Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Dinner

Tonight, I am headed to dinner with two executives from my old job. We are meeting at The Oceanaire Seafood Room, a seafood restaurant in D.C. Since I am notorious for taking forever-and-a-day to decide on my meal, I browsed the online menu beforehand. Salmon wins everytime. It's probably the only seafood I eat. I want to be able to focus on the conversation rather than what my order will be for the evening.

I still need to pack for my trip to Philadelphia tomorrow. I have an early wake-up call but it will be worth it. The PA Conference for Women has such a great lineup of speakers. I will be the biggest sponge there, soaking up all the knowledge and wisdom that will certainly envelope the room.

I have a feeling that I will be up late, but I am ready.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Back to Reality

I am enamored with fall weather. I love the change in foliage. I love the bright days and humidity-free air. I love relaxing on such a nice, simple day. I ended the week on a promising note. A lot of good follow up and future work that will be featured in online magazines and blogs. The week was a long one and I was exhausted by Friday afternoon. In the last 24 hours, I've taken two intense siestas on top of my nightly slumber. I can honestly say that I am rested and ready to get back to work in the morning.

Working six days of week is demanding. The reality is that I cannot fall behind. It's in my best interest to work harder than I ever have before. Nonetheless, I need to be more perceptive of my time management and wellness while developing an overall balance. Naturally, the concept of making sense of building a business and having a life is easier said then done.

Since I start my workweek on Sunday, I always like to tackle my emails and get as many assignments under control as possible. In terms of allocating my time, I think I might need to do a little re-adjusting and just place realistic boundaries on my goals. You cannot do everything. Prior to reading a article this evening, a quote appeared that is so apropos.

“Business demands faith, compels earnestness, requires courage, is honestly selfish, is penalized for mistakes, and is the essence of life.” -  William Feather

Enough said. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Making Progress

On Tuesday, I was so very tempted to not go to the NAPW meeting, even though I already mentioned my curiosity and interest for attending. Alas, I went. I ended up at Tempo Restaurant in Alexandria. The pasta shells and cream sauce was okay. I was more interested in meeting the women. The Chapter President, Andrea Hancock, was so friendly. I even got a gift at the end of the meeting! She started her own professional organizing business last year. I will definitely be interviewing her in the near future. I peppered her with a bunch of questions and she seemed willing and ready to answer them. I think she has a good story to share. I just need to follow up with her and we'll take it from there. I met a few other women as well and hope to connect with more soon. There are chapters all over the place. This organization might be up my alley, so I will need to decide if I want to become a member or not.

The informational interview planned for Tuesday was postponed till next week. Things change, so I try to stay limber and keep moving. What's been moving lately is my activity on Twitter (@Lucky_IJ). I've a handful of followers in a short amount of time. I've been tweeting and retweeting messages as often as I can. Usually, I send quick messages in the morning and again the evening. Social media is fascinating because it's everchanging. There is no constant, or so it seems. Tweetreach has helped me track where my tweets are going, based on my the number of tweets and followers. I see gains, which is promising.

Aside from networking and working on my internships, I still volunteer! I will be helping out at the Brides Against Cancer event in D.C. this evening. It's a great cause and should be a lot of fun. I will need my strength and energy because I am sure it will be a frenetic evening.

Time to tackle the day.

Monday, September 24, 2012

On the Right Path

After a busy week, it was nice to relax this weekend. During worship service, I was reminded of two things - to give generously and to follow His path. I can never go wrong with that type of guidance and advice. The Sabbath is always a good reminder to rest.

This weekend, I also got a new copy of Inc. magazine, which is funny because I'm still processing last month's issue. Inc. magazine is a publication and website for entrepreneurs and business owners. I always read my issue front to cover. The September issue included the list the fastest growing companies, based on a set of metrics that Inc. compiles. The profiles of companies and their respective business owners is always a fascinating read. I enjoyed reading about Indigo Johnson, an African-American woman who runs a talent management company in Georgia. She would be a great person to interview. I haven't finish the current issue yet, but the piece about one of's co-founders was riveting. I think I might re-read it.

Showing my support!
Speaking of interviews, I have an informational interview tomorrow. I will definitely give a recap about how it goes. I'm hoping to line up a few others as I solidify my Midwest tour. Aside from hitting America's heartland, I am heading to Philadelphia next week. I am really looking forward to volunteering at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women! I hope I get a chance to talk to Tory Johnson, a small business expert and a Good Morning America contributor. I've been a big fan since I learned of her story and her Sparkle & Hustle events last summer. I've joined the conference's LinkedIn group and will send an email to be a guest blogger. Along with supporting women and their businesses, the conference will collect accessories on behalf of Career Wardrobe, a nonprofit that offers professional wear and career education for women in transition.

There are a lot of great events and programs ahead but I'm taking it one day at a time.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Thank goodness it's Friday. I started the day bright and early, yet again. After two meetings, I got home around three. I had a phone/gotomeeting this afternoon about the business development work I will be doing this fall. I have a lot of research and reading to do this weekend. Here's a recap of a few items from earlier in the week.

I ended up talking more about my blog this week than I have since I started it. I sent an email to two friends from my City Year Philadelphia program. I mentioned it to former co-workers, past supervisors, a few close friends and a few of the other bloggers I met at BlogHer. One of them is Peach Prenni. Her real name is Anne. She was very helpful and encouraged me to use Blogger, which I did. I've even added my Twitter account (@Lucky_IJ) and my blog link to my email signature. No point in being shy.

Being flexible and ready for anything helped opened doors for me this week. I have new opportunities in business development and marketing for two small businesses, one of which is owned by a woman. I have a plethora of ideas that need to be organized, either in Google Docs or Evernote. I also have a growing list of book titles, thanks to my career coaching session yesterday. And that was after I had picked up a few books from the library. At the end of the day, the more I know, the better. I've learned a lot from all my experiences this week. It's cliché but.... knowledge is power.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Running in Circles

I seriously need a nap. I woke up before seven this morning to volunteer. Unfortunately, there was traffic and minor delays on Metro. I was already running behind and those two predicaments did not alleviate my situation in the least. Funny enough, I never found the volunteer site. The building was locked and I never saw a soul or any signage. So, what did I do? I went to Starbucks. I'm not a coffee drinker but I do love free WiFi! I double checked my email to make sure I had the correct information, which I did. Never heard from anyone. Lesson learned: Confirm all details 24 hours and get a contact name and number.

Sun's so bright at Starbucks

I did enjoy the nice weather and took a stroll before heading back home. Aside from that morning snafu, I got an email back from Alaina at The Everygirl, one of my favorite career sites for young women. I was surprised but happy for her quick response. Looks like we will be meeting up soon!

On another note, in the last 24 hours, I've sold two shoes on eBay! I am not sure if I'm even close to mastering any type of sales strategy but I do sell some cute shoes. I hope the buyers write a glowing review of my customer service. After all, I do provide free shipping.

To round out this day, I have a career coaching call with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl. Not sure what to expect but I'm open-minded. It certainly can't hurt to get some professional advice and guidance. And this session is free!

Off to finish a few errands before that call. Glad tomorrow is Friday. I will re-cap all the running around I did and add a few more pictures too. Cheers.

P.S. Still haven't attempted to use my Blackberry...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I should be sleeping or at least in the process of sleeping but I cannot get over the fact that I have a Blackberry. I am hesitant to use it because I don't want to damage it or worse, break it entirely. I came to possess said device by way of my business development internship. My friend's dad owns a new business and is looking for someone to drive leads and find potential clients. I am a learner and worker, so this opportunity might be a great fit. We had a nice business lunch in beautiful Old Town Alexandria. As usual, I forgot to take pictures but I dressed nicely and brought copies of my resume. I had the opportunity to talk about my interest in business and past work experience. It was nice to hear from a new business owner. It's exciting to be a part of something that is growing.

Yesterday and today were long and busy. Tomorrow won't be any different. Networking, going to events or meeting up with people is a lot of work. I suppose it's the only way to make connections and be "in-the-know". I wasn't feeling too well by the time I got home so I skipped out  on two other events that I was looking forward to but I'm too worried. 

Though last night's NAPW meeting was cancelled I got a great book from Lisa Goodnight at AAUW. Secrets of Powerful Women: Leading Change for A New Generation has been a good read thus far. There are so many inspirational stories and quotes. One of my favorites is, "collect experiences, not things" from Grey Wolf. A simple truth to mull over the next few days...  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pencils Down

I finally took the new GRE test and I am elated to be done. I can focus on other activities in my life. It was a long test and I had to be there bright and early. I struggled with the math, shocker. I feel really confident about the essay portion and the verbal was okay. I won't get my official score for another two weeks. Until then, no more mention of testing and obscure vocab or the Pythagorean theorem.

Thankfully, after that ordeal was over and done with I headed to Northern VA for lunch. A former co-worker bought me lunch at this great Thai place. Thanks Melinda! I meant to take pictures today but forgot. Tsk. She shared some summer stories and upcoming fall and winter plans. I gave her a little inkling as to what I am up to these days and she offered to help connect me with two people; her husband has a mangement position and a friend who works in the development field for a nonprofit. I think having diverse perspectives will only help me learn and grow while broadening my perspective. My personal statement statement is going to be distinctive and have a lot of character because all these recent and upcoming experiences.
And yes, I've been sharing my blogs with friends, tweeting and posting on blogs like The Daily Muse and The Everygirl. Thanks for yet another shout-out! And tomorrow, I am meeting with a the PR manager at one of my old internships (networking!). I might be guest blogging in the very near future. Also, I am looking forward to attending a local chapter meeting of the National Association of Professional Women. An evening with a room full of professional women should be enlightening.

Here's to looking ahead.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Yes, it's true. I am on Twitter. Second time is the charm. My first foray into the world of tweets was early this year with my account @volunteerista. Cute, right? I love volunteering and participating in community service projects. Doing a good deed is a no-brainer and helping others and the environment are plusses in my book. Plus, volunteering helps businesses too. I was the kid who collected everyone's soda cans to make sure they were recycled. And in high school, I tutored middle school students and woke up early to stuff bags at breast cancer walks. The list goes on and on. I have a few volunteer opportunities this fall and winter that I will post later.

Anyway ,I started a new account that corresponds with this blog. With Twitter, I can connect with millions of people about my interests in business, career, female entreneurship and the occasional tweet about fashion, music, travel and food. More importantly, people can reach out to me. Side note - One of my comments on Forbes was called out today. Exciting! Thanks Deborah.

Later today, I'm going to send an email to a blogger named Annie, whom I met at the BlogHer conference, to let her know I finally started this project and I'm on Twitter.  I'm not sure how much work it will be to get followers and write cheeky but interesting tweets. We'll see what happens.

Happy Tweeting!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Care to Share?

Now that I have started to unravel this blog's simple beginnings, I am realizing that it is a lot of work to make sense of it all. I want to continue to find/hunt/scour businesses owned my women, female leaders ruling the world and interesting and facts about their journeys. I am discovering that is difficult to retrieve information about women of color. Where are the brown yellow and black ladies? I want their profiles, better yet I want to profile them. In the near future, this will be a place for meaningful content with videos, pictures, interviews, links and anything else that helps form that narrative and then some.

My goal before Monday evening, is to share my blog with at least seven lucky peeps in my network. Sharing is caring! I want to hear from the people. This blog will force me to hopefully write and collect compelling material. As the days turn into weeks into months, I really hope my voice becomes stronger and maybe more defined. A little paid gig here and there doesn't hurt either.

I have a lot of work to do. Let the sharing begin.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I never started my blog with an introduction. No lead, no bio, not a thing. I did this on purpose because I wanted to see if I could successfully write more than six posts without bailing out. And now, I present to you an intro or something of the sort.

My name is Ijeoma (e-jho-maa) and I started blogging last week because I promised myself this summer that I would. I attended the 2012 BlogHer conference in New York City. Correction - I attended the PathFinder Day, which is more or less a precursor to the multi-day conference. I took Megabus, super duper early from Washington, D.C. six weeks ago to the day to attend and the five hour bus trip was worth it. Thankfully, the weather was decent. August heat in NYC is not cute but the ultra fab Hilton New York was chilled to my liking.

The PathFinder Day was what I needed to at least understand why people blog. There were women everywhere. All shapes, sizes, demographics, etc. I think I spent most of the day slightly bemused. I was stepping out of my comfort zone but I was trying to imagine having a blog as a means of living, social change or simply for fun. Though I was little late (and had to leave early), I checked-in at the registration, got my badge and headed straight for the morning workshop that interested me the most: My Blog as Business.

I knew well in advance that I did not have a blog, nor was I in the process of beginning one but envisioning my future blog as a business was appealing. I like reading about business, particularly small/mid-sized businesses, and entrepreneurship. More importantly, I get inspired and empowered when I read articles or see videos about powerful women. Problem is, I don't see it as often as I would like or that should exist online. I identify with a lot of communities - millienials, former viola and cello players, Americorps, Nigerians, first-generation Americans, folks who wear glasses. But I love being a woman who wants to lead people or manage a business.

So, I thought the workshop, My Blog as Business, would be perfect. And it would have been if I actually had a blog. Minor fail. I learned a lot of legalese and how to avoid being sued. Oh, and how to protect my content, though I am still trying to apply all that knowledge. After a very scrumptious lunch, I switched gears and decided I needed to refocus and be kind to myself. For round two, I chose, My Blog as Change Agent, to hone in on why I actually was at this conference in the first place.

I was skeptical. Really skeptical but ultimately kept an open mind and stayed positive. Besides, the speakers Deb and Diane were really nice and encouraging. The space they created was safe and hopeful, two very important qualities for a tyro. Long story short, I met a small group of women at my table who were giving me ideas and support. On the bus ride home, I sent them all emails. Now, I look forward to emailing them again to let them know I started a blog! I will include their blogs in another post.

The proof is in the badge. 

I didn't take any pictures at the conference, sad face. Thankfully, I still have my name badge as evidence that I attended BlogHer'12. I am glad I did. How's that for an intro?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It's a new day and I'm excited to share a few things I found while I was perusing my usual suspects. I have a couple of sites and blogs that I follow. One is but more specifically the ForbesWoman section. Last night, I found a great article about web-based tools for small business, though some of them are not business specific. My three faves are:
  • SlideRocket - say goodbye to vapid, annoying PowerPoint presentations. With built-in multimedia as well as creative designs and colors, SlideRocket is just fun to play with to develop a memorable pitch.  
  • WePay - Similar to PayPal but better? The site has additional features including web pages for stores, event registrations and online donations. 
  • Bravo Video - This is a pretty cool way to capture customer/fan testimonials on video. You can start a contest, share video across social networks and more. 
Hope you find these tools useful. I know I will. There is so much information and resources out there. A whole lot of sifting to do, but it is worth it because who doesn't want to be efficient, dynamic and ahead of the game. Look out for future lists of my faves.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Day After

In September of 2001, I started my first year of high school. I was pretty excited about the next step in my life. The first week went just fine; complete with a pep rally, homework and a football game. The next week, specifically Tuesday, September 11th, will remain with me and countless Americans and people across the world forever. I was too confused and distraught to write in my diary but at 8:30 a.m on Wednesday, September 12th, I attempted to explain what happened and how I felt. The following excerpt is a transcription of a diary entry I wrote -

My diary, January 2001 - December 2001
So much has happened so fast. At the moment, I should be in school. But that's not the case. Here's the story. Yesterday morning (9/11) the World Trade Center (WTC), also known as the Twin Towers, collapsed because of a terrorist attack. These terrorist hijacked four commercial planes. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon. The WTC and Pentagon had large fires that kept burning. Then, the unthinkable happened, the towers fell...It's really and truly unbelievable. The videos on TV are.. odd. The plane actually went through the building and then the second one.
I mean... how could this happen?

Out of tragedy, even years later, there is hope. Hope to serve others. Hope to live out our personal and professional dreams. Hope for a peaceful world. Reflecting on this day is a good reminder that we can aspire to do more in hopes that good will always outlast evil. I pray for this hope and so much more. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just Another

Funny enough, I heard Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning" last night and reminisced. I really like that song. Thankfully, there was no rain today. A beautiful cerulean sky and puffy clouds set the tone for a simple, breezy day. Autumn is fast approaching and I cannot wait. I've practiced my vocab and did some mental math games to keep me sharp. I still have a few items on my list including updating my resume and writing a few thank you notes.

I have a feeling my schedule will start to fill up fast, which I prefer. I am looking forward to a few upcoming travels and events. Until then, I will be assiduous in my studies and scrupulous in editing my resume so that it's in tip top shape. Two GRE words in one sentence, not too shabby.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lady Luck #461

This morning started off great. I took a walk with my sis around the neighborhood to get a little exercise. There are two rather steep hills that truly challenge my legs every time. Though I wanted to spend time in church, I didn't have the opportunity because I had family over. I spent some time with my niece and nephew, who are adorable. The weekends are always nice to relax and have a little fun. The weather was really nice and with the decrease in humidity I was happy until.... a few short hours later, dark clouds starting swarming. They moved with such celerity (GRE word!) that I was little nervous. Let's just say you could hear and feel the wind and rain. The power flickered a few times too.

Even the trees look sad. 
Wet n Wild Wild Shine in Lady Luck #461

The weather was dicey but doesn't mean I couldn't find something to do in lieu of studying. Check out my nails. My sister randomly found this color in her stash of nail polishes. Lady Luck goes perfectly with my gray and pink jersey dress. I'm not sure if this will be a signature color of mine but it wouldn't hurt to wear it on test day.

Friday, September 7, 2012


I took a little break from studying to venture to the city; downtown DC that is. I had a meeting with my awesome recruiter, Morgan. I met her two summers ago at a networking event in DC. She helped me land my first full-time job. Over the past two years, I've kept in touch via email, postcards, and phone calls. It pays to stay in touch and tap into your network.

I also got a chance to visit a college friend who works downtown. We met very briefly at a nearby Au Bon Pain but agreed that we should do a happy hour event in a few weeks. He always stays in touch, which I appreciate. Now I just need to send out emails and reminders about our pending meetup with a few other college mates.

Aquamarine Kathy Che blouse

Check me out in the city. I went for a business casual look since today is Friday. I got compliments on the color of my blouse and my black pumps. I like that I captured the second button in a reflective mood. Pretty cool. Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Brain Freeze!

Studying for the GREs is mind-bending. My head hurts - a lot. Last night, I attended a trial prep class sponsored by Manhattan Prep. The 3-hour intro course was just what I needed to hone in on my study habits. If I wasn't on a tight budget, I would probably register for the class or at least buy a few books, but I'll take the tips I learned from the free trial and see what happens.

I took a quick trip the nearby library to pick up more books. Thankfully, the library had new GRE books that reflect the changes on the test. Now I just need to open them.. and read them.

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