Mind and Spirit

Knowing your self worth: Protecting your brand

Posted on March 17, 2011. Filed under: Love and Sex, Mind and Spirit, The Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

                                                                  

A while ago, I did a knowing your self worth post for side chicks and jump offs and this will be the follow up to that post. No, I have never been a side chick, but I have been in a position before where I was more like the wife in those circumstances.

I happen to be majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Public policy. I should (finally) be getting my degree by next summer. During my time in school, I have learned so many things about business policy, corporations, marketing, economics and accounting that I figure, why not apply that to everyday life. This post is called protecting you brand. Your brand is you. You are a market leader. That means that you are number #1 in whatever you do and maintain your position by delivering results, best customer service, and most important, a quality product. Market leaders are who McDonalds’ and Walmart are. They are recognizable and established brands that people know and most trust. Everyone else are either market challengers and niches. They are the Burger Kings, the Targets and the Trader Joe’s of the world. They are vying to take the spot if you’re not careful. In other words, these can be the groupies, haters, jump offs, friends of friends, that want what you have and what you represent. They can also be your biggest onstacle to building your brand and can come in the form of fears and insecurities.

                    

Building you brand involves careful planning and positioning. Ask yourself who you are and what you want to represent. Are you someone that’s assertive and likes to take charge? Are you more introverted and likes to act behind the scenes? What about your appearance? Do you like to dress sexy and wear revealing clothing? Or are you into a more classic style? Branding is more than what’s on the ouside, but also what kind of value you bring to the table. These are the expectations of what said product(you), can offer to the public or potential suitors. If you have a college degree, certificates, own your own home, own your own car, these can help boost your brand. These let others know that what you bring to the table is something special and it makes you stand out amongst the crowd. It’s what makes McDonald’s #1 because they offer the value meal. It’s what makes Walmart #1 because of their low prices.

In economics, there’s absolute advantage and theres comparative advantage. Absolute advantage means that you can produce a product not only much better than your competition, but you are the only one that can produce that product. No one, has an absolute advantage over anything. There will always be someone that may be prettier than you, smarter than you, or can out-perfrom you in bed. In economic terms, comparative advantage is when 2 countries trade off what they produce the most. Comparative advantage what most people have. It’s about playing to your strengths and less to your weaknesses. Of course, there’s always room for improvement and working on weaknesses can become an asset to your overall brand, but at best, one would just end up mediocre. For example, I hate math and barely pass all of my math courses. I can work on improving my grades, but at best I usually end up with a C+ or if I’m lucky this semester a B-. Meanwhile my strengths are foriegn languages and history and I get A’s everytime. Playing to you strengths sets you up for success and greatness.

Now, of course their are competitors. These are the market challengers and niches that want to take the top spot. They don’t want you to get promoted at your job, they don’t want you to get the guy/girl that you want. A lot of times, these people want to see you fail because let’s face it, being number #1 is a lot better then a #2 or 3 spot. And as far as niches go, they specialize in a certain type of customer. They cater to whatever that customer’s interest lie and market’s to that customer’s specific need. They are not neccessarily interested in being #1, but it would be nice if they were. Trader Joes’ offers healthy and organic fare under their own brand name at a much lower price than Whole Foods. Jump-offs offer (oral) sex and tend to out perform you in bed. That homeboy(girl) that you hang out with all the time only provides a good laugh and has your back but you know he/she is not serious about their own lives and has no intention for improvement(This is when they turn into haters). I usually tend to steer away from people who have nothing going on for them but keep them at a distance. Guilt by association still rings true today and why risk damaging your brand because your homegirl decides she wants to sleep with a bunch of guys. It’s why athletes tend to lose their endorsements because of morality clauses and the fact that brands such as Pepsi, and Nike, have images to uphold.

As I explained earlier, fear and insecurity is your biggest detriment to your brand success. What is keeping you back from fulfilling your dreams? Is it the fear of the unknown or the fear of failure? Life is about taking risks, facing fear in the face of adversity and following your own path to success. The great ones such as Pepsi, Coke, Michael Jordan, and Pres Barack Obama all became successful despite fear. All it took was an idea and a little faith to make it happen. Sometimes were are so worried about the forbidden “I told you so” from others when we do fail a t something that we just don’t try. When building your own brand, failure is part of the process. One can’t have success without failure and learning from it.

                                                          

Branding YOU involves presenting a clear vision of who you are and what you represent. It’s about building credibility and positioning yourself in a large market where you have to be competitive. Do you want to be Nike or Reebok? Beyonce’ or Rihanna? What does your brand say about you?

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Knowing your self worth: Tips for side chicks and jump offs #1

Posted on February 5, 2011. Filed under: Love and Sex, Mind and Spirit | Tags: , , , , , , |

It’s slim pickens out there folks. I understand this. We all have issues and we are all not perfect. There are a variety of reasons why relationships end, why women are single, where are the good men blah blah  blah, but no one has really much to say about the infamous jumpoff. Yes, I’m talking about side chicks, side pieces, baby girls, and boo boo’s. Here’s the scenario: you meet a guy, you two hit it off, he tells you that he’s married or got a gf but the ‘situation’ at home ain’t right and you pursue anyway. He seems like a great guy, and any girl would be lucky to be with him, so what’s her problem? This post is broken down into 2 parts and the second half will be updated next week. Yes, you are considered a jump-off/side chick, someone to have on the side in case the situation at home doesn’t get any better. I still believe that there are plenty of good men out there, but why go for the taken ones? I have 2 theories to this. 1. It’s all in good fun and you don’t have to assume the role of the wife/gf. And I’m just using wife as an example, but you don’t have to worry about keeping tabs on him. You both get what you want out of it and keep it moving. Or 2. Because you want what you wish you had. This reason comes from our own selfish nature of coveting they neighbors’ belongings. He has a good job, owns his home, takes care of his wife and kids, and you look at your own situation and wondering how the hell she got lucky. Remember that Chris Rock bit in Never Scared where he says that guys want someone LIKE their friends’ girl but women WANT their friend’s man? So true. But if you happen to find yourself in this position, here are a few guidelines:

1. Play your position

Most things in life are given a role. Men and women have gender roles. Actors play a role on tv and in movies. Side chicks are given a role too. You are in the #2 spot(or 3 or 4 depending on how deep his creeping goes) Your job is to perform the duties his wife refuses to do and send him on his way home. See, your job is to perform oral sex on him, stroke his ego, tell him that he’s special and relieve the stress and tension and send him back home to his wife. Got it? You get want you want, she gets what she wants, and he gets what he wants. Everyone benefits 🙂

2. Standards? Who needs those?

Sorry, but you don’t get to put on your moral superiority hat on this one. Both of you are in the wrong, but what’s with this lame excuse about how she needs to step her game up? About how she fell off? Is that looks wise? Didn’t he step out on her? Everyone falls off at some point. Could be because of the kids, could be work, could be anything that has your attention to the point that you forget to put on some extra makeup or get that hair done, or cook, or have sex regularly. To use a sports metaphor, she could be having a bad season. Don’t mean that the team overall sucks, just mean that her offense needs to be stronger and forced out of the box. Makes sense? Or how about this, if you allow a relationship to start off with both of you doing wrong, and you putting yourself in a position to be THAT female, just imagine what the rest of the relationship will be like out in the open. If you settle for less, you get less.

3. Use protection

I don’t care how bad he tells you about the sex or how long he hasn’t been with his wife, he’s still sleeping with her. If he goes home to his house and she still lives with him, he is still sleeping with her. To a degree. But nonetheless, wear protection. I know that you think that you got that oooooh weeeee! and part of the main reason why he’s with you is because that stuf is oooooh weeeee!!!! Think about it, why would you want anything his wife might be carrying? And what does that say about you to sleep with someone knowing that he is also sleeping with someone else? These days, STD’s are going around like the flu and anybody is susceptible to that shit. He’s doesn’t have to wear a condom with his wife but you? Yeah, wrap it up please

4. Don’t get caught up

This should be rule #1 or at least an extension of it. Because it always starts out as having a little fun on the side, then we as women get our feelings caught up in the mix and next thing you know, you calling his wife giving her the business about you and him. Know the reason why you got in this business in the first place. He could tell you all about the stars and the moon when it comes to the two of ya’ll, but if his actions tell you something different, then it’s time to reassess the situation.  If your feelings are getting stronger for him, let him know what’s up up front and don’t settle for anything less. You can’t be catching feelings when he takes his wife out to Maggiano’s and Occidental Grill and all you get is Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Because that means that you’re acting like a gf, when you should be on you knees performing rule #1.

5. Know that you are a side chick

If he wants to leave his wife, gf, or whoever for you, he would have already. WTH likes to be #2 anyway? I don’t care how ugly or bad you think she is, the fact is, there’s something that she has that you don’t that you envy and want from her. That’s called status. There’s wifey, wife, babymomma, girlfriend and friend. So what she may have fallen off just a bit, It’s life, we all do it. The Lakers can’t be #1 all the damn time. Sometimes, McDonald’s’ have shitty sales. Wifey just got lazy. And sometimes in relationships, we all have dull periods. It does not have to be related to looks. Could be other forces such as neglect, maturity, fallen out of love or whatever. But everytime you and her man go out together if that ever happens, and he only introduces you as his friend, he doesn’t want you around his kids, and you can only call and/or see him during certain times of the day, it means that you’ve simply given him all of the power in that relationship and you looking like boo boo the fool hoping that he someday leaves his wife. Is it really worth the stress?

Empowering yourself is all about knowing who you are and what it is that you want. I’m all for compromise in relationships, hell it’s part of the engine that keeps a relationship running, but not at the expense of your dignity and respect. I believe that good men are out there and are waiting for you, but you’re passing them over for those who turn out to be shitty anyway. Jumpoffs are kinda like novelties. They are the new booty, until they become old booty and the cycle continues…

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Hi Hater! – Definition of a Hater

Posted on January 27, 2011. Filed under: Mind and Spirit | Tags: , , , , , , |

      “If you need someone to hate on, feel free to hate on me” – Katt Williams Pimp Chronicles

I think that was from either from Pimp Chronicles or American Hustle. If I’m wrong, oh well. I wanna go back to what I wrote the other night about life being to short to worry about things that don’t matter and learning to forgive and it made me think of haters. With the Steve Harvey story coming out in the media and blogs, it seems to me that everytime we get our chance to shine by doing something, anything that others take notice too, there’s always this band of haters nearby. They always tell you what you can’t do because they can’t do it. They always tell you not to bother trying because you’re gonna fail anyway. Then when you do get your shine, they either want to ride the bandwagon, or get even more upset that you happen to be in the position that you are in and don’t deserve it.

There’s a difference between hating and constructive criticism. Lets’ take this comment for example:

Bum Bitch : I don’t like her because she think she cute. She think she all that and I don’t like her smart-ass attitude. Stuck up ass!

This belongs to a hater. Clearly, for this person, everytime this woman walked in her presence, she had a hateful comment to say.  Everytime this woman came in presence with her hair and nails done right, outfit tight, and exuded confidence, she felt threatened. One has to ask, was bum bitch jealous of the fact that she cared about her appearance? Or about the fact that she was intelligent? I guess carrying yourself with confidence and being assertive clearly means that she’s stuck up in Bum Bitch mind and we just can’t have that can we? Here’s how she could have clarified her comment constructively:

Bum Bitch: She’s seems like a well-kept person. But I’m worried that she may be too high maintenance and she can come off as arrogant sometimes.

Again, this is constructive criticism. There’s a reason why this particular person rubs her the wrong way. Not some vague detail that she just thinks she’s cute. Hell, I know I’m cute and intelligent and I carry myself in that fashion. That’s why I don’t put up with nonsense. It could also mean a self-esteem issue for bum bitch and maybe she’s just insecure. I think that we have our own set of insecurities and that we tend to take them out on others which is unfair. One must dig deep to find out what it is that actually makes that person insecure and find ways to handle that insecurity. Could be talking about it to a friend or dealing with your own issues by stepping your game up. Join a club, perform community service or give back to others.  Constructive criticism is simply disagreeing without being disagreeable. One can say that they do not like something, without having to make it personal or about you. I can say that I did not like For Colored Girls because I could not get the dialogue and I thought that some of the scenes were over the top. That does not make me a hater. But be aware that constructive criticism can evolve into hating without any basis.

 Here’s another one

Lame: Look at this corny ass ni@@a . Betcha he don’t get no p***y. lame

One thing I learned about being around guys is that there’s always some sex factor when it comes to hating. It’s as if your bravado and manhood depends on how many girl you sleep with. This comment seems to come from someone who clearly does not have much going on in his life and felt the need to down others. He’s the type that has been chasing women most of his life and is stuck doing the same thing while others around him are moving up doing big things.  It’s not that he was never given an opportunity but when push came to shove, and hard work and determination was involved, he decided, eh, who needs that?

                                                                                        

Haters can come in the form of hoes, so-called friends, family members co-workers, and anyone else in between. They never seem to have any solutions, but only to mess with your groove. If we keep giving attention to the wrong type of hype, it’s only going to get bigger and bigger. We will always be curious about what they are doing and up to. That’s just the way it is. Ask Sarah Palin. If we give attention to the good that people do, haters will still come out in full force to say that it either wasn’t enough, wasn’t good, and pretend that someone else could do it better. Haters will always exists and there’s no point of not trying because of fear of haters. I always say that I love haters because they keep me going and they keep me motivated to do what I do. For if it wasn’t for them, I would be stuck on their level. So for  that,  I  say..                                                                                               

                                                                                                       

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Taste bittersweet….

Posted on January 25, 2011. Filed under: Mind and Spirit | Tags: , , , , |

I watched Tyler Perry’s, Madea’s Big Happy Family play over the weekend. I’m not going to get into some big philosophical argument about Tyler Perry’s movies but I will say that I like most of his work(love the plays, movies ok, hated For Colored Girls and Precious). They provide a positive message of healing, forgiveness, and letting go of hurt and excepting the realities of life. So I was on ybf.com yesterday and I read the story about Steve Harvey and his ex-wife putting him on blast on youtube and saying some pretty unsavory things about what caused the demise of their relationship and how he supposedly turned her son against her. I’m not here to judge neither party as I obviously do not know what went on in the relationship and what’s going on in her head for her to come out with her side of the story. But life is too short to be angry and bitter and holding on to what happened in the past. At the end of the day, sometimes, you have to except certain situations and people as they are and deal with them and move on. It’s a HardKnock life out there and at the end, it will only make you a much stronger and mature person for it.

Madea reminds me of many older matriarchs of families that come from the old school way of thinking. Ever heard your grandma say something that didn’t make sense to you then but now you apply it in you own life? Stuf like cry me a river, build me a bridge and get over it, or if you play in that snow, you might catch a cold. She dishes out her own brand of advice from relationships and family secrets, to getting over life’s trial and tribulations. She reminds me of a lot of older people that I was lucky to befriend that enjoyed every minute of what life brings to them. They’ve been through heartache and pain and now have the wisdom to share with the world their own wisdom. I was talking to an older gentlemen in an elevator a while back and he said to me that it’s always a good day when your name is not in the obituary. Now, I thought that was cute and I smiled thinking to myself that of course he can afford to think like that, he looks like he’s in his 80’s. But that can be applied to my life and everyone else’s as well. I have a bad habit of worrying over things that I cannot change or wondering why life can’t give me a break sometimes. We all go through it as if it’s the end of the world, but there are others that are probably going through much worse. I felt like that when I lost my job, after I had my daughter and when my relationship ended. I know that for me, I believe in the power of prayer and I prayed and prayed for a long time for GOD to get me through and eventually he did. I know some people don’t believe in GOD or are not as spiritual but sometimes, talking to a friend helps or working on  fixing your inner self(DO YOU!). As for Steve’s ex-wife, again I’m not here to judge her(although that situation just sounds fishy to me) but we have to stop allowing people who hurt us make us bitter and angry because we only give them power over us. What is her point in coming out with this story now? Who knows?

I tell my daughter all the time when she cries because she can’t get her way that it’s life, deal with it. She’s only 3. In order to really get what you want out of life sometimes you have to go through hurdles and roadblocks. They serve as life’s teaching moments. My mom always say that you never get older, you get wiser. Would wisdom exist if people got everything they wanted out of life? Would pain, hurt and heartbreak exist? I stay around positive people and those who lift me up and not tear me down to their level. Let’s learn to forgive and move on…

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Just Imagine….

Posted on December 20, 2010. Filed under: Mind and Spirit | Tags: , , , , , |

The holiday season is here and of course, we have all been bombarded with the images of Santa, Christmas trees, and sales at places like Macys’ and Target. I’ve always been taught that Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends and to give back to others who are less fortunate. That holds true now as an adult, but as a child, I always thought that Christmas was about getting stuf that my mom would have never gotten me throughout the year. Birthdays’ and Christmas was the only time of the year I’ve really gotten anything such as toys and maybe some outfits here or there and given that my birthday is in June, I got to experience the joy of getting every 6 months. And each time, I was grateful that my mom went out of her way with the little bit of money she made to buy my brother and I presents that otherwise, she wouldn’t get throughout the year.

Ok, back on topic.. So as a child, I used to believe in Santa Claus as most kids do. I would pretend that I was good all year, even though when I got in trouble, I wasn’t thinking about how Santa felt about my actions. But right around the holidays, I would do extra chores around the house and finish my homework, and help out my mom a little more because I knew that Santa was gonna get me stuf for being a good girl. What I always wanted was an Easy Bake Oven that bakes cookies and cakes using a light bulb. My aunt had one and her’s looked cool, so I wanted one too. I would write letters to Santa asking him, among other things, that I really really really, wanted an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas and that I was a good girl for a whole year and deserved one. It was the least he could do. I even left out a plate of cookies for him to snack on while he worked. Well one year, maybe I was 11 or 12, I decided that this would be the last time I would ask Santa for an Easy Bake Oven. If he didn’t deliver, then he wasn’t real in the first place and if he did, then my belief would continue. So when I woke up early Christmas morning and found that my Easy Bake Oven wasn’t there, I was very disappointed and felt let down. Santa Claus really wasn’t real and in fact, it was my parents buying and putting presents under the tree at midnight and lying(yes I said it!) to me about Santa. Besides, how could Santa deliver presents to all the little boys and girls around the world in one night? And what old, fat white man would be crazy enough to deliver presents in the neighborhoods I lived in by himself without being robbed or shot at? Thus, cynicism and doubt set in.

I bring this up because it is the Holidays, but it’s just an example of how we have become more cynical and unimaginative. We are always taught that we can be whatever we want to be if you put your mind to it and just believe in it. “Have faith, it will happen!” “If you see it, they will come!” When did we stop believing that the possible was impossible? Hell, we do have a black president now and even 5 years ago, nobody thought that was possible. I believe that as we go through life’s trials and tribulations, we accept what is around us as reality and we accept reality through a tangible prism of what we can see, hear, or touch. When there are drawbacks, we become more disillusioned to the possible and have a cynical mindset.  Because there are those that don’t believe in GOD or some other higher being, he/she must not be real because of all the evil that exists in this world. Because we didn’t get what we wanted even though we played by the rules, the plan just wasn’t attainable to begin with. When I never got the Easy Bake, I stopped believing in Santa Claus because even though I did the right thing by being a good girl, I never got what I wanted. That didn’t stop me from learning how to bake cookies and cakes because I did it anyway in a regular oven. I felt a sense of satisfaction when I helped my mom bake cakes and cookies and not having to rely on a light bulb to do it for me. After I got out of the military and wanted to become a govt contractor, it took me a long time to accept the fact that it wasn’t going to happen. My main goal then was sustainable income and doing something I felt would give me satisfaction. Even though, that didn’t happen, I now have that with Green Afro Diva. So just because the possible didn’t happen with the path that you took, doesn’t mean that it will never happen with other paths. The goal of satisfaction was achieved without me giving in to doubt and fear. We become fearful and doubtful about what the future will bring and as a result, we live life as we see it now and not the possibilities of what is in store for the future. I believe that all things are possible through a combination or hard work persistence and the most important belief of faith. The point of this piece isn’t for people to start believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy again, but it is to highlight the fact that it’s ok to imagine and believe in the possible again. 

A snippet from The Impossible Dream written by Joe Darrion and composed by Mitch Leigh

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

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