Category Archives: It’s Me Joc

MY TOP 3 BOOKS FOR FEMALE BUSINESS BOSSES!

Owning your own business can be hard. Like REALLY hard most of the time.

When I first started Joc’s Photography I spent my time scouring the wide world of Google for any insight on how to make it as a serious female business owner; even if I was just starting out. It seemed like it took me FOREVER to track down tangible “mentors” in the art/entertainment industry and I promised myself, that as soon as I began to see progress, I would share my insight one day so other young women won’t have to struggle as hard as I did to find their place in the world.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. Even though I’m a good few years late, I’ve decided to share three books that have truly changed my life in the best ways! As a single female entrepreneur (also working a full-time job) it’s tough figuring things out on your own. You know, trying to juggle your dreams, with your love life, and friends/family — it honestly gets overwhelming at times; but, regardless of how hopeless the journey may have gotten at times, the insight I’ve gained from these three ladies through their books are always good to re-up my creative tank and keep me pushing towards my goals!

 

#1 — THE GIRLPRINT by Valeisha Butterfield Jones

I must admit, when I purchased this book, I was a bit biased since I have personal ties the author. See, Valeisha grew up in the very same small town as I did and to see her go on working for the likes of Russell Simmons, President Barack Obama, and found her own nonprofit organization was all the testimonial I needed to hit that ORDER button! Though we’ve only had conversations in passing, I inherently expected her to pour her soul onto these pages before opening that Amazon box, and boy oh boy did she deliver!

If you are a woman interested in art, entertainment, or business in general, this book lays out a strategic blueprint (that Valeisha used herself) to help you propel your dreams into action. Even though I had big dreams prior to reading this book, my inner determination kicked up a notch when I closed the back cover. The Girlprint really gave me the push I needed business wise to work through the ups and downs and plan a course of action as a lady boss.

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You can buy THE GIRLPRINT here:  http://amzn.to/2gfkrv6

 

#2 SUCCESSFUL WOMEN THINK DIFFERENTLY by Valorie Burton

I forgot what initially inspired me to order this book, but I’m thankful for it! This book is laying in my bag tattered and bent up from having been read so much. I remember thumbing through the pages for the first time and thinking “Where have you BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE!?!” Of course, it was an exaggeration, but for a woman in her early 20s at the time, I felt like I was aimlessly wandering around life trying to figure out what it meant to be a woman post-grad. I was just growing in my personal faith/spiritual walk at the time I first cracked this baby open, and I was pleased to find the author discussing the importance of trashing the “‘I’ll do _________ someday” mindset and thriving from setbacks instead of wallowing in them.

When you’re a business owner, you’ll have rough periods. In the 10 years I’ve been freelancing as a photographer I’ve had some pretty low moments (personally and business-wise) but applying principles spoken of in this book has allowed me to grow where I have been planted and renew my love for the art that makes my heart sing! If you want to cultivate the attitude necessary to real kick butt in life, you need to purchase this book like YESTERDAY!

Successful Women Think Differently

You can snag Valerie’s book for yourself here: http://amzn.to/2gfVpfg

 

#3 OVERLOAD by Joyce Meyer

JOYCE MEYER IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL! If you are a woman of faith (or considering growing in your faith) this book is definitely for you. I know you may be thinking “Um Joc, what does Joyce Meyer have to do with being a female entrepreneur?” My answer to you: everything!

Living in this age it’s easy to become overloaded with the limitless options in food, homes, career paths, men…so being able to center yourself, calm yourself, and focus on saying ‘yes’ to what really matters is vital for a prosperous life. In business as a woman, you are tasked with wearing SO many hats that you need a book like this to help you take hold to your peace of mind and become rooted in your faith. Afterall, what you believe in and think about the most eventually shows up in your life somewhere down the line. If you’re a photog wife and mom struggling to keep your head up. If you’re a freelancer with a full-time job (like me) wondering how on earth you can fit LIFE inside of life. If you work a corporate job and feel like no one really hears your voice. GET THIS BOOK!

You’ll learn how to finally let go of emotional stress, activate peace, and how to apply biblical wisdom in a practical way so you can experience life like you never have before!

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This book was so good, I ordered TWO copies (so I could give one to a friend) and I purchased the audio reading for the car. Go on and get your own copy here: http://amzn.to/2gyM7b5

 

Drop me a comment or email and let me know what you think of these books! I hope they change your life like they’ve changed mine!

Peace & Photos,

Jocelyn

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Life lessons I learned from Miss Lucy

Lucy. Lucy, Lucy, Lucy.

She’s the friend every woman has but doesn’t really like. Whenever she comes to visit, she’s a pain in the butt and literally saps every bit of energy you THOUGHT you had stored up. The only time she doesn’t come around is when you have a kid, but then she’s right back at your front door after they’re home a month or so.

imagesIf you haven’t guessed by now, Lucy is the menstrual cycle that comes ‘round every month. The two of us have had a hate-hate relationship since I was in middle school and it’s only gotten better because I know once I hit my fifties she’s outta here! So I can deal with her for another 20 years or so.

Anywho, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had SERIOUS issues whenever Lucy came to visit. More than normal – to the point my little twelve-year-old body could turn from a shining example of happy-go-lucky youthfulness into a tangled pretzel of agony in a matter of seconds.

As I’ve approached 30 years living on this earth, Miss Lucy has brought more bounce to the ounce as the pain has doubled, my energy has gotten freakishly low, and a myriad of other oddities have found themselves sneaking into my life.Menstrual-pain-470x219

When my natural instinct has always been to quit my job, curl up in a ball, and sleep all day; Lucy has forced me to pull it together, pray, and get through!

 

Lesson # 1 – Pain is inevitable in life.

On a scale of 1 – 10, the pain I endure every time Lucy pops in to say hey is about a good — umm — CHILDBIRTH! Now I know I’ve never had kids before, but I’m pretty sure the pain I experience is as close to childbirth as I can get! I’m talking pain where your entire body writhes, pain that lingers every time you sit up, pain that makes you want to throw up and pass out. Yeah. That type. Regardless of how much I hate pain, this experience every trip around my body’s sun keeps my attitude in check. It reminds me that I am human and as unfair as it may seem, I’m not the boss of everything. The only thing I can truly control is my response to negative experiences during this life of mine. I don’t have to let painful events or happenings warp my view of the future or kill my hope….I can just deal, choose to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel and push through!

 

giphy (31)Lesson #2 – I need God.

Maybe this should’ve been listed first. My oh my – the need for God has been scribbled in jumbo marker ink all over my entire existence! To experience the emotional ups and down, energy plummets, and nausea has taught me to lean on the everlasting arms of Abba Father! There is absolutely NO WAY in this entire universe that I would be able to make it through anything without Him. I need the strength only given by God through my salvation through Jesus Christ. I as a mere human do not possess the strength necessary to DEAL with half of the stuff I’m able to day in and day out. I’m don’t agree with “we’re all gods and goddesses” – naw, we are image bearers of God, but we ain’t Him ya’ll. HE made our bodies as they are. HE gives us that extra burst of juice we need to push through the pain. HE whispers to us “keep going, I’m with you” when life gets too hard to deal with. I (and my body) are physical testaments that the help of God is what’s allowed me to not check out.

 

Lesson #3 – Resilience is my spirit animal.

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I’ve always said that resilience is the primary name of my game. Since birth, I’ve had to bounce back from some pretty tough hands, and regardless of what I was dealt, found a way to grow from the experience. When Miss Lucy comes around, there is nothing “prissy or missy” about her. She is a savage Amazon warrior who plays rough and keeps you on your toes. One month, I may be out of work for a week. Over the course of several others, I’m fine. Some, I’ll have close calls and just pray my way through – but in each situation, I’ve found out that I was better than I was before. Whether it’s becoming stronger mentally, getting much needed rest physically, I’m able to emerge from Lucy’s visits happier and more renewed than I was before she came. Sure, I may be running on emotional fumes the first day or so after she leaves, but eventually, I get my mojo back.

 

Lesson #4 – There is never a time creativity can’t come out to play.

giphy (19)What I mean by this is, balancing the consequences of mother Eve’s idiotic decision-making skills has caused me to be creative in figuring out ways to stay working, making money, and functioning at a normal level. Whether that’s taking cat naps in my car or ignoring phone calls to sleep for 5 hours or create a makeshift anti-nausea tonic from ginger, carbonated water, and pain pills – my creativity is usually called to light. You always think of using your creativity to manipulate photos, paint, or create kiddie forts; but you never think of how creative you have to be when it comes to maintaining life balance!

 

I’m about 98.72% sure that reading this post has been one of the most oddly interesting things you’ve done today, but don’t let the lessons escape you. Though Lucy has taught me these things, they are still applicable to every aspect of life.

Be blessed ya’ll

  • Joc

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1 Good Reason God May Remove Someone From Your Life

This afternoon, I was perusing my FB timeline for content when I happened upon a post from The Praying Woman. It was adequately titled, “3 Reasons God May Remove Someone From Your Life”.

As I clicked on the link to prepare myself to for a nice, quick read, I found myself scrolling over the times in my life where friends or significant others seemed to float right on out the picture. For some instances, the reasoning was clear, but for others, not so much. When I read down to the last reason listed in the article, I found this:

3. Because sometimes our loved ones become more of a distraction than our enemies. This is God’s way of keeping us focused.

Today, I ask you this: Where does God fit in your life? Is He #1, #2, #3, or a better question would be… Is He even a priority in your life at all?

Sometimes we place our relationship with God on the back burner without even realizing it. We don’t give it our all like we do everything else.

Try not to be so focused on earthly relationships that you forget about your relationship with God. Switch the energy you’re currently putting into your distractions and refocus it where it’s needed, on Him!

You know those times where you have a “feeling” you might be right about a situation but talk yourself into thinking you’re over analyzing it too much? YES? Then you’ll know that this is exactly what BINGED in my mind when I read this.

A recent loved one who parted ways falls into this category, and not bashing them, but I realized our personalities mixed with the constant need to ‘upkeep’ our friendship/relationship ultimately brought it to a close. I was willing to overlook a few struggles in order to maintain consistent communication while obliviously overlooking the fact that my focus on God was creeping down to 2nd place. I found myself not feeling like my jovial, bubbly, NORMAL self as fear and doubt hopped into the front passenger seat of my life; all the while ignoring the signs that God was sending me.

YOU WILL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BESIDES ME!!!

I was making my friendship/relationship with this person an idol without knowing it and found myself more preoccupied with pleasing them and MAKING myself BE the right companion for them, that I totally ignored God! Yep, it’s a hard thing to admit, but I had to repent because I pushed God aside without even knowing it. I was all up and in works of the flesh trying to MAKE this thing work. That’s why God shut it all down! After a series of arguments and disagreements, this person and I parted ways and almost immediately, an entire ton of feathers lifted! By the time the sun rose, I was almost back to my former self. Sure this person is a great person as a whole, but here me when I tell you God will allow NO ONE to block the works HE desires to do in us. So whether that’s a sibling, friend, significant other, co-worker, even a parent — if we place anyone above God in ANY way, God will show up and cool it down. He’s not a “backburner” God.

So whether you’re doing it intentionally or not, stop making people idols in your life. If you find yourself thinking about them more than God — chances are you’re placing too much importance on them. If you spend all of your time with them (even to the point whether you just go work/school and stay up under them or call them) — then you’re probably making them an idol. There is nothing wrong with a good healthy investment into your relationships, but when it consumes you…. handle it before God does; because He will.

Be blessed, Joc

 

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Comparisons and Idols = #RelationshipKillers

Soooooooooo it’s been awhile since I’ve spilled my thoughts onto these digital pages so let me commence to spillin’…..

17038467_3267564373568_7968188302165185448_oOver the past few months, I ‘ve been gearing up for the website relaunch of my non-profit event The Opposite Sex Revealed. (I’m excited to official be able to say non-profit). At its core, The Opposite Sex Revealed (The OSR for short) is an annual panel forum hosted in Wilson NC that allows guests to dress up, enjoy positive and fruitful conversation while getting their deepest questions answered about and BY the opposite sex!

Naturally, all of this relationship and marriage talk has me in the mindset of — dun dun dunnnnnn love! Seeing as how my last relationship ended going on six months ago (it ended on pretty awesome terms, complete with mutual understanding and all — I’m blessed ya’ll #unicornbreakup) I again found myself single, back in a space where I began to observe the dating world around me.

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One thing I’ve found (that didn’t change during the year and some change I was in a relationship) was the fact that COMPARISON and IDOLATRY have nearly saturated the entire sphere of love and marriage. What I mean by that is this: think about how dating must’ve been in the early 1900s compared to today. Today we can get a date with a swipe, we screen physical attributes before even meeting the person, and with our ability to travel, can carry on a relationship with someone a million miles away! If we feel they don’t fit in our life — on to the next. Before dating as we know it came into existence, there were no computers, cell phones, apps, access to world travel, and most people didn’t move from within 50 miles of their hometown. Many people (especially African Americans) didn’t go to college; let alone own a car so chances are you found your future spouse in the supermarket downtown or crossing the street.

Let me pause to say that I don’t advocate we shun everything technological and move to the Amish Country, but what I AM saying is, perhaps we should take into account that many of the elderly couples we see married 30, 50, even 70s years didn’t have access to the countless dating options we have today; thus they were put in a situation where the dating pool was simple and the lessons in love were hard. 

I think this is one reason why there were more long lasting marriages “back in the day”. Yes, I’m aware, some people just married for security. Yes, I’m aware that some just married to keep their families together. Yes, I’m aware that many marriages of old were arranged. Yes I’m aware that some people just got married to the first person they dated because they felt “stuck”. I’m not talking about those.

giphy (13)I’m talking about the simple courtships that blossomed into fortified “ride or die” marriages through faith and the mindset to love through the tough times. Without the distraction of a million potentials crossing their eye gates every 3 nanoseconds, they were more likely to stick with the 80/20 rule and work through the minor issues and flaws that fell in that 20%. 

Now-a-days, singles seem to fall into two categories:

GROUP A- They are afraid of commitment and often break up over minor flaws for fear of making the wrong choice. With so many potential mates out in the world, they are frequently going back-and-forth on whether or not they are dating the right person. They DO value marriage (or at least long-term companionship) but are often looking for a unicorn ….so they stay single as they float from person to person, refusing to FEEL like they’ve “settled”.

GROUP B- They have no current desire to commit or get married. They can be found consistently playing the field and have no problem changing from person to person until the time “feels right”.  They often believe love is flawed and have no real faith or hope in it anyway, so they just see where life takes them.

The clash of these two groups in cahoots with the “many options” we have and the idolizing of #marriagegoals without the willingness to put in the work has made for ONE BIG DISASTEROUS POOL OF BROKEN HEARTS AND COUNTLESS SINGLES!

What do you think?

Be Blessed,

Joc

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…And I’m Thankful For… #MyFamily

I am thankful for my family. This week has veen tough for me. Tougher than many may realize actually — but neverthelss, it thrusted me into this ongoing reflection of my nuclear family of my parents.  I realized that I am blessed to have them. Sure I knew it, but this weeks I’m really understanding and grasping how truly blessed I am.

Growing up, I guess you can say is sort of …. Kind of …. took my parents for granted. They were a normal part of my routine and even though I learned EVERYONE’s family wasn’t like that – I still didn’t comprehend the depth of how much God had blessed me.

 

I remember looking at home videos and rummaging through old pictures not really noticing that in the background of every VHS gospel music was playing, or that every other photo was of me in my Sunday dress or my parents getting ready for some special occasion. I would laugh at scenes where my dad would catch my mom off guard while putting on her makeup or recording “Good Luck Charlie” videos for me even though I was too young to understand at the time he was recording them.

It somehow didn’t occur  to me how much of a stretch it was for my dad to coach 4-5 sports and still make it to my kindergarten graduation (even if he had to jet out of there and head back to his players). I didn’t stop to think that the seemingly effortless way my mom knew exactly what I needed those days I was sick – wasn’t effortless at all. Half of the time, I didn’t realize she put HER own health and energy at risk making sure her little one was fine.

As I climbed my way to high school, I understood more, but still had a hard time understanding how blessed I was to have the family I did. By that time, I had broken curfew to hang out with friends – cringing every time my folks would call me to tell me I needed to get my tail home – not understanding that every moment I stayed away from the safety of the house, I was putting my life in danger.  I now think on the times my dad would pull out his old record player and dance in the middle of the living room with my mom to their favorite oldies.

 

All of that…. I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful to have parents who work hard on their marriage every day because they realize that #1 GOD is the glue that helps them through hard times, #2 you’ve gotta put in work to reap the rewards of a lasting marriage, and #3 marriage is work. Life is work. Kids are work.

 

For this I’m thankful.

Random thoughts — but nevertheless — thoughts of thanks.

— Joc

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When You Are Faithful To God, He Will ….

Let me tell you all how GREAT and faithful God [YAHWEH] is! As many of you know, I’ve been holding a vow of celibacy for going on 6 years now; wearing a ring to outwardly signify that covenant to the world AND serve as a reminder to myself that God’s will for my life is better than my own. Early last month while working out of town, I lost it. Over the past year I normally kept it in a lockbox for safe keeping but decided to wear it this day of ALL days! When I lost it I was disappointed, but not sad or in despair. I knew that my celibacy wasn’t hinged on me wearing that ring, and that ring or not, my vow stood! I thought about purchasing another one, but I’d gotten it so long ago, it was no longer in stock. Still… I was fine and rejoiced in God’s strength even more. WELLLLLLL, this morning I opened a text from a family friend who sent a picture of a ring they FOUND while walking around. Wouldn’t ya’ll know it was my ring!!! On the inside of my ring is an inscription of Jeremiah 29:11 and it is a beautiful reminder today that ONLY if we are found in God and made righteous through a relationship with Jesus Christ, He will guide and prosper us. This year hasn’t been a “day in the park” for me, but has brought me into an even closer communion with the Lord. It has given me a new, fresh look at how He protects and guides me. Not sure what you’ll get from this if you actually read the entire status, but let me suggest walking away with one thought: when you are faithful to God and live in HIS will, He will honor you for it. 

Stay encouraged — Jocelyn

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