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12 Nov

Synergy 2.0

ENTREPRENEURS HAVE A Growth Mindset

Entrepreneurs pivot. Human beings fail. Naveen Jain

My team was blessed with the opportunity to attend the Global Synergy Conference hosted at Madison Square Garden. The days were long, so the team attended in shifts taking copious notes to then turn key with one other. Today, I turnkey to my readers the best tidbits that we gathered from the conference. Can’t attend a $2400 conference? No worries, here are some free take aways that can help any budding entrepreneur.

I picked the team’s Top 5 Segments to share with you. These great speakers touched everyone and provided concrete suggestions on how to be better entrepreneur. I suggest you follow them on IG, listen to a pod cast, buy a product, or attend a conference. The biggest lesson that I have learned on this journey is that I must continue to be a sponge and learn from as many people as I can.

Guy Kowaski

American marketing specialist, author, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist

Guy_Kawasaki_at_Wikimania_2015_-_2This presentation entitled the Art of Disruption primary focused on how to create a quality product. Guy shared 11 tips:

1. Build what you like and convince people to like it
2. Jump to the next curve
3. Make a minimum, viable,valuable, validating, product
4. Make design count
5. Polarize people (think Samsung vs. Iphone)
6. Ignore Naysayers
7. Change your mind (admit mistakes and adapt)
8. Be unique and valuable
9. Let 100 flowers bloom (Pretty much let your business develop as it will)
10. Churn, baby, churn (constantly evolve)
11. Perfect your pitch

Jordan Belfort

American stockbroker, author, and motivational speaker

way-of-the-wolf-9781501164286_hrAlso known as The Wolf of Walstreet, Jordan shared The Straight Line System of Sales that he created. He explained, that a sale is the transference of certainty and that everything you say is helping the prospective client to be certain. The salesperson has 4 seconds to establish three things in the mind of the prospective client.

The prospective client need to perceive salesperson as:

1. Sharp as a Tact
2. Enthusiastic as Hell
3. An expert in the field

The goal is to have the prospective client:

1. Love your product
2. Trust and connect with you
3. Trust and connect with your company

How do you do this?

1. Take control of the conversation
2. Ask questions to access needs, beliefs, pain points, etc
4.. Be empathetic in your tonality and an active listener
5. Be logical
6. Paint as picture of the prospective client using your product and being happy

Gary Vaynerchuck

American entrepreneur, four-time New York Times bestselling author, speaker and internet personality.

Internet Week HQ on Day 2 of Internet Week 2015 in New York

In his presentation, I Day Trade Attention and Build Business, Gary V. proposed awesome strategies to help make business great again. Here’s what he suggested:

1. Have a “do it” mindset
2. Triple down on your strengths and hire someone to cover your weaknesses
3. Pod casts are next best thing
4. If you can afford it, pay for ads
5. Documentation over creation (in particular for web content)
6. Be an empathetic boss
7. Put all your best advice into the world for free
8. Be grateful
9. Be happy

Panel: Chieh Huang, Leslie Short, Ludovic Huraux, Aubrey Marcus

Founders, Co-Founders and CEOs of Million Dollar Businesses
         Boxed                               K.I.M. Media                         Onnit                                   Shapr

When you have a panel of great minds who started million dollar businesses, you should heed their advice. Obviously, they all did something right! From the mouths of parent entrepreneurs, to the ears of babe entrepreneurs, here are The Nuts and Bolts of Building a Million Dollar Business:

1. More money, more problems
2. Adapt. Be able to sway.
3. Be humble
4. Build movement (not product) so you can pivot
5. Be hungry
6. Met the people who will help you
7. Find your own opportunity. If it’s not there, make it.
8. Do the internal work to make sure you are not your own detriment
9. Celebrate your employees

Simon Sinek

British/American author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant

338px-Simon_sinek.jpgIn the presentation, The Infinite Game, Simon defined infinite versus finite strategies in business. He proclaims that you can’t be a finite player in the infinite game of business. He encourages entrepreneurs to build a businesses, ideas, and products that out live you. Here are some tips on how to be an infinite business:

1. A Just Cause: The business has a solid purpose and foundation build on a just cause, not just the premise of making money
2. Courageous Leadership: A leader who is patient, flexible, and willing to do the right thing
3. Vulnerable Team: Employees who buy into the purpose and give their best to the team.
4. A Worthy Opponent: Competitors in which you have a deep respect for and can encourage you to be better.
5. Open Playbook: A plan that is flexible.

Hope you take these jewels and put them into use!

Signing off,

Nadine G.

07 Nov

Synergy

Synergy is defined as the interaction of two or more entities working to produce a combined effect that is greater than the individual parts. Think of a multitude of points coming together to form a circle. Individually, each one is just a simple point, but together they form a strong impenetrable bond.

cosLaunching Let’s Converse in August of 2017, reminded me of the importance of Synergy. I launched at this premiere event for Black women entrepreneurs in NYC called Circle of Sisters. I was blessed to have my whole team present, a true circle of sisters. I also had a few good men working behind the scenes. Together we rocked the event!

Some may view “rocking the event” as making a lot of money. I can attest to the fact that monetarily, I left the event in a deficit. As a new business owner that is stressful, but you have to learn to put things into perspective. So, how did we “rock it?” Truthfully, relational collateral is more important than money. Stuff will never mean more than people, connection, and relationship.

So here’s how we rock it and

how you can rock it too!

Teamwork makes the dream work

Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

I live on the 6th floor and the week of Circle of Sisters the elevator in my building died. Consequently, I had to get all my beautiful merchandise and furniture for the event down 6 flights of stairs. Though I was internally panicking, having a strong team kept me grounded and able to problem solve. With the help of my gym enthusiastic friends, we made it into a cardio and leg day challenge lifting 30 lb boxes and carrying them down the steps.

This glitch highlights the necessity of having a positive team of people on your side. If I had to handle this alone, it would have cost me much more money and/or much more personal energy and exhaustion. Having a team took away some of the anxiety and actually made a hard task kinda fun! The take away is that none of us are superhuman. We all need help. Surround yourself with people who are invested in you and your business. In those times when you face an obstacle, a good team can help you jump hurdles.

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Conversation Matters

The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.”Maya Angelou

I absolutely loved my conversation cards and all the brave souls who entered my booth and started a conversation with me. I truly understand that it is a lot for a business to ask you to trust in them and their brand. The first thing that may pop into your mind is, “I don’t know you man!” So, I spent the course of the day at Circle of Sisters getting to know people and letting them get to know me. I learned about people’s dreams and aspirations, their definitions of love, and about the things that bring them joy. As a motivational speaker, my goal is to speak to what you need, but the only way I can do that is to ask you what it is you need. So thank you to everyone who shared a bit of themselves with me and allowed me to share a bit of myself with them. That experience alone will help my business be better.

So, do people know you? If you are building a brand or business, you can’t have money as your sole purpose. You need to think about the people you are servicing. Yes, your customer matters. By having conversation with your customer through focus groups, feedback forms, and one-to-one conversations at events, you will find that people will draw closer to you and your product. People need to be connected to you and the purpose of your brand. If you can accomplish that, you are “rocking it!”

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Tap into everyone’s strengths

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach.” Romans 12:6-7

My best friend is a selfie queen, posts online all the time. It took me years to even join Instagram and master the art form of the right angle for a selfie. So, if I was going to post on social media, I could do it myself or I could ask my best friend to help. I am great at being a motivational speaker, consulting, and running workshops. Creating a website….I got someone for that. Marketing….I got someone for that. Photography….I got someone for that. Live social Media at Events…..I got someone for that. Getting Food….I got someone for that. Seriously, even before this business, I would work all day and get so focused on the task that I did not remember to eat. There is definitely someone on my team who makes sure I take care of myself so I don’t faint while working.

Back to the point I made earlier, we are not superhuman. But even if we were, we would be like the Avengers. Each of us with a unique talent and gift that when we come together, we can save the world. So find your Avengers. Purposely add people to the team that are gifted in areas in which your are weak to help create balance in your business.

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Expand your network, expand your net worth

Networking is all about connecting with people. But then again, isn’t that what life is about?” Jay Samit

Networking is one of the hardest thing I had to learn to do. This concept of taking to strangers is a hard one to accept, especially when it is ingrained from childhood that this is a fatal flaw. “Do not talk to strangers” becomes “Do not talk to strangers unless you are an adult and can assess how a relationship with this person can enrich both of your lives”….wait what….how does one even do that? By simply talking to strangers. So, “No new friends!” becomes “Yes new friends” and “Talk to strangers.”

While at Circle of Sisters, I met a several beautiful women. I met another author, Ashley Gillett, who wrote “Red Flags Run.” I met Déjà Vu, a radio personality and motivational speaker, who shared about her work with her personal brand HustleHer. I also met Uniqua Smith,  a marketing consultant, who introduced me to the Synergy Global Conference which was coming to NYC. We discussed ways to get Let’ Converse in the building at that event. Based on this connection , 10 members of my team were able to attend the conference which was tailored towards entrepreneurs and featured the best in the industry. I’ll tell you more in Synergy Pt. II. Conversation is golden. Being open to meet new people is golden. So talk to strangers and meet new friends.

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Set up for the step up

The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” Carl Rogers

My business will make me a million dollars one day. Moreover, I will not cry or get discouraged if that does not happen today. I will continue to work hard and put my full love into all that I do. So, every up, down, and neutral happening along this journey is all a part of what will make me a better person and will make my business have a greater impact on others in the long run. In this way, I’m okay with both the highs and lows of my business journey.

My advice for you is to experience the grow. If you spend time money and energy into something and you don’t get the return you expected, don’t be discouraged. Look at it as a learning lesson, part of the process, a route a long your journey. Ask yourself, What worked well? What didn’t work well? How can you improve upon your next experience? Then keep walking forward.

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So what’s the moral of the story?

“Synergy is circular

An energy infinitely flowing

Making dreams a reality 

 Conversational connections sowing

seeds that empower everyone’s gifts

Expanding value beyond the knowing

a journey towards greatness

Setting the spirit up for growing”

Signing off,

Nadine G.

21 Oct

Sandcastles

Write your worries in sand. Carve your blessings in stone.” Anonymous

It is interesting phenomenon, playing with sand. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Yet, most of us have found ourselves building a sandcastle at least once in our lives.  It’s alluring because sand does have a very unique quality: the same element that can be used to make it appear stronger, can weaken it. This fact is that the seed of astonishment and devastation are both birthed through building sandcastles.

When you begin your canvas, you know exactly what you are getting into. You must plan your strategy wisely. You cannot be too close to the water or too far away. Location has to be just right; so close so you can quickly grab water to build, but far enough away that the structure does not wash away. At first, it’s a game. It’s fun. Then your castle starts to look like a masterpiece. You want it to last. You put so much work into it, but you know the tide is coming.

The next day, you build again…the cycle repeats….until you almost start to believe that if you build this castle just right, it will last…

But like worries written in sand….it fades

 

 

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We know we should write worries in sand, but who ever said to build love out of sand? Why do we continuously do that…build sandcastles…

 

 

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If blessings are to carved into stone, shouldn’t love be etched in stone. Why were we never taught to make stone castles…

 

Lessons from child’s play…

SANDCASTLES

Relationships built on shifty foundations will eventually be washed away by the tide.

As with anything in life, foundations matter. In relationships, it is imperative that you are clear about your values and expectations. Everyone does not want to be grounded. Some people like playing with sand; they understand, accept, and sometimes even long for temporary fixes. So, if you decide to build a sandcastle know that it is temporary.

There is no amount of strategy that can change nature.

A little bit a water will give you the illusion that the sand is hard and can withstand pressure. However, when the tide comes in, it is evident that sand is not a contender against water. Water will win. That being said, don’t think you are a master craftsman or woman that can change sand. Sand will never be permanent. So, if you find yourself in a temporary relationship, trying to make it permanent, you may need to accept you are dealing with sand and you cannot change it’s nature.

It’s always dangerous to ignore the reality of a situation.

The tide is coming. It always comes. You know this. Do not lie to yourself. The worst thing anyone can do is to convince themselves that a lie is the truth. When the sandcastle is destroyed, or the temporary relationship ends, it’s devastating because you did not face the truth; it was never meant to last.

If you like to play in sand, play. If you don’t, run!

Not every relationship is meant to be forever. Some people may never choose a forever relationship, some may always choose to play with sand, but most of us waver in between these two extremes. That’s okay. It’s about finding your truth. Do you really want to play? Or are you looking to truly build? Those who like to play, should play with one another, and anyone else should run and learn to build stonecastles.

STONE CASTLES

Relationships built on rock will remain solid. 

If you ground your relationship is solid things, like God, you will be amazed how they will withstand elements.  It goes back to understanding your values and expectations and aligning those in the fruits of the spirit -love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These ideals are proven to increase longevity of relationships because the partnership becomes more important than the individual. Two will always be stronger than one. So when the little tide comes through, the rock will hold.

Use nature to your advantage.

The tide is coming. It always comes. You know this. So, prepare for it. The nerd in me know that eventually water can wear down rock. Yet, I also know it will take an eternity to do so while sand will be washed away in moments. If you are honest about the nature of sand and the nature of rock, you can use nature to your advantage building the castle that will withstand the storm. Let relationships that were meant to be temporary wash away and build relationship you mean to last on solid ground.

It’s wise to assess a situation and utilize the proper material to reach your goal.

So, if I were building a castle I wanted to last, the only choice is to utilize rock. Plain and simple.

You can’t play with stones.

Stones are serious business. If you are working with stones, carving and etching, it is not a game. You are building. If you want to build, find another builder and get to work. It will be fun, but it will be work. It will be love, but it will be work. And in the end, your castle will last and withstand the elements.

 

So what’s the moral of the story?

“To build a stone castle of love

Fill your bucket with God

So he weaves around each stone

Connecting you as a single unit

Built to withstand the storm.”

 

Build more stone castles!

Signing off,

 

Nadine G.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 Dec

Pass the Mistletoe and the Stroke of Midnight to Love

Most girls look forward to their Cinderella moment. Hence why there are so many proposals at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Your prince charming takes you to the Brooklyn Bridge to watch the fireworks, and just as the first one explodes, he gets down on one knee. No, he isn’t tying his shoe lace! He takes out that Tiffany blue box and pops the question. “I have loved you for as long as I can remember. Will you marry me?” A magical moment.

This may not be exactly how your story goes, but think about it. From kisses by that secret admirer under the mistletoe, to staring in the eyes of that someone special as you start a New Year together, these are the real life fairy tale moments that take our breaths away. Okay, enough of the sappy. As the New Year rolls in and out in less than a minute of our lives, let’s talk about life long romance that can take your breath away daily.
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Make Time for Love

NO EXCUSES.

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Pay  Attention

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Women and men like it the same. Sometimes when we have been in a relationship for a long time, we think we need a date night to rekindle the spark. There’s nothing wrong with date night, but make every moment quality time. The worst is being with someone, but not being there. Make sure you pay attention to the little nuances and make every moment count!

Spontaneously Gift

Beyond SBWS (Single Black Women Syndrome), the next big topic is “Is Chivalry Dead?” If it is, what a more miraculous time than this to raise it out of the grave. There is something really special about the “just because I care” gift. It can be a rose you picked at the park, or a movie because you know your partner needs a laugh, or a hug at that right moment. It goes noted in the memory bank every time someone opens the door, holds your chair, or touches your hand in support. These moments are priceless. (Don’t forget Valentine’s Day, the Birthday, Christmas, and the Anniversary too….I’m just saying!) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thoughtful Giving

eat-567454_1920.jpgWhenever and whatever the occasion, just be thoughtful. No, that doesn’t mean you can pick up a lollipop because it was the only thing you could find of in the final hour and then say “It’s the thought that counts.” No. It’s actual the “THOUGHT” that counts. Take the time to think about what you are doing, saying, or giving. Now, if it’s our anniversary and the first time we met, I was eating a strawberry blowpop, then I’ll love that lollipop! It’s all about the thought behind the gift.

Be Spontaneous

Processed with VSCOcam with kk2 presetIt’s okay to change up the routine once in a while. It helps to add flavor to your life. The amount of spontaneity needed is contingent on your personality. If you are a little OCD, trying cooking together instead of ordering out. It’s a simple change that can add romance to a relationship. If you are more open to new things, try a trip to the Mayan Ruins (just go before the stroke of midnight 2012). Be open to creating new experiences together. It’s like wearing a glass slipper; you just have to go for it!

Take the relationship seriously

couple-2590797_1920Before we even take the leap to be in a relationship, the issue of commitment comes to mind. Then when we are in the relationship, the truth of commitment is manifested in our everyday lives. You have to be committed. If you don’t work every day on building your relationship, then when you hit a road bump, you’ll see it as Armageddon instead of a simple road bump. Commitment shows on your person, in your character and your attitude. There is nothing more sexy than knowing, “we are in this race together.” That’s breathtaking in and of itself.

This New Year, remember to carry the love pass the mistletoe, pass the stroke of midnight, to your every day and every moment!

“Love like mirrors

A reflection of time and space

A reflection of you.”

Have a happy, prosperous, and blessed New Year!

Signing off,

Nadine G.

18 Dec

To Share or Not to Share…that is the question!

Every relationship has ups and downs like your favorite roller coaster. They are exhilarating and fun, they make your heart race, they can make you smile and laugh, and they can leave you yearning for more. Yet at the same time, these same coasters can make your jaw drop, you may scream or cry, or they can feel like death making you just want to get off and run away. Now, if you love the coaster, more than you hate it, you’re bound to end up right back on the line, excited to take another ride. That being said, it is very important what you chose to share about this coaster, aka your relationship, to other people.

Communication is Key” in a relationship. However, for communication to be effective, it must be between you and your partner.

 

people-2594319_1920The more people you bring into your intimate circle, the less intimate the circle becomes. That which is private becomes public. Some degree of sharing can create warmth and a feeling of love and support in and surrounding your relationship. However, if sharing goes wrong, animosity and resentment can begin to breed inside of your relationship as well as around it.

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It is impossible to make everything between you and your mate private. As humans, we feed off of sharing our joy and troubles with others. It helps us connect and allows us to grow. However, everything must be done in moderation, and you must always consider the consequences. Before you begin to share with someone outside of your relationship, here are some things to consider.

Know your audience!

Is this someone who cares about you? Many of us choose to share intimate parts of our lives with the people closest to us. This is definitely a catch 22. Most often, your close friends and family have your best interest at heart. The problem is your best interest may not be the best interest of your relationship. When you are married, the latter actually takes precedence. Truthfully in any relationship, the latter takes precedence if you want the relationship to work. Make sure if you share information about your relationship with a close friend or family member that they aware of this. Please note, thinking about the best for your relationship does not mean you do not think of yourself. It just means you do not think ONLY of yourself!

Is this a neutral party? A neutral party does not have a preconceived bias towards either you or your mate. Often times a neutral party is a person you go to receive counsel from because their opinions are free from judgment and they do not have a predisposition to take one side over the other. Just be careful of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Is this someone with their own agenda? This is definitely a wolf! Someone people do not have your best interest or the best interest of you relationship on their heart. These people tend to have their own interest at heart. For example, if you know your co-worker has a crush on you, do not ask him for relationship advice. It is in his best interest that your relationship does not work, and the information or support he provides may be detrimental to you and your current relationship.

Is this someone who likes a show? One of the worst viruses in a relationship is gossip; it’s the “he said, she said” syndrome. This allows other people’s feelings and perceptions to enter into your relationship. It often starts with you choosing to share personal business with the wrong source. Be very wary of someone who just wants the information to broadcast the latest news feed.

Is this someone who is overly pessimistic or optimisitic? More often than not, you know who to go to when you want someone to agree with you. You know who is going to be pessimistic 90% of the time. You know who is going to be optimisitic 90% of the time. Be very careful of choosing someone who is predictable. It not only invalidates the information being provided, but it also points to a bigger issue within you. If you already know the answer, why are you asking the question? What is the answer feeding you?

Know the intent of your communication and be clear about it!

Are you throwing salt into a wound? Sometimes, communicating with someone outside of your relationship is done just in spite. In the new technological era, it is easy to be spiteful. In an argument, someone might write a facebook status geared at their mate: “I just wish I didn’t have to repeat myself.” Now, not only does your mate know who the side comment is geared at, but also has the opportunity to see how all your friends, family, acquaintances, and random FB people feel about your relationship. For example :”Is that boy getting on your nerves again.” Or “Girl, just leave that alone. I know I wouldn’t repeat myself all day everyday!” Again, one of the worst viruses in a relationship is gossip; it’s the “he said, she said” syndrome. Avoid this intent because it is always destructive.

Are you venting? Sometimes we just need to get the crap off our heart. It is natural. Just pick someone who understands the purpose of venting. Also, be cautious of always venting to the same person. What occurs is that person gets a one sided view of your mate. So when you get back on line for that coaster, they look at you like you are crazy. Try to balance venting with praise. You want to make sure you are not always focused on the negative. Remember something about this ride exhilarates you!

 Are you sharing good news? Yeah for good news! We love to share it! Just make sure it is okay with your partner. Also, make sure you are sharing with someone who is open to receiving it. Not all people are able to share in your joy. Mr. Pessimistic mentioned above, still may have something negative to say even when you happy. This is the time you choose to share with Ms. Optimistic, right? J

 Are you providing info for info sake? Sometimes we share intimate business just to share. Be cautious of just giving information for information sake aka diarrhea of the mouth. If it doesn’t serve a positive function in your life, then it’s not worth all the energy and possible repercussions on your relationship.

 Are you gathering information? In general women do this more often than men. Sometimes, we share information, to obtain information and share notes. We learn at a young age that sharing is caring, and we know that sharing notes is a good way to learn and grow. Again, just be moderate and take in to account everything that has been mentioned.

 Do you need advice? Advice is defined as providing alternatives that you may or may not adhere to, but help you in making a decision. Be careful from whom you seek advice. At the end of the day, it is still your decision, but some advice tends to have a powerful pull on your spirit. Make sure the person has the best interest of your relationship at heart.

 Are you asking for help? Help is defined as someone stepping in and taking an active role in the resolution of a matter. If you and your mate need help, the best source of help is a neutral party. This allows both you and your mate to maintain your dignity and to be heard equally and without judgment.

To share or not to share?”

There are both good and bad consequences for sharing. So, the answer is totally up to you! Again, I just urge you to know your audience and take in account the intent of your communication. If you decide to share, make sure your intent is for the growth and betterment of your relationship.  It is okay if you need to vent or if you need some advice. We all go through those moments in our lives (more times than not). Just strive to pick a trustworthy confidant.

Lastly, remember to always return to the source of the emotion. The only way to deal with how you are feeling and build a strong foundation to your relationship is by communicating with your mate. Don’t forget that is who you should always be sharing with!

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So what is the moral of the story?

“Shakespeare’s question reframed,

To share or not to share

The answer goes unnamed

For you to put it there.”

Happy communicating!

Signing off,

Nadine G.

10 Dec

Waiting on the Ring

There is much talk in media about the single black woman syndrome, like it is a disease that is contracted. I have SBWS! It’s almost as bad as the herpes commercials. Everyone is chiming in about why black women are struggling to find Mr. Right, and the mockery of reality television is simply stated “a hot mess.” I will not join in on the band wagon of lumping all black women’s situation into a blob of nothing. Just like all women, black women face a variety of situations that affect their dating life. Moreover, the truth is that not every woman is waiting on a ring. Whatever your culture and where ever you are in the relationship realm, these two strategies should help obtain what you want. You must know who you are and know who you are dealing with. Sounds cliché, but it is true.

Know who you are

Focus on You: Sometimes we spend too much time worrying about an addition to self instead of focusing on self. It is a hard lesson, but you cannot love anyone else if you do not love yourself. If you choose not to spend time on getting to know you, all the time you spend on getting to know someone else is wasted. I say this because once you do find out who you are, that person may no longer match. More dangerously, this choice may hinder you from ever finding your true self, and you may find yourself caught up in everyone else’s definition of you. Make the wise choice to love and spend time on knowing you. Remember this is not a quick fix and does not happen in one “ah ha” moment. It should be a lifelong lesson.

Be self aware: There is no reason to learn a lesson if you do not use the information. If you discover that you are sarcastic 80% of the time, be aware of how that affects you and the people around you. This is true about any character trait, moral standard, like, dislike, strength, talent, weakness, etc.

Know what you want, need, and the difference between the two: I know it sounds like a personal ad: “6’3, bald, athletic, with a high paying job. Must like long walks in the park, be supportive, have a good sense of humor, love to talk, and love God!” We often joke about this, but it is true. You don’t need to take your list on a clipboard to every date, but you must know what you want physically, financially, socially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. After you make that list, think about what you need. Needs are things that fulfill your spirit. It’s like food, it is essential to your well-being. For example, “I need someone who will communicate and work with me to solve a conflict.” Wants and needs are both important, but different. Needs are a fact and unchangeable. Again like food, you need it to survive. However, wants are preferences. Wants are subject to flexibility and change as necessary. Don’t get stuck on the fact that you want someone who is 6’3 and think that is a need.

Know what you can and cannot tolerate: If you were allergic to peanuts (and there was no Benadryl around), would you eat it? It the same with personality traits and behaviors. If you know yourself well, you will know what you can tolerate. I love to debate, but I totally dislike a man who loves to debate. It gets under my skin. We would make great friends, but in a relationship, it would be disastrous. If you want to try the peanuts for the fun of it, that’s a chance you are taking. However, the safer option is to opt for some fruit instead.

Know who you are dealing with

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Distinguish between Right and Right Now: People come in and out of your life. However, everyone is not meant to be in it for the long haul. Don’t be mistaken. Right Now is very tricky. He or she often looks like they could be Right, but you always have to maintain a discerning eye. How did you and this person begin dating and what were the parameters set? Are you just playing? Is the relationship serious? Are you on the same page in terms of what you want from each other? Are we growing together or are we on individual paths? By answering these questions honestly, you will be able to determine if the relationship is just for a season.

Dealing with WHO you are dealing with: If you meet a sanitation worker, do not be mad when the man comes home smelling stinky. If you are dating a make-up artist, don’t start complaining that she wears too much make-up. It is illogical. We often make the mistake of trying to make the person we are with the person we want them to be. The better option is being with the person who is what you need them to be (or is at least willing to grow in a positive way). Note: You cannot change anyone. If you cannot accept the person for who s/he is, don’t get into the situation. Wouldn’t you want someone who accepts you for you?

Be Flexible: Learn from your past, but don’t make it your present. If your last boyfriend cheated, don’t hold the grudge that all men are cheaters. If you last girlfriend liked to argue, don’t make the case that all women want to do is fight. It is unhealthy for a new relationship. Take each new relationship at face value, and allow the person to establish their own worth in your life. Also don’t make the mistake that all people operate the same way. You must be flexible. If cooking dinner worked as something special in the last relationship, don’t be disappointed if that doesn’t really matter to the new guy or gal. Maybe the new gal would like fast food and the new guy sees playing the Wii with you as more special. If you become stagnant in your relationships, growth will halt.

Be honest with yourself: Don’t act like a lion can be a pet dog. You may want to see a lion at the zoo for entertainment, but don’t bring it home. Do I need to say anything more?

Communicate: Talk. Talk some more. Communication is the foundation for any relationship. Once you have a strong foundation, you can move onto construct the rest of the house. If the foundation is shaky, see if you can fix it. If you can’t make it solid, find a new plot of land before building a house. Do not build a relationship on shaky principals and expect it not to falter. Again, this is illogical thinking.

Prioritize what is important: What is more important? Is it the wedding? Or is it the marriage? Let’s use pop culture as our example. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries spent an exorbitant amount of money on an elaborate wedding which ended in divorce not even a year later (72 DAYS TO BE SPECIFIC). Where should have the focus been? On putting on the show that everything is beautiful? Or on building a life that is beautiful? In any relationship, stay focused on the true goal of that relationship.

So what is the moral of the story?

“Knowledge is power,

Know you, know who you are with

Build strong foundations.”

Ps – If you are waiting on that ring, remember: if he likes it, he’ll put a ring on it! Don’t wait! Be confident in your choice and allow it to manifest naturally!

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Signing off,

Nadine G.

02 Dec

Tis The Season

As the warm cloak of summer fades, the cold begins to tempt the mind and body with supplements for the sun. One of the most natural forms of heat is body heat. There seems to be an insurgence of skin hunger – the craving for body to body contact. In urban communities, it is often called cuffin’ season. It’s the time when the handcuffs come out, and you get locked up in the house with your partner. This is a figurative statement. You don’t have to go out to Ricki’s and get some cuffs unless you’re into that sort of thing! In general, it is a time when people begin to go out less and stay in more. Sounds fun at first glance, but navigating cuffin’ season can be treacherous for the single person. Dating in general is complicated, but dating during this season is even more troublesome and filled temptations. So if you happen to be single, here are some words of advice:

Put the handcuffs away

Seriously!

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Pick Up a Hobby

Do you like to dance? Find a dance class! You want to get a workout? Join a Gym! You want to get creative? Go to an art class! Like sports? Join a team! Think about what it is you like and go for it!

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Get Social

Go out and be social. Put down the Facebook and E-harmony and go outside. There is no need for you to go into hibernation! Spend quality time with your friends and family. If you are dating, this is a great way to get to know a new person. If you aren’t dating, it’s a great way to meet a new person. Go to special events, go dancing, or visit a museum. There are a million things to do in NYC. Make the best of your city and say thank you by exploring it!

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Don’t get stuck inside

If you have a prospect, dating during this season often starts to take a turn. You’ll begin to hear, “It is cold outside. Why don’t you just come by my place?” You may even begin to hear those words come out of your mouth! Do everything in moderation. Remember staying in the house too much, starts to lead to other temptations and if you are not ready to get muddy, do play with pigs! Don’t forget that there are really fun things to do in the winter outside of your house. If you don’t mind the cold, go ice-skating. It can be a fun and an intimate experience. If you rather be indoors, check out a movie (at the theater), go to dinner, or check out a holiday show.

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Avoid taking the shortcut to relationships

If you just met someone, don’t rush into a relationship. Hormones are high, and making a decision when hormones are high is never a good choice. Remember women and men think differently. You may think you’re falling in love, and he may just be falling in lust. You may be excited to get her a holiday gift, and she may just be a gold digger. Don’t get discouraged by the above caution; there are healthy relationships that start in cuffin’ season. Just make sure you think before you act and take your time.

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Don’t be afraid to be alone

It is okay if you are not dating during this time. Do not be sad! Take the time to explore YOU! Do things that make you happy. Reflect on what is that you want and need. The law of attraction definitely works. By taking care of you, you will be putting excellent energy in the air that will lead your Right to you. Just be patient and Do You!

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So what is the moral of the story?

“Though the winter chill pricks your spine

Remember in relationships to take your time

The warmth of the body may be alluring

But it is the mind and spirit that is enduring.”

Tis the season! Make it a happy, productive one!

Signing off,

Nadine G.