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Are you affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Are you affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder?

10 Ways to Shake the Blues The reason many people suffer from the winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is not fully understood. But it is thought to be caused by decreased exposure to natural sunlight. Normally, people who live in California and Florida, where it is sunny and warm for most of the year, experience S.A.D. less frequently. On the other hand, people who live in the northern states have a higher occurrence of S.A.D. because they experience colder temperatures and less daylight. Symptoms of the winter blues and S.A.D are similar. Some of the signs include depression, fatigue, sleeping more than usual, craving extra carbs and sweets, loss of interest in normal activities, crying, and sadness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, here are a few ways to turn that frown upside down. Also, consult your healthcare provider before starting any new program. 1, Light therapy “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.” Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell. Do you remember singing that tune? The amount of light that you receive can have a direct effect on the chemicals, serotonin and melatonin that help to regulate the hypothalamus in the brain. It also controls all vital functions such as breathing, sleeping, temperature control, and mood. The hypothalamus is responsible for our circadian rhythm also known as our body clock. In the winter months, the days we get sunlight are shorter and nights are longer, so the body may have difficulty adjusting. To remedy this, start by doing most of your outdoor activities during daylight hours. Get at least 30 minutes to an hour of direct sunlight daily. If you are unable to get outdoors, keep your curtains open and put your favorite chair near the window and enjoy the natural light. Also, you can purchase light boxes that provide increase light in the home up to 100 times that of regular light bulbs. In addition, there are lamps, electric machines, and smartphone apps to give access to light therapy. And if this does not work, take a winter vacation in a warm sunny climate. Enjoy and create many good memories to bring back home. 2. Maintain a regular exercise routine Exercising consistently helps the body produce endorphins which are hormones that make you happy. Taylor Swift’s song says it best, “Shake it off.” Not only does dancing improves your heart health, overall muscle strength, balance, and coordination, but it also reduces depression and anxiety. Dancing also allows us to become more connected and social. Social interactions can go a long way in improving mood and mental health. We can still have these interactions even with social distancing. There are many online dance parties through social media, or you can establish a group with your family and friends via zoom or another platform. Dancing can be one tool you use to improve your mood and shake off the blues. However, please do not substitute it for professional guidance. 3. Make a playlist Download your favorite upbeat and inspirational songs to boost your energy and mood. Music can change emotions immediately. It can transform the brain chemistry so we can positively process our feelings. Music and emotions are stimulated by the same neural pathway that can potentially reduce anxiety and depression. Also, it can increase self-esteem, and quality of life. 4. Aromatherapy Essential oils are often used as mood boosters because the flowers and natural products contain elements that trigger the part of your brain that contains the receptors for mood, memory, and good vibes. There are many ways you can add aromatherapy. You can use it in the home in humidifiers, diffusers, baths, air fresheners, and lotions. 5. Talk therapy Talk therapy offers a great solution as well. Many people forgo this therapy due to reasons such as working, not enough time, or old cultural stigmas attached to seeing a therapist. But now with the use of technology, we can talk to a therapist 24/7. These therapists can provide Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that is very effective in managing S.A.D. 6. Vitamin D and eating healthy Vitamin D is known as the sun vitamin. It is important for our immune system and it helps to regulate our mood. Many of us have a deficiency due to lack of absorption from the sun or not enough intake through our diet. It is important to have your Vitamin D level check and if a supplement is needed it can either be prescribed by your healthcare provider or purchase over the counter wherever vitamins are sold. 7. Do things you enjoy It is also helpful to continue to do the things you enjoy. This helps release the endorphins that trigger us to be happy. It has always been said that laughter is the best medicine and I tend to agree. A simple smile can change your mood instantly. I know it is hard right now to see the smiles of others, but find a way to make someone and yourself laugh frequently. You can tell jokes, watch funny videos on the internet, or watch a comedy movie. Just remember, don’t worry be happy. 8. Establish good sleep habits A good sleep pattern is very important so try to get at least 8 hours of restful sleep every night. Sleep helps the mind to rest. Also, it enables the body to refresh for the next day. Turn off all electronics and anything that can be a distraction, so you can concentrate on your sweet dreams. 9. Hydration Several studies have concluded that even mild dehydration can cause moodiness, problems concentrating, headaches, and fatigue. All these symptoms can lead to depression and anxiety. Our bodies are composed of 60 to 70 percent water. Water is needed to keep our bodies in balance physically and emotionally. The amount of water intake varies for each individual but for most, drinking 8 to 12 glasses a day is good, especially during the winter months. 10. Gratitude, meditation, and mindfulness Increased gratitude is a common result of practicing mindfulness and meditation. As we start paying more attention to our thoughts, we can change our thought patterns and appreciate the good things in our lives. Gratitude increases our energy level by providing positive vibes from remembering how blessed we are. Try to meditate and focus on the things you are grateful for at least 20 minutes a day and watch how you become more content and happier. About Daphne I am currently the Senior Health Consultant for medical professional only. In this role, I assist Medical Practices increase their revenue while providing quality care and the latest medical technology for their clients. I am also a Nurse Practitioner, a Certified Health and Wellness Coach, and a Master Reiki Healer. I have over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. My goal is to help educate the world about holistic approaches to health. This is done by using the physical, emotional, and spiritual components of the body. Knowing your complete self will increase the harmony of the soul. Knowledge is powerful. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and I’m always looking for ways to improve. I am a great believer in creating your own destiny and the Law of Attraction. I have several projects on the horizon including my first published book title, Your Mood, God’s Food, Let’s Eat, and a health supplement named Phentramax. Visit me on Instagram.

Unleash Your CEO Money Mindset for Success

Unleash Your CEO Money Mindset for Success

Many entrepreneurs put all their focus on strategies and forget that mindset plays a critical role in building a successful business. Studies have shown that an individual’s outlook on life greatly affects the outcome of a business and the wrong mindset can cause a business to fail. It is vital that as a business owner you learn how to unleash your CEO money mindset to help you not only establish your business but to build a highly profitable and successful business. When I found myself teaching money management and still struggling to reach my goals and dreams, I recognized that something was missing. I knew, too, that I could and should be an entrepreneur. After doing my research and “heart” work, I realized that my mindset did not yet catch up with my goals and dreams. So, I embarked on a mindset renewal journey. In doing so, I uncovered a few limiting money beliefs that were holding me back. To say out loud that I was seeking wealth felt yucky. I could recall as a little girl growing up in the church the Scripture, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,” (Mark 10:25, KJV) was drilled into our minds. In addition, the Scripture, “For the love of money is the root of all evil…” (1 Timothy 6:10, KJV) was translated, money is the root of all evil. So, I always felt if I wanted more, whether it was money or another goal, it was a bad thing. What a relief when I was finally able to release that and know that because I am a child of the King, He desires for me to have more and actually promised it. So today I boldly declare, “I am relentlessly and unapologetically building a debt free legacy.” Here are three strategies to help you unleash your CEO mindset: Strategy #1: CEO’s recognize who they are and whose they are A few years ago, I wrote at the top of my vision board, “I am a child of the King and therefore I am royalty. Because I am royalty, I deserve the best and I attract greatness. Prosperity is in my lineage. Prosperity is mine.” Although I wasn’t always bold enough to proclaim that, I know that to be true today and I walk in it. I encourage you to do the same. Romans 8:17 (KJV), “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” and 3 John 2 (KJV), “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth,” make it clear who we are and whose we are. As you build your business, focus on the fact that you are an heir to His kingdom and a recipient of His prosperity. Strategy #2: CEO’s are intentional about setting goals and achieving them Whether it’s a money goal or any other goal, you must be intentional. You cannot control everything happening in the news – COVID-19, the election results, etc. What you can control is allowing yourself to dream and pursue your dreams unapologetically; the way you show up and the wealth you are determined to create; and being intentional about becoming the person your dreams require. No longer can you allow your fear of loss to cut off all possibility of gain. When you solely lead with fear of loss and allow it to override the possibility of gain, you will most definitely stifle your progress. Two years ago, when I knew it was time to take my business to the next level, I thought of every reason why I could not afford the program I wanted to invest in. However, I decided to trump fear and make the investment. I chose to focus on where I wanted to be over where I was at the time. As a result, my business grew leaps and bounds and I started my Cashflow & Profits Academy, which currently supports almost 30 entrepreneurs in the growth and expansion of their business. We miss opportunities for growth when we don’t believe enough in what our eyes can’t see. It is time to flex your CEO muscles and make decisions from what your future self will demand and require. Stretch yourself. When you operate from a space of what’s possible rather than your current reality, you create lasting change and transformation for yourself and your family. You were not put here to live a ‘realistic’ life. You are extraordinary. Believe it. Embrace it. Be about it. Based on the results you have today or based on what’s happening in your life right now, your goals should seem impossible. They should seem outrageous even, but you need to breakthrough to the journey of achieving them. It is possible because all things are possible with God. Be intentional about your goals and dreams. Strategy #3: CEO’s know that what they are carrying is mighty and great I read a story recently that drives this point home perfectly. “An elephant and a dog became pregnant at the same time. Three months down the line, the dog gave birth to six puppies. Six months later, the dog was pregnant again, and nine months on it gave birth to another dozen puppies. The pattern continued. On the eighteenth month the dog approached the elephant questioning, ‘Are you sure that you are pregnant? We became pregnant on the same date. I have given birth three times to a dozen puppies and they are now grown to become big dogs, yet you are still pregnant. What's going on?’ The elephant replied, ‘There is something I want you to understand. What I am carrying is not a puppy but an elephant. I only give birth to one in two years. When my baby hits the ground, the earth feels it. When my baby crosses the road, human beings stop and watch in admiration - what I carry draws attention. So, what I'm carrying is mighty and great.” (Anonymous, 2016) When I started my doctoral journey in 2011, it was my intention to be done by 2015. But 4, 5, and 6 years went by and I was watching others completing their journey to scholar. But as life was happening all around me, I hung tight. I kept my eyes on the prize. It took me 7 ½ years to complete the journey but had I not told you, all you would know is that I am Dr. Ranelli A. Williams, one of 2% of Americans who earn a doctoral degree. So, don’t worry about the dogs around you with seemingly record time answers to their prayers. Instead “pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on you,” (Dave Ramsey) and tell yourself, “I am an elephant and what I am carrying is mighty and great.” (Anonymous, 2016) About Ranelli Dr. Ranelli A. Williams is a Certified Public Accountant, financial educator and profit strategist, best-selling author, and award-nominated speaker, empowering service-based entrepreneurs to take control of their money as they work towards building a strong financial legacy. She co-owns a tax and accounting business, ERJ Services, along with her husband Eric, helping their clients organize their financial data so they build a strong financial foundation, prioritize cash flow and profits, and strategize to pay only the minimum legal taxes. She is also the founder of R.A.W. Legacy Solutions as well as Profitable Entrepreneurs Network, a community of service-based entrepreneurs who are looking put a solid financial structure in place so they can focus on getting paid for doing what they love and building their business to 6-figures and beyond. Her ultimate goal is to help her tribe experience continued growth and expansion, keep their hard-earned dollars secure, and build a debt-free legacy.

How to Develop Leadership Confidence

How to Develop Leadership Confidence

Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs at you. So, would you juggle them or drop them? A few years ago, I worked as a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner. For those who do not know what NLP is, it’s work involving your unconscious mind. Many people are controlled by fears and limiting beliefs that are holding them back from their greatness. NLP practitioners can help individuals remove those fears and thoughts from their unconscious minds, so they can live out their dreams. I’ve done it for myself and seen hundreds of others do the same. Shortly after I finished my NLP training, I started attracting clients. Most of them were coming from the personal development world, so they were right into self-improvement. This was a bonus in itself, as they were ready and willing to grow. One lady in particular who came on board with me, Gloria, came with an exciting request. Gloria had worked for the same firm for the past 19 years and had stayed in the same position. An opportunity had come up to become the head of her division, and she really wanted to go for it. Gloria came to me because she was shy and didn’t believe in herself. As much as she wanted to go for the higher position, she didn’t feel at all confident or sure that she could even put in the application form. Gloria signed on for a breakthrough package, and we started to work right away. Within a few days, we had made fantastic progress. Gloria felt brave and confident enough to apply for the position. A few weeks later, Gloria told me she’d been asked to come for an interview. She was excited, but also terribly nervous and scared. I gave her a boost on a phone call right before her interview, and she walked through the door feeling super strong. What was about to happen, though, even I never expected. While Gloria was being interviewed, some board members shook their heads and sighed. The lead interviewer saw this and decided to take control. “Gloria?” he said. “While the board feels you could do this job blindfolded, we’d actually like to take you higher. We were wondering if you’d consider taking on the CEO role?” Gloria was absolutely dumbfounded. This was the last thing she expected. Naturally, Gloria asked for some time to process it all. The next day, she told them she’d do the job. A few months went by, and I hadn’t heard from her. Then one day, she called me in a panic! “It’s all a complete mess!” she said. “Wait, what’s a mess, Gloria?” I replied. “The whole thing. It’s all falling apart!” she yelled. As it turned out, the company was in trouble. The last CEO had left a complete mess for Gloria to sort out, and due to her low self-confidence and esteem, she was struggling. See, in Gloria’s mind, she didn’t believe she was cut out to succeed as CEO. If you know anything about mindset, you’ll know that our thoughts control our actions. So, if you do not believe you can do something, chances are, you won’t. Gloria was a smart woman, though. She knew she had limitations, and instead of just accepting these limitations, she was looking for solutions to fix them. This meant doing even more work on what was buried deep in her unconscious mind. We decided to work together weekly. There were a few things we needed to tackle, and it would take some time. We started with Gloria’s limiting belief that she wasn’t good enough. Some other issues Gloria had were standing her ground, being strict with poor performers, and being deathly afraid that if she were tough, she wouldn’t be liked. Working with NLP techniques, we were able to work out the root cause of the problem and what was buried deep from her past. Slowly, we started removing the blockages that were stopping her from being a true leader. It wasn’t easy; in fact, the process was long and arduous at times. But Gloria never gave up. After a few months, Gloria was able to start turning things around. She believed in herself, and she knew that now she could lead this company back to greatness. We continued working closely together, building her self-esteem and confidence. What’s important in this story is that Gloria made a choice not to limit herself. She didn’t ask to be thrown into this role, let alone take on a role with so many problems. Many people in her shoes would have quit or even just flailed along. Not our Gloria. She chose to take charge of the situation and do something about it. She decided to be strong, and because of this, she prospered. Not only in her pocket but also in her mind and mindset. Today, Gloria is still in the role of CEO. She doubled her salary when she accepted the job and tells me that now she has quadrupled her self-belief and self-worth. She now firmly believes that she can take on anything and is proving daily that she is a true leader. The board of the company is thrilled with the progress she’s making and fully support her on whatever journey she feels she must take on next. Gloria has become unstoppable and is now juggling her curveballs with ease. So, if you find yourself being thrown a curveball and needing some help to juggle it successfully, consider NLP as an option. Success comes down to what you believe you can do. When you gain the freedom of believing you can do anything, life really becomes nothing but joy. To be a true leader, you must conquer your mindset. It’s truly the only way forward. I’m no longer working in the NLP field; however, I have some wonderful people I can recommend should you require assistance. Feel free to reach out, and I will guide you. About Maini Maini Homer is the Founder and CEO of Copywriters International. She is an entrepreneur and mastermind businesswoman living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Maini has been in business for herself for over 23 years and has created 13 successful businesses from scratch. Recently, she also became #1 international bestselling author in three categories and countries as well. Visit Maini at www.copywritersinternational.com.

Dear Mama, thank you!

Dear Mama, thank you!

They say “Every day is special, so let each day count…” I must totally agree with that statement. Many times, we keep a precious jewelry, dress or even food for “a special moment”, forgetting that the very next second is not guaranteed and we take those special moments for granted, until there are no more special moments to celebrate. A classic is Mother’s Day. In my humble opinion, every day is Mother’s Day. These exceptional human beings risked their lives to bring us to this place called earth and are in our corner till the day we die. Loving us unconditionally, sacrificing and nurturing us, even when we are mature and taking our own “wise” decisions. Always there to listen to our frustrations and happy stories, while cooking our favorite meals. Yes, that’s the lady that we should be celebrating every day of our lives, our dear Mama. To celebrate this particular day, since 4 years ago, I just go to my mom’s and dad’s resting place and lay a flower and just stare at the white cold thumb, believing that they are sleeping peacefully since their duty is done. But to celebrate all other mothers, biological, foster, friends, aunties, nieces, colleagues, I have designed this room for you all. An inspirational bedroom for all those who want to give that special lady who we call Mommy, Mama, Mom, a nice room makeover. When designing this room, I thought about my own belated mom, who passed away with Cancer at the privileged age of 83 years old. She was a strong, determined and yes, sometimes stubborn woman who served her community as a certified nurse on several departments. So, it also crossed my mind, all those caregivers who are working tirelessly to help and nurture all of their patients, especially those now dealing with Covid-19, Cancer and all other diseases. They sometimes risk their own wellbeing and lives, leaving their loved ones behind to be there for our loved ones. That is ultimate courage and love for their work right there! We salute you and appreciate you. With also especially them in mind, I designed this inspirational bedroom. A calm realm where they can find their rest after long long, oh very long hours of being a superhero of their own kind for those needing the necessary care. I wanted to use bright white as the base color for the furniture as well as for the walls. The light neutral tones amplify the area giving it a look and feel of a roomy space. It is also the perfect color to reflect the bright natural light. I preferred not to use too many decorative items, since time is valuable, and they sometimes don’t have the time to do a throughout cleaning and especially as a nurse during these circumstances. The only big painting that I used, was to inspire relaxation of the mind and body. A resemblance of the wide seacoast with the perfect blue skies. I shopped for a plush bedding set, that offered the proper comfort whilst sleeping but also functioning as the focal point of the bedroom. I worked easily around it with matching curtains and further decor. The intention was to create privacy when opening the windows by adding blinds and valances, but also when opened, the natural light could be maneuvered to the taste. Nothing screams comfort more than a cozy and soft throw over the bed together with the several textures of pillows. Just imagine yourself entering a room that is appealing, tastefully designed and more important… decluttered. Your mind and body need the peace and rest after long hours of being the “superhero caregiver”. And what also certainly can help with that are aromatic candles, an inspirational journal with encouraging faith-uplifting words and some wine of course. You know… we do not really realize also how important flooring is. Remember, after walking up and down or standing the whole day on your feet, when you reach home your feet wants to feel welcomed too. Taking that part also into consideration I have opted for a high plush super white carpet. Oh, it feels so good and relaxing when coming off the bed and your feet touches that soft surface. Or just sipping on some fine wine while sitting in that cozy Chesterfield and reflecting on life. Heaven on earth! The white carpet also elevated the whole design after adding a pair of mirrored table lamps on the side tables. Mind you, I chose a different type of lamp to create a luxurious look and feel, bringing more light but also to stand out. The same goes with the side tables, something contemporary modern, simple yet stylish and clean. Again, the room needed to reflect serenity, tranquility, and freshness. This room resamples what all of us need in our actual lives, a dose of tranquility for our body, mind and soul. A place where we find the moment to emerge into our inner selves and re-discover profound peace in order to achieve the ultimate joy. A realm to celebrate every day’s special moments, memories and loved ones. Especially our beloved mothers… again, thank you Mama! About Nadin Nadin Benito is a well-known International Interior Designer at Welcome Home Designs, based on the beautiful island of Curacao where she has more than 20 years of design experience under her belt, as well as being a producer of her own TV series. During the illness and passing of both of her parents in less than 1 year apart, but also 3 of her close friends, Nadin founded Welcome Home Foundation - Curacao which is dedicated in designing Pro Bono for a good cause, namely for Cancer patients and Cancer survivors, who went through drastic life changes, by designing an area in their home/ location completely for free including all decorative items, to give them hope and help them gather much needed strength. “As an Interior Designer, I had the opportunity to experience the importance of creating beautiful places at several Cancer patients’ and survivor’s homes, in order to give them hope and also to contribute to their prompt recovery after all the chemotherapy and exhaust. By experiencing the passing of my own parents, 3 close friends and other close family members due to Cancer, it gave me the ultimate push to continue with this noble work... Designing for a good cause… An area where the Cancer patients feel welcome and at peace. Cancer does not take a break. But with this noble cause, we can ensure that hope for these patients and survivors won't either…” Visit Nadin at www.welcomehomefoundationcuracao.com.

How she made nearly a million dollars in 24 hours & her mission to help aspiring entrepreneurs.

How she made nearly a million dollars in 24 hours & her mission to help aspiring entrepreneurs.

Deonna Monique. Owner of Boho Exotic Studio Deonna Monique started like most entrepreneurs, feeling unfulfilled while working a regular job. She had many ideas for a business, but never focused on developing one specific product. That all changed when she started posting hair videos on YouTube “I made videos wearing hair extensions, and the very first video I posted on YouTube got 30,000 views overnight,” Monique explains. “I was like, ‘Oh my God. This is it.’ I wasn’t promoting my own product, but that video gave me a glimpse of how impactful my brand could be. One week later, I quit my job and started Boho Exotic Studio. I believed my goals would manifest themselves and be larger than I ever imagined.” Deonna spills the tea on how she launched her successful hair company and once made nearly $1 million in just a single day. She breaks down her journey and shares the top three secrets to success as an entrepreneur. Get inspired and, above all, take action! What is the motivation behind your tremendous work ethic? I spent years working to create revenue for someone else. Why wouldn’t I work harder and have just as much dedication to my own company? I have a sense of urgency where my business is concerned, because I value every customer. Excellent service and quality products are why I get repeat customers, referrals, celebrity clientele, and national attention. Every order helps me to provide for my child, and keeps my entrepreneurial dream alive. How did you make almost $1 million selling hair extensions? I paid The Shade Room $1,000 for one post on Instagram. The surge in traffic crashed my website, but we fixed it and thousands of orders were placed that night. I gained more publicity and received more orders than I could have acquired on my own. The experience was life-changing, but it gave me new ideas to consider. That’s what I love about entrepreneurship; I can challenge myself to make my business better. Who did you first contact to promote Boho Exotic Studio products? I got in touch with Kim Johansen, a local I knew from YouTube, to model my hair. She not only posted a photo on Instagram wearing my extensions, but she also made a YouTube video about how much she loved them. Celebrity hairstylists and stars who followed her began to follow me, then I started getting emails from Essence, Vogue, and other top magazines. Her credibility in the beauty and hair industry gave me a major lift, and it happened because I asked her to model my hair. Nevertheless, if she had said no, I was confident that someone else would say yes and put my extensions on their platform. What are three major keys to building a successful business? 1. Be your biggest supporter I was pregnant, making over $60,000 when I quit my job. My family didn't understand why I wanted my own business. They didn’t believe in my vision for hair extensions, or that I could excel as an entrepreneur. In hindsight, it’s easy to say I’m thankful for adversity because it was an opportunity to grow. However, when those who claimed to love me the most doubted my abilities, it messed with my confidence. I couldn’t rely on my circle to encourage me, so I put my faith in God and trusted that He would lead me on the right path. Business owners can see the “after,” which is why being your own biggest supporter is so important. 2. Make all criticism constructive Negative reviews and complaints told me exactly what I needed to do to better serve my clientele. I only had to listen and make the right changes. As a business owner, it’s your job to turn negatives into positives. Originally, I only sold one type of hair, but through feedback and reviews I was able to expand product selection to over 26 textures, and several hair colors. Take criticism and utilize it to refine your business operations. Rethink, retry, and restock! If you’re too stubborn to make improvements, potential customers will order elsewhere. Changing your mindset and how you respond to negativity will impact your business. 3. Ask for what you want It’s not enough to have a great product. Your job as a business owner is to find your target audience and figure out the best way to market products to them. People will say no and ignore your emails, but you can't let that stop you from moving forward. Instead of focusing on who has the most followers, discover who can promote and represent your product the best. Ask simple questions: “Would you like to do trade work with my product? How much do you charge to post an ad?” Your ability to make money is on the line, so be fearless! Closed mouths don't get fed. What lessons have you learned from your journey? My journey has been incredible. But I’m just a girl from Dallas who trusted God and believed in her vision. I went from being homeless to making $60,000 at a major company, to running a successful business as a single mom. Through it all, I had faith in God’s plan for my life, and allowed Him to open doors for me. In addition to Boho Exotic Studio, I created Spirit Led, an online ministry, and wrote two books: Under the Influence: Guide to Getting Celebs in Your Product, and Super Powers: A Saved Entrepreneur’s Manual, to help like-minded entrepreneurs see God as their boss, and teach them to trust Him with their businesses. My goal in life is to share what I’ve learned with aspiring entrepreneurs and help to make their dreams a reality. I truly believe that with God, all things are possible. Deonna Monique manifested her dreams and so can you. If you love Deonna as much as we do, follow her at Twitter or Instagram @deonnamonique, or visit bohoexoticstudio.com to purchase products.

How my medical mystery became the ultimate platform inspiring women to rise

How my medical mystery became the ultimate platform inspiring women to rise

My adult years have been a “medical mystery” and that has guided my mission. I am incredibly thankful for every step of my journey as it has led me right to this moment to broadcast, inspire, and give hope to others to never ever give up. Growing up in small town Saskatchewan, Canada, with two older brothers, I lived my whole childhood as a tomboy. Throughout the years, I was bullied, lied to, and cheated on. In my mid 20’s, I got sick. Surgeons decided the only answer to my bowel problem was a colostomy bag. I respectfully refused. I underwent a heart ablation surgery for the arrhythmic activity, which I was experiencing. The surgery was inconclusive and in recovery, my body collapsed with the stress of the procedure. The roller coaster continued with numerous emergency room visits, four colonoscopies, two endoscopes, ten ultrasounds, and numerous doctors’ appointments. In October 2014, at a personal development workshop, I learned that my bowel issues were connected to years of stress leading back to distrust and years of hurt. After having six bowel movements in two days, which was previously unheard of in a month, I became aware that there is a connection between health and lifestyle—a connection between the mind, body, and soul, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. I had been burdened with pain for 14+ years. On February 6, 2017, I had an appointment, which placed me on an urgent list for surgery. My surgery happened on February 21, 2017, and finally there were signs of success. Recovery was far from pleasant, although I am a go-getter, with high energy and a positive mindset. The struggle was real! I lacked energy and had mood swings that were unpredictable. As I recovered, I reminisced about the medical mystery that at one time seemed impossible to cure. There I was, a 32-year-old with no children—having had a hysterectomy with the diagnosis of adenomyosis. Yet, alive and becoming healthy. Although I am a positive influencer with years of personal development practice, during my recovery, I found myself slipping into negative self-talk, not wanting to leave the house, sleeping a lot, and struggling financially. My business was affected, along with my friendships and other relationships. I hid in baggy clothes and when I went out, I hid behind my smile. I was lonely and miserable, and I did not want to be that person. Can you relate? During my healing and recovery, I focused on three areas: Rediscovering and revitalizing life within myself Every part of my journey, even the ugly parts, were important. I did not want to depend on anything or anyone to rescue me. I was all about loving me for me and relighting my soul’s passion and focus. Taking this time alone to be still was necessary. It allowed me to truly understand what was important to my soul and how to have and share gratitude for all situations and circumstances. Practicing self-love regardless of my situations I decided to become aware, admit, surrender, and step back to build self-love and respect. Too often in life we hold onto grudges and resentments. I practice a healing modality myself and with clients, releasing emotional baggage that no longer serves our lives. Learning to set healthy respectful boundaries, break patterns, and unnecessary toxic habits. Once I established boundaries, I began to see remarkable results on the outside and healing on the inside. I started dropping weight, and getting rid of pain, frustrations, and stress, only to discovered clarity and peace within. Speak truth first and foremost to myself I released what was, to become what is. Most importantly, I needed to give myself grace, let go of shame, and allow myself to admit I needed help as I was just worn out. When we have a negative belief, it’s easy to put ourselves down for our faults. However, it’s essential to rewire our truths and create core positive beliefs. We all have a journey. We all have a past and a story. However, that does not need to hold us hostage and be the repeating cycles of the future. We do not know what life is going to throw at us. Challenges are a necessary part of our journey. It may take weeks, months, or even years to achieve the goals you set. However, remember not to allow the construction to detour your whole life journey. I’ve also been reminded when struggles happen, the people you supported may not be there to support you. That’s okay. Ask others for help and speak your truth. When you get real and raw with life, life will get real and raw with you. Throughout my journey, I’ve been able to: discover my inner peace, as well as coach others through their transformation wear my old wardrobe again released emotional baggage, consciously and subconsciously eliminate physical pain and illness feel confident and full of energy When we dive deep into our own healing, the realizations and releases are more than we can possibly imagine. It was truly some of the hardest work I’ve been through, yet most rewarding. Today, I’m honored to walk alongside people of all walks of life who have found success regardless of their situations or circumstances. It is time to give yourself permission to break free of what’s holding you back from your desired dreams and goals. Are you Ready? To resolve the deep-rooted patterns that persistently show up in many areas of your life. To release chronic pain, fatigue, and discomfort. To finally have the most rewarding breakthrough physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. It is time to invest in you! It is time to rise. Every step of the journey is the journey. Every up, every down, and every U-turn is a lesson. Turn what was pain into your passion, into your purpose. What I know is—to never ever give up. Stay true to yourself and make your dream become a reality. About Amanda Amanda Danielle is an expert in the healing industry with over 15 years of experience and 21 accumulated certifications. She thrives on empowering others to respectfully speak their truth and comfortably release emotional baggage within the mind, body, and soul. With a competitive background, she has a passionate heart to bring awareness to others, helping them to dig deep to discover their inner peace, and to never ever give up. She mentors women to reconnect their courage and confidence, achieve goals, and permanently improve results in all areas of life. Visit Amanda at www.askamandadanielle.com.

Key Steps to Merging Your Finances After Marriage

Key Steps to Merging Your Finances After Marriage

My grandmother told me a story about her wedding day. When she entered the room, everything seemed perfect. The tulips she had ordered were strategically placed around the room. Her guests were smiling as she made her way down the aisle towards her husband to be, who looked rather dashing in his suit. As they both repeated their vows, the officiant got to the part that says, “For richer or poorer.” She responded that she was marrying for richer because she could be poor all by herself. If you knew my grandmother, you would know that she was serious. Many couples begin their marriage journey saddled with debts, such as student loans, wedding debt, credit cards, and car loans. It is no wonder that disputes about money is one of the top causes of issues in marriages that may lead to divorce. It is funny how we happily recite our vows, “In good times and in bad. In sickness and in health. For richer or poorer.” On our wedding day, there is no real thought about the possibility of any of these things happening in our marriage. We naively believe we could conquer anything, as long as we’re together. Sadly, the largest amount of debt married couples face outside of their mortgage can be attributed to student loan debt, credit card debt, and surprisingly (or not), debt used to fund their wedding. Many college students are graduating with an exorbitant amount of student loan debt. The Federal Student Aid reported a total of $1.56 trillion in student loan debt amongst American college graduates, with the average student owing approximately $32,731 and average payments close to $400 per month. The New York Federal Reserve reported a total of $3.93 trillion in credit cards were issued to Americans (that is, available credit), with a total of $893 billion in actual credit card spending. This breaks down to an average of about $12,000 per couple. As an immigrant to America, I was shocked to learn of the amount of money couples spend on extravagant weddings - from the cost of the rings and wedding dresses to the cost of the venue, decorations, and food. According to Business Insider, in the US, 28% of couples reported going into debt when paying for their wedding. The Knot, a popular wedding website, conducted its 2019 Real Weddings Survey, garnering feedback from over 25,000 couples who were married in 2019. This study showed that the average wedding in America costs around $33,900, which includes the cost of the engagement ring. In an article called, Wedding Debt is Up and Traditions Are Out, the author reported that one-third of 1,000 couples surveyed confirmed that they used debt, borrowing an average of $11,737 to pay for their wedding. With these staggering numbers, it is no wonder many couples find it difficult to maintain financial stability, especially when two individuals agree to marry their finances in some way but their money management ideals are significantly different. In my household, I am usually the person who scrutinizes how we are spending our money. On the other hand, my husband usually swipes with little thought of how a purchase will affect our bank account, which honestly causes some tension. Together, we had to find ways to help us change this narrative in our marriage. Some of our strategies were initiated before we got married and we worked on the others within the last five years to reduce the number of “money fights” we were having. I believe some of these may help you as well. Talk about your debt and financial goals My husband and I discussed our credit while we were dating. We both ordered our credit reports and I listed each debt in a spreadsheet, including the balance and the minimum payment. Together we talked about how we could begin paying off the debt with the lower balances. If that ship has already sailed and you are now married and in debt, it is not too late. The process is still the same. You can start today by requesting a free credit report via www.annualcreditreport.com from the three major credit bureaus and taking a hard look at your financial obligations. Once that is done, you can begin to devise a plan of action. Create a budget Schedule a budget and financial planning meeting with your spouse. You will need bank statements for all accounts, credit card statements, a pen, and paper. My husband and I currently use Google Sheets, which allows us both to make and view changes in real-time. Start your budget worksheet by listing your total take-home income by pay period. Leave spaces in between. Next, group and list your expense categories – for example household expenses (mortgage or rent, utilities, phone, and food), auto expenses (car loan, gas, and maintenance), debt payments, and so on. I strongly suggest including a category for a reasonable monthly “no questions asked” allowance. You will also need a category designated for emergencies. Save for emergencies For many Americans, an emergency may cause a financial burden if there is not a plan in place. We often pull out our trusted credit card and swipe with little regard for how it will be paid later. What happens if there is a major emergency, such as your spouse losing his job or your wife getting ill? Can your marriage survive without emergency savings? Pay off debt If the lack of cash flow is causing havoc in your marriage, you need a strategy to pay off your debt. When my husband and I started our debt freedom journey, we were both excited about the prospect of being debt-free. We had over $50,000 in consumer debt plus our mortgage. We followed what is known as the Debt Snowball Method. We arranged our debt by the total balance and began paying off the debt with the smallest balance first. We will call this Credit Card #1. We paid the minimum on each debt, except Credit Card #1. Any extra money in our budget was used to pay off Credit Card #1. As we depleted the balance on Credit Card #1, we moved to Credit Card #2. We continued this method until all of our consumer debt was paid. I can honestly say that the journey to financial freedom is not always easy, especially when there are two individuals with different mindsets about money. However, if you persevere through the challenges, the outcome will be worth the effort. I am sure we can both agree that you prefer not to be left wondering, will debt do us part? About Margo Margo Thomas is an author, speaker, and coach. She coaches high school students to make wise financial decisions about going to college, to avoid massive student loan debt after graduating from college. She developed two books to help prepare students and their parents for the transition to college, as well as a financial and budgeting workbook to help college graduates on their journey to financial freedom. Visit Margo at www.your-budget-coach.com.

I will survive

I will survive

I vividly remember a phone call from a client. His exact words where “I have Cancer!” He was a professional sports player, constantly exercising, having a strict diet, and leading the perfect healthy lifestyle, yet Cancer had made an impromptu appearance and hit the ball called life, totally out of the park. After months of exhausting and sometimes teeth wrenching fights, this gentleman successfully made it! And I got the call, now with a different tone… I survived! Cancer turns your whole life around. And especially for men this can be sometimes harder. Some have to cope with their pride and “I am the man” mentality that puts a fictive protective wall around them since they do not want your pity or concern. They rather deal with the whole situation on their own, as a man. But little do they know that this approach can be so self-destructive and painful, for them but also for their loved ones. By communicating your pain, thoughts and even your fears you create a more bearable journey that others are willing to go through together with you. Because let’s be honest, it is a very heavy load that sometimes is so unbearable, and you need a crying shoulder to express your moments with. It is imperative to have a close positive circle that you can rely on, especially during those difficult times. Someone to vent and be open with about your inner fears and to give a neutral insight on how to deal with the whole process. Fortunately, this gentleman dealt with the whole situation with immense faith and positivism. With great enthusiasm we planned for a brief and quick meeting in between the whole hustle and bustle of the month December, just right before the Holidays! To start off with a fresh year, full of positive perspectives, he requested me to design his living room in neutral colors. You said neutral, I say black and white with a touch of red! Me again coming up with my wild daring design ideas which he totally agreed with. “No reservations, go all the way girl, do whatever you want, I trust you”, was that phrase that fueled my creative engine. But hey, I just had 5 days before the Holidays, so I had to move super quick. The walls were already painted off white, so I could easily work around it. I didn’t have much time to shop so I chose distinct furniture and decor stores where I knew I would find all what I needed. So was the case. After 2 days of shopping and delivery I started designing the area. I wanted to create an elegant masculine realm where he can celebrate life with his beloved ones. A second chance in life that was given to him. As you know, not every gentleman is cautious with their furniture. So, it was my mission to find a stylish, durable, and comfortable seating. I went with this black and white full leather L-seating. Very sleek and modern. Combining it with 2 identical hard wood accent chairs which have a very peculiar and distinct look. The TV cabinet had to be wide enough to accommodate the big Smart TV. Hey… it had to be huge for watching the games, right? Also, at the entrance I have placed a console that would serve as a desk. Nothing too fuzzy. Open, clean and sophisticated elegance. Men usually do not like too much knick knacks but want a space where they can enjoy their very own happiness. And surely some masculine items were added to the design like magazines, an exclusive Hennessy XO Limited Edition and of course the huge Smart TV. The layered durable cushions, throws and some red colored details to make the whole design pop, were cautiously chosen, with him and his buddies in mind, for when they are hanging around in the couch watching the games comfortably. To light up the room and balancing the dark hues, the table lamps had to be modern and bright in design, together with light grey drapery which were hung wider and higher than normal, creating a roomy illusion. When designing a room, I take proper care in searching for the right decor pieces that mimics the personality of the client. Although he wanted neutral colors, I had to infuse some bold colors and also art pieces like the sculptures and paintings. The little details create the perfect balance and interest to the eyes. The final design served in creating a leisurely and relaxed lifestyle, by adding warmth and comfort to the interior to bring hope for this male Cancer survivor to start a year fresh anew. Embracing the positivism and great perspectives that the upcoming year would bring, but also the grace that has been granted to him, to survive! About Nadin Nadin Benito is a well-known International Interior Designer at Welcome Home Designs, based on the beautiful island of Curacao where she has more than 20 years of design experience under her belt, as well as being a producer of her own TV series. During the illness and passing of both of her parents in less than 1 year apart, but also 3 of her close friends, Nadin founded Welcome Home Foundation - Curacao which is dedicated in designing Pro Bono for a good cause, namely for Cancer patients and Cancer survivors, who went through drastic life changes, by designing an area in their home/ location completely for free including all decorative items, to give them hope and help them gather much needed strength. “As an Interior Designer, I had the opportunity to experience the importance of creating beautiful places at several Cancer patients’ and survivor’s homes, in order to give them hope and also to contribute to their prompt recovery after all the chemotherapy and exhaust. By experiencing the passing of my own parents, 3 close friends and other close family members due to Cancer, it gave me the ultimate push to continue with this noble work... Designing for a good cause… An area where the Cancer patients feel welcome and at peace. Cancer does not take a break. But with this noble cause, we can ensure that hope for these patients and survivors won't either…” Visit Nadin at www.welcomehomefoundationcuracao.com.

10 Ways to Build Your Self-Confidence as A Woman

10 Ways to Build Your Self-Confidence as A Woman

By Bindu A. Chowritmootoo Magazine Contributor The other day, I was late meeting a client. When I arrived, I handed my keys to the valet and quickly made my way towards the front door. Halfway there, I realized I forgot to look at my face before leaving my car. I stepped to the side of the building and looked at my reflection in the glass wall. I fixed my hair, applied lipstick, and smoothed my outfit then entered the building, greeting my client with a handshake. Smiling, he told me he was impressed with how quickly I had “refreshed” for our meeting. My client was able to see everything that was happening on the outside. Fortunately, my self-confidence allowed me to find humor in the situation. Self-confident people are at ease with themselves and they inspire confidence in others. If someone appear to have high confidence, it’s because he or she has worked to build it. A lack of self-confidence can impact your relationships, career advancement, and overall happiness. Here are 10 ways to build your self-confidence as a woman. 1. Invest in yourself intellectually Knowledge is power. When you increase your knowledge personally and professionally, it adds to your confidence level. Reading self-help books or publications pertaining to your profession can increase intellectual growth. Not only will this add to your self-confidence, but it will also have a positive influence on others. 2. Be comfortable in your skin Take a moment to look in the mirror. Catch a glance of the woman staring back at you. Your skin will change. Your hair will change. Overall, your body will change. Identify ways to age gracefully. Your age should not dictate how you feel. 3. Schedule time for self-care Confidence is built and maintained from the inside out. It’s important to carve out personal time to tend to your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Go to the spa, attend a yoga class, or take a long walk in the park. Taking time for yourself gives you the will power, patience, and energy to take care of others. 4. Choose your favorite body feature Let’s try an exercise. Identify a favorite body feature of a close friend. Identifying your friends best feature may come easily. Now try this same exercise with yourself. If it does not come as easy, you are not alone. Identifying your favorite body feature will allow you to see your true beauty. 5. Take a selfie Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Identifying your own beauty adds significantly to your confidence level. Take time to see what others see. Do not be shy. Strike a pose and capture the moment. 6. Get out of your comfort zone Find opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and learn something new. When you can conquer a challenge, build a new skillset, or establish a new habit, it adds to your confidence. 7. Slay the runway You do not have to be a model to own the room or to get noticed. View every room as your own personal runway. Make eye to eye contact, smile, and trust in your ability to leave a lasting first impression. 8. Face your fears Your fears can serve as a barrier to your personal growth. Acknowledge and face your fears. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong, focus on what could go right. 9. Celebrate your accomplishments Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments by writing them down at least once a year. Doing this will put your career successes into perspective. Sometimes you just need a reminder of how talented and capable you are. 10. Allow yourself to make mistakes Try not to be so hard on yourself when you make mistakes. Learning from your missteps increases your know-how and boosts your personal growth. Are you ready to own your self-confidence? Rock your confidence. You are capable! You are amazing! You know it, so own it! About Bindu Bindu A. Chowritmootoo is an entrepreneur and motivational speaker with over 25 years of experience with Executive Management Consulting, Leadership Coaching, Business Development and Operations Management. As an entrepreneur, Bindu has successfully launched several companies as Founder and CEO/COO within the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Her servant leadership philosophy inspires her to invest in the success of others both personally and professionally. Bindu is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of a women’s empowerment company – Ignite It, LLC. The company was built on the vision to inspire, guide and empower women across the globe through the power of positivity, passion and personal growth. Bindu is a contributing writer for City Lifestyle and Frisco Life magazine where she shares motivational lifestyles and spotlights female entrepreneurs. She is also an inspiring author of a short stories book scheduled to be published in 2021. She was featured as a “hidden gem” in Voyage Dallas Magazine in May 2020. Bindu is originally from Huntingdon Valley, PA. She is a graduate from Northeastern University and began her management career within the Medical District in Boston, Massachusetts. She has a strong interest in personal development, following key principals of Steven Covey, Tony Robbins, Patrick Lencioni, Simon Sinek, and John Maxwell. Bindu is married with three boys and resides in Frisco, Texas. Her hobbies include local and international traveling, food and wine tasting, listening to music and Indian classical/folk dancing. Visit Bindu at www.ignititacademy.com.

NICOLE MANGRUM: Oprah’s personal hairstylist talks entrepreneurship

NICOLE MANGRUM: Oprah’s personal hairstylist talks entrepreneurship

Top celebrity hairstylist and entrepreneur Nicole Mangrum has become the preferred choice for actors, entertainers, and influencers. She is best known for being the personal hairstylist of TV icon Oprah Winfrey; however, she has also worked with other renowned women such as Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and Gayle King, to name a few. But don’t be fooled—there were no shortcuts in her journey. Mangrum refined her craft, worked her way up the ranks of her industry, operated with precision, and witnessed the manifestation of her dream. Mangrum has been nominated for three Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards for her work on the Emmy award-winning Super Soul Sunday series and Oprah Winfrey Presents: Becoming Michelle Obama. To her credit, Mangrum created the stunning colorful curly ponytail that Oprah rocked on the cover of the 2018 February issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. Mangrum’s work has also appeared on the covers of Jet, Harper’s Bazaar, Vibe, Essence, Ebony, and Modern Salon. In a candid conversation with VIP Global Magazine, Mangrum discussed her love for styling hair, tips for aspiring entrepreneurs, and the journey that took her to work with the global powerhouse Oprah Winfrey, whom she has been working with since July 2015. “It was a dream come true,” Mangrum says. “I had made a vision board and one of my goals was to work for Oprah.” From owning a small successful salon in Chicago to traveling the world and styling top celebrities, Mangrum serves as an inspiration for all entrepreneurs. Her journey is a reminder to set goals and pursue them relentlessly. Dive in! This interview will forever change the way you look at your dreams. VIP: How did you get started styling hair? NICOLE:Hair is something I’ve always had a passion for. At 11 years old, I was braiding the kids’ hair at my church and around the neighborhood. I practiced for a long time, learning techniques and expanding my abilities. Then one day my mom said, “I'm going to let you braid my hair.” When I finished Mom’s hair, I couldn't believe how professional it looked. At that time, I wasn't considering styling hair as a career, but the joy I got from seeing how happy and confident my mom and other clients were ultimately drew me into the industry. VIP: The number of entrepreneurs increase each year, and we’re seeing an influx of people who are establishing profitable businesses based on their interests. Talk to us about the importance of learning about the industry before striding out. NICOLE: People think things happen overnight, but true success comes with ups and downs. Putting in work behind the scenes is a part of the process. I started in my mom’s kitchen, went to cosmetology school, and worked twelve to sixteen hours a day to develop a large clientele. If there is an area where you naturally excel and hope to pursue professionally, it’s important to learn that trade and practice it as often as you can. I worked in different salons and absorbed as much as I could, but I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit and knew one day I would have a salon of my own. You need to believe you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. I prayed to make sure this was the right direction for my life and just went for it. I stepped out on faith and God blessed my effort. I opened a salon in Wicker Park,Chicago called Freedom, and we were very successful for the fifteen years that we were there. VIP: How did you go from stylist to entrepreneur? NICOLE: When I started, I didn’t have a lot of mentors. I was just very observant. And back then, there was no internet to easily access information, so you had to be vigilant if you really wanted to do something. And I was just very tenacious. Fear was there, you know, and I had a small amount of money to get started, but I declared, “I’m a hard worker. Nobody can outwork me. I’m going to figure this thing out.” I did a lot of research, a lot of observing, asked a lot of questions. Fear was definitely there, but I did it anyway. I prayed a lot during that time and just stepped out there. I see a lot of people open salons right away, and managing it gets out of control. It’s always best to start small and learn how to systematically manage your business. The first three years, you’re still learning business management, marketing, finances, and customer retention. Entrepreneurs are perfectionists by nature, and we struggle with relinquishing control. But it’s impossible to have growth as an entrepreneur without delegation. I expanded my business when I started to experience burnout, but I had high expectations and wouldn’t settle for anything less than excellence. My vision for the future was wider than the space I was in. VIP: I talk with young entrepreneurs all the time, and one of my biggest things is that you must see it before it happens. I’m a big advocate of vision boards. A lot of people figure out how to create vision boards digitally, but I like the old school vision boards where you cut words and pictures from magazines. NICOLE: Me too. I have my big pizza construction board. I like the process of creating a vision board. You think about a word or picture and you look for them in a magazine and cut them out. I feel like it really helps you to connect with your vision. I create a vision board every year and when I accomplish something, I replace it with a new goal. It’s important for business owners to visualize their goals. Write them down in a journal or create a vision board. Without realizing it, you'll begin to accomplish what you see on your vision board. VIP: You are the personal stylist for Oprah Winfrey, one of the most significant women in history. How did that happen? NICOLE: Oprah was on my vision board. I thought maybe I would do work on her show, but I never imagined being her personal hairstylist. I put in the work long before this opportunity presented itself. Years of styling a wide range of clients and producing high quality work gave me a good reputation in the industry. I had owned my salon for fifteen years, but I wasn’t fulfilled in my role as an entrepreneur and hairdresser. I felt like there was something bigger I needed to do. A friend who used to work at my salon referred me to Andre Walker, Oprah’s former personal hairstylist. He was planning to retire and was searching for a replacement. We met, chatted, and I cut his hair that day. He said, “I think you’d be a really good fit, but it’s up to her. I’ll make the introduction and we’ll see what happens.” I met with Oprah and did her hair several times, so that’s how the opportunity unfolded. Six months later, I was working for her full-time. I encourage every entrepreneur to put the dream out there. Dream big, write it down, and network. VIP: How did you prepare for your interview with the Queen? NICOLE: It was mostly mental preparation. As a professional hairdresser for nearly 25 years, I’d acquired everything I needed to excel in that moment. I just had to remind myself of that. Of course, when fear kicks in you wonder, Am I good enough? But you stop and ask, “Why not me?” If you have confidence and believe in yourself, then others will believe in you too. I did my best and trusted that it was enough, but I felt like the position was already mine. That’s the mindset I had going in, but I can’t say my hands weren’t shaking when I was curling.I am so grateful that I can do what I love, and that I get to do it on the Queen. VIP: You mentioned that your success was not overnight. Let’s dive deeper and discuss why professionalism and loving what you do are essential for entrepreneurs. NICOLE: High-quality service and a good reputation; I can’t stress enough how important these areas are with your brand or business. People talk, and in our industry word travels fast. As a stylist, I want each person who sits in my chair to feel like he or she is the only one who exists. I focus on my client, our conversation, and making him or her look good. In that moment, nothing else matters. My good reviews, referrals, and high-profile clients are a result of my dedication to excellence. We must debunk this notion of success happening in months. Nothing in business, or entrepreneurship, is as immediate as people think. It is an uphill climb, a constant grind. There were a lot of long days and early mornings, and I wanted to give up so many times. That’s why it’s important to really love what you’re doing. VIP: You are the personal stylist for Oprah Winfrey, but I also know that you've styled several other celebrities. Who else have you styled? NICOLE: I have styled Michelle Obama, Gayle King, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Macy Gray, Fantasia, Mellody Hobson, and Sanaa Lathan. Also, Valerie Jarrett, a woman I respect for what she has done for our country. VIP: What are some of the upcoming hair trends? NICOLE: I expect that there will be more natural hair and hairstyles depicted in mainstream media and with celebrities. We’re in this new age where embracing the real, authentic you is being echoed all over the world, especially with women of color. Our self-acceptance is rippling into other areas, but especially with beauty and haircare. Naturalistas are here to stay! Also, bright vivacious hair color trends are continuing to emerge every season. People are all about self-expression and distinguishing themselves from others. There’s no better way to do this than altering your hair. Custom wigs and temporary hair dyes, trends that are tailored towards individualism, are definitely trending. VIP: Bailey Officer, an 11-year-old from Alabama, wants her hair to be curly, not poofy. What can she do to produce a defined, curly texture? NICOLE: I’m assuming that she was putting products on her hair, and allowing it to air dry without styling, to create the texture she wanted. I would find a product that works with her hair texture. If she has wavy hair or loose curls, she should use a product with less oil and more hold. Curl custards and curl defining whips with light holds will work better with this hair type. If she has a kinkier texture, she’ll want to use thick hair lotions or creamy, oil-based leave-in conditioners. She can even pair mousse with a heavy conditioner. Our hair has natural curl patterns but to eliminate frizz, apply product on damp hair then style and let your hair completely dry. For naturals, twist and braid-outs are typically successful for creating frizz-less curls; for relaxed hair, flexi rods create more volume and curls. It all depends on her texture and how her hair responds to certain products. VIP: One of the most frustrating and beautiful realities of having curly hair is the variety of textures that fall under the “curly” category. Hair aficionados and newbies alike know that products for curly hair are never one-size-fits-all. Can you offer any advice regarding this situation? NICOLE: I combine products that work well together to produce the result I’m looking for. Use a product or two and see what effect that has on your hair, then take note of what you like or dislike as well as how the product reacts to your hair. Experimentation is part of the process. VIP: Asha Doe is 15 years old and she wants to wear her naturally curly hair, but years of heat and chemical damage has changed her pattern and caused thinning. How can she restore her natural curl pattern? NICOLE: If she gets relaxers, the product could have over-processed her hair. Weekly deep conditioning treatments will maintain consistent hydration. She should also begin taking hair supplements with biotin, which promotes hair growth. However, she should check with her physician first, to ensure she won’t have a negative reaction to the supplements. VIP: Amber Humphreys, an actress and entrepreneur, wants to know what protective styles help to grow hair? NICOLE: If it’s summertime and you’re going swimming a lot, braids might be the best option. Make sure they’re not too tight, and be sure to use a clarifying shampoo and conditioner right after swimming in salt water. In the colder months, if you typically wear hats or scarves, you might want to try two strand twists. You should also protect the ends of your hair from rubbing against harsh fibers by wearing a loose bun, or using banana clips and bobby pins. VIP: What is one thing that women should never do to their hair? NICOLE: For me, it’s more about moderation. Sometimes, women overdo it with chemicals, heat stylers, weaves, and braids. If you do the same style for an extended period, you’ll see hair loss or thinning around your hairline. Periodically changing your styles will give your hair a chance to recover from damage. If you flat iron your hair daily, try a protective style or pull your hair into a ponytail for a few days. VIP: What are your hobbies? NICOLE: I love shoes! Shoes are one of my favorite things. I’m also a foodie and I enjoy gourmet cooking, so I have quite a few cookbooks, and a lot of good things up my sleeve in the kitchen. Traveling is another favorite activity of mine.I love experiencing countries that are rich in culture and have historical resonance. I really enjoyed the different places I went to in Italy, such as Florence. It was one of my favorite places—a quaint city with a lot of history. I loved going to Rome and seeing the ruins, the coliseum, and catacombs. I also did an African safari in Stellenbosch, right outside of Cape Town. Being in nature, I felt so much peace and appreciation for the Earth. It was incredible. For more information about Nicole Mangrum and her upcoming events, or to ask additional questions, contact her on Instagram @NicoleMangrumHair.

Tammy Darmel Moore

Tammy Darmel Moore

FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF FOOTPRINTS IN AFRICA | HOW FINDING HER WHY INSPIRED MASSIVE IMPACT Tammy Darmel Moore, Founder and President of Footprints in Africa, offers a rich history of over twenty years in Corporate America and is credited with helping enterprises flourish exponentially through her acute business acumen and strategy. Following her retirement from the corporate sector, Tammy wanted to do more to give back, and after lifechanging trip to Ethiopia, Footprints in Africa was born. Footprints in Africa, a subsidiary of Chayil Enterprises LLC., is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to aiding the people of Africa, who live in poverty-stricken communities with necessities to maintain a standard quality of life. We believe that a single action can make all the difference in the lives of others, and collective actions can greatly impact the world. Through advocacy and community outreach programs, projects, campaigns, and initiatives, we are committed to fostering support that brings about real change for the greater good of those in Africa. What keeps you going when things get tough in your business? It’s my WHY! It’s the knowing that I’m doing something way bigger than myself. It’s the knowledge that an organization that I founded could potentially change the lives of our brothers and sisters in Africa for generations to come. It’s the knowing that I’m equipping my African-American brothers and sisters by sharing facts and dispelling myths about the people, traditions, and culture of Africa. And in the midst of it all, it’s the knowing that I’m out here making my ancestors proud! What would you say to a business owner that is currently struggling? First off, know your why, why you started in the first place! And once you’ve identified your why, safeguard it, and don’t compromise because there will come a time when you will need to draw off it for self-encouragement and self-motivation. Which people or books have had the most influence on your growth and why? Although I can take just about any book and learn something, I would have to say, hands down, the Bible has had the most influence on my growth as a person because there’s a sense of accountability when you know better, you tend to do better, or at least you should. Visit Footprints in Africa Here. Read the Full Magazine Here.

Helping others take it to the B.A.N.K., so they can take it to the beach!

Helping others take it to the B.A.N.K., so they can take it to the beach!

Up Close & Personal: Cheri Tree & Esther Wildenberg At VIP Global Magazine, it’s our pleasure to draw attention to the incredible achievements of individuals who have harnessed their unique talents and are using their entrepreneurial expertise to impact the world. That’s why we are excited to turn the spotlight on the amazing Cheri Tree and Esther Wildenberg. Cheri Tree is a best-selling author, professional keynote speaker, and world-renowned entrepreneur. She is the Founder and Chairman of Codebreaker Technologies, Inc., with clients in more than 100 countries worldwide. She is the creator of the revolutionary B.A.N.K. methodology and Codebreaker’s Personality Coding Technology, designed to help business owners close more sales in less time and improve their communication skills and personal relationships. Cheri has spoken to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and professionals globally at some of the top business conferences in the world. She has also been invited to speak at Harvard University, the University of California, Google, and the United Nations. In addition, Cheri has been featured in numerous international publications including Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com, and has been nominated as Innovator of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year because of the breakthroughs created from her Personality Coding Technology, including Codebreaker AI, the world’s first Artificial Intelligence powered by B.A.N.K. Cheri is both purpose-driven and profit-driven, with a goal to create income, influence, and impact for all. Her mission is to crack the code of every human on the planet and ultimately make our world a better place by creating One World, One Language. She is passionate about life and helping others take it to the BANK, so they can take it to the beach! Esther Wildenberg is the Co-Founder & CEO of Codebreaker Technologies. Esther brings not only years of experience with B.A.N.K. to the role but also significant executive leadership. In fact, she was already the CEO of a financial sales company leading a team of over 800 employees by the age of 33. Before her current CEO role, Esther worked her way up in the company. After starting as a Certified Trainer, Esther quickly became the top B.A.N.K. salesperson internationally. She was later promoted to Sales Director of Europe, then Senior Vice President of Sales, President, and ultimately CEO. As an ANKB, Esther has endless energy for building the long-term success of Codebreaker Technologies. Her passion for transforming businesses and lives using B.A.N.K. is what drives her to increase the growth of the company exponentially. VIP: Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. CHERI: Esther and I met in Amsterdam in November 2013 when I was a speaker at the National Achievers Congress. She was in the audience and I said from the stage I was looking for an amazing leader to work with me and help open up Europe for my company. Esther was inspired by my work with B.A.N.K. and purchased a ticket to our 2-day Codebreaker Summit event. We connected on many levels, personally and professionally. She was the perfect leader for our European market expansion, and we began to work together. A few months later, Esther arranged a 30-day tour through Europe to expand our company, and we ended the tour in Geneva, Switzerland for a ski trip on Valentine’s weekend. I started to have a lot of feelings for Esther but wanted to make sure she was the right fit for me. So, I took the opportunity to ask her a very important question. I asked her, “Are you willing to be in my shadow?” I speak all over the world and didn’t want to be with an insecure or jealous woman. She took a short pause to process my question, smiled, and then came back and said, “Yes, as long as you’re willing to be in mine!” I smiled. The rest is history! We fell madly in love with each other and officially started our relationship. We had a long-distance relationship for the next six months and then we got engaged. Esther moved from The Netherlands to America full-time and we found our perfect home in Southern California in Laguna Beach. We got married on August 8, 2015 and we’ve been very happily married ever since. For the past 5 years, we’ve focused on building our company into a global brand. We travelled all over the world speaking at some of the top conferences and doing business globally. We saw that the future was going to be technology, so we started shifting from being a training company to a technology company with a training division. We’ve come a long way and are proud of our accomplishments. We’ve been nominated for several years in a row at Innovator of the Year, and we were featured in Forbes as the “Future of Sales” with the launch of our artificial intelligence, designed to predict buying behavior in nanoseconds and help sales professionals and business owners close more sales in less time. I was honored with an invitation to speak again in Geneva at the United Nations AI for Good conference in 2019. While it’s been an amazing life together building our company and traveling the world, in 2020 we expanded our family and had our baby boy, Kai Keanu Tree. He was born 10 weeks early and came out strong and ready to crush it! He never needed oxygen and went home a month early from the NICU. We are certainly not spring chickens, I just turned 48! But we are up for the opportunity to raise an amazing young man and we plan to have him join us on our world travels and be a part of the mission we have to change the world, together as a family. VIP: Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way? ESTHER: If it was a smooth road it would be boring! Every relationship has challenges, but I think we managed them well over the past six and a half years. When I moved from The Netherlands to the USA, there was a culture shock. Dutch is my native language and I had to improve my English big time. The European culture is way more balanced. People in Europe actually take time off, eat healthier, and value friendships and quality time more. For example, 4 to 5-hour dinners are normal when you hang out with friends. In the USA, it’s chop-chop, bye, see you later. Being in a same sex relationship is not appreciated by all. In The Netherlands, it’s accepted and normal. Amsterdam was the first city with gay marriage and the first Gay Pride parade. In the USA, there’s still a big group of people who are against same sex relationships. I felt that when I moved here. We’re living in a modern world and being a women-owned innovative technology company is still an interesting phenomenon, apparently. Other power women love working with us and see the extreme value we bring. It takes highly emotionally intelligent, personally developed men to work with power women and value their skills, expertise, and experience. Another struggle we had was that men significantly underestimated us. Some tried to con us into partnering with them and getting us to believe we could never make it in a man’s world. They would commonly refer to us as “the girls.” That was a mistake… big mistake! At Codebreaker Technologies, our motto is “people before profits” and we live by the philosophy that sales is not a numbers game, it’s a people game. Women seem to get that immediately, and others not so much. For us, it’s a line in the sand, and if people don’t share the same values, we walk away from the deal or the relationship. It’s that simple. VIP: Tell us about your company? ESTHER: We help business owners, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals close more sales in less time with our B.A.N.K. methodology and technology. We teach our clients how to unlock the secrets, the science, and the system to increase their sales up to 300%. Also, we teach them how to improve their communication, strengthen their relationships, and create more influence and impact in their world. Here’s Cheri’s story: When Founder and Chairman Cheri Tree started her first business as a financial advisor, she struggled to make sales. In fact, the first year, she made an income of only $700! For the next five years, she studied everything she could to become successful. She read great books, listened to audio programs, attended seminars, and even hired coaches, investing thousands of dollars financed by her credit cards to be successful. Unfortunately, her income peaked at $72,000 and didn’t come close to the 6-figure income she was desperately pursuing, and yet she was devoting almost every minute of her time to her business. Cheri found herself completely disillusioned by the proverbial “sales is a numbers game” message and realized that she was being led to believe one of the greatest myths in sales when she was told that “in order to get more Yes’s, you have to get more No’s.” This is when Cheri woke up to the reality that this just wasn’t true! The truth, she realized, was that in order to get more Yes’s, you have to get more Yes’s, not more No’s! This thought process led Cheri down a path that ended up changing her entire world. In an effort to build a thriving small business without working herself to death, Cheri decided to learn everything she could about closing sales and she discovered that in fact, sales was not a numbers game, it was a people game! This discovery shifted her focus from sales to people, including learning several personality typing systems. Cheri found personality science compelling, but difficult to apply to the sales process. That’s why Cheri dedicated herself to reverse-engineering the personality types, basing it in “buyology” – the science of buying behavior, rather than psychology, to understand why her customers buy, and what triggered the Yes versus the No. Her theory was that if it had been proven by Hippocrates that there are four different personality types or four temperaments, then it could be possible that each type makes buying decisions differently. In the process, Cheri created B.A.N.K.— the first easy and accurate system that combined the proven brilliance of personality science with real-world best practices for the sales process. With B.A.N.K., Cheri grew her yearly income to over $500,000 in just 12 months and to over $1 million in 3 years! Amazingly, this income didn’t require burning out. B.A.N.K. reduced the sales cycle time dramatically, providing her with more free time to enjoy life. Even her team dynamics and personal relationships improved thanks to the increased emotional intelligence that B.A.N.K. brought. Cheri was so overwhelmed by the success B.A.N.K. brought that she was inspired to share B.A.N.K. with other professionals, business owners and world leaders full-time. Cheri started BANKCODE, and later launched Codebreaker Technologies, and her success went viral. Personality intelligence combined with sales intelligence and emotional intelligence became the best way for businesses to get ahead. Thousands of entrepreneurs started using B.A.N.K., and the B.A.N.K. system has even been used by the sales teams of major corporations like Google and other major companies across multiple industries. And now with the introduction of CODEBREAKER AI, the world’s first artificial intelligence powered by B.A.N.K., even Forbes predicted this could become The Future of Sales. Cheri’s success elevated her to iconic status, and she is frequently invited to speak at many of the top business conferences in the world, sharing the stage with business giants like Robert Kiyosaki, Anthony Robbins, Les Brown, Steve Wozniak, and Sir Richard Branson to speak about the power of B.A.N.K. and lecture at top universities like Harvard University and the University of California. Cheri has been nominated as Innovator of the Year for the past four consecutive years by the Orange County Business Journal, accepted the American Riviera Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Monte Carlo, and invited to speak at the United Nations AI For Good Summit—all because of her work in the business world and the social impact for humanity with B.A.N.K. VIP: What are the top 3 reasons why people buy B.A.N.K. methodology? They want to learn how to increase their sales revenue and shorten sales cycles (close more sales in less time). They want to improve their personal communication with their key relationships, personally and professionally. They want to incorporate the B.A.N.K. methodology into their entire ecosystem, including their marketing, sales initiatives, corporate leadership, hiring and recruiting efforts, and tech platforms. VIP: What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others? We are most proud of the fact that B.A.N.K. is a sales and communication methodology based in integrity and emotional intelligence. It not only improves people’s incomes and results, but it also has been known to save marriages, forge better parent-child relationships, reduce or prevent bullying and teenage suicide, and overall improve a person’s quality of life. B.A.N.K. isn’t about “closing” people, it’s about getting the agreement, the YES, the win-win outcome for all parties involved. Our mission is to connect and empower humanity. We’re also proud to be a women-owned company, leading the way for others to follow. We love to inspire entrepreneurs to step into their power, perform at their peak, and stay aligned with their true purpose. B.A.N.K empowers people to speak their message into the marketplace perfectly into the listening of their audiences, ultimately creating income, influence, and impact for all. VIP: Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years? Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc.? Shift: We’re entering a decade where technology will be leading. Everything will become faster, better, and smarter. Artificial Intelligence for good will support many great projects. AI is great for gathering data and generating insights. We will continue to work more virtual and digital, without losing the human touch. B.A.N.K. is the best of high tech, high touch. Change: We’re entering a time where Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence are big drivers for success. Women will rise and become world leaders. People are looking more than ever for authentic, humble, feminine, powerful leaders who are not willing to be bullied. There’s no room for egos anymore. Out with the old. In with the new! Trend: Increased collaboration with influencers. The pandemic increased the power of influencers. Influencers are more reliable than celebrities. Influencers have a great following and big reach. The key is finding influencers that are both purpose driven and profit driven. Both are important. Risk: People are more and more socially disconnected (not just physically). The human race needs human touch, human connection and feeling loved, heard and seen. We have to focus on making people feel good and accepted, otherwise the bullying rates and suicide rates will exponentially grow the next decade. And the numbers are already heartbreaking. One of B.A.N.K.’s initiatives is to bring B.A.N.K. to school systems and universities. Our mission is to create One World One Language. VIP: What are 3 tips on success that you can share with other entrepreneurs? Tip 1: Focus. Most millionaires on average have 7 streams of income, but only 1 stream of income that made them a millionaire. Find a mentor you want to follow and keep your eye on the prize. Tip 2: Understand that Sales is not a numbers game, it’s a People game. Master your ability to understand, connect, and communicate with people and you will be unstoppable. Tip 3: Work smarter – not harder. Find solutions that drive results in less time. Find technology that is high tech but still high touch, and leverage the trifecta of personality intelligence, sales intelligence, and emotional intelligence. FUN FACTS: Favorite Quote? Cheri: “You can’t steal 2nd base and keep your foot on 1st.” Esther: “Stop taking advice from people more messed up than you.” Favorite Color? Cheri: Green Esther: Orange Favorite Movie? Cheri: Christmas Vacation or Rat Race Esther: Avatar Guilty pleasure? Cheri: In & Out Burger + Chocolate Malt Esther: Molten Chocolate Lava cake with fresh homemade whipped cream, vanilla ice cream and strawberries. What is one thing people would be shocked to know about you? Cheri: Lived in a storage unit for 18 months Esther: Two near death experiences GIVEAWAY Enjoy this giveaway from Cheri Tree and Esther Wildenberg. Click www.crackmycode.com/esther to take a quick personality assessment for FREE and receive a custom BANKCODE report, $99 value. This will take you less than 90 seconds. Company website: Codebreaker Technologies