House Intel Committee hearing on lessons from Mueller Report | ABC News

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Viewpoints: Lessons On Compulsory Vaccinations And New York’s Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Community; Social Media Isn’t Doing Enough To Help Spread Truth About Measles

Opinion writers weigh in on the current measles outbreaks and the importance of vaccines.
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Danny Meyer’s Lessons Learned From Going Cashless, Eliminating Tipping, and the Shake Shack IPO

As the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, the founder of Shake Shack, and arguably one of the most powerful people in restaurant world, there are few people better to ask advice of and lessons learned in this industry than Danny Meyer.

While discussing USHG’s latest opening, Cedric’s at The Shed in Hudson Yards, this week, Meyer also answered a few questions about some of his more headline-grabbing business moves lately, including the elimination of tipping at his restaurants (meaning incorporating gratuity for service into menu prices, a standard practice outside the United States) as well as controversy surrounding going cashless.

Over the last two decades, the management team says it’s seen the percentage of cash transactions dropping precipitously, partially serving as the catalyst to setting up credit card only/cashless checkout at some of its more fast casual establishments. But there has been an outcry that such practices are discriminatory.

Along with the discussion about the inspiration and goal for Cedric’s, here are more excerpts from that interview, edited and condensed for clarity.

Fortune: There’s been a bit of a backlash to going cashless, which you’ve written about before. Philadelphia, notably, is planning to ban restaurants from going cashless. What’s your response to this?

Meyer: The fact is that most of our guests use credit cards anyway. So it’s almost irrelevant. When I wrote an article about this for LinkedIn, if someone absolutely can’t get credit, and yet they can afford to eat with us, we find some way to serve them. And we always have. Sometimes we give it away. We’ll obviously abide by whatever laws there are. I do think that the world is moving to using less cash. I don’t go to the ATM nearly as much as I used to. Look, I’m sensitive to the notion that some people can’t get a credit card, including, by the way, kids. Say a kid has a really big allowance and they can afford to eat at one of our restaurants, but they can’t get a credit card. I still want to take care of that kid. We always find a way to serve a guest.

This is all kind of ironic. Because in the old days, the controversy was that restaurants only took cash and wouldn’t let you use your credit card because they didn’t want to pay the fee. And so the irony is that now restaurants are willing to pay more of a credit card fee, often for the safety of their staff. It is a very dangerous thing to have cash around a restaurant. That’s been the primary motive for us.

What was the biggest takeaway from the push to eliminate tipping, or incorporate it into your menu prices?

That it wasn’t nearly as scary as people think. That consumers have been very, very willing and ready to accept it. One of the last ones we converted was Porchlight (a Southern-inspired cocktail bar in New York). Because we said, of all places, a bar!

We found that, too, when we eliminated smoking. The one we were most concerned about was our jazz club, the Jazz Standard. Everyone smokes in a jazz club, don’t they? But that only helped our business. And the artists were happy that they didn’t have to be inhaling that when playing a saxophone.

Given how many IPOs there planned are this spring, what was the biggest lesson you learned from the Shake Shack IPO? What surprised you?

The thing that surprised me was how you learned there are really two parallel universes: the business you’re running and the business that people react to. You have consumers who are, hopefully, in love with your business. And you have Wall Street, which either is or is not in love with your stock. And the thing we’ve learned is focus running on the business and things will work out.

But they’re very different things. Shake Shack stock


shak



popped for some interesting reason. Within probably four months, it spiked from $ 21 per share to $ 90 something. On the one hand, you have people in love with your restaurant. On the other hand, you have people not in love with the stock price. And you just can’t get distracted by that. As someone much smarter than me once said, “On a day-to-day basis, the stock market is a good voting machine. In the long term, it’s a good weighing machine. And the weight generally evens out.”

Fortune

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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Dress For A Role: Style Lessons From A Costume Designer

Most people need years to build a good wardrobe. Keri Langerman does it in a matter of hours. On a Friday night, Langerman, a costume designer based in New York City, got a call from her director about a project she’s working on. An actor was just cast for the leading male role and was scheduled to fly out to see her the following morning. Langerman needed to pull his entire film wardrobe together, less than 24 hours after confirming his identity, and she didn’t have any information about his sizing.

“You’d think you’d be giving this kind of information, but it’s not always provided for these sorts of projects,” she laughs. “When that happens, I look up photos of the person online and try to guess their size. Then I buy things that are a little bigger, with the expectation I’ll need to tailor them down later. It’s like trying to hit a bullseye — you’re more likely to hit your target if you shoot a million arrows. That way, when the moment comes, you can pull out fourteen cinematic outfits.”

Langerman has been working as a costume designer for over a decade. She’s dressed leading Hollywood men such as Robert Redford, Jude Law, and Jeff Goldblum. She’s worked on the costume teams for Moonrise Kingdom, Inside Amy Schumer, and most recently, Vox Lux. Each project comes with its own challenges, like having to dress an invisible body, but her process always starts the same way. She reads a script for emotional language and keys in on the mood, and then tries to reflect those tones through her costume choices. As she puts it, it’s about making the characters memorable for an audience. “There’s a lot of mood boarding,” she explains of the process. “We’ll research photos, both historical and contemporary, and try to express a character’s mood through their clothes. Sometimes it’s about staying true to a historical era, but sometimes it’s also just about expressing an idea.”

Langerman’s last film project, Vox Lux, is about a character named Celeste (played by Natalie Portman) who survives a high school shooting in Staten Island, where the shooter leaves a sickening and macabre arrangement of the dead and wounded. Celeste writes a eulogistic song with her sister (Stacy Martin), which becomes a national sensation, catapulting her into fame and, later, transforming her into a rockstar. The film alludes to real-world tragedies, such as the Columbine High School massacre and 9/11 terrorist attacks. And as Celeste grows into her role as a celebrity, she’s increasingly portrayed as impulsive, unstable, fragile, angry, and trapped at the emotional age when she first became famous. The film is dark and swirling — and the costumes underscore those emotions.

 

 

“The film is divided into two acts, and while the acts are rooted in a certain time period, the director and I wanted the clothes to be more about the film’s mood,” says Langerman. “So we were careful to choose outfits that felt relevant to the period, but weren’t necessarily a statement about the period. We wanted simple, classic silhouettes, but lots of darker, moodier colors.”

For the first act, Jude Law, who plays Celeste’s hovering manager, wears five-pocket jeans and Members Only style jackets — a racing style that’s distinguished by its narrow collar band, epaulets, and knitted trims. The style was popular in the 1980s among music fans and club goers. “For the first act, a lot of Jude’s clothes came from eBay, Etsy, and consignment stores,” says Langerman. “We wanted a Members Only style, but not an actual Members Only jacket. Basically, something that someone back then may have worn if they couldn’t afford the actual brand. Then we pulled that same silhouette through to the second act, where he’s wearing a Valstarino jacket and Eidos trousers. We wanted to keep the silhouette the same to remind the audience that he was still the same character — his career just advanced, so he had a bit more money and dressed up a little more. It was a conscious decision to not completely change his wardrobe, but to just change the color and quality of his clothing.” (Notably, Law’s monochromatic style, pictured above, was inspired by Cary Grant’s famous gray flannel suits).

I ask Langerman if there are things she keeps coming back to when dressing male characters — tried and true items that seem to look good on everyone. Aside from dark jeans, she struggles to find a theme. “I think almost anyone can look good in a Valstarino,” she says. “I’m currently working with Lakeith Stanfield right now and I would love to see him in a Valstarino, but I don’t want to repeat the same outfits. I want to stay true to the character and the script. Sometimes you think ‘oh, this brand works and I love this shoe,’ but you want each character to be special.”

Langerman pulls a surprising amount, however, from in-the-know menswear brands. Jude Law, as mentioned, was dressed in a Valstarino and pair of double-pleated Eidos trousers (the second of which were specially made for the film by the Isaia factory). Jason Segal wore a double-breasted, shawl collar cardigan from Inis Meain for his role in The Discovery (“I was looking for sweaters that were rich in color and texture; pieces that were cozy, breathable, and easy to wear. I considered putting him in a sports coat but when I found this cardigan I knew it made more sense for his character,” she wrote on Instagram). And Langerman put Robert Redford in Epaulet’s trousers. “We wanted a custom order, but it was a four-week turnaround and we only had one week,” she says. “But I knew it had to be those pants — they had the perfect rise and cut throughout the leg, and the fabric was just great, so we had our tailor do the alterations on-site.”

How does a costume designer know about these obscure brands? Langerman says she follows StyleForum and certain online boutiques, such as No Man Walks Alone. The forums give her an important consumer perspective, so she knows people’s experiences with clothes and doesn’t see things through rose-tinted lookbook glasses. “A lot of this is about finding people who know more than me and have great taste,” she admits. “Then mix it all together for a character. When I’m dressing a man for a film, I also like to dig a little deeper to reach that style enthusiast who may be in the audience. But it’s a constant process and I’m always searching. Sometimes I fall asleep scrolling through my phone.”

 

 

How to Dress Yourself as a Character

As a costume designer, Langerman knows how to communicate a character’s story and personality through their clothes. That skill isn’t limited to just dressing actors for films and TV shows, however, it can be pulled through into everyday life. We ask Langerman how she feels about certain style-related topics.

Dressing for Body Type and Skin Tone

“It helps to think about your body type when dressing, but I also think it depends on what you’re dressing for. Dressing for your body type can mean one thing for the office, but another thing for weddings or weekends. In the US, there are certain rules for how you can look what we consider to be traditionally ‘better,’ whether that means looking slimmer, taller, or more ‘masculine.’ There are certainly options out there that will check all those boxes, but some of the most stylish men also don’t wear traditional silhouettes at all. Those are more avant-garde aesthetics, but they may reflect the person better.

It’s the same with skin tone. Generally, you want a bit of contrast between your clothing and skin tone. That will make you look what’s traditionally considered to be ‘good.’ However, I love a good monochromatic look. I love wearing a t-shirt in a similar color as my skin tone, which most will say ‘wash me out.’ But that might be closer to how I want to present myself for a day — it shows how I’m feeling and who I am. I think the rules are good if you want a traditional look, but you can’t pin it to just rules.”

Developing a Personal Sense of Style

“I think the key is to focus more on how clothing makes you feel, rather than just how it makes you look. Wear clothes that you feel represent a certain side of you. As human beings, we have so many different sides, so you can wear a beautifully tailored suit to work, but also hemp pants on the weekend if that’s who you want to be. I can tell immediately when something works on someone at a fitting — their mood and posture change, there’s a hop in their step. Sometimes I think people get too hung up on, ‘oh I can’t wear green’ or ‘that’s not my style.’ But the more forgiving you can be about how you look, the more you’ll allow yourself to experiment with different brands and silhouettes, which in turn will allow your wardrobe to feel more personal and about you. I find that’s when people are happiest with their wardrobe.

 

 

You also have to give things a chance. Whether you’re an actor or not, I think it’s difficult to change your silhouette and not feel like you’re ‘wearing a costume.’ Sometimes it takes a while to acclimate to a fuller jacket or a slimmer pair of jeans. At fittings, I’ll sometimes tell an actor to take a walk around the room before making a decision on something. You have to give something a chance to settle in. Just know that you almost always have to get things tailored. Tailoring is not expensive, you can go to your local dry cleaner.”

Developing an Aesthetic Vocabulary

“I think you have to carve time into your life and put effort into it. I think sometimes we have unrealistic expectations that just because something looks a certain way on a model, that’s how it’s going to look on us. Part of this is about processing someone’s body and personality through clothes, and there’s no one size fits all. Dedicate some time to going out and trying on different clothes, or ordering things online and be ready to return them. Even for actors, just because something works on a model doesn’t mean it works for someone on-screen. Until you try something on, everything is hypothetical.

It can help to pay attention to blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. For me, it’s about finding new images and paying attention to how people are wearing things. Save photos you find to be inspirational. When you see how people are breaking the rules, you realize there’s no wrong way to do it.”

Dressing as a Character 

“I think it helps to first break your wardrobe out for the various parts of your life. You can have your work wardrobe, weekend wardrobe, formal wardrobe, etc. If your wardrobe isn’t connected to a certain part of your life, you’re never going to wear it. Here in New York, our overcoats are like our cars in the winter time, so you know you need a good overcoat. This also helps you figure out what kind of personas you want to project for different settings.

Next, think about what kind of adjectives you would want someone to use when describing you. Would it be fashionable, avant-garde, or traditional? Then, when you look at a new piece of clothing, do those adjectives come to mind? If they don’t, are there ways you can wear it to help communicate those ideas? I think this can seem so basic, but when you’re out shopping for clothes, it can be easy to get led astray with all the options that simply ‘look good’ that you forget how to communicate those messages. Think about how you would want to be dressed if you were a leading man in a film.”

The post Dress For A Role: Style Lessons From A Costume Designer appeared first on Put This On.

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Laila Ali On Lessons From Her Dad, Her Kids in the Ring, and Her Latest Partnership [VIDEO]

In addition to her undefeated boxing record and being the daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali is a chef, author, entrepreneur, and television host. On top of that, she’s a health-conscious wife and mother dedicated to empowering people through healthy lifestyle options. That’s why it comes with little surprise that she signed on to be the face of Home Made Simple’s new eco-friendly cleaning product line.

Many know Home Made Simple as an Emmy-award winning docuseries Ali hosts on the OWN network. On the show, Ali and a team of experts help real people transform their homes and lives by using creative solutions to everyday home challenges and design dilemmas. On March 27, the lifestyle brand announced the next phase of its budding empire: a line of plant-based household products that include a hand soap, dish soap, multi-purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, and fabric softener. The collection is free of gluten, parabens, phthalates, phosphates, and dyes. Plus, the bottles are 100% recyclable, and both the laundry detergent and fabric softener bottles are made from 25% or more post-consumer recycled plastic. Ali says she signed on to promote the product line because it is in line with her values.

“I am someone who is all about having products in my home that are safe for my family. I live for the environment,” she told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “There are a lot of products that actually work, but they are not good for you or the environment.”

Laila Ali video

Laila Ali (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Home Made Simple/AP Images)

Fighting for What’s Right

Much like her father, Ali stands firm in her beliefs and does not sanction anything that conflicts with her core values, even if that means turning down an endorsement deal or lucrative opportunity. “I haven’t been the face of many brands because, first of all, they have to be something that really resonates with me and feels true to me,” said the four-time boxing world champion. “It has to be something that I would use, something that I can stand behind, something that I believe in.”

Ali has not veered far from her father’s footsteps. Outside of the ring, Muhammad Ali held steadfast beliefs in justice and equality and infamously refused to fight in the Vietnam War. He also used his platform as the world heavyweight champion to stand up for civil rights and even forfeit his heavyweight belt. The 41-year-old retired boxer said one of the biggest lessons she learned from her dad was having a “fighting mindset,” both in and out of the ring. “He really taught me to figure out how I can fight through anything that’s going on and have the best outcome. So, I kind of pretty much apply that to everything I’m doing. I don’t expect everything to be easy or go my way,“ she told BE. “Don’t look at failures as [just] failures; look at them as opportunities to grow or do something differently next time.”

Just like her father initially disapproved of Ali’s decision to step into the ring, likewise, Ali says she would caution her own 12-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter about competing in the combat sport. “I definitely don’t want them to do that because it’s a dangerous sport and I think my dad felt the same way when I started boxing, but it didn’t prevent me from doing it.” Nonetheless, she said she would support her children if they did decide to carry her family’s legacy.

Watch BE‘s exclusive video interview with Laila Ali below.

The post Laila Ali On Lessons From Her Dad, Her Kids in the Ring, and Her Latest Partnership [VIDEO] appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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I started ballet lessons aged 26 – this is how it changed my body

To mark the release of Rudolf Nureyev biopic, The White Crow, Victoria Fell started four weeks of intensive ballet training – and the results were amazing

ballet

Surprising fact: I never attended a ballet class as a child. As a slightly more robust kid, I gravitated more towards climbing trees and pony camp, where I spent rainy afternoons eating packed lunches in old caravans.

So ballet, which is often a rite of passage for young girls was something I never got into: no tutu, no pink tights, none of those impossibly tidy hair buns. Apart from a two-month foray into the world of classical dance at the age of 11 when I had ambitions of becoming a musical theatre sensation, my experience with the art form is zero.

Which is why when offered the chance to train with Bennet Gartside, I jété’d (sorry, not sorry) at the chance. A Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet, who also runs Everybody Ballet, Bennet coached Ralph Fiennes leading up to the production of his new film based on the life of ballet legend Rudolph Nureyev, The White Crow, so that he could get a better understanding of the art form. Safe to say then, that I would be in good hands.

Would I be sugar plum failure, or would it turn out that ballet was the pastime I was born to do? Only time would tell.

Week 1, Day 1

I am anxiously lurking outside the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, and I’m pretty sure that at this point, I’m the personification of imposter syndrome. However, Bennet is an absolute pro at making even the most inexperienced beginner (me) feel welcome. We start with the first few basic positions of arms, then move on to legs, and I am immediately using muscles that have pretty much lain dormant for the last 26 years, AND using them all simultaneously. By the end, I had managed a plié and learned what turnout is, and how important it is. Not bad for Day 1.

ballet challenge

My first picture – it might look like I am merely standing on my tiptoes, but I am thinking about at least 6 different posture-related matters at this point.

Week 1, Day 2

Ballet takes mental, as well as physical strength, and the fact that I’m up at 6.30am to do a class before work proves this. After a quick warm-up, today we ventured into the realms of tendus and battements – the latter involving lifting your leg off the floor. It’s so much harder than it looks, and I feel a wave of pride when I manage to bring my straight leg and pointed-ish toe to the heady heights of about 5cm off the floor.

Post-class, I am raring to go for the work day ahead. Outside of classes, I’ve also started thinking about my posture more – the muscles in my back are frankly, killing me, but I already feel that I am sitting and standing more upright.

Week 2, Day 1

The muscles in my back are finally back to normal, but the fact that it’s taken a week is a pretty worrying sign of how bad my posture actually was before. Today’s class was filled with jétés, battements, and even the odd grand battement, but the most fascinating thing for me has been seeing how my body has responded to the training. Bennet has been catering for an old injury in my left knee (I sledged into a wall on a Norwegian mountain aged 9, as one does), yet ballet is the only sport I’ve undertaken where my left leg has a noticeably weaker side… it’s no exaggeration to say that ballet uses every muscle.

Big thank you to the team at Bloch, who put up with my many questions about ballet shoes and have the most social media-friendly packaging ever.

Week 2, Day 2

Today we moved away from the safety of the barre into no man’s land, where we worked on jumps, and this is some serious cardio. Thankfully, having played netball at school definitely helps with the jumping, however the muscle memory for flailing my arms around (interception queen) also remains, which isn’t particularly balletic.

Leaving the class, I felt pretty positive about my new-and-improved posture, but then I see actual Royal Ballet company members gliding into the studio incomprehensibly gracefully as I leave, and realise that I definitely need to keep on practising.

Week 3, Day 1

Today we faced a milestone in my ballet training: the pirouette. However, like most things in ballet, the effortless appearance of these spins is very, very deceptive. The checklist of muscles to keep engaged is lengthier than usual, so means that pirouette prep takes a lesson – there is balancing, there is turnout, there are toes that need to be pointed. This element of ballet is as much as a cerebral workout as it is a physical one, and I’ve noticed that the mornings where I have my ballet lessons before work are often the most productive.

Attempting an arabesque (note the intense concentration).

Week 3, Day 2

Last lesson’s prep came to fruition today… well, sort of. I spun, and I spotted and I almost succeeded at a pirouette (again, see the Marie Claire Insta channel for the evidence). I don’t think I’ll be able to master pirouettes by the end of the challenge, but trying to is amusing enough.

From the way my clothes are fitting me, I am seeing the toning effects of ballet first-hand. This is only with two sessions a week: imagine what the professionals go through, working and training six days a week.

Week 4, Day 1

The final week is here. The pirouettes are still as hard as they were the week before, but my muscle memory has developed to the point where the mental checklist of muscles to squeeze and tighten is being ticked off so much quicker than at the beginning.

Today also saw me attempt what can only be described as ‘speed tendus’, which illustrates the general position I find myself in with ballet, where my mind understands what I need to do but my body just won’t play ball. Having said that, I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my stamina and my consistency, which makes doing 14 of these moves in a row a fraction easier.

Week 4, Day 2

We went all out for our last sessions: think jumps, think turns, think chassés across the diagonal of the floor. All this in The Clore Studio, an incredible rehearsal and performance space in the Royal Opera House, which has hosted such names as Princess Margaret in the audience… no pressure then.

An hour of putting what I’d learned into action, and the mental checklist that I went through with every balance and tendu was getting quicker and quicker. It’s also probably rose-tinted glasses, but in this session, it felt like I was able to balance for longer and could lift my legs higher and more accurately than even the session before. And with a final chassé smiling at my imaginary Royal audience, our final lesson was over.

The Clore Studio

So, what did I learn?

Even in four weeks, a lot. Firstly, a huge thanks to Bennet Gartside, whose knowledge and patience made what could have been a fairly embarrassing challenge (I am that clumsy) so much fun. Post-challenge, my posture is noticeably better and I have so much more awareness of what each muscle in my body controls and is capable of doing: even something as simple as trying to stand in the middle of a tube carriage during rush hour without taking anyone out is easier.

Add on to this a somehow even greater respect for just how intense ballet is, and just how much effort it takes to make an art form so intensely difficult look so breathtakingly easy, and I’m sold.

I’ll see you at the barre.

The White Crow is out on March 22.

The post I started ballet lessons aged 26 – this is how it changed my body appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Career lessons from three female pioneers of unconvention

Sometimes the road to career success isn’t always a smooth one. But, as these three trailblazers prove, you can still achieve your dreams

career lessons

These three female pioneers of unconvention prove that the road to success isn’t always a smooth one…

Ava DuVernay, 46, film director

‘If you’re on a path that’s not the one that you want to be on, you can pivot, and you can also move, and age doesn’t make a difference, [nor does] race, gender.’

The Oscar-nominated director of Selma and A Wrinkle In Time – for which she was the 
first African-American woman to direct a film with a budget over $ 100 million – Ava Duvernay started out interning as a news journalist. She moved into PR, founding her own agency in 1999. It was at the age of 32 that she picked up a camera and started taking directing classes.

Angela Ahrendts, 58, senior VP of retail at Apple

‘At some point in your career, maybe you too have made the life-altering decision to start anew. If so, you know first-hand how exciting, challenging, and sometimes disorienting the first 30, 60, 90 days can be.’

Apple’s senior vice president of retail (and the brand’s highest paid executive), Angela Ahrendts started her career in fashion. From a merchandising role at a lingerie company, she moved to Donna Karan, Liz Claiborne and, most famously, was CEO of Burberry from 2006-2014, where her leadership escalated the firm’s value from £2 billion to over £7 billion.

Whitney Wolfe Herd, 29, founder of Bumble

‘Often, the best jobs come out of just meeting people and letting one thing lead 
to another.’

After a degree in international studies, Wolfe Herd turned down ‘safe’ corporate job offers for a role at a tech incubator funded to make apps. There, she co-founded Tinder, but left in 2014 following sexual-harassment claims. Despite vowing never to go back into online dating, she came up with the idea for female-focused dating app Bumble, which Forbes values at over $ 1 billion.

The post Career lessons from three female pioneers of unconvention appeared first on Marie Claire.

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10 House-Hunting Lessons You Can Learn from the TV Shows

Reality TV shows that open a window onto the world of real estate have been entertaining us for years. But if you look beyond the spectacle, you can actually learn a thing or two about the home buying process as well. Here are 10 practical house-hunting lessons that come straight from reality TV.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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“What’s Free?”: Jay-Z Shares Lessons in Business and Ownership on Meek Mill’s New Album

Just months after being released from prison for violating probation, rapper Robert Rihmeek Williams, best known as Meek Mill, released a much-anticipated album last week. The album, titled Championships, features hardcore beats, a rotation of hip hop superstars, including Cardi B and Drake, and a powerful message about Meek’s road to redemption.

On the standout track “What’s Free?” Meek teamed up with hip hop heavyweights Jay-Z and Rick Ross, who rap about their definition of freedom over the beat from Biggie Smalls’ 1997 classic “What’s Beef?” Jay-Z, however, outshines his cohorts with an exceptional verse, using his lyrical prowess to drop knowledge about the struggle for black liberation and allegedly take shots at the MAGA-loving Kanye West. In addition, the Brooklyn-born rapper boasts about his lucrative business investments and the massive accumulation of wealth he’s built over the years.

Here are eight lessons Jay-Z shared about business, ownership, and financial freedom on “What’s Free?”

Meek Mill

Spotify Fans first event for Meek Mill’s new album, Championships, in New York on December 1, 2018 (Photo Credit: Francis Montoya / SlingShotMenace, LLC)

“I’m 50% of D’usse and it’s debt free”

In this lyric, Jay-Z raps about his profitable stake in D’usse. The hip hop icon tapped into his personal savings to purchase equity in the cognac brand back in 2011. Because he did not have a need for financing, he was left with no debt and has reaped tremendous profits. In addition to being a partial owner, the mega-mogul also serves as head of global strategy for the brand.

 

“100% of Ace of Spades, worth half a B”

Jay-Z brags about his ownership of Armand de Brignac, a champagne popularly known as Ace of Spades. He expressed his affinity for the brand by featuring it in his rhymes and videos long before he bought the champagne from Sovereign Brands for an undisclosed amount in 2014. His brilliant marketing has, in turn, made Ace of Spades one of the most popular Champagne brands on the market and a staple at high-end clubs, bars, and establishments. Today, the luxury champagne can cost up to $ 1,000 per bottle, while the value of the company has skyrocketed.

 

“Roc Nation, half of that, that’s my piece”

Here, Jay-Z shouts out another part of his business empire, Roc Nation, a multi-platform entertainment company he founded in 2008. The company specializes in artist management, music publishing, concert touring and production, and film and TV production. It also serves as a talent and sports agency that represents A-list clients like Shakira, Rihanna, NBA star Kevin Durant, and NFL player Victor Cruz.

 

“100% of Tidal to bust it up with my Gs”

The successful rapper and entrepreneur goes on to highlight his music platform Tidal, a subscription-based streaming service he purchased in 2015, along with a variety of other high-profile music artists. Last year, he sold 33% of the company to Sprint for $ 200 million, raising the valuation of the company to $ 600 million.

 

“We made the project a wave; You came back, reinvested and gentrified it”

This line is a reference to the gentrification of low-income communities, an epidemic that disproportionately hurts people of color. The invasion of real estate investors, who are often wealthy and white, in these areas drives up rents and the cost of living, which leads to the displacement of working-class residents as well as the erasure of the neighborhood’s character. That’s why Jay is stressing the importance of ownership — without it, people of color can be stripped of their land, culture, and identity.

 

“I ain’t got a billion streams, got a billion dollars”

A large part of Hov’s discography has been removed from Tidal’s music-streaming competitors, like Spotify and Apple Music. The move cost the rap mogul tons of streams. Nevertheless, its smart business moves like this that have made him the highest-earning rapper of 2018. The decision also speaks to his acumen as a businessman who is willing to make a personal career sacrifice for the ultimate benefit of his business.

 

“Them people stole the soul and hit ni—s with 360s”

Jay-Z addresses how hip hop, which began as a medium of expression for African Americans, has been co-opted by big businesses and major record labels who earn major profits from artists who sign 360 deals. These notorious contracts give labels a stake in the revenue an artist generates from touring, performing, selling merchandise, endorsements, and appearing in movies and television.  According to Jay, the deal is equivalent to someone selling their soul.

He, on the other hand, has bought the masters rights to his music. This ownership gives him leverage to use the masters to bargain the terms of a contract with a company or platform that wants access to his catalog.

 

“My accountant’s so good, I’m practically livin’ tax-free”

Like many wealthy elites, Jay-Z uses loopholes and provisions in U.S. tax law for his own financial advantage. The mogul raps about how his tax advisors prevent him from unnecessary taxation and allow him to submit the minimum amount on his tax returns. For example, in 2011, Jay-Z and Kanye West donated the Maybach used in their “Otis” music video to auction and used the proceeds to benefit the drought crisis in East Africa. As a result, the donation was tax-deductible.

The post “What’s Free?”: Jay-Z Shares Lessons in Business and Ownership on Meek Mill’s New Album appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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“What’s Free?”: Jay-Z Shares Lessons in Business and Ownership on Meek Mill’s New Album

Just months after being released from prison for violating probation, rapper Robert Rihmeek Williams, best known as Meek Mill, released a much-anticipated album last week. The album, titled Championships, features hardcore beats, a rotation of hip hop superstars, including Cardi B and Drake, and a powerful message about Meek’s road to redemption.

On the standout track “What’s Free?” Meek teamed up with hip hop heavyweights Jay-Z and Rick Ross, who rap about their definition of freedom over the beat from Biggie Smalls’ 1997 classic “What’s Beef?” Jay-Z, however, outshines his cohorts with an exceptional verse, using his lyrical prowess to drop knowledge about the struggle for black liberation and allegedly take shots at the MAGA-loving Kanye West. In addition, the Brooklyn-born rapper boasts about his lucrative business investments and the massive accumulation of wealth he’s built over the years.

Here are eight lessons Jay-Z shared about business, ownership, and financial freedom on “What’s Free?”

Meek Mill

Spotify Fans first event for Meek Mill’s new album, Championships, in New York on December 1, 2018 (Photo Credit: Francis Montoya / SlingShotMenace, LLC)

“I’m 50% of D’usse and it’s debt free”

In this lyric, Jay-Z raps about his profitable stake in D’usse. The hip hop icon tapped into his personal savings to purchase equity in the cognac brand back in 2011. Because he did not have a need for financing, he was left with no debt and has reaped tremendous profits. In addition to being a partial owner, the mega-mogul also serves as head of global strategy for the brand.

 

“100% of Ace of Spades, worth half a B”

Jay-Z brags about his ownership of Armand de Brignac, a champagne popularly known as Ace of Spades. He expressed his affinity for the brand by featuring it in his rhymes and videos long before he bought the champagne from Sovereign Brands for an undisclosed amount in 2014. His brilliant marketing has, in turn, made Ace of Spades one of the most popular Champagne brands on the market and a staple at high-end clubs, bars, and establishments. Today, the luxury champagne can cost up to $ 1,000 per bottle, while the value of the company has skyrocketed.

 

“Roc Nation, half of that, that’s my piece”

Here, Jay-Z shouts out another part of his business empire, Roc Nation, a multi-platform entertainment company he founded in 2008. The company specializes in artist management, music publishing, concert touring and production, and film and TV production. It also serves as a talent and sports agency that represents A-list clients like Shakira, Rihanna, NBA star Kevin Durant, and NFL player Victor Cruz.

 

“100% of Tidal to bust it up with my Gs”

The successful rapper and entrepreneur goes on to highlight his music platform Tidal, a subscription-based streaming service he purchased in 2015, along with a variety of other high-profile music artists. Last year, he sold 33% of the company to Sprint for $ 200 million, raising the valuation of the company to $ 600 million.

 

“We made the project a wave; You came back, reinvested and gentrified it”

This line is a reference to the gentrification of low-income communities, an epidemic that disproportionately hurts people of color. The invasion of real estate investors, who are often wealthy and white, in these areas drives up rents and the cost of living, which leads to the displacement of working-class residents as well as the erasure of the neighborhood’s character. That’s why Jay is stressing the importance of ownership — without it, people of color can be stripped of their land, culture, and identity.

 

“I ain’t got a billion streams, got a billion dollars”

A large part of Hov’s discography has been removed from Tidal’s music-streaming competitors, like Spotify and Apple Music. The move cost the rap mogul tons of streams. Nevertheless, its smart business moves like this that have made him the highest-earning rapper of 2018. The decision also speaks to his acumen as a businessman who is willing to make a personal career sacrifice for the ultimate benefit of his business.

 

“Them people stole the soul and hit ni—s with 360s”

Jay-Z addresses how hip hop, which began as a medium of expression for African Americans, has been co-opted by big businesses and major record labels who earn major profits from artists who sign 360 deals. These notorious contracts give labels a stake in the revenue an artist generates from touring, performing, selling merchandise, endorsements, and appearing in movies and television.  According to Jay, the deal is equivalent to someone selling their soul.

He, on the other hand, has bought the masters rights to his music. This ownership gives him leverage to use the masters to bargain the terms of a contract with a company or platform that wants access to his catalog.

 

“My accountant’s so good, I’m practically livin’ tax-free”

Like many wealthy elites, Jay-Z uses loopholes and provisions in U.S. tax law for his own financial advantage. The mogul raps about how his tax advisors prevent him from unnecessary taxation and allow him to submit the minimum amount on his tax returns. For example, in 2011, Jay-Z and Kanye West donated the Maybach used in their “Otis” music video to auction and used the proceeds to benefit the drought crisis in East Africa. As a result, the donation was tax-deductible.

The post “What’s Free?”: Jay-Z Shares Lessons in Business and Ownership on Meek Mill’s New Album appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Skai Jackson Writing A Book About Life Lessons

(Photo Credit PR Photos)  

Actress Skai Jackson will be adding author to her resumé by 2019. The Disney channel is penning a new book called “Reach for the Skai: How to Inspire, Empower, and Clapback.” The book will cover the 16-year-old’s, “lessons on life and rise to stardom, as well as the negative experiences that sometimes comes with living in the spotlight.”

She may be young bu she’s achieved success and is living in the spotlight so some may say she’s more than qualified to write on those topics.

The book is scheduled for release by fall 2019.

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5 ‘Women and Money’ Lessons From Suze Orman at The Apollo

Suze Orman has sustained an enduring career as a speaker, author and pioneer in financial leadership. Orman appeared at the world-famous Apollo theater to discuss the topic ‘Women and Money,’ which is also the title of her relaunched New York Times bestselling book first published in 2007.

The sold out event was a predecessor for the exclusive premier on Oprah Winfrey’s television network, OWN. Orman has partnered with OWN to launch a financial show on the same topic: woman and money.

Orman’s ‘TED Talk’ style discussion touched on topics that included credit budgeting and retirement. While she answered specific questions from the audience, there were five important lessons to take away from her session:

The Five Women and Money Lessons from Suze Orman at the Apollo 

Power Attracts Money

Orman describes the law of attraction when it relates to money and power. Think about your network and social circles; many times we are attracted to people of power, and most times those who hold power are considered to have money. When you are in a position of power, society places you on a pedestal; opening doors to new opportunities which may lead to further financial gains. Orman says “being powerless repels money.”  If we put this in perspective, think about how many times the person who gives off the presence of not having money, loses out on opportunities. “When you are powerless, no one wants to be around you,” she says.

Money Will Teach You About Yourself

There’s that old saying ‘money is the root of all evil.” Some people believe money is everything while others have learned it is not everything. Orman wants everyone to know “money is not more important than life.” While the world revolves around money, some people will put their life on the line for more cash. Think about your purchases; are you buying things of high value that you can’t afford? Are you saving? The financial decisions you make from purchases to savings says a lot about you in regards to money

Debt Makes You Powerless

When you are in debt, you may feel as though you are sinking, Orman says. Having debt doesn’t allow you “financial freedom.” If we take this principle and break it down, the lack of money you have can make you miserable. Think about how many times you were unhappy when your finances weren’t right. Orman says “When you have debt, you don’t have a financial voice”. This applies to those whose debt payments force them to live paycheck to paycheck. While debt may make you powerless, Orman wants you to know “The debt you have, does not define you”.

Who Will Teach Your Children About Money?

Orman asks, if you are not financially literate, how can you as a parent speak and teach money lessons to your children?

Lastly, Orman Advises: “Your Money Will Never Define You, You Define Your Money”

Suze Orman at The Apollo: Women and Money premiers on OWN on Monday, October 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

The post 5 ‘Women and Money’ Lessons From Suze Orman at The Apollo appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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5 Lessons Will Smith Shared at AdWeek About Rebranding and Staying Relevant After 50

Will Smith has sealed a stellar legacy in entertainment. He’s starred in several blockbuster films, a successful TV sitcom, and earned five Grammy Awards along with multiple Oscar and Golden Globes nods. But the Hollywood star isn’t done yet. Following an illustrious 30-year career, Smith is now embracing social media in his next act.

Last week, the acclaimed actor and rapper opened up at New York Advertising Week about his successful career and his new journey as a YouTube star. “I feel like I’m getting a fourth bite of the entertainment apple,” said the 50-year-old superstar during a session with Google VP Adam Stewart.

Here are five lessons Smith shared about personal growth, rebranding after 50, and the next stage of his life and career:

1. Get Into Tech

Technology has been a major disruptor in almost every industry and especially in Hollywood. According to Smith, making a blockbuster movie is no longer as easy as it once was because social media has forced directors and producers to improve the quality of their films, rather than depending on movie trailers to sell movie tickets.

“We used to say ‘We’re not in the movie business, we’re in the trailer business,’” Smith said candidly. “Once you have a good trailer you’re done. Now, what’s happened with technology, on Friday night at 7:30, people are tweeting, ‘Hey, Will’s movie sucks, go see Vin Diesel’s.’”

Because news, whether good or bad, spreads so quickly on social media, movie makers don’t have the luxury of time to build box office success. “We no longer [have] the three-day window,” Smith said. “If you had a great trailer, it was Monday at noon before everybody knew that Wild Wild West sucked. You had already made your money.”

Although some people may still be resistant to the changes tech has created, Smith’s point serves as a reminder that businesses must embrace social media in order to grow their brand in the digital era. Smith, for example, has partnered with YouTube to launch his own channel, which now boasts 3.7 million subscribers. He also has a massive following on Twitter and Instagram, which has allowed the Men in Black star to connect with younger audiences and remain relevant.

2. Face Your Fear


During the session, Smith talked about how he recently conquered one of his biggest fears – death – to mark his 50th birthday. He celebrated the special occasion on Sept. 25 by bungee jumping out of a helicopter and into the Grand Canyon. The heart-pounding experience was live-streamed on YouTube.

“I’ve had an interesting relationship with fear my whole life,” said Smith in the video, titled Will Smith: The Jump. “[When I was younger, my family and I], we drove to the Grand Canyon and I remember having a deeply meaningful experience of how beautiful it was, but I was terrified of walking to the edge. All my family walked up to the edge but I stayed back, too scared to take in the beauty. I’ve made it a point in my life to attack anything that I’m scared of.”

At AdWeek, Smith admitted the 1,000-foot leap into the Grand Canyon was an “absolute complete terror.” However, confronting his fear empowered him to take risks in other areas of his life and drown out an inner voice that repeatedly tells him “‘you’re going to die.’” He’s realized that the voice will be right only one time in his life and he shouldn’t let it stop him from taking chances. “[Until] that one time comes, why should you give a f–k? Just have fun.”

3. Trust Your Gut


Smith advised the audience of ad executives not to become consumed by data and metrics. Instead, he encouraged them to listen to their intuition and defy data when necessary. “Nothing is more valuable than your gut,” he said. “The metrics are there to help you train your gut because, at the end of the day, you have to make the call on the extraordinary. The metrics keep you in the ordinary. The thing that succeeds is going to be way outside what somebody even thought was possible.”

Smith’s advice is applicable to business owners and professionals in all settings. Sometimes your biggest rewards lie outside of your comfort zone. So don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith when the opportunity presents itself.

4. It’s Not About Winning


Don’t let social media data, analytics, and quantitative feedback make you lose sight of your purpose. Rather, Smith encouraged the audience to focus on connecting with people, growth, and being happy. He also admitted that for the first time in his career, his work is not centered on an agenda, which has granted him a greater level of creative freedom and expression and the ability to have fun in the process. “It always has to be for joy and expansion,” he said. “You can’t get caught in trying to win. If you get caught in trying to win, you can completely lose contact with the audience and with the intention.”

5. The Secret to Business Success

Another gem Smith dropped was about using your individual experiences to drive your creativity and overall success. Focus on personal growth, which, in turn, can translate into growth for your company and brand, he said. “As much focus as you can have on expanding yourself and expanding your wisdom and expanding your best qualities, I think is the best way to create better businesses.” Simply put, he added, “be a better you.”

 

The post 5 Lessons Will Smith Shared at AdWeek About Rebranding and Staying Relevant After 50 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Common, Regina Hall, and Russell Hornsby Share Lessons from ‘The Hate U Give’

Based on the book by Angie Thomas, the new film The Hate U Give shares the perspective of a teenaged black girl torn between two worlds. The novel’s film adaption speaks to a wide range of audiences and experiences as it addresses the challenges of 16-year old Starr Carter. Starr’s problems cross boundaries and provide lessons that can be applied to our personal and professional lives as it relates to our diverse and often polarizing political environment.

The film addresses myriad topics such as code-switching, covering, discrimination, diversity, police brutality, gun violence, trauma, voting, and activism. Film director George Tillman and the cast addressed these issues at a recent forum sponsored by the 48th Annual Legislative ConferenceCongresswoman Val Demings of Florida’s 10th District, and the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association (MMCA). Actress Regina Hall, actor Russell Hornsby, and hip-hop artist/actor/activist Common also provided valuable insight around a plethora of timely themes found within the emotionally charged film.

The Hate U Give

Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, and Common (Photo Credit: Patricia McDougall Photography)

Code-Switching in The Hate U Give 

Code-switching is the practice of switching between languages or dialects in conversation to suit the setting. Starr is continually switching between two worlds; the poor, predominantly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, we witness Starr struggling with communication issues we often face in our daily work lives, as we determine the suitable language and vernacular to communicate with colleagues. Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what is right.

‘Covering’ and Other Themes 

Covering is the act of downplaying or hiding certain aspects of yourself so as not to appear different. The Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion report, Uncovering Talent, reveals that 61% of all employees “cover” their identities in some way by downplaying specific attributes, for fear of drawing unwanted attention or making others uncomfortable. Too often, covering does not provide the positive consequences we hope to achieve and is often detrimental to our self-esteem and performance. Taking cues from Starr, we understand covering is unhealthy and does not provide the results we hope for. Eventually, we remove the veil as the pressure to hide becomes unbearable and we show up as our authentic selves.

Starr encounters and manages blatant discrimination and negative treatment based on her race throughout the film. Many workplaces are plagued with discrimination and the lack of opportunities for people of color. In fact, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced 84,254 workplace discrimination charges were filed with the agency nationwide in 2017. By recognizing a lack of diversity in the workplace, we can aim to ensure people of color are in decision-making roles with decision-making power. Hornsby said it best when he stated, “the diverse stories we are able to tell from a black perspective are stories that are from opportunities. We show that we can do the work. We show that we are capable. We show that we are talented. We just need to have an opportunity.” Providing opportunities is a step toward combatting discrimination.

There is not one character in The Hate U Give exempt from some level of trauma based on events in the film. In the same way, we are not exempt from the trauma we experience directly or indirectly in daily life. According to studies, 66% of the general population has been traumatized at some point. Eighty percent of workers feel stressed on the job, and approximately 1 million workers are absent each day due to stress. It is essential to be aware that the incidents that occur in The Hate U Give are not limited to the movies but that we are encountering people who have these experiences in our professional lives on a daily basis. Empathy and sensitivity to the experience of others are needed more than ever in our professional and personal lives.

Diversity

When discussing The Hate U Give, Hall eloquently explained how images reflect who we are, how we are perceived, and how we are received in the world: “Those images shape how the world is shaped and affects us when we apply for jobs.” When asked about diversity and his role in the film, Common explained how art gives us more insight into life. “Every time I get a new character, I start to understand human beings more. That’s why I want to play characters that are not like me, and that do not think like I think,” he expressed. Being exposed to people, experiences, and places that are not like us or that are different from our everyday lives is the key to diversity. Common and the cast agreed that when it comes to diversity we have a long way to go, but it is important to acknowledge the growth and recognize there are people on the front lines who are moving forward and being leaders in the area of diversity.

The Hate U Give reminds us that it is not only about diversity of color and gender, but also diversity in thought. As art imitates life, we continue to recognize that people come from all walks of life and that we are not monolithic as a people.  As Hornby expressed, “There is no right or wrong, there is only truth.”  As business owners and professionals, we must join efforts with organizations like the MMCA to ignite and sustain a call to truth and action that results in a significant increase in diverse representation in all areas of industry. At the same time, we must be keenly aware of the effect the lack of diversity and other factors have on our health and our productivity. The Hate U Give is a powerful tool that can be used to continue the dialogue and to challenge misconceptions that prevent progress.

The Hate U Give is in select theaters on Oct. 5 and everywhere on Oct. 19.

 

 

 

The post Common, Regina Hall, and Russell Hornsby Share Lessons from ‘The Hate U Give’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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