How I Did It: Mikki Taylor Expands Beauty Brand with New Book ‘Commander in Chic’

Motivational expert uses inspiration of Michelle Obama to empower women

Beauty expert Mikki Taylor seeks to inspire and empower with her latest book, Commander in Chic: Every Woman's Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady.

You’ve had more than three decades of success. How can women, who are also seasoned in their careers, find that boost to refresh and revive?

It’s part of owning your life. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is this the life that I want to live?’ Does your job allow you to use your gift? Does it fuel your soul in the most meaningful way? Does it challenge you to grow? If it isn’t pushing you, causing you to be smarter or open doors to other opportunities, it may be time for a change.

Whatever your dreams are, go get what you need to fulfill them. You have to consistently be in a revival. The Creator installs gifts in you, and your goal should be to spend all of it. Compose a checklist to make sure you’re on course and expand it all the time. Know your value and set your own standards. Where do you see yourself in five years? How do you evaluate yourself? Does the job live up to your standards? Are you making a contribution?

If you have awareness, it’s time to act on it. Age is not the piece that gets in the way. Make someone know why you are the best at what you do, or create the opportunity for yourself.

Where do you see your career transitioning in the coming years? My goal is to empower women. That’s been my mission for the past 30-plus years. I see continuing that mission on a greater plane, to empower us in every aspect of our lives. I am touring the country as a motivational speaker trying to help us own our lives and master our purpose with distinction.

I have a new nail polish line coming out February 2012, called The Forever Nude Collection by Mikki Taylor, which includes a select group of nudes where the colors are based on skin tones and undertones [of women of color].

As the Ambi Skincare brand ambassador, I look forward to empowering a new generation of what I call ‘flawless females’ … and I look forward to empowering our inner and outer beauty from that perspective. There will be more books ahead, and I will continue to use every medium — radio, television, print, social media— to empower us in every way that I can. This is the work I’ve committed my life to.

Mikki Taylor’s 6 Tips for Finding Your Purpose and Career Success

Identify your gift and use it. “My mother really used her gift, and she was a creative artist. We were encouraged to do the same.”

Make your gift your contribution. It’s not about going to work. It’s not about getting a job. People do that every day. But using your gift is something on a higher plane.

If something you desire doesn’t exist, have the vision and determination to create it. “At Essence, I created the position for cover editor, pitched it and got it. I wanted to give our covers synergy and balance.”

Develop ‘Brand You.’ “Be aggressive. Be your best marketer and best cheerleader. Identify where you want to position yourself and use your gift.”

Get a mentor. This person should guide you to where you want to be. “Never accept the concept that its lonely at the top. You want to be surrounded by supporters, great people, and those who have been where you’re going.”

Get out of your comfort zone and get involved. Attend events that have everything to do with the industry you see yourself being involved in. “For example, if you want to be in the beauty industry, attend events by the Cosmetic Executive Women organization in New York. Network. Network. Network.”

Are you a Woman of Power? Then Join us for the annual Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit hosted by State Farm, Feb. 15–18, 2012, at The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando, FL. This exciting, executive leadership summit is your chance to focus on YOU. Network with industry leaders, learn career strategies, find work-life balance, and start creating—and living—the life you really want! Register now and use code DGED12 to receive a $200 discount off the price of registration! (Cannot be combined with other offers.)

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