Follow fcg on Twitter!

29 03 2010

Because I plan to do bigger and better things with for colored gurls, I’ve created a Twitter account just for this blog. I’ll be tweeting about any changes, blog posts, articles I find and more.

Please follow: @forcoloredgurls. And tell a friend! : )


Selling YOU aka Personal Branding

10 03 2010

“All of us are selling ourselves, every single minute of every single day…each one of us is building our own ‘brand of me’ and saying ‘buy into me, put your faith into me, give me this shot, I will make it happen.'”

-Kimora Lee Simmons

Whether or not you realize it, you are selling yourself to everyone, everyday. This is known as personal branding, the process by which we market ourselves to others.

Melissa Dawn Johnson, Brand Identity Strategist

I recently interviewed author, brand identity strategist and CEO of Velvet Suite Marketing Melissa Dawn Johnson about personal branding. Here’s what she had to say:

Mocha Writer: What is personal branding?

Melissa Johnson: I define personal branding as the process that allows you to come to your authentic value. The principles of Brand Me is about returning to who you are and why you are here.


MW: Why is personal branding important, particularly for women?

MJ: It is critical. In a time where only the first three seconds matter in an encounter, [a time where there is a lot of] technology clutter, knock-offs and competition, you need to know how to market, manage and protect your value and learn the life skills to be profitable.

MW: What are the benefits of branding oneself?

MJ: To be in demand. As we talk about on, it is all about knowing your worth, giving and getting your value in every facet of life. I believe it gives you access to profit as well as peace of mind.

MW: When should an individual begin building their personal brand?

MJ: Building your brand starts from birth. It is a life skill and value that says ‘I have worth, and I will live a life that reflects my unique value. Because I am valuable, every interaction is meaningful and relevant.’

Here are four personal branding tips learned from corporations (from Personal Branding Blog, written by Pete Kistler):

  1. Unique selling point. Just as companies have to discover what makes their products different (aka their unique selling point), you have to do the same. What makes you different or better? How do you stand out? Kistler suggests doing some soul-searching and asking a few friends and colleagues what single quality stands out to them.
  2. Competitive analysis. Businesses postion themselves effectively against their competition, and they analyze how similar businesses  are acting to determine what works and doesn’t work. You should use your competition to your advantage as well. See how others like you portray their brands. For instance, if you’re a graphic designer, check out the work and websites of other graphic designers to see how they display their abilities. Then take the best aspects and combine it with your own style.
  3. Values. A company’s values guide its decisions, and your personal values work in the same way. Your values are the principles that form your work habits and how you interact with others. To discover what values are important to you, take a look at your personality traits. Find out the ones that guide you and concentrate on those that will be essential to your success.
  4. Impressions. An impression is when you look at a logo, ad or other visual media related to a company and that image gets embedded in your mind. Every impression reinforces the connection between a company and its brand promise for an individual. What does this mean for you? Whenever you met someone, you need to strengthen the connection between your face and your skills and abilities– you want your name to be seen positively by as many people as possible. So, take pride in everything you do (blog comments, emails, school projects) and connect it to your brand.

Read the entire article for more info. 

See more about Johnson and Brand Me by visiting the website, Also, check back here next week for more personal branding tips.

Successful Sistas: Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

22 02 2010

Successful Sistas is an interview series featuring successful women pursuing their dream careers.

Job Title

Full-time freelance writer and blogger (see her websites below)

Job Description:

My main focus is running my six blogs (the “Quips and Tips” series)- and earning an income from them- but I happily accept magazine article assignments when they’re offered!

Why did you decide to pursue this field?

Writing is a dream come true– I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about eight-years-old. I never thought I could make a living as a writer, though, so I’m living proof that dreams DO come true! If you work hard enough, of course : -)

What do you love most about your career?

I love publishing my blog posts and getting immediate reader feedback on what I’ve written. And I love inspiring and motivating people to achieve their goals, become successful writers, get healthy and happy, and live the life of their dreams.

What is the most stressful aspect of it?

Writing for magazines can be stressful because editors are often detail-oriented and reader-focused. When you’re getting paid to write articles for magazines or other publications, there’s no room for error or sloppiness!

What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?

Getting paid to do what I love. I get up at 5 A.M. each morning WITHOUT an alarm clock because I’m so excited to see my blog statistics and affiliate earnings.

What is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you work-wise?

Hmmm…can’t think of anything crazy (except for the rare, mean comment that a reader leaves)…but I’ve been invited to go on the radio and talk about my work several times. That’s probably as crazy as it gets!

Describe a typical work day for you:

I work from 5 A.M.- 11 A.M., then do Pilates, core fusion or kickboxing. After eating lunch in front of Judge Marilyn Milian (I love the People’s Court!), I go back to work from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. Then I either run or do ballet, but I’m not always motivated to work out twice in one day!

What advice or tips would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?

Start writing or blogging part-time (or even just on weekends or evenings) to make sure you can pay your bills. And you need to discover if you can work from home because not everyone likes it.

Finish this sentence: This career is for you if____:

You have the motivation and self-discipline to work from home despite the distractions of surfing the Internet, watching TV, snacking mindlessly or playing with your pets.

Check out Laurie’s websites:

Quips and Tips for Love Relationships

Quips and Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility

Quips and Tips for Successful Writers

Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals

Quips and Tips for Spiritual Seekers

See Jane Soar

Feel Good Fridays: Show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day

12 02 2010

Everyone knows Valentine’s Day is associated with love, and it’s usually our love of others that we think about- a boyfriend, husband, kids, parents, etc. This year, why not focus on loving you; I mean, if you don’t love yourself, you can’t truly love anyone else. And as Oscar Wilde said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”

Last spring, I interviewed Kerri Smith, a life coach, for an article about self-love for Diva Dymes Magazine. Here are some tips she gives to help you really love you:

  1. Ask a close friend, colleague or family member (someone you feel comfortable with) to tell you 2-4 things they love about you. This helps put you in the frame of mind that you are loveable and that you should attempt to see yourself as the ones that love you see you.
  2. Make a list of at least 10 things you love about yourself, and add to that list everyday for 30 days. At the end of 30 days, read that list out loud and reward yourself with a nice treat of your choice.
  3. As soon as you wake up in the morning, say to yourself, “Thank you <insert name here>. I love you.” Say it with meaning and passion. Feel how grateful you are to be you.
  4. Learn to trust that your creator did not make any mistakes when it came to creating you. You are perfect. Remind yourself of that every single day and often throughout the day as well.
  5. Write mantras/positive affirmations on index cards and post around your house, especially in areas you frequent (i.e., on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, on the wall by your computer or on the wall next to your front door). Write affirmations that resonate with your heart and make you feel good. As you see them throughout the day, smile and remember how blessed you are!
  6. Remember that you are unique…and there’s only one of you that exists. How awewome is that? Love the person you are.

 Photo from:

My Quote of the Day- December 21

21 12 2009

“The main thing that keeps an objective out of reach is your assumption that you cannot reach it. You’re able to do precisely what you expect to be able to do.

Are there dreams that you dare not to dream because you’ve decided that you cannot attain them? If so, then your negative expectation has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Before you abandon or downgrade your most treasured dreams, consider this: When your goal is personally meaningful and compelling, you can achieve it, whatever it may be. You are never too old or too young, too rich or too poor, to direct the energy of your life toward a compelling objective. Life is about making a difference, and that’s something you can do no matter what your circumstance may be.

There is somewhere you truly wish to go, something you sincerely desire to achieve, right this very moment. Take the time to find it, commit yourself to it, and make the effort to make it happen. Your dreams represent some of the most valuable gifts you have to give to life. Dare to dream, and allow the best of who you are to be fully expressed.”

My Quotes of the Day- November 9

9 11 2009

“You are in control of your destiny.”

~Eva Marcille



Four reasons you should hire me as your freelancer

5 11 2009

Mocha Writer LogoAs you know by now (I hope), I’m a freelance writer.

First, let me tell you what I do: in a nutshell, I write lots of different things (i.e., articles, blogs, brochures, etc.) for entrepreneurs/business owners, nonprofits and individuals like musicians and artists (here’s a full list of services). I also write articles for magazines, newspapers and websites.

So, why should you hire me?

1. I know what I’m doing. I have five years of writing experience, a degree in mass communication from Georgia College & State University, and I have written in a lot of areas on a lot of different topics.

2. I am reliable. You can count on me to do what I say I will, and if it’s not right (or you don’t like it), I will work with you so you’re satisfied.

3. Other people think I’m good : ). Check out a couple of testimonials here.

4. Because I’m me (he, he). You always want to work with someone who is friendly and easy to work with, and I like to think I’m that way.

So…if you’re interested, send me an email (, Tweet, Facebook msg, etc. and let me know!