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