Stop Waiting!

Two women began their journey to become successful fashion entrepreneurs at the same time, attending the same university, networking in the same circles, and having access to the same resources. After graduation one sent resumes to various clothing and fashion corporations seeking employment. She mailed, e-mailed, and faxed then waited for a response. The other also sent resumes seeking employment but did not solely wait for a response. While waiting she also designed, cut, and sewed together original fashions that she then took to local boutique in an effort to get them on the rack and noticed by consumers. What she did not sell to boutiques she promoted on social media and sold online and out the trunk of her car. She went to the local office supply store and purchased paper for letterhead and business cards. She did what she could with what she had to get where she wanted to go while waiting for her resume to be noticed. Soon her finances looked up. Her fashions were seen all over town and abroad. Her name became known among the up-and-coming in the fashion world and she received more responses then she ever imagined. Eventually, the first woman was able to get an entry level job with a clothing company and progress but never saw the success of her former college classmate.

GET THIS!  Standing still gets you nowhere.  Really, what are you waiting for? We have been programmed to believe we have to do what we can to get a job. We work very hard to fulfill someone else’s dream. The person who owns the company you work for has fulfilled his or her dream of being a successful entrepreneur, why can’t you. The person who does your hair is living their dream of owning a salon, why can’t you. The person who educates your children is succeeding in walking in their purpose of educating and empowering others, why don’t you.

Everyday you should be doing something to get you closer to achieving your purpose and fulfilling your dreams. That doesn’t always look like business ownership for everyone; no doubt.  It is about living your dream and doing the one thing you were created to do. That is your purpose. While you are waiting for something to happen, looking for a sign, or waiting for the right time – do something. Order some business cards with the title you want, not the one you have. Register your business name so the possibilities become real to you. Trust and invest in yourself. Walk in your success before you can see it. If you do not do something and move forward, you are guaranteed one thing – NOT to reach your goal.

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Achieve Your Goals When He Says No

Every time you make your famous sweet potato pies, everyone tells you how much you could make if you sold them. Or whenever there is an event everyone wants you to organize it. You’ve always had a thing for creating and once thought to be an Event Planner. Or perhaps you want to try your hand at singing professionally but have always believed you missed your opportunity. Yet, one day you wake and make the decision you are going to give it a try. You really want to do that thing you are so good at, everyone is always raving about, and that you secretly dream about doing for a living. The only problem is he does not support you.

Making the decision to become an entrepreneur is not easy and not to be taken lightly. It can be a difficult road filled with highs and lows that are of your own design as you learn and navigate the world of self-sufficiency. But it is also, arguably, the most rewarding way to live life. You are providing for your family while doing the thing that feeds your soul every single day. You get to do what you love and people pay you for it. The feeling of freedom and empowerment is unmatched. Getting beyond our own insecurities and doubts is the first step and one of the most challenging. So many never make the decision, even part time. So, with you out the way, how do you get past a husband or significant other that says, “You can’t do it” or “You don’t have the time,” or my favorite, “Me and the kids need you.”

Hey sis….can I tell you something? You need You too. I am not suggesting you drop everything and run off to live your dreams. That would be irresponsible. What I am saying is no one, NO ONE, should be able to inject toxins into your goals, dreams, or aspirations; especially the ones who profess to love you. Just as you should support him, he should support you. Support is a component of a healthy, adult relationship and vital to your business success. There is also communication, organization, and patience.

To achieve your dreams and preserve your relationship there must be open, honest, and consistent communication not just between you and your man, but within the entire family. The kids must have a concept of goals, working hard, and creating a legacy for them to put in perspective why you are not as accessible as you once were. It should never be a breakdown conversation where they are in tears because you missed their soccer game again and you just say you had to work. Teamwork will make the dream work. Together you all work to ensure everyone reaches their optimal level of personal, academic, and professional success. Talking about those goals, expectations, and, of course, schedules will help that especially with a reluctant significant other.

Children have their own schedules which become our schedules. That is one reason why our desires were placed on the back burner in the first place. But there are 24-hours in a day. I know, sometimes it does not feel like enough time but it is really a matter of organizing the time you have to be productive. When they are babies we are taught to sleep when they sleep…but maybe not every time. You can use one or two of those nap times to work on your business plan or respond to potential clients or plan for the future. They will not take 2-hour naps forever. They grow and become less dependent on you and less demanding of your time. You should not wait until then to get started. Go for it. If your children are already older, you may need to sacrifice some of your grown folks social time. Which ever case, scheduling wisely, multi-tasking, and using technology to assist with both will benefit you. If you can show through organization it is all possible with minimal disruption to the household, you are less likely to have issues with a resistant partner.

On the long journey of entrepreneurship, you must pack your patience. You will need to be patient with everyone and everything; including yourself. It will not happen overnight. You already have a lot going on so just trust your planning, your passion, and the process of becoming a success. More importantly, be patient with your man and your children. This is new to them. Maybe you have talked about it forever but talking and doing are two different things. They may need time to adjust. Continue to reassure them and ask for their understanding and support. By no means should you let their pouting or demands justify you quitting. You may need to slow the pace for a bit but do not stop. You are an example and while they may be complaining now, they are watching and learning. Show them how to be successful and live their dreams.

As for him, remain present in your relationship. He still has certain needs that must be met. Ask him what his concerns are and what he would need from you to make sure they are addressed. The key is in the conversation that says you have needs also. Be clear in what those are and don’t waver. Ask, “Can you do that for me, baby?” He just needs an understanding. Give him that, sometimes repeatedly, with love and patience. When he knows what is expected and can see how it will work, your significant other can become the loudest voice in your cheering section.

 

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How to Make a Business Vision Board

I have several girl friends that are into this vision board thing. All around their offices and homes are poster boards and foam core displays of magazine ads, collages and pictures of random people doing what they, one day, want to do. I have tried to understand their enthusiasm over spending countless hours searching for the right picture to express their desires, and mounting them like a fine piece of art. I would much rather spend my time actually working toward making those things a reality that visualizing myself living them through random pictures and quotes. Maybe I could see it for material things like a picture of the house I want or the car I want or maybe my dream vacation. But for my business, I have business plans, marketing strategies, benchmarks and tasks lists to compile. How would a business vision board work?

Just in case this is an unfamiliar area for you too, let me explain. Vision boards are a visual representation of your goals and desires. They can be made many different ways, but their main purpose is to help you see, and therefore feel, how you want to feel when your goals are ultimately achieved. Many believe the Law of Attraction plays a role in this process. By simply putting your desires out there and believing in them, you use the power of your mind to translate whatever is in your thoughts and materialize them into reality.

I believe words give life and belief without action produces nothing, so I speak it and then put in the work. Believe me, I put in a lot of hard work so if there is a way to work smarter and not harder, I am open to it. So I have come up with a Business Vision Board that I am hoping you will try with me. It is actually more a visual representation of a business plan. Every business, no mater how large or small, should have a detailed vision of where they are going and how they are getting there. Since writing such an intricate document is one of the most challenging tasks for a business owner and typically goes undone, this Business Vision Board will serve to both help you visualize your goals like a typical vision board, and provide your focused benchmarks and tasks you can work into your business plan.

  • Break your board into sections labeled “1-Year,” “3-Years”, & “5-Years.” If there is space for a fourth section label it “SUCCESS.” That will encompass whatever your ultimate definition of success would look like to you for your business.
  • Within each year should be pictures of your product, service, you (or someone doing what you want) in action according to where it/you want to be at that time. If you want to be a speaker, for example,  in year 1 you may have a picture of you speaking to a small audience. In year 3 your picture may be of you at a specific conference you desire. For year 5, you may see yourself with a television show. Your Success section may have you speaking internationally with a 3-book deal and a successful consulting business.
  • In addition to the pictures, place post-its or small memo pad papers in each section. There you will write specific tasks (phone calls, get logo, build website, attend training, finish school, etc.) you will need to accomplish within that timeframe. If you can, give specific benchmarks. You may write, “Finish 1st draft of book by May.” You can translate this timeline to your business plan, especially if funding will be needed.
  • Utilize the inspiration of others. I love reading the autobiographies of successful people. Why reinvent the wheel? I can gleam from their experiences and use their words for inspiration. You can too. Put your favorite, most inspiring quotes on post-its and include them on your board.
  • Stay focused and dream big. The purpose of the timeline is to keep you progressing and focused on building a strong foundation for the long term success of your business so stay focused. However, do not develop tunnel-vision until you can only define your success by what others have accomplished. Dream BIG. If there is no picture available for where you ultimately see your business, draw one. We are going to have this vision board, the visualizing our success, and the law of attraction work in combination with our vision and our faith to WIN.
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You’re A Wife And Mom…Now What?

You can be a good mother and follow your dreams.  You totally can if you so desire.  Many women desire to become a wife and mother.  We dream of the day we tell our husbands that they are expecting their first child.  When the baby is born we are so enamored with their little hands and feet and with their smell.  We are instantly consumed with their every move after while they are walking and no longer need to be held.  Two years have passed and you have another baby to take care of now you feel that your family is complete.  The family of four looks and sounds so cool and again you are consumed with your husband and the children that you have been blessed with.  You look at yourself in the mirror and you no longer recognize yourself because you’ve put so much energy into them.   You begin to ask yourself what is my purpose besides being a wife and mother.   Then mommy guilt pops up because you feel that your children need you. So anything you desire to do is put on the back burner so that you can continue to watch after your family.

That’s when you begin to see yourself as in individual so you begin to encourage yourself about following your dreams. Maybe it’s returning to school or starting a business.  From experience being a wife and a full-time  mom of two I wrote my first book called “the Happy Wife” in 2014.  Just recently I received my Associate’s Degree from the University of Phoenix seeing my children’s eyes light up when they saw my diploma as well as telling me how proud of me they are. That made my day!  Your children will love you even more when they see that their mom is happy and isn’t letting anything stop you from accomplishing your goals.  I cannot wait to put on my cap and gown and walk across that stage in July. Being a wife and mother is great but there’s no greater feeling than knowing that I accomplished something that pushed me to be a better me.  We are our children’s first role model.  Remember that!

 

 

 

 

 
Photo credit: Cia de Foto / Foter / CC BY

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5 Lessons From Those Who Learned Too Late

One of the saddest and most tragic things I can think of is when someone goes to the grave still full of all of the dreams, visions, and potential that they could have used to change the world and touch countless lives. My prayer has always been when it’s my time to go, I want to have used everything that was put in me to make a difference in the lives of others. I was inspired to share some lessons I’ve learned from those I’ve come into contact with who have wasted their lives.

1) You have to release your past or it will hold you prisoner.
I know of this guy that spends every waking moment punishing himself for a past that was not even his own. Having been told that he was the product of a rape, he decided to make that his life story. He tried to garner sympathy from anyone within earshot. People began getting weary of hearing that story, and even more, of him using it as an excuse for his behavior. He punished himself for someone else’s past. In essence, he held himself captive in a prison that he built himself, and also had the power to release himself from.
We have all done things in life that we have had to learn from the hard way. Some things we can look back and say we regret. However, we have to move forward. Learn what you can from the experience and let it go. Move on to the next or you allow yourself to become emotionally stunted.

2) Even when the world tells you no, don’t give up.
One story I can think of is one I share with my kids to remind them that no matter how many people say no, it’s up to you to keep pressing. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. I was told I would never be able to do it. Instead of pressing harder, I let it discourage me, and didn’t go after it.
Years later, I realized how big of a mistake it was to accept someone else’s discouragement, and someone else’s limited view of what I could achieve. When I stopped allowing people to put limits on me, I became who and what I wanted to be.

3) Speak when you are angry, and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.
Choose your words carefully – they can’t be taken back once you give them away. Harsh words are like bullets, and can and will leave deep wounds. Saying “sorry” is not enough to heal the wounds you leave. In that same breath, don’t make major decisions when angry or hurt. Often those decisions will be rash, and you will regret them.

4) After heartbreak, or hurt, allow yourself the time to heal. Often we put ourselves in a box, and we expect much more from ourselves than we would from others. We don’t allow ourselves the time and the space to properly heal and grieve. In order to give ourselves the best chance at healing and grieving properly, and from struggling down the road, we need to allow ourselves the opportunity to process in a healthy way.

5) Surround yourself with people who see the best in you, and want the best for you.
There will be people in your life that try to attach to you because they see the promise in you. Those are takers. They will pull from you until there’s nothing else for you to give. Align yourselves with people who sow into your life as much as you sow into their lives.

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