Tag Archives: commitment

Me Time – A Voyage

I truly believe in self-assessment and self-reflection of oneself. I believe a person with strong character knows their worth and their flaws. Acceptance of oneself in all your glory and imperfections allows you to set personal goals that enhance personal growth. Some people refer to it as “Me” time. I recently went on my much needed annual vacation to somewhere hotter than Michigan. I started my voyage in South Beach and from there boarded a Carnival cruise ship to the Caribbean; Grand Turks and the Bahamas to be specific. This was my third time in Miami and probably my eighth time in Florida. But it was my first time on a cruise and my first time going to the Caribbean. No, I didn’t go with a group of girlfriends. No, I didn’t go with a man (I’m not in a relationship). No, I wasn’t afraid to be alone. I was looking forward to it. I was looking forward to digging my own space under the sunshine of the south of Florida and on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

My flight departed without incident, although they had overbooked the flight. My flight landed on time and my shuttle arrived quickly to take me to The Richmond Hotel. The Richmond was a nice, oceanfront, boutique hotel on Collins Avenue in South Beach. However, I soon came to the realization that I was the only person of color on the premises who was not an employee there. It started in increments. First, at check in I was asked to pay for the two remaining nights of my stay in advance, plus an additional resort fee for “incidentals”. When I asked what type of incidentals would that additional fee cover, I was told “in case you break something”. I quickly raised my voice a little too loud for their comfort and informed them that I would not be paying in advance, nor would I be throwing rock star parties and breaking anything during my stay. Yes, I was offended. I didn’t know if this request was being made because I was Black or if it was because I was from Detroit. Either way, I was offended and I let it be known. Especially since none of the other quests checking in had been asked to pay in advance. I agreed to pay the resort fee, but let them know that I wouldn’t pay another dime until check out.

Later, as I lay out by the pool, I was greeted by the pleasantly surprised faces of the Afro-Caribbean women and men, who either worked in housekeeping or as doormen. They greeted me in the hallways and at the door, everyday with big, proud, smiles. Mind you, this was not a four or five star hotel; it may have been a three star hotel at best. But “we” apparently, were moving on up like George and Weezie.

On this trip I also had to endure the weeding of my garden and eliminate individuals from my life. Without this trip, I may not have been able to identify those people. I just don’t believe it to be necessary for me to allow men to mistreat me or speak to me in a disrespectful manner, simply because, out of their ignorance, they “think” they can. So they got dismissed – permanently and without apology.

Aside for the small bumps, the Caribbean is one of the most beautiful places I’ve laid eyes on. I’m thankful for the opportunity and finances to be able to enjoy myself. I learned new things, met interesting and intelligent people from across the USA and in the Caribbean. I received inspiration from the sun, the sand and the coasts. I got some much needed rest and ate delicious foods. The best part is that I didn’t gain any weight and I looked great in my swimsuits.

As usual, I received the common question – “Are you here by yourself?” And I was proud to say ‘yes’. But that always leads to – “You don’t have a boyfriend?” The answer is ‘no’. The follow up is then – “You are too pretty to be by yourself.” I replied, ‘Thank you. Would you like to tell that to the men where I’m from?’ The truth is that I would never go anywhere if I waited to have a relationship first. I’ve been told my men and women that I don’t have a man because I’m too independent and that doesn’t allow a man to do anything for me. I think that is an excuse for men not to step up and try something new.

Personally, I’m not interested in someone who doesn’t want to leave the city they were born in, or is too afraid to board an airplane or otherwise step out of their comfort zone. I shouldn’t be expected to wait to be partnered up with a man in order to enjoy living. The idea that you have to wait to live is ridiculous. I would much rather explore this entire planet alone, than wait for someone to explore it with who may or may not exist. The possibility that I may not a boyfriend or husband anytime soon, isn’t a negative mindset; it is embracing a reality. It is a self-assessment. I refuse to be a little old lady that waited and waited to live her life, just to wake up one day and discover that her life is almost over. If that means that I travel every winter by myself, I can live with that.

I enjoyed my “me” time. I enjoyed turning heads and being rebellious against hotel’s request. I enjoyed walking on the beach, riding a horse in the ocean, wearing a bathing suit instead of clothes, and wearing no makeup. I enjoyed the shopping, eating, sightseeing and being flirted with by Caribbean men. I enjoyed my trip tremendously.

I enjoy my “me” time. I enjoy living life. I’m looking forward to doing it more often…even if I have to do it alone.

Getting In On The Ground Floor

I often kick myself for not buying stock in Google during its IPO.  It’s been a little over six years and look what Google has become.  It’s a massive behemoth of information that is completely unavoidable if you live in today’s society and have a computer, smart phone, PDA, laptop, or iPAD.  It’s valuable.  Initially there were doubters who said Google was the next trend, next fad or wouldn’t last.  People intelligent and brave enough to ignore those doubters are laughing all the way to the bank with their stock dividend checks.  They were able and willing to get in on the ground floor.

It’s always risky when you try something new; venture into unknown territories.  It can be financially risky in some cases and emotionally risky in others.  Every new relationship is a risk and so are business ventures.  Being able to conquer those fears and initial doubts can sometimes have very big payoffs in the long run for those who are determined, faithful, steadfast and resilient.  However, as human beings, we deal with so much disappointment that we find it difficult to put ourselves at risk when dealing with other human beings.  Whether it’s a company’s IPO, a person’s business idea, or the prospect of a new relationship with someone, we have difficulty thinking beyond our initial fears to see the potential payoff of the investment.  That is what it is; an investment.  And you always want a return on your investment.  But you have to first make the investment in order to expect any returns.  If you sit on the sidelines, waiting to see what might happen, when the investment starts to out perform what you thought it would, you won’t gain as much by investing in it at that point as the person who got in on the ground floor.

As I build The Company, The Woman and The Brand of Super Woman, there are a lot of people sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see what might happen.  They have no interest in investing in me, my ideas or my company.  They believe it to be a trend, a fad, something that won’t last.  Not because that’s my track record, because it isn’t – it is because of their fears.  There are men who have tried to dissuade me from my pursuit of greatness by offering me their companionship (as if it will satisfy my desire for success).  There are men who don’t want to have a relationship with me because as of today, I am not as successful as I strive to be, or because they are fearful that my success will one day overshadow theirs.  There are even the men that say they will come to my events, but somehow, never manage to show up.  If they do, they arrive after the event has concluded.  Either way, instead of providing moral support for my endeavors they attempt to minimize them.  There are also the “so-called friends”, who tell me that they will buy my book, and now that it is available, they are still saying the same thing.  In a few short months the second book will be published and they will still be saying the same thing.  Of course, when the day comes for me to accept my crown as The Queen of All Media, they will all want to be the first to tell the world that they “knew me back when”, knowing that they failed to get in on the ground floor.  Super Woman Productions and Publishing LLC is currently in its IPO phase.  It’s new, it’s bright, and it’s shiny.  But it is not a fad, a trend or something that won’t last.  I’m working to build a media and publishing empire that can be sustained long term and inherited by my grandchildren.  I’m working to put other aspiring authors on the path to success. 

I’m blessed to have real friends and loved ones, even a few fans, who believe in me, what I say and what I do.  There is one person that comes to mind who is intelligent enough to get in on the ground floor.  He recognizes that I’m not “just talking”; I’m doing.  He sees my ambition; he understands it and respects it.  He also knows that at the end of the day, the people who don’t support me today don’t really bother me.  It’s the people who do support me that matter most.  It’s the people who are unafraid to buy a copy of my book, interview me, support me however they can, that will see the benefits later on.  It is the people who tell me something I’ve said to them has made a difference in their lives that keep me moving forward.  I understand basic human nature enough to know that as long as I do what I need to, those same people who think that The Company, The Woman and The Brand of Super Woman will not last, will eventually regret not making an investment during my IPO.  It’s a personal choice to get in on the ground floor.  Either way, my stock is rising and this is just the beginning.

Handling Business

The term ‘handling business’ means different things to different people.  Business in general to some people means making money.  People that go into business with the goal and expectation of making money often end up working for someone else or fail repeatedly in their ventures.  People who go into business because of the love for what they are doing or to make a difference, often become very successful and very wealthy as a result.  But that doesn’t occur overnight.  It is a gradual process that comes about through learning and experience.  It also requires surrounding yourself with people who can assist, having perseverance and proper planning among other things.  Therefore, it can be said that whether or not a person is successful in business is greatly determined by the motivation to begin a business.  It is then heightened by their efforts to remain in business.  If you have an idea, it doesn’t mean it will be instantaneously profitable.  Many people get involved in or develop get rich quick schemes.  Some of them actually make money, but they don’t have any longevity.  Either because the scheme is illegal, immoral or it’s just not sustainable through economic changes.     

Handling business to some people also means taking care of their responsibilities.   Whether or not a person is capable of taking care of themselves is often a factor that determines if they will have success in business and in life.   If a person is heavily reliant on others for their survival or well being, we often will view that person as being immature and incapable of handling their business.  Responsibility is a huge weight for a human being to carry.  It is also a mark of a person’s character or lack thereof.  Often people prefer to make others responsible for their circumstances and failures.  They believe that this will exonerate them from any repercussions that may arise.  However, they are quick to take responsibility for success, if it comes.  Being responsible is more than about claiming the idea or the potential profits.  Being responsible requires taking that idea seriously and investing the time, energy and effort into nurturing the idea until it is successful.  That isn’t to say that a person who doesn’t take responsibility can’t learn to.  They actually can.  Unfortunately, they usually learn to be responsible through traumatic occurrences resulting from being irresponsible.

Over the last fifteen years of my life I have endured a great deal of responsibility, in business and personally.  I had my son when I was eighteen years old; I was a homeowner at nineteen and was working in Corporate America.  In business, I have co-owned a general contracting company, I’ve been a Realtor, and I’ve been a union steward.  Not only have I had to be responsible for myself at a young age, but I’ve had to be responsible for many other people as well.  It has taught me a great deal.  Every lesson wasn’t easy or enjoyable, but I’ve taken what I’ve learned and invested it into myself and my future success.  Many people assume that I’m egotistical so I just woke up one day and decided that I would become Super Woman.  The truth is that I was given the name because of what I’ve survived.  People have referred to me as “super” in one capacity or another for many years.  I didn’t decide to become Super Woman; I already was Super Woman, I just didn’t know it until two years ago.

To achieve success as an entrepreneur there are a few things a person needs to consider.  You need to have an idea, but you also need to have motivation that is beyond making money.  You need to handle your business personally because your personal life has a “trickle over” effect into your business life.  You need a team of people who will enhance what you lack, won’t just tell you what you want to hear, will tell you when you are wrong or foolish, and won’t take advantage of your dreams.  Super Woman is a company, a woman and a brand, but there’s a team of people that help to make it possible.  My team of people may be different from others, but they are people whom I know I can trust and I have built a relationship with them that goes beyond business.  I don’t take advantage of them and they don’t take advantage of me.  They know that my motivation to be successful goes beyond making money and they help to preserve that motivation.  They never force their desires on me and they are reliable and available when I need them to be.  They have individual abilities and viewpoints that enhance what I possess and make up for what I lack.  They are my Super Team and no matter how much money I make, their support is a lot more valuable to me. 

Once you can take responsibility for your own failures and success, you become an entrepreneur.  Once you become an entrepreneur, you become powerful.  Once you become powerful, you become humbled; because to whom much is given, much is required.  Entrepreneurship is a journey to humility.  Be thankful for the journey; it is a blessing.   Handle your business.

Change and Choices – Part 1

Personal change begins within.  Often we seek to change the minds and hearts of others without realizing that the heart and mindset of another person is based upon their personal experiences and what they have learned from their families and friends.  Those experiences, whether good or bad, have shaped their perspective.  Their personal perspective dictates their actions and reactions to situations and relationships.  Any change that takes place in a person’s heart or mind therefore is the result of a personal choice made by that individual.

We all choose whether or not we want to have a successful relationship, or not.  We choose whether or not we want to follow in the footsteps of those who had toxic relationships also.  You are a product of your environment but you also have the power as an individual to overcome any circumstance that you may have encountered.  If you come from a broken home, you do not have to create a broken home situation for your own children.  If you had an absentee parent, you do not have to be absent from your children’s lives.  If your parents divorced, you do not have to fear marriage, commitment or experience divorce in your own relationship.  If your household was abusive, you do not have to be a victim or victimizer of abuse.  You are not a slave to your past or that of your family.  You are free.  Free to make choices for yourself.  You are free to be better than what you’ve seen, been taught or witnessed.  You are free to make changes to improve your situation and provide a safer life for your children so that they will see a positive example that they can refer back to.        

Statistically more than 70% of Black women in America are single, and approximately 40% of those women have never been married.  However, more than 40% of Black men in America are also single and have never been married either.  This means that just as many Black men as Black women have never been married.  Why is that? Logically you could say that if the 40% of Black women and the 40% of Black men meet, they could get married.  Maybe they just reside in different areas of the country so it’s a factor of distance more than anything else.  Realistically it means that a large percentage Black men do not have the desire or goal to become married.  This means that the 40% of single and never married Black women have to explore other options, such as crossing racial divides, in order to find a mate.  And with there being an overabundance of single and desperate women willing to share a man for the sake of not feeling lonely, many men do not feel it necessary to commit to one woman when they can have a different woman everyday.   

In my own dating experience I meet a lot of single Black men who “do not want a relationship”, don’t consider it a “priority” and do not want to be committed to just one woman.  They are fearful of the possibilities of failure in their relationships because of their past experiences (marriages and divorces) and the situations in which they were raised (single parent homes without their fathers present), or they have so many women pursuing them that they feel they’d be “giving up” something (ego) in order to commit to just one woman.  These men make a choice, regardless of it being conscious or subconscious.  It’s sad, but true.  It’s the reality of dating in the world we live in.      

People are very cynical and negative about personal relationships.  However, that negativity can be overcome through positive experiences and examples.  In spite of some of the bad relationships I’ve had, I recall the ones that were healthy and positive.  Those set an example and developed a standard for me as I move forward in life.  The good relationships taught me that there is hope and the possibility of love.  Those relationships reiterated to me that all men are not dogs, or trifling, or useless.  Those relationships allowed me to value and respect my authentic self and understand what positive attributes I bring to a relationship.  Those relationships also allowed me to improve myself as an individual and as a woman.  I have made a choice that I will have a healthy and successful relationship.  I have made a choice that I want to be married.  I have made a choice that when the day comes, I will work to have the type of marriage I want and deserve.  The only thing I’m missing is a like-minded and like-hearted man who also has the same desire, goals and resolve that I have. 

To be continued…