entrepreneurship

Did you know….. .your mind does this really weird, crazy, unique awesome thing?

Anytime you ask your mind a question, it searches for an answer. No, really. I saw this on Youtube so you know its true. It may not sound too exciting to you at the moment, but just hear me out.

You’re sitting at home and you say to yourself “mmmm I’m hungry” then you ask yourself, “what do I want to eat?” Neurons take off and race to find an answer to that question. Different ideas my come to mind. You think about that Phill Cheesesteak Stuffed Garlice Bread recipe you saw online. You can almost taste your mother’s meatloaf or that penne pasta you love to make. But your brain is smart, it will not stop until it settles on the BEST answer to that question. Now, I’m not a scientist so I’m paraphrasing and butchering science pretty badly but my takeaway from that is this: ASK BETTER QUESTIONS so that you can get to BETTER RESULTS!

We ask ourselves all day long and many times those questions just stay in our heads because we are too afraid to share our thoughts with others. This is a mistake. Ive learned that when I ask for what I need and say aloud what I don’t know, the universe activates its magic and conspires to helping me find an answer to my questions. People seek me out and those I know seek out others to assist me. Ultimately, I get to answers quicker than if I held it in and kept it to myself.

Asking questions puts us in a vulnerable place because it makes us admit that we do not know something. But in the wise words of Ms. Erykah Badu, “the man that knows something knows that he knows nothing at all.” So ask. Ask boldly and receive graciously. Welcome feedback. Always be willing to improve.

Three Questions to AsK Yourself:

  1. What do I really want out of life?
  2. Why do I want this?
  3. How can I live a life that gets me closer to what I want?

Three Questions You Can Ask I Work:

  1. What am I doing well?
  2. How can I do this better?
  3. What are my growth areas?

Three Questions You Can Ask Your Family:

  1. What makes you happy?
  2. What makes you sad?
  3. What can we do more of together?

Three Questions to Ask in Relationships

  1. How can I support you?
  2. What am I doing to add value to this relationship?
  3. Is there anything that I could change to improve the quality of this relationship?

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BEING ORGANIZED IS BEING IN CONTROL

entrepreneurship, organization

Let me start off by saying, I’m preaching to myself here. I mean, I go through phases of organization and disorganization yet I find that I am my most productive, most successful and the most happy when my life is organized.

Is your life organized? House clean? Dishes washed? Bills paid on time? If I asked you for a paper clip right now could you easily find it?

If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions, p.s. I hate you (not really jk lol) But most of us, at some level, struggle with staying organized. For me, planning ahead and keeping a calendar helps me stay on track. This year, and for the last two years, I purchased a Passion Planner to stay organized. On Sunday night I plan out my week and color code each activity. The Passion planner has time slots, weekly layout and a monthly layout. I use both and refer to it often. I also schedule these tasks/events in google calendar so that I may receive a notification on my phone. Productivity tip: Set a time limit for EVERYTHING.

To-do lists are cool but rarely do they ensure that things get done. You have to set priorities, then set a date with yourself and refuse to allow things to linger. Dishes tonight from 5:30-5:45. Working on my goals 6:00-7:30pm. Yes, schedule time to work on your goals whatever those might be. I even schedule my social media posts and accountability check it’s. it’s all there so it can all get done.

When I do this I feel powerful. I know what’s coming and what is required of me. I don’t have to wonder what I’m supposed to be doing or where I’m going? It’s all there. If there is something I want to do, I plan it.

This ain’t always the case but it is becoming more natural to do this. And….I like it.

What organizational tips do you have? Where do you struggle? Leave a comment and let me know.

#BrandyWasHere

4 Ways I Protect My Energy While Accomplishing My Goals

entrepreneurship, organization


It has been said that you become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So think about that. You are the average. This means some people are high frequency and others are low frequency and you are in between. You take in the characteristics, behaviors and choices of your friends. This is not to say they are actively pressuring you to do so, but this happens both consciously and subconsciously. 
There’s a book by Walter C. Willer called Thinfluence: Thin-flu-ence (noun) the powerful and surprising effect friends, family, work, and environment have on weight. The subtitle basically says it all. Want to lose weight? Hang around people who are in shape. Want to be successful? Hang around people who are. 
At times we get distracted. Our goal is to save money and our friend says, “hey girl, BBD going on tour.” And you think, “Omg I love BBD. That New Edition Movie had me hype. I HAVE TO GO TO THIS!” So you drop that $100 on the ticket then you spend the rest of your work day shopping online for the perfect outfit. You call your hairdresser and make an appointment. And already you’ve gone from 2017 will be the year I save and invest to where did that $500 go? 

INFLUENCE.
Maybe you’re starting a business which requires research, creating content, scheduling social media posts, sketching designs, etc. So you’ve set aside time to do just that. Then your cell phone rings. “Hey, wyd?” Your gut reaction is to say “nothing”. But of course, you’re doing something; something really important to you and for your future. Now the caller/texter on the other side of the phone has the green light to GO IN and that they do. Hours later you’re staring at your computer screen with nothing done and now, Scandal is on so this will have to wait until tomorrow to finish this very important work task. Where did the time go? I need more than 24 hours in a day, you say. 
I give those examples because they are common. The prople we love want our time and rightly so. But do y’all want these goals or nah? It’s not fool proof but, the more we can align ourselves with people who have what we want or on the path to getting where we’re trying to go, the easier and quicker our success will come. This means finding people who VALUE what you value. 

I recently stopped eating pork. And even though my mother says she understands she truly doesn’t get why is so such a thing. What did pork ever do to me? So when I tell her I don’t eat pork, it doesn’t change the fact that she’s put on a roast for Sunday and invited me over. Does that make sense? If it is something I value, it’s up to me to make the decision not to indulge. Likewise, you’ve expressed to friends and family that you are committed to losing weight and are on a strict diet. This will not stop them from inviting you to Applebee’s on a Friday night. It’s your value not theirs. Just like a friend of yours may value going to church everyday whereas for you, listening to Kirk Franklin on the way to brunch is enough.
Just because your values are different doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. But you should stick closest to those who share your values so that they may, in the words of Oprah, life you higher.
So where do you find such people? How do you identify your tribe?
Here are a couple different ways

1. Read.My search for positive influence came through reading. I started reading books by people I admired. Reading books always connects you to other books and other authors which “influences” who I follow on social media, what I watch on YouTube, etc. 

2. Ask. Create a post on social media that says. “I’m looking to connect with people who ________ Please tag who you know.” Believe it or not, your current network can help you expand and/or strengthen your new network.

3. Meetup.com There are thousands of groups listed for whatever you’re into. I’ve found, that the paid groups are more serious and meet more consistently. I’ve joined book clubs, running clubs, parenting meet ups, etc on this platform. At one point I even created a group of my mom for mothers who were also entrepreneurs. 

4. Work. If you want to be a boss one day, hang out with other bosses. Perhaps, your current boss. Go the extra mile, attend conferences and company events. Network with the higher ups and learn. Let them know your goals. They may be willing to help, mentor or provide you with resources.

LAST POINT. Remember that while people are constantly influencing you and your life, you’re giving out your energy to others. Are you a positive or negative influence in the life of others’? What type of impression are you looking to leave? What small thing can you do to affect someone’s life in a meaningful way.

PEACE āœŒšŸ¾#BrandyWasHere 

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

business, entrepreneurship, organization

diddycswsMany of our heroes express gratitude and humility in awe-inspiring ways, but humble is not a word I’d use to describe Sean “Diddy” Combs. Out the gate he had something to prove and was determined not to stop until it was done. His mantra “can’t stop, won’t stop” essentially became the creed of young hustlers and go-getters everywhere!

It takes a lot to follow a vision that no one sees but you and he did JUST THAT. Despite rumors, arrests, fainting loyalty he crafted a record label that is internationally known and recognized. That provided the opportunities to impart knowledge and success into the careers of dozens of people signed to Bad Boy EntertainmentĀ and hundreds of others who have worked for and with Mr. Combs. It also open doors for film, television and world tours. Bad Boy is a dynasty whether you like it or not.

The release of the documentary,Ā Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop chronicled the journey to craft and present the Bad Boy Anniversary Tour. This one hour documentary served as a window into Combs’ values, processes and business acumen. Here are five absolute gems I found in the film. I hope you can learn something from it. Oh, and watch the documentary!

  1. Make Your Purpose Crystal Clear

One of the things Diddy says in the film is that when he first got the idea for Bad Boy he knew he wanted to be different. Instead of following the emerging trend of gangsta rap, he knew he wanted to make people dance and have a good time. Now think of iconic Bad Boy songs like “Hypnotize”, “Feels So Good” and “Only You”. The music certainly matched the mission and so did the style, the visual details and the personas. Because his purpose was clear, the foundation that he built was unshakable. Have you identified your unique gift to the world? What’s your purpose?

2. Opportunities Are Greater Than Money

Diddy interned for Andre Harrell for two years without pay. In that time, he was able to learn the music business and network with up and coming artists. Here, he perfected his grind and his idea for a record label of his own. Are you taking advantage of opportunities that can challenge and grow you into the person you want to be?

cantstopmeme

3. Fight For What You Want

At times the vision became cloudy especially as controversy began to creep into the company. The very image Diddy was trying to avoid seemed to chase them down as a friendship between Biggie and Tupac became vicious. But this didn’t deter Diddy was his mission. In fact, it urged him to fight harder, do more, connect on a higher level. He was able to constantly brand and re-brand Bad Boy as the premier record label for not only hip-hop artists, but young professionals.Ā How are you pushing through circumstances to achieve your goals?

4. Don’t Stay in Your Lane, Explore the Entire Highway

Diddy began managing artists and dabbled in producing and directing music videos. The clarity of his vision served to make him a curator of content which allowed him to easily traverse between roles. Yes, he was always dancing in the music videos, but he was also sitting at round tables negotiating deals, making hit records, designing clothing (Sean John), opening restaurants (Justin’s) and producing tv shows (Making the Band). While all of these entities are distinctly different they fall under one umbrella, Bad Boy. The brand’s image was strong enough to be translated in any industry. Because of his fearless, Diddy was able to make his record label a global entertainment brand.Ā Are you limiting your talents to just one arena?

5. Build a Team That Believes in You

Don’t surround yourself with people who want to get ahead or make money. But make sure there are people on your team who believe in YOU, the creator of the brand. If they buy into you, they will do whatever it takes to make your vision come alive. This is crucial to Diddy’s success. In the film, Mase explains that Diddy brought artists into bad boy under the premise that if they trusted him he would make sure they were legends. And…the rest is history.Ā Does your team trust you?

fall1headshot_03

I’ve run out of goalsĀ 

business, entrepreneurship, organization

Impossible, I say. But as I opened up my Passion Planner last week to conduct my mid-year check-in, I stared at the page….and stared at the page. 

What do you want, Brandy? What will be your BIG push for the second half of the year? What’s on your list?

Nothing…

Sadness came over me. Am I finished? I thought, but pushed the idea aside. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been chasing one goal after another; accomplishing and failing; starting and restarting; learning and growing. I’ve read countless books about goal-setting, success, mindset and all the woo-woo pseudo scientifically texts about attraction and manifesting you can name. I wouldn’t say that I’ve mastered these systems but my skillset has grown and I have evidence to the effect that I make more shots than I miss. 

Almost two years ago now I did the possible and quit my full-time teaching job. Ha! What an adventure that has been. Anyways, when I did, I hit the goriund running overachieving and overworking myself into the ground. 2015 was my year! My side hustle became my main thing Anf I was roooolllliiiiinnnn! Cloud 9.

So what happened? 

I finally started to grow into the person I’ve always wanted to become. I mean, things I envisioned for myself as a child finally came into fruition. I am, in many ways, living my dream. So at some point…I stopped dreaming.

Don’t get me wrong, on a smaller scale there are still things I want to do (spa days, girls trip, tattoos, save money, etc). But the big, hairy, omg scary goals…. I can’t think of any.

I can’t think of any because I never thought beyond THIS, what I have right now. My whole life I’ve been focused on “getting there” and now I’m here. I never thought about what to do once here. I am reminded of the adage “what got you her won’t keep you here”. Although I think this is supposed to bring me solace, it makes me uneasy. What do I do now?

I decided to control what I can and not stress it. The other day I gave my sister-friend the gift of “yet” and with it, the power to control what is immediately in your control. So, I decided to give myself that gift as well. 

For too long I’ve lived each day truly like it was my last and worried that if I made one misstep or took my eyes off the road to blink I would die…literally. I think at 30 years old, I deserve to not have everything figured out. I will take this time however to learn me and evaluate what makes sense in my life and what my next step will be. Right now no goals, just a commitment to live my best life – on my terms. #BrandyWasHere

If anything is worth doing…

business, entrepreneurship, Uncategorized

…it’s worth doing well.

I can remember those words as clear as day from my 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. Parks. She was about 4 feet tall with a TWA (teeny weeny afro) that was graying and splochy. She spoke almost in a whisper – until she got mad and that always scared us as students. We respected her in a way that most kids don’t respect their elders nowadays. We trusted her; she believed in us.

She assigned us a biography project. “Find someone you look up to and discover everything you can about their life, ” she said. I was excited to do the project. I knew I would research Tupac just because I wanted to see Mrs. Parks reaction. We were given several weeks for the project, but me being the natural procrastinator that I am, I waited until the night before. Instead of being 4 pages, my report was 2. Instead of having colorful images, I turned in a portrait of Pac I had hand drawn. As Mrs. Parks glided through the room collecting reports, when she got to mine she stopped. “Keep it!” She said in her mean voice and continued to glide through the room. Keep it!? After all the work I did. You’re not even gonna grade it. These things I shouted at her to the room’s surprise. I knocked the paper off my desk and started to pout. The bell rang.

As I got up to leave the room Mrs. Parks grabbed my arm. And hard too. I wanted to scream that she couldn’t touch me ( I mean, teachers can’t be grabbing on kids), but I stood there in shock. “If anything is worth doing, its worth doing well.” she said “If you respect this person you have written about, give them the respect of doing a proper job. Otherwise, don’t waste your time.”

Of course I did the report again as it should have been done. Of course, Mrs. Parks deducted points for lateness.

The older I get the more I realize how important time is. When I want to rush through something or give 50% instead of 100, I ask myself, “is this worth doing?” If it is, I have to give it my all. If it isn’t I have to let it go and stop wasting my time. Sometimes I need this reminder.

Hard Work is Not Success

business, entrepreneurship, Uncategorized

“What got you here, won’t get you there..” – Rory Vaden

I’ve always thought of myself as a hard worker. I’ve had a job since I could remember; and most times, more than one job. I’ve started businesses and have helped others start theirs. I’m a single-mom. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s degree and am working on a Master’s. All of these things have occupied my time over the last 10 years and physically, I am exhausted. I always thought I was a hard worker, and yet, I have not reaped any of the benefits I thought I would by working hard.

Perhaps the trick is to work smarter. Plan less and take more risks. It sounds crazy saying it out loud (well, typing it on the computer), but that’s what successful people do.

My whole life I thought I was taking a chance, but I was just following a very predictable path. Maybe you are too. I was listening to a podcast the other day and the guest, Rory Vaden said, “what got you here, won’t get you there.” Ā He was talking about how to go beyond your plateau. He said that successful people are always finding new ways to be successful. So I am challenging myself not to get stuck in a rut of mediocrity but to find new ways to be successful.

Feel free to join me.

I Try Not To Write When I’m Pissed Off But I Do Make Exceptions…

business, entrepreneurship, Uncategorized
This is untitled, for now

I wonder what gives them the audacity to ask me:
is his father around?
Many times I’d bow my head and look to the ground.
Too proud to tell
Or embarrassed by the reality the question reveals
Still…
It’s none of your damn business!
It’s taken me 7 years to address this
7 years of my heart being restless
hoping no one would ask
Praying no one would know
Trying not to let my singleness show
I want a hashtag for all you bastards that ruin my beautiful mother-son moments with your need to know,
the pity that follows,
the exchange of blows
For you, the privileged assholes who cut me in line,
strike up a conversation then pay me no mind
Don’t ask his name
Don’t tell him he’s cute
Don’t try and flatter me with the “oh, he looks just like you”
I am over explaining who we are and how we came to be
My only wish is
that you let us be
We are complete
with or without a “He”

Patience

business, entrepreneurship, Uncategorized

I hate waiting. For me, the Aries, waiting is cruel and unusual punishment! I am impulsive. I want everything not now, but right now. A delayed response or action is no action at all. So I thought. But I’ve learned, recently, that patience is a lot different than waiting.Ā 

Waiting is…waiting. Or, as Dictionary.com puts it, waiting is a period of pause, interval or delay. To wait, to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens. That’s the hard part; doing nothing until something expected happens. For most people though, this is life. Many of us make plans and stop working hoping that what we’ve planned will magically happen. As far as I know, wishful thinking has never gotten anyone very far. Waiting is often out of our control and for me, being IN control of my life and decisions is important. If you are like me, you need to beĀ doing something and this where patience comes in.

Patience is more about your attitude and that IS something I can control. Patience is defined as quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence. This takes practice, but exercising patience is one of the most powerful things I have ever done. I have a problem of starting projects and not finishing them. I get excited about the possibilities at the beginning, but somewhere along the way, that excitement fizzles. I grow tired of waiting for things to happen. But exercising patience means that I can work diligently while I wait thus, expediting the process. Patience is working steadily towards something with the end goal in mind.

I saw this quote awhile ago that said, “Patience is not about how long you wait, but your attitude while you wait.” I like that.

Is he Dame Dash? Dame Diddy? Or Dame Dummy?

brilliant ideas, business, entrepreneurship

Lots of people are talking about the interview Damon Dash did with the infamous Breakfast Club. Everyone has an opinion. but here are my takeaways from it. A few jewels from Dame Dash:

“Every real man wants to be the boss”

“You’re only the boss if you put up your own money.”

“No. Not in Harlem.”

“What’s best for your kids is to put your money into something that you can pass to your kids.”

“You enjoy the safety and security of a job everyday. To me, there’s no pride in that.”

“9-5’s aren’t good because you’re hustling for a weekend.”

“You sound smart to somebody dumb.”

“How do you feel as a man that you get paid to gossip for a living.”

“Why don’t we stick together.”

“In the streets violence is a means to an end. It’s a last resort.”

“It’s not easy to be honorable. Your honor gets tested everyday.”

“My block’s your block unless you’re messing with my paper.”

“There’s always some white man that’s in charge of Black culture.”

“I’m not mad at being a boss. I’m mad that you have the same job for 25 years.”

“Yes from the womb. I was Dame Dash since the day i was born.”

“How could you want the explanation and you’re talking? How can you listen and speak at the same time?”

“When you own something, you can do what you want with it.”

“How can a superhero be told what to do?”

Here is the interview in its entirety: Ā https://youtu.be/XHX4hWurt8M