Wednesday, December 14, 2016

BOSS Spotlight: Meet The “School Director ”Rhea A. Henderson

Rhea A. Hendersonis the Founder and Executive Director of the RH School of Performing Arts LLC. She is a graduate of Chicago State University. Among several other organizations, she is a member of New Life Covenant church and a 27 year member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

TheBOSSNetwork: What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?

Rhea A. Henderson:One of the biggest obstacles I faced was the funding to open my business. I didn't have the best credit and my savings was minimal. I learned that if  you “speak” it you will“receive” it. I had several resources right in my direct circle with the ability to assist me with removing these obstacles. Because I had done my best to be obedient to God's demands of me in the past, these folks did not hesitate to do all they could to help. This was only after I “spoke” and made plain the goal I was trying to accomplish.

BN: What inspired you to break into your particular industry?

RH: Being professionally trained from 6 years old up through college, dancing was always my passion, but never a career option for my parents who were paying for my education. While I successfully climbed the corporate ladder as a Health Information Systems professional, my soul constantly screamed out for what it needed to be whole, for me to be whole. That constant screaming led me to open up the RH School of Performing Arts 9 years ago.

BN: How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance? 

RH: Some of the tools I use include setting a schedule for the year and sharing it with my staff and family. This way everyone is aware of my goals and plans and I can be held accountable to sticking to them and the schedule. I also delegate wherever I can as well as utilize all my software to it's maximum potential. This allows me to free myself of certain tasks and at the same time empower others. It also helps me to be as efficient as possible. Most important, when I'm feeling overwhelmed I pray and ask God for redirection.

BN: What is an inspirational quote that you live by?

RH: I actually live by 2 inspirational quotes. “What you put out into the universe is in direct proportion to what you receive from it”. “Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain”!

BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?

RH:My mom is one of the many people that encourages me. She is my biggest cheerleader and is brutally honest, especially when it's needed. My good friend Nicole Jones who is an accomplished entrepreneur herself, has a drive and tenacity that won't quit!This woman never gives up and she will NOT allow me to. I love her for it more than she knows. She is a clear example of what God will do for you if you are obedient!

BN: What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?

RH: God is the 1st “must-have” on my list. No explanation needed. In addition I require an exceptional PR and marketing team to help ensure that my clientele increases by at least 20% each year. A 501c3 status will be of great benefit as corporate sponsorship for scholarships are a huge part of what sets us apart from other performing arts programs in my city.

BN: What is your definition of a BOSS?

RH: A BOSS woman is a women who is the epitome of what beauty looks like form the inside out! She is chosen,bold, ambitious, loyal, humble, tenacious, fearless, encouraging, compassionate and most important God fearing!

Be sure to follow Rhea A. Henderson on Twitter @Rhea_Henderson and check out her products and Services at

Uplevel Your Conversation By La'Keisha Gray-Sewell


Image Courtesy of CreateHer

To close out this Move Beyond the Block series, I want to talk about our talk. How many of us are truly mindful of our conversations...the tone and subject matter? Now we all know how much we rely on conversation to express our thoughts and convey our outlook. But do we ever internally gauge if our conversation is a cause of delight or disappointment?

 How often do we reflect whether or not our conversation results in elevation or stagnation?

Why is this an important question to ask? 

For starters, after our initial physical impression of someone, the first words we hear from them determines our level of engagement. It can be fascinating or a major disappointment. Just think back on someone whose physical demeanor commanded your attention, yet when they began to talk, their conversation was so mundane and mediocre that you found yourself struggling to pay attention.

Or what about those of us whose conversation is rooted in limiting thoughts? The subject matter is embryonic in nature. These conversations don’t allow for exploring ideas, raising awareness or offering new information and resources. In fact, on the contrary, you leave the conversation feeling weighed down by depressing thoughts, confronted by problems without solutions, and an overwhelming sense of wasted time. What a draining experience.

Then there are the conversations dripping with sarcasm and petty observations. Tongues laced with commentary that seeks to shame, exploit, and cast an overall air of negativity. It’s a nervous interaction where those engaged spend much of the conversation in a defensive stance or trying to find neutral ground.  This type of exchange is exhausting and can cost us opportunities and relationships. Not to mention it can be seriously toxic to our well being causing physical manifestations of stress such as headaches, high blood pressure, or nervous stomach to name a few.

Still, there are those conversations that do empower, seal deals and forge new bonds. In these type of conversations, people are endeared to the speaker and feel their very life is changed for the better. A person whose conversation affects change is a respected voice of influence. People pay attention when they speak. Their very conversation has capital. It liberates...

I don’t know about you, but I certainly believe there is power in the tongue. Our words speak our desires to the universe. So whether our conversation is limited to other people and their conditions, spreads negativity, or if it affirms, challenges thought, or informs, our reality will reflect it. 

Are you growing? Do others learn from you? Do you attract opportunities via your conversation? Do others seek you out for conversation? Does your reality say you need to uplevel your conversation?

I recently heard something that helped me gauge and redirect my own conversations. A wise teacher asked, “would you talk to God the way you talk to yourself and others?”

This question alone should spark our next conversation.     

To Learn more about La'Keisha via her website and follow her on Twitter @MrsGirlsLikeMe         

The Trials and Tribulations of Facebook Envy By L'Oreal Thompson Payton

While chatting with a fellow journalist the other day, we expressed the same sentiment about social media. Although it’s great for keeping in touch with friends (which is how we’ve stayed connected since first meeting at college years ago), Facebook, Instagram and the likes can be a breeding ground for resentment.
I first wrote about “Facebook Envy” for the now defunct millennial website a few years ago and, I’m ashamed to admit, many of my feelings have not changed. While I may appear to live a charmed life on the outside (dream job, dream guy, cute clothes), I still have insecurities and doubts on the inside (oh, Quarter-Life Crisis, will you EVER go away?).
Another journalist friend of mine once posted: “Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes struggle to everyone else’s highlight reel.” And she has a point. Most people only post the GOOD stuff on social media: the engagement, the promotion, the cute little baby bump, the fancy home, etc.
What you don’t see, and what many people aren’t apt to openly discuss, is what it took to get there…a long-distance relationship perhaps, or pulling all-nighters at the office (I have TWO industry friends who’ve watched the sun set and rise from their cubicles), costly fertility treatments, scraping every penny and dime for a down payment. The point is: the grass isn’t always greener on the other side…despite what statuses, selfies and hashtags may have you think.

When people asked me why I left my full-time journalism job…a position that often looked glamorous from the outside, full of selfies with celebrities who stopped by the office…I replied, quite honestly, I was burnt out.
I distinctly remembered one Saturday night I was dolled up getting ready to go out for Date Night and instead I was typing away on my laptop because there was breaking news. #JournalistProblems
That’s not meant to be a “woe is me,” but more of a “maybe if we were all just a bit more honest about the process, it would change people’s perception.” It’s not always glitz and glam. With that idea in mind, I’m making an effort to be more transparent in my writing and in real life with people who ask me about my journey, especially women.
No, being successful is not easy. Yes, it takes a lot of hard work. And yes, there will be moments when you wonder, what in the world am I doing? What am I supposed to be doing? More importantly, what do I actually to do?
No one has all the answers and, despite what social media will have you believe, no one has it all figured out. And anyone who says she does is, quite frankly, a liar.

So instead of lamenting, “I want that, why not me?” when your frenemy humble brags about her new Birkin bag, let’s adopt a new mantra: “good for you and I’m good, too.” Doesn’t that just sound and feel so much better?

Learn more about L'Oreal via her website LT In The and follow her on Twitter @LTintheCity.