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Brick by Brick

KYLE BRIDGES, DIRECTOR OF UPTOWN NEIGHBORHOODS AT CHARLOTTE CENTER CITY PARTNERS TALKS ABOUT PULLING FROM HIS EXPERIENCE OF BUILDING, TO HELP CONTINUE BUILDING CHARLOTTE.

Also Inside: • • • • • • •

Armah Shiancoe Cat Corchado Inner-Preneur #WhatsNext Social In Charlotte Intentional Living Leading Luxury PRESENTED BY:


Charlotte Connector is an online Networking Platform and Social Connector for Charlotte Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners and Independent Consultants. ​Success in Business depends on the support of the everyday idea makers who are better known as “Entrepreneurs”.

LEARN MORE AT CHARLOTTECONNECTOR.COM

Letter From the Founder

In the Charlotte region and beyond, the way we communicate with each other is constantly changing. And through all of those changes, the role of the Charlotte Connector organization has remained the same; to provide our members with the information they want and need. It is our goal this beautiful Fall season to be reminded to begin new relationships and foster continued growth with the mature ones. In the Charlotte Connector we have over 2,000+ Denise Peters members and we continue to grow each and every day. Why? Because we offer what you want: networking & social hours, education and introductions, an informative magazine coupled with a podcast and social sites as well as affordable means to advertise. Here in this magazine you will be introduced to separate sections. We are introducing our holistic wellness section run by Kim Irene Barker, a trending section by Alex Lockhart, a luxury section by James Mock and a motivational section brought to you by Wesley Wochos and Ryan McMorris. We will also work hard to keep you informed of things to experience right here in our beautiful QC in our very own Social in Charlotte section. I hope you will enjoy these wonderful entrepreneur stories and I hope you will reach out to those who resonate with you. After all, that is what we are all about! Cheers, Denise Peters

To reach Denise contact her at info@charlotteconnector.com


Table of Contents CONTRIBUTORS FOUNDER: Denise Peters CharlotteConnector.com DESIGNER: Keith Hamilton KeithHamilton.Design

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WRITERS: Kim Irene Barker Roottocrownproductions.com Alex Lockhart lockhartentertainment@gmail.com Lauren Litaker lauren.litaker@gmail.com Kayla Harasymchuk kayla@savvybat.com Wesley Wochos wesleywochos@gmail.com PHOTOGRAPHERS: Denise Peters info@charlotteconnector.com Keith Hamilton keith@keithhamilton.design Latora Johnson lejohnsonphotography.com

Calendar of Events

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Section by James Mock Interview with Kyle Brides Photos By: Keith Hamilton Article By: Lauren Littaker

Although born in Louisville, Kentucky, Kyle’s roots run deep in North Carolina. Kyle grew up an only child to a Methodist minister father and theological professor mother. From a young age, Kyle saw his family’s love for education and community and felt a call to public service. While most of his high school peers spent their summers at the beach, Kyle was working his first job as a laborer at his uncle’s masonry company making and shoveling concrete in western North Carolina. “One of the biggest influences on my professional career was very much those early days, being the first one on the job site, and getting the job done on time without any complaints. It was a big lesson in responsibility.” Kyle went to Wake Forest University, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Cultural Resource Preservation. He then went on to intern with the Smithsonian: National Museum of American History, pursue a career in federal government as a United States Senate staffer, and continue his education with a Master of Public Administration from New York University. While in grad school, Kyle worked in corporate communications for NBC University and was a marketing specialist


for CitiBike during the company’s 2015 expansion before beginning his time with Charlotte Center City Partners in 2016. Laying bricks as a teenager lead Kyle to a career of building bridges among community and fostering relationships, making his role as the Director of Uptown Neighborhoods for Charlotte Center City Partners a natural fit. Kyle says that the best part of this job is that the outcomes are tangible, “we are very much building something here in Charlotte.” He loves bringing stakeholders, community members, businesses and houses of faith together. He says that these people have, “made the investment to be here. If we plan a neighborhood that values the place they live and work, then we’ll be pointing the city in the right direction.” With his deep affinity for North Carolina, Kyle says that bridge between the state and Charlotte is a mutually beneficial one. “What benefits North Carolina can be the benefit of Charlotte. and what benefits Charlotte can be the benefit of the State.” Kyle is part of a big vision for Charlotte Center City Partners with plans to drive economic and cultural development in the community.

“What benefits North Carolina can be the benefit of Charlotte, and what benefits Charlotte can be the benefit of the State.” -Kyle Bridges

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CCCP is a 501©4 nonprofit organization that envisions and implements strategies and actions to drive economic, social and cultural development of Charlotte’s Center City. THE FOCUS AREAS ARE: • Planning and Development • Economic Development • Business & Retail Recruitment • Research • Sustainability • Transportation • Neighborhood Support & Development • Programs & Events • Marketing & Communications

possible without the vision and leadership of the civic, neighborhood and corporate partners. Charlotte has made big strides toward realizing the 2030 Transit Plan, with ground breaking on CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2 (streetcar line) and ongoing construction of the Blue Line extension. SOME HIGHLIGHTS ACROSS A HANDFUL OF INITIATIVES ARE: • Office construction in their central business district places Charlotte among the country’s top 10 cities along with Philadelphia, Seattle, Denver, Chicago and Dallas. • $2.7 billion planned investment along the one-mile Stonewall Corridor in Uptown.

Charlotte has continued to thrive and grow, particularly in their central business district. • 27,200 live in the Center City, with 4,000 Increasing office, retail, hospitality and residential additional housing units planned or under inventory along with the expansion of our transit construction lines, has primed the city for accelerated growth in 2017. • 847,000 square feet of retail space is planned The move to implement the North Tryon or under construction adding to the existing Vision Plan, the joint effort by the Stonewall 3.4M square feet along the ground plane of Collaborative partners, the continued progress Charlotte Center City in the West End on the tactical and marketing plans, and the work to complete the South End • Housed 470 of chronic homeless individuals Vision Plan are paving the way for thoughtful through efforts of the Housing First Charlottegrowth and development in Charlotte Center City Mecklenburg team neighborhoods. These projects would not be


AN EXPANDING SKYLINE

The development boom continues at a brisk pace across all sectors. In 2017, two new high-rise office towers will open in Uptown adding needed product to the market. Delivering to market where demand continues to exceed supply, 11 multifamily projects under construction will add to over 2,200 units already completed in 2016. Six hotels will open adding to a market with seven consecutive years of increasing occupancy and room rates. Retail space continues to be built including more than 70,000 square feet of ground floor conversions. Upon completion, planned and under construction projects will yield enough space for 26,500 workers, 16,500 residents, 975,000 yearly overnight visitors and 88 new shops and restaurants. For the remainder of 2017 and beyond, Charlotte Center City will continue to draw diverse talent, attract new business and grow existing companies. The groundwork laid by visionary leaders from the city’s past continue to pay dividends in their growth today, as they see a continued movement to urbanity. They are proud to participate and contribute to this important work. Follow along with their story by visiting www.charlottecentercity.org.


The Transition Back Interview with Cat Corchado

Photo and Article by Denise Peters

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hen you think of Patriotism you would never think it would reside so largely in the heart of a beautiful spirited women named Cat Corchado. To reflect on patriotism and what it means to all of us you can imagine that Cat is beyond passionate to help military personnel transition to civilian life. Born in England to a military family Cat was sure destined to have a military career. Not that she pursued it but somehow it could not let go of her. She signed up for 4 years to try and figure out what direction to go in life and ended up staying in the military until she retired from the military after 20 years. She was blessed to be stationed in multiple countries across the world such as Azores Portugal, France, Spain, Turkey and Korea. She was fortunate enough to experience so many different cultures and meet many different people across the world. Language was never a barrier because most people excepted the fact that if you try to speak their native language they would be appreciative. In Cat’s opinion it is the United States that is truly the land of opportunity and where she calls home. At the end of Cat’s military career they made her feel like she was prepared to transition into civilian life but as it turns out it was not what she expected. It was very different experience. The basic perception was there would be a great job waiting and an extraordinary community just waiting for her with open arms. That was not so.


R-L: Cat’s Father and Cat Corchado

“When you are passionate about something, you are passionate in your whole body.”

After serving in the military she felt as soon as she put veteran on her resume that people would open their arms to her but that did not happen that way. You have to make decisions like “Where am I going to live”? For Cat; it was Boston where her husband is from. What she didn’t expect was how difficult it was. Even talking to people from the Vietnam area to present military personnel the same thing holds true; most veterans are not prepared for “what’s next.” After that experience Cat knew that she wanted to create some sort of program to help veterans. It started with an idea in her mind of “vet to vet” initiative. Through meeting with an acquaintance one day; “Welcome Veteran” was born. Through identifying great companies who would set up and support our veterans “Welcome Veteran” program provides the warm introduction for veterans to a local business or business owner. This organization provides support in the areas of: • Shelter (providing rental or buying options in the Charlotte area • Acclimation to City (building awareness and familiarity with local geographical areas) • Medical (attending to medical needs and ongoing benefits) • Counseling (securing counseling for veterans and their families)

Job Placement (connecting veterans to temporary or permanent employment.) The other organization that Cat is passionate about is WOVEN -Women’s Veteran Network. It represents Women in transition from service member to veteran. As women, you will also experience important transitions in the future – including changes to families and relationships, jobs, and health. Being connected to a group of women veterans who can relate to your experiences can help you thrive during these sometimeschallenging transition periods. The mission of WOVEN is to create a sustainable network for women veterans locally and nationally in order to enhance wellness, relationships, and connection

and build a community specifically for women veterans. “When you are passionate about something you are passionate in your whole body.” When you have passion behind something there is no way it will fail.” Cat explains “WOVEN dropped into my lap”. I went to an initial meeting with 30 women in right here in Charlotte. It was such a kindred sisterhood. I received an email asking for me to lead a peer group meeting. The pilot program is in three cities. San Antonio, Pittsburgh and Charlotte. 8 -10 women meet 1.5 hours for eight weeks for this program. Women talk about time in the military and what they faced when they got out of the service. We find out what each needs and how we can help each other. Woven is by women for women and that is what makes it special. Going the extra mile and hard work for our veterans has always been a part of Cat’s repertoire. The heart of patriotism is very much alive in Cat and you can see it in her smile and in her heart.

To hear her full interview: https:// www.buzzsprout.com/admin/ episodes/565927-cat-corchadoveterans-transition-coach To reach out personally, please email welcomeveteran@gmail.com

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Born For Education Interview with Armah Shiancoe


Photo by Denise Peters

Article by Kayla Harasymchuk

“For me, everything has a purpose,” says Armah Shiancoe. “I am anywhere there is a need to help improve the lives of youth.” Armah believes whole-heartedly in the power of education. It shaped him, and now he is giving back to help the young people of today. “I shouldn’t have made it here.” Armah was born into extreme poverty. He split his time between the countries Ghana and Liberia, treated more as a mixed breed than a native. Even so, Armah is grateful for the experience since it taught him how to adapt and to pay attention to things in ways other people might not think about. While living in these countries, Armah knew in his gut that he was going to end up in America one day. Little did he know that a civil war would be the reason he made it to the United States. Armah and his family left Liberia for Ghana because of the civil war. They stayed in Ghana for a couple years before finally moved to the United States in 1992. Armah was only nine at the time. Armah’s father became a man of means, earning every penny he made. Strangers would tell Armah stories about how his father had helped them and their families. This instilled a high standard in Armah, and he has spent his life working to live up to the standards of his father. “My father is the only human being I have tried to impress, and I’m still working on that.” Once Armah turned 22, he knew he had to make a positive impact in this world through education and economic

“I am anywhere there is a need to help improve the lives of youth.” development. He moved to Charlotte and began his studies at Central Piedmont Community College. As someone who hated high school, he had no idea that this would become one of the best experiences of his life. It was here that the world opened up to Armah. He could be himself in a place where people genuinely wanted him to reach his full potential. To Armah, the environment was very important. He knew that he could either go down the path of good or bad, and he strived to place himself in a good environment. He passed his placement tests and made A/B honor roll. He became a senator for the Student Government Association (SGA). The next year, he became the President of the SGA. During this time, he became the voice for students at the college and was placed on the board of trustees. The President of CPCC became a mentor for Armah, even meeting with him every six months after transferring to Queens University of Charlotte. He went with the Trustees and the

R-L: Xavier (6) Phoebe (3) and Wife Tiffanie Photo By: Owoicho Ogah President of the institution to the legislative summit in Washington, D.C., campaigned to earn the college over $76 million in bonds, and helped coordinated relief for Hurricane Katrina that raised almost $11,000. It became almost unbelievable. “These are things I could not personally script myself.” Through everything, Armah is appreciative of all the challenges he faced. He knew there was a reason for everything in life, and his losses became his lessons. Armah attributes his success to his education and willingness to learn almost anything. It made a huge impact on who he became, and it provided him the drive to help others the same way. Now, Armah is working to help the youth. He is in the process to become a high school teacher. In the meantime, he has a part time role at Give N Go, a 501-c3 work-based learning and micro credentialing program for individuals primarily 16-24 to earn skills in various areas such as construction and technology. To learn more information about Give N Go, go to www.givengo. org. For those looking to become a part of Give N Go or wishing to donate, contact info@givengo.org. Armah can be reached by asking for him through the email address above.

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a true (s)hero Kendra Jeffries & Ladybugs Medibles

Photos By: Latora Johnson

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Article By: Kim Irene Barker


Daily life for Kendra Jeffress and her daughter Ali consists of round-the-clock monitoring and moment to moment anticipation of the next wave of seizures. Ali is more than her health status, she is a bouncy, joyful ray of sunshine. In her, more times than not, lays a shadowed world. Ali has Unverichtt Lundborg Disease, the only case in the continental United States. This degenerative disease attacks the brain stem and progressively undermines the body into shutting down system by system. Ali was around 7 when her seizures began to exceed what most epileptics already must endure. As a mother, Kendra felt helpless in easing the pain and frustration for her daughter and seeing that most Western Medicine has its limitations, she began to research outside of the dominant paradigm and into alternatives. Kendra discovered the immense benefits of cannabis oil as treatment for epilepsy and many other inflicting diseases. “I learned that the human body actually naturally produces cannabinoids, and like THC, they interact with receptors to regulate body functions”. Kendra took the bold step to take action and leap far outside social norms to provide ease and quality for her daughter’s life. “Ali is always going to require western medicine, hospitals, night time nurses, heart monitors and machines but cannabis oil has brought her a quality of life and relief that simply can’t be found otherwise.” Kendra’s understanding and advocacy for CBD and Ali led her to create and run her company LadyBug Medibles which offers education, support and hemp goods for healing. “I want other parents and patients who are suffering to know they are not alone. There is a way to find comfort and you don’t have to feel ostracized because you are aware of treatments that aren’t quiet acceptable in our society.”

LadyBug Medibles works to bring insight about the provocative therapeutic qualities of hemp infused products. “Synthetic Medicine is useful because it blocks and isolates while cannabinoids create new pathways within the brain and I think most people aren’t aware of the qualities this plant has to offer”. Because of Ali’s intense and untimely seizures, Kendra is, for the most part, isolated to her home every day yet she continues to create. Kendra is a direct distributor for JuicePlus and is uses her product regularly as solid foods induce seizures often. The perseverance of Kendra is limitless and it shows in yet another venture she is undertaking with involvement in Tower Garden, a branch of Juice Plus that educates families and schools about health and wellness. “I would love to start a children’s cooking class involving their Tower Garden or Garden to Table to allow an experience of farm to table meals”. Despite her extreme circumstance, Kendra’s spirit keeps smile on her face and a heart full of love. “Oh I cry, I cry everyday but I am also grateful for the gift of Ali. She is my teacher and gives me the inspiration to continue each day. Yes, Unverichtt Lundborg, is the focus of our lives but it is not who we are. We are a mother and a daughter who want the same things as anyone else, our love keeps us going. Ali is the true warrior princess and I’m so blessed to be her Mom”. Kendra Jeffress has a heart of gold, a gentle spirit and will fight for her daughter to no end, the true definition of a (S)hero!

"Oh I cry, I cry everyday but I am also grateful for the gift of Ali. She is my teacher and gives me the inspiration to continue each day”

More information or to contact Kendra please visit www.ladybugsmedibles.com

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refining alignment Brandi Leigh & Equanimity Wellness

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Article By: Kim Irene Barker


Placing Brandi Leigh in one space, one time, one dimension would be an impossible task for this multi-faceted and far reaching healer. You may find Brandi on a farm treating horse trainers whose knees and backs have worn down with time, or in a clinical setting such as — treating Doctors and Nurses enabling them to become more effective and healthy practitioners, you may also find Brandi leading workshops gatherings or sound journey in a sacred space in the middle of a pasture with dozens of her enthusiasts; the point is this woman has many beneficiaries and layers to her craft. Brandi began her journey as a healer like many of us, out of pure necessity. After working for many years in the Human Service field and addressing negative patterns her clients were endlessly repeating, she started recognizing the sabotaging cycles of her own life and began a quest to mend in a richer way “I set out on this path to heal myself, to explore my gifts, & do my work from a place of honoring my spirit and everyone I come into contact with.” In 2014 Brandi was certified as a Reiki Master which led her in a direction that would alter her work and understanding of herself as a healer. This new awareness opened her up to dive deeper into Shamanism under the guidance of Robbie Warren Hill. “I believe that the indigenous people around the world have such deep and meaningful connections with all that exist. The ability to use vibrational medicine from the simplest of items to create an impact on another person’s life in a transformative way…this is medicine.

Learning from Robbie reignited this feeling of welcome home to the knowledge already within myself.” Around the same time as Brandi’s roots in Shamanism were being reclaimed she completed SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Practitioner Program further integrating her modalities yet she was far from being done. Brandi longed to be an alI inclusive, “one-stop shop” which led her to being certified at the Eastern Traditional Healing Arts & Charlotte Reflexology School. “I wanted to offer a wide variety of tools and techniques for my clients and options based on their comfortability, whether I find myself in a hospital, yoga studio or in sacred circle”. Brandi’s specialty is infusing metaphysical with the physical and weaving a way for the body, mind, spirit to restore and renew. “Wellness is considering the whole being, and addressing the whole being, holding the space with intention as we work.” In addition to all of her training and certification, Brandi utilizes sound as a channel for therapy and recovery. Together with Austin Shook, Brandi brings even more to her private and public events. “The power of music, tones, sounds have been used for centuries and has really become a natural integration into my process”. Brandi offers programs that, when completed, leave her clients balanced and well-connected within themselves. “It takes several sessions to fully integrate this kind of multifaceted work”. Brandi also hosts workshops and retreats. Brandi doesn’t just lead a workshop, she activates your awareness to a harmonious way of being, “my goal is to always pose questions that ignites the inner knowledge of the love, support, and well-being of who we are”. Brandi’s client Kim shares “Since my first session with Brandi, my body feels itself feels empowered and restored, and mind and spirit are following suit”. Brandi’s list of certifications and clinical background is extensive and paired with her wealth of inner sight; her clientele spans as far as her experience. http://www.equanimitywellness.org/

"I set out on this path to heal myself, to explore my gifts and do my work from a place of honoring my spirit and everyone I come into contact with.”

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Erin Esser and Jessica McGratty are flawed, scarred, perfectly imperfect and honor their athenticity with conviction. Erin and Jessica have joined forces to create “Your Sacred Witness” Podcast providing a humble voice and open-arms community via the airwaves. “We not only teach and communicate skills to people, we have lived it and therefore have compassion for people going through crazy times in their lives. We will be spotlighting everyday people who chose to overcome and use their struggle as the reason to rise up,” Erin describes. Erin and Jessica understand that the journey to selfempowerment begins with owning their story; “I grew up in a very rocky household, this led me to be a people pleaser and I was lost for years on someone else’s journey. I know what it’s like to be inauthentic, to not know how to love myself and live with shame and fear on a daily basis. I realized that I was the only one who could save me. This awareness along with my own healing journey and a strong call to give up the status quo led me to become an entrepreneur”.

warriors of authenticity Erin Esser & Jessica McGratty - Your Sacred Witness

Article By: Kim Irene Barker


Erin and Jessica had very different spiritual paths while exploring many various religions and modalities yet, as synchronicity would have it, the two met at the perfect timing and in our adorned city; Charlotte. This future-to-be duo attended soul awakening programs contributing to the pieces of empowerment that would lead them to pursuing their own life’s purposes. Going through a life-changing Priestess program was integral for both women in embracing their claim in the healing world. Jessica says “As a Mystic Priestess I have been able to enrich my unique spiritual path with understanding how to lead groups of women in ceremony and ritual”. Beyond the podcast, Erin is a transformational life coach for women. “I’ve developed a 9 month program called Awaken Your Purpose which takes women through the most sacred parts of themselves so they can start to see and get in touch with the brilliance that is inside of them”, Erin is a Reiki Master, a part of the inspired network marketing company, Yoli, and is a published author with a book collaboration coming out Oct 24th. Combined with Jessica’s home-based wellness supplements business, Plexus, in addition to her training as an Initiated Mystic Priestess and concurrent devotion to genuineness; these two are a force to be reckoned with.

Sharing the ups and downs of inner growth, Erin and Jessica see the urgency and necessity of creating a safe yet vulnerable appropriate setting for women in pursuit of courageous selfhealing. “It truly takes a tribe in this world so it’s nice to know we don’t have to embark on this journey alone” (Jessica). Erin and Jessica share stories of others who have also taken the plunge to follow the calling of their soul hoping these stories from amazing women will help to inspire other women who feel they have buried their truth. “Everyone needs someone to be a witness to their journey, without judgment and to hold space for their transformation” Erin explains is the impetus behind naming “Your Sacred Witness Podcast” and the bi-monthly gatherings the two host on new and full moons. Erin and Jessica’s gatherings and on the podcast there is a profound sense of acceptance and raw realness of common, down-to-earth folks setting them apart from the rest. ”Erin and Jessica lead from such a loving, generous place and made me feel right at home”, Nancy Tilton reflects on a recent Full Moon circle. Erin and Jessica are truly non-judging, loving, and Your Sacred Witness. - www.YourSacredWitness.com

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Section by Alex Lockhart

ome may remember the 1980s sci-fi classic, small-town California teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is thrown back into the ‘50s when an experiment by his eccentric white-haired scientist friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) goes awry. Traveling through time in a modified prime grey DeLorean car, Marty encounters young versions of his parents (Crispin Glover, Lea Thompson), and must make sure that they fall in love or he’ll cease to exist.


My favorite of the Back-2-the-Future series is part two. Hence my alias and why you will be transported into the near future with every edition of ‘#WHATSNEXT’. This column will provide a glimpse into upcoming business opportunities (sports almanac from the future), Fashion, Tech, Automotive, and Social trends. Buckle up as we hit 88mph in 500 words or less!

Our first journey began this week when the Charlotte Connector team was invited to Bentley of Charlotte for the Private unveiling of the 2018 Bentley Continental GT. As I approached the smiling valet attendant the setting was amazing- Brilliant Red-Carpet entrance layout with numerous photographers added a “Hollywood” tone to this event. Once inside the facility I immediately felt the excitement from such a warm welcome, the warm food added to my personal excitement- No way was I going to turn down the perfectly plated crab cakes or the grilled lamb chops catered by Del Frisco’s. A short speech was given by the Director of Bentley Motors before he introduced the CEO who we all watched on large LED screens articulate the vision of the New Bentley GT. It was at that moment we realized that we would NOT actually see the 2018 Bentley GT that day but would be waiting nine months for this handmade machine to arrive to America! The 2018 Bentley GT Coupe engine pushes out 626 horsepower which by the way is 100 more horses than a F150

FORD Raptor and 664lb.-ft. of torque to an active all-wheel drive. Reaching 0-60 in 3.7 seconds with a top speed recorded at 207 mph” Great Scotts” (in my Doc Brown voice). Under lighter loads, the engine will shut half of its cylinders off for better fuel consumption, and features start/ stop technology. This machine is breath taking to say the least. Priced affordably between $350k-$450 is my guess seeing that the actual price was never mentioned. Automotive enthusiast will appreciate the craftmanship put into this machine, the wealthy will enjoy the joy rides…as for me, I will continue to smile at this Bentley from a distance as the proud owner parks out front of Del Frisco’s Steak House. Our first look at the Continental in the flesh will be September 12 at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show. Congratulations to the 2018 Bentley GT that takes our first stamp of approval #WhatsNext.

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SECTION BY: Ryan McMorris and Wesley Wochos


Living With Intention We live in a world where the entrepreneur is on the rise. More and more people, from all walks of like are taking their leap into entrepreneurship. Whether it’s to supplement their incomes to travel, pay off student loans, or leave the rat race. There has never been a better time for you to chase your dreams of living a life of true satisfaction and freedom. Ryan and Wes grew up in two totally different worlds. Ryan grew up Atlanta, Georgia with an educated family, went to college at the University of South Carolina on a baseball scholarship, and got drafted to play Professional baseball in 2010. While Wes was raised by a single mother in Periodo Key, Florida. (We can dig deeper into their childhood stories next issue) Although they grew up living two completely different lives, they were destined to meet. <3 They were building two separate businesses, living two lives with no idea they were going the exact same direction. When they finally met, they realized their visions for what they wanted from life were identical. Once that vision was expressed, everything started to come together. They spent time crafting the vision they wanted and the life they wanted found them. They didn’t have to look for it anymore.

—Lets take a step back to see

how these two got started with their entrepreneur careers.—

Ryan left his professional baseball career after 4 years in 2013 and was working a sales job 70 hours a week. After having his son Julien, he knew he didn’t want to miss him growing up. He took a look at his life and thought… “I am on someone else’s time, working for someone else’s dream; being stuck in this trap of “Corporate America”. I can NOT do this until I am 65!” Towards the end of 2013, Ryan was introduced to Network Marketing and jumped at the opportunity. At first, he was looking for a way to make a few extra bucks for some play money, but ended up finding a new path that opened his mind and allowed him to start his journey of becoming a millionaire. Seven months later, he was fired from his job (Thank God!!) and made a promise to himself that he would never be put in that position again and decided to run full force in entrepreneur journey. Wes joined the USAF straight from High school. She stayed in the military for 8 years and ended up completing 3 degrees looking for her passion. She always had the entrepreneur spirit but never actually knew what she could to do with it. She dibbled and dabbled in a few Network Marketing companies but none that kept her interested. It wasn’t until Wesley had her daughter Taleiya that her life changed. As like Ryan felt, she knew she didn’t want to miss her daughter growing up. She knew she had to do something different. She joined yet another Network Marketing company, but this time, took it serious because she had her reason. She was determined to “make this thing work”. (Fun Fact) Her goal was to leave her corporate job before Taleiya’s fourth birthday (May 23, 2017). Wes left her job FOREVER on May 12, 2017. :) Today, Ryan and Wes own an online company called Intentional Lifestyle. They provide training, support, along with 1-on-1 coaching & group coaching for entrepreneurs who want master the skills to developing a profitable business while living a lifestyle of true time freedom. Their goal is to help as many entrepreneurs as possible create the lifestyle of their dreams by 19 simply showing them how to help others do the same. www.ILCUniversity.com


ARTICLE BY: Wesley Woochos As any entrepreneur can tell you, building a business is a rush and can be extraordinarily addictive. It’s habit forming. And that’s the exact reason why it’s so important to step back and recognize how foundational family life is and also is to your business. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs never seem to make this connection. Which is crazy if you think about it. Most entrepreneurs make that move into the ‘entrepreneur world’ because they want to have more family time. Then get so wrapped up in business and neglect their family. Its pretty easy to say you value your family and are committed to spending time with them. The challenge is finding the extra quality hours to actually spend time. We have made it a point to keep our relationship and family as strong as possible through this journey. We stay focused on the main reason we both got into the industry in the first place…. to be there for our kids and watch them grow up. If we aren’t able to cuddle on the couch and watch movies, or eat dinner together,

or take a walk to the park, then the whole purpose of us choosing this path in the first place is irrelevant. As we all know, times do get tough. Life gets stressful. No matter where you are on your journey, there will always be obstacles. You just have to remember to stay focused on your vision and whats important. Whats important to us is that our children are happy and that they see us happy. Its important for us to watch the impact we have on so many others as we help them transform their life to live a life of freedom. Of course money is important, but kids don’t care how much money we make in a day. They care about if we can cook a meal or put a puzzle together as a family. And what we’ve learned, is that as long as we stay focused on whats most important, the money automatically flows in. We want to share 5 rules that we live by. These rules have helped us to stay on the right path and not veer off the course or vision (for the most part).


RESPECT each other. As we mentioned, times do get stressful. But it is so important to respect each other. That started with us as the adults, but we learned that it goes for the entire home and everyone in it. We get it, arguments happen. And trust me… we’re nowhere close to innocent. But at the end of the day, we know that we are building an empire and in order to do that, we always need to keep that respect factor in the game. This means no calling names, no yelling in each others face, no degrading…. You get the point. CREATE a morning ritual. We constantly preach having a morning ritual. The most common trait of successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way we think. So starting off your day with the right mindset is absolutely needed. For us, we know that once the sun comes up, kids wake up and we turn our phone onthe day is nonstop from there. So we get up a couple hours early to make sure our morning ritual is complete. Here’s what it looks like… • • Sit in prayer and read our bible. In our home, we know the importance of letting our savior lead the way for us so He gets the first 20 minutes of us in the morning. • Meditation and feeling gratitude and appreciation for everything in our life. When you stay in gratitude and focus on all the good things in your life, its hard to feel stressed and/or overwhelmed. Gratitude reinforces happiness and positivity through the day. • Read a book. Everything in the world that you want to know- chances are-there is a book about it. Reading a book fills your head with bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to tackle and challenge you may face. • Workout. Morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after your workout, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day. You don’t have to follow this exact routine but make sure that you create one that works for you. It will help start your day with a whole different energy allowing you to fill your day with endless possibilities. 3. BALANCE your business, family and “me” time. This isn’t always easy, especially starting out. It is however, very necessary. We plan out our whole day the night before. We start our day with our morning ritual, then block out gaps of time throughout the day for family time. Example: Take calls from 9-12 then block out 12-2 to take the kids to the park. Work on a course from 2-4. Facebook live at 5. Block out more time from 6-8 for family/bed time. We aren’t willing to compromise family moments for a phone call. Its okay to send someone to voicemail. We even schedule meeting with each other. We are both working on our own things through the day so we schedule meetings to talk about what we have going on and exchange some thoughts and ideas. We know there is so much to get done and there are times that we might have to skip a day at the park or work longer hours in the night. The point to not get off track and make that a normal routine. 4. OUTSOURCE as much as possible. As an entrepreneur, there is always going to be more work to do with not enough time to do it. What we’ve learned over these past few months is that if there is a task that we could pay someone else to do at a low cost, DO IT. If you aren’t good at web development, its not beneficial for you to spend hours upon hours trying to figure it out. That would be something you could outsource and spend your time doing something more valuable. We outsource high quality blog posts, graphic design, web development, administrative duties, and are in the process of outsourcing house chores (CAN’T WAIT!!) We got to the point where we realized that our time and knowledge is more valuable doing other things for our business. 5. DONT HIDE your children. Lol I’m serious! People get caught up in the thought that they have to have it all together and everything needs to be presented 100% professionally. People want to deal with people! The more you open up to that tip- the more people will want to work with you. We have both done our share of giving presentations with our kids clinging on to our legs. Now there is not a day that goes by that our kids don’t storm in on the middle of a coaching call or jump on our laps during a Facebook live. But instead of rushing them away, we welcome them with open arms and our audience loves it! They even know their names. :) Overall, entrepreneurship can be very demanding and consuming. There isn’t a “Golden book of rules” to follow while running your business and raising a family. There are things that may work for us but don’t work for you and vice versa. The tips above are from experiences that have worked for us. Everyone needs to find what works best for them and their family. And we hope that we sparked some ideas to help you along your journey. What we want you to do is stay focused on your vision and don’t lose sight of why you chose this lifestyle to begin with.

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Oct. 6 Charlotte Cider Fest, Rooftop 6-10 p.m. http://goo.gl/XTfKYC

Oct. 7 Southeast Crab Fest 12-7 - Park Rd Park 6220 Park Rd. goo.gl/3tL4nB

Oct. 7 Ballantyne Wine Fest 2-7, Ballantyne Village https://goo.gl/4WHCwp

Oct. 7 Starving Artist Market at Lenny Boy Brewing Com. 2-8. https://goo.gl/agRYWS

Oct. 13-22Charlotte Wine & Tapas Week - 30+ Restaurants https://goo.gl/ixtuf8

Oct. 14 Charlotte Unite Fest – Noda Brewing Co. 12-8 Free https://goo.gl/WvEZSF Oct. 21 Carved – Lenny Brewing Company 3-6 $20 each https://goo.gl/AkMUf8

Oct. 28 2017 Queen City Arts and Crafts Expo 1-6 Free https://goo.gl/vw6iea

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