The Heart of A Movement

heartmove

This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping 2 young women bring to life their vision. One completed her 1st run of taking an already successful women’s only event national, (a blog about the event to come), and the other forming a team to help her with the process of adding more structure to a dream to create opportunity for girls who might not have otherwise known they had a voice; a beautiful dream that I know will be bigger than what any of us can see right now.

As I worked with these two ladies, still very startup and grassroots in nature, I began to wonder what these two seemly small operations would look like when they grew up. And in trying to picture them growing up, what would it take and how could they ensure, (if it did indeed help not hurt their growth), that the heart of the movement these two organizations represented would not be tainted?

Despite being burnt by organizations and the people who run them, I still have hope. Knowing full and well how dirty some of these well-known nonprofits and organizations do the people giving them their hard-earned dollars and labor to, I can’t help but be hopeful about what this generation is more than capable of in terms of innovation and fostering a culture of change.

I can’t help but to be hopeful that we will be wise enough to seek counsel from the experienced yet learn to think for ourselves and not be discouraged when we don’t always fit the mold. Know when it’s best to just re-invent the wheel yet retain a youthful curiosity, maybe even a bit of teenage rebellion enough to want to explore territory others before us were too weary to try out.

And when I think about what these two young women represent and what their organizations are to represent to the larger girls and women empowerment movement, I can’t help but to hopeful about the change agents that will sprout out of the heart of their movements.

So anyway, these are my thoughts, and here is my question; I’d love to hear from you!

How do you grow your organization, business, climb the corporate ladder…and yet remain true to your original purpose?

 

Until Next Time…

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What’s Your U.S.P.- Unique Super Power?

I’ve decided to start a vlog series which I’ve decided to call,  “I Know The Pieces Fit”  to switch things up every now and then over here at the blog, (okay,  I couldn’t think of a name so that’s what it is for now).  I have a billion and one  thoughts flow through my mind throughout the day and form just about as many random “Dear Life”questions. My conclusion was that somehow I know the pieces fit… just not exactly sure how, so the curiosity and investigating begins. I’m not doing a q & a vlog series although I may generate a question from your feedback, overall, I’m pretty much playing this all by ear. So my question for the month: What’s Your U.S.P.- Unique Super Power?

I hope you enjoy and I would love to hear from you!

Women and Entrepreneurs Unite

While I’m wrapping up the FAQ’s from my final interviewees for Black History Now; I wanted to acknowledge another Black Entrepreneur and an awesome event she hosts that I’ll be attending along with other Women Entrepreneurs and progressive minded Women .

I met Mrs. Rhonda Hammond at an entrepreneurial networking event, and she has been an invaluable resource to me. As a dream coach and the CEO of Positive with Purpose LLC, she inspires women to realize their dreams and goals and take practical steps to move towards making them a reality. She vlogs some of these practical steps for empowerment on her Youtube channel.

One of her dreams was to create an event where women could come together, eat and network with one another while having access to women who are making power moves toward realizing their dreams and inspiring other women to do the same. The I Simply Love Her event, which will be held on March 3, 2012 is meant to promote “self-love, self-confidence, and healthy self-esteem” and will host vendor exhibits, opportunities to shop and have fun, as well as various empowerment workshops. One of the keynote speakers is Denise Mathews aka Vanity (remember The Last Dragon yall?) who has a wonderful message to share given her personal testimony of rise and fall to finding herself and redefining what success means to her.

I’m really excited about going to this event; I’ve personally come a long way from being too bashful to go to small networking events to now having the courage to go to a large expo with keynote speakers(without my wingman). Although, I would feel a whole lot better if I saw some of your faces in the place, so please check out the event page and book your ticket now.

Hope to see you there!

Sister To Sister Fellowship- Part I

A few years ago, I watched a movie called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I didn’t read the book series, but I checked out the movie because I have been a fan of America Ferrera since Real Women Have Curves. I thought the movie was cute, as it followed the lives of 4 young women on different paths of self discovery as they held their bond of friendship while away from each other through a common denominator – the pants. I was reminded of the film when I found myself sitting at a table with 3 other women chatting and chewing at  Friendly’s after a Sister to Sister fellowship.

The real fellowship of sisterhood happened after the actual event. It must have been a string of fate that pulled us together as we were all headed separate ways, but somehow ended up crossing each other’s paths and decided to continue our conversation in a safe place. Although, we were all on different paths and headed in opposite directions, we hoped we could one day come back together and bond just as we had that night.

In this circle of friends, acquaintances and strangers, I again was able to see how radiant women shine through  struggles, hurts, heartaches, and pains. We were all on a mission to conquer our fears and seize the bigger picture goals in life rather than remain victims to our temporary circumstances. The best thing about love, real genuine love, is that it allows you to open up without being afraid that someone is going to hurt you. These ladies offered me a picture of love; one that I rarely come across nowadays.  We all shared pieces of ourselves, and I realized how empowering it is for us to release the things of our past that we thought would hold us captive for life. It’s almost like shackles falling from your soul; releasing you from feeling that you could never be accepted once the real you is discovered.

Have you ever felt so low that you didn’t want to be in your own company? When you are in that state of mind, it’s hard to believe anyone would love you as you are. It’s not a fun place to be.

We have all, in our own rights, come a mighty long way. I hope to share more about the journeys of: the nurse by day and savvy hustler at night- new mommy plotting on a business that will allow her the privilege of bringing her child to work while still being able to cook delicious meals for her hard working hubby; the community focused, social entrepreneur, who after a massive layoff, decided to go for her doctorate degree; the newly engaged mommy who finally said enough is enough, enrolled in a specialized college to become a champion for an ignored community; and the probable serial entrepreneur who hopes to travel the world and become a motivating factor behind the rise and succession of the oppressed and marginalized, while still finding time to watch cartoons and pig out on banana splits.

Until next time…

 

Starting Over

 

Reclaim, Rebuild, Renew, was the theme I chose for myself earlier this year. I chose this theme and wrote out a goal list which I am determined to accomplish. I’ve learned, “Goals are dreams with deadlines.” One of the goals on this list was to start this blog and post at least once a week for a year. As I’ve stated in my about section, I decided to blog as a way to find my voice. I also wanted to share any positive experiences I encountered on my journey as I start over again after a divorce. Although my voice is of a young woman, I have already experienced major losses in life that many don’t encounter so early on or at all. Loss is not uncommon for a child from the city of Camden, NJ.  I was raised by a single mother, abandoned by an alcoholic father, managed to be the first in my immediate family to participate in a high school graduation ceremony, and graduate college by the grace of God. In my early twenties I had a promising career path. I owned a house in the “burbs,” I was married and life seemed perfect.

Divorce changes everything.  It doesn’t matter what age you experience divorce or who initiated the divorce, it can really devastate everything you ever believed about yourself and the world around you.  I felt like I was a failure. I had tried so hard to become everything I thought would make a respectable citizen and break the vicious cycle of never amounting to anything children born in poverty often embrace. I never realized the very ambition that helped me accomplish really awesome things would be the same ambition that would lead me to feeling completely empty inside. Although I wished I could have realized I wasn’t living authentically before I was married, losing what’s comfortable forces you to wake up and pay attention to life. I would be telling stories if I didn’t say that living life out loud is both scary and exciting at the same time.

When I first started trying to find my own path I often worried that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or talented enough. I worried that pursuing my passions would be a waste of time. I even felt intimidated by my sisters conquering their quarter life crisis who seemed so much bolder than me. I am now better at silencing negative Nellie, embracing my own special gifts, and believing that persistency prevails. Even if we fall down, we don’t have to stay there. Looking at failure as an opportunity to grow is truly a liberating experience. As a bonus, I’ve learned that some of our greatest industry leaders have come to the point of homelessness yet became the millionaires they are today. So even though starting over can get overwhelming at times it’s not too late to dust yourself off and try again.