Mindshift- The Interview Series: Featuring Courtnea Of Prodigy the Agency

Before we begin, let's set the stage. The purpose of this interview series is to inspire and encourage millennials to take the leap into entrepreneurship or give advice to those currently on the journey.

This series will highlight millennial entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries who are offering services, products and resources to their audiences. 

 Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have the chance to read the stories of millennial trailblazers who are designers, social ambassadors, photographers, and more. I hope you are inspired!


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In this Mindshift Interview, I have Courtnea of Prodigy the Agency. During this interview, we deep dived into all things business, influencing the future and more....

Behing the Person


Tell a little bit about yourself and what you do. 

My name is Courtnea Kimble and I handle all of the Public/Media Relations at Prodigy. I grew up in Georgia, but then attended school in LA at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and studied Visual Communication.

After a few years in LA, I moved to New York for work and had the time of my life. Now, I’m back in Atlanta and although this was never in the plan, it was by far the best decision of my life. From networking to getting inspiration in the smallest of places, I don’t regret a single second of it.

Some of my hobbies include drinking wine, reading beauty blogs and hanging with my friends (co- founders of Prodigy). I think they’re by far the funniest people on the planet. Not a day goes by where they don’t make me laugh.

What is one quote you live by? Give an example of how you’ve applied this quote in your journey.

He who walks with wise men will be wise and he who walks with fools will be destroyed.
— Proverbs 13:20

I heard this verse while in church one Sunday and it really stuck with me, especially since starting a business with my three best friends. All three of the girls motivate me in different ways, and I am so thankful to have such smart, beautiful and motivating women in my life.

What’s one habit you have developed that you feel as though has aided in your overall journey?

Organization + Taking notes.


Whenever my room, office, purse, or anything else is a mess… So am I. So, I’ve been practicing cleaning up after myself, taking notes, writing things down, etc.


All Things Business

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How did Prodigy the Agency come to form? What was the idea that started it all?

I and my three friends (Alexis, Diamond and Jerlecia) were all stuck in a rut. Everyone hated their jobs, living situations and anything else you can name. We were at Ponce City Market brainstorming because something had to change ASAP. Diamond brought up an old business plan she made in college… we made a few revisions based on what everyone was good at and ever since then we’ve been going harder than ever.

What’s the purpose of Prodigy the Agency? What problems or pain points are you looking to solve through this platform?

Being young millennials, we noticed how hard it was to build our portfolios, and for big corporate companies to take us seriously. We wanted to build an agency to help people who are in similar situations to get the right tools they need to build their portfolios so that they can attract bigger companies and brands. Everything we do is to help people just like us.

There are a lot of misconceptions about being an entrepreneur, like lack of freedom or difficulty growing income. What’s the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?

You can’t do business with friends or family members.

We are four women with EXTREMELY strong personalities, so of course, sometimes it gets difficult. But, we’ve mastered how to separate business and friendship. Not only has it taught us a lot about business, it has also made our friendship stronger as well.

What tools or systems is a necessity for running your platform smoothly?

BaseCamp.

 We can hold all of our documents, files, calendar dates, notes, etc. on there so no matter where we are everything is always at our fingertips.

As an entrepreneur, often you are required to make tough decisions. On the topic of: Competition vs Collaboration.  What is the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue? Give an example of how collaboration has benefited Prodigy the Agency.

Collaborations are amazing!!!!
— Courtnea

When we first started Prodigy, we thought we knew what type of industry we wanted to be apart of….. But as you know, things change. We ended up collaborating with a cigar lounge and an architect (two industries we knew nothing about) but we ended up learning so much from each other! Now we collab on almost everything together; networking events, brand strategies for other companies, parties, etc.  

If you don’t collaborate with different brands and industries you’re limiting yourself.

For a business to thrive the leader must thrive as well.  What self – care routines or rituals are a necessity for keeping you sane while growing your business or brand?

It’s necessary to take care of yourself and have peace of mind in order to manage a successful business. I prioritize “me” time before I do anything else. Sometimes it’s the little things:

  • Getting your nails done
  • Or simply going out to eat by yourself with no interruptions.

What marketing strategies have you used to attract and find new leads for business growth?

Social Media.

We’ve gotten about 75% of our clientele strictly from social media. Our pages really display who we are as individuals, and who we are as a business. It’s super personable and people love that. Once people think you’re trying to sell them on every single post they start straying away.

We try to make our page a mood board and inspiration for our followers.

Customer Service or the customer’s overall experience is crucial when it comes to brand longevity. What experiences have you created for your clientele or audience?

Our goal is to make every single client feel special. To do that, we don’t stop working until they are satisfied. We never want our clients to feel like they had to settle. We also try to create a vibe and energy of a company that we would want to work with. We’re fun girls, so we try our best to display that with our clients.


The Future

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What are some accomplishments of Prodigy the Agency? And where do you see its future?

Since we’ve started in January, our biggest accomplishment that we’ve had as a business was our launch party. We worked so hard on planning and organizing the perfect party for Prodigy and based on all of our feedback since the party and everyone’s reaction at the party…….. Mission complete.

We were able to get all of our family, friends, clients and potential clients together in one room to show them what we’ve been working on and most importantly, what we’re capable of. We also gained A LOT of business after the party. So all in all, everything was amazing. Even though it was over a week ago, we’re still talking about how much fun it was and how we can’t wait to do it again.

As far as the future, we want to be able to help make a huge impact on younger kids. We got our name Prodigy from realizing how hard is was being young and trying to find a job that you actually qualify for without needing 10 years experience. We want to be able to help the younger generation and give them the tools they need to be successful.

I describe a Mindshift as a moment in time, where one realizes, there is more to life than what society has told. Can you describe your Mindshift moment?

Our Mindshift moment was when we were all able to quit our day jobs and focus strictly on Prodigy. The majority of people are scared to quit their day jobs and worry about all the things that could go wrong.

You can’t focus your energy on all the wrong things because eventually, all those things will come true.
— Courtnea

What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?

 Just DO IT.

The more time you spend contemplating and trying to “perfect” your business, the more time you are wasting. Nothing is ever going to be perfect and you’re going to fuck up. Take those fuck ups as lessons and learn from them.

Lastly, think about what living life on your own terms means to you. Describe your ideal situation.

Living on my own terms is something that I think hard about every day, and it’s almost something that I can’t explain. I imagine myself living life:

  • Carefree
  • Being able to travel whenever I want
  • Never feeling the need to check my bank account lol,
  • And just being overall happy.

It’s almost like one of those things that you don’t really know, until you feel it and then you realize it’s right.


Additional Gems From Courtnea:

There's strength in numbers.

Keep the right company.

GO for it!


Connect with Courtnea:
 TwitterInstagram
Connect with Prodigy the Agency:
 Website / Instagram / Twitter

Mindshift- The Interview Series: Featuring Brianna Alexander of Detroit Speaks Inc.

Before we begin, let's set the stage. The purpose of this interview series is to inspire and encourage millennials to take the leap into entrepreneurship or give advice to those currently on the journey.

This series will highlight millennial entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries who are offering services, products and resources to their audiences. 

 Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have the chance to read the stories of millennial trailblazers who are designers, social ambassadors, photographers, and more. I hope you are inspired!


In this Mindshift Interview, I have Brianna Alexander of Detroit Speaks Inc.  During this interview, we deep dived into all things business, influencing the future and more. Brianna is a light in every meaning of the sense. And her energy can instantly brighten any room. She genuinely has a heart to serve others. So much so, she was compelled to start her own non profit and begin the journey of entrepreneurship. Here, she shares the gems she's discovered while navigating the world of non profits. Get your journal out or open up the notes app because Brianna isn't holding back. Check out our interview, below.  

Behind the Person

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Tell a little bit about yourself and what you do. 

Hey Mindshifters! My name is Brianna Alexander, and I am Detroit, Michigan native currently living in Atlanta, Georgia. I received my undergraduate degree in Political Science from Howard University, and became a Master of Public Administration at Georgia State University.

I currently serve as the Community Volunteer Manager at United Way of Greater Atlanta where I manage large-scale volunteer projects and service initiatives for 13 counties in Georgia. Outside of my work at United Way, I am a philanthropic consultant, the co-founder of a rising nonprofit organization named Detroit Speaks, and I have recently joined the blogging world with my website BriannaAlexander.com.

 What is one quote you live by? Give an example of how you’ve applied this quote in your journey.

There’s no competition when you are walking in your purpose.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what the next person doing, and compare ourselves to others and their respective journeys. We all are guilty of this! When you are walking in your purpose, what’s yours is YOURS. We are all born with purpose, and no two people are here for the same reason. I wake up every day knowing that I am competing with NO ONE, and that alone keeps me strong throughout my journey.

When you are walking in your purpose, what’s yours is YOURS.
— Brianna Alexander

What’s one habit you have developed that you feel as though has aided in your overall journey?

My trust for God’s timing.

Really believing, and trusting that God’s timing is perfect, is HARD…okay? But I have so much proof that God is always right on time, that I can’t throw anymore side-eye when I hear someone say “Trust God’s timing”. Every setback, heartbreak, disappointment, or shortcoming is all a part of your journey. All things are always working for your good. I began to look at personal journey totally different when I realized that I am always in good hands, despite all.

Every setback, heartbreak, disappointment, or shortcoming is all a part of your journey.

All Things Business

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How did Detroit Speaks Inc come to form? What was the idea that started it all?

About three years ago, I was up late one night thinking about all of the service projects that I have completed in both Washington, D.C and Atlanta, and I instantly felt like I was neglecting my hometown! Detroit Speaks actually started as a one-day workshop that I wanted to complete for youth in Detroit that aspire to attend college, start businesses, and be more involved with service projects. I called two of my close friends, Danielle Hughes and Jasmine Swain, and asked if they would help me and Detroit Speaks was born.

 What’s the purpose of the Detroit Speaks Inc? What problems or pain points are you looking to solve through this platform?

The mission of Detroit Speaks is to acknowledge the accomplishments of young Detroiters and provide high-school aged youth with the resources to excel in their personal endeavors.

Detroit Speaks seeks to give young people the opportunity to find their voice, amidst all of the pressures that comes along with making college and/or career decisions.

Detroit Speaks also provides individuals like me that no longer live in Detroit the opportunity to give back from wherever they are located. We offer virtual mentorship, networking opportunities, and offer opportunities to participate in our speaker series online.

There are so many questions that many of us needed answered before graduating high school that our parents were not able to answer. From determining whether to take the ACT or SAT, to ordering transcripts, Detroit Speaks would like to be a source to anyone who is looking pursue higher education or ready to jump into the workforce.

There are a lot of misconceptions about running a nonprofit based business, like lack of funding or difficulty obtaining partnerships. What’s the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?

Biggest Myth: You shouldn’t collaborate with organizations that have a similar mission as yours.

 

What?! Why not. Just because you have similar missions, doesn’t mean that you have the same resources. Don’t miss your blessings. Yes, it is true that nonprofit organizations are always competing for funding, but most granters prefer to know that you are leveraging all of your resources and are seeking strategic partnerships in order to sustain your programming.

Side Note: Realize now that you are not to accept every offer to collaborate. Determine how both parties will benefit from partnering and potential cons. Know your worth and your “why”.

Did you always have a passion for nonprofits or philanthropy? What sparked your interest?

I have always loved participating in service projects and helping others, but I never thought of making a career of it. While pursuing my B.A in Political Science, I was sure that I wanted to work on Capitol Hill and eventually become a big time government official. After having the opportunity to intern for Ford Motor Company’s Business and Governmental Affairs division in D.C, I decided that life wasn’t for me. I wanted to be able to see the impact that I was making on the community with my own two eyes. I’m forever grateful for that internship because it helped me realize the importance of listening to my spirit and following my passion.

As an entrepreneur, often you are required to make tough decisions. On the topic of: Competition vs Collaboration.  What is the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?

Myth: You can make it to the top on your own.

Give an example of how collaboration has benefited the Detroit Speaks Inc.

Without collaboration, Detroit Speaks would not exist. Our organization has had the opportunity to collaborate with schools, nonprofits, individuals, and businesses in order to execute volunteer projects and events for the community. These collaborations have allowed us to push our mission, and make greater impact. At the end of the day, choosing not to collaborate (especially as a nonprofit) can potentially hurt you more than it’ll help you.

For a business to thrive the leader must thrive as well.  What self – care routines or rituals are a necessity for keeping you sane while growing your business or brand?

Let me take this as an opportunity to shout out my friends, family, and co-workers. Hey y’all! There is nothing that I can’t do with them by my side. Those close to me know how much I love what I do, but they certainly keep me balanced and remind me to celebrate every win!

But what’s even more important is that those around me know that when I am in work-mode, I’m in my zone and not to take it personal. When it comes to self-care and rituals, I am always sure to start and end my day by talking and listening to God.

 What marketing strategies have you used to attract and find new leads for business growth?

Our team has been able to locate and connect with so many other nonprofit agencies, corporations, and individuals that would like to give back simply by staying connected to Facebook and Instagram.

We like to keep everyone in the loop with what’s going on with our organization, and have no problem with communicating our needs! Close mouths don’t get fed. Partnerships and collaboration opportunities will never just appear in your e-mail inbox because you have your fingers crossed.

 Customer Service or the customer’s overall experience is crucial when it comes to brand longevity. What experiences have you created for your clientele or audience?

When it comes to Detroit Speaks, my priority clientele is the community, specifically high-school aged students. We listen to their questions, concerns, and needs. From the information that we gather, we are able to create sound programming and events that cater to those who we are serving.

What tools or systems are a necessity for running your business smoothly?

My team and I love using Zoho for e-mail communications!

  • Not only does this application allow you to create e-mail addresses using your domain name (for FREE!), we are able to share calendars, and documents with ease. 

The Future

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What are some accomplishments of Detroit Speaks Inc? And where do you see its future?

Detroit Speaks, Inc. blows my mind. Seriously. Like I previously mentioned, this organization started off as a one day workshop but has turned into so much more! We have hosted service projects with local nonprofit agencies, hosted workshops related to S.T.E.M education, back-to-school drives, launched a mentorship program, and hosted several webinars answering common questions of the youth that we work with. In the future we would like to complete college tours, travel to schools and college readiness workshops, increase the number of webinars that we host, and create more impactful service projects in the community.

I describe a Mindshift as a moment in time, where one realizes, there is more to life than what society has told. Can you describe your Mindshift moment?

When I made the decision to unapologetically pursue a career in the nonprofit sector, despite what anyone thought.

I’m a first generation college student, so those close to me believed that getting a Bachelor’s degree would instantly lead to this epic career at a Fortune 100 company. But that wasn’t my dream, and it certainly wasn’t my passion. I decided that if I was going to take my nonprofit career to the next level, I needed to pursue my MPA in Nonprofit Management. There was so much confusion around why I would need to complete more school in order to work in “non” profit, but I decided to take a chance on myself!

What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?

Always remember your ‘Why’.

Why did you start your organization? Managing a nonprofit organization can be absolutely draining. You are always going to be seeking funding, planning events, and looking for new ways to positively impact the lives of the population that you serve. Collaboration is not only imperative for making the greatest impact, but for finding a dependable support system.

Lastly, think about what living life on your own terms means to you. Describe your ideal situation.

As of late, I have really been learning to master being PRESENT in my own life. There is so much going on around us, we are always working rigorously to check things off of our to-do list, and we simply forget to live in the moment. Living in the moment does not mean making spontaneous or terrible financial decisions, or jumping off of a building. It means being present in your daily interactions with people, realizing the relevancy of the conversations that you have, and just being grateful for another day of seeing the sunrise. Living life on my own terms means that I am present.

Living life on my own terms means that I am present.

Additional Gems from Brianna:

Consult with God. Live on Purpose. Take the Risk. 


Connect with Brianna:
WebsiteTwitterInstagram
Connect with Detroit Speaks Inc:
 Website / Facebook / Instagram

Mindshift- The Interview Series: Featuring Zakiyrah Of Her 20 Somethings + H.E.R. Foundation.

Before we begin, let's set the stage. The purpose of this interview series is to inspire and encourage millennials to take the leap into entrepreneurship or give advice to those currently on the journey.

This series will highlight millennial entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries who are offering services, products and resources to their audiences. 

 Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have the chance to read the stories of millennial trailblazers who are designers, social ambassadors, photographers, and more. I hope you are inspired!


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In this Mindshift Interview, I have Zakiyrah Ficklin of Her20Somethings + H.E.R. Foundation. During this interview, we deep dived into all things business, influencing the future and more. Zakiyrah is an entrepreneur who has the heart to see young women succeed. She's all about using her God given purpose to spark others to live a purposeful life. The journey of entrepreneurship isn't always glamorous, but she's giving you the gems she's learned along the way.

Behind the Person

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Tell a little bit about yourself and what you do. 

I like to describe myself as “A Voice For The Millennials”. I am an extremely talented young lady who understands that my purpose is to serve others. I am a firm believer in building my lifestyle based on my passion and purpose. I am very hard working, loving, and ambitious.

I am the author of Her 20 SomeTHINGS and the founder of H.E.R. Foundation Inc.

Which is a 501(c)(3) organization that works with young ladies who have absent fathers, and focuses on personal development in the areas of education, financial literacy, and health/wellness.   

What is one quote you live by? Give an example of how you’ve applied this quote in your journey.

“The most important thing you can do in life is to find, live, and share your purpose”
— Zakiyrah

Living out my purpose which includes impacting, inspiring, and helping ladies reach some of their personal goals has taken precedence over a lot of other things in my life because I now understand that we are here to serve.

What’s one habit you have developed that you feel as though has aided in your overall journey?

Being consistent.

I truly believe that consistency is a main ingredient to success. Me developing a consistent schedule for everything that I had to do as far as reading, writing content, nurturing relationships, and constantly speaking has contributed to my success thus far.    


All Things Business

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How did Her 20 Some Things come to form? What was the idea that started it all?

I wanted to create a guide for young women in their 20’s to transition from pain to purpose.

After going through my own experiences and learning and growing into my purpose I wanted to help other young women grow into their purpose.  

What’s the purpose of the H.E.R Foundation? What problems or pain points are you looking to solve through this platform?

H.E.R. Foundation is one of my passion projects. The purpose of H.E.R. Foundation is to reach young women with absent fathers. We focus on building those broken relationships and personal development in the areas of education, financial literacy, and health/wellness.  

There are a lot of misconceptions about running a personal brand or being an entrepreneur, like lack of freedom or difficulty growing income. What’s the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?

It takes a lot of money to start a business.

 I totally disagree that it takes a lot of money to build a business because I started my business with no money.   

As an entrepreneur, often times you are required to make tough decisions.On the topic of: Competition vs Collaboration. What is the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?

Women have to compete instead of working together to accomplish things.

Some women think that they are in competition with each other and that they can’t share their ideas and resources with one another. I truly believe that when women support other women amazing things happen. We are a much bigger force and can accomplish way more together than we can competing with each other. 

Give an example of how collaboration has benefited the H.E.R Foundation.

When we first began our organization in 2015 we did a lot of networking and connecting with different people and organizations. When January 2016 came around we were able to partner with the WNBA Atlanta Dream basketball team to do a holiday party at the Atlanta children’s shelter, which turned out amazing. We collected winter wear and went down to the shelter, played with the kids, ate, and gave out everything we had. That was a great partnership that grew.

In order for a business to thrive the leader must thrive as well.  What self – care routines or rituals are a necessity for keeping you sane while growing your business or brand?

In order for me to thrive each day I have to start my mornings off praying and spending time with God. That will set the tone for your day. I also like to read and learn something new each day, even if it’s only for 10-15 mins.

What marketing strategies have you used to attract and find new leads for business growth?

Social media and word of mouth.

Social media has been great for marketing!

  • I use my social media to engage with a lot of young women in my target audience. It’s good when you post content that requires a response so that you become interactive with your audience.

I also use word of mouth a lot.

  • So, everywhere I go I’m selling books. LITERALLY! The gas station, restaurant, grocery store, dmv, anywhere you can think of. This allows me to connect with people offline and also helps with referrals.  

Customer Service or the customer’s overall experience is crucial when it comes to brand longevity. What experiences have you created for your clientele or audience?

I’m very personable, so when someone orders my book I reach out to them and make sure they received it, feature them on my social media, and try to get some feedback from them on how it helped them. 

As an author, what was the toughest stage of the publishing process? –Writing? Editing? Formatting?

The toughest stage for me was the writing process. I had to really discipline myself to write consistently and allow everything to flow. I got overwhelmed a lot of time during writing the book because I was working full time, obtaining my bachelors degree full, time, running a non-profit, and writing the book. Once I created a specific writing schedule and outlined everything I wanted to cover it became very easy.

What tools or systems were essential for publishing Her 20 Somethings?

A strict writing schedule was needed so that I stayed on track with accomplishing the book. It’s good to start with a template that way when you type it will already be formatted. That will save you time at the end trying to format your book. A great editor was also essential for publishing my book. A great editor will not only check for grammar, but will check for organization, structure, and flow. Making sure I set up an effective campaign for launch my book for pre-orders was essential for publishing because the pre-order helped fund my initial order.  


The Future

What are some accomplishments of Her 20 Some Things + H.E.R Foundation Inc.? And where do you see its future?

H.E.R. Foundation Inc. has been extremely successful thus far. We have partnered with the WNBA Atlanta Dream to do a holiday party, we have done two annual care package drives partnering with Partnership Against Domestic Violence, this past March we sent five deserving girls from Grady High School on a prom makeover, and have been to several different group homes and organizations to serve. H.E.R. Foundation Inc. plans to go international this coming year. We are planning a service trip to Malawi, which we will eventually build a girls group home over there.

Her 20 SomeTHINGS has been very successful as well. I have had the opportunity to sell hundreds of books from when I first released it, have completed a whole college book tour with young women organizations, and have done some radio interviews. In the future for Her 20 SomeTHINGS I plan to sell a few thousand books this year, complete another book college tour, create opportunities for more exposure, and just continue to impact young ladies lives with the book.  

I describe a Mindshift as a moment in time, where one realizes, there is more to life than what society has told. Can you describe your Mindshift moment?

Sometimes the media can portray women as something we’re not, or in a negative light, or that we have to be up-to-date with the latest trends. In reality, women are way more than the box society puts us in. I remember wanting to be just like the people on tv, wanted to wear the latest things, and do and have what they had. I did not have my own identity. My mindshift moment was when God started revealing my purpose to me. I was able to learn that we as women are worth so much more, and we can do and be anything we want.  

What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?

Fall in love with the process.

If something doesn’t work out don’t stress about it. If your circumstances seem like they are never going to change just keep pushing through it. Don’t complain about the struggles because what you learn during the process is way more valuable than the outcome.    

Lastly, think about what living life on your own terms means to you. Describe your ideal situation.

There was a point in my life where I was a total people pleaser. I would do everything to make everyone else happy but nothing to make myself happy. The only person who suffered in the end was myself. I learned that we shouldn’t be living for our family, friends, or society, but for ourselves and what makes us happy.  


Additional Gems from Zakiyrah:

Be Vocal. Live on Purpose. Be of Service.


Connect with Zakiyrah:
Facebook/ Twitter / Instagram
Connect with H.E.R. Foundation:
 Website


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Mindshift- The Interview Series: Featuring Morgan Of JOYDay Movement

Before we begin, let's set the stage. The purpose of this interview series is to inspire and encourage millennials to take the leap into entrepreneurship or give advice to those currently on the journey.

This series will highlight millennial entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries who are offering services, products and resources to their audiences. 

 Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have the chance to read the stories of millennial trailblazers who are designers, social ambassadors, photographers, and more. I hope you are inspired!


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In this Mindshift Interview, I have Morgan of JOYDay Movement. During this interview, we deep dived into all things business, influencing the future and more. Morgan has such a huge personality and is using it to create a huge impact on the mental wellness space. Check out how she's taken what started out as a simple idea, and watered it into a brand that's impacting numerous lives. As always, get those notebooks out and pens ready to capture the gems. 

Behind the Person

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Tell a little bit about yourself and what you do. 

My name is Morgan Brittani Daniels. I am a southern belle that was born in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, PA.  I am the CEO/Founder of the JOYday Movement. I am a graduating senior at the Savannah College of Art and Design and find that helping others, helps me.

What is one quote you live by? Give an example of how you’ve applied this quote in your journey.

Although, our hearts ache we must always have joy. - 2 Corinthians 6:10.

I have applied this several times in my journey because no matter what curve ball life swings in my direction and no matter how hurt I may be I keep the joy. 

What’s one habit you have developed that you feel as though has aided in your overall journey?

Shake it off.

 *cues Mariah Carey* Sometimes life is going to hit HARD it’s good to know how to shake off the pain and forgive those that may have hurt you.


All Things Business

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How did JOYDay Movement come to form? What was the idea that started it all?

 JOYDay is a reflection of my life. The idea started off as a conversation that I couldn’t stop thinking about.

What is JOYDay Movement? What problems or pain points are you looking to solve through this platform?

The JOYday Movement is meant to help bring mental health awareness as well as help people understand that through it all we can still be joyful.

This platform is to help our community (the black community) as well as other communities realize that taking care of your mental health is not only important but essential to living a healthier life. 

As an entrepreneur, often times you are required to make tough decisions.On the topic of: Competition vs Collaboration.What is the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?

Collaboration is bad.

 Collaboration is actually everything! Everyone should collaborate as much as possible.

Give an example of how collaboration has benefited JOYDay Movement.

Well, it’s helped an increasing number of people to understand the purpose of the movement. It has also given me the opportunity to receive ideas on how to better JOYDay as a whole.

In order for a business to thrive the leader must thrive as well.  What self – care routines or rituals are a necessity for keeping you sane while growing your business or brand?

When I am starting to feel overwhelmed by it all:

  1.  I always get my nails done, eyebrows snatched, and hair slayed. 
  2. I also journal on the regular. Journaling helps me relax. Whether it’s writing a poem or writing about my day.
  3. I try to get fresh air so my mind can be clear when things get hectic.

What marketing strategies have you used to attract and find new leads for business growth?

  1. Social media.
  2. Asking my viewers what they would like to see come from the movement.
  3. Be as consistent as possible.

Customer Service or the customer’s overall experience is crucial when it comes to brand longevity. What experiences have you created for your clientele or audience?

I try to be as personable as possible. If someone reaches out to me I make it my duty to reach back to them personally as well as listening to their concerns (whatever they may be) you have to treat others the way you’d wish to be treated as a customer.


The Future

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What are some accomplishments of JOYDay Movement? And where do you see its future?

Well it’s only been six months and we have already been able to create a website, following, a safe place to share mental health stories as well as having a blog with 10+ contributors.

In the future, I see us working within the school system to better explain and help children understand the importance of mental health. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of because in reality numerous people deal with depression, anxiety, etc.

I describe a Mindshift as a moment in time, where one realizes, there is more to life than what society has told. Can you describe your Mindshift moment?

My mindshift moment was when I was in my freshman year of college. I realized that I could be the one to make the change I want to see. Instead of waiting for someone else to be that change. It was like a moment where God showed me who he was calling me to be.

What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?

Keep pushing.

 You’ve made it too far to give up now. Continue to keep your faith in God.

Lastly, think about what living life on your own terms means to you. Describe your ideal situation.

My ideal situation, wow, I believe that my ideal situation consist of me:

  1. Helping others day in and day out,
  2. Having my own design studio
  3. A program within schools to help educate students on their mental health.
  4. I also see a program similar to the boys and girls club (can’t get into the details) but that is my ideal situation.

Connect with Morgan:
Twitter / Instagram
Connect with The JOYDay Movement:
Instagram / Website


#MindshiftMaterial

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Mindshift- The Interview Series: Featuring Auriel Of The Art of Metanoia

Before we begin, let's set the stage. The purpose of this interview series is to inspire and encourage millennials to take the leap into entrepreneurship or give advice to those currently on the journey.

This series will highlight millennial entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries who are offering services, products and resources to their audiences. 

 Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have the chance to read the stories of millennial trailblazers who are designers, social ambassadors, photographers, and more. I hope you are inspired!


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In this Mindshift Interview, I have Auriel of The Art of Metanoia. During this interview, we deep dived into all things business, influencing the future and more. Auriel is an entrepreneur with a passion to showcase the art + talent of creatives. She's using her platform to shine light on the importance of creativity + positivity. Get your journal out or open up the notes app because Auriel is dropping all the gems. Check out our interview, below.  

Behind the Person

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Tell a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I am Auriel Oates, sometimes known as Auriella (lol) which is actually a nickname given to me by a childhood friend. Although I was born in Oahu, Hawaii, I currently reside in Atlanta, Ga. I am currently pursuing my degree at Georgia State University in Psychology.

I am the founder of The Art of Metanoia, a brand created to give young creatives a platform to showcase their art. My passion for learning about others leads me towards constant exploration and practicing the art of growth as much as possible. 

What is one quote you live by? Give an example of how you’ve applied this quote in your journey.

When you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

 This is a quote from a book called “The Alchemist”, one of my favorite reads for anyone pursuing their dreams.

I strongly believe that when you truly want something, you will begin to see doors open up for you that constantly remind you that you are moving in the right direction. There are going to be moments when you question yourself:

  1. Is this really going to work?
  2. Is this what I want to do?
  3. Should I take this risk?

Believe me, I’ve had plenty of those. You have to work through the pain, work through the negative thoughts and work through the moments where you think it isn’t going to work out. 

What’s one habit you have developed that you feel as though has aided in your overall journey?

Trust the process.

 I cannot stress this enough. The best decision I’ve made in my entrepreneurial journey was to stop worrying about how or when it’s going to happen, and just know that it will. The world may seem like it’s against you sometimes but the Universe has and will always make a path for you to get through it. By trusting the process, I wake up each day feeling accomplished and motivated to win some more. 

The best decision I’ve made in my entrepreneurial journey was to stop worrying about how or when it’s going to happen, and just know that it will.

All Things Business

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How did The art of Metanoia come to form? What was the idea that started it all?

Like most of my peers, I am on the journey to find my place in the world, and make an impact in an area that means so much to me, art. By working on different projects with close friends, I discovered my passion for the creative mind, especially amongst young people in the city of Atlanta.

I actually came across the word “Metanoia” on Tumblr. For some reason, it really stuck with me. The definition of Metanoia is the journey of changing your mind, heart, self or way of life. I just added “The Art of” in front of it to describe exactly what I wanted others to understand.

I want each guest that attends the show to experience some type of life changing moment, whether it be through the art they see, the performances they watch, or even the people they meet at the event.

Metanoia is the journey of changing your mind, heart, self or way of life.

What’s the purpose of The Art of Metanoia? What problems or pain points are you looking to solve through this platform?

This event was created to provide local artists with a space to display their art in any way, shape, or form. Each event is hand crafted for every individual to experience a journey towards changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life, with the goal of inspiring the community as a whole.

The rebirth of the typical “art gallery.”
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As an entrepreneur, often times you are required to make tough decisions. On the topic of: Competition vs Collaboration. What is the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?

Someone can do everything on their own.

My friends and family are my biggest support system. They are always there to remind me that I am on the right path and support my brand endlessly. They are constantly giving me ideas or sending artists my way if they stumble across someone. They are there to help me set up/clean up at each and every event, which is something that means so much to me.

Give an example of how collaboration has benefited The Art of Metanoia.

I haven’t collaborated with any other curators for my events, but I would definitely say that all of the artist and vendors involved in my events are a major aspect to making the show great.

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In order for a business to thrive the leader must thrive as well.  What self – care routines or rituals are a necessity for keeping you sane while growing your business or brand?

I personally love watching Ted Talks, reading self-help books, and just being around other creative people to put me in that zone. 

What marketing strategies have you used to attract and find new leads for business growth?

Be as genuine and open as possible in the hopes that a variety of people can resonate with me.

I just give people exactly who I am. By doing so, I feel like people are more willing to share your event/brand with others.

I also use social media as a way of building my brand and spreading positivity that everyone needs every once in a while. I also incorporate positivity into the hats for my brand. Each hat has a positive quote on the side with my logo on the front, which serves as a constant reminder to trust the process or be kind to others.

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Customer Service or the customer’s overall experience is crucial when it comes to brand longevity. What experiences have you created for your clientele or audience?

I aspire to create experiences that people will never forget at each Metanoia event.

I want people to feel good vibes + good energy as soon as they walk in the door. Everything from the artists involved to the music played is all taken into consideration. 


The Future

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What are some accomplishments of The art of Metanoia? And where do you see its future?

Metanoia has been much more successful than I ever dreamed.

So far, we’ve had two events that have each had over 300 people in attendance. The biggest accomplishment to me is giving young artists a chance for their art to be showcased or performed for the first time. 

Giving creatives a chance to know that their work doesn’t go unnoticed and there is a place for art in this world is what matters most.

I describe a Mindshift as a moment in time, where one realizes, there is more to life than what society has told. Can you describe your Mindshift moment?


My Mindshift moment was definitely in 2015, when I decided to become a more positive person. I remember always being very negative and never really believing in myself. I’m still on the journey to find out who I am exactly, but I feel like now I have more of an idea. I learned about the universe and I learned that my thoughts actually become things.

I learned to shift my energy to what I can create instead of focusing on what I could not control.

What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?

Don’t be afraid to fail.

What is honestly the worst that could happen? Failures make a better success story in the end. Don’t get me wrong; being an entrepreneur is most definitely scary. I was scared of what might happen, but I was passionate. I had a genuine idea and I knew that it was worth every risk.

You have to believe in yourself before anyone can believe in you.

You have to see your vision before it can be seen by anyone else. The fear of failing or other people’s opinions should not affect you when you truly believe in yourself. 

The only way you can fail is by not doing anything.

Lastly, think about what living life on your own terms means to you. Describe your ideal situation.

Everything starts and ends inside of you.
  •  Living on your own terms means that you are taking full responsibility for your desires and actions.
  • Living life on my terms means that the only limits are the limits I place on myself.

There isn’t anyone or anything holding me back and I’m allowed to be who I want to be, dream what I want to dream, and spend my time in the places in the world that empower me.


Additional Gems From Auriel:

Self awareness. Believe. Fearless.


Connect with Auriel:
Twitter / Instagram 
Connect with The Art of Metanoia:
Instagram / Website


#MindshiftMaterial

Exclusive content, free downloads + entrepreneurial tips direct to your inbox!

Let's create the biz + life you want on your own terms!

Your FREE resource guide is waiting for you. 
#Mindshift#Createthelifeyouwant