#FROREALlifeStories | Q&A with Chrystallynn Block (#GirlPower101)

It was such a pleasure to meet the muse behind this latest #FROREALlifeStory.

Chrystallynn Block (better known as Chrys) is a 26-year-young entrepreneur, writer, and overall creative influence in Houston, Texas. After being tagged in one of her inspirational posts on instagram, I clicked on her IG and quickly added her as a friend.

Chrys is a girl boss by all means. No, her instagram page does not have 10K+ followers (yet), but that doesn’t matter. It is easy to see that Chrys is a positive woman on the move. As I got scrolling on her page, I saw that she recently published her first book, Girl Power 101.

 

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Photo courtesy of Chrystallynn Block

Girl Power 101, “addresses the social issues that WOC (Women of Color) as a group have yet to move past which keeps us from achieving greatness. – In this book, Chrys gives a no-nonsense approach to breaking childish, “mean girl” barriers through story telling of true accounts.” exert taken from Girl Power 101 

After going to her website and reading what the book was about, I knew two things for sure:

  1. I needed to purchase the book. (I am currently on chapter 5…and it is great!)
  2. I needed to meet up with Chrys in person for a little Q&A. 

One DM lead to the next, and Chrys agreed to meet up with me without hesitation. Her enthusiasm to meet me (a total stranger) had me excited! I could pick up the positive vibes instantly, so I knew this would be fun.

Check out my Q&A with Chrys!

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Photo courtesy of Chrystallynn Block

Valaencia (V): How did you get your start at entrepreneurship?

Chrys (C): My mom really inspired me. Growing up, my mom never had a regular 9 to 5. She was always doing something different, and making her own moves. I guess I just picked up on it from her.

V: What was your first big move as an entrepreneur?

C: Back in 2009 when I was 19 years old, I started my own online magazine. It was called the BAR (Black Artist on the Rise) magazine. It was digital, and had a successful run for about 2 years, until I had to take a break.

V: Before we talk about your book…I saw on instagram that you started an organization called @KnowNewFriends. Where did the idea for that come from?

C: The idea for @KnowNewFriends came to me back in early 2015. I follow a lot of different networking groups for women like, Ladies Who Brunch (based in Atlanta).

I felt like we needed something like that here in Houston. So I decided to create a networking organization catered to educating young women. We have innovative mixers, seminars, and other type of events. The goal is empowerment!

V: I absolutely LOVE that. The play on words is what caught my attention. Instead of, “No new friends,” like Drake says, you chose “KNOW NEW FRIENDS!” I love that! What advice would you give women trying to make new friends at this point in life?

C: I would tell them a few things. I would say:

  1. Be welcoming and have a pure soul.

  2. BE the friend you want to attract. 

  3. If you are shy, start by saying, “HELLO!” Also, wear clothes that make you stand out in the room. Wear bright colors and people will migrate to you. 

  4. Be transparent. Do not be afraid to bask in your weaknesses. People appreciate realness. 

V: What was the inspiration behind writing your book, Girl Power 101?

C: It actually was sparked by a post I saw on Facebook. A friend was upset that her friends were not supporting her new business venture.

-It got me thinking about how there is such a lack of support of each other among women of color. That is how I got the idea for Girl Power 101. I started writing back in December 2015 and it was finished by March 2016. It was released in April 2016! I felt like this book was something that we needed as women. It is time to start supporting each other more. 

V: What are some of your biggest goals right now?

C:   I want to get into screen writing, I want to do a movie, I want to take @KnowNewFriends global, and I want to put out my next book.

V: With such big goals, how do you keep yourself motivated?

C: I read, A LOT. I also listen to audio tapes. I try to read or listen to something positive for at least 15 minutes every day. I also like to pay attention to what other people are doing. Other people who are more successful than I am, I like to watch them. It keeps me on my toes and makes me want to do better.

Also, my failures motivate me to keep going.

V: What are some of your failures and how have you bounced back from them?

C: One of my failures was getting pregnant with my daughter unplanned. It felt like a failure at the time, because it interrupted some of the plans I had for my life. I had to put my magazine on hold as well. I wanted to have a baby, “the right way” – I wanted to be married. So, I felt like I failed. However, I realize that it had to happen the way it did for me to be where I am now. I had to give myself permission to bounce back. I had stopped living in my purpose by focusing on my failures, and I had to give myself permission to move forward. 

V: How important is it for you to take time for yourself and how do you relax?

C: It is very important to take time for myself. But, I really just go with the flow of what feels right. If I am tired, I let myself be tired and I stop. I rest. I do not set specific times, I just listen to my body.

V: Are you where you thought you would be at this point in life?

C: I am very proud of my accomplishments so far, but I am never complacent. I always know I have room to do better. One area I need to improve on in order to go further is, time management. I feel like I have achieved a lot, but I have a lot more to go.

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Photo courtesy of Chrystallynn Block

Me and Chrys had such a good interview, but really, I wouldn’t even call it that. It felt like two girlfriends meeting up for coffee, instead of two complete strangers. To be honest, some of the best parts of our conversation did not even get written down. Sorry guys, I like to live in the moment. There were moments when I had to just put my pen down and say, “amen,” as Chrys shared stories about her life. There was so much that I could relate to!

We talked about goals, accomplishments, failures, and things that inspired us the most. But overall the best thing about it was the #GIRLPOWER that we exchanged. It was so inspiring to sit across from a fellow 26-year-young woman, in her prime.

We even had a young lady that was sitting behind us with her friend come up to our table. She told us that she overheard our conversation and was so happy to hear us talking about those things. Then, we all exchanged social media handles. Look at that #GIRLPOWER101.

It felt good to soak up the positive energy. 

I look forward to  finishing Chrys’ book – and I highly encourage you to order one for yourself – I know that I am already inspired to #knowknewfriends and be a better friend myself. Connect with Chrys on her Blog and follow her on instagram to keep up with her next moves @allthingschrys.

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Photo courtesy of http://www.allthingschrys.com

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