Tag Archives: priority

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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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.

 

Look For Inspiration In Everything

People often seek inspiration in the hope that something will hit them like a bolt of lightning and catapult them into greatness. When people don’t find the inspiration they seek, they then become defeated, never realizing that inspiration was all around them the entire time, but they were too focused on seeking it somewhere particular. When I’m interviewed or even sometimes in general, people will ask me what has been my inspiration. I don’t recall all of the answers I may have given over the last five years, but at the core, I’m inspired by life. I’m inspired to live a purposeful life, whatever that may be. I don’t have a definition for it. And there honestly isn’t a deep explanation either. But because I’m inspired to live purposefully, I don’t seek to find inspiration in a magic pill or miraculous experience.

My life before many of you knew who I was, was often filled with experiences that were sometimes devastating. I’ve had more than my fair share of near death experiences and drama. Where some of those situations would have driven other people completely crazy, they strengthened me to want to do better, live better, be happier and not rely on other people to help me get there. Not to say that I don’t have the occasional obstacle, but I have a lot less of them than I would have had otherwise. I’ve embraced my inner strength and made it an essential part of my life and my career. As a result I now have more options that I can use.

My journey has also brought me to a place where I see inspiration in everything. Everything?! Yes, everything. I don’t seek inspiration solely from other people. I find it all around me on a daily basis. Inspiration is in the sunrise every morning. Inspiration is in Jill Scott’s “Golden“. Inspiration is sometimes even in a color palette of eyeshadow on Sephora.com. I’m serious. I look for inspiration in everything I see, hear and experience on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, inspiration is present and sometimes it isn’t. When it isn’t I don’t get upset, defeated or worried either. I acknowledge that instance was a second in time that will pass and life goes on. I’ve been inspired to reach out to different people to express interest in business with them. Sometimes I get a positive response from that person and sometimes I get a completely negative response such as a rude email. If it’s the latter, so what. Life goes on and I keep it moving. It doesn’t diminish or tarnish my inspiration. I just know that is one person I will not consider for any future possibilities. They go on the “do not associate with” list. I’m not exaggerating either, I really do have such a list. I have that list because it inspires me not to put myself in uncomfortable or compromising situations with individuals I know I can’t do business with.  Which also eliminates the potential for drama. See, inspiration can be in everything.

I encourage everyone to start looking for inspiration in everything around you, where you go, the color of the sky, that day’s experiences…everything. Do it for about two weeks and see if it changes your life even a bit. I’m not saying the all the inspiration will feel good. Some of what you begin to see inspiration in will cause you to see some things differently or make some hard choices about your life, your relationships or your career. But hard choices that you are willing to make to improve who you are as a person are never a bad thing, no matter how hurt you may feel in that moment. But first you have to recognize inspiration in different forms instead of hoping for it to come down from heaven like a dove. God puts messages in small places. We have to just be open to them.

I recently added Super Woman Productions and Publishing to Pinterest. As I was pinning and creating boards for current and future public viewing, I found images that were inspirational to me for different reasons. This prompted me to create a board titled Look For Inspiration In Everything. I hope you will check out my boards, and that you will begin to look for inspiration in everything too.

 

Super Woman Brand On Pinterest

 

If We Didn’t Stop Growing, We’d All Be Giants

When human beings reach adult maturation, we eventually stop growing taller. As a result, we remain whatever height we are at that time, for the remainder of our adult lives. People are different heights due to their DNA. Regardless of how you think man came to exist here, one thing is true: There had to be an off switch for growth, otherwise we all would be giants.

Sadly some of us also have an off switch when it comes to realizing our potential. We put limitations on ourselves and our way of thinking which stifles our personal growth. We make excuses for not exceeding mediocrity. We blame others for our failures. We don’t take personal responsibility for the direction our lives are going in. We limit ourselves. We stop growing. Regardless of our physical limitations, there shouldn’t be limitations placed on our other abilities. Instead of “I can’t”, more of us should learn to say “I will”.

What hinders you most? Is it what you think of yourself or do you absorb the negativity that others think of you? Is it easier for you to be mediocre than great? Is greatness too much responsibility for you to handle? Understand what I mean by greatness. Greatness isn’t the same as being rich, being a celebrity or even being the boss. Greatness is taking whatever God-given abilities and talents you have and using them completely and without apology to be the best at whatever it is that you do. I don’t care if you sweep floors, greatness is doing your personal best at sweeping those floors.

There’s a lot to be said for putting forth a little effort. Almost every idea I’ve had thus far has come to fruition. I’ve discovered that when I take one step towards making an idea a reality, everything I need to continue comes to me; the people, the connections, the resources and the money. Even when I’m down to the last few dollars I have to invest in the idea, something happens that makes those last few dollars feel like a million dollars. Remember this: everything I’ve done during the last five years that I have been in business has been financed completely by me. I’ve never had a bank loan or financial investor in any of my business endeavors, and I’m still here. Yes, I’ve taken some minor losses, but they haven’t been anything I couldn’t claim as a business expense. I’ve never had to sacrifice the roof over my head or use anything I own as collateral. I haven’t had to visit a single pawn shop or sell anything that I hold dear. That is all because I don’t stop trying. Even if I fail, I take the experience as a lesson and try to do it again but a lot better the next time around, OR I acknowledge that particular endeavor just may not be the right fit for the Super Woman Brand and I set it aside with grace and move on to the next project.

I believe I’m bigger than any of my so-called failures. I believe that every opportunity that comes my way will be something I can touch one day. Maybe not today, but one day. Provided that I continue to take small steps towards it. I know that there are a lot of naysayers who don’t believe in me or anything I do. There are also a lot of doubters and people wishing for my demise with every breath they take. I could care less. I don’t do anything that I do to please those people. I don’t live for those people. I don’t work for those people. They are not my competition, not will they deter me from my goals. Everyone isn’t going to want to ride in my life’s boat with me. Not even when it becomes a beautiful yacht. I don’t even waste time inviting everyone to come aboard. Some people aren’t worthy and if they are included, they will only try to push me overboard off of my own life’s boat. Those people who are worthy will be put in the proper time and place for us to meet. How do I know that? Because it happens almost everyday.

I refuse to let anything or anyone stunt my growth. Growth is more important than money to me. Growth adds value to a person’s life that money could never do. Yes, being a profitable business is important. But also doing something to inspire others to reach their full potential is equally important to me. I don’t have the time to personally mentor everyone who asks, although I wish I did. Many people have unfortunately declined opportunities with me that would have inevitably helped them in the long-term. I learned that can’t give forth thought to short-sighted people so I don’t waste my time trying and I don’t let it upset me. I just continue to move forward with my own goals and show by example what can happen when you make a decision and stick to it.

When I was a child I nearly towered over everyone I went to school with. Occasionally there would be one or two other girls taller than me that would distract people from staring up at me and saying “WOW! How tall ARE you?!?!?

Now, as an adult at 5’10” tall, I still  get that question and I still tower over many people, even ones who are physically taller than I am, simply because I strive to continue to grow.

I strive to grow in my industry.

I strive to grow in my business.

I strive to grow in my community.

I strive to grow my bank account.

I strive to grow my employees.

I strive to grow my network.

I strive to grow my influence.

I strive to growth my value.

And I will continue growing until I become a GIANT

 

♦Super Woman is showing other women how to become a GIANT. Attend or Sponsor the upcoming I Feel Good! Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference © Sponsored by Wayne State University on August 17, 2013 at Wayne State University.