06 Sep I keep my head in clouds, feet on the ground
I am the type of person that always has my head in the clouds.
I am always thinking internally, thinking aloud, daydreaming, and thinking of the end of things before I begin them. I’m the type of person who starts something with a very specific end in mind. I’m a person who doesn’t move unless I feel inspired and who doesn’t speak unless I can do so with authority (my family is probably reading this thinking that I must be an authority in almost everything, because I basically talk nonstop when I’m around them). I’m also someone who is either completely obsessed with something (I’ll listen to the same song 70 times in a row on a road trip) or completely and totally uninterested (I’ll drive eight hours from Tennessee to Louisiana in complete silence).
I’m unbelievably self-aware. I’m also painfully self-critical.
I say all this to say: I’m a tad bit neurotic.
I’m OK with that. I embrace it. My neurosis has served me delightfully well.
This is especially the case when it comes to my vision for my life and for my business.
I’ve mentioned before that I have huge vision and I make lists upon lists to ensure I can manifest my vision.
Because I’m so neurotic (and a whole bunch of other things), I have this incredible focus to get things done. Once I write things on my list, it is done. Period. That’s just how I am. I’ll keep coming back to the list to evaluate it and check things off. I keep working until everything has a mark through it.
Sometimes, my vision for my life doesn’t necessarily agree with the vision others have for my life. (Poor them.)
I told my family over the summer that my business would gross $1 million in 2017-2018. My sister told me, “No, you’re not.” I am on track to do this. I cannot wait for her to eat my crow. ????
I remember when I was a young reporter and I told my boss I was going to complete my master’s degree while I worked fulltime. She told me that it was difficult to finish school after you start working fulltime. She asked me how I knew I’d be able to do it. I remember looking at her without blinking or pausing and I said, “Because I know my life.” And guess what? I did it. In some circles, I’m Ashley Northington, MPA (that one’s for you, Jacqueline!).
It was really that simple.
I just know what I’m going to do. And then I set about the work of doing it.
Sometimes doing these things – carryout my vision, realizing my daydreams – is extraordinarily difficult. Sometimes it requires a ton of personal sacrifice. Sometimes it requires a lot of faith. Other times, fear gets the best of me and it requires me to continuously talk myself back into doing what I said I wanted to do.
That’s exactly what happened this year.
In October of last year (when I usually determine what I’m going to do the next year) I decided I wanted to embark upon one of the scariest endeavors of my entrepreneurial journey. I decided I wanted to section off a segment of my business and give it its own identity. I decided I wanted to officially make LiveYourBrand ‘a thing.’ And part of making the microbrand ‘a thing,’ would basically mean I’d be running two businesses at once.
I decided I wanted to:
- Officially make LiveYourBrand a microbrand.
- Launch a web site: LiveYourBrand.co.
- Establish social media platforms for LiveYourBrand.
- Bring more energy to the private LiveYourBrand Facebook community.
- Improve and re-lanch the LiveYourBrand Virtual Master Class
- Launch a podcast called The LiveYourBrand Show.
- Host an expanded version of Dream It. Live It. Vision Your Way to Success.
- Host a digital conference, DreamFest Digital.
- Bring a vision and goal setting planner to market.
- Plant the seeds for a new venture in the beauty industry.
That was my partial checklist for 2016.
And guess what?
I’ve either done it or made significant progress towards accomplishing it all.
The microbrand is official – beginning October 2015. We launched LiveYourBrand.co in April. We established social media platforms in February. We’ve brought more energy and added more members to our small Facebook community, effective February 2015. We’re re-launching the master class in the next few weeks. The podcast launched on June 1. Dream It. Live It. will be back in November (and January!). The Dream Planner will come out in November (fingers crossed). The seeds have been planted and are beginning to grow flowers (stay tuned). And DreamFest Digital is set for November 8-10.
But the scariest part of all of this? It’s not the podcast, which we’re tweaking to improve. It’s not the new web site, which we’re updating with new content. It’s not even the master class launch, which will re-open enrollment in October.
It is DreamFest Digital.
This is one of the most exciting (and scariest) ideas I’ve had in a long while. The fact that I wrote this down and put it as a milestone in my project management system meant my team and I would have to make DreamFest Digital a reality. This is something I feel absolutely, positively compelled to do. I have to.
It’s coming together, thanks to those who are just as crazy as I am to actually believe we could host a digital conference with no experience in the field and speakers from across the country who are from vastly different backgrounds and who work in vastly different industries.
BIG thanks to Kivoli, Beth, Monica, and Shamece for all that you’ve done and will do over the next several weeks. The one thing that connects all of the speakers (including myself) is the belief that ‘it’ – whatever that IT is – can be done.
These speakers have amazing stories to share and life, business, and leadership lessons to impart.
- One speaker is a multiple GRAMMY award-winning producer who has built a music production company that has produced for many of music’s big names (think: Rick Ross, 2 Chains, Meek Mill, Yo Gotti).
- Another speaker is a teacher turned author turned book publisher who has built a successful multimedia corporation that has brought to market nationally recognized projects.
- Another worked her way through design school while raising her son among others who doubted her greatness, and she went on to finish school AND start a creative agency (while in her hospital bed after giving birth to twin girls) because she realized she wanted something different – better.
- Another one made his first million dollars at 29, and dedicates his life to helping other folks (LIKE ME!) live their dreams.
- Another started a business based around her passion for helping others and social media while she worked a job earning around $30k annually – today her business earns that amount in a month.
The list goes on.
All these folks had big dreams. Dreams bigger than themselves. They spent a lot of time daydreaming, but they spent even more time putting those dreams into action. They spent time checking off the tasks on their lists.
That’s what DreamFest Digital is all about. It’s about giving people the fuel and encouragement they need to turn dreams into reality and manifest the lives they want.
DreamFest Digital is basically the embodiment of the way I live my life. I’m doing it for all those people like me who have their heads in the clouds; it’s only fitting that the primary visuals for the conference contain clouds. I’m happy we’re doing it. And I hope you are, too.