The Rain

Six Brown Chicks New Correspondents April 2014

In my last blog I talked about how patience pays off. I received so many thank you’s from people I know, and from people I’ve never met, who read my blog. I’m glad that what I say and how I feel motivates and helps others in their personal and professional lives. The beginning of 2014 has been an amazing time in my life and I can tell it’s just the beginning. I literally feel as if blessings and opportunities are raining down upon me everywhere I go and with everything I do. Recently, I was sending someone some of my good news and they replied “I can’t stand the rain”. My brain didn’t comprehend that immediately (it was a busy day and I’m always multitasking so I get a little slow sometimes – don’t judge me), and I thought of two songs: Missy Elliott’s “The Rain” (1997) and New Edition’s “Can You Stand The Rain” (1988). After thinking, I decided to just ask what they meant by that. They said it’s a term for “all the good things pouring down” on me. I fully understood at that point and stopped singing in my head looking for a clue in those songs lyrics. For those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time, you know that I believe that rain is necessary because without it we wouldn’t have flowers, trees and green grass. As much as rain can damage something, rain can also purify and improve something else. Rain in our lives allows us to grow and flourish even if it comes in the form of a storm. Rain can also pour down upon you in the form of success, blessings, and favor.

It’s definitely raining in my life and in my career. 

If you subscribe to the Super Newsletter and received your email this morning, you know that I am now also a correspondent blogger for Six Brown Chicks. I consider this an honor and an opportunity to do something I’m very passionate about on another platform; write. Writing is my primary gift. It’s one of the first gifts I developed as a child and it’s the one out of all the gifts I have possessed that has remained with me my entire adult life and hasn’t dwindled or gone unused. I appreciate any opportunity to share my gift of writing with the world. Six Brown Chicks has honored me with the opportunity to share my gift with an impressive audience of women of all ages, who do not yet know who I am or what I have to offer. I always use my opportunities wisely. I’m also honored to be selected because of the Six Brown Chicks mantra: Brown Chicks are women who are: Being Responsible Obedient Willingly Now. Choosing Honesty Integrity Commitment Kindness and Self-Worth. I am extremely thankful to Zondra Hughes and her team for choosing me and seeing these attributes in me as a representation of what they want to accomplish for the Six Brown Chicks brand. Zondra Hughes is someone who I have admired for a long time and having the chance to meet her this week amazed me.

One of my favorite quotes is so very fitting for what I’m experiencing. I heard it years ago and I often think of it during times when I have to make a business decision. It reminds me to assess the flow of opportunity, alliance and favor around me. It helps me select who I will say ‘yes‘ to and who I should decline offers from. It also tells me to enjoy the abundance of favor and success in my life when it comes about. It’s just five words that speak volumes and can completely alter your outlook when you understand how powerful the words really are. When we think of rain, the first thing we want to do is grab an umbrella so we can stay dry. It’s human nature for us to run indoors and get out of the rain when an umbrella may not be available to us. I’m not interested in staying dry and I’m not running indoors. I’m following the advice I heard years ago and I’m going to enjoy every raindrop that falls.

When it rains, get wet” – Quincy Jones

Six Brown Chicks New Correspondents April 2014

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Patience Pays Off

There was a time when everything around me seemed as if it were taking too long. Now, everything around me is moving so fast that I’ve had to completely readjust so that I can keep up with it all. Thankfully, between the slow lull and the fast speeds I learned patience. I learned that every step is its own small adventure taking me to the next. And as long as I continue to move forward and enjoy each small adventure I will grow and enjoy the overall journey. People ask me how I do everything I’m doing. Often I subliminally shrug and say “I dunno“. Aloud I say, “I’m blessed!” Which is true, because I am. I’m blessed that I didn’t script my life. If all of this were completely up to me and I didn’t know any better, I wouldn’t have accomplished anything that I have thus far.

It hasn’t been cotton candy and balloons getting to this point and I’ve had to make a lot of changes and sacrifices. It has been a lot of work. This is six years in the making and I just made my first television appearance on cable. This is six years of moving forward without anything but an idea that turned into another idea and another idea. I just finished writing my business plan. Had I done that six years ago it would have been one page long and I would’ve been very upset. Now my business plan shows past successes, and failures, along with how each successful step has been improved upon and repeated. It shows trends and growth. There are actually profit and loss statements and balance sheets now. I can actually see and show revenue. It may not be as much revenue as I would like it to be, but it’s something and it’s showing increase instead of decline.

This year I will pen two books…or more. Depending on what happens. This year I will host four events…or more. Depending on what happens. This year I will travel to three different places for a mix of business and leisure…or more. Depending on what happens. I haven’t learned to completely separate business and leisure; I’m always networking unless I’m in the movie theater. At the movie theater the networking takes place in the line waiting for popcorn or entry before the movie begins. But I digress. I can now say that I’ve written numerous movie reviews that have been published and I’ve written numerous articles that have been published. So far this year I have published my first two posts on LinkedIn. I’ve even ventured out and auditioned for a stage production and I have absolutely no aspirations of becoming an actress, but I feel it would be good exposure for the Super Woman Brand if I get a role.

Needless to say, this is just the beginning, as I’m writing this at 4:15 am on a Friday. In spite of the early and long days, patience is paying off –  combined with work ethic and ambition of course. When I’m asked how do I do everything I do I will still proclaim that I am blessed while wondering how myself. But it’s truly rewarding to feel the shift from where I started to where I am today and at the same time have a glimpse of where I’ll be. It’s worth every sacrifice and all the patience I’ve had to learn. Thankfully, I’ve been a fast learner.

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The Happy Dance

Everyday that I’m alive is an awesome day. There are days when I’m having an exceptionally awesome day. On those particular days I do my happy dance. My happy dance isn’t one that too many people have ever witnessed we do in public. At least not that I’m aware of. It’s a cross between twerking, krumping, the Harlem Shake (the one from Harlem NY, not the one from YouTube), and a myriad of other dances that make me look incredibly silly. If you were to ever see me do the happy dance, believe that you’d never forget it. Ask the lady that saw me doing the happy dance in my car one day, with Drake’s “The Motto” blasting from my stereo. I can only imagine the conversation she had with the next person she spoke to started with, “You should’ve seen the crazy lady in the car next to me today”.

Sometimes I do my happy dance in my chair, or in my car at a stop light, or even while cooking. Sometimes it’s randomly done when I get good news or even while I’m receiving the news. I’ve been known to break into the happy dance before replying to an email giving me good news. Although it’s not something I’m quick to do publicly, I love to do it. Sometimes my social media status update only says “*happy dance, happy dance, happy dance*“. Some Super Fans have grown to know that means I just got good news, have another accomplishment under my belt, or have completed a task I’ve been working towards. I don’t always share the details of why I’m doing the happy dance, but the news is eventually shared with everyone when it is ready to be shared. Today I did the happy dance and it felt really good. There are so many great opportunities coming in my direction that I can see myself doing it more often as the year progresses. The FabLife Radio Show is now on two internet radio networks for your listening pleasure booking guests for mid to late 2014Super Woman Productions and Publishing is hosting the only official International Women’s Day event in Michigan for the second year in a row. I recently spoke at Jaiden Shephard inaugural event Finding My Way Home at the Royal Oak Public Library. I’m going to be the media sponsor for another upcoming event in April of this year. In total Super Woman Productions and Publishing is hosting or affiliated with five events in 2014 in Metro Detroit and adding more to that number soon. As you can tell, I’m entitled to a few happy dances.

Everyone has something they do when they feel really good or receive good news; at least I think everyone should. Allowing yourself to feel the joy in an experience or accomplishment sometimes makes it more real.  So often we go through life not allowing ourselves the freedom to express joy and happiness for fear of what others may think or say, that we rob ourselves of that moment of joy. I refuse to be robbed of my moments, no matter how small. It took me to long to appreciate the small moments leading to bigger ones for me to ignore any of them going forward. Life is too short.

I encourage you to do something, anything, random, fun or funny (but healthy) when you feel joy, receive good news, have a great day or accomplish something in your life. Make a spectacle of it even if no one else is there to share it with you. Be silly with it, even if someone else is watching. Love every second of that feeling and let it take you over from your head to your toes.

Embrace it.

Enjoy it.

Then do it again.

*happy dance, happy, dance, happy dance*  

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In Dedication to Mark England

On January 18, 2014, the very talented Mark England left this Earth.

Some people call him their stylist. I refer to him as the man who cultivated my style.

Some people call him fashionable. I refer to him as a fashion guru.

Some people call him inspirational. I refer to him as a mentor.

Some people call him Mark. I refer to him as my friend.

It’s been a long time since I lost someone who I cared a great deal about. Mark England was one of the few people in my life who I knew was genuinely concerned about my success. The only thing he expected of me was for me to do my very best. That was very important to me. I’m glad I didn’t wait until the end to tell him that I cared about him and how important he was to my life and career.

Mark will be laid to rest before his family, friends and celebrity clientele on February 1, 2014. I’m extremely sad about the death of my friend, but I know my friend would expect me to continue moving forward with my career plans to the best of my ability in spite of my grief. So that is what I’m trying to do. Mark England had such a positive influence on me that I have decided to dedicate my upcoming book “Breaking Through the Black Ceiling” to his memory with a portion of sales of the book going to Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, pending their approval. I also dedicated the Friday, January 24, 2014 broadcast of The FabLife Radio Show to Mark’s memory. Mark and I had made plans for him to be a guest on the show this year. Since that can’t happen, dedicating a show to him and dedicating my book to his memory are the very least that I can do for someone who did so much for me over the last few years.

The Mark England Collection wasn’t just clothes, it was the embodiment of style, grace, class, and haute couture. Mark England took me from pretty to amazing. Mark made cameras flash at me even though photographers had no idea who I was, and often didn’t bother to ask. Mark England gave me a reason to embrace my feminine curves with every dress he made for me and every ensemble he personally selected for me. Mark made me look ten times more confident than I may have felt inside every time I walked into a room or stood before an audience. Mark England will forever be an influence on me and how I do business and what I wear. I thank God I had the chance to have such a wonderfully inspiring person in my life while I did.

If there is someone in your life that means a great deal to you, please take a moment to tell them so. 

 

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Detroit’s Hidden Gem for Senior Adults

Sometimes, I like to provide information about things we may not know about that impact our community as a whole.

As you may know, I am a board member at St. Patrick’s Senior Center, which has been serving Detroit since 1973. St. Pat’s is located right behind Orchestra Hall in Midtown Detroit. Every day we provide our members with a hot lunch, field trips, computer classes, dance and choir activities, as well as health, transportation and advocacy services.

I truly believe that St. Pat’s is one of Detroit’s most amazing places and best-kept secrets. As a person who has many senior adults in my family, I support programs that support them. That’s why I’m asking you to help me spread the word in 2014, which is a banner year, as St. Pat’s develops, thanks to a partnership with Detroit Area on Aging, many services that will enable us to support even more people in these challenging economic times.

Here’s how you can help: 

  • Make an online donation by visiting our website at http://stpatsrctr.org 
  • Like our Facebook page – and tell your friends to like us, too!
  • Attend our festive events throughout the year, including the Spring Irish FestivalFall Musical Palooza or annual Golf Outing.
  • Serve as a volunteer!

If you’d like to experience St. Pat’s firsthand, I invite you to come visit, have lunch, and take a tour. We can set it up at your convenience. I promise that any support you provide will be tremendously helpful and appreciated. You don’t have to be from Detroit to support our senior community or St. Pat’s. Thank you in advance for supporting St. Pat’s Senior Center in Detroit!

 St. Pat’s is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization operating in Detroit, Michigan. 

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The Gift of ME

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to YOU! 

Happy Birthday to ME! 

I am so happy to be alive to celebrate the many achievements I’ve had over the years. First, a moment of transparency: I didn’t give any Christmas gifts this year.

From where I sit, I AM the GIFT.

I have given my friendship, loyalty, knowledge, encouragement throughout this year to others, without expecting anything in return and often without any reciprocation from the receivers. I have invested my own personal funds to provide opportunities and programming for the community in which I reside. I have volunteered my talents. I have given of my time and had it wasted, and I consider my time to be very valuable. I have done a great deal more and sometimes I haven’t even been told ‘thank you‘. In spite of whatever I did or didn’t receive in return, I keep doing for others because I believe in being a blessing to someone else, because I have been blessed. Even those who have been ignored by me were being given the Gift of ME.

As a society, we have gotten so accustomed to working hard all year-long just to put ourselves in debt to make other people happy, that we have lost so much of the meaning of Christmas in the process. Yes, it’s nice to give, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to give on one day a year. If you give of yourself throughout the year to others, whether you know them personally or not, you have done well. I have literally watched people operate under pressure as if they absolutely must buy someone in particular a gift and it must be wrapped and in their hands on Christmas day or the world will come to a screeching halt. I refuse to live my life that way. Anyone who doesn’t appreciate the Gift of ME, doesn’t have to be bothered with me. To me, it’s really that simple.

When you decide that you’re not going to spend your hard earned money for the sole purpose of making others happy, a few things will happen:

1. You’ll have more money 

2. You’ll find out who your true friends and loved ones are

3. Because of 1 and 2 you’ll have less stress in your life 

4. Because of 3 you’ll be happier and healthier

You’re more than welcome to continue to brave the malls and stores throughout the month of December in an effort to get the best deals, if that is what you want to do. I actually have some investments in those stores, so I thank you in advance for your contribution to my dividends. However, before Christmas comes in 2014, I encourage you to examine more closely WHY you spend the money on the gifts you buy and the people you buy them for. If the purpose is to say ‘thank you’ to someone, there are cards for that and I’ve heard some people are very partial to hearing the words. If the purpose is to impress others, please understand that they may not be impressed or like you because you bought them something anyway. If the purpose is to make yourself feel good, you won’t be feeling so great when that credit card bill comes, or an unexpected bill comes and you don’t have the funds to pay it because you spent money on gifts to give to others.

The best gifts I ever received were items I actually needed, could use to make my life simpler, that would save me money over time, or related to an experience I wanted but might not have had the money or time to get for myself. When shopping for someone next year, keep that in mind: What do they need? What could they use to make their life better or save them time? What might help them save money over time if you buy it for them? What would they like to experience? Gifts that make people’s lives better or even saves them time could be you hiring a house or carpet cleaner for that person. A closet organizer (person or system) is also a great option. A example of product that a person can use to save money would be a drinking water filtration system for someone who buys bottled water or an at home soda machine for someone who drinks soda. I have both and they work great. I love gifts that provide an experience. A gift certificate for the movies, tickets to a play or concert tickets are thoughtful gifts because they provide an experience for a person and often don’t cost a lot of money. Your time is a great gift to give to anyone. Because we have such busy lives and so much technology at our hands, we often let time rush by us and use ‘quick’ means to communication. Calling someone instead of texting them so that you can actually have a conversation with someone is a great gift to give. It shows that you took time out for them and that they matter to you.

I’m 39 years young today. I almost didn’t make it to this age. So I’m thankful just to be here and hearing ‘Happy Birthday‘ is an awesome gift to receive for me today. Today also marks my personal countdown to my next milestone birthday in 2014 when I turn #FabLife40. I don’t want any gifts then either. I just want some of my friends and family to celebrate with me in St. Maarten. Those who can attend, will. Those who can’t attend will miss a fabulous Christmas celebration full of margaritas, palm trees and sandy beaches. Either way, next Christmas, just like this Christmas, everyone will receive the Gift of ME.

By the way, Super Woman Productions and Publishing is the official Media Sponsor for Finding My Way Home on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at Royal Oak Library.

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