Category: Boss Lady Moves

Influencer: Taking That Leap

I’ve never imagined one day becoming a leader of a huge organization. I’ve never had the desire to be the chief. I don’t need to be the one calling the shots. I’m okay taking orders from someone else (as long as they’re respectful and fair). I’ve always been content with just doing the best job that I knew I could do. I had no problem heading up small groups, but there was no need for me to be the HNIC. 

One of the best scenes from the movie, Lean on Me. 


But lately, like in the last couple of years, I’ve been feeling a shift in my feelings, a slow change of heart. Now don’t get me wrong. I am still not interested in becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, not even the principal of my school. However, I have been feeling a strong urge or push or calling to get out there and do more.  

How I Settled Upon Becoming an Influencer

The word that keeps popping up over and over again is the word Influencer. No, not a social media influencer, someone who is paid to influence (convince) you to purchase a product from some corporate sponsor. I’m talking about being a person whose life sets an example for other people, who lives a life of integrity, and is focused on positively touching the lives of everyone whom she meets. 

This word influencer has been following me. I read three different devotionals each morning. At some point over the past couple of weeks, each one of those devotionals has talked about being an influencer for Jesus whether it was in the way I was to lead in my home or how I am supposed to treat my coworkers, students, or strangers on the street, or even about what I decide to post on social media.  

To make it even crazier, a new journey that I am about to embark on in the next few weeks deals with choosing to be someone who inspires versus being someone who inspires and influences (and believe me there is a difference). Is all of this just a coincidence? I think not.  

As one of my dear friends always says, “You can’t make this stuff up.” 

My Heart is Open 

The main point that has been drilled in me is that, “People are watching”.  This realization has finally gotten to me, and I am embracing the understanding that I have to step it up when it comes to letting my light shine for the world to see.  There is no “on the fence” or hoping someone else will do it. It’s my light to shine, my gift to share with the world. I don’t have a choice. There is no other option.

I’ve been playing it safe. Flying under the radar. Doing my part but keeping it small, feeling as if the message I have to share isn’t that important, that special, that different. 

But it is. It definitely is.  

I mean, it has changed my life. So who am I to say that others don’t deserve the same? I know there are so many others already doing what I’m setting out to do, but why do I think that I don’t have a place? No one can do it just like me! Actually, the Bible commands that I extend this opportunity to others, tell others the Good News, and inspire, no, influence people, especially women, to live their best lives.  

The Business Boutique Effect 

Part of this journey began when I went to the Business Boutique women’s conference in Tennessee a few weeks ago. It was life changing. I was surrounded by women (including my bestie who invited me) who were chasing their dreams.

All around me were business owners at various stages whether they were just starting out or had been in business a few years. The energy in the air was more than inspiring; it was influencing. I knew I could not go back home the same way that I had left.  

Christy Wright who was over the entire program said something that really stood out to me (actually she said a lot that stood out to me), but one of the quotes that knocked the wind out of me was when she said, “Fear wants to box you into a small life”. While others may not think that was a big deal, but at that point, on the last day of the event, it was what I needed to hear.

I was already extremely motivated to go home and live out my purpose, but I knew that fear had been holding me back from doing that to the degree that I needed to do. (Yes, I’ve written about overcoming fears before, but this time it truly was different.) 

Sarah Jakes Roberts had also spoken about the concept of us dying empty. She said that God put things in us to pour out into the world and to leave there. We were to pour out all of that goodness stored within us in order to bless others. When I looked at my life, I couldn’t say that I was truly doing that.

No More Playing It Small

Playing it small has kept me back from so many big opportunities, so many chances to make a difference in someone else’s life, so many chances to collaborate with other people on great projects. I have let ideas shrivel up and die, blow away in the wind to be forgotten all because I didn’t think I really had what it took.  

But not any more. How dare I not share with the world all that God has put inside of me? I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am here to help others have a better life. I’ve always had a heart for people. I hurt when other people hurt. I cry when other people cry.

It might sound corny but my dream, the thing I would like to see happen most is for everyone to just be happy. I want everyone to enjoy their lives, the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. I’ve always felt that it was unfair and selfish for me to have such a great life (Lord knows that I am truly blessed) while others are hurting.  

And to think that it may just take a word from me, a kind gesture, a sharing of the Good News, a shoulder to lean on, a special life-affirming gift, or even a blog post like this.  

Next Steps 

I’ve said all of that to say this. I can and I will use my gifts and talents to bless others.  I will no longer play it safe. In just the few weeks since the conference I have taken some pretty big steps out of my comfort zone and I plan to do even more of that in the near future. Why should I try to fit in when I was born to stand out? (Thank you, Dr. Seuss). 

God, I hear you! It’s time for me to stop playing small and take a leap of faith. Thank you, God, for the great examples in my life of other women who are willing to stand up for what is right and go all the way out there for you! I’m ready to see where You will take me! 

What about you? How will you spend your life? Are you playing it small? Is it time for you to take that leap of faith? Comment below! 

The Other Side: 5 Ways to Achieve Your Goals

Hitting a Wall

Have you ever hit a wall and thought there was no way to get around it? I know I have so many times. These walls can be in our relationships, on the job, in our own personal development, or as we work towards accomplishing different goals.

And I will admit that these walls can be downright frustrating! It’s like you’re driving (or sailing or walking) along and things are going well. You are happy, carefree, and optimistic about all that the future will bring. You can see your goal peeking just over the horizon. You’re so close. Suddenly, BAM! There’s a wall directly in front of you blocking what was supposed to be smooth sailing. As far as you look to the right and to the left and up and down all you see is a wall with no end.

So what are you going to do? Retreat? Scream for help? Cry your eyes out? The answer to this is never simple.

My Wall: My Story

What I hate most about these walls is that most of the time, at least for me, they cause fear and doubt to creep in. I begin to rationalize that the goal wasn’t that important in the first place. Or that I was crazy for even thinking that I could do it. Or that it wasn’t really worth my time.

All of this fear and doubt get in the way of my being able to see that sign that says “Heavy Door. Push Here. Keep Pushing Until It Opens.” I’m so engulfed in my own sorrow and self-defeat that I fail to see that there is a way through this obstacle. I just have to be willing to look for it, to work for it, and to never give up on it.

I’m gonna be transparent here about this. Will you allow be to be open and honest? I’ve started and stopped many things because they’ve gotten too hard or too inconvenient. I’ve allowed the wall to tell me to turn around, to give up, that I’m being unrealistic, that this dream isn’t for me. I’ve allowed others to talk me out of a vision that I’ve had for myself. (more…)

Boss Lady Moves – Interview #2: Constance Ivana – Painting Her Way to the Top

Boss Lady Move – making a major change in your life in order to pursue your dreams, your passions, your goals and become your own boss

 

Moving is never fun nor easy. Moving away from family and friends and the life you know is even harder. Asking your children to trust you as you make such a big change to their lives can be the hardest.

However not pursuing your dreams, living a life of missed opportunities, wondering what your life could have been like if you had just made the move, tried something new, stepped out on faith, has to be even worse.

This is what motivated Constance “Connie” Ivana to make a major move this past year, this and the fact that she wanted to be an example to her two beautiful daughters. Dreaming was no longer an option for her; she was ready to make a change.  As women and mothers, we are often led to believe that it’s okay to put ourselves on the back burner for our children’s hopes and dreams, waiting until they get older before we pursue those things that are important to us. But I ask, what do we think is more motivating for our children: seeing a tired, worn out mother who doesn’t spend time on herself and only lives to serve her children, or a mother who not only encourages her children’s dreams but also shows them, through her own example, just how to go after those dreams, consistently, persistently, never giving up? (I’m pretty sure I know which one you chose.)

Connie’s Daughters

Since meeting Connie, I’ve grown to admire her more and more each day. She and I are both teachers at our school, we’re both new to the school, and, I believe, God placed us on the same team for a reason. Just like He inspired my move from my old school, He orchestrated this union to push me beyond my comfort zone and to show me what it really looks like to make Boss Lady Moves.

Seeing Connie in action is downright fascinating. Not only did she move from Virginia down to South Florida to pursue her dream of being an artist, by the time I met her she already had an office space downtown, a studio space in a new art district, and had made many connections in the art world. By day she is a teacher on our team, by night she is a force to be reckoned with: a passionate artist, entrepreneur, creative spirit working on new projects as they come to her and endlessly pursuing new endeavors including running painting parties and developing a new t-shirt line. (Check out her work here.) She also has a great nonprofit organization called Soulful Innovations which works with women and children who have dealt with domestic violence situations. Here’s the mission statement: We focus on providing group and individual artistic opportunities for women and children to start difficult conversations and begin the healing process. (Check out the Facebook page here.)

And she does all of this while making sure to help her daughters pursue their own interests and dreams whether it be joining the Girl Scouts, entering talent shows, competing in spelling bees, or participating in debate tournaments.

Pretty impressive, isn’t it?

So for this interview I wanted to find out more, wanted to understand even more, how she made this big change in her life. Here’s what what had to say.

Tell me your story. What inspired you to make your Big Boss Lady Move? The plan for the move from Virginia was not to teach anymore. I was leaving the classroom. Really, I just needed a change. I don’t know when the revelation started. Before, all I did was work, come home, sit on the couch. I was living more for my daughters than me, and I was so detached from everyone. It was just too much after all that I had been through for me to try to go out because I would need to get a babysitter, do my hair, get dressed. It was just too much. (more…)

Boss Lady Moves Interview #1: Sabrina Hayes – Pursuing Her Calling

Boss Lady Move – making a major change in your life in order to pursue your dreams, your passions, your goals and become your own boss

We all use social media for many different reasons whether it’s to keep up with good friends, reunite with old friends, to be nosy and spy on other people’s lives, or to just be “social.” However, social media has changed so much over the last few years and so have the reasons that people use it. It has gone from just a way to socialize to a way to interact with like-minded people, a way to learn something new, a way to connect with people around the world, and a way to grow your business.

This is how I met Boss Lady Sabrina Hayes. After becoming a consultant with Thirty-One Gifts, I quickly realized just how much I did NOT know about direct sales. And although my director, Nikki Lee, was extremely helpful, I knew that I could not solely rely on her to learn everything about how to run my business. As a matter of fact, it is because of Nikki Lee that I found out about these Facebook groups where I could interact with other Thirty-One sisters, learn and exchange ideas with them, and where we could congratulate and encourage one another. Then I stumbled upon a Sabrina Hayes’ video where she was sharing her ideas, and everything changed.

Sabrina was a Thirty-One leader and guru. Everyone wanted to be a part of the Facebook group that she helped to run, The Big Pink Playground. I, too, tried to suck in as much knowledge as possible and used a few of her ideas to help grow my business. But I could tell, as others could as well, that there was something different about Sabrina, something that made people want to just sit down and listen. That’s why when she announced to us through heartfelt tears that she was leaving Thirty-One, we were all in shock and very upset. Why would she leave something that she obviously was so skilled at doing? Why would she leave when she was at the top of her game and killing it? What would we do without her?

Well, the Sabrina-withdrawal was short-lived. Sabrina also announced that she was leaving Thirty-One because her heart was in ministry, and she could not ignore her calling from God. While we were devastated that she was leaving the company, most of us were happy that we would not completely lose the wisdom and insight that comes from listening to her. In addition, most of us were just downright in awe of her and her decision to make such a big move and to pursue her dream. Who leaves a career when they are at the top, seem to love it so much, and are loved and admired because of it?

Sabrina Hayes did. And she started this beautiful ministry called Sanctuary Girl and eventually became the owner/CEO of The Affirmation Shop. Here is some information from her website about Sanctuary Girl.

The mission of Sanctuary Girl is to minister to women through the weekend retreat experience in a way that brings them into the safety and security of truly resting in who they are in the eyes of God:

Strong | Loved | Powerful | Redeemed | Enough

Discovering God’s Word, His affirmations of us as women, the innate gifts that He has endowed upon us each individually, and enabling the fellowship of women from all over the country together to lift each other up and fill those empty places through the retreat experience, is the mission of Sanctuary Girl.

I’ve attended two of her retreats, and let me just say that they are life-changing! (Read here about one of my revelations that I got while there.) Once you go, you’ll never be the same. Her retreats have a way of connecting a group of women who are essentially strangers and giving them the opportunity to talk, pray, cry, reflect, and laugh. No one leaves a retreat the same way that they came. No one. This is why I had to interview her for this series because not only did she make a Boss Lady Move by abruptly leaving Thirty-One and starting Sanctuary Girl, she also created a positive brand which includes inspirational clothing, jewelry, home decor, and other accessories including one of my favorites, the Sanctuary Girl Faith Planner. I admire her for all that she has been able to accomplish over the past year as well as her willingness to step out on faith. She has been a huge factor in my quest to make my own Boss Lady Moves.

Enjoying the Santa Monica Pier on my second retreat

 

  • Who has been the biggest source(s) of inspiration for you? Jesus. I pattern everything I do and say after Him. He is the only one I desire to emulate. Hands down.
  •  What would you say is a Boss Lady Move? Just taking a leap. It’s about more than just getting stuff done. It’s being bold enough to even take that first scary step. That’s a boss.
  • What motivated you to make your Boss Lady Move? There was more to my life, my gifts, my purpose than what I was doing before, and in order to do that, in order to pursue that, I just had to jump. I am so happy that I did.
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten? Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. That kicked me in the butt.
  • What three tips would you give to a woman wanting to make a Boss Lady Move? 
    • Gather your tribe. Surround yourself with women who are positive, believe in you, and won’t let you fail.
    • Put God first. Otherwise, you are relying on your own strength and by doing this, you will fail. You can’t do it without Him.
    • Have an open mind. Success doesn’t always look like you think it will. Be willing to learn and try new things.
  • Describe your typical “work” day. I always starts with quiet time. If my thoughts with God aren’t right first, then my day doesn’t go right. After that, I try to spend only one hour on each task in order to avoid the day becoming mundane. For example, I may spend one hour organizing my shop, one hour reading something informative, one hour doing outreach, and another hour on social media planning. It keeps my mind active instead of being focused on the same task for a long period of time which may cause me to grow bored.
  • What are your future business plans? I’m working on creating a Sanctuary Girl business planner tailored to CEO’s who have a strong faith focus for their business. I’m working on launching the 2019 Sanctuary Girl retreat schedule. I also have planned some exciting new twists for the Sanctuary Girl Faith Planner. Stay tuned.
  • What are your best resources when you look for information to help you with supporting your business? I like to tap into professional human resources, people who specialize in and are knowledgeable about things/topics that I don’t know about. I look to them to fill in the gap of things I need. Human resources are so necessary.
  • What do you do to “get away” from it all? Immerse myself in British dramas.  If I can’t go to the beach, I find some mid-century British shows or movies on Netflix to watch like a great Jane Austin movie. Once I find a good series or movie, I am done. I can spend all day watching.
  • What was one of your biggest mistakes and how did you overcome it? Taking on everything for myself; I am self-sufficient and have to have control. I’ve learned that you have to have a well-structured team and must be willing to delegate and let go. Otherwise, you will run yourself ragged. For example, I’ve come to the realization that I have to give up some control on the Sanctuary Girl Retreat details, planning everything and doing everything. I’ve got to let go and let others do. After getting advice from one of the women in my tribe, I am currently working on building a retreat team. Where do I need the most help? Which women can I place in charge of administrative details such as registration? Who would be good for  planning the kitchen and meal details? And if I find really trustworthy women, having them lead a session while I take a break. Taking this advice will make your life so much easier. You can’t do it all.
  • What is a piece of one-word advice you want to leave for the ladies, one word that needs no explanation but can serve to motivate or encourage other women, one word they can look at and act upon ? FEARLESS