Meet the CEO of MKCircle CEO Institute, Dr. Karen Semien-McBride

@thatriverzgurlbrandllc

Dr. McBride’s executive coaching programs have produced a generation of exceptional leaders who have transformed industries using sustainability and innovation while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. “The focus is on building emotionally intelligent leaders and helping them understand and conceptualize the concepts of emotional intelligence with applying self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-motivation,” Dr. McBride says.

Her upcoming book explores the psychological theories and their applications of the operational style assessment, making it the new ‘Leadership Language’ of the 22 Century. “It gives you a deeper insight on how to utilize the theories to benefit how you engage others, communicate, make decisions, and how to fully show up in your professional and personal life.”

Dr. Karen McBride provides Entrepreneurs, Influencers & Thought Leaders with the insight and expertise necessary in the areas of entrepreneurship, corporate structure & business acumen, as well as, counseling/mentoring professionals dedicated to providing them moral support and actionable value in both their business and personal lives; empowering, strengthening, encouraging, and challenging them in identifying their unique purpose, equipping and enabling them by teaching them transformative lifestyle changes to live positive, dynamic, impactful, influential lives by supporting & propelling them to show up to lead & win.



Patrice: What motivated/inspired you to start a business?

Dr. Karen: I was raised in the inner city of Compton, California. I was destined to reach higher heights in the entrepreneurial and leadership space. I was leading and starting businesses in elementary school. As a teenager headed to college, I sold my flower business to a florist and received $11,000 to pay towards my education. I was always an entrepreneur. I always believed in leadership, bringing me to realize my goal was always to lead people. Not just lead people, but in a way that would produce results, that would create opportunities, and that would shift the norm of what people would consider leadership to be.

Additionally, I believed in education and how it would support my business acumen. I did not plan to have 5 degrees. However, I worked hard to establish an impressive college background, obtaining my bachelor’s in business administration, a master’s in management and organizational leadership, and two doctoral degrees in business administration/ organizational psychology, psychology/management & consulting, and human letters honored for research.

Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman that hustles?

Dr. Karen: Ha-ha, I love that! I see, ‘pretty’ as an internal state of your being. Meaning, the work I do, is because of my inner awareness of who I am, and how I can use my expertise to help others. I train small business leaders and executives to become emotionally intelligent leaders. I teach the highest level of leadership theory to reach the most significant level of growth. So, with that, I would deem it equates to a “pretty awesome hustle.”

Patrice: What is the name of your business(es) and what are they all about?

Dr. Karen: MKCircle Enterprises: CEO Institute Executive and Business Coaching.

MKCircle Enterprises, LLC offers individuals, small business owners, entrepreneurs, corporate, non-profit, and civic leaders a one-on-one curriculum that support professional growth, life planning, and goal setting.  It also explores personal and professional pressures that may hinder progress and growth—introducing several tools that support daily decision-making and leadership, all of which can be shared with other leaders, colleagues, and subordinates.

The CEO Institute offers executive coaching, leadership development team building, and engagement programs that provide one-on-one, cohort and team curriculum that supports professional advancement, personal growth, success strategies, and tools to create the best YOU! It is like no other program in the market. The focus is on three main theories: Operational Style Language, Emotional Intelligence, and Mindset. We explore personal and professional pressures that may hinder progress and growth introducing several tools that can be shared, as well.

We offer:

1:1 Executive Coaching Programs (Executive Leaders, Small Business Owners, Civic Leadership, Entrepreneurs)

Cohort Leadership Program

Team Building and Engagement Programs

And, much more.

Patrice: Have you faced any challenges in your business?

Dr. Karen: Starting as a small business and now scaling into a more mid-level business, presents some challenges. Our main challenges have been funding for expansion and hiring new coaches with the proper education credentials. But if I am speaking about my small business clients, they experience the same challenges around funding. However, they also need support in marketing, customer engagement, understanding their business, and making it profitable and sustainable within their community. The pandemic has been a struggle for some of my small business clients, but it’s also been profitable for some. I always encourage my clients to use my EOES Business Growth Model to plan for the unexpected. The EOES Business Growth Model represents, Emulate, Originate, Establish and Sustain. We support them in creating a plan using the model to follow, which ultimately promotes sustainability during challenging times.

Patrice: What projects are you currently working on?

Dr. Karen: I have several projects that are happening simultaneously. I will share three that I am extremely excited about.

First, I am teaching a Business Health 101 course to legacy business owners in the Los Angeles area. This project is so near and dear to my heart because I grew up in the inner city of Los Angeles. I am a proud product of the inner city. This is an opportunity for me to bring my expertise back to the inner city to support economic growth.

Secondly, I was offered the opportunity to publish a section in Business Matters magazine, for 12 issues, called “Executive Coaching Corner with Dr. Karen.” This is so amazing because I can reach an audience not just in the US, but in the UK and Australia. I get to coach individuals monthly with tips and resources that support professional growth and business sustainability.

Lastly, with my longtime colleague, we created the Operational Style Assessment. It embarks on a new leadership language that will help leaders communicate effectively and learn about their true selves. When I speak of leaders, I speak of everyone who leads their professional sector, in their personal lives, and social circles. The language is universal.

The assessment is available on my website at: https://www.mkcircle.com/assessment/ It is life changing.

Patrice: How do you face diversity as a woman entrepreneur?

Dr. Karen: I wrote a quote that says, “High heels are not about being comfortable; they are for leveling the playing field.” I wrote that in closing on a talk I was giving to a group of young female professionals who needed to hear that we are enough. We are tall enough, we are smart enough, we are strong enough, to stand equal to our male counterparts in any sector. Although we have come far, there is still inequity in pay, position, and perception. That quote represents my stance, my obligation as a leader to stand when injustice, a lack of inclusion, and a lack of diversity are present. I believe it is my job to pave the way for women who walk behind me and alongside me and support them in their growth.

Patrice: Is balancing your personal life, work life and business life difficult for you at times?

Dr. Karen: Work-Life balance is a priority for me. I teach work-life balance within the CEO Institute programs because as leaders and hard workers, we get caught up in what I call the loyalty spiral. We misconstrue loyalty by not leaving work on time. We discount our needs and place them behind our work. What we fail to realize is that it is a dysfunction and more of a hindrance to our growth. If we continue to work in that capacity, the inevitable is resentment, unhappiness, not being fulfilled at work or home. I do my best to balance my work and personal life. I leave my office when it is time to go home. I don’t take client meetings during my off days or off times. I’m a better leader, a better teacher, a better coach if I have that balance, and I want to be a role model for my clients. I want to practice what I teach.

Patrice: How would you say your business differs from others in the same industry you work in?

Dr. Karen: There are countless times that I hear from a corporate client or an individual client that there is no other coaching firm doing the work that you do, how do you do it? Our results speak for themselves. Our research showed me that 1:1 dyad executive coaching breeds the highest results. It was essential for us to make our coaching programs about our client’s needs, not about time or money.

Not only are we business strategists and an executive coaching firm, but we are also a research firm. We believe the data that we produce. The data offered that we needed to teach theory in a practical way and create training with tools that would be used and not forgotten. All our programs are 4 to 12 months long. We do not have one-week executive coaching programs or 1-hour group trainings. We have a results-based curriculum, and to teach that curriculum takes time on task, repetition, and engagement. We base all our training on sustainable research and the results that our clients receive. That is what makes us different.

Patrice: What does be an entrepreneur or business owner mean to you?

Dr. Karen: To me, it means that I have the opportunity to welcome diversity of thought, engage in like-minded leader projects, teach my curriculum, make a difference in individual’s lives, and support business growth. I also have the opportunity to create, collectively build, individually and intentionally shift sectors of business that I would not have typically engaged in my previous role as a COO of a large corporation. The most important part of being an entrepreneur and a business owner is doing the work I love every day.


Connect with Dr. Karen:

Website: www.mkcircle.com

IG: @drkaren.execoach

Twitter: @drkaren.execoach

FB: @CEO-Institute-Executuve-Business-Coaching

YouTube: Dr. Karen Semien-McBride

FELESHIA SAMS SHARES HER JOURNEY ON NOT ONE, BUT THREE BUSINESS VENTURES! THE ‘GO-TO-GIRL’ INDEED!”

I believe pretty is not about the outer appearance, but instead what is deep within you~ Feleshia Sams

Feleshia was considered the “go-to-girl” for make-up in college. Now she is the CEO of the Atlanta-based Academy of Advanced cosmetics (AAC,) a cosmetic training academy and hub for beauty technicians and artists. Feleshia is also the CEO of Coz Tat, a mobile app created with cosmetic artists and consumers in mind and 365 Greens, a holistic brand that boasts a green superfood powder that has proven to strengthen weakened immune systems and energy.


Patrice: What motivated/inspired you to start a business?

Feleshia: From the age of 5 I was saying that I told myself that I wanted to be the boss.  At that time I had no idea of what I was going to do all I knew was that I wanted to run my own business.  Growing up as an only child with only my mom and I.  I saw how she was able to build her own business and that inspired me to want to do the same one day. 

Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman that hustle?

Feleshia: I believe pretty is not about the outer appearance but instead what is deep within you.  You can have a pretty face, body, and gorgeous hair but a ugly heart.  Physical appearances fade and who we truly are resides within us forever.  Being pretty is what do we do for our families, communities, those around us.  How we live, work, and give back.  Its my mission to be that “pretty” example for both my children and those that may look up to me and want to do what I’m doing today. 

Patrice: What is the name of your business(es) and what does it intel?

Feleshia: I have 3 businesses. 2 are cosmetic related and 1 is health and nutrition. 

Academy of Advanced Cosmetics is a cosmetic training academy that trains, mentors, supplies our very own cosmetic tattoo products to students in the industry. 

CozTat is my app that connects cosmetic tattoo artist and clients together.  We provide a complete business system for our artist to manage their calendars, take payments, send electronic consent forms, and showcase their work. The app is free to clients where they can check out reviews, artist pictures, check certification / licensing credentials, schedule, and pay all within the app.

365 Greens is my green superfood powder.  This is a superfood powder that is a daily powder that can be mixed in water or your favorite drink to provide you all the multi vitamins and nutrients you need.  It’s simple to mix and taste really good unlike most powders on the market. 

Patrice: Have you faced any challenges in your business?

Feleshia: Being in business has a lot of ups and downs. Some recent challenges that I had to face was finding the right contractors and support for some of my businesses.  For example, when I see that someone or company is not providing me what I need I have learned to move on, but before I do I always have a backup.  When I initially started my app I started with one developer and then found that I was not getting what I wanted.  As a result, I left and moved on the next.  Yes, it was costly but in the long run I feel as though it was going to save me a lot in the long run.  The same with my superfoods brand.  Having my own vision of what I want and what others say they can do can sometimes cause you to redirect your vision to what they can do.  So just as with the app I found myself moving to another manufacture that was able to give me exactly what I was looking for.  Bottom line I have to trust my gut and stick to my guns and know that this is my vision.  Sometimes others can’t see it and that’s okay but I know at the end of the day if I’m paying I need to get what I’m paying for. 

Patrice: Are you currently working on any current projects right now?

Feleshia: I have a new project coming out that is an online business course.  It’s called PMU Resources make 6 figures while working 3 days a week or less.  This is through my Academy and will be available to all permanent makeup artist.  I wanted to layout the blue print on how I did this my first year in and how they can do this to. Also, I am coming out with a green superfood for kids in May 2021.  This is through 365 Greens and will be specifically for kids. 

Patrice: How do you face diversity as a woman/man entrepreneur/author?

Feleshia: I would say while developing my app it was sometimes a challenge.  Being that the tech field is so male dominant.  Also, I was creating something as a woman for mainly women and they knew nothing about it.  It was huge challenge. In the development phase we would have weekly conference calls and it would be all these men and then me.  I knew from the first meeting that if I wanted my app to be a certain way I was going to have to drive my point across and let them know that yes this woman has voice.  Despite the fact I was spending my money I always felt that I had to defend my view on why I didn’t like their ideas.  This was part of why I switched developers.  I’m still with a bunch of guys but I find this new group is way more respectful and inclusive. 

Patrice: Is balancing your personal life, work life and business life difficult for you at times?

Feleshia: Yes, yes, and yes!  Lately it has been a lot but I feel that once I get through these next few months I’ll be able to get more balance.  I consider myself to be an extremely organized person so this helps tremendously along with a terrific staff. 

Patrice: Do you have any new projects or events coming up?

Feleshia: At the Academy we use to do an annual PMU and Micro blading event.  Due to COVID-19 we delayed it so the plan is to do it again March 2022. 

Patrice: What does being an entrepreneur or business owner mean to you?

Feleshia: Being an entrepreneur means that I have no limits on what I can do in my career.  As an entrepreneur there’s no glass ceilings and no climbing that corporate ladder.   This is so rewarding to me and I am so blessed to be where I am today.  It’s hard-work but I wouldn’t trade it for any 9-5. 

Connect with Feleshia:

Instagram: feleshiasams

Website: http://www.aactraining.com

Instagram: aac_training

Facebook: Academy of Advanced Cosmetics

Website: http://www.coztat.app

Instagram: cozTat

Facebook: cozTat

Website: http://www.shop365greens.com

Instagram: shop365greens

Facebook: shop 365greens

UNLOCK YOUR HEALING POWER BY REFUELING, REFOCUSING AND REVAMPING YOUR LIFESTYLE WITH CEO OF D.O.P.E. HEALING

A natural-born optimist, registered nurse, and practitioner, Keisha Brown has always believed that positive energy makes you feel healthier, happier, and more empowered. With over 5 years of experience at the helm, Keisha is an ER travel nurse who specializes in Pediatric and Adult Emergency Medicine. Her love for helping others was initiated at a young age and, over the years, has revolutionized that experience by infusing comprehensive wellness methods for clients all over the country. This carefulness has continued throughout her career, especially when serving as a frontline nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having learned the intricacies of patient testing, Keisha went on to serve as a primary wellness practitioner at Tyler Perry Studios and Warner Brothers, in an effort to enforce safe filming practices for talent and staff. The founder of D.O.P.E Healing, a concierge IV therapy and wellness clinic, Keisha specializes in helping clients unlock the healing power of holistic health.


“Never underestimate my potential, I’ve been essential,” ~Keisha Brown


Patrice: What motivated/inspired you to start a business?

Keisha: To give back to my community. Weather it was by providing nursing services, different resources or being able to create jobs.  Instead of hosting or participating in conversation about wanting change. I decided to start by being the change that I wanted to see in this world. 2020, was a dark year for the myself and the world.  After coming off the frontlines and experiencing depression, I had to find a way to get back to my safe place of happiness. I do that by helping others. I got tired of wrestling with the thoughts of choosing money and politics over morals. I knew my community needed help. I witnessed the world loosing trust in HealthCare. And they had good reasons to feel the way they did. I wanted to help bridge the gap and gain the public’s trust again. But we have to work together and have empathy for one another. Once I found other ways of keeping people safe and alive, then I choose to take that route. So that meant me leaving the bedside and getting back into my community. My focus was to keep people of out the hospital, especially if it wasn’t urgent or emergent. So in my mind I’m helping my fellow colleagues and the community at the same time. I also wanted to do something special with my daughter, usually men work on cars or build houses with their son. So I decided to build a brand and create a legacy with my daughter. This is me braking generational curses.

Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman/man that hustle?

Keisha: I’m a beautiful woman driven by the success that is reflected towards my passion for what I love to do. I enjoy what I do, helping a patient, putting a smile on a face, healing, helping, being a gift to others. Being of service. My journey has not been short or easy, however it was worth the travel, the experience and the lessons along the way. Along this road, I’ve lost people close and dear to me and I learned their impact carries in me. During the dark times that will come, I may bend, but I won’t break.

” Never underestimate my potential. I’ve been essential” Keisha Brown

Patrice: What is the name of your business and what does it intel?

Keisha: D.O.P.E. HEALINGD.O.P.E.  stands for Delivering Only Positive Energy. We offer concierge nursing services, IV Hydration, Vitamin Injections, Rapid Co-VID testing, FIT testing, lab draws, urine drug and STD screening, CBD products and more.

“Energy is everything. Where the mind goes the body follow.” Keisha Brown, BSN,RN

Patrice: Have you faced any challenges in your business?

Keisha: Absolutely! I allowed loyalty to keep me in places that common sense would have taken me out of.  Once I understood my purpose was greater than anyone’s opinion of me, I was ok with leaving people and opinions where I found them. Developing a business automatically comes with trials and failures because of the people you have to learn and adapt to (photographers, web designers, lawyers, etc.) Learning to mind the business that pays me, saved me from losing a lot of things like my mind, money and time.  I have to protect my energy and peace at all costs. The energy that you have is the energy you put out. protect yourself the way others won’t.

Patrice: Are you currently working on any current projects right now?

Keisha: Yes. I’m working on starting non -profit organization. I’m planning an event on Mother’s Day in honor of my later mother Paula Nixon, who passed away unexpectedly January 16, 2021. My mother had a larger- than- life personality and a heart that loved without limits. This will be my 1st Mother’s Day without her, undoubtedly the hardest one so I want to put my heart into the world and make someone else smile.  Over the summer D.O.P.E. Healing will be partnering with business owners, community leaders and sponsors for community health based events (Covid-19 testing, vaccine distribution, etc.) pending the events can be conducted primarily in regards to public safety. 

You can find these announcements and/or updates on my website http://www.dopehealingatl.com, IG page: d.o.p.e.healing, Facebook: D.O.P.E. Healing.

Patrice: How do you face diversity as a woman/man entrepreneur/author?

Keisha: Day by day with a strong team in support. What is expected in any business is that there will be trials and tribulations. That is a guarantee. However how you choose to respond is what will define you as a person and will reflect in the strength for your business. Losses are inevitable but the perseverance is detrimental to success. Foundation to your motive of your business is also pertinent to success. Money is a side result of the service or product you provide. For that reason, stay grounded in your belief and your motive will exude and produce results.

Patrice: Is balancing your personal life, work life and business life difficult for you at times?

Keisha: Absolutely.  I’m a wife, mother and CEO. For a while I felt as though I could only depend on myself to complete a task. Developing the right team to complete assignments was a challenge. Needless to say, I had trust issues, it was extremely stressful in itself. Because delegation and prioritization is a must to help cultivate a healthy balance to prevent yourself from burning out. So I had to learn how to trust, but verify. It’s still a work in progress.

For that reason, commitment to your business is imperative. If you don’t believe in it with consistency and passion, who will. One thing that I’ve learned and continue to work on, is separating my personal life from my business. But making sure I take care of things in my personal life first, so it does not show up in my business.  Separate your titles, you are not your job, your job is what you do. you are not where you work but when you work is a reflection of you.

Patrice: Do you have any new projects or events coming up?

Keisha: I have several community events that I’m lining up for the Summer time. These events are contingent based and will only take place if it can be conducted safely.  You can find these announcements and/or updates on my website http://www.dopehealingatl.com or on my IG page: d.o.p.e.healing

Patrice: What does being an entrepreneur or business owner mean to you?

Keisha: As an entrepreneur I am independent. I am responsible for a service and a production. As a business owner I have the capability to impact lives and provide jobs that are needed in my community. I provide an example to those who see me and see past their circumstance. It’s not about the destination. It’s the journey for me. Being the change.

I AM a woman who has a soft touch, but also one whose presence is felt.

Connect with Keisha:

Instagram: d.o.p.e.healing

Facebook: DOPE Healing

Website: http://www.dopehealingatl.com


5 WRITING TIPS FOR THE SOUL! GET IT WRITE WITH THAT RIVERZ GURL BRAND!

Writing has always been fun and fundamental for me ever since I was nine years old. At that age most little girls and boys weren’t thinking too much about writing nor painting. But when God has blessed you with a significant gift to write, you best believe your gift should never be wasted! I’m glad that I was given the gift to write because God was looking out for me on what my purpose is. To be honest, I struggled for years trying to figure out what type of writing should I pursue. Of course I’m an author of nine books, but is that just a hobby for me? A passion? Or a career? When I started my children’s book series called “Come Learn with Patricia,” my goal was to educated people on Sickle Cell Disease and who it affects. I’m only passionate now completing my book series because it’s educational. But I look back at all the book ideas I have stored in my head and nothing comes out on paper. I have a bunch of short stories I can write, but my focus right now is writing for magazines and interviewing people. So now that I have talked briefly about my writing career, I want to share with you some writing tips to get your soul going! You don’t have to be a professional writer to know these tips either.


  • Write from a place of familiarity. A lot of times, writing from a place that makes sense and that they are used to seeing in the environment. For authors, similar scenery may trigger a story..or two.
  • Traveling sparks writing fever! If you love traveling, you should write/blog about it! I remember living in Hawaii for five years when my dad was in the Air Force and the scenery was so beautiful! Back in high school, I journaled a lot and that’s when I got my start in writing poetry when I was 15. If you travel, write about the scenery or it can turn into a book! You never know!
  • Writing is therapeutic! I can honestly say that writing is good for the soul! It’s relaxing and relieves a lot of stress. For example, if you have been through a lot of major challenges in the last couple of months, writing how you feel can help with processing thoughts and frustrations. Make time to write for at least 15 minutes a day if possible. It can make a difference!
  • Practice writing on themes. Let’s say a theme of an event or week is ‘Forever Young’ See how many sentences or paragraphs you come up with for writing on a specific theme.
  • Take a writing course. We can always improve your writing by taking extra courses. Even though I graduated back in 2009 from college, I still plan to take writing courses to learn more about a particular type of writing I’m interested in. Go ahead and take a course and see how it helps your writing in the long-run.

Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. Marsha Norman

Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/writing-quotes


CREE CAMPBELL JOINS CAST OF WE TV ‘GROWING UP HIP HOP LA’

Patrice: It is so great to sit down and interview you. Let the readers know who you are and what your business is.

At first, I never thought I wanted to act, but now I love the glam and being in front of the camera. Acting is something, and I am very interested.

Cree: Great to sit with you as well! Thanks for thinking of me to interview. My name is Cree Campbell. I am currently the newest member of Growing Up Hip Hop LA. My father is Luther Campbell, and my dad (Stepfather) is Ted Lucas, owner of Slip N Slide records. I own and operate two businesses ‘Inspire Agency’, an experiential marketing firm that cultivates branded moments and corporate events. ‘Inspire Body Recovery’ is a luxury post-op concierge service to assist “dolls” in their post-surgery journey.

Patrice: Tell us about your advocacy of health and wellness. How important is that for you?

Cree: Health and wellness are vital to me because I’ve seen the downside of not being healthy when it comes to family members suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease. This all stems from not living a healthy lifestyle.

Patrice: You are the latest cast of Growing up Hip Hop. How does that feel?

Cree: Wow! It’s insane! Being the newest member of WE TV #1 show ‘Growing Up Hip Hop LA’ is enormous for me and business overall. It’s an honor that they reached out and wanted me and to hear my story. I am genuinely excited about it.

Patrice: This is definitely exciting news since I’m also a fan of the show! What are you expected to learn from others on the show that has been on there for a while?

Cree: I do not think any expectations are made of me in regards to learning from anyone. However, I am open to learning because I do not know everything. Maybe I will learn something you’ll have to tune in in June.

Patrice: Will do! I will be counting down until June! LOL. So are you currently working on any new projects?

Cree: Yes! Omg, I have some pretty cool new stuff in the works for “C.Swim,” which is my swim line. I also have another brand called ‘FIM33’, “Faith in Motion33,” which is a workout line that Mama Tina came up with, and we are doing a mother-daughter project in regards to that. I am also purchasing land lots in Florida to build luxury single-family homes and duplexes geared towards middle-class families.  I feel like in certain areas, the houses are run- down, and everyone, no matter their financial status, should feel good and peace when entering their home.

Patrice: Wow! You have a lot going on for yourself and I see that you are an entrepreneur of many hats! Congrats to you in all your business ventures! Now since the pandemic hit last year and still is going on in 2021, has it affected your business or planned projects in any way?

Cree: The pandemic has ultimately shut down events for big branded clients, and it’s sad because I have all these concerts and partnerships that were ready to go for 2020 and 2021. But it made me look at life differently. I honestly feel less stressed without doing ground-up events. But I’ve also been given opportunities to partner with others and still execute concerts. My company was responsible for the first two ‘City Girls’ shows in Florida when JT was released from prison. I’ve always wanted to make sure to execute because I am low-key, and I wanted to make sure to put on for not only the city but my state!

Patrice: Blessings on top of blessings!  Have you been on other Television shows?

Cree: Yes. ‘Luke’s Parental Advisory’ on MTV, but I was young and extremely disconnected. It was probably the most awkward thing to be doing at 15 for me at the time.

Patrice: Do you see yourself becoming an actress in the long run?

Cree: At first, I never thought I wanted to act, but now I love the glam and being in front of the camera. Acting is something, and I am very interested. Someone should call Issa Rae and tell her I need to be in Rap Shit, lol.

Patrice: LOL. I understand because talent like Issa Rae deserves actresses like you who are hungry in this industry.

Follow Cree Campbell on IG @_itsmecree for more updates.

A storyteller and writer creating her own lane one opportunity at a time! Patrice Rivers is a 9x published author who created her own brand That Riverz Gurl Brand, LLC. Not only is she a certified journalist and freelance writer, but a Sickle Cell survivor and advocate. Patrice created the “Come Learn with Patricia” book series to share her personal testimony of living with SCD. Patrice is also the proud owner and creator of Versafi Media Magazine which is an online publication dedicated to entertainment news, articles and compelling interviews.  Learn more about Patrice and That Riverz Gurl Brand, LLC by visiting www.thatriverzgurlbrandllc.com. Be sure to follow her on Instagram www.instagram.com/thatriverzgurlbrandllc and visit her website for her magazine at www.versafi.style to learn more.

Ambitious Boss Babe Irene Eclavea Talks on her Savvy Business Venture ‘Elevate DragonFly’

Infusing her music artistry, fervent ambition with the positive inspiration she draws from her faith, Irene Eclavea is a shining testimony of the commitment it takes to pursue one’s dreams and goals and the utmost desire that comes from serving a higher purpose than your own. Her journey from church choir singer to a variety of professions in the service industry and as an entrepreneur was anything but predictable and she doesn’t take her recent success for anything less than a blessing from many years of dedication and perseverance. As a lifelong learner in the pursuit of knowledge, Irene is a Renaissance woman. Accomplished in both the arts and sciences, Irene is a registered dental assistant, licensed vocational nurse, licensed in property and casualty insurance, a high school teacher and adult instructor, and more. But it doesn’t stop there. She is also the president of the network consulting firm, Elevate DragonFly. With a plethora of professions, Irene believes that “once you reach a level where you feel it’s time for growth, there’s no reason for one to just stop there. Why not do everything we always thought we can do?”

Experiencing and overcoming challenging obstacles of life, Irene knew that there was more to the four walls that surrounded her. Singing in the ministry for about 15 years taught her to apply scriptures into reality; learning to “let go and let God” all in the faith and strength provided by God. For Irene, the entertainment industry was career driven first. Gathering all her knowledge and skills from her professions, she applied it into the influence of her networking business. Invited to attend the BET awards, Irene experienced her first few seconds of fame on TV. What “felt like heaven on earth”, as she describes, she was surrounded by amazing talents such as Blueface and Rihanna. Feeling like she could “breathe for the first time” ignited her journey of what we know as Elevate DragonFly today. Being born the Year of the Dragon is a part of Irene’s inspiration for the brand name. The design of the dragonfly intertwined with a flower but allowing the dragonfly itself to elevate is related to their mission: to elevate all of God’s people at the same time. Irene explains “with one, we fall and as a colony we rise. It’s about what the people of heaven’s wealth has given [me] and the relationships of everybody to work together and everybody rise. And with elevate, it’s just that. It’s about leading by faith.” Her goal as a network producer is to build strong, ever-lasting connections and mutually beneficial, strategic partnerships for people to network together. One of her many projects focuses on holding conferences on women empowerment.

 

“People are going to be People”

I don’t just see people; I see the spirits in people.  Meaning, in every sense of the word, I only want to see the good in them. The gifts they hold, their aspirations, their dreams, their desire to succeed~ Irene

 Patrice Rivers was able to catch up with Irene to sit and talk to her about her blooming and inspirational journey in business. 

 

 Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman that hustles?

Irene: Throughout my journey, I realized as children, we believed that anything was possible. If we wanted to become a superstar, then naturally, without fear, we become who we envision ourselves to be. As adults the world tells us to stay in our lanes. With that being said, for me, what makes a pretty woman that hustles, is one without limits.   Moving from one project to the next, executing the plans, and planting the seeds to allow all that is envisioned to become a reality, each plan, a perfect piece of the puzzle.  As I connect the pieces, “the pretty woman that hustles,” reaches for the next level of opportunity in each gifted career, with excellence, and carry out the plans that arise, to reach the goal of success.

 

Patrice: How did your journey in business begin? 

Irene: “Be Careful What You Ask For, Because You May Just Get It.”

One day, I was working as a nurse at one of the most prestigious hospitals in Southern California.  I had my life set.  I was newly married for the second time, had the fairytale wedding of my dreams, successfully blended the lives of our six children, sang with a Praise and Worship Ministry, and was on my third successful professional career.

I was set, as a full-time employee, with a 401K, vacation time, sick time, PTO, childcare options, and every employee perk imaginable. My morning started the same every day, Monday – Friday. Coffee, cubicle, patient work-ups, messages, immunization schedules, and occasional monthly meetings.  Five years of the same routine, until one day, I stared at the four walls of my station cubicle and said “GOD this can’t be it.  This can’t be it.  How do I minister to your people, if I am stuck behind these four walls? It doesn’t make sense. What you have planned for me, doesn’t make sense.”

Shortly after, I received the dreaded pink slip, and was asked to leave the premises, without an invitation to return. That is when my journey began.  The Leap of Faith was given to me as a gift, based on my infinite question. Ready or not, I accepted my fate. And, learned how to strategically apply, every job, every lesson, and every professional nugget, learned throughout my multiple career experiences and professions, into my own company. That was how Elevate DragonFly was born.

 

Patrice: As a business owner, what challenges did you face along the way? 

Irene: “People are going to be People”

I don’t just see people; I see the spirits in people.  Meaning, in every sense of the word, I only want to see the good in them. The gifts they hold, their aspirations, their dreams, their desire to succeed.   Unfortunately, one’s desire to knowingly or unknowingly, want to continue to repeat the same cycle, becomes evident once the momentum of each project begins.   And since, personally, as well as colleagues I work with today, I do not believe in employees, but practice under the realm of partnerships. Juggling with the emotions can become challenging, leaving me to say “Sometimes, people are going to be people, it’s not their fault.”

 

Patrice: Tell us a little bit more about your business and what does it entail.

Irene: Elevate DragonFly is a network consulting firm that is set up to help entrepreneurs and businesses through strategic partnerships that utilize resources throughout the nation to develop their knowledge, financial stability, and company operations so that the businesses involved will strive and thrive.

 

Patrice: How do you balance your work life, personal life, and business life all at the same time? 

Irene: Since I have been in many different professions throughout my life, I have had a lot of people come and go. I make sure that I only mix business with pleasure when needed . I do not have anyone from work in my personal business or life. Anyone that is in my corner, I make sure that they are trustworthy and reliable so that we can all grow together. I make sure that I keep God at the forefront of everything that I do making sure to always seek God with any decisions that I make before I make them. I learn from every mistake that I have made or will make so I will not have to repeat the lessons over again.

 

Patrice: Do you find that to be a challenge for you? 

Irene: There are times that I find it to be a challenge because I want to help everyone, and I want everyone to succeed. However, I have learned that you can only help those that want to help themselves and a lot of people are comfortable with clocking in to a 9 to 5 job daily, that is one of the reasons that I keep my work life separate. A lot of people do not see the vision and that is ok. I have learned that I have to keep moving in the direction of the vision that God has given me and work with what comes when it comes.

 

Patrice: Where do you see your business in five years? 

Irene: In 5 years, I see Elevate DragonFly being a franchised business and helping women and men around the world to be the best version of themselves.

 

Patrice: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a business owner/entrepreneur? 

Irene: To everyone that wants to become a business owner/entrepreneur I would tell them “NEVER give up on your dreams no matter how long it takes, no matter how many ideas you have, no matter what, keep doing it until you find the right one. God will always help you on your journey. If He did it for me, He will definitely do it for you. Have faith and put Him first and He will direct your path. My favorite verse in Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV) states “Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” Make sure that you write your vision and make a plan and stick to it step by step and if you get off track a little bit, that is ok, you will find your way back.

 

Patrice: Tell the readers about your new radio show, Elevate Doing Me.

Irene: Elevate Doing Me was founded by my former business partner, Mahonale Waters. This is an entity of Elevate DragonFly that is set to help young girls and young ladies to become the women that God has designed them to be. It is an etiquette class as well as it teaches them how to dress. It also helps them to learn how to manage their emotions and live a life that they would be happy to live when they are an adult.

 

Patrice: What is next for you and your business for the brand-new year?

Irene: There are major things that are already in motion, and more people will be blessed and be able to benefit from the vision of Elevate DragonFly through the partnerships that are being set up now.

 

Connect with Irene:

Phone: (909)789-2258

Email: Irene@ElevateDragonFly.org

Instagram: @Irene_Eclavea

Facebook: @Elevate_DragonFly

Website: http://www.ElevateDragonFly.org

 

 

A storyteller and writer creating her own lane one opportunity at a time! Patrice Rivers is a 9x published author who created her own brand That Riverz Gurl Brand, LLC. Not only is she a certified journalist and freelance writer, but a Sickle Cell survivor and advocate. Patrice created the “Come Learn with Patricia” book series to share her personal testimony of living with SCD. Learn more about Patrice and That Riverz Gurl Brand, LLC by visiting www.thatriverzgurlbrandllc.com. Be sure to follow her on Instagram www.instagram.com/thatriverzgurlbrandllc

4 Business Grants for Changemakers and Innovators

Currently the SBA U.S. Small Business Administration is offering programs that will assist small businesses with COVID-19 financial assistance. Check out the options here: SBA.GOV. I have compiled a list of 4 grants for Small Businesses to apply to. Check them out below.

Citi Trends

Ten Black entrepreneurs can win a $5,000 grant to support their business.

In celebration of Black History Month, Citi Trends is acknowledging Black entrepreneurs that are making history in their community today. Our goal is to help advance and further the businesses of Black entrepreneurs. Using our application below we are encouraging you to apply for a $5,000 grant.

Only applicants in the following product categories will be considered: Apparel, Beauty, Skin Care, Hair Care, Footwear, Home Décor, Bedding, Bath, Technology or Accessories.

Click here to apply: https://cititrends.com/bhm/

LISC Small Business Relief Grants

Thanks to support from a variety of funders, LISC’s Small Business Relief Grant program has provided over 4,000 entrepreneurs with grants totaling over $62 million during the Covid-19 pandemic to help them stay in business and continue to contribute to their local economies.

In partnership with Verizon, LISC will open a grant application that small businesses can use to apply for a $10,000 grant when the grant application opens on Monday, February 8th.

Click here to sign up for updates: Grant Information

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

The inner strengths you’ve discovered and valuable lessons you’ve learned this past year have helped you hang tough. Now you have a chance to win $50,000 to help your business continue to grow stronger. The 9th annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest returns February 16.

Click here to find out more: Fedex

Comcast Rise Grant

Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment. These are the cornerstones of Comcast RISE, a multi-year commitment to provide marketing, creative, media, and technology services to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses.

Click here to learn more: Grant

Ready! Set! Thrive!

It’s time to BREATHE again and inhale all the positivity, new vibes, and new projects for 2021! Even with the pandemic still going on and some countries/states always on lockdown, let’s try to focus on the positivity within it all. Even though the year might not have started as planned and the news keeps getting worst, guess what? Don’t lose your focus now, pretty girl! It’s time to rise and shine AGAIN! Last year’s trash, frustrations, distractions, and past issues should be buried beneath us. a Take in a deep breath and inhale good energy, new opportunities, and success and exhale all the negative BS, distractions, fake people, and nonsense of people and the world! With all that said, ladies and gents, let’s get to work!

By now, you should have established brand new goals for the new year. If not, that’s okay, but you still have time this month to write down your visions and dreams. Once you have established that, you are ready and set to thrive this year! As mentioned before, don’t allow the negativity of the world, situations, and people to get the best of you this year or trip you up when trying to achieve all your goals! God didn’t give you a vision or your gift for no reason! Find out what it is that you are good at and manifest in it! Writing down your goals might be the easy part of the journey, but the distractions of the world and people may be a challenging task to do. But if you stay focused, have a positive mindset, and prove to YOURSELF that anything is possible, you are well on your way is! The only person that is going to stop you is YOU! This year it’s all about YOU, your business, your goals, your wins, your blessings! Don’t let these haters and nay-sayers tell you otherwise! If you want to start your non-profit or writing services, go for it! Thrive this year and go all out in your dreams, visions, and goals! Happy New Year!

 

Patrice Rivers is a media mogul with the mind-set to tell “inspiring” stories in the world of journalism. She has also published nine books and is the owner of her brand ‘That Riverz Gurl Brand LLC’ that consists of her freelance writing, journalism skills, writing services, media platform and health platform. Learn more about this boss in the making by visiting her website at http://www.thatriverzgurlbrandllc.com Follow her on IG at http://www.instagram.com/thatriverzgurlbrandllc

Shift Your Mindset One Thought at a Time with Author and Mental Health Advocate Shawnee Palmer

 

After working in healthcare for many years, Shawnee developed a desire to become more active in helping people overcome the challenges in their lives. This desire soon transformed into a passion, which led Shawnee to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Addiction Counselor. She named her private mental health practice Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, both as a tribute to what she works with her clients toward—self-empowerment and overcoming their challenges—and after her grandmother, who has been a spiritual guide and angel for Shawnee, guiding her life long after she’s passed.  Alpine’s Empowerment Agency provides a private space where individuals and families can receive counseling to uncover and address the root causes of today’s problems. Shawnee has a passion for working with individuals who battle with substance abuse, depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma, anger, low self-esteem, and those who are grieving a loved one or having difficulties adjusting to a sudden life change. Through her agency, Shawnee strives to serve as her grandmother did, as a guide to those who are struggling in life, bringing them to a statement of acceptance and contentment. Shawnee has a new book out, “Shifting Your Mindset: A Guide to Overcome Depression, Anxiety & Trauma”. The book focuses on identifying ways to change your perspective on life for unmanaged and unresolved anxiety, depression, and trauma. As a mental health therapist, she wrote scenarios based on her own life experiences to give the readers ideas on overcoming life obstacles. She provides the readers with knowledge that helps them reflect on their current mental processes. This book experience helps readers to enhance their critical thinking skills.

“I had a desire to share my story on how I overcame depression, anxiety, and traumatic childhood memories in hopes that it would help others become victorious over their life woes.”

 

Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman who hustles?

Shawnee: My demeanor and how I carry myself with peace, confidence, and security. The love that I have for myself that helps me to stay self-motivated to create and accomplish all of my goals makes me a pretty woman who hustles!

Patrice: I was looking at your book “Shifting Your Mindset” and in the Preface section, it asked the question “If you had a chance to redo your life, what would you change?” I really like that question. So, I want to ask you that question. If you had to redo your life, what would you change and why?

Shawnee: For me, I wouldn’t change anything because those life experiences brought me to where I am today. I wouldn’t have the knowledge, wisdom, or understanding without those experiences. They led me to loving and nurturing myself more than I ever knew that I could!

Patrice: Tell us more about your journey as an author. What was your inspiration behind it?

Shawnee: I’ve been writing poems and short stories since elementary. I won a Young Author’s award in the 4th grade for a book I wrote on dinosaurs. I wrote off and on throughout the years but never shared the work I completed with others. As a therapist, I noticed that the calling on my life required me to reach a larger population of people and I wouldn’t be able to do that just with 1:1 therapy. Expanding my influence through books assisted me in connecting with more people. I’m a big advocate for people healing so I wanted to be part of many people’s healing journeys. This is the first self-published book of many to come in the future.

Patrice: Why did you choose this book you wrote to share with the world?

Shawnee: I had a desire to share my story on how I overcame depression, anxiety, and traumatic childhood memories in hopes that it would help others become victorious over their life woes.

Patrice: What message do you want readers to gain by reading your book?

Shawnee: My goal is for readers to learn more about themselves and ways to address their hidden pain. I want them to explore it from a different perspective so that way, they can get the healing that they need and deserve.

Patrice: In your book, you talk about self-care and I think that topic is so important especially if you are an author, established business owner, or entrepreneur. Why do you think that topic is so valuable and important to learn?

Shawnee: It’s valuable because stress is common but in order to truly address the life stressors we have and not allow them to break us down, we have to find outlets to release stress. Self-care should be practiced daily to keep a healthy balance between ourselves and life experiences that we have no control over.

Patrice: What is the best part about being a clinical social worker?

Shawnee: I have the ability to help others heal themselves. When people give me feedback about how I have helped change their lives, it warms my heart. It gives me the momentum to keep going and thriving to offer more to the people. It also encourages me to keep enhancing myself so that I am always presenting myself to my clients as my best self.

Patrice: Let us talk about your company Love and Serenity Wellness. What is the inspiration behind it? What type of skincare products does your company provide?

Shawnee: I believe in holistic healing for the mind, body, and spirit, Love & Serenity Wellness has the mental health sector by providing books and consultation services that aid in healing, understanding, and gaining wisdom that guides individuals to fulfill their true purpose in life. I enjoy teaching others how to reduce the barriers in their life, gain the knowledge that they need to be successful, and obtain the resources that they need to gain a sense of serenity and love for themselves as they venture out on their financial journey. I offer body and skincare products such as body butter, sugar scrubs, fragrance oils, detox bath salts, pain relief, and eczema cream. All products are therapeutic items that enhance the quality of the skin.

Patrice: Overall, what is the goal for your business?

Shawnee: To educate and empower business owners about mental, emotional wellness so that they are able to overcome any and all adversities that may come their way on their entrepreneurial journey.

Patrice: Do you plan to write any more books soon? If so, will it be on the same concept as the Shifting Your Mindset book?

Shawnee: I have started working on concepts for the next book and it will be a book about overcoming emotional hurt from a parent. It will allow the reader to address unhealed wounds and find ways to forgive their parents so that the issues with them no longer impact intimate relationships with others.

Patrice: Are you currently working on any projects for the remainder of the year?

Shawnee: I have several projects in the works for 2021! First, I am working on some workshops, courses and collaborating with others on panels to educate others about mental and emotional wellness. My biggest launch this month will be my non-profit, “Kindred Youth Foundation.” The mission is to build healthier emotional and mental wellness foundations through education and support for teens in underprivileged areas who have challenges with a parent or caregiver who is recovering from substance abuse.

 

 

Connect with Shawnee:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/LoveAndSerenityWellness

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LoveSerenityW

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoveAndSerenityWellness

Website: https://www.loveandserenitywellness.com

YouTube: Shifting Mindsets with Shawnee https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8xUxlR-Bd5sgJuVf7HaEfQ

 

Patrice Rivers is a media mogul with the mind-set to tell “inspiring” stories in the world of journalism. She has also published nine books and is the owner of her brand ‘That Riverz Gurl Brand LLC’ that consists of her freelance writing, journalism skills, writing services, media platform and health platform. Learn more about this boss in the making by visiting her website at http://www.thatriverzgurlbrandllc.com Follow her on IG at http://www.instagram.com/thatriverzgurlbrandllc

Survivor’s Jewelz: Woman Empowerment Advocate Sprinkle Jewelz on Young Women By Keeping Them Inspired

Kendra Hall, passionately champions for young women and other at-risk populations who are entering into adulthood, through her writing, mentoring, and avid connectivity to resources that she shares to uplift and prosper others. She is a devoted advocate for young women, sharing her own life experiences like being a teenage mother of three children by the age of 18 years, overcoming homelessness and domestic violence. Ms. Hall celebrates, especially, the continued success of at least 30+ women whose lives she’s directly mentored, while still achieving her own professional milestones like graduating with a Bachelors in Arts in Law and Justice from Rider University as an adult learner. She also believes in making time for the things she enjoys like learning about the metaphysical and heightened spiritual awareness, connecting people, networking, reading, tennis, studying and traveling. She is also the Host of her Newest Instagram Live series, #SurvivorsJewelz, where she offers her platform to allow Survivors to share their stories. She believes that everyone’s survival has power and that it is through the sharing of those stories that we let that power serve its purpose. She is spreading hope through the understanding that the power to succeed comes from within and not without, and by letting young women know that support is available. By teaching a philosophy of hope she inspires others to maximize their life, no matter the obstacle. Kendra hopes to help as many young women as she can succeed in life.

 

Patrice: Tell us a little about the leadership role you carry out for your family and the community.

Kendra: The leadership role that I carry out for my family and community is administered and based on an “each one teach one” philosophy.  Also, I offer referrals to community resources and one-on-one mentoring.

Patrice:  How long have you been mentoring young women and girls?

Kendra: I’ve been mentoring for over 20 years.

Patrice: What do you hope your mentees take away from your mentorship?

Kendra: I want those I mentor to understand that life does not have to be perfect to be beautiful. We all have trials and tribulations in life; however, we define our journey. Our journey does not define us.

Patrice: How did your journey start as an author? Any inspiration?

Kendra: My journey as an author started as a young girl having my poetry published in ‘Highlights Magazine.’ I love to write creatively.  Over time, and through many inspirations, my first self-help book,” Droppin Jewelz: Guiding Principals to Help Girls Live Their Best Life,” was born!

Patrice: Can you tell the readers more about your first book?

Kendra: My first self-help book is based on my real-life journey as a 13-year-old pregnant teenager, kicked out of home, and trying to survive.  I discuss what decisions led me to have three children by the age of 18 years old and how I could prosper beyond my circumstances.   My book takes you on a faith-based journey filled with life lessons that give foundation to and highlight life’s ebbs and flows.

Patrice: You are also writing a second book. That must be very exciting for you! What genre is it on, and what is it about?

Kendra: My second book is a self-help book exploring more of life’s foundational principles to success.

Patrice: Sometimes juggling more than one thing at a time can be challenging. How are you balancing motherhood and business all at the same time?

Kendra: I still have my challenges at times; however, having a morning routine has been my saving grace. I wake up at 4 A.M. daily to pray and meditate.  I find waking up at this time allows me to maximize my day.  I also workout, which gives me energy and provides stress relief.

Patrice: What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are trying to balance their work and life?

 Kendra: My advice to entrepreneurs looking to find a balance between their work and home life to find and stick to a routine that allows you to maximize your day.

Patrice: What was the writing process like for your first book?

Kendra: Writing my first book was a challenging yet mentally freeing experience.  It’s the same feeling I have now writing my second book.

Patrice: Do you have a specific spot or place that you like to write at?

Kendra: I don’t have a specific spot or place I like to write at.

Patrice: What advice can you give teen moms that don’t have any family support?

Kendra: My advice to teen mothers who lack family support is finding the community resources in your area.  Please feel free to contact me if you need assistance in finding community resources.

Patrice: What does women/girl empowerment mean to you, and why do you think it is important?

Kendra: Woman empowerment is when self-love and intrinsic motivation collide.  In a male-dominated society, women must find their voice and use it. We have fought so long for equal rights, and the fight is not over.  We must continue to push forth.

Patrice: How is the process of going with being a personal trainer/wellness coach? 

Kendra: The process is excellent! I find it fulfilling and rewarding, helping others to reach their health and wellness goals.

Patrice: How can readers connect with you? 

Kendra: You can visit my website: www.DroppinJewelz.com and on social media @justusjewelz

Patrice: What does being a pretty woman that hustle mean to you?

Kendra: Being a pretty woman that hustles means work hard in life; however, know you don’t have to look like what you’ve been through.

Connect with Kendra:

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/justusjewelwz

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/justusjewelz

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/justusjewelz