Monday, February 23, 2009

Yeah for SlumDog!!!!!!!! The journey continues....

I absolutely love the movie Slum Dog millionaire, it is probably in my top 3 movies ever, I love it.
The movie moves me on so many levels, I identify with the characters, the culture but most important the underdog. I am such a believer in God's Will and God's ability to align the Universe to bring you what you need when you need it. You just need to be able to recognize and seize the opportunities when they arise. This movie is soooo much about that. It is about resilience, passion, love, innocence, courage, tenacity, ambition, truth, and the fact that confidence in oneself and a commitment to truth often wins out in he end. I love it!!!!!!!
There is a point near the end of the movie when the host of the show tries to trick Jamal into selecting the wrong answer, he is jealous of Jamal's success and popularity, he is baffled by this slum dog's ability to answer the questions and actually makes his life hell rather than lifting him up and supporting him. I felt an ache in my stomach and my eyes welled up with tears; that reminded me of me and my ex-partner Daniel Wolf. Rather than celebrate my success he started to do everything to destroy me and the company. It destroyed us both, I couldn't understand it and wondered why someone wouldn't help the under-dog and help themselves in the process. Why would you want someone to fail, why couldn't we both succeed.
In the end I believe the underdog and for everyone actually you have your own unique journey that God has given you and he has prepared you for success, he has given you everything that you need. Unique only to your life, your experience and your triumphs.
At Soul Purpose i already feel like a millionaire, rich in community!!!!!!
If you have not seen Slum Dog Millionaire please do, it will make you feel good if nothing else.
Much love and appreciate your life today,
Nadine

Here is a synopsis of the story.
Slumdog Millionaire is the story of Jamal Malik (Patel), an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India¹s "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika (Pinto), the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show¹s questions.Each chapter of Jamal¹s increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show¹s seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the game show?When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Crisis and Opportunity

Last week I had the tremendous honor of attending the Black Enterprise Magazine Women of Power Summit in Orlando; it was FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!
The workshops were perfect in that they addressed current issues affecting African American women today: economic issues, finances, career, and most important redefining yourself in these difficult financial times.
I had the honor of participating in many ways, I did a panel discussion, a few radio interviews and filmed an episode of The Black Enterprise Business Report on redefining ones-self in difficult times. My panel was very cathartic because it gave me a chance to talk about my experiences of the last 18 months. It was called surviving the "F" bomb, recovering from a failure. We were able to talk about achieving success and then having a set back. How do you deal and cope and bounce back. Some of the key points was to view failure as an event in your life not a definition of your person; to not internalize it but view it and learn from it; see it as an opportunity in your life to learn, grow and change direction; ask the honest question of what was your role and responsibility in the crisis and how could you avoid those pitfalls later.
In closing I spoke about the fact that the Chinese character for crisis and opportunity is the same. They mean the same thing and and are mirror images of each other. Crisis presents an opportunity and opportunity can create crisis of some form or the other which is usually that scary word called change.
I think that this Chinese character is truly empowering in every sense of the word. There are many discussions of the real interpretation but the notion is empowering or it can give you a little hope that when you experience a crisis in your life it can sometimes also be an opportunity for you to grow, learn and move forward in ways you never imagined. And when you have an opportunity presented in your life be prepared for the crisis that change brings with it. Embrace it, be prepared for it and be grateful for unexpected blessings in your life but remember that nothing worth having comes with out a little hard work.
Remember, however, some bad events and crisis are just bad events and it may only be our faith, hope and resilience that can help us to survive. The opportunity maybe our ability to "stand up" in the face of adversity. I hope your faith and hope carries you through.
Happy Sunday morning!
Much love,
Nadine

Here are is an actual intrepretation of the Chinese character.

The symbols for crisis in Chinese are made up of these two words:
They are pronounced wei1 ji1.
wei means "danger; peril".
And ji means "opportunity; crucial point"
So literally wei plus ji equals "danger" plus "oportunity".
However in reality, a crisis is still a dangerous state of affairs - regardless of the language.
Crisis wei ji still means "a situation that has reached an extremely difficult or dangerous point". However, a dangerous situation can become an opportunity if wei ji becomes zhuan3 ji1.
Zhuan ji means "turn for the better". Zhuan means "turn into". So zhuan ji means "turn into opportunity".
In this sense, the Chinese symbol crisis can mean "opportunity" in a time of "danger".
wei ji is commonly used as in
wei1 ji1 gan3 meaning "sense of crisis" and
wei1 ji1 si4 fu2 meaning "beset with danger; danger lurking in every direction".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Las Vegas

I have been on the road travelling for work and working very hard. I am tired and exhausted and to some extent a little scared of being tired.
Las Veas was awaesome, it was a tremendous celebration of one year in business for Soul Purpose. My God we are so blessed and we have so much to be grateful for. The event at Youngevity exceeded all of my expectations, that community of Younevity distributors were the kindest, most welcoming group of people that I have ever encountered and I felt that our partenership had been blessed.
Our Soul Purpose entrepreneurs were a site to behold and beautiful in everyway possible. They were enthusiastic, beaming, passionate, energetic and a shining example of what this industry is all about. I was so proud to be Nadine and be a part of Soul Purpose. I was happy and optimistic and feeling good about the future.
I don't want to analyze it or say much more but I was so proud and grateful for the blessing of Soul Purpose.
With much love,
Nadine

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

leading

To be a leader takes incredible courage, I really believe it is an annointing or a calling. some of us are born to follow and that is fine, some of us are servant leaders which is a humble calling and an extraordinary challenge and some of us are called to lead and that can be rewarding but isolating and lonely at times. Surround yourself with people who you can trust whether you are following or leading. I pray that you find your purpose.
I read something today that was truly inspiring to me. I am thinking and reflecting on it but it is in line with my favorite poem/prayer. The Hopi Indian prayer called We are the ones we've been waiting for. This is the last stanza of a poem written by the late June Jordan.

sing sweetly and quietly, listen to the voice inside you. Lead on because you are ONE you've been waiting for.
much love,
Nadine

June Jordan (1939 -2002 ) African-American poet
Source: poem for South African women by June Jordan
(last stanzas)


And who will join this standing up and the ones who stood without sweet company will sing and sing back into the mountains and if necessary even under the sea:
we are the ones we have been waiting for.
Here is the poem in its entirety
Poem for South African Women
Our own shadows disappear as the feet of thousands by the tens of thousands pound the fallow land into new dust that rising like a marvelous pollen will be fertile even as the first woman whispering imagination to the trees around her made for righteous fruit from such deliberate defense of life as no other still will claim inferior to any other safety in the world
The whispers too they intimate to the inmost ear of every spirit now aroused they carousing in ferocious affirmation of all peaceable and loving amplitude sound a certainly unbounded heat from a baptismal smoke where yes there will be fire
And the babies cease alarm as mothers raising arms and heart high as the stars so far unseen nevertheless hurl into the universe a moving force irreversible as light years traveling to the open eye
And who will join this standing up and the ones who stood without sweet company will sing and sing back into the mountains and if necessary even under the sea:
we are the ones we have been waiting for.
Written by June Jordan (1936 - 2002)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Audacity on Sunday Morning!

I have been away from my blogs for a little while. I must say sometimes a little shy about wearing my heart on my sleeve or sharing what I am really feeling for fear of that someone will take offense and right something nasty that will hurt and make a sensitive issue more painful than it needs to be. Oh Boy!!!!

I don't know if I ever mentioned that I love Sunday mornings! Two of my favorite shows also happen on Sunday; 60 Minutes and Sunday Morning on CBS. Of course I am up and watching Sunday morning and feeling very happy and contented. My puppy Louie is laying right beside me looking content, loved and loving. Pets are a blessing.

This morning however, I woke up and found the words to describe some very complex thoughts and feelings that I have been feeling forthe last 2 weeks. In the last 15 months, I lost my company that I built from my basement for the past 12 years and I lost my good friend and business partner in the process as well. It has been privately painful and more complex than words can imagine. But this morning I woke up with the words to describe these events but only from a business perspective. I often get asked what happened and I struggle to seperate the emotional from the professional. I was motivated to write it down after seeing an inspiring piece about another female CEO on Sunday Morning on CBS. It is so important to seperate the two and understand the complexity of things.
So here is the professional synopsis:
I created my first company in the basement of my home 12 years ago. After achieving tremendous success and about to reach for the next level growth my business/finance partner and his new business associates thought that if a social worker could do this then a white business man with a background in marketing could do 4 times better. In this society before Barak Obama who wouldn't believe that claim? It made good business sense because slick marketing execs have felt with their MBAs that they understand people better than the people who work intimately with individuals and their complexities. By the way many of those slick marketing outfits are now out of business because they sold so many companies a bill of goods that had no sustainabilty. People have to come first before inflated profits. But remember the audacity of a "Community Organizer" to think he could organize a nation to be the President of the United States. What audacity!!!! How could a social worker think she could build a business built on developing personal potential, self care and empowerment? What audacity!!!!!
Fifteen months after I was removed from the helm of my company and replaced with the traditional white male model of doing business they lost over 1 million dollars per month in sales and declared bankruptcy last week.

What do we learn from this experieince?
Have the audacity to believe in yourself and walk way from those who do not believe in you.
Can a woman more specifically a black woman have the audacity to believe that she knows how to market to women who look like her? Yes!
Can women run successful businesses? Yes!
Does it hurt like hell that some of the women (who looked like me) actually said, "we could do better, remember she is just a socail worker". Yes
Is it also true that the majority of women stood behind me and were supportive, respectful and understanding? Yes!
Do I praise God for the majority that believed and the minority who didn't and therefore taught me even more about human behaviour? Yes!
I am still learning and growing and processing? Yes!
I am now building my own new company and building on my experience? Yes!
I am now achieving my Soul Purpose!

What is your Soul Purpose????

Happy Sunday morning,
Much love,
Nadine