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

Sunday, February 1, 2015

From Nikki to Nikki's Magic Wand....

Back to Basis for this post...

Like most, I'd started to hear about blogging a few years ago. Having always been an avid journaler, it seemed like a fit for me. More importantly, I had started to get questions about starting a business and inventing a product. I was really just learning myself but I figured it might be helpful to share real time experiences. Why should people have to make their own mistakes if I could help prevent that? So, on 10/22/2012, exactly two months before launching Nikki's Magic Wand, I wrote my first  post. It was fun and it was exhilarating. Even now, more than two years later, it's still fun, even when I have a mean case of writer's block.

The experts tell you to change it up, stop talking about yourself so much in your blog but my most "successful" post was also my most personal. So, experts, schexperts. I'm just going to be me. And being me is to do my best to be helpful, to share what I have or know.

In that vein, I want to share some things I've learned since launching the biz on 12/22/2012.

1. You'll need money and lots of it. Start saving. Income tax refund time is around the corner. Do you dream of those new boots or do you dream of building a legacy? To hell with the boots.

2. Ask for help. It's crazy how eager people are to help you, but if you don't ask, you'll never know. Now, let me clear. I'm talking about knowledge. Don't go asking for money because you're going to run folks off. Don't be THAT person.

3. You're going to make a few (hopefully not a lot)  bad choices in the business. You'll spend money on something dumb and there will be absolutely ZERO return on investment. But guess what? You HAVE to do this (on a small level). Otherwise, how will you really know what works?

4. Be legit, get a biz attorney and establish a real business, like tax id real. And don't forget to do your taxes. Orange is ok, but I have no interest in wearing it every day, all day.

5. Pay people for what they do. Stop being so damn cheap. You know you aren't any kind of webmaster, nor do you work at VistaPrint and those flimsy business cards you have been giving out prove it. If you want people to trust you and your product or service, you can't look like you are doing this out of your garage, even if you are. On this same topic, PLEASE run the spellcheck.

6. For heavens sake get a real e-mail address.

7. Get a person to bounce things off of and not your mom. She thinks everything you do is smart and cute. Find someone who will tell you the truth.

8. Shout out other businesses every chance you get. It's just the right thing to do and there's enough money out here for everyone.

9. Get a massage and eat a cupcake (or whatever is your thing). If all you do is work, you'll quickly turn into a stressed out meanie that absolutely no one wants to be around. Chill.

10. Finally (and trust me there are a million more but you might stop reading) GIVE BACK! You can certainly share some of that profit. Yes, you are in business to make money but you can't lose your soul in the process. The joy that comes from giving back makes you want to sell harder, just so there's more money for you and for them.

I'll revisit this list theme in the future but these are the main things I wanted to share.

Have a GREAT week and make some moves!

As always, thanks for reading!
Nikki

Monday, January 26, 2015

Benson and Stabler are not going to sell any Wands so I'd better get out of bed...

Have you ever found yourself in what could be called a slump? You just feel completely unmotivated and nothing is more attractive than your covers, the remote and the ever satisfying Law and Order SVU marathon. While vegetating you KNOW you should be doing something... making contacts, blogging, posting something on Twitter, but no, "Olivia" and "Elliot" are going to find out who kidnapped that girl and you have to know who did it! Oh, that's just me? Ok.

Just in case it's not just me, I have a few tips for ya that I use to drag my booty out of the bed and  downstairs into the Magic office so that I can be further along in my life and business. After all, "Stabler" and "Benson" are not going to sell any Wands for me--although that would be BEYOND awesome if they did. Yes, I'm a little obsessed with the show. Don't judge me.

Anyhoo, on to the tips.

1. Make a tried and true "to-do" list. Put some super easy stuff on there, along with the hard tasks. Crossing off the super easy stuff will make you feel like you're getting things done and it will give you a bit of a boost. Quick funny: I actually put "Consider exercising" on my to-do list. LOL!

2. Print out a calendar and enter something for every day of the month that you're going to do something for the business. And then... DO IT.

3. Get yourself an accountability partner. Each Thursday night, I chat with some biz friends over the phone for about an hour about what I've done since we last met and what I plan to do until we meet again. Boy, knowing I have to have something to report makes me hustle.

4. Sometimes we're immobile because it feels like we have too much to get done. Break it into small chunks and tackle a little at a time. You know that whole Rome wasn't built in a day, blah blah. And one of my faves from Corporate America, don't try to "boil the ocean." That one cracks me up every time.

5. Lastly and this may seem counterproductive to what I was just telling you but give yourself a break too. Don't fly so fast that you burn yourself out. Heavens knows NO ONE likes a massage and a cup of peppermint tea more than I do and I'm gonna have them but I have decided that I must first EARN them.

We ALL want to be further along than we were this time last year so we have to get up, get out and get something!  There's money to be made and dreams and goals to reach! Let's GO!

As always, thanks for reading!
Nikki

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

When Mom Says No, Ask Dad....

Happy Christmas Eve!!! WHAT A YEAR! This will probably be my last blog post of the year and boy have a learned A LOT!

2014 turned out to be a true test of my resilience and biz partner's as well. We both had HUGE personal events that would derail most and admittedly, we were distracted for part of the year. As a fairly new business owner, I've learned there is NO cruise control. If you don't DO something, NOTHING at all will happen in your business.

I'd mentioned in the past that I was pretty clueless on marketing and even though we floundered and flopped around like a fish out of water at the beginning of the year, near the end, we got our arms around what we need to do and have a solid plan for 2015.

We set out to get on more SHELVES this year, we did secure a few more but nowhere near what we would have liked. THAT will change in 2015.

This year we did the 12 Months of Giving Campaign to honor our WONDERFULLY supportive customers and friends and man oh man, that campaign brought a joy to me that's hard to describe but even more important than that, it showed me people's spirit and love and WOW, that was almost overwhelming.

I had temporarily forgotten a VERY important lesson that I am now chanting in my head and that is the title of this post. Let me explain, We applied to QVC THREE times before they accepted us an when they did WE WON. I know full well that when someone tells you NO, you keep asking, you keep trying, you keep working. I had forgotten that for a little while this year but best believe, I'm back on track!

Speaking of QVC, I have to end this with a quick note about assumptions. I had assumed that the purchase order from QVC was a one time thing related to having won the contest. Biz partner says, "No, I didn't get that notion so ask them when they'd like to place another order since we're now sold out." QVC didn't hesitate and said, "Yes! We want more! Send them to us by 1/6/15." What if we never asked? What if I didn't have someone to say, "No, ask them!"

So remember, as you head into 2015, ASK for what you want. When Mom says No, Ask Dad.
Don't give up. Your LIFE (business at least) depends on it!

As always, thanks for reading. I am thankful for you...
Nikki

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Little Time Management for Empire Builders, and tired folks. :)


As the name of this blog tells you, I am a 9 to 5 chick. Been that way for 20 years. However, now I am a member of the business owner community, which, by the way, still cracks me up and sorta amazes me, because it was not AT ALL a part of my previous life plan.  So, since I wear these two hats, I find myself in a constant struggle with time.  Certainly, I must do well at my brick and mortar gig that gives me those fancy health benefits and clockwork pays on the 15th and 30th. BUT, what about Nikki’s Magic Wand? Where does that fit in? With these 24 daily hours, I need to be a Manager in HR, a wife, a mom, a grand mom, a business owner, a friend, a daughter, granddaughter and shoot, I need to be ME, when most days, I just want to come home and climb in the bed.

Recently, I’ve been pretty candid about feeling paralyzed in my business. I called out to my other business owners and asked for inspiration. They answered loudly and I’m thankful but we ALL know you have to get off your OWN butt; no one else can do that for you. So, I floundered around a bit but then I made a plan because feeling lazy and unaccomplished is NOT how I get down.

Since I decided that I am CLUELESS about effective marketing in particular and that’s where I need the most help:

·         I took to the net and printed out a wealth of information on the topic.

·         I then printed a calendar with open blocks and put a marketing task or two on each day.

·         I look at my new calendar and see what task I am responsible for that day (today’s task was “Write New Blog Entry” Look at me, checking stuff off! J

·         During a conversation last week, with a dear friend and business owner, I lamented that I didn’t have the time or energy, it seemed, to do all I needed to do on Social Media. I told her that I wanted to Tweet more and update my other pages more often but that I hadn’t found the time. She suggested HootSuite and told me I could schedule my Tweets, so I could write a bunch at once and then just set the day they were to post. Say what now???

·         Off to HootSuite I went and set up 20 Tweets and away they went. They’ve been posting each day while I’ve been sipping tea downtown or having a meeting with my co-workers.


My friend also suggested getting an intern to help me. We had one the summer of 2013 and boy would I like another so if you know of any creative folks who’d like to help, work with, learn from a sparkling winner (LOL!!!!) tell them to reach out to me at nikki@nikkismagicwand.com.

 
At the end of the day, I know, I believe and I will work hard enough to be successful. Just gotta get organized, focused and stick to my new plan! J

 

Thanks for reading!

Nikki