Tag Archives: leadership

Making A Bigger Difference

For those of you who were unable to attend this past weekend’s I Feel Good! Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference at Wayne State University, you not only missed a successful, empowering and inspiring event, you also missed the launch of my newest initiative. No worries! I’m going to tell you what it is now.

I am now the first Women’s Cabinet member for the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE campaign! 

I was surprised to be approached by the American Lung Association, but I am honored to have the opportunity to bring awareness to an issue that impacts the lives of many women. Although I don’t personally suffer from respiratory illnesses, I do have friends, relatives and colleagues who are directly affected. I have witnessed the effects of COPD, lung cancer, asthma and other illnesses, so I understand how important LUNG FORCE is to our community and the health of women everywhere.

The LUNG FORCE Run/Walk Detroit is on the evening of Friday, October 3, 2014, 6:00pm at Belle Isle. The event will include the 5K Run or Walk, yoga, barre and Zumba (starts at 4 pm), lung health information, music and fun! I have set up my team and everywhere is invited to join as a runner, walker, volunteer or as a virtual team member.

As you may know, I believe in living a purpose driven life. Being a business owner for me isn’t solely about making money; it is also about using my talents and influence to make a difference. Joining the Women’s Cabinet of the American Lung Association comes shortly after my Community Partnership with Karmanos Cancer Institute (who are sponsoring LUNG FORCE) and deepens my philanthropic efforts in Metro Detroit. I believe that in order to be an effective leader, I have to lead by example. I can’t tell someone to do something, that I’m not also willing to do. Although I can’t take on every campaign or cause, I do strive to put forth a tremendous amount of effort and dedication to the causes and campaigns that I support. Working with Karmanos and the American Lung Association are important to me because my loved ones have been affected by cancer and respiratory illnesses, and for some of them, these illnesses have resulted in death. Each day one of the blessings I count in my life is my health.

I truly hope that you can join my LUNG FORCE Team and support us, either online or in person, on October 3, 2014.

For additional information about LUNG FORCE click here! 

To Join The Super Woman Productions and Publishing LUNG FORCE Team Click Here! 

Reflections On My Younger Self

I don’t think too much about my past unless a memory is triggered. That’s because I don’t believe that you can move forward in life if you’re always looking behind you hoping, wishing and praying about what you would have or could have done “only if things had been done/turned out differently”. However, I have grown to realize that my experiences have value, not just in the woman I have become, but also as a motivating factors to others.

I receive a lot of emails and messages from people who tell me something I did or said changed their lives in a positive way. I feel blessed to be a part of other people’s personal or professional growth process.  Those seemingly small gestures of gratitude from others is one of the things that keeps me motivated as well.  Knowing that I make a difference is its own reward. That is why I have intentionally made an effort to be more transparent with you, my Super Fans, about who I am as a person and some of my challenges, both professionally and personally. I hope that you enjoy this brief article written by me for another media source and feel free to share it with someone else who may benefit from it.

~ Smooches 

The Power of Self Worth 

 

If We Didn’t Stop Growing, We’d All Be Giants

When human beings reach adult maturation, we eventually stop growing taller. As a result, we remain whatever height we are at that time, for the remainder of our adult lives. People are different heights due to their DNA. Regardless of how you think man came to exist here, one thing is true: There had to be an off switch for growth, otherwise we all would be giants.

Sadly some of us also have an off switch when it comes to realizing our potential. We put limitations on ourselves and our way of thinking which stifles our personal growth. We make excuses for not exceeding mediocrity. We blame others for our failures. We don’t take personal responsibility for the direction our lives are going in. We limit ourselves. We stop growing. Regardless of our physical limitations, there shouldn’t be limitations placed on our other abilities. Instead of “I can’t”, more of us should learn to say “I will”.

What hinders you most? Is it what you think of yourself or do you absorb the negativity that others think of you? Is it easier for you to be mediocre than great? Is greatness too much responsibility for you to handle? Understand what I mean by greatness. Greatness isn’t the same as being rich, being a celebrity or even being the boss. Greatness is taking whatever God-given abilities and talents you have and using them completely and without apology to be the best at whatever it is that you do. I don’t care if you sweep floors, greatness is doing your personal best at sweeping those floors.

There’s a lot to be said for putting forth a little effort. Almost every idea I’ve had thus far has come to fruition. I’ve discovered that when I take one step towards making an idea a reality, everything I need to continue comes to me; the people, the connections, the resources and the money. Even when I’m down to the last few dollars I have to invest in the idea, something happens that makes those last few dollars feel like a million dollars. Remember this: everything I’ve done during the last five years that I have been in business has been financed completely by me. I’ve never had a bank loan or financial investor in any of my business endeavors, and I’m still here. Yes, I’ve taken some minor losses, but they haven’t been anything I couldn’t claim as a business expense. I’ve never had to sacrifice the roof over my head or use anything I own as collateral. I haven’t had to visit a single pawn shop or sell anything that I hold dear. That is all because I don’t stop trying. Even if I fail, I take the experience as a lesson and try to do it again but a lot better the next time around, OR I acknowledge that particular endeavor just may not be the right fit for the Super Woman Brand and I set it aside with grace and move on to the next project.

I believe I’m bigger than any of my so-called failures. I believe that every opportunity that comes my way will be something I can touch one day. Maybe not today, but one day. Provided that I continue to take small steps towards it. I know that there are a lot of naysayers who don’t believe in me or anything I do. There are also a lot of doubters and people wishing for my demise with every breath they take. I could care less. I don’t do anything that I do to please those people. I don’t live for those people. I don’t work for those people. They are not my competition, not will they deter me from my goals. Everyone isn’t going to want to ride in my life’s boat with me. Not even when it becomes a beautiful yacht. I don’t even waste time inviting everyone to come aboard. Some people aren’t worthy and if they are included, they will only try to push me overboard off of my own life’s boat. Those people who are worthy will be put in the proper time and place for us to meet. How do I know that? Because it happens almost everyday.

I refuse to let anything or anyone stunt my growth. Growth is more important than money to me. Growth adds value to a person’s life that money could never do. Yes, being a profitable business is important. But also doing something to inspire others to reach their full potential is equally important to me. I don’t have the time to personally mentor everyone who asks, although I wish I did. Many people have unfortunately declined opportunities with me that would have inevitably helped them in the long-term. I learned that can’t give forth thought to short-sighted people so I don’t waste my time trying and I don’t let it upset me. I just continue to move forward with my own goals and show by example what can happen when you make a decision and stick to it.

When I was a child I nearly towered over everyone I went to school with. Occasionally there would be one or two other girls taller than me that would distract people from staring up at me and saying “WOW! How tall ARE you?!?!?

Now, as an adult at 5’10” tall, I still  get that question and I still tower over many people, even ones who are physically taller than I am, simply because I strive to continue to grow.

I strive to grow in my industry.

I strive to grow in my business.

I strive to grow in my community.

I strive to grow my bank account.

I strive to grow my employees.

I strive to grow my network.

I strive to grow my influence.

I strive to growth my value.

And I will continue growing until I become a GIANT

 

♦Super Woman is showing other women how to become a GIANT. Attend or Sponsor the upcoming I Feel Good! Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference © Sponsored by Wayne State University on August 17, 2013 at Wayne State University. 

What If Justice Wasn’t Blind?

Michael David Dunn

257 Ocean Residence Ct

Satellite Beach, FL 32937

 

Dear Michael,

What if instead of justice being blind, it was an eye for an eye? What if the system that you hide behind said that because you took a life, you had to give one equal to it other than your own? What if because you killed Jordan and shot at his friends, any of us other mothers and fathers across this country could come to your house and kill your child and shoot at your family? How would that make you feel?

I ask because it doesn’t matter that Jordan and his friends were young Black men. It doesn’t matter that you are white and apparently become violent after you drink. All that matters is that you thought you had the right to kill someone else for no reason. Music isn’t a weapon aimed at you. There was no gun in the car. None of the teenagers had a gun on their person. In fact, the only person wielding a weapon that day was YOU. YOU who thinks you have the right to police everyone else’s taste in music, actions and whereabouts. Yet you don’t have any self-discipline to police yourself. YOU, the coward, who thinks he can kill young Black men because you think they are beneath you. You, who thinks lying about feeling threatened will get you acquitted. You are an ignorant, prejudiced, homicidal maniac, who has absolutely no respect for human life.

You had just witnessed your son get married. Were you not happy about that occasion? Was it really necessary for you to leave a day of celebration and make someone else’s life a day of tragedy? You are a piece of trash. Not because I say so; but because your actions and excuses for them make you so. If someone had walked into your son’s wedding, just hours prior, and decided to shoot him because they didn’t like the wedding music he had elected to play, how would that have made you feel?

These are the things you need to consider while you spend the rest of your life in prison. I also want you to know that as a mother of a young Black man, had that been my son you killed, you’d already be dead.  I believe in an eye for an eye. Be thankful you get to remain breathing for a moment, Michael. I hope the state of Florida ends that soon and sentences you to execution along with the other 401 prisoners on the list. That probably won’t happen though, because it seems that the only people who are executed quickly and without remorse in Florida are young Black men, and you don’t fit the criteria.

I pray that if you and your buddy, George Zimmerman (with whom you apparently share the same hobby of killing innocent people), don’t get the execution you greatly deserve, that in exchange the two of you spend the rest of your lives getting raped in prison. The two of you aren’t what we would call “real” killers, so you won’t be able to handle what they do to you in there. No punishment handed down is powerful enough to bring Jordan and Trayvon back to their parents, but maybe it will make you appreciate human life a lot more before you die.  

 

Sincerely,

A mother of a young Black man and a citizen of the United States of America demanding justice

~ The “Stand Your Ground” law is a racist and prejudiced device used in Florida to kill us, not protect us. It is unequally applied at the whim of the judges and prosecutors. A Black woman, Marissa Alexander, was sentenced to prison for 20 years in 2012, for shooting a warning shot into a wall because her physically abusive husband attacked her. Yet, Michael Dunn and George Zimmerman both killed young Black men, who were minding their own business in public, not abusing anyone or committing any felonies in the process during the same year (2012) using the same exact defense. This is Michael Dunn’s real home address.

Definition of a Boss

Everybody wants to be in charge, but everyone doesn’t possess the qualities of a good leader.

Throughout corporate America there are people in decision-making capacities with degrees in everything from anthropology to zoology. Unfortunately, some of them couldn’t define their own jobs, let alone those of the people who report to them. In this economy having a degree no longer guarantees you a job or a high rate of pay. It doesn’t necessary even guarantee you an opportunity to use your degree in an entry-level position. There are a lot of highly educated unemployed people and it has been this way longer than many people realize.

Workforce development no longer consists of training from the ground up. Often employers want people who already “know” how to do the work, but the truth is this: having that degree doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing if you haven’t had experience in that field. So much of what I’ve learned is a blessing to me that I don’t take for granted. I don’t have a degree. Not even an Associates and I’ve never been ashamed to tell anyone that. My professional experience over the last twenty years however, is more valuable than that of anyone’s MBA. And it was less expensive also. I recently returned to school to broaden my education in Cinematography so that I can have the basic knowledge that I feel is necessary for my film and television projects to be of superior quality. However, my business experience trumps that of many of my counterparts  who have a degree.

One thing I’ve noticed is not only the changing landscape of the market but also the motivation behind many people’s desire to be the Boss. There are a lot of people who want to be the Boss, but they don’t want to put forth the work that is required. There are also a lot of people whose only motivation in being the Boss is to make the most money, but they don’t want to make any sacrifices or experience any bumps in the road to make that money. They want it to come easy. They want it given to them. No bootstrapping. No climbing the corporate ladder. Just F-You, Pay Me. Yet they aren’t qualified or deserving of being the Boss because they don’t know how to work and they aren’t capable of teaching someone else how to either.

The best thing anyone ever thought of was an internship. I remember my early years in corporate America and in a way, it was an internship. I didn’t have the experience, but someone in management saw the potential in me and helped me to learn more so that I could be a productive employee. Now, I’ll admit, my first job paid well above minimum wage, but I earned it. I worked hard, followed directions, asked the more experienced employees and management for help when I needed it. I was always on time for work, often skipped lunch (and I still do), rarely took sick days (even when I should have) and I was always one for showing initiative. I went on from that job to the next and the next and I’ve never had to earn less than $12 an hour in twenty years of employment. Not even when I was laid off briefly. And that’s without a degree… and I never worked in manufacturing or did manual labor either. Now, everyone wants to earn $20 an hour or be in management right out of college. Without any experience.  In the process, the market has shifted from wanting more educated employees to wanting more experienced employees.

Why do people think they deserve higher wages with less experience?  

Somewhere along the way, we taught this generation that education was all they needed, and many of them never developed a work ethic to go along with their degrees. They don’t know how to be punctual for an interview. They don’t think they need to have a resume or references. They don’t know how to communicate effectively; verbally or in writing. They don’t possess time management skills. They quit the second things get a little challenging. They don’t know how to commit to anything long-term. They don’t know how to problem solve. They honestly believe that having a degree is enough. Yet some of them even lack the basic elements of common sense. Hell, some of them won’t accept unpaid internships so they can gain experience or work towards a permanent job in their field of study. Instead they’d rather work a minimum wage job so that they can simply get a check.

How unmotivated have we become?

Always be smarter than the people who hire you. – Lena Horne 

That’s what I was taught. And that doesn’t just mean book smart either. Bosses, with real leadership ability will hire those who possess knowledge in areas where the Boss is lacking. That’s what I attempt to do. I’m always looking for talented people who have skills that I don’t have, but know that I need. I figure it will free me to up to do other things that need to be done if I can train and pay someone else to do some of the things that I’m not able to get around to. Plus, it’s a lot less expensive than building a cloning device and has less potential side effects. However, finding the people with the drive, self motivation, talent and desire to learn in a fast-paced, real-time environment is proving to be somewhat challenging. And I’m not the only person who is seeking employees that is noticing this. People literally apply for a job or internship, then turn the opportunity down or quit the position using the most ridiculous excuses. Here’s what’s really funny: they think that quitting hurts the employer more than it hurts them. It doesn’t. The employer will keep moving forward because they are the ones with the opportunity to extend or take away whenever they choose to.  Many Bosses know how to do a lot of things themselves; they just opt to hire others to lighten the load or as a gesture of humanity (to help their fellow-man). Business owners and entrepreneurs aren’t obligated to hire anyone. There isn’t a single law that says if a person starts a business that they are required to hire people. A person can easily start the company, do all the work themselves and keep any profits for themselves also. After all, they are assuming all of the business risks. As long as the business owner pays their taxes, no one in law enforcement or the government will confront them about not hiring people. In fact, it costs employers more time, energy, effort and money to hire people than it does not to.

Here’s the reality: The workforce needs people, but people need experience to get into the workforce.

Here’s the next reality: If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

We have to stop waiting, hoping and complaining about what other people won’t give us when we constantly turn down opportunities because we want instant gratification and money that we can’t prove we’re worthy of earning. That is a bad example that has now flowed into the generation to come behind us.

A real Boss is someone who is being optimistic and self sufficient, not someone who wants to be in charge or to just make a lot of money. A real Boss often worked their way up through their industry. That experience helped to groom them into the leader they are.

My Plans For Super World Domination Start Here

I’m working diligently with my best friend to coordinate the events for the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference. I’m proud to say that the plans are going very well. There are always minor hiccups in any plan when you’re dealing with people, such as schedules and finances, but overall I’m very pleased with what is developing thus far. As with anything I do, I think it can be better. I admit that I have some personal issues to contend with where this conference is concerned. Contrary to what anyone may think, this conference is not just about me.  I don’t want people to think that I’m out for myself in this attempt. It wasn’t even my idea. Yes, it’s my Brand, my image, my reputation and my name associated with it, and I’m going to be held accountable if it’s an epic failure and praised if it is a success. However, this is more about the young women in the community who need to see that women can do more than pose nearly nude in mens magazines, strip at strip clubs and have sex with famous men to become famous and rich. It’s about the young women who unfortunately don’t know better and need to see examples of adult women who are successful, fashionable, educated and talented who didn’t get there because of who their father is, who their stepfather is, who their baby daddy is, or who their husband is – but instead, they climbed ladders and over walls because of who they are as women and what they contribute to this world.  It’s about helping young women to define their own beauty beyond how big their behinds are or aren’t, whether their hair is natural or not and showing them examples of beautiful women who look just like them and come in all shapes, sizes and complexions. It’s about showing them that beautiful women are in every industry and that we possess a multitude of talents and knowledge. It’s about redefining our worth, our image and empowering ourselves, so that even if a young woman decides to pose in a mens magazine she does so knowing the ramifications and she (hopefully) owns the copyright to her photos [everyone won’t do what we think they should all the time, but let’s take baby steps towards something a little more positive].

I want to encourage more woman-ownership, more women in television, more women on reality shows that got to where they are on their own.  There are too many women on television who are only famous because of semen. Yes, that’s what I said. This is not a kiddie website, so let’s be honest. Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose, all of the Basketball Wives, all of the Baseball Wives and all but three cast members of Love and Hip Hop are famous only because of who the men are in their lives. We wouldn’t know who any of them were otherwise.

{Flashback} Remember when women were famous for being talented? Remember when models actually wore clothes in magazines?

I miss those days.

I also want to use this conference to bring more awareness to some of the dangers that young women face and obstacles that they have to endure. We know, but sometimes I feel like we’re too tolerant of what happens to young women as if it’s normal. Young women being raped, abused, kidnapped, killed and going missing is becoming too prevalent. Not just where young Black women or poor young women are concerned. Please don’t think there are color lines drawn here, because there aren’t. This is about woman-kind in general. Our socio-economic and racial differences no longer protect us from harm.

So when I say that I have personal issues where this conference is concerned I truly mean it. This is my Super World. What I do, what I”m working towards in media and what I see possible in this world is personal for me. However, I don’t want my Super World to only have a handful of women in it. I want to help cultivate a generation of Super Women and Super Girls. I want a legacy of a League of Super Women who make a difference in their communities and in the lives of other young women through media and outreach. I want the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference to grow larger and more popular every year, and last long after I’m no longer here. I take this very personal.

This is MY Super World, but it’s not here just for me. I’m striving for world media domination and I want to build this empire, then pass the torch one day and retire. I’m extremely thankful to everyone stepping up to facilitate workshops and volunteer. We are still in need of more volunteers, we also need financial sponsors, media partners, and vendors who have products and services related to the focus and purpose of the conference. If you’d like information please email us using the Contact Us form on this website or send an email to events@superwomanproductions.com with CONFERENCE  in the subject and provide us with your information and tell us what your interest is (vendor, sponsors, volunteer). A separate website is being developed specifically for the conference in a few weeks. I also need your prayers to keep me focused and energized towards fulfillment of this purpose that is completely in the Master’s Plans. This isn’t easy, not even for Super Woman.

My plans for Super world domination start here, but they don’t end here.