Erin Lowry is the author of Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together and Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: A Beginner's Guide to Leveling Up Your Money now available for preorder! Her first book was named by MarketWatch as one of the best money books of 2017 and her style is often described as refreshing and conversational. Erin's appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, CNBC and Fox & Friends. She has written for Fast Company, Cosmopolitan Magazine and Refinery29 and regularly speaks at universities and conferences around the country. Erin spent most of her childhood living in Asia, but now settled in New York City with her husband.
Getting Financially Naked w/ Erin Lowry!
K: What inspired you to write Broke Millennial?
E: Writing the book Broke Millennial was an extension of all the work I'd done prior, starting with just a simple blog of the same name. The inspiration really came one night while talking with a friend. She was electing to forgo pursuing her dreams in the name of a steady job she hated because, in her words, money stressed her out and she simply hoped she had enough of it at the end of each month. It's naive to say, but that was an eye opening moment for me because I grew up in a household where we talked about money a lot, but in positive ways. My parents were dedicated to ensuring my sister and I understood how money worked and how to budget, save, set goals and they even tried to teach me about investing, but I wasn't quite ready to listen yet. I quickly realized how many people avoided talking or dealing with their own finances and I wanted to create a space where people could come and learn but it wouldn't feel intimidating or judgmental. It would be fun and lean largely on storytelling. Thus Broke Millennial was born.
K: In your book you discuss the importance of having an emergency fund! Should your emergency fund and your savings account be two different accounts? Why?
E: I'm a big fan of multiple savings accounts. It enables you to have accounts for specific goals and you can see the amount inch closer and closer to your goal, which is really encouraging. I'm also a visual person and like the separation of my money into different accounts (checking, saving and even investments) for different purposes. Your emergency savings fund really does need to be its own entity because it's not money you should be using for a purchase or a life event. It's money that works as your safety net when things go wrong. That can feel overwhelming to hear at first, which is why it's important to set small, achievable goals as well. It takes time to build up an emergency fund reserve + have savings accounts for other financial goals.
K: When it comes to budgeting for me, it is super tough to start and also stick to! What tricks of the trade do you have for creating a budget and actually sticking to it?
E: You have to keep pivoting and modifying until you find what works for you. A lot of times people try a really strict budgeting style and it doesn't work for them because it was just too rigid. Give another style a go instead! I also really encourage people to recognize that your budgeting style will, and should, evolve as your life changes. I'm not using the same budgeting methods at 29 as I did at 22 because my life has changed significantly, including getting married and merging my finances with another person.
The absolute first step to any budget, though, is knowing your cash flow. (How much is coming in) - (How much is going out) = cash flow. You need to know those numbers in order to formulate a plan.
K: In your opinion, what are the best ways to improve your credit rating?
E: On-time payments = 35% of your credit score! Utilization (amount of available credit you use) = 30% of your credit score. So 65% of your credit score is from just two factors, so that's where you need to focus. Step 1 is never, ever missing a payment. If you worry that you won't be able to pay a bill, then get proactive and call your creditor to see if you can work something out. Step 2 is to spend no more than 30% of your available credit limit on a credit card. That means if you have $1000 line of credit, you don't spend more than $300. Then each month, you pay off that credit card bill on time and in full. Never carry a balance over month-to-month and start paying interest. There is no need and just creates debt. Just making one or two small purchases on a credit card (e.g. tank of gas or paying for Netflix) and then always pay the bill on time and in full.
K: Student loans 101! What do you feel are the best strategies to tackle student loans?
E: That's a big question that's one of the largest chapters in my book, Broke Millennial, so I'll say the first step is to really face your numbers. You need to know exactly how much student loan debt you have, which companies own your debts, whether they're private or federal and if they're federal, are they subsidized or unsubsidized, the interest rates, the principal balance owed and the minimum monthly payment. You cannot make an attack plan until you have this information.
K: Knowing what you know now, should millennials be concerned with investing? If so, how should we choose which investments best fit our finances?
E: Absolutely millennials 100% have to be concerned with investing! That's why the next book in my series is Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: A Beginner's Guide to Leveling Up Your Money. The first place most people start is with a 401(k) through their employer or with an IRA they open themselves in order to start saving for retirement, except I don't like that we use the word "save" I want you to think of it as investing for retirement. The first focus when choosing investments is to determine your goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon (fancy way of saying, when do you need the money?). Once you've answered those questions, it will guide your choices in building an investment portfolio to ensure it's well diversified.
K: In your book you dive into a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. Can you explain the difference?
E: It's all about taxes. A traditional IRA means you're getting a tax break today while a Roth IRA means you aren't getting a tax advantage today, but won't have to pay taxes on the money you take out of your IRA In retirement. There isn't a right or wrong answer and saving in an IRA regardless is a win. Generally, the advice is for younger people to use a Roth IRA because the logic is you're in a lower tax bracket now than you will be in the future, so it's a better deal for you today. Is that true for everyone? No, but people often like the cut-and-dry approach that a Roth IRA means not having to pay taxes in the future when you're unsure of what your tax bracket will be.
K: As millennials, this is a huge time for entrepreneurs! Tell us more about your current job/jobs, and how did you get to where you are in your career?
E: This question alone could be it's own interview, but I have worked as a barista, babysitter, page for The Late Show with David Letterman, account coordinator at a boutique public relationships agency, the first employee at a FinTech start up and finally, I started working for myself earning a living both writing and speaking. The big lessons I learned were to take risks and negotiate. Negotiating is critical! Here is an article that overviews some of my journey.
K: What financial advice would you give readers? Also, what is next for Erin Lowry? We want to know!
E: The advice I always give is my personal mantra: you control money or money controls you!
My whole goal is to help people feel in control of their money. The first step is to face your numbers, even if it's scary. Currently working on promoting my second book Broke Millennial Takes On Investing, which comes out April 9th, 2019 and I'm also writing my third book, which will be focused on the intersection of relationships and money.
I would like to send a special thank you to Erin for taking time out of her schedule to interview with me! It was super fun doing this interview, and I had a blast discussing finances, inspiration, and goal-setting with such an amazing individual! Her wise words of wisdom and immense knowledge in the area of finance is truly amazing, and super inspiring to follow. I can't wait to see more amazing tips and tricks for tackling personal finance from her new book, Broke Millennial Takes on Investing available now for preorder! Thank you for sharing your light with us! If you loved this interview, check out her book Broke Millennial available for purchase right here! Just click the link below, and grab your copy today! Thank you for reading, and thank you for allowing me to share my soul with yours! Happy #SoulfulSunday!
Happy Wednesday! Welcome back to another week! I hope that you made it through your week stress-free, less broke than you were last week, and wine IN TOW for the weekend! Because we got such a great response from our #BookTingsTALK session last week, we decided to keep the conversation flowing and the vibes going with this week's topic: MONEY! Now, we all know that money is usually a really stressful topic, but we are going to make it fun. I know you're probably thinking, "Oh yeah she would want to talk money when rent is due this week, and baby Lil Gunz daycare fees are due, and I have to buy new 24's for my hoopdie, and oh yeah, I need to file taxes or get cousin Earl to take them to the corner store for the low. Thanks Kiera you horrible biotchhhh!" Hey, money doesn't have to be that way! I LOVE a good discussion, and I am currently listening to You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth x Jen Sincero via audiobook, and I must say I LOVE IT! I am usually not a big fan or audiobooks because it becomes really easy for me to wonder off, or think of other bazillion things that I can be getting done, but this audiobook is so good! It has really deconstructed my crazy beliefs about money to the point of WHOA BABY, and did I mention that it literally feels like I am having a hilarious conversation with my bff listening to this book? YES! If you are not familiar with this author, I feature her debut novel, You Are a Badass as my Reading Between the Wines November book club pick!
In You Are a Badass at Making Money, Jen will launch you past the fears and stumbling blocks that have kept financial success beyond your reach. Drawing on her own transformation—over just a few years—from a woman living in a converted garage with tumbleweeds blowing through her bank account to a woman who travels the world in style, making seven figures per year, this book is an excellent read for anyone looking for some financial advice and has a set on ready sense of humor. Jen uses her own economic transformation to teach you what’s truly holding you back from making real money. Jen will help you stop letting your doubts, fears and excuses get in the way and show you how you too, can be as wealthy as you want to be. To get a lot out of this book you need to have an open mind and be willing to change your mindset and forget a lot of what you’ve been told! She explains the importance of knowing your deepest desires and how to start taking action. This isn’t your average how to make money book, this book really focuses on your mindset, thoughts and beliefs. This book also teaches you how to get real results. The results we all are looking for! One of the reasons I love this book so far is that it really teaches you various factors that can hold you back from making all the money that you can earn. For example, this book discusses: giving your doubts, fears, and excuses the BOOT, how to relate to money in a new, open-minded, and positive way, how to shake up the cocktail of creation, ways to tap into your natural ability to get rich, shape our reality—stop playing victim to circumstance (JUST DO IT!), and lastly, to get as wealthy as you wanna be! Sounds simple right? Let's stop fearing money, and let's kick some financial ass! (Corny? WHATEVS haha you know what I mean!) So BOOM! Let's talk about it!
Broke Phi Broke:
1. Do you believe in creating monthly budgets?
2. What are some obstacles you face when managing money?
3. What are your financial goals this year?
4. Do you have an emergency fund? If so, how much do you believe should be saved for emergencies?
5. Thinking back to your childhood, how were finances discussed in your home?
6. Now, as an adult, what is a healthy view of money?
7. How did religion or church influence your attitude towards money?
8. Should married couples have a joint account? If so, do you believe in asking your partner permission to withdraw money from this account? (We can't forget the classic Martin episode-Lockin Boots haha!)
9. Do you believe in splitting household bills in relationships?
10. If money had no limit, what would you be doing?
11. Do you believe that all couples should have pre-nups?
12. What are your thoughts about debt consolidation with your partner?
13. Is poor money management a deal breaker for you in a relationship?
14. What is one thing you know now about finances that you wish you knew in the past?
15. What is more important? Money or time?
16. Do you discuss lending money to others with your partner? Is there a limit to how much you can give?
17. I will be a badass at making money by ______________.
Feel free to share, like, comment, repost! Also, make sure to follow us on @thebookspotbykg on Twitter and Instagram as we dive into this week's questions/thoughts! When answering this week's questions, don't forget to hashtag #BookTingsTALK! I can't wait to connect with all of you! Are there other money questions that you can think of that I didn't mention? No problem! Comment below and I will be sure to feature them during our live chat! Tune into our Twitter page tonight at 7pm for our fun live discussion! Thank you so much for reading :)
Enjoyed Today's Post? Check This Out!
Where We Talk Book Tings & More!
Happy hump day readers! I hope this week has been zenful and STRESS free because guess what? Friday is two days away, so hang on! Thank you so much for reading with me, and today I wanted to introduce our NEW #BookTingsTALK! Now I don't know about you, but I LOVE a good discussion on great reads, music, wines, mindfulness, controversial topics, and MUCH MUCH more! I wanted to create a fun place where we can talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly right here. If I haven't learned anything else this year so far, it is to step out of my comfort zone, and that is what we will be doing here, and guess what? That's okay! This is a safe space, and we are going to have fun, share opinions, and connect with one another. Because Shook One x Charlamagne tha God is my book of the month, and Girl, Wash Your Face x Rachel Hollis is my Reading Between the Wines book club pick of the month, let's dive into these two reads! They both tackle different topics: mental health and self-love/discovery, which goes hand in hand! It all starts with the mental. If your head isn't in the game, your body will not follow suit, which is why mental health and self love matters. If you haven't read Shook One x Charlamagne, first of all, YOU ARE MISSING OUT, and secondly, it is a GREAT read that "elevates the conversation surrounding mental health, especially in the hip-hop and black communities." Girl, Wash Your Face x Rachel Hollis is another AMAZING read, that tackles the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living our best lives! This read teaches you how to live with passion and hustle, and how to still love yourself when all bets are off. So BOOM! Let's talk about it!
1. What does loving yourself look like?
2. How does loving yourself affect the way that you love others?
3. In Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel discusses that as women, we emotionally abuse ourselves. Do you believe this to be true? Why or why not?
4. Do you believe that if you are constantly making and breaking promises to yourself, that you are not making promises at all. You’re simply just talking? What promises will you keep for yourself this year?
5. On a scale of 1-5 with 1 being poor, and 5 being excellent, how would you rate your mental health right now?
6. What fills you up with meaning and passion?
7. In what ways do you need to shift in order to step into your higher self?
8. In Shook One, Charlamagne talks a lot about the tremendous impact that therapy has on improving his mental health. Do you see therapy as a positive form of mental wellness?
9. What negative energy are you consistently allowing in at this moment?
10. Dear self, you are _______________.
11. What do you value about yourself?
12. Today I affirm __________.
13. Is there someone you turn to when you feel your mental health shifting?
14. Whom do you need to forgive?
15. Where does your hurt stem from?
16. What positive changes have you made so far this year?
17. What are your favorite forms of mental wellness/self-care? Share!
Feel free to share, like, comment, repost! Also, make sure to follow us on @thebookspotbykg on Twitter and Instagram as we dive into this week's questions/thoughts! Make sure when answering this week's questions, you hashtag #BookTingsTALK! I can't wait to connect with all of you! If some of the questions are too deep for you to share openly, please feel free to email me personally, as I am always a listening ear! Remember, no battle should be fought alone, and to always keep self-care at the forefront! Thank you so much for reading :)
If You Loved This Post...
N A M A S T E.
New Year, New Commitments!
Happy Wednesday bookworms! I hope everyone is having a great start to their new year! I wanted to jumpstart my new year by reading this awesome book, Girl, Wash Your Face x Rachel Hollis! I heard about this book via social media as one of my readers suggested it for this month's book club read, and I couldn't put it down! I love to travel, and during my recent trip to New Orleans, this was THE book to read! I do find it surprising that I have dived into more self-help books, because at one point, I would always say, "Why do I need to read a book on how to live my best life, when I can do that on my own?", but you come to realize that it's more than that. It allows you to find your way and remind you that you don't have to have it altogether at 25 or even 35. As long as you're HAPPY, that's all that matters. THAT is living your best life! This book dives directly into that. If you haven't read this book, it talks about the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore. Sounds familiar? Through her painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and looks into the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. This is where her amazing tips come in at the end of each chapter that I love! Through my review, I want to also share my favorite chapters and takeaways that I found from reading this book that I hope you all enjoy, so let's get to it!
First of all, I believe that EVERY woman should read this book. We have all been in a place of uncertainty or the "What am I doing? I should be farther along by now" phase. We have all questioned ourselves and our purpose at least once, and we have all made mistakes! What I love about this book is that it is real. It's raw, and it peels back emotional layers! Every chapter had its own meaning. Each chapter gave new insights into the lessons Rachel learned on her journey to become an employee, wife, mother, business owner, author, and social media lifestyle artist. She shares the many disappointments and pains along the path to success. She shares her flaws, mistakes, and “wish I could do-overs”. She shares intimate details about her siblings, marriage, children, and parents. She discusses the business she created and her transformation into a social media lifestyle blogger. She shares her passion for life and the joy of living. She reminds us the importance of happiness, and to not merely just exist, but to LIVE. LIVE with purpose! Here are some of my favorite chapters of the lies that I used to tell myself and how I overcame them:
Lie #1: Something Else Will Make Me Happy...
This chapter begins by stating the first lie that Rachel had to confront, that is, ‘something else will make me happy’ (Hollis, 2018). Rachel lived a life full of challenges that denied her the opportunity to be happy but found comfort in a misconception that when she grew up, she would find something, or some other life that will make her happy. She narrates several struggles in life that made her unhappy both as a child, and as a grown up. For example, she wet her pants while playing with friends, and had to douse herself with a bottle of water so that her friends could not know what happened (Hollis, 2018).
This simple act made her hate herself because she had not accepted the person she was. She also grew up in a family with challenges characterized by cries, and fights (Hollis, 2018), an environment that could traumatise a child. Hollis (2018) states that “father handled stress with anger while mother handled stress by going to bed for weeks at a time”. This then means that there was no environment of peace, and sobriety but a traumatic environment that was not conducive for the development of a child. The demise of her brother (who committed suicide) further provided challenge, and compounded her problems. Based on the photographs she posts on social media with her husband, however, people see her as a person leading a relatively better life (Hollis, 2018).
K's Girl, Get Yo Life Tips & Tricks:
Lie #2: I'll Start Tomorrow...
Chapter two talks about how one can honor promises he/she makes to himself/herself, thus being able to stop a habit, and start a new one. The chapter begins by stating the second lie that Rachel believed, that is, ‘I will start tomorrow’. We have ALL been there! She proceeds to give examples, and scenarios (of both herself, and her friends) of struggles with keeping one’s own promise, as a result of believing the lie. For example, she narrates how she started, and failed to continue with several programs including plans to attend gym, marathon, and walking to work (Hollis, 2018). Like Rachel, many women also start such plans with good intentions, but find it difficult to continue because they find it normal to dishonor the promises they make to themselves. While one may want to honor the promises they make to themselves, they find the urge to break the promises irresistible. The distractions in life are among the factors that create the urge of reverting to old habits thus abandoning a promise such as never to drink diet coke again. Rachel (2018) gives an example of a woman who promises herself not to take a certain meal but goes ahead to take it on her child’s birthday. The child’s birthday, therefore, becomes the distraction.
K's Girl, Get Yo Life Tips & Tricks:
Lie #3: NO Is The Final Answer (HA!)
In chapter six, Rachel adequately provides eye-opening information on how to react once one faces an element of rejection. In her understanding, Rachel believes that one is gifted the ability to determine what to accept, and reject, and this is the reason sometimes she refuses to be a public speaker, or when faced with rejection she refuses to accept, and looks for other alternatives to address the issue (Hollis). In essence, the writer aims to share the perspective that even though ‘yes’ is normally considered as the easiest answer, by learning how to say ‘no’ one is in a better position to achieve the greater things in life.
This chapter aims to reiterate that when one faces a rejection, it is upon the individual to dictate whether he will lose hope, or whether he will find other mechanisms of challenging the issue. From her assertions, audacity is one of the major components which enhance the productivity of a given individual. This implies that when one has the courage to face rejection from different areas, then one is able to grow through the pressure, and achieve the greater things in life. For instance, she shares a lot about when her book was rejected by various publishers but she did not give up but instead continued to work harder.
K's Get Yo Life Tips & Tricks:
Becoming x Michelle Obama
This book was an AMAZING read, and I absolutely LOVE Michelle Obama! Her amazing gift of storytelling was really highlighted in this book, and she does an excellent job providing insight on being a mom, wife, and First Lady all in one! I have always admired her class and her ability to "go high when others go low" even amongst criticism. This book delivered so many lessons for me which I have highlighted in my December book of the month section, and really provided a wonderful view of her life outside of the White House. I loved this book so much that with the help of many of you, made it my book club's December pick of the month! Throughout this book, I carried many emotions, but the biggest one was reminiscing on the amazing experience of witnessing the First Black First Lady in my lifetime. Such a great read! Want more? Be on the lookout for this book to be available in our shop section February 2019!
You Are a Badass x Jen Sincero
This was one of my FAVORITE self-help books this year! While I was reading this, I was constantly jotting down different phrases, tips, and advice that really stuck out to me from this read, and now I use them as part of my everyday life! This book is all about digging deep and owning your self-worth. It is not only hilarious, but it isn't your typical self-help book. It really teaches you how to be a true BADASS. It talks about overcoming fears, and pushing yourself to the next level. When I picked up this book, I was in a weird stage in my life. I was stuck between loving being a nurse, and wanting to push myself more with my blog. I was kind of stuck. I had just transitioned jobs within my nursing career, but knew I needed to take my blog to the next level, but I was fearful and didn't feel that I could do that. I felt defeated when I wasn't meeting the "views" and numbers portion of blogging that everyone talks about, and wanted to quit blogging altogether. IMAGINE THAT! This book really helped me get out of my own head and do WHAT I LOVE! It taught me that I can have the best of both worlds and still be okay. It allowed me to see that in life, we have to take risks and LEAP. We can't let fear be the reason that we don't TRY. TRYING is all that we can do! Whenever my friends and colleagues ask for book recommendations, this is always the book that I choose because it is truly AMAZING. This book is perfect for someone that just needs a small reminder that they are a badass in all forms! Be on the lookout for this book to be available in our shop section February 2019!
Invisible No More x Andrea Ritchie
This book was the epitome of POWERFUL! Of course we have all seen the news of unarmed black men and women being killed by police, but this books illustrates unique stories of individual women such as Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Dejerria Becton, Monica Jones, Mya Hall and many more in their stories of police violence and mass incarceration in a broader context. This book was really hard to read, but necessary! These beautiful men and women being killed in our society are more than just a hashtag for a few months, and that's it. We must continue to #SAYHERNAME all the time and remind not only other people, but ourselves that their lives mattered. I loved the powerful message of this read, and every so often, I love to read books of this nature because it reminds me that the fight must continue, and the message must continue to spread not just today, but tomorrow and the next day. Great read for book clubs and groups! This book will warrant awesome intellectual discussion! Stay tuned next month as we will have an awesome interview with Andrea Ritchie as she discusses her amazing book, inspirations, and more! You don't want to miss it!
Broke Millennial x Erin Lowry
This read is such a great read to end your 2018 especially being that Christmas is wrapping up and the new year is coming in! Growing up, my parents really didn't teach me the importance of financial literacy and saving money. Of course they said the occasional, "Don't spend all your money in one place...blah blah blah" but that really didn't help because I just ended up spending all my money in different places! I think that many households fail to teach their children about the importance of saving money, student loans, interest, CREDIT SCORES (emphasis on this) and more because some parents didn't have this for themselves. If I knew back then what I know now, I would have been in a wayyyy better position financially to succeed and excel in the money department. Especially in college! Throughout college, I had so many lines of credit that I could not afford placing me in major debt! I had student loans, store credit card payments (Don't let that extra 15% off your purchase fool you!), and an apartment to pay for each month! OUCH. Now, at 26, I have FINALLY understood what my parents have been saying all along, which is where this awesome book comes in. I found this book while scrolling through social media, and my friend Dedrick posted about it during my fun #BEYOU book contest. What I love about this book is that it is relatable! It was written by a millennial for millennials which JUST MAKES SENSE. It is definitely a great read to not only end your 2018, but jumpstart your 2019 as well!
The Hate U Give x Angie Thomas
I absolutely LOVED this book! Not only was the book amazing, but the movie was BOMB! Usually, I don't like watching movies after books because I am always comparing what happened in the book with the movie, but this book definitely hit a major soft spot that I feel everyone should read! This book is based on a young girl named Starr witnessing the murder of her friend to police violence, and her journey to justice. From the moment that I started reading this book, I knew that it was going to be amazing! After reading it, I experienced the craziest book hangover ever! I couldn't stop thinking about the book because a story of this nature happens everyday in society. This book was so good that I read it in two days, and the only reason that I didn't finish it in one day was because I had to work the next day! This book had me thinking of what I would do if stuck in that situation. Would I be friends with someone who would never understand my daily struggles as a black woman? At what age would I teach my children about how to approach being stopped by a police officer? Would I go on national television fighting for justice for my friend that was shot by a police officer? So many great questions and great discussion! This book was ridiculously good, and I would definitely recommend this book to wrap up your 2018!
Hi! My name is Nadiyah Barrow, and Worthy Women NC started as a support group for survivors of sexual assault on the campus of North Carolina Central University in 2013. In October of 2016, Create Consent Culture was created. This is a black women owned apparel line that promotes sexual assault awareness. Our goal is to remind victors (not victims) of sexual assault that they are worthy of self-love, love from others, and happiness no matter what traumatic experience they've been through. We also use our apparel as a platform for conversations around consent and healing steps survivors can take after assault. Along with our apparel, we also advocate for victims and visit schools (and wherever else we are welcomed) to talk about levels of consent, healthy intimacy, and ending victim blaming.
Creating Consent Culture w/ Nadiyah!
K: What was your inspiration behind creating Worthy Women NC?
N: Worthy Women NC was inspired by my personal experiences of sexual trauma. When I went off to college, I struggled with depression and anxiety. I met many people that confided in me about their personal experiences of abuse, and I knew I wanted to create a special support system for people just like me. I wanted women at my college to have a safe space to heal from these experiences.
K: When did you first discover your love for writing and entrepreneurship?
N: Ever since I was a young girl, maybe around 11-12, I used to jot things down and had multiple diaries that I also wrote in. I never knew how much writing meant to me until I got older. I think it’s a deep rooted connection between pen and paper. For me, when I write something down, it becomes more real. As far as entrepreneurship, during my undergraduate years of college, I knew it was a path I was interested in, but I wasn’t confident in it until after graduation. I literally got so miserable at my job and felt I should truly follow my passion.
K: One of your phrases within your apparel line is a powerful statement, "Create Consent Culture." Explain the meaning of this. How do you define consent?
N: Create consent culture is about uplifting survivors and teaching human decency. Through this brand, we emphasize the importance of consent, respecting one another and bodily autonomy. Right now we live in a rape culture world which is an environment where sexual abuse is normalized. Rape culture is perpetuated through misogynistic language and behavior that includes blaming the victim for the abuse. Creating consent culture means we understand that consent it our given right. Consent is a mutual, ongoing agreement to anything.
K: What do you want your audience to take away from your brand?
N: I would like our audience to know that we are all healing from something. You are not alone. Your voice is vital.
K: In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up to tackle the world again?
N: In moments of self doubt, I like to read quotes from my favorite self care author: Alex Elle. Sometimes I cry it out and try again the next day! That’s the real. I’m not afraid to admit I’m a water baby and I have embraced my sensitivity as I’ve grown older. Most people view sensitivity as a weakness. For me I’ve owned my ability to feel things so deeply. I think it’s amazing honestly.
K: In your own words, how would you define the difference between sexual assault and sexual harassment?
N: Sexual Harassment is a form of discrimination. Examples of this include: verbal comments, unwanted touches or sexual advances. Sexual assault is intentional, unwanted sexual contact. Sexual assault includes use of force and intimidation. It is when a victim doesn’t give consent or cannot give consent.
K: At what moment in your life did you say, "This is it. This is what I was meant to be doing!" What called you to it?
N: My "This is it. This is what I was meant to be doing" moment came after my first semester of leading the Worthy Women support group I founded. I felt empowered just hearing positive feedback from all the group members who participated. This special moment reaffirmed that this was my path, and what I was meant to be doing!
K: What quote or saying inspires and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love?
N: A quote that really inspires me is: “Plant yourself where you will bloom.” This is the ultimate reminder for me that no matter what you are temporarily stuck in, you can grow from it. Every chapter in your story builds a foundation for a beautiful flower to grow.
K: What characteristics do you most admire in other creative women?
N: In other creative women, I admire transparency the most. I believe that if you are true to yourself, your audience will be genuine.
K: Knowing what you know now, how do you handle consent for sexual intimacy in relationships and encounters?
N: I am a huge advocate for open communication when it comes to any form of intimacy. You should have conversations at each step.
K: Do you believe that mothers and daughters/fathers and sons should discuss more openly about sexual harassment and misconduct? If so, what should they say?
N: I most definitely believe that it’s a conversation we should all be having more. Everything starts with simple respect for others. It’s never too early to start teaching consent. I believe that healthy conversation within the family unit is great, and promotes awareness and openness amongst one another.
K: In the powerful #MeToo Movement, the case of Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics team doctor convicted of years of sexual abuse against many USA gymnasts such as Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and more, has prompted questions from athletes and fans alike. Why do you believe that many women are hesitant to come forward when sexual assaulted?
N: Often times survivors are blamed for the circumstances that led to the assault (such as what they were wearing, if they were drinking). Along with being blamed, they are criticized for how they did or didn’t fight back. Victims are often too ashamed to come forward because sexual assault can seem very humiliating and dehumanizing. Attached to the shame is also a lot of self blame.
K: As a fellow blogger, what do you feel distinguishes a good writer from a GREAT writer?
N: Im still in my earliest stages of writing opposed to where I want to be, but I would say PASSION distinguishes a good writer from a great writer. I believe that you should do everything with passion! Often what happens is when you aren’t in it for passion, dreams, ideas and creativity begin to fade out. Keep the passion in whatever you love, strong!
K: What is the biggest sacrifice you've made throughout your journey of becoming a blogger and entrepreneur?
N: I would say the biggest sacrifice I made throughout my journey was quitting my full time job at Nordstrom in January of 2017! It was the scariest thing ever. I made the decision and didn’t consult with anyone; friends or family. I literally told myself I was going to quit by a certain time because I wasn’t truly fulfilling my purpose there, and now here I am!
K: What are great resources for women to use for those who may have experienced sexual assault?
N: Great resources for women are any local crisis response centers! Any crisis hotline, women’s resource center/ student health at any college, local support groups are all great resources for women that have experienced assault.
K: Are you working on any new projects that we can look forward to in the future?
N: I am looking forward to having a support group in the community! I am not sure of an exact date, but it will happen. We have also collaborated with the lovely empowerment coach, A. Richbook of Durham, NC on this event called “The Lotus Gathering.” This event is to inspire and empower victims and non-victims to take back their power through connecting with themselves through love. It is our goal to aid people (mostly women) in truly understanding the multifaceted experiences of domestic violence. If they've been affected, we want to provide a safe space for a jumpstart to healing. It will be an annual domestic violence awareness event. This past October was our introductory year, but we plan to expand next year and make it even bigger!
K: What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
N: I would tell any aspiring entrepreneur to stay true to yourself, don’t be afraid of your first “NO”, and make time for self care. Self care is imperative and you can not serve others if you don’t treat yourself well!
K: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
N: You can all follow me on social media! IG: NadiyahForever, Business IG: WorthyWomenNC, and website: wwshopnc.com!
I would like to send a special thank you to Nadiyah for taking time out of her schedule to interview with me! It was super fun doing this interview, and I had a great time talking consent, self-care, and women's empowerment, with such a sweet, passionate individual! In our society today, creating consent culture is so important! It all starts with a healthy conversation! I can't wait to see more amazing moments from you! Thank you for sharing your light with us! Thank you for reading, and thank you for allowing me to share my soul with yours! Happy #SoulfulSunday! Share, like, comment! Tell us what you think!
WE ARE WORTHY.
#LoveforLiteracy Book Drive!
Happy Wednesday readers! December is the month of giving, and what better way to give than to donate books to children in need? I am a HUGE advocate for reading overall, but especially for children! I wanted to create a fun book drive called #LoveforLiteracy to highlight the importance of reading in not only children, but all ages. Reading as a child for me was a fun adventure, and one that I loved to embark on over and over again. I can't stress enough how important it is for children to experience reading starting within the household. Reading for me was an outlet, a way for me escape the troubles or issues that I had growing up. I loved the responsibility of having my own library card, learning when to return books back (FINALLY realizing that I couldn't keep them) since according to my mom that was stealing lol.
Reading shaped me into the woman that I am today, and most importantly, it holds a special place in my heart, which is why I decided to create this book drive! I wanted to do something that everyone can be involved in, PLUS gives each and every one of us an awesome chance to promote reading in children of all ages, and do something amazing for all kids in our communities! I will be doing this book drive all December long, so make sure to like and share this post to get the message out there! With all of the children's books that we receive, we will be donating them to Book Harvest, a Durham-based nonprofit organization that believes in the power of books to change children's lives and that works to ensure that all children grow up in book-rich homes. Book Harvest believes that books are essential to children’s healthy development and well-being and that all children deserve to grow up in book-rich homes. To that end, they work to remove barriers to book ownership, to fuel a lifelong love of reading among America’s children that will enable success in school and in life. Since it kicked off in 2011, Book Harvest has provided more than 1,000,000 donated books to children the Triangle area! That's AMAZING! Let's continue this amazing success! Check out my #LoveforLiteracy Book Drive details below on how you can donate to this amazing cause!
Reading is Power!
*Statistics inserted via Book Harvest website*
How You Can Help: