Reflecting before 34… For the younger Me! 

For the younger Me…
I’ve been told most of my life that I’m an old soul and I will agree. Being an old soul doesn’t make me any wiser, experience does that. We either learn from our own experiences or the experiences of others. Either way, experience is the best teacher. As I approach 34, I reflect on the experiences that have given me wisdom. Some of my wisdom I learned early on and some came with some hard lessons. If I could tell the younger MEs in the world anything, I’ll give them what I have found to be pertinent advice. 

1) Go out in the world and be YOU! Legally, responsibly, and unapologetically. 

2) Love without conditions. Love humans. Just love period. 

3) Don’t let boys be mean to you. Mistreat you. Disrespect you. 

4) Read! Read a lot! Read books, magazines, articles, blogs, etc. Just read!

5) Manage your money and your credit. Do this early on and it’s one less stress. 

6) Travel! Travel to different places abroad and stateside. 

7) Be spiritual rather than religious. 

8) Have an opinion but be open-minded to others’ opinion. 

9) Don’t live above your means. Act your wage and spend responsibly. 

10) Choose experiences over things. Things depreciate and experiences are yours forever. 

11) Invest in yourself. 

12) Learn to enjoy your own company. Be your own friend. Hangout with yourself. You’ll learn more about yourself and you will appreciate that. 

13) Know that only a few things are on a timeline. Two important ones are: the moment & being happy. Seize the moment. The time to be happy is now. All else will happen in due time. 

14) Don’t be a YES girl! Not at home. Not at work. Not in relationships. NEVER!

15) Have friends that are good for more than just hanging out. 

16) Have a friend/mentor that’s at least ten years older than you. You will learn to appreciate their wisdom and candid conversations. 

17) Respect marriage. Respect singleness. 

18) Write. Write a lot! Rambling thoughts. Poems. Short stories. Novels. Blogs. Doesn’t matter. Just write. Your soul will thank you. 

19) Love your body. Exercise and enjoy it! Make it fun. Your health and confidence will thank you. 

20) Learn how to cook. Cook often and try new recipes. 

21) Set goals. Be stubborn with your goals but flexible in achieving them. 

22) Know that life will ALWAYS throw curve balls. Bend but don’t break. 

23) Communicate. Express yourself. No matter the emotion make it known and address the individual(s) privately. 

24) Know your worth. NEVER be the side chick. 

25) Have friends of the opposite sex. Be mature enough to have platonic friendships. 

26) Learn to negotiate in all areas. But know your non-negotiables. Learn to say NO!

27) Learn to forgive and love from a distance. Both are important in your overall growth. Forgiving doesn’t mean let them back in to cause the same hurt.

28) Be willing to compromise when necessary. 

29) Don’t apologize when you don’t mean it. 

30) Be fearless! Pursue your dreams. 

31) Skip college if you don’t feel like it’s for you but NEVER stop learning. 

32) Find your purpose in the world and walk in it. 

33) Enjoy love. Dismiss society’s ideals of what your love should look like or how it should function. Do you. Love in a way that warms your soul and keep the butterflies in your stomach. 

34) Love boys with tattoos, bow legs, motorcycles, and black jeans! 😜😝🤣😉 Ok, that’s just my preference. 

35) Seriously, live your life and love it! 

Here’s what my third marathon taught me…

I’ve run 3 marathons, 17 half marathons, and countless other race distances. Not bad for a girl who still has a hard time breathing around styrofoam, when the seasons change, or whenever her asthma decides to do what it does. What’s my point? You can train your body to do whatever you want it to do. But you have to train your mind as well. Initially, I couldn’t run a quarter of a mile without having an asthma attack. It took me forever (well in my mind) to be able to run uphill and to run a mile nonstop. I remember the feeling I had when I finally was able to run a mile nonstop. Total joy! I also remember the feeling I had when I laced up for my first 5K. It was such a BIG deal to me. I still don’t think anything compares to that day on March 17, 2012.  Then I tried the 10K – September 19, 2012. I was a ball of nerves. The week of my first half marathon my nerves were all over the place. Although I had trained well, the distance made me nervous. I completed my first half on October 6, 2013.  Then it was my attempt at my first marathon which was disastrous and very disappointing -no fault of my own. Since the Savannah marathon didn’t work, I decided to try the Nashville marathon the very next week.  I was determined to get it done and it got done.  I completed my first marathon on November 14, 2015.

I’m still a ball of nerves when it’s race time. Any distance. Some distances cause more anxiety than others. With all my anxiety, I always lace up and leave all my fears of the unknown at the start line. Training takes discipline and dedication. Some say showing up is the hard part. Finishing takes determination yet it’s gratifying. You go out and push your body to its limit. You try to avoid any negative thoughts. If you’re like me, you pray, meditate, enjoy the solitude, create romance characters, and just mentally focus on anything but the distance. It’s not hard but it can be challenging. It’s been more than five years since I started running and I still have horrible days. Some days I just don’t feel like it but I do. Some days are just hard. I can’t get my running life together. My breathing is off. Nothing is going right. Then some days everything is aligned and I rock out. It wasn’t until my third marathon that I realized the importance of training your brain too.  So much of running is mental.  Physically, you’ve trained and you are capable but what happens when your mind starts to play tricks on you.  Being mentally prepared for success is just as important as grinding to be successful.  I was mentally prepared for my marathon this time. While I didn’t get the time I had hoped for, I crossed the finish line knowing physically and mentally I had given my all.  I avoided negative thoughts and what-ifs during the race.  Mentally, I was in a better shape for this race.  My third marathon taught me to not only be prepared physically but mentally as well. As I prepare to do this again in less than two weeks, I’m going to re-up on my mental and get better results this time around. 

So, make sure while you are out here grinding to be successful that you are mentally preparing for success as well.  Nothing like having a bomb a** presentation and not being able to deliver due to your mental being off.  It’s the same way with success.  Grind hard and be mentally prepared for your success!

Exclusive Interview with the Founder of CDA Enterprises & Co-Founder of POP, Inc., Dr. C.

An Interview with Entrepreneurial Mogul, Dr. Chasity Dean-Anthony, PhD., Founder of CDA Exclusives

Dr. C shares her experiences as an entrepreneurial mogul while balancing life as a wife, mother, community advocate, and entrepreneur.

Finding the time to live our dreams and conquer the desires of our hearts can be time consuming and can seem almost impossible.  Many of us feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done.  This can be especially true for those of us that wear many titles such wife, mom, community activist, etc. Dr. Chasity shares her experiences and provides advice on how she balances it all.  And trust me she does a lot. Check out her interview below.

Tell us more about yourself and the services you provide?

I’m Dr. Chasity Dean-Anthony, PhD. I’m a wife, mother of three (Melany – a 19 year old University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff student, Marissa- 15, and Maison -3), lady of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., GIRL, community activist, spiritual leader, and multi-faceted mogul in the making.  My husband, Darrell Anthony, and I co-founded a non-profit organization, Producing Outstanding People, Inc. I currently serve as the Program Developer for POP, Inc.  POP, Inc. serves the needs of Crittenden County Arkansas and surrounding areas. I am also the founder and CEO of CDA Enterprises which consists of eXclusive home, eXclusive Designs, eXclusive events, eXclusively Me! Hair accessory line, and CDA Consulting which provides quality training and performance workshops, custom curriculum packages, meets the needs of businesses, churches, and educational institutions.

What ignited your spark to create CDA Exclusives?

From my introduction, it’s clear that I provide a plethora of services that cater to my many clients and their various needs. I grew up in the small, rural town of Hughes, Arkansas. I’m the daughter of a prominent pastor and community leader and a nurse turned elementary teacher.  My parents served their church and community faithfully. In turn, they groomed my siblings and I to love and serve humanity through our innate talents and gifts that God blessed us with.  All my businesses are service oriented. My sole purpose is serve and meet the needs of those I am blessed to encounter. My business fortune is a living testament to Proverbs 18:16 (KJV)- A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. God blessed me with many talents and I utilize those talents to serve others.  Serving others in excellence has opened many doors for me to expand my services to other great individuals. Word of mouth has been my greatest advertisement.  My talents were noticed early on and it was never my intention to start a business.  Through my pro bono work, individuals started referring their family and friends to me to decorate weddings and other events.  From these referrals, CDA Exclusives was birthed.  A simple wreath and hair accessory request from my aunt Josie Stewart-Carson helped to birth the eXclusive home and the hair accessory line. I have many stories such as these to attest to the expansion of CDA eXclusives.

What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to chase their dreams while working full-time?

The first piece of advice is be committed to the process.  Many of us have heard the saying, “Find what you love doing and you’ll never work a day in your life”.  Well, my advice is don’t believe the hype. You’re not going to like every aspect about any endeavor you set out to achieve.  You will have great days and horrible days. Some days you will hate what you do, but you must be committed to the process. You can’t abandon ship when things don’t go well and set out on venture after venture. No one becomes great by going off course. Greatness comes as a result of the GRIND!

Secondly, sit before you stand, crawl before you walk, walk before you run, fly before you soar.  If you skip any part of the process you will suffer later from the effects thereof.  There is no quick fix to greatness in entrepreneurship.  You will most likely have to work for someone else before you are able to be your own boss. Learn from the process, stack your coins, and ease your way into big balling and shot calling.

Third you will have to be ok with just doing you.  You can’t expect the world to work as hard as you are in making YOU great. Everyone wants greatness to some level, but you have to be willing to go the distance beyond the level of everyone else.  Late nights, early mornings, no vacations, minimal friends, being misunderstood, haters, competition – it’s all part of the process. So, learn to embrace it!

What three skills would say are needed to be successful in pursuing your dreams?

Humility. Determination. Wisdom.

What have you learned from some of your failures?

This may sound arrogant, but I really haven’t experienced failure (all praises to God – it’s not me it’s all GOD). I’m crazy enough to believe Philipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. The closest I’ve come to failure is experiencing shortcomings through the process.  Every venture I’ve embarked upon I sought Christ. My mom quoted this scripture my entire life and when I started to go wayward as a teen, I found where my mother had written a prayer inscription on the back cover of my bible.  The prayer read: “Lord please lead Chasity to acknowledge you in all her ways and allow you to direct her paths”. That prayer of protection covered my life. As I have sought God, he has never led me down a path that he was not able to sustain me. For this I am grateful!

What are your greatest fears and how do you manage fear?

My greatest fear is that I will not be able to endure the adversities and hardships of life. Although I know that God is able to keep that which is committed to Him, this journey of entrepreneurship and life gets EXTREMELY hard to bear at times. I curtail these fears by praying fervently and encourage myself through scripture and songs. Music therapy is an awesome outlet of relief for me. I often quote the cliché, “Lord you wouldn’t bring me to it, if you weren’t able to bring me through it”.

What motivates you?

God and the needs of humanity motivate me to the things that I do.  I prayed many years ago for God to give me a spirit of excellence after a sermon my Dad preached about Daniel’s spirit of excellence. Striving to serve in excellence motivates me.

How do you define success? Do you consider yourself successful?

My definition of success is encapsulated in John 10:10, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life”. A life rich in all things spiritual and naturally speaking and a life that is satisfying. When one has achieved this you have achieved success in life. I am well on my way to a successful life.

What’s the best way to plan for long-term success?

The best way to plan for long-term success is to first be confident in the fact that you are doing what God has called you to do. Then seek him for direction on a plan for getting there. Do your research on the market and needs analysis for your product of service. Always strive to perfect your craft. Create multiple streams of wealth. Include your family in the process of getting there so that they will vested and value the family business.

How do you build a successful customer base?

I feel that you build a successful customer base by having an amazing product/service, fair pricing, and impeccable customer service skills.  Those who value what you have to offer will become loyal clients and will refer others to you whom will become loyal clients.

What makes you happy?

I’m happiest knowing that I’ve accomplished the task that God has called me to complete and my family and I are able to enjoy the fruit of our labor.

Do you find social media helpful in your business ventures? How so?

Yes! Social media is very helpful in my for-profit and non-profit businesses.  It’s a great platform to reach the masses, and provide immediate feedback to my clients.

In one word, characterize your life as a wife, mom, community activist, and entrepreneur mogul.

Onerous

Where do you see yourself and business in ten years?

Prayerfully in ten years, the CDA Exclusives Enterprise and POP, Inc. non-profit will be well-appointed and functioning like a well-oiled machine.  I will be able to creatively administrate.

If you were conducting this interview, what one question is a must ask?

What’s your why? Why do you do this day in and day out? What keeps you going?

You can learn more about the empire that Dr. C is building by visiting her website and social media platforms via the following links: CDA Enterprises and POP, Inc..  If you are interested in becoming a donor or partner for POP, Inc., reach out to Dr. C for an eXclusive collaboration! For all your eXclusive needs, check out the for-profit segment of the empire.  As it was previously stated, word of mouth is the best advertisement and referrals are the best compliments. Share all the greatness of Dr. C, CDA eXclusives, and POP, Inc. with family and friends.

Dr. C thank you for giving us insight into your entrepreneurial lifestyle. You are the perfect example of making time for the things that matter to you.  We are wishing you much success and look forward to witnessing CDA Exclusives and POP, Inc. prospering! #BossConversations

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