3 Ways to Grow Your Online Business

Would you consider yourself a risk taker? Well, I don’t. At least not without some conscious effort. And over the past two years I have been more intentional about pursuing my God-given purpose and daring to “make it messy.” That’s one major lesson I gleaned from my time at Marketing Impact Live in sunny California. This amazing conference virtual mentor and BFF (in my head) Chalene Johnson completely rocked my theoretical world around entrepreneurship, online marketing and networking.

In this video I share 3 key lessons I learned literally blew my mind and shifting business forward. Here’s one to wet your appetite: MAKE IT MESSY. In my own words this means—don’t wait for perfection to launch. If you wait until things are perfectly aligned, until you have all the money or until you’ve lost that weight to pursue your dreams you will never launch! So, let go of perfection, take the risk and make it freakin’ messy!

Do me a favor, like and subscribe!

XOXO – LeeAnn

Am I Worthy?

Have you ever wondered, “Am I worthy?” or “Am I desirable?”

Well, I have. And I answered that question as . . . YES! This is finale of my 5-part series on my confidence journey. Watch this last installment to learn how you can address the annoying voice in your head which questions your worth. Don’t you ever forget, YOU ARE WORTHY!

Share this video with someone who needs a little boost today!

Love ya much, LeeAnn

5 Self-Care Tips For Women

The following post is a guest blog from Ebony Harley!

Hello everyone!! I hope that 2018 is going well for you all. Before I dive in, I want to briefly introduce myself. My name is Ebony Harley and I am a sister, a friend and a perfectionist who is passionate about living a life that both God and I are proud of.  In my free time, I’m also obsessed with self-care and emotional/mental wellness.

I am so passionate about self-care because I realize that it is not only an integral component of mental and emotional wellness, but also is an important part of our relationships. As women, we are expected to give so much and it’s important that we fill our tanks so that we have something to pour from. In our relationships, how we treat ourselves is a signal to others of how we expect to be treated. One of my favorite quotes, which I’ll attribute to the Oprah Winfrey is, “You teach people how to treat you,” and this is absolutely true. People will treat you no better than you treat yourself because YOU set that standard.

What is self-care? It’s whatever you need to recharge and reflect. For some that means indulging in their favorite meal, for others it may mean creating and sticking to a budget, and for me it means working to create a life that I don’t need to constantly retreat from.

With that – let’s delve into my self-care routine, shall we?

1: Boundaries. One of the first things I realized about my own mental wellness is the vital importance of creating boundaries. There are some things that I won’t allow to even come across my consciousness because of how empathetic and sensitive I am to other’s energies (and opinions). For that reason, my Facebook is currently deactivated, and I take very seriously how other people make me feel. If the vibe isn’t right or if I find that a topic or conversation is making me feel a way, then I act on it. Now, I don’t get this right every time, but when I catch it – I remove myself. Sometimes that means leaving the room, “accidentally” ending the call, changing the subject or just saying how I feel.

2: Physical Activity. Almost nothing makes me feel better, at least for a little while, than working out. The process of getting to the gym is ALWAYS a long one and I surely talk myself out of it a million times over, but once that work out is over, I feel like a BEAST! No, seriously – I feel so much better and I know it’s scientific, but it’s also just knowing that I did one thing FOR ME and that, is amazing.

3: Creating & Maintaining Sacred Spaces. Recently, I began my quest to make my room a space that I could retreat to. I wanted it to be tranquil and inviting, so I did my best to include elements that felt that way to me.  I cleared the energy with Palo Santo, added a few candles to my collection, purchased a record player and vintage records for the vibes and did some rearranging to make the space more functional.

4: Looking My Best. I try to make sure that my clothes mimic as closely as possible what I want to feel on the inside. That differs daily, but usually involves my eyebrows being on and popping, smelling good, and having on at least one article of clothing that when I look in the mirror I’m pleased with.

5: Pouring into my Spirit. I am a Believer and stand firmly in knowing that God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. I use my belief as another form of self-care by listening to worship music, reading and reflecting on God’s word, and praying and meditating that I can manifest His will for my life, which I believe is for me to live a happy, healthy and fulfilled existence. Whatever your belief system is, it is so important to align yourself to a practice that promotes your mental well-being.  Whether it’s meditation, prayer, church, yoga, temple, synagogue or mindfulness – just take some time to vibe with your highest self-knowing how special you are and that no one on this earth can you like YOU can.

These are just a few ways that I’ve learned to take care of me. Self-care for you may look totally different. What’s important is that you take the time to figure it out and do those things that you need to do to feel your best. Feel free to leave any ideas or your own personal self-care activities in the comments!

About Ebony

Ebony Harley is  a sister, friend, aunt, god-mama,  daughter and Believer. She is also a living testament of the power of education – with all the degrees (BA in Economics, Masters in Social Work + Business Administration) to prove it. Sometimes, Ebony blogs over on www.lifeslovelylessons.com where she hopes to bring readers along on her journey of life, self-care and ultimately – genuine joy. Full-time, Ebony works as a CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield helping to advance the mission of extending healthcare to even the most vulnerable populations.

 

Why Your Tongue May Be Killing You

The following is a guest blog post by Evelena Dawson, founder of Affirmed Women. Enjoy!

I once heard that I Am are “two of the most powerful words. For what you put after them shapes your reality.”

I am a firm believer of positive affirmations. I spent many years of my life in self-doubt and believing the negative things about myself. I didn’t grow up in a home where we regularly expressed positive affirmations to one another. We knew we loved one another but we barely said it.

But as I grew older I started to understand the importance of affirmations. I started to understand that the words you say out of your mouth and to yourself is life or death.  The beginning of Proverbs 18:21 says, “Your tongue has the power of life and death.” (more…)

My Journey to Self-Confidence: Am I Good Enough?

Have you ever question whether you’re good enough? Well, I did. I questioned whether I’m a good Christian, a good person, and how I measured up to everyone else. I discovered that in Genesis 1:31 it says that, “Then God saw everything that He made, “and indeed it was good.” God made me and indeed, he calls me good. I am good regardless of how I feel, what I’m doing or not doing. Feeling confident requires that you turn off the white noise and simply believe that you are good.

My Journey to Self-Confidence Pt 3: Am I Smart Enough?

Hey, hey!

Funny (not at the time) story: I totally failed a math class the second semester of my college Freshman year. I thought I had failed at life! (ask my college BFF who had to talk me off the ledge LOL). But alas, I am still here winnin’.

Sometimes a negative experience can throw you into self-doubt and this was certainly the case for me. I struggled to answer the nagging question, “Am I smart enough?” for quite sometime. In this video I share how I overcome this self-doubt and now walk in confidence.

Enjoy!

P.S. I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below if you’ve ever questioned your intelligence and how you overcame that.

Much Love!

5 Things I Learned by Detoxing

5 things detoxing graphicHubby and I completed two rounds of a 30-day detox and I dropped 42lbs like a sack of hot potatoes. 42! I thought it’d be fun to share the top 5 things I learned.

Real talk.

It completely changed our lives. We share more about that in episode 1 of our Wellness Journey vlog. My personal 5 lessons are here:

1.First of all, I can live without cheese . . . even if I don’t want to. OMG. I love(d) cheese. It is the ONE thing I claimed I’d never give up. Keep the steak. I’ll take my aged sharp cheddar, please! After 60 days of shifting my diet (and my thinking) I no longer crave it and I enjoy all types of dishes without it. I know I’ll have a slice from time to time, but it doesn’t rule my life anymore.

2. I do like vegetables. My husband teases me and claims I don’t eat vegetables, I play with them. Well, he was right. I even wrote an entire blog post about it. Now, I’ve come to love many of them (even brussel sprouts!). It may sound silly to you, but now I treat my veggies like a piece of meat.  Seasoned well and prepared with love. If you season your chicken why wouldn’t you season your veggies, right?

3. Meat doesn’t dominate my plate, or me. HUGE! Since I had an issue with vegetables I masked the flavor by piling my plate with animal protein, rice or potatoes. These meals really weighed me down. While detoxing I couldn’t rely on meat and I learned to make vegetables the star of the dish.

4. I’m a pretty great cook. I’ve got skills, ya’ll. Like, make my own vegetable stock and homemade almond milk kind of skills. My pre-detox diet limited my food choices. Although I was free to eat anything I only ate a few things—fast and fattening or healthy and basic. While on the program my creativity unleashed because I refused to eat the same boring health foods for 30 days. [Should I do a post about my favorite recipes? I became obsessed with recipes from this e-Cookbook.

5. I don’t have to hide anymore. By the end of the program I felt such peace and a weight lifted off me (and not just the 40+lbs I shed). I realized that I hid behind my weight. Meaning, it covered up the real work that I needed to do on myself. It dominated my prayers, fueled fears and threatened my destiny. God couldn’t care less about the pounds. He was much more concerned about my character. I plan to talk more about this in an upcoming video so be sure to subscribe to the list so you know when I publish it.

I hope you found these interesting and helpful. Have you completed a detox before? If so, what did you learn?

My Self-Confidence Journey Pt2: Am I too fat?

Throughout February I will share about my journey to self-confidence. Admittedly, some of this is difficult to share, but I know my journey will help somebody else know that they are not alone. You are not alone! In this video I address the question: Am I too fat?

I’ve come to love the skin that I’m in.

I am not too much. I am enough!

Go back to check out part 1  to understand the full picture.

I want to hear from you, leave a comment: What is one insecurity you’ve overcome?

P.S. Do me a favor and like and share this post to Facebook or Twitter.

Much love,

LeeAnn

My Self-Confidence Journey

It’s February! We celebrate Black History and a little thing called love. I thought it to be appropriate to share my personal experiences with falling in love with ME. For the remainder of this month I will share how I addressed 4 questions that lured me into self-doubt: 1. Am I too fat? 2. Am I smart enough? 3. Am I good enough? 4. Am I desirable?

Here is the intro which is the first installment of this five part series. I hope you enjoy! Be sure to open the video in YouTube to like, comment and subscribe. – Much love, LeeAnn

A New Way to Set Goals

“There is nothing magical about January 1,” Lara Casey Isaacson, CEO, Cultivate What Matters.jan 1st

When I first read these words, I felt so relieved!  And now that we’re into February, I hope you find some relief too. I love December because everything seems to slow down just enough for me to squeeze in time for reflection, prayer and planning my year ahead. This past December was a bit different. Okay, very different. I did not want to forge new partnerships, make any money moves or set any goals without feeling God’s peace about it. At the start of 2018 I had not written down any goals until two weeks into the game. To be honest, I was stressed out about it. Who doesn’t have a plan when the game clock has started (not a sports fan, forgive me if this analogy failed)?! Now that we are in February, have you planned out your year? If not, please do not fret. I learned a few things that may help you.

My boss gifted me this amazing planning journal that challenged my approach to goal-setting. It was a gentle, faith-based approach to strategizing for the year. Speedy implementation is not always king. Intentional planning which leads to implementation is. I often rush to act so quickly that I leave no room for God to breathe His beautiful creativity and wisdom into my agenda.

Not much changed from what I originally thought were priorities, but my confidence in those priorities did. I knew with certainty that I was spending time on the most important things. Here are a few #majorkeys that I learned from this year’s planning experience. There is still time to set your goals for the year!

  • Take your time and take the pressure off. Remember that phrase, “There is nothing magical about  January 1st.” The world won’t stop spinning because your plan is imperfect. In fact, you will keep going. Leave room to set real, intentional goals instead of putting any ol’ thing on paper.
  • Relax, reflect, release. It can be difficult to reflect on what didn’t work last year. It may also be a little scary to consider everything you still have yet to accomplish. Don’t stress about it, instead reflect on the small and big wins you experienced. Use this as fuel to help you relax and release yourself from previous missteps to you can begin again.
  • Listen. Pray, meditate (sit silently and focus your attention) on God’s voice. Listen to your heart. Where is that inner voice guiding you? Slow down long enough to hear what you ought to do and make sure those things are actually important and necessary. I started with just 15 minutes of silence then writing my thoughts in a journal each morning. It made all the difference.
  • Simplify. You can do it all, but not at the same time. One of our 2017 Fit and Fab Weekend speakers Adrienne Lance Lucas [catch the minute highlight video] quoted this, and it really hit home for me. As Black-girl-magical as I think I am, I cannot do every single thing at once. Simplify and breakdown your goals into very, very simple steps. Then, spread them throughout the year.
  • Set one vision. I LOVE that in this planning process, Lara asks the reader to identify the one word that will guide your year. I have two (overachiever LOL). Advancement and Collaboration. The first was set by my local church and the latter I heard from in my heart after praying and journaling one morning. Everything that I do this year will be aligned around these two words.

So, now your turn to comment. What does your planning process look like? If you had to choose one (or two) words for this year, what would they be?

By the way, if you’d like to learn more about the planning journal I mentioned, you can find it herecultivate what matters pic2I’m pretty sure this particular book is sold out as of January 31st, but there are other versions and planning resources on the site. (Just so you know, this is an affiliate link, but I only share it because I think it’ll take your goal setting to the next level).

I’d love to hear from you. Find me on Instagram, I’ll follow you back.

Much Love!

LeeAnn