Tag Archives: money

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.

 

Why Harriet?

Why not?

proposed $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman will be the first woman of color to ever have her image on the front of United States paper currency. It’ll take a few years to happen, because nothing happens overnight. She will replace Andrew Jackson, a founding father and slave master, who will be moved to the back of $20 bill. And some people of color seem to be opposed to this change. Seriously. I’m not making this up. Harriet Tubman has a Wikipedia page but still we oppose her image being on currency.

People of color are so afraid of change in this country that we don’t know when to embrace even the smallest victory towards positive progress. Black lives matter…, but shouldn’t be depicted or honored on the money that black people work to earn and spend? I’m confused by that. You mean to tell me that you don’t mind working hard, trapping and hustling to get lots of $20 bills with the face of a slave master looking back at you, but you’re in your feelings about that same currency having the image of a black woman, whose sacrifices made it possible for you to earn lots of $20 bills, in that slave master’s place? Clearly the United States government values Harriet Tubman’s contributions to our country more than some people of color do. And that’s sad.

White men have been considered the standard of wealth and more valuable than women throughout our American history, hence how these particular founding fathers all ended up on our paper currency in the first place. Women have only been on limited circulation coins, reiterating that women are worth “less” than men, in many ways. That mindset carries over into wage and gender inequality as well as women’s reproductive rights. We live in one of the oldest Democratic countries that has yet to have a female President. Several countries worldwide have a long history of female heads of state and have women on their paper currency as well. San Marino, Italy leads the race and has had 17 female heads of state. Syria has Queen Zenobia on their currency. If you don’t believe me, Google it for yourself. Some of the very countries who pay homage to the women who are and have been instrumental to their history are considered less progressive than the good ol’ USA.

It’s important to begin to honor women, and particularly women of color, more, from not only a socioeconomic level but also globally. We can’t expect to be valued and respected by others when we fail to honor our own. If we have Harriet Tubman on a $20 bill maybe it’ll become worth its actual value in the  paychecks of women working for it as well.

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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Relationship Goals

There’s been a lot of cute memes and videos circulating on the internet with #RelationshipGoal(s) examples. Everything from hugging and holding hands, to being handcuffed and wearing matching shoes. Being a woman who has had a multitude of bad relationships that included hugging, holding hands, wearing matching shoes and the occasional handcuffs (please reference some of my blogs or short stories if you don’t know what I mean), those things just aren’t a relationships priority for me.

Although the idea of a relationship lasting for a decent period of time is a foreign concept for me, if I were ever afforded the opportunity to have a healthy, successful partnership with a man who loves and respects me, my relationship goals would include honesty, communication, building wealth and leaving a legacy behind for our grandchildren. We can have great sex, of course, and dress nice, live a comfortable lifestyle, travel and such, however having mutual respect, admiration and support for each other’s professional endeavors, talents, ideas and ambition would be what separates the good from the best, in the way that I view a successful relationship for myself now.

Having someone who encourages you to be the best version of yourself in spite of what others say about you, can make a difference in your self esteem as well as in your bank account balance.
Someone who encourages you to take care of yourself, mentally, physically and emotionally, so that you can look and feel good, as well as combat stress that comes from obstacles you can’t control, can be the difference between you being happy and having a heart attack. Having someone who respects your sacrifices and struggles to grow within your purpose, instead of someone trying to change who you are to fit their agenda, can be the wind beneath your wings.

But that’s not how a lot of people view relationships anymore.

A lot of people look at relationships as something they need to make them whole and happy. That isn’t the case. Relationships are meant to enhance who you already are and increase the happiness you that already have as an individual. Seeking happiness from someone else in a relationship will not make you a whole person. And if, because it happens, the relationship ends, then what do you do? Sadly, some people resort to extremes because they can’t let go of the person they believed made them happy. That’s not healthy for anyone involved.

A lot of people also hold a lot of bitterness when their relationships end. It’s normal. It’s human. But you have to let it go so that you can move forward and have the opportunity to do it better the next time around. Try to refrain from wishing ill towards someone when the relationship ends. That only creates a void within yourself. When you genuinely care for someone else you want them to be happy, healthy and whole, not because of you, but even without you around.

I’ve always admired power couples. Personally that is what I’d like to have if and/or when I get involved with someone again (yes I’m cynical about the possibilities. Again, reference my past blog posts).  Power couples are typically two separately successful individuals who come together and complement each other’s drive, ambition, talent, focus, etc. etc. etc. There are thousands of said power couples in the world. Some more successful and popular than others, but all equally beautiful to me.

These couples probably wouldn’t have the relationships they have if they depended solely upon each other for their success or their happiness. They came to the table as two people with a lot to offer as individuals and saw that in each other, made a decision to combine together and grow towards something they wanted. That is what I think it takes to reach your #relationshipgoals.

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