Figuring This All Out: Brand, Business, and Marketing

One of the realest things I read so far on this road to entrepreneurship is that THERE IS A LOT OF BAD INFORMATION OUT THERE!

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Now one would think that with 10 years of traditional classroom teaching, six years of active duty military service, and six degrees (2 associates, B.A., MPA, Ed.S. and an Ed.D.), I should be where I want to be. Wrong…Wrong…Wrong! I’m trying to crack the self-publishing market and offer a message to aspiring and new teachers (THAT IS MY PURPOSE—To Inspire!)

When I initially wrote my first book, My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching, I was and still am completely behind on not doing enough to properly market my book to get it into the hands of the people that I feel could benefit from it the most.

I would attribute writing this book to being just like the formative years of education because in my first three years I learned A LOT.   Mostly through trial and error and faulty circumstances.  But in those first years I found my purpose and knew that I have a lot to offer as an educator.  As an individual.  As a person who is not afraid to make mistakes and take a risk.

Since the release of my book in July 2016, I still want to do more with it.  I am almost desperate to do more with it because I know that there is some really good information embedded inside to keep teachers motivated.  Now I’ll be honest, I have definitely taken some heat for my book but this was about some real stuff that I experienced as a new teacher.  Much like my recollection of a having a teacher tell me I’d never be successful; I never wanted a child to feel that way about themselves in my classroom. I do not want new teachers feeling left out and ostracized unnecessarily… even with the good support of my mentor teacher, I felt alone when I started teaching.  So I ask myself, was I supposed to paint a pretty picture of the people that were hard on me or was I supposed to tell my TRUTH.

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MY BOOK AT A GLANCE

Year One: This was the toughest year ever and I remember feeling like I was being tested to see if I could really hang in there with my high poverty stricken kids.  But the thing about the students is that once I won them over, they were not the problem.  IT WAS THE ADULTS.  I cried a lot that first year because I felt like I was failing miserably at teaching.  During pre-planning I had been whispered about because of a skirt that I thought was appropriate, but clearly it wasn’t.  I felt so embarrassed by my assets…the skirt was long but that wasn’t the problem.  I was body shamed before body shaming was a thing.

Dealing With Divorce: My first marriage fell apart during my second year of teaching.  I was holding on by a thread.  I had had a huge fight with my husband, got a mugshot for bursting out his truck window, separation, and watching the security I once felt in my marriage be shattered.  All of this was going on while my boys were toddlers (Lil Phil-5, Preston-3). I was home alone with my two boys, cooking for them, dropping them off at daycare, working my full-time teaching job—stressing and wondering when my husband was going to come back home.  HE DIDN’T! The divorce was finalized September, 2011!

Is This Really Happening: So many things happened to me in a few short years that I am blown away at the fact that I’m still in the classroom.  I admit my very first administrator was hands down the bomb.  She had very high expectations and as a new teacher  I had no choice but to meet them.  I’m extremely proud of my results after my first year of standardized testing…I can boast that 97% of my students passed the Criterion Referenced Competency  Test (Phased out CRCT).  But I dealt with a different administrator my 3rd, 4th, and 5th years of teaching that was so passive, it was difficult to feel productive under his leadership.  I dealt with my car being stolen from the school campus my 5th year and instead of being sympathetic his reaction was, “It was a simple repossession.”  That made my blood boil, and I knew it was time to GO!

A Different Perspective: Transferring to a different school was what I thought I needed and while I was yet again able to foster relationships with my students…I also had to deal with adults.  I will say that I am brash and unfiltered at times, but I’m committed to my stance on things, and that doesn’t make me wrong; it makes me passionate about my kids.  I respect other people’s opinions, but I think I have run into others not really respecting mine.  In my ten short years, I have dealt with court cases with my now second ex-husband in 2014, the murder of my half-brother in 2015, middle of the year moves from one content/classroom to another in 2016, and truly feeling undervalued for my experience and knowledge. In a one on one conversation about leadership I once told an administrator, “Your perspective is skewed by what you think you know about me.  Until you see me or in action, you have no idea what I’m capable of.  I take my content very seriously.  I’m not changing!  But you’d have to talk to me to know that.”

Even through all of that I have experienced, the nonconstructive criticisms, and being told I’m not qualified or experienced enough to be an academic coach I still forge ahead.  I’ve also been told I’m “social media heavy”, whatever that means.  I mean, is this the wave?!?!?  Criticize others for the moves they are making because you are not making them yourself?!?!?

Yes my career is teaching but my vision is much bigger than being in a classroom forever.  I refuse to be one dimensional.  Just as I heard today…not everyone wants you to be successful.  I’m building my platform one blog, discussion, experience, post, and video at a time.  I am not a traditional teacher…I have a bit of an edge about me and I’m not afraid to share my experiences.

As I’m figuring this all out I know that the LaTilya Rashon brand and PSB2 Publishing  will rise as I coach myself through the necessities.

To learn more about my self-published titles please check me out here.  Be sure to connect with me on social media.

Be sure to share and leave a comment.  Thanks for reading.cropped-20170110_153240-e14840823819536.png

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10 Things I’m Proud Of

When you are grateful.  Fear disappears and abundance appears. ~Anthony Robbins

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I have been inspired by list posts and recently took a second look at my 35 Randoms Thoughts on the eve of my 35th birthday and the 7 Things You Should Do in 2017 and my oh my have I enlightened my own self.

I am in such a different space in my life from the restart of my blog (March 2016) as I pursue my writing and grabbing opportunities to express myself (Pursue Your Dream Career).  I love lists….I write everything down and look back at the things I affirm in myself and feel a sense of pride when things come to fruition.

Right now there are so many thoughts in my head about what I’m trying to do and where I’m trying to go and I know that the next few years are going to push me closer to my purpose.  In the meantime I’ll just focus right here at Tilyarealeyes.com and put things into the atmosphere and watch them come full circle.  

So here’s to the 10 Things I’m Proud Of

10.  I began my college journey at the University of Florida the glorious summer of 2000.  My #1 school of choice and I had a blast…my very first Blue & White weekend, being introduced to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. by way of the fabulous Mu Epsilon Chapter…endless memories…oh what a time I had.

9.  Due to the fun I had at UF, I subsequently enlisted into the United States Air Force and spent six wonderful years on active duty.  I met some amazing people…but I also walked away with 2 associate degrees and my bachelors when I separated in 2007…Honorable Discharge…Veteran Status

8.  I have given birth to the most amazing little boys on the side of heaven.  I’m supposed to be proud as their mother…that damn Lil Phil (3.4.04) waited 20 hours to make his appearance into this world…after contracting, I stalled at 5 centimeters so a c-section it became and he’s still stubborn to this day.. #Big   Then came the baby, my Preston (2.9.06) my little genius and scheduled c-section.  He melts my heart…so innocent…so sweet…so caring… #Little

7. My trials and tribulations in life remind me that everyone struggles at times and it is a part of life but it’s ultimately about how you handle things.  I have no choice but to be resilient…I have children to take care of.  I am defined by my experiences and that is what completes me.  db42f1c66ab6b254f78baae55b330a64

Taking a deeper look though, my first name has 7 letters in it…L.A.T.I.L.Y.A.

Loyal…Ambitious…Talented…Intelligent…Loveable…Yummy…Amazing

My journey makes me aware of who I am…7…the number of completion!

6.  I have been in the traditional classroom for 9 years and I love it!  It’s not easy each day or each year.  In time middle school will be my foundation as I move up to the next level.

5.  Five years ago…April 2012 I closed on my first home…ALL by MYSELF at the age of 30. God is so Good!  These past 5 months have shook me up…my marriage ended…a financial setback…but I’m home!  The devil got busy, but I’m grounded in what’s mine and I give it all to God.

4. I have survived what might drive others crazy.  I am not ashamed of my second divorce, nope not one bit.  Marriage 1 changed me, matured me, and birthed me my 2 delicious babies.  Marriage 2 taught me what I deserve and I don’t deserve to be cheated on, lied to, disrespected, or unappreciated.  It was not all bad but the truth of the matter it was a struggle.  I have my dignity and I learned my lesson. I’m not sure if 3 times is the charm… Who Knows…But You Already Knew That…I Want The Magic.

3.  Writing my book, My Fourth Year in Middle School will always be a proud moment.  Personal, honest and something I always wanted to do.  So stay tuned for my next body of work.  Because I’m super critical of myself, when The Journey to Here is complete it will be because I’m ready for you to see it.  Being a creative is not easy…I’m passionate about MY words and how I intricately weave them together.

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2.  My education!  I’m modest about it, but having someone speak life in me and say, “You should introduce yourself as Dr. Williams”, it is a constant reminder of my accomplishments.  Surround yourself with people that SPEAK LIFE into your existence, your being, your soul, your day…those are the kind of people to have on your team. Community College of the Air Force…Thomas Edison State College (now University)…Bellevue University…Nova Southeastern University…Since 2000 I pursued my education and ultimately became Dr. LaTilya Williams.  No easy feat…but yes I did it.

1. My spirituality!  I luh God!  He is the author of my life.  Without him I would not be able to stand strong.  I am where I am in life because of him and I embrace all of my blessings.  My life is changing for the Good…the Great…the Better.

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7 Things You Should Do In 2017

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In this New Year things will be different for some people, will remain the same for others, but it will ultimately represent completion for the risk takers, over-achievers, and GOAL DIGGERS!  I am a few months shy from the rebirth of my blog and with all of the things I have done with writing, experimenting, and finding my niche, I am moved by LIFE!

So as I was sitting home on New Year’s Day I had a burst of energy and the title, 7 Things You Should Do In 2017 popped in my head.  So here goes…

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Turning 35 in December put me smack dab in the middle of my 30s and Lord it hit me and I wasn’t READY!  But now as I look at my career over the past few years, six years in the military, a near year of working at Child Support Services (Not ideal for the working man), and in the middle of my ninth year in the traditional classroom (middle school teacher)…I am ready for something different.

I have earned multiple degrees (A.A.S., A.A., B.A., MPA, Ed.S., and Ed.D.), so now I want to transition into Higher Education.  So on with the pursuit!  If there is something that you want to do, the worse that can happen is being told no, but that does not mean give up.  That just means pour yourself into your pursuit.  It’s time and I feel in my gut that it is going to happen. This is my year!  So follow your instincts and take a leap, you just might enjoy the ride.  *Refreshing my resume, LinkedIn, Higher Ed. jobs account, and EVERYTHING else.*  Wish me luck!

Plan the Vacation You’ve Always Wanted to Taketaking-a-vacation-in-the-middle-of-a-class

I found, booked, and fully paid for a cruise to Jamaica in 2014, but due to extenuating circumstances I was unable to go so I loss $1500.  Sounds like chump change right?  No the hell it don’t.  But after sitting at home these past two holidays…Thanksgiving and Christmas… I have decided I bet I won’t be here next year.  It is time to plan my trip to Jamaica and anywhere else I want to go.  I will escape my home life and you should too.  Whether it’s domestic or international, invest in yourself, your peace of mind, and take yourself somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go.  Jamaica…Aruba…Virgin Islands…Turks and Caicos… I swear I must have been an islander in my past life and thank goodness I already have a PASSPORT.

Write and Publish Your Own Book61yromeb5hl                                                      Everyone has a story or two to tell.  We are all made unique and our life experiences shape us into divine individuals.  For some my life as a country girl from a single parent home that has grown up to do the things I have done is inspiring and for some it might be a bore.  But what I know is that regardless of your backstory, somebody is interested in reading it.  Writing My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching was extremely personal because it was my journey into teaching.  It’s not about the money; it’s about sharing my words, my talent, and my expressions.  So I challenge you all to put it on paper and watch it grow.  Tell your story…someone needs to hear it.

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Being recently separated after being married for a couple of years, I am suddenly facing no longer being married (I’m not mad, I’m GOOD and so is LIFE).  Oh My Goodness I was blindsided by some things but clearly it was time to let go.  But there are some really good looking men in this world so when a man steps correctly-spend time with him, get to know him, Netflix and Chill with himJ  Ain’t nothing wrong with kicking it with the opposite sex…respect your space…set your boundaries….but be an adult about all of that.  Have a crush, get you a kiss, hold hands, go to movies…throw on some Xscape and Just Kick It! YOLO! LOL!

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I have decided that I will purchase gift cards each month leading into the holiday season, but I need my NEST EGG to be back where it used to be.  Don’t get caught up in helping others (the parentals are not included) that you tell yourself NO.  I used to be able to have a few thousands in my savings but when you HELP someone too often you end HURTING yourself.  I don’t know anything about 501ks, stocks, bonds, cd’s…so that is going to be my next INVESTMENT…  I need my duckets lined up in a row.  My teacher retirement is one thing but the way my mind set up… Give Me More!  I’m trying to save enough for all of those rainy days…besides by the time my rays of sunshine (Lil Phil and Pressy) go on to college, I’ll be paying out of pocket! Jesus Fix It!  I need and you need your savings to match your mortgage and car note for at least three months.  I’m Just Saying!

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Blogs are the new diary.  Everybody can become Bridgette Jones.  Yes everyone has one but what is the message in your blog?  Crazily everyone is taking this blogging business haphazardly as I look around at people with profitable blogs.  You may not be looking today to express your thoughts, share your life, or build your platform but you have something to say and share.  I love my journey.  I love my blog and the feedback I get from it lets me know that I am reaching further than I imagined.  I am not really stuck on lifestyle, spirituality, or beauty…but now people are turning their personal interests into a business, and so should you.

Don’t Dwell on the Past

No one cares about your past unless you make it a reoccurring topic.  You have to ask yourself how am I going to build a brighter future.  Dwelling in the past does not propel your future.  Jobs/careers are not always dreamy, relationships fail, and life is always a battlefield you just have to decide to have faith or stress about what you can’t control.  Everyone has a past.  Live for today and take nothing for granted because your life has already been designed, outlined, and determined.  Because of my faith I am where I am supposed to be and I don’t REGRET a single thing.  Let Go and Move On!

In this New Year, I will strike out like never before and accomplish more.  I saw a meme that said it nice to see girls names on degrees rather than club flyers…check my resume…check my LinkenIn… these 7 Things You Should Do in 2017  will most definitely help me and YOU #BragDifferent

 ~TilyaRealEyes