Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gratitude List : Day 9

                This raggedy rainy weather has been affecting my mood as of late. I am dreary because it has been raining for three straight days. I am fearful of the future which is unknown and it is cramping my gratitude challenge. However, I have pulled myself together and enrolled in a book webinar because I need to invest in myself. I am very happy that Amazon has accepted my pre-order because now I am officially an author. Here is my gratitude list:

Gratitude List - Day 9

  1. Being alive and healthy. I have overcome my ear infection.
  2. Grateful to be able to write. I love communicating and sharing my ideas with others. Interacting with others, inspire me.
  3. Happy to have the money to enroll in a book webinar
  4. Happy to end this month on a positive note by becoming an author
  5. Happy to have the resources to make my personal and professional lives better
  6. Grateful to have a place to rest my head and take an afternoon nap if I want to take one. 
  7. Happy to have the money to submit my workbook to the US Copyright Office for registration to protect my intellectual property. 

I am grateful to be free this Saturday to return to my two blog sites and contribute. These past two weeks my book has been my singular focus. Now that it is on Amazon pre-order, I can shift my focus back to and . Furthermore, I have gotten more comfortable with Periscope. Periscope is a livestreaming mobile application. I have not been on them because I only broadcast when I have something valid to say. There is so much stupidity out there. I refuse to get on some video just to be dumb. Also I have written down outlines about what I want to discuss. Finally, I am thankful that I have watched my web designer’s Periscope because she has given me an idea. I link my book’s website to my personal website. Below is my additional gratitude list:

  1.  Add my bio and select my new personalized Amazon Author page link
  2. Have the money to link my book site to my
  3. Done a Periscope promoting my two new articles.

I am just grateful that I have ended my day way better than I have started it.

Gratitude List - Day 8

                I have pulled myself up by the bootstraps and gone to the bank to enroll in its merchant services. I have overcome so much and not even a fire alarm evacuating the whole building across the street (the bank’s branch safety spot is the Starbucks). I need the merchant services in order to get my book sold at next month’s conference. Afterward, I have taken up a person’s recommendation to eat at the new chicken spot. It will be my last because I am not even full. What a waste! Back to Shake Shack I go. I am at least thankful that I have cash to go back and eat lunch twice. Moreover, a male employee says that I have swag because I am wearing my leopard-print Alice + Olivia raincoat and my green Banana Republic jumpsuit. Here is my gratitude list for today:

Gratitude List – Day 8

  1. I am alive with a dry roof over my head
  2. I have opened my merchant services account enabling me to take orders
  3. Amazon KDP has accepted my pre-order
  4. I have emailed half of the people whom have helped me throughout my book’s journey
  5. That I feel that my life is starting to get better
  6. I have money to pay my book edits
  7. I have a full selection of clothes to wear
  8. I have spoken with my father today

Launching my book is the scariest thing that I have ever done because I have never put my name on anything. It is now real. I am in business. Now I need some additional guidance. I am just happy that I am able to ask people for help. That’s big for me. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Gratitude Journal - Day 7

                Today is a very big day for me personally and professionally. I am opening myself up to new opportunities. Most people don’t want to give themselves permission to do something new. I have to else I will get the same result. I am grateful for these new lessons because this means new learning opportunities. I take everything as a new learning opportunity because I can grow from it. I just pray to Jehovah that He guides me through this process. Here is my gratitude list for today:

Gratitude List – Day 7

  1. Thankful to be the first person in my family to write a book
  2. To share knowledge on my radio show
  3. To open myself to financial abundance and additional streams of income
  4. To receive counsel from wiser people who will guide me through this process
  5. That my Mommy is okay
  6. I am in perfect health and able to complete my schedule
  7. I am planting seeds and making deposits today for my future
  8. Recruiters are interested in me and willing to take my phone calls
  9. Grateful to learn more about the book industry every day
  10. My energy is starting to shift positively
  11. Review my Nanowrimo draft and have found 7+ articles benefitting my blogs
  12. I am open to trying new social media avenues (Blab) to promote my book and myself. I may even do a Blab while broadcasting my radio show.
  13. I am alive and breathing fresh air

I have made this gratitude list early this morning. I would not have expected the adversity coming my way. When the recruiter tells me to call her next Tuesday morning, my spirit is crushed because I have wait 3 whole business days for a response. That’s 72 hours. No way! I sulk badly because I truly want to work and be productive. I should not be punished like this. Next several of the Upwork questions aren’t on the announcements but once I open up the proposal, BAM, there they are! I return back to my regular sites. When I receive the best news ever: my former coworker got a GS-14 in settlement! I was so happy for her because it has been 2 years in the making. I am very grateful to be a part of the process and see it from beginning to end. I mail her two congratulatory cards (I could not decide)!
                Next I overcome my fear, go to KDP, and upload my book for pre-order. Now I put my pre-order all the way out to July just in case there is any funny business. I am grateful to find more errors now. While reading my book on air, I have noticed more of them. Instead of being mad, I am grateful to find them now instead of the reader finding them. I will resend another edit form. Furthermore, I learn from customer service that the KDP email account is responsive so I submit a copy of my US Copyright registration. I welcome all future correspondence. However, I do feel that Amazon will accept my book. Finally, I am thankful that I have overcome my fear and have completed the KDP form. It is a weight off of my shoulders.

Gratitude Journal : Day 6

                Today is my Mommy’s and aunt’s birthdays. I am very happy that they are around. In addition, I am extremely giddy when my mother tells me that she’s received my birthday card. This has made my day! Here are the things that I am grateful for:

Gratitude List - Day 6
  1. I have the money to pay my bills
  2. Upwork has given me rising talent distinction
  3. I have the roof over my head
  4. My mother is celebrating her 67th birthday
  5. I qualify for so many opportunities to get me a job on Upwork and Indeed
  6.  I am preparing for ITIL and I am in good health
  7. Brian D’ Souza thinks so highly of me that he sends me the Data Scientist position
  8. My Mommy calls me today
  9. I receive my book press release.

The second biggest achievement is receiving my book press release. Yesterday I sent my meet the author book blurb to the promotions company and it acknowledged receipt. That happened within one hour shocking me. I was well on my way! Next I gave the freelancing company again after 3 weeks (the first interview went left).  I applied for 10 more proposals. I recommitted myself to not letting anything deter me. Afterward, I researched an opportunity with a high-income metro DC area magazine. That deposit money that a business conference wanted for its conference ad would give me a very big return on investment so I took. I started devising a sales plan just for it. Finally, I was grateful that I had the credit to afford it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Gratitude Journal : Day 5

I have started this morning with an idea about going to the office sharing place but also to check in with the book promotions company because I paid for my press release but haven’t heard anything. I have copied the book professional’s revised meet the author page to book promotions company this morning and boom out of nowhere the company responds saying that it will use this blurb and get to work. This is how I know that my day will be great. This quick turnaround is productivity!
                I have decided to work at the office sharing site, this morning; and, it is the best decision that I could have made. I get to use the Internet, print, revise my book, and conduct a meeting in peace. I know that if I stay at home, I would be watching TV. I am under (my own personal) deadline of completing my interior design edits. Being at here magnifies how grateful I am. I am here in an air-conditioned office environment within walking distance from my home. My $30 all-day pass lets me have access from 8am until 11pm. 15 hours at $30 equals $2 an hour. This $30 is an investment. Here is my gratitude list for today:

Gratitude List – Day 5

  1. I am alive.
  2. Have business liquidity to afford the $30 all-day Cove pass
  3. Receiving my DC tax refund
  4. The gratitude challenge is starting to sink in. My energy is starting to positively shift.
  5. Speaking with Sharvette about speaking opportunities
  6. Being considered for a big marketing opportunity
  7. Working on my press release.

I am very happy that I have received my state tax refund because now I can pay my bills. My maternal great-grandmother said to be happy that you had the money to pay them. She was around during the Great Depression and knew a whole lot of people without money.
I am even happier that this thing is starting to work. Even when I don’t have a ready-made list available, I am just grateful that things are working in my favor. I am willing to admit that this does require elbow grease because as soon as I start being happy, here comes the Devil; and, He is bringing up old stuff from yesterday. This is how I know that I am closer to my breakthrough. The Devil would not be bringing up all of this drama if I am not close; therefore, I keep going.
While at here, I have taken a meeting with my website designer. In her 15-minute consultation, she has given me so many tips and things to consider in promoting my speaking career. I especially appreciate the hashtags (#callforspeaker and #callforspeakers) because this is how I will advertise myself on Twitter and Instagram. I have added it to my Periscope today. I am serious about getting speaking opportunities. I need to share and communicate with people. That is why I do my radio show. I love sharing knowledge to people (and saving them money and headaches in the process).
Upon I return home for lunch, I make my final edits and send it off to the printer. I can now exhale because now all I have to do is work on my bibliography. I will get it to book designer no later than Thursday. I am grateful for this process because I now have a sharper proofreading mind. I know how to proof my work and my message. I have returned back to Cove to print my Nanowrimo and project management ebook drafts. I am sitting on top of too much content gold for it not to be published.
I am grateful that my mentality and thinking have changed because I have started since things in a different way. Yes, I have an MBA, love business but only now have I been thinking in units. The $500 that I give the business networking conference for my ad goes out to 5000 people. If 10% buy my $20 then that is 500 * $20 or $10,000. However, if 1% (50) people buy my $20 book then I will make $1,000. Anyway, I like these odds especially since I will get my money directly from Wells Fargo. Thinking in units is a mentality shift. This is a huge leap. Furthermore, by May 28th I will have also have my workbook printed and in ebook and paperback form. My bundle will cost $35. If 10% of 5000 (500) buy my bundle at $35, I would make $17,500. If 1% (50) buy my bundle, I would make $1,750. The worst that I will do is sell 1%. I am emailing Tiana Wednesday morning telling her that I want to be in the business networking conference book. I will make my $500 back for sure. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Gratitude Journal : Day 4

                Although my sleeping pattern has been erratic, I am grateful to at least write down my list before returning to slumber. This is the second business day of my gratitude challenge (I started Friday.). I am also happy that I have pulled myself out of the doldrums. I am no longer in a funk and being grateful is becoming easier. Here is my initial gratitude list for today:

Gratitude List – Day 4

  1. The opportunity to land another Project Manager in-person interview.
  2. The opportunity to learn more about the book publishing industry from a professional.
  3. For financial abundance that is coming soon.
  4. Breathing the fresh air in DC. I am experiencing real spring (not 3 weeks of 65-70 degrees before there’s 85-degree heat until October 1st). I can leave my windows open all day.
  5. To start today and this new week off productively.
  6. To excel on my project management radio show.

This was the list until I walked to CVS then I had an epiphany: I am not financially lacking when I have checking accounts at two different banks. The average American had one checking and one savings account. Here I was with a personal checking and saving plus a business checking and saving accounts. I was doing better than most. This week I worked on guaranteeing that I filled both my personal and business accounts.
                Another reality check I had was that I wanted to know more about how Jehovah wanted to use me. I meant that I was put on here for a reason. I wanted to know which would help me improve my personal and professional lives. Now I added 2 more items to my gratitude list.

Additional Gratitude List Items

  1. Having two checking and savings accounts at different banks.
  2. Seeing how Jehovah would use me.

I was satisfied stopping there because cumulatively I had 8 things on my list. However, speaking with a professional reignited my gratitude. She proofread my meet the author blurb for free. That gesture magnified that my practicing gratitude had the snowball effect. All I wanted to do was to learn more from a book editing professional. I received a free critique in response. That made my day. Next I had my in-person interview and was glad that I researched the interviewer, company and LinkedIn profile because I asked the right questions. That extra research made me quick on my feet too because some of those questions were hard. Finally, I spoke with my brand manager who now told me that I could do my 5-hour session via Skype versus travelling. I genuinely felt like cursing her out but I stayed in peace happy that I still had this option before my book came out. Furthermore, she also told me to start going to events and pitch myself as a speaker. Well, there was an event tomorrow evening where I will do just that. I amended my gratitude list adding two more things:

Additional Gratitude List Items

  1. Choosing to stay in peace amidst stupidity.
  2. Having the flexibility necessary for a quick turnaround.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Gratitude Journal : Day 3

The newness of the gratitude journey had worn off and it started feeling like work. Unlike Saturday morning when I awoke at 6am, I awoke at 8am and fell back asleep until 9am (I still caught Joel Osteen). I also did not know what I would be grateful for. I did know that I would not let my indecisiveness linger until the afternoon else nothing would get written. Even with my gratitude list, there would be no procrastination. I knew myself well enough to hammer out my gratitude list so here it was:
Gratitude – Entry 3
  1. Clean clothes
  2. Super Soul Sunday has a new episode
  3. Have food
  4. Wake up in peace
  5. My book progress of securing a Monday meeting with Robin
  6. To always be open to learning. Today I will learn about writing then publishing a book on Amazon in 2 hours

Super Soul Sunday had Iyanla Vanzant on it. She was transparent and wonderful. I particularly loved her saying that ‘people were on drugs because they were liars.’ That summed up drug usage. When you were high, you did not have to face the realities. Sobriety forced you to admit that you had to change because things were not working. I had that reality one month today. I earned my Certified Scrum Master (CSM) license in 6 days because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I hated inertia and potential employers coming back with the same response: what had you done besides PMP? I answered it with my CSM license. Overnight I qualified for three times as many jobs and went on 2 in-person interviews in 3 weeks. That had not happened in the past 7 months. Once again, Iyanla discussed always having a woman swoop in there during her darkest hours and saving herself because she had helped others. I did the same thing. I always gave without expectation. I always was a blessing to people. I prided myself on these two principles. Until Iyanla mentioned this, I never connected the serendipity of my life. When I fell out with Equity at the courthouse and needed a place to stay, my current landlady accepted my rental application on the same day. Now I was never a charity case or a lazy Lazarus but I was not lost on me that the safety net came out of nowhere. Super Soul Sunday magnified all of the good vibes that I received for being a blessing.
Attending the Amazon publishing ebook in 24 hours webinar was well worth the money. The moderator went from soup to nuts regarding the KDP platform. That course saved me time, money and agony. As a budding author, it was importantly to continually learn more about my new profession.

Gratitude Journal : Day 2

                I awoke thinking about nothing but gratitude. It was on my brain all day yesterday and this morning. I also awoke at 6am to do laundry. There is a stillness and serenity about being the only person awake in your condo building on Saturday at 6am. It is not a workday so people are sleeping in. I load my first two bags of laundry then walk to the ATM for extra cash. Outside displayed a quietness too because there are too many cars. At 6am I did not think that the buses were running yet so I walked away without man-made noise pollution. I finished laundering close at 9:20am. People started awaking and being on their day. By then I had already completed half of my to-do list (the other being writing down all of my book edits). I went to the CVS to mail my mother’s and aunt’s birthday cards, picked up lunch and dinner then returned to write Ellen’s letter. I also wrote down my gratitude list. Here it was below:

Gratitude – Entry 2:
  1. I am alive.
  2. I have the mobility and strength to do 8-9 loads of laundry and walk to the DuPont Circle ATM
  3. To have the money in my checking account to withdrawal $10
  4. I have a dry place to live while it is raining.
  5. I have the money to pay Sharvette for my website upgrades
  6. Food to eat.
  7. Have the money to buy two birthday cards

I felt a certain amount of progress writing it before noon versus yesterday afternoon when I got the epiphany. I was serious about turning my energy and life around. Unbeknownst to me, Periscope would play another big role in my life today.
                I watched Robin Devish’s hourly scope-a-thon where she broadcasted different book publishing topics. She ran the gamut from why her first self-published book failed to the business of books. Although I had the business formation, US copyright, and copy editing down pat, I still learned a whole lot about from her. I learned that I could resubmit my US Copyrights Office application because my book title changed and I edited my book; I needed a sales plan for both my book and my business; and I should focus on selling my book first then look at the data and sell my audiobook and workbook. Yesterday I showed gratitude for being able to learn from anyone. Now this came to fruition through watching Robin on Periscope. She provided us with her email. I submitted all of my information. I was surprised that she said that I was farther along and ready to be successful. That comment lifted my sails because it was coming from a professional! I was just grateful that a professional gave me an opportunity to contact her. I never expected that response.
                Furthermore, I also watched Arvin’s Periscope about the writing and publishing a book in 24 hours. Now I would be the first to admit that I liked structure (LLC and US Copyright Office); yet, publishing a book in 1 day would be great for my thought process. I already came into the class with a project management ebook idea. However, it grew to include the idea that using this 24-hour turnaround would help me generate free resources and lead magnets for my business. In addition, I would learn how to upload a book on Amazon. Moreover, that course would have a 7-day replay allowing me to learn at my own pace.  This gratitude thing was starting to work out and paying some dividends. 

Gratitude Journal : Entry 1

I did not awake on Friday saying to myself ‘hey, I need to start a gratitude journal.’ I only showered and got ready to see my former coworker. That was my only change. I ate lunch with her and immediately I realized that I was in isolation and could not do it alone. I was glued to my computer because I was applying for jobs, checking emails to see if I got phone interviews and received rejection letters. I also stayed on the computer completing my book edits and sending money to get it promoted. Removing myself from my virtual world by stepping into the real world and interacting with a human disconnected to a computer had a profound effect on me. When she said that something good would happen, it ignited my internal fire. I felt like I could rebound from all of the disappointment from not just this week but ever since losing my last consulting job in August.
Suet later wanted me to return to my first federal agency to see my former coworkers. Initially I declined because I did not want to see those people but relented because I did not want to disappoint her. Returning gave me another epiphany. I held onto this longstanding belief (still did) that I was the survivor. I managed not only to get out from there but also 1500 by earning my certifications and tripling my income. I started off there in 2006 earning $44K. Last August I made $115K. Those people who stayed incomes were stagnant. Yes, my second former federal agency was a horrible experience but had I stayed at at my former first federal agency, I would had lost my apartment because the cost of living exceeded my paycheck. When I interacted with them, I began to empathized with them being abandoned by other coworkers leaving there to stay in DC and moving to Maryland. I did not feel bad for the she-devil who was still stuck because she royally showed her tail at my going away party. However, I did understand that they were human beings too. As I walked back home, I admitted that my day was better having eaten with Suet and meeting my former coworkers.
I still had no desire of starting a gratitude journal until watching Arvin Poole’s periscope. He was filming Mario Armstrong’s Kim Coles interview. She was talking about someone telling her to take the 30-day gratitude challenge. Mind you she was in the middle of bankruptcy and foreclosure when someone advised her to undertake the challenge. Now I would had hit that person with the ‘Stop the BS!’ because I had real problems. However, Kim Coles undertook it and her life started changing. Her interview signaled to me that I should undertake my own 30-day gratitude challenge. I was not bankrupt or hit foreclosure and had no desire of getting there; but, I admitted that something needed to change. With my own 30-day gratitude challenge, I decided not to feel bad if I repeated the same gratitude. Finding 150 new and different things to be grateful for were too overwhelming. I was just grateful that I started and not holding myself to this gargantuan task. Moreover, as a Type A, I wrote down more than 5. I knew that I could be grateful for more than 5 things on any given day.
So here was my first entry to my gratitude journal:
  1. Have friends who love me
  2. Have family who loves to interact with me
  3. Have the money to pay my rent
  4. To be good enough to give directions
  5. To be alive and live in DuPont Circle
  6. Both of my parents are living
  7. I can learn from anyone
  8. I can wear whatever I want
  9. I legitimately own my own business
  10. I have the financial cushion