Monthly Archives: September 2011

Old friends & my new pal Drew Chambers…

One of my close friends Sam Pounds came down to visit our mutual friend Natalie Pope & I! It was soooo much fun catching up on everything & bugging out! Sam told us about where he is in life now and with him he brought his friend, and artist, Drew Chambers. Drewseth (my name for him) is SOOOOOO doggone cool & so much fun to be around! The 4 of us acted like we had all been friends for all our lives! Drew is SUCH a talented singer & artist…his ethnicity may be one thing…but his soul is DEFINITELY another! The richness and feeling in his voice is beyond comprehensible! I mean…come on…can I get some of that voice!? haha If you want to hear for yourself, go visit his YouTube page and you WON’T be disappointed! You can see most of his covers on his YouTube page, but also go to ITunes & check out his LP & single “Tempo” which is produced by Sam (Sam Harmonix).

So do yourself a favor & check out my friends! They are SO talented & I am very proud of them (including Natalie, who is coming out with a gospel LP soon!)

Joc (me), Drewseth, Samothy, and Natalia! ❤

It’s a Family Reunionnnnn….

Back in August, my uncle Wayne came back to visit from Kuwait for the first time in like 3 years and in honor of his visit & birthday we had a mini family reunion! I had to share some of the photos of my little cousins & family! It was a longgggg day but it was SO much fun to laugh, wild out, & be around loved ones!

Suze Orman’s Advice for Business Women

Say the name “Suze Orman” and you immediately know what you’re in for: tough, honest, plain talk about how to get your finances back in order—whether you’re reading one of her bestselling books, watching her on TV or listening to her on your drive-time radio hour. You also know what you’re NOT getting: you won’t get a fashion line, you won’t get her latest single, you won’t hear about how she’s taking acting lessons or going into rehab.

You’ll also get something that’s hard to come by these days: authenticity.

Says Orman’s literary agent, Amanda Urban, about her decision to hire an unknown how-to author when she didn’t represent how-to authors, let alone unknown authors, at the time,:“She had such an authentic voice, and that’s because she completely cares about what she is doing…”

Orman, whose story of going from struggling as a waitress on $400 a month to becoming the author of nearly a dozen bestselling books on personal finance is the stuff of legends, has helped millions of personal investors—most of them women—through her various television, radio and live events all over the country. The little girl who, because of a serious speech impediment, never thought she’d amount to anything, the former waitress who, after getting customers at her restaurant to invest thousands of dollars in her idea for opening her own eatery lost it all to an unethical financial broker, has succeeded in becoming what Investor’s Business Daily calls “one of the most popular self-help financial advisers in America.”

She is also one of the most popular personal brands on the market today. And she is not alone—many modern, successful women today are also very modern, successful personal brands. From Oprah Winfrey to Martha Stewart, from Condoleezza Rice to Nancy Pelosi, from Madonna to Beyonce, women as brands is nothing new.

There are, however, three critical lessons we take from Suze Orman’s playbook for branding success in the marketplace.

Brand Strategy #1: Compassion. I have always believed that people do not care what you know until they know that you care.  Make sure that people understand why you do what you do.  If your colleagues and clients can relate to you, they are more likely to trust you and want to stick with you.

Brand Strategy #2: Credibility. Never underestimate the power that increased education can have in reinventing your brand, especially if you are making a career change.  Education can come in many different formats, but it is important nonetheless.  Suze clearly worked diligently to develop her skill set and expertise.  Passion, while important, is not enough.  You must invest the proper resources in order to become an expert in your space.  If you want to earn more, learn more.

Brand Strategy #3: Consistency.  Understand exactly what it is of value that you bring to the marketplace.  The “it” that you bring forms the foundation of your brand equity.  From there, make sure you evaluate what you do, say, and offer through the filter of your brand objectives.  Suze Orman is very consistent with the nature of her brand message.  When you become more consistent in what you deliver and how you deliver it, you actually teach others what to think about you and the value of your personal brand.

To learn more strategies about how you can develop a compelling and profitable brand in the marketplace, please check out ME University: The Ultimate Business and Branding Bootcamp, sponsored by Black Enterprise.

In the interim, what other brand lessons can you glean from Suze Orman’s career and personal story?  I look forward to hearing from you.

Marshawn Evans is president of ME Unlimited L.L.C. and a weekly career advice columnist for Connect with her online at Black Enterprise’s BE INSIDER, at, on Twitter at @marshawnevans and on Facebook at ME Unlimited by Marshawn

Following your Dreams from Corporate to Freelance…

Anteneh “Anthem” Addisu, 25, loved working on Wall Street. Making close to $150,000 a year, the Duke University graduate was among a handful of Black men living the fast paced, Manhattan life of a Wall Street trader. During his first year in finance, Addisu’s take-home pay helped care for his mother, who’d been laid off while he was in his senior year of college. But a prestigious job, six-figure salary, and the accomplished joy of being able to support his family wasn’t enough. Addisu wanted to be a rapper. So he approached his mentor, DG, with plans to quit his career and pursue dreams of working in hip-hop. “He didn’t take kindly to that,” says Addisu, with a chuckle. “In hindsight it did sound foolish. [DG] said, ‘Do you have any music?’ I said, ‘No.’ He made a deal and said he’d finance a demo and if it wasn’t good, I’d commit to focus on my career.”

The demo, filled with Addisu’s smooth-yet-persistent and eloquent vocals about the realities of life, impressed DG so much that he decided to partner up with the aspiring artist and make a hefty financial investment into his rap career. “He was the person whose word I respected. When you make a believer out of a naysayer, that was all I needed,” says Addisu, who performs under the name Anthem. “He’s kinda my Quincy Jones, in a sense, of my development as a rapper.”

Despite the surprising support, Addisu’s radical career shift didn’t happen overnight. Continuing to work 12-hour days on Wall Street, he headed home at night and locked himself in a studio to manifest his musical aspirations. “Weekends I didn’t go out,” he recalls. “When you work for your dreams, it’s tough to waste time.”

That focus has been rewarded. In the summer of 2009, Addisu left the world of finance for a full time career as an MC. Since then, he’s performed shows in DC, California, and opened for critically acclaimed rap acts like B.O.B. and Lupe Fiasco. This spring, he’ll perform at the South by Southwest Music Conference, while dropping his first mixtape Manhattan Music, Vol. 1, hosted by 50 Cent’s DJ Whoo Kid. A documentary, about his grassroots marketing and promotions hustle as a rapper, is also in the works.

“I wouldn’t rest my hat on my own talent. My transition has been successful because of organization,” Addisu says. “When you pursue a dream, you’re effectively a start up business. You gotta be organized, but you should never keep a dream to yourself. And never wait on a cue from the world that you’re in the right place. You should just move and act.”

[ CREDIT: Black Enterprise Magazine Online by Raqiyah Mays Posted: January 21, 2011]

Happy Anniversary Monique and Andrew

My cousin Nikki had her anniversary last week so just to say “Happy Anniversary” I did an edit on one of the photos I took at her wedding last year! — Weddings are always SO hectic & SO much can go wrong, but once you get the hang of it & develop your process, everything will go alot more smoothly!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY —um per the 4th. lol haha

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