Tag Archives: taxes

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. 

There Once Was A City With An Island

…and one day  someone offered the native inhabitants some beads to buy it. 

A man named Rodney Lockwood and a bunch of people with money and nothing worthwhile to use it for, have decided to put a one billion dollar price tag on Belle Isle.  They’ve done so without any consideration for all of the people and organizations who work so hard to maintain the park and its environment for the use of the entire community. And, get this, they want it to be a “Commonwealth” with its own laws, customs and currency.

The proposed “Commonwealth” will also have a citizenship requirement. Any interested citizens must complete an application, which is reviewed by a board of unidentified persons. In order to become a citizen of this proposed “Commonwealth” you must have mastery of the English language, have a good credit score (exactly what that is to the board is unknown at this time), no criminal record and you must pay a $300,000 “citizenship” fee which will be used to repay the investors and build an infrastructure for gas, electricity, sewers and a monorail. Did I mention that Belle Isle is approximately 5 miles long? Although Monaco, which Lockwood claims to have used as his point of reference, is smaller than Belle Isle, there are so many reasons why this is just complete foolishness. First what happens to the wildlife and other resources currently on Belle Isle? Why should Lockwood and his sheep get to retain use of said resources while no one else does?

Lockwood’s proposal has all the makings of the next great Ponzi Scheme. With YOUR $300,000, they will pay back investors (primarily Lockwood), build skyscrapers, condos, a sewer system, a monorail that goes 5 miles, print currency and what not. After all they will have just spent $1 billion to buy the “land” that is Belle Isle, so you can’t expect them to develop it without your help, right? Hence the credit check and minimum “citizenship fee” requirements. And no, you won’t get that money back. Any money left over, Lockwood claims, will be used to back the currency. So “Islanders” are going to use U.S. Dollars to back their monopoly money? But U.S. Dollars are backed by the value of gold. I’m not impressed. You want your own currency but you need the U.S. Dollar to give it value?  Lockwood would have impressed me more had he said he was going to use duck or goose poop to back the currency. Duck and goose poop are biodegradable and abundant on Belle Isle. A highly intelligent person could develop a way to turn it into a valuable resource. I’m just saying.

Lockwood states “citizens will come from all over the world.  People who desire to live in a beautiful city, free from excessive government and oppressive taxation, who want unlimited opportunity to lead a life of their own making will emigrate to Belle Isle.  Perhaps 50% will come from the United States, and the balance from other countries.  This diverse population will make Belle Isle a very cosmopolitan city, with an interesting culture.” But when that fantasy fails and they need law enforcement, they will be asking for it from Detroit and the United States. Yet, under this proposal, the rest of us, wouldn’t be allowed to go on Belle Isle. *hmmm…interesting*

Lockwood owns Lockwood Construction. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that his company would be building all of the proposed construction related to his own plan. How convenient. Again, does this not seem like a well thought out Ponzi Scheme to you? Lockwood also proposes that Belle Isle will have commerce related to finance, investments and insurance. Sounds like he wants to make it a mini-Wallstreet but with limited access for the rest of “us”. No offense to New York City, but there are a lot of architectural designers and engineers that have traveled to Detroit in the last several months to consult on many forthcoming projects. These subject matter experts have said that Detroit, and its Belle Isle, do not need to be transformed into a replica of any other city in the world. That if done right, Detroit can be a robust and beautiful DETROIT, not the next Monaco or Manhattan. By the way, the Grand Prix will have to take place elsewhere if Lockwood gets his way, and rightly it should be. Why should the “Islanders” get to benefit from all the fast cars zooming by while others can’t?  With 35,000 people paying a whopping $300,000 each, they can afford to get their own Grand Prix.

This is the most ridiculous use of money I’ve heard of yet. But Lockwood seems determined to make this happen and he has enlisted the help of many wealthy fools. I mean folks. Do any of them want to buy Pluto while we’re at it? It doesn’t technically belong to me, but since it’s vacant, and I don’t agree with its current use, I figure I might as well see what I can do to profit from it.

I have a counter proposal for Lockwood and his merry band of geniuses. First, everything on Belle Isle would need to be relocated to another park in Detroit or destroyed completely. And I mean everything. Every building, structure, plant, and animal. Including the fountain, the golf course, the Detroit Yacht Club, marina and the Casino. The “Islanders” should have to start from scratch building their utopia. Since they want their own laws, customs and currency, they should have their own country. Therefore, they should relinquish their citizenship from the United States and forego all of the rights afforded to them as citizens. Including the rights to vote, bare arms and have healthcare. I’m serious. They should be required to use the resources found  (or left) on Belle Isle and pay tariffs on all products and goods they buy from the United States and Canada. That includes food, clothing, and building supplies for their skyscrapers, condos, sewer system, and monorail. That also means, they can’t operate a business or “export” goods and services from Belle Isle into Detroit or Canada without abiding by international trade agreements and treaties [take that Lockwood Construction]. There would need to be an Immigration and Customs check point at the base of the Belle Isle Bridge and Jefferson Avenue that stops “Islanders” and checks for identification before they can come into Detroit. “Islanders” should not be allowed to own or operate boats without authorization since the Detroit River is considered an international waterway and is patrolled and protected by the United States and Canada. They could own the cars they took with them to Belle Isle, but wouldn’t be able to drive them anywhere but on Belle Isle, because they’re not United States citizens. I say just build a fence around them and call it a day. If Lockwood and his friends don’t want to share Belle Isle with us, why should we share everything else with them?

Under my proposal we wouldn’t have to accept their currency or employ them at our companies if we chose not to, after all they can’t scream discrimination and we couldn’t pay them in their own currency because it wouldn’t be in circulation here. Plus, its value would probably be less than a Peso considering it’s backed by the dollar, which is backed by gold (I told you duck poop made more sense). They’d have to have their own sports teams and stadiums for them to play in. They’d have to build their own schools, hospitals, have their own fire department and police as well. After all, that’s an additional 35,000 people. We’re already short-handed on law enforcement and public safety personnel here in Detroit. Because “Islanders” would no longer be recognized as U.S. citizens they wouldn’t be protected by any U.S. laws, which is what Lockwood wants, right? They would have human rights, of course, but everything else, they would need to establish for themselves like the first settlers did. I’ve seen pictures of the first settlers. Did that look like fun to you?

I mean if you’re going to do something Mr. Lockwood, fully commit to it. Don’t pick and choose what you like and not take some of what you don’t. How is that fair? Lockwood wants to isolate “us” from “them” yet keep all the benefits “we” have and take possession of our largest city park in the process. That’s like a group of people trying to buy New York’s Central Park then putting an electrified fence around it, so that no one else could have access to it. If this were New York City, Lockwood’s idea alone would be considered treason.

Lockwood’s utopia could result in additional work and even taxes for the rest of us, without us having the benefit of being able to go to Belle Isle freely. Let’s take car ownership as one example. Automobile purchasing and ownership is regulated and monitored by the State of Michigan Secretary of State. We pay taxes to the State of Michigan when we buy cars, sell cars and we pay fees each year to maintain licenses and registrations. Under Lockwood’s Dumb World Order, “Islanders” wouldn’t have to pay taxes. But those taxes have to be paid by someone, right? I seriously doubt the State of Michigan is going to waive those fees for 35,000 people. Lockwood wants those fees and taxes to be paid for the “Islanders” by the rest of “us”. It’s logical that some “Islanders” would already have vehicles so it’s only fair that they can retain them when they relocate to Belle Isle. However, because they are no longer U.S. Citizens, they can’t license or insure them, therefore as I stated before, they can only drive them on Belle Isle. In order to drive them outside of Belle Isle, they should have to pay to license, register and insure their cars as Detroiters currently have to do. Why should the State of Michigan or its citizens absorb costs to adhere to “Islanders” currency and laws? The costs to print “Commonwealth of Belle Isle” license plates, registration tags each year, driving records, driver’s licenses would come out of the pockets of the rest of “us” (higher fees to register our vehicles and renew our registrations) if “Islanders” are allowed to remain U.S. Citizens. Instead force Lockwood and his “Islanders” to develop a method of their own, since they want to do everything else on their own. Go Hard or Go Home. At the very least, then they should be charged more money by the State of Michigan if they can’t develop their own system. And they should have to pay in U.S. Dollars like the rest of us. No monopoly money.

I repeat: Lockwood has come up with the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard. Although on the surface it may seem well thought out because he has his FAQ neatly typed, it’s a hot mess of epic proportions waiting to happen. In other words, it’s fuckery. Anyone investing in Lockwood’s idea is being taken on the world’s greatest Ponzi Scheme and clearly has too much time on their hands and too much money as well. The truth is, even if Lockwood does get the City of Detroit and State of Michigan to go along with his foolishness, he still needs at least 35,000 idiots with $300,000 each, who meet his standard of a mastery of the English language, no criminal record and whatever he considers to be good credit (which could be a score of 900) in order for his plan to be successful. I say this: if Lockwood wants to own his own COUNTRY, which in essence is what he wants, he should find an uninhabited island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean to “settle” where the only contenders are potentially non English speaking natives with spears or carnivorous animals. Whoever is left standing, gets the island.

Belle Isle doesn’t belong to the City of Detroit GOVERNMENT; it belongs to the PEOPLE.

Of course, Lockwood might run across this blog one day and address some of the concerns I brought to light, causing him to make adjustments to his plans. However, that would just prove my point. The “Commonwealth of Belle Isle” plan is a selfish plan developed by a man with a selfish agenda of his own. It has nothing to do with beautifying an existing resource. It’s discriminatory at its root and has more long term negative impact than positive on the citizens of Detroit, Michigan and the United States, if allowed to come to fruition.

Blessed and Favored

With the holidays approaching, so many people feel hopeless and depressed because of what they don’t have. Statistically this is the time of year when people are more likely to commit suicide due to feelings of loneliness or depression over what they don’t have in their lives. A woman jumped to her death from a building days ago in Manhattan, after surviving Hurricane Sandy. While most people in Manhattan at that very moment were thankful for living through one of the worst storms they’ve ever experienced, she decided to end her life. Some people have a “glass is half empty“… or completely empty… mentality about their lives. Everyday I encounter people who throw pity parties for themselves, complain about how terrible everything is in their lives and about where they live. News media doesn’t help this mindset. They spend hours of time reporting on all the death, crime and scandals and give you only two minutes of human interest stories that are positive. Even in politics the candidates spend the majority of their time trying to make the other candidate look bad, instead of telling us what makes them look good – and telling the truth about it. During this year’s presidential election between the Binders Full of Women that don’t exist and Donald Trump holding “charity” for ransom, the whole politics for personal gain campaign had gotten on my last nerves.

However, it could be worse. I could have been without my sight, or even without my hearing and wouldn’t have known about any of it. And fortunately, I know how to change my television channel.

Therefore, it can be said that I am truly blessed and highly favored. My vision isn’t the best; contact lenses keep things 20/20 for my nearsightedness that I received thanks to chicken pox when I was three years old. When the weather cools down my body starts to ache from the two car accidents I had less than a year apart. I have a few extra gray hairs in my head that I’m not so enthused about. But it could be worse. Putting my contacts in everyday allows me to work, read, drive, and see everything around me. I know people who have lost their sight, although they are blessed to still have vision. Feeling pain in my legs and back reminds me that I still have the use of my legs and can walk. Those two car accidents in 2007 and 2008 could have ended a lot differently than they did. My gray hairs remind me that I’m alive and getting older, which wasn’t the case when I was told I could die before I turned thirty years old. Now I’m headed towards forty and there’s a such thing as permanent hair color to cover the grays.

I say all that to say that perspective about life contributes greatly to how we feel about our lives. Being grateful for the small things in life that we often take for granted can make the unforeseen tragedies a little easier to deal with. I feel so bad for the people in New York and New Jersey who suffered damage to their homes, businesses and disruption to their lives after Hurricane Sandy and after the nor-easter storm that followed shortly after. I really feel bad that a woman who survived the ordeal of Hurricane Sandy didn’t see herself as blessed and favored and therefore, made a decision to take her own life. She may have had the type of life that a lot of people in worse situations would have gladly traded with her. I recently read an article about a woman who had to have her limbs amputated because she so desperately wanted a bigger booty so she got illegal butt injections. She was so beautiful and gifted before making the decision that altered how she lives the remainder of her life. But she didn’t appreciate the beauty she had and instead concentrated on the booty she didn’t have. Now she doesn’t have arms or legs.

Maybe that’s what more people need to adjust their life perspectives; a “Trading Places” type of experience where they have to literally live someone else’s life for a period of time so that they can better appreciate their own. Personally, I’ll keep living the life I have. I can think of a lot of situations that could be a lot worse than what I have going on. I’ve also learned that by persevering through any situation, I come out learning a valuable lesson and often also reaping a tremendous reward.  No one said that living would be easy… At least not anyone that I know of. Even when everything isn’t exactly right in my Super World, I’m still very thankful for everything that exists in my Super World. I’ve been without creature comforts that I once took for granted. I know what it’s like to lose children, a marriage and many other things, including nearly losing my life and the use of my limbs. Those experiences taught me valuable lessons. I don’t regret the experiences because they were meant to occur so that I can be the woman I am. I wouldn’t give up any of this to have any of that happen again.

People complain too much. Often the complaint is related to something a person wants but doesn’t have; or something someone else is doing or has done, that they wouldn’t have the courage to change in the first place.

Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, I encourage you to be more thankful for what you DO have. The desire to acquire what we don’t have has caused some people to lose their lives, their limbs and their faith. Everything you have is yours for a reason – good, bad or indifferent; either own it or adjust to it. Likewise, whatever is meant for you will also be yours; not necessarily because of you, but in spite of you. Sometimes, we can be our own biggest hindrance to our progress with our doubts, complaints and fears.

As you go about your life wishing and hoping for more, and not appreciating what you have, be careful of what you’ll exchange in order to get something you want. Everything comes at a price, including wealth, health, beauty and success. Love yourself first. Assess the important changes you can make to improve yourself like your integrity, character, self-esteem and attitude BEFORE you go through hell to change the superficial elements. Be thankful for the family you have, instead of wishing you had different family members or more of them. Some people are literally the last person in their family alive now. Be thankful for the days you have today and ahead of you instead of complaining about each day that comes. Life isn’t promised and someone died today. Be thankful for your job instead of complaining about the people you work with all the time. You may not be the best coworker to them either, but there is someone who woke up unemployed today. Don’t complain about what other people should or shouldn’t do; instead evaluate what you can do to make your own situation better. It’s likely that you aren’t being the best citizen or neighbor that you can be. Get off of Facebook and get face time with people around you and in your community. Become more involved in something positive and you won’t have time to concentrate on the negative.

Everyday count the blessings you have and look for new ones to appreciate. Making this a regular practice throughout the entire year will put a glow of love and abundance around you during each holiday season; rum not included. 

When you want to open your mouth to complain about something, remember this: 

No matter how bad you may think your situation is, someone else on this planet would gladly take your place and your blessings instead of what they deal with.  

Be blessed and highly favored.