Monday, November 12, 2018

Ordered Steps; Timing is KEY by Felicia Shakespeare

As one holding the ultimate responsibility of how our brand is perceived, we must be strategic when identifying branding opportunities. No matter what our status is in life, we must take care when preserving our personal brand.

Celebrities are a great example to use in this case. Some actresses or actors, singers, and performers achieve a high level of success, then sometimes suddenly make one fatal mistake that changes everything. Some have allowed managers, mentors, family or spouses to take them so far off their brand that they lose touch with reality; and with it, their audience and market who loved them for their original brand. With this change came a loss of opportunities in viable movie roles or performance venues dried up, and with it, their finances.

In all reality, every idea presented to you may not be the best in the greater scheme of your scope of endeavors. When we originally decided that a plan is wonderful, this may not exactly continue to be the case once the process of planning gets underway. I am specifically referring to creative ideas that you may want to implement and possible business opportunities that may also be presented to you. The “order” in which one approaches their projects, no matter how great or small, has to be strongly considered. Doing the right thing at the wrong time can be as equally detrimental as doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. In other words, being in sync with timing, opportunity, and preparedness, in order to be successful, will only come through proper planning and implementation.

Clearly, I am not implying that you should be so “rigid” or “cookie cutter” that you aren’t willing to let the creative juices flow and maintain that inner risk-taker mentality in order to take on a certain level of risk. I encourage you to set out to do things in the order that will maximize the opportunities that have come your way. You can’t prevent getting stuck in the sand sometimes, but by all means, having a plan means you won’t stay there for long. Time management is essential. Be calculated and intentional on how you choose to divvy out your time in every area of your life. This is many times the “maker” or the “breaker” of key opportunities.

To learn more about Felicia Shakespear Twitter: @iamfelicias

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Unapologetically Authentic…How I Found My Purpose by Dorinda Walker

When I reflect on my life today, I am grateful for the dark experiences from my past. I wear each negative and gut-wrenching experience as a badge of survival and strength. Sharing those experiences, overcoming my fear and exposing my vulnerability provides me the knowledge, courage, and vigor to live my best life. It provides me a freedom that liberated me from unsubstantiated feelings of unworthiness. I now know that there are no limits to what I am capable of accomplishing.

Part of my progression came from writing my book, “Protected by Purpose.” While touring the country. I have been fortunate to meet many dynamic individuals who are struggling to find their voice. There have been countless occasions where people have confided to me that they have a story to tell. But they are afraid to be vulnerable. They fear the judgment of others. Believe me, I can relate. I once dwelled in the shame of my past, fearful of being socially marginalized for the things I did and experienced early in my life.

By all accounts, the odds were stacked against me. I was born to parents who suffered from the disease of addiction. My dad spent time in prison and subsequently died from A.I.D.S. My mom and I survived domestic and physical abuse by her live-in boyfriend.

I dropped out of high school, had no self-value or moral grounding, sold drugs and attempted suicide, resulting in a brief stay in a psychiatric unit all before the age of 18.

Here’s the truth – I do not come from power or privilege in society. But I have come to realize that I am not less important than anyone else. I grabbed hold of my potential and found my own sense of power.

My definition of power is unapologetically being my authentic self at all times, flaws and all. I have come to a point in my life where I am unafraid to pursue my dreams and ambitions. My dreams are not self-serving nor necessarily tied to money, though I understand that wealth enables privilege. I am not na├»ve to that truth. But, my biggest desire is to make a positive impact on the lives of others. 

One of my good sister friends, Dee C. Marshall, once said, “I love that Dorinda is the kind of leader who is unapologetic about using her platform and spotlight to bring awareness to things that many people are uneasy about like HIV/Aids and sex trafficking, drug abuse, addiction. Bless you for not being an average corporate executive unafraid to ‘touch’ real issues."

It’s simple. I do not allow my corporate title to confine me in a box. I am a dynamic and complex woman, passionate about raising awareness on issues directly related to social, gender, racial and economic inequity. I understand that these issues go beyond my scope of work within Corporate America. As a woman of faith, I am obedient to God’s word, that “to whom much is given, much is required.” I am certainly grateful for the opportunities my corporate career affords me, but I understand my life has much more meaning. 

Sharing my story has enabled me to inspire individuals of all races, ethnicities, and gender who are struggling to find their purpose and identity. Many have confided their secrets and feelings of shame and unworthiness. They tell me stories about what they’ve endured or are currently going through. I am able to respond by pointing out my own battles and how these experiences are simply moments in time. Once you get through the moment, it will be a valuable memory and a lesson learned from that experience.

The simple gift of sharing my struggles has inspired others to open their hearts to new possibilities. Of the people I have met along the way, I’ve seen the heartache behind their tears. Knowing that my story, and often a big hug, has helped them begin to face the pain they hold deep within has provided me with an immeasurable sense of meaning and purpose. 

I know that sharing my story is part of my purpose in life. I am an example of a young girl who battled many demons, survived and used those experiences to blossom into a phenomenally blessed woman living my best life, filled with joy and prosperity. My resiliency, faith, and strength enable me to stand proudly in owning my #BlackGirlMagic!

To learn more about Dorinda Walker: 
Twitter: @dorindawalker

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Power of Choice by Sylvia Duncan

I’ve heard it said that after waking up, the average person makes about 12 decisions before 9am. A study by Cornell University says that individuals make 70 + choices every day. We choose what to wear, we choose what to eat, we choose the route we’ll take to where we need to go. The key words here are “We Choose”, it’s our choice; our power if you will.

Yes, there is power in choice. And yet, we run the risk of becoming complacent when it comes to making choices. Most of our choices are done subconsciously. Sure, you may choose the route you’ll take to where you’re going, however, odds are you will drive that route without thinking about driving it because you probably know it like the back of your hands. So, you drive it without thinking about where to turn, or even when to stop. You made the choice to take a familiar route, therefore, you don’t have to put any effort into thinking about the actual act of driving.

Destiny is Determined by Choices

If we really understood, that our destiny is determined by what we do, we will be more focused and intentional when making choices. Our choices direct the course of our lives, every choice we make designs the future we’ll live. That said, every choice could also potentially have infinite consequences, meaning, any choice you make could continue to make choices for you, long after you’ve forgotten you made the choice. Couple that, with the fact that the moments in your life, will never come again, that once a moment happens, it happens and then it’s gone, and you have reason enough to think through and be intentional about the act of choosing.

However, there are circumstances and situations that happen to us due to the choices of others, and although we had no say in the choice and have no control over the consequence, we do have control over its impact in our lives. For example, I grew up witnessing violence against my mother at the hand of my father. I loved both parents and had no control over the actions of my dad or the inaction of my mom because she made the tough choice to stay. But, what I do have control over is the impact of those circumstances in my life now. I’m intentional about the choices I make for several reasons, however, one of the most important reasons is not to repeat the cycle of abuse I witnessed. Knowing what I know now, I have total control over my own choices, and I choose to make choices that design a life of peace for me. Those choices determine who and what will be in my life as it relates to the peace I desire. I am unapologetically deliberate about my choice when it comes to my peace, as well as choices in every other aspect of my life.

Decide to Be Deliberate
To ensure your life is going in the direction you desire, decide to become more deliberate about the choices you make. Don’t let circumstances or situations decide for you. Your choice is your power, take the time to choose what’s best for you.

Here are three decisions you can make, to help you make choices. Decide to:

1. Take time to determine your state of mind before making a choice.      When you are in the wrong state of mind, you will make the wrong choice. If you experienced some form of adversity, ask yourself, “is what happened to me, affecting my choices?”

2. Always do the right thing – live with integrity. Honest people make good choices. 

3. Take risks. Our choices can also be an indication of our desire to change. If you stick to the familiar, you won’t make the choice towards change. And, in some cases, if you don’t change, you won’t grow.

Lastly, choose to wake every day, blessing your day. Because every day you wake up is a day you get to make choices.
Learn more at

Connect with her on Facebook @Sylvia Duncan or @The Duncan Approach
Twitter: @LifeDetoxCoach
Periscope: @SylviaDuncan