Thursday, August 21, 2008

What Every Woman Should Have..Some Inspirational Words

We all know (hopefully) that Maya Angelou's words are always among the most well thought out and insightful of the black literati. With that said, I was very excited when I received this email in my box a few weeks ago that credited her as the author. After some research (it should be a habit for you to research anything before speaking on it), I realized that Angelou isn't actually the author, rather it is a woman named Pamela Redmond Satran. I hadn't heard of Satran before reading this poem, never the less this piece truly inspired me- so much so that now one of my resolutions for 2009 will definitely be to check off every item on this list (I have way too much going on in 2008 and I still have two resolutions left that I have to finish before December 31.)

Every Woman Should Have...
by Pamela Redmond Satran

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …enough money within her control to move outand rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE a youth she’s content to leave behind….
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward toretelling it in her old age….
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVEone friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .a feeling of control over her destiny.
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…how to fall in love without losing herself.
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without; ruining the friendship…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…that she can’t change the length of her calves,the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…that her childhood may not have been perfect…but its over…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW..whom she can trust,whom she can’t,and why she shouldn’t take it personally…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…where to go…be it to her best friend’s kitchen table…or a charming inn in the woods…when her soul needs soothing…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…what she can and can’t accomplish in a day... a month... a year...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Financial Fitness: 4 Tips to Get out of Debt

Financial freedom is probably one of the most popular goals of young, successful women today. Gone are the days when we depend on our husbands and parents for all of our financial matters. We are business savvy, financially literate, and very knowledgeable about the ins and outs of a bank statement.

For many of us, even though we have the most positive intentions of realizing our financial goals, we often find ourselves stuck in the never ending cycle of DEBT and OVERSPENDING. If you can relate to these obstacles getting in the way of your quest to financial freedom , you may find the below tips very useful.

Step 1
Write down all of your monthly expenses. It's very difficult to create a plan and budget if you are unsure of where you stand. Taking a snapshot inventory of your current state of finances will prove very beneficial on your journey to financial independence. What are you currently spending your money on? Are there expenses that can be decreased or eliminated altogether?

When I initially decided to get serious about my finances, I had to take a hard look at where my money was going each month. I noticed patterns of wasting money on transportation, food, and frivolous monthly expenses. Noone needs two gym memberships! Do you have monthly bills for services you aren't using?

Step 2
Create a realistic budget. The simple act of writing down your expenses before hand will do wonders in helping you stick to your new plan. The key is to be realistic and to account for unexpected events. Be sure to also set aside at least 10% of your income to be put away toward savings. At first glance 10% may not seem like alot, however, you will be surprised at how this money begins to add up over time.

Let's say you make $500 a week. If you commit to saving 10% each pay check, you will have saved a total of $2400 a year. This is an extra $2400 that would have been wasted prior to your committment to setting aside money for savings. I don't know about you, but I would rather have this extra cash gaining interest in an account over the course of a year than using it to buy something that isn't really worth it in the long run.

Step 3
Create a timeline of when you expect to become debt FREE. Now that you are saving money by getting rid of unneccessary expenses and curbing your spending by implementing a budget, you should find that you have a few extra dollars left over. Use any excess cash to pay off your debt- starting with the smallest debt first and working your way up until you've paid them all off. Sure, it may take you any where from a few months to a few years to become free of debt (depending on how much income you have and how large your debt is), but all that matters is that you have a plan.

It took me two years to finally become debt free. I graduated from college with thousands of dollars worth of credit card bills. Once you start putting lump sums towards your debt, you will notice that the numbers begin to decrease and eventually disappear! Stay encouraged and eventually you will reach your goal.

Step 4
Brainstorm ways to increase income. Ask your boss for a raise, look for a new job, start a business, join an investment club, or apply for a second job. It took a lot of dedication and determination to get yourself into debt and you should definitely be willing to do what it takes to get yourself out.

Over the years, there have been many times when I've felt proud of my accomplishments. I'd have to say that finally becoming debt free ranks among the top ten moments. It is truly a wonderful feeling to pay off that last credit card and realize that you have accomplished something that the average American is struggling with daily. Debt is a serious problem that continues to keep alot of young, black, women from accomplishing higher heights of success and when you beat the odds, you should truly be proud of yourself!

No matter what anyone has told you in the past, getting out of debt is very possible. What it's not is easy. But for a Young, Black, Rich woman - taking the "easy" road isn't our style. I know you have what it takes to become debt free, the most important step is just getting the courage to get started!

Do you have a Debt Elimination Success Story? Share it with the YBR readers in the comment section!

To Your Success,
Alecia D.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Take the Plunge: Start Your Own Business

Taken from The Black Business Coach
by Dante Lee

Everyone has an untapped reservoir of knowledge. Put yours to work for you as an independent consultant by teaching your skills to others. Just how big is consulting? In 1997 alone, U.S. businesses spent just over $12 billion on consulting.

A consultant's job is to consult. Nothing more, nothing less. It's that simple. There's no magic formula or secret that makes one consultant more successful than another one. But what separates a good consultant from a bad consultant is a passion and drive for excellence. And--oh yes--a good consultant should be knowledgeable about the subject he or she is consulting in. That does make a difference.

Here are the top 20 consulting businesses thriving today:

1. Accounting: Accounting is something that every business needs, no matter how large or small. Accounting consultants can help a business with all of its financial needs.

2. Advertising: This type of consultant is normally hired by a business to develop a good strategic advertising campaign.

3. Auditing: From consultants who audit utility bills for small businesses to consultants who handle major work for telecommunications firms, auditing consultants are enjoying the fruits of their labor.

4. Business: Know how to help a business turn a profit? If you have a good business sense, then you'll do well as a business consultant. After computer consulting, people in this field are the next most sought after.

5. Business writing: Everyone knows that most businesspeople have trouble when it comes to writing a report--or even a simple memo. Enter the business writing consultant, and everyone is happy!

6. Career counseling: With more and more people finding themselves victims of a corporate downsizing, career counselors will always be in demand. Career counselors guide their clients into a profession or job that will help them be both happy and productive as an employee.

7. Communications: Communications consultants specialize in helping employees in both large and small businesses better communicate with each other, which ultimately makes the business more efficient and operate smoothly.

8. Computer consulting: From software to hardware, and everything in between, if you know computers, your biggest problem will be not having enough hours in the day to meet your clients' demands!

9. Editorial services: From producing newsletters to corporate annual reports, consultants who are experts in the editorial field will always be appreciated.

10. Executive search/headhunter firms: While this is not for everyone, there are people who enjoy finding talent for employers.

11. Gardening: In the past decade the demand for gardening consultants has blossomed (pun intended) into a $1 million-a-year business. Not only are businesses hiring gardening consultants; so are people who are too busy to take care of their gardens at home.

12. Grantsmanship: Once you learn how to write a grant proposal, you can name your price.

13. Human resources: As long as businesses have people problems (and they always will), consultants in this field will enjoy a never-ending supply of corporate clients, both large and small. (People-problem prevention programs could include teaching employees to get along with others, respect and even violence prevention in the workplace.)

14. Insurance: Everyone needs insurance, and everyone needs an insurance consultant to help them find the best plan and pricing for them.

15. Marketing: Can you help a business write a marketing plan? Or do you have ideas that you feel will help promote a business? If so, why not try your hand as a marketing consultant?

16. Payroll management: Everyone needs to get paid. By using your knowledge and expertise in payroll management, you can provide this service to many businesses, both large and small.

17. Public relations: Getting good press coverage for any organization is a real art. When an organization finds a good PR consultant, they hang on to them for life!

18. Publishing: If you're interested in the publishing field, then learn everything you can and you, too, can be a publishing consultant. A publishing consultant usually helps new ventures when they are ready to launch a new newspaper, magazine, newsletter--and even websites and electronic newsletters.

19. Taxes: With the right marketing and business plan (and a sincere interest in taxes), your career as a tax consultant can be very lucrative. A tax consultant advises businesses on the legal methods to pay the least amount of tax possible.

20. Writing services: Anything related to the written word will always be in demand. Find your specialty in the writing field, and the sky will be the limit!

For the complete article,

Friday, August 15, 2008

YBR Beauty Pick: On-line Shopper Alert!

I'm on my way home from the gym yesterday evening and I'm thinking about my upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic in a few days (8 days of some well deserved rest and relaxation). All I'm thinking about is when I'm going to find the time to get some shopping in before I leave. Between working at my full time job, working on YBR, and enjoying my personal life, when exactly will I have the time?


I decided I would just run in to the closest mall over the weekend and pick up a few things. Well- that all changed when I woke up this morning! In my inbox was an email from one of websites I subscribe to with information about a FREE, virtual, on-line shopper! The site searches for all of your favorite brands and find clothes online in your size that have recently gone on sale! Now tell me this isn't heaven sent! I signed up today and within 5 mins I received an email full of ideas and wonderful sale prices!

This is site is definitely a YBR Beauty Pick! Check it out and let me know your thoughts!

Alecia D.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Message From the Heart: What being Young, Black, and Rich means to Me

I have to admit that it really gives me great joy and fulfillment to be a part of this YBR movement. As I've said many times before, being a YBR woman is so much more than having money and material possesions. It truly is a state of mind. A feeling of knowing who you are and what you can achieve. Even though I've had my times of self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy (as we all do) I have still always considered myself to be a confident person. This confidence has done nothing but increase significantly since I started YBR.

I guess it's the fact that I now have a place where I can connect and share with other women like me who want the best for their lives. Or maybe it's the opportunity to have a forum to share my thoughts, advice, and information. Whatever the reason, YBR has given me a new found appreciation and sense of pride in who I am and who we as young, black women are. I, as well as my friends and associates, have noticed a change in me. I now walk and talk with a sense of empowerment and feel challenged to go after my heart's desires- no matter how unorthodox they may seem to others.

This is also my hope for you all. I truly want the best for every Young, Black, and Rich woman I come in contact with. I appreciate those of you in Houston, Texas; Douglasvlle, Georgia; Brooklyn, New York; London; Dublin; and all of the other countries around the world who check out the blog daily, email me, and post comments. You truly do inspire me. I hope that you are getting from YBR all that you are looking for.

What does being Young, Black, and Rich mean to you?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Three Reasons to FIRE your BOSS and do your own thing: Food For Thought

I know we've all thought about it. Quitting our jobs, firing our bosses, and finally being able to do what we love for a living. It's something I talk about on YBR very often! If you're like me, you definitely do NOT want to spend the rest of your adult years slaving away for someone else.

These three quotes really speak to the idea of this and inspire me even more to do whatever I have to in order to make sure I can fire my boss within the next couple of years.

Top Three Quotes:

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s. In the first case you are a man, in the second you’re no better than a bird.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers … If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” - Steve Jobs

"Getting up in the morning and having work you love is what makes life different for people. And if you get into a position where you really don’t love what you’re doing, get off it. It’s easy to be on someone else’s track or something that sounds like a safety play.” -Bob Woodward

To Your Success,
Alecia D.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

So you want to be a millionaire. Don't we all?

But seriously, how do we actually get there?
How many times have you heard a young child say, "when I grow up, I'm gonna have lots and lots of money!" or heard a college student say, "I can't wait until I graduate and get a job so that I can live a lavish lifestyle." Or was it even you who said to yourself just yesterday, "I can't wait until I win the lottery or come into a huge pile of money." We've all thought about how much more simple life would be if we could add a few extra zeros to our bank accounts, but have you really thought about what it would take to get there?

In today's day and age, becoming a millionaire is not as far fetched a goal as it was a few decades ago. Many people, especially young black women, are beginning to realize that the road to riches can no longer be found inside of a cubicle. It is for this reason that the rates of black, female entrepreneurs are steadily increasing every single year.

Evaluate your interests and determine your niche.
What's your passion in life? What is it that would truly leave you feeling fulfilled and satisfied both personally and professionally? Are you currently involved in any hobbies or activities that leave you feeling so blissful that you seem to lose track of time? Take the time to listen to your thoughts. If there is a certain experience or situation that you genuinely enjoy, you should begin to think of ways to turn it into a niche or specialty for profit. Don't be afraid to experiment with lots of different interests, eventually you will know when something sticks.

Develop a course of action.
Now that you have determined what you want to do in order to make your millions? The next step is figuring out how you are going to do it? What sorts of things need to happen in order for you to achieve your goal. Do you need additional education? Do you need to begin networking. Brainstorm several ideas and turn them into a list. Set deadlines and get started with the first item immediately!

Visualize your millions.
What does being rich look like to you? Where will you live? What will you buy? If you want lavish trinkets and toys, don't be afraid to visualize them. No one should make you feel guilty for wanting the finer things in life for yourself. Will you use the money to invest in other businesses or charities, will you go back to school? Think about whatever you want, the sky truly is the limit.

Get started!
All the planning in the world will not put a million dollars in your bank account. Planning is NOTHING without action. What do you need to do to get started on your road to success? Whatever it is, plan to start doing it immediately. Any millionaire that you can think of did not get their millions by sitting down and doing nothing (except for rich celebrity kids, but who wants their millions handed to them anyway ;) Anything worth having is worth fighting for (Cliche, I know, but so very true!)

What are your thoughts on working your way to the top? Have you ever dreamed of being a millionaire?

To your success!

Alecia D.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Beauty of Black Self-Love

How many times have you felt like you weren't up to par simply because you didn't get your eyebrows done over the weekend or were a week late on getting your edges touched up? How many times have you felt inadequate simply because your shoes weren't designer or your car wasn't considered "luxury". Most women can admit that feelings of insecurity do creep into their minds from time to time, but what's most important is how you choose to deal with your moments of weakness.

Self-image is such an important aspect in our lives. If we look good, we feel good. If we feel good, we do good. If we do good, good things come to us. It's a wonderful cycle as long as we are in high spirits, however, the moment we let our guard down and allow negative thoughts to cloud our minds is the moment when we can be thrown off course.

Since self-image and the way we view ourselves is so important to the way we present ourselves to the world and also how the world views us, it is mind boggling to me how much we equate our image- our worth, to our outward appearance. Am I better than you because my hair flows down my back? Are you better than me because you have higher cheekbones and a sleeker neckline? Is she better than us because her skin is the color of caramel?

I recently saw a picture of a black woman and it really struck a chord with me. I literally stopped doing what I was previously doing because her aura was so striking. She was average size, average height, and had average looks. I was only able to see her face, so her beauty had nothing to do with what she was wearing. There was just an internal glow about her that seemed to leap off the page and surround me. The moment I looked at the photo, I realized in a split section that what should truly be necessary to make someone feel beautiful and secure is not a killer shoe collection or the latest bag, but rather something a bit more intangible. Something that would actually mean something when your youth fades and your looks wither away. Something more along the lines of confidence.

Don't get me wrong, it is very important to care about how you look and to take pride in the physical image you are putting forth, however, it is even more important to build upon your inner strength. Material possessions are very fickle. One day you can have them and the next day you might not. It is for this reason that we should not get too consumed with pursuing these meaningless objects. Instead, we should make time for the people in life that make us happy, that situations and experiences that build our character, and the opportunities that help mold us into the strong women that we want to become.

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!