Planned anything lately that makes your breath catch in your throat?
I have. It scares the hell out of me in the best way possible. I’ve set a goal around money that makes me sweat.
I’m a 9 year former missionary and lemme tell you, ain’t nobody go into ministry to roll around on a bed full of benjamins. I learned a ton of beautiful things about money during that time – like how wonderfully contingent it is on strongly forged relationships and how provision is around every corner. But I also learned of the unique-to-the-work shadow side – like how we very literally got rewarded for struggle and how there was a definitive cap on what we should and could make.
So want to hear my big ass scary goal? It relates to all of the above.
In 2017, my aim is to make over 3x as much as I’ve ever earned annually in my entire adult life.
But seriously, there is no pressure. I look at the number and think to myself, “Why not?” I know how now. I have the right training under my belt, the best people in my corner, technical and artistic vibrato in my skill set, and a genuine love for relationship-building to go ahead and smoke a celebratory cigar and call it a day.
It’s within reach. It scares me. Both are good things.
Your goal can literally be anything.
My dollar goal is not about making money just for the sake of making money. I won’t throw myself into work I hate or even mildly dislike. I won’t earn dishonestly. And I sure as shit won’t sell my dreams out for the sake of a buck. I know myself well enough to know that I have to be all in with my life – and that includes my work.
This goal is about possibility.That is the real force behind my guns-blazing joy of “Why NOT??”
I love a good challenge. I loveto rise to the occasion. If something sparks a fire in my belly, I’m all in. Possibility means that my dreams have a paved road to sprint down. Possibility means I get a chance to help make other people’s dreams come true. Possibility means I get to creativity partner with the wild heart that came with my divine design and LIVE FULLY.
THAT is the shit that drives the “why” behind my goal. And that’s exactly what makes it feel within reach. It’s still scary. But it’s only scary because it’s big, not because it’s unattainable. When do big things not strike just a little bit of fear and awe in our hearts? That’s the exact spot I want to be in to let my guts and passion stand upside down on their heads and shine.
So what’s your goal? The big one. Pick something for this year. Make it measurable. Break it into smaller goals so you save yourself the freak out moment and can strategize how to get there. Tell someone about it. Hell, tell me and our crew about it and we’ll cheer you on and run with you!
Keep tucked away in the very front of your brain that you are capable of reaching big, scary goals.Where are you in life without vision? Even the ancient scriptures teach that people perish without vision. So sink into it. Go with your gut. Don’t back down. Give it a good hard look and RUN with it.
Making up your mind to try in the first place is half the battle. The other half is believing you can do it. Set your intentions. Put forth the effort. Allow it to be peaceful and easy. This big, beautiful, scary goal is not meant to cause you harm or spin you into struggle. Let the possibility of it wash you. I dare you.
The mind is a powerful thing, lovers. Now who’s with me?
Tons of women have lived experiences that shout the exact opposite of what I have to say and you may be one of them. THANK GOD. In the dream chasing and girl bossing arenas, we all have vastly unique stories. There is no one-size-fits-all because there is no fingerprint, no design downloaded from heaven, no human being past, present, or future, who is identical to the next. This is magnificent. It’s freeing, joy-inducing, and hallelujah-holy-shit producing.
The problem comes when a one-way-best-way mentality is peddled as the only way to succeed. In this case, focused attention on ONE thing at all costs – even if that focused attention means the inside of your fridge becomes remarkably spacious and your bills suddenly sprout jangling chains to haunt you in the night.
I’ve personally encountered this one-way-best-way attitude multiple times recently as it relates to the freelance writing vs Candy Ass showdown. The advice comes unsolicited 10 times out of 10, but it’s always well meaning. I’m also put off 10 times out of 10, but my side eye is always well meaning…
The issue is that there is no showdown.
I understand why I’ve gotten pushback when I’ve talked publicly about how I’m working to make a good living as a writer. I’m best known for Candy Ass. Y’all know I haven’t exactly been demure about it – I shout that shit from the rooftops because I BELIEVE IN IT. And so do you. I know that and I’m thankful beyond measure for it. But Candy Ass both doesn’t pay the bills AND she needs a lot of work. Bottles that spring leaks won’t sell. Sourcing new ones and testing them properly takes time. Designing and printing packaging costs money. Trademarking, more dollars. Website, green.
When I talk about writing, what I’m really saying is that I’ve figured out a damn good strategy to chase down my dreams.This includes pouring the financial resources Candy Ass deserves into the many facets it’ll take to lift her to QUEEN level, funding the many changes barreling toward me in my personal life, and for once, actually making a living. I don’t feel like throwing my hope and energy at grants anymore. You guys, I was a freaking missionary for 9 years and raised support the whole time. I’m in a space now where I want to do what I know I’m exceedingly excellent at and has unlimited potential. That. Is. Writing. Writing is what will fuel this journey.
To be fair, I see the point of focusing my everything on Candy Ass. It’s sexy. It doesn’t feel like a collective slap in the face to girl bosses everywhere if I go for it fully instead of splitting my attention. It seems like the smartest move to get where I want to go fastest.
But my argument to all of this is that Candy Ass is about badass empowerment. And frankly, I do not feel empowered when I’m nursing low-key panic over my “how.” I feel empowered having a strategy in place that I KNOW will kick ass and that will allow me the unmatched FREEDOM to actually do what I want on a time scale that is steady, calculated, and full of HELL YESES.
My point in sharing this is that if you’ve got anyone up your ass for any reason (well meaning or not) about how your dream chasing journey should roll out, shake it off. Absolutely consider whatever wisdom they have to share, but ultimately, trust your gut. Consult your inner circle, sit with it, focus in on where you actually feel the most powerful, and fucking run with it.
Our journeys get to be unique because we are unique. We get to decide what is best for us. And if someone else has ideas about what’s best for us because it’s what’s best for THEM, God bless them. Maybe they’re right. But that’s up to you to decide. This is not about being above advice from people who’ve gone before you and this is not about being stubborn. This is about learning to trust yourself.
I trust myself that my writing gift will take me places I never DREAMED.
Get where you want to go strategically. Pursue your “how” in a way that feels powerful to you. Chase down your dreams like the lioness that you are. Above everything, grant yourself permission. And if it works for you at all like it’s working for me, toss your hair, cock a brow, and DIVIDE AND CONQUER, BABY.
I had an incredibly radical mindset shift at the end of June.
After years of nursing a poverty/scarcity/lack mindset, something in me woke up, sat up, stood up, and quietly but emphatically said, “I’m done.”
I’d been very lightly dipping my toes into the streams of developing an abundance mindset for a few months, but still just wasn’t all in. As it turns out, even a light brush with the waters of change was enough to entice me to jump in for a skinny dip when my subconscious was finally ready.
I don’t really know how to explain it other than that I simply wasn’t ready to let go of whatever traumatic victim-status trophy I held around money for a l-o-n-g time until one day it just clicked. Almost nonchalantly, I’d decided to up my “floor” of what I need to come in every month from $1265 (my absolute barebones insanity budget since I live in freaking Orange County, California) to $1500/mo.
The $235 increase felt like a lot because I often struggled to see even the $1265 come in each month, but I reasoned that I really wanted to begin tithing and also wanted to begin saving. I could give away $150 (10%), save the remaining $85, and still live off the $1265. I reasoned that giving and saving in and of themselves would facilitate the nursing of an abundance mindset, and you know, actually trusting the Lord to be as ridiculously good as I believe he is.
So I made up my mind. Starting in July, my new floor would be $1500/mo. From there, I wanted to challenge myself to increase my floor by $100 every month until I finally hit a flat $2000/mo as my new floor to work to maintain by the end of 2016.
I still don’t know what to make of what happened next.
The end of June came and I was only $61.12 short of having a total income of $1500. I hadn’t even tried to make it passed my standard bare bones $1265/mo and yet there I was, nearly at the $1500 I’d simply made up my MIND to hit for July.
So I tithed and saved off of the $1438.88 that came in for June. Surely, I was off to a good start and could set my sights for real on my new $1500/mo floor for July.
July came and a little more than half-way through the month, I realized I’d already reached beyond my $1500 goal.
So I got internally feisty and decided to raise my floor to $2000 for July just to see if I could do it.
On a late night car ride on our year anniversary, I said to Keil that I was excited to see what would happen with this new making-up-my-mind, praying, and trusting God to meet me in the effort thing and that it was finally dawning on me that I don’t live the rest of my life from a bare bones level of lack. So why should I live my financial life that way? It’s not who I am. He agreed and told me to go for it.
The very end of July arrived and I was just over $100 away from hitting the $2k mark. I went public with the news of the game I was playing with myself and how excited I was to see what in the hot hell was even going ON, and a woman with a freelance writing gig approached me and said, “Let’s get you that last $100 to reach 2k.”
By the end of July, I’d earned $2017.98. I’d only intended to earn $1500.
So August rolled around a week and a half ago and I thought, “What the hell? I’m just gonna raise my floor to $2k now instead of waiting until the end of the year and practice working toward and maintaining $2k.” I saw that it was possible, so why not?
It is August 9th as I write this, and I’ve seen $2258.86 come in for the month so far.
I don’t understand what’s happening. All I know is that I made up my mind to knock off the poverty/scarcity/lack bullshit, prayed and told the Lord that I’m in with tithing, and asked him to help me earn whatever is possible so I can still live off my bare bones $1265/mo, tithe whatever 10% ends up being each month, and save the rest to put toward the future of my to-be fam with Keil and Sai.
(Right now the thing I have the most excitement around saving toward – other than the responsibility of an emergency fund and a stable monthly income – is killer furniture and home decor to make a house a beautiful home for us and an awesome work environment for me! Z Gallerie makes me drool.)
One of the tools that has helped me immensely on this journey I’ve been on for the last month and a half is a journal I picked up on a whim from Marshall’s for 5 bucks. It’s black with gold script that says, “It’s A Good Day To Have A Good Day.”
I decided at the beginning of July that I wanted an abundance and gratitude journal and that I would write down every single day how much money came in that day just so I could see it in black and white (actually, electric purple, hot pink, and neon blue). On days when there are goose eggs, I’d take care to record the things that happened that day that I was extremely thankful for.
I’ve been doing this daily since July 5th and it has been INCREDIBLE. It’s reminded me to pray, work hard, stay accountable, and be bold to ask for work.
Right now, my income comes through Patreon, Candy Ass sales, and both ongoing and one-time freelance editing, writing, social media, and research gigs. My Patreon team is beautiful and slowly growing, Candy Ass is my baby and continues to wake further to my dreams for it every single day, and both my ongoing and one-time freelance gigs the Lord’s been placing in my path are with incredibly cool women doing jobs that allow me to bless the hell out of them while they bless the hell out of me so I can save up for my future with my family.
Frankly, I’m stunned.
And the reason I’m sharing so opening – including numbers – is because if I can inspire just one other woman with my story that I was in no way able to manufacture and she realizes that she can do the exact same thing, I’m in.
I lived below the poverty line my entire adult life up until right now because I was a missionary for 9 years and was a hell of a lot more concerned about my various ministry gigs and the people I was coming along side than making money. After that season ended, I was left with a by product of a poverty mindset because it’s simply what I’d become accustomed to. The positive piece of my background is that I learned to adapt and get by on very little.
I also learned how indescribably important it is to build, nourish, and beautify relationships.
Every single piece of what I do now as an entrepreneur is based on relationship. Patreon is all relationship. Candy Ass sales are solely through sharing my life and work on Facebook at this point. Freelance gigs are with women I’ve known in online communities for months. It’s all relationship. It’s all personal.
And I !?$&ing love it.
My heart of hearts will always be for people above anything else. My writing on Hiya Tootsie! that my Patreon team backs is to inspire as many women far and wide as humanly possible. Candy Ass is to offer a physical reminder to literally roll on our skin that we have exactly what it takes to chase down our dreams in all our ass kicking glory. My freelance gigs, I’ve prayed over and over that the Lord would only allow the jobs to come that would bless both me and the women I’m working for, and to let all stressful jobs fall.
And the whole reason I’m so stoked to finally be making a little money? So I can give it away and save it for my family.
People. Love. That’s the motivating factor.
Know that wherever you are on your money mindset journey, especially if you’re also working to slay in the dream chasing arena, you’re where you need to be. What I’m observing in real time in my life right now is nothing I was able to force or manipulate. But I was ready, had taken baby steps, and am now on a brand new, wide-eyed journey.
Anything is possible for she who believes.
Remember that. Your mind is powerful. The intentions of your heart are also powerful and are honored when they line up with the heart of the divine.
Here’s to the wide-eyed journey, love, people, knowing in our bones that money does not define us, that it’s more than ok to talk openly about, and that it’s also perfectly fine to want and to want to do good with it.
Here’s to kicking ass, trying, and trusting, kittens.
Hey little mama. You’re laying right next to me in your da-da’s bed right now snuggled up in an M&M blanket, your mom’s shirt, eating vanilla yogurt, and watching your mermaid show while I’m writing late and he’s playing his heart out at softball tonight.
You’re such a social girl and just didn’t want to hang in your room alone, so you asked me if you could come hang out with me if you’re quiet. You even just said to me 10 minutes into our laying together, “Just letting you know… can you hear anything?” I told you no and that you’re totally fine and you glanced my direction and said “Ok, good.”
You are an incredibly thoughtful girl. You love people and are super empathetic. Even though my earbuds totally don’t fit in your little 8 year old ears, you’re making it work because of your desire to be connected and that’s awesome. You’re awesome. Totally and completely. And I have some important things I want you to know about the importance of being exactly who you are and chasing down your dreams.
First of all, the things that make you who you are as a little girl are the things that will carry you when you’re a woman. You will absolutely change as you grow up, we all do, but your core will be the same. You’ll always be that people loving, connection-driven, daring, adventurous, independent person. And I’ve got to tell you, the majority of what it takes to chase down your dreams is already written into your bones.
So much of dream chasing is wrapped up in having the guts to try and letting people help you along the way. If you’re willing to risk trying (risking failure and risking success often produce the exact same kind of scary feelings!) and willing to ask for help and keep relationships with other people a priority in your life, you will go further than you ever thought possible.
Believe in yourself. Believe that you can see your biggest dreams come to pass the same way you believe you can scale a rock wall all the way to the top to ring the bell. I wasn’t there for that one, but I saw the picture (and the prize you got for doing it), and that was nuts. You wouldn’t have done it if you didn’t believe you could, and you DID. Courage and the willingness to try because you believe in yourself is the kind of moxie it takes to chase your dreams.Believe you can do it and go for it.
You’ll have moments where you won’t do as well as you wanted to. That’s ok. You’re allowed to be human and you’re allowed to not be perfect. In fact, I want you to completely reject the entire idea of perfection.It’s not real. You’re not a machine, you’re a human being and what makes you so unique and fabulous is just how perfectly imperfect you are. Keep that up. The point in not doing as well as you wanted is that it will teach you to try something new next time that will help you get better and better and closer and closer to your goal.
Remember that you can go for anything – even things that seem like a crazy long shot. You know my perfume that you’re always asking to help me with? I want to get the perfume I made (and the ones your dad and I made together) into a huge makeup store that has locations all over the world one day. Crazy, right? But I’m going for it. Every little step I take gets me closer and closer to that goal. Little steps are a huge piece of the puzzle. Remember this as you’re going for your “anything.” Small steps add up and will help you get to big dreams, I promise you that.
Know that it’s always ok to ask questions.Google will be your best friend and you’ll figure out plenty on your own, but other people will be your biggest allies and cheerleaders. Asking only makes you smarter and faster. It also makes you brave. So many people are afraid that asking will make them seem silly, but the exact opposite is true. You will learn that most people want to see you succeed and will help you if they can. That’s the beauty of relationships.
You are incredible. You very literally are a dream come true. When you’re chasing down your own dreams, remember that YOU are a living, breathing, walking, talking dream that only existed as a dream to the people in your life who love you so, so much and waited a long time to meet you. You’re made for this stuff baby, because you ARE this stuff. Dreams are written into your DNA. We love you so much and believe in you to the moon and back. And if you ever need us, we’ll be right here ready and waiting to do anything we can to help you soar.