hustle, perspective

The Chase Begins With You!

When you are an influencer who shares, you’ll always have people following you. Whether they say it out loud or not, they are watching. Some will imitate you, some will sit in judgment of what they know so little about. Some will want to be you or with you, in your circle. Some will admire, emulate, and learn. Some just won’t get it.

This happens daily to many but most won’t talk about it. Haters are always around. Kindness is also in front of you. Some choose by default. Others choose because they are uncertain about themselves. No matter where one fits on the spectrum, one just needs to focus on themselves. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Laugh. Smile. Be genuine when you can. Those who fake it normally show their ugliness in one way or another. Be proud of who you are and what you bring to this world. Just you.

When you engage with your audience, your circle, your friends, your network, your acquaintances, sometimes you’ll be teaching, explaining. Sometimes just laughing, engaging. But within all that noise and engagement, you also have to have someone to chase.

Find someone better than you, in whatever field you are striving in. Business, fitness, social media, even close relationships or friendships. Who do you admire? Who has better skills? Who can you strive to be like?

Don’t mistake a chase for a competition. It’s just the chase. Chase the better version of you not another. You can only compete with yourself in this scenario. In a 50-yard dash you can race to win, but in life you need to focus on developing you and the world only gets one you. It’s up to you to define what you look like today, tomorrow and the next day. The physical you is just one piece of the puzzle.

It could be lunges or toes-to-bar at the gym. It could be the way a person writes or talks to their clients. It could be how a person styles their outfit or cooks in the kitchen. Find that person and chase them. Let them urge you on to a better version of yourself.

You may not even have to tell them. In some cases, it may not even be someone you know that well. In great cases, they might serve as a partner or mentor for you. But, you could also watch from afar and learn and strive that way.

If you are a shining light, you impact others just by being you and pushing forward on your path. Look in the mirror and find your light. Share the light with the world and see what happens.

I dare you to be different. Stand out. You have just one life to live, make it one to remember.

#1095Days #choosedaily #2chx

balance, dare to be different

The Sky Is My Limit

This week was some what of a chill week for me. A little bit of a flexy schedule. Some time for adventuring. A little less work and a lot more play.

This week had no “had to’s.” No business meetings. No trips to Disney. No packed restaurants on spring break. No trips to the office each day. Just a little staycation time in my local area.

I could have done the traveling and I could have enjoyed the beach but instead I opted for my spring break my way. For example, today I am relaxing on the couch with my dog watching the sun shine in my window. Just a girl, her dog, and her mighty blog.

Oh, the power of my words. My wisdom. My stories. My way. While I recharged my AAA-sized life batteries, I let the sky be my limit. The endless sky. It has no boundaries or confinement.

I went on a fabulous hike with some lady friends and my daughter. 5-6 miles of beauty and waterfalls. Birds chirping, girls giggling, a picnic lunch, great chit-chats and no technology. No cell service. Just taking away that one device allows you to appreciate other things. The smiles around you, the friendships you have, and so much more. It was a great day of nothing much then ended with some yummy ice cream from a local dairy farm. Talk about a creamy treat.

A spontaneous few days at the lake made for some good memories, too. Tied up boats with some friends and enjoyed some cocktails, cold water dips and exploration of the movie set for Ozark. I loved channeling my Inner Ruthy badass. Unexpected adventures are always the best. Add in a little jet ski fun with my mini me to make hump day a good one this week.

There was also a concert, a fancy dinner date, workout time and a glorious birthday bash included in the week. Nothing fancy just some good old fun with family and friends.

Many memories made this week but the big milestone this week was what I learned. I learned to sit back and enjoy the day’s sparkle. When you allow yourself time to reset you can accomplish far more than you think you can, personally and professionally.

This week I completed my first double unders at CrossFit. I had been working on the skill here and there but just didn’t commit to attaining it everyday. Somehow I made it work this week. If that wasn’t enough, I nailed my first toes to bar. This was a skill I was feverishly working on for a competition next week. It was a daunting task. It truly took an army of friends and coaches to get me to the finish line but ultimately I put in the work. I’m still climbing in progress but I hit a major milestone.

The above fitness achievements tie into my life in a big way. I am consistent, deliberate, and disciplined in my daily routines and my work ethic. The sky is my playground and my physical and mental strength let me tackle any turbulence that life tosses my way. And trust me I have obstacles daily!

I choose to aim high for what I want and only I stay in my own way of success. Sometimes it’s mental, other times it’s physical boundaries in in front of me. Whatever the barriers, if I have the will I will find my way. If ever I worry, I just look to the sky and know that possibilities are limitless if I set the sky as my boundary.

My way is my story. It’s not anyone else’s story. It’s only me who can put in the work. It’s only me who can define success. Others may think they guide or sway me on my journey but I choose who is part of my story or life journey and when I let them in or not.

My story is by invite only. If you’re in it, you are true to yourself and to me. If you are on the outside of my story there is most definitely a reason. Trust is earned not given to most.

Who is in your story? Is your story true to who you show to the world daily?

I am me. I am happy with who I am. I set the sky as my limit. Boundless energy to some, overly confident to others.

My motto is and and always will be: Dream big. Create. Repeat. Always strive to live without limits and seize infinite opportunities.

dare to be different

Spreading Our Story – We Need Your Votes!

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We’ve entered the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest!

Check out our entry here at 2 Chicks and a Pen. 

It has been a year of growth for us.  We’ve expanded our audience and the ways we tell our stories.  Check out our new video to see how we’ve evolved.

Big things are on the horizon for the 2 Chicks. What’s next? Our #1095Days project is taking shape.  The first book is due out in early 2020.

Please vote for 2 Chicks and a Pen – with your support, we can reach further and inspire more!

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author moments

Well, Poop.

Behind these 2 Chicks is a funny poop story.

Well, sort of.  Poop has been one of those running topics (ahem) that never fails to start a spirited discussion between the Chicks.  For example, Chick 2 will think the nasty poop discussion has ended, and the next day Chick 1 starts a new story with poop as a main event or character. Poop stories always find a new beginning.

When we were writing our first book, The End, Chick 1 wanted to put a poop page in the book.  And not just any regular poop, no! It had to be a BIG old dinosaur poop!  Chick 2, a self-proclaimed “Fahn Suh-thun Lay-dee” would NEV-AH pah-take in a discussion of somethin’ soooo….well, so vahl.  (Translation: she wasn’t a fan of talking about poop, much less putting it in a book! Southern ladies do not discuss such things.) *Fans self.*

If you’ve read our book, you know (and spoiler alert if you haven’t), Chick 1 won this debate. Dinosaur poop made the cut for The End. The illustration is awesome (as you can see above!)  Kids LOVE it.  LOVE IT!  And at our author events, Chick 1 always has to read that part! (Chick 2 still gets a little embarrassed and flushed – ha! – when that page appears.) Coincidentally, that is Chick 1’s favorite page, so it all works out in the end.

Still, poop happens.  Everybody poops.  Poop appeared again in Book 3, where our readers get to be the authors.  Recently, we donated some books to a local classroom.  We got an amazing response, especially to the poop page.  You can take a peek so see what the kids did.  The teacher was caught off guard at first, but how can you resist seeing kids so tickled to imagine and write?!

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Poop still rears (?!) its smelly head throughout the 2 Chicks’ lives. Did you poop today? Did you read the poop book on the back of John’s toilet the other night? Do you ever struggle to poop? Did you see my poop emoji shirt? Why, oh why, do we have to write about poop? Well it’s just a topic that is interesting that provokes conversation.  It stimulates the mind in a strange way but doesn’t seem to get old because everyone poops. And if one is struggling to poop on a regular basis it’s still a conversation piece. From gag-gift books in their circle of friends, to making models from brownie batter bars, it’s just a part of life.

Let’s all embrace poop. Encouraging kids to talk about, giggle about, and read and write about it is just another way the Chicks are a bit different than most.

author moments

Literacy Night with the 2 Chicks!

It was a dark and stormy night….really!

Seriously though, last week was amazing! 2 Chicks headlined a literacy night at a local elementary school. It was well attended despite the hurricane weather fast approaching. The set up was cozy; kids gathered with blankets and snacks on the floor. We couldn’t have been happier to meet these readers. Sharing our books and our story as authors is the heart of what we do!

We had a diverse audience, which we love, as we get to hear what our readers think about our work. What more honest critic (and fan) is there than a child?

Some of the kids were interested in the illustrations and why we chose what we did. Others were fascinated with the book-within-a-book concept from our third book. Still others wanted to know what it means to be an author and how we got our start. Many enjoyed hearing about the beginning, middle, and end of the process of making a book. Of course, the 2 CHX love the opportunity to share all of our ideas in hopes of inspiring future writers and illustrators. We encouraged them to carry notebooks with them and keep paper by their beds. You never know when ideas will strike!

Chick 1, KT, had a particularly moving experience where she met a young boy who likes to write comics with his friend. His friend likes to illustrate their ideas. WOW that is amazing! A partnership of creativity much like the the 2 Chicks have! A relationship to cherish. Their conversations expanded as the evening continued and his curiosity climbed. KT seized the opportunity to inspire and share artwork and works in progress, a true behind the scenes look for this aspiring writer. They then exchanged contact information at the child’s request to form a pen pal relationship and the young man offered future book reviews. What an amazing opportunity for both the child and the author. A connection made and more inspiration to follow….maybe even some pen pal updates. Our cup is overflowing with pure joy when we have events like this.

For Chick 2, Beth, it was an opportunity to connect with former students of her own. Chick 2 used to teach future teachers at the University of Georgia all about reading, writing, and children’s books. Three of her former college students are now teachers at this elementary school! Seeing these educators, now colleagues, encourage young people to enjoy reading, writing, and sharing their ideas was a full circle moment.

Thanks so much to our local friends for inviting us! We are looking forward to reaching more readers this way in the coming months and years. If you’d like us to visit, let us know!

Our message: Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep smiling. Keep doodling. Keep dreaming. You can be whatever you aspire to be.

balance

Bye Bye Summer

Last week was a busy one. Ending summer vacation is usually one week that is crazy for me and many others like me. It’s filled with back-to-school Open Houses, school supply shopping, all tied in with my work juggling act, among the regular chaos of my week.

How do I balance it all? I just do. It is what is expected in my Mom role. Just get it done and hit the restart button the next day. There is no award waiting for me when the kids successfully make it back to school and become well-adjusted, but there is gratification in knowing I did all I could to set them up for success.

My youngest is starting a new school and that comes with new adventures, schedules, teachers, friends, experiences, and so much more. But for a teenager it can also come with stress, anxiety, fear, and a host of other feelings as she wonders how she will fit into her new surroundings.

For now I am focusing on the positives and using this change as a teaching moment to show her how to attract and find good solid friends. The friends who will be by your side when you need them versus those who judge you for being new, dressing differently, or not being the most popular kid on day one.

Will it work? I don’t know but I am going with my gut and encouraging her to be her and let the rest fall in place.

When one can learn to adapt to new environments, new challenges, and be true to herself she will feel empowered to tackle the unknown and be fearless as she grows older.

Fingers crossed as the weekend rolls into the weekdays with new routines, new people, and the shock of being back-to-school for her.

Meanwhile I will be doing a party dance as I get my routine back, my space, my focus and everything else that goes out the window during summer break.

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#byebyesummer #hello7thgrade #2chx #mompower #chicksthatwrite #buildingabadass #stronggirls #fearlessmessage