I recently joined the YMCA because although I have been working out for a while, I have never been a member of a gym, ever. I also wanted to do some different types of classes to shift me from my comfort zone. Let me also add, that although I have been working out for a while, I am still not physically fit. I am a big girl. Plus-sized. Large. Chubby. BBW. Solid. Thick. Overweight. Curvy. Plump. Fat. Voluptuous. Keep this in mind as you read. (Note: I am not offended or trying to offend anyone with my use of the terms above. I earned my body by lack of discipline and love of cake and now am working to repair the damage that I have done.)
Tuesday was my first day participating at the gym. I’ve always wanted to try yoga and since this location offers a class, I took it. Of course, as I’m new to the gym and to yoga as well, my nerves were already tingling in the high 60%. Add to it that I am the biggest person in the class, my nerves shot up to 98.6355% tingly. Nonetheless, I continued my journey to getting out of my comfort zone. During the class, 169 billion thoughts rolled through my head. Here is 10 that I could quickly share with you.
Overall, I enjoyed the class. The music was soothing. The instructor was kind and helpful. I could can feel the stretch in my body. It was challenging and nerve racking, and I stood out, but I will definitely do it again. For me, the long-term benefits of class will outweigh the nervous and embarrassment factors. As the instructor said, the more I do it, the better I will be. I am looking forward to bettering my balance, flexibility and muscle stability. I also look forward to breaking the image in my head of what a yoga class looks like. I will continue to tell myself that this fat, black girl belongs there. Yoga is a form of exercise. Exercise is for everyone. So I will continue to go back. Join me sometime, we can stand out together.
**This clearly isn't my first rant :)**
If I can be completely honest with you I feel like I am at a complete lost for what I’m supposed to be doing. I left a full-time job working in Upper Management to work full-time on the magazine (I also think it was to focus more on my home and family) because God said so. I was excited but mainly terrified in what He was calling me to do. I knew my business wasn’t at a point where it would sustain my family financially and all of the weight would be placed on my husband and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to put my family in a position where we would have to struggle (I’ve been doing that my whole life and am pretty much over it). But I couldn’t stand to be disobedient, so I did what God said. At first things were looking good. Someone had donated a few hundred dollars to the business, I was getting a lot of sales and new customers, companies were purchasing ad space, etc. I felt like I could finally take a breath. But in the blink of an eye that was over. Things started going downhill…and fast. I know this post doesn’t seem too encouraging, but I don’t think that people share the “in the storm” experiences until after they are over and not while they are happening. I am in the mist of “feeling” lost. I know that I am not because I am following the Lord and He is the light to my path. Though I’m not familiar with the territory that I am currently in, I know God will never leave me nor forsake me and that He has the blueprint so I’m good!
I just wanted to take a moment to let you know what was going on and send some encouragement if like me, you find yourself in a place that doesn’t feel so great. We must continue to trust in God and keep our faith. The word says all we have to have is faith the size of a mustard seed. And as you can see from the picture above a mustard seed if fairly small.
Be sure to comment below if you feel stressed, fed up, or like you want to quit so I can pray for/with you.
And send up a prayer for me as well.
As always, stay encouraged,
Galatians 6:9 (NIV) Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
It is mid-year and I would have thought I would have been on a roll by now. Growing my business, meeting new people, so on and so forth. But it has actually been the opposite. I am struggling in sales and am running out of strategies. I try to business groups, mailing list, and a variation of other things and I am burnt out!
One day I expressed to my husband my frustrations and he tells me to just hang in there. Not to let my emotions be a distraction to what God has already told me. Though I know this on my own it doesn’t take away my frustrations. I’ve had women share with me the challenges of running a business and the many frustrations I will face but it doesn’t compare to the actual frustration that is experienced.
So one day while riding in an Uber (my driver was very impressed with my attitude) sparked a conversation asking where I was headed and what I did for a living. I explained that I had managed a Home Health Care Agency for the past 5 years but had recently ventured out to run my own business. He thought it was an awesome thing and began giving me sales strategies! I was blown away! He stated that with the type of personality I had all I needed to do was get in front of people in my target audience and there wouldn’t be no way they wouldn’t want to help me. I was so appreciative of his advice and expertise. God knew what I need and provided it right on time.
Though it’s rough right now I will hang in here.
What are some things you are struggling with in business or maybe in your career?
I would love to hear from you.
April is here which means Spring is here…for many of us it doesn’t seem like it. I know here in Pittsburgh this weather is pretty bipolar. Any who, for a lot of us entrepreneurs and business owners it is the second quarter. Around this time of the year either people are checking in on their goals so far or have completely forgotten about them. Being as though I’m fresh out the gate with this whole full-time business owner thing I didn’t have my quarter 1 goals and finances down. I knew what I wanted to happen but I didn’t plan for it. I did well (in my eyes) for my first quarter.
Now this second quarter I have a bit more of a handle on what I want to do. Here are some of my goals:
What are some goals you guys have and how do you keep track of them, and have you accomplished any?
I love feedback, let me hear from you!
Running your own business from home can be the most freeing thing in the world. You may have heard how you can just wake up and go to your computer in your jammies, not having to endure the weather or traffic. Which is actually great! Or being able to work freely and independently, but there is a slight hiccup in there. My major problem is time management. Not having someone watching over your shoulder or allotting time restraints has caused me to allow time to escape me very easily. Listed below are things that I am trying, to help me stay on task.
1. Write Everything Down
It has been very important for me to know what my day looks like. Writing things down the night before has allowed me to have a clear picture of what needs to be done each day. Using a planner has been a tremendous help because instead of me have thousands of little papers (it has been reduced to hundreds) everywhere with notes on what I need to do I can open my planner and look at my day.
2. Bringing Time Restraints Back
Having an allotted amount of time for each task helps me to be productive. There are times when I may have to go on social media to research something or post something and I find myself scrolling and commenting on posts that I shouldn't be on. So to hold myself accountable I set a stop watch for the length of time it should take me to complete any given task. With the time ticking away it forces me to focus on the task at hand.
3. Scheduling Post
Whenever possible I try to schedule post so I don’t run into the above problem (of being on scroll patrol). But there are some platforms that don’t provide the scheduling option. This goes back to writing everything down. For example, if I know on the 20th I need to post several graphics on Social Media about an upcoming event I will put it on my calendar to prepare everything on the 15th so that it's ready to post on the 20th.
4. Shooing Kids Away
If you’ve read my early post you know that I have 3 beautiful kids. And right now they are in school. So I push to complete the majority of my work before 2:00pm (my oldest is in high school and gets out the earliest) because I know once they are home they want to tell me about their day, sign papers, and help with homework. Sometimes though I am unable to complete all my work before 2:00pm so I try to complete everything I need to for them, including dinner, before I send everyone away. Right now I don't have a private office (I'm currently located in my dining room) so at any given moment a child is liable to come up to me and start a conversation or ask a question. I have to let them know I am working for X amount of hours and that I need not to be bothered. This works the majority of the time. If I'm unable to complete a task in that time frame I put it on my calendar to complete the next day.
So these are the things I am doing to help manage my time better.
What are some things you do, that seem effective, to manage your time?
I hope the first two weeks of 2018 have been good to you. I'm sorry that I have been away from the blog for a while I have been finishing up the last quarter of 2017 in preparation for the first quarter of 2018 to ensure that this year with Christ It Up Magazine, as well as Christ It Up Publishing, flourishes. In doing so I came across my word for the year. My word for the year is “Go”. The funny thing about me and this word is this; I am “Pro Go”! I am so quick to tell someone else to GO, go write your book, go start a new career, go open that restaurant, but when it's time for me to “GO”, I can become stuck in fear. But of course, God did not give us the spirit of fear but of peace and a sound mind. As a new year was approaching I was constantly thinking of what my word would be. For 2017 my word was “DO”. Like, just do it, even if you're scared, do it. As long as God okay-ed it, do it.
Although I've been doing this magazine for the past five years, I have only just begun to do this as my career. Have I mentioned how terrifying that has been? God is good though! Anyhoo, during this time I have been receiving so much flack for stepping out because I had a very "secure" job. I had (have) a high position in management at a small Home Health Care company. Everyone thought I landed the perfect gig...and this may be true but it's not what God called me to do and I could feel the burn every time I logged into that office computer.
When I finally decided to take the plunge :) I expected support from certain individuals in my life and it was not there. The very people I supported in every venture the pursued (pompoms and all) were nowhere to be found once it was my turn to step up to the podium.
I was beginning to feel down on myself, like I was doing something wrong. It wasn't until I received that phone call from my Dad, right when I needed someone to talk to. He encouraged me in such a way that I will forever be grateful for! God knew I needed that at that very moment! I am so thankful! My Dad reminded me that God was in control but he was also sure to voice how proud he was of me and how excited he was for me. I was literally in tears on that phone call.
When you're the one always encouraging people, attending their events, buying their products and no one being there for you-hurts! One of my aunts recently got a glimpse of my magazine and called me up. She was very impressed with what I was doing. She was gushing about how proud she was of me (Glory to God!!!). She explained how she had a tugging on her hurt to contribute financially. Although I don't know exactly what that looks like I am so grateful for her to reach out and even want to support this ministry. I really expected for the financial blessing to come from someone very close to me, but so far that is not what's happening. It was so unexpected for my aunt to reach out in that way and I find myself wondering why the person I wanted to support me in that way hasn't. I can't harp on that though, but accept the support that was so unlikely.
Being an entrepreneur can be rough on the pockets. You are most likely coming out of pocket for every expense. It takes money to make money, right? Well, (transparent moment) my pockets are on "E". They were only on half to begin with. But what I am learning in this transition is that I cannot "roll" how I used to. I can't go out to dinner as often or buy as many gifts as I want to. And spoiling myself if out of the question right now. If you are in the beginning stages of starting your business its okay to cut back. And don't allow family or friends to make you feel bad about it. You are doing what God called you to do; following your passion. They say following your passion and not getting paid for it is just a hobby. And you can tell those people, not for long!
It will all be worth it in the end. Trust God!
As I tried to prepare my kids for what God was preparing me for I noticed that they would nod their heads and say things like, "So, you'll be home more?", and, "You're doing CIU full-time?" But I realized that they didn't really understand what that would look like.
See, (from what I've read) usually when someone steps out into entrepreneurship they have a concept of what their revenue will be like once they start that business full-time. They're most likely making enough money to make ends meet at that present moment. So they take the leap and go into full entrepreneurship mode. Me on the other hand...well I just leapt.
As the weeks go on my kids are constantly asking for things as if my income hasn't changed drastically (I left my full-time Upper Management position at the end of July)! I'm like, "Hello! What do I look like? Wells Fargo?"
They don't care though! I guess kids will be kids. My son (12) wants every pair of Jordans that come out. Negative!
My oldest child (16, young lady) wants everything Anime that Amazon has to offer.
And then there's baby girl (6) who also wants everything from Amazon (because of her big sister of course) as well as books, every dress she sees, toy kitchens, Frozen plush dolls, and the list goes on.
Meanwhile I'm over hearing trying to make sure the house is in good standing (so far so good!) which can be worrisome sometimes.
But in this season I know that God is our provider as He was in so many seasons before. And I believe this season is different because He deliberately called me out to do this magazine as well as publishing.
If you are in a place where God has called you out but it makes absolutely no sense-Go for it!!!
In the beginning, meaning in 2009, God gave me (by gave me I mean spoke a simple sentence) a vision of a magazine. If you've read the introduction on the "Who We Are" page you will get a little insight into how Christ It Up began. To me God legit handed me this vision and said, "Here you go, get started". Hence, God doesn't call the equipped, He equips who He calls. I have no training or background in Business Management or properly operating a Magazine Company. I have been following His lead and plan to continue to do so because without Him I have no direction.
Blogging is new for me and was something that I didn't deem necessary for my site. But after speaking to a very knowledgeable woman, here I am. I plan to share my journey as I step out on faith in being a full-time entrepreneur and operating both a magazine and a publishing company.
Keep me in prayer!
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