Platinum Magazine - March 2022

Page 1


Reducing the Stigma of Mental Illness


Authorship 2 Financial Freedom

March 2022

Issue No. 3

Finding th e

Love Your Soul Desir es


PLATINUM MAGAZINE and I love that I can do just that. It’s great to continuously add amazing professionals to my network, especially seasoned, new, and aspiring entrepreneurs in both business and love.

Tamika Michelle Johnson Editor-in-Chief

editor's note As individuals, many of us are multi-faceted, talented individuals who can do a variety of things well. My question though is, do we have a natural, innate “superpower” that we may not be fully aware? The answer is unequivocally, “Yes!” Many of us do things that are not necessarily our jobs or positions, but they aid us in both our personal and professional lives. For me, I realized a few weeks ago that CONNECTING people is my “superpower.” I’ve been doing it for so long though, that it’s second nature to me. I’m not just referring to matchmaking, but overall. As an attorney, friends, family, and clients have always asked me for referrals professionally, in business, and now in love. For example, the other day after completing a legal transaction for a client, she asked if I handled child support cases. I don’t, but I was able to reach out to my network and refer someone to her the same day. I’ve done that plenty of times,

When I launched “Platinum Magazine” it became clear to me that I was also providing a platform to highlight professionals and entrepreneurs that may not have otherwise be featured in print. When your business is highlighted on someone else’s podium, you garner additional credibility for your potential clients because someone else has validated your expertise. And it should, because in the case of “Platinum Magazine” only a few of our numerous submissions are included in the issues. My mission is to be able to give our readers not only what they want, but also what they NEED. Motivation, encouragement, and resources. Stop trying to do everything yourself because you will burn yourself out! In this issue alone, there are resources provided to those that want to publish a book (Queashar Halliburton), succeed in relationships (Reginald Smith), achieve mental wellness (Dr. Sherri Broadwater), see what a relationship that you deserve looks like (Myra), and of course if you have been struggling in the love and relationship department, “Platinum Connections” is her to get you over that hump. So, enjoy this issue and magazine as you will continually be uplifted in all areas of your life. Platinum is not just the name of our magazine – it’s a lifestyle!


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" s p i h s n o i t a u t i "S by Tamika Michelle Johnson

The term "situationship" is so perfectly descriptive that even the first time you heard it, you likely knew exactly what it meant. That's because many of us have been in them, either as the perpetrator or the victim.

Ok, maybe the words "perpetrator" and "victim" are too harsh of words, but you get my point. I've been both, and at one time I was likely both with the same person. That's another story for another day, but regardless of your role in a situationship, it's usually pretty beneficial for one party and it absolutely sucks for the other. Now, the definition of a situationship may vary, especially depending on your age and 5

generation. However, if you are 30 and older, this definition probably applies to you and we will discuss signs that indicate whether you are in a situationship and if so, how to get out of them.

A "Situationship" is an undefined romantic relationship, that is more than friends with benefits but less than a committed or exclusive relationship after dealing with a person for 6 or more months. The 2 of you communicate often, many times daily, you see one another frequently, you enjoy dates and and trips together, and may have met one another's friends and family. Despite all of these things though, you two do not have a specific label. You've been going with the flow, enjoying each other's

own devices leads to one of the people ultimately drowning. 2. Holidays and Events - Despite going out on dates or taking trips together, you don't spend holidays or other important events together.

company, yet the introductions are simply the other person's name or as a friend. Going with the flow was fine initially, but now one of you wants something more defined. But why as a society are we so concerned with titles? Because titles come with specific perks and responsibilities, just like at the workplace. Now the question is, how do you know if you are even in a "situationship?" Well, if you aren't sure, here are 5 signs that a person is in a situationship. And you only need to have one of these to be in a situationship. 5 Signs That You Are in a Situationship: 1. Avoidance - One or both people avoid talking about being in a relationship or labeling the relationship. This is called “Going with the Flow,” which left to its

3. Prior Disclosure - If a person tells you that he or she doesn't want to be in a relationship, believe them! It’s oftentimes not that they don’t want to be in a relationship, they just don’t want to be in a relationship with you and they're letting you know upfront. However, know that they may still recognize that you’re a good or nice person or even care about you. Not wanting to hurt your feelings, they may also say things like "I’m still dealing with a past relationship" or "I'm not ready”. Yet you're doing all of the relationship things, but without officially being a couple. You're a good person, but not good enough. He or she will continue to string you along until they find someone they really want to pursue. 4. Post Break-Up - When you break up with your partner but you're still in contact and see one another frequently you are in a situtionship because you no longer have an agreed-upon obligation to each other anymore. The feelings are still there and you're familiar with each other. The only thing that has changed is that technically you two aren't obligated and going out with 6

another person is no longer a violation of the relationship, but likely painful if the other person finds out. 5. Fear of Being Alone - You desire and know that you deserve better than what the other person is providing, but you continue to stick around because you would be completely alone without them. The fear of being alone can be paralyzing. It's a very real and valid feeling - but also unacceptable if you really and truly desire more from a relationship. Facing and conquering your fears is one of the most empowering things that a person can do, be it in work, family, or love.

1) You end up in a full-blown relationship with the other person; or 2) You get your feelings hurt because the feelings are not reciprocated. Either way, you have clarity and that is gold. Now you know where you stand and regardless of the outcome, you can move forward. Don't worry though, I won't leave you hanging. If you believe that you are in a situationship, there are 3 things that you can do to get out of it.

Okay, so now you know what a situationship is, and identify with one of the above indicators.

3 Steps on How to get out of a “Situationship” if you actually want to be in a Committed Relationship:

Everyone's situationship presents differently though. If you're still unsure as to whether or not you are in one, simply trust your gut feeling. If you are unsure about your status in someone's life and that causes you some degree of uncertainty, frustration, or anxiety, then you are likely in a situationship.

1. Acknowledgement - The first step in starting or ending anything is acknowledging that there is a situation no pun intended. Ok, well maybe a little. You would be surprised at how many people deny that they are in a situationship. They try to make excuses as to why their situation is different or an exception. One’s gut will tell you even if you deny it. Regardless, you must acknowledge that you’re in Situationship;

With that being said, if you have determined that you or someone you know is in a situationship, there are ways to end it. Terminating a situationship will 7

likely result in one of two ways:

If you have to ask things like, “What are

we?”; “Are we together?”; “Where is this going?” then you’re likely in a Situationship. Accept and acknowledge this fact and then you can deal with it directly. 2. Communicate - The single most important aspect in any relationship is communication. If you want to take your situationship to the next level, then have a serious conversation with the other person and let them know how you feel, where you stand and where you would like for this to go. Then allow the other person to express how they feel about being in an exclusive relationship with you. Do not get upset or angry, just let them be honest about their intentions, wants, and desires. 3. Decide - After you have your conversation, then it is time to decide what happens next. If both of you desire to be in a committed relationship, then great, do just that. However, if one person wants to be in an exclusive or more serious relationship and the other doesn't then you can cease your dealings with that other person. Now, if you decide to continue to see that other person that has expressed that they don't want to be in a relationship with you, then know the emotional risks that come with that decision.

Whether you decide to end the situationship altogether or continue, it is strongly recommended that you start dating other people. When you start to date other people at this point, then there are other positive outcomes that will likely result. 1) The other person may wake up and realize that he or she has made a big mistake, and reconsider their previous position and decide that exploring a more committed relationship is what they desire; or 2) You open your life to other people that may be interested in pursuing a serious relationship and possibly marriage with you. It's a win-win! Remember, your heart can heal, you can replenish your bank account, but you can NEVER get your time back. The older you become, the more precious your time becomes. If you know that you deserve better, go pursue better! Tamika Michelle Johnson AKA “The Matchmaking Attorney” is an Attorney, Certified Matchmaker, and founder of “Platinum Connections,” an exclusive dating agency for successful professionals. For more information on any of the agency's services, visit


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MENTAL ILLNESS DR. SHERRI BROADWATER I remember when I was a little girl in East Point, GA living with my mom and sister, seeing and talking with Dad often, running track, participating in Girl Scouts and ballet and playing with my friends. I grew up during a time where kids played outside most of the time and attended school with neighborhood friends; thus the children and teenagers spent a lot of time together and our families were interconnected. When I was around 10, I remember learning that the mother of our three peers living directly from us died of cancer. Over the years, three other neighborhood friends’ lives were upended by cancer. I knew these mothers. I knew these families. I knew how much my friends loved their mothers and how

much their mothers loved them. At that time, cancer was in the shadows, especially cancers of the breast, prostate and reproductive organs but not anymore. I pray that disorders of the brain, mind and spirit will continue to come from under the stigma and out of the shadows. The complex traumatic experiences of systemic racism, and racialized sexism have resulted in high numbers of disease and undertreated mental illness, the highest prevalence of completed suicide, and continually high numbers of domestic violence and sexual abuse. There’s too much suffering. Reducing the stigma of mental health is 10

required for us to be well and for our communities to be well. A variety of changes are needed individually, collectively, and systemically to improve mental health awareness. It will take time but mental health and mental illness treatment can be commonly discussed in our families just as breast cancer, breast cancer awareness, mammograms, and BRCA1-2 genes are discussed.

healthy looks like, adults and parents can make individual changes NOW to improve mental health, including the following:

But first, you have to know what it means to be "Mentally Healthy."

Bring up the topic by saying things like: I’ve been thinking about… I was reading this article… Mental health is a topic that we don’t talk about much but I want to start discussing mental health [or our mental health more}. What does it mean to be mentally healthy? What does mental health look like for me? What do each of us need to work on regarding our mental health today? What can each of us do to work on our mental health today? What parts of being mentally healthy are working? What parts of being mentally healthy are not working as well as they can? How can I support you in making changes and improvements?

Being mentally healthy means having: Flexibility; A positive individual and collective identity; Having multiple reciprocal relationships (5-7) that nurture us and are fulfilling; Having multiple activities that are fulfilling and add value; Practicing a variety of coping and problem-solving skills ; The ability to view life realistically

1) Make the topic of mental health an expected part of your conversation during meals, while driving to and from school, work, and activities, while leisurely watching TV, and in casual conversation, especially with those you are closest to.

The more we talk about mental health, the less awkward and uncomfortable it will become and

Now that you know what being mentally 11

the health of your brain by:

the more we can practice being well. Remember, Practice makes Improvements (Les Brown). 2) The biological – spiritual conflict perpetuates the stigma of discussing how we view brain and mental health and their respective treatment. I absolutely agree that the concept of a chemical basis of feelings and mood is hard to conceptualize. As a physician, I understand that the body is made up of atoms that come together to create particles which coalesce to make our organs, tissues, skin, the objects we use every day, the environment, and everything around us. It remains very difficult for me to fully grasp how it all fits together. As a believer in God, I believe that all things will be revealed, I do not have the capacity to fully understand it all, and I trust and believe that God’s plan and why is only for my good. The brain organizes all of the systems and processes of the body. Therefore, what you put in my body affects my brain. Just as you can improve the health of your kidneys, heart, liver, and gastrointestinal system, you can improve

Eating adequate healthy, nutritious food so that your brain has the Dopamine, Serotonin, Norepinephrine, GABA, and Melatonin which are needed for attention and concentration, execution of tasks, clarity of thought, restful sleep, flexibility of mind, and regulated mood and management of anxiety and worry. Your body needs healthy foods for your body to make neurochemicals. High-calorie, high sugary, and high-fat food drive inflammation. We once thought inflammation was only part of the pain process for years but now we understand that inflammation is the main driver of the breakdown of blood vessels and healthy metabolic function throughout the body. Thus, excess inflammation exacerbates depression so fast and unhealthy eating often contributes to brain disease and mental illness. Exercise boosts Serotonin, which is the main neurochemical involved in depression, anxiety, and it is broken down to make Melatonin. Adequate hydration helps us to feel more alert and awake. Dehydration can slow us down, make us feel sluggish and if we are not careful this can result in low energy, lack of accomplishment, or lack of initiative. So, what can families do? Vigilantly incorporate healthy eating, exercising, adequate hydration into family conversation and action. Parents who exercise increase the likelihood of children 12

Distraction, Grounding, Self-Love, Accessing one’s higher self, Thought Challenging, and Emotional Release. To be effective, write down your coping skills and practice them daily. Consider asking healthy, trusted people in your life to remind you of your coping skills. Again, individuals and parents who have a variety of coping and problem-solving skills, verbalize when coping and problem-solving skills are being used, and encourage coping skills and problem-solving utilization in those around them have healthier relationships and life experiences.

and teens that exercise. Parents who eat healthy foods and drink the appropriate amount of water increase the likelihood that their children and teens will eat healthy foods and are hydrated. Depression, anxiety, helplessness and overwhelm are less in healthy 4) Lastly, it’s important that we all recognize brains. that time is needed to be healthy and well. Time is needed to understand ourselves, build our 3) Specifically incorporating the purpose of self–awareness, identify which tools and coping skills or tools into our normal practices work best for us, and cultivate conversations is essential to mental health. It’s communication that encourages authenticity important to utilize a variety of coping and validation of the self and of others. In our strategies to address the multitude of busy lives, we rush, try to make things fit, experiences, thoughts, reactions, slights, and assume everything is fine because we don’t feelings that we experience throughout the have time to fix it, don’t want to address it, or day. don’t have the skills to assist. If you are too busy to be well, you are too busy. If you are too A coping skill is an activity or action that helps stressed to be healthy, you are too stressed. us manage and distract ourselves from unwanted thoughts and/or emotions. Coping Parents, connecting with your child may not tools do not replace problem-solving; thus come on your terms; it is our responsibility as both are needed at times to feel better and parents to meet our children and teens where grow. they are and nurture health and well-being Most people have 3-4 coping skills, however, I personally suggest that people have at least 20. Mental Health Advocate, Indigo Daya, suggests that individuals practice coping skills in the following categories: 13

within them. Mental Health and Wellness are possible for us all, however, it takes effort to achieve it. For additional information, visit Dr. Sherri Broadwater at

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y r o t S r e v Co

Finding the

Lo v e Your So ul D e s ir e s

Photo Credit: Bill Morrison Photography

I often talk to both men and women about things that they desire in a potential spouse or partner. The responses range from physical preferences, income requirements, honesty, and much more. But ultimately, everyone wants to be respected, heard, and loved unconditionally. Those qualities come in all colors, shapes, and sizes; however, society glorifies the tall, the curvy, the pretty, and the handsome. When we meet someone who we enjoy talking to and spending time with, many become conflicted when that person doesn’t embody society’s preferred physical qualities.


NFL & NBA sports agent, has the same masculinity and confidence as the tallest of men. More importantly, he is an amazing husband and provider for Myra and their family. Myra knows this, and is so appreciative of Shane, especially after previously being in an emotionally abusive relationship with someone else. Their relationship intrigued me so much that I reached out to Myra to see if she would share their love story. She did and it was more than I could have imagined. Love transcends the physical, and their relationship is proof that at the end of the day, how a person makes you feel behind closed Then, I came across a couple, Myra and Shane, doors is critical in choosing a life partner and who embodied love, admiration, and appreciation mate. of one another, despite Myra being a statuesque As I share Myra’s interview, remember to forget woman at 5’9 - almost a half-foot taller than about what people may say about you as a Shane. Yet Shane, a successful attorney and couple. If he or she warms your heart, spirit, and

[Shane’s] house and we're waiting and waiting and waiting. And now it's like 10 o'clock. And I'm like, “You know what? I don't have time for this.” Shane’s like, “let's just wait 30 more minutes” and I said “okay.” So, we're just sitting down talking. And it's like before you know it is like we're literally almost face to face. And I'm like, what's happening? We're about to kiss. And I'm like, whoa, we don't get down like that, what’s happening? This is not okay. We're friends and friends don’t kiss. soul, then they are a keeper. Here’s a portion of the interview with Myra that shows just that: Question: Thank you so much for sharing your journey Myra! Let’s start off with how you and Shane met? Myra: So, at Southern University, I'm not sure if you're aware, we couldn’t have cars as freshmen. My suitemates used to call Shane, who was a sophomore, and he used to drive and come get us and bring us across the hump to McDonald's to get food. I was just riding along because my suitemates had a way to get food. Fast forward to my sophomore year at Southern, Shane's junior year. I pledged Delta and he pledged Alpha. We threw parties together and did different things with the Alphas. Well, that summer I ended up breaking up with a football player, and Shane and I started really talking on the phone and just really became friends. We got closer and closer and closer. Then, after Shane graduated, he was supposed to be hooking me up with this guy. I went to his

Five minutes later, the guy shows up. We were kind of looking at each other. Like, you know what, we're never gonna talk about this again. This didn't happen. We’re cool, right? Yeah, we're cool. Nothing happened. We kept it moving and the guy came, and we tried for like two weeks and it was like no, I wasn't interested in him. A month after that situation happened is when Shane and I realized you know what, maybe we should try dating. He was like, okay, let's do this! I was really scared though because really by this time, I valued my friendship with him, and he meant so much to me as a friend. I knew that by starting a relationship, I felt that I would possibly end up losing my best friend in the long run. And I didn't want to do that. So, I told him we could possibly lose our friendship by us dating and I don't even know if it's worth it. I really do value your friendship and you're such a great person. And he was like, but what if it does work? So, we gave it a shot, and I loved him. You know, it was amazing. It was a great relationship. We had 16

Photo Credit: Bill Morrison Photography

so much fun. And what ended up happening was learned through that bad relationship that I was I graduated with my bachelor's by then and he in, is sometimes when you're in a good graduated with his master's, and then he went to relationship, you take it for granted. Right? law school. When you have a good guy and you know that Question: So, your relationship just grew from he is upstanding and is a Christian, you take there? advantage of that, and you think that that's the norm, and you quickly forget how truly rare it is. Myra: Not exactly. As you know, as a law school And that's what Shane was to me - he was a good student, one thing he did not have time for was a guy. He was, you know, the kind of guy that relationship. He was in his first semester of law opens doors, looks out for me, that always puts school; make it or break it and I was in a different me first. And I took advantage of that. I didn't headspace. I mean, even though I was 22 years realize how good he was to me until I was in a old, you know, here I am thinking I have a degree. bad relationship. I'm a teacher. I'm ready to settle down. I need somebody that's ready to settle down and Shane Being in that bad relationship made me realize was obviously in a different place because he that. The new guy that I was dating was taller was just trying to keep his head above water in than me. He had muscles. He was an law school. So, we decided after that first entrepreneur. He had his own money. Like, semester to just be friends. everything was great, but he treated me like crap. He was verbally abusive, and he had other Question: Wow! What happened after that? chicks on the side. I allowed myself to stay in that situation when I should have not done that. Myra: Basically, I became involved in a bad I wouldn't have had to go through that had I relationship. So, I will say this, and I think that stuck it out with Shane. But sometimes we go this is something that's going to really, hopefully, based on looks and not based on what's right for help somebody that reads this. One thing that I us. And that's where I messed up. 17

Anyway, fast forward to 2006. I ended up breaking up that situation and Shane and I reconnected in Dallas and started dating again. I literally had to take things super slow with him and he was very patient with me. But after 2 years, Shane was like, you know I love you. You know, you're the one for me, he said, but this is just not the Myra that I used to know. I was still kind of broken at the time. And by him being so transparent with me, he made me realize that I needed to seek help, to talk to someone to help get over those demons that I had experienced from that other relationship. By him telling me that, I was able to seek counseling. I went to counseling through the church that I was attending at the time, the Potter's House, and it was so beneficial to me. It helped to get some of those emotions that I buried out of my system. It helped me open my heart to have a new relationship and a fresh relationship with Shane. And after I got myself together, we got back together, and we got engaged and ended up getting married in 2011. And the rest is history. Question: What do you think is the reason that you and Shane have such a good relationship? Myra: With us being friends we got to know each other differently. Because when you're a friend to someone, you're not looking at them for their physical, you're looking at their heart and their character traits. That's when you really get to know a person - when you stop looking at the physical and get to know the person inside. And that's what our friendship was about - really being there for each other. And I mean talking on the phone for hours, but just strictly as friends. But somehow, you know, just one day those lines crossed, and when they crossed it was almost like a veil that came from over my face and I was like,

(Photo credit: Jessica

Palmer Photog raphy)

Oh my gosh, he treats you well. He treats you amazing! Question: So, I'm curious, with the height difference between you and Shane, do people ever comment on it? Myra: As a teacher, I've had students who have said, “your husband is shorter than you.” And I say that I sometimes love looks different. Sometimes love looks like a man that might be of one ethnicity and a woman of another ethnicity, but they come together because love is love. Love is not based on your height, size, or color. That's how I look at it, and I married my husband because he loves me and he’s a good guy! Thank you Myra & Shane for sharing your incredible story and journey! You have truly inspired people out there who are looking for the kind of love that their soul desires...


Power Podcasts Business

The "The Keys to Black Wealth" Podcast, a grassroots, mission driven Enterprise founded in 2019 in response to the expanding racial wealth gap and the lack of generational wealth transferred by Black and Brown families across the diaspora. By infusing edutainment (education + entertainment), multimedia, and technology, ​Keys to Black Wealth delivers events, education, mentorship, and resources, designed to help individuals build and sustain generational wealth. Their SOLUTION is to empower the community with tangible resources to achieve and sustain generational wealth. KTBW offers resources in the form of education, mentorship, and programming. To listen or for additional information, visit: 19

Power Podcasts Relationship

Dating While Black was created to open real dialogue between the sexes in hopes that it will foster positive exchange to help cultivate our communities, open our hearts, and to calm our souls. There is a noticeable breakdown in how men and women communicate, nurture and encourage each other. Additionally, there is a movement of people looking and eager to seek out like-minded individuals to build with. Together we can learn how to build healthy relationships with each other. We truly desire to learn and develop lasting ties with the people which we encounter through our various forms of communication and activities. To listen or for additional information, visit:


AUTHORSHIP: Paving the Way 2 Financial Freedom

Queashar L. Halliburton If you have ever thought about publishing a book, there's no better time to do so than now. The story and journey is already in your mind, and Queashar L. Halliburton is here to skyrocket your book from a thought to financial freedom. Check out her journey below.

THE BEGINNING... Writing has always been an integral part of my life. I developed a love for creative writing and the literary world in elementary school. I always knew that I would become an author, but I never pursued it. In high school, I wrote for the newspaper, which led me to obtain a Communications degree from Michigan State University. After college, I put my writing dreams on hold after some career disappointments. However, decades later in corporate America, I missed writing. So, in April 2017, I decided to stop procratinating 21

and establish a publishing company to selfpublish my literary works. After sharing my journey to authorpreneurship on social media, people started asking me about the publishing process. I wanted to help aspiring authors become successful and avoid the pitfalls of the publishing industry, so I began offering professional publishing services.

IMPOSTER SYNDROME... I had to overcome multiple challenges during my journey to entrepreneurship. The imposter syndrome held me hostage. I was a chronic procrastinator when it came to achieving personal goals and dreams. I was always playing it safe and operating within my comfort zone. I had to stop living in fear and bet on myself. I had to see myself winning to activate my goals. After selfevaluation, I realized what made me happy, and I started actively planning and

already possess. We are all experts, and we can share our life lessons with others to change the world. Authoring a book is one of the easiest ways to start a business, and I love guiding others into financial freedom. Once you publish your book, you can monetize your THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE... intellectual property for a lifetime. The The most challenging part of my business is sky is the limit! empowering potential authors to visualize MY ADVICE... the value of investing in a high-quality professional publishing project. Most #1: The most important tip that I would potential clients have no idea regarding offer aspiring authors would be to stop the investment involved in publishing a waiting for everything to be perfect quality industry-standard book. As a before you get started. Stop overthinking nonfiction success coach, I teach the process! If you can provide the nextprofessional women to build a legacy level transformation your ideal client through publishing a signature nonfiction seeks, dive in! You will perfect your craft book. as you learn during your journey. Your tribe is waiting on you to deliver their THE BIGGEST REWARD... next-level change. The best thing about my business is that I #2: The second tip that I would offer get to assist women with building their aspiring authors would be to research legacy and establishing generational wealth using the knowledge and skills they and educate yourself about the crushing my life goals. It began with selfpublishing my first project on procrastination, then multiple books and collaboration projects with industry experts thereafter. The rest is history!


publishing process on the front end. This will empower you to make informed decisions regarding your publishing project. Countless aspiring authors have been taken advantage of during the publishing process because they are so anxious to add the title of the published author to their resumes. They forget to do their due diligence or ask the right questions. Become an informed author and empower yourself to win through researching all your options. Learn about the difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Learn the new publishing trends and read books in your genre. #3: The third piece of advice that I would offer is to seek help from publishing professionals that have already successfully published a best-selling book. Most importantly, be ready to invest in coaching and publishing education. YouTube and Google are helpful, but there will still be gray areas. Seeking publishing experts' professional advice and services will shorten your learning curve and set you up for a successful book project.

OUR SERVICES... Queashar Detroit Publishing, LLC ® provides professional services for aspiring authors and corporate clients. As a Better Business Bureau accredited organization, Queashar Detroit Publishing, LLC®, empowers professional women to monetize their genius through publishing a signature nonfiction 23

book. Not only do we support the publishing process, but we help our clients build an information-based coaching business based on the principles taught in their books. This helps authors to establish a more profound level of transformation for their coaching clients. I am also a keynote speaker and an awardwinning international best-selling author. I have published two personal development books and collaborated with other industry experts by contributing to four nonfiction anthology projects. My signature book is Skyrocket Your Success! 10 Keys to Refocus, Reposition & Reclaim Your Purpose. This book is the foundation of my coaching business. Skyrocket Your Success is a guide for professionals seeking to increase their emotional intelligence and become more action-oriented. This playbook will allow readers to stop comparing themselves to others, identify their zone of genius, and focus on implementing a plan to monetize their expertise in the marketplace. BUSINESS TIP... Becoming successful in your industry does not require you to be perfect. It only requires that you are constantly committed to growth and taking the necessary steps toward accomplishing your goals. Keep investing in yourself through coaching, personal development, reading, and learning. Queashar (Shar) is a certified success coach and an award-winning international bestselling author who empowers professionals to push past self-sabotaging behaviors and utilize their innate abilities to excel in life and business. For additional information, visit:



Last month we featured Relationship Coach Reginald Smith AKA Coach Reg as he posed the question, “R U Ready for a Real Relationship?” Part 1 of that article focused on Reginald’s journey to becoming a relationship coach. This month we are continuing that conversation with him talking about exclusiveness, narcissism & toxic relationships, and how everyone can benefit from relationship coaching. So, let’s jump back into that interview. Question: We have talked about this before and I love your take on it. Share with our audience the difference between Dating Exclusively and Exclusivity?

You decide what that's going to look like, meaning, are we dating other people? Are we just dating each other right now in this exclusive dating space? If there are children, at what point do we introduce children. When does that happen? Do we even do that yet in this space? Do you meet the people that are closest to me and mean the most to me? Am I ready to do that? We talk about those kinds of things because you are defining the scope or the space of exclusively dating. Here's why this is also important before you tag and title somebody as, "that's my boo," "that's my person." It's because you don't know how they handle things and they may not handle things well.

Coach Reg: Sure thing. So, exclusively dating is a paradigm. It looks like there are two people who come together and you're dating and it's like, oh man, there is some cool stuff here, and then all of a sudden, the cream has risen to the top and you've decided that this is the person that I want to date. And so, we have a conversation and then we establish the ground rules.

You don't know. You may not know their values yet and you don't know how they respond to conflict, You don't know how they respond when they're angry, how they treat you, how they treat others. Have you had the opportunity to fully observe them in multiple situations? Now, in fairness, you can't cover it all because some experiences just haven't happened yet, so you


don't know how a person is going to respond, because you can only move from which you know. But the point there is, you're doing it with caution to ensure that I can make an informed decision, because at this point of exclusively dating, the space and exclusively dating, what I'm doing and what this person is doing is information gathering. And data gathering, information gathering, the reason you do that is to make an informed decision, to determine if you want to move from exclusively dating to exclusivity. There’s a trial period in jobs and that can be 90 days or 180 days, depending on the parameters. There’s no difference in relationships because we are trying to gather data and information. After the period of dating exclusively, you can say, yeah, I'm not sure if this is a good fit because I'm clear on my values, I'm clear on what matters to me, and I know that long term, this is probably not a good fit. Because I've seen some things that give me pause and the things that give me pause, I've had discussions about them. Both people have a choice, and you may choose

not to continue. But if you choose to continue, a formal offer is extended, you accept it, and now you have moved from exclusively dating to exclusivity, meaning, I'm tagging and titling you, you are tagging and titling me, and we have an agreement. We have a foundation from which we built from, we've hopefully incorporated some good habits in our relationship that will serve us and support us as we continue down the journey of exclusivity. My contention is that no one does this, they just get with somebody, they like them, they're cool, I'm cool, no real homework is done, they're just like, go with it. And they wonder why six months, a year later why they're struggling. Question: So true. Now tell us a little about the interplay between narcissism and toxicity in relationships? Coach Reg: Narcissistic tendencies can be present in both men and women, maybe not as prevalent in women as it is in men, but it's definitely there. Narcissists tend to be very charismatic, they seem to be very engaging, they seem like they care, until you're drawn in. And then once they know they got you, they're off... All the stuff, all the words, the flowers, the rose, the trips, or whatever things that you were doing, and you are like, oh my God, this guy is great, oh my God! My advice - tread lightly. Let's see how this thing goes because he's about to trip on you. And you got to pay attention, and that's the toxicity because now, what you have, you got that perfectionist kicking in and she's trying to fix him, especially when he starts to drift and starts to mistreat you and not treat you as he 26

once did. You're asking, is it me? What can I do differently? What did I do? And as the perfectionist, she kicks in and she's trying to fix this. But here’s the kicker - that good, good. Sex.

you are, to where you say you want to be. You got to want your outcome more than you want this pain. It's one thing to say it, but it's another thing to live it.

That thing, listen, it's hard to let go. There were people in my group, women in particular who said the sex is hard to let go of. They're like, you don't understand. Listen, I know, it just be calling you. I got it. But sincerely, it's difficult and I'm not suggesting any of this is easy.

Question: Many of us have definitely experienced that at one point or another. So last question. Why is relationship coaching so important?

Coach Reg: Coaching is an investment just like your career. It's an investment because it's the return. You can invest $100,000 in student loan It requires a choice. It's a step-by-step process. debt and it may take a long time to return or Listen, how do we eat an elephant? If you were repay. But you did it because you believe that it to eat one right now. One big bite or one bite at a would provide and afford the lifestyle, that time? It's one bite at a time because you got to quality of life that you desire for you and your give yourself grace when you're trying to family. overcome something that you know wasn't good for you. But just like with any other career, when you invest in your 401k or contribute to your 401k, You recognize it's not good for you, but you also it’s because you believe at the end of the recognize you're not yet strong enough to move rainbow, there’s going to be a bucket of money past it. It's a little thing called grace that you waiting for you. You don't spend everything should extend to yourself, so that you can get right now, this is not an expenditure, it's an there and it's baby steps. And if you need some investment. You want a return on your help with that, that's why you hire a coach. I investment. promise you, coaches help you move from where 27

The return on your investment in relationships is learning the skills, and in dating, and learning the skills and tools that you need to be successful so that you can recognize if you're wasting your time. Because it is the most valuable commodity we have. So, why would you not take time to say, let me figure some stuff out before I step out of here? You didn't just start becoming a lawyer. You had some gates to go through, so, if you were willing to accept those gates, becoming an attorney, for example, why would you not put yourself through some gates to ensure you're successful in your relationships? And not just, I want to have a good relationship, but I don't want to do the work. You can't just be an attorney because you want to be one - you got to do some work. And that’s why relationship coaching is vital if you want to succeed in them – especially if they have been challenging for you in the past. Reginald Smith AKA Coach Reg, a relationship coach and author, serves clients who struggle with interpersonal relationships, despite being successful in other areas of their lives. He works with clients to offer perspective and share insight that is relatable to them and their personal challenges and situations. Coach Reg believes that relationship coaching is transformative so he helps you to set and realize your goals so you can go be GREAT in life, in love, and in relationships. For additional about Coach Reg’s services, visit:


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Have you ever known anyone who had a loved one pass and while in the midst of mourning they’re also frantically stressing about how they’re going to pay for the final service and burial of their spouse, sibling, child, or parent? Did your loved one financially prepare for their final expenses? Did they have a Will or Trust to direct who gets what? Have you seen a family member who had not been in contact with the deceased for years come out of the woodwork trying to get their possessions either right before or after they died? If you or someone you know has experienced this, you are not alone. I’ve seen in it personally in my family and with other families as well.


I for one do not want to be left with the financial burden of burying my parents,

spouse, sibling or any other family member. I also don’t want to have to figure out how to distribute their money, property and other belongings, especially when planning could have been done while they were alive and healthy. Conversely, I do not want someone else to have the financial burden of raising or caring for my children, especially in the event that I die while they are still minors. In such a case, adequate life insurance is a must to put in a Trust for their well-being. Neglecting to make such preparations is nothing short of selfishness and irresponsibility. On the flip side, there is nothing more gratifying than knowing that you will be able to put your children or loved ones in a position to attend college debt-free, buy a home, or even start a

beneficiary from Social Security, Medicaid, or even a nursing home or assisted living facility. Protect everything that you’ve worked so hard for from creditors, irresponsible children, and maximum taxes. So, whether you have: 1) Children and/or grandchildren; 2) A home or property; 3) Retirement Account/Investments; 4) Money in a bank account, or 5) A Business, a business. This can all be done for less and you’re ready to get your affairs and than your monthly expresso bill or even plan in order but are overwhelmed with the process, then I encourage you to a dinner for two at your favorite continue reading this article to dispel restaurant in any given month. common misconceptions and gain Taking the time now to make such additional information which most people arrangements is by far the ultimate are not familiar. display of “Love by Planning.” If you have any of the above assets AND If you’re reading this now, and you haven’t done any estate planning, then you have loved ones, then show them your you are still in a position to “Create your “Love by Planning.” Legacy Today, Your Way….” Before you get started though, here are The following information will show you the answers to the most frequently asked questions about estate planning. how even simple Estate Planning will make going through Probate Court easy WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING? and more importantly how to avoid Probate Court altogether. Every plan is Estate planning is legally ensuring that what you have gets to the people you love, different and will depend on your the way you want when you want by specific situation, and factors such as whether you are single or married, have providing sufficient instructions. minor children, adult children, special Estate planning can be as simple as a Will, needs children, no children, or have a business all dictate your personal estate Health Care Documents, Living Will, and plan. Learn how leaving a Will instead of Power of Attorney. It can also include a Revocable Trust, Irrevocable Trust, the proper Trust can disqualify a


now is the time to prepare your personal estate plan.

Probate Avoidance and Asset Protection. WHO NEEDS ESTATE PLANNING? Estate Planning is for EVERYONE! It doesn’t matter if you have $3,000 or $3,000,000 in assets, which includes your home, vehicles, and all of your personal belongings. You still have to plan for the future. Whether it’s to name a guardian for your minor children or ensure your children don’t blow through your assets if you unexpectedly die or become disabled. Estate planning isn’t about how much money you have, it’s about protecting what you have for you, during your lifetime and for those you love after you’re gone. It ensures what you have gets to the people you love, the way you want, when you want.

Additionally, it is important to keep your Estate Plan current. Once completed, your estate plan should be reviewed and kept current with life events such as the birth, death, marriage, or divorce of yourself or anyone included in your plan. In addition, you should review your plan if there is a significant increase or decrease in your finances or if the laws related to your estate plan change. DO I SPECIFICALLY NEED AN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY? Would you have your regular doctor do your heart surgery? Sounds like a stupid question right? However, the same could be said for choosing the right attorney for your estate planning. Unfortunately, the legal profession does not have specialties like the Medical profession. You have to guess whether your attorney is qualified to guide you on your estate planning options.

It seems every brochure or letter you receive from your bank, financial advisor, or brokerage firm asks if you have done your “estate plan.” The fact is, your bank, financial advisor, or brokerage firm can only help you with the financial planning aspects of your estate. You need a qualified estate planning If you were to pass away today, are you attorney to prepare the legal documents that create an estate plan for you. A qualified comfortable everything will be taken care of the way you wanted? If not, then estate planning attorney will work with your 33

your passing to authenticate it, and appoint your Executor or Personal Representative. Your Executor must be appointed by the Court in order to collect and distribute your assets as stated in your Will. However, because it is a legal process, there are many steps that must be followed before your Executor can be appointed. financial advisor and accountant to create the best plan for you. While general attorneys may have some knowledge of the law and be able to guide you through certain parts of the estate planning process, they will not be aware of the many exceptions and details an attorney whose practice focuses on estate planning will know. An attorney who does traffic court one day, divorce on another, business law on the third day, and sues for personal injury on the fourth, will not have the experience and knowledge of the loopholes as an attorney who practices in estate planning. If you’re looking for a divorce, find an attorney who focuses on divorce. If you want estate planning, utilize an attorney who focuses on estate planning. WHAT IS PROBATE? Probate is the legal process of presenting your Will to the Court after

The attorneys must obtain signatures from your heirs signifying they agree the Will is yours, and they will not contest it. Your heirs or beneficiaries must agree not to contest your Will before your Executor can be appointed. If you don’t have a spouse or child, probate becomes even more complicated. Even if your heir is not a beneficiary, this waiver may still be required. This can be very different in second marriage situations, especially if you have minor children or if you have a child you have lost contact with over the years. If a child dies before you, then all of your deceased child’s children will have to agree not to contest your Will, but if they are under 18, the Court will need to appoint a separate attorney to represent them. The same is true if any of your heirs are legally incapacitated, such as a mentally disabled child or a spouse with Dementia.


In some cases, the Executor will have to submit an heir determination form, filing fees, a petition, a death certificate, and affidavits from the individuals who witnessed your Will. Upon receipt of all of the appropriate information (and if no heirs contest it), the Court will appoint the Executor. After your Executor is appointed, estate administration begins. It is a period of time the law permits the Executor to accumulate the assets and report to the Court how he or she intends to distribute them. In some cases, it can take a year or more. If you die without a Will, the process is similar, but the State decides who gets your assets, not you.

worked so hard to build. This is the first step in creating your legacy your way, today.

Tamika M. Johnson has been a licensed attorney in the State of Georgia for over 15 years and assists clients in Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorneys, Healthcare Directives, Property Transfers, and Deeds. For more information, visit: Please note: The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and shall not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.

So now that you have a little more information about what Estate Planning is, make sure that you have your affairs in order for your loved ones so you can decide what happens to your children and all of the assets that you have 35

Tamika M. Johnson Attorney At Law Protecting your Personal, Property & Financial Interests

Wills * Trusts * Deeds Healthcare Directives Power of Attorney


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