I am desperate to experience the life that I believe is predestined for me. Unlike some of the definitions of “to be desperate” or “desperation”, I do not mean that I am living in despair. I am not depressed or oppressed.
I realize that I am about to change the definition of desperate but I have erased at least five hundred words, and I keep starting over. Research is not going to write this blog, my heart is.
Desperate is the feeling that I feel when disappointment comes after I have feelings of failure. Somehow this emotion of desperation is not the same as when I was living with a survival mentality as a result of homelessness.
A few weeks ago, I contacted a lady who I was referred to in my status on Facebook to see if she had any speaking opportunities for an upcoming event. In short, she was charging $750 for speakers to pay for a vendor table, and then she would give them a “free” opportunity to speak. Naturally, I declined because I know that she is ripping people off, and no respectable professional speaker would feed into her business practices.
I professionally told her that I am only looking for paid speaking engagements. I went to her website, and it was not user-friendly, it was misleading and to be quite honest it was unattractive. It was not branded and I was left so confused that I had to ask her questions on facebook to get the right answers.
She ignored my response. She sent me a message yesterday telling me in short that unless I had a draw, no one would pay me to speak. I saw this as manipulation of course. I have copyrighted material that I have created. I provide original work, for everything that I do, and I can not be replicated because my work is based on my personal journey.
This conversation somewhat frustrated me, because I knew that if I were not knowledgeable she may have manipulated me into paying for a vendor table, to speak for free, in an environment that would not yield the kind of sales, or additional work that I was looking for. Additionally, she asked for my website (which is plastered everywhere), and she wanted me to send her references.
Hours later, a woman emailed me. She mentions that she has been following my journey for months and wants to have no one else to be her Keynote Speaker for her women’s luncheon. She owns an organization in California for women who have experienced domestic and sexual violence. By the way, she is paying my speaking fee, travel and taking care of my other requirements in order to provide her with the absolute best, life-changing event that she is expecting.
The first woman clearly did not know who she was talking to, and took no time to research me. I am literally everywhere. Go ahead, open a new tab and look up “Ressurrection Graves Child Sexual Abuse” or “Ressurrection Graves Homelessness”.
The Brand Identity Hoax
My husband and I have been praying with clear objectives. Earlier in the month, I did a radio show in Mississippi. I did so well, they called me back to do the show a second time, the following day. The host turned out to be a community leader, former council member and pastor who asked to get me booked for speaking engagements in Mississippi.
It sounds good right? You’re probably wondering what this “attitude of desperation” is all about. Yesterday, a woman who I am Facebook friends with, who received a big break a few months back when she was featured on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, wrote a status eluding to the fact that someone in her circle had stolen her brand identity.
I should say that this woman has no brand identity. I went to her website. It’s not there. I celebrate her ability to navigate through the marketing process and get a national speaking platform, but you know that I am a businesswoman at heart. I choose not to be a coach, but I would be amazing at it. I should also say that this same woman requested to “coach” me a few weeks ago. She indeed has the platform, but if you don’t know what to do with it, you’ll fall off of the stage when it collapses.
The woman had everyone on her page celebrating her, talking about how it was okay that her “brand” was stolen. I politely told her to write a cease and desist letter. She, playing the “bigger person” role let us all know that she did not need to do that and that her brand was so good that there is only one Coca-Cola, and one Pepsi, so I guess this means that her brand is like theirs? By the way, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola would have written a cease and desist letter.
I’m about to get to my point about what I learned this year. Hang in there with me. The woman whose brand was stolen actually stole some other people’s brand. Saturday Night Live is in the name of one of her events.I found this out when I went on her website. Also, the “brand” that she is referring to, well it is a word, that was branded by cartoon twins years ago.
Why is all of this important? People are always perpetrating themselves to be authentic, and people are always celebrating popularity. And, there are coaches, coaching speakers to become coaches so that they can have multiple streams of income. While this is an awesome concept to engage clients and create a program, I also believe we must hold ourselves personally accountable for the level of skill that we can teach. Let me tell you what happened tonight, and then you’ll understand where I am going with this.
Tonight 12/30/12, I had an event for aspiring business owners and activists to teach them things that I learned in business by failure. I had 8 people signed up to have this private seminar in my home, and I had several phone calls of people who had not signed up but who verbally confirmed their intent to attend.
This event was designed to tell them secrets, answering questions like, “How did Ressurrection get 100,000 views on her website, and have readers in 188 countries?” I would also cover contract negotiations, how to choose a business location, how to target your market, and lots of other nuggets that are so top-secret, I do not want to share here. You have to be in the seminar.
My husband and I bought wine and cheese, and my mother who is visiting went out to the store and purchased (without my prompting) grapes, strawberries and additional refreshments for tonight’s event.
Not one person showed up. Now, let’s talk about the attitude of desperation. I’m sitting here, writing my last words of 2012 and I’m not in tears. When I realized that no one was showing up to my seminar, I came upstairs to my office and went on Facebook to check my messages. There were none. Not one person called to cancel. Not one person cared enough or respected me and my time enough to let me know that they had changed their mind.
In the past this would have been a depression defining moment. I would have torn myself to pieces about how I felt unwanted, and those feelings of abandonment that stem from my siblings would have emerged through a tsunami of tears from pores in places that I were unaware existed.
And, I made a joke to my husband. I was saddened for a moment about my mother seeing me fail again. When I went to check my messages on Facebook, I learned that someone who I knew from my childhood died today.
I started feeling that desperation, the attitude that calls to the deep things that keep me pregnant. You see, I am not a motivational speaker though I am told that my speaking provides motivation. There are some things in me that I can’t keep suppressed. This is not about me. I realize that I am a vessel, and I have an inability (literally) to live my life without yielding to my spiritual self. The truth is, whether anyone shows up to my event or not, it doesn’t mean that I am not called, anointed or in possession of the extraordinary.
Versandra Kennebrew invited me to speak at two events in Detroit. I spoke as a Life Skills Expert at a Homeless Shelter (who asked me to come back to train staff), and I spoke at Versandra’s Healthy Detroit event.
We were supposed to hang out Detroit before the event sponsored by Whole Foods, however, I asked her a question that changed my life. It wasn’t that our conversation was totally new, but it was fresh like rain. I could feel my beliefs being harvested as we spoke, and this is what I want to share with you.
Desperation is inevitable. The attitude that we choose to have when we feel desperation is a choice. Tonight when no one showed, I wanted to respond with frustration, but only for a moment. Desperation leads to impulsive responses. Sometimes we feel desperate to have someone respond in a way that we approve. During feelings of desperation we try to right a wrong, mend a wound, and fix an outcome to meet our own expectations.
I have learned this year that my desire, my desperation to excel in being the extraordinary, supernatural woman who God has brought me here to be will not wane. I am still as relentless as I was before the candles were lit, and I turned on jazz for this event. I am still confident that what God has put in me to say is greater than no shows, “they” who did not show, just don’t know it yet.
Mike Murdock is ringing in my ear. My attitude of desperation is not despair, it is strength. And where do you find strength? In joy! Joy is my strength. And what is Joy? Joy is a spirit. While happiness is fleeting, a feeling or emotion like sadness, joy is something deep within and to rejoice, is to be reminded of why you are able to have joy in the first place.
In closing, what I learned this year was that I must narrow my net, and focus on clients who are investing in me. I must focus on individuals who are engaged in reading, sharing, commenting, connecting, buying, and hiring me for speaking engagements. The people who were scheduled to be at my house this evening are not invested. Sometimes, I believe that we must examine the “place called there” which is something I learned a few years ago thanks to Mike Murdock’s teaching.
This year however, I believe that I am there. I am here in the place of my anointing, aligned and prepared for the next few book releases, and tours. I am ready and prepared for the national speaking engagements (which is why they are booking me now), and I am more than ready for the national radio shows.
Sometimes we want to cast a wide net to see what we catch. The truth is, we must apply the “narrow net” business rule in every aspect of our work. We have a target market for our connections. Understanding this is crucial to us all. We want so desperately for everyone to identify with our purpose, and even when we remind ourselves, we tend to forget as quickly as we speak it.
Casting a narrow net is a heart issue. If you target those people who already support your work, you will find repeat clients, and referrals. Sometimes, calling everybody, or marketing to everybody can diminish your confidence, cause you to feel overworked, and devalue you.
2013 is dedicated to exclusivity and promotion. I hope you join me.
Note: This is unedited because it is 12am and it is my birthday. My husband just walked in with a chocolate cupcake, a toast and his rendition of Happy Birthday. Gotta Go!
Happy Birthday to me, and Happy New Year to you!
Ressurrection Graves is a child sexual abuse expert and H.E.A.L.E.R. She is available for national speaking, radio and television engagements.