How to Deal With Ungodly People in a Godly Way

Facebook has become the gateway for people all around the world to reach out for solid advice about how to face, deal with and respond to troubling situations. I’ve picked a question from a semi-pro basketball player who is currently playing overseas. He asked me this question.

The Question:

How do you handle people who are jealous of you? They call you names, including the “N” word. I’ve ignored them for a long time. I know how to deal with them in an ungodly manner, but how can I deal with them in a Godly way?

My response:

My friend, I want to acknowledge your frustration. You may even be dealing with loneliness and being homesick. You have adult bullies on your hands. Some people, like animals, will prey on others who appear to be weak and vulnerable. The purpose is to gain popularity and power by making others believe they are strong; yet their actions indicate they are insecure, weak, scare, and unsure of themselves. Even animals have a higher purpose than power and popularity for attacking their prey. I hope you’re able to see how pitiful they are.

Understand this:

They are the same cowards who came to arrest Jesus in the night when he taught during the day in the synagogues. The same scaredy-cat who kissed Jesus on the cheek, took the money, and then committed suicide versus living the penalty of his decision. The same chickens who came to get Jesus with an army equipped with swords when he was only one man.

It is important that you understand the immature mentality you’re dealing with and how out of alignment they are with themselves and the universe. For all the seeds that they plant, they will see a harvest.

Three things to consider:

1. Just as Jesus’ journey was a part of the script necessary for the fulfillment of his purpose, you too, have to get the lesson that has showed up to serve you and usher your soul into a higher level of spiritual awareness. I would bet that this isn’t the first time you’ve had to deal with a situation that requires you to stand up for yourself. Ask yourself:  What am I to learn? What is trying to emerge within me? How am I to use this new skill for my good and the good of others?

2. Decide on who you are. It’s difficult to handle situations and respond to people when you don’t know who you are, what you value and how you want to show up. There are numerous ways to handle this situation. You could fight, tell your coach, develop your own relationships and create alliances, study your enemies and make them your friends, and the list goes on.

You have to make that decision based on who you are and what your value. Today, I would pull them one by one to the side and ask:  Have I done something to upset, insult, or hurt you? I would not fight or raise my voice. My sole purpose would be to meet with them, dump their stuff off in their space and leave it there.  What they do with it,  would be up to them. I would guess that most of them will be apologetic and humble.

3. Stay positive. This is not the end of the world, although, at times, it feels like it. Find people who think like you and connect with them. God always sends someone.

God bless you as you journey.

Do you have a question about life, love, professional or spiritual development? Submit your question or leave your comment below.

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. S. Renee For personal coaching services, please visit For speaking services visit


Each person forms the character of their brand. Hopefully, the character is formed with boundaries of integrity, truth, passion, purpose, respect, and trustworthiness. You’re the core of your brand and your moral and ethical character is the core of you. Traveling everywhere with you, your character exposes you for who you really are. If you are weak in your character, lay low and develop your character before overexposing yourself to the public. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up to be embarrassed.

Save this in your memory bank:  Integrity provides the guideline for your interactions with yourself and others. Be honest and transparent as much as humanly possible. Everyone has secrets, including me. Most aren’t necessary to share with anyone, so don’t. Moving forward, keep in mind that yielding to pleasurable wrongdoing ranks far beneath your potential and sits very high in negatively impacting your brand.

Integrity can also serve you as a barometer of how you are doing. Do you overcommit and underperform? Do you miss deadlines, appointments, and goals? Do you say you’re going to do one thing, but do another? These are factors that crash our brand.

Truth is relative and always changing, therefore, it can be difficult to communicate our truth. To build a solid brand you have to establish your truth. It’s a great part of the brand message that people buy into. You don’t have to be dogmatic with your truth. Flexibility gives you room to grow and evolve and even change your truth as you come to know it. But, it’s not going to fly with people if you are saying the sky is blue today and red tomorrow.  People will make room to accept you as a growing and ever-evolving learner, but they will abandon you quickly when they figure out that you are clueless.

Passion is a persuasive emotion. It’s not always logical, sequential, or rational. This doesn’t mean that it moves us out of alignment, either. Undoubtedly, it can and often does serve as a driving force for unexplainable behaviors. Passion is one of life’s most desirous emotions because it’s an insatiable and consuming feeling. But watch out—because it can easily be confused with temporary false emotions that prompt us to start projects we don’t or can’t finish. This is a blemish on our brand. As I stated in Chapter 3, I believe that most passions are birthed out of pain. Unquestionably, when we are free from our pain it is gratifying to see others free from theirs.

Nothing brings more meaning to life than a purpose for living it. When we have a worthy goal in life it can become our passion. Passion is the strong emotional motive moving the behavior. Purpose is the ambition, intention, and aim that form the focus that directs the behaviors.

Respect for your calling protects the purpose. When opportunities come that put the purpose or brand at risk, respect thinks of losing, damaging, or harming itself and the people who have embraced the brand. Respect understands its role to build and not break. Freedom of speech allows for loud-mouthed, disparaging, and even foul and sexually perverted brands to slip through the cracks. Some are even paid lots of money to lead people toward hate, violence, and selfishness. You have to decide what kind of legacy you want to leave for others to build upon. Remember, those closest to you are the ones most impacted.

Every brand structure starts with building trustworthiness. This is the credibility dynamic that I talked about in Chapter 4. People have to feel safe with you. They have to believe that you know what you are talking about. They have to believe that you believe what you believe.

People are looking for answers to questions they ponder, agonize over, and worry about daily. Situations that rock them at their core, disturb their family’s well-being, and deprive them of stabilizing peace.

This is an excerpt taken from The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability, Credibility. Copyright 2011 All rights reserved.

Position Yourself: Employment Opportunities Will Never Be the Same

The Internet has leveled the playing field and literally opened the market giving us access and innovative, exciting ways to find employment, build businesses, and connect with family, friends, clients, and, yes, even strangers. YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, ODesk, Twitter, and other business development and social networking sites have broken the chains of tradition, becoming gateways to accessing a vibrant buying, selling, and hiring marketplace.

In addition, the new economic, political, and social climate is inspiring us to swiftly redefine our passions and priorities and how we express them. The workplace as we have known it is rapidly transitioning; creating an open market. A corporation no longer has to hire a person on their native soil to get work done. They can literally hire someone in another country to make and receive calls, build and update their websites, and solve technical difficulties.

Subsequently, forward-thinking leaders are shifting company cultures and projecting how to best attract, recruit, and retain the most dynamic trailblazers of upcoming decades. These leaders are looking for responsible partners not employees. The partners come fully loaded with utilizable intellectual property and presence that adds value to the organization’s goals and direction. The partners come knowing that they are knowledgeable, but don’t know it all. Therefore, they’re open to growth through experience and learning centers—books, internal and external development workshops, and industry conferences and forums.

In the ever-changing, extremely competitive marketplace—in addition to slaying micro-managed leadership styles that squash creativity and risk-taking—a well-rehearsed, staged presentation that fits what you think leadership is looking for is not going to fly anymore. Therefore, an image that mirrors leadership is no longer a guarantee for success. If they already have one, why do they need another? You have to give them a logical reason to want to pay the big bucks for you! And unlike the last several decades where showing up for work on time, keeping your mouth shut and doing your job secured rewards, career advancement now depends on innovation, intellectual property, and value proposition.

Is Your Pain Your Purpose?

In helping hundreds cross The Bridge, I’ve found that there is a direct connection between our pain and our purpose and/or passion. Clearly, since people are different, this may not be true for every person. It would be foolish for me to think that I have the solution for every person. But I know this: if we are attentive students, pain is a powerful teacher, and if we listen and learn the lessons we will be guided to exactly where we are meant to be.

My experience tells me that our purpose is our pain turned inside out. I’ve seen many people connect with and release their pain, enter into a new space, and focus their attention on providing a blueprint for others that heals a condition that once haunted them for years. The passion they have is unmatched. Conceivably, it’s because their painful experience robbed them of so much that they are driven to break its destructive power over others.

This is evident in the lives of people such as Oprah, Lady Gaga, and Suze Orman. By Oprah removing her own layers of family dysfunction and extreme poverty, as one of the richest and most recognizable persons in the world, she now helps others bring healing to themselves and creates ways to let their lessons help others. Using many gateways—television, radio, magazines, Internet, and philanthropy, she says of her venture to open a school for girls in South Africa, “I wanted to educate girls because I was a poor girl. A poor girl who grew up with my grandmother as so many of these girls do because of AIDS, now left to be raised by their grandmother. This has been a long time coming. This is not just for me some small idea; it is a supreme moment of destiny for me. I’ve been coming to this moment my entire life.”

©2011 All rights reserved. This is an excerpt from a chapter in The Bridge to Your Brand Likeability, Marketability, Credibility called Is Your Pain Your Purpose which is  available in paperback.  You can preview The Bridge at


In the movie Kung Fu Panda 2, Master Shifu tells Kung Fu Master Po that he needs to reach another frontier: inner peace. This opens up questions for Master Po. While pondering his existence, Master Po is called to fight a pack of wolves. In the midst of fighting the wolves he has flashbacks of his mother. With his energies diverted thinking about the past, he loses his personal power and the wolves escape. For greater self-awareness, Po begins a search for answers. Po asks the goose who found him when he was an infant in a crate of radishes and adopted him, “Where did I come from?” The goose was unable to provide satisfactory answers, so Po digs deeper and begins to ask himself: Who am I?

Intensely bothered by the lack of a resolution to his existential questions, Po is unable to concentrate. He loses battle after battle and consequently the faith of the other Kung Fu warriors whom he leads. The truth is known by Lord Shen, a peacock and evil ruler, who deceptively told Po that his parents had abandoned him. Unaccepting of Lord Shen’s story, Po continued his quest.

Guided by a soothsayer back to his past, Po learns the truth: that his parents did not abandon him, but rather sacrificed their lives to save his. This news strengthened Po’s heart. Returning to himself and a place of inner peace, Po attempts to convince Lord Shen to let go of his own unpleasant past. Shen refused to embrace self-empowerment and enlightenment. The driving forces of unforgiveness, bitterness, and jealousy compelled Shen to continue his ambitious pursuit to destroy Po.

During an attack of Shen’s furious rage, Po uses a kung fu technique that redirects Shen’s negative energy back to himself. Shen inadvertently cuts the rope releasing the last cannon ball—killing himself. Po, however, resumed authentically living his brand as the Dragon Master.

Since the beginning of time humanity has struggled with the questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? What is my purpose? What are my values? What makes me happy? What happens to me after I leave here? As we examine cultures and their political climates, societies struggle with these same questions. Most often the answers change as we grow, develop, and evolve. What I find interesting is that we frequently end up where we start, leading me to believe that we know the answers, but choose to explore our options, which is, perhaps, required for our growth.

©2011 All rights reserved. The Bridge to Your Brand Likeability, Marketability, Credibility  available in paperback.  You can read the first two chapters at

How to Breathe Life Into a Dying Brand

I’m chair of the board of a scholarship fund in my parents’ name. It’s called the William J. & Reverend Shirley M. Smith, Sr. Scholarship Fund. To celebrate 50 years of marriage and their life and legacy of serving and giving to the community, it provides a three-year $1000 renewable scholarship to second-year collegians with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 – 2.5. The scholarship is intended to encourage, uplift, and develop those who are often overlooked because they aren’t considered to be the best or the brightest—but, we know better. We have all known people who started out as “least likely to succeed” but who finished well. My father and mother are two great examples of that kind of success.

My parents were high school dropouts. My father was a migrant worker who, through hard work and perseverance, built a small thriving business. My mother went back to school at age 36 to earn her high school diploma and later earned two Bachelors’ degrees–one in Marketing and the other in Theology. She was a pastor for 15 years. The scholarship helps students who need additional support to achieve their goals and dreams.

In creating the scholarship fund’s brand, I followed the steps that I usually follow to help a person or organization create a brand that produces anticipated outcomes. A mission that champions a worthy cause people can believe in. A message that is succinct, heart-warming, and engaging enough to inspire people to want to join the effort. A value-based proposition that is the gateway to someone else’s abundant life.

For the launch, we invited about 400 people to a church service called an Evening of Inspiration in honor of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. There wasn’t a cost. We accepted at-will donations. The response was phenomenal. We raised $16,000 in six weeks. Within six months, the kitty swelled to over $18,000. With a goal to raise $100,000 in five years, we decided to host our first major fundraiser seven months later. For our keynote speaker, I reached out to Byron Pitts, the Emmy award-winning 60 Minutes correspondent and author of Step Out on Nothing. Award-winning journalist Art Fennell, producer and host of Art Fennell Reports, committed shortly thereafter to act as master of ceremonies.

The team and I started with 17 weeks to plan the big event. Due to an unexpected schedule change, we lost nearly 5 weeks. As the lead visionary for this project—who lacked formal experience with event planning and fundraising—I suspected that trouble loomed nearby. I was right. I just didn’t know how much.

I had put together what I believed to be a tight branding strategic plan. I reached out to fundraising experts with decades of experience in fundraising. Their buy-in came easy. They gave me an abundance of advice, guidance, support, and resources. They even gave me permission to use their name to get appointments with key decision-makers at corporations. I felt better about the process. This excited me. I thought I was “in.” I miscalculated.

According to them, our branding strategy was impressive. In fact, one vice president of marketing told me that it was one of the best combinations of branding and marketing that she had seen in her 30-plus years in the business. They loved the story, were impressed with our short-term success, and couldn’t believe that Byron Pitts and Art Fennell agreed to come. Why would these two media heavy-hitters headline our event? We were novices at this. As the potential sponsors put it: The William J. & Rev. Shirley M. Smith, Sr. Scholarship Fund didn’t have a track record. No history. And besides, their funds were already committed to other better-known causes.

With little time left to secure corporate sponsors, I had to rethink the direction of the strategy. I asked myself, what’s missing? We had a solid brand. It had all the components: mission, message, and value. But the results from developing tier two—likeability, marketability, and credibility—weren’t alive, at least, not yet. How could our mission become likeable, marketable, and credible without a valid history? The people I was talking to who could make the decisions on corporate sponsorship didn’t know, and therefore couldn’t “like” my parents.

I needed inside influencers. I tapped into my professional network. There, I found it. I revised the plan by working on the tier three. I called people who knew and liked me. That decision was pivotal. They came on board. They introduced me to their friends and things started rolling fast. The brand started to breathe.

Although my parents’ construction company and a media sponsor came on board early, we didn’t get our first corporate sponsor until 30 days before the event. By the date of the event, we had secured six corporate sponsors M&T Bank, Walmart, Delmarva Power, WBOC-TV, Smith Masonry, Inc., and Computer Aid, Inc. (CAI), nine reception hosts who donated $500 or more, and sold over three hundred $50 tickets. Not bad for an organization still in its first year without a national platform.

©2011 All rights reserved. The Bridge to Your Brand Likeability, Marketability, Credibility  available in paperback.  You can read the first two chapters at


Under a tight deadline to complete some writing, with my manuscript and Apple laptop in hand, I arrived at 11:50 a.m. for a scheduled 12-noon lunch meeting with a vice president of marketing. We were meeting so that I could thank him for his decision to provide corporate funding for a fundraising event I chaired.

Engrossed in the writing, I was startled twenty or so minutes later when I heard a voice from the other side of the table say, “You didn’t think I was going to show, did you?” While standing up to embrace him, I began explaining my deadline requirements for The Bridge. Our conversation continued pleasantly, when in a matter of minutes a surprising, but welcomed statement poured out of the heart and mouth of the 50-plus, successful white male.

“I could never write a book,” he whispered. I was stunned at his unexpected transparency. But I instinctively knew and understood that this was a moment for us to connect on a deeper and richer level. Compassionately, I offered, “Even though it doesn’t look or sound like it today, I thought the same thing when I was writing my first book, There Is More Inside. In fact, in the first chapter I share my insecurities with the reader about how I didn’t think anyone would buy or read it.” My identification with his self-doubt must have created more safety. The muscles relaxed on his face, and he disclosed, “That’s exactly how I feel. What do I have to say that people would want to know?”

Having listened well to his earlier ponderings, I reminded him of a statement he had made about how he hadn’t realized how much he knew until the opportunity for him to teach showed up. Appreciating my reminder of his success, he took in a deep breath and readily nodded in agreement. The coach in me, however, wasn’t through. I continued to probe. “So, what would you write about?” He confessed he didn’t know. “What are you passionate about?” I inquired. His eyes rolled upwards to indicate thought. But again he answered, “I don’t know.”

The confused expression on my face must have prompted him to continue talking, and had I known the magnitude of what he was about to share, I would have tape-recorded the entire dialogue. From my mental notes and a few scribbles that I jotted down that day, I have recounted to the best of my ability this man’s profound awareness and insight. Listen to his heart.

“I’ve always known where I was going to next. I entered the job market and it was a natural progression. Next was just there. I would plan for my next logical step for advancement and professional growth. It’s laid out for you, an automatic sequence. But, what if there wasn’t a next? That’s when you realize, you left everything that you love and deeply desire on the sidelines for—next.  And, one day next doesn’t show up.”

We sat silently for a moment to ponder this undisputed truth together. Do most people take the well-traveled road laid out for them within organizational structures and systems? Do they wait for calamity to come before they ever seek their divine path of passion and personal self-fulfillment? When they find it, do they have the courage to cross The Bridge to get there?

©2011 All rights reserved. The Bridge to Your Brand Likeability, Marketability, Credibility will be available in paperback beginning August 15, 2011. Pre-order your copy today.

ARE YOU OUT OF STYLE? What you should know that leadership isn’t telling you.

In the ever-changing, extremely competitive marketplace—in addition to slaying micro-managed leadership styles that squash creativity and risk-taking—a well-rehearsed, staged presentation that fits what you think leadership is looking for is not going to fly anymore. Therefore, an image that mirrors leadership is no longer a guarantee for success. If they already have one, why do they need another? You have to give them a logical reason to want to pay the big bucks for you! And unlike the last several decades where showing up for work on time, keeping your mouth shut and doing your job secured rewards, career advancement now depends on innovation, intellectual property, and value proposition.

Get this: According to Google, Googlers (the term used to describe employees of Google) “thrive in small, focused teams and high-energy environments, believe in the ability of technology to change the world, and are as passionate about their lives as they are about their work.” Notice how they describe their environment as high energy. This is what we used to call fast-paced environments. Fast-paced describes a behavior that leads to a mindset. The mind is often overwhelmed, confused, and frustrated because its environment is controlling its thought process. High-energy describes a mindset that leads to a behavior. In this case, the mindset is already established prior to entering the workplace. It is focused, creative, and free to make decisions. Big difference, wouldn’t you say?

Also, take note of the statement that they are as passionate about their lives as they are about their work. This means that their work doesn’t create their life, their life creates their work. When your life mirrors your work then you are living your passion at home and at work. When your work mirrors your life you are trying to make your life fit the work. This path has led to a lot of unhappy people. In the past, our work defined us. When the shift came we were given permission to define our work by bringing our experiences, creativity, and passion to our jobs. As Rick Warren, bestselling author of The Purpose Driven Life was urging us nearly a decade ago to find and live a purposeful holistic lifestyle. Read more 

©2011 All rights reserved. The Bridge to Your Brand Likeability, Marketability, Credibility will be available in paperback beginning August 15, 2011. Pre-order your copy today.