Between You & Me

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have to express my gratitude and share a confession.

First and foremost, I am very surprised that people are reading my blog. Somewhere on this thing called “the web” people are reading my blog. And for that I am grateful. About three months ago, I set out to start a blog but I officially launched my blog about ten weeks ago, give or take. In that time, I have had a few thousand views. I seriously do not have time to read and then re-read my blog. So, for each person who has ever skimmed, browsed or intently digested my blog, I say, THANK YOU!

Secondly, I have to confess that I am still not sure how this blog will progress. One of my closest friends suggested that I, “trust the process”. I am learning to do just that and then some. Thanks for being a part of my journey.

I will soon be transferring my blog to another platform and will have a new design. I am excited about what’s ahead for Color Her Lucky.

Thanks for your support!

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They Meant Business

Last Thursday evening was awesome! I was very fortunate to be a volunteer at the Washington Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business event. The reception and ceremony were held at the ultra luxe Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown. I first learned about this event when I attended an MBA Seminar sponsored by WBJ this past spring. I pretty much decided that I HAD to be at this event. After many weeks and email exchanges, I got the a-OK from their events manager, Whitney. My role was to work the registration table and be on hand to help out in other capacities. Between school, work and volunteering I have a lot of experience when it comes to events – logistics, management, vendor relations, set-up, clean-up, etc etc. Let’s just say Whitney was impressed with my help, which is good because I had a great time and made a few contacts.

The event was a celebration of really amazing women who are leaders in their respective fields and occupation within the Washington D.C. metropolitan. Over 150 nominations were received. From the legal world to public relations to finance, each woman is well regarded and managing a healthy, robust company, department or firm. Part of the ceremony included short video segments of each honoree discussing the trajectory of their careers, tidbits about their childhoods including adorable photos, as well as words of wisdom for other women (ahem, like me).

It was really great to see the honorees with their yellow ribbons affixed to their name badges along with a yellow flower pinned to their dress or blouse. They all seemed so elated, a few even appeared surprised by all of the attention. Many brought their family members and each of them had a several coworkers who cheered for them as their video appeared on the jumbo screens. Actually, it was as if the event was a corporate pep rally! A big hootin-and-hollerin-photo-takin’-business-card-swappin’ extravaganza. I loved every minute of it.

I was too lazy to take my jacket off, lol.
I wore a black and white dress w/ a geometric pattern and red pumps.
Love my vintage jacket and H&M scarf. It was freezing!
      There are a few women whom I want to follow up with because their stories really resonated with me. Hmm.. I smell a couple of profiles for my blog. Congratulations to the 2012 Women Who Mean Business honorees!!!


P.S. Shout out to Julie, another volunteer, who was another amazing woman I met!

Pitch Week

Surprise! I cannot believe I am writing a post before sunset. I have yet to hit that sweet spot of uploading my posts the same time every day. Eventually it will happen. No rush.

Hmm.. what’s new. Actually, I got a quick glimpse of the office of Affinity Lab, an accelerator for businesses and entrepreneurs based in the U street area of D.C. I was on my way to an event for mentors with the DC College Success Foundation last night and stumbled upon their office a few blocks from the U Street metro. I know they offer different types of membership but I wonder if they have day/visitor passes. I would love to visit and see what the coworking space is like along with the various nonprofits and businesses.

I also went to Capital Cause‘s second annual Changemakers event, which honors young philanthropists for their commitment to service. I was an honoree last year. I continue to support the organization philanthropically and with my time by working with the events committee. Our event space, Capitale, was really nice. I didn’t take any pictures unfortunately. I am really looking forward to buying either a Nikon or Canon. I am almost certain that I will take more and share more photos (Tumblr anyone?)

This week I’ve been working on pitching, aka selling myself. I got inspired after reading a post from Susannah Breslin, a Forbes contributor. I read her blog, Pink Slipped, regularly because she has a very direct voice and offers good insight as a freelancer. I’ve been trying to get leads with online magazines as a contributor. One in particular, Ms. Career Girl, has some potential and I am exploring my options with that website.

Using social media has been helpful in finding opportunities. Twitter has been especially helpful but I’ve made some connections through LinkedIn as well. The LinkedIn Premium package is great. Being active on social media allows others to learn more about me. Big plus!

Speaking of learn more about me, I referenced someone I met at BlogHer several weeks ago. Annie, of Peach Prenni, has been so kind to not only read my blog but provide comments to my posts. Thanks Annie!

Co-working

I like co-working. I like it a lot. Thanks to Foster.ly for hosting today’s “Women Focused Study Hall”. I wish K-12 education and college were more like a co-working lab. Ideas exchange. Networking. Problems. Solutions. Free WiFi! When women get together, there is truly a sense of camaraderie and a real desire to offer support.

Foster.ly gear. Be jealous.

Traveling to the uber nice neighborhood of Chevy Chase was a bit of trek but as always, the time I spent mingling and brainstorming with other budding and established entrepreneurs was inspiring. Who knew coworking could be so much fun?! I have some follow up to do, obviously. I will need to take some time to think of my next move. After selling a few accessories and pieces of clothes at the Buffalo Exchange in Georgetown, I realize that I need less. The more options I have, the more distractions to be had.

It’s about that time. If I pitch to the right contacts, the right companies, then I could catch a lucky break. I have a mini challenge for the week and that is to pitch. Nothing more, nothing less. Pitch to marketing and PR firms/agencies every day this week. Pitch to websites and magazines that match my interests. Rejection is expected but it certainly does not hurt to try. Yoda was right – “Do or do not. There is no try”.

Happy pitching!

P.S. A special thank you to all of our veterans, past, present and future.

Voted

My single, most important goal today was to vote. I did just that and from start to finish, it was about a forty minute process. I went to the polls in the afternoon time to avoid the lines. Now the rest of the country and the world awaits the final results.

Civic duty, done and done.

Enough about this very long and expensive election, here are my goals for November.

  • Further elaborate on the purpose of blog and/or personal website, which includes the “About” section and transferring content to WordPress. I’m upgrading!
  • Buy a “real” aka professional camera with a price range of $150-$250. Word on the street is that you cannot go wrong with a Nikon or Canon. I am banking on a few, good holiday deals this season.
  • Create and maintain monthly budget for work related expenses. I need to work on my non-existent accounting skills.
  • Explore another social media account, either Tumblr (hence the camera purchase) or Pinterest.
  • Utilize LinkedIn Premium account and enhance summary and experience, with specialties and computer software applications, etc.
I have four as of right now, even though I thought I would have three. I probably will add one or two more. Once December rolls around, my motivation may well be weather dependent. It’s a rather biting cold temperature today and it does not help that my niece and nephew got my sick. I saw it coming. I didn’t even venture out last night but the rest of my week is busy. I might as well rest up and stay healthy.
Let’s review the progress I made on my October goals:
  • Purchased my own domain name to make enhance my credibility and casually tell people to “visit my website”.   Completed but I haven’t told anyone. 1 point. 
  • Updated my LinkedIn profile with action verbs, a jazzy introduction and new recommendations. Semi-completed. Half point. I received a recommendation and several endorsements. I still have settled on a fabulous introduction. See November goals.
  • Finished at least one business school application. Half point. I actually decided to remove a school from my list because I realize it does entirely fit me. Basically, I found better schools which helps me generate a more targeted list. 
  • Completed 40 blog posts (long term goal is celebrate #100 by year’s end!) Completed. 1 point. I am going to stress quality over quantity. 100 entries is definitely not happening. 
  • Joined a professional organization. Hmm.. I went back and forth on this one. I think I need more time to determine which organization is best but I have considered joining a Meetup group. I won’t count this one, for now. 
And there you have it. Three points out of four is not too bad, especially since I was traveling for most of October. Here’s to more goals and more opportunities!

Worth It

Wow, time really does fly. I had every intention to blog on Friday right before I called it quits for the evening. Little did I know that I would be babysitter numero uno for the evening and the following morning. My older brother owes me. I love my niece and nephew, so it’s okay. Those two are never a dull a moment. What has been lackluster is my ability to get work done. With family obligations this weekend, I feel behind already!

Back to Friday. I had registered as a volunteer for the 2012 Maryland Women’s Conference this past summer after a few key word searches via Google. I was looking forward to a conference that was more local and a little smaller. This conference was also a one-day affair like the last one I attended. The morning was somewhat rough but I still managed to exercise, eat breakfast and get on the road by eight. Per usual, I got lost and ultimately the trip took me two hours. I was comforted by the fact that the route was unbelievably scenic. Very picturesque, actually. My point of contact was a woman named Susan and eventually we found each other. I assisted one speaker, Anita Wilson, as she discussed the ins and outs of Social Security and Medicare. I found her presentation insightful though Social Security benefits won’t be a realization for me for another four decades. I was undoubtedly the youngest person in the room, then again, the conference was not teaming with young women but I spotted a few college students.

I really connected with a business owner, Nicole of Stacy Nicole, an interior design firm. She shared a bit of her personal and professional journey and struggles. She is willing to offer advice for someone like me. I got her business card and we’ve already started exchanging emails. She’s definitely not holding back by asking the tough, direct questions. Gasp! I actually have to fine-tune this vision of mine. The more questions, the more fine-tuning. Another person I admired was Jessica Hibbard of Stories and Ideas. I was really impressed with her business card, a simple and clean design. Her professional background (she’s a former Apple employee) is also impressive. She launched her own business earlier this year in Frederick, Maryland. Congrats! I wish both Nicole and Jessica the best and hope to continue to reach out to them in the future. The long drive was worth it because I left with more knowledge than earlier that morning.

2012 Sponsors of Maryland Women’s Conference

Another conference off my list. Next up? DCWEEK! I have a free badge that I picked up a few days ago. I was not able to pick up my Gold badge just yet because I was out of town. DCWEEK is a weeklong festival with the goal of bringing together designers, developers, entrepreneurs and social innovators. The festival hosts a variety of activities like a hack-a-thon and happy hour events as well as sessions featuring top industry speakers and guests. I scanned the schedule last week to select which programs to register for and attend. Several scheduled events are sold out. I plan on attending Punchrock’s happy hour later this evening, provided that my niece and nephew are out the door by then. The thought of engaging in a conversation not involving  a two-year old’s babble sounds delightful.