Tag Archives: Detroit

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.

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.

 

Don’t Let the Likes Fool You

We live in an age where social media is prevalent. It’s not going away no more than the Internet it lives on is, and everyday it becomes larger than the previous day. Social media is truly embedded into our culture and how we communicate with each other. That can be both good and bad. It can be good because social media allows us to communicate with people that we may normally have not had access to because of distance and language barriers. There are also many other benefits to social media; such as the ability for businesses to reach a global consumer base and relatives to stay in contact from miles away.

Unfortunately, one of the down sides to social media is the impact it has on individuals and their self-esteem. A lot of people, adults included, use social media to validate their self-worth in society. Many people only have interaction with others by way of their social media accounts and the strive on a daily basis to make other people “like” them. What they fail to realize is that some of those people liking their content, whether it is photos, memes or statuses, don’t really know or like them as a person and would not ever support their endeavors in the real world where it matters.

For instance, being a radio show host I offer independent artists the opportunity to have their music played on my show. I did this because I was constantly receiving messages with links to YouTube videos from artists asking me to watch, like and share their videos. However, many of those artists weren’t generating revenue from their video content on YouTube. So what’s the point in me liking your art when my ‘like’ is not helping you to make money from your art? To me it was a waste of time. So I offered artists another, more traditional method, by which they could be heard, not just liked. A many of them have stated that they have seen an increase in the number of PAID downloads of their music as a result.

Artists and musicians aren’t the only people impacted. Aspiring models, actors and others are in the same boat. People love the way they look on Instagram and like their pictures on Facebook, but that doesn’t help if those same people aren’t going to see the actors in plays, movies or aren’t watching their television shows, and…. well…. everyone wants to be an Instagram model nowadays, so you can imagine how stiff that competition is. Getting a lot of likes on Instagram doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be booked for the next Dolce & Gabbana, or Macy’s campaign anymore than for the local county fair at this point.

Part of the issue is the façade that big brands portray to consumers as well. When big brands seek partnerships or endorsements, outside of professional athletes and well-known celebrities, they often seek individuals in large part due to the quantity of their social media following more than the quality of their followers, the person’s power to influence those that follow them or their own loyalty to the big brand as a consumer.  This makes everyday social media users and those with dreams of success and stardom believe that they only way to be successful is to have a huge following on social media.

What’s the use if your followers can’t be converted into consumers?

For instance, reality show stars are now being cast in movie roles that actors/actresses fight and train for, simply because they have a larger social media following, but they don’t actually do anything. The movie studios do this because they hope that the reality show star will give them free advertising for their movie. True enough, the advertising is free, but what movie studios fail to realize is that everyone that follows that reality show star on social media isn’t really a loyal fan who would buy a ticket to see them star in a movie.

Being in media has afforded me the opportunity to hear what everyday people honestly think about others. I don’t know what it is but me, but people love to talk to and confide in me. I hear it all the time “I just follow them because I think they are funny/I want to see what people are saying about them; but I’d never spend my money going to see them perform/sing/dance, etc.” And that’s the hard truth that a lot of people don’t know when they have dreams and goals of Instafame.

Consider the newest social media darlings, The Westbrooks. They are being called the black version of the Kardashians. I wouldn’t consider that a compliment personally, but maybe they do. They have millions of combined followers on Instagram and a reality show on a popular cable network. On the show, we get to witness the sisters attempt to do what their father (a successful businessman), suggests they do; monetize their social media following. We also get to see their friends either support their attempts (backyard pool parties) or try to use them for their own attempts at gaining clientele (club openings). Which is probably where the Kardashian comparison comes into play. It seems that the “power” their wield over their social media minions could be used more productively than to endorse hair extensions and pop bottles in nightclubs. They all seem to be intelligent young women, with guidance from their hardworking parents, who didn’t always have it easy, so they understand building success in a more traditional way to acquire longevity.

So why shouldn’t The Westbrooks be able to do something bigger and more impactful with their branding than what everyone else on Instagram is doing?

Time will only tell when it comes to how far things will go for The Westbrooks. They’ll either make change, make waves or be replaced by the next hot group of pretty sisters on the internet. In the meantime, I hope that they serve as a lesson on how fleeting and intrusive Instafame without strategic preparation can be. I also hope that at some point we move away from the façade of what makes people successful and show examples of more men and women using their influence on social media for more than monetization. Those people exist. They may not have millions of followers, but they have quality followers, who are positively impacted by them, myself included. Big brands aren’t paying attention to those types of social media influencers….yet. But that is something that I also hope will change so that being attractive isn’t the only talent left for people to have in order to become successful.
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I Admit To Failing

There’s a preconceived notion that people who are successful are equally successful at everything they do and in all areas of their lives. People who are successful often have experienced failure; not only prior to becoming successful at what they’re good at, but also in other areas. Every first attempt at anything can result in failure just as repeated attempts at the same thing can, if a person isn’t learning more and growing during the experience.

As successful as other people think I am in my business and career, many attempts I’ve made to develop different ideas and projects over the years, have failed. Some worse than others, even to the degree that they won’t be attempted again. I receive a great deal of rejection emails from companies and brands I seek support from for my events and projects. I’m averaging approximately two rejection emails per day. They are always accompanied by an explanation. The most popular being:
•We’ve already supported events for the year.
•We only support specific causes and this doesn’t qualify.
•We don’t have the personnel to assist at this time.
•You don’t have a large enough social media following.
…and the list goes on.

Not only have I learned to expect rejection, I’ve learned that I have to decide in the beginning of the project or idea that I want to pursue, exactly how I’m going to move forward without any assistance or support, so that I don’t have to rely on others who may only reject me when asked. Being prepared to handle everything alone reduces the likelihood that I will have to feel disappointed later. It’s also partly how I came to be known as Super Woman; I go it alone whenever necessary.

I’m not nearly as successful as I’d like to be and it will take a lot longer than I’d like to get there because I started my business as a second career that I never planned for. I’m literally learning about my own business every day. I know that my level of success is determined by many factors and I weigh them all; including my accomplishments and failures in other areas of my life.

There is one area of my life where I admit to being a complete failure:

Dating and relationships.

It’s just something I’m quite terrible at and I have been my entire adult life. The older and more mature I become, the more I fail at dating. It has gone from me dating a lot, without anything serious developing, to men not asking me out at all and only offering me compliments privately on social media. I’ve been on about 5 dates in the last year. Men just don’t want to court me. Of course, they also have a variety of explanations, including, but not limited to:
•”I’m not interested in dating anyone.” (wants to remain single)
•”I’m not ready for commitment.” (has commitment phobia or already in one)
•”You’re too busy for me.” (is codependent and lacks confidence)
•”I’m too busy with other things in my life.” (doesn’t want to give attention to one woman when he can have many)
•”You don’t need a man in your life.”
•”There are plenty of men who want you, so I can’t compete.”

Those last two I can’t translate any other way and are complete fabrications by the men who have said them in my opinion. I have never said that I don’t need a man and I have no idea where all these imaginary men who want me are supposedly residing or even who they are. But I digress.

Of course my friends and relatives have made considerable attempts to keep hope on life support, by telling me how awesome I am, by introducing me to single men that they assume might be interested in me and they try to make me feel better with logic by telling me:
•Men think they’re immortal so they are waiting to get married later in life. (yes, but I don’t want to date anyone my father’s age or older)
•Men are intimidated by you/your success. (sigh, it’s only going to get worse then)
•Men all just want to be players and date a bunch of different women. (doesn’t that get old eventually?)
•Men are just stupid and confused. (and?)
•Men assume you’re already taken. (why? and why not ask me?)
•Men fear rejection. (so do women, big deal)
•You’re just not meeting the right men. (where are the right men?)
•There are plenty of men wishing for a woman like you. (but they clearly can’t say so)
•Your Boaz will find you one day. (Oh, God)
•You’re still young and there’s plenty of time for marriage. (if you say so)

Regardless, whether these statements are true or not, I still fail at dating. If I can’t date anyone more than one time, how can I ever expect to get married again and have it last for the rest of my life? Whenever the rare occasion arises that I actually like a man enough to want to date him, he friend zones me indefinitely and showd no interest in dating me in return. When a man asks me out, I don’t know if I’m even on a real date or not. The few men who actually asked me out in the last year, do so inconsistently (every six months or longer) which is a clear indication that they are just not that into me. That inconsistency presents new concerns for me to contemplate because it’s been so long since I’ve seen that man. I wonder:
•What should I wear?
•Should I expect food?
•Should I be prepared to ask for separate checks?
•Should I drive myself or ask him to pick me up?
•Should I shake his hand or hug him  when I see him?
•Should I thank him when I leave?
•Is he only asking me out because he wants free book publishing?
•Is he only asking me out because he expects sex?
•Is he secretly married or in a relationship and I don’t know it?

All of that is too much to worry about and by the time I get dressed I’m a nervous wreck, for no reason at all. I don’t believe in dating for just for “fun” or to get a free meal. At the age of 40, if I give of my time, rearrange my schedule, spend time and money to get my hair and make up done, put on something impressive, leave my house and allow a man into my personal space, my goal is to find out if there’s any interest in developing a committed relationship between the two of us, over a reasonable amount of time, or not. That is my only intention at this time in my life. I can have fun and a meal with my friends, by myself or with Super Son. After all, I’m busy.

My schedule is often an excuse men like to use against me. Many men have claimed they don’t ask me out because I’m always working or going places. What they don’t realize is that my ambition was born out of me not having a reliable, consistent, interested and loyal man to share my life with. Instead of crying and complaining about being alone, or wondering what’s wrong with me, I decided to find ways to occupy that increasingly extra time in my life more productively, with hopes that it would eventually make me wealthy. My goals are an equal and opposite reaction to the rejection I’ve received during my failed dating experiences.

My bad dating experiences have altered who I am on a deeper level and changed me into a very driven, ambitious, goal-oriented, single, business woman, who is very mindful of what and whom she invests her time and energy towards. It’s a huge benefit for me in business and since I wasn’t successful at dating and relationships to begin with, I don’t see the need to change for ‘what ifs’ that may not ever materialize. To some degree I’ve even convinced myself that no matter how successful I become, how well I take care of myself (financially, spiritually, physically), how well I dress, how engaged my social media presence becomes or anything else, there’s a great possibility that I will still fail at dating and relationships. Some of the best advice I ever got from a very successful, married man (guess who that might be), was that I need a man who realizes that you are the missing element in his life and success”. However, if men don’t see me as a woman they want to combine lives with, that is something beyond my control. All I can control is making sure I don’t waste my time or energy needlessly trying to convince a man otherwise. That is time I can’t recoup and energy that I could’ve put into myself, one of my causes, or others in my life who need me.

I know that saying I’m a failure may seem to be a self fulfilling prophecy. But it isn’t. Admitting that I don’t succeed at dating actually makes me more self aware of what I am good at doing. It creates a deeper appreciation for the achievements and blessings I do have. I may be single, and bad at dating, but I am a great mother, a published author, a published writer, a business woman and I use my gifts in ways that inspire others. Would a man want to date a woman with all of that going for her? Maybe. Maybe not. I’ve discovered that some men don’t want the “next Oprah Winfrey” for a wife.

The good news is that today we don’t have to find out. Instead my energy is going where it is currently needed; into the Super Woman Brand. I’m able to focus on the opportunities coming my way and broaden my business relationships, instead of lowering my standards or wasting my time. I can’t share the details of the opportunities until the ink dries, but when I do share them, know that they have been a work in progress by myself or whomever I’m working with on them. Overnight celebrity, or Instafame, have never been my goal. My goals are bigger than that. As a result, through the practice of patience, I strongly prefer slower growth that builds strength and resilience, so I can withstand more, both professionally and personally.

The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit. ~Moliere