Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sourcing Saturday at Pirch

I'm so excited as I am continuing to expand Curva-Lish as a brand that is an empowering lifestyle resource that speaks to the woman who is tuned in with what she wants, what she likes and yet, is also evolving herself to new, authentic places!

Yesterday, I hosted our 1st Curva-Lish hosted event at one of my favorite stores: Pirch!

What is Pirch? To say Pirch is a high-end home appliances store would be missing the point of their existence. The best way to describe this store is in their manifesto about the secret to life:

OUR MANIFESTO: One part Passion, One part Conviction, One part Macaroni and Cheese.
Would you like to know the secret to life?
Okay, but If you don’t mind, we’ll dispense with the drumroll, and just get on with it.
Which, by the way, is the secret to life: GET ON WITH IT.
Live it now, with all your might. Use it up. Wring it out. Leave it gasping in a corner, asking “Did anyone get the license plate number?”
Please remember, there is no second act. Life has no back-button. No rewind. We simply journey through moments, and then those moments are gone.
But what’s that got to do with buying a tub, or a grill, or a range? What’s that got to do with a “Battle Cry”?
Well, we wrote it to remind us of our daily mission. And our mission is to make moments count.
That might take the form of a candle-lit bubble bath. Or game-day steaks with lifetime friends. Or, the world’s best mac & cheese, made by a dad for his three little girls, who will remember that moment for the rest of their lives.
Make no mistake: moments are everything.
And that is the secret to life.

Don't you love that?

Pirch lives out this mission by having in-store events across the country that immerses the community in the uniqueness of their brand and how that immersion leads to customers and clientele who share the beauty of their manifesto.  On Saturdays, that is "Sourcing Saturday" where attendees "learn first-hand about fresh, seasonal ingredients and method cooking".

Yesterday was so much fun and here are some fabulous pics for you to enjoy!  Stay tuned for our next Curva-Lish hosted will be spectacular!

Part of our fantastic Curva-Lish Group!

MORE magazines gifted to each attendee

Getting the purple lettuce ready for the salad

Attendee Evelyn Hall & Pirch Chef checking on the Frittata

The organic tomatoes

Sauteeing the organic vegetables for the egg frittata
Ready to eat!

Of course I can't show you the over 40 pictures we took but the final product was fun, engaging and so darn good!  It included a mushroom/parsnips side dish, flank steak, mixed greens salad with goat cheese, grapefruit coated in a grapefruit vinaigrette,  and an egg frittatta!  It was topped with the chef taking some homemade ice cream and working it over a block of salt before being scooped up in bowls.  The ice cream had a sweet/salty taste that was perfectly divine!

Check out Pirch and go have some fun with your friends...let them know Curva-Lish sent ya!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Special Rate for Bon Appetit

I recently became a member of the Conde' Nast Style Society and feel extremely proud to be associated with such a vast media brand.

For our Curva-Lish readers, I wanted to let you know about this exclusive special offer for Conde' Nast's Bon Appetit (for a limited time only)!

Subscribe to Bon Appetit, just $4.99/year from! Use Promo Code: 4241

Thursday, March 26, 2015

My Favorite Things: Target Style Furniture

Although it is still cold in some parts of the country, it has been spring like here in Texas.  All this spring weather has me dreaming of walks on the lake and outdoor barbeques.

To get you started for spring, I thought I'd share my favorite things right now from Target Style:

You can shop for both inspired looks HERE!

Bring it on Spring!

Note: this post contains affiliate links and Curva-Lish will earn commissions from purchases made using link. Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Revisiting The 5 Love Languages

As Oprah would say, the one thing I know for sure is this: you can not live an authentic life without providing yourself with the tools that can help you love better, live on purpose better, get a better vision for your life, help you figure out how to experience your purpose and serve others in this world, etc.

This blog is ALL about informing, engaging and making you think about what it means to live an authentic life.  Today I found out that you can take the "The 5 Love Languages" test for free!  (See below for the link to take the test)

This post is inspired to provide you with a tool that can help you identify your love language (what you need to feel loved and establish a true connection) and please forward and share this with your spouse, children, girlfriends and other loved ones who you care about so that you both can speak each others' love language!  Relationships and connection are one of our most genuine, human needs and knowing the "The 5 Love Languages" will reaffirm your awareness of your own need and the need(s) of those you most care about...

What is the "5 Love Languages"?
The 5 Love Languages® profile will give you a thorough analysis of your emotional communication preference. It will single out your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to connect and deepen your relationships with others.

Five languages:

This language uses words to affirm other people.

For these people, actions speak louder than words.

For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift.

This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.

 To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.

* All icons of the five languages are courtesy of the "The 5 Love Languages" organization.

Why the "The 5 Love Languages" (from the creator)?
"I believe that our deepest emotional need is the need to feel loved. If we are married, the person we would most like to love us is our spouse. If we feel loved by our spouse, the whole world is bright and life is wonderful. On the other hand, if we feel rejected or ignored, the world begins to look dark.

When couples read "The 5 Love Languages", they discover why they lost the romantic feelings of courtship and how emotional love can be rekindled in their relationship. Once they begin speaking each other’s primary love language, they are surprised to see how quickly their emotions turn positive. With a full love tank, they can now process their conflicts in a much more positive manner and find solutions that are workable. The rebirth of emotional love creates a positive emotional climate between the two of them and they learn to work together as a team—encouraging, supporting, and helping each other reach meaningful goals.

And it's not just for married couples. There's a book for singles too...It’s entitled "The 5 Love Languages Singles Edition". In the book, I seek to help single adults apply the love language concept in all their relationships. I begin by helping them understand why they felt love or did not feel love growing up as a child. 

I also help singles apply the love language concept in their sibling relationships, work relationships, and dating relationships. I have been so encouraged by the response of single adults. I hope that if you are single, you will discover what others have discovered. Expressing love in a person’s primary love language enhances all relationships."

What is the Test?
You will now see 30 paired statements. Please select the statement that best defines what is most meaningful to you in your relationships with others. Both statements may or may not sound like they fit your situation, but please choose the statement that captures the essence of what is (or would be) most meaningful to you, the majority of the time. Allow 10 to 15 minutes to complete the profile. Take it when you are relaxed, and try not to rush through it.

Here's to believing that you get all the love you deserve, all the love you desire and extend all the love you get to others (I call this grace)...

Note: Curva-Lish has an affiliate partnership with and purchases made through the links to the book results in Curva-Lish earning a small commission used to operate this website.  Thanks for your support!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Power of Trusting Your Gut

I just had a note sent to me by a fellow entrepreneur of a woman-owned business that read: "Thank you Quenita.  Your gut was correct."

Why the message?  Let me explain...

A few months ago a fellow business owner in a group we all belong to reached out to gain new clients. This business owner ran a PR firm.  I sent a note to the owner inquiring about services.  To make a long story short, through our email exchange, something didn't sit right with gut was giving me warning signals.

It was so odd to me, since I didn't personally know this PR firm owner, that I talked about it with one of my male best friends because I thought I was being too much of a "woman" about it.  My best friend encouraged me to just roll with what my gut was telling me and don't over-think it.

So guess what I did?  I spent the next few days doing exactly that: over-think.  I was trying to make my head and reason understand and justify what my gut was telling me.

The Over-Think:  I kept telling myself that I'd be helping a fellow woman-owned business, I'd be missing out on perhaps some affordable rates by not securing the firm, I'd never get my blog or business to grow without PR help, etc, etc, etc.

After a few days, I made myself move on and deleted all the email correspondence so that I wouldn't be tempted to go back to it.  I made a decision that good, bad or indifferent, I was going to trust my gut and move on with no regrets.

What I have observed over the past few months has been awkwardly confirming:
I have seen this PR firm owner bash and talk badly about clients on Facebook.  And when you work with one-on-one clients, no matter the profession, what you work on with them can be considered confidential.  I believe it is extremely un-professional to speak bad about clients over social media!  So imagine my shock at seeing post after post from the PR firm owner about clients!

And this bring me to the message I received "Thank you Quenita.  Your gut was right."

This message came from another woman-business owner who is apart of our group who made a post seeking out help from fellow members about not hearing from the PR firm owner after securing her services and pre-paying.  When I read the post, my heart went out to the other business owner.

The business owner made the post seeking out information on whether anyone knew the PR firm owner, contact information and personal experiences.  That's when I private messaged her to share my thought about how my gut sense made me make a decision to not hire the PR firm owner, etc.

Trusting your gut is something that can take a lifetime to develop and learn how to trust it and use it.  I  know that there were times when I either didn't listen to my gut or made a wrong call thinking it was my gut telling me to do something.  I don't know if there is one right or wrong way, all I know for sure is that your gut is a muscle that is meant to be used and it can only get stronger through use.

My best advice: use your gut and learn to trust it as a way to protect yourself!  That's what it's there for!  I can't explain it further, I don't know what the scientific explanation of it means and I certainly can't explain the spiritual detail of it's purpose other than to tell you to use it!  Don't question it, don't look back.  Use it and be okay even if you never receive confirmation that it was or was not accurate (like I did in the above example).  Just use it!

Have you had a positive or negative experience where you relied on your gut?  I'd love to hear about it...

Thrive: Loyalties and Setting Boundaries

I was inspired to write this post because I had an aha moment of something that seems to be a reoccurring, cyclical problem for me:  I am loyal to a fault.

What do I mean by this? 

I mean, I am the person that seems to continually bump into situations whereas I will assume that my loyalty towards a person or situation is well-founded but then end up days, months, years later believing that same loyalty but get hurt in the end.

Let me give you some examples:
  • A friend tells me she has a goal that is really important to her.  I go all-in and not only tell her she can do it but I send articles, information or make a connection for her that I believe can help her achieve that goal.  Months may pass and at a hapapy hour over a glass of wine, we are chatting and she says, "Oh, you know I am going to be switching jobs because I need the paycheck."  I sit surprised because taking that job will be a direct contratian action to fulfilling her goal she said was important to her.  After questioning her a bit, I find out she had abandoned the pursuit of the goal months ago and never read the article or called the contact I setup for her to help her achieve her goal. What?!?!
  • I get a new client who aspires to reach a goal and secures my coaching services to make it happen.  The passionate pursuit of their goal starts out strong with assessments, great exercises to gain clarity and the development of a great plan to make it happen.  Within a few months of working on the execution of the plan...fizzle.  I get the obligatory call or email that goes something like, "I have loved our work together but ___ (fill in the normal excuse people make for not realizing their goals)"
  • A friend has a big issue with another student #10 in a leadership program.  I really like and have befriended student #10's best friend who is also in the program.  Out of loyalty to my friend, I stop being friendly to student #10 and her best friend.  Years past by and it turns out that I become closer to student #10's best friend and get to know student #10 better...student #10 is a great person!  I judged student #10 based on the opinion of my friend whom I had only known for a year and thought I was being loyal to by not extending friendliness to them.  And guess what, I am no longer friends with that friend! Shake my head...
I am being open and honest about this because I believe more people struggle with this than they will admit or are aware of.

I was talking with my sister the other day and she was telling me that she has a similar problem that she does with people and don't know why she feels such a sense of "I need to save the day and help that person."

Why do we feel such a need to "save people" from problems while also placing loyalty to their goal, issues or priority?

I know for me, it started from my days of being raised in church and being told repeatedly about sacrificing.  It was drilled into my head that the greatest, most self-less act someone can do is to sacrifice themselves for others.

While I still believe this is true, the hard part is figuring out boundaries and where to draw the line?

For example, is your loyalty misplaced by being friendly to someone who will never be that loyal back to you?  Are you being loyal to a situation that you need to let go and letting your pride rule your judgment?  Have you been afraid to let something go due to fear?

I am no psychologist or counselor but what I am is a coach...coaches focus on what efforts and actions will help people move forward in life and (a lot times) get unstuck.

So here are my life and coaching suggestions based on how I was able to move forward and end this cycle!
  1. Determine and commit to make yourself a priority: what I have found in my own situation and the situations where I have coached people is that for some reason, we have made our priorities come AFTER we exhaust ourselves trying to help others achieve their priorities.  Re-align that thinking.  For the first time in your life, before you say yes or take any action, ask yourself "Will this make me put myself and my priorities second?"  As they say, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you can help anyone else!
  2. Discipline yourself to help people only at the same pace they are willing to help themselves:  y'all this is HUGE!  I learned this from a non-profit board I was on about eight years ago.  The non-profit's mission was taking in at-risk young women and giving them a place to live and have stability that would create change for the rest of their lives.  Their un-spoken motto that took them almost 20 years to realize is that they only helped the young women in pace with how the young women were helping themselves.  Anytime this balance of help became un-balanced, it created a cycle of entitlement and co-dependency.
  3. Don't remove people from their process:  everyone has to go through tough processes.  Sometimes, if you are not careful, your help will pre-maturely remove people from a process that is necessary for them to grow and develop better habits, awareness and wisdom.  Don't rob them of needing that to happen...their future is contingent on that process, even when it's hard and difficult.
  4. Loyalty should be earned, not given away: again, as I mentioned above, I was always taught about sacrifice.  Somehow, this messaging turned into a lack of respect towards myself and the goals I had for my life.  I take full ownership of that happening and now know with should only extend loyalty and commitment to those things and people who have earned that loyalty.  At the end of the day, that's connected to you valuing yourself, your space, your boundaries and what's REALLY important. Everything else should be be assessed afterwards. Period.
One thing I can share with you is that I have gotten SO much better in pausing and asking myself how my reaction is/is not consistent with my priorities and whether it will help or hinder my life.  This is and will continue to be one of my greatest testimonies in my growth and evolution as a woman who lives authentically towards my purpose.

I hope you were blessed by this post and let me know if you see yourself in any of the situations I noted above...believing for you to be a rock star!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Elegance, Grace and Style with India Hicks

I grew up reading Vogue magazine from the time I was 14 years old.  Even though I lived in a humble part of Seattle at the time, I was drawn to the images of women, parties, and couture as if I had myself known that all my life.

This history developed a keen "eye" for great design, timeless and classic clothing and an inextricable viewpoint of what would develop in me a greater awareness of the authenticity that I sought as I have matured.

So I was pleasantly surprised and excited upon hearing of an Independent Style Ambassador, ground floor opportunity through the newly formed (it's only 8 weeks old) India Hicks brand.

Who is India Hicks?
From years of reading Vogue, I knew of India Hicks as a stylish woman who seemed to live life on her own terms.  And this symbolism seems to still be consistent with who she is today and the woman interviewed recently by MORE magazine.

Hicks has not had the traditional life of someone who comes from her background.  Yes she was one of the flower girls in Princess Diana's wedding to Prince Charles and yes she comes from a strong lineage such as her noteworthy interior design father.

These things didn't draw me to Hicks.

What drew me to Hicks is that her countenance and view on life is steeped in a woman searching for her own authenticity.  It would have been easy for her to ride the coat tails of her lineage, bow down to the accolades that her brother receives and just become a "silent" wife.

She instead chose to find her own voice and live in her truth, including moving to Harbour Island and making a home there for her family. Her life and move to Harbour Island are big influences on her newly formed company and the stories she shares with each product, accessory and fragrance.

Or as Hicks would say it: "(My company) encourages women to live an extraordinary life."

India Hicks Style
When Hicks made an Instagram post about her new beginnings in creating a company that would "offer women the opportunity to be at the center of their own businesses, headquartered from their own homes, on their own terms" I was intrigued.

The opportunity includes a direct selling model of some of the best well-crafted, detailed and exclusive products I have seen in a long while.  And unlike our times of cheap, mass produced products, Hicks has been very intentional with curating not only quality products but products that tell the story of Hicks and her life adventures.

For example, one of my favorite products from her line is a fragrance called "English Rose" with a caption relating to her English roots: "capturing a summer's day in my parents' secret garden- freshly mowed grass, rose and peony petals, and a hint of warm rain".  I LOVE it!

India Hicks Style Ambassador Opportunity
As I perused the India Hicks website, I noticed an opportunity to become an India Hicks Style Ambassador.  Without hesitation I read about how Hicks purposefully selected a direct selling model for women in order to:
  • Create a force of entrepreneurial trailblazers;
  • Defy the traditional shopping experience by selling the collection through networks of extraordinary women;
  • Provide a more meaningful shopping experience where women could get together and share their own stories.
As you can see, this is consistent with an expanded view of the branding of what I think of why I created Curva-Lish.

I signed up and am now an Independent Style Ambassador!

You can look forward to seeing content about my journey as an Independent Style Ambassador for the India Hicks brand and I have one question:  Will You Join Me?

Join me:  shop at my Independent Style Ambassador store, host a get together (in-person or virtually) and become a#GirlBoss as an Independent Style Ambassador!

Life is an adventure as India Hicks has showed us already and my goal is to be one of those people who are able to say I have "Dared Greatly" and "Lived Extraordinarily"...will you?


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Six Mistakes of Man

The illusion that personal gain is made up of crushing others.

The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.

Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.

Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.

Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and study.

Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

- Marcus Cicero (106 B.C.-43 B.C.)

I am currently reading a book on wisdom by thought-leader Wayne Dyer and came across this listing titled "The Six Mistakes of Man".  What caught my eye about it is the time period in which Cicero wrote it.  Cicero lived loooong ago but these same mistakes are still applicable today.

For example, one of the hardest things I've had to re-frame in my life as an entrepreneur is regarding the first mistake listed above.  In business, it has been a long standing traditional model to look at your success at the expense of another and that competition is the root of great business.

As a woman, I completely and have always disagreed with this sentiment.

I believe in win-wins where both parties of any business transaction can win.  Period.

I don't want to do business with anyone that is cut-throat, out for blood, doesn't consider people and who also doesn't want me to win as much as I want them to win.

This was especially evident to me this past week as I prepared a package for a new client.  I am outsourcing part of the package to a fellow woman-owned business owner.  Not only has it been a pleasure to work with my fellow woman-owned business owner (she really wants me to win as much as I also want her to win) but she also is supporting me 100% by discounting her normal fees so that I can get my foot in the door.

That's not competition...that's winning!

Clarifying Your Worry
Another example that I thought about when reading this poem is based on the second mistake listed above.  Not only in my life but also in the life of clients and friends, I have seen over and over how we all can become focused on the wrong things.  The wrong things are worrying about people and situations that we cannot change or correct.  I have seen people leave companies, end relationships or sever ties because they were frustrated with not being able to change a person or situation instead of focusing their energies on what they CAN change.

An exercise I have my coaching clients do that can help give you clarity for this mistake is: 1.  Make a listing of all the things that are worrying you about a specific situation; 2. Draw one medium sized circle and then draw another larger circle around the medium sized circle; 3.  Take your listing and write those items from your list that are within your own, personal control inside the medium sized circle; 4.  Take your listing again and write those items from your list that are outside your own, personal control inside the larger sized circle.

What you should have is a visual of what you need to take some action on (inside the medium sized circle) and what's outside your control that you need to let go (inside your larger sized circle). I have and have had clients who get some great "aha" moments from this simple exercise.

What do you think of these six mistakes?  I hope these six mistakes make you re-consider what you are worrying about, how you reach personal gain, letting go of trivial preferences and live with grace!

Note: the post includes a link to Amazon, an affiliate of Curva-Lish.  Purchases made using the link will allow Curva-Lish to earn a commission.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How Do You Define Success?

The longer I live, the more I am convinced that a major part of the unhappiness and simple existence of humanity is because we are not determining what it means to be successful.

I know first-hand because I struggled under the weight of rising through the corporate ranks of an oil&gas company in a profession I did not feel called to nor that I believed was what I was meant to do.  I was operating according to the prescribed "success manual" of go to school, get good grades, go to college, get a good job, get married in your late 20s, have children by your 30s, save money in your 401(k) to have $1MM saved by retirement, etc, etc, etc.

This success manual was nothing like what I deeply desired growing up as a kid....all I really wanted to do was be Wonder Woman!  Before you think that's a silly notion, let me explain.  To me, Wonder Woman was the embodiment of a brave, courageous woman living on her own terms, in accordance to her talents&giftings and making a difference in the process.

That seems really simple right???

So how did I end up with a job I hated that was giving me stomach ulcers and a complete lack of focus on what was important to me?  Easy.  I ended up there because I never stood back and determined whether that success manual was what I wanted and if not, what it was that I wanted and decide how to design my life around my definition of success.

Don't we all do that?

And for the record, this is not just about working in corporate and becoming an entrepreneur.  I know plenty of people who are happy working in their corporate jobs and who are active in their communities.  If that's what you want...great!  Just make sure that's what you want!

And don't just take it from me, here's what Marie Forleo recently said on her website: "I was thrilled when Claire, one of our readers, wrote in because she was feeling a bit torn between a more traditional view of success (big money, big job, etc.) and the unique calling of her soul.

Taking the time to challenge assumptions — both societies and our own — is something I feel very strongly about. Especially as it relates to such a relative and often loaded concept as “success.”
Because when you have the courage to question what you’re doing and, more importantly, why you’re doing it — you stay on your edge of innovation, truth and lasting fulfillment."

How did Forleo define success as a child? "I want a blue van with smurfs painted on it. I don’t care what people will say, that’s what I want.”

See Forleo's awesome, rock star video on "How To Find Your Own Definition of Success":

In the video, Forleo brilliantly shares:
  • Your work does not equal your worth
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Flush out the details
And ultimately, as Maya Angelou stated: "Success is liking who you are, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."

Define your success and live it!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Will You Be Remembered?

Asking yourself "Will You Be Remembered?" is not something I believe we need to consider at the end of our life when our days are numbered and there isn't much we can do about it.

I believe the perfect time to ask yourself this question is NOW.

Being remembered will take a lifetime so starting now is better than starting later. The longer you wait to answer this question and design your life around the answer, the shorter period of time you have to impact how you will be remembered.

I know when I was in my 20s and even 30s, legacy thinking was not apart of my vernacular.  I didn't even remotely begin to think of this question until my Mom passed away suddenly at the age of 52.  In the midst of my grief, I was amazed at how our family and friends remembered my Mom.  What was most striking is it was the little things and how my Mom made them feel about themselves that people remembered the most. 

None of us can know for sure how we will be remembered by others and what exactly they will say at our eulogy but what I have found is that at least considering the answer to this question helps you mentally think about what impact you can make on a daily basis with those you come in contact with whether that be at work, on a board, at the local grocery store, at the doctor's office or at church.

In our hustle and bustle, it would be easy to forget that we each have a choice of how we will positively impact people and what they will remember about us.  Being present and mindful of that potential impact is apart of whether you will be remembered.

And don't think this has to be something big or complicated.  Sure, it can be you making a large donation to your favorite charity or spending six months in Kenya at an orphanage.

However, it can also be small things:
  • I always remember the people who look me in my eyes when we are speaking (instead of looking around the room) and who makes me feel like I'm the only one in the room for that brief moment;
  • I always remember people who stick their neck out for me and believe in me and my abilities.  This is not the same as someone who does something for me out of their own convenience (although I appreciate it).  This is when someone literally extends themselves (grace) to do something above and beyond or that places faith in me.  It is so touching that it makes me be great at whatever I am doing as a recipient of their grace;
  • I always remember people who call me out of the blue, send a card or send me an email saying "I was just thinking about you".  They don't want anything or need me to do something.  They are just calling because I crossed their mind...I am always moved to tears when this happens.
  • I always remember kindness.  This kindness can be in the form of someone allowing a mother with two small children to take the closer parking spot so she has less to walk with a stroller, a random act of kindness where someone's restaurant tab is paid for out of the blue, or when someone is the first to say "I'm sorry.  I must have misunderstood.  Can you help me understand?"
  • I always remember the thankfulness of employees of nonprofit organizations whose funding was cut.  The need is so great that every volunteer hour and dollar means that many more people in need will be served through their mission.  I am always touched.
Think about it, the small things examples above aren't huge, newspaper headline events but I promise you, if you build your life around being mindful to impact people in the smallest of ways, you WILL be remembered.

And isn't that the purpose of life?

Who's On Your Success Team?

When I take on a new coaching client, one of the first questions I ask them is "Who is on your success team?".

In response to that question, normally I get:
  • 7 out of every 10 clients don't have a response
  • 2 out of 10 give me the name of their spouse, children, sister, best friend, etc.
  • 1 out of 10 give me 1-2 names of people from years ago who aren't currently apart of their life now
This is not good...


If you want to achieve a life of your dreams that you feel empowered and inspired to lead, you have to have a success team built around you to help you make that happen.  And your spouse, BFF's, children, neighbors or anyone else that offers you emotional support is not what I am referring to.

What is a Success Team?
A Success Team is a group of people that you have purposefully surrounded yourself with who are normally paid for their expertise and who are apart of your accountability group whose focus is on getting you to your expected results.

Your Success Team can include coaches, therapists, etc.  The key is that you are purposeful in seeking them out to add value in those areas in which you are either not as strong or an area(s) where you need to see growth in order to get to your next level.

When I am asked who should be on your Success Team, I always tell people the following:
  • Physical Trainer/Nutritionist:  no matter your chosen profession or area in which you want to see results, if you are physically lagging, it will impact your ability to focus, go the long haul and show up with energy and tenacity.  
  • Life Coach:  As Harper's Magazine quoted, "Coaching is the new form of therapy and is necessary for any endeavor.".  I can't agree more.  In our world of information overload, limited time and resources and lack of focus, a life coach can invariably help you create a plan to successfully realize your big goals.  And unlike a best friend or spouse, coaching is directed towards where you are and where you are trying to is not directed towards your past.
  • Spiritual Connection:  Having a firm root in your spiritual life has a way of keeping you grounded and thankful...key ingredients to a purposeful life.  In order to get and maintain this spiritual connection, it will help to be clear on what person or group will hold you accountable for living out your spiritual principles and then putting "skin in the game", i.e., spending your time and resources towards maintaining your spiritual life.  
  • Career Coach/Recruiter:  It doesn't matter if you are in a period in your life where you are content, un-happy, transitioning or an entrepreneur...everyone needs to have a member of their Success Team be someone who they periodically check-in (quarterly, semi-annually) with to stay fresh on their career development and evolution, especially if they are in leadership.  Keep in mind, this member of your Success Team is not your mentor.  This person is independent of your company or industry but does have wisdom and can offer that to you.
  • Branding Expert: Depending on what you do, this person can have different titles and different areas of focus.  I always highly recommend a branding expert to people because if you are not unique and standout, then you are almost non-existent in our world of group-think.  There needs to be something authentic about you that you project to the world and become known for in order to be remembered and successful.
    • Another way to think of a Branding Expert is for those who are business owners, corporate executives or a public figure. Your branding expert maybe a stylist or image consultant.  I can't tell you how many times I have seen a technically proficient public figure get judged due to a lack of manners, ill-fitting clothes, lack of grooming, etc.  This sucks but it is true!  Make the investment in a branding expert!
The members I suggest for a Success Team are ones that I really believe can help you have an overall sense of mission, purpose and focus towards maximizing your life.  And keep in mind, your Success Team members all need to be people who can add value to your life in areas that you are not the strongest or that can help you evolve to your next level.  And they don't all have to be serious!  Select one or two of the ones I suggest based on your current priorities and go for it!

For example, if you know you want to have more FUN in your life and you miss the days from your college years where you used to earn money telling jokes at a comedy club to pay your rent, then go back to that!  Hire a comedian that can help you explore that as an adult and make that comedian apart of your Success Team!

Other Success Team examples: I had a friend who had a speech impediment but he knew that speaking (his strength) would help him be successful at driving clients to financial services practice so he hired a Voice Coach to lessen the sound of his speech impediment; I had a friend who had issues with giving up control in her leadership and she knew it was keeping her back in her career to the VP level so she hired a Leadership Coach to teach her principles of proper delegation, empowering her team, etc.

For me, I realized a few months ago that I missed the times of dancing in my youth but the only place I knew where you can dance is at a bar/club.  I do not want to go to a club!  So I found a hip-hop line dancing group taught by an expert dancer (he's in his early 50's but moves like he's in his 20's).  I get to move, frolick and dance in an environment that is the "grown woman" version...and the instructor has no idea he's apart of my Success Team!  And yes, he is paid!

So get out there and reach out to build, enhance or reconfigure your Success Team...your results will be seen and your overall life happiness will increase!