How to Take a Vacation (Without Feeling Guilty About It)

Happy African American Woman Dancing on Beach One thing I hear a lot from the hard-working women in our community is how difficult it is to take a vacation. Many of us already work long hours at work or in our business, yet for some reason have trouble taking a break! If it’s been years since you’ve given yourself the gift of a proper vacation, read on for some tips to help you step away from the laptop or plot your much-needed escape from the cubicle.

Schedule Time Off from Work Far in Advance

The best way to ensure you take your vacation time is to sit down at the beginning of the year and map out the times you already know you want off. It might be useful to think in terms of seasons. Plan to take some time off during the spring, summer, winter, etc. For instance, no matter where I worked, I always took off from my job for a few days every spring so that I could attend the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville. And for the last 3 years in my business, I’ve taken off at least one full month for vacation at some point during the year for travel!

Most people want to spend extended time with their families during various holidays, so you can plan around those as well. If you’re taking time off from your business, block off time in your calendar for the dates you want to get your R&R. If you’re taking time off from your job, make sure you submit your leave request as FAR in advance as possible so your supervisor can approve it in a timely manner. That way, you can work together to make arrangements for other staff or an assistant to cover your responsibilities and take care of clients during your time away, if necessary.

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10 Profitable, Passion-Based Income Streams You Can Create in Your Business This Year

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A few weeks ago, I gave a series of free webinars to help you earn more money in your business this year. Those webinars were actually my most popular and most well-attended in the history of Happy Black Woman! Stay tuned, because I’m planning to offer some more detailed premium classes for those who want to go deeper with me over the next few months.

In the meantime, I’ve put together a summary of the 10 different streams of income you can create based on your passion, skills, expertise and experience. These are all areas that I’ve actually made money in over the last six years. I hope you find them helpful as you brainstorm profitable ideas for your business!

1. Freelancing

You can earn income through offering contracted services in a specific area such as photography, web/graphic design, personal styling, copywriting, editing, social media management or personal training. You can offer your services by the hour or in a package, depending on what you offer. As a freelance writer, I was paid a monthly fee for producing several articles per week for a career website.

3 Steps to Stop Giving Away Your Power

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“The most common way people give up their power is thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

One of the most exciting (and terrifying) lessons you can learn in your life is that you can do anything you want and no one can stop you. It’s even more eye-opening to realize that the only person holding you back is yourself.

Yes, you read that right.

YOU are the only person that can hold you back from making progress on your goals. We choose – whether consciously or subconsciously – who and what we let hold us back. And it’s time to do something about it before it’s too late.

It’s time to stop giving away your power.

If you’ve been struggling to make progress on the big goals you have for your life, these steps can help you tap into the motivation you need to move forward.

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10 Inspiring Happy Black Women You Should Know in 2014

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I’ve been blogging since 2007 (2006 if you count Myspace LOL), and one of my favorite things to do besides writing my own posts is reading other inspiring blogs. It’s always such a gift to discover another writer – especially a black woman writer – who has similar ideals, mindsets and experiences.

As we begin a new year, I wanted to share with you a short list of writers and bloggers within our Happy Black Woman community who are doing some great things this year. All of these women offer insight, resources and tools to help you create and live your ideal life. They keep it real when it comes to taking care of your health, embracing your inner beauty, honoring your spirituality, pursuing your goals, building your business and having the confidence to be who you really are.

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Are You Sabotaging Your Success by Waiting for the “Perfect Time?”

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Every time I offer a new course, I get dozens of emails like this:

  • Aww man I have to work one of those nights so I won’t be able to attend all the live calls! Will you be offering the course again?
  • This is exactly where I am in my life right now. I NEED this course! But I don’t have the funds. When will you offer it again?
  • I really want to work with you in the course, but the timing of the calls is off for me since I live on the west coast/another country. When you offer the course again, can you please hold the calls at a different time of the day?

Do you notice a theme in any of these questions? Yep, they all focus on the possibility of me teaching the course in the future instead of taking advantage of the transformation that’s being offered right now.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal development course that could help someone change their lives or an entrepreneurship class that could help someone build their business and make more money. I’ve been teaching online courses since 2010 and I can count on one hand the number of people who actually take action if and when there is a “next time.” So if you’ve ever emailed me with one of those questions, you probably received a loving, yet direct invitation from me to shift your mindset and not count yourself out.

I can stand in a place of integrity and ask people to make empowered decisions because I’ve been there. I’ve done it myself. I’ve made the excuse of not having the money or the time or wasn’t ready or whatever. Now that I think about it, every time there’s been a life-changing opportunity placed in front of me, I honestly DID NOT have the money or the time and I certainly didn’t feel “ready.” But a few years ago, I made the decision to stop focusing on what I didn’t have and find a way to get what I needed.

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This Is It! How to Make a Bold Declaration for Your Business in 2014

 

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I was so hyped this morning walking to my office listening to Kirk Franklin’s uplifting song, “Declaration (This Is It!).” If you’ve never heard it, it’s all about letting go of your excuses so that you can make progress on your goals. It’s about stepping out on faith and taking action. It’s about believing in yourself and the dreams you have for your life.

The song made me think about the declaration I made for my business in 2014. This year, I’ve committed to “build and grow” my business so that I can help 1,000 women create their ideal lives. I know I’m here on this earth to make a difference and my products and services are what allow me to do that on a larger scale. So “build and grow” is the declaration I’m making for my life and business in 2014. That’s the stand I’m taking and there’s nothing that can stop me from fulfilling my vision to use my gifts in service to empowering women all over the world.

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A Review of 2013 and My Theme Word for 2014

Celebrating New Year 2014

Last week, I sent out my free year-end reflection tool as a gift to Happy Black Woman email subscribers: The Annual Review/Preview Guide. I completed my own privately, but I wanted to share just a few of my 2013 reflections and 2014 intentions with you. If you haven’t done some sort of annual review yet, I highly encourage you to set aside some time to do so this week. Reflection is one of the most powerful tools for personal development. And hey, it’s free!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ANNUAL REVIEW/PREVIEW GUIDE

What I Want to Remember About 2013

What was the most valuable lesson I learned this year?

This year, I learned how to stay in gratitude for every thing that comes into my life. Every experience, every person, every opportunity, every challenge is meant to teach me something about how to become a better person. I see now that it’s all meant for my good, to help me live with more love and compassion for other people. Even in my most stressful moments related to my business, my family and my romantic relationships, I was able to step back and see the bigger picture. I embraced the truth that I’m not meant to suffer and that I am always in control of my emotions and my actions.

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The Annual Review/Preview: An Opportunity for Intentional Reflection

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This is the announcement post for the Annual Review/Preview process we are doing here in the Happy Black Woman community to help us reflect on 2013 and plan for an amazing 2014. You are invited to join us to journal and/or blog your reflections! 

The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 as well as set intentions for what you want in 2014. To support you in this process, I’ve put together a special guide with questions to help you think through the past year and think ahead to the next one. It’s my gift to you for being a part of my community this year!

Click here to download the Annual Review/Preview Guide

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A Daily Gratitude Practice to Attract More Abundance into Your Life

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I love this gratitude journal by Catherine Price!

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past year is how the spirit of gratitude can positively impact your life. Although I don’t have every thing I want, somehow I ALWAYS have every thing I need. And acknowledging just how blessed I am has caused even more blessings to pour into my life this year – in the form of people, opportunities and even income.

Studies have shown that cultivating a sense of thankfulness in your everyday life is also good for your mental health and emotional well-being. Psychologist Robert Emmons demonstrated this in the research for his book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, finding that:

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How to Remove All the Physical Clutter From Your Life

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Some of us have accumulated so much physical stuff over the years, that our closets might resemble something from that TV show, Hoarders. Even though you may think you need every old appliance, sentimental keepsake and seldom-worn piece of clothing, the truth is that the more physical clutter you have, the harder it is to move forward into your ideal life. It might seem like no big deal to have a bunch of useless items lying around your house and piled up in your closets, but you send a powerful message to the universe with the stuff you hold onto.

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