Friday, December 30, 2016

How To Get Out Of Your Own Way In 2017

How To Get Out Of Your Own Way In 2017

          New Year, New You, right? Not so fast. Before you commit to the whimsical “I have to rearrange my entire life” at midnight uphill battle. Pump your breaks and breathe.  Here’s the great thing about a new year approaching, you get a fresh start. Ya! You get chance to start a new with a fresh perspective in an entirely new year. How exciting to start a new year with a fresh mindset and positive attitude. I’m here to tell you that committing to a resolution and falling short a few days later is out the window. That’s right. We’re committing to getting out of our own way in 2017 and I’m going to tell you how.
 One of the questions that I ask myself is, Are you ready for what happens next? Sometimes I am and sometimes I'm not. But, does that stop me from pursuing my goals or trying something new? No. Failure is and rejection are real as the birds and the trees. But, for every failure and rejection I have ever experienced in my lifetime it has prepared me for the next best thing. Life pushes you forward whether you are ready or not. The option of going backwards or remaining comfortable leaves you stagnant and in an unfamiliar territory. For every time I came up against opposition I almost allowed the fear of not winning, rejection, or defeat consume. Whether in a job, relationship, friendship, or business I used to talk myself out of it. Why? Because I didn't see the worth within my potential, the effectiveness discomfort, or the endless possibilities change presents in new opportunities. I lived and thrived in fear. Fear ruled my life in every aspect possible. Before I realized it, I was going in a circle. I was miserable on the inside and my actions reflected the weight of the pain I lived with each day. For me that all changed when I committed to getting out of my own way. A lot of people may wonder what exactly does getting out of your own way mean. It means not being afraid of the next level of your life, embracing change, and conquering the impossible. All if which begins with you and your mindset. Here are a few tips to help you begin your journey of loving you and conquering your dreams.
1.)  Commit to one positive change in your life. Whether that positive change means giving a stranger a compliment or leaving a jar of positive reminders about your life. Start small in the right direction.
2.) Forgive your past. We’re no longer mulling over that relationship that didn’t work in 2016 or that promotion that you thought you deserved but didn’t get. We’re packing light for 2017. That means we’re giving ourselves permission to start over and forgiving ourselves for the things that didn’t work out the way we intended.
3.)  Make a To Do List. There’s a list for household chores, errands to run, bills to be paid, and anniversaries and birthday coming up on the calendar. Well, before you hit that procrastinator button. Make a list of things that you always wanted to do but never made time for in your schedule. Visit your local library for research. Start a local book club in your neighborhood. Commit to adding happiness to your to do list.
4.) No and Maybe are not an option. One of the most influential books I read in 2016 was The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes speaks honestly and candidly about her battle with saying no for the wrong reasons like fear and defeat. After committing to saying yes to the things that not only scared her, the doors of life continued to open. That can be you. No and maybe are not an option in 2017, say yes even if your gut instinct says no.
5.)  The universe will meet you halfway. More often than not people whom make new years resolutions fall off the wagon before February. The notion of who cares and maybe next year will be better tends to settle in subconsciously. I’m a firm believer that if you take two steps forward in the right direction the universe will push you three steps forward. Everything happens in alignment with intention and timing. Own this new year momentum and re position yourself for greater things to happen in your life. Whether you intend to work extra hours at work to help. That small act may position you for a promotion in the future.

We all have the willpower to manifest our hopes and dreams into a reality. It just takes the right mindset, accountability, focus, and discipline to make those things happen. Most people blame their shortcomings on time and life demands. Sure, life demands present their own challenges that lead us on a detour at times. It doesn’t matter how many times life throws us a curve ball. It’s important to remember three things: you’re either headed towards a storm, coming out of a storm, or in a storm. For every storm, there is a lesson that life teaches us. If we’re standing, we have an opportunity to make the next day better than the last. Remember, you have all the tools you need to take you to where you want to go in this life.  Don’t let 2017 slip through your fingers without conquering a fear or living out a dream.

#NewYearsResolution # 2017 #2016 #Goals #dreams #newyearseve #resolutions

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

30 Tips to Simplify Your Life During the Holidays

 Image result for images  of people shopping during the holidays

Ready or not? The holidays are here. It’s that time of year where your favorite stores have fantastic sales, distant relatives ring to say hello, and you’re stuck between Grandma’s turkey or meeting your new beau’s family. Stomach meet butterflies, butterflies meet stomach. If you’re anything like me the holidays make you more than a little bit queasy in the stomach. Suddenly your social calendar fills up, workload triples, and your to do list seems almost impossible to complete over the weekend. Call me crazy, but the holidays make me as nervous as my learning to drive at sixteen. Luckily, I’m happy to share five tips that will not only simplify your life during the holidays. But, will make every upcoming holiday feel like a cool summer breeze in July.
The holidays are not all about a great sale believe it or not.
1)     Meditate/Pray.: The holidays can be a bit overwhelming for all of us. Don’t allow the stress to consume your life. Center yourself and begin to pray or meditate.
2)     Make your shopping list two months early.:  Preparation is key in success. Plan early and keep in mind a small budget just for the holidays.
3)     Send Christmas Cards virtually.: We live and thrive in tech savvy world, don’t make the holidays an exception. Send warm wishes with a sweet e-card.
4)     Buy small gifts at a time.: If you have a few picky people to shop for this holiday season. Start small. For example, if your little sister is obsessed with starting an online mark-up business. A gift card to her favorite make up store will put a smile on her face.
5)     Shop deals online.: Browsing online has never been so much fun during the holidays. Get more bang for your buck when you sign up such websites as .
6)     Download apps.: Deals! Deals! Deals! So many deals, so little time. Make your money work twice as hard for you this holiday season. Download apps such as Shopkick, to capture deals at your favorite stores like Target and Walmart.
7)     Open a savings account specifically for the holidays. : Who says a few dollars put away for a rainy day doesn’t make life easier? No one. Every penny counts. Throw that spare change and few dollars into a special jar and label it Christmas money. You’ll be surprised how much you walk away with in the end!
8)     Politely decline invites.: Invitations are nice, but you don’t have to attend them all. You don’t want to burn yourself out before the new year countdown party. Pace yourself. 
9)     Mark your calendar for the holidays.: If you’re a goal-oriented person, allow the holiday to become a celebratory event in your life. Check off your budget. Pre-order that special bracelet for mom. Plan some time off for the family Christmas Party.
10)  Do something nice for yourself. : The holidays are all about showering those in our life with love and gifts. Don’t forget to include yourself on that list. If a cup of coffee from Starbucks puts a smile on your face, go for it.
11)  Recycle ornaments from Christmas past.: Call me crazy or what have you. I love Christmas ornaments especially the ones from previous Christmases. Save a little on Christmas decorations and thank yourself later.
12) Start a Christmas Shopping Club in the office.: If you’re in an office environment with other mom’s or young people. A Christmas Shopping Club will go a long way of helping each other keep a budget, plan a family dinner, or save a few dollars.
13) Give books as gifts.: Have you read a great book and want to share it with friends and family. Books make great gifts for all ages. A good book last a lifetime.
14)  Visit family and friends early in the month.: Big families can be a big challenging during the holidays. We don’t want to forget anyone this holiday season. Share a little love with a phone call or a surprise visit.
15)  Create a weekly task list to keep you on task.: Kids, work, friends, and family oh my! Create a weekly task list of all the things that need to get done sooner than later. That way you won’t feel like you tackling a mountain instead of a hill.
16) Make the holidays fun by creating games with your children.: Kids love the holidays twice as much as adults. Let them join in on the fun from tree decorations party, make a game of sharing positive thoughts, or guess whose cooking dinner tonight.
17) When in doubt sip wine, unplug, and relax.: If Olivia Pope can conquer Washington and make time for wine and popcorn, you can too.
18) Organize a family meeting.: If you’re from a tight knit family, organize a family meeting before the holidays arrive.  Planning and delegating tasks will smooth out the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
19) Personalize holiday gifts.: Nothing says I love you like a personalized gift such as a family photo or a monogram briefcase for your spouse.
20) Get plenty of rest before the holiday arrives.
21) Plan a staycation with your beau.: Family and friends are forever. Don’t forget about your partner. Depending on where you are in your relationship, it may not be time to meet your future relatives. Don’t allow the holidays to separate you. Plan a simple and sweet weekend indoors between you and beau.
22)  Avoid big sale events at stores.: The only thing that makes the holidays more stressful are long lines and out of stock inventory. If possible, avoid big sale events and order in advance.
23)  Eliminate last minute task.: Shopping or cooking last minute will make your head spin. Conquer the day by planning, making a list, check it twice, and always get more than enough.
24)  Get an accountability buddy for the holidays.: Have you ever heard of an accountability partner for working out or meeting life goals? The holidays are no exception. Grab your best girlfriend and plan a budget. Swap recipes. Hold you accountable for your holiday budget. Above all else, keep you calm and cute during the holidays.
25) Create a safe and warm cheery place inside your home.: The holiday magic begins inside your home. If you’re single buy a small Christmas tree, decorate your dining table with festival plate settings, light holiday scented candles, and play your favorite Christmas music.
26)  Post positive affirmations through your home and workplace.: Not everyone is lucky to have that special someone still in their lives.  Positive affirmations go a long way for your mental health. Keep your spirits up by surrounding yourself with people who love and care for you. Or spend some time giving back to your community.
27)  Give free hugs to those closest to you.: I like a good hug. Big, small, long, or short I’ll take them all. Hugs are free and people love them. Give as many as possible this holiday season. There good for you, promise.
28)  Start a new hobby.: The holidays are a great time to start a new hobby. If you’re tight on cash and you have a skillset for knitting. Put your hobby to good use and give a memorable gift from your heart.
29)  Take plenty of photos.: The most important part of the holiday season is creating memories. Don’t allow the search for the perfect gift to make you miss a moment kissing your grandmother, sharing a laugh, or watching your little cousins grow up before your eyes.
30)  Minimize your shopping list.: If you’re working part time and thinking of all the people on your shopping list this holiday season to purchase gifts for soon. Don’t fret. People will understand if you will just have to share a Merry Christmas and buy something next year. Be cost effective and spend your money wisely.

No matter how old you are or how much you have on your budget this holiday season, remember one thing. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s true. Allow the spirit of family and friends of who you spend birthdays. Anniversary’s, break up’s or promotion with throughout the year to surround you with love. Often we allow the pressure to make others happy with material things that express our gratitude for how much they mean to us. Truthfully, material things are just that things. Things that will break, gather dust, or become passed down eventually. Remind yourself that we only get this one life and we want to make it as special as possible. Don’t allow sales, stress, overtime at work, and loneliness to silence your Christmas spirit. Kissing underneath the mistletoe, unwrapping gifts, sharing a slice of grandma’s peach cobbler or moments that you can’t rewind. Those special moments are priceless and unforgettable. Make this holiday season magical by simplifying your life from beginning to end.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Confessions Of A Ghoswriter

Image result for ghostwriting

I knew from the moment my hands hit the keyboard I was born to be a writer. Okay, maybe not born. But, it’s in my genes somewhere in my ancestry I’m sure of it. From the moment, I wrote my first novel in my two-bedroom apartment. I knew I was on to something. Of course, like most writers I assumed I would become an overnight success. I jumped head first into pursuing an agent, publishing my unedited manuscript, and anticipated movie deals hitting my inbox. Nothing ever came besides rejection letters, vanity presses, and disappointment. Trust me , nothing knocks you back into reality like a cold hearted no on your first book. Lucklily, that rejection sent me on a path of pursuing my passion.
Fast-forward a few years I dipped my toes in the blogosphere. Blogging provided me and an opportunity to meet authors, review books, and express my thoughts online. I always loved to read. When the opportunity came for me to receive free books in exchange for reviews I jumped on that train with a smile. In my down time, I still managed to write stories and poems. For years, I studied the craft of writing and became accumulated with the industry. As much as I enjoyed blogging and building relationships online. The lent in my pocket was beginning to become all too familiar. Someone mentioned ghostwriting as an opportunity to not only exercise my writing muscle. But, also supplement my income.  I’ve been ghostwriting successfully for about two years. Here’s what I’ve learned in my first year:
·        Negotiate your rates: My very client asked for a 10K e-book that was based on a female character falling in love at first sight. Piece of cake. The client only offered to pay me $50. I wasn’t well informed on how to negotiate my services. I didn’t want to challenge the clients budget or make myself seem ungrateful for the opportunity. I wanted the business and money. Within one week I delivered on the project. It took me two weeks to receive payment. Ouch! I learned the value in not underestimating my skills. Speaking up for myself.  I needed to stand behind my work and negotiate my pricing. Time is always money. Never settle.
·        Versatility: My preferred genre is contemporary women’s fiction, romance, and erotica.  While browsing online for clients to build my portfolio. I would often come across request for Billionaire Romances, Erotic Fantasies, and Christian Fiction novels. As an avid reader of diverse authors and genres I could provide versatile samples of my work to meet potential client’s needs. My comfort zone is in what I prefer to read and write, which is fine. But, versatility is key to optimizing client potential online.
·         Payment first: An opportunity presented itself for me to write work with a client long term. Super excited since long term meant a steady paycheck. The client and I agreed on the terms of the project and a non-disclosure agreement was signed. I was about 10K into the project. The client did not like the direction of the project and wanted to cancel. Disappointed to say the least. Hours and hours of work down the drain. Again, time is money. I should have requested payment upfront and a percentage back if the project was not complete.

Ghostwriting has allowed me to sharpen my writing skills by pushing me outside of my comfort zone. In most cases, clients have left extremely satisfied with my work and have followed up for more work. If you’re considering ghostwriting I recommend approaching it as a business person first and an artist second. Your gift is your livelihood and people must respect your time. Don’t be afraid to ask what you’re worth. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Most importantly, always be ready to meet the clients’ needs and exceed expectation. Ghostwriting has its great rewards and benefits. Jump in, get your feet wet, and write beyond your imagination. 
#ghostwriter #clients #writing #books