small biz bellyitch

Small Business Saturday Special: All 11 eBooks I’ve Authored, FREE & On SALE

small biz bellyitch

For Small Business Friday, I am giving away some of the 11 ebooks I’ve authored for FREE!

For the first 20 Customers, get a FREE Download of Bellyitch 100 (regularly priced $3.99)

This 100+ page guide is the Third Edition of Parenting Advice and Celebrity Bumpwatch Bellyitch Blog’s popular biennial listing of THE top 100 maternity, stroller, diaper bag, crib and baby clothing manufacturers, including those top-of-the-line luxe brands favored by celebs and the elites.

Find out what the hottest, most exquisite and sought after luxury lines are and how much their most expensive products go for.

This quick book is Ideal for those expecting a posh tot or just curious. Check out a Preview HERE?

Get the entire eBook at GUMROAD FREE HERE! For 20 customers ONLY!


Is 2016 the year you plan to start a family or hope to finally become successful and conceive a baby after some fertility struggles? If so, we here at Bellyitch have assembled 100 of the common tips, suggestions, old wives’ tales, dietary and lifestyle advice we’ve heard and read in various sources over the years. It’s in this little ebook below for your edification, FREE!

GET IT HERE by Paying with a Tweet or on GUMROAD, Enter $0 and email for access.

Bloggers! Get my Basics of Blogging as a Business from $3.99-5.99 EACH.  For iBooks, iTunes and Kindle HERE!blogging-series

Get Obama Administration: The Africa Doctrine (valued $19.99) FREE!

cover_20(2)Download your FREE copy HERE!

How to Look Like Old Money



How to Execute a DIY Fashion Shoot in 10 Steps





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5 Ways You May be Undermining Your #StartUp Business

Guest Post


The dream of launching a business runs deep in the American psyche, but more often than not those dreams go bust.

Half of new U.S. companies fail in their first five years, according to Gallup. Expand the timeframe out to 10 years and the failure rate reaches 70 percent.

That’s not surprising, says Randy H. Nelson, an entrepreneur who has built multi-million dollar companies. The skills it takes to start a business aren’t necessarily the same as those it takes to keep that business afloat. What is surprising, though? In the U.S., more businesses are now being shut down (470,000) than are being started (400,000).

“Many entrepreneurs have the gumption to take that dramatic first step of sparking something into creation, but too many lack the perspective to reflect on what’s needed for the next step,” says Nelson, author of “The Second Decision – The Qualified Entrepreneur” (

Also, anyone can declare themselves an entrepreneur. No qualifications are required. Nelson says that’s different from the Navy, where he served as a nuclear submarine officer and had to prove his qualifications before advancing.

Because of that lack of proper qualifications, Nelson says entrepreneurs often make five mistakes that threaten to put their businesses at risk.

1. Insistence on autonomy. An Inc. magazine study once said that a trait most entrepreneurs share is their desire for autonomy, which is great starting out, Nelson says. “In the startup phase, the company is all about you,” he says. “Your fingerprints are on everything, and there is very little you don’t know and aren’t directing.”

But after the startup phase, the company steams into the growth phase, becoming more complex and more vulnerable to industry and economic trends. At that point, an entrepreneur’s insistence on autonomy can hinder the company’s ability to respond quickly and intelligently to challenges it faces. “In the growth phase, you simply can’t do it all, and it’s foolish to keep believing you can,” Nelson says.

2.Unwillingness to build structure, cultivate expertise or delegate. Many entrepreneurs will need to surround themselves with a strong executive team – or at least a steady right-hand individual – to ensure the company’s success, Nelson says. But too many business owners fail to create the kind of structure that produces good leadership decisions within a managerial team.

“As you grow your company and enlarge it to meet new opportunities, you must also build in accountability,” Nelson says. “Systems need to be put into place, and people, too.” The entrepreneur needs to know the employees and where their strengths lie to put them to good use, he says.

3. Lack of financial leadership. Entrepreneurs by definition take risk when they make the decision to start their own business. In the area of financial leadership, which includes tracking cash levels and trends, financial covenants, metrics and expenses, entrepreneurs who are not financially literate and active will need the direct support of a financial expert to ensure they receive the advice and input needed in their organization.

The Small Business Administration has estimated that up to 60 percent of businesses owe their demise to a lack of cash. Other sources have this number as high as 90 percent. Nelson says: “When it comes to financial leadership, it is what entrepreneurs don’t know that they don’t know that will multiply the risk in their business exponentially.”

4. Reacting unwisely to boredom. Starting a business proved exhilarating. The day-to-day operation of it may pale in comparison. A bored entrepreneur can create significant troubles for the business, Nelson says. “Things are going to get up-ended in a hurry, because many bored entrepreneurs either start new companies or abruptly make changes in their current companies to keep their own level of excitement high,” he says.

“Of course, entrepreneurs are to be celebrated for their guts and desire to innovate. But when a serial entrepreneur habitually and almost obsessively looks for new sandboxes to play in, what happens to the existing company or companies often isn’t very good.”

5.  Failure to engage in self-examination. Entrepreneurs need to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, the same things they gauge in their employees.

“You need to set aside your probably abundant self-confidence and take stock of what you know, what you’re good at, and what skills you still need to master in your leadership role,” Nelson says.

About Randy H. Nelson Randy H. Nelson is a speaker, a coach, a Qualified Entrepreneur, a former nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy and author of “The Second Decision – The Qualified Entrepreneur” ( He co-founded and later sold two market-leading, multi-million dollar companies — Orion International and NSTAR Global Services. His proudest professional achievement was at the Fast 50 awards ceremony in the Raleigh, N.C., area when NSTAR, a 10-year-old company, and Orion, a 22-year-old company, were awarded the rankings No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. Nelson now runs Gold Dolphins, LLC, a coaching and consulting firm to help entrepreneurial leaders and CEOs become Qualified Entrepreneurs and achieve their maximum potential. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Miami University, Ohio, and was awarded the Admiral Sidney W. Souers Distinguished Alumni Award there in 2011.

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How the “Dancing Baby” Case will Help YouTube Temper DMCA Take Downs


This week, there was much buzz about YouTube making a decision to spend up to $1 Million assisting some of its users from copyright and take down complaints based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Idealistically, it seems right for the social video sharing GIANT to help mold the law that enables the take down requests in the first place.

YouTube earns millions from the creative minds of YouTubers. Their content is so compelling they draw in collectively billions of views which translate into advertising revenue for YouTube as well as the creator.

It’s a partnership.

“We’re doing this because we recognize that creators can be intimidated by the DMCA’s counter notification process, and the potential for litigation that comes with it” YouTube’s Copyright Legal Director Fred von Lohmann wrote in an announcement about the new program.

“In addition to protecting the individual creator, this program could, over time, create a ‘demo reel’ that will help the YouTube community and copyright owners alike better understand what fair use looks like online and develop best practices as a community,” he says.

Yeah, sure that too.

The real other reason is because YouTube wants to help mold the legal jurisprudence and judicial interpretation of the DMCA in its favor. We’re looking at the US Supreme Court giving the final say, maybe.

The decision to fund YouTubers comes on the heels of a recent federal court decision handed down in September 2015, Lenz v. Universal.  That case flew under many people’s radar unless you work in this sector.


As part of automated software that scans and identifies when a YouTube user has upload copyright content, Universal Music Publishing Group sent a notice to a mom who had uploaded a video of her toddler dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.

As many people know, Prince is one of those artists who fights very hard to keep his music offline.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation , a nonprofit that protects the rights and civil liberties of individuals in a digital world, took up that mom’s case and filed a suit against Universal asking a federal court to protect the fair use and free speech rights of the toddler’s mother, Stephanie Lenz, who uploaded the video.

The EFF considers Universal’s automatic, algorithm-based, take down a form of Copyright Abuse.

The notices are sent out based on an algorithm that detects usage of a copyrighted work automatically and digitally; and most of the based are sent out without a human conducting an independent review of whether the upload qualifies for Fair Use protection.

‘The Fair Use Doctrine’ to the Rescue

This September, the Ninth Judicial Circuit ruled that copyright holders must first examine the material they seek to remove and make sure it does not fall within the exceptions or exemptions of the Fair Use Doctrine.

Under this long established doctrine, anyone can use/copy a limited amount of a copyrighted work and use/copy it for “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner.

For example, a news report about a rally that includes a clip of someone reading from a copyrighted book, a parody artist sings to new made up lyrics  to the same beat of a popular song, a vlogger breaking down lyrics of a song and plays snippets of it during his vlog, would all qualify under the Fair Use Doctrine.

“The Lenz decision is a path marking case in the world of copyright law.  If a copyright holder sees unauthorized use of its content online, the natural inclination is to take appropriate steps to have that content removed (by sending a “take down” notice to the Internet Service Provider that is hosting the content, such as in the Lenz case).” suggests says J. Michael Keyes, an intellectual property partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney. “If the Ninth Circuit decision stands, a copyright holder now must first determine if the party that posted the content has a legitimate legal defense before requesting that the material be taken down.  This is a significant development as it forces content holders to engage in a bit of copyright soothsaying before enforcing their rights.”

Lenz v. Universal

In the Lenz case, the panel of federal judges said Universal can only send take down notices BEFORE it had come a good faith conclusion that the targeted upload is not a protected fair use of the copyrighted work.

“Copyright holders cannot shirk their duty to consider — in good faith and prior to sending a takedown notification — whether allegedly infringing material constitutes fair use, a use which the DMCA plainly contemplates as authorized by the law,” the appeals court wrote. “That this step imposes responsibility on copyright holders is not a reason for us to reject it.”

The Court then sent the case back down to the trial level but not without giving Universal a little win too.

The judges recognized that the reason Universal uses algorithms to detect copyrighted works of their artists, is because of the volume of uploads on sites like YouTube.

“We note, without passing judgment, that the implementation of computer algorithms appears to be a valid and good faith middle ground for processing a plethora of content while still meeting the DMCA’s requirements to somehow consider fair use,” the court wrote.

The Gimme: Expansion of “Safe Harbor” Protection?

The Ninth Circuit also left open a HUGE path for future complaints against Universal and other companies like it that send out DMCA complaints using automation.

The panel also interpreted the DMCA also confers rights to those who have have received copyright DMCA notices going forward. They can bring their own law suit if the copyright owner knowingly misrepresented that it had a good faith belief that the work was infringed.


Section 512 is the part of the law that protects conduits like YouTube, Google’s Blogger, and Facebook that only provide a platform but otherwise, don’t have anything to do with the infringement, from being held liable too.

This section is considered a “safe harbor” to protect third parties like YouTube.

Without these protections the risk of potential copyright liability would prevent many online intermediaries from providing services such as hosting and transmitting user-generated content, EFF writes on its website page about DMCA.

YouTube, if it wants now, can battle the recording industry which is notorious for slamming everyday users with DMCA complaints.

If enough cases go to the top and even if there are some losses, there could be a split among the Circuit Court cases, making it likely that the US Supreme Court could hear the case.

A favorable win there would be a GIANT Victory for YouTube users and Google and Team Internet. They’d have more flexibility to create even more services and could spend less time dealing with DMCA-related copyright complaints. Right now, if YouTube receives the DMCA, it takes down the video and dings the member with a threat to revoke their right to use the service.

“What this decision means from a practical point of view is that anytime content owners see the unauthorized use of their content online (for example music, videos, etc) they will want to carefully consider their options before demanding that the content be removed,” says  Keyes,  “If the party that posted the content has a reasonable argument that it’s use of the content was “fair” (I.e. That the poster was commenting on the work or engaged in some sort of educational endeavor) the copyright holder faces the specter of a claim for damages if a take down notice is sent.”

YouTube has interest too in shaping the DMCA so that it is less restrictive on its users and limit its “safe harbor” responsibility under the Copyright Act.

I’m not mad, I’ll keep track of this case and update this post as the litigation proceeds.

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dcs best kept secrets

DC’s Best Kept Secrets: 10 Reasonably Priced Venues to Host Your StartUp Launch Party

dcs best kept secrets

It’s commonly known that housing and leasing prices in Washington, DC are among the highest in the nation.

If you are a StartUp founder, entrepreneur, or other independent vendor or artist ready to launch a product, service or album, you know finding a chic, classy and suitable place at a decent price that won’t break your budget to host your launch party or event will be a challenge.

Fret no more, I bugged my contacts, searched past event invites, and did some other research and discovered about 10 best kept secret spots to host an event for a very reasonable and nominal price. These chic nooks have personality and would not break the bank and are modestly priced compared to what you’d pay to host an event at the National Museum of Women in the Arts History Museum which starts at $10,000.

Most of the places on the list require a deposit of $200-$500 at contract signing to secure the date.  They all offer discounts to non-profits and tax exempt entities. Some have various rooms to accommodate different size events. Audio visual equipment is usually thrown in and some even have small stages for your big reveal.


The Loft at 600 – Third Floor

For example, a 4-hour event at the swanky event spot The Loft at 600 F will run you just $3,500 and can accommodate 100 people standing or 50 banquets or 60 theater style. It comes with wood-topped tables, intimate seating areas, sofas and leather chairs. It’s ideal for offsite retreats, corporate meetings, training seminars or a cocktail reception in a chic atmosphere.

The Loft at 600- The Lounge/Second Floor

The Loft at 600- The Lounge/Second Floor

If you don’t mind crossing the river, the best deal around is the relatively new event space (opened August 2014) at R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center located on the St. Elizabeth East campus in SouthEast on a secured lot with free parking.  You can rent the 1,750 sq. ft Demonstration Hall for just $400 for 4 hours.

Here is what the ten venues  are and what they have to offer:

event ebenezersVenue:  Ebenezers Coffee House Basement

Address:  201 F St, NE

Neighborhood: Capitol Hill /Union Station

Space Description:  A sleek lower level event space ideal for concerts, film screenings, meetings, parties or vending equipped w/sound & video equipment, multiple flat screens & a pull down screen. Fits 100 seated

Cost:  Starting at $800 for 4 hours. You could probably get it later during off peak times. Call and find out.

Contact Number: 202-558-6900


event we work 3

Venue:  We Work Wonder Bread

Address:  641 S St. NW DC

Neighborhood:  U Street

Space Description:  Transformed Wonder Bread Factory that is a co-work space with meeting and event space. It is limited to those who are members, but open to others on a negotiated basis. Call First.

Cost:  Starting $2000

Contact Number: 877-868-8335


 event studio 52

Venue: Studio 52

Address:  52 O St. NW DC

Neighborhood: Shaw

Space Description:  A 2600 sq. ft NYC-style loft with pre-war details, hardwood floor, high ceilings, exposed brick, wood beams and large windows. Can accommodate 150 standing, 80 seated.

Cost:  $2,000 to $5,000 for 6 hours

Contact Number: 301-919-3838


event the rise

Venue:  R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center

Address:  2730 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.,

Washington, D.C. 20032

Neighborhood:  Southeast

Space Description:  On the former campus of St. Elizabeth hospital, this building is housed in a secure, fenced in campus with a security guard and free on-site parking; Features renovated event rooms, classrooms, and meeting rooms with advanced Audio Visual capability

Cost: Meeting rooms $20 per hour (5 capacity), Conference Room $40 per hour (15 capacity), Digital Inclusion Center 1,930 sq ft; $100 per hour(50 capacity w/ 20 computers); Lecture Hall $80 per hour; Demonstration Hall 1,750 sq ft , 150 capacity $100 per hour

Contact Number: 202-727-6365


 Event The yards

Venue:  The Yards Park (Outdoor events)

Address:  355 Water St, SE DC

Neighborhood: Navy Yard

Space Description:   New Navy Yard development is a public/private partnership featuring play areas and is perfect for an outdoor wedding or event.

Cost:  $2,000, weekdays; $3,000 weekends for 4 hours

Contact Number: 202-465-7080


 event sewall belmont

Venue: Sewall-Belmont Museum

Address:  144 Constitution Avenue, NE

Neighborhood:  Capitol Hill

Space Description:  Historic museum with  terrace, outdoor patio and interior space

Cost:  Starting $1,100 for 4 hours

Contact Number: (202) 546-1210


 Event North Hall

Venue:  North Hall at Eastern Market

Address:  225 7th St. SE

Neighborhood: Eastern Market

Space Description:  Inside Eastern Market secret, Newly renovated 3,500 sq. ft event space with historical ambiance, vaulted ceilings, hardwood movable dance floor, gallery walls,

Cost:  Starting at $500 for a public event M-Thur, $600 Fri-Sunday to $2,500 for  M-Thurs for Private event; $4,300 F-Sunday

Contact Number: 202-345-2861


 Event Hillyer

Venue:  Hillyer Art Space

Address:  9 Hillyer Ct, NW

Neighborhood: Dupont Circle

Space Description:  A nonprofit contemporary gallery space in Dupont Circle for up to 175 people standing, 75 people seated featuring hardwood floors,

Cost: Starting $600 for 1st two hours on Tuesday, $150 additional hour thru $1000 for 2 hours Fri-Sunday.

Contact Number: 202-338-0325


Local buildings featured in The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide that catered to blacks during Jim Crow/segregation.

Venue:  Thurgood Marshall Center

Address:  1816 12th St. NW

Neighborhood:  Shaw

Space Description: Historic First Place for meetings, receptions, and small events for up to 200-300  persons, conference space seats up to 60 and historic lounge for up to 100

Cost:  Starting at $500

Contact Number:  202-462-8314 or


event St Francis

Venue:  St. Francis Hall

Address:  1340 Quincy St

Neighborhood:  Brentwood

Space Description: . A charming event venue built in 1931 & featuring romantic Renaissance architecture. Adjacent to the beautiful Franciscan Monastery in Washington,DC

Cost:  Saturdays $6,000, Sundays $4,500

Contact Number: 202-425-6548




The Loft at 600 F – Fourth Floor Retreat

Venue:  The Loft at 600 F

Address: 600 F Street

Neighborhood:  Penn Quarter

Space Description: . A Historic building with exposed brick and hardwood floors throughout, accented with comfortable furniture, chic antique decor, modern tech and chic furnishings with lots of large windows letting in natural light.

Cost:  Starting at $3,500 for the first 4 hours for the Private Retreat on the Third Floor

Contact Number: 202-431-8516



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baby ariel

How a 14-Year Old Became A Social Media Celebrity in 3 months; Case Study is

baby ariel

It’s amazing how quickly people can gain popularity on new social media sites.

Like this Summer, there was a conference for Periscope, a Live video sharing app that only launched this past April and there is already a conference for fans, users, brands and other Periscope celebrities. Amazing, eh?

Similarly, a lip sync app similar to video creation and share social media site DubSmash became popular a few months ago and some of the best vids from mainly young teen girls have gained so much popularity and views that those girls are now Internet celebs.  Already!

One of the most popular is a 14-year old girl named Baby Ariel who has 265,000 subscribers to her YouTube Channel that she started on June 22, 2015! Wow!

That is where the teen shares her app vids that she only started making this summer. Amazing! She even has a legion of copy cat accounts. People are creating outfits inspired by this girl.

From stardom on a new platform, Baby Ariel has 61K Twitter Fans and 108K  Instagram fans.

Her lone skill was being skillful, entertaining and comedic on a new app. Wowza!

Anyway, inspired by blog trainer, speaker and another entrepreneurial mom Danielle Ford’s compilation, I jumped in on the fun this Summer and have compiled the best of my videos here:

Here is Danielle Ford’s compilation here:

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sponsored post

Bloggers: How to Calculate Your Sponsored Post Rate (12 Bloggers Examples)

sponsored post

How much bloggers earn  is always a topic of wonder for new bloggers especially trying to figure out how much they can eventually earn.

Also, folks are just curious, generally, and eager to know if you really can make a living from blogging.

Bloggers make money from a variety of ways from ads, to affiliate marketing, to selling products but one of the more common and more lucrative ways is from sponsored posts or native advertising. This is when a brand, product, service or advertiser pays for coverage. It’s what magazines call advertorials, traditionally.

Here too, people rarely share their rates on their sites.

It’s sort of a faux pas to ask how much bloggers make.  Consider those who blog professionally for a living, that is the equivalent of asking how much a salaried worker makes. Both are no-nos. Notwithstanding, over the years various writers, journos, bloggers and websites have managed to pull it out of some bloggers.

A few years ago,Blogger and Babble writer Cecily Kellog came up with a formula for determining how much one should charge.  It’s a suggestion based on what she and others do and it works!


Plugging in the numbers should help bloggers determine how much they should charge for sponsored posts. Here it is:

# of page views

+ # of twitter followers

+ #Instagram followers

+ #Facebook Fans

÷ page rank #

x $ .01

÷ 2

= your approximate sponsored post rate.

A few caveats to this:

  • More influential and niche bloggers can eliminate the last divide by two at the end. Because of their specialized audiences, they can command more money. Think the Go Pro Blogger, the Tax/Economics Blogger, the Cosplay Blogger. The Uncommon. Not the common: Mom/Parent, Hair, Politics, Tech, Beauty etc
  • Also, if you have more followers on Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat or some other platform, substitute it for one of these three When the formula was created, those platforms didn’t exist or weren’t as prevalent as they are now.
  • Given that Instagram now is recognized as having pretty engaged followers who are brand loyalists so folks with higher Instagram followers should be making more and can also eliminate the last divide by two.
  • Student Working On Laptop

Kellog calculated the ratesof 25 bloggers who willingly revealed their numbers for her to plug into the formula and the bloggers verified. You can see her complete link HERE , and Go there to see what types of blogs and specialties are commanding these amounts. That makes a difference too because not all blogs are equal.

I’ve pulled a selection of 10 based on their stats but not their names just to give you a general idea or what some bloggers are charging for sponsored posts:


$50 to $150 for a sponsored post
3,000 pageviews/month
Page Rank 2
1500+ Twitter Followers


$1000 per sponsored post
One million+ pageviews/month
Page rank 5
20,000+ Twitter Follwers


$75 per sponsored post
4,400 pageviews/month
Page Rank 4
7,200+ Twitter followers


$1000+ per sponsored post
850,000+ Pageviews/month
Page Rank 4
12,000+ Twitter Followers



$500 per sponsored post
50,000+ pageviews/month
Page Rank 5
8,900 Twitter followers


$100 per sponsored post
99,000 pageviews/month
Page Rank 3
7,200+ Twitter followers


$250 per sponsored post
174,000+ pageviews/month
Page Rank 4
5,900+ Twitter followers


$150+ per sponsored post
40,000+ pageviews/month
Page Rank 4
58,000+ Twitter followers


$50 per sponsored post
2,000 pageviews/month
Page Rank 4
4,100 Twitter followers


$200 per sponsored post
17,000 pageviews/month
Page Rank 4
10,000+ Twitter followers


$50 a post, $75 a giveaway
15,000 pageviews/month
Page Rank 4
2100+ Twitter Followers


$150 to $200 per sponsored post
50,000 pageviews/month
Page Rank 5
8,900+ Twitter followers $150 to $200

man-coffee-cup-pen-large (1)

There you go! I hope it is helpful!

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man-coffee-cup-pen-large (1)

Brands: Use These 30 Social Media Tips For Effective Messaging

man-coffee-cup-pen-large (1)

Experts at Social Media London released some tips and tactics from the experts on how brands can use social media  to connect to their audiences and to avoid things that users traditionally dislike, and do more of what they like.

My fave of the list from experts are summed up:

Optimize by using correct keywords;

Keep branding similar on all social media platforms;

Learn from others in your niche;

Attend to Your social media profiles regularly and don’t leave them stagnant for too long;

Use hashtags to track promotions and target conversations;

Invest in the best images;

Be Concise in messaging;

Avoid too much Self-promotion;

Use Contests and Deals to Loop folks in because people love FREE stuff;

Pay Attention to timing of posts;

Follow up when you make a connection; and

Monitor your Analytics so you can learn from what works. SOLID!

Here is an infographic Social Media released that also sums up these points:



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This IG Model Gave Up The Money & Fame, Flipped Social Media the Middle Finger


Uh oh!

Another digital #TeamInternet superstar has lost it and quit social media.

This time Australian IG model Essena O’Neill has given the royal middle finger to the fame and money that she won by being a super cute girl with a hot body that many people loved to follow and emulate.

What could have gone wrong? Too much too soon, maybe?

Well, it looks like O’Neill who used to get paid hundreds and thousands of dollars to promote products to her YouTube  and Tumblr (250,000 followers) , Instagram (5,700), and Snapchat (60,000 views), has had enough with the smoke and mirrors

(I know I’m doing the most with the cliches tonight. *snicker*)

It’s all BS and she lets her audiences know on her new website ( dedicated to disconnecting from social media and encouraging us all to be “change agents” while living in the present.

“I didn’t live in the real world, I lived through screens,” the 18-year old enlightened one pens. “And I created a celebrity construct of myself, believing it would bring me happiness. That couldn’t be further away from the truth… I no longer want to spend hours and hours of my time scrolling, viewing and comparing myself to others.”

Aaah! Growth.

O’Neill left a series of messages on IG before nixing her entire account.

oneill 2“Social media allowed me to profit off deluding people,” O’Neill writes, admitting to being a “content creator.” This is a brave admission for an individual who has cultivated an image of effortless beauty.


Forbes summarizes it well in a recent article on O’Neill defection:

There are few specifics regarding O’Neill’s earnings from Instagram, but she is one of many bloggers who generate income from their social media presence. Thomas Rankin, CEO of Dash Hudson, a program which makes Instagram posts “shoppable,” told Harper Bazaar that a user with hundreds of thousands of followers can earn anywhere from $500 to $5,000 a post. With over six million followers, payment is closer to $20,000 to $100,000 a post.

Though O’Neill is one defector out of nearly 400 million Instagram users, she has shed light on the business behind the virtual trappings of perfection. “Be aware what people promote,” she writes in the new caption of one of her Instagram photos. “[A]sk yourself, what’s their intention behind the photo?”

There you have it. We wish her well.


h/t Forbes:

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8 Ways To Prepare For An Interview

                            Guest Post 
When it comes to landing the job of your dreams, there are so many ways to go wrong in your efforts – including deciding on the right career path, says career coach Lisa Quast.

“A few years ago, many professionals were happy simply to have a job as we slowly recovered from the economic meltdown of 2008-2009, which signified years of an ‘employer’s market,’ ” she says. “But in 2015, employees have more options, including more jobs in their field, and many are considering other fields, too.”

Whether you’re just out of college or looking for a better deal with another company, landing an interview takes work. Once you’ve earned that interview, you don’t want to mess it up.

Quast, author of the book “Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach: A Foolproof Guide to Getting the Job You Want Every Time” briefly reviews eight ways to make the interview a success.

1.Anticipate interview questions and prepare answers. There are five groups of questions you should consider for the interview: your background; familiarity with the field/industry; your functionality and competency for key aspects of the job; your style and personality; and how you see your future. It’s helpful to think about questions the hiring manager might ask and prepare how you could respond.

2. Prepare questions for the employer. Good questions indicate to hiring managers that you know what you’re talking about. Consider questions about the character of the company; the history, nature and future prospect of the open position; and the department.

3. Conduct practice interviews. The more you do something, the easier it gets, and practice runs will not only help your interview performance but also help you consider further the content or substance of the discussion. Conduct mock interviews with someone you trust. And when you get to the interview, remember to be yourself and don’t be afraid to show your personality. Companies hire real people, not robots.

4. Prepare to answer the toughest interview questions. One of the hardest questions to answer is “What’s your biggest weakness?” For interviewers, how you answer this offers insight into your level of self-awareness; how you handle obstacles; and how much you know about the position.

5. Practice watching the hiring manager’s nonverbal cues for important clues. People say plenty while not verbally saying anything. Facial expression, eye contact, posture and gestures tend to work together for an overall impression. What are these cues telling you? The answer could help you overcome challenging moments in the interview.

6. Learn to close the interview with class. You can do just about everything right and miss a key point: Don’t forget to ask the hiring manager about the next step in the interview process! When friends ask whether or not you got the job, how would you know what to say if an interviewer doesn’t tell you what’s next and you never ask?

7. Ensure all documents are ready for the interview. Preparedness says so much in an interview. It’s better to have documents and not need them than vice versa. Have multiple copies of your resume and reference list. Recommendation letters may not be required, Quast says, but they’re good “leave behind” documents. Other items that will either be necessary or useful include the job description, portfolio of your work, paper and pen.

8. Dress for positive impact. The dot-com era ushered in a more casual approach, but the recession brought back a more “dress for success” style. Dress appropriately for the position and also the geography. For example, a jet-black pantsuit in Florida during August will make you uncomfortable and make you look out of place. Match your attire with the image of the company.

About Lisa Quast

Lisa Quast is a career coach, a business consultant and author of the book “Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach: A Foolproof Guide to Getting the Job You Want Every Time” ( Quast spent more than 20 years climbing the career ladder in corporate America with career success in traditionally male-dominated companies/industries. She has completed projects around the world in the areas of strategic planning, marketing & communications, sales, service, operations, pricing, business development, pre-acquisition analysis and acquisition integration and HR/talent development.

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ignoring clues about people's intentions

Just Not Into You: Why You Should Quit Ignoring Clues of People’s True Intentions (10-MIN PODCAST- Ep 19)

ignoring clues about people's intentions

We, women especially, have a bad habit of second guessing our instincts about people’s questionable behavior toward us, and dismissing shady treatment and words said.

This happens in business, friendship, relationship and all walks of life. People are purposeful in their actions. Few are able to avoid being transparent in their intent.

Notwithstanding this fact, we choose to ignore the fact a friend, colleague, partner or family member is 1)Actively behaving shady; 2) Passively or Actively Ignoring Us and Our Wins; or 3) Avoiding communication.

We brush off these not-so-subtle clues because we don’t want to face the music, or want to avoid conflict or put off the inevitable: re-examining the relationship and making a hard decision on whether to continue it.

Again, this applies for business and personal relationships.

For my 19th 10-Minute podcast, I discuss this conundrum we stubbornly allow ourselves to wallow in; and I do it in about 7-Minutes! Listen:


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