Motivate Me Mondays: Doing what you are passionate about

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. – Nelson Mandela
I am always so inspired by those who truly tap into their passions in life. We live in a world where people feel as though their passion has to take a back seat to the things people expect of us. I truly believe it is important to be happy in life and to be happy you must do things you are truly passionate about. Never allow anyone to make you feel as though your passion is not good enough because we all know it takes a lot of courage to do what we love. Jenell is the perfect example of someone who has never been afraid to do what makes her happy and recently she started a business to fulfill her passion in life. I was able to ask her a few questions and I hope that her answers will help someone who may be having a hard time with following through with what they are passionate about, here is her story:

1. Who is Jenell? Tell a little bit about yourself
Jenell McMillon, 26, Event Planner and Entrepreneur. I was born, raised and currently reside in New Jersey. New Jersey is home but I decided to take a huge leap of faith in 2009 by attending thee Illustrious North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC. Being 8 hours away from home, I had to learn to rely on myself to get things done. I’ve always had that independent mentality but there is a difference between being independent in your hometown versus a new state with no friends or family at the age of 17. Although it was difficult, the transition was needed and taught me things about myself that I would have never learned. I am a passionate, ambitious, self motivated and creative young black woman. God continues to be at the forefront of my life and I give him all the credit as I walk in the path that he has laid out for me. 
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2. When did you start your business ?
I launched my business on April 30, 2017 at 7:30pm EST.
3. What was the motivation behind starting your business ?
My sister and I decided to do a watch series for New Edition at our house in January for young adults (ages 25-35) from our church. As people were coming in, I was applying for jobs. I have a tendency of reading out loud before sending things over and one lady (Cortney) decided to ask more about my event planning since she overheard my experience.
Side note: I always seen Cortney in church but never spoke to her until this one day. 

I advised her that I have been planning events for 6 years. Starting with my sorority (DST) to BET Networks to my current place of employment, the list goes on. She was so impress and asked if I was interested in wedding planning. I told her that I’ve shadowed a wedding planner but never coordinated a wedding even though it is a future interest. She immediately asked why I was waiting and that I could use her wedding as my first wedding. As you can tell, the conversation moved so quick but I knew this was nothing but God pushing me towards my dreams of starting my own company. I told her yes and the start of JNicole Events begun. 

I will forever be thankful for Cortney and Amir. Mr. and Mrs. Griffin, thank you for putting your trust and faith in me to execute my first wedding for your special day!
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4. What obstacles and/or set backs have you had to overcome ?
As an event planner, we have to find ways to stand out amongst the rest especially in an area like the Tri-State. Competition is real. I became worried that I wouldn’t receive a lot of interest from prospective clients due to my location in South Jersey. Some may say that we are a state of our own. However, I have learned to use that to my advantage because people will need events no matter where you are. Word of mouth will always be the number one marketing tactic and this tactic has continued to be an asset for my company.
5. What keeps you motivated ?
This may sound cliché but it’s the smiles and satisfaction of my clients that keep me motivated. I love knowing that every detail they could have ever imagined was executed flawlessly.
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6. How much has it grown since you started?
Whooh! I am almost 3 months in and I currently have 10 booked events until the new year in New Jersey, DC and Atlanta. Oh, we are growing!
7. As you continue to expand, where would you like to see things going in the next 2-3 years?
I would love to see my company become my full time job within the next 3 years while continuing to provide my services beyond the Tri-State area.
8. What are 2-3 goals you would like to accomplish to help with expanding your business ?
  1. Obtaining my MBA in entrepreneurship
  2. Receiving my event certification
9. What advice do you have for young women like yourself?
Never be afraid to start your own! Continue to use your strengths to help others and you will always find your passion.
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10. What sets your apart from other event planning companies ? What makes you unique?
This was my main question that I asked myself before starting JNicole Events. I’ve always noticed that when people “make it” they are hesitant on talking about the day to day struggles it took to get to where they are currently at in their career. I decided to use my love for writing and photography into my company. Before the launch, I’d blogged daily to let my readers especially my young black readers understand that we all had to start from somewhere and here’s how it begun for me. I continue to write about the daily triumphs and challenges as I proceed to turn my dream into reality. I’ve used my love for photography and videography on my website/social media to increase all levels of creativity. I’ve been able to turn my 3 passions (event planning, writing and photography) into one with JNicole Events in hopes that people will use my story and company as motivation for starting their own business. 
11. If you could tell anyone who is trying to start a business one important thing, what would it be?
Trust your instinct!
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12. Where can people go to find out more about JNicole Events?
Please check me out at www.eventsbyjnicole.com
I am also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @JNicoleEvents
Let Tay Tell It

Motivate Me Mondays: Never give up on your dreams!

“The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me” – Ayn Rand
In life we come to a point where we are almost told which directions we should take to live a life that we find comfortable and not really a life that involves us really doing the things we love. We become comfortable with doing what is considered normal and we end up not chasing after our dreams. Often times it is refreshing to me to meet people who are genuinely chasing after their dreams with such high levels of determination. There are not too many people who really chase after their dreams no matter what people may think or say; it takes a lot of courage to keep yourself motivated to do what you know you are meant to do. Todays motivational feature is the story Quayshaun Weston, also known as Kain, has shared about the journey he is currently on in his life. He is an up and coming artist who makes music we can relate to so I asked him a few questions to get a better understanding of his journey. Here is his story……
Who is Quay? Tell a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m Quay Weston. It’s Quayshaun but people mess it up a lot so I shortened it to Quay. Saves a lot of time and confusion haha. I’m from Pantego NC which is about an hour east of Greenville. I’m from a small town with a small country family so like most I was raised by my grandmother and had to grow up relatively quick. I went to UNC-G where I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors in Political Science/Pre-Law and minored in Sociology. I’m a member of the ADZ GHOST Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, a mentor, activist, social artist (rapper), and avid reader.
Why do you call yourself Kain?
Kain came along as a second rap name for me. A friend from Philly suggested it and I rolled with it. Now as far as my Enoch brand and my overall journey through life, it’s very relative to the story of Cain in the bible as far as finding myself and being isolated/wandering until I could create the empire that I wish to create.
When did you really start getting into music?
I’ve been writing music since 9 years old but I’ve been professionally pursuing and creating music for about 8 years now. I was creating mixtapes and everything during high school with my group , GHOST Ent, and now I’m creating everything solo for the most part.
What motivates you?
My motivation comes from the energy around me honestly. I can say that I am inspired by the idea that my walk in life and my journey would be an inspiration to someone else. I don’t do what I do for others, I do it because I’m passionate about it, but at the end of the day our works and gifts should bring glory to the kingdom of God. As long as you’re not leading people into the dark, your work should at least show the love of god or your faith in it. That’s what I push for. I’m motivated by family of course and wanting to keep them happy and bring peace to their issues, but I can only do as much as I can. I’m also motivated by the problems of the world. They give me the fuel to realize that as much craziness is going on, there can still be positive energy out there to help people and help myself to get through it.
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What type of message are you trying to convey through your music ?
My music before is all about my journey through life. I speak from the moment or head space that I’m in right now. My most recent project, black: a story told by kain, is all about political issues and social injustice that have been felt by black folks across the world. That’s where I was mentally when it was created. Before that, The Foundation, was a musical journey through my life and the changes I’ve made as a person. So the message I’m trying to convey is for people to realize their journey is different from everyone else’s and that you have to have faith in that process. Embrace that fear that comes with your growth and overcome it. You have to leave something here for the world to remember…what is that going to be for you?
Which one of your songs is your favorite and why? (If you can’t name just one, name at least 2-3)
My favorite song of mine is probably…Insecure. I mean everybody loves Doggin and American Pimp and Transcendence and Hunger Games or Sandra but Insecure was like the truest song that I’ve ever written. Where I was during that time was trying to explain to a girl that I was insecure too, and guys, we don’t say that often. We’re taught to not express things, which hurts more than it helps. That song is lit though.
What obstacles have you faced and how did you handle them ?
In my entire life my biggest obstacle was the normal…money, support, acknowledgement, network. However, after all of that the REAL obstacle that I was having an issue with was confidence. Once I became confident in my own work and believed that rap was my manifest destiny (EXACTLY what I was supposed to be doing)…things started manifesting themselves right in front of me. I had to accept my path and realize my process and my work is nothing close to anyone else’s and I shouldn’t be comparing myself to others because I’m a very unique being. So, most of my own issues were overcoming myself honestly. The other things can be figured out.
What is the end goal?
My ultimate goal is to create a creative arts complex that is designed to shape and mold youth into brands, businesses, and social entrepreneurs. They will come in, create, market, and brand their own products. After they create these things whether it’s music, tech/coding, video, plays, photography, writing, publishing, marketing, or coordinating, they will put together a fully functional event that will demonstrate their abilities. They will plan it, book it, schedule it, set up the entire program, create the promo materials, advertise, and hold the event. It would have to have a outreach factor to it, so we would help them with finding the charity or organization they’d like to donate to or partner with. Ultimately I want to be able to have a team that molds and shows our youth that there are creative processes out there and in order to reach your maximum potential you have to have a space to do what you love. While showing them that, they will be able to generate income for themselves, have income to support them through/during college, and they can employ others/give back to their communities.
What advice do you have for someone whose trying to get their music started?
Don’t make music if you don’t love it. If you’re doing it for money save us some time and stop. Straight up. My main advice would be to love what you do and use your platform to help the overall good of the people. Make good music then give back to your people that are putting you on. Simple. It’ll come back ten fold.
Do you have your hands in anything else besides music?
I’m very active in the community here in Greensboro and neighboring areas. I’m an Omega so service comes first. I am a mentor, we have a mentorship program started at an elementary school here in Greensboro. My team, LGi Dope, book our own shows and hold our own tours. I network and coordinate with activist groups such as Artist4Justice, UmojaLife, UNCG NAACP, Soul Society, and I have my own organization coming soon, the Enoch Coalition.
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Where can people go to learn more about you and hear your music ?
Everything is available right from my website, www.callmekain.com – I have music, videos, photos, you name it (haha, is that still a thing?). You can follow me or reach me and connect on Twitter, IG, Facebook at @callmekain. I follow back and all that so don’t worry about that. I hope you all can check out my latest project black right on the homepage at http://www.callmekain.com – DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT ON BANDCAMP, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Tidal etc. You can also listen to everything Kain on my Pandora Radio channel!! Thanks you all! Peace.

 

We all want to live a life doing something we truly love to do. If you are able to do what you love go for it, stay consistent, and always remain motivated. Anything is possible!

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women

Why do we as women allow a man to string us along?

Often times, as woman, we forget that a man who wants to truly be with you, will simply BE WITH YOU! A man won’t allow anything to stop him or hold him back once he has it set in his mind that he wants to be with only you. You won’t have to question whether or not he wants to be with you, you won’t have to ask him, you won’t have to argue about it, stress about it, and you won’t have to convince him that he should be with you and only you.

It is so easy to forget those things once we get caught up in how much we like someone. We start seeing ourselves with them and imagining how great a relationship would be with them, not even realizing that the person is showing signs of not wanting the same thing we want. I’ve been in situations with guys, who I now know, did not deserve my time, energy, and attention; I ended up staying in situations longer then I should have because I kept allowing them to string me along. I allowed guys to give me a little ounce of hope, when in all honesty, they were really only saying things to keep me around just a little longer. They did not have it in them to tell me that their intentions were not to be with me, even though they had made me feel as though things would develop into something more. 

Often times men will meet a woman and they will do all of these wonderful things to make that woman like him. A man will get so caught up in doing this, that they themselves don’t realize the damage that they will cause once that woman realizes that he does not have the same intentions as she does. Often times a man will not come right out and be honest about the fact that they have been stringing a woman along; often times they aren’t going to sit you down and tell you that they don’t want the same things you do. This is the reason why we as women have to pay attention to the signs; we have to stop staying in situations longer then we are supposed to and make sure we make ourselves fully aware of a guys intentions with us. 

I encourage every woman to be careful about who you give your time to. Allowing a man to string you along is time wasted and that is time you won’t ever get back. 

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Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women continue to do the same things and expect different results?

A lot of the decisions you make in life shape the way things will turn out for you. No one can ever force you to do anything and sometimes some people have to make the same mistake multiple times before they fully grasp the fact that it is time for a change. As a woman, we know when we have reached our breaking point and we know when we are fed up but no changes will be made until we reach that point on our own.

In 2013 I accomplished a lot in my life; I became a member of the best sorority in the world, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., I graduated from college, I received a job offer a week after graduation, and I moved and started taking care of myself. While I had all of these great things going for me there was still something that I kept allowing to cause me a lot of tears, anxiety, and sleepless nights and that was a man; a situation with a man that wasn’t even putting forth effort to be in a relationship with me. Time after time I would accept apologies for things I should have never put up with and stuck around even though I knew this was not the man for me. This was a man who supported me when it was convenient, missed out on a lot of my accomplishments, and blamed me for things that were never really my fault. I even went so far as to try to be just his “friend” at one point, even though I knew that was not the answer to a situation I no longer had control of.

I will never forget the day I sat in my closet crying and praying because I was so fed up with the situation and on that day, in January 2014, I decided to stand strong and cut off all ties with someone who did not appreciate me; I decided to stop doing the same things because all I was getting was the same results, which ended up causing me to get hurt. I also decided to take my mothers advice and read a book that she mailed to me and to this day I still tell people that this book changed my life.

January 2014 LaLa Anthony released her book, The Love Play Book, which talks about how she found love and success on her own. I started reading that book February 2014 and I promised myself that I would give any of the suggestions offered in this book a fair and honest shot. One thing that LaLa offers in her book is a 60 day challenge where you spend the next 60 days not looking, thinking, or even trying to get a man. She goes further into detail about it and how it helped her, of course, but for me, coming across not only the book but the challenge its self was the start of me taking back the control I lost over my feelings and emotions.

The Love Playbook: Rules for Love, Sex, and Happiness

I would encourage every woman who has reached a point where they feel as though something has to change, a point where they are ready to take back control over things that should have never been controlled by another person, to read LaLas book! I truly hope that reading this helps someone else and if you just so happen to pick up that book, I hope it brings you to a better place in life like it did for me!

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women assume that all men are the same? How many times have you heard a woman say “all men are the same”?

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard women say “all men are the same”, which is ultimately us blaming all men for the actions of one man. It is my personal belief that women usually deal with heartbreak a lot better then men do BUT one of our flaws is putting all men into this negative category because we’ve been hurt. I too use to be guilty of this; after I experienced heartbreak for the first time I allowed it to completely change the way I view men. In my eyes all men were the same and no matter how good they seemed to be, I knew at some point they would prove to be just like the last guy; at that point I wasn’t even giving them a chance to show me better.

When you experience heartbreak for the first time it causes you to want to put your guard up and figure out ways to prevent it from ever happening again. One way we as women go about doing this is going into a situation with the next guy expecting him to either do what the last guy did or do something even worse. This is something we have to learn to STOP DOING! It is not easy but it is important and necessary to do because the more you treat every guy as if he is the same, is the more time it will take for the right man to come into your life. The first step we must take is to realize and accept the fact that heartbreak is something that is unavoidable.

Another thing that we have to do, to move to a place where we stop categorizing men as all being the same, is to take a step back and realize the type of men we go for and the type of men we allow to step into our lives. Pay attention to the type of men you attract and don’t attract, the type of men you give chances too and the ones you don’t! I would meet a guy and the same things I would allow, ignore, and overlook with the last guy, I would turn around and do the same thing with the next guy because I was either getting too caught up in how much I really liked him or thinking I could get him to eventually become serious. When I started to realize this, it started to click that its not that all guys are the same, its the fact that I keep giving the time of day to guys who weren’t on the same page as me as far as where we wanted things to go between us.

At the end of the day, we have to make a conscious effort to not categorize men as being the same. Ladies, in order to get the results you want you have to accept that heartbreak is something we can’t prevent, stop assuming all men are the same, and  focus more on paying attention to the type of men you allow to step into your life.

Let Tay Tell It

 

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women allow the words from others to affect our self esteem? Why do we as women start to question our worth and our abilities because of what someone else said about us? When will we start to realize that the things other people say do not define who we are as a woman?

This is something we as women go through too often. It is important, as a woman, to really take the time to know who you truly are. This requires some alone time and some growing pains; so it is necessary to embrace this. If you know who you are as a woman, then the words from another person should not have you doubting yourself.

Growing up, I use to get talked about all the time and I could not understand why. I was allowing the words from other people to alter my self esteem and for awhile I was very insecure. As time progressed I started becoming a woman and learning more about myself and realized that I am not what people say I am. I reached a point in life where I learned what changes I needed to make as a woman so that I could continue to be the best version of me. I worked on gaining confidence, building my self esteem, and letting go of all the insecurities that I allowed to hold me back. I have gone through a lot of personal growth and because of this there is nothing anyone can say that can strip me of the confidence I have.

Women, let me tell you, that making changes is not an easy task to achieve. It will require you to not only build your confidence but to accept the change that is needed. Do not depend on others to build that confidence you need, it is on you and do not change for others, change for yourself! Make changes because you want to continue on the path of becoming a better you. The more you change because of other people and what they say about you, the further you are from being happy. It is also important that we allow GOD to help us through these changes because they will require a certain level of patience. Once you make the right changes, it will give you what you need to stand strong in who you are as a person no matter what other people say about you.

The goal is to be better then you were yesterday right? At the end of the day we want to be happy with the type of woman we are right?

 

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women try to change a man that is simply not ready to change?

It is in a womans nature to want to change a man because often times we see his potential way before he even sees it. But when are we going to start realizing that the time we spend trying to change him is time wasted?  There are plenty of men in this world who have reached their potential and made changes to become better men, so why not give these men a chance? The answer is simple, love. Love makes you do things you would never expect yourself to do including waiting around for a man to change and see his potential. It is okay to be the woman who helps her man be a better man but that man has to be at a place in life where he’s ready to reach his potential or he’s already reached it and is continuing to do what is necessary to be the best man he can possibly be.

In life you have to be able to know what type of man you are dealing with; a man who has changed and reached his potential, a man who is trying to change and taking steps to reach his potential, a man who can’t see his potential yet so he has no plans to change right away, and a man who will never really fully change. If you think about how hard it is to change things about yourself then it will start to become a little easier to accept the fact that you cannot force someone else to change. Things that do not become easier is a relationship coming to an end after you have gave a man all of your love, time, and support because you whole heartedly believed you could change him.

You cannot change a man that does not want to change and a man will not tap into his potential until he’s ready to do so. It took me awhile to learn this and unfortunately all of my past relationships involved me focusing more on the potential instead of the actual relationship. The potential clouds your judgement and after while you start to ignore the things about yourself that need to change because that mans potential becomes your main focus. This is why it is important to take everything you do to GOD in prayer; we must ask GOD to provide us with clarity. The heart wants what the heart wants but sometimes that’s not what is best for us. Sometimes you have to walk away and if that does not motivate the man you love to change and become a better man for you then take it for what it is. Deal with the hurt by allowing GOD to heal your heart, remember the things the relationship taught you, and work on being a better woman.

At the end of the day, the goal is to be able to grow together and make each other better but how can you do that if you’re focused on trying to change a man?

Let Tay Tell It