The Talented Others podcast: Episode Four

This episode features VP, Director of Recruiting at Weber Shandwick, Rebecca L. Sanders. Rebecca points out the pitfalls of having to navigate a corporate environment as someone who looks different than everyone else, and gives tips on how to succeed in spite of that. Learn how this former account exec, now tackles the issues of diversity and inclusion, as a high powered recruiter.

The Talented Others podcast: Episode Three

This episode features Seng Rimpakone, a former agency producer who has carved out an impressive career as a freelancer. Born in Laos, Seng's journey into advertising was long and arduous, but extremely fulfilling. Listen to her unique perspectives about tackling the industry as a woman, and the battles she fights each day to make advertising better.

The Talented Others podcast: Episode Two

This episode features Sergio Rodriguez, Executive Creative Director for Imagen TMA. Learn about Sergio's path into advertising — how he discovered his talents, sharpened his creative chops and journeyed to the U.S. from Puerto Rico. Sit back and discover how mastering two languages and cultures, are only a few of the challenges Sergio overcame to carve out a successful career in the ad industry.

The Talented Others podcast: Episode One

Introducing the first episode of my podcast "Talented Others", a podcast aimed at shedding light on minorities in the advertising industry. This episode features John V. Seaton, an Executive Producer who entered advertising in the late 70's. Learn how he journeyed from picking cotton in the rural Jim Crow South, to thriving in an industry where few Black men had thrived before. From memorable Superbowl commercials to countless awards, we'll revisit the moments that make John, an advertising trailblazer.

Brothaly Advice, To Sistas

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"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm surrounded by women, young, old, single, divorced, happy, bitter. They all have something in common. None of them have a significant romantic relationship in their lives, nor do they seem to have the slightest inkling of how to achieve and maintain one. These women meet men all the time and rarely get excited about them. Yet, when excitement does find their heart, a rush of over zealous emotions and actions lead to a relationship built on intimacy not interest. What these beautiful, intelligent women end up with is an on again off again lover rather than a soul mate, or the speed with which they want to move pushes their potential Mr. Right, right out the door. So how do these ladies deal with the aftermath? They go through phases of really casual relationships, followed by bouts of celibacy. They read books, join churches, write, become very goal oriented and focus on themselves. But deep down, that need to find a life partner, to really know love and even to start a family of their own, never diminishes. 

There is no blueprint for love. However, I've seen enough sistas make the wrong moves so often that I think it's time I shared a little advice and shed a little light on the situation. I'm going to offer a few tips that won't guarantee love, but will definitely put you on the path to finding something new, if not significant. Mind you, there are exceptions to every rule, but if you play by these rules, you'll significantly increase your success rate. 

1) NEVER DATE STRANGERS

Never ever date strangers. I don't care how great they seem or how good they look, do yourself a favor, don't do it. Here's the thing about a stranger, all you know about him is what he tells you. That's putting a huge amount of trust into someone for absolutely no reason. Trust is not a starting point, it's a destination. The minute you start dating a stranger, you make trust a starting point, thus setting yourself up to be lied to. Here is a simple dating rule. Only date people you know OR people who come with a reference. This gives you the advantage. By knowing the person, or knowing someone who knows the person you're dating, it gives you the opportunity to gather more information about the person than they may even be ready to reveal. It gives you the chance to think about all the things you've experienced with this person, or heard about them. Now you have a knowledge base to begin from. It also helps if the person you're dating has to be accountable of his actions to someone besides you. This is the beauty of meeting people through your friends. Common friends create a situation where, the person can't just treat you any ole kind of way. Treating you bad could affect not only what you think of them, but what his friends think of them as well. Also, it helps the vetting process. If people you respect, can recommend someone they respect, all this mutual respect will drift over into your potential relationship. Once again, it doesn't guarantee love, but it will alleviate wasted time with someone absolutely wrong for you. 

Also, if you want to increase your dating pool, don't go out and meet more men. Go out and meet more women with male friends. Your female friends make the perfect buffer between you and what's out there. 

2) EMBRACE PATIENCE

Your friends are married and have houses, and kids. So the f*ck what! Excuse my French, but trying to "keep up with the Jones's" is a perfect recipe for disaster. Life and the changes life brings comes to us in due time. So don't go throwing all your standards and expectations out the window in a rush to find any ole man. 

You know that man showing you some interest. Well, I'm not sure if he's Mr. Right or Mr. Wrong. But one thing I am definitely sure of, he wants to tap that ass! And that's all he will want UNLESS you give him a reason to want more with you. Men are very skeptical of things that come too easy to them. Let me repeat this. MEN ARE VERY SKEPTICAL OF THINGS THAT COME TOO EASY TO THEM. So if you really want him to stick around, take your time to REALLY get to know him, and allow him to really get to know you before you start giving way too much of yourself. 

As men, all our lives we have been told that women fit into two categories. The ones you just sleep with and the ones who are worthy of relationships and commitments. Terrible lesson, yet this is the lesson we've been given. Very promiscuous women often find themselves surrounded by male attention, yet that kind of attention is rarely long term. As we get older and people get more in touch with their sexuality, the lines between the ones you marry and the ones you sleep with blur. However, what doesn't blur is the reality that a man must have a certain amount of respect for you and who you are to maintain a loving relationship with you. Often times a woman meets a man and quickly starts sleeping with him, cooking for him, and in many ways taking good care of him, yet he won't commit. You know the old adage, if you can get the milk for free, then why buy the cow? It's true. So if you want to go giving away unearned milk, cool. Just know if you're doing it, it's not necessarily the way to a substantive relationship.

Learn to show yourself the same level of patience you have given so many bad relationships. Take your time with yourself. Be forgiving of your mistakes. Put no time constraints on your happiness and well being. And when you do find a spark with someone, resist the urge to let your mind go zooming past the second date down the aisle towards the preacher. Desperate thoughts lead to desperate actions. Sure, the ticking clock is real. But at a certain point all you can do is put yourself in the best possible situation to embrace love. What you can't do is make love embrace you back.

3) KNOW YOUR POWER

Women, you have no idea just how much power you have. From here on out, know this if you don't know anything, you are worth a million dollars to someone. So act the part.

a) Never chase a man. Remember, you're worth a million bucks, what man wouldn't chase after a million bucks? Initially, if he wants to see you, let him come to you. The minute you put yourself in a situation where you are running behind him, chasing him down, flying to see him, driving to his place at his whim when he hasn't even shown you he's willing to do the same for you--in his eyes, your value diminishes.

b) Invest wisely. Every relationship, no matter how deep or casual is an investment, an investment of you. What defines a good investment is the returns you see on that investment. If you make a small investment of yourself and you see small returns, that's considered a conservative investment. But if you start making risky investments, mind, body, soul, and the only returns are pain and heartache, that's a great way to become emotionally bankrupt. If you value your worth, and understand your power, always invest conservatively. Take your time and learn all about what you're investing in. See how risky or stable of an investment it is before you go investing more and more of yourself. 

c) Be specific. Not only are you powerful, the power of words is real. You all have standards, and beyond that, you all know what you want. Yet when you go speaking to the universe, you make really general statements like, "I just want a good man." And bam, you meet a good man. He just happens to be a good man with bad credit and four kids. See, the universe gave you exactly what you asked for, but you weren't specific. So become more specific. Also, know what you REALLY want. Don't say, "I want a handsome man", when you really want a man who won't cheat on you. The universe is listening to your thoughts and your words. Embrace your power, and speak into existence your reality.

4) BE HAPPY

Your happiness is not dependent on a romantic relationship. Focus all your energy on being a happy well rounded person. Happy energy resonates with people and is one of the most magnetic forces on Earth. We all want to be around people who seem like they are carefree and enjoying life, not those drowning in misery. Our worlds get really small when we only focus on our personal problems. When we focus on our blessings and the potential of what's to come, our worlds suddenly seem enormous and very exciting. The best chance you'll ever have of being happy WITH someone, is by first learning how to be happy alone.

Good luck sistas. One luv.

sidenote: Quit taking advice from your bitter female friends. Find an objective male confidant you trust, who isn't trying to date you and take your men issues to him.

 

Whus-fa-dinnuh

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As a kid growing up, what we had for dinner was more than food. It told a story. It gave deep insights about the state of the household. After a while, it became so predictable that just by smelling what we were having for dinner, you knew whether times were good, bad, whether new money was coming in the door, or even if someone in the family had just died. Each meal articulated something very specific and even as a young kid, I quickly learned to decipher the language of our household meals.

BAKED HAM - My folks weren't big ham eaters. So if you smelled ham, somebody was dead, straight up! What followed was an impromtu haircut, a lot of cleaning up and tons of phone calls to the house. We were either about to have a lot of company or go to someone's house who already did. We had a few deaths in the family as a kid and the smell that sticks out to me is ham with pineapples and cheap beers.

BREAKFAST FOR DINNER - Breakfast for dinner meant there were absolutely ZERO groceries in the house. You know that sad sight of opening up the fridge and seeing the back of that mofo. We all know it! So to play it off, my moms would fry some eggs and bologna, bake some biscuits and it would be on. We'd all sit down to the table, passing the jelly for our biscuits, as we washed it down with Pepsi.

SUNDAY DINNER - Sunday dinner was the shit. But the cool thing about it at my house was, it wasn't only served on Sunday. Any time my mother was off from work, I can remember walking home from school and time we stepped onto our street, we could smell the aroma just oozing out the house. My moms got down on her off days. You could smell fried chicken, candied yams, macaroni and cheese, collard greans and all kind of other goodies in the air. If you smelled a Sunday dinner and it wasn't Sunday, my mother was really relaxed, which translated into her going way over the top to please the family.

SUNDAY DINNER ON FRIDAY - A Sunday dinner on Friday meant important guests were coming in from out of town. Either our grandparents or someone they were trying to show off for.

MICKEY D's - At my crib, McDonalds was reward food. I hated going to the doctors as a kid and since I had asthma real bad when I was younger, that was all the damn time. Mickey D's came after a visit to the doctor's or dentist's office. You leave the doctor's office mad, lips poked out, arm sore from the shot dude just gave you and fifteen minutes later, you had a shit eating grin on your face as you stuffed a cheeseburger down your throat followed by the cold chaser that was always orange drink!

CHILLI AND HOT DOGS - Chilli and hot dogs meant the first cold Saturday of the winter had arrived. We usually ate off it two to three days.

SALMON CROQUETS - This was one of my favorite meals, but my old man hated it! So if you smelled salmon croquettes, with white rice and gravy, the old man was out of town on business. It also meant I got the lion's share of the dinner. This meal made me feel like a man. So what I was eight. I'd even slide over into his chair to complete the effect!

BAKED BEANS & HOT DOGS - If I smelled this shit, moms was out of town and pops was cooking. To this day, my old man is no chef. In fact, besides some really bad scrambled eggs, this is the only meal I ever saw him cook up as a kid. Sometimes my mother would go out of town for a funeral or something and the rest of us would stay home. Each time, my sister and myself were fed large plates of my old man's specialty. Oh yeah, he had the nerve to serve it up with Ritz crackers on the side – like it went together or something. We always complained when he cooked it, but I secretly didn't mind the taste at all.

SPAGHETTI OR LASAGNA - This was my mother's way of saying "I will not be cooking for the next three or four days, so eat up." My mother made the biggest pots of spaghetti and the biggest pans of lasagna. We'd eat on it forever and never got mad about it cause it was so good.

VIENNA SAUSAGES, POTTED MEAT, & SPAM - Believe it or not, there was a time in my childhood when I cheered when this stuff was served up. If you could get past that nasty ass yellowish meat jelly that hung over the meat like a dark cloud, it was smooth sailing. My folks pushed this on us when they had to go out and they didn'ty want us messing with the stove. So it was a big box of Premium white crackers and all the canned meat we could eat.

PINTO BEANS & RICE - My pops is a Souther dude who doesn't give a damn about meat, but he loves beans. So this meal meant my old man had to go out of town on business for a while. So moms usually blessed him with one of his favorites.

NECK BONES & BUTTER BEANS - This one meant my old man was just getting back in town from a business trip and moms wanted to greet him right. If you've never had the pleasure of sucking on a neckbone, consider yourself lucky. It's all kind of weird juice and white stuff that comes out of them bones. At the time it was good. (Now you can understand why I didn't eat pork for fifteen years.)

CUBE STEAK & BAKED POTATOES - This was our "let's celebrate" meal. It usually meant some new money had come into the house. A promotion or something like that. We always ate a salad with it. And this was one of the few times we ever had desert with our meal. My folks didn't do dessert. Dessert for us was usually Jello with fruit cut up in it. But when we had cube steak and potatoes, there was usually an apple pie sitting on the stove to go with it.

Q-KING - Back home in St. Louis, there used to be this spot on Kingshighway called BBQ KING. Man it was good. My barber shop was in the vicinity, so after I got my shag trimmed up and lined, (yeah fool, I had a shag growing up, like 82-83) my pops would stop at a pay phone to get my mother and sister's order and it was always right over to Q-KING's. My favorite was the hot link sandwhich with that white ass Wonder bread with barbeque sauce poured over it until it just melted in your mouth.

PIZZA - If we were eating pizza at my house, throw some confetti in the air and pop open a grape soda, IT'S PAY DAY. Each pay day like clock work, we ate pizza. In other words, every other friday we were eating pizza. Sometimes we ordered it, sometimes we went out to get it. But the mood was always vibrant and happy when pizza was served up.

FRIED BOLOGNA OR GRILLED CHEESE - I grew up in a house where food was always plentiful. So when we started eating too many grilled cheese sandwhiches or fried bologna and crackers back to back, you kinda knew, somebody must be broke.

FEND FO' YA'SELF - Fend for yourself was my mother's "pissed at the world" meal. This was served when my mom, an overworked school teacher, got home tired as hell and me and my sister had messed the house up real bad. The demand was simple, "clean up the damn house and fend fo' ya'self". If pops was in town, he'd bail us out with White Castles. If he was out on work, we usually ate cereal and always got in trouble later for "eating up all the breakfast food". Oh well, you gotta eat.

So there it is. And I know I'm not the only one. I'm sure the food served up at your crib as a child held hidden messages too. And if you think back hard enough, you might even remember a few. Part two coming soon. One luv.