4 Reasons to Discover YOUR Passion

When someone asks you, “what are you passionate about?” Have you thought about what that really means? Do you know what passion is to you? Passion is “an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something”. Intense and compelling are the keywords describing what passion feels like. A passion is something you feel in your bones, it is what drives you and motivates you. Can you think of what gives you that intense and compelling feeling in your bones? Oprah says, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you”. Here are the 4 reasons to focus on what compels and excites YOU!

It’s your driving force
A passion is a driving force, something like a road map for your life. It will get you from point A to point B in this crazy thing we call life. In this society we are living in, not recognizing or acknowledging you passion can be detrimental simply because not knowing means you are allowing some other force to guide you. It is easy to get caught up in what looks good over what feel good. Allowing money, other people, etc. to become what drives you won’t lead to sustainable success. When you allow outside forces to drive you, you are setting yourself up for long term unhappiness. Money, other people, and materials can only keep you extrinsically happy and motivated for so long, but your passion is something that will bring you joy intrinsically. You will still have rough days, but knowing that you’re pursuing something with personal meaning will bring a long term happiness that cannot be purchased.

It’s your personal journey
What excites you, what gives you that feeling of intense emotion, reflects not only who you are and what you feel, but it impacts everything around you. Your entire perspective in life comes from those strong, intense feelings you have. To quote the book The Alchemist,
“When you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” This will prove to be true if you are truly working toward that intrinsically compelling feeling. At some point you will realize that all things truly do work together for good, and your passion will become so much more than just a feeling, it will become a reality in which you are living, working, and enjoying daily. The universe wants to work in your favor, but you have to take the first steps.

It will help you stay focused
When you are involved in something that you wake up excited about, it makes your grind all the more worth it. You will be able to get through those late nights and early mornings, because you are working hard to build a life around something that you truly love. You can always see the difference between a person who is doing what they are passionate about versus a person who is doing something just to get by. The person who is focused on their passion, is the person you see working at 2am and being back up at 6am to continue their grind. These are the people who are rarely complaining about how tired they are, and they are most certainly never complaining about the work they are putting in, no matter how many long and tireless hours they have put in the last 72 hours. These are the people who turn out to be the Oprah’s, P. Diddy’s, and Jay-Z’s of the world because they are working from a place of passion that have led them to a greater success than they could have imagined at first.

It will be worth it
In the long run finding your passion and working through it will be rewarding to yourself and the world around you. It’s something that is already inside of you, ready to be nurtured and developed into something that will go beyond anything you can imagine for yourself. It is amazing the things that will develop as you begin to follow that intrinsic road map to success. Opportunities you would have never thought of will begin to appear and you will be fulfilled through the work you do and not just by the monetary rewards. Your personal and professional growth will flourish as you follow your passion, and you may even find you have many passions that will lead to much success on your own terms.

There’s no better time than the present to begin searching for what your true passion is and beginning to explore ways of pursuing it. Remember your passion is your personal road map to success in life. Start with asking yourself what compels and excites you?

Which person do you want to be? Do you want to be the person who wakes up every morning dreading going to work, only going for the check? Or do you want to be the person who wakes up excited to see where their passion will take them next?

[By latisha]

Why Leaving Your Job is Scary as Phuck

The title says it all. Leaving the security of your job is petrifying, especially if you are leaving it for an unknown opportunity or something that may be a huge success or a detrimental flop. Whatever your reasoning for leaving your current job, it is scary to think about all of the terrible things that could go wrong once you leave. Job security, benefits, and comfort are just a few reasons that hold people back from leaving jobs that never serve them in a way that will build their future.We will stay in jobs that we have mentally quit weeks, months, or years ago purely out of the fears that come from leaving their “secure” position. At this point you’re not even doing your best work, you are distracted and wishing and hoping you knew how to move on from your current position. If you’ve already mentally quit and are wanting a new opportunity, what is scaring you?
You’re leaving behind all those benefits you so desperately wanted
Paid Time Off, health insurance, 401K plans, and all those other great benefits your parents stressed to you that you needed to be considered to have a “good job”, you know the kind with “benefits”. If you leave your nice, secure office job to become an entrepreneur, how will you ever take care of these things and plan for your future? Now that’s a scary thought right? To play the devil’s advocate I will also mention that time the economy tanked and people with those nice “secure” jobs lost their jobs and all of those benefits anyway. The scary thing about life is nothing is as secure as you would really hope so why are you continuing to play it safe? What would you be doing if the “safety” of your current job was not an issue? That is the question to ask yourself.

You have no idea what this new opportunity is going to bring to you
Let’s face it, the job you’re in now might suck but it’s familiar. It’s not just familiar, but comfortable. You know how to do the job, you know what is expected of you, and you know what you can and cannot get away with on the job. Starting a new job or focusing on your own business means you have to learn all new skills, techniques, and daily routines and that is scary. Leaving your job requires you to be ambitious and willing to learn new things. It will require new discipline and flexibility in your daily routine. You may or may not realize how set your routine is currently, but you would be disrupting the known and replacing it with the unknown. Is there something so important about your current familiar situation/routine that is worth missing out on great new opportunities?

It takes confidence, and you’re unsure
Confidence is key. Lacking the confidence it takes to move on to your next venture will forever hold you back. You may lack the confidence in knowing that you need to take the next step in your life. You may be lacking confidence around your abilities to do new, less familiar tasks or work. You may also lack the confidence Without this self-confidence whatever you do next will not prosper in the ways that you intrinsically want. You have to trust in your abilities to do new things, to conquer new obstacles, and believe in your ability to make plans that will benefit your future. You’re going to be scared about all the changes coming about, but you have to be confident in your judgement for your future’s sake. Do you trust that voice inside of you telling you that you can do this, or are you listening to the voice of doubt?

Addressing the fears around leaving your job is what is necessary for you to overcome the fears. There’s a part of you that is saying “holy crap this is scary,” but there’s also voice in there that is exciting, willing, and ready to begin something new. Conquering that fear is the next step to you living a life you have envisioned. Think about the questions posed. They all reflect one simple question are you willing to allow fear to hinder your future, or will you be the one who decides to step out on faith and enjoy the journey of new and fresh opportunity?

What would you add to the list? Are you READY to face your fears and start a new job or FINALLY complete a long awaited goal? Sign up now for a FREE discovery session with me?

[by Latisha]

The Signs Your Work Week is Killing You

It took me sometime to write this and trust me when I say I’m writing this from a first hand experience. The work week and even your weekends are essential to your well being. The choices you make in each of those 7 days influence how your week goes, which influences how your month goes, which influences how your year goes, and so on. There are 7 ways of the week that can lead you to emotionally and mentally draining yourself for a lifetime if you do not actively make the decision to change them. Discontent, bad attitudes, poor nutrition and physical wellness, lack of motivation, distraction, anticipation, and hustle and bustle will all lead to your mental and emotional death.

Sunday-You’re already dreading your week
Discontent is one of the biggest mental killers. Your attitude and perception on life is what fuels your week. If on Sunday evening as you think about your upcoming work week you already dreading the tasks of the week, you have already taken the first step into having a “bad” week. Being discontent is a sign of being emotionally and/or mentally drained. The first warning sign of the drainage is constant and consistent complaining about the work you have to do this week. Pay attention to the words you are using Sunday night. Are you saying “I’m so excited to see my new client tomorrow” or “God I hate Mondays?”

The statements of discontent shape your views for the week. You will have a horrible Monday because the you’ve already decided to. How can you change your view of discontent? It can be as easy as changing your mind on how your day will go or a more difficult tasks, as finding a new job or something that brings you more joy than your current situation. Only you will know what you need to break the cycle of discontentment.

Monday- You walked in with an attitude
Your attitude for your work week was set on Sunday evening, but Monday morning you have the choice to decide if you are going to go through the week with a good or bad attitude. Going through your day with a bad attitude can lead to unhappy clients or customers, bosses or employees who will feed off of your attitude, and other people you may come into contact with throughout the week will get the vibes of your attitude.

Each day set your intention to have a positive attitude, even on a rough day. It will make a difference on how your week actually goes. I’ll share an example from my day today. Today I went into work and decided I was going to have a good day. All went well until 2pm when I got a parking ticket, then locked my keys in my car when I was going to pay it. I easily could have been angry and upset, but I decided to keep the good attitude I intended for myself, and once I got back into my car I let that situation go. I had set my intention for the day and I stuck to it. I didn’t allow myself to get wrapped up in negativity, because in the long run it wasn’t worth it. Once you set your intention for the week you have to stay committed and actively decide in each moment of your day that you will not let the events of the day change your attitude.

Tuesday- Where’s the coffee
Lack of sleep, nutritious food, and exercise can lead to a week of disdain. How you are treating your body will lead to how your mind and body co-exist throughout the week. Are you feeling tired before you even get your work day started? Are you on a third or fourth cup of coffee before 10am everyday? Your body is telling you that you are mistreating it and your mind is probably having difficulties staying alert due to this. Your body will tell you what it needs and that lack of energy is one of the biggest signs your body can send you.

Be aware of the signs your body is giving you and respond to them effectively. If you are having more cups of coffee per day than you have hours of sleep, you probably have programmed your body to expect the coffee which in turn keeps you up at night. Maybe decreasing a cup or two of coffee and adding an hour or two more of sleep will help your body be more effective throughout the day. Make a daily routine that includes some type of physical activity and a healthy diet will also provide you with natural energy to get through your days. Taking care of your body is essential to your mental and emotional health because it is all intertwined to make you the best that you can be.

Wednesday- Where is Friday?
You were discontent on Sunday, had an attitude Monday, was tired and hungry on Tuesday, and now it is Wednesday, better known to most as Hump Day. Wednesday is an important day because you are halfway through your week. Most of us get to Wednesday and all we can think about is Friday and how much you will enjoy the end of the week. We focus so much on the end of the week, we lose perspective of the work that still needs to be done in our week. This lack of motivation can be difficult to overcome. Hump Day let’s our mind drift to the end of the weekend and all of our plans for the weekend to come. We are daydreaming through the next 3 days of work, until we reach a point we realize we haven’t actually done any work at all through the day. It can be difficult to be motivated through Wednesday.

Wednesday is not the end of the week, yet it’s the day we usually stop giving our all (if we were ever giving our all), but it is necessary to find the motivation to do good and efficient work. The motivation you have in the workplace on can reflect on your motivation in life. If you are not doing your best work at work, where are you allowing that energy to flow? Finding motivation when it is the hardest to do will be useful for your future endeavors and reaching your goals, practicing it now will only build your ability to stay motivated through difficult circumstances in the future.

Thursday- Distracted Much?
If you were distracted by the idea of the weekend on Wednesday, by Thursday you are probably totally disengaged from the work week and the idea of accomplishing tasks, especially if you are in a job or position that you are intrinsically unhappy with. Distractions are come much easier at this point in the week and your ability to focus even on the simplest tasks becomes more difficult if you haven’t been taking care of your body throughout the week also.

Thursdays are a good day to practice techniques that will help you gain focus. It is a challenging day in the week because you are so close to the end but still have things you need to accomplish at work. Practicing yoga or meditation is a helpful way to learn to channel your focus throughout your day. Maybe it’s not that you are completely distracted from your work, but possibly just overwhelmed with what all needs to be done. Learning to use mindfulness techniques to assist you in focusing on one tasks at a time can be useful for days like this. Giving yourself a skill set around your ability to focus will be useful as you grow in your career and your work, and will help you be the most inefficient you can be throughout all of your days.

Friday- Oh TGIF!
It’s finally here, the day you have been day dreaming about since at least Wednesday. Your work is finished (or at least you are finished working), and you have rushed out of the office to enjoy your weekend. You are going to hang out with your friends for happy hour or maybe meeting your significant other for dinner. You’ve rushed the week by and have landed on the beginning of the weekend.

Friday’s are meant to be enjoyed but there is no need to rush through your entire week for it. Having patience and taking the time to enjoy your days, no matter how busy and hectic they may be is important. Each day you have is one that will not return so practice not allowing yourself to spend all week waiting for Friday, and joy the days that come before it as well.

Saturday- Turn Down For What?
Friday has come and gone and now it is Saturday, a day full of shopping, soccer games, hanging out with friends and family, and many other things to keep your day “off”, very busy. You do a lot of errands on Saturday and on Saturday night you want to enjoy your evening so you make plans to do something fun.

At this point in the week you have looked forward to your day “off” so much you probably haven’t really considered actually making it a day off, a day to reboot and recover from your hectic week. Sometimes a day of self-care and relaxation is needed in place of the very busy day aka the “turn up” that Saturday generally brings. Consider planning at least one Saturday a month to use as a day of rest and relaxation. Many of us spend the whole week focusing on work and others that we miss vital opportunities for self-care. It is not selfish to take a day to yourself, but it can be very necessary for your overall well being.

You have a choice at the beginning of each day to decide on how you will treat yourself. Will you treat your mind, body and spirit with kindness and practice ways of satisfaction, better attitudes, nutrition and sleep, focus, and self-care or will you allow yourself to be in a place of discontent, bad attitudes, poor nutrition and physical wellness, lack of motivation, and distraction, anticipation, and hustle and bustle? It is your choice and a choice you have to consciously make each day.

What signs would you add?

Ready to make a mental or physical change? I can help. Sign up for a free discovery session HERE.

Need a dose of motivation delivered via email. Sign up for my FREE passion Manifesto NOW. 

[contributor, Latisha]

Goal setting: You have as many hours in a day as Beyonce


As a mother, business woman, wife, and entertainer Beyoncé also known as Mrs. Flawless herself seems to always have it all together and you can too! No matter how busy or hectic things may seem, the truth of the matter is that you have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé. What does that actually mean? It’s a simple reminder that you are fully capable of achieving all the things you hope, wish for, and desire.

So what has the queen Bey taught us about conquering it all thus far? Well for starters, in her song Diva she states that “A diva is a female version of a hustla.” Think of a hustler as someone who works hard to accomplish their goals, doing whatever necessary to make it, despite the circumstances they are in or any adversities they are faced with. Women are diva’s because we make things happen for ourselves and our families without ever making excuses.

Who runs the world? We do! That’s right we are no longer looked at as just mothers and caregivers but now we are also CEO’s, Scientists, and Politicians too. We have broken barriers and raised the bar higher for future female leaders to come. Balancing a career and family is now the standard.Yonce has reminded us that we are “Smart enough to make these millions, strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.”

If you want to be able to have stability in your career and home life then you will have to master the art of multitasking and time management. These things will take some time getting used to but once you’ve fully committed to doing so, the rest is easy. Understand that this is not only an adjustment for you, but for your friends and family as well. In order to tackle on several different aspects of your career and motherhood at once, everyone needs to be on board and ready to support you.
Time is of the essence; don’t squander it by not using it wisely. One of the best ways to stay organized is to create a monthly schedule and a daily to do list. Put the most important tasks at the top, even if they aren’t things you necessarily want to do. Also include personal projects so that you have something to look forward to. Everyone knows that when you live an active on the go lifestyle it can be difficult to get work done, so keep it with you for when you have extra time. For example, the train ride to and from work or while waiting at an appointment.

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Knowing what time of the day you are more productive helps because you’ll be more efficient if you work when you’re at your best or in your comfort zone. Dedicate certain periods of time for work, family, and being social. Not only is it vital to create schedules but budgeting your time properly is a huge part of making the most out of your days. Figure out how much time it takes you to complete certain activities and tasks then determine how much free time is left after you handle all of your responsibilities, doing so will keep you from overwhelming yourself when taking on extra commitments. If you find yourself focusing on unimportant things, procrastinating, or getting side tracked use your goals as motivation. The idea is to be consistent and continually make progress. Be ambitious!

“I took some time to live my life, but don’t think I’m just his little wife,” of course we love and adore our significant others but we don’t have to walk in their shadows, or in the shadows of any man. We have our own passions, hobbies, and dreams to fulfill. Choosing to have a life separate from being a wife and a mother doesn’t make you any less of a woman, in fact it makes you even more phenomenal. It’s not about having to sacrifice one for the other but more so finding balance so that everything is completed successfully and everyone is happy.

In a recent ad campaign to ban the word bossy because it causes young girls to be less interested in leadership than boys, Beyoncé ended it by saying “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.” If we all looked at ourselves as the bosses over our own lives, we can empower each other and begin turning the things we dream about into reality.

“I was here, I lived, I loved, I was here. I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted and it was more than I thought it would be, I will leave my mark so everyone will know I was here.” Those lyrics from the song entitled “I was here” is exactly what life is all about. How will you utilize your twenty-four hour days to do the things you’ve always wanted to because after all if Beyoncé can do it, so can you!

What are you big goals for the month, year?

[By Nyia Moore]

6 Small Business Mentors You Can Access for Nearly Free!


If you’ve started a small business and need advice, there are plenty of resources available to lend you a hand. The problem is that many of them are in the form of books, lectures, and “programs” that have no issue with charging you for their services. So what’s an entrepreneur with limited cash and just a handful of questions to do? Get in touch with these local experts. They’ll more than likely be glad to show you the ropes.

1. Your Parents

It doesn’t matter if they have ever owned a business. They didn’t even have to raise you well. If you had a modestly decent childhood and are alive today to tell about it, chances are great that your parents (or at least one of them) had enough business sense to run a household. Asking them about their most important lessons can spur you on in some tough situations, and most of them are applicable to any business.

2. Local Small Business Owner

If you can identify any local business that’s been around for over 20 years, you’ve found a great candidate for getting free advice — with extra points for family businesses. Why? Working in the same community throughout a changing economy takes flexibility, forward-thinking, and perseverance — all qualities that a successful business-owner needs to survive. (And anyone who can work with their own family is especially talented!)

3. Librarian

Your local library is in the business of giving information (literally), and the head librarian is usually very well versed in all kinds of free resources for those wanting to know more about local regulations, tax law, continuing education, and networking opportunities. If you haven’t visited your local branch in awhile, take a day to go in and introduce yourself. Let the librarian know who you are, what you do, and how you could benefit from the library’s resources. Then let them do the talking. They will most likely share all of the perks available to you, including interlibrary loan programs, free information on funding and grants, and more!

4. Chamber of Commerce

If you’re not already hooked up with your local Chamber, there is much you may be missing out on. In addition to networking functions and speaking engagements, you’ll be listed in their directories. While not always free to join, the cost (if any) is usually minimal. (And there is no shortage of professionals who can answer your questions.)

5. College Professor

Thought you had to take a course to get marketing and entrepreneurial info? Think again. Many professors make themselves available to small businesses that are just starting out, and they may appreciate the opportunity to point you in the direction of new trends and tools being studied by current students. Remember that they are busy, too, so don’t take advantage of their kindness. However, a phone call to your local college to inquire about what the students are learning can bring new ideas and opportunities to your business, so don’t hesitate to at least ask!

6. Local Economic Development Groups

In addition to the more formal networks (like the Chamber of Commerce), many communities are forming groups of local businesses for the sole purpose of supporting one another and providing an exchange of ideas and expertise. These groups span several communities (entire states in some cases), and are less formal and political than Chamber groups. Costs can vary from a few dollars to several hundred, but initial communication and participation in their activities is usually free. The opportunity to learn from other businesses is endless!

With the growing popularity of small business startups, it’s natural to assume that you’ll be competing with those more educated or experienced than yourself. However, don’t be intimidated. Your community can be very supportive of your endeavor. After all, growing business locally is good for everyone!

Starting Your Dream Business Is Easier Than You Think — Here’s How

One of the great pleasures of owning my own business and working for myself is that I get to talk to a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs.

They want to be entrepreneurs, but they aren’t quite there yet. They read all the business articles online, they constantly make plans, they aspire to own their business and maybe one day they will get there. (See also: 10 Home-Based Side Business Ideas)

I’ve heard Mark Cuban, and others, call them “wantrepreneurs” on Shark Tank because they are perpetually in the pre-business phase. Having ideas is great, but executing them is what separates true entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, so many of them never start a business because they put up barriers in their own mind. One of those barriers is that they think “starting a business” is an arduous task that will take them months and months, if not years, of planning and preparation.

In reality, the paperwork of starting a business is almost trivial compared to everything else you’ll need to do to start and run a business. But before you embark on filing anything, make one sale.

Make One Sale

Before you go down the route of “starting” a side business, make a sale. Just one.

If you wanted to start a snow shoveling service, would you start by incorporating your business, getting insurance, paying for advertising, or opening a bank account?

No, that’s crazy. You would find a shovel and go door to door looking for people to pay you to shovel their driveway.

That’s what you should be doing with whatever business you’re considering. Make one sale. You will learn a tremendous amount about your market by selling your product or service to one person. After you make one sale, sell it to a second.

After you’ve made the first dozen sales, you’ll know whether you have a business on your hands, a nice hobby, or a dream that can’t be realized. It’s valuable to do this before you waste time and money doing the paperwork of forming a business. (See also: Awesome Money-Making Hobbies)

Also, it’s important to actually sell a product or service, not ask people if they would buy it. Most people are polite and tell you they would buy. But few people are so polite that they’d actually pay you for something they don’t want.

Once you’ve made enough sales to be sure this is a business, it’s time to make it legitimate.

Startup Paperwork

So you’ve made some sales and you’re ready to make it official. You need to do some paperwork. (See also: 250+ Tips for Small Business Owners)

State Licenses

The first step is to research the licensing and bonding requirements of your state. Some businesses need a license to operate. If you’re starting a blog, you don’t need to get a license or a bond to operate. If you’re starting a tattoo parlor in Maryland, you need a Tattoo License before you can do business. Check your state’s laws for what you’ll need as it’s different for each state.

Insurance and Bonds

The next step is to research your insurance needs. A surety bond covers guarantee of service but liability insurance protects you from accidents, lawsuits, and other business disasters. Some businesses need a surety bond, nearly all businesses should have liability insurance. If you intend to hire employees, workers comp insurance may also be necessary, as it protects your business from any medical or legal expenses associated with accidents on the job.

LLC, EIN, and a Checking Account

If you’re starting a simple business that has no licensing, bonding, or major insurance requirements, the rest is easy. It’s a three step process:

  1. Incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  2. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  3. Open a Business Checking Account

Do you need to incorporate?

It depends. Incorporating is a must if there are any potential liabilities associated with your business because it shields you from your business, if set up properly. You are often not required to incorporate and can operate as a sole proprietor. As is the case with any type of legal advice, check with a professional and with the requirements of your state.

Incorporate as an LLC

Incorporating is often a straightforward process, but it depends on your state because the complexity varies. In Maryland, it’s a one-page form (Articles of Organization) with a handful of fields.

One minor bit of advice, in the area where you write in the “purpose” of the company, use this: “To engage in any lawful activity for which a limited liability company may be organized.”

Some states leave this Purpose field blank, some states automatically fill it out with a similar phrase (California automatically fills it out with “The purpose of the limited liability company is to engage in any lawful act or activity for which a limited liability company may be organized under the California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act.” Don’t get caught up in writing something descriptive here, it’ll only slow you down.

The cost associated with incorporating will include the one-time filing fee. In some cases, it may also include annual fees too. In Maryland, every business has to file a personal property tax return that has a minimum $300 tax. (See also: Is Starting a Small Business for the Tax Deductions Worth It?)

Obtain an EIN

An EIN is like a Social Security Number for your business — you can get one for free byapplying with the IRS.

Once you get an EIN, use this instead of your Social Security Number on all forms for your business. Congratulations! You’ve graduated from sole proprietorship to an LLC.

Open a Business Checking Account

Once you have the incorporation confirmation letter (original with stamps) and your EIN, go to your favorite bank and open a business checking account. Look for one with low minimums and no fees. Most banks make their money off business accounts with merchant processing and other add-ons, so the base checking product shouldn’t cost you anything. (See also: Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses)

Use this checking account as the center of your business banking world. Any revenue you receive should go into this account. Any bills you pay should come out of this account.

Now Go Back to Selling

Once you do those three steps, you’re officially a business. Don’t forget to file the necessary tax forms and get back to the important part of business, getting more of it.

Good luck!