founding her remarkable company with her sister in their shared home salon in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Miko reflects on her hard-won insights working for her autocratic, iron-fisted father, and how the self-sufficiency she learned in childhood helped her blossom as a single mother with bills to pay, a child to raise, and a dream to pursue. Miko speaks honestly of her mistakes and successes, and of her role as an industry leader, negotiating multi-million dollar deals while at the same time restoring the self esteem of natural and curly haired women. Miss Jessie’s provides an honest look into the life and life lessons of the woman behind the brand.  Miss Jessie’s offers invaluable instruction that can be applied to any business, and is equal parts charming and enlightening, chock full of entertaining stories and a personal collection of Miko’s family photos.  At its core, Miss Jessie’s confirms that with effort the American Dream is possible.

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Enter the Miss Jessie’s Giveaway

Thank you, Miko Branch for including me in your Miss Jessie’s book tour!  In honor of this celebration and forge in sisterhood, I want to share this book and Miss Jessie’s products with one of you with a giveaway.

Here’s how to enter the Miss Jessie’s book giveaway in the #IAmMissJessies campaign:

  1. Please leave us a comment underneath this post, sharing one thing about the Miss Jessie’s brand that has inspired you in your empire-building endeavors.

  2. Then enter your name and URL into the Simply Linked entry form.

    One lucky winner will be chosen! DEADLINE TO ENTER IS 11:59 PST ON FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2015.

*Disclosure: I was provided with a free, advanced copy of this book as well as Miss Jessie’s product for review. All opinions are my own. xo, Stacey

Meet the Newest Member of #TeamBlogalicious, Ariel Williams! @ArielSaysNow
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After a long and exhaustive search, followed by several interviews, we’ve finally picked our newest Digital Rockstar! Please join us in welcoming our new Blogalicious Digital Media and Events Intern, Ariel Williams.   This month we’re also bringing back our #solopreneur features and we’re kicking the party off with an interview from Ariel so you can get to know her better.

Do you work from home or office? 

Home. 

Do you work alone or with a team?

 work alone for private clients and tasks. 

Tell us about your typical work day. {We love details}

After my son is dropped off at school, I spend those hours sending and answering emails, creating and scheduling content, submitting pitches, and managing social media for others. I’m a writer, blogger, and virtual consultant, so my time is divided among those things. In between all of that, I’m checking my own social media profiles and seeing what everyone else is doing, which is often inspirational. And of course, bagels and (iced) coffee is constantly on deck! 

What are your most productive work hours?

12 noon to 3:30 PM. And night time when my son is sleeping. 

What is your biggest challenge as a solopreneur? 

The solo part! I dream of the day I’ll be able to delegate tasks to others. This would equal freedom to put energy into other ideas, build a team of people who “get it”, and would represent self-sufficiency. 

How have your relationships (or friendships) changed since becoming a solopreneur?

My relationships have grown and include people who share a common goal: creating a better life for themselves. Thankfully, my nucleus of friends have shared that vision since the beginning. Lately, I’ve made a conscious effort to put time into friendships/relationships that are worthwhile and fair instead of negative and dead end. I can’t afford it.

What is the biggest/best investment you’ve made toward your brand/blog?

TIME! To learn and understand the tools that I need to execute my goals. To get insight and support from those before me. To still gather resources regardless of not having a fabulous budget to purchase everything I need!

What is your dream job? Are you doing it right now?

My dream job is to connect with women and tell the stories (theirs and mine) that unify us through writing, interviews, media and events. I’m doing it now as a freelance writer, blogger, and consultant who helps creatives virtually share their visions and journeys. These things will one day pave the way for my supreme goal of hosting my own talk show. Until then, I’m enjoying the ride!

Where can we find you?

www.arielsaysnow.com

Welcome to the #TeamBlogalicious, Ariel! We’re so glad to have you on board. It’s going to be an amazing ride! Want to feature your profile/business on the Blogalicious blog? Fill out this quick form.

Save the Date and Meet Us in Baltimore, MD :: #BYOE15 | Blogalicious

Save the Date and Meet Us in Baltimore, MD :: #BYOE15 | Blogalicious

Earlier today on instagram, we revealed nine puzzle pieces that led to one big clue. The burning question that many of you have been asking since #BeGreatB6 conference in San Antonio, TX last year. “When and where is the next Blogalicious Weekend Conference?!” 

*drumroll * 

Meet #TeamBlogalicious at the inner harbor in Baltimore, MD!

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We know many of you are excited that we are back on the East Coast. This year’s theme is “Build Your Own Empire”.  We have lots of exciting plans in store. In the meantime, make sure you’re following us on social media for possible tidbits of information, clues, and Blogalicious 2015 news. We’re ready to reconvene in an atmosphere of fun, learning and excellence with this wonderful community. Are you ready?

Lets Make Blogalicious 2015 a Conference to Remember!

Bloggers: Before You File, Consider These Tax Tips :: Guest Post by Crystal Colon

Bloggers: Before You File, Consider These Tax Tips :: Guest Post by Crystal Colon

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Bloggers! It’s tax time.  Just the thought sends people into a panic. However, there is no need. If you are armed with the right information, tax time can be a breeze. I wanted to share with you a few tax tips based on my years of experience as an Accountant reviewing financial records, as well as being a small business owner.

1)Don’t go at it alone.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that tax software such as TurboTax is easy.  Such software asks open ended questions that can lead to large deficiencies and penalties if you don’t have knowledge of the tax law.  For example, TurboTax may ask you, “Do you wear special clothing for work?”  You check yes.  But unless you wear special clothing that is unsuitable for daily wear or is mandatory, you can’t claim the deduction. An example of this would be a hard hat or steel toe boots, which are items that aren’t suitable to walk around in during your normal non-work day.

2. Report all your income!

This should go without saying. However, you would be surprised at how many people don’t report income and say, “ I didn’t receive my 1099.”  You are responsible for reporting income regardless of receiving an information return (Form 1099 or W-2, etc) from the person for whom you worked. An easy way to ensure you have the correct income at your finger tips is to solely use Paypal to collect your  business income. This way, at years end, Paypal will send you the required 1099-K and you don’t have to worry about collecting Forms 1099 from various individuals and/or companies.
*I recommend having the business Paypal account*

3. Ask the right questions!

When it comes to choosing a return preparer, don’t rely solely on word of mouth.  Don’t choose a preparer because you heard that the preparer can secure you a large refund. Remember, a refund means you are receiving money back because you overpaid. So don’t think you will get an $8,000 refund if you haven’t given the government at least that much during the prior year in the form of withholdings or estimated payments. Everyone’s tax situation is unique.  If you do meet with someone whom you were referred to, ask them if they have experience with your industry.  For us that would be blogging.  Ask what their credentials are.  If something doesn’t look right, ask!  Remember, even if you have a preparer, YOU will be responsible for any errors on the return.

4. Is your home office really an office?

The home office deduction is a tricky son of a gun! Many people think that if they work in their home they are entitled to deduct expenses related to doing so. That simply is not true.  Make sure that you have a DEDICATED space that is used for work.  No kitchen or dining room table.  Also be sure it is a space that, if audited, would look like an office that is used for work and that is for YOU and YOUR business. Not the space set aside for the kids to do homework on the family computer. Also, remember that the first telephone line in the home is not deductible. So if you use the home phone for your business, you can’t deduct that cost, unless it is the second phone line.
I hope these few tax tips help you at tax time!!! Now go out there and MAKE THAT MONEY!
crystal-colon-guest-post-tax-tips-blogalicious Crystal Colon is the owner of Flor Bella Boutique, an online  accessory shop.  She is a married mother of two daughters. Crystal  is a veteran of the US Army having served her country during  Operation Iraqi Freedom.  She has a bachelor’s degree in  accounting and her MBA.  Since 2006 she has worked in her  current position evaluating the accounting records of small  business and self employed individuals.
Love, Primetime, Being Present, and Ending Poverty :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up – 6th Edition
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Have You Purchased Your Copy of Loving In The Grown ZoneThe Blogalicious community is so proud of Alfred Edmond Jr. and Zara Green and the launch of their new book: Loving In The Grown Zone: A No-Nonsense Guide to Making Healthy Decisions In the Quest for Loving, Romantic Relationships, of Honor, Esteem, and Respect.   Learn all about it and join in on the Blog Tour, HERE.
Black Girls Rock.  But we knew that. We’re so excited that Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King will return to the stage as co-hosts of “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!” for the fourth time. The televised primetime special, celebrating its fifth year, that honors the triumphs of inspirational African American women who are trailblazers in the areas of art, philanthropy, sports, and community service.  Tune in to BET on Sunday, April 5th at 7pm ET!
Be Present.  Caught up in the Instagram vortex? We confess that we’ve been guilty of that too. This beautiful post on My Brown Baby, contributed by Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts reminds us to be mentally and emotionally present so that we can appreciate and experience all of the precious moments that we are blessed with. Put down your smartphone this weekend and live in the moment.
Women’s Rights Are Everyone’s Rights. Some of the world’s most prominent and credible female voices – including Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, Lady Gaga, Sheryl Sandberg, Charlize Theron, and Angelique Kidjo – have a VERY important message about the girls and women of the world. Learn more and sign the ONE.org petition to help end poverty for girls and women by 2030, HERE.
Your Daily Dose of Inspiration :: Celebrating Women’s History Month

Your Daily Dose of Inspiration :: Celebrating Women’s History Month

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This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl! ~James Brown 

This month we’re celebrating Women’s History Month. Check back here every day for a new quote penned by @JusticeFergie. If you pin/share the images, please credit the source. :-)

 

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“Don’t mistake politeness for lack of strength.” – Sonia Sotomayor

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“There’s no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s what you were born to do.” – Oprah

 

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

 

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“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” – Madeleine Albright

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“I have the right to speak up.” ~ Malala Yousafzai

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“Focus on something outside of yourself. Devote a slice of your energies towards making the world suck less every week.”  ~Shonda Rhimes

How will you celebrate Women’s History Month?

Murder, Munchies and Money :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

Murder, Munchies and Money :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

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Want to know what’s happening in our community, on television and in feminism? Our Murder, Munchies and Money round up this week is the perfect place to start. Dive right in and see what’s going on.

Happy Birthday, Mabel’s Labels!

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Blogalicious Weekend conference sponsor and supporter, Mabel’s Labels celebrated their 12th birthday on Monday.  In celebration they are offering 40% all month on their products. Be sure to follow their social media channels for birthday contest giveaways.

Who Killed Rebecca?!

Did you catch that suspenseful 2-hour “How To Get Away With Murder” finale? Even if you missed a couple of episodes, the frequent flash back scenes will get you all caught up. Now we have to wait 6 months to find out who killed Rebecca! Aja Naomi who plays ‘Michaela’ dishes on behind-the-scenes thoughts on the finale. 

Ensalada de Bacalao Salad

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Lenten season is here and if you’re tired of the same ole’ fish dish on Fridays, @ModernMami shares a delicious Ensalada de Bacalao Salad recipe she ate frequently as a kid. Doesn’t this meal look amazing? The best part is that its nutritious and healthy, so you health conscious folks can enjoy a guilt free meal!

Know Your Value

Ladies, how many of you wince and cower when it comes to negotiating your salary for a new gig or sponsored content? Studies show that women are less likely to negotiate for a higher salary for many different reasons, but the biggest reason being most women haven’t been taught to ask for more! Miko Brzezinski is launching the “Know Your Value” conference series in several major cities. She’s on a mission to “help women remove those barriers and stop leaving money on the table.” This kind of empowerment is just what hard working women need!

Murder, Munchies and Money :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

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