Be Terrified, but Be Successful

 

Recently, I was described as someone who pushes forward and succeeds despite openly admitting to be terrified...  Someone who recognizes fear in the room, welcomes and offers it a seat at the table, and despite its overwhelming presence, continues to stay focused and work on the task at hand.. This harrowing act, as described to me, was considered to be a true sign of bravery...

Bravery is the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty. (Merriam-Webster)

This description of me was an enormous compliment. I didn't know this perception of me existed. While I haven't blogged in over a year, I do share snippets of my entrepreneurial journey candidly on social media. I've openly shared my struggles, admitted my failures, and excitedly bragged about my successes unapologetically. I wouldn't say I've overshared, but I've tried to be honest about the entrepreneurial journey I'm on. I've shared 'The Good, The Bad, and although I do catch flack for it sometimes... The Petty!

Well, what have I been up to all this time?

Over the past year, I've raised close to $40k for a local non-profit organization and successfully planned 15 events for corporate, small business, and private clients. I also launched a new business, Black Bourbon Society, which is not only bringing together affluent African American bourbon enthusiasts in the Bay Area and Atlanta, but also forcing the spirits industry to recognize a well defined niche market within the 'Urban' demographic.

I've done (still do) all of this in between dropping off/picking up my children at two different schools everyday, managing all of my lovely 'domestic duties', and somewhere between 9pm and the time I pass out with my laptop on my lap. Rinse/Repeat daily while my husband travels across the country 4-5 days every week... This is the part that has never made social media. It's 'The Ugly' thats simply easier to replace with 'The Petty' described above.

I had no idea that by speaking my fears and frustrations out loud while pushing through every obstacle of managing two businesses, being a mom, and a supportive wife, was being noticed as an act of bravery, let alone success! I constantly see ways I can be more efficient with my time. I have a 4 page list of things I have not gotten around to doing (including my taxes...) and clearly I am horrible at consistently blogging and managing my other social media platforms. I'm literally flying by the seat of my pants day by day. So to hear this being labeled as 'successful' shocked me.  

But success simply means the degree or measure of succeeding; a favorable or desired outcome. (Merriam-WebsterWe all do that daily whether we recognize it or not. And when you simplify success to just reaching a desired outcome; 'being terrified' becomes trivial. It's simply a part of the process of achieving success. 

So today, I am taking the time to acknowledge all of the successes I have made -- despite my crazy schedule, despite my ever-growing 'To Do' list, and despite being in the middle of being terrified (actually horrified at this point) by what is sure to be my next round of successes. I am humbled and grateful to be recognized for my bravery, all of my hard work, and my successes. I am inspired to continue down this path, work harder, and do more. 

Be Bold. Be Brave.
~ Sam

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

Every night, before my 5 year old goes to bed, I climb in bed with her and we discuss what we did during the day. It's become our thing. We talk about school, friendships, life, God, etc. She takes great pride in telling me every single detail that happened to her. And as silly as a 5 years old's details may be, I love listening to them.

Last night, when it was my turn to tell her what happened in my mundane life of emails, meetings, paying bills, and shuttling kids around; she asked me why all of a sudden I got quiet. I mean, who wants to hear about all the boring emails I send during the day?  I told her, 'Mommy just has a lot on her mind... that is all'....

She then responded with this:

You can’t dream if you always have stuff on your mind, mommy
— Alva Rivers

Did my 5 year old just teach me the most profound lesson in life? I think I just had an Oprah 'Aha Moment'!

In order for us to be great, forward thinking, and successful in life, you have to clear your mind out in order to dream up possibilities, solutions, and what's yet to come. Holding stuff in, harping on the tasks that are right in front of you, stifles growth. You're just stuck hammering through the same brick wall instead of thinking of other solutions to get around or over the wall. The easiest way to solve a problem is to back up and take a broader view of it. It's like a Manet painting. Up close, the brush strokes are thick, it doesn't blend, it's blurry,  it just doesn't make sense. But from 15ft away, it is one of the most beautiful paintings ever created!

Here are a few quick tips on how I clear my mind:

1. Write it down.
Some people journal, I simply write a list. The point for me is to just get the thoughts out of my head and onto a piece of paper. That way I can circle back to it the next day (or next week...) with a clearer approach.

2. Meditate/Pray on it and release it.
This one is a little harder for me. It's hard to sit still when you have a million thoughts running around your head. But pushing through that wall of thoughts and getting into the clear meditative space is enlightening. I will admit. I need improvement with this one.

3. 'Think about it Tomorrow' - Scarlett O'Hara
I love this approach - And I love Gone With the Wind! But truly, it's okay to push off problems and issues. Not for a lifetime, but for a day or two. I do this to eliminate emotional responses. My knee-jerk reaction to a problem or situation, may not always be the 'best' solution. So, I wait a day or so, and re-approach it from a different perspective.

What are some tips that you use to clear your mind?
Whatever method you choose, I wish you sweet dreams of endless possibilities. Clear your thoughts and watch your progress soar!

~Sam

 

 

 

First Impressions - 8 Easy Steps to being Amazing!

Experts say, it takes less than two seconds to make a lasting impression upon someone. When meeting someone for the first time, it’s important to give your best from the very beginning. Leaving the wrong impression on someone could block you from opportunities, invitations to future social events, and they could take a lifetime to rectify.

Here are 8 essential steps that are sure to help you ‘wow’ someone from the start!


1.     Appearance is Everything.

Before you even say your name, an opinion of you is already being formed. Your personality shines through the clothes you wear, how you carry yourself, and the way you are groomed. You are a walking billboard for yourself. Always present yourself in the most positive light.

If there is a concern on what the appropriate attire is for a social function, contact the host or whoever invited you to get clarity on what to wear. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and ‘dress up’ for the occasion. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

2.     Introduce Yourself with Confidence.

When meeting someone for the first time, be sure to shake his or her hand firmly (don’t squeeze them though) and introduce yourself by giving your full name. “Hello, my name is Samara Rivers. It is very nice to meet you!” 

Your introduction should be short and sweet. You want to give your greeter a chance to introduce themselves to you. From there, the conversation can begin. Ask your greeter a question about themself – How are they enjoying the event? How has their evening been? How did they learn about the event, etc. Do not start talking about yourself. Always keep your focus on the person on whom you just met. You will get your chance to shine… Trust me, you already are!

3.     Make Eye Contact.

There’s a dual purpose to making eye contact with your greeter. It’s self-reflective of your inner confidence and it assures your greeter that you are interested in getting to know them. Never look down or away. That can easily be mistranslated as you’re not interested or you don’t care. And if that’s true, exit the conversation quickly yet gracefully and move on. 

4.     Be Genuine and Sincere.

When you meet someone for the first time, give them your best. Approach someone the same as how you would want to be approached. Ask interesting questions that not only make your greeter feel comfortable but also spur a longer dialogue.

Compliments also go along way with making a lasting impression. If a conversation is going stale or your greeter is having a hard time opening up, lead with a compliment and watch their face light up!

5.     Smile!

This goes along with #1 and #2. Your smile is a major part of your appearance and your confidence. It is the gateway to your personality. You could be dressed to the nines and still fail in the appearance department if you have a frown on your face. Your smile makes you more approachable and inviting to people you don’t yet know. It exudes happiness, confidence, and makes those around you more comfortable. Smiles are infectious. If you can pair your smile with a great sense of humor, even better! People also remember a smile (and likewise a frown).  You never want your lasting impression with someone to be, ‘That woman/man with the bad attitude’….Instead, let your smile light up the room.

6.     Stop Talking!

Less is truly more when it comes to making a first impression. You’re dressed appropriately, you have a smile on your face, and you’re engaged in a great conversation. Stay in this lane. Once you’ve gotten a chance to get to know the person you just introduced yourself to, they will in turn ask you who you are. This is your opportunity to speak. Be clear and concise. If you find yourself rambling, stop. It’s better to throw the conversation back to the other person than to continue to talk about things you don’t even really care about.

Likewise, if you are unsure about something, i.e. if you ‘think’ you’ve met the person before and you actually have not, don’t bring it up. No one wants to be made into someone they supposedly ‘look like’. Same goes with giving a negative opinion on a subject. Keep those to yourself and never join in talking negatively about a certain subject. Stay neutral and stop talking.

7.     Listen – Let them Talk.

The best way to really get to know someone is to listen to them. Just like you are making an impression on them; the person you are speaking with is also making an impression on you. By listening, you are analyzing if your personalities match, if you have similar interests, and if this person could be more of a friend/colleague/mentor to you. Listening also goes hand and hand with being trustworthy. If you are actively listening and engaging in conversation, your greeter will feel more comfortable in opening up more and be more receptive to your discussion.

8.     Remember their Name!

Nothing is more impressive than remembering someone’s name and repeating it back to them after a long discussion or even at the end of a long event. It is the ultimate sign of appreciation. To help remember someone’s name. Repeat it back to them as soon they introduce themselves to you. Use it regularly in your conversation with them. If you see them again throughout the night, repeat their name again -- ‘Are you having a good time, Heather’? This goes a long way. Bonus points if you can remember their children’s name and their pets too!


This list seems lengthy but with good practice, it will become second nature. Above all, have fun. Let your inner personality shine through and approach others how you would want to be approached. If you always give your best, you will always give an amazing first impression.

~ Samara

Cheers to 2016!

Happy New Year!

This year is already off to a great start!

I've got a couple of projects already in the pipeline, working on my social media presence, and continue to brand out the business. New things on the horizon include adding a variety of topics to my blog which will include etiquette tips, fabulous finds, and celebration ideas. This year is going to be FABULOUS!

Thanks for tagging along for the journey. I can't wait to see what the New Year brings!

Cheers!

~Sam

 

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

It's been a while since I have blogged but I am so excited to invite you into my world as I develop my business and my brand. This is a baby in the making so please bear with me as I flesh out the details and grow. I already have a few clients lined up and I cannot wait to start sharing with you. Please stop by and visit often. The best is yet to come!

Samara