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Just a Few Reminders

  1. What folks think about you is none of your business – Their thoughts will not help push you or generate income for you. What people think about you and your journey period does not put food on your table or pay for your utilities. What people think is so inconsequential when it comes to the grand scheme of things in your life. Everybody has thoughts and opinions, but neither should intrude upon your progress. Their thoughts should not delay you from doing what it is you were called to do. Their thoughts should not stop you from being brave and taking the next step. Their thoughts should not stop you from being who you were destined to be. So when people think about you is none of your business. We’ve all gotten tripped up with our thoughts of “What will people think?”. I know I have but honestly, there’s a handful of people that I’m truly concerned about and I even ignore some of their opinions because I’ve learned they can often be self-serving.
  2. It’s not your responsibility to explain – It’s not your responsibility to explain your hustle, your grind, your dream, your purpose. It is not your responsibility to explain any of that. It is not your responsibility to explain why are you getting up at 4:00 in the morning and you don’t go to bed until after midnight. It is not your responsibility to explain why you work a nine-to-five and then you leave your nine-to-five and you go to a library to do online classes. It’s not your responsibility to explain why you walked away from a lucrative six-figure job to pursue your dream. It is not your responsibility to explain why you had to walk away from a situation that you knew was toxic 10 years ago, but you stayed.
  3. Stop being scared – Refer back to numbers 1 and 2. Stop being afraid of taking that chance. Stop being afraid of doing what you know you’re supposed to be doing. Stop being afraid of what people want to think. Stop being afraid to pursue what you’ve been dreaming about. You got this dream. There are people out there right now (maybe even you) with a dream and hope of doing something. They are so excited about it. They can’t wait to do it, but they let fear keep them from doing it. I promise you, this is all a little bit of tough love. I fuss because I care. I do it because I believe in your potential. Start the blog. Expand your business. Write the damn book already. If you share your dreams with me, I’m going to remind you. I’m going to ask questions. Don’t tell me that you want to do something or have a desire to do something and then sit on it. Then don’t tell me. Do not tell me there’s something you have in your heart you want to do. Don’t tell me about a dream you have if you don’t want a reminder that you need to go ahead and do it. I am that person to sees the possibility and just about anything and everybody. I told you, I’m annoyingly optimistic.

 

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Progress in the Midst of Mess

There have been plenty of times when I’ve said to no one in particular, “This whole project and go to hell in a handbasket.” Then I think about what I accomplished that day, that week, and over the past month. I think about what my whiteboard looked like at the beginning of the project. I took a picture of my whiteboard once and sent it to my husband. He said, “Oh, is this for next month?” I had a huge belly laugh and told him that it was all for the following week. The face he made was like he wanted to clutch his pearls. His reaction let me know that I am a badass when it comes to getting the seemingly impossible done.

Honey, don’t beat yourself up because you are not where you think you should be at the moment. Don’t beat yourself up because you know you might be a little bit behind your deadline. This is for my fellow Type A folks, it’s okay to give yourself just a little bit of leeway and say, “You know what, I’m not where I was and it’s not going to be as long as it has been.” If you are nervous because it is your time to tackle a task, it might be scary, but I believe you are up to the challenge and will learn from it. Believe that you are worth everything your heart desires. Believe that you are worth every good thing that comes your way. Nothing that comes your way is by accident. Everything that comes to you is for a purpose, and is either a lesson or a blessing.

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And That’s How You Learn…

I have a Polish proverb at my desk that says, “Every time you feel yourself being pulled into other people’s drama, repeat these words…NOT MY CIRCUS, NOT MY MONKEYS.” I look at it daily, sometimes several times a day, because it’s my nature to help. Here’s what I realized, you cannot help everybody, especially if you’re at a point where you are barely holding on yourself. If you’re barely holding onto the ledge, why are you going to take your hand off the ledge to reach out to help somebody else? Get yourself together first. There’s also the possibility the person put themselves in a precarious situation, maybe there’s a lesson they need to learn. Lessons are often repeated and come back in different ways. Maybe it’s something that they are a little birdie told them a long time ago and they just refuse to listen.

Maybe you’ve always jumped in to save somebody. I’m here to tell you…stop jumping to save people. Stop putting your “nice” all over everything. Some people are in the situation that they’re in because they put themselves there. Either they’ve allowed it, they didn’t listen to their little birdie the first, second, or third time, or sometimes things just happen. It could be one of those three things. Learn how to be supportive without putting on armor to take the battle and do battle for them. Some people need to do battle for themselves and learn their lesson. They’ve become so accustomed to us coming in and saving the day that they don’t know how to save themselves. You did not put them there. Refer them to resources, give sound counsel without throwing gasoline on the fire but don’t be the person who says, “I’m going to fix it”.

If you are on the other side of this, meaning you are the one who is going through a rough patch, you might think I’m being harsh. I lovingly say this with life witness, not eye witness knowledge, be thankful for every time somebody does not jump in to save you. The lessons you learned from having to deal with stuff yourself and not somebody coming in to save the day will stick with you. You will in turn be able to impart that life-witness wisdom to somebody else. The people who love you haven’t abandoned you during your struggle, they realize it’s nothing they can fix or control, and they are allowing you to go through the lesson so that you can grow and be better versions of yourself.

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You Are The Barrier

Five years before my first international speaking engagement I had an idea. I had a vision for something I wanted to do, but Work Your Package as it is right now was not solidified. It wasn’t solid at all. While I was writing my first book, I was also planning my first conference. At that time, the conference consisted of half a day of programming, a panel of speakers, and some lunch. I wrapped it up with my book signing and that was it for the day. That’s what I planned. I was then told by other people I needed to hone in on my target audience. Well, here’s the thing, because I know I was created to speak to the heart of women, it’s hard for me to target one group. I know regardless of the socioeconomic background or profession of a woman, we all have the same pain points and that’s what I speak to.

Here’s my question for you today (and every day) What are you talking yourself out of? What are you telling yourself you can’t do? How many times do you come up with a brilliant idea and you talk yourself out of it before you even take the first step? How many times do you do it? I say this with all the love and honey sugar booboos I can muster up…Get the hell out of your way. You are your worst enemy. If you don’t believe me, check in with the people who love you because I guarantee you they see exactly what you have to offer and you are selfishly sitting on something that’s supposed to be shared with other people. Get the hell out of your way. If you have something you are passionate about, you can’t stop thinking about it and you are wondering how you can bring it to fruition, it is probably something you need to just go ahead and do. If you are sitting there wondering if you should, the answer is probably ‘yes’. If you ask the question, you already know the answer.

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Wisdom Comes At a Cost

I often talk about being transparent and I think about someone who I’ve been asking to write a book for years. Very early on in our friendship, he told me just a little bit of his story. I asked him when he was going to write his life story and he said, and I quote,” I’m too young for that maybe in 20 years.” To that my response was, “You don’t know what tomorrow has for you, and who says you’re going to be here in 20 years? Amid you holding onto your story and being selfish and not sharing your story, you could be helping God knows how many other people. You’re impacting people one by one when you can be impacting the masses with your story”. He didn’t have an immediate witty response which let me know, I struck a nerve and he knew I was telling the truth.

Your wisdom came at a cost, but it’s worth sharing. The wisdom that you gain from your life experiences is not there to break you. The wisdom you gain from the heartache and the hardships you go through is not there to break you. It’s there to make you stronger because as you get stronger, you are then able to impart that wisdom to somebody else. Have you ever been in a situation where you can see the road that this person is getting ready to head down and you were able to just like, “Wait a minute, don’t do it”?

Wisdom comes at a cost. It’s not going to be pretty. It’s not going to be easy. You’re going to cry, you’re going to cry, you’re going to be hurt. You’re going to want to throw things. You are going want to cuss, fuss, and scream. But at the end of it, all the wisdom that you gain is so worth it. Are you willing to share that wisdom with others?

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It’s You Against You

This competition-driven world is getting on my damn nerves. Can I just say that out loud? This whole, I have to be better than you. I have to outdo you. I have to outshine you. I need to be better. I need to do more, have more, see more, travel more, eat at the best place. All of this, I need to do better than you nonsense is ridiculous.

It needs to be you against you. The only person you need to be competing against is you. That’s it. The only thing you need to be competing against or trying to top is what you did yesterday. The only thing that you need to worry about besting is what you did best yesterday. Other people are not concerned about you. My good friend, Bianca Wise (The Mindset Snob) is the queen of minding her damn business. I prescribe to that thought. I believe in minding my damn business. I also believe, to quote my mentor, Sylvia Anderson, who said “There are 12 months in the year, I got six months to mind my mind business, and six months to stay out of your business.”

Who are you secretly competing against? Is it the social media influencers? Is it the other PTA mom who seems like every Monday she’s bringing in freshly baked cookies and cakes and cupcakes for the teacher lounge? Is it the dude at your job who seems to always have the manager’s ear? So, it seems like he’s the pet and always gets his way. Is it the person in your organization who, you know, seems like they’re always getting all the awards and you feel like you’ve done all this work and no recognition? Is it your spouse? Are y’all competing for the most exhausted parent? Is it your sibling? Are you fighting for, you know, the best child award? What are you competing for? Who are you competing against? Because I’m going to be honest with you, if you were really honest with yourself, there’s been other people that you’ve looked at and said, “ I can do that better”. Better. There’s a difference between looking at somebody’s achievements for inspiration and looking at somebody’s achievements in envy.

When you find yourself looking at people’s achievements in envy, now you’re competing against them. When you look at them in admiration, that’s when you start competing against yourself because that’s when you have to dig deep and figure out, “Okay, what can I do to make myself better?” Not because you’re going after what they have, but that you see that it’s possible. There’s a difference between seeing great things happen and it being aspirational or great things happen for somebody else and you being envious. Envy will have you at a point of competing with someone. And to be real honest, everybody is in first place in their own race. I’ll say that again. Everybody is in first place in their own race. There’s no race that you can jump into of somebody else’s and think you going to be in the first place. It’s just not going to happen. You’re not going to win. So, I say this with all types of love in my heart…

It’s you against you. Stop competing against other people, whether outwardly, secretly, or inwardly. You know you better than anybody else. You know if you’ve been competing against somebody else. And it probably shows up in the ugliest of ways. It shows up in the shady comments. It shows up in the offhanded comments, “Oh, that was cute that you did such and such”. That’s ugly. Check yourself and then reassess and figure out where you are going to compete with you.

How are you going to beat your best?

Until next time,

Watch the replay of the FB live that inspired this post here: It’s You Against You

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5 Differences Between Fans and Personal Board of Directors

Here 5 ways to tell the difference between a bunch of fans and a personal board of directors:

  1. History and Understanding:
    • Board of Directors: They have a history with you and understand the nuances of your life, including how you handle challenges, your work habits, and personal aspirations.
    • Fans: They see the highlight reels and may not understand the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of your life. They often have unrealistic expectations.
  2. Honesty and Feedback:
    • Board of Directors: They provide constructive criticism and honest feedback, even if it means telling you that you’re wrong or need improvement. They are not afraid to challenge you.
    • Fans: They tend to shower you with praise and may not give you genuine feedback, especially when you make mistakes or face challenges.
  3. Long-Term vs. Short-Term:
    • Board of Directors: They have a long-term perspective and are invested in your overall well-being and success.  
    • Fans: They often have a short-term, opportunistic view, showing up when you are successful and popular but disappearing during tough times.
  4. Support and Guidance:
    • Board of Directors: They offer guidance and support in critical decisions, such as career choices, financial planning, and personal development. They are SMEs who don’t mind sharing their expertise to help you get to the next level.
    • Fans: They may offer superficial support but lack the expertise or willingness to help with important life decisions.
  5. Realistic vs. Superficial:
    • Board of Directors: They provide realistic, practical advice and support your growth and development, even if it’s not always comfortable. Truth be told, they don’t care if you get uncomfortable as long as you are growing and making progress towards your goals.
    • Fans: They may offer superficial admiration and support but they are not equipped to provide the depth of guidance and assistance that a board of directors can offer.

Please don’t confuse likes and double taps with real connections. A personal board of directors offers a deeper and more meaningful level of support and guidance compared to fans who are often attracted to surface-level success.

Until next time,

Ayanna

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Team Too Much

Some believe that telling someone they are “too much” is an insult. The funny thing is, those same people will criticize you for not being “enough”. Fortunately, the women I know, love and admire not only take it as a compliment, but it also fuels them to be and do even more. When someone tells you that you are “too much”, it usually comes from a place of insecurity and maybe even jealousy. If you are the one at work that everyone calls on to lead a major project, get things back on track, or create a streamlined process, do you do what was asked or do you take it to the next level? You just don’t lead the project, you also inspire the people who begrudgingly are on the team because they were voluntold to be there. Now, they look forward to working with you. You don’t just get things back on track, you find out how it got off track in the first place to find the root cause so that it doesn’t happen again. You don’t just streamline an archaic process, you elevate it into a company-wide initiative. Do you see where I’m going? When you operate in excellence, you will be too much for people who are quite complacent with mediocrity. And guess what? That’s okay. Team Too Much is where I live and thrive. I’m motivated by other women who think the status quo was made to be challenged and questioned. How about you? Are you Team Too Much or okay with being just enough? If you know you are part of the team, we have t-shirts.

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The Power of Everyday Wins

Grab a seat and get comfy because we’re diving into a topic that is close to my heart – celebrating yourself.

More than half of the year is over. At the beginning of the year, you had goals, plans, and dreams. But here’s the thing – are you stopping to smell the roses along the way? Are you celebrating the small wins?

I get it, life can be a whirlwind. We’re constantly moving, doing, achieving. But let me ask you this: Have you ever taken a moment to cheer for yourself? I mean, really cheer, not just a polite golf clap.

What does a small win look like? The moment when you chose the stairs over the elevator. Finishing that book you’ve been wanting to read but could never find the time. The presentation you aced at work. Keeping your cool and using the coping skills you learned in therapy. They may seem small but they all deserve a standing ovation…even if it’s just from you to you.

It’s easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others or waiting for the big milestones to feel accomplished (thanks a lot, social media). But guess what? Your life is happening right now, in these small moments. Remember, celebrating yourself isn’t bragging; it’s acknowledging your efforts and embracing your journey.

So, here’s my challenge: When you accomplish something, whether it’s a minor task or a significant achievement, give yourself credit. You are a masterpiece in progress. Life’s a collection of these everyday wins that shape who you are. So, let’s make a pact – let’s celebrate ourselves along the way.

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Hump Day Vibes: Embracing the Wins, Big and Small

Hey there, Mavens! How’s the week treating you so far? It’s that middle-of-the-week moment, and you know what that means – it’s Work Your Package Wednesday!

I’ve got something on my mind today (well, every day) – celebrating wins. Yep, those victories, big and small, that make life oh-so-interesting. We’re all about chasing those goals and dreams, but are we taking time to appreciate the journey? Let’s get into it.

Picture this: You set some scary goals for 2023, right? And here you are, hustling hard to make things happen. But let me ask you – have you stopped to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back? I’m talking about celebrating those little victories that pave the way to your big wins.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and overlook the small stuff. We are quick to cheer for others but hesitate to celebrate ourselves. Well honey, it’s time to change that narrative! Every step you take, every hurdle you overcome – they ALL deserve your applause.

Whether you conquered a task at work, resisted that tempting dessert, or aced your morning workout – those are your wins. They’re proof that you’re moving forward, making progress, and becoming the best version of yourself. So, why not revel in them?

Here’s my challenge for you: Celebrate yourself. When you accomplish something, no matter how seemingly insignificant, do a little happy dance, give yourself a high-five, or even just smile and say, “Heck yeah, I did that!” You’ve earned it.

Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Life is a series of moments, and each one is worth cherishing. So, let’s keep hustling, keep embracing those wins, and keep celebrating. You’re doing awesome, and I can’t wait to see all the incredible things you’ll achieve. Keep shining!