Millionaire and Billionaire African American Women That I Did Not Know

I’m at a point in my life where I’m slowly finding myself becoming elevated.  But there are times when I feel helpless and doubt that the work that I’m doing is actually a benefit for me.  Often I see in Self-Help books and articles that I should surround myself with positive people and things.  It encourages finding mentors and people that can provide a good example of where and what I’m trying to achieve.  

I want to be a successful businesswoman, and a positive mentor to other women as well.  So I went searching for some motivation; something or someone that I could relate to, and in that process I came across four very interesting women.  These may be women you all may already know, but I wasn’t aware of them!

The first person is the youngest of the four.  Her name is Jade Colin, and she is 28 years old.  She is considered the youngest black female to ever purchase and own a McDonald’s Restaurant.  She opened her McDonald’s in 2016 at the age of 26.

 

Next is 44 year old Isabel Dos Santos.  Mrs. Santos is the youngest Black Billionaire in the world.  She is estimated at a net worth of 2.7 billion dollars.  Her wealth is attributed to Diversified Investments and Inheritance from her father. 

 

 

 

 

Forty-eight year old Kiko Davis is one of two women in the world to own their own bank, and she is the only African American in the U.S. to have a bank.  Her bank is called First Independence Bank.  She is also the Founder and President of the Don Davis Legacy Foundation, named after her late husband.

 

Last but not least is 66 year old Folorunsho Alakija.  She is a Nigerian Oil Tycoon, Fashion Designer, and Philanthropist.  She is the owner of Famfa Oil.  Her net worth is at an estimated 3.3 billion!

 

I really enjoyed learning about these beautiful and successful women.  It helped me place my motivation back where it needed to be!  All of these women give reverence to courage, prayer, and surrounding yourself with positive people and genuine mentors.  I know there are other African American women out there that are just as successful, but I wanted to shine the light on a few I feel have not been mentioned enough.

 

I hope this can be  a witness to “any” woman out there, regardless of race and stature, that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.  Keep your goals in front of you.  Make plans to accomplish these goals.  Surround yourself with a support system that lifts you up and provides constructive criticism.  

As always remember to Stay POSITIVE, Stay MOTIVATED,  and Be BLESSED!!

The Art Of Making A Podcast

What exactly is a Podcast?

A podcast is a digital audio file available as a series, which can be downloaded automatically or subscribed.  I’ve only been recording Podcasts for a few months, so I’m no expert, but I’ve listened to many.  I’ve decided to share with you what knowledge I’ve obtained , and my experience in starting my own podcast.

I’ve listened to Comedy Shows, Television Series, and even Church Services on podcasts. My all time favorite has been Ghost Stories.  I really had no intent on doing a Podcast until one day an associate invited me to do a collaboration with him.  Of course, I didn’t want to go in to this blinded not knowing what to do, so I decided to try it out myself first.

What tools are needed to start a Podcast?

Here’s 10 items that you may need in order to start a Podcast:

  • Good microphone
  • Headphones – so you can hear what you’re saying
  • Pop Filter – to ease the loudness of the sounds “p” and “t”
  • A Boom – helps with holding and positioning the mic
  • Skype – excellent sound quality
  • Recording & Editing Software – editing
  • ID3 Editor – store your podcasts
  • Hosting Acct – i.e Libsyn and Soundcloud
  • Design Software – not really necessary
  • A Vanity URL – to allow your listeners to give reviews

Now let me say this: I did not purchase any of these things to do my podcast.  Most of these things are for those who have an actual Physical Forum for podcasting, and/or may have a live audience or guests.  An example of what I mean is people who have live Radio Talk Shows etc.  It would be really hard to have or interview more than one person with just a cellular phone!

I do all my podcasts on the Mobile App called Anchor.  It’s simple and easy.  Like any app, there’s a profile for you to set up.  It has all the capabilities of sharing and downloading.  You can hold the phone up to your ear and record yourself talking or conversing with someone else.  Or you can press the speaker button and record that way as well.  The only thing with the Speaker button, you have to continually hold it.  

When interviewing or adding someone to the podcast you can do it two ways right now.  You can (1.) call the person you want on the podcast before opening a session in Anchor, (2.) you can add a collaborator from the app itself if they are also a member on the app.   Anchor gives you choices of background music you can use for free.  You can save a draft, edit, or add other recordings to your episodes as well.  I have not tried to upload a recording to the app, but my friend has uploaded several of his songs, and the quality is very good.

In my experience with creating podcasts, I had to make sure I had a place where outside noises wouldn’t interfere.  The minute you began to speak, whatever sounds are in your background will be picked up.  Don’t laugh at me, but I record all my podcasts in my closet!  Yes!   I know I wouldn’t have to do this necessarily if I invest in some of the tools I’ve listed above.   I definitely do plan on doing so in the near future.  I really enjoy and have fun with it!  Sometimes I hold the phone up to my ear when I’m doing my  “Conversations With Friends” episodes.  But when I’m doing “ValerieASCENDING”, I hold the speaker button and use earbuds that have a microphone. 

Your podcast are easy to download and turn into Mp3 files.  I have actually turned some of my podcast in to YouTube videos. Anchor will also give you the opportunity to let it share your podcasts to other platforms as well.  Since I’ve started with the app my podcasts have been accessible on the App Store, Spotify, and Cast  just to name a few.  These are the Seven Top Podcast Apps for Mobile Use:

Spreaker Studio

Anchor

Podbean

Audioboom

Soundcloud

JoJo

“Audio Recorder” on your cellular device

I sincerely hope this has helped and even motivated anyone who is thinking of starting and creating some type of podcast in the future.  Any questions can be submitted to caressnova@gmail.com.

As always Stay POSITIVE, Stay MOTIVATED, and Be BLESSED!

~~ValerieASCENDING

 

 

My 30-Day Challuuunge!!

So in my flight of Ascension, one of the things I’ve decided to do is transform my body as well.  Whatever I can do to improve my health physically is definitely on my agenda.  Due to Dyspnea cardio is not on the table right now, apart from getting in 3,000 steps!  But why not work on other parts of the body that I can without sending my heart into a race?  So as I strolled through Twitter I came across this trainer who was asking people to join his 30-day challenge.  

This challenge was supposed to be 200 push ups, 200 calf lifts, and 200 squats.  I can’t do the push ups, because I am afraid it will affect my pacemaker.  It moves around enough as it is, and I don’t want to risk pulling the lead out!  However, I can do the calf lifts and squats with no problem!  So on June 27, 2018, I started this challenge!  But I’m so pissed though, that no one else is doing it, and the guy who introduced it hasn’t said much about it either!  So I’m making this challenge my OWN!!   I will  be doing 200 calf lifts and  200 squats everyday for a week with a  1 days rest between weeks for 30 days.

This challenge will or should reflect loss in inches not necessarily pounds.  I’ve read recently that when doing any kind of workout there may be an increase in pounds for a bit before there is any loss.  So I’m not going to be weighing in this month for weight loss; just for the CHF.  I have to stay aware of fluid that I may be retaining.  

6/27/18, I measured parts of my body that I think will be affected by the calf lifts and squats.  The measurements are as follows:

  • Lower Abdomen          57.5 in
  • Stomach                           52.0 in
  • Left arm                            15.0 in
  • Right arm                          15.0 in
  • Calves                                 15.5 in/ 16 in
  • Thighs                                 21 in/ 21.5 in
  • Neck                                    17 in
  • Weight                                264 lbs.

So the first day I did all 200 of each exercise, and OMG I was hurting like crazy the next day!  My body was extremely sore!  I had to modify the squats.  I couldn’t go down all the way at all.  On the third day I was feeling ok.  My body had gotten used to the movements .  I had to make sure I kept my back straight with the squats.  Squats really challenge your core, I can tell you that!  I also had to remind myself to stretch before doing these moves, because you better believe I caught a cramp or two in my legs from those calf lifts.

So in this next 7 days I’m going to attempt to bring my squats down just a little bit lower!  I think I can, I think I can!  I do increments of 50, but I do both together.  So I do the 50 calf lifts and right after I do 50 squats.  I then stretch this out throughout the day, because I can NOT do them all at one time.  I’m just keeping it real!  Today I measured and the results are as follows:

  • Lower Abdomen          58.0 in
  • Stomach                           53.0 in
  • Left arm                            15.0 in
  • Right arm                          15.0 in
  • Right calf                          16.5 in
  • Right thigh                       22.5 in
  • Neck                                   17 in
  • Weight                               264 lbs

So I’m having mixed feelings about these measurements.  I really didn’t expect my stomach and abdomen to increase, but this could be due to CHF.  When I retain fluid from blood that can’t be processed by my heart, it goes straight to my belly.  This is depressing, but it’s become my reality for right now.  I did see an increase in the calf and thighs, but I believe that is to be expected.  I’ll take pictures later.  Maybe it will be easier to see both of these areas become defined through images instead!  I’m going to do the Sumo squat this week.  I think it’ll be easier to go lower with this technique.

Stay tune for progress reports!  If you guys have any input please leave it in the comments!  Any help is appreciated and welcomed!

 

Remember to Stay POSITIVE, Stay MOTIVATED, and Be BLESSED!

~ValerieASCENDING!

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My Real Life Broken Heart

Hello My Beautiful People!  For the past four years I have been battling and braving one heck of a personal storm!  The above picture is one of many that I have of myself in the hospital.  For those of you that are not familiar with my past I have Congestive Heart Failure.  Congestive Heart Failure is when the heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should.  It’s the weakness of the heart that can and will build up of fluid on the lungs and surrounding body tissues.  For me the blood that isn’t processed correctly turns into fluid and settles in my belly.  For years I worked out trying to lose my stomach and get it flatter to no avail not understanding the issue was that I actually had a bad heart.  Undetected, my heart became so week that in 2014 I had a heart attack, which is blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle.  

I was placed on two different blood pressure medicines.  One I took for my heart rate, and the other was to control my actual pressure.  For some reason it was hard for doctors to keep my blood pressure under control.  When what I thought was a really bad cold giving me a hard time sleeping turned out to be a heart attack.  Doctors told me if I had forced myself to sleep I would have died.  So they did a procedure called an Angioplasty.  This is a surgical  procedure to repair or unblock a blood vessel, especially a coronary vessel.  The first one I had they went into my left groin.  In August of 2015 I had a second heart attack.  I then had to have a second Angioplasty done.  This one they went through the artery in my left arm.  Both outcomes of the Angioplasties showed no blockage.  Later I had a Nuclear Stress Test, which showed that the front part of my heart was severely damaged.                                                                                                                                   

                 

I was then given a Life Vest to wear until reports were given to an Electrophysiologist.  In the event my heart stopped or I had any arrhythmia, the Life Vest would shock me like a Crash Cart used by doctors.  Heart Failure can lead to other serious health issues such as, Angina and Stroke.  Angina is a type of chest pain caused by the lack of blood flow to the heart.  A stroke is when there becomes damage to the brain from interruption of its blood supply.  Both can leave parts of the body incapacitated.

Eventually I had to have a pacemaker installed.  The Electrophysiologist said that my heart needed 24-hour EMT attention.  A Pacemaker is a device that stimulates the heart muscle and regulates its contractions.  The device generates electrical impulses through electrodes to contract the heart muscles and keep the heart pumping at a steady beat.  So yes they had to cut my chest open!  The device looks like a small MP3 player with a lead.  A slit was cut into my heart and the lead was placed in it.  

It wasn’t until I had the pacemaker installed, came home, and had to set up a device so that my doctor’s office could monitor me, that I realized just how close my brush with death was.  My life totally changed.  I no longer could eat the way I wanted to.  My diet totally changed.  I have to weigh myself every day, I can’t intake more than a liter and a half of any fluid, and it’s extremely hard to lose weight!!  But I am extremely BLESSED to have another shot at life, and I’m extremely GRATEFUL!!  

I want to reach out to as many people as possible about Heart Awareness!  Please stay tuned for upcoming posts as I share with you tips on Healthy Eating and signs of Heart Disease.  

Remember to Stay POSITIVE, Stay MOTIVATED, and BE BLESSED!

~ValerieASCENDING

 

Me, Myself, and My Accountability

A couple of years ago I had a hard time with my youngest son’s behavior at school.  Every time he would get into trouble it was someone else’s fault.  It was something the teacher did or said.  So and so did it, and he was nowhere around.  The teacher must have mistaken him for another student.  It took me a while, but I had to teach him about Accountability, and how it would become a huge part of his life.  But before I could do that I had to make sure “I” knew exactly what “accountability” meant myself.  The last thing I ever want to do is teach my kids the wrong thing or misguide them in any way.

Accountability is the fact or condition of being accountable.  It’s having responsibility for what you do and how you carry yourself.  Accountability can also involve how you present or report information to other people as well.  Accountability starts with you.  You must be responsible for your actions, products you have, and/or decisions you make.  I had to ask my son “are you making wise decisions?”.  This is really important.  Accountability is an ongoing process.  It’s not a one time thing, and it can’t be delegated.  

There are different types of accountability.  Political, which involves government, civil servants, and politicians.  Ethical, deals with individual and group conducts.  Administrative, consists of department rules and regulations.  Security, involves dealing with systems and their performance.  Individuals within organizations, involves decisions and policies that leaders create and direct.  Constituency, deals with relations and voices of agencies,  groups, and institutions being heard.   Public/private overlap, involves private entities servicing the public.

I tell the story of my youngest son, because he just recently got me to thinking.  See I have an invisible disease called Congestive Heart Failure.  I have a pacemaker, because my heart is very weak.  But one thing I have got to do in order to help the pacemaker help my heart is lose weight.  It’s not an easy thing to do, because it’s hard for me to do any exercise!  Well a couple of weekends ago he heard me complaining to myself about being at a standstill and not losing any more weight.  He turned lessons that I taught him back onto me.

I had to remind myself that it all starts with me.  I have to hold myself accountable.  Are my actions  reflecting me holding myself accountable?  Am I really putting in the effort to lose weight.  How am I eating?  Is my diet intake what it should be?  After all, I’m the one feeding myself, not anyone else.  I have to ask myself when preparing food and shopping for groceries “Is what I’m selecting the best thing for me?”.  I have to make sure I am holding myself accountable to make wise decisions.  They will definitely affect how I’m going to lose the weight.

So holding myself accountable has given me a better outlook on what I’m doing concerning the weight loss, and where I need to go in the future if I’m going to lose any more weight. 

 

Remember to Stay POSITIVE, Stay MOTIVATED, and Be BLESSED!