Don’t worry about the competition

When you’re trying to get your business off the ground you can’t worry about how much competition there is out there…not always. Looking at it from a personal development angle, sometimes the best thing you can do is accomplish your goal regardless of what’s going on. At the end of it all, it shapes you to be the person you’re supposed to be in order do what you’ve been created to do.

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You Against the World

“I need a vacation.”  Heard that one before, right?  But what I really needed was a detoxification from work, people, and life situations.  I kept asking myself, When do I get to breathe? When do I get to do what I want? When will someone finally notice and appreciate my efforts?  Then it hit me:  When?  Now. frog-897419_960_720

It was simple and I needed to remember what I needed.  I take a breather when I want…not when someone says so.  I get to do what I want when I make time for it and not when someone says I can.  And I don’t need validation and appreciation for my efforts from someone else…when I pre-approved it.  The lack of sleep and constant busy nothings was getting to me.  I needed to take some time off from everything and everyone.

So, I shut off all communication from the outside world, refused to check emails, voicemails, and social media…and I couldn’t have made a better choice.  Sometimes…some days…it just needs to be you against the world.  Did I feel bad about not answering their calls, responding to emails, or not being available?  (Insert laughter here.)

I had forgotten the answer to one question:  You know what happens when you stop helping those who expect it from you?  They eventually figure it out themselves.  I can’t help everyone who asks for it…and I’m not required to.  First, I have to help myself…and need my sanity to do it.

Related articles:

Helping the Abled

Learning to Say No

Let Adults Be Adults

What do you want?

jog-595995_960_720Without a defined reason or purpose, we go from day to day doing just enough to survive in the life we’ve created up until now.  But subconsciously, it isn’t enough.  Somehow you want something more you can’t describe.  Life seems scheduled and boring and unmotivated…and somewhere you’ve accepted that.  Perhaps its fear.  Perhaps its stubbornness.  Perhaps you’re lazy.  Only you know what it is.  But without purpose, you’re just maintaining a lifestyle.  Take a little time each day to figure out what you want.  Start asking questions.  Start doing more of the things that make you smile.  Figure out what’s keeping you from moving forward.  Otherwise, what’s the point?

A Gentle Reminder: Never Give Up

bench-560435_640It’s ok if it didn’t work out the way you wanted.  Despite the fallbacks, the most important thing you can do is to keep moving.  So what if you’ve tried it a few times and it didn’t work—that doesn’t mean you should give up.  It just means you need to change your approach.  It’s ok to fall—it’s not ok to stay there.  Get back up and try again.

The Challenge: Dedicate This Year to You…

OK, maybe you don’t need a year, maybe you just need time in general.

Time to: bring yourself out of a dark space and focus on the positive, work on your mindset, develop new ideas, to read more, quiet your nature, change some of your habits, work through a bad relationship, figure out what you really want from life and from yourself, etc.

Sometimes, being around the same group of people keeps you harboring the same emotions.  Change your scenery, get out of the house, meet new people.  Stop complaining and do something about your situation, even if it’s just a little.  Do any and everything in your power to quiet your surroundings enough so that you have time to focus on you.  Remember, it’s not about being selfish, but about your growth.

Whatever you do, you must set aside time to deal with or change a thing.  If you don’t know who you are, you may never know where you’re going.

Who are you working for?

How much time do you spend working on someone else’s dream? We spend so much time working on someone else’s job, someone else’s dream, someone else’s goal that by the time we’re done, we’re too tired to work on ours.

Some people don’t even know what their dreams and goals are because they’ve exhausted themselves on someone else’s. Take time each day and work on you. Explore what makes you happy, write down any ideas you have, take the first step towards creating the life you want. If you’re not careful, by the time you look up, life will have passed you by.

Start now.

Note to Self: Ignore Your Inner Critic

Your inner critic can be harsh.  It can push away a good idea, convince you that you’re not good enough, not worthy enough and don’t have the ability to do it.  Don’t deny yourself the vision you’re aiming to achieve by letting past experiences, bad moments or low self-esteem interfere with the vision you have of yourself.

Note to Self: Remember Your Reasons

If you feel as though you’ve fallen behind, remember why you started this journey.  Keep those reasons close, you’ll need them when the road feels lonely.  Use them to overcome feelings of depression and self-doubt.  Use them to fuel your purpose and strengthen your character.  Use them to smother your fears and replenish your faith.  Use them to manifest your dreams.  Use them to stay focused and build your courage.  Use them to reprogram your mind and develop a better vision of yourself.  Be persistent and stay focused.  Your reasons will take you there.

Do you have moments like this?

A few days ago, I had a what the hell are you doing with your life moment, which most people might find strange because I seldom share this part of me.  Most would say I’m ambitious, head-strong (can’t argue with this one), direct (definitely not this one either) and focused.  But uncertain is not a word people would use to describe me.

While I wasn’t unhappy, I realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be in my life.  I woke up thinking, there has to be more than this.  There has to be more than my daily work-life routine.

But when I woke the following morning, I was in a different frame of mind.  I realized I was being impatient.  I had to remember that my journey is just beginning and it’s going to take a lot more to get where I want to be.  In order for me to do more, I must be better than I am…and that’s not always easy.  Change isn’t easy, but it’s better than being stagnant.  Although I know I’m not in this alone, it’s hard to see through my own self-imposed cloudiness sometimes.

And even though the feeling of uncertainty was brief, the moment was needed to remind me to keep pushing through the doubt.  Life does not reward procrastinators nor does it reward those who aren’t willing to go the distance.  I needed to remember that this was part of my journey and from time to time, these feelings will surface, but I cannot allow these feelings to linger nor should I dwell on them.

No one ever said this was going to be easy.  But will it be worth it? Yes.

I write these posts as much for you as for me.  If you can relate to this at all, I encourage you to stay strong and keep pushing through my friend.  We have too much work left to do.

Everyone wants to be successful, but do you expect to be?

“Want shows up in conversation, EXPECTATION shows up in behavior.” ~Les Brown

Everyone wants to be successful.  But if you ask them if they expect to be, most people can’t answer.  Talk is talk, but your behavior ultimately determines the type of person you are.  You can dream all day about starting a business, but what are you going to do about it?  Are you going to sit and pine about something you could have, should have done?  Or are you going to take those steps necessary to secure your success?  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be one of those people in my later years dreaming about something I could have done something about now.  Take the first step and stop making excuses.  Nothing happens until you make a commitment and a decision to act.

Learn to Love the Journey, Not Just the Destination

Had lunch with a friend a while back.  We had just finished enjoying a movie and was on our way back to the city when I mentioned how much I loved road trips.  What he said next made me want to laugh…not the funny, ab crunching laugh out loud type of laughter, but the you’ve got to be joking kind.

He said he hated road trips.  Completely.   He hated the ride, hated the people, hated the time it took to get there.  He was only interested in the destination.  If there was a way to teleport himself to where he wanted to go and there was a company building a teleportation device, he’d be the sole stock owner.

I was shocked.  Who didn’t like road trips?  It took me a minute to understand that some people are in it for the destination, while others enjoy the journey.  There’s even a select few who enjoy both.  This applies to people in different stages in their life…be it career, family, hobby or business.  Some people are only in it for the end result, forgetting what it took to bring you there.

My point is this. The journey is just as important as the destination.  There’s lessons in the journey as well.  Much like writing, if you’re true to yourself and your craft, you eventually come to understanding yourself better and as a result…you write better, you do better, you become better.  That’s what the journey is for. Things take time.  You may not be there yet, but if you stay true to the course, before you realize it, you will reach your destination.  Sometimes it’s not the destination you wanted for yourself,  but a more fruitful and meaningful one.

So don’t get upset about how long it’s taking you to get where you vision yourself to be.  If you’re in the process of learning a new craft, take time to really learn it.  If you’re in the beginning stages of starting your business, take time to plan and learn what’s required.  Learn from the bumps in the road.  They’re not just bumps, but learning tools.

Enjoy the journey it takes to get you where you want to be.   You can’t rush the good stuff.

New Things Are Happening!!

Shout out to all of my Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and WordPress friends, followers, fans and family!! If you haven’t figured it out, I’ve decided to follow and develop my first love, writing. Those that know me are probably wondering what took me so long! But now, there are no more excuses! 2014 was a beautiful start, but I know 2015 will be even better. There are so many ideas and things I plan on doing that I can hear my mother in my head saying, “baby steps, Shakeena. It’ll all work out as it should.” I hope you’ll take this journey with me as I know this is just the beginning. So far, here’s what’s going on:

Live, Laugh & Rebel Blog: Live, Laugh & Rebel is about being better, doing better. It’s about standing as an individual and finding what’s unique about you and using it to live a better and fruitful life. It’s about personal growth, enterprise, self-education, entrepreneurship, conditioning and movement. It’s about all those things most people don’t want to hear, but need to in order to grow. You can view it at www.livelaughrebel.wordpress.com.

The Write Side of The Street Blog: This site about entrepreneurship will be consolidated with Live, Laugh & Rebel. All past and future site content will be posted there.

My Newsletter: A monthly newsletter. In every issue, you’ll find a Note to Self section, this is a short (sometimes longer) section about almost anything, it’s usually quotes or sayings I like (but you never know with me); a Main Character section, which is about developing and challenging yourself, like the main character in a story (after all, you are the main character in your story); and a Books section, which will show my latest books for sale. As things develop, you’ll see other sections which will include updates on events and showings, entrepreneurship, discounts, interviews and much, much more. If you prefer to up-to-date content, feel free to follow me on my blog, Live, Laugh & Rebel. You can subscribe to my newsletter at www.shakeenawheeler.com, on Facebook or you can send me your email and I’ll add you personally.

New Poetry E-book: Getting To You. A selection of poetry written by me for poetry lovers. You can purchase it at www.shakeenawheeler.com.

Writing Services: I offer a variety of writing services including web content, articles, blog posts, newsletters/e-newsletters, brochures, direct mail/e-mail marketing campaigns, white papers/how-to guides, ghostwriting, e-books, simple business, creative content and much more. You can find more information and my portfolio at http://www.shakeenawheeler.com. If you would like to discuss a project you have in mind, you can contact me at shakeena@shakeenawheeler.com or (484) 352-2147.

Well, that’s it so far, but there will be so much more coming up. Thanks again for everything you guys and I hope you have a peaceful and fulfilling year!

It Starts With You

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“The impulse to dream has been beaten out of us by the experiences of life.”

How very true this statement is. Do not neglect the child in you full of wonder and curiosity. Allow time for your mind to wander. I’ve always said that we dream because we have to. Not the middle of the night crazy and unsolicited dreams we have in our sleep, but the ones we have when we’re supposed to be working, supposed to be doing something fairly important but would rather think about to get our minds off of the task at hand. It’s almost always the same thing every time, if not similar. We always dream of better, because underneath it all, despite our outer pessimistic shells, believe we deserve better. Why have you stopped dreaming? More importantly, why have you stopped believing? There’s not too many excuses that will hold water.

Learning to Say No

Saying no is healthy.  Being able to say no without having to explain why and not feel guilty about it is even healthier. Knowing when and how to say no is one of the most valuable skills you will ever learn.  At first, people won’t understand, will give you incredulous looks and expect you to change your mind.  But don’t waver.  Eventually, mature people will understand and life will become less dramatic.  You’ll start seeing and hearing the truth in people’s words and actions.  It’s OK to ask for help from time to time, but people shouldn’t be dependent on you for everything.  You can’t save everyone, but you can keep your sanity just a little while longer while you work on developing a better you.

Clarity is Power

If you can’t define your dreams, you don’t know where you’re going. Write them down, give them meaning, give them definition and then act on them. There’s no point in letting your goals and dreams linger within in you. Your dreams were given to you for a reason and only you can give them life. A man once said, “this world was created by people that were no smarter than you.” They decided to act on their dreams. Why shouldn’t you?