As I “pen” this blog, the scripture that I just referenced helped me remember what we need to do: LOOK UP! In Him is where all our strength, help, hope and refuge lies! It’s crazy how the devil will do everything in his power to keep your head down, buckled over in despair. And it’s simply because that if you look up toward God, you will begin to receive exactly what you need. It’s as if you’re absorbing the sun beams for physical and emotional energy, like a recharged battery; and it’s because His presence is beyond those clouds in the sky!
3 tips for overcoming the emotional roller coaster in your mind
This is a visual graph of the story of my life as an entrepreneur, and I think others out there might find it familiar. Fortunately, these peaks don’t happen every day (at least not for me), but they do happen frequently enough to make one feel like her life is a literal roller coaster! Just when you feel like you’re making strides, and are in a place of stability, the bottom drops out; and everything you thought you could rely on is no longer there. If this happened to you on a regular basis, how would you respond?
When I became a full-time entrepreneur about a year and a half ago, these peaks and valleys scared the living day lights out of me! Fear paralyzed me to the point of not even being able to focus and work. I had literal panic attacks, with shortness of breath-something that I had never experienced before. When I left my former job to pursue my online business full time, I was confident that I was in a good place to do so for several reasons: I had acquired a fourth client, had a decent savings; and crunched the monthly budgeting numbers to ensure I would have enough money to pay expenses. So I happily left ( I was miserable at that job anyways and created this plan in order to move on) to begin a new thing. Little did I know that it would be hard to find a schedule that worked for me in order to accomplish my daily tasks and balance my home life. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, without any structure or organization. Two weeks into my new venture, I lost the client that I acquired right before I resigned from my full-time job. That moment in time shook me, because I knew that I was counting on that money to keep the business afloat. It brought me to my knees, crying and praying incessantly. That SAME day, I received a phone call from a small business owner who was referred to me, inquiring about my services and she’s still a loyal customer today. The spikes from the graph are real! Just when you think you’ve lost it all and everything is spiraling out of control, something happens that makes you feel as if you’ve gained a sense of normalcy. There is no way that one person can manage these drastic changes alone. I’ve discovered a formula that gives me the strength to keep moving forward and I’m sharing it in hopes that it will help someone else.
Faith A habit of daily prayer and faith have helped me to keep moving when I am afraid. Prayer brings me the sanity that I need to continue working on the things that I have control over, even when it feels like everything around me is falling apart.
About a year ago a successful entrepreneur recommended that I read Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”. One of the assignments from this book was to write a clear and concise statement of your goals and the steps you plan to take to achieve them. I took the time to complete the exercise, and every morning before I begin working I repeat my action plan. The excerpt below is the part that I mentally ingest into my spirit the most. It gives me the shot of courage that I need to keep pressing forward when I feel helpless and have no sense of control:
I will sacrifice time to gain additional knowledge and financial hardship until my business becomes a success, temporary suffering in defeat, and being uncomfortable from uncertainty. I will make a daily habit of talking to God in prayer. I will not give up when situations look bleak and unpromising. I will continue to persevere and keep moving even when I am afraid.
Persistence There are so many days that I feel like giving up. Just about every day, I ask myself, “What am I doing?” and I question my decision to become an entrepreneur. I thought that taking the risk of working for myself would be rewarding and wouldn’t come with any regrets. Boy, was I wrong! I have learned that what I did when I resigned from working for someone else was exchange one set of problems for others. But just when I’m at my lowest, something positive happens, where an effort to help someone actually works; and, it gives me the boost of energy I need to keep going. The moments in between are excruciatingly hard, but it’s worth it to continue trying in order to feel the sensation of success!
You’d think that stand-up comedians would be the only people who would need improvisation skills. Nope! Not the case! As an entrepreneur, there are so many hats that you have to wear during the day: laborer, accountant, marketer, etc. Then there are the unexpected things that distract you from daily tasks; and, if you aren’t careful, they will frustrate you to the point of giving up.
Last week, I had a working vacation. My husband had to office out of his organization’s Dallas location, so my son and I tagged along because my family lives there. I enjoyed being around family, but my schedule was so different from the norm; and to top off all of the confusion, I spilled water on my laptop midweek. Talk about having to improvise. I used my phone and my husband’s computer (still doing this as week speak) to get major tasks out of the way. I also just found out that my computer won’t be able to be repaired because of the water damage. So guess who gets to figure out how she’s going to get another computer? This chick! But guess what? It’s not going to keep me from doing what I need to do. I’ll keep on pushing, praying, and waiting on God to open the doors that I can walk through to be successful!
Keep your head up, and keep going!
Satan tried to steal my joy earlier this week because I din’t get the project that I spent so many consecutive hours (almost 48) working on and lost the bid. I had my pity party moment, doubted my capabilities, and felt bad about the people I let down because I didn’t get the gig. I thought God was sending me this opportunity as a means of making some extra income; it would have been an answer that could have easily solved some of my current money issues. But after further reflection, I believe that He wanted me to learn a different lesson.
I told my husband that I didn’t get the job and his immediate response was,”Well, at least you have a couple of clients that like your work”. I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but my response was that it’s hard to eat with only a couple of clients. I’m so grateful that I have such an insightful husband (and he probably wasn’t even trying to be in that moment), but his statement stuck with me because he was right!
God wants me to appreciate what I already have, and I truly am thankful for my clients. They have not only been a blessing to me through supporting my business, but they are amazing people! They are my confidants, I’ve shared successes stories and failures with them. Together we have been through good times and bad times, and when I reflect on the history of my relationships with them, I can truly say that they are my friends.
There are many ways to show your customers that you value their business and relationship; here are a few of my favoritess:
- Make It Personal Do you know your client’s favorite restaurant or drink? What do they like to do in their spare time? Treat your customer with a gift certificate, or if time permits and they’re comfortable with it, take them out to their favorite spot and celebrate your business partnership together!
- Do Something Unexpected Hand-written notes are always a pleasant surprise when you’re displaying an attitude of gratitude! Not only will your customer feel appreciated, but the memory will linger with them for the rest of the day and serve as a great moment of reflection for years to come
- Verbal Thanks A simple expression of thanks goes a long way. Call or your client or meet them in person, thanking them for your relationship and why they are valuable.
Not sure how or where to start? I’ll kick it off!
Thank you, Kimberlee Wright with Young Women Winning, PJ Payne with Your Coffee Fix, and Pastor Tim Daniels with the Trinity Gardens Church of Christ. It has been a privilege to help build and maintain your online presence; more importantly, I value our friendship! Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about you and share your platforms with the world!
Learning to fly and excel in your dreams is not an easy lift-off. Here are three tips for enduring a shaky launch!
Have you ever had a day where nothing seemed to go right? No matter what you did; whether it’s tasks that you can normally do blindfolded or a daily routine that usually flows seamlessly, all of a sudden becomes disrupted with frustration and difficulty. This was me last week. I even became a little more clumsy physically and scraped the back of my heel (still trying not to pick the scab)! Times like these make it easy to give up and just call it a day, which is exactly what the enemy wants you to do. But I’ve found that it’s even harder to get back on track when you end your day earlier because things aren’t going your way. It’s better to stay the course, and endure the shaky lift-off because it’s the only way to get in the air.
Just Do It Last week when it felt like I could do absolutely nothing right, I began to question myself. I asked, “What is going on?” and “Did I do something that caused this to happen?” And then, once one thing after the next continued to become a struggle, I began to expect everything to go against the expected outcome. This is a bad place to settle. My attitude was in the wrong mindset, but I’m so thankful that I continued to persevere and keep going. Things were harder and it took longer to accomplish tasks; but, at the end of the day ,forward progress was made. It wasn’t as much as I had hoped for, but every step counted. Choosing to keep going moved me farther than I would have been if I had decided to wait for circumstances to get better. What if they had never gotten better? Think of all the time that would have been wasted if I continued to wait for perfect conditions? It’s laughable!
Ask for Help Believe it or not, you are not alone in this process; but, you have to learn to ask for help when you need it. There are plenty of people who love and support you, but they are not mind readers! There are times when people can sense that something is wrong and you need help; but you will not receive the immediate assistance you need without opening your mouth and letting others know about it.
When you ask for help, remember to include the ultimate source of all blessings-God. He will send help in unconventional ways and through people you did not expect or even think of ! This is why daily prayer is so important. When you talk to God frequently, not only do you develop a better relationship with Him, but you learn to also listen for His answer and response to situations in your life. It’s a beautiful thing for this revelation to happen; and, it’s when you truly realize that you are not alone!
Stay Positive The lift off may be shaky, but it’s important to remember that it won’t always be like this. There will come a time where you will be able to reap the reward of your decision to start the engine and go! Take off won’t be the only time you experience turbulence; but those rocky moments will help you appreciate the ease and shear wonder of being in the air! So keep going because the only way to reach your dreams is to fly toward them!
Tips for Ensuring You Seek & Find God Everyday
About year ago when I stepped out on faith to invest in my business on a full-time basis, I was scared and worried about so many things that were out of my control. I used to worry about the money I would make driving with Uber; having enough money to pay my bills; meeting new people and trying new things in my business that I’ve never done before.The year passed so quickly, but as I reflect on that time, I have learned that I can depend on God to supply all my needs, even if it’s not in the manner that I expected. All I have to do is ask Him for what I need, seek out His presence, keep moving, and expect a response!
Because He responds in such an unconventional manner, there are a few things that you have to do in order to ensure that you don’t miss out His promise. He said He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) Here are the ways that I look for God and find the strength to keep going:
Pray Daily Payer is the manner that we communicate with God. Once you begin to do it more frequently, you develop a relationship with Him that can be compared to talking with an old friend. Prayer draws you closer to God and helps you to understand who He truly is. Once a better understanding occurs, it is easier to look for Him,seek His counsel,and tell Him whatever you need.
I can openly admit that I have never been more closer to God than I have been since I started my own business. As a friend of mind pointed out during a discussion, He has placed me in situations that only He can get me out of! It helps me to recognize His presence more easily and it is for this reason that I am truly grateful!
Read the Word The Bible is one of the ways that God speaks to us. It’s true that when you are still, you can hear Him speaking to you; but in those moments of silence, it’s also a good idea to pick up the Word and study it. You might just find His response in the scriptures.
As humans, we often believe that every personal experience we encounter is unique; but, that’s not the truth. If we look outside of ourselves and talk to others, we will find that others have been through the same thing. There are some Biblical situations that we can also relate to. Reading and observing those actions provides insight an appropriate response. We can either learn from the mistakes that were made, or follow the advice of the successful outcomes. The choice is ours, but reading the Bible is one of the ways God will respond to you. Make it a habit to ensure that you are not missing out on what He’s trying to tell you!
Remember What You Asked For Have you ever asked God for something, but stopped looking for it because you didn’t see an immediate response? It’s one of the biggest mistakes that I know I’ve made! It’s important to consistently ask and expect a positive outcome. If the desires of your heart are positive and pure, He will give you what you asked for (seek ye first, Matt. 6:33). Once you get up off your knees from your request, you have to begin walking in your expectations; doing the things that you know you need to be done in order to achieve your dreams. Once you begin showing Him that you are willing to do your part, He begins to walk with you in your request. You’ll notice that He also shows up in perfect timing; just when you have no faith or are about to give up!
God is always with us; but, we have to remember to acknowledge His presence in all that we do through talking to Him and looking for a response. He always responds; we just have to position ourselves for an answer!
Yours in the bond,
3 Tips for Staying Positive and Focused to Reach Your Dreams
Have you ever been so focused on arriving at your destination that you didn’t even realize you were already there? Just the other day, I was following GPS directions to somewhere I had never driven before, and kept looking in every direction to find the place. I finally lifted my head and realized that the address was right in front of me! I had arrived and didn’t event know that I had made it! Sometimes in life, we get so caught up in the details of our goals that we never even notice the progress we’ve made to get there. Here are three tips that I found to work while being positive and focused to reach your dreams.
Ask for Guidance
You are not alone in life and you will begin to realize this once you start asking and searching for God.I take time every morning to talk to God (usually in the shower) and I ask Him for guidance. I ask Him to keep my eyes and ears open for what He’s trying to show me. I ask Him to help me see in my day through blessings and encouragement. My recent trials and new journey with entrepreneurship have truly shown me just how much I need Him everyday and I am so thankful for this revelation because it has taught me to seek His counsel and acknowledge His presence in my life!
Reflection: Search for the Answers
While you’re asking for guidance, it’s important to remember to search for the answers. Remember what you asked Him for and analyze the conversations and encounters that you have throughout the day. Did any of these engagements provide the answers to what you were looking for? At the end of the day review what you’ve gone through to search for your answer. Sometimes you have to be still in order to realize that the answer has been revealed, but you have to be in a place of quiet in order to recognize and receive it.
Talk About It: Remind Yourself Where You’re Going
We’re often taught that talking to yourself is a sign of insanity; however, I find that the older I get the more I do it! And now, I really don’t think that it’s sign of craziness, but a means of organizing my thoughts and plans. Call it what you want, but it works!
About a year ago, I had the opportunity to spend time with a successful entrepreneur and she provided a book recommendation that has been so valuable to my growth in this area. Napoleon Hill’s, “Think and Grow Rich” shows that wealth generation starts with a positive mindset and that the formula for changing your attitude is through daily affirmations of your goals. Write them down and repeat them aloud daily. This form of auto-suggestion will seep into the depths of your soul to the point of belief and you will eventually begin to act upon the things you desire. So remember to actively reflect on your goals by saying them aloud. Not only will they keep you focused, but they will transition your dreams to reality!
While you’re doing these things, you’ll need to remember to look up from time-to-time. You may just realize that you’re closer than you thought you were…and that you just might have arrived!
Hope for slow growth! 3 Reasons that God’s preparing you to handle greatness!
When when we’re in the planning phase of building our dreams, we only imagine the positive benefits of achieving them. We paint such a pretty picture that even our timelines to reach these goals are unrealistic; and, because it’s uncharted territory, who really knows how long it will truly take? Business courses teach us to approach strategies through a SWOT analysis which helps identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. But when you’re looking through rose-colored lenses, it’s pretty easy to overlook the opportunities and threats.
So you stepped out on faith and are now walking in your new reality. If it’s anything like my experience, it’s much harder than you thought it was! It feels more like you’re walking than running with all the energy that’s been pent up to run this race. Tasks that you thought should be simple don’t come as easily as everything else because you aren’t experienced in doing them. Your client base isn’t growing as fast as expected and you’re working the extra jobs that it takes to pay the bills longer than you thought you would. Have you ever asked God, “Why is this taking longer than it should? Why are there so many road blocks in my path to success?” Here are three hints that might lead to the reason you’re in the slow lane when you believe you should easily be passing others up. Embracing where you are will allow you to appreciate the journey!
Natural Talent Isn’t Enough
When I started this business, it was based on the success that I had a volunteer and eventually getting paid to be a social media manager. I noticed that I had quite a bit of natural talent; things were easy and intuitive. I quickly caught on to updates and what our target audience wanted to see most. This lulled me into a false sense of confidence that I had everything thing that it took to become a social media manager. Ha! Was I ever wrong! I quickly learned that there was a lot that I didn’t know. I struggled, and continue to struggle, but, through the struggle I have witnessed growth. I now take classes and read industry articles to become better at my craft; and, during this learning process I continue to thank God for the small victories along the way. Sometimes you have to run into a brick wall to get this lesson, so hopefully I’m reaching someone who will learn from my mistake. Acquiring additional knowledge and continuing your education are key to staying on top of things and setting yourself apart. It will make you better. You will become the best version of your self if you continue to seek wisdom and knowledge!
There’s More to it Than You Thought
As an entrepreneur, I feel like I learn something new everyday! When I first started this business, I had a plan and implemented it. Little did I know that that plan was NOT comprehensive. But I would not have learned what I was missing had I not started. Life is full of unforeseen variables; we just have to get out there and try to do our best. Not only will we learn things along the way, but we will encounter others who have like-minded goals. These are the people that will understand the most and you can eventually lean on when things get tough. Moral of the story: It’s ok to not know everything; just like life, it’s all a learning process!
Beware of Instant Success; It’s Combustable!
I am now in a position where I can thank God for slow growth. If I had gained all the clients that I expected to have by now, I would have been overwhelmed and ignorant about how I could be of service to them. There are so many things that I have learned that have helped me to develop my craft. At times, I think, “wow, I didn’t event know that” feeling that I should have already had that information. At this point, I’m just grateful that I have gained the knowledge and information that I used to not have. It has been a humbling but very valuable experience.
Be grateful for teachable moments and remember to look for God in every situation. It will help you to understand the benefits of slow growth and to handle trying moments without frustration!
Stay Blessed, My Friends!
Have you ever felt stuck in a rut or found yourself looking for the inspiration to keep picking up your tired feet to keep moving? Sometimes, even when you love what you do, it’s hard to find the inspiration to keep going. Why? I’ve found there’s several reasons. Let me know if you agree:
You’re Drained: Giving it your all requires a lot of energy! Not only do you have to account time for work and following your dreams, but there has to be enough left in your tank for family, friends, and other daily tasks that present themselves. It can leave you feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything!
Unexpected Emergencies: There are situations that appear out of the blue that need your immediate attention: there’s a death in the family; your car quit running; your son is sick. These items take you away from your daily routine, putting you behind in what you planned to accomplish for the day. Now, not only do you need the energy to deal with what just happened, but to also finish the work that you planned on completing during that time period.
Negative Work Relationships: Has someone recently slighted you; promising to deliver one thing and not following through? What about the annoying co-worker or boss that continues to spew negative energy with complaints? Or your paycheck is short and you’re worried about how to survive the next few weeks?
I bet you’re wondering, “Is there any hope? Will my mojo ever kick back in? When will I ever be motivated again?”
Here’s some sure-fire tips to grease your motivation gears:
Remember Your ‘Why’: Revisit your ‘why’.There’s a reason you started your business, began looking for a new job or set a new goal. Remember what inspired you to take a stand and start the process. Your purpose is usually tied to fulfilling a dream or realizing that change needs to happen. My ‘why’ involves helping others and leaving a legacy for my child. I founded JRobinson DMS to help small businesses and non-profits create an online presence; allowing them the time to re-invest their energy into what they do best. I want to grow this effort to a profitable state, leaving my son the option of keeping the dream alive or selling it to the benefit our family. Remember your why when life gets tough and all looks lost. It will help you to dig deep and stay the course!
Remain Positive: Attitude is everything! What you think about has a way of coming to fruition. Find beauty in the little things. You’ll find that focusing on something positive will turn daily tasks and situations around. My mother sends me a scripture every day and the verse is usually about being encouraged or remembering the source of your strength. I wait for her text to begin my work day because I know it will provide the inspiration I need to give it another try to keep moving forward.
Stay Focused: Remaining focused is tough. Life throws you curveballs of distraction on a daily basis. There are things that happen that ruin your plans or routine, making it hard to get back on track. I’ve found when this happens, the best thing to do is focus on one task at a time. It’s important to prioritize what needs to be completed that day because chances are you won’t be able finish everything planned. Take a deep breath, count to 10, or what ever needs to be done to clear your mind and get back to it!
If you’re having a hard time committing to any of the suggestions mentioned above, remember that prayer works too! Ask Him for help with remembering your ‘why’, remaining positive and staying focused. He’ll give you the answer to keep pushing and to carry on!
Yours in the bond,
JRobinson, Owner and Founder, JRobinson Digital Media Services