Tag Archives: @Oprah

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

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

 

My Super (Crazy) World

Some days I wake up and wonder what in the world is wrong with me. Why am I so driven and ambitious? Why do I try to make my best day better than the last? Why can’t I sit still and do nothing, even when I’m on vacation? Being super is a blessing and a curse. If you’ve been following the development and evolution of me and Super Woman Productions and Publishing, you probably either think I’m a genius or that I’m bipolar. I heard somewhere that being a genius isn’t far from being crazy. If that is true, I probably qualify.

Everyday presents a new opportunity in my life. Some of those opportunities are also coupled with challenges. And I’m not ashamed to tell you that since I’ve been in business, I have yet to make a profit. The part of me that serves a higher purpose doesn’t care too much. I know that my greatest commodity is my intellectual property and that as time and technology catch up to what I want to do, I’ll be able to do a lot more and make money at it. The part of me that has bills to pay, however, gets frustrated because my business isn’t showing a profit and obtaining financing from banks is impossible because my business is based on the creative process. Banks don’t invest in people, they invest in profit and loss statements. In spite of that, I’m always encouraged by others in entertainment and business who remind me that although I haven’t turned a profit yet, unlike some other businesses that have turned a profit in their first five years, I’m still in existence and I’m still growing. I’m told that because I’m growing slowly and paying my dues, my rewards will be more consistent and long-term than experienced by many other entrepreneurs. It’s also very encouraging when I hear Len Burnett Jr. from Uptown Media Group and Chris Genteel from Google, speak before a group of business professionals and entrepreneurs and list the things I’m already doing as things that entrepreneurs should be doing to market themselves to the public and become successful is this growing digital age.  

I’m also undereducated. Meaning, I don’t have a degree. In anything. But I’ve been to college. In fact, I was a straight A student and on the Dean’s List my last attempt to complete my degree in Business Management. I was also bored. After being employed in various businesses since I was 19 years old, and having been a business owner more than once myself, I knew everything that was being taught in the classes I was taking. On more than one occasion, my instructors would ask me why I was even there. My answer: I was told I had to come to this class to get that piece of paper called a degree. Well, I’m going back to school, again. This time I’m going to obtain my Bachelor degree in Digital Cinematography so that I can produce and direct the film and television projects that I write. I’ll get an honorary Bachelors in Business, one day. And if I don’t get my degree in business, it won’t limit me as much as it would in Corporate America. I’m not saying being educated isn’t important. I’m a huge champion for education and I believe it is a necessity. But not having a degree will not hinder a person as much if they have applicable skills, knowledge and experience in place of that degree.

This last year has already been an amazing experience for me, and it’s only half way in. Sometimes it has been exhausting. Sometimes it feels like it’s moving too fast, and I want more time in a day to do all the things I want and need to do. Sometimes I have wanted to throw the towel in and quit because it seems like it’s not moving fast enough. When I have those days, something usually happens that makes me change my mind. I get a phone call or an email from someone who seems really excited about meeting/talking to Super Woman. Or I’m out publicly and I’m recognized by someone and they refer to me as Super Woman. Or someone tells me how I’ve inspired, motivated or blessed them with my words or deeds. I like those days. Those are days of reassurance.

There are still thousands of people who have no idea that I exist or know what I do. I swear more than half of my Facebook friends only friend me because I’m pretty. If you asked them what I do, they couldn’t tell you if their lives depended on it. But that’s ok. Twenty years ago, everyone didn’t know who Oprah was right away either. Everyone didn’t like Wendy Williams when she started as a radio personality years ago. People thought Tyra Banks was just a pretty model and that she didn’t have the ability or brains to become the media mogul that she is now. We all have our hurdles to jump in order to get you, the public, to acknowledge and embrace us. It’s actually part of the job description when you work in entertainment.

Over the next year, I hope to give you all the opportunity to know more about me as a person and learn more about the Super Woman Brand. I also hope to gain your support in my endeavors and community outreach. I’m accepting many opportunities that are coming my way, which will allow this to occur. Although I fight tooth and nail to avoid being in front of the cameras, I don’t really have a choice. So when I’m in front of the camera, I’m going to make sure that I’m doing a good job. When I’m entertaining you, I want it to also be informative. If you see me when I’m in public, don’t be afraid to talk to me. I’m told I’ve very personable and I’m not as shy and introverted as I once was. I plan to also make you more aware of what I’m doing in different ways. However, it is best to subscribe to my newsletter so that you receive the information quicker than through social media. Please, don’t be afraid to share with other people. Forward my blog posts to your friends and relatives, trackback to them if you have your own website (just don’t plagiarise me because I have people who check for that) and follow me on social networks. I’m everywhere that you can imagine and in some places you haven’t heard of.

Here is a brief list of some of what is currently taking place in my Super (Crazy) World.

  • The Blaqe Rocket Blast Radio ShowEvery Friday 7 – 9 pm EST online at www.blogtalkradio.com/the_blaqe_rocket_blast 
  • Mission Small Business – Vote for Super Woman Productions and Publishing before June 30, 2012 so I can qualify to win the $250,000 Grant at www.missionsmallbusiness.com These funds will be used to fund media projects, hire and train people in media and increase community outreach initiatives like the upcoming I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference.
  • #FabLife Apparel and Accessories – Coming to this website soon. I’m interested in retail partnerships, so if you own a boutique and you’d like to carry my line, please use the Contact Us page to reach out to me to schedule a meeting.
  • Super Video Blogs coming to the OfficialSuperWoman YouTube Channel beginning this week. Because time is becoming limited for me to write blogs, I’m starting quick video blogs that you can watch periodically that update you on my Super World.  
  • The Goodie Bag is almost sold out. There’s only about 15  paperback copies left. It will continue to be available in eBook and for Kindle (in 5 languages). Go to The Brand to buy.
  • Sequins & Suits is being held on Thursday August 16, 2012, 6 pm until midnight, at Crave Lounge in Dearborn, MI and the I Feel Good: Mind, Body & Soul Women’s Conference is being held at H.Y.P.E. Athletic Community on August 18. Tickets will go on sale for both very soon.   
  • I’ve been nominated for Crain’s 40 Under 40 and Who’s Who in Black Detroit – results are still pending. I feel honored to have been nominated for who I am and what I do.

I’m still interested in signing aspiring authors who want to become published. I’m also available to speak at various functions (in and outside of Detroit). If you need a keynote speaker, I’m your girl. Use the Contact Us page to reach me. My media kit will be available at this website soon and will list my rates for different services.

As you see, I’m increasingly busy. Busy is good and I’m not even half way done with everything. There are still many other projects and ventures taking place that I’m keeping under wraps until they are finalized. That way, you have something to look forward to – just like Christmas.

Thank you again for your support of Super Woman Productions and Publishing.

 

The WRONG One

In this economy people are willing to do a lot of things they normally wouldn’t do to make ends meet. Some people look for creative ways to make money. Some people look for enterprising ways to make money. Some of those things may even be considered morally wrong. Some people even stoop to doing things that are illegal. Some people are predatory and offer “options” to people and take advantage of their need to make more money. A person’s individual boundaries are their own to live with and so are the ramifications of their choices. My boundaries are firmly set. Regardless of how much I need money, there are just certain things I’m unwilling to do. I will not rob an old lady of her social security benefits. I will not attempt a Nigerian bank scam (why do they even continue to try?) and I will not take my clothes off for men I don’t know. I have the tendency think about my future goals and aspirations and how doing certain things can deter those goals and aspirations. That allows me to keep a reasonably cool head even in the face of stupidity.

The last boundary I previously mentioned, is the subject of this blog. This week, I received a message from a man on Facebook asking me if I’d be interested in burlesque dancing with a blues shows in a downtown Detroit bar. Instantly, I was offended. I didn’t know this man from Adam. He wasn’t a Facebook friend, an acquaintance or anyone that I’d had any interaction with at all. He obviously didn’t know anything about me. I replied to him, “Nothing on my Facebook profile, or website says I’m a burlesque dancer, a stripper or exotic dance, so why would you ask me that?” That question was actually rhetorical. I already knew that he assumed I would “strip” for money because of whatever his misogynistic ideas are related to women, along with the stereotypical belief that an attractive woman  doesn’t have any brains. He also believed that women in general are willing to take our clothes off for money because times are hard. Therefore, anything he said, would definitely not surprise me.

His response was “I apologize if that sounded rude. Burlesque is classy entertainment. I thought you were affiliated with modeling or some form of entertainment”. To me that was hilarious. Here’s why. Of course asking a woman you don’t know to take her clothes off for men she doesn’t know is RUDE, I don’t care if it’s burlesque or ballet. Secondly, being ‘affiliated with modeling or some form of entertainment’ doesn’t mean getting naked for men you don’t know. We don’t all have to resort to that and many of us don’t. I told him that what I found “rude” was that for some reason he assumed that the entertainment I’m involved in relates to taking my clothes off at a bar. Obviously this small minded man thought that in order for a woman to be involved in modeling or entertainment, she must either be naked or nearly naked, in order to be considered a “model” or “entertainer”. Last I checked serious models and entertainers don’t have “I will take my clothes off in a bar” on their resume.  

I told my boyfriend about this exchange. His first response when I told him the man’s initial words to me was “Uh, oh. He picked the wrong one”. What my boyfriend knows is this; I’m not that caliber of woman and I don’t accept men saying offensive and disrespectful things to me, simply because they think they can. I don’t believe what a woman is wearing defines her character or her worth. It’s that woman’s actions that matter most. Therefore, if a woman isn’t behaving like a hooker, you can’t call her a hooker because you think she’s dressed like one. It might be Halloween or a bad fashion choice, not a profession that she’s exhibiting in her attire. The truth is, as women, it doesn’t matter what we wear or don’t. There’s always some idiot who thinks women are only good for what’s between our legs because that’s the limitation of their braincells. Yes, there are pictures of me that are sexy and sensual related to the marketing of “The Goodie Bag“, but I could have been completely covered up from head to toe in a  berka and that man would’ve still sent me the same message. Because that is what he thinks women are worth – dancing at bars without clothes for men that they don’t know.

By the way, I also told him had he done his due diligence prior to sending me that message in the first place, he would’ve discovered that I am an entrepreneur, publisher and author and the picture he was looking at was related to “The Goodie Bag” and nothing more. But that would’ve been too much like right. I think he knows I’m the wrong one. Maybe he learned his lesson. Maybe not. I do know he won’t be sending me anymore messages. After all, he wouldn’t have sent that message to Oprah and gotten away with it. There are a lot of women who would’ve been offended that probably never would’ve responded to him at all. So I spoke up for them. And there are probably some women who gleefully signed up to burlesque dance for him when he messaged them. They will probably make $250. In this economy he can’t afford to pay a woman thousands of dollars to take her clothes off. And he knows that some women don’t have the boundaries I have. That’s what makes him a predator; lurking and waiting for someone to become desperate.

Lastly, I told him he can’t afford my rates so I’ll gladly burlesque dance for my boyfriend in the privacy of our bedroom. At least I know what I’m getting into and what I’m getting out of it. I also know, it won’t deter my goals, cause me to be posted naked on YouTube or give him anything to sale to the Enquirer when I become the next Queen of All Media. That’s a boundary I can live with –  and that is priceless.