Get To Know Me!

Good Day Folks!

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Allow me to reintroduce myself! My name is Crystal Williams and I am the Chief Career Transitionist at my purpose driven company, The YOU Brand Academy (www.theyoubrandacademy.com, follow on Instagram @theyoubrandacademy) I just wanted to give you a few interesting FACTS (See Below) about myself so we can re-connect on a personal level.  I love connecting with people so if you have any interesting FACTS that align with mine I would be happy to hear about it or if you just want me to elaborate on a FACT more (within reason of course) I would be happy to do so! Simply send an email to info@theyoubrandacademy.com so we can chat!

1. I used to walk in disobedience BUT now I walk in obedience by operating in my purpose as a Career Transitionist by positioning and empowering individuals, UNHAPPY at work, who are READY to make a drastic employment change RIGHT NOW! #FaithAndYourCareer

 

2. I discovered my passion and purpose through my pain experienced at the beginning of my career. I had a career tragedy at the beginning of my career but by God’s grace I was able to OVERCOME by developing strategies needed to excel in my career…it’s been 9 years since my career tragedy which I realize now it was just God’s way of gracefully breaking me to walk into the path he planned for me…#CertifiedMemberOfTheOvercomerSquad #WalkingInPurpose #CareerTransitionist

 

3. I have a very lucrative career in Corporate America and I love it! I can truly say I’m experiencing my version of career prosperity! I have truly OVERCOME challenges in my career but I’m glad my testimony can now serve as a blueprint for someone else to authentically excel in their careers! #MakingAnImpact  #WorkingInCorporateAmericaOnPurposeByFaith

 

4. I’m a wife to a very loving and supportive husband!! He’s my best friend and boo thang for life 🥰 So honored to be his wife and to do life with him!

 

5. I’m a mother to a very beautiful and intelligent 1 year old daughter who brings me pure joy everyday! So honored to have the privilege to raise her🥰

 

6. I write poetry that will ignite your soul! Maybe I’ll perform for you one day. If you are interested in seeing me perform soon purchase a ticket to my Express Yourself Poetry Jam at the following link:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-express-yourself-poetry-jam-tickets-74814715829?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_term=viewmyevent_button&fbclid=IwAR35cRoT4fgwWIiSor5FcWm7t-5FsgzidKRJ8PsaLzdK1RsI_RXnnBeGIdg

 

7. I graduated from 2 illustrious HBCUs (shout out to North Carolina A&T: Accounting Major and Morgan State University: MBA). Additionally, I’m a life long learner because I simply believe education is a key to thriving in all areas of life.
8. I LOVE Jesus!!! I am led by God in ALL I do and wouldn’t be where I’m at in life if it was not for my faith! By no means am I perfect BUT who is🤷🏽‍♀️ I simply operate in faith not facts 🙌🏽🙏🏾

 

9. I’m originally from Chesapeake, VA (#757) but now I reside in Upper Marlboro, Maryland!!! If you’re in the DMV area and want to talk business I’m all ears. There is power in collaboration especially if it’s a divine connection! (which is the only connection I’m interested in making!) P.S. if you are not in the DMV area we can still connect because technology is a beautiful thing!

 

10. I absolutely love TV!!! I gave it up for lent one year because my TV addiction was horrible it became distracting and I could get nothing done! So I prayed about it and NOW I have the ability to watch TV or a movie with a purpose! Every time I watch TV now I pretty much have a revelation afterwards…I like to think of it as a little gift from God since I love TV and certain movies so much 😁

 

****Bonus Facts:
-I am the President and Founder of a nonprofit entitled The First Suit Project, Inc.(www.thefirstsuitproject.org) Follow on IG @thefirstsuitproject. We celebrated 5 years of
operating this year!

FAITH IS…🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

(NOTE: Oh Happy Day! Soooo I’m truly convinced that this message below is meant for someone to see and share…why!? Because I thought I posted this wayyy back but I found it in my drafts this morning. So if this is for you or anyone you know I hope you’re blessed by it😊.)

Greetings! This blog just like every other blog is personal to me but if you don’t get anything from this…please get that FAITH is key no matter what you are going through.

Quick question: How would you respond if you saw your available balance in your bank account was $0.00 as shown in the picture above???? (Feel free to discuss in the comment section!)

Well in full disclosure this was me some time ago…yes that’s right me and it wasn’t because I was being reckless or irresponsible or spending beyond my means. It was because I felt (and I was led to by God) the money would be more useful to someone who needed more.

I was more than happy to help them out even if it meant my bank account having an available balance of $0.00. After all, At the top of my budget spreadsheet it states ‘Trust the Lord and NOT your bank account’. So that’s exactly what I did…God is my source….my job is my resource…so As usual I trusted, had faith and knew God would provide no matter what! So today and everyday I encourage YOU to do the same too.

Until Next Time,

Crystal

Before YOU Soar YOU must…👀

Hello Hello!! If you’re reading this I hope you’re doing well😊

This post is meant to inspire you to be FEARLESS in all your pursuits and SOAR!!! However…often times people let baggage hold them down from taking off and truly being purposeful with their lives. Yes, it’s true that soaring is not going to be easy but you gotta take that leap of faith especially in your career endeavors. TD Jakes said it best in his book Soar…’If you’re going to Soar it’s about what you are willing to leave behind’

SOOOO I have three things you must do to start soaring:

1. YOU must leave your past behind you (I’m not saying to totally forget your past because it’s what made you into the person you are today BUT you can’t stay there in the past…you must move forward)

2. YOU must leave that toxic mindset that continuously disqualifies yourself and you must develop the mindset that continuously declares and decrees victory over your situation a mindset that disregards the facts but activates your faith…

3. YOU must leave people or things behind that will hold you down and hinder you from soaring and spreading your wings wide which holds you back from doing YOU unapologetically….

#DroppingCrystals

#BeInspiredGoInspire

Happy Giving Tuesday!!!

Happy Giving Tuesday!!! If you didn’t know it now you do! FYI-Giving Tuesday is always the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving Holiday!!!
As the Founder and President of The First Suit Project,Inc I am are very excited to officially announce information about our Scholar With A Gift (S.W.A.G.) Scholarship Sponsorship Package!!!! TAKE ACTION NOW and click this link SWAG Scholarship Package for everything you need to become a SPONSOR and please feel free to pass to your friends, family, and colleagues that are looking to support a great cause!!!!
We hope you will become our sponsor! BUT if you are contemplating on being a sponsor for our Scholarship ask yourself the following questions:
Are You Tired Of Seeing College Students Dressed Inappropriately For Interviews, Conferences, College Classes And Prominent Functions Within The Community???? 
Are You Tired Of People Talking Harshly About College Students Dressed Inappropriately And Never Do Anything About It????
Do You Support HBCU’s????
If You Answered Yes To Any Of These Questions 
Then You Should Be A
Sponsor!!
Kind Regards,
Crystal Williams, MBA
Founder & President
The First Suit Project, Inc.
info@thefirstsuitproject.org

 

 

Career Lesson from Disney On Ice! Are YOU an Olaf?!?!

As an adult you should always be learning whether it’s from watching a television show, going to a play or even Disney on Ice! This was my first time at Disney on Ice and I absolutely enjoyed it! The theme was entitled “Dare to Dream” therefore each scene in show discussed a character that had to overcome a challenge in order to reach their dreams.  There were so many life/career lessons to be learned from the show and I wanted to share my favorite with you. So ENJOY!!!!

Are you an Olaf???

For those of you not familiar with Olaf, he’s a snowman character in the famous Disney movie “Frozen”.  He is the character I related with the most! His story is the classic faith over facts scenario! You see Olaf, a SNOWMAN, dreamed of one day experiencing summer. He loved the idea of summer, sun, and all things HOT! In the show he sung a song entitled, ‘In Summer’, which described all the things Olaf dreamed of doing when he got the chance to experience summer.

Now let’s pause and talk about this before I go any further. We ALL are probably thinking Olaf is crazy to even think his dream of experiencing summer will come true! For goodness sake he’s a snowman built out of what..you guessed it SNOW! And snow has to stay in cold weather or a cold environment if it doesn’t want to melt and become a puddle of water (I know you get it but I’m just trying to make a point)! BUT Olaf being the big dreamer he was never even thought about the mere fact he was made of snow and would melt if he was to experience anything like summer.  Instead Olaf had faith and hope that he would thrive and be all that he can be in the summer! #FaithOverFacts

Do YOU see yourself in Olaf??? I sure do! Often times we have dreams  for our career or just life that are so big that it seems impossible to even touch or reach. We have dreams so big it may sound crazy to say or even tell someone and they may look at you like ‘are YOU serious?’…’Nooo not you’…or ‘that’s impossible, maybe in another lifetime’. You may get discouraged from their words or you may not but in the back your mind you’re probably going to be thinking why not me in this lifetime! Remember what’s impossible to others can be possible for you if you continue to believe in yourself, work hard, and consistently give it your all! Never mind the naysayers and do YOU unapologetically!

Moving forward with the story, Olaf was sharing his dreams of experiencing summer with Kristoff and Princess Anna when they were in the cold wintery woods. While listening to Olaf discuss his dream of experiencing summer, Kristoff could not believe what he was hearing from the snowman. At the end of the song Kristoff stated ‘I’m going to tell him’. OR in other words Kristoff was going to crush Olaf’s dreams of experiencing summer by telling him you will melt if you experience the hot weather. In this moment…we call Kristoff the dream crusher/naysayers. He symbolizes the folks that don’t believe in your dreams which I know all of us have.

But how do you deal with that?? My top 3 ways are as follows: 1.) Just continue to stay focus on your goals, mission, and purpose that you’re called to fulfill. 2.) Remain faithful and develop daily affirmations for yourself (The Affirmation Alphabets  will help you out in developing your daily affirmations). 3.) Constantly take steps to improve your personal brand and strategically enhance your network (those that support you and even your dream crushers will slowly but surely figure out who you are and what you’re all about).

Moving on…Thank goodness for Princess Anna for telling Kristoff not to crush Olaf’s dreams! Anna just listned to what Olaf had to say and never once thought his idea of experiencing summer was impossible. In this moment…we call Anna the cheeleader.  She symbolized the folks that believe in your dreams no matter how far fetched they may seem!

For those of you wondering if Olaf ever got the chance to experience summer….welll…YES he did! Princess Elsa (Anna’s sister aka Snow Queen) gave Olaf his very own personal snow flurry that followed him as he experienced the summer!!!!

 

#AllThingsArePossibleIfYouBelieve

Bring the ‘YOU’ Brand Authentically

Hello!!! As a personal brand strategist I enjoyed blogging about this topic and I know a few of you are reading the title of this post and initially wondering what’s the ‘YOU’ Brand and how do I bring it authentically??? The ‘YOU’ Brand is simply what I call your personal brand which is who YOU are, what makes YOU stand out amongst the crowd and the impression you have on folks when YOU enter the room and they are around YOU as well as the impression you have on folks when YOU exit the room. Now that you know what the ‘YOU’ Brand is, let’s answer the question of how do you bring it authentically??? Well it’s simple…just bring who YOU know yourself to be!

When I first started my career in Corporate America approximately 10 years ago, I was fearful or didn’t even know if it would be in my best interest to bring my ‘YOU’ Brand. Why you ask? Well to be honest I did not see a lot of people who looked like me working in that environment so of course it was like automatically going into survival mode and working twice as hard to prove that yes I do belong here and I can rise to the occassion everytime! (I’m pretty sure a few of you have been in my shoes in your career before) But naturally, that’s who I am-a person who always puts their best foot forward, has a creative mind that thinks outside the box to solve problems my client or team may be facing, self-starter/initiator, and motivator/inspiration to others.  Not only do I see myself this way but my family, friends, and colleagues do too as proven by recommendations I have recieved, feedback from colleagues, and discussions with friends and family.  As a result my YOU brand was developed because it is not enough that YOU may think of yourself as being a rockstar but you have to have other people get on board with that idea too especially when it comes to excelling in your career!

So before I go any further, just because someone may speak negatively about you doesn’t mean you’re not who you think you are and what you want others to know you for….when people speak negatively about you and it doesn’t come from a compassionate place or in a form of constructive feedback then they may have bad intentions so I encourage you not to pay attention to that but to continue moving forward by doing YOU! If someone who you know to be trustworthy, loyal, or credible provides you negative  feedback try your best to accept it and evaluate ways to improve. I tread lightly when I say ‘accept it’ because if you know what they say to be completely false or you just don’t know how to improve on it then I recommend you meet with them to provide you examples of how they came to the conclusion in providing this negative feedback as well as suggestions to improve upon it. Just because my YOU brand is of a positive tone doesn’t mean I haven’t received negative feedback during evaluation time at year end because I have! Yes, it hurts initially and sometimes it’s not true but I know how to navigate the conversation with leadership to get to the root as to why this negative feedback was provided.  PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME VIA THE CONTACT PAGE OF THE BLOG TO DISCUSS THIS TOPIC FURTHER.

I teetered on this topic of brand appearance in the second paragraph when I stated ‘Well to be honest I did not see a lot of people who looked like me working in that environment…’ Sooo brand appearance is a component of your YOU Brand and it’s very important to maintain within your career.  ‘Dress for Success’ is the phrase used universally that is geared towards brand appearance.  The way you dress, wear your hair, makeup, etc. is often times the first impression of YOU everyday when you walk into your job.  My one struggle I used to have with my brand appearance was with my hair.  Not because my hair was always out of place or never styled neatly but because I was afraid to wear my hair in it’s natural state and show off my natural coils. Like I said previously, not a lot of people that looked like me worked with me and when I did see them their hair was always straightened or in a protective style (weave, crochets, etc.). Therefore, I started to wonder if the natural state of my hair was even professional looking or even acceptable enough to excel up the corporate ladder…look the part to get the role right!? Well as I started to grow in my career and establish my brand within the companies I worked at I begin to see people (still not leadership) wear their hair in it’s natural state but of course when talking with them they would say ‘yes I get stares but I keep it moving and they just have to get use to it because this is my hair.’ So of course I began to feel empowered but still felt like it was risky business because your appearance in Corporate America or any job speaks volumes because you not only represent yourself but the company too. BUT long story short about 4 years ago I stopped getting perms and about 2 years ago I started fully embracing my natural coils and wearing my hair neat and natural in the work place or at corporate events. To me that was a huge achievement and it helped me to truly embrace my authentic self  holistically! Based on conversations, I’ve found that a lot of women of color struggled with this currently or at one point in their professional career.

One quick story before I close out…The first couple of weeks I started to wear my hair out in a neat natural style my co-worker (who was caucasion) came up to me to give me a compliment on my hair.  They then went on to ask if I could provide her some products to use and tips on how to do her baby girl’s hair since she is mixed with african descent. She confided in me about how she has trouble doing her baby girl’s hair because she doesn’t have experience styling coarsed hair.  Of course, I was more than happy to provide her tips on how to style her baby girl’s hair! BUT the point and moral of this story is that once I decided to embrace my natural hair and bring my YOU brand authentically from a brand appearance perspective to work-I opened the door for somone else to do the same and I was able to build a better relationship with my co-worker because we found more common ground!  

You never know who’s waiting for you to bring your authentic self in your career!!! SOOO I encourage YOU to embrace who YOU are holistically..hair and all! I guarantee you will feel empowered when you truly bring the YOU Brand authentically from a brand appearance perspective!

Pictures of me and my natural coils!!!

 

A Word of Encouragement! “Don’t Let Your Struggle Stop You From Moving Forward!”

Hey Everyone! I hope all is well! I recorded this message on the way home from work one day so please excuse some of the noise in the background…I contemplated sharing this for various reasons but I know it will bless someone who may be struggling to overcome something in the career or personal life that is holding them back from getting them to their best self! So enjoy…#BeInspiredGoInspire #YouAreMoreThanAConqueror

 

The Struggle Is Real!!!

Hey Folks! I know you’re probably thinking what struggle is real?! Well I’m glad you asked! The struggle I’m referring to is the struggle to work out on a daily basis!!! Working out is something I know I should do but to be honest it’s not high on my list of priorities after a long day at work or other after work activities. However, I do manage to fit some work out time in at least 3 times a week…good right? Absolutely not! How am I ever going to meet my ‘Get Fit’ goals if I’m just working out 3 times a week now???

Hmmm…Let’s focus on that word now…I did not always have this struggle thought of working out so let me take you back when I use to be an athlete and run track, back when staying fit and exercising on a daily basis was my thing…or  when I was in college and went to the gym with friends to ‘get it right, get it tight’…back when I was getting in shape for my wedding in 2016 when I was super focused…so focused I lost 30 or so pounds and had to stop dropping weight so I would be able to fit in my wedding dress, especially since I had my last fitting about 3.5 weeks before the wedding….

So like I said previously, I know I should work out more if I want to meet my ‘Get Fit’ goals BUT I also know I need to work out if I want to reduce stress in my body from work on the job or whatever I may be dealing with in life.  If you didn’t know already stress is a silent killer and will cause your body to react in negative ways.  Bottom line is that stress is not good and working out on a daily basis is a great way to combat it if you are in a high stress work environment.  Trust me I know, I had joined a project team that had hard deadlines, worked long hours and everything but I still managed to find time to workout which gave me a sound mind, body and soul; however, the hours begin to pick up even more and we were short staffed so my workouts became nonexistent which was not good for my mind, body, and soul.  Long story short, when I incorporated my daily workouts my mind, body and soul was less stressed and I felt like I could function much better because I had released the stresses from my job through my workout.  Also, I found that I performed better on my job and thought clearer.

So all in all working out is great and should be considered a part of your self-care regiment.  Not only am I inspiring you to work out on a daily basis, I’m inspiring myself to work out on a daily basis #NoExcuses  In my last post I discussed the importance of having affirmations for your life so I developed my Top 5 Workout Affirmations and of course I’m going to share them with you! Please feel free to use them as your own to help you combat the struggle of working out on a daily basis!

Work Out Affirmations

 

 

Affirm Who YOU Are Because Of Whose YOU Are!

The statement ‘Affirm Who YOU Are Because Of Whose YOU Are!’ is a statement that I tell myself and other all the time.  This statement simply means we have to declare and believe who we are because we are all God’s children.  Therefore, YOU can do whatever YOU put YOUR mind to no matter what! I believe we are what we believe we are and we have to continuously affirm that and remember to continuously pray, trust and believe that with God everything will be just fine!

Everyday I recite out loud my personal affirmations for my life, career and family. Reciting my affirmations daily is an important start of my day.  My affirmations get me going, get me pumped, and get me ready to conquer whatever life throws my way! (Self-Disclosure Alert!!!-A daily affirmation I have for myself is that I am a confident and successful full-time entrepreneur that will help people by using the gifts God has bestowed within me) You see the fact is  I am not currently a full-time entrepreneur yet (part-time entrepreneur-yes I am) but I will be and I believe I will be but I am taking steps daily by investing in myself to become one.  I refuse to let the ideas that God has given me to stay rent free in my-head!

What are your daily affirmations??? If you don’t have any I encourage you to create them! To help you get started download my Affirmation Alphabets bookmark! Enjoy 🙂 Feel free to download on your desktop or print it out and sit it on your desk.

Another quick story before I end this blog post…My affirmations have truly changed my mindset and outlook on life especially in my career.  There have been situations I have had to experience as a professional working woman that have made me feel unworthy, belittled, and have me saying ‘really, this can’t be life right now’ or ‘did that really just happen’ In just about every profession there is a hierarchy in positions or level of responsibility (e.g. intern, staff, senior, manager, etc.).  There have been many times I have observed or heard horror stories of senior employees  talk down about or sometimes barely acknowledge that junior employees are in the room. People say well that’s just how it is or that’s the norm but I’m like well let’s break that ‘norm’.  At the end of the day we are all people and have feelings and should all be respected no matter what level we are (we are people first, employees second). By now you should know that I’m not a title driven person (I honestly just care if you can get the job done with great quality)…with that said I’ll respect your title and the person who has it HOWEVER if you are not living up to the responsibilities of that title and are simply performing sub par then ‘Houston we have a problem’..Nina Turner (Former Ohio Senator) said it best ‘Titles are good BUT results are better.’ Reciting daily affirmations will remind you who you are, will increase your confidence, and will calm your soul when witnessing certain things in the workplace…#AffirmWhoYOUAreBecauseOfWhoseYOUAre (Click here to purchase the affirm who you are because of whose you are product collection!)

 

 

Getting to Know Crystal!

My name is Crystal Williams and I am a philanthropist , entrepreneur,  fun, loving, and adventurous woman that is always striving to live my life to the fullest! I was raised in Chesapeake, VA #757 but I currently live in the Washington D.C. Metro Area.

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One thing I enjoy the most is inspiring others through my life experiences.  In particular, through my educational and professional career experiences.  What better way to do that than through a blog to touch the lives of others!

My main motivation behind starting this career inspiration blog came from the constant chatter of family, friends, and colleagues about being unsatisfied with their current situation whether it was regarding their education, profession, or their life situations. I consistently found myself encouraging them to push forward through the situation they were facing at that point in time and would always remind them that God would not bring them this far to leave them.  By encouraging others I also encouraged myself to move forward and not dwell in a negative situation.  I know too well from personal experiences how it feels to be depressed, defeated,  fearful, full of anxiety, and have a spirit of doubt when it comes to pursuing educational and professional career goals. Only through leaps of faith, prayer, determination, and my faith in God was I able to get through these tough times and become more than a conqueror! This blog, Crystal’s Career Inspiration Corner, will be one of my vehicles to inspire people and showcase my creative skills, talents, and love for God.  I pray my words and insights will inspire YOU daily to take leaps of faith to get where you want to be in your educational and professional career!!!

There are 7 key words or phrases that embody who I am:

Courageous-It has taken and will continue to take a lot of courage to tell my story.  I used to let fear stop me from telling my testimony but I have realized that through various revelations and confirmations now is the time to share because God’s been and continues to be so good! #CourageousSoul

Resilient-Despite failures and set backs I have experienced in my educational and professional career, I realized it was just God’s way of molding and shaping me into the woman I am today.  Now I’m obligated to tell my story to inspire and impact the lives of others. #ResilianceIsInMyDNA

Young-at-Heart-Although I’m a serious minded woman when it comes to my career and business, I enjoy having fun and tapping into my inner child when appropriate. #YouAreOnlyAsYoungAsYouFeel 

Savvy-Although I hold two degrees from prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Bachelors in Accounting from North Carolina A&T State University and her Masters in Business Administration from Morgan State University), my eagerness to increase my knowledge continues.  I am a life long learner always striving to better myself in order to keep abreast on topics within my current industry (e.g. personal branding, image consulting, career coaching, non-profits, etc.). I recently completed my certification in personal branding and personal image consulting! #SophisticatedAndSavvy

Talented-Through lifes journey, l have discovered my love for inspiring and encouraging others, singing, dancing, and poetry writing.  I can not wait to share my talents and God given gifts with you! #GiftedAndTalented

Ambitious-I am a go getter that has goals and dreams that I want to and will achieve!  For example one dream of mines was to develop a non-profit that educates students on the importance of personal branding in the workplace and I did with the help of a few of my friend in grad school.  The non-profit is entitled, The First Suit Project, Inc. (www.thefirstsuitproject.org) and it is becoming very prosperous and impacting the lives of students in the HBCU community. My desire and determination to achieve my goals is higher than ever and I know through God’s grace and mercy I won’t fail!  I hope through this blog I can ignite your ambitions. #AmbitiousSpirit

Led-by-God-I was led by God to start this blog to inspire the everyday individual to push forward and stay encouraged despite the negativity the world may throw their way. There is a purpose behind everything I do and the purpose for this blog is to simply encourage, uplift, and share my knowledge on how to excel in your career and life! #GodHasTheWheel