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Proper Planning Leads to Great Success

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve begun to realize just how important it is to create a schedule for all of the things that we have to do. I’m not extremely busy, however, with every responsibility I have it can get a little chaotic at times. And that’s when I don’t plan properly. This is definitely what I’ve signed up for: but if I fail to plan, I plan to fail.

Often times we find ourselves in situations where we become overwhelmed and the quality of what we produce isn’t to our greatest potential. When we don’t schedule our priorities accurately, we lack time. And with lacking the proper time, we may find ourselves rushing to get things done. In the rush, our work may be mediocre or not the best of our ability. I recently experienced this. I rushed to complete a project and at the end I didn’t feel as if the finished product was the best that I could do. It was good, but it wasn’t great. I knew that it could’ve been better had I put more time into it. Which showed me just how beneficial my to-do lists and prior planning really are.

When we learn to plan and create a sufficient schedule, we can produce quality work. It’s important to always be clear in your thinking, and get it all down before you make a move. This is when whatever you have set out to do will be great.

So I encourage you today to plan properly and take advantage of the time that you have. Create a plan and follow through. Then the work you produce will be that of your greatest potential, a reflection of the preparations you’ve made. Proper planning leads to great success.

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(Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance)

Sunday Evening Serenade

Sunday, September 21st, I had the pleasure of attending Sunday Evening Serenade’s one year anniversary! This event is created and hosted by Olivia Gilmore. Sunday Evening Serenade is an acoustic showcase that’s put on once every month. The purpose of this event is not only to give artists a platform to perform; it is also for all artists, vendors, and those in the entertainment and fashion industry to promote themselves and network.

SES was held at Ripley Grier Studios in the midtown area of NYC. The room was nice, quaint, and intimate with a beautiful white grand piano. Just right for an evening serenade. The featured artists of the night were, Ashton Martin, Mayo Bass, and Olivia Gilmore. Because of traffic, Natalie Imani was unable to attend.

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(Mayo Bass, Olivia Gilmore, Ashton Martin)

The evening began with great tunes playing in the background, while the audience was given an opportunity to mingle and network with one another as well as the vendors, who I must say produced great work.

Cherise Broadbelt of Reese B Designs blew me away with her collection. As her material says, it’s “Not Your Average.” Cherise has a line of bow ties (available for both women and men), clutches, and jewelry. Every bow tie and clutch is handmade by Cherise herself, with beautiful fabrics and leather. Her pieces are well put together ending with a great product. Not only are her pieces amazing, her personality is very warm and welcoming. View Reese B Designs below and visit the Instagram, @reesebdesigns, to view more and order pieces from her collection.

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(Cherise Broadbelt, Reese B Designs)

Another vendor was Tremaine Angevine, CEO of OFCC. OFCC is an urban clothing line with great designs. Every shirt, sweatshirt, hat is personally designed by Tremaine. OFCC has done many trade shows and continues to push their brand. Take a look at apart of their collection below. Also check out their website for more, http://www.ofccest1982.com.

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(Tremaine Angevine, CEO of OFCC)

Other vendors included, food by Ms. Anita G. From the raves on social media, her food was delicious. Be sure to check her out on Instagram @chefmamagarciajr.

After the brief mingling, it was time for the main show. Every artist who took the stage, was absolutely amazing.

Starting out with Ashton Martin accompanied by JT on piano. From the melodies that flowed from Ashton’s mouth Sunday evening, you could tell that he’s been doing this for some time now. He’s actually been singing since the age of 10 and composing his own songs by the age of 12. Since then, he’s been perfecting his craft and doing a great job at it. Ashton started his set with one of my personal favorites, So High by John Legend. John Legend is an amazing artist and not many can fill his shoes. However, Martin’s raspy voice fit the song perfectly. Every note in the right place. He then went to a self written song entitled, Your Body. Which is a song he wrote after a breakup and all he could think of was her embrace. His connection with the audience was amazing. You could hear every emotion while he sang as he have the perfect eye contact. He finished his set with very popular song, Superstar by Luther Vandross. Overall, great singer, songwriter, and performer. Be sure to check Ashton out on twitter and Instagram @ashtnmrtn. Also, purchase his new single “Lights Out” on iTunes.

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(Photo taken by @faceonbroadway)

Up next was the bubbly Miya Mayo Bass accompanied by Eddie C on piano. When Mayo entered the room you automatically saw her lively personality. Mayo was X Factor 2013 finalist and worked with countless recording artists. Varying from Brandy, Shirley Murdock, Mary Mary, Fantasia, Vashawn Mitchell, and more. Mayo started out with ‘Boy Band Trivia’ from her upcoming project Nostalgia. This song is a cumulation of some of the greatest boy band hits; such as Don’t Leave (Stay) by Blackstreet, It’s Over Now by 112, On Bended Knees by Boys II Men, Gone by Nsync, and 5 Steps by Dru Hill. One of the most creative songs I’ve heard. To put these amazing tracks together was amazing to hear added with her amazing vocals. She then ended with her latest single, ‘The Cure.’ This is by far one of the most powerful songs. This song was created for anyone who suffers from cancer, diabetes, and anyone who needs healing. Mayo prayed and asked God for the lyrics, and The Cure was birthed. Sunday evening she belted out these lyrics and you felt every word. To hear the song, visit http://youtu.be/OBxokN9c32M and view the official video, available for purchase on iTunes. Mayo is also currently doing a church tour where she is open to visiting churches and singing ‘The Cure.’ Stay up to date with Mayo Bass by visiting her website, http://www.miyamayobass.com.

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(Photo taken by @faceonbroadway)

Last but certainly not least, the host and creator of Sunday Evening Serenade, Miss Olivia Gilmore. After hearing about the effects of bullying, she was prompted to start out with Unpretty by TLC. Encouraging everyone to look within and find their beauty and not allow the words of others to get them to a negative place in life. After her first song, Olivia let the audience in. She explained how private of a person she was, which is understandable in this business, but grasped the crowd with her transparency that night. She talked about how SES started as well as the difficulties she’s encountered throughout this year. Although there were many obstacles that came up against her, she never gave up. She expressed her goal as an artist and how she wanted to become famous when starting out, but she never only considered herself. She created this showcase for the benefit of all artists. Olivia not only wanted to build her brand as an artist, she also wanted to help her fellow artist get ahead in the game. Which is commendable. To have had to face troubles along the way, she could’ve stopped; but she continued to maintain. Olivia also has a great personality. She kept the crowd laughing the entire night.
It was an absolute pleasure meeting Olivia and attending such a wonderful event. Special thanks for the invitation. To stay up to date with Olivia and Sunday Evening Serenade follow her Instagram @msoliviagilmore. You can also check out her music on soundcloud. You won’t be disappointed, she gave her all with every song she sang Sunday night.

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(Photo taken by @faceonbroadway)

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-Miss Jones

Do it Anyway

People will take your past and create issues that never existed. Because you may have reacted a certain way in the past, doesn’t mean you continue to have that reaction. Some people fail to realize this.

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The other night this week, I experienced this full on. My attitude is something that I’ve constantly had to work on. To be quite honest, it’s not the best and I have to continuously reflect and check myself. I don’t always do the best job, but it’s something I can honestly say I’m working on. In any event, that particular night, I so happen to walk into a room and received a very negative comment for absolutely no reason. So I decided instead of allowing it to make me upset, I’d just joke around and let it slide. So I joked back knowing the person was serious. Then this situation became an issue because I responded to something that was said.

I almost took to social media to display my frustrations, instead I thought why not see the lesson in it and write about it.

Despite what people say or what they think they know about you, keep moving towards growth.
Some people will always have that negative view of you regardless of how much you’ve changed. Don’t allow it to frustrate you to the point that you end up reverting back to it.
Ignore it. Let it brush off your shoulders and keep it moving. As hard as it is, and trust I know, it’s something you have to do. Help the situation rather than hurt it.

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I could’ve allowed this situation to bring me completely out of character because I knew for sure I wasn’t in the wrong. But I know that I’m better than that. I’ve come to realize that no matter how much you’ve grown or worked on your issues; for some people, you’re still the person you used to be. I had to choose to look passed that knowing I’ve made progress.

So I encourage you today to keep moving forward regardless of how certain people see you. In spite of what others may say, continue down that path of progression. Don’t allow the negativity to deter you from growth.

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Use it or Lose it

When you don’t spend time and effort doing a particular thing, you lose your niche for it. In order to do anything effectively, you have to work at it to grow in that area. So if you stop and after a period of time try to go back to it, for the most part you won’t be where you once were. You’d have to start all over again. You lost it because you didn’t use it.

This can very well go with our abilities, gifts, and talents. If you don’t use it where you are, chances are you’ll lose it. When you don’t use all that you possess on a consistent basis, you begin to become less familiar with it.

No matter how great you think it may be. No matter how insignificant it may seem to you, you have to do it. You have to work to grow, to assist, support, and become a resource to others.

It’s impossible to produce anything if you’re not functioning properly. If we don’t put as much effort as possible into what we’ve been given (our abilities, gifts, talents, etc), we cannot be fully effective.

We have to understand that it’s not all about us. We have what we possess so that we can benefit others. We have the ability to encourage and inspire people with our gifts. There’s no way one can be fully effected if we’re halfhearted in our doings. If we don’t put in all, they won’t get all that they need.

So I encourage you today, work with what you have, on whatever stage you’re on. We all have to start somewhere. And although sometimes it may be discouraging when we’re not where we’d like to be, trust the process. Have faith in the fact that every stage in our lives is necessary for our future. Let’s move so we won’t lose.

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The Follow Up…

After the week of “operation get ya life” I’ve heard some of the most negative comments from other people about me. It has been the most criticism I’ve received, all based on one particular thing. Almost felt as if everything I did and said was wrong. I felt like I just couldn’t win. Then I began to think about the goals I had in mind for that week of isolation. I wanted to change things about myself that weren’t helping me grow. I opened myself up to it. I was open to finding out those negative characteristics that needed to go.
Sometimes you can’t go based off what you think you know. Sometimes you have to see how other people view you. And this is exactly what began to happen.
Although some of the things that were said weren’t pleasant to hear, especially from those closest to me. I choose to let it be my motivation. I won’t soak in the comments. I’ll look at it as a positive thing. It’s only going to help me grow in the long run. The only way you can change something is if you’re aware that its a problem.
Tonight as I read my devotion before I went to bed, the very last sentence was just what I needed to hear. It said, “Don’t fight it and grow.” It spoke directly to me and my situation. I can’t fight the words that were spoken to me, I have to use them to grow.
So I encourage you to always look for the good in everything. See how you can turn a negative situation into a positive one. Don’t fight it, allow it to help you grow!

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Get Ya Life!

We may all come to a point in our lives where we realize we’re not where we should be. We sit back, observe, and notice we need to get our lives. And get it quick. Sometimes in order to do this, we need to take a step back from everyone and everything. I was recently in this position and thought, why not write about it and share a little of my experience with you.

So about a week ago, I knew it was necessary that I get a few things in my life organized. I also knew that I couldn’t do this without isolating myself a little. Knowing all of this, I made the decision to go on a little hiatus. I committed to giving my phone a break. In other words, I made a choice to stop talking on the phone, texting, and give up all social networks (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Now for a person like me, who’s on their phone quite a bit, that’s really a sacrifice. Even the people that are the closest to me, the people I speak to religiously on a daily basis, I wasn’t in contact with. This wasn’t something that I was necessarily overjoyed about, but I knew it was something that I needed to do. I only used my phone during this time, if it was something important. I must say, I did a relatively good job, kudos to me! Lol. But on a serious note, these few days were so beneficial.

So when starting or going through any process, there should always be a goal set in place. Some of my goals for this hiatus was to get my relationship with God back to where it needed to be (spending more time with Him), get my finances in order, create a feasible budget, do more reading, dedicate more time to writing, and become more aware of some things about myself that I needed to work on. I decided to create a game plan for these next few months so that I could go into the new year a little better. So I pretty much wanted to grow. And although I know this sounds like a lot to get done in a matter of days, I would have been satisfied just getting a start on it. Because obviously things don’t just change overnight, it does take time.

One of the most important things to take away from this, is that I was open to change before I began. I was open to hopefully coming up with methods to change certain areas in my life. I was pretty much open to making a better life for myself. When you make yourself open and available to change, that’s just what you’ll get.
So as I started my week, I started off with prayer and reading, something I don’t always do. Some days I would start my morning with a phone call. Although my day didn’t go bad when I started them with a phone call, it was a bit of a difference starting with prayer and reading. It gave me the fuel I needed for the day. It allowed me to stay focused and on task.

I then made some phone calls about these ungodly college loans and rearranged some of my bills. I also made a monthly budget, considering how much I wanted to spend and how much I wanted to save.

I wrote what I benefited from on a day to day basis, things I noticed about myself during the day and what I needed to work on and change. I also wrote down what I planned to accomplish in the next few months.

Another important thing I noticed, is how much time I actually spent on my phone. With the amount of reading, writing, and personal organization I did, it showed me that I wasted too much time on a daily basis. Although after coming from the hiatus, I don’t plan to continue to completely give up time spent on my phone, I do plan to limit it. I was able to come up with a plan where I could get all that I needed to do in on a day to day basis and fill in some of the things that I wanted to do as well. Win win situation. But I had to become aware of where the most of my time went so that I could change what I needed to change.
Going into this I knew that there were some decisions I needed to make concerning my life, without the opinions of other people. I needed to get some things squared away on my own. This time away from people helped me to get my thoughts down on paper and reason some things out. I made up in my mind that I didn’t want to allow anyone’s thoughts or opinions to determine how I move. Being in hibernation helps build your confidence as well. When you’re constantly reminding yourself of who you are and what you’re capable of doing through positive affirmation, you begin to grow.
I was aware of my attitude and behavior as well, within those few days. And this was because I took time to reflect and see if there was anything that I could change. Again this was only possible because I was open to it.

There were a few other personal things I was able to accomplish as well. Without getting into detail, I did all of this to become better, so that I would be able to grow. I wanted to get closer to the person that I’m supposed to be in life.
I ultimately wanted to solidify a game plan before the year was out. There are certain things I refuse to go into the new year with. I’ve avoided too much for way too long, mostly because of fear. So I made up in my mind, there would be no more planning without action, as I’ve done so often in the past.

What we must realize is, hibernation and quietude can be very beneficial to our lives. In order to “get ya life”, there are some sacrifices that you will have to make. You have to evaluate and manage your time. It’s important to assess where the bulk of your time is going and see if it’s taking over your priorities. Once you’ve done this, you can begin to make any necessary changes. So be open to change!

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