Self-Preservation is Your Best Friend

know, mindfulness, thinkpiece July 7, 2019

The two-hundredth-and-forty-fourth anniversary of America dredged up some pretty powerful feelings about my own independence…or lack thereof. Days after, it dawned on me that my obsession with the latter (or the former, errr), could be tied to the impending arrival of my two-year LA-versary.

Thanks to Hollywood (one small neighborhood in LA), Los Angeles has been likened to some other world (true), where sunshine beats on you constantly (false). So much so that you might be wondering, “Tahira, what about sunshine makes you uneasy?” And the answer to that is: living in Los Angeles is the hardest thing I’ve done thus far. In two short years, I’ve learned a disturbing amount about myself and being on my own.

What that really means, and what that really looks like. 

And for some reason, learning these things has been seemingly more uncomfortable than my learning in other seasons in my life. Perhaps because I can no longer bullshit myself about who I am and why I am that way, but to make a long story short, I’ll say that I’m still trying to figure it out. One can only suspect that it has a lot to do with how good I’ve gotten at ‘picking and choosing my battles’–a practice so subjective by nature that another wave of discomfort is rolling in as we speak.

And perhaps that's the thing that really gets me about this town...

It makes you realize that nothing is good or bad. The only thing that makes it such is your perspective. What a beautifully hellish thing to be responsible for…. :’) And ultimately, that’s why I’ve come to see self-preservation as my best friend.

Merriam-Webster defines self-preservation as, “preservation of self from destruction or harm,” a biological reaction that boils down to survival of the fittest. But in my even simpler, zen-brain terms, self-preservation is what I do to not completely lose my shit. If life is an ocean of emotional triggers, self-preservation is your lifeboat. Not your mother, or your best friend, or your significant other. Love and fear of God is great too, but for good measure, pray for self-preservation.

I liken self-preservation to the duvet cover I pull over myself at night knowing that it won’t protect me from the ax murderer, should they arrive in the middle of the night, yet that cream, linen duvet helps me get in those Zzzs.

Self-preservation isn't false security.

I’m fully accepting of the fact that two locked doors are the actual barriers between me and this imaginary murderer, and even more privy to how ridiculous this analogy is, yet I don’t allow either of those facts to keep me up at night. If I’m being even less ridiculous, SP is any action that helps you to cope with the reality that a lot of sad, scary things happen in life, without diminishing life’s beauty. It’s the mediator that helps to balance you out after all goes left.

For me, that mediator comes in the form of mantras that I hold up against pretty much anything that happens in my life, including, but not limited to….

1. Love all, but give your energy to few.

Energy is expensive and we have to learn how to spend it. To my horror (and yours, I’m guessing), turning off your giving-a-damn-o-meter completely is impossible, but if you learn where to invest your energy, and how in what quantities, your life gains an under-rated calm.

2. See it and say less.

A ghost from dating’s past once taught me life’s biggest lesson: not everything needs a response–that includes people’s actions. Sometimes they have no idea that what they’re doing affects you big time; other times, they know what they’re doing, can ‘imagine how you feel’, and they just don’t care.

3. Relationships must be a two-way street.

Call me crazy, but whether familial, platonic, or romantic, I want the people in my life to do the work to maintain the connection we have. This may not look like a steady stream of communication, or time spent together, but if the answer to why we haven’t enjoyed quality time in 5ever is poor communication…I will happily remove you from my life.

Ciao. Poof. Finito. 

I take all of my relationships very seriously, and if you don’t, well…please keep your ‘pick-up-where-we-left-off’ mess away from me. Everyone has their preference, and mine is to unapologetically connect with the people I love as often as I can.

4. Cherish the people who show up for you.

You don’t have to search for your cheerleaders. Or buy some device on the black market to decipher their energy. You will know who is there for you and who is not. Celebrate those who are, they did not stumble into your life by accident.

5. Not all of your relationships will pass this sniff test. 

That’s the whole point…not all of them are supposed to, and that’s perfectly ok. Even the relationships that pass the sniff test today, may not pass it fifteen years from now. That’s why self-preservation should be our best friend.

And why not? Self-preservation is having the audacity to celebrate your life regardless of the circumstances. It’s the defiant act of celebrating who you are today and who you have in your life today, of loving all that you have for what it is, and of seeing the magic in this very moment.

Self-preservation allows us to see the beauty in all things, by helping us to reconcile the hurt we feel from the bad that occurs in our lives, without attaching it to the good. It’s the freedom to just be and let be. And you deserve it.

How Non-Profits Build Small Businesses

business, entrepreneur, youtube June 16, 2019

The Internet has a funny way of bringing people together…

That probably sounds really cliché, but given all of the talking I’ve done about how I recently became serious about using my platform for social good, it’s no coincidence how I crossed paths with Maghan Morin, Co-Founder of Miami-based non-profit Thynk Global.

Their mission? Equipping small business owners within food incubators and co-working spaces with information to help problem-solve and scale up. Ultimately, Thynk Global is the product of some genius reverse engineering by Morin and Co-Founder, Jeanine Suah, who experienced first-hand the magic that happens at pop-up co-working events. As Morin and Suah began featuring panels and other content, equipping their female counterparts with ‘business hacks,’ this number quickly jumped from 12 attendees to 80, then to over 100.

But given Morin and Suah’s shared winner-mentality, the success of their non-profit is no surprise.

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Morin notes, “when we were picking out names, I was not budging on the global part…because we need to be global! It’s all about perspective.”

And the handful of success stories they’ve already seen is proof that they’re certainly on track to take their message global:

5 Practices That Prevent Late or Unreturned Invoices

business, money, work, youtube May 26, 2019

Working for yourself is cutthroat. This I know for sure, for many reasons, many of which revolve around money….and nine times out of ten, the lack thereof. The business-owning reality is this: netting zero doesn’t mean that there isn’t any work to be done; these are, perhaps, the moments in which business owners are working their hardest to break even or better.

But what happens when business is coming in, but invoices are not returned on time? Disbelief may be your most immediate emotional response, followed by anger, and then discomfort when the reality of not getting what you’re owed slowly settles in. But somewhere in there, you may also begin to analyze the interactions with your client in a desperate attempt to grasp some sort of understanding of where you could have gone wrong.

Every business owner, contractor, and freelancer has been there. Myself included.

And though the feeling of having your work not be valued is a tough pill to swallow on its own, non-paying clients can seriously mess with your livelihood, and cause some debilitating self-doubt. Luckily, like anything else in our lives, there are lessons to be learned from these situations, that will help prevent you from getting taken advantage of again…

So long as you put these five practices in place while managing your sales funnel:

  1. Place such high value on your product or service that non-payment is not an option. Don’t give your client the option to not pay you. Wait for the invoice to be returned before you proceed with their project.
  2. Invoice first, and work second, as agreements, both contractual and verbal, can be violated at any moment. Even on paper, words are easily trumped by action.
  3. Do not entertain conversations that require doing work and then getting paid. If you want your product or service to be taken seriously, also get serious about charging people for it.
  4. Approach your client’s non-communication of how they will pay with caution. Your client should be just as engaged in the conversation on how you will bill them, regardless of how big or small the project fee is.
  5. Don’t assume your client has the same level of respect for others that you have. Productive conversations and rapport do not constitute respect, and even the most unsuspecting people can have sinister motives.

Still not convinced that your business needs these protections? I can change your mind with my experience chasing invoices (and yes, it is a horror story).

Ellie Shoja + Neloo Naderi Teach Me the Art of Finding Inner Peace

business, thinkpiece, transformations, youtube May 7, 2019

With Mental Health Awareness Month upon us, there’s no better time to pause and consider the health of our inner dialogues. Recent reflections around my mental health helped me realize how much time I have spent considering my relationships with others. And who doesn’t? It’s the most human thing to do.

But when do we start giving the same time and attention to the relationship we have with ourselves? Our thoughts create our reality, and of course, our ability to shatter limitations. I started to prioritize my self-talk after a college roommate scoffed at my post-grad aspirations, and told me it would never happen. My recognition that those were her limiting beliefs and not mine, helped me to muster “the nerve,” and conviction to follow my dreams instead. At that very moment, a choice was made.

We often think that changing our thinking to honor all that we are is a long process, but the work of Peace Unleashed owners, Ellie Shoja and Neloo Naderi show us major breakthroughs can happen as quickly as 15 minutes…if you’re ready to commit.

Their business consists of empowering people to connect to their true selves, which are completely at peace. The power of peace then helps them to, quite literally, make their dreams a reality.

Don’t believe it can happen to you? Ellie and Neloo just might change your mind:

 

 

Real Estate Pro, Ian Williams, Simplifies Millennial and Gen Z Homebuying

business, know, money April 16, 2019

Much thinking is required of Entrepreneurs when it comes to money, especially for those who are Millennials and Gen Z. But, with so many investment options, it is difficult knowing where to start.

Given the many ways in which economic sustainability is tied to the real estate business, I thought it would be the best one to tackle. And so I called on Real Estate Professional, Ian Michael of Luxury Estates, to break down everything young money makers need to know about market trends and the best time to buy a home.

Join our conversation: