Tag Archives: strong

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.

 

This Media Thing Is Not A Game

I’m often proud of others that I see reaching and striving in media to improve upon the content that we have available to us. Then there are times when I have to ask myself “Where do they do that at?” Being an entrepreneur is hard work. It’s often challenging and the rewards don’t come as fast as you might like, and they are definitely not the rewards you may set out to achieve. Being a media entrepreneur is even more difficult. You have greater challenges because media is already heavily controlled by major networks and radio giants that have been around for years.

This media thing is not a game.

Print media is a strange animal in its own separate environment. With so many magazines being born and dying regularly due to poor business decisions, it’s very important that you have more than a pretty magazine cover. You must also have relevant, substantive, well written content in a magazine. This is primarily important if you want to appeal to people who actually know how to read. Unless of course, your magazine publication is only a pictorial, pretty pictures might be enough for your audience.

As I look around at some of the ventures being put out, I notice that a lot of them don’t understand how to properly do business. Some editors are so quick to get something out there that they fail to do their due diligence with securing their content. They have pretty websites with blank pages, misspelled words, broken or unresponsive links and poor grammar throughout the site. They are trying to establish followers using social networking without a product actually being made available that people can put their hands on. You can’t even Google their publication by name. Some of them have literally relaunched the same magazine multiple times within less than three years because they just don’t seem to get it.  They also don’t know how to tackle the challenges associated with the digital era where people can download and read publications on laptops, tablets and smartphones. I solemnly swear that one day people will learn how to use technology for more than just updating their Facebook status.   

◊ This media thing is not a game.  

We have to do better when it comes to the products and services that we provide in media, particularly within our own community. We also have to be more savvy in our business dealings. You don’t have to charge an arm and a leg for your product because you want to have special paper from China. You can put out a quality media product by using local resources available to you for a fraction of the cost and not have to worry about your product being delayed by customs. A few of the keys to doing well in the media business include having a basic understanding of business, having knowledge of your core demographic and how to reach them, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and building a talented team of people who aren’t your relatives. Most importantly – be different from what everyone else is. If you appear to just be a  recycled version of your former publication or someone else’s, without bringing something new into the equation, people will lose interest quickly…as in overnight.

◊ This media thing is not a game.  

This media thing is only for strong, decisive people who know how to compensate for anything they lack by having other talented and knowledgeable people connected to them. It’s not about being a dictator and having everyone report back to you so that you can micromanage every facet; particularly when you have no idea of what you’re doing. It’s not about doing the same thing over and over, the same way and expecting different results [that is the definition of insanity]. This media thing is about dispersing information in a way that educates and entertains people intelligently so that you appeal to a wider demographic ~ i.e. the people who make money and make decisions. This media thing is about providing quality content that does more than create divisiveness and drama among individuals. This media thing is more than scripted reality television shows and poorly written material thrown out with the hopes that one percent of the population will like it. This media thing isn’t just about making money, putting your name on a masthead or cutting down trees for the purpose of nothing.  

◊ This media thing is not a game.  

Personally, I’m looking forward to hiring other talented people to work for The Brand so that one day I can take a real vacation. I’m aware that without hiring others, I won’t experience the true growth and success that I’m striving for. I’m thankful for the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals that have worthwhile projects that I can collaborate with them on; both today and in the near future. Growth isn’t singular when you’re a media entrepreneur. Your growth, or lack thereof, impacts others, even when you don’t see it.  

◊ This media thing is not a game.  

An idea is only as good as the work you put behind it. If you’re into this media thing as a hobby, that is your choice. But if you are in this media thing purpose driven, make it worth the time, energy and money for yourself and for consumers. This playground is big enough for many of us to be successful, but this media thing is not a game. If you’re not ready, I suggest that you do your due diligence, research and observe others who are successful and do well in media before throwing yourself in the ring.   

Some people only care about their check, and some people care about sh** being the right way. – Jam Master DJ Scratch  

The Water Bill is High

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. – Bible, Exodus 20:17

This scripture is one that is pivotal when dealing with relationships between men and women. Particularly in a day and age where Black women are made to feel that there aren’t enough available Black men in the world, so to them it’s reasonable to become involved with a married or committed man. And with many Black men feeling that Black women are desperate for a relationship or attention that they would easily fall into the arms of another man hoping for something better than what they have at home, it is becoming common practice in our society to pursue another man’s woman. This scripture is one of the ten commandments and it warns us against being envious of what someone else has, regardless of what it is. However, it amazes me how people feel that it is within their rights to attempt to infiltrate someone else’s relationship because it looks good to them from the outside. People who do this often believe that what someone else has comes easy to that person. They fail to recognize that a good relationship takes work. HARD work; along with commitment, understanding and good communication. None of those elements comes easy, even when you have a really good connection and attraction to someone. As a person you have to make a conscious decision to have a good relationship, then you have to put the necessary actions behind that decision. People looking for an easy relationship often lack the work ethic that it takes to maintain a relationship.  

I recently went from being single to committed. During the last four years of being a single woman, I never dated or became involved with a man that had a girlfriend or wife. If I did, I didn’t know it. There are reasons I didn’t date married or committed men. One reason is trust. If  a man would cheat on his girlfriend or wife, there’s a huge possibility that he would also cheat on me. Another reason is respect. If  a man doesn’t respect his own relationship, he will not respect mine. And the most important reason to me is Karma. I didn’t want to do anything to anyone else, that I wouldn’t want to have happen to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had numerous opportunities to be the type of woman who messes around with married men. I’ve received “offers” from men to be their “other woman”, but the cost to me was too great. The cost to my morals and values was one that they couldn’t properly compensate me for. They couldn’t afford other woman’s insurance. So I sent them back to their wives and suggested that they make an effort to become better husbands. If any of these men’s wives were to ask me what happened, I would tell them. I don’t owe any loyalty to those men. They were the one’s willing to break their marriage vows, not me. And having had the misfortune of being a married woman (once upon a time) whose husband cheated, I know the pain that betrayal can bring. Every one’s situation is different and every woman doesn’t leave an unfaithful husband, and vice versa. However, the truth, regardless of how painful, is still the truth. I prefer to live with the truth, than to live a lie. You can’t make good decisions in life based on a lie.

The one thing I’m noticing now that I’m in a relationship is how many men I meet want to be “friends”, as if I’m so naive at thirty-six years old that I don’t know what they really mean. That’s an example of coveting your neighbor. They have no idea what it takes to be with me. They have no knowledge to the fact that many, many men have tried, and failed, in the arena with me. They have no idea of my flaws or moods. Sex is easy. Friendship is difficult because people often realize later that they want more or can’t handle more. And a relationship is life-altering. When I was single, if a man approached me with the “friends” line, I knew immediately they wouldn’t be boyfriend or potential husband material for me. They didn’t think I was worthy of commitment. I was dating with the purpose of finding a spouse. When a man says that to me now that I’m in a relationship, I know the same is true and that he really wouldn’t make a good friend at all – platonic or otherwise. And of course, my boyfriend is having similar experiences with women. Women are a mess, too. Sometimes they are worse than men are because they can be more aggressive and relentless. They can’t believe that someone else got the man they wanted, even though they never told him they were interested or had feelings towards him. The same can be said for men. To that I say, oh well, your inability to communicate your feelings are not anyone else’s fault.  And even if you had, it doesn’t mean you’d have the same type of relationship with that person.

Everything ain’t for everybody. I say that for a reason. Everyone isn’t compatible, regardless of physical attraction. It is not physical attraction alone that makes a good relationship. So many things factor into having a healthy, trusting relationship with the opposite sex. There are a lot of beautiful women and gorgeous men that are single. Appearances only mask our character for a short time. Eventually the facade comes down and the real person is revealed. In a relationship you have to be able to show your true, authentic self and accept the true and authentic self of your partner. Relationships are not for fickle, superficial people who believe that it doesn’t ever rain. Relationships are for strong, resilient, forgiving people who keep an umbrella on hand

First rule to relationships – You attract who and what you are. Two fickle, superficial people who are delusional in a relationship are doomed to fail. One fickle, superficial person in a relationship is a headache to their partner. However, two people with the same understanding of what it takes to maintain a relationship will be more successful, come rain or shine.

The next time you approach someone who tells you they are married or in a relationship consider the possibility that they have flaws and issues that you may not be capable of handling. The person they are with is their choice and their choice has nothing to do with your desires or lust. Respect their relationship. I went to a Tyler Perry play once and his character Madea said, “People always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But when they get over there, they find out their neighbor was using ChemLawn and the water bill is high as hell”.