Archive for the ‘Working Women’ Category

Why Oprah Should Not Give Up on Own TV

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

We’ve all been watching what some might call Oprah Winfrey’s desperate attempt to increase the ratings on her television network, OWN. Some say she is desperate because of the recent interview that she did with Curtis “50 cent” Jackson.

During the height of her television success as the host of the Oprah Show, Oprah often spoke out about her distaste for rappers and the way that their lyrics disrespected women. She was especially vocal about rappers who used the word “bitch” as though it was a synonym for women. So it is not surprising that many are speculating that she is desperate when she has a person like “50 cent”, who is well known for calling women “bitches”, on one of her shows.

The way I look at it is that she is no longer just running a show; she is running a network. She is running a network that not only caters to the “Oprah” audience, but to a very broad demographic. Her network is not just about her, it is as symbolic as the Obama presidency. It is as symbolic as Tyler Perry studios. Never before has a Black woman taken it upon herself to have her OWN television channel, just as before President Obama was elected, we had never seen a Black man run a First world country, let alone the United States of America. Before Tyler Perry opened his studios, again we had never seen a Black man open a studio and produce movies on his OWN terms.

Many who know Oprah’s life story know that she has encountered hardships that some of us can not even imagine. She was told “no” more times than she could count and yet she persevered and ended up having the most successful day-time talk show that has ever been on television. People may say her network is “struggling” or “failing” but from where I stand, she was a success before OWN was ever launched and she will continue to be a success. Even if she closes the doors to OWN, she will always be the first ever Black woman to step out and say, “I want my OWN…” The same applies to Tyler Perry and President Obama; no one can take away what they have accomplished. There will always be those who do nothing and stand on the sidelines waiting to point out what the “doers” have failed at, instead of seeing them for the pioneers that they are. That should never be a reason to give up and I hope that Oprah will not give up on OWN.

Originally Posted at Your Black Bloggers

Nene Leakes is smarter than we give her credit for

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Nene Leakes has reportedly been speaking out about the bullying and fighting that goes on in the reality show, “Basketball Wives”. Leakes, a “wife”, herself in “the Real Housewives of Atlanta” has also been criticized about being too loud and opinionated. It seems that she knows the limit though, because her star seems to be shining very bright. In addition to her role as a “wife”, Leakes also has roles in ‘Glee’ and ‘The New Normal’.

What I noticed about Nene’s comments about “Basketball wives is that she talks about how the women’s behavior can affect the future of their careers. Considering how well Nene’s career is going, I think she has earned some creditability to talk about what it takes to succeed in show business. I’m not saying I agree entirely with Nene’s conduct but I also believe she is much smarter than we give her credit for.

Think about it; one of the challenges that I believe Oprah Winfrey is faced with with her struggling OWN Network is that although she strives to put on only “quality” programming, many say most of it is “boring”. There is a delicate balance between having enough action and drama to keep people interested and engaged and going too far, like Jerry Springer or even ‘Basketball Wives’. On one hand, Oprah keeps her programs decent and dignified but no one is watching and then on the other hand, people are watching shows like ‘Basketball Wives’ but they are disgusted by what they see.

What I’m suggesting is that Nene has struck this balance and I believe she is well aware of it. She doesn’t try to act “nice” in front of the camera and come off as inauthentic and possibly boring but she also doesn’t get into fist fights when she has conflict with someone.

So far, Nene is the only “wife” that Donald Trump has tapped to be on is reality show, ‘The Apprentice’. She is the highest paid “wife” on ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ and she also has roles on two other major shows. I don’t believe that all this success has come Nene’s way by some stroke of luck. I think that Nene is a smart black woman who understands how show business works and while people are sitting around talking about her, she is working on ways to get paid!

Originally Posted at Your Black Bloggers

Michelle Obama: A Woman of Substance

Monday, May 28th, 2012

I recently wrote a blog titled “Why He Doesn’t Respect You” which discussed the role that Respect plays in our lives. In this latest blog post, I share why Mrs. Obama is the perfect example of a woman of substance.

No one can deny that a part of President Obama’s success is due to the love and support of his wife, First Lady, Michelle Obama. In spite of numerous attempts at tarnishing the Obamas’ name, Mrs. Obama has managed to remain positive and carry herself with class and dignity.

Below are some reasons why I and the world love First Lady, Michelle Obama:

1. She is smart and intelligent without being arrogant

In 2008, when we first learned a lot about the First couple, one of the things that stood out to me was that Mrs. Obama’s career and income significantly surpassed that of her husband and yet I have never seen her display even a hint of arrogance. You may even notice that although many have tried to squeeze her into the “angry black woman” stereotype, none have ever called her arrogant.

2. She carries herself with style and grace

One of the reasons why Black women love Mrs. Obama is because she is clearly a woman with strong convictions and strong opinions and yet she is able to express herself in such a way that she is heard and respected without sounding angry or aggressive. Let’s not also forget that Mrs. Obama never ceases to amaze us with her impeccable sense of style.

3. She has a fun side

Recently it was heavily reported that Mrs. Obama shared that she has fantasized about experiencing life as a singer, like Beyonce and then soon after that, she was reportedly at a Beyonce concert with her daughters Malia and Sasha. Mrs. Obama has also been known to throw on her sneakers and play sports with youth or stop by Sesame Street to chat about the importance of eating healthy foods.

4. She is devoted to her man

In an unauthorized biography, by Edward Klein, about the Obamas, “The Amateur”, Michelle is said to have come very close to ending her marriage to President Obama. The fact that two decades after they said, “I do”, the Obama’s marriage is still going strong only makes us realize that she is so devoted to her husband that she has continued to love and support him even when she felt she had good reason not to.

5. She adores her children

Every time that Mrs. Obama is interviewed, she never fails to mention that every decision that she and her husband make always takes into consideration the fact that they have two beautiful girls to raise. She often talks about how important it is to her that her daughters maintain as much “normalcy” in their lives as possible. Mrs. Obama also makes sure that when she travels, she uses the opportunities as tools to expose her daughters to different countries, people and cultures.

Original post at Your Black Word
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Viola Davis Won!

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Viola Davis was nominated for an Oscar and she did not win, this year. Last week, before the Oscars, I watched the interview below and realized that even before she knew whether or not she won the Oscar, she had already won. I had the same experience at Mrs World.

There is a point in every woman’s life when she realizes the truth about who she is and from that moment, she is a winner.


Tyra Banks:10 Steps to Becoming the CEO of Your Own Life

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Applyin’ to college? Gettin’ ready for day one on the new job? Wanna start your own company? Whether you’re just gettin’ started, or makin’ your way up the career ladder, the first step to your success is to become CEO of your own life! By that I mean, take control of everything you do – from how you present yourself to who you surround yourself with to how you interact with friends and coworkers.

Before I created my own company, I learned a few tips and tricks to get where I am now – from personal to business to social. Work may be the tippy top of the pyramid, but you gotta fit in your life foundation underneath! Follow my ten steps to finding the greatness in you (no power suit required – but sometimes it helps if you dress the part)!

Step 1: Take a Moment
At the end of each day, take a moment to reflect. What do you need to work on? Were you too shy to speak up in a meeting? Did you let someone else steal your thunder? Write down each of those missed opportunities and refer back to this list to make habit-changing goals! Reflect on that in the morning and you’ll be on your way to making sure you never skip a beat again. Remember, it’s a learning process! Don’t get down on yourself! It may take you a few tries to get it right.

Every single idea I have is written down on one of those businessy-business yellow pads. Modelland started 5 years ago on a scrap piece of paper – and to this day I STILL have it! Nothin’ like the power of a scribbly note that you jotted down as soon as the idea came to you! Who knows, it may come in handy days, months, or years later!

Step 2: Make a First Impression
I’ll admit it. Everyone gets nervous meetin’ someone for the first time, (even me!) – if it’s your first day at school, a board meeting, or meetin’ your boyfriend’s momma. Fight those jitters, ‘cause first impressions are oh-so important on the path to becoming your own CEO! Walk into that room with a smile on your face,—not one of those fakey-fake-“I’m-trying-to-impress-you” smiles, but a real genuine grin.

Follow up with the perfect handshake: face your shake-ee directly and use your right hand. You need to practice that grip— make sure you don’t squeeze till you break it! There’s a balance between overbearing and limp fish. A fierce shake and a flash of those pearly whites … you’re already showin’ part of that CEO strength!

Step 3: Dress to Impress
You are the face of your own company. When going to work or meetings you should look clean and polished. I don’t always like to be dressed up, but one tip I can give is that little touches make all the difference. Throw that blazer over a pencil skirt or pair of pants, brush that hair out of your face, and add just one bit of bling. I like to wear heels to all of my meetings ‘cause the height gives me a little extra oomph, and like I always say, if you’re tall, own those inches! Most importantly, make sure you’re comfortable. You don’t wanna be scrunching, pinching, ouching through the meeting, when your focus has to be on the business task at hand!

Step 4: Make a Plan
Now, how are you going to make your dreams a reality without a plan? No matter if they’re teeny weeny changes or big goals down the road, start small, think big! Set goals and make some serious timelines that you hold yourself to. You should set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Breakdown what you want to accomplish and how long it’s going to take you. Get off track? Regroup and re-goal. Find out where you miss-stepped and restructure that plan from there.

Don’t be scared of the bumps and bruises that come along. That big plan looks big now, but with your mini milestones you’ve planned out and big picture thinking, you’ll reach that end goal with some hard work and serious sweat.

Step 5: Build Relationships
Remember that assistant that greeted you at the door? You never know what she or he will be up to next! The key to each industry is networking. Every single person you meet in life could help you on your path to becoming a CEO.

I’m a firm believer in internships, but the key to acing that role is to remember that no job is above you – whether it’s stacking the printer with paper, makin’ coffee, or takin’ notes in that big business meeting. Make sure to make friends with your fellow interns and colleagues.

Get out there! Go to industry events, do your research, meet those important people! Use your fab and fierce handshake (paired with your smile) and make that first impression.

Step 6: Practice Humility
I’ve noticed that all the super-successful people I’ve met have one thing in common—they are amazingly humble! Be modest about your accomplishments and give credit to the people who have helped you along the way. Most importantly, be able to laugh at yourself! I may have been a supermodel, but I can always put on a silly face for the camera!

Step 7: Get Organized
From my home to my office, I am super organized! Let’s be real—if your stuff is a mess, you‘re gonna feel all over the place. Take a day or two to sort through your things—donate whatever you don’t need and find a place for the things you do. Then, use a label-maker to clearly mark where everything goes.

Step 8: Budget, Baby!
No matter how big or small your bank account is, you need to run your financial life on a budget. Start by spending a month writing down EVERYTHING you spend (down to every latte). Then determine which expenses are necessities (rent, food, etc.) and deduct from your overall income. What remains can be divided into spending money and saving money. Don’t rack up those credit card bills on unnecessary purchases – reachin’ those big goals needs serious planning on all fronts – and money is one of the biggest!

Step 9: Manage Your Time
I keep a schedule each and every day and I carry it with me everywhere I go! Whether it’s a business lunch, a night out with friends or a dentist appointment— all those appointments are right there in my datebook. Bein’ on time and accountable are two of the most important traits a CEO can have. Set up that iPhone calendar, organize your Blackberry, or go old school and buy a new planner every year!

Step 10: Stay in the Know
If you want to be successful in a certain field, you have to stay up to date with all the latest news! I still read all the fashion mags to keep up with the latest trends and news in the fashion biz and love readin’ my tech news on the daily. Set up Google Alerts for all your topics of interest. And, y’all know I love Twitter! I follow all kinds of companies and people so I don’t miss a thing.

So, are you ready to be the CEO of your own life? Keep me posted on how it goes! TYRA

Walter “BlackBond” Cobb: What Men Like in Women

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Do You have the time is an age old pick up line that is hardly used in this manner any longer, but I think I will start using it when getting to know a woman. Today, women are in the work force accomplishing more than they ever have and many often have to juggle running a home and a family on their own. I commend them for this, but so often they are not making time for life. To me, there are very few traits that are as attractive as a woman having a zest for life. But where has that zest gone??? I hear about women who hit the snooze button a few times in the morning and roll out the bed in just enough time to get dressed and head for work. No breakfast being made. Many just grab some junk in the morning as they hit the drive through for their morning coffee. An even worse phenomenon happens in the evening. Women are saying they don’t have enough time to cook dinner for themselves or their kids as they are putting extra hours in at the office and are too tired to cook when they get home. So take out it is, or even worse, fast food drive through.

Okay, we know this and now you are asking what does this have to do with male/female relationships. When a man starts thinking that he wants to get to know a woman seriously, he considers a lot of things. To me, a woman who cannot seem to carve out enough time in her daily routine for herself, will have you competing for time with her. Even if she likes you! Now I am all for earning your attention but if we have to compete with life we will lose every time. Women always say men have short attention spans and this is a sure fire way to lose our attention. It is endearing to me when I hear a woman telling me how she makes time to hit the gym and take care of herself. It makes me think she will also make the time to take care of me. Right or wrong this is how we think. Read the rest here.

Mindful Mornings: Happy and Grateful

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

If you find yourself feeling down, sad and sorry for yourself, you have probably shifted your focus from what you DO have to what you DON’T have. Sometimes “happiness” is just about shifting your focus. Just be mindful of what you’re focused on and you’ll be amazed at how often you have to SHIFT. If you get in the habit of shifting your focus from what you DON’T have to what you DO have, you’ll be amazed at the results! This is how you begin to live a life of GRATITUDE.

Grateful people are “happy” people and ungrateful people are unhappy people. It really is that simple. What do you choose-gratitude and happiness or complaining and unhappiness?

I choose Gratitude.

Beyonce announces she is pregnant at MTV VMAs!

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Last night at the MTV Video Music awards Beyonce, aka Mrs. Carter, announced she was pregnant by opening her jacket to reveal a baby bump. As she rubbed her “bump”, the crowd went wild while her Husband Jay-Z danced and celebrated in the audience.

I must say, it is beautiful to see that, even in Hollywood, there is still an upholding and celebrating of so called old fashioned values.

I genuinely wish Mr. and Mrs. Carter a long and joyful marriage along with the new addition to their small family.

Oprah is Powerful… and so are we

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus which will come to an end at the end of August but today I wanted to interrupt it to share a powerful message that I just read.

One of my greatest errors in my adult life has been believing that I can do EVERYTHING by myself. That’s what being a successful, strong, independent black woman is about-right? Wrong! I now know that real strength comes from admitting that you can do a lot, but not everything. Real strength comes from recognizing that we were not created in isolation and trying to exist in that mindset can be very destructive.

I watched Oprah’s Master Class on the OWN channel not too long ago where she shared that the reason she has been able to do such great things with her life was because she meditated on one very simple scripture verse:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

The day that I heard her say that, I had an “aha” moment. I began to understand why my life, although very progressive and very successful, tended to feel so overwhelming; I had spent so much time believing in and focusing on my mental and physical ability and not nearly enough on my spiritual power; yes, POWER.

Below is the message that I read this morning that inspired me to suspend my blogging hiatus. Be well and be POWERFUL.

What Oprah Knows for Sure About Real Power
What I Know for Sure
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the September 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine

I’m always fascinated by lists of “Most Powerful People,” and by the ways they use external things—fame, status, wealth—to define and rank power. It’s curious how a person can go from the top of a list one year to unlisted the next—all in the blink of a board meeting. Was that person’s power real, or was the power only in the position? We often get the two confused.

For me, there is no real power without spiritual power. A power that comes from the core of who you are and reflects all that you were meant to be. A power that’s connected to the source of things. When you see this kind of power shining through someone in all its truth and certainty, it’s irresistible, inspiring, elevating. I can feel it in myself sometimes, mostly when I’m sharing an insight that I know will have an impact on someone’s life and I can see that they “get it.” I get real joy from helping other people experience aha moments. That is where my power lies.

Gary Zukav writes in The Seat of the Soul, “When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning… When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment.” Fulfilling your purpose, with meaning, is what gives you that electrifying “juice” and makes people stand in wonder at how you do it.

The secret is alignment: when you know for sure that you’re on course and doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, fulfilling your soul’s intention, your heart’s desire, or whatever you choose to call it (they’re all the same thing). When your life is on course with its purpose, you are your most powerful. And you may stumble, but you will not fall.

I know for sure that in every challenging experience there’s an opportunity to grow, enhance your life, or learn something invaluable about yourself. Every challenge can make you stronger if you allow it. Strength multiplied = power.

For real.

Lessons from Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

I just watched a re-run of the Oprah Show in which she and Iyanla Vanzant had a conversation for the first time in eleven years in front of a studio audience. My greatest take away from watching these two women is so simple and yet so life changing.

Iyanla, after leaving the Oprah Show where she had been a frequent guest expert, went on to have her own show, the Iyanla Show. The lesson that I got from what she said came when she described how badly she was treated at the Iyanla show. Rather than say that people treated her badly, she rephrased what she started to say and then said “let me tell you WHAT I ALLOWED…” Wow!

Starting today, I will never have another “pity party” talking about how someone treated me badly and not at some point give some consideration to the fact that whatever they did, no matter how bad, was not only done by them but by me as well because I ALLOWED it.

So, my friends, let this be a lesson for you as well. Think back on your life and all the people who you, to this day, believe treated you badly. Remember that one boyfriend (or girlfriend) who “did you wrong” or those people at that job who you just know belong in hell for what they did to you? Well, the lesson here is that some portion of that blame (if blaming is what you’re doing) belongs to you…because you ALLOWED them to do whatever it is that you say they did!

Iyanla concluded by saying that she believes that in every experience, even if that experience is someone treating you in an unacceptable manner, there lies a lesson that you need to learn. For me that lesson has been simple; as Dr. Phil puts it: you have to teach people how to treat you.