Inspiration

Fridays with Dr. Glass: Overcoming Obstacles as an Entrepreneur

Santresa L. Glass

(Photo Courtesy of Santresa L. Glass)

What are some obstacles you have faced as an entrepreneur?

Money. Working in the food industry, specifically specializing in cheesecakes, and having a non-profit based on food, is not inexpensive. It takes money. One of the things I started doing was to attend wedding/bridal shows, inquiring with local events planners about being added to their preferred vendors’ list, going to small businesses (including gas stations) with samples of my baked confections to discuss potential wholesale contracts.

Support from the people I know. Believe it or not, some of those closest to me in kinship and former friendships were not the biggest supporters, and it hurt tremendously having the support of complete strangers as opposed to those I’ve know forever.

Revamping my business. Deciding to revamp my business structure in 2008 was extremely scary, but it is one of the best things I could have done for my brand. Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC will turn 11 years old next month (February), and it has become a go-to premier      delivery-only bakery that specializes in cheesecakes, chocolate-covered strawberries, boozy berries, wine-infused and traditional flavored cupcakes, dessert tables as well as candy buffets. All of the aforementioned would not have been possible if I had not discontinued offering everything under the sun available for baked goods. I found my niche and I’ve benefited greatly from it.

Time. Time management is important to entrepreneurs because we often wear many hats (owner, human resources, public relations, and accountant). It is alright to schedule most things and create a healthy balance socially and professionally.

How did you overcome the barriers you have faced as an entrepreneur?

Different things work for different people, but without a doubt prayer and faith serve as the foundation of resolving any of the barriers I have overcome. Another way in which I have bulldozed barriers is learning how to take breaks . . . just to breathe. Sometimes, as entrepreneurs, we are so driven with a dogged determination we forget to just, well . . . be. I say this because I am extremely tough on myself; more than the normal “I’m my toughest critic” cliché.

What advice can you offer to current and future entrepreneurs about confronting challenges as an entrepreneur?

One of the first things I would like to say is NO success is EVER an individualistic act. No matter how “Type A” my dominant personality is and how creatively affluent I’ve become, I cannot and will not continue building an entrepreneurial empire by myself. In the areas where I can improve my strengths, I seek the advice of experts and professionals in said industries. In the areas where I excel, I have learned to delegate some of the responsibility to interns who are willing to learn and be students of their passions.

Another piece of advice I would give to entrepreneurs is learning to discern between genuine support and convenient support. All of us should have that small Cheerio circle of personal and professional people we can call on to seek advice or just rant. DO NOT TRY TO DO IT ALL! You will fail. We all need help and must be receptive to not only asking for it, but also progress through all of the nos—they will come.

Finally, work your asparagus off! Create opportunities for yourself, be a student of your passion, and fall in constant love every day with exactly what you love to do.

Many entrepreneurs’ dreams and aspirations are often doubted by numerous people. What advice can you offer to current and future entrepreneurs about dealing with naysayers?

*laughing boisterously* Would you like a response from Dr. Glass or San? Listen carefully, an entrepreneur cannot allow unsupportive individuals, whether it be family, friends, or associates, to deter him or her from doing EPIC things. It all starts with you, the individual. Tenacity, a tough skin, reception to constructive criticism, and hard work should stem from the motivation of what naysayers have to say about another’s dreams and aspirations.

Stay Connected to Dr. Glass . . .

Facebook: Magnolia’s Sweet Haven

Instagram: @magnoliassweethaven

Twitter: @magsweethaven

Facebook: Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.

Instagram: @cheesecakeforthecure

Twitter: @cheesecake4cure

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

There’s Healing Power Already in You

Prayer

(Photo Credit: Samaritan’s Purse)

When you ask the Lord to forgive you for all your sins, and to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16), Jesus gives you power to conquer anything Satan brings against you. Luke 10:19 states, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”  When Satan sends all forms of sickness and diseases your way, use the power that Christ has given you to defeat sickness and diseases. To activate the healing power within you, you will need to pray and ask Jesus to remove sickness and disease from your body, and after you have prayed, believe that you’re already healed. Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  Use your mouth to ask Jesus for what you desire and believe that you have already received what you’ve asked Him. Now, thank Him for answering your prayer.

As Believers, we never have to accept a negative report given by a doctor. When a doctor gives us a negative report, we have to understand that Jesus has given us the Grace, His power, love and peace working on the inside of us, to destroy all chaos. Sickness and disease are chaotic phenomena—they are forces that attempt to stop you from beholding and trusting the Promises of God. Whenever one totally turns his or her mind away from the Promises of God, chaos takes over his or her life. As a Believer, Jesus has declared you the Righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:22), and, as the Righteousness of God, you need to declare that you’re already healed because God has already told you that you’re healed (Isaiah 53:5)—you must believe it to receive the physical manifestation of your healing (Mark 11:24).

At the core of why most people do not receive healing is a failure to sincerely ask Christ to heal them. When a request is made to Christ to grant healing, the person making the petition must already believe that he or she has been healed. Therefore, an earnest asking of Christ to do anything for you must be coupled with true belief that He has already performed what you’ve requested because of the genuine faith that accompanies your request. Also, if the person has any unrepented sin, then he or she must ask God to forgive this sin before the healing can take place.  The bible says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). As a Believer, you’re righteous because Jesus declared you to be righteous—not as a result of any righteousness or righteous works of your own. The aforementioned verse informs Believers that they have to ask for forgiveness from one another and pray for one another before God will heal them. You cannot, therefore, expect God to heal you when you’ve not forgiven someone for something he or she did to you.

The only work you need to do to receive your healing is trust that the Finished Work of Jesus Christ (accomplished at the Cross) has already healed you. Many teachers and preachers will have you to focus on doing works in your own strength, which evinces their ignorance of the Word of God (Galatians 5:16). We are, however, to cast all of our cares on Jesus Christ (I Peter 5:7), and this will allow Christ’s Grace to become activated in our lives to heal us. When we’re working, we cancel out the ability of Jesus to work for us because we’re communicating to Him that we can take care of the problems on our own; your handling of your problems without following the leadership of the Holy Spirit quenches Him (I Thessalonians 5:19).

Trust Jesus to heal your body right now.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Develop Your Own Fashion Style

Andre 3000

(Photo Credit: BET)

Let your fashion style come from within.  Don’t look to others about how you should dress.  You already have the answer inside of you.  While it’s okay to draw inspiration from the way others dress, your fashion style should represent who you are; therefore, it’s going to have true originality.  The fundamental way to destroy the originality of your fashion style is to copy others and/or idolize the fashion styles of others.  You will end up looking like a cheap copy of others, and those folks you’re copying and/or idolizing could simply be cheap copies of others.  Do you see how the chain of cheap copies begins and persists?

It’s important to understand that simply dressing “weird” and making a painstakingly ridiculous effort to be “different” from everyone else isn’t being original.  Again, let your fashion style emerge naturally from within.  For ladies who take Lady Gaga as your model for dressing “different,” Gaga’s radical fashion will have you looking like a person who attempts to dress like her; ultimately, you will have a foolish appearance. It’s okay to draw inspiration from Lady Gaga but don’t strive to dress just like her.  For guys who take Andre 3000 as your model for dressing “different,” you’re going to look silly if you try to dress just like him.  His fashion style represents what comes natural for him.  What’s natural for him isn’t going to be natural for you—you’re two different people.

When it comes having a fashion style that represents you, less may be more.  Pharrell Williams’ fashion style offers a great example of less is more. Yeah, he may choose a hat to wear that catches your attention, but no one said that less is more had to be boring.

People who truly feel they dress well don’t go around flaunting it either.  They simply walk with confidence and grace about how they look.  Never do they feel the need to disclose with you the large amount of money they paid for their clothing and accessories, and never do they launch attacks on others about the way they dress.  People who have their own unique fashion styles don’t go around acting as if they’re God’s gifts to fashion or the fashion industry, and they don’t go around acting like they should be fashion teachers.

Stop fawning over the way other people dress and get more in tune with the fashion style that’s best for you. What you have on should never wear you; you should be wearing it.  Unfortunately, many people who choose to dress in “innovative” ways have on things that are wearing them.  These people often are seeking to draw attention to themselves, but they never seem to contemplate the truth behind the reactions they receive from people. While many people will give you praise in your face about what you have on, behind your back they’re exposing you for how foolish you’ve consciously decided to make yourself look.

You must understand the importance of being yourself when it comes to what you wear.  What you wear should provide a true snapshot of the person you are.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

You Need A Reality Check

Reality Check

(Photo Credit: Globster)

Sometimes you have to give people a reality check.  Reality checks are beneficial for people.  They help to provide people with the necessary understanding of who they are and how they developed into the people they are today.  Too often people get selective amnesia and think that they simply arrived where they are without the help of anyone else.  It’s important to help people to realize they may only be as good as those who helped them to get where they are today.  Unfortunately, individuals can fool themselves into actually believing their own lies. When you live and believe your own lies, you’re delusional, and delusional people need to be placed in a mental facility for treatment.  Are you a delusional person needing to benefit from mental health services because you live and believe your own lies?

Don’t be afraid to check yourself into a mental health facility to receive the mental health treatment you need to overcome psychological problems.

The fundamental reason why people would rather live a lie than the truth is they don’t have the confidence in who they really are to live the truth. They believe the lies they live are going to mask the truth about them, but you can never camouflage the truth about yourself; the majority of folks will recognize the truth about you. When you attempt to hide the truths about yourself, you’re simply wasting time.  All of the time you invest in being phony could be used to make serious advancements toward becoming the person you long to be.

Do you realize that phony people are dangerous?  Why are they dangerous?  They are dangerous because they will inevitably become so frustrated that the only way they can live with themselves is to destroy the people around them.  If you don’t believe this, you haven’t been around people who are truly delusional.  When you have an experience with a really delusional person, he or she will aid you in understanding why he or she (and others like him or her) has the potential to cause you and others great harm.

We need to have greater national discourses in America about mental health.  Our national conversations about mental health, however, cannot overlook the importance of calling people to be themselves.  There must be stronger encouragement for people to welcome and appreciate truth, including truths about themselves.  When people have a better appreciation and embracement of truth, they will begin to love themselves genuinely.  A healthy love of yourself is essential.  You cannot truly love yourself until you embrace everything about yourself, including your ugly truths.

Recognize that your ugly truths are present to let you know that you’re still human and imperfect.  Keep working to improve those things about yourself that displease you.  You must, however, know that there are some things about yourself that you cannot change.  Some things about yourself are simply a part of who you were created to be.

When God created you, He made only one of you.  Be proud to be the person God wonderfully made you to be. He made you special; it’s your job to recognize it and thank Him for it.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

New Beginnings, New Opportunities

Happy Black Woman

(Photo Credit: Mommy Noire)

Sometimes you have to allow yourself to move away from stagnant, declining and decaying spaces to offer yourself new opportunities to reach your highest potential. Too often people’s talents aren’t able to be used or are being wasted in unproductive spaces. Embracing the status quo and/or being overtaken by a spirit of complacency leads people to develop a false consciousness that they’re truly at “home” in these restrictive spaces. When you feel like you’re not growing and aren’t able to maximize your potential, it can be quite useful to consider the spaces you’re occupying.  Are you really happy where you are in life right now?  If you’re not, you may want to contemplate the impact the spaces you frequent or dwell in are having on your ability to experience happiness.

Don’t simply stay in a place to make the people around you happy.  Why would you want to live a miserable life just to make other people happy? Does not your own happiness matter too?  If you’re going to be truly happy and successful, you must have a willingness to take risks.  Find a successful person who never took a risk.  Let me save you some time: you won’t find one.

When you depart from spaces you have frequented or inhabited for a long time, it’s natural to experience some separation anxiety as a result of leaving people you love. Take the necessary time to deal with the impact of this separation anxiety, but don’t lose sight of the true happiness and prosperity you desire to materialize.  At some point, you’re going to have to learn the importance of keeping your emotions in check. Successful people don’t give their emotions the power to rule them; they rule their emotions.  If you allow your emotions to run you, then you will make many emotional decisions; emotional decisions are often poor and damaging decisions.

You may have to try or learn some new things to make room for new beginnings and new opportunities.  Don’t get frustrated with the new thing you have to learn.  You have to understand that the new thing you have to learn is a part of the process of getting to the life you long to live. The path to success is not going to be easy and it’s not going to come without some struggle.  When you muster the courage to pursue new beginnings and new opportunities, you have to develop a resolute mindset to meet your aspirations.  You have to be determined to accomplish your goals no matter what comes your way.

Recognize that there will be people who will attempt to discourage you from pursuing new beginnings and new opportunities, but you must view them as only hindrances.  Don’t permit a single hindrance to stifle your progress in any way.  Keep pushing forward, even if you have to push your hindrances literally out of the way.

Be excited about pursuing new beginnings and new opportunities.  One of the amazing things about life is you never know what great opportunity will come your way.  It’s up to you, however, to engender an environment where new beginnings and new opportunities run to you instead of run away from you.

Life becomes sweeter and sweeter when we’re open to change.  Change can be good for you.  Go ahead and give yourself a chance to be a better you!

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Get to the Heart of the Matter

White Couple

(Photo Credit: Daily Mail)

When you desire to have a serious discourse with someone, be sure you’re ready to be transparent with him or her. Beating around the metaphorical bush with the person you’re communicating with can cause him or her to distrust you.  It can appear to him or her that you have something to hide.  If you truly don’t have anything to conceal from the person, then get to the heart of the matter; that is, let the person know what’s truly on your mind.  When you’re having an important conversation with an individual and you’re not as forthcoming as possible, one has to wonder if it’s really a conversation or not; it could just be a performance.

No one wants to feel like he or she is banging his or her head against the wall just to get you to offer a smidgen of candor.  The reality is many people aren’t prepared to engage in frank discourses with others.  One can posit that most relationship problems, including legal separations and divorces, are a result of a failure to have bold communication.  Too many people lack the boldness to have the conversations that need to take place.

People will never really know what’s bothering you if you’re not willing to tell them.  You will discover that it’s liberating to disclose to people how you’re really feeling.

Although it may not be what you want to hear, you reveal yourself to be a coward when you lack the courage to say what needs to be said.  This is why it’s vital to help people to overcome their fears.  By helping more people to overcome their fears, there will be a reduction in the number of people who allow the fear to communicate candidly to hinder or sever their various relationships.

Some people are afraid to have bold conversations because they are fearful of confrontation.  It’s almost impossible to go through life without experiencing confrontation.  Those individuals who aren’t afraid of confrontation and who aren’t afraid to have frank discourses with you are demonstrating maturity.  There will be some who will say they just love drama, but the reality is mature people never leave what needs to be said unsaid.

Being bold about what you say does not mean being intentionally hurtful to others.  You can speak truthfully to people without being abrasive. Just don’t let the potential of someone getting hurt by your words prevent you from saying what needs to be said, however.  Ultimately, the person who receives your candid words will be better off having heard your words.

When a person is honest with you, what he or she says to you may make you angry.  Give the person credit for being truthful.  Respond to the truth in a mature way.  You don’t want people to avoid speaking candidly to you because they know you will react immaturely.  The way we receive truth will unveil important revelations about us, even some revelations we may not be ready to receive.

It’s time to get real with the people around you, and it’s time to get real with yourself.  Have the essential discourses you need to have today.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Acknowledging Regrets Can Move You Forward

Emotional Health

(Photo Credit: CDC)

We all have our regrets.  Although we shouldn’t live a life full of regrets, it can be quite liberating to deal candidly with your regrets.  You may have invested greatly in people who have evinced that they were not worthy of your time, but the time you devoted to them speaks volumes about your character.  Even though those individuals may now be your enemies, learn to appreciate the lessons you’ve learned from your interactions with those who have proved themselves to lack gratitude.  Don’t allow your life to become consumed by focusing on regrets; instead, take the necessary time to think critically about the things you regret.

Too often people are afraid to confront challenges in their lives that make them uncomfortable.  Although many would have you to believe that you need to do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable, it’s beneficial to have a constant healthy level of discomfort present.  Discomfort unveils to us that we’re human.  If you’re always avoiding phenomena that cause discomfort, then you’re trying to remove yourself from experiencing inexorable dimensions of the human condition.  You’re going to have to recognize that staying away from discomfort is going to limit your progression significantly.  Ultimately, you will discover your most impactful regret is failing to assess the emotional and physical toll of your regrets.

Forgiving yourself and the people who have hurt you are essential to experiencing true progress.  The regrets you have about past and present relationships and decisions you’ve made have to be placed in the proper context: you and others are human.  Every human being has made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes.  When you don’t forgive yourself and others for mistakes, then the weight of those mistakes hold you down, stifling any chance of you moving forward in life.  A failure to forgive yourself and others results in bitterness, even if you don’t recognize it.  You have to resolve whether you’re going to allow your own mistakes and those of others to defeat you.

Be open to a new beginning with yourself and others.

It’s important for you to realize you’re not the only one who has regrets.  Spend some time talking to others about their regrets and how they process them.  The discourses you have with them can offer you some practices you can employ to place your regrets in an appropriate context.

What if someone has hurt me so deeply, though?  Welcome to the real world.  On this planet that we inhabit, someone is going to do something to cause you harm, whether it be directly or indirectly.  Learn the lessons from your experiences with the person and move on to better people and things.

Don’t turn your regrets into more than they should be.  Do you really just want to be a drama queen or king?  If not, make a commitment to transform every regret into an empowering opportunity.  No one desires to be around someone who is emotionally exhausting.  You can run the people you need to succeed in life away from you.

Take a close emotional inventory.  What are the things keeping you from progressing?  How can you address them?  After you respond to those two questions, devise a practical plan for implementing the solutions birthed from your critical emotional inventory.  If you would like to involve others in this process, understand that this can be beneficial.

Refuse to allow your regrets to dominate you.  Choose to live and win!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Be Yourself: A Simple But Powerful Message

Enjoying Life

(Photo Credit: The Stress Relief Program)

Be yourself.  In the postmodern epoch, too many people in the United States and across the globe are focused on being “people-pleasers” and aren’t focused on simply being who they are.  When you exercise the freedom you have to be yourself, you open up a world of new possibilities for yourself.  People who don’t have the courage to be themselves are being dominated by the bondage of fear.  You can make a decision today to liberate yourself from the bondage of fear.  Fear arrests your development.

Never be afraid to chart your own course in life.  Don’t worry about not seeing a model of who you would like to become—be the person and change you desire to see.

It’s never too late to start living a life of true freedom.  You’re not really liberated until you make the decision to live your life on your own terms.

Give yourself the chance to be the best you.  This is only possible by releasing yourself from the pressure to be someone who you aren’t.

Live your best life.  Muster the courage to be yourself.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

10 Ways to Emancipate Yourself from Mental Slavery

Bob Marley Emancipate Yourself from Mental Slavery

(Photo Credit: Pomeroy Blues)

If you desire to emancipate yourself from mental slavery, then the following is a list of ten ways that will lead you to liberating yourself from mental slavery:

  1. Never be a “people-pleaser.”
  2. Give yourself the freedom to think for yourself.
  3. Never worry about the judgments of others.
  4. Always be yourself.
  5. Benefit from learning from revolutionaries. Observe them directly and/or read about them. Learn what makes/made them distinctive and truly liberated.
  6. Enjoy the beauty of everyday life.
  7. Don’t fall in love with tradition of any kind.
  8. Bloom where you’re planted. Be great and a leader in the areas and gifts you naturally have and/or have worked to obtain.
  9. Read and learn something new every day.
  10. Learn how to see things from the perspectives of others and not just your own perspective.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Truth Should Never Hurt

Truth

(Photo Credit: Match Stic)

We live a world where far too many people do not embrace truth. Many people love to run from truth and make excuses about it.  When you fail to face truth candidly, directly and willingly, you will find yourself living a life saturated with problems. Most of those problems are self-imposed. One of the fundamental reasons why people feel that truth hurts is it does not change. You should not let it hurt you, however. When you present someone with truth, it will not change simply because he or she is your friend or family member; truth is truth—no matter who does not like or agree with it.

If people would invest more time in working to ameliorate the phenomena truth exposes that are wrong in their lives, then they would have a significantly less antagonistic relationship with truth. Instead of getting angry with someone who provided you with a substantive critique full of truth, accept the revelations of truth to place you on a path to experiencing dramatic progress.  Don’t hate truth-tellers—hate the fact that you’re not a lover of truth.

Those who have serious self-esteem problems or low self-esteem are often individuals who have the most challenging time confronting truth. As a means of avoiding truth, they will engender false identities and realities to attempt to palliate the often unsettling realities of truth.

Learn to accept the things you cannot possibly change and work passionately to change those you can. You have to realize complaining each day is not going to enhance your life.

Too many people love to laud themselves as being “real” and champions of truth. When you are an authentic person and lover of truth, you never have to say this yourself―others will do it. Most of the folks I’ve witnessed presenting themselves as “real” and champions of truth are complete phonies. They use multifarious deceptive characterizations of themselves to try to avert attention from the true toxicity of their facades.

Again, truth should never hurt. If you ever feel that truth hurts, then this indicates that you need to change your relation to truth. A misguided and unhealthy relationship with truth can be destructive. You can live a more liberated and victorious life when you allow truth to reign.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison