I AM My Mother's Daughter
I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for my mother, Priscilla Lane Odoms.
She moved from Vivian, West Virginia to build her life in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was an extraordinary woman with a heart full of gifts. A hard worker who dedicated her life to her family, my mother held a job after graduating high school and provided not just for her eight children but for others as well. Without asking for anything in return, she kept our door open to those who needed a place to stay because she did not believe people should be homeless. She never complained, she never asked for anything in return, she just made sure everyone was comfortable. She cared for others with open arms and an open heart.
Making my Heroes Proud
Being raised by a young, single mother in Brooklyn, NY definitely made a major impact on my life.
I often accompanied her to work when she didn’t have a baby sitter, and I was able to see exactly what it took to support us on a daily basis. During the day she worked in the financial districts in downtown New York City with major banks such as HSBC and CITI; in the evening she worked at a hair salon. I watched as she came home exhausted each night, but still managed to prepare a home cooked meal for me every night.
This is when I realized how love, passion and drive can impact someone’s life. She instilled those same principles into me. “Work hard to become something better than I am and love what you do.” Because she worked long hours most nights, I learned to become independent at a young age.
"I Am, Because He Was"
"Always look forward, and never look back. Life is about taking chances; you're going to be faced with challenges until the day you leave this earth. You just have to keep fighting. It'll be okay, one way or the other."
For Black History Month I was asked "Who is your hero?" The answer to that question is quite easy. It’s my father. I am who I am today personally and professionally, because of the many lessons he taught me.
“Hard work won’t kill you”
As a child I remember getting up early Saturday mornings so we could wash his car. Back then they didn't have those humongous vacuums they have today to make the job quick and easy. We basically used a miniature wisk broom, and I would be pouring with sweat while sweeping the car rug. I'd be sweeping, and dust would be all in my face, my little arms would be hurting, and the dirt seemed to never get over that upward arch in the car.
Recognizing Black History Month
Every year I struggle with the concept of Black History Month. As a Black woman, I believe that it is certainly important to honor our heroes and recognize our accomplishments. But I also believe that Black History is American History, and I suspect that confining its recognition into a month might be marginalizing it rather than embracing it as mainstream.
7 Ways to Show your Small Business some Love on Valentine’s Day!
There are some of you who really don’t care about Valentine’s Day. Why? Because you are entrepreneurs! Your business is your boyfriend, girlfriend; your husband or wife. If this is the case, as with any relationship, you must take some time to appreciate the thing you love the most.
So how can you show your business you really care? Celebrate Valentine’s Day with these 7 ways to show your business some love: