Friday, July 3, 2015

Be kinder...to you!

2015 has been a year like no other.  There have been so many new and wonderful things happening. Biz partner and I finally feel like the business is hitting a stride and our creative juices are really rolling. You know how it is when you get that first A in a hard class?  You now know that you can do it so you're determined to keep that going.  We've had some phenomenal wins so far this year and as the corporate folk say, we need to "leverage" that experience to facilitate more successes.
So we've been talking a lot about next steps and they are exciting!
Personally,  my first born is now a high school graduate and about to embark on a whole new journey.  She is maturing and ready to take the next step in life.  My grandson has two little pieces of rice (teeth) emerging too. Life is moving and growing and changing. All of this activity is exciting but can also be exhausting. If you don't stop sometimes and recharge you will surely burn out and fail to be productive to anyone.

At this very moment,  I am lying in a bed, in a beautiful suite, listening to the ocean and feeling the breeze. The fan is circulating that ocean air and all is well.  There are no thoughts of tasks or obligations. My entire job while on vacay is to rest, rejuvenate, and relax.  I'm enjoying my Philly family and feeling their unconditional love.  This experience will be what I think about if someone tells me to go to a happy place in my mind. 

The message of this blog entry is simple.  If you're going to give OF yourself to everyone, all day long,  then you had better be sure to give TO yourself too. This trip was a gift to ME because I'm learning everyday to be kinder to myself.
Please be kinder to yourself.

As always,  thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Go Soar!

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Does it match what you turned out to be? I wanted to be a 5th grade teacher when I was younger but then I made the surprising discovery that I wasn't too keen on spending the entire day with children that I didn't actually give birth to. So...the teacher thing went no further than that.

So I decided that I'd be a business chick. I knew I didn't want to be a doctor or lawyer so business it was and off I went to major in business in college.

Here's what was NEVER on my list :
1. Entrepreneur
2. Author

I never really knew any business owners growing up.  My family was made up of hardworking 9 to 5'ers. That was my example. ..it was what we did.  Imagine my surprise when an annoyance turned into an actual company with a logo and checking account.

This year,  I'll add "Author" to the list of things which define me and that has come as a surprise too.

The honest truth is this: while none of these things were planned,  they have enriched my life in ways I couldn't imagine. 

Are you following a prepared plan or allowing life to guide you?

Take a chance, step outside of your comfort zone. I promise,  you will discover gifts and talents you had no idea you possessed.

Go soar!!
As always,  thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chasing My Dreams

As I was preparing to attend my daughter's graduation last weekend, I was filled with so many emotions. I mean let's face it.......your child will only graduate from high school once. I was excited, elated, nervous and maybe a little sad. My daughter, along with so many other graduates was about to embark on a major journey........a journey into the unknown and that made me nervous. 

I looked at old baby pictures and reminisced about days gone by when she relied on and needed me for so much........and that made me quite reflective .....because my role for her was changing and morphing into something more mature and refined.

I challenged myself to see all of the good and wonderful things that lay ahead for my baby girl.......the fact that she has dreams and a vision for her future made me excited. She was actually looking forward to this "unknown and uncharted" territory that she was about to travel. I wanted her to live each day to the fullest.

I was elated that despite the many obstacles that lay upon her path, she consistently triumphed over those very things that were meant to hold her back. She was becoming a woman and I was proud of the adult that she had become.......she would be graduating as a member of the National Honors Society and attending college in the fall.

I thought about all of the sacrifices that I had made in order to provide my children a better life and that reflection brought about an astounding revelation......she would have to make her own journey.......a journey with sacrifices and mistakes.......a journey with crazy twists and turns, but always, hopefully leading her along the path of joy and happiness.......the path of her dreams and visions that would eventually come true. I wanted to encourage her to not just dream; but to chase her dreams down......you know, make them happen.

As I looked in the mirror, I saw the younger version of myself and I wanted to tell her so many things to do differently but instead I smiled and accepted that all of my past moments, both good and bad have prepared me for the woman that I am today. A woman who is living an amazing life and making my dreams come true. I was no longer scared or nervous for my daughter.......only excited, elated and now overjoyed at this most amazing person she has become, who will do some pretty spectacular things.

Today, as I prepared for my television debut on QVC, I couldn't help but think of my daughter.....a young lady who has inspired me in more ways than she may ever know......a woman who is already walking in her destiny, working towards her dreams. I wanted her to be proud of me knowing that today, I chased down a dream.......and tomorrow.....I'll chase down another one.

Nikki's Magic Wand is available at www.nikkismagicwand.comwww.nikkismagicwand.com, www.amazon.com, and at www.qvc.com

Saturday, May 30, 2015

What QVC has taught me. . . . .so far.

I recently visited QVC to get some on air training for Nikki's Magic Wand's upcoming television debut. I was able to see firsthand what goes on behind the scenes when preparing a brand for their on camera presence. While I was there I learned some invaluable tools that will continue to help me as an entrepreneur and business owner and I wanted to share them with you.

 Here's my "Top 10 Tools Every Business Person Should Have and Use":

1.  Smile Big and Bright
2.  Dress the Part
3.  Prepare, Prepare and Prepare
4.  Have your Elevator Pitch......It Must Be Tight
5.  Don't Talk Over the Other Person
6.  Make Eye Contact
7.  Be Gracious at All Times
8.  Focus On Three Selling Points
9.  Network and Make Connections
10. Never, Ever, Ever Give Up

Smile Big and Bright: People should be able to see your excitement and enthusiasm. Show them that you're glad to be there.

Dress the Part: Wear professional yet comfortable attire. When people are meeting you for the first time or the twelfth time, make sure that your clothes represent your brand. 

Prepare, Prepare and Prepare: Being ready is an understatement. You may not get a second chance at an opportunity, so make sure you're ready to seize that moment by being prepared and ready to deliver your elevator pitch and information about your product, brand or service.

Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready: Your elevator pitch is seriously one of the single most important items to have ready at any given moment. An elevator pitch is a brief, prepared statement that defines a product, service or outlines the value of an organization or an individual in as little as 15 seconds. The length of a typical elevator ride. 

Don't Talk Over the Other Person: Being able to listen and respond is all about timing. When you're in an environment where you share the spotlight, listening to the other person and maintaining good eye contact is key to the success of your timely follow up and hopefully a good conversation.

Make Eye Contact: Having good eye contact is good because it shows the person that you're speaking with that you're engaged and committed to the conversation. 

Be Gracious at All Times: To be gracious, is to be courteous, kind and pleasant. This one act will carry you very far when networking and meeting other business professionals.

Focus on Three Selling Points: When you have three selling points it makes it easier for the consumer to identify and apply those solutions/ key points to their lives and thus turning into a sale.

Network and Make Connections: In just about every place or situation you will meet new people and new people equal new contacts and that means new connections. Always carry updated business cards and remember to smile and know your elevator pitch.
 
Never.....Ever......Ever Give Up: Regardless of where you are in your journey and the odds that you seem to face, remember to keep moving forward and never......ever.....ever give up. You may be closer to the finish line than you think.

We'll keep you posted on our official QVC air date!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Be Fearless!


A dear friend stumbled across a popular magazine's search for "real women".  They were looking for women to feature in their ageless beauty campaign. She knew that I would want....that I would need to enter my grandmother.

When I think of this lady....so many things come to mind. She's passionate, caring, resilient, smart, loving, graceful, beautiful and fearless. She is all about her family. All of the qualities that I would hope any woman would want to possess. She is not only an ageless beauty but she's timeless as well.

When I decided to enter her in this contest, I was both excited and nervous. I mean this  is kinda like a contest......you know, where there is a "winner", to some degree. I didn't like the thought of my granny being judged......especially by people who didn't know her, people that couldn't possibly see that her outer beauty was only a mere fragment of the beauty that was on the inside. I knew that this was nothing but a smidgen of fear talking, but it had me at "hello". I quickly dismissed the fear, replaced it with "hope" and "excitement" and proceeded with the application. I think I was slightly giddy when I hit the "send" button......I had just entered granny.....no turning back now.

A couple of days later, we got a response.....granny would be going to New York. She was officially an "Ageless Beauty". We've known this all along but now the world would see this rare beauty for themselves.

I was already planning her modeling career.....I would become her manager and we'd travel the world.

Now, let's get back to reality......when I saw the article, I was beaming from ear to ear, like a proud parent. I had done something so simple that yielded such major results. I thought about how so many of us, when given the opportunity to do something that's out of our comfort zone or something that may seem unobtainable, we don't take that chance......we won't hit the "send" button. We stay paralyzed in fear.......fear of rejection or fear of failure.

But what if we were to change our mindset.....if only for a few minutes, a few hours or even for a few days.....imagine all of the possibilities.

You're never too old to start living your dream, to try something new......be adventurous.....be fearless. Start living your life like its golden!

Nikki

Ageless Beauty "Mildred Chestnut" is featured in the May 2015 edition of Essence Magazine.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It's Magic....

Hey, it's been too long since we chatted and boy do I have some stuff to share! So, the biz partner and I felt that 2014 moved at too slow a pace for our comfort level and vowed that 2015 would be different. We kicked off the year setting goals and feeling quite fired up. It's amazing when you set your mind to something, you really can make your actions follow suit.

So, one day in the Magic office, I was sitting and "thinking of a master plan" (shout out to Eric B. and Rakim!) and it occurred to me that we should finally do something we talked about doing before the Wand was even a "thing." See, we needed a boost, a change to make 2015 truly different from years passed. So, I called the biz partner and said, "It's time." "Time for what, Nikki?"she asked. "It's time to launch this lipgloss line!" Since we hadn't talked about it in awhile, she was taken aback for a moment but then, as is always the case with us, she quickly started strategizing with me and we set about making it happen. After discovering just the right make-up, labels and packaging, all that was left to do was unveil the new addition to the Nikki's Magic Wand family. Weeks before the big reveal, I started to do teaser posts to get potential consumers' interest peaked. I was SO proud of myself during this time because I have mentioned time and time again how marketing is quite foreign to me but this plan to build excitement felt instinctual and that felt good. Like I had finally become a real, live biz chick! :)

Well, as we all know, timing is everything and I just happened to be an invited guest on the Vitamin C podcast the SAME DAY that the make-up arrived on my doorstep, as well as finishing up adding the new offerings to the website. I was READY to tell the listening audience the big news. I am thrilled to share that it was well received and orders began to pour in that night.

We chose to add liquid eyeshadows to the line because you can use your Wand with them and the colors are stunning! The glosses contain the ever popular Argan oil and antioxidants too. The gloss is smooth and lush and the eye shadow lasts for 8 hours with no fading or creasing.

Here are a few comments:

"I want to let you know that the lip gloss is amazing! The color is perfect. It is smooth and moisturizing. Simply Perfect!"

"My new 'Firebrick' Luxury Lip gloss from Nikki's Magic Wand's new makeup line arrived today!!! It glides on smooth and my lips feel super soft, NOT sticky, like some other brands. The color is true to shade as shown on the website."

You know I am LOVING that they are LOVING their new gloss. It makes me extra happy because love of lipgloss is what started this entire company so to have our own makes me giddy.

Well, this has gotten long so I'll run.

As always, thanks for reading and go to www.nikkismagicwand.com to check out our new stuff!

Nikki

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Next Big Thing...

In the sage words of the ever wise Ms. Janet Jackson, many wonder, "What have you done for me lately?"

Years ago, when the whole Nikki's Magic Wand thing was just getting started, our business advisors asked, I believe before we even launched, "What do you have planned next? What will you create/release/sell after you launch Nikki's Magic Wand?" I was a bit taken aback, like, "Hold up. Let me figure out how to get this off the ground first." Well, now I know that they were right to ask. Yes, there have been some successful "one trick ponies" but it seems the real winners are the ones who are bringing more to the table.

If I'm totally honest, I didn't know that I'd have time to bring anything else to the table because really, most days I feel like I just want to put my head down ON the table, not add more stuff to it. BUT, I was missing something major in this process! The excitement attached to giving the world something they haven't had before. Now THAT will lift that head off the table QUICK and inject you with an energy that you thought was gone.

We are gearing up for the BIG REVEAL very soon. Gotta cross those t's and dot those i's but we're VERY close.

I am SO excited (and jazzed, I might add) to share our new "baby". I've been testing it and showing it off and I promise you, you're going to LOVE IT!

A few folks know my little secret so to those folks, mums the word!

Stay tuned for the fabulosity!

As always, thanks for reading!
Nikki