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Beauty and the beat

4 mins

By: Andrew Porter

Few students are actively living their life with as much purpose as 4th year University of Georgia student, Bianca Godwins. In a simple introduction, Godwins would tell you she’s a microbiology major from Kennesaw, Georgia.

She’d probably go on to talk about how she is the Vice President of African Student Union or how she’s both an LSAMP scholar and CURO scholar. If you were to talk with her a  little more , she might even let you know that she does all of this while working at the daycare on the Health Sciences campus and at Parking Services.

The average person with Godwins’ hand might fold out of a need for sanity and sleep. Godwins confessed to me that she gave up sleep around 2014.

Although she boasts a very impressive list of accomplishments, boastful is not an adjective you’d ever associate with her. She is kind, smart, and most importantly humble, especially about the one aspect of her life I left out—the fact that she does all this while running her own makeup artistry business.

Godwins traces her love for makeup back to when she was in high school and would wake up every morning at 5 am to spend an hour and a half to two hours doing her eye shadow. During high school, Godwins developed and led a women’s empowerment club called Bold & Beautiful where she would teach 22 young women how to do their makeup and carry themselves as women.

At age 16 Godwins had already found her passion by doing two things she loves: makeup and empowering women. “I love that I’m able to translate my vision and my passion through making another woman feel beautiful,” she said.

Makeup wasn’t her only talent though. Godwins maintained strong academics throughout high school because she never would allow herself to lose sight of her dream of becoming a pediatrician and opening a primary care office in Nigeria and other third world countries.

Godwins doesn’t believe in letting words like either and or limit her capabilities.

““My passion for the arts and for makeup artistry has the same foundation as my passion for medicine . Even though they are two completely different career choices, you still have the foundation of being able to service someone else and that’s what I love—that’s what I feel is part of my purpose.” 

You’d never know it talking to her, but Godwins considers herself to be an introvert. It was that spirit that initially tried to keep her from letting the world see her talent.

“Fear is so debilitating if you don’t have the courage to really step out of the box,” she said. Godwins took the leap of faith and never looked back, crediting her close friends and loved ones with helping her promote her talents through word of mouth and social media alike.

Now it isn’t fear that stands in her way, but lack of hours in the day. A typical week for Godwins features her attending class in the morning and going to work every day in the evening, alternating between the daycare and Parking Services.

To keep herself sharp, she wakes up early to try to catch up on what she didn’t get to study the night before. Thursday through Saturday is business as usual.

Godwins heads to Atlanta every Friday and travels throughout the city and metropolitan area, wherever her clients need her to be. At the end of the weekend, she comes back to Athens on Sunday and starts the cycle all over again.

One weekend when business was booming, she even made four trips back and forth between Athens and Atlanta in three days. I’m sure here is where Godwins would like me to note that gas is indeed included in her fee.

With a hectic schedule like that, Godwins has had to make some sacrifices. She misses hanging out in between classes or attending weekend parties; however, she knows that there are certain choices she must make to achieve her dreams and aspirations.

Godwins is currently applying to grad schools and hopes to start her masters in biomedical sciences in the fall and medical school the following year. Godwins is a woman on a mission and doesn’t plan on letting anything or anyone stop her from achieving greatness.

“I’m showing women and girls that there is no such thing as limit. You do not have to be limited to being a lawyer, a doctor, or a beautician. We place the limit on ourselves when there is no such thing as that.”

Godwins’ ultimate dream is to become a pediatrician and work 9-4 on Monday through Thursday so that on weekends she can open her own beauty bar and salon. She specifically wants to use her background in science to help give makeup services to girls with cancer.

Godwins has a plan and is already living a purpose driven life. She takes on the tough task of performing two trades on completely opposite ends of the spectrum and has found a middle ground that not only makes her happy, but allows her to bring happiness and beauty to the lives of others.

“There are different levels of beauty, but most important is self-love.Once you love yourself on both the inside and the outside too, that’s when beauty really shines through.”

Godwins is always accepting of new clients. You can see her work on her site and social media pages: thebbeatmua.com|IG: _b.loved|Twitter: @x_borntosucceed|

 

3 Ways Right Before (and YOU) can Transform from Good to Great in 2017

2 mins

1)    Develop a support system

I do not know if it is scientifically proven, but I know from first-hand experience that it is nearly impossible to push yourself to your fullest potential. Have you ever tried holding your breath until you passed out, or stretching a muscle further than you really want to stretch? I would be willing to bet that in both circumstances, you are not able to perform the task because your body places limits on itself. We unconsciously are our own biggest roadblocks. I read an article recently about having a “business bestie”. You may need a “studies bestie” or a “workout bestie” in your personal life.

Find a person that best complements your strengths, but also who improves your weaknesses. When you assemble the people around you this year, consider your goals and determine if the people around you push you closer to your goals or pull you further away? There may be people in your circle that make you feel comfortable but that do not allow you to stretch yourself further than you want to. Bring somebody along for your journey in 2017 and you may find your limits easier to break.

2)    Craft Your Vision and Develop Your Best Case Scenario

This one has been documented on every website or book imaginable, but I look at it from a different take. The act of dreaming big and writing down your vision with all the amazing things that could happen after you do this is monumental. My best friend Drew took me through this exact exercise with Right Before Magazine. Think about where you could see yourself in a few years, but there is a catch… Think as “unrealistically as possible”. Think about a place that it would take a “miracle” to get to. Whether it be the top graduate school, a multi-million dollar startup, or a 6 figure corporate salary, think of your “reach” dream and that is the one to shoot for.

When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either. -Leo Burnett

When you set lofty goals and work as hard as you can to reach them, you set yourself up for infinitely more possibilities out of your work. As you identify your passions and set goals, you are going to notice that that enormous amount of work is actually not as much “work” as it is fulfilling.

 3)     Automate Your Daily Tasks

Honestly, this one doesn’t fit in with the other two. This may just be the most important thing to start in 2017. Automation is the number one time and money saver there is. Nowadays you can automate bank payments, automate articles posted, automate alarms/reminders, and automate your scheduling (enter things in as they happen). Once you get something down into your system, you can forget about it just a little bit and move on to the next important thing. I recently started automating my student loan payments, retirement savings, social media posting, and even reminders. The stress relief and added emphasis to my bigger goals are well worth the few hours it may take to set everything up.

Give yourself credit for the accomplishments, the wins and the losses. I spent so much of 2016 thinking of what I could do better that it consumed me. This year’s motto is “good to great”. Like the individuals from the book by Phil Collins, only a few make that leap. If you take heed of these changes, the YOU could be one of the few.

Kenneth

 

 

My Right Before Moment: Kenneth Duncan

4 mins

Right Before Magazine is my story, my reality, and unfortunately the reality of millions of dreamers. A lack of resources, a lack of support, a lack of funding, all are challenges facing entrepreneurs and those that want change.

I have been a victim of the paralysis that is caused by fear. Millennials are often allowing fear to rule our minds and influence our decision making and I was no different. I started two “small businesses” (more like ventures) during college and my own holdings company “Transcendence Management Group”. I can admit now that I had literally no idea what I was doing and I was pretty much bound to lose the thousands I lost.

I was nervous to the point that I was scared of starting anything ever again. Reflecting back on it I can’t believe I was so ready to pack it in over mistakes I made at 21! After I graduated I now have bills and things to pay for so I cannot “afford” another let down. After the last few years of school my brand and image was all of the sudden “the guy that couldn’t get the job done”. You can sort of tell when your friends are tired of “yet another idea”. Instead of the excitement of my next breakthrough, most people around me were “bracing for my next failure”.

I realized that my attitude towards success was too laissez faire. The only person holding me back from reaching my full potential is me. I relied too heavily on other people to identify with the goals I had, and yeah, I wanted them to help me. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, but that cannot be the hub of the plan. After interviewing many people for this magazine, I realized that the loneliest place in the world is being an idealist and innovator. I could not just sit still and passively let all of my ideas die because of my embarrassment from my past failures. I believe in them too much to do so.

A lot of people who may read this were either a part of, or heard about my goal to host a GA/FL party in 2015. After the complete failure, I was beside myself for weeks. I issued public apologies, refunds to dozens, and even refused to speak about my attempt. My brand and reputation was trash and there was little I could do. Fast forwarding a year later, I am stronger and able to learn from the “egg on my face”. That party still haunts me because it was a good idea, I had a plan, executed, and failed. Ultimately it turns out the lessons learned were what sparked this magazine.

We talk so much, but are a group that is less defined by action and more defined by potential. Over the least 10 months, I have been inspired by some of the movement and conversation taking place in our country today. On a daily basis, my social media is flooded with some of the smartest people you could meet, yet I still feel like as a whole we are stuck in neutral with nobody putting their foot on the petal.

…but the {man} himself has to be made aware of the importance of going into business. And once you and I go into business, we own and operate at least the businesses in our community. What we will be doing is developing a situation wherein we will actually be able to create employment for the people in the community. -Malcolm X

I started Right Before Magazine to be the resource, the friend, and the inspiration we all need. Right Before Magazine has articles similar to FORBES 30 Under 30, yet our goal is to tell the story not after one has reached the peak because that just glorifies the success. We aim to tell the story as it unfolds, as it manifests, and in the period Right Before success. A lot of times prior to success the end goal appears to be elusive or a moving target. I know that most of the most successful people in our country from Bill Gates to Michael Jordan had to meet failure head on to ultimately become the “richest” or the “greatest”

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, yet “we” hold our shots until we have more money. We wait until we have more experience, we wait until we are secure, and sure enough we end up waiting forever. Year after year I witness dreams of loved ones fall by the wayside just because there isn’t enough time. Our “friends” fail to support or goals and endeavors. Our attention is dragged around to numerous efforts often.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. -T. E. Lawrence

Measuring success by an outcome is inherently limiting because it does not measure the quality of the work itself. Success often times does not measure the work or the grind that went into accomplishing things.  In school, your teacher may mark the final answer as wrong but award 80 percent credit for the methods and applications to arrive to the solution versus just “right or wrong”. Life should be approached in a similar manner and not in a pass/fail train of thought. A quote hangs on my wall by Booker T. Washington that reads:

Success is to be reached not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

At time of writing, I have “failed” three more times than I have succeeded. My various business ventures lacked focus and organization necessary to be successful. But I can find the silver lining in starting my own company at 19 and look to draw more from the positives than the negatives.I really hope that by encouraging the conversation and opening the dialogue, that more people that look like me and come where I am from will decide to pursue their passions and try to chase their dreams.

I ultimately want to build a community so strong that many of us can experience financial freedom, economic equality, and ultimately the peace of mind and lifestyles we dreamed of. I think we are at that place RIGHT BEFORE and this magazine is only the PHIRST step to taking us there.

 

Unlock the Code: Kameon Prather

6 mins

“Kameon Prather is a name you will likely hear in the future” was a quote from Kameon Prather’s feature as a University of Georgia “Amazing Student” in 2011. I had not met him personally but he was a name everybody commonly associated with music and a bright future. It appears that the future is now! Everybody that meets Kameon can not only see the passion and love he has for music, but the amount of work he goes through to produce a quality product. Finally artists are starting to work with him individually and he is soon to develop a major brand.

Music is a muse in which he is able to construct his best art. The business side of the moves that he makes are just as impressive as his talent. Launching his own business at 18, Kameon has had the benefit of learning from all his success but also from his failure. A lot of people dream of entering the music industry but inevitably quit because somebody else tells them “it’s too hard”.

Kameon’s story is everything that RIGHT BEFORE magazine stands for. In order to understand the business he intended to eventually start on his own one day, it required that he work with artists and firms early to create his competitive advantage. He started by co-producing two revamped UGA theme songs, one of which was sponsored by the MBUS Program.

Kameon started NovaHaüs in December 2015 in New York focusing on live event, tour, and music production. He has the opportunities to manage and coordinate productions for clients such as VIACOM, MTV, Ne-Yo, and VH1. All of his experience overseeing on site needs has given him the relevant background to really go out and establish his niche.

Kameon officially launched his own production company a few months ago and already has had his hard work off. He was a dreamer, a thinker, an innovator. In an industry muddled by artists that sound the same, Kameon has produced a refreshing tune. If you love your art enough, somebody else will see the value in your work as well. Locksmith, one of the most fresh and lyrical rappers in the industry, was one of the first to see these signs.

Nova Code- Episode One      See more at thenovacode.com

To fully understand the benefit of his early experience in the music industry, we thought it would be best that he write and share his genuine experiences and lessons.

This isn’t easy. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done for myself. But I know it’ll be worth it” -Kameon

Q: Hey Kameon, So I know there are tons of students out that admire people in the

music industry, love music, but can’t see themselves working in it? What ignited

the spark in you to start your new business venture and how did the idea for your

business come about?

Since the end of high school, I’ve been extremely tied to music –

listening, creating, absorbing. I didn’t have any formal training but had a

great ear for music. In college I produced music as a hobby at first, making

tracks between classes. Very long story short, eventually I saw myself

producing music, tours and events as a career. After graduation, I officially

started my career in Brooklyn, NY. After a few years in the industry I

realized that I loved producing tours and events, but creating music was

my greatest passion. I felt like it was the right time in my life to pursue my

dreams – not married, no children, had 2 college degrees. What sparked

that was knowing that I had an opportunity to make it happen and if I didn’t

do it now and take that leap it would be due to my own fear.

 

Q: Who has been your greatest inspiration? Who is your favorite artist that you

have met or worked with? The best place you have been?

My greatest inspiration in life is my dad. My mother

has always been my biggest fan – but as a black man in America who grew

up with limited resources overcame several challenges, he became a

success and one who inspires others with the same light. The way my

mother and father work as a team is seamless. I model my life after the

principles my parents have taught me. Re: my dad, a man who cares for

and protects his family, is successful in his industry, and an overall man of

God – I aspire to exemplify those qualities more each day.

Musically, right now I am inspired by Jon Bellion, Nao, and Anderson.Paak.

I’m genuine fans first and foremost. There are many more but these quickly

came to mind. I find their individuality and songwriting to be refreshingly

original – they shed light on what mark I plan to leave.

Fav artist: Ne-Yo’s work ethic and talent is amazing, but his personality to

me is most impressive – he is very humble. The way he carries himself, you

would never know he was a huge artist. He is very personable, takes time

to speak to everyone. That is something that I admire because it shows that

you can be in the spotlight and still be grounded. You can be yourself

regardless of cameras and accolades.

Best place: Japan, hands down. I’ve always wanted to go there since I was

very young. I’ve always been interested in the culture, the art, the fashion.

Music has been able to take me to Japan multiple times, and I will surely be

returning soon. There is nothing like walking in Tokyo at night, or a bike

ride in Yokohama during sunrise – the awe those experiences have created

for me continues to be an influence in how I express my brand and my

sound.

 

Q: What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to

become entrepreneurs in the music industry?

Speak to every professor, every guest speaker in class, and every student.

Someone next to you may be one song, show or deal away. Find yourself a

mentor, or two. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself, let people know who

you are and that you are serious about learning. Eagerness to learn is

admirable and will serve you better than you may imagine.

 

Q:Should you work with somebody else first or just produce your own music?

I don’t think there is a best practice, but in general you can’t do everything on

your own. You need to be open to collaborating with other people because you

need buy-in and you need a team. People have to believe in your vision. Others

aren’t just automatically going to gravitate towards you, you have to give them

something to invest in. In my life, building relationships has been the most

important component to breaking into the entertainment industry.

 

Q: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do

differently? What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned

from them?

That’s funny! My career is just beginning. I’m in my 20s. Honestly I don’t

think I would have ended up where I am without going though the trials I

have gone through. I’ve been able to see several parts of the world that

other people may not ever see, produced several shows, songs and events

at an early age – I’m eager to do some much more, but I’m very blessed. I

am still young and all of the experiences I’ve had to this date have made

me a smarter business man and a more effective creative. However, I would

tell my younger self to not be afraid to take more chances or put your work

out there. No one has the chance to enjoy your art if you do not at first

share it with them.

 

Q:What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

A: Not doing everything in my personal power to succeed and to help

others around me do the same. I don’t want to look back at life and say “I

wish I had done more.”

Produced by Nova

 

Q: What is the hardest part of starting your own venture? Is time or money a

factor?

Both! Time is money. It’s the oldest currency. Through just building

relationships you can gain a lot of resources that otherwise you would

have to pay for. The caveat there is finding enough time to tap into those

resources, so that eventually money works for you. The key is finding a

balance. I am still figuring that out myself.

 

Q:Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

There are a few and the thing they all have in common is moving as a

collective. In terms of music production, I am speaking of groups like OVO

Sound (Drake, DVSN, PND, etc.) , Beautiful Mind (Jon Bellion). I admire how

these camps have established a sound unique to their teams. I hope to do

the same with NovaHaüs, and intriguing people into learning what

#TheNovaCode is all about.

 

Q:Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?

I would like to see my business being something much bigger than just me.

A company where other creative minds can leave their mark in the

business. I see my brand becoming a household name and something that

is respected as being genuine and original.

Overall, I want to inspire – for that young boy or girl in school who does

not see how they can be successful to look at me and say, “I can too. He

was just like me.”

 

Q: How do you define success for your future business? What are your goals

and mission? 

Overall, I want to inspire – for that young boy or girl in school who does

not see how they can be successful to look at me and say, “I can too. He

was just like me.”

Kameon launched his website thenovacode.com in July and has already began partnerships with artists across the country. One of my favorite partnerships brewing is one that he has with Locksmith, an up and coming rapper. You can see the sincerity and mutual respect for the craftsmanship in each of their jobs. I am excited for the future of music because it is now in his hands.

Stay Tuned.

 

 

Follow Kameon on IG and Twitter @thenovacode

A feature on Kameon from The University of Georgia years ago.

https://www.uga.edu/amazing/profile/prather-kameon/