How To Discover Your Not So Hidden Talents

"What am I going to do?" For many budding entrepreneurs, that is one of the main questions they ask themselves before stepping out on their own. For some people the answer is a no brainer.  But for others, myself included, it takes time to figure it out.  Sometimes a whole lot of time. Time you really don't have to lose. So what do you? Try your hand at any and everything under the sun? Well yes and no but I'll make sense of that in a minute.

Truth be told, what to do has probably been staring you right in the face the entire time.  You just failed to pick up on the clues. Or you may even deny that talents exist within yourself just as I once did. I mean me, a creative!? Yeah ok. That's only for the cool kids.  Seriously.  There is just something about a creative that oozes confidence, this vibe, almost mystical persona. That was my mindset.  It was that wayward thinking that held me back from truly pursuing anything.  If only I had come to my senses sooner.  Maybe I would be a millionaire by now. Ha!  

But for reals, we all possess skills be it learned or inherent that not only shape who we are but are bound to be useful to someone else.  You just have to recognize what makes you great. Then accept it and use it to the fullest. Period.

So what skills do you possess?  What kind of black girl magic can you sprinkle among the masses?  Let’s find out. Now it might be a little unconventional but just roll with it.  You just may be surprised.  Don’t forget to peep the worksheets too.

 

 

Current Job 

Now whether you like your job….or not, there still can be aspects of it that you might actually like.  Or do I dare say it.  Even enjoy!?  Now lets be real for a moment. I know some of you hate everything about your job.  Or do you?  Is it the job itself or the people?  Don’t let your dislike for a coworker or even your boss cloud how you feel about the position itself. I'll admit I’ve had a number of jobs over the years due to moving because of my husband's career and positions with no real growth potential within small companies. Through all of that, I can honestly say that more times than not, it wasn’t my job that I couldn’t stand but my boss.  Thankfully that is not my current situation. Instead I am not only allowed but encouraged to use my knack for organization and strategy.  Do you get me now?

What parts of your current job do you like or even enjoy?  I really want you to think carefully and be honest. Seriously. Just stay with me. Now if you have had more than one job in your adult life (like me), go back and try to remember the parts you liked most about each one of them too.  Are you beginning to see a pattern? For me, whether I worked retail or office, organization and efficiency came naturally.  If a company didn’t have it, I either created it for myself or for the organization as a whole.  And I still do that now.

Hobbies

I've always had a thing for jewelry. I remember raiding my mom’s jewelry box on many occasion for just the right piece to compliment my outfit for the day or night. She would always have a few handmade pieces that would catch my eye more than others. When I got older my appreciation for these types of pieces never left and so I wanted to try my hand at making my own. I took classes and turned out not to be half bad. I worked at it off and on over the years, making pieces for friends with rave reviews. I turned it into a business but didn't pursue it wholeheartedly out of fear. But I'm not done with jewelry making completely. I have ideas for it in the future. What about you? What do you enjoy doing for yourself that could actually be something more? And if you're not doing anything, why not? You must not only invest in yourself but do so on a regular basis. By nurturing one area it allows for growth in others. 

If you don't know where to start, check Groupon, Living Social and your local community centers or churches. They often have classes on a variety subjects for fairly cheap entry costs. When we lived in Houston, there was a “school” that offered everything from basic computer skills, gardening, sewing and host of other interests taught by local people who did those for a living or personally.  The classes were offered around town in a few locations so it was accessible for most. I’ve taken a jewelry making class at a Jewish Community center taught by local artisan and a sewing class through it and thoroughly enjoyed both.


Household Chores

I already know what you’re probably thinking but give me a moment.  As I’ve mentioned earlier, organization and creating processes is something I naturally do.  So much so that I often didn’t really realize I was doing it at home.  I just did it.  For example, when I load the dishwasher, it is done the same way every time with the thought being how can I load the most dishes but still allow them all to come out spotless? That thought crosses my mind every single day. Even how I arrange our refrigerator and pantry is thoughtfully planned and executed. My “obsession” with organization didn’t just start the last few years. A closet organized by style and color during my college years and a bookcase arranged by height as a child, were just glimpses to how I work and live now. Do you get where I’m going with this now?  Pretty much all my life, I’ve been reinforcing my ability to organize and create aesthetically appealing visuals.  Everybody has a knack for something that carries over into their  daily life in some form.  What is that for you? Think about it.

Beliefs

Your beliefs believe it not can easily be the biggest indicator of where your talents lie. How so? Well I'm glad you asked. When you believe in something so passionately, you are often pushed to action. You will speak, write or do something to express how you feel or come up with a solution. A few years ago as an expectant first time mom, my beliefs about wanting to welcome my son in the most natural way possible led me to attempt a natural childbirth.  While that didn't end exactly the way I wanted it didn’t do anything to hinder my belief and desire to welcome my son into the world in the most natural way possible that led me to wanting only the most natural products in my home but also for his delicate skin.  When store bought products didn’t cut, I decided to create my own.  That eventually led to me now working on creating my own natural skin care line for those seeking the same for themselves and their families.

This is only the beginning. I want you to have dreams, desires and goals. But even more so, I don't want you to be afraid to achieve them. Instead, map out your future. You may not have the complete picture. But with time it will start take shape.  Don't stress it. Just start.





3 Ways To Begin Self Care And Achieve Self Preservation

 

What is self care? I know you've heard this term over and over again from the blogs, Twitter, Periscope or some other avenue. Well what is it? It's just that. Self care. Taking the time to take care of one’s self.  It may sound simplistic but trust me it is equivalent to the golden unicorn.  You’ve heard about it but you’ve never really seen it.  As a woman,but especially as a wife and mom, we often neglect that aspect of ourselves on a pretty regular basis. We run ourselves ragged trying to be everything to everybody while we try pursue something greater for ourselves until we’re running on empty. Sound familiar?  So you know you have to stop that right?  Seriously.  Like today, stop.  Not tomorrow. Today. Got it? Ok. Now that we have that out the way. Here’s what you need to do: enact operation self preservation starting now. I know, I know, you’re asking what is self preservation because it sounds like you’re trying to transform yourself into a live mummy.  Kind of sort of but not really.  Let me explain.

 

 

Self preservation is not losing the core of who you are (being emotionally, mentally, physically and even spiritually in check) while in the pursuit of goals and navigating everyday life. Go ahead reread that. Let it sink in. It sounds  a bit self serving to some and to some degree it is. You are purposely pulling yourself away from those around you so that you can recharge and replenish the energy that you give daily so you can give it once more.  We are constant givers.  That is life.  But we should have and deserve to take when needed as well.  Ok so how you enact this? Good question. By simply following these three principles.

 

Say “No.” No is a complete sentence. It requires no explanation on your behalf unless you choose to do so. No can be said to anyone including yourself when you get the “bright” idea to add one more thing to an already overflowing plate. By saying no, you began to relieve yourself of added pressure and stress which can be very detrimental to your health (tension headaches, weight loss/weight gain, sleeplessness, etc.)  I know this will be hard because you may feel as if you’ve neglecting or letting down some of the people in your life.  Let me rest assure you, number one, you’re not.  Second, when they see the extra pep in your step and how calm and rested you are because of the little extra time for yourself that recent no will be a thing of the past.  Your kids don’t need to do every activity under the sun. You don’t need to volunteer for every extra project at work.  You will survive. They will survive.  You will be emotionally, physically and mentally better for it.

 

Asking for help. Look as much as we try to play the role of superwoman, we can not do it all at all times. Yes sometimes we are forced to given situations but that should be the exception and not the norm.  Before NOT when our plates run over, ask for help. Don't get in your feelings (being prideful or even embarrassed) that you need help. Even some of the most powerful people ask for help . Why? Because they would not have been able to get to where they are if they had tried to do everything themselves. They would have burned out and probably given up. Hell some of them probably did until they began to utter those four magical words, “Will you help me?” There are trusted people in your life who would be more than happy to help you but they simply don't know you need it or feel it's not wanted. You give off the air that you got it. But in reality you don't and you're struggling. Hard. Wouldn't you like a little more sleep? More time to do something for yourself? Simply a little time to do Ab-so-lute-ly NOThING!? Girl you better ask somebody!

 

Accepting help when it's offered. Ok now this one is actually harder for me than asking. How do? I'm too dang particular on how an action should be carried out. When my husband has offered to take over a task I would normally do, I have to turn a “blind eye” because he doesn't do it exactly how I do it and it grinds my gears. But guess what? It's done and now I have time for more important things like creating amazing content and products for my online natural skincare boutique. Oh, you didn't know about that?  Most people didn't either. Here's why.

 

Understand this ladies, you don’t have to do it all.Man look, while you could probably spend your life tending to the needs of others all day every day, the reality is at some point, you will break.  The body can only do so much before it will FORCE you to take several seats and a bed if needed.  I know sometimes you won’t always stay the course because that’s just life.  But I would hope that you would take time more often than not to care for yourself, respect your boundaries and rest easy knowing that being good to you is also being good to those around you.





Well Hello 2016. Nice To Meet You.

There's something about a new year that brings about feelings of nostalgia and hope all at the same time. As fireworks ring off in the distance and the chatter of my husband and son behind me, I can't help but to feel good. Like tears in my eyes good. This all in spite of a really good year that I didn't have. Confused? Let me explain.

This year has been well, meh.

For starters, for those who haven't been with me since the beginning and blog changes and focuses, earlier this year I stated I was going to get my life together and lose the 20+ pounds I'd gained since I began and then later quit my "career" as a personal trainer. Guess what? I'm still rocking that same 20 minus about 3 of its cousins. Try as I might (I really didn't) the pounds didn't go away because I didn't haul my ass to the gym as required for this sort of thing. And it wasn't like I didn't have the time. After I started my new job that had normal hours I found myself curled up on my favorite corner of the couch hacking away at the laptop “crafting” (more like planning but never really following through most times) great content. This occurred roughly about three maybe four but we're just going to say mostly four days out of the work week. So my goal of looking svelte before of my besties’s beachside nuptials didn't exactly come to fruition. Why? Because of one simple fact. I just didn't feel like it. I'm just being honest. It was just nice to come home for a change and not have to worry about plans, quotas, sales goals, etc.  My time was my time once again and I just wanted to wallow it.  Get real comfortable with it and never move again.  But we all know that feeling can only last for so long before reality sets in again, the pounds are still there and you're still no where closer to achieving ANYTHING.

Then there's the natural skincare line I was supposed to launch months ago but had finally decided to get my act right and launch it at Thanksgiving. Ha! Yeah that didn't happen either. Go ahead and read more about that here.

Man, look, this year has been a year of the should've, would've could've of and down right I ain't doing shit! And guess what? Not only am I paying for it, I know have no one else to blame but myself. And that's just real.

Accomplishing a goal is more than mere talk friends. It's real work and action every single damn day. If you want that ish, you better do more than just dream and write about it.

This year I have so many goals I've set before me and none it will magically appear if I don't start moving scared. Yes I am afraid. Very afraid. Afraid of the judgement.  Afraid of the non supportives. But more than anything I'm afraid of the success. More specifically afraid of achieving success too late in life. I'm thirty freaking five and I ain't done real shit with my life. Yeah I'm married and have a wild child but what accomplishments can I personally mark under my belt? I'm honestly not trying to spend this next year or the rest of my life for that matter working some basic ass job only dreaming about the life I want. I want to freaking live it!!

While 2016 has officially made its entrance since the beginning of this post, I'm actually going to get all cliche and say this is my year.  It's all in or sit down, shut up and take the pittance handed to me every two weeks for showing up for helping someone else make money.

It's sink or swim time and I'm not about drowning.

 

Why I "Launched" An Online Store With No Promotion

As 2015 draws to a close, I find that I am all over the place.  I was on my get right for few days because I found so much inspiration from Mattieologie’s #slayyourday webinar.  I put my usual planning and in prepping in high gear by actually writing it out and getting ish done consistently.  I even accomplished the biggest item on my to do list which was “launch” my new online store for natural skin care. Wait. What online boutique? Skincare! What!? Yeah I just tried to run that past you just to see if you were paying attention. Yes, I soft launched and I mean softer than lil bow wow’s rap career. Any who, I pretty much told only my girlfriends and even I didn’t tell all of them.  Well at least not at once. I kind of sort of forgot some of them.  We don’t talk or see each other often soooooo…..

So yeah back to this store.  I put a store out into this world and said not a word, tweet, IG pic or Pin because well, I simply wanted it done.  Yeah that sounds like a real good way to launch a business. The sales are SURE to pour in said no one. But it was still a big deal to me for a number of reasons.  One being that it was supposed to have occurred on Black Friday but due to some very last minute planning, labels not being the right size and the fact no promotion whatsoever had been done, it didn’t happen.  So then the next date was set for my 35th birthday which happened exactly a week later.  Yeah no.  That day came and went although I had ironed out most of the major issues.  And then a couple of days later while on my birthday trip to Denver the deadline passed again.  So finally on the 15th, which seemed to be a fitting date, I let the girls know I was in business.  While nobody else knew about it was still accomplishment that it was done.  Especially since I built it on my own using Squarespace.  Then of course there’s the fact that “Hey I started my own business ya’ll!”  I mean many people think about it daily but never do anything about it for so many reasons.  When the years have passed them by, they are only going to be filled with regret for not taking a chance on themselves.  That's just something I can't live with any longer. Which leads me to my next and most important reason.  I was finally, truly saying yes to myself.  I was giving myself permission to either a) fail miserably or b) give myself the opportunity to get better at my business.

I of course I’m went with option B because truth be told, that’s something I’ve never done before.  I’ve started a number of businesses over the years but rarely did they see past 6 months.  Shoot, they were lucky if they made it that far.  Instead most times, I would crumble under the pressure I would put on myself to perform due to someone commenting that whatever I was doing could and should be a viable business.  So for me to get it out there meant a lot. But yet it still doesn't feel 100% right. Sure I'm meticulous almost to a fault making sure measurements are exact. Consistency of the product is well, you know consistent. And that each product is crafted with a specific goal in mind. even with all that, I still question my path. Even though I study products AND their packaging on every trip to whole foods and know that my products can sit right among them, I still question. of course the big question is why?

Because I've been down this road before and nothing has stuck yet as I've previously mentioned. Plus, I don't know if it's my own personal hang up or something that doesn't exist until you're deep in it, but at times I feel that because I don’t have this confidence that I am on the path destined for me that it must be the wrong one.  But I believe in some aspect that I am at least headed in the right direction if that makes any sense.  I know that I am a creative.  Always have been.  But I am also super organized and believe there is a system or process for nearly everything.  Both these parts of me work hand in hand very well in this new venture. Combine that with my love of math and that skincare outside of its benefits simply boils down to formulas makes it challenging yet somewhat fun when a formula works.

Honestly, I’m just going to roll with it because another year has come and gone and I am nearly at the same spot as last year.  But things are a little different.  While my clarity is lacking, I am not letting the skills I possess go unused.  I’m throwing myself wholeheartedly into this business because my end goal has never changed. My desire to not let my fears control my future runs deep.  My son, the little person who is the inspiration for it all, is watching. There is no time to waste.

 

6 Quick Ways To Workout On The Job + A Freebie

Not today.  Maybe not even tomorrow.  Once again, your health and your goals are put on the back burner once more.  Days go by and quickly turn into weeks. Before you know it, you’ve gained 5 more pounds, you’re frustrated because your pants don’t fit and you’re wondering how you got there.

Ladies, for the most part, we are the backbones to our families.  We are caregivers and breadwinners.  We play the role of receptionist scheduling everyone’s appointments, financier making sure bills are paid and everyone is fed, nurse for when there are boo boos and whatever else is needed of you at the time.  You’re constantly giving without any consideration while your health AND your figure decline.  To be frank, that ish is for the birds.

AntiSocial Party of One?

So what do you do?  You make time, even if its only 5 or 10 minutes to start on a consistent basis.  Eventually you’ll get your life and make yourself a priority.  I mean if you don’t take care of you, who will take care of them?  I know from experience that when I’m tired, haven’t been to the gym or even taken just a few minutes to sit and just be, I’m easily frustrated and have very little desire to speak and interact with those around me.  Let me be real for a moment may I? When I’m in that head space, I’m just mean. My answers are short and my patience nonexistent. I’m even my least favorite person during those moments. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Your mental, physical, emotional and even your spiritual health all play a factor in how you manage your day to day.  Even if one of those is out of sync, ohhhhh you know it!  Unfortunately, most of the time, so do the people around you too.

For me, my physical health helps pave the way for me to nurture my life in other areas. Why?  When everything else is hectic or just plain crazy and I’m struggling, its the one thing I can do without much thought.  I can go to the gym, do a planned routine or simply squat it out for 45 minutes.  It helps to calm and center me. But there are times where I don’t always have the time.  Well that’s not totally true.  It’s more like I don’t make the time.  As I said, even if all you have is 5 minutes, you most certainly can strike a few yoga poses, do a 30 second plank and do some deep breathing before moving on to the next task that steals your attention.

But now I have no excuse and neither do you.  I've compiled a list of 6 workouts that you can do AT WORK in 30 minutes or less. Plus one to do with the kids because I care.  Seriously, I do.

So read them.  Do them. Then repeat.

Time To Put In That Werk!!

Climb to new heights. If you work in a tall building, climb the stairs to the top. If your building is pretty tall make it a challenge to add 10 flights per week until you do make it to the top.  The end result?  Thighs that don’t jiggle and a booty that actually stands at attention instead of sadly waving.  Just remember to place the entire foot firmly on each step, while keeping the core (your middle region) tight.   Oh and lets not forget the increased cardio capacity because heavy breathing should only be reserved for the bedroom, the kitchen or even the garage.  Or even….wait! Never mind.  Next!

Parking lot pimpin'. Ok not really but I like the sound of it. Any who, park in the furthest spot possible when arriving to work unless you work night shift. Then of course park under the light closest to the building or rather in the building. Too much? Ok, I kid.  But seriously, it may not seem like much, but if the last time you worked out was when the first Bush was in office, this would be a nice reintroduction to physical activity.  No need to go hard out the gate. You’re striving for progress, got it?

Break it down. Soooo….you know the office work break you may get in your email from time to time or every week in the weekly newsletter like at my job, how about you actually do them.  I’ll admit I haven’t really done ours.  Ok, I’ve done none of them. But, BUT I will do pushups or squats at any given time. Especially on the days I’ve gotten little sleep the night before and I need a little energy burst and the blood flowing.

Now walk it out. If you have to run an office errand, walk whenever possible and then take the scenic route back.  I don’t have to leave my office much except to by stamps from the CVS directly in front of my office or to the bank which is a bit further in the same parking lot.  So…when I head to the bank I take a somewhat direct path but on the way back, I follow a path created by the round about in the center of the lot.  Whenever possible I’ll add in a mailbox run which so happens to be located at the back of our building nearly at the opposite end just to get in a few more steps.

Be a gym boss. If you are fortunate to have a company gym, use it!!  You are the closest to a gym without it being in your home.  I’ve visited the one at my husband’s job and I must say its not too shabby for a employer sponsored facility.  If you’re not too familiar with some of the machines, get a buddy. You’ll likely to remain consistent when you have friend.  Worst case scenario, read the instructions on the equipment.  They’re pretty simple to follow for the most part.  And to make it more appealing some companies will reward you with gifts, reduced costs for health benefits or even cash for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  So hop to it!!

Ommmmm…….If pumping iron isn’t your thing. Cool.  Give yoga a try.  It can be just as challenging as lifting weights in a totally different way but suitable for all levels.  I incorporate it into every workout as my way to cool down and stretch but also make time for a full class on Sundays. Have you seen some of the arm balances and flexibility posted by some yogis!?  Laura Sykora, Fit Queen Irene, Beach Yoga Girl and Super Human Yogi (this dude is on a level all on his own) are some of my favs!  Now what they do can seem daunting and impossible to you and myself but that’s simply the beauty of it.  They’ve all worked to get to a place within their practice.  Yoga is all about YOUR practice. YOUR journey.  Going at YOUR pace.  Just. Like. Life.  I’ll just sit that right here and let you think on that.  While you’re thinking, check out Do Yoga With Me for instructional videos that you can take and do anywhere.

Be a kid again.  Who says the playground is just for the little people?  I remember recess being my favorite part of the day as a kid with the swing being my activity of choice.  But now even as an adult taking my son to the playground, I don’t let an opportunity pass to play too.  Besides being good for your body, it allows you to bond with your child in a way that involves nothing more than your time and some playground equipment. But truth be told, you really don't need that either. Kids just want you to be there. And as I mentioned before, you have to take care of you so you can be there for them. But for those times you are on a playground give this park workout a try WITH the kiddos.

 

 

 

Ladies, your health shouldn't be an option.  It should be a priority everyday of your life.  Your time may be limited but don't count it out.  Move a little.  Breathe a little. Relax a little. Repeat.