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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Gratitude is a KEY to Success!

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“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see” – Dr. Robert Holden

 

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.

Straight Outta Compton!

This movie was the absolute bomb! Shame on me for waiting so long to do a review….LOL. I enjoyed every minute of this movie from beginning to end. The story line was entertaining as well as historical. I enjoyed how relatable the movie was. As a person who was about 5 years old while all of the things were happening in real life, it meant a lot to me to revisit what was going on in our world at that time. It’s interesting how some things come full circle and repeat itself, for example in the movie they touched on the Rodney King beating, and as I was watching it, I couldn’t help but to shake my head because I can no longer keep count of how much police MURDER and brutality that is caught on tape, published in mainstream media, and still ignored.

Prior to watching this movie, I really liked Ice Cube, and after watching this movie, I was inspired, motivated, and grew an enormous amount of respect for Ice Cube. I love that he stood up for himself at a time, when everyone wanted to get their check, so they kept quiet. I love how he peeped game and spoke on it, instead of ignoring it. I love that he was and still is a man of Integrity, a man of Strength, and a man that followed his dreams to success.

Many times I’ve seen people fall victim to their circumstances. They allow the poverty stricken communities that they came from determine their future and how they live their lives. Watching these young men tell their truth, follow their dreams, and become extremely successful inspired me. I want to be a woman who when they tell my story it inspires someone to do great things, find happiness, and love themselves.

I am a first generation college graduate fighting to make my dream of financial freedom a reality and it will come!

So, I tried a new barber………Barber Chronicles…….the Struggle

So, I’ve been asking people about barbers, and it seems as if no one in my immediate circle goes to a barber on a consistent basis. A co-worker of mine referred his father to me, but when I called him he seemed a bit aggressive. After our first conversation, I thought to myself I’ll pass.
I didn’t want to drive all the way to Richmond to see my previous barber, so I decided to just test one out. I found a small barbershop near my house. I wanted my hair cut on a Thursday, so I went in on Wednesday to check out the place. The place was packed and everyone had a client in their chair but the guy in the front. (note: I would not take the barber in the front of the shop with no clients.) As soon as I walked in, everyone smiled, greeted me and made me feel welcomed. I just walked to the man who I seemed to have made eye contact with first, and his name was ED. I looked a mess to in my gym clothes and feeling tired from my workout. He first tried to have me sit in the barber’s chair that I was avoiding and I said no. He then asked me when I wanted my haircut, and to take his number down and let him know when I wanted to come in.
As soon as I got home I sent him a very professional text letting him know the date and time I wanted my hair cut. He proceeded to ask me “what’s up with the purple hair”, first off bra, that’s not good customer service, but my co-worker said I can’t be sensitive with this hair cut…LOL, so I let it slide. I went and got my hair cut the next day, and was dolled up. I didn’t want to go in looking a mess two days in a row with all these handsome men around….LOL. I was turned off by the smoking section in the front…..(gross)….I can’t stand people smoking in public places, but I was there so I went in. I sat in his chair and he was very nice and pleasant. He asked me a few questions about what I wanted and a few questions about life while other barbers chimed in. It was cool.
Once he was done, I was satisfied. Not excited, but not disappointed. After getting home, I started getting all these text messages from him. He felt the need to tell me how great I looked without make-up, but how I know how to not do too much with the makeup. He even requested I send him pictures of myself after I sponge roll my hair. I was like damn dude. Did you really just try and push up on me. I just want to get a good haircut and mind my business. Now I’m scared to tell him I’m not interested, because I don’t want him to mess up my hair, but I don’t want him to think that he has action at anything with me. The struggle is real……I’m going to continue my search in finding a good barber in the Bay.