What is Motivating?

So I woke up this morning with immediate regret about how I've been treating my business lately. It's so weird how emotions just change in a second! One day I'm bummed out because I'm not inspired and the next I'm driven and I feel like I can do anything. This year I promised myself that I was going to do the best I can do but I got caught up watching 90210 (which I've watched before) and just chilling. Sometimes being an entrepreneur comes with this grey area of work/ play balance especially because you work from home.

I honestly think that for me my brain is very active when I wake up in the morning and I'm more psyched to get on with the day. The first thing I thought of today is how I've gotten into the habit of making these mini excuses in my head about why I can't do certain things. People usually ask me what motivates me and today I realized what it is. I didn't know where I was going and what I was doing for years and even when I did things they never just picked up. I always felt like I was never where I was supposed to be. Yesterday, I was having a conversation with my fiance and we were talking about people who have opportunity (people that don't necessarily have what it takes but succeed anyway). I immediately realized that though I wasn't that person the point I was trying to pass across heavily applied to me. I told him "Even though people have a shorter ladder and are at a disadvantage they are still able to catch up and even surpass people whose ladder has been tall the whole time" Now, I'm where I'm supposed to be and God proves that to me daily in different ways, I have the ability to prosper so why not put more effort into it?

Thinking about that for a second I realized that I had been mopping in this idea of people who were "better" than me or people who had more than me that I wasn't letting myself succeed. SO back to the question, what motivates me? I motivate me, my emotions drive me I enter a state where in my mind I can fly, How do I get there? I believe in myself I look at myself as someone who is going to do AMAZING things if they just put themselves out there. So what holds me back? Doubt. Doubt that if I go as hard as I'd like to maybe I wouldn't get anywhere, maybe I wouldn't succeed, but you know what that is? The devil speaking, God didn't give us that spirit of doubt but success.

Every time I think  I can't or I get in my feelings I always ask myself. Who are you? I had a weird but definitely relatable dream that has nothing to do with how I view myself but I think it's what brought me to this blog post. I had a dream that I was sitting with a group of people and someone asked me "Do you know ronke raji?" and I got up and said I AM RONKE RAJI, and immediately it was like looking at myself through a mirror, almost like I didn't believe it. I fell upon a quote that I now have on my vision board it says "the only opinion that should matter when you look in the mirror is your own" When I looked in the mirror it felt like I was undeserving of the person I've become, if that makes sense and I'm determined today to be myself in every possible way because I deserve it.

BUT guess what? It's up to me to change that mentality that mindset, I CAN do it, I have the power to succeed, I'm powerful, I'm smart, I'm strong. Mentally, I'm sound and if I put my mind to something I can accomplish anything. I got this, YOU got this! We are motivated together and when we are in a bad place or feeling uninspired we got this!

How do you re-inspire yourself and where do you get your motivation?

New year, New me?

I really really hate seeing that quote. The beginning of this year I was on my old blog http://theblackandwhiteblog1.blogspot.com/ and I realized I've always enjoyed thought typing. What is thought typing you ask? Its just me, typing out my thoughts lol. The online scene is a scary place that can really make you feel like your thoughts could be crap or maybe you don't punctuate well or something is missing, which can lead to you not wanting to do it.

This year I want to start something new, I've always seen my mind as a whirlwind kind of place bursting with new ideas and new concepts but just like I share my highlight reel on Instagram, I kind of want my blog to be a behind the scenes of who I am and what I'm about. I know this type of blogging has phased out in some way because lets face it who even reads anymore? I am however doing this in some way for myself and in some way to help others. I've always enjoyed sharing my voice through youtube but I've always felt like immediately the camera was on me I had changed into this different person. My most pressing problem sometimes is capturing my essence on youtube. Anyway, I think it's safe to say that though I know not many people will take the time out to read this I will continue this because it helps me, and it may help someone else.

Today, January 17th mood: Uninspired. I woke up today thinking I was going to record a henna inspired makeup look but for some odd reason my mind combusted. I thought to myself what if it's not nice enough, or good enough or intricate enough? Here I go again, getting into my own head. All I'm thinking is how I haven't uploaded a youtube video in like a week and how inconsistent I'm becoming. However, also realizing that the quality of my life is becoming better which led me to realize everything in life is about balance. Last year I put work first, my work ethic was stellar however my personal life was making up for it.

With social media you have to be careful not to get so sucked in that you neglect your life or daily living, which is what i talked about in my recent video. Alot is going into this year for me, marriage, building a new home, being succesful all things I want so bad but I also need to focus on priorities. I think I'm a better "writer" (meaning someone who is writing, not that it's my profession or passion. I think I'm a better writer becuase sometimes when I speak I feel like my mouth moves faster than my brain, but for some odd reason I type at thie same speed my thoughts are moving, which is fun.

Anyway, that's about all for today, I feel less heavier now, which reminds me of why I loved typing out my thoughts. I will do this more often.

What are some struggles you guys are going through this first half of the year?

Winter Skin care ft L'occitane

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Hey Rsquad! I've been gone for so long and wanted to get back into blogging again so I needed to to start off with some skincare. I started using some L'occitance products a couple of weeks ago and I started off using their shower oil, which I really love right now.

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To use the shower oil you apply it while your skin is still wet, and then you massage it in and rinse. It always leaves my skin feeling so baby smooth. After I'm done with the shower oil I use the fabulous oil (all these products are made from shea butter) which locks in the moisture and leaves me moisturized all day long.

It has a light scent which I love but is not a heavy oil. Oils are great to use on your skin for the winter months. Whats your favorite oil?

I'm also in love with their creams especially their ultra rich body cream. What I've noticed is you can put it on your skin after the shower and it locks in the moisture because it's more on the thicker side. Creams during winter are a really essential part of my skincare routine.

What do you do for the winter?

 

 

 

A bit about L'occitane:

Since the 1980's, L'Occitane has set up a sustainable and fair trade partnership with the women of Burkina Faso who produce shea butter. To perpetuate this story with the women of this country, the L'Occitane foundation gets involved for women's entrepreneurship in Burkina Faso supporting literacy and microcredit programs and trainings for the development of income-generating activities.

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This post is sponsored by L'occitane.

Building a makeup Artist Kit

Hey guys long time! It's been kinda crazy managing my blog but really no excuses here. I just kind of abandoned it. Now that summer is right around the corner however I really want to get back into blogging. I think if I had been more consistent it would have been better! So I just uploaded a youtube video on how to start a makeup kit and decided to share a couple of resources that I found floating around the internet! SO there are links as well as a checklist for you guys to use! Let me know if it helped! Leave any questions and comments down below!

I got this from the loveofmakeupbaby.com

I got this from the loveofmakeupbaby.com

Some helpful links include:

http://becomingamakeupartist.blogspot.com/2013/07/makeup-artist-starter-kit-list.html

http://www.glamatronic.net/2011/06/master-list-for-professional-makeup.html

http://www.glossible.com/beauty-business-blog/how-to-build-pro-makeup-kit

Love,

Ronke

HOW TO GET YOUR SHADE (NW 50 OR DARKER)

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HEY!! So this past weekend I had the pleasure of doing @msnyajuok makeup and I learnt a few things I thought I'd share. Being darker it's very hard to find her shade so I had to do some concocting myself! I figured that since the only concealer I had was too light and red for her I'd dilute some products to make her shade. I've noticed LA girl cosmetics has a white shade of foundation (WHITE AS THE COLOR WHITE) and people use it to lighten foundations or concealers that they have! SO because of that I realized if people can lighten a foundation then you can darken one too!

STEP 1: Get a bit of eyeshadow (you can use other black makeup items that are available) and mixed it with the concealer or foundation of your choice

STEP 2: Most darker shades aren;t always warm toned (red) some are cool toned however sometimes when you mix the eyeshadow in it may need a bit of warmth (ADD A BIT OF COLOR CORRECTOR)

STEP 3: Test it out on the area you'd like to see if it is your perfect shade, and voila you've got your shade! You can also do this for powder if you'd like!

I hope these tips helped you achieve your color, my wish is that there is a company who brings out a black foundation so you can dilute or make your color a bit darker if needed.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you every tried making your foundation lighter or darker? If yes, how? SHARE BELOW!

HOW TO START OUT ON INSTAGRAM 101: Part 3 (Hashtags/Community)

If you follow me on snapchat (if you haven't followed me it's ronkeraji) I discussed how I think I'm going to try and just post twice a week just to get a hang of things on my website! That's just by the way, so today I'm going to be discussing Hashtags and Community. 

Now that your on your path to becoming more consistent, giving more quality content and just posting in general now the question is, How do I get myself out there. Without all parts of the formula honestly there is no way to succeed, if you are already posting quality content (no snap filters, good clear photos) and being consistent (posting at least 3 -7 times a week) then your on your way. BUT. Theres a BUT, you still can't seem to generate followers, then you have to find a way to put yourself on more people timelines! Hashtags are the number one way to get yourself out there!

If you are a makeup blogger then find popular hashtags from other makeup bloggers or figure out what type of hashtags create buzz. For example I use popular hastags like #makeupforblackwomen, #makeupformelaningirls etc. I use these hastags because they put me on the platform that other women of color and other women in general will see my posts and respond to it. If you are a fashion blogger then hashtags like #instafashion or #fashionbombdaily are hastags you can use (but as I said look at other fashion bloggers hashtags). Natural hair hashtags include #protectivestyles #naturalhair. What hashtags really do is allow other people who don't follow you to check your page out. Using a combination of multiple hashtags would also give you a greater chance of more people checking out your posts. 

I usually use hashtags every time I post especially on my instagram videos and pictures because more people will see it. Now that we've talked about hashtags lets talk about your community, it's very important to build a community of people on your instagram. With me I do this by trying to reply most of my comments as well as interacting with people around me. I've noticed it helps when you are able to effectively communicate with people who follow you.

I've also realized that building relationships, just like in life is important in the whole social media realm. I think of my followers as my mini family, the more they grow the more I can't reply to everyone but I usually take note of the people who comment frequently and at least try to know them by name.

All these points are GUARANTEED to get you more followers and I know that because I've experimented on myself and others. Its just like all other things in life, if you want something work for it!

 

 

Have you identified your strengths and weaknesses as far as your social media habits?

HOW TO START OUT ON INSTAGRAM 101 PART 2: Quality/ Consistency

HEY LOVES!

So to follow up with my Part 1 of this series this is part two! Theres a new thing on instagram now where so many people don't care about their quality of photos or what they are posting. If you look at my previous blog post (part 1) you'll see I also came from a place of not caring about my quality. Quality, however is very important especially if you want to be taken seriously most brands look at the quality of your work. Most times people think it's the amount of followers you have that is hindering you from getting the opportunities you need but its not. I've seen people with 2000 followers getting opportunities just because they have a clean professional page. Everyone is just learning however it's EXTREMELY important to keep a nice professional page no matter what. It's also important to know where your brand is going also! For example if you are a blogger your page should not be a bunch of posts about your days and just random unclear photos. Also, if your a makeup artist you should have clear images of your clients or yourself. In terms of quality if your not sure compare your photos to some of your favorite gurus just to see if they are similar, below are a few pointers.

Good Quality photos should have:

-NO SNAPCHAT filters (NONE AT ALL)

-NO blurry or not focused pictures

-Clear images with good focus

-NOT dark 

These are a couple of quick examples of the difference in lighting and quality two pictures have. Even if you may not have a sony a5100 (which I use for my photos) or iphone 6s (which I also use) at least try and get the best photos through whatever means necessary. I usually make sure I take my pictures in a well lit area that is majorly in front of a window. As far as editing and taking pictures go I have a video on my youtube channel to help you get better pictures (click here)

The reason I grouped quality with consistency is because at the end of the day they both work hand in hand. You can have great quality content but what no matter what if your not posting every single day its like pushing a nice car. Personally, I post at least once a day and sometimes I even post twice a day depending on what kind of day I'm having. If you really want to take social media seriously and you've got quality downpacked then start working on posting once a day. It's also very important to interact with other people who do the same things you do. Consistency is something that will definitely get you a solid brand also because people will be more inclined to interact with your content. Make sure to also know what your followers love to see so they'd interact more with it. If you make a schedule you are more likely to stick to it and follow through so that could be helpful.

How are you going to implement these strategies?

 

 

HOW TO START OUT ON INSTAGRAM 101: Part I (TIME)

Hey there, So I started this series because I feel as though social media (instagram, twitter,snapchat, etc) is literally taking over the world of business as we know it. Also, I think the most asked question I get is how to build a brand on Instagram and how to grow your instagram and I have now decided that it is very important to discuss it through this mini series. I will cover points that have helped me as well as point that could help you overtime. Also to understand branding I would have to start with my journey then proceed to useful tips and tricks to get you

*NOTE: We all grow at different rates and I can only attribute where I am to one thing: God.

THE BEGINNING: (How Time Affects Social Media Branding)

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I started on Instagram in 2011 about a year after it was created in 2010, I've always loved pictures and photography therefore I immediately got distracted from facebook to join this world of only pictures. When I joined instagram, I wasn't sure what it was about but I did know that I loved to post. I wasn't really consistent however there was just something about the instagram polaroid vibe that I loved. As you can see there was no quality to my photos and I was just posting random things I liked.

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Fast forward to like my second or third semester in college I started getting more into blogging. I then started posting on instagram more frequently I think at this point I probably had like 130 or 140 followers (back then It didn't really matter to me because it wasn't serious). However it started getting in the way of school and other things so I deleted my instagram (SHOCKING I KNOW) So in 2014 I finally got an iphone (its alwways been the phone of my dreams) and started taking better photos, I was also in LOVE with black and white for some odd reason. This was also when I started a photography business with my boyfriend called chrome and raader (a platform that we interviewed upcoming bloggers, artists etc, in the DMV area) I then really started getting into instagram because I noticed it was really hard to get people to want to feature on our website because I had like 6000 followers at the time. From there I started posting more and I found VSCOcam (thanks to a bit too much research and also NY bloggers lol) Thats when I really started getting into aesthetics, and wanting my feed to look a certain way.

After one of my photos went viral I started gaining more followers and I remember like it was yesterday when in the end of 2015 I had 10K (I was so elated). I didn't really think anything of it and I just kept meeting up with people collaborating etc. I even started posting more natural hair pictures because people loved my hair! With that being said fast forward to last year 2016 when I hit 80k before the end of the year. By this time two things had happened, 1. I posted every single day no matter what, like my life depended on it, and 2. Influencer marketing became my full time job. In those 6 years I have learnt so much, and it has shaped me in a way I can't really explain.

 

So, now that you know my story you need to understand that it took me a span of three years to get 139 thousand followers. With that being said pace yourself some people grow faster than others and some slower than others. Make sure you understand that, EMBRACE YOUR JOURNEY, the highs and lows, the slow points and the fast points. I didn't get here in a day and trust me I still have down days too! 

On Tuesday I'm going to be talking about Quality/ Consistency so stay tuned for that!

What do you hope to gain out of this series?