Guard Your Heart… 


I’m an introvert… so naturally that means that solitude recharges me. I’m also married to a public fugure, which by default makes me a public figure. For that reason I am extremely selective about who & what I allow into my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very nice. I am also told often that I am easy to talk to & I give great advice, because I don’t share information that people entrust me with. I’m not as open about my private life & I’m also very careful about socializing & opening up. 

You have to guard your heart, because it powers everything else in your life. I have to guard my heart because:

  • I have committed my life to service, which means I have to have room in my heart for the people that I serve. 
  • As an organizational leader, I have to set the tone for our culture & I want that culture to be warm, filled with integrity & filled with love.
  • Bitterness is an ugly poison that chokes the life out of relationships & opportunities. Bitterness is what happens when frustration, jealousy, disappointment, etc. pile on top of each other. 
  • I have step children & want them to feel nothing but light when they see & think of me. 
  • Eventually I want to have children of my own, and I want to give them the inspiration, optimism & fortitude they need to be the best version of themselves. 
  • I want to inspire people to be the best versions of themselves. 
  • I’ve endured enough disappointment & heartbreak which are wounds the heal, but scars that are visible. More disappointment & heartbreak triggers the memory of the past disappointment & heartbreak & I don’t want to live in the past or think too much about the negative. 
  • I’m interested in closing the gap between my dreams & my reality. It’s difficult to do that with a hardened heart. 
  • I don’t want people to get hurt trying to climb over walls or pry open the door to my heart. 

The best way to guard your heart is to stay prayed up! To ask God to help you attract the people into your life that will bring you closer to his will. Also ask him to remove people from your life that intend harm or who may try to distract you from God’s will. The other thing is to pay attention to your heart’s alarm system… your intention! It will often alert you if there is a intruder or security breach!!!  

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Self Care Tips 

I came across this graphic on Pinterest and had to share! Please remember to take care of yourself! 

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Visualize Your Target

I created a board on Pinterest called “One Day Soon..” in order to house images of things I’d like to own or experience in the future.

When it comes to our dreams and goals, it is so important to first visualize whatever it is that we want… so that we know what we’re aiming for. It’s difficult to hit a target that you can’t see!!! 

Here are some images that represent my future:






If you have a blog, I’m challenging you to select 5 images that represent your future . Post the link below or tag me on Instagram @blkgrlunmasked or Facebook if we’re friends! Let’s get it!!! Use the hashtag #onedaysoon

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Self-Care Commercial…

Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant…

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One of the hardest lessons for me as an entrepreneur, was learning to pause. When we first started Donda’s House, I would literally work 12 – 16+ hour days for 7 days straight.

I caught colds. Had back problems. Always felt like things were out of control…

We just turned 3 on August 1st and I’m proud to say that in 2016 I’ve learned the value of breaks.

I structure my weeks now to where I have at least one-day where I don’t leave my home. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working, I just work from home. I’ll do conference calls, catch up on writing, and also do important things around the house like laundry.

I also try to reserve at least one day to a family day – usually Sundays, where I try not to do anything work related (or at least nothing heavy).

I’ve also learned to “stack” my meetings. If I book a meeting where I’m downtown, I try to book other meetings downtown the same day to maximize my time. I also reserve in-person meeting days to two days per week. For the summer, those have been my Tuesdays & Thursdays.

Finally, when I have a really big event or busy day, I try to be mindful of the schedule the day before and the day after. I’m proud to say that we’ve co-produced two festivals this summer (Teens in the Park – TIP Fest & Peace on the Beach) and we’re gearing up for AAHH! Fest!

Usually the day before and the day after, I try not to schedule too much to give myself time to prepare the day before, and to give myself time to rest & recoup the day after. Today was part work from home & part getting my mind (and gear) ready for tomorrow’s festival.

I talk alot about being a superhero! It’s important to realize that all superheroes know their limits!

Stuff To Check Out:

(1) My girl Dana Todd Pope has launched the cutest line of t-shirts, onesies, tote bags and more.

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(2) Donda’s House had the opportunity to participate in ESPN’s “The Undefeated” Townhall Conversation on Chicago Violence. I’ll have a full-blog about this soon.

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Caption: Jemele Hill did a phenomenal job hosting and moderating the conversation! Learn more about The Undefeated here.

(3) If you’re in Chicago, come through Peace on the Beach! Tomorrow from 4 pm – 8 pm, in Humboldt Park, 1440 N. Sacramento. Flyer & special Lyft Code below:

Thank you for reading my blog! It means the world to me!

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Who ARE You: FREE Personality Test!

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a tool, developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers to teach people how they perceive the world and how they make decisions. The theory was based on the work of Katherine in the early 1900s. According to the theory, there are 16 personality types.

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Caption: Me Getting In Touch With My Inner Monster at Made in America 2015

MBTI is used by 89 of the Fortune 100 Companies and many universities use MBTI as a tool to guide students in career & professional development. In fact, if you’re currently enrolled in college your university may offer free MBTI testing & resources. When I attended DePaul, there were regular MBTI training sessions that the Career Center hosted. You may be able to access these services if you’re an alum, so feel free to reach out to your University! Your company may also have a free tool or resources connected to the MBTI.

I’m a huge fan of MBTI because I believe that it expresses your personality strengths, as well as things to watch out for. For example, I’m an INFJ:

  • Strengths: Creative, Inspiring & Convincing, & Decisive
  • Weaknesses: Sensitive, Perfectionistic (I really mean that when I talk about it in job interviews lol), and Can Burn Out Easily

It is important for me to note the red flags like being sensitive, so that I can mentally & emotionally prepare myself during situations where I am being critiqued or experiencing any type of emotional trigger(s).

I was blessed to sit down with a trained MBTI Expert who gave my husband and I the “official” assessment and then went over the results thoroughly.

For those of us who do not have the resources, here are two free online tests to get you started:

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp (I took this test & it matched my INFJ results)

https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test (over 42 million tests taken, must be reliable?!)

If you’re interested in official (clears throat: PAID) resources, check out the Official Myers Briggs Website here. They do have excellent reading resources available!

You should end up with a 4 letter personality type (one of sixteen) like those indicated below by the MBTI Superhero Chart (for the Marvel Universe):1325marvelpersonalityprofiles-full_size

Learn more about your type here:

(1) https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types

(2) http://www.truity.com/personality-type/infj (see the tabs at the top of the page)

(3) I’d also recommend entering your type and searching on Pinterest here.

My plan is to utilize MBTI in the on-boarding process for Donda’s House staff. I am a fan of any tool that makes it easier to communicate and collaborate. I hope this was helpful for you!

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Kerry Washington’s OPI Collection 


Kerry Washington has a beautiful line of nail polish colors with OPI coming out this Fall:

Check out swatches below:


I’m most excited about the browns, the olive green and the orange. 

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Down In The DMs: 20 Ways To Be A Better Social Media Supporter

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People stay in my inboxes (all 10 of them) with requests. My voicemails. My text messages and my DMs.

Requests to post flyers.

Requests for free tickets to concerts.

Requests to make a donation.

Requests to “pick my brain.”

Requests for free consultations.

And there was that one time that somebody requested some Size 10 Yeezys.

I utilize my personal social media platforms to promote causes outside of Donda’s House that I am passionate about and I even employ my hubby to use his massive personal platform to do the same.

Most of the time I oblige, because that’s just the kind of person that I am. Except in the case of the Yeezys, because it was a complete stranger, and hell, even I don’t have any. Plus the message totally creeped me out, but I digress.

I wrote a whole blog rant about reciprocity and transactional relationships here. This message isn’t targeted at any one specifically, it’s more of a PSA because this happens to me and other organizational leaders that I know all of the time.

Before you ask someone to post something, ask yourself if you’ve been “social media supportive (sms).” Have you shared the posts that they’ve asked to be shared? Have you liked posts they’ve posted? 

It doesn’t have to come down to a post-for-post or like-for-like with that individual person, but are you a social media team player, or do you “hog” your engagement?

As a nonprofit administrator/social entrepreneur, I am here to tell you that social media engagement is gold!

Although it only takes a second to “like” or to “share” someone’s post, it translates into so much value for us.

Engagement is converted into influence, and influence equals sponsorship support, it equals access to key influencers and brands and it equals a larger “megaphone” to amplify our events and ultimately our impact.

I’m theoretically petty, but I’m not petty in practice so here are some ways that you can be sms, so I don’t have to smdh:

(1) Like an organization or business page on Facebook.

(2) Follow an organization on Instagram and/or Twitter.

(3) On Facebook, “like” a post.

(4) On Facebook, “share” a post (especially if someone says “please share.”)

(5) On Facebook, click “interested” in an event, and if you’re planning to go click “going.”

(6) On Twitter, click “retweet.”

(7) If you see something that you like or have a positive experience with an organization or a business, leave a comment on their wall, or leave a positive review.

(8) Click “Follow” on LinkedIn.

(9) On Instagram click “like” and if you have a repost app, repost images or videos that you like.

(10) Subscribe to an organization’s or brand’s YOUTube page.

(11) Comments are like social media donations. Leave them! Even if it’s one word like “dope.”

(12) Tag or mention an organization in your post. This attracts other people to said organization.

(13) Help recruit! If you see something that applies to someone that you know TAG that person, so that you can connect them to the organization.

(14) Subscribe to the organization’s e-mail list.

(15) Share the donation link (If I see ONE MORE GoFundMe link…) When you share an organization’s link, it’s like a GoFundUs. It helps lots of people. Please share!

(16) When they ask a question, or ask for help even if you can’t personally help, please share the post or tweet. Someone in your network may be able to help or answer the question/call.

(17) If you do make a request, ask them if there is anything that you can share OR leave the door open for them to reach out in the future to ask you to share something.

(18) Orgs are always looking for funding. If you come across a grant or other funding opportunity, share it with the appropriate organization. When I come across funding opportunities I share it with other organizations.

(19) Sign-up to volunteer if you have the time. Even if it’s for one day or one project, orgs can always use an extra pair of hands.

(20) Donate. Every single dollar counts.

It is generally inappropriate to ask another nonprofit to use their platforms to post fundraisers unless requested, and it is definitely not in good taste when the organization currently has an active campaign (which for most nonprofits is all of the time).

Exhale. That felt good! Please reach out if you have any questions. You are officially qualified to be a Social Media Advocate/Supporter of the organizations, businesses and brands you like.😉

 

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