What would happen if you could put Holiday Cheer in an airtight jar?

I was recently reading a really great blog post by Tom Bilyeu from Impact Theory.  It was titled “How to Manufacture Joy”.  Great article.  I will copy and paste it to the end of this blog for your reading pleasure.

It really made me think about the warm fuzzies me and so many others feel during this time of year.  Then that evolved to the thought “why can’t we feel like this all year round?” Which then evolved into “Duh, we can do whatever the hell we want to”.  The fact of the matter is that warm fuzzy feeling we have during the holiday season is nothing more than a conscious decision.  Imagine the happiness that would radiate from us and then eventually radiate onto those around us if we all created that feeling of love, happiness, and joy we have during the holiday season all year-long.

How do you do that you ask?  Well allow me to share!

  1.  Identify when you are experiencing those warm fuzzy feelings. 

While shopping for my loved ones the other day I realized that it is when I see something that makes me think of that loved one that I feel a great sense of joy.  It isn’t the item itself, it isn’t the purchase of the item, but the thinking of the person that gives me that feeling.  It made me realize that when you are doing your day-to-day routine….if you find yourself thinking about someone out of the blue simply texting that person and letting them know is so powerful.  That, in my opinion, is the ultimate gift.

2.   Act on it

After you have identified what gives you those feelings you have to act on creating those situations more frequently.  The holiday season most certainly does not have to be the only time in which you give gifts.  Also, gifts do not always have to be a tangible item.  There is no greater gift in the world than telling someone how amazing they are.  The gift of love and confidence…that’s where it’s at.  That moment that I decided I didn’t care if people thought I was crazy or weird for verbally expressing my thoughts of love, empathy, and compassion was the most freeing moment of my life.   Although I recognize that “words of affirmation” is not everyone’s love language…I know for certain it certainly doesn’t hurt anyone!  Not to mention we are talking about cultivating joy for yourself.  It makes ME feel good to tell others how awesome they are!

3.  Make a mental note of how you are feeling 

It is so important to take note of those warm fuzzy feelings.  When you recognize the actions that give you that feeling you are more likely to continue with those actions.  The more you give the more you get….it’s a never-ending cycle of warm fuzziness!  It is the epitome of having a jar in your brain that you can dip into whenever you need a dose of the warm fuzzies.

What it boils down to is being present….being on purpose….being INTENTIONAL.  Who are the most important people in your life.   Is it family, friends, co-workers, leaders, service providers???  Who makes you the person you are?  Those are the people you will start with.  Then let it spread like wildflowers!!

 

 

Here is the blog post I mentioned earlier.  I was titled how to manufacture joy

Dear Impactivists,

Let’s talk about holiday cheer for a second because I think it gets at one of my major life strategies.

I rarely think about this because it’s become so automatic for me, but it’s incredibly powerful.

What I’m about to break down for you in the guise of holiday cheer is actually what I also credit with keeping my marriage awesome nearly 20 years in.

Before we dive in, here’s the punchline: You can manufacture authentic emotions.

I’m not religious at all, but Christmas is by far my favorite time of year. Why? Because it’s a time of year where the whole world has decided they’re going to allow themselves to feel joyful even though it’s literally the coldest, darkest time of year.

If I had to guess, that’s exactly why so many cultures have massive mid-winter celebrations. They needed something to combat the emotional doldrums that come with the winter weather.

What I want you all to take away from that though is that simply saying “It’s time to party” can shift your emotional state. Once you buy into the fact that you can simply shift your emotional state with the addition of an external thing like a party, then it’s one more small step to buy into the fact that you can shift your emotional state, well, just because.

Once you realize that you can shift your mental state simply by deciding to, that’s when the world of emotional control will open up before you.

Here’s how it goes:

Step 1: Decide to Change

First, you need to decide that you’re going to shift your emotional state. This can be born from the realization that you’re not in a good emotional state, or it can be for something like increasing your level of excitement around achieving your goals.

Step 2: Choose Your Target

Once you know you want to change you need to decide what it is EXACTLY that you want to feel.

What’s the goal here? Are you trying to get amped about what you’re creating? Trying to really embody gratitude? Remember how much you love your significant other?

Whatever it is, get clarity around it. Set your intention.

Step 3: Focus Your Attention

Remember: you get what you focus on. If you’re focusing on negative stuff, you’re going to fill with negative emotions. Conversely, if you focus on positive stuff, you’re going to fill with positive emotions.

It really is that simple.

So if you’re trying to fill yourself with love for your significant other or excitement for your goal, then focus your attention INTENSELY on what it is about that thing that excites you.

I’ll give you an example from my own life. I hate the gym, but honestly most times I don’t even think about it. On days when it’s getting to me, I think about how awesome it is to look good naked, or how dope it is to be strong – or my personal favorite – the thought of living forever.

Once I’m refilled with excitement for that outcome, I find it very easy to start pushing hard again.

Step 4: Self-Signal

Alright, this is the advanced class portion. If you really want to supercharge your emotional state, surround yourself with things that continually reinforce that feeling.

Christmas is the perfect example. My house looks like we should be selling tickets. There are lights, trees, and Christmas music everywhere. Everywhere you turn, you’re greeted with things that reinforce the joyfulness of the season.

For Lisa and I it really is a magical wonderland. We watch Christmas movies, wear Christmas clothing, and dance every chance we get. All of that continually reinforces the feelings that we want to have.

And there you have it, my systematic way of manufacturing joy. Even I have to laugh at the way that sounds. I don’t leave anything to chance – least of all my emotional state. I just hope that this breakdown helps you not only have a more jolly holiday season, but a more jolly life in general.

Mad love to all of you at this wonderful time of year! Until next time, my friends, be legendary.

– Tom

 

This is what happened when technology failed me…again

In my quest to change the way the beauty industry is viewed by empowering new and seasoned stylists to earn the respect they so greatly deserve I was presenting at a local cosmetology school.  I do this by teaching the importance of how you show up in the world.  The night before I made sure I was completely prepared by testing out my projector, hooking up my laptop, and doing my presentation.  Of course as luck would have it when I got to the school and hooked everything up…. nothing ..zilch …nada.  Nothing worked.  I had to get creative….I had to rely on my story telling to get me through my 1.5 hour presentation.

After the presentation the students willingly gave me feedback telling me they enjoyed this class so much more than my past presentations.  It was my vulnerability and my engagement with them they really enjoyed.  I was very thankful for the feedback since I had another presentation at the same school later that evening.  When I arrived I had made the decision to not even try to use technology.  I was incredibly nervous because I realized that 1/2 of the class was comprised of the same students I had presented to earlier.  I thought it was going be a whole new class.  The story I had going through my head was that these students were thinking “great, I have to listen to her babble on again for another 1.5 hours”.  What the truth actually was though is they were completely engaged.

When I left there I felt really good about everything.  I felt that my message was well received…the next day…I had gotten an email telling me just how well received it really was.

“Hello, my name is Danielle. I was at HP Collage in Dekalb Tuesday night getting my hair done by my sister while you were guest speaking to the class. I know the speech wasn’t intended for me, but I feel as though I was meant to be there and hear you talk. I am at work right now, still trying to process and reflect on everything you said. What stood out the most to me is “fake it until you become it”, that hit me personally because I struggle with self-confidence. I always imagine a way I’d like to “appear” to others, but never was able to work up the courage to become that person. Well, this morning I woke up early, curled my hair, put on my brightest red lipstick and went to the back of my closet and pulled out a pair of heels I bought 6 months ago and had yet to wear them. I try them on almost every day… but they never made it out the door, until today. Today I am dressed the way I want to be seen from head to toe and I feel amazing. Walking into work was a little awkward, but I was flooded with compliments. I can’t explain to you how good I feel. I can’t wait to see what my future holds. I just needed to thank you and make sure you knew that you did this. You successfully changed a life over-night. My goal is to write down things I remember so I can keep reflecting and putting your words into my everyday life. Thank you Gina, thank you thank you.”

As much as she thinks my words changed her life….her words changed mine.  This made me think about one of my favorite Ted Talks.  How telling someone the impact you had on their life effects you.  Because Danielle went out of her way to share that with me has given me the confidence to pursue this mission that I am on full strength!!! Danielle has now became a leader herself….first, this new lease on life she has is going to inspire and empower those around her to do the same….second, because she sent that email my mission has gotten greater and I will continue to change the lives of others….SHE DID THAT.  A leader is defined as a person who guides or directs.  Well Danielle is definitely keeping me in the direction of greatness.

I am a firm believer in the power of the universe.  A dear friend gave me this great little box of inspirational quotes and daily motivators. Yesterday here is the one I pulled…it gave me chills.  “You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you” by Bryan Tracy.  EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU HAS THE POWER OF GREATNESS.  Are you showing it to the world?  Put yourself in a position in which you cannot be ignored. How do you do that?  You look your absolute best…if you put on an outfit in the morning and your thought is “meh, it will do”…BURN THAT SHIT.  It does not belong in your closet.  Get a killer haircut, do your makeup, smell irresistible, only wear something that you know you look fucking amazing in.  Make eye contact, shake hands, smile, use killer dialogue, stand up straight, be on time, and have a great attitude.  If you are not confident enough to do these things…..fake it, fake it every damn day until one day you realize you’re not faking it…you have just become that confident!!!

Please share this with everyone you know!!!  Shit, share it with everyone you don’t know too!  You never know who might be reading that needs to hear these exact words!

 

This is what happens when you share your story

Today is one of those days that I will remember as one of the greatest I have ever experienced.  You know those days????  When you can reflect on something that happened or someplace that you went and it changed you forever.  Today was one of those days for me.

It began with a breakfast meeting with my very first “professional” mentors.  Stephen and Tricia Wake who own Focas Salon in Saint Charles IL.  They taught me so much!  So much more than how do to kick ass hair.  They taught me how to be an amazing human being.  They opened my mind to a whole life I didn’t even know was possible.  A couple of weeks ago I had this moment where I had just realized what a profound impact these 2 people had on my life.  I had always known it but I saw it differently at that moment for whatever reason.  I knew immediately that I had to contact them!  I had to let them know how wonderful they are.  As a fellow small business owner we hear criticism on a regular basis and it is so rare that people go out of their way to share the good stuff.  I knew that I had to let them know what a positive effect they had on my life.  I knew going in that 2 things would happen as a result of it #1.  It would give them the extra boost of confidence that comes from knowing you impacted someones life and it would keep them moving forward in helping them build their team.  #2.  It would allow me to work on my vulnerability and story sharing.  What happened though was so much more than that.  It became a collaboration of minds.  3 like-minded people traveling the same path in life sharing our “secrets” to success with one another to help empower the other.  It was beautiful.

Next, I was in-between appointments and I was starving.  There is a whole lot of eating involved in today I am realizing.  Anyhow, I decided to check out this new restaurant in town called Craft Urban in Geneva, IL.  Holy shit is this place incredible…1st off…talk about a visually appealing environment.  It’s wide open, brightly colored but not obnoxiously, everyone has an edginess to them but not in an intimidating kind of way, and oh my god…the kindness…the genuine kindness.  SO amazing!  That is what I noticed just while walking in.  Now, you get to the menu…simple, to the point, unique selections, OBVIOUSLY INTENTIONAL in every possible way.  I struck up an amazing conversation with the bartender and the owner.  This place is special.  Not to mention they have a Friday and Saturday late night Ramen menu….what?????  Every Friday and Saturday they have a new ramen selection.  Taco Tuesdays serving different tacos every week…YUM, but I digress.  The point is I learned their stories and it was beautiful.

Lastly but certainly not least I went to a new place for my pedicure today.  Lisa Clark at Lacquered Up in downtown Geneva, IL.  This woman….oh my god this woman.  She is the most beautiful soul with such an amazing story not to mention she does some killer nails for a super super reasonable price (side note). It was because she shared her story and truly engaged in mine that I made a connection with this beautiful human being that I will never forget.  I am truly and I do mean TRULY a better person as a result of talking to her for an hour.  Her insight on life, love, perspective, intentionality, and her spiritual mindedness changed me!!  Listen to what I am saying…..if she hadn’t allowed herself to be vulnerable and true that connection would have never happened.  If I put up a wall and didn’t engage with her we both would have missed out on a connection.

Remember that is the whole purpose of life...connection.  That is why we are here.  There are so many people in the world that would say “oh it’s just nails”, or “it’s just hair”, or “it’s just bartending”…the list goes on of occupations that are snubbed but think of it this way…we sat eye to eye, there was actual physical contact which means there was a transfer of energy…we engaged with one another…we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable.  If that is not some powerful shit I don’t know what is.  Not only did Lisa give me the confidence that comes from looking my best….I feel great when my feet look good!  She also touched my mind and my soul.  Because of that PEDICURE I am a better person.  I grew as a human being.  Thank you Lisa Clark!  (630) 277-2555 for all you local people….you won’t regret it 😉

Here is my point….it was through actual real conversation….REAL CONVERSATION that I was able to connect with people on a beautiful plane today.  Imagine what I would’ve missed out on if I would’ve just been on my phone the whole time.  What if I hadn’t reached out to Stephen and Tricia because I was to embarrassed about what they would think about me contacting them out of the blue.  Imagine if I would’ve been to self-conscious to dine alone and didn’t go into Craft Urban today.

No matter who you are…no matter what your path in life is…you have so much to offer!  You are so powerful….you have the ability to change someones entire life but ONLY if you allow yourself to be your true authentic self.  Embrace every facet of your existence…whether you came from a life of tremendous abundance or horrible scarcity.  No matter if you are a brain surgeon, a CEO, a nail technician, a hairdresser, a server, or a student…..YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THE WORLD…I beg you please do not pass that opportunity simply because you were too afraid to put yourself out there.  GO BIG….show the world exactly who you are!

Please pass this along..  I would be humbled and honored if you would share this with someone in your life!

Intentional living comes in many forms…here is what I’ve learned about the latest form I have discovered

It amazes me more and more everyday how many forms intentionality comes in.  Lola, my badass salon, recently fell victim to a ransom-ware attack.  This is when a hacker breaks into your system, encrypts all of your files, and holds them from ransom.  The goal for the hacker is 2 things…1st, hopes that in an act of desperation that you will pay whatever monies they are asking to un-encrypt the files.  Even before all the IT advise of not paying them came through I knew I would never do that.  I wouldn’t care if they were asking a dollar and it was guaranteed that I would get my shit back….I would tell him to go fuck himself….I don’t reward bad behavior.  The 2nd goal is to upload a key logger which tracks all of your keystrokes.  The hacker would be able to see everything you are typing in hopes of getting usernames, passwords, account numbers, and such.  So the ultimate goal is identity theft.  The way it has been explained to me is that in our situation it was a random attack by using the power of trial and error guessing IP addresses until one matches and then they are able to get in.  Not being very tech savvy I didn’t realize that our level of protection against this was very minimal.  I take full responsibility in this.  I should have been more INTENTIONAL on making sure that was the case….lesson learned.  I have now aligned myself with the best of the best in technology to prevent this from ever happening again.

I tell you this story to lead to my point that intentionality comes in all shapes and sizes.  Technically the hacker that attacked us was certainly practicing intentionality unfortunately it was not with good intentions.  Be sure that the intentionality you practice follows the golden rule.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  Although I do believe that you need to be number one in your life because if you are not in a good place you can’t be great for those around you…however make sure that what you are doing is not directly hurting an innocent bystander.

The other way intentionality was practiced in this story is how the situation was handled by myself and my team.  The moment I learned about what had happened I recognized that there was nothing I could do to change it so we went into full on plan mode.  We immediately devised a plan on how we could reach our guests since we had lost 100% of their contact information, all of our appointments, all of our inventory, all of our history….it was as if Lola never existed.  There was no getting mad, there was no yelling, no crying, no “why me’s”….just inertia to move forward.   THIS IS NOT A NATURAL THING FOR ME….I WAS NOT BORN THIS WAY.  It was through the continued practice of intentional living that brought me to this place of clarity.  If I’m being honest I am actually very thankful for this mess.  It was tangible proof of my growth!  To be able to look at something so monumental and earthshaking and know that you overcame it with grace and dignity is the most empowering, incredible, un-fuck-withable feeling your can every experience.  As a result of this absolutely horrible situation I have become a force to be reckoned with.  I now know that I can DO ANYTHING!!!!

Please use me as the proof that you can be, do, feel, experience, have, behave, live parent, love, learn, and grow in the way you choose…IT IS A DECISION!  And the second you make that decision you become a different person.  Don’t get me wrong there are ups and downs and the key is to only surround yourself with people who recognize the greatness you are striving for.  If you don’t have those people in your life….I will be that person for you.  I know what you are capable of…I know how brilliant and powerful you really are!

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11 rules to respect for yourself and your industry…no matter what it is

I came to a realization recently that in my quest to raise the respect level of the beauty industry that this is something that can be used across the board…no matter your industry.  If you are in an industry that you feel does not get the respect is deserves it is up to you to take responsibility for it.  If you find yourself saying “I hold myself to a high standard it’s everyone else that is the problem” you have to take responsibility for that too!  If you are an industry leader it is your responsibility to lead those down the path of mastering that same leadership.  The only way we can do this is to do it together.  Here is the thing though… it’s ALL ABOUT YOUR ATTITUDE!

1. Assume the best out of everyone.  If others in your industry are not holding themselves to a higher standard therefore not earning respect assume that is because they don’t know how or know that it is even an option. Not that they just don’t want to or don’t care enough.  So many people never had that person in their life telling them how smart and powerful they are.  BE THAT PERSON!!!

2. Be thankful for as much or as little as you have.  No matter what you have its is something you have to be thankful for.  My boyfriend shared with me that after working an 18 hour day only to get up 5 hours later to do it all over again he saw a man pushing a cart full of metal that he had collected from the streets.   What an eye-opener.  The thing is if I had the opportunity to speak to that man pushing the cart he too would have something to be thankful for.  When you count your blessings it gives you a feeling of power and strength that can be used to pass onto others.

3. Make eye contact with EVERYONE!  The cashiers, your server, your barista, any human being that you have contact with…look them in the eyes!

4. Smile!  Smile at everyone!!!  A smile has an energy that is contagious.

5. Shake hands….everyone that you greet…shake their hand.  Learn how to give a proper handshake…no limp wrist or dead fish handshakes…those are disgusting and will only cost you respect not earn it.

6. Stand up straight…head up, shoulders back, chest out!  I can see your confidence level in your posture…if your not feeling confident fake it with perfect posture and eventually you become confident!

7. Use powerful words…words that perk people’s ears.  Delivery those words in a way that create intrigue.

8. Take care of your hygiene!  Respect is lost when you are the stinky kid…deodorant, breath mints…if you’re a smoker find a way to get rid of that smell….use perfume/cologne but use it sparingly!

9. ONLY wear clothes that you KNOW you look fucking awesome in!!  If you put something on and you look in the mirror and think “meh”….donate it!  GET IT OUT OF YOUR CLOSET IMMEDIATELY!  Only wear pieces you feel killer in!!!

10. BE EARLY!  I’d rather be 3 hours early than 1 minute late!!!

11. Choose to have a killer attitude…at the end of the day EVERYTHING is a choice!

If you follow these rules of thumb, teach them to the people in your industry, hold yourself and them accountable….you become a force to be reckoned with and so will your industry!

 

 

 

What happens when you define your mission

My favorite artist/singer/poet/activist/ultra-feminist, Ani Difranco, has a song titled “Out of Habit” that contains the lyrics “Art is why I get up in the morning  But my definition ends there And it doesn’t seem fair That I’m living for something I can’t even define”.  Even though I’ve been singing that song at the top of my longs for nearly 20 years now….those words have really began to resonate with me.  Until recently I knew what I wanted my life to look like but I couldn’t define it.  It wasn’t until meeting a few truly inspiring people who I am finally able to define my purpose in life.  “To change the way hairdressers and the beauty industry is viewed.”  By demanding the respect the industry so greatly deserves.  Empowering them to hold themselves to a standard so high they cannot be ignored.  To let them know that no matter who is sitting at the table there is a seat for them…ceo’s, cfo’s, state officials, doctors, lawyers, professors….pull up a chair people!”  What I have found is so many people go through life not knowing how damn smart and powerful they really are.  So many people don’t have that person in their life telling them they can do anything,  supporting them and to help push them to the top.  If that person does not exist in their life..I will be that person.

I share this with EVERYONE because this applies to human beings in general.  This is a concept that can be utilized with anyone…whether you want to change the way you as a person are viewed or the industry you have dedicated yourself to.  This certainly does not just apply to hairdressers.

I will be preaching the good word about how strategically branding yourself will earn you the respect you so greatly deserve. I was lucky enough to be taught the importance of this by Bennie Pollard and Paula Hensen of Cool Beauty Consulting.  It is now my responsibility to share this with the future hairdressers of the world.

Smiling, making eye contact, shaking hands, having a killer wardrobe, great personal hygiene, using great dialogue and delivery, great posture, being punctual, and having an exceptional attitude.  Sharing the importance of these 9 things to the future hairdressers of the world.  But this goes FAR BEYOND hairdressing.  This is just human beings holding themselves to a higher standard in general.  This is something we should be teaching our children and something that we as adults should be doing every day!

At Lola we call this “The Art of Mastering Badassery”.  Now that I can define my mission….now that I have an actual strategy of spreading this mission…I AM UNSTOPPABLE!!!!   As long as my heart is beating I know that my assignment is not complete!!!  I invite you to join me in being a badass and teaching those around us how to be badasses….ANYONE can Master the Art of Badassery!!!  Let’s do this shit!!!!!

What happens when finally you know what you didn’t know?

It’s crazy how often it happens that I will be listening to an audiobook or reading a blog and I just have an A-HA moment…sometimes it has nothing to do with what I am even reading or listening to.  My theory is that I am in a state of open-mindedness when I am reading/listening so my brain uses it as an opportunity to explore other ideas.

Well here was my A-HA moment that I had this morning.  I made the discovery today that I’ve always known what I have wanted but I did not know how to articulate it so it’s impossible to put it out in the universe.  I feel that it takes hearing someone else articulate it that you have that moment of “THAT’S IT!!!  That’s what I want”. I met the person that articulated exactly what it is that I want.  Not only did she articulate it she did it in the most passionate, energetic, motivational, inspirational way that it literally took everything I had not to jump up on the table and start praising’ Jesus and howling’ hallelujah!

Before I share my A-HA moment let me share a story that I believe to be a tragic.  We have a beautiful young woman on our team.  She started out as concierge but was so inspired by Lola that she decided she wanted to be a hairdresser.  I saw her change…she became more passionate than ever.  Then I noticed another change.  She just wasn’t herself.  I talked to her about what was going on.  Her parents were not supporting her choice to choose hairdressing as her occupation.  They told her there was no money it.  They told her if she continued to pursue that path they would cut her off completely.  They wouldn’t help her in any way….room and board, food, cell phones, student loans…totally cut off.  I was appalled.  I couldn’t believe that an industry that I have pledged my allegiance to was being viewed this way.  A career that bought me homes, cars, supported a family of 5, paid for family vacations, not to mention all the people my industry has helped by giving them the added confidence that comes from looking their best.  Because she so greatly depends on her parents support while going school she had no choice but to leave the industry and pursue a field she is not passionate about.  I can’t think of anything more tragic honestly.

I had spent a weekend at a convention…I hate using that word… it sounds so vanilla…we are going to call it a gathering of greatness.  I was able to see a woman speak who literally was able to give me the words to articulate what my goal is.  My goal is to change the way that hairdressing is viewed by empowering future professionals to demand the respect my industry so greatly deserves.  Demand respect by being their best possible selves…by branding themselves in such a way that they become all-powerful leaders themselves.  I have come to realize that this is not already happening because no one is telling them they can!!  That they are smart, courageous, powerful human beings that have the ability to change the world….they don’t know what they don’t know….but I do…so now, so will they too!

We all know the phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know” and that is about as true as true gets.  You don’t know what you don’t know…but someone knows!!!  If they don’t know yet they are on the path of knowing.  It’s a matter of seeking those people out.  Sometimes you don’t even know who or what you are looking for…all you have to do though is google a word that you are interested in…health, fitness, leadership, parenting skills, healthy relationships, beauty, whatever it is…you will come across an endless list of options to begin that journey.   Take a moment today to just google a word you are interested in…the universe works in mysterious ways.  I guarantee if you being to seek it out they answer will come to you.  I have personally seen it happen time after time.  Please share your discoveries with me!!

Me really means Us

Yesterday I celebrated my 41st birthday.  41 YEARS!!!  Holy shit!  Although some would say I have 41 years of experience under my belt I will say for the first 39 of them it was truly one 1 year of experience done 39 times.

When I reflect of the first half of my life it was me just skating.  No real destination…just wake up, do my thing, go to bed and repeat.  I feel like I have learned and truly experienced more in the last 2 years of my life than I did in those 39 years that came before it.

In my ongoing quest of intentional living it must be known that I share these stories as a way of letting YOU know that anything is possible. That YOU can do and be whatever and whoever you want.  The words I and me are used a lot in my blogs but what those words really mean are you and us.  What I mean by that is that I am just a girl…just a 41-year-old suburbanite woman with nothing more than a high school diploma and a cosmetology license.  There is not one single thing that I have done in my life that ANYBODY couldn’t do.

As you read these stories and insights I hope you are able to look at them through a reflective lens.  YOU are capable of living whatever life you want to live…the key though is to first figure out what that is.  What does the life you want to live look like?

I have started an online course that helps you really figure out what your goals in life are. Vishen Lakhiani, creator and founder of Mind Valley, has such a knack for helping you figure out exactly what you want out of life.  He will guide you through an exercise in which you create goals based on the 3 most important categories…Experience, Growth, and Contribution.  Within those 3 categories are 4 sub-categories.  In the experience category is love relationships, friendships, adventures, and environment.  In the growth category is health and fitness, intellectual life, skills, and spiritual life.  Finally in the category of contribution is  career, creative life, family life, and community life.   You write these things down and when you are done you have everything you want out of life on paper that you can see everyday!

The course is called Extraordinary by Design…it is completely free and it is a wonderful self-exploration exercise. Click here to start living the life you have always wanted.  It does not require a lot of time.  Each session averages about 15 minutes.  Some are a little more…some a little less.  You have absolutely nothing to lose except for a life that you are not happy with!

I have been amazed at how much I have learned about myself in this short process.  As I mentioned earlier when I say I it means you…so you will be amazed at what you learn as well.  When you are finished making your sheets hang them at home and at work where everyone can see them.  Encourage friends, family, and co-workers to do the same so that you can all connect as human beings and support each other through your path!  I am so excited for you!  Enjoy the process and please share your stories of discovery with me.  Also share your goals with me and everyone….you never know who may be the person who can connect you with a goal!!!

 

5 ways that being hacked has opened my eyes wider about intentional living

It has been 14 hours since I learned that my salon software that keeps all of our appointments, guest names, and contact information has been hacked with ransomware. Every single appointment…every last Guest name….every last Guest phone number. GONE. In the blink of an eye.

This means when I get to work tomorrow I will have no idea who will be walking through the door or when. We cannot accept any appointments as we were booked solid through January and then heavily booked through March. We have no idea who was booked where or for what services. Many people rely on our confirmations as a reminder of the appointments. Many will not make notation of their next appointment because they just show up when their confirmation tells them too. Since we don’t even know when their appointment is neither will they.

This is what I have already learned in the past 14 hours.

1. Protect your shit

I think this will probably be a no brainer for many people. For me though I didn’t feel as if I had anything worth taking from the perspective of a hacker. I now know this is completely random. When these hackers attack they are just going through random ip addresses until something matches. They have no idea what they are getting until they have taken it.

2. Transparency is key

We have accepted the fact that things are going to be pretty messed up for a while. It is so important that we are honest with our Guests and not just try to show up with a bandaid covering a bullet wound. We are going to let everyone know what is happening, let them know that things are not going to be perfect, and thank them for their patience and loyalty during this very trying time.

3. Everything happens for a reason

I may never know the reason for a major security breach in my salon that resulted in us basically going back to square one. Like it’s the first day we are taking appointments. What I do know is…the universe has a plan. What I have to do with that information is accept it, act like jello and allow myself to take the shape of this new way of running my business, and learn from every second of every day.

4. Seek out every single nugget of positivity

With this horrible tragedy there is truly only 1 super super horrible thing but I can come up with many positives. The horrible thing is that we have no appointment schedule which sucks big balloons. The positive is we get a fresh start in our inventory, we get to create new codes for products and services that are easier to teach to future employees, we get to challenge our technical abilities by not relying on the formulas we have used in the past, we get to take all the knowledge and wisdom we have acquired in the past year and implement it the way we wanted to in the beginning, we can take all of those “I wish we would’ve/could’ve done it this way” moments and make them a reality.

5. Intentional living is a choice

The second I heard the terrible news about what had happened I immediately started of thinking of ways to move forward. Their was no blaming the hacker, no blaming our I.T. Professional, no yelling, no panicking, nothing like that. After a few hours I realized that that was my reaction. It is because I have been practicing the discipline of intentional living. This was not a personality trait I was just born with. It was learned.