Get Motivated: Get Away

Today I took a short day trip to San Juan Capristrano. It’s one of the 23 missions here in Cali along or close the coastline that were built by the Spanish missionaries and colonists way back when. And I can’t recall ever having gone to a missionary prior to today, but it was such a wonderful and relaxing experience. To be able to get away from the city for a few hours and enjoy the splendor of natural beauty and historical architecture was just wonderful.

I needed this. This break. These moments away from the demands of life, whether they be demands I placed on myself or that others have placed on me, it’s refreshing to escape.

So I did.

And I enjoyed it. And I felt completely inspired and uplifted just walking among the flowers, watching the few swallows fly by. I felt… rejuvenated.

I needed that. We need that. I can’t think of a single reason why we hustlin’ women should avoid these opportunities. We need these elements in our lives just as much as the next hard working person. And we need to remind ourselves to take those moments to stop, escape and find time rejuvenate. Burnout is not cute or rewarding.

Get Motivated: It’s Better to be Prepared and Not Have an Opportunity…

I love the adage: It’s better to be prepared and not have an opportunity than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. I take those words to heart. I mean, I travel to work five days a week with my notary journal, my notary stamp, blue pens and cah (singles and small bills to break large bills when clients pay with cash). I don’t allow myself to miss a notary opportunity if I can help it. And I carry all my supplies in a gently used brown leather briefcase just feminine enough to go with any business casual attire I don on, but professional enough to be taken seriously.

Just last week, I had a client email me asking to meet them within an hour and 45 minute window, however, I didn’t get the message (because they emailed rather than called me) until 40 minutes from their requested time. Oh, but I was on my way. And on time, needless to say. And… was greeted graciously because I had shown up on time before they could even respond back to my email message. That was a little risky on my part because for all I knew, they could’ve gotten someone else to notarize the documents. But fortune was on my side.

Take a risk, earn the reward. But not every risk is greeted happily with a reward. It’s still worth the risk.

I was a little late to work. But I texted my office I’d be 15 minutes late. In the name of an opportunity I refused to miss, unbeknownst to them.

I strongly encourage you stay prepared. Days and weeks and months may go before you’re greeted with an opportunity, but when you get it, it feels good knowing you had all the preparations made in advance. The reward feels good.

Get Motivated: (Whispers) Did You Finish Your Taxes?

Okay, so maybe I’m a little late asking this question, but I am curious… did you get your taxes done? It’s April 15th and Uncle Sam — who already knows how much you’ve earned last year as well as how money you owe or will be getting back — wants to know did you take the time to tell him again about your earnings. And not risk disturbing the restless giant that is the IRS, I want to make sure you’re on “its” good side as far as timelines.

Listen, I procrastinated too this year. I really dragged my ass when it came to filing my taxes, but once I started I was happy to have gotten it over with. Now, I’ll just wait to for my state return to be deposited in my savings account, which I’ve also nicknamed “Dream Home Fund”. And I’ll wait to see if I’ll get my measly federal return or will William D. Ford of the Department of Education apply it to my stagnant student loan bill.

Exciting things when it comes to taxes.

Point being, I hope you finished filing your taxes. The idea of requesting a an extension doesn’t sound fun. It sounds more like pulling off a band aid really slowly.

Stay Motivated: Reset, Restart Re-Do

One of the biggest challenges to keeping a goal and staying focus is getting off track. And it will happen. You will fall off track. We all do. I mean, unless you have amazing will power and an unshakable force built already inside you, you will stumble getting to the finish line.

But that doesn’t mean anything. If you get off track, just get back on. Simple, right? Because it is! Don’t make a big fuss about it. We all get distracted or overwhelmed or even fed up. We’re human, ladies. And we deal with a lot in our lives day to day. So when a distraction comes along or we become impatient, or it seems like too much for us and we just stop trekking to the end, that’s okay. Take that moment to pause. And then… reset, restart or redo whatever it was you were working towards. We’re not aiming for perfection. We’re aiming for accomplishment. And those two are not mutually exclusive.

And when do reset or restart or redo, don’t wait till the next week or month to get back on track. That’s too long. If the next opportunity is the very next day, jump on it. What about that whole notion of pausing? Well, when you catch yourself off track, let that day go. Be at peace that you weren’t your best that day. Then, get ready to start anew tomorrow.

Because you can. And you should. We got big dreams and big things to accomplish here and we’re gonna need to stay motivated to do it, ladies. So fall track, it’s all right. Just make sure you get back on.

Get Motivated: Stay Motivated

So I’ve committed to working out with my friend Elle, the one who writes for Foodie Fridays here, every Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. And in the process of getting ready to meet her this morning and exercise, my toilet clogs. No biggie. Except that my mom has my plunger and the plunger is in her storage unit. Ugh. So now my morning visit is just floating near the edge of the toilet bowl because nothing won’t go down.

So… this is a great a excuse not to work out, right? I mean, I hate getting up. My bed is super perfect after trapping the right about of body heat during the night. Why would I want to leave it at six-something in the morning to work out? So I text Elle the issue but not quite saying I’m canceling. Because I’ll have to deal with this problem sooner or later, I quickly YouTube a video to figure out how to unclog a toilet without a plunger so I can at least the toilet later. Done. Found the video. Follow the instructions. But in the video it tells me I’ll have to wait 20 minutes for the problem to be resolved.

Well, it really looks like I won’t be working out today. Bummer.

5 minutes later I hear the toilet unclog and drain. Hmmm. So I think about it. I’m already up. I’m halfway dressed. The toilet is unclogged. And I made a promise to her. So, I finish getting ready and meet her at her place while texting her on the way. Because I committed to working out with her. Because I made the commitment to myself. And even when I kept finding excuses and ways to back out this morning, it was more important to show up late than to not show up at all.

It’s the same mindset we have to approach every thing in our lives we’ve committed to. Especially the hustle. Every day is not going to be rainbows and sunshine. It won’t always be pleasant. Sometimes we’ll be presented with legitimate reasons to give up…don’t.

Stay committed. I know, easier said than done. But staying committed means keeping a promise, if only to ourselves. Aren’t we worth at least that?

Get Motivated: One Action

One action. It takes just one positive action in what you’re doing to create a ripple effect that affects other areas of life.

My new job. I know I said I was going to stay quiet about it, but I’m still not even a month into it so it should be fair game still. But since I’ve started my new job, other areas of my life have seen positive changes as well. Areas of my life I didn’t think were directly connected to having a new job. Such as…? My social life for starters. I haven’t had one full weekend day in which I’ve stayed at home all day. Dining out with friends, dining with friends, workshops this, meetups here – it just feels like I’m connecting and reconnecting with people out of the blue.

And I’m enjoying it.

What else I’ve experienced that seems to be a positive ripple effect from my new job? My hustles have increased. Last week, I just met with a custom cabinet builder who was referred to me by a friend of mine. The cabinet builder wants me to design a simple website for. I said sure. My fee for my service: $275. I have a repeat client working some details out for a campaign she wanted to work on later this month. I’ve had two notary clients a week apart from one another. Another waiting in the wings.

If I knew that changing jobs — changing to a better job — would have this kind of positive impact on my life and not just my bank account, I would’ve hustled harder to switch companies and jobs.

But live and learn they say.

But more importantly, I wanted to show that taking one action — one positive action — can lead to positive results. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always heard that saying but I rarely experienced it. And now that I’ve have and can recall it, I feel like a woman on a mission. Gonna tell it on the mountain, yes I am.

So, my challenge to you is to find one action to take that will have a positive ripple effect in the rest of your life. I don’t know what that would for you but find it. Define it. Write it down. One thing. One thing that if could change today, would just raise your spirits and subsequently elevate everything else in your life.

My challenge was a new job. I needed a new and better paying job to better finance my dreams and goals. What’s yours?

Get Motivated: Overwhelmed

For the longest time, I used to live at the corner of Overwhelmed and Frustrated. My residency there was years. And no matter how badly I wanted to move, it felt near impossible because my current situation felt out of my control. I hated that. I hated wanting more for myself and not being able to do anything about it.

Or so I thought.

I may not have always had the means to change what I didn’t like when I wanted to, but I could at least change my attitude. Cliché, I know, but accurate. You can’t do sh*t with a bad attitude and that’s the gospel truth. I don’t care how badly you want something or want something to change for you, if you’re walking around with a chip on your shoulder or a woe-is-me kind of bag, forget it, honey. You’re canceling out any progress you might be making.

Overwhelmed? I feel ya because I’ve been there. And the best advice I could offer you is two-fold. Find someone to talk with about what’s overwhelming you and why. And count your blessings. Seriously. If you in a position to feel overwhelmed, you’re in a position to feel empowered.

You woke up this morning, right?

You ate something, right?

You have somewhere to lay your head tonight?

You got internet?

I just listed four of your blessings. Give me 6 more.

Get Motivated: Finding Your Tribe

Connect, Bond & Unite

This past Sunday, I attended a women’s writing workshop in the Leimert Park area that I found via MeetUp. I was really excited to be going and to be a part of this hopefully ongoing experience. And although originally 10 of us were scheduled to meet, 5 of us showed up in the rain and had ourselves a productive time. Even with a small turnout, our backgrounds were very diverse and everyone seemed to be doing something different. Two of the women were sci-fi/ fantasy writers, two women had podcasts, one woman was currently working in communications writing, another was a script writer.

Didn’t I say there was 5 of us? Yes. A lot of the women had multiple projects going on which Ioved because they were like… me. I had found a tribe to belong to.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned the importance of finding one’s tribe before and I still stand on that belief that having women of like mindness to be part of is a key to our individual success. And on Sunday, I got to live that experience, if only for 2 hours.

As a writing group, most of our conversation took place at the beginning and end of our MeetUp, which was enough time for us writers to get to know one another, exchange information, connect and start building a bond.

A tribe takes a minute to build. It’s not going to happen overnight. It takes time. Just like friendships. Just like relationships. But finding people to support you, to encourage you, to cheer you on, to give you feedback and be a resource to you is important. It helps us be accountable to ourselves but also helps us stay committed.

Have you found your tribe yet?

Where’s Your Motivation: It’s Okay to Be Late

Or behind schedule or running behind… just as long as we don’t stop altogether.

Sometimes being late on something feels like we should stop and quit. “Oh, I couldn’t get this post out on time like I usually have before, so maybe I should stop blogging and forget about it.” Why? Because I was behind schedule? No! That’s never an excuse. Quitting or giving up because of schedule conflicts is not acceptable. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. Here’s an embarrassing example I’ve mentioned before but I’ll relive it for that sake of this post:

Last year I missed a client. That is to say, I was on my way to see a notary client but never made it to him. I take Uber to see my clients and on this occasion I had chosen Uber Express. For those unfamiliar with this option or perhaps Uber in general, this selection has a designated drop off and pick up spot that aren’t usually at your home or your actual address. When I look back, I mentally kick myself in the butt for not just selecting the regular Uber option. I was trying to save money and instead lost a client forever. What happened was that by Uber driver dropped me off near my location, but because I had never been in this area before, I had started walking the wrong way, killing precious time. I called the client to assist me on getting my bearings straight but quickly learned I was much farther than I realized. I tried walking in the direction I believed the client told me to head in while the client kept calling me in the process asking me if I was near his location. I didn’t want to admit that I was walking or had taken an Uber to get to him. And obviously driving would’ve been much faster than me walking in my wedges, but whatever. After walking for a certain amount of time, I came to a bus stop and sat down. And gave up. The client continued to call me and I started ignoring his calls. He left me some not so nice voicemails which were understandable. Not gonna lie. I get where he was coming from. But because I felt so late and behind our appointed schedule and so far away, I quit. I gave up. I stopped trying

Till this day, I regret doing that, but it has taught me some on the simple but valuable businesses lessons:

  • Always show up even when you’re late
  • If you’re late, just own it
  • Don’t nickle and dime yourself out of client. Paying a few pennies more and I wouldn’t have lost this client

We’re not gonna be perfect all the time and people won’t expect us to be. But they will expect us to be there and perform. And sometimes that’s all we need to do in order to be perfect.

Take A Page From Someone Else’s Book

In the words of motivational speaker, Les Brown, “success leaves clues”.

And I believe it. I believe successful people unknowningly left clues to how they became successful. Much of the time it’s persistence and consistent specific actions, but something in the manner of what they did got them to where they are.

And as someone who consistently side hustles, I want to break into the next level of ambitions, so I study the success and clues of others.

Predominantly, women. And one woman in particular, Marie Forleo.

Lately I’ve been listening to her podcast… at work. And I always feel like I end her podcast and little bit confident in what I’m doing even if it hasn’t entirely manifest. She always brings conversation back to creating a life we want to live. Being able to do the kind of work we want to enjoy doing while having as much control over as we desire. And that makes me feel good. Finding successful clues makes me feel good. And when I feel good, I’m able to do more. Like, maintain a level of consistency in efforts that will propel me where I want to be.

I look for successful people to show me to clues they’ve left to help me leap as well.

Whose clues have you found?