Passive Income and Business Sense

It has taken me a while to get this post out but I’ve been playing with the words in my head until it all came somewhat together.

The road that I travel as a single, mother of two, educated, teacher, self-published author and entrepreneur is not easy.  Some days I just want to say I’ll work my job for 30 years then retire and halt all of my creative ideas.

One morning I woke up with tears pouring from eyes and the overwhelming feeling of LIFE consuming me. It put things into perspective and I said to myself, “I have to get my business in order”, because calling into work while dealing with a family crisis is not my idea of a good start.

I need more clarity and while I watch, study, and YouTube other entrepreneurs and take in the tidbits they have to offer, I am reminded that this is not a race.  I have to create, discover, and discuss in my own lane and too often as a creative there is a certain amount of pressure to always deliver.

I speak a lot of times on my business in my mini-blogs on my IG (@tilyarealeyes) and FB (LaTilya Williams) but I don’t get into a lot of detail about what my business entails. Maybe I should!

As far as passive income goes while reading I have decided that I want to work on that in the months to come especially since one of the top passive income ideas is books.  But what exactly is passive income? My passive income would be considered my book because I get paid repeatedly for work that I completed once.  I push my book My Fourth Year in Middle School: My Fourth Year in Middle School to the point of feeling exhausted.  Although the concept of my book is good, I can admit that my marketing behind my book is/was lacking.  I now must go back into that book and pull out my content because next June is going to be really BIG for me. I’ll announce that later.

Passive income in affiliate market skipped me and that is something that I just don’t get and can’t quite get a hold of.  So I won’t talk anymore about something that I don’t get.  But I can say that once I invested in myself and got into network marking, that has fundamentally been the best thing popping.  LOL!  A failed attempt at drop shipping let me know that that business was not for me but I have yet to give up on my multiple streams.

Creating an online course as passive income stays on my frontal, but now being back in school I just feel that I don’t have enough time to focus on the type of class that I want to create.  Lets just be real, the idea is for me to earn an income while I sleep, so I’m not rushing my process.  I’m taking everything in and relying on my common sense to lead when it comes to my business.

I read a quote that said, “Everybody is so busy posting their wins instead of their failures.”  I find that sad because social media has us thinking that everything creatives produce is a win straight out the gate.  I have since realized that my plate is full and everything sincerely and truly takes times.

I will continue to cultivate my passive income ideas…writing services, books, and network marketing.  I will continue to feed my frenzy to try something different.  I will keep believing in myself and everything that I set out to accomplish.  I won’t ever stop designing a life that I want to live because at the end of the day I don’t want to leave this earth thinking about all of the things that I should have done.

I have since learned that I have to build up to my next title and create a buzz EARLY!  I have to be smarter in this department this go around so that I can capitalize more on my message.  Stay tuned, for that writing is underway.

So as I prepare for these next steps in my career, life, and journey I am so excited.  I never thought about my writing as passive income but this next book, 12 Ways to Survive Teaching is sure to ignite souls and have you look at teaching from a humorous perspective.

The reality is I want to be good at everything. I don’t just want to be a book you read once then place on the shelf. I don’t want to be name only mentioned here and there, I want to be a guru if you will in my own right. I never thought about the power of passive income until I began to do my research. Now I must be a smarter business woman. It is truly all coming together and I feel it.

I took the leap before I was ready and now I must overdeliver. I have a timeline and I will excute!

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How To Be The Best Version Of Yourself

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I have to challenge myself to blog more consistently but most importantly put out content that is engaging and thought provoking.  There is nothing like working on being consistent and letting ideas build up in your mind before escaping to the keyboard.

There was something holding me back because I felt a spirit of doom around me for the greater part of 2017.  I was in a rut.  Now don’t get me wrong I still produced some content but the mindset around what I was writing was more fluff than substance. I needed to rethink my strategy, my purpose, and ultimately decided I needed to change my narrative.

How can I be productive if I’m not operating in my true capacity of creativity?  How can I be better at what I do and what I create if I’m not taking the time to inventory my surroundings and remove what is not benefiting me. Even when I began eliminating things and people out of life, I felt stuck.  I had to do something.

The first thing I decided to do was feed my soul.  It’s not about going to church and becoming super religious, I simply began to tell myself yes while telling others no.  As an individual you cannot give so much of yourself to others because then you will have nothing left inside.  I often think that I could be doing more with my time, but the reality is that I extend myself and when I’m feeling the stress of overextending myself, I feel my internal shelf begin to crack.  Feeding my soul has resulted in selectively turning down invitations for outings and not participating due to my level of discomfort.  Working through my disappointments and accepting that life is often interrupted. I began to rely more on my intuition to guide me.  I admit to myself when I am not okay.  I process my feelings around not being okay, and once I deal with my emotions I resurface and continue to live my life.

I have become more in touch with my own vibrations that I have taken things a step further to recognize who is for me and genuinely wants to be in my life without making excuses for their periodic absences (GHOSTING as it is now called).  I am guilty of wanting something so badly to point of distraction, but being caught up in the rapture of the unfamiliar sends you swinging.  I have had to listen to how my mind vibrates in conversations, how my body reacts to the day to day grind of living, and the calmness of my soul when I speak and immerse myself into my surroundings.

So my advice to you on becoming a better version of yourself means that you have to let go of the control and push through life organically.  It is hard to shake things off that make you tick both in a good and bad way, but the shake-up is necessary.  I needed a cleansing of my spirit so I jumped out of my comfort zone and it’s a battle each day.

Another step I took into changing my narrative has been listening to how I self-talk and encourage myself.  How you speak to yourself reminds you of who you are and pushes you to where you want to be.

I put it out into the atmosphere that I was letting go!  Letting go of the hurt and walking away from things that no longer feed my soul.  At some of my lowest points I have felt bogged down by embarrassment and bad choices.  The spirit of defeat was surrounding me.  Some of the bad things that I have endured in my life were not my choices, but I was on the back end of mistreatment.  So I made up in my mind that in order to flourish, I decided to not be a victim of my circumstances.  The reality is that everyone does not have the same heart as you, so you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone else.  Sadly, everyone is going to hurt you and give you conflicting memories in your life, but the same people that hurt you play an intricate role in your development and identity.

Every since I have made the decision to inhale positivity and embrace the unknown, I find my spirit lighter.  I even did a ceremonial smudging of my home.  I had always heard that sage and meditation clears the atmosphere of impurities  so I began speaking that into the atmosphere which prompted a really great friend of mine to send me a ceremonial kit.  See even in the small things I am grateful because she did not have to do it, but like minded spirits communicate near and far.

In life you will not have all of the answers.  In life you will continue to make mistakes that alter your perceptions, but you will continue to live and grow through those choices.  There is no formula to being the best version of yourself other than to wake up each day and decide you are going to better than you were the day before.

You only have one life to live.  This is not an ode to YOLO (You Only Live Once) but present moment reality check.  The best version of you is right around the corner so surround yourself with ideas and people that feed your spirit, encourage your growth, and create the life you want to live.

There are risks involved in everything that you do so take care of your inner-self and watch how changing your thought process begin to flourish in the way that you live.  I am operating in the best version of myself and want to encourage others to do the same.

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Creating, Launching, and Consistency

photogrid_1472169372469.jpgI am reading everything under the sun about blogging, monetization, products and services and I’m OVERWHELMED.  I am literally asking myself what in the hell is going on in this industry?

One blogger says they have the guide to help you blog consistently.  Another talks about the three things she wish she would have known when they first started blogging.  Then you have the author and blogger who wants to help you turn your blog into a business.  I can barely keep up on which direction to take because these women are so insightful.

Then there is the thought of workshops, e-courses, master classes, e-books, and other electronic resources that you are prompted to create, all with their help.  But I have to ask, how can I get your help when I don’t know what I truly want to create or if I want to create anything at all.  I have so many ideas in a day as I peruse through other websites and admire the designs and layouts.  I feel like I am doing something wrong, then I remember that initially my blog was just my online escape.  I had never thought about taking it to the next level until I published my first piece of work  (July), My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching.

Just as I am getting overwhelmed and thinking that my design is not eye-catching enough and I spend time shuffling themes and background colors, I remember that I’m truly just getting started (I created a wordpress profile in March).

The facing burnout while working a 9 to 5 is not a problem.  What I’m dealing with is feeling inadequate in this market and industry.  So as I go back perusing, “market researching”, and begin to see a variety of layouts, formats, products and services, I say that now I have completely missed the mark.  That is until another blogger says save your money because there are some things you don’t need a branding coach to tell you.  Now that completely contradicts most of what the others offer in their products and services.

Man all of these blogs on how to blog, what to do, what not to do, and how to gets noticed go on forever. I want to make money and become my own boss, but damn reading all of this makes me feel like I’m doing it wrong.  I be like what in the hell am I doing wrong?  Now here is the tea on why this bothers me!  I want my stuff to be right, standout, easy to read, and appreciated.

Some of the tools used on these blogs for visual effects, these pretty little tiles for blog titles and other images blow me away.  I want these pretty little tiles and powerpoint like slides as well.  Then I think maybe I should look at these free e-courses to see what they have to offer, but decide against it as decide that I have to do me!

My words are here because these are the one million thoughts I have in a day.  My book is alive because I took the time to write it.  My website is available because this was my second attempt to establish my presence and find my niche (read The Meaning of TilyaRealEyes “The Educated Butler” and my sweet spot.  I am a lover of words and I want others to love my words as well.  That’s why I blog!  I’m transparent and authentic in my confusion.

Creating is not a problem, neither is consistency but I’m seeing the same material over and over again.  Create, branding, launching, official launching, products, services, email lists, and consistency.  In pursuit of consistency, I’m reaching a broader audience, but I would love to see it all come together sooner than later.

I can respect the process, because what looks like perfection to me as I view others, has been a long time in the making.  I am a creator…I have launched…and this wave will continue.  I’ll get out my feelings for now, because I see that some of my favorites are constantly changing their looks and how they present content too.

But sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing…but I continue anyways.

Creating Substance, Not Stuff

Sharing your gift with the world is personal.  You are deciding to open yourself up to rejection even though we prefer to be accepted.improve-500 We have to be cautious with our words while simultaneously speaking from the heart and share our truths.  Written expression is a sure and powerful way to relay messages that are heartfelt  and free of ambiguity.  There is no right or wrong formula to say what you feel, but you have to create substance in your writing consistently and not just stuff for people to glaze over. What do mean to say?  How will you organize your thoughts?  Is what you’re saying even making sense? Do people care to read what you have written?  If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it is possible to be simply creating stuff as a way to produce content that will not leave a lasting impression. The sad reality about creating your niche is that there are times when you will not want to fully express what you are going through.  That is okay to keep that to yourself, because when you choose to let the emotions pour, people will have made assumptions about what you’re doing anyway. So what is substance?  That is the material you know, love and have close attachments to.  It is what your heart understands, and the feelings that make you drop what you are doing to wallow in those emotions.  Pouring yourself completely into your work because you know someone, somewhere needs the power of your words.  Don’t just write stuff based on temporary feelings that are reminiscent of your authentic self.  Write for impact! Share for fulfillment!  Create to be long lasting! Truthfully you must over deliver to not be underestimated.  Revisit your passion and ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Am I staying true to what I do?
  2. Why do I do it?
  3. Am I fulfilling my mission?
  4. How am I making myself better?
  5. Am I meeting the needs of my audience?

There is always room for improvement and to get better.  Continue to check yourself to be sure you are producing substantial content.  In order to grow, you have to experiment and stick to your core and heart of hearts.  Pour your heart into your content that way there won’t be any room for complacency. ~LaTilya Rashon

9 Reasons Education is Confusing

9 Reasons Education is Confusing by LaTilya Rashon

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I attended Center Junior High School under the esteemed Dr. Robert T. Bussey, who was my mother’s principal when she was in school.  The city of Waycross  schools and Ware County schools merged the 1994 school term and contrary to some of the horror stories of that merger, middle school in 1996 was way different than middle school now in 2016.  Other than being two decades apart, I will explain the nine reasons education is confusing.

9. Grading System Changed: Before teachers had more autonomy of their grades because simply speaking, students either completed their work or they didn’t.  There were no categories like Assessment of Learning, Assessment During Learning, Homework, Classwork, Test/Quizzes/Projects or anything else for that matter.  There were no percentages for the categories such as 50% classwork, 40% assessments, 10% homework.  Teachers graded work as it was assigned, recorded it in the grade book, averaged the all the grades and that was what went on the report card.  Now, teachers have a certain number of assignments per category so now it’s almost impossible for students to fail a class unless they choose not to complete any work.

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8. Limited Class Options:  I had the option to Agriculture, Life Skills, Health, and Career Connections with Mrs. Ganas where we learned about the Occupational Outlook Handbook and was able to job shadow someone for a full day and receive a class grade.  Now middle school students are limited to P.E. without the Health class component, Band, Reading or Math/Study Skills class, Technology, and Art if it has not been cut from the budget.  We were somewhat ability grouped, and changed classes by crossing over with other homerooms which made a competitive and productive roster.  In my teaching environment students travel from class to class on their grade level with their assigned homeroom everyday, and the class roster is split into fours assigning these chunks of students to the same connections classes.  There is not enough variety in the day.

7.  Apathetic Students:  I was required in middle school to do a Social Science Fair project or a Science Fair project.  Teachers communicated the expectations to students, sent home parent letters, and gave ample time in school and after school to work on projects.  I was lucky enough to attend the regional science fair at South Georgia College in 1993 for my project, Does Artificial Light Effect Plant Growth?  Now students majorly choose to not complete a science fair project and accept the grades of zero that come along with it.  It seems as if students have given up to the point science fairs are optional.

6.  Standardized Assessments:  The ITBS test is now used for instructional planning and a formative assessment.  It gives your child a ranking in school based on their results, but its an ability grouping tool.  Students did not feel the pressure to test well in 1996 because everything counted, so you were expected to do well.  I am guilty of this, but when my students enter the door I start the year off mentioning state assessments that they know are sure to come.  My class is based on test results, so my students learn fast why they are placed in my Reading class.  It’s tough for students that know they struggle, but are now in middle school trying to play catch up.

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5.  Teachers Are Younger:  Now you would think that age is nothing but a number when dealing with professionals, but I know that when I was in school my teachers were older, or shall I say their dress code was.  My teachers hardly wore jeans, always wore dress pants, blouses, and dresses with modest make-up.  Now when you walk into schools there are a lot children that look more mature than their teachers.  It’s hard for urban middle schoolers to respect someone who is the same age as their older siblings.

4.  Teacher Preparation:  I came in as a TAPP (Teacher Alternative Preparation Program) teacher from a different career field, the military, so I had life and work experience.  A lot f the teacher pedagogy that is learned traditionally is valuable, but teaching by the book is a no-go for middle school.  This works well for early childhood educators, but at the middle school level when students are trying to find their identity, you have to play it by ear.  The bricks and mortar way to teacher preparation gives teachers false interpretations of a classroom, so sometimes at the middle school level, teachers don’t last long.  I’ll touch on this later.

3.  Social Media:  There weren’t computers in the classroom 20 years ago.  The classroom equipped with computers was the computer lab and that was the typing class.  We had the old typing lessons that taught you your home row keys and by the end of the semester you learned basic typing skills.  The only phone you had was a house phone.  Now kids of all ages have cellular phones, and some of those phones are better than adult phones.  Social media is how kids communicate, rather than writing friendly notes.  There is a whole new language (text talk) that is being spoken by this generation.  I’m not saying that kids shouldn’t have social media, however in school it is a major distraction.

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2.  Parental Involvement:  Open house, report card pick-up, parent-teacher conferences, athletic events, PTO meetings,  and awards banquets have low parent participation.  I remember being in school and my mom never missed an event.  Now we can barely get a parent to show up for their highly disruptive child.  New age parents are not like parents from decades past.  It is heart-breaking to know that a lot of the students today are raising themselves.  Schools need parents to meet them halfway.

1. Lack of Consistency: I entered into the profession of teaching eight years ago and I am now on my seventh district superintendent.  I live in one city, but teach in another and I see that changeover is more severe in my district.  From formative assessments, progress monitoring tools, academic expectations, and changes in district wide leadership nothing has been placed for longer than two academic years to see progress.  It doesn’t help that new state assessments have changed, so have promotion requirements.  I’m not a strategist, but it appears that once leaders leave the classroom, they become out of touch with the classroom struggle.  Teachers are now simply collecting a check rather than genuinely teaching.  Education represents stability, but in some cases teachers are providing a disservice to their students.

I’m sure there are more reasons, but these stood out for me the most.