The ‘No-Shows’Event

As an author you envision nothing but success for your audience and business. You’ve put yourself out there completely and at the very least expect a great turnout at your events. What happens when no one shows up?

This actually happened to me before. It was my second book signing event and it made sense for me to have it in my hometown because everyone knew me, knew of me, or knew someone related to me. My first event was successful so somehow I figured I could approach this one the same way. I only shared it to the people on social media and then on the day of I waited…..waited…. and waited. Eventually about 6-8 people came (thanks to family and friends lol) but I was soooooo HAPPY! What an experience! So back to my question: What happens when no one shows up?

It’s nothing more humbling than to have no one come to your event or avoid your vending table. After all the work you did to create your book, set up your table, and to have no one or the number of people you expected to not show up is definitely an experience to have as an author. I believe you appreciate the platform even more as you grow into the author God called you to be.

During my book signing event I only had 6-8 people and in the beginning I was waiting for more to come, smh. Eventually I got over that expectation and focused on the ones that were there. It reminded me of one of the parables in the bible about the faithful servant. ‘His master said to him, ‘well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’-Matt. 25:21  When no one else showed up it taught me to be faithful over the little and have joy in the moment.

When no one showed up I was able to reflect and honestly had a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment. The location I chose for my event made sense to me because it was in a town I grew up in. I realized if I wanted to grow my business, I needed to get out of the comfort zone. I learned alot of friends and family will not support you just because they know you and that’s great because it helps narrow your target audience. You also wouldn’t want just family supporting your business anyway.

So the next time you have no one to show up at your event, know its a humbling experience to have and there are great takeaways to learn every time!

 

Qualified

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my ‘fillings’. I kind of pick and choose what to share while I’m in that season and for the past few days I’ve been in awe of how God choses the qualified.

What does it mean to be qualified? To be officially recognized as being trained to perform a particular job.

Growing up I’ve never been recognized as being good in sports, like softball. I feel like I was always the last few to be called on a team and I never liked playing because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. There were people on the team that obviously knew what they were doing and then there was me. LOL!

It’s the same when I’m offered a job position and there’s people that worked hard with their degrees apply for the same position. Opportunities to speak and there’s people that have years of experience to do so and yet God calls the one that used to walk with her head down.

One of my favorite stories was when Moses was called to speak to God’s people and he had a speech impediment! Now it would make sense for someone that spoke well to have the job that Moses was given but God thought he would be perfect for the job.

So how does God qualify us? Well for one he doesn’t judge us the same as others.

‘…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”-1Samuel 16:7

I believe when we’re humble, we’re teachable and with that type of character it puts us in places we could only imagine. I think another thing about being qualified is that we can’t think of ourselves how others think of us. If God says we’re trained to do a particular job we should already have the faith to support it.

So the next time you go after that big thing, whatever it is , know that you are qualified!

 

I’m so glad He doesn’t view us in the same lens as others and in spite of

 

Glossophobia

The fear of public speaking. According to The National Institute of Mental Health about 75% are affected by this social phobia including myself.

I honestly don’t know how the fear started because I did presentations all the time. Maybe the fear came from not knowing everyone’s thoughts or the thought of being embarrassed in front of everyone.

Fast forward, I became an author and started saying ‘yes’ to sharing my stories. I said yes to an opportunity to speak at my alma mater. I even said yes to participate in a pitch competition that I had to prepare the night before. Let me also mention I was SCARED!! So how am I fighting against this fear?

Pray. It doesn’t matter how much I try to prepare myself studying everyone’s tips and strategies if I don’t pray and ask for boldness I doubt I would be able to even  stand in front of an audience. I ask God to get myself out of my thoughts, to stop caring about what others think, and that He’ll get the glory. I also ask for Him to give me the words to say because I don’t want to be random.
Write it down. I write in my journal all the time so it’s a no brainer when I write down what I’m going to say to a crowd. I’m not writing to remember line to line but it makes me feel comfortable and stay focused so I won’t ramble.
Take notes. I like to observe how people present in front of an audience.It’s very helpful listening to other speakers and watching how they keep the audience engaged.
Practice. You ever meditated over what you were going to say in your mind but when it was time to speak it didn’t come out that way? lol! This happens to me sometimes so I try not to overly practice but I do go over what I’ll say out loud.
Be you. God gave us unique traits that makes us stand out from others so what’s a better way to use it than in public speaking? I’ve noticed my bubbly personality captures an audience attention while another person that tells jokes all the time captures an audience attention. However God made you to be, when you speak let it shine in confidence.
I pray one day my heart can stop beating hard out of my chest, that my hands will stop getting sweaty, and I won’t wait until sometimes the last minute to give my cares to God. As He continues to give me strength I will continue to share my story.
 Remember there’s value in your story and someone is out there waiting to hear it.
mic

The Boyfriend Book

Do you have that one friend that will remind you of the reasons why you shouldn’t pursue a particular relationship? A scripture or a quote to encourage you? I’m blessed to say I now have those but when I was younger I had The Boyfriend Book.

I didn’t know that’s what it was until I noticed a pattern with the way I wrote in the notebook. Basically it was this notebook where I wrote the name of the guy I dated (or wanted to date…mostly wanted to date lol) , facts about him ( including zodiac sign SMH), things that attracted me to him, and things that I didn’t like or reasons why the relationship wouldn’t work.

I don’t know why I started that book back then. I probably needed a separate journal to organize my thoughts. Either way that book was a lifesaver because writing down the reasons why the relationship didn’t work encouraged me to move on. Writing and meditating on a list was like having that friend to constantly remind me of how I deserved better.

Now I don’t have that book or need it because I’m married lol but I can still apply the same concept in other areas of my life. Along with my list of “why I shouldn’t pursue…” I like to read over scriptures to help me make better decisions. For example, if I wrote on my list how someone was a distraction I would read over a scripture like Matthew 24:13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

I hope writing your list will encourage you just as much as it has helped me. Stay blessed!
white notebook on pink surface

More Than a Label

What is the first thing you recognize when applying for a job position? For me it’s the job title, of course!  A title confirmed your role in a company, it qualified you to have a voice in certain areas. In a dental office you’ll interact with people in the front office to the dental assistant and hygienist. They can all give you advice to ‘brush your teeth’ but when the dentist delivers the same message it is received because they are highly respected and ‘most qualified’ to say it.

This wasn’t my reason of wanting to become a doctor but I paid attention to the respect patients gave dentists and loved it.

Respect, responsibility, a decent pay was in a title and if I wasn’t careful whatever job I had could eventually become my identity if I allowed it.

If you thought the same as me I hope you also came to realize self love is worth way more than a job title.

Working with coworkers and adapting to responsibilities develops your character but your title does not define who you are or your success.

In any role, whether it’s being a doctor or a janitor, serving others should always be your first priority.

Daughter of the King

battle black blur board game

 

 I’m doodling and get a ‘random’ shirt idea for my business called, ‘Daughter of the King.’  I immediately look it up because I like to create first (smh lol) and I see several shirts with the same phrase. What in the world?? It doesn’t make sense. How does the idea come so clearly but everyone already created it? I was upset and thought I was just making up things in my head.

A few seconds later the voice of God said, “Ash, you do know there is nothing new under the sun, right? It’s all how you present it.” This reminded me of Ecclesiastes 1:9 ‘What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.’ Wow ! That was definitely what I needed to hear.  In my original idea I had so much going on with the font ,words, and color it just wasn’t flowing. So after humbling myself I asked him how he wanted the shirt since it was clearly his idea, lol. That’s when it worked. Out of obedience and humbling myself I was able to receive clear direction for my shirt design.

Now what does it mean to be a daughter of the King? II Corinthians 6:18 says, “And I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” If he’s the King of kings and he calls me his daughter…that means I’m royalty? Not only royalty but to know our Father in heaven is strong, dependable, and loves us more than anyone could. To know I’m a daughter of the King does something to my self esteem. It gives me confidence to walk with my head held high, very encouraging. Just as it speaks life to me that’s what I wanted for others ,especially children.

 

Creative Break

createDo you ever feel like you need a creative break from your day to day routine? I did but it was not by choice at first. So as you may know I was a chemist for a company and they were on their way of closing. I started applying to different lab companies but it seemed like I wasn’t getting a breakthrough so I began thinking differently out of frustration.

Psalm 62:5 “Yes my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.”

I was so focused on my next job and realized I needed rest. I didn’t have an issue with relaxing, walking in the park with my notebook, but I needed to rest. I needed to trust God and go with the flow.  So I began thinking of creative positions with skills I needed/wanted for my business. The first thing I thought of was dance.

One of my stories for Ella’s Greatest Adventures is related to dancing and I took dance classes growing up so I  prayed for an opportunity to be hands-on in the dance community. That’s how I became a dance teacher for preschool.

It was so much fun teaching children how to dance and I learned a lot for myself. One of the things I learned was plans are made to be changed. I was given a curriculum to follow for when I taught class; however, 3-4 year olds wanted something different so that gave me the opportunity to create my own routines and make it fun. Being around the dance class definitely sparked my imagination.

After teaching dance class for a month I became a sales associate for a jewelry store. Working in retail taught me about management. From handling money to inventory of items, managing that part of the business was very important. Another reason I applied to the jewelry store was to interact with people. From working in the lab you’re only talking to your coworkers and as a sales associate, customers are constantly coming in so I  wanted to push myself in that area to initiate conversation more . I also learned about different types of jewelry and material that’s used to make necklaces and bracelets.

After that month ended in the jewelry store I went back into the lab but having a creative break was exactly what I needed.

His Will, His Timing

Have you ever applied to a bunch of jobs and did not get a response? Then all of a sudden you hear back from them all at once? That’s exactly what happened to me!

I was applying everywhere and feeling discouraged because I wasn’t hearing from anyone. I was praying and thought God wasn’t listening. For me when it feels like a parent is giving “silent treatment” I try evaluating where I was in error and fix it if possible. So that’s what I did and yet I found nothing. Sometimes even after you ask for forgiveness in an area (or several…) He has a specific path for us so we can’t skip the process.

Eventually I stopped fighting and went with the flow. I spent more time with Him, did some writing, and accepted His will, His timing. I didn’t forget about applying for jobs I just didn’t make it my first priority waking up. That’s when I noticed a change.

I literally received seven job interviews back to back and quickly became overwhelmed! First, I was overwhelmed with joy. Second, I was overwhelmed because I found favor with every position and I hated making decisions. So, guess what I did?

PRAYED! LOL! I needed help making a wise decision and thought God would be the perfect person to go to. However, it felt like he was being silent again! So I continued praying, kept a positive attitude, and wrote out each job description on paper. I listed everything in detail from each job so it would be easier to compare. After writing out skills I’d obtained from each position it was easier for me to notice pros/cons and make a final decision.

What’s so awesome about God’s love for us is that he cares about EVERYTHING we do and doesn’t want us to be anxious according to Philippians 4:6. There are also things he wants us to experience so we’ll be better equipped for in the future. In this situation I wanted Him to make the decision for me so I wouldn’t have to. Instead He gave me wisdom to make the decision myself. Trust His will, His timing and know He’ll guide you throughout the process.

Interview Survival Tips for the Introvert

Can I just be honest? I do not like interviewing! I know it’s for you and the company to see if you’re a good fit but it’s just not my favorite things to do. My thoughts are you’re meeting people you’ve researched online and you have 30 mins-1hr to share everything about you,’work- related’ you , and it’s just a lot for the introvert me lol. Let me just say I’ve been on a roll having 8 interviews back to back and I’ve learned a lot through this process. Now it’s time to help you!

Pace Yourself
So I was applying to a bunch of jobs and wasn’t hearing from anyone (that’s another blog post) then I literally received a flood of emails/calls for interviews and at first I was a little overwhelmed. I loved the fact I was finally receiving feedback but I knew I couldn’t schedule interviews all for one day. So before I responded to anyone I prayed first for wisdom then I went to my planner and scheduled two interviews per day. I spaced out the interviews to make sure I could arrive on time and most importantly, give me time to think. One thing I did not like about grade school was the time given to leave one class and go to the other. This did not give me time to get my mind off whatever class I was in.

Prepare for small talk
I don’t know about you but when I’m preparing for an interview I’m focused on the questions they may ask and what I’m going to say so I can be in and out. However, there are moments where there’s small talk. Use this opportunity to show your personality!

Make a lasting first impression
When I was volunteering at a dental clinic one of things the dentist kept practicing with me was my handshake. My body language along with a firm handshake all needed to say I had confidence. As an introvert, its easy for others to misread us as being bored and distant when we’re really paying attention. So I always go in with big smile and having constant eye contact, even if it gets a little awkward.

You’re an introvert & proud of it
Being an introvert isn’t a bad thing to be honest. I think companies like to have a balance of both. When I’m asked about my strengths its being an introvert. I’m a natural observer and listener which works in my favor.

I hope this helps!

The ‘Quiet Type’

I’ve always been the ‘quiet type’

But now been called to be still

To take notice of what’s around me

And continue to seek his will

I’ve always been the ‘quiet type’

To observe actions over the sounds of words

To listen and not always be heard

To see clearly without my vision blurred

But even as the ‘quiet type’

My thoughts sometimes get too loud

Especially if I follow the crowd

From being lowly to having sprinkles of proud

That’s when I’m called to be still

To be the student and let the teacher teach his will

To act with prudence

Before making the wrong deal

Finding my voice besides on paper is free

Greater is he that is in me

What he’s producing will begin to ripe

But in this season I’ll just be still and be the ‘quiet type’