I was a bit ambitous with my inital schedule in thinking I could handle seven events in seven days. There is a part of me that still requires me to shut down and regroup in between all these new interactions. It’s a draining feeling. Not that these experiences are draining but they are eye opening. Anytime you are open spiritually and sensitive to other people’s frequency there is a certain amount of time you need to get back into your own space and body. I geniunely did not feel like attending what I had planned. I didn’t think it would have been the best use of my time. So I decided to extend my timeline into next week. Since I usually have three to four events planned a week I can still share those experiences.
At any rate my fourth networking event was an empowerment expo in Washington DC. I volunteered because I wanted to see the inner workings of the how it was being organized and executed. This was one of the best events I’ve attended so far and it has so far out ranked any other expo I’ve attended in 2017. We were paired with another person throughout the event. Divine connections occurred fluently throughout the eight hours I was there. The lady felt familiar and it felt like I was geniuenly catching up with a friend I’d known all my life. We talked about everything our backgrounds, careers, relationships and even other people. She even went so far as to grab my business cards to share them with passing attendees. Of course I brought them with plans of networking but she went above and beyond. I could only laugh as I watched her bring person after person over to meet me. I was so impressed I asked if she could train my future marketing team on her tactics. I don’t know if it was her sense of humor or delirium that kept her going. She arrived at the expo at the end of her ten hour shift. I had the best time of my life with this complete stranger.
We were in charge of handling one of the break out sessions. While waiting for our sessions to began we were able to attend other session, meet vendors, speakers, attendees and other volunteers. The vibe of the conference was very spiritual and empowering. The beings attracted to the conference were a geniune reflection of this in speech, mannerism and action. Our backgrounds were very diverse yet our energy was all in one accord. I felt mutually drawn to certain individuals and every conversation was something I needed to fill up my tank to continue on my path of entrepreneurship. It was like walking with hundreds of men and women who either had found their passion or were on the brink of their break through. That commonality was feeding ground for my spirit. In eight hours I can’t say that I had one bad experience. At the end I felt energerized as opposed to drained. I met mentors, physical therapist, spiritual mediums, authors, entrepreneurs, public speakers and a pilot.
What I learned from this experience is that you can find your passion in any vocation that you choose. One of the speakers said passion is what creates an emotion in you. It can be an experience that lead you to perserve and conquer or it can be something you draw inspiriation from. She suggested that listening to your emotions was the key to finding your passion. When I thought back on my experience I had to agree. I personally was looking for a solution to stress, grief and other inflexibilities that existed in my life and body at the time. This search lead me to yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditiation lead me to my authentic self. The impact is what I want to share with others. In the quietness of your being exist the life you were destined to live or you can choose to live according to the streotypes that were provided. This event was about remembering me what lead me here.
Peace and Blessings
Location made this event worth a peak. It was hosted by a new group and it was five minutes from my house. I love how this place is decorated and I’ve been here quite a few times. The space however always seems empty. I would put this on my list of places to go to read a good book. You can sit for hours undisturbed. It was the same with this event. However, I did like the host. He was very personable and took time to make me feel welcomed. The welcomes stopped there.
The other attendees kind of had a low vibe going. There was no eye contact and not many people seemed friendly. I immediately scanned the room and b-lined to my spot. Which basically meant I found a corner and blank stared at the other attendees. I started to do my typical body scan. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. So I started to body scan other people. We have the ability to listen to and/or read the energy of other people in the room. It will seem as if your imagination is running wild and you are making up a story about a stranger. However know there is a lot of truth in what you intuition and imagination are providing to you.
I could tell the lady in front of me had some insecurities. The guy to my left seemed angry. A couple of people were chatting but it felt very inauthentic to me. I shifted my attention to the bar. A lady approached me she was upbeat but blunt about why she was there. She was looking for customers and steadfast on getting to the point. I decided to listen to her spill at least she was talking. When she got done the angry guy let us know that he thought this event sucked. It was a small group and he felt like he was wasting his time. He was beyond annoyed and said he was leaving. I turned back to the bar and they both drifted off.
Hunger kept me in place so I ordered food. Ordering food also meant I would be stuck at this event for a while longer. A couple of people arrived and a few others departed. The few people I met had the same ‘I’m just here to get customers’ vibration. I received about four cards in total and expended absolutely no effort toward getting them. I can’t remember a name or face. I turned my attention inward and toward the other people at the bar.
What I learned
- Eat before you leave home that way you aren’t tied into a waiting game.
- I observed more of what not to do. I didn’t like the “I’m just here for clients” vibe so I decided to spend more time focusing on my approach.
- It is also time for me to set some realistic goals and objectives to my networking plan. The host mentioned how he read books to learn how. I believe shifting will create better results for me.
Peace and Blessings
The event was a class on how to use Linkedin to market to more people. Classes and seminars are also a great networking tool because they tend to bring people together for a specific topic. This means you already have something in common with the person beside you. There is no real need for an icebreaker and you can really start the conversation with “so what brings you here?” Lately that has been my phrase of choice. It seems so much gentler than “so what do you do”. Somehow the latter phrase feels so rude and blunt to me therefore I avoid asking it first when I meet people.
The flip side to a complimentary class or seminar is most the time the host is trying to sell you a service. I have no issue with that. If I attend it means I am in search of a subject matter expert. The presenters approach will determine if the event was worth the effort. Clearly I like subtle and I’m prone to stay open when a presenter just suggest or make you feel like you have an option. This was not one of those events. I could tell from the onset that the host was going to be pushy about signing you up for something. I kept doing a body scan. I kept feeling like I needed to check my emotional and mental barometer. I was waiting for the ball to drop. It felt like the presenter was trying to push the listener into a fearful state so that you would then conclude that you had a need for the service. The other people seemed to be eating this up. However, I started to check out. I felt uninterested in the subject but I wanted to stay long enough in case anything key popped up. I think became obsessed with my phone. Where the presentation was heading left me on the sidelines. I can say in retrospect I didn’t walk away with much. I didn’t have any new contacts. I didn’t feel connected to the group or message. I believe the approach turned the tides on what I went there for and I was never able to regain focus. I exited the event after about forty five minutes.
What I learned
- If an event does not hold your attention its better to count your loses early and leave to find a more productive use of your time. It’s best to make the assessment early on. I was giving the presenter the benefit of the doubt and probably stayed beyond my limit. If your intution nods no, then it probably is a no. Honor your initial feelings and move on.
- Sometimes a speaker can give off and awkward vibe. This can be due to nervousness, fear and even just not believing in themselves. When someone is passionate about what they are doing you can sense it. This class was more about making a sell and not really about creating a connection that might eventually lead to a sell. There is a difference so start to pay attention the two aspects.
Peace and Blessing
In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed my need for my spiritual tools. My sacred pieces to remind me that I am a spiritual being having a human experience. Last week I started carrying turquoise. This week I found my celestite. Spiritual tools speak to your subtle bodies and create a clear line of communication with other realms.
I’ll be honest I haven’t been meditating like I want to. I haven’t been able to sit for long periods of time. I can’t remember the last time I sat in silence for more than an hour. I know I’m being guided but I’ve been unsure about my connection. It’s kind of like when you’re on a call and you say can you hear me now? You start yelling in the phone because you don’t hear a response. So you either move to a different location or hang up to call back in hopes of a better connection. Sometimes you want the truth to smack you in the face. Right now I need my guidance to smack me in the face and to show up in more concrete ways. The only way I know how to get it is by digging in my tool bag. I’m pulling out my crystals and reconnecting to them. I’m re-reading my spiritual text and focusing on the spinning in my chakras. I need a dial tone to make sure nothing is blocking the line. My spiritual tools will provide the connection that I need.
There are a variety of spiritual tools that exist. The best way to find them is to set an intention to find what you need at the current moment. I have over the years collected everything from crystals to faery dust. When I visit other cities and countries I look for objects that capture the essence of that experience. Then I bring that object in my home as a sacred object. I collected sea shells from certain beaches. I have bracelets, genie lamps, tarot cards, Hindu and Buddhist statues. I have pictures of Egyptian gods, mother earth, and sacred text. All those things have brought about a higher awareness of who I am and how I am connected to all people and all things. I’ve discovered awareness through dreams, writing, and silence. The objects remind me to go within to hear what’s next. Anything you feel an affinity towards that brings about change and awareness is a spiritual tool. What tools do you use?
Peace and Blessings
Yesterday was day 1. I attended an Atlanta All White Brunch hosted by Lillie Mae PR. I was a panelist for the event as well. I have this thing where I like to be on time for events. I always feel like you miss the most important information if you are more than 15 minutes late. When you are on time you get to survey the room and choose a good seat. I decided to sit in the middle of the table close to the speaking area. There were two great vendors setting up an illustrator and a cosmetic vendor. Both ladies had a positive and perky attitude. Things were getting off to a great start. The hostess gave me a hug and looked happy to see me so I felt really good. The event had a clean and elegant look to it and the room felt very upbeat. As more attendees came in a beautiful spirited lady chose a seat next to me and we began to chat. She is an Atlanta native that has her hand in a lot of pots including PR, Branding, Real Estate and Fitness. It was funny because we had some similarities but overall she was a great conversationist. We talked about how other people expect you to only be able to do one thing in life but it’s acceptable for multi millionaires to own several businesses that span various industries. It made me realize that it was our time to change that stereotype for entrepreneurs as well.
We were asked to do an interactive activity of decorating the card in front of us on the table. The hostess provided stickers for us to get started. We were later instructed to write an inspirational note to ourselves that we can refer back to when the road get tough. I thought that was an awesome activity. I write notes and letters to myself every so often and I am always so excited when I find them months later and the message applies to my life at the current time.
We then had a panel discussion. This was my first official speaking event where I got a chance to talk about my journey from corporate america to entrepreneurship. I thought I would be nervous but I actually feel like I found my stride. I felt confident and like an expert. I also felt like I had something positive to share with other people. I believe I have unlocked new possibilities in this chapter in my life. I walked away feeling like it was now my turn for my voice to be heard. I had a spiritual conversation with my uncle about three years ago and I was telling him about some poems I wrote and he said “Sounds like it’s your turn to be heard”. I kind of brushed it off because I wasn’t sure I was ready to be open and in front of others. I was so used to playing the background and being the observer. However, the moment this event ended I knew exactly what he meant. It all made sense so I accept my new role with honor. I think it’s an honor for people to come out and hear what you have to say. With so much noise in life, tv and media in general it seems like everyone is saying everything at the same time. So for someone to feel like they want to attend something specific to hear my story and the stories of the other women on the panel is such a great honor.
Needless to say this event exceeded my expectations. Before the event ended I got the opportunity to meet several other women who seemed set on uplifting and empowering people who looked like them. It was a great afternoon. I am still beaming. I believe I walked away with at least five new connections with the potential for future endeavors. New opportunities are always presenting themselves to us and it is up to us to decide if and when we are ready to follow the call.
Peace and Blessings
Next week’s Networking Challenge is quickly approaching. I wanted to set the parameters around what I consider to be a great networking event vs a mediocre one. I tend to start off as an observer. When I enter a room I am looking to see who looks most approachable. The approachable person usually has a happy disposition and is already engaged in a conversation. If the person is not engaged in conversation they at least smile or nod at your presence. If I walk into an event and everyone is cold or reserved my time will be limited at that particular event.
Beyond what I can see, I’m scanning the room for a feeling. The subtleness of what surrounds me. Everyone has had this feeling at least once, where you walk into a room and it just don’t feel right. You can’t verbalize why it doesn’t feel right but ‘something’ tells you to leave or you feel uncomfortable enough to leave. The ‘something’ is your inner voice or intuition. It’s what you can’t see but naturally guides you if you listen. The act of listening is what I call attunement.
Attunement requires you to check in with your body. That can be done by a simple body scan. A body scan is where you notice how your face feels, then you move on to your neck, shoulders, on and on, down to your feet. As you scan you might want to ask yourself a few questions. Take the shoulders for example, we tend to hold tension in our shoulders so ask yourself the following questions. Do your shoulders feel tight? Did the tightness take form once you entered the room? Is it ok for your to relax and enjoy the moment? Our bodies will give us the clues. Or you might notice that you naturally get uptight when you are around strangers so the awareness of how your body feels can make you relax. The awareness alone can also help you resolve a fear or anixety that you no longer need.
Next do an emotion check. Do you feel happy, sad, angry, etc? Does the event seem like it will be pleasurable or worth your time? Do the people in the room look angry, sad or happy? Does the audience seem engaged? There are times when the mood of the room can change your mood. If you spend a few moments doing a body scan it will help you gauge the room.
After I check the pulse of the room I am ready to network. It only takes me about ten minutes to make my assessment. I also check the pulse throughout the event. If the energy of the room shift then I can make a decision on what to do next. Many things can create a shift including arrival of more attendees, someone makes an offensive comment, people start to get bored, temperate of the room gets uncomfortable or someone you felt connected to left the event.
Below is my list of top five characteristics of any event that need to be in place in order for me to have a successful experience.
- Warm and talkative host/hostess who consciously work to make attendees to feel welcomed and included. The host will usually greet you as soon as you walk in the door or at least make their way to you within the first thirty minutes. The person will do a quick introduction and ask for you to do the same.
- More than one host/hostess. The additional hosts tend to be floaters who continuously break the ice and work the crowd pass any awkward pauses or transition between activities.
- Creative icebreakers that engage the audience. I love ice breakers that force you to have at least one intimate session with another attendee. Mastermind themed ice breakers are also very good.
- Interesting speaker with a relatable story. Everyone has a story but not everyone is a good storyteller. I like to walk away knowing that I can keep pressing forward as a result of the speakers authenticity and transparency. I want to feel inspired by the speakers journey and words.
- Connection with other attendees. I am more focused on quality so if I make one strong connection then it was time well spent. Usually there is a common theme or bond to link you with the person. You can see the person as someone you wouldn’t mind being friends with in real life. You exchange information and/or agree to contact each other outside of the event.
Networking is a great opportunity to meet new people and make future business connections. Not all experiences will be positive but the hope is that the great ones outweigh the mediocre ones. Join me next week as I detail my experiences in the land of networking for the attuned.
Peace and Blessing
I have officially rounded up my first month in self employment. I started the week by spending the first few days in my old vocation again. By Tuesday morning I was over the idea of traffic and getting to the office by 9 am. By around 3pm I remembered exactly why I quit the first time and I quickly wrapped up for the day. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with working a 9 to 5. Self employment is not for everyone and I spent most of my career at a 9 to 5 so you will get no judgement from me. However around 3 o’clock I started feeling uncomfortable, irritated and extremely tired. I was starting to miss my nap time and I was definitely neglecting my new life. I hadn’t seen an email, sent time developing my ideas or finding new avenues to reach more clients. I felt grumpy and out of touch. I decided to call it a week.
Wednesday however was perfect. I focused on reconnecting with my business and getting some much-needed rest. I did some poolside yoga training. I planned my yoga class sequences and caught up on email. A new opportunity was waiting in my inbox further proof that my efforts were paying off and possible clients wanted to learn more. Thursday I was greeted by even more exciting news. My main corporate client has expanded their mindfulness program to a different office and 46 employees were expected to participate. Between the two offices I would be leading a total of 83 employees for 4 sessions a week. Last year was the first year for the program and it started with 23 attendees so this was exciting to know that the word was spreading and employees were interested and loving the results. All things are falling in alignment with my mission.
We empower others through body awareness, breathing techniques and yoga postures to enhance their overall health and well-being. We teach you how to create space in your life to balance your daily challenges and align with your higher purpose, increase happiness and find inner peace.
Friday was back to networking. I attended two amazing events. The first one was hosted by a business radio talk show. The show is an unedited and unscripted public broadcast station for businesses. It was my first openly spiritual event. I think all things have a spiritual undertone and implication. However this was different because at least three people approached me and freely spoke about their spirituality, theories on energy and synchronicities of meeting the right people at the right time. I even had two other people mention that I looked familiar or they felt we’d met before. I smiled and nodded knowing that we probably had met, maybe in another lifetime.
The second event I attended with friends and no intentions. A county official sat next to my friend and begin to chat. He ended up asking what I do and I talked about mindfulness in the workplace. He mentioned that he wanted to possibly start a mindfulness program where he works. Sometimes all the cues put you in the right place at the right time. Hopefully that will turn into a long-term business connection. I am open to all possibilities.
All in all last week turned out perfect. It was a good blend of the old and new. It allowed me to refocus on why I made this choice and why it was important for me to continue.
Peace and Blessings
We all love something free including myself. I attend plenty of free events, look for discounts and purchase items on sale. There is nothing wrong with that but everything can not be free. Everything will not come with a discount and you can not find everything on sale. There are somethings you will need to pay asking price for. When you go in a retail store everything has a price on it. If you are a bargain shopper you head straight for sale racks. If you don’t like the regular price items you go ahead and leave the store or wait for the sale.
As I establish and grow my presence in Atlanta I noticed friends and family expect the “free friends and family” plan all the time. Not only is it expected, in some cases it is required in order for their support. I’m not sure what other people’s idea of support is but let’s be clear, using your family or friend’s time, energy, service, merchandise and unique creation is not support. Draining their creativity and gift is not a form of support. Yes you showed up. You should receive kudos for your appearance and effort. The conflict arises when you come with the intent of using your friendship as a bargaining chip. As a result you take away from the products and services intended for well-meaning customers and clients who come to pay. It’s almost a slap in the face to the business owner that you place no value on what they do for their livelihood. If you want free then buy the free stuff, shop on the free rack or wait for the sale.
I think friends and family have good intention they just need to be coached on what’s at stake. I am even in more awe when these behaviors come from those who say they want or plan to open their own business at a future date. Please understand future business owners what you put out to others now, you may receive in the future. So if your intent is to nickel and dime other entrepreneurs, then why should you receive different at a later date. The great thing about life and energy is that becoming aware of your actions is what creates the shift to make another choice. I honestly didn’t have my current mindset years ago. I wasn’t in the space I am in now. No one was honest enough with me then to place the thought in my sphere of reasoning. My intent is to lovingly place it in your psyche today.
Although I didn’t start off with this understanding, I did learn it by watching my ex ten years ago work tirelessly to establish his own business. I got a first hand look at what it meant to be on the other side of the register. I got a glimpse of what it looked like when family and friends lied to your face about how they would be there the next time. I got a first look at their reaction to pricing and how those same people would then attempt to devalue your service and product (even if they was using it). I got a glimpse of the sticker shock face and the conversation that preceded where you had to explain your reasoning for your price. For some reason friends and family love you but in the back of their mind they all don’t believe you have what it takes to run a business. Half of them haven’t even considered that you did your research. You already did the comparison shopping for them. Half of them don’t know if they went up the block, someone would charge more for the same product or service. Or if they charged less it wouldn’t come with the same level of quality and service. It wouldn’t come with the love, dedication, and energy you put into every box.
Fellow entrepreneurs understand you will have to let go some friends and family in this process. You have to understand that not everyone sees your vision. Not everyone is meant to continue with you. If you are being drained under the disguise of the ‘family and friend plan’ it is your duty to lovingly reeducate your loved ones. It is your duty to create boundaries. It is your duty to create space by relieving these people of their duty, so that what the Creator has intended for you can find you. As a leader and possibly a future employer, part of our job is mentoring and training. See this exercise as your first assignment in mentoring and training. It is your duty to coach them up to the new standard or coach them out-of-the-way. For those not willing to adjust or accept the changes necessary for your business to grow, you must lovingly send them down the street or on their way. We have to stop wasting our time on people, places and things that do not feed or pour into our highest good. Sometimes the only shift needed is to separate business pursuits from the equation. Keep your business sacred not secret. This means you hold it in a different light and only share it with those who will honor and support it. We must create new contracts with our loved ones about what the family and friend plan should look like. We must also give them the option on if they want to stay or leave. Entrepreneurship is a practice in faith, endurance, strength and patience. If you weren’t ready for the challenge, it would not have been placed on your shoulders. Push through the resistance and know that all that was removed will be replaced.
Peace and Blessings
This week I’ve been moonlighting at my old job. Quite a few people were surprised to see me walk back in the doors on Tuesday. I left on good terms and have a pretty good rapport with my former director. We were in talks prior to my departure about the possibility of my return in a different capacity and of course on my own terms. I laid out my parameters, dates of availability and new compensation requirements. I left with no expectations. In my opinion I had nothing to lose either way. If she called it would be supplemental income. Since my livelihood was no longer dependent on that company. If she didn’t call I would lose no sleep and continue as planned. I made it clear that I wasn’t available full time since my focus would be on growing my business. My director’s response was lukewarm at best. I wasn’t sure if she was shocked by my preparedness, my request for new compensation or if she was just wearing her poker face.
I released my attachments to her response and left with my head high. Releasing my attachment meant that I wouldn’t put any thought into her reaction. Therefore freeing myself from any future self doubt. Our self doubt is rooted in our fears. When we spend time trying to translate another person’s response we unconscious create stories based on our fears. Releasing our attachment to an outcome means you understand there is a better plan working in your life for your highest good. When we don’t release our attachment, instead of bringing what the Creator intends for us to have we now create disharmony. We also send the message that we do not believe it is possible for the good to happen.
When you do not release your attachment to the outcome, we try to interpret another person’s response. Your interpretation is what causes the internal fight. For example, I could have walked away wondering if I was qualified to move from a Manager to a Consultant. If my rate was too high? If my decision was going to destroy a five year work relationship/partnership? If this was the best time? Should I have presented my proposal differently? All these would have been based on me trying to figure out what her response meant. I would be in turmoil until I heard back from her either way. I could have allowed the voice of self doubt or even the well meaning but destructive thoughts from others push me into discontent for weeks and maybe even months. However the moment I said I released it, I pushed fear and self doubt out of my psyche.
This is a practice of self love and blind faith. Self love taught me that I am enough. I am successful. I have a pivotal role in what happens next. A higher power wants me to be happy and at peace because there is a plan over my life that was designed just for me. There is a plan over everyone’s life that was perfected just for you. You came with a purpose. We just have remember we received an internal road map to finding our purpose. That’s why it’s important to follow and feed your spiritual prompting. Spiritual prompting are your roadmap. Yoga and meditation can help you access it quicker and more frequently. There are many other ways to access it including music, writing, creative pursuits and much more. We just have to figure out which format provides the shortcut to the hotline. From my experience when I release my attachment to an outcome, that is my way of saying it is no longer in my hands. I have done my part.
Two weeks went by with no response. I thought nothing about it and focused on my business. On the Friday of the third week I got her response. Could I be there the following Tuesday? I smiled internally because I knew a higher power was in agreement with my decisions and I had created a new life on my terms.
Peace and Blessings