12 books every boss chick should read to upgrade as a digital creator

There’s a quote lingering around the world that says, “a well-read woman is a dangerous creature

Perhaps not dangerous, but definitely more knowledgeable and I guess that in itself is a little dangerous.

If you’re on the hunt for some good books that will help you as a content creator (Blogger, YouTuber, Influencer, and/or podcaster) then this blog post is for you as I’m sharing 12 books every female entrepreneur should read (in the digital space)

So in the words of the great Beyonce, Partna, lemme upgrade you

Let’s begin…

12 books every books every female entrepreneur should read who is a content creator

Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

[Perosnal development]
If you haven’t heard of Marie Forleo and you’re in the digital space… you’re clearly hiding under a digital rock. Deemed the next thought leader by Ms. Oprah Winfrey herself, Marie Forleo is a life coach, motivational speaker, and business powerhouse who helps people tap into their inner greatness and be the person they always knew they could be.

This book will help shift your mindset, provide practical tips to move away from stinkin’ thinking, and teach you that in the end… everything is figureoutable.

Listen to this book FOR FREE when you sign up for Audible.

Miracle morning millionaires by Hal Elrod, David Osborn

[Productivity] [Mindset]
This is one book that truly changed my life and helped me create a better morning routine.

If you struggle with being productive or waking up early in the morning then this book will definitely help you. Stuffed with practical tips and ways to increase your productivity simply by waking up early each day.

They also have another book within the series called, The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs. Both are good but they do overlap in the information.


Read this book for FREE + 30 days of unlimited free reading when you sign up for Kindle Unlimted using this link. I have had a kindle unlimited membership for 3 years now and I LOVE it.

While it does not have every single book, Kindle Unlimited does have thousands of free books that you can read each month! The great thing about Kindle unlimited is you can read books on your computer, on your phone (with the Kindle app), and your tablet. I make it a habit to read a few pages of a book each night before going to bed. It’s apart of my nightly routine.

Read this book for FREE when you sign up for Kindle Unlimited

One page marketing plan by Allan Dib

[Marketing]
Marketing is vital to most businesses these days…. including Bloggers, influencers and YouTubers.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan provides solid marketing advice as far as what to do and how to do it. If you need help attracting more clients/customers then this is a great resource because to market effectively, you need a good strategy. You can create a great strategy (and focus) through a marketing plan. This book helps you get there.

Read this book for FREE when you sign up for Kindle Unlimited

Unstoppable influencer By Natasha Hazlett

[Mindset] [Business]
If you’re into personal development and a Christian then this is a great book for you. In this book, Natasha shares her personal journey to starting a digital marketing company, leaving her 6 figure job and pushing through her insecurities to create a business and life she loves.

While this book is definitely personal development, she also shares marketing and business tips for entrepreneurs.

Read this book for FREE when you sign up for Kindle Unlimited

Atomic habits by James Clear

[Business processes] [Self help]
There’s a reason why this book has been on the best-sellers list for over a year with practically a 5-star rating from 1500 people. It’s a really good book that helps you to build good habits through processes and systems.

This book provides a step by step framework to improve your business and life through creating healthy habits you stick to.

Listen to this book for FREE when you join Amazon’s Audible

Profit first by Mike Michalowicz

[Business Finance]
This book was recommended to me by a friend on an older podcast episode. She shared that reading this book helped her better manage her finances since she was self employed.

As one Amazon reviewer stated, “if your business is on financial life support, or you really struggle with maintaining spending discipline in your business, then this book will be really useful”

This book was instrumental in helping me get my finances in order and manage cash flow. If you’re struggling with business finances, I highly recommend GRABBING this book tuhhhh-day (today).

Listen to this book for FREE when you join Amazon audible

Superfans by Patt Flynn

[Marketing and Communications]
Another powerhouse in the e-world, Patt Flynn is a serial entrepreneur and well-known thought leader in the digital space.

If you’re a content creator who wants to grow their audience and build better connections then this book is for you. This book provides practical tips, strategies and the framework to grow a public-facing business.

Even better, Patt includes a mini-course with the book to help you grow your audience even better.

Listen to this book for FREE when you join Audible

Sell or Don’t Eat by Don W. Long

[Marketing & Sales]
If selling feels sleazy, this is a great book to read because the author, Don, shares how to be authentic, trustworthy, and yourself in order to build lasting relationships with your customers.

As a content creator, you are selling. You may be selling digital products like your course, products for affiliating income, and even yourself for sponsorships. This book helps you sell in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural.

While this book isn’t specifically for digital business, the teachings can be applied as a content creator since selling… is well, selling.

Read this book for FREE when you sign up for Kindle Unlimited

Shots Fired! How To Write Copy That Pierces Hearts (And Opens Wallets) By Apryl Beverly

[Copywriting]
Need help writing in a way that drives sales but still authentic to you?

In this book, you’ll learn how to improve your copywriting skills and write from a sales standpoint.

Let’s be real…. blogging is awesome and can be fun BUT if you are trying to create a profitable blog, you have to compel your audience to take action. Perhaps that’s buying your course, purchasing the hot new lipstick you’re raving about, or simply just clicking on your website and reading your blog.

Apryl shares tips to help you write better from a sales aspect.

Read this book for FREE when you sign up for Kindle Unlimited

The Profitable Content System By Meera Korthand

[Content-writing]
Need helping creating content that actually converts? This book helps you to create a system that produces profitable content that your audience enjoys and compels them to want to buy your items.

Inside this book, you get actionable steps, tips and even facts to help you with your content-creating journey.

Believe bigger by Marshawn Evans

[Personal Development] [Mindset] [Religion]
While this book doesn’t cover business necessarily… Marshawn Evans is a business powerhouse who was one of the first 7 figure business coaches and first African american one.

In this book, Marshawn shares her spiritual journey to becoming who she is now and how you can become your best self too.

If you’re feeling lost, uninspired, and unsure of your purpose, this is a great book to reference.

I loved it so much I bought it for all of my friends and family.

Listen to the audio version free when you sign up for Amazon’s Audible.

Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences By Joe Pulizzi

[Marketing]
Need help creating content that grows your audience? This is the book for you!

While this book is over 5 years old, the tips and strategies inside this book are STILL gold. If you’re a blogger who wants to become better at creating content that builds and grows your audience then Content Inc will help by providing strategies and a framework to do so.

Listen to this book for free with a free trail of Audible.


Have you read any of these books? Do you recommend any other books every female entrepreneur should read? Let me know below what books you enjoy!

What to read next:
8 things I do before 8AM for a more productive morning
My Peaceful Night Routine featuring ancient cosmetics

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How to take better pictures of yourself (9 proven ways to get that killer shot)

Have you ever walked past the mirror and thought damnnnnnnn, girl! You’re looking fioneee today!… so you proceeded to take a few million photos of yourself but none of them looked that great? Not even one selfie slightly reflected that gorgeous-ness reflecting back at you in the mirror. Tragic.

Today, as your digital bestie, I’m sharing 9 quick and easy tips to take better photos of yourself so you can have that bangin’ selfie…


This page may include affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I might earn a small commission if you decide to purchase something.

How to take better photos of yourself

1. ALWAYS Shoot from Above

Shooting from above will provide a more flattering angle by emphasizing your eyes and make your face and neck appear slimmer. Photos tend to look better when taken slightly above (instead of the dreaded chin first image)

2. Use Even Lighting

Natural sunlight is the most complimentary light (plus it’s free!). If you’re shooting inside, try to shoot near a window. If you’re shooting outside, try a day when there’s an overcast or shoot early mornings/evenings.

While natural sunlight is complimentary… direct sunlight, particularly in the middle of the day when the sun is straight overhead, is usually not flattering because it’s too harsh and will produce dark uneven shadows across your face.

You want the light to be even so you don’t have any shadows on your face and neck which are distracting.

3. Use negative space

No one likes a photo that cuts off at an awkward spot. Try to have space above your head so you don’t cut the top of your head off (unless you’re aiming for that kinda photo). I aim to have empty space at the top and empty space on the sides when shooting myself full body, so I don’t have weird cut-offs in the photo.

 

Pin for later!

 

4. Shoot in continuous mode

I find taking a bunch of photos at 3-10 second intervals is easier when you’re taking photos of yourself. It allows you to take multiple images in one sitting without having to constantly get up and touch your phone/camera each time you pose differently.

Here’s an example of when I took continuous photos of myself for a sponsored post!.

5. Think about your positioning

When shooting yourself, try not to position yourself directly in the middle of the shot. The best photos tend to follow the rule of thirds. This improves the composition and balance of your images by ensuring the most important things are placed in a way that is more pleasing to the eye.


As you can see my face is slightly more to the left instead of directly in the middle of the photo which makes this visually more appealing.

6. Consider getting a tripod or selfie stick

Having a tripod to set your camera up will give you better results if you’re setting your camera up to take multiple photos over a period of time (continuous mode). Having a tripod has been an absolute game-changer for me and will help you take better photos of yourself.

7. Invest in a remote

A remote will allow you to take multiple shots at different poses without having to physically get up to take the picture each time. This will definitely help you take better photos of yourself because you take 10 photos in a matter of a minute and virtually stay in the same spot.


I love remotes because they allow me to continuously takes photos and easily (and quickly) hide the remote under my leg for the photo.

8. Get a ring light

A ring light produces perfectly balanced lighting that is evenly distributed. It’s very complimentary and helps improve the image. If you’re recording videos or looking for high-quality photos that look professionally, I definitely recommend getting a ring ling!

What’s even better is they now have ring lights for your phone, your digital camera and stand-alone (which is what I use).

9. Invest in editing software

Sometimes the lighting is off or you need to crop something out of the photo. This is where a photo editor comes in! I like Adobe lightroom because it allows me to lighten up dark photos and even remove a pimple!

10. Work them angles’ and pose

My best advice to find YOUR angle is to take a bunch of photos and study which angles and poses look best for you.
If you’re taking a full-body photo standing up, lift your arm to look slimmer.
Turn your shoulders so you don’t look lifeless.
Put your hand on your hip (my go-to).
Practice in the mirror trying different poses to see what works for you. Take those million selfies and figure out which angles are the most flattering for you.

how to take better photos of yourself


me… totally trying to be a model

11. Check the background

You don’t want to take photos where the background will distract you. Always do a quick scan behind you and ensure there’s nothing that will draw attention away from you. This includes a messy background with things all over the floor or distracting objects.

Here my tips when it comes to how to take better photos of yourself. Do you have any tips when it comes to taking great photos of yourself? If so, share below! I love to know!

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How to look good in your 30s

My Peaceful Night Routine featuring ancient cosmetics

This blog post and video are sponsored by Ancient Cosmetics, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Do you have a night routine? Does it help? Is it peaceful? Does it really matter? I, personally, say yes!

This year, I’m being intentional with how I spend my time (mornings and nights) so I do have a night routine. It’s peaceful, practical and realistic! I also have a productive morning routine which you can check out here.

Watch the video here

Drink a sleepy tea

I like to sip a hot cup of tea as I prepare for bed. I find that drinking a bedtime tea before hitting the sheets soothes me and prepares me for a peaceful night.

Fun fact: Did you know chamomile is known for fighting off insomnia, stress, anxiety, and upset stomachs?

Lay my workout clothes out

I like to set myself up for success when it comes to working out in the morning by making that decision the night before. When I lay out my clothes out the night before, I’m making it easy to hit up the gym in the morning because I’ve relieved myself of morning outfit decisions and can just get and go.

Wash and moisturize my face

I wash my face twice a day.
In the morning, I use a very gentle cleanser followed by a toner and moisturizer.
However, I really focus on my skin at night since I want to get rid of all the dirt, gunk and oil built up through the day.

I also like to follow up with an eyecream. Lately, I’ve been using Ancient Cosmeticz Rose Hip + Lavender Dark Circles & Blemishes Face Cream. I can truly say I’ve noticed a difference and my skin is brighter under eye.

Turn the fan on or set the AC up higher

Did you know sleeping in a cold room boosts the production of melatonin, which is not only a sleep hormone but also a powerful antioxidant!

I can only sleep if I’m cold and I usually have my fan running all night because it keeps me cool and adds white noise to the room. If I’m traveling, I’ll even pack my portable fan. Yes, it’s that serious!

Apply lavender drops to my diffuser

I’m a STAN for lavender. I started incorporating lavender into my nighttime routine last year and now I can’t be without it!

Here are some benefits of Lavender:
-works as an anxiolytic (an anxiety reliever) and as a sedative, to increase relaxation and calm, and help bring about sleep
– interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA to help quiet the brain and nervous system activity, reducing agitation, anger, aggression, and restlessness
-functions as a pain reliever, or analgesic
-has anti-bacterial capabilities
-can reduce inflammation

Moisturize my hands and feet

Continuing the OMG-I-LOVE-LAVENDAR train, I also like to apply a moisturizer. My hands and feet tend to get dry through the day so I like to apply a body butter right before going to sleep.

Applying a lotion before bed creates softer, more hydrated, and better-looking skin the next day. It also helps seal in moisture and repairs the skin barrier that’s compromised by dry air.

I really enjoy the Lavender + Rosehip Body Butter by Ancient Cosmetics. The smell is not overbearing and it glides on like butter. With ingredients such as Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Rose Hip Oil and Lavender Essential Oil, you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals either.



Apply Pillow spray

Let me start off by saying that you should be sleeping on silk or satin pillowcases, NOT cotton.
Cotton pillowcases are absorbent and will pick up dirt and oil from your skin so when you sleep on the same pillowcase night after night, you’re on your way to clogged pores and breakouts. Additionally, cotton pillowcases make your hair dryer since they absorb moisture.

Protect your hair and skin by using silk or satin pillow cases.
I like to combine my silk pillow cases with a natural pillow spray for an even extra boost of Lavender (I told yall, I’m a STAN lol)

Read [and put my phone away]

I put my phone in the other room at night to help prevent be from scrolling all night on social media as well as easily pressing snooze in the morning when I need to wake up. I place my phone in another room at night and it has truly helped me to wake up earlier as well as reduce mindless social media.

At night I read on my tablet which does not have any social media apps on it. I tend to read for about 30-45 minutes before I get tired.

Rock a sleeping mask

Sleep masks block out light which helps minimize distractions, improve sleep and ultimately your health.

Plus they’re a lot cheaper than black out curtains!

Watch the video here

Do you have a peaceful nighttime routine? If so, share below!


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8 things I do before 8AM for a more productive morning

It’s been said that your morning sets your day.

…. and I believe it lol. Lately, I’ve been super intentional with my mornings and how I choose to spend them. I want to work out more, eat better, be more productive and be on my phone less. It’s a lot but for the past 3 weeks, I’ve successfully done it!

Watch the video

Here are some of my tips when it comes to making your morning more productive


1. Place your phone away from the bed
Place your phone away from your bed. Having to physically get out of bed and turn your phone off makes it less easier to hit snooze and roll over in bed. Having to actually get up means you’re more likely to stay up

2. Set your workout clothes out the night before
Already have your workout clothes ready to go. You can even sleep in your workout clothes at night

3. Workout in the morning
…before your mind knows what you’re doing

4. If you have a dog, use the time to walk him to also meditate and get a clear head for the day
I walk leo 15-20 minutes every morning. I use that time to think about the day and practice mindful meditation while I walk

5. Use MCT to improve brain function and weightloss
There are sooo many benefits when it comes to MCT oil! Google it!

6. Journal
I spend 5 minutes reading my daily devotional and thanking God for a new day. I also spend 5 minutes journaling. I journal how I’m feeling, my goals, things I’m grateful for, goals, worries…. everything!

7. Put your phone away while you work
Your phone is a distraction. Keep it away while you work. You can turn your phone off or simple place in another room on silent

8. Put the top 3 things you want to achieve for the day on your whiteboard
I got this idea from erinondemand on YouTube… but I write down my top 3 goals for the day and aim to achieve all 3

9. Use peppermint essential oils to help with concentration
I love essential oils and use them at night to help me go to sleep. I also use them during the day to help me focus. Peppermint is know to improve focus and concentration

10. Take advantage of prepackaged healthy meals!

Watch the video

What’s something you do during your morning routine? Share below!

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How to set goals (and actually accomplish them!)

Each year, I’ve hit some of my biggest goals including relocating to a new state, buying a home, saving up a hefty savings account and more.

I’m a firm believer that goals without plans are just dreams. It’s simply not enough to create a vision board and scream your goals from the mountain-tops. Sorry sis, you need more!.

Here are my 3 tips when it comes to making goals that you actually accomplish.

No fluffy cotton tips included.

1. BE S.M.A.R.T. AS HECK

We’ve all heard of S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) which is a formula to setting goals.

Yeah, yeah… you want to lose weight but specifically HOW MUCH WEIGHT? BY WHEN? BY DOING WHAT?
Your goals should be measurable so you know exactly where and how you need to hit it. So instead of saying you want to lose weight, make it a goal that you want to lose 20lbs in 6 months *No Binge eating for yewwwww*

Last year, I made a goal to not just save up money but I put a number behind it. I told myself I wanted to save up $10,000 in 12 months by spending less.
Specific? Very.
Measurable? You betcha.
Attainable? Absolutely.
Realistic? Yup!
Timely? Mmmhmm.

2. BUILD HABITS BY CREATING SYSTEMS

One of my favorite books is Atomic habits By James Clear. I originally purchased the audio version and loved it so much that I purchased the actual book too!

In the book James talks about how to build habits that get you to your goal and more.

“You do not ride to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems”
-James Clear, Atomic Habits

You have to build systems that allow you to change your habits. For example, you can say you want to lose 20lbs… but you have to create a system and build healthy habits so you can actually lose the 20lbs. You know losing 20lbs requires you to smoke crack eat healthy and workout. So you need to build a system so you actually workout. You need to develop healthy habits so you aren’t binging on ice cream, pizza and cake every night.

For example, creating a system so every morning at 6am you go to the gym and workout for 45 minutes. Creating a system so every Sunday you meal prep healthy food for the week. Create a system that allows you to create good habits that will propel you to accomplish your goal.

Plus when you create systems and develop happy habits, you don’t fall off once the goal is achieved. If your goal is to lose 10lbs then once you hit that goal, you’ll continue to maintain your weight (instead of gaining it back plus more) because you’ve developed healthy habits.

For me, my goal was to spend less and save $10,000. I created habits like saving a specific amount each month and budgeting to get that goal. Once I hit that goal, I didn’t stop. It’s a habit now so I find myself still spending less and saving even more. I didn’t fall off once the goal was achieved.

3. AIM TO BECOME THAT PERSON, NOT THE RESULTS

In 2013, I lost 40lbs. While my goal was to lose the weight, I didn’t just want to lose it, I wanted to become healthy.

It’s not enough to say you no longer want to smoke. You have to tell yourself that you’re not a smoker. You have to change your identity.

In atomic habits, James Clear says every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to be. A single instance doesn’t define you. Just because you ate salad one day, doesn’t mean you’re now a healthy eater. Just because you worked out for one day at one time doesn’t make you an atheltic person. An atheletic person works out often. A healthy eater eats nutrious food often. If you want to actually accomplish your goals, you have to ask yourself “what would a *fill in the blank” person do?” … and do that.

What would an athletic person do?
What would a runner do?
What would an avid book reader do?

Don’t just commit to the results, commit to the identity and become that person.

Photos by Christina Jones Photography

Nine things I’m saying Goodbye to in 2019

2019 has been an interesting year for me.

I hosted my very first event (it sold out in 2 weeks!), I spoke at over 15 conferences, I won favorite Business blogger by FLBLOGCON, I was selected as one of Tampa FL top women of influence, I hit 75,000 subscribers on YouTube, I made more money than ever before in my business and I was able to meet & serve so many women with my gifts… On the flip side, I also had some low moments such as outgrowing friendships, losing my sister unexpectedly and saying goodbye my furry-pet, Bailey, who I had for over 10 years. As 2019 and ultimately the 2010’s end, I think about all the things I’ve accomplished, all the things I want to say hello to… and all the things I want to say goodbye to….

Here’s nine things I’m saying Farewell to in 2019:

1. Overthinking with inaction. Clarity comes from doing things, not thoughts. I’ve learned that often times the best way to figure something out is simply by just doing it… and going from there.⁣

2. Saying “hell yeah, just let me know!” … Knowing good and damn well I ain’t going.⁣

3. Self-doubt. Of course, self-doubt will always linger regardless of how old I am, but I’ve come to accept that it’s no longer going to be something I put at the forefront of my every day.⁣

4. My addiction to my phone. I’m spending more time with nature, my garden, my loved ones, God and myself…


5. Ignoring my intuition… that includes uncomfortable friendships and depleting interactions. It’s okay for me to respectfully decline, let go and move on from things I feel do not serve me.

6. Always thinking “mmmMmm, now I want something sweet” after finishing a meal… ?? ⁣I don’t always need dessert!

7. The need to buy so much stuff. Now sis is no subscriber to minimalism but I do want to escape excessive consumerism.⁣

8. Waiting 3 weeks to fold my laundry and then feeling overwhelmed because I got all these clothes piled up on top of the dryer.⁣

9. Expectations for what the upcoming year will bring. If I’ve learned anything it’s that life is unpredictable. While we should absolutely plan and pursue our wildest dreams and goals… we also have to remember that real life does not follow a script or sequence. ⁣
Almost nothing I thought would be true at age 20 is true today and the best parts of my life today weren’t planned.⁣

Photos by Christina Jones Photography