You Don’t Have to Have it All Figured Out to Move Forward

 

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Two weeks ago, I hosted Queens & Conversation, college edition at St. Genevieve. We talked about the importance of intentional networking, knowing your worth and negotiating pay, choosing faith over fear, prioritizing self-care and leaning on others and knowing that you don’t have to do it alone. As I get older, the power of sisterhood is something I appreciate more and more. I’m forever grateful to gather women and empower them to live a limitless life because we are so much stronger together! Thank you to these beautiful young women for joining me and sharing your passions and goals – God has so much in store for you and I can’t wait to witness it.

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This brunch was very special because I didn’t have any knowledge of what life after college would look like for me. I didn’t have a mentor sharing advice, had no job or interviews setup, so I wanted to be sure to pay it forward and share my experiences with these women as they stepped out into the real world. I’ve been out of college for three years and there is so much I wish I had known about transitioning into adulthood. With graduation around the corner, I wanted to share my biggest lessons to hopefully help make your transition smoother and more intentional.

  1. Credit is key: Just because you’re making money, doesn’t mean you need to spend it. Believe me, I know how good it feels to secure your first full-time job, but try your best to create a financial plan that works for you and stick to it. My first two years after graduation I did freelance work which involved helping small businesses and local organizations with their pr, marketing and branding strategies, plus worked events as a brand ambassador. I roughly made $20K a year my first two years post college. I look back and have no idea how I made it through, but God made a way. It taught me the importance of saving and building my credit. Having good credit is essential for leasing a car, apartment, furniture, and so much more so protect it. I recently got a credit karma account to monitor my credit and it’s a huge help to get free access to my credit report and track my credit score.
  2. Network with a purpose: I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, it’s not what you know, but who you know. This is so true! I understand networking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and can be dreadful at times, but if you do it with a purpose you’ll find it to be more successful. It’s important to build a network of professionals you can learn from and grow with. Depending on where you live, there are several networking events, workshops and happy hours for young professionals, but remember you don’t have to be at every event. Use eventbrite and Facebook to find events that interest you and challenge yourself to attend one per week. Ask yourself what do you want to get out of this event? Who do you want to meet? Bring your business cards and encourage yourself to connect with at least 3 people. You never know who’s watching, assume everyone is. Own the room and be confident.
  3. Self-care is essential for your sanity: I never understood the importance of a morning routine or self-care for that matter, until I worked from home and my life had little to no structure. In order to protect my peace I quickly found that it was essential to set boundaries and be intentional with my time. Whether you choose to meditate, pray, stretch, go for a run/walk, or journal be sure to create a morning routine that sets the tone for your day. Self-care is truly how you take your power back. Even throughout the day when you feel overwhelmed or under pressure, pause, take a moment to go outside and take three 3 deep breaths to refocus. Remember, self-care doesn’t have to be an hour or cost money, but make it a priority to invest in yourself. You’re worth it.
  4. Know your worth and negotiate like a boss: Before any interview, research the company and the desired roles salary. Recognize your strengths and know the value you bring, regardless if you have direct work experience. Don’t undervalue your transferrable skills, there are many skills that are transferrable such as being a part of the student council, leading projects and volunteering. Don’t be afraid to ask for more, be confident, explain why you’re with it and watch what happens.
  5. You don’t have to do it alone: Even though, you’re capable of doing it all, you don’t have to. There are so many people that are rooting for you and willing to help if you ask. Reach out to your community, friends, family and co-workers if you’re needing support. Asking for help is a sign of strength. Get out of your own way and make room for others to join you a long your journey. Team work makes the dream work.

Congrats to all the college graduates and continue to lead with love in all that you do. Take life as it comes and embrace every shift because change is the only constant in life.  Go at your own pace and honor the process.

With love,

Founder & CEO

Alexandra

 

 

 

Self-care is How You Take Your Power Back

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I’m still in awe of how fast this year went by. I’m even more in awe of how much happened this year. Lawd. This has been a hell of a year. To be honest, 2017 was mentally challenging, emotionally draining and filled with countless acts of terror and hate, yet it still provided growth and opportunity for lessons. As I reflect over the year, there’s a few lessons I learned I’d like to share. Even when you feel like the world has let you down, remember who you are and what you stand for. Be gentle with yourself, you’re evolving even on the days you don’t feel like it. Healing comes in waves. To whom much is given, much is required. Rest. Reset. Climb on.

“When life feels like it’s trying to break you, don’t focus on your problems. Focus on your blessings. Take a moment to be thankful for everything you’ve gotten through. You’ve prevailed. You’re blessed & highly favored Queen.”

Yesterday I hosted my last Queens & Conversation brunch of 2017 at Caroline Restaurant with Brenda, Riley, Ishia, Mica, Angela and Alexis. Being that this was a tough for year us all, I wanted to utilize this time to be transparent, vulnerable and supportive. I felt it was important to focus less on what we endured and more on what we learned and overcame. We each shared one thing we learned about ourselves this year which included life lessons such as: Remember, our timing and God’s timing are not the same – trust the process; You are much stronger than you think – believe in yourself ; Offer yourself the same forgiveness you give others – you are deserving;  Listen to your body and give yourself permission to heal, grieve and push forward.

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It’s interesting because most of the women didn’t know each other before this brunch, but once we began sharing our stories and experiences we immediately noticed how much we had in common. That’s one of the most beautiful parts of this experience I enjoy most is bringing women together from a variety of backgrounds and interests to gather and grow through fellowship.

We also shined a light on the importance of self-care and how vital it is especially as women because we’re constantly loving, supporting, nurturing and giving to others that we forget to provide that same care for ourselves. I encourage you to take your power back and make yourself a priority. Do what you love. Surround yourself around those that feed your soul, help you grow and make you happy. You are worthy.

Much love & many blessings

Founder & CEO

Alexandra

No Risk. No Reward.

FullSizeRender-74This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of gathering 12 brilliant women who are shining bright and serving their community. When I host Queens & Conversation, it reminds me of my purpose, potential and passions. What I value most is that each one is unique and I leave feeling inspired, affirmed and empowered from the amazing conversation we share. There is something so beautiful about creating something you want to be a part of and sharing these special moments with women who you can relate to and fuel you to keep going.FullSizeRender-72I’m very intentional about handpicking each guest for Queens & Conversation and this was definitely an amazing group of women that vibed well. I was joined by Shayla, Ashley, Stephanie, Leslie, Arielle, Angela, Devanne, Lauren, Molly, Crystal, Ishia, and Mica. We met up for brunch at Eberly, which was founded upon a resilient and courageous Texas woman, Angelina Eberly, and is known for attracting creative risk takers, so I knew it would be a great fit us! Our theme was no risk, no reward.

We discussed the importance of stepping outside of our comfort zones, taking that leap of faith and letting God lead us very step of the way. Often times, we are stretched beyond our limits to be reminded of how powerful we truly are. We shared the sacrifices we had to make in order to get where we’re at today because regardless of what social media shows us, the journey won’t be perfect, but it will be worth it.FullSizeRender-73We closed out by each going around the table sharing what success means to us. Being that we live in a world that revolves around money, no ones answer had anything at all to do with material things. We all shared a common theme of having the freedom to create the life we deserve, seeing the people we love taken care of and leaving an empowering legacy for generations to come.

I can’t thank these women enough for showing up and being present, it truly means so much to me. I appreciate your time, energy and efforts to go against the grain to be the change you want to see. Continue to trust your greatness and respect your journey. Even though you may not be reaping the rewards right now, keep sowing your seeds and your garden will begin to bloom beautifully.

Surround yourself with people who see your value and remind you of it.

The next brunch will be held on July 23rd, more details coming soon!