One Move Monday: Morning Pages

Free thinking is a powerful form of organizing our thoughts and relieving stress when it comes to managing our businesses. Writing, drawing, and mind mapping all take part in helping us go from the “think” stage to the growth stage. For your One Move this week, take 3 minutes or 3 pages to write as much as possible. The 3-page move actually refers to the idea of keeping morning pages.morning pages - good morning - writing for success
No need to review what you right, that’s a move for another week. For now humble in the fact that your mind can churn out as much as you allow it too.

photo credit: welcome to your day via photopin (license)

5 Top Apps Worth Using Daily

In the entrepreneurial world, time is still money, and a major detractor of progress can be poorly built tools that have the guise of serving a purpose. Introducing, applications. While some mobile and web applications serve a great purpose, many can often suck away our time and leave us with very little results in the way of moving towards venture success. So what is worth it? I consider it only apps I have paid money for or am willing to pay money for in the future. Here are the top five I use towards strategic planning and executive leadership.

1. WeekPlan for daily planning. WeekPlan was the first app that was ever graced with my Paypal balance. With its sleek and simple design, the app incorporates Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s great features include planning your week according to quadrants, having a long-term option for listing goals/tasks and color coordinating tasks according to roles you designate. In addition, the customer service with the app goes above and beyond in authentically reaching out to clients.

2. Trello – If WeekPlan is in the trenches, Trello is in the war room. Great for long term strategic planning, Trello has the ability to break up and track long or short term projects.

3. Stitcher – Entertainment is great. Knowledge is power. Learning while commuting is one of the safer driving distractions and you feel the benefits of acquiring more knowledge. Stitcher allows you to access newly posted podcasts. Choose podcasts in business, leadership or success to help keep you moving towards your goal.

4. Pinterest – Visit your vision often to make sure you are on the right track. Pinterest is a great tool for visioning [article coming this week] and it is worth visiting often, especially if you are a visual learner.

5. Twitter – Connecting with the social world requires daily maintenance. The key is in planning well enough and simply enough so there is room for organic spontaneity. Twitter allows for a lot of simplicity and a way to connect with the worlds that intersect with your world.

Be wary of the apps you spend time on since they can make or break your progress. Find ones that leverage your see-saw of success and you will feel an authentic progress towards your desired purpose.

Progress is One Move Before Another

progress is one move before another. leaf on a sidewalk.

Getting through the week positively can use external motivation sometimes. Remembering progress over perfection is a running motto that can keep any entrepreneur moving forward. One series to incorporate is taking time for singular moments of doing one thing for a length of time. The length of time should be no longer than five focused minutes, and then walk away. There are many moves we can take towards success, and some get you to the end goal quicker than others. For readers of this blog, look up for the upcoming series to help your business progress: One Move Before Another.

A first move to make is always centering yourself.

For today’s move: A yoga mediation made perfect for self-centering.

Centering ourselves comes in many forms. What are some ways you find quick balance?

Why Your Vision Statement Needs to Change


Confession, I have not always been committed to my vision statement. Of course, I am talking about my personal vision statement. What I want my life to look like when I am old and ready to recount my accomplishments to my grandkids or something. Yes, I will tell you over and over again, you need to have a vision in mind if you want to be successful, but the truth is that vision will change and if you are wise you will embrace that concept. We have miniscule control over our future lives. At the end of the day, the universe is filled with random chance encounters and moments that will entice or force us to pivot. Our wisdom needs to ensure that we take advantage of these opportunities. It is the wise that claim they know nothing, and to a point sticking with what your original vision was -no matter what- is a foolish practice. Refine your vision, remix your vision, grow and enhance your vision, but do not cling to it as if it is a difficult math test and only if you answer it correctly will you succeed. Life is not a test, but a testing ground. Experiment, commit to success, and stick to your values and you will find your vision growing clearer all the time.

photo credit: Workings #1 via photopin (license)

3 Phrases That Hurt Your Vision Statement

blurred photo representing a blurry vision statement The way you think drastically affects the way you act.So the way we communicate with ourselves, the way we write or draw, all contribute to the future actions we will take. Positive talk moves us forward while negative talk can keep us frozen or sliding back in the progress we make. Here are three negative phrases to look out for in your language.

I feel…

Talking about your feelings and being emotionally intelligent is an important skill, but when it comes to taking action or solving problems, it tends to muddle our thinking and, therefore, our decision making. When you place the word I in front of it, you turn inward as opposed to the outside world. You become the subject of the issue.

For instance if your vision statement is “I feel the world’s people should all have food every day”, you are the subject of the sentence, meanwhile the real subject [the world’s people] is lost in the predicate. Everyone’s brain, even your own, processes this as you are at the center.

Solution: BE

Whatever your vision statement is, put the action first. To provide food for all. Clarifies and strengthens your vision to yourself and others.There are tons strong action statements to employ. Find the ones right for you and put them as close to the start of your vision as possible.

I don’t know…

This is one I struggle with when it comes to talking to my sister. This statement stops your thinking and weakens your creative muscle. Your imagination is one of your most powerful leadership tools and passing off an opportunity to imagine weakens the tool.

Solution: Make it up

When it comes to your vision statement, you do know! It’s just not a complete picture take the time to talk it out and eventually you will hone it into a work of art.

…won’t I?

“I’ll change the world, won’t I?” Can you see what’s wrong with this vision statement? Clearly asking a question at the end of a command adds doubt.

Solution: Drop that tagline

Questioning yourself is  appropriate sometimes, but when it comes to your long-term vision it only hampers your progress. Let it go so that you can focus on the real actions you have to take.In addition, questioning what you say causes others to lose confidence in your certainty and capability to carry out the action.

Language plays a great role in our leadership skills. Be aware of how your language may be affecting your progress

photo credit: human league via photopin (license)

Manage Your Success

I recently gave a workshop for my non-profit organizational Limitless Ambition, where I discussed Managing Your Success for the Purposely Chosen Women’s Leadership Program. It was a very valuable event, not just for the participants, but for me as well. Hearing about the women there and the need they have to be successful was inspiring and reminds me I do this because I truly value bringing out the success in others.

Nzinga Hart Leading a Workshop on Managing Success

We sat equally in a circle

Success skills they learned

On Management and Leadership

Management and leadership go hand in hand, but they are not the same. Leadership is the vision, the end-goal, and all the attitudes, materials, and skills needed to get there. Management is the day-to-day grind and staying on task. This workshop focused on the management side. How do we as entrepreneurs and business leaders feel in control of how we manage ourselves towards what the leader in us desires?

We must communicate with ourselves, but also respect that these are dual roles needed to be fully successful.

On Communicating With Your Leader

The women went through an important value exercise. Knowing your values is what it takes to be able to know what YOU and your leader desire. So we went around and analyzed how everyone’s values fit into their larger vision for themselves. This was an important discovery for some who could not see a connection, but by the end of the session we realized all of our values were connected in some shape or form.

On Priorities
Prioritize Your Day. Like it was 24 ounces of water and your car is stranded in the desert.

Prioritize Your Day. Like it was 24 ounces of water and your car is stranded in the desert.

Next we prioritized what we could do today that would feed into our larger goal. Going from values to priorities is how your inner manager connects with your inner leader. It is important to keep the discussion going in order to continue the forward balance towards success.

My next workshop coming up will be June 27th: The anxious entrepreneur: A overview of how our greatest asset can be our biggest progress blocker.

Why My Vision Statement Stays The Same

Image of dancers depicting a dynamic core and representing how a vision statement should be built.

Last week, I posted an article on my blog about vision statements and why they should be dynamic. This week I continue the conversation with why they should also stay the same. A documented vision is much like the itinerary for your best vacation. It shows what you want your end destination to look like. It can be very detailed and rigid, full of all the activities you want to achieve or very simple and open, but at of the day your vision will and should align with your most important values.

As I mentioned, your vision should be flexible, just in case you are offered an upgrade on your trip, but it should also have its end goal in mind. Iy you successfully want to complete it. If your end goal was a fun family vacation, you would be amiss if you spent your time alone back at the hotel room working.

So how do we keep our code in mind while being dynamic at the same time?

Stick to your values

Knowing what you value in life helps keep you constant and in touch with your desires.  When writing your vision statement, analyze which value of yours are present, and ask if those are the most important to you.

Remind yourself often

Recording your vision and values attached to them so you can look at them often will keep you consistent. This will keep it in your mind, and allow your subconscious to look out for ways to act.

Build your value vocabulary

Consistently improving your language is a great way to enhance your core vision because as it grows you realize that you are progressing to new levels and increasing the intensity of the values that act with you.

Your core vision will provide you with a fulfilling success. Your dynamic vision will make it an adventure. Keep in mind these two parts to balance the path of progress.
photo credit: CO0P4240.jpg via photopin (license)

Valuing people hurts your bonds

In preparation for a workshop I was going to give, I ended up doing a value identification exercise.

quarters balancing represents value and teamwork

It was then I realized the names of the important people in my life: my husband, daughter, and other family members did not pop up.

Part of me felt obligated to write them down on my list, but my mind kept calculating that this connection was off. After reflecting for a bit, I realized that value should only be placed on objects, actions, and ideas. For instance, my husband is priceless and, therefore, invaluable. Now his influence skills, care of his family, and trustworthiness are actions and qualities I have come to value during our relationship. His being as a person was never something I could weigh against any human measurement of value.

When we value others we equate them to commodities. Whether it is positive (Jenny a valuable member of the team) or negative (Rich wasn’t worth a dime) we lower their potential and limit their possibilities to imperfect human measurements. Finally, we subject ourselves to the possibility of measuring our worth with money, possessions, or other human values. Karl Marx, a philosopher who studied weaknesses in the purely capitalist society, noted the concept of commodity fetishism or measuring social relationships by their usability or where the object is valued in place of the work behind the object. A lot like reality celebrities Hollywood glitz and glam supersedes the low-budget, low-quality content produced on reality TV shows.

So when relating with others, build a stronger connection not by valuing them for who they are, but seek, find, and appreciate the value of what others do. How do we relate to others in a positive way without placing value directly on the person?

Consider all of the other ways we can relate. 

For instance, I love my husband, care deeply for my daughter and value the trust I share with my sister. There are so many other ways to connect our beings to another without demoting them to the level of an object.

How can you do that today?

photo credit: Balance (license)

Stack of fiction books on a desk

5 Ways To Read 5 Books A Week

Stack of fiction books on a desk

I prefer non-fiction myself.

Great leaders take in a lot of information, and when you are just starting out with your passion you may find there is hardly any time to sit down and take in everything you need to know in order to launch your successful venture. Having no time is a limiting mindset that will hold you back. Fortunately reading books has gotten a lot simpler these days. Here are the 5 ways to read at least 5 books per week in order to maintain my edge and personal development.

Change Your Attitude About Reading 

First, you do not  have to read every word of a book to have successfully read it. While yes there are some books  worthy of being fully read, a lot of books will be perfectly useful if you use speed reading practices. Skim, scan,  and  trust your ability to understand concepts without reading every word.

Read on Your Way To Work

One of my favorite websites on the entire internet is my library’s e-book collection. Filled with a host of free e-books and audio books waiting to be taken in by any library card. Check out your library and see if they offer audio book options, which now can often be played through your smartphone. If not YouTube has an extensive collection of audiobooks as well.

Read before you clock in 

Always get to work half an hour early. In that half hour, you can change your world. Or if that’s not possible then the time before you clock in for lunch is another space of time to spend reading. Typically I set a ten-minute clock and go as far as I can. Progress will always be made with consistency.

Read during your downtime
If you are at work, there will be downtime. While I advocate using that downtime to be a better work, that could also include being a better leader, which is applicable in any industry or company. Once again go to your library’s website to see if they have electronic books. Another possibility is letting an audiobook play in the background in lieu of your awesome work playlist.

Read during chore time 
Unless you have a maid, you will have to do a chore or two. The point here is there are some weekly activities you naturally do, like the laundry, dishes, or whatever is going on in the fridge. Use the time to put an audiobook on in the background.

Always find ways to acquire more knowledge for that is the substance of creative thinking, which is the habit of success.

photo credit: Recent, present and future reading material via photopin (license)