Meet Our Professional Homegirl of the Week: Janell Hazelwood

1. Social Handles (personal and business)

Twitter: @JPHazelwood Instagram: @Janellirl Facebook: Janell Hazelwood

2. What do you do?

I am a digital media journalist, speaker, editor, and consultant who has worked for media powerhouses including The New York Times, Black Enterprise, and Conde Nast. I'm a graduate of Hampton University, and my work and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, E!Online,, CBS News, XoNecole, and Brazen Careerist. I'm fluent in women's issues, career advancement, guilty (TV) pleasures and Trini patois.

Beyond the usual resume stuff, I am passionate about helping women and minorities reach their highest business and career potential through media readiness, editorial, and social media management services that I offer through my consultancy The BossMoves. 

I enjoy applying the skills and experiences I've learned working in the top media market in the U.S. to help small business owners and professionals monetize their purpose and impact the world the way God is urging them to through purpose, not just for chasing checks.


3. How do you balance with your career, side hustles, and your social life?

I'm really big on faith as a Christian: Prayer, church attendance, reading my Bible, fasting. I'm also a newbie fitness buff. I lost 35 lbs recently, and now I've started weight-lifting. It's great to be a woman who has a lot of good things going on, but it's horrible to become unable to sustain your successes or growth because your physical and mental health are out of wack. I love a good Bible app, My Daily Bread devotionals, and following people like Steve Furtick or DeVon Franklin on social. Also, get a good calendar app. Google Calendar works for me butTrello and Wunderlist are two apps to try as well in terms of staying organized with your time. Also, if you're really into social media, try scheduling your posts with tools like Buffer, Crowdfire or Hootsuite. Saves a lot of time and stress.

I urge women to put taking care of their mind and spirit first. I achieved a lot in my industry at a pretty young age (I was an associate managing editor and worked for top publications in one of the most competitive markets all by the age of 24, and was in management before the age of 35---not an industry norm for a woman or person of color. Trust me, burn out is real.) 

I also love incorporating family time, volunteering, and bae time into my schedule. It's a deliberate thing. I literally schedule time with family and bae, as well as volunteering, just like I would any big business or client meeting. It's super-important to me.

4. What does Professional Homegirl mean to you? 

A professional homegirl knows she isn't perfect, is not into the comparison syndrome, and is God-fearing. She's supportive and lifts as she climbs. She's true to who she is, and she's guided by faith, so when she makes moves, it's divine, not something desperate or greedy. She also knows the power of community---of having a girl squad that can keep it real with one another and can support each other financially or emotionally. She's consistent and is unafraid of taking risks to monetize the purpose God has given her.

5.What advice would you give to young women that want to pursue their dreams?

Don't constantly compare. Pray often and plan accordingly. Think about what it is that keeps you awake at night. What quality of life do you want? What would you do for free if you could? That's what you should go hard for---not what others are finding lucrative, what's so on-trend, or what others feel you should be doing. If you're not clear on these things, take steps to figure them out. Challenge yourself. Travel. Volunteer. Explore other aspects of your industry and become spiritually strong in terms of being around others who can help guide you.

If you're working a 9-to-5 that's not quite your passion, do your best, stack your coin (ie save at least 30% of your yearly income every year), and create an exit plan. That financial cushion will help you reinvest in yourself and what you truly want to do. 

Don't be afraid to take risks. You may have to take a few struggle jobs or a second job/internship to help you reach your goal. You may have to make phone calls (instead of emailing or texting), go up to that office, or present yourself in an out-of-the-box way. You may have to take that $1000 and invest in the first batch of products, build that Website or pay for an event space. You may need to quit that job, move to that other state or country or rethink your business plan. Bosses take calculated risks.

Write your specific talents and passions down and think of tangible ways to achieve your goals through any job or career. Monetize your purpose through freelancing, speaking gigs, consulting, selling products or services online, or providing other services to folk on your own. Get that business tax ID and get that domain, even if you're not ready to build a Website yet. Also, always negotiate and research what your skills and talents are worth.

Lastly, collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. Don't work in isolation too long. Solitude and self-reflection are great, but get out there into organizations, masterminds and groups where there are people who are successful at what you're trying to do or who are leaders in the industry or consumer base in which you seek to tap into. If you don't have that in your area, create it. is awesome to build commuity, or even start with an Instagram account or Facebook group. God is great, and if He put something in your heart to do---something you love, you can't stop thinking about or something you're very good at doing---you have to go hard for that. He has a plan for you and He will provide everything you need to achieve what He needs you to achieve. It's not an accident or coincidence so be proud and bold in knowing that.

Hi Dolls! This is Ebone'! Please make sure to check out Janell Go Fund Me campaign: Let's help our fellow #professionalhomegirl reach her goal! Plus enjoy this quick video of Janell and how she emphasizes the importance of negotiating. Like my NaNa always said, Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels.