Tag Archives: @IAmSteveHarvey

Protect The Brand

Protect the Brand. This is one of my business mottos. Recently, I heard Amy DuBois Barnett, Editor-in-Chief of Ebony Magazine and Steve Harvey say the same thing. I’ve gotten accustomed to many people not having any idea of what I was talking about when I say it, so it was truly refreshing to hear other people with the same perspective. So many people call themselves entrepreneurs, but they don’t understand branding and why it’s essential to do so in business. With the exception of myself, I don’t know anyone else doing exactly what I’m doing, the way I’m doing it. Some people are doing a few of the things I do, or do one or two things I do, but no one does everything I’m doing. Therefore, my competition is almost non-existent. However, that’s not the case with other business models. Particularly businesses that are considered traditional. Almost every business has a competitor and a lot of them have learned the same basic techniques for operating their businesses. Although everything you need to open, operate and expand a business isn’t in a book, a lot of the steps and instructions are. I’m sure that we can agree that anyone can follow steps and instructions written in a book. But if that’s all that was required, a lot more people would be successful at it. Statistically businesses still fail in the first five years.

As a result of the availability of basic business operation techniques and information, many people can start a business. Because all the books reiterate and all business students are taught that the most important thing in business is to make money, this further establishes an atmosphere of competition. Everyone wants to make money. Not everyone wants to make a difference. Not everyone wants to become a brand.  But I’ve learned that doing the latter will help improve your chances of the former. If you own a restaurant, your competition could set up shop across the street from you. If you’re a caterer, your competition can be a larger restaurant that decides to expand its business and begin offering catering to its existing customers. And let’s just say for argument’s sake, that their food isn’t even as delicious as yours and their prices are higher. In spite of that, next thing you know, your profits are dwindling. The next thing that comes to your mind is “What are they doing, that I’m not?” Well, if that competing restaurant is Red Lobster and you own a Shrimp Shack, what do you think it is?

It’s the branding.

When you operate a business that is traditional you have to establish yourself as a brand, not just a business, in order to set yourself above others. Businesses eventually go out of business; brands become icons. Becoming a brand takes time and is often more work than just starting a business. For me starting my business was a sign from God, combined with talents I possess and knowledge of how to complete the appropriate paperwork from previous experiences I had in business. It has taken me four years to get where I am so far with The Super Woman Brand. I expect it to take me another four years to get where I want to go, although I’m told that I won’t need that much time, because with every decision I make, I’m branding myself and my business. If something doesn’t enhance what I want to do now or what I want to do in the near future, it can’t be included in The Super Woman Brand.  If an idea or business relationship doesn’t allow me to establish myself or further myself in an area that I want to operate in, it can’t be included in The Super Woman Brand. When you brand yourself, you’re developing business practices and standards, not just appealing to what everyone else wants you to do. It’s requires that you are bold.

Set yourself apart with your brand

I must be doing a pretty good job at branding because there are other people attempting to use The Super Woman Brand by calling themselves Super Woman or Superwoman Productions. I don’t consider them competition, because I’ve already had a head start in developing The Super Woman Brand and they don’t do the same things that I do. I’ve accomplished a few things and they are all positive. I’ve been in a national publication, I’ve been interviewed several times locally on radio and in print, I have credits to my name and a good reputation. So, whether they are a stripper or claim to be a playwright, they aren’t hindering The Super Woman Brand. In fact, if someone attempts to find them, they find ME instead because I am EVERYWHERE on the internet and that is expanding into other areas of media, including television and moviesGoogle me and see firsthand what I mean. Someone told me these other women are only attempting to use The Super Woman Brand because they want to be ME. Imitation is the best form of flattery. I must be doing something right. 

Discover and establish your brand

What do you do that sets you apart from your competition? Find that element and brand it. Use it to market yourself, your business, and catapult your dream. Don’t strive to just become a business person and make money. That’s mediocre. Mediocre doesn’t grow. Strive to become an icon. Strive for growth in your industry and not just for the money. The flower doesn’t dream of the bee; the flower blooms and the bee comes.  It’s more rewarding longterm. It becomes your legacy. It leaves something for others to aspire to. It’s a blueprint for others to follow. It’s part of that dash between the day you were born and the day you die.  Just keep in mind that becoming a brand is a lot more than filling out the appropriate paperwork and putting up a website. It takes time, effort, resilience and creativity. One day other people will want to be YOU and do what you do also

Become a motivating factor to those who come after you.   

PROTECT THE BRAND

 

Miss Independent

By George! I think I’ve got it!

Men constantly say they want an independent woman. It seems that they do not understand the definition. Many women proclaim that they are independent women. They also have no clue as to what that really means. Everyone should be independent. Independent means that you are capable of taking care of yourself and what belongs to you. Independent means that you have a level of stability that is not reliant on other human beings. It means that you can work, and you have the basic necessities of life that include food, shelter and clothing. Independent means that you are secure within yourself. It means that you are capable of doing almost everything you want and need to do. An independent woman knows what she feels, can say what she believes and embraces her power. An independent man has a healthy relationship with his family and friends, is capable of providing his basic needs, is reliable and understands his role as a man. 

With all the men looking for independent women and all the women claiming to be  independent, why are there so many SINGLE people complaining that they can’t find anyone?

Independence is shown in actions, not in words. You can scream how independent you are all day long. And you can say you want independence in another, but until your actions show it, you don’t know what it is.

Independent does not mean that men and women don’t need each other. If man didn’t need woman, God wouldn’t have made Eve in the first place. God would’ve just allowed Adam to roam around by himself in the Garden of Eden and Adam would’ve eventually died. Alone. That would’ve been the end of mankind. Therefore, it can be argued and agreed upon that men and women need each other just to exist. Without one, the other will become extinct over time. That’s the reality.

When I hear women say they are independent and don’t need a man, I shake my head and roll my eyes. That is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard. Their misguided idea of independent is this: ‘I don’t need a man to pay my bills, I can pay them myself. I don’t need a man to get a car, a house or anything else, because I can get that for myself. I don’t even need a man for sex, I own a vibrator. No man can do anything for me. I’m independent.’ That is complete fuckery. Without a man – whoever your father is – you wouldn’t exist. Independence is not a shield or a sword for you to use against men. Independence is necessary to make sure that you survive with or without a mate, but it’s not a means to an end. So what you don’t ask a man for money. That just means you give yourself away for free. So what you can buy material possessions. They eventually go out of style and depreciate in value the second you walk out of the store. Being an independent woman doesn’t release a man from his role in this world. It just means you are capable of taking care of business if something happens to your man (he’s injured, loses his job or dies). A man is still required to protect and provide for a woman. That woman may not be you, since you’re so independent and all, but one day that man will protect and provide for a woman.

As independent and self-sufficient as I am, I at least need a man who’ll come and change my flat tire for me… and I’m Super Woman.

Men who say they want an independent woman are telling the next biggest lie I’ve ever heard. When men say that to me, again I shake my head and roll my eyes. I know eventually that same man will tell me he doesn’t feel needed or appreciated by whomever he’s dealing with intimately. All men want to feel needed and appreciated by a woman, by their children and at work. Any man who says that they want a woman who will never ask them for anything because she already has everything is lying. If you’re not needed by a woman, you have no place in her life. If a woman can’t ask you for anything, what are you there for? It can’t be for the sex. Remember, she’s independent so she doesn’t need you for sex because she owns a vibrator. If a woman can’t call you and ask you come fix something, lift something, move something, pay for something, help with something or any other manly task that takes place outside the bedroom in her life, you will never be needed or appreciated by her.

A truly independent woman will only ask a man for help if she has already exhausted all other options available to her and the issue is still unresolved. Therefore, if she’s calling you, either she thinks very highly of you or you’re her last resort. Either way, as a man, you’re needed in that moment. What man doesn’t want that? A man who truly understands the definition of an independent woman knows that means she’s capable of taking care of his family, managing his household and having his back when he needs her to. A man who truly understands that also knows that he’s paying for her time, attention and affection in one way or another if she is his woman. He’s protecting her and providing for her.

Here’s another reality for you. If a man can pay for porn, pay to go to a strip club or pay to buy a men’s magazine, he’s paying for sex, therefore he should also be able to pay for his woman’s wants and needs. A woman asking you to pay bills, help her financially or even take out the trash is not a gold digger. She’s a woman with some level of standards and expectations. She’s telling you the expectations of being involved with her. If the woman you are dealing with sexually is not your woman, you are still benefitting from your involvement with her and doing so without a committment. Last time I checked all benefits cost something. You don’t get medical insurance through your employer without having to go to work everyday. So why do you think you’re entitled to have a sexual involvement with a woman without having to also work for it?

And understand this men, your other male counterparts that are agreeing with you to your face and on Facebook, telling you that woman is crazy and saying that you shouldn’t be with that woman because she asked you for money (or anything else) are laughing at you behind your back. Those same men are going home to their wives or girlfriends and paying ALL OF HER BILLS, taking out the trash, fixing what needs to be fixed, and going to work the next day to do it all over again and again to keep her happy. Why? Because those are her standards and expectations and in order to be with her those are the things that he has to do. He wants to be with her, so he does it. Even when you are married, you are paying for your woman’s attention and affection in one way or another.   

Why do men think this mindset towards women is okay? I’ll tell you why. Because women let men get away with it. Yes, women, I blame you. Men only do to us what we allow them to do. When you are easy – a man doesn’t have to take you out, he can come to your house and have sex with you anytime he wants to, he doesn’t have to commit, he doesn’t have to give you quality time, etc. – you’re cheapening yourself and all the other women that man will meet after you as well. You’re letting him believe that he doesn’t have to work for you and therefore, if he didn’t have to work to get you, he doesn’t need to work to keep you or work for anyone else after you either. I’m sorry, but my daddy taught me that I’m a prize and even with all my independence I can’t cheapen myself as a woman. I believe that a man should be the provider, regardless of how much money I make. I believe that a man should protect me and do man’s work. I believe that a man should spend money on me if he wants my company and attention. And if I’m with a man for an extended period of time, I have the right to ask him for money if I need it and sometimes if I want it. There’s certain things I only do around the house when my son isn’t home. And when I mean not home, I mean when he’s seven hundred plus miles away at Clark Atlanta University. He does the man’s work and if it’s something he needs helps with, he calls another man to come assist him. Seriously.

I know what you’re thinking: why does she have her son fixing stuff and doing man’s work that she can probably do herself? BECAUSE I want my son to know, understand, appreciate and solidify his role as a man so that when he has a wife and a family he can protect them and provide for them. I don’t want him to believe that he can live in a woman’s house and not have to work. I don’t want him to believe that his penis is a magic key that gets him everything he wants from a woman and he doesn’t have to do anything for her in return. I want him to be secure in his manhood and it starts with him understanding that there are standards and expectations. I bet that same man who doesn’t give a woman he’s sleeping with any money and calls her a gold digger, will give his mother money if she asks and sometimes if she doesn’t. Why? That’s the standard his mother has established. He knows that he’s expected to protect and provide for her. Why shouldn’t he also do that for his woman?  

~ What do I need a man for if he’s not going to protect me and provide for me? I’m independent.

 

Acting Like A Lady

I’ve been acting like a lady long before Steve Harvey wrote “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man“. I’ve been blessed to have a few men in my life put me up on game, and it doesn’t hurt that I was raised by good men who taught me to set standards when it comes to how I live as a woman, and that I should not lower those standards for a man or his ego because I am the prize. These men taught me to have a reasonable expectation for how I’m to be treated on a date and by men in public – a gentleman opens doors… all doors… all the time, and you step aside and let him do that. I was also taught that men judge themselves by what they do, who they are and how much money they make.  I’ve know this to be a fact my entire adult womanhood. This is also referred to as a man’s ego being connected to his wallet. These are just a few of the things I’ve learned from men; my grandfathers, father, uncles and male friends, over the last 37 years of my life. However, like other women, I’ve had difficulty with relationships with men and I’ve even been accused of acting like a man. I’ve had a lot of first dates that don’t materialize into anything more because I won’t lower my expectations of how a man should treat me on a date, nor will I necessarily have sex with him on the first date. I’ve had men ask me for my number, yet never call…or call and never call again. For the longest time (approximately the last 20 years), I couldn’t fully comprehend WHY dating and having relationships with men was such an issue for me. Although my best male friend and my male relatives told me repeatedly that I wasn’t DOING anything wrong, I constantly wondered ‘WHAT is WRONG with ME?’ It’s that female insecurity thing that a lot of women have when dealing with our male counterparts. We’re either in extreme denial about our issues, or we’re constantly trying to correct non-existent ones.

Then I had an epiphany.

I’m a bit of an enigma as a woman. I don’t care about being in a relationship (been there, done that), but I do care (because I want someone to celebrate and enjoy life with other than my son). I want a man in my life, but I don’t need a man to be happy and fulfilled. I can do almost anything a man can do, but I prefer to have men do those things sometimes so I don’t have to. I’m honest to the point that bruises some men’s egos, but I’m sweet and pink when I need to be. I’m aggressive, primarily in business, but I know when to be submissive to a man. I desire balance, but refuse to make sacrifices that take away from who I am. I’m open, but I hold information back. I’m nurturing, but I don’t accept excuses. I also raised a son as a single parent, but he’s not the mama’s boy people expect him to be as a result. I am that strange combination of woman, heavily influenced by the men in her life,  that very few men have ever understood, yet they are drawn to me like moths to a flame – until they get burned and fall to the ground. The enigma woman. And I’m not the only one.

When Steve’s book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” was first released, I didn’t want to read it because I was writing my book about relationships during that time. I agree with 99% of what Steve says, therefore, I didn’t want my views to be perceived as me copying from him to sell books, because it was obvious that my book would be released later than his. So I changed what I was writing from a relationship book to a fictional novel based upon the same experiences and advice and titled it “He’s A Problem. One of the things that I want to depict in “He’s A Problem  is how women make the mistake in believing that they can change a man and how that attitude is a contributing factor in why our relationships fail sometimes. I don’t believe you can change anyone – man or woman – they have to want to change themselves. Change begins within and sometimes the catalyst is going without.  I’ve already gotten heat from men who assume that “He’s A Problem” is a man-bashing book written by an angry, bitter, lonely woman who can’t get a man. I even got hate e-mail from one man telling me that I need to make sure I examine myself after I finish talking about men’s flaws.  WOW! I asked him in response “How can you judge the context of a book that hasn’t even been published yet?”  That is both ignorance and fear. Ignorance because so many men assume that single women are all bitter, angry, lonely man-bashers, and fearful that they may somehow be exposed in the book and lose out on future opportunities to play games with women. These are some of the same fears that men have about Steve’s book and why some of them consider him a traitor to all MANkind. But Steve isn’t the only man who knows the game and has been teaching it to women. He’s just the first to write it all out in a book for women to read.

This weekend when I went to see the highly anticipated movie “Think Like A Man“, I didn’t expect to LEARN anything new, I just expected to be entertained and lend my support to filmmakers and the  all-star cast. The movie was phenomenal! However, I feel that Steve Harvey forgot to portray the woman like me. The enigma. The woman who already knows that men need to feel accomplished within themselves before they can be with a woman. The woman who knows that the majority of men attempting to make her acquaintance are doing so with the intention of sleeping with her. The woman who has male influences that she can go to who will tell her the ugly truth and how to protect herself from players and recognize mama’s boys. The enigma woman is willing to walk away from a situation when she sees it isn’t going anywhere. The enigma woman is often mistaken for the Woman Who Is Her Own Man (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the film), but she in fact, is the one woman who knows that she can’t make a man into a MAN; he has to WANT to do and REACH for that on his own – even if she is a motivating factor. I’ve met so many men who aren’t there yet. Regardless of their age, education, career or background, some men just haven’t solidified their footprints in cement to the degree that they would like to in their own lives. These are the men who always say they will have a relationship “one day” or “when they get their money right”. I understand and respect that and have learned to recognize and avoid that as well. I tell those men to call me when that day comes and if I’m not otherwise engaged we can see what happens. I don’t have the time or patience for the waiting game. Time waits for no MAN. I truly believe that a man who thinks I’m worth the effort and wants a committed relationship, will put in the work he needs to as an individual and come into/return into my life prepared. And it won’t take him forever.

Although I didn’t learn anything new from “Think Like A Man“, I did LEARN more about myself as a woman and I have better insight into the minds of men and how they perceive me. I learned that as a woman I’m not doing anything WRONG. Maintaining my standards protects me from men who don’t want a committment. If I lower my guard too much, I will end up with someone who is only sports fishing, not fishing to eat. In fact, I’ve been doing everything Steve Harvey suggests that a woman should do in order to have the relationship she wants – prior to reading the book or seeing the movie. And I’m not going to change that. I’m just going to be more consistent. I just need to remember what the men in my life have tried to drill into me and believe it for a change – I just haven’t met the RIGHT man for me yet. Not the perfect man…the RIGHT man. Or maybe I have already met him and he’s getting himself together so that he can protect and provide for me the way I deserve.

Until then, I’m going to continue to act like a lady…and think like a BOSS. I have things to do.  

Check out one of my many projects Sequins & Suits Charity Gala, May 11, 2012 at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn, MI. Tickets are on sale now at EventBrite. Please support this cause so that we can teach young women how to act like ladies also.