I caught the tail end of the Monique Show on BET a few months ago just before the credits rolled. In her loud, boisterous voice she yelled, “And if you don’t remember nothing else from this show today, remember this: “STAY READY ‘CAUSE IF YOU STAY READY YOU WON’T HAVE TO GET READY!”

I pondered her words for a while and asked God to reveal its meaning for my life. When I woke up the next day, I recalled the Bible story of the five virgin bridesmaids who were waiting for the groom to arrive. In short, these women all had lamps that needed to be lit with oil when the groom arrived. Four of the virgins had their lamps lit with oil when he arrived, but one of them did not. She let her light burn out and did not have enough oil to keep her lamp lit. When she heard the groom coming, she scrambled to the others and asked them for oil. They refused her. In the end, this virgin was not taken with the groom. Sadly, she missed out because she had no oil in her lamp. In Sunday school, teachers usually explain that the moral of this story is to always be ready because you never know when Christ is coming back. But I have found that in the natural sense, this story explains the importance of always being ready whenever opportunities present themselves.

With this in mind, I recall being presented with an opportunity to audition for a co-host spot on an online radio show similar to The View. This radio show was geared towards mothers. I envision myself on radio and television so I jumped at this opportunity. I threw my name in the ring. Well everybody else and their momma did, too. The response was so overwhelming that the criteria became very strict and only those with an online media presence could apply. Before I launched www.shalenadiva.com in April 0f 2010, I only had an online presence on Facebook and I knew I should’ve had more of an online presence when the opportunity presented itself. I was so mad that I couldn’t supply the young lady with a website address because I didn’t have one at the time. If you don’t already know, I desire to be a successful motivational speaker and author. In today’s market, you have to have a ready platform and online presence if you want to successfully market any products or attract publishers and sponsors. There are so many free media outlets designed to help in this area such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Blog Talk Radio, and YouTube that there really is no reason not to have some online presence established. I found myself scrambling to establish an online presence. I threw together a blog called VidaGrande because I had to start somewhere. I used the blog to share my inspirational thoughts and asked my friends to leave comments to show that I had a reach and that people were interested in what I had to say and write. In many ways, I was like that virgin without the extra oil in my lamp. I didn’t follow Monique’s advice in terms of staying ready so that I didn’t have to get ready when opportunity knocked.

From that experience, I decided to constantly build my online presence and my brand which lead to me create www.shalenadiva.com. This was an act of faith because at the time nobody was knocking down my door with a book deal, a spot on a nationally syndicated radio show, or paying me a handsome fee to speak at an event. By faith I declared that this will be my reality in the future, so I started preparing myself for when opportunities present themselves. I’m doing things to place myseld where opportunity can see me.

I did hustle and worked with what I had with that first blog and presented it to the young lady for consideration instead of giving up because I didn’t have a website. And I did get the audition; however, things did not work out with the show. But that experience was just enough to whet my appetite and encourage me to launch www.shalenadiva.com, my online blog talk radio show, and my own YouTube channel that will launch soon.

As I mentioned before I am constantly building my brand and online presence. There’s more work to be done, but at least I have an online presence that is growing and giving me credibility. My best advice is for you to take the time to establish yourself and your brand by creating a website or blog, launching an online radio show, a YouTube channel, write article for other websites, and network on social media outlets.

If you’re a writer make sure you have writing samples on deck for people to read and see your work. If you’re a singer sign up for talent shows, make a demo. If you’re a web designer, have your online portfolio on deck for people to see your work. Don’t be idle. Build your brand. Build your online presence. Build. Build. Build.
Don’t wait for someone to tell you are great or relevant. Make yourself relevant and show the world who you are.

What are your goals and dreams? How are you working to achieve them? Are you ready?

Stay ready and be blessed!

P.S.- Remember everything has beauty including YOU. It just takes a true D.I.V.A to see it.

© 2010, Shalena D.I.V.A. – Personal Branding| Content Marketing| Product Creation. All rights reserved.


  1. Mikenda Early on August 31, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    At Shalena all I can say is I thank God for you and just like you I am trying to be ready. God is moving in our lives and his ready he is just waitng on us. Keep letting God lead you. Be Blessed and stay strong. You are my inspiration.

    Love you

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on September 3, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      Mikenda, thank you for being available to God to use your wonderful gift of writing. Your work connects with people on such a deep level. You are a wonderful addition to ShalenaD.I.V.A.!

      Be blessed!

  2. Friendly Christian on September 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Wow, I just typed some very profound words to you for you Shalena in response to you “be ready” article. The captcha code came back error. So I must get the message to you another way. You “Be ready” extends beyond opportunities and spiritual insights it is a “NOW” thing for you as you are a leader in this end time generation.
    Friendly Christian

  3. KissyDenise on March 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Very good article Shalen. I needed to be reminded to stay ready. I really did. I love your website.

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on March 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks, Kissy! You’re the bomb! Yes, we have to stay ready because you never know when opportunities that we have been preparing for will appear. I’m glad you like my website! Be blessed!

  4. Love it and had to share!

  5. Abel Lewis via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I’m trying my best. Don’t rush me.

  6. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Strength for the Journey; Forging Faith and Fitness Thank you!

  7. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    @Abel–what are you talking about?

  8. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    The crazy thing is that opportunities don’t always come packaged the way we think they should. Often times, they come as a blessing in disguise— a real good disguise like a lay off, heartache, or any other blessing in disguise. Every day, you should move one step closer to our dreams. Even if you fail at something, fall forward. Isn’t that what sprinters do atthe end of a race? They thrustthemselves over the line by falling forward.

  9. Abel Lewis via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I mean i’m trying to get into action mode. But I can’t at the moment.

  10. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    @Abel, why not? What are you trying to accomplish?

  11. Abel Lewis via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I’m trying to get a job. But I can’t right now.

  12. Abel Lewis via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    And I want to get married someday.

  13. E-Vonn Harrison via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    i ask my self the same question …..daily

  14. Celeste Belford via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    rehabilitating from old wounds…then a more positive outlook…

  15. Amy Gregg via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    When u make one step God makes two as long u believe in God and trust in him it will happen we just have to have Faith and Faith is not believing dat God can Faith is knowing dat God will

  16. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    @Brian, yes, things eventually fall into as we work our plans. Things that didn’t make sense a few months ago, make total sense now because they fit into the plan. It’s also about consistency, too. You have to keep doing the same things day in and day out to build. It can get lonely and boring at times which is discouraging, but you can’t come off that wall. When you see the finished product, folks will be like when did you find the time to do that or they’ll call you lucky. But it isn’t about luck at all. It’s about putting in the work and staying on that wall like Nehemiah!

  17. Abel Lewis via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm


  18. Darcentas Hinnant via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    My Job recently went under, since then I still get up at 6, go on line everyday for a few hours filling out job apps. in the meantime, enjoying this break until God gives me the job he wants me to have, spending more time with God and His word! Don’t know what He has in store for me, but I’m excited!!!! When God closes one door, HE OPEN’s another!!! Yeah God!!!

  19. Brian Chis via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    @Shalena that is so true, thank u. @Darcentas Amen to that.

  20. Sonya Wilson via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    thats the only way to be”READY”!!!!!!

  21. Felicia Imdoinme Konan via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I am ready Lord for all that u have for me…..I saw a post yesterday asking if u were ready for the summer……I was like Noooo….need tah loose 10 more lb’s…. And a woman responded “if u stay ready u won’t have to get ready”……Oh it’s on!!….won’t catch me slippin again, and that is for every area of my life…………:)

  22. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Felicia you don’t need to lose anything. You look great!

  23. Raushanah N. Butler via Facebook on June 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I am consciously preparing for the rain…I smell it coming!!!

Leave a Reply Cancel Reply