down with perfectionism

It’s that time of year again… you know… Chirstmas-time. A holy time we set aside to… obsess and freak out! Wait, what?

Yep. We freak out because our house has to be perfect, our cookies have to be perfect, the gifts have to be perfect. The party MUST be perfect!!!

Blah blah blah.

Well, not this girl! Not this year! No, I have taken a major stand against perfectionism in my life and this Christmas season will be no different.

Some of the cookies will be amazing and some will be dry.
Some of the gifts will hit the mark and some will disappoint.
Not every gift is even going to get a bow on it.
I guarantee you I’ll forget something important.
And I refuse to go to every single thing I’m invited to because I will be the one who pays the price of exhaustion and falling behind.

And I’m okay with all of it! Because instead of pursuing perfection this Holiday Season, I will pursue excellence.


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Excellence empowers! So first and foremost, I will choose the most excellent thing to give my energy to:

Loving people.

That’s right, I will be pursuing excellence in LOVE this Christmas. That means showing people that I love, that I love them, in the ways that they feel loved. And that might not involve a box with a bow on it at all. (But it will definitely involve cookies because food is the 6th love language!)

So who’s with me? Let’s pursue excellence in everything we do this Christmas season, NOT PERFECTION. Most of all, let’s pursue excellence in LOVE.

Now that’s the recipe for a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Lovingly,

Kim
xoxo

don’t let THIS steal your hope

You want something in your life to be better…much better. Maybe it’s a relationship with a significant person. Maybe it’s your health or an a addiction you are killing yourself to kick. Maybe you want way more than your job is offering you. Maybe it’s that debt you want to erase. Maybe it’s your out-of-control anger. Or maybe it’s just general unhappiness that you have spent years complaining about and you’ve finally decided to get on track to get happy! And then…

There’s a setback.

You botch it…big-time.

Or they botch it…big-time.

Or you get bad news about your health, finances or job.

If you are like me, the thing that happens next is one or any combination of these:

1. Discouragement
2. Frustration
3. All out anger
4. And ultimately, loss of hope

Friends, don’t let ‘this’ steal your hope!

What is ‘this’? ‘This’ is any event or events that do not go the way you would like them to. It is any circumstance that appears to be taking you in the opposite direction of the direction you want to be going in.

Please don’t let this steal your hope! Why? Because….

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Nothing’s changing? More bad news? That doesn’t mean it will never happen. I implore you today not to let that steal your hope. You need hope. I need hope. Hope is the anchor of our soul.
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I want you to be equipped to hold on to hope even when things go south. So, here is my best tip to hold onto hope and this week’s #MondayMotivation-

The biggest thief to hope is actually NOT your circumstances. It is your EMOTIONS. Your emotions turn when the situation turns and that makes you believe that there is no hope. But guess what? You can use your will to choose hope. That’s right… your will can overrule your emotion’s vote and choose to hold onto hope. Your will is actually more powerful than your feelings, but your feelings are so compelling that you may have a hard time believing that.

Listen, you are like a huge ship on open waters… you can end up just about anywhere, but you are steering toward a certain destination. Unfortunately, the wind and waves are not making it easy. They are working against you. But guess what you have goin’ for you? The rudder.

No matter how large the ship, it is steered by a very small part called the rudder. The rudder is a flat piece, usually of wood, metal, or plastic, hinged vertically near the stern of a boat and when turned, ever so slightly, the course of this journey and ultimately, the destination are changed dramatically.

Your will is that rudder, my Friend. You can choose hope with your will in spite of the wind and waves of troubles and emotions. You can steer your ship by choosing HOPE regardless of the overwhelming messages to give up. And once you choose hope, anything is possible!
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God is the source of all hope, He is the One with whom all things are possible and He is the ONE reason we always have hope. He can make your valley of trouble into a door of hope! He has done this for me and He will do it for you!
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So I encourage you today, to listen to hope’s whisper and try one more time. Give it your all one more day. Open your heart and choose with your will to hold onto the hope God offers you today.
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With High Hopes,

Kim
xoxo

Scholarships available for Single Moms

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When I was a single mom, a few key people believed in me. In fact, they believed in me enough to invest in me. And that is one of the main reasons I am here doing what I do and writing you this email today.

Single moms have a special place in my heart. I was raised by one, and I became one. Single moms carry the weight of the world on their shoulders that few people who haven’t lived it will ever understand.

They are full of promise, talent and vision (when they are not completely exhausted). They give their all for their children and work hard to make ends meet. And many times, they are doing these things with very limited resources. I know I sure had to.

Well, now I want to give back. That is why I am offering a $600 Single-Mom Scholarship for BOTH the Coauthor Opportunity in The Miracle Effect and the FEW Women’s Leadership Course. (Cost of each is $900.)

If you are a single mom, or you know one, please apply today by downloading the FEW Scholarship Application, filling it out and returning it to me. Comment below if you’d like to submit an application. I will select one recipient for each scholarship and make the announcement on December 2, 2016.

Single Mom, I believe in you. I believe you can still live your purpose and passion and make your mark on the world regardless of your obstacles. So many single moms have gone before us and have proven it!

If you are a Single Mom and you have a Miracle Story to tell and want to coauthor The Miracle Effect, or you desire to be a leader in Faith, Family and Business, apply today.

These $600 scholarships are for Single Moms only. The Miracle Effect Coauthor scholarship is for a Single Mom who is a first-time author (who has never been published). The remaining balance due for the Coauthor Publishing Package and WLC is $300.)

 

xoxo,
Kim

Rebecca Scarberry, Blissfully Extraordinary

Introducing,
REBECCA SCARBERRY,
FEW’s Extraordinary Woman of the Month!
You are just going to LOVE Rebecca! She is absolutely AMAZING. Every time I talk to her or spend time with her, she inspires me more and more. Take this interview for example, she had me in tears with her raw, challenging & inspiring answers. (Hold on a sec – you’ll see!) Rebecca is a truly TRAILBLAZER for women. She is fearless, passionate, driven and her gift of joy makes her absolutely BLISSFUL.
 
Rebecca Scarberry is best known for turning personal hardship into sweet success as the owner of  Becky’s Blissful Bakery. After losing her job and getting divorced in the same week, she turned to cooking, a passion since childhood, for comfort and guidance. You can now find Becky’s award winning caramels gracefully adorning the shelves of fine food stores and boutiques nationwide including Whole Foods Market and Williams Sonoma. (Her caramels will transport you to another place! Some say they can hear angels sing while they eat them!) Read more of Rebecca’s remarkable bio and her many accomplishments at the bottom of this post.
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As you are finding out, nominating Rebecca for FEW’s EWoM was a no-brainer! Check out her answers to my interview questions and you will agree! Here goes-

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Name: Rebecca Scarberry
Age: 40
Founder of Becky’s Blissful Bakery
Grew up in
Currently lives in Brookfield, WI

Kim: Who are two extraordinary people that have inspired you most?

Rebecca: My mom and my mentor.

My Mother.
I didn’t realize what an incredibly strong woman she was when I was growing up and truly how much she sacrificed for her children and family. She was the bread-winner in the family and started college and her career at a time when women had to fight to just go to college. S he was asked to leave her economics class at UNCC because, “the instructor didn’t teach women” and when she explained to the instructor the class was a requirement for her degree, he told her to change her degree and drop his class.

She did not take his advice and was the only female who stayed in the class; he made it as difficult as possible for her, but she passed. Later in her career she was denied an office as the lead salesperson because, well… they never had a woman as a lead salesperson and they didn’t know how to give her an office. That would mean asking a man to leave his office? So, they said she could “share” an office space with a man, whose sales were consistently less than my mother’s every month. This lasted until his wife found out her husband was sharing an office with a beautiful blonde woman, then he moved his desk back out into the center cubicle area with the other sales associates.

She was featured in the local Business Journal as the top salesperson for her company. After being recognized in the paper, an employer she had interviewed with previously called her to offer her a sales position. He told her he didn’t know how to hire a woman but now that she had “proved” herself and that she could sell, he wanted her to work for him. She gracefully declined his offer and continued to work off of ONLY commission and raise her family of four as a single mom. She was the primary care giver for our grandfather, handled all of the finances for two homes and was left with over $50,000 debt after paying off a lien on her house after a “mistake” made by the nursing home that took care of my grandfather before he passed away.

As an adult, I look at her as the strongest trailblazer I know. As a child, I didn’t understand why she didn’t come to my basketball games, swim meets or cheerleading competitions. I wish I had the opportunity to go back to those moments, hug her tight and tell her how much I appreciated what she did and how hard she worked for me to be able to afford to do any sport, activity or event of my choosing. She never had any validation, support or acknowledgment of her accomplishments, sacrifices and unending loyalty and love for her family. However, she kept on blazing and became well known in the business community.

Today, she is still a member of Rotary; she donates to several charitable organizations, volunteers and is an avid reader at 78 years old.
 

  
My Mentor.
My mentor came into my life at mylowest and darkest point. The solo entrepreneurial journey had left it’s mark on me. I had made some major changes in my business that proved to not be beneficial for me personally or professionally. Not to mention, an on-going family crisis had left me emotionally spent and physically ill. I was ready to throw in the towel and go back to the “safe” place of being an employee.  
My mentor did not see the mistakes, anguish, pain and emptiness that I felt. He only saw determination, grit, perseverance, passion, opportunity and a desire to succeed.  He validated my struggles, mistakes and pain and packaged them in the positive. He recognized how bad things were but then focused on the fact I never gave up. I continued to move forward regardless of how terrible my circumstances were.

Having someone that believed in me renewed my spirit and my self-worth. Having someone to hold you accountable is necessary for growth. My mentor is committed to helping me be the best version of me in all aspects of my life. He listens and asks questions, never judges, has a desire to understand the whole picture and identifies what drives and motivates me. I take every opportunity I can to listen, learn and spend time with my mentor. I am blessed and lucky to have the unwavering commitment of an incredible mentor!

Kim: What are your two most extraordinary accomplishments?

Rebecca: Getting a divorce and starting a business 🙂 (Smiley face is Rebecca’s)

Having the courage to stand up for myself and file for divorce. Walking away from what was safe and secure. Following my gut-instinct, following my passion, my truth. I was liberated, I was free, I was given a second chance at life, living my true authentic life. I was free to be blissful, smile, enjoy life, all aspects of life. I was free to show my son the joys of life without quilt or indebtedness. I can be different, I can like different things, I don’t have to follow the social norms of others expectations of me. I am strong enough to be true to myself, my spirit, my own identity.

If being “me” upsets someone else, that is their problem, I don’t have to change to make others happy. People who truly love and respect me will want me to be happy, even if they don’t agree. I was no longer being stifled, punished, controlled or put-down. I was being encouraged, lifted up, loving getting to know myself all over again.

I was able to start my own business. I was succeeding and failing, learning, getting back up and trying again. I was scared, alone and had no safety net. I was running on adrenaline, hope and regardless of what awful circumstance I had gotten myself into, I still believed it was going to be okay.  I knew my goal, regardless of my circumstances, was to keep moving forward in my truth. It was the hardest and most isolating experience of my life. I knew I could throw in the towel and get a job with benefits, consistent income, stability. However, I had my second chance at life. I was free to do it, I knew it would be okay, I knew it would be a success. Day by day, mistake by mistake, loving being free and loving being me.

Every day I pray and every day I thank God for my freedom and my health. I am not being punished for being my true self. I make mistakes, do and say stupid things at times, my family and friends still love me. They don’t judge me or hold things over my head. They allow me the space to be me and love me in the process, blissfully.

 

Kim: What kind of impact do you strive to have on other women?

Rebecca: I want to have a positive impact on other women and let them know that they truly can do and be anything they want, regardless of their circumstances.

Kim: In your own words, what do you think it is that makes a woman extraordinary?

Rebecca: Generally speaking, women have an extraordinary way of connecting with others and making a positive impact/change on anything and anyone. Women are fueled with passion, compassion and a desire to make things better. You add some professionalism, expertise and enthusiasm and that is the ultimate recipe for extraordinary! 

Kim: What is something on your bucket list that you are yet to do that you consider extraordinary?
 
Rebecca: Exporting my product worldwide. Marrying my one true love and life partner.

Kim: What is your favorite inspirational quote?

Rebecca: My favorite quote is by John Wesley:

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Well, I told you that you’d love her! I am so blessed to have her in my life and to be able to learn from her. Rebecca’s courageous journey both personal and professional has inspired me to dream bigger and act on those dreams. How about you?

How has Rebecca’s story impacted you? Let me know by commenting.

Thank you for inspiring us, Rebecca. You truly ARE blissful!
Inspired,
Kim
PS. If you know of an extraordinary woman who inspires and challenges you, nominate her for FEW’s Extraordinary Woman of the Month by replying to this email!

 Here is more of Rebecca!

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Since founding Becky’s Blissful Bakery in 2007, Scarberry has earned a BSB/M degree from the University of Phoenix as well as numerous accolades. Most notably, she has received The Milwaukee Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award, The Business Journal’s Eureka Award, the Spirit of Service Award through the University of Phoenix Alumni Association and the Pewaukee Chamber Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Her gourmet caramels have been featured extensively in many publications including: The Hallmark Channel, Gluten Free Living, M Magazine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 West Magazine, BizTimes Magazine, Simple & Delicious Magazine, Taste TV, Washington Examiner, The National Journal, IMBIBE Magazine, Fox 6 News and TMJ4’s The Morning Blend. She volunteers her time and supports several local nonprofits, including the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation. She speaks to businesses and organizations on marketing, entrepreneurship, overcoming hardship and navigating the business world. She is also a member of the Professional Business Advisory Committee for the University of Phoenix and was the Commencement Speaker for the University of Phoenix in 2013.
Scarberry is an avid supporter of the ‘Buy Local First’ movement and is very active in the Milwaukee business community. In the spirit of entrepreneurism, she created a “How to Start a Food Based Business” workshop at Waukesha County Technical College that aims to connect fledgling entrepreneurs with local food-industry resources. This characteristic innovation has led to successful partnerships with many organizations. The company also enjoys membership with The Specialty Food Association, National Confectioners Association, FAB Wisconsin, Something Special from Wisconsin, Wisconsinmade.com and Local First Milwaukee.
Despite the head rush of such rapid success, Scarberry still remembers where it all began: in her home kitchen, spatula in hand. She is grateful for and humbled by the success of Becky’s Blissful Bakery and considers it a great honor to be a part of people’s joyful occasions and celebrations. In her spare time, she enjoys burning off caramel calories by running, biking, and swimming. She lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with her son, Paul and dog, Charlie.