Every Entrepreneur Has a Passion and Creative Process

ladygagaopraThere is a ton of advice for entrepreneurs to help hone in on their purpose. A common response is figure out what you enjoy most and build a business around it. Many call this finding your passion but I think of it as finding your spark.   

For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.…

Not long ago I went on a journey to find the answer for myself. I started by remembering when I was a little girl playing for hours in my mom’s kitchen. I always enjoyed organizing and adding things up. Then I’d switch gears to play school with mountains of stuffed animals while teaching from the assignments I’d write. These memories revealed two things for me: my love for administration and teaching and my creative process.

Today I watched one of the most fascinating episodes of Oprah where she interviewed singer/songwriter Lady Gaga. In the interview Oprah asks about her Born This Way Foundation, career, and creative process. As I listened to Lady Gaga’s response I was inspired by two things.

To be creative, you need to know what frees you up to bring out the creative genius in you.

Lady Gaga mentioned that you need to, “cancel out the noise” so that you can be your creative self. I can relate to this process of pulling away. When I was creating my e-course, “How to Create Good Financial Habits and Position Your Business to Prosper”, unplugging from the busyness of business is what I had to do. So I limited the emails, turned off social media, and went on hiatus from events with family and friends. It is how I allow the creative spirit that comes from God to flow unhindered through me. As a result I not only found the inspiration for big ideas but the message that I was being led to deliver became undoubtedly clear.

Lady Gaga also shared the importance of having role models when developing your boldness. 

I thought it powerful that she once imagined one of her mentors, singer/actress Whitney Houston, singing the lyrics to one of her songs. What an awesome concept! This gives a totally new meaning to having role models in life. The lesson here is not to become less of who you are, but to see, believe and achieve who you want to be. Instead you can piggyback on the traits of women that you would like to emulate. When you imagine that the same phenomenal character that your mentors have is inside of you, it changes your perception of what is possible. That is the part of the creative process when you become a stronger, more confident, and unstoppable version of you.

At the end of the interview, Oprah asks the question, “What do you really want the world to know about you?” To that I imagined giving Oprah my response. Here is what I would say:

“I want the world to know that I care about enterprising women who are looked at as the underdog. My mission, this assignment that I am so passionate about, is to be a mentor and advocate for female entrepreneurs who daily dig in their high heels but still miss out because they do not have adequate finances.

Takeaways from the Lady Gaga interview:

  • Connect to your spark and fan the flames
  • Understand what makes you most creative
  • Find a way to express your gifts to the world

The episode of Oprah interviewing Lady Gaga was excellent! One of the best that I have seen on OWN’s #SuperSoulSunday. I could watch this episode over and over again (and I probably will)!

So let’s hear it…

Have you connected with your passion? How do you express your creativity? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

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Dream Team Pick of the Week: Personal Development Coach Brian Tracy

When it comes to getting people to see the importance of optimism, personal development coach Brian Tracy is spot on. If you have never experienced his work before then you are in for a treat. Brian Tracy is a motivational speaker and author that I have learned from over the years. His insights earns him a seat on my “Dream Advisory Board” because they produce positive change and lasting results. You can check out the video by clicking on the image and read key takeaways for being optimistic below.  

Seven ways to develop optimism:

  1. Maintain good mental fitness by being confident about yourself and life in the future
  2. Feel terrific about yourself most of the time.
  3. See setbacks as temporary. View them as limited in time and having no real impact on the future.
  4. See difficulties as pervasive. When things go wrong, instead of adopting a “What’s the use?” attitude, see it as an unfortunate event that is not controlling your destiny.
  5. See external events for what they are. Some things are out of your control so learn not to take those things personally.
  6. Be objective. When you are caught up in life’s inevitable storms keep a calm spirit, clear mind, and control over your environment.
  7. Look for the good and learn from the lessons that come from setbacks.

Being optimistic is necessary for every area of life. This week review the tips above and consider where you are on the optimism scale when it comes to your business. In what ways can you develop a mental attitude that expects and moves you toward the best?

It’s Follow-Up Friday: Business Document of the Week

vtwTGIF and it is time to wrap things up. I am a huge fan of accountability and what better way of being accountable than sharing follow-through tips with you!

In this post, I will be showing you one of my favorite tools. I’ve dubbed it “Victories to Win”  (Victories to Win download). It is similar to a To-Do List  that helps you focus on the top tasks but it’s much more empowering to score a win than to be overwhelmed with things to do.

The logic behind it is two-fold. When writing your weekly actions always add at least one personal goal along with business actions that you plan to reach.  Being an entrepreneur demands a lot from you. I get that and so does your family, friends and the time you need to take care of you. What works well for me is setting goals that  line up with my mission. By doing this you can prioritize daily actions and put time into doing what matters most. It is exactly how I am creating a more fulfilling life.

How I Use My List Weekly and How You Can To

Two goals that I was able to get done by today were exercising my upper body and posting daily to this blog (thanks UBC for the motivation). We all know that no matter how serious you are about a goal, life has a habit of slowing you down. I use the Victories to Win sheet to stay on track by reading it aloud as a reminder “why” the victories are important to me. This week my reason for exercising is to make my upper body stronger and I commit to blogging everyday to reach my full potential as a writer.

To wrap things up, I leave you with this thought:

You can set your intention to be better than yesterday. Do it one step at a time. When you know what you are aiming for, shift whatever you need to see the goal clearly. After that keep working towards what you deem important until you make it all the way.

Do you outline victories to win daily? I’d love to hear how this habit is working for you.

vtw

How to Shift Your Mindset About Service and Share What You Have to Offer

helpinghandHave you ever been compelled to think more selflessly and use your abilities for the good of others? To develop a spirit of service, consider the following practices.

  1. Get rid of hesitation and self-doubt.
  2. Surround yourself with servant leaders.
  3. Reprogram your automatic response.

When it comes to giving more of your service you may come up with every excuse in the book. The reason this happens for many people is they don’t want to leave their comfort zone. You have probably had this experience at some point in your life, too, but here is what you should know. You are not alive to simply exist, take up space, or waste a lifetime. Someone is waiting on you to be a doer, not just a dreamer. So as you get calls from friends or requests to volunteer, step up. The more you exercise your service muscle, the more natural it will be to you.

There is a quote I like that reminds me of the power of association. It says that you are a reflection of the people you surround yourself with. In other words you pick up the traits, sayings, and habits of those you are closest to. It is how you learn most things including the belief that being of service is an important part of life.

I am a big advocate of mentor relationships. So much so that I started a program called Encourage U for single moms in their mid twenties to early thirties. The goal is to provide leadership development and life skills. When you serve as a role model, it help others accelerate their growth by demonstrating standards to imitate. The more a mentee sees you in action, the more receptive their mind becomes to service as a way of life.

When you take an active role and offer your time, talent, and resources it enhance others’ lives. Your eyes, hands, feet, and voice can be used for the good of others. That is why it is important to contribute from a willing heart. When you do, the act of service becomes your reward.

Are your service antennas up? Do you actively look for ways to lend a hand and help in your home, workplace, community, the world? I’d love to hear what you do. Tell me about it.

How to Get People Saying, “That Woman Means Business.”

A virtuous woman is hard to find.

As an adult I often hear the phrase, “A good woman is hard to find.” Sometimes it is said in a favorable light such as when we acknowledge a woman who excels in what she does. Other times it’s in response to seeing a woman who lacks motivation in life. I used to think lightly of this quote until recently when I experienced the loss of a matriarch in my family and did a little soul searching of my own.

Yes, it’s true. Females are born with the ability to grow through womanhood but not every woman will do so efficiently and that is what makes her rare.

For example, we see women who take life as it comes and hardly puts forth any effort to stand out from the crowd. She may be at different places in life, which I call her seasons. This may be as a wife, mom, or even in her career. She is going through the seasons but not actively taking ownership in what happens with her life.

Then there is the woman who dreams a lot. She talks a good game. Sets goals but never quite gets out of her comfort zone. She knows what it will take to make a mark but fails to put the marker in her hands. She is a dreamer and ignores the work needed to put faith in action.

Finally, we have the rare woman. She is one to take action and roll up her sleeves to complete whatever needs to be done. She doesn’t start projects without finishing them whether they are in the home, the community, church, or on her job. She has grace to finish the task and she uses it.

We all come with different personalities, talents, and experiences and  every woman is wired in her own unique way. Yet we are here connected to one another because we are built to give back. I attended a service celebrating the life of my great aunt. The speaker described her life this way:

“…[She was] a woman who gave selflessly of herself. She open her hands to the poor and the doors of her home to the homeless. She cooked many dinners and fed many pallets. When she spoke to you, you believed that you were the most important person in the room. You felt the love, genuine and true that exuded from her spirit.” ~ A Tribute to Gertrude Todd Clark

How many of us can honestly say that we live a life of service? Giving of ourselves, our time, and treasure unconditionally without expecting anything in return?

I am reminded, as well as inspired, by the quote, “Begin with the end in mind” by Steven Covey. I know that each step that I take leaves a footprint. Some will be big. Some will be small. Yet, each one of them is relevant nonetheless.

As you go forward today, consider what you want your legacy to be. Know that you are never too young or old to start that dream. What is your life saying about you? Do you want a story told or will it be a one liner?