Business, Life and Marriage

Seven Ways To Be A More Put Together Person

BB lATEST pOST.pngPeople always say to me that they think I have my s#!t together, but in reality, who does? We’re all humans working to live the best lives possible, and we often lose sight of the meaning of life. We’re all not here to be perfect, but there are ways that you can make yourself feel and look like a more composed individual to better assist yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. Enjoy a few of my favorite ways to look and feel like you have it all together!

CREATE A BALANCE BETWEEN PLANNING AND SPONTANEITY

I’m sure my husband sometimes wants to kill me because I’m a planner. I like to know all the details, times, dates and everything in between when putting something together. Even something so little as making dinner and grocery shopping requires me to plan out our weekly meals and prepare a shopping list in advance. This type of routine helps me to organize my day, set my expectations and make everything run smoothly. Although life isn’t as according to the plan, it’s OK to know when to go with the flow, but creating a happy balance between the two can help you to be a more reliable person. Knowing your schedule helps you to set plans and be coordinated to ensure successful meetings, events and just-for-fun days.

TIPS TO BE A BETTER PLANNER:

  • Create a public calendar in your home (dry erase calendars are great!) that everyone can share their important monthly events on, like work schedules, sporting events and doctor appointments. Find a system that works for your family.
  • Plan out your meals for the week and make a grocery list with ingredients for all three meals each day.
  • Create a bucket of note cards that house date night or family night ideas. Dedicate a night to family time and pick an activity from the bucket to add a little spontaneity to a planned evening.

ROUTINE AND CONSISTENCY

Routines play into planning – being consistent with your day helps not only for your expectations to be set for the day, but also to help others understand how you work. Monday through Friday, my husband knows that I work, go to the gym and make dinner and asking for a weekday date night doesn’t fit into my routine unless we plan ahead. When I workout with others, they rely on me being there and if I didn’t have a routine, I wouldn’t be seen as reliable for showing up. Routine and consistency plan into accountability and being there when it matters for yourself and others.

TIPS FOR CREATING A BETTER ROUTINE:

  • Develop a routine strictly for Monday through Friday, and leave the weekend open for a more free-slow approach to activities. This way, no one feels like they are locked into a full-time schedule.
  • Integrate others into your routine to help you stick with it and reinforce it. Find a gym buddy that will push you to go four days a week with them or go grocery shopping only on Monday nights with your significant other.
  • Create a checklist – list everything you need to do every morning or evening and follow it to help you build a routine. Keep it in a place where you will actually use it.

HAVE A SIGNATURE STYLE

The way you look is your first impression walking into any room. People visually see you before they hear you speak so creating a signature style that works for you is important. For myself, I like to keep it classy with a twist of modern edge, simplicity and sexiness. Form fitting attire with modest neck lines, retro color combinations and edgy accessories are some things that many can expect consistently from me because that’s the way I like to express my personality in my signature style. Identifying the key words that fit you, and finding a style within those, is what makes it your signature style. Yes, this may seem shallow, but looking put together includes your physical appearance.

WAYS YO DEVELOP A SIGNATURE STYLE:

  • Find a fashion style that works with who you are as a person. Save social media images and web images for inspiration and reference them when shopping for clothes.
  • Be consistent when purchasing clothes and accessories. Coordinate colors you like and buy neutral accessories to double your outfit possibilities.
  • Buy seasonal wardrobes – pack away seasonal clothing when not in use and change it out to create diversity in your wardrobe throughout the year.

KEEP IN CONTACT

This is one that I definitely slack on from time to time. I have a horrible tendency of reading text messages and putting my phone down without responding. It’s nothing personal, I usually just have a million thoughts running through my minds at once so my attention span dissipates quickly. Being reliable, in contact and responsive is incredibly important to making yourself look consistent and composed. Responding in a timely manner is equally as important and creating the consistent way you communicate helps people to see you as more put together.

WAYS TO BE BETTER AT KEEPING IN CONTACT:

  • Schedule coffee dates with friends every month i.e. Coffee with Kelly every 1st Saturday of the month. Not only are you setting a routine, but you’re pre-setting time with people so you don’t forget about them for months at a time.
  • Make it your mission or part of your weekly routine to call or text someone you haven’t talked to for a while.
  • Comment and like other peoples’ posts on social media more often. Create encouraging posts that let people know you’re thinking about them.

ROUND OUT YOUR LOOK WITH MORE THAN CLOTHES

Signature style, check. But what about yourself, like hair, makeup, nails and accessories? Treating your body as well as your material belongings is key because your body is a representation of you. If you look like you just rolled out of bed, it will be hard to take anything else seriously because you don’t take the time to give yourself the attention and detail needed to sell, yourself. Put some time into maintenance, like washing your face regularly, styling you hair instead of messy buns every day (men, trimming your beard), and even wearing perfume or cologne. Depending on what your style is, find a way to care for yourself in that. This also helps with confidence because I personally feel more ready to take on the day when I look my best from head-to-toe.

TIPS TO ROUND-OUT YOUR LOOK:

  • Treat yourself to a mani-pedi once a month.
  • Don’t budget on haircuts. Spend a little extra to visit a salon versus the cheaper alternative.
  • Create a skincare routine that works for your schedule. A simple cleanser can go a along way with making your skin glow.
  • Find bags, jewelry and shoes that are neutral enough that you’re not constantly having to buy each for just one outfit, but stylish enough to stand out. Invest in higher quality pieces rather than multiple low-quality single-outfit accessories. Your closet space will thank you.

MAINTAIN, ORGANIZE AND STYLE YOUR HOME

Your home is your den and salvation. It’s the one place we feel like we can just let go, but you have to remember that you;re constantly welcoming people into it, whether it be professionals or friends and family. These people all formulate a holistic opinion of you based on these factors and it’s important that your home is also a representation of who you are. We all have that friend who’s home is just a couch, a few old blankets and a television – don;t be that friend. Add a flair of you to your home with decor and keep it well maintained. Pick up your clothes, wash dishes and make your bed every day, dedicate a day every week to more deep cleaning tasks like vacuuming and laundry, then make sure that all of your belonging s are organized in a way where they aren’t falling out of the closet every time you open it.

One of the greatest journeys I’m embarking on in 2018 in simplifying my life, and that starts with my home. After reading Emily Ley’s A Simplified LifeI have truly taken to heart the importance of minimizing stuff for maximizing life which plays heavily into me feeling and looking like a more put together person.

TIPS TO HOME STYLE AND MAINTENANCE:

  • Use budget stores and clearance sections to style your home. They may be cheap, but you can make them your own. Thrift shops, hobby stores (like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby) and large stores like Target often have create sales items that can be transformed for your style with a little paint or design.
  • Use online platforms like Pinterest or design shows to find what style really speaks to you. Create a virtual inspiration board with photos you love and shop pieces similar. Don’t have a big budget? Try DIY’ing something like these nightstands to fit your style.
  • Create a daily routine to maintain your home: Every morning, load the dishes in the sink in the dishwasher, throw a load of laundry in the washer and pick up anything laying on the floor. Every night, create a second routine: put clothes in the dryer before dinner and fold them after dinner, unload the dishwasher and prepare your needs for the next day.

BELIEVE YOU CAN BE BETTER

The biggest issue is that people lack confidence that they can be this kind of person. They lack the skills to be creative, organized and fashionable, but these are all skills that can be learned. Truly, the only person holding you back from being a better you is you. With the internet and mobile technology, you can find any resource you want at any time of the day to make this journey easier and more efficient.

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Business, Life and Marriage

Why I Picked Up A Side Hustle Outside My Full Time Job

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I think we can all agree that life is demanding, and at a young age, we quickly learn the value of a dollar. Our twenties are a time to explore the world and learn greater knowledge, but we can all agree the life-changing moments of this decade don’t come cheap. Falling in love, getting married, buying a new car, investing in a home, or even having kids – everything requires additional money that we all know we don’t have, but life doesn’t wait for us or that new job we’re hoping for. I started my first side hustle two years ago and haven’t stopped since, and you can do it too to save for those important life moments.

To me, there are three qualities you need to have to be successful in a side hustle: passionate, self-motivated and hungry. By hungry, I don’t mean lacking food, but I mean needing something more than you have now, like more money or something more to do. But, of the three, self-motivation is most important. It’s up to you to determine if you’re going to do a side hustle, and we all know you’re tired after a week of work and love sitting on the couch all weekend, but only you can get yourself up and work.

When I started Sarah Elizabeth Custom Designs, I was following my passion for design and weddings to do something that I couldn’t find as a bride: a custom stationery set without the expensive price tags. It started as more of a passion project than a money generator, but this small side business in now starting year three and my revenue for a few hours a week has brought almost an additional $10,000 to my pocket annually. Turning your passion into a side hustle doesn’t mean you have to quit your full-time job, but if you love what you’re doing, you don’t feel like you’re working a second part time job and you might as well benefit from it.

Don’t have a cool, creative skill set to share with the market? Don’t worry, there are tons of ready-to-join side hustles out there for everyone. My husband and I recently started driving for Uber Eats. An extra 5 hours of work each week for one of us brings in about $100 and it pays direct deposits weekly, making it easy for some quick cash. You can also create your own schedule, turning on your app when you feel like it, and taking that sick day when you don’t. I love doing this job in my spare time because it’s thoughtless and effortless – pick up the food, drive to the house, and drop it off. That’s it and the money is all electronic so no cash or card handling. Sometimes, it’s not about personal growth and following your passion, but helping others with something so simple as delivering food.

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The extra money each week with our side hustles has helped us to save up for a new house, pay off some debt, and save for our future. Some people have asked if I have ever felt ashamed of having a side hustle – mostly referring to the fact that it may appear to others that we’re suffering financially to need to work all week long – but to be honest, we have never felt that way. We are doing what’s right for our family. Our usual salaries for our 9-to-5 jobs work for us to pay for a roof over our head and the things we need in life, but our side hustles give us freedom to pay off those big bills faster, get the things we really want, and do things we love, like travel. There’s no shame in doing a side hustle, especially since my husband and I work opposite schedules some days, and it gets us out of the house when we’re home alone. Embrace what life has given you and hard work will pay off with reward.

See my favorite side hustles that you can sign up for!

UBER/UBER EATS (Use Code SARAHC512OUE when signing up!)
WAG! DOG WALKING
SELL CRAFTS ON ETSY
CAR WASHING/YARD MAINTENANCE
BABY/PET SITTING
TEACH A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
TUTOR
FREELANCE DESIGN
TEACHING YOGA/FITNESS
COACH A SPORT

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Business, Life and Marriage, Shopping

Seven Inspirational Books To Maximize Your 2018 Resolutions

Be better, feel better, do better – these are just a few of the topics we wish for in the new year for ourselves. We all want to be stronger, better and more efficient individuals dominating at life just like the next person, but we all can’t just start doing that on our own. I have found that reading new strategies, enjoying new points of views can really assist in supporting you mentally and emotionally in a new or improved journey forward in life. Whether it be about life, careers or just plain growing up, books are a great resource for finding information you need to take your journey to the next level.

To Simplify And Streamline Your Lifestyle

Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy by Emily Ley

Now, these two books are very vastly different from each other, but each pose a good strategy to tackle life. Grace Not Perfection is a great book focused on finding your path through life and motivating yourself to find the balance you need. As the founder of her own business and planner products, Emily Ley found life to be insanely overwhelming and used her reflection to create a life plan that allowed for greater focus on family and growth versus profit margins and sacrifice. Focusing on simplifying your life and generating joy is the key strategy to a happy, long-lasting love for something you life every day.

A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living by Emily Ley

To expand on these ideals, A Simplified Life walks you through the different parts of your life journey to remove the clutter that causes your life to be so clogged up and be ruthless in forging your own journey. I am currently working my way through this wonderful book outlined more like a guide, each chapter being independent and focusing on a singular, easy to read topic. As a busy individual, taking the time to sit down and focus on one topic is easy, with to-the-point methods and lists that can be quickly referenced at any given moment while working your way through the learning path.

Find these books on Amazon.

To Embrace A Deeper Love

The Five Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman

Do you truly know exactly what makes your spouse or significant other fall in love with you? Do you know what it takes for you to fall in love with someone else? Although these questions are not directly answered, The Five Love Languages walks you through the way that each of us feel and enjoy love. With funny stories that we can all relate to and interesting results from a “quiz” at the end of the book, discovering your love language(s) and that of your significant other can be shocking. Having been with my (now) husband almost four years, this book opened my eyes to how I can better maintain and grow our relationship through understanding what makes him love me for more than just my physical being. This book is highly recommended for couples or those who are looking to better understand themselves when it comes to love.

Find this book on Amazon.

To Find Happiness And Comfort

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Witing

First lesson of Hygge: it’s pronounced hoo-ga. This Danish philosophy is one dating back many centuries to the basic lifestyle this culture embraces – comfort, togetherness and well-being. These basic three steps to happiness were crafted by the author, also the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, and teach you to embrace the life you have to create the most beautiful surrounding inside and out. Embracing your now and future are so incredibly important through the foundation of this writing and it’s a great source for those looking to make a happiness shift in their life.

Find this book on Amazon.

To Grow Yourself Professionally

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

This wonderful book was gifted to me by an old mentor many years ago, and it has always been a solid staple on my bookshelf. It’s a great and quick read for those who want to learn the art of business from a professional point of view, learning to generate relationships and building a strong brand in yourself to take you far in the world. This handy guide is surely a must read for college students and new adventurists in the world who want to see themselves go far.

Find this book on Amazon.

Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women by Otegha Uwagba

Strong, independent, learning – these are a few words to describe women who should read this book. Little Black Book is a quick read to spark your thoughts about your place in the professional world and growing your brand from O.K to extraordinary. We all know that women are looked upon in today;s modern society different from our male counterparts, so why not learn how to make ourselves the dominate sex in the workplace? This book is the perfect guide to everything about becoming a boss babe and I completely embrace its ideals and tips daily!

Find this book on Amazon.

To Channel Greater Spirituality

The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace: The Essential Life and Teachings by Dalai Lama

Several years ago, when seeing the Dalai Lama live in one of his famous speeches, I listened to his words about finding inner peace and peace with your god before all else. Many of us seek comfort in religion and spirituality, but many of us fail to truly find the meaning. We pray hoping for answers and cry when we fail to see results. Finding the true answer to inner peace and faith is one of the many teachings that the Dalai Lama preaches in this book, and it embraces the comfort of small lessons we can live out day-to-day. No matter your spirituality path, all people from Atheists to Christians and beyond can find peace and love in their spirituality through these words and pages.

Find this book on Amazon.

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Business, Life, Life and Marriage, Shopping, Travel

My Favorite Accessories for an On-The-Go Life

My life is constantly on the go: work, gym, shopping, client meetings… it seems like it never ends! I’m lucky to be in my youthful years and have the hustle required to work 12 to 14 hours minimum a day before laying my head down, but this doesn’t mean that it’s any easier to carry my daily life in a bag. I often get swamped down with multiple bags filled with heavy gadgets and accessories to make the diverse activities of my day complete. It took me some time, but I have found the PERFECT accessories for any on-the-go boss babe (or dude) to make your life just a little easier.

Work: The Microsoft Surface Series

This little piece of heaven is something I’ve been wishing Santa would bring in my stocking every year: the functionality and portability of a laptop without the weight and chunkiness makes the investment totally worth it. Because they have so many models to choose from, you can find the right fit for any type of use you need, and the price can be cheaper than an iPhone! Anyone that’s every invested in a Macbook knows the pocketbook pain, and this little tablet with the removable keyboard, mouse and stylist makes your wallet and should feel more comfortable when speeding through the city streets or commuting from meeting to meeting.

Capture: HP Sprocket Photo Printer

For any one that needs printing on the go for photos needs this tech gadget! being the size of your palm is just the start – anyone who takes photos on the go with the need for instant printing can truly benefit from the HP Sprocket. Print photos instantly from your mobile device to share with others and or set it up at a party as a DIY photo booth. The uses for this can be truly endless.

Tip for photographers: Use this portable device to print instant photos at weddings or special events. Gift them to the host before the event ends to share immediately with friends and family. Our photographer gifted us with original Polaroids before our departure at our wedding and it has been one of the best gifts we have ever received so far!

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Schedule: Sugar Paper Planners and Notebooks

I have searched year after year for the best planners for my functional life. I’m constantly on the go, so size, quality and weight matter. The last few years I have heavily invested in them and finally found an answer: the Sugar Paper planners. Not only are they made of extremely high quality paper with wonderful, textured fabric wrapped hard covers, but the minimalist appeal to me has allowed for me to make this planner my own. I opted to go with their larger size this year with the 2018 Desk Agenda featuring weekly and month pages to keep my life straight (and because I LOVED that it didn’t have a coil in it that would get crushed in my jam-packed bag). The best part: they have a line at Target with equally cute and function styles at a lower price point!

Carry: Kate Spade Off The Grid Dessie Charging Laptop Bag8ARU2132_001_2.jpg

A girl needs a fashionable and functional back in business, plus you’ll need something to carry all of your on-the-go needs, so invest in something worth the time and stress and you’ll use it for. It’s perfect for a 15″ laptop or tablet, planner, notebook and your accessories to make it through the long day. Add the shoulder strap for functionality to take it on the go in the most comfortable way for you.

Write: Sharpie Fine Tip Art Pens

I’ll admit – I’m kind of a pen snob. I will buy packs and packs until I find one that gives me the consistency and feel I like, plus the color selection to color code the many files I have. The Sharpie Fine Tip Art Pen set is perfect for everyone from the creative minds who doodle their days away to the business women looking for neat writing on notebooks, planners and papers. Just like the traditional Sharpie pens, this set offers a smooth feeling for long days in the office and meetings.

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Business

Be Like a Boss

When I first left college, I didn’t want a job where suits were a requirement everyday, and yet I found myself just there, simply because no one took my resume and me seriously. Entry-level jobs required experience in this backwards market, but I was entry level and had nearly none, besides internships. The question is, how did I dig myself out of that stereotypical rut that is being a new graduate to become a successful manager-level employee by 25? Here are my true tips to owning your professional self.

 

Know Your S#!t and Keep Growing – How do you possibly expect future employers to take you seriously if you don’t take your knowledge and experience seriously? No, this is not saying you need a 4.0 in your undergrad – zero employers in business care about that – it means that you need to embrace and expand on what your text books taught you. Sure, you no know what social media platforms each demographic is most populous on, but HOW can you apply that knowledge to the business and help it grow? That’s what employers want to hear, not just you spitting back facts of what you’ve done. Analyzing and advising are two traits everyone needs to posses – These show you that you think about more than just the facts and can formulate ideas from them.

Dress to Impress Timelessly – Do not show up to work every day in your old navy khaki bell-bottom pants and a sweater with a funky pattern your grandma gave you. Thanks grandma, but you’re a business person now and you need to be taken seriously, so dress seriously. This doesn’t mean you have to dress conservatively or change your style. Simply assimilate your pieces to what you find your coworkers typically wear. Do you find that coworkers are in more conservative hem and neck lines? Don’t show up to work in a mini skirt or five-inch heels. I encourage everyone to buy staples that fit their style and that are timeless in the business market, like a modern black pant suit with a matching black knee-length pencil skirt, so you get two outfits out of one. Buy a variety of colored dress shirts to mix up the outfit. Spend the money on timeless pieces to keep your wardrobe small and prevent you from needing a new wardrobe for every new job.

Be Simple, Confident and Authentic – It’s important in the interview process from when you send your resume to when you’re hired that the management team thinks you’re the same person. People tend to make over-the-top resumes overloaded with information just because they look cool, then show up to the interview with a mask on for the “perfect person” you think the business wants. On the contrary – show up as yourself and make sure your resume reflects that. Be confident in who you are and the experience (or lack  there of) that you have. Focus on you and what you bring to the business from your skills and experience. Authenticity makes building the business relationship even easier. If you don’t have the experience, show that you can confidently learn quickly and how you’ve done that in the past.

PRO TIP: Come into an interview with research on the business – explore their website, social media, and other platforms needed that you would touch in that role. Then, make sure to mention in the interview what skills and experiences you have that could help improve on those to show your value and commitment to making their business grow. 

Work Harder and Show Character – You may think you’re working hard, but there is always someone working harder. Show your solid work ethic by being timely with projects, and even go a little over-the-top by completing early or giving them a little bit more to make their job easier without making yourself look bad. For example, if your boss asks for data from date X to Y on your business performance, don’t just provide the data, but show them a year-over-year comparison and analysis on how they performed this year versus last, and your recommendations on next steps. Show them that you know what you’re talking about and that you can achieve more than your standard job. Show them that you deserve a job better than what you’re in now.

 

The first few years of my career were rough. I always thought in college that I would become a manager like a snap of your fingers. Being hired into my dream roles never seemed like an issue – until I had to leave Disney. When my contract was coming to an end, I applied for over 50 entry-level jobs and got only one phone call: Wyndham. The last thing I wanted was to go back into hospitality, but I took the job because they said they saw my potential. The job was far from what I wanted to do (content writing – yuck), but I put my everything into it and people praised me for being the dependable and accurate employee. They opened greater opportunities to me and even tore me down when I didn’t follow my own rules, resulting in me losing a promotion. Here I am today in a job that I only thought was a dream six months ago. If you can be yourself and be a mature employee who shows that their knowledge and experience backs up every decision you make, you can be successful just as fast as you hoped in the crazy business world.

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Business, Life and Marriage

Defining Boss Babe

For many years, my friends have added that simple “#bossbabe” to their Instagram posts of blazers and lattes on their way into work, and I always shook my head at the idea that someone could call themselves such a term. At the time, we were college kids with no concept of what life held for us except that tests were hard, but we partied harder. Were we true boss babes? Hardly. It took years for me to explore what this truly meant and why these women opted to embrace it when their definition hardly fit the words they were inscribing in the simple hashtag. Finally, I have felt it; I have embraced the feeling of what it means to be a boss babe.

For many years in your 20’s, you often feel like life is falling apart – student loan debt, the crumbling pressure of marriage and babies, the “you should by now”s that older generations explain, and the relationships you hold all pushing you into deeper stress spirals. But it’s like it clicked overnight. All of the people telling me “life gets better” were right after all. It was like I felt the pressure subside instantly because I opted to embrace the now and the reality that life is never perfect, but your reactions speak louder to who you are than words.

In the last two years, moving back to my home state, planning a wedding, and trying to move my way up the corporate ladder all became something that I found were not supporting who I was because I wasn’t reaching my expectations in the time I was told I should. I found myself becoming this negative person I didn’t want to be, and it was impacting my life around me. Then someone did a “#bossbabe” again on some pointless photo post and I felt defeated. I felt like I could never be the boss babe people looked up to because these other people were doing better than me.

I woke up one morning determined – determined to change myself to be what I wanted to be. I wanted to be physically, mentally, and emotionally positive toward life. I wanted to see the beauty in walking outside everyday and greeting the day like a wonderful challenge. It first started with how I felt in my body: I ate healthier, I found a fitness routine that mentally and physically stabilized me, and I started buying the wardrobe I wanted to wear, not what others told me to.

Mentally and emotionally, I shed myself of the stress of negative people and began simplifying my life from stuff and projects that were not good for me. Negative people and language have no place in my life, as they just continue to bring one down, and embracing those around me who brought hope became the best soothing treatment for my mind.

Now, some time later, I wake up everyday to the joy of what the next 24 hours will bring me. I feel confident in the career as a leader, I feel positive in my body even though I am still motivated toward greater change toward healthiness, and mentally I feel prepared to take on challenges that life throws at me. That’s what being a boss babe means and that’s what I chose to embrace throughout life to continue my path to personal success.

Everyone has the opportunity to change their lives. If you’re not happy, it important to reflect on what you can do to make each day more productive and positive for you. Too many fear that change requires resources and money, but that’s not true and that’s my mission here. I am here to show you how to be a boss babe when you feel like you have nothing left out there to take your life to the next level. Step number one: set yourself a goal, and know that you will achieve it. Set no timelines or expectation, and know that the journey is more important than the result. Begin by enjoying the little things, like a hot cup of coffee or the changing leaves of fall. Those will make your eyes open to wonders of life.

 

View our About page to see our mission statement and more about the author.

 

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