Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Is Donald Sterling Right? By Johnetta G. Paye, Esq.



For the past few weeks, former LA Clipper’s owner, Donald Sterling’s derogatory comments have been heatedly discussed in the news and on social media. Sterling attempted to clarify his comments in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper. During the interview, he stated, “That's one problem I have. Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people. And some of the African Americans, maybe I'll get in trouble again, they don't want to help anybody.” Donald Sterling's comments implied that African Americans do not give back to their community and lift each other up.


Sterling's musings on African Americans has played out in my own life. My father emigrated from the West African nation of Liberia to pursue higher education. He eventually settled in Minnesota because there is a large Liberian community in the Twin Cities.  My mother joined my father in the U.S. about a year later.  My father wanted to expand his network and made the conscience choice to attend a predominantly white church.

Eventually, the members of the church came to learn that my parents had two small daughters who were still in Liberia. My parents did not have the financial resources to send for my older sister and me. The members of the church came together and raised enough money to purchase plane tickets for my sister and me, so that we could be reunited with our parents in Minnesota.

All too often, within my community many children are never reunited with their parents, because Liberians rarely band together to provide financial assistance to parents seeking to bring their children to America.

It was the graciousness of Caucasian individuals, who I did not know that open the door for me to come to the U.S. and pursue educational and career opportunities that changed the whole course of my life.  I became the first person in my immediate family to graduate from a four-year college and only one to obtain a Juris Doctor.

Donald Sterling’s remarks touches on broader issues that African Americans have discussed behind closed doors for years.  Why are there a limited number of African American professional mentors who are willing to be rainmakers for their mentees? Why is it that African Americans do not refer business to each other in larger numbers?  How many African Americans financially support or volunteer for non-profit organizations that give back to the community? How frequently do African Americans help each other secure a job? How many African Americans are active in professional organizations?


Sterling’s comments should serve as motivation to change the perception of African Americans.  There are organizations that give back to the community, such as the BOSS Network.  We can discredit the Sterling perception by supporting each other in larger numbers, holding each other accountable and being involved in organizations that enhance our community.

I want to thank Cameka Smith for having the vision and tenacity to start the BOSS Network.  BOSS is truly a sisterhood of successful women who help, encourage, and lift each other up. I am sincerely humbled and honor to have been granted the opportunity to be a 2nd quarter blogger for the BOSS Network. I look forward to reading all of the insightful post by the 3rd quarter bloggers. Most importantly, I am proud to be a member of an organization that discredits individuals like Donald Sterling and shows African Americans DO help to pull each other up on a professional and personal level. 

Johnetta G. Paye, Esq.

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The Love We Lost By Terry D.


No, life is not the same, and yes, life is more complicated now, and there are way more variables that are in play now, but let's talk about the foundations that were not negotiable, when our parents dated, the ones they hoped to pass onto us, and how they held their marriages together, in spite of...
None of these lessons start when you're grown.  These values are put into motion early.  If we want change, if we want the divorce rate to decrease, and the marriage rate to increase  among African-Americans, we have to be the change agents!

The Foundation - They Took Us To Church

All of us knew that Sunday morning was reserved for church.  For that matter, a few more days of the week as well.  Even if we didn't want to be there, we went, participated, and the seed was being planted and rooted, but somehow along the way, we began giving our children a choice, as we attended service on Sunday, as they stayed home and slept.  Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

The Parents Were Involved

You couldn't just pick up a young lady, by blowing the horn, and before you started leaving the house together, there definitely had to be several supervised dates at the house.  They did things together with the family, so that everyone could get to know the character of this young man.  If he didn't seem to have her best interest at heart, it wouldn't be long before he was no longer allowed to come around, and even if the daughter was hurt, she respected her parents, because she knew there were consequences.

The Father Made It Crystal Clear of What was NOT Going to Happen, While Someone Dated His Daughter

When a young lady brought home a young man for her parents to meet, the father and the brothers made sure he saw them, and let their presence be known, and the unconditional love they had for her.  Just in case he wanted to disrespect her, by calling her names, put his hands on her or step out-of-pocket for any reason, he knew he would have someone to answer to.  We have to be unapologetic in teaching equal respect to not only our daughters, but also our sons.  It will be reluctantly acknowledged, mimicked and appreciated later.

They Taught Us About Love, Through Action

We may have seen them fight, but we also saw them work through it, and honor their vows. When things got a bit thick, that's when the foundation helped, because that's when you saw/heard Mama praying.  They loved us enough to discipline us, when we were wrong.  The main component to their love, was that they didn't fight for power, they shared.  Sometimes, just the basics may be not be enough, but God has always been enough, and that is where the love begins.  You have to put the work in, because our children really do imitate our actions.  It means something to attend church with your parents, It means something to see functional relationships as  a child, it means something to know that love begins at home and it definitely means a whole hell of a lot, when you can use these same tools to keep that foundation together.  

Terry D. 
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, follow her on twitter @love_chapters 

Raising at Mini Mogul: The Good, The Bad, The call for help By Tammira Lucas


If you have been following my blogs or me you know that I talk a lot about being a Mompreneur and anything BUSINESS, BALANCE & BABIES. This time I decided to do something a little different with my blog. I wanted to give you real life insight on my life and the obstacles I go through as I balance various parts of my life. I started my business with my daughter in mind. As she got older I transitioned her into being the CEO of the business. It’s nothing more I love then growing a business with my daughter. But raising a “Mini Mogul” is not EASY. Ryann plays a huge part in our business and it is actually really good to run a business with her because instead of finding sitters for her when I have to do business she is right by my side. But she is still 3 and it is important for me to always ensure she lives her childhood. Now because Ryann is an entrepreneur she is different from other 3 year olds. She has Television interviews, radio interviews and meetings she has to be apart of all in a week time. This can be very tiring for a 3 year old, but as her mom it I always ensure she gets proper sleep and nutrition.

Recently I came to a bump in the road; Ryann started having behavioral issues in school and at home. Now as her mom I wanted to immediately punish her and take everything away, however that is very hard when you are contracted to do certain things. So what do I do? How do I really handle this situation? I was really starting to become stress out about the situation because I did want to break commitments and I also didn’t want Ryann to think it was okay for her to misbehave. I actually felt embarrassed that she would act in this manner.  As a mother you never really want to punish your child. You look at their cute smiling or sad faces and literally just want to hold, kiss and protect them. Looking at her face she seemed so innocent but I knew that her actions were unacceptable and something had to be done.

After speaking to my husband we came up with a punishment for her. We agreed to allow her to follow through with any commitments we made, however she was not allowed to play with any toys, watch TV and she had to stay in her room while she was home practicing her numbers, sight words and handwriting. 

Normally I am the disciplinary in the house and I think that I was stressed out because of this. There were two things I had to do in order to overcome this issue;
  1. I had to communicate with my husband about my feelings on the way he discipline her. Because she is “daddy’s little girl” he seem to let her get away with a lot of stuff, but this will only make her actions worst.
  2. I had to speak to other moms and get their advice. It is so important as moms that we understand that we aren't the only ones going through issues. Talking and getting advice from other moms really helped me in this situation. It gave me the opportunity to vent with out feeling guilty and get good advice that contribute to removing my stress.

I am here to tell all the moms that raising children is hard and raising a mini mogul is no different!!! 

Connect with Tammira on Twitter @tammiralucas or online at

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Faster! Better! Stronger! Again! By Kamilah Paden


Every Saturday, I find myself in a cycle class with an instructor in my “earhole” saying one thing, “Faster.” He doesn’t ask me what class I took yesterday or what I’m doing later. “FASTER!” He doesn’t ask me if I’m tired, if I’m depressed, or if I need a hug. “FASSTTEER!” He will leave on only one condition … if I go faster.  And regardless of how I’m feeling, I find a way to do it. You can find a way, also.

If you’re on The BOSS Network, there is something you want.  It may be a whisper deep in the crevices of your soul or a shout from the rooftops. And I want to see you succeed because I believe everyone has the ability to be more than they ever dreamed.

If you haven’t realized your dream, but you know what’s happening on the latest episode of “Love & Hip Hop.” Turn off that television. Get to work.

Wilma Rudolph – Olympic Gold Medal Winning Sprinter survived bouts of polio and scarlet fever. She needed a brace for her twisted leg and orthopedic shoes until she was twelve. If anyone had an excuse to miss gym class, it was Wilma Rudolph. Instead, she worked hard and became FASTER!

Shirley Paden – World renowned knitwear designer, author, and instructor works harder than anyone I have ever seen (except for her brother, my father).  Now I work, but some days I feel like the Wile E. Coyote to her Road Runner. She demands results from herself and those around her and does it with a kindness and grace that is rarely seen. BETTER!

Oprah Winfrey –The television personality, actress, producer, magazine mogul, and one of the wealthiest women in the world didn’t retire. She started her own network. STRONGER!

Hilary Clinton – The former Secretary of State lost her dream job, publicly. The man that won “her” job offered her a different job.  It was a good job, but less prestigious.  She took it, worked it, and waited until it was her time to try for her dream job. AGAIN!

Those of you that are watching your dreams fly past on a daily basis like the 7:45 a.m. commuter train. DO IT! 
I don’t care how you've failed in the past, what your momma said or how much money you lost. DO IT. 
Yes, it may have been you. Yes, life is unfair. Yes, other people may have it easier. No one cares. DO IT!
Maybe your product wasn’t right for the market. Maybe you didn’t know what you needed. Maybe you were too pigheaded to listen. Learn. Change. Excel. Then do it. AGAIN.

If you think you’re at the top of your game like Oprah, guess what? I still don’t care. Are you woman enough to face down the next challenge/opportunity presented you? Are you at the top of your game, but know that your “retirement” translates into taking new direction? If yes, then you may just be ready.

You have a goal to reach. You need the pushers/drill sergeants that don’t want to hear your excuses. You need someone in your “earhole” saying that it’s time for you to be FASTER! BETTER! STRONGER! And when you’re done, do it. AGAIN.

Connect with Kamilah Paden on LinkedIn at or visit her Web

Are You Prepared for Success? By Deborah Gray-Young

How are you prepared to take on your next goal or task?  Are you prepared for the next opportunity that presents itself? 

It seems like a simple enough question with either yes or no for an answer.  However, it’s a little more complex than that.  If you answered yes you are prepared, the next logical question is: how have you prepared and have you prepared effectively?

Whether you are employed in the private or public sector or own a business, your level of preparation can have a significant impact on your success.

There are at least 4 levels of preparation.  Which level of preparation do you employ most often? 

No preparation.  Flying by the seat of your pants
Review of information or materials that is just enough to get by
Have reviewed materials in advance of discussion and possibly made notes and ready to participate and contribute
Reviewed all information or materials that are pertinent and available, have formed questions and created a cheat sheet to provide answers to potential questions.  Ready to participate, contribute and lead. 

Here are scenarios and questions where your level of preparation can make the margin of difference in your career or business:

1. An opportunity for a new position is presented to you. 

    • How quickly could you react and respond and be ready to ace the first round interview?
    • Is your resume up to date reflecting important accomplishments? 
    • Do you know what your core strength is and how you contribute to a team? 
    • Do you know your management, communication and leadership styles? 
If you are just beginning your career path, the answers to these questions are still forming.  However, if you are a seasoned professional, these are answers you should be able to respond to without hesitation. 

2. There’s an important meeting coming up which you are invited to participate or tasked to lead.  
  • What are the first steps you should take to be prepared to effectively participate and/or lead? Do you know 
  • The purpose of the meeting and the desired outcome 
  • The meeting agenda 
  • Meeting invitees, their respective roles within the organization and on the project at hand 
  • Your role in the meeting if you are not the leader 
  • Are there documents that should be reviewed in advance and if so, how far in advance of the meeting will the documents be published?
      3. You own a business and the opportunity to bid on a contract that seems tailor made for your company is presented to you.  
  • Do you have a pre-selected and vetted team of professionals you can call on to assist in the development of the response to the RFP (Request for Proposal)? 
  • Do you have responses to standard questions about your company already prepared?
  • Do you have case studies that you can present or discuss that illustrate your company’s capabilities?

While thorough preparation may not always be possible, no preparation at all is not a formula for success.  How well you prepare is a huge part of how you will be perceived in your professional environment and professional circles.  It also signals to others how serious you are about the task at hand.   

Preparation leads to excellence which leads to effectiveness.  All three are habits that should be developed and baked into the DNA of your personal brand.   

Based on your goals and what it is you say you want, what are you prepared for and how have you prepared for it?  Take some time to consider this and adjust accordingly.

In the meantime, remember, life is about choices.  What will you choose for you today?

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

Follow Coach D. on Twitter @coachdgrayyoung and check out her website