Thoughts on success: Make a dent doing what you love in this world

Many of you reading this post today have probably been told not to dream too big as a child. But as we move forward in time, people are waking up to realise their gifts and working to their highest potential. Some are realising that working a generic 9 to 5 job, making money living someone else’s dream is no longer fruitful. Whatever your circumstance is, today’s post reminds you that you are here for a purpose. It doesn’t matter if you think that someone else has already done it, or maybe you wonder if the market is saturated with the same talent. You are unique, and even if it was done before, others couldn’t do it like you. So do what comes naturally to you, roll up your sleeves and make a dent in this world.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on Entrepreneurship: Productivity sometimes sucks

Day in, day out, you feel like you’re just going through the motions to gain visibility, producing products and content for your chosen business venture. Sometimes you wake up on Monday morning wondering how you can muster the motivation and discipline to push forward. You love what you do, but you just find yourself stagnant. We’ve all been there. Even the most influential and successful people have been there. It’s easy to lose productivity even with the saturated motivational content you find online. We are often caught in the need to be successful, productive and attainable because everyone in our field seems to be reaching their targets fast. So we feel compelled to compete. The truth is, our body and mind require time to process our progress. We also require quality rest. Sometimes sleeping for eight hours a day is not enough, especially when juggling a job, family life, social life, and personal growth. You are growing whether you like it or not, and just as seasons come and go, so will your motivation and productivity levels.

It’s especially not easy to balance it all when you are surrounded by people who are not aligned with your path. This is why you need to be cautious of who you let into your world because they have the potential to make or break you. This is not a post on how to gain your productivity and motivation back. Instead, this post is an opportunity to check in with yourself. Are you burnt out? Have you gone outside to breathe some fresh air today? Did you eat well and drink enough water? We’re often so busy with the daily routine, ticking tasks off the to-do list, that we neglect our needs. So if you’re here because you fear you’re stuck in a rut. Don’t fret. Take some time out and recalibrate your mind, body and spirit. Life is difficult at times, but you don’t have to choose to suffer.

Make the most of your day and acknowledge your wins, no matter how big or small you think they are.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on Success: Truth on Book Publishing Part 1

You have probably come across adverts and testimonials encouraging you to sign up for webinars and courses that teach you how to make money online. Some of them are often focused on utilising Amazon KDP and Audible. It is true that authors, whether self-published or traditionally published make a substantial profit from their books. However, these quickly make money gurus will hardly tell you that publishing, just like a high street business, requires hard work and endurance. It’s probably easier to open a business on the high street because people will see your building and be intrigued whether they visit it only once or often. Being a published author requires the ability to wear many hats, including marketing, unless you have a large budget to pay someone to do this for you. Now, don’t be disheartened by this post. I firmly believe that if you have a passion for writing, expressing your creativity or have a natural gift in a specific field, you will find a way to build it into a business. This post aims to open your eyes to what being a successful author entails. The ceiling of traditional book publishing is very high and made out of sturdy glass. The road of independent publishing is steep, with many unexpected learning curves.

So you have written your manuscript, and you want to put it out to the world. Great. Now you need to make a decision. To self-publish or not? If you choose to explore the traditional publishing route, this will take time. First, you need to ensure that your manuscript is as clean as possible. Then, you need to submit your work to a literary agent who is the gatekeeper of the publishing doors. Most publishing houses will not accept unsolicited manuscript submissions for consideration without an agent. So, you need to do your research and compile a list of literary agents to submit your manuscript for representation. This process is relatively slow as literary agents read loads of manuscripts each month, and with a growing saturated market, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back from them for months or not at all. However, once you break through the first hurdle, the literary agent will work with you to ensure that your manuscript is as perfect as possible, and they will find a publisher to turn your work into a book. Then you get paid. An advance. That’s the basic process of traditional publishing.

The self-publishing journey is simple. However, it requires a robust view of self-discipline, faith, and learning aptitude. You can write mediocre stories and upload them to a self-publishing platform; however, if you want to compete with traditionally published authors and have your books picked up by bookstores, you need to learn to finesse your work. As a self-published author, you need to learn the basic formatting and etiquette for paperback, ebook and audiobook. Once you have a manuscript, you can hire an editor and proofreader, a cover creator and a marketer to maximise your chances of hitting higher rankings once you publish your book. You need to research the genre and topic for your book, especially if you’re writing non-fiction. However, if you take a quick look on Amazon, you will also find the most popular fiction. If you cannot afford to hire the help you need, start learning to edit and format your manuscript. There are plenty of videos on youtube and websites from successful authors and other professionals. You can also learn to create your book covers on canva by watching Youtube tutorials. Research metadata to include in your book and during the publishing process, use the correct keywords to improve your book’s visibility on the platforms you have chosen to publish. Don’t forget to purchase ISBNs, although self-publishing platforms provide one for each book, highlighting your books as ‘independently published’. It’s not uncommon to have your book not generate interest from the audience when you start if you don’t already have an online community. This is why you need to learn how to use the power of social media and networking to market your book. Don’t expect Amazon or other platforms to market your book for you.

Once you publish your first book, I advise you not to wait for sales to write and continue doing the work. Start writing your next manuscript, draw in an audience and connect with them, set up your author website and profiles, learn as much as you can about the self-publishing business and find a strategy that works for YOU. Then rinse and repeat. Being a self-published author is not easy, but it’s rewarding, especially when you start seeing tangible results. Just make sure that you write books that you enjoy and would make people want to read. I will write more on self-publishing going forward, and I hope you found this post useful.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on entrepreneurship: Use the negative for motivation

I suppose if you’re here, you’re looking for motivation to push you forward on your entrepreneurship journey. Sometimes, you may encounter difficult situations where you find yourself experiencing negativity as you hit hurdles in your business. One of the negative is experiencing jealousy. You see others meeting their goals rather effortlessly and you may wonder, why is it so easy for them and tedious for you. You may experience frustrations in your personal life that pull focus from your business. Perhaps you’re caught up in mental blocks that hinder your mental health because you feel stagnant. Regardless of the situation, know that you are not alone.

There are plenty of people like you and I going through the motions of creating, achieving and attaining success without the help of sponsors and investors. Your community will find you, and your tribe will grow. First, though, you need to take a step back and breathe. Go back to the drawing board and look at your strategies. Do you have enough content? Are you putting yourself out there? Sometimes we assume that we’re not achieving our goals faster because we’re stuck in our perception of our work. You perceive that others succeed effortlessly because they don’t publically broadcast their trials and tribulations. Everyone has their struggles. Whether they are large or small, businesses and their productivity rise and fall, and that’s part of the journey. Besides, imagine you peaked and met all your goals overnight without a strong foundation. Would the success be sustainable? You need to trust in your process and know that this is your journey.

Once you have taken a step back, look at all you have achieved in the past six to eight months. Even if you feel like it’s not enough, you’re sure to see that there are some results to analyse and motivate you. Next, you need to find a way to transmute the negative into a positive. This is why I say use it as motivation. Are you jealous of others? Look within and address the lack of self-esteem. Then look at their strategy and see if there are tips and tricks you can apply to your work. Maybe that person makes winning look easy because they wake up early to work out and prioritise their mental health. Whatever the case may be, study the people you deem successful and look at how you can apply changes to your routine to pull you away from the negativity.

Lastly, be grateful. We’re often so busy trying to secure the bag and shine that we forget to take time out to recognise our blessings. The fact that you have awakened to see your full potential, take steps to apply yourself and commit to making money doing what you love and what you’re good at is a blessing. There are people in the world who dream of having the nerve and audacity to follow their dreams, and instead, they’re stuck in jobs they hate. Some people don’t or can’t have jobs for personal reasons. You get to wake up and use your creativity, contributing to the evolution of society. So don’t succumb to the negativity and insecurities. Trust your journey.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on success ~ Your Personal Brand Matters

Your personal brand matters whether you’re attending a job interview or running a small business. Your personal brand is when you make a conscious effort to create a perception that influences others to see you as a leader in your field. In essence, this is how you promote and present yourself to the world. When you do this well (and some people do this exceptionally well), you can actually link your personal brand to your professional ventures. Hence why we have a drastic increase in online influencers. Some people choose to focus on their content and strategy in their business rather than their personal brand, and some choose to place their personal brand at the forefront to attract their audience. Your personal brand can be well-thought-out or develop organically as your business grows. Regardless, how you present yourself will impact your public perception.

If you’re confused about your personal brand, think about whether how you present yourself makes you memorable. Do you stand out in a crowd, or are you a needle in a haystack? It also stretches as far as how you present yourself in social settings, especially if there’s potential to boost visibility for your business. For example, try not to hand out business cards if you’re drunk or not of sound mind, as this may impact the public’s perception of you.

Whether your personal brand is low key or chaotic, strive to optimise it to your advantage. Yes, you have great content, products, and services, but these can easily be forgotten if people merely glance over you.


Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on self-care: My most loved survival items

Life happens. Even if you have a job you love, a great family unit, and a well-rounded human experience. That is just it. Life brings many experiences that sometimes have us reaching for our self-care items for survival. This can be a comfort blanket, a body scrub that energises our body, a favourite beverage or a cute journal to safely pen our thoughts. With spring and Taurus season slowly developing, providing us with the perfect backdrop for a lifestyle elevation in the name of self-care. If you’re looking for something new or a different perspective, my current ride or die faves are below.

Ah, books for the love of books.

My current reads are The Liar’s Wife by Kirsten Modglin, The Wicked Aftermath by Melissa Foster and The Vow by Debbie Howells.

Speaking of body scrubs…

If you’re currently in England, you’ll know that the weather’s doing this weird thing. Hot and promising summer one minute, then teasing cold and depressing another. This has caused my skin to be dehydrated and dull. So queue Sanctuary Spa’s Body scrubs. 

And the comfort blanket…

A heated blanket gets me through all the seasons since England is cold 90% of the year. I also work from home; therefore, it’s essential for me to be comfortably warm (sometimes toasty!) to reach my optimum productivity level.

The beauty product fave…

Everyone will have their preferences here, but for me, an excellent moisturising lipstick in nude and red is highly effective in making me feel good when my shoulders are heavy. My favourite nude is Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillowtalk in medium tone and Illamasqua’s Antimatter lipstick in the colour rocket. 

Plants are the new pets…

Well, not exactly, but we look after them like they are. My current house plant investments are medium-sized parlour palms, a Jade (succulents) plant from Wilkos and a remarkable lava rock plant. 

Vibing with nature

If you haven’t seen the entirety of my website, then feel free to browse and see some fantastic photos I’ve taken of nature with my NIKON COOLPIX P1000. I adore this camera, and I’m so grateful to have received it as a gift. 

Manifesting

Finally, if you want a road out of stagnancy, try using a goal-setting journal to manifest your best life.

Until next time.

~ J

Thoughts on strength: Remember your personal power!

We are often thrust into situations and relationships that are draining. We don’t realise that most times, such relationships, professional or otherwise, have the potential to take our personal power and drain our energy. You probably think that people can only take your power if we let them; however, such energetic transactions usually happen over time. It could be that you’re around a person or in a situation for a while where things transpire that chip away at your energy. What I mean by personal power is the personal gifts and abilities that make us unique in this world. Our confidence, the way we communicate and present ourselves to the world, our level of discipline, hunger and motivation for success, etc. Our personal power is what we embody and how we tell the world that we are here to make a difference.

So when we stay in circumstances that are delinquent, they tend to break down our energy until we wake up one day and realise that we’re walking through life lacklustre, wondering how we got to this point. This could be in relationships where you voluntarily change yourself, hoping that things will get better, only to see that efforts are one-sided. It can also be in intimate relationships, the relationship you have with your job or even with friends and family members. Sometimes, we give our energy externally without realising that the receiver is bleeding us dry. Then we find ourselves in a void of stagnancy. You either gained weight and can’t track how, fallen behind on your workload or projects, and have given up on maintaining a positive body image, which pulls your self-confidence, and you’ve forgotten your worth.

Firstly, when you realise that you’re losing your personal power, it’s time to take a step back and look at your life from all angles. Identify who or what is feeding off your energy. Sometimes this can also be a mental blockage created by a past trauma that you need to revisit and heal from. Then, once you’ve realised what it is that’s draining you, find a way to constructively address it or cut it out of your life. Suppose it’s a loved one or your job which you can’t just cut out of your life. Explore ways to manage them efficiently until you can make a final sustainable decision. Then, work on identifying what’s been taken from you. Have you neglected your physical or mental health? Your spiritual alignment? Your creativity? Etc. Once you do this, find ways to pour back in what you’re missing. Make regular time for yourself and do the work to replenish your vitality. This is not work that is completed overnight. It will require consistent effort to keep you stable and rebuild your confidence. Make a point to be more aware, track your progress, and focus on your growth.

We all waver sometimes. It’s natural to lose track of ourselves as we manoeuvre bumps in the road to personal success. However, when we start to feel the need to hide inside, isolate or overcompensate in the situation, that is when we need to wake up, assess and rebuild.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on rest: How to have a good night’s sleep

If you don’t understand the struggles of having a good night’s sleep, then you’ve had the opportunity to sleep well. If you have struggled with experiencing a decent quality sleep schedule, you would know how much of an impact lack of sleep has on your body and day. I usually need at least eight hours of sleep to set myself up for a solid, productive day. When I don’t get enough sleep, my skin looks dehydrated. My mind doesn’t align with my goals. I walk around spaced out and uninterested. However, the quantity for me is never better than quality. Sometimes I find myself having slept for nine hours and still feel as though I haven’t slept at all. Or I would sleep for two hours and feel like I have enough energy to take over the world when I wake up. The subject of sleep is subjective, and only you will know how much of it you need to function at your highest potential. Points in this post are not medical advice; therefore, please consult with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Drink water

It’s a cliché, but drinking water is essential to our health. If you are dehydrated, you may find yourself feeling lethargic, having constant headaches, muscle cramps and dry mouth, which are more likely to disturb your effort for a good night’s sleep.

Exercise well during the day

Not only does regular exercise help you to maintain a healthier lifestyle, but it also helps you to reduce stress, improve heart health and raise your vibration.

Have a consistent sleeping schedule

It’s difficult to fall asleep at the same time every day. However, it’s not impossible. You just have to prioritise it as your goal to get into the habit of being in bed around the same time each day. Of course, this means without your phone!

Eat dinner early

Eating dinner early gives you plenty of time to digest your food, so you are not going to bed with an uncomfortably full stomach.

Try herbal teas

If you go to your local health store or even the tea section in supermarkets, you will find a variety of natural teas that will help to support sleep. Try a tea that helps you relax about an hour before you get into bed and let the herbal compounds do their thing. Always check the label for suitability and ask your physician for advice before consuming.

Soak in a relaxing bath

Try some lavender scents or simple tip a few drops of your favourite bubbles under running water to relax after a long day.

Journal before bed

Journaling is a great way to write your thoughts and feelings without feeling like you are being judged. It is important that you don’t judge yourself in this safe space. Take some time to write down whatever is troubling or making you anxious before going to bed. Journaling doesn’t always have to be about negative thoughts. You can also write about the highs of your day and your goals.

Stretch before bed

Do some light stretches, and yoga poses before bed with some breathing exercises to get your blood flowing, your energy moving and your mind clear.

Invest in a quality blanket

So far in my adult life, nothing beats a good heated blanket. If heated blankets aren’t your thing, invest in a good quality blanket or duvet to ensure a cosy night’s sleep.

Until next time.