Television star and now entrepreneur, Laura Govan is on top with an upcoming book and new business. Govan’s luxury accessory collection, Shop in Real Life, is not just a business for her. It’s proof that she can do anything. We got to chat with this beauty and former star of Basketball Housewives about her journey to writing Don’t Get Mad. Get Sexy. We also got the scoop about her upcoming episode on the hit show Millionaire Matchmaker in which she explains her desire to get married again.
MM: Have you always been an entrepreneur?
Laura: Well, I’ve always had a job since I was about 14 years old. Whether it was babysitting in the neighborhood or working for my dad, I always had a job. Becoming an entrepreneur was just the next step. Also, I feel like I had to at this point in my life. I had not worked in a really long time, because I was raising my kids. The situation with my ex came about. So, I had to refocus and figure out how to make money. I’ve always been destined to do something for myself.
MM: How was the transition from being a full-time stay at home mom to a mom who is an entrepreneur?
Laura: You know, I just had to make time and effort. I work when my kids are in school, and when they go to bed. You have to have scheduling, and it has to make sense. I don’t spread myself too thin anymore. I don’t say yes to everything anymore. If I can, I can. If I can’t, I won’t. For the most part I work around my kid’s schedules. That’s how the balance comes.
MM: What inspired the name of your company, Shop in Real Life?
Laura: I have a real life. I live in my own real life. It’s not so much about being foo foo or having a life that people think I live or what you see. That’s not always the case. I cry. I bleed. I’m a mom and I don’t always get it right. I’m not perfect, and that’s not what’s portrayed or shown. My life is real. I walk in the house, and my kids don’t give a damn about where I’ve been or who’ve I been with. When I walk in the house my kids are like, where is the food?
MM: Did being on Basketball Wives help you create your brand and launch your business?
Laura: There’s not many people who can do it without branding themselves on social media. It didn’t really reflect who I was 1000%. It reflected who I was at the time, but not really branded. It’s a gift and a curse.
MM: What is something you have learned about yourself in the last few years, since the divorce?
Laura: That I can do anything. I didn’t know then when I got separated after 16 years. I hadn’t paid bills in a long time. I had not done a lot of things in a really long time, but I believed in myself. There’s a lot I had to do on my own. I had to create this life as a single mom with my kids, and figure it out. People think I have a millionaire baby daddy, but that millionaire man doesn’t help me like that. I had to dig deep. I turned my entire life around by myself. It has made me feel amazing. Now, I can tell my kids, “How you think you are going to give up? I didn’t.” It’s a story to tell and I’m appreciative of that story.
MM: What’s coming up next for you?
Laura: I wrote a book and it comes out at the end of the year. It’s called Don’t Get Mad. Get Sexy.
MM: Wow. How long have you worked on the book?
Laura: It took me about a year. Most people ask me how did I do it? You were in a relationship for 16 years, and he had a baby on you. The separation was very open. All I wanted to do was protect my children. Don’t Get Mad. Get Sexy. really isn’t about him. I wasn’t mad at him. I was moreso like what is my next move. That was the question to myself. My biggest thing was that I wasn’t going to get mad. I wasn’t mad at him or myself. I’m just going to get sexy. Not in the sense of go show your breasts or something. I was going to get sexy in every way. Work on my mind. Work on me internally. All of my sexiness oozes out in the way I carry myself or speak.
MM: Was it hard to revisit some of those tough moments?
Laura: No, things like that are my therapy. I utilize it as a tool to get it out and tap into my emotions. It’s therapy.
MM: Would you get married again?
Laura: Oh gosh yes! And I want to have more kids. I’m going to have more kids. I’m going to get married, and I can’t wait.
MM: What makes you unafraid to get married again?
Laura: Who am I to deny myself of love and that butterfly feeling. God just closed one door. Another has to open and I’m going to open it. I just believe that why should I stop my life yearning for a feeling I know I deserve. I’m not meant to be by myself. I can’t wait until my husband finds me. I love love. I’m not bitter. I mean, at first I was like who are these people. I was walking around all angry. But Laura Govan loves love. Laura Govan loves being pregnant. Laura Govan loves to make love. Why would I deny myself of an experience that taught me how to do those things better?
MM: You sound so grounded. What would you say to a woman who is in a place of recreating her life?
Laura: The conversation I had with myself was, ‘okay Lord, now what? Where do I go from here?’ I literally wrote down on a piece of paper that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Then I had to decide what it meant to be an entrepreneur. Did I just want to be a mom and show a great example of living life and who am I? And teach my kids there are phases to life, but the only thing guaranteed in life is death. No matter what you go through in life, it’s not going to be perfect you just have to live.
You can check out Govan’s luxurious line at www.shopinreallife.com. Be on the look out for her book release at the end of this year.
“I am ready to be in a meaningful relationship, and if the chemistry is right, know that this will be the fullest expression of me,” is the opening line to Michele’s profile. A woman who knows what she wants to give and receive, Michele is optimistic about finding love. A member since 2013, MillionaireMatch has opened up the dating options for the successful business woman. It’s also allowed the busy real estate developer to weed out those who may not be a good fit. We got a chance to get a closer look at what her experience has been like on MillionaireMatch.
“It was an accident,” Michele says about getting on the site. She admits it was her hairdresser that first urged her to do online dating. She wasn’t meeting the right men organically. “I realized I had to be on the right site for me, and that was MillionaireMatch,” she explains about switching from another dating site. So, Michele went through the steps of opening her MillionaireMatch profile, uploading an array of photos that captured her warm, vibrant spirit, and of course writing the bio. “I’m looking for someone who is looking for me,” Michele explains as to why she chose to be transparent in her About Me section. She’s clear on wanting a monogamous relationship, and isn’t settling for anything else.
For 22 years, Michele was with her teenage sweetheart until he passed away from Parkinson’s disease. The relationship was a beautiful one that started like most young love does, energetic and full of unforgettable, intimate moments. As the years passed, the two remained a solid couple that mirrored more of a great friendship than passion. But, it left her feeling positive about love and wanting to find it again. While she patiently waits, her love is seen through her work where she splits her time between Hawaii, Aspen, Cabo San Lucas and San Francisco developing resort properties. It’s much like her search for the right guy. She spends time looking for the right property to invest in which Michele says is very spiritual for her. “My job is to have vision,” she said. “To be a good developer you have to have a sense of place and a strong vision of what is the potential,” she explained, which is parallel to dating and deciding if you’ve met the right person. “What can be done here? What can I do to enhance what’s already here? I feel like it’s similar to human beings, because when you meet them, they are already a story,” said Michele.
So, the big question is has she had any luck? Well, she’s had two long term relationships. The first one, which happened immediately after signing on to MillionaireMatch and a second ended recently. The longest was 17 months. “It is a process,” Michele said. A process that she’s willing to go through. “I can say this, I do believe MillionaireMatch will probably produce the man I will spend the rest of my life with,” she said full of energy.
Michele also had a few tips for other women waiting patiently for their knight in shining armor to show up. Stay positive and focused on what you want. If you settle for something less, you’ve compromised your integrity and ability to find the love of your life,” she said. “You don’t always know why it doesn’t work. Women tend to be open, and we wear our hearts on our sleeves. We ask lots of questions about feelings. Men can find that to be scary. So, sometimes it’s better to not ask, but to just give a lot of space for that man to express himself,” she suggested. She also said that she makes a list to be clear on what she wants in a man as well as what she is able to give. A man who is “cerebrally attractive” remains a quality at the top of her list, but being a millionaire isn’t a necessity. “Accomplishment is like chemistry. You can be accomplished in the financial sense, and that’s very quantifiable. But you can also be accomplished in a qualitative sense which is far more about who the human being is and how they feel about life. It’s their value system and character. I know I have to be with someone who challenges me intellectually. I know it’s important we have conversations that empower the both of us,” said Michele.
Our fingers are crossed, and we will be on the lookout for Michele to find the man she’ll spend the rest of her life with.
Summer is almost gone, and you may still be looking for the right love connection. Maybe you think you found him, and need a few tips on how to keep the interest going. We couldn’t think of a better person to ask about getting your dream man, and how to create a lasting relationship than April Masini. Masini is a highly sought after relationship and etiquette expert. She has shared advice on CNN, Fox News, USA Today, Telemundo, Forbes, The New York Times and many, many more including her forum at AskApril.com where she has answered over 28,000 questions. Masini is also the author of 4 books including Think & Date Like a Man. In 2016, Masini served as TD Bank’s Love and Money expert giving advice on how finances impact relationships, and how to best cope with financial issues. We got the chance to ask our most burning questions including what are the 3 common mistakes women make when they are dating.
MillionaireMatch: Recently, an article series was released about focusing on money and marriage (http://www.refinery29.com/trophy-wife-salary-comparison ). Most of the women in these articles expressed their discomfort of money talk with their now husbands who make more money than them. When is a good time to talk about money? How should a woman feel if she doesn't make as much as her partner?
April: More often than not, it’s less about how much someone makes and more about what they value. What people spend on — equally, what they don’t spend on — tells you an enormous amount about them and their values. So, be honest with yourself. Are you a spender or a saver? Are you generous or thrifty? It’s important to understand how you feel about money and what you value — and then assess your dates' relationships with money. For instance, how would you feel about being in a relationship with a man who does very well, and can afford to stay at the Four Seasons, but elects to save and stay at a Holiday Inn? Or, how do you feel about a man who doesn’t tip well versus a man who is generous — regardless of his incomes and assets?
And, are you a woman who spends $750 on pair of Manolo Blahniks or $100 on a pair of Jessica Simpson pumps. More importantly, do you spend the $750 whether you can really afford it or not? In other words, are you willing to run up credit card debt to buy luxuries? Are you someone who values “keeping up with the Jones”? Or are you someone who values having an emergency fund and savings for retirement? A spender married to a saver will be in for some very challenging times because your values are not aligned.
Debt — and the kind of debt — tells you as much about someone’s values, as does the way they spend. For instance, are they contentious about debt, or cavalier? Is the debt because of medical bills, medical school tuition bills, or luxury items on a minimum wage salary? There’s responsible spending behavior and irresponsible spending behavior, and the way people handle money and debt, can transfer over to other areas of life too. So, reconsider debt and a credit score as just financial numbers, and see it as a window into other behaviors a date may have.
At some point the subject of prenup agreements will probably come — whether it’s between the two of you or in relation to one of your prior relationships. This is a great topic to talk about and you shouldn’t shy away from it. It’s also important to discuss spending on any potential or existing children. For some people, stepchildren and the way money is spent on them can be a deal breaker. If one partner is saving for retirement or a vacation as a couple and the other is spending on their children — your stepchildren, prepare for problems!
MM: What are 3 common mistakes women make when dating?
1. Not knowing what they want. Self-knowledge will save time, energy and money — for all parties involved! When you know you’re looking for a certain type of partner — whether it’s someone who’s funny, a health and fitness nut — or not, has kids, doesn’t have kids, is wealthy, is middle-class, is not interested in money or has homes all over the world — whatever it is you’re looking for, know it and be able to articulate it.
2. What’s on paper isn’t the way he treats you, and that’s the make or break point. Believing a man is “the one" because he has everything a woman is looking for, as opposed to the way he treats her. Women may think a guy is “the one” because of how he looks on paper — what he has — but in truth, a man becomes “the one” because of what he does and how he treats her— not based upon what he looks like or what stuff he has.
3. Falling for a man’s potential. The P word — potential — is a relationship killer. Men are not fixer-uppers. Don’t take on a guy thinking you’re going to change him, because you’re not. The only person you can change is you. When you talk about his potential, you’re talking about everything he doesn’t do or doesn’t have that you want a guy to do and have. Be brutally honest with yourself. Accept a man for who he is, not who you hope he will become.
MM: Several versions on how to meet your dream man have been offered over the years. There are tons of advice books, seminars and workshops for women encouraging them to better themselves as they wait. How do you think it's best to be 'found' by the man of your dreams?
April: Have shared interests — and then show up. In other words, assume you have succeeded with number 1 above — specifically, you know the type of man you want — figure out what activities he likes to participate in and take them up. If your guy is into golf, learn to golf. If he’s an art collector, frequent galleries and gallery openings. If he’s into politics, get involved with campaigns and causes. If he’s into self-improvement, subscribe to a lecture series and join a gym. You get the idea…. I am not a believer in opposites attracting. That paradigm might be interesting for the short term, but for a long-term, committed relationship to be successful there needs to be shared values, goals and interests.
MM: Men and women are using online dating more and more. How do you go from text messages to date?
April: Have a time-limit rule, let it be known, and then stick to it. People waste far too much time and energy emailing and texting only to discover there is no chemistry face-to-face. Or worse, they spend weeks and months, even years, texting, emailing and calling — but they never meet in real life. If you are looking for a real life relationship, and not a cyber-only one, make it clear you have a rule about limiting time spent texting —— and when you reach the limit, stop texting. Just stop.
MM: We all have gotten the memo that men are visual. Is there extra pressure for women today to look a certain way due to social media?
April: Social media isn’t responsible for the fact that men are visual — that goes way back and an anthropologist can probably talk with more authority about how animals use appearance to attract mates — as do human beings. So, this is one of the few items that is not the fault of social media!! However, because of technology, it’s super easy to share your image and that creates a need to look good more often. Selfies, Skype, FaceTime, Instagram, and all other social media where your image is tagged is going to make your face and your body and your actions and the crowds you keep more public. So…. social media just enhances what’s already there — men are visual and they get to see you a lot more because of technology, including social media.
MM: You get tons of emails and messages asking for your advice on dating. What's one question that comes up often from women? Why do you think that is?
April: One of the of the tough questions that comes up is how soon to sleep with a date? I recently heard from a woman on my relationship advice forum, https://forum.askapril.com, who was accomplished, attractive and articulate — and she didn’t want to sleep with a guy until there was a commitment from him that they were a monogamous, committed couple. She’d been divorced and wanted a committed, long-term relationship, and she felt this “filter” of no sex before commitment, was going to help her to not get hurt and find her Mr. Right. After eight dates with a guy she really liked, she still didn’t have a commitment from him, and she didn’t want to go all the way on a weekend date/get together because of that — but she knew enough about men to know that they don’t want to have “the talk” about the status of the relationship. Unfortunately for her, and probably no surprise to anyone reading this, her guy moved on. Nine dates, no sex, and he was out. Sex and dating is definitely a balancing act, and expecting a commitment too soon is a big mistake that many people make. Besides, sex doesn’t necessarily imply a commitment. However, most men will feel rejected if you don’t sleep with them after about six serious dates. Is there an insurance policy that a guy you date and sleep with won’t break your heart? Nope. So there’s risk…. and you have to do what’s right for you — but understand that men want to know if you’re sexual, how important sex is to you, if you find them sexually attractive, and whether you’re sleeping with other men at the same time. So, when you decide to sleep with a dating partner or not sleep with them, try to empathize with what they’re going through, as well as what you are as you make your decisions.
MM: Is it okay for the woman to make the first move? If so, should she prepare to lead the relationship?
April: Sure, but it depends on how it’s done. For example, there is a giant difference between asking a guy his opinion about something (as a conversation starter) and asking a man on a date. I’m a firm believer that men are competitive and have the hunter gene in their DNA. All men want to win the prize. If a woman pursues a man — she’s made him the prize and taken his hunt away from him. In addition, many women who ask men out and have a great time, write me for advice when he doesn’t call. They think they had a great time, and don’t understand why he’s not picking up the ball. So, they ask him for a second date. Same thing happens — the date goes great, and he doesn’t call. Now, they’ve made the first move, but expect him to pick up where they left off and when that doesn’t happen they write me confused and upset. If you wait for a guy to make the move, you may be uncomfortable waiting, but you’ll know that it was his idea to date you!
MM: Dating a powerful, successful man can be exciting for some. The entrepreneur, businessman, or CEO can be appealing. How do you grab their attention when their focus is on work and building an empire?
April: Make sure you fit into his life. In other words, be the woman he would be proud to take to business functions and events. Imagine what he wants to call his friends and tell them about you — be the woman he can’t wait to show off to everyone he knows! What that means is — look the part, act the part, and know the part. Be interested and interesting. Read and learn about his business. Keep abreast of current events, and participate in activities he enjoys. Powerful, successful men are more likely to notice you when you’re at their golf course, or working out at their gym or with their trainer, or eating at the restaurants they frequent. If you’re looking for a powerful, successful man to date, go where they go and be available and engaging.
MM: What's the number one thing men look for in women that isn't usually mentioned?
April: Intelligence and a sense of humor. Yes, I recognize that’s two things. But, I think they are both worth mentioning. There’s this myth that men like dumb women. They don’t. That said, nobody likes a know-it-all. But everyone likes to laugh.
If you want more of April Masini, follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to send her your burning questions!
Many people know Gary Vaynerchuk because of his unique voice or his high voltage energy. As he likes to put it, some like him and some don’t. That may be debatable, but his passion to sell and make money would never cause an argument.
An immigrant from Russia, Vaynerchuk grew his father’s wine store from $3 million to $60 million in sales when he jumped on a new platform at the time called YouTube. He spent 18 months making videos before he was able to grab the attention of an audience. Determined, he continued to make content. The start of Wine Library TV on YouTube resulted in an enterprise of 600 employees with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, San Francisco and Tennessee.
Gary is also the owner of VaynerMedia, a social and digital full-service agency that offers creative production which drives results. He started VaynerMedia in 2009. The company has grown from $3 million to $100 million in four years. Vaynerchuk has spoken at many conferences, workshops, podcasts and digital platforms educating and inspiring those who wish to take a step into being an entrepreneur. MillionaireMatch has gathered his most powerful quotes that capture his philosophy on achieving success as an entrepreneur. His three tips are: 1) self-awareness 2) work ethic and 3) gratitude. Vaynerchuk is a huge champion for doing what you are good at and leaving the rest for someone else. He also believes in working hard and working a lot along with showing gratitude.
“I suck at 99% of stuff. I’m a salesman. I’m a storyteller. I understand where consumers are going to go before other people.”
“People need to start breaking the rules.”
“You have to audit who you actually are.”
“Ideas are shit. Execution is the game.”
“I really think that people who think they are entrepreneurs that don’t work 15, 17 hours a day, aren’t.”
“If I don’t do what came naturally to me, there would be much bigger problems.”
“If you have a full-time job, you are not an entrepreneur.”
“I really respect my haters.”
“I failed all my classes and that’s why I’m winning. In hindsight, the fact that I was considered a failure for the first 18 years of my life has become the foundation of my success.”
“Put in the work.”
“You have time.”
“If you are giving more than you are taking, you have leverage for life.”
“I just want the pursuit of building.”
“When you are grateful for what you have instead of worried about what you don’t have, you’ll have a totally different mind-set.”
“If you are grateful, I think it’s a segue to kindness.”
“No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.”
“The only differentiator in the game is your passion and your hustle.”
Vaynerchuk is the author of three books every entrepreneur should have: Crush It!, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World and his latest, #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness. Add these to your summer reading list!
It’s every person-in-a-relationship’s worst nightmare—infidelity.
You think you’re happy. You plan your lives together. After all, you’ve invested so much in the relationship—emotionally, physically, and even financially (Hello, joint bank account).
But then you have this nagging feeling that won’t go away. Your natural instinct seems to be warning you that your partner is cheating.
Here are some telltale signs to look out for and help you determine your next move.
• Sudden impulsive behavior. Having an affair can make people feel young and reckless again, and this can manifest in a sudden desire to do things that you already relegated to your younger selves. If you know your partner to be someone conservative or introverted and all of a sudden he/she wants to party every night, you should be really curious about his/her motivation.
• Jealous no more. All of a sudden, your partner is teasing you about how other people are checking you out or how your mailman has a secret crush on you. This, coming from your usually crazy jealous partner. This is definitely a red flag which indicates that your partner is ridden with guilt, and is trying to justify his/her extramarital attractions.
• The confused treatment. Every time you probe for details, your partner seems at a loss. Sure, it could be stress from work or lack of sleep. But it could also be that your partner is confused by his/her own string of lies and that he/she is having a hard time keeping up and making it consistent.
• Mobile at hand, all the time. This physical sign is easily one of the most common manifestations of a cheating partner. Unless your partner’s job requires him/her to be on the phone all the time, you should be at least curious when your partner is seemingly attached to his/her mobile device.
• Bleak future. If your partner is no longer as interested in long-term planning with you or is not as concerned about the direction of your relationship five years from now, it’s a sign that something (or someone) in the present is keeping him/her distracted.
Infidelity in a relationship is a serious and sensitive matter. How you move forward is a decision that no one else can make for you, so approach it with a clear heart and a focused mind especially if there’s a lot at stake.
If and when you do find out that your partner is cheating on you, what should you do? How will you move forward?
Watch out for our next blog post on dealing with the fact that your partner cheated on you.