What Do You Do? I'm Not Sure That I Even Have the Answer.

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So, it’s the second blog, and as I told you before, I’d mention often, that there is etiquette or protocol in almost everything we encounter. As an Etiquette Consultant, I come to you thinking that I have the answers about the correct approach on how to present the best version of yourself in any situation. Except that recently, I watched a movie, titled “American Son”, where an estranged interracial couple spend all night in a police precinct, awaiting answers to their son’s whereabouts. While doing so, they talk through their perspectives in raising their bi-racial son in this country where racial tension is extremely high.

SPOILER ALERT!!! Their son dies, shot by an officer.

Now even though this story doesn’t go quite like the tragic “white officer kills unarmed black male” events that have certainly become our countries norm, there is a fair share of racial discrimination throughout this film’s narrative. Watching the mother’s role, in this movie, played by Kerry Washington, you see a very strong intelligent black woman, a concerned, worried, terrified mother, who is belittled, insulted, discriminated against, and deals with strong cynicism by a white police officer. You watch her concern grow into anger, as she’s told to “calm down”, “relax” and “sit tight”. And throughout the night of waiting for answers, becoming erratic, and rightfully so, because of how she’s being handled.

When I talk to people about what my business is about, I shut down the idea that etiquette is about telling people what to do, or how to act. My goal is to help you present the best version of you in any given situation. But after watching this movie, I can say that I am not clear on how to advise on how to present the best version of yourself in this circumstance. Let’s be honest, all of  that goes out the window when your loved one is missing, and you’re being mistreated. So, what is the proper protocol? How do you act? What does calm look like? What do you do? Let’s forget for a moment that race is a factor. The reality doesn’t change, nor does the behavior change.

I really don’t have any thought provoking tips. What I do know, is that you can get more flies with honey than what you can with vinegar. Sometimes, being calm helps, not shouting, or fighting, but communicating in a way that gets you answers, making all parties feel safe. I’m not saying to bend on how you feel, or who are, or what you believe, but consider the trade off when you are the one needing answers.

Let’s throw race back in and now I’m also reminded of “The Talk”, which is a reality for black families today. Unfortunately, there is protocol there. So, if there is something, I can provide here for you, from my thoughts on this movie and me raising a black child, it’s how to survive if stopped by law enforcement:

1. Be polite and respectful when stopped by the police. Keep your mouth closed.

2. The goal is to get home safely. If you feel that your rights have been violated, you and your parents have the right to file a formal complaint with your local jurisdiction.

3. Don’t get into an argument with the police.

4. Always remember that anything you say or do can be held against you in court.

5. Keep your hands in plain sight and make sure the police can always see your hands.

6. Avoid physical contact with the police. No sudden movements and keep hands out of your pockets.

7. Do not run, even if you are afraid of the police.

8. Even if you believe you are innocent, do not resist arrest.

9. Don’t make any statements about the incident until you are able to meet with a lawyer or a public defender.

10. Stay calm and remain in control. Watch your words and your body language and emotions.

I don’t like not being able to provide answers in an area where I am certified , but I think there are situations and circumstances in life where we don’t have all the answers, and the only thing you can do is attempt to survive.

Welcome! And Happy Birthday to Me!!!

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Yes, Please & Thank You! IS A YEAR OLD!!! I can’t believe it. I cannot believe I have been a business owner for 1 year. Like so many of us, when our birthdays come around, we reflect on what we have and haven’t accomplished, or perhaps what the past year looked like overall. I’ve had much momentum, but then I’ve had lazy moments where I was neglectful. There were so many things I said that I wouldn’t do, things that I wanted to do. I’ve accomplished a lot, but yet not completely satisfied. I’ve taken risks, and Lord knows, where certain areas of my life are concerned, I am not jumping off of the cliff. But this year has also come with learning experiences, and jumping off the cliff is one of them. You can’t desire to be a business owner and not take risks.

So here I am, and here you are with me. I’m jumping off a cliff, and you are here to watch. Blogging was one of the things I said I wouldn’t do. I didn’t want digital products, I was terrified to post videos on social media, didn’t want an online school/programs, I had no desire to write books. I was scared of perception and I just didn’t want to do those things. I just “DIDN’T”. You are probably saying to yourself, “how in the world does this lady, want to run a business, but doesn’t want to “run” a business?” Crazy, right? But as the saying goes, “The dream doesn’t work unless you do.” I’ve met so many people, attended events, and have been the main event, all in this 1 year. And the energy, love, ideas, and advice I received, showed me that what I have to offer, people really do want. The excitement that I hear in people’s voices, and the excitement in their face when I tell them about Yes, Please & Thank You, is AMAZING! And now all of those things that I said I wouldn’t do, have either been done, or they are in the process of being done. And did I forget to mention that people have said that I inspire them. Not me??? Miss , “I don’t want to do anything”. Again, crazy right? But looks like the jump wasn’t too bad. I SURVIVED! SO LET’S GO! LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!!!

I will bring to you a bi-weekly blog post, providing you with how-to’s and what not to-do’s, tips, on etiquette when it comes to dating, parties, communication, children, business, and so much more. I will often use the phrase, “There is etiquette in everything”, and I promise you there is! I can always guarantee my days are filled with some type etiquette lesson I have learned and want to share. My desire is for you to show up as the best version of you, in all of your encounters. So, without further ado, since we’re celebrating my birthday, here are a few birthday party etiquette tips to be mindful of :

  • Be creative with gift giving – think about the person you are purchasing for and cater to who they are, what they mean to you, and the things that they desire.
  • Give gift cards– If your creative juices just aren’t flowing, gift cards are a nice gesture. Perhaps to their favorite restaurants, retail stores, or events. Giving a gift card, that isn’t specific to a restaurant or retail, kind of suggests that no real thought went into the gift, unless specified by the receiver that they don’t have a preference.
  • If you are throwing a party, it is ideal to send invitations at least two weeks prior to the date of the party. Chances are, that if you wait until the last minute, some of your favorite guests may not be able to attend due to prior obligations.
  • RSVP – this is a big one. Be sure to RSVP. Although the event planner wants your beautiful face in the place, they have also spent time and money, on food/drink, party favors, decorations, venue, and invitations just to have you there. Be courteous and respectful in that you value their time, money, and energy to ensure your are entertained.
  • Say Thank You – your guests have also spent time, money, and energy to be there for you. Even those who are in your life and perhaps could not attend your birthday gathering, or couldn’t give you a gift, say thank you for them acknowledging your birthday. Lastly, whomever you believe your creator to be, say thank you for the gift of life.

As much as I am looking forward to being in your inbox, I hope that you look forward to seeing me there. Cheers to jumping off cliffs, and thank you!