If you are not building a network to help you get to the next level of you career you may want to watch the video below to learn why you should be networking.
OH MAN!!! Kendrick Lamar has stirred up the pot now!! And you know what? He has ALL OF OUR ATTENTION!! The thing is, NOTHING that he has done or said is anything new! Kool Moe Dee started calling people out long ago and many other rappers have followed suit. The rap game has a voice and with that voice, folks speak truth. What is funny is that a lot of people are MAD now because of his one line:
Okay, some are mad for more than that but tweets have been off the hook because of his ‘claim’. What is even funnier is that he got their attention, got them mad and for what?!?! From my research of hip hop history and reading the lyrics to his part in Big Sean’s “Control”, I would venture to interpret the line above as the following:
Kendrick, in my opinion, is saying that he is like TuPac Shakur. A rap artist that rapped and dominated BOTH coasts (juggle them both)!! From what I gather, Kendrick is not saying that HE is the king of New York, specifically, but if you research you will find that TuPac’s initial rap pen name was “MC New York”. As a lyrical ‘offspring’, Kendrick is crowning himself king of both coasts!! In my mind, it is not a diss against anyone who had or has dominated the NY scene.
Now let’s skip forward to calling folks out. Shoot, it’s needed!! I won’t agree with all called out, but he has his reasons… if anything to get that attention and wake folks up. How is that different from giving donations and doing a challenge to other organizations to match what you have given? He is laying the cards on the table, waiting for the pick up!
When did the same lyrical mouthpiece that gave our people a voice and a sound get wrapped around a bottle top? When did that SAME mouthpiece become more important wrapped around a roach? When did the SAME mouthpiece start to demean and degrade women? Well, when society changed and THAT was what people wanted to hear or talk about. Is it wrong? No, it’s storytelling and marketing at its finest. However, when that is ALL your brand has become or has grown from, then you have deviated or separated from REAL HIP HOP. This ‘marketing’ has expanded the business, but tainted the message. It’s ‘bubble gum’ and folks are getting chewed up and chewed out by a man that wants to bring REAL HIP HOP back. Does the ‘coast’ really matter? Surely it didn’t as one of rap’s icons succeeded on both, East and West, and a newbie to the mainstream is just trying to fill the gap that has been empty for a minute.
He got our attention; he’s mourning Hip Hop. He’s fighting for it! He has stirred up the pot and everyone is ready to eat now, except for the wrong reason because they are mad!! Now rappers have something to prove, right? It took getting the ATTENTION to make them move! Well, I’m not mad at it at all. Thank you Kendrick Lamar.
So how will YOU get the ATTENTION of those interested in what you may have to say? Are you chillin’ in the corner observing silently or yelling to the hills that something is needed and something has to change and you are the person to do it? Stir up the pot then! You may be a jack of all trades, but be an EXPERT in one!! Get that ATTENTION that you desire. WHAT YOU HAVE LOVE FOR, YOU WILL FIGHT FOR! That’s what Kendrick Lamar is doing… just loving Hip Hop.
I remember when I had my first boyfriend in high school. Oh man. was I ‘in love’! I went to his basketball and football games when I could. We’d talk on the phone because our houses were on two different sides of the city and neither one of us drove. He bought me candy bars and cheese steak subs and told me that he ‘loved me’… and I ‘loved’ him too! We would go on hot dates: meeting up at high school parties to see each other! Man, young love is awesome! No ‘real’ clue to what loving relationships could ‘really’ be, but it is fun while it lasts… the way YOU know it to be.
All was fine for months… and then, it happened. I guess my calls were too much and he wanted to explore his options. One call, a very awkward call, included the words, “I QUIT YOU!”. He said it over the phone, in my ear… not over Twitter, Facebook, or text… it was durn near, face-to-face! (Kinda… not really). I was shocked and hurt! I asked, “Why?” and he said, “I just have to.” Well, what was I going to say to that?!?! Nothing, because ‘he just had to’. After a few tears and wondering, “Why?”, it was over. It didn’t resurface; it was a done deal.
Most motivational speakers will say, “Don’t Quit!” or “Don’t Give Up!” True and I have said it myself, but, in this blog, I say, “QUIT”!! That’s right, “GIVE UP!”
To your lack of motivation, say, “I QUIT YOU!”
To giving up on your dreams, say, “I QUIT YOU!”
To the negativity that you face, say, “I GIVE UP!”
To the naysayers, say, “I WANT NO PARTS OF YOU!”
To the hurt, guilt, shame, despair, depression, I want you to SCREAM: “I…QUIT… YOU!”
That’s it. *drops the mic; exits stage left*
Dr. Janice (‘Jai’) Armstrong
CEO, LiHK Consulting, LLC
If you do not think men get lonely sometimes you are sadly mistaken. As a man we get to the point where senseless dating becomes old and tired and we are ready to have someone in our life that is consistent. You grow out of having someone around for the sake of being around. Some reason they will just get on your nerves. Everything that they do. That is when you know it is time to settle down. Then the hard part, trying to find a woman to settle down with. You are use to having women around but you are tired of it. You want more! To get more you are going to have to do something that you probably do not want to. Cut all the women off in your life that you were messing with. This is hard but you know that for you to have the relationship that you want with a special lady this has to be done.
You thought you were lonely messing with different women now you are extremely lonely because you are doing things by yourself. You want to call one of your old friends but you know that is just going to cause more trouble than help. Most men either fold or get a hobby that keeps them very busy so they do not have that Friday night with nothing to do, which makes you start looking through your phone for someone to call.
If you are trying to be true to yourself and be with that special one I have a couple options that you can do in your free time.
#1 Volunteer your time and services to an organization.
#2 Workout at the gym get on your fitness.
#3 Go to church and pray!
Finding that special someone that you connect with is very hard. Most men look for the same qualities that his mother has because that is the first lady that he truly loves. Stop spending time with women that you do not see a future with because at the end of the day you are still lonely with her as if you were by yourself.
Remember to Keep it GC,
If you were walking down the street and on one side you see two black guys then on the other side of the street you see two white guys walking, which two would you rather cross paths with? I am going to tell you depending on where we are, the answer is easy. If I am walking with my girlfriend the answer is even easier.
I can write about how wrong it is to stereotype but why? Every time you look at the news and see all the black male violence, you are going to stereotype. I want to be safe and I want my family to be safe as much as possible. I refuse to walk in a neighborhood or on a certain street and not make eye contact with people because they might get offended or want to start trouble. Stop claiming a block or a corner that you do not own. You wonder why the police are harassing you. You need to stop killing and harassing each other. How can you be upset about every time a white man kills a black man when you kill each other every day all day? Start respecting yourself and your brothers around you.
It is time to pull your pants up and cut your hair. Be a man. Take care of your responsibilities. If you are going to have hair make sure that you take care of it. If you are not a thug then stop looking like one. In fact stop trying to live like the guys you seen on TV, they are not real. Technology is too advanced for you to get away with anything. I know I usually do not rant but man. We live in a judgmental society people are going to look at you because of the way you dress or talk and decide that this guy is a liability to my company I will not hire him. There is nothing wrong with having manners. I promise it will not take away your manhood.
If you are tired of being stereotyped sometimes you need to stop looking at everyone around you and look at yourself. You could be part of the problem. It is time to stop feeling sorry for yourself and make changes in your life. Start by wearing clothes that fit and getting a haircut and watch the difference.
Remember to Keep It GC,
Take a listen as we had a round table discussion about my book, “It’s Already Written”. No questions were off limits. Take a listen if you have questions that you want me to address email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Facebook. Click on link below to here the discussion.
I often sit at my computer, trying to figure out what my next move is. I try to think about the ‘next best thing’ that will propel my vision forward, bringing it closer to a full-time reality. I watch money fly from my pockets as I invest in what, I feel, will help me take this ‘thing’ to the next level. “Trainer-Speaker-Coach” is now a part of who I am and what I do, but I want it to be truly WHAT I DO! I am often left to make decisions of what is truly important. No matter what, my family comes first! I have been presented with opportunities that, in the grand scheme of things, could have put me further than where I am, but I rejected them because, again, for me, family comes first! I figure, if it is meant to be, it will come around again. Sometimes I am presented with really hard decisions that actually suck the life out of me. I am presented with situations that truly take my energy, but I will fight to get through it because, essentially the work is what I desire to do, the vision is moving forward and the outcome, especially that of monetary value and return, can be brought back into my household to be recycled into my craft and to support my first love… my family! It all comes full-circle at some point; however, with many personal sacrifices in between.
So why do I say all of this? After I put maximum energy in preparing for a training, it can be really exhausting. There is A LOT of ‘behind-the-scenes’ work that goes into preparing for a few or a lot of hours of training (and into my teaching as well). I think about a recent training I had where I was preparing the training packets and my little man came around into the dining room, wanting to play with the colorful items I had on the table in front of him. My husband calls him back so that I could continue to work, but little man wanted to be in Mommy’s presence. So I folded up a piece of construction paper that I was putting in the folder into a diamond shape. My little 2 year old looked at it and said, very excited, “Yell-whoa KITE, Mommy!!” and he proceeded to ‘fly’ his yellow kite around the table where I was working. The excitement in his eyes and the smile on his face made me, again, think about what was truly important as I pursue this vision- I was preparing to inspire! The seconds I took to make that ‘kite’ got him motivated! If I could do that in SECONDS, imagine what these hours of preparation can do for a student or client or participant in MINUTES TO HOURS!!
Now, make your decisions wisely, according to your health, but also keep in mind that sometimes we have to put our physical situations aside for the emotional outcomes of the masses! When I hear people say that my training or talk was inspirational and/or something that I stated motivated them, I get excited because I can clearly see their excitement! It’s a win-win situation!! Remember: the bottom line to making an impact on people is to ensure that you inspire and motivate them. The bigger picture is that a positive voice can change the world!! Prepare and seek to INSPIRE!
Dr. Janice (‘Jai’) Armstrong
CEO, LiHK Consulting, LLC
As a modern gentleman, you are quite social whether it’s professionally or personally. This means that there will be numerous invitations to various social gatherings and events. As you mentally scan the invitation checking off the details in your head….What…Where…When…What Time, you come across the dress code and it says “Black tie optional.” Your first thought might be, “Well that’s simple enough. I’ll wear my jeans, crisp button down shirt, navy blazer, and some wing tip brogues and I’ll be good!” Unfortunately, Black tie optional hardly ever means wear anything you want but leave the black tie at home.
Here are a few of the most common dress codes that you will see on an invite as well as what that means for you and your attire for the event.
In Casino Royale James Bond is getting ready for the poker game when Vesper Lynd interrupts to present him with a gift. As James insists that he already has one, she charmingly states, “There are dinner jackets, and there are dinner jackets. This is the latter.” The tuxedo is the ultimate staple of men’s formal wear and considered after 6pm attire. Consists of: single or double breasted jacket, black bow tie, white shirt, and black shoes.
Wear to: The Oscars, or to a high stakes poker game to stop international criminals from world domination.
Black tie optional
A variation of Black tie meaning that you have the option of wearing a tuxedo. If you choose not to wear one, you can wear a dark suit, white shirt and a tie. No light colored suits, or even sports coats since this event is still formal in nature. If the dress code reads “Creative Black Tie”, go ahead and get creative….within reason that is. This is a trendy interpretation of black tie.
Wear to: Award shows and other red carpet events.
Traditionally before 6pm attire, this consists of a dark suit, white shirt, silk tie or bow tie, and cufflinks. The distinction between formal and black tie is that black tie is strictly tuxedo and formal includes the option of wearing a dark suit.
Wear to: Presidential inauguration or charity fundraising event.
Semi – Formal
This is still formal so don’t bring half the style. Evening semiformal event include weddings and theater outings. Tuxedo is optional but at the very least, wear a dark suit. Consists of: Tuxedo or dark suit, cummerbund or vest, bow tie or tie, cufflinks and black shoes. Daytime semiformal is what you would wear to a day wedding: light colored suit and a tie.
Wear to: Theater performances and weddings.
Similar to creative black tie, the dark suit is the only requirement. Other than that, feel free to express yourself. This is the trendiest dress code so let your personality shine through!
Wear to: Office holiday party at a nice restaurant.
Creativity is always welcome, however always use your better judgment and err on the side of caution. Formal wear has a lot of tradition and history. Make sure that your attire compliments your date’s attire if you are going with one. Follow these guides and you will make a great impression at every event you attend.
To thrive is to become ‘strong’ and to ‘flourish’!! We feel joy when we overcome the challenges that may be presented as we move toward our ultimate goals!! When we continue to pursue our dreams, goals and aspirations, it makes sense to actually expect the unexpected! If it doesn’t happen, great! You move forward with ease; however, when challenges do arise, you can approach them with the expectation that THEY WON’T LAST!! You have to have the drive to thrive!!
Think about a flower in the Spring: it buds; it flourishes; and continues to grow. Despite the rain, the storms, the challenges of the elements, the bug infestations, etc, the flower has a game plan… it grows new leaves and pedals. It moves itself toward the sun and stretches to gain as much nourishment and power so that it can continue to flourish. Some flowers can produce other buds so when the main flower is ‘taken down’, the ‘legacy’ flowers still remain! Flowers grow in a deep foundation; they are well-rooted! Their strength to ‘live’ allows them the flourish and so THEY THRIVE!!
There are many stories I can tell about my desire to thrive. I have lived a challenged life that, in retrospect, I created for myself!! Were there motives? Yes, but the ability for those motives to take control of my life was MY doing! The consequences were felt tremendously and when I desired not to feel the ‘pimp slap’ of a trying life any longer; I yelled at it and made MY choice to thrive!!!
Do you have a game plan? When life presents the ‘preview’ of its challenges, are you setting things up so that you can handle its ‘debut’? To whom will you stretch toward to gain YOUR power!?!? Tell yourself that you are on this Earth for a unique purpose; tell yourself that you want to LIVE out that purpose. Put it out there…into the universe and say, “Help me GET TO my purpose!” Pray, plan, implement, move, live, flourish, andTHRIVE!
~ Dr. Jai, the leading lady (www.lihkleaders.com)
“Discover what you LiHK; Become who you Love!”