Business and Career

HOW TO LIVE LIKE A QUEEN WITHIN YOUR MEANS

Earning and receiving a paycheck might just be one of the happiest feelings to experience. You anxiously count down the days until you can get your hands on that elusive paycheck. Once it gets deposited into your bank account…BAM! You’re a happier woman. You can now buy all of the things! The possibilities are endless. Then, like a bad hangover, reality sets in. If you’re like most people, the inevitable downward spiral of overwhelming thoughts begins: What should I do with this? Do I deposit it into my savings account? Do I buy the new running shoes I’ve had my eye on? Do I invest it? What can I afford? How much should I actually be saving? Should I pay off my credit card? Wait…what’s my credit score, again? Financial worries plague us all. We always seem to be tip...

REAL WORDS FOR THE ASPIRING ENTREPRENEUR

So, you want to be an entrepreneur, huh? You have an idea—an amazing, ground-breaking, revolutionary idea you just can’t wait to share with the world. You want to help people, you want to solve a problem, you want to motivate and inspire others. My first advice is to go ahead and just do it! Try it on for size. The only difference between them and you is that THEY DID IT. Get past the idea phase and play in the mud a little! But now I’m one and a half years into entrepreneurship and every single day I learn something new. For starters, all of your time will be on your new venture—it’s like being in school and working full-time. If you’re used to that or up for it, you may not have a hard time sacrificing other things. It also takes a lot of organization, time manage...

TIPS TO BREAK MENTAL “MONEY BLOCKS”

We’ve all been there—unable to maintain eye contact with our credit card statements, lusting over something you know you can’t afford, going over your debit card swipes and realizing you have no idea what half the stuff you bought is. As the creator of the Abundance Mindset Masterclass, I have found you can overcome these money blocks by working on your mindset first. Here are my five tips for breaking past mental money blocks that are holding you back from attracting abundance. Realize that you already are abundance. Everything in nature is abundant—the leaves, the flowers, the waves, the clouds. Abundance is your birthright and who you are in your truest nature. Scarcity is a conditioned mindset that we must overcome to achieve and accept abundance. Think big. Most people focus on the sm...

WORKSHOP: NARROWING IN ON YOUR IDEAS

I Don’t Need Help Coming Up With Ideas—I Need To Know Which To Go After Next What you’ll need: Notebook, pen, and Wild Heart flowchart (attached) I recently taught a creativity workshop to a group of writers and artists who were struggling to get started on their “Next Big Thing”. The classes had been broken into three sessions: ideas, structure and work-life balance. Out of all three, the ideas session had the fewest participants, despite the S.O.S. call from creatives for help kick-starting their art. When I brought this up to the group, one woman replied, “It’s not that I don’t have ideas. I just can’t seem to make the leap from lots of ideas to following through on just one.” Enter the creative person’s endless struggle: too many ideas and not enough days in a lifetime to g...

3 STEPS TO DECLUTTER YOUR BUSINESS

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, “declutter your space for improved business efficiency.”  And I know you’re thinking it’s easier said than done, but decluttering your space can help declutter your brain, making you less stressed and more productive. We all know that typical decluttering strategies involve clearing our desks and organizing our files, but I want to dig deeper into not only decluttering, but how to stay organized in your entire life and business. To get started on business decluttering I suggest using a systematic method that includes not only your business routines, but your home and lifestyle to ensure a holistic approach. Focusing on the entire process rather than focusing exclusively on organizing possessions or “things” will make your business and personal time more e...

FAILURE: THE PATH TO SUCCESS

Do you remember the first time you failed? Maybe it was when you tried riding your bike without training wheels and wiped out. Or maybe it’s easier to remember that test in school where you received a giant red F in the corner. Even if you can’t recall your first failure, I bet you can list off several examples leading up to the present. From our youth on, failure has been a dark grey cloud looming over us. It can be a continuous challenge to see the achievements in our lives as being greater than our disappointments. But what if we could change that? People have even created a new word, “failure” to describe pushing yourself to your limits. They’ve written articles and created TEDtalks around this expression. What if, instead of having a new word like failure, we redefine failure itself? ...

LESSONS LEARNED STARTING AN UNPLANNED BUSINESS

I never planned on being a startup business entrepreneur. It happened by accident. But after suffering unbearable pain, numerous medical misdiagnoses and ineffective surgeries, there was no choice.  For four long years, I suffered from vulvodynia, experiencing sharp, stabbing, burning pain in my pelvic area, making it impossible to enjoy sexual intimacy with my future husband. The physical, emotional and mental pain was agonizing, and impacted my quality of life. After undergoing several surgeries—and even having a doctor suggest I drink wine before trying sex with my husband—I had enough.  From my previous positive experience using magnets to reduce back and neck nerve pain after a car accident, I had an entrepreneurial “lightbulb moment” to add neodymium magnets into a vaginal dilator. W...

I DON’T NEED HELP COMING UP WITH IDEAS—I NEED TO KNOW WHICH TO GO AFTER NEXT

What you’ll need: notebook, pen and Wild Heart flowchart (below) I recently taught a creativity workshop to a group of writers and artists who were struggling to get started on their Next Big Thing. The classes had been broken into three sessions: ideas, structure and work-life balance. Out of all three, the ideas session had the fewest participants, despite the S.O.S. call from several creatives for help kickstarting their art. When I brought this up to the group, one woman replied, “It’s not that I don’t have ideas. I just can’t seem to make the leap from lots of ideas to following through with just one.” Enter the creative person’s endless struggle: too many ideas and not enough days in a lifetime to get after them all. So, how do you choose? How do we organize our thoughts and dreams s...

HOW MY BURN OUT TURNED OUT TO BE THE BEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO ME

By Jennifer Hakim, founder and director of Jennifer Hakim Communications, a marketing and PR agency for mindful businesses. In 2015, something unexpected happened. After months looking for my dream job I finally found it. I was bursting with pride, excitement and fear. I could barely believe it. Was this a luck twist of fate? Was I going to be found out? In hindsight that disbelief in my own abilities was probably the first sign of the impending burnout that would hit me that same year. I knew my worth on paper: I had studied for years. With two diplomas in hand and years of internships and work experience in my field it was only fair I would climb this new step on the ladder. But it wasn’t quite registering that I actually deserved it. “I’m just good at job interviews”, I thought. “They’l...

IF I’M SO SUCCESSFUL, WHY DO I FEEL SO EMPTY?

It was 15 years ago when I walked away from my highly successful, well-compensated corporate marketing career. I thought I was leaving to open a wellness center so that I could help other people see the connection between their minds and their bodies. Instead, I began a deep and, at times, tumultuous road to recovery from other people’s ideas of what my life should look like. I had done all the right things—graduated from a prestigious business school, got married, went to work for a Fortune 200 consumer packaged goods company, had two gorgeous children, and a successful husband, and still something wasn’t right. It was Christmas time and my boss told me to go home and figure out what was going on and what I wanted to do. I had not been “acting like myself.” I was making unusual mistakes. ...

I CAN HAVE IT ALL: THE HARDSHIPS OF WORKING AS A MOM

This month has been tough. There’s been a lot of realizations in both my role as a mom and someone who works. My situation is a little different, mainly being a stay-at-home mom, but I also work as a freelance video editor/marketing manager in the little time I have during naps and when the baby goes to sleep. The beauty of freelancing is that I can make my schedule and take work that I want. The only thing I didn’t realize was how easy it was for me to overbook myself. I felt that I had this whole “being a mom” thing under control, but boy was I wrong, and I had a brutal wake up call. For months I have been doing work here and there, marketing for a local production company and some one-off video editing work. It was pretty good because I could do a lot of this during nap time and even wo...

BRILLIANT CHICAGO WOMEN LEADERS IN THE WEDDING PLANNING INDUSTRY

When I launched my wedding planning business, Anticipation Events, I knew three things for sure: I was going to give it my heart and soul, and the foundation of my business model would be all about delivering great customer service. I also knew I wasn’t much worried about being an entrepreneur in the wedding industry as a woman — because women rule this space.  Weddings are, by their very nature, a more tender and emotional experience, so the vibe can be very different than a corporate setting. They require a delicate hand that meets the client where they are and someone that understands how important this day is even when you’re planning weddings for a dozen clients at once.  Amazing customer service is key. After working on the event team at a large venue [Shedd Aquarium] for over four y...

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