its 4:30am.

and I can’t sleep. I have been soo restless, I guess I have too much on my mind, so many things I probably need to let out. Hey, I am human, well last time I checked I was.. I am at a stage in my life, business etc where every decision I make counts. I know I do discuss a bit of how I work on here but the thing is most do not know the half of it.. The stress, the money you have to spend, the slow seasons, the runs, the things not going as planned, the money, the bills, the responsibilities that come with owning a business. Its like people expect you to live up to a certain standard and thats impossible for me because I enjoy doing things at my own pace. Now lets not get into the inconsiderate folks, that think because you have a biz, you have automatically turned into a money tree. So my take is, if I give you my dough how will I grow..? see how that

Now its like, T you cant really slack or just get by, you have reached the level where you need to take it to another level.. and this is where I am stuck, I am stuck on where to start.. The biggest issue I have now is I am fully established here but my heart keeps telling me, in fact it keeps screaming to me, naija. Yeah, naija is cool and there is money to be made but am I ready? I suppose I am but why is it so hard to just say yes this is how it will happen….

The other day I was at STV and a lady came on the morning show, lord, I forgot her name but she owns Rose of Sharon (I think) but boy did I feel her, she said some things that really moved me in regards to making decisions about business. She said she had to make certain decisions in life which brought her to where she is now, well I think I am at the stage she was at when she did that. Well, I should have gotten her info because that would have been a fantastic person to have a one on one with… Last year I also sat down with Muyiwa who designs clothes and my future inlaw who owns Iconola in the soundcity waiting room.. and its like I have never seen myself get echoed, talking to them was like a breath of fresh air because the short time we spent talking, they echoed so many things I also face. I honestly think young entrepenuers should get together once a month and just discuss, I think it would help because then, you begin to realize you are not alone…

Its like, you have to ask yourself so many questions and make decisions based on the answers you get. I know deep down inside the naija market would be a great place to follow through on properly, not just half assing it but I also know if I do my attention to where it all started will suffer. Plus I keep getting demand in different places so my concentration is being diverted whereby confusing me even more… I keep having to remind myself that I am only one person and the way I stress and think lately could potentially affect my health but that never helps…

Its like placing your baby that you have cared for in the hands of someone else and just closing your eyes and saying Ill check on her once in a while…. Its not an easy task.. I just spent the past 40 mins gettin a pep talk from my man, he seems to make sense but I know deep down its not that easy for me. I wish I could be more like him, he never lets things he can’t control bother him, just free spirited live and let live type person but boy I am the total opposite… The moral support does help but the buts are still there, in fact I wont kill myself..

If you were me, what would you do.. right now there is no sure answer, just confusion.. what is the next step for me.. I am happy and content in every other aspect of my life.. I just wish I could get this part right on the first try. So T what and what do you need to do to take it to the next level, for growth, to create that empire you dream of.. What? sighs!….

It cracks me up when people think they know you or the half of what you go through, it cracks me up to the point where it is almost irritating when people looking from the outside form negative opinions about you that are far from the truth but you know what, such is life.. I have chosen my path and pray the decisions I make from now on are good ones so that my haters can rot in the pit of their own self ok thats mean sha but yeah!.. I do enjoy the support I get from friends, bloggers etc, it does help in the motivational dept but then you know a rose is not without its thorns amist all the well wishers, a few aspiring haters and back talkers will emerge but I know one thing, God pass them…. I have made some bad decisions and some good ones in that past and thats what makes me human. So far I aspire to be on top and work towards it, I will continue to pat myself on the back..

Anyhoo, on to a light note, I just want to say the person who said keep your enemies close and friends closer never lied.. I was just going over soo many things, not happening to me personally but things in general in my head.. Its funny how its the people who smile with you the most that won’t hesitate to cast you.. anyhoo story for another day….

anyhoo, on with my night vigil, I was on bellas blog today though I havent had the chance to read her blog comments in a long while but i guess something happened while I was away, between two people I know and anyhoo bla bla bla so of course I had to read and notate the trends in the comments. What bothered me was that people who came there to talk where anonymous posters, I am not a big fan of anon poster who have nothing good to say only becuase they come across as cowards. I have a simple motto “If I have something to say about you, Ill say it to you, get the mud out and lets duke it out” lol… another thing was they just had too much to say, too personal for my liking, yeah bloggin is fun etc but people should know where to draw the line…. kinda had me rethinking this whole blog thing.. maybe its time to retire the semi personal aspect of it…

sha thats not where I am going with this, in the middle of reading all the comments, my name popped up.. of course it had to be from an anomymous poster..(no brainer).. after reading it I started cracking up and it actually uped my sour mood a bit.. Said poster had some negs to say about my outfit to the future… well ha ha and bloody ha.. I liked it so thats what counts. I was in the mood to tell the person to go and chop shit but I won’t because it really doesnt matter. with that said all I have to say is LEAVE BRITTANY ALONE!.. maybe now I can get some sleep..

ps.. bella, I see u o.. I have your koboko ready…lol


  1. shola pacheco

    i feel u,toni on dis post.cant really say much cos i aint running a biz yet.but sometimes i suffer anziety at things i wanna do,but cant.sometimes i feel like am way bursting of ideas but sometimes things nd situation can seem confined.u have been doing well 4 urself.just take one day at a time,all will be 4 annoymous bloggers who leave nasty messages,they are just faceless

  2. shola pacheco

    cowards. who dont have nything good 2 do with their time.just keep doing wat u know how 2 do best.God will definitely help u. NB.bloging 4rm my phone incase dis coment appears several times

  3. DOZ

    You speak about making decisions. The best way, for me at least, is taking some time out to really think about the pros and cons of your decision, then taking some more time out to pray about it. It never fails. Never. The Bible say ‘the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord’. Also, God’s word can provide you with ‘sudden’ inspiration/revelation. His word is a lamp unto our feet.

    Think, open your mind, pray, take a decision. You can’t go wrong.

    Btw, I am dying to get your ‘Akanke’ tee but living in UK and having been burnt by internet purchases, I’m scared.

  4. Oluwayemisi B

    hi Toni,read ur blog and i will say,i really feel you.Every achiever both young and old,will and has passed thru this stage.Infact,i will say i’m experiencing this stage in my life though on a different note….
    But wat i will say is this,I think you have already a key of keys to wat u need and u’ve mentioned it already and dat is getting together to other achievers to hear and learn frm their idea and experience.Wat i see and percieved about u dat made u so stressed is the fact that u think/debate all this alone and this i tell u wont help matters but make it worse….so,I think it’s better to talk and talk and discuss of this wth pple and “pple” dat u trust not just “any”,…who are willing to let others grow and feel good helping others,in short,Discussion is the key!Also,dont ever think of “wat if it doesnt work out well”-negativity,dont ever,look always at a positive brighter future,be happy and put God in all decisions .
    Believe the sky is ur limits,we’ve got Talents in Naija and i believe you are 1 also .have this in mind, ” if everyone is making it,why cant I”?
    Do take care,ciao amore!

  5. wienna

    Hehehe…oya lo marry boo e. BTW, was just going to comment about your outfit to the future awards. Saw a sneak peek of it on TV last week and i really liked it. Your facial expression was something else, no comment on dat one.

  6. Bella Naija

    Miss T Payne!
    U r not even serious…
    Anyways, hope u had fun in naij
    I am really feeling ur man’s song Gongo Aso..tht is my daily jam!
    Please give him a kiss from the bellanaija family
    we almost added him to our hottest bachelors list but we were scared lol
    we knew u would come and deal with us if we tried it lol

  7. Toni Payne

    @ shola, doz & yemisi.. thanks men, reread ur comments.. I guess its always good to get reinforcement from others..appreciate it

    @wienna..lmao! ha u dont know me, spend one day with me and u can count like 500 facial expressions.. Yeah I have to admit, my outfit was tripping me, I felt like one angel.. hehehe.. Funny thing is my little cousin picked it out.. guess he has a good eye for fashion..

    @bella.. ah u should have added him naw, we have an inside joke about that..and Ill pass on the kiss 4 sure. but boy oh boy u casted me big time..*sobs* ur koboko en.. in fact I have 2 for u. 1 for casting me and 2 for using that

  8. Anonymous

    A Fighting Spirit Is Important, But Not At Home

    The Post By: Joy Jones

    Have you met this woman? She has a good job, works hard, and earns a good salary. She went to college, she got her master’s degree; she is intelligent. She is personable, articulate, well read, interested in everybody and everything. Yet, she’s single.

    Or maybe you know this one. Active in the church. Faithful, committed, sings in the choir, serves on the usher board, and attends every committee meeting. Loves the Lord and knows the Word. You’d think that with her command of the Scriptures and the respect of her church members, she’d have a marriage as solid as a rock. But again, no husband.

    Or perhaps you recognize the community activist. She’s a black lady, or, as she prefers, an African American woman, on the move. She sports a short natural; sometimes cornrow braids, or even dreadlocks. She’s an organizer, a motivator, a dynamo. Her work for her people speaks for itself – organizing women for a self-help, raising funds for a community cause, educating others around a new issue somewhere in the world. Black folks look up to her, and white folks know she’s a force to be reckoned with. Yet once again, the men leave her alone.

    What do these women have in common? They have so much; what is it they lack? Why is it they may be able to hook a man but can’t hold him? The women puzzle over this quandary themselves. They gather at professional clubs, at sorority meetings or over coffee at the office and wonder what’s wrong with black men. They hold special prayer vigils and fast and pray and beg Jesus to send the men back to church. They find the brothers attending political strategizing sessions or participating in protests but when it comes time to go home, the brothers go home to someone else.

    I know these women because I am all of these women. And after asking over and over again “What’s wrong with these men?”, it finally dawned on me to ask the question, “What’s wrong with us women?”

    What I have found, and what many of these women have yet to discover, is that the skills that make one successful in the church, community or workplace are not the skills that make one successful in a relationship. Linear thinking, self-reliance, structured goals and direct action assist one in getting assignments done, in organizing church or club activities or in positioning oneself for a raise, but relationship-building requires different skills. It requires making decisions that not only gratify you, but satisfy others. It means doing things that will keep the peace rather than achieve the goal, and sometimes it means creating the peace in the first place. Maintaining a harmonious relationship will not always allow you to take the straight line between two points. You may have to stoop to conquer or yield to win.

    In too many cases, when dealing with men, you will have to sacrifice being right in order to enjoy being loved. Being acknowledged as the head of the household is an especially important thing for many black men, since their manhood is so often actively challenged everywhere else.

    Many modern women are so independent, so self-sufficient, so committed to the cause, to the church, to career or their narrow concepts that their entire personalities project an “I don’t need a man” message. So they end up without one. An interested man may be attracted but he soon discovers that this sister makes very little space for him in her life.

    Going to graduate school is a good goal and an option that previous generations of blacks have not had. But sometimes the achieving woman will place her boyfriend so low on her list of priorities that his interest wanes. Between work, school and homework, she’s seldom “there” for him, for the preliminaries that might develop a commitment to a woman. She’s too busy to prepare him a home-cooked meal or to be a listening ear for his concerns because she is so occupied with her own. Soon he uses her only for uncommitted sex since to him she appears unavailable for anything else. Blind to the part she’s playing in the problem, she ends up thinking, “Men only want one thing.” And she decides she’s better off with the degree than the friendship.

    When she’s 45, she may wish she’d set different priorities while she was younger. It’s not just the busy career girl who can’t see the forest for the trees.

    A couple I know were having marital troubles. During one argument, the husband confronted the wife and asked what she thought they should do about the marriage, what direction they should take. She reached for her Bible and turned to Ephesians. “I know what Paul says and I know what Jesus says about marriage,” he told her, “What do you say about our marriage?” Dumbfounded, she could not say anything. Like so many of us, she could recite the Scriptures but could not apply them to everyday living. Before the year was out, the husband had filed for divorce.

    Women who focus on civil rights or community activism have vigorous, fighting spirits and are prepared to do whatever, whenever, to benefit black people. That’s good. That’s necessary. But it needs to be kept in perspective. It’s too easy to save the world and lose your man.

    A fighting spirit is important on the battlefield, but a gentler spirit is wanted on the home front. Too many women are winning the battle and losing the home. Sometimes in our determined efforts to be strong believers and hard workers, we contemporary women downplay, denigrate or simply forget our more traditional feminine attributes. Men value women best for the ways we are different from them, not the ways we are the same. Men appreciate us for our grace and beauty. Men enjoy our softness and see it as a way to be in touch with their tender side, a side they dare not show to other men. A hard-working woman is good to have on your committee. But when a man goes home, he’d prefer a loving partner to a hard worker.

    It’s not an easy transition for the modern black woman to make. It sounds submissive, reactionary, outmoded, and oppressive. We have fought so hard for so many things, and rightfully so. We have known so many men who were shaky, jive and untrustworthy. Yet we must admit that we are shaky, jive and willful in our own ways. Not having a husband allows us to do whatever we want, when and how we want to do it. Having one means we have to share the power and certain points will have to be surrendered. We are terrified of marriage and commitment, yet dread the prospect of being single and alone. Throwing ourselves into work seems to fill the void without posing a threat. But like any other drug, the escape eventually becomes the cage.

    To make the break, we need to do less and “be” more. I am learning to “be still and know,” to be trusting. I am learning to stop competing with black men and to collaborate with them, to temper my assertive and aggressive energy with softness and serenity. I’m not preaching a philosophy of “women be seen and not heard.” But I have come to realize that I, and many of my smart and independent sisters are out of touch with our feminine center and therefore out of touch with our men.

    About a year ago, I was at an oldies-but-goodies club. As a Washingtonian, love to do the bop and to hand dance styles that were popular when I was a teen. In those dances, the man has his set of steps and the woman has hers, but the couple is still two partners and must move together. On this evening, I was sitting out a record when a thought came to me. If a man were to say, “I’m going to be in charge and you’re going to follow. I want you to adjust your ways to fit in with mine” I’d dismiss him as a Neanderthal. With my hand on my hip, I’d tell him that I have just as much sense as he does and that he can’t tell me what to do. Yet, on the dance floor, I love follow ing a man’s lead. I don’t feel inferior because my part is different from his, and I don’t feel I have to prove that I’m just as able to lead as he is. I simply allow him to take my and, and I go with the flow.

    I am still single. I am over 30 and scared. I am still a member of my church, have no plans to quit my good government job and will continue to do what I can for my people. I think that I have a healthy relationship with a good man. But today, I know that I have to bring some of that spirit of the dance into my relationship. Dancing solo, I’ve mastered that. Now I’m learning how to accept his lead, and to go with the flow.

  9. unknown celebrity

    hi toni,
    i just stumbled upon ur blog and its so inspiring…. i love the way u speak ur mind, me i find it so hard to say how i feel about stuff or confront people. also u have ur own business and ur doing smething with ur life that u love, its truly remarkable coz its a career path that people dont usually choose and ur doing very well.

    I feel like i understand all the anxieties u feel about taking the next step in ur life. i haven’t taken any steps at all coz of those same anxieties and fears. but as i read ur blog i know i have to overcome all thoses fears and insecurities. im sure u know wot im talking about. fear off failure and stuff like that.
    in my case i want to direct movies and ive spent two years learning about filmmaking and i wnt to start doing smething with myself, my skills but im so scared that i won’t actually be able to do it and that people will discover that im not smart enough to handle it that i havent done any thing.

    i guess im rambling too much and this was just suposed to be a comment so long story short i love your blog so far…. and if u ever have an off day and feel like ur nt doing enuf for the world know that you have touched one girls life in a very good way…



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