TEDx Detroit: Insightful AF

“I’m rooting for everybody black” ~ Issa Rae

As a long-time follower of TED Talks via YouTube, I was very excited to attend my first TEDx event in my hometown, Detroit! For those of you that don’t know, TEDx is a locally curated version of TED Talks; and local entrepreneurs come and share their ideas, or their atypical paths to success. Based on the individuals selected to share, the consideration given to diversity was very clear.  No two speakers or performances were alike, and the organization and execution was flawless. It was the first time in a while, that I’d gone to a conference and had been fully engaged the entire time!

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My name tag, and Shinola Journal (for note-taking).

Needless to say, there were a lot valuable takeaways, and in true Corporate Momming fashion, I’m here to share! There were sooooo many jewels dropped.  However, here are my top 10:

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The Empowerment Luncheon Outbreak

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Photo by Ezekixl Akinnewu on Pexels.com

This past Saturday, I sat on a panel for a Motherhood related event. Leading up to the event, I had contemplated sitting out because I don’t truly believe that I am in a place to be put on a pedestal, when it comes to having it all together.  I accomplished somethings in my life and in my career, but I have soooooo much more growth ahead of me, and honestly, I’m still asking people to be my mentor. Needless to say, I went through with the event because I gave my word, and I didn’t want to back out. It went well, and I think there was some valuable information and networking that took place.

In the spirit of transparency, I don’t really love these type of events and I will say why. Many times they last two or three hours and in that short time, someone shares their story of how they got their business of the ground, how they became an influencer, or there’s some “link-up” of girl bosses. You do leave feeling empowered, but by the time the next week has rolled around, no real action or followup takes place to ensure you’re on the path to “success” (however you define it) for yourself.  I further think there is a current trend or wave of these types of events, and I sometimes question the credibility or the experience of those involved.

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Queen of “The Side Hustle”

Queen of “The Side Hustle”

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I knew that I didn’t want my side hustle to stay a side hustle…

If you’ve ever thought about starting a business, side hustles (jobs) are a great way to build and develop your ideas, while maintaining a steady income. Side hustles give you the opportunity to start small, as you learn and work your way up.   They are also a way to bring in additional income, and to just pursue multiple things you’re passionate about. The nice thing about side hustles is, you can commit as much or as little as you chose to, and there is a ton of flexibility involved.

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Networking for Introverts

…the more I did it, the easier it got…

woman wears beige suit hand shaking man wear suit
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We always hear the saying “your network determines your net worth”, but what about those who are afraid or shy away from approaching unfamiliar faces.  Believe it or not, I get really awkward (in my opinion) when it’s time for me to speak to someone about what I do. I wouldn’t consider myself an introvert per say.  However, I have always struggled with “small talk”. I’m fairly reserved and if i could have my way, I’d prefer to people watch.

My first experience with networking came early on in my career, in public accounting. We would have after work mixers, and team building outings that forced us to meet new faces.  Initially, I would go off in a corner or stick with familiar faces, to avoid having to talk to new people.  It wasn’t until I became a business owner that I had to force myself to actually talk to people.  The one thing I will say is, the more I did it, the easier it got.

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Who Runs the World? Serena!

Who Runs the World? Serena!

Intended to be a celebration of a 24th Grand Slam title, and a much-publicized comeback after the birth of her daughter, Serena Williams dominated the US Open final.  This time she did not leave with the Championship title, but she did something much bigger! Serena took a stand against sexism, after being wrongfully accused of a coaching violation.

I watched the video as Serena was nearly brought to tears, defending herself  and claiming, “Every time I play here, I have problems!” Serena went back and forth with the umpire, telling him that he owed her an apology and that she’d never cheat! She further went on to talk about how men had done much worse (than call the umpire a thief) and were not penalized at all.  She didn’t back down, even after the referee didn’t agree with her, she stood her ground against what she believed was right, saying “I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose.” Overshadowing the win of 20 year-old Naomi Osaka, Serena did what many women are often afraid to do – take a stand!

I was moved emotionally because it made me think a lot about being a woman, a black woman, and how are emotions are so often misconstrued.  It also brought to the forefront, the double standard where women who are emotional are viewed as weak, or uncontrolled, but an emotional man is considered outspoken and his actions are often overlooked.  Why is this? In an earlier blog, I discussed my experiences with how expressing oneself as black woman is viewed in the workplace.

Finally, I was most moved by Serena explaining to the umpire that she would never cheat, as she had a daughter!  It made me ask myself if and how I take a stand for my child.  How do I as a mother, stand up in a way that gives light to integrity and great character overall? Surely, it’s not by teaching her that she can’t be emotional, nor is it showing her that winning is worth her integrity. As moms, our actions are worth some extra thought and consideration. Not only must we uphold ourselves to be full of integrity, but we must teach out children that character comes before competition.

 

In the book, “The Conscious Parent”, one point Dr. Shelfali Tsabary makes is that we often think of parenthood as a hierarchical role, where we are above our children, because we created them.  He further stresses, that once we lose the idea that we are above our children, it is then that we understand that parenthood is the opportunity to learn from our children as they learn from us.  We are given the opportunity to be better based on what we learn from role as a parent, and the child is made better from what we teach them.

In Serena’s case, her acknowledgement of how her behavior could impact her daughter made me further understand, good or bad, my behavior is not justifiable with the thought that “I’m grown”, or just because I’m the parent. Instead, how I behave should and will be a direct reflection of the character and qualities I instill in my child, because rather I like it not, she’s learning from me.

The Benefit of Doubt

…doubt has a way of creeping in when we are dabbling outside of our comfort zone.

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The word doubt has such a negative connotation and is often associated with fear, failure, and barriers to success. Doubt sends us through a series of scenarios of why somethings just won’t work. However, once we program our minds to understand that doubt is apart of “the process”,  I believe we will take more chances, and execute on the things that we always dream of doing! We doubt ourselves often, in fear of what could go wrong or our abilities to create the things we want.

Prior to starting Corporate Momming, I had been toying with an idea of writing a book.  I was in the process of leaving my corporate job, and I was subconsciously angry with the things I’d dealt with. As time passed, and I began to get comfortable in my new normal, my energy shifted to balancing motherhood and running a business. Truly it’s something I’ve been learning for the last three years. So without having truly “mastered’ this balance thing, I began to doubt myself and think of all the reasons Corporate Momming couldn’t work. I’m a single mom, I’m not married, I won’t be able to relate to moms working 9-5’s, all things I told myself when creating the blog. Doubt. I did it anyway.

Doubt sends us through a series of scenarios of why somethings just won’t work.

Fast forward, and the blog is up and running.  Every other week, I ask myself where I see it going, and if it’s something I’ll be able to keep up with. Not because I don’t want to; however, doubt has a way of creeping in when we are dabbling outside of our comfort zone. So I accept that doubt comes, but it is my goal to be bigger than doubt and to continue to create and design things in my life, as I desire.

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Just as doubt comes, God (or the Universe…but I’m going with God) sends reminders of why you should continue to move forward. One thing that I always tell myself, when faced with doubt is I love God, and He’s never going to play me, and everything will work out for my good. It’s really an easy fix and a way to eliminate worry, fast.  I just pray for direction and start the work.