This episode is all about me being thankful for all the wonderful blessings in my life. I cannot be selfish and refuse to acknowledge those wonderful individuals who continue to give me strength by their kind words and caring hearts. Therefore, I dedicated an entire episode to those beautiful people. You all are truly appreciated!
A big part of my day yesterday was spent writing the lyrics for a collaboration song dedicated to my cousin Derrick. My cousin Antonio, Derrick's nephew, contacted me about getting together and recording it and I was completely on-board. Right away I began to think of what I wanted to say based on the last conversation we had 3 days before his death. The emotions were flowing, the words were rolling, and it all came together. After I wrote the lyrics, I recorded it in my studio and meshed it with the music. Antonio chose some amazing music that touched my heart so much I knew it was the perfect choice. I sent my cousin a sample of what I'd recorded and he was super excited! Him and his fiancee Chelsea gave me extra motivation to keep going and soon we will have created a song together from separate locations: Las Vegas and Illinois. So DOPE!
I am thoroughly enjoying the fact that I am surpassing so many limits I had placed upon myself. I never saw myself recording a song before and now in 2017 here I am and with my own cousin! There is so much talent within my family and if many of them recognized their worth they would showcase theirs as well. Nonetheless, I am very excited for things to come and getting this together for my cousin Derrick. We are leaving a legacy for him, he deserves this. RIP.
In episode 2, I talk about the controversy surrounding the title of my book and I wonder why people act differently when a positive black woman chooses to rise up. I also talk about the struggle of being a black intelligent woman and the negative effects felt from the black community itself.
This is dedicated to my cuz Skeet who passed away today. After speaking on the phone with him 3 days ago, I am in total shock. I've never been hit so hard by a death, such a young death. He was so lively, charismatic, loving, and a real business man. I can't express how hard this feels, but I have expressed my feelings in this podcast below. The frustration, the disappointment all comes out in a rush of emotion.
I created a gofundme for the pre-launch of my book and book tour. I feel this book deserves to be in the hands of every person, regardless of what their race is. Below is the link to donate, based on the amount being donated you will receive some great perks such as shout outs on my website, Facebook, and YouTube, copies of my book in Kindle format, a physical copy, and even a limited edition signed version.
Here is the link to donate: www.gofundme.com/pre-launchbookreleaseandtour
Lately I've been doing a lot of soul searching, talking to God about big things on my mind. Since I will be 30 years old in a little under 6 months I am constantly working on becoming a more mature person than I was in my 20s. I refuse to be the same person, how can anyone accept such a thing as not growing? I am thinking more and more about younger generations and their belief systems. I ponder and my thoughts wander about all the preconceived notions, ideas, and opinions that clouded my thoughts when I was younger. I was so set on believing what everyone else around me thought that I never formed my own opinion.
As I get older I now see my opinion is far different than those I once knew. I had no idea what was best for myself back then and in certain areas and aspects majority of the people around me had no idea either. Some still don't, sadly. While I mention my past, I must also look to the future and those whose futures are at stake.
I realize I limited my achievements to those around me. I hindered my own growth or stunted it based on the actions or inaction of those I knew. This is why I think of the future of future generations. I wish for them much inner peace, strength, and growth. I wish for them to recognize their truth behind the veil that seems to keep it hidden or shunned. I hope they do not limit their goals and aspirations because those around them are too fearful to achieve their own. It should not be younger generations looking to older generations and being let down by what they see. Since actions speak louder than words, parents shouldn't say, "You can achieve what you want," as it will fall on deaf ears. Since actions speak louder than words they must recognize that seeing is believing. Why say one thing, but do the opposite? If parents wish for their children to succeed, they must work towards showing them the way. To rise above and do better for not just themselves but for the younger people who look up to them.
I say this as an African American woman who struggles with these deep inner thoughts that people constantly ignore. I am thinking above and beyond myself to those younger generations who are growing up today. I want them to see that they can achieve, that they can do far better than what they might think. That they are worth so much more than they might believe. I say this because I know I certainly never felt like I was worth much when I was growing up. Now as an African American professional voice over actress (a rarity in the field), a soon to be author, a proud young black woman who grew up poor, on welfare, as a soul who found herself lost at a young age, I stand with an uplifted head. Not ashamed of my past, but using it as a tool of strength and motivation to help improve things for future generations. I find it selfish to do anything less. I no longer make excuses for myself and I no longer accept them from anyone else.
Young people need to see better because they deserve it, therefore we must do better. One should never place limits upon themselves based on what they see around them. I talked to an old friend recently who still lives close to where I grew up and it saddened me to find out he had no goals for his future or aspirations. He wasn't even open to hearing about the self-improvement program that changed my life for the better. What is happening to us? What are we conditioning ourselves to become? What are we learning? Are we even learning or have we refused and stopped? Look at what we are doing to ourselves...It is our own fault.
As an adult, life is all about the choices you make, start thinking in terms of accountability. We may not have had the best childhoods, but it's up to us to create the present and future we want for ourselves. I know the choices I've made have gotten me to where I am. No one is to blame but yourself, it's time to take responsibility for the inaction (really hold yourself accountable), let go of the stagnation, and start moving forward. Believe in yourself and realize that no one is holding you back, but you. After I realized years ago that I was the one holding myself back, I cut it out, and I'm far happier now than I've ever been. Each year, day, hour, minute, second is another blessing and gift from my Father as life gets better and better. If you can't move forward for yourself, think altruistically and do it for the betterment of tomorrow, do it for the youth and their futures.
As we all know more and more people are working for themselves these days, if you don't know where have you been??? The younger generations are rising above the older generations and forging their own paths. As an entrepreneur myself, I recommend it because I see how most people get stuck drowning in their daily lives. Start small first because if you have no clue what you are doing, I do not advise going full force. For those beginners, here is my top 10 list of tips for anyone wanting to become a entrepreneur:
#10 CHANGE YOUR MINDSET- Being an entrepreneur is a BIG STEP away from your parent's and grandparent's time/thinking. You have to think in terms of you working for yourself, of course it is easier to work for someone else, but do you want to spend the rest of your life making someone else's dreams come true while neglecting your own?
#9 DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED- Initially you may want to continue working your regular job then slowly transition into becoming your own boss. Entrepreneurship can be tough especially if you have no idea where to start. In the next few months I will begin giving tips for more help as I know how tough it can be.
#8 BECOME MORE PEOPLE FOCUSED- As an entrepreneur, you are creating a business for yourself therefore customer satisfaction must be your guarantee. Don't be angry or foolish- business is business- take the emotion out of it! Too many people are too overly emotional to work for themselves.
#7 START WATCHING LESS TV AND READING MORE EDUCATIONAL BOOKS- Watching TV is a passive activity, not at all stimulating; whereas reading is a very active activity that stimulates the brain and strengthens the eyes.
#6 BE AS OPEN AS POSSIBLE TO LEARNING AS MUCH AS YOU CAN- Learn, learn, and keep learning! Never stop learning, but retain what is most relevant to you. I can't count how many webinars and seminars I have gone to or seen. Only those that were geared towards what I truly wanted to do stuck in my mind, beware of sensory overload!
#5 DO NOT COMPARE BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR WITH WORKING A 9-5 JOB- This is very unrealistic, no comparison at all. Entrepreneurs work 3x as hard because they work for themselves. Entrepreneurs are very disciplined, being an entrepreneur is not for the average, lazy person. So, if you consider yourself to be a lazy person then being an entrepreneur is certainly not for you.
#4 UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT YOUR TIME IS- Time is the one thing you can never get back, no one can buy back time. Don't waste it being unsatisfied. Anything you do, do it with pride and care, no matter how small it may be. If you really keep at it, your time will be very valuable, not just to you but to your clients.
#3 BECOME RESOURCEFUL- We live in the digital age, everything is online. If you are not online or have some access to the internet, you are being left behind. I CANNOT STRESS THAT ENOUGH!!! There are resources all around you and nowadays you can learn how to do anything from YouTube.
#2 EDUCATE YOURSELF- this complies with #7 and #6, I repeat learn, learn, learn, and keep learning! A person must never stop learning and educating themselves. Get yourself a free library card and spend more time there learning. If you refuse to learn something new for yourself, think about learning something new to pass that knowledge on to others. People will even pay you for your knowledge, so pay attention!
#1 INVEST IN YOURSELF- purchase online courses through Udemy, Groupon, etc. Purchase a laptop and get high speed internet. In my book, which I finally finished, I mention how poor families in America always have at least 1 TV in their home. Get rid of that junker and invest in a $200 laptop from Wal-Mart. Stop holding yourself back from improving. Stop holding yourself back from learning and growing.
In this video below I play the voice of Ida B. Wells an African American journalist, teacher, newspaper editor, and feminist. She was the first African American woman to be a paid correspondent for a mainstream white newspaper. She began an anti-lynching campaign that involved investigative reporting to document the unjustified killings of blacks at the time. The creator and director of the video has submitted it to Fort Worth Indie, Chicago International, Animation Block Party (New York), and Global Impact (D.C.) Film Festivals. I have also been informed that he will be pitching it to major networks this summer as well. The purpose of it and others like it is to create a more conscious awareness of education and how important it is and should be for everyone, especially black people. I hope this gets picked up and the creators behind it can begin filming videos of many other black leaders to be distributed on major networks. Do me a favor and go on to YouTube and like the video for me (click here), I would truly appreciate it and could you possibly add a comment about how this idea is great for educating young people or whatever suits you.