In celebration of my birthday month OCTOBER I decided to do a personal blog and answer some questions. I opened up for questions on Instagram and GroupMe. Thanks to all those that submitted questions, I greatly appreciate it. I wanted to give an opportunity for mentees to ask specific questions on advice or to get to know me better. Just to give you a little background my name is Dr. Lauren Elise Simpson I am a Nashville, TN native that has been residing in Atlanta, GA for 5 years. I founded AYCM Inc. in February 2016. This has always been a dream; therefore, I went to get my Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Belmont University. In addition, I work full-time as a Marketing Coordinator in the beauty industry; have my own business The Social Media Dr. LLC, which provides Social Media management for small businesses and nonprofit consulting. I also work partial part-time in cosmetics. But my heart is AYCM. My favorite color is pink as well as Tiffany blue. I love shrimp, sour gummies, strawberry anything, and macaroons. I love rap music, dancing, swimming, traveling, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying life. Below are the questions submitted:
@xmwu: I would like to know your advice on adjusting after moving to a new state, specifically Georgia. I’m moving down to finish school & I would like to experience the best of the State and avoid the worst. Also, any tips on continuing education and balancing work would be helpful. Thanks in advance and I look forward to your blog!!
Thanks for your question. Yes, I relocated to Atlanta five years ago and it was a very good decision for me personally. I can honestly say it was an easy to adjust. I am very social and outgoing so I have never met a stranger. However, there are days like on family-oriented holidays that I can’t make it home that made me miss family. The worst of the State is the TRAFFIC! And there is no way you can avoid it LOL. In addition, I also had to learn the dating scene here, it is very unique. The best is the constant events and things to do. I love it here but I will say it is not a great fit for everyone. I did a two-part Vlog on this very subject on the website as well but here is the direct link https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=KbAxCSy7NlM As far as balancing school and work I am super hyper and love staying busy so it was easier for me. However, time management is a big component. I also made time for myself personally to keep that balance. I would also say major focus, writing things-to-do list, and getting the tasks accomplished. And honestly, that can be very easy in Atlanta if you let it. Congrats and I wish you the best on your new journey along with balancing school and work! You are going to do well!
@miss_kicia I would like to know how you are able to stay on top of all your business ventures and still have time to embark on personal adventures/outings? Also what advice would you give someone that is looking to start their own business? Can’t wait to read your blog!! You are doing great things!!
Thanks for your question! I LOVE having fun so no matter what is going on in my life I will always find time for myself. I love my adventures and outings. I have a time management system and keep track of everything in my calendar. It helps that it is always something to do in Atlanta that is creative and cool outside of the club scene. But even simple things like trying new restaurants excite me. I balance out everything with balancing my efforts with my time. Far as someone wanting to start his or her own business I would say GO FOR IT! But start off with researching your area of business, make sure you have a passion for it (so it keeps you going when it is not perfect), apply for your LLC, and create a platform. You can do whatever you put your mind to but find something you love to do and make that your business, which will make you stand out above the rest. In addition, make sure you make a balance for your personal life. Congrats on taking the first step to owning a business and enjoying life!
@conceiveadream: Hi as a founder of a newly formed nonprofit, how were you able to set yourself and your organization up for success? In the beginning stages how you able to balance nonprofit work and other personal/professional demands, such as employment etc. How were you able to build partnerships with people, companies, and other organizations to further your mission? Thanks
Thanks for your question! I started small when I founded AYCM February 2016. It just naturally grew through my personal social media. I already had a decent following and young ladies to ask me to mentor them so I didn’t have to put too much effort in requiting. Far as balancing I work Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm. I work on my nonprofit work once I get off and on the weekends. All events are planned on the weekends. I create things to do list and time manage very strictly. But I also make time for myself personally. I can honestly say God made it possible to connect with donors and partnerships to further my mission. People reached out to me and wanted to help and I am so very grateful! Some that I have never met in person but followed on social media like scholarship donations, Laronya B for a huge workshop catering donation, Justin Burke for lots of beauty products, Shar beauty products, Quenest with photography services, Pretty Yoga for a collaboration with discount venue, Dr. Cierrah donating a brand new laptop, Paris Chanel for a collaboration with a venue, Raven Simpson for all of her cake services, friends, and family for all of their help. It takes a solid group of supporters. I would suggest tapping into your personal network. I hope this helps!
Brittanei Cain: I know you are from Tennessee and went to school there, how was the transition moving to Atlanta and creating a new network in a city and make a name for yourself?
Thank you for your question. I am very social so that part came easily from the transition. A few weeks after I moved here I found an AKA grad chapter meeting to attend (I forgot how I knew about that one, in particular, location, and time) but I told three Sorors that I met I had just moved here and searing for a job. Two happen to work at the same place and said they would pass my resume along. They put in a good word for me I ended up getting the job a few months later (the process was kind of long). I also connected with other people easily just by communicating. I have this gift of finding something in common with everyone I come across. Atlanta is so big so I still don’t know everyone yet lol But I do have really good connections.
@shonda001: I would like to know about starting a business and still working full-time? What is the first step/direction that I need to go into a start-up business? Thank you
Thanks for your question! Honestly, I did not have a business mindset and said a business was not for me. However, once I lost my full-time job of four years and one month it made me think outside of the box. I didn’t want to do the typical business of a boutique, sale hair, or the normal. I wanted to do something I was passionate about but also wanted to gain extra revenue. Far as balancing work and business I anytime after 5 pm during the week and on weekends I work on my business. Your first step should be discovering a business you are passionate about, website, social media handles; get a logo created, and registering your business with your state as an LLC. Then you can start marketing and networking to gain support.
Kevonna McAnuff: What are your experiences with forgiveness? So many struggle with forgiveness.
Thank you for your question. Somehow I understood the concept that forgiveness is not for the other person or to amend the relationship it is simply for YOURSELF! Back in August I did a weeklong social media fast and stumbled across this video of TD Jakes discussing forgiveness. I didn’t have any serious grudges but there were some people that I didn’t like or something lingered from something they did to me. I wrote a list and sent out several text messages, emails, and facebook messages. Some people it had been years since I had seen or communicated with them. I wrote a blog about it https://www.adjustyourcrownmentoring.com/single-post/2016/08/17/Forgiveness It comes with time and honestly yourself. Once you gain a full understand about the personal aspect of forgiveness. I did not want to be friends with any of them I just wanted to release that grudge and free myself! I felt so much better afterward.
Tyler Frater: What are tips to market to your audience? How do you separate your personal and business/associates friends without offending them? What are “do not’s” for having your own for-profit business as the owner/CEO?
The first step to marketing to your audience is understanding your audience. Who is your audience? What are they interested in? I personally suggest separating your personal and business page. You can advertise on your personal page periodically but have a separate page to only focus on the business aspect. You want to give people the opportunity to be genuinely interested verses if they are only interested in seeing your personal page. They won’t be offended they will have an opportunity to follow that page too if they want to support you. But you will also gain an audience that only cares about the business. The do’s is marketing, networking, organization, balancing a schedule, always maintain professionalism, and time management. The don’ts are not allowing anyone to get you out of character, accepting less than what you are worth, allowing people to use your business for free, and not making personal time for yourself. Good luck with everything!
Aravia Patterson: How to develop multiple streams of income while in undergrad and graduate school? How to become effectively organized and use things to-do-lists? How to increase my credit score and budget effectively? How to set realistic goals? I hope you enjoy your birthday in a couple of days!
I have had multiple streams of income for some time now with having two jobs. However, I did not have multiple streams of income during undergrad minus two summers (when school was out) have two lifeguard jobs. I focused on school in undergrad. Now that I am 31 I have a full-time job, partial part-time job, business with two sections, speaking engagements, and re-selling my gently used items. But that came with time. I would strongly suggest focusing on school except for the summer when you’re out until you graduate then focus on the incomes. Far as a things-to-do list I write them down, color coordinate the task, and rank if importance. I constantly check and update the list. I also keep a digital copy in my phone notes. Organization and focus are key in this process. In addition, when I was younger I opened up several credit cards so the way I was able to increase my credit was paying off credit cards one at a time, consolidation, getting down to only one, taking out a loan to pay them all off with a 3 year period to force me to pay off the debt quicker. I also have a townhouse in my name that I pay down once a month since 2014. Your credit journey will be different but you must have some type of credit card or loan in order to establish credit just do it responsibly. SMART goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Focused, and Timely. That is the way to set realistic goals. I would suggest researching all about SMART Goals to get a full understanding on how to compare your personal goals to that diagram to make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable (can you see yourself completing that goal), results-focused, and timely (set a timeline for completion). I would suggest only focusing on yearly goals to keep them timely. You can do handwritten goals and a vision board like myself. And thank you my birthday was AMAZING!
Thank you all for your great questions! I hope this insight and advice helps you. In addition, I hope you all gain a better perspective of who I am and the way I think. I am very honest and genuinely transparent. Happy October!