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Young People…. STOP F*ing up your life.

There is a young woman who is 23 years old. I’ve known her all of her life. Her sister is one of my Best Friends, and our families have been close since before I was born.

This young sista is beautiful and smart (or so I thought). She has not always made the right decisions but really who has? From the outside looking in, I thought she was trying. She had gone out of state for college, but a series of poor decisions brought her home to her sister’s couch without a degree. She ended up finding retail employment for about $12.00 per hour.

Me being the problem-solving diva that I am, I reached out to her to let her know about a free training program in her field of interest that could potentially double her income. This training program would be free to her for 5 to 6 hours a day for 16 weeks. Previous graduates of this program are making between $20.00 to $40.00 per hour.

She led me to believe she was really interested in this opportunity. She attended the orientation, completed the test, and participated in 3 interviews, just to not show up on the first day of class.

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This is a program that had over 100 applicants for 23 spaces. I spoke to the instructor and the counselors to ensure she got into this cohort. I feel like she slapped me in the face and F*d off an opportunity to change her life.

She’s standing still right now, with no direction as to where her life is going. She’s not thinking about her future and is consumed with getting her nails done and ordering the best hair for her sew-in. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing wrong with getting your hair and nails done, but that can’t be the purpose of your life.

I just want to yell, what the hell is wrong with you? You’re not living up to your potential and as an adult, it’s no ones fault but your own. Be accountable, be a woman of your word, and don’t drag other people down with you. I didn’t have to put my name on the line for you, I didn’t have to extend the olive branch to give you a life-changing opportunity, but I did because I love you, I respect you, and I know you could have a bright future if you apply yourself and commit to something.

What’s, even more, sad is the lack of accountability and the need to play the blame game instead of saying I F*d up. I took it back to our Shule Mandela Academy days and recited a portion of a pledge we recited daily that stated: “All learning is not fun, some learning is tedious, but we cannot be black and proud, and all so be dumb, therefore we must learn, we are the next generation.” I get crickets from her, so I’m done. I can no longer help people that don’t want to help themselves.

Fortunately, I don’t mind helping another young sista, I just can’t help her.

Call to Action: Young People, take control of your life and Live life to it’s fullest potential because we only get one. Take advantage of every opportunity and go for all of your dreams!

Teach.Inspire.Motivate.Empower

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No Discounts in 2016

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Often times with relationships, all relationships including friendships, romantic relationships, and relationships with family, we let other people treat us in a manner that doesn’t make us feel good. We allow them to lie to us (discount), make fools of us (discount), and not be people of their word (discount). When we allow people to treat us in this manner, we feel hurt, we feel unworthy, and we feel insignificant. When we let people do this to us time and time again, we are giving them discounts, which show how we feel about ourselves as oppose to how another person feels about us. When you know your value, you don’t give discounts.

When you think of High-end Luxury brands, you’ll notice that they don’t discount their prices, because they know their worth, and understand that people, who value their product, will pay what is asked. We need to know our worth, and when people don’t value and/or appreciate us, we need to let them go. In life, some people will be leaves, others will be branches, and it’s up to us to figure out who deserves to be permanent fixtures in our lives.

I’m not allowing people to treat me like I’m a fool in 2016, it is true that I don’t have control over their actions, but I do have control over who is a part of my life, and this year I’m moving forward to live Happy, Healthy, and Wealthy. I have no time for people seeking discounts, people who are constantly taking and never giving, people who are not equally yoked, and people that don’t appreciate the value I contribute.

I wish you all a Joyous, Prosperous, and Happy 2016!

Teach.Inspire.Motivate.Empower

Picture from the amazing artist Pienele Chill

The Power of Excellence!

The Power of Excellence

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Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending #AACHAC’s Women’s Health Conference! Can I tell you, it was one of my favorite moments of 2015! It started with a great energizing welcome, which led to a series of workshops! I attended a cooking workshop and a financial literacy workshop! In between my workshops, I received a massage and a manicure! It was GREAT! The highlight of my day came when I heard the Amazing Amy Hilliard as the Keynote!

She is the President of Fashion Fair Cosmetics and the Founder of ComfortCakes! She is a Howard University Graduate and a HARVARD MBA! Can you say -AWESOME! She spoke about the principals of Success and her new book TAP Into Your Juice: Find Your Gifts, Lose Your Fears, and Build Your Dreams! What a powerful message!

As I sat and Listened to Amy, I felt empowered to continue to move forward, one thing that she said that really stuck with me and that was that as long as you can look up, you can get up! It is never too late to follow your dreams, it’s never too early to follow your dreams. We have to learn how to walk in our greatness and our purpose in every moment of our life!

2 years ago at this same conference, I felt inspired by Amy’s sister Gloria! Gloria Mayfield Banks, MARY KAY extraordinaire! She was so uplifting, motivating, inspiring, empowering, and EXCELLENT! These are two blood sisters, who both went to Howard University for Undergrad, and Harvard Business School for professional degrees! One sister became a Marketing Expert, and the Other a Sales Expert, and the both are examples of Excellence! I admire them for being my career inspiration, my mentors in my head, and everything that I hope to be! #BlackGirlMagic

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I got 99 problems, but a BARBER ain’t one!

I got 99 problems, but a BARBER ain’t one!
So…..I was referred to a barber by a friend of mine. He said “dude is a cat*, but he’ll cut you right”. I started laughing and said ok, I’ll try him out.

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When I arrived at the location, I walked into a beauty shop first, and his barbering area was in the rear. Being in an environment that had an equal amount of men and women made me feel a little more at ease. He was running late and had people waiting, so I made a mental note that he may have an issue with being on time. He was very personable and asked me a lot of questions that made me feel relaxed, and he put the cape around me and went to work. I’m sitting there with a few butterflies in my stomach as my hair hit the floor, but excited to see the outcome. As I turned around and faced the mirror, I was Shocked. It was low…. Real low… I didn’t know if I liked it or not, but I knew he gave me a great cut. It was feminine, even, and cut well. After leaving the shop, I went to my sister, and she dyed it brown (I had too many natural highlights aka grey hairs), and after it was dyed, I fell in love with my hair. I felt empowered! Cinderella had finally found her slipper.

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It can be difficult being a woman with short hair, and to not have people cut it properly can really feel devastating. It messes with your self-esteem.
Since my first haircut, I’ve gone back on three separate occasions. Honestly he is the best barber, but boy can he tell a story, and he’s never on time, but hey, I look great!

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Cat* – a person who is always talking, but never says anything with substance. Not trustworthy.

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LIVE YOUR LEGEND

LIVE YOUR LEGEND

I was home this weekend and decided to watch a few TED TALKS that my friend recommended. OMG, I felt so intrigued by the idea of LIVING YOUR LEGEND! As humans, we are often faced with decisions that will change our life, and we usually choose what is safe vs. what we truly desire. We choose what is safe because we don’t feel good enough to have what we really want. We let our feelings of inadequacy and insecurity prevent us from following our dreams and desires. Living Your Legend is about finding your passion and unapologetically going after what you want and the life you want.

This came to me at a perfect time in my life. I’m in a place of transition and right now I’m sitting in a parking lot trying to figure out what path I want to take. I often feel beaten up, discouraged, inadequate, and fearful, because I’ve faced rejection so many times. After while you start to believe that you’ll never have what you desire, because it’s so hard to attain. I’ve realized that I have to encourage myself! I have to know that what is meant for me is for me and if I don’t get what think I want, it may be for the best.

I wish all of you a happy and productive week and remember to LIVE YOUR LEGEND!

WING TIP for a haircut!

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My handsome, younger co-worker came into the office on a Friday and said he was going to get his haircut downstairs, and I was shocked. I’m like where? At Wingtip? He laughed and said yes! He said that their barber does a great job and extended a discount to him. I said oh, wow, that’s wassup. So I sashayed my way down there and asked the barber if he could squeeze me in. He said “of course”. The facility is very fancy, the ambiance is amazing, and there is only one person in the space at a time! The barber is handsome and personable. We talked the entire time, laughing and talking like we’d known each other for years! He made me feel very comfortable and gave me a run-down of his experience. I was impressed with his resume and proud of his accomplishments though we’d just met.

The shop is downstairs from my office, and I thought I had finally found my barber… Until I was done getting my haircut and looked in the mirror. I thought to myself why didn’t he line up the sides of my hair. From the front you can’t even tell, I had had a haircut. The cut itself was even, and the back was perfect. The only thing is, when I look in the mirror, I see the front, and if that is not cute, then we have a problem.

After experiencing this, I thought to myself, maybe I should give him a second chance. With all of my barbering experiences, I’ve only got cut by each barber 1 time. I’ve never given them an opportunity to redeem themselves or to make a better impression, I always axe them after my first encounter. I also thought that maybe I should have better direction. Maybe my pictures aren’t clear enough, maybe it’s me.
Until I found Jay!

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Liebster

OMG…..This is such an honor! I was nominated for a Liebster by the amazing @solarflowerchild! I did not have a clue what this was until I saw her post.

These awards only have a few rules: 

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you with a link back to his/her blog
  2. Answer the questions asked by the nominator
  3. Nominate bloggers with under 500 followers
  4. Create 10 questions for the nominees to answer.

Who do you look up to most/ who is your role model?

I look up to so many different people, but my role model would be Sheila E. Lewis! She is an African American Entrepreneur, a marketer by trade. She follows her dreams and lives fearlessly. She does this all in Stilettos! She is a fabulous leader and runs a very successful firm. I want to be like her when I grow up! Check out Ashton212.com, to learn more about her.

Number one place you’ve always wanted to travel to or have traveled to?  Why is it number one?

The number one place I want to travel to is Ghana. Being a decedent of African’s who were a part of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, and having my culture and heritage stolen from me, I’ve longed to have a link to my original ancestors. From my research, I’ve found that most African’s who were enslaved are originally from the Western Coast of Africa, and most went through the doors of no return in Ghana. I hope that touching this soil brings be closer to my finding myself.

What is one of the most embarrassing things you have ever done?

One of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever done was fall down the stairs at Kaiser after a doctor’s appointment. I was looking at my phone as I was walking down the stairs, and completely missed a step and tumbled down quite a few stairs. Not to mention the fall was loud.

What is your favorite color?  How does it describe you?

My favorite color is Purple! Purple is associated with royalty, of which describes my ancestors. Purple symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. These are all attributes that describe me.

Favorite movie of all time?

My favorite movie of all time is Crooklyn, by Spike Lee. I could watch this movie over and over again.

List five things you would put on your bucket list (So I can add them to mine :] )

  • Sky Diving
  • Starting my own business
  • Going Natural (done)
  • Going white water rafting (done)
  • Take a road trip across the country

Favorite music artist?

Beyonce

What would you tell your 13-year-old self?  Why?

I would tell by 13-year-old self that you’re good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. You are enough just as you are, and don’t let anyone define your life. Do what you want to do and be confident in your decisions. I think these are important things to hear as a child, because I didn’t pursue a lot of things that I wanted to do at a young age, because of my fear of failure and rejection.

If you could relive one moment in your life what would it be?  Why?

If I could relive one moment in my life if would be the moment I selected a college because I should have followed my heart.

Do you have any regrets in your life, if so list one.  Explain why you regret it.  If not, explain why you have no regrets.

Not in a place to share, but thank you for asking!

Thank you @SolarFlowerChild for nominating me. This was fun and really made me reflect on my life and my decisions. I nominate

  1. @Sister Shabazz

2. @VanessaMichelle

3. @BareLEEthere 

4. @TooMuchMouth

5. @PiecesofNiaG

6. @CatDinas

My Questions:

  1. What are you most passionate about?
  2. Are you Natural or Straight? and Why?
  3. Who is your favorite Celebrity and why?
  4. How would you spend a “lazy” day?
  5. What is your favorite quote?
  6. If you could quit your job and do anything what would it be?
  7. Dinner and a movie or Drinks and dancing?
  8. If you could change anything about your life, what would it be? Why?
  9. What is your middle name?
  10. If you could have selected your own name what would it have been?