Thursday, July 31, 2008

Time to Show Yourself Some LOVE

Do you Love Yourself? Learn some tips to get on the path to self love and acceptance.

Check out this awesome article written by Courtney R. Franklin on!

Alecia D.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just Do It and Get It Overwith: Tips to END Procrastination

It took me 45 mins to finally start writing this post.

I tried to think of all of the other things I could be doing instead- but how many times can I really pick at the same hang nail or rewatch my fav movie, Love and Basketball?

If you're like me then it's safe to say you have become a Functioning Procrastinator - which is basically an individual who although they may be successful, they always seem to undergo so much unneccessary stress and anxiety that is often associated with waiting until the last minute.

Well you know what, I don't want to be this way anymore. So, I'm making a public statement on my new goal to end procrastination. If you would also like to end your battle with putting things off, check out the info below!

What is Procrastination: Definition-The act of postponing, delaying or putting off, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness. Now, I don't know about you, but as a YBR woman, I do not in any way want to be characterized as someone who is "habitually careless" or "lazy". It may sound harsh, but any time we are putting off a task or goal we have set for ourselves we are identifying with these terms. That should be reason enough to want to change these habits. If it is not don't worry, procrastination is nothing more than a bad habit and habits are something we can work on breaking.

Why we Procrastinate: The many reasons vary and are based on the individual characteristics and personality of each person, however, the most common reasons are giving in to distractions, feeling anxiety or fear toward a task, and lack of motivation. Do you suddenly feel the need to start on another project of less importance every time you get ready to begin completing a task? Are you afraid that you will not be able to complete the task perfectly? Are you simply unable to find the energy to begin or you just don't know how to begin?

How we end Procrastination: The fact that you have identified yourself as being a procrastinator is already a great step in the right direction. Believe it or not, there are many people walking around today who assume their habit of waiting until the last minute to complete a task surrounded by the pressure of deadlines, anxiety, and inadequacy is normal. I'm here to tell you it's not.

  • Change the way you view the upcoming task. When you think you'll never be able to complete the task or you keep telling yourself you don't know where to start, you're brain will offer up procrastination as a defense mechanism. Instead of saying "I don't know where to begin" say "I'm ready to begin now".

  • Don't focus on perfection. Trying to think of all of the things that can go wrong with a task can serve as a way for procrastination to set in. You may begin to feel anxiety or fear of not presenting a "perfect" product which may result in paralyzing your efforts and never getting started. Change your thought process to viewing the mere completion of a task as the accomplishment instead of measuring how accurate or perfect it is. If you complete a task with enough time to spare before the actual deadline, you can use the extra time for revisions and rechecks.

  • Rethink your reasons for taking on the task in the first place. Lack of motivation shouldn't always be looked at as a bad thing. Most people are not procrastinators in all areas of their lives. What makes tasks we put off different from those we don't. Are we feeling forced to complete a task based on what we feel others think we should be doing? Is the task even in line with our personal/professional goals? If it is, then use the strategy in tip 1 and tell yourself you are ready to begin right now. If it is not, then it's ok to drop the task altogether. It's so much easier to be motivated to complete a task that is more in line with our bottom line than to complete one that is not.

No matter what your reason for procrastination, the easiest way to overcome this bad habit, is by just forcing yourself to begin. Whether you need to block out 5 sets of 30 minute blocks to finally start cleaning your apartment, or sit down to outline the 20 page report that's due in two weeks, do whatever you need to in order to get started. Often times the most difficult part of a project is simply starting it.

So, the next time you feel procrastination rearing its ugly head trying to throw you off course, use the strategies above to get you over that hump. After all, the sooner you get started, the sooner you will be finished, and the sooner you can move on to doing something else.

-Alecia D.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Black Love: Food for Thought

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about black relationships and the issues that black men and women have with each other. We were discussing how our preconceived notions about the other gender helps to foster animosity between black men and women whenever we are involved in a romantic relationship with each other. This got me thinking about the past relationships I've had that did not work out and the common themes that could be found in each one of them. While there are so many different reasons why relationships do not work, here are the top three that affect black couples.

It's important that we try to thoroughly understand the point of view of our partner. Alot of arguments can be avoided if we clear up any inconsistencies in communication and avoid misunderstandings. Of course- easier said than done, but this should definitely be something that black couples are actively working on. Get in the habit of focusing 100% on what your partner is saying. Repeat the main points if you have to and always remain calm and keep your composure- even if you don't agree with what is being said.

Don't bring your baggage into a new relationship. I know we've heard this plenty of times before- but it is very detrimental to a relationship. Whatever happened to you in the past, it's important for you to let it go and move on. No matter how hard you try, if you are still holding on to past hurts it will sub-consciously seep into your new relationship which can cause unnecessary friction. Make a pact with your partner to hash all disagreements out and then move on. If you decide that you will forgive, then you must do that. Don't damage the relationhsip by continuing to reopen old wounds.

Insecurity leads to mistrust. Mistrust leads to break up. So many times men and women project their own negative feelings onto their partner. We may make up bad situations in our head until they become so real to us. It's important not to jump to conclusions in any relationship. You should strive to work on any issues you have within yourself before connecting with someone else. No man wants to be in a relationship with a woman who is always accusing him of cheating on her, not loving her enough, or not spending enough time with her. Become comfortable in your own skin and it will be easier for you to be more comfortable in your relationship.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Can YOU really THINK your way to a good man?!

I am an avid believer of the principles of the Law of Allocation and wanted to know your thoughts on the matter with regards to relationships.

Check out this letter and response from Law of Attraction and Relationship expert Terry MacDonald from

Dear Terry:

Thanks for your recent articles about ultimatums and commitment.I have a special situation. I'm almost 30 and have been with aguy I'm crazy about for 2 1/2 years. We spend most of our freetime together, our families like each other, etc.

My problem is, he says he's not ready to get married. He's 32,has a good job, nice apartment, and so on. His refusal to move our relationship to the next level can be embarrassing.We went to his cousin's wedding last year, and one of his othercousins blurted out (while taking a photo), "And there's S (me),still trying to get a ring out of J (my boyfriend)"
I was humiliated beyond belief.
My boyfriend's mother loves me, has shown me jewelry she'llpass on to me one day. She says she knows her boy, and that I should be patient. She knows he'll come around
But I'm tired of waiting. And next year, we'll be going to three weddings, my cousin's, his friendfrom college, and --worst of all--his younger sister's.

Everytime I think of going to his sister's wedding and beinglooked over by his relatives, I want to cry. She didn'task me to be a bridesmaid, so I won't even be in the family photos even though
I've been on vacation with thefamily, and I've spent every Christmas and Easter with them.

Believe it or not, I am intelligent and have a job I love.

Any advice?


Dear S.-

First off, I can tell that you're intelligent by the wayyou've described the situation. Second, thank goodness youhave a job you love because it's actually going to help you here.

Right now, I imagine you're walking around with a painin your chest and stomach, especially when you think aboutyour boyfriend's sister's wedding. You might feel that your future-- YOUR LIFE--is in the hands of another personwho is unwilling to give you what you want.

You feel bad, so I'm going to ask you: What would make you feel good?

-Feeling in control?
-Feeling at peace?
-Feeling loved by a man who is free and ready to love you without excuses or limitations?

How would that feel? How would it feel in your chest in stomach? Warm? Light? Cheerful?

Please write down the emotions you'd feel if you were inthis new situation. Imagine the arms of a man (a generic man, not your current man) you love around your waist. "Feel" yourself dancing with him.

I'm going to ask you to bring this scene to lifein your imagination before you get out of bed in the morning and after you put your head on the pillow at night. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

You are employing the law of attraction here, andit's powerful. The goal is to attract a man wholoves you, whom you love, and is clear about hisdesire for a lasting relationship. (Whether this man will turn out to be your current boyfriend remains to be seen.)

Now, as far as your boyfriend's family is concerned, ifyou've expressed any frustration over the fact that he'snot ready to get married, this is the time to stop. If anybody else brings it up, casually change the subject. It's great that his mother likes you so much, but shesays you should "be patient." Here's the truth, though:She's afraid you'll move on and her her son will lose you.But in the end, whether he gets married is his decision, not hers. And whether you stick around is YOUR decision.(There's no law that says that because you have developed a relationship with a guy's family that you have to hang around until he's good and ready to put a ring on your finger.)You do have a job you love, so I strongly suggest that youdirect your attention there, to the job itself and to the people you've met through it. Make a promotion your goal. Work a couple of extra hours whenyou can. Go out with your work friends for dinner or drinks.Make yourself more available for your job and LESS available your boyfriend.The key here is NOT TO BE SPITEFUL about it. Just go aboutyour business. Be open to new experiences and opportunities.Your current boyfriend may indeed be the man for you, orhe may not. But you do need to stop insisting that he is because it's making you terribly unhappy.It is certainly not in your best interests. If you go to the current guy's sister's wedding and somebody makes an ignorant comment about you "trying to get a ring out of" your boyfriend, smile nicely and say, "I'm happy for [the sister], but neither of us wants to get married yet."Which would be true. (Because why would you want to marrysome guy you have to talk into marrying you?)Keep visualizing, "feeling" that loving situation with a manwho can't help but love you. THAT MAN WILL EVENUTALLY SHOW UP. Again, whether he is the man you're dating now remains to be seen.This is one of the techniques that helped me attract the loyal,loving, reliable, successful, fun man who makes me laugh after 16 years of marriage (and two children).For more info, go to:

So what do you think? Do you believe in the Law of Attraction? Can you simply "think" a good man into your life?

-Alecia D

Friday, July 18, 2008

Network In Style- 4 Chic Tips

Check out these chic tips I found on networking on the Chic Entrepreneur website. Pretty useful tips!

1. Find Hidden Contacts: There are a plethora of good contacts right at your fingertips. Where are they? In your address book, untapped. That's what Mary Kurek, author of the nationally endorsed book, Who's Hiding in Your Address Book? says. Mary's book simplifies the subject into specific tasks that can be easily carried out. Read more about this informative book on my blog.

2. Know Where You're Going: Before you go to the next networking event, use Google Maps Street View to check out the location and the parking situation, so you're never late, flustered or caught in an illegal parking zone.

3. Connect with Others: Don't just network, connect. There's no better way to learn about this than to read my friend Bonnie Ross-Parker's inspirational book Walk in My Boots: The Joy of Connecting. Bonnie believes that the joy of connecting brings value to each party involved. Read more about her book on my blog. After connecting, remember to handwrite a note to those that you've met. It's a personal touch that will have a big impact on your network.

4. Drop in and Say Hello... Virtually: We're doing this by hosting our very own virtual Chic Book Tour, where different business blogs will post radio interviews and reviews of the Chic Entrepreneur.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The YBR Success Quotient

As many of you may know, I've recently completed by first ebook and am in the process of finishing the full length manual all about creating and maintaining a successful lifestyle. At the center of most of my writing, is the notion of measuring success as it relates to the abstract construct I've come up with called The Success Quotient (believe me, it sounds much more complicated than it actually is). For those of you who have already purchased my ebook, you may already be familiar with the concept, but I've decided to give a quick refresher course for those of you who are not.

And so, here it is: The YBR Success Quotient.
by Alecia D.

Success has nothing to do with the amount of money, cars, or homes you own. It has nothing to do with the type of job you have or whether you are married or not. Success, as defined by YBR Enterprise Inc, is the ability for an individual to accomplish the goals set for him/herself. In other words, as long as you are happy, content, and satisfied with the choices you are making in your life, YOU are successful. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? However the fun is in deciding which choices and which goals you want to pursue. Although owning a mansion doesn’t make you successful, the ability to desire a mansion and then following the necessary steps to obtain it does.

Simply put, the success quotient is the ratio of Mind:Body:Wealth. It is absolutely pointless and counterproductive even to excel in one of these tiers and not in any of the others. What good is money if your health is so poor that you are unable to enjoy your wealth? What good is a killer body if your mind is cloudy and depressed? It is imperative that we work on all parts of the quotient in order to maximize the amount of success we can achieve.

It is also important to note that each person’s success quotient is individual to his or her own lifestyle. There is no magic number that signifies the ideal success quotient for each person to strive towards. There are some people who consider a healthy body to mean being a size 4 and being able to run a marathon, while there are others who consider a healthy bank account to mean being able to pay all of their bills on time and in full every month with a bit left over for simple treats. The possibilities are endless on the path to success. The most important step is to decide what you would like your success to look like. Once you figure that out, the fun is all in the journey of getting there.

To check out more info on the success quotient and to purchase your copy of the ebook, click here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Importance of Personal and Professional Branding

In today's business world, every Tina, Debra, and Suzie is an entrepreneur. With the convenience and accessibility of the internet, it's never been easier to carve out a business presence on the world wide web. With that said, there has to be something that sets those super-successful businesses apart from the mediocre ones. What's that thing? Branding.

Branding is the ongoing development of the perceived value of an individual or business, in relation to its competitors, as viewed by an audience -and whether you have a small startup or a mega-franchise or are simply trying to market yourself, branding should be at the forefront of your mind.

There are two main types of branding- personal and professional- and both types are extremely crucial in the success of an individual or business. Here are some tips that can apply to the development of both types of branding.

  • Image should not be contradictory- you cannot market yourself or your business as one thing but speak, dress, and act as another. It's important that you stay true to who you are and what you want to portray. As long as you are honest with yourself and others, it won't be difficult to maintain consistency in branding your business and/or yourself.
  • Brand should be easily accessible and identifiable- if you google your name or your business' name what would you find? If there is any information there at all, is it accurate and consistent? If you are less than satisfied with the results, be sure to do what you can to correct it. There are plenty of articles out there that help you figure out how to successfully use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to build your personal and professional brand.
  • Be consistent in your brand development- you cannot expect to build or change your brand overnight. Branding is an ongoing process that should be taken seriously and given much thought. Create a daily, weekly, or monthly block of time for you to focus on branding. Once you find a method (or methods) that work for you, stick with them and monitor how effective they are.
  • Be careful where you leave your footprint (mouse-print)- although the internet is a great tool to build your business and your brand, it can also prove to be a place where images are destroyed. Pay attention to the pictures you let circulate, the comments you leave on others' blogs, and the social networks you become a member of. With the click of a mouse, anyone can learn all about how you spent Spring Break '07 in Cancun. If it fits into your image and brand, then there's no problem. But if it doesn't, it can put a damper on the way others see you.

Personal and Professional branding, if used correctly, can really give you the competitive edge as you grow your business. It's important that you take the time to carefully develop and maintain a brand that will prove to be a positive addition on your journey to success.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why do I no longer care what people think?

Since August 18, 2001 (the day I started college), I always knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was going to get my undergraduate degree in Psychology, go on to a top notch graduate program for my Masters and Ph.D. in Psychology, learn the business for a couple of years at a notable practice and eventually venture out on my own to become a super-successful motivational speaker and life coach.

The plan was working well for me for quite some time. I graduated in May 2005 (Can't believe it's already been 3 years) with my B.A. in Psychology and was accepted into Columbia University's M.A. in Clinical Psychology program. All was right with the world...or so I thought. When I got my acceptance letter from Columbia, there was small paragraph about deferring your acceptance for up to a year. Sounds nice. I thought to myself. If I defer, I can take some time off to make some money at the Investment Bank I did a summer internship for who in turn hired me for a full time position. Great!

Three years later and guess what? I'm still at that investment bank. I never stopped. I never went on to Columbia and I thought I would never realize my dream of becoming a super-successful motivational speaker and life coach. (Actually, I knew I still would- because I'm so driven, but I honestly did not know how I was going to get there.) Although I've done pretty well for myself at my current job and am already up for a big promotion at the end of the year in my three short years, anyone who knows me knows that it's simply in my nature to strive to do well at any task I take on and that I am not at all passionate about doing what I am doing.

During my three year hiatus from graduate school, I've heard my fair share of "suggestions" from everyone and my mama. There was a group of people who thought I should just forget about school and seize the great professional opportunity I had at my company. They were under the impression that passion and purpose was overrated and that money should be the motivating factor in my choices. The next group thought I should just quit my job altogether and beg Columbia to take me back into their program. After all, becoming a psychologist is what I wanted to do since I was a freshman in highschool and my mind hasn't changed now, I was just "confused". The prominent group tried to drill into my head that it was a blessing that Columbia didn't pan out, since Psychology was such a fickle field and that the field of business is where it's at. They tried and tried to persuade me to get my MBA which is much more "marketable" than psycho-babble.

I must admit that I was confused- but not for the reasons you would think. Then one day it all changed. I created YBR and I realized that I had the makings of something great here. If I stayed focused and planned correctly, this could be the beginning of my journey to reach my goals. Even though I still didn't know how I was going to accomplish it, I did know that I was going to accomplish it.

After three years worth of second-guessing myself, hearing conflicting opinions from friends and loved ones, and struggling with my own doubts and insecurities, I've finally, FINALLY figured out what I'm going to do. I didn't ask anyone's opinion, as a matter of fact I haven't even told anyone about it yet (besides whoever decides to read this post ;) and I'm not going to until everything is said and done. I am getting my masters degree, not in psychology or business but rather in a field that is more in line with my interests, personality, and professional goals. I'm going to stick it out with my current company for a while (since they will be financing this new educational endeavour) and I know now that everything happens in due time.

I guess the moral of this story is to understand that anything you are experiencing in life right now, is the right thing for you at this moment. Think about the many things you may have wanted over the years but never got. The job, the house/apt, the degree..whatever- and where you are right now. There is a reason you are here right now. SEIZE the moment and take ADVANTAGE of what's going on around you. If you feel lost, GO with that feeling. Noone else can make a decision about your life but YOU. It's inevitable that friends and family will try to offer you advice, but the most important thing is that you make decisions that will benefit YOU in the long run.

To answer the question posed in the title of this post. The reason why I no longer care what people think is because NOONE CAN TELL ME HOW TO DO ME! I feel so liberated now that I've finally realized this. LOL

To your success,
Alecia D.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The College Hill Effect: What do people REALLY think about HBCUs?

Besides the utter fulfillment I have creating the content, blog posts, articles, and information for YBR Enterprise, I'd have to say the only other time I've ever felt as much, if not more pride was when I spent four years on the Campus of the illustrious Spelman College. It is for this reason why it really does something to me when I hear people (especially black people), speak negatively about Spelman or any one of the other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. Recently I was involved in a conversation with a young, black woman who attends a majority institution. It went a little something like this:

Her: I mean, I get it. HBCU's were created to give black people a place to get an education, but what really is the point now? Most of them are ghetto now. Are thy even accredited?

Me: What?

Her: Dont' get me wrong, I know you went to one, but Spelman is different. I'm talking about all the other ones, like the ones on College Hill. They all seem so ghetto.

Me: Are you being serious?

Her: Yes. I just don't see the point. I think all HBCUs should be torn down. If black people can't get in the regular schools, then maybe they just shouldn't go to college.

It was at this point that I must admit I lost my cool and proceeded to give her the lecture engrained in my head about the journey of two (white) women in the south, Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles, who cared enough about education and saw the value it could have for young, black girls and thus embarked on the journey of creating the great institution that is Spelman College. If you are not that familiar with this conversation, then you may not understand my anger, however, ever since I began the college application process to only HBCUs in the 2000-2001 academic year, I've had to answer questions about the relevance of Black colleges. And what's worse, most of the people asking the question are black!!
Frequently Asked Questions:
  • Are there honor societies at HBCUs
  • So does everyone act the same?
  • How were the guys at Spelman? (FYI- Spelman is an all women's college ;)
  • Are HBCUs accredited?
  • What's an HBCU?
  • Spelman who?

Now don't get me wrong, I know that I have a biased opinion, having spent 4 years at *the top rated* Liberal Arts College for women, one of the *top rated* HBCUs in the US, and a *top-tiered* College over all as noted by the US News and World Report, but I do feel that Black Colleges should be celebrated- especially by BLACK people. I know that in 1881, Spelman was one of the few places letting little black girls get an education.

Some call it reverse racism, some call it unnecessary. I call it an opportunity to surround myself with the best and the brightest that the African American community has to offer while learning so much about myself and my culture.

I have to admit that I can honestly say that if it wasn't for Spelman College, I don't think I would be half the YBR woman I am today.

What are your thoughts on HBCUs??

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Why Trying to Lose Weight is just like Trying to Gain Success

So- I'm on week three of my latest fitness crunch: Operation Dominican Republic (8 weeks and counting) and I realized that I'm taking things much more seriously this time around and haven't cheated or been tempted to cheat as much as I have in the past. What makes this time different from all the others? I'm approaching it the way I approach my business! After all, isn't it all the same- I'm now in the business of losing weight...

Here are the parallels I've come up with in regards to weight loss and success:

I. If you don't sweat, cry, or have a breakdown- you're not doing much.
I don't know about you, but as a person whose tried most diets out there --for at least a few hours at a time :( I can tell you that the ones that make me crave fried chicken until the tears come and include the work out plans that leave every bone and muscle in my body aching are the ones that have given me the best results. The same can be said about the quest for success. No matter the level of success you are striving to achieve, none comes without its share of trials and tribulations. Believe me, if becoming successful was easy- then everyone would be. Be willing to try situations that you aren't used to and that may even feel a bit uncomfortable. Taking risks is an essential part of growth.

II. If you're not consistent, you won't get anywhere. How many people do you know that lose 5 lbs after two hard weeks of working out and paying attention to what they eat, only to gain it all back again after one wreckless weekend filled with a Sunday Brunch filled with piles of syrup-y pancakes, one too many margaritas at girls night out, and late night Papa John's? I know at least one individual personally ;) Just as you can't expect to see lasting results if you treat your health like a yo-yo and teeter back and forth on the health spectrum, don't expect to see any results in the growth of your business either. In order to achieve the highest heights of success, you must pay your dues consistently. You're either all in or all out. There's really no room for half stepping.

III. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Cliche, I know- but oh, so true. Have you ever been on a diet for all of 5 hours. You were so serious about your efforts when you started your day, but when lunch rolled around, you got flustered and grabbed the burger and fries combo that seemed to be calling your name? Next time, be sure to be prepared. Would you start a new business venture without writing up a business outline? Even if you don't put together an all out business plan, you should still jot down your purpose, vision, and three action steps at the very least. The road to success, like any other journey you take, will be much more challenging if you don't have a map. Preparation is key.

What I've learned is that deciding to become a more healthy and fit person, should be approached in the same manner as deciding to become a more successful person. If you decide that you are serious about either one of these goals, you should do your research, plan to work hard, and stay focused and motivated. If you can succeed at one, you should defintely be able to succeed at the other.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Do I Need a Life Coach??

Have you ever thought about a Life Coach? I know some people get squeamish at the thought of some stranger getting in their business and telling them how they should be living their lives, however, seeking the expertise of a life coach can be one of the best decisions a young professional can make.

I read a post by JeMi on on this very subject. Check it out here!

-Alecia D.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Black and Bougie: Why is that a BAD thing?

I'm sure we've all heard the words bougie and bourgoise and for the most part, especially when they refer to black people, they evoke negative connotation. But why? What's so bad about someone wanting to surround themselves with the finer things in life and always striving to have and be the best?

As a young, black woman who is continually striving to be richer, stronger, and better than I was the day before, I've been referred to as bougie at one time or another in my life, but instead of viewing it as an insult, I've come to embrace the term. If bougie is being used to describe me, then it must mean someone who is Young, Black, and Rich! And those are words that I don't mind being called and they can be used to describe me any day of the week!

What are your thoughts on the words bougie, stuck up, sididdy and the many other terms often used to describe someone who is doing her thing? Do you view them as negative or positive adjectives?

About Alecia D.

Brooklyn, NY, United States
I am a Successful Lifestyle Consultant studying such philosophies as The Law of Attraction, Zen habits, and the Principles of Meditation and have been featured on,, and Ezine Articles as an expert author. I am interested in success- being successful and helping others be successful!