Why Personal Branding is Great for Your Career

When you wake up each day you have the opportunity to be greater than you were the day before. Knowing where you strengths lie is the biggest advantage you have when you are carving your path in your business, career, and personal life. A lot of times you get bogged down what is going wrong that you forget to operate in your strengths which is what you are most known for. Guess what?!?!?!?That is your PERSONAL BRAND.

Pushing past your comfort zone is scary. But you have to forge your weaknesses and take a risk at trying something new. You probably are asking what does that men? See, a lot of time you do what is comfortable and rely solely on your strengths and give little thought to your weakness because you are afraid of failure. However, you are already good at what you do even when you never step out of your norm to do something different. Your room for improvement sets you up to realize you’re great. This is uncomfortable at times because you are your worst critic but when you look over your areas of growth and take charge of your output, you soon shake the room and increase your productivity. 

So how do establish your personal brand in your career?

-Apply for the job that has been calling your name and update your resume. Stop selling yourself short of an opportunity because you don’t feel like you’re ready. See when you push yourself to see your growth and your need for more is sitting on your shoulders, that is the time to strike. The list of skills you have match the requirements and responsibilities that stare you in the face, but fear has you paralyzed. Go for it anyways because you are meant to stand out, and it’s an opportunity to practice what you preach.

-Share your skills and talents with the people you are most in contact with that support your vision and dreams. You make your work look easy and when asked about your processes, don’t be afraid to open up. People around you really admire you and watch everything that you do hoping to learning something new. Each one, teach one builds connections and open doors that you could not have imagined. You don’t have to become a “know-it-all” or even a yes person, but you can lend your skills to your career and work environment that showcases your abilities. For every new skill that you that you acquire, you are able to add a booster to what you have mastered. Even in your confidence, that becomes a part of your brand. So being prosocial can get your name spoken highly in rooms and invitations to be a part of masterminds, simply because you shared.

-Personal Development. What you feed your mind, you become and in your career, your mind has to be stronger that your feelings. Your faith and belief system drives your existence as you research ways to enhance your quality of life. Read and listen to information that fuels your fire to be present and productive in life. Don’t settle for mediocrity.

There will be shifts in your opportunities to grow, you just need to prepare yourself for when the opportunities present themselves. Continuing to do the work on yourself makes you a better person. It will not happen overnight. You build your brand by staying true yourself and operating in the mastery and knowledge you hav acquired and put to use.

Discipline, Authenticity, Perseverance,

~LaTilya

How to Balance Home and Life

At home, I’m mom before anything else and use a different set of skills in the day to day operations within my house. The systems I have in place to keep me on track vary based on what is needed each day and most of the time it consists of me keeping up with my son’s busy football practice and game schedule. I took those same skills and applied organization and time management in my career. From active duty Air Force when I became a mom while working full time, I was challenged with finding balance and I have made it work the past 16 years, even with transitioning into the classroom as an educator.

See listen I stumbled upon edupreneurship after feeling like I needed to be doing more with my career. Between being creative, inquisitive, educated and driven I needed an outlet for my ideas because getting started and sharing your skills is one thing but being consistent is how you build a community which us why I’m glad you’re here. See I had to get started somewhere and I’m encouraging you along the way. My first book was the moment I decided to take my business and personal brand to the next level. I had no clue what I was getting into but I knew I had a unique skill set and I was going to use it.

You have to take ownership of your personal transformation when building your personal brand in your business, your career, and your life as you pursue your goals and design the life you want to live. That is where the balance come in because your life is not all about work, it is about setting your goals which must be aligned with your core values as you work to leave a legacy for your family, gain financial stability, create multiple streams of income, and take up S.P.A.C.E based on your skills, interests and talents. 

In challenging times, I want you to think about the reason you are ready to change your life. Remember that what you spend 80% of your time thinking about and working on is your biggest motivator.  You can make this personal transformation work for you, whether you want to keep your 9-5 or not; while reinventing your personal brand in your business, career, or personal life, the goal is to be more productive. 

All of these thoughts pushed me towards creating a masterclass to help busy moms like me put it all together. It is my belief that successful people create goals so they can:

➡️ use their unique skill set 

➡️ forge their strengths to create opportunities for growth

➡️ boost their productivity to advance their business, career, and personal transformation 

The problem is so many people don’t know how to get started and give up at the first sign adversity.

Does this sound like you?

I understand exactly how you feel being busy in your day to day life trying to find balance in your business, career, or personal life and still feel stalled when it comes to chasing your dreams. You’re ready to stop before you get started even when you’re giving your best. That’s why I’ve created the Unlocking Your Mind Masterclass to help you use your unique skill set to take up S.P.A.C.E.

In this masterclass you’ll discover how:

✅ S.I.T. Down in Your Blessings: Identify Your Unique Skill Set

✅Positioning Yourself to Take Up SPACE (Services, Product, Audience, Content, Engage)

✅Set Your Goals and Prioritize Your Time

You want help making better decisions in your business, career, and personal life then this is the class for you. You can stop wasting time being busy and become more productive. The time is now. Your future self will thank you.

If you are serious about your personal transformation, check out the Unlock Your Mind Masterclass which will be Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 10:00 am (EST)

Let’s Get to Work,

~LaTilya

How Dr. LaTilya Rashon Manifested

2001: I was 19 in the United States Air Force. The NCOs said I was stuck up, airmen my age thought I was mean, and one person actually told me that my attitude wouldn’t get me far in the real world. Can you imagine how I felt being away from home in a new state trying to figure out life while being told how I NEEDED to act to make other people feel comfortable🥴

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

2007: I was almost 26, a married mother of 2👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 honorably discharged from the AF, undergrad completed while on active duty, respected for my work ethic, offered a civil service job to stay in New Jersey but relocated back to Georgia🍑 and secured a job with the state. Despite what I had been told, I stayed true to me and checked getting my degree🎓and getting the G.I.Bill off my list. I didn’t join the military to make friends or travel, I wanted the G.I. Bill🗣 money for school👩🏽‍💻

2013: I was six years into teaching👩🏽‍🏫 and my second year of my doctoral program. Almost 32 and was paying my mortgage on my home🏡 that I purchased not too long after my 30 birthday because it was either by a home or get a tummy tuck…LOL! Yet again, the goal was to find a home for my sons and I after my divorce. Even as life happened around me, I stayed focused on my ongoing personal transformation.

2020: I’m 38 with the same attitude, I protect my peace ☮️ so if that makes me standoffish that’s fine but I’m being true to myself. I keep making a list📝and pushing myself to answer the call that I put on me and not controlled by anyone else. A few more advanced degrees, ultimately becoming Dr. LaTilya Rashon, edupreneur and mentor. I can show you how I BECAME but you still have to do the work.

I’m still a work in progress. I still want more. I am my business through books 📚 , trainings, apparel👕👚and goal setting kits📦. My career sustains me in and outside of the schoolhouse. I’m living my life and embracing the season highs and low as they come. You are defined by what you do, not by what others say or think.

Remember That‼️

~LaTilya

The DOPE Goals Starter Pack

🗣ANNOUNCEMENT🗣

So I’m just crazy enough to do anything that I set her mind to doing. I am my toughest critic and I challenge myself just to see how far I will go. I want some of that to rub off on you.

The DOPE Goals Starter Pack is here.

* Write down and prioritize the DOPE Goals you’ve set for yourself

* Work SMART as you boost your productivity and personal transformation

* Unlock your strengths as you maximize on your skills in your business, career, and personal life

Track your progress to Go Out and Lead Selflessly (GOALS)

Grab yours during pre-order and be the first to receive your goal setting goodies when shipping starts in November.

LEARN MORE HERE

4 Ways to Unlock Your Mind

Goals– Each day when you wake up, you are given the opportunity to be better than you were the day before. Deciding what you need to handle in your life on a business, career, and personal level, means setting a course of action you plan to follow.

You have a short list of objectives that you need to accomplish and your overarching long term goals that you want to check off of your list. There are three to five tasks that you can do daily that will get your closer to your dreams, it’s just a matter or prioritizing your time to get you tasks done. What do you need to do immediately? What needs to be done, but is not detrimental to your overall goal? Backwards planning is beneficial when you give yourself time.

When setting your goals, is your timeline based on a week, month, or a year? However, your time is set or block, give yourself a break and be flexible as your work on your self-improvement. Block off your time to handle your business. In an hour, 45, or even 30 minutes of intentional focus a day, you can change your life and stay committed to your goals. Remember to be smart when you set your goals and give yourself some grace on those day you feel less motivated to work on you. Plan your life according to how you want to live and break it down into short tasks you can accomplish each day.

Affirmation– Watch your words because they become your actions is so true. Talk to yourself like you matter and watch the universe return good favor to you. Be mindful if your self-talk because you will believe what you repeatedly say.

Wake up and affirm yourself daily. Tell yourself that you believe in yourself even on your bad days because encouragement and a smile will take you further than you expected. Life or death is in the power of the tongue so speak life into your business, career, and personal dreams. Speak things as though they are and you will reap the benefits of what you seek.

Personal Development– Your faith plays a major role in how far you will carry out your dreams. As a business owner you study your industry and your competition to find your sweet spot and thrive in it. In your career you study the trends and skillsets needed to become competitive in the work place in order to take your career to the next level. Lastly, in your personal life whether it’s inspirational, motivational, or spiritual, we all need some uplifting daily. You have to learn to be more mindful of what you take in each day that feeds your mind. Your thoughts become your actions, and your actions become your habits. So get into the habit of studying how to make yourself better in your business, career, and personal life to experience a full transformation.

Reading a book, listening to a podcasts, watching a video, or participating in an email course is designed to meet the area of need that you are seeking. You can share or not share your personal development with people around you because ultimately this is a private matter. Having faith that your time and rebirth will happen is all that matters. You depend on you. So get your mindset right and do everything that you are destined to do.

Gratitude– Everyday will not be perfect but when you are grateful for what you have and what you have experienced, life becomes beautiful. Each day when you wake up, you have another opportunity to be better than you were the day before. You can hope for a better life, but each day that you decide to keep trying, you are making the decision to be better. We often get into the habit of rushing ourselves because of what everybody is doing around us that we miss out on the opportunities that we can create for ourselves.

You should get into the habit of being present in the moments that bring joy to your life. Each day your only competition is yourself. Thankfulness is a whole mood and once you arrive to place of protecting your peace daily, the gratitude you begin to experience what is there instead of the invincible.

~LaTilya

5 Ways to Boost Your Productivity

Create a Vision for Yourself

When I set out to be an edupreneur, I thought that creating a business would be easy. My oh my was I wrong. I was just winging it until I realized that my vision was too broad and I had not pinpointed the exact message that I wanted to send. Yes, I am a teacher but my unique skillset is what helps me organize my day to walk into my classroom more prepared. On the flip side of that, my education can be put use as well as my experience because each skill I have obtained is used daily.

So what vision have you created for yourself? You need to forge your path for your dreams even as you balance working fulltime, raising your children, planning a wedding, or being a wife. You can be all of those things and have an impact on the people around you. Life happens and even when you survive divorce; knowing your vision and your why will carry you farther than the obstacles that you face. Those trials become a part of your story and fuel your purpose. So be clear when you set out to make a difference. Be the problem solver to those that need to hear your voice.

Be the Best Version of Yourself and Show Up There Daily

I thought that by merely saying, “I am my brand” was enough but I was wrong again. My personality, my quick wit, my authenticity was going to set me aside but I was nobody in the realm of blogging and entrepreneurship. Now don’t get me wrong, I have some faithful followers and listeners but as I aspire for a farther reach I realized that I had to do more. I had to figure out how I wanted to be recognized. Yes, I’m the tattooed teacher in my building as I teach throughout the day, but I needed more definition to what I represent. So I decided on being: authentic, edgy, and knowledgeable. I showcase what I think is my strongest attributes.

So what does your personal brand say about you? How would you describe yourself in three words? Think about your culture add. Who have you helped and places you’ve been and how these things have shaped your character. Pieces of you are ingrained in everything that you do. In these internet streets you have to be disciplined, authentic, and persevere (D.A.P.) through some tough times. Your vibe will help people hear you differently.

Check out The D.A.P. Collective on Facebook. The premier mentor group for encouragement in your business, career, and personal transformation.

Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others

Ya’ll there are levels to working on yourself. Getting starting on doing the work first of takes courage because that means you are fixing you because sometimes you are the problem. Your eyes are bigger than your follow through and you are more busy than productive . Sometimes you are struggling to get things done and that all you know. This is when you have to slow your brain down and tell yourself to have several seats and get focused. Whether it is business, career, or personal, your wheels are turning, but your endeavors are not making sense because you are looking around and thinking you should be doing more. Avoid looking at how everyone around you is holding up and look at connecting the dots in what you can control about yourself. Your growth will begin to peek at you progressively.

Maintain your own lane and know that everybody has different skillsets so processes are not one size fit all and we are all essentially running our own races. Focus on what you are creating and less on others.  What you have inside of you is just as needed as to what the people around you are doing. 

Be Intentional with Your Effort and Time

When you don’t have a vision you will easily take on too much too soon and it will leave you overwhelmed and ready to quit. You need clarity and this can’t be emphasized enough to avoid repeat failure. Now this does not mean that some things won’t work out as successfully as others, it just means that you will eventually get it right. Even if you plan properly it’s a 50/50 chance of things going wrong, so you have to prioritize your tasks as to not give up before you ever get started. Decide what is urgent versus not urgent and go from there. Decide what you can DO now, what you can PLAN to do later, who or what you can DELEGATE, and truly ELIMINATE. You hold yourself back when you make the mistake of not being intentional with your effort and time.

Invest in Yourself

Listen, you can google until your finger tips hurt but pretty soon you will find that in information overload, everything will start to look the same. I have downloaded so many free worksheets, ebooks, tuned into LIVE training, you name it and none of them gave me the clarity that I needed. So my challenge to you is to find someone that speaks your business language. Find someone that speaks your career language. Ultimately, find someone that speaks to your inside who motivates you to be better. Find someone that speaks to your style and let them mentor you.

You have to do your own research to determine who is best suited for your needs. You can only Free.99 to a certain degree but when you want results, you will begin to make the right investments. Even when you think you don’t have the money, you will find a way.

So with all of that being said… you have to decide to no longer function in mediocrity. You have set some very intense goals for yourself and take the steps to make things happen.

~LaTilya

How You Can Launch an Online Course Almost Instantly

What if you had time in your schedule to help people learn a new skill? How would you meet their needs? Would you spend time training them? One on one or small group workshop?

In August I made more money from a single service than I have on any product since starting my venture into edupreneurship. Yes, educator plus entrepreneur to take up space in this digital age.

I didn’t think I was ready to offer such a service because so many people were already doing it. I was wrong, because I got a friendly reminder that even though other people were teaching the same things, they did not bring my approach and style to the same topic. So I went for it and it was the best decision I have ever made for my business.

At some point or another as an entrepreneur we fall into the ebook or course creation trap, but this was one I did not mind falling in to once the ball started rolling. It all started with an idea to get students more interactive as school was gearing up for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Bitmoji Classroom wave took off and so did I with the Bitmoji for Beginners workshop that I conducted.

Landing Page

Working with a business coach we looked at a calendar and developed a plan to advertise, gather registrations, and create an email series to guide the layout of the course. Using getresponse.com which was a different platform that I was used too for email marketing and creating landing pages; once the kinks were worked out, it was easy to gather registrants. You can use a very simple layout that is attractive and will capture your audience’s attention. Your audience is the the people that need the service you are providing and in my case, teachers that wanted a Bitmoji classroom but did not know were to start were my ideal customer.

As the names rolled in the welcome email was sent out and a workflow was established. You will be nervous because looking at the market, the same ideas are presented but being you is your superpower and the right people will find you.

Emails and Workflow

A very simple welcome email was created to thank the participants for signing up with a workflow for reminders set leading into the workshop. You need to tell the audience what to expect in the workshop and what you will cover.

Example of what to send: I’m Dr. Williams and I will be walking you through the basics for setting up your classroom for better student engagement during virtual learning as we return to school. I’m glad that you have taken the time to sign up for this workshop offered to educators that want fun and exciting ways to reach your students. 

Now that you’re in, here’s what you can expect:

1. Understanding add-ons for google, specifically Bitmoji

2. Step by Step guide for creating your beginner Bitmoji Classroom using Google Slides

3. Linking your bitmoji classroom to your existing technology resources

The only prerequisite to this workshop is installing/creating your personalized Bitmoji prior to the start of the workshop. You can do so by visiting https://www.bitmoji.com/

Once the foundation is set for what to expect the next step is to talk it up and promote yourself and expertise.

Promote Yourself

Everyday for the week leading into the workshop I talked to my audience on social media about what virtual learning is and what a Bitmoji classroom is not.

You should repeatedly tell your audience what to expect in your workshop and keep your energy high because that is what is going to draw people in. You have to be excited about your topic and give them snippets of your knowledge. People trust people that know what they are talking about and can address questions spot on and see the value in the service you are providing.

Be consistent with your message, and watch your enrollment numbers increase daily.

The Actual Course; Time to Teach

By now you should decide the format and platform for your class. Webinar with playback feature, Zoom, or masterclass on a social media platform.

I chose Zoom because it gave the small classroom feeling and the share screen feature was helpful in walking teachers through the step by step process to create their very own Bitmoji classroom. Teachers knew that it was a beginners workshop because they were clueless about where to start, so everyone’e technology skill level was the same.

You want to make sure you that you are clear about your offer and the flow of your course. You have the knowledge, expertise, years of experience, and skills to teach what you know. So launch a course that you believe in. Be the help that you needed when you got started. Your voice is needed.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try

Now get to work and launch the course that you have been sitting on because you have been too afraid to get started. I had 16 participants for my very first course that I literally brainstormed and created with two weeks from conception to follow through.

Listen to your audience and meet the need that they have especially if it falls into your unique skillset. There is room for everyone to be productive in business and careers that with your help can push them to the next level.

What are your thoughts about this topic? I’d love your feedback!

~LaTilya

The T in SMART Stands for Time

We’re all collectively work on creating daily value in our lives so that we experience life versus simply existing.

I mentioned last week that there is an 80/20 rule to goal setting. So let me run it down for you. We have gotten specific about what we want, realized the realistic aspect of accomplishing our goals but putting a suspense date or time limit or certain tasks is necessary. 

TIME. How much TIME are you giving yourself to check items off of your list?

Basically whatever you spend the most of your time trying to accomplish (80%) is most beneficial and meaningful to you. Leaving you with 20% of time used to eliminate nuisances.

So use your time wisely. 

Begin with What can you do today? What can you do next week? What can you do next month?

Your mindset plays a major role in what you accomplish. Your attitude has to be set up in such a way that no matter what comes your way, you stay committed to your plan of action to make your life better.

It’s okay to dream but in order to grow and experience the personal transformation that we seek, we have to be firm and intentional with our effort and measure our progress with integrity.

Quitting is not an option and as I continue to guide your thoughts, the beauty in working on yourself is getting real with who you are and what you represent while making personal adjustments.

Getting Specific gives you direction. Measuring your progress gives you insight to your productivity. The attainability of your goals keeps you focused on completing one thing at a time versus a life-long to-do list. Being realistic helps your adjust your goals to your lifestyle to reap the full benefits of what you strive to have. Time…BE PRODUCTIVE versus BUSY!

Life is in the power of the tongue. Your self talk needs to be clear so that your continued effort translates to your mindset. So take pride in your self improvement.

Set your goals. Stay quiet about them if you want to. Crush them continually, and clap for yourself as you move along. 

Speak life into your dreams and step into your authority to make it happen.

That’s all I have for you this week. 

Listen yall, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say, thank you for rocking with your girl. You can find me on FB @drlatilyarashon and IG @iamdrlatilyarashon for more insightful tips on being you, doing you, for you, and I look forward to connecting with you soon.

I’ll check in with yall later.

-LaTilya

Failing to Set Realistic Goals is a Plan to Fail

Don’t sell yourself short of your dreams by failing to set realistic goals.

There is an 80/20 rule to goal setting which is why we have to be specific about what we want. Measuring how long it may take us to accomplish certain goals and the attainability of set goals is an ongoing process. But now I want talk to you all about being REALISTIC in your personal transformation. Ask yourself, are you being real about the work you say you want to do?

Now there are some things that we simply cannot do liking walking on the surface of the sun because that is not humanly possible. But if you are into science you can definitely become an astronaut and walk on the moon. So you have to approach setting your goals from a standpoint that speaks to your abilities. Real talk, you may even have to ask yourself if the goals you’re striving to reach fit your lifestyle? Will they benefit your career? Your family? Will they add value to areas of your life for a better quality of life.

Be real with yourself and work hard because when people see what you’re realistically trying to accomplish, they will support you.

It’s all in your mind. The attitude you develop towards your goal will carry you further than having an astronomical list of things to do that read more like a bucket list than reality.

It’s okay to dream but in order to grow and experience the personal transformation that we seek, we have to be firm in the goals we set for ourselves and measure our progress with integrity.

Quitting is not an option and as I continue to guide your thoughts, the beauty in working on yourself is getting real with who you are and what you represent while making personal adjustments.

Getting Specific gives you direction.

Measuring your progress gives you insight to your productivity. 

The attainability of your goals keeps you focused on completing one thing at a time versus a life-long to-do list. 

Being realistic helps you get your life in order. You can shoot for the stars

Life is in the power of the tongue. Your self talk needs to be clear so that your continued effort translates to your mindset. So take pride in your self improvement.

Set your goals. Stay quiet about them if you want to. Crush them continually, and clap for yourself as you move along. Speak life into your dreams and step into your authority to make it happen.

Stay lifted in this season.

~LaTilya

How to Set Attainable Goals

Download Here

Can you all believe that we are in the last month of quarter three and we will soon be saying, “Happy New Year”. So now is the time to start forward planning so that we can knock the rest of 2020 out of the park. Realistically, there comes a time when we not only have to prioritize our goals but we have to be SMART about it. We get specific about what we want and determine how to measure our progress.

But ask yourself, are your goals ATTAINABLE?

Ask yourself if your goals are too far-fetched? Setting yourself up to strive for certain things in life is extremely personal. You want to avoid being too broad in your thinking.

The objective is to make a list and check it twice. If your goals are too far reaching, you can easily set yourself up to burnout and never complete anything you originally set out to do.

Identify inside of yourself the most attainable goal you would like to achieve and work until you reach it. It’s better to be the master of one than the master or none.

It’s all in your mind. The attitude you develop towards your goal will carry you further than having an astronomical list of things to do that read more like a bucket list than reality.

It’s okay to dream but in order to grow and experience the personal transformation that we seek, we have to be firm in the goals we set for ourselves and measure our progress with integrity.

Quitting is not an option and as I continue to guide your thoughts, the beauty in working on yourself is getting real with who you are and what you represent while making personal adjustments.

Getting Specific gives you direction.

Measuring your progress gives you insight to your productivity. 

Now examining the attainability of your goals keeps you focused on completing one thing at a time versus a life-long to-do list. 

Life is in the power of the tongue. Your self talk needs to be clear so that your continued effort translates to your mindset. You inspire people who pretend not to see you, so take pride in your self improvement.

Some mid-week motivation and I hope you stay lifted.

~LaTilya

One of the Quickest and Easiest Ways to Achieve Your Goals

I have indirectly been walking you through a S.W.O.T. Analysis by giving the five steps to setting smart goals, and we have arrived at step three: set attainable goals.

There comes a time when we not only have to prioritize our goals but we have to be SMART about it. We’ve gotten specific about what we want and determined how to measure our progress.  Now let’s move into step three: Are your goals ATTAINABLE?

Ask yourself if your goals are too far-fetched? Setting yourself up to strive for certain things in life is extremely personal. You want to avoid being too broad in your thinking.

The objective is to make a list and check it twice. If your goals are too far reaching, you can easily set yourself up to burnout and never complete anything you originally set out to do.

Identify inside of yourself the most attainable goal you would like to achieve and work until you reach it. It’s better to be the master of one than the master or none.

It’s all in your mind. The attitude you develop towards your goal will carry you further than having an astronomical list of things to do that read more like a bucket list than reality.

It’s okay to dream but in order to grow and experience the personal transformation that we seek, we have to be firm in the goals we set for ourselves and measure our progress with integrity.

Quitting is not an option and as I continue to guide your thoughts, the beauty in working on yourself is getting real with who you are and what you represent while making personal adjustments.

*Getting Specific gives you direction.

*Measuring your progress gives you insight to your productivity. 

*Now examining the attainability of your goals keeps you focused on completing one thing at a time versus a life-long to-do list. 

Life is in the power of the tongue. Your self talk needs to be clear so that your continued effort translates to your mindset. You inspire people who pretend not to see you, so take pride in your self improvement.

Set your goals. Stay quiet about them if you want to. Crush them continually, and clap for yourself as you move along. Speak life into your dreams and step into your authority to make it happen.

I’ll check in with you later.

~LaTilya

Measure Your Progress Towards Your Goals

I have to say being back to work and pursuing my dream to be my own boss I am walking it like I talk as I share how I’m working on creating daily value so that I experience life versus simply existing.

There comes a time when we not only have to prioritize our goals but we have to be SMART about it. We got specific last week because that is the first step to successfully completing your goals. The second step is measuring your progress. 

So let’s continue on this journey of creating SMART goals together.  Are you ready? Let’s talk about Measuring Your Progress

Examine your list of goals and aspirations. If you have not created a list for yourself, I suggest that you do because you have to hold yourself accountable for your dreams. It’s your responsibility and you determine the amount of time it will take for you to complete certain tasks. For example, going off to college people estimate that they will graduate in four years, but sometimes that fifth year is needed to perhaps meet all requirements and boost their GPA prior to applying to graduate school. 

Whether it’ll take you one month or one year to cross some things off of your list, you should have in your mind how long you envision completing certain tasks. If you see that some of your objectives are taking longer to complete, don’t give up. The beauty in this is that you can make adjustments.

Look at your goal one: You may say I want to be healthier. So does that mean you will work out x number of days and change your diet? What adjustment do you need to make to reach your healthier goal? How much time are you giving yourself to see the results?  You can measure that progress from week to week and month to month. But you must be definitive.

Stay the course and accomplish what you can. Remember that everything worth having will not always s come easy. 

Whether it’s a task or an objective the specificity and measurability of your goal begins when you speak it into the atmosphere. 

Life is in the power of the tongue. So as you write down your goals be clear and measure your progress by the short tasks you have completed based on the priority they have towards your ultimate goal. As I said last week if your vision is not clear to you, it won’t translate well and you will risk becoming counterproductive resulting in no progress being made at all.

Remember things may change, but when you work on one goal at a time, you’ll be pleased to look back on where you started and realize that you have been putting in the work and it’s only up from here.

Continue to speak life into your dreams and step into your authority to make it happen.

We’ve gotten SPECIFIC now we are about to MEASURE OUR PROGRESS.

Check back next week as I share with you how we will determine if our goals are attainable.

~LaTilya

Get Specific About What You Want

Get a Closer Look

Prioritizing yourself as you crush your goals is difficult when you don’t have an action plan, so I’m glad to share my journey with you as I create SMART goals that will propel my career to the next level. Identifying your strengths is only the beginning to creating the life that you want to live. So bear down with me and get SPECIFIC about what you want.

The first step to creating an action plan. Whether it’s a task or an objective, ultimately everything we do must be intentional as we work towards our personal development and getting out of our own way. The specificity and effort you put into taking steps to organize your life will pave the path for your future success.

For example: Making the statement that you want to start your own business is a broad goal to have. You have not stated what kind of business you want or will potentially start. But when you are specific, you’ll say, I’d like to start a success coaching business working with mid-career women that want to maximize their skills and boost their productivity at work. 

When you are clear about what you want and can articulate that, then the work you begin to do becomes aligned with that goal and your focus. If your vision is not clear, it won’t translate well and you will risk becoming busy and counterproductive. Remember, people are watching you, and blanket statements are a gateway to your weaknesses when you are not passionate about the work you are attempting to do.

Get real with yourself and do not trade in your authenticity for approval. The only person that matters is you because sometimes your goals are personal.. Crush them continually, and clap for yourself as you move along. 

Now things may change, but when you work on one goal at a time, you’ll be pleased to look back on where you started and realize that you have been putting in the work and it’s only up from here.

So be intention. Be clear. Be specific about what you want because the only thing holding you back is you. Now homework time. Sit down and write 3 things you’d like to accomplish. It can be this week, this month, or even this year. Are you being specific enough? It not, how can you make your goal more specific so that you can see which step you need to take next?

The beauty in this is that you can make adjustments as needed as long as you don’t give up. This is step process and we will reach our destination.

~LaTilya

Eliminating Threats As You Grow

Hey Goodbuddies,

Did you know that not knowing what makes you stand out is a weakness because we all have something inside of us that needs to be shared. Your voice is unique, however life gets complicated when we face battles that we don’t quite understand.

So what does this mean?

-Internal battles are a threat to your growth when self doubt is in place. We have to learn how to advocate for ourselves and affirm our existence without the validation of others. 

Your mindset has to shift to I Can versus I can’t when setting goals for yourself and taking steps to becoming a better you. Your transformation is threatened when you don’t take yourself seriously. So do the work to move past those mind blocks that hold you back because your biggest breakthrough is proving to yourself what you are capable of doing.

Whew! That’s a lot to take in but so are the things that are out of your control.

-External threats to your progress and growth are the limiting factors that you face even when you do everything right for yourself but the logistics of working with others may be unclear. 

In situations where your skills, knowledge, and abilities are being counterproductive, that’s a red flag to regroup and find a beneficial endeavor. All opportunities are not good opportunities so use discernment.

There will be shifts in your mindset as you experience personal growth. After all the goal is to grow. As I’ve said week after week by Continuing to do the work on yourself it makes you a better person and more aware of productivity.

So I hope you are keeping track of your homework because when you put it all together you next step is to create an action plan that will maximize your strengths, forge your weaknesses, identity opportunities to grow, and minimize threats to your progress. This work is personal and ultimately you have to do what’s best for you.

I share little tidbits here and there so go find me on FB @drlatilyarashon and IG @iamdrlatilyarashon for more insightful tips on being you, doing you, for you, and I look forward to connecting with you soon.

~LaTilya

Stop Procrastinating and Grow

Hey Goodbuddies,

Quick question, do you know how to identify your opportunities to grow?

Pushing past your comfort zone is scary. But we have to forge our weaknesses and take a risk at trying something new. After all what’s the point of being good at what you do when you never step out of your norm to do something different, and realize you’re great. This is uncomfortable but we have to be aware of areas for growth if we want to shake the room and increase our productivity. 

So let’s get into it: 

-Apply for the job that has been calling your name and update your resume. When you push yourself to see your growth and your need for more is sitting on your shoulders, that is the time to strike. The list of skills you have match the requirements and responsibilities that stare you in the face, but fear has you paralyzed. Go for it anyways because you are meant to stand out, and it’s an opportunity to practice what you preach.

-Share your skills and talents with the people you are most in contact with that support your vision and dreams. You make your work look easy and when asked about your processes, don’t be afraid to open up. Each one, teach one builds connections and open doors that you could not have imagined. Being prosocial can get your name spoken highly in rooms and invitations to be a part of masterminds, simply because you shared.

-Personal Development. What you feed your mind, you become. Food, Fashion, Family, Fun, and Faith drive your existence and we are always researching ways to put our spin on those five aspects of our lives. Read and listen to information that fuels your fire to be present and productive in life. Don’t settle for mediocrity.

There will be shifts in your opportunities to grow, you just need to prepare yourself for when the opportunities present themselves. Continuing to do the work on yourself makes you a better person. 

So I hope you are keeping track of your homework each week because now based on your work from last week, how can you position yourself to work on your weaknesses where the benefit is your growth? Again, there are no right or wrong answers, just know that you are destined for more.

Continue your walk as the fearfully and wonderfully made personal that you are. 

So thank you for rocking with your girl. You can find me on FB @drlatilyarashon and IG @iamdrlatilyarashon for more insightful tips on being you, doing you, for you, and I look forward to connecting with you soon.

I’ll check in with ya’ll later.

~LaTilya

Creating New Habits: Forge Your Weaknesses

Hey Goodbuddies,

I’m so excited to check in with you all this week to see how you’re living and how we can make it even better.

So I’m going to hop right in and tell you that for the past two weeks I have been doing a series on the Mac Muzik Show to help people maximize their strenghts.

I have broken down the S.W.O.T. analysis which is for the benefit of identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities to grow, and threats to your progress.

Identifying your strengths and weaknesses is uncomfortable but we have to be aware of areas for growth if we want to boost our productivity. It is difficult to admit that we all struggle with some things but it is a necessity.

So let’s get into it: 

-Communicating is always tough for some people because you know what you want to say but some things get lost in translation. A weakness sometimes is verbal because the slightest inflection could be deemed as hostile or abrasive. So it may be best in some situations to listen before speaking so that you have a clear understanding.

-Prioritization can be a weakness because trying to do too many things at the same time affects your output. We have to learn what takes precedence over keeping us busy. When you learn how to list things by their order of importance and urgency, you are able to get things done more efficiently. So start by creating a short list of 3-5 tasks you need to complete each day and check them off as you go.

-Operating within your comfort zone! There is no way you will grow if you continue to do things the same way all of the time. Your personality traits will be pushed to the limit and it may even unnerve you, but you have to learn how to rely on your full skillset and not just the skills you are most comfortable with using. 

From time to time you will strengthen your weaknesses then begin to identify other areas that you will need to improve. Doing the work on yourself makes you a better person. These good habits come into play when you

-Identify your strengths to know what you’re good at and use those skills daily.

-Forge your weaknesses to push those skills to the surface and stop holding yourself back.

-Give yourself so grace and understand that every venture will not be perfect.

So take some time, and identify the areas of your life and abilities that you need to strengthen. We all have weaknesses but it takes a strong person to acknowledge them and work to make them better.

Do a comparison of your strengths and weaknesses and ask yourself are you being as forthright in your efforts as you can be? There is no right or wrong answer, just know that You Depend On You!

Continue your walk as the fearfully and wonderfully made personal that you are. That’s all I have for you this week.

So thank you for rocking with your girl. You can find me on FB @drlatilyarashon and IG @iamdrlatilyarashon for more insightful tips on being you, doing you, for you, and I look forward to connecting with you soon.

I’ll check in with ya’ll later.

~LaTilya

Culture Add and Core Values


In theory when you set you sights on charging a new path as an entrepreneur, even with careful planning some mistakes will be made along the way. I read a post the other day on social that said, “Launch the business anyway and fix it later.” I said you know what, they just might be on to something.

It is not enough to want simply want something, you have to work for it. Right now everyone is home, the wheels are turning, and businesses are popping out everywhere. I perhaps am just a tad bit overthinking my next moves because I struggle with wanting everything to go just right and now have to backtrack too much unnecessarily.

Sitting in on webinars, masterclasses, and taking email courses over the years, I find myself looking at my brag bank to gain more insight on my culture add. I picked this term up in a masterclass on creating your own e-course to generate revenue. The thought of creating a course is exciting, especially one designed around the idea of goal setting, and after all I am a teacher but I second guess myself and that is a mindset block that I have to work through.

I can tell me story over and over about what it is like to be a working mom with author ambition and teaching fulltime, but who is truly paying attention. My career experience, education, relationship failures are things that busy moms can relate to so launching and relaunching is tedious for me because fixing things later feels like something I am always doing. For example, I have been fixing and recycling, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching because that is where my edupreneur journey started. The going thing now is to turn your book into a business and I must say that has been tough which is why my next work is been completed with more care and strategy.

I can add to the culture based on my mothering skills and how I fought in the past and currently fight through the tough times because my sons need me. My identity is beyond the classroom and I find myself mentoring people both directly and indirectly because I’m available and so is my content. The places I have been rather long term or short term further shape my experiences as well as my education which I am extremely proud of myself for acquiring. Discipline saw me through my degrees even at the times I wanted to quit and keeping it real and being authentic is the only thing I know how to do.

So what do I take a stand for: I take a stand for divorces moms balancing work and home while trying to sustain some normalcy in my life. I stand for the overlooked female entrepreneur that is tired but continues to try anyway. I am one of many authors with a lot to say but has yet to fall on the right ears. I am the speaker with a voice that has fought battles internal and external because quitting is not an option. I stand for the women who believe even when life has a way of being interrupted and not always being fair. So now what? It is all about the connection.

I bring genuine reality to the room because let’s face it, being a good mother and having stability in my our lives in something that all mothers strive to have. A lot of women are independent and we value being positive role models to our child/children. We value being able to provide holistic support to our kids because they will learn from us how to cope with life. Most importantly peace of mind is the root of all we do because understanding what is for us (you) cannot be taken away from you when you actually put in the work.

So yes, start the business. Write the book. Use your creativity. Chase your dreams.

You can add to the culture in your own individuality and uniqueness because once you know who you are, you dare not compromise your values.

-LaTilya

Mindset of a Mom

I grew up in a single parent home so my only depiction of motherhood was watching my mom. I would see the moms on my favorite television shows and realize quickly that my mom was nothing like them and my house did not look like those. That was okay though because my mom worked her ass off to take care of me without the help of my father. I’m sure that was easier said that done considering I was born in 1981.

It is alway funny to hear people say, “Tilya, you look just like your mother.” My knee-jerk reaction is to respond, “Who in the hell else am I supposed to look like.” But I just nod and smile.

The parallels in my mom’s life to mine is underwhelming because we made different choices in careers, and marital statuses, but the love she had for me as a child is the same love I share for my children. Not to speak ill of my mom, but watching her work as hard as she did, I promised myself that I would have better career choices. However, when I was at my lowest so was my motivation. I could not give up, but I wanted too.

When my oldest son was in kindergarten, his father and I had recently separated. Marriage is hard, but when it is not working, it may be time to let it go. But he was a talkative little lad, and knew a lot for his age because we always talked to him, never gibberish. Well one day he told his teacher, “My mom cries a lot a night.” Imagine how surprised I was when the teacher said this as his father and I sat in a parent/teacher conference. My eyes immediately welled with tears because I was carrying mom-guilt.

Looking into someone’s face everyday, you have no idea the heaviness that they are carrying deep down inside. The brokenness someone feels when they tried to do everything right but felt like they were coming up short every single time. I can only imagine the pain my mother felt doing it alone as I struggled to start my life over absent of my husband. I was 27 years old, a year or two out of the Air Force and adjusting to my second year of teaching. My plate was FULL. However, when I was at my lowest I could not give up, but I wanted too.

Hindsight is often 20/20. My mom was tired, I mean, at the age of five I had a key to the apartment and let myself in each day waiting for her to get home from work. The term then was latch-key kid, but you do that nowadays and you’ll be in jail. It is amazing the lengths mothers go through to make sure that their children feel cared for, loved and protected. Again, I watched my mom do it alone for me, so I put that same energy into my sons.

Pushing through seems to be second nature for moms because even when we are tired, we take care of our children sometimes before we take care of ourselves. We shrink behind our kids not even realizing that we are neglecting ourselves. We get tired. We take things personally while co-parenting. We are irritable from lack of rest. We cry at night when we feel misunderstood because in my private conversations and attempts to get our points across, the blame is shifted. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I was told, “If you’d just listen and shut up”, as if that was effective communication. It is draining to this day and was draining at the time of my separation.

My mom never got married so getting married then divorced for me was a big deal. I was embarrassed because what if people look at me like I am the problem in my marriage when there needed to be more compromises. What if as a mom, I’m failing my kids the same way I failed my husband as a wife? All of these transitions as a mom wore on me emotionally and mentally. I was at my lowest. I could not give up, but I wanted to.

There have been too many times in the past few years that I questioned my own authority in and of my life. This is not to negate other people’s responsibilities and to say that my feelings are all that matter. But feeling helpless when you are trying your best takes a toll and makes you, a mother as I am, or anyone question your judgement. There’s no middle ground.

One minute you’re a young mom trying to make things happen in a positive way while scared at the same time. Next minute life has taught you many lessons and you find a way to balance what you thought you knew with what you have learned. As with anything in life, becoming a mother is an ongoing learning experience. Let’s face it, we know nothing when we start and we know not a thing about our children with each mistake they make as well as our own mistakes.

The mindset of a mother is to continue in times of uncertainty, recharge when we need to, and remember who we are when we forget that being a mom is not our only job. Mom guilt is real especially when you want all of the answers but your only option is to keep trying. Moms are their kids superheroes. We often strive to prove to our kids that we can do anything, so we do.

Thanks for reading and remember to join my email list.

~LaTilya

BRAG Differently 2.0

It’s been one hellava past few months with everything that’s going on but I’m still chugging along. Someone out there needs my writing so I’m going to keep going.

Listen, we have to face our fears because it took us all some time to embrace what we have learned in our lives.
I have been bad at a few things:
➡️ Daughter
➡️ Student
➡️ Girlfriend 😂
➡️ Wife 😏
➡️ Airman (When I was active duty)
➡️ Mom (especially when kids don’t get their way)
➡️ Writer (lacking strategy and a plan)
➡️ Teacher (didn’t have a clue in 2008)

Now as I push forward wearing my many hats and trying different things daily, I do so with the mindset of being the voice that someone needs. I mean after all we all have something going in our lives that we can brag about so welcome to B.R.A.G. Differently 2.0

B. Believe in yourself and that things in your life can change for the better. I listed a few things that I have been bad at and when I look at my life I’m glad that I made some of the changes that I have. Being a teenage daughter is far different from being an adult daughter. But being a wife and then divorced takes on a different meaning when it comes to your status. I was scared as hell to start my life over as a single woman after my first divorce, but I had to BELIEVE that I deserved better. I had to work on me and believe that I was capable of having a fulfilling life even if that meant not a having a man by my side. I mean after all, I was raised by a single mom, and she did it so I can do it too. Backing away from that, let’s just say I had to learn how to believe in my abilities and know that I would find my way through this thing called life.

R. Receive what the universe has to offer you that brings out the good in you. Everything that is sent your way is not necessarily for your good and could be lessons that you’ll learn later. That’s probably why my second marriage was a huge lesson for me. GOOD VIBES only, so receive the good shit and reject the bad shit because this is a season for growth.

A. Adjusting to the changes in your life is a humbling experience. I mean let’s face it ya’ll, we can’t predict the future so we are always adjusting anyway. From childhood to adulthood was a huge adjustment period and I’m sure we drove our parents crazy which in turn as adults we watch out children do the same. LOL! Man being flexible is tiresome but it’s a necessity.

G. Growing is a goal in life. At 38, I’m so glad I’m not who I was at 28, or even 18 for that matter. If I was the same person as an adult that I was as a teenage, Bless It Jesus! LOL! We have to grow and push past out comfort zone if we really want to reach our full potential. Even when things feel like it’s falling apart we must practice patience. Growing pains really, truly hurt but it’s some beautiful on the other side of the lesson you learn.

So connect with me so we can all begin B.R.A.G. Differently http://bit.ly/GetRightwithDoc

~LaTilya

I Wrote my First Book Because I Wanted to Read It

I can remember the spring of 2016 like it was yesterday because it was testing season. I was in my eighth year of teaching middle school. I had stalled writing my book for fear of it not being read and not knowing what to do next. I had just gotten my IRB approved for my dissertation and luckily I had worked ahead on my final report. I was waiting for feedback for my edits from my chair, so to fill the time, I started back working on My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching.I took my chromebook with me everywhere throughout my building. My colleagues would ask, “What are you doing?” I’d simply reply, “I’m finishing my book.” I cringe at the rush I put on myself and at some of the typos I later found (that have been corrected) and say, “Well at least I faced that fear.”

I knew when I hit publish on Createspace (my first knowledge of #selfpublishing and KDP at the time that I couldn’t take it back. I also knew then that my book was not for everybody but it was still my experience as a new teacher to share. In turn it has been a conversation starter and my documented proof that when you face everything and rise, your personal marathon continues.

Success is not a race, so be humble with your creativity.

Read more of my story by clicking the link in my bio or visit latilyarashon.selz.com to learn how 12 years later I’m still surviving the classroom.

Handling COVID-19

“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Hebrews 12:15 NLT

Two weeks ago we were in school waiting to hear the direction our district was going to take to handle this health crisis. I knew I would miss my students and I do and here we are now “officially” on Spring Break. Parents went from working their full-time jobs to becoming full-time teachers in a matter of two weeks. Some parents have had to juggle both. Teachers went from explaining work to students to explaining to parents. It’s been an adjustment for everyone.

As a mother finding balance with my career and chasing my dreams of being a writer and influencer has its moments of uncertainty. And with the world panicking right now, it is so unclear as to what direction we are actually heading in life. I have stability in my career, but right now with the shift to education online, test suspension, and suspended attendance accountability, even my career is questionable. At times the drive for more is my push to do more. I talk about it, but truthfully entrepreneurship is hard. 

Now is a time for reflection and I think about my early ambition as a author as I shared my transition into teaching, the dissolution of my marriage, and my trials as a new teacher in my first book, My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching and that was such a huge mountain to get over. Sharing my story, my ups and downs have become my survival guide because now I persevere when things get tough. But so many of the self-publishing gurus have a tricky way of making you feel like even when you share you story that you need their expertise to take YOU to the next level. Who knows? I mean I dropped this book in 2016 and it is still a staple for how my career started and a conversation starter for people considering coming into the field of education.

Now the classroom is enjoyable and teaching my students has its days, so right now 12 years in I’m holding up because the reality is I still have children to take care of and this pays the bills until something catches for me and I’m able to take off into other things. Not being in the classroom mid-March was unthought of it crazy as hell when you think about it. So now I have time to work on this next book. I plan to do things completely different with this one. It’s time that I DREAM BIGGER!

I’m not rushing. I’m creating things in my own lane and bringing forth my personality in my content. Gentle reminder and #notetoself , I don’t have to do what everybody else is doing and my next book will explain it all. I’ll prove to myself that I can and I will. That’s all that matters to me. 

We are living one day at a time in my house and I’m praying for the hearts and minds of everyone still out working and saving lives.  

These are my thoughts today as a mother~author~teacher.

5 Ways to Create Value

Buy Workbook

5 Ways to Create Value to reach your own personal level of success.

  1. Identify your skillset
  2. Set attainable goals
  3. Create an action plan
  4. Enhance your strengths
  5. Personal development

Own your power as you run your own race. Set your goals, create an action plan, and keep in mind that it’s not how you start it’s how you finish.

Grab The Signature Creating Value Workbook for $7 when you use DISCOUNT code LRW1981 at bit.ly/SeeWorkbook

The Signature Creating Value Workbook

Who doesn’t like personal development?

Nobody, Right!

I told y’all that one of my struggles with balancing life as a mom, author, teacher, was failing to create value then consequently taking on too much because I did not have a plan. My Signature Creating Value Workbook will help you do 5 things:

  1. Identify Your skillset
  2. Examine Your Big Goals
  3. Understand Your Strengths
  4. Create an Action Plan for Success
  5. Reflect on Your Personal Development

The secret to success is unlocking your mind.  Get an exclusive look when you subscribe to my email list. You will receive the free Creating Value Template. It is the central focus to helping you set weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals to create added value in your life as you pursue your dreams.

Once you start moving with clear intentions, your vision and mission becomes more solid. Silence the doubt and catch this wave. No more sitting on the sideline.

I faced a lot of fear of failure when I began teaching, when I returned to school, and when I became a divorced mom with two children. I felt like a failure when my students were not achieving success even though they were reading on an elementary level in middle school. I felt like a failure when I had to retake a research class during my doctoral program. I felt like a failure for not being able to keep my family together even though the marriage had broken down well before the divorce happened.

I had to learn how to prioritize my new life and remember why I wanted to teach. I needed better time management to ensure I dedicated enough time to my studies while raising my sons and mapping out my career. I engrossed myself in personal development to help me cope with the loss of a significant other, not once but twice.

Sis, you can start over as many times as needed and still get it right. My journey has not been all sunshine and rainbows. There have been many tears and gloomy days but I persevered. There is no true balance, you learn to adjust.

I got started because I understand the difficulties of being a mom, having a career, and chasing my dreams. I’m using every skill I have in every situation to do my best even when I don’t feel my best. I challenge you to do the same.

Check out my ebook store, latilyarashon.selz.com. My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching is specifically for you if you are a mom that is thinking about transitioning careers and feel like you don’t have a clue about what to expect. I encountered a lot but I made it through.

Creating Value in Your Life

There are 365 days in the year and we have the ability to make each day count. No two people are the same, so our perspectives and experiences shape our way of thinking and how we set out to make our lives better.

There is no magic formula to achieving success because we call have different ideas about what it means to be successful. Once you begin to create value in your life and walk in your purpose, you ultimately begin to design the life that you want to live.

I’ve created a “Creating Value” Weekly template that can help you set goals and prioritize your tasks each week. We get busy sometimes and are not necessarily as productive as we need to be. So here is a tool that I use to help me focus and get things done.

I am a list person. I have to write things down for myself because it makes what I’m working hard at achieving more believable. My ambitions, dreams, and goals are etched in my brain because I take actionable steps everyday. Big or Small.

  • Writing down a goal for the week, be it short term or long term, I know that whatever my focus is for the week adds to the overall big picture.
  • Affirmations help adjust your mindset to know that even when obstacles arise, you have the stamina to stay the course. Nothing worth having comes easy, so you have to lift yourself when it feels like no one else believes in you.
  • Prioritizing your to do list will hep you focus on your most urgent things to do as you work towards tasks and projects that may take a little bit more time but you need to work on those things too. We can only become as successful as the amount of effort we put into our work.
  • Personal development enriches your mind and feeds your spirit. A motivational podcast, book, or scripture reading that feeds your passion and enhances your productivity. Be conscious of what you feed your mind because our thoughts become our actions.
  • Reflections and takeaways commute to our mind and gives us the confirmation we are seeking when asking ourselves, “Is what I’m doing putting me where I need to be?” We should be striving to learning something new each day.
  • Jeremiah 29:11 says, ”  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We have to show gratitude for the good things in our lives because we have already been destined for greatness. We just have to believe.

This life that I have been given is not my own. I am supposed to share my story. Be the encouragement I needed 10, 15 years ago. Once I begin to focus on what was necessary, life got better.

~LaTilya

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5 People to Follow When You’re Getting Started

I asked a question a few weeks ago on my social media about what podcasts do you listen to and I got some really great responses. So I decided that I would compose a short list of people that influence me and a great place to to look for inspiration. I know when I was getting started I was so overwhelmed and was in information overload. I know you may be wondering who to listen to so here you go because it took a minute for me to find what I needed. I was so glad to find encouragement and motivation from these amazing female bosses because they sound like me. Now my list is short but packed full of power because I need the in your face type of energy because they speak hard facts and truth.

Maya Elious

(1) I needed a starting point and the first personal branding strategist that I took to was Maya Elious. She is a personal branding strategist helping female entrepreneurs monetize their expertise. I used her Narrow your Niche workbook even when I didn’t have a clue as to what it meant to niche down and purchased her Content Creator Starter Pack that included 150 Blog Post Topics. As a beginner she helped me paint a clearer picture and I still use those resources to this day. Visit her site to subscribe to her newsletter for FREE business advice.

Nicaila Matthews Okome

(2) SideHustle Pro is my personal favorite podcast to listen to and is known for being the first and only podcast to spotlight bold, Black women entrepreneurs who have scaled from side hustle to profitable business. The founder of SideHustle Pro (Nicaila Matthews Okome) shares her personal story of trials and triumphs and what she learned when she began to entrepreneurial journey. She interviews other female bosses and share actionable tips on being productive and running a business. Visit her site to subscribe to her newsletter and learn how to grow your business fueled by your passion.

Jasmine Womack

(3) As a teacher that wants to change the trajectory of my career within the next couple of years, I find Jasmine Womack the example. The cool thing about her is that she has worked with Maya Elious who has also appeared on SideHustle Pro. She has managed to turn her experience in teaching and writing her book into a profitable business and she shares her expertise along the way. I actually stumbled across her because a friend of mine tagged me in a post on instagram about the release of her book and I subsequently enrolled in The Author’s Bootcamp when she offered it for free on Facebook. It has been a year of following her and I see so much of my journey that resembles hers. I’m so ready to get into the business behind the book with the self-publishing expertise that she shares. Visit her site to learn how you can work with her and participate in her programs and courses.

Sharon Beason

(4) When I want a good laugh and sound advice with in your face realness, I turn to Sharon Beason. Now I follow her primarily on instagram and her different entities, @SharonMayBeason, @womeneur, and @InstaGSociety and all of her posts give me life. She is a startup and strategy boss in these instagram streets and she is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs monetize their social media. Her boldness is what draws me in and keeps me checking back daily. I know that when I am on either of those profiles she is sure to have something to meet my needs or inquiry for the day. Visit her business link for all that she has to offer. She is amazing!

Coach Stormy Wellington

(5) Coach Stormy is unabashedly herself and she magnetizing. She is a true product of her product but her “sister talks” and motivational videos she comes through with are also real to core. She does not hide her struggle or past and let’s it be known that you have to hustle and grind hard to get yourself to the next level. She is not telling people what they want to hear. She gives people hard conversations and she is in your face about business and you continuously have to step your game up to survive, Her daily motivation will give you the kick that you need. Hate it or love it, she just keeps it real. Visit her business link for her motivation and coaching.

As a mom first, author and teacher on this entrepreneurial journey I have to feed my mind the things that will help me along the way.  These women are my good buddies in my head and I look forward to the jewels they drop each day. Be mindful of what you consume. Everybody ain’t for you.

~LaTilya


5 Mistakes I Made as An Entrepreneur

Starting Without a Vision or Strategy

In 2016 I thought that this mompreneur thing would be easy and my oh my was I wrong. I was just winging it until I realized that my vision was too broad and I had not niched down enough. Yes, I am a teacher but my skills as a mom are what help me organize my day to walk into my classroom more prepared. I need my working women with business aspirations to know that while you are working, raising your children, planning a wedding, or being a wife, you can still chase your dreams. Life happens and even when you survive divorce; knowing your mission and why will carry you farther than the obstacles that you face. Those trials become a part of your story and fuel your purpose. So be clear when you set out to make a difference. Be the problem solver to those that need to hear your voice and don’t give up until you make an impact.

My Mission: I help working moms find balance between their career and home life as they gain clarity in pursuit of their dreams.

Once I sat down and did a business plan and really thought about what I was trying to do and my message, things began to click. Even though I have been trying for a few years now, once I gained clarity, I can better see the direction I’m heading in for 2020.

Branding Myself Properly

I thought that by merely saying, “I am my brand” was enough but I was wrong again. My personality, my quick wit, my authenticity was going to set me aside but I was nobody in the realm of blogging and entrepreneurship. Now don’t get me wrong, I have some faithful followers and listeners but as I aspire for a further reach I realized that I had to do more. I had to figure out I wanted to be recognized. Yes, I’m the tattooed teacher in my building as I teach throughout the day, but that’s not my ideal for my Mom|Author|Teacher (mompreneur) brand that I am working to establish for myself. And guess what, even after I find some comfort in my visibility, branding is ongoing and may even call for a re-brand down the road. So, LaTilya Rashon is my name in real life. So I did not over arch with something off the wall because my approach is to just be real with my message and what I create. Pieces of me will be ingrained in everything that I do. In these internet streets I will show you my dedication, my authenticity, and my perseverance (D.A.P.) through my storytelling. I love acronyms so you’ll see more of those in the future because they are easy to remember. Make sure your brand attracts your tribe. That’s the whole point!

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Ya’ll there are levels to being in business for yourself. Being a NOVICE, brand new and not knowing what to is the very first level. Your eyes are bigger than your follow through and you are more busy than productive and you just know you are getting things done. I had to tell myself to have several seats plenty of times between 2016 and 2017 because I didn’t have a clue.  I was not creating anything of value outside of my first book (My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching). Once those wheels starting turning, you are now in the DEVELOPMENTAL stage of business where you are connecting the dots and things are beginning to make sense and you have a better understanding of what you are trying to do. Your growth is beginning to show. Then ultimately, the EXPERT. We all aspire to be a household name in these internet streets because of our extensive knowledge and expertise. But you have crawl before you walk. Maintain your own lane and know that everybody has different skillsets so processes are not one size fit all and we are all essentially running our own races. Focus on what you are creating and less on others.  What you have inside of you is just as needed as to what the people around you are doing. NOTE TO SELF!

Taking on too Much

When you don’t have a vision you will easily take on too much too soon and it will leave you overwhelmed and ready to quit. You need clarity and this can’t be emphasized enough to avoid repeat failure. Now this does not mean that some things won’t launch as successfully as others, it just means that we will eventually get it right. Even if you plan properly it’s a 50/50 chance of things going wrong, so we have to prioritize our tasks as to not give up before we ever get started. What is urgent versus not urgent then go from there. Decide what you can DO now, what you can PLAN to do later, who or what you can DELEGATE, and truly ELIMINATE. We are what holds us back when we are sure, so be intentional.

Failing to Invest in Myself

Listen, you can google until your finger tips hurt but pretty soon you will find that in information overload, everything will start to look the same. I have downloaded so many free worksheets, ebooks, tuned into LIVE training, you name it and none of them gave me the clarity that I needed. Then I started making small investments in resources because I needed to streamline my message and my business. Find someone that speaks to your style and let them coach you.  I have following one particular author/coach for the past year and I am ecstatic about my latest investment of myself. You have to do your own research to determine who is best suited for your needs. You can only Free.99 to a certain degree but when you want results, you will begin to make the right investments. Even when you think you don’t have the money, you will find a way.

So with all of that being said… I decided that I no longer wanted to function in mediocrity. I want to scale up my message and visibility so that I can do great things in the months to come. I have set some very intense goals for myself and the steps I’m taking along the way have me very excited. Let’s just say as I’m approaching my 38th birthday, I have for certain two years to make some things shake and that is exactly what I plan to do.

~LaTilya

A Journey Into Creation

So back in September I thought that it would be a great idea to really map out my business and the direction that I want to go. I completed a full business plan and everything then I feel like I hit a brick wall.

My big picture is being able to run a successful business online and become my own boss. Creating ways for people to expand their creative abilities, speaking when given the opportunity and ultimately enjoying the things that I love doing.

2019 put a little bit of a fire under my ass, especially back in June when I spoke at the Teacher Self-Care Conference. I transferred schools. I became the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) Coach. But I also began to experience the growing pains of raising teenage boys. They are night and day.  Needless to say I feel like I am behind, but then I think about all of the work that has been accomplished behind the scenes that I actually have to stop and give myself a break.

I have planned my brand content and though I am not as confident in it at times that I should be, I just ask myself a lot of times if I am doing the right thing. I totally get that I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, but damn they make it look easy. So I hit the reset button and told myself to not let the internet rush me. After all, this blog has been up for three years, semi-consistently. I have written three books. I do freelance academic writing and editing. I have been busy. But self-doubt creeps in and make me question everything.

I’m not experiencing burnout or anything, I just want to begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  That is such a cliché. And even though I’m building my own table and opening my own doors, the truth is that entrepreneurship is hard as hell. Luckily for me I have decided to partake in a “Secure the Bag” webinar because 2020 is the year to erase the doubt and just strike out.  I’m thinking “The Journey to Here” which is a compilation of themed story telling that explains my journey of living, reflecting, writing, and learning.

I told myself that I would devote six months to one book and I have been focusing on 12 Ways to Survive Your First Year of Teaching since June. It was a follow-up to My Fourth Year. I’ve enjoyed this ride, but I want to talk about some other things and I think now is the time.

I have dumped my brain a lot over the past few months and I am passionate about writing of course, goal setting, African-American youth (I don’t want to see them get lost in the system) and of course being a successful author with a message that I get to share through speaking engagements. I’m not stalling anything, I’m just being careful as I go back to look at drafts of all of my book titles. I have a couple books I need to finish or put the final touches on. I am definitely going to make it happen.

These are just my Tuesday thoughts as I prepare for my conference in the meantime. I’m a lifelong learner. So this journey continues.

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Got To Go Harder

You have permission to tell your story and your story only. Your story will inspire people that can relate to your trials and your triumphs.


Moment of transparency: This time last year I said I’d be teaching somewhere else, and in the spring I interviewed and got the job. I had been in my old district since July 2008 so I knew I was ready for something different. Today I will be introducing our new behavior matrix to support our P.B.I.S. initiative because I stepped into the coach position when it was in need of a new one. It’s a lot of work but I’m doing what I can, and the leadership team will receive this information in today’s meeting.


So I’m giving myself 90 days to cement some other ideas because I want to see more results on the business side of what I do. I wrote a couple of books, I’ve spoke a couple of times, so now I want to do more with all of my experience and be a full time mentor, speaker, facilitator because I KNOW I can do.


I’m trying to secure my own bag. I’m not concerned with what others are doing around me that does not feed this mindset and place in my life. I was going hard, now I’m about to go harder.

~LaTilya

Tip Tuesday

Listen teacher moms… you have a whole life outside of the classroom so some days it’s going to take a little more effort. I mean let’s be honest, good teachers obsess about observations because they want everything to go perfect: students engaged and on task, even transitions from task to task and a positive learning environment.


We spend countless hours planning engaging lessons because we want leave a lasting impression. Then on the day of observation nothing goes as planned. On the flip side of this is that good administrators understand which is why they randomly visit your classroom to catch you on your “good days”.


So here are more tips on surviving:
1️⃣Being observed comes with the profession. At times you will have multilevel leadership in your room, It happens.
2️⃣Show your students that you are human; you don’t have all the answers. Sometimes you’ll learn from them.
3️⃣Some days you just won’t feel like teaching, and that’s okay. Nobody’s perfect‼️

Check out my ebook store latilyarashon.selz.com for my tips on maneuvering the classroom as a newbie teacher or even a veteran teacher.

God is Helping You Write Your Story

Photo by Courtney Watkins Photography

God is helping you write your story and share your gift with the world. Be less concerned with the people that won’t like it and focus on those who will embrace your work of art.

Let’s just be clear. If you are sitting on your skills and talents and think opportunity is going to find you, you are sadly mistaken. It may be a cliche but well behaved people seldom make history.

If you’re afraid to use your skills and talents then you’re blocking yourself from creating the life “you say” you want to live.

So even if you feel you’re in the right track, I know for a fact Closer to Purpose Than You Think can help you stop second guessing yourself and start creating the life you want to live.

Head over to my ebook store latilyarashon.selz.com or even read my first book My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching for free on KindleUnlimited.

It’s time to level up!

Freedom Friday

Want to be an author’s friend?

➡️Buy their books (ebooks $9)

https://latilyarashon.selz.com

➡️Like their post (Algorithm)

➡️Comment in their posts; engagement

➡️Share their posts for more exposure

Some things are free!

But businesses costs! The right people will find you and I’m thankful for the teacher moms that support me.

Woman Boss Wednesday

For National Boss’s Day just know I salute myself as I work hard each day to become my own boss. It is so hard and takes discipline to take your entrepreneurship to the next level. Even when you are being your authentic self, people are still not going to understand you and your perseverance to continuously push yourself out of your comfort zone. God gave me this life because I was built to handle it and so are you.

Check out my ebook store: latilyarashon.selz.com

(1) Closer to Purpose Than You Think (goal setting)

(2) 12 Ways To Survive Your First Year Of Teaching (teacher focused)

(3) My Fourth Year In Middle School (teacher focused)

Teacher Tip Tuesday: Own Your Curriculum

Teachers get frustrated with teaching, new initiatives and things changing constantly but we continue for the love of the profession. As a veteran teacher more has to be done to bridge the gap between experienced and new teachers to create a common ground for growth.

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Sadly the teacher turnover rates increase by the year resulting in 50% of new teachers leaving the profession within five years because they experience burnout.

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A common pedagogical phrase is to begin with the end in mind. However, for a new teacher, to begin with the end in mind is difficult because they’re just getting started. It takes time and effort to get procedures, routines, and structure implemented succinctly in the classroom.

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This is what beginning with the end in mind looks like:

1️⃣ Take ownership of your content and your classroom. The more knowledgeable you are, you can plan easily. Own your curriculum.

2️⃣ Instructional planning and Classroom Management are a perfect pair. Establish order and structure from the start.

3️⃣ Education is a continuum of change. Be flexible!

Check out my ebook store for more books about teaching and balancing your life within this profession.

latilyarashon.selz.com

Teacher Tip Tuesday

I’m sure all educators can attest to the obstacles they faced when they first began teaching. Taking a walk down memory lane I can laugh at the good times and bad, as well as put things into perspective about approach, instruction, and impact.

#FirstYearTeachers and #VeteranTeachers learn that:

-Finding balance in your work and home life takes time. Each class, month, year is different.

-Finding solutions to instructional planning and classroom management is individual. Your approach determines your effectiveness.

-It’s bigger than oneself. Teacher are preparing and educating the future of our society. We must add compassion to our skill set.

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1️⃣My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching (Teacher Focused)

2️⃣12 Ways To Survive Your First Year Of Teaching (Teacher Focused)

My books give insight on how to teach with fidelity, be your authentic self in the classroom, and finding balance in your career.

LaTilya Williams, Ed.D. (Professionally)

Social: @drlatilyarashon

Check out my ebook store: latilyarashon.selz.com

Monetize They Said…

Stay strong. Make them wonder why you are still smiling.I focus a lot of my time and energy on being a mom which author ambition while being in the classroom. That’s already three full time jobs in itself. Now if I make it look easy, trust me it’s not.

Through every transition in my life since separating from active duty Air Force in 2007, the title of being a mom has been staring at me through my rear view. I can’t escape that responsibility. I’m not trying to, I’m just saying.

When I entered the classroom in 2008 my children were toddlers. When I wrote My Fourth Year In Middle School, my sons were a great push for that. When I completed my dissertation, The Impact of Computer Assisted Writing Instruction for Improving Writing Scores for Urban Eighth Grade Students, I said yes mom, I made it, I’m not an expert but that was the turning point. I may have had quality education but very few are checking for the quality of my words so sharing my voice is the only way as I continue to build.

Being a mother with a millionaire mindset is grueling. Someone once said that you very rarely find balance in the things you set out to do, you just have to do it. There’s no wonder people say, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. That’s a dark and twisted thing to say, but I get. We are all grinding for the pending success that’s just on the other side of the roadblock. Delayed is not denied, but sometimes as an entrepreneur you want the gate of opportunity to open up just for you so you can experience the rush of accomplishment beyond the present.

Write the book.

Launch the blog.

Create the online course.

Start the podcast.

Host an event.

Facilitate a workshop.

Have a book signing.

Turn your hobby into a money maker. It’s far more easier to say than to actually do when life happens and your time is limited. We can monetize everything, but when you are a one man team and trying things out, failures knocks twice before success enters. Metaphorically speaking.

I’m the authority of me and my blog and my books are my life. If I managed in between two divorces and two advanced degree programs all while teaching and being a mom to things done. I’m simply saying, you can too!

~xoxo

LaTilya Rashon

Writing to Heal Parts of Me

I have been asked how to write books, how to start a blog and my simple response is just to start writing. This is not my first time putting my story into the atmosphere, but this the space that puts the pieces of me together. I had a beloved blogspot but when I decided to step things up a notch back in 2016, I was not clear. I was simply stringing thoughts together and calling it a blog.

It was not until I sat down and outlined my first book that I realized I was diving into territory that was uncomfortable but was my wholehearted truth. I was nervous but I shared the tragic dissolution of my marriage in my first book and that was a huge mountain to get over. See, in my second year of teaching, I had only been separated from the Air Force a little over a year, I was still a new teacher, finishes up my alternative preparation program, and sadly my life was in turmoil. I was separated from husband of six years, and I was completely devastated. In the midst of all of those emotions, I still had to be a mother and figure out what I was doing in the classroom. I cried a lot that year, and simply felt like I had no control over anything in my life at the time.

I felt misunderstood by coworkers and even judged at times. I was completely ostracized from spouse’s family, and the only person I relied heavily the most on was my mother. She struggled with watching me deal with pains of my marriage because it was an pain that she had never experienced. She could’t tell how to fix things or how to navigate through the problems because she had never been married.

I was separated for two years before the divorce was final. We tried briefly to try to reconcile, but one day I asked him, “What are going to do?” He looked at me and said, “I don’t even like the word marriage.” That is when I knew I had to let go, as hard as it was. The reality of that pain is that I survived. Dealing with personal problems outside of your profession surely is a test of wills and each time there is a set back and life gets in the way, you learn how to bounce back. Of course at that time I was 30 years old, finding my voice as a woman and refusing to be treated as less than an equal partner. Now my tolerance for things that aren’t conducive to good vibes, I gladly shy away from.

Sharing my story, my ups and downs have become my survival guide because just when I thought I was ready to give up, my strength takes over. I know that I am strong but sometimes when I’m tired, I want to be able to be vulnerable in the arms of someone that will be my strength when I feel weak. We will lose ourselves many times in life but it’s always worth it to see the pieces get put back together as if they were never touched.

My heart as a mother will not let my children down because everything I do is for them. They make me better. My love for writing as an author gives me the ability to share my trials and triumphs. Some days are better than others, so I focus on the good even when I don’t feel like it. When I am in my classroom, teaching continues to add layers to my life and give me experiences that I would not trade for anything in the world.

The parts of me that make me unique, I gladly share and each time I reflect on my trials and my blessings, I am eternally grateful.

~xoxo

LaTilya Rashon

Mother.Teacher.Author

Taking a personal inventory of myself and my skills, I knew that I wanted to do more than ordinary things. Ever since childhood I have had words floating around in my head that I have forced out onto paper over the years. Recently I sat down and faced my business, my approach to book marketing and my journey into entrepreneurship and realized I needed help. Furthermore, I needed to help myself get better positioned and edpreneur.

I base a lot of my writing on education because I began teaching in 2008 when I was over halfway done with my Masters in Public Administration. I had a plan for how my career would go as I completed requirements for my new teacher portfolio for the TAPP program. When MGRESA changed the submission dates for program completion, I was already a month into my Educational Specialist program because I had no traditional training or pedagogy. I set goals early in my teaching career based on where I would be in 3 years, in 5 years, and even 10 years. I met my 5 year goals within 3 so I know the power of manifestation.

https://LaTilyaWilliams.selz.com

By the time I had completed my educational specialist degree in 2010, I was ahead of my 5 year plan. Towards the end of my 4th year of teaching I had the bright idea to pursue my doctorate and from there my idea to write my book was outlined. It was not until 2013 that I put my most memorable experiences onto a word document and I began sifting through the details. I have always been ambitious and in between a divorce in 2011, school transfer in 2013, getting remarried in 2014, and stalling on my dissertation proposal I managed to graduate in 2016 with another degree, Doctor of Education with an emphasis in Higher Education Leadership, while simultaneously self-publishing my book.

Being a mother is my single most important job in my life but offering ebooks online, becoming my own boss, creating helpful content for other moms, teachers and ambitious individuals infusing my passion for writing and helping people together. Through my education, mixed work experiences, skills and training I’m confident that’s reading my books will help with personal development of individuals who struggle with finding balance in their careers and personal lives.

I have journaled and set new goals for myself my whole life and made the necessary adjustments when needed. Being asked was getting my degrees hard, do I like teaching, if I weren’t teaching what would I be doing, and are you going to keep writing is the reason I keep creating.

There’s no one size fit all but I like to think that I have a way of naturally understanding people and not judging their individuality. I have something for everyone!

I Brag Differently, You Should Too!

So you want to start a business?

Write a book?

Host events?

Let’s begin with the end in mind.

Knowing who you want to teach, reach, and speak to is a crucial part to how impactful you will be. So let’s brag together!

Take a sneak peek into how I set my goals, crush them, then clap for myself with this Brag Sheet freebie⤵️

Subscribe to my list and get more sneak peeks:
http://bit.ly/ConnectWithDrLaTilyaRashon

Closer to Purpose Than You Think

Are you feeling overwhelmed and need to realign your goals?  Do you need help identifying your strengths to take control of your life and push pass your fears?

I am the coach for you and together we will do the work to help you recognize your self-worth, prioritize your goals, and speak life into your aspirations.  It is important to LOVE yourself intensely, create opportunities for growth, and step into your purpose with authority.

Working with me will help you gain:

1. Clarity as you position yourself for greatness.

2. Love for yourself through affirmations.

3. Purpose as you set attainable goals.

4. Understanding as you reflect on your life.

5. Sense of self as you CELEBRATE you!

Being You is Your Superpower

By definition pedagogy is the method and practice of teaching.  Regardless of your training as a new teacher, being you is what will make you relatable to students.  Books give you the idea of student-centered and teacher-centered instruction, but as the facilitator of you classroom you have to use common sense.  I say use common sense because teacher approaches and style is not one size fit all.

Using your superpower in your classroom means to tap into your strengths and your opportunities to grow as a teacher.  Your personality should be heavily embedded in your lesson plans and teaching style because that becomes your voice. Your style of teaching becomes your trademark.  Ironically, when out your strengths and personality together in your classroom, that becomes your brand as a teacher and no one can take your style away from you.

I personally am known for being firm, loud, and serious about my content.  That is my classroom persona because while I want my children to have fun in class and engage with me, I still have to let them know that I am the boss.

Show your human side to your students because that is what they will respect the most.  For instance, during my fourth year of teaching my students uncovered an invent from my past while browsing the internet.  See the misconception about teachers is that we are always in teacher mode and we do not have a home or personal life. Also before getting to the point of being you, please know that your students and administrators will search for you on social media and the internet just to see what will come up about you.  So with that being said, I had assigned my students a tic-tac-toe board of assignments to complete that went with a novel study we were doing in my class. One of male students quietly called me over to his computer and began to whisper.

“Hey Ms. Bird look what popped up when we tried to find the page to complete our work”.  I had not thought about my students finding a mugshot of me from years before but they did.  The student went on to explain that he was not sharing it with anybody but the majority of his classmates knew about it.  I did what I felt was right in the moment and said to him, “Baby that is from three years ago, it is a matter of public record so I’m not embarrassed.  Just know that it did not affect my job.” It was a lot to say, but it was a teachable moment for my students and I felt the need to address it with all of my students class by class because I wanted them to know that I had nothing to hide.

It completely had escaped me when I gave my students the assignment.  All I knew is that I wanted them to have a discussion board about posted topics and blog posts created by me that were book related.  See I used differentiated instruction to get my students involved because technology is the way of the future. I just did not anticipate that piece of personal information popping up on them.  Even though I gave them step by step instructions on how to access the assignments through my schoolwires page, my students opted to just google me and go from there.

I became a hot topic for a couple days but it died down and we got back to the business of teaching and learning.  One of my strengths based on skillset was to face the problem head-on and not sugar coat a thing. Students respect your truth as a teacher over perception.  Now adults on the other hand go by perception and do not care enough to ask for your truth. Knowing who you are and what you are comfortable sharing about yourself adds to you invincibility as a teacher.  Theoretically, you are a superhero to your students and they like when you put on your cape in chaotic situations. Your life is the canvas for your classroom.

Being you goes a long way when you are trying different approaches and instructional strategies in your classroom.  Students pick up very early on when you are nervous about doing something new in your classroom and they will exploit that opportunity.  This brings me back to not being a pushover in your classroom. There will be times where you have to walk students through assignments and tasks one by one.  There will be other times that as you set the expectations for the lesson students will be able to shift without disrupting the learning environment. Honestly there will be times you have planned a great lesson and after couple of attempts, you strike the whole idea.  

You decide what best for you in your classroom and when your students understand the method to your madness, it makes for a shared learning experience.  There’s a quote that says being transparent and vulnerable keeps you transparent and vulnerable, so be open anyway. So try not to doubt yourself and your ability because the students will only know how far to push you if you know how far you are willing to stretch yourself.  Be you like no one else can inside of your classroom. Staying true to who you are is the best approach to teaching because no one will have the ability to manipulate your style.


The Reason Behind “12 Ways to Survive Your First Year of Teaching”

Download Your Copy:
http://amzn.to/2ETDrZg

Walking around my house at the very end of the summer I could not find rest for my hands or my thoughts as it hit me that teachers would be returning to work very soon.  I was not ready and I could not wrap my head around why I was reluctant to return then immediately it was revealed to my psyche that the start of a new school year is always rough.  New rules, new administrators, new colleagues, new initiatives, and new students. In 180 days we all are supposed to work miracles and pat ourselves on the back at the end of the school year and say, “Job well done”.

See when I entered the field of education I had a five year plan which was quickly exceeded due to my determination and commitment to teaching.  I entered into the classroom not having the slightest clue about what to expect from my students but I learned very quickly.

I was certified through the Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (GATAPP) and I was taken aback by the amount of work that I had to do in order to gain my certification.  Let’s just be clear, there is a major difference in being traditionally trained through brick and mortar colleges of education and alternative programs.

I have developed a sense of humor about teaching and I just want to be real and say it louder for the people in the back that, “There is nothing easy about the first year of teaching”.  I have been through enough first days of school to know that as an educator we walk in hoping for the best then find ourselves overwhelmed and maintaining the status around mid-year. So yes, I learned to march to beat of my own drum and do what works for me.  

My first year of teaching almost broke me in half emotionally and mentally.  Emotionally because I was no longer behind the security of a military base and cypher locked door.  I was now a civilian facing a world I had no idea how to maneuver in comfortably. Mentally I was not prepared to teach while learning how to be a teacher through my teacher alternative preparation program, so at the first thought of hostility, I was ready to say goodbye to the profession.  It was a tough first year for me which is what prompted me to write this book. The simple fact is, that rookie teachers need support and not be ridiculed. They need true mentorship and guidance, not to be picked on for what they do not understand.  

My first three months into teaching looked vastly different from my third year of teaching.  And even now here in my eleventh year of teaching I’m still learning things but coping with the copious changes and trends in education by the day.

As a new teacher it is very easy to become overwhelmed with lesson plans, professional development, additional duties such as being a club sponsor or coaching, but I had to take care of my mental stability at the same time.  No one told me that in the beginning there are long hours and none of those hours are paid overtime. No one told me that I would be in a meeting almost daily. And lastly no one told me that I had to learn how to separate my home life from my work life and focus on them one at a time.

Needless to say in my second year of teaching I grappled with separation and divorce and my two young sons were on an insane schedule that shifted them to daycare by 6:30 a.m. while I had to be to school by 7:15 a.m. daily.  I cried so much this particular year of teaching but I had to find balance.

I had a job to do and I had to do it despite my emotions being all over the place.  My family was a priority and so was my career. I found my balance in letting go of the things out of my control and let all of the work I was doing speak for itself.  My school obstacles became the backdrop to my career which led me to want to help new teachers.

People think teaching is about holidays and summers off.  But a lot of times we become second parents to the children we teach and have to fight off jealousy from other teachers in order to be effective.  My students always showed up for me because I never not showed up for them.

I walk in and stand by my truth that though my method is questionable for those outside of my classroom, and the least liked; people will have to respect what I do. I am guilty of telling new teachers not to follow my example when I’m marching because my teaching style is different but yield results. I laugh a lot at myself because the things that I took so seriously my first year are miniscule in terms as I reflect on my years of teaching.  Perhaps I should take everything seriously but that would make teaching boring and being in my district is far from boring.

By year ten of being a traditional classroom teacher, I had seen enough to know that as long as I followed the rules and did not color too much out of the lines, I was safe.  I spent nine years between two middle schools, five different principals, and a lot of misunderstandings before deciding to move up to high school. Moving up to high school was the best decision I could have made, I felt more at ease in my classroom and besides I knew the student population well.  I did not leave my zone. I pretty much looped with them.

Now after a decade of teaching, I feel that it is time to reinvent my identity.  Yes I have multiple degrees, all the way up to my doctorate, but I will not hide behind my degrees and be defined by the titles.  I would rather display my hard work by doing what I love doing. I love to write so I’m channeling my energy into being an educator, author, and entrepreneur.  Just call me an “edupreneur” or a “bookpreneur” because I’m not a one dimensional person.  

It is good to find your voice when you know who you are as a teacher.  I know that my first book, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching made a splash, but I’m sure that the 12 Ways to Survive Your First Year of Teaching will enlighten my readers in a completely different way.  I’m not out of colorful stories to tell. My approach this time is to offer tips to make that first year a little more manageable. 

Realistically, a bad first year contributes to teacher turnover rates.  As veteran teachers, we are responsible for helping our new colleagues adjust just like we are responsible for teaching our students.  

I feel strongly about mentoring new teachers because even though I was blessed with an awesome mentor teacher, everyone is not fortunate enough to have what I had.  Sure, things have changed as far as brick and mortar training, and even alternative preparation programs but teachers come into the profession to become stable. Surviving the first year lies heavily on the professional development new teachers receive and the support they have as they are learning their true duties and responsibilities.

I want to help new teachers acclimate to teaching and not be overwhelmed by the daily tasks and responsibilities and it is my hope that the lessons I’ve learned along the way will be helpful. Teaching is a great career to have and I want to tell you how to survive.

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