Entrepreneurship vs. Employment – What’s Your Choice?

So maybe you have a job that pays at least some of the bills – or maybe 2 jobs and you’re barely making ends meet. 

Did you know that most women after the age of 40 will experience some form of ageism in the workplace – be it subtle or overt.  It’s a known fact that ageism at work begins for women at 40 and 45 for men when they are no longer considered for promotion or training!

Imagine that! 

You’ve given 15+ years of your life to a boss, who after you get to a certain age decides that due to your age you are no longer promote-able! 

Does that get you pissed off?  It should!

The Great Recession and now life during Covid-19 has cut the legs out from under us because over 20 million people are out of work – especially if you are a woman over 40!  These women are simply walking away from the job search now because they just can’t find one that is suitable for them!

What are your plans for YOUR future? Are you going to suck it up and just do what you’ve always done and expect a different result as you age?  Well, you know what the definition of insanity is, right?  Well that’s it!

I suggest that you embrace the New Normal! 

The New Normal these days, is that we women over 40 are starting businesses of our own – in record numbers.Now obviously starting a business is NOT EASY at any time in life, much less when you’re at this age!  

Sometimes you become a small business owner out of desperation rather than inspiration! Try being an unemployed Woman Over 40 attempting to get a job in today’s marketplace! You’ll have better luck at being struck by lightning twice!

You also need to KNOW yourself.

Which statement sounds more appealing to you?

“I want the comfortable life. I want or need stability in my life. I do not want to risk my comfort, and I value my free time to be able to relax.”

OR

“I bet on myself and that excites me!  I like taking risks because I want the rewards they offer.  I love to work, and I want to keep growing. I am very ambitious, and I can handle being in a position of discomfort.” 

The first statement best describes employment. It is an easy path to follow because you know all the steps, and if not, you can find all the steps. You will encounter comfort if you are doing your job right, and if you don’t age out of the work and get laid off as the work force gets younger and younger.  You have a set schedule, and you know exactly when you switch your mind from work to family (usually 5PM Mondays to Fridays). 

The second statement describes entrepreneurship. To be an entrepreneur you kind of need to embrace the fact that your schedule will be all over the place, and you will be thinking about 100 things at the same time while usually never knowing when the next time to relax will be!  Additionally, the work is a grind – but you love it as you’re pursuing your dream because you love that what you are creating is yours!  Your life will be unstable and unexpected, but you will love everything about it because your ambition and dreams are too big not to be pursued.

As you can see, these lifestyles are very different. Entrepreneurs and employees are both necessary in this world, so no matter what path you choose, understand that you are still valuable to this society. 

I am Felicia Lopes and I own and run a business called BusyGal.

Welcome to the World of BusyGal

I am also a Black woman and I help Women Over 40 get educated, and re-establish and re-invent themselves as entrepreneurs through my online entrepreneurial classes, coaching, masterminds, small business services, opportunities, and global branding opportunities through my new ROKU television channel – BGTV.  

If you are ready to embrace your own possibilities as a new entrepreneur, but you really have no idea what kind of business you want to start, I have created a FREE booklet entitled The Top 40 Small Business Ideas for Entrepreneurial Women Over 40 which is jam packed with million dollar ideas for new businesses and links to get you started. 

Basically it is designed to get you thinking about what you are passionate about and how you can make a nice living doing it.  If you’re looking for a great idea for a business, look no further.  Just download my FREE booklet today by clicking the box that asks you if you are struggling to find your million dollar business idea when you go to my website – BusyGal! www.busygalcorp.com

Where to Find Financial Support for Your Brilliant Startup Idea

Your amazing business idea may need funds to be successful. However, it’s not easy to finance a startup in a sea of competitors.

Consider many sources for your startup funds:

  1. Use your own finances. Instead of getting a loan or borrowing from others, see if you can finance your startup with funds you save or gather.  
  • Do you have savings that can be used to fund your new business?
  • Do you have items or services you can sell to raise money? This may take awhile, but you might feel more comfortable delaying the launch of your company a bit while you earn the money to get it started.

  1. Ask friends and family to help. Do your family and friends think that the startup idea is a good investment that will bring high returns? If you have support from these sources, they might be interested in loaning you the startup funds or investing in your new business.
  • Your friends or family members can become lenders, partners, or investors in the startup.
  • They can contribute to the financial side, but they may also want to be involved in other areas. It’s important to negotiate an arrangement that you feel comfortable with.

  1. Use crowdfunding. There are multiple online crowdfunding platforms, such as Peerbackers, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, and others, that can help you raise money. These websites let you share your startup idea with the public. Then, the public can donate money in return for items, services, or a share in the company,
  • One key to success on a crowdfunding platform is to have a unique story.
  • You can raise money for your startup and introduce your product or service at the same time.
  • Keep in mind that these platforms are filled with competitors, and it’s not easy to get all the funding you need. A successful campaign on these platforms usually includes social media and marketing efforts.

  1. Enter startup contests. Big brands and investors sometimes have contests for startups. These contests put you in front of big names who are interested in investing.
  • They help you get recognition while you learn from other startups. You also have the chance to fine-tune your ideas to make them more appealing to investors.

  1. Seek angel investors. Angel investors want to help new companies and make a profit in the long term. They have large sources of money, so your startup may be able to get all of its funding in one area.  
  • Angel investors tend to ask for a portion of your company or shares. They may ask to be partners or have control over startup decisions.
  • Because of their financial commitment, they have a vested interest in your success and want to ensure that your new business brings in high returns.
  1. Consider financial institution loans. Banks, credit unions, and other sources may offer you a business or personal loan to fund your idea. They may require collateral and ask detailed financial records and other information about the startup.
  • Small business loans are a popular choice among startups.
  • Before you get a loan, consider the fees and interest on the loan.
  • What if your business doesn’t bring in enough profit to repay the loan? How will you repay it? It’s important to have a Plan B.

Launching a startup is an exciting time! Follow a profitable business plan and keep your eye on the profits so your new business can repay the startup funds as soon as possible and move on to providing you the returns you deserve.

8 Effective Habits for the Successful Entrepreneur

Every career has a set of habits that greatly increase the odds of success. The habits necessary for success will vary from career to career. Fortunately, there are many successful entrepreneurs that we can look to for guidance. It’s not surprising that many of them share the same habits.

There’s no reason why you can’t have the same habits as some of the most successful people in the world!

Increase your odds for success with these habits:

  1. An incredible work ethic. It takes a lot of time and effort to grow a company. It’s necessary at first to be a jack-of-all-trades. Until you can grow enough to hire others to cover all the required skills your company needs to thrive, you’re going to have to carry a lot of weight.
  2. Conscientiousness. When you own a business, it’s up to you to ensure that things are done properly and on time. The responsibilities are great. You don’t have the luxury of putting out sloppy work. It will always come back to haunt you.
  3. Use time wisely. Time will always be a limited resource. How you use your time dictates how successful your company ultimately becomes. That means having the knowledge and experience to make wise decisions and the mental toughness to avoid distractions.
  4. Have a plan each day. One of the keys to using your time successfully is to plan for each day ahead of time. Avoid going to bed without having a detailed idea of what you’re going to do the following day. When your feet hit the bedroom floor, you should already know what needs to be done for the day.
  5. Wake up early. There are very few successful entrepreneurs that don’t get up very early. Some get up even before 4 a.m. How early you get up is up to you, but if you’re not beating the average person out of bed, you’re behind.
  6. Set goals. It’s not enough to work hard and work smart. You also must know where you’re going. Goals help you make wise decisions. Know what you’re trying to accomplish today, this week, this month, this year, and 10 years from now.
  7. Deal with stress effectively. Entrepreneurs have plenty of stress to deal with on a regular basis, so it’s important to learn how to manage it. Have a process for dealing with stress and anxiety. Learn to recognize what you can control and what you cannot.
  8. Look ahead for obstacles. Avoid being blindsided by obstacles and setbacks. Be aware of your future. Look ahead for the challenges that you’re likely to face and have solutions in mind.
    • Think of all the major challenges in your life and notice that there were plenty of warning signs for all of them. The same is true with your business. Avoid putting your head in the sand and hoping for the best. Deal with challenges now while they’re still manageable.

What are your current habits? Can you see why your current habits have either helped you or harmed you on your path to business success? Think about what you want to accomplish to be successful and build a set of habits that will support those activities.

The person with the best habits usually wins. How far will you go with your habits?


If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to take a moment and sign up to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.

People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.

At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.

You can sign up HERE to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Turning Your Hobby Into An Income Stream

If you’re like most people, you probably dream of having a job that’s enjoyable and fulfilling. Maybe the solution is to turn something you love into a way to pay the bills.

You may be thinking, “There’s no way I can make money from my hobby.” But you might be surprised!

Just think how great it would be if you could make money from the one thing that you actually choose to do when you have free time. What could possibly be better than that?

You might not be able to fully replace your regular job right away. However, you could earn a few hundred dollars a month or more for something you would be doing anyway. And that can make a big difference.

The two basic routes to making money from your hobby are:

  1. Teach Online. Someone out there would like to learn what you know. Don’t make the mistake of believing that you have to be one of the world’s top ten leading experts on something in order to make money at it. Nothing can be further from the truth! If you know more about something than anyone on your street, you can certainly make money teaching others.
  • Some ways to teach include:
    • Giving seminars (online or in person)
    • Selling articles related to your hobby
    • Writing and selling a book or e-book
    • One-on-one coaching
    • Setting up a website that provides educational information and sells related products and services.
  1. Sell a related product or service. Hobbies require supplies. Other people may as well be purchasing those supplies from you. If your hobby is collecting something, you can buy and sell whatever it is you collect. Or think of businesses related to your hobby. For example:
  • If you love animals, you could sell your services as a dog sitter.

  • If you love boats, you could sell boat plans or rent boats to vacationers.

  • Do you love design and interior decorating? Do you like to watch design shows on TV? You might not be on television anytime soon, but you probably know more about decorating a house than the average family does. Certainly you could charge a few hundred dollars for a consultation.

  • What if fishing is your passion? How about owning a bait and tackle shop? You could be a fishing guide. You could sell fishing lures online.

  • Do you love to travel? Take lots of pictures and write about your adventures. Travel magazines and websites are always looking for good content. You could also start your own travel website.

The real key is to take time to think about all the ways you could possibly make money related to you hobby. Then you can choose to do so in the most enjoyable way possible.

The hardest part of getting started for most people is marketing; you must market yourself and your business to get clients or customers. So be bold. Tell your neighbors and family members about your plans. Post an ad on Craigslist.com. Make a website. People have to know you’re out there so they can hire you or purchase from you.

Imagine the excitement you’ll feel the first time you cash that check for doing something you used to do for free! Once you make a little money from your hobby, the wheels will really start turning, and you’ll be surprised at all the other ideas that come to mind.

Start today by making a list of all the ways you could possibly make money at your hobby. Have fun, and good luck!


If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to take a moment and sign up to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.

People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.

At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.

You can sign up HERE to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

A Second Chance in the Second Chapter of Life

by Felicia M. Lopes
Twitter:  @TheBusyGal
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/feliciamlopes/

There are times that your life changes suddenly.  At those time I feel like my stomach kisses my backbone and my hands start itching and aching like crazy!  I can still remember my life going into total upheaval mode when I was told unceremoniously by my boss 4 years almost to the day that I’d been hired at my job, “I’m sorry, but you’re fired!”  


A few days ago, those same feelings came rushing back at me like an avalanche as I sat in Starbucks drinking my favorite coffee, scrolling through my iPhone, when Jennifer Lopez’s new film, which is coming out this Holiday Season, came up on my news feed.  It looks hysterically funny (that’s code for I can’t wait to see it!), because as a women, now in hermid-50s, that moment in 2006 when I was 42, utterly changed my life!  I still wince from the financial aftermath — the sting of losing my job — remembering it so clearly as if it were yesterday, because it was the start of a Herculean uphill financial battle that lasted many years!

Check out the trailer below and see if it doesn’t resonate with you:

SECOND ACT Trailer (2018)

Getting back to my story.  Apparently the Executive Board had lost their contract, so, through no fault of my own, I was laid off!  As most people do after a job lay off, you start marketing yourself furiously so that you can get another job — any job to pay the bills, especially if you live in Forest Hills, Queens (NYC) where I lived at the time, and where my rent for my 2 Bedroom apartment was over $2800 a month! 

I’m a “glass is half full kind of gal”, so to tell you the truth, I was actually kind of excited and hopeful about the prospect of finding something new.  As I have a Masters from Columbia University which I’d earned only 7 years previous to that time period in my life, I figured that it would take me no more than 3-6 months to find another position.  

Sister… How wrong I was! 

To this date… I have NEVER been able to get another permanent full-time job with benefits!  I physically have documented that since 2006, I have sent out well over 2500 resumes to employers for positions for which I am absolutely qualified.  I was interviewed several times for high level positions in NYC and even called back for additional follow-up interviews at several companies – a few up to 5 times!  But every single time I was informed a few weeks later, that they’d hired someone else for the job via a letter like this…

Dear Felicia,
Thank you so much for sending us your resume and cover letter.  We enjoyed meeting you, but we regret to inform you that we are moving forward with another qualified candidate… yada, yada, yada, yada, ya ….  

You get the drift!

The ultimate humiliation came when I was told “off the record” by a well meaning head hunter, that my problem was that those hiring  want to hire people younger than me, because I reminded them of … wait for it… their “Mom” as I was now 46!  

Can you just image being told that!?!

It took me a long while, but I finally woke up and realized a truth.

The only way to guarantee income into my household, was to be in business for myself!

So after much prayer, reflection, research and re-education (I call it PrR&R), I bootstrapped my own business and I vowed to make three essential changes to my life. 

Change #1:  Develop A Positive Mental Attitude Reading Regimen

I began by putting myself on a reading regimen to “brainwash” or rather “brain flush” the negative that had permeated and manifested itself into my life up until that point.  I started reading classic positive mental attitude books like Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peal, and Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People.  I devoured books by successful female writers such as, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive, Fearless and Free, by Wendy Sachs, Answers Unleashed by Olympia LePoint, Womenomics, by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, and Goddess on the Go by Leora Edut.  Ultimately, I set reading goals for myself so that I can finish at least one book every 2 weeks. 

Change #2:  Hang With and Listen to Successful Business Owners 

Additionally, as I build my business I know that the more I listen to successful people who’ve built fantastic businesses of their own, the better I become at my business.  I listen to podcasts like  The Big Shift, The Marie Forleo Podcast, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, and She Did It Her Way because I need the inspiration to keep on keeping on!  Additionally, I schedule into my calendar, local, regional and national meetings and conferences to go to, where I can meet  successful people and associate with them.  This way I can model their success habits into my own business. 

Change #3:  Focus on the Spiritual 

Lastly I started focusing more on the spiritual needs of my life by becoming more grateful and thankful.  I remember when this epiphany occurred.  I was sitting in my basement apartment in Santa Monica.  I had just moved there, I had no money in the bank, and I had no job.  Real inspirational success story there, right?!  What’s crazy is that I woke up and I heard God, speak to my heart and I realized that though I had nothing in the bank, I had a roof over my head, food in my belly (not one day did I go hungry) and clothes on my back – and stylish clothing at that!  Though I had no job lined up, I had hope and good prospects that some how or some way soon, He would provide for me.  I started saying to friends – tongue in cheek, “God is letting me ‘suffer’ in style while living in Santa Monica” – which is one of the most expensive areas of the country to call home! 

As I continue to build my business – now in my hometown of Dallas, Texas (that’s a whole other story for another time!) – I have come to realize that I am not alone as a middle aged female business owner.  According to New York Times writer Kerry Hannon’s 10/3/2017 Article, which is absolutely worth a read, check it out HERE, “in 2016, there were an estimated 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States — a 45 percent increase since 2007, according to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express.”  The article goes on to state,…

“Female entrepreneurs, particularly those over age 50, are igniting intergenerational entrepreneurship partnerships and collaborations among women of all ages,” said Elizabeth Isele, founder and chief executive of the Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship. “Intergenerational partnerships between women dispel age-related stereotypes and build strong bonds across age, race and ethnicity in our increasingly diverse workplaces,” Ms. Isele said.”

If you fit into this demographic – being a a women who wants to start your own business and you’re in your 2nd or even 3rd chapter of life being in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s or even 70’s – take a minute to ask yourself and answer these 3 questions: 

  • When you were a young girl, lying in your backyard looking up at the stars in the sky, did you imaging living the way you are living now? 
  • Is your Income Circle as large as your Dream Circle? 
  • Can you honestly state that you are happy and financially secure with where you are in life at this stage of life? 

I believe that all Women Over 40, 50, 60 or even 70 need a second chance because 9 times out of 10, most of us did not “get it right” in our 20s and 30s and we aren’t necessarily where we dreamed we’d be at this age.

If all your answers are YES to the questions above…  then “Hooray for you!!!!  You got it right in your 20s and 30s!!”  But I bet, 90% of you have answered, NO.  

So please for your sake and for your sanity, consider starting your own business and push hard for your own dreams!  I know I did it, and though it is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, it is also the BEST thing I’d ever done because…

My business became my second chance in my second chapter of life and it can also be that for you!

Felicia Lopes trains and empowers Women Over 40 who want to start businesses and become entrepreneurs nationwide through her robust online learning management system which features 3 Curriculum, 8 Core Courses, and over 70 individual classes (or modules).  Join her this coming 12/20/2018 for her webinar — Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset where she will walk you through the minefields and  mental hurdles most Adults Over 40 face when launching a new business.  Register here to attend this information packed webinar.

The “New” World of BusyGal!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted!  I am currently relaunching the world of BusyGal by premiering my new company video below.  Look out for some awesome posts and news happening over the next several months!  Hope you enjoy the video!

Warmly,
Felicia

Being There

Work Harder Than Anyone Else!

Choose to be You!

Lorrain Hansberry

Why am I Surprised? A perspective on the OU incident from an African-American member of the Dallas Jesuit-Ursuline Community

I saw this article today, written by my old high school friend, Ginger McKnight-Chavers, in the Huffington Post and got her permission to repost it here on my blog.

As an African American woman, having been raised in Dallas during the 70s and 80’s  and also having attended Ursuline Academy of Dallas, I too was dismayed at the insensitivity that was displayed several days ago on the part of a former grad of Jesuit, the brother school to Ursuline.  She has written a beautiful article here that needs to be memorialized.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the issue.  Enjoy!

Warmly,

Felicia M. Lopes
The Original BusyGal


 

Written by Ginger McKnight-ChaversGinger Chavers photo 1
Attorney, Writer, Native Texan

Huffington Post: 03/17/2015 12:28 pm EDT – Original Article

“Why are you surprised?” is the response I get when I bring up the OU incident in my suburban New York City household or among my Northeastern friends. Followed by questions like “what’s wrong with YOUR state?” They’re talking about Texas, of course. I share a home state and hometown with the two University of Oklahoma students and members of SAE fraternity who were expelled recently for leading an offensive, racist chant session among their brethren that was caught on video.

I’m not entirely surprised. My family’s experience as multigenerational, African-American natives of the Lone Star State has made us accustomed to this sort of thing, unfortunately. But I still experienced some surprise, and a great deal of sadness, because I graduated from the sister school of Dallas’ Jesuit High School, the alma mater of expelled student Parker Rice. I was a Jesuit Rangerette. I took physics at Jesuit from the wonderful Fr. Jack Deeves, because physics wasn’t offered at my alma mater, Ursuline Academy.

Parker Rice’s behavior is antithetical to my experience as a member of the Jesuit/Ursuline community. I entered kindergarten in the late 1960s, when the world was blowing up with racial tension, and graduated in the early 1980s. The OU incident is completely at odds with my experience and the very history of Dallas Jesuit. Ironically, Dallas Jesuit was the first school in Dallas to open its doors to Black students, years before the Dallas public schools. They did so in the 1950s when segregation of public facilities was the law of the land, and the battle for civil rights was raging across the South. At a time in which my parents were not allowed to attend the University of Texas, though their tax dollars supported it.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Dallas civil rights leaders along with leaders in the Jewish and Catholic communities — in particular Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus — strategized on how to advance the civil rights agenda. According to Dallas Jesuit’s records, it was suggested that integration might be tested on a small scale at a private high school in Dallas. So in 1955 Jesuit became the first white Dallas school its doors to two Negro students, Arthur Allen and Charles Edmond.

By the 1970s black and Hispanic students were common at Jesuit and Ursuline. Though few in number, we were everywhere — in student government, in clubs and sports, and on the honor roll. Black Ursuline girls high-kicked on Jesuit’s drill team and rooted for the Jesuit Rangers on the cheerleading squad. The valedictorian of the class ahead of mine at Ursuline was a vibrant Black student who went on to graduate from Princeton and receive a phd from Stanford. And in the 70s our Jesuit brethren — in a year in which there were no black students in their senior class — elected an African-American head cheerleader and homecoming queen from Ursuline. And she was not a “token” pick, to use a loaded term.

The only time I overheard the “n” word being used at school was in the cafeteria by a rather brusque classmate from Spain. A guy told her she looked like a n*#! because she was so tan. The white students she was talking to chastised her for using a word she didn’t need to say to tell her story. Another time I recall a closeted Mormon classmate argue that interracial relationships were “wrong.” But that is the extent of my negative memories of the community, other than normal teenage angst. Luckily “senior slave day” was recognized as a pretty bad idea by the time I made it to high school.

This is not to say that Dallas or the Jesuit/Ursuline communities and families were perfect or particularly progressive. But we debated politics and social issues respectfully. Then we would hang out and talk about television, movies, music, boys — normal teen stuff. To be honest, despite our collegiality, we often segregated ourselves in terms of parties and dating — which would not be a unique experience to Dallas Jesuit/Ursuline. But my memories, from the late 60s to the early 80s, are still of a warm, welcoming community, from the administration to the faculty to the students and their families. My Jesuit/Ursuline family remains close to this day.

So as I watched Parker Rice jump up and down, pumping his fist and spitting invectives; chanting that people like me should be strung up before being included in the likes of his social order, I couldn’t help but shake my head and wonder “what happened?” to this “Jebbie.” Why in 2015 is our community regressing when we seemed to be on the right track when I left in the early 80s?

I belong to a sorority — the oldest African-American sorority (which by the way does not discriminate in membership). So I have experienced firsthand the positive aspects of Greek life. But when 85 percent of corporate executives and many political leaders come out of the Greek tradition (including former Goldman Sachs CEO/Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson), it begs the question of to what extent the OU behavior seeps into our corporate cultures and conference rooms, not to mention the U.S. Congress. We all have heard folks make “boys will be boys, especially when they are liquored up” excuses for abhorrent behavior. Some of these “boys” never grow up — anyone who has attended a trade conference in Vegas knows what I’m talking about. And the blind eye extends to hiring and promotion — I listened to a former Fortune 100 CEO brag at a cocktail party about granting job offers to every member of an all white male group from his alma mater that had received negative press for less than honorable behavior. They were good kids, of course, who were just enjoying themselves and shouldn’t be penalized for youthful indiscretions. Talk about affirmative action! Where does that leave the rest of us?

Luckily, the OU President’s response was swift and unequivocal. SAE’s national president and Dallas Jesuit have strongly condemned the behavior as well. Both boys’ parents (and the boys themselves) have issued seemingly sincere apologies that don’t make excuses for the behavior. But, as Charles Blow analyzed in the New York Times, there are deep layers that must be excavated, distances far beyond open doors that must be traveled for any earnest progress to be achieved. Hopefully the apologies are the beginning, and not the end of efforts to address the ugly underbelly of our elites. Hopefully the once-inclusive tradition of the Jesuit/Ursuline community was not a superficial trend that was left behind in the 80s, along with our big hair and turned-up collars.

Ginger McKnight-Chavers is a Harvard-trained attorney and writer, who lives in the New York City area with her husband and daughter. She recently completed her first novel, In the Heart of Texas. A native Texan, Ginger facilitates a conversation between Texans and the rest of the word on her blog, The TexPatch.  You can connect with her on Twitter: @gingermckchav