An Update on my Coaching Journey

Posted on

Over the course of the last 15 months, I’ve had the fortune of creating a life that matches my goals and my passions.

Last April I left one dream job to pursue another dream of being a full-time professional coach. I was lucky enough to come across a company helping returning citizens regain stability. There, I get to teach participants financial principles that set them on track for a new quality of life.

My desire to become a financial coach in addition to my professional life coaching business stemmed from my experience going through the home buying process. I realized how little I knew despite having two degrees, a decent savings and investment portfolio and a job making nearly 6-figures. My fury with the “system” and the fact that none of the basic financial principles of home buying were taught in schools led me to develop a curriculum that I taught to school aged children using what I learned.

This passion project became the resume builder I needed to land the job I have now, where I am teaching adults facing employment barriers ranging from previous incarceration to drug recovery to extended homelessness how to become financially free, while they pursue careers in manufacturing.

I was hesitant to take on a “9 to 5” after stepping into full time entrepreneurship, but I decided to see it as an investment into my entrepreneurial endeavors rather than a deterrent.

Everyone knows the first few years of business ownership are challenging. This position gave me the financial security I needed to be able to step out with confidence. I didn’t have to worry about affording medical insurance or halting my retirement savings. I had the freedom to build a business that would provide both down the line.

Last week JARC Celebrated 4 years with our annual “Evening of Hope.” We had the pleasure of hearing from two alumni of the program who are now employed and experiencing the fruits of their new life, gainfully employed and crushing their goals.

I poured my heart into this job. I showed up for the trainees on days where I could barely stand to show up for myself. But I cared so deeply that they would have the chance at something better. Like I do now.

As hard as it is to close this chapter, it is time for me to take my business higher. In 2020, I will be taking another bold step. Stay tuned to be a part!

 

The Deceitful Heart

Posted on

The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it. This is what the Bible tells us in Jeremiah 17:9.But the world tells us, ‘follow your heart.’ ‘The heart wants what it wants.’

That it can cause us to take the Savior of the world, who died on the cross so that we could live and remove Him from the position of Lord over our lives, and replace Him with the person who causes us to feel rejected, neglected and continually disappoints us, makes it absolutely deceitful. The heart will lead us right into despair, worshipping the person who hasn’t an ounce of ability to love us compared to what God Himself can do.

Don’t follow your heart. It will mislead you.
Follow God, He will lead you to the one your heart is safe with.

What do you need to do right now to begin giving your heart back to God today?

Creating the Perfect Environment for Productivity

Posted on

Growing up, when you were in school, we had very little control of our learning environment. Teachers adjusted temperature settings and classroom fung shui according to their liking or to the status quo and we just had to adjust to it. Whether it was the ideal temperature or lighting for our specific needs was out of the question. Well as adults, particularly entrepreneurs of those with the autonomy to create their own work space at home, we get to dictate what the setting looks and feels like.

 

Heighten your productivity by using these tips to perfect your environment:

  1. Place a plant on your desk or nearby. It will improve air quality by removing pollutants and releasing fresh oxygen. Also, the color green improves memory and reduces stress.
  2. Adjust the temperature to your liking. Leaving it too hot or too cold will reduce your concentration.
  3. Wear comfortable clothing so they do not distract you from your work.
  4. Keep your desk clutter free. Only keep within reach what is absolutely necessary for the task and get the other stuff out of the way.
  5. Play classical music or your favorite playlist. Music raises dopamine levels that make you feel happier as you knock out your to-do list.
  6. Open the blinds. Access to natural light reduces eye strain, drowsiness and improves overall health.
  7. Put your phone on airplane mode for 15-30 minute intervals so that you have distraction free productivity for different spurts of time. If you can go longer, by all means, do so. If you need to pause and check for messages, give yourself a 5 minute limit before getting back into work mode.

Bonus: Setup your camera up to face you and hit record, then start working. I do this to hold myself accountable. It feels like someone is watching. Also, it occupies my phone so that I am not tempted to use it for other distractions. It gives me an accurate time stamp of how long I was working before hitting the stop button.

When reviewing the recording, pay attention to what catches your attention. Give yourself some comedic relief by laughing at the funny faces you make when you’re focused.

Depending on what kind of content you like to share, it might be something you post snippets of to motivate others on their productivity and to check out your perfectly curated working environment. 

Cheers to your productivity!

How to Master Your To-Do List and Feel GOOD about it!

Posted on

Just got back from vacation last Wednesday and naturally was drowning upon entering the office. You know how it is. Nothing stops when you’re gone so it’s time to play catch up. To avoid becoming overwhelmed and feeling like I needed a vacation all over again, I had to master my To-Do list so it didn’t master me. Well, I made it to the end of the week relatively unscathed and with all tasks complete, including a major workshop presentation that I totally nailed.

Hear are some tricks I use to crush my to-do list EVERY. SINGLE.DAY. And how you can too!

Start your to-do list over every day:  No need to burden yourself with what you didn’t accomplish yesterday. Chances are, priorities have changed anyway. Its okay to write it in again but chances are some things have lost its importance. Give yourself permission to START FRESH every day. Focusing on yesterday will delay the wins of today.

Decide on the top 3 things that absolutely have to get done: I like to think of this as the list that you absolutely have to complete or the world will end. Be practical about what you can achieve. An exhaustive list will drain you mentally and make it so that you don’t have the energy to get anything done efficiently. Some of it can wait. The others will be icing on the cake.

Break your tasks into smaller bite-size chunks: If you have to write a paper, break it up into: brainstorm a focus, research the topic, outline the paper, write the introduction, write the closing, draft the works-cited page, draft body (break this up into even smaller to-do’s using the outline), edit format, check for errors, send to ____ for review, number pages, add header, submit final draft to _______. See how one to-do just became 15+? Checking each small step off of your list will add excitement for completing the rest. One big to do sitting there will feel daunting and will probably lead you to procrastinate due to the overwhelming feeling it brings. Celebrate the small wins and keeping charging forward. Practice breaking tasks up on everything down to delivery of the final product.

Do not multi-task: Contrary to popular belief, our brains are not wired to multi-task. Focus all of your brain power on one thing and minimize the rest or you’ll risk minimizing your ability to get anything to the finish line.

Give yourself a time limit for every task: The race against the clock will release the endorphins needed for focus and momentum needed to get to completion in time. The alternative is taking 8 hours to do something that would have taken half of one.

Try these hacks and watch your productivity and happy meter dramatically increase!

Girlfriend’s Guide to Detoxifying Your Boyfriend

Posted on

We’ve all heard it used recently, ‘toxic.’ Toxicity as it pertains to the male species or unhealthy relationships.

My birthday is this weekend and as I was preparing for my birthday look and seeking to detox all of the garbage I have been ingesting over the last few weeks, I came across some resounding themes. Drink more water. Eat more spinach. Purge from this or that.

I thought – that’s easy enough. So I’ve been on this miserable diet for the last 24 hours, but its working! I feel lighter already. I’m more energized, happier and looking forward to the birthday weekend ahead!

But I got to thinking, after seeing a post on social media today, why can’t it be this easy with relationships. When you’re doing life with someone you love, but they drain you the same way the poor diet I’m recovering from has, why can’t we just detoxify them and make them pure and enjoyable again?

After you’ve gotten past that “honeymoon” phase, as they call it, and the butterflies fade, and you start to question their every motive, and suddenly the blinders are off, and you’re thinking how in the hell did I fall for this fool. Yeah, that part.

It can be hard to accept that the person you love is toxic for you. No matter how many articles you read, no matter how stagnant you feel, no matter how many of your loved ones are flailing the red flags in front of you for you to see.

We’d rather fix it. Like everything else in our lives. We’re capable, we’re strong, we’re resourceful… we can fix it {them} right?

Totally!

Well, look no further, I’ve put together the remedy.

Here’s the 3 things you need to do to in order to detoxify your boyfriend:

  1. Cut off all ties to his long time male friends – They are poison. Every bit of progress you see in him is instantly reverted when he gets around them. They’re the reason for all of his bad decisions. Limit his interactions with them at all costs.
  2. Eliminate his access to social media – He’s such a strong and capable man without all of the depressing reminders that he’s not, which then lead to self-deprecating behaviors to fill the voids left by his feelings of inadequacy. Not to mention all of the girls in scantily clad… well, let’s be honest.. NOTHING on. Put him in a box. Only let him out to feed him.
  3.  Force feed him scripture till he’s blue in the face – Once you’ve rescued him from all of his former connections and deprived him of access to the free world, then you’ve gotta replace of that with… Do you see where I’m going with this?

Nothing can change that man but the Holy Spirit himself, sis. It’s a joke. That’s not a relationship, its manipulation. Free him.

 

Here’s a convicting scripture that’s renewing my mind: You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Matthew 7:16

Simple. If he’s bearing toxic “fruit,” he’s toxic. No one can detoxify that man but Jesus. See a similar scripture on fruits and vines in John 15:4.

If the fruits of growth and maturity aren’t showing up and replacing the former toxicity that once existed, be real with yourself. Leave.

On Amputation

Posted on

When a patient is in need of an amputation, they do not nourish the limb back to life in the hope that it will some day serve the organism. Doing so would risk its survival, allowing the infected part to spread throughout the body.

Consider this analogy the next time you want to nourish that toxic friendship, partnership, or relationship (whether romantic or professional) that you’ve been coddling in the hopes that someday it will serve you better.

News flash: It’s killing you. It’s killing your drive, your passion, your self-worth, your results, your dreams, your identity.

Let it go, before it spreads.

Might it be time for surgery?

Black Money Matters

Posted on

Yet we treat it like it does not.

The African American wealth is expected to fall to net zero by 2053 and into negative net worth following that if trends continue.

How quickly we are to go and spend our hard earned dollars in the pockets of the already wealthy as soon as pay day comes. From the casino, to the mall, to the housing costs and utilities we pay to landlords who profit millions off of us. We look forward to pay day just to go broke again while they look forward to payday as we make them richer.

If we turned our focus from survival to ownership we could make our way up the ladder to making our money make us more money rather than splurging on a financed life loaded with bills and stress.

And let’s say you have no interest in owning something, support someone Black who does. Not for the sake of it. Do it because the black dollar is leaving our hands far too quickly, ending up in the pockets of billionaires… and staying there. Because they’re investing it and growing it while we stay in the very same place.

For every non-black owned product, there is a black business owner selling it who needs your investment in their product in order to grow.

Do not let our wealth as a community hit zero. Invest in black business. Invest in black owned property. Stop competing with each other all the while not getting any richer. Just trying to form like the rich while making the white man richer buying all his stuff.

It’s quite silly actually.

And black owners. Grow up. Invest wisely and with integrity so that we can trust you more. When you get our dollars, do the same thing. Keep them in our community. Support contractors and suppliers that look like us. Train them up, let them know we depend on them to provide the highest quality in order for this entire system to work. Let them know that showing up on time and sober is part of sustaining wealth. Tell them mental health as you rise is imperative to longevity and maintaining integrity.

We all depend on each other from customer to producer and everything in between. And if you must engage with the white owner, do so in a way that brings money in and not out.

Let’s get this number back up. Its basic economics.

I am not writing this to create division. I am writing because our communities are suffering and our wealth is declining and this may be the only way to right the ship. We already had a dramatically lagging start. Only a dramatic and conscientious response can get us moving back in the right direction.

Black capitalism can win.

Now, buying the black owned and produced product or service might be harder to find, may yield a longer delivery time, and you may even encounter less than ideal customer service, but everyone started somewhere. And if never given the chance to grow, how can we expect different.

Make the sacrifice, educate, show mercy until we all rise.

#BlackMoneyMatters

That new city feel…

Posted on

There’s a very distinct feeling you get when cruising on the highway in new city. You’re experiencing it all for the first time. That feeling you get is the feeling of being totally present. There’s so much surrounding you to take in you don’t want to miss a beat of it. But all of these cities look and feel the same. There’s nothing new here. Same road paving, similar sky scrapers, same industrially polluted air.

If you live in an urban area, it’s not different than where you’re coming from. So how do you get that same high in your own city? Become more present in your own city.

I notice that that same feeling comes over me when I pause my thoughts and just take in the city as I’m pulling in on I-83. There’s still so much to take in here. Every day, a new thing. It only feels familiar so we become distracted with everything else.

What pockets of life do we neglect to fully experience because they have become too familiar and thus we are no longer present to the beauty and newness of them as they evolve every day?

 

Be present to what is happening now. Our surroundings are ever evolving. What’s old to you, is actually new with every breathing moment. Take a look.

How To Handle Microagressions

Posted on

You don’t.

You ignore it.

I handle microagressions much differently now than I once did.

They used to cause me stress; anxiety even. I would spend hours trying to devise a plan of retaliation or just mope in sadness about how hard this person was to deal with. We end up dimming our light and slowing my momentum worrying about how to address the oppressor. Now I choose to use that same energy to shine brighter.

Here’s why.

When you know your value, you realize that they (microaggressions) only exist because the deliverer has reason to be threatened by you.

It’s basic primal behavior. People only feel the need to intimidate what intimidates them.

For that reason, I see microagressions as a compliment.

I don’t even address it any more. You’re beneath me. Move.
Thanks for acknowledging my superiority.

Keep that head high, shorty. Don’t shrink.

They are intimidated by you. Your mere existence is a threat to them. Do nothing. You already win. You’re above them on the food chain.

“They go low, we go high.” It applies beautifully here.

Remain pleasant. Remain joy-filled. Remain on top.

I don’t know the research. I don’t have a clue what others are doing. But this has been working for me.

Try it.

Rolling, rolling, role-ing….

Posted on

I’ve come across a series of posts, statuses, videos over the last two days that speak to this notion that women live their lives fulfilling a bunch of roles. Someone’s wife, someone’s mom, someone’s this, someones that.

Behind every title is a person. A person with a very unique identity and gifting meant to be shared with the world. And if we mask that person with a series of roles, then the people who benefit from you filling that role never get to experience the real you. They miss out on so much that you have to offer. And you’ll find yourself transitioning out of roles and feeling very unfulfilled.

Focus on finding you first so that when you leave a role or the position becomes less valuable to the beneficiaries, your identity does not suffer as a result of it.

You should be so aware of who you are and the value you offer that your light shines brightly from within in every season even without the title.

Are you a mother, girlfriend or spouse, leader, or servant whose experiencing the grief that comes with phasing out of a position and into a new season? Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven [in every season]. Matthew 5:16 KJV