How to spot a swag assist

You want to be a boss. You dream of being the type of woman who is on her grind, building an empire and taking no prisoners. Chairman by M.I, I’m a Boss by Rick Ross, and Looku Looku by The Mavins are key songs in the playlist of your life.

There’s only one big problem – you think your partner might be a hater, #SwagDeflator – every #MotherlandMogul’s worst nightmare.
Nicki Minaj - Hell No GifOne of the most critical factors that will impact your professional and entrepreneurial growth is your significant other. Having a partner who supports you is a godsend  – their belief in your talents and dreams will have you thinking you’re Oprah 2.0 or the female Dangote-in-waiting. Having a partner who actively blocks your shine is the worst.

With this in mind, we, at She Leads Africa, have come up with a few tips to help you spot a partner who will support your #MotherlandMogul swag. They’ll be your very own Swag Assist.

1. Was his mum a hustler?

To start, you have to take it all the way to the beginning. Our families and childhoods have a huge influence on what we think our lives should look like when we become adults.

Licia Ronzulli - EU parliament member with baby

If a guy grew up with a mum who was always on her hustle, he’s more likely to see your hustle as normal and ordinary. Additionally, if his mum is a hustler herself, she’s more likely to tell him to chill if he starts complaining too much about your work schedule.

This isn’t to say that sons of stay-at-home mums will want you to do the same. But understand that it may take him some time to get used to your hustle.

2. How much gendered language does he use?

Any potential partner who uses words like “men’s work” or “women’s work” should raise red flags.

Jasmine and tiger from Aladdin

To be a #SwagAssist, a guy needs to have his own beliefs about gender norms not what society has told him. He needs to be comfortable sharing the work at home. For example, if you’re running late at the office, he should put the kids to bed.

If you have a big meeting the next day and don’t have time to cook dinner, he needs to be fine with that. If your man sees the world in one particular way and thinks that you need to stay in your lane, he’s probably not going to be the Barack to your Michelle.

3. How hard does he try to upgrade you and your business?

Beyoncé told the world she wants to upgrade her man, but you should also have someone who wants your business to reach the next level.

Beyonce and Jay Z dancing

There are plenty of guys who pay lip service to supporting their partners, but in reality they couldn’t care less. Does your partner think about how their personal and professional networks can help you grow? If they have special skills, do they use them to support you? For example, if he’s a banker has he offered to look at your numbers? A #SwagAssist will energetically try to support your professional aspirations.


Align your partner with your ambition.”

–Bola Adesola, MD Standard Chartered Nigeria


4. What does he say when you complain about the hustle?

We all have times when nothing seems to be working, and we just want to roll up into the fetal  position and give up.

Biggest loser - Jillian Michaels

Yes, we all want a partner who is occasionally going to baby us and tell us everything is going to be okay. Here’s the thing though, building a business isn’t child’s play and having a partner who is going to let you give up is not helpful if you’re really trying to be a #MotherlandMogul.

You need someone who cares about you so deeply that they’ll listen to you complain, but believes in you so much that they force you to get back up.

5. How does he react to your business success?

When you’ve just signed a big deal and you tell him, pay attention to his expressions and tone of his voice. Does he give you a weak smile, like kind Yetunde gave her boyfriend when he proposed with an ugly ring? Does he say congrats quickly and then get back to how bad the traffic was in Lekki? If the answer is yes, then you’ve got yourself a certified #SwagDeflator. A #SwagAssist will make it clear that you da real MVP.

LA Galaxy soccer player celebrating

He will give you Azonto, Shoki and the running man all at the same time. All of his social media followers will know that you just won. He’ll be so excited people will think he won the lottery. That’s the sort of partner you need walking with you on the journey to professional success.

Everyone knows that one of the easiest ways to lose a war is to start fighting on two fronts. Just ask any German commander circa early 1940s.

It takes a village to raise an entrepreneur – and guess what? Your husband, your bae, your partner, your number 1 is a critical member of that village.

We hope you find someone who cares about your professional happiness and success just as much as you do.

If you’re married and yourMaya Rudolph Saying No guy is a swag deflator, please don’t cite us in the divorce proceedings.

 

 

 

10 excuses to give friends when you are too broke to go out

As Motherland Moguls, we know that every kobo, pesewa, and cent counts while chasing your dreams. So while we love our friends, going out often can be a financial burden. If you’re fortunate (or unfortunate – you choose) enough to live in an isolated town where eating out requires an hour commute to the city center, then you must be doing your fair share of saving.  If you live in a major city – Lagos, Johannesburg, Nairobi – that new pop up down the road that sells overpriced cereal is tempting.

To add to all of this, we all have that friend who always wants to eat out. But there are days when you really know you cannot afford to go out but don’t want them to know you’re skint. Yes, we know that, cause we’ve been there and had to come up excuses like 10 below.

1. “I didn’t do my BVN so my card is not working”

See Your LifeThis applies if you live in Nigeria, or all your money is deposited in a Nigerian account. If that is the case, you have the new banking policies to thank for this excuse.

2. “Oh, I’ve been eating at *insert restaurant name” too much”

RHON - Eating feelings

This excuse could come back and bite you, as it insinuates you go out to eat often.

In the same vein, you could be left with the burden of deciding what restaurant, which leaves you with two options: either suggest somewhere so awful that you know nobody would agree to venturing near, or suggest something completely different and free!

3. “I forgot my card at home”

Kandi - RHOA Really

This only works if you are actually out and about with them, or in their house and you have not brought out your card at all. This also means if you are dying for a bottle of water – no can do.

4. “Sorry, I have an appointment/meeting.”

Mad Men - Tell Them Im In A Meeting

Please do not Snapchat anything other than your coffee mug after making this excuse.

5. “Oh my gosh, I wish you had told me earlier, I just ate and I AM STUFFED!”

Zendaya - gif

This works better with people who do not know you that well. Why? Because if you love food the way I love food, then your friends know the truth and will know you’re lying.

6. “I’ve been really busy, and need to take time out to rest”

Pokemon falling asleep

I like this one because even if all you’re doing is watching show re-runs with a tub of ice-cream, it makes you sounds somewhat important and occupied with life.

This is less of an excuse and more of a genuine reason. Again, stay away from Snapchat.

7. “My parents want me home”

African dad meme

This excuse varies in effectiveness based on your age. But if you and your friends are from traditional African homes, I’m sure it would have a decent level of effectiveness.

8. “I’m not feeling too well” – ties in with number 6

I’m slightly wary about this one because it may come to pass. However, if you’re have a little headache, a little exaggeration would not hurt.

9. “Stuck in school/work/at a family event… rain check?”

Tommy from Martin - straight out of work

It’s always nice when an excuse has a reason behind it, followed by the possibility of rescheduling. This is probably the most respectful of the bunch.

10. * Phone on flight mode * “Did not get your call/message, my phone just does that.”

Big Sean - looking at phone

Not a big fan of this one. I think we can all agree it’s pretty rude. But a friend suggested this and it worked. It also helps to remember all the money you are saving from ignoring those calls and messages…

Business Tip: Anytime you cancel on your friends, put that money into your savings accounts. It always pays to pay yourself first, ladies.

How I got 10,000 real and engaged followers on Instagram

With a reported 300 million users and 70 million photos shared each day, Instagram has become a key marketing and social engagement tool for businesses. It is also a great platform for testing out new business ideas.

To leverage Instagram as a marketing tool, some marketers have resorted to buying followers and using automated liking or commenting programs to increase their reach. Buying followers might make your page and product look popular. However, you will have no real insight as to who is actually interested in your brand or who will buy your products or services. What’s more, you risk getting banned by Instagram for violating its Terms of Service.

In this quick guide, I’ll show you how to gain real followers by walking you through the steps I used to grow my Instagram page @MakeupforMelaninGirls to 17,000+ in just two months.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.41.24 AM

Here are some tips for engaging your target audience:

1. Upload Quality Photos

Instagram is a photo-sharing app after all, and people want to be inspired by the photos you share. Think of a colour scheme and/or theme for your photos.  White is a popular background colour and for good reason. It helps keep focus on your image and is less distracting. If your products are in fashion or beauty, consider showcasing your products with the flat-lay style.

makeupformelaningirls

Flat lay photo on Instagram by Beauty Blogger @thatigbochick

2. Use Web Apps that make managing your account a breeze

Since Instagram is primarily an app for mobile phones, it can be tricky managing all your tasks on a small screen. Crowdfire is a social media management desktop & mobile app that grows your Instagram following by letting you copy followers of accounts in a similar niche as you. You can also see who follows or unfollows you. You can perform following and unfollowing tasks very quickly via desktop without violating Instagram’s terms of service. Crowdfire is free to use for one account but costs $9.99 per month for more than account.

Another great web app is Iconosquare, which allows you manage your Instagram page on the web (comment, like photos, view feed etc). And though its popular optimization feature (shows you the best time to interact with your followers) is now a paid feature, you can see several other statistics about your page, including most commented posts.makeupformelaningirls                        Crowdfire Homepage

3. Use hashtags relevant to your target audience

Most people are already aware that using hashtags attracts more likes and interest. However, using popular hashtags that are searched by your target audience is the difference between getting engaged followers and just getting likes. For example, if your brand focuses on African fashion, use Websta (an Instagram Web Viewer) to look up related tags in order of popularity.       makeupformelaningirls

Secondly, create a list of 30 hashtags and save it to any Notes app you use.

Looking up #Africanfashion not only helped me find other popular hashtags within that niche, but it also helped me find similar accounts. Using the Crowdfire app in step 2, can also be used to follow people on those similar accounts you just found. There is no guarantee that these people will follow you back, but if you are uploading quality and interesting photos relevant to your target audience, you increase your chances of them liking in your page.

When we looked up #Africanfashion, 260,000 posts is the highest number of uploads related to this niche. 

#Fashion also has a lot of visibility of Instagram, so adding it to your list of hashtags is a good strategy. The audience in your niche are those most likely to engage with your page.


Create your list of hashtags by combining very popular hashtags with those most related to your niche.


To create a list of hashtags for our #AfricanFashion example, Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags so we can divide it into 15 popular #Africanfashion and 15 popular #fashion hashtags.

makeupformelaningirls

4. Post at the Right Times and Days

Putting some thought into the days of the week and times of the week will also help  your follower base and visibility. Iconosquare’s popular Optimization feature displays a graph of the best times for you to post is now a paid feature, but don’t despair. I’ve got you covered.

Lunch time and 5 pm when people are getting off work are examples of optimal times to post. Keep in mind that these work better if your audience is in the same timezone as you.    

makeupformelaningirls                       A view of the Iconosquare Optimization section

5. Engage with your audience

Completing the steps above, should build a group of connected followers. Do not forget to have fun with your followers by liking and commenting on their photos, sending them messages if necessary, and answering their questions. Instagram is a social media page, so connect with your followers! They want to know that there are real people behind the brand and that you care about the same things they care about. Many people log onto Instagram to take a break or pass the time so make sure browsing your page is an enjoyable experience.

Finally, below are some extra tips below did not make the cut because they cost money. However, if you have the money, they are great tools to use to grow your follower base.

  • Host an Instagram contest or Promotion
  • Negotiate with an Instagram Influencer or personality for a promotional shout out of your product. (Caveat: Some Influencers are known to receive products but do not promote it. Research influencers before finalizing any payments.)
  • Pay a Popular shoutout page in your niche to promote your page (This could be risky as some of this pages buy followers. Browse their page to see if they have users that comment and engage with the page).
  •  Find a friend or hire someone with an aesthetic eye that will showcase your page in the best light

#Goodluck!

According to science, don’t make new year resolutions, do this instead!

With 2016 finally here, we see many Facebook & Whatsapp “New Year, New Me”. A new year is a fresh start, and a chance to set a new goals, which is why so many people make New Year resolutions. Still…

Most people find New Year’s resolutions difficult to keep

Local gyms are most crowded early January when people are most committed to their resolutions. But by February, people start dropping out that by December, they are either back to where they started before the resolution or are worse off.

Psychologist, Peter Herman and his colleagues looked into the success rates of New Year resolutions, and it turns out that most people fail at sticking to their New Year’s resolutions.

She Leads Africa

They found out that people underestimated the difficulty of their goals and selected tasks that were overly ambitious. They named the habit of  making self-improvement goals but failing to fulfill them the “False Hope Syndrome.

Essentially, we try to do tasks that are too hard, too quickly when it comes to New Year Resolutions.

Do the pre-work the goal demands

Successfully sticking to resolutions that are easy to make but hard to maintain, researchers say, requires taking actionable steps to change a behavior, rather than making drastic changes. In a study that looked at the success rates of 200 people trying to stick to their resolutions, another psychologist, John Norcross, found that those who prepared for the lifestyle changes they wanted to make were successful at accomplishing their goals.

For example, if losing weight is your New Year resolution this year, develop a meal plan with a trainer, participate in a bootcamp, or walk more. Do not set drastic goals, like running a marathon, and do not look for shortcuts. Liking Instagram pictures on a fitness page or buying the latest “detox tea” is not going to cut it either.

She Leads Africa

Learn from failure

How you react to failure along the way is another key part of being successful with your New Year’s resolutions this year. Alan Marlatt, a former Psychology Professor at University of Washington DC, found that those who do not turn setbacks into full relapses are more likely to succeed with their resolutions. Those who want to quit smoking, for example, might end up smoking a cigarette or two in their cessation journey. If they continue with their progress and do not see this moment of weakness as a complete failure, they have a better chance of quitting smoking.

How to win this year

She Leads Africa

Here’s a recap of steps to prevent the “false hope syndrome”.

  1. Break your big goals into smaller, attainable ones.
  2. Tackle one goal at a time.
  3. Ask for help and talk about your goals with friends.
  4. Celebrate small wins.
  5. Don’t wait another year to make goals. Nothing is stopping you from making those changes now.

 

Yay or nay? To have and to hold his last name after marriage

Glenview-Mansion-Maryland-Ethiopian-Wedding-Ceremony-Recessional

It seems that the custom of taking one’s husband’s name after marriage is slowly fading. Women the world over are opting to keep their maiden names after tying the knot. African women are choosing to do the same to the dismay of some and intrigue of others.

There are people who do not understand why a woman would not want to change her surname. It is a PSA that a certain someone put a ring on it, after all.  In a culture that wrongfully values women based on their relationships with men, this decision is being met with resistance.

Who started it

It turns out this custom isn’t even African. It was started by the French and spread to Britain during the  Norman Conquest in the 11th century. A wife was considered a husband’s possession, and, hence had to adopt his name.

Over time, the custom changed to include the scriptural notion of unity that marriage brings to a couple. The tradition then spread to the Motherland through colonialism.

Not everyone finds it necessary

It is actually illegal in some places  to change one’s name for marriage or other reasons. Quebec does not allow women to change their names after they get married. This law exists to extend the Quebec Charter of Rights (1976) statement on gender equality to names, according to Time.com. The same applies in Greece and Belgium.

Even in France,where the custom started, citizens are required to keep the names on their birth certificates for life, though women can take their husband’s names socially, but not legally. The situation is similar in the Netherlands where women can only take their husband’s name under special circumstances.

Italian women can’t legally change their names, but are permitted to hyphenate their surnames by adding their husband’s. Women in Malaysia and Korea customarily keep their maiden names. Burundian women also do not adopt their husband’s names, according to allAfrica.com.

Reason behind rebellion

So why don’t you use your husband’s name? For Nigerian journalist, Amma Ogan, the answer is in the question: “Because it is his name, not mine,” she says in an interview with us.

In her article “Of Marriage and Ownership,” (published on the discontinued 234Next website) she writes about her choice to keep her maiden name and the bewilderment that met her decision. Of the custom she writes:

“Ask a Nigerian man to change his name and he will consider it an insult of the highest order. This means that women are considered fair game, mothers, sisters, daughters, all. The first retort when a woman protests is: Why don’t you want people to know you are married? But that is really a side bar. The people for whom that knowledge is most important are the ones who are in it. Are you married? Yes. Move on.”

For Ogan, and others like Dr. Sophie Coulombeau, keeping their maiden names is a matter of maintaining  their identity, and upholding equality. For them, marriage does not equal validation, as the custom may suggest.

So what could this mean for us?

As a wife, changing your surname to your husband’s can be symbolic. The function of marriage is to unite two people and sharing a name can represent this unity.

Ugandan Anita Arinaitwe Mugisha chose to use her husband’s name, telling allAfrica.com that it signified a new beginning and gave her a sense of belonging. In the same article, Joshua Nshuti, a Ugandan man, said that sharing his name with his wife made him proud and is a constant reminder of his responsibilities to her.

Women opt to keep their maiden names for various reasons whether it be maintaining their identity or asserting equality. Some of them have worked hard to create a name for themselves professionally and don’t want to give that up.

Others marry people from across the world and find keeping their maiden names less confusing. And a few are just trying to avoid all the legal paperwork that comes with changing your name on identity cards, passports, health insurance and bank accounts plus more.

As  businesswomen on the rise, ready to disrupt the old boys’ club, and take the world by storm, one could argue we should abandon a practice that is in its very origin dehumanizing. On the other hand, as I mentioned, taking one’s husband’s name symbolizes unity for some.

Ultimately what is important, I think, is to leave it up to the woman to decide what changing or keeping her name means to her. Perhaps in order to allow that to happen, women shouldn’t be judged for choosing to do either.
Change your last name after marriageWhat do you think Motherland Moguls? Do you plan on changing or keeping your name when you get married? If you are married, did you opt to adopt your husband’s name or keep your maiden name? Let us know in the comments below.

5 ways to upgrade your LinkedIn profile

Improve your LinkedIn profile in just one

Your LinkedIn profile is your introduction to the professional world. It is just as important as your resume/CV. However, the two are different. If your LinkedIn profile is an exact copy of your resume/CV then you are doing it wrong.

LinkedIn provides users with a platform where then can include more aspects in their profile than they can fit in a standard resume/CV. Use that to your advantage. Think of it as a marketing tool.

Remember that recruiters are now using LinkedIn to not only vet job applicants before an interview, but also to find and contact potential candidates.

Wondering how to upgrade your profile? Here are 5 ways you can do it:

1. Get a great headshot

Yes, it is necessary! No one wants to click on a profile without a picture. You want your profile to get the attention it deserves so upload a photo. Not just any photo either. That means no selfies, group photos or pictures of you turning up.

Put up a high-resolution picture of yourself without anything distracting in the background. Dress appropriately and smile. You want the picture to exude confidence and happiness.

Read more here: 3 Ways To Transform Your LinkedIn Profile From Crappy to Fabulous

2. Add a creative headline

The headline is one of the first things that people looking at your profile will see. It should grab their attention and compel them to read on. Think about your next career step.

Where do you see yourself? What kind of opportunities do you want to explore? Use this to inform how you craft your headline. Incorporate keywords and structure it in a way that it shows exactly who you want to be.

 Think of your LinkedIn headline as a condensed mission statement. 

3. Write a concise summary

A well-written summary will help recruiters and potential partners find you. Make it personal. Share your passion about the industry you are in or are looking to transition to.

What is your background? What have you achieved so far? What are your career goals? Use keywords and weave your responses into a career story that will give recruiters insight into who you are, and make them want to meet you.

Read more here: Three Steps To Writing The Perfect LinkedIn Summary

4. Add media

LinkedIn allows users to incorporate media to their experience section. It’s a great way for people to get a sense of what you have done.

Have a presentation, video, photo or document that you worked on? Upload it. Is your work online? Link to it. Add media that you are proud of and that showcases the range of your abilities.

Take advantage of the media add-ons on LinkedIn to SHOW people exactly what you are capable of.

5. Skills and endorsements

Be strategic about the skills that you list. Limit them to the ones you are most confident in and that you want to be known for.

Endorse your colleagues’ skills. Chances are they will do the same for you. Endorsements show that you have the skills and expertise that you say do.

Have you tried any of these tips? Were they helpful? Any others I didn’t mention? Go ahead and share them with me below.

Why smart girls become risk averse women

More attention is being drawn to the obstacles that female entrepreneurs and career women around the world face when looking to reach the next level of professional success.

From studies revealing that women are less likely to receive venture capitalist funding to research confirming that women have to work harder to be considered at par with their male colleagues, it is clear that women face a unique set of challenges in the workforce.

Beyond opportunity and wage inequality, there are gaps in the way young girls are raised that can create a mindset which can hinder the future success of these women.

Women are their own strongest critics

It turns out that most women judge their abilities and intellect much more critically than men do. In one study, fifth grade students with high IQs were given challenging tasks.

The girls were more likely to give up on challenging tasks while the boys worked harder to figure out the solution. Interestingly, the higher the girl’s IQ, the more likely she was to throw in the towel and feel helpless in face of the challenging task.

Gymnast HappyIt should be noted that the girls in the fifth grade, as observed in this study, typically outperform boys in math and science.

So why do otherwise smart girls doubt themselves when it comes to unfamiliar and challenging tasks? What does it have to do with the confidence professional women have in themselves?

Praise and self-confidence in women

Social psychologist Dr. Halvorson’s explanation of this study in a Psychology Today post, provides  great insight on why this happens:

Girls, who develop self-control earlier and are better able to follow instructions, are often praised for their “goodness.” When we do well in school, we are told that we are “so smart,” “so clever, ” or “such a good student.” This kind of praise implies that traits like smartness, cleverness and goodness are qualities you either have or you don’t.

Boys, on the other hand, are a handful. Just trying to get boys to sit still and pay attention is a real challenge for any parent or teacher. As a result, boys are given a lot more feedback that emphasizes effort (e.g., “If you would just pay attention you could learn this,” “If you would just try a little harder you could get it right.”) The net result: When learning something new is truly difficult, girls take it as sign that they aren’t “good” and “smart,” and boys take it as a sign to pay attention and try harder”

Research at Stanford confirms this association: smart young girls are likely to unconsciously retain this perception that ability is a rigid characteristic that cannot be changed. They eventually grow up to be adults that judge themselves harshly and are less likely to take risks or challenges outside their area of expertise.

What does this mean for you?

If you have been mulling about launching a new blog, tech start up, ecommerce store, website or any other venture for a while, and your main concern is your lack of expertise in the field, remember this: the ability to perform a task is very flexible.

Just go for it! Research shows that the key to mastering a skill or area you are unfamiliar with is to be persistent and continue practicing.
Fifth Harmony

Raising a girl child and wondering how you can help her develop a “growth mindset” that sees challenging tasks as an opportunity as opposed to a problem? It’s fairly simple.

Encourage your children of both sexes (especially the girls) by praising their progress and achievements in relation to their hard work. Instead of praising them for work well done by saying, “You are so smart,” recognize them by saying, “You must have worked hard to get this done!”

It’s a message that’s not just great for kids but for budding entrepreneurs too. Nothing great happens overnight; keep building.

 

5 life lessons for women from Iyanla Vanzant

I attended Radio One Detroit’s 2nd Annual Women’s Empowerment Expo held at the Cobo Center in Detroit on August 15, 2015. The event drew a great crowd of women looking to empower themselves and receive words of wisdom from event keynote speaker Iyanla Vanzant.

The expo also featured seminars ranging from “How to Successfully Promote Your Business” to “Keeping the Relate in Your Relationship.” Iyanla Vanzant dropped valuable gems on us and lit up the stage with her presence. SLA shares with you what we’ve learned!

1. Beauty is subjective

Iyanla explained that being a dark-skinned woman with kinky hair was not part of accepted societal beauty standards. As a result she compared herself to everyone else.

She had to make a conscious decision to love and accept who she was and to find beauty in that. Had she not found beauty in herself, she would not be the successful speaker she is today.

2. Every stage of life has a purpose

The purpose in life of a 20-year-old is vastly different from that of a 50-year-old. That is OK. Embracing your life in stages allows you to understand your purpose through your experiences.

Allow your wrinkles to set in, love the rolls around your belly and embrace your stretch marks. Forgive. Understand that your life is like constructing a house. Everything starts with a plan —floor plans, lighting plans, plumbing plans— before the first brick is laid on cement.

If you do not plan for your life or your business you will become bitter from failure, and there’s nothing successful about being bitter.

3. You matter

Women matter. Until you comprehend the power in your value, you will never become conscious of the fact that you matter. When you don’t believe that you matter, you tend to do things that prove what you think is accurate [that you do not matter].

You may not realize it in the present, but when you look back at your life and see your behavior and choices, it will show whether you believed that you matter. This can manifest in relationships, business and even finance.

Your choices will not reflect growth or change for the better unless you believe you matter enough to change them.

4. Understand your personal journey

Comparison is the number one killer of achievement. Comparing yourself to other women only allows you to look down on what they have and not to look up at what you want to be.

If you are solely focused on your own achievements you will not lose sight of your vision and the path to realizing it.

5. Pause

Life happens – for better and sometimes for worse. If you go through your 20s to 80s without a pause, you will end up angry and confused about the happenings of your life.

Every stage in your life requires a pause to find clarity and to learn the lessons. You cannot carry the burdens and mistakes from each stage in your life to the next one and expect to achieve anything.

 

Less stress, more VIM: 5 daily activities for a healthier life

Studies show that African women are the most enterprising and hardworking people on the planet. While we fully embrace this title as Motherland Moguls, we know this work takes its toll. While some pressure can increase productivity, sustained emotional and mental strain causes stress, which distracts us and makes us sick.

It’s time for professional African women to take self-care seriously! These five activities are time tested to keep the blues and pain away.

It’s time for professional African women to take self-care seriously.

1. SweatAunt Vivian - Fresh Prince of Bel Air

There’s more to working out than getting a ‘bikini bod’. Exercise has been proven to stimulate the release of endorphins —that good stuff that makes you happy. Some people find long-distance running cathartic while others feel empowered with strength training.

From kickboxing, to dancing, to tennis, physical activity is a great way to release tension and increase self-confidence. No wonder Queen B. is always happy!

2. Set GoalsKermit typewriter

Goal setting  is a proven way to reduce stress. Spend ten minutes reflecting and writing your goals each day. When you know where you are going, you are less likely to stress the small.

Think about your goals – short and long-term. Evaluate your actions towards your goals and celebrate small and big wins often!

3. Control your thoughts and perspectiveShakira Meditation

Meditation is a great way to train the brain. Many people falsely believe that meditation means sitting still. Any activity that allows you slow down and take stock of  life, events, and people is meditative.

Try this five minute meditation technique called The Heart of the Rose; it will also increase your concentration.

4. SmileVeronica Bozeman

You know those annoyingly positive people who say “Turn that frown upside down” when you are upset? Well, sorry to break it you, but it turns out they are actually on to something.

According to studies, smiling reduces stress levels. When we get stressed our hearts beat faster; simply can reduce heart rate and calm us down.

5. Be your own cheerleaderGabrille Union - Bring It On

The journey to lead the pack is tough. At times, there will be no one to cheer you on. But do not lose hope or give up.   Knowing the power of a hopeful spirit, we share a positive mantra with you each morning.

You can also create your own. Remember, to keep your mantra truth; that you are strong, resilient, and powerful.

So Motherland Moguls, which of these activities do you already do and how do they help? Which acts of self-care do you want to implement this new year?