Tag Archives: work

I’m An Artist

I can exhale – just briefly- but it feels good. I have gotten things accomplished and I am proud. As I prepare dinner for Christmas, I’m reflecting on what I’ve given and sacrificed, just over the last few months. I couldn’t buy Christmas gifts this year, but those who love me most, weren’t expecting me to. They understood that I had plans, and those plans cost money. I also made sacrifices for the greater good and made investments in my son’s future, as well as in my business. All of which cost money. I made a decision to move to a more financially comfortable and safer area in the urban center of Detroit. I made charitable donations to organizations and renewed my memberships to help preserve others. I spent thousands of dollars on Super Son’s current education and future college endeavors, including the sacrifice of not buying my flat screen television that was on sale for only $260. I even gave of my time and talents to help a woman, who turned around and accused me of trying to take advantage of her, and of riding her coat tails when she had no coat to begin with. I did a lot for others. And this was all during the last quarter of 2010.

So, as I put the finishing touches on my first full book, The Goodie Bag, for its release this weekend, on Christmas Day, I felt a huge weight lift from me. As I created the cover of the paperback version and watched the files upload, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. It is a beautiful book, if I can brag just a little. It’s different from other erotic fiction books written by other authors for more than one reason and I’m proud of what I’ve done. It might become somewhat controversial, but I’m ready and able to handle that. It might even bother or upset some people, but I’m ready for that, too. It’s worth it. I’m an artist. But I’m sensitive.

In a live version of what I consider to lyrically be the best women’s anthem ever written, Tyrone, Erykah Badu introduces herself by saying, “I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my sh*t”. I can completely relate. My art form is different from Erykah’s, but it is art, just the same. When I decided to write The Goodie Bag, and put my other book concepts on hold, I had to prepare myself for all of the possibilities that come with being an artist. Would people like it? Would people hate it? Would an ex-boyfriend of mine confront me about something he thought might be about him? Would it sale out or just collect dust on a shelf in the bookstore? What would the “critics” say about it? What would my friends and family say? Would I forever be stuck in the erotic fiction genre if people really like it? If there was a “what if”, I considered it. I contemplated it, weighed it, tossed it in the air and accessed it. Then I had to release it. All of it. All of the fears. All of the doubts. All of the worries. All of the “what ifs”. As an artist, I decided that I just needed to put myself out there and do me. I’d worry later, but for now I had work to do.

I put myself into my art – literally. I’m in every picture from the front cover to the back cover. I imagined each story, combined it with some of my actual experiences and wrote it for the whole world to read, if they want to. Some of the stories took a few minutes to write and some took months. I wanted each story to have a uniqueness about it. I wanted each story to draw the reader in, excite them, then make them want to add a bit of fantasy to their own reality. I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t. I wanted full color photos inside the pages of the book. And I wanted to be my own model. Not out of vanity, not because I’m narcissistic, but because I believe in my own vision, and I felt that no one else could capture my vision better than I could. I think I was right, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. Plus, other people had too many stipulations and demands that I knew I didn’t need to be hindered by. That’s the beauty of being an artist. You develop a bravery within your craft and you are willing to stretch yourself to preserve it.

I don’t know how many books an author has to sale to become “best selling”. I haven’t done any sales projections or set any sales goals. That is too much unnecessary pressure. With this project, I preferred to use the “if you write it, someone will read it” method. From a business standpoint, that may not be good to do, but as an artist, it allowed me to be free to concentrate on the art itself. However, if The Goodie Bag sales 100 copies in the first two weeks, I’d be very pleased. If The Goodie Bag sales 1000 copies in the first month, I’d be very happy. And if, by chance, The Goodie Bag sales a lot more than 1000 copies within a month or so, whether that makes me “best selling” or not, I’m sure I will have sold a lot more than many authors and publishers who have been at this longer than I have. I’m not trying to out-do anyone else in book sales. I just want to make my own mark and I hope you notice, read it and enjoy it. If I make a difference in one person’s life, with my blogs, my books or my smile, I’ve done well. So, this Christmas Day, which also happens to be my 36th birthday, when you buy your copy of The Goodie Bag, which is available through, Super Woman Productions and Publishing in paperback (ships to your home address by priority mail after the holidays) and eBook (available for immediate download to your computer or eReader), keep an open mind. When you read it, you might want your husband, wife or significant other present, with the kids out of the house. I’m just saying. I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t. But my sh*t is also very good.

Happy Holidays.

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.

Days Like This I Need a Cloning Machine

Life is full of changes.  I’m excited by all of the opportunities coming my way, but there are some days, like today, when I wish that I had a cloning machine.  I’m preparing for a lot of different things all at the same time.  To add pressure to the pot, I’m suffering from a cold.  I earned the name Super Woman because I’m always multi-tasking and I’m able to do it seamlessly.  It’s my dream come true and more than I imagined.   However, there are days when I wish there were at least two more exact duplicates of myself whom I could delegate tasks to.  Since I’m meticulous in my approach and everything I do must be done to the best of my ability, it’s difficult for me to delegate tasks to others who may not treat my ideas with the same sense of priority.  For me everything is a priority – even if it has to be delayed, it never really is.  It’s just re-prioritized to another level to be revisited later after something else is completed.  That’s the method to my madness.

I’m not alone in my need for a cloning device.  There are women like me everywhere who have a ton of things that need to get done and who would also like to have a clone of themselves capable of helping them.  They are mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, counselors, chauffeurs, coaches, teachers, physiologists, referees and chefs; everyday all day long.  Women – we do it all and we do it well.  A cloning device would help a lot of us in our day to day lives.  Unfortunately, the technology has yet to catch up with the need.  Or has it?  That’s the beauty of supply and demand.  If you build it, they will buy.   

I have been blessed to have a tightly knit team of Super friends who are very supporting of my endeavors and they help to keep all of this crazy that is I, in check.  But I can’t take advantage of them because they also have their own families, careers, goals, and endeavors that they need to apply their own energy to as well.  That is the common thread that explains why they are my Super friends. 

On days like this I have to plan, plan, and plan some more to get things done.  I call on those who are able, and have to time to do something for me.  I barter and negotiate to get things done.  I try to remember to eat, squeeze in some meditation and prayer and try to exercise also.  I plug into my mp3 player for focus because I can’t work in dead silence.  I drink my green or chai tea and take by vitamin B12.  I operate on as much sleep as I possibly can get and vow to rest when I’m rich; preferably in the Caribbean.  Then when all is said and done I thank God, get up and do it all over again the next day.  

Until cloning technology is available, and harmless, I will continue to do what I do; put all of myself into my tasks to turn out a good product/service.  I will continue to lose sleep, forget to eat, do too much too often in an effort to do it all.  It’s what I do.  It is who I am.   After all, I am Super Woman and to whom much is given, much is required. 

…but a cloning device would really help. ♥

Prioritizing Love

Priority – somebody or something that is ranked highly in terms of importance or urgency; the state of having preceded something else.

Prioritize – to order things according to their importance or urgency; to regard something as most important or urgent.

Temptation – a desire for something considered wrong; the incitement of desire or craving in somebody.

Necessity – something that is essential; a basic requirement; water, food, shelter, clothing, love and acceptance; the condition of being needed or required.  

Blessing – something to be glad or relieved about; a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.

Someone recently told me that a relationship is not a priority for them.  I’ve heard this a million times.  I believe that anything that someone wants badly enough becomes a priority to that person.  A person’s lack of desire for something doesn’t make it less important in life, just less important to that particular person.  According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our human needs are, in order of importance from most to least, (1) physiological, (2) safety, (3) social, (4) esteem, and (5) self-actualization.  Physiological includes what we know as basic human needs; food, shelter, sex, and breathing.  Safety includes security of body, employment, resources, morality, family, health and property.  Social includes love, friendship, family and sexual intimacy.  Esteem includes confidence, achievement/success, and respect of and by others.  Self-actualization includes morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts. 

If you understand the Maslow Hierarchy principle, then you know that social includes relationships with others both related to us by blood and by emotion.  Our esteem is connected to our achievements and status in society.  If this is true, then why do so many of us look at love as less of a priority than career?  Why do we put our goals and desires to succeed and make money above having someone to share those achievements with?  Why do we prioritize love as the least important element in our day to day life?  Why do we view love as a temptation instead of a necessity? 

The happiest people I’ve ever met are not the wealthiest financially.  However, they are considered very wealthy because they have mates.  They have taken the time to cultivate strong and resilient relationships that include emotional bonds with their mates.  They have families, friendships and great sex.  They have prioritized love into their lives.  Then there are the single people who strive to make more money, gain more position, and obtain more respect from people whom they don’t share any emotional connection with.  They already possess the physiological and safety needs, so they feel that they can overlook the social needs and continue on to the esteem and self-actualization needs.  Do they ever go back and try to capture the social aspects?  Yes.  And sometimes they fail to do so because since it was not a priority to them, they passed on every opportunity for love that came their way.  In their minds when the opportunity arose, it was not the “right” time.  They had other priorities to concern themselves with that took precedence over love. 

Then there are the single people like myself who want everything.  We want to fulfill all five of the human needs in Maslow’s Hierarchy.  We believe that we can have balance, just like many of our married predecessors.  We may have even failed at love previously but we still believe it to be a necessity.  Unfortunately, we often find ourselves in encounters with the single, success-seeking individuals who do not view love as a priority.  They desire the money, status and respect of others, but do not desire to come home to the love and respect of a mate.  One of my biggest fears is being extremely successful, but not having anyone to share my experiences and success with.  Not having anyone to encourage my steps when I’m moving in the right direction.  Not having anyone to catch me when I fall or wipe my tears when I fail.  How lonely life could be with a huge bank account and no one to share life with.  No matter how much money I make, I can’t take it with me when I die [no one’s tombstone says “He made a lot of money”].  But I believe that I can share a love that lasts an eternity.     

People often throw themselves into their careers as a defense mechanism against love.  They fear love and the requirements of it.  Love requires commitment, focus, decisiveness, self awareness, honesty, and selflessness, among other things.  These requirements are often more difficult for a man, because in society men aren’t always celebrated for the wife they have, but instead for their professional achievements.  Love isn’t leisure, it is work.  You can’t take a vacation from love.  When love hurts, it can be debilitating.  There is no cure for love when it hurts.  When love is presented with problems, you can’t walk away from it, tear it down and start all over.  As a result some people opt to take the easy way out and decide not to include love.  Some people literally choose not to prioritize love into their lives.  They’re afraid of the work more than potential failure or pain.  In spite of our fears about love, under Maslow’s Hierarchy, without love, a human being is not “whole” in life.  A life without love isn’t living; it is just existing.     

So, the “timing” isn’t right when you meet someone.  When did humans become powerful enough to control “time”?  Everything happens for a reason, and it happens when it should, not necessarily when we want it to.  If an opportunity presented itself unexpectedly for your career, you would view it as a “blessing”, not an obstacle or a temptation.  You would do whatever was necessary to take advantage of that opportunity.  You would fear losing the opportunity and never getting another.  You would conquer your fears, travel long distances, empty your bank account, sale your car, change your routine or schedule, you would change your plans, and you would even disappoint others in order to accept the “blessing”.  You would pray about it, increase your tithe offering, burn sage and anything else necessary for that blessing.  Sometimes people are also a blessing in our lives.  They are brought to us for many reasons.  Some people come into our lives for a season, some for a reason and some for a lifetime.  Someone who comes into your life that you feel a connection to may also be the one you are meant to love.  But if you are unwilling to take advantage of the opportunity, it will pass you by.  That person will then become a blessing to someone else who was unafraid of love.  I heard Steve Harvey say that more love songs have been written by men about lost love because men fail to see what they have until it is gone.  They don’t view love as a priority.    

Time waits for no one and some opportunities only come around once in a lifetime.  If you are willing to make sacrifices for achievements and material possessions, why would you not also make sacrifices for love?

Define Your Success

There’s a lot said about money.  [The love of] Money is the root of all evil.  Money can’t buy love.  More money, more problems.  Although all of those things may be true to some degree, money is still a major factor in our day to day lives.  Without it, life can be a lot more difficult; with it, life can be more interesting.  A wealthy person can never tell a homeless person that money isn’t important or rewarding to have.  The homeless person only knows that their lack of money contributes to their homelessness.  A middle class person won’t fully comprehend the isolated feeling that wealthier people have because they fear being taken advantage of because of their net worth.  They only see the opulence that the money affords a wealthier person and believe that wealth brings happiness.  Wealth is wealth.  Happiness is not wealth.  Happiness is a by-product of good relationships, love, self esteem and personal achievements.     

For some people having money is equivalent to being successful.  Although the word successful is synonymous with victorious or winning, not wealthy or rich, ask any teenager through early twenty-year-old to define success and they will include having money in their definition.  This is the society in which we live.  A society where we see money as the definition of success, and we view those who have lots of money, as also being very successful.  This is sometimes true; for a moment.  Eventually the reality comes to the surface.  It’s not the money or how much of it you have that makes you successful; it’s the way you obtained the money and what you do with it that will really matters.

In a world where money is coveted by those who don’t have it, or want more of it, there are individuals who will often sacrifice their morals to obtain it.  They set dangerous agendas for others they come in contact with.  They will mistreat, manipulate and abuse others, for a few dollars.  They behave dishonestly and even maliciously to “get money”.  They take advantage of other people’s kindness, steal and even are willing to kill for money, all along never realizing that their actions will not allow that money to remain in their possession very long.  All ill-gotten gains eventually burn down to nothing.

We need to redefine what constitutes a successful person.  It’s not the money that makes a person successful.  It’s the work and time that the person put forth to become a success to begin with that defines their success.   The money is simply one of the rewards for the work.  Who did you help on your way to becoming rich?  Who did you step on or step over to gain your success and wealth?  When you became rich, did you go back and do for others where your roots grew from?  These are just a few questions that should be answered when a person is considering their wealth and success.  Everyone has the ability to make a lot of money – either legally or illegally.  It’s a choice based on morals, principles and standards and whether a person is willing to sacrifice theirs for linen paper. 

When  person dies, on their tombstone there are two dates; the day a person was born and the day the person died.  The dash in the middle represents life and that’s the legacy that remains that people will remember most.  People will remember if you were giving and unselfish and they will honor that memory of you more than if you were greedy, malicious and calculating.  People will miss you if you were charitable, loving and caring, more than if you had a large monetary will that people fought over in probate.  Which person do you prefer to be remembered as?  What will the dash on your tombstone represent and say about you after the money is gone? 

Consider this when defining your success:

No one’s tombstone says “He made a lot of money”.           

I Want it All

I want it all.  I want wealth, good health, a profitable business, and love.  I want everything.  I want it all.  Does that make me greedy?  Someone else’s perception may be “yes” because they don’t believe a person can have everything they want in life.  Am I selfish?  Absolutely.  This is my world, my life, my goals, my dreams, my effort and my energy.  Someone else’s perception is that I am selfish if I believe that this is my world.  I’ve learned that people perceive based on their own personal experiences, not necessarily yours.  Wanting everything may be equivalent to being greedy to one person, but to me it’s equivalent to being ambitious.  Believing this world belongs to you or that it’s “all about you” may be considered selfish to one person, but it’s being aware of one’s own worth and responsibility to me. 

This is my world.  However, I share it with others.   I’m aware that any actions I take, or don’t take, directly affect me, and then residually affect others.  I am responsible for my world.  This is my life.  It was given to me to live.  If I don’t live my life fully, another human being will not give me a second opportunity to live.  There are no stunt doubles in real life.  When I die, it is very unlikely that everyone else on Earth will die with me.  Others will still remain to continue on without me.  My life is my own responsibility. 

These are my goals and my dreams.  Although other people may have similar goals and share similar aspirations, whether my goals are aligned with theirs or not, if I do not achieve my goals or dreams, it will not prevent them from achieving theirs.  I am responsible for how far I’m willing to go to succeed.  This is my effort and energy.  How I utilize my effort and energy determines what I do or don’t receive from it.  If I fail, who will fail with me?  If I fail, who will fail because of me?  I can’t name one person whose success is directly affected by mine or lack thereof, not even my child.  If I fail to work on my projects, that is my fault alone.  Others can encourage me and support me, but they aren’t responsible for doing all of the work for me.  If you don’t work, you don’t eat, right?  Therefore, if I starve, I am responsible.

That is not to say that we don’t need each other.  Every human being needs companionship, support and admiration.  It’s innate.  But we have to always be cautious not to put responsibilities on others that aren’t theirs.  No one else is responsible for making your dreams and goals come to fruition.  No one else can live your life for you.  No one else can do the work for you and expel the energy required to make your world what you desire it to be.  And yes, God, or whomever you refer to as your Higher Being, is in control of our paths and we must submit to His will.  But God’s will is not for us to fail, or suffer, or go hungry, or be unhappy.  We have to be responsible for our share.  We have to improve upon what we’ve been given.  If we don’t, we don’t have anyone to blame but ourselves. 

Everything you truly need in life to be successful, to be happy, to be wealthy, and to be loved – you already possess.  Even if someone else’s perception is that you have nothing.  Prove them wrong. 

Strive for everything.  This is your world.