Dancing to the Beat of Your Own Drum

There is a profound freedom in following your own path – what resonates as true for you.  - Universe Konadu

Everyone has an opinion.  I've come to that realization rather quickly.  However, one of the most simple yet profound truths I’ve learned is, “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

I love SpongeBob SquarePants.  I know that may seem a bit peculiar, but you’ll understand.  Now, I’m not much for ‘candy’ television (programming with no substance as Mama Oprah refers to it), but SpongeBob is the man.  I was watching the show one day and it dawned on me – the reason I was so drawn to his character is because he is so elusive to what other people think of him.  His neighbor, Squidward, can’t stomach Spongebob, but he has no idea…he is completely oblivious to it.  I love it!  I thought to myself, “What a way to live: going through life being what is true for you!” SpongeBob inspires me! 

When we live our lives according to others’ opinions, we fall out of rhythm with ourselves, and trip over our own feet; we disrupt our natural flow.  Our hearts/intuition, the inner voice, becomes so faint because of the noise that we unconsciously ignore what resonates as true for us in order to satisfy the opinions of others.  Where is the freedom in that?

Freedom comes

from dancing to the beat

of your own drum

Being present

and aligned

with One

We all deserve to give ourselves permission to live an authentic life, acknowledging that each of us is our own individual.  While we are not independent of each other, because we are all connected by the same source, you are your own individual being (person).  Look at your fingerprint.  Not even one other person on this planet has the same one.  Imagine that!  That means there is no one else in this world like you, literally.  You are your own standard – purposefully, uniquely created as an individual.  Your blueprint is a one-of-a-kind.

It’s time to get back into your own rhythm.  You can only dance with the flow of your life when the beat sounds familiar.  And the beat will only sound familiar when it’s coming from your own drum. 

So, here’s to Dancing to the Beat of Your Own Drum!

This Month’s Tip

Anything you do in life will work as long as you do the work.  - Universe Konadu

When I say work, I don’t mean in the sense of blood, sweat and tears [working your life away], but rather in the sense of what you put energy and action into.  Meaning, all you have to do is get up and get to it.  Whatever you’re passionate about, whatever it is you continue to say you desire to have, but have yet to create, put some action behind it.  Do more than talk about it.  Get up and get to it!  Anything you do in life will work as long as you do the work. 

$22 And A Dream: Why I Trust My Intuition

Had I mentioned to anyone I was headed to the most overly priced city in the country with a mere twenty-two dollars [after paying my first month's rent], a dream/vision yearning within that wouldn't take no for an answer and no real solid plan, I probably would've really second guessed my decision to go.  As unconventional, free-spirited and free-thinking as I am, I had an actual moment of fear when I wondered if I was doing the 'right' thing.  Of course, it was just a moment.  A very fleeting one.

When I gathered my things into storage, packed my U-haul and jumped on the road with my sister (Earth), and a mutual friend, I had no idea I'd be where I am today.  I knew something magical and unexplainable was happening when I stood certain on the Jersey side of the Hudson (I later learned that pit stop for gas was Hoboken, NJ), excited about what was unfolding.  In the pleasant lassitude of the afternoon sun, with its rays caressing my back as I skipped rocks across the water with twenty-two dollars in my pocket, I imagined all of the possibilities for my life.  The more I saw them in my imagination the more they became my reality. 

I accepted odd and freelance jobs to make ends meet and burned the midnight oil at least six nights a week, often working 18-20 hours a day, building my business.  I struggled financially and even had my mother lovingly attempt to convince me to 'move back home.'  But, nothing could permanently distort my vision.  No matter how many valleys I found myself in (and boy were there valleys!), each time I stood at the peak of another mountain, I realized everything needed for the journey had already been supplied.  Even in those moments when I thought I saw nothing but fog. 

Though I haven't always listened to my intuition/Godself/heart (or whatever other concept that has been used to describe it) because sometimes circumstances made it challenging, I have always trusted it.  I've learned from experience that when we venture boldly beyond our comfort zones into the unknown - which is usually what we fear most, extraordinary things happen. Will there be a climb?  Of course!  Are you guaranteed to make it to the peak of the mountain if you just keep going?  Absolutely!  There's no way you can't if you make a conscious choice to keep moving forward toward the mark.

Stay the course.  Enjoy the climb.     

 7 Tips for Building A Big Business

 7 Tips for Building A Big Business….because no vision is ‘small.’

Words have power!  If you know me, then you know that’s my mantra.  So, “big” business it is!

Like most big business owners, I started with a great innovative idea but very minimal direction for materializing it. I read books and articles, researched online, attended free workshops, stressed, asked questions, read more books and articles, did more online research, attended more free workshops, did I say I stressed, and asked more questions.  Needless to say, navigating this process left me feeling overwhelmed, discouraged and ready to throw in the towel.

Successfully building anything takes the right tools.  Whether it’s a house, relationship or business, having some fundamentals in place is a must.    

Here are 7 of my favorite trial-and-error-tried-and-true tips that I’ve built/build my ‘’big’ business on.

TIP #1: GIVE TO YOURSELF FIRST

We’ve been taught [as women] that putting ourselves first is a selfish, self-centered act – especially if we have a family.  So, we tend to think of our own well being last while taking great care of everyone else around us.  Then, we wonder why we’re so burnt out.  If you’re on empty, how do you have anything to give to anyone else?  We must be the priority in our lives.  We must give to ourselves first by practicing self-care.  Start the day with a light, healthy, unprocessed breakfast.  Stretch.  Pull yourself away from your work and take a lunch break.  Read a good book just for the sake of reading.  Soak in a hot bath.  Meditate for 10 minutes in the middle of the day.  Indulge in a hobby.  Spend time with friends.  Binge watch your favorite episodic.  Take a dance class.  Do something that puts you in the driver's seat to give to yourself first.  Fill yourself up and others will inevitably experience the overflow.  It's in the smallest ways that the greatest differences are made.  

TIP #2: INVEST IN YOUR CRAFT

“Invest?! (whining) But, I don’t have any money!”  There are more ways than one to sow into your craft, and they’re free.  Something very helpful that I learned in my research is there are tons of free resources that are available online as well as many in your local community, with several agencies offering free relevant workshops.  From the Small Business Association to the Chamber of Commerce to the local business banker to community meetings with local, state and government agencies, there is so much information out there to add to your knowledge.  And, again, it’s free!  So, take the time to invest in your craft by learning and applying as much as you can.  Be the one always growing.  In this way, you continue to hone your skills set and maintain your competitive edge.

TIP #3: SPEND TIME ALONE WITH YOUR VISION

Sounds silly, right?  Like, who dates their vision?  Well, I’m not asking you to romance your ideas.  Or, maybe I am.  Just as you would set aside uninterrupted time and put in the energy and effort necessary to become better acquainted with a new love interest, you must do the same for your vision.  Be curious.  Ask questions.  Explore.  Make adjustments if needed.  Spending “alone” time, together, provides your mind a space to rid itself of other people’s opinions and remember the originator of the idea.  It is in this still and quiet place that the picture becomes clearer and you identify what action steps need to be taken to make the intangible, tangible.

TIP #4: PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE

Rejection is inevitable.  Get over it!  Seriously.  There will be people along the way who will give you 101 reasons why they think something you’re doing can’t be done.  Some doors you knock on will never open.  Some meetings will never be scheduled, phone calls never returned and emails never responded to.  There will be many disappointing experiences of people failing to follow through; it comes with the territory.  Get over it!  Just continue to put yourself out there.  All you need is one resounding yes to catapult your business to the next level.  If you stop at no, you’ll never know what could have materialized.

TIP #5: ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS

And I do mean a lot!  Who cares how it makes you look.  Or, rather how you think it makes you look.  A wise person asks but a fool remains misdirected by ego.  If you don't know, ask.  If you’re unsure, ask.  If you knew, but have since forgotten, ask.  Making the inquiry is the only way to learn and gain the valuable insight needed to further your progress.

 TIP #6: SUPPORT & ACCOUNTABILITY

There is just simply no way around this.  You need support and accountability, and in my experience they go hand in hand.  Those who cheer you on and remind you of why you started will also be the ones to gently nudge you, or give you the good ol’ proverbial slap, to get you back on track.  They respect your passion, encourage your focus and regard your perseverance.  These are the individuals you want to keep close; support and accountability are absolute key.

 TIP #7: CELEBRATE EVERY MILESTONE

This one actually should have been closer to #1 but I figured I’d save the best for last.  I simply can’t emphasize the importance of this enough.  If we’re not mindful, we can be so fixated on the outcome that we miss the journey – all of the amazing miracles and wonders we encounter along the way.  Honoring our growth helps alleviate the feeling of constantly trying to get somewhere that we never seem to be able to get to.  So, celebrate every milestone as modestly or lavishly as you choose.  It’s perfect for your sanity and you deserve it for your accomplishments!

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