Tag Archives: YBM

Success Habits – Reading

Have you ever been to the home of a friend or someone who claimed to be broke only to find that they have an extra large flat screen TV, decked out with all the bells and whistles sitting in their living room?  Were you even more dumbfounded when they started flipping through their deluxe cable channels? Me too!  Broke people and rich people have very different habits.  If you haven’t read Rich Dad Poor Dad read it and you’ll understand exactly what I mean by that statement.

ghetto flat screen

The major differences between wealthy people and middle class people are spending habits, mindset, and financial acumen.  However, there is one additional differentiator that is highly noteworthy.  Wealthy people, spend more time reading than watching TV.  According to a 2012 survey completed by Harris Interactive, 71% of adults read less than six books a year and 14% do not read any books in a year.

The simple act of carving out time to read more will change the trajectory of your financial future.  Here is a helpful tip you can employ to get you started on the path to reading more.

Make Google Reader part of your morning routine.

Google Reader

Google Reader is a free service from Google that allows you to aggregate articles from different websites.  Instead of having to visit each website you like individually you can simply open up Google Reader and articles from all your favorite sites will populate in one feed.

When you set up Google Reader you’ll have an option to place a subscribe button in your web browser toolbar.  I highly recommend you install the subscribe button.  The button will make it super easy for you to add websites to your Google Reader. Once you have the button all you do is click it when you visit a website you want added to your Google Reader.

Google Reader will help you to spend less time surfing the internet and more time reading good content, but it’s still important to read books as well so consider joining our YBM Book Club.

The video below is a tutorial on how to set up Google Reader.

If you have additional questions about Google Reader email theYBM at youngblackandmotivated@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter @ybmotivated

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YBM is about processes and details.  We don’t talk about theory we talk about results and the action YOU can take to get where you want to be.  Subscribe to the YBM RSS feed or Facebook to stay in the loop on new information we post.


Need Start-up Money? Leverage KickStarter

Many entrepreneurs have great ideas that are worthy of funding, but they fall short getting their idea to the masses because they lack funding (capital) to do so.  Kickstarter is a resource that if used correctly can help you get your idea funded.
What is KickStarter?

KickStarter is not for everyone.  KickStarter is a funding platform for creatives.

  • Artists
  • Comics producers
  • Dancers
  • Designers
  • Fashion creatives
  • Film producers
  • Food creatives
  • Game developers
  • Musicians
  • Photographers
  • & more

Kickstarter does not provide funding for businesses it can only be used for projects.  A project being producing an album, creating a film, a work of art, etc. A project is something that will be produced and created in a finite period of time.

How to Correctly Leverage KickStarter

As I share my tips on how to leverage KickStarter, I’ll be referencing Color Between the Lines as a case study to show you how you can leverage KickStarter to successfully fund your next entrepreneurial venture.  Color Between the Lines was a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to produce a documentary film about black tatoo artists.  If you’re not familiar with the Color Between the Lines campaign watch this trailer and click this link to see their KickStarter landing page.

7 Tips the will help you get your KickStarter Campaign Funded

#1  Include a photo when you post your campaign.

Studies have shown that internet users do not like to read large blocks of text.  The reason is because many internet users skim web content, pulling out pieces of information applicable to their personal problem rather than reading web articles in their entirety.  Since, we know that users prefer to skim text rather than read text, what is a tool that helps you say thousands of words without having to type thousands of words? Yes, you guessed it photography. As the cliche goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Say more by doing less, include a photo in your campaign and capture the attention of your viewers quickly.

#2  Be sure to use high resolution photos.

More people are getting smart and incorporating photos into their KickStarter campaign postings these days, but they are still making one mistake.  People are posting low resolution photos.

What’s the difference between a low-res photo and a high-res photo? (See picture below.)Low Res High Res

Not all low-res photos look as obviously pixilated as the image above, but low-res pictures can still look very grainy.

You’ve got to remember that when people buy into your campaign they will want to take the photo on your KickStarter campaign website and share it across their social networks.  Viewers of your campaign might screenshot your photo, download your photo, or take a picture of your photo with their cellphone and Instagram it.  The higher quality your resolution is to begin with the better your chances are of that picture still looking good as your viewers reproduce it and share it across social networks.

If you don’t have a high-res photo for your project hire a photographer and invest in some high quality shots that will get you noticed.  Amateur photography is a dime a dozen on the internet nowadays. You need to do the work to stand out.

#3 Stamp your photo.

I highly recommend, adding a watermark to your photo or the URL of your website so that if a viewer comes across the photo when they are not on your campaign landing page they will be redirected back to your project via the watermark on your photo. (Example below.)

watermarked photo

#4  Remember to focus on the problem you are trying to solve.

KickStarter gives you the opportunity to post a program description and a video with your project.  Make sure you do both.  The percentage of projects on Kickstarter with video that are funded is higher than for those that run project campaigns without video.

What should you talk about in the video and the posting?  Your job is to think about who is going to be watching your video.  How can you share the problem you are trying to solve and demonstrate to your audience why you are best qualified to solve the problem?  Using Color Between the Lines as an example, the problem outlined is that black tattoo artists aren’t getting their proper shine.  The solution proposed is a documentary that tells the story of black tattoo artists.  Color Between the Lines focused their trailer and project description on detailing the problem and their proposed solution.

Focusing your posting on what the problem is and how you are going to solve it is critical because the people who go to KickStarter and donate money are people who want to be part of a solution.  KickStarters are people who believe in art, creativity, and changing the world. If you don’t clearly outline a problem and solution chances are your campaign will not be funded.

#5 Tell A Story.

Resist the inclination to post video or prose that talk about the reasons why you need help.  No one cares.  People will always care more about what’s in it for them than what’s in it for you. People are easily bored by facts, figures, and narration so the best method to share your problem and solution is through story telling.  If the Color Between the Lines trailer had posted a video with a narrator that spoke about how many black tattoo artist there are vs. the number of white tattoo shops no one would have cared and the campaign would have flopped. Why? Because it is easy for people to disconnect themselves from statistics.  What Color in the Lines did well is in the trailer viewers heard true stories from different tattoo artists.  It put a face on the problem which humanized the problem.  In order to make a real connection with others you have to share a piece of yourself. You need to let people in a bit. Telling your story humanizes your situation and makes it relatable.  As you develop your KickStarter campaign think about how you can tell your story.  This campaign by Ayinde Howell is another good example of story telling.

#6 Be brief.

Keep your video under 4 minutes.  There are so many distractions online today that they attention span of the average user is steadily declining.  The most popular videos on YouTube on average are under five minutes.  Take a queue from YouTube and keep it short.

#7 Ask for what you actually need.

When you pick your fundraising goal do not lowball yourself.  When people put their money into something they expect results.  Don’t pick fundraising goal of $5,000 over $6,500 if your only reason is because you think that $5,000 will be easier to fundraise.  Set your fundraising goal based on how much money you will actually need to complete the project.  Lastly, make sure to also factor in the cost of producing rewards for your donors.

If you have additional questions about KickStarter campaigns or need advice on your specific campaign email theYBM at youngblackandmotivated@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter @ybmotivated

If you found this information to be helpful please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.


YBM is about processes and details.  We don’t talk about theory we talk about results and the action YOU can take to get where you want to be.  Subscribe to the YBM RSS feed or Facebook to stay in the loop on new information we post.


5 Tips For Entrepreneurs From Jewelry Designer Janine Robinson

Janine Robinson has been designing exquisite custom jewelry for clients since 2005 when she opened up her jewelry business Kai Expressions.  What started as a side business of making earrings for family and friends, quickly blossomed into a full scale jewelry brand and business.  Kai Expressions excels in offering clients unique handcrafted jewelry made with semi precious stones and high quality metals.  As a key player in a highly competitive industry, Kai Expressions sets itself apart from other jewelry brands by focusing on the details.  Robinson understands that when it comes to fashion women want original pieces, and something that they won’t see other people wearing.  Robinson travels the globe to find unique stones to incorporate into her Kai Expressions jewelry line, in order to cater to the needs of her fashion forward clients.  Now based in Los Angeles, CA, after recently relocating from Boston, MA, Robinson is excited about the growth instore for her company.

Kai Expressions Ring

YBM had the opportunity to sit down with Robinson and get the scoop on how she got started and her advice for budding entrepreneurs.  5 Tips from Janine Robinson on Getting Started:

#1 Figure Out Your Product.
According to Robinson, many people have a lot of ideas, but the key is to focus in on one.  Before Kai Expressions started, Robinson made handcrafted event favors for family affairs and bachelorette parties under the business name Weenie Delights.  Though it was nice to be able to create a special gift for friends and family, she realized that her interest was really in jewelry.  Her passion and pride came from creating works of art with her own hands, no matter how big or small. Robinson made the decision to focus on creating these jewelry masterpieces. Continue reading

Welcome to YBM!

Hello World!

My name is Trudy Baidoo and I am the Founder and Chief Editor of Young, Black, and Motivated.com (“YBM”).  If you’re wondering what I look like, the picture below is a photograph of me on the YBM interview set with young business mogul, Taj Tashombe.  Make sure you check out his interview when we post it this month.  Taj shared a lot of insightful information that will benefit up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

To kick off the launch of youngblackandmotivated.com, I want to share with you how YBM came to be.

I decided to start YBM because I was tired of talented African-Americans not getting the shine they deserve.  Rather then talk about the work of Newark Governor Corey Booker, the media wants to focus on the statements of the NAACP.  Instead of showcasing young successful African-American entrepreneurs like Maurice Cherry, founder of 3Eighteen Media based in Atlanta, entrepreneur magazines tend to save their African-American spotlights for “special edition” prints (e.g. “Top 20 Minorities in Business”).  It almost feels as though the media would have you believe that most African-Americans are struggling to achieve success, or that this is a rare occasion (Not True!).  My frustration with how African-Americans are portrayed in the media was one of the main reasons why I built a team to start this website.

Another reason YBM exists today is because I was tired of struggling to find peers and mentors in the African-American community willing to share information about how they achieved their success.  This is not to suggest that generally speaking African-Americans aren’t willing to share success notes, but it is to say that more of us should be willing to share and have more platforms for sharing.  In the African-American community there seems to be this notion that there is not enough success to go around, that success is finite.  The truth is, if more people shared there would be more collaboration and better projects.  Sharing best practices, strategies, processes, and experiences increases the pot of gold.


YBM TV Executive Producer Natasha Hill with Taj Tashombe

In response to the two issues described above, YBM was born.  At YBM we focus on African-Americans who are pursing their dreams.   Our goal is to tell the stories of the “doer,” and highlight anyone who meets the criteria even if they aren’t a celebrity.  Additionally, YBM is a resource guide for those looking for career, business, and lifestyle information from the perspective of those who (like themselves) are young, black, and motivated.

On behalf of the YBM team, WELCOME TO YBM!  I invite you to provide us with your feedback and input so that we can make tweaks and updates to the site so that it best serves your needs.   The best way to share your thoughts is by leaving a comment here on YBM, or by posting a comment to the YBM Facebook page.

Thank you for visiting www.youngblackandmotivated.com.


Trudy Baidoo

Founder and Chief Editor