7 Business Tips from YouTube Vlogger GlamAholic54 aka Jayla Watson

JaylaWatsonMochaGirlsPitStop

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of eating dinner with Jayla Watson, a popular YouTube Vlogger also known as GlamAholic54. We “met” via email a few weeks ago and finally found some time to chat over dinner. I thought we’d probably meet for about 30 minutes or so but the conversation was so good, we ended up chatting for about 2 and a half hours!

Jayla has a flourishing YouTube channel where she talks everything fashion. From hair tutorials to fall fashion inspiration, Jayla keeps her nearly 86,000 subscribers entertained with frequent vlogs about her daily life as a college student, hair reviews, outfits of the day and college advice for high school seniors.

Over the past 4 years Jayla has built an incredible fan base and an impressive online presence and the girl is only 19 years old! When I asked Jayla how she felt about the numbers… having almost 86,000 YouTube subscribers, over 25,000 Instagram followers and an online presence that many young people would pay for… she didn’t seem to be phased by the numbers at all. She’s more concerned about getting paid to do what she loves. It seems that the only numbers she follows, are the digits in her bank account as brands pay her to review their products and as she reaps the benefits of her YouTube partnership.

Below are 7 business tips that I took away from my dinner date with Jayla ,over a hot bowl of crab soup and a grilled turkey panini. Mmmm good!

1. Be Careful Who You Seek Advice From

When you’re passionate about your business and it nearly consumes your life, you’re inclined to ask for input from those closest to you, right? Jayla and I talked about how tempting it is to call our friends or family up about input or advice about a concept or video or even a business idea. We agreed that it’s best to speak to like-minded people in your field who know what you’re going through to get the most useful feedback.

I went through this a lot in the beginning of my blogging journey. I’d call my BFF and ask for her opinion about a post and she ‘d be like “OMG, I love it.” Mind you, she’s my BFF of 10 years and I swear she thinks everything I do is amazing. Though I’m flattered and I appreciate her feedback, I’ve found  that connecting with bloggers in my field has been more beneficial for my growth. Often times, the people closest to us mean well but just don’t understand “our work.”

2. Haters Are Unavoidable

When Jayla first started her channel, she had an outpouring of support from her followers and subscribers. Just recently as she’s gained more popularity, the haters have come out the woodwork. She told me about stories of people creating fake pages to send her nasty comments or screen shots of her boyfriend’s online activity. (Craziness, right?) While she has plenty of fans who defend her and have her back, Jayla said that her comments section is sometimes full of hateful,  ignorant comments about her race, style or wardrobe.

The more successful you become, the more people will know your name. Some of those people will have opposing views and may not like you and that’s ok. If you don’t have haters, you’re doing something wrong.

3. Grow With Your Market

Jayla doesn’t consider herself to be a hair person. She’d much rather pay someone to hook her hair up than do it herself, however, knowing that hair was “in” when she started vlogging, guess what she vlogged about? Hair! Once she built her audience she transitioned into topics that were more interesting to her.

Right now Jayla is focusing more on fashion but she’s had phases where she’s done make up tutorials, wig installations, weave reviews and life updates from her personal life. She also reads her comments often to see what video requests her subscribers have. Constantly checking the pulse of your market and evolving with them is a surefire way to win die-hard fans.

4. Be Consistent

Consistency is key. Regardless of how often you want to post on social media or promote your products, whatever you do, be consistent. If that means posting 3 blog posts or vlogs a week then stick with that and try not to deviate. Much of Jayla’s success can be attributed to the past two years of her posting a vlog every week (sometimes more at the subscribers request).

Just think about it, if you’re into a season of Scandal or no, let’s use my new favorite show How to Get Away With Murder and all of the sudden mid-season, they end the show without notice and don’t release the next episode until 2 months later…would you still tune in? Absolutely not. I know I wouldn’t. People want someone they can trust and someone who’s predictable when it comes to business, don’t be fickle, be consistent. Communicating with your tribe, clients or followers is a great way to establish a culture of consistency and accountability in your business as well.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Invest in Yourself

Jayla started her channel her junior year of high school so most of her investments came from her parents. Every Christmas she’d beg her dad for more sophisticated cameras and video editing software, she then used the money she did have to purchase props and clothing for her videos. When Jayla finally started making a little cash from YouTube she’d buy more material for her videos to build her channel and diversify her content.

You know what they say, “hard work pays off.” Today, companies from all over the world send Jayla FREE products to review and guess what? They pay her to review their products. The investments she made in her business in the beginning have been paid off in full. You can’t expect someone else to invest in you or your business if you aren’t willing to do the same for yourself.

6. Being in the Spotlight isn’t All Glitz and Glam

Over the past two years Jayla has had to make a conscious decision about the content that she posts online. With such a huge following (that’s growing by the thousands each month) there’s always someone out there with an opinion that isn’t afraid to share it, no matter how mean, hurtful or insensitive it is.

While Jayla is extremely grateful for her fans and supporters she did mention to me that sometimes the hurtful comments get to her. When people who don’t know you or your story “come for you” so carelessly and viciously, it hurts. It hurts to the core. Being in a place of such influence requires a strong mind but more importantly, a devoted support system who can remind you of how important your vision is when others can’t see it.

7. If Mama Can Do it, So Can You

Being raised by a single mother, Jayla has gained much of her inspiration and drive from her mom. Jayla witnessed her mom go through some trying times but despite the obstacles life threw her way, Mama Dukes pursued her Master’s Degree and continues to live a happy life. She supports her two daughters and makes it her business to be very active in their lives. Jayla said that her mom has a huge house and one of her goals is to purchase a house bigger than her mom’s, because if mama can do it, she can too.

No matter what your business goals are, there are so many great role models out there who’ve reached extraordinary heights despite the obstacles they faced. From Oprah’s story of triumph to Steve Jobs story of resilience, anything is possible if you just believe.

Reflection

It was such a pleasure meeting with Jayla and learning more about her back story. After our dinner, I was more inspired to walk into my greatness because of her energy and zeal for life. If this 19 year old can create her own pathway to success, we certainly can do the same. Stay tuned for more collaborations from Jayla and I!

Jayla and I tried to get a good selfie after dinner but the lighting was horrible :/

Share Your Wisdom. Comment Below!

Did any of the tips above resonate with you or your journey? Which tip is the hardest to grasp? Easiest? Is there any advice that you can offer to entrepreneurs?

Clickheretosubpng

3 Quotes to Inspire You When the Numbers Say You Suck!

NumbersSayYouSuckThe past 4 months have taken me on a hell of a roller coaster ride. I quit my demanding day job only to find out that it’s nearly impossible to find a part-time job that pays me enough to pay my bills. Thank you Sallie Mae! My 2 degrees became more of a burden than a blessing because I am now “over-qualified,” for the positions that will allow me to have more time freedom for my business.

The increase in my blog subscribers is virtually nonexistent. In my current life I’m working 40 hours a week at my day job, nearly 15-20 hours a week doing independent contracting for another company and as of late, I’ve felt as though I’m managing a blog that no one reads. Numbers obviously hate me, or at least they think I suck!  End rant.

Now what a whiner, right? But sometimes it “be like that.” Have you ever been at a point in your life where you feel like the numbers hate you? Your finances are out of wack, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to manage your life, your website views are decreasing dramatically or your business just isn’t getting the online traction that you imagined? I think we’ve all been there at some point.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had more “self-motivation sessions” than I’ve had in a minute. They usually consist of me journaling, vlogging, praying and soaking up inspirational material that speaks to me and my journey. After reflecting on my state of mind, which is pretty much summed up in the rant above, I did some inspiration digging and found a few gems that I hope will help you on your journey!

 3 Quotes to Inspire You When the Numbers Say You Suck! 

1. “The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.” - Oscar Wilde

Sometimes when we’re going through a situation it helps to sit back and take a look at what we DO have, versus what we don’t have. Although I have a busy schedule and I feel as though my time is limited (“the hole”) I have a full time job that allows me to pay my bills and I’m blessed with other benefits that make my life much easier (the donut).

2. “Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.” – Jim Rohn

I have a habit of saying “I’ll be happy when _____.” The blank is usually filled with “I pay off my student loans.” “I’m working for myself full time.” “I have more time freedom.” And so on and so forth. I went to a staff training some time ago and the speaker said, “Stop waiting to be happy when BLANK happens. Be happy now. Be happy in the moment. Embrace the journey and be happy about where you came from and where you’re going.” Don’t rob yourself of current happiness waiting for future happiness.

3. “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” – Mother Teresa

This is huge for me as it relates to my impact as a blogger and speaker. It’s easy to get caught up on the numbers but I’m constantly reminded that even if my message impacts one person, I’ve created a legacy. Positively impacting one person is greater than having 100,000 likes on Facebook with no impact at all.

Additional Tips to Stay Inspired When the Numbers Say You Suck

These quotes are from some of the amazing women over at the Bloggers Like Me Facebook page!

Stephanie Raven Christine Tonya

 

Share Your Wisdom. Comment Below!

How do you stayed inspired when it seems like your work is going unnoticed? What do you tell yourself when the numbers aren’t in your favor?

Clickheretosubpng

New Experience Diary: A FREE Vacation, The Jimmy Kimmel Live! Show & Hollywood Exploring

JKLPost

Top Left: My fiancé and I at the after show concert. Isn’t he hot?! :) Top Right: The Hollywood sign Bottom Left:  Denzel Washington & Jimmy Kimmel Middle: Darby Stanchfield (Abby from Scandal) Bottom Right: Mike Epps & I 

Who Doesn’t Love FREE Stuff?

Ok so let me tell you. My fiancé and I flew out to Los Angeles, CA last Wednesday for the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show. We stayed at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood and got VIP treatment during the show. We had an incredible time in Hollywood! What made our trip even better was the fact that it was FREE. Our flight and hotel accommodations were covered by our local ABC affiliate. So here’s how we got the free trip. My fiancé saw a contest on the local news station searching for Jimmy Kimmel’s biggest fan. He wrote a 250 word essay proving why he’s Jimmy’s biggest fan and BAM… they chose his story and sent us a few dates when they could fly us out. I usually don’t win things and I certainly never apply for those contests that I see on TV or in magazines but shoot, I think I’m going to start! From now on I’m applying for every contest I can get my hands on… who doesn’t love free stuff?

Cool Stuff/People We Saw

1. No Flex Zone- As soon as we got off the airport shuttle we started walking along Hollywood Boulevard to our hotel and we saw one of the brothers from Rae Sremmurd. If you don’t know the group, I’m sure you know the song… “No flex zone, no flex zone. They know better.” We saw the light skinned one. He was on the phone and my fiancé politely waved him down and congratulated him on his success. Lil man (don’t know his name) was so polite and appeared to be very gracious for the feedback. I’m really excited about this little siting because my younger siblings will appreciate it. I’ll get mad big sis cool points. So… yea lol.

2. Actor Denzel Washington- We saw Denzel at the Kimmel show. He was a featured guest and interviewee.  As I’ve stated before, I don’t get as starstruck as I used to but I was thrilled to be sitting just feet away from Denzel. I mean, he’s a legend. We also got free tickets to see the Equalizer the night before the movie premiered so that was pretty cool. I really enjoyed the movie so that’s a plus.

3. Guitarist & Singer Dave Navarro- If you don’t know his name you definitely know his face. He was a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and was once married to Carmen Electra. Dave was on the same flight as us and although he’s probably a nice guy, he did not look like he wanted to be bothered. Hey, I can only imagine what it’s like being a celebrity in a crowded airport. I wouldn’t want to be bothered either.

4.Comedian & Actor Mike Epps- Mike Epps was so cool. He walked by us in the airport and we chatted briefly and he asked us if we wanted a picture.

5. Hollywood Tour- We took a  2 hour Hollywood bus tour and luckily we had an exceptional tour guide. I’d recommend taking a bus tour if you plan on visiting Hollywood. The little district is filled with rich history. The tour bus took us to Rodeo Drive, Melrose Avenue, tons of celebrity mansions and local staples that celebrities frequent. My favorite stops were the Hollywood sign, the house Michael Jackson was renting before he died and Elvis Pressley’s former estate.  We got the bus tickets for $40 total. You can always negotiate with the street salesman like we did!

Reflection

The Hollywood Walk of Fame was right around the corner from our hotel. One day as we were pacing up and down Hollywood Boulevard searching for new adventures, I noticed a small bouquet of flowers on one of the celebrity stars. As we got closer I realized that it was Robin Williams’. My heart sank. He was such an amazing actor. I’m a little too young to really appreciate his comedic career per se, but man did I love his movies! Especially the Disney movies.  I was abruptly reminded of my own battle with depression as I gazed at the bouquet strategically placed on his star. It takes hard work and dedication for me to maintain peace of mind and a healthy mental state. Depression is no joke. In my reflection I was also reminded that our bank accounts, worldly possessions, friends, status or looks usually can’t independently make us happy or whole. I’m sure we can both name countless stars and socialites who appear to have it all but who struggle with depression, feelings of unhappiness or unworthiness. Lately I’ve been thinking about what’s really important to me. And what can keep me grounded and balanced so to speak. The word that I’m constantly meditating on is peace. I view peace as a state of tranquility and confidence that no person or situation can take away from me. Peace doesn’t equal complacency but instead composure.  It’s intrinsic. It’s a decision. It’s power.

Share Your Wisdom. Comment Below!

Are you at peace? If so, how do you find your peace in the midst of chaos or depression? If you’re struggling to find peace, what do you think you need in order to welcome tranquility?

Clickheretosubpng

Mocha Girl on a Mission: Bridgette Bartlett-Royall

MGOM_Bridgette

 

I am a Mocha Girl on a Mission because…

I launched BlackBridalBliss.com five months after getting laid off from what many of my friends and family considered a “good job”. My goal was to create an online space where Black women — and that includes all women of the African Diaspora, not just Americans — who were engaged and recently married could be celebrated. There were very limited platforms that featured Black women in their bridal bliss and told their rich stories. I was exhausted by the lame “Black women are all bitter, lonely and unlovable” narrative and decided to do something to counter it. We are resilient and driven yet can also be vulnerable and romantic. Whether we’re tying the knot in a courthouse or a castle, our weddings contain creative nuances that other bridal outlets just weren’t capturing. That is how BlackBridalBliss.com was born. The mission is so much bigger than weddings as images are far more powerful than any of us realize. I ‘m doing what I can to help shift the perception of Black women — even for other Black women.

Obstacles…

Whew! I’ve definitely had my share of obstacles as we all have and I know there are more to come. One that I’ll share is when I was laid off in 2009 prior to launching BlackBridalBliss.com. In addition to the obvious disappointment of losing a steady paycheck, 401K matching and health/dental benefits, I had to navigate the unpredictable world of freelancing and being an entrepreneur quickly. Working for yourself is often isolating, not to mention you eat what you kill. Thankfully my awesome support system including my mother and brother had my back every step of the way. I will never be able to thank God enough for them.

Accomplishments…

I actually have four! They are:

1) Becoming a landlord at 30 years old. It was far bigger than just becoming a home owner. I wanted to help preserve my family legacy.
2) Quitting my first job at ESSENCE Magazine to study and live abroad in London.
3) Launching BlackBridalBliss.com and getting feedback from women all over the world (!) who express that the site has inspired them in some way.
4) Marrying a loving, thoughtful and hilarious man who supports my passions.

Keep in touch with Bridgette on social media!

Facebook  Twitter  instagram  email

Were you inspired by Bridgette’s story? Share your feedback below!

Mocha Girl of the Week: Shadé Adu

MGOM_Shade

Shadé Yaa-Birago Adu is a Mocha Girl on a Mission…

because she is an international educator, world traveler, and motivational speaker destined to inspire others, and live life on purpose. Shadé is the founder and Chief Savvy Officer at Savvy Solutions Consulting, LLC and shadeyadu.com. Shadé is a Mocha Girl on a Mission because her enthusiasm for life is the relentless driving force that meets all challenges and obstacles head on and with a friendly smile.

Obstacles…

My mother’s side of the family were sharecroppers in Wood, North Carolina and my father is an immigrant from Ghana West, Africa and growing up in Irvington, NJ with my six siblings, my family didn’t make a lot of money. What we lacked in finances was compensated with love and encouragement to excel in school. A combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation allowed me to triumph in school. I always knew that I wanted to go to college but I knew that my family couldn’t afford it. I saw the sacrifices that my parents had to make. My mother wore the same shoes everyday and my father worked multiple jobs just to put me through private school. I made a vow to my parents that they wouldn’t have to pay for my education. During my senior year of college I applied to over 30 scholarships and I was blessed to be 1 of 1000 high school seniors chosen across the nation to be a prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar with up to ten years of academic funding. I later attended and graduated from Morgan State University with a Bachelor of Art in History.

During graduate school I was afforded the opportunity to be an inaugural member of international teachers as the Nazarbayev Intellectual School in Astana, Kazakhstan. When I first heard about this opportunity I laughed if off and didn’t take it seriously. I said to myself “Where? Who? Why? Black people don’t do that.” I was extremely terrified. The thought of leaving my family and all that I knew didn’t sit well with me. After careful consideration and prayer, I took a leap of faith and a plane to the Republic of Kazakhstan on August 7, 2011 and never looked back. During my tenure in KZ, I was instrumental in curriculum development, teacher training, and minority recruitment. I faced my fears, turned stereotypes of black women upside down, and traveled around the world.

Accomplishments…

My greatest accomplishment was keeping that vow to my parents and alleviating them of the burden of paying my college tuition. Being a Bill and Melinda Gate Scholar and Ambassador has truly transformed my live and the life of my family. Dreams do come true and higher education is tangible. The Gates Scholarship has opened doors for me and is allowing me to further my education and begin doctoral study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I will be pursuing a Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Multicultural Education this Fall.

Overcoming my fear and moving to Kazakhstan was one of my greatest accomplishments. I was the first and the youngest African American woman hired by my company. I met some wonderful people and had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to over two dozen countries. Although, it was difficult being away from my family for three years, I knew that God had a purpose for me and wanted me to not only impact the lives of children in America but all around the world. I am writing a book about my experiences in Kazakhstan that should be out in 2015.

Most of my greatest accomplishments would not have been possible if it wasn’t for my team of mentors, and extended family who I also happen to call my sorority sisters, the regal and sophisticated women of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated. Being inducted into this magnificent sisterhood in the Fall of 2008 truly has changed my life. Members of this illustrious organization encouraged me to apply for multiple scholarships in high school and  to move to Kazakhstan. My Sorority Sisters have supported all of my endeavors and always motivate me to strive for the best because excellence is possible.

Keep in touch with Shadé on social media!

Facebook  Twitter  instagram  email

Were you inspired by Ms. Adu’s inspiring story? Share your feedback below!