This HandMade Life- It Ain’t Easy Being a Designing Woman

No matter what you’ve seen on reality TV.

I have a little time now that the Christmas season is over and, while I spend most of it being totally fricking UNinspired, every once in a while I get an idea. This week’s idea was “I Love New York”, a collection of items inspired by my love of the greatest city in the world (or maybe I’m homesick, whatever). I made the mistake of starting with up cycled tees ( we went home last summer, bought a couple or three tee shirts, no one actually wears that stuff once they get back home, so you’re left with a bag of brand new t-shirts).
I wanted something sexy, off the shoulder, with Knicks colors and frills and all that. This is what I ended up with
- yes I’m frogging as we speak, then I’m going to hopefully redeem myself by creating something totally awesome….tomorrow.

Honestly, Why Are Scammers Targeting You?

NEW YORK - JANUARY 14:  Accused financier Bern...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

11/24/2009 – I just saw a story on TV where an older woman was scammed out of $3000.00 by two women who claimed to be illegal immigrants with a winning lottery ticket that they could not cash. She bought the ticket from them thinking that it was worth $50,000.00!!!! Of course it was  a useless ticket and she got what she paid for – nothing for something. This being the season for scammers and get rich quick schemes I thought that I should repost this article as a reminder that you really can’t cheat an hones man, but….

If I had a dime for every person who has told me “I’ve been scammed before”, I could retire to my New York penthouse.  But you know if you have been scammed, you do realize that you have no one to blame but yourself?

I hope that didn’t come as a shock and surprise, you see you can only be scammed if you are open to being scammed, meaning you’re looking for easy money or a way to “get rich” overnight with little or no effort.

You can’t cheat an honest man, it just can’t be done. But you can find the man who wants something for nothing, and give him nothing for something. – Michael “Mickey” Foster

Mickey Foster is a con artist, his job is to find people who want something for nothing and give it to them.  Like you, I have lost a ton of money in various “schemes”, for example I invested 10K  hoping to get a 25% return. It was 2007 and before i could say “money for nothing” my investment had vanished into a home that could not be sold because the market had tanked.   I wanted something for nothing and I got just that – nothing.

You’ve heard about the Nigerian scam, my Dad was forced to leave the country, there are millions in the bank and we can’t get it out, Mum is dying and we need the money to get her out of the country, my brother was run over by a lorry and lost his leg…the long and short of it – you give me a small amount of money and when we get our money we will give you 50K. This scam is as old as the hills and people still fall for it, why?

Probably because, it’s got a sympathy and empathy factor so that you don’t feel guilty for getting such a large payout for your small investment and you get to feel that you are doing a good thing. You may think that you’re an honest person, but honest people know that good things come to those who work hard for them. An honest man would delete the first  email after reading it and send all follow ups to his spam folder to be deleted later.

Of course a scam can be much more subtle “i can show you how to make money in your sleep”, “I made $6,326 in one day and I can show you how”, “attract endless leads with this system” and on and on. Here’s a clue:

  1. Only lottery winners make millions overnight, so if you haven’t won the lottery
  2. To make money while you sleep requires a lot of work on your part
  3. If you paid hundreds or thousands for a sure fire business opportunity.
  4. If you are having trouble finishing what you start  (jobs, businesses, relationships)
  5. Then you just may be an opportunist, that guy or gal who is looking for lots of return with little or no investment of time, energy, emotion, or dollars.

Don’t get me wrong , you get into the right business and put some muscle in it, you will make money in your sleep. But you have to be consistent and persistent, you have to be willing to do what it takes, you have to read some books and learn some things, attend a seminar or two or three, hop on some of those guru calls, manage your time well and learn how to be productive, and you can’t give up if you aren’t rich in six months , because then you’re just proving that you’re an opportunist, right?

And who the heck is Mickey Foster you ask? Well he’s just my favorite character on a Brit show called “Hustle“. It comes on AMC, I watch it On Demand so i have no idea when it airs, great show though.

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The Importance of Communicating Our Intentions

Has this ever happened to you? You signed a new person to your business intentionopportunity, they were gung ho and ready to rock and roll, you are just totally over the moon about the possibilities. But it’s been two weeks and Jane doesn’t respond to your emails and has not returned any of your calls.  You’re starting to wonder if there is something you said or didn’t say that may have caused this situation.

Jane  is MIA and, trust me, it’s no one’s fault. You ASSUMED that Jane planned to just jump on in there and get to work, building her business and increasing your earnings. However, Jane’s intentions are to get to it when she get’s to it,  after all you did tell her that it’s her business.

You entered into this relationship with the intention of gaining a partner who would help you to grow your existing business, Jane entered into this business with the intention of getting a home office tax deduction because she is single, childless, and has to pay additional taxes at the end of the year.  And yes she does plan to work the business someday, but it was never her intention to do it today.

This example illustrates the negative situation that can arise when we do not clarify our true intentions when entering into a relationship. The truth is that this is a very common thread in all relationships, we have certain unspoken expectations of our co-workers, our spouses, our children, and our friends.  When the other party in a relationship does not live up to these expectations we are disappointed and the relationship is slightly fractured.

Joe, a married man from Connecticut, meets Cindy at a club in New York and they enter into a relationship. Joe’s intention is to have a good time outside of his marriage, Cindy on the other hand believes that Joe loves her and her increasing intention is to wrest hi away from his wife and children and marry him herself. Cindy wins and Joe marries her after his divorce becomes final. Several years later she is devastated to learn that he has had several affairs. Joe is surprised, it was never his intention to hurt Cindy, he gave her everything she wanted and assumed that she understood “the kind of guy” that he is.  Joe and Cindy could have saved themselves some trouble nd heartache by stating their intentions and expectations loudly and clearly back at the club when they first met.

In business, as in life, you will find that things will go much more smoothly when everyone is clear about what their intentions are and what their desired outcome is. What if you had said to Jane, “I am looking for people who are ready to hit the ground running because I have a goal..” then Jane could have responded “Well I really like the business model and want to sign on, but I probably won’t be able to get started working for another six months, would that be ok with you?”

It sure would save you a lot of angst and frustration to find out what’s really in your prospect’s head up front, now wouldn’t it?

How do you communicate your intentions when prospecting?

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Entrecard Top Droppers & What I’m Lovin Right Now

courtesy of Entrecard

courtesy of Entrecard

Is it the end of the month already? Does time move faster once you hit age 30? Anything is possible:)

First off, I’m psyched that  Re over at Bad Gals Radio reviewed my site and liked it so much she did an interview too, gotta love that. Here is what Re had to say about me:
“Originating in the Caribbean and growing up in New York; Denises’ sensibilities are current to the mood of today. she’s down to earth, thoughtful, forthright, Funny and an all around enjoyable read. I put her in the Gratitude Column, when I size up blogs. when you got it, you can share it. Denise Does in Each Blog.

4 Tips to Help You Keep The Faith While You’re Losing Everything Else is One of Our Favorites. We’ve sent this article to friends who’ve cried about foreclosures and layoffs; and they always say the same thing we did when we read it – Great Advice, in faith and functionality. no hellfire and brimstone, just a straight shooter calling out the options, clearly – so you can make the right choices in a time of stress.”

Bad Gals Radio is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get until the page opens. Today’s topic is quite sad, go take a look. And look for me to do an interview with the blogger who never sleeps sometime in the near future.

The next site I am loving right now is Rantings of a Mad Rodent he is a straight shooting son of a gun with a dirty mouth, chances are that in the middle of laughing at what he’s saying, you might realize that he’s probably right.

I also want to give props to my buddy Scott over at  Real Estate Investing Blog who is just such a go getter. Check out his social marketing package in the Entrecard market.

Now for some link love for my February  top droppers:

Parental Instincts 30
Comedy Plus 27
The Fashion Lovers 24
Speak Wealth Now! 24
Learning How To Make Money Online 23
_el@i_ 21
Article Marketing Methods 19
how much love 19
Lottery Power Picks News/Blog 19
Guy in Love 19
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Daddy, what is Racism?

Since we voted a Black man (or African-American male) into the office of President of The United states, I have been hearing some rumors that this means racism is officially dead.  I am therefore writing this article for posterity and to answer the question that future generations will inevitably pose “Daddy, what’s racism?”

Merriam- Webster defines racism as “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race“.  This definition just doesn’t slice and dice and explain the feelings and situations that racism can produce.  So, I am going to dig into my bag of memories and try to create some word pictures for you. My experiences, like the Revolution, was neither televised nor photographed for future generations, so you’re just going to have to trust me when I say it happened just the way I am going to write it.

American Workers Bring Segregation to The Third World

My earliest experience with this thing called racism is based on events and situations that I was too young to understand. Which is to say, I did not know that my race had anything to do with the way we were made to live. When I was 5 years old , my parents moved to a place called Kwakwani on the upper Berbice River in Guyana, South America. My parents were both nurses and they went there to work at the hospital. Kwakwani was/is a bauxite mining town, bauxite is an aluminum ore and this is why the folks from the Reynolds company set up shop in Kwakwani.

I lived a happy existence and never questioned why the white people lived on the “hill” and we did not; nor did I think it odd that on Thursdays we could not patronize any shops- because after all it was their shopping day; but I certainly did care that when fruit fell onto the ground from the trees on the “hill” we couldn’t pick it up or we (and that includes adults) would be severely punished. Absolutely ridiculous, I know, but racism doesn’t have much to do with common sense.

The Lords of Flatbush Wasn’t Just a Movie

The Lords of Flatbush
Image via Wikipedia

The year that I  turned 9, we moved to Flatbush in Brooklyn, NY. At the time Flatbush was a  Jewish neghborhood and I was into the Jackson 5, the Osmond Brothers, and David Cassidy because my friends were a rainbow and I didn’t know any better:)  There were five kids and 5 adults in a two-bedroom apartment ( back then New York  apartments were quite roomy) and eventually my Mom bought a three story brownstone in East Flatbush .

East Flatbush was populated mostly by 2nd ,3rd and 4th generation European immigrants (Italians,Irish,German, etc.) and they were not happy to see the third black family on the block.  Maureen and Patrick (the kids next door) were our age and would come over to the house and play with us. One day the   older (early 20s maybe?) guys and gals were hanging out across the street and as Maureen came around the corner with us one of them (mightha been Theresa Spinelli trying to impress the older boys) said “Maureen, you hanging out with the jigaboos?” Maureen began to spend more time on that side of the street than on our side, guess that until that moment she had failed to notice that we were “different”.

My sister and I  had two really good friends the summer that I was 14, Diane was Italian and Kathy was blonde, maybe Irish. We used to hang out on Diane’s stoop all day and sneak cigarettes in her back yard. But when Big Rocco and Little Rocco came around  we would hide in her basement, shaking with fear, until they had passed by. The Roccos were  the neighborhood badasses and did not care for niggers or nigger lovers (sorry, but that’s how they saw us and that’s what they called us). That kind of intense pressure is just not good for kids and their friendships, lemme tell you.

Sometimes the young males from the neighborhood would band together and march down all the streets where blacks lived singing “We hate living in a nigger neighborhood” to the tune of the Beatles “Yellow Submarine”.  Within 4 years the most rabid had all moved to Bensonhurst or out to Long Island. Maureen again felt comfortable being our friend ; besides, her family was poor and lived above the corner store (where her brothers would cut a hole in the roof to steal from John the owner and their landlord) and they couldn’t really afford to move. The whites who stayed assimilated with the blacks that came, some of the boys ended up marrying black girls etc.

But We Are Just Kids Too!

We attended the Church of the Evangel right on the edge of Crown Heights and one Friday night the Youth Group decided to go play basketball. One of the boys, Hugh, lived on the “good” side of town off of Ocean Parkway, so we went to a park near there. When we got to the park there were some kids playing baseball, and we just went to the basketball  court and the boys played hoops while the girls made fun of them (or whatever teenage girls do). After a while we noticed that the baseball playing  kids were gone, but we just figured it was dinner time.

I believe that it was the roar and the revving engines that brought our attention to the fact that the entire neighborhood had come out to the park, with bats, chains, bikes, motorcycles, cars and other WMDs. The leader of the pack said to us “If youse touch a hair on these kids heads” and maybe she said some more stuff that I don’t remember. All I  know is that one of my wisecracking compadres saw fit to drop one of his wisecracks at that point and it didn’t go over well; they were on us like (pardon the pun) white on rice.  Fear can turn a tortoise into a hare, I honestly don’t know how we got out of it in one piece. We scattered to the four winds and just ran like the devil was on our heels, we had to dodge the bikes, the cars, the chains. At some point we realized that we were running and they had stopped chasing, I guess there was some boundary that we had crossed and they needed to push us back across it.

My sister attended elementary school in Bensonhurst and every day was like this for her, the neighborhood kids would chase them to the bus stop (just like on “Everybody Hates Chris” but without the laugh track and happy endings). It was all about superiority and fear, I wonder what those kids are doing with their lives now? Time and circumstance changes people and things, if you were a participant in similar activities, please leave a comment.

There are so many more stories to tell, but then this would be a book and not a blog post. I hope that you save it somewhere, and are able to use it when/if your kids ask you the racism question.

Update: Just read this article via a tweet from @AroundHarlem. Sorry to see that racism, sexism, and homophobia isn’t dead after all.

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