​Fearless Folk: Tiffany Walker

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Name: Tiffany Walker

Age: 27

Occupation: Non-profit CEO/ Therapist

 

 

How I am Living Fearlessly:  My name is Tiffany Walker, I was born and raised in Newark, NJ and currently live in Orange, NJ. In 2016, I left my job at a well-known university in the pursuit of purpose. It was a wild and tough journey but ultimately it refined my character and redirected my entire career and life mission. It was during that year that I launched Pathways Toward Peace. Pathways Toward Peace is a non-profit whose mission is to provide capacity building and training to faith and community-based organizations about mental health (www.pathwaystowardpeace.org).

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To be honest, I never wanted to do this work. I remember when I was an undergraduate student at Widener University, I completed my field placement as a school social worker and told my advisor I never wanted to be a therapist. Really, I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t think I could do it. And I thought it was a better fit for something else. Despite, completing my MSW at Columbia University, I had it made it up in my mind that I would have a successful and lucrative career as an administrator; creating, and evaluating and managing youth development programs. However, life would have a different variation of the story.

I would experience a significant season of turmoil, mainly watching my mom battle severe clinical depression while simultaneously fighting to maintain my own mental and emotional health amongst career frustration, heartbreak, financial challenges, losing friends and just navigating life as a millennial woman of color. I now realize that you can only be effective in where you’ve been afflicted. So the seasons I thought were meant to kill my joy and ruin my life truly developed me for this work. It made me more graceful, more relatable and more compassionate.

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“I now realize that you can only be effective in where you’ve been afflicted.” -Tiffany Walker

I created Pathways Toward Peace because I was concerned about the lack of conversation, resources and practical information available in faith-based communities about depression and other mental illnesses. Historically, the idea of charity was rooted in the Catholic Church and people of color have always credited their faith to the reason behind their resilience. Yet, unfortunately, mental health is still a taboo subject in vulnerable communities. So I’ve spent the last year of my life completely immersed in this work.

It has been slow, painful and it often feels like I’ve experienced more losses than wins. I’m learning that’s just part of the territory. I do my best to glean on and stay motivated by the successes of Pathways Toward Peace like receiving two small grants and launching our Training Institute. It’s tough work and there is SO much that I am constantly managing, but I wouldn’t neglect this vision if you paid me. And I mean that!

Now my career is on a brand new trajectory. I finally passed my licensing exam (five years after completing my graduate degree. So in addition to running a mental health advocacy non-profit I’ve begun working as an outpatient therapist. I love this work! It’s arduous, but it is also rewarding and I can appreciate that now my “9-5” is in alignment with and my entrepreneurial vision until it can support itself. All of these things affirm that I’m on my God created path.

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I sometimes feel like the phrase “fearlessly living” is a misnomer. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel “scared” about a big decision I have to make, a relationship I have to cultivate (or server) for the business, or money I have to miraculously come up with for an expense. Honestly, I am greeted by fear almost every day BUT every day I consciously make a choice to surrender that fear to my God and get to work!

If there’s anything I could to say to someone who feels an idea or vision tugging on his or her heart it would be to go for it and look out for your personalized provision! Some people are able to save a bunch of money before starting; some people are pushed into it because there are literally no other doors opening. Whatever be your reason or your circumstance, hold on to your convictions and your dreams with every fiber of your being. And when you see fear knocking on your door, give to God, I promise you will not be disappointed. In fact, you’ll be fearlessly living with an abundance of peace and purpose!

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MDD: Major Depressive Disorder

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During my psychiatry rotation, I came across many individuals from different walks of life. Most of them were admitted for substance or alcohol use disorder and a few with mood disorders. There was one particular case that a colleague of mine was covering that really hit home for me.Unknown-2.jpeg

She was following an African American male in his early-mid twenties, who self-admitted due to Major Depressive Disorder and Suicidal Ideations. He was a senior at a prestigious university, a member of a fraternity and played on his university’s football team. From the outside, you may think he had it all together; his future looked bright and he was headed for nothing but success. Deep down, he was suffering.

When I heard of his case and sat in on his follow-up, I experienced a major case of Countertransference, which occurs when a healthcare professional transfers emotions onto a patient. I have a 23-year-old brother who was a senior at a university at the time, so I placed him in this young man’s place. I worried about what the men in my life maybe experiencing in silence, The thought of it frighten me.

I had a chance to speak with this patient briefly; I wanted to try to understand what he was going through. He shared with me the pressure he was under and how stressful life had gotten. Most black men that enter college sometimes feel like they have the troubles of the world on their shoulders because they do! Many of them carry the hopes and dreams of their families and community members, they are seen as the lottery ticket to a better life.

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It is estimated that 5%-10% of black men suffer from depression. There are many factors that can lead to this, especially in college-aged black men; discrimination on campus or the lack of others that look like them, not excluding the financial, academic and extracurricular stress. This young man mentioned that he was interested in entering the upcoming NFL draft and during this time his stress level escalated. Without the proper support system and his shaky upbringing, he dove deep into depression.

images-3.jpeg I first had to commend him for seeking help; many do not and follow through with the plan for suicide. I spoke to him as if I would my brother, cousin or friend. I wanted to use that moment to let him know that he is a valued member of society and that the world needs young men like him.  We worked on ways to cope and I asked him to use his experiences to talk to other young men that may be battling similar things and to use his experiences to help others.

There is something that society must recognize and change; we place a huge burden on men especially black men. We tell them not to show any emotions, not to cry and at every moment they must have it all together. We say that they should be “men”, but what is so manly about not showing any emotions and not having moments of weakness. It makes it very difficult to seek help when your illness isn’t welcomed and is perceived as a weakness.

Not to mention the taboo in the various religious communities when it comes to mental illness. I’ve often heard the phrase “we don’t go to therapy; we go to church”. I am a strong believer in prayer and faith but we have to understand that we have must also put our faith into action.  James 2:14-26 discusses the relationship between faith and work. “Faith without works is dead”, the two goes hand in hand. If there is someone in your religious community, please encourage them to seek help.

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Major Depressive Disorder also referred to as clinical depression or just depression is more common in females ages 19-25. They can experience loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Along with the lack of concentration, indecisiveness, insomnia or excessive sleeping. Loss of interest or pleasure, restlessness, thoughts of death or suicide almost each day and significant fluctuation in weight.

If you or anyone in your life is suffering from MDD or is experiencing some of these clinical symptoms please seek medical attention right away, it could be a matter of life or death. Along with seeking medical care, I recommend reassurance. Reassure them that they have someone like you that they can confide in, someone to listen/talk to. Let them know that life is worth living and that they are a valuable part of the community.

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So many people are suffering in silence and too may are committing suicide because of the lack of support. This is a serious illness and someone you know may be suffering, so take the time to stop being so consumed with meaningless things and love on someone today.

THE WORLD NEEDS LOVE!

Thrift_Ventures: It’s not about a brand, it’s about creativity

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Samnie Coleman, a good friend of Fearlessly Living and the creator of Thrift_Ventures, will be taking over the creative post for this month. She is a longtime thrifter and was ecstatic to share some of her ideas with all of you fearless folks, ENJOY! 

 

 

 

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Fearless Folk: Princess Dorley

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Name: Princess Dorley

Age: 26

Occupation: Health Care Administration

 

 

How I am Living Fearlessly: My name is Princess Dorley, I am originally from Monrovia, Liberia but grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am now residing in Laurel, Maryland and I am loving it. Living in the DMV (Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia) area and away from my family has taught me so much about myself. I have become more independent, self-reliant and a problem solver.

About a year ago, I developed the idea to start my own eyelash extension company. Some may ask, why eyelashes? My love for eyelashes began during my junior year of high school when my friend at the time introduced me to individual lash extension installation. Looking in the mirror for the first time after I received my first lash installation, I was amazed! It accentuated my already wide and bold eyes and made me look beautiful, even without adding makeup. It was then I discovered my love for eyelash extensions.

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Fast forward to 2016, I’d become an expert in installing lash extensions on myself, friends and family and I loved it. While sitting in my room conversing with my roommate, I suggested to her the idea of starting my own eyelash company. Being aware of how much of a lash fanatic I am, she immediately began to encourage the idea. The idea of starting my own eyelash company made me overly joyous. For almost a month, I started to strategize on what kind of eyelashes I wanted, photo shoots, websites, sales opportunities and registering the business.  I even came up with a business name “NubiLash”. I noted all my great ideas and saved it onto my laptop.

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Name (NubiLash) was inspired by the Sudanese Tribe,   Nubia. I decided on this because of my love and admiration for the people of Nubia and their captivating beauty and strength.

 

 

 

 

 

Then a month pass, then two months passed, three months and I had done nothing to execute this great business venture. I had not even registered the business. Friends and family began to acquire about the status of “NubiLash” and all I could say was I’m working on it. Fear of the unknown was preventing me from moving forward and accomplishing my dream. I had such great ideas and passion for NubiLash but the fear of failure was hindering me.

About five months later I was meditating and praying about my life and while praying I received a revelation. I began to hear “Just Do It!! don’t worry about what if, what could happen or what didn’t happen. Just Do It!!” At this point, I felt free of my fears and worries and I did just as was reviled to me.

In June of 2016, I registered NubiLash LLC, located an eyelash extension manufacturer, developed a logo, eyelash designs, packaging ideas and all that is necessary when creating a company. Today NubiLash is an independent lash company, we have a website, www.nubilash.com, filled with different lash designs, photos, and information.

Today the idea of starting my own lash company has become a reality, I can see and hold my lashes in my hands and I must say that is an amazing feeling. All of this was possible because I made the decision to live FEARLESSLY!

I want to live out my biggest, most unrealistic and outrageous dreams. I am motivated to succeed because I want to help the family members who are currently residing in Liberia at a large skill. I want to make a difference in the world and be the change I want to see. I have decided to live FEARLESSLY and not allow fear to prevent me from accomplishing my dreams.

FullSizeRender-4“My motivation to succeed comes from my desire to see my dreams become a reality.” – Princess Dorley

Words to Inspire:

F False

E Evidence

A-Appearing

R-Real

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and of a sound mind.”

JUST DO IT!!!!!!!

Why am I Here? What is my Purpose?

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Ever took the time to ask yourself; “what is my purpose?” Why are you on this earth, especially at this time and during this season? Is there something that you were born/created to do?

A good friend of mine once asked me, “How do you know your purpose?” At the time I think she may have been experiencing her quarter-life crisis. You can imagine how perplexing such a question can be. That is such a difficult question to answer, especially for a mortal being like myself. I have no insight into the future… I AM NOT GOD.

However, through the basis of personal experiences and my faith I give the best answer I could. I believe in order to find your purpose and understand it we have to first understand who we are as well as who’s we are.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We have to know and understand that although we are unsure of many things, God is sure. Remember that the one who created you placed in you a unique gift, the passion for pursuing something special and the best way to tap into that is to ask the person that places it in you.

Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…

Romans 8:28  (NIV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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Life becomes a little bit simpler when we discover our purpose. We become empowered. There is a reason to get up each morning with a new determination to achieve! A purpose driven life is a life worth living.

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Just think; what would the world be like if people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Mahatma Gandhi never discovered their purpose. Can you imagine it? What would have become of the many oppressed people all over the world? Who else would have stood in the gap? Think of it this way; you and only you can fill in a certain gap. You are the only one with the passion, the drive and the desire to create, change and develop something that the world lacks.

Think of your life without electricity? I KNOW!!! How will you charge our phone, use your computer, or get a Uber? Thanks to Benjamin Franklin’s discovery, we can now live in a world powered by energy. What if he never “discovered” his purpose? What would have become of the world? I do not believe that another individual would have done so. Why? Well, we are all unique and because of all our individual qualities, we each have something different to offer. Even if you and another person share the same desire, the execution will be different and the outcomes will be unique.

If you leave this world never having discovered your purpose, you leave a gap in it and even worse, you leave unfulfilled. I can only imagine how many inventions and ideas that could have improved the world but never did because someone died without ever discovering his/her purpose.

A few simple tips to figuring out your purpose:

  1. Pray about it, seek the word of God.
  2. Listen to that thing at the bottom of your heart. Follow your heart it drives your passion. Your head will talk you out of it.
  3. Be daring; be unapologetic in your pursuit.
  4. One of my favorites; break up with the One. It doesn’t have to be the one thing, it can be many different and unrelated things.
  5. Is there a lack that you’ve observed and no one else sees? Look more into that.
  6. Start doing; get out there try new things and you may discover your purpose in the process.

I once heard someone say that the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing before you go to bed is your purpose. If it makes you happy, if you find fulfillment in it, go for it!

Finding your purpose is bigger than you, the world needs it!images-1

Easy like Sunday Morning: Deep Conditioner For Natural Hair Care

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For years I have inconsistently used this mixture of natural ingredients to aid in the management and upkeep of my hair. I recently decided to be more consistent with this and I love the results. I am currently doing this once a month, I would like to do it more often but my busy schedule does not allow me to do so.

Each of these ingredients is natural and affordable, not only that they each have a unique advantage when added to you regular hair care routine. I am a huge fan of olive oil and coconut oil. These oils also have excellent benefits when used on the skin as well. I decided not to go into detail with that in this post but can do so in a separate post if you all would like to find out more information.

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  1. Olive Oil: Strength and Shine
  • Adding olive oil helps bring moisture to your hair, it leaves it shiny and healthy-looking.
  • It is rich in vitamins A, E, and antioxidants.
  • It helps protect the keratin in your hair and seals in all of the moisture.
  • It can also remove the buildup of sebum (the oily and waxy materials) that impedes the formation of new hair follicles and hinders hair growth.

 

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  1. Coconut Oil: Growth and Luster
  • It stimulates hair growth by getting deep into its follicles.
  • It fights against such problems as insect bites, lice, and dandruff.
  • It moisturizes dry hair.
  • It adds luster, shine, and softness to the hair.
  • It prevents hair breakage and split ends, contributing to hair length and slowing down hair loss.
  • Helps hair look denser and fuller.

 

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  1. Honey: Antibacterial and Antiseptic
  • It seals moisture in your hair, keeping it conditioned. This reduces breakage, which is often a cause for slower hair growth.
  • It has rich antioxidant properties, which prevent damage, keeping your scalp and hair healthy.
  • It strengthens the hair follicles.
  • It has antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. This prevents scalp infections, dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis, allowing for faster hair growth.
  • It cleans the hair follicles by getting rid of impurities like sebum. This minimized clogging, which is often a reason for hair loss.
  • Using honey as a hair care ingredient not only boosts hair growth but also stimulates hair re-growth from dormant follicles.

 

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  1. Egg:  Breakage prevention and increase volume
  • It is rich in vitamins A, D, and E in addition to proteins, fatty acids and sulfur.
  • It adds moisture to dry hair making it smooth and soft.
  • It prevents hair breakage and repairs damage.
  • It brings back the natural luster and shine with the help of the fatty acids.
  • It makes the hair more manageable
  • Vitamins A and E prevents hair loss.
  • The egg yolk is rich in proteins that make the hair follicles as well as the roots of hair stronger. (I do not add the yolk to my mixture, I find it make it very runny. Too messy for me to deal with (lol))
  • Vitamin B12 and sulfur present in egg yolk speeds up the growth of hair.
  • It makes the hair thicker and increase its volume

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  1. Avocado: Regular hair growth
  • It prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth.
  • It improves the condition of your hair by acting as a moisturizer for dry or damaged hair.
  • It is high in vitamins B and E, which work at the cellular level to protect and strengthen hair.
  • Vitamin B is essential for hair growth and Vitamin E helps repair damage on the scalp. Healthy hair grows half an inch every month. Using avocado in a conditioner or as a hair mask are the best ways to promote regular hair growth.
  • It promotes hair that feels soft and is more elastic.
  • The high-fat content of avocados makes hair less dry and prone to breakage.

 

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  1. Mayonnaise: Smooth frizz and defines curls
  • Mayonnaise contains egg yolks, vinegar, and oils that work together to nourish and moisturize your hair.
  • It helps nourish the scalp to promote healthy hair growth.
  • It smooth frizzy hair
  • It helps define curls by treating dryness and frizz.

 

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  • It adds strength and shine to the hair.
  • It helps control hair loss.
  • It adds moisture to the scalp

All of these ingredients can me added into a mixing bowl and blended together. For a smoother consistency, you can blend them in a blender. I also like to add my favorite natural hair conditioner to the mix as well, currently is it Shea Moister Raw Shea Butter with Sea Kelp and Argon Oil.

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I usually make more than enough. For later use, I add the excess to an old conditioner container and freeze it. It saves time so you aren’t making a new mixture each time you want to condition your hair.

 

 

TIP: Save your old containers of shampoo and conditioner. Spilt them in half (put half of your shampoo/conditioner into the old container) and add water to each. By adding water you have doubled the amount of product. This way it lasts longer and is easier to use especially if you have a lot of hair or very thick hair. The product becomes easier to get to your roots and scalp and you use less product in the process.

Fearless Folk: Edline Yowai Flomo

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Name: Edline Yowai Flomo
Age: 25
Occupation: Student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County studying Nursing and Health Administration

 

 

 

How I am Living Fearlessly: My life before being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) was pretty much simple, I lived like a regular teenager and didn’t know what was going on with me missing, my monthly period from time to time. I honestly thought it was normal. It was first diagnosed as a hormonal problem back in Liberia when I was sixteen years old and later diagnosed as PCOS when I moved to the US 7 years ago.

 I felt terrible knowing that I had PCOS, knowing and reading about it. Living in fear felt like I was in a hole or a dark room. Always wondering what if or why me, or is there something I did. It’s a bad thing to live in fear and also knowing that there is no cure, yet.

There has been lots of times when I felt alone and/or scared. Living with PCOS is hard and it brings a lot of changes to the body, both emotionally (mood swings and hormonal imbalance) and physically (hair loss, weight gain, hair growth in weird places along with acne). Knowing that your chances of starting a family are low or hearing that you have no chance at all is alone a fearful thing.

Three years ago, I decided to no longer live in fear. I sat down one day and thought about all the pain and hurts my body has been through for (11) years, and said to myself; I have no control over how my hormones behave or when I don’t have to worry about shaving my face every other week. Then it hit me,  no matter what medication I take, I still had to change my lifestyle and the way I see things, life is all about prospective. With weight gain comes more health complications, so diet and exercise is my way of being free and thinking about a better tomorrow.

Support: Family and friends kept me going, they have been there every time something major happened, from surgery to hospitalizations due to a miscarriage and everything in between. They have been my rock and the shoulders I’ve cried on, and I don’t think I could live fearlessly without them. My mother is my biggest motivation. I love her out of this world, and thank her everyday for pushing me to be my best self. She encourages me to workout and to keep up my healthy diet on a daily basis, advises me and she’s always there for me when I need her.

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Does anyone else in your family have PCOS? No, no one in my family has PCOS.

Do you know anyone else living with this?  No, I do not.

Have you found a support group? Yes, I Have a support group both online and in Baltimore.

Were you able to build new relationships with the people you’ve met? I have met a lot of great people from the PCOS group in Baltimore, and have learn a lot from their experiences.

My life has improved tremendously compare to three years back. Loosing weight gives me a feeling of fearlessness, like yes, I did it and I can do more. I am in a calmer place and try not to stress myself over the little things and be happy about the important things.

Words to inspire: “Don’t worry about what you can’t change”

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My dreams are too big: They keep me up at night!

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If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat! – NIV (Proverbs 20:13)

It’s 3:30 am and I am wide-awake. It’s not because I have had the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep or because I am well rested, but Instead it is a feeling deep down in my gut, that voice in the back of my mind, the constant reminder that I am not where I would like to be. It is the look in my younger sister’s eyes, it is the burning desire to repay my parents, to take care of my family. Lastly, it is the fear that if someone like me doesn’t step up Liberia’s health care system and every other developing country like it, will never improve.

As I look around me I see that my current state of “being” makes me uneasy. I cannot just “be” I have to get up and accomplish daily goals to get me to where I want and need to be. This is my daily wake up call, my alarm.

The fear of failure is real. I mean the constant struggle to continue to try when the odds are staring you right in the face. Look at me. West African, female, Caribbean Medical School, from a lower middle class family with dreams of becoming a licensed medical doctor in the United States of America. Black women make up 2% of ALL physicians in the United Sates, the percentage that are Liberian? Well you can only imagine. The numbers, the charts, the percentage of people like me that make it to a place like that, is still very low. So yea, I can’t be contained in slumber and continue to sleep away precious time. I refuse to be a statistic! So, I keep awake at a night, planning my next move.

Remembering that many things are difficult to achieve, but it is by no means impossible! I’m a strong believer in hard work and time management! Put God first place and add those two things and you will be unstoppable!

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Someone once said, “I don’t go to bed, I fall asleep.”  That is an empowering statement. It makes you want to evaluate your life’s choices. Are you sleeping peacefully while you have unfinished business? Unless your daily goals are met, sleep should become your greatest opponent. When you “go to bed” you have made a conscious decision to do so but when you “fall asleep” it is because your body has decided it needs rest.

I am in no way saying that you need to work yourself sick, NO! BUT YOU DO NEED TO WORK! Beyoncé is one of the worlds most talked about persons in entertainment when it comes to her work ethics. For those that have worked with her or alongside her have attested to how her work ethic is unmatched!

Each of us has a successful/wealthy person who we admire, ask yourself, how did they get there? Each person took a different path to success, but I can guarantee you that they did not get there by doing the bare minimum or nothing at all. IT TAKES HARD-WORK.

So the next time you decide to go to bed, take a good look at your priorities. Are you where you want to be?

You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti?
You want a Maserati? You better work 
You want a Lamborghini? Sippin’ martinis?
Look hot in a bikini? You better work
You wanna live fancy? Live in a big mansion?
Party in France?
You better work , you better work 
You better work , you better work 
Now get to work!
Now get to work!   

 -Britney Spears (Work)

*Lyrics were taken from Britney Spears “Work” few words were taken out as it does not represent the views of the blog*

Fearless Folk: Loris T. Shannon

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Name: Loris T. Shannon
Age: 27
Occupation: Communications Specialist

 

 

How I am living Fearlessly:  April 2017 will make it 3 years since I boarded that plane out of Newark, New Jersey and moved to Monrovia, Liberia. It was one of the best decisions that I’ve made to date. I moved to Liberia to pursue a career in International Affairs and because I wanted to be closer to my parents; however, I’ve gained so much more then what I anticipated.

  1. Career advancement
  2.  A deeper relationship with God
  3. Starting my own business with my sister.

Career Advancement. Many people do not have the opportunity to pursue a career in the field that they are passionate about or to utilize the degree(s) that they worked so hard to obtain, because the job market sometimes can be difficult to break into. Once you begin working in an industry other then what your calling is because, naturally, you need money, it is easy to become satisfied and complacent with the bare minimum. You may not have the time to go to interviews that could spearhead your dream career and before you know it, you are 2 years into working a job that you took just to have some money. Shortly after graduating with my Masters of Arts degree in Development Studies, I worked as a babysitter for a painful 8 months while I looked for an entry point to kick-off my career in development. After months of failed phone interviews and rejection letters from organizations in New York, Washington D.C and the African region, I finally received an offer in Liberia to work in the Secretariat of the African Union High Level Committee on Post-2015 (a project geared toward achieving global poverty reduction and sustainable development). That was the beginning of my career. Over the last 3 years, I have created a strong professional network, gained invaluable knowledge of African issues and travelled to countries that I probably would not have gone to in the absence of my position i.e. Ethiopia, South Africa, and Equatorial Guinea etc. My contract eventually ended and I am now the Communications and Public Engagement Advisor for a USAID Tax project in Liberia. Never let small setbacks stop you from chasing that career that you want even if it does not come in the packaging that you anticipated. Never stop applying even after a million “No’s”. Use your “sick days” and “leave” days to go to interviews, schedule interviews on your lunch break or arrange Skype calls with interviewers. Take that night class and strategize while the rest of the “world” is sleeping, because you owe it to yourself.

“Don’t sit back and think, Man, it’s never going to get any better. It is never going to change. Instead, sow the word of God by speaking it every single day”. – Joel Osteen

The Power of Prayer. The demise of the worst relationship I have been in, helped bring me closer to God. When things no longer seemed clear and I started to sacrifice far more than I was receiving in return, I prayed for God to console me and reveal his plan to me. We have all dealt with infidelity and liars, but the way I left this relationship wasn’t like anything I had experienced before. I didn’t have to go looking for messages from other women, no one had to tell me anything, I didn’t catch him in a compromising situation; it came straight from the camel’s mouth and might I add; we were in a long distance relationship so he could have continued living this lie. Jesus protects his children and no matter how far you derail he’ll always bring you back. At a time when I should have been devastated and broken, I felt relieved and empowered. Knowing that God had answered my prayers and had saved me from my own destruction, packing up my life and moving to Atlanta where he had relocated to during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. I entered this “situationship” to have fun and somehow I fell for him and stayed longer than I intended. I knew that this was not the man for me given his track record, but I had convinced myself that I could change him, it felt like I was in a trance. You HAVE to consult God in everything that you do! This lesson thought me the power of prayer. I’m also currently experiencing a magical kind of love with a great {new} man. We’ve been together for a little over a year and although we have our ups and downs we’re moving and growing in the right direction.

                             fullsizerender

“…because of prayer, I’m better equipped to live fearlessly”.  – Loris T. Shannon

Building a Business. My sister and I will be opening a mini-mart in a few months. Since moving to Liberia and living with my parents, I managed to save a lot. One goal of mine has always been to work, save and investment. Creating a sustainable transition to the entrepreneurial world, because frankly working for someone else all my life just isn’t an option. I tempered with a lot of different ideas like opening a low-budget skating rink, a restaurant, a barbershop etc. (of course with a business partner. My money is not that long); but, I was just too afraid of failure and putting my money into something that would turn out to be unsuccessful. I brainstormed with my oldest sister, who has a professional background in investment banking and we decided to open a mini-mart. I was extremely scared in the beginning. Anything that has to do with spending money is always scary, because you want to make sure that your investment will yield fruitful results. I decided to take a leap of faith and of course consult my big homie Jesus C. Ultimately, people need food and basic necessities; having a cute, dainty, neighborhood mini-mart in a new community will always come in handy. I’m proud to be amongst the young African female business owners. Never be ashamed to live with your parents, a family member or a friend until you feel like you’ve finally acquired your wings. That period doesn’t make you any less of an adult, but rather a wise and a strategic one, setting yourself up for greatness. I remember wanting to be on my own by the age of 24. Living with my parents and being able to properly manage my funds has put me in a better position to realize my aspirations; and I live on my own now.

Words to inspire: Make the conscious decision to replace fear with faith, every time!