Issue 12

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Planted & Ready to





THIS ISSUE Know Your Employee Rights Professional Gap Year What’s On Our Reading List Negotiate Your Salary Bad Day or Bad Job? How to Answer Why You’re Single

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EVERY ISSUE Career Spotlight: Ne’Andre Broussard Out of Office: Peru Corporate Wellness: Rejuvenate Break Bites: Keto Diet & Recipes


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Desmond Hunt of Dlores Media Group



Forty Magazine is a digital resource for young professionals. We help professionals under 40 grow professionally and personally by covering life their 40 hours a week and more. Our mission is to help professionals from campus to corner office.

FEATURE VISUALS Desmond Hunt Dlores Media Group


KIAN HERVEY Editor & Publisher

NeAndre Broussard Welcome Sarah Hannah Sampson Allyson Nickerson Kim Christopher Izzy Spears T’Edra Jackson Toni Howard-Lowe Stephen Evans Lauryn Marshall All images sourced from stock photography libraries Unsplash, CreateHer Stock, PicJumbo and Flickr. Forty Magazine does not own any images used in this publication. Attribution is noted when required.


LAW 101 Rights For Workers In Every Job.

A number of federal, state, and local laws provide U.S. citizens fair, safe and healthy workplace opportunities and experiences. But some employers and situations may violate your everyday rights. Below are some federal laws that everyone should know: •

Fair Labor Standards Act •

Equal Pay Act

establishes a minimum wage and overtime pay, defines overtime pay as one and onehalf times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, and creates recordkeeping and child labor standards.

requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal.

prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs. Disability is defined as “an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.”

Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid, jobprotected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, and religion. It generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms,

conditions or privileges of employment

Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

National Labor Relations Act protects the rights of employees and employers to encourage collective bargaining and curtail certain private sector labor and management practices. Section 7 allows non-union employees to talk about their pay in the workplace.

Whistleblowers Protection Act protects employees who disclose “illegality, waste, and corruption” from adverse consequences or retaliation such as demotions, pay cuts, or being replaced.

Beyond knowing your rights, employees working 40+ hours a week should be aware of the behavior and practices that employers are prohibited from particpating in. •

Constructive Discharge, Constructive Dismissal, Construtive Termination occurs when an employer deliberately makes an employee’s working conditions so intolerable that the employee is forced into voluntary resignation.

to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

Harassment describes unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex, nationality, age, disability or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful when the offensive conduct: 1. becomes a condition of continued employment 2. is severe or pervasive enough

Retaliation occurs when an employer punishes an employee for engaging in legally protected activity. Retaliation can include any negative job action such as demotion, discipline, firing, salary reduction, or job or shift reassignment. Employment At-will Doctrine allows employers to terminate employment for any or no reason at all without cause or notice. However, employers cannot fire someone because

of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality and hide behind the at-will doctrine. These laws may intersect with other laws, employer policies, the pre-employment process or any term, condition, or privilege of employment. You might be thinking, “I’m not HR. Why should I care?” But if you hope to go into leadership one day, or find yourself leading a team or two today, these laws matter to you, and you need to understand Employee Law 102. Continued on next page >>


In some extreme cases, if you’re a manager of people, you could also be held personally liable when an Employer is found guilty of crossing legal lines. Why? Anyone with control over wage and hour issues, administering raises or pay cuts, making hiring or firing decisions, and handling demotions/promotions is considered an “employer.” If you’re wondering if you fit into that category of leadership, consider the following questions: 1. Do you have the power to hire and fire someone? 2. Do you control work schedules and conditions of employment? 3. Do you determine the rate and method of payment for an employee? 4. Do you maintain employment records? A favorable response to only half of the questions could be enough for you to be held liable. Below are the state laws under which managers can be held personally liable:

Negligent Referral failure to disclose pertinent, factual information about your former employee to a prospective employer about grave behavior or past event or behavior. For example, Ted was fired for hitting another employee. You were Ted’s manager and aware of the reason for his termination. When a prospective employer calls

LAW 102

and asks you about your experience with Ted, you say everything “was great.” Company X hires Ted. While employed at Company X, Ted hits another employee. The employee whom Ted hit can sue you for negligent referral.

WHY WAIT FOR A SEAT AT THE TABLE WHEN YOU CAN BUILD YOUR OWN EXECUTIVE TEAM? Negligent Hiring an employment claim asserting that an employer should be held liable to third persons for injury because the employer knew or should have known of another employee’s dangerous characteristics.

What Managers Need to Know.

Negligent Retention an employment claim asserting that an employer should be held liable for failing to terminate an employee who should have been released.

False Imprisonment or False Arrest

within a workplace context describes employee is intentionally and illegally held against his or her will. In the workplace, this could be when an employer confines or restrists an employee for an unreasonable amount of time in an unlawful manner. Moving up the corporate ladder comes with great reward – and risk. If people leadership is part of your path, you’ll want to fully understand the broader context in which you’ll be making business and personnel decisions. Knowing Employment Law 101 and 102 will help you as you rise to the top.

Kim Christopher is the Founder of The Benovian Group, a Coaching & HR Advisory firm based in Addison. She’s been a featured guest on the Black at Work podcast. For more information on this topic, reach her at 469.336.5433.


your next career move: a


the intentional break you need A gap year is traditionally associated with collegeaged teens who would rather skip their freshman year in exchange for passport stamps or some other brand of life exploration. I tapped into my gap year a little later after years of creating a career that I loved. After accepting what I believed was a dream job, I woke up one morning and realized I reached a tipping point. At the time, I didn’t know that I needed break from my career, but my professional gap year came into view several weeks later when a friend I occasionally coached on professional matters inspired me to design my own sabbatical. She originally asked me whether it would be odd to ask her company for a 90-day sabbatical. I explained to my friend all of the reasons I thought her plan was a wonderful idea given her high stress and resultsoriented firm environment. After coaching her through how to present the idea to her leaders and human resource team, within weeks, she received an approval and decided to purchase an open airline ticket for a 90-day jaunt around the world. At each new country on her adventure, she sent me cool pictures or setup midday Facetime calls on the shores of Fiji to chat about her newfound happiness. I became increasingly jealous of her newfound freedom with each snapshot and conversation. I casually wondered why I hadn’t encouraged myself to take the risk I’d pushed her to take. When my friend returned, her mindset had shifted; she was totally different, far less rigid, and more open to envisioning a new career and life. As we began to talk about her next steps she blurted out, “I’m not sure my dream job is Partner anymore.” In that instant, we began charting a new career path. Within 60 days of her return stateside, and plotting a detailed plan, she landed a new dream role, and confidently walked away from being a year shy of becoming the youngest partner in her practice with no regrets. Because I preach all of the time that life is more

than a series of career moves, her success was the holy grail of coaching. And in my mind, I knew I could no longer afford to talk myself out of doing the same thing if I was ever going to continue preaching to other professionals that your career power lies in your ability to choose yourself first. I began to ask myself, “Toni, if you didn’t have to work, how would you spend your time? Would you travel, start experimental projects, focus on self-improvement, volunteer, learn a new skill, or immerse yourself in a foreign culture?” I answered myself, “Yes; yes to all of those things!” Having always balanced a career in human resources and my own coaching/speaking company, I’d honestly never stopped to consider how exhausted I actually was. The career narrative that we’ve sold ourselves is that our dream career must conform to traditional standards or the status quo, and that our trajectory is limited to one path. I felt like a bit of an imposter because deep down my corporate resume had always been my safety net. But what I knew for sure was there are many ways to arrive at true career fulfillment and my coaching had already demonstrated that to be true. So I took a leap of faith, and I jumped into my professional gap year! I buried all self-doubt, quit worrying about what everyone would think, and walked away from a six-figure job (but not my career).The things I’ve

>> continued on next page

Plan Your Gap Year 1

Explore your employer’s policy. You may qualify for a sabbatical or unpaid leave of absence after a certain number of years of employment. If you do have this benefit, you’ll be able to take a leave and return to your job when you get back.

2 3 4

Plan ahead. Determine the budget you need to take 365 days off from work. Ensure you have enough money saved to support your journey. Find a Side Hustle. Figure out freelance gigs, cost-effective expat living, and other supplemental options to sustain your lifestyle. Listen, no one said you didn’t have to work; you just find work on your terms. Create a career plan. A career gap is easier if you see a career change ahead. Create a plan for what you want to experience after the gap is over. Use the time away as an opportunity to explore not only different places, but also unique experiences, and acquire new skills that will improve your mindset and build your career portfolio.

Toni the CEO & Founder of The Corporate Tea, an online resource that provides unfiltered advice to help professionals navigate their careers. Toni is a Career Strategist & HR Blogger with over a decade of experience in Corporate America. For more insights and advice follow her @ thecorporatetea

learned about myself in this time have been immeasurable. I traveled to Bali, Canada, and South Africa, and I had the freedom to speak, train, and coach in half a dozen US states. I’ve had the opportunity to operate freely in love with my time as a mom, wife, and daughter. More importantly, I’ve learned how to bet on myself and trust my gut as I build my own brand. And even more, it’s given me the freedom to consider new opportunities and to not be impulsive about whether they are right for me. I’ve learned to slow down and take my time. If you don’t know what you want in a career—you just know it needs to be different from what you’re doing now— my advice is to get out there, be grateful, and chance it, in whatever manner feels right to you. If tha t involves working 12 hour days to build a company and achieve a dream, then do it. If that involves taking a break from one career path to try another way of making your way in the world, then do that. And if it involves taking 12 months to see the world, do that too! In my gap year, I learned how to build a career around my lifestyle and not a lifestyle around my career. You can too!

Drop the fear and self-doubt. You can take a gap year and will find a more fierce and assured version of yourself when you get back.

Career Move:



Kingdom Boss Chick: Blueprint By T’Edra Jackson

T’Edra is the author of Intentional Living: Choosing To Win Despite Life’s Challenges. She is the visionary and creator of Kings’s Kid and holds an undergraduate degree from Paul Quinn College in Dallas, TX and a Masters from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. She enjoys journaling, reading, traveling, cooking and watching HGTV. Connect with her on social media @kingsskid.

When it comes to finding a good professional development book, I always start with people I know. When I needed something new to read, a friend referred me to speaker, strategist, and doctor of philosophy Dr. Kimberly Ellison. Ellison’s book, Kingdom Boss Chick: Blueprint, provides readers a road map to finding professional and personal success by using kingdom-principles to guide your journey. The book provides insight into a real BOSS—people of belief, obedience, spirit, and sacrifice. Belief asks you to believe in yourself, your gifts and your talents. Obedience asks you to listen more and acts in accordance with what’s good. Spirit asks you to meet others with purposeful intent and to touch and change the lives of people around you in a positive way. Sacrifice asks you to give up your own desires and will for what has already been destined and promised for your life. In the book, Ellison goes on to consistently describe BOSS women as those who do not allow the pettiness of the world to block them from fulfilling their purpose; they allow their gifts to make room for them and do not force themselves into places that merely tolerated them. BOSS women take up space in places that appreciated them and their gifts. They often “BOSS up” and challenge others around them to do the same. But before any woman can go into a space and claim that she is a Kingdom Boss, Ellison says women must first obtain two keys to the kingdom.

Think Abundantly

It will surprise you how many of your family mEllison lays out the blueprint for why it is important to know and understand that there is enough room at the table for all of us. When you lack an abundance mindset, it is hard for you to celebrate, empower, or honor others, let alone be happy for them. When you have a mindset of abundance you experience contentment, generosity, admiration, and overflow. You stop thinking from a place of scarcity and see the world more abundantly.

Strategic Alliances

Partnerships allow you to collaborate with individuations without feeling a need to compete; you can move from pettiness to purposefulness, all by building together. Through the power of partnerships, you become a bridge builder and not a barrier. To create strategic alliance you must 1) assess the skills and gifts you currently have, 2) design an intended

goal, 3) identify those you need to work and connect with to complete the goal, 4) develop a relationship with those you identified, and 5) implement the goals and vision you set to accomplish. After you complete these key steps, it’s important to evaluate whether the partnership is worth continuing.

Final Keys

Lastly, in the final sections of Kingdom Boss Chick: Blueprint, Dr. Ellison provides 12 memorable lessons: 1. It is not who you know; it’s who you belong to 2. It takes more than talent 3. What get you there will not keep you there 4. It is not where you are from, but where you are willing to go. 5. Being favored trumps being a favorite. 6. Your past doesn’t define you; it prepares you. 7. I am enough. 8. Overlooked does not mean unseen. 9. What people think of you doesn’t change you. 10. Being purposed is better than being perfect. 11. Decisions equal consequences. 12. Preparation breeds confidence. Although this book is geared towards women, the insight that Dr. Ellison provides is transferrable to men as well. After reading this book, I realized I needed to create, expand and evaluate strategic alliances as I seek to build my personal and professional brand. I accepted it is okay for me to build and prepare (So many times we see people at their pinnacle and we desire to be at ours not realizing we haven’t prepared for success). And finally, I thought I wanted to be a boss, but now I know I want to become a Kingdom BOSS. If you are looking for a unique faith-based professional development book, pick up a copy of Kingdom Boss Chick: Blueprint.

Welcome Sarah is a corporate trainer, consultant, and career strategist for professionals seeking to increase their income and enjoy more time and financial freedom.



Before you accept your next big career move, take a crash course in the fine art of negotiations with Welcome Sarah.

When securing your next position, negotiation is key. Contrary to most opinions, negotiations start well before you receive an offer letter, details of your salary, or terms of employment. When you think of negotiation, you have to start thinking of chess; both are built on strategy, the ability to see the big picture, and an ability to predict the next move. In my experience working with 9-5ers who want more time and financial freedom, negotiation is by far the most underutilized skill. Let’s be clear— the inability to negotiate properly will leave your needs and goals unmet. Think of negotiations divided in to two phases: framing and acquisition. Framing is everything prior to the offer letter in hand. It starts with the time you spend prepping for an interview, then progresses with the advanced screening that moves you to the final interview. Framing continues with the conscious and subconscious cues you display during an interview. It can either strengthen or weaken your position when the offer letter finally comes. How you show up to the interview (late or on time), what you show up with (resume, ideas), and how you answer questions can all set the stage and prep you for the next stage of negotiation – acquisition. Acquisition occurs after interviews are complete and you have an offer letter. Most people think job negotiation starts here, but really it begins during the framing phase. Negotiation during the acquisition phase is very much a two-way-street. For example, if you want more compensation than originally offered, just asking, “Is there room to increase the salary or compensation?” is not negotiation. If they say no, they simply answered your question as-asked.

Learn more at WelcomeSarah. com



Before you try to counter any offer or terms presented to you, think about your framing. If your framing was on point, objections and flat-out no’s shouldn’t be part of the dicussion. If your case was clear, compelling, and supported with evidence, the company will want to work with you. However, if countering over baseline compensation, it is imperative that you know your numbers. Entering into the negotiation process without having identified all your numbers makes it difficult to know if the compensation package is an appropriate offer or one you need to reject. If you get stuck on numbers and can’t make this sort of decision quickly, you need to take a step back and prioritize knowing your own goals. To know your goal(s) in the acquisition phase, ask yourself three question: • What are you wanting to accomplish? • What is the end goal? • What are your non-negotiable items? In all negotiations, it is important to ask for what you want in a clear and concise way. Be confident, and kick desperation to the curb. If you are the asset you say you are, negotiate from this mindset. Ultimately, you have to be willing to let the opportunity go if it is not a good fit and does not meet your criteria. Don’t stop and think you can’t ask for more; just be prepared to negotiate for it. Negotiation is an art and skill that can be developed over time or delegated to an expert for optimal results. Visit to assist in the development of your negotiation skills and other tools and resources that teach you how to successfully navigate corporate as a young, 9-5 professional. The negotiation process is where you win or lose in your career and it is critical to your advancement and achievement. Sarah Fletcher is the author of Declare: Unleash Greatness Through Mental Fitness, an avid reader and world traveler. Connect with her on Instagram @Welcome_Sarah


How to Te l l t h e D i f feren c e B e t we en a B a d Day o r B a d Jo b?

Izzy Spears tackles the question that you’ve been asking yourself for a long time.

Distinguishing between a bad day and a bad job can be difficult. There’s a fine line between saying, “I hate my job” because of a bad day and saying, “I hate my job” because you’re employed at the wrong organization. For young professionals trying to disprove stereotypes about our generation, climbing the corporate ladder and mastering new skills all at the same time can be a lot. Navigating corporate American can be a tough terrain, especially without the presence of a mentor. Personally, I wish I could shake a Magic 8 ball and all of my career questions would be magically answered. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Magic 8 ball, but I do have six things you should consider to help you distinguish between a bad day or the wrong job.

CONSIDER THESE SIX THINGS Culture The culture of an organization can be the difference between loving a job and waiting for five o’ clock every day. Having common values, beliefs, traditions, and behaviors as the company you work for can directly impact your attitude toward an organization. If you’re spending a lot of time around coworkers, managers, and supervisors who have values that don’t align with the work-culture, you might be at the wrong job. A negative company culture can leave any employee with several bad days.

Mobility Working inside of an organization that has zero room for upward mobility or development can leave any professional feeling trapped inside an endless lope of


Is it a bad day or a bad job mundane tasks and assignments. Professionals find themselves happier inside of an organization that has room for advancement, plenty of opportunities to challenge themselves and compete in a professional environment among his or her peers.

Longevity & Stability Working at a dead-end job can leave anyone frustrated. But showing up to work every day and not knowing if your job will be there tomorrow is even more frustrating. Even if it is made clear up front that the work assignment is temporary, you shouldn’t have to question if there is enough work available for you to make it to the next day. Over time, you’ll gradually find yourself disliking a job at an organization if there’s no sense of longevity or stability in sight.

Personal Goals People essentially show up to work to earn a wage. Outside of working to pay bills, professionals work for an employer to reach their personal long term and short term goals. Some of these personal goals could be obtaining a secondary degree, saving enough money for a house, or even being able to afford days off for an extended family vacation. Whatever your long and short term goals are, when you solely work to

earn a living and do not receive any special perks, it can be hard to have a good day at work.

Professional Development Any organization that understands the value of professional development is a good place to be. As a professional, whenever I feel I can’t grow at an organization, I start investing more time into my professional development outside the office. I attend seminars, go to workshops, and sign up for every lunch-and-learn that’s available. When you network with peers outside of your organization, you can build meaningful relationships and increase your potential of learning new skills and tricks of the trade. If you can’t get any professional development inside your organization, it might be a sign you’re not in a good place for young professionals.

Finding a spot that values your skills and contributions will make recognition inevitable. If you don’t believe there’s a spot for you, you might be having more than a bad day; you could be in a bad spot. Everyone has long, hard days at work. Often, more times than none, you may find yourself wondering if it is time to dust off the resume or show up and try again tomorrow. I hope this list of things to consider will help you determine the difference between a bad day and the wrong job.

Recognition Feeling appreciated is a wonderful feeling. When an employee knows that he or she brings value to an organization, they feel happy knowing that all their hard work and dedication to the organization is not being overlooked, but acknowledged. When you begin to carve out a career path inside an organization, consider where you will be a valuable asset to the team.

About The Author Izzy Spears is a Southern girl with a love for the beach, coffee, chocolate, and a good salad. You can follow her creative work, which includes acting, dancing, photography, and writing at and on Instagram @izzy_spears.

how to answer, “Why are you

SINGLE SPOILER ALERT: it starts with living your



ow often have you been asked, “Why are you single?” For some reason, it’s a burning question for coworkers, family, and dates. f you’re over explaining your singleness, I get it. I’ve found myself more than annoyed with busy-body coworkers who peer from behind their computer to try and overhear details of my dating life. Over the years, I’ve come up with some pretty crafty responses to this question. A time or two, I have even shamelessly lied to avoid what I know will turn into a ridiculous dating-advice conversation or spark unsolicited matchmaking. My favorite replies are: • • • •

Why are we discussing this? Why shouldn’t I be single? Why are you married? Why aren’t you married after being in a relationship for years? Why do you think I’m unhappy as a single person?


ingleShaming is as real in the workplace as it is online. Being single often comes with a negative connotation because so many singles spend most of their days at a club, Netflix and chilling, and moving through life in a partyfocused haze.


ther singles waste their single season overromanticizing dating and end up living stagnantly because they see a relationship as the only way to become relevant in society. They start to think being single is “so awful and lonely,” and the only way to be happy and fulfilled is to be in a relationship. Going through the singles you know, I’m sure you know someone who fits into either group.


ut being single is the most undervalued and underappreciated season of a person’s life. Many people fail to

realize a single season is actually the best season you can go through; it’s the best time of your life. It is a time to find out about yourself, build your integrity, and strengthen your character before you get wrapped up with anyone else. It shouldn’t be viewed as a negative, especially when some relationships can truly be negative.


ow many times have you seen a toxic relationship and asked a person involved, “Why are you still together?” Their responses are almost always the same; they say something indicating co-dependence like “we’ve known each other since college” or lean on titles like “father of my child.” During a single season, you can learn how to avoid leaning on titles and rash emotions to feel confident in yourself. You can become more self-aware and practice sound decision-making. You + Emotionally-sound Decisions = Happiness, aka your best life.


his time allows you the freedom to plan without someone else. Single living is the much coveted “you time” that is so heavily discussed in self-help books and is so closely linked with mental health. It’s a beautiful time of self-discovery. You become your own project and you have plenty of work to do. Maximizing this season of your life by working on yourself will make you more prepared to take on the many seasons of life to come.


f ignore the work you have in front of you, you can encounter some serious problems later in life. Going into a marriage or relationship, it can lead to damaging co-dependence and constant struggles that you may not even realize the magnitude of until you’ve moved into your next season of life and find yourself unsuccessful at interpersonal connection. Don’t add to that catastrophic number of divorces in the U.S. today

how to answer, “Why are you because of internal pressures from #relationshipgoals posts and hashtags on social media. You won’t gain an elusive badge of honor once you become “cuffed” or gain increased status once you finally make it to someone’s #WCW. If you’re in a single season, jumping into a relationship or having a child is not the long-term fix to your dissatisfaction with your singleness. You have to do the work required to truly understand yourself to your core.


othing is permanent, not even being single. Being single is the opportune time for you to educate, prepare, and discipline yourself for when you’re ready to invest in a relationship. If you have handled your business in this season, became self-aware, approached life with sobriety (which is very sexy by the way), and owned your truth and your

shortcomings without making excuses, there is no way you’ll be on the market long. If you use your time of singleness for growth and healing, you can extract all the rich benefits out of single living.



o, while I started by giving you five ways to answer, “Why are you single,” there really is a better way to answer. When you maximized this time to yourself and continue to grow and thrive as an independent person, people will stop asking, begin to understand, and even in some cases become jealous. The best way to answer, “why are you single,” is by blossoming during this season. Kick the negative perception away and ride this wave until you’re really ready to leave the water. Lauryn Marshall is the founder, blogger and editor of LaurynSpeaks and Brand Strategist/Marketing Associate at Singles & The City. Read more of her articles at

Learn more about Singles & The City online, listen to their podcast, and check out their events in Dallas, Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, or Detroit.




With a career that takes him across the country and a movement spanning the world, NeAndre Broussard shares with Editor & Publisher Kian Hervey how staying planted has helped him grow.

& QA


With roots across the US and abroad, NeAndre Broussard reflects on the moments and natural talents that led him to his current position- ready to grow.

What Makes Your Job in Financial Services Unique?

I have agencies all across the country that I travel to and train them on being more innovative with life insurance benefits and retirement annuities. Instead of me being only able to help you because you’re in front of me, I can go and train an agency and they can go help 200 people that I never get to meet. So really I don’t give into that negative stigma that comes with life insurance; I help clients turn insurance conversations from a death conversation to a life conversation.


From an individual perspective, I help people understand how they can utilize life insurance while you’re alive. Whether you get sick and need to tap into the resources now, or you’re planning ahead and thinking about a tax-free retirement, we talk about using the cash value of your life insurance to give yourself a better life. That’s really what I do— change the mindset of people and how they feel about life insurance.

Did You Know You Wanted to Get into Life Insurance?

I’ve always been a people person. It came naturally to me from being a military brat where we had to move a lot as a kid. With roots like that, I became very engaged with building relationships and from my network— shout out to Kappa Alpha Psi— I was introduced to financial services. The Nupes gave me an interview and let me take it from there. In my first job, I had an opportunity to help people understand their finances, so that was an easy way for me to get into financial services. A few years later, I got the opportunity to go to a life insurance company and go from individual clients to a grand scale, where I now work with agencies. I’ve always loved networking and being able to be a resource for somebody so I love what I do.

How do you Empower Young Professionals outside of your 9-5?

I started a brand called Black Menswear and it initially was an outlet for positive imagery of the Black man. When I first started the page, brothers were getting shot by the police left and right. It was tough for me to process because at that time, I had a two-year-old and a one-year-old son. I kept thinking, “Every time they see the TV, all they see is negative images.” So I started the outlet socially, exclusively on Instagram, to push out positive images. What grew from that has become a movement of positivity across the country and a network able to impart educational tools and resources into our community. Our goal is to basically change individual’s mindsets about what they can do. You don’t have to act solely based on what you see in your environment and community. It’s not just impacting me; it’s impacting a lot more people.

NeAndre Broussard’s Q&A Planted & Ready to Grow continues...


Sounds Like You’re Pretty Busy. How Do You Stay Grounded and Focused on Building Both Black Menswear and Your Career?

I grew up in a home where, as a military family, foundation was key from day one. We always had a strong foundation. We always had a strong faith foundation. Our whole thing was to be rooted and connected so no matter what goes on, no matter what season you go through, you always knew where your help comes from, where your foundation is, what you can go back to. Sometimes it does take a little longer to get back to our foundation, but when you have it and it’s in there, you can grow both professionally and in your vision.

What’s Your Vision for Black Menswear?

MEET NEANDRE Hometown: Houston, TX College: Southern Methodist University First 40: Relationship Banker, JPMorgan Chase On the Clock: Key Account Rep, National Life Group Off the Clock: Narrative Changer @blackmenswear

Photography by Dlores Media Group. Interview and design by Kian Hervey.

We’re going to a new phase for 2020 with Black Menswear and it’s going to be amazing. With this movement, it’s not just for me— it’s for the betterment of our people, the betterment of our culture. We’re looking to increase our impact and evaluate what we can do on a global scale. Success for me, for Black Menswear, looks like making an impact, leaving a legacy. I want my wife and children to be proud of who I am. Having that impact to where people remember you for the work that you did, not for who you are— that’s what success looks like.

Any Final Advice for Young Professionals?

It’s all about passion. When you are passionate about something, you forget that you’re working. You forget that you’re giving your blood sweat and tears to something. If you haven’t found your passion yet, just look at your timeline. I can pinpoint all the way back to Hurricane Katrina every event that’s happened in my life and how it got me to where I am today. A lot of people try to overlook their life experiences, but your life experiences is what gets you to where you’re supposed to be. Each thing, each experience, will move you forward to your passion. When you find that, then the rest of it all works out.


The Ride of a Lifetime

World travler and Children’s Book Author Stephen Evans recounts his weeklong trek through Peru and what he learned about himself and life along the way.

My passion for writing children’s stories has led me on a number of global adventures. But my most recent trip to Peru was one story I could not have made up. As soon as I discovered the option for a five-day motorcycle trip across the Latin country, I knew it was something that I had to go and experience for myself. I booked a tour with Victor Amanqui Ascarrza of Motorcycle Tours Peru for a week-long journey. Beyond being an incredible person, Victor is a fun riding buddy, knowledgeable guide, and now good friend. Riding motorcycles is his passion, and it shows with his enthusiasm for the ride. He did his very best to make sure my journey was special. My trip was more than extraordinary— it was full of everyday lessons for life and business.


here’s No Such Thing as the Perfect Time

I was excited for this trip for months, weeks and days, but when the time to ride off into the sunrise finally came, we found ourselves in the middle of a regional protest. Demonstrators filled the streets blocking and barricading the roads with their bodies, rocks, trees, fires, and tires. Victor gave me an option to stay and wait them out and leave once things had settled, but he was not sure how long the protests would last. We both knew the longer we waited, the more we would miss. So, while the conditions were less than ideal, that didn’t make the day or this adventure any less perfect for me. In fact, I was just about to learn that it is all just part of the adventure. Is there something that you are waiting for the perfect time to start? Why are you waiting for that “perfect” time?


he Whole Adventure is Better than a Small Part “It’s all part of the adventure,” was not only a saying for the tour, but a philosophy for life. Right from the start, I knew this trip would be incredible and take me out of my comfort zone. Less than 30 seconds after we left the tour office, Victor directed me down an unknown flight of stairs and into a tight alley. We managed to get out of the city safely with only a few profanities yelled at us as we rode through. Once we were out of the cities and out on back-country and winding dirt roads, I found pure bliss enjoying Peru’s mesmerizing landscapes and stunning beauty. That afternoon, tears rolled down my face as we rode up and down mountains and through rolling hills. I wondered, “Why me? How did I end up here?” My question was rhetorical, but I realized that I was accepting my whole life adventure and everything that led up to that

point. Every day comes with good, bad, fortune, misfortune, expected and unexpected. All of that is part of the adventure and what makes every day so great. Are you enjoying the adventure, your whole experience? Or are you still looking at each individual part?


ho You are Is Best Defined When You’re with Strangers

The best way to get to know yourself is to go someplace where you don’t know anyone. Until you are in a situation that you never imagined you would be in, it is easy for one to say what you think you would or wouldn’t do in a certain situation. After a 20-minute ride from the hotel, I arrived at a little parking lot near the base of some steep cliffs that had large rock pools at the base. In no time, I found myself at a hot spring feeling ridiculously out of place and surrounded by people who all wanted to know who I was and how I ended up there. Although I wanted to share my story, we quickly discovered there was a language barrier between those of us in the group. But the barrier did not stop us from having conversations by talking with our hands and making gestures. The evening was full of smiles and laughter between new friends. I truly felt the healing powers of the spring, and not just on my body, but also on my mind and soul. That day I met the ‘me’ other people meet; a big, friendly, bearded dude who just wants to smile and laugh, whether we speak the same language or not. Do you truly know the person people meet when they first meet you?


e All Need Some Time to Unplug

Finding Yo u r s e l f in PERU

In the valleys of the Andes Mountains, I discovered the gift of silence. With no noise other than nature, there was no desire or need to check my cell phone. The quiet and peace I found there was an absolute treasure that was completely unexpected. Near the peak, Victor and I sat about 30 or 40 yards from each other in silence. The two of us just taking it all in, soaking up every sound absent of distractions - and it was magic. I cannot tell you the last time I felt so completely and entirely at one with the world around me. It taught me in this day and age how important it is to occasionally or OFTEN unplug and get away. When was the last time you connected with the world by disconnecting?

Stephen Evans is a New Mexico State University alum who currently works as a chef in Columbia, Missouri. He is the co-owner of 2nd Tour Publishing and the author of several children’s books, including The Bee Who Sneezed, which received the 2016 McGrath House Independent Book Award for Children’s Books.

It’s Always Better to Put a Smile on Someone Else’s Face This motorcycle trip through the Andes was designed to see Peru in a way that most tourists don’t get to experience. For those like myself who enjoy riding, I cannot think of a better way to get to see the Andes community. For the last few years, I’ve been volunteering at schools and learning centers around the world. I try to find places where I can live and work with the community during my visit and truly get to know the people who reside there, whether we speak the same language or not. I bring books, clothes, hygiene products, and toys and hope to share my love of poetry and art with new people. Though the journey started off rocky, this motorcycle tour turned from self-serving trip to a time to make others smile.

On the last day of the trip, Victor and I raced against the clock to make it to the school before students left for the day. When we finally arrived, we had 22 minutes to spare, just enough time to enjoy the view, take a breath, high-five, and say hi to the students. For both Victor and I, visiting and giving to folks off the beaten path is not just something we do. It is just who we are. Seeing all their smiles that day showed me what a joy it is to serve other. It also taught me the most valuable lesson of the trip: No matter what the road gives you or how difficult the day gets, stay true to yourself and your mission. The joy you bring to others is worth it! What can you do today to make someone else smile? Ready to book your motorcycle adventure through the Peru? Visit






According to social media, being “booked and busy” and #TeamNoSleep are the key ingredients to being successful. But does business equal productivity? Are you able to give your best when you are overwhelmed and busy? Or do you need to plan more time to relax? Over 40 million people battle with anxiety which can first occur when someone is too overwhelmed. As a wife, mother of two, and a business woman/entrepreneur, wearing many hats is considered “normal” for me. If I’m completely honest about my schedule, some days, it is also extremely overwhelming. At one point, my unorganized lifestyle grew to postpartum depression and took me to a place where I wanted to physically leave my family. At that low point, I realized how necessary it is to have time to release and reconnect. But, it’s also equally important to communicate your state of mind to your support system around you. It’s important to include relaxation into your schedule, acknowledge your needed level of release, and to discuss your mental state with others. This advice is for every person that feels overwhelmed, from the stay-at-home mom to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. We all need release to reconnect and rejuvenate our mind, body, and soul. Let me start by saying rest is necessary. We are not meant to work, hustle, and grind 24/7. Rest allows our body to relax and our mind to reset. If we drive our cars until the gas light comes on, there’s a high possibility that we will run out of gas; therefore, the car will not operate to its maximum potential. If we let ourselves run until we have nothing but fumes, then we are serving others fumes as well. If you want to put some gas back in your tank, you need to release. Before you release, you should understand that there are different levels of release. Daily release is having 20-30 minutes of alone time. This can be as simple as reading a book or going on a walk. In this

time, your mind is allowed to reboot and catch up on life and daily activities. This quick moment should not cost any money and should be completed at least four times a week. Daily release is something that you can do at the drop of a dime when any free time permits itself. Since I’m a mom to two young ones, taking a 20-minute shower by myself, with my favorite body scrub, is heavenly! That time alone allows me to take a deep breath, reset, and prepare for the next spill or Mickey Mouse episode that comes my way. The second level of release is weekly or biweekly. This activity is typically social and done outside of the house. Think spa day, professional therapy, or discovering something new in your community. For couples and parents, date night is the perfect example of weekly or biweekly release! Go out with your boothang and love on each other like you did in the good old days! This activity can take 1-4 hours and is more than likely planned. The final release level is done semi-annual or annually. This is probably something you save money for and complete rarely. Fancy, upscale dinners or fun vacations are prime instances. In this level of release, you are in complete bliss. It’s something that you worked hard and waited long for because you deserve it! Once you have assessed what level of release is needed, communicate with your support system the importance of you having time to yourself and redesign your new lifestyle. A lot of times we feel like we have no one to talk to. In most instances, we have to build up the courage to first communicate with others how we are feeling. I knew I needed help to maintain a new release-focused schedule. If you follow these three steps before talking to your support system, the conversation will go smoother than you think.

Ask Your Suport System to Help You


Map Out What You Want to Say

Focus on how you are feeling physically and emotionally. This can also include your productiveness at work or at home. When stating your problem, also state your solution and how your support system can help. It’s important to convey a clear plan to your loved ones so they can better serve you and help get you back to a better place.

Practice Stating Your Needs

Repeat what you are going to say to your support system at least three times either in your head or verbally out loud. Steve Harvey stated this rule as it helped him overcome stuttering. In this situation, you repeat it out loud so that it feels natural. If you were preparing for a speaking presentation at work, you would practice at home out loud so when the time comes for the real deal, it’s done in a way that seems effortless. You want that same concept applied in this situation so you are confident with your words.

Find Time to Have the Talk

Lastly, figure out a good time to talk to your support system. Decide whether it’s best to have the conversation when they come home from work, over dinner, or if a conversation over the phone will do. Sometimes you may have to tell people you need to talk to them beforehand so they can carve out time for you and prepare to be available. Charles Brixton says it best; “You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must take it.” We have to design our lives to use our time wisely. I hope these tips on finding your release and communicating with loved ones helps you navigate through your life journey. For additional questions, comments, or inquiries you are more than welcome to connect with me at Be blessed friends! Allyson is the owner of Mommy’s Making Moves. Follow her on Instagram @ChasingFearless.




food trend

KE T dietO

The Ketogenic Diet, also referred to as “Keto,” is tastier than you think. Keto Evangelist Hannah Simpson shares her journey embracing the food trend and three recipes you’ll want to try, whether you’re keto or not.

After adjusting to what I could and couldn’t eat, my full transition and embrace of the keto diet finally hit me one day at Panera. I remember placing my order with ease, editing the menu to what I could eat and feeling confident as I asked the man behind the counter if there was sugar added to the almond milk. (For those of you wondering, the almond milk is unsweetened.) I sat down at my booth, pulled out my laptop, and started writing like any normal day, and before long my food was delivered. My sausage-egg-and cheese sandwich with sliced avocados and no bread looked noticeably different from my usual cinna-crunch scone or bagel, but it was just as tasty. It fit within the bounds of my keto diet and I was pleased I made a choice that aligned with my overall wellness goals. The keto diet consists of eating high fat, medium protein, and low-carb foods. In all eating situations,

keto cocktails Keto Mule oz Vodka oz Lime Juice /

Can Zivia Ginger Beer

Mint Leaves for Garnish Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Pour tasty mixture over ice. (Cooper mug preferred.) Stick in a straw and get your buzz on.

Keto Colada oz Rum oz Heavy Whipping Cream oz Sparkling Ice (Coconut-Pineapple Flavor) Throw all ingredients nto a blender with some ice and prepare for a last minute trip to the Islands!

bread is a no-go, along with beans, sugar, and even some fruits and veggies that are considered too high-carb to make the keto-cut. The idea of Keto is to change the way your body burns fuel and creates energy. Rather than relying on sugar or carbs to give you energy, your body adapts to rely on stored fat for its energy source. In essence, keto makes you a constant fat burning machine. All restrictions aside, there are a number of things you DO get to eat and drink. Good fats (think cheese, heavy cream, avocados, and bacon!) are welcomed and usually make up around 7 -8 percent of the diet. Protein makes up the second largest amount of the diet, ranging from - percent of your daily intake. And lastly, for my modified keto diet, carbs take up about - percent of my food. Over the course of my first few weeks on keto, pork rind covered buffalo chicken

became my best friend. I also enjoyed eating leafy veggies and White Claw hard seltzers. Balance is key. While on the keto diet, I lost pounds and cleared up my reoccurring brain fog because I stuck (and came to love) this new way of eating. I had to tell myself to be a damn adult a lot of the time when I felt the urge to drunkenly eat a jar of frosting every now and then, but other than that, the diet has been a relatively easy and fun way to eat. I probably annoyed every server that met me when I first started eating out, but now I can read a menu and quickly make suggestions to save everyone some time. All of that being said, here my favorite keto recipes. My hope is that maybe you’ll decide to try one and realize that your annoying keto friends have their finger on the pulse of something big and yummy. I am not a keto-guru. I have relied on a ton of support from Facebook groups, friends, and even a nutritionist to stay on track. My biggest take-away from switching to this diet is to find something that works for you. I am a bunless-burger, sliced avocado, vodka-soda person now. That works for me. Challenge yourself to try the keto diet and find what works for you. You’ll probably dig it, and may even find a new way of dieting that you love as much as I do!

keto chicken Keto Chicken Parmesan Chicken Breasts (pounded thin) C Almond Flour (seasoned with salt and pepper) Eggs (mixed together) Half of a standard bag of normal pork rinds (food processed into pork-crumbs) C of Low-Carb marinara sauce (I love Zaos) ½ C Mozzarella ¼ C Parmesan

Set your oven to F. Dredge your chicken through the almond flour mixture, and then into the egg mixture, next, coat your chicken with the porkcrumbs. Place on a well-oiled baking sheet and bake for ish minutes. Remove from oven, pour half of the sauce over each piece of chicken, , top the sauce with half of each cheese, throw them back into the oven and broil on high for about 7 minutes. Remove from oven, try not to obliterate your mouth on the hot chicken because it will be impossible to resist.