BossBabes

Go Where You're Loved...You Will Do Your Best Work

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Hello #BossTribe, it’s been awhile, but we’ve been undergoing some major changes here at The B is for Boss. We are working on bringing more digital content to our platform this year, along with some other IRL networking opportunities both locally in NYC and internationally.

(spoiler alert: check back at 3pm CST today when we unlock our destination and sign ups for our 2019 Summer Retreat.)

In addition to revamping the site, I’ve also done some major rework and revamps in my personal and professional life. Which leads me back to my first big announcement….*drum roll please*

Last month, I left my job and went back to my previous one. Yup, that’s right. I “boomeranged” and it was the best decision I could have made.

I am now co-leading the Digital Sports Group at Taylor PR.

I wanted to let a month pass, before screaming it from the rooftops, but I know now thirty days in, that without a doubt I made the best decision. This past month, I’ve been happier than I have been in over a year. If you recall I wrote a post about how leaving your dream job is never easy. And boy, was that an understatement. Without getting into all the dirty details, in short: I made a mistake. A huge one. I left a job I loved for what I perceived was a better opportunity. However, I didn’t take the time to ensure my values were aligned with the new team I would be joining. I soon realized that I didn’t connect with my manager or my team and they didn’t care enough about me or my career growth in a way that suited my needs. Additionally their culture wasn’t progressive and as a minority woman in the Sports industry, I realized quickly that there were glass ceilings not even my best six inch heels could shatter.

Because we spend the majority of our days at work, it’s important to keep in mind that if a workplace is toxic, it will most definitely trickle into your personal life. Unfortunately for me, not only did it trickle into my personal life, it affected my health and it also trickled into my business. It was very hard to run a career platform, while being so unhappy in my own career and that bothered me. I felt like I was letting so many women down when I couldn’t show up as my best self, because my own job was so draining. But through this experience, I learned a valuable lesson:

“Go where you are loved and you’ll do your best work.”

No job is perfect. There’s always going to be challenges. Whether it is office gossip, politics or competition. However, if at the core you feel loved and the environment is positive, you will do your best work.

I recently read a Marie Claire feature of Lupita Nyong’o, and she put it this way:

“You must always go where you’re loved, because I deeply believe in the principle that the perceiver affects the perceived. So if the person’s perceiving you with love, you’re more likely to do a better job.”

She then goes on to say: “Have you ever experienced this thing where you feel you’re with someone who thinks you’re stupid, and then you start to do really stupid things? Or someone who thinks you’re clumsy, and then all of a sudden you become clumsy?”

You’re probably shaking your head like yes, I know exactly what she’s talking about.

Well, it’s true. When you’re in toxic environments, you can’t show up as your best self. Whether it’s your career, a relationship, or friendship, if the person on the receiving end or in this case the perceiver doesn’t care about you or respect you, it will in turn affect how you show up. Why dim your light for a job or people who don’t deserve your shine anyways?

Be around people who value what is valuable about you.

Be around people who support you.

Be around people that love you.

I could have ran from one bad job to the next, but I decided to go back to a place where I was loved. No matter what people may have thought about my decision. In fact, I know there were several people who had something to say about my decision (many of which are probably reading and screenshotting this now).

However, at the end of the day, I made the decision that was best for my mental and physical health and my happiness.

Don’t run away from a job or opportunity, just to end up in another situation you’ll want to run away from months later. Run towards something.

I did.

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BOSS 101: Interview with Alicia West

In honor of Women's History Month,  we're continuing #BOSS101 interviews. Life happened and I didn't post last Wednesday but wanted to make sure I ended off the month on a strong note! I'm honored to finish off this powerful month with Alicia West #JustAceIt, who I first came into contact with at a conference in 2016. However, while we only briefly connected at the conference, her candid IG stories, her ability to speak things into existence and land bomb influencer deals (hey Jordan!) is what made me realize she's def a BOSS in her own right and has an amazing story that I wanted to be sure and highlight. My goal of these #BOSS101 interviews is to give more visibility to everyday women, just like you who are making their dreams come true. It's not luck or by chance, these women work hard!  I'm so honored that Alicia took the time to catch up wand share some boss tips and behind the scenes info on how she's making a name for herself in the entertainment industry, one day at a time.

Tell us a little about yourself…

I am the digital editor for the Detroit market at Radio One. I write, produce, and shoot content for three different radio stations websites and social media. I am also an on-air talent. I host different segments for the websites as well as for my own and interview artists and other celebrities. Pretty much if it’s digital, I do it!

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What inspired you to work in Entertainment?

Ever since I can remember I wanted to work in entertainment. I was always into pop culture, pretended like I was on TV, wrote songs, sang (although I can’t hit a note if my life depended on it) and a bunch of crazy stuff I’ll refrain from mentioning. When it came time in high school to pick your potential careers, I wrote down that I wanted to be a video jock for Much Music, which is pretty much the Canadian version of MTV. I saw talent like Tyra Banks hosting ANTM, LaLa Anthony on TRL, Angie Martinez on HOT 97, Ryan Seacrest hosting American Idol and his syndicated radio shows and wanted to be just like them!

You moved from to Toronto to the U.S., tell us about that journey.

The journey has been hectic and is still crazy to this day! Since I was in middle school, I’ve been researching and planning on how I can move to the U.S. Originally the plan was to go to high school/university on a basketball scholarship but that didn’t work out as planned. After graduating in 2012 from my Radio post-grad program in Toronto, I decided to move to D.C. for an internship at WPGC. I stayed out there for 4 months before I realized I had to go back to Toronto. I didn’t have enough experience to get the work visa I needed to stay in the U.S. Then again, in 2016, after losing my job the previous year, I decided to chase after my dreams and auditioned for a program called the WEEN Academy which was held in New York City. I ended up getting into the program which meant I had to move to NYC for 4 weeks..I decided to stay until I got a job in America (which I totally did!). From there I moved to Detroit, where I have been for just over a year.

What is the craziest thing you've ever done to get a lunch/calendar meeting with someone?

I haven’t done anything crazy to secure a meeting but I do remember the first time I reached out to someone for coffee. Her name is Pauleanna Reid, a super dope writer, motivational speaker, mentor, business owner, etc. Anyways, I ended up being 15 minutes late. She wasn’t pleased and was straight up with me on why it wasn’t a good look especially as a first impression. I don’t think I was ever late for a meeting again.

How important is networking and relationships when it comes to your career?

Networking is EVERYTHING! I needed to build my network particularly in the U.S. in order to get the work permit I needed. A lot of people are scared to take chances on just anyone especially when it comes to industries like this. I feel as if you are able to really hone in on your industry relationships, they will be able to help open the doors. That doesn’t mean you will be automatically get the job, you still have to do the WORK to get those opportunities, but it makes the process of finding jobs and securing the interviews a little bit easier when you have great relationships. Now that I think of it, I’ve gotten all my jobs through references. Most hiring managers look within a company, and ask their network before hiring from external job boards.

What’s one piece of advice you have for women out there that are looking to start a career in radio/entertainment?

Be willing to work! It’s true when they say women have to work 2x hard than a man and black women have to work 2x harder than that. This is such a male dominant industry, so the respect isn’t always there. If you do your work, show your passion and don’t put up with anything, you will be able to gain the respect you need to flourish.

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What challenges do you face as a woman in your field? Specifically, what challenges do you face as a woman of color?

I have seen men be hired over women. I have seen people go to the men for answers before the females (who are actually in charge of the men). Luckily I have yet to face a challenge that was blatantly because I am a biracial female. I work for an African-American company that is owned by a woman. That is pretty empowering and allows me to feel as if I can’t be stopped.

I do feel as if the opportunities aren’t always present but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it. Over the past year we have seen plenty of women of color taking charge, and owning the space. And I believe every female needs to be unapologetic and have faith that they can do whatever they want.

You also have a brand of your own, tell us more about that.

I started justaceit.co because I needed to motivate myself to chase after my dreams. I was stuck working a regular job at an advertising agency. It was okay but it wasn't what I wanted. I knew that I wanted to work in media, so I started the blog to remind myself that whatever goals I have (whether fitness, travel, career) to always go out and just ace it. Since then it has become more than just a blog, it’s a lifestyle, a mantra. I focus on spreading positivity to women of color who are unapologetically badass through different digital mediums. On YouTube, I do videos of my experiences, and tips on how to get into the industry. Interview WOC who work in entertainment/media for my #justaceit podcast (available on iTunes), and I just started this thing called ACE-ism, where I share 30 seconds (ish) of inspiration on Instagram. I have a lot more in the works for 2018. It’s been a learning lessons trying to manage a full-time job and working on my own brand.

When trying to build your brand and expand your outreach, what components do you find most valuable?

Authenticity. If it’s fake it won’t stick. Do something you are truly passionate about. When you do, people will be more drawn to you. And, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You really can’t become successful without stepping out of your comfort zone. Go meet people, explore your interests, put yourself in uncomfortable situations….that’s when you’ll figure out what your brand truly is.

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What inspires you?

When I see other people living their life to their fullest potential and doing great things. It honestly inspires me to step up my game. I love a person that knows how to hustle.

What Quote do you live by?

I love quotes...so much that I have my own quote book. Every time I find a quote that resonates with me, I write it down in it. One quote that’s really been on my mind lately is “Make yourself at home but don’t get comfortable.” It’s from the TV show Being Mary Jane when she moved from Atlanta to NYC. It resonated with me because I just moved to Detroit at the time of the episode airing. I now have it on a sticky note by my bedroom door so I can read it every morning. I use it as a reminder that it is okay to make a city my home, but to not let it make me complacent. It’s easy to settle when things are going okay….I don’t ever want to settle again.

How do you redefine the B Word/What’s your Boss Word?

#justaceit…..whatever you want to do is possible. Often we give ourselves a grocery list of reasons why we can’t achieve our wildest dreams. In reality, all we have to do is go out and #justaceit.

Do you have any parting words, advice, or tips, to help a millennial woman aspiring to build her brand, her career, and/or a side hustle?

I lost my job in Nov. 2015 and didn’t work for a full year. I didn’t do it because I wasn’t employable. I did it because I was tired of settling and being average. I knew my passions lived elsewhere and I was ready to sacrifice my savings, playtime and whatever other luxury I could have done if I was employed. I knew that it was what I needed to do in order to focus myself on my goals. I made a promise that I wasn’t going to go back to work until I got a job in radio, and I did just that. Anything is literally possible. Your dreams are possible. You have to go out and #justaceit.

 

BOSS 101: Interview with Maya Allen

In honor of Women's History Month,  I'm bringing back #BOSS101 interviews every Wednesday throughout the month of March, with some women that are redefining the "B" word. I'm so excited to kick this month off with this gem, that I met last year at a mutual friend's birthday party. I was instantly in love with her personality (and bomb highlighter). She is creating waves in the beauty industry and truly redefining the "B" word when it comes to beauty, branding and a being boss. You have probably read one of articles or seen one of her viral videos on the likes of Cosmpolitan or Byrdie. When we met, my blog hadn't launched but I knew then, when it did I definitely wanted to feature her. I'm so glad I was able to catch up with her as she offered up some boss tips... get your pen and paper ladies! Maya took us to school with this interview. Class is in session!

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Tell us a little about yourself…

I’m Maya. I’m originally from Portland Oregon and a proud Howard University alumna where I majored in journalism. I’ve always been inspired by the power of words and using storytelling as a way to uplift humanity, particularly women. I truly believe in radiating self-love and spreading positivity. The world needs more love so I put forth that philosophy first in everything I do.

Give us a little background on who Maya Allen is and what aspects of your early adulthood guided you to where you are now.

I’m constantly evolving. But being a dreamer has always been a constant in my life. I truly believe I was destined to become a writer. I was born with an undeniable connection to words. Growing up, I collected every issue of American Girl, Seventeen, and Teen Vogue magazine. My adolescent eyes would be entranced by the covers of my mother’s monthly subscriptions to Jet, Ebony, and ESSENCE magazine. The stories I read inside of these slick, glossy pages greatly contributed to my womanhood. I also collected journals and writing became a very personal and therapeutic hobby for me at a young age. And it still is today. I always yearned to see more women who looked like me in the magazines I felt so deeply connected to. This propelled me to pursue a career in editorial. Now as a beauty editor,  I use my voice and platform to tell the stories I needed to read as a young woman. In the cultural climate of today’s society, I take my responsibility to spread representation in mainstream media as an honor. It’s what keeps me going.

Tell us more about your job at Byrdie and what the transition from Cosmopolitan has been like.

At Byrdie, I work on a team of the most talented editors creating fresh, forward-thinking content for the beauty-obsessed woman. I cover beauty, health, and wellness. The transition from Cosmopolitan.com has been amazing, because I’m still in the digital editorial space learning new ways to tell stories that will resonate with our readers. I’m fully immersed in the beauty world covering well-reported features, interviewing celebrities, and beauty experts. It’s been so fulfilling to see my writing transform overtime.  

Speaking of Cosmopolitan, you were making waves there, creating a true lane for women of color before you decided to go. Why the switch?

I wouldn’t trade my time at Cosmopolitan.com for the world. It was my first “big girl” job in the industry and my experience was incredibly valuable. There, I learned how to think visually and package my feature stories on a bigger level. It was the most ideal start to my journey of becoming an exceptional editor, storyteller, and most importantly a hard worker who knows how to think strategically and critically in today’s digital age. My former bosses and team members at Cosmo have become mentors and close friends. I’m always seeking new challenges and ways to professionally stretch myself while building my digital repertoire. I’ve been an avid reader of Byrdie since its inception a few years ago. Learning how to cater my writing and editorial skills to a more niche, beauty-obsessed audience of smart women intrigued me to make the jump. It’s been an amazing experience thus far.

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I had a similar situation, where I left a dream job for another job and people couldn't believe it. But I knew in my heart it was right. What piece of advice do you have for women who stay in jobs/CAREERS because of the influence of others?

I was so taken back by the overwhelming amount of responses I received after I made the announcement that I’d be starting a new job. I knew that I’d successfully tapped into a new demographic at Cosmo, which built a lot of my loyal readers who follow my work. But I had no idea that so many people I didn’t know were so personally invested in my career. To be honest, I didn’t know how to handle the overwhelming amount of Instagram DMs, text messages, calls, and emails that flooded my inbox inquiring about my transition and my next step. Some people’s unsolicited advice about my choice to evolve professionally were negative. And this feedback was coming from people I didn’t even know. I had to take a step back, center myself, and realign my thoughts away from all of the noise. I’m naturally an extrovert, but when it comes to my dreams I’m an extreme  introvert and selective about who I share them with. This was a decision I made for myself and I knew that it’d serve me well and the millions of potential readers I was doing it for. My advice is to live life on your own terms. A strong sense of self will elevate you higher and higher. You’re the author of your own story so write it however the hell you want.

You have had a couple videos/photos go viral. What's your secret?

It’s so exciting working in digital media because I’m staying submerged in all corners of the internet every single day. I’m a beauty girl at heart, so I always know what’s having a moment. It’s not only about knowing the latest trends, but becoming an expert on how people like to digest and consume content. In terms of video and photo-heavy features, I credit lots of my viral content to being on the pulse of beauty. But I like to package things differently in ways that haven’t been done before. I always think to myself: how can I elevate this concept and tell this story visually in a new, authentic, and innovative way? I stay abreast of up-and-coming hairstylists, makeup artists, and influencers that haven’t been discovered yet. I’m constantly seeking inspiration and I use my sharp visual aesthetic with my editorial eye to create relatable content that speaks to all women.

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What inspired you to work in your industry?

Growing up, I never felt included in the conversation in mainstream media. I grew up in a predominately white environment and was always the token black girl. Outside of my immediate family, I didn’t see the celebration of black beauty anywhere. Our rich culture, skin tones, hair textures, body shapes were excluded. You could barely find us on the covers of magazines, on advertisements, or on big screens. I wanted to change that. I wanted to use my infinite love of words to inspire women who don’t deserve to be an afterthought.  It’s so fulfilling to work in beauty and create concepts that celebrate and empower women of color. There’s truly no greater feeling.

How important is networking and relationships when it comes to your brand/business?

Good relationships are one of the core values of success. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mentors who’ve been there for me through every step of my professional journey. There’s a big difference between organic and forced relationships, though. Since the beginning of my intern days over six years ago, I’ve made it a point to be kind to every single person I come in contact with—from the Editor-In-Chief down to the messenger who delivers packages all day and the janitors who are at the office with me late at night when I’m still working. I’ve made it a priority to build authentic relationships and friendships with people in the industry because it’s important. I’ve cultivated those relationships because you never know where that person will end up or how that relationship can professionally propel you further. My former bosses while I was interning have turned into close colleagues and friends of mine. However, people make the mistake of strategically building relationships with only themselves in mind. I can’t stress enough that it’s not only about you. I wish I could show some of the messages I’ve recieved that simply state: Hi, I know you don’t know me but how can you help me? When approaching someone for professional advice you have to come correct. Do you read their work? Or do you just follow them on Instagram and think they’re cool? Those are two very separate things. I’m a strong believer that all relationships need to be reciprocal. My mentors teach me things and I learn from my mentees, it’s a constant exchange of knowledge, which comes from experience, and I value that. My “brand” (I use that word loosely because I feel like it’s used too fluidly nowadays) is not about me—I do everything to be of service to other women. When you realize that the core of your career is bigger than you, you’ll excel. You’ll naturally want to connect and collaborate with dope people and do dope shit. It truly takes a village.

What’s one piece of advice you have for women that want to work at A magazine?

You better get ready to work, girl. And I truly mean you need to be willing to put in the work. Lots of women reach out to me and tell me they want to work for magazines but nine times out of ten they have such a glamorous perspective of the industry—it’s not 100% glam. Actually, if we’re being honest, most of my career has been a combination of sleepless nights and early mornings at the office. With that being said, enter in the industry for the right reasons. Interning is so incredibly valuable. Take your internships seriously because they can turn into your job. Be the first one at your office and the last one to leave. Build a good rapport and solid trust with your editors so they allow you to take on responsibilities beyond the traditional “intern” role. To do that, act as if you’re an integral member of the team and allow your work to show for it. Pay attention to detail, go above and beyond, know when to speak up and when to be a sponge on the wall and soak up your experience. Understand that to write well, you must practice the craft daily with the intention to improve.

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What Challenges do you face as a woman in your field? Specifically, what challenges do you face as a black woman?

Black women, understand that we’ll always need to work twice as hard. If everyone’s at 100%, I’m aiming for 150%. It’s the way of the world we live in, and we’re more than capable to handle everything that comes our way. As a black women working in the media, I truly believe it’s my innate responsibility to put on for my sisters every single day. I’m constantly pushing our stories to the forefront of my coverage because the world needs us. With that being said, I feel a lot of pressure from that duty to push representation forward and tell our stories the right way, since they’ve historically been told the wrong way or not told at all. However, I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by magical black girls in my life who constantly pour into me. That love I receive transcends and touches every aspect of my life—professionally and personally. So, in retrospect every challenge becomes a blessing in disguise.

When trying to build your brand and expand your reach, what components do you find most valuable?

Be genuine. With the rise of social media, everything is becoming oversaturated and clouded by a facade. People are judging your life based on your Instagram page, which is nothing but a highlight reel and not real life. In order to move and maneuver in these waters, showcase authenticity. When your purpose goes beyond the surface of self-righteous pursuits, everything will fall in line.

When we embark on a journey of building any sort of business or brand, we imagine it going a particular way. How do you deal with inevitable disappointments?

I’m my biggest critic so this is tough. Being a perfectionist is a double-edged sword because not everything is going to go as planned and I’m still learning how to be completely unafraid of failure. When I’m in the midst of disappointment, I hold on tight to the belief that everything that is for me is for me and will not pass me by. I’ve gotten so many NO’s and doors slammed in my face (literally and figuratively) but I’m so grateful that I didn’t let that stop me. People are surprised when I share my disappointments because for some reason it seems like I’ve had the ideal career. There have been times when I’ve felt so low in my career. I’ve nearly lost myself in my work before, which became a vicious and unhealthy cycle. I’ve learned to never lose who I am working to please someone else, no matter the job, position, or title. I had to pick myself back up. Instead of sitting in my thoughts for too long and harboring self-doubt, I step away and remind myself of my why. Being gentle with myself, practicing gratitude, and self-care has saved me.

What inspires you?

Black excellence. I’m so proud of US. I jump at the opportunity to sing our praises, showcase our beauty, and remind everyone of our magic. I truly believe Black women are God’s gift to the earth, so my sisters are my number one source for inspiration.

What Quote do you live by?

It’s impossible for me to pick just one. From the woman I was named after: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”—Maya Angelou

From Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

How do you redefine the B Word/What’s your Boss Word?

Be unapologetic. I know that I have a gift and I’m on a mission to reach the highest, truest, fullest expression of myself.

Any parting words to inspire and help a woman reading this that is inspiring to build her brand, her career, and/or a side hustle?

Know that you’re that girl. You have a superpower and no one can take that away from you. Celebrate your life, your losses, your wins, and your failures, because they’re all a part of your testimony. I don’t look like what I’ve been through because I know my very best is yet to come. This is just the beginning.

If you're not already, go follow this gem @mayaalenaa to catch her glowing up your insta feeds with her latest beauty photos and articles.

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10 MORNING AFFIRMATIONS TO SLAY THE DAY

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I've been on quite an affirmation kick this month. I think it's partially because of the New Year but also because I've truly had so much going on, that I have had to depend on the power of a healthy mind now more than ever to stay encouraged, focused, and filled with energy.

The other day I shared with you how I reached my goals last year, so this morning, I felt empowered to share with you 10 of my favorite morning mantras to help you slay the day.

Here are the affirmations I use each morning to get up with a sense of gratitude, inner-peace, and serious ambition:

  1. I am so excited about what this day will bring and all the opportunities I am about to create

  2. I will not stress over things I can not control.

  3.  I will begin my day with clarity, confidence, and faith

  4. I feel healthy, sexy, strong, and beautiful in my body

  5.  I get to choose the woman I want to be today

  6.  I feel grounded and centered today

  7. Today I will give love and spread positivity to those around me. I get to make people's lives a little better

  8. I always make the best decisions and I trust my gut because she knows what's up!

  9. I am always guided and I know that what is for me will not pass me

  10. Today I wake up filled with gratitude and light. Today is about to be the best day of my life

I hope you ladies have a powerful day. Please feel free to use these affirmations or even better - create your own!

Your mind is your best asset. Use her wisely ;)

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5 Reasons Oprah Would Make A Great President

Unless you are living under a rock, you saw that last night Oprah declared her bid for Presidency in 2020. Okay, not really...but it sure felt like it. Last night #Oprah2020 trended on Twitter and for good reason. In less than 8 mins, Oprah managed to address uncertain times, condemn tyranny, champion journalism and free speech, and, most powerfully, crusade for justice for women and people of color who are marginalized, silenced, and denied justice. She was political, but universal.

What makes Oprah so damn good? Reese Witherspoon summed it up nicely as she introduced her last night at the Golden Globe Awards: "There's only one person whose name is a verb, an adjective, and a feeling. And that is Oprah."

Here's our five reasons we think Oprah would make a great President.

She's self-made.

Oprah is shaped, but not defined, by an incredibly difficult childhood. Her road to prominence as a network chief, producer, actress and philanthropist began with a rocky childhood that caused her to consider taking her own life. Everyone loves a good rags to riches story, and Oprah's is filled with way more than any one person should have to endure. From growing up poor, being moved around from her grandmothers, to her mothers, to her fathers and back again -- to being raped at nine, and sexually harassed/molested many times thereafter by multiple people, to a miscarriage at 14. A baby that was the product of rape by her Uncle (which she often credits as her second chance). Then of course the and racial and gender discrimination she faced throughout her career, which is really just skimming the surface.

Yet, through all of that, here she stands sixty-three years later, worth over 2.5 billion dollars, with a legitimate empire. 

She's genuine.

Nothing feels more real, than hearing her stories like last night when she recounted the story of "sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother's house in Milwaukee" in 1964 watching Sidney Poitier win the Oscar for best actor. Winfrey goes on to say: "I tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people's houses."

In that moment, we ALL are sitting on that floor with Oprah in 1964. Few presidents have felt real. Felt human. How many billionaires make you feel like you're besties? Oprah does that.

And if you're a super fan, like myself. I literally "watched" Oprah get ready for the Globes. Her new Instagram feed is one to die for. All of the B-T-S footage, literally adds to her realness. From watching her get her hair done, to trying on her dress and finally telling her bestie Gayle she needed lotion on her elbows, Oprah is just so real

She's a woman.

I mean obviously Oprah's a woman, but after last year's election -- we all feel it. We all want it. Well, let me not say all -- because 53% of white women voted for Trump, but who is counting? I don't know the age demographics within this set of women, but I'd make an educated guess that the majority of them are not millennial women.  Nevertheless, many women, young and old feel robbed after last year's election. It was like we were so close to making history and society reminded us -- that even if you are the most qualified woman, we still live in a day and age where the last qualified man can beat you out for a job that you spent your whole life preparing for.

It was gut-wrenching. It was a hard pill to swallow. To realized that we still lived in a country where that could happen. But America needed that. We needed that mirror to hold up to us and see all the things that are wrong so that we can to truly seek to change for the better. But wouldn't it make a great "ending" if after that heart-crushing lost in 2016 that we could be rewarded with Auntie "O" in 2020?

She gives a voice to the voiceless.

Most presidents have a way words. It's like the par for the course to be president of the United States. However, not only does Oprah have a way with words...when she speaks, people listen. And she uses her platform to tell the stories of those who never had the chance or may ever have the opportunity to speak their truth. Perhaps it's her decades of experience in media or perhaps that no matter how much money she's worth -- she has a way about her that makes you feel like your best friends. 

Last night, she used her platform to tell the story of RecyTaylor and it literally gave me chills. Recy Taylor's name was trending because Oprah was the first black woman to win this award and during her moment, she chose to use her platform to tell her story instead -- along with the stories of many women who were never allowed the opportunity to do so.

She inspires people to take action.

For decades her words have inspire us to action. On her talk show, in her magazine, on her network, in her movies, plays, you name it --  Oprah has always provided a blueprint. Be better, here's how, and I'll do it with you.

What other reasons do you think Oprah would make a great president? And if you can't get enough like we can, her full speech below.

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COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY!

We’ve all heard the quote “Comparison is a thief of joy” yet we often fall victim.  Whether it’s your Instagram feed, your snapchat, or your television screen, it feels as if we can't go more than five minutes without seeing an airbrushed photo, travel boomerang, engagement video, gender reveal, or home purchase announcement. While I'm a big fan of social media, as it’s opened a new world of connectivity and opportunity -- I’ve seen it take a toll on so many women. Myself included.  

Have you ever gone on a social media “fast” or deactivated your accounts? It’s likely you felt yourself getting consumed and needed to step away for whatever reason. My guess is it was due to  overconsumption of other people’s social updates on their “perfect lives". It likely happened at a time when things weren’t going that great for you, so the comparison monster creeped in your head and you  just needed to step away. Which kudos to you for being aware enough to back away and for some self care.

Comparing your work, your life, or whatever else will only serve to make you unhappy. Why? Because when you compare yourself to others, you know all the dirty details of your situation or the problems you’re having, and you only have the perfect highlight reel of others.  Now I’m not a proponent of posing your dirty laundry or issues on social networks in an effort to appear “real”. I just think it’s good as women to be mindful that the images we see on social media are usually 1 of 654765 photo attempts, combined with apps that allow women to smooth, contour, suck in, and poke out things that aren’t really there.  

However, I learned a long time ago that comparing myself to others is a waste of energy. There will always be someone better at something than I am. And that’s fine. 

When I started looking at comparison differently, things begin to shift. When I see someone who has done or is doing something I would like to do, instead of envying it, I let it inspire me and an indicate that I, too, can achieve it.

WHY COMPARISON IS STEALING MORE THAN YOUR JOY…(IT'S MAKING YOU JEALOUS)

While Comparison is a thief of joy, jealousy is its partner in crime. Comparison is corrosive. It eats away at your ability to be content and confident. It is a toxic and leads to its accomplice --- jealousy.

Whether you’re comparing your body, abilities, or bank account to someone else’s, you are doing harm to yourself by allowing that comparison to rob me of my self-satisfaction and cause envy. And that’s a bad habit that’s hard to break,

Jealousy has a way of focusing on one thing at the expense of others, giving an incomplete picture. For example, envy ignores the hours of work that generated the salary, the years spent getting a degree and the sacrifice of time that could have been spent with friends or family. It overlooks the years of practice, confusion, or failure that preceded the success. It discounts the struggle, when the struggle IS REAL!

Comparison fosters competition more than community.

Instead of celebrating individuality, uniqueness, and diversity, comparison requires someone be labeled the winner and someone the loser. We view other women  as competitors instead of companions. This leads to a “better than versus worse than” mentality and feelings of superiority or inadequacy — neither of which helps us to all be BOSS WOMEN.  

Comparison imposes unrealistic expectations.

It’s fairly easy to envy one aspect of another person’s life — his/her figure, talent, wealth, significant other, or intelligence. It’s much harder to examine and then envy a whole life — a robust picture of one's experiences. When I have to weigh everything at once, I tend to be more satisfied with what I have. Because if I want anything someone else has (his/her education, self confidence, weight, et cetera), I have to take everything else that comes with it — be it a bomb three story house, a cheating significant other , perfect teeth, or an alcoholic parent.

I’m not saying every life balances out. Some lives have more blessings and some have more loss. But every life has its relative ins and outs that we rarely see play out.

Comparison makes you powerless.

When you compare, you get jealous, when you are jealous,  you can’t be satisfied. When you aren't satisfied you are powerless. You are powerless, because even when you’re happy with your life, comparison will have you out here desiring a another person’s man, salary, height, success, wardrobe, hair, fill-in-the-blank. Which is crazy...because you were just satisfied with what you had.

Comparison undermines friendships.

Comparison and jealousy sometimes is a subtler infection. Especially in friendships. One of the sadder truths I’ve learned as I continue to grow is that some people or "friends" want to see you win, but not more than them. We’re unable to genuinely congratulate someone who accomplishes a dream or goal we have for ourselves. We become cheap with our affirmations and good will (even our Instagram “likes”) when we’re jealous. Have you ever withheld a “like” because you thought the other person was bragging about his/her vacation, workout, wedding, or weight loss?

Comparing puts us in the mindset that another person’s good fortune leaves less in the world for us. Which is absolutely untrue. If you want to start a blog, but your friend already started one...go start your blog. You want to sing but your friend has a record deal, ask her for tips and utilize her expertise. While some things in life are limited in supply, most things are not. Love, joy, laughter, success, friendship, peace — those things are all UNLIMITED.

How do I prevent comparison and jealousy from stealing my joy?

The antidote is simple:

Allow yourself to compare, but also seek a course of action. If YOU want something someone else has, ask YOURSELF if you are willing to do what it will take to have what the other person has. If the answer is no, then the jealousy should evaporate. If the answer is yes, then it becomes the seed for a new dream and the motivation to nurture it. This prevents me from wanting the reward separate from the prerequisite work. 

Gratitude also helps. It’s difficult to be jealous when you're grateful. Comparison focuses on deficits while gratitude focuses on gains. Gratitude does not require the denial of loss, lack, or hardship. What it does do, at least for me, is prevent those things that are good from being obscured by those things I want.

Being grateful takes me a step further, because true gratitude engenders generosity. And when I’m giving, I’m not looking for what I lack. Instead, I’m trying to offer something to others out of what I already have — whether it’s my money, knowledge, time, love, abilities, or talents.

 We might as well learn to love myself on my own terms — who I am, how I look, and what I’m capable of — because YOU are the only YOU in this world.