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

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.

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!

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.