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Have you ever heard the acronym for ‘J-O-B’ which stands for “Just Over Broke.” Food for Thoughts eh!

Funny how at the beginning of each year, we all get our financial planning caps on – making that claim to be financially free by end of the year. The question is: how many of us actually get to achieve that goal?

Earlier in the month, I was sent a FaceBook video clip titled  ‘Stop Going Broke Trying to Impress People’ by MJ Harris (an internationally recognized financial services CEO and motivational success teacher), which was to enable me on this financial journey (part of my yearly Manifesto) that I am on. I have to honestly say that watching the video clip spoke the truth on all sorts of level but the most important truth received was: Being Real to Myself!

My interpretation from watching the video (see below) was a summary of the ideology of money and its definition or purposed definition: ‘Poor is eternal, Broke is temporary’. Questions starting flowing through my mind querying whether we ever do get ‘broke’ or ‘poor’? Does such a word like ‘poor’ or ‘broke’ actually manifest itself in one’s life? Below are a few answers I sourced online:

  • Poor is a state of mind, broke is a state of wallet.
  • Poor is when you don’t know how to manage money, broke is when you go bankrupt because you can’t pay medical bills.
  • Poor people are always broke, broke people are broke for a while.

So my question is: are you tired of being poor or broke? There was a time I used to call those words like it was part of my daily vocabulary because I never had the financial education need to curb my lifestyle and needs (or should I say wants).

I can honestly say that I have never been poor but it has not been long since I have been ‘BROKE’ (actually as of last week, I was – hmmmm), and I can still remember exactly what it felt like. I can picture all the ugly details of the way I used to struggle; the empty bank account, the awkward moments, the feelings of despair and embarrassed to approach my family for help or even friends and keep up appearances so not to be ostracised. Well, truth be told again – I have not totally learned my lessons but step-by-step, I am getting there.

I recall Iyanla Vanzant during an affirmation session years ago encouraging us to substitute the word ‘broke’ to being ‘temporary out of money‘. That changed my mindset in ways I cannot even describe. Broke is how much you keep and not how much you make? I made up my mind that for the rest of my life, I have to continue to increase wealth and leave a legacy so my mindset is being tuned to challenging myself financially like cutting off unnecessary expenses (for starters).  Being temporary out of money has given me an entirely different perspective on cash flow, debt, and my own financial well-being. I have learned that there is a big difference between looking like ‘you have money’ and ‘actually having money’.

IMG_8700When I was younger, I took the concept of lifestyle inflation to a whole new level. Shopping was my ‘middle name’. I just knew I had to have the best things in life (no matter the cost) but as I became a mother, I had to learn about living within my means and the real-life consequences of unplanned purchases (well another truth be told – this is still a constant challenge). And most importantly, I have become willing to do anything and everything to make sure that I will never be broke AGAIN. And YES, I must confess that I have failed on numerous occasions since becoming an adult but some of the lessons from that part of my life have stuck with me.

My target to be completely out of DEBT is by April 2018 and quite frankly, once I am out of debt, I have made a pledge never to put myself in that situation again. I made myself a promise to rise above my situation and start with a clean slate. And I am doing just that. 

Have you ever been flat broke? If so, what did you learn from it? 

Share your thoughts about in the comments below.

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Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © 

Sometimes Passion Just Isn’t Enough

Those who know me well are aware that one of my passions is empowering. I love speaking into people’s life and encouraging them to find their true God’s given potential for their lives.

Man on top of mountain. Conceptual design.

It truly excites me to see someone I called ‘my own’ walk into and operate in THEIR CALLING.

Discovering your God-given purpose or gift is really only the first step in creating a fulfilling life. I sourced this article and it was as if the author was speaking my mind so enjoy and be enlightened to reach your POTENTIAL.

Don’t waste time pursuing a passion you haven’t taken the time to perfect. There, I said it! I had to get it off my chest once and for all. In the pop tart, microwave, faster than the speed of light world we live in today, entitlement runs rampant throughout our community. The days of working hard to achieve a goal have basically been tossed out the window. All we know is it’s ours and we want it now; and not like right now, but like yesterday! Who cares if you are naturally good at something? While you’re somewhere pouting about people not recognizing how “good” you are, there are others out there taking the same skill and making it GREAT!

Once you’ve been fortunate enough to realize what the gift is, I believe the equation to true passion driven success may resemble something like this:

GIFT + PASSION + PLANNING + PERFECTING + PURSUING + TIME = PROSPERITY

The problem in our culture is we want to acknowledge the fact that we are passionate about something and just pursue and prosper! Forget planning and who has time to perfect? And don’t mention time! We don’t have time to put the time in. We just want to throw something together and get the reward right now! But honestly, whatever happened to this concept of putting time in, honing your skills, paying your dues? What happened to our ability to recognize that most overnight successes actually work on their craft for 5, 10 or even 15 years before we even hear a faint whisper about who they are?

Are You Really Pursuing The Right GoalsLet’s be clear, your gift is the thing you do the best with the least amount of effort. Your passion is the activity you have a strong desire for or the thing that gives you the most energy. Just because you are passionate about something, it doesn’t mean that it’s your God-given gift.

In other words, it doesn’t mean you’re even good at it. With planning and perfecting, you may become better, but you’d have to put some time into even figure that out and well, that’s where most folks get lost in wasting precious time pursuing dreams that will likely never come true.

Now, with those things I do actually have a shot in the dark at, i.e. speaking, coaching, etc., it’s my job to be intentional about the actions I take on my way to pursuing my passion. In other words, I have to plan ways to exercise my talent as I look towards being recognized for it. It is also my job to perfect this gift which I am passionate about.

Remember, just because I’m good at it, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t put effort into being great at it. Not to mention, there are people that I will meet along the way that can help me fulfill my goals that much faster. How will I meet them, though if I’m not actively and purposefully putting time into attending the right seminars, joining the right organizations and obtaining the education that will help me perfect what I say I’m passionate about?

follow-your-passion-704Lastly, remember that being prosperous doesn’t always refer to profit or financial gain. Prosper means to flourish, to thrive or to grow. That may mean financially, but can also mean spiritually, emotionally or mentally. Prospering can mean that you’re just all around happier because you’re inundated with work that you love to do.

In a nutshell, it’s time to get passionate about your gift and then put some effort into planning, perfecting and then pursuing it! If you’re not making progress on something you’re passionate about perhaps it’s because you’re skipping a few steps!

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © 

So the beginning of the week which was July 31st, was a special day in my life; it was my birthday or as my one of my special aunt will say; ‘my earth day’ which signified a new season and new beginning – a new year.

But this year has been different from the other previous years that even friends and family were puzzled at my non-excitement which was somewhat worrying. You see, I am known for truly celebrating my birthday every year ever since I was a young girl but I was not anticipating anything special this year nor did I want to celebrate the day. All I wanted to do was just say a little gratitude prayer and just curl in bed with my son. Was that too hard to ask for? 

At times during the course of 2017, it has been difficult to remain centred in this spirit of gratitude for all things big or small that I have experienced this year. I even have to admit that at a certain point, I was all but ready to throw up both my hands in total frustration. But then I was reminded to be grateful for life and the successes that I have experienced and regardless of the losses that have affected me this year – I should look at the positive outlook and second chance that life has given me. I was reminded that life is cyclical and nothing is permanent and so should be able to withstand life’s changing winds with the same resilience that I have seen from those I admire.

That no matter what, through-out this interesting journey, I have learnt that ‘this too shall pass me by’ and so cannot let my downs over-ride my highs. So coming up to my special day; I chose to let those healing words, hugs, smiles and gestures heal and restore me coupled with the grace of God. I chose to look at my life and be grateful that He still has me on earth to do the work I have been assigned so I cannot quit now. 

That being said, I decided to celebrate my birthday with a dinner full of loved ones and was touched by the words expressed by each person on how I have impacted their lives. That made me once again believe in my purpose and gift so here’s a great Thank You to all family and friends walking this incredible journey of restoration with me. This ‘lady’ is back with the roaring spirit that she was born with. 

I am back y’all….

Do stay in touch and like, comment plus follow my BLOG for upcoming posts.

Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady ©

 

 

New Week, New Dreams, New Beginnings!!!

Happy Monday Beloveds ❤️

#lifechanger #purposedriven #womenoffaith #lifestyleblog #motivator #mylifemystories #deepthinking #Faith #dailyencouragement #instapost #instaphotos #PositiveThinking #Influencer #IntentionalLiving #lifestyleblogger #blogger #londonblogger #lifestylebloggers #bloggerlife #ukblogger #bloggerslife #africanblogger #melaninpoppin #blackbloggersunited #bb_blogger #browngirlbloggers #nigerianblogger #blackgirlswhoblog #savvyblogging #therenaissancelady

Do like, comment and follow my BLOG for upcoming posts.

Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © 

Happy Monday Beloveds ❤️. Yea I know I sound so happy but it wasn’t like that early this morning. There’s always something about Monday mornings that leave me gloomy and just want to sleep in some more but then I remember that some people didn’t have the opportunity like I had to experience this Monday or any other Mondays afterwards so I had to ‘check’ myself and be thankful for the grace for another day to make an impact wherever I go. Now I can’t promise that I won’t moan on Monday mornings but having this on my wall is a reminder of what gratitude is all about. Seize the day and make it Impactful 👌🏾

#lifechanger #purposedriven #womenoffaith #lifestyleblog #motivator #mylifemystories #deepthinking #Faith #dailyencouragement #instapost #instaphotos #PositiveThinking #Influencer #IntentionalLiving #lifestyleblogger #blogger #londonblogger #lifestylebloggers #bloggerlife #ukblogger #bloggerslife #africanblogger #melaninpoppin #blackbloggersunited #bb_blogger #browngirlbloggers #nigerianblogger #blackgirlswhoblog #savvyblogging #therenaissancelady

Do like, comment and follow my BLOG for upcoming posts.

Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © 

Ansella

The Fashion Illustrator Herself

It’s been a while since we had the first ‘Talk Time’ segment as I have been somewhat distracted with other projects but now I am back to one of the things I love doing which is profiling and empowering people and their accomplishments – elevating them to showcase their career, ambitions and accomplishments.

Amidst a political climate that continues to reject diversity, one designer is holding on to her roots and making a statement in the fashion industry with her illustrations and that is Ms. Ansella Post. Ansella loves to express her love of her fashion through her authentic, fun and unique lifestyle brand. Here’s her story on why “now is the perfect time for deeper self reflection and rediscovering her inner passion”.

Name:  Ansella Post

Title: Fashion Ilustrator & Designer

Location: London

Hometown:  Amsterdam 

Instagram:  @ansellapost 

FaceBook:  Ansella Post

The Gig:  I focus on fashion prints that are colourful and bold. Most of my designs are derived from my fashion drawings and illustrations. My designs are simple with clean lines which should be wearable by anyone.

Target Audience: I target my collections at women and menswear. People who are fashionable and culturally aware basically lovers of fashion with an edge.

Did you always want to become a Fashion illustrator? I always wanted to be a designer ever since I was a child cause I loved to draw especially cloths but life somehow took over with distractions but now I am back to my first love.

Where does your creative ideas come from? It comes from everywhere – walking down the streets and enjoying nature, watching films (40s & 50s) especially their style and elegance.

The Journey:  my background is not in fashion as I worked in a bank for years but I have always been creative. Started designing my own cloths which I wore to work and this got noticed. So I started making cloths to sell to co workers which led to me opening an online shop.

On Being Her Own Boss: It is quite challenging, you have to do all the marketing and sales which I was not good at as I am very creative. It is very fulfilling as you are doing your hobby – Passion into Profit. I have also learnt that one has to be focused.

How are you with Social Media? I am not really good at SM but familiar with Instagram and Facebook.

Why did you decide to become a Fashion Designer & Illustrator? It is my passion since childhood. My grandmother was a designer as well so that inspired me.

What is your favourite part about being a Fashion Designer and also an Illustrator? I love the creativity in designing – the newness and ideas. I love drawing as it’s my imagination on paper. My break in illustration art is the work you (yes I commissioned her to do my portrait) and it has now kicked off with numerous work offers coming my way.

What are your plans for the future? I want to be particularly successful in my upcoming ‘capsule’ collection to be launched in spring/summer 2017.

What do you think of eco-fashion? I am all for eco-fashion to be aware of the environment and do all we can to protect the world we live in and reduce pollution. There are fabrics that are waste-friendly. I am a supporter of SLOW fashion where a designer buys a few prices to be used.

Who was/is the biggest influence in your career? My grandmother was the biggest influence in my life. She told me that one was never too old to learn something new. Her strength and tenacity inspired me.

What is your definition of happiness? Trying to be content with what one has. Counting one’s blessings and being grateful.

What is your most memorable travel experiences? I love travelling especially third world countries. In India, seeing children fighting over food made me grateful for what I had and endeavour to always remain humble.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? I fulfilled my dream and become a professional London Fashion Designer.

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What do you like to do in your spare time? I love to eat and drink – I love socialising. Enjoy Life

What is your greatest fear? My greatest fear is losing loved ones.

What is your greatest hope? My greatest hope is to become the best Fashion Designer that I can be.

What favourite quote/mantra do you live by?: You can never be overdressed or overeducated.’ by Oscar Wilde

Your Biggest Lesson Learned: Keeping in mind what the customer wants as per the design but stay true to oneself. Find a balance in all things.

Your Best Advice: Be fearless. Be yourself and stay true to your passion.  The answer no will eventually turn into a yes! Stay available and reach out to other creative people! Don’t be afraid to share other artist’s work! Not everything has to be a competition! Do not be afraid to take risks – go outside your comfort zone.

Her Work-Life Balancing Act:  I am very social – always out with friends and family. I believe in live life and work hard.

Her Time Saving Tips: Planning. I try to schedule out the next day so that things don’t get too crazy and I end up forgetting something. Stay focused and within budget as one can get distracted. Be efficient – planning in all things.

Her Stress Relievers: Sometimes I just have to pause and pray.

Your Favourite Book:  The Book Thief by Australian author Markus Zusak; The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by Irish novelist John Boyne; My name is Sarah. I have a fascination for history hence my creativity. I have learnt a lot from the stories as it is now repeating itself.

Your Superpower:  The ability to push through adversity! Always remaining positive in all situations – I look at the glass being half full than half empty.

Your Tech Must-Haves: I cannot live without my iPhone and I like Instagram as I get inspired from all the designers and also Behance which is a site, where one can Showcase and discover the latest work from top online portfolios by creativeprofessionals across industries. My designs are on Behance.

Your Beauty-Must Have: Eye-liner – that is my addiction.

Your Power Accessory: A nice ring and earring. I have an obsession with everything silver.

Your Theme Song: Any song from Lenny Kravitz

For more on Ansella’s collection: contact her via instagram – @ansellapost or via email – ansellapost@apostdesign.co.uk.

Do like, comment and follow my BLOG for upcoming posts.

Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © 

“Commit to Your Dreams, and Never Give Up”: says Denzel Washington where he gave a passionate speech about committing to your dreams, and never letting hardships stop you from pursuing your goals.

Full Transcript (as derived from goalcast):

“It’s not easy. If it was easy, there’d be no Kerry Washington. If it was easy, there’d be no Taraji Henson. If it were easy, there’d be no Octavia Spencer. But not only that, it if were easy, there’d be no Viola Davis. If it were easy, there’d be no Mykelti Williamson, no Stephen McKinley Henderson, no Russell Hornsby. If it were easy, there’d be no Denzel Washington.

“Keep working. Keep striving. Never give up. Fall down seven times, get up eight. Without commitment, you’ll never start. But more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship, so keep moving, keep growing, keep learning. See you at work.”

Be Inspired Beloveds and Happy Weekend ❤️

#lifestyleblogger #purposedriven #weekendwisdom #lifechanger #hardwork #beinspired #bb_blogger #blackbloggersunited #denzelwashington #therenaissancelady

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Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © – Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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Esther Afua Ocloo also known as “Auntie Ocloo” was a Ghanaian entrepreneur and pioneer of microlending. She was born Esther Afua Nkulenu. She was one of the founders of Women’s World Banking in 1976, with Michaela Walsh and Ela Bhatt, and served as its first chair of trustees.

So today, Google Doodle is celebrating the Ghanaian microlending pioneer Esther Afua Ocloo on what would have been her 98th birthday. In a blog post, Google explains: “As both an entrepreneur and an advocate for microlending, Esther Afua Ocloo worked tirelessly to help others like her succeed.

The Google Doodle shows her at various stages of her life and business, sharing her knowledge with fellow Ghanaians. Today’s Doodle shows Esther empowering the women of Ghana with the tools to improve their lives and communities.” “Esther and other advisors knew that lending money to women could have a ripple effect, improving the prosperity and health of the women as well as their communities,” continues Google.

Founder of Nkulenu Industries, Ocloo started her business with less than a dollar and grew into a global inspiration. She produced 12 jars of marmalade at a 100 per cent mark-up and eventually expanded into selling orange juice. Struggling for work at the end of WWII and fresh out of Achimota College, Ocloo took out a loan to set up a business, rebranding as Nkulenu Industries (Nkulenu was her maiden name). The business specialised in products that were in short supply due to war rations and import restrictions.

After starting a business selling fruit juice and marmalade as a teenager and realising the financial difficulties poor women faced, Ms Ocloo helped found and operate a bank specifically designed to help women on low incomes. In the same decade she returned to Africa and set up the first food processing business in Ghana. Today, Nkulenu Industries is a leading company in the food processing industry in Ghana.

In 1975 as a succeeding businesswoman, Ms Ocloo was invited to the first UN World Conference on Women.  Later that decade, she founded and became the chairman of the board of directors of Women’s World Banking, which expanded her earlier goal of helping women obtain the small loans needed to launch businesses. The not-for-profit organisation has since helped millions of women start and run businesses, helping boost prosperity in countless communities.

During a trip to the UK in the 1950s, Ms Ocloo began to develop recipes for commercial food canning. She was also the first black person to gain a cookingg diploma from the Good Housekeeping Institute in London.

In 1990, Ocloo shared the $100,000 Africa Prize with Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.

Earlier this month, Pakistan’s digital financial service provider JazzCash partnered with Women’s World Banking to promote women’s financial inclusion across Pakistan. As part of the initiative, working women will be able to open bank accounts on their phones, avoiding long queues in branches and has signed up Ideas 42, a non-profit organisation that uses behavioural science to help solve social problems, to leverage best global practices.

Ms Ocloo died of pneumonia in 2002 aged 82.

So today, like Google Doodle, We at The Renaissance Lady blog honour you, Ms. Esther Afua Ocloo for paving the way for Working Women by empowering them to be the best that they can be within their communities and for the economy at large. 

Do like, comment and follow my BLOG for more jaw-dropping posts coming your way.

Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © – Follow my blog with Bloglovin