Fly Female Entrepreneurs
Kimberly Brown of Manifest Yourself Serves “Goal Digger” Realness
By In Her Shoes Contributor: Brianna Arps, @briannaarps
In a world where instant success is sold over social media, reminders that it takes initiative, drive and persistence to actually achieve one’s dreams is imperative. Meet Kimberly Brown, the digital maven behind Manifest Yourself, who’s serving up “goal-digger” realness on the daily while providing tools as well as resources to help others get where they want to go.
We had the chance to chat with her before she hosts The Empowerment Social, a networking event that’ll be held in Harlem on July 15, and gathered a few gems ourselves.
Keep reading to be inspired!
In Her Shoes: We live for practical advice as well as tips on how to get ahead in all facets of life. That’s exactly what your blog, Manifest Yourself, aims to provide. Would you mind sharing a little bit of backstory about yourself and why you chose to create this platform?
Kimberly: I’ve been online in some fashion (mostly lifestyle and fitness blogging) since 2011, but I wanted a space where I was able to fuse all of my passions, skills, and interests. I’m a personal development junkie, but also love chatting about career development, health + wellness, and lifestyle hacks. So, in 2013, I committed to rebranding and launched ManifestYourself.com.
For the past seven years, I’ve been working in career development in university settings, and it’s clear that finding a dream job is so much more than a paycheck or working for a certain employer. It’s really all about being able to develop a career that also allows you to live a certain lifestyle. I also didn’t see too many people that looked like me chatting about career development online either — so I wanted to create a platform that was geared towards providing information and services to my community.
In Her Shoes: Why is it important to reach back and teach others? What motivates you to keep going? Where do you find your inspiration?
Kimberly: I really believe that if one person is doing well, then it doesn’t take away from another — so why not reach back and help another like-minded person succeed? Working in career development has taught me a lot about collaboration, networking, and the importance of building a valuable skill set — I’ve been able to meet so many amazing people and help countless others find opportunities, so that motivates me to keep going.
I work hard to surround myself with people who not only support me, but they inspire and challenge my ideas. I’m in two mastermind circles with some phenomenal woman who are killing it in their industries. This only motivates and inspires me to do more for myself. Being an entrepreneur and working a full time job can be exhausting — but I know what my end game is. I also don’t allow failure to become an option — sure, things may not work out exactly as planned, but I’ll pivot and try another route to reaching my goals.
In Her Shoes: For those unsure, can you offer suggestions on walking and living in one’s purpose plus how to discover what it is exactly they should be doing?
Kimberly: As simple as it sounds, self-reflection is key. I created a workshop called “Stop Dreaming and Start Planning” which brings the attendees through a process to help them create a 90-day action plan to achieve their goals. The first step is getting clear on what they really want and their core values. I love to do an exercise with my private clients called “The Ideal Day” where you reflect on what your day would look like if you achieved all of your goals. It sounds simple, but it takes a little while to get it right.
Giving as much detail as possible, you walk through what you feel like from the moment you wake up, until the moment your head hits the pillow that evening. What time do you wake up? Are you alone, or with a partner? What does your room look and feel like? What’s the first thing you do when your feet hit the ground? Where are you living? What do you eat for breakfast?
It’s a lot of questions, but it helps you finally put words to the feeling or dream you have for your life to be more purposeful. Generally walking through an entire day with a client can take about 15-20 minutes to write out. Then, I read it back to them to see if everything resonates. Once you’re clear on what you want, then you can begin creating an action plan to get there.
In Her Shoes: As a personal and professional development coach, what’s a day like in your shoes?
Kimberly: Excluding my 9-5 job, my days are generally filled with client meetings, speaking engagements, and calls with the women in my mastermind groups. I make a long list of all of my tasks for the week every Monday in Trello, and then I break them down by day in the Productivity Planner. I generally wake up around 5am and head to the gym for a workout with my trainer. I try to do at least 30 minutes of cardio before our 60 minute training session. Once I’m back home and settled, I generally start my day with email and social media. I live by my Google Calendar, so I’m in and out of meetings and client calls for the remainder of the day. I try my best to end my day by 6 P.M. so I can have some down time, but it’s not uncommon for me to hop back online later in the evening to knock out a few additional tasks before bed.
In Her Shoes: How does that role coincide with the work you do as the Associate Director, Employer Outreach at Princeton University, Office of Career services?
Kimberly: I’ve been working in career development for about seven years, and this is my first role where my priority is not advising students/alumni. I’m occasionally asked to hop in and advise students or present career development workshops for alumni, but my main focus is on recruiting new employers. I really enjoy this work since I’m able to get real-time insights from employers and alumni to help serve the students at Princeton. It’s a different side of career development, but it’s been very rewarding. Most importantly, it allows me to see all sides of the process since I work with the employers who ultimately make the hiring decisions.
In Her Shoes: On July 15, you’ll be hosting an event entitled, “The Empowerment Social.” It’s been described as a “party with an agenda,” in which you are bringing together dynamic people to talk more about manifesting goals for their career and business. Without giving too much more away, what else can those attending expect?
Kimberly: I’ve been trying to find a way to bring personal and professional development to my community in a way that is fun. Not everyone is able to attend conferences, meetings, or find mentors to help them get ahead in their careers — but people always make time for day parties, right?
In-between the normal day-party scene there will be 5-10 minute talks from experts in personal and career development, entrepreneurship, and fitness giving actionable tips and tricks to do more, be more, and achieve more in your life. My goal is that attendees will leave “The Empowerment Social” not only feeling motivated — but they will be able to determine the next step they need to take in order to reach their goals… all while having fun at a day party.
Also, I wanted this event to be super affordable. When people think about professional development opportunities, there is generally a big price tag attached to it; this event is only $25 for early bird tickets and $35 for general admission. Professionals at various stages of their careers will be able to attend — and who knows, there may even be some recruiters in the room looking to hire.
Recruiting a workforce of diverse professionals is also a known struggle for many employers, so I’ve also partnered with Jopwell and National Sales Network for this event. They both understand millennials needs/interest and are interested in connecting minorities with professional development and career opportunities.
In Her Shoes: Seeing that this particular event is located in Harlem, do you plan on expanding to other cities soon? Is so, which ones are on your agenda?
Kimberly: At this time, I haven’t made any plans to expand in the next year to other cities, but I’m hoping by year two that we will be able to do something in Atlanta, Charlotte, or even Miami. My immediate goal is to host this event twice a year (June/July and December/January).