As I sit here, some things come to mind…

Many of us live through other people’s experiences. We dislike and fear what someone else dislikes and fears. We ourselves haven’t experienced what they did, yet we embrace the feelings and beliefs as though they are our own. Someone else was harmed by another person, so now we dislike that person for the harm they caused.

Someone didn’t like the food at a restaurant, so we never go and try it for ourselves. A person had a bad experience on their vacation, so we swear we will never visit that place.

That’s why so many people never travel beyond their town, city, county, state, region, or country.

That’s why some people never get on planes, trains, boats, and ships.

We never try new foods. We never read a different genre of books or listen to a different style of music.

That’s why some people don’t pursue educational dreams and career goals.

That’s why thousands of people can’t figure out how to fix their raggedy love life.

That’s why so many of us suffer.

We let other voices dictate to us.

We don’t know the truth but we accept someone’s words as truth.

We don’t think.

We don’t question.

We don’t seek answers.

We choose to exist rather than live. We confuse living with thriving.

When we’re thriving, fear has no stronghold, it has no footing.

When we’re thriving, our experiences are uniquely our own. No one else will have that exact same experience.

We know this.

That’s why two people can sit side-by-side on an amusement park ride and walk away with different experiences. Two people eat the same food at the same time but share different things about the food. One person tastes spices the other one didn’t notice or didn’t know what they were to define them. Two people arguing aren’t having the same experience, they are merely sharing the same space in time.

You have never eaten artichoke but you declare you don’t like it. Never tasted rhubarb but you swear it’s gross. Most likely, because you heard of someone else’s experience, or worse, their uninformed opinions from lack of experience.

How many of you have resolved to settle for a life of seeing the world through the pictures and experiences of other people?

You have to go to know.

People have opinions about cities, states, and countries that they have never visited. It’s hilarious and sad at the same time.

I smirk when I hear people make generalizations about a nationality, race, religion, or gender of people. Do you know every person of that nation, race, religion, or gender? Then how can you say, “all_____people…” or “____people do/say___”? But you don’t know all of them. So how do you know what they all say or do? You most definitely can’t say what one person thinks about all things, so how can you speak about an entire group of people?

I’m guilty of these ignorant statements. I try to catch myself after saying them.

I laugh when I hear or read people make statements about a group of people, yet they don’t know anyone from that group. They don’t know any Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, or Satanists. But they speak as though they do. They don’t personally know any people of African, European, Latin, Hispanic, or Asian descent—but from listening to them, you would swear that they know plenty.

Are all law enforcement officers corrupt, racists, bigots, sexist, and egomaniacs? No. Yet, there are people who see one officer and in that one, they see all. The broad generalization forms and becomes your personal belief system, creed, law.

And your one or few experiences doesn’t mean the totality for all humankind. Remember, those are your experiences, not mine, not your neighbors, and not your child’s.

We speak and act from ignorance. Since we choose not to educate ourselves through asking questions, researching, and stepping beyond our comfort zone, we say and do the stupidest of things.

You become more of what you are against than what you’re for. You are operating from a state of lack. That is a danger zone.

We regurgitate words from religious texts and ceremonies, without knowing their true and full meaning and application. We cling to historical figures and celebrities without knowing the person. Our idolization restricts us from being our authentic self. Our insecurities force us to manufacture false narratives to boost our desired perception. We follow man rather than lead ourselves. Because it’s an easier path and then you have someone to blame other than self.

There’s a reason for these words of declaration:

self-esteem, self-worth, self-enlightenment, self-empowerment, self-acceptance, self-actualization, self-awareness, self-control, self-expression, self-healing, self-help, etcetera.

It starts and ends with self.

We keep expecting others to do it for us. Be the positive change you want to see, stop waiting for it to happen. Take responsibility.

You must lead yourself or you will most definitely be led. And since you don’t know yourself, you will allow someone else to dictate and create your story for you. They will define you. You will allow someone else to determine your worth and value.

Your ignorance comes with a harsh penalty.

We spread our ignorance. We deposit it into our families, our children, our houses of worship, our workplaces, and our communities. We manifest the lack we obsess over.

The uninformed are the easiest to recruit, brainwash, and mold.

What you don’t know that you don’t know, can literally destroy you. Those who feel lost, neglected, powerless, voiceless, and forgotten are prey. That is why drugs, gangs (defined by many names), prostitution, and the sort have great prevalence in society.

People are being preyed upon and they don’t even know it. They have no clue that the biggest predators are the ones standing next to them, hugging them, and cheering them on.

You can blame whomever or whatever you like for the person that you are today. Or you can make the decision to intentionally live with a clean slate. You have the choice to write or re-write your story however you please, with your unique experiences. Your learning only stops when you choose to close yourself off from life. You may not be able to choose where to live your life, but you can choose how to live where you are.

You can live in the world and not be of it. You can be like the fish in the ocean, surrounded by salt, but not consumed by their environment.

Think about it.

Last week, I heard a message from Darren Hardy that spoke of this amazing truth. That fish of the sea live in salt water, they breathe and take in salt water. They eat things that are also in the water. Yet they don’t taste like tons of salt. All they do is swim around all day and night in salt water. But we barely taste the salt in them. That is how we should live our lives.

We can live in it but not be of it.

You aren’t your environment, circumstances, or your past. You aren’t the family you were born into or raised by, or the people you associate with.

Unless you choose to be.

You choose to associate with toxic people and behave like them. You choose to live in fear and ignorance. If you live in a “free” and “developed” nation, you choose to not journey beyond your town, city, county, state, or country. You choose to believe what you think, and to entertain the thoughts that surface. How life unfolds is based on the choices that we make.

How will you choose to live your life, experience the world, and see the people in it?

What will you choose to do without thought of your age, gender, or where you’re from?

What healthy choices will you make starting today?

This very moment.

Then do it!

I love you all,

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

I ran across this video, moments ago, and I felt compelled to share. It’s a conversation with centurions who have lived to be older than age 100. They share their experiences, lessons, and wisdom. A viewer commented (in the comments section below the video) that so many people are obsessed with listening to young celebrities, when we should be tuning in to listen to the words of our elders. The things that they’ve seen, heard, and experienced help to center us. Instead, we pass them by, we choose not to connect. We’re too busy to sit and listen to someone speak about their past and present. In so doing, we miss out on lifetimes of stories, lessons, and wisdom. We miss out on the beauty and purpose of life.

I am always thrilled to sit down and have a conversation with someone older and wiser. I miss my conversations with my grandparents. A couple of weeks ago I wrote my aunt Mary a letter. She’s my maternal grandmother’s sister. Writing her the letter felt nostalgic. Do you remember when writing letters was the norm? Now we lazily text, tap likes and hearts on social media posts, or quickly send an email. The latter is even pushing it.

My mother has reminded me from time to time about the joy that our seniors feel when they receive letters and cards in the mail. They get plenty of bills and junk mail. But the letters and cards are rare. Especially the letters. It doesn’t take long to write a message in a card. Or share the latest happenings in your life, in a one-to-two page letter.

I feel guilty for not connecting more with my family members over the past two years. I’ve allowed my personal troubles to interfere with my dearest of relationships. Knowing how devastated and heartbroken I am when they pass away, and I’m left with words unsaid. We should never be in a place in our lives where those connections with loved ones aren’t constantly reinforced. Let’s not take them for granted. Let’s not assume that they or we will be around to contact at a whim.

Please watch this video. It was produced by LifeHunters. When you get the lessons that you need to hear and realize, please share this with others. Let’s pay it forward. Then go a step farther—connect with an elder—family, friend, or stranger. And keep connecting, as often as you can. Don’t waste these precious moments in your busyness. You don’t want to live life filled with regret.

~Natasha

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an update on me and my life, so let’s do this…

My Podcast

If you haven’t been tuning in and listening to my weekly business podcast, “Don’t Call It Small…Business” then what are you waiting for? This week was Episode 25 with Celebrity Cake Designer, Tracey Wright. She’s the founder of Black Diamond Edible Creations. I had a great time interviewing Tracey. You can listen to that episode or any of the 24 that preceded it by going to ForemanLLC.com/podcast

Next week will be the interview with Antwon Alsobrook, the Founder and CEO of A2D, Inc. He will be joined by his amazing wife, Monica Alsobrook, and I can guarantee that this is a two-part episode, because we will not only discuss Antwon’s business but we will also talk about the ups and downs, and highs and lows of trying to juggle entrepreneurship, family, and the nuances of life and marriage. Antwon and Monica have been through some things that would break most couples. Tune in next Wednesday to hear their story and why I’m so inspired to have them share it!

If you would like to be featured or interviewed on my podcast, please email us at DontCallitSmallBiz@gmail.com

My Book

My book is coming along great. I actually shed a few tears the other night as the title and cover art was finalized. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This has been a journey that has left me energized and exhausted, almost at the same time. I’m extremely grateful to the team of readers who have contributed feedback and suggestions to help make this and future projects something that I can be proud of. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and the writing and publishing processes. Heck, I should’ve written about this journey, as that is itself a book! What’s crazy is my writing schedule has me cranking through this process all over again in about 6 months. But it will oh so be worth it!

I’m excited that we’re in the process of scheduling book events for 2020 so that I can meet with many of you and thank you face-to-face for your support. I will keep you posted on all of the details about my book and how to get your hands on a copy, or three. Remember my thinking: a copy for you, a copy for a loved one, and a copy to donate!

Travel

I’m currently on the road, enjoying this vast country and the people in it. I had a great conversation with a woman on the plane the other day. She said she couldn’t wait to get home and enjoy being in her own bed. It’s interesting how excited we get to go away somewhere, but at some point we yearn to return to the comforts of home. I like my getaway time, but I know that I will smile brightly once the familiar smells and sights of home are before me.

New Year’s

I’m not really focused on the New Year and 2020 quite yet. It’s awkward for me to say because in the past I used to be obsessed with focusing on a new year new experience. However, this month I’m focused on investing fully into each day and getting the most out of each day, so that I can finish this month and year strong.

Break From Social Media

I’m going to take another break from social media for the remaining weeks of December. I want to focus focus focus. At the same time I want to reconnect with self, family, and friends. Life is about relationships and I truly believe that so many of our relationships are suffering because we think that a social media post like is the equivalent to an actual phone call or letter. I want to be intentional about my level of engagement in my relationships. No regrets!

So my personal social media will go light’s out until January. I will post announcements on my IG, FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn this weekend. If we’re not already connected on social media, follow me, so we can connect in the New Year.

Stay Tuned

Check back soon for more updates from yours truly!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Today I want to celebrate my friends and associates. I want to celebrate all that they have done, are doing, and aspire to do. Hopefully it will inspire you to support their efforts, where and when possible, and most importantly—encourage you to celebrate and uplift your friends and associates.

We spend a great amount of time on social media clicking on 👍❤ and other symbols to express our sentiments towards the achievements, dreams, and goals that our inner circles have publicly announced. We may even repost their messages so that our social network can be made aware of these victories and aspirations. But in what ways can we do more, go higher, and provide greater opportunities for those we call our friends? Let’s do some shout outs!

On July 3, 2019 I launched the Don’t Call It Small…Business podcast in honor of my father and my past dreams of being a broadcast journalist, and my desire to educate and be educated on business and by those in business. I also wanted a platform where I could celebrate my friends, associates, and complete strangers. Every week I devote time to highlighting the efforts of people that I know intimately, somewhat, very little, and not at all. It feels awesome to share my growing and evolving world with them, and vice versa.

So far through this podcast I’ve highlighted over 46 people with the following backgrounds:

  • published authors
  • psychotherapists, psychologists,
  • entrepreneurs
  • film, TV, and music industry professionals
  • Visual arts

I still have so many more people to highlight and interview. As the podcast is shared with strangers, they too reach out for that connection, and I gladly accept the relationship. Life is about relationships. Business is about interconnected relationships. We form, strengthen, weaken, break, and mend relationships on a daily basis. I don’t have the billions of dollars, yet, to invest in friends and strangers businesses, projects, and ideas as I would like, so I’m discovering and embracing other ways to lend my support.

Episode 22 aired this Wednesday and it featured my right hand, Eboni Brown. Listen to our conversation here Be sure to like and share it with your network of family, friends, associates, and social media pals!

Then ask yourself, how are you celebrating and showing support to the people you know and want to know?

You don’t have to wait until 2020 to start. Take the first step today!

Be sure to follow Foreman & Associates on IG and FB at @ForemanAndAssociates and on Twitter at @ForemanLLC You can read our company blog here.

I’m excited about future announcements that I will be sharing in the coming days and weeks. Be sure to set a reminder on your calendar to listen to Episode 23 of my podcast, next Wednesday, November 27th at 5pm ET. I will be interviewing my friend, Billie Harris, a Vinologist and the woman behind The Vino Van, LLC. You can listen in at ForemanLLC.com/podcast to hear us discuss all-things WINE!

Have a super awesome day and weekend!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Earlier this morning my mom shared these five simple words that form a very powerful message: Never Stop Living Your Dream!

live-your-dream

Mom said she heard the words in a Gladys Knight song and she thought they would help to serve through my blog. I wasn’t sure which blog she meant, so I figured that I could share on all of them. As I type this, I can’t help but to smile because had I only focused on sharing to one group of people (one blog community) then I would’ve ignored other people who may need to read and hear this message. Thank you mom for blessing me today with prayer and this suggestion for my blogs!

Since I just typed “hear this message”, I feel moved to speak and not just type the words that are coming to me. So let me switch over to video and let things flow. Just click on my Instagram video below and take a listen…

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

There’s no one in the world like my amazing cousin Princess Chere Peoples, that is her superhuman power!

Today we celebrate her 34th birthday. Although she’s my cousin, our relationship has always been more like big sis and little sis, as I’ve been in her life since she rocked and rolled in her mother’s belly. I gave her the nickname “Retabug” when she was a toddler, and I’ve been calling her that ever since.

For 5 years before my sister was born, it was just me and Princess Chere. It’s weird seeing the two of them all grown up as women.

10 years separate our age, but nothing separates us and our love.
Through her ups and downs, my cousin’s heart has always remained the same.

She smiles through her eyes. She’s often seen at work and at play with a big, beautiful flower in her hair. It is becoming her signature look that she rocks oh so beautifully.

She yearns to do more and give more. She’s eclectic and bold, never understated or to be underestimated.

Since she was a baby I told her she’s a Beautiful Black Nubian Princess, and what makes that extra special is that it’s the truth, not just words or affirmations. But the reminder helps when the world acts ugly.

Our names have meaning and we are guided by them. Her name is Princess and so there’s an expectation that she will live up to the royal moves that her name suggests. I’m proud of her for making moves that provide teachable moments and strengthening lessons, because she will better position herself for the decades ahead of her.

I want Princess to always see herself as God does, at all times, and in all ways—and then nothing and no one can change her, derail her, minimize her, or stop her. Always focused on being the Princess that she is!

Join me in wishing my cousin a very happy 34th birthday. 🎀💝💞💖🎉🎊🎁

I love you Retabug!!!!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman.