Guard Your Mind

December 21, 2014 — Leave a comment

Negative thoughts are a disease.  I never understood this until I actually left my day job and stepped out on my own, but now I vividly grasp how critical it is to not only think positive, but to guard your thoughts.

Women deep in thought on her bed

Watch Out for These Signs

The thing about negative thoughts is that they snowball.  It starts with something simple like perhaps you’re complaining to yourself about how tired you are of cleaning up after your significant other. That turns into you complaining about an annoying habit they have.  The next thing you know everything they do is annoying to you and you’re ready to walk away from the situation.

Your negative thoughts consumed your mind and your mind reimaged your significant other.  Watch this, the thing you wanted the least is what you focused on the most and BOOM it became your reality.

Scary isn’t it? Upon reflection it’s down right freaky how quickly negative thoughts can wreak havoc and how far reaching the damage can be.

Overcoming Negativity

Not too long ago I found myself in a situation where my negative thoughts we’re consuming me.  From the outside looking in not many except close friends would have known.  But I knew and I could feel it holding me back.  My confidence was shaky, my energy low, my desire to engage with others was uncharacteristically low and I was constantly nitpicking at the strangest things.

Some how between cable news, the pressures of entrepreneurship and some personal challenges I had slipped down the dangerous slope of negative thinking.

Unsure what to do I reached out to my older brother for help.  Any time you are stuck in life reach out to someone you trust for help ASAP. Do not delay! And if you trust no one seek out a professional from the area in which you need help.

I’m so thankful I reached out to my big brother because he turned me on to a powerful solution.  A solution that helped him crawl out of a dark hole after tragedy unexpectedly hit our family. And just like it helped my brother -friends this resource has been making a profound difference in my life. If you’ve ever faced depression, melancholy, moodiness or any other battle with negative energy. This solution is worth exploring.

Come back next week and we’ll talk about the solution.



[I did some analysis on Whitney’s recent business decision so this is an in-depth discussion about her new ad series for Carol’s Daughter.  Feel free to use the headers to skip around or read through for the full review.]

Meet Whitney

Whitney is the producer and star of a natural hair channel on YouTube called Naptural85.  She is who I consider to be the Queen B of Natural Hair Vlogging.  She’s been on Youtube since before the natural hair movement truly jumped off.  In the natural hair world I consider her to be your favorite vlogger’s favorite vlogger.  She is an originator.  She is known and liked for keeping things simple and for providing useful information in an easy to digest way.  What I like most about Whitney is that she has made it to the top by making her audience her #1 priority.

A Break from the Norm

One of the interesting things about Whitney’s channel is that over the years she has rarely done any advertising.  Whereas some vloggers have leveraged their visibility to transition into hosting, appearances and endorsements, Whitney always remained under the radar. Until last week…

Less than a week ago on March 14th, 2014 to the chagrin of some of her subbies, Whitney made the decision to post three self produced commercials about Carol’s Daughter, paid for by Carol’s Daughter, on her Naptural85 youtube channel.  

Here is the three part commercial series Whitney produced:

When I heard the news that Whitney made the decision to post ads to her channel I was elated for her.  I think as women we have a tendency to underestimate our worth and I think for some reason especially within the African-American community there is a certain level of dogma around advertising and sponsored content.  When one of “us” succeeds and starts getting that hand over fist money, traditionally “we” also tend to abandon that person and then they get adopted by other groups…when they continue to thrive and cater to their “new” audience then words like “sellout” get tossed around.

I’m not here for that.  It’s high time that in our community we stop treating businesses like hobbies and we start getting paid the dollars we deserve so that money can start trickling back into our community.  So I was really happy to see Whitney will no longer be leaving money on the table.

I’m not sure if she previously was worried about tainting the authenticity of her brand, which I can understand, but all I know is that I’m of the opinion that this year is going to be her million dollar year.  I believe she can do it and I hope she does.

Why Now?

Because Whitney opted not to do sponsored content on her channel for such a long period of time, I was really curious about why the change of heart.  I didn’t end up having to wait long for an answer because she answered that exact question in a vlog video on her DearNaptural85 channel. Here is what she said:

“I don’t do this; I’ve been on YouTube for five years and I’ve done one sponsored video on my ah hair channel and that was to advertise a movie back in the day, remember Snow White and the Huntsman? I love that video. Um so I was nervous to do it of course, but um I don’t know I just don’t want to stand in my way anymore I just wanted to do it. Would I do more sponsored videos? Yes, I would um especially now, you know I’m not in that mind-frame where it’s like all or nothing kinda thing anymore. Before I was really limiting myself on my channel and I was like you know, putting myself in a box and I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m not putting myself in any type of boxes. You’re going to see a lot more from me this year and going forward so I hope you guys understand that and I hope that you guys can appreciate and respect the fact that I respect you guys enough to be upfront and be transparent with everything I do.”

To watch her response in full click the picture below. Her response starts at the 14:20 minute mark.

Naptural85 Vlog

The Numbers Don’t Lie

As a marketer by profession I was really curious about what the audience response to Whitney’s business decision would be.  I ran some numbers to find out how the videos and the news was received.

Here are statistics that I pulled up for Whitney’s Carol’s Daughter ads on March 19th.

  • 13,939 people liked Whitney’s Carol’s Daughter ads
  •  208 people disliked Whitney’s Carol’s Daughter ads
  • & 142,921 viewed Whitney’s ads and didn’t leave a comment
Naptural85 stats

Figure I.

Whitney gained 475 new subscribers the same day she posted the Carol’s Daughter ads.  That’s not to say some people didn’t unsubscribe, but that is to say that more people joined her channel then left on the day she posted the ads. So much so that she ended up with 475 new subbies. (View Figure II. below)

Note: She posted the Carol’s Daughter videos on March 15th.


Figure II.

What We’re People Saying

When I do research I always like to pull quantitative and qualitative data.  Therefore, in addition to looking at the numbers Whitney earned for her Carol’s Daughter videos I also took an in-depth look at the comments.

I focused my analysis on the comments left for video #1 because that was the most viewed ad in her three part series.

Out of the 631 comments on her first commercial only 18 of the comments were negative.  That means 97% of those who commented had positive feedback.

Major Gripe:  Of those who complained their main point of contention was over the ingredient purity of Carol’s Daughter products.

Naptural85 Viewer Comment

Final Outcome

Based on my analysis Whitney’s decision to start accepting sponsor proposals did not hurt her brand.  The majority of her subscribers support and respect her decision and expressed said support via words of encouragement in the comments on her Youtube channel and across social media.

Learnings and Observations

  • [Build Trust First]  I think Whitney’s decision to decline sponsor dollars for so long served her well.  She showed us (her audience) that she wasn’t in it for the money, she made helping viewers her number one priority and the effect of her holding out on advertising for so long is that she solidified the trust of her audience.  I think many of us know Whitney isn’t going to be frivolous with the partnerships and sponsors that she takes on.  We all trust her judgement because she’s taken the time to prove to us she can be trusted.  The lesson in this for me is that as a vlogger you have to protect the relationship you have with your audience.  Whitney never exploited the trust of her audience or allowed her audience to be bombarded by advertisers and I believe as long as she works with brands that can can be helpful or beneficial to her viewers she’ll be able to keep the trust of her community and increase her earnings.
  • [Prevention is better than Cure] As I read through the comments for Whitney’s Carol’s Daughter ads I noticed there was confusion from viewers about the definition of an ad.  I think next time Whitney might need to add a disclaimer to her about section detailing that the video is not an endorsement or a review.  People don’t really read the about section, but if you do add a disclaimer you can then point commentors such as the one below to that section.  Naptural85

Whitney is definitely media mogul on the rise.  I’ve learned a lot just by watching her and I’m excited to see where this journey will take her and her family.

Please leave your thoughts on the information shared in the comments below 🙂

Do it Any Way

March 13, 2014 — Leave a comment

Journal Entry:  Thursday, March 12th, 2014 #footprints

Here I sit.

For some it’s a typical Thursday evening.  I can imagine that some people are curled up in front of the TV enjoying a late night snack soaking up some Real House Wives of Orange County drama.  I know I was until about an hour ago.  Not sure what it is about RHofOC, but I love that show.  It is crazy addictive.

Well, though I did indulge a few hours of reality TV, for me this is not a typical Thursday evening.  Tonight is a very big night for me.  Tonight, is the eve before my new beginning. It is the Sunset to Chapter 2 in my life book.  Tonight I revel in the pleasure of knowing that in 24 hours I will have faced one of my biggest fears.  People will be able to call me Captain Did-It-Any-Way.  Because despite the nerves and the impostor in my head that keeps speaking words of doubt I am going to listen to my first mind.  The mind that tells me I GOT this.  The mind that has been obsessed with entrepreneurship and financial freedom for over 20 years.  The mind that has dreamed of business ownership, no financial worries and quality time with family.  Tonight I am mentally preparing to step out of dreamland and into the reality of being a full-time entrepreneur.

After I got home from work, this evening an odd sense of calm that I can’t accurately articulate came over me.  The only way I can describe the feeling is readiness.  I felt a sense of readiness with regard to the serious nature of the decision I’ve made, the finality of the actions I’m taking tomorrow and the supreme fortitude that will be required of me over the upcoming years.  There are definitely parts of me that are scared and unsure about what the upcoming months will entail, but a larger part of me is saying it is time.

So here I am poised to step out on faith.


I was invited to be a guest blogger at an event in NYC next month.  Since I’ve accepted the invitation and I’ll be covering the event I think it’s only right that I show love and support the event.  Accordingly, I’ll be sending out information to members of the #4cHairChick community and talking it up as appropriate.

I share this with you because it’s applicable to my main purpose for today’s post.  I have learned that when you want to be good at something – you can save yourself a lot of time and energy by finding someone who has had success at whatever it is that you want to do.  Once you identify that person it’s on you to be bold and to ask for the help you need. Don’t let pride or fear of rejection hinder you.

Success doesn’t happen alone. We all need help.

Right now it’s important to me that I become a better promoter.  As the manager of an online community I work with a number of different brands, people, and organizations.  I am very picky about what I support, but when I do support something I want to make sure that I deliver on my end of the bargain.

I recognize that brands and organizations want to work with me so that they can have exposure to my audience.  I also recognize though that my community trusts me and that I need to make sure that anything I pass along is in the best interest of my community.  So right now what I’m looking to become better at is how I promote and share information that is beneficial to my audience – with my audience.

Kenny Burns is one of the most successful promoters I’ve come across. The manner in which I originally found him escapes me right now, but what I do know is Kenny knows how to get the right people together at the right time and at the right place.

This evening I decided to stock his Twitter so I could gleam a better understanding of his communication style.  On a mission to pick up best practices and strategic insights I scrolled to the top of his Twitter feed and began reading.

“s43 Portrait: Kevin Hart (Part 2 of 2) …via @Studio43” the tweet read.

I clicked the link and ended up finding the intimate interview below featuring guest Kevin Hart and Kenny Burns as the interviewer.  Really good stuff. Especially around the 8 minute marker because Kevin starts dropping diamond nuggets one right after another.

Inspiration is fuel for entrepreneurs and I’m officially gas’ed up and sparked by Kevin’s comments and so I wanted to take the time and share.  Hopefully, you’ll be energized by a boost of positivity.

How to Start A Blog

June 1, 2013 — 4 Comments

Starting a blog is easy. You don’t need a special skill set, you don’t need thousands of dollars, and you don’t need to have a degree in computer science.  The only skill you need to have is the ability to follow step-by-step directions.

In this post I lay out for you in 5 simple steps How to Start A Blog.


Step #1 Pick A Name

What do you want to call your blog? As you are deciding what to name your blog keep these tips in mind:

    1. Pick a name that is easy for someone to remember.  If you want and it’s already taken don’t go with because chances are most people will forget the 1 and never find your blog. Instead try or an alternate name that is memorable.
    2. Pick a name that will give people clues as to what your blog is about.  If you are going to blog about natural hair try and pick a name that has a natural hair theme. For example or  If you pick the name for your natural hair blog people might not visit the page unless they already know you because from the name it’s hard to know the blog is about natural hair.
    3. Lastly, keep it short.  Your blog name shouldn’t be a full sentence it should be 4 words at the most but preferrably 1-2  words.  This is important because if your blog ends up being super popular and you decide you want to turn it into a business it’s going be hard to put 7 words on a logo.  Most brand names are three words or less.


Step #2 Purchase Your Name

Yea! You’ve decided on the perfect name for your blog and now the next step is to purchase a domain name for your blog.  What is a domain name? Think of it as an address.  It is the place people can go on the internet to find you and it is also commonly referred to as your URL. is an example of a domain name.  Yours will be www.<insertyourblognamehere>.com or www.<insertyourblognamehere>.org depends on which ending you prefer .com or .org.

Unfortunately, domain names are not free, but the good news is they are affordable.  There are tons of places you can go to purchase a domain and prices range from $0.99 – $30.00 for a domain name.  The more expensive places will try and sell you on the quality of their security options and their hosting services in order to get you to buy from them.  Please don’t be fooled.  Take it from me, someone who has tried over six different companies. You don’t need to break the bank when you purchase your domain name.  Don’t pay more than $20 and don’t pay less than $3.

Personally, I recommend I used to purchase my domains via GoDaddy, but I had three frustrating customers service incidents with them that caused me to cut them off for good.  I’ve now been buying my domains from NameCheap for the past 8 months and I’ve had zero problems.  They are cheap, reliable, and responsive.

Time to buy your name!

Go to

Name Cheap Website

In case you are a visual person here is a video that walks you through how to purchase your domain on

Step #3 Power Up Your Blog

Volia magic! Round of applause to you. You now officially own your own URL.  You now need to turn your domain name on.  To do that you have to get your domain name hosted meaning you need to get it connected to a server.  In order to do that you need to purchase hosting service.  (Warning – this part can feel overwhelming because it’s a bit techie, but I promise you it is no where near as complicated as it sounds. You’ll finish this in 10 minutes tops.)

Hostgator is my hosting service of choice. Why? Three reasons:

    1. Their customer service is amazeballs! I’ve literally had an online customers service rep walk me through a troubleshooting issue at 2:00am in the morning via their online chat service.
    2. Hostgator is reliable. Have you ever been on twitter and got the Fail Whale? That happened because Twitter’s servers had too much traffic and so their website went down. In my 3 plus years of using Hostgator my website has never gone down and since Hostgator‘s inception in 2002 they’ve had a 99% uprate. Basically, what I’m telling you is you don’t have to worry about your website going offline or being unacessable if you choose Hostgator as your hosting service.
    3. I’m more shy to share this reason, but I want to keep it 100 with everyone.  Hostgator does not shut you off if you are behind on a payment.  Now if you are excessively late that is different, but I was about 2 and 1/2 weeks late on my monthly payment one time and thankfully they did not shut my website down.

Time to set up this hosting. Go to and purchase the “baby” web hosting package.  Not sure how to do this? Watch the video below to see the steps.

Yea, you officially have your web hosting. Now this next step is where things can get tricky, but stick with me I’m going to break it all the way down for you.


Step #4 Name Server Set-up

Now that you have purchased web hosting it means that you are leasing server space from Host Gator.  You now need to tell your domain company the name of the servers you are leasing.  When NameCheap knows the name of the servers your leasing from Host Gator your website URL will be LIVE!

Here is another short video to show you the process:


Step #5 Beautification

You now have a website name, you own the domain for that website, and you have web hosting. Woot woot!  Now all you need to do is set up the WordPress blogging platform and you’ll officially have your very own blog!

How about that a new website in under 10 steps?! Not bad at all.

Ok here is what you need to do.

  • Go back to the email you got from HostGator.
  • Inside is a link to your Cpanel. Click the link.
  • You’ll now be looking a screen similar to this:


Watch the video below to see the steps to install and set-up the wordpress platform.

You have a new website! Congrats to you.  If you need one on one help I’m happy to oblige just email me

Please, love and God’s grace,

4c Hair Chick