The Dreaded Sound of “No” and “Not Right Now” Does not Define Your Success

No and Not Right Now Photo

The Dreaded Sound of “No” and “Not Right Now” Does not Define Your Success by Chellyz View
The Answers We Don’t Want to Hear 

I know you have probably read several articles or listened to multiple radio talk show hosts and callers give their theory of why Detroit was not chosen as a finalist for the second location for Amazon’s Headquarters.  Well, here’s another take on the decision.  At first, I was disappointed.  That feeling only lasted for a moment.  Detroit has heard the words “no” and the phrase “not right now” on many occasions.  Though the sounds of hearing not being ready for a new development can be discouraging, it does not constitute what the city will and shall become nor does it define your worth as an individual.

A Temporary “No” or “Not Right Now” Doesn’t Mean Your Vision Doesn’t Have Worth

I reached back in my thoughts and remembered the times I heard “no” or “not right now.”  Can’t you remember hearing it also?  Don’t you recall being excited about developing alliances, creating friendships, and forging relationships that you knew would develop into amazing opportunities?  I believe that is how Detroit felt with Amazon.  Detroit and Amazon were creating a bond, and those involved with the process of wooing Amazon had hopes they would provide Detroit with an ultimate encounter that would last a lifetime.  Many reasons were probably provided why Detroit would be the premier place to be considered for the second Amazon Headquarters that would bring economic growth, a promising tax base, and stable employment to the city.  However, it didn’t matter how polished the city was described and the promises of what Detroit had to offer to Amazon.  The decision of “no” was given.  As I read other articles, some of the reasons given were the talent didn’t live here, the infrastructure wasn’t ready, the lack of organized mass transportation and a host of other flaws were mentioned.  Doesn’t that sound familiar with real life?  Imagine preparing for an interview, starting a partnership, or trying to promote an idea to an investor.  It doesn’t matter how good we feel or how presentable the plan might be, the ultimate answer is “No” or “Not Right Now.”  Also, there is another perspective we hear, “Well, you’re not quite ready.”

When others feel we are not ready, discouragement can be an emotion we all have known which can lead doubt to settle deep within our consciousness.  We feel like giving up because our idea wasn’t accepted on a celebratory level.  Awwww, we question ourselves and our ability.  We ponder on negativity and believe we should have never tried to attempt to apply for something unimaginable.  We question our intelligence and contemplate if we really had the knowledge to pull off a grand scheme that would lead to success.  I’ve been there especially while developing the blog.

View Disappointments as An Opportunity to Find Your Greatness 

Initially, I thought of 100 gazillion reasons why I should not start a blog about Detroit.  It was easier talking myself out of writing than eating two brownies and three scoops of ice cream all at the same time.  If I asked someone if they wanted to collaborate with the blog and I didn’t hear a response, I used this experience to validate my doubt as maybe the concept isn’t admirable enough.  If I reached for assistance and I didn’t receive a reply, I made this to mean the blog and myself aren’t well known to others with “real” clout.  If I contacted someone for an interview with excitement and they weren’t interested, I buried myself in disappointment.  However, I had to get to a point where I would no longer accept temporary “no’s” and “not right now” as deductive reasoning for me not being an exceptional being with great capabilities.  Instead, I started to face these answers head on with the excitement of welcoming a day of sunshine while driving with the sunroof open.  Even though you can’t envision a bright moment with the words, “Yes, you have much to offer” on the first, second, or twentieth try, it doesn’t mean the opportunity will never present itself.

With a novel approach, I evolved, and that is what is happening in Detroit.  Yes, Amazon said “no” and “not right now” but that isn’t the end of the world.  Other organizations and projects such as Detroit Roses, On Detroit (DetroitorNothing), Young Lives Detroit, Love My Detroit, The Pantry House, Hope Park Detroit, Bee Detroit, Arise Detroit, ProsperUs Detroit, Hip N Zen in the Northend, The Greening of Detroit, and the Neighborhood Service Organization all find worth in the city of Detroit.  The efforts and commitment of these and many organizations in Detroit may seem to be making small strides, but it will lead and have led to great outcomes for Motown.  The same is happening with the blog.  I am making small strides.  I have forged relationships with people who find value in the blog.  My Sister Friends and some of my Faithful Supporters are contributing their time and energy to make a grand experience for those who are excited about changing the negative perceptions about Detroit and adding goodness to the environment.  Don’t worry about those who tell you “no” or “not right now.”  Use those phrases to give you a boost of faith to tell yourself, “Yes, I will succeed and build alliances with people who are willing to invest in my greatness.”

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!






I Am Special by Tresa Simmons

I am special cover page

We never know how what we experience may seem so simple and yet be so profound for our lives.  I was looking at a video on Facebook that highlighted what the videographer calls Daymond John’s humble beginnings.  In that video, Mr. Johns was quoted, “Don’t wait for the ‘perfect time’, you will wait forever.  Always take advantage of the time that you’re given.” This quote came to mind at an odd time.  On Valentine’s Day, I was drying off from my shower thinking, do I lotion down with my Jergens and Shea butter lotion or do I lotion down with my heavenly scents?  These questions coupled with the quote really caught me off guard in a solar plexus kind of way.  I realized in that moment I most often use my heavenly scent products when something special is about to go down.  I may be going out with my friends, ritualizing, celebrating me for something that I deemed as extraordinary or at least out of the ordinary for me, or for that word…lol…a man.

All of the reasons that I gave were valid for why I took extra care with my body, but those reasons are no longer enough.  I am special.  Sisters we are special, and that is enough.  I found myself counting the various lotions and sprays that I have purchased or were purchased for me from Bath and Body Works, Burlington, Marshalls, Victoria Secrets, homemade gifts by alchemists doing their thing, and where ever I can find lotions that I love the scent of.  There were over 16 of these products.   Some were new and some older; but what was clear as evidenced by all my products, I had been waiting on the perfect time to use them.  I am the perfect time.  Ladies, sisters, we are the perfect time.  We are that special event we are looking for.

I wish I could be able to write I have changed my life and had a 360 degree change in the way that I promote my own self-care, but this would not be an accurate statement.  I have become aware, and awareness is the first step.  Becoming intentional about my self-care has been hit and miss for me.  One of my coaches consistently says “being impeccable with your self-care” must become a commitment.

When lifting weights to build our muscles, we have to start right where we are.  That may be a different place for each of us.  The premise is the same with making ourselves a priority.  As with any weight training program, the food that is eaten can make or break the results of the lifter.  The words that we speak over our life are like food for our conscious and subconscious mind.

In recent years, I have become more vocal on women celebrating themselves.  This experience, once again, has me contemplating how different my life would be as my view of myself continuously shifts.  I am getting more excited; and as I do, I know sisters we must be gentle with ourselves as we leave the judgment out.  Choosing to reshape what has been the normalcy of our lackluster self-care regime is no small feat.  It is a moment by moment experience.  Each experience will create stronger desires and proclivities for the special you.  The ‘you’ that you enjoy and can’t wait to hang with while consistently engaging your brain cells and heart in ways to out-do yourself again and again.

It is my desire, sisters, for all of us that we begin to eat and breathe self-care.  We can all succeed in cultivating this new way of life with a joyful heart when we are willing to become that ‘special event’ that we celebrate daily in a special way.  We also succeed in loving ourselves as a ‘new normal’ when we become willing to do all of the things for ourselves that we desire from others even when we do not have too.  That night as I lotion with one of my heavenly scents, I felt very much empowered.  I wasn’t waiting for something I deemed worthy of my lotions.  No mam.  I became the special.  Not only did I feel good, I smelled delicious.  Recently, I was told I Am holy ground.  I say to you my sisters…you are holy ground.  Take your shoes off and honor yourselves.


Blake Griffin is a Detroit Pistons, yeah!!!, now what?

Blake Griffin is a Detroit Pistons, yeah!!!, now what? By Klassy K 

So, Blake Griffin is a Detroit Piston, he was forced to leave or you can say it nicer that he was “traded” his sunshine and blue sky weather for pot holes, slushy white stuff, zero below temperature, bi-polar weather, blah, blah, blah, should I continue? Yeah, he REALLY wanted to leave Los Angeles for Detroit, but fast forwarding since the trade, the Pistons has won 4 out of 7 games, since the Big Cheese arrived. Yeah, Big Cheese Blake will receive over $30 million dollars a year over a period of 4 ½ years which totals roughly about $171 million dollars. Did your eyes pop out yet? Let me also add that he will receive a million dollar RAISE every year as well. Did you just ask yourself, why did I go to college? If you didn’t, then you must have won the Mega Millions or you must be the long lost daughter or son to Oprah Winfrey.

The Detroit Pistons rank number four in the central division which is not bad considering the performance over the last 14 years, you know when they won the NBA Championship in 2004. We all feared the “fro”, chanted “ball don’t lie” and screaming “DEEEEEtroit BAS-KET-BALL”. But that’s all in the past, I started to get a little emotional for a minute, until I realized that the Detroit Pistons are not even close to making the playoffs. They would have to practically win every game and lose only 1, that’s not going to happen here on Earth, maybe on planet Saturn since it has rings. Get it, rings, like rings on fingers? Championship rings, yeah, there you go, you got it, now give me an air pump fist! J

Anywhoo, now back to Mr. Griffin, now we all know that Mr. Cheese can’t win games on his own, we can all assume that because he is an “all-star player”. He averages about 25 points a game, plays defense as well offense, but sometimes he can be a ball hog. Ball hog is basically somebody that holds the basketball all during the game, trying to shoot all the shots and hardly passing the ball to other teammates, but he can’t do that here in the “D”. Andre Drummond is a beast in rebounding and protecting the glass, then you got Stanley Johnson ripping the paint off the floor, then you got the “my neck and my back” (don’t start singing that hook) injured Reggie Jackson keeping the bench nice and warm and cheerleading on the side line, so the Pistons are multi-talented.

Detroiters has wasted no time gloating over Blake Griffin, attendance at Little Caesar arena has increased, merchandise is finally removed from clearance and the grim reaper has no longer declared Detroit as “Death Row” it’s been renamed to “Detroit Row”. For tickets or highlights, you can visit the pistons website:, until then check Klassy’s Sport Korner every other Thursday on, “stay blessed my friend”.

-Klassy K Sports Korner for

I Am My First Ministry


I Am My First Ministry by Tresa Simmons

We, sisters, are our first ministry.  “I am my first ministry.  I am sacred.  I am the one I have been seeking (waiting for)” has become my mantras or affirmations as some would say.  Initially, words such as these were just nice catch phrases.  Words that sounded good that sounded right to my ears.  Of course, I can say they made sense….a little.  I mean how many times had I heard them before they began to tug at me to view them up closer, to dig deeper for meaning, to acknowledge they have life giving properties that can change my life?

While I have written about three of my favorite mantras that are courting me on a daily basis to spend more time with them, to listen to them, and to snuggle with them, it is ‘I am my first ministry’ that I want to write about.  Sisters how many of us continue to put others before ourselves to the detriment of self-betrayal and dishonoring ourselves?  We cannot pour from an empty cup not even for ourselves.  We cannot give to others what we do not have; and when we put ourselves last, we have nothing for ourselves or them.

Today, let’s take time to replenish ourselves.  There are what I call sacred baths where we are intentional about putting bubble bath, bath balms, oils, or using music and other modalities to set the stage keeping ourselves at the forefront of our minds.  We are worthy to serve ourselves in dignity and respect with the highest order of planning in mind.  When we prepare the ambiance and set the stage to take time to read a favorite book or cook ourselves a healthy and delicious meal, we are displaying love for ourselves.  We are teaching ourselves and others how we expect to be treated.  Sometimes sisters we have been our own worst enemies.  What about exercising in whatever form we choose?  Singing, writing poetry, prayer, and meditation are other forms of self-care.  The key here is putting ourselves first with intention.  Treating ourselves with kindness and love.  Standing powerful in our truth that “I am my first ministry” are not just words.  They are actions that heal us and allow us to experience the world differently.

If you are anything like me, you know once a mantra leaves your mouth, energetically it begins to create what we say as there is power in our words.  However, we also have to align with what we speak; and when we don’t align with the very thing we speak, we are like a planter who plants a seed with expectations of receiving the food planted only to keep digging it up again.  That can be scary.  After all, what will people think?  More importantly is what do we think?  We are challenged to question and or deny what we have said that does not line up with our new conversation and way of being.  When we continue to ask questions, not only are we keeping the seeds (words we have spoken) creating, but we are weeding them so our own negative thoughts and those of others cannot over-come us.  We have to change what we believe about ourselves.  Loving ourselves brings out the warrior in us, and this is ok.  If we do not take a stand for ourselves against our old mindset, who will?  None of the collective or anyone as an individual can champion us like we can for ourselves.

To say I have mastered these words, would be untruthful.  To say that I have expectations for them to take root in my very DNA and become my foundation of what and why I do what I do would be true.  I desire to remember that I am my first ministry, that I am sacred, and that I am who I seek (who I have been waiting for).  Sisters may you all find your mantras or affirmations that lift you up above the ways you dishonor and self-betray yourself.  May you be intentional with living a life that you are worthy, you are enough, and you are important!  Put yourself first.


Self-Care Resources and Products For You!

Body Positive by Just Natural can be purchased at Goodness Gracious INC. located at 19150 Livernois Ave. Detroit, MI

AMAZING Vegan Bath and Urban Sweat Co.  (Follow on Facebook) by Founder & CEO Paris Lynn

TAPN2U Your Own Universe – You / Treasure Map Experience (Follow on Facebook) by Founder & CEO Anita Caprice also inquire about her Skin Talk Facebook page



Nikkia Matthews Purposeful YOUth Detroit Founder

Nikkia D. Matthews / Founder & CEO of Purposeful YOUth Detroit

The Founder of Purposeful YOUth Detroit: A Change Agent Addressing Social Issues

The Founder and CEO of the mentoring program, Purposeful YOUth Detroit, is none other than Detroit native Nikkia D. Matthews. Ms. Matthews left Detroit to attend Howard University in Washington D.C., where she received her undergraduate degree in Human Development. Initially, she majored in Architecture, but her calling was to address social issues, while giving back to the community. She is aware the combination of the two led her to become the Change Agent she defines herself to be at this moment. Ms. Matthews returned to Detroit after graduating Howard because she knew Detroit needed her talents.  She also felt the Motor City could benefit from her dedication to making a difference for today’s youth.

The Mission Behind Purposeful YOUth Detroit

After returning home, she pursued her Masters Degree in Social Work at Wayne State University. The arduous work on various papers and presentations while in school provided insight and stemmed the brainchild called Purposeful YOUth Detroit. The program is offered to young ladies ages six to eighteen years old. She stated, “Our mission is to build strong and confident young women who can grow up to be audacious leaders in the community.” Some of the key objectives of the program are to enhance social skills, build leadership qualities, improve self-esteem, and promote self-confidence. While enriching one’s skillset in the program, young ladies will enhance their qualities to becoming entrepreneurs and learn proper social etiquette.  In addition, the program stresses the importance of community outreach.  Ms. Matthews founded the Million Shoe March:  Shoes for Soles in Need Community Shoe Drive a few years ago.  People from various states, including California and New York, donated over 5,000 pairs of shoes over the last three years to give to families that may not be able to afford them.  The shoes were strategically placed along a major street in Detroit, and people were able to try on and choose their own shoes.  Matthews indicated the girls cried as they saw how people’s lives were touched because they were able to obtain a pair of shoes.  She told me one homeless man said the boots he chose would help him through the entire winter.  Ultimately, the goal is to collect 500,000 pairs of shoes to distribute for the event in the future.

The program has a broader focus than enriching the lives of youth. In addition, Purposeful YOUth Detroit extends the services to the parents of children participating in the program. The support given to the parents is beneficial. Matthews has witnessed mothers return to school because of the confidence they gained.  One mother who returned to school for nursing will graduate this summer with her Associates Degree in Nursing.  There have been instances where mothers will approach Matthews, informing her they applied for a promotion on their job. Even if they didn’t receive the promotion, they were satisfied with taking a leap of faith and stepping out of their comfort zone.

The program has existed the past three years. Participants are expected to complete the 10-month curriculum and adhere to the attendance policy that ensures the girls complete success and attainment of the skills offered. During the first year, the program was free. The cost is now $200.00 for the year, which equals $20.00 per session for each participant, Matthews explained.  If someone is facing financial hardship, program subsidies are offered. Parents should be willing to contribute a small amount to guarantee mentees and parents are serious about their participation. Upon successfully completing the first year of the program, there is a promotional ceremony called the Debutante Ball.  The attendees will then continue to progress on to the next year.

Overcoming Tragedy led to Finding a Purpose to Help Others Find their Strength

Matthews shared her story of struggling with her own self-esteem during the ages of ten to eleven years of age. She was a victim of sexual abuse for a significant amount of time during her youth. Dealing with awkwardness and identity issues were only a few barriers she faced while attending middle school. The emotions of being violated and feeling uncomfortable around others were hurdles she had to tackle throughout her adolescent stage. Those around her felt the vibes of her anger and frustration. To add to the suffering, she was bullied by her peers.  Matthews would walk with her eyes focused on the ground, instead of facing toward the sky.  At an early age, she never envisioned her transformation to becoming a strong woman, whose purpose would be to encourage others to feel empowered and become successful.

Despite her obstacles, she withstood the negative situations she encountered in life. Throughout time, Matthews befriended mentors, who helped her discover the courage she needed to become stronger. One of her greatest inspirations was her Aunt Rita, who resided in Washington D.C. At age 13, she had the opportunity to reside with her for six weeks during the summer. Matthews described her Aunt Rita as, “…somebody who loved unconditionally, and through a very rough period in my life, from I think about ten to sixteen, she was everything, and I understood the importance of having a mentor, so she’s one reason I’m passionate about mentoring.” She also acknowledges the prominent women in her church gave her guidance and helped influence her decision to become a mentor. Outside her inner circle, she also attributes observing public figures, such as Iyanla Vanzant, Michelle Obama, and the late Maya Angelou to having a positive impact on her life.

Recognizing Her Achievements and the Steps to Get There

Matthews believes one of her greatest achievements is Purposeful YOUth Detroit. She is also grateful for other accomplishments, such as her education and the ability to network with other individuals who want to make a difference in society. She believes working with other individuals has empowered her to help build a strong community. The mentor also reflected on past failures, which was her inability to build strong trusting relationships with men and taking a little longer to achieve her accomplishments in life. She had to realize it was imperative to get rid of toxic relationships to obtain growth.

In the interview, she mentioned a few steps that assisted her in achieving important goals. First, she indicated you should never stop dreaming. Second, she believes it is a requirement to have a concrete vision plan with the results in mind. Most important, you must try to execute the plan by having tangible goals and realistic time frames with deadlines. During the process, talk to people who can help you achieve your goals. Finally, develop affirmation statements to help build the confidence you need to succeed with your visions and goals.

Sound Advice for Anyone Planning to Start an Organization

The beginning phase to any vision can be daunting. For example, one of the initial challenges Purposeful Youth Detroit faced was not having their 501c3 exempt status. She felt she missed out on countless opportunities for funding. Most funders are interested in data, data, and more data. This lesson has prepared her to reinvent herself and plan for future funding sources. Matthews offered sound advice for someone starting on this journey of building a viable program. First, have a strong mission statement. Second, determine the population you would like to serve. Ask yourself who you want to help in the community. Third, find the mute button to naysayers. “Then, I suggest they get the mute button; find out who in your camp are naysayers, the ones who are going to tell you it’s impossible…the ones who always have an obstacle to throw in your way; learn how to hit that mute button.” Next, find a mentor who will support you. This individual should not feel threatened by your growth or feel like a competitor. Your mentor should be able to listen, while offering ideas and suggestions to help you plan and prepare for your future and success. The fifth suggestion is being willing to marry your vision. Be committed to the vision. Matthews told me you can have friendly reminders related to your vision by placing it on your walls throughout your home, under your pillow, or in a notebook. The final suggestion she stresses is you must stay focused.

The Big Vision Requires Taking a Breath of Self-Confidence

The Successful Mentor is preparing herself for a greater future.  Within ten years, she hopes to write books and become a world-renowned motivational speaker.  Her means of empowering other women is to “help women understand their power is limitless.”  One of Matthews’ most notable statements in the interview is: “Be willing to breathe your vision.” Know it is possible to achieve your goal of starting a meaningful organization that will change the community. Clear the air of negativity and don’t get smothered by doubt. Yes, get ready to breathe in a fresh air of self-confidence as you exhale the results of success!

For additional information on how to volunteer your time or make a financial contribution to Purposeful YOUth Detroit please go to their website @

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!