Reset

Writing is a calling, not a choice.

-Isabelle Allende

I’ve written less since spring season.

New job, new challenges, and a big focus on the day-to-day of my passions pulled me into my introverted nature to sit back and take in my new surroundings.

So I made a decision, to give myself space from writing, while I adjusted to these rapid, yet pivotal, life changes.

After a while, though, the yearning returned. My true passion, writing to draw out your success. To make you, us, the world feel the inspiration and magnitude of pleasure from doing our greatest good.

These words do not come out, they escape, as if they were always there, a kyuubi, waiting for me to tap into its infinite power.  No matter how far I push it away from my deepest desire to write it pummels back to me.

What is a calling that you can not ignore?

Finding your calling may not always be easy, but following your calling is twice as hard, but you HAVE to do it for it to be realized in your life. So what do you do as an alternative to putting-it-off forever?

Take a break.

Find time to walk away in a calm, controlled, and consenting manner.

You may think …now Zinga…how could you suggest putting-it-off as a remedy to putting-it-off?

At first the idea does seem like a contradictory, but taking a break, involves some key factors to keep it from falling on the dark side of the procrastination line.

Here are some quick factors to taking a break:

Have a reset time. The main difference between taking a break and procrastinating forever is that you get back to doing what you were doing. Maybe you use an exact date and time, maybe you use an event in your life, or maybe you have a season in mind. Just know, visualize, and even write down when you will return to your original activity. Please note, the length of your timeline should be set realistically to how important it is that you get back to what you’re doing. For instance, if it’s your goal to get an A on a test in two weeks, but you need to take a break, then a two week break wouldn’t make sense.

Choose honor over guilt. Find the admirable reasons for making your choice instead of reasons that make you feel guilty. If you are in a state of rest then respect your wish to let your body restore itself. If you need to reshift your priorities for pressing matters, then appreciate your ability to adapt to new situations and see things through. Whatever narrative you build,  it should be one that is from a positive perspective.

Use what you learned. During your break, try to find one-to-two learning nuggets you can implement once you reset. Maybe it’s a shift in your schedule or reaching out to form new partnerships. This sets up two bonuses to your break:

1) You can be assured your break fits into your larger master plan

2) Your break serves an immediate purpose of helping to improve your your path to success.

So…this is how am I making an honest reset with writing for this page. I allowed myself to adjust to the pace my new situation before getting back to get back to writing. I committed to a goal to write again before the year was over. During my break, I learned that given the new responsibilities to be consistent, I will give myself time to ease into it, starting with twice a week! 

Are you ready to hit the reset button on something in your life, what is it?

Til the next time,

Zinga

A Case for Linking Online Presence to Your Success

For anyone asking Purposely Chosen Women is underway and going well! At the last session, we discussed our personal brand and how it to our goal keeps us focused, while it attracts the people who are meant to support us in our lives. Going through this session really impacted my own insight on how branding performs as a tool for our own personal success. First, a quick definition of branding to keep us on the same page.

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. – Entrepreneur.com Small Business Encyclopedia 

I say you branding is what your circle thinks of you even when you’re not around.

The highly subjective amorphous blob that is your brand could easily spin out of control if you are not true to your core. Your core purpose that is, the one acts as a gravity pulling all the pieces and people you need to establish your destined imprint on the world. The practice of personal branding acts during your movement towards success.

What we are really here to talk about though is online branding. Your online brand can be a highly controlled and targeted simulacrum of your real-life brand. With some focus and effort, you can start building your promise all line for your ideal community to see. This allows you to gain leadership and trust online, which are key components of success.

How it Helps

It helps create internal awareness

When we reflect on our online brand and actively establish it, we concern ourselves with questions about who we are and how our thoughts are portrayed. We center our internal beings on our internal voice of purpose, which allows us to connect to our inner self on a regular basis.

Cultivates external awareness

If you never communicate, people will never you. While there are many forms of communication, online  branding allows us to create our own personal archive of our communications. Whether it is writing a blog or showing a video of our perfect piece of grilled zucchini, the internet affords audio, video, and written formats for communication. Find the ways that you are most happy with and stick to it!

Builds our expertise while gaining

Online branding is not only who you currently are, but also who you are becoming. This means your moving to a future state that may not exist. Will fill this path to the future with experience, learning, trials, errors, success. What we learn and the fruits of our labor are the pieces we share with the world. By building our brand we strengthen our capacity to know all about our core purpose. From building a business to baking cinnamon rolls, we can become an expert on the things people know makes us special.  More importantly, people can trust to expect that we know something about our  special something.

dream motivational quotes zinga

Where to Start

Start with the online brand presence audit. Answer some of the following questions below and consider how you can begin to build your foundation or improve upon your already built foundation.

  1. What’s my one-sentence message to the world?
  2. How often can I consistently communicate this message?
  3. Where and how do I want to communicate this message online?
  4. What’s my style?
  5. What impression do I make on others? (Ask 3 or more people)

How to Grow

When you are armed with this information, think about and create some goals for your online presence growth.

Stick to a select amount of online platforms, such as WordPress, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Then follow these tips.

  • Never stop listening – As you grow, your circle will too. Listen to them for constructive input, new trends to try, or even for inspiration.
  • Stay consistent – Your brand is dynamic and growing, so it requires a certain amount of consistent activity to keep a pace of growth. Find a way to consistently build and do consistently.
  • Change accordingly – Review your brand for areas to change and improve. Whether it’s from some input of information or your frequency of presence. Change when it fits your core purpose.

How can I be consistent and change at the same time Zinga???

Well, that’s just the balance of life. As long as the change is a part of your core purpose and aligns to your true values, you will be staying consistent.

What am I missing? Certainly , there are a TON of tools, platforms, and mediums to grow your online brand. Get started today, and you can msg me for my personal online brand audit checklist.

Until next week.

 

Career Champs with Alicia Robinson, Founder and Executive Director of Limitless Ambition

Bootstrapping a non-profit is no light affair.

alicia robinson limitless ambition kent ohio zinga hart

I remember the night like it was yesterday. Frustrated with being severely limited at my job, I needed a way to vent my  insatiable need to create solutions to complex problems, and I found myself meeting with the coolest professional woman in the coolest building on campus at what was formerly known as the Blackstone Launchpad.

It was a semi-transparent glass box, smack dab in the middle of the student center, and having encountered her before, I curiously wondered how we could connect. When we met, she gave me the invitation to an All the CEO Ladies networking meeting later that week. It was after work so I went. It was there that the true connection was made.

It was there that the true connection was made.

We all had to pitch as a part of the membership. I came up with an idea to develop a social app that categorized and simplified who will be on the current political ballot. Everyone cheered, it was and still is a pretty crucial invention that we can’t quite get popularized.

Then it was her turn, Alicia Robinson. She sat and cheered everyone through their ideas and made friends pretty instantly. Like a cool older sister that you wonder where they get their je ne sais quoi.  We all heard her stitch together her vision of a future where women accept our pain because it pushes toward a life of purpose and passion. Where we network together to build youth girls to dream, believe, and achieve without limits. An organization she would call Limitless Ambition, Inc.

An organization she would call Limitless Ambition, Inc.

Her ideas of the future were so grand and so big, it  almost felt like one’s first visit to the late FAO Schwartz. She had the determination in her voice that made everyone feel like all the pitches we gave would pan out perfectly, just because we said it. We wanted her to succeed because we felt our own limitless ambition fueling us there in each others presence. A room full of young, emerging women hoping to craft a better future with our best ideas.

women leadership free lessons a woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman

Start-Up Leadership Lessons

By this point, I had experience with growing and refining strategies for non-profits so I agreed to join the group and help create a strategic plan, while doing some marketing.  that is where I learned that a start-up non-profit is a completely different canvas. This is when I learned that a start-up non-profit is a completely different canvas than the well-established organizations I was used to before starting college. Becuase it was a start-up, I was voted into the position of president, a role I was surprised to be offered. Yet, my initiative and understanding of the mission along with my comfort with strategic management fit for a startup. I agreed to take the position for three years, we the stipulation that we would spend time finding a president of a much higher-profile by the end of my term.

Alicia and I were still in school at the time, we both also worked full-time had tight millennial budgets, an untapped network, and  starter experience to boot. Our passion wouldn’t let that stop us, and, thankfully, Blackstone Launchpad, now KSU Launchnet provided an excellent source of wisdom, connections, and support along the way. We had late nights,  early emails, weekly and twice-weekly meetings; we devoted any minute of our free time, effort, and attention into making sure Limitless Ambition, Inc did everything as thoroughly as possible, to show we could match the pace of our peers. What we learned was that we had something that worked and that we had to keep serving those around us because they found value every time.

When life called she answered cultivated visions

Our Start Up Nonprofit Grows Up

It is no easy journey and we still have a long road to walk. There were small successes, frustrating failures, arguments, and awkward moments of facing our truths, so we could improve and move on. Yet, all along the way, we knew the moments were moments of empowerment, which was exactly the point. Thus, we kept moving forward, ego bruises and all. Now, we are preparing to host our next summer program and we have grown our team from around 5 to over 20 in three years time. Our organization has had a reach of over 600 people face to face and we have a locally-targeted social media reach of 4000+, all while working our passions part time.

As our team grew our hectic schedules quelled, and now we face new leadership lessons beyond the ones of our early start-up days. How do we ensure our mission is reflected in every aspect of our work? How can we provide community transparency that builds trust amongst those we serve and support? How can we be better leaders, still?

This may be my last year serving as the president of Limitless Ambition, so I hope to leave my lessons here for those who will carry the torch forward. Take a moment below to watch me interview Alicia in my special podcast segment below.

It’s been great!

Thanks for your wonderful 2015!

While I’ve written other blogs in the past , this is the first one where I have finally captured my purpose for your web viewing. Helping others take the steps the need to find success in their lives is my mission!

What will 2016 bring? 

  • More posts and steps to take towards your success
  • Guest bloggers? I hope!! If you’re interested in collaborating let me know 😀
  • Videos!!! Yes, in 2016, I will face my insecurity (about being dorky on camera) and share videos for those who prefer to learn visually

 

I am truly grateful towards anyone who has shared the words on this page with me. I look forward to our growth in the next year!

Taking a vacation – Next official blog post will be January 4th 2016 – unless I’m somehow inspired before then.

Can’t wait until then?

Let’s connect

Find me on:
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter

 

 

Daydream to Boost Your Most Passionate Career Path

96% of adults daydream. If you are one of those adults, ask yourself: are you using this seemingly random activity to the fullest potential?

Like most successful activities, daydreaming to your favor will take practice, purpose, and persistence and, in this case, we’re going to focus on your career. How can you use daydreams to ensure you are reaching your career path’s most passionate potential? There are simple techniques to do so, but first a short overview of current thoughts around daydreams. 

What are daydreams?

Daydreams were discovered when scientists notice neural network activity while participants were not participating in anything at all. This came to the formation of the phrase “stimulus-independent thought,” which are thoughts created sans interaction or engagement with the environment outside of our minds. In this sense, daydreams may seem as if they are out of your control, and they can easily be, but the truth is our mind is a muscle and we work with it as we would most functioning muscles in our body.

So how can we use daydreams to create our best career path?

We must actively practice day dream by engaging in personal discovery sessions. This type of daydreaming is called positive-constructive daydreaming, which is the active reflection on our feelings, thoughts, imaginations, and other personal facets of our life in an open manner. This activity means letting go of any urge to stop yourself from thinking a thought or dreaming a dream. Studies found  this type of thinking led to an overall sense of well-being and furthermore it opens you up the possibilities of where you can apply your value.[source]

envision your career success

How can you use this on your career path?

 The answer is there are many ways to do it and you mustn’t stop at one! Experiment and continuously reflect on your career path throughout the time that you desire to earn a living for yourself. Two simple ways to incorporate this technique into your life is by:

Take a career quiz

Taking personality quizzes, like this one, or this one, and imagining yourself in the ideal roles that they describe for you. When it comes to career construction, my old mentor, Dr. Mark Savickas, told me they’re only about half right. Yet, this is a safe and simple activity to envision a future you.

Put yourself into the position and research it. Note what excites you and what doesn’t as you explore what the role has to offer.

The closest personality test for your work preference is the Holland Code, a model developed by John Holland and used by the military. My Holland Code was IEAS, most Holland Codes are the first 3 letters, which meant my career preference would be book restorer. NO!!! Don’t let online or even legitimate quizzes decide your career path,  in order to find your authentic value you must dream deeper into who you are.

093fbcd5dd89bba56915457eaf1a17fa

Career Path Dream Land

Asking yourself probing questions and then answering them until you reach a point of profound clarity is a thing. This is what is needed to really unearth the answers of who you are and where you are meant to bring value to the world.

A safe way to do this is what I call a mini-self-retreat. Find a way to get time alone and comfortable: send the roommate or partner out, find a baby or pet sitter, or go to a hotel.

Relinquish yourself from responsibility save for your Self.

Then have a nice thoughtful internal discussion about what you want. Stay with the discussion and record your answers for later use, listen to yourself with openness and innocence, as if within you there is a great warm source of your very own personal all-knowing. It can seem different at first, but this is just a surface level way to find your authentic value from within.

Will daydreaming get you a job? No. Constructive daydreaming and self-discovery will set you on a path to a career you are confident carrying as a part of your life’s legacy. If that’s something you think is worth having, let me know!

Comment and we’ll connect 🙂

No affiliate links in this post.

5 Small Steps to Create and Use A Personal Strategic Plan

Anyone who knows me, knows I love planning. While, I do a lot of business and marketing planning for others, my true passion for planning stemmed from personal development planning. It all sparked from a meeting with Sheila Palmer, Assistant to Donna Karen of DKNY, she shared with me a book called the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens after a brief conversation on the beach of Coney Island. When I read that book, the life of discipline, value, and achievement opened up to me for the first time.

From that year (2004) and on, I began a tradition of sitting down every year and creating a personal strategy for the next. This personal strategy helped me get three degrees, start 2 businesses, and accomplish many other complicated goals over my lifetime. Now as I grow into an adult millennial, this tool is helping me manage the many balls in my life with my chill and confident attitude towards getting things done.

First a few notes

  • A personal strategy is your strategy. Only you can define the desires that swell within you.
  • Your strategy will get better with each pass. You have to stick with it.
  • Your strategy can, will, and should change. Although, your values, goals, and beliefs will be closer to a constant, how you reach these ends will need to be adjusted as the year unfolds.
  • Your higher-order mission, vision, and values should remain constant, but be refined over time.

No strategy should be set in stone; it should only serve you for as long as it helps you reach your goals.

So, here are 5 small ways to create and use a personal strategy for 2016 today

  1. Start with your wildest vision for your life then scale it back to achieve for the year. Be a firm believer that whatever goal you set can be accomplished, then do yourself a favor and give yourself a generous timeline to get there. No city is built in a day, but it is built eventually. 2_zkbkpa
  2. Write 3-5 goals to achieve over the year. Try to build off the work you’ve done last year. If you are starting from scratch, make one goal something you can achieve right away to boost your efficacy in achieving annual goals.
  3. Schedule a time to review your goals for at least 5 minutes a day. I know an hour once a week may seem like more, but the odds of missing one week, then the next, then the next, are too high of a risk for your best you in 2016. Instead, find some way to incorporate your visions and goals in a high-frequency place throughout your day. Build it into your passwords, set up a vision board, or make it a part of your alarm clock. There are tons of ways to make your goals presence known.
  4. Pick one goal per day. Yes, you are a leader and have so much more to offer the world, but if you are having trouble genuinely sticking with the goals most important to you then you have to stick with tactics that work. Focusing on one goal per day will not overwhelm your schedule. 5778ca76b341bfa7e1fcaaca85770d4c
  5. Share what you are doing with an accountability partner. Find someone in your life that you admire for achieving their goals. Meet with them and share your goals and work towards meeting with them regularly. Do a SWOT assessment, share tips and tricks, and other successes with them. Sharing your goals makes you more accountable to yourself and others, which will build your persistence.

Simple steps, but a great start to mapping out your best 2016. Let’s get rid of resolutions and map out the business plan for your careers!

What’s wildest dream are you working on? 

One More Move - Sounds out the word omm which is a common chant in yoga

One More Move: Give Gratitude

Back to our regularly scheduled One More Move article! This series gives you singular moves to keep you motivated, authentic, and connected as your grow you personal and career path. This week, I challenge you to express gratitude. Why? Because it is through this expression of gratitude that we heighten our life’s quality, elevate our mood, and build our interpersonal relationships with others.

The benefits of gratitude are immense. It affects our mind, body, and soul. Below is an excellently designed infographic on The Power of Gratitude. You can see how the power of gratitude can help you can gain more energy, get better sleep, be less anxious, and have fewer headaches. All these benefits are necessary to regulate in order to stay motivated on the long-haul to your legacy. In a sense gratitude is the attitude of leadership that keeps us going and connected to ourselves and others around us. How do you find gratitude through out your day? 

12 Steps to Thrive

Credit Thanksgiving Infographic from Mind Valley Academy.

Here 5 easy ways to express gratitude today!

  1. Write a recommendation on LinkedIn  
  2. Send a thank you card to a colleague
  3. Give a generous tip to your server
  4. Publicly thank someone on Facebook
  5. Handwrite a letter of appreciation to a mentor your admire

Tiny Buddha offers 50 unique ways to express gratitude, which focuses a lot of being fully present with others  and considering ways to truly touch another person as a leader. There are many places where we can express gratitude. When we take time to make this one move we ripple forward positivity and good vibrations.

To cap off, here is a TED Talk on the Transformative Power of Gratitude. Give gratitude fair value as your return on investment is worth the deposit.

Want success control time. This shows a clock falling to the ground to show a sense of time being out of control

Want Success? Wield the Tool of Time!

Want success control time. This shows a clock falling to the ground to show a sense of time being out of control
photo credit: 12 sec via photopin (license)

Do you want to move forward in your career, manage multiple projects with ease, drastically reduce stress levels?

You may be wondering how can I take control of my time?

What we know about time do know about time? Scientifically we are still inconclusive. Early theories related time to the breakdown of things; the collapse into chaos. The theory behind the relationship between time and energy show that with time dormant energy will move velocity and acceleration at a constant rate. Although what time is exactly is still fuzzy to definitions science agrees it plays an important role in the things that happen and perhaps even the creation of the universe.

Yet, with all the studies surrounding time Carrol claims it is “not the be found in the underlying laws of physics” Time does not take up space and does not have a mass. Which in a sense means time is a imaginary. It’s not a real part of our physical world, but one created by us humans. It is hard to pin down this tool we created. Major philosophical theorist divide into three parties: Presentists, Growing-past philosophers, and eternalists. Presentists believe on the present is real. Growing-past philosophers believe the past and the future are real and eternalists believe in the existence and reality of past, present, and future. I lean towards the eternalist camp. I think most entrepreneurs do, since the future is the substance of our dreams.

Time is more valuable than money quote

Which is why “time is money” is the mantra of any wealth warrior. Recorded in The Free-Thinker in 1719, the phrase time is money relates the idea that time is a valuable resource as one of the purest measures of human value since our time is finite on this earth and we must produce what we best can and seize opportunity. Are you leveraging your time to maximize your return? Wasted time is wasted money and it moves you further away from the feeling of success. As though you are not maximizing the opportunities available in your life. How can we escape the subtle sense of chaos that comes with time?

We have to focus on what is really at play. You have a desire to effectively seize the opportunities you have before you. Time-management needs to be re-named to Self-management. Self-management is “the process of evaluation [sic], prioritizing, and organizing one’s tasks” . Time is the imaginary tool we use to measure the movement and completion of tasks. We watch a flower grow and a forgotten yogurt die. When we use the tool of time right we realize the steps we are taking towards our goals. When we use the tool incorrectly, we can dwell in non-present aspects of time like stressing over the future or reminiscing in the sweet past.

How do you manage yourself wisely? The first step is to put yourself first. Self-management is a continuous process of a commitment to developing yourself. It took me ten years to get a comfortable grip on time, and I’m still striving for greater discipline. What major roadblock in my way, was the belief that if I just gave my mind, body, and spirit up to other things I would somehow feel fulfilled with the time I was spending. So I worried unnecessarily, ate indulgently, and felt all types of ways without making any real traction in my goals. It was only when I focused on myself: being my healthiest; cultivating my thoughts for pro-action; and rewarding my behavior with gratitude and respect that I suddenly began to take leaps towards achieving the life I desired.

Practice items

Here are some reflection exercises for self-management:

  • What do your value? How do you rank your values?
  • What are your top 20 priorities? Drop it down to 5.
  • What does it take for you to perform at your best?

Sign up for the free e-Mail course! 5 days to Confidence with Time Series releasing August 17th

References 

Time and Energy – Millennium Relativity.” 2002. 5 Aug. 2015 <http://www.mrelativity.net/TimeEnergy/TimeEnergy.htm>

What Is Time? One Physicist Hunts for the Ultimate Theory …” 2014. 5 Aug. 2015 <http://www.wired.com/2010/02/what-is-time/>

“Time | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” 2009. 5 Aug. 2015 <http://www.iep.utm.edu/time/>

“What is the idea behind the quote “time is money”? – Quora.” 2014. 5 Aug. 2015 <http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-idea-behind-the-quote-time-is-money>

“Time = Money | SUCCESS Magazine | What Achievers Read.” 2013. 5 Aug. 2015 <http://www.success.com/article/time-money>

“Time Management – Exploratory Studies at Purdue.” 2014. 5 Aug. 2015 <http://www.purdue.edu/exploratory/academic-support-new/time-management.html>

Management: Developing Self-Management Skills … – SQA.” 2007. 5 Aug. 2015 <http://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/CB3496_self_management.pdf>