Tuesday, July 18, 2017

5 TIPS FOR THE NEW ENTREPRENEUR

They always tell you to “Go for it!” or “Just do it!!”  
Becoming an entrepreneur can be one of the hardest things in the world to do. While it is rewarding and exciting, it is one of the scariest things I’ve done to date- this is coming from someone who’s pushed whole humans out of her body. Your excitement is on level 10, while your fear is on level 10.5. “Can I really do this?” you ask yourself. What if I fail? What if I make a complete fool of myself? Can my dream and plan, really finance my needs in life?
Encouragement is vital and warm words are always welcomed; especially from those who’ve experienced what you are about to endure. Their present status is inspiring. You say “If she can do it, I can do it”. They make it look so easy. From make-up artists, to comedians, to painters, and event planners, these people are literally living off of their dream! How could you not be inspired to at least try?
The problem comes when you actually decide to do it. No one tells you that your anxiety levels burst. No one tells you that ‘friends & family’ DON’T EQUATE TO CUSTOMERS/SUPPORT.  They don’t tell you that you may have to lose everything, just to get where you’re trying to be. They never mention the fact that becoming and entrepreneur, is the craziest thing that someone could ever do!
So you would really sacrifice a bi-weekly paycheck, for and uncertain pay day, with an uncertain amount? What if no one buys? What if no one supports? How am I gonna feed my family?!
As a self-published author, here are a few tips I've learned along the way.

      DO YOUR BEST: After all that’s really all you can do. Always put your best foot forward and know that your work is not in vain. When you do your best, it will attract the right type of people
     
    BE CONSISTENT: How can you expect a profit or a good return, or even support from people if you’re not consistent? One day you do hair, but because no one booked you today, you give up and quit. Once you gain your confidence back, you’re magically a hairstylist again.  It doesn’t work this way. Although things may get hard or discouraging, you have to remain planted in your purpose. If you are an entrepreneur, then BE AN ENTREPRENEUR every day of your life. Your persistence and consistency will take you farther than you know.


    FOCUS ON THOSE WHO SUPPORT YOU, NOT THOSE WHO DON’T: This step is easier said than done! You will have friends and even close family members who will not support you. You will have people that pledge their support, but will not follow through. It is tempting not to say “Aye, I thought you were gonna support me?!” Especially when these people are near and dear to your heart. Word of advice: FAMILY & FRIENDS DO NOT TRANSLATE TO CUSTOMERS!  They just don’t. It’s hard not to take it personal, but try to focus on those that actually take the time to support you. Be thankful for them; appreciate them. No need to waste energy on people who will not help you grow.

    STAY IN YOUR LANE & FOCUS ON YOUR OWN JOURNEY: Some people will achieve success BEFORE you, QUICKER than you; this happens more than not. IT IS OKAY. Stay in the game. Your journey will not be the same as some people- it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes people can focus so much on other people that can’t even focus or invest into their own dream.  You can’t sell your bouquets from keeping up with the florist down the street. That’s never gonna increase your revenue or clientele.  Focus on you, because you’re awesome!

    QUALITY OVER QUANTITY: In this world of social media, it’s hard not to try and keep up with your peers..their followers, their likes and shares. You see them produce something weekly, and suddenly you feel the need to do the same. The problem comes when you realize, YOU ARE NOT THEM. What may be a successful formula for someone else, may be horrible for you. Internationally known singer, Sade ONLY creates an album, when she has something to say. Imagine if she competed with other artists! It’s quite possible that her albums would be empty, with no substance, because ‘she just needed to put out an album’. Create the best, not the most. Don’t water your work down, in order to stretch it to the length of other’s work. It’s not worth it.

      GOOD LUCK GUYS!!!







Friday, January 13, 2017

PAIN, FOR THE SAKE OF PROGRESS

Have you ever found yourself too comfortable to grow?  I think at some point, we all have. Destiny, sometimes, seems too big to obtain, and at times too far to reach; at least without a little help. We hide in our 9-5’s, we get comfy in stagnant relationships, and at times, our gifts wither away.

I am finding that God, or the universe, (or whoever YOU call this higher power), will sometimes FORCE us into destiny, because if we continue at our own pace, we will never get there.  Reflect on your life. Are there any instances where you can say “I didn’t succeed in this, until I failed at that”? Maybe you lost a job, maybe you lost a possession, dealt with eviction..and it wasn’t until you were forced to be broken at the bottom, that you were able to trek to the top.  Maybe there is opportunity in opposition. I have heard plenty of entrepreneurs say that they would have never committed themselves fully to their craft, if they hadn’t been faced with some type of opposition. Which in turn, worked out..in the end.  In the middle of a thing, it is hard to see a happy ending.  So we rarely see the good in anything that makes us feel bad.

Maybe we should change our perspectives on what we call opposition or pain. Maybe these hard times are nothing but canals to the better. More less, they are routes to the front yard of destiny.  So before you spend any more time, wallowing or grieving for the place in which you were comfortable, perhaps you should take this time to see the hidden opportunity within the pain.  Newly divorced? This could be the perfect time to go back to school, like you always said you wanted to do. Recently fired? This could be the time you need, to perfect your craft and present it to the world. Evicted? Maybe this is exactly what you needed, to relocate…to leave that dead place.. or that dead relationship.

I’m not saying we can’t feel, or experience pain. You should always allow yourself to feel. What I suggest is that above the loud sounds of weeping, resentment and pain, you try to hear what the future could be saying.. and step, accordingly.


Love & Light

Sunday, January 1, 2017

CAN'T PLEASE 'EM ALL

Hopefully you’ve learned by now, that you can’t please everyone. You can rock your fur, but then PETA would be pissed. You can rock your plus sized halter top, but then someone would complain that one of your stomachs wasn’t tucked in (insert angry emoji here__________). You can do your comedy, but then someone would complain about the sex joke. You could rock your natural hair, but then someone would insist that “natural ain’t for everybody”.


I have never understood why people felt the need to always voice their opinions; especially the negative ones.  Just because you think it, doesn’t mean you speak it.  I keep a lot of my thoughts to myself…hence the migraines, I guess.

You can shape your life around what you think may please everyone…your religion, your style of dress, the language you use, and there will still be someone with something to say! I have seen the most seemingly pure people be criticized for the most miniscule things like their finger nail polish, or their favorite song. I have seen people who never bothered anyone, be bashed for simply ‘doing their own thing’.  WHERE DO THESE CRITICS COME FROM?  Most of the time, they come from behind a keyboard. You’d think they have such expertise in, well everything- fashion, hair, religion, life, sex, money, beauty, culture. When really, a lot of them just excel in typing (not to be construed as grammar, we’ve all seen the errors).


The sad part is, a lot of us will edit who we really are, in an effort to be accepted by people who have no intention on accepting us anyway.  Some people just don’t like you. Period. If you lost 10 pounds, converted religions, dyed your hair, and learned how to play 2 more instruments, SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, WOULD STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.

Do you know that no matter what you do, or how you do it, there will always be an itchy scalp, velcro strap shoe wearing, chapped lipped critic somewhere near?  It’s true!  So before you photoshop the real you, in an attempt to gain acceptance, or to quiet down the naysayers, how about you just do you? Yes, there will be critics and haters, but it comes with the territory. What doesn’t come with the territory, is a watered down version of yourself, who’s afraid to step on the toes, of people who could care less about your feet anyway…..


Do you, you do it best.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

THE TRUTH ABOUT DAUGHTERS WITHOUT FATHERS


                Sometimes, we find everything that is wrong with the world; our perception has always been tainted-something has always be missing.

                Sometimes, we are offended by happiness and completion. It is uncomfortable, for it is new. It is not what we are accustomed to, and depending on how foreign it is to us, we may even chase it away. How dare contentment come in and rearrange the furniture of pain…take down the photos of bitterness, as though they were not beautifully hung?

Sometimes, our hearts are revolving doors for the men who hurt us. We yearn for the first one, that left, to stay. And because he doesn’t, oftentimes, the pattern of ‘ins and outs’ begins. I wonder ‘does he care that he’s created this cycle?”

Sometimes, at random, the tears fall, without provocation. It’s him, again. The little girl inside, has yet to gain peace, because there really are no answers to satisfy the hunger that starves to eat clarity. And it hits us while we are driving on the highway..or while we are watching television..or even while we are changing our child’s diaper. The pain never really goes away. It just goes to sleep, and you hope that this time…this nap…this rest..that someone slipped it a drug to cause a heavy coma, just to get through a few good years without feeling weak, for still loving a man, who didn’t choose you.

Sometimes, we have to choose mind over matter. We have to make conscious decisions to hold feelings hostage.. to protect the ones we love.  It is done to ensure that the cycle ceases. If the tears were to constantly break free, seeping in front of our children, they would only drown- claiming yet, more lives. If the tears, were to constantly break free, bursting in front of our husbands, our protectors, then they would only sink in the mud. We cannot hold people accountable to fix, that which they’ve not been equipped to repair.  Doctors cannot repair motors. Husbands cannot repair daddy issues.

       Sometimes, we are so numb to the pain, we seek out the replicas. We imitate the very scene that caused our hearts to break. And sometimes, we are so resilient,that we avoid it at all costs. And sometimes, our closure comes in seeing our children raised by good men. The good men..they are out there. They don't look like our fathers, they don't smell like our fathers, they laugh deeply...their presence is heavy, and they stay. You hear them daily. They walk the floors in the morning. They lock the doors at night. They look stern, when necessary..and they’re love is never debatable. And our closure, slowly creeps through.

We are by no means victims, sometimes, we just need to set ourselves free.   


                                            

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DRIVING DOWN MEMORY LANE: IS IT EVEN WORTH THE GAS?

                I think it’s pretty fair to say that we’ve all been hurt, one way or another. Maybe betrayed in a relationship, or stabbed in the back by a coworker. And because pain has no restrictions, some of us have even been hurt by family and loved ones.


Surely I am not the only one who became so comfortable in my resentment and anger that I deemed it a part of my daily attire.  I have held on to things as though my life depended on it. If you hurt me, I withdraw. No explanation needed, no confrontation required- just an immediate shut down..never to open again, because YOU hurt ME.  I am learning that this type of behavior hurts me more than anyone.  When you remain angry.. or even hurt.. you constantly remind tread through the situation. You are constantly declaring yourself “victim”.  Are you no more than that?  Is your entire being, solely based on what others have done to you? I have met people who tell the same story of hurt and humiliation.. some from over 10 years ago. Why? Why take up valuable mental space and even heart space to ensure that a toxic emotion, correlated with a traumatic event, remain ever present? Is that same space not worth swapping out for a positive?  For love? For light?

There is a major difference between remembering, and never forgetting.

You have to be aware of your true power. True power is not passively dealing with pain, and pretending to be okay. True power is not retaliating (said the woman who keyed her cheating boyfriend’s car.. BUT that was over 10 years ago- the woman I am now, is smart enough to just put sugar in the gas tank-I KID------>>> I FREAKING KID!!). True power is not housing toxicity in your own temple, because of the actions of others. True power is accepting the hurt-whatever it may be..and whomever may have done it. True power is dealing with your pain and your anger, and being wise enough to render an eviction notice, when these same feelings have stayed beyond a visit, and have taken residence in your temple.

No, you shouldn’t ever ‘hurry up and get over it’.  And no, you shouldn’t ever deny to yourself, that someone has wronged you. Take your time. Be honest with yourself, and deal with you real feelings. Don’t let them deal with you.  How long will you say “He cheated on me six years ago.” Or “she lied on me last year”. How long will the actions of others, be the storyline of your life?  Yes they hurt you. But at some point, you must be accountable as well, for your constant self-victimization.

 When it is time, let the situation go, and if need be, let the people go just the same. And understand that some people will never apologize. Some people will never admit their wrongs, but you have to navigate through life, as though they have.   You owe yourself peace, if nothing else. Once you have truly dealt with your feelings, and are determined to move on, then leave those emotions..that situation..and even that person on Memory Lane.  And be careful how often you visit.

                It has been my personal experience.. when I dwell on Memory Lane for too long, I always end up on Remember To be Broken Avenue; and it’s a rough neighborhood.  I could never justify revisiting a place like that..so now, I tend to stay on the safer part of town.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WHEN THE GIFT IS TOO BIG FOR THE BOX


            Let’s be logical. When you take the time out to buy a gift for a loved one, you make sure it’s special. You make sure it fits their character…their personality. You’ve studied them, watched them evolve and have figured out the perfect gift to present to them.  You’ve saved money for this extra special gift. You’ve made certain to keep it in appropriate conditions until the time is right.  You’ve kept it away from people who would harm it, or even uncover its existence before the right time.   After all of this preparation, the only thing left to do is present it, in the right sized box.  Of course you always check out the cheaper boxes…after all, the box isn’t as half as important as the gift, right?  All of the cheaper boxes are either too small, or not strong enough to hold this special gift. Up until now, cheaper boxes have always been the “go to” route…everyone in your family uses the cheaper boxes. So you follow the trend, and purchase the cheaper box.

You find contentment in the money you saved, and hurry home to complete the last step of gifting.  You go to that secret place that has hidden your special gift, carefully pull it out, and place it in the traditional, cheap box. The box, though wide enough to hold the bottom surface of this special gift, is not big enough to actually contain it.  This is so odd, considering that every other gift has fit perfectly in the cheaper boxes; your mom’s gifts…your dad’s gifts… every gift, a sure fit. But now..your special gift, cannot rely on the measurements of what sustained gifts from the past.  Your special gift cannot rely on the height nor width of the traditional boxes to protect it or cover it.  No matter how you position this gift, it will not fit. You move it to the left…try for the right…you even opt to lay it down inside the traditional box, but nevertheless, the gift just won’t fit. You notice the special gift laying there..the grooves in the exterior, the polished ends…. in a box that wasn’t even created to hold such a gift. This gift is extravagant..this gift is special, and has now been placed in nothing more than processed paper.

Let’s leave logic. So many of us, hold home dear to our hearts. Home should be sacred…it should be a place where one can be human and imperfect and still receive love. But the truth is, for a lot of people, your gift…your dream.. cannot fit into the traditional circumference of home. And as awkward as it may feel, you can’t keep stuffing your gigantic gift into a cheap traditional box, just because it was sufficient space for everyone else in your family.  Sometimes, your gift is just too big for tradition, and truth be told, a move…a different space…..a different setting… at some point, is going to be necessary if you want to protect your gift.

Unfortunately, home can be the very crime scene, where your gift is murdered. And discouragement and doubt often come from the mouths of family and friends. Analyze your gift and your surroundings….is the atmosphere conducive…is it beneficial to your gift?  Can you grow?  Or have you grown stagnant because the ‘box’ is ill equipped to hold you? Sometimes you gotta leave home, and the guilt that comes with growth won’t kill you. You know for yourself, that you are gifted, just as well as you know …that in order to grow, sometimes you gotta go. You have to bid home, aka the comfort zone, farewell; the very life of your dream is depending on it.
Ejspeaks
 
 
p.s. Just in case you have a hard time understanding the message, check out fellow youtuber, Kevonstage, here:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

BRIDGES OF THE HEART: TO BURN OR SALVAGE?

 

            It is often that people warn you of burning the bridges you may need to cross again. This is all too true, but there are a few things that should be included as well.  Bridges are made to cross over water, but when the water has dried up and the other side of the bridge leads to nowhere, then what?
 
            This is not an “everybody can’t go where you’re going” sermon. This is about honesty and time preservation. The truth is, even though the smoke irritates your skin, and the flames cause your eyes to water, the bridge is better off burning. Did it really lead to anything positive? Better?  Oftentimes, we search for function, in dysfunctional places. We think that because we love with our all, that people will love us, in the same proportion.  We become angry, because we will take shirts off of our backs for the people we love, and they won’t even acknowledge that we are naked.   This is not about how people treat you, but also how you treat other people. It aggravates me to no end, when a man complains about his partner not trusting him. He calls them petty and insecure. But he never mentions how he cheated on her, and in doing so, made her feel that she was not worthy of a faithful man. So many times, we focus on them and overlook the part we play. Some of us throw gasoline, and then hide our hands, as though we had no part in the bridge catching fire. And bridges that have burned are only an indication that we should not go back. If you have cheated on your mate 52 times, you should burn the bridge, as it will correlate with the sensation you feel while urinating. And for you to have cheated that many times, the bridges’ wood, was already dead.
 
            Some of us are stuck in relationships because we would rather stay in a dormant imitation of love than admit to our mother that we need to come back home. So you stay… sleeping in separate rooms, on a dead bridge.  Some of us are stuck in relationships, because we’re related. Pushed with guilt because “blood is thicker than water”, when in reality, NO ONE CLEANS ANYTHING WITH BLOOD, it’s always water.  So we stay, constantly supplying blood to leeches, on a dead bridge.  Some of us are in volatile relationships because our parents were in volatile relationships, and it is the only display of love that we’ve ever seen.  So we stay… bruised faces and swollen eyes, that refuse to see the truth anyway… on a dead bridge.  Some are walking back and forth on the spoiled wood of a bridge called employment. You are not going anywhere, nor are you growing anywhere. You are merely going through the motions, of work. And for some reason you refuse to burn the bridge.
Bridges are meant to be crossed, and most certainly some of them will be used more than once. But if you see the wood has soiled, and the termites have thrown their weight, why do you insist on being connected to a rotting bridge, especially if, even the water has disconnected itself?  The water, with no heart or mind, knows to dry up, where there is no activity..no motion..no growth..no nothing.  So why can’t we?  There are some relationships, for which I keep a fire extinguisher on hand. My marriage is one of them. My relationship with my mother is another. But there are definitely others for which, in the past..I smelled the smoke, and quickly put out the small fire.

             I am realizing more and more, that every relationship, whether family, friends, or co-workers does not have to be salvaged. Not every relationship should be stretched out for so long. Some of us knew after 3 months of dating that he was a notorious alcoholic ..but we stretched it out. Now, ten years later, we can’t understand why our children hate us and we are so miserable. We keep getting jobs that are nowhere near our dream career, and wonder why we hate our co-workers. A lot of us sit in the parking lot for several minutes before we even go in, to work, it’s JUST THAT BAD.
 
              In most situations, it is because we have voluntarily decided to be firemen, when we should have just been a witness to the blaze. So the next time, you smell smoke on the bridge, take a moment to think and be honest with yourself. Don’t just put out the fire, because you don’t want the world to walk passed you and smell smoke. Don’t put it out because you don’t want passersby to see the flames. Or you don’t want the neighbors whispering about the residual soot. Put it out because the bridge is worth it. Put it out because the bridge is steady and stable. And it leads somewhere.  And if it doesn’t, then I advise you to put on Usher’s Confession Cd, and take notes. Let it burn.