I’ve run out of goals 

business, entrepreneurship, organization

Impossible, I say. But as I opened up my Passion Planner last week to conduct my mid-year check-in, I stared at the page….and stared at the page. 

What do you want, Brandy? What will be your BIG push for the second half of the year? What’s on your list?

Nothing…

Sadness came over me. Am I finished? I thought, but pushed the idea aside. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been chasing one goal after another; accomplishing and failing; starting and restarting; learning and growing. I’ve read countless books about goal-setting, success, mindset and all the woo-woo pseudo scientifically texts about attraction and manifesting you can name. I wouldn’t say that I’ve mastered these systems but my skillset has grown and I have evidence to the effect that I make more shots than I miss. 

Almost two years ago now I did the possible and quit my full-time teaching job. Ha! What an adventure that has been. Anyways, when I did, I hit the goriund running overachieving and overworking myself into the ground. 2015 was my year! My side hustle became my main thing Anf I was roooolllliiiiinnnn! Cloud 9.

So what happened? 

I finally started to grow into the person I’ve always wanted to become. I mean, things I envisioned for myself as a child finally came into fruition. I am, in many ways, living my dream. So at some point…I stopped dreaming.

Don’t get me wrong, on a smaller scale there are still things I want to do (spa days, girls trip, tattoos, save money, etc). But the big, hairy, omg scary goals…. I can’t think of any.

I can’t think of any because I never thought beyond THIS, what I have right now. My whole life I’ve been focused on “getting there” and now I’m here. I never thought about what to do once here. I am reminded of the adage “what got you her won’t keep you here”. Although I think this is supposed to bring me solace, it makes me uneasy. What do I do now?

I decided to control what I can and not stress it. The other day I gave my sister-friend the gift of “yet” and with it, the power to control what is immediately in your control. So, I decided to give myself that gift as well. 

For too long I’ve lived each day truly like it was my last and worried that if I made one misstep or took my eyes off the road to blink I would die…literally. I think at 30 years old, I deserve to not have everything figured out. I will take this time however to learn me and evaluate what makes sense in my life and what my next step will be. Right now no goals, just a commitment to live my best life – on my terms. #BrandyWasHere

3 Business Hacks That Help Me Stay Productive

business

Productivity. Productivity. Productivity.

As entrepreneurs we are always looking for ways to be more productive and efficient in our work. Now, I’ve read a lot of books and articles on the subject and I can attest to the fact that increasing your productivity means minimizing and or removing distractions from your life.

Ha! Now consider the fact that most entrepreneurs deal with adhd and insomnia and you’ll understand my scoff a moment ago.

Nevertheless, successful entrepreneurs get more done! How? Over the last couple of weeks I’ve tried a few different techniques, apps and even modified my behavior. Here are 3 Hacks that help me operate as my most productive self:

Set a Timer

I heard on one of my fvaorite podcast The Mind Your Business Podcast  that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. This is known as Parkinson’s Law. When I heard that I grabbed my calendar and started to assign time limits to the tasks I had set out for the week. This was tough at first because I had to develop the discipline to STOP tasks even if they were unfinished at the moment. I know, let’s all cringe together. However, after a few days (or weeks). I saw that by literally setting a timer, I would become more forced on completing the task. And guess what else, many times I completed the task before the time ended.

For example, I’d set aside 2 hours to schedule social media posts and an hour later I’d be finishing up. You see, it would take me 2 hours when I was unfocused, drinking tea, checking my phone, etc. But now, I plan accordingly, schedule my work and set my timers. I get more done in less time!

Turn off Notifications (e-mail, social media, calls, etc.)

I’m a chronic e-mail checker. I also hate to see that little red 1 on my phone or to see e-mails left unread and I always feel the need to respond immediately to texts. Yes, even when I’m driving (pray for me), even in meetings, even when I’m hard at work. But great news! I am breaking the habit.

Recently, very recently, in fact, like a week ago, I went into mky iPhone and changed my notifications settings. One day I posted a photo on instagram and my notification suddenly became LIT! My phone was ringing back to back letting me know that radtad99bad liked your photo and skinsosoftboss commented “cute”. This was also the day 9/10 of my Facebook friends decided to go live and share their lunch, makeup of the day and opinions on the election. Needless to say, I couldn’t get anything done nor could I put the phone done. I decided to change my settings.

I turned off notifications for all of my social media accounts including my e-mail and as a bonus, I logged out. This meant that in order to see what was happening I would have to go throught the tedious task of logging back in and checking things out.

I will say so far so good. I’d estimate I’d spend 2 hours out of my day checking socila media and responding to, reading or deleting e-mails. TWO FREAKING HOURS! I have now cut that down to about 20 minutes.

**BONUS TIP: When I am working on a project and need to concentrate I will put my phone on “do not disturb” so that any incoming calls are sent to voicemail. This is with the exception of my mother and my son’s school. Those calls always come straight through

Take Breaks

All work. No play. Whoever made that up is wack and probably had a miserable life. But that’s not our reality. Right? Staycations/Daycations are my new thing. So not only do I schedule breaks for myself just as I would if I had a regular 9-5. Every couple of weeks there’s time set aside for fun. This means NO WORK! Now this doesn’t have to be extravagant. For me this may mean binge reading a new book, shopping with a friend or trying a new restaurant. Breaks are essential because they allow us to recharge and refocus. As entrepreneurs we understand that we only eat what we kill and the pressure to perform and provide can haunt us. However, working nonstop could kill us. Take care of yourself and your health. Rest when needed.

Stay Gold!

brilliant ideas, MOMMY THOUGHTS, parenting

I caught a glimpse of my son today in usual form: aloof, mouth wide open, probably thinking about basketball. I immediately thought about how beautiful he was. You know, he looks like me, but lighter skinned. People have always said he’s my twin. But he’s different than me in so many ways.

We were driving home on our usual afternoon commute from West Oakland to South Richmond. Normally we’d be full of conversation, but today Apple Music serenaded us with hits from Janet Jackson radio. Among the jams were Michael’s “Beat It” and Mariah Carey’s “Don’t Forget About Us”

Traffic was heavy and I found myself yawning constantly. I looked at my son who seemed to be doing the same. If I asked him what he was thinking about he’s probably bring up a 3rd down during some college football game from two years ago and explain to me what he would’ve done differently. (He loves sports btw). I laughed in my head imagining what our conversations would be like in years to come. We talk about everything from sports to God to gummy bears and homework. Our minds often wander. That we DO share in common.

I wanted to, in that moment, preserve his innocence so he could stay this free forever. I know that there’s a point in a young boy’s life when that ends and I am aware, that for young Black boys that day comes even sooner.

He’s not like most 8 year old’s whose eyes tell a story of tough times and mannerisms that demonstrate their eagerness to fight an invisible war. He’s carefree. Naive. Empathetic. Friendly. Curious. He’s my baby.

I ache, already, for that day when some little heffa breaks his heart or shit gets real and someone close to him dies; the day he realizes we live in the ghetto and that top ramen isn’t as fancy as I make it out to be. I’m cringing for the day he understands that being Black is both a badge of honor, and a target.

He understands now, as a child would. But one day he’ll be a man.

I looked at my son again and loved him harder. Loved him more because this world won’t. Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” was playing. And as I glanced back on the highway he says to me, “Mommy you’re my greatest love of all” and he meant it. Every word. I said “You’re my greatest love of all too!” and he felt it. I knew he felt every single word.

I know it is said that nothing gold can stay, but I’m hoping you are the exception.