Good Morning

I’ve never been big on New Years resolutions.  They always seemed counterproductive. People would make them and then break them so quickly. However, I’ve noticed that some of the most successful people (or at least more positive people) are individuals who set goals for themselves.  We live in an age of motivational speakers and affirmation creators.  Social media, bookshelves, and infomercials are flooded with people who claim they can “fix” you.

I’ve had a difficult 2013 and I’m sure I’m not alone.  What happens if what doesn’t “make you stronger” kills your spirit?

I had dinner at my favorite restaurant with my mentor on Sunday.  We laughed and she was excited to see my 6 month old (yes I’m one of those parents who bring kids to restaurants!) We talked about ministry, evangelism, and motivation.  She was glad I was skating by at work, still singing in choir, and squeezing in time to write.  The compliments and praise were pouring in so I was a little stunned when she said :

“So what’s stopping you from really taking it to the next level?  Make your book a reality.  Establish yourself as a writer.  You were published when you were 10! Don’t you want to be more recognized by now?  You qualify for the recognition but do you deserve it?  You want more money at work but do you get there ontime?  Do you dress professionally DAILY? What sets you apart?”

As I picked my ego off the floor, she continued to talk to me about commitment.  She talked about being busy with the Creators work and less self involved.  She said to think about the people who need a word or a push and not to take my blessings for granted. 

Then she challenged me.  It was time to make a pact with the Father and with myself.  She said she practices fasting from time to time, meditation, no devices for a few hours to remove the voices of others so she can hear the answers to her questions.  She tithes regularly to put her money in His “storehouse” and let him decide how to allocate her treasures. 

I’ve been thinking all week about the disciplined commitment that’s right for me…

I LOVE sleep.  I work hard and I look forward to a soft pillow and a warm comforter at the end of the day.  I got lucky because our infant loves sleep just as much as I do.  In fact, right now my typing is interrupting her beauty rest and pissing her off. 
I’ve decided that no matter how late I go to bed due to work schedule, family obligations, etc…
I’m still going to rise at 8am everyday. No excuses.  No rushing. No dodging speeding tickets.  More time for writing. More quality time.  More time for prayer and reflection. 

Its time to take it to the next level.

What commitment do you need to make?

-SMN

A Bisness or a Business? (Cold sweat series)

image

While at a stoplight the other day I saw a sign. The sign read “Support small bisness. I employ 7 local people.” It was one of those moments when you second guess yourself. 
image

“Wait…how do you spell business? ”

I sent a text to myself just to use the spell check.

Once I reassured myself of the spelling (my second grade teacher Mrs. Kunz would be so disappointed) I then became angry.

Why didn’t someone (preferably one of those 7 employees) tell that “bisness” owner that his sign was incorrect?! As a consumer I have always been infatuated with marketing.  I like aesthetics.  I used to drink Nuvo just so I could save the bottles.  My business cards for this blog are gorgeous.  The   logo is in the center with a glossy finish.  Ambiance is everything. Your product can be average but the way its packaged will determine what target audience it attracts. 

My grandmother was a small business owner.  She had a wedding and party center. She was a very proud woman.  She poured her life into that little shop on Farmers Boulevard.  There was no official closing time. All Occasion Decor Inc closed when all orders were done or when diet Pepsi couldn’t keep her awake anymore.  She would then go to her nearby apartment and eat Breyers vanilla ice cream and fall asleep with the TV watching her. She was dedicated but was she studious and detail oriented?

She left a legacy. The hood still misses “The Balloon Lady.” There was standing room only at her funeral.  Yet I wonder if she ran a business instead of a “bisness”, would she have been more successful?  Orders could have been more timely.  Bookkeeping could have been tighter. I’m sure there were seminars that could have been attended or more books to be read. Meanwhile, she missed crucial turning points. We were family owned and operated because that was the only time we could spend with her.

Ask yourself this…

Are you going to leave behind generational wealth or debt? Are you a “bisness” or a business?

How do you market yourself?  Are there poisonous pessimistic pissy people pushing you down?

What fear causes you to wake up at night in a cold sweat? 

Are you a small “bisness” with the potential to be a large globe changing BUSINESS? 

~Shaun M. Nickens

 

Mothers Morning Reflection

image

image

I’m laying in bed next to my 5 week old baby girl.  Sure I could have put her back in her crib after her last feeding and diaper change but I love being close to her. I’m still working on the detachment thing.

A mosquito bit me twice while I was burping her and I went into an immediate frenzy. Funny thing is I didn’t get upset because I got bit but because I was afraid the mosquito would bite my daughter. I hunted it and killed it. It now rests in peace on the sole of my Old Navy flip flop. Let us bow our heads…

I do at least 3 loads of laundry a day. It’s a never-ending cycle of filth. I’m  going grocery shopping in the am to get cake mix because I promised my two year old step daughter that we could bake this weekend. 

I eat only because I know I have to nurse and have some energy for my family. If I get to choose between rest or food…rest wins hands down.

I want to finish everything I’ve ever started. I want to be better than I’ve ever been.  I strive not for public acceptance but to be my daughters’ heroine.  I’ve become a woman who can be relied on. I’ve become a woman who can be trusted. I’ve become a woman who can be admired. I’ve become a woman who can be a loyal partner. I’ve become a woman who can provide.  I’ve become a woman…

If you are a mother in the ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly family,  stand up! Stand up in your t-shirt and panties, in your granny robe, nude, in your spit up stained pajamas,  in your nursing bra,  in your lingerie,  and take a bow. I salute you. I salute your sacrifices. I salute your class. I salute your maturity.  May you be encouraged this morning.

By : Shaun M Nickens