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In Business & Blogging on
August 10, 2017

Mom Bossing while living with ADHD

mom-boss-adhd

Entrepreneurs are like a crapload of people in one.  They are the talent, the financiers, the marketers.  They have to be creative and business-minded and have their foot in every part of the business.  Now imagine being every one of those people with the questions, thoughts, details and overall obsessive concerns of all those people constantly running through your head.  That’s the life of an entrepreneur with ADHD.

I wasn’t diagnosed with my ADHD until adulthood.  I was told by the doctor that I was very high-functioning and that made it easy for me to compensate for many years and never be diagnosed.  The reason that it was becoming increasingly difficult as an adult was because I was taking on so much.  Looking back on my childhood I can see how my ADHD affected me every single day but I never knew that what I was struggling with wasn’t “normal”.  I know that ADHD can tend to be a little over-diagnosed and so it’s hard for people to accept it’s existence.  It wasn’t until I was old enough to be really self-aware that I realized my process wasn’t what is considered the norm and had to come to terms with what I was dealing with.

My biggest issue is my inability to focus which makes it difficult to organize and plan.  Having so many thoughts going through my head at once makes it so that I bounce around from thing to thing without completing the last task and because my brain overthinks everything, my anxiety (which was diagnosed as GAD) settles in and every reason why something won’t work has now become the new topic.  So everything becomes, “ooh I need to that but…”  It also makes me forget things quickly so if I don’t return a text message, an email, or a phone call immediately, days could go by before I ever think about it again and the anxiety of having to talk to people and give them the right information makes me procrastinate which is also an issue when it comes to networking and being social. Social anxiety and awkwardness sets in and it can be crippling.  Decision making takes so long that sometimes things just don’t get done.

All of these things combined make being an entrepreneur that much harder BUT on the flip-side of it.  Entrepreneurship fits my personality perfectly.  My focus issues work both ways.  There are days when I can hyper focus on a task and it helps me to really put my all into it.  When I love something I learn everything there is to learn about it which really gives me confidence in what I am doing and helps me better much better at it.  Thinking through every side of something helps it to be more perfect when it FINALLY is completed.  I also think there is a sense of free-thinking which comes along with my ADHD which helps my creativity.

 

 

In order to be able to run multiple businesses and continue to be high-functioning, it has been necessary to incorporate techniques to help to keep me at least remotely organized.

LISTS

I cannot not make lists. To do list, list of places to visit, lists of people ideas, lists of people, lists of events, list of groceries lol.  My lists are everything!  They help me to make space in my head but getting things down and they help me to not forget.  If there are items I need to bring for a photo shoot in the morning.  I have to write ever item down.  I will without question forget an item if I try to keep it in my memory.

EVERNOTE

Evernote is life. Evernote is an app that keeps track of… well, everything.  This is where I organize my post ideas, and shoot ideas, and all of my lists. I have had Evernote for years but never took full advantage of it until recently and it is a lifesaver!  Stay tuned for my whole post about my Evernote and the best ways that it helps me and can help you too (ADHD or not)!

A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING

This is something I’m working on trying to really stick with but having a set place for everything really helps my forgetfulness.  For example, I put my car keys in the same exact place every time because if I don’t, they will easily get lost.  My brain does not hold onto random information if I am not deliberate about it because there are just more important things to worry about so I have to be very conscious about small details.

CALENDAR

I write every event down on my calendar. Networking, sessions, birthday parties, etc. if it’s not on my calendar, it’s not happening.  I won’t remember the date or time. There has to be 1-2 alerts set as well.  A reminder a few days out so I know something is coming up and I can mentally prepare to have to be out and about and then one the same day to make sure I’m there timely (or close to it).

 

Those are four major things I do to try to combat my ADHD & GAD but there are so many more.  One of my favorite books that has helped me and has a lot of useful tips is Your Life Can Be Better by Douglas A. Puryear.  The author struggles with ADHD and talks about how it has affected his family and his work life.  He gives lots of really great tips to get organized and stay focused.

 

Whether you have ADHD or not, what are some of the ways that help you to stay organized that may help someone that struggles to stay organized like myself?

 
In Business & Blogging, Lifestyle on
August 4, 2017

Mid-Thirty Mediocrity: Struggling with Purpose

mid-thirty-mediocrity

I think about my life’s purpose pretty regularly and how it correlates to who I am as a person.  The 10th anniversary of my 25th birthday is this month and if I’m being honest, I love being in my thirties.  I have a better sense of self,  I understand more of what is important to me and I take a lot less shit.  Don’t get me wrong, I still take a lot of shit. I have a tendency to be very passive but I am getting better at it.  I have really started to understand myself better, my flaws, my strengths, my creative ability.  In this self discovery, I have found that I have a real problem with mediocrity.  I have also found that I tend to dwell in mediocrity far too much.

Mediocrity means something totally different to every single person.  We all thrive for different things, have different goals, and different definitions of winning.  I have always been a free spirit.  Very interested in seeing and learning all of the things the world has to offer.  I’ve always believed God made a beautiful world and I have short time here to take in as much of it as possible and give as much back to it as possible …but right as I was entering my twenties, I stumbled.  Fear found me and I started diminishing my abilities to not have to face fear head on.  Fear of not being good enough, fear of being alone, fear of failure.  I let that fear hold me back for way too long.  It wasn’t until the end of 2016, almost 15 years later, that I stepped outside of it and saw the beauty in not being afraid.  I took a beautiful trip to Paris, I left my toxic job, I cut off all of my hair.  I started businesses that made me feel like me.

mid-thirty-mediocrity

Yet still I feel stuck in mediocrity.  You see the problem is I became so weighed down by all the things that built up while I was being afraid.  The clear road I had at 20-something is not the clear road I have in my 30s.  It’s all very overwhelming to dig back out from underneath.  I watch women I love like Issa Rae and Yagazie Emezi and Zim Ugochukwu being great in their careers and their businesses. Creative entrepreneurs pushing forward and changing rules and views and I think, this is my tribe.  These women are everything I feel in my heart I should be in my own right.  So everyday I sit uncomfortable in my situation and come up with new ways to get out of it and move forward and travel upward.  I’m so late and so behind and it’s tough to work at becoming what you should have always been but there is a tugging in my soul to tell me to take the next step and move outside of fear.

Sometimes it’s lonely AF.

But I cannot imagine living with this personal feeling of mediocrity, not exploring the depths to which my soul and heart drive me.  It is such a weight on my being to wake up every morning and not be living who I am.  I’m not entirely sure where this feeling is supposed to bring me in God’s purpose for me but I am 100% sure it is taking me somewhere …somewhere amazing.  The Incredible Jessica James says, “I’m a unicorn.” and it’s how I feel in my heart like I’m supposed to be on a crazy magical adventure of getting everything the world has to offer and giving back everything I can.

 

Do you ever feel like there is something more you’re meant to do?  What are some things that make you feel powerful and purposeful?

 

 

Mid-Thirty-Mediocrity

In Business & Blogging, Lifestyle on
July 31, 2017

Things to do before 9am for a successful day

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to take an intensive course with Heidi Hope of Heidi Hope Photography and besides all of the wonderful photography related information, I was given, I was also given a lot of wonderful advice.  One bit of advice that was given was from a book by —- called —-.  In the book, — speaks about the importance of your morning routine.  Did you know that 95% of people fail in anything 0_0.  Only 5% succeed and the people who are the most successful have some kind of morning routine.  Well I refuse to fail.  I tell myself every morning “5%” to keep me motivated.  To help in this,  I have adopted a morning routine of my own.  There are some specific things that you should incorporate into your morning routine to help your day flow.  So tomorrow morning, get up at least 30 minutes early and do the following:

 

Have a Healthy Breakfast

We have all heard it.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  This is the meal that gives us the nutrients and energy we need to get us through the day.  It also helps us to focus. Nothing like working hungry all day and waiting until lunch.  Who can put their all into work when their mind is on food?  I can’t.  I get hangry very easily and no one wants to deal with that beast.

Quiet Time

This is my favorite part of the routine.  Grab your cup of coffee and read for a few minutes, take some time to meditate, or free write.  Just get your mood ready for the day.  No social media. Don’t overstimulate your brain.  Visualize what your day is going to be like. Plan for positivity.  If you’re a creative, this time will give your brain the chance to let go and make room for creativity.

Exercise

My life struggle!! But working out in the morning really sets a tone for your day.  You will feel refreshed and accomplished and ready to take on what the day brings.

Make Your To Do List

This is the best time to fully plan out your day.  Put the hardest things at the top of your list and work your way done to the easiest. I know I love nothing better then to see things on my to do list crossed or checked off.  It’s really fulfilling and having a daily to do list is a great way to keep your day in order and productive.

 

Do you find that waking up early and getting a good start to your day makes a difference?  What are some of your morning practices?

successful day - david mao

In Business & Blogging, Lifestyle on
July 14, 2017

Starting a Blog: An Empathy Post

I started a blog.  Actually I started my fifth blog.  I have been giving this blogging thing a go many times throughout out the years.  My second blog was mildly successful but it was never on topic of the things that I wanted to blog about and always ended up being about what I thought people wanted to see and I wasted a lot of time and money doing it.  I keep coming back to blogging because I really love to write and share life through my own unique perspective.  I love the connections I make with people and the stories I get to read sharing with other bloggers and the overall community of bloggers BUT blogging is a lot of work!!

Every time I take it on, I think I’m prepared.  I’m not.  This time I have done so much research and learned TONS of new information to take on this task and now that I have launched the blog I still feel completely unprepared!  Between making sure my SEO is on point, and networking, and sharing my posts, and monetizing …AHHHHH… and that’s without even including writing the content which is the most important part.  Not to mention I am running a creative portrait business full-time, I am a mom, and I am trying my hardest to stop being the disorganized mess I have become.  WHAT WAS I THINKING STARTING A BLOG?? Lol

….but I refuse to be overwhelmed or quit and this time I am going to succeed harder than I have ever succeeded at blogging before.  I know there have to be bloggers out there who are struggling with just getting everything off the ground like me, so this post is in solidarity with all my fellow starter bloggers!  Raise your hand if you’ve thought on occasion, what am I doing?? *raises both hands* We’re all in the same boat and I’m sure there is something that has helped you along the way to stay on track and stay motivated.  For me there are two things.  The first is a content calendar.  Mine is pretty wonky still and I am still working out parts of it but it really helps to keep me on track and make sure I always have something to post.  My second is my community.  Talking and sharing with other bloggers is paramount for the future success of this blog!  I learn so much from others and I find lots of great inspiration and I am motivated to keep going by watching all of the success others have had.  So this journey continues and it is truly a struggle some days but one I am happy for!!

Are you a new blogger?  Have you been blogging for ages?  Please share some of your tips for what keeps you motivated or what you found was the most helpful thing when starting out!  If you’re not a blogger what are somethings you do in your area of expertise to keep you motivated?

 

start-a-blog

In Business & Blogging, Lifestyle on
July 1, 2017

Why I left my job with nothing but hope to pay the bills

I had a tiny bit of savings and a whole lot of hope when I walked out of the door from the job I had been at for the last six years.  It was a good job in that it was very secure and it paid relatively well with increases annually (sometimes three times a year).  Being in that office, I probably would have been set for the life.  There were people retiring who had been there 30+ years and retired with great pensions that would leave them in a good position for the rest of their lives. But I walked out of the door with just enough hope to push me over the threshold and this is why.

A steady paycheck is nice.  IT REALLY IS. But you know what else is nice?  Being healthy. Having peace of mind. Being happy.  My job paid bills and was unhealthy, toxic, and soul-killing.  The anxiety that it caused made me a miserable and barely healthy person.  As I struggle with anxiety as is, working in an atmosphere where you are yelled at daily, over-looked, and over-worked only exacerbates that and once I started being forced to take on work that was not part of my original job description and being punished if I didn’t, I knew it was something I couldn’t do anymore.

Well God knew it too and my job offered layoffs.  The day it happened, my coworkers started emailing me saying, “This is it!” and I knew they were right.

I knew that I had always wanted to work for myself and generate an income off of something that I loved and controlled myself.  So I left with very little money saved and I set out on my adventure.  The adventure of entrepreneurship.

Do I know how I am going to pay my bills from month to month?  Nope!  Is my savings starting to dwindle?  Yep! Am I working harder everyday to get everything in place to be able to sustain a livable income?  Sure am!  …and I am the happiest I have been in a long time and I work everyday to get back on track to being healthy as well.

I jumped …and right now I’m still gliding but one day soon, I will fly and if you stay here with me, you will watch me on my journey to soaring heights.

 

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