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A Night of Networking with Now and Zen....

On April 29, 2018, Brenda Austin, massage therapist and owner and operator of Now & Zen Bodyworks, brought together various entrepreneurs in the metroplex, both in and out of the self-care industry, and allowed us to hear from experts in areas that would help our businesses flourish. A little bit of background on my relationship with Brenda; back when I did my 2nd Annual Divaday Make Your Mark fundraiser I was scrambling for one last sponsor (if you missed my events, I had great prizes) and I knew of Brenda just by following her and her career, I admired her work ethic and the respect she had earned as a business woman and always wanted to work with her. It was like the week before the first night of my fundraising weekend and I said "screw it, all she can do is say no." and just like the other amazing women that sponsored me, she said yes! I explained who I was and what I was doing and she was more than happy to assist and I never got to tell her this, but her gift certificate was the most sought-after raffle prize at game night! But that's the kind of woman Brenda is, a giver, this dinner showed just how big a giver she is.

She did not come to play when it came to who would be representing the "bossbabe", the "HBIC", the "business woman", or let's take it back to my baby that is on pause, the "power in pumps". No, this was not an event for women only but like alot of events the number of women outweighed men, all speakers were female, our dj was female(DJ KoKo Brown), the dinner was held at Pink Magnolia owned by the one and only Chef Blythe the estrogen was strong.

We were however treated to a breathtaking spoken word performance by Don'Juan Williamson. But I digress, yes I'm about to get into the speakers but let me quickly say that the food and drinks were simply amazing!! Any event that greets me with a sangria is alright with me!! It was not my first time at Pink Magnolia so I was excited to see they were hosting us.

Our first speaker was Monique Battiste, a digital marketing mom-preneur who has made social media her business. She offered up amazing social media tips to help us not only gain likes and followers but also a few to prevent the unnecessary waste of marketing expenses. Am I going to list everything Monique or any other speaker for that matter taught us, shoulda been there (Elmo shrug) but I will offer this one thing because it's what has dug at me the most; the Instagram algorithm changes weekly, that's all I'm going to say. I'm working on becoming a Monique. If you're a business owner, especially one that "doesn't do social media" a digital marketing strategist or social media manager is an amazing investment. Our second speaker was Tracy Oswald. I love Tracy and really hope that wasn't my last time seeing her, I know some people who need to set up appointments with her! Tracy is She's not a life coach, but a change coach. And now those of you that I want to set up those meetings are scratching your heads. She is the only speaker I have no notes on. I was so into what she was saying because we have all been there. You get stuck, you might not even be dissatisfied but you still need to close your eyes and take that leap. Tracy can help you with that.

We finally got to hear from the woman of the hour, Ms. Brenda Austin!! She gave us her background and then how she even came up with the idea to do the dinner. Let me just say surround yourself with good people. Keep positive energy around you, because what you put out is what you get back and that is why Brenda is as loved as she is. She can ask me for anything and I'm there! People are always asking her how she got where she is, the pro athletes as clients, traveling and speaking engagements? Simple, she stepped out on faith. Like when I sent her that DM, she started reaching out...all people could do was say no. She talked to us about the importance of these key things....your name, mission statement, knowing your target audience, your logo.....she had on that gorgeous yellow dress(currently sold out by Fashion Nova) because it goes with her branding, and consistency. I'm still getting the hang of this blog thing, but my Instagram is consistent if nothing else! You know what you're gonna get Monday-Friday! So I'm doing good in that department!

Our next speaker was the lovely Kendra James or as most of us know her The Finance Femme. This woman knows money. If she doesn't know anything else, she knows money. I have looked at my bank account so much since this dinner. I've always known the basics when it came to business and money and had my tax guy for when I was ready for big changes. Ms. Kendra got to throwing those numbers out there and that's when it got real! Again, not listing everything but if you aren't hitting at least $8k a month in sales you need to sit down and have a talk with yourself about what is and isn't working, is this a business or a passion project?

We closed with lessons in mindfulness by Brandy Miles of Serenity V-Steam, whom I'd already known and loved through a friend. She reminded us that a lot of the negativity and pessimism around us is programmed by the people and things around us and told us ways to reprogram ourselves daily, YES,'s needed. Think about everything you hear and see from the time you open your eyes until you close them. I'm talking about gossip(especially you rise n' book/snap/tweeters), news, whining, drama, war, lies, sexual assaults, murders, ignorance, even if you think its not effecting you, it is. I can't forget to mention the woman who MC'd the evening, another who I have got to see again soon. She was so full of personality and if you follow my snapchat you saw me say I was getting details on her sequin kimino and 5 minutes later I had those details, Ms. Rhealyn Marshall.

I can not forget to mention the amazing vendors who came out and shared their time and products with us!

Thanks again to Brenda and everyone involved for putting together such an awesome and insightful event!!!

Video provided by Eyeconic Visuals

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