Tag Archives: accomplishments

I’m Rooting For Everybody (Else) #Netflix

As a feminist who works in media and entertainment, the #metoo movement is about calling attention to sexual harassment perpetrated by those in power with the capacity to affect the success of others in all industries. Likewise, the #timesup movement is about rectifying the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to sexual harassment in the workplace in all industries. Neither movement is meant to be used as a weapon or scapegoat for one individual’s advancement. Mo’nique’s issue with Netflix is a business dispute based on the amount of money she was offered in comparison to the valuation of her individual brand.

Mo’nique is not a co-star in a movie or co-host on a TV show with a man who was making significantly more money than her. As a result this isn’t an issue of wage inequality or gender discrimination. 

Mo’nique airs her grievances against other blacks in the entertainment industry on social media and in interviews but doesn’t seem capable of having a face to face conversation with those individuals. She has repeatedly thrown shade at Oprah, Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Will Packer. She has recently attacked Roland S. Martin on Twitter challenging his career long work in the black community. She talks a good game about women deserving higher wages, but when she’s in a movie the results are only an increase in her pay, not that of all the women on the cast. She also never addresses the lack of women who work as talent managers and how that impacts the wages of women of color in film and television.

 

Mo’nique’s call for a boycott against Netflix is not the equivalent to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in protest against police brutality towards people of color, boycotting airlines for unfair treatment and assault of paying passengers or boycotting H&M for selling racially degrading merchandise. Mo’nique was offered an amount of money that would be life changing for many people, including myself, but she decided that it wasn’t what she wanted. That’s her choice and I support her right to make that choice for herself.

 

Many platforms have and do work with people and women of color in mutually beneficial creative content capacities. Amazon Studios is releasing content by a variety of creatives, Issa Rae has opportunities inked with HBO, Tiffany Haddish had a comedy special on Showtime in late 2017 and Jamie Foxx is Executive Producer of the hit Showtime show “White Famous”, just to name a few. Some people of color have invested in and developed their own platforms as well, creating opportunities and opening doors for many to walk through….if they want to. Opportunities aren’t always given to us, so we have to go out and make our own. I know this firsthand. Many of my accomplishments, such as being a movie producer, TV producer, author and others, are a direct result of me creating opportunities instead of hoping or waiting for others to approach me. Had I sat around, I’d never have any of those achievements. The same is true of a lot of people. Hence why there are so many more opportunities available today than 10 years ago.

 

Having said that, I’m not boycotting Netflix on behalf of Mo’nique. In my opinion her issue isn’t helping the #metoo or #timesup movements create fairness or safe work environments free of sexual harassment. Her grievances aren’t about her size or age, and she’s not being bullied. Her issue is about how much she wants to be monetarily valued in and by the entertainment industry. That’s a personal business matter for her to resolve. In fact, supporting Mo’nique by boycotting Netflix would also mean boycotting content written, directed, produced by and starring several other black and brown brothers and sisters, including but not limited to “Mudbound“, which is Oscar nominated. As a member of the entertainment industry myself, that would be unfair and would harm many people of color, both men and women, who negotiated deals to build their relationships with Netflix in order to tell a variety of stories. Shonda Rhimes received a very lucrative multimillion dollar, multi-year deal with Netflix and she’s a black woman. Mo’nique must’ve missed that memo.

 

Boycotts aren’t supposed to help one person eat well while starving thousands. Boycotts are about creating fairness, and justice, not division.

 

Mo’nique has had a great career in both television and film. She is intelligent and talented. As a result she has other opportunities that she can explore outside of Netflix. For many others, Netflix is their first opportunity to have their content seen in their career. People who have never seen the kind of money that Mo’nique was offered in their entire lifetimes use Netflix to meet us on our TVs and mobile devices. They introduce themselves to us one story at a time for the price of one ticket to one movie for one person to see a major motion picture in a movie theater. They are the real MVPs.

 

Mo’nique not agreeing with the amount of money offered and therefore rejecting the Netflix deal means her team doesn’t work and that’s on her, not me or you. Mind you, turning down the opportunity also means she can’t be upset when the next person accepts it. In my capacity as an artist manager I’ve had artists turn down opportunities then get angry because another artist accepted it. Two things often follow:

  • The artist that declines offers isn’t afforded many opportunities going forward.

  • The artist that declines offers doesn’t work nearly as much or earn as much money as other artists.

In the entertainment business every opportunity doesn’t come back around. While this news was breaking I realized that there’s the possibility that Netflix isn’t the first opportunity that Mo’nique may have declined. Tiffany Haddish was the first black female stand up comic to host Saturday Night Live in 2017, yet it was reported that was partly because others declined when they were previously asked, opening the door for her to make history. Was Mo’nique someone who declined that opportunity at some point? I understand that Mo’nique has been black balled, but how much of that is a result of her rejecting opportunities more than she accepts them? After a person is said to be the type to consistently say “no”, people eventually stop asking them.

 

If Mo’nique is saying “no”, she’s making her own decision, which she has the right to do. No one can force her into a deal that she isn’t happy with. However, I can’t support others not being afforded the opportunity to also make their own decisions to work, provide jobs and provide content to the masses in order to make Mo’nique happier… or richer. Maybe she should sit down with her manager and think of a plan that gets her the amount of money she wants another way or on another platform, without hurting others who haven’t had her level of success yet and whom depend on their relationship with Netflix to further their career.

 

Mo’nique’s expectation that we all cancel our Netflix subscriptions to support her individual brand is selfish, not unifying. It isn’t a boss move and it doesn’t help anyone but her, and it might not even accomplish that to be honest. Netflix will just move on and offer someone else the money, as they should because they have a business to run, with content creators and shareholders relying on them to run the business. Selfishness of one person doesn’t bless us or move us forward as women or people of color. Netflix isn’t just here for the benefit of Mo’nique’s career or success. She’s capable of taking her talents elsewhere and securing other partnerships if she feels she deserves better. In the meantime, I wish Mo’nique the best and to paraphrase Issa Rae, I’m rooting for everybody (else) black on Netflix.

Enjoy Your Success Today

Sometimes I wonder if people want to be successful, or if they just want to be famous.

There are times in someone’s life when they can’t have one without some of the other. However, I observe people who are very successful and they don’t seem to realize it at all. They are seemingly chasing fame instead of celebrating the success they already have and the added success coming their way. The level of success they currently have is spectacular and impressive, and they are already accomplished and awesome, but they are constantly minimizing it themselves and their success because they desire to have fame and a lot fans. Having fame and fandom on any level isn’t at all what it’s cracked up to be. Being famous involves a lot of responsibility that many people truly can’t handle. Sometimes being famous can actually destroy your success.

Success requires work, sacrifice and maintenance. Remember all of those college classes you took and that student loan debt for those degrees? That was work. Remember all of the friends you lost and relationships that failed because you were studying or working? What about the long days and nights you spend striving towards meeting a deadline? Those are sacrifices. Think about your continuing education or leadership classes, conferences and networking events you attend. That is maintenance.

Fame is fleeting and unpredictable; it can help, but it can also hinder. Fame also has limitations. Everyone has different gifts and talents when they come into this world that makes them unique and contributes to the quality of their lives. When you are aware of what your gifts and talents are you can use them towards being a success, instead of trying to emulate others. Everyone won’t be a famous author. I know this because I receive phone calls and emails from people who haven’t completed a manuscript. Everyone won’t be a YouTube sensation overnight or at all. Yet daily people invest a great deal of time in doing so. Every woman with curves won’t become the next Kim Kardashian or Amber Rose, but on a daily basis women strike a pose on Instagram in hopes of being discovered. Becoming famous for most people who do isn’t about their gifts or talent. They are dependent on societal trends and timing. Without that fame formula coming in to play for them, we’d never have heard of them at all. Years from now we won’t remember most of those famous individuals for anything meaningful, if we remember them at all.

I’ve learned that you can’t reach the next level of anything in your life or career if you don’t appreciate where you are currently at. Appreciate the success you have today, no matter how small you may think it is. There’s something to be said for having gratitude in your current situation. There’s a lesson in this moment of your life that you need to learn in order to elevate to the next level.

Even if your name is never in lights on a marquee, strive to be success in your life, not famous. Success comes in various forms. For many people success is being able to pay their bills on time, feed their children and help others in their communities. Success for some people is never going before a judge or having their children go to college. Success for some people is having an opportunity to go a job they love everyday. Success is what the people who matter in your life will remember you for when you are gone.

Gratitude is extremely powerful and pushes you closer to your purpose in this world. Be grateful for what you have in your life and career today. Change your perspective and begin working towards improving upon the success you have without expecting to become famous for it. Your life will be more fulfilling and you will be happier when you do.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

The Happy Dance

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

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

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

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

Embrace it.

Enjoy it.

Then do it again.

*happy dance, happy, dance, happy dance*  

The Gift of ME

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to YOU! 

Happy Birthday to ME! 

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

From where I sit, I AM the GIFT.

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

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

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

1. You’ll have more money 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Learned About Myself From Dealing With My Critics

Don’t let people determine your worth based solely on their experiences or lack thereof.

Don’t let people make you feel like you need to compete with them.

Even before I was ever called Super Woman, there were always people who felt like they could tear me down with their own insecurities. They would try to damage my self-esteem, determine my value, tell me what I couldn’t do and what I’d never do. I thank God for the strength and empowering words and gifts from my grandparents that were instilled in me so deeply that I never fell too deep into what other people thought of me or wished of me, that I couldn’t come back to the surface. Even to this day, people still try it. I’ve had people smile in my face and lie on me behind my back. I’ve had people try to associate with me to improve their own self-worth and when their plans failed, they tried to curse me in the name of God. I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to.

People  claim they don’t like The FabLife Radio Show. But they don’t have a radio show, never had one and wouldn’t know what to do with one if they did. I don’t care, as long as people continue listen. Them listening to a show they claim they don’t like is giving me ratings (smile). If they don’t listen, I don’t care about their opinion because I know that it comes from a place of prejudice. I’ve had over 50 celebrity and subject matter experts just in the first year of broadcasting the show. We constantly have people email us requesting to be guests on the show. I must be doing something right.

People claim they don’t like FabLife Apparel and Accessories, yet they’ve never seen it. They try to say it’s never going to sale and no one is going to buy it. Well people have bought it, even before a single print ad or commercial has been seen publicly. Those people bought it because they like what it stands for and when they wear their shirts, they wear them proudly. Now when the doubters and haters see a celebrity walk down the street wearing one, they will all will want one, too. That will be coming soon.

Some people don’t believe in me. Some people dislike me and yet they have never met me. Many of you have the same experiences on a daily basis; at work, at school, even from relatives. Being a public figure doesn’t change that, it just exacerbates it because it’s thousands more people looking at you everyday. That in part is why I’m not too quick to be in public all the time. I never wanted to be a celebrity and I’m not keen on that word being used to describe me. I’m intelligent enough to know that I can only control that to a certain degree. The more successful I become, the more likely the word “celebrity” is going to be used to describe me. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what people call me, as long as they have the respect enough to spell my name right.

I realized awhile back that many of my experiences growing up and in the first 20 years of my adult life were a form of boot camp to prepare me for what I deal with now and will deal with as the Super Woman Brand grows. My own ambitious nature will not allow me to ever stop striving to be successful and help others. Therefore, I needed to have a coat of armor to protect me from what the world likes to dish out. As much as there are some things about my changing lifestyle I don’t much want to deal with or have caused inconveniences, I realize they are necessary. At least I didn’t wake up in the lifestyle completely unprepared and naive to it. I was gradually introduced to it and educated it on by those with more experience than myself. I was able to observe it from a realistic standpoint for a number of years before it because a part of my day-to-day experiences. I didn’t ask for any of it, but it’s the Master’s Plan for my life. If I try to fight it, I will only lose. If I embrace it, I will always be happy.

While others are doubting me, lying on me, trying to discourage others from supporting me, opportunities are getting bigger and better. The Super Woman Brand is embarking on a publishing project that will allow writers in Detroit to become published in early 2014. We’ve entered into a business relationship with Live Nation, the largest concert and venue promotion company in the entire world. We’re going to travel to other states and broadcast The FabLife Radio Show while there. We’re shooting commercials and print ads for FabLife Apparel and Accessories. We’re sponsoring and producing events in early 2014. We’re expanding our business services and our national reach. We’ve already lined up our signature events for 2014, including our official International Women’s Day event in March, our I Feel Good! Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference in August and so much more that I get dizzy trying to remember it all.

This year I was awarded the 2013 Confident Woman Award, I was recognized in the seventh edition of Who’s Who in Black Detroit. These acknowledgements indicate that I’m doing something right. While other organizations and publications honor and acknowledge the same people year after year after year, it is the smaller publications that I respect and appreciate most because they are the ones that take the time to actually seek people others may not know about yet, who are doing great things in the world. Like yours truly. This year for the first time I went from inside the pages of magazines, to being on the cover of one; Detroit CEO Magazine’s first print edition includes myself, Lacretia Rogers and Mahogany Mignon. If by chance you don’t know who they are, I encourage you to research them further. The magazine will be available to buy soon and details about the event will be shared with Super Fans.

I don’t do what I do for “likes”, I do what I do because I love it. My work fulfills me as an individual, it heightens my purpose in this world. I don’t have to compete with anyone. I am my only competition. My goal is to be better each day than I was the day before. No one can diminish that, make me doubt myself for that, make me quit or make my hurt, because I choose to live my life with purpose. It may be a purpose they don’t like or understand, but that is not my concern or problem to solve. Those who have been supportive of me for the last five years will still be five, ten or fifty years from now for the same reasons.

What happened to all of the people who tried to damage my self-esteem, determine my value, tell me what I couldn’t do and what I’d never do?

Some of them are dead, some of them are still poor, some of them still haven’t done anything with their own lives, some of them are miserable.

Had those people spent more time improving themselves, reaching their goals, competing with themselves instead of criticizing others, they too, could have accomplished much more. Life is too short to concentrate on others more than you concentrate on yourself. Life is too short to spend it talking about others and not reaching for your personal greatness.

 

What I Learned In Therapy

I completed my relationship therapy. *Happy Dance* Now I’m a lot more comfortable with everything going on in my life. I’m more comfortable being single. I’m more comfortable doing business with men. I’m more comfortable with who I am. Although I had a fear of being alone, in the end there isn’t anythingwrongwith me. In fact, my career is my “husband” for now; and contrary to what others may think, right now my career treats me very well. It doesn’t lie to me. It doesn’t cheat on me. It doesn’t blame me for its problems. It gives me a warm glow that people find attractive. It puts a smile on my face and gives me something to look forward to. Sounds like I’m already in a good, healthy and fulfilling relationship.

I still don’t like or appreciate people who are dishonest. But that just shows that I have character and will not allow people to insult my intelligence with their lies. I’m still hardworking and ambitious to a fault, but I’ve learned that it is perfectly fine for me to enjoy my mini-accomplishments just as much as I enjoy my BIG ones. I discovered that is okay for me to occasionally pat myself on the backmean it and not apologize for it. I just needed confirmation from someone on the outside looking in, with a truly unbiased viewpoint, who would not tell me what they thought I wanted to hear, that I am not “crazy”, “insecure”, “delusional” or “full of trust issues” that are “preventing me from having good relationships”. In fact, I’m not the person with the problem at all. I just don’t believe in unicorns, and I refuse to allow others to convince me that unicorns exist when I’m well aware that they do not.

I like reality. I accept change. I embrace the truth, no matter how painful.

I’m just fine, regardless of what other people, who believe in unicorns, may think.

Now I’ve spread my wings even more. I now have my radio show called The FabLife Radio Show. The first week’s show that aired on Friday, October 12 had almost 400 listeners (at last count). *Happy Dance* This week I’d like to see that number increase tremendously. But even if it goes to just 401, I’ll still be happy. And I think all of my Super Fans for making those numbers possible. {Make sure you check out the current Super Fan Offers for my token of appreciation}

I had to let some things and people “go” in the last few days. I just don’t have the time or patience for people who don’t see the BIGGER picture. I like forward thinking people. Those are the people I want to collaborate and do business with. Those are the people who understand growth and marketability. During my therapy I learned that having realistic standards is a good thing. I learned that listening to your instincts is a good thing. I learned that having goals is a good thing. And I learned that along this path in life, there will be many times when others just won’t understand that. I learned that as a result, I have to be ready to say “good-bye” and sometimes “good riddance” to those people, in order to allow people who do understand to have the opportunity instead.

It’s actually very simple when you think about it. 

So I’m forging ahead. I have a great deal of work ahead of me and a great deal of success to enjoy. God speed to those I had to leave behind, cut ties with and delete. I hope that they will find their way to whatever they are searching for in life… It just won’t be with me.

 

~ When you truly know your worth, you don’t need to lower your standards to make others happy. If they can’t step up, tell them to step aside. #MogulMindset – Super Woman