#BossMoves Growing Pains: 3 Big Career-Busting Habits to Leave in Your 20s

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I’ll always had a great love for millennials (ie. anybody born from the early 80s to late 90s or who have reached adulthood by 2000.) I’m part of this innovative, forward-thinking, youth-on-our-side, entrepreneurial group, and I love sharing tips about career advancement, success and boss moves that I wish someone had shared with me in my younger years.

(#BossMoves Side Note: The term “millennial” is not one favored by our group, but I’m not part of that majority. Hey, I work in media and oftentimes, a usual part of the game is grouping markets into one term, thus I won’t pull teeth about it.)

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Anywho, whatever you choose to call yourself, the foundational rules of success are still the same, and some habits we have in our 20s certainly can’t go with us into bigger and better boss moves. Here’s what I had to leave in my 20s in order to see success and advancement into my 30s:

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The I-Can-Do-It-All-Alone Work Ethic: In college, though there were organizations and courses where teamwork was key, ultimately, my success hinged on tests, thesis and projects where I alone was responsible for completion, aptitude and excellence. When it came down to get that GPA, no one else’s name was on the report but mine.

That work ethic trickled into most of my 20s, where I focused a lot on just being an employee who was reliable—willing to work beyond my job duties and hours to gain more experience and eager to please.

It’s cool to run an independent race in your 20s to pay your dues and learn all you can, but the game changes when you reach higher levels in your career and gain more experience and responsibilities. It’s no longer about how great you are as an individual, but how you’re able to drive value as part of an organization or the greater good of a body of people. This becomes more and more apparent as you move into leadership positions where you’re tasked to influence others to reach goals and deliverables—and those deliverables become your success metrics.

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#BossMoves Challenge:  At work, start connecting with key stakeholders by inviting them for a 15-minute coffee break to chat about what motivates them and their boss moves success story. Try sharing interesting articles or information of interest with them via email or social media, or offering to partner with them on an initiative or project that will boost bottom lines or improve the way the company does business. (Don’t be too pushy in doing this. You don’t want to turn people off and you definitely don’t want to distract from the bottom line—doing what you’re hired to do at the best of your ability.)

You don’t have to start at the CEO. Oftentimes your own manager, a smart coworker or a manager of a different department who you work with often would be a good place to start. Boss moves are about doing things that are above average and have impact.

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Writing Off People … For the Small Stuff:  Ever have someone hurt your feelings or make you uncomfortable, and after one incident—or maybe even a series of small things—you just write them off forever?

From disagreements to misunderstandings to lapses in judgement to one side-eye too many, you may have been prompted to totally cut someone off, whether it was cutting ties altogether or totally dismissing the value they bring to the table based on that one snafu or those few small incidents.

Here’s why they won’t work if you’re trying to make boss moves: Some of the most successful people in the world have quirks, make mistakes and have unique styles of doing amazing things, and getting things accomplished with them may not always be convenient, easy or stress-free.

Kandi-Burruss-gif#BossMoves Challenge: Make benefit of the doubt and patience your best friends. Always think, before reacting: Is this something worth losing a relationship over? Are there long-term goals in terms of your success—and this person’s potential role in it—that will be negatively affected by your writing off this person?

It’s a sign of maturity and great leadership when you’re known as someone who can work through a conflict/disagreement/hot mess situation without losing a relationship or gaining an enemy. You won’t always get along with everyone—and sometimes you indeed have to totally cut ties with people—but learn to build discernment and emotional intelligence so that those times are few and far between.

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The I-Need-a-Squad Mentality: In your 20s, it’s probably the norm to run in a pack. When making major moves or transitions, you may be more apt to need a great deal of support or a high-five/approval stamp from friends or family before taking action.

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When it comes to making boss moves, you don’t need anyone to co-sign or ride with you. Sometimes you must take those first steps alone and worry about the “crew” support later. I’m not saying you shouldn’t collaborate, gain advisement or build traction first before fully launching a project, idea or business into action. I’m just saying that you don’t need the peanut-gallery of majority support and thumbs up to take that first step.

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#BossMoves Challenge: Learn to build something on your own—independently—and get into the power of solitude. Attend an event by yourself, or have a working lunch alone at a chic restaurant or bar. Hey, you may even open up your network to a new contact simply by not being surrounded by your usual crew.

In your 20s, you have time to make mistakes and correct them. You also have time to build the strength to tackle your 30s with more confidence and tenacity. Take these steps to ensure you’re able to build solid, long-lasting relationships as well as challenge yourself to do greater things in the future.

I’m here to serve so let me know other issues, topics or questions you might have about making boss moves in your career and/or business in the comments section.

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#Bossmoves Loser Quote of the Day: ‘Anybody Can Do That’ + Why You Should Act on Your Gift

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(Video via Latoya Forever/ YouTube)

Today, I watched a very spirit-stirring, get-off-your-butt-and-DO-something, awesome sermon from T.D. Jakes on living sacrificial a life for the ultimate harvest.

(By the way, that surely isn’t Bishop Jakes above. I just love Latoya Forever‘s insights, as well, on what I’m about to talk about below. She’s a hilarious Trini who I love to watch on YouTube. )

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After I’d watched the sermon, coincidentally my mom expressed to me—with unorthodox enthusiasm even for her— about finally starting a virtual assistant business, a calling she’s been sitting on for years.

When I’d asked my mom, “Why now? What held you back all these years?” she told me that she had been listening to that voice in her head that said, “Virtual assistant? Anybody can do that. What makes you yet another somebody who should start that kind of business?”

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How many times have you heard that, whether from someone else or just in your own head? How many times have you felt like whatever you seek to do is something “not so special” or “someone else is already doing it”?

True, there’s hardly anything new under the sun (as my Granny often says.) However, there is always room for innovation, improvement and even a new wave of people running with the baton that others have already taken as far as they could go.

I could mention so many entrepreneurs and innovators that, if they would’ve listened to that hater voice in their head or from others, would have been doing the world a disservice and ultimately delaying progress and advancement of generations of people.

Think about it:

  • What if Steve Jobs would have thought, “Hey, Bill Gates already started Microsoft and they already have the CPU on lock. Anybody can build more technology off of that. Naahhh I think I’m good.”
  • What if Sara Blakely, billionaire founder of Spanx, said “Ya know…Victoria’s Secret already has lingerie and women’s undergarments on lock. Girdles BEEN on the market. I think I’m going to leave that alone.”
  • What if lauded Nigerian author of “Half of a Yellow Sun,” Chinua Achebe said, “Ya know, anybody can write prolific stories about the African experience…Many others before me have. I think I’m gooood on that.”

It’s not always true that, ANYbody can do THATI could go into the story of Christ and how, if you think about it, NOBODY else could do the extraordinary things he was obedient and touched enough to do.

If you hear that age ole’ hater quote, “Anybody can do that…” when you mention a desire to make a boss move—or you’re the one saying it to yourself—pick that statement apart with these three steps:

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  • According to research, is this really true in terms of “Anybody” can do what you seek to do? Is “anybody” even doing what you have a desire to do? Sometimes that whole idea is just false. When you do your research and find out whether that notion is even true, you might find that, actually, NO, nobody has done it—whatever that “it” is.

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  • Were you led by a strong desire—that has kept you up a night or keeps nagging at you—to make that boss move? (I attribute this to God and the Holy Spirit, but you can call source it how you like … for now 😉 LOL )  If it’s something that is constantly on your mind and is an idea or desire that constantly follows you through life or career transitions, this might be a great sign that YOU are the person specifically called/designed/made for whatever it is you are led to do.

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  • If there are already lots of people doing what you want to do, producing what you want to produce, or serving the audience you want to serve (ie. a saturated market) is there something greater/better/different or more efficient you can offer?

    Oftentimes when we think something we’d like to do is something anybody can do, it’s a way of talking ourselves out of greatness. I too thought this throughout my career, especially when I found myself promoted or in a higher position of authority and had a new initiative or project on my heart to do. I’d say, “Janell, anybody can do that. That’s not special. What’s so great about that? Who are you to do that?”

Truth is, NOBODY else is Janell Hazelwood ie Me.  I was born uniquely blessed by God. I’m a follower of Christ’s example—nobody is like Him either.

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NOBODY has the same skills I do. And my work ethic, when passionate about something or challenged to get a job done in a next-level way, is unmatched. Nobody has lived the specific life I have lived or have the thoughts and perspectives on things I have.

We all have things in common, but we also all have unique qualities and ways of doing things that are unmatched by others.

Also, some of us are just extraordinary. PERIOD.

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#BossMoves Challenge: If something—whether small or large— has really been nagging at you to start or to add your extra fabness to advance to a higher level, do the research it takes to get it done. Whether it’s starting a mentorship group for the kids in your neighborhood, sparking a family reunion to rebuild unity or simply impacting one life, do it today. If nobody else is with you, I am. I won’t ever tell you, “Anybody can do that,” because I know for sure that God had it for YOU to do.

Anybody can talk and watch, but SOMEBODY actually has to take action and get the job done. Honey, you ARE she/he and he/she is YOU, not ANYBODY.

Feel free to leave comments below and let me know questions you may have about upgrading your boss moves. You can share your story as well. 

The Glow Up and The Boss Up: 5 Starter Steps to Upgrade Your Boss Moves

Today, the following describes my mood…

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Not because of any mood or heartache or anything tea-worthy, but I’ve had a HORRIBLE experience with my back wisdom teeth. I won’t even get into the sordid details but let’s just say it’s quite challenging doing what I love to do most: TALKING. Even doing a Periscope now is quite painful.

Anywho, as I’m taking meds and crying for mercy, I decided to check out one of my favorite YouTubers, Patricia Bright, a fab Brit who definitely embodies qualities of the #Bossmoves movement. She was a savvy young professional who worked for companies including Merrill Lynch and Deloitte and decided to do, as I’ve recently done, something that aligns with her passion and pursue Youtube vlogging and brand ambassadorship full time.

Below, she talks about the “Glow Up,” ie. the process of prepping yourself to be better and do better, and I just love her rawness and realness (mixed with admiration of the fact that she can be those two things and still look fabuliciously dope. You’ll see a pattern with me in terms of people I’m drawn to throughout my blogs by the way.)

Check out her vlog below, but FIRST… scroll down and check out my five starter teps to the “Boss Up” as inspired by her awesome video:

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1. Stop “watching” social and get to your real life. 
Research has shown
that excessive surfing on social can lead to envy and serious depression. Why become part of that statistic. It’s cool to be inspired, update your platforms and share with friends, but if you find yourself doing more “watching” (and maybe even envying) instead of doing, let’s cut down at least an hour of social media surfing (ie. LOG ALL THE WAY OUT) and devote that hour to actually doing something awesome to advance yourself. Try this: Invest your time capital in a free course. Try sites like edX.org, Lynda.com or Code.org. I promise you won’t even have time—or the desire—to obsess over the updates of others and soon, you’ll become a person others want to “watch.”

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2. Determine your “look” and determine how to achieve or improve on that.

Hey, what this looks like for you can vary, however I’ve found that if I look great (or I wear what makes me feel great) I’m more confident to make boss moves.

I’m a big hair fanatic. I’ve always felt if my hair is slayed, I can do anything. That’s my “thing.” Determine yours. (For example, one awesome media boss I admire (and who I know, as he’s married to my college bestie, Starrene Rhett Roque) is Anslem Samuel Roque. His “thing” is socks, and he’s built a nice brand incorporating his love for diverse, sometimes quirky socks into one of his side hustles, relationship consulting and blogging via “Naked with Socks On.”)

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3. Listen to inspirational YouTube vids, music or audio books and write down five things you’d like to accomplish. A lot of my foundation in terms of motivation is spiritual. The Bible on audio often does it for me, along with some gospel hits (ones you’re more likely to hear your Mom or Granny humming while cooking Sunday dinner). Don’t get me wrong. I love a good ratchet song to get me pumped, but for motivation to get things done and really get those vision juices flowing, gospel, Paula White, T.D Jakes, or shopping music rule.

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4. Start small on No. 3 and 4, and cut out the excuses. Yep, I heard you when you read those two steps. “I don’t have money for that…” or “I don’t have time…” Well, you do, and ya DO. Take baby steps.

I couldn’t always afford $500 a-pack virgin hair, so I worked with the hair on my head. I went and got a $20 blow out at a Dominican salon and felt like a new woman. If that wasn’t an option, I went to the wig shop and bought a $30 half wig. You can find tutorials on that here and here.

Whatever your “thing” is, take that “small” step today and keep track of your progress via a journal or private blog. You may have written huge goals for No. 4. Well, take small steps to get to that.

Want to be a millionaire by 35…40…60? Read up on investing, creating a budget or upgrading your salary potential and thing get tah doing. Fitness or weight an issue? Start with portion control, free Youtube workouts or some good shapewear. It may sound cliche but in today’s world, there are excuses but many aren’t valid.

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5. Start “following” people who are where or near where you see yourself. It’s cool to follow that sistergirlcousin you love to gospel or kee kee with or channel that just features cats or babies doing what they do, but really fine tune what and who you’re following so that it leads to you making changes in your life. I like to follow media professionals at the top of their fields, brand strategists who have top-level clients, YouTubers who update consistently and are always sharing the latest trends or good news, and people who are just enjoying life and look great doing ita great byproduct of making boss moves. This keeps me on my toes and inspired to be greater and do better. (I’m quite competitive by the way—not in that jealous I-want-to-be-him-or-her way but in a “Hey, he or she is doing that! I need to step my game up! How did they do it? How can I incorporate that into my boss moves?”)

#Beauty. #Empowerment. #Bossmoves: 12 Powerful Women of Color Killin’ It on Periscope

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(Video via Periscope/YouTube)

I’ve been on a bit of a Periscope research rampage lately so forgive me for two posts in a row dedicated to the subject.

I came across a Mashable list of 12 celebrities who were on Periscope “before you,” (ie. us less-connected fans), and in my research to find women w who look like me —whose brands either mimic where I seek to be in my path as a strategist, content creator, empowerment personality and host, or who simply inspire me to be great—I couldn’t really find a list that was substantive and diverse in terms of topics, age and industry.

Like my days of being a journalist and editor, I love a good list and a chance to highlight awesome people to follow who aren’t already all together on one quick and easy-to-reference list.

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Here’s what I came up with: 

Alaia Williams (@AlaiaWilliams): She’s a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur and founder of At the Helm Women in Biz based in Los Angeles who offers tips and resources for women entrepreneurs.

Tani Chambers (@TaniChambers): She’s a Brooklyn, N.Y. based branding and business mentor/strategist, and her #MidnightMasterminds are great for night owls ie vampires like me who like to do our best work and deepest thinking in the late hours of the night/wee hours of the morning.

Cheryl Wood (@CherylEmpowers)Based in the DMV, she’s a powerhouse speaker with a straight-shooting style I can rock with. The mother of three’s #PlayTimeIsOver Periscopes are motivational, real and diverse in topics from juggling family duties and business to how to tap into your talents.

Kela Walker (@KelaWalker): Another New Yorker, Kela is a fashion and beauty blogger and TV host I’ve been a fan of for quite some time. I just love her style and unpretentious sensible, fabuliciousness. She’s a joy to watch and follow. Oh, and a good 5-minute face beat is always a winner for me.

Lucinda Cross (@LucindaCross)Founder of the Activate Conference, Lucinda is a woman you can’t help but fall in love with. She actually reminds me of my two favorite fly aunts who will quote a Bible verse and read you for filth—out of love, of course—if you’re stepping out of line. Her tell-it-like-it-is insights on taking action toward what you want out of life will definitely keep you in line.

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche (@thebudgetnista): She’s a Jersey girl whose success I’ve followed for many years, as she’s become one of the top authorities on financial fitness, especially for millennials. She offers the tea on how she grew her brand to land national attention and tips on money management and wealth building.

Becky A. Davis (@Bosspreneur): This #Bosspreneur is a Georgia peach and a best-selling author on Amazon. Her authority focuses on business strategy for women to transition from employee to entrepreneur.

Black Career Women’s Network (@BCWNetwork): Okay, this isn’t exactly just one woman, but it’s def. founded by an Ohio boss (@BCWNetworkCEO Sherry Simms) who decided to fill what she saw as a void in her community. What started from LinkedIn has grown into a network of women who mentor, provide resources and, of course, host insightful chats on career advancement, corporate success and entrepreneurship via Periscope.

Vanesse Johnson (MsOntheMove)A Louisiana belle at heart living in Cali, this sassy but savvy entrepreneur built a lucrative recruitment business and became a career reinvention coach. Her Periscope gets down to the nitty gritty on changing the game and transitioning into new phases.

Black Biz Scope (@BlackBizScope): Three women, Adeea Rogers, Christine St.Vil and Pamela Booker (Koils By Nature) have come together to provide a platform to highlight black businesses and it’s quite the Periscope to check out. I love supporting anything that highlights and advances black entrepreneurship, and these ladies live stream every Friday at 10 a.m. EST and 6 p.m. EST. Read more about these women and their Periscope via MadameNoire.com.

Nicole Walters (@NapturalNicole)I mentioned Nicole in my last blog, as she’s been stirring up quite the buzz in media circles lately. She began her brand with beauty and hair tutorials and is now the diva of monetization, with more than 1 million hearts to her credit. Her Periscopes are refreshingly perky quirky in her delivery (think Wendy Williams x Suze Orman) and again, she’s a straight-shooter, something I love in a gyal.

DeKesha Williams (@de_kesha): She’s based in Virginia and is an American Express Open adviser on business strategy and success. Her Periscope features specifics on entrepreneurship tools, technology, efficiency and finances that quick, simple and easy to do.

Do you have any recommendations of savvy,  powerful women across industries and expertise? Add to my list in the comments section below. Also, be sure to check out updates on #Bossmoves events and resources via www.thebossmoves.com

Join the ‘Scope Without Getting Lost in the Sauce + 16 #Bossmoves in 60 Seconds

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(Video via TheVerge/YouTube)

I was recently given a swift but much needed kick in the pants by a woman who I greatly admire—and have inadvertently adopted as a mentorsistergirlfriend—during a recent chat on my next boss moves. As crazy as it may sound, in all my years of being the person advising or driving conversations, I’m not one who is comfy on the other side of advisement. The Capricorn (and journalist) in me is somewhat of a know it all, and I like being on the giving side of “Girl, what you need to do…” than on the receiving side.

I’d contacted Tani Chambers because I knew she was a woman with receipts. She’s an entrepreneur. She’d made career transitions. She’d created concepts from scratch, built networks and managed teams, and she is continuing to forge a path with her Masterminds. I was given the following challenge:

Honey, you see alllll these young go-getters on Periscope? You need to get on your game and stop playing. Do a Minute Scope and talk about what you know: boss moves.

I’d been hesitant to get into the live streaming app, launched by Twitter, as I like to observe how a social media platform is being used first and it’s potential for longevity—instead of investing my late-night hours and smartphone memory on a fleeting fad.

  • President Obama sold me on Twitter.
  • Early boasting by my then-teenaged sister on its “cool” factor (and favorite cousins knowing the latest gossip about family members when exclusivity to college students was finally lifted) led me to Facebook.
  • And an embarrassing, yet eye-opening lesson on social media’s affect on one’s social cred and status in celebrity entertainment circles—(ie. a certain popular TV star’s grimace as she tried—with no success—to tag me in a “selfie” we took before the word was even a word) on Instagram got me on that train.

I’d mastered how to use all three for purposes that wouldn’t drive me nuts and entice me to keep up with the Jones, Jenkins and Johnsons in terms of actually enjoying moments (versus competing with capturing them.)

This time I thought, “Do I HAVE to be on YET ANOTHER I-got-to-be-snatched-and-beat all the time platform?” and should I even invest time in something that might just be a blip in the grand scheme of online communications and marketing?

#BossMove No. 1: I did my research first. I’m sure all the kids (ie anyone under 29) already knew about Meerkat and was well into using that app before Twitter swooped in with the purchase of Periscope. The merging of the two led to even more popularity—it’s at No. 80 in the iOS app store, where Meerkat isn’t even on the list—and since I’m already a Twitter fanatic (with more than 18,000 followers),  it was easy enough to sell me on the idea of trying it out.

Though I know, as a journalist, that video content is dominating the market in terms of communications, building online communities and telling stories, I wasn’t really in a rush to record anything “live” about my life. I’m a big fan of do-overs and editing, and to be honest, I’d done enough of that in my day job to be exhausted of it after hours.

I dragged my feet a bit, then watched this savvy “monetizing” diva who’s been gaining quite a bit of buzz, as well as fellow power women I’d recently been a fellow speaker with at the Black Career Women’s Network‘s Ohio conference a few weeks ago.

#BossMove No. 2: I brainstormed how to debut but stay in my lane while doing it. Tani had made it easy for me. She gave me a concept (doing a Minute Scope and talking about boss moves—something I’m known for and can talk about in my sleep). Again, I’m not one to just live-tape anything I’m doing. I’ve never thought my life to be that interesting actually. And I knew I didn’t want to do anything too slapstick/corny/pretentious/inauthentic just to go viral or be popular. It’s just not my style and even when I try to think of things like that to do, I can’t bring myself to …well, actually DO them. Just doesn’t feel right.

#Bossmove No. 3: Tap into what you’re good at, base a catchy concept/headline around that and then work from there. I’m a editor and writer, and though I’m not the best headline writer in the world, I do know a thing or two about buzz words and phrases that can capture people’s attention without totally losing out on authenticity in branding. I didn’t have a gimmick, prop or fancy backdrop. Heck, I didn’t even have a makeup artist to beat my face. So I said, let me just sit on the couch, leave the lighting a bit dim, and put boss moves at the forefront. First thought, “60 Seconds. 60 Boss Moves.”

I tried it and failed. Sixty is a hefty number for what I wanted to be a short Periscope vid. I whittled it down to 16, and I was good to go.

#Bossmove No. 4: I didn’t overthink. I just did it the moment I’d completed Nos. 1-3. I watched Tani’s latest Periscope and she’d again sent words of encouragement. I’d joked about not having on enough makeup to start and one of her viewers said, “Girl just throw on some lip gloss.” So I did… (and a light-coverage foundation… )

Okay and a half-fleek of eyebrow beat.

Nothing big.

#Bossmove No. 5: When in doubt  (or nervous) use a script. Hey, the whole purpose of a live-stream is to be raw and in real time, but trust me, even your latest “live” shows have structure and scripts. I don’t mean create a contrived personality or interaction, however I found that since this my first venture into live streaming, it was best to have an idea of what I’d want to say and an outline of what I’d cover. I know I don’t like to listen to people ramble or constantly stutter over their words, even when recording something live.

I wrote out my list for the 16 boss moves and even found a stop clock online to demonstrate the timing. (I did say above I didn’t have a prop, but now that I think about it, that timer somewhat served that purpose).

It was a fun experience seeing all 127 people tune in to what I had to say (for 30 minutes) and to get 3,000 hearts (which I guess is great for a first-timer on Periscope). It was also great to overcome a few hangups and find that many people are just into hearing quality insights in a way that’s quick and convenient (and the whole curious, voyeuristic factor of putting a voice, mannerisms and facial expressions to a Twitter handle doesn’t hurt.)

I’ll be back on Periscope soon, and I hope, like all of these other kick-in-the-pants steps I’m making, I’ll remain consistent—as long as the app stands the test of time. Check out my periscope video footage via my Facebook page, here.

Let me know your thoughts on Periscope and how you’ve been able to use it for your personal brand or business in the comments.