Failure Is A Gift From God (3 things failure produces in you)

August 30, 2018

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: 
it is the courage to continue that counts."
- Winston Churchill

Raise your hand if you've ever dropped the ball and messed up something that was important to you! You already know that I'm with you! Lol, I've done it many times and in most cases, I've been able to glean valuable lessons from the experience. Although having failure as a teacher can be embarrassing, it's an opportunity for you to graduate and evolve so that you're better prepared for your next season in life.

Over the last few months, I've walked through some exciting life changes and made some huge leaps of faith (I'll share all the details in another post). Did I enjoy the entire ride? *Smh* Nope! Would I change anything about it? Yes!

My initial response was optimism with a strong belief that I am ready! After hearing some comments from a few people around me I got distracted and began to feel discouraged. I knew that what I was experiencing was an incredible blessing and an invitation to fully live life on purpose, but my attitude changed. I began to focus on what was going on around me instead of what was happening FOR me. Did you catch that? There is a huge difference.

When I focused on what was going on around me and how I thought others perceived me I got distracted. I lost my vision and adapted others limited perspective. This only led to me feeling discouraged. However, when I re-evaluated my focus and examined why I felt this way, especially when I strongly believed it was a life-changing opportunity I had to let go of what others thought and follow the path that I worked hard to create and that I knew God laid out for me.

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, 
this time more intelligently."
 - Henry Ford

This eye-opening experience has been better than any personal development book I've read. Some days I would dance out of bed ready to crush every minute and kill 5 major projects in a day (I think I'm superwoman when I'm on cloud 10). Other days I would roll out of bed with a smile on my face and a bruised heart, looking for something to remind me of my purpose. All in all I've learned so many valuable lessons, but here are 3 key takeaways. You ready? Let's go!

1. Long-Term Vision

Failure might make you feel like you've hit a wall or a really high mountain that might kill you if you try to climb it, but here's the truth. It's examination time!

  • What - What are you doing here? What valuable lesson can you learn from this experience? Do you want to continue in this direction? What do you want to be true about your life 1 year from today? What do you need to adjust in your life to get to where you want to be?

  • Where - Check-in with yourself. Where are you right now (emotionally and mentally)?  Process your current thoughts and feelings and then create a plan to get to where you want to be by next month. Do you want to be excited about life again? Do you want to be less stressed and feel more fulfilled? Do you want to be around people that challenge you? What do you want to feel every day? 

  • Why - Why are you here (examine the role you played in why you failed)? Don't overthink or over analyze this step. Just write the first ideas that come to mind. Do you want to continue in this direction or change directions? Why or why not?

  • When - When will you put your new plans into action?  How much time will it take for you to start seeing results?  Get specific, create a timeline.

  • Who - Who do you want to be 1 year from today? What do you need to do to become that person? Is there anyone you can work with to help you navigate through this change? Are there any mentors or coaches you want to work with?

  • How - How did you end up here? How will you adjust your direction to align with where you want to end up next year? Do you need to develop your skills? Is there someone you can train with? 

These powerful questions will help you to sober up and take charge of your next season. You are responsible for the outcome of your life. If you don't like where you're headed change directions. If you want to continue but feel you've hit a roadblock, get creative and figure out how to proceed. You may have to create a new lane.

2. Self-Awareness 

Failure reveals your hidden capabilities. You're unaware of what you don't know about yourself until you're faced with a challenge. Here's an example you may not know that you're a creative writer until you've hit a dead end, start journaling to release your thoughts and then suddenly realize that you enjoy it and you have a gift for writing. You could start painting and then begin to notice over time that most of your work has a clean finish and you have an eye for design and putting colors together. It's unbelievable what you will discover about yourself when you have to figure out creative solutions to problems you're facing.

"Challenges make you wiser, stronger, and more capable. Don't quit."
- Tee Forever

3. New goals

As you evaluate your overall life vision and discover new interest you will begin to set new concise goals and this my friend is where life begins! You were made for more than the common, every day, ordinary endeavors. Your life was meant to be lived on purpose. Sometimes you're on the right path and failure comes to strengthen your skills, knowledge, and so on. Like a fire under your butt forcing you to push yourself. Other times you might be falling asleep, headed in the wrong directions and failure comes to wake you up and say "Hey! You're going in the wrong direction!" either way, failure is a gift from God. When you fail, set new goals.

Failure is always an invitation to something greater. Always. It's a tool to build you up, to bring out the best in you and to challenge you to think more critically. Lol, if we're honest, most of us don't want to fail because it doesn't feel like a promotion, but always remember this secret. If you stay the course, fight for your goals, and push yourself to achieve new heights, failure will become your best friend. It's a tool you will always have in your box of life resources. Until next time, xoxo!

Theresa Forever

3 ways to increase your productivity while resting

August 23, 2018

Rest is a topic that is frequently discussed everywhere. From the latest scientific updates on the news to commercials, trying to sell you comfortable pillows. Here on my blog, I've discussed this quite a bit because I too understand that in our busy culture rest is an important part of ensuring our overall success.

Dreams don't work unless you do.
- John Maxwell

When I first entered the entrepreneurial world I considered rest to be a waste of time. Like many of you, I was managing a lot of responsibilities at home (taking care of family needs, maintaining the house and so on) and I had a day job that consumed my "best energy" (my peak energy levels). If I wanted to take my life to the next level, in my mind, rest was not an option. The grand vision I had for my life was literally like fuel to my body so I didn't feel tired although I knew that rest was important.

For weeks I would work Sunday-Sunday believing that my 8 hours of sleep at night was enough to keep me sharp and effective in the workplace, at home, and as a business owner. After a few months, I learned the hard way. Being productive, achieving your goals and meeting your deadlines is important, but scheduling rest is vital to building momentum.

Our bodies will not always reveal blood when we get a cut nonetheless, you will see the signs of affliction. Whether it's a bruise or feeling sensitive after the injury, you will know that damage has been done. Your mind also works in the same way. You may not feel like you need to slow down or spend a day resting outside getting fresh air, but the effects of no rest will creep up on you.

To avoid risking your health while building your empire, falling behind on your work or experiencing burn out here are 3 things to start implementing:

1. Automate Anything That Can Be Automated

Automation is creating an automatic system that helps you to complete tasks, achieve goals, and crush your deadlines. It's a way to complete your work ahead of time and then distribute or share it automatically at a specific time. You can create an automation that produces work for you on a daily basis, weekly basis, or monthly basis. It is a TIME SAVING gift from God! Trust me! All you have to do is create all of your content ahead of time, get your deadlines in order and then automate (set an appointment for) each project to publish itself at the appointed time.

Here's an example: 
You're a blogger and you post three different blogs three days a week. You also have your first book for sale and you run a very popular podcast that runs one day a week for one hour. The first thing you're going to do is prioritize your tasks. Which deadline is coming first? Probably the blog right? Choose one day during the week to write 3-6 blogs. No matter how long it takes be determined to not move onto another task until you've completed this. Once your most important task is done, schedule an appointment for when it should be published. This is an automation. Depending on the blogging site you use the way to set up an automation will be different, but I'm sure you get the point now, right?

Once your most important tasks are done you work through the second most important tasks and create an automation. Does this make sense? Can you see how simple this is? Automation can change you life giving you more freedom to invest your time into things like rest!

 In business you can automate things like:

  • Emails (welcome, FAQ, set client expectation, etc)
  • Social media post
  • Blog post
  • Podcast
  • Appointment reminders
  • Event reminders
  • And so on
In your life you can automate things like:

  • Dinner - cook everything for the week in advance, freeze it, then reheat it when it's time eat.
  • Paying bills - pre-authorized payments.
  • Emails - automatically send specific emails (like junk) to a junk folder to keep your inbox organized.

2. Add Value To Yourself

To maximize your resting time away spend at least 1-hour adding value to yourself. If I know anything about you, I know that you are growth-oriented, you embrace change and you're up for a challenge. So, why not use the time that you've set aside to rest as time developing yourself. On my rest day, I personally enjoy surrounding myself with content that makes me question my perspective and way of thinking. I try to dive into topics of interest on a deeper level and think critically about why I do what I do and how to improve. The possibilities are endless. You can develop your understanding of anything you want. A few of my favorite subjects to study while resting are:

  • Marriage & parenting
  • Business & marketing
  • The Bible/God
  • Leadership
  • Success & goals

3. Give Your Mind A Break

On your day of rest be intentional about not doing anything related to your work. I'm still learning how to do this efficiently because I enjoy what I do and my life is so intertwined with my business. However, since I've started implementing some of the strategies I've learned over time, now I feel a greater sense of peace and I am more creative after I indulge in rest. My thoughts become clearer making it easier for me to accomplish more in less time (especially with the automation doing most of my routine work). I encourage you to try these activities on your day off they will inspire and revive you.

  • Go on a short road trip - spend a day or two away from home.
  • Explore your community - go for a long walk in the neighborhood
  • Build genuine relationships with the ppl you value - take them out for hot chocolate, grab brunch or do an activity together.

Rest is not always an easy choice, yet it's the best life and business choice you will ever make for yourself. In the word of William Wadsworth "rest and be thankful". Until next time, your friend,

Theresa Forever

5 lessons I learned while running a business on vacation

August 18, 2018

Photo Credit: Nate Evans

Welcome back! 

It feels SO GOOD to be reconnected with you! If you are subscribed to my email list then you know that I went on vacation to Jamaica to slow down and recharge. Yes, hunny! I needed time to rest. However, I went with the WHOLE FAMILY which means my goal to kick my feet up and relax only lasted for about 5 minutes! Lol as most of you parents probably know, traveling with kids means that you've actually signed up to work nonstop for your entire trip. You will be chasing your kids around the beach, the store, and the dining hall as well as telling them to "get over here" a thousand times a day. As parents, we hold the sole responsibility of keeping them entertained throughout the entire journey including the flight. Believe me when I tell you my kids showed NO MERCY in holding me accountable to this! Lol, thankfully our resort had a "kids club" and a nanny service so my husband and I had options *wink*.

Photo Credit: Nate Evans

If you don't know I have 2 girls under 2 years old. My oldest is turning 3 in October so you can IMAGINE what this vacation was like. Sometimes during dinner in the dining hall when it was past their bedtime my 1-year-old would cry for me to hold her and rock her to sleep while my older daughter attempted to make music by banging her fork as loud as she could on a glass plate and bobbing her head along to the beat she created. Lol, can you imagine!? My husband and I would glance at each other and laugh. It was hilarious! Overall my kids are pretty well behaved and it's easy to make them happy so I enjoyed every minute with them (even the challenging ones).

Photo Credit: Valrie Francis

While on vacation the entrepreneur in me was naturally brainstorming and looking for creative problems to solve. My brain was rapidly designing and reconstructing projects that I'm currently working on. It was as if being away from my city, culture, natural environment, social media, and friends gave me a fresh perspective and a blank page to be innovative. It was liberating! I encourage you, whenever you get the chance to spend time away, out of your house, city/country, and away from friends, GET SOME SOLITUDE.

Solitude is pretty much withdrawing from all of the noise around you and realigning your focus, beliefs, and mindset. You will find fresh inspiration, create a vivid vision for your life, and design a unique blueprint to follow. I'm telling you the results you get are worth the time spent. You can do this in long or short periods, but I suggest doing it for a few hours a day when you're just starting out.

As mentioned above I was managing multiple projects at the same time prior to my vacation. A few of these projects had deadlines that were VERY close to my departure date. I had a lot going on and I thought I could complete some of these tasks during my vacation before the deadline, but I WAS WRONG! I experienced some unforeseen challenges (like having no wifi), dropped the ball and almost MISSED A DEADLINE (I wish you could see my facial expression right now)! I was so disappointed in myself, but it taught me a major lesson. Can you guess what it is?

I am not superhuman

As a wife, mom, and entrepreneur I've been able to accomplish more than I thought I could in a short amount of time and produce some incredible results through developing my project management skills, but this time I failed. Am I proud of this? No. Am I glad that I got to experience this? Yes! 

"We learn from failure not from success."
- Bram Stoker

As much as I wish that things had worked out differently I now hold a sober and clear understanding on:

1. The Importance Of Delegating Tasks

I thought about asking for help and delegating this important task over and over before I left, but after a few days I talked myself out of it by saying "girl, don't worry, you will get it done first thing in the morning on your second day of the trip." and "This is easy, routine work you can do with your eyes closed. You will not miss the deadline." Now in foresight, I know that I should have communicated with my team prior to take off and prepared them for things that could go wrong while I was away. I'm happy that we didn't miss the deadline and things could have been a lot worst, however, the pressure I put on myself could've been avoided if I had delegated the important tasks.

2. Being Better Equipped 

Working with deadlines means every minute counts. I should have been equipped to get the job done with or without an internet connection. I know working without internet almost seems impossible because our world is so dependent on it, but there are ways to get things done without it if you are prepared. Now when I travel (except on vacation. Read point number 5) I will always have a backup plan (my own travel wifi stick haha) and all of the necessary resources to ensure that the job gets done no matter how far away from home I am.

3. Trust Your Intuition (Life Lesson)

I had so many internal signals going off trying to get my attention to prepare for potential disruptions but I ignored them. I thought I was being overly cautious and didn't need to enforce new measures. This mistake taught me to trust my judgment and follow my intuition. In following your intuition you might get it wrong, but what happens if you're right? It's better to be over prepared than to ignore the warning signs and have to suffer the consequences (can I get an amen?!). The more you develop this skill, the better you become, and the wiser you will be. Get a head start by starting today.

4. Enjoy Your Failures

"Always remember 
that failure is not the end, 
it's the beginning of a new you."
- Tee Forever 

Instead of beating myself over the head, feeling discouraged and full of self-pity I accepted that my method was wrong. I failed and now I'm a more efficient businesswoman. As leaders, openly sharing your mistake with your team (or people in general) can make you feel vulnerable and insecure, but in truth, your team will see you as trustworthy and you will gain more respect. Honesty and humility always lead to new opportunities. Instead of hiding behind your mistakes expose them, find valuable lessons and learn from the experience and keep going.

"The race is not always to the swift 
but to those that keep on running."
- unknown

5. Greatness Requires Rest

Like I mentioned above, I am not superhuman. Although I knew that I needed rest I didn't take it seriously and still wanted to work during my vacation. I know that some of you share this belief so I have to tell you, YOU ARE NOT SUPERHUMAN either. Yes, you are extremely gifted and full of amazing idea's. Yes, you will create incredible opportunities for yourself but you will need rest to climb your mountain to greatness. Trust me, I had to learn the hard way so let me save you some time. Rest and solitude is not an option. If you want to be great it is a requirement.

All in all my vacation was time well spent. I am looking forward to creating a lifestyle that maintains high levels of working hard and challenging myself while also adapting quiet times of rest and solitude. If you want to join me subscribe to be apart of the Tee Forever Goal Getters community and let's do this together! Until next time!

Theresa Forever

Bet On Yourself

August 2, 2018

Welcome back! If you're new here you couldn't have come at a better time (trust me, keep reading). For the past 8 months we've been working through challenge after challenge after challenge.  Our goal is to develop ourselves and make the most of every opportunity.  Cool, right? I know! So since we've been busting our butt's month after month, this month EVERYONE is getting a break! Lol, YES I said BREAK haha! In August I want you to continue investing in yourself, but also spend time enjoying your closest friends, building your marriage/relationship, and maintaining your spiritual health. I want you to feel refreshed and energized for all of the goodies I have coming up in the next season! Cool? Alright :).

So, a question for you. If I were to ask you to invest $500 into someone that you believe will crush their goals within the next year and if they do your return will be double. (you invest $500 and get $1,000 by this time next year if the person you invest in accomplishes their goal). Who would you invest in?

Related Post: Invest In Yourself

What Kind Of Person Would You Invest In?

Who was the first person that came to mind when you answered the question? Was it just one person or a few people? What kind of character do they have? Why do you believe that they will accomplish their goals? How did they convince you that they are goal-getters?

"Show me someone 
who does a good job, 
I will show you someone 
who is better than most 
& worthy of the company of kings."
- Proverbs

When I first did this exercise a few years ago I chose someone that had a proven record of success. This person made a habit of striving to accomplish bigger, more challenging personal goals and projects. They didn't meet all of their deadlines all of the time but their commitment to their goals and patience with them self was admirable. I learned from watching them that anything is possible if I'm willing to work for it. Now, many years later when I consider someone that I would invest in believing that they will double my investment I think of a few people, but the number one person that I would nominate is myself.

Related Post: This Is Your Sign

Stop Hiding

I'm sure that you can think of many talented and skillful people around you that would probably be good investments BUT I hope that you can also see the value, strengths, and skills within yourself. You are a GOLD MINE. There are so many treasures in you waiting to be unlocked. So many valuable idea's that are currently hiding, waiting for you to do some digging! Don't just sit on your potential, get moving!

"I don't like to gamble, but if there's one thing I'm willing to bet on, it's myself."- Beyonce

I want you to bet on yourself, invest in your dreams, and get cracking on your goals! Show me how much you believe in yourself. Show me that your life can be different than what it is. I know that your a leader, a potential world changers. I know that you have the power to create change in your family and community so come out of hiding and start doing it. Publish your book, produce the album, create change in society. Everyone is waiting for you.

Until next time,

Theresa Forever