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4 ways Discipline can help you live a Happy and Wealthy Life

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, 18th NOVEMBER, 2020

Many of us can remember at least one point in our lives where we felt as though we were being told what to do. We were held accountable for our actions to the point where we felt like our freedoms were being infringed upon. For some of us, we would not have realized it because it had become the ‘norm’ for us. How about school, where we had to speak using only our ‘inside’ voices when interacting with our peers? We had to learn and recite specific words, sing specific songs at specific times during the day. We were made to assemble and not speak while being addressed. Do these thoughts stir up certain images in your mind? When we entered the world of work, we soon learned that this world was not much different. We had to arrive on time or our superiors would begin keeping a keen eye on us, watching out for another slip up. We had deadlines to meet and leaving the job at our own leisure would have given us a definite red card.

Can you think of any others? These scenarios all point to one word. We will explain the meaning of the word using the definition provided in the Merriam Webster dictionary: Discipline: 2. to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control.

Some of you would cringe at the very thought of the word discipline, but don’t get lost in a word. For many others, this same discipline has been the fuel that has propelled them toward abundance, both in their personal and professional lives:

Stronger Relationships

Discipline can be viewed as training to develop one’s moral character which in turn will help to produce a particular type of behavior. Relationships should help us become better versions of ourselves. Discipline comes in handy in our relationships because it is a practice of care and respect for others and self. Some of the evidence of discipline in relationships can be found in :

  • Consistency (something that men and women so desperately crave from their partners)
  • Fidelity (self-control)
  • and quality time (through proper time management)

Higher Net Worth

If you study any billionaire in the world, you will discover that they have the most powerful discipline habits. Discipline teaches us to be systematic when working toward life’s goals. With self-discipline, you master the power to follow through with your decisions. It is therefore one of the most important requirements for success. It has always been said that the secret to success lies in your daily routine. Without discipline, there can be no routine. We would all operate as chaff in the wind, moving in every direction but up! Sound Discipline is the key to:

  • Proper time management,
  • Accountability,
  • Personal growth and many other productive assets.

If you are chaotic, that means that you don’t have a schedule for the day, week, month and year. You basically don’t have a plan. Sooner or later, life will wear you out.

Discipline means that you will do what you know you have to do, even when you are not in the mood of doing it.” 

Healthier Body

This one is certainly a no-brainer. Most trainers have reported having an uphill climb when it comes to getting some of their clients to wake up on time and make it to the gym for their daily workout. This is actually why people hire trainers in the first place. They NEED someone to hold them accountable. Otherwise, they most likely wouldn’t stick to their workout routine and their body goals would never be achieved. The same holds for healthy foods. That slice of cake looks pretty tempting, but I have to stick to my diet, so salad it is! So many of us have had these same pitfalls and are still reeling from the consequences of our lack of discipline. So much can be achieved if we practice the things that we’ve already made up our minds to do:

  • Healthier sleeping patters (stick to a schedule!)
  • Healthier Food choices (say No to that last slice of pizza and mean it!)
  • Regular workout routines (don’t skip leg day!)

Healthier Mind and Spirit

Finally, and probably the most important benefit of all is a healthier mind. A healthy mind can only be maintained if all the previous points are achieved. Lack of discipline fosters laziness, low self-esteem, unachieved goals, broken relationships and unhealthy life patterns. None of these cater to a healthy mind or spirit, but self-discipline certainly does. It can give you:

  • Higher self esteem
  • Better vibration
  • More focus

Lack of discipline can leave a trail of chaos, anger and emptiness. We must therefore make it a priority to teach the younger generation to foster self-discipline within their daily lives. We do this by example. We also do this by giving them routines to follow. Reward their efforts, and show them that action and inaction both have consequences.

Freedom and discipline are directly proportional to each other. Freedom is the basic right to do what we want. The catch is, that if we want more freedom in our lives then it must be preceded by discipline.

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Cindy Grigg: Ignoring Negativity, Building a Future.

Taryn C. St. Louis, November 2nd 2020

It has always been said that fortune favors the brave. This may be true, but history suggests that it also favors those who refuse to allow negative thoughts and emotions to linger. If we examine some of the most successful black celebrities today, we will find the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry who are perfect examples of modern icons whose childhoods were riddled with both poverty and abuse. It is therefore no wonder that our featured entrepreneur has identified them both as public figures who inspire her on her journey. Cindy Grigg didn’t come from a glamourous past but her resolve to remain in a positive mindset and achieve every goal she’s set for herself is nothing short of admirable.

She grew up in Glanvilles Antigua, the second child among 4 siblings. Her life was seemingly uneventful until her early teen years when divorce separated her family and life took an immediate turn for the worst. Cindy recalls sleeping on floors as her mother, who was forced to become the text book definition of a single parent, struggled to provide for and sustain her children on her own. Cindy describes those years as being the hardest of her life.

“Honestly, I grew up hard. We had to sleep on floors.”

Now a parent herself, she has vowed that her three year old boy, Elisha, will have all his needs met. That’s why the hustle never stops for this mother of one. Her first talk show, “The Cindy Show”, was a dream realized after years of procrastination. She recounts visualizing this goal since she was 13 years old. Why a talk show? One may ask. But, why not? She has the experience and fearlessness required to speak on various topics that would otherwise be considered taboo, and offer candid advice without the filters that most would employ to hide parts of themselves that they are afraid would be subject to judgment… judgment from those who simply stand on the outside of life’s big wheel of movers and shakers… judgment from those who are afraid to expose the truth of who they really are.

Since its inception 6 months ago, The Cindy Show has received support from hundreds of viewers on its social media platform, Facebook. This encouraged our charismatic entrepreneur to venture into new but familiar territory. Her second Talk Show, The Sisterhood Show, was visualized and executed with as much vigor as her first.

“The Sisterhood Show is all about about uplifting and empowering women”.

Constantly being in the public eye can expose anyone to serious criticism and in some cases, bullying both in cyber space and real life. Cindy has had her fair share of criticism. Her most recent stemming from a live video she posted on social media recounting her experience of feeling ill and subsequently passing out after being on the set of The Sisterhood Show the night before. In the live video, she made a few grammatical errors which were instantly added to the social media ‘funnies’ by those with an adverse sense of humor. The negatives of the video were highlighted and the positives were basically kept in the shadows. These events threatened to break her spirit, but she refused to fold. Cindy relied on prayer and positivity to overcome the constant attacks, and that she did!

She almost immediately conceptualized then launched a fun T-Shirt line captioning two of the most popular grammatical errors she made. The phrases were already being shared and re-shared on social media, so why not print them on a shirt? “I tooked in” and “I woke up unconscious” shirts were advertised for sale. Professionally designed by Sistah Souljah’s Hub and printed by Kay Inks printing services in Antigua, the t-shirts were made available in various colors and sizes. Cindy reports that close to 100 shirts have already been sold, with supporters posting themselves donning the shirts and tagging her on her Facebook page. This is how we turn a negative into a positive! Because the support was so promising, hats and masks with the same designs were soon made available. Although this was quite an enterprising move, she is fully aware of her errors and is now taking personal steps to continuously educate herself on various topics that can only enrich her in her capacity as a talk show host and entrepreneur.

Cindy has experienced her fair share of untrustworthy friends so she speaks from experience when she advises her fellow entrepreneurs to “know who your friends are and be mindful of those in your circle”. She further advises that we should only keep persons with a positive and progressive mindset around us and surround ourselves with those who want to see us win. She explained that negativity will always rear its ugly head when one is trying to push past the status quo, and there isn’t much that can be done about it, but it’s important that you don’t quit. “Keep pushing, pray and have faith because every day won’t be great but you can only succeed if you don’t give up!”

One of her greatest aspirations is to be able to give back to the underprivileged in her community. While this is both thoughtful and a wise career move, we believe she has already begun the process of giving back by being an example of how we should all work toward our goals; with optimism and without fear or surrender.

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.” It isn’t egotistical to believe you can succeed in life. By holding onto the belief that you will reach your goals and fulfill your dreams, you are keeping your mind positive.”

Oprah Winfrey

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How To Break The Generational Curse of Poverty in 5 steps

“Change starts with us”. It’s a small phrase, but holds so much power when it comes to many facets of life. It’s even more powerful when we speak of breaking generational curses. But what are these ‘curses’ that we speak of? Do they refer to some type of “hoodoo voodoo” handed down upon us because of some long forgotten evil done by our ancestors? Is it something taboo? According to The Gospel Coalition, a “generational curse describes the cumulative effect on a person of things that their ancestors did, believed, or practiced in the past, and a consequence of an ancestor’s actions, beliefs, and sins being passed down.” An example of a generational curse is divorce”. This may all be true, but for our purposes here, let’s focus on actions and beliefs.

We see it over and over in every day life. The constant negative patterns in families that seem almost inescapable. They seem to imprison some or all members of the same blood line from the day they were conceived until the day they die. Drug addiction, failed marriages and relationships, abuse, mental illness and poverty are some of the major evils that have contaminated the lives of the families around us. For some of us, these are evident within our own families. Many might argue that poverty itself can cause a domino effect to most of the other social ills, so therein lies our focus.

Although slavery was abolished decades ago, in many black communities the effects of poverty are still very much evident. It is time to unlearn some of the negative beliefs and actions that may have become a part of us before we perpetuate them to the next generation. The steps below are not 100% failsafe, but they are certainly approved to set the pace for healing and renewal.

A. WITH THE HELP OF AN ELDER IN YOUR FAMILY, DRAW A GENOGRAM.
An example of a financial genogram

genogram (pronounced: jen-uh-gram) is a graphic representation of a family tree that displays detailed data on relationships among individuals. In the example shown above, the illustration focuses on the habits of each person in your family tree.

Here are some questions you may ask:

  • Were there any wealthy people in our family?
  • Were there any persons who were in continuous debt?
  • Who in our family got a divorce?
  • Who had several children they couldn’t take care of financially?
  • What type of jobs did everyone end up settling for?
  • Was there any history of a family feud/enmity in our family?

Once you have a list of questions, start by filling out the answers you know. There is not a right or wrong way to do this, so choose a method that makes the most sense for you. Once you’ve written down the information you already know, call your relatives to ask for answers to the remaining questions.

It isn’t necessary to speak with everyone on the tree, but talk to as many people as possible so you can better understand who they are and their behavior patterns. The more information you have, the more you’ll understand trends and generational curses that have impacted you.

2. TALK WITH YOUR LOVED ONES.

This may be one of the toughest things to do, but without communication, there can be no healing! There are some secrets so hidden within families that they’re inevitably taken to the grave, and the struggle continues. The only way to start the healing process is to lay the cards out on the table. Though the cards may be bitter, our children deserve to know what they may need to work on and what habits they need to unlearn. The keys to breaking generational curses reside in Truth. Without truth, there can be no change.

3. SEEK SUPPORT.

If there are secrets and habits within your family that need immediate attention, seek help! There has always been a stigma within the black community when it comes to counselling, but a counselor can help you process your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way and help you identify generational curses manifesting in your family. Thankfully, there are professionals available to fit every person, budget, and schedule. If you are religious, you can seek the help of a pastor. The right pastor can incorporate what is both divine and practical and organize an effective intervention for your family. Many of the answers we need are one consultation away, but fear of judgment has crippled many. It is this very fear that can end up keeping us in the same downward spiral throughout generations. If you find it impossible to overcome this fear of one on one counseling, there are many qualified online counselors to choose from.

4. EDUCATE.

Education can come in the form of periodical family meetings, talks over dinner or you can take the next step and talk to your children specifically about finances. If you are not sure that you are equipped enough to educate them, there are many online resources that can help you. We took the time to highlight a few exceptional publications that you can take advantage of:

These insightful and age appropriate finance books are just a few of the many volumes written by Dr. Boyce D. Watkins. He is is an American author, economist, political analyst, and social commentator. During his academic career, Boyce Watkins was a visiting scholar with the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School Of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University.

As an adult, if you are excited to start this learning journey yourself, there are many audio books and paper backs to choose from. We recommend these for starters:

5. CELEBRATE!

The final step we recommend is that you celebrate! Celebrate those wins, no matter how small. As you transition away from the generational curse of poverty, do one small thing to celebrate your victory. You have now positioned yourself to break financial barriers within your own lineage. May your name be written in history as the one who broke the mold, and led your bloodline to generational wealth!

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Young Entrepreneurs set the pace for a Black- Owned Amazon.

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, AUGUST 10, 2020

Ashley and Lucan, both 27, have been best friends since high school where they met 15 years ago. They’re both entrepreneurs from the UK who discovered that they shared a common problem;- finding products made for people of the African diaspora. BWM agrees that this task may sometimes prove difficult, because while we do have a variety of boutiques and stores that specifically carry these items, it can sometimes be inconvenient when you can’t make a ‘one stop shop’ for all your afro-centric needs.

A few years ago when Lucan moved into his new house, his love for his roots caused him to have an interest in finding Afro-Caribbean decor to give his sanctuary that feeling of ‘home’. This was not as easy as he thought it would be and he decided to inquire of his mom, whose house was beautifully decorated with such items. When his mother couldn’t help him find a retailer, his frustration led him to search online, and upon having no luck he made a pact with his long- time friend Ashley, to create their own. Ebonyx was conceptualized and established in 2019 and it features black owned everything!

What is ‘Ebonyx’?

“Ebonyx (a blend of Ebony and Onyx, and a reference to black vernacular, ebonics) is a marketplace for items that are Afrocentric in nature or inspired by Afrocentrism. Our view and purpose in promoting Afrocentrism is to further inclusivity, diversity, and collaboration for everyone regardless of their culture or background.”

BWM visited the Ebonyx online superstore and found a selection of skin care items, decorative trinkets, clothing and more that were quite unique. We were especially impressed with their afro-centric art. This is a great platform for our artists to market their pieces! Here are some added bonuses we found on the site:

Attractive Features

  • They offer a risk free sales strategy. Opening your shop on Ebonyx costs $0. They make a 15% commission only after the sale of your items. You heard right. They don’t make money until you make money.
  • They partner with individual brands to bring you unique African fashion, hair care products, artistic pieces and more.
  • We were quite impressed with their referral program. Share your link, your friend buys, and you enjoy 10% discount on your purchase!
  • They give back. Ebonyx supports a charity called “The Deworm the World Initiative“. Every sale of 25 pounds, a donation is made to this charity.

More about the charity

To combat worm infection, regular treatment with a simple pill is universally recognized as a safe and effective solution. The Deworm the World Initiative supports school-based deworming: treatment delivered through existing education infrastructure, administered by teachers with support from the health system. This approach is highly cost-effective, well accepted by communities, and efficiently targets the population group at greatest risk for infection: children.


The Ebonyx Dream

As with all entrepreneurs there have been setbacks for Ashley and Lucan. The biggest one yet has been access to funding. Without investment it is difficult for startups to scale. The phrase, ‘it takes money to make money’ sums this up pretty well. Without investment, black owned initiatives like Ebonyx will have a difficult time expanding internationally. Think about Amazon.- It was founded in the garage of Jeff Bezos‘ rented home in Bellevue, Washington. Bezos’ parents invested almost $250,000 during the startup phase. It’s no secret that Amazon is now one of the world’s largest and most successful companies, with a market value of $1.14 trillion!

What advice do these black business owners have for you? Ashley and Lucan believe that business boils down to two things: People and numbers. You need to understand your customer and what get’s them shopping. “However, that is useless unless you have your numbers in check. You need to know everything numbers wise, including accounting, marketing spend, statistics, operational numbers etc.”

These young black innovators have our full support. The greatest benefit of having a black owned Amazon is that our hard-earned dollars will be re-invested within our own communities.


“If everyone helps to hold up the sky, then one person does not become tired.”

 Askhari Johnson Hodari, Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs

Check out their range of afro-centric items on Instagram and Pinterest

Related: Black Businesses will not survive without the support of black people

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Google’s program for Black Founders to launch August 2020

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, JUNE 29, 2020

If you are an entrepreneur, you are most likely constantly seeking resources to aid not only in education, but also tools to help you maximize your profits. In 2011, Google launched Google for Startups (formerly known as Google for Entrepreneurs). It consists of over 50 co-working spaces and accelerators in 125 countries, offering hands-on lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs.

In August 2020, a new program will be launched. Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders is a 3 month-long digital accelerator program for high potential seed to series A Tech Startups based in the US.

The program is designed to bring the best of Google’s programs, products, people and tech to Black Founder communities across the USA. In addition to mentorship and tech support, the program will include deep dives and workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition and leadership development for founders.

You need to get on this train now, as the program starts in August 2020. The first series of this program will comprise approximately 10-12 top US headquartered startups.

The format of the program will be as follows:

Three months with digital workshops, programming, and mentor ship taking place each week. Selected founders will outline the top tech challenges facing their startups, and will then be paired with experts to help solve these challenges. Startups will also receive deep mentor ship on technical challenges with an emphasis on data and machine learning, as well as connections to relevant teams across Google.

Who should apply?

Selected startups should have a minimum of 10+ employees, and both the founder and selected team members must be available to join all program elements of their series. All Startups should aim to leverage AI/ML tech in their product, service or operations and/or show interest in leveraging these in the future.

What are the benefits?

The program offers a wealth of benefits, to include

  • Equity -Free Support
  • Exclusive Invitations to Tech Boot camps hosted by Google
  • Personalized mentor ship & Tech support from Google experts
  • The opportunity to provide feedback to Google product teams
Here are some more of Google’s tools for Entrepreneurs you can check out:
  • The Accelerate with Google Academy is a 12-week program designed to help businesses like yours start marketing online, and then be great at it! As a participant, you’ll get all the tools and training you need to advertise on the web, including live help and private consultations with dedicated experts. The program is customized, so by the end of it, you’ll be ready to start meeting your businesses unique goals and making the most of the web.
  • The Google for Entrepreneurs platform consists of well managed tools and resources to help jump start your business.

Wherever your startup is, from concept to scaleup, Google for Startups can help move your business forward.

What do you need to get done?

Here are some useful tools that Google for Entrepreneurs can provide:

  • Get support and build and run killer apps and sites
  • Better understand your customers by getting focused insights and analytics
  • Get great hosting and storage
  • Increase the productivity of your team
  • Learn how to market your product wisely
  • Monetize your product by creating various revenue streams

Making use of the knowledge and resources available will put you ahead of the competition. There can be no progress without education. Start Today.