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Meet Demetrius G. Rainer, JD

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ADVOCATE | SPEAKER | COLUMNIST

Demetrius G. Rainer, JD is a former Federal and State Criminal Defense Attorney that has been on both sides of the aisles in the courtroom, on one side defending citizens that had been charged with a crime and on the other as a defendant fighting for her life.
“Dee” as she is affectionately known, is an outspoken Criminal Justice Reform Advocate that focuses on collateral consequences of conviction and how they are hurdles to successful re-entry for returning citizens. Due to her being impacted by collateral consequences of conviction, Dee became Founder and Executive Director of My Meta Re-Entry Services.


Her mission is to remove barriers for returning citizens, reduce recidivism, increase public safety and spur economic growth, by providing resources, information, wrap around services, advocacy and case management to returning citizens for successful reintegration.
Dee is an Executive Board Member for Scotland County Re-entry Council; 2019 Faces of Women Imprisoned Inaugural Co-hort Member; Criminal Justice Reform Columnist for HustleMama Magazine; Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Renew Life Group, LLC an Outpatient Mental Health Center for Adolescents and Adults; and a proud Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Dee’s life mission is to see that states repeal all collateral consequences of conviction so that “Time Served” really means “Time Served.”

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Demetrius G. Rainer, JD is Wanting to Have the Say So and Last Word…

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oh and…On a Mission to Ensure that the Letter of the Law is to the Letter and that their Words Mean Exactly What They Say

HMAG: What was life growing up like for you?
DGR: Life growing up for me was easy. I have two older siblings, a brother and a half-brother. Both my parents were teenagers when I was born, and I am sure they had their struggles but me and my brother didn’t suffer. My mom spoiled all of us, including my dad. My dad made sure we were well provided for and disciplined us when necessary. My dad’s only requirement was for me and my brothers to go to school, study hard and make good grades. My parents just celebrated 50 years of marriage.

HMAG: When did you realize what you wanted to do with your life?
DGR: I knew early that I wanted to be a lawyer. Maybe by the age of ten. I was drawn to legal shows on TV. I was always opinionated, inquisitive and had to have the last word.
HMAG: Were you a dreamer in your younger years?

DGR: Yes, I was a dreamer when I was growing up. I still am. I dreamed about being Diana Ross!! I Loved Her. I can’t tell you how many times growing up I watched Mahogany and Lady Sing the Blues. I also wanted to marry Billy D. Williams.

HMAG: What did you want most to be from those dreams? Is it what you are doing today?
DGR: As I stated earlier, I knew early that I wanted a career in the legal profession. So, I went to law school and began practicing law. As for my profession now, being the Founder of My Meta Re-Entry Services, (will be up and running soon) and being a Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, I was thrust into this role due to my being adversely affected by the Criminal Justice System.

For almost a decade, I was a Federal and State Criminal Defense Lawyer. I also practiced Real Estate Law. However, after making some unwise decisions in my law practice, I was ultimately disbarred and charged with Money Laundering and Mortgage Fraud. I was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ultimately served 1yr and tens days. I went from a successful up and coming defense and real estate lawyer to a defendant. I thought I would die. However, through this adversity, I had to reinvent myself. I had to think outside the box and do something different.

I became a Criminal Justice Reform Advocate more specifically focusing on Re-Entry services and collateral consequences of convictions because I have been adversely impacted by this system and collateral consequences of my conviction continue to hinder me, long after my release from imprisonment.

HMAG: What makes you do what you do?
DGR: What makes me do what I do, is because of my own personal experience and the experience of others that have been negatively impacted by the criminal justice system.

Don’t BE AFRAID TO REINVENT YOURSELF

HMAG: What do you hope for your legacy?
DGR: As for my legacy, I would like to change the Game in the arena that I am in. I would like to work effectively to change laws in the criminal justice reform arena. I want to be a trailblazer in the game. So, when you hear my name it will be synonymous with changing laws and getting things done in criminal justice reform.

HMAG: If you were able, what would you change about the world we live in?
DGR: If I could change one thing in this Nation, I would like to see this Nation become a Nation of second chances where time served really means time served.

“I would like to be remembered most as a servant. I live to serve others…I serve with a Servant’s Heart. I am guided by God and I ask God daily to guide me and allow me to be a blessing to others.”
Dee Rainer

HMAG: Who were some of your life influences?
DGR: Nelson Mandela. Why: This is a man that was sentenced to life imprisonment ultimately served 27 years in prison in a country that wanted his soul, his spirit, his mind and body, a country that wanted him dead…And within 4 years of his released he became the 1st democratically elected President of that Country!!! That is remarkable. He had an indomitable spirit, the will to press on and persevere. How can’t you admire a person like that?

White Shirts White Blouses

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White shirts and blouses are the cornerstone, of my wardrobe. In fact, I believe they should be the cornerstone of everyone’s wardrobe. Just like a White T-Shirt or Black Turtleneck they’re clean and focused, yet have an amazing opportunity for interpretation and diversity.

The White Blouse can display poise, femininity, strength, professionalism and an official stance, in many eyes. It’s a basic beginner piece and finishing touch, all at the same time.

Just like the Little Black Dress, the White Blouse is an essential item in anyone’s wardrobe.  Yet unlike the black dress, it’s appropriate for a picnic, disco, date night, carnival, interview, black tie event and even a funeral. It goes with jeans, a classic pair of pants in ANY COLOR, a skirt and even as an under pinning with vest, jackets, overalls or the right Little Black Dress.

If you haven’t been hip to this idea, I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to change you mind.

TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN MUCH IS EXPECTED
It’s not all “Happy Go Lucky” with your white blouse. While there will be so many opportunities for you to wear it, there are so many obstacles out to get you.

STAINS: a good stain fighting pen on hand is always helpful. Try to remain mindful so you don’t need the pen, but mistakes happen, so arm yourself accordingly!

COLOR TRANSFER OR BLEEDING :
Another form of stain, blue jeans, black leather and colored napkins can be out to get your white shirt. I find the best thing to do is just take a zen approach and know it may happen then be prepared to show your top some love afterwards.

CLEANING:
I always find it best to follow the cleaning instructions in any garment, but with white blouses and shirts, we tend to panic. Spot cleaning is good (for stains) followed by regular cleaning as follow up.

YELLOWING FROM DRY CLEANING:
It’s just the way it is. Your white top will start to yellow, because of age, oxidation and chemical cleaning products, this is unavoidable.  Yellow happens very slowly and sometimes unnoticeable until you’re in a situation with a brand new white shirt; it’s like the tissue test for white teeth! Now you have a decision to make, ignore it (keep) or invest in a new shirt (toss).

NOW THAT YOU KNOW
Now that we’ve gotten all the details out of the way, I urge you to make good investments, in this product. I’m my opinion, you can’t have too many. You can have so many types, fabrics and styles of white shirts, it’s mind boggling. Take this basic item and prepare to make it anything but basic. Think of different necklaces, pins, scarves you can wear with you white shirt and experiment. You can essentially wear a different one everyday and make a statement .

ONE MORE THING: IT HAS TO FIT!
Now, this is a subject I’ve mentioned before, but it bares repeating for this important garment; it must fit well. If the blouse is too tight in the shoulders, squeezes your back, is too tight in the armholes or so oversized you feel swallowed, it’s not right. Make sure your top fits your body well. You should look and feel comfortable remember the fact that white highlights too many imperfections, to explain away.  Make sure it looks good across the bust and back and while oversized can be, fun make sure it looks like it was on purpose with the correct look in your bottom and accessories.

WAYS TO WEAR YOU SHIRT

WEAR IT: tucked in with a pin at the neck or collar
WEAR IT: untucked with a belt, scarf and skirt
WEAR IT: sleeves rolled up unbuttoned with another top underneath such as a lace tank or stripped top and jeans
WEAR IT: tucked with a large statement necklace and finish off with a classic pant or skirt
WEAR IT: completely clean no jewelry and an extravagant bottom, so the top is your support piece(Co-Star of the show)
WEAR IT: tied at the wait with a long flowy satin or sequins skirt.

Imagine these ideas with your basic white blouse/shirt, but then start to think how far you can go with a more elaborate top; one which is pleated, with an unusual neckline, such as a mandarin collar or bow, enormous sleeves or a grand bib detail. You’re white blouse can also be made of linen, lace, chiffon, knit or a mixture of several fabrics and details. You can even start to design your own blouse, by being creative with ties, ribbons, scissors, safety pins and/or trinkets; with these items you can be as basic or ornate as you wish!

It’s YOUR white blouse, make it express your unique style!♥️

Every Day is Different

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Sometimes you’re having a wonderful morning; the sun is shinning everything goes easy, your clothes look great and you are out the door with ease. Other days your alarm didn’t go off, your having a hard time getting that hair together and you just can’t figure out WHAT TO WEAR! A strong and solid wardrobe with proper options and big enthusiasm can help make this portion easier. Let me offer some help.

STAY READY
I am a VERY firm believer of a healthy wardrobe, meaning some clothes being stuck, in the dry cleaners or any event that pops up at the last minute doesn’t cause a complete melt down.  We recently had articles regarding “The Importance of Basics” and how “Accessories” can increase your wardrobe options. These concepts never go out of style and will keep you from be caught off guard, in any situation. Basic pieces in your wardrobe such as a clean white shirt or a favorite pair of grey pants, which can be paired back to items, in the closet or a great statement necklace can make all the difference in your morning, rain or shine, up easy or a hard time getting out the door.

Also, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; why wait until that morning to pull it together?  Laying your clothing out the night before make life so much easier!  Organizing your top, bottom, shoes and accessory is a time saver, less stress and lets you focus or more fun ideas. Maybe you can use your extra time to some experiment with hair and makeup.

NEW CLOTHES HYPE
While I love new clothing, I also love having items that can be pulled out of the closet, properly accessorized and go. With this in mind, think of your wardrobe as part of a functional concept meaning, hair, shoes, nails, handbags and even the right attitude can help you get it together.

Make sure you have several accessories ideas for each outfit/dress. Make it your business to have a couple of necklaces, bracelets, shoes and/or hairstyles for one outfit. This process will help you remain prepared, not only does it help you organize it helps you think, in a way that offers the opportunity for future outfits and the best “Put Together” possible.

WE LOVE A SELFIE
We’ve become a society full of picture takers. I can’t speak for others but most of the pictures in my phone will never be published or posted. These are the pictures I use to remember details of places and things; so why can’t you use the same exercise, on your clothing? You can photograph items, on the bed or floor adding in jewelry, belts, shoes or put them on and take pictures. Create your own catalog, which can offer a opportunity to refer to when your feeling “not” as motivated, going on

a business trip, out on a date or attending a wedding, meeting someone you want to impress, trying out a new color/silhouette or need to feel sexy.

PREPARATION IS GOOD
The more effort you can put in upfront the more you create a window of opportunity that can be pulled together quickly and with confidence. How great is it to know exactly how that blouse will look with those pants instead of “Gee, I hope that will look good together.”

Preparing removes doubt, builds confidence and allows for less effort when it’s time to wear the outfit (e.g.-I realized the long black beaded necklace looks better with that top than the short pearls.)

“SHE’’S ALWAYS PULLED TOGETHER”
“Wow, she always looked great.” and “She’s always so pulled together!” is just what everyone can say about YOU, when you display the right intent and focus in your wardrobe. It’s all  in your effort and visual goal.  By utilizing the ideas I’ve mentioned, use social media to offer you inspiration, excitement and realize while everyday is different there is no reason you can’t maintain your same cynosure. You hold the power to make everyday work, for you.

HAPPY OUTFIT!♥️

Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

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Too many times, we find ourselves apologizing for things, and for what, half of the times we do not even know. Not just because it seems right, but also our conscious and inner being doesn’t want the stress from arguing to prove a point. Today’s society seemed to have stopped taking accountability for their actions, and instead of owning their faults, they find a guinea pig and a way around being guilty of an activity that they partook in.

I, too, am guilty of the same. My spirit is so big, and my heart is so loving that I also tend to apologize quickly. To a point, I think the reason I apologize is in part because of my upbringing, whether it is something as far as not returning a call, answering a call, and keeping an appointment. One thing everyone knows “I Am A Woman Of My Word!” I do not say it unless I mean it. I do not accuse unless I have facts. I do not make an appointment unless I am sure it fits into my schedule. Yes, I, too, believe in “Fake It Until You Make It,” but I also am a firm believer that if you have nothing in life, you should at least have your word!

I wrote this piece to say to all those quick apologetic people who tend to apologize for being too kind; for being too good-hearted; for being a person guilty of giving the benefit of the doubt – don’t be sorry. Today, I want you to be Unapologetically. You! The beautiful spirit that God created. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same morals and way of thinking, but there is no need to apologize for everything. Yes, pick your battles and act accordingly, but there is no longer a need to apologize for being you.

There is truth in owning your faults and taking accountability for your actions and sometimes apologizing and meeting the other person in the middle, but you should not find yourself apologizing for everything you do. God created each of us differently for a reason. Yes, we can learn from others, and in no shape or form am I suggesting that you should change because of other people’s actions. I am merely saying, “Be You!” If today you choose not to apologize and that person decides that you are wrong for not doing so, although they know in their heart and spirit you are right, let them go. God does not remove people because He knows they are right; He removes them because He knows they are wrong. God knows your heart, and indeed, that is all that matters. Sometimes we have to allow people to lose us to see their wrongdoings. Sometimes we have to walk away to lessen the burden of the load we carry for others. Sometimes we have to be the one who says, “I Am Not Apologizing, Because I Did Nothing Wrong.”

Wedding Photo Vibes

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It’s Here! The Day Most Women Dream Of! Your wedding day is easily one of the most photographed days of your life. Traditionally, most people hire one photographer, because the great photos are usually of the bride. Honestly, if your photographer is good, he or she will know to schedule accordingly, so that you can capture those memorable moments of both the groom and bride. Yes!

 

It is important to catch those moments before the bride, but I think it is equally important to capture those memorable moments with the groom and his guys as well. Your photographer will likely have thousands of candids of the two of you as you tie the knot, cut the cake, and dance the night away. But before you walk down the aisle and hear the first click of the shutter, it’s a good idea to have a consultation with your photographer to ensure that every pose you want to be included will be there—because, after all, you only have one shot at your wedding day. Here are 16 poses you’ll want to photograph for your wedding:

1.   Getting Make-Up Done:   Every moment before “I Do” is essential, and catching you getting glammed up is important too.

2.   Putting On Your Dress:    This is true when the magic begins. If you are lucky enough to have your mother present, this is true when the tears start to flow.

3.   The Men Sharing A Laugh:   As they sit around waiting, reminiscing and joking before they start to get dressed.

4.   Time To Get Suited Up:   All women want to see those special shots of them getting dressed, but they also secretly want to see how their groom looked, so it is also important to get pictures of the guys getting dressed.

5.   Putting Your Veil On All queens wear a crown, so it is fitting to get that right shot of you putting on your veil, as you prepare to go from Miss to Mrs.

6.   Let’s Toast To That:  It is essential to capture the shots of the bride and her ladies having a glass of champagne and saying a prayer, as well as the groom and his men, taking a shot of whiskey and a few puffs from a cigar.

7.   Bridal Portrait:  Time to take some candid moment of the future Mrs.


8.   Wedding Party Photos:   Let’s have some jokes, silly photos, and classic memories with the special people you chose to be a part of your special day.

9.   The First Look:  I am not a fan of the first look unless it is still a hidden moment, where we can capture the picture of both of us standing on opposite sides of the door. Most people like it, because it gives them a moment together, away from the crowd, and a moment to get most emotions out.

10.   The First Walk:   After you have said the I Do’s, he has kissed his bride and the nerves have settled, have the photographer take a picture
of you two from behind…. the new couple taking their first walk.

11.   Best Man/Maid of Honor Toast:   This moment is not just for photos, but it is vital to get this on videotape. If you did not hire a videographer, then hope someone videotapes it. Childhood stories, many jokes, and so much more.

12. The First Dance: This moment is so beautiful, between the shared looks, the smiles, the kiss, and the hold, so much sentiment is shared between the newly married couple. At this moment, no one else is in the room but them, well so it seems when you look at the happy couple.

13. You and Mom:  Mothers hold their babies safe through their life, but these photos show how proud they are of the man and woman their child has become and how happy they are of the person they chose to share their life with.

14. Cutting the Cake:  Make sure the photographer takes a few pictures of the cake before the couple stands beside it; a few with the couple and of course, a few when they feed each other.

15.   Throwing the Bouquet:   From the throwing of the bouquet to the removal and catching of the garter. The inner stripper seems to come out of the groom when it’s his time. 16.   Thank You From Bride & Groom:   As they stand to give their final thank you, and they share a few kisses. No better way to end the day, but with some more candid pictures of the newly married couple.

The Creative Mind

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Mental health for women vector

GOING INSIDE: THE BEAUTY AND LANDSCAPE OF A CREATIVE MIND

We have all heard stories and witnessed the unraveling of creative people living wild, uncontrollable lives of madness, being genius, and yet still selfish with the thoughts that go on inside their heads. The ‘artistic temperament’ has now entered the cultural mainstream. While their work may be admired, creative people are sometimes dismissed as non-recognizable and non-relatable. In some circles, the term “creative” is tinged with contempt. That is far from real. A creative mind is sometimes misunderstood as anti-social and weird, but a person living with a creative mind seems to have the most fun.

The upside to having a creative mind is that you are always entertained because most times, your brain never sleeps and is also active with thoughts and ideas. When you have a creative mind, your wheels are still turning. You never get a rest from the commotion inside of your mind. Unlike most people, who work a nine to five job, you are unable to stop thinking about work once your head hits the pillow at night. You are inspired to create at odd hours. You wake up in the middle of the night with ideas on your mind. You do not get well-needed breaks during holidays and birthdays. You work through celebrations. Even if you have stepped away from your pencil or paintbrush to spend time with your loved ones, your mind is elsewhere. You are never fully present because you are always thinking, always planning. To me, the best part is being visual with conversations. I still have my coworkers dying with laughter, because we could have a chat or a joke, and within seconds, I respond via email with the visual aspect to that conversation and joke. They are always amazed at how I came up with that so quick or so precise. In my head, there is never a dull moment.
Now, the downside to a creative mind is that sometimes you may tend to think deeper into things, analyze more than usual and/or you are never satisfied with a project, until it comes across just right, wherein you give the person reading and/or watching, the feel of being in the shoes of the creative mind. When you have a creative mind, you are never satisfied. You never think you are doing enough. You push yourself towards the brink of exhaustion. You criticize yourself even when you are trying your hardest. You could get a million compliments on your work and will ignore them to dwell on the one negative comment. Yes, the creative mind is always striving for better.
As for me, my creative mind has taken me many places. I can travel the world and never get on a plane. My creativity started me out and has continued with my love of the arts, writing, and dancing. Still, I sometimes tend to think that I missed my calling and probably should have been in marketing, which was what I majored in high school, but had so many jobs, that I diverted away from it. Life teaches us lessons, and although I may not have followed my dreams of being a dancer and marketing, I still have had the opportunity to do so. With regards to dancing, the many years that I took, I can now teach a young woman or man the skills of perfecting the art of dancing and give criticism and compliment from the director’s eye. With marketing, I can entertain those around me with my visual aspects of the conversation, and I have been blessed to land the opportunity to write for this great magazine and contribute monthly to the meat of the meal when preparing the magazine’s content. I also self-teach myself in whatever field or hobby that I take on, and I am proud to say that I use my many skills to help others.

As the excellent quote says, “Pay It Forward.” I truly believe God has not blessed me with so many great stories, opportunities, and skills to keep it to myself. He is using me to teach and to empower, and I welcome every old and new face that I encounter. No complaints here, I love it! To those of you raising children, never stop them from their life interest, allow them to explore. You will be amazed at what their inner creative mind is thinking. Give them that white sheet or blank canvas and will enable them to paint their picture.

Barbie Scott

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A “Hood Romance Author” is how she likes to be described. Hustle Mama Magazine introduces to you, Barbie Scott. A California based writer who is using her God-given talents to the fullest.

Get to Know Barbie

Growing up in a Trap has been bittersweet for this young author. However, it was a life lesson. Overcoming her suspenseful life in a gang, Barbie Scott has taken a more positive turn. “Barbie, you have been through so much you need to write a book!” Those are the words Barbie normally from people that knew her stories (or better known these days as her truth). In 2016, Barbie was introduced to the ‘Authors Game.’ Adjusting her crown, The Queen began to write a very anticipating book series entitled ‘Trap Gyrl’ that reflects on her own life. The self-published author has written over 30 novels in such a short time and has over 20 published on Amazon. She has also sold thousands of copies street-wide from the trunk of her car. Her motto is “From Bricks 2 Books,” and she’s blessed to say she has made it this far and has become so passionate about her craft. Now stepping into film, she recently shot a sizzle for “Trap Gyrl,” in hopes of being picked up as a television series. The book game is no more accessible than the rap game and the tv/movie industry. It starts with a manuscript, but the hard work comes with creativity and drives to make these publishers recognize your skill.

“Street Chic With A Vision!”

HMM:   Tell us a little about your most recent book? What is the title, and what and who inspired you for this storyline?

BS:   My most recent book is titled “A Boss Got Me In My Feelings, But A Savage Got My Heart” It’s a story about a girl who’s abandoned by her mother and went from foster home to jail. When she was released, she meets a young guy who takes her in. This guy is cocky, a true savage but lovable. Anywho! He takes her in and provides for her. He has dreams of becoming a rapper, but he’s so consumed with his mother’s drug addiction he puts his life on hold. After some time, the girl “Lyric” becomes a stylist and lands a gig for a major producer. She sleeps with the producer to get Royal Kane a deal but then regrets it. I don’t want to give up any more of the book, lol. The story is inspired by life experiences as far as how people let fame change them. That’s what happens in this book with money and fame – Royal changes.

HMM:    Are you independently published? Yes? No? If no, please advise who are you published by?
BS: Yes, I am both. Myss Shan publishes me at Shan Presents, and I am also an independent author as well. I believe in the great words by Malcolm X, “By Any Means Necessary!”

HMM:   Where were you born, and where do you currently live?
BS:   I was born in the heart of Los Angeles, California (South Central). I currently live in Los Angeles, California. Although American born, the majority of my family is from Cuba.

HMM:     What was life like growing up for you? What kind of family did you grow up in?
BS:    Life growing up was rough only because of the violence I had to escape. Other than that, I had a crazy but dope family. My grandmother is a full-blooded Cuban, so we spoke Spanish around my home. Spanish was the first language I learned. My family is very close. At a very young age, I was caught up in a gang, and I was also raised in the Trap. Nothing to be proud of, but I’m proud of my accomplishments. I did not let my past life deter me from becoming a positive role model.

“From Bricks to Books!”

HMM:    How old were you when you knew this was your calling and what you were possibly going to do for the rest of your life?
BS:   When I was in junior high, I always wrote poems. I didn’t expect to become a writer professionally. About the age of 24, I picked up a pen and began writing my first book. Everyone that knew me always encouraged it. So finally, I gave it a shot. At the time I was an avid reader, I knew what would excite readers. When I got to about chapter 7, I tossed it to the side. Years later I picked it back up, only this time I used a laptop. I completed it. I got discouraged due to editing issues, and I almost quit (again). One of my friends checked the hell out of me and said: “You better write something else, but you better not give up!” So, I started writing “Trap Gyrl,” which is my best and favorite book written. I found another editor, and since then, I have not stopped.

HMM:   Are you involved with any workshops, and as an author, how do you help others accomplish their dreams, and what advice do you have for new upcoming aspired writers?
BS:   I’m not in any workshops or anything, but I do consultations via Facebook or Instagram. I want to tell any writer that’s up and coming never to give up. Make every story you write, whether its fiction or real, as realistic as possible. The goal is to capture your readers and make them feel like they are in the character’s shoes. Another thing, especially for male authors, no matter what, there should always be some love story in your novel. Remember, women are your biggest supporters, and women love a damn good love story. I am speaking as an author, a reader, and, most importantly, a woman.

HMM:      What books have you written? Have any been done as a playwright? BS: I’ve written tons of books, but my favorites are the “Trap Gyrl” series, there are five parts to the series. I’m also in love with “Me, U & Hennessy” and “Stealing The Plugs Heart.” “Trap Gyrl” is being pitched for a television series. I’m praying it gets picked up. So far, I only shot a sizzle reel. It’s going to be dropping soon. Another message for authors, “never be afraid to invest in yourself.” I took every dollar I had to my name and shot the sizzle. I spent $12,000.00 for 10 minutes. I don’t worry about the money, because if I put my heart and soul into it (which I normally do), I believe one day it will pay off. “Believe in your craft.”

HMM:     Would you consider yourself a driven person? What makes you a “Powerhouse”? What is the source of your strength?
BS:    The source of my strength is my life; my past life motivates me. The crazy thing is most people do not realize that your past can either make you or break you. I chose to allow my past to drive me to be who I am today and become better tomorrow.

“Turn Your Pain Into Your Greatest Purpose!”


HMM:    Are you currently working on any new books?
BS:     Of course, my pen does not stop! By 2020, I’ll have about 60 books. Lol. I’m working on a novel now called “A Hotgirl Summer” that comes out in September, and I’m releasing “Heartbreak In The Hood” on or about August 10, 2019. HMM: What can we expect from you in the future?
BS:   Tv shows and movies on the big screen and Netflix, whatever I can get my hands on, and whoever is willing to give this street-chic a shot.

HMM: How can they purchase a copy of this book?
BS: All my books are available on www.amazon.com, and for paperbacks, visit www.authorbarbiescott.com .

To follow Ms. Scott, see her social contact information below:

Website: authorbarbiescott.com
Twitter: autbarbiescott
Instagram: @authorbarbiescott
Facebook: Author Barbie Scott

Art Prodigy Tyler Gordon

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THE PAINTING PRODIGY WHO IS MAKING A BIG SPASH

PAINTING PRODIGY MAKING A BIG SPLASH – TYLER GORDON, a San Jose, California born, 13-year old young man, who has impressive painting skills and is making a name for himself around town.

In fifth grade, while many of us were running around on playgrounds, Tyler Gordon (“Tyler”) of San Jose, California, had just discovered his endless supply of painting talent. Tyler, who is now 13, paints black, white and gray portraits of celebrities he finds on television, or of people who want a portrait of themselves. He has painted Kevin Durant, Jay-Z, Beyonce, the Beatles, Oprah, and many more famous people. “His paintings are shadows and negative space,” said Nicole Kindle (“Kindle”), his mother.


He has sold dozens of paintings, started a Facebook page to promote his art, and has also appeared on Steve Harvey’s show, “Little Big Shots.” A budding entrepreneur, Tyler also promotes his art on other social media platforms,

June 2019, Tyler was at San Jose’s Juneteenth celebration at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, where he live-painted for several hours, fueled only by a bologna sandwich. He sold more than 40 paintings that day, he said.

Tyler’s living room in San Jose is filled with his painting supplies and the art he has made. He paints many free-art from images from tv or movies, and then there are some he paints while sitting on a stool. Lately, he said he’s been at it for about four hours every day, to fulfill the orders that have come pouring in since he appeared on “Little Big Shots” and at the Juneteenth festival. Despite Tyler’s accomplishments, his mom said that he is still a normal kid who plays outside most of the time, thinks he’s Superman, and always has to finish his homework.

“His school comes first,” Kindle said. “If I see a grade slipping, that’s a priority; the painting will have to wait.” Kindle was the one who encouraged Tyler to start painting, and she instantly recognized his talent. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” Kindle said on Oli Pettigrew’s TV show, “Right This Minute.” “I’ve been painting, and she instantly recognized his talent. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” Kindle said on Oli Pettigrew’s TV show, “Right This Minute.” “I’ve been pushing, trying to get him everything he needs.” Tyler’s accomplishments come despite life-changing hardships. For a while, he was in a wheelchair after breaking his hips, and he is nearly deaf, Kindle said. On Steve Harvey’s show, Tyler got a big surprise when one of his heroes, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, appeared in a video. “Keep inspiring,” Durant told Tyler. And undoubtedly, Tyler will.

Hustle Mama Magazine takes pride in featuring kids of “Our Future” and this month, we feature 13-year old Tyler Gordon. Here is his story.

“I love painting because it keeps me calm and makes me happy!”

HMM: What was life like growing up for you? What kind of family did you grow up in?
TG: Life growing up for me is excellent. My family is very close. I’m growing up in a fun family. When not in school, my family gets together to play games, go to the beach, church, and every Tuesday, my family has a movie night. Another thing I like to do is help feed the less fortunate.

HMM: How do you maintain your integrity in an otherwise very competitive and
scrupulous industry?
TG: I stay true to who I am. My mom taught me always to be humble and treat the janitor with the same respect that you treat the CEO with.

HMM: At such a young age, what makes you a POWERHOUSE? What is the source of your strength?
TG: I paint from my soul, from deep down. I guess you can say that I paint my feelings. I put some of me in every piece I do. My style of painting, as well as my speed, sets me apart from the other artist. When I did my first painting, which unbeknownst to my mom (I had it in me), I shocked her by the fact that I could paint, let alone the fact that I finished it in approximately 20 minutes.

“I love painting because it keeps me calm and makes me happy!”

HMM: Who are some of your earlier influences?
TG: My earliest influence is my mom. She paints good too. She also started painting at a young age. I like her style, it’s like mine, although the truth is I get it from her. I’m also influenced by Floyd Norman, Basquiat, and Bob Ross.

HMM: You have painted many celebrities from Kevin Durant, Jay-Z, Beyonce, the Beatles, Oprah, and many more famous people. Who is someone you would love to paint and sell a portrait to?
TG: I would love to sell a portrait to Former President, Barack Obama.

HMM: What advice would you offer to kids with a “DREAM”?
TG: I would say, “Never stop going after your dream!” I know, first hand, with determination, it will come true. I’m living my dream right now.

To follow Tyler Gordon, see his contact information below:

Facebook: Tyler Gordon Young Artist
Instagram: Official_tylergordon

5 Tips of Fun Things to Do With the Kids When You’re Too Tired to Plan

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Given the challenges of homework, extracurricular activities, doctors’ visits, clothing shopping, housework, bath time, and your work schedule and household responsibilities, it can be hard to find the time and energy to plan out-of-the-ordinary family activities or fun things to do with kids that are extra special.
Luckily, there are options you can consider that have just enough “something different” to them to make both you and your kids happy – but that isn’t so complicated that they require a ton of planning, thought, and effort.
So before you give in to exhaustion and settle in for yet another night of playing Candy Crush on your smartphone while the kids watch TV, consider one of these five high alternative scenarios.
Family Slumber Parties
When your tired mom or dad self needs to put something together at the last minute, try an all-family slumber party. Have your kids bring their sleeping bags or blankets and pillows to the living room, order some pizza, and pop in a favorite movie – and boom, you’ve got an event.
If you’ve got ice cream or popcorn on hand, add them into the mix as snacks and desserts to give your kids an extra treat. Finish the evening by turning off the lights, bringing out the flashlights and candles, and telling spooky-but-fun urban legends, tall tales, or “before you were born” family stories.
Dinner Shows
Whether it’s a movie in a theater or live entertainment, dinner shows are perfect options for nights when you want to have a special outing, but you don’t have the time or energy to put something together. Everything’s built in – the venue, the meal, and the activity – and you only have to go to one location and make one purchase to make it happen. Plus, there’s no clean up afterward. You can just sit back and watch your kids have fun (and enjoy the fun yourself) while someone else does all the work.
Park Outings
If the weather’s nice, a park expedition can be just the ticket when you ‘re looking for fun things to do with kids that are easy and low stress. Grab your insect repellant, pack up the kids in the car, swing by your favorite take out place, and hit the park for a quick picnic. Afterward, turn the kids loose to play while you relax and watch on a park bench.
Take a Drive/Ride the Train
Pile everyone into the car, put some favorite tunes on the radio, and head out someplace where you can check out a little scenery – a country road, a quaint nearby town, a part of your city you don’t visit much. You can keep the outing lively by pointing out landmarks to your kids, singing along, or playing mini-versions of the alphabet game – then cap off the activity by stopping somewhere for an ice cream cone before you head home.
Another variation on this idea, if you live somewhere with at least some public transportation, is to hop on board the train and take a leisurely ride with no particular destination in mind. On the way you can talk about the different cities or parts of town you’re riding through, and maybe hop out a time or two at various stops and take a look around. Either way, train or car, your kids will likely be charmed by the novelty of riding around and seeing the sights with no specific purpose in mind- and for the chance to have an unfocused but fun conversation with Mom and Dad.
Wave Goodbye:
Do you know that aunt, uncle, grandparent, or best friend who’s always pestering you to let them babysit the kids? Well, why not take them up on their offer? Sometimes, the most fun things to do with kids are activities that you make happen for them, but that doesn’t involve you – like a surprise, last-minute fun outing with one of their most favorite grownups next to Mom or Dad.
While Aunt Jenna or Grandpa Dave is happily entertaining the kids last minute, you can take advantage of the time to get some housework done, pay bills, or sit in a quiet house for a few hours and read or watch TV. When your kids get back from their last-minute surprise outing, they’ll likely be full of enthusiastic stories that they can share with you before bedtime or over the breakfast table the next morning.

Grow Bigger, Healthier Crops and Vegetables

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Grow Bigger, Healthier Crops and Vegetables

The goal of every farmer and every gardener is to grow bigger, healthier, more productive crops and vegetables. Whether the crop is 1000 acres of beans or a backyard with herbs, spices, and tomatoes, more robust plants are the desired outcome. The health of all plants starts with the root system.

Nutrient Absorption by Plants

The root system has several essential functions, but for our purposes, the absorption of nutrients is the topic we’ll discuss. Of particular interest is the rhizosphere, The rhizosphere is generally defined as the region of soil around the root influenced by root secretions and the microorganisms present.

Beneficial Microorganisms in the Root Zone

It’s these microorganisms in the rhizosphere, or root zone, that can have a significant impact on root development and ultimately plant growth.

The plant and the microorganisms form a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship. The plant secretes many compounds into the rhizosphere. These secretions attract microorganisms, including mycorrhizae, Trichoderma, and bacteria. These microorganisms, in turn, secrete many growth factors and hormones that help the plants grow to their fullest potential. Here are a few benefits from beneficial microorganisms:

  1. Plant Growth Promotion – production of plant growth hormones, including auxins.
  2. Nitrogen Fixation
  3. Enhanced root growth
  4. Increase the supply of nutrients including Phosphorus solubilization
  5. Increase the efficiency of traditional fertilizers such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium.

Each of these benefits could be a topic to itself, but for today let’s note that microorganisms provide the plant with any number of benefits.

One of the keys, then, to grow bigger, healthier plants is to make sure the soils contain adequate amounts of beneficial microorganisms. Hundreds of scientific research studies have shown that the use of beneficial microorganisms helps grow bigger, healthier plants and crops.

Biofertilizers

How can farmers and gardeners take advantage of the power of beneficial microorganisms? They can use biofertilizers. Very simply, Biofertilizers are fertilizers that contain living microorganisms. The use of biofertilizers, sometimes called soil probiotics or soil amendments, will increase the number of beneficial soil microorganisms in the root zone.

Biofertilizers can be applied to crops in several ways. They can be used as a seed treatment, as a root drench or as a foliar application. The key is to make sure that the biofertilizer gets to the root zone most efficiently.

The use of beneficial microorganisms can have an excellent benefit for the farmer and gardener. The key to growing bigger, healthier plants is to use biofertilizers.

 

Dances with the Daffodils

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My Cambridge, Massachusetts neighborhood, hard by Harvard University, is accustomed to the brightest of regalia, gowns, flags, pennants; they all catch the eye and remind all our pageantry is of an ancient type and all our own. Even so, we take particular notice when the daffodils parade, outfitted in the vibrant yellow hues once reserved for the Chinese emperor alone. They are always sharp, chic, dramatic,
their presence announced by its central trumpet from which one expects Handel or Purcell at least and would not be surprised at all to hear them, sharp, regal, ceremonious. The daffodil seems tailor-made for this.
For the last several days, housebound with a cold, I have been impatient to behold the arrangements progress, the continuous growth of the stalks, the bulging stems where, very soon, the yellow trumpet will emerge to capture every eye.
There is excitement in the air.
I feel it, and I am glad to see these lordly daffodils hard at their work… for they come but once a year and but so briefly stay. They are right to call to me and remind me that their time is coming, and I must be ready; ready to behold, enjoying, to savor, their time brilliant, memorable, but always far too short.
It is named after the most beautiful boy in the world.
Daffodil is the common English name for this stylish flower. But it is not its real name. Like noblemen treading carefully in our free days, daffodils possess a sense of when to employ their common name, while never forgetting their true pedigree. They are, in fact, Narcissus, the botanic name for a genus of mainly hardy, mostly spring-flowering, bulbs in the Amaryllis family native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. The publication “Daffodils for North American Gardens” cites between 50 and 100 wild species.
The story of Narcissus comes from Greek mythology. There a handsome youth of unsurpassed beauty became so obsessed with his absorbing looks that, when observing himself in a pool of water, he fell in and drowned. In some variations of the myth, the youth died of starvation and thirst because he couldn’t bring himself to do anything but marvel at himself.
We all know such people. . . But the gods did not commemorate their mesmerizing looks and foolishness as they did Narcissus’ by marking the spot where he lay with the stunning Narcissus plant.
The daffodils, cautious, sensitive about Narcissus’ foolishness, relate this story (and their true identity) to uncritical admirers only; they are just “daffodils” to all the rest. I am such a vetted admirer, sensitive; thus, they have shared with me, discretely but with pride. It is rare, they say, to be so commemorated by the gods of Olympus, and so it is.
Description
As every daffodil attests, theirs is a good looking appearance, a “stunner.” It features a central trumpet-, bowl-, or disc-shaped corona surrounded by a ring of six floral leaves called the perianth, which is united into a tube at the forward edge of the 3-locular ovary. The seeds are black, round and swollen with a hard coat. The three outer segments are sepals, and the three inner layers are petals.
Of course, while every daffodil knows these facts precisely (and many more), they understand that you may not be of a botanical turn of mind. Thus, they demand but one thing from you: unqualified admiration. It seems little enough to require such luxuriance of color and joy. Should you disagree, they are not above reminding that all Narcissus varieties contain the alkaloid poison lycorine, mostly in the bulb but also in the leaves. A hint of this usually garners the deferred compliment. Daffodils are accustomed to lavish compliments and are not above, reminding you should yours prove insufficient. It is often such with the abundantly, extravagantly, dazzlingly beautiful, regularly lauded. . . They have their high standards to maintain, making sure we adhere. We give them unqualified obeisance; they cast the benediction of their beauty on us. We are glad to do so; such beauty is rare and too soon gone.
The love affair between daffodils and poets.
Poets, for whom a thing of beauty is a joy forever, have but to see a field of daffodils to wax, well, poetic. In 1807 William Wordsworth published in “Poems In Two Volumes,” words he had first written in 1807.
Every daffodil knows, and joyously too, these magnificent words of beauty, optimism, and contentment:
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils;
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: —
A poet could not but be gay
In such a laughing company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils. ”
Other poets, and those of hopeful, poetical tendencies, have presented the daffodils with their efforts, too.
Amy Lowell (d 1925) was not as sleek and stylish as daffodils prefer; her words were heavy laden in the Victorian manner.
To an Early Daffodil. . .
“Though yellow trumpeter of laggard Spring!
Thou herald of vibrant Summer’s myriad flowers. . . ”
It is not their favorite poem. . . But they honor the poet notwithstanding. She meant well.
They prefer Robert Herrick’s (d. 1674) To Daffodils
“Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon. . . ”
Herrick can make them maudlin and sentimental. Dead so soon, they prefer such notions — and obsequies — be private. Always near the surface of their beauty is the reality of death and too soon, oblivion.
E.E. Cummings’ (d. 1962) “in time of daffodils” is a poem of declaration and purpose. It keeps them focused:
“in time of daffodils (who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why to remember how.”
They cherish their history and all the poets who expand and burnish it.
Still, on any day of their too short annual vacation, they like this best; “April Showers” sung by Al Jolson (1921).
“And where you see clouds upon the hills, You soon will see crowds of daffodils.”
And, always,
“and the daffodils looked lovely today
I looked lovely. ” (From the “Daffodil Lament” by the Cranberries, 2002.)
Indeed they do.

Jumping Sky High on a Trampoline

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Kids love the feeling of jumping on a trampoline, and parents love that it helps burn off their energy. While trampolines are a fun piece of outdoor equipment in many family’s backyards, this is one activity that can be taken to a whole new level. Professional trampoline training offers kids the opportunity to learn skills that can be used in competitions or to enhance their performance in other sports. When your kid can’t get enough of doing flips and twists, enrolling them in a trampoline course will help them stay safe while reaching new heights with their skills.
Master Challenging Tricks Safely
Backyard trampolines are often equipped with nets that are designed to keep kids from falling off the edge. While that works well for a kid who likes to jump up and down, the daredevils must have a lot more support. At summer camp, in-floor trampolines are used during training to minimize the risk of injury. These trampolines are the exact ones used in competitions and have enough room for a full routine of tricks to be performed. Kids are also able to utilize full overhead spotting belts and bungee systems to practice complicated flips until they have mastered the skills to do it independently.
Learn from Experienced Coaches
Kids get inspired to tackle new challenges when experienced adults who also love jumping on the trampoline support them. For this reason, it is best to look for a trampoline training program that is staffed with coaches who have experience training kids in the skills they need to perform at the national level of competition. This way, beginners can work on the necessary skills used in trampoline competitions while knowing that surpassing their coach’s abilities will never hinder them. Instead, your little jumper can realistically train to compete in the nationals or shoot to go all the way to the Olympics.
Gain A Competitive Edge
The feeling of soaring through the air is one that fills kids with confidence, and there is nothing like mastering a new trick to make a kid feel like anything is possible. Just the very act of jumping on a trampoline burns calories, increases stamina, and builds muscles that your kid will use in any sport that they play. Jumping competitively also teaches your son or daughter how to work on a team while taking on the responsibility of performing their routines independently. When a child participates in trampoline classes every day, parents also find that they are calmer and better able to focus on academic tasks at school.
The sight of little acrobats flipping high in the sky is impressive. And exclamations of awe are frequent anytime a parent sits in on a trampoline class. However, every major trick is always taught through a series of progressions that allow kids to build their skills as well as their confidence while being safely supported by their coach and safety equipment. Over time, beginners quickly turn into advanced jumpers who serve as an inspiration to the next group of new kids. In the trampoline class, what seems impossible is possible with the right attitude and determination to achieve one’s highest potential.

The Magic of a River Cruise

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For many centuries, rivers were the world’s foremost “highways.” Most famous cities grew up along the banks of rivers, using the river as the primary form of transportation and trade. As the major towns or quaint villages flourished, many beautiful cathedrals, monuments, city centers, and other charming attractions lined the river banks. These cities are the true heritage of the civilization that developed on the river.
A great new way to explore and experience these gems along the rivers of the world is a river cruise. Serene and picturesque, river cruising offers a peaceful journey along the world’s most extraordinary waterways. Complete comfort and convenience make it the prime way to experience magnificent cities, historic villages, and quaint enclaves. From your stateroom balcony, endless natural beauty combines with evolving views of the colorful local scenery. Castles and fortresses tower on both sides as if you could reach out and touch them. When your ship docks, you’ll step straight into the heart of charming cities, towns, and villages. You’ll be expertly guided on included excursions to the places you have never experienced. Whether visiting a Portuguese winery for a tasting of the country’s world-renowned Port wine or sampling the life of French royalty on a stroll through the halls of Versailles, you’ll be given an insider’s access to the best experiences each destination has to offer. Once back on board your luxury river cruise ship, you’ll sail away from the day’s adventure into an evening of fine dining complete with complimentary, perfectly paired wine.
Onboard you’ll be greeted by the cheerful smiles of a caring staff, whose greatest desire is to make you feel at home every moment you’re onboard. You can move freely through the ship, unencumbered by crowds as you explore your floating home. With an average capacity of about 130 guests, there are plenty of public space for socializing and dining, as well as many nooks and alcoves perfectly designed for quiet reading or daydreaming.
Unpack once then settle in as each destination comes to you. With no need to navigate from place to place, you’ll find a sense of adventure and a sense of home, all in one vacation. Unlike traditional ocean cruises, you don’t spend a lot of days at sea with short stops in between. You’ll get to thoroughly explore the towns, villages, and exotic scenery along the great rivers of the world.
There is an extensive collection of river cruise vacations throughout Europe, Egypt, Vietnam, Cambodia, and China. You can choose from several itineraries along the legendary Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Main, Rhone as well as lesser-known rivers in Europe. Or, if your tastes lean more toward the adventuresome, break away and discover the mysteries of the orient along the mighty Yangtze, the exotic Mekong, or the ancient wonders along the Nile.
With great satisfaction, you will know that the high value matches the beauty of your surroundings you’re enjoying, with all meals, hosted shore excursions, onboard entertainment, local guides, onboard lectures, arrival, and departure day transfers, and so much more included in your fare. All that’s left for you to do is enjoy the magic of a river cruise.

Is a Business Incubator Right For Your Business?

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What is the Purpose of a Business Incubator?

Business incubators are organizations that nurture the development and growth of businesses in the early phases to help them persevere in their most vulnerable stages. Incubators provide numerous resources and support services to aid in the development of companies. The general purpose of incubators is job creation, business retention, enhancing entrepreneurial climate, growing local industries, and economies. Approximately 93% of North American incubators are nonprofits focused on economic development. About 7% are typically set up to receive returns from shareholders’ investments. (Business Incubation FAQs)

What to Expect

It is vital to conduct research on the incubator(s) and consider the advantages and disadvantages before embarking upon the application process and working with an incubator.

  • Conduct Ample Research: It is essential to understand that incubators will have their own set of unique offerings for their entrepreneurs. The package offered should help meet the needs and goals of the company. The location of the incubator should allow for a flourishing business, with a market that can sustain the business for the term of stay. The mentors and specialists available should also have experiences and networks beneficial to your business.
  • Related costs: Some incubators will charge monthly fees, like a typical leasing agreement. However, other incubators may accept in exchange for equity. It is beneficial to consult with an attorney to review the terms and contracts.
  • Speak to alumni: If the incubator has a list of previous tenants, speak to them about their personal experiences. This first-hand testimony will give you further insight and help you determine if the incubator is right for your business.
  • Prepare your proposal: If you decide to apply, be sure to prepare and rehearse your pitch and distinguish yourself from other businesses and business owners. Incubators want companies that are sustainable. In your proposal, be sure to discuss how your business will succeed with accompanying financial projections.

What are the main business models?

As mentioned previously, each incubator will have a unique set of offerings. The list of business models below should give you an idea of what to expect as you conduct your research.

  • Rent Model: Rent is charged to businesses that can help incubators be self-sustainable. In some cases, initial rents are subsidized. The subsidy rate usually declines over time to gradually introduce fiscal discipline to the business.
  • Equity Model: Incubators take marginal stakes in the business, usually in exchange for low rent periods.
  • Royalty Model: Royalty payments are made based upon the amount of revenue earned by the business.
  • Deferred Debt Model: The services offered to the business, as well as the overhead is charged at a decided upon future date as an incubation fee. The incubator could decide the repayments (partial payments or lump sum) are due when the business leaves the incubator or when the company reaches an agreed-upon financial target.

What are the main advantages and disadvantages?

Advantages

  • Low cost workspace allowing for reduced overhead
  • Offered resources such as mentorship, capital, office space and services
  • Offered curriculum and business development programs
  • Mentorship and networking

Disadvantages

  • Constant networking and coaching could alter the focus
  • The meticulous and competitive application process

What does Research Reveal?

Business incubators profess to be beneficial to businesses and aid in their future success. However, what does the research show about whether incubators are active. According to Emily Fetsch, incubators may not be more effective at creating success than non-incubated businesses. On average, an incubator will have less than two full-time staff serving approximately 25 companies. This level of service may be inadequate for this number of companies. (Fetsch)

The research available does not compare incubator businesses with similar non-incubated companies, which would aid in confirming whether incubators positively affect businesses. Research available shows that there are minimal performance differences in incubated and non-incubated companies. Incubated businesses have slightly higher employment and sales growth, but have slightly lower survival rates after incubation. (Fetsch)

Where can I Find Incubators

An excellent resource for locating an incubator is the International Business Innovation Association’s Organization Directory. Also, for incubators located near you, check your local directories.

What to Expect After Bankruptcy

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Bankruptcy can offer a new lease on life by discharging unsecured debts and making monthly living expenses more affordable. But bankruptcy is nothing to enter into lightly or to choose without first considering the long-term consequences of filing. For many people, the lowered credit score is a small price to pay for being debt-free, especially when they’re well-informed about how to move forward and rebuild their credit after bankruptcy.
Starting Over
Most people who file bankruptcy have credit card debt, so the thought of having a credit card again can be scary. It’s, of course, best to live within your means and save up to make purchases to avoid debt. However, your credit score is essential, and it won’t improve unless you take steps to rebuild your credit. Immediately after you file bankruptcy, your credit report will show the bankruptcy itself, plus any late or missed payments from your past. By making timely, full payments on any bills you have, this positive history will soon overshadow the negatives. It’s wise to apply for a small credit card, even if you have to start with a secured account with a high-interest rate. Make small purchases and pay them off altogether each month, and you’ll see your credit score improve. Soon, you’ll be able to negotiate a better interest rate, which can make a difference when you use credit for larger purchases in the future.
Future Purchases
If possible, it’s best to wait a while after bankruptcy to finance a car. If this is not an option, (for example, you lost your car in the bankruptcy and did not have enough money saved up to purchase with cash), be prepared to pay a high-interest rate after making a sizeable down payment. The longer you can wait to do this while using your small credit card, the lower payments you’ll end up with. Just like taking on any debt, make sure you carefully review your budget to ensure that the payments will be easily manageable.
You could be in a position to purchase a home within a few years of filing bankruptcy. The lender will review your credit score and history before filing, as well as your current income and situation. Most lenders will require a hefty down payment, and you may need to jump through more approval hoops and paperwork than other purchasers, but home-ownership is an option.
Making a Move
Each bankruptcy is different, but sometimes filers also have to deal with eviction or foreclosure as part of their case. Others may choose to move into a more affordable rental to make monthly expenses more manageable or want to upgrade after their debt is discharged. Regardless of the reason for moving, a new rental always includes a credit check. A bankruptcy won’t necessarily disqualify you from renting a home, but this depends on the landlord or rental company. It’s best to tell your potential landlord ahead of time so that they are prepared when they pull your report. Some people even attach a letter explaining their circumstances and proving that they are now able to make their rent payments.
No Need to Delay
It can be disappointing to file bankruptcy, but for many people, it’s the best possible choice. Instead of having a credit report that shows staggering debt and late payments, you could have a bankruptcy followed by clean credit. If filing is inevitable, the sooner you file, the sooner you head in a positive direction.

 

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