Reflections Of...Time Management (Free Template)

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This year has a been a bit of a whirlwind if I am being honest with myself. I am now at that time of year where I begin reflecting on everything including my home, finances, style, and career. Over the weekend I didn't do much, in fact I pretty much did nothing but reflecting. I've started reading We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates. My partner went to hear him speak recently and brought home the book. I haven't yet got into the nitty gritty, in fact I only finished the forward, but I am intrigued and will be diving back in. 

Reflecting on this year has made me see where I have grown up in many areas of my life as well as shown me some areas I need to improve upon. One of the areas I really wanted to tighten up as I move into the new year was my "work" schedule. I am an entrepreneur and I like to think I am pretty productive, and do well at getting things done. But as my career and business endeavors have expanded, I have had no choice but to improve upon my time management after much scrutinizing. 

For awhile I felt pulled in many directions and if I am being truly honest no two days are the same for me. I can be creating content for SavageGazelle.com or EstroHaze.com, speaking on a panel, and creating a marketing plan for a client all in the same day! On top of that It's not unusual for me to get a acting gig or two, so that can drastically shift my schedule. And what's most important is that I absolutely LOVE what I do. I am challenged everyday to create and share and I aim to please and bring value to people. What I don't like is feeling overwhelmed to the point where my work no longer makes me feel alive but instead starts to feel like a chore. That scattered feeling is not the look. 

As I work to streamline and manage my businesses (EstroHaze, social media consulting, acting), I have found implementing a time blocking schedule to be truly effective and efficient for me. I used to be a pen and paper girl, and I do still print out everything but I have moved my to do list digital, and I am so glad I made that choice. 

I start off each Sunday making a list of my task for the week, both personal and business. On the right side of the list is time I am allocating for each task. From there, I add my task to my time block calendar. Sidenote, I use the Marinara: Pomodoro® Assistant - Chrome Web Store time extension to manage the time I spend on each task. I love this timer because I can adjust it to my needs and it also has a break timer so I get some room to breath throughout the day. 

I found this time blocking template through searching the good sis Pinterest. The template has been an absolute godsend!! I have been using it just under two weeks now and I am getting shit done and really seeing how long certain things take. I am excited to open my weekly calendar again and no longer feel overwhelmed. If things pop up as they almost always do, I can easily move things around. The template also has a section for monthly goals that I haven't quite tackled yet, but I am conjuring up some goals for December. Also in my productivity toolkit is Trello and you see in the images above that Trello is also time blocked on my visual calendar. 

If you are looking for new productivity tools and are tired of the to-do list, then I highly recommend you take some time and try out this template. You can also download the Google Drive app so you can access your visual calendar anytime. Let me know if you try out this template and how it goes for you. I recommend setting up a weekly alarm so that you can sit and plan out your weekly calendar - I typically do this on Sundays. It helps me sleep better knowing my week is pretty much set and all I have to do is execute. When it's time to do my task I simply start the Marina timer and get to work. After each Pomodoro cycle a break cycle notification will pop up. You will also see the number of completed Pomodoro cycles you have completed for the day. 

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So, there you have it. I am reflecting on ways I can improve my time management and sharing it all with you. Here's to kicking ass in business and life people! 

Productivity Is All That's On The Brain

With so much to do, sometimes it's hard to know where to start. At least for me sometimes. I don't know about you, but I am still trying to find a new normal. Currently I am working to balance building a startup, maintaining my personal relationships while building and nurturing professional ones and on and on. 

Me chilling on my cofounders bedstuy stoop after a afternoon work sesh!

Me chilling on my cofounders bedstuy stoop after a afternoon work sesh!

I realized that because my schedule shifts week to week and occasionally day to day that it's urgent now more than ever that I create routines and get clearer on the goals I am working toward as I close out this year and move into the next. There is never not a moment that I am not thinking about how I can continue to push myself, while maintaining a full cup of mental clarity as not to exhaust myself to the point of madness.

Every week I am working to keep abreast of what's moving within the cannabis and Marketing industries as well as promote the webseries I am in (195 Lewis) that's being shown around the world. And honestly, entrepreneurship is tiring, but I love it. I honestly cannot get enough of the work I do and the opportunities that continue to be offered up to me. 

195 lEWIS WEBSERIES 

195 lEWIS WEBSERIES 

But I know I can accomplish more with more discipline. The word discipline is key for me right now. I love to take on projects, however its time to moving at a higher level which means being even more strategic. On that wave I have been reading a lot about leadership, brand building and consumer engagement. I was reading through this month's Fast Company and had the overwhelming feeling that I wanted EstroHaze to be listed as one their most 'innovative companies' and wtf does innovation mean, for me personally for us a brand? I realized I've been yearning to be a better communicator, increasing my capacity for knowledge and just level up in general. 

Roamed into SINCERELY tommy, my neighborhood coffee shop and concept store

Roamed into SINCERELY tommy, my neighborhood coffee shop and concept store

With that I am introducing 'FREELANCE FRIDAY'. Each Friday, I will basically be working from home, tightening up my professional digital footprint. The first half of the morning will consist of EDUCATION. Up to 90 minutes of learning (video, audio, book) related to my business niches: social media marketing and content strategy. This is followed by a short break, and then I jump into 75 minutes of implementation and updating. I'll choose a platform each week where I'll do some spring cleaning. This week I am working on LinkedIn. I got a [FREEBIE FRIDAY] from Lou Bortone, a video marketing expert this morning and since I been wanting to evolve my LinkedIn presence, this email was perfect timing.

The "FREEBIE" was about LinkedIn's adoption of native video and how professionals can use this distribution channel to grow their brands/businesses. It was a great, informative video. I personally believe LinkedIn to be a sleeping giant for a number of industries including cannabis and fashion that I just don't see using as effectively as I think it could be done. Along with the fact that I have been seeing a number of speakers and coaches I know doing more video content on the platform - so I knew something was up. 

I took a ton of notes from the webinar replay that Lou shared with his email list, and even took some screen captures. I'll be using the platform to share more of my video content to expand my professional network, and to see if I can book more consulting and content creation projects. The audience looking for experts in these fields are sitting on LinkedIn, along with VC's and angel investors looking for new products and services to throw money into --- so why not step up my presence and the platform and see what happens. EstroHaze has a new travel series coming out, so I'll be interested in sharing those video clips natively to the platform in hopes that it translates to website traffic and more opportunities for us there as well. 

The way I'll be rounding out FREELANCE FRIDAY will be by blogging here about what I did for that day to optimize my digital footprint. Ala, this post you're currently reading!!! 

More specifically I shared natively a clip from a interview I conducted earlier this year at the Women Grow Leadership Summit in Denver, CO. I was able to interview a ton of Women of Color who were working within the cannabis industry. I spoke with Kiana Hughes of Two Dope Chicks about her cannabis career journey - she too was brought up under the D.A.R.E. campaign but through a boyfriend who later became her husband she learned the awesome power of cannabis. She's doing great work in Chicago too! Check out the full interview below: 

I'm more than excited and ready to implement all of the things I've been listening to via podcast like Masters of Scale and Foundr. For me that means more collaborating and creating. More sharing of the knowledge that I do have in various areas. That means taking better care of my health by exercising, eating much cleaner, and continuing to keep my damn head down and be about my father's business! 

So, that's all for now. I hope you enjoyed the first of many more 'Freelance Friday's' to come. 

 

 

What would happen if...

I could just create and manage 1 to-do list

Adults would not complain about their life for one hour

Children would not complain about their life for thirty min 

People would read the story and not JUST the headline

You WOULD PRAY

People didn't litter in the subway

High school reunions didn't feel so...high schoolish

You would run your own race

Everyone took a collective deep breath and realized it's not that deep

You would have taken that chance on us

We paused 

 

 

 

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But, With Correct Perspective...

Mannnn ain't nothing like a good word from the Lord! Especially with all the fuck shit going on in US politics. My mouth seems to always be on the floor when 45 tweets. I often find myself laughing and I am now realizing it's to keep from crying at the 2nd hand embarrassment I feel being from the US and the overall leadership. I will say this though, it has led me to look deeper into my understanding of how all of this government shit works because this is a mess. 

Not a picture from my bday - just one I really like! Living that lean, mean startup life in Boulder, CO. I did the whole capsule wardrobe thing. Black/Grey with a sprinkle of tan pieces and a total of 20 items for a 4 - month stay. Thanks Pinterest! 

Not a picture from my bday - just one I really like! Living that lean, mean startup life in Boulder, CO. I did the whole capsule wardrobe thing. Black/Grey with a sprinkle of tan pieces and a total of 20 items for a 4 - month stay. Thanks Pinterest! 

Recently, I celebrated a birthday - the yearly one, the one where people call and text you and put messages on your FaceBook page about your special day. Frankly, everyday that I wake up imo is my birthday. And everyday I attempt to open myself up to receive more knowledge as my cofounders and I build our cannabis media company EstroHaze. And we are challenged to level up daily. 

Since returning back East I have been cleaning out my closets and home really, to get rid of things my partner and I aren't using, and I came across this 7 day Live on Purpose devotional I got via TD Jakes ministries. Apparently I stopped at Day 3, and I am not even sure what year it was I started using the devotional tbh. What I do know is, I picked right back up where I left off and today I am on Day 5 - Is it a Crisis or Transition (Be Strong and Very Courageous)

like Grace Jones bishhh

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Anyhow, today's devotional really spoke to me because I know I am NOT in a crisis (despite a dwindling checking account) but in fact I am in a transition and it's sooooo ripe right now. The excitement I feel when I get up in the mornings, ready to work on EstroHaze is unlike anything else I have ever felt. Actually, I am so hungry for expansion, knowledge, and seizing opportunities that I had to really step back a few weeks ago and work on hard stops. As much as I want my business endeavors to GROW and become fruitful, I need to get rest and I need to take care of myself and spend time with my family. All of me feeds into my work which turns arounds and feeds right back into me. 

Sometimes we're forced into what looks like a crisis, ie: a job loss or when a loved one passes away - but these "crises" are opportunities to transition and level up. That's why it's important to have courage and find ways to build it up if you lack in that department. If you need some courage, check out Shaka Zulu on Netflix and 1980's mini-series about an African King who grew up damn near a bastard, and he had crisis after crisis - and eventually he made it to the throne that so many people didn't want him to attain. I read my bible, listen to podcast, read articles, etc to keep my mental health in check so I don't wallow in self-doubt and unbelief. 

All of which leads me to perspective. It's important to have the right perspective on your situation and find a way to see pass your circumstances. I don't see my dwindling bank account as a crisis, my bills are up to date (always a plus) and I have plenty of food in my fridge. What I see is a NEW opportunity to expand my marketing consulting business and reignite my acting career, especially since my cofounders and I are back from the business accelerator in Colorado we were accepted into back in February of this year. 

EstroHaze cofounders from L to R: Safon Floyd, Sirita Wright, and Kali Wilder 

EstroHaze cofounders from L to R: Safon Floyd, Sirita Wright, and Kali Wilder 

The right perspective on your situation can empower you and give you the energy you need to get done the things which need to be done to improve what you perceive to be a crisis. I can vividly recall the times I did not look at a situation with a fresh perspective and instead took the easy way out "why did this have to happen to me." Until one day my mom, sick of my whining said "why not you, who are you that bad stuff can't happen?" That led to a major inward shift. She was right, bad stuff happens sometimes and shit - what you gonna do? Wallow in self-pity, maybe for a few minutes or a couple of days - but then what? I choose to fight that inner demon that wants me to be salty and point the finger at others, instead I choose to get my shit together. Cause when I get my shit together, I can help another person get their shit together and together we can get this country on track. Personally, I'd implement mandatory Yoga and meditation statewide so we can get some collective clarity going! But, I might be too progressive for yall. 

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Getting back to perspective though, what my mom said to me then, moved me to take my life and desires in my own hands. From getting out of toxic relationships to pursuing my acting desires. Her advice is pretty much the same thing I say to people waiting for their circumstances to change or blaming everyone else for where they are in their life. Get your shit together and fuck what they think, whoever they is, and fuck your circumstances - go get your blessing! Because the time is ripe, the time is now and the window to possess the land is going to close. Pick up the book, take the class, sell the car and level up. 

With love, SavageGazelle 

 

 

Came Back For You

It's been awhile and the pressure is on to perform. I haven't even been home for a full month, and that's a bit shocking. I took a HUGE leap back in February and made a move to Boulder, CO. EstroHaze, a cannabis startup I cofounded with two colleagues was accepted into a business accelerator. 

The last few weeks I have just been working to get myself organized and find a new normal. Everyday is so different now. With the exception of EstroHaze's weekly meetings and podcast recordings. Normally this time of year I'd be in Florida with my old job covering one of their yearly events. This year however, I am working for myself. 

One thing I was able to do, since getting back home was make a visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The BBG is absolutely one of my favorite places in New York. I highly recommend stopping by if you live in or plan on visiting Brooklyn. 

All photos taken by bae 

 

 

 

Guided into Gratitude // Keeping a Gratitude Journal

The year has flown by. I've gotten sharper and grown more business savvy. I traveled to Nigeria and taught about social media strategy. I moderated a panel on cannabis business opportunities and interviewed a MAJOR Silicon Valley tech CEO.  I promise I will continue to soar even higher in 2017, God willing. What I am really clear on, these final days of the year is getting back to my spiritual center. The theme for the month of January is Guidance. When I'm guided I move with intention and obtain deeper impact. I'm at peace within, and things that I don't know or understand, I pray on it and put it in God's hands. I MUST stay in peace. I can't afford to lose my cool or have my ego taking over my actions. I don't want to be too consumed with what other people are doing, or what someone may think of me. I want to be guided, have my steps ordered so that nothing stops me from doing what the hell I need to do, which is: Keep it Pushing! I encourage any and everyone to do the same! 

This morning I was guided to pray for those in authority. I can't remember the last time I prayed for elected officials, other countries or even those who are in authority at my place of employment. I guess you could say I forgot to care, I speak more in detail about this on anchor. 

Listen below

For Christmas, I got myself a few gifts, lol. One of my gifts to self, a small journal. It's my new gratitude journal. A few years ago I was working for a motivational teacher who was a BIG believer in keeping a gratitude journal. He gave me my first one when I worked for him. It took me about 2 years to fill it out, I hope to cut the time in half with my new journal. When I flip through my old gratitude journal it truly does fill my heart with joy to see how excited and grateful I was about any and everything. The years it took me to complete that gratitude journal were some pretty lean years. It was after the 2008 recession and I was working 2 part-time jobs that still didn't cover all of my expenses and my 8-year-old Volkswagon Beetle was draining me financially as well. But there I was learning, growing and expanding. At one point I was mad at God because I worked at a call center, all the way out in Coney Island no less, but I was grateful to be employed. I was grateful my boss Jullien was teaching me about building a community, working in your passion and what a sales funnel was. Despite any setbacks, there was so much to be grateful for and I captured as much of it as I could in my journal. It's been on my mind a lot lately, the need to document the little things. As I once again set out to reshape my life + career and expand on my gifts and talents in the New Year I will again keep a gratitude journal to stay humble and connected to my spiritual center. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[VIDEO] 6 Things I Learned From Ryan Leslie

I had the opportunity to interview Ryan Leslie, acclaimed music producer and tech entrepreneur at the Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit. Ryan was fresh off the 'Intersection of Music & Entertainment' panel dropping gems about audience development and how using data wisely is critical to business success.

I didn't realize how long the video was, a whopping 8 min until I was typing time-stamps for those that want to get to the nitty gritty! I do however suggest you do watch until the end, because Ryan Leslie gave his perspective on a range of topics from how he uses data to influence content and creativity, to which rappers are leveraging the digital marketplace most effectively, I asked him for 5 but he could only name 3. Ryan also shared his ideas on how tech companies can close the diversity gap. 

1. Which brands are pushing the envelope when it comes to brand awareness @ 2:18

2. Why creating priceless experiences is the only option @ 3:13

3. Saying YES to non-traditional @ 3:55 

4. How can startups close the diversity gap @ 5:30

5. Top rappers KILLING it with digital marketing / brand awareness @ 7:28

6. Ryan shares his phone number - do send him a text! 

Learn More Below...

Singer, Harvard grad and entrepreneur Ryan Leslie gets the message across with SuperPhone texting

High Holidaze | Cannabis Gift Guide

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun! I am in the midst of not only doing some end of the year cleaning, clearing my home of unworn clothes, unused dishes and anything else taking up space long past its expiration date. While at the same time I am introducing fresh, new items into my life. I am zeroing in on an alternative Christmas tree, see here, here and here as I prepare to decorate my own home for the holidays this week.

With that, while perusing Amazon for Christmas gifts for the fam, I had to see what kind of gifts Amazon had for the cannabis lover and they had much, much more than what I was expecting! I've narrowed their selection of cannabis gifts down to 5 - this curated selection has jewelry and household goods to gift the ones you love! 

Stay lifted! And if you missed my first cannabis gift guide, check it out here

1. Cartoon hand http://amzn.to/2gRClPM 

2. Pot leaf mug http://amzn.to/2gEbx89 

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3. Brown leather bracelet http://amzn.to/2gWu5kz 

4. Pot leaf charm bracelet http://amzn.to/2fXBlNt 

5. Dangle earrings http://amzn.to/2fXIzRp 

Art and Commerce | SOHO Stories

I love museums and art exhibits. It's definitely a pastime of mine and I firmly believe when I retire from it all - my days will be filled with the task of curating a great museum somewhere. When I first moved to New York I would visit a website called OpenBar.com (I don't think the site exist anymore) and see where all the free art openings were happening in the city. My roommate David and I would discover all kinds of art and artist not just in New York, but from around the world.

There was another bonus to frequenting OpenBar.com events. Outside of meeting new people and enjoying art - there was also food and drink in the form of free wine and cheese - hence the name OpenBar.com. But I digress. 

Fast forward a few weeks ago on my SOHO visit (Patrick had to be dragged and ended up really enjoying it) I got to see CJ Hendry's large scale pen on paper drawings up close and personal. Hendry is an Australian artist who counts Kanye West as a client. Hendry has a love affair with luxury items like Hermes and Gucci and she often uses them in her work. I saw she was having an exhibition and being a lover of all things luxury myself, I knew once I peeped the oversized Hermes handbag this was the art opening for me! 

Check out more of CJ Hendry's "The Trophy Room" exhibit below.  

'Kash Kurrency'

Only four more years #kanye2020

A photo posted by cj hendry (@cj_hendry) on

CJ in action 

Wondering how long it takes to make one of these drawings, or how much CJ Hendry can make just from selling just one...watch below! 

How To Get Involved in The Cannabis Industry

I recently had the opportunity to speak on a Women Grow panel about diversity and inclusion within the cannabis industry. My advice to all: Grow Where You Are. Check out the video and be sure to have a Dankful Thanksgiving! 

Keep it Luxe with these high-end cannabis accessories!

These products will elevate your overall experience with one of God's greatest gifts to the planet!