Thursday, May 15, 2014

Join Us Thursday, 5/22 at 7/8pm EST For A Live Twitter #BOSSChat with Paternity Court Judge Lauren Lake

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Lauren Lake is a multi-faceted television personality who now serves as the judge on the new nationally syndicated half hour daily courtroom show, “Paternity Court.”   The sharp-witted and opinionated Lake will help litigants resolve legal issues involving paternity using DNA results.  A blend of feisty and fair, her dynamic yet down-to-earth persona will undoubtedly resonate with audiences.  

An attorney and relationship expert, Lake is a graduate of the University of Michigan and earned her law degree at Wayne State University.  She is a member of the New York, New Jersey and Michigan bars with concentrations in family, criminal, entertainment law. 

Lake regularly contributes her no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is advice and analysis to some of today’s most popular television programs including, “The View,” “Good Morning America,” “Today,” “CBS This Morning,” “Dr. Phil,” “Nancy Grace,” “O’Reilly Factor,” “Bill Cunningham,” and “Ricki Lake.” She also served as a guest host for MSNBC and Court TV. Lake is a frequent on-air guest radio host for Radio One’s WDBZ in Cincinnati, and served as a legal expert on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” “Michael Baisden” and WBLS New York. 
Lake has been featured in articles in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, Essence, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Jet Magazine, The Detroit Free Press and The Birmingham News. 

A highly sought after speaker and lecturer, Lake provides keynote addresses for countless social, civic, business, legal, and student organizations across the country. Her inspiring, high energy speeches have becomes a favorite among the students at universities such as: Princeton, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University College of Law, Florida A&M University, Xavier University, and University of Alabama Birmingham. Bill Cosby hand selected Lake to be a featured motivational speaker on his nationwide “Call Out” tour, which reaches out to encourage and uplift inner city communities. Her empowering words are featured in Dr. Cosby’s latest book Come On People. 

In her 2009 book, Girl! Let Me Tell You…Lake empowers single women to never settle for anything less than what they deserve in life and in love. Lake has served as moderator and contributor on panels dedicated to women, relationships, empowerment, and family. These panels include: Radio One Women’s Empowerment Expo, Circle of Sisters Expo, the Essence Young Women’s Leadership Conference, and the Tom Joyner Family Reunion. 

Lake co-founded the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN), which promotes the positive portrayal of women in entertainment and society through nationwide mentoring and outreach programs for young women.  She also serves as professor for the annual WEEN Academy.  

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Lake is a dedicated wife and mother who is committed to encouraging and inspiring ordinary people to live extraordinary lives. She strives each day to be a living example of life’s infinite possibilities.

Join BOSS Founder Cameka Smith (@iamCameka) and Lauren Lake (@LaurenLakeEnt) for a live #BOSSChat 
Thursday, May 22nd at 7/8PM ET Live on Twitter

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

B.O.S.S. Ladies: Take Care of Your Spirit By Deborah Gray-Young, CPC, ELI-MP

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B.O.S.S. Ladies by definition are movers and shakers in their world.  They are either making things happen or planning and strategizing to make things happen.   I've met some of you and have had the opportunity to listen in on webinars by others. I know what I’m talking about. 

One of the key things B.O.S.S. Ladies have to remember to do, says my friend Michelle Gourdine, M.D. is take care of ourselves.  The key to our well being said Dr. Gourdine, is taking care of our spirit.  It is crucial to preventing disease states that plague Black women disproportionately. 

Frankly, I didn't understand the linkage here at first.  If taking care of our spirit is critical to our overall health and well being, then how is it that Black women, who attend church more than any other group of people, can be so impacted by life threatening diseases.

Square that for me Dr. Michelle, I said. 


“Stress”, she said, “is the culprit.”   Then we both had an Aha! moment.  Taking care of your spirit is more than just going to church and having a strong faith. 
Aha! moment.  Taking care of your spirit is more than just going to church.

In her book, “Reclaiming Our Health”, Dr. Michelle notes “Intermittent stress is normal and generally not harmful.  The stress response allows us to fight off or escape from other emergencies requiring quick action.”

“For some people, however, stress is more than an occasional response to a random threat – it is a way of life.  Their daily lives generate a constant stream of anxiety that never allows the stress response to shut off.”

As it turns out, your body can’t tell the difference between an immediate short term danger and a long term habit of burning both ends of the candle.  As women, particularly B.O.S.S. Ladies, your stress button can be stuck in the on position

Stress is catabolic energy, meaning over the long term, it is destructive.  The affects of an always on stress button are the constant flow of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline into the body which can lead to high blood pressure, high blood sugar and a weakened immune system. And the other thing none of us want – premature aging. 

When my clients take the YOU 3.0 Energy Leadership assessment, (an assessment that objectively indicates a person’s anabolic and catabolic energy profile) it is not uncommon for the results to indicate a tremendous amount of stress in their lives. 
   
 Here are some suggestions for taking care of your spirit:
1. Take time for yourself.  You must take time to recharge and rejuvenate. You can’t do a good job of taking care of others if your tank is empty.  Create stress busters – mini quiet breaks that let your mind rest.  Also, take your vacation.  Whether you work for a company or for yourself, there is almost never a good time to take vacation.  Plan it, plan for it, and take it. 

2. Just Say No!!  How often do you find yourself over extended with too much on your plate?  Don’t commit to more than you can reasonably do excellently.  Just as important is not feeling guilty about saying no.  Protect your time and your sanity by setting personal boundaries.  For example: do not answer e-mails while on vacation and don’t answer the phone during family time.  This will seem impossible at first, but once you set boundaries and train would-be offenders, this is not as difficult as it sounds. 
Take time for yourself.  Just say No! Ask for help! Move!

3. Ask for help.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.  We all need help at one point or another.  Seek out a listening non-judgmental ear from a pastor or close friend or a professional coach.  If you think your situation is more urgent, do not hesitate to seek the advice and counsel from a mental health professional such as a counselor or therapist.  There is no need to go it alone. 

4. Walk.  Not only will walking help clear your head, this form of exercise is one of the best ways to counter the effects of stress hormone levels. 
*Source: Adapted from Reclaiming Our Health, A Guide to African American Wellness: Three Steps to Detoxifying Your Life; Michelle A. Gourdine, M.D. 

So B.O.S.S. Ladies, as you plot and plan how to take over the world, schedule some time for yourself in that busy calendar.  There is no one more important to you in your world than you.  Take the time to take good care of your spirit.  




















Coach D. Gray-Young, CPC, ELI-MP
Certified Personal and Executive Coach

Connect with Coach D. at www.coachdgrayyoung.com or Follow her on Twitter @coachdgrayyoung


3 Lessons We Can Learn from Kanye West By Kamilah Paden

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Everyone looks at Kanye West like that wayward, black sheep brother or uncle that you tolerate.  You know the one. Your mom is always shaking her head about him, but he’s family so he keeps getting invited to Thanksgiving dinner. Sometimes you’re eager to see him because you want to know what he’ll do next.
Now, some of the things Kanye says and does give me pause. But, if you look at Kanye closely, there are a few things that you can learn from his antics to leverage for your business.

Confidence
Very few people are as confident as Kanye West.  Whether you agree with him (ever) or not, you have to agree that he knows elemental truths about himself.  He believes certain things about himself so deep in his soul that no one’s contradictory opinion would ever matter.  You can’t tell him that he’s not a talented rapper. You can try. He’s not going to believe it.

However, he doesn’t just blindly believe that.  He is a student of his craft. He can tell you about the talented individuals whom he respects.  He can talk to you about producers.  He talks about history of rap. So his confidence is based on his belief on where he stands in an industry that he knows.

Over the years in business, you have had a ton of feedback so that you should know some elemental truths about yourself. There will always be people that will try to pick away at that confidence no matter what your level of expertise or experience. Don’t let them. Be like Kanye.  Know your strengths. Know your value.

Perseverance
If anyone believes a moment in time is just a moment in time, it’s Kanye West. He has said some very public statements that have made us all wince. He apologized and kept moving forward.  He didn’t wallow in that moment.  He persevered to the next.  He knew that his next success would help people forget those public faux pas. 

A moment in time doesn’t define the person.  Why do we hold on to moments that we weren’t who we thought we could be?  Or why do we hold on to things that didn’t go the way we planned?  One episode does not define a whole television series. One episode does not define your whole life. Learn from Kanye. Keep moving forward.

Evolution/Diversification
Kanye West will never say he is only a producer or he is only a rapper.  He has a variety of interests. Some of his interests open the doors to other opportunities. You will never be able to put Kanye West in a box.

What you do today may not be what you will do tomorrow? Sometimes you determine your time for change and other times it is determined for you.
Your talents don’t have to box you in.  You may be good at one thing, but long to do something else entirely. What’s stopping you? Take the class. Talk to people in that industry. Develop a plan. Keep everything you’ve learned over the years that made you a success at one industry and leverage them to make you successful at another. You have the power to change your future as many times as you need to be successful and happy.

So while you may not always agree with everything Kanye says or does, there may be something you can leverage to help you succeed.  As with anyone/anything in your life, take the elements you need and leave the rest.  The same can be said for that black sheep Uncle.


Connect with Kamilah Paden on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/kamilahpaden or visit her Web site at www.vegaunleashed.com

LIFE CHOICES: LOVE VS. CAREER By Johnetta Paye, Esq

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DOES A WOMAN HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN LOVE & CAREER?

This week, I had a conversation with a good friend of mine about whether a woman has to choose between love and career.  My friend is a 30-something-year-old attorney.  She was recently, offered a job opportunity in L.A. that will allow her to take her career to the next level and expand her professional network.  Her boyfriend is Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  He works for an accounting firm in Chicago and is not able to move with her to L.A at this time.    
My friend and her boyfriend are in love, but she is uncertain about how the move to L.A. will impact their relationship. If she stays in Chicago, she will be able to spend time with her boyfriend regularly and knows they will ultimately get married.  She is struggling with whether to stay in Chicago for love or move to L.A. and advance her career.

Of course most of us remember, the controversial December 10, 2009, Washington Post article Successful, Black & Lonely, which details the challenges African-American women in major cities have finding a soul mate.  My friend’s decision is further complicated by societal pressure to not mess up her relationship, because she has found the pot of gold under the rainbow (a black male, with a college degree, who actually wants to be in a committed relationship).  It is understandable my friend would have reservations about moving to LA to advance her career.

WHY IS IT A CHOICE?

As an attorney myself, I constantly have to identify what is the real issue my clients are dealing with and counsel them on that issue.  My friend’s situation could be described as a question of RELATIONSHIP VS. CAREER.  I will leave it to the relationship experts to give tips and advice on how to balance having a relationship and a career.

 When it is a question of LOVE VS. CAREER there is never a choice to be made.  Frequently, as women we abandon our career goals because we believe that is the way to maintain a relationship.  Only to later find ourselves lost and unhappy.   Life is about being true to yourself and personal growth. It has been my experience that when a woman is secure in herself, she attracts a soul mate that will support her professional goals.

Life gives us challenges to test our resolve and the strength of our relationships. As women, entrepreneurs, and career professionals we have to be willing to embrace uncertain situations and step out on faith.  Things ultimately work out as they should in the end.  My friend’s boyfriend has expressed a willingness to look for career opportunities in L.A.  As he says, “I’m a finance guy and the way I see it people are always going to need my services no matter where I am.”        

When faced with the LOVE vs. CAREER question always remember this saying from @marriedmandaily, “If it does not last it isn't love.  If it does not survive it isn't love.” So go get your California dream.

Use the comment box to share with the BOSS community your thoughts on the LOVE vs. CAREER and LOVE vs. RELATIONSHIP question.

Johnetta G. Paye, Esq.

Visit Johnetta website: www.jpaye.com and follow her on Twitter: @jpayeesq 

    

The Empire State of Mind- 5 Principles to creating an empire with your spouse Tammira Lucas

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I often receive questions on how did my husband and I start building an Empire together? Does it affect our personal life? How do we separate the two? Is having my husband as a business partner healthy? I would be lying if I said that from day one starting a business with my husband was easy and didn’t affect our marriage. Marriage alone is hard work and it is just like a business; it is a huge commitment and requires a lot of time and sacrifice. Just like starting a business, marriage is not impossible to manage and to become successful. When my husband and I first started our business it was really rough to define our roles and responsibilities. Many times duties would cross and we would not communicate very well.  A huge obstacle we encountered was defining a clear vision for our brand.  Just like partnering with anyone in a business you have to be on the same page and come together to create a clear vision. It gets very tricky being at odds with the person you have to sleep next too. There were nights we would not talk to one another. After having about 5 of these nights I knew that immediately we had to do something about it.

The only solution to marital problems is to find a compromise. Giving up on building our empire was just not an option for us. We knew that we wanted to create this brand and we were really passionate about it. We had to find the median to make it work.  It did not happen overnight but it happened. Getting on the same page required a lot of communication and planning sessions. There were things we both had to re-think and compromise on. Being in a partnership does not mean you will agree on everything. Not agreeing makes the partnership unique because you are able to bring more creative ideas to the table. Each person has his or her own mind, vision, passion and more importantly strengths. Getting a person to see your vision is very hard because it’s your vision! I also think that if your vision is in an area that your partner is not strong on it can scare them away. They are not able to see how your idea may actually work because they know their roles will be limited due to their lack of expertise in the given area. For example, as The Lucas Brand we are asked to speak often; this is something I am passionate about doing because I love to tell my story and share my advice and experiences. However, my husband is not comfortable with speaking, so getting him to see my vision on this part of our brand was hard. I had to show him how valuable he is in this portion of our business. There were things that he suggested in our brand that I did not feel comfortable in due to some of the same concerns he had.
More importantly than compromise, when it comes to business and marriage, it is important to learn to separate the two. I always say this, “Business is business and relationships or friendships are just that.” After having those nights where we weren’t talking to one another it was very important we learn how to separate the two. We no longer wanted to talk about business during our date nights and allowing our disagreements to affect our personal life. It was also important that we embraced possibility thinking together. John Maxwell said people who embrace this thinking are capable of accomplishing tasks that seem impossible because they believe in solutions.  We had to consistently encourage on another and understand that our hard work and sacrifices would eventually pay-off.
So what did we do? How did we separate the two? How did we make this business work for our marriage and our family? The secret to building our empire and being business partners required what I call The 5 Principles of Creating your Empire with your Spouse.


  1. Communicate- I preach about this all the time no matter what. I feel that no relationship or partnership can work without clear and concise communication. In this instance you also need to learn that Business communication should ALWAYS be separated from personal communication.
  2. Leave the Business at the Office- Having a cut off time for your business is important. You should make sure you have time outside of business for your spouse and family. You don’t want to bring the business home or vice versa. Your disagreements about your business should never come home with you. You should be able to take the business hat off and put the wife hat on without getting them mixed up.
  3. Create a Cohesive Vision- Identify together what your Empire will look like. What is the vision for your Empire? Use diagrams to help with creating your vision. Compromise and see how your long-terms goals align with each other’s vision. Creating a cohesive vision also involves making decisions together. When making investments they should align with the vision you both set for your empire. No decision or investment should be made without mutual agreement.
  4. Set Short-Term and Long-Term Business and Personal Goals- All businesses should have goals and people should have goals as well. Setting these goals together will help you work together to achieve them.
  5. Define Your Roles-Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so not only is it important that you define roles, but define roles that allow each other to use their strengths effectively.
Connect with Tammira on Twitter @tammiralucas or online at www.tammiralucas.com

How Did I Survive Life & Love After HEARTBREAK? By Terry D.

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How did I survive life & love after Heartbreak

I hear my clients say all the time:
 Maybe I’m not meant to be with anyone
 I don’t think I can survive another failed relationship
 At least I have someone
What’s wrong with me?

NO NO NO – stop that foolishness
Well, let me tell you:
I dated someone for years that was a compulsive liar, and a repeat offender of cheating.  I continued to forgive him – I know what you’re thinking – who in their right mind would stay with someone like that?  I asked myself the same thing, and thought I would never escape my self doubt and insecurities.  See, it wasn’t him to blame for the madness, it was me for not thinking I could do better, but YES, I survived, and I’m free.  I’m free mentally, physically and emotionally.
There is life after Heartbreak!
You name it, I've been through it, as a lot of us have, but I covered up my insecurities with sex and loveless relationships!  Judge me if you want, but I feel like someone lifted a Mack truck off my heart.  My biggest breakthrough came when I had a complete meltdown in the middle of my bedroom floor.  Crying uncontrollably, and releasing the toxins and stench of deceit.  

After I realized I didn't love myself enough, I started counseling, I prayed, I STOPPED lying to myself, I accepted what “I” contributed,  and I finally started confiding in my close friends.  I needed an outlet, and I was no longer going to hold this all in.  To my surprise, there were other women going through, or had been through something similar.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone won’t understand, and it’s not for them to…
So, for those of you who may be struggling with this same issue, here’s what helped me:

It’s a process, and there’s no quick fix, but it’s not your final chapter – keep reading
  I had an accountability partner who I called when I thought I was getting weak
I remained in counseling
I stayed prayed up
“If you don’t seek help, you will continue to repeat and attract the same characteristics in men!” –Terry D.

IN BETWEEN THESE STEPS, I CRIED A LOT, SOMETIMES DOUBTED MYSELF & EVEN SLIPPED UP AND CALLED HIM, BUT I DIDN’T GET TOO DOWN ON MYSELF, THAT I COULDN’T RECOVER, GET BACK UP & KEEP IT MOVING…

I actually wrote down the things that happened, where it took a turn and why I stayed so long
 I stayed away from dating until I was healed and able to trust
 I FORGAVE HIM, AND THEN I FORGAVE MYSELF

Forgiveness was key, but I also had to get to the core of the problem, and why I thought any of this was okay.  Counseling definitely helped me with this and boy oh boy did I get clarity, and the true healing began…
What was my core problem?  It was the negative seeds mentally planted throughout my life, that I never knew would contribute to my dysfunctional relationship habits.
Don’t allow others to judge you because of your choices, because everyone has been through something, going through something, or may very well be on their way to something, and we all cope differently, none of us are exempt…

Terry D. Editor-in-Chief
Love Chapters

Helping Grown Folk Write Their Next Chapter of Love

Terry D. is an avid Relationship Blogger, and invites you to follow her BLOG at www.lovechapters.net, follow her on twitter @love_chapters