Diving Into My Brag Bag To Be More Creative

I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth so everything I got in life has been because I’ve worked hard for it. Growing up in a single parent home the odds were stacked against me. If society had it’s way I would have been another statistic as a teenager; teenage mother, living off of government assistance, and quite possibly a high school dropout. My mother was not having that for me at all. I knew my father but he was not an active part of my life, so watching my mother work various jobs to always provide for me was the best example of hustle and heart.

We lived in the family house until I was four and starting head start.  We moved across the street to Fort Bailey housing projects.  Walking to the store for a bag of pink cookies and a cream Ritz soda was a treat, now I live for my crab legs and moscato…LOL!  I was a project kid, with a key at the age of five letting myself into the house each day by myself then waiting for my mom to get home.  Life was sweet in the 80s.  Now it’s not that easy to leave kids home alone because too much can happen with predators lurking at every turn.

I grew up being very independent and doing a lot of things for myself because the fact is I spent a lot of time by myself.  My mom worked and that was understandable, so throughout middle and high school, during my mom’s off time we spend time together, then when she was gone, I’d read a book or watch t.v.  So by the time I graduated high school in 2000 having worked at Wendy’s and Shoney’s I could make a little money for myself but in the back of my mind I always wanted to just write.

I went off to college to the University of Florida and partied my life away.  I was introduced to beloved Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., met some amazing people but ultimately blew it.  I joined the United States Air Force in 2001, lived in New Jersey my entire enlistment, got deployed to Bulgaria and Italy, got married, had my two sons, then separated from active duty status in 2007.  My background had set the tone as I share my story because it was not easy being active duty, married, tending to babies, and pursuing my studies all at the same time.  I was very overwhelmed and emotional a lot of times but I pushed through anyways.

By the time I relocated to middle Georgia, I had acquired 3 degrees and had multiple ideas of starting a women’s magazine, writing a book, short stories, or just something creative because I have always had the passion to write. By the time I began teaching in 2008, I was halfway through my Masters in Public Administration program and still had no idea what I was going to do next. But the yearning for more was peeking over my shoulder and in my subconscious. I kept digging until I outlined my first nonfiction title. In 2013 I said to myself that my book was going to be great and everyone would want to read it… Well that didn’t happen. See I wanted more but I didn’t have a plan. Now the plan is for me to TELL MY STORY, so people really get a true idea of who I am, what I represent, and what I’m all about. I defied the odds and I have a story to tell.

Achieving my advanced degree in 2016, my Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Leadership was personal.  It was a checkmark to be place of my list of life goals and accomplishments.  There have been others that did it younger than me, but see at the age of 34 with two kids, a second marriage, six years of honorable military service and eight years of teaching, I was doing damn good for myself.  So where is my POP?!  When things got rocky and I thought I had a clear vision of what I want to have happen, a second divorce happened on 2017.  I wasn’t devastated, but I was derailed so my goals for pursuing speaking and writing more took a backseat.

Now here I am 11 years into teaching, having taught roughly 2000 students, each year I wonder who will or who has been that one?  I have highlighted some of my most memorable students in My Fourth Year, but beyond that when students come into my room to hug me midway through a lesson, or stop by my door during transition to class it has been too many to count or name.  My colleagues are hit or miss, but some of them know where my heart is.  I simply refuse to give up on my population of students, but good God some days it is hard.

When I look at my mixed career I have done a lot and take a stand for individuality. I’m often confused and people like to put other people in a box and you shouldn’t. Creativity is an extension of who a person is and you have to tap into your greatness better than anyone else can and tell your story.

Be vulnerable because someone needs to hear from you.

Shift Happens When You’re Yourself

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I have been taking some time to revamp and restyle my blog after dibbling and dabbling into some other entrepreneur endeavors.  It is always necessary to reexamine your business and make adjustments because new risks, obstacles, and changes occur that redirect your focus.  The vision does not change just the approach to reaching your destination.  The next few things that I do have to be done in order to propel me to my next level.

1. I must push through and be unafraid to tell my story because the more I share my experiences the more impactful I become.  I have found myself holding back at times because it gets tiresome.  People are judgmental and question what they do not understand and jump to conclusions without hearing people speak their truth.  In the creative industry, sparingly sharing your truth and your story will be met with reservations.  However, I know in order to take my career to the next level, consistently telling my story is a must.  I have to put myself out there, because there are some people waiting on me and watching me, so I have to make.  I am ready for the shift to happen as I continue to step more and  more into who I am business wise and woman.

2. Discipline…Authenticity…Perseverance are my mainstay because I know what it takes to govern myself and push through to the next level.  I thrive off of discipline in certain areas of my life because I need order.  I have to have structure in my ventures because without it I feel unproductive.  I have rich background in life, from college, the military, transitioning careers, and being an entrepreneur.  I am staying true to me because there is no other person I’d rather be.  It takes gumption to press forward, when so many things around you change.  Some people have an “S” on their chest, but I’ll take the “P” for persevering through things that were designed to tear me down.

3. Being true to your ideas will show you who is for you and who is against you.  My support has not come from the people closest to me.  I felt slighted at first because I did not understand why people would not want to see me do well.  It is a cruel world when you want better and you feel like you are begging for people to support you.  Going into business for myself be it, part-time or full-time some days are better than others and this is truly a process.  My second stint with MLM/Direct Sales showed me enough to know that was my final time.  People don’t respect or value your time, so eventually you have to learn who is serious and who is not.

4. I truly admire everyone in their winning season because when you are diligent your work begins to pay off for you.  After three years of soul searching and releasing my book, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching, I am stepping into the presentation opportunity at the Teacher Self-Care Conference. This is new for me, and as the time is winding down, closer to it, I just have to do it!  I’m also finishing up my book in the process, “12 Ways to Survive Your First Year of Teaching”. I’m pleased with the work that I am doing behind the scenes, and I have taken a lot or pressure off of myself.img_0177

5. It is okay to start over as often as needed.  Some things we try work well initially and we think we have it all figured out, then we realize that we have to revamp in order to paint a clearer image.  I have to evolve and move with the time as I watch the trends around entrepreneurship, upgrading your presence in your chosen industry, and stepping out on faith to be yourself unapologetically.  Our ideas never leave us, they continue to grow as we find ways to expand beyond our comfort zone and intentionally choose to shift into your greater self.  We get stagnant when we don’t get what we want immediately.  Instant gratification is not always the best.  Delayed gratification is more beneficial because you have to work for what you want that way you are grateful when things work in your favor.

Stay tuned, I have so much more in store…

Committing to Leveling Up

I am really late with this update and post but I have been so busy trying to plan out other things in my life, my blog took a back seat.

Back in 2016 when I began revamping my blog, I just knew that I was going to take off, monetize, and be the best in the game.  I wanted to take over in my niche—education and lifestyle— and set the internet on fire.  Guess what!! I fail at that.  It’s not because I feel that the blogging market is saturated, I just truly have yet to establish my fool proof systems.  There are a lot of things I’d like to do with my blog—I just need to take some time to refocus my energy on my leads and stick to them.  To be honest I just felt like a lot of the stuff was too gimmicky and I had completed so much “research” I was stressing myself out.  So I have decided to return to just simply being me and telling my stories my way.  Sharing my trials and triumphs and perhaps along the way help someone.

I have to take a second and laugh at myself because back during Christmas break I completed an online Goals Success Coach certification, and I have content I just need to put that content into action.  Back in 2017, I wrote a cute little goal setting book, Brown Sugar Magic as a personal challenge and really truly had no strategic plan on how to market it.  Anyway, since completing that book I have dove into other endeavors and book writing is still calling my name.

See when I published my first book, I began to realize the power of telling my story and being unafraid to face the criticisms of others.  I took a few hits, but my stories from my first book are truly a testament of how far I have come.  Not only did I want to take the world by storm and create a gravitating blog, I also wanted to be set apart as an author.  In an effort to be completely transparent I have had people try to use my words against me as if my story is not mine to tell, personally and professionally.  I am at a point now in my career where I have to level up all the way around in all of my work, because people are taking notice and I have to show up.

Yes, I thought my first two books would fly off of the shelves and be a continuous stream of downloads but I have realized that my inconsistencies in my writing have been my down fall.  So now I have to do everything in my power to extend my buzz and capitalize off of my name and who I am setting myself up to be.

As I am completing my third book, 12 Ways to Survive Your First Year of Teaching, there are some logistics to be laid out as Dr. Williams prepares to shock this time around.  After turning 37, I have wanted to venture out into other things and I’ll be speaking that Teacher’s Self-Care Conference in June and I can’t wait.  I’m in my 11th year of teaching and this by far has been my most difficult year to date.  I’m not motivated and I am sure that that energy is transferring into my delivery, but at this point, it is what it is.  The plan is set in motion, between my books and defining my systems, I have three short years to transition out of teaching and becoming a full-time entrepreneur.

No matter what, at this point, I just have to keep telling my story and demand that people take notice.  I have been saying this over the years and it’s beginning to sink in, “Being me is my super power!”  I try my hand at a lot of different things.  I’m willing to take the risk and try something new because I am not afraid of challenges.  After all I did seek to get a Doctorate in Education for the thrill of seeing if I could actually complete the degree.  It may have taken me five years, but I know that my credentials can not ever be stripped from me.

I have sacrificed so much of my time into fruitless things that I have decided to change the trajectory of my existence.  I will be that woman….every woman…I’ve realized that many people will question your choices in life while they are too afraid to DECIDE which direction their life is going. Success is not determined by the opinions of others, but the self gratifying feeling you get when you DECIDE to LIVE.  I will continue to build my resume and level up in all areas in my life.

~LaTilya Rashon

How To Stop Taking Things Personally

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It has taken me longer to get my blogs up because I have been trying to balance this school term, my business, and my ideas collectively.  That’s part of the reason this blog even came to life because I have victimized myself in creative comparison and been holding myself back instead of taking the bull by the horns and giving my writing everything I got.

Growing up as an only child I spent a lot of time alone and never really truly had to share anything with anyone.  So you can imagine how I easily got picked on for having nice things as a kid, but those nice things were at the expense of my mom’s countless sacrifices.  I now see a lot of my mom in me and I take care of my sons on my single salary and their dad pitches in with them based on their needs.  I never ask him for anything.

Now this is not a blog about all of the nice things.  Instead, I’m sharing with you how I had to develop thick skin and work hard for my successes.  People can be cruel and intentionally set out to hurt your feelings, all the while not knowing that God is increasing your territory.

There are a few words to describe distasteful behaviors of others and that is “hate” and “jealousy”.  See I was the little black girl growing up with good grades, a mother that worked all of the time, but we were living just above the poverty line.  We received food stamps and Lord knows I miss the days of those coupon booklets because now that I have a career, I make too much money to receive any kind of assistance.  That’s that hurt, hurt…LOL!

I never really paid attention to the jobs my mother held other than knowing that I did not want to have to work as hard.  She at some point in her many jobs was a restaurant worker, nursing home kitchen cook and server, custodial services at a trailer plant, plywood maker, law enforcement, until ultimately getting hurt and now receiving disability.  Now in the face of poverty I did not have it all, but I never misrepresented my mom when I left home.  I always made sure to represent her to the fullest.img_7874

I had to have thick skin because there was no way I was going to let anyone around me know that in actuality my mom and I were struggling.  I did a post on my IG (@latilyarashon) the other day reflecting on the homes we have lived in and boy did that bring back so many memories.  I don’t think many of my more affluent friends know what it’s like to light your gas stove using matches and trying to remember if you turned the eyes off so that there would be no gas leaks.  Or perhaps listening to your mom and her boyfriend tell you the story of snatching a wood rat out of one of the kitchen counter draws that was terrorizing the counter tops.  The look on their faces as they told me horrified me.

I didn’t have the best of everything but my mom made the best of what we had.  There was nothing like sleeping on the floor in the dining room in front of the heater.  Those were the days and some of my best memories ever.  Now as an adult not much really gets to me because so many people don’t know my story.  As I was tweeting earlier this morning I said, “So many of us know what it’s like to be broken and hurt but not enough of us are talking about it.”  If we all could take some of our energy and focus on the positive outcomes we would see a lot of healing.

I’ve decided on the eve of my 37th birthday to remove the tape that holds my wounds together and move less fragile.  I will share more of my story because no one can tell me how I should feel about how I live.  When you know who you are there is nothing anyone can say to you about what you do.

I was scared of criticism because I know what it’s like to be told that you are too much or not good enough.  People think it’s mean to not care about the opinions of others, but that’s exactly what you have to do to keep your mental focus.

Walking away from people and things that serve you no purpose you is how you grow into your destiny.  Don’t let the “hates” get to you.  Yes it’s hurtful when your character is attacked and you’re misunderstood.  But I have to love me more than anyone and know that everybody will not encourage my dreams.  If we continuously walk around needing and wanting acceptance from others we will always take things personally.

We all have a race to run in life and how we run that race determines our personal victories.  I’m just the messenger.  So, stop caring what others think of you as you create your vision.  No two people want the identical things.

Don’t take it personal…Take the bitter with the sweet.

4 Reasons Teachers Face “Burnout”

The many misconceptions about teaching is that the career field is easy.  I have written about the 9 Reasons Education is Confusing but right I want to tackle a topic that is close to home, “teacher burnout”.  Inside the walls of a school, there are decisions being made that rattle the adults more than the kids and it makes completing your tasks each day extremely difficult.  If you ever wondered why teachers throw in the towel to an easily assumed career, this blog discusses the 4 reasons teachers face “burn out”.

Meetings

Each academic year is started off with a big meeting, “Convocation” in most places where teachers get a pep talk and inspirational thank you’s for their commitment to the school district and profession.  Some teachers are engaged in the long, drawn out meeting, some steal away to the restroom midway through the keynote speaker’s address because the formality of convocation is boring, and new teachers take it all in as an exciting experience.  

Convocation is the first of many meetings to come. At your school all of these committees and teams are formed, in conjunction with content area meetings, district level professional learning and training, staff meetings, grade level meetings and school-wide professional learning; teachers begin to ask when will they have time to work on content that they were hired to teach.  Meetings and micromanagement does not work for teachers that want autonomy of their classroom.

Lack of Support

When problems begin to arise in the school, teachers think back to all of the meetings that have been held about procedures.  There are protocols put in place that tells you how to handle situations.  But when you see that disturbances are handled on a case by case basis and situational depending on the involved parties, there is a breakdown in how teachers feel supported.  When teachers feel that they are not being supported based on what they have been told, more and more teachers walk away from the profession.

Paperwork/Documentation: Teachers and Students

The amount of paperwork that teachers are introduced to makes you wonder what exactly have you signed on to do.  The universal screeners, individual education plans, behavior intervention plans, red tabs, discipline trackers, and parent contact logs must be in place to make sure students are receiving the right services required of teachers.  But if teachers are negligent in their duties, they are tracked by means of code of ethics violations and personnel files that are kept at the school level, that then can be turned over to the local board of education for termination issues.  It is a bit cumbersome to progress monitor behavior issues in a classroom where multiple behavior issues exist, and teachers are drowning in lesson plans and parental contact. One false statement or wrong signature can cause you your livelihood.

Environment

Staying in the same place for too long can be detrimental to one’s mindset and causes lack of motivation to stay in the profession.  Change is good for anyone, and in this generation of students, the complexities that they face in life are far more different than what educators ever imagined.  In at-risk, poverty stricken, low-socioeconomic status populations; homelessness, abuse, death, and previous retention of students consume work environments.  Sometimes students have experienced so much, they come to school as a formality just waiting to turn 16 and dropout.

As an educator this is heartbreaking, and witnessing so much tragedy, and seeing the generations of students diminish in talent and respect, you find yourself wanting to do something new.  Teachers may not be able to control the environment, but they leave it behind in pursuit of something better.

Ironically, a lot of teachers are taking their skills and transferring them to different fields such as writing books and other entrepreneurial endeavors. I myself am working on my third book on the ways to survive teaching your first year as a newbie. I love what I do, but I’m feeling the burn.

~LaTilya Rashon

How I Find Balance With My Work

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I took a chance at something that is changing my life and it has nothing to do with money.  Well it indirectly has something to do with money but here goes.

So here’s the back story.  Back in 2012 I signed on with this lady to become a distributor with a company called It Works!  I was gong ho and I just knew that I was going to make a lot of money with this company at 30 years old because in my mind, “Who doesn’t want to lose weight and get fit?”  I was in for a a rude awakening and with little to no training or mentorship, I was lost, so not even three months after I begin I quit.

I’m generally not a quitter, but I had no idea what I was doing and my “upline” was not helpful.  By this time I focused more on finishing school, I had just moved into my house and I was adjusting to my life as single mom.  Divorce had been finalized in September of 2011, so I was a free woman, but I was scared as hell.

Fast forwarding six years, here I am now, 36 and I’m an It Works! Distributor again but with a FAR BETTER team and support system.  The things that my leaders poor into us to keep us motivated is what I needed in 2012.  All I can think about is how might my life been a little different had I stuck with the company?  But I don’t have time to be concerned about that now, I can only make the best of everything I’m currently doing?

But to keep myself organized and not overworked I have implemented a “Pearl List”.  The FIVE things I must do daily in order to reach my goals.

  1. Self-Development:  It is so important to have my time alone with God and communicate with him the desires of my heart.  Reading devotionals and praying keeps me grounded because I know that everything happens is his timing and not mine.  I cannot be selfish in my efforts.  Through praying and affirmations I know that there is a time and place for everything, so I’m running my own race, keeping God first and being realistic about my success.
  2. Messaging:  In network marketing I contact anywhere from 30-50 people daily or I at least try to.  I follow up with potential customers that have interacted with me on social media to gauge their interest and open up the lines of communication.  I will be met with some no’s and disinterest, and I understand that I may even be blocked or ignored.  But that does not deter me because failure is a display that I am trying.  People are paying attention and pretty soon that NO will turn into a YES.  I’m very OPTIMISTIC.
  3. Intentional Posting:  I try to start my day off with inspiration and affirmation.  I know that no one is going to believe in me more that me and even though I have support from others, I have to be PUMPED every single day to handle ALL of my tasks at hand—school, business, and personal. I share opportunities to try any of my 40+ plant-based products and even showcase the blessing of being able to work from home when I feel like it.  I grasp the concept that what ever I put into my business, with God’s blessings it will be returned to me.  I intend to reap what I sow. And lastly, my children are my why and my push.  So I always talk about the highlights of my life and my children because they keep me grounded.  I’m a business woman, but I VERY grounded.
  4. Networks:  I try to keep my content reel in my Facebook (@LaTilyaWilliams and @tilyarealeyes) updated because sometimes people just like simple pictures, quick stories, questions, and polls.  I can’t lie…my stories be LIT!!!! I do the same for my IG (@docwilliams81 and @tilyarealeyes).  I know, I know 4 accounts…absolutely and once you visit them all you’ll understand why.  I’m also trying to figure out Captivate…so pray for me saints…LOL!
  5. Expand:  I will send a friend request with the quickness.  I can’t lie though I was apprehensive at first but with the guidance of my business mentor, she said, “Add them, expand your network because that give you more exposure”.  She was right and as my numbers continue to grow I am excited about the things that are to come.

I have labeled this time in my life as my season of yes because I feel really good about what’s going with my blogs, book projects, and business.  I am relying on…

  • my experiences because I’m willing to share my missteps and what works for me
  • my patience because I’ve learned that hastened moves and immediacy can ruin me when not well thought out
  • my ability to model and be an example so that people see that I am reliable and can be trusted.

I leaped back into the business and the good in my life is being returned to me.  I have heard and will continue to say since I heard this… Your season has nothing to do with a set day, time, or age.  When it is your time the opportunity will knock.  Ready or not you have to decide to trust his will or your own.

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Passive Income and Business Sense

It has taken me a while to get this post out but I’ve been playing with the words in my head until it all came somewhat together.

The road that I travel as a single, mother of two, educated, teacher, self-published author and entrepreneur is not easy.  Some days I just want to say I’ll work my job for 30 years then retire and halt all of my creative ideas.

One morning I woke up with tears pouring from eyes and the overwhelming feeling of LIFE consuming me. It put things into perspective and I said to myself, “I have to get my business in order”, because calling into work while dealing with a family crisis is not my idea of a good start.

I need more clarity and while I watch, study, and YouTube other entrepreneurs and take in the tidbits they have to offer, I am reminded that this is not a race.  I have to create, discover, and discuss in my own lane and too often as a creative there is a certain amount of pressure to always deliver.

I speak a lot of times on my business in my mini-blogs on my IG (@tilyarealeyes) and FB (LaTilya Williams) but I don’t get into a lot of detail about what my business entails. Maybe I should!

As far as passive income goes while reading I have decided that I want to work on that in the months to come especially since one of the top passive income ideas is books.  But what exactly is passive income? My passive income would be considered my book because I get paid repeatedly for work that I completed once.  I push my book My Fourth Year in Middle School: My Fourth Year in Middle School to the point of feeling exhausted.  Although the concept of my book is good, I can admit that my marketing behind my book is/was lacking.  I now must go back into that book and pull out my content because next June is going to be really BIG for me. I’ll announce that later.

Passive income in affiliate market skipped me and that is something that I just don’t get and can’t quite get a hold of.  So I won’t talk anymore about something that I don’t get.  But I can say that once I invested in myself and got into network marking, that has fundamentally been the best thing popping.  LOL!  A failed attempt at drop shipping let me know that that business was not for me but I have yet to give up on my multiple streams.

Creating an online course as passive income stays on my frontal, but now being back in school I just feel that I don’t have enough time to focus on the type of class that I want to create.  Lets just be real, the idea is for me to earn an income while I sleep, so I’m not rushing my process.  I’m taking everything in and relying on my common sense to lead when it comes to my business.

I read a quote that said, “Everybody is so busy posting their wins instead of their failures.”  I find that sad because social media has us thinking that everything creatives produce is a win straight out the gate.  I have since realized that my plate is full and everything sincerely and truly takes times.

I will continue to cultivate my passive income ideas…writing services, books, and network marketing.  I will continue to feed my frenzy to try something different.  I will keep believing in myself and everything that I set out to accomplish.  I won’t ever stop designing a life that I want to live because at the end of the day I don’t want to leave this earth thinking about all of the things that I should have done.

I have since learned that I have to build up to my next title and create a buzz EARLY!  I have to be smarter in this department this go around so that I can capitalize more on my message.  Stay tuned, for that writing is underway.

So as I prepare for these next steps in my career, life, and journey I am so excited.  I never thought about my writing as passive income but this next book, 12 Ways to Survive Teaching is sure to ignite souls and have you look at teaching from a humorous perspective.

The reality is I want to be good at everything. I don’t just want to be a book you read once then place on the shelf. I don’t want to be name only mentioned here and there, I want to be a guru if you will in my own right. I never thought about the power of passive income until I began to do my research. Now I must be a smarter business woman. It is truly all coming together and I feel it.

I took the leap before I was ready and now I must overdeliver. I have a timeline and I will excute!

Feeling Renewed in Business, Career, and Love

July became my month of yes and I took a huge leap into something that I was not sure I was ready for.  The internet is full of copycat ideas and recycled presentations so I’m sticking with what I know…I’mma just DO ME!

When I log into my social media and I see ads for “FREE” this and “FREE” that I’m slightly intrigued.  I click, I enroll, I listen, then I receive countless emails.  There are a few people that I pay close attention to because they consistently push the message of authenticity.  So I’ll continue to be authentic and transparent in my approach because that’s all that I know how to do.

I had to gather my thoughts for this post because I have taken a lot in over these few weeks for summer break and I just wanted to be clear in what I was saying before I posted my thoughts about anything.

Business|I was obsessing about book ideas and then I was struck with one that I cannot abandon.  I find it ironic that as fictitious characters speak to authors, my real life thought processes urge me to write in that discipline…EXPERIENCES from my classroom mixed with life lessons.  Sure other educational experts focus on the needs of our students but I like the approach I’m taking with my writing.  I’m focusing on ways to help teachers because honestly so many times in my career I felt alone and misunderstood.

img_5542So I’m turning that around to pour into my writing and helping other teachers as well on their academic journeys.  Once I got my services in order I began to see how I help more teachers than others would have probably thought possible when I first began teaching.  I had to BOSS UP just a little bit and be unafraid.  For every one thing about me that was misunderstood, I’ve taken back control of my business and writing and I’m pushing the envelope.

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I’ve stepped into my purpose and I knew that things would take time.  I have even tapped into my entrepreneurial spirit and realized that in order to live the life that I want to live, I must pave my path and create in my own lane.  Books and business are only the beginning and I’m staying the course because I have two precious boys (no matter how badly they drive me crazy) that are paying attention to my every move.

Career|This summer went by in a flash.  It seems like we were just getting out in May, and we return tomorrow.  I had the wonderful experience of attending the Model Schools Conference in June.  I felt inspired to keep writing in my discipline of teacher mentorship and set a personal goal that I will be speaking at the conference in June 2020!  I have to speak things into existence because I feel strongly about these next few years of teaching.  Putting things into perspective, my oldest is going to be a Freshman in high school, and my baby boy is going to 7th grade.  Entering my 11th year in the classroom, my career clock is ticking and I’m feeling like I just might be done anywhere between the next three to six years.

See I’m 3 1/2 years from 40 and with my new business venture (started my own health and wellness business) I’d like to create wealth in that, continue to write, speak~guest speak~facilitate~or host workshops in the future.  I’m not a radical voice, but I’m dedicated to newer teachers because experience has taught me.  Entering the field of education is political, but new teachers and I mean those that have been in the classroom less than three years need SUPPORT.  I know I did which is why I wrote my first book.img_5177

I have been asked about leadership and if I have thought about transitioning into that level and to be honest…NO!  After being passed over to become an academic coach because the other candidate “looked better on paper” I realized that maybe it was not for me.  I was not deterred, but like I told another administrator, “You never know what someone is capable of doing until they are given the opportunity to show their leadership skills.”  My candor is a gift and a curse and I am not compromising that for anyone.  I’ll practice my delivery, but the reality is that people hear what they want to hear.  When you think outside of the box like I do most of the time, you will face rejection and scrutiny from some, but encouragement and support from others.

In teaching I have had to adjust and not let my feelings be stronger than my mind.  I’m not saying that I’m unemotional, I’ve just learned how to manage my feelings better while teaching.  In a roundabout way, I’m desensitized and situations that would get me upset before, really don’t now going into this 11th year.  The only thing I don’t take kindly to is anyone discrediting my teaching and attacking my career.  That’s a big NO-NO in my book.  But I’ve realized people don’t like my style because of how I disturb their approach.  What happens in my classroom is just that!  I’m in control of my content!

LOVE|I have not ventured into this topic in a while and it was with GREAT intention not too.  And it’s not because I’ve been unhappy in love, I was just on hiatus from dating and putting all of my eggs in one basket.  See I dated an older guy for a while.  He was GOOD to me but he had some extra baggage that held him back from dating/getting to know someone/trusting ONE woman exclusively.  He started off saying I’m only interested in getting to know you, then ALL of that changed.  We began to see each other less frequently and it was hard at first because we SPENT a lot of time together initially.  He’s still a decent guy but we are just FRIENDS and we both are okay with that…NO PRESSURE!

When I walked away from that, not exactly a clean walk away, but when I took a step back to focus on BETTERING ME and my VIBRATIONAL PATTERN, I saw the beauty is organic chemistry.  There are familiar strangers all around, and you’d be surprised at who would treat you right if ever given the opportunity.  People make a big deal about commitment and dating to the point of it being exhausting.  I for a fact don’t look at each person I date as marriage material.  I mean after a couple of dates you know if you want to be around someone and enjoy their company without the complications… I NEVER have been nor will I EVER be the, “So what are we doing girl?” LOL…

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Then I met HIM and all of that has changed.  Solidifying the FRIENDSHIP!  I’m renewed in LOVE because I’ve always believed in the possibility of genuine and organic connections.  Hmmm…when BAE said, “I pray for you, and I pray for US.”  That changed the trajectory of EVERYTHING.

I’m fully aware that my business, career, and love won’t look like anyone else’s; I’m okay with that.  I’m staying true to what I know and believe.  So what is for me, is for me!

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When Work Is B.A.E.

LaTilya Rashon presents

(Click the link)

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Business, Approach and Entrepreneurship (B.A.E.) is a networking community established to connect business minded individuals and entrepreneurs dedicated to growing their businesses and expanding their brands.

I have been scouring the internet for years trying to “niche down”, be consistent, following the rules up to the point of coming up empty.  Business is not one size fit all and the words “there is a lot a bad information out there” haunt me everyday.  Anyone who knows me, know that I am a perfectionist about certain aspects of my life and right now my peace, business and career, MY SONS are a given, and #MYHEART are utmost priority.

All of the roads have lead me to creating a network and building this platform.  B.A.E. has a lot of meanings and ultimately Before Anything Else everyone on board with cultivating this community is concerned with their business model, approach to business and growing as an entrepreneur.  When the idea hit, it shook my inner being because for six months I wondered what the shift was going to be?  I wondered what my greater calling was?  When I began to focus on reshaping the look of my business, I knew that I would have to take bold steps.

In creating this network community I composed three concepts to be the guiding light for contributing entrepreneurs…
1. SUPPORTIVE atmosphere to grow ideas centered around business.
2. ENCOURAGEMENT to not be afraid and take risks to become more impactful.
3. COMMUNITY to give valuable feedback and that extra push while accomplishing your business goals.

Business: We all have the innate ability to be good at what we pursue with passion.  Our lives were already designed and created for us when we were conceived, but when we align our thoughts with good, those abilities begin to shine. One of the hardest things to overcome in any type of business is fear.  Doubt is so paralyzing that one wrong move, one bad review, or lack of gauging interest causes so many people to abandon their dreams.  That is why B.A.E. is so important to the entrepreneurs I know.  Most of us have had to work hard for what we have but now we want our own levels of success.  Success that trademarks a legacy for those we will someday leave behind. We are the mouthpieces for our businesses.  There is a demand for the services many entrepreneurs bring to the table, and this network will serve as a business incubator for local, urban business owners (Read Getting Started With Business Incubators).

Approach: How you approach your business will show in your product. I know business equates to numbers for a lot of people and capitalizing on your skills and talent is ideal when you’re immersed in doing what you love.

Which approach is best for your business? (Read 3 Approaches to Strategy)

  • Emergent strategy is best for small groups that are willing and able to absorbs and make decisions about new information quickly and resist restrictions on what information is most valuable.
  • Lean strategy is best for small groups who like to work quickly but systematicallyand are willing to take the risks necessary to gain information through experimentation.
  • Deliberate strategy is best for large organizations for whom responsiveness is organizationally difficult. However, the more these organizations adopt the faster tempo of Lean and Emergent strategy, they more they will be able to take advantages of unexpected opportunities and avoid the harms of unseen risks.

Entrepreneurship: When I read the words, “There is a lot of bad information being shared”, even though it was a part of a social media ad and the person was trying to gain interest to turn into a product being sold, those words were TRUE!  The way I see it, A LOT of these EXPERTS recycle information, put their own twist on it and try to make it sound more signature and connected to their voice.  Essentially, that’s what all of us are doing.  However, my business goals are centered around writing and creating good content, and now coaching others through the process because I have had to learn through trial an error.  I’m a teacher by day in a traditional classroom, but now I want to branch out and teach others how to face their fears because that is something I battle daily but I don’t quit.  I’m no expert, but I know what I know!  In this community of authors, teachers, entrepreneurs, merchandisers, writers (ME!!!!!), and CREATIVES we are going to flip the script on business, networking, and branding.

We will ALL rise to the top through clarity, consistency, and execution.

B.A.E. is a business incubator.

B.A.E. is a movement!

Join the network!

Work is B.A.E.!

NOW WATCH US WORK!

 

Figuring This All Out: Brand, Business, and Marketing

One of the realest things I read so far on this road to entrepreneurship is that THERE IS A LOT OF BAD INFORMATION OUT THERE!

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Now one would think that with 10 years of traditional classroom teaching, six years of active duty military service, and six degrees (2 associates, B.A., MPA, Ed.S. and an Ed.D.), I should be where I want to be. Wrong…Wrong…Wrong! I’m trying to crack the self-publishing market and offer a message to aspiring and new teachers (THAT IS MY PURPOSE—To Inspire!)

When I initially wrote my first book, My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching, I was and still am completely behind on not doing enough to properly market my book to get it into the hands of the people that I feel could benefit from it the most.

I would attribute writing this book to being just like the formative years of education because in my first three years I learned A LOT.   Mostly through trial and error and faulty circumstances.  But in those first years I found my purpose and knew that I have a lot to offer as an educator.  As an individual.  As a person who is not afraid to make mistakes and take a risk.

Since the release of my book in July 2016, I still want to do more with it.  I am almost desperate to do more with it because I know that there is some really good information embedded inside to keep teachers motivated.  Now I’ll be honest, I have definitely taken some heat for my book but this was about some real stuff that I experienced as a new teacher.  Much like my recollection of a having a teacher tell me I’d never be successful; I never wanted a child to feel that way about themselves in my classroom. I do not want new teachers feeling left out and ostracized unnecessarily… even with the good support of my mentor teacher, I felt alone when I started teaching.  So I ask myself, was I supposed to paint a pretty picture of the people that were hard on me or was I supposed to tell my TRUTH.

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MY BOOK AT A GLANCE

Year One: This was the toughest year ever and I remember feeling like I was being tested to see if I could really hang in there with my high poverty stricken kids.  But the thing about the students is that once I won them over, they were not the problem.  IT WAS THE ADULTS.  I cried a lot that first year because I felt like I was failing miserably at teaching.  During pre-planning I had been whispered about because of a skirt that I thought was appropriate, but clearly it wasn’t.  I felt so embarrassed by my assets…the skirt was long but that wasn’t the problem.  I was body shamed before body shaming was a thing.

Dealing With Divorce: My first marriage fell apart during my second year of teaching.  I was holding on by a thread.  I had had a huge fight with my husband, got a mugshot for bursting out his truck window, separation, and watching the security I once felt in my marriage be shattered.  All of this was going on while my boys were toddlers (Lil Phil-5, Preston-3). I was home alone with my two boys, cooking for them, dropping them off at daycare, working my full-time teaching job—stressing and wondering when my husband was going to come back home.  HE DIDN’T! The divorce was finalized September, 2011!

Is This Really Happening: So many things happened to me in a few short years that I am blown away at the fact that I’m still in the classroom.  I admit my very first administrator was hands down the bomb.  She had very high expectations and as a new teacher  I had no choice but to meet them.  I’m extremely proud of my results after my first year of standardized testing…I can boast that 97% of my students passed the Criterion Referenced Competency  Test (Phased out CRCT).  But I dealt with a different administrator my 3rd, 4th, and 5th years of teaching that was so passive, it was difficult to feel productive under his leadership.  I dealt with my car being stolen from the school campus my 5th year and instead of being sympathetic his reaction was, “It was a simple repossession.”  That made my blood boil, and I knew it was time to GO!

A Different Perspective: Transferring to a different school was what I thought I needed and while I was yet again able to foster relationships with my students…I also had to deal with adults.  I will say that I am brash and unfiltered at times, but I’m committed to my stance on things, and that doesn’t make me wrong; it makes me passionate about my kids.  I respect other people’s opinions, but I think I have run into others not really respecting mine.  In my ten short years, I have dealt with court cases with my now second ex-husband in 2014, the murder of my half-brother in 2015, middle of the year moves from one content/classroom to another in 2016, and truly feeling undervalued for my experience and knowledge. In a one on one conversation about leadership I once told an administrator, “Your perspective is skewed by what you think you know about me.  Until you see me or in action, you have no idea what I’m capable of.  I take my content very seriously.  I’m not changing!  But you’d have to talk to me to know that.”

Even through all of that I have experienced, the nonconstructive criticisms, and being told I’m not qualified or experienced enough to be an academic coach I still forge ahead.  I’ve also been told I’m “social media heavy”, whatever that means.  I mean, is this the wave?!?!?  Criticize others for the moves they are making because you are not making them yourself?!?!?

Yes my career is teaching but my vision is much bigger than being in a classroom forever.  I refuse to be one dimensional.  Just as I heard today…not everyone wants you to be successful.  I’m building my platform one blog, discussion, experience, post, and video at a time.  I am not a traditional teacher…I have a bit of an edge about me and I’m not afraid to share my experiences.

As I’m figuring this all out I know that the LaTilya Rashon brand and PSB2 Publishing  will rise as I coach myself through the necessities.

To learn more about my self-published titles please check me out here.  Be sure to connect with me on social media.

Be sure to share and leave a comment.  Thanks for reading.cropped-20170110_153240-e14840823819536.png