Tuesday, March 9, 2010

She Is Inspiring: YBR and She-blogs.com!

Special thanks to Ally Marie of She-blogs.com and Allymarie.com for featuring me on her blog this week! She-blogs is all about women's empowerment and inspiration and I am honored to be able to share my mission with the She-blog readers!

Check out the full interview and comment here!

-Alecia D

Friday, March 5, 2010

Frugal Fridays: Tip of the week - Have Fashion Patience

Welcome back to Frugal Fridays! Check out this week's tip below!

You see that $100 dress that you “LIKE” – sure you want to buy it right away before anyone else has it-- but if you wait a week or so, it just might go on sale or if you do some more research, you may find a dress just as nice for less. Now, I’m not saying don’t treat yourself and buy what you like but if you shop on a regular basis, spending more money than you have to, only limits your spending power in the future. I know I hate to see something I just bought go on sale a couple days later. Just have a little patience.

-Ms. Frugal

Check out last week's tip!

Ms Frugal (aka Jamila M. from Empressmag.com) is a 27 year old sista who is definitely financially savvy. She is an entrepreneur, corporate employee, and fashionista.. all on a budget! Ms. Frugal even managed to buy her first home in NYC at the age of 23! (Anyone who lives in the NYC area knows that this is no small feat)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to Dress for Business- YBR Style!

In the work I do with lifestyle/career consulting, I often get asked similar questions about the workplace and corporate America in general. Questions ranging from what constitutes business casual attire to how to dress for an informal business luncheon have been thrown my way on more than one occasion. This fact, coupled with my own observations at career fairs and networking events around the NYC area, leads me to believe that there are a lot of women out there who are unclear about the different parameters of professional dress.

Check out the Young, Black, Rich guide to business attire below!


Suit- i.e. two pieced, matching top and bottom – can be skirt or pant. If wearing a skirt, the entire thigh should be covered when seated and shirt should be knee length or below when standing. Colors should be solid and basic- in other words, a fire engine red suit is not appropriate. Make up and jewelry should be conservative for a polished look, but definitely not over the top. Shoes should be closed toe and comfortable. They should neither be too dressy nor too casual. Sneakers, UGGs, flip flops, construction boots, etc are never appropriate. Any tailored blouse or sweater can be worn underneath the suit jacket. Pantyhose are required (sheer not opaque).

Business Casual
Either pants or skirts are appropriate. Neither should be too tight nor baggy. Also keep in mind that skirt length should be at the knee when standing. Safe colors to work with are navy, black, gray, brown, and khaki. Make up and jewelry should be conservative for a polished look, but definitely not over the top. Shoes should be comfortable and neither too dressy or too casual (most companies prefer closed toe). Sneakers, UGGs, flip flops, construction boots, etc are never appropriate. Any tailored blouse, shirt, sweater set, or cardigan works well also. Pantyhose are suggested, but not required.


A clean, well fitting pair of jeans paired with a polo style shirt, blouse, or sweater can be appropriate. Jeans should never be too tight or too baggy. A casual shoe and/or conservative sneaker is appropriate as well. Leather trousers, ripped or torn clothing, mini skirts, midriffs, stretch pants, leggings, etc are never appropriate. Make up and jewelry should be conservative for a polished look, but definitely not over the top.

While it may seem that there are many restrictions in business attire, it is still very possible to express your unique style and creativity while presenting a polished and professional look. While you are not expected to break the bank to wear the same brands a CEO might, you should be sure to invest in a quality garment that fits well with your budget. Believe it or not, we are constantly being judged by the way we look at work. Why not use this fact to your advantage? As a simple rule of thumb- if you can wear it to the club, you shouldn’t wear it to work!

What are some of your business attire suggestions?

-Alecia D.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Frugal Fridays: Tip of the week- Sign Up!

Welcome back to Frugal Fridays! Check out this week's tip below!

Sign Up:
Most chain restaurants have a membership savings program. Sign up at the restaurant and fast food websites that you like and enjoy all of the perks! Alot of these companies offer free appetizers, gift cards and weekly specials to valued customers. For example, one restaurant that I LOVE, gave me a free entrée worth up to $40 for my birthday. There are similar deals at a wide variety of your favorite restaurants too, on a weekly basis. So take the time and sign up on each of these sites for their promotions. If you're going to be eating their anyway – you might as well save some money!

Click here for last week's tip!

-Ms. Frugal

Ms Frugal (aka Jamila M. from Empressmag.com) is a 27 year old sista who is definitely financially savvy. She is an entrepreneur, corporate employee, and fashionista.. all on a budget! Ms. Frugal even managed to buy her first home in NYC at the age of 23! (Anyone who lives in the NYC area knows that this is no small feat)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Frugal Fridays: Tip of the week

Thanks for checking out the second week of Frugal Fridays with Ms. Frugal! As always, Ms. Frugal aims to help us with ideas on keeping our finances fit for 2010!

Check out this week’s tip below!

Get to the Club Before 12:
If you're like me, you enjoy a good party! But did you know that most promoters offer free or reduced entrance for ladies before 12 am or some other specified time? So why get there at 12:30 am and pay full price when you could have gotten in for free?? That makes no sense to Ms. Frugal. And if you’re worried about looking cheap or corny for being there so early-- don’t. Anyone else who is in the club that early with you is doing the exact same thing!

Check out last week's tip.

Ms Frugal (aka Jamila M. from Empressmag.com) is a 27 year old sista who is definitely financially savvy. She is an entrepreneur, corporate employee, and fashionista.. all on a budget! Ms. Frugal even managed to buy her first home in NYC at the age of 23! (Anyone who lives in the NYC area knows that this is no small feat)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Frugal Fridays: Tip of the week

Great news to share! Introducing a new feature on YBR- Frugal Fridays! This feature will be a weekly tip from Ms. Frugal that aims to help us with ideas on keeping our finances fit for 2010! Ms Frugal (aka Jamila M. from Empressmag.com) is a 27 year old sista who is definitely financially savvy. She is an entrepreneur, corporate employee, and fashionista.. all on a budget! Ms. Frugal even managed to buy her first home in NYC at the age of 23! (Anyone who lives in the NYC area knows that this is no small feat)

Check out this week’s tip below!

Bring Your Own Breakfast and/or Lunch to work- If you have a cafeteria in your office, or have a restaurant within close proximity to where you work, you know that buying breakfast or lunch everyday can be very costly. For example, in my cafeteria one english muffin costs $1.00. When I realized that I could get a pack of eight english muffins from my supermarket for $1.00, I decided to take my muffin to work and use their toaster and butter for free!

What ways do you save money on food at work?

-Ms. Frugal

Do you have a question you want Ms. Frugal to answer? Send it to aleciadee@gmail.com with Frugal Fridays in the subject line to get it answered on the YBR blog!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pics from YBR Networking EVENT!

Thanks to all of the fabulous ladies (and gents) that turned out to support the FIRST EVER YBR networking event! We had an awesome evening of drinks and conversation and of course, NETWORKING!

Special thanks goes to Ally Marie of allymarie.com for a dynamic keynote address! Check out the pics!

If you missed this event.. don't worry, details for the next event should be circulating soon!

-Alecia D

Monday, January 25, 2010

We're Bringing Networking Back- Young, Black, Rich Style!

In today's overly technological society, it seems that everyone has gone digital. Between IM's, iChats, Emails, Twitter, Facebook etc, a person can go weeks without networking with someone face to face.

In honor of January being National Networking Month (www.networkingmonth.org), come out for FREE appetizers, FREE cocktails and PRICELESS face to face networking! There will be give aways, door prizes, and a dynamic keynote address by Ally Marie (www.AllyMarie.com)! Don't miss this great opportunity to connect with business minded female professionals in NYC.

Please click on the link below to register. Admission is FREE! Space is limited so act quickly!



Thursday, January 21, 2010

MYOB: How to Get Promoted

Check out my latest article on Empressmag.com!

One question I get asked many times by junior analysts at my company is, "How did you get promoted so fast? What can I do to make sure I am promoted too?"

While it is often easier to ramble off the common anecdotes that I've heard along the way, I've really tried to go above and beyond and give them the real deal. Because I was promoted to associate within 3 years of working with the firm and am currently on the fast track to become a VP within the next two years, I feel that I have put together a great formula for promotion that really works! Check out my tips below.

Play to your strengths:

What is it that you do extremely well? Make sure that you are exercising this skill daily. Become known as the expert in this area. For example, if your skill is written communication, be sure that you take extra care when sending emails and are drafting memos to your team very frequently. Make sure you have dotted every ‘I’ and crossed every ‘T’. The goal is to come across as an effective and accurate writer. Be sure to cc your boss on these emails and memos so they can see what you are doing. Not only will your peers begin to look at you as a person who is knowledgeable about the goings on at your company, your boss will begin to build confidence in you as a communicator and may even begin to come to you to lead certain projects s/he may have.

Dress the part:

Have you ever heard the saying, "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"? This is very true! How many CEOs do you know who go to work in jeans and a T-shirt? With the exception of companies like Google who are known for their laid back atmosphere, not very many. Like it or not, your style of dress goes a very long way in connoting authority. It will be much easier for your boss to promote you to a leadership role if they can visualize you as a leader. Why not make it easier for them to do so, by dressing like one? How do the heavy hitters at your job dress? Make sure you are dressing in the same fashion or one step above.

Fake it 'til you make it:

Ok, ok- so you're not really feeling one of your supervisors. It's hard for you to pitch new ideas to him/her and you don't really feel like going the extra mile to strike up conversation. Guess what? You have to get over it. One of the top factors that determine who a boss will promote, that are even higher on the list than quality of work, is quality of relationship. In order to get ahead you will have to be personable. No self-respecting manager wants to promote someone with a bad attitude. Maybe at first you will be faking the funk, but eventually it will feel real. No one is saying to become best friends with a difficult person; however, you owe it to yourself and your career to learn to tolerate the situation.

If you follow these tips along with producing top quality work at your job, I'm sure you'll find that as opportunities arise, you will be first on the list to be promoted. Good luck!

-Alecia D.

Want one on one career coaching? Contact aleciadee@youngblackrich.net for more info!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Top Six Mindless MONEY WASTERS!!

For 2010, you can just call me Ms. Tight Wad. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not usually one to hold on to money too closely. Although I am an avid saver, I have still been known in the past to splurge here and there and spend a bit excessively. One of my goals this year is to nip my bad spending habits in the bud once and for all!

Check out these GREAT tips from Yahoo Finance. Which of these money wasters is your biggest challenge?

1. Convenience Stores

2. Cell Phone Plans

3. Soft Drinks

4. Unnecessary Bank Fees

5. Magazines

6. Annual Credit Card Fees

Be Proactive

Spend a couple hours and go over the above categories along with any other regular habits you may have accumulated over the years. The time will be well spent as it could mean hundreds of dollars of recurring annual savings.

Read the full article here! Very eye opening..

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Silhouettes Teams Up With Dress for Success!

Exciting news to share!

Silhouettes and Dress for Success have recently partnered to create Silhouettes for Success, a program where six women from Dress For Success' Professional Women's Groups were selected to blog about their career challenges, struggles and share their inspiring stories.

In today's world, it can be extra challenging at times to be a women in the working world, what a wonderful opportunity to be inspired by the the stories of these brave and impactful women!

Shaquan, one of the woman selected to blog for Silhouettes for Success said, “If I dress like the person I am on the inside and show who I am on the outside, others will also see the Queen inside of me.”

Check out the site here!

Kudos to Dress for Success and Silhouettes for this uplifting business venture!

-Alecia D.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK 2010: "A day ON, not a day OFF"


Today is a very important day in our nation's history.

It is a day we have set aside to commemorate the life and legacy of one of the most influential men in the Civil Rights movement and Black History in general. His life's work was dedicated to giving his time and talents to better the situation of those around him.

As we celebrate his day this year, let's not only look at it as a day off from work, instead let us take the time to get involved in our communities and help out in any way we can. Check out http://www.serve.gov/ for community outreach ideas or with your local organizations. If time does not permit today, then make a pledge to yourself to sign up for an event for a future date.

The bottom line is to recognize that we all can help out our communities in a number of ways. Let today not just be a day off, but a day on.

What will you do today to pledge your service to your community? Let us know in the comments section!

Life's most persistent and urgent question is: Whate are you doing for others?  - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Find the Best Networking Event for YOU!

Check out an article I wrote for www.NationalNetworkingMonth.org!

Networking is a very important skill to master. It not only enables people to meet others but can also lead to job opportunities, expanded business contacts, new clients, and heightened confidence. However, anyone who’s ever looked for networking events knows how challenging a feat it can be.

As an entrepreneur who relies on networking to expand my contacts and client base, I’ve become an expert in not only finding networking events, but finding effective networking events, and the ones best for me. Below, I will share three tips for identifying the best networking functions for you.

Step One: Determine Why You Want to Network

Know what you seek to gain. Are you looking for new clients? New business partners? Sponsors? Associates in similar industries to form alliances with? Depending on your expectations, you should select events that will help you accomplish your specific goals. Not only is it important to perform research to learn about the event’s hosts, but also try to figure who has been invited. With the popularity of the Internet, it may even be possible to find reviews from past events. Since it is more important to attend quality events, rather than a large quantity of events, it is essential to be diligent in doing research to ensure you’re attending the events where you will be more likely to reach your goals and meet the people you want to meet.

Step Two: Decide Where You Will Network

Just as it’s important to know why you want to network, it’s equally important to know where to network. With the influx of social media channels, in person connecting has become a lost art. However, most experts agree face-to-face networking is, generally, more effective because of the personal connections made.

Consider joining an email newsletter distribution list for businesses or companies you are interested in. From time to time, these newsletters may contain information related to upcoming events that may fit your needs. Also, becoming a member of your respective industry/trade organization is another sure way to stay abreast of what’s going on within your career field. People also tend to forget about the powerful connections of their alumni networks. Does your Alma Mater have an alumni association that meets regularly? Consider attending a meeting and joining. As you begin to get more involved in these intimate, focused groups, it is likely you will become more privy to more inside information and may get invited to a lot more events.

Step Three: Choose an Event that Matches Your Personality

Personality plays a huge role in networking comfort. If you are a bit reserved, or if you are networking for the first time, it may be a good idea to find events that are intimate in size. Or you may want to try an event where networking is facilitated. However, if you’re more outgoing, you may want to attend a huge trade-type event where you’ll have several hours to meet endless numbers of people. Be sure to do your research to determine the format of the event. Also, if you’re not sure what works best for your personality, try varying the type of event you attend to determine what’s most suitable.

Remember, networking is a very personal experience, and different functions will work best for different people. No one is born with a networking gene; networking is an acquired skill. However, with a little research, proper planning, and practice, anyone can be a networking guru in no time and understand which events are best for them!

-Alecia D.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Art of Small Talk

One of my new years resolutions for 2010 is to break out of my shell and become a more friendly and outgoing person. For the first time in my life I am sincerely all about networking, meeting new people, and expanding my sphere of influence. Not that I haven't been interested in these things before, but as I get older (I'll be 26 on Friday, Jan 8), I am starting to realize just how accurate the saying is "it's not what you know, but who you know".

In true goal setting style, I have come up with a list of steps I will take in order to reach my goal.
I will attend at least 2 networking events a month, go out of my way to speak to people in person instead of via email or phone, and make a deliberate effort to reconnect with long lost friends and family members. Once I came up with all these steps, however, I realized that I was lacking the one fundamental skill that would help me become successful in my task- the art of small talk.

Because im sure im not the only one who needs improvement in this area, Check out the tips below!
1. Small talk has the main purpose of making a connection. Make the other person feel as comfortable as possible. Keep things short and casual.
2. Be more interested than interesting. Pay attention to what the other person is saying and be sure to ask follow up questions. Your goal should be to ask, listen, and elaborate.
3. Keep up with current events and other neutral points of conversations. Consider it your goal to break any awkward silence. Remember that as uncomfortable as you may be making small talk, most likely the other person is uncomfortable too.

What are some other tips that have worked for you?

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Look Forward: 2010 and Beyond-Top 5 tips on how to excel in 2010

The new year is finally here. Gone are the worries and woes that accompanied 2009 and here is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start your life over in any way you would like. What will you do? How will you make 2010 count more than last year did? What can be done differently over the next 365 days that will make your goals actually come true?
While many people find themselves going around in the same annual cycle of resolutions à contentment à failure, there are proven ways to ensure that this upcoming year will be different and finally bring you the positive outcomes you deserve. Although any time throughout the year is just right for charting new courses, the beginning of a new year always seem like the perfect opportunity to realize new dreams and expand new horizons.
Check out these five tips that are sure to help you become well on your way to excellence in 2010.
5. Become a person of your word. This is a very essential aspect of succeeding over the course of the new year. If you say you are going to do something, then it is your obligation to do it. Whether this means sticking to your plans of joining the local gym so you can drop those 20 lbs you’ve put on or it means following through on your promise to spend time with your aging grandmother once a week. It is important to work on your integrity so that people begin to view you as reliable and upstanding.
4. Be punctual. This tip goes hand in hand with keeping your word. Over the course of this year, make a conscious effort to respect the time of yourself and others by arriving early/on time. You will find that you will become more productive at work, gain the trust and respect of others you are meeting with, and even see a decrease in the amount of stress you experience due to constant rushing.
3. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Whether you have aspirations of getting promoted to the next level of your current company or becoming the CEO of your own business endeavor, take time to think about your image. Often times, opportunities are given to those who already look and act the part. It is not until people can visualize you in a certain role that they will begin to take you seriously and throw opportunities your way. Always remember that perception is reality.
2. Take a few moments for self reflection, daily. Amidst the chaos of life, you may often get bogged down with the drama that goes along with it. Whether you are trying to excel in your personal or professional life, it is very important to take a few moments to center yourself in order to remain on task. Something as simple as 15 minutes as soon as you wake up to think about what was done yesterday, what you will do today, and what your plans are for the future will go along way in helping you remain grounded.
1. Leave the past behind you. The most important tip to excelling in 2010 would definitely have to be forgetting about 2009. Don’t beat yourself up about your shortcomings from last year. Forgive others and most importantly, forgive yourself. As stated previously, today is a new day and the beginning of a new year. Take the opportunity to see the blessing you have been given by embracing what lies ahead and forgetting what has come before. Every successful person you know has had to start from somewhere, your starting point is today.

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 Blacknews.com, HBCUConnect.com, and Ezine Articles as an expert author. I am interested in success- being successful and helping others be successful!