Tag Archives: business

On To The Next One

The 6th Annual International Women’s Day Tea Detroit was a success. It was probably the best event since the first one, to be honest. In spite of the ups and downs that I went through to produce the event, I was happy that those in attendance were happy to be there.

So what will be my next obstacle? I have no idea. Everything is a challenge for me right now financially and I although I try to be very patient I feel a great deal of discouragement and I feel limited.  My products and services have always been geared towards helping people invest in themselves (books, motivational speaking, guides, book publishing services, media training, etc.) and that doesn’t seem to be where the people around me are right now, or they’re choosing to support other people’s similar products and services over mine. Regardless, I have nightmares of being homeless so I can no longer dedicate my time towards people who don’t see value in my contributions and I can’t make money if I’m doing everything for free for people who aren’t doing what they do for free.

I’m making adjustments where I can with the little that I can. It’s very difficult to not know where from or when you’re going to get paid, because integrity, character and having a good heart won’t pay any bills. I’m even auditioning for opportunities outside of my city that may generate income because I have goals and being poor isn’t one of them.

I’m trying not to dwell too much on what I don’t have and do what I can. 

As a result, I decided to partner with One Hope Wine to support LaDe Mentoring in Detroit. After all, who doesn’t like wine? Especially wine in pretty bottles that help a good cause. From any sales I generate (which I pray will occur), 10% will be donated to LaDe to help them continue the work they are doing with young women in their mentoring program. I’ve been involved with LaDe for a few years know and I’ve been able to witness the work they do first hand in the community.

Hopefully you all will be able to support Super Woman x One Hope Wines <3 LaDe Mentoring Campaign, by making an online purchase, hosting a wine tasting with your friends and relatives or making a purchase for your upcoming special occasion. You can get more information here.

I’m going to keep the links to  my products and services live, in case someone decides they really need me, but you won’t see many of them advertised any longer.

Everyone Wants To Win, Not Enough Want to Support

This is the 6th year of me producing International Women’s Day Tea Detroit. For 5 years I have planned, paid for and endured the entire process and all its stress with a tiny team of people (that equals no more than 4 usually) behind me. I have never made a profit from the annual event and for 3 years, I took a loss. But I did it anyway, because I believe in the purpose of International Women’s Day and the women’s movements that have grown through it and are recognized and supported by it. I use this time of year to support women owned businesses by providing an opportunity for them to get involved with my brand. There’s no geographical limitation. We’ve had women come from Canada, Ohio and Chicago in attendance.

Which is why it’s so frustrating to me when other women show me little or no support, target me, intentionally seek to dismantle my brand and act unreasonably when I say “no“.

Every year, without fail, some woman from somewhere wants to turn #iwdtdetroit into a vendor fair because they want to be a vendor, but have absolutely no interest or desire in attending the event, promoting the event, or sponsoring the event. They only want to be present if they can sell something of their own. For 5 years the event has only had 4 vendor spots available. Each year, there have been vendors contacting me wanting to be included, but not unless they can be vendors, even when I have explained to them that the event is not a vendor fair and tables have been sold out already.

This year I rented a larger venue. As a result, I was able to offer more than 4 vendor spots, but I never publicly stated exactly how many, because once again, #iwdtdetroit is not a vendor fair. I rented a larger venue in the hopes that there would be more attendees, because the previous location had a 40-50 person capacity and the new venue would allow us to have 150 attendees so that more women could celebrate International Women’s Day together in Detroit, Michigan. That was the intentions behind the larger venue. Yet, again, this year I’m being bombarded by messages from people who only want to be vendors and nothing more.

Apparently #iwdtdetroit is the best thing ever, the way people desire to become vendors at it.

I also changed how I selected vendors from previous years because I noticed that vendors wouldn’t tell anyone about the event, and if they did, often it was at the last minute and not as a show of support to encourage others to attend. It was just a “hey look at where I’m going to sell __” or “look at where I was” post on Facebook, usually with a picture of them and their product; no mention of the event, the purpose, the honorees, me or my company. That didn’t help me or the vendors, even if they thought it did. Their desire to keep #iwdtdetroit a secret from others was hurting me a lot more than it was helping me, because they had people in their circles that would probably attend, had they known.

I also received feedback through surveys I’ve sent out to attendees that some of them didn’t feel that vendors were even necessary or an added benefit to the event. Someone even said that some vendors “weren’t memorable” and that they didn’t make a “lasting impression that would make someone want to become their customer after” #iwdtdetroit.

So who is really doing whom a favor?

This year I completed the vendor selection process on February 2. I selected women owned businesses that we hope will be partners that we can do business with in the future and refer to others. I also asked them all to commit to sharing their involvement in #iwdtdetroit and information about the event at least once each week until March 12, so that people in their circles who may want to attend could receive the information to do so. This helps them also by increasing engagement and attracting potential customers to their businesses, even if they don’t attend #iwdtdetroit on March 12. In addition, each vendor received an eBook, “How To Get The Most Out of Your Vendor Partnership” that helps them develop a marketing strategy and improve their marketing skills, before, during and after #iwdtdetroit. After all, being a business owner doesn’t end at being a vendor at one event.

As usual, the emails and messages from women who want to be vendors are coming in. And again, some are laced with venom. One in particular was from a year 5 vendor, we’ll call her Woman A, who gave misinformation to an associate of hers, whom we’ll call Woman B, then demanded that I refund money to her associate, who bought a ticket to attend #iwdtdetroit assuming it included a vendor table, which it did not. Woman B, like too many other women, didn’t want anything to do with the event if she couldn’t be a vendor at it. Woman B failed to inquire before her purchase, ignored the visible “no refunds” policy and assumed she could get something from me based on what Woman A told her. Woman A then tried to hold me accountable for the misinformation she gave and threatened to blacklist my business and write negative reviews about me and my business.

🤔 Is anyone else feeling the lack of love and support I get from other women….or is that just me? #womensupportingwomen

I find it interesting how many women want their businesses included as a vendor yet never want to attend. Mathematically do they ever consider that if there’s just a room full of vendors, but little or no attendees, who is going to buy products and services from them? I’m just saying. If I have dozens of vendors and only 20 attendees, who will drink all the expensive tea and sushi being served? Who will take home all these gift bags at the end of the event? I’m already not making any profit from #iwdtdetroit as it is, so who exactly will win if I let everyone become a vendor and no one gives me any support? Did I mention that I think I’ve only gotten 1 thank you note from any vendor in the last 5 years?

This is just one of the many ways women have attacked my business and brand over the years. Yet, here I am “doing what’s right” for the sisterhood, once again, in spite of the abuse that comes with it from other women. Hopefully, when my life is over, someone will be grateful for the sacrifices I make today to help other women. I won’t know it. I’m just hoping.

If anyone truly and genuinely wants to be involved in #iwdtdetroit, what I need is sponsors and attendees. It would be nice to meet or exceed capacity at the new venue and feel like I make a difference in the sisterhood instead of feeling like a punching bag when I go to sleep the night of March 12, 2018.

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.

My Particular Set Of Skills

You won’t believe this. It was recently  brought to my attention that I’m sitting on a secret that I have given to Fortune 500 companies for over two decades that I could be using to help small businesses grow. It’s a particular set of skills that I have, that I’ve developed over the course of my entire life, and use every single day in one capacity or another. I’m using the skill right now, literally, yet, I’ve never considered making these skills into a service for other business owners to benefit from.  That’s the benefit to having someone on the outside looking in telling  you what they see that you have that other people desperately need.

Let me apologize to all of you who have probably been seeking help in this area for the longest time because I was unaware that the need existed outside of the tall walls of corporate America. Sometimes we think our God given talents are only to be used in certain situations, and we don’t realize that thousands of people really need what we have to offer. So I’m taking my particular set of skills out of their old corporate America box and putting them into the hands of the small business owners, like myself, who need them.

This Friday (January 26, 2018) at 1 pm eastern time, on Facebook Live, I’m going to launch this service with a quick broadcast called The Right Words for Small Business Owners. Since it’s on Facebook Live it will be free to tune in. Just go to www.facebook.com/officialsuperwoman and LIKE the page today so that you can get a notification on Friday. That’s the beginning. Write down your questions in advance, but be patient to see if I answer them during the broadcast or not. There will be time for Q&A before I conclude the broadcast. Feel free to share this information for people you know.

Black Women vs Shea Moisture

For several days I’ve been observing the Shea Moisture public relations nightmare. The reaction on social media has sparked so much of what I wrote about in my book Breaking Through The Black Ceiling. Here are my thoughts about the situation:
  • This isn’t the first time Shea Moisture has “offended” people of color, it’s just the first time some people noticed. The company previously had an ad featuring a white baby which also caused an uproar.

 

  • Although I feel Shea Moisture had a disproportionate number of people of color represented in their recent ad, as a black business owner, I (still) wonder why people of color don’t think we (black business owners) should be allowed to earn revenue from consumers that don’t look just like us . Money is green and necessary for businesses to operate. That’s a fact. Businesses don’t exist for likes, the actually plan to make profits unless they structure themselves as a not for profit organization. White owned companies make revenue off of black people everyday. Many black people work for such companies and use their products daily. Let that marinate.

 

  • Hair care products are primarily marketed to WOMEN, who have a combined $5 TRILLION in spending power in the USA alone, so a smart business owner in the hair care business, who knows this would want to target ALL women in their ads. Several companies do. Loreal does it. In fact, if you open the May 2017 ESSENCE Magazine (a popular monthly publication which celebrates women of color), Loreal has paid for a 2 page FOUNDATION ad that includes several women of all races and complexions, along with a…      wait for it …..      Black MAN.  And before you get mad about that, men often need makeup applied when they’re ACTORS and MODELS. Contrary to what you see on social media, everybody isn’t perfected by the use of Photoshop. To me the ad makes sense.

Loreal cosmetics knows their products, and those of their competitors are used in film, television, theater and may be used by men, including make up artists.

As a woman, I’m not at all offended. As a business owner I’m not mad at Essence Magazine for securing that bag. There’s nothing to see here. It’s business. And it’s not bad business

  • Yes, Shea Moisture messed up in their casting process, and someone there should have insisted on having more diversity represented, prior to or after seeing the ad, however Carol’s Daughter also has women who aren’t black in their recent ads for their products. Are we going to get mad about that too, or naw?

 

  • The right to solely use products including ingredients such as shea butter, cocoa butter or castor oil are not exclusively reserved to black folks. In fact, if you make such products and only target black people as consumers, you’re greatly limiting the amount of revenue you could potentially make, doing your business a disservice. Black business owners SHOULD capitalize and profit off of our greatness too and that means thinking GLOBALLY instead of locally in some instances.
For the record, United Airlines is still winning the PR fuckery of the year award. Pepsi is still in second place. Shea Moisture is like #6 or something, bit they’re definitely not on the top 5. The mistake they made doesn’t hurt anyone directly, physically, financially or minimize important social issues with the assistance of a Kardashian. It was a bad idea, that can also serve as a wake up call towards something more important; how women of color make changes to address a lack of diversity. 
Instead of complaining on social media and “modeling” on Instagram, some women of color who aspire be seen for likes should show up for the next casting call held by Shea Moisture and make a difference that way – by going out for the opportunity to positively represent diversity. And more women of color should become educated to work in the business fields related to advertising and marketing so they can apply for the jobs that make those decisions in the marketplace.

The lesson from this issue to women of color is become the change you want to see in the world and secure a bag in the process. Otherwise, diversity will not be the goal for a lot of companies, including ones you’re already consumers of.

In Real Life

Over the last several years I have shared many of my experiences with you all, whom I lovingly call my Super Fans. I’ve shared my ups and downs, my pain and triumphs, my feelings and opinions with you on this website and on social media. It’s been several months since I posted a blog post, but I haven’t been missing or in hiding. I’ve been revamping, learning and growing, both as a person, and as an entrepreneur. I’ve tried some different business ventures and some did very well, while others….. well…….not so much.  Regardless, they taught me something that I can now take into the next phase of my business in media to bring you more interesting and thought provoking content.

Media is the concentration of the Super Woman Brand.

All of media, not just bits and pieces. I have been extremely blessed to have my brand connected to book publishing, radio, magazines, blogs and events. Now I’m also connected to films and television.

To catch you up:

Last year the Super Woman Brand acquired its Amazon Digital Distribution License. We’re working with indie filmmakers to get their content distributed. At the end of 2016, The FabLife Radio Show went from a podcast platform to streaming internationally, and earlier this year we launched the mobile app on Google Play. All the artist we play and indie and from various genres. For information on indie music submissions click here.

This past March we held our 5th Annual International Women’s Day event and it was another success. We honored 4 phenomenal women that are doing amazing things for the community.

  • Darvece Monson
  • Lativah Greene 
  • Crystal Mitchell
  • City of Detroit Council Member Mary Sheffield 

They are unsung she-ros and it was our pleasure to acknowledge them.

After much needed research, and some trial and error, we’ve spread our wings into artist management for independent rappers, singers etc. with the launch of our subsidiary, Mogul Mindset Entertainment Group. We currently represent three artists in three different states, Wil Akogu (Chicago, IL), JMichael (New York City) and The Vices  featuring Versa (Detroit, MI). We’re booking these artists to perform in various cities over the course of the upcoming months to promote their current and upcoming projects.

Because I just don’t have enough to do already (insert laugh track here), I’m launching my own television content. In Real Live TV  (#IRLTV) is currently in development and will broadcast on the Super Woman Productions and Publishing YouTube Channel and on Amazon. I’ve just completed the casting process for my 4 co-hosts, and I’m reviewing crew applications for the video editor and director of photography positions. More information will be forthcoming on how to become a show guest, when to watch and how to advertise with us.

My goal isn’t to be popular, my goal is to be successful and help others realize their dreams in the process.

I appreciate those who support me, whether they have been witnessing me from the beginning or just discovered me yesterday.