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.

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

Renewed: Fighting For Your Presence

Oh Happy Day!

I attended a Leadership & Character Development seminar put on by Klemmer & Associates in San Diego, CA. The weather was amazing. The people in the room where open to learning and committed to growth. I love being surrounded by people committed to fulfilling their purpose. That doesn’t mean we did all of the activities correctly or even enthusiastically, sometimes it was begrudgingly. Regardless, we learned, we laughed, and we danced.

For my people, who were not in the room. I am committed to fighting for your purpose as well – to helping you get your story to the masses and to fighting for your presence. We will 1) make sure that your audiences know the value by bolstering your message credibility via data, quotes, and research and 2) shift your mindset and build legacy wealth.

  • To bolster your message credibility, I created a new Fiverr Gig, http://bit.ly/BringingData
  • To shift your mindset and build legacy wealth, I am available to facilitate a workshop, coach, mentor, or talk on the phone at no charge.

Together we are going to inspire the stagnant and upend the status quo.

Way Too Much

It’s been a year since I signed my first Master Lease.  A Master Lease is basically a long-term lease on a property with permission to sublease and stipulations for repairs.  The lease on my Vacation Rental in Alamo Heights started on November 1st.  It is for 18 months on a small home that was built in 1946.

In 12 months, I have not signed another Master Lease. I have not purchased a vacation rental. Don’t get me wrong a lot has happened.  In May 2017, I left my job in Academia for freedom as an entrepreneur.  I completed all of my classes to take the realtors exam.  I’ve delved deep in to social media marketing and social network analytics.  I tried my hand at being a private money broker, an assistant for traditional property management company, and thought about flipping.  All to no avail.  None sparked my passion or interest enough for significant change or new habits.

In hopes to find out what I was missing I revisited my journal entries, my planners, and some of my FB posts from a year ago.  Initially, I thought it was the planners. So, I began tracking and planning.  Then I discovered I had lost my why.  I was moving my wheels but the passion had left me.  Initially, it was to honor my Bigmama to make sure her lessons were ingrained in my day-to-day.  I’ve moved through the grieving process.  Although I still cry, I carry her with me and I see evidence of her impact where I didn’t before.

My new why – I need my freedom for my family.  I’m also here to set the captives free in my family, my circle, and my community.  Freedom for me means that I can take a vacation for 3 months. I can work from any location, at any time of the day (preferably early).  So, I abstracted my process from last year and came up with the Power of the Fist, a 5 point framework.  I’ve created printables based on the framework.  I’ll link them here later.  But that is not enough.

We have a limited amount of will power.  Each morning it is renewed.  So, we need to focus if we are to establish new habits, new processes, new support systems.  Before the printables will work, we have to do the pre-work. So, I revisited the books that led to my shift in May 2017 – the One Thing by Gary Keller and the 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch.  Gary Keller in the One Thing proposes one focusing question to guide decision and plans “What is the one thing such that by doing it everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?”

I’m focusing on walking that out personally and dragging my sister along as a client.  If she does the work, she will leave her full-time in June.

Looking for a Mastermind Group

As a college-educated adult, I’ve always had at least one mentor and a group of people who would stretch me.  In most instances, these relationships grew organically out of proximity, priorities, and personality.  In this season of my life, I find myself missing these relationships and interactions.  Don’t get me wrong, I have an inner circle who will cry, cuss, fight, and/or pray with me as needed.  My inner circle doesn’t always stretch me.

For the past few months, I’ve been searching for my Mastermind group.  My deliberate pursuit of this group has waxed and waned.  The snippets I get from people in my groups – Church on the Hill in Cedar Hill, TX, Crossfit 3816 in Desoto, TX, and DFW REI Club in Hurst, TX, has convinced me that I need to join a Mastermind group.

The benefits of a Mastermind group can be found all over the internet just google Mastermind.  Purposefully finding one that meets your needs, rather than organically forming or joining one seems to be a whole ‘nother story.  So, my quest is to develop a Mastermind group of like-minded individuals.

In short, I am a Christian black married foster-mom who prioritizes family, processes, and growth.  My side-hustle became my full-time in May 2017.  In this transition, I am walking on water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you want to know more you can always read more of my posts.

If you are looking for a Mastermind Group, send me an email i.am.second@yrdcolumbus.com  On October 27th, I will host the first an event to find or form my Mastermind group.

The Power of the Fist: Working My 5 Point Framework

I believe economic development holds the key for the oppressed and the marginalized. Because it can give you control over your time.  Hence, my 5 point framework is the process I used to shift from higher education to real estate. The 2017-2018 academic year was my last year as an administrator in higher education.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted My 5 Point Framework.  The inspiration came from the 48th Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus which was held in September and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s book “Where do we go from here?”

It is obvious that there is unrest and frustrations in our political, economic, and judicial systems. Protests abound on every front.  Yet, change is not occurring.  Instead we continue to throw stones, to use rhetoric to express our passion. And as we are distracted and putting forth passionate pleas, those with power and influence implement their agenda behind the scenes.  So, where do we go from here?

Protest create the tension so that power will respond. But without mobilization the tension wanes or moves quickly to the next topic. So, leaders must develop the policy and framework so that others can mobilize and apply.  The ’10 Actions in 100 Days’ from the Women’s March is an excellent example.

For the past week, I’ve purposely practiced the framework that organically grew out of my desire for freedom, my 5 Point Framework.  My goal is to create a weekly planner that I can use every week.  Take a look. Let me know your thoughts.

20181001-1007. MakingMovesV2

I’m a Cry Baby

I consider myself a strong individual. I pride myself on being the one that everyone else can lean on. Being the one who can hold on till I have a moment to myself or with my inner circle. So, I was not happy when today I got teary-eyed as I was talking to my Crossfit Coach, Chris Harrison at Crossfit 38:16 in Desoto, TX

This is the second time in 2 years that a coach’s comments has hit a nerve.  I get why but I don’t like it.  So, today it was this.

For about a week, I’ve been sharing one of my strategies and the lack of success.  My goal is to increase my intensity and my speed.  No matter how hard I try my tempo is always slow.  During the WOD today, Chris “politely suggested” that I move faster.  I responded that I only have one speed. I told him that I have been looking but have yet to find another.  His response, “its in there.”

After the WOD, he gave me some strategies for increasing my speed.  He said aim to “red line” and then back up. Now, I’ll admit he said red-line but I heard flat-line.  Regardless, I was nodding my head. Truthfully, I had no idea what he was talking about, let alone how to do it.  Then he said “It’s mental. You’re scared.  You’re scared of the burn”.

That’s when it happened I got teary-eyed because he was right. I’m scared of passing out. I’m scared of being so sore I can’t get out of bed. I’m scared of injuring my shoulder, my knee, my back. And it’s also true that in my business I don’t go all out because I’m scared. I’m scared increased intense will have no results. I’m scared that I’ll fail big time and publicly.

Then, Chris asked “Do I trust him?” At some level, I know I do. After a two year hiatus, I returned to his box. I attempt the WODs and instructions he puts on the board.  I can’t quantify my trust.  I do know that whatever it is it’s enough.  So, tomorrow is a new start. I’ll aim for the “red line” then back up at my box and in my business.

My 5 Point Framework

A few months ago, I started a new Facebook page and Instagram account titled Re-envisioning Black Wall Street. It is not black capitalism as defined and promoted by President Nixon.  Re-envisioning Black Wall Street is focused on doing life in community at the grass roots level with other businesses. In Texas, most black-owned businesses are small business. Hence, the focus is on connecting with and supporting small businesses in a specific industry, which ever industry that may be.

What I have found as an entrepreneur, as an educator, and as an Christian is that most often I am suppose to focus on the process, not the results. Andy Stanley does a great job of outlining this concept in ‘The Principle of the Path’.  Hence, I’ve created a five point framework to help me in my journey to re-envision Black Wall Street in my industry.

To connect with and support small businesses, you must be purposefully and strategic.  In our society, it is easier and more convenient to connect with the big corporate owned giants.  Hence, the 5 parts of my personal framework, help me connect and grow my business and my community.

  1. Find a professional group to attend weekly. #doinlifetogether
  2. Listen and proactively serve 1-2 experts in that group for free. See a need meet a need. #servantfirst
  3. Add learning to a daily routine (podcast during commute) #growdaily
  4. Find one strategy you like and start #makemovesnotexcuses
  5. Share your start and progress with your group and anyone remotely interested. #shareyourstory

Step 1. Find a professional group to attend weekly. It is true that “iron sharpens iron”. This only happens when iron comes in regular contact with iron.  The topic covered at the weekly meeting may or may not be beneficial to you personally.  Remember, you are there for the relationships as well as knowledge.  So, choose a professional group that has members you respect, enjoy talking to, and genuinely want to help.  Meaning, even if you fail, you are willing to help them and genuinely want them to succeed. #doinlifetogether

My personal journey

When my Bigmama died in July 2017, I was already searching for something. Professionally, my tasks were no longer fulfilling or challenging. I dreaded every day and I was unable to support those most important to me. I missed school performances, homework, lots of bed time kisses and hugs.  Some tried to tell me that this was just the pains of parenting in a two parent, two income household. When Bigmama died, that answer was no longer a reasonable explanation.

My first exploration led me to real estate investment. So, I tried to connect online, attended a few meetings, went to a few classes, etc.  Most felt more like sales pitches than training sessions.  It was like the gave me a little teaser in hopes that I would pay for more.  And then I found my group.

At my first DFW REI Club meeting, I paid $20. Afterwards, I asked the host and teacher for the day, Robin Carringer, about subject-to. His response was “Well, I was just about to answer a few questions from one of our Platinum members why don’t you sit down and listen”.  For $20, he was willing to give me platinum status. I joined the next week and have attended faithfully ever since.

If you want help finding your people, send me an email i.am.second@yrdcolumbus.com I’ll send you a few questions and will do this together.

The clenched fist is one of many hand symbols that are prevalent in our culture. Some of the most popular are the peace “V”, thumbs up, and fingers-crossed. Since it is a prevalent sign that has crossed cultures, countries, and time, I’ve decided to use at as a symbol for “re-envisioning Black Wall Street”, where each finger represents one part of the framework.