Life has a way of giving you confirmation for the things you aspire for. However, many of us spend so much time focusing on our routines that we fail to slow down & pay attention to those nuances that serve as confirmation for the things we desire. As I get older, gain experience & begin recognizing the power of manifestation; I am learning that everything comes around full circle— every action has a direct consequence, every desire has the ability to be more & most of us miss opportunities that are right in front of us because we are too busy NOT looking & not maximizing on the opportunities in front of us.
Therefore, today we begin being intentional. We start manifesting with expectation. We begin lacing our expectation with confidence & become readily available to receive. Every action step we take will give us favor. Every word we speak will gain the attention of the person who has influence. Every room we step in will be an opportunity to showcase ourselves & every door we close, readily prepares us for another to open. Today we stop selling ourselves short, stop thinking we aren’t enough & we stop missing out on our dreams while making someone else’s come true.
Nothing we experience, nothing we aspire to be, nothing that suddenly inspires us happens by coincidence. It is in God’s divine timing, his deliberate mission & our ability to identify the things that are for us that will allow us to take heed of our greatest desires. The foundation has been established. It’s on us not to lose on it.
Today, I am proud to introduce you to Guest Inspiration & Friend, Mayra Martinez. In a few words, she shares with us how she stopped working her 9-5 & made her first million after her first year. She has used her story to motivate others to do the same. She comes from this school of thought, “there is so much out there, there’s no reason why we cannot all have access to it.” Thank you Mayra. Welcome.
If you are looking for a spearheading sign to take charge of your own life, be your own e-commerce boss, and have fun while doing it, then let this be it. Because let’s face the music here, the cubicle life is not for everyone. For people like me, working for someone else at a mundane 9-5 job where you can only explore and travel two-ish weeks every year is downright torturous. But before carrying on my father’s vision after his passing and earning a whopping $1.2M as an Amazon private label professional in just 12 months, I was constantly feeling lost and out of place regarding the direction I wanted my life to go. Oh, did that $1.2M peak your ears up a tad? Yeah, it did for me too when I saw that in my bank account.
Backing up a bit, I was that girl who started out as a Financial Advisor, and like most people, I thought living paycheck to paycheck was going to be the reality of my life. But my father proved to me that there was so much more than that by jumping on the eBay selling train back in the early 2000s. When he passed away and my family’s financial dependency lied on me, I chose to take the leap of faith into the e-commerce world as he did. Over a million dollars later as an Amazon private labeler, it was deemed the best decision I made for myself, my mother, and my family, who are all mybiggest motivators that keep me pushing forward. Now, do you want to know the best part about this success story? You can 110% achieve that same (if not better) outcome too.
What Is Amazon Private Labeling Exactly?
Aside from Amazon private labeling being an empowering ticket to financial freedom, this is a super simple concept of buying manufactured products and reselling them using your own brand. One of the most successful Amazon private label examples is AmazonBasics. Here, Amazon brands these products as their own, but they do not manufacture them. In a nutshell, opting to go the private labeling route like I did means you can gain a higher profit margin, have very low operating costs, higher market stability, and boost brand loyalty all in one.
You’re probably reading that and thinking, “yeah yeah yeah…so what’s the secret to making it big?”
The truth is that anyone can make it as a successful Amazon private labeler, even you! Though I dive deep into the nitty-gritty details of how to really excel on the Amazon platformwithin my services, the secret keys (yes, there are two) to success boils down to focus and networking. Seriously – that’s it. These are the very two concepts that helped me achieve my million-dollar status in just one year, and many of my clients as well. In fact, every client that I have under my wing earns between 10K to 100k a month by using these concepts as their foundation. Of course, these are umbrella terms that break down more, such as product researching, supplier scoping, and time management. But if you are looking for a clear-cut answer – that is most definitely is and what I based my programs/services around.
It’s Time to Write Your Own Story
Alright, I told you my success story; now it’s time you begin writing yours. In the end, there is no denying that entering the e-commerce world and thriving as an Amazon private label professional is a pretty awesome adventure to take on. However, do you want to know what is even more terrifying than that? Not taking a chance at doing what you love and being stuck at the same dreaded 9-5 job for the next 20, 30, or even 40 years. So, instead of asking the question of “should you” do it, start asking yourself if you will regret it if you don’t at least try.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker.
So, here’s to all the people out there like me who do not have complacency as part of their DNA code. Use this memoir as motivation to take the entrepreneurial risk that can transform your life for the better. Furthermore, take advantage of the 6-figure building programs, case study trainings, events, and networking consulting services from someone who has been there and done that (ahem, me). In the end, you have the right tools to begin your journey at this very moment, and it’s time to take the driver’s seat of your life to see just how far you can go. Because who knows! You just might be the next Amazon-birthed millionaire.
Happy Sunday, ladies. I am going to write something below & when you read it, take it in, meditate on it & make some adjustments to how you talk to yourself & how you allow other people to talk to you.
The negative narrative you have been telling yourself about yourself is often the narrative someone else told you about you.
Don’t believe it. It is not true.
As someone who had to fight against the narrative people have applied to me; I tell you first hand that nothing is true that you do not want to be true. I have come from being told that I will be at the bottom of the social hierarchy, that I will be a teen mom (even though I was a virgin) & that I will be in jail simply because I had a smart mouth. Instead of taking the time to understand my actions or cultivate characteristics that could have a positive impact; they somehow decided that the best way to motivate me was to prophesies their false narratives over my life. Although, none of what they said has come true; the negative narratives never truly stop coming. As I got older and began managing romantic relationships & more adult-centered friendships; they kept coming. Although the context of the narrative was different; other people’s narrative about my life never stopped coming.
People’s emotions are fickle & they will use those emotions to tell you about you. What they say about you says more about them than it could ever say about you. They are projecting their own insecurities, their own discomfort & their own discontentment on you. That has nothing to do with you. You are not required to be a character in the story they are narrating.
You are the ultimate narrator of your life.
If you want to be a good person, be a good person. If you want to define what success looks like in your life, define it. If you want to make an impact, then make it. Just because these narratives start being told to you young; it does not mean that you have to fall into that storyline. You can be whatever YOU want to be. The possibilities are infinite. They are yours to pursue & make of it what YOU wish.
Remember, God will prepare a feast for you in the presence of your enemies. All those people that narrated negatively over your life, that defined you before you could & who beat you down to motivate you will watch as you enjoy the fruits of what YOU made of your life.
Begin writing your story the way you want it written & enjoy the journey. It is yours. Start narrating it.
Sometimes life takes a lot out of us. Especially with the drastic experiences we have encountered. there is no wonder why so many of us are drained & exhausted. We get so caught up with the hustle & bustle of every day life that we tend to forget about our needs & desires in the process. Lately, I have been relishing in positive isolation. I have specifically set aside time to isolate myself that allows me to pour into myself, recharge & regroup.
I wholeheartedly believe that we were not created to run ourselves to the ground, yet so many of us do. So many of us are functioning to get by & failing miserably at our purpose. We are to make a difference in this world while having experiences that make our lives full. We were never destined to wake up & dread what lies ahead. Life has so much more to offer than that. Instead most of us have been forced to take the route that presents “burn out” as a reward. Work harder, strive harder, go harder & all life’s promises are yours. We got so accustom to this process that we fail to realize how toxic this process is & that most of us contribute to this toxicity that drains us, kills us & keeps us from our loved ones.
Sometimes, we just need a moment to ourselves. Sometimes we need to isolate so that we can come with a new perspective. We need to understand that life will go on after we are gone; therefore we MUST make life give us its very best instead of the opposite way around. We do not need to kill ourselves to get to the finish line. But what we need to do is give ourselves the time to receive what life will offer us. If we are running ourselves ragged, we will likely miss the opportunities presented to us.
Sitting in isolation, processing our various experiences & being still can be the most wholesome thing we can do for ourselves. Isolation is a loud expression of self care.
Allow yourself the new perspective & enjoy life’s guilty pleasures that allow you to be the best version of you for you! Stop pouring into others without pouring into yourself. Give yourself the same love, the same affection & give yourself grace. God is good. Let him show what time set aside for isolation will do for you. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
I want to preface this memoir by stating that this is not a memoir on quitting your job or changing your streams of income without a plan. In fact this memoir, is about maintaining a healthy work-life balance that allows you to establish boundaries, empowering you to put your self-care first while being a productive contribution to your employer. Do not get me wrong, I admire the bold tenacity of the person who said, “eff this” & created their own standards of their employment. However, as a person still subscribed to the 8-4, 9-5 work schedule & probably will be for a while; I can only speak from my experiences & those like me. So instead of challenging the choices of the bold entrepreneurs (all of which, I know, have been successful in their businesses); I urge you to identify the organizational behavior of your employer & determine if you have allowed it to put restraints on your life.
Many people wake up every day with crippling anxiety unsure of what awaits them. Others have sacrificed the time spent with their families & loved ones to be able to manage the high demands of their jobs & salary employees spend many nights working past their scheduled time to ensure they can, at minimum, meet their daily expectations. Often times, we discuss establishing boundaries in our personal lives but fail miserably with establishing in our professional career. I am not oblivious– I understand that most of us, if not all– rely on our employment to pay our bills & provide for our families. But how good are we to our families, if we allow the stress of our employer to leak into the various facets of our lives that make us, us.
It is imperative that you advocate for your self care. Because if you have nothing else, your self care is what will allow you to keep giving unto the world in the capacity that you want to. Too often, we lose ourselves in our jobs. We become disgruntled, unhappy, anxious, disconnected & unmotivated trying to keep up with a race that we did not agree to run in. If you ran yourself to the ground, your employer (hopefully) will leave your position unposted for a week but once the demands of that position require fulfillment; you better believe that you become a memory. People will mourn you, show face at your funeral, give their condolences to your family but the job must go on. All the work & time sacrificed will not matter anymore a month in to the position being filled. So be mindful of this. Pour extra time into those that love you. Reserve that time for those that will mourn you long after the first week of your passing. Give them more opportunities to create memories with you by creating your boundaries.
Boundaries are not simply for the people in your personal life. Boundaries can be respectfully established & enforced in your professional environment & you do not necessarily have to explicitly state them. Many of these boundaries you have to enforce, coincide with the employee handbook they provided when they were trying to convince you that you were working for the best place on earth. How effective is working late, if you still have to face the problem tomorrow? Detach when needed. Use your mental health days. Take your hour lunch. Clearly communicate your needs & stand on that with expectation. Show your families you love them by giving them the best thing you can give them- your time. Most importantly recognize when the boundaries you establish are being violated & move accordingly. There are so many opportunities out there, you do not need to restrict yourself to mistreatment or anything that is not conducive to your evolution. Remember- YOU first. YOU deserve to be FIRST.
I have never been quiet about the importance of having a group of powerful women in your corner to go through life with. No matter how much you may strive to empower & motivate each other; there is no amount of life preparation that can prepare you for what my tribe & I have been experiencing these past few weeks. When you think of life events, you think of marriage, engagements, baby showers, but never, ever, ever do you imagine the day that you will ever have to put one of the members to rest like we did yesterday. Although we all feel the magnitude of her absence differently; no one could have ever prepared us for the grief we feel as a unit.
That being said, in her rest, our dear friend Ayana will be the Nickkie&Co. inspiration this week. I am so honored, that she left one last momentum to contribute to her legacy & I get to showcase it here, on a platform she supported from the beginning. In 2018, when I first started Nickkie&Co., I wrote about the importance of building a cabinet of truly inspirational & motivating women in a memoir, Building A Sisterhood ( https://nickkieandco.com/2018/01/07/sisterhood/ ). In that memoir, I mentioned the impact a solid sisterhood can have on the worst & best times of our lives. It was in that time that Ayana reached out to me; moved to tears because of what her tribe did for her; even until her last breath. Although, she never could finish it (whether she lost momentum or forgot about it) her legacy lives on & the best gift she could ever give the people who loved her was this message. This message shows she understood what she meant to us, even in the thick of her fight, she understood. It shows that although her battle was not always pretty, the way she viewed her friends, her tribe, her cabinet superseded that. Her tribe, to her, was beautiful.
When a person leaves you, you wonder if they knew how you felt for them. You wonder if you could have done or said something more. You are tormented by the all the things you could have said. But this message eliminates that. Ayana left a gift. She left one of the best gifts; a gift that says & will continue saying — “Yes, I loved you just as much.”
I wanted to touch on the topic that was addressed the first week of January, pertaining to having a sisterhood, cabinet, or tribe. This topic spoke to me when I first read it and I became very emotional that I had to pick up the phone and call someone from my sisterhood. In the end of 2015, I was hospitalized with what was thought to be cancer but not totally ruled out until February 2016. Now just having turned 30 years old in November, that was the last thing I expected to have the doctor come back and say. It wasn’t until February 2016 that I was officially diagnosed and that’s when my cabinet really made themselves known.
I had the support of family but to have the support of my sisters who I have known for most of my life really meant a lot. Once diagnosed I didn’t want many people to know; not that I was embarrassed but I just didn’t want anybody’s sympathy. The way I looked at the situation was that God dealt me these cards and he did it for a reason! I know they say not to question God and what he does and that’s exactly what I didn’t do. I felt in my soul that there was something that I had a blind eye to that he (God) wanted me to see and I wasn’t.
On to the hard part of cancer treatment. I did 2 rounds of chemo therapy treatments 1 of radiation therapy and 11 hours of surgery total. I had my surgery in June of 2016 and originally went in to be treated for one cancer but another was found during the surgery. During this time, God showed me who was really fighting with me and for me. I came out of surgery and all of my sisters were there and those who weren’t were kept up to date every step of the way. During that time my sisters put aside their issues and rallied around me. There were days that I woke up and some were just sitting in the room, they made sure my kids were okay, and brought things I needed. It was a lengthy recovery and they stuck by me every step of the way…
When all is said & done, it is THIS message you want left behind. Even though it wasn’t finished the message will not change. When talking to Ayana in preparation for this memoir, she was going to use her words to push others in fighting the same fight. Instead, this memoir has a totally different message; however, it is just as powerful.
Be the best kind of friend you can be within your capacity & love on those you love while they are here to receive it. Life gets hectic, but it is in those times of need that those who love you become evident. Although, Ayana did not have a pretty experience, she had the people who mattered to her most around her- always. Ayana was emotional, honest & raw. She did not sugarcoat or disguise what she felt & who she was at any point of her life. With Ayana, you got who you got & she was ok with that. She was without shame & was willing to express her emotions how she saw fit. She was raw but in the most honest way & beautiful way a person can be; she was unapologetically her. We all loved her for it. If she was happy; we felt it. If she was sad, we knew it because she was never ashamed to show vulnerability & if she was mad; we knew that too, because Yana was ok with the picture not always being pretty. But if one thing is certain, if Ayana loved you; she loved you & she thrived off of the love she got too. Cancer is ugly & I am saddened that it took our friend. But even in this, we received the best gift we could have ever gotten from her. A final gift of love.
Rest in Peace our dear friend, Ayana. We love you.
As I was reflecting on my week and thinking about this week’s memoir topic – I realized that it was imperative that I discuss a topic that is very personal for me. In fact, it’s quite personal for many of us. For as long as I could remember, I have had difficulties with anxiety and managing it. It wasn’t until a few years ago, that I began learning to identify it & take the necessary steps to tend to my individual needs.
Anxiety effects more than 40 million adults in the US. But I didn’t have to look up statistics to know that more people live with anxiety every day than those who don’t. I also don’t need scholarly articles to tell me that few people recognize when they’re experiencing an episode & even less know how to manage it &/or deal with it appropriately. Far too many of us have been conditioned to believe that that “feeling” we can’t name; is a normal way to live our lives. However, I tell you today that god did not anoint us to walk around combatting anxiety. Our lives are so much more purposeful than being concerned with what could happen today or tomorrow. Society has conditioned us into believing that being unprepared & unknowing of the future is a disservice to ourselves. As a result, life has us running a race that will kill us before we even get to the finish line.
To put things in perspective for you, anxiety is over thinking. It’s obsessing over things outside of our control. Anxiety is the aggressive or emotional person that people often misunderstand. Anxiety is holding your breath without realizing it or feeling out of breath because you held your breath for so long. Anxiety is that tight feeling in your chest that feels like a heart attack. It’s that need to remain active because being still makes you uncomfortable. Anxiety is the stress we fail to do anything about because “this too shall pass.” It’s the discomfort felt before any social events with people & the desire to leave once you arrive.
Anxiety is a different picture for everyone but is the culprit for us all. If we don’t begin to handle, recognize, address & treat this; we will make our anxiety generational and pass the message that “anxiety is ok” to our children.
Through the various stages of my life, anxiety has looked different. I’ve had crippling fear, I’ve cried, I’ve laughed uncomfortably, I’ve lashed out, I’ve gotten physically aggressive, I’ve isolated myself, I’ve obsessively inquired & even tried to explain my anxiety away— all very unhealthy ways of managing & dealing with anxiety. Thankfully, I’ve learned to reflect, seek out the guidance from friends, received treatment from a licensed professional, temporarily was on medication, continued to write, pray and reflect. Now that I do these things, I am able to express myself in a positive way, recognize when I’m feeling anxious & identify the cause of my anxiety. Although, it isn’t perfect, it’s a positive stride & that matters.
Mental health concerns are coming to the surface. It’s important to learn your triggers & understand your anxiety. Recognize the signs. Address them. Seek help & learn to rely on the genuine things that bring you joy. Don’t compare your anxiety with against the anxiety of other people because it won’t always look the same. However, learning what anxiety means for you will allow you to seek the best ways to manage it. This past month, my anxiety looked different. However, had I not taken the time to study what anxiety looks like to me; I would’ve failed at eliminating my stressors & speaking about it with people I could trust. If anxiety goes unchecked it will be detrimental. Anxiety, like stress, is the gateway to many other negative feelings & experiences & is very real for many of us. Therefore, we need to be understanding with ourselves, but MORE vigilant with finding the solutions to our mental health disadvantages. We are beautiful, “flaws” and all; but if we can target this we can help make the world beautiful too.
Let’s talk about childhood trauma & how important it is for us to deal with it. As children we have a variety experiences that contribute (to an extent) the type of adults we will be. However, many of us have had positive & negative experiences that we carry around with us– whether we know it or not. Like I said in the memoir I wrote a few weeks ago, “Let’s Talk About Trauma”, if we do not deal with what we have dealt with, we will never reach the pinnacle of our very best.
Let me give you an example. Like many people I know, I was raised by a single mother. I was abandoned by my biological father before I was born & I spent a large portion of my childhood feeling discarded. That later began to trickle down into how I handled my relationships with love interests, family & friends. I found it better to discard of people before they could discard me. I left very little room for errors & I never looked back. It was not until I began to deal with some of my deep rooted issues of abandonment that I started to recognize my own toxic behaviors. Had I continued on that course; I would not have been able to maintain the wonderful relationships I have now. As I have said before, I am grateful for the people who loved me even when I was not so pretty to love.
You see, many of us walk around everyday with the facade that what happened is irrelevant. We suppress without realizing that in doing so we allow negative behaviors to surface. We have to recognize that in denying ourselves the correct outlet to heal; we give our trauma the victory. Address it. Talk about it & then work on forgiving yourselves. Because trauma, especially those brought to us in childhood, creates a gateway that causes us to blame ourselves for what has happened. The truth is, we have been raised by people with their own trauma, had interactions with people that suppress theirs, encountered people who cause distress as a result of their own & we have contributed to the trauma of other people. However, when we make a conscious effort to deal with the wounded child, teenager & adult– we make positive strides to ensure that we stop contributing to the negative experiences of other people people. We clear the slate to raise people without our own trauma in mind & we further work on ensuring that we end those generational curses we often hear people talk about.
Life is absolutely too short. Wouldn’t you want to have a positive experience with it where you set the standard & create that trajectory. Life really can be beautiful. We just have to give it permission to be.