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An Avant Garde Productivity & Lifestyle Design Blog, written for unconventional coaches, corporate climbers & service-based entrepreneurs.

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the latest:

The Emotional Rollercoaster of Entrepreneurship & How I Cope

“Throw the whole business away, sis!”

Yup, that’s what I yell at Taneeka, my Design Strategist & Personal Assistant, at least once a month, two to three weeks in. Like, I just can’t!

If you’re an entrepreneur reading this, can you relate? It’s like clockwork! The feeling just takes over my mind, body, and spirit and at that moment I’m ready to abandon all ambitions, pack my bags, and relocate to the sunny beaches of Malta with my husband and sip pina coladas, while working on my tan.

For a moment, I am READY and no one can tell me otherwise.

Of course, Taneeka or my husband sees it coming, as they  do every month, and at this point they hit me with the monotone response like,

“Oh, so it’s that time of the month again, huh?”

Annoyed! I’m yelling at them how serious I am.  I’d go so far as to offer Teeke a severance package. LMAO. I’m so friggin dramatic. She just calls in Ilya and he brings a mimosa or glass wine and says,

“Baby, you can’t quit. You have women who need your help.”

In his innocent, loving, supportive voice, and gradually I come back to reality remembering my big WHY and my purpose for this season of life.

The feeling lingers a little while longer until I read something, hear something, or think of something, that sparks my creative senses and then I’m back at it, grinding away. Whew! The drama of it all!

A rollercoaster is literally the best way to describe it. Had I known it would be this damn hard, I probably would have never embarked on the journey in the first place, but here I am.

 

THE UPS:

When things are good, they’re really, really good!

☻ Ideas are flowing, content is endless, gems are dropped and recorded, lives are changing, and life feels GRAND.

☻ A client will send me a message profusely thanking me for a breakthrough.

☻ I’ll hear one sentence on a business podcast I’m listening to that sends me into a creative frenzy.

☻ I’ll receive a DM from someone who’s been following me “silently” revealing that my consistency and content have changed the trajectory of their life.

☻ I’ll have a conversation with a friend where they’ll affirm that I am walking in my purpose.

☻ I’ll have a post that gets crazy engagement reaffirming that I’m not speaking to an empty auditorium.

☻ A podcast host will express excitement to have me on their show.

☻ My coach will express how inspired she is by my work ethic and ambition.

 

Yea….when it’s up, it’s really up.
But nothing good lasts forever…

 

THE DOWNS:

When things are bad, they’re really, really bad!

☹ Ideas are non-existent, content is at a stalemate, and gems are as rare as an Afghan Ruby in a South Dakota Jewelry store.

☹ My brain freezes and it feels like I’ve lost every creative atom in my body. I can barely articulate a complete intelligent thought.

☹ New clients seem out of reach, organization and routines fall by the wayside.

☹ Social media accounts feel like a wasteland and everyone is seemingly thriving EXCEPT me.

☹ The conversations with friends cease because I don’t want them to see or hear me all bent out of shape like this. After all, how would that look? The Productivity and Lifestyle Design Strategist (and gratitude enthusiast) are having a gloomy day! Oh poor her.

☹ Then my coach comes along granting me permission to rest and chill, I take it, yet beat myself up for it, completely negating any good the break could have done.

 

Yup….when it’s down, it’s really down…
But nothing bad lasts forever either…

 

HOW I COPE:

I’ve made peace with the inevitable ebs and flow of this entrepreneurial journey.

If I feel down, I feel down! I honor that feeling. If I feel creative and productive, I honor that too. I take full advantage of my “Ups” so when the “Downs” come knocking I don’t feel as bad about marinating in my temporary misery for a day or two. I know not to sit in my setback too long though. There’s work to do, lives to change, mouths to feed. I honor every part of the process.

Screw the toxic positivity we have been conditioned to spew in lieu of actually feeling anything negative.

Nope, I’m human, not a robot. The difference is I give myself the space to have an occasional dip, but I pick myself right back up a day or two later. I am fully aware that this is not the case for some and it may take others a lot longer to ease themselves out of a setback, but this is MY process and I honor it.

My hope is that by sharing my experience, you’ll grant yourself permission to embrace your journey in its entirety: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I hope you’ll do so UNAPOLOGETICALLY. We are living, breathing, feeling beings. Lean into it and allow it to free you. This is why I highly recommend joining mastermind communities. It can be your safe space to share the not-so-pretty aspects of the entrepreneurial journey with people who get it on a visceral level.

CONTINUE READING

7 Ways I Invested in My Personal and Professional Development This Year

Raise your proverbial hand if you have ever purchased and read a non-fiction book, invested in and completed a course, or hired a coach to hone a skill.?

 

Did you know that every time you did that, you were investing in your personal and professional development?

 

Even if you’ve watched an instructional YouTube video or read an informative blog post, that’s still considered a significant investment in your overall personal and professional growth.

 

Some would even say that the level of your commitment to growing personally and professionally can be directly correlated to your level of success.

 

I, for example, have a scary obsession with self-help books, goal-setting, vision boarding, and skill-building. That obsession has led to the lifestyle I lead today where I am a financially independent, business owner and published author with a 6-figure net worth.

Now, do you understand why I’m obsessed? The two are definitely connected. It’s my firm belief that my results will never exceed the amount of effort I put in and that fact drives me to go all in.

“Your results will never exceed the effort you put in.”

I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without reading hundreds of personal finance, business, and personal development books, taking courses that hone my hard and soft skills, giving myself permission to pivot when the situation called for it and hiring coaches who force me to nourish an abundance mindset.[1]

Last year, I spent $20,000.00[2]  on my personal and professional development, and this year, I’m on track to double that!

I know that you’re thinking…

You’re thinking, that’s an astronomical amount of money to spend on some books, courses, and coaching, right?

Well, here’s the thing:

IT’S ALL RELATIVE. My coach spent triple that last year on her own personal and professional growth journey. The actual dollar amount is not the point I’m trying to drive home.

It’s not so much about the amount of money[3] , but the time and commitment that goes along with it. There’s a different kind of energy surrounding the tools and resources you pay for, and I wanted to make sure I got my money’s worth. As a result, I always learned and applied something that made a huge impact on my life, and that’s when I realized the key to EXPONENTIAL GROWTH.

I’m in no way saying you have to go out and spend an entire bag on courses or books. To be quite honest with you, all the knowledge you can find for free on the internet alone could make you a millionaire, but the hunting and gathering of information don’t always appeal to people. The amount of time it takes to then sift, organize, and categorize the information makes it even less appealing. Tack on the fact that you have to EXECUTE on the lessons learned is usually what makes most people abandon ship.

So, free or paid, we still have to decide on the actions we’ll take once the knowledge is acquired.

There’s no “one size fits all” personal and professional development journey, but I’d like to share the ways I’m going about mine in hopes that it will inspire you to begin paving your own path to individual achievement.

There’s no one size fits all personal and professional development journey, but here are seven ways I invested in my journey.

 

INVESTMENT #1

I joined a mastermind of like-minded, bold, goal-oriented, women of color who are committed to helping me succeed in business and in my personal life.

Robert Kiyosoki always to choose your teachers wisely and he is referring to who you choose as a coach, mentor, or anyone you seek advice from.

I chose my Mastermind coach Gloria Atanmo, because the way she conducts her business, the integrity she has when it comes to building her community resonates with me and it’s what I aspire to.

This mastermind was made up of 7 bosses, hellbent on making an impact and income with their businesses. Together (as Napoleon Hill intended) we came up with the best business idea, techniques, and offers. We constantly bounced ideas off each other and cultivated a safe space and sounding board to present all of our big, hairy, audacious goals. It was magic.

 

INVESTMENT 2

I hired two Miss Unconventional employees as well as multiple contractors who were experts in their field.

I stopped being “No HELP Halle” and started leveraging the power of other people’s zones of genius!

Hands down the best decision I ever made. I made a vow to myself to only work smart and relieve myself of the tasks that don’t exactly bring me joy or eat up my time.

The most successful people in the world outsource most of the work to run their business because they understand the importance of using their brainpower to perform the tasks that only they can do.

This mindset shift allowed me to keep the main thing the main thing and build my trust in others. I’m still a little bit of a control freak, but I least channel my energy towards what I should be focusing on.

 

INVESTMENT 3

I enrolled in an Accelerator program designed to teach me how to package and sell a signature, premium offer.

Was the program expensive?

Yes, but think about how much more expensive it would be for me to lack clarity on who I’m speaking to in my business and what they really need.

Without that clarity, I could end spending thousands of dollars either targeting the wrong audience or worst creating a product or service that my audience doesn’t want.

While I didn’t design my signature offer while I was in the course, I did refer back to the content of this course when I was ready to craft my signature offer.

It helped me design an amazing learning experience for my clients and this course can now be repurposed into so many other offers. This investment was definitely worth it.

 

INVESTMENT 4

I hired a personal fitness trainer to help me gain control over my weight and health.

I’ve faced a hard truth; I’m not “skinny minny” anymore. In fact, those days are long gone. It was either spend a little less than $2,000 for a 3-month program with Ariana Stowe Fitness and take back control over my body and my health or spend 5 times that amount getting more plastic surgery and unnecessarily exposing my body to risks.

This is it.

The only body I get in this life. If I don’t respect it and take care of it now, I won’t be around long enough to reap the benefits of all this self-help!

I’ve always had the personality type where I need to be held accountable to someone else in order to achieve goals, ESPECIALLY fitness-related goals.

With the help of a trainer, I was able to change my eating habits and drop 7-9 lbs. in a 12 week period! The power of accountability is UN-friggin-matched!

 

INVESTMENT 5

I read well over 50 books on personal finances, self-help, mindset, and manifestation.

Books have been the heartbeat of my success up to this point. Some books were free, some were a few bucks, but they all had at least one priceless piece of wisdom inside that made the price seem like a steal.

Ramit Sethi always says to never ever hesitate to buy a book. That should never be something you think about cutting from the budget and I wholeheartedly agree.

I can’t continuously drop thousands of dollars to work with all of these brilliant minds, so I dive deep into their books instead. So much of what I’ve learned come directly from the minds of people who aren’t even alive anymore.

I like to think I keep them “alive” by living the sentiments they preached in their timeless books.

 

INVESTMENT 6

I purchased multiple courses to learn things like marketing, content planning, email list building, writing etc.

Some courses are phenomenal and well-designed while others are less impressive. I’m happy to report that regardless of the quality, I’ve always been able to find at least one powerful lesson in every course I’ve invested in.

It’s all about perspective. Let’s face it, we don’t need to get a degree for every single topic we want to learn.

There are courses that adequately and thoroughly teach the fundamentals of sales and marketing, writing, and graphic design.

They teach exactly what I need to learn, fluff excluded, in the shortest amount of time, and guess what, I don’t have to go thousands of dollars into debt to learn!

As long as online education companies like Udemy, Coursera, and Teachable exist, I don’t think you can pay me to go back to a brick-and-mortar school.

 

INVESTMENT 7

I attended in-person and virtual conferences with topics related to self-help, business, entrepreneurship, social media marketing and so much more.

The energy in these rooms alone was enough to sustain my momentum weeks after I left! There’s nothing like an in-person LIVE workshop experience where people are elevating and pouring into each other.

Listen. I hear you and I’m not suggesting you invest that kind of money if you don’t have it.

What I do suggest is that you start with something.

Read books, sign up for free courses that’ll teach you a hard or soft skill that you need to learn to get better at your job or business.

Find a mentor that you can learn from and offer to take them to lunch or something. Don’t be afraid to volunteer under someone who is doing something that you eventually want to do.

The goal here is to take your personal and professional growth more seriously because no one can do it for you.

All of these investments and experiences combined have allowed me to become the Profitable and Productive Boss I am today.

I’ve also seen the best and “worst” of the personal development industry. This has helped me ensure that my offers are impactful, valuable, and worthwhile for my clients.

If you’re ready to invest in your own personal and professional development, consider my signature CONQUER Your Chaos Crash Course.

An 8-week program to help you reclaim your most precious commodities: your time, energy, and attention. Click here to learn more.

CONTINUE READING

After facilitating over 200+ breakthroughs with course creators and hosting luxe VIP Day experiences with entrepreneurs at the top of their game, I was able to create a system that hits all the right spots for someone like you striving to build a profitable, productive, and unconventional business.

My clients are reclaiming their time, energy, and attention, designing unique business models that fit their ideal lifestyle, and creating signature systems that get their clients results, ditching programs and toxic thought patterns that no longer serve them, and finally enjoying the entrepreneurial journey.

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