Just Getting By

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These past 2 weeks have been full of very interesting conversations.

I was able to catch up with some peeps I hadn’t spoken to in a hot minute, and jumped on a few Skype calls with some very happening entrepreneurs.

I felt very motivated, and in the zone. I even found my ipod that’s been missing since forever. So I wondered what the heck was on it, (my ex was actually the one who bought it and put songs on it). *Finds all kinds of music: gospel, rock, pop, songs not in English and then some Wu-Tang, Talib Kweli and Tupac *

So, as I’m listening to and deleting music, I come across the latest ezine from one of my most recent subscriptions Dr. Venus Opal, the headline: Broke, Poor, Rich or Wealthy?  I’ve read similar content that essentially touch up on mindset and money. I even did a vlog about abundance vs scarcity mindsets myself. But you know what I’ve learned through marketing, messages get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. Our brains are over-crowded with noise and lots of junk so it can’t hurt to reinforce something that still needs to sink in,(and even that takes a mental shift to understand).

She basically wrote that while poor was a circumstance you work towards changing, “Being broke is when something at the soul level is “broken,” and I’ve learned that your soul is your mind, will, and emotions.

I’m tryin’ to make a dollar out of fifteen cents…

“Rich”, she goes on the write, “…is when you have a lot of ‘stuff’ It’s something you can touch, see, and taste.” And with a broke mindset, “you may get to the top of the ladder and then realize it was leaning against the wrong building!” -Dave Ramsey

This morning I woke up feeling brand new, I jumped up feeling my highs and lows in my soul and my goal’s just to stop…

My Goal isn’t just to stop, it’s to grow.  It’s to learn, and to be equipped. It’s to be the head and not the tail.

So the questions then become:

What are we feeding our souls? And if we are called to be leaders, what are we feeding the souls of those who follow?

*Song lyrics were used out of context for blog purposes*

 

Until Next time…

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Flickr Credit: mtchlra

There’s A Glitch in The Matrix: A 1st Quarter Review

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This is a life in review type post, so it gets long-winded, you have been warned…

About the Blog

For those of you who are new to Reflections of A Summer Moon here’s what I wrote regarding the mission of this blog:

Asummermoon.com is a personal journey blog that strives to Inspire Action despite fear, lack of confidence, and lack of experience; Revive Passion, despite trying to convince yourself that contentment and fulfillment belongs to everyone you bust your butt for and not yourself; and Empower the Inner Child inside, despite growing up in a society that does its best to stifle the very part of you that still believes in the power of dreams. I firmly believe that when we let our inner child come out to play, we really show the world what we are really made of. This is still an unedited statement; I simply wrote what was in my heart. I don’t know if every blog post will fit into a neat category or if I can measure up to what I strive to deliver but here is my starting point and I’m happy to have you along for the ride.

Some of you have asked me about the origins of my blog name A Summer Moon I’ve been promising to do a blog post about it and that blog post will happen very soon. I can tell you this much, the name Moon has been a part of my online identity for years in some shape or form I’ve used this name to express via the written word what I never had the courage to speak out loud. When I stopped lurking and started blogging that began to shift, “Moon” very much so speaks her mind both on and offline, if you catch me on a sociable day ;-)

About Life

Every year, for the past few years, I start off with a theme and word to express my intentions and focus for life which then helps me determine the goals I wish to pursue.

The theme for this year is: Choose To Dance

My word for the year is: Purpose

As I’ve shared before in previous reviews, I center most of my goals for the year around 6 areas or slices of life: Personal, Social, Physical, Spiritual, Professional, and Financial. This way of goal setting was inspired by I coaching course I discovered a few years back to be a resource for women experiencing a quarterlife crisis. Under each slice of life I set about 3 intentions to work on at the start of the year So my theme is in essence the vision I have for the year and the slices help me organize the steps I need to take in order to realize that vision in a balanced way.

This 1st quarter was well… I’ll put it like this… Have you ever had to sit at a long traffic light in bumper to bumper non-rush hour traffic? It’s not just any long light but the kind that when you finally get to the green light you realize it is glitchy and changes so quickly that only one car actually makes it through at a time (hence the long line). And because you’ve got places to go you decide you’re making it through that blasted light so you tail that one car in front of you to get through (because the light was yellow, you swear it was) only to find a ticket waiting for you in the mail a couple of weeks later…I think the 1st quarter went something like that.

Personal: I’ve made it no secret that I want to make a trip to Kenya. I connected with a sister in Heartwork Rachael K. A. and we decided to partner together to create something that would enable us to go help out our mutual sister in Heartwork, Faith, the leader of Girls Shift Africa (and so many more leaders like her). After much research, speaking with mentors, and other activists, (I even had the honor of speaking with John Haydon) we decided we had our work cut out for us.  We both have bread and butter businesses to run and we both had some personal thangs to address. For instance Rach is having a wedding ceremony everyday for the year. So, we hit the brakes on our original goal to make that trip in October and utilize Google + Hangouts to have Advisory Council meetings since we’re in about 4 different countries spread around the world. We’ve decided to work on some foundation pieces and plan some more (though if we can still make it this year that’d be awesome).

The other project in the slice is to publish my collection of poetry (I write you know). I’ve been typing my heart away on the weekends as most of my poetry sit in notebooks. I soon realized that 4 notebooks of poetry became very little after I noticed that I myself didn’t care for most of them (I did write half of them when I was like 12). I’m not sure what I want to do about this now as I don’t have as many pages of poetry. However, I still want to publish what I have. I’ll keep you posted on both these endeavors!

Social: I’ll share one of the things I’m working on with this slice. Every week I’m to make a conscious effort to speak the love language of my companion, family member, friend, acquaintance, etc. I’ll admit, I can be selfish and stubborn at times so speaking languages that aren’t my own is actually hard for me. For instance, my brother’s primary love language is physical touch. I’m not really a hugger, I’m not very ticklish, nor am I a person who likes to cuddle,and I like space-in every sense of what that word means (I’m an introvert after all). I made sure to give him a real big bear hug when he received his latest promotion as a Staff Sergeant for the US Air Force and told him I was very proud of him, he was literally shocked and told me so, (dang am I that bad little bro?).

Physical: Okay here’s the deal, for 1 ½ months I had insomnia! I do get it occasionally, but never like this. It really messed me up for this slice in January and part of February. I started experiencing lots of migraines and tension headaches but somehow I was able to function through the day and not really miss a beat with much. Eventually, after forcing myself into a routine that didn’t seem to work at 1st I finally began sleeping through the night again. I met a nice lady by the name of Erin in our mutual Astonish Yourself group coaching program. She offered me a complimentary EFT session and showed me ways to naturally work on my headaches. I don’t know if it’s a mind thing or not but the stuff works! And now that the weather is looking nicer I’m busting out my kicks and hitting the power walking trail, viva Pandora!

Environment… I wanted to move in March, (I’ve since pushed that goal deadline way back). I had an apartment lined up, a roomie, all that jazz. Everything fell a part and I mean everything. The apartment people gave our place away, the roomie had to fight for another place and had to take the leave sooner than I was ready for in order to claim what they gave her…and ugh so much more. But, a glimmer of light did shine at the end of the tunnel…it became less crowded where I currently stay and the drama that came with the crowd went with out the door with said crowd. Hopeful!

Spiritual: Good gracious I feel everything else is a reflection of what’s going on here. This year, my church made it their theme to do an intense year of prayer so I decided to participate; I centered my goal on praying with the collective and you know, make prayer a priority. Heck, why not? We have got to pray-a, we have got to pray-a to make it through the day-a Yeah so, funny thing happens when you try to really get your spiritual self and your Higher power in alignment …lots of tests and trials! Seriously, it’s enough to make you fold your arms and force yourself to be content at your current level in your spiritual walk.  But, I know that won’t do…onward and upward!

Professional: I set one main goal here which requires lots of little projects, my A-team, and tons of consistency. One of those projects was to complete my very 1st Opt-in offer to grow my list.  This translated into creating my very 1st infoproduct to address the needs of coaches, consultants, and speakers looking to grow their team with the aid of virtual assistance. I’m proud to say I did indeed finish it by the deadline. And I’m currently waiting on the design and formatting of it to get completed. I was hoping to pre-launch today, but the production isn’t complete yet, so I had to move it back a week or 2. It’s all good because I did it! I can’t wait to share it. If you’re not already a part of the Your Marketing Matters email community come on over, my VIP’s get 1st dibs!

Financial: I guess my main goal here was to gain better awareness of the state of my finances so that I could analyze and determine next steps. I have been so on the money in this area, book keeping has become a ritual again for me. I’m very much so aware of where my money is coming and going. I’m keeping way better records, and I’ve been consistently paying off my credit card debt. I think I won’t drive my accountant crazy too bad this time. Woot!

So, that’s my 1st quarter review of the year, thanks for reading to those of you who stuck around!

Also, now that I’ve worn my heart on my sleeves, I’d love to hear about you and what you’ve been up to these past 3 months.

 

Flickr Credit: caesararum

 

Don’t Let The Pitfalls of Life Stop You

That's Life

In July of this year, I will have been a business owner for 3 years. And the one thing I can say in my still very young experience is that you never stop learning.

I used to read books on leadership and entrepreneurship long before I took my own leap, (more like a hard shove) into the business world, and I would always hear a phrase that went something along the lines of “putting out fires”. It registered with me, but I never fully could comprehend what they meant until I experienced it 1st hand.

As someone who has never had the intention of being a freelancer, with ambition to grow a multi-va virtual marketing assistance firm, I knew that team building and team management was the role of a lifetime I would have to grow in to. You’re not only responsible for yourself but you now become the captain of a ship, with a crew and all, and things can get messy when you have more hands on deck.

This isn’t something only attributed to business but any relationship when another party is involved.

Things happen-life happens. One moment everything is running smoothly and going according to plan the next…that blazing fire you must put out before you can even think about what you were going to do next. And as the CEO of your own life, you are accountable for it all.

So, in the midst of the fires, and the cold stormy nights when you wonder ‘how the heck am I going to pay my rent this month’ or ‘how the heck will I support my family if I quit my job and pursue my dreams?’ or ‘how the heck do I take my business and life to this coveted next level when every time I try to take one step forward something forces me to take 2 steps back?’ or ‘how do I compete with that omnipresent “them”?’

“There is no competition for your true life’s purpose.” It’s in a league all it’s own.

You have to make the decision to persevere and keep on sailing.

I had a colleague ask me one day after we both had one of those days how do you do it?  How you balance all of this and handle it so well? If she could have seen my face she would saw my ‘do you have 2 heads’ reaction. I answered that I prayed and cried, and prayed some more, did what I could do, and then cried and prayed some more. (Okay, I did mention something about a punching bag and gloves, but I never did get that for Christmas).

The thing is, we can see the vision and write it down. We make plans for our success and take steps to implement that which we envisioned. We work hard to be the best and give our best, we divvy up when and where our time, talent, and treasure should go, and make a conscious effort to always better our personal best. That’s all we can do. If we should stumble… well, I like the way Les Brown puts it..

“Anytime you suffer a setback or disappointment, put your head down and plow ahead.”

Don’t Let The Pitfalls Deter You From Your Destiny.

Until Next time…

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Flickr Credit: Wsilver

Say It Out Loud

speakI’m not sure why, but I had the movie Akeelah and the Bee playing on repeat inside my head over the week. There are so many teaching moments in that movie, I’m almost embarrassed to say that I almost passed it up.

There was one particular scene, “You’ll Be A Champion” that really drove home the learning moment I experienced as an ever evolving business woman.

After reading the inspiring words of wisdom from Marianne Williamson about not being afraid of herself, and all that she was capable of, young Akeelah still struggled with being afraid to fail in front of others. She also struggled with outside influences and had a hard time admitting the deepest desires she held within her heart. It’s funny how so many of us can relate to that…

There was a point in this scene that she started to settle for good enough, (because that ruthless inner naysayer always wants to rear her ugly face at you).  So her coach, (even she had a coach) made her say out loud what she really wanted, to admit it to herself and release it out into the universe.

In the Get Clients Now program it’s referred to as the straight face test. The test is simply you declaring a goal, or your mission, or your vision, or your purpose out loud, so that it becomes real to you, so real that you feel it deep in the pit your belly until it overflows and erupts out of your very being, and you own it like you know you should.

What will you say over yourself this week, this month, this year?

“If you can’t say it, then you can’t win it, so say it.”

 

Flickr Credit: rick

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Black History Now: Meet Tina Wells

In celebration of Black History Month, I’m conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs-the History Makers! My guests are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders who are willing to step up and make things happen for themselves and those around them. I would like to introduce to you all the final guest of the series…

Meet Tina Wells-Marketing Maven

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1) Tell me a little about yourself and what you do.

My name is Tina Wells and I am the founder and CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, which is a company that creates marketing strategies for various clients within the beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle sectors.

2) What prompted you to start your own business?

I am admittedly lucky because I found a calling and an opportunity when I was rather young. I was only sixteen years old when I came across the chance to start my own business – I had been writing product reviews for a newsletter that was geared toward young women and one my clients mentioned to me that she had just paid another individual $25,000 to do the same exact thing that I was doing for free. To me, that was amazing and inspiring. With a lot of support from my family and help from my mentor at Hood College, I was able to turn my big ideas into a reality and soon legitimized a business that eventually evolved into Buzz Marketing Group.

3) What were the first steps you took towards making your dream into reality?

Planning. Lots of planning. Before I even started this business, I used all my knowledge from classes and spent a lot of time discussing with my mentor in order to create an incredibly extensive business plan. By learning as much as I could before the fact, I was able to utilize strategies and schedules to keep my eyes on the goal and achieve what I wanted to achieve. More importantly, planning allowed me to adapt when things didn’t go as expected.

4) Where does your inspiration/motivation come from?

There are a lot of day-to-day events that I’m inspired by, but I’m most inspired by the freedom that my business allows and encourages. When I was growing up, a career was defined by 9-to-5 cubicle jobs that were “safe.” Breaking into a field that pushed me to do my own thing and follow my dreams my way was electrifying, and I continue to be motivated by the fact that I am not at the beck-and-call of someone else, the fact that I create my own income, and the fact that I am sustaining a business based on doing something that I love to do!

5) How do you define and measure success?

I believe that success is defined and measured on a person-by-person basis. For some, it can be all about the number of A’s on a report card and for others, it can be all about the number of shoes in their possession! Of course, the easiest way to measure success in today’s world is to just evaluate yourself financially – but my definition of success is based on the impact and the quality of the impact that you have on your community and on the world as a whole. That’s not to say that financial success isn’t helpful in creating that impact but it is definitely not the only factor that matters. For instance: although the business world can be focused on quick transactions, superficial relationships, and rapid developments, I have an enormous amount of respect for the men and women that take it a step further and aim to make a positive difference on the people and groups around them. To me, those are the people that are truly on the path to success.

6) What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Networking is incredibly crucial. As always, stay true to your vision, mission, and personal brand – but sometimes it is important to focus on who you know and how you interact with them. A woman you bump into at a conference might end up being your partner in business, and a guy you sit next to on the bus to New York might end up being your next biggest client! So it is important to stay on top of your networking game and take note of all the people with whom you interact. Especially when you are starting up a business, networking can be an incredibly useful tool to spread the word about your services and your organization.

You can learn more about Tina’s company Buzz Marketing Group over on their website: http://buzzmg.com/

Feel Free to follow Tina on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/tinacwells

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