How She Does It: Yacine Bio-Tchane and Winstina Hughes, Founders of Mi Pikin

Mi Pikin is modern, trendy, ready-to-wear clothing brand for children between the ages of 1 to 7 years old.

The brand was launched in 2018 by Yacine Bio-Tchane and Winstina Hughes, two women of African origin who want heirloom African clothing for children everywhere.

Mi Pikin fabrics are popular throughout Africa. Some fabrics are traditionally made in specific countries and others are manufactured and popular in certain regions.

Mi Pikin means “My child” in the Krio language of Sierra Leone, West Africa.


Deb Bailey: Welcome to the Secrets of Success blog, Winstina and Yacine. Can you share your motivation for starting the company?

Winstina Hughes: I decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship soon after graduating from college. The CEO of the company I worked at started a business in college with friends and spoke about it frequently. I chose to have faith in myself and took the leap to start my company the year I entered graduate school. Though my inspiration to start my company came from a colleague, my persistence to continue comes from observing my father run his own business. Mi Pikin is a new venture with my close friend Yacine.

Yacine Bio-Tchane: I come from a background where people make a living from different sources of income, especially women. I took the leap thanks to my friend Winstina who simply asked me, do you want to launch Mi Pikin with me? I believed in both of our strengths and resolve.

Our ideal clients are anyone with a child in their house, family or surroundings. We want Mi Pikin to attract anyone who is open to adding our vibrant brand in their child's style.

Winstina: Yes. I also see Yacine and her children and me and my children as Mi Pikin clients, too. I look at our clothing and my reaction is, "I would buy that!" Since I have no children, I want someone else to have a chance to buy beautiful clothing made with a modern African touch for a child they adore.  

Yacine: My vision is for Mi Pikin to become an international brand with customers all around the world who can access our collections simply by going online.

Winstina: I want the same thing. I can see our customers buying Mi Pikin clothing with the touch of the screen, a click of the mouse or at our pop up store. Yacine and I were both born in West Africa. I was raised in America and it is incredibly hard to find children's clothing made from African cloth. When you see it, it was a gift or a mom had it custom made by a seamstress. 



Deb: What have been some of your successes and challenges? 

Winstina: My successes with my company, Planning Write, are tied to not accepting every opportunity I am offered. Not every web design opportunity is the right fit. One challenge I have had is that not everyone wants to be a paying customer. I anticipate that I will have different experiences with Mi Pikin. 




Deb: I love the passion you both show for this company. What inspires you to do the work you do? 

Winstina: Love. Honestly, I only do what I love and I only work with people I respect. This keeps me positive and inspired. 

Yacine: I am inspired by the desire to have impact. I want my venture to change the course of African people lives through the opportunity to express their creativity, their skills and through employment. I want the world to see clothing Made in Africa and to applaud the style and the quality of the clothing.




Deb: What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs who are just starting out? 

Winstina: My advice would be to bootstrap and avoid spending money if you do not have. I believe I am still in business because I have avoided capital intensive investments. I only accept payments on my company website, chose a co-working space over renting in an office building, and e-commerce over renting a store. 

Yacine: The best advice I will give a woman entrepreneur is to structure her business from day one. She must make sure that she takes the necessary measures to have contracts, to file taxes, to have the right skillset around her, to keep track of her spending, etc. The more structured a company is, the most sustainable it will be.




Deb: Terrific advice. One more question: what do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Yacine: I would tell my younger self to explore anything I wanted and not to be scared of failure or ridicule. 




Deb: Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Before you go, please share your website and social media URLs:  

Winstina & Yacine: It was a pleasure to share our company with your readers. 


@MiPikin on Facebook and Instagram.



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Being the Best You That You Can Be

business woman
by Marie Miguel


We all have something we are good at. However, some of us just have not figured out what that is yet. It may be something that you have always wanted to do or something that you never knew you could do. It does not have to be something that will make you rich quick, or ever.

For example, when I started writing, I wrote for myself in my spare time. I did not get paid for it. People do not get paid for writing on their blog. That is not how it works. But, by doing what I loved, I discovered how good I was at it and that I could turn it into a career if I did it right. If not, that is okay because I still love what I do and I can make money other ways. Luckily for me, I can write every day and get paid well for it, but I do it because I love it. If I did not love what I do, I probably would not be as good at it.

What Do You Want to Do?


So, what are you good at? What do you love? Are you doing what you love to do? Going to the same job day after day to do the same thing over and over just does not scream success to me. If you are just going to work to get a paycheck, chances are pretty good that you would rather be doing something else. So, go do it! Life is short! Be what you want to be now before it is too late!

Get Some Feedback


If you are not sure what you are good at and you have a lot of things that you love to do, ask the people who know you the best. Your friends and family can probably tell you more about yourself than you can. Ask them what they think you are good at. You may find out that it is something that you would never have thought of on your own. You know on those cartoons where the character has that lightbulb go on above their head? When you get that moment, you will know. That is what you should be doing.

Think Positive


Sometimes, your psyche gets in your way. You may be the one standing on your path to success. Being afraid to do something new or thinking you may not be good enough can set you up to fail. You have to think positive and surround yourself with positive people. Do not let others bring you down. Some people may try to tell you that you should not do what you love because you need to be like the "rest of the world" and get to work.

Make Sure You Are Ready


You may find that you are just too scared to try something new just yet. Maybe you need to talk to someone about your self-esteem before you begin a new venture. No matter how much you love what you do, if you are not ready, you may not be as successful as you want and this could make you give up and never want to try again. Try talking to a counselor or therapist about your ideas and they can help you build up your self-confidence. Therapy is not just for depression and anxiety.


About the Author: Marie Miguel is an avid internet researcher and she likes to write about a lot of topics namely, social media marketing, healthcare and business. She has a college degree in Communication with Specialization in Integrated Marketing Communication. She has more than 10 years work experience in various fields namely, social media marketing, as well as, research for fast-moving consumer goods. Currently, she is working as a Marketing Associate in the fast growing industry of solar energy. In her free time, she writes content for different websites and blogs, so that she can share her knowledge of her field and of other topics that she is interested in. Marie also likes to travel and her adventures allow her to have a broader world view. Finally, she has four kids, who inspire her with her work and her writing.

Picture credit:

unsplash-logoAJ Colores
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Selling Online: What Works Now with Sales & Marketing Expert Kerry Heaps on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Kerry Heaps
Show #458

Kerry Heaps returns as co-host to discuss:

*Affiliates and the sales process
*Warm leads vs Cold calling
*Selling without being "pushy"
*Pros & Cons of the Online Sales Funnel

Kerry Heaps is the Publisher of Pageant Platform Magazine and the host of Pageant Platform Podcast. She is the Founder of Kerry's Studio, a full-service Pageant training company that offers training to women ages 16+ all over the world.  Her passion is to help women succeed in Pageantry, build a successful platform and use it to build a successful career or business after exiting pageantry.

Her story starts in the spring of 2005, working in the corporate world as a recruiter she spent a lot of time at networking functions and participating in putting them together for other organizations. "It's a lot of work putting together events and I thought to myself if I am going to do this, I should do it for myself. I was working part time to save money to start my image consulting firm, so I figured this would be a great way to add in some revenue while the business gets up and running." She left her corporate job in the fall and started getting business owners together at a local book store café. "I still remember my first Monday after I left my job, I got up that morning and thought, what have I done??? Although there's been a lot of bumps in the road I don't regret my decision one bit. My passion is helping others succeed in their marketing efforts, I know how scary it can be to start a business and no one should feel alone on their journey."  After a life changing evening in 2016, Kerry retired her marketing business to focus on her true passion, beauty and pageantry.

She is the Founder of Pitch like a Bitch Media, an online resource to gain more media exposure and the Author of Pitch like a Bitch, Top 10 tips to pitch like a Pro (Dec 2017) and the Create your own Media series for Podcasting, Publishing and Publicity.  She has an extensive background in Sales, Networking, Recruiting, and Training. She is a former Model who specialized in Trade Show and Print work. She is also an experienced judge on the beauty pageant circuit.  Kerry is also a contributing columnist for www.sbmarketingtools.com, www.swaaymedia.com and she also writes occasionally for www.sheownsit.com and various other publications.

Kerry has interviewed celebrities such as Co-Host of Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran, Authors Larry Winget, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Former Miss West Virginia and QVC Talk Show host, Kim Parrish and many more successful business entrepreneurs.  She is a sought-after guest for many media outlets.

Websites:  
Pitch Like a Bitch Media, www.pitchlikeabitchmedia.com 
K|Kouture Cosmetics www.kkouturecosmetics.com 
Image consulting website:  www.omegaimage.com 
Pageant Training:  www.kerrysstudio.com
Pageant Platform Magazine:  www.pageantplatformmag.com


Listen on Libsyn:
http://womenentrepreneursradio.libsyn.com/selling-online-what-works-now-with-sales-marketing-expert-kerry-heaps-0



Kerry Heaps on Women Entrepreneurs Radio



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7 Best Investments For Millennials and Young Professionals

business woman
by Yazi

The current generation of millennials and young professionals is in a unique financial position. Many of them are struggling even though unemployment is relatively low. They have low wages and limited financial literacy. As a result, many of them have paltry retirement accounts and invest no money at all.

That disturbing trend regarding millennials and investing needs to change. Millennials and young professionals will not be able to count on Social Security or pensions like earlier generations. They need to take charge of their retirement and their future through investing. What should millennials invest in? Here are a few ways in which millennials and young professionals can get started in the world of investing and control their own financial future.

1. Real Estate Investment


Real estate is a candidate for one of the great ways for millennials to invest. Several avenues are available for anyone wanting to make money in the real estate field. For those who want maximal profits with unlimited effort, an investor can buy a property and become a landlord. Rent payments help to cover the mortgage on the property and any repairs or marketing that the landlord must pay for. Investors who do not want to act as a landlord can become real estate speculators. They can buy real estate and then sell for what they hope is a higher price at a later time. Speculation involves high risks, high rewards, and many hours of laborious research. In some ways, it can be just as time-consuming as being a landlord with rental property.

Other instruments are also available for more casual real estate investors. Real estate investment trusts allow investors to purchase shares in a company invested in real property. An individual can invest as little as a few dollars into one of these trusts. ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, have a similar function for individuals who want to use real estate as a small part of a diversified portfolio. 



2. Index Funds


Index funds are more passive and low-risk than other investment vehicles. They are mainly for the investor who wants to sit back and take in the returns of vast sections of the market. In return for an extremely low fee, index funds track the performance of a stock market index or the entire stock market. An investment strategy that focuses on index funds often avoids the highs and lows of specific stocks. However, since the approach is passive, this fund may lose more money than other investing approaches when the overall stock market begins to slide.

3. Individual Stocks


Picking stocks is a challenge for any investor. This challenge is especially prominent with young investors who clearly remember the financial crisis of 2008. However, that recent turmoil does not mean young investors still cannot try to pick stocks. Investors can incorporate individual stocks into their diversified portfolio after many hours of research. In order to do this properly, investors must find stocks with strong valuations. Make sure to check earnings and any news that has emerged about the company. Looking to experts can also be helpful. Men like Warren Buffett and women like Karen Finerman have made thousands of trades and have earned millions of dollars buying and selling stocks. Their purchases and decisions often move the stock market. Many of these investors have interviews and newsletters where they share some of their secrets. Learning from these individuals can help anybody trying to get into the stock market to succeed.

4. Bonds


Every investment portfolio needs a balance of safe and risky assets. Bonds are a key safe asset for millions of investors. They accrue capital in different ways than stocks. Many bonds derive their value from the performance of governments or interest rates rather than companies. While millennials and young professionals should keep their investments in bonds low to maximize return, bonds should still be found in their portfolios.

5. Precious Metals


Precious metals are yet another way in which a millennial can earn wealth. The most popular precious metals for investors are gold and silver. These metals can keep their value over time in ways that paper currency cannot. They can serve as an easy hedge against rampant inflation or massive downturns in the stock market.

6. Forex Trading


Millennials and young professionals often have a better understanding of technology than other generations. In certain fields of investing, knowing about technology can be critical. Some of the best investments for millennials involve a technological advantage over other groups of investors. Forex trading is one of those forms of investing.

At its core, Forex trading involves taking in information and using that information to value different currencies relative to one another. The trader takes that information and uses it to buy, sell, and short currencies. Technology improves the process considerably by speeding up both trades and the acquisition of information. When Forex trading is backed up by VPS hosting, a trader can gain thousands of dollars over the competition over time.

7. Invest in New Skills


In addition to traditional investing in exchanges and online, young people should always remember to invest in themselves. Learning new skills can position them to increase their salaries and earn new positions. A new job may mean a raise of thousands of dollars along with better hours and a better living situation. New skills help expand an individual's opportunities and allow for a broader array of jobs that he or she is qualified for. Small investments in time and energy can lead to massive returns in the span of a few months or years.


Conclusion


Millennials and young professionals must not get left behind in the world of investment. Billions of dollars are made every year through stocks, bonds, and real estate in this country. In order to maintain their retirement and keep up with the wealth of other generations, young people need to get off the sidelines and start putting their money to work.

About the Author: Yazi is an inspired writer who enjoys writing about personal growth, self-help tips, and women's lifestyle.



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"Power UP: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy" with Entrepreneur Magdalena Yesil on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Magdalena Yasil
Show #454

Magdalena Yesil, Executive Chair, DriveInformed and Founder, Broadway Angels

Magdalena Yesil is a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist of many of the world's top technology companies, including Salesforce, where she was the first investor and founding board member. Her current startup, DriveInformed, uses technology to bring trust and transparency to the auto finance industry.

Magdalena's investing career started at US Venture Partners, where as a general partner, she oversaw over 15 investments. She is a founder of Broadway Angels, an angel group of female investors. She is a technology pioneer who started her career as a semiconductor design engineer, and her three decades in Silicon Valley evolved with the technology industry.

Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, Magdalena founded three companies in succession, dedicated to commercializing Internet access, e-commerce infrastructure, and electronic payments. UUnet, Cybercash and MarketPay earned her the Entrepreneur of the Year title from Red Herring Magazine. She recently received the 2017 Fearless Leader award from WomenOnBoards2020. She is the author of Power UP! How Smart Women Win in the New Economy, where she shares her learnings for success in the technology industry.

She is the author of, "Power Up: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy," published in 2017.

Book
www.magdalena.com

Website

www.driveinformed.com

Magdalena Yesil's DreamTalk at the DreamForce conference

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-1xrEQyFOo




Listen on Podomatic:


https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/dbcoach/episodes/2018-02-14T04_00_00-08_00


Subscribe on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/women-entrepreneurs-radio/id939410730?mt=2


Listen on Libsyn:

http://womenentrepreneursradio.libsyn.com/power-up-how-smart-women-win-in-the-new-economy-with-entrepreneur-magdalena-yesil







Magdalena Yasil on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

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How Authors Can Use Pinterest for Book Marketing & Promotions

by Deborah A. Bailey

Back in 2010 when I published my first book, I spent most of time marketing on Facebook and YouTube. It was a non-fiction book, "Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life," and at that time I could still get good organic reach on my Facebook fan page.

I uploaded a few book trailers to YouTube and got "likes" and subscribes pretty quickly. Around that time I joined Pinterest (you had to get an invitation to join back then) but I didn't pin anything about my book. In fact, like most others, I had no idea how to use this new platform.

It seemed to be a fun place to find images, but at the time I didn't consider it to be a platform for book marketing.

I changed my mind when I read about an author who had an account there. She had about 20 or so boards (which seemed like a lot to me at the time) featuring a variety of topics. One board was about her books, another about travel, another about fashion, etc. In addition to marketing her books, she was using Pinterest to give readers a snapshot of her interests.

Though I was impressed by what she'd done, at the time (since I only had one book) I didn't see the need to duplicate what she was doing. In fact, I was dismissive of the usefulness of the site for anything other than searching for interesting images. So, I stopped using it for quite some time, choosing instead to focus on Facebook and on my blog.

But as time went by, and the social media scene began to evolve, I went back and rediscovered Pinterest. What I found was that the platform had also evolved into a search engine. By that time I'd written a few novels. I found that I couldn't do the same things to promote them that I'd done for my non-fiction books. Not to mention that there were more authors and more books being published (once self-publishing began to take off). The same old things weren't going to work.

Online Marketing Overwhelm


When I started my original Twitter account, I did it to promote my freelancing. Once I started to promote my books, I didn't want to throw my novels and fiction-related topics into the mix. So, I created a separate Twitter for promoting my novels (just as I'm in the process of creating a Facebook fan page for my fiction books). Yes, I'm probably making more work for myself, but it actually gives me freedom to have dedicated accounts for the two parts of my life.

As platforms like Blab (now extinct), Periscope, Snapchat, Instagram came on the scene, I was ready to throw my hands up. Was I supposed to be on everything? Was that even possible? And don't forget Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Tumblr (to name a few others). At some point I had to make decisions about where I was going to spend my time.

Pinterest Marketing for Authors Online Course
Marketing on Pinterest for Authors Online Course https://secrets-of-success.teachable.com/p/marketing-on-pinterest-for-authors


The Changing Social Media Landscape


Social media platforms are constantly in a state of flux. It's hard to have rules when the algorithms continue to change, not to mention the various other design changes. One day your FB cover dimensions are one size, then that changes to another. You may not be able to use affiliate links on another platform, then suddenly they're allowed.

A few months ago when I was presenting a social media workshop at the local library, a young man in his 20's said he stopped using Facebook. Snapchat was the place to be for him and his friends. So an author who might be trying to reach that demographic might find that they should give Snapchat a try. Meanwhile, Instagram has added Stories, which puts it in direct competition with Snapchat. So, yet again, another change that might impact your marketing.

Organic reach has been reduced as the platforms look to grow their revenue through advertising revenue. I recently read of something on Instagram called a "shadow ban." It can happen if you use certain hashtags - or too many hashtags. A few commenters on the post speculated that this might make hashtags less beneficial. Yet again, less organic reach will encourage more ad buys. If that's where things are heading, it's going to change how people use that platform to market.

Marketers say that someone has to have several touch points before they're ready to buy (or even to click). Some say 7, other say 20 or more. So that means you have to get your book in front of your prospective reader many times before they might click for more information.

We're already overwhelmed with so much information coming at us. How much is too much? It's a tough call. We'd like to have rules so we can feel like we're in control, but I don't think that's going to work right now. The platforms are continuing to change and adjust (and compete) so things are not going to be static.

Using Pinterest for Book Promotions


When I returned to Pinterest I started creating boards related to my books and my freelancing. I also added board based on popular Pinterest topics, like food, quotes and home décor. Then I added boards that reflected my interests: books, science fiction, writing and blogging. Not only are the boards giving prospective readers (and other writers) a snapshot of who I am, but they've also helped me to connect to other Pinterest users.

Because of my pinning, I've been asked to join a few group boards for writers and bloggers. Group boards will help your pins to be seen by even more people.

Remember I said Pinterest is a search engine? Well, that means when you search for various items, Pinterest pins will show up in the results. Those pins also identify the pinner, so someone can find your pin (and you) when they're searching for other things. There are many ways to be found!

Speaking of demographics, here are a few: as of Jan 2017, Pinterest had 150 million users, with 70 million from the U.S. 81% of Pinterest users are females. 87% of Pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest. 72% of Pinners use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline. (Stats from:
https://www.omnicoreagency.com/pinterest-statistics/.)

Not only is Pinterest a good platform for creating your profile, but you can do so much more. You can also pin your book covers, create boards for blog posts and visuals for inspiration, and join group boards.

Pinterest has a lot of advantages for authors who are looking to market, to connect and to collect pins to help you with your writing. Even better, book cover pins look great on the boards. What's not to like?

This article originally appeared on Savvy Authors.


Want to access the Pinterest Marketing for Authors course for yourself? Access the free introductory lesson here: https://secrets-of-success.teachable.com/p/marketing-on-pinterest-for-authors


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Julia & Company Printable Designs

Julia and Company Printable Designs
https://www.etsy.com/shop/JuliaAndCoPrintables

Julia & Company Printable Designs


My Etsy pop-up shop, Julia & Company Printable Designs is back from vacation!

You'll find motivational quote prints, downloadable wall decor and fiction book covers.

Use this URL below to receive 20% off your purchase!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JuliaAndCoPrintables?coupon=THANKYOU2018






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