Mind Ready Monday: Make Your Passion a Profession

I’m coming down from a weekend high spent in the Windy City. There’s something about Chicago that makes me feel loved. It might be the deep dish pizza. Or the killer martinis. But I think it’s really the people. Chicagoans are so kind.

I had the privilege of kicking off Simply Stylist’s fashion and beauty conference on Saturday. My job was to inspire attendees to begin turning their passions into a profession. I understand change is terrifying and passions aren’t always [immediately] profitable. Here’s my imperfect take on going after a new venture (plus, a few snapshots from the event).

Photos by Andrew Bruah

THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR AUTHENTICITY. For months, I didn’t begin my blog because I felt the space was already saturated. I questioned my value, my talents and whether there was “room” for me. You too? I think we all do it. But here’s what I’m learning: There’s always room for authenticity. Be different, be passionate and drop the comparisons. You’re enough.

DON’T QUIT YOUR JOB [YET].  Maybe your boss is demanding. You hate your cubicle. And you feel trapped. But if you’re unhappy, begin with brainstorming what you’re passionate about. Be open to make some changes, and leave when you’ve got an imperfect plan in place. You don’t always need to know a precise direction, but you do need a way to pay your bills and a plan to propel forward.

DETERMINE YOUR WHY. I’ve blogged about this one before. In your brainstorming period, determine why you want to be successful. Is it for financial security? For recognition? To serve others? Determining your why will direct you to how you’ll get there— whether it’s through switching careers, going after a new job or beginning a new hobby.

RECOGNIZE YOUR PRIVILEGES. You’re smart, capable and worthy. What a privilege it is to have the ability to go after something you love. You know I’m greatly inspired by my fearless brother, Eric, who goes after every dream of his. Read his powerful story here, if you haven’t already. Rather than letting cerebral palsy stop him, he allows it to fuel him. He has taught me to appreciate my health and the opportunity to be impactful.

SET YOURSELF FREE. I’ll leave you with a favorite quote of mine, from Robert Tew. It says, “Sometimes, what you’re most afraid of doing, is the very thing that will set you free.” Set yourself free.

Meet Me in Chicago!

I’m headed to the Windy City this weekend to celebrate all things fashion and beauty. Meet me there!

Here’s why: I’m kicking off Simply Stylist’s conference Saturday at the Dana Hotel in Chicago. This is an event uniting tastemakers, trendsetters and aspiring entrepreneurs. Those of you eager to make your mark in the blogging, business and beauty worlds will learn from the best and brightest minds.

My friend, Sarah Boyd, is the style maven behind Simply Stylist. She has asked me to speak on the importance of turning your passions into your profession. In today’s world, there are fewer excuses for doing something you don’t love.

Breakout sessions include lessons on branding yourself and building your own empire. You’ll hear from the founders behind The Coveteur, Wendy’s Lookbook, eDrop-Off and CS Magazine, among others. Catt Sadler of E! News is hosting.

Buy your tickets here [$100 or $20, depending on the package you choose].



Mind Ready Monday: Pause, be Happy

Most of the time, the Internet drains me. Too many websites, too much information and too little of it that’s impactful. I spend time browsing useless BuzzFeed articles, like How Obsessed with Pizza are You?”  I actually took the quiz.

Somewhere in between daydreaming about pizza and scrolling through Instagram, the Internet Gods must have known I needed an inspirational boost because I stumbled across my favorite quote, by Guillaume Apollinaire…

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

It seems we’re often “chasing” after happiness, assuming we’ll find it through a new job, a better relationship or a slimmer figure. The truth is, we’ll always be searching for something. So, regardless of what you’re after, pause and be happy with the process.