Tag Archives: famous

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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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

Experience; A True Teacher

We have all experienced disappointment, rejection and loss. I myself experienced a tremendous amount this year alone. My mother died, I lost friends and I lost opportunities. All of these experiences forced me to make adjustments, changes and sacrifices. What I thought was going to be one of the best years of my life, turned into one of the most difficult. I was hurt, sad and even felt depressed throughout each experience I weathered. In spite of the negatives, I learned from each situation and as a result I also experienced positive growth.

While I was going through hidden pain, I was still having positive experiences. This year I became a correspondent blogger for Six Brown Chicks and I got to meet a woman I admire greatly as a result; Zondra Hughes. I was in featured in several articles written by talented journalists and bloggers, one of which was published in Italy. I finished my second book and (to my surprise and delight) it reached number 34 in the world on Amazon’s Urban/Regional list of eBooks. In a couple of weeks that same book Breaking Through the Black Ceiling will become available in paperback for purchase.

I had a lot of obstacles come up against me this year, some that were truly unthinkable and others that were completely frightening. Details of one of those obstacles is actually the topic of one of my next books. We won’t even begin to discuss my nonexistent love life. I no longer date. It just doesn’t work out well for me, so I’d rather avoid it than endure it. I still learned from the lack of romance in my life this year as well. I learned that it’s better to be happy and alone, than be miserable trying to force your love on someone who doesn’t want or deserve it. This year I opened up about my past experience with domestic violence for PURE Magazine, I mourned the loss of my friend and mentor, Mark England, and I made some very difficult decisions for my family. I also had to say ‘no, thank you’ quite often for the sake of my own sanity.

This year, I also learned the importance of forgiveness, not for others, but for you. I learned how much I truly value certain friendships, but that I don’t need the ones I lost. I learned that loyalty is often expected, but rarely received. I learned that it is often difficult to be your authentic self, but doing so gives you strength and takes away any negative power that others may have over you. I learned that I have the ability to shape my destiny and purpose, while still living the life that is written for me in the Master’s Plan. I learned that sometimes I won’t be happy, but I will be strong. I learned that my apprehension related to fame is hindering my success, and I decided to change that.

Experience is a true teacher. I truly believe that even the negative things that have occurred to me, not just this year, but throughout my life, served a purpose and were meant for me to learn from. Experience shapes us as individuals. We can’t always control what we go through, and everything we endure in life won’t be pleasant. However, we can make an effort to learn from every experience, good and bad, so that we can become better than we were before. I hope that all of the experiences I had in 2014 will strengthen me to become more resilient, stronger and more purpose driven, so that I can have more wealth, better health and happiness in the days and years to come. I want to continue to make a difference in the world using my voice, my creativity and my words, leaving behind a legacy that will influence others to do the same. I hope the same for you as well.

Next year already holds a great deal of promise and opportunity for my life and career. What I lost in 2014 will be replaced with more abundant and positive experiences in 2015. The obstacles, fear, pain and disappointment from 2014 will no longer exist.

All that will remain is me

Better than I was before.

 

Pop Life

Everyone wants to be a celebrity. Unfortunately, many people are willing to do any and everything to get to that goal, except working hard for it. These same people often mistaken being famous for being popular and don’t understand the responsibility that comes with being a household name. They want the flash, bang and pop of celebrity status, but fail to recognize the sacrifices that are required and the expectations that people have. Most of the celebrities that exist, didn’t initially set out to become famous. Hard work and talent mixed with decisions, situations and opportunities resulted in the outcome of celebrity status. Many of them even regret being famous because they have lost their privacy, some relationships and have been under a microscope the entire time.

Being a celebrity was once a result of talent. Now it’s a result of over exposure and nudity, with a dash of who you’re sleeping with. It’s getting to be ridiculous. And it’s happening more and more. With all the reality television shows featuring women with no particular talent at the helm, earning million dollar checks because of the man they are connected to, being a celebrity is no longer what it once was. Being a celebrity has become too easy. Everyone is doing it…or trying to. From minor children posting videos of themselves fighting on YouTube and WorldStarHipHop.com, to adults fighting and bullying each other like children on television – everyone wants face time with lights, cameras and action. But no one wants to raise the bar, be accountable for their behavior and actions, or set a real, positive example for someone else to look up to. 

In entertainment, lately everyone wants to be the most popular kid in school, because it’s easier than being the kid who gets straight As. There are lots of women (in particular) taking their clothes off for money, bent over and spread eagle in an effort to become famous. There are many men who think their good looks don’t require that they have any skills and their goal is to become a 40 year old rapper. What happended to becoming educated, starting a business or becoming an inventor? Remember the most popular kid at your school? Where are they now? Remember the kid who got straight As? Where are they now? I bet if I did a poll of all the popular kids in school compared to all of the hard-working kids in school, the kids who worked hard and got good grades (even if they weren’t straight A students), probably have had the most longevity and success in their lives and careers. I’d bet money that the ratio would be staggering. The same holds true in the world of entertainment. Longevity requires hard work.  

Hard work trumps doing things the easy way any day. Everyone I know in entertainment has paid their dues. They studied under someone more experienced when they began, they practice their craft in between performances, they are constantly seeking to learn new things and about new developments in their field, they have a mentor in the industry, and most importantly, they don’t take any of it for granted. They have longevity, many awards and accolades, but are still humble. They are humble because they know what the fly-by-night-I-wanna-be-famous-because-I-don’t-have-anything-better-to-do-celebrity seekers don’t know.

Hard work pays off and lasts longer than anything else.

Reality television stars come and go. Tabloid talk shows are more about getting ratings for the show to remain on air. Very few people who are on these shows today will be around twenty years from now and still have us talking about them. The most many of them can hope for is to be featured on a “Where Are They Now” or “One Hit Wonder” thirty minute documentary on cable five to ten years from now. The desire to become a celebrity causes many people to resort to doing almost anything because they have stars in their eyes. Often people overlook the business side of the entertainment business. They jump in head first to accept the first offer that comes their way, completely clueless to how things actually work in the entertainment business. They have convinced themselves that how good they look is the deciding factor across the industry so they don’t work  to enhance their talent or skills. This opens up the door for opportunists and predators to walk right in.  

I’m going to use the following true story as an example of an attempt by a predator:

Recently a man, who has apparently been ogling over me online, sent me several messages telling me how beautiful he thinks I am. Each time, I either didn’t reply or I said ‘thank you’ and kept it moving. A compliment is just a compliment to me. A man giving me a compliment will never get more than a ‘thank you’ from me. Hearing “you’re so beautiful“, NEVER leads to an invitation to my bedroom because I hear it all the time. The next time I received a message from this man, he asked me to video chat with him. I told him ‘no‘ [sidenote: I don’t know him from a can of paint and he was begging. Begging is a very unattractive quality in a man to me, and it is a signal that a man is obsessive and even a potential stalker. I’m always leery of men who beg to see me and meet me. It’s creepy]. Then he escalated from asking me to video chat with him to asking me to make pornography with him. I’m so serious right now. Common sense would dictate that if I wouldn’t want to video chat with him, I also wouldn’t want to have sex with him or make pornography with him either. Alas, common sense is not common. 

At this point I know that this is his “line“.  Again, I told him ‘no‘ and went back to what I was doing, thinking he would give up. I was wrong. His next message said “I can make you a star. If you want to be a star I can pay you $10,000 and even get you in Playboy. You have the best body“. I fell out laughing at this point. Obviously, this idiot uses this fuckery yes, I said fuckery – on women regularly. He has no idea who I am, what I do and his only interest is in what I look like for the sake of his personal pleasure. He thinks that because I’m an attractive woman, that I’m desperate for his attention (or anyone’s) and that I need him to make me a star. I told him, “I’m already a star and you can’t do anything for me“. Then I used my blocking software to make sure he couldn’t contact me again.

Now, maybe this man’s “line” works on women without any self-esteem, who believe it necessary to objectify themselves at the request of a man in order to become “stars“, but I don’t allow anyone to pimp me, but ME. Anything using my image will be controlled by me. I don’t care who he claims he is, or what he claims he can do. I don’t care if he was President Obama, Hugh Hefner or Calvin Johnson. Ten thousand dollars is not enough money for me to sell out, lower my standards or objectify myself at the hands of any man. That’s the devil all day. Particularly when I know that my talents will make me a millionaire one day. Plus, let’s be honest, if he had the money or the connection, he would’ve approached me in a more professional and official capacity than sending me a message like that. He was just a creepy pervert looking for a woman to victimize. Unfortunately, the next woman he tries that “line” on, might actually fall for it and put herself in a compromising position to become a “star” because it’s easier than working towards it the right way. How do I know this to be true? I see it everyday. 

That’s why I decided to facilitate the Social Networking Etiquette and Safety Workshop at the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference on August 18, 2012 at H.Y.P.E. So that I could use some of my own experiences to teach women how to handle and avoid these types of situations. And encourage them to turn towards their talents, versus their physical appearance and who their man is as the only way to succeed in this world. My workshop won’t be just for the 11 to 18 years olds either. A lot of the women falling for the okey doke are grown women also. Being the next stripper turned basketball baby mama should not be a career goal of any woman. Being a forty-year old drug dealer turned rapper should not be a career goal of any man. If that is all a person has to aspire to in life, they need to reassess and refocus their life quickly or they will wake up and have wasted a lot of time and energy desperately seeking fame the easy way with minimal positive results. There’s more to life than being famous. God-given talents should be used productively and everyone has one. How you choose to use yours can make a difference in the quality of your life and those around you.  

Prince wrote “Pop Life” years ago, about the desires and disappointments that people feel when they seek fame and fortune the easy way, and the chorus alone still rings true today. 

Everybody needs a thrill
Pop life
We all got a space 2 fill
Pop life
Everybody can’t be on top
But life it aint real funky
Unless it’s got that pop

~ Becoming instantly famous has become the new hustle for those without talent. Many of whom are hustling backwards.  – Super Woman