In this series we will be highlighting burgeoning entrepreneurs in the modern era. These are folks who have taken the risk of quitting their conventional jobs in pursuit of their passions. This is a difficult road that many never find the courage to venture upon, but the rewards are so worth it, and as you know, no risk, no reward, know risk, know reward.
This episode focuses on actress, recording artist and musical sensation Lynn Solar. After obtaining her masters degree and teaching kindergarten, Lynn decided to jump off the beaten path and follow her passion. She maximizes her time by using the gig economy to it's fullest potential and then enjoys the freedom to set her calendar based on her needs and objectives. We talk about time management and what it feels like to jump out there on your own. She's a powerful voice for women and entrepreneurs everywhere.
Which Apps Do You Use?
I use, FB, IG , Twitter, Soundcloud, youtube, Gmail, Google drive.
Do you Remember Your First Day? What Were You Feeling?
My first day I remember feeling like a deer-in-headlights! my eyes popped up early in the morning and I thought "oh my god! did I really just do that?! did I really quit my job?! am I really "full-time me". and then I said "Okay God what are we going to do today? and I took that day or two to just chill reflect, refocus and reset for the next stage of my journey. I was both excited for this new found freedom that i created and afraid. But I had developed this phrase " I am more Faithful than afraid." and truly I was more afraid of staying in a situation that no longer fit for me than anything. So i knew it was time to take the leap.
What Were You Doing Before? What Made You Want To Try Something New?
For the past 5 years I was working in the field of Education while simultaneously building my career in music and acting. I took on this artist life 6 years ago to fulfill my need to pursue a powerful living to be happy doing what I loved to do. so while I have been thinking all of my life it wasn't until I graduated with my Master's Degree and had been a Pre-K teacher for a year that I realize that that profession would not sustain me long term. So my sorority sister, sister-friend, who is also my business manager and I got together and created a plan which was the very beginnings of my brand development.
How Do You Balance Your Time?
Ha! not very well it seems sometimes laugh out loud. I use my calendar for everything from business items to social events to even my rest time. it keeps me from getting overbooked, although I still put too many things on my calendar. but generally I make sure that I don't go too many days without taking a break schedule rest times at random times of the day sometimes whole days sometimes just five or six hours at the end of the day. I use the Do Not Disturb function on my phone so in the evenings too late mornings my phone doesn't make any noises or interruptions from text messages or phone calls. And I make sure that after a few days and so that I schedule time to spend with family and friends.
Tell Me About Your Business...
My business I am a singer-songwriter artist and actress. my brand focuses on encouraging others to be their own superhero! That they have everything they need to have the life and to Chase the dreams they desire, right now. I encourage people to live fully and partly. Solar powered is what I call it. my brand is a " power brand".
How Much Time Per Week Would You Say You Get To Dedicate To Your Craft?
Unfortunately I do not spend enough time or as much time as I would like in my craft. I'm even embarrassed to say how many hours. I have been self-employed four eight months now and I'm still trying to figure it all out. Some days I'm so excited everything is going the way i want it, i am Slaying the day. I have these Amazing Music days where I start my mornings off just the way I want it where I don't have to go anywhere and all there is is just me in my home office- the "Solverse" listening to music, doing vocal exercises, learning new songs, learning how to play the guitar, And playing around with my vocal technique. And then some days I feel like I'm failing. my business tasks and odd jobs takes up a lot of my time and by the end of those day I'm often tired and stressed. If I had it my way I spend 40 hours a week at least on my craft. I want to sleep and breathe music!
What Else Do You Like To Do With Your Free Time?
In my free time I love trying to restaurants I love cooking new recipes. I love exploring my city like a tourist, I love spending full day's binge-watching movies. I reeaaaaally love solo travel it helps me clear my mind. And I love when I can take the time to visit with friends especially those with babies! Babies make me happy they make me feel like everything is right in the world.
Any Advice For People Wanting To Follow A Similar Path?
My advice would be to take your time exploring what you truly want to do. it will be the thing that makes your heart leap and soar! make the first step now, know that you have whatever you need to start right now. ask a lot of questions, connect with others in the music industry and connect as a make friends with them, find people that share and expand your mindset & interests. share with everyone you know about what you're up to it will help you find your tribe and guide you to someone or some resource that you may need. When you get overwhelmed stop and take a break. catch a breath do something you love to do and then get back to work. And if you ever question who you are or the next step in your process, pray, ask the universe, and then meditate on it. the answers will show up for you. Most importantly do not quit.
For bookings & inquiries, please contact Lo at [email protected] or (872) 221-0077
Lynn Solar's debut single "I Am Enough" is available from her website (www.lynn-solar.com) or digital platforms where music is sold and streamed.
Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.
In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.
In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.
But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.
Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.
In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.
Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.
Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:
1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan
2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.
3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.
4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.
5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.
Here are charities offering support in Haiti:
1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.
2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.
3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.
4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.
When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.
Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.
The aesthetics were undeniably luxe and historic. The campaign showcased the rarely-seen Basquiat painting Equals Pi (1982), which the brand acquired for the background's proximity to its distinctive Tiffany blue. Also notably historic is that Beyoncé was the first Black woman to wear the 128.54 carat Tiffany Diamond.
Before Beyoncé, the only other stars to wear the yellow diamond were Mary Whitehouse, wife of American diplomat Edwin Sheldon Whitehouse, Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn, and singer Lady Gaga.
"Beyoncé and Jay-Z are the epitome of the modern love story …. Love is the diamond that the jewelry and art decorate," said the press release accompanying the campaign.
The campaign, titled "About Love," is stunning and has both classic and contemporary references. The image of the couple posing in front of high art recalled the iconic stills from their "APESHIT" music video, for which they famously rented out the Louvre and posed in front of the Mona Lisa.
THE CARTERS - APESHIT (Official Video) www.youtube.com
Their "APESHIT" photo made a giant cultural impact for its juxtaposition of Western beauty and Blackness. Tiffany's campaign seemed to have similar goals — showcasing Beyoncé and Jay Z as the peak of luxury, this time juxtaposing the Basquiat and the Tiffany diamond.
As a Black couple, their appearance in such a luxury campaign was a big move for representation, but in a post 2020 landscape, there was an outcry of criticism.
Despite the aesthetic beauty of the image, the high capitalist undertones didn't sit right with some on the internet — largely younger demographics. Though this campaign was an effort by Tiffany's to appeal to younger audiences and make the brand feel more relevant, Twitter's verdict was clear: a blood diamond wasn't the way to go.
The diamond, which was mined in South Africa in 1877, comes from origins laden in the implications of colonialism. The practice of mining in South Africa at the time was exploitative and destructive, eschewing the livelihoods and safety of African miners and their communities for... what? Money? So Tiffany could try to sell us some dream of affluence using Black celebrities as to "Blackwash" the history behind their treasured piece?
The Washington Post also had some choice words, saying: "Its campaign does not celebrate Black liberation — it elevates a painful symbol of colonialism. It presents an ostentatious display of wealth as a sign of progress in an age when Black Americans possess just 4 percent of the United States's total household wealth. If Black success is defined by being paid to wear White people's large colonial diamonds, then we are truly still in the sunken place."
Alongside the campaign, Tiffany & Co have promised to donate $2 million to HBCUs to fund scholarships and internships. But this measly amount (considering the multi-billion dollar net worth behind LVMH) is not enough to cover up that, despite their performative efforts to promote "diversity," Tiffany's is entrenched in a colonial history that neither beauty nor Beyonce can make us ignore.
While Black representation has been increasing over the past few years, the question of how we are represented is starting to be considered with more nuance. And as we examine the structures of wealth and hierarchical values, many people are starting to ask whether these should be the standards we aspire to anymore.
Jay Z and Beyoncé have come under fire before for their promotion of Black Capitalist values — which the kids don't seem to want. Jay Z especially seems invested in the trappings of traditional (read: white) success and wealth. His cannabis line recently unveiled a campaign based on the work Slim Aarons — which was famously focused on "attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places" — and its unashamed opulence raised some eyebrows.
Images like this aren't as revolutionary as they once might have been since they reinforce the status quo and tell marginalized people to reach for the same luxuries and lifestyles deemed aspirational by the people who have oppressed them.
Anti-capitalist theory has been around as long as capitalism has, but younger generations are more likely to question the status quo — even when it comes packed with Basquiat and Beyoncé.
The conversation about the Tiffany campaign is indicative of how Gen Z thinks differently about money and what it means to them. They are less likely to be seduced by the luster of the aspirational, and more receptive to relatability.
No more does financial literacy seem restricted to the pretentious or the elite — we get it, finance bros; you love capitalism. With Cleo, understanding your money is something that can align users with their values.
And those values don't look like blood diamonds or corporate pandering.
- Sorry, Beyoncé, but Tiffany's blood diamonds aren't a girl's best friend - Washington Post
- The Black-white wealth gap left Black households more vulnerable — Brookings
- The Unashamed Opulence of Jay Z's Luxury Cannabis-Themed Slim Aarons Photoshoot — Popdust
- ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE DOING ATTRACTIVE THINGS IN ATTRACTIVE PLACES WITH SLIM AARONS — Elle Decor
Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.
From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.
1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance
If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.
2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping
All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.
camping road tripConde Nast Traveler
If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).
3. Bring Food From Home
Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.
Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.
4. Avoid Tolls
Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).
You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.
Road TripThe Orange Backpack
5. Save on Gas
Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.
6. Get a National Park Pass
All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.