My birthday is in 5 days and I couldn't be more excited about my journey & where I am headed!
I am a visionary and world-changer - this is how I show up!
Active and Intentioned Collaborations, Partnerships, Sponsorships, Mentorships, and Community Workshops are my outlets for community engagement.
I am THE go-to expert in my field for disadvantaged people who want to use entrepreneurship to make things better for people like themselves.
I remain committed to serving on the boards of non-profits dedicated to each of the issues I hold close to my heart: black empowerment, women empowerment, and education for the disadvantaged.
Each year, I sponsor educational and developmental experiences for disadvantaged youth and adults.
I actively foster and participate in an organically-evolving Circle of Excellence comprised of mostly women of color who are impactful in their own ways.
Five Things I Focus On Each Day
I hope this inspires all of you Believers and Leaders out there; it inspires me everyday! #StayAmazing
Ooooh INNOVATION! Such a hot topic - specifically in business. If you're looking for that perspective, this article will give you plenty to chew on, and this article will walk you through how to bring innovation into your business or organization.
Yet, there's another perspective that is often overlooked: we all have ideas, and with each idea, there is a chance for innovation. Innovation has a place in all aspects of life - for us all, young and old. Innovation is all about changing perspectives, whether our audience contains customers or people in our local or global community whom we want to impact – even our own self!
Innovation Requires Courage
In a world that conditions us all to follow along and play roles that suit others, it is difficult to trust in our own ideas when they seem to be outside of what everyone else is thinking. Yet, the very nature of innovation suggests that innovative ideas are held by a stark minority – oftentimes only one person (you or me, her, or him) – and it will require courage to free ourselves from how daunting this may seem. In this brilliant article, The Levo League reminds us that innovation “only survives when people believe in their own ideas.”
Believe in Your Ideas!
For our ideas to become innovation, we must act on them. We can’t act on ideas we aren’t fully behind or vested in and expect maximum outcomes. Once we’ve found the courage to believe in our own ideas, it takes even more courage to act on these ideas. I completely agree with Simon Sinek: “What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.” What we decide to do, needs the ups and downs of action and practice – mixing it up, getting it wrong and right – to turn our ideas into innovation. As we innovate, we must remain courageous with the ebbs and flows of life, our learning curves and victories, as well as others’ judgement of our ideas.
Have the courage to get out there and innovate the world with your ideas!
Organizations, companies, communities, and societies all need courage to produce environments that encourage innovation. To have the benefits of innovation, we need to prioritize "empowering, supporting, incubating and highlighting the people who are gutsy enough to share and deliver on new ideas that only they can see." Even when resources are plentiful, groups of people find it a challenge to encourage the dissonance that innovation requires because it doesn’t support group think and team play. It takes courage to prioritize resources for this effort; the programming and training alone can be costly in terms of money, staff, energy, focus, etc.. Nonetheless, the groups of people who choose to be this courageous will be the most innovative.
Yet, even without resources there are meaningful things we can all do to encourage innovation in ourselves and those around us. We can incorporate elements of curiosity, exploration, and experimentation in everyday life. We can respect and encourage different perspectives and lens. Sometimes it is just that simple. I am known to say: "when you strip someone of their voice – employee, child, earth neighbor – you say NO to innovation."
Diverse Perspectives Give Rise to Innovation
The easiest way to innovate is to be our authentic self and share our perspective. No one can see what we see, give what we can, or impact what we can. The diversity that we bring to the table as individuals and with our perspectives produces the innovative value in our ideas. This also means that the more diversity we engage with while developing our idea, the greater our innovation.
Great ideas are born of diversity. Give the world you!
Thomas Edison said: “There’s a way to do it better – find it” and it was this perspective that led him to give the world his great innovations. Many people do not realize how innovative they can be. When we see a way to do it better - this is innovation!
Use what frustrates you in this world to find a better way — the world will be better for it!
It is easier to find a way to do it better when we take the time to think about things from various perspectives – diversity. When we do, it is easier to come up with impactful ideas and insights; it is easier to innovate.
We Can ALL Do It!
Our authentic, unbridled selves – our unique perspectives – will come up with innovative ideas. To innovate, we must be courageous and tap into who we were before we became afraid to have a view and a voice. If we’re not comfortable seeing things our own way and voicing insights that come from our perspective, we simply cannot innovate!
We are born curious and creative; we are meant to engage with our own lens!
Incorporating others’ perspectives while pursuing our innovative ideas will create the best environment for the idea and those interacting with it. To innovate, we must anticipate conflict and prepare to enhance our ideas as we engage with the diversity of others’ perspectives. We start with curiosity, then move forward with the courage to gain diverse feedback from conflict, and finally innovate by using creativity to increase the value of our ideas.
There’s no innovation without curiosity, conflict, and creativity! Get real comfortable with all three.
We need to get comfortable – at home, at work, in public, within ourselves – WE CAN DO IT; we’ve always been able to do it!
Ask yourself –
We can choose courage in this battle of love and fear. We can dare to innovate using our own lens. No matter how small our innovation, we truly CAN change the world! Active visionaries and dreamers off all ages have the courage to use their lens to change the world; they embody perspective, live ideas, and exude innovation.
Often when working with PLHB Believers, I encounter matters that can only be addressed by a clear switch from being determined to being driven; and vice versa. These shifts alter the trajectory of purpose by producing a subtle, yet significant, change in intention. Without this change, there is no fix to the issues at hand and success is jeopardized.
Determination and drive are often treated as interchangeable; yet, I often share with those who will listen, how dangerous this is. Determination and drive give us different things; how could they be the same?
While both are needed, determination and drive each provide different outcomes.
There is no denying the power of determination. It is often the difference between celebrating success and suffering failure. Clearly determination – a “firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end” – is useful each day as we get things done.
Be determined when you want to accomplish a goal.
It is easy to miss the freedom that determination brings – a freedom particularly beneficial for those of us who only accept excellence! For example, if your goal is to send your team an invitation to your holiday party, you simply must do it. The invitation doesn’t have to be designer quality, it must have details for people to RSVP and show up – that’s it!
This freedom from excellence grows exponentially as your goal becomes more complex. Mark Jamnik highlights this in his short article: “To accomplish your goal, you needed to find something that you never did before. You needed to ask yourself questions you never asked before. You needed to find answers you never found before. What you lacked in knowledge, you made up in discipline to succeed.”
Something that drives you can’t be shaken. Unlike determination, it oftentimes does not register as a choice. When you are driven by something, it is able to exert inescapable or coercive pressure on you. Drive is what develops our gifts and talents.
Be driven when you want to gain expertise and skill.
Drive is what often gets us into the arena to begin defining our path, start seeing strategy in our journey, and have the insights to choose what to be determined about.
Drive is what compels a photographer to work on capturing light well with different sets of resources and environments. That same photographer may become determined to shoot an a-list star within the next year. It’s her drive that makes the determination possible.
Simon Marshall Jones says it best on his blog: “Having drive, or more precisely perhaps, being driven, means, in my view, that even after someone gets to where they want to go they’ll carry on doing whatever it is they’re engaged in, regardless of how far they’ve gone or what they’ve achieved.”
Simply put – we can’t get far or do much without determination and drive. I firmly believe that it is important to be strategic about when to focus on determination and when to focus on drive.
Ask yourself –
It takes time to determine your purpose because it is born of your path and journey.
What drives you is a strong indicator of your purpose. What you are determined to do will impact your journey. Pay attention, choose love over fear, and let what drives you, guide you to producing the determination needed to get meaningful things done. THIS is how I define strategically living a life with purpose.
May you have all the impact and success that your determination and drive warrant!
I am known for sharing stories from my life with clients. This has always been important to me because in doing so I provide important insights and perspectives for their own progress and success. The story I tell the most is the one about how I “found” my purpose. As I focus on motivations and passions fueling purpose with my networks this week, I thought it worthwhile to share this story with you today.
Jessica Lauren Debry asserts in her short article that: “Passion is your compelling emotions behind your dreams. Your feelings drive your passion. Purpose is the why behind it all. Purpose is the deep reason for your existence." I love how she uses a campfire in metaphor to drive it home: the results of passion increase with purpose!
Today, it is very easy for me to see how the girl I was – the child with all the thoughts, the pushback, the questions, the thirst for experiences, and need to share what I knew – it is easy to see how she grew up to be who I am today. But I can confess that for at least two decades, I felt lost and believed I was without a path or purpose. I couldn’t translate the old me to the new, nor could I reconcile her dreams with my reality. It was a true struggle…until the day I had an epiphany and chose my current purpose.
See, I’ve always been quite annoying – ask my mother! Raising a child with an insatiable curiosity and unnerving need to share what she’s learned must have been especially fun! Oh, the things I got into – Mom taught me to have confidence, so there was nothing I felt I couldn’t learn about or learn to do.
It was never lost on me that passion connected to feelings like purpose to ideals – passion and purpose were MY thing, I was just too young to know.
From school, to work, to entrepreneurship, I’ve started with my ideals (of the time) and launched into strategic planning using all I knew. When I had productive feelings about what I was planning – and therefore doing – it created better outcomes for me. I could realize and actualize the connection between passion and purpose in my own life and the results were good.
Even as a young girl, I remember being intensely motivated by spirited, open dialogue. I enjoyed voraciously absorbing information from every person and book I could get my hands on. Adults and children alike suffered the wrath of my “teaching” them everything I had learned and could think to share. I felt compelled to help others with what I had learned.
These rumblings of motivation and passion speak to sparks of purpose. They are easy to overlook; in this process, don’t be sheepish or modest about YOU – it all counts!
As I got older, I realized that if I focused my motivations on things that fueled productive passions, that I’d have a better chance at living the life I envisioned. It took another decade to learn how to focus my motivations.
Although it took another few years my epiphany came when I realized what I had learned during that decade:
It takes time to determine your purpose because it is born of your path and journey.
A guru can guide you through things to consider and pay attention to on your path, yet no one can decide your purpose or passions for you. Our motivations can be externally-influenced, yet we get to prioritize what ends up motivating us whether from nurture or nature.
My path and my journey led me to redefining my company and my brand in 2015 so that I could empower others by sharing what I know and have access to. While taking care of myself and my family, running PLHB, building my coaching business, and being the friend and community member that I am, I focus on living what I know today as my professional purpose: to diversify approaches and innovate solutions to cross-functional issues.
I love and am quite obsessed with the cycle of learning, applying, and teaching. This blog is my place to exercise this passion while fulfilling my purpose to empower.