How to Stop Talkin’ ‘Bout It So You Can Be About It


The 90s is my favorite decade of all-time.

Of course, I’ve only experienced two complete decades since I’m in my 20’s but that’s beside the point. Even when I’m old and grey, I know I’ll still look fondly on that golden decade.

Firstly, my childhood idol, Aaliyah, was ultra hot in the 90s. I still vividly remember swooping my straightened bangs to one side, putting on sunglasses, and singing in the mirror FOR hours, pretending I was her. (“Let me see you goooo back, back, forth and forth! Oooooo, alright! Let me see you go…”)

Secondly, that fashion was CRAZY (in a good way!) in the 90s. Women got to wear everything from boxy-shouldered power suits to huge door-knocker earrings to Tommy Hilfiger boxers…all while sporting Timberland boots and a half-shirt.

Thirdly, the 90s was home to the most hilarious slang and phrases. From “she’s all that and a bag of chips” to “talk to the hand!” (that was a favorite of mine to use on my little sister), people in the 90s said everything better.

One 90s phrase I’m on a crusade to bring back is “Don’t talk about it, be about it!”

I love that phrase not just because it’s ridiculously fun to say (try it!) but because it speaks to a personal movement going on in my own life.

As I work harder and harder on my goals, I’m constantly having to remind myself to stop talking about all the things I want to do “someday” and to just go out there and do!

One goal in particular that I finally stopped talkin’ ’bout so I could be about it is my first ever Think & Grow Chick event. For MONTHS I told anyone who would listen how I really wanted to launch my first event, but I couldn’t bring myself to DO it! I didn’t want to admit it, but deep down I was still making excuses simply because I was scared!

A few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and took the steps necessary to make my dream of launching my first event a reality. In short, I stopped talking ’bout it so I could be about!

Since we are now 3 days away from my big event (details at the end of this post), I thought it be fun to record a little “not podcast” sharing how I overcame my fear + my 5 best tips on how you can stop talkin’ ’bout it so you can be about it! Listen below: [Read more...]

Share if you enjoyed this post: Email this to someoneBuffer this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPrint this page

U is for Unleash | Layers of Self-Discovery Tour


This post is part of The Layers of Self-Discovery Tour created by GG Renee of All the Many Layers.  Follow the tour through the blogs of 26 women exploring the complexities of womanhood and self-discovery from A to Z.  Click here to keep up with each post and enter to win a giveaway package full of goodies for your mind, body and soul. #LayersAtoZTour

“That sounds good but I could never do that. That just won’t work for me.”

I sighed because I was hoping the conversation wouldn’t end there. I had spent the better part of an hour trying to show my friend that she really could have the life she wanted but apparently, she wasn’t hearing me.

“I mean, I would love to have kids now and start my own business and everything, but I just can’t. Not with work the way it is right now.”

I tried to show sympathy because I really did feel for her. Like me, she was a newlywed but unlike me, her job had her on the road 2-3 weeks out of every month.

“And I definitely can’t leave my job,” she continued. “With these benefits? And this pay? Yeah, I like your ambition Courtney but that just won’t work for me. I have to keep doing what I’m doing. I don’t really have a choice…”

While I couldn’t argue with the perks of her job, it was that last statement that really got under my skin. Before she could get another word in, I turned to her and simply said, “Of course you have a choice. You’re making it right now.”

Are You Living a Leashed Life?

Just to be clear, I wasn’t asking my friend to quit her job. The entire conversation started because I wanted to know why she was holding herself back from what she said she really wanted.

For weeks she would tell me how she wanted to settle down and start a family with her new husband, or how she wanted to move to a new city, or how she wanted to start teaching financial literacy classes to low-income minorities.

And for weeks when I would ask her if she was making any progress towards that aim — if she was even starting to structure her life just a little toward her vision — the answer was always “no.”

The saddest part about my friend’s demeanor was that she was still pretty young. Not to say that her attitude would have been acceptable if she were older, but as a fresh-faced 28 year-old with the whole world in front of her, she literally had no excuse.

No broken life to piece back together after a gut-wrenching divorce. No wayward teenager to coax through their last few years of high school. No older parent to care for through a heartbreaking illness.

In other words, she had not yet experienced many of the legitimate roadblocks that women sometimes face in their 40s and 50s.

She was the one who was holding herself back. Despite what she wanted to believe, the leash around her neck was of her own making.

How to Get Unleashed

Are you, like my friend, voluntarily living a “leashed” life? What excuses to do you wear around your neck that prevent you from living the life you want?

Contrary to popular belief, unleashing yourself does not require you to quit your job or give up everything and make some radical change. At least not yet.

Unleashing yourself is first about living free from the excuses that make us believe that we have no choice. Just as I told my friend, there is always a choice. The spirit of an unleashed life is to choose consciously and to choose in the direction of your dreams.

Do you see yourself in my friend’s story? If so, it’s time to get unleashed. Here’s how: [Read more...]

Share if you enjoyed this post: Email this to someoneBuffer this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPrint this page

The 5 Step Guide to Facing Your Financial Fears

facing financial fears

Have you ever been so reckless with you finances that you were too scared to even look at your bank account?

Maybe you had a wild weekend with friends. Or you did some serious, unplanned damage at the mall last week. Then there’s that one bill you meant to pay off weeks ago but you haven’t gotten around to it.

You know you’ve screwed up and you want to fix your situation but you don’t know how.

Girl. I. Have. Been. There!

And since I’ve been there, I can’t let you continue to swipe your debit card knowing you haven’t looked at your account in three weeks. Yeah…I can’t let you go out like that.

Come on, let’s get your financial stuff together. I’ll even help you –right now! Here’s a 5 step plan I’ve put together to help you face your financial fears (because you can’t ignore your bank account forever…):

#1 – Look at Your Accounts

YES! You have to look at your checking account! Come on, what did you think I was going to say? You came here to learn how to get over your fear of your finances, right? Okay then, you gotta do this.

No more ignoring, because ignoring your account for weeks is a ridiculous thing to do anyway.

And I’m *literally* laughing as I say that because I DID IT! I was the girl who ignored her checking account.

For weeks.

After buying a pair of $89 BCBG shoes I couldn’t afford for homecoming week in college.

And you know what? I was also the girl crying on the phone in with her Dad in the middle of the Bank of America lobby (true story), begging him to wire me some money because I had overdrawn my account by FIVE HUNDRED ($500!!!) dollars.

So yeah. I’ve been there.

That’s what ignoring your account will get you. Now be a big girl, open up another tab in your browser and log into your bank & credit card accounts. Yup, pull those bad boys up. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. (*said in my Kat Williams voice*…)

#2 – Find Out How Much You Spend

If you’re anything like I was, looking at your accounts probably just made you a little sick. That’s okay. I’m done with my “tough love” stance for now because you did it. You looked at your accounts! And I really want to encourage you.

Before we go any further, really take in your account — all the charges, all the purchases you are kicking yourself for making, all those late & overdraft fees — and forgive yourself. Do take note of your mistakes so you don’t repeat them, but no need to beat yourself up. What’s done is done and now we’re moving forward.

Okay, so now that you’ve looked at your account, you need to figure out how much you spend. Not what you think you spend, but what you actually spend. You can do this in one of two ways: [Read more...]

Share if you enjoyed this post: Email this to someoneBuffer this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPrint this page

9 Simple Ways to Have More Time to Work on Your Dreams


One of the top questions I get (besides “How did you get your hair like that?” and “What hair products do you use?” ;-) ) is “How do you find the time to work on your dreams?”

Two years ago, I used to ask the same question.  As a new grad who was just getting into the rhythm of working a full-time job, I felt completely overwhelmed at the thought of making time for my goals. Then when I got engaged, finding the time to do anything for myself seemed even more impossible.

Yet at the beginning of this year, I made a commitment.

January 2014, even though I had just gotten married and now had to manage a relatively new job AND a new husband, I decided that enough was enough. If I didn’t commit to going after my dreams then, when would I?

Life was only going to get busier — I would never “have the time.” At the beginning of this year, I realized I would have to make the time instead.

And that’s what I’ve been doing! As 2014 winds to a close, I look back on everything I’ve been able to accomplish and I’m genuinely happy with my progress. I’ve grown this blog, met some amazing people, and in two weeks, I’m even hosting my first Think & Grow Chick event! Below is a summary of the top 9 ways I’ve been able to “do it all”:

1. Get up earlier. It stinks, but there is just no way around it. For the past 3 or 4 years I’ve been getting up at 5am, 6am at the absolute latest. The latest I let myself sleep in on Saturdays is 7:30am, but I still shoot for 6am. I’ve found that if I do the important stuff first in the morning, even if I don’t finish it, I have a much better, less stressful day. How long is your commute and how long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Subtract that time, plus 30 minutes from the time you start work or school and start getting up at that time. As soon as you wake up, spend the first 30 minutes working on your goals, no excuses. Set a timer if you have to. Then get dress, and head off to the rest of your day!

2. Plan for the week, on the weekend. I don’t know about you, but if my household is crazy during the week then I almost never work on my goals because I’m so disorganized and distracted. To beat this, I get up early on Saturday, spend the first few hours working on my goals, then I clean up, do laundry/pick out clothes to wear to work next week, come up with a meal plan, go grocery shopping, and try to cook as much as I can ahead of time. By Sunday, my goal is to have the house clean, dinners prepped, work lunches packed, clothes washed and ironed, and work outfits chosen. This allows me to hit the ground running come Monday and work on my personal goals without worrying about basic stuff (what am I eating tonight? What should I wear tomorrow? etc.). This also helps with getting up earlier.

3. Schedule “goal” time. If there is something you really need to work on, put it on your calendar. It seems silly but if you treat it like any other appointment it will get done. During the weekend when you are planning for the upcoming week (see above), look at all the things you have to do and take note of the windows of free time you have.  Do you have an hour on Thursdays between classes? Or how about those two hours you usually spend vegging out when you first get home from work? Identify those times and schedule “goal time” in your calendar.
[Read more...]

Share if you enjoyed this post: Email this to someoneBuffer this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPrint this page

My Advice to Aspiring Bloggers + How I Got Started: My Feature on


Today I’m excited to share my recent interview with Jamie-Fleming Dixon of! During this interview, Jamie goes in-depth with me about how I got started blogging, how I manage my blog while working full-time, my best tips for aspiring bloggers and more! Here’s a clip of the interview:

[Jamie] How did you get started blogging?

[Me] I originally started blogging as a way to promote a little business I started in college. A friend from school and I started a natural hair product company called Material Gurl Beauty after listening to a presentation Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter gave to the business school on campus. Inspired by Lisa Price’s story and confident that we could do somthing similar given our majors (at the time, I was a Chemical Engineering major, and my friend was a Chemistry major), we set out to put Carol’s Daughter out of business! That summer, we ended up spending all of our internship money on raw ingredients (shea and cocoa butter, oils, etc.) to sell the products and had no money left for marketing. Intrigued by these little websites popping up online called blogs, I figured I could start a blog as a way to promote our products and meet potential customers. Very quickly, I ended up getting pretty good at blogging and connecting with others online. People were commenting, saying they enjoyed my writing, so I kept at it. Eventually, our little hair product business fell by the wayside, but I continued blogging. About two years after ending Material Gurl Beauty and the blog that went with it, I got the idea to start Think & Grow Chick.

How did you choose your niche of personal development?

Since about 15- or 16-years-old, I have been a complete personal development junkie. I love the idea of using your life as an experiment to get better in things that are important to you over time. As for blogging about personal development, I realized there weren’t a lot of young, African-American female bloggers discussing personal development in a way that resonated with our community. I noticed there were a plethora of blogs that helped women achieve goals related to their hair or fashion, but not many that were addressing the total woman. While hair and fashion are fun, I was really looking for a community of like-minded women who could inspire me to improve my whole self. Since I was really looking for that voice and couldn’t find it, I decided I would step up to the plate and be that voice! Personal development is something I’m eternally passionate about, so I feel really fortunate to be able to share my ideas in this niche.

How do you balance your day job with blogging?

This is very tough, and something I’m actively working on. The three biggest things that have allowed me to maintain balance are…

…you’ll have to check out for the rest! Click here to read the rest of the interview.


Are you a blogger? Would you like more blogging tips from me? Tell me what you’d like to learn from me in the comments and I will share in a future post.

Share if you enjoyed this post: Email this to someoneBuffer this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPrint this page