“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
― Martha Washington
The first First Lady is talking about attitude. It’s so easy to be miserable when life isn’t going our way – and happy when things are. But being cool when things get sticky…that’s the real test. I remember when I was especially stressed out at my ad agency back in my late 20s when I read, “I shall not let circumstances dictate my joy.” I tried really hard from then on to not let a bad situation define my mood and spoil the day. It is easy? Hell, no. But it DOES get easier with practice.
So what about other traits we need as the CEO of Our One Unique Life? As makers and entrepreneurs and managers, what do we need to possess to carry out our goals? In this week’s Bow & Arrows video, I share 6 traits of a great hunter – you hold the bow, friends, and the arrows our our choices, including how we react to whatever circumstance comes our way. By changing our behavior from the inside out, we can make these habits stick.
I look forward to seeing some of you next week for my next workshop, Hitting the Brand Bullseye. See the full list of workshops here and if you are seeking some branding help, message me to discuss. I’m already seeing some really cool things come out of this program, so I’m thrilled we’re creating this tribe to aim for greatness together.
If you believe like I do that one door closing means another opens, you’ll love this week’s Mermaid Tale. Sometimes doors get slammed shut – you lose a job, you get divorced, your kids leave the house – and that forces us to stare at a new door, a new opportunity – and I hope before we reach for that handle that we bring with us the intention to go for our passions. What have you always wanted to do that you haven’t done? What feels “over” in your life and what unfinished/unfulfilled dreams still lurk in your soul?
My assistant Melanie Thomas – who is helping me open lots of fabulous doors – introduced me to this week’s mermaid, Deanne Beaudoin, who transplanted her family to Oklahoma – new state door! – and launched her dream to make jewelry. Mermaid Pearls of Wisdom in bold for us to think upon and treasure.
ML: Hello, Deanne. Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your story and beautiful jewelry at Felicity Designs. What was that moment you made the deep dive for your dream in starting your jewelry line?
DB: In August of 2005, my family embarked on the adventure of our lives. My husband, Jerome, and I, along with our four children, moved from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Edmond, Oklahoma. This was no small feat, and our little family unit went through a great deal of adjustment.
Prior to our move, I was a practicing Speech Language Pathologist, and worked ¾ time in my Private Practice. Although I was qualified to continue working in the US, I decided to take 1 year off to help with our family’s adjustment to life in Oklahoma. This year was filled with school volunteering, play dates, birthday parties, slumber parties and extra-curricular activities. Although this was very fulfilling and helped our children to acclimate, my desire to create was ever-present and I decided to also spend time designing jewelry. I had always enjoyed creating jewelry for family and friends, and lifting their moods with one of my pieces. It was fabulous to have supportive and often constructive feedback to help me hone my skills and develop a sense of style.
At the encouragement of my family and friends, I decided to try my hand at selling my jewelry. My first sale was on Ebay, and although I didn’t really make any money with this sale, I was hooked and my confidence slightly boosted. I opened my first online shop in February of 2007 on Ruby Lane (a large marketplace for Artisan Jewelry, Antiques and Collectables), and “Felicity Jewelry Designs” was born. I began to quickly learn about posting online, taking photographs and customer service. Simultaneously, I was working hard to increase and improve my jewelry making and design skills. I began to devote more and more time to my jewelry making and selling, and the idea of going back to Speech Language Pathology became less important. Although I did experience moments of insecurity and doubt, my new business allowed me to follow my passion, design and create, and feel productive while taking care of my young family. With constant encouragement from my husband, my business evolved and grew, and I began to sell at trunk and art/craft shows, consign in boutiques and rent space in vendor’s marketplaces. As well, I have always worked to increase my online presence.
ML: Entrepreneurship is all about experimenting, revising and growing. Congrats on your success, Deanne. Working can be so taxing, even when it’s something we love. What brings a smile to your face?
DB: My family consistently brings a smile to my face. I so enjoy interacting with the young adults that my husband and I have raised (now aged 23, 22, 19 and 17 years). I am in awe of the kind and caring people they have become. In 2015, our eldest daughter married a wonderful young man, and we are so excited that our family has grown, and God willing, will continue to do so.
I strongly believe that gratitude is fundamental to true contentment and happiness. Practicing gratitude does take effort, but I find that consciously doing so insulates me from the discouragement that often results from comparing to others and “keeping score”. Deflecting thoughts of jealousy, revenge and envy can often be achieved by simply taking a moment to realize and define your negative feeling and replace it with thoughts of thankfulness.
ML: Our get real moment. Share with us a challenge and how you worked through it.
DB: One of the biggest challenges that I have faced is our children leaving home to pursue their University educations. While feeling happy and proud that they are working towards becoming independent and functioning members of our community, I feel a strong of strong sense of loneliness and a yearning for the days when they were young and their lives revolved around our home and family.
My lovely 98-year-old grandmother has always said that life is a series of phases, and that each phase should be embraced and assessed in terms of positivity and novelty. As we move through our own phases, it is good to define what we are experiencing and find the goodness that there is. Rather than mourn the losses from a previous phase, try to see what your new phase holds and choose to enjoy!
My grandmother’s wisdom has been crucial in helping me to deal with inevitable change and to look forward to a future that includes children with whom you can develop friendships, new in laws and of course, grand-children!!
ML: That’s so relevant to so many of our readers, Deanne. I’ve been going through that as my senior is about to head to college in the fall and my teens are so independent. It’s TOUGH on mamas. How cool that your grandmother provides such wisdom for you, too. I’d love to hear how you practice enlightened living – presence, intention, action. What inspires you?
DB: I recently read and identified with an essay entitled, “Power of Letting Go” by Rev. J Martin Page. In this essay Page asserts that, “God is only in the present moment.” He writes that by dwelling on regrets of the past, you are blocking God’s love from fully entering your life. In addition, if you only focus and worry about the future, Page insists that you are doubting God’s plan. This is not to say that the past should not be learned from and the future not thought about. However, I do believe that placing trust in God’s plan for our lives and learning to appreciate our present situation helps to better achieve a context of enlightened and positive living. For me personally, it is when I am in such a frame of mind that my creativity and design abilities are at their best.
ML: We absolutely only have Now. Thank you for sharing your journey with us today, Deanne. Mermaids, please treat yourself or another mermaid in your life to one of Deanne’s pretty pieces, which can be found locally here…
The Lifesquire logo says it all: a crown above the “Q”. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a queen (or at least less like Cinderella before the fairy godmother saved her), then having a personal assistant, a “squire”, may be what your busy life calls for. Today I’ve asked Lifesquire founder Valerie Riley, another fab Oklahoma Cityite, to come up for air in my Mermaid Mojo series, honoring women who live boldly and deep dive for their dreams. If you’re new to my series, I hope you’ll take some time and visit the other lovely mermaids I’ve featured and click “follow” to get the new feature in your inbox each week, all year long. Their strength is also in their vulnerability – real people who have struggled and risen above and keep going back for more. I’ve bolded some Pearls of Wisdom for us to chew on.
ML: Tell us about the moment you made the deep dive for your dream in starting what is now Lifesquire.
VR: It’s not real sexy or inspiring, honestly. I have “activator” as one of my top 5 strengths which means if I have an idea, it’s hard for me to not act on it. I worked solo in Dallas servicing 4-5 clients and quickly realized that wasn’t sustainable. I read the E-Myth and made the choice that if I wanted to grow, I needed to think about hiring. I moved to OKC and created a plan that would lead me to where I am now – after a lot of bumps and bruises along the way for sure! Failure isn’t scary to me. I’m not afraid to make poor decisions as long as I’m at least moving forward. That plays out in good and bad ways, haha!
ML: Congrats on making that leap. Each week I ask our mermaid what brings a smile to her face. Gratitude is one of the keys to happiness, I think, and I love to hear what brings people joy.
VR: I actually write down 3 things each night that I’m grateful for in my day. I believe that gratitude leads to contentment, which for me, is much more meaningful than happiness. Things that make me smile unequivocally: my dogs and cat, my nephews, the sunshine, coming home to my little, cozy house, seeing staff members find themselves at LifeSquire and my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
ML: What’s been the biggest challenge in your life and what did/do you do to overcome fear and deal with adversity?
VR: Most people don’t know this about me, but I am a child abuse survivor. I had a very volatile childhood and wasn’t told that I was loved or that I could “do anything I put my mind to”. I learned very early on that if you want to change anything, you can always change yourself. I focused on what I didn’t like about my family and decided that I could make those changes as an adult. God rescued me out of a very difficult situation just by giving me a heart of tenacity and forgiveness. It’s how I still operate to this day. I believe everyone deserves lots of second chances, lots of grace and lots of kindness.I also believe that if you work hard enough, are honest in your work and treat people well, you will achieve success.
ML: Thank you for sharing that, Valerie. I’d love for every reader to take some time this week and really think about the narrative in their lives. What story are we telling about our life? Is it the one they grew up with? What false beliefs might still be playing? No matter our age, we can assess and create a better life for ourselves. Valerie, you and your company thrive by getting things done – hard work and great service. What are your personal favorite tool(s) for enlightened living (presence, intention, action)?
VR: I start my days with quiet time with God. Ideally I would do this before ever looking at my phone but I’m human and a business owner, so I struggle there a lot. My best days are when I focus on where He is leading me, not where I’m trying to push myself to go.
Wishing you much continued success, Valerie! Mermaids, here’s how you can follow Lifesquire on the net. Simply find “Lifesqure” on these platforms. Links below.
Let’s make our intention this week observing what we should focus on and alternatively what we need to let go of. Often our “too busy” lives are a result of unrealistic demands on our time. Seek out those “helpers” in our lives whether that’s things our kids or mate could do or learning to say “no” to things that take our attention away from our priorities. If you live in a market with Lifesquire, talk to them about how they could help get some things off your plate. Finally, I hope you’ll take Valerie’s lead and spend some quiet time each day in stillness and feel you return to self.