Editor’s Note: 5 Success Tips to Make 2015 Your Best Year Yet

What’s New!

I’m rocking my own hair

Three months ago, I finally took my weave out and texturized my hair. As you can imagine, when I initially removed the extensions, my hair was long, dry and brittle, due to years of damage from weaving and a severe lack of sun. As a result, my hairdresser immediately chopped it off to shoulder length.

Quite honestly, if it wasn’t for my deep conditioning treatments and home steamer, I probably wouldn’t have any hair left. It was in such a critical condition, but my new hair care regimen, has made a world of difference.

To say I suffered from ‘long hair’ withdrawal symptoms is an understatement. I mean it’s not easy growing your own hair out, when you’re surrounded by a slew of glamorous hotties, with flowing tresses at every turn.

Especially since I’m the girl who used to joke that “I was born with fake hair!” So to actually take the plunge and get rid of my extensions (okay okay… apart from a piece in the front of my hair) has been tough.

What I didn’t anticipate…

Were the glowing reviews from my loved ones. Goodness, my sister was relieved beyond measure, my boss was gushing, and my Dad was over the moon! Even the men who have approached me since the ‘big reveal’ have been far more circumspect. Hence the chapter of cat calls and wolf whistling is well and truly over.

It’s nice to feel my scalp again, and I certainly don’t miss the endless patting, and itching, lol. I haven’t dismissed extensions as an option, it’s just my whole outlook on life has transformed. And as much as I would wear another weave, I don’t feel the need to rely on it.

#Blackcitygirl is on IG: @YvonneJaneLorraine

Finally. I have met some phenomenal men and women on Instagram! Many of you are outspoken, opinionated and your comments are hilarious. It’s great to connect and converse with you in real time. Thanks for all the #instalove!

Throwback

Let me rewind back to the beginning, this time last year, when I jumped on Twitter armed with nothing but a cell phone, and an insatiable desire to get started. I hadn’t launched this blog, and being a complete novice, meant that I was unaware of the true impact Twitter holds as a social media platform. Nor had I prepared what to tweet – all I knew was I had to wing it until I did. So at first, I used my ingenuity, plus some quotes I’d picked up online.

In hindsight my tweets were so elementary, I made horrible mistakes, yet I believe it was my passion, which attracted people to retweet. The entire process was trial and error. On one hand, I was dedicated to tweeting, I mean it was fun and addictive, which inadvertently helped me gain exposure, albeit every day was dramatic, with Twitter suspensions, and other mishaps. In fact anyone who was present during those days will testify to my blunders.

By the time, the launch date arrived, I had acquainted myself with a small group of women who became BCG‘s very first supporters. S/O to them. Had I waited to set up our Facebook fan page, waited for this blog to grow, waited until I purchased a better cell phone, waited until I had a full strategy on Twitter…yada yada yada…no-one would have read this blog. Simple.

Go for it!

What are you waiting for? If you have the basics, meaning:

  • A phone
  • Internet connection
  • A laptop

There’s no reason why you can’t get the ball rolling. Make your mistakes anonymously, so you can evolve into a poised, and polished individual, before you decide to kick off. Don’t let another year pass you by without making headway.

What I wish I knew from the beginning…

I wish I had known that the first 9 months, would be a breeze, in comparison to the last 2 months. My views on life have changed, considerably. It’s hard to explain in public. But here are bite size chunks of what I will reveal:

1. Don’t place too much emphasis on your popularity – of course building a community is extremely important – but focus the majority of your resources delivering excellent work, and the outcome will speak for itself. At the end of the day, no-one remembers how many ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers’ you have in the long term, but your community will appreciate the quality of service you offer, the results you provide, and the lasting impact you create in their lives.

2. Relationships are the key to success and happiness. Make time for your nearest and dearest, no matter how busy your schedule is, as they will be the only people to keep you afloat when you feel as if you’re losing your mind, or when things don’t go as planned. They say :

 ‘Your network is your net worth’

Absolutely. Building a relationship with your community, networking with likeminded individuals and collaborating with others can be the difference between success and failure. No one person can do everything alone. Therefore, it’s wise to partner up with professionals in your field, delegate when necessary, and hire experts to take yourself to the next level.

3. On top of that, it’s impossible to cope without a support network. For instance, I could not survive without my mentor, my brother, my Dad and my small circle of friends. I simply could not. Be absolutely ruthless about your time, your associations and cut off anyone or anything that does not add value to your life. Please.

Update: 4. My niece just pointed out that I had missed point 4. Lol. Which highlights the fact, I’m not perfect. We all have flaws, concentrate on honing your strengths and skills instead of trying to achieve perfection, and ensure your team includes people who can make up for your weaknesses.

And lastly…

Knowledge is power

5. What is the point of having a pretty face, wearing the right clothes, going to the right venues, when year in and year out, you make zero progress?

Don’t be fooled, those possessions will never make you happy in the long term, unless you are learning and growing. Practically everything you see me do or speak on, I have either had to humble myself enough to learn from scratch which took my time, my money, I made years of painful mistakes, or my mentor or parents invested in me. There are no shortcuts.

When you are stuck, or don’t know how to move forward – seek help. Don’t be prideful and pretend everything’s cool. Or boast that you know how to achieve something, when you really have no idea. Be humble enough to learn, because acquiring knowledge is a one way ticket out of economic and emotional poverty. If you disagree with me now – that’s fine – reflect back on this post in a couple of years time, and see if you feel differently.

Until next time,

God Bless,

Yvonne Jane Lorraine. x

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Story time: Natural Hair Blogger & Army Guy Fell In Love At College After Pregnancy

Look at God a black couple with fruit on the tree https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKDmVzp39e0 Happily married for 10 years This couple proves when it's God's will no mistake or obstacle is too great. She is a natural hair blogger @mahoganycurls and he works in the army @jovahnthedreamer. They first met in college, when he was a junior frat boy and she was a freshman. There was an instant … [Read More...]

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