Monday, June 30, 2014

The value in knowing your worth & start collecting revenue

The important things matter in the end, no?
If you sold Mary Kay or Herbal Life, you might allow people to sample your product, but would you just give your inventory away? What about working a 40 hour week, not as a volunteer, but for free?
Look at how you allow others to treat you. Do your friends, lovers, colleagues bleed you dry? If so, you haven't quite figured out your worth.
The other day, I realised I was really trying to make friends, and maybe a love connection since it looks like I'll be here awhile.
I tried online dating to have sub-par responses but that didn't bother me too much. Then, a "friend" was telling me about how she met this guy and how well they were getting on and he stopped communicating with her. She sent him texts, emails, and asked what I thought she should do. I told her it was apparent he was not interested given the information she conveyed to me. "Well, I think I deserve to know why he just stopped. I feel like our friendship wasn't important." 
I said something to her, and after, I have ceased contacting her. See, I met "Jane Doe" and we hit it off. We have a lot in common, we work in the same field, same family dynamics and many of the same ghosts in our pasts are similar. We got on well, but she had said something that I don't like hearing but I thought "she never met a girl like me." So, we were thick as thieves and I was her support system through a lot of things in a short period. When she thought she had breast cancer, I was there for her 110%, when she needed to talk about a break up, there I was, when she needed someone to simply listen, me again. I started to think about some of my pain, and situations where I needed someone to listen or at the oncologists maybe someone to text. When you're sat in a hospital room and you see others, it makes you think. I saw all the people who had their infusions the same day and time as me, but I was always alone. So, I decided to be upfront. I compared the situation she felt to what I felt about her. She said she didn't really have female friends, guys were not so catty, blah, blah, blah but since I am alone 99.9% of the time when not working, how can I gossip or engage in that behaviour? Naturally, I got the same thing that I hear all the time. "I have trust issues." Give me a break, life is all about failing. If things were a slam dunk there would be no challenge to try to grow, improve, change and develop. We all have trust issues, but we don't stop living and we don't stop living life. We trust that we will leave the house and return home in one piece. We trust that public transportation will get us to our destination so we do take risks. If she's willing to risk heartbreak that's a weak excuse for not being a friend. In her mind, because I allowed it, she was a good friend. She trusted me with her deep, dark secrets.
I was giving her a lot of me and getting nothing in return. Then I thought about how hard I had been trying to make friends, and I realised, enough of this. I'm a good person, I am compassionate, loyal, and dog on it people like me ☺
I took an inventory of what I have to offer and what I wanted in return. It's hard to make a decision if you don't know what you want. I'm emotionally resilient, so needy, touchy and feely types make me nervous. I sorted out the type of person, wrote it down, and put it in my box. Then I stopped looking for someone to fill that void. I found out about Meetup and started selecting things to do based on my interests. I'm happy to say, I had my first visit, and things went quite well. I was scared mute, but I managed. I feel some kind of way about cutting "Jane" out, but if I kept doing the same thing, how could I expect different results? If I did not value my time, nor connect with people who can foster mutual friendships, then it's on me to say, "Hey, I'm not made to earn your trust, this is who I am!" It's a great feeling. I may upset some people since, I've been that go to rock for most of my life in all my relationships, but life gives us experiences as opportunities to grow.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

What you need to know about Product Reviews!

 I don't get products sent to me for obviously reasons; however, I am a very good judge of products due to the fact I am spending hard earned money and with the economic situation as it is the only person I have to blame for my poor choices is myself.
I didn't know until the Federal Trade Commission started mandating full disclosure of sponsorship, paid reviews, product placement, etc. that bloggers may be a bit biased in their review of a product. I trusted reviews for purchasing cars, electronics, skin care and other things in an attempt to stretch my dollar. When I paid off all debts, I started to see purchases as investments. Kind of takes the thrill out of retail therapy but one can't have everything. There are many sites I trust for reviews; however, when I do find the handful of people I trust for reviews, I take things into consideration. I had to get to know me and that made a big difference. Having someone give me their experience with a product for oily skin, which I have, will be informative; however, it won't have the same experience if their skin is normal, combination or dry. This is also the case for hair products. I've had to practically obtain a PhD in chemistry to make better choices when making purchases. I know there is a large push against sulfates, silicone, dairy and gluten. I learnt the hard way that I need silicone in my hair. I have long, natural hair that tangles easily. It's been a trial and error to find products that support my attempt to obtain relaxer free and healthy hair. I say "relaxer free" because I am not natural. I don't put 100% organic things in my body or on it. I'm sure there are chemicals in my shampoo conditioner, fruits and more. I won't tell that lie.
I encourage anyone who wants results from their products to look at several sources before deciding on a purchase. In addition, find out the return policy prior to making any purchases. I was recently  cat fished at a cosmetics counter. I failed to do what I would normally do because I was nervous. I bought a foundation that appeared to be a match when it was applied to my face in the store, but by the time I reached my flat, I realised it was not a match and the receipt stated "No Returns or Exchanges" so I can either put it in my poor purchase cemetery, or use it with another product to neutralise the difference. Looking back, I was too worried about being indecisive and the sales assistant seemed annoyed. In the store, there is fluorescent lighting, and because of my oils it oxidized to a burnt orange. I don't know why I even felt the need to buy foundation. I have yet to be satisfied. I can't find one that looks good indoors, outdoors, with and without flash that doesn't transfer to articles of clothing. If you know of any, please let me know.
So, when I make a purchase I will check a few forums. People on forums are usually really enthused about whatever the subject is and they don't get paid. There may be shameless plugs but that's rare. I also will look at Yelp, or Amazon. When it comes to vehicles, it's never 100% and it's taken me longer to decide on my next used car than any of my college majors. I'm concerned.
For cosmetic reviews, I used to trust videos and blogs, but even if the person has disclosed if it is a pr item, it may not suit me. I saw a review for a hair product that EVERYONE loves, and I hated it. But, I don't live in an area that is humid, so that could be a factor, it's quite dry and it's either hot or cold and my hair responds different to hard water and moist climates.
So, before jumping on the "next best thing" think about a few things, and do some research. The eyeshadow may swatch well with fingers, but will a brush perform the same?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rant: Daytime Emmy's 2014 Debacle

Only thing missing is the yellow brick road
Advertisers have been using social media to its benefit since they figured out how to reach a larger audience for 1/32 of the price of buying ad space, commercials, billboards, radio, et al. There has been a rise in using social media "brands" to market products and services. This was an issue several years back when the FTC made it a law to require transparency when products were sponsored or given as press samples. It's rare that full disclosure happens, but it's a nice gesture.
This past week was an excellent example of what happens when you cut corners, to save money by reaching a larger audience and new demographic. Whoever thought getting "millenials" to do anything professional should observe the debacle that was the Daytime Emmy's on June 22, 2014. Apparently, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences posted a job opportunity to host the red carpet "Seeking Millenials (ages 18-35), there was only one job requirement: “Must have strong entertainment news background and/or VERY [emphasis theirs] strong social media following (300,000 followers minimum).”  Brittany Furlan, Lauren Elizabeth, Jessica Harlow, and Meghan Rosette were selected to be this year's hosts. The problem is that had the selection process been a bit more clear and the "mavens" social media platforms researched, it would have prevented the train wreck.  Brittany's response to the debacle "Jokes aren't dicks, stop taking them so hard" and Ms. Harlow is tired of the talk "At least we gave y'all a show you would never forget! and seriously? It's been 24+ hours. This is still at the forefront of your mind? There are children starving & dying!
Lauren and Meghan have been wise enough not to post on the subject. It never works to acknowledge a mishap. Olivia Pope and Associates could not have fixed this one. I don't fault the ladies for this, I blame the National Academy of Television of Arts & Sciences for a) selecting a demographic that is not the average demographic for many soap operas and daytime television. Millenials aren't big on watching soap operas because they are living their own. It's all about them right now and their lives. What's more, their audience doesn't follow them for their professionalism or lack of. They watch them for silly skits, makeup, shopping, dating and relationship advice. End of!
So, that said, I find it sad that no one from NATAS has issued a statement. It's going on 72 hours and nothing, not a tweet, not a press statement, not even a simple apology. The level of offensive statements was astounding, the lack of respect for a craft that predates many viewers, and the ageism for the requirements was ridiculous. The median of most daytime viewers is 53. An 18 year old's social media following is not likely to entertain that of a 21 year old let alone our baby boomers, so that was a set up for a fail. Did they fail to ask  any questions with respect to experience in red carpet or even professional expectations? Any rehearsal? Nope, they wanted the audience of these girls for a mere $1000 each.
What a big eff you to those who are majoring, experienced, or educated in media relations who would appreciate the opportunity to host. How hard is it to greet someone, ask who their designer is, give compliments, ask, "what they are nominated for, and find out what tricks their character or what viewers can expect next season?"
Who thought Kathy Griffin was a good idea? I've seen her stand up and that tells me, you may want to see if the ladies from The Talk, or The View would be willing to help out. I wish their was a bit of respect for the families for those subjected to the gaffe such as Tyler Christopher was considered, being that he's married to someone who bore his children and supports his craft and the character(s) he's portrayed daytime and nigh time not to mention, rebuilding after the fire in So Cal took his home. I think he had a blog about it, but I'm not sure. Admittedly, I don't keep up with celebrities, but I did want to see the show in memory of Jeanne Cooper.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rant: Boycott Asian Owned Beauty Supply Stores!

source google images
So last night I pre-empted my weekly hair regime. I made friends! We played Cards of Humanity and I won, first time player *pops collar* so I got home late, and realised that the following day, I needed to get a product from CosmoProf. I went and snagged my product, realized it has new packaging, took a flier and left. I saw a beauty supply store, and as a result of online reviews, I wanted to check to see if they had a product in stock. They did, and the testers were chained to a anti theft device. It was a $2.99 product so I decided against the trouble; however, I heard a soft,  "Ma'am may I take your bag?" I didn't think anyone was talking to me, I was not carrying a huge bag, in fact, I had on a tank top, flip flops, and shorts. For me, that's naked, because I stand 160-163 cm and just over 7 stone. I had a small bag with shampoo, and one car key! I presumed they were speaking to someone with a knapsack or maybe an elderly woman. They were talking to me. I walked over and handed my bag as if I were under a spell. I was given a clip and I said that I knew what I had and they said it's to collect my bag. So I'm walking down the aisle and a woman appears from behind the counter and scares the piss out of me. "You needa herp?" I looked at her trying to figure out if she had a wand in her hand that made her appear and disappear. When I looked at her, I saw her looking toward the ceiling. This store had a security system like they were the Pentagon! They had flat screens, EVERYTHING had an anti theft tag and, I guarantee there was at least one eye on me at all times. I felt like I was in a dressing room trying on clothes in front of strangers. It was uncomfortable. I don't buy things anymore because I felt I had been better if I wrote a list of what I wanted and had the staff fetch them.
I was heated!  I opted to leave the store. They weren't going to disrespect me AND take my hard earned money!!! When I went to retrieve my bag, I said, "You expect me to trust you with my things; however, you don't return the sentiment." I wanted to picket the store, and tell every potential person to keep their dignity and not support them. But, I'm daft so if I realised this, didn't others? Why do we patronise shops like that? I mean being treated like an untrustworthy child who has a penchant for shoplifting in return for some hair? Please have more dignity. I am going to post some places like 3 Sisters or Sally's both of which I have no affiliation. I don't care if you research ways to make your own products, don't ever let someone take your money and treat you like a second class citizen, especially if, like me, you've got family who's fought for their country!
Furthermore, they will try to get you to shop by employing other ethnicities, mainly minorities, to work in the shop in order to "urbanize" the experience. Don't fall for it. No amount of hair is worth that!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Social Media: The Dark Side

dawn richard's face feat
The other day I watched an episode of Love and Hip Hop. I don't know which city, but it still haunts me. A woman was discussing how her son was bullied online and coupled with depression, he took his own life. She started a foundation to help others, but it made me wish there was something that could be done. Thank God I am not subjected to that because, I'm too sensitive. I could not take that. 
Brings me to this singer from Dannity Kane called Dawn Richards. I saw a this photo, but it was on Instagram and all the comments were saying that she had self hate, she looked better before, and things along that line. 
What's funny is that, prior to her "change" all the comments were making fun of her appearance, her long face, big nose and masculine or "tranny" appearance. WTF? People can be such hypocrites. 
We jump on these social networks and scrutinize people for their appearance, under the guise of "they're in the public, they put themselves out there!" So, if I go outside my house, am I not putting myself "out there" to be criticized? Does that mean I should expect criticism? If so, then it goes both ways, but most people who say negative things to me online, don't have photographs. If they are serving the scrutiny, why not make yourself available as well?
I don't use the term "hater" because there are too many people who use that term even when feedback, may be accurate but the target feels otherwise.  If you take one thing from this, know that people who love themselves don't usually take the time to put others down. I have been around a lot of beautiful women, there have been nights after doing a gig I thought that God was having an off day when he decided to make me. My brother is prettier than me. I would have had a nose, chin, liposuction, breast implants if I had the money. Now, I'm past that, but that doesn't mean I don't still think some people lucked out on the genetic lottery. If I had done something different, it would say that the way I am isn't enough. Then, it would never be enough. What's more, I would be telling my family that the nose, that only I have, would be a mistake as opposed to a trait of my deceased grandmum. The arse I would have suctioned out was ugly as opposed to a feature many would like as much as I would like larger breasts.
What stopped me was something an Asian man told me at the beauty supply store. He said anything man made will eventually fail, things that are natural fall into place. You don't put a bulb in the sun, you don't make rain, why you want fake?" In his own words, he was saying that we are made how we are for a reason and as long as we change that we will always have to "maintain" our enhancement. Breasts collapse, lip injections go really wrong, and there is always a need to touch up or follow up. These young girls getting their nose, chest or bum done in their early 20s will have to maintain them for life. It's rare that noses don't grow during pregnancy, and that implants last over ten years, even if they do, they will fall after child birth. What's more, the moment one starts to make adjustments, the mental consequences can end in depression, body dysmorphic disorder and low self-esteem.
Here is the link to the story about Wacka Flacka's brother here.
If you or someone close to you struggles with depression, please take the time to let them know that help is available. There are several sources for help and remember there is no stigma to needing someone to lean on.