Tag Archives: business

Counting The Blessings In My Fab Single Life

I was born and I’ve almost died (more than once). I was in more than my fair share of car accidents and I’m told I am lucky to be able to walk. I’ve been married and I’ve gotten divorced. I’ve had a child and I’ve lost children. I’ve been engaged and proposed to. I’ve had long term and short term relationships. I’ve been the other woman and I’ve been one of many women. I’ve owned businesses that have done well and have failed. I’ve made a lot of money and I’ve lost a lot of money. I’ve struggled and I’ve persevered. I’ve fallen down and I’ve started over. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve forgotten some things. I’ve loved deeply and I’ve been loved. I’ve had my heart broken and I’ve broken a few hearts. I’ve traveled and I’ve seen black sand and white sand beaches.

I’ve met influential people. I’ve walked red carpets and had my picture taken. I’ve had sex with famous men and I’ve had dinner with ‘average joes’. I’ve been flown across the country for romantic weekends and I’ve stayed in for romantic weekends. I’ve been kissed like I’ve never been kissed before, and I’ve been held close and tight with nothing more. I have friends and I have family. I have friends who are like family. If I were to die tomorrow, I know someone would plan my cremation and someone would come to my funeral.

I’ll be thirty seven years young soon. I have LIVED more than some people twice my age have. Although I still have more to accomplish towards my career goals, I am proud of me. If I happen to never get married again, or have another relationship, I’m actually fine with that.

Don’t cry for me because I’m single. When I’m an old woman, I’m going to have a lot of events and experiences to remember that many women will never get the chance to have. I will be able to sit on my porch with my grandchildren, smile and rock, knowing that I have lived a full, fabulous, single life; one that many would envy. If I can proclaim that today, imagine what I will have done by the time I’m forty seven years young. By that time, I will be able to add that I have also changed the world of media and entertainment, leaving something for the next generation to aspire to.

There’s nothing particularly “special” about me. I’m not the most beautiful woman in the world. I’m not the sexiest, the smartest, or the wealthiest woman either [I’m not wealthy at all, in fact. I’m struggling just to become financially “comfortable“]. I don’t own anything spectacular or trendy; there aren’t any custom Louboutin shoes or Hermes scarves in my wardrobe. I’ve never been on TMZ and I haven’t married anyone famous. I don’t always do what’s popular and I despise being like everyone else. I’m just one person that God bestowed greatness upon. I was literally born to do great things (December 25th is my birthday). So if an ordinary woman, such as myself, can become known as Super Woman by using my talents in a humble attempt to live within my purpose, just imagine what you can also do if you strive to live with purpose.  

That is why on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 8 pm, I’m CELEBRATING ANOTHER YEAR OF BEING FABULOUS at L!V Resto Lounge in Detroit, MI.  I’ve sent my Subscribers, Tweeties and Facebook Fans/Friends an exclusive invitation to attend this event. I have good news in abundance for the new year that I’d like to share as well. So check your email, your Facebook and follow me on Twitter @BestSuperWoman to get the information. RSVP is required and admittance is not guaranteed without it. 

Love and Basketball

Basketball has surely been missed. I’m not a huge sports fan, but I do like football and basketball (players). I also like the spectacle of watching a live basketball game at a stadium. I recently noticed that my holiday season this year won’t be the same. I do not have a Detroit Pistons game to attend this year during Thanksgiving with my closest friends. I’m sure I’m not the only person who realizes how much basketball is connected to an event or tradition in our lives. The only thing on television right now related to professional basketball is VH1’s Basketball Wives LA. Trust me, it’s not the same experience at all.  

What amazes me is that although I don’t know much about the team rosters, their specific star players, scores and what not, I do know that basketball is a business. In business you have occasional conflict between employers and employees. And all businesses have had to adjust due to the changes in the economic climate. Many companies have had massive layoffs and closures. Some businesses have gone completely out of business in the last ten years. While other companies have grown into huge behemoths because of our need to save more money, while sacrificing quality (ala Walmart). Everyone has been impacted in one way or another forcing us to sometimes make unpleasant sacrifices and adapt in the face of adversity. To pay or not to pay, has become the question in many households and for many businesses, including the NBA.  

People love basketball. The game, the competitiveness, the hotdogs. Some very memorial movies have been written around the love of basketball over the years [Hoosiers (1986), White Men Can’t Jump (1992), Above The Rim (1994), Sunset Park (1996), He Got Game (1998), {my all time favorite} Love and Basketball (2000), Finding Forrester (2000), Coach Carter (2005), Glory Road (2006), and Just Wright (2010)]. Basketball has wrapped its arms around us and baptized our modern culture with its influence in every aspect, from the way we dress to what we eat, from what products and cars we buy to what we name our kids [fast forward a few years from now and see a young LeBron Jenkins starting kindergarten]. It crosses many demographics. It’s not unusal to see some of the biggest names in entertainment, business, banking, technology and manufacturing sitting at any game, in any stadium, at anytime, across the country during basketball season. You might have even sat next to a business mogul or millionaire at the last game you attended. FYI – all wealthy people don’t sit court side and they don’t all make it onto TMZ.

When it comes to professional athletes, I’ve always thought that they get paid a great deal of money to do what they love – play a game – and entertain us. They are one out of one thousand young men with a dream who made it into the position they have. Some of it was based on talent, some of it was determination, but most of it is a blessing. For every Michael Jordan there is a Michael Williams, who played basketball just as well, if not better, but didn’t get the same opportunity. Unfortunately, I also feel that many professional athletes don’t appreciate the place they hold in society because they have been reckless with their money and their morals. So much so that morals clauses and dress codes had to be implemented by the league in an attempt to encourage them to (at least appear to) be more socially responsible and keep their dirt out of the media. Sometimes it works. Other times it doesn’t.

This week the NBA players decided to disband its union so that it can now move forward with a lawsuit against the team owners. This occurs after they declined an offer according to NBA Commissioner David Stern “that does not call for a reduction on contract, does not call for a hard cap, does not call for the absence of guaranteed contracts and will see salaries go from over $5 million to between $7 million and $8 million during the length of the deal”. WOW! Talk about biting the hand! I’m sure that there are many people like me that would LOVE that kind of contract where we work. However, we’re not professional athletes, are we? Many of us will never see a million dollars, let alone FIVE to EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS. For many of us that would be more than enough money to retire on and live off of for the remainder of our lives. Apparently, it’s not good enough for the NBA players. They’ve lived above their means, haven’t saved and haven’t invested wisely. They need more money and more basketball related income. But is it a need, or greed?

This raises many questions. Isn’t the love of money the root of all evil? What happened to the love of the game? Is it possible that so many of the players have squandered their earnings over the years that they wouldn’t be satisfied with any contract other than the one they sought to begin with? Why are the owners responsible for covering the players inability to be financially responsible with the money they already earn? Does your job give you a raise because you gamble or have a house and car you can’t afford to own? None of the players should be hurting financially. Have you see their paychecks and endorsement deals? Even the lowest paid players on each team make high six figure salaries, which is more than most middle class families see in a lifetime. I can’t feel bad for them when I know people who struggle just to pay their rent every month. Did the players also forget that unless fans buy tickets to see them play, they aren’t worth all the zeroes on their paychecks? Who is going to buy tickets to watch a bunch of out of shape basketball players run up and down the court in February 2012 (or later, if they remain greedy) when they can watch NCAA college basketball for less money or for free? Everyone likes FREE STUFF.

Fans who love the game, for the game, have other options. I’ll be watching Love and Basketball this weekend.

Although I’m skeptical and hopeful that an agreement will be reached that will satisfy both sides, I still have love for basketball (players). If worse comes to worse, the owners can always hire replacement players, pay them less money and possibly recruit new talent at the same time. There are many talented and entertaining players playing overseas, in the And 1 Basketball League and even the Harlem Globetrotters. Maybe Michael Williams will finally get a shot at his dream of becoming a professional basketball player. After all, basketball is still a business.

♦ I bet Tom Gores wasn’t expecting this when he bought the Pistons.

Hi, I’m An Over Achiever

People are so proud of me for the local media coverage I received in the Michigan Front Page on September 21, 2011. I’m not as excited. I guess I’m still in the “building” phase of SWPP after 3 years of being in business, so that’s not a HUGE accomplishment to me. As far as I’m concerned, I can do better. In my (warped) mind, when I reach my 5th year business anniversary and I’ve been in Ebony, Essence, Uptown, Jones, Black Enterprise, Savoy and O Magazines, then I can get excited. Believing in self assessment, I’m aware that admitting I have a problem, is the first step to recovery.  
 
Hi, I’m Angela. And I’m an Over Achiever.
 
I’d like to be excited about media coverage I’d received over the last few months. Particularly since I waited and prayed for almost a year for that to happen. I’d also like to be excited about some of the opportunities that are now coming my way (tv scripts, more media coverage, media projects, book publishing deals), but I can’t because I’ve learned not to count my chickens before they hatch. I need contracts to be signed and deals to be solidified before I can exhale and feel that this is “real” and tangible. Until then I just can’t get excited.
 
As an Over Achiever, I’m often unable to enjoy my minor achievements…
 
I realize that part of my problem is that I live in the real world, where I know that people sometimes disappoint me. People don’t always exhibit a great amount of integrity in their dealings (personal or professional) and taking someone’s word isn’t always the best idea. I prefer to watch a person’s actions and see what they will actually do before I get excited by their offers. I once had a young lady ask me why I don’t talk more about what I’m doing on my blogs, Facebook, etc. I told her it is because some things are dependant upon other people doing their jobs. In the event someone else doesn’t do their job, I don’t want to be the one standing around looking stupid because it fell apart. I told her that I don’t talk too much about my projects publicly because I don’t want people with more power and money than I have to steal my intellectual property. I also don’t want people to think I’m full of crap if something doesn’t happen on the day, at the time and at the place I said it would, so I prefer to wait until it is complete before I share it with the public. It’s my way of protecting the integrity of The Brand. I don’t want a reputation for being unreliable, even when other people are.
 
 …and I have trust issues.
 
I’m glad that others are proud of me. I want to continue to make people proud by fulfilling my purpose, growing my business and becoming successful. I do recognize that I am my own worst critic. I’m my biggest competition. I’m my own kryptonite to some degree. One day, it will be more than enough. But that day isn’t today. It wasn’t on September 21, 2011 when the Michigan Front Page hit news stands, and it won’t be the day I complete and register my first television script either. The day when it will be more than enough will be the day I can exhale. When that day arrives I will be in the position to pay all my bills on time again, I will have a number of projects completed, a number of contracts signed, books will be selling nationally, I’ll be getting paid to do what I love to do and The Brand will be profitable enough that I can hire people, expand and take a much needed, all inclusive vacation to Barbados and not worry about Super Woman Productions and Publishing falling apart as a result.   
 
And did I mention that I’m always setting higher goals for myself?
 
Yes, I like the media coverage. I honestly do. But I’m just not that excited about it. Not yet. Not today. There’s still too much more I need to do before I can rest and say to myself “well done“. There are too many ideas that have yet to be developed. There are too many words that have yet to be written. There are too many dreams that I’ve yet to dream for me to be excited. There’s just too much yet to come. I hope you’ll join me, continue to encourage me and share me with others that you know. That’s what helps to make my current struggles worth it for me.  
 
 

Public Appearances

This weekend I visited a local mall for the first time in my life. I’ve been a West-Sider all of my life until I moved downtown. Being territorial, as many people are, we don’t often go too far from home to do things like “shop”. And when we do, it’s often because we know of a mall or stores that have really great deals, like Great Lakes Crossing; which for many years was the “day trip” for me and my son at least twice a year. Once for school clothes and once for Christmas Shopping. So in almost 37 years of living I had never stepped foot into this one particular mall. So I had absolutely no idea what I was in for when I arrived at Eastland Mall.

Eastland Mall has all the major stores I have grown to love of the years. They even had some stores I had never heard of before. But it wasn’t the shopping that got my attention. It wasn’t the sales, it wasn’t the customer service, it wasn’t anything that you would immediately think a fabulous female with a shoe fetish would notice. What I noticed most was the people…and their horrible public appearances. There were many young women who had decided to leave the house with head scarves on, and what appeared to be the same clothes they had worn to bed. There were several young men that literally had their pants sagging so low their underwear was fully exposed, with house shoes on. One young man literally was wearing his pajamas. I’m not kidding. I’m not exaggerating. I have a witness if you need one.

I was actually shocked. I had never see so many people in one place at one time look such a hot mess. It’s almost as if it were the newest trend captured in one central location. As I looked down at my own sundress and comfortable sandals, I began to wonder if I had missed the memo. Did someone forget to tell me that looking like I had just gotten out of bed was the new style? The only time I’ve ever worn a head scarf in public was after getting my hair done to keep it nice for later that day or evening. And even then, it’s not the scarf I wore to bed. Usually I cover that scarf with a fabulous, fashionable one, add a pair of sunglasses, earrings and put on a cute outfit. Everything coordinates and everyone who sees me doesn’t think I’m a lazy slob of a woman. 

When it comes to the way young men wear their underwear exposed, I blame Lil Wayne. I’m kidding. He’s not at fault. Everyone has a mind of their own whether they choose to use it or not. There are a lot of young men that will not wear their pants around their thighs or knees regardless of what’s fashionable. There were in fact a handful of young men at the mall that didn’t have their pants “sagging”. However, one of them was in desperate need of a re-braid to his cornrows. But I could overlook that a lot easier than if I was walking behind him and could see the imprint of his butt crack. I know, I know – I don’t have to look. But in this case, this is being forced in my face against my will because it is so prevalent that it’s completely unavoidable. It’s kind of like a pigeon flying into your closed window and dying. It’s not your fault the pigeon did it, but you’re stuck with the clean up anyway.

What I’d like to see happen is that parents and schools start making more of a demand that our young people dress more appropriately at a younger age regardless of where they are. If we give them an alternative from following “the crowd” or “the trend” and encourage them to be more individual while remaining appropriate, we’d see more “trendsetters” instead of followers. We’d see more leaders, we’d see more scholars, we’d see more young people prepared to go into any environment and make a more presentable public appearance. Young women need to have improved self esteem. They need to be made aware that wearing your bed clothes and head scarves in public is not cute. My grandmother always told me to look my best when I leave the house because I never know who I might meet. I’ve lived by that my entire life and I’ve met some very influential people who wouldn’t have spoken a single word to me if I had been wearing my pajamas. Some of these same young men and women may have spent a lot of money on their clothes and shoes. However, it’s not about how much your clothes cost or the designer label inside them. It’s more about if you wear those clothes well, or not. Can you go from the boardroom to the after work networking event? Or are you always dressed to go to the nightclub? Are your only “good clothes” worn to church on Sundays? Or can you dress up with a few minutes notice so you can shake the hand of the President?

I commend young people who know how to wear their clothes so that they can be taken seriously and not viewed as thugs all the time. I’m also glad that some colleges and universities have a dress code, including many HBCUs. The dress code implemented by colleges and universities often isn’t strict. Instead they clearly prohibit wearing pajamas, house shoes, head scarves and pants sagging, including during campus visits prior to enrollment. The truth is a dress code wouldn’t be necessary on college campuses if we as a society gave our children guidance and taught them that they aren’t extras in someone else’s rap video or a sharecropper’s wife when they leave the house. A dress code wouldn’t be necessary if we taught our children that the only time wearing your pajamas in public is acceptable is if your house was on fire when you awoke that morning.

Eventually, as parents, we hope our children will transition into the workplace. If they continue to maintain the public appearances they currently have, many will not ever surpass the first interview. It may have just been a mall on a Saturday afternoon, but those same young people left that mall and went somewhere else, or came from somewhere else to that mall. For many of them, that is how they dress the majority of the time. They believe it to be common practice because they don’t know better. They believe that they are representative of society as a whole because they don’t know better. They believe they will be able to transition into collegiate life and the workforce without any problems because they don’t know better.

Of course there are some young people that will argue they don’t need to be concerned about how they dress because they have plans of becoming a professional athlete. Reality check: the NBA has a dress code. So does the NFL. Therefore, attire and how it is worn isn’t just a concern in corporate America or on college campuses anymore. So I can’t be completely wrong when I say that young men and women need to present a much better public appearance than they currently do.  

When you know better, you do better.

The WRONG One

In this economy people are willing to do a lot of things they normally wouldn’t do to make ends meet. Some people look for creative ways to make money. Some people look for enterprising ways to make money. Some of those things may even be considered morally wrong. Some people even stoop to doing things that are illegal. Some people are predatory and offer “options” to people and take advantage of their need to make more money. A person’s individual boundaries are their own to live with and so are the ramifications of their choices. My boundaries are firmly set. Regardless of how much I need money, there are just certain things I’m unwilling to do. I will not rob an old lady of her social security benefits. I will not attempt a Nigerian bank scam (why do they even continue to try?) and I will not take my clothes off for men I don’t know. I have the tendency think about my future goals and aspirations and how doing certain things can deter those goals and aspirations. That allows me to keep a reasonably cool head even in the face of stupidity.

The last boundary I previously mentioned, is the subject of this blog. This week, I received a message from a man on Facebook asking me if I’d be interested in burlesque dancing with a blues shows in a downtown Detroit bar. Instantly, I was offended. I didn’t know this man from Adam. He wasn’t a Facebook friend, an acquaintance or anyone that I’d had any interaction with at all. He obviously didn’t know anything about me. I replied to him, “Nothing on my Facebook profile, or website says I’m a burlesque dancer, a stripper or exotic dance, so why would you ask me that?” That question was actually rhetorical. I already knew that he assumed I would “strip” for money because of whatever his misogynistic ideas are related to women, along with the stereotypical belief that an attractive woman  doesn’t have any brains. He also believed that women in general are willing to take our clothes off for money because times are hard. Therefore, anything he said, would definitely not surprise me.

His response was “I apologize if that sounded rude. Burlesque is classy entertainment. I thought you were affiliated with modeling or some form of entertainment”. To me that was hilarious. Here’s why. Of course asking a woman you don’t know to take her clothes off for men she doesn’t know is RUDE, I don’t care if it’s burlesque or ballet. Secondly, being ‘affiliated with modeling or some form of entertainment’ doesn’t mean getting naked for men you don’t know. We don’t all have to resort to that and many of us don’t. I told him that what I found “rude” was that for some reason he assumed that the entertainment I’m involved in relates to taking my clothes off at a bar. Obviously this small minded man thought that in order for a woman to be involved in modeling or entertainment, she must either be naked or nearly naked, in order to be considered a “model” or “entertainer”. Last I checked serious models and entertainers don’t have “I will take my clothes off in a bar” on their resume.  

I told my boyfriend about this exchange. His first response when I told him the man’s initial words to me was “Uh, oh. He picked the wrong one”. What my boyfriend knows is this; I’m not that caliber of woman and I don’t accept men saying offensive and disrespectful things to me, simply because they think they can. I don’t believe what a woman is wearing defines her character or her worth. It’s that woman’s actions that matter most. Therefore, if a woman isn’t behaving like a hooker, you can’t call her a hooker because you think she’s dressed like one. It might be Halloween or a bad fashion choice, not a profession that she’s exhibiting in her attire. The truth is, as women, it doesn’t matter what we wear or don’t. There’s always some idiot who thinks women are only good for what’s between our legs because that’s the limitation of their braincells. Yes, there are pictures of me that are sexy and sensual related to the marketing of “The Goodie Bag“, but I could have been completely covered up from head to toe in a  berka and that man would’ve still sent me the same message. Because that is what he thinks women are worth – dancing at bars without clothes for men that they don’t know.

By the way, I also told him had he done his due diligence prior to sending me that message in the first place, he would’ve discovered that I am an entrepreneur, publisher and author and the picture he was looking at was related to “The Goodie Bag” and nothing more. But that would’ve been too much like right. I think he knows I’m the wrong one. Maybe he learned his lesson. Maybe not. I do know he won’t be sending me anymore messages. After all, he wouldn’t have sent that message to Oprah and gotten away with it. There are a lot of women who would’ve been offended that probably never would’ve responded to him at all. So I spoke up for them. And there are probably some women who gleefully signed up to burlesque dance for him when he messaged them. They will probably make $250. In this economy he can’t afford to pay a woman thousands of dollars to take her clothes off. And he knows that some women don’t have the boundaries I have. That’s what makes him a predator; lurking and waiting for someone to become desperate.

Lastly, I told him he can’t afford my rates so I’ll gladly burlesque dance for my boyfriend in the privacy of our bedroom. At least I know what I’m getting into and what I’m getting out of it. I also know, it won’t deter my goals, cause me to be posted naked on YouTube or give him anything to sale to the Enquirer when I become the next Queen of All Media. That’s a boundary I can live with –  and that is priceless.

Miami Donkey

As I sat and watched the season three opening episode of “Basketball Wives” on VH1, my eyes widened as I got exactly what I sat down for: Irrefutable evidence that there are donkeys in Miami. In the hood, a donkey is a female who has a large behind or someone who is a complete idiot. In this case I’m referring to the latter definition. In the season opener we discover that during hiatus, Evelyn Lozada has decided to brand the term she so eloquently used against Tami Roman in the previous season – You’re a non MoFo factor, b*tch!  – and put it on t-shirts. I applaud Lozada’s entrepreneurial spirit and obvious attempt to get more people to know who she is. But here’s the problem. We already know she’s the jilted ex-fiancée of a former basketball player and now the fiancée of a professional football player who loves to brand himself so much he changed his last name to his jersey number (I didn’t see a ring on her finger. Tweet me if you did @BestSuperWoman), and we know she’s a hot mess. Isn’t that enough? Apparently not.

For awhile I honestly did think that Lozada was just misunderstood and was really probably a nice person once the cameras stopped rolling. Now, she seems more like a downright mean opportunist. She made the t-shirt decision when cameras weren’t rolling and for some strange reason she actually thought it was a “good idea”. Really? Only to a donkey. The now infamous quote is not one of endearment. It only has negative connotations. And to agree with Roman, Lozada was really the non MoFo factor, because she has never been a wife. I don’t want to say she’s just a glorified jump off, but she might be that, too. For her to then explain her decision to Roman, offer to give money to Roman’s foundation and then accuse Roman of being the reason people thinks she’s a home wrecker is very much donkey-like. Lozada obviously forgot that she put herself out for the world to judge when she told Roman she had slept with her husband while they were married. Once that information came to light last season, I looked at Lozada cross-eyed. Is she one of those women who only dates professional athletes? If so, that is also donkey-like. What’s interesting is that Lozada has the attention of one of the wealthiest men in sports right now and she met him on Twitter. That doesn’t happen in real life. Trust me on that.

I once tweeted Ochocinco and told him that he needed a woman who can cook. He’s always posting pictures of meals he’s eating at restaurants and fast food spots. I think he misunderstood me. I meant a woman who can cook in the kitchen, not through his bank account. But Ochocinco made his decision and he wants to be with her. Since Lozada’s adult life seems to have revolved around the success of the men she’s dated, I’d say she’s pretty lucky to have met him. But that’s not enough for her. Here’s what I discovered. Someone else has beat Lozada to making the t-shirts. I’m dead serious (see photo provided below). If she had really been smart she would’ve applied for the copyright to the phrase instead. That’s the difference between an entrepreneurial mind like mine and a donkey mind like Lozada’s.

Sometimes women as so accustomed to losing that they don’t know that they have already won. Lozada is attractive at her 35 years young (I’m older than she is), has money coming from somewhere because she’s carrying Hermes Berkin bags and Vuitton purses (Vuittons you can rent, but Berkins you cannot), financing a shoe store that makes me think of dessert where shoes cost $600 a pair, and she might actually make it to the alter this time. For some women, that’s the ideal life (both of my hands raised). Lozada’s decision to capitalize off of her quote that resulted in a very public, unscripted ass whooping is not a good business decision. It is donkey-like. Which goes to show that no matter how pretty someone is, or how much money they have, you can dress them up and put diamonds on them but they are still a jackass. Plus, her shirts aren’t even cute.    

this is the shirt that someone else has already made and marketed online for sale

 

(my fans know I rarely post more than one blog a day, but this had to be said.)