When is the right time to let a client go? This is the question I am stuck on today. I need to make a decision about either staying or moving on, and there are many factors that keep me at this cross-road. They include, but are not limited to, income, faith, fear and comfort among others. This client has caused me no trouble or pain, but I need to re-evaluate if we are a perfect or near perfect fit. There are also a few pros and cons, but I am still wondering if the pros outweigh the cons. However, the biggest work I have to do is to put my worth, value and direction on the table and to evaluate if this client aligns with them. That would be the deal breaker, and I am yet to get there. Hence, the struggle to choose between leaving and staying. Reads like a relationship. :) I am hoping to make a decision this week. I have some reflecting and praying to do for the rest of the week. I have read a few blog posts and articles about this issue, but none stood out more than a quote by Amanda Genther of Amanda Genther Design. The more you say NO to the WRONG clients, the more room you have open for the PERFECT clients. If you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur struggling with this issue or similar issues like knowing what kind of clients to take on and how much to charge, remember it is important to know your value, your worth and skill sets. It is also imperative that you personally appreciate your value, your worth and your skill set. If you don't, no one else would. It is okay to say goodbye. It is okay to let the kite loose. Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!
Today, I am thinking about legacy. What would people say about me when I die? What would people say about you when you die? Would people who never met you smile when others talk about who you were and what you did when you walked the earth?
I am not referring to how much money you made, your occupation or how famous you were. How did you treat the people around you from family and friends to co-workers and acquaintances? A former co-worker's husband, N, died last night after a heart attack. He was 49. I walked into my old job today, and that was the first news I was greeted with. I screamed, literally. :(
Last week, I went to happy hour at Elephant & Castle with another former co-worker. It was my second time there, and while we were waiting for our order, I made the comment "OMG, this was where I met N, H's husband for the first time."
It was a comment I made in passing. I was making conversation and reminiscing on the first time I came to Elephant and Castle and the new people I met. That was the first and only time I met him. I did not know him except from what I heard of him from H and other co-workers who had been at this job for years. A week after I made that comment, N is dead.
More than two years after we met, he is gone and they had just celebrated their one year wedding anniversary. I remember how excited she was planning for their wedding. They had been together for a long time and decided to finally jump the broom. She was such a beautiful bride
Today, I gathered with my old co-workers around the office kitchen table, and we recalled the tangible things we remembered and knew about him. I had nothing to say so I listened. I listened as those who knew him better than I did talk about him: about him and his relationship with H. As I listened, one legacy stood out; he was a wonderful husband and partner. Everyone who knew the couple well enough commented on how he treated H with love, respect and dignity. As a couple, they took care of each other and you could tell by being around them that they both LIKED and RESPECTED each other. We are all saddened by his death, and we can confidently say he was a part of our office family, and he was a good husband and partner.
When a loved one dies or someone we know leaves us, they always leave a form of legacy. When I die, I pray mine is good, not just good for my name, but good for others to learn from, build on and take joy from. As we go about our daily lives, I pray we make the choice to choose a lifestyle that would resonate beyond our generation. People are watching and hurting...your attitude and your choices can make a difference. RIP N!
Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!
I grew up with the constant push to go to law school!
If I was to choose without external influence, I would have chosen to be a professional dancer, a chef/baker, an actress or a writer.
I would have been happiest dancing and writing.
I excelled in everything literature.
I loved love literature, and I was a star literature student.
I devoured all the assigned readings and more. I could not wait to write papers about every book we were assigned: my analysis of the characters and the themes in the books. During literature test/exams, I wrote pages and pages of analysis. No surprise, I am a writer.
I went to college as a Pre-law student.
I went through my first life crises in college; I lacked a sense of direction...
I was confused. I just wanted to dance!
I declared Pre-law
I contemplated switching to Political Science.
Then I thought about International Relations.
I dumped Pre-law, and declared Elementary Education (My parents would not have it, they so wanted the best for me and they knew It was not where I wanted or should be. In my heart, I was determined to make them mad, so I endured 3 semesters of the major, because I wanted my parents to deal with it. VERY STUPID MOVE) :)
I contemplated Theater and Dance.(I wish I did it, but I survived by joining a dance group)
Then I thought about Creative Writing. (I wish I did it)
I declared Psychology as a major alongside Elementary education.
I dropped Elementary Education and declared Mass communications (Public Relations).
I relegated Psychology to a minor, then I dropped it all together and declared Communication Studies as a minor.
I finally graduated after five years with a degree in Mass Communications (Public Relations) and a minor in Communication Studies.
Moving on to graduate school...I went in to study Public Health Marketing and Communications and graduated with a Masters in Public Health Promotions. Mind you, I applied to both Counseling and Public Health programs, but chose the latter over the former.
I enjoyed school. However, I had a hard time settling down on a major, because it was not culturally appropriate to do what I wanted to do. I guess my preferred choices were not financially wise either unless I hit it big. Dancer, Writer, Chef and Actress!
I am back to that place I always should have been...I am starting with writing!
It all worked together for good...I see it everyday!
Wow, it is Thursday already. The weeks are moving faster as I age. My week is going pretty good, and I hope yours is too.
Right before I sat down to write this post, I got a call from the old contact I mentioned in this post from last Friday. I connected with her about doing writing and editorial work for her non-profit. The non-profit is based in DC, but has national reach and significance. It has been doing amazing work in Washington DC for many years. Getting a call back from her and the possibilities we discussed are extra joys in my today. :) I am celebrated every ray of sunshine...beats complaining and murmuring.
I finished up the series on a Genevieve's Woman Wardrobe Essential for Genevieve Magazine online today.
I completed "How Laziness Saved my Life" by
Okechukwu Ofili about a week ago, and it was a good read. The book is a
collection of short personal stories and life lessons that are applicable to the
practice of business. The chapters jumped around on several topics
including business, customer service, entrepreneurship and social media. Each chapter
was different, and like many books of short stories, there
was no major link connecting the stories together. Business owners can evaluate their small businesses, figure out which of the different life
stories plus lessons learned applies to their businesses and incorporate the lessons. A few times, I was confused
about his audience, but he seemed to be writing primarily to CEOs,
business owners, entrepreneurs and employees yearning for more beyond
working 9-5pm. Many of his conclusions were common sense, others were
far-fetched, but they were all delivered with humor. A few chapters ended abruptly, but the messages
and lessons were not lost. I also wondered if he was writing to a Nigerian (Ofili is
Nigerian) or an international audience, because of the language nuances and
style of writing. Overall, it was a good read; I was not wowed, but I
was not disappointed either. A few times, I had to pause, reflect and take in on
some of his points. The book accomplished what the author set
out to do: provide a book "filled with crazy and sometimes hilarious
stories that often contain powerful and endearing business lessons."
I will also be interviewing him for Genevieve Magazine Online soon...waiting on my editor.
I picked up a new book titled "The Gift in You" by Dr. Caroline Leaf.
She is a neuron-scientist, and her specialty is on the brain and the
power/science of thoughts as it relates to "thinking, learning and renewing the mind, gifting and potential" She is also a Christian, and
she uses her teaching to illustrates how many topics in science,
specifically the brain, are confirmed and affirmed by Scripture. The book provides a broad and simple way to identify one's gifts and how the thought process positively and/or
negatively affects our gifts.
I have listened to her speak a couple of times, and she is a proponent of thoughts as engines that direct the paths of our lives whether we grew up with a diamond spoon in our mouths or we had devastating childhood experiences. She is all about changing your thoughts and mind to channel the power to be all that you can be. I mentioned in this post and this post a few weeks ago that I have
accepted some lies in the past few months, and these lies led to thoughts
that led to inaction in many parts of my life.
Gift in You would be refreshing as I continue to fight and channel my thoughts and self-talk towards positivity for my life and small business (JostWrite). I started reading yesterday, and I look forward to both gaining information and applying the knowledge gained to my life.
In other news, I am still working on re-branding JostWrite. It might take longer than I thought, because I want my skills to align with the direction I'm heading while still leaving room for me to be challenged.
I opened my eyes at exactly 5am one morning in March, and the first thought that dropped into my heart was "When praises go up, blessings come down!" The thought has stayed with me since it dropped in my heart that sunny morning in Florida. I had spent the day before murmuring and grumbling about how I wanted more and desired more. I tossed and turned in my bed contemplating strategies to get more and be more. I kept asking myself what was I doing wrong or what could I do better? I asked what is the one step I could take to move forward with all I was dreaming and wishing for. Fast forward five months after, and it occurred to me last week that I am still struggling to live my life around the thought of engaging praises and thanksgiving as part of my life. I was still struggling to live my life regardless of my circumstances with praise and thanksgiving. Why wait until November to be thankful for the blessings I have enjoyed over the years? Why be blessed with what I need before I start being thankful for what I already have? This is the thought I am taking with me through the rest of this week and month of August. An heart of thanksgiving and an attitude of praise shown towards a God who deserves far more than I can bring. Psalm 74:14: I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!
The week is finally over, and it has been a productive one. I was looking forward to the weekend break, but I am thankful I get to do what I do during the week.
The meeting I mentioned in this post went well, and we are hoping to get feedback on moving forward by next week.
I re-connected with an old contact via email this week, and I am hoping something fruitful comes out of it. If not, it is still a good thing to awaken old connections. :)
I am also working on re-writing the text for JostWrite websites and every thing JostWrite. The re-branding of JostWrite has nothing to do with design or aesthetics, more to do with a refocusing of my skills.
I am on day 21 of my 30-Day challenge. I cannot believe I have nine Fridays to go. This week's challenge is writing all about my hopes for the future. I am sharing an old post from November 2011 titled "Letter to my Future Self." These things still hold true for all I hope my future self holds on to, believes in and works toward.
Dear Future AdeOla,
I am excited that I can take a few moment to
communicate with you. It takes being low sometimes to reach out to the
person you are going to become, and let her know that no low is the end.
Right now, I am in a place I call Stuck. Stuck is never nice. It pushes
you face down, smacking your nose into a mud of mess. It mocks you and
dares you to fight. It dares you to get up even as it pushes you further
into mud...face down.
I want you to remember that you will not only
get up and survive the lows. You will thrive. The cliche "The sun always
rises in the morning is true." The lows are never permanent and riding
on a high is not permanent either. The question becomes "What are you
going to do about it?"
I ask that you fight every time you hit a low.
I ask that you never let your low reach stuck. But if you do, I ask
that you keep fighting. Believe deeply in the saying that "Freedom lies
in the heart of the struggle." Fight the negative thoughts and
self-talk. If you need to crawl, crawl until your knees, bleeding as
they may be, move you to freedom.
A few lessons I learned from my past lows
include: Joblessness is not the end of life. It is a chance to do
something new. It is a chance to see what you can do with a 9-5 not
submitted to someone else. A broken relationship is not the end of your
love life. It is the chance to see with news eyes. A chance to choose
better at love and a chance to be better at love.Lost love equates a new
love found if you let it. Broken finances is never the end. Get up and
re-evaluate your chance to rule over your money.
Some attributes are essential to living
abundantly and they include humility, gentleness, patience, love and
focus. Life is a gift. Life is bliss when you let it. Life will throw
darts at you, but remember, you can step out of the way. Never ever ever
stop dreaming. Living without dreaming is the first death.
Love God with all your heart.
Love family, friends, the random guy next door and the random girl in the next cubicle.
Give your time, your money and your talent.
Don't you dare live life for just yourself, your family and your friends.
Live it also for the helpless, the needy, the poor and the oppressed.
Never let your religion or political affiliation deter you from seeing all people as people...breathing and living.
Faith and action work together, and I am amazed at the different opportunities I have had since I got out of bed and got back to work. I am calling them Godpportunities. I recently had a defining moment, it was a moment when I experienced faith and action merging.
I have been thinking a lot about direction, and specifically the direction JostWrite was to go. As I thought deeply about how to move forward, I decided to sit with a business consultant to talk through the vision and ideas I have for myself, my life and my small business. I was also feeling stuck and bored, and paying a consultant was the option for me to narrow down direction and action steps. I had a consultant picked out, but I kept having that nudge in my spirit to wait. The nudge I always get from God to hold back, wait, hold on or do nothing. The nudge to "Be Still."
It was a frustrating season of yielding to the instinct to wait while also knowing that definition and a new direction was needed for JostWrite. A season of wait can be annoying especially when you know what you want to do and should do.
I am glad I waited, because while I was waiting on calling up the business consultant, I kept on giving all the best I could muster up to JostWrite. I signed up for the Black Enterprise Small Business University powered by Dell. It was a series of weekly educational videos by different small business experts teaching on topics like creating a life/business plan, 30 second elevator pitch, financing and social media use. Each week, depending on your class engagement, you gain points and are entered into a drawing to win anything from a laptop, a printer, a free business consultation to a free subscription to Black Enterprise magazine. If I did win anything, I was hoping for either the laptop (my dear lappy is broken) or subscription to Black Enterprise magazine (my subscription expired a few years ago).
Lo and behold, I won a free business consultation with a business expert. When I got the email, I knew the friction between the need in my spirit to wait before spending money I did not have on a consultation and the need to re-define, re-direct and rebrand JostWrite was connecting. I got to talk with the Alfred Edmond Jr., senior vice president/multimedia editor-at-large of Black Enterprise. I was extremely nervous before I got on the phone, because it is not everyday you get a chance to talk to someone in that position. I was so concerned about not sounding stupid or dumb; I wanted to shine. I can confidently say I have never talked to anyone who made me feel more at peace in my life. He is a wise wonderland. :) Judging from that picture, he also has style.
Our conversation was for me more than a moment of peace or clarity. It also took me back to a direction I knew JostWrite was called to go. The direction he led me to was a direction I had backed out of, because it was not what I wanted to do, it was not my writing passion and it was not what I liked or was comfortable doing. Talking with Mr. Edmond was like hearing everything I already knew was my direction, but had ignored because it was not my comfort zone. Whatever happened to risk and thinking long-term? I was just thinking of sticking to my comfort zone.
After thinking through a lot, I am making a 180 degrees turn around back to a path I committed to earlier in this journey but abandoned out of fear and insecurity.
Connecting with him is one of the Godpportunities in my personal desert. That been said, I am working on re-branding the direction for JostWrite, and I know I have been saying this for a while, but it is time to move from point A to point B.
In other news, I am meeting with a small business today through the non-profit I signed on as a client two weeks ago. Another Godopportunity that was birthed because I got to work on the wings of faith.