10 Lessons from Werk, Pray, Slay

When 150+ inspired women are in one room, the energy is electrifying. We experienced this first hand during the Werk, Pray, Slay empowerment event on November 3 – 5 in Atlanta.

Referred to as “a weekend for winning women,” Werk, Pray, Slay was created by entrepreneur Koereyelle and her Dream Team to help attendees become their best selves before becoming a wife.

From the sessions to the social events to the amazing vendors, Werk, Pray, Slay was the spark that we needed during this season in our lives. There were so many gems about entrepreneurship, relationship readiness and personal development dropped during the weekend, but here are our top 10 takeaways:

1. Your attention has to stay on your intention

Multiple presenters stressed the importance of being intentional — also meaning being purposeful and deliberate.

During the opening of the BYOB (be your own boss) conference on Saturday, the host, LB -The Wife Coach, referenced a quote by Wayne Dyer that says: “Our intention creates our reality.” LB then gave us a few minutes to write down why we were there and what we wanted to get out of Werk, Pray, Slay.

This exercise about being intentional was a great foundation for the event. It gave us an opportunity to get crystal clear about our hopes for the weekend, and where we’re trying to go in life.

2. The first step to financial freedom is getting your mind right

We all want more zero’s in our bank account, but many of us are swimming in debt just trying to keep afloat. One of the sessions at Werk, Pray, Slay was changing your mindset about money hosted by Kristin of Debt Free Black Girl.

She challenged us to re-program how our brain thinks about our finances. Some of the ways to do that is to reflect on how money was handled in your household growing up, think about budgeting as a spending plan for your money – not a restrictive practice, and create an aggressive debt payoff plan where you attack the loans with the highest interest or highest balance first (also known as the snowball effect).

3. Peace and success comes from having balanced chakras

In the session about balancing your chakras and manifesting success, Rubi D. explained the 7 chakras. A chakra is an energy centre in our body in which energy flows through. When unbalanced, it causes different types of problems in our lives and how we live. It was interesting to learn more about our chakras, including:

  • Root – survival (financial independence, money and food) and your foundation; living confidently in your purpose
  • Sacral – associated with your emotions, feelings, creativity and sexuality
  • Solar plexus – willpower; self-confidence and the relationship you have with yourself
  • Heart – being able to love and receive love
  • Throat – communicating effectively; comprehending what you read; listening to understand, not to respond
  • Third eye – ability to follow intuition and see the bigger picture
  • Crown – tapping into your higher self; letting go of your ego

4. Developing poppin’ partnerships requires strategy, creativity and purpose

Creative marketing strategist Alechia Reese shared how she’s built relationships with major corporations like Verizon and Grey Goose, and celebrities like Zendaya by being intentional (aha there’s that word again!) She said: “life is a relationship game. In order to win at it, you have to learn to build mutually beneficial relationships.”

Some of Alechia’s recommendations to do that include understanding who you are and what you have to offer, in addition to what makes you unique. Also, creating a desired relationship tree of people you want to get to know professionally and, making an events strategy so you can add value and get the most out of the experience.

5. Getting your mind right for marriage is a matter of manifestation

Another common theme amongst the Werk, Pray, Slay speakers was the importance of getting your mind right in order to yield all you desire.  Joané King of naetorious.com and affectionately referred to as the Wifestyle Strategist gave us her V.I.P tips to successfully mold your relationship through Vulnerability, being Intentional (the magic word during this weekend for winning women!) and Present:

  • Vulnerability- being able to let your guard down and take criticism from the one you love.
  • Intentional- catering to his thoughts and being a sounding board for him to confide; vice versa.
  • Present- not doing anything wrong isn’t enough; be there and mindful of the climate of the relationship and how it may need to be nurtured at the time.

6. Elevate yourself, know your worth and you’ll attract what you match

“You are his match, not his mirror.” -Joané King, naetorious.com  Following the importance of manifesting a successful relationship, we also discussed the ability to learn to let him lead but not losing yourself in the process. This requires you to first become what you’d like to attract, in order to attract someone worthy of leading.

Tap into your higher self and claim what you know you deserve from a significant other.  You shouldn’t be in a situation where you simply conform to what he wants you to be, you complement. You all complement each other and if your partner says otherwise then you’re not in the right situation. As Naetorious said, “He’s the head…but you’re the neck.” They depend on one another. They work better together.

7. There’s always good in the bad that happens; you just have to find it

Rubi D emphasized that balancing your chakras doesn’t guarantee that you won’t ever encounter bad things however, it assists in helping you master how to react better in negative situations. Achieving a certain level of peace and happiness allows you the clarity to assess the good in seemingly bad situations, which is an evergoing lesson of growth and gratitude. 

8. Increasing your income and influence as a blogger requires authenticity, consistency and tracking your analytics

Kyshira Moffett is the mastermind behind HERmovement and is a branding strategist who helps busy bombshells revamp their online presence to be authentic and profitable. Kyshira encouraged us to be as true to ourselves as possible while building our brands and get clear on what you want to be known for. Doing self-inventory is key by evaluating the following:

  1. Niche- what lane are you playing in?
  2. Value Proposition- what makes you, your product and content special?
  3. Need- What does your client need? Paying points?
  4. Content Strategy- what type of blog are you aiming to do? Coaching, Photo, Beauty, etc.

9. Your client/audience has 99 problems, your job is to solve 1

This clever tidbit from Kyshira was gold to all of us embarking on our entrepreneurial journey. It went hand in hand with the continued theme of being intentional and defining what is your why? It’s so easy to become eager to be your own boss but you have to do the research in order to find where you’re needed most and do the work to become present in that realm. You want to make impact in what excites you, the income will follow.

10. Life will be lit in 5 years… if you choose her over everything

As event creator Koereyelle celebrated her 5th Werk, Pray, Slay this year, she shared how much the weekend has evolved over the years and how we can too if we stay focused on the woman that we’re becoming. During her keynote during the BYOB conference, she stressed how every decision, thought, word and action we say is affecting who we will become… so we have to choose her.

We can’t wait for next year’s Werk, Pray, Slay weekend! What’s the best empowerment event that you’ve been to? Share more in the comments below!

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Millennial Men Pt. 4: #MillennialMen on Marriage

Throughout our seasons of dating it’s important to keep things fun but of course, as the Becoming Brilliance beauties we are we can’t help but be intentional with what we want in all aspects of our lifestyle…(see what I did there ♥). After a while, we may begin to wonder where is this going? Are we dating with a purpose or just casually? Where does HE see this going? Does he see a future with me?

Bringing up the big ‘M’, shouldn’t be taken lightly by any means especially, since it can be difficult to gauge if it’s something #MillennialMen are even considering while dating. However, out of our 13 guys, 9 say they would like to get married and 3 are already married. There was only 1 no. Guess it’s on their radar more than we give them credit for…

As our #MillennialMen series comes to a conclusion, we thought it be great to reflect on the guy’s views on what many consider the ultimate goal in the realm of love and relationships:

“My ideal age [for marriage] would be about 29 or 30. I would like for us to at least have 3 years under our belt before engagement.” –Aaron Perkins, 25, In A Relationship

 

“I told my father and brother how I felt about her and I just knew she was the one over everybody I’d dated…I got married at 27.” –Kevin Crayton, 28, Married

 

“My ideal age to be married is whatever age it happens. Whether I’m 26, 30 or 40, the love that I will have for my wife will not change with age. Marriage is the goal one day and should be the goal for anyone who is casually dating. However, at the moment I am focused on school and becoming the best healthcare provider I can be for my patients.” Tunde Oshikoya, 26, Single/Dating

 

“I didn’t think I was ready. I’ve talked to a lot of married men and most of them told me that’s not something you can really be prepared for. You just do it and trust God to take care of the rest. That was my case especially being young and fresh out of college.” –Tyler Bell, 25, Married 

 

“I definitely want to get married. With the job that I have I probably won’t until I’m in my mid 30’s but of course I don’t know. Love just happens! I’d like to be where I want to be in my career before I settle down with someone and make a big commitment like marriage. I’ve seen my parents break up and I don’t want that to happen to me so I’ll take my time when it comes to marriage.” –Byron Jenkins, 25, Single/Dating

 

“I got married when I was 22. I knew I was ready when my wife matched all the traits I look for and how I was in a position financially to provide for us and also help her with her goals and aspirations.” –Donovan Lyons, 26, Married

Did you enjoy our #MillennialMen series? What topic in the love and relationship realm did you gain the most insight from the guys? Share in the comments below.

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Millennial Men Pt 3: 3 Reasons to be Your Own #RelationshipGoals

The access that social media has given us to regularly view how others are living their lives far too often distracts us from simply living our own. It’s so easy to make things look better than they appear especially if the only thing being shown is what you truly want people to see.

Now, that’s no shade because we put our best face forward on our platforms as well! However, in this digital age relationship envy or what we more affectionately refer to as #RelationshipGoals sometimes deserves one, big eye roll.

We’re not saying that admiring relationships whether for how they’ve persevered through individual or joint challenges, or how they root for their significant other through life’s successes is wrong. But it’s important to be sure you’re not putting others on a pedestal for which you hope will be your next mate or comparing your current partner to the actions of someone else.

If nothing else, interviewing 13 guys of various relationship statuses truly depicts how every relationship based on the individuals involved will differ and why it’s better (and more fun!) to simply be your own #RelationshipGoals! Here’s why:

  1. All men are NOT the same

This one is specifically for those who love to ask, “do you think all men cheat?” I know as women we hate when men group us together based on unflattering, circumstantial behaviors but we’ll quickly pull the “a man is going to be a man” card without any regard to men as individuals.

We asked our #MillennialMen is there anything they wish women knew about men and Deonte Bridges’ response was music to our ears: “There are some of us out here who still love, respect and appreciate y’all.”  Don’t miss out on your special one because you chose to generalize him.

2. There isn’t a manual specific to YOUR relationship

Men get their suits tailored, women get alterations…and why is that? Because the product at the beginning can be nice but it becomes just right once it’s been personalized for your needs and wants. Relationships are the same way, starting out you all may already have a good thing going but it’s when you truly take the time to tailor your relationship for you and yours is when things become even more beautiful as you all define who you are…together.

Everyone desires different things and the development of your relationship may not follow the “status quo”. “Face to face conversation. You can read a person’s intentions when looking them in their eyes. A woman making the first move is ok to me. It just shows she knows what she wants which a lot of men like,” says Jalen Anderson. And as his girlfriend, I can vouch that this worked in our favor.  🙂

3. Creating your own love story is so much more fun than living someone else’s

“Skydiving, parasailing, cliff jumping, bungee jumping…basically, anything that involves us almost peeing ourselves just so we can be closer together knowing that we survived some crazy ‘ish.” Isaiah Hill couldn’t have said any better why couples should explore and experience new things together. Honestly, true relationship goals are deciding on something you all want to conquer together and actually following through. You’ll share those moments and be excited to continue to create new ones. Make it only about each other and your love story will follow.

Our Millennial Men gave us some good stuff! Have you and bae set some #relationshipgoals? What do y’all have planned for the future? Share in the comments below.

Millennial Men Pt 2: Surviving Cuffing Season as a Single Lady

Millennial Men

Cuffing season can be difficult for women who aren’t in a relationship. With fall comes cute dates to haunted houses, corn mazes and festivals, followed by the holidays, the new year and Valentine’s Day. And when you don’t have a significant other, these months can put your singleness under a microscope.

But just as it’s cuffing season, being single is a season in your life. Some people’s season lasts longer than others, but singlehood is something that we all need to go through AND grow through especially if your goal is to be married.

Your single season doesn’t have to feel like a curse. It’s an opportunity for you to get in tune with who you are and what you want, plus live your best life without having someone to worry about. Relationships take a lot of effort, and while you’re not in one, you can invest that energy into something else until your time comes.

In part two of our Millennial Men series, we dive into the topic of singleness. The 13 fellas that we interviewed have various relationship statuses, and they helped us write this blueprint on how to survive cuffing season as a single lady:

  1. Focus on YOU

During your single season, love yourself! Work on the brilliant beauty in the mirror without worrying about when that special guy will come.

Tunde Oshikoya, 26, said it best: “The best advice I can give to a woman who is looking for a man is to focus on herself. There is no one set location to find the man of your dreams but if you focus on yourself and control what you can control, you’ll always be ready whenever you do happen to meet him. Focus on your health and fitness, academics, life goals, professional goals and I promise you will randomly meet the man you’ve been looking for in a checkout line at Publix.”

In addition to what Tunde recommended, use this time to learn more about yourself. Pick up a new hobby or take a class like dance or cooking. There’s always something new to discover about yourself, so use this uninterrupted time to do that.

  1. Ensure you’re a woman worthy to be found

Continuing on survival tip #1, take a hard look at yourself and see if you’re even really ready for your partner. Are there habits you need to develop, or traits you need to break before you find bae? This may include stepping up your cooking skills, better managing your finances, getting your spiritual life in order, practicing healthy habits, keeping your space clean, and more.

We aren’t perfect and will always fall short in some areas, but doing a self analyzation of ways to improve before you meet your significant other prepares you for when that time comes.

Millennial Men

  1. Manifest what you really want

There’s nothing wrong with thinking about what you want out of a partner, the key is to not obsess over it. Use the Law of Attraction to your advantage and manifest the ideal guy for you. What are the top five characteristics that he must have?

“Some women have a hard time dating because they don’t know what they want,” says Cedric Brown, 26.

When asked the top traits that he looks for in a lady, Kerry Abner, 31, said: “Ambition, compassion, humor, positivity and adventure.”

Before Donovan Lyons, 26, got married, he looked for the following characteristics in his wife: “Spiritually sound, career/goal orientated, engages in political or social topics, has a great sense of humor, loves to have fun, great outgoing spirit, open to try new things, has the ability and energy to help me become a better me.”

While Mr. Right may not come in the package that you expect, knowing the traits that you’d like him possess will help you identify him whenever he comes.

Another manifestation exercise is to think about your dream date. If money and resources wasn’t a factor, where would you go or what would you do with future bae?

I asked these Millennial Men about their dream date, and this is how some of them responded:

“Dinner by the beach, then go salsa dancing, and watch the skyline late at night,” says Darryl Forges, 26.

Isaiah Hill, 21, says, “Skydiving, parasailing, cliff jumping, bungee jumping. Basically anything that involves us almost peeing ourselves just so we can be closer together knowing that we survived some crazy ish.”

  1. Raise your standards

Think about your previous experiences and the guys that you’ve dated in the past – did you settle in some ways? Do you need to unlearn some of the myths that you’ve had about love?

“I think some girls may have a hard time in the romance department because they’re stuck on the wrong type of guy. I have so many girl friends that I believe are wasting their time with a guy who ain’t $h!t,” says Byron Khalil, 25. “I think sometimes girls think that they can change guys or mold them into how they’d like them to be but that’s a waste of time.”

Married Millennial, Tyler Bell, 25,  shares why he thinks some women have a hard time dating: “They may not have seen the right love and affection displayed. They may also have a guard up from previous relationships that may cause them to be distant and won’t allow themselves to fall for a guy just to end up heartbroken again.”

Even if your ex was a great guy, you may have settled with the dates he’s taken you on (i.e. too many “Netflix and Chills” and not enough nights on the town).

When asked why “Netflix and Chill” has become the norm, Aaron Perkins, 25, says: “Because women have allowed it to be. If ladies stopped coming over then it wouldn’t be a thing.”

Rene Polanco, 25, shares his insight: “Because it’s cheap and guys think it’ll lead to sex.”

During your single season, think about if you need to raise your standards of the caliber of men you date, or how you allow him to treat you. By doing this, you set the tone of how your next relationship will go, and get a firm understanding of what you will or won’t accept.

Millennial Men

  1. Have fun! Go on dates and shoot your shot.

Dating doesn’t have to be a drag. It can be fun if you allow yourself to open minded, and limit your expectation of how you think things should go.

“I’ve met women at school, work, and social gatherings. I don’t have any recommendations on places to go. Just know that you can’t find anyone by staying in the house,” says Deonte Bridges, 26.

As we mentioned in part one, don’t be afraid to let the brotha know how you feel!

Aaron agrees:  “In my opinion guys are stupid. You literally have to let us know that you are feeling us. I’ve had girls tell me they were flirting or trying to drop hints at one point but I’m dumb so I never noticed it. So shoot ya shot.”

Jalen Anderson, 25, explains the best method to do that: “Face to face conversation. You can read a person’s intentions when looking them in their eyes. Women making the first move is ok to me. It just shows she knows what she wants, which a lot of men like.”

You can also use your single season to date yourself! Get dolled up and treat yourself to a nice meal or activity. Show yourself how you deserve to be treated.

Millennial Men

  1. Get a better understanding of guys

Men and women are two different creatures. In addition to checking out our Millennial Men series, you can learn more about guys just by talking to them. Facilitate honest conversations with the men around you, including friends and relatives, to learn more about how guys think and operate. While all men are different, you can discover a lot of similarities just by getting them to open up.

Tyler explains: “All men really want is good food, good love, and time to do whatever their craft or hobby is. We’re very simple.”

“We aren’t all dogs trying to get a bone. A lot of us have your best interest in mind because we were brought up to treat women with the utmost respect,” says Isaiah. “Also a lot of dudes feel this way but they don’t know how to display it in a smooth, chivalric way so it comes across as awkward or maybe even “thirsty.” Just look past the exterior and hear us out.”

Millennial Men

  1. Most importantly, be patient and enjoy the journey!

As cliche as it may sound, good things comes to those who wait. Learn to embrace the highs and lows of your single season. You are at this point of your life for a reason, plus you are too beautiful to settle for just any guy – be patient until the right one comes along.

[Women have a hard time in the romance department] because you’re supposed to. If you didn’t, you would’ve married the first guy you dated. Struggling is part of the story.” says Rene.

Just as God is preparing you to be in a relationship, He’s also preparing your guy. Believe in your heart that when the time is right, the two of you will be together.

“They might be focusing on their career or figuring out who they are,” says Kevin Crayton, 28. “Patience is a virtue — when it happen your mind, body and soul will know.”

Big shout out to the Millennial Men who shared their insights! Single ladies, how are you embracing your single season? Share in the comments below.

5 Dating Gems To Learn From Our #MillennialMen

Millennial Men

In the era of Netflix and chill, untitled situationships and pickup lines that ask if you’re “DTF,” it’s hard dating as a Millennial.

If you’re anything like us, you want to be with someone of substance — someone who is striving towards their goals and wants to climb to the top with you. We both desire to be married one day, so long gone are the days where we dated someone just to have a texting buddy. Nah, sis! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

As we enter the fall (a.k.a cuffing season), we wanted to share some insights from 13 Millennial Men of various relationship statuses that we interviewed to get a better understanding of a male’s perspective about this thing called love.

This is the first installment of our four-part series where we’ll dive deeper into their responses, but here are 5 key takeaways we learned from these Millennial Men…

1. It’s not just enough to be beautiful

Unsurprisingly, physical beauty / attractiveness reigned as one of the most important traits that guys look for, but most of our Millennial Men also listed ambition as a must-have characteristic. Other top traits include intellect, supportiveness, kindness, sense of humor and spirituality.

“I know there are a lot of levels and beliefs when it comes to God, but our beliefs must complement each other,” says Aaron Perkins, 25. When he first started dating his current girlfriend, being motherly was another trait that he looked for. “If you’re going to replace my mom, the first love of my life and take care of our kids, you gotta have some motherly instincts.”

Millennial Men

2. Yes you can meet someone anywhere – but look for guys at places that you’re interested in

You could meet bae at church or at the club, at the grocery store checkout line or at a kickback. While you may not have control on where you’ll meet him, a few of the Millennial Men agreed that you should seek guys in places that you enjoy.

“I use dating apps because the anxiety of talking to strangers is real. They suck, though. I’d say you should meet people doing activities you like,” says Rene Polanco, 25. “That way, you don’t have that dating app question of, “Are they just here for sex?” Plus, you’d know for sure that you have at least one thing in common.”

Isaiah Hill, 21, agrees: “I’ve met women through going to events that have something to do with what I love the most… Music. I suggest going somewhere where the two interests are shared so conversation is organic.”

Although Donovan Lyons, 26, is married, he says, “You can find your true love anywhere, but I prefer women go to social and business networking events, art museums or bookstores. I also recommend trying something that is new to you and you could possibly find the love of your life, such as white water rafting or music festivals.”

3. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there

We received mixed responses on if a woman should wait until she is found or actively pursue finding a man. But most agreed that a woman should tell a guy how she feels! We learned from our Millennial Men that guys aren’t mind-readers and sometimes women have to be more direct. Another option is to subtly show interest and put themselves in the position to be found if that’s what they’d prefer.

“I think a woman should wait and be pursued, but she also has to be sure that she’s making herself approachable or available if she’s actually interested in having someone pursue her,” says Jalen Anderson, 25.

“So many people miss out on their blessing by not “shooting their shot”. I believe anyone should pursue someone they are interested in and if there is a mutual interest, then maybe a relationship can grow from that,” says Tunde Oshikoya, 25.

He continues, “There are certain things that we pride ourselves on such as being a provider for our significant other so I will admit there are times a man would rather lead in the actual relationship itself, but in the beginning stages of getting to know someone, either person should never hesitate to lead. Leading shows interest and effort.”

Quite a few of the guys encouraged women to be blunt and say how she feels, but if that’s not your style, Deonte Bridges, 25, gave us a few pointers to do it more discreetly: “She can let him know she’s interested by doing subtle things, like maybe texting him first sometimes or inquiring about things he’s interested in.”Millennial Men

 

4. …. But don’t be thirsty

Let’s clear this up – showing interest is NOT thirsty.

But continuing to chase a man who has made it clear that he’s not interested is. 

Kevin Crayton, 28 defines it as “Somebody who wants to sleep with just anybody it doesn’tmatter who it is.”

“It’s being too aggressive or wanting all of your attention,” says Cedric Brown, 26.

Byron Khalil, 25, breaks it down further: “So, “thirsty” to me is when a person is doing way too much to get the attention of another. The person receiving the attention has to make it clear though that the attention is unwanted. Once they’ve made it clear and the person is still trying to woo them, that’s when I would call them “thirsty.” Now, I think this term can be confused when someone is trying to “talk” to somebody, that’s different. If a person is trying to “talk” to someone they’re not being thirsty, it becomes thirsty when the other person has made it clear that there’s no chance.”

Don’t be desperate, sis. If he doesn’t show that he’s interested despite your advances then it’s time to move on.

 

Millennial Men

5. Guys are simple – we just make them complicated

We admit that as women, we can be a bit complex. Many of us overthink things and play situations in our heads. But most guys are straight to the point and will go after who they want.

“Know that with men it’s never that deep,” says Aaron. “A lot of times women will put all these reasons together as to why we did something but it’s literally whatever it looks like on the surface.”

“I wish women knew that everything a man does is by choice and he’s going to take the lead in all things important to him,” says Kerry Abner, 31.

 

In conclusion

After interviewing these gentleman, we learned that there is no blueprint to finding love! While some of them had similar responses, there were various viewpoints on all of the topics.

Stay tuned for the next three Millennial Men posts where we dive into their responses in more detail.

Thank you fellas for sharing! We learned a lot and couldn’t have done this without you!

Ladies — we want to hear your thoughts on our Millennial Men feature! Share in the comments below.

 

I Like Who I’m Becoming: 7 Steps To Becoming Brilliance

brilliance

When we created Becoming Brilliance, we wanted to develop a platform where we could share our journey as twenty-something-year-olds who are trying to figure out adulting. Our slogan, “I like who I’m becoming” is so fitting because we’re constantly evolving into the best version of ourselves.

A brilliant beauty who likes who she’s becoming understands that she is a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time. She celebrates her strengths, embraces her flaws, and strives to be better each day. She knows that brilliance is her birthright, and that her light is needed in the world.

Here are a few ways to ensure that you like who you’re becoming:

Liking who you’re becoming doesn’t mean that you have it all figured out! It’s about enjoying the journey and loving the woman you currently are, and are striving to be.

Read more about unleashing your brilliance HERE. 

What’s your becoming brilliance journey like? Share more in the comments!

For The Culture: The Must Have App for a Lit Game Night

 

Dope app that reminds you to do it For The Culture! 

If you don’t have game night with your friends and family, you need to make that happen! It’s a great, inexpensive way to spend time with your loved ones. Comedy mixed with competition can strengthen a friendship, or at the very least create some of the best memories. We’ve spent many nights laughing until our stomach hurts while playing games like Taboo and Family Feud.

We recently discovered a new must have for game night — a free app called For The Culture, which is available on iTunes and Google Play. Founded by Teddy Phillips of Ark Creative Company this game is “a modern spin on the classic guessing game charades that incorporates African American Culture, History, Music and Film into a game that you can play anywhere with your friends and family.”For The Culture

With entertaining categories such as TV Shows, Music, and Black History, For The Culture will be a favorite during game night. You can continue the fun by purchasing other categories such as 90s, Dances, and Destinations starting at $.99

We had a blast playing the game together! Check out our YouTube video to see it in action.

We caught up with Teddy to learn more about how he and his team came up with For The Culture, and what they hope to achieve with the app:

1. Please provide a brief description of your company.

“Ark Creative Company develops products to bring cultures together. Our aim is to Inform, Inspire and Include different cultures in every product we create. Our first product is For The Culture.”

2. What inspired you to create For The Culture?

“I was inspired to create For The Culture because I felt the gaming culture lacked representation from the most commonly adopted culture. Right then, I saw the need to put Black culture, history and arts all into one interactive game.”

3. What was your experience creating the app?

“It was a great learning experience that showed me how deeply rooted and impacting Black culture really is. I had already developed products for Fortune 100 companies, but what made this more exciting was that I was able to connect more emotionally with this product and put my community’s experiences and interests into a platform that could scale worldwide. I never would have thought that China would be our second largest region for app downloads behind the United States. This simple metric validated the entire vision and the power of this culture.”

4. What’s your favorite category in the app and why?

“From an educational aspect, Black History is my favorite category. Not only did I feel it was important to have historic figures and innovators, but I also wanted to highlight individuals who had their lives cut short by senseless acts of injustice and police brutality. I wanted to find a way to extend their memory beyond a hashtag that trended for a week or two. I feel like these individuals are apart of a larger discussion that leads to more conversations about equality. I felt it was important to honor these men and women and never forget the impact they had on the community.”

5. What do you want people to feel when they play For The Culture?

“When people play FTC, I want them to feel educated by the content, empowered by the design and entertained with culture that reflects their daily lives.”

For The Culture

Teddy and his team at the Ark Creative Company are definitely off to a great start with For The Culture! Download the free app on iTunes and Google Play for your next game night.

We hope you have as much fun playing as we did!

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#SummerSlaySeries + GIVEAWAY

What’s your summer slay?

SUMMERSLAY

#SummerSlay isn’t just what’s on the outside but more importantly how you’re “slaying” in all aspects of your ever-changing life whether in career, travel, relationships or health and wellness. We want to hear from you all as we kick-off our #SummerSlaySeries!

Check out our latest YouTube video to learn more about our #SummerSlaySeries and our challenge to you!

Sharing a photo is the first step of our #SummerSlay Brilliance Box giveaway!! At the end of the summer we’ll select one brilliant beauty to receive a box of goodies worth $100+ worth that will help you extend your slay from summer to fall!

Here’s how you enter:

1. Share your #SUMMERSLAY!

Show us how you’re spending the last few months of summer! Send us a video or tag us in your social media pics @becomingbrilliance. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #summerslay AND #becomingbrilliance. You can also email us photos contact@becomingbrilliance.co

2. Enter your email address to sign up for our Brilliant Beginnings newsletter

BONUS POINTS: 

3. Join our NEW Facebook Group: Becoming Brilliance Tribe

4. Be our friend on Instagram: @BecomingBrilliance

5. Subscribe to our YouTube channel 

ENTER HERE:
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3 Life Lessons Learned From SkyDiving

I’ve always been a risk taker. I decided to attend Howard University without touring the school. I run to the scariest roller coaster when I’m at an amusement park. I don’t hesitate to go zip lining.  But skydiving out of a plane that was 14,000 feet high was the biggest risk I’ll likely ever take.

skydiving

Taking a leap of faith. YIKESS!!

Skydiving allowed me to feel every emotion. Initially I decided to take the leap of faith for my 25th birthday – but when my birthday weekend rolled around, it was too windy to jump so I had to reschedule. A month later my initial excitement went away and I felt anxious about skydiving. Whenever I thought about the waiver that I signed stating (in bold and underlined font I might add) that I was putting my life in danger and giving up my family’s legal rights to sue in the event of injury or death, I got nervous and questioned if this was something I should even be doing. But I stuck it out and kept the appointment – bringing my mom to watch for moral support.

When I got to the Skydive Georgia, I saw people landing safely and I became excited again and more confident about jumping. But anxiety crept in while waiting for my turn. When my name was called I hopped up quickly – ready to get the party that I planned months ago started. I listened intensely to the directions and practiced lifting my legs so I had a smooth landing. This was tandem skydiving so I had a professional jump out with me, but I still contemplated on what could go wrong.

On the ride up I shed a tear but quickly wiped it away so the other 15+ people on the small airplane didn’t get concerned. Despite watching us elevate thousands of feet in the sky, I felt a sense of peace. I prayed like crazy up until that point, and on the plane and I knew that I would make it back down in one piece.

When I saw people falling out of the plane, I knew that it was time. I slid out of the helicopter and screamed for God to take the wheel. A paid extra to have a professional skydiving photographer jump out in front of me and capture the experience (and my ugly faces). The fall down was terrifying, but when my tandem instructor pulled the parachute it was the most peaceful experience.

skydiving

skydiving

skydiving

skydiving

skydiving

skydiving

The emotional rollercoaster that I went through during my skydiving adventure taught me three life lessons that I’ll always carry with me:

  1.   God got you. Being that close to God strengthened my faith. Skydiving was the epitome of putting my life in his hands.
  2.   On the outside of your comfort zone lies the greatest reward. The pruning process isn’t supposed to be comfortable, but it’s crucial to your growth.
  3.   Fear is mental slavery. What do we truly have to fear? There’s a lot of things in life that give me anxiety (like parallel parking and babies that won’t stop crying). But I’ve come to realize that when we know God, we have nothing to fear.

Check out the video below to see my skydiving experience on YouTube!

Is skydiving on your bucket list? Share what is in the comments below!

Blossom Network Redefines Reality For Women Of Color in Television

Blossom Network

Blossom Team

Apple, Uber, Netflix — the world’s most disruptive companies have made such a substantial impact because they filled a need through innovation and strategy.

Diamonde Williamson, the founder of Blossom, is taking the same approach to change the narrative of multicultural women in the media.

Blossom is a breath of fresh air in a world where a new ratchet reality show pops up nearly every month. Through the digital television platform, Diamonde and her team creates impactful content to empower women of color. This content includes short films, web series, think pieces, feature films, docu-series, indie shorts, features and more that tackles every topic under the sun including current events, politics, sports, and the authentic lifestyle of multicultural women.

Diamonde is no newbie to the television industry. She’s worked as a producer on popular shows including Iylana Fix My Life, Chrissy Knows Best and Selling It In The ATL prior to venturing on her own. After she found herself growing tired of working in reality TV, she knew she wanted to create programming that embodied love instead of drama.

Blossom Network

Photo: Blossom Network

She created Blossom in 2016 after mainstream media denied her opportunities to make content that reflected multidimensional women of color. Diamonde built the subscription-based platform from the ground up and carefully selected a team of other multicultural women who would help execute her vision. She keeps a tight-knit Operations Team of less than 10 people, but the Original Productions Team consists of 30+ content creators and she’s always open to more.

Diamonde acknowledges two major problems that Blossom is solving. “First, women of color who are actually living the stories the media and entertainment consistently portray, never get to tell their own stories. Blossom provides them with a platform. And second, women of color also deserve to watch more realistic experiences of themselves played on television.”

As the Founder and President of Special Projects + Programming, Diamonde wears many hats. She’s responsible for content development and programming, marketing and brand strategy, social media, partnerships, legal, and the overall structure of the platform. Diamonde oversees every single piece of the business while giving her team creative control to produce programming that reflects the unique journey of multicultural womanhood.

Blossom Network

Diamonde Williamson, founder of Blossom

Even as a child, Diamonde knew she was destined for greatness.

“I never played small. At one point I wanted to be an interior designer and have my own show on HGTV. I also wanted to be a painter and would tell my mom that I wanted to be the next Picasso,” she says. “Whatever I wanted to do, I wanted to be great at it.”

Diamonde attributes her hustle and networking skills to her upbringing. The Oklahoma native was the only child and her dad was in the Navy so they moved around often. These circumstances made her be able to build relationships and connect with people of diverse backgrounds — a skill that has served her career well. In addition, Diamonde’s grandmother was an entrepreneur and motivated her to create her own opportunities.

Photo: Blossom Network

One of the biggest lessons that everyone can learn from Diamonde is the importance of originality and being ok with what may seem as a “failure.” Prior to launching Blossom, she tried to pitch feel-good TV programming to major networks but was rejected many times.

“No means nothing,” she says. “I don’t believe in failing because even if I fall, I’m determined to figure it out. I’ve never been one to let “no” stop me so God gave me the vision to just do it myself.”

She continues, “You need the idea and the passion. But eventually you have to graduate from a dreamer to a doer.”

The Blossom team has this same drive and confidence, along with originality and a track record of execution. Diamonde looks for content creators who have big ideas and can create without limitations.

“I tell my team, if you have an idea just do it. Just write it down and then we’ll figure it out.”

Photo: Blossom Network

Diamonde has big dreams for Blossom. By the end of 2017, she hopes to house 500 pieces of content. She envisions her business being a digital television destination that shares the experience of women of color in every sector of their life — from home to travel to sexual identity to health to political awareness to economics. She hopes it creates a shift and transforms the way people think and live.

“What’s most important to me is to connect with those people who don’t have access to these types of experiences,” she says. “Content opens up a world, but if the world you’re open to is limited to VHI, you may be considering that you need Red Bottoms to win. But if you see a young girl with a business who is challenging herself, you may be more inspired.”

This representation matters. As the world saw in the groundbreaking film Hidden Figures, when Black women see themselves in other people, it gives them the initiative to think beyond what they know.

Diamonde is #blackgirlmagic personified. Through Blossom she’s encouraging people, especially women of color, to live their truth and tell their stories.

“We have to create our own rules and break the standards that other people created for us.”

Blossom is breaking barriers and redefining reality – showing that the future is female in various shades of brown.

Blossom Network