Create Your Vision

I would be remissed to say that the recent release of my second inspirational book, Brown Sugar Magic: Goal Setting and Reflections Journal has been met with lukewarm acceptance and I want to change that reception.  Receiving the “likes” on my social media is okay, but in true entrepreneurial spirit I would like to see those “likes” convert to sales.

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I have been dealing with so much lately over these past six months, between a divorce being finalized, regaining control of my finances now as single mom, and closing out a school year, I’m surprised I got this second book out, but it was something that I HAD to do.

Yesterday after feeling like I had hit a brick wall emotionally and feeling a twinge of being burned out I laid across my bed and began listening to a couple of podcasts by Cara Alwill Leyba.  Her message is clear and distinct and it pushed me to look back at my “do what you love” notebook and really plan out my course of action for these next few months.

I have to remind myself that yes it has only been a year, and my need to be good at everything I do is taking over my thought processes and essentially making me overthink EVERYTHING in my life.  I had taken to Facebook and joined all of these groups and I find that this blogging industry is SATURATED.  Everybody is creating a lot of the same things and the competition is STEEP.  Even though regionally everyone is spread out, and there are some small hubs of creators in the same area, I see why now more than ever I must stake my claim in this creative industry and CREATE MY VISION!

So I see for myself in my vision and my future:

BROWN SUGAR MAGIC

I want Brown Sugar Magic to be my main inspirational platform.  Creating my vision started with setting some realistic and achievable goals for myself.  Through planning a course of action to take and being unafraid to put my words on paper, self-publishing my first book was a personal goal that I accomplished.  My education was not pursued haphazardly, I was deliberate and intentional as I attained higher degrees of education.  I know what it’s like and even sometimes find it overwhelming to want to do one thing but then have to revamp that objective or goal to take care of smaller things first.  God planned my path for me and he innately gave me the ability to aspire for great things and become successful in my own right.

If I can inspire someone to be SMART about their choices in life as they design their future, be in touch with their needs and take care of themselves before they have nothing to offer to the people around them; I take on the role.  Additionally, I want to help African-American women and girls build themselves up to only rely on their independence to see them through life.  That’s not to say that having help in life is not good, but this is to say be able to help yourself so that if you are ever in the position to have to do for yourself, YOU ARE NOT HELPLESS!  As I walk in my purpose, my dream, and define my vision; I will celebrate my setbacks, imperfect moments, and my growth.  I see this as a way to encourage many others.

SPEAKING AND HOSTING

All throughout school I was constantly reminded by my teachers about my continuous talking in class.  I was a fast learner and completed my work often times ahead of my classmates so I was always looking for someone to talk to.  It could have been the fact that I was an only child but that would be an excuse.  I simply just love to talk.  The cheerleader in me wants to be in the limelight spreading inspiration, joy, and motivation.  I have a lot to say about coming from a SINGLE parent home and PERSERVERING through the STEREOTYPES that were placed on me.  I have had to be disciplined, make tough decisions, and show my resiliency to get to this place in my 35 years of life.  I say this time and time again, I DEFY stereotypes and my authentic rawness at times is just the dose of reality people need to know that LIFE
AIN’T FAIR! Put me on a stage…I will rock the party, keep you engaged, but most importantly MOTIVATE!

BOOKS AND BLOGGING

Ever since being told by a teacher my senior year in high school that “MY PEOPLE“ need me, I get tickled at the thought of her saying that often.  I love books and have read what I like over the years and always knew that one day I would write a book of my own.  My flagship book, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching chronicles my transition into what was spoke on to me at the age of 18.  If my people need me, whether it be teachers, African-American women and girls, writers, or whomever feels inspired by my words, I’m glad to be of SERVICE.  I have always wanted to write, and the urgency I feel to be great will take time, after all, I teach full-time and pursue my writing when I am not in the classroom.  I blog as much as possible and I am continuing to find inspiration and write what I think people need to read from me.  Writing what I consider to be my first epic blog, What No One Tells You About Blogging, was the tip of the iceberg.  One day my persistence with pay off!  I am establishing my voice.  This creative journey is personal.

THE EXTRAS

If an ebook, writer’s apparel and other products surface as I make my stamp then so be it.  Anybody can make a t-shirt, cup, bag, and other doodads and it will sell, but I want to be as consistent with my message that I anticipate being with these other endeavors. The ones that are selling everything under the moon, make it look easy from books to lip gloss.  However, I’m learning that when you have a concrete audience, it is doable to make those kinds of sales.  Because I’m still new to this I will limit my conversation on that.

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If it takes me a few years to get this entrepreneurial niche down pact, I will do what I have do.

~LaTilya Rashon

 

Why I Created Brown Sugar Magic

Brown Sugar Magic was simply birthed from the thought of me loving to write everything down so that I can see how far I have grown.

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I received my first little brown diary with a gold padlock and accompanying key when I was six years old.  I wrote the traditional, Dear Diary entries but I had no idea that being introduced to reflecting on my day at an early age would become something that I am passionate about now in my mid 30s.  All throughout high school I kept journals and they are the back drop to personality, my emotions, my thoughts, and my drive.  My love for journaling was actually interrupted when I was 20 years old because a boyfriend of mine read my journal and instantly found out that I was not the perfect girlfriend.  Oddly, even though he entertained other girls at the start of that tumultuous relationship, he didn’t like knowing that I had befriended and entertained other guys as well.

My love for creating lists and reflecting on my day came back full force during my first marriage as I kept a 5 subject Mead notebook that I am sure will turn into a bestseller.  I just need the time and energy to relive those emotional situations before I pour all of that drama into a book.  Some day!

However, one good thing about that journal and other notebooks I have doodled in over the years, I find book ideas, random thoughts, and lists for things that I wanted to try to do.  My notebooks and journals now look like bucket lists, accomplishments, and goals as I check things off.

So I was literally sitting on my bed one day and the idea of creating a goal setting book and journal popped into my head and I went to work.  I am often asked, “How do you keep it all together?”  My answer has become, “Because I write it down.  I etch out almost every idea and thought in my mind and I go from there.”  Ironically thought with the amount of things I have accomplished in my life, I still feel that I should be doing more.

My blogging and listing is at an all time high as I dig deep inside of myself each day to press out more encouragement, motivation, and thoughts to share.  So Brown Sugar Magic is a journey of self-realization and I pray will be a source of motivation for my Brown Sugar Sisters that need that extra push to re-prioritize their lives and design the life they want to live.

We all have a little bit of magic inside of us, and I want to help ladies find their spark, set some attainable goals for themselves and begin to understand their worth.  Sometimes we get thrown off course and need to redirect our lives so Brown Sugar Magic is that guide to better goal setting and reflecting on your growth.

Brown Sugar Magic is a 52 week affirmation, goal setting and reflections journal.  In this four part book there is definitely a theme per section and it is written in mind to help women grow beyond their comfort zone and gain a new lease on life.

Part 1

smart

Stepping into Brown Sugar Magic I help you discover your magic as you set S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself.  I help you measure your time and attainable objectives that you work over time to accomplish.  We all need a little guidance to get on the right track, so this books help you reclaim your life and work towards your short term objectives until you reach you intended goal.  Once your begin to check things off of your list that you want to attain, you will gain a sense of pride about yourself realizing that YOU are your biggest asset.  Part 1 breaks down what a S.M.A.R.T. goal is while simultaneously requiring a weekly affirmation, reflection, or celebration message to yourself.

Part 2

stressed-black-woman

As you progress to part two of this book, you will address your needs.  You quickly realize that whatever you feed your body, also fuels your mind.  Your spirit is your internal guiding light and whatever you feed your spirit, it becomes your mindset.  You have to be in touch with your sense of belonging and have self esteem to keep yourself lifted through trying times in your life.  Once you begin to identify your needs, you become more careful where you place your energy.  You cannot be all things to all people if you do not meet the needs of self first.

Part 3

trust-building-blocks

We all have a particular skill set that propels our productivity.  However, our coping mechanisms are not all the same.  I have relied a lot on the skills my mom taught to pull me through tough times and I take the liberty to share these ideas with you in Brown Sugar Magic.  Establishing your independence is difficulty if you have never had to face adult challenges once you grow past being a child in your parents’ home.  We all stumble at some point in our lives, but it ‘s just a matter of how your pick yourself up.  Self love is the best love.  Once you have made it to this part of the book, you are still affirm-reflecting-and celebrating your growth.  At this stage in the game I am sure your goals have changed and you have outline specific things to work toward and see yourself realistically accomplishing your goals.

Part 4

new life loading concept

The purpose of Brown Sugar Magic in to help you live your best life and reaffirm your happiness.  Since sugar is in it’s purest state when it is brown, I help you unleash your magic.  Part three walks you through the three steps to a better life as you reassess yourself and identify your true strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth, and threats to your overall productivity.  The risks you take on this journey of self-discovery will have its ups and its downs but pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone and experiencing growth is the ultimate reward.

Take this journey to unleash your magic, prioritize your life, and trust the process.  I challenge all of my Brown Sugar Sisters to take back their control and live the life they have dreamed of living.

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It’s Been A Year Already

So on March 10, 2016 I revamped my blog, switched over to wordpress after leaving blogspot and a stream of creativity has taken over.

A year ago I was living a life that I was pretty sure was pretty content not knowing that in the months to come that that life would be shaken up.

A year ago I was super elated to find out that my Internal Review Board (IRB) had been approved for my dissertation so all I had to do was edit my chapters four and five and be primed and ready to submit my final report roughly around the beginning of May 2016.

A year ago I hunkered down and decided to finish my first writing project.  My chromebook was permanently attached to my hand so everyone around me knew that whatever I was doing had to be serious.

A year ago seems so far away compared to where I am now.  It’s been a year and http://www.tilyarealeyes.com has matured into grown woman status.

I look back at my experimental titles and it is clear that I was working on my niche.  I was inundated by creating email lists (I finally created the right lead in and magnet campaign), and trying to figure out how to make myself standout in the crowd.  I played around with all of my social media and just felt like I was floundering.  I even wrote about it in my epic blog turned free download, What No One Tells You About Blogging.  I tried several things and now I feel like I’m finding my groove.

So what is my niche?

Interestingly enough writing about life and the realities we face as people comes naturally.  There is a lot of experience inside of my compact frame and as I share my perspectives I inadvertently influence streams of consciousness.  Everything I share is based on observation, conversation, and my original spin of the subject matter.

A year later, “tilyarealeyes” has expanded its categorical reach.  The short stories have peeked interest and needs to be revisited.  I’ve just had a lot going on.  The List Series is a major hit and because my Soror/Bestie Karimah encouraged me to do videos last summer, and since then I have made 4 in 2017.  The 7 Things You Should Do in 2017 has been my signature statement because I have found a new lease on life, and I’m happily divorced and simply living.  My soror/lil Tori spoke about seven being the number of completion when I published that blog.  Ironically I met a man whose birthday is the 7th day of January on his birthday.  He is symbolism at it’s finest.

It’s been a year and I have two books out there that I don’t even think that at the time of beginning to blog again, I would have taken that risk.  I play it very safe with my words and my talent.  Because I am so hard on myself the thought of someone else criticizing (unless it’s positive) my words makes me nervous.  I’m a situational perfectionist.  I am very protective of me.  However, I am most proud of Brown Sugar Magic because of the message of affirmation, reflection and celebration that I am trying to have women establish about themselves.

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A year later I have learned through experience the value of being goal oriented.  Had I not established the specific goals I had set for myself, there is no way I could advise my Brown Sugar Sisters on how to be SMART about the things they set out to do.

Writing my second published project I had to be in touch with my needs.  Being happy and having esteem of myself kept me focused.  Sometimes we get lost in the sauce but that does not equate to not addressing your needs.  I had to address the desires of my heart and realize that I needed to safeguard my energy.  I can’t afford to get worked up about situation that have already been worked out beyond my control.

I had to rely on the love I have for myself as I wrote part three of Brown Sugar Magic. Loving myself more made room for me to work through my disappointments.  My life took a hit, but I forgive myself for my bad choices.  I trust that everything happens for a reason.  I revamp and revise my goals on the regular.  I am able to stay the course because of my self-love.

As I closed out Brown Sugar Magic, my key thing was to highlight the fun you should be having.  I am having the time of my life tending to me and not being tied down by titles or expectations.  That does not mean I am closed up and living like a hermit.  That means that I have the liberty to love who I choose without expectation.

A year later my life has changed but I am living a more abundant life than I ever could have imagined.  The things I am experiencing takes me to a different place.  My conversation has changed.  My ambition is in overdrive.  I am focused on building my brand, “LaTilya Rashon”, and being the best “influencer” I can be.

2017 has opened my eyes.  I’m walking this walk with my eyes wide open.  I am not naive to the negativity.  A year later my blog has grown into more mature conversation but so has my mindset as the woman behind the blog.

No subliminal messages.  No hidden agendas.  When you know who you are, you become a target and a threat.  Do the work and reflections in Brown Sugar Magic and you will reclaim your life like never before.

A year ago I was defining marriage.  A year later I am encouraging self-actualization. Unleash your magic!

~LaTilya Rashon