I am so excited and honored to have Le’Sheala Dawson aka Shea Butta I might start calling her Shea Butta my nickname for her. Let’s welcome Shea here and thank her for stopping by the blog to grace us with her presence. Some of you may know Shea and those who don’t Shea is the Manager of Team Programs and Player Services for the Philadelphia 76ers where she helps players at their appearances, and provide visiting families with a VIP experience in the Philadelphia area. Shea is also an NBA Summer League alumni working as part of the Game Operations crew in charge of getting the crowd excited and give you the Summer League experience you can only dream of. The girl knows her stuff especially in the business of sports and when it comes to serving others.
Ranisha: What is your word for 2018? What does it mean to you?
Shea: My word is FOCUS: Focus on all goals and tasks in 2018, personal and professional. I want to take a holistic approach to focusing on all aspects of my life. Not just the tangible ones but the intangible ones as well. I want to have a balanced mind and heart when I’m tackling these goals of mine. Focus!
Ranisha: How do you balance motherhood, taking care of your home, work, and side endeavors?
Shea: Maintaining a balance is challenging, but work and my personal interests, they are one in the same. I clean my house on the weekends if I feel like it and lean on my boyfriend to pick up the slack.
I wouldn’t consider myself a mother just yet, but I do have a beautiful, vivacious and loving little girl in my life. She is 5yrs old and I’ve only been in her life a little while. She’s my boyfriend’s daughter and I love her very much. I like to think of myself as a bonus guardian. I don’t like to use the word Mom or motherhood because it’s simply not true. I didn’t raise her or birth her and I’m not married. I think motherhood comes when you’re able to make decisions that affect the child’s life, and their day-to-day. Right now, I am serving more as a role model and a mentor. I want nothing more than to be a positive influence on her life. I want to teach and show her how to follow her dreams with no limits. I just want her to have the healthiest kind of love.
Ranisha: What is dinner time like in your home? What are some of your favorite foods you’re making right at home?
Shea: Meals are very complicated in our house right now and we haven’t quite figured out our routine, but I’m usually in charge of making dinner and my boyfriend is in charge of breakfast. We love this system because we are both contributing, and the burden doesn’t fall on one person alone. For dinner, our favorite meal is to have tacos with 3 meat options (chicken, ground turkey, and shrimp) accompanied by all the delicious toppings. For breakfast, our favorite is French toast (with powder sugar), turkey bacon and scrambled eggs.
Ranisha: Tell us about your blog, what’s your target and the problems you solve.
Shea: My blog is merely a work in progress and I am extremely green in this area. They say the hardest part is to just get started, so I named my blog Lovers Live Here. The reason I named it Lovers Live Here is because that’s how I live my life. Love lives in my heart daily, and even in the darkest of time’s I’m able to remain. I live to love and I understand it. Everything we do as human beings revolves around love. There isn’t an object or a soul on this planet that hasn’t been conceived out of love or lack thereof. One way or another we all live for it or we die trying to find it. We look for it in others and in ourselves.
I desperately wanted to have a platform that helps to shed light on all aspects of love. Especially in the sports world where I dwell. There are plenty of athletes that get it right, and I think ball players get a bad rap because there aren’t enough stories about the good guys. I wanted to show and prove that with Lovers Live Here. I also wanted to create a place on the net that people could go, to read more about it. A resource for inspiration and encouragement, a place to turn to when you can’t find the answers. Love is so powerful that it can cause great damage if misused or taught improperly, and at the same time, it’s the most powerful healer on the planet. I believe in promoting healthy love, but also educating others on what destructive love looks like in order to have healthy relationships.
Ranisha: What motivated and inspired you to start your blog?
Shea: I’ve always been a lover, but the current events and the state of our nation were speaking to me. So many bad things were happening all over the world that I felt compelled. After the election of our 45thpresident, it became clear to me what I had to do. That was to spread more LOVE! I was encouraged to begin writing about love and what it’s supposed to look like.
Ranisha: I read your blog post “Shaming Good Men” when you said “Never depend on a man who treats you like an option, rich, or poor! Then when you said “Do you hear me? I was like why she yelling at me I hear you. That post blessed me. What emotion were you feeling when you wrote this post?
Shea: The title “Shaming Good Men” came from listening to the testimony of my now current boyfriend and his struggles with love. Being a man that strives to live the right way and do the right things, isn’t always attractive to women looking for a security blanket. A man who’s not perfect but wants to be better every day is gold. A man who isn’t wealthy but he’s rich in ideas and passion is worth investing in. With a great heart and an impeccable personality, for me, that’s enough! Who am I to expect more from him than I have for myself. With a man like that by my side, we can build our own legacy. He already had most of the important elements needed for a healthy relationship, so I watered him with love and now I’m watching him grow.
When I wrote the part about “Never depend on a man who treats you like an option, rich or poor” was because I realized that so many of us women are so quick to succumb to a man. If he has a shiny exterior or a fat wallet, we trick ourselves into believing that he’s the “one.” We fool ourselves into thinking that the slightest gesture is an act of love when really most men do just enough to stay in our lives as an option. A man that really wants you will be relentless in his pursuit, he will go above and beyond your expectations. He will want you regardless of flaws, reputation or status. You will never have to ask questions like, “what are we?” “why didn’t you text back?” he will use words like “we” and “us”. I know this now because I have finally found true love.
Ranisha: What are your biggest challenges when it comes to your brand? Do you feel that pride get in the way and won’t let you ask for help?
Shea: My biggest challenge is knowledge. Just this past year I’ve started to learn more about my personal brand. The more I learn the better I get with time. I have no pride issues because I believe that you can’t achieve anything alone. I keep a diverse group of people around me that specialize in a number of things. If someone in my circle has expertise in a particular area or field that makes me more confident because I have resources to pull from. We can all learn from everyone we encounter.
Ranisha: Lovers Live Here on Instagram is dope and I see your voice, you’re powerful. I noticed Kayla Thomas the wife of Pro Athlete Isaiah Thomas stay showing your blog & IG love and always sliding in the comments. You make it look so easy. What’s the trick behind that? Because I’m like hello, does Ayesha Curry not see me.
Shea: Thank you so much! Although when it comes to my friends (pro athletes) it’s just preexisting relationships lol there is no magic there, just true friendship.
Ranisha: From what it seems you are pretty connected to a lot of Pro Athletes If you can call anyone of those connections who would it be and what would you be asking for?
Shea: I’m an athlete first and foremost, I have put in the work to be respected as such. I played basketball in college at Robert Morris University and it’s made me the person I am today. When you’re a ball player it’s like an automatic family. You grind together and you understand each other’s struggle. All of the Pro athletes that I am close with, I’ve had friendships with before they turned professional. I’ve helped to raise a Pro in my younger brother Malcolm Thomas and together we have done and seen amazing places, with amazing people. My purpose on this earth is to watch over these young men and be that positive influence in this basketball business. I don’t consider them pros, I consider them my bros. I would call any one of them just as I would a family member. I wouldn’t ask for anything because my place in their lives is to give.
Ranisha: What are your Top 3 girls trips? Where would you travel without a care in the world? Hopefully, I’ll be invited I want to hang out with the “Basketball Wives”
Shea: Scotland, England, and Spain. I’ve always been infatuated with queens, castles and the Monarchy. I’d like to adventure there and see the beautiful landscaping. I’d like to have tea and take breathtaking photos with my friends.
Ranisha: You had a lot of drive when you were pushed past your fear to take a shot at a life-changing opportunity, what did you keep in mind when working towards your dream opportunity?
Shea: I was patient with the process and I knew that I wouldn’t get an opportunity without experience. I chased experience around every corner. I worked for free and volunteered to try and get my foot in the door. I kept in mind that I was young and that if I worked hard enough people would see how bad I wanted it. I traveled all over the United States working basketball Camps and interning. I did this all on my own dime. Investing in myself and my work was the best thing I had ever done. Throughout that process, I’ve made many meaningful connections. I am still friends with everyone, and at some point, they’ve each played pivotal roles in my growth and success.
Ranisha: Before you go can you please leave us with some nuggets? How should we stay motivated during tough times and when we feel like we want to give up or we haven’t had a big break since rejection?
Shea: I would say, that if you don’t see yourself doing it for free, then tell yourself “it’s not for me.” Because that’s where your passion comes from! To do the thing that you would do no matter what, that’s where true success lies. Often times it’s extremely difficult to find out what that “thing” is, but my advice is to try not to limit yourself. Be open to many new experiences because you never know what can set your heart on fire.
Ranisha: Do you have any projects we should look out for or anything you are currently working on in 2018?
Shea: Just to continue building my personal brand and growing my Lovers Live Here platform. I would love to build more meaningful relationships in 2018. Listen to others advice and guidance on building a platform. I want to have a network of people that are wiser than me, but most importantly who believe in me.
Ranisha: Thank you for stopping by, I definitely would like to have you on here again! I’m so thankful for your inspiration and encouragement. I have decided to attend Las Vegas Summer League this year because of your encouragement. Should I come for the full 11 days?
Shea: Thank you for having me Ranisha! I’ve enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane and sharing my thoughts. I always thought it to be therapeutic to reflect on your past and speak life into your present.
As for LV Summer League, I would play it by ear. Las Vegas is a really difficult place to maintain a healthy lifestyle for 11 days. You have to wake up early for events and stay out late and mingle. You have to drink water because it’s extremely dry and hot. My advice is to get in and get out, to connect with who you need to and head home. I advise you to make a wish list of people and clients that you want to meet. Use that list as a compass to hit your goals. Keep in mind that you want to build organic relationships, not to force them or come off desperate. Just be yourself, and if you get their contact info, follow up and stay connected. Those relationships will turn into fruitful ones if it’s meant to. Have a blessed year and remember Love is worth living for!