Open Tab: What did Gucci and Keyshia Teach You? Practical Advice in Helping You Get Your --Ish Together!

Keyshia Ka'oir's hard work, loyalty and 1 to 3 return on a $2 million investment is rewarded on a BET platform for the World to see. #issawedding But it's funny to me how men are using this example to justify their poor decision making and encourage their women to stick it out with them since it is "hard out here."

But for you regular schmegulars, if you think you're going to get away with cheating, having a drug addiction, serving jail time amongst other things, without having been all in or not investing from jump, I gotta tell you: "It's not happening for YOU. You're Not Gucci!" Besides, there is a better way to live, that's the bottom line is this love story.

Practical Advice in Emulating the Best Rapper Alive

Too often, the every day man is mirroring the hottest rapper alive--Jay Z or some other rapper's story. But this is in error. Your story is your own. Your path has been pre-designed for you to learn your purpose. Your learning modules, your daily lessons, are tailored to your life's purpose! Emulating someone's else's process or success (the end product) is in error. So instead of believing that you can do what these men have done (lying, cheating, consuming illegal substances) and get away with it. See these examples and let their stories dissuade you from making poor choices and inspire you to be better.

Can Women Change Men?

Some might say that Keyshia Ka'oir "changed" Gucci Mane. Hmm ... I beg to differ. I believe that she was rewarded with her investment for having withstood the embarrassment and endured the bad times, which Gucci admits. But how many of you are rewarding your woman for sticking it out with you during your hard times? How long should a woman stick around before you reward her? Or should she stick it out, endure, without knowing how things will turn out ... hopeful of all things ... meanwhile you expose her to hurt, harm and danger? Nah ... men need to check other men and encourage one another to be better to themselves and their significant others. 

On another point, I don't believe women can change men. Men choose to change. It is a conscious decision that they would need to make. A man can be motivated by a woman's labor of love. A man can feel that a woman's love is incentive enough for him to change. But without a man deciding to change, it isn't happening. So my advice is not to stick around unless you are witnessing that he's changing markedly. Otherwise, what are you sticking it out for, Sis? The hurt, harm, and danger.

Time Served ... Together

Also, if one of us is doing time, so should the other. See my perspective below.

Fellas, if you have a woman who is in school, how are you going to show your progress while she's serving time to attain her educational goals? Black women are earning more degrees than black men. How can we use this information to leverage success in our romantic relationships? When women are investing in themselves, in their future, men should be doing 2 things: 1) Anything to lighten her load and 2) Investing in yourself, so that when she walks across that stage on graduation day, there's actually a ROI awaiting you both at the house. That's a good two years ... four years, at best, time where you both can PRODUCE and SUCCEED.

Also, if you're not exactly an initiator, a self-starter, there's nothing wrong with asking your woman to strategize, so you can establish some footing. After all, you're a team! No one has to know how your relationship operates, so you won't be openly criticized for what or who motivates your moves. That is, if your concern is your ego.

When compared to Gucci and Keyshia, Gucci served time, and she invested her time into their future. Do you see where this is going? How are you and your mate mapping your success story today? Have you written down your goals and reversed engineered the process to achieve them? How will you serve time in one another, in yourselves, for the next 4 years? 

As for me, I believe love is great. It is a wonderful thing, but when love is coupled with two persons who have a willingness to invest, cultivate, and wait until harvest, the ULTIMATE LOVE STORY is of consequece. If you can build a family, you can sustain a corporation, but it starts with a partnership. 

 

Open Tab: How Can Women Get Along with Other Women?

"It is said that 8 means the creation of new order or the beginning." --Nikkipanache

This past weekend I attended Appalachian State University's homecoming with seven other women. 

I often hear women complain about how they don't make friends easily with other women or how they have a string of Stephen King-like tales of shady women-friends. And it all sounds terrible. And I get it. But I believe that you have to be weary of people, in general, have faith, and try to live the best life possible. I know that sounds like unicorns and rainbow fairy tales to you right now. You're probably thinking: "How Sway?! When there are real-life monsters out there!" I understand your grief as I enjoy Sword and Scale podcast and know that everyday monsters are real. Apparently, we are among 2 billion un-triggered sociopaths. Listen to the podcast. Don't quote me on that.

But back to this girls trip. It was amazing. We all got along. We are a dynamic group: one teacher, an attorney/teacher, a coordinator, sales executive, healthcare counselor, an athletic director,  another counselor and myself. We had a difference of opinions on different subjects, but we all agreed that a good time required laughing, dancing, singing, timely coordination (which we failed at the entire trip--LOL) and lots of food and cocktails. It was harmonious. It was bonding.

We stayed peacefully in a cabin on the mountain; a cozy cabin that smelled of cedar. It had three sleepers, a loft, and two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a hot tub, two fireplaces, and a wrap-around patio.

Oh, sidetone: I picked up some palo santo sticks and homemade soap (Nigerian and Fireside) at Dancing Moon, a store on King Street. I shopped there while in undergrad for incense, natural herbs, and other fun stuff. No; I never purchased the witchcraft books. This store has been around forever, and it is simply one of my favorite stores. So I just had to share it with the girls.

But I digress. 

In all, we created some great memories and simply enjoyed one another. And I say all of this to give you a recipe of success ... on how women can get along with other women on a trip ... or just in general. While the lesson seems remedial, it's going to be helpful to someone. So let's get right to it.

1. Respect: The circles of women about which I roam are of women who have a general respect for humanity and for other women. They share a great appreciation of life and for the next person. Sometimes having respect means letting someone have their moment of grief, happiness, joy, sorrow, whatever without interjecting your own personal opinions, competitive spirit, or yourself (basically). Let people be who they are. When you are ok with yourself, you can be completely ok with others being themselves. 

2. Keep Your Judgments to Yourself: No one's life is picture perfect. People make mistakes all the time. I find that if there's a difference of moral compass or opinions, it's more helpful to seek understanding than to begin to draw a stark contrast of who you are against who they are. For example, if a woman tells you something personal about herself that doesn't necessarily sit quite right with your spirit, seek understanding through questioning (no deposition). Like my mama said, "if you ain't got nothing nice to say, don't say nothing at all." The same holds true with this saying: "If you don't know what to say, don't say anything at all." This goes back to respect and not injecting yourself in the mix. "Everything ain't about you, Sis!" 

3. First, Compassion. But Don't Take Them Home with You: You can be nice to people all day long and be decent. And your niceness doesn't have to lead to complete friendship. Kindness costs you nothing. I think we're missing compassion amongst women, and this missing element frustrates human connection. Figure out how to tap into into this if you haven't already. I had to work on my delivery. My delivery would be dressed up in expletives and fast talking. Now, I just add a soft touch through choice of words. It's a skill. It can be developed. Be cautious, folk will see your compassion as an invitation to a friendship. If you're like me, you've run out of capacity to handle just another friendship, so you have to be clear with people/women when you say, "I'd gladly be your acquaintance, but I have more than enough people to love on right now." Ok; don't say that, but figure out a way. I just tell people: "I can't take on any more friends, but we can be cool." I'm still filling my cup, so no apologies there.

4. Spring from a place of positivity because HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE. It's simple. If you're hurting about something or in a difficult place (harvesting bad energy), ask yourself if what you're about to say is coming from a positive or negative place. I mean ... just slow down your reaction. 

Having had a good time this past weekend, we will do another "For Colored Girls Retreat" as our homecoming trip next year. It is invite-only. But I encourage you to start your own. But you cannot use the name, best friend said so! LOL.

In sum, the number eight in this case symbolizes the beginning of a retreat worth having every year. You need your girlfriend-only rituals. It makes the bond stronger.

That's it. Now go out and practice. Be positive, transparent, but not naive. And furthermore, be blessed. This is a how you BEYT all the goodness in life, generally. BEYT shirts loading soon.

 

--Nikkipanache

P.S. I think the next post will be about how I was nearly stabbed in a workplace. 

Open Tab: Search* When the Creative Mind Drives a Legal Mind

Exhales*

"If you're asking the Universe for such a thing, of course it's going to be worst and harder and grind-dee-er and difficult." -- The GaryVee Experience podcast

I asked the Universe to get me through law school and to my license to practice and then to grant me the capacity to run an e-commerce/retail business in tandem, so I can fully express myself. I'm still asking the Universe for these things. I must be able to do both, be a creative and legal mind to be happy and to feel complete. Why?

Flashback to 2011 when I was laid off at Lowe's. I've told this story before. I worked at Lowe's in their Taxonomy Department but first as a temp as a metadata writer. The latter is not the exact title for that position. But basically ... have you seen those hang tags on Lowe's products in their stores? I wrote that. Have you seen the product descriptions on your receipts when you purchase your products from Lowe's? I wrote those too. I call it Twitter language. Have you seen the product descriptions on Lowe's website? I wrote those too. But this is not the only writer I was meant to be ... as a purpose to the World and Universe. Long before I was laid off, I had an epiphany, a dream, saying go to law school and become the ultimate writer--a lawyer whose writing brings about change. So since Lowe's provided flex hours, I studied for the LSAT at home, before work, at work, after work, and took it twice. As you know, this behavior led to the PBAP at Central Law then a small scholarship at Charlotte Law. I also graduated law school.

How about that dream now?! 

While I was studying for the LSAT, I made bow ties, that is, after I was laid off, I began a custom bow tie business. You see some men are viewed as companions, meal tickets, etc. But if I choose to date you, you're probably my creative muse. In some form or another, you serve as inspiration for me creatively. That's how this bow tie and e-commerce thing got started. I was seeing someone who loved bow ties. I used his neck and his bow ties to create prototypes and paid my bills for a year and a half. Thanks, Bro!! He's not the point here. The point is when I studied for the LSAT and did not make the score that I needed the first time, I continued to be creative, and it all worked out. I had to exercise both my creative and legal minds in order for the Universe to respond. Over the years in which I attended law school, I abandoned my creativity for my hunger for the law. There are a good number of us out there, lawyers who blog (or photograph, paint, draw, make tea, etc.) or bloggers who are lawyers, whatever! We need both. I need to make graphics, design tees, blog, show you my lousy sketches (see Suis Generis drawing on homepage), paint, color outside the lines ... you get it!

I've now failed the bar twice. We will get to these experiences later. I promise. I'm still angry about the recent failing, and I don't want to post it just yet. You'll manage. LOL.

But I'm hoping that my secret sauce, the knowledge that I know of myself and how the Universe responds to me will yield the desires of my heart. But like GaryV has said, it has become harder, grind-dee-er, and difficult to obtain these things. They are in my line of sight, not far beyond my reach, but I haven't grasp them yet.

So that's what the new website is all about. It'll be about my journey to exercising both my legal and creative minds, so that I can manifest. It will be for my selfish reasons of healing and letting go and growing anew, meanwhile, entertaining you all with my #truestory. It will be about how I motivate, prepare, grind through seasons and endure pitfalls, so that a smile isn't so hard to manage on a daily basis. (Have you seen my smile? If not, see my Instagram.) It will be about how entrepreneurs and lawyers find happiness despite pitfalls. The e-commerce side of this site will feature products that will motivate the Do-Gooders and Go-Getters with all kinds of witty, wearable stuff. The objective here is to keep you motivated as I keep myself motivated.

Furthermore, I will throw in some shirts simply based on awareness alone because "who am I not to?" In all, we are about to beyt, hook, and kap-cher moments in time to feed our prosperous future, meanwhile, stay woke about The Black Experience because all of these stories are told by me--a young, black, brilliant woman. And being black sometimes drove my ambition. :)

This should be funny, interesting, and sometimes scandalous. Hmm ... where should I start?

'Til next time.

-Nikkipanache