Tag Archives: The Brand

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

 

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

 

Super Woman Resigns

Quitting is not an option for a superhero. At least, it’s not supposed to be. One of the reasons I’m called Super Woman is because of my persistence, regardless of any adversity. I keep pushing forward and fighting obstacles, trying to resolve issues whenever I believe that it is possible to do so. I make the impossible possible even though I can’t explain how. I don’t know if it’s because I’m resourceful or blessed, or a combination of both. Sometimes I think it’s because I’m crazy, other times I think it’s a gift and a curse. The one thing I do know is this – It’s a thankless, tiring job, to say the least. I once thought that being a parent was the most thankless job in the world. But it isn’t. Being a good, reliable person is the number one thankless job. Always being the she-ro to others isn’t easy at all, I just make it look like it is. I rarely hear “thank you” or “good job“. People rarely call me and ask if I’m okay or if I need anything. When I am tired, there is no sidekick I can call. When I’m sick, everything comes to a screeching halt. When I am in need, there’s no one I can turn to because I’m everyone else’s she-ro. On more than one occasion people whom I have “saved” have turned their backs on me in my time of need and berated me to others behind my back saying things like, “she’s nobody special” or “I never liked her“, yet they smile and tee-hee-hee in my face asking for my help to improve their lives. When I cut them off because they are ungrateful I become the villain.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of quitting like I would really like to.

Why?

Because if I quit, who is going to do it? Of course, it’s easy to say that someone else CAN do it, but the question is WILL they? Honestly, I don’t think other people would step up and do the things I do. If someone else were both willing and capable, I doubt people would ask me to complete the task in the first place. When I think about how we view our Superheroes, both “real” and fictional, I realize that Superheroes get a raw deal no matter what. Superheroes have minimal private lives. Superheroes are expected to be able to handle what ‘normal‘ humans can not. Superheroes never get a day off.  Superheroes are expected to confront villains on their own turf and defeat them. Superheroes are expected to start and end sh*t while they rescue kittens with both hands tied behind their backs during thunderstorms. 

Well, maybe I don’t want to be “super” anymore.

Being “super”  comes with the burden that people believe that you don’t need them for anything, so they never approach a situation with committment. People often assume that because I’m “super” that everyone else –  besides them –  will be there for me when the time comes, so they don’t have to. I’ve experienced this in my personal and professional lives. In my personal life, there have been many men that have told me that they never asked me out on a Saturday night because they assumed I already had a date. They never called and asked, they just assumed. As a result, I grew accustomed to going places and doing things by myself socially 99% of the time. If it weren’t for all the “honey, where’s your date?” questions from socialites and their husbands, I would be perfectly comfortable in any situation alone.

Professionally people always disappoint me and rarely if ever apologize for doing so. They think it’s okay because they assume that I can do it without them anyway. They assume that there are enough other people who will do the work or attend the event, that them not being there won’t be noticeable. That is what is happening now. Sequins & Suits is being cancelled because everyone is assuming that everyone else will attend, volunteer, assist and sponsor so they don’t have to. They assume that their few dollars won’t matter anyway, so why even try. As a result, it will take a miracle and a half to pull off the I Feel Good: Mind, Body & Soul Women’s Conference a few months from now. Which, by the way, I’m considering cancelling now to prevent me from being disappointed again later. After all, no one feels it’s that important anyway or they’d be doing something to help it come to fruition.  

People are selfish. People are hypocrites. They don’t care about anything or what happens to anyone else, until something happens to them. When something happens to them, their child, their parent, their school or their nonprofit organization they want everyone to rally on their behalfBut when someone else needed you before that tragedy happened, where were you? I was trying to adjust that selfish mindset and do so in an entertaining way. But no one cares. I was trying to do something preventative to uplift young women at an early age. But no one cares. A teacher told me this weekend that there is a 10-year-old girl in her school who is pregnant. Those are the young women I’m trying to reach before they get pregnant. But no one cares. Maybe I’m just not popular or dramatic enough for people to pay attention.

Detroiters don’t care, but want to cry and beg for help when things get worse. What were you doing before things got worse? Oh, I know. You were assuming someone else would do it so you wouldn’t have to. You were assuming that someone “super” would swoop in and rescue the kitten.  

Well, I’m not doing it anymore. This is my new manifesto:

I will not plan any charitable events or large-scale social events in the city of Detroit ever again out of the kindness of my heart, for the greater good or because it is the right thing to do. If anyone wants me to use my “super” powers and save the day in the city of Detroit, you will have to pay me to do it. I will consider planning events in other urban cities like Chicago, New York and Atlanta, but they will have to pay me too. I’ll host your Detroit event, but you will have to pay me. I’m not going to support anyone who doesn’t support meprofessionally and personally. I’m not even buying a membership to your organization if it doesn’t directly benefit me. I’m no longer investing my money, my energy or time to do anything for people who don’t care or reciprocate.

If people in the city of Detroit don’t have the mindset to see the value in what I do or what I offer, I can’t force them to. If people in the city of Detroit don’t appreciate my efforts, I can’ t force them to. Therefore, it’s in my own best interest to only do what I need to do for myself, my family and my company. I’ve prayed all I can pray and I’ve done all that I’m capable of doing at this time. When the people of the city of Detroit wake up and start caring about something more than following trends, and doing the same old fuckery they’ve always done, maybe I’ll start giving out of the kindness of my heart again.

Until then, I quit.      

Not that anyone will even notice.     

Welcome the New Year

In 2010, God gave me a shot in the arm. When He did, He said to me, “Angela, I’m going to give you this shot. It will only hurt for a minute. When it’s over you will feel better, be successful and purpose realized.”

Fast forward to December 2011. I said to God “This minute of pain has been a whole year.” God then told me that His time is not my time. I’m very glad that time flies. I knew in 2010 I would face difficulties in preparation for prosperity. I just didn’t know it would last for the whole year. I went into the year making necessary changes to my life, my lifestyle, my mindset and I stayed positive. At each turn, there were difficulties in my life that many other people never even saw. In my growth I’ve become knowledgeable that in order to build something up, you first have to tear it down ~ that’s if you want it to be built right. You can’t constantly build on top of foundations that are not solid or structures that are not sound and expect to have success. In our pursuits, we often for that. We want everything to be easy and painless. We want everything to be pretty and perfect. We want our plans to be without flaws and our successes to be without any trials. That is not the reality of my life. I’m sure some of you also know what I mean.

This year has been the worst for me financially. Literally. I have over $92,000 in debt. I have no real assets to speak of and very few tangible items that I own free and clear at this point. I’m not exaggerating. This year has been that difficult for me. The only thing I own of any real value is The Brand and my creativity. Apparently, that’s all I needed to have this year. But there’s already a plan in place to change all of that in 2012 and to add financial stability to my newly rebuilt foundation. God knows that in order for me to truly appreciate what He has for me, He had to take some things away from me. He also made adjustments in my life to make room for something better. Every friend I lost was replaced by a better friend. Ever opportunity I was unable to take advantage of is being replaced by bigger and better opportunities. Every person who decided I wasn’t worth their time or acknowledgement was replaced by people in positions to help me achieve my goals.

The worst year financially, was one of the best businesswise. The year 2011 gave Super Woman recognition. People know who I am. Not thousands of people, but enough. It’s a really wonderful feeling when someone from New York or Atlanta says to me “I’ve heard of you” or “I’ve heard of The Goodie Bag“. It’s nice when the editor of a major publication asks why I didn’t submit my biography for their publication because I’m “doing amazing things”, and I can say it’s because I had more amazing things that I wanted to add to my biography first. I’ll be in that publication in 2012. So what if I didn’t make a lot of money in 2011. I did make a mark. That feels good.

The Super Team is also under construction for 2012. God is bringing people into my life that I can collaborate with outside of my current environment. He’s also blessing the people already on the Super Team in a way that I don’t even think they realize yet. I truly thank God that I’m in the company of very talented and ambitious people who are good at what they do. They inspire me to do what I do even better. It’s hard on me sometimes, having this extremely high level of ambition, but I observe the ones who came before me. I learn from their mistakes and successes. I consult with those who know the industry and I absorb their wisdom. I look for different and efficient ways of doing things that have been done before. And I try to find ways of doing what has never been done before. Why is it taking me so long to get to where I’m going? Because it’s a journey, a process and an experience worthy of hard work and dedication. I’m striving for longevity, not popularity.

I thank God for my tests, my challenges, my tragedies, my hurdles, my mountains and the tools He bestowed upon me to handle them all and evolve even more into the fabulous woman He has created me to be. He gave me many gifts. Some will get me into the room. Some will keep me there. Some will allow me the ability to build new rooms. I know WE’RE nowhere near done. This is just one step of many I have yet to take. I’m ready for what’s next. I welcome the New Year and a new day.

To my Super Team, we will all be driving Bentleys one day soon.

To my Super Fans, I appreciate your support and encouragement throughout this past year. I will always give you something fabulous to look forward to, be entertained by and educated through. You will not be disappointed by what comes from The Brand.

Have a Happy New Year!

See you in 2012!

Russell Simmons Doesn’t Know My Name

Sometimes I forget all of the things I’m capable of writing. Even though I constantly receive rejection from online news publications and magazines who claim they are looking for writers who are able to write about a variety of subjects or one subject specifically, I know that I’m a damn good writer. I know how to research a subject thoroughly. I know how to add statistical information without making the work boring and I can add humor when needed to keep it from being too serious. I know how to make people think, whether they agree with me or not. I know things about writing that you don’t learn in school. Things you can only learn from experience and by being given the gift.  

I’m working so diligently at trying to find a place to showcase my abilities to the rest of the world, that I forgot that I’ve already been published by GlobalGrind.com. I wrote two articles in 2010 in hopes of acquiring a long term freelance position as a blogger with the company. Unfortunately, GlobalGrind.com has since decided to no longer enlist the aid of “average” individuals to write blogs and have recruited celebrities to write blogs about themselves and each other. In a way, some would argue that I still qualify (as a celebrity), but Russell Simmons doesn’t know my name, therefore, I’m not a celebrity (yet). But that doesn’t bother me at all.  

That’s pretty much how it is. If people don’t know you, they aren’t often willing to take you seriously. They won’t meet with you and they won’t take the time to find out about you. You have to be “popular”, like a Kardashian. It’s called name recognition. I’m concentrating more on Brand recognition. I think that is better in the long run. It lasts longer and is often missed more if it disappears. I don’t want to be known for just one thing (writing erotic fiction), which is why I blog on this website. I want to be known as the masthead for a diverse media brand. The more exposure I’m able to obtain the better it is for The Brand, but at the same time, everything isn’t a part of the Master’s Plan. My route to success if going to be harder than that of someone who happened to fall into success overnight or by being discovered.

I’ve started on my novel “He’s A Problem” and on “The Goodie Bag II“. But I’m taking a short break from literary fiction to write spec scripts for television shows. I will pick up where I left off on “He’s A Problem” and “The Goodie Bag II” soon. That the power of being the boss; I can change my own deadlines. I’ve got a ton of ideas for stage plays and movie scripts as well. Plus a notebook full of book topics. There’s enough talent and creativity bottled up inside of me to keep Super Woman Productions and Publishing in business for years and years to come. I’m just waiting on people to notice. I’m also waiting for us to begin to use the technology that we buy to do more than update our Facebook status.  

As I read the “rejection” emails from entities like Examiner.com, I realize that I’m not being rejected by them. They are being rejected by me. They aren’t ready for me. They aren’t the catalyst necessary to further my purpose. They will one day become nonexistent because they are not an example of diversity. They are the same thing, recycled in a slightly different package. A year ago, I attended a technology conference where there were only three African Americans in the whole room. And we were all women. The conference gave highlights and previews of what I’m seeing come to fruition in today’s technology marketplace and online environment, including the implementation of Google+. I integrated Google+ into this website even prior to having my Google account upgraded. That’s called forward thinking.   

Instead of being the next trending topic or dying fad, I’m striving to break the molds. All of them. Repeatedly. From the screen on your smart phone to the motion picture screen. I encourage people to open their minds as they follow me on this journey. The Super Woman Brand will become more than what you’ve seen so far and more than you’ve seen from others in the industry. Russell Simmons doesn’t know my name today. But one day soon, he will want to.

In the meantime, check out the two articles I wrote for GlobalGrind.com last year by clicking the links below.  

I Ain’t Mad At Nicki Minaj  

The Case for King James

 

Abuse of Power

I rarely forget what men say to me. A man once told me that if I knew the power I have over men, I’d be dangerous. What’s interesting to me is that I do know that power.  I know it as well as I know myself. I know my own weaknesses, vulnerabilities and strengths. When it comes to the power this man was referring to (my sex appeal) I am very much aware of what I’m capable of. However, I choose not to abuse the power. I choose not to manipulate men. I choose not to play games. I choose not to utilitize everything I have in my womanly arsenal to tempt, deceive or destroy. Even though I could.  I could post pictures of my body in full profile here on my website or on Facebook. But I choose not to. I could post pictures of myself many places on the internet in nothing but a thong with my booty right in the camera. But I choose not to. I could do a lot of sexually explicit things. I have the body for it, men like it, but it would defeat the purpose of what I’m striving to do.

People have different opinions of nudity and the extent of what should/could be shown. I recently posted a picture on Facebook attached to an event to promote my first time hosting a friend’s radio show in his absence. The picture is inside my book “The Goodie Bag”, on page 61. Someone, named Jan Davis, allegedly reported the photo as pornographic and I was asked to remove it. What’s funny is that the only thing you can see in the picture is the male model’s back, my arms and one of my legs. No breasts, no booty, no nothing else.  Yes, we appear to be nude in the picture and we’re locked in a sensual embrace. But there’s nothing pornographic about it. The other thing I found funny is that there are women all over Facebook with little to nothing on with their booties bent over, spread wide and up high. Some of them are wearing merely dental floss and pasties, if that. There are thousands of “big booty girl” groups on Facebook that men ogle over daily.  I’ve been asked to provide pictures for them, but I’ve refused. Some of these groups literally feature porn actresses and male magazine models who pose completely nude all the time.  It’s how they make their money. But my picture is pornographic and not deemed suitable “for a family oriented website like Facebook” (quotation from Jan Davis,  who allegedly reported my one photo, while other people run sexually rampid on Facebook).  I wonder if Jan Davis polices everyone on Facebook, or just me.  Either way, she’s not very good at it (allegedly). But I digress.

My point is this. There’s a lot of things I could do. Yes, my book is erotica. It is very sexual in nature and the language could definitely be considered “written porn”. In some of the stories I get downright raunchy and if you have the imagination for it, you could truly find yourself discombobulated by it.  That’s what makes it good erotica. But the visual aspects are a tasteful, sensual enhancement to the written words. I could’ve gone way, way, way to the left and flat out put in photos that were beyond anything used to promote the book on Facebook, but I didn’t. If I had, I’d probably have three or more Facebook profile pages as a result of the overwhelming friend requests from men that I’d receive. That would be an abuse of womanly power. I personally think the photos of me I have are already more than enough. They are professional photographs, not PhotoShop enhanced and are for the purpose of marketing “The Goodie Bag“, not to get a man.  I believe in leaving something to the imagination. I think it’s actually more sensual and sexy to do so.  The slightly sexier photos are included inside the book “The Goodie Bag” and you have to be eighteen years old to buy it.  The photos of other women on Facebook are often their profile pictures, taken in their bathrooms, with their camera phone.  I’m just saying.

Now, I’m not saying I’ve never taken male magazine type photos; I’m not a hypocrite. I’m just saying the public may never get to see them and if they do, it wouldn’t be anything shocking or disturbing to young children.  As a woman, who is a Brand and has aspirations beyond being pretty, I think that my talents should outweigh my sex appeal. I know that’s not going to ever happen. Men look at me first and hear me last, if at all. That’s the way things are. But once a man listens, I want him to be able to see beyond the sex appeal and then hopefully find the intelligence to be equally sexy to him. I want my work ethic to shine as much as the patent leather on my stilettos. I want my mental brilliance to overshadow my curves.  I want my work to be less about what’s between my legs or below the small of my back and more about my entrepreneurial skills and vision.  

I want my self confidence to grab a man by his…

Although I can get attention so many other ways than by being smart, I choose not to. I choose not to abuse the womanly power I possess over men. I prefer to use it to motivate women to be sexy in a way that doesn’t compromise the virtues of being a woman. And I might sometimes decide to do so in a sexually overt manner  –

*pause*

[Public Service Announcement: The Goodie Bag II” is coming this fall and the pictures will be more sexually graphic“The Goodie Bag; The Erotic Fiction Collection” will be available on the Kindle app for iPad, iPhone, Android and Blackberry THIS week so put the kids to bed early.] *resume*

– I can make that decision because I control this Brand. If that also makes people jealous, angry or even causes Jan Davis to (allegedly) report me again, that’s okay too.

If I have your attention, maybe you’ll actually hear me.  With great power comes great responsibility (to whom much is given, much is required) and I take my responsibilities seriously. All women should. And we shouldn’t use our power against men… or each other.