Monday, April 6, 2020

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Glynn Pogue

Born and bred in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Glynn Pogue tells stories from around-the-world, and around-the-way. A graduate of The New School’s MFA program, with a BA in Journalism from Howard University, Glynn has written for National Geographic Traveler, Vogue, Jezebel, and Essence, among others. Glynn is currently at work on a collection of essays on race, class, and traveling while black, topics she regularly sounds off about on her podcast #BlackGirlsTexting.

1. What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
The media industry is tricky. Much of it is based on who you know. I was lucky to have a few internships under my belt and a strong network of mentors to support me. Still, as I reached out for staff writing positions, and publishing opportunities I was often met with rejection. I have a variety of interests and skills across media, and I’ve always wanted to have my hands on a lot of projects. There is no real blueprint for my dream job, which can sometimes make me feel lost. 
However, these challenges have made me flexible and open to opportunities and pushed me to constantly widen the vision I have for my career. 

2. What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember. I knew early on that I was a writer, but I was fearful about how I’d make a secure living, so I pursued a career in marketing and PR instead. After graduating from Howard, I joined the Peace Corps and moved to Cambodia. My daily experiences were so inspiring. I couldn’t fight the urge to document them in writing. I couldn’t fight what I was born to do. I started pitching work about my time in Cambodia and landed my first major piece in Essence. Once I saw my name in print and understood that my voice really resonated with my readers, I was all in.  

3. How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
My personal and professional lives are inextricably linked. Storytelling is my art, and I practice it daily. Being a writer is a part of my identity and it shifts the way I look at the world; I’m always thinking about stories to tell and making mental notes of moments that resonate with me and would someday make a great piece. The more logistical side of my work—emailing editors and brand partners—is another layer of my professional life, and I block out parts of my day to do those things, but the creativity is a constant. 

4. What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
“I am deliberate and afraid of nothing”-- Audre Lorde. 

5. Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
My parents are incredibly supportive, they are both brilliant creatives in their own rights, and I’ve always valued their opinions and insight. My mother, in particular, is the former editor of Essence magazine and she’s always been the first person to read anything I’ve written. I also really value George Stone. During my freshman year of college, I interned for him when he was the features editor of DC Magazine. We’ve stayed in touch over the years and he’s now the EIC of National Geographic Traveler. He’s always believed in my abilities, and when he took on his  role at Traveler, he was quick to offer me publishing opportunities at the magazine. Landing those bylines opened a lot of doors for me. 

6. What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?
A supportive community and strong network, a curious mind, a notebook, and a pen. 

7. What is your definition of a BOSS?
A self-advocate who fearlessly pursues passion, knows their worth, dreams big and is willing to put the work in.  

8. Provide us with two words that describe you? Storyteller

Learn more about Glynn at Instagram: @bedstuybrat

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Economic Empowerment for Youth/Young Adults Begins with Financial Literacy by Yvetta Gayle-Thompson

According to the Council for Economic Education survey, as of 2/5/20 there are only 21 states now require high school students to take a course in personal finance, this is only an increase of a few more states since the 2018 survey.

Okay, Yvetta, what are you trying to say?  I was one of those children who did not have any conversations about money when I was growing up.  Members of my family are entrepreneurs and own their homes.  There is a medical center in Buffalo named after my Aunt, I visited my uncles' barbershop and beauty supply store.

My grandparents were homeowners, worked on the same jobs until they retired, and owned their home along with the multi-family house next door.  My mom knew how to balance and budget what she had, but again there were no conversations with me and my siblings.  Can we talk about thi$!!

I knew I couldn't be the only one in this world who grew up simply not knowing that financial literacy could give you freedom, adventure, peace, more opportunity, and the ability to generate wealth while leaving a legacy for your loved ones!

Married and a mom of three at the age of 18, I knew how to work hard for what I wanted but clueless about how to grow my income.  I had great "jobs" that taught me stellar customer service, leadership development, networking, and amazing interviewing skills to select the crème de la crème.

It wasn't until the second marriage that I was taught about the importance of a great credit score, 401K, 529B, and the value of being a Small Business Owner while working my 9-5.  The transition and mindset change was not easy!  I purchased lots of material things, things that had little value outside of the aesthetics.  My tax return was a shopping spree versus using it to invest or build a Roth IRA or secondary education for the children.
I wanted to file bankruptcy because I thought I couldn't pay back a $5,000 loan!  At that time I had no guidance or leadership when dealing with finances.  My husband made an appointment for us to go see a lawyer so I could file bankruptcy.  I share this with you because the experience can feel like a catastrophe.  We negotiated the balance and a deadline.

So, what changed for me?  

I had to acknowledge my truth, what I did and didn't know.

I learned the mindset I had when it came to money/financial literacy.

Think about what you would like to accomplish, ask:

Am I honest with myself about what I want versus what I need?

What type of mindset do I have about being economically and financially literate?


Learn more about Yvetta at Twitter: @ygtresources

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Overlooked Characteristic You Should Develop to Increase Business Engagement By Vanessa Abron

Charisma is an important, yet often overlooked characteristic when it comes to developing professional skill sets. When I worked part-time selling cosmetics, I remember engaging with a customer who ended up buying a significant amount of products from me. Before she walked away, however, she looked me in the eye and said, “I’m not really buying the product, I’m investing in you.”

Those words stuck with me because at that moment I realized no matter if you are selling make-up, coaching sessions, consultations, burgers or investment products, you have to sell people on YOU before they can even care about the product or service you are offering.

Why is charisma important?
How do you feel when you are around someone who is dry, mean and/or disengaged? Are these the characteristics of an individual you are waiting to spend time with? Probably not. Someone with the characteristics more than likely may make you feel uncomfortable, and you probably wouldn’t want to do business with them.  In fact, you may make your best attempt to get away from them as quickly as possible.

Author Dale Carnegie recognized the importance of possessing magnetism in 1936, which is why he wrote, How to Win Friends and Influence People. The masses have found such great value in this book that Time magazine recognized it on their list of the 100 most influential books in 2011. While I highly encourage you to add this publication to your overall reading material, I also recommend the following tips:

1. Don’t take yourself so seriously
In our attempt to present our messages and ourselves with the utmost importance, we lose the human factor to try to appear as perfect robots. But people want to see people just like them. They want to be able to visualize you at their kitchen table drinking coffee with them or sharing a joke with them at a bar. Yes, we are important and what we have to say is important, but find a way to say it, while being relatable.

2. Smile and laugh/Have fun
This easy tactic is simple yet powerful. A smile is inviting and encourages most to let their guard down, even if it is just a smidge. And it is the first step to not taking yourself so seriously.

3. Be authentically friendly and develop a genuine interest in others
Many of us learned this step as we were growing up. Be kind to one another. Offer help and support where possible. Avoid hostility and general meanness. “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” is not just a saying, it is fact. We are more inclined to help those who help us. We are kind to those who are kind to us back. We give respect to those who respect us. 

You don’t have to be the most popular person, but a hint of charisma goes a long way when you want to attract fans, customers, clients and/or media attention. It may be just the edge you need over your competitors in closing a deal, getting a promotion, establishing a new partnership arrangement or winning an election.

Learn more about Vanessa at Follow on Twitter @AgencyAbron Instagram @AgencyAbron Facebook @AgencyAbron