What Does the Entrepreneur In You Dream Of?

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Is It Luck?

This weekend is big in our household. My son’s band, Vivifyd, has their first show away from home, in L.A. How lucky for them! I am so happy they get to have this experience. It’s bittersweet for me, because I too, will have a new experience. I will be working my first book festival at the 4th Annual Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, which means I won’t be able to go to L.A. But I will get to learn more about being a writer.

Is it luck that they were invited to an L.A. show? Is it luck that I get the chance to meet new authors by working a festival?  Denzel Washington said this about luck, “I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and your’e prepared for it.” And I agree with this statement. And as a new author, I am throwing myself into whatever opportunities come my way, in order to learn this new business. It’s all very exciting and new. The band doesn’t have any sort of expectation; the same as, I have no idea what happens in a book festival, but we will soak it all up like sponges like any entrepreneur will do starting a new business. You never know who you might meet. But you have to start somewhere. Why not at the beginning?

 Entrepreneurs Run In My Family

I have a history of entrepreneurs in my family. General contractors, artists,  landscapers, auditors, and venture capitalists. You could say the pattern has continued. My husband is a general contractor owning his own business, my daughter is a realtor, my son teaches guitar lessons and is in a band, I’ve been an independent contractor as a hairstylist for the last 27 years, and have owned my own salon for the last 2 years.  Now I am taking on the business of being an author. I guess you could say none of us like having someone else being in charge of our lives; whether it’s our scheduling or our income. We don’t mind taking orders from clients or fans, but there’s something about having a boss that doesn’t settle with us so much.

When your an entrepreneur, you tend to take advantage of every opportunity when it arises. Plus, I know how to use the law of attraction, and have taught my kids how to use it, by bringing opportunities to us. It can be difficult when there’s more than one of you in a household attracting things. Sometimes they come up all at once. As a mother and new author, the choices can be somewhat difficult. Go with my nineteen year old son? Or start building my foundation? But it will be okay. My husband will be with him, along with his band mates and one other father.  We all must do what needs to be done. The more involved we get in our new careers, the busier and more conflicting schedules will arise. That’s not a bad thing.

New Ventures Can Be Emotional Roller Coasters

Any new adventure can be an emotional roller coaster, especially when it involves the limelight. Having your work revealed to the public adds a new kind of vibe. I’ve already had a neighbor congratulate me on my first book, Manifesting Me. I’ve seen this woman for about as long as I’ve lived in my house and had never really exchanged any words. It was very nice, but felt weird at first. Then another neighbor introduced herself to me, who I’ve seen around forever and has never looked at me before. Don’t get me wrong, it was pleasant and I like talking with people. I guess it felt strange, because I’m the same me. I am no different from before I wrote a book.

There are the ups and the downs. The highs can be exuberant, especially when it’s about something you’ve created personally and you get praise. Everyone will have an opinion and it isn’t always going to be positive.  People will love you, hate you, or not give a care. Entrepreneurs know not to take this personally. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized other people’s thoughts of me, cannot define me. Some days it’s a struggle. But you can’t please everyone all of the time. For the most part, you’ll be surrounded with more people that will appreciate what you have to offer.

Put Your Insecurities In Check

Put your insecurities in check. It’s okay to compare yourself to others in your field, only when it’s to gage yourself in setting goals. I have compared myself with other authors. Sometimes it makes me insecure, but mostly it motivates me to be like them, which leads me to do research. How did these authors get to where they are? I should meet these people and learn from them. Once you’re in research mode, you aren’t focusing on the negative stuff. In fact, it creates more excitement about the new industry. I’ve found most secure and successful people love helping newbies.  I’ve had the pleasure receiving advice from some of my She Write Press Sisters  I love the honest answers I have received. No sugar coating things. It’s very rare to have instantaneously overnight success. It take time, money, and action.

My friend who’s been in a band for awhile, said to my son, “For every step forward, there are two steps back. That’s just the way that it is. So don’t get discouraged. Keep on going. Persistence pays off.” He couldn’t be more right. He’s learned how to make money doing what he loves to do, in a career that most people think is impossible to succeed. And it doesn’t just go for bands. I feel the same was as an author. It goes for any kind of entrepreneur. Look at your feelings of insecurity and challenge yourself to understand why. Then get motivated to move forward.

What’s a Real Job?

It’s funny to me how others view an occupation when it involves art; music, writing, painting, etc. People think of it more like a hobby. It’s almost as if the art must sell immediately; or you’re just another “starving artist” and need to get a “real” job. What’s a real job? I believe the only reason they are “starving” is due to their lack of knowledge in marketing. This is where the entrepreneurial mind comes in.

As an entrepreneur, I think of the ways to make my “hobby” into a business. I never wanted to be in a career where I was miserable, just to make extra money. Why not make money in what you love doing? Doesn’t that sound like more fun? Marketing and branding oneself takes time and knowledge. If you don’t know how to do those things, then research is required.

Where to Start

Where do you start? Meeting people and picking their brains is probably the best and most useful way to learn. As a hairstylist, I have many wealthy clients. I was never envious, but rather curious. I was not afraid to ask them how they acquired such wealth. In turn, it got my brain into high gear, to make the same things happen for me. One client told me real estate was always the number one investment. Another told me the benefits of owning a home. Another, taught me investments in the market. I’ve managed to take their suggestions and put them to use. Never be afraid to ask questions. Most people love to share their stories of success.

The internet is great for learning how to do just about anything which includes, how to brand and market you business. Just Google it. YouTube has every kind of video. I learned how to submit a provisional patent, a trademark, and copyrights from YouTube. If I can figure out how to do it, you can too. Sure, it takes time. Don’t you want to be your own boss and love what your are doing?

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Never forget that or let anyone tell you differently. I started my twenties as a single mother to being an independent contractor at 22 yrs old, owning a home by 25 yrs old, owning multiple investment properties by early 30’s, and having a retirement plan, in the market.

Now I’m attacking the author world. Non of this would’ve happened, if I didn’t have an entrepreneurial mind or have curiosity. I have been “lucky” (or was it luck?) to have been exposed to entrepreneurs, willing to share their stories of success. And  be able to learn  and apply their knowledge to my own life and pass it down to my children. What does the entrepreneur in you, dream of?

 

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

 

 

 

There Are Benefits In Setbacks

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Setbacks

I was interviewed yesterday on Stories that Empower podcast with Sean, where one of the questions was, What was a setback in your life, that had a profound effect? I’ve had many setbacks in life. But this question really made me think. Everyone has had some sort of a setback, if they’ve lived at all.

I thought my life was heading in one direction until one incident change my whole trajectory. I know that I am not unique in this situation.

Setbacks introduce contrast into your life to help you determine what it is you really want or what’s best for you. So in the long run, there are benefits to setbacks.

What setbacks are tripping you up? Are you open to the idea that setbacks come with benefits? I’m 49 yrs. old and have had many experiences of let down, like many of you. But I’ve seen the upside as well. I’ve seen how those let downs were like dodging a bullet. I’m sure many of you have dodged bullets.

The Benefits of Setbacks

How exactly are setbacks beneficial, you ask? Haven’t you had a relationship that ended not on your terms? The feeling of rejections hurts like no other. It feels like you did something wrong or worse, there’s something wrong with you.

As time goes on and your heart is on the mend, you meet someone new.  This person is actually better than the one that broke your heart. Had you’d stayed with that other person, you would have never had an opportunity to meet this new fabulous person. Benefit #1 of a setback.

It’s the same with a job. You so desperately wanted this position and worked so hard for it. You were the best candidate for the job. You even had a strong inclination you were getting this job. Only to have the carpet pulled right out from under your feet. You fall flat on you your face. Completely blindsided. Later an opportunity comes up, even better than what you could’ve imagined. Benefit #2 resulting from a setback.

Sometimes the benefits take a long time to show themselves, but they always do. Sometimes it’s years and sometimes a few days. Look at it more like a detour; you’ll get there eventually. Life is working for you.

Life Is Working For You

Things don’t always happen in the time or the exact details we have dreamed of, but it doesn’t mean to give up. If anything it should motivate you. Life is working for you at all time, even when it feels like it’s not. If you truly reflect on your life, you will notice how things have always worked towards your benefit. So go out there and don’t let those setbacks detour you. Keep plugging along. Whether it’s a book your writing, a record your producing, getting on that team, moving into your dream home, or meeting that perfect mate, don’t let the setbacks discourage you. You will get there.

If you so choose, even the unexpected setbacks can bring new and positive possibilities. If you so choose, you can find value and fulfillment in every circumstance.” – Ralph Marston

http://storiesthatempower.com

How Does the Three Toxic C’s Affect Your Success?

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The Three Toxic C’s

In my memoir Manifesting Me, I bring up the three toxic C’s which is Comparing, Competing, and Complaining. We all do this naturally at some time in our lives. But it really will be the demise of our success, if this excessive  pattern doesn’t leave our thoughts. Although, some competition can be healthy when it’s with ourselves. And some comparison can be useful when used to gauge ourselves in an unfamiliar area. Other than that, they can spiral us into a dark place. Complaining is never good and no one wants to hear it.

Comparing is all Ego

 I went to an event where I was surrounded by many authors. Immediately I felt awkward and out of place. I felt less than everyone else. I had never been to a women’s literature event in my entire life. I perceived that everyone had been to an event like this one and I felt like I was in over my head.

My ego and insecurity had completely taken over my brain. I wondered How many people there were authors?  How well were their books received. Would my book be well received? Would I be well received?

Luckily, I relaxed and eased up as I listened to Leila Slimani, a world-wide famous author, being interviewed by Brooke Warner of She Writes Press; both whom I admire for their contribution to the literature world. Leila reminded all of us not to let critics and reviews dictate how we craft our art.

Competing

Logically I know I shouldn’t be comparing myself because it’s like competing, but occasionally it happens. It’s like when you go to the gym, but you haven’t been for some time.  You get on the treadmill next to someone who’s running fast and you happen to glance at their setting, and think you should be doing what they’re doing. You set your speed and start to die.

Why on God’s green Earth would you think you’d be able to keep up? You don’t know how long they’ve been going to the gym. It’s okay to push yourself and compete against yourself, but do not compete or compare yourself to some stranger or someone that is so far out of your league. It’s negative and no good will come of it. It sends you on a downward spiral which usually involves complaining.

Complaining, Plainly Sucks

When you’ve compared yourself to someone, and/or secretly/blatantly competed with someone, it usually involves complaining in some sort of way. Again, we’ve all done it.  And it’s normal to a degree. However, no one wants to hear it. It spirals your thoughts into negative oblivion. How productive is that? Complaining not only sucks, it drains the life out of you and everyone listening.

Not to mention when someone is complaining about someone else, they probably are going to, or have, complained about you.  Like I said before, some complaining is normal. But if you are so focused on what’s going wrong in your life, you’ll more than likely get more of something to complain about.

How Does 3 Toxic C’s Affect  Success?

The three toxic C’s can hinder your success. Success is all about learning from others that are more experienced, exploring whatever your new venture is, and having fun along the way. Focus on the prize not the obstacles. You will have bumps along the way, but that is part of the process.

Don’t compare or compete with someone in your venture. Assuming you know what they’ve done or not done, is only a distraction. It’s an excuse for you not to move forward. Just because someone’s book does better, or someone gets an offer first, doesn’t mean it won’t happen for you. Your time will come as long as you continue to do the work and not worry about everyone else.

You will have anxiety at times. That is normal in your journey to success. Walt Disney was turned down a ridiculous amount of times before Disney Land came to fruition.  What if he had stopped going for his dream after the third rejection?  Led Zeppelin had food thrown at them at one of their first concerts. What if they quit after that experience? Failure is a part of success.

Compassion

Lastly, the non-toxic C, is compassion. Don’t be hard on yourself if you get a intimidated or anxious when your trying something new. It’s pretty normal. You don’t yell at a baby as they fall, when they’re learning how to walk for the first time.

You have to start somewhere. Everybody starts at a different point. Don’t get jealous over other’s successes. Have compassion on where you are in your process. Rejoice in the little steps in your progress. Little steps add up to big strides. I’ve said it before, it’s more about the journey, than the destination.

My Hope For Everyone Reading This

My hope  for everyone reading this is, to not let fear stand in the way of a dream that needs to come into fruition; that your comparison with others, doesn’t hinder your growth or desire to move forward. I hope you only have a friendly competition with yourself in order to drive you closer to your goals. No one else’s goals are your business. There’s no need to complain about the circumstances you are in today. The contrast you feel, guides you towards that which you crave. What dream are you ready to fulfill?

When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. – Lao Tzu

 

 

Why Does a Difference of Opinion Have to Turn into a Fight?

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Is Fighting a Good Topic to Discuss?

I struggled whether I should write a blog about the way people fight over differences of opinions. I decided to go forward in hopes of being part of the solution, no matter how small my contributions is. Something has to change. What we are doing as a society, isn’t working that well. Social media has its positive uses; but it has a very dark side, we all know too well. People used to be polite to one another in public. Now, people will ignore you or say something rude. Remember when we were taught, If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?

What happened to manners? What about a simple smile? Fighting doesn’t usually occur when someone is being polite or smiling. In fact, studies show that if you smile at someone, it boost their self-esteem; it’s contagious. If you need to express your opinion of a topic, can you do it nicely?

Does A Debate Have to Turn into a Fight?

Everyday on social media there is some sort of controversy.  And it turns into a fight. Our country is having some serious issues on our communication skills. Many don’t know how to have a healthy debate, resulting in loss of relationships and friendships. How can we be part of the solution and not part of the problem?

For starters, when someone has a difference of opinion, it’s probably not a good thing to start of your conversation with a criticizing word or sentence. You will immediately lose the person’s attention and send them into defensive mode. Nothing will come out of this conversation, except a fight or argument.

Fighting or arguing on social media gives you the false sense of power to say anything that you might not have the guts to say in person. Not too mention, there’s no sense of tone in writing and things are misinterpreted, leading to a fight.  So, how do we not get provoked into fighting?

Let’s Avoid the Fight

Some topics like racism, politics, religion, abortion, and gun control are topics that have strong convictions and are all over social media.  More than likely you aren’t going to change a person’s mind on these subjects. But if there needs to be conversations regarding these topics, try not to make it personal. Listening to what someone has to say whether you agree or not, is one way to avoid a fight.

Ask questions as to why they feel the way they do without judgment. Hopefully, they will reciprocate the listening. When people feel like they’ve been heard, their walls come down and they are more likely to hear your point of view.

No one will respond positively with an opening judgmental statement such as “What’s wrong with you?” or “How can you possibly think that way?” which implies that they think you are some kind of idiot. Everyone likes to be treated with respect. You won’t want to fight, when someone is treating you with respect.

Someone Else’s Shoes

I have strong opinions on all of the topic above, like most of you do. Being a hairstylist for many years, I am paid for opinions on hair care and styles, not much else. My clientele is very diverse; as far as being religious, conservative, liberal, and somewhere in between. In order to keep my clientele, I have to try to put myself in someone else’s shoes.

By putting myself in their shoes, it helps me not to take things personally. It helps me understand the client; or at least, see why they feel the way that they do. By doing that it opens the door for me to share my thoughts and they try to understand me.  We don’t always see eye to eye, but we learn something new almost every time and there’s never a fight.

We All Can Get Along

Let’s not reduce to the fighting that is shown on reality TV. We all know or should know, reality TV isn’t reality; it’s entertainment. I’m not sure why people screaming or pulling hair, is declared entertaining. But for some reason, it sells. It personally gives me some anxiety – much like the fighting on social media.

If I get triggered over a comment on social media, I try to look inside and see why. If my emotions are too much to handle, I block those conversations. I try not to engage in contentious topics. I admit I read comments, but I have learned in the past, participating doesn’t always end with the people you thought you were talking with.

With love, empathy, and compassion, we all can get along. It takes some work and lots of real communication which includes listening to one another. We are at at volatile time where emotions and feelings are running extremely high. Let’s look for solutions instead of pointing out what we deem as the problem. Who really likes to fight?

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. – Dalai Lama