This is what 2018 will bring for you

2017 was a wonderful year for me.  I have never experienced so much growth in such a short period of time.  I can attribute that to all of the tragedies I experienced.  The salon lost a senior stylist, had massive turn over, endured a security breach which left us with NOTHING, major appliance repair bills, and so much more that I know I’m leaving out.  Taking all those negative things and turning them into positives was amazing and a result of all the education I got in 2017.  I took many classes hosted by our amazing distribution company focusing on business strategies and systems, I read SO many books on development, leadership, and growth, and I attended the best growth and knowledge seminar I have ever experienced, Vision Quest, hosted in the beautiful Carlsbad California.

Reading and attending these “growth seminars” is what really brought me to this level of enlightenment.  Surrounding myself with like-minded people with killer strategies and a relentless forward motion towards greatness.

The A-ha moment I am having is that these amazing people who I had the pleasure of learning from all had one thing in common.  They all learned everything they know from other people.  That’s it….they took a philosophy, personalized it, ran with it and failed many times, kept getting up and dusting themselves off, and kept on polishing up their brand.  These philosophies and systems they teach and empower others with is nothing more than knowledge they learned from someone else.  It’s up-cycled information!

Why is this important to know and understand?  Because you need to know that the only thing keeping you from a heightened level of greatness is the proper information.  You have the desire, you have the proper vessel necessary to take you to the world’s greatest heights now all you have to do is fill that vessel with words, encouragement, strategies, and systems.

1. One book leads to another, leads to another, and leads to another

Every book that I have read this year was recommended by the Author of the book I was currently reading.  If you are really moved by the words you are reading know that the information that you are gathering are simply ideas and philosophies gathered from other people.  The Author received information, up-cycled it, and put their own unique energy into it.  Also know that if you are reading a book and it is not speaking to you….you don’t have to finish it.  Who made up the rule that you have to read a book from beginning to end…if you’re not into it put it down and find one that speaks to you.

 2.  TedTalks, YouTube, GoalCast….Videos stimulate you in a different way

There is something about watching a video that really gets me going.  To physically SEE the passion in someone’s eyes as they are sharing their stories and ideas…that is powerful stuff.  You can also learn great presentation skills by watching the way they present themselves.  The internet has put together an endless amount of information  for you to watch and learn from.  My favorite right now is Impact Theory…In fact I am wearing my new Impact Theory sweatshirt as I write this blog.  It says “Everything is My Fault”…and I love it.  I am all about taking responsibility for everything in my life and this sweatshirt empowers me when I wear it.  Visit Impact Theory to get some inspiration!


 3.  Asking questions and hearing people’s stories

This one seems so obvious but I truly just learned its importance and magnitude at 41 years old.  To really hear someone’s story…man that is powerful and so inspiring.  Most of the time you have no idea the level of emotion that the people around you are carrying.  Most people will not just share that information either.  You have to give them a safe place to tell it (an honestly judgment-free zone) and ask them good questions.  Good questions come in the form of a genuine desire to learn about the person.  If you find yourself asking questions in hopes of getting the dirt on someone’s life that is the opposite of a safe place.  The information shared with you must be used for 2 main purposes…#1 to connect with the person that you are talking too and #2 to gain knowledge and insight that you can use in your own life.  These stories should NEVER be shared without the permission of the person telling them.

2018 is filled with opportunities and I believe these opportunities come in books, videos, and stories.  To be your very best self you must surround yourself with people who share that same desire and show action.  I consider the books, videos, and stories to be those people as well.  It doesn’t always have to be a physical person next to you it can simply be their ideals.

Read, watch, learn, grow….that’s where it’s at!!!  

Self-made is fiction

You often hear the word self-made when people talk about their successes. They worked hard, worked diligently, they did what ever they had to do to succeed.  While I absolutely believe that they worked hard, diligently, and did whatever that had to do to succeed…the self-made part…meaning they did all alone.  I’m calling bullshit on that one.  No one ever gets to the top alone.  Everyone finds help along the way.

Over the past 8 years or so I have really been on purpose to find the coaches in my life.  People that I want to be like.  Most of these people I have chosen as a coach have no idea I even exist.  Through the gift of technology I am able to follow their paths through audiobooks, podcasts, tedtalks, or the like.  I have also had many coaches who definitely knew of my existence but may not have known they were my coach.  One in particular was one that created my existence.  My Father.  There are no words in any language that could express the amount of gratitude I have for my Father.  He has taught me so many things and I am forever grateful for him.

Throughout life I have found that I have had a series of coaches.  Some that until just recently I didn’t even think of as a coach.  It wasn’t until I heard where the word coach was derived from in that wonderful book “The 15 invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell that I recognized it.  The word Coach comes from the horse-drawn coaches that were created in the 1500’s in the German village Kotsche.  Coaches were originally created to transport royalty.  In time they would also carry valuables, mail, and common passengers.  Today the word is defined as someone or something that carries a valued person from where they are to where they want to be.  If you have a coach you know you will end up at your desired location.

I have many coaches for many different things.  Some are life long coaches and some are coaches for only a moment.  My very first coach in my career was the Co-owner of the salon I worked for nearly 13 years, Stephen Wake.  He took me and my career to place I didn’t even know was possible.  He had a gift of creating a vision.  I am not sure if he is aware of the impact he has made on me and my life but I hope to someday have the opportunity to show him.  The other is the other co-owner of that salon, Tricia Wake.  Tricia taught me how to value and accept the differences in people.  She taught me that not everyone learns the same.  She taught how to coach people on an individual level.

Some of my current coaches are John Maxwell, Brene Brown, Simon Sinek, and many more.  None of these people know of my existence but I go out of my way to listen to their words and incorporate their missions as my own.  My current in person coach is Bennie Pollard.  I have reached new heights professionally and personally as a result of having this man in my life.  He has created a team of coaches and leaders that I admire, respect ,and strive to be.

When it comes to reaching your goals no matter what those goals are, keep in mind you did not get there alone.  It was through research that you found through the successes and failures of others.  It was through the motivation of those that have done it before you and it was through that one or more people seeing your value and helping you get where are you today.

You did not do it alone…you are not self-made and the moment you realize that you open yourself up to greater growth and greater potential.  When you realize that it was through the help of others that you are where you are, you will begin to seek out more coaches to get you even further.

The most successful people know that there is always someone to learn from.  If you are at the very top of your class you are in the wrong class…you should always put yourself in a circle of people who are smarter and stronger than you.  That is the only way to ensure that you keep growing.

I would love to know who your coaches are.  If you need help finding coaches I be happy to help you find them if I am able to.

Please like and share this so we can reach as many people as possible.  I am constantly seeking out new coaches and would love to hear from as many people as possible in order to find them.

How to start the life you want right now whether you are ready or not

While reading “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” John Maxwell had made a point that blew my mind.  We tend to make “excuses” as to why we are not changing our lives.  Some of them look like this:

  1. I am not ready
    1. The fact of the matter…you will never be ready but you do it anyway.  Just like anything in life the very first time you do something it is not going to be perfect however you will learn a lot from it and be able to implement that into your 2nd attempt.  Again, on your 2nd attempt it will not be perfect but you will learn more and implement those lessons on your 3rd attempt….so on and so forth.  With every attempt you learn and implement.
  2. I do not have enough money
    1. Although you may not have all of the funds necessary to complete your dream in one big purchase you can make the little investments necessary to begin.  Let’s say you wanted to open a gym.  If you need $100,000 to complete the project.  Create your business plan…that is free!  Scour your competition….what are they doing right?….that is free.  Come up with the name, the theme, the mission, the vision, who is your demographic?  These are all free….they are all essential in opening a business…and it is the foundation in which you build upon.  Most of all it is forward motion.  Take steps forward every single day…no matter how big or small.
  3. I do not have the time
    1. Time is something that we all have the exact amount of.  Each and every person in the world not matter who they are, where they came from, no matter how much adversity they face…we all have 24 hours in a day.  There is always time….it’s making the time to do it.  It means waking up earlier, staying up later, working through lunch, and/or avoiding distractions.  It’s a trade-off.  There are very busy people out there living their dreams with the exact same amount of time as you.  Choose to use your time INTENTIONALLY!
  4. I am not good enough
    1. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH….YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE AND HAPPINESS…YOU CAN DO IT…You have to shut down the little evil voice in your head that is telling you otherwise.  Make a list of 100 of your best qualities.  Read them to yourself everyday…..until that little evil voice is so exhausted that he gives up.  If you struggle with self-confidence this may take more than one sitting….take a few days to do it…weeks if you have to…pay attention to all of the things you do well.  All of the things you love about yourself.  No matter what it is….what are 100 of your best qualities?  Maybe your creativity, good cook, beautiful eyes, good singer, proactive, inspirational, good at saving money, good at decorating, great at styling your hair, kind, funny….whatever they are WRITE THEM DOWN….READ THEM EVERYDAY!  You will come to realize that you are an exceptional human being and that the only thing holding you back IS YOU and the little stories that you make up in your head.

What excuses are you making as to why you are not living the life you dream of?  You have everything it takes to be the person you want to be and to live the life that you want to live.  Keep telling yourself you CAN do it.  FAKE IT UNTIL YOU BECOME IT!  I will leave you with this inspirational moment. Fake it till you become it

The First Step is Knowing Your Self Worth

As I spread my gospel of living an intentional life I have to keep reminding myself that it is important to teach how to get started and not just the act of living intentionally.  The getting started part is the hard part.  Once you begin the inertia sets in and it becomes the new normal.  Part of living this lifestyle starts with self-love, self-confidence, and how you talk to yourself.  If you are a confident person you have a bit of a head start.  If you are not a confident person than that is where you begin.  You begin with the way you talk to yourself.  This is a direct quote from “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell.  “I wish I could sit down with you , hear your story, and encourage you specifically in your journey.  If you had a difficult time and you don’t feel good about yourself I want to tell you that you do have value.  You matter.  Your life can change and you can make a difference.  No matter what kind of background you have or where you come from.  No matter what traumas you’ve suffered or mistakes you’ve made you can learn and grow.  You can become the person you have the potential to be you just need to believe in yourself to get started.  Every time you take a step think a positive thought, make a good choice, practice a small discipline…you’re moving one step closer just keep moving forward and keep believing!”

John Maxwell himself may not be able to sit next to you and speak these words but you could tell yourself this every single day.  You could incorporate some of the thoughts from my blog “Fake It Until You Become It in Pleasantville”.  If you have a hard time seeing your value in the beginning….Fake it until you do….Keep telling yourself that you matter, start living life like you matter, start making a difference, start seeing your potential, start believing it because it is 100% true.  Change every negative thought you have into a positive one.  An exercise that John Maxwell suggests is making a list of all of your best personal qualities.  This may come easy to people who already have good self-esteem.  If self-esteem is something you struggle with it may be more difficult but don’t give up…spend the next 2 weeks adding to the list until you have a list of 100 of your best qualities written down.

How you talk to yourself is the first step in living an intentional life.  Whenever you make a decision to change your life in some way there are always going to be critics and people telling you can’t.  Also people who ask “who do you think you are?”  People that see your new lifestyle is not benefiting them anymore so they leave…usually angrily.  You have to rely on your self talk to get through those difficult situations.  When you allow yourself to listen to the people in your life that tell you you must be crazy to think you can do this that is when you start second guessing yourself.  Remember, intentional living is a life with blinders…you only see the goal not all the distractions around you.

Do not allow yourself to be disrespected.  Make a point that whenever someone treats you in a way that you makes you feel inferior let that person know that it is not okay and that it will not be tolerated.  If it continues it is time to remove yourself from that destructive relationship.  Surround yourself with the people who make you feel good about yourself.   The people who see your value.  The people that empower you.  If those people do not exist in your life right now once you begin behaving in this way they will appear.  Read books about growth, watch inspirational videos, seek out what you are missing.  Here is the key though…you have to start practicing these things right now…whether you think you are ready or not…do it anyway.

If this is something you feel like you are already doing and succeeding with please share it with someone.  Empower everyone around you!  There is plenty of room in Pleasantville…invite everyone to relocate there!

What we want versus what we do

I am listening to “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell…AGAIN.  This was such an amazing and eye opening book that I can certainly envision myself listening to it dozens of times as I put his practices into action.  Here is a quote he referenced by James Allen.  “People are anxious to improve their circumstances but unwilling to improve themselves”.  Man, I listened to that over and over again about 15 times!

Prior to making the decision to live an intentional life I found myself working harder and harder to reach my goals and getting no where.  I was becoming so frustrated.  I, like most people, thought the harder I worked the more successful I would be.  That is ultimately untrue.  It wasn’t until I could clearly define what I was working so hard for that I began to reach my goals.  In order to do that I had to take a long hard look at myself and realize that I had to make some changes to myself before I could make changes to my life.

I have always been a very empathetic person however I began to realize that the way I communicated did not emulate how I was feeling inside.  For instance, if things were not going the way I wanted them to at the salon I found myself getting very angry with the staff for not living up to my expectations….here is the kicker though…I never told them my expectations….what the hell???  How could I possibly expect anyone to exceed the expectations of their position if they didn’t even know what the expectations were? Even then…when I communicated my expectations it wasn’t until I took the time to show them exactly how I wanted things done and empowered them to teach those strategies to the next person that things began to change.

It was through TONS of leadership classes, books, mentoring, and self development that I was able to start communicating in a way that allowed me to take an intentional approach on what my expectations were.  Here is what I ultimately figured out…instead of creating a team full of followers that keeps you in a position of constantly spinning your wheels….I needed to create a team of leaders who could take not only themselves but the future generations of Lola to the next level.

In the beginning of this journey it would sting a little to know that I was the one that needed the fixing.  It is funny how things have come full circle though.  Now I very rarely find myself blaming anyone for anything that has gone wrong in my day, my week, my year, my life, or my company.  I am in complete control of my life.  Does that mean nothing goes wrong…..HELL NO.  I’m faced with obstacles every single day however my view has completely changed.  Now instead of blaming other people I look to myself.  Did I tell them exactly what I wanted?  Did I communicate correctly?  Did I choose the right team member?  Did I make a decision out of fear instead of love?  Once I figure out the problem I change my direction!

I could have never gotten to this place of clarity without the leaders and coaches in my life.  Bennie Pollard, founder of Cool Beauty Consulting, has been a major player in my growth process.  As a leader himself…and a damn good one he has introduced me to so many other leaders and coaches.  Most who have no idea I even exist but I quality them as my coaches anyway.  I am so thankful to have Bennie in my life.  Who is your coach?  Do you have one?  If not, take the time to think about the person in your life that you most want to emulate.  Even if it is someone you don’t know….Maybe it’s an author…or a blogger…a speaker…whoever.   I think they can still be your coach even if they don’t know it.  Learn from the people around you and then pay it forward!!