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2020 Elections

Dear Roxanne Shante (aka tribe member),

Pray your week is going well. This week the plan was to introduce you to Dr. Constance Lacy. She was recently featured in Dallas Doing Good. However, today is the second day of early voting for the 2020 elections and I am a tad overwhelmed with the possibilities.

2020 Elections

It is a presidential election year which historically brings out more voters and more politics. In this particular year, our current president or as I refer to him #45 is igniting an even more passionate response. This response is both from his supporters and his opponents. The entire landscape is both scary and interesting.

Its scary because of everything that is being stirred up. I pride myself in doing life with multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-economic levels of people and communities. Before this season, we all co-existed peacefully and enjoyed each other. I’d say that some of us thought we had deep relationships. However, we are now discovering that are priorities are further apart then we thought. Different priorities are not really the problem. The problem is when your priority is a direct threat to my well-being.

Here is an example. A person I considered a good friend values religious freedom over my safety. I’ve known him for more than 15 years. My husband has known him for more than two decades. Until this season, I believed that if we called on him that he would come defend us or help us by any means necessary. Now I realize that he says he will come. However, the reality is he will come as long as his defense of us doesn’t threaten his religious freedom. This same logic is why slavery was allowed by the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution.

For the sake of clarity, let me explain my conclusions. In a private conversation, I explained to our friend the precariousness of doing normal tasks for Jamal and I. In this discussion, I gave a personal example of how a woman called the cops on Jamal for nothing. Our friend stated that he understood that this was our reality. He empathized with the anxiety. However, he also stated that this reality COULD NOT be considered when he chose which politicians to vote for. I was speechless.

For voting purpose, he chose to ignore our anxiety, our safety, or our future. It was then that I understood then that my life was not a high enough priority. So it’s not that all people who vote for #45 don’t understand the environment that he has helped facilitate.

It is not that they don’t understand the racial tension and unrest in this country. It is that something else is more important. Something else could be religious freedom, abortion, economics, or whatever. The reality is that voters in this season are either like a pig who risk losing their life for breakfast and others are like a chicken who risks losing an egg. Just to be clear for this election season lives are at stake for the black community.

My promise to you

I’m going to get off my soap box now. I’m determined to be a bridge and connector during the 2020 elections. It’s hard to not block people and reduce my circle. I’m still not sure what to do about our friend. Hey, if you have any ideas on this one, I’d love to hear it. As always, if you know that you need some additional support, call me. Okay? Or text me 682-237-9891

~dr.yolanda

Tribe Member: We are Diverse

Dear Roxanne Shante (aka tribe member),

Pray your week is going well. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about our tribe. Yes, I wrote our because I do believe you are a missing tribe member. It is a diverse group. Admittedly, it’s primarily women. However, it is multi-generational, multi-racial, varied socio-economic levels. This week I want to share about one of my Pastors, Pastor Jami McCain

Pastor Jami McCain

Most people refer to her as Ms. Jami. To me she is Pastor Jami. “Ms.” just doesn’t capture who she is and all she does. I joined Church on the Hill in 2015. This is only the second time I’ve sat under a woman Pastor. In my culture and community, women are referred to as “First Lady”. And that title pretty much defines the role and expectations.

Like our other tribe members (Tina and Shawnda), Pastor Jami uses all of her gifts and talents to fulfill her mission. She is currently the owner and founder of Majestic Maine Coons, a cattery in Cedar Hill, TX, as well as the Executive Pastor at Church on the Hill. She has enjoyed a host of other adventures including being a City Council Member, horse trainer, concrete artist, etc. Hopefully, it’s doesn’t surprise you that she has varied interests and pursues all of them.

At the beginning of 2020, we went out for coffee. At that time, I was considering becoming a political data analyst for a national Democratic campaign. She had just completed her campaign as a Republican candidate for the Mayor of Cedar Hill. Although she did not win, she was still busy serving the city she loved and supporting the candidates who won if she could. Over coffee, she shared her tactics, her expertise, and her network.

Pastor Jami along with her husband Pastor Adam is growing a multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-??? church that is completely outside of the box. We build disciples. Church on the Hill will equip you for your ministry. We will connect you to organizations and people. However, we do not build the ministry for you. Basically, if you are looking for a Ministry to the Homeless, Ministry to the Prisons, Ministry to the Hungry, then we will help you build your ministry. That is our call and purpose.

How I support

According to the VOPS Assessment, I am a Visionary and a Processor. Visionaries are out of the box creatives. They have an abundance of ideas and solutions. Processors create the systems and policies to implement the vision. I’ve been told it is a rare combination. I believe it is why our tribe is comprised of individuals with varied passions, talents, and purposes.

This time I’ll share a recent example. When the COVID-19 quarantine was instituted in March 2020, we were planning for our 5th annual Miracle Weekend which included a city-wide Easter Egg hunt. We expected over 5000 families. In our new reality, we had to figure out how to we could help households to be able to do Easter Egg hunts at their homes.

  • Monday – Pastors approved format to 1) Create 3000 Easter Egg Hunt kits from 60,000 candy-filled plastic eggs and 2) COTH Members distribute kits to 300 families
  • Tuesday – I set up 6 stations that adhered to COVID-19 ordinances. Two volunteers helped me test the process. 350 Easter Egg Hunt kits completed
  • Wednesday – 11 volunteers refined the process. At the end of the day, 1100 Easter Egg Hunt kits completed.
  • Thursday – 5 volunteers refined, recruited, and setup. By the end of the day 1475 kits completed
  • Friday – 12 volunteers. By the end of the day, 3000 Easter Egg Hunt kits created.
Picture of 3000 Easter Egg Hunt Kits. Divided into 200 packets for pickup.

The following week COTH members picked up the kits via contact less pickup and distributed to their neighbors and family members.

My promise to you

First, just like with Pastor Jami I am here to put hands and feet to your ideas. You are a tribe member. And second, if you know that you need some additional support, call me. Okay? Or text me 682-237-9891

~dr.yolanda

Tribe Member: How is it going?

Dear Roxanne Shante (aka tribe member),

Pray your week is going well. I checked out your Instagram and Facebook posts. Seems like those teenagers and their online courses are turning your hair gray. Let me know if I can help. In a former life, I taught developmental courses at a community college and tutored as well.

Dr. Shawnda Floyd

It wasn’t my desire to teach developmental classes but it worked out. At the time, I was supporting one of my tribe members Dr. Shawnda Floyd Today she is the Provost of Dallas College. Then she was the Executive Dean of Liberal Arts at North Lake College. I was her Associate Dean from 2014 -2017.

One of our responsibilities was to schedule courses each semester. When there were unexpected enrollment spikes, we would hire from our adjunct pool. During a couple of semesters, the adjunct pool was dry. Hence, I ended up teaching 2-3 classes. Don’t get me wrong the pay was nice. Because of the pay we quickly eliminated a good portion of debt. However, it was not the plan.

Similar to Tina Brown, Shawnda used all of her gifts to serve and accomplish her goals. Half the time I didn’t know if she was coming or going. She took action and prisoners. She was the first external hire to an executive leadership position at NLC in about 20 years. Within 2 years, she was promoted to Vice-President of Academic Affairs at NLC.

The four other Executive Deans had decades of experience and relationships at NLC. Yet, Shawnda was promoted to Vice-President of Academic Affairs. Shawnda was straight out of Jersey. Not even born in Texas. Yet, there she was. Thanks in no small part to my support.

How I support

I applied for the Executive Dean position but didn’t get it. Truthfully, didn’t even make it to the second round. Initially, I couldn’t understand why. After reflecting, I realized the interview committee couldn’t tell where my skills ended and Shawnda’s began.

During the interview, I shared who I was and my why. I did not highlight my knowledge and skills. I couldn’t figure out how to tout my skills and shine a light on her skills too. Truth is we complemented each other. There were some aspects of her job that she leaned on me heavily. Others not so much.

In the end, its a good thing I didn’t get the position. Because standing on my own as Executive Dean would have required a shift in our relationship. Although a shift was necessary, that one would have been less than ideal.

My promise to you

Two things before I end the letter. First, just like with Shawnda I am here to protect and look out for you. You are a tribe member. And second, if you know that you need some additional support, call me. Okay? Or text me 682-237-9891

~dr.yolanda

Tribe Member: Why I’m excited this week

Dear Roxanne Shante,

Pray you are having an awesome week.  I promised to introduce you to tribe members each week. And I will. I promise.  But this week I want to digress.  Hope you enjoyed last week’s letter about Ms. Tina Brown. For the past seven days, I’ve experienced an excitement that frankly hasn’t happened for a while.

For about two months, as I have counseled, consoled, and advised tribe members I’ve been preaching to myself as well.  I’ve challenged them to pivot, to evaluate their efforts.  The point was to make sure they were intentionally pursuing a life that invigorated and excited them every morning.  I want all of us to be Lifeonaires, you know like a millionaire. A life where the mere thought of getting to do it propelled them out of bed.  

I wasn’t being disingenuous when I counselled them.  The problem was that I had lost my joy and I couldn’t seem to hold on to it.  It was fleeting.  One day the same burdens would seem light. The next day the same burdens would make me want to hide under my covers.  Each day I learned, grew, and make mistakes.  Then this past week for five consecutive days I was excited to get started.  Now, I don’t know how long this sweet spot will last.  But while it is here I will revel in it a little.

What is sweet about this season are the people and relationships.  Each week I get to spend multiple days face-to-face pouring in to my nieces.  Each week on multiple days I get to meet and draft innovative solutions for small business owners. I am experiencing the presence of GOD in new ways.  There are connections and opportunities that are clearly GOD orchestrated.  I mean out of the blue phone calls from people hundreds and thousands of miles away. I’m meeting and supporting more tribe members.

I’d love to tell you that I have the secret that will get you to this sweet spot quickly.  The truth is I don’t know how quickly you’ll find your sweet spot.  I don’t know how long you will stay in your sweet spot.  What I can tell you is that I am passionate about and committed to making sure each and every one of our tribe members experience that sweet spot regularly and consistently.

Well, I don’t want to take up too much of your time.  If you want to know the details, feel free to shoot me a text.  By the way, did you check out my latest podcast episode. I think you would find a conversation with Ms. Raquel Masco to be refreshing and inspiring. Let me know if you want me to connect you.

Tribe Member: How I knew she was a member

By listening to how she was willing to serve her clients, the opportunities she mentioned for me, and the connections she made immediately I knew that she was a woman of action committed to using all of her talents her gifts and her time to serve her community and her family. And that’s one of the reasons why I knew she was a member of my tribe.

Dear Roxanne Shante,

Pray you’re having an awesome week. If your week has been anything like mine or the week of our other tribe members, then it has been busy. And there doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day to accomplish all the things that you want to get done.

Since you didn’t reach out to me this week to accept my invitation to join our tribe, I figured that maybe you weren’t quite sure that I should be a member of your tribe. So let me explain to you how I connected and why I connected with a member of my tribe. Her name is Tina Brown. Now the why is strictly from my perspective. I respect her privacy. I hope and I believe that she feels the same.

Tina Brown (aka Title Tina; Faith Diva)

Tina is the Vice-President of Business Development for Community National Title, a black-owned title company. She is also the owner and founder of Faith Diva, a fashion design house. As well as one of the Boss Ladies of Dallas, a reality TV show. And from the list you can probably tell that she is a busy woman that uses all of her gifts to serve various communities and people. Like many of my tribe members, this sometimes means there seems to be too little time and too little of her to go around. Regardless of this fact, she still gives it a 150% every day. Did I mention that she’s also pursuing a graduate degree.

When you meet her, she immediately demonstrates who she is. She is unapologetically authentic in action and presentation. In our meeting, it came through via stories how she served her clients, the opportunities she presented, and the connection. She is a woman of action. She employs all of her talents and her time to fulfill her God ordained purpose. I knew she was a member of my tribe.

I first met Tina at one of my favorite spots called Chocolate Secrets. When you accept my invitation I’d love to introduce you to the spot. It’s owned by one of my favorite people Ms Pam. But I digress. Tina and I were scheduled to meet for an hour and it ended up being closer to 2 hours, maybe 3 hours. Because it was a meeting of like-minds and like-souls.

During that meeting I shared not only my business aspirations, I shared snippets of my family life. At the time, we were foster parents to two wonderful biological siblings. I shared goals and my vision to be a residential realtor at the time. I’ve shifted to Speaker, Business Development, and Commercial Realtor since that meeting. And the reason these stories came out was because of Tina’s heart.

How I support

I’ve supported her in multiple ways for monetary compensation and just because. I’ll share just two. One that happened immediately because there was a need and the other a deliberate plan based on shared needs and goals. What I refer to as a win-win.

On one occasion she provided a professional development course to realtors. I attended as a participant. When I arrived she gave me instructions on how to check-in. As others arrived, I noticed that she was busy and so I stepped it up not because she asked just because I saw a need to support her. I made sure each participant was met with a smiling face and given instructions about how to check-in and logistical information that they needed for the space.

On another occasion, she asked me she asked me to lead a book club for one of her Facebook groups. So I did that every two weeks for months. All the while making sure that I was in compliance with those she reported to. So I supported her and built good will for her company and supervisors only because she was a member of my tribe.

My promise to you

Well, I hope this helps you decide. For my tribe members, I’ll get my hands dirty and also employ my doctorate. I am here to ensure that each of us live the life GOD designed us specifically to experience.

Well, there is an open invitation. I typically commit to being on-call for 5 tribe members each month. This allows me to make sure I’m available. So if this month or next is extremely busy there’s always next.

Hope to hear from you soon

~dr.yolanda

Tribe Member: Inviting you to join us

Dear Roxanne Shante,

Pray your week is going well.  As I said last time, I think you are a missing part of my tribe.  Like many in my tribe the last time I checked in you had a lot going on. If I remember correctly, there was too much to do and not enough time to get all done.  As a result, I am writing to see if you need some support.

If you need additional support, I’m here for you.  I know. I know you don’t know me from Eve. Hence, it probably doesn’t make sense why I keep pestering you about reaching out.  Additionally, I haven’t brought up money. So, you’re probably thinking either its expensive or you get what you pay for. I get it.  Perhaps, if I share my story it’ll make more sense.

My story

In 2018, I accepted my calling as a full-time entrepreneur.  Even as I stepped boldly into my new adventure I struggled with defining services, products,…my ideal audience, my customer.  After two years of searching for the appropriate product, service, niche, etc., I’ve realized two things. 

First the people who need and value my service are not customers or clients.  They are my community, my tribe. My tribe carries callings, interests, and/or challenges that often threatens to wipe out their vision.  As a result of personal experience, I’ve ingrained this lesson. For instance, it took the death of my Bigmama for me to leave a professionally-diagnosed toxic environment.  Consequently, I know that many of my tribe accept experiencing less than our best life. Why this happens is as unique and varied as our fingerprints. However, I’m here to help you move out of it quicker and more effectively.

Second, I do not have a standard list of products and services. Because the support I provide to my tribe depends ultimately on their current and most intense pain point. In other words, my business services and products are custom designed; they are unique to each tribe member. For example, just this week I completed training as a Barista and earned my Food Handler Service certificate to help out a tribe member. I am passionate about and committed to providing whichever service or product enables each of you to live the life you were designed to experience.

The best way to explain and demonstrate the value that I bring is to chronicle the lives I have impacted as a full-time employee and now as an entrepreneur. I just realized this letter is getting a little long and I don’t want to overwhelm you. So, I’ll craft a separate letter for each one. Feel free to google them or follow the links if you want to get a better sense of who they are.

My promise to you

Two things before I end the letter. First, you don’t have to know how I can support. We’ll figure that part out together. And second, if you know that you need some additional support, call me. Okay? Or text me 682-237-9891

Hope to hear from you soon.
~dr.yolanda

Professionals

Tina Brown (linkedin)
May 2019 – present
Community National Title, Vice-President of Business Development
Faith Diva, Owner

Jami McCain (linkedin)
April 2015 – present
Former City Council Person
Pastor Church on the Hill

Dr. Shawnda Floyd (linkedin)
June 2014-April 2018
Executive Dean of Liberal Arts
Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs
North Lake College

Dr. Constance Lacy (video; linkedin)
January 2012 – present
Professor and Executive Dean of School of Human Services
University of North Texas at Dallas

Organizations

Euro Caffe (facebook page).
January 2020-present
611 Cedar St
Cedar Hill, TX 75104

Church on the Hill (website)
February 2015 – present
1375 New Clark Rd
Cedar Hill, TX 75104

Family

Bobbie Jones, my Bigmama

Tricia Debose, my mother

Tracy Mavleau, my sister

Ghosting: Dropped the ball

Ghosting is typically used when talking about romantic relationships. It also fits with how I handled the past 14 days or so. Up until mid August, I was pretty active on my business social media accounts. I posted a minimum of 3 posts on each every day in addition to a short video for Mindful Nightfalls or Mindful Mornings. Then I just couldn’t.

I was overwhelmed but not depressed. Tired of pushing but not disgusted. I just couldn’t muster the interest or the energy for the processes. Even though I knew I was the best version of myself when I did. Even though my impact had a greater reach when I did. I just couldn’t. So, I didn’t instead for about two weeks I recouped by ghosting.

Initially, I carried guilt for not explaining or planning the hiatus. It was rather abrupt and did seem rather unprofessional. It was not at all aligned with the reputation I wanted in the market place. So even though I was on a hiatus for a short time it was more unbearable than just doing whatevs.

It was what I needed. During my brief hiatus, I prioritized my Mom’s shower remodel, visiting with my nieces 3 days a week, sitting and watching TV with my hubby. During my brief hiatus, I didn’t go on 5 mile treks with a 15-lb weighted vest. My eating habits sucked. If I wanted I ate it which resulted in lots of heart burn.

Then one day last week “it” just lifted. I was excited about the possibilities and the opportunities first. Since COVID-19 started there have been moments, when I had to intentionally shift my perspective from “I have to” to “I get to”. I had to remind myself of all my blessings. Somewhere in July, making that shift became an everyday, multiple times a day occurrence.

Can’t exactly pinpoint when it happened. I just realized I was carrying a weight everyday. So, I hunkered down in my processes and – continued – committed to serving more, to learning more. And then somewhere around mid August like I said I just couldn’t.

It’s my fault. Because I didn’t schedule or hold to my routine for rest and relaxation. There wasn’t a set time for a a weekday just for me once a month. I need a trip to disconnect once a quarter. These are thoughts and prescriptions that I have yet to implement. Hence, the abrupt hiatus in August. Ghosting.

As a result, my business took a hit as well. I lost momentum with my higher paying services, lost a client or two.

2020 Business Analytics

High School Life Coach

Let’s face it. We are all in uncharted territory. While the “try this and see what happens” works in some areas of our lfie, it is less than ideal in others. Such is the case with our HS students. For this reason, I have created a new opportunity to serve my tribe. For a base price of $60 a week, I will be your HS students Life Coach. How much is your HS student’s future worth to you?

Video: https://youtu.be/Ta-F5pmabFQ

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At this moment in history, it is imperative that each adult, each teenager, each child show up as the very best version of themselves. Just like anything in life this requires practice. Unfortunately, most High School students are not disciplined enough to choose this option.

The first step is to imagine their best life – the ‘how?, who?, and what?’

  • If you could choose, what time would you wake up?
  • Who would you communicate with every day?
  • What time would you go to sleep?
  • Describe your bedtime routine.
  • Share an activity or event that you enjoyed.

The next step is to define the value of those experiences. What are you willing to do, to give up, or to not do to have those experiences on a regular basis?

For 10 years, most High School students have been programmed to attend school between the ages of 8 AM – 4 PM. Many students resign themselves to this fact. As a result, students often can describe what they don’t like. However, most are unable to describe, design a plan, and implement a plan to get them to their best life. This process requires a relationship and conversation with a trusted adult.

I recognize that high school has forever changed. Hence, our students need to be prepared for the fluidity of the moment. So, this requires an additional part of the village. Similar to an Athletics Coach, I am a High School Life Coach.

In 2010, I earned my doctorate in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. I am committed to and passionate about enabling each of us to live the life we were designed to experience. I will contact you to schedule a meetup.

Dr. Yolanda Columbus

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Time to Set Your Mind

You were designed for more. Are you ready to live the life you were designed to experience? Here is step one. We should show up as the very best version of ourselves. How do we do that by practicing. During this 5 Days, you will create your unique Mindset Routine. By being intentional and consistent, you will clear the cloudiness and the clutter so that you can take the action for living your best life.

Your habitually thoughts form your mindset. Mindsets affect how you think, what you feel, and what you do.

The next free 5-Day Challenge starts Monday, October 26th.

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Day 0:

  1. Join the Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindsetroutine)
  2. Text 682-237-9891 with your name and the code ‘ItsTIME’ to sign-up to receive the link for the Live Sessions.
  3. Answer the introduction questions . Think about the last couple of days.
    • Describe an instance when you showed up as the best version of yourself
    • Describe an instance when you wish you would have shown up better.
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[RE-RELEASE] Episode 5: PIDs, MUDs, and HOAs with Ms. Pierette Parker

The audio quality of the original Episode 5 did not meet my standards nor those of my guest.  Hence, after some practice, videos, and reading best practices I decided to re-edit and re-release.

Hope you enjoy.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/blackwallstreetdfw)