Scared to Share

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When you were little the only thing you were good at sharing, was your germs. You had to learn to share your things. When your parents’ friends came over with their kids, you were encouraged to let their kids play with your toys. In exchange, you’d be able to play with their toys when you went over their house.

As you grew up you fully understand the concept of sharing and you realized the benefit so much so, that by middle school, you shared everything with your friends- clothes, books, toys, games, etc.

Sharing is risk. When you shared your toy there was a always a risk that it’d get broken, lost, or not returned. The more you cared about something, the harder it was to share it because the greater the risk- the more upset, or hurt you’d be if something happened to it.

That risk is why as a young adults, you don’t share the things that are the most important and closest to you. You don’t share your hurt, your pain, your sadness and loneliness and you don’t share your story.

The more important, the greater the risk, so you don’t share because you’re afraid. You keep things to yourself because you think no one will understand, can relate, will care, or maybe you’re embarrassed. But the truth is, freedom comes through sharing. When you hide, you rob other people of the opportunity to get to know you better and you fail to encourage them to do the same.

Your story is different from anyone else’s. You’re living your story as I live mine. I am learning to share my story publicly after many years of not seeing any value in doing so. Truthfully, I didn’t think I had a story. I’m a middle-class raised American child, educated in public school who earned a college degree, and who is in the process of starting a business. Snoresville.

I’ve started to share more about who I am, what I learned along each of those phases of my life, and what I want young adults to know earlier than I learned the lessons, and it’s been liberating. Not only have others gotten to know me better, but as I share, others share, and I realize that we have a lot in common.

We’re all on a journey trying to figure out life, who we are, and what part we play in the world at large. There’s no reason we need to go through it alone. Stop being scared to share.

Share your story, share who you are, what hurts, and what goal you’re going after. Find liberation through being transparent. Tell your truth, not your business.

Two Truths. No Lies.

cointracker16I have a friend who doesn’t tell the truth.
I don’t call her a liar, (although that’s what you’d call a person who doesn’t tell the truth) because she doesn’t know she’s lying. To her, she’s telling the truth as she understands things in the moment. It’s not until things go wrong that she realizes she chose to ignore the red flags and warning signs.
After the guy she was head over heels in love with, broke her heart, then she clearly saw the red flags. Post-breakup she told me parts of his story she’d previously left out- his relationship history, the vices he indulged in, his behavior when he got angry.
In the beginning, I was happy for her, I encouraged her to pursue her relationship with him based on what she’d told me, because I believed she was painting a complete and accurate picture of him. When I asked her why she’d left out the ‘bad’ when sharing the ‘good’, she said she thought she was telling the full story. The truth is, she wanted so badly for him to be ‘the one’ that she chose to ignore the things that later eroded their relationship. She lied to herself for so long that she believed it as truth.
Tell yourself the truth, first. The more you lie, the less trustworthy you become.
Ever seen the Youtube challenge tag called, “Two Truths, One Lie”? One person states 3 things and another person guesses which two are true and which is the lie. That’s cute for a harmless video, but it’s detrimental in life. It’s bad enough to lie to other people, but it’s truly damaging to lie to yourself. If you can’t trust you, no one else will either. Tell yourself the truth, your word is all you have.
A lie is anything that erodes a person’s ability to trust you.
Tell the truth no matter how ugly, hard, or how much you wish it were different. Then you can start the work of making the ugly truth, prettier.

Two Mistakes I Hope You Never Make

Episode 53 of the seanwes podcast was my first podcast. Ever.
I consumed it all and freeloaded until I was told that I was a freeloader.
I paid for a one-month membership (to the seanwes community) and didn’t use it.
Mistake#1

In 2012 I “overlapped”, before doing so had a name. I worked a full-time job (that didn’t exhaust me) and I saved enough money to live on for a year. I quit that job June of 2012, and ten months later an injury forced me to move across the country, back home with my mom, exactly what every 33 year old wants. Not.

I had a choice, anger or action.
I chose action. I chose action after a month of sulking. Mistake #2
When the sulking was over I taught myself WordPress, plugins, and enough html and css to make a respectable website. I borrowed my brother’s camera and learned photography basics. I wrote blog posts, newsletters, scripts, and tweets. I recorded, edited and uploaded videos of myself and others. I woke up early and wrote 1k+ words per day and turned it into a book. I funeralized my bio dad and stepdad within a year, which reconfirmed that life is but a vapor, and that time waits for no man.

Everyone is waiting on me. They don’t know it, but everyone my life and its work will touch, is waiting on me to perform, produce, and build a business.

The longer I underperform, the more people I let down.
For me to improve and my business to grow, I needed to find my tribe. I needed to surround myself with a group of people who were smarter than I, and who thought like me.

I joined the seanwes community July 1, 2016 and forced myself to be all-in for 60 days (instead of 30 so I couldn’t get my money back). Yesterday was day 60. I’ve wanted to cancel my membership a few times. I’ve doubted whether it was the place for me, whether I can be of help to others and whether others could or cared to help me. I don’t always say the “right” things in there; I’m still learning. Along with being introverted, I have a sarcasm and east coast air that doesn’t always translate well in text, so I usually just read what others write and stay quiet, but I return every day. I know as I settle further in, I’ll be of value to others, as they have been to me. For years I let the cost of entry deter me. I was right to be cautious, but wrong in being fearful; the experience has been priceless.

I tell you all the time to surround yourself with people who are on or above your level, people who match or exceed your ambition. I was a hypocrite in telling you that, because I wasn’t doing the same. I thought I could go it alone, and for years I did. After years of building what I thought was a business, 60 days into being a community member, it feels like I’m back to square 1, as though I did it all wrong for all those years. If I allow, I can let the thoughts of wasted years and time beat me down, but I don’t.

When you know better, you do better.
I shared in the last post that changes for Launch are coming, those changes are the direct result of investing in myself, my work, and ultimately, you.

If you have a hobby or passion you’d like to turn into a business, if you have a product or service you want to grow- find your tribe. I recommend the seanwes community of course.

Whatever you do, don’t do what I did:
1. Don’t not invest in yourself, first. (Double negative intended)
Find a course, person, or group who challenge and drive you, and jump in with both feet.
2. Don’t spend time being angry or worrying about things you can’t change, like “wasted years”.
Focus on what you can change and be grateful for the time spent learning what not to do.

Thank you for bearing with me as I found my footing.
Let’s get ready to Launch.

I’ve Failed You

I feel bad because I think I’ve failed you. I failed to provide you with the education you need, I failed to effectively help you solve your problems, and I failed to make this website and organization an actual resource. I didn’t meant to. I didn’t realize until recently how much deeper my work here should go.

Launch was legally formed in 2013; there was 6 years of work, reading, writing, trying, and failing before that and there has been more of the same since. On July 1, 2016 I made the decision to join a community of like-minded thinkers. I joined a group where global creatives and entrepreneurs gather online to teach and learn from each other. Joining has been wonderful and overwhelming because I realized how much I wasn’t doing. I did what I tell you, find people who think like you, but who are smarter than you, (meaning who can offer you an objective opinion and advice based on their outside viewpoint) and that’s what this group is for me.

Through the sharing of their stories, work, and struggles, I have realized that Launch Young Adults needs a change. Change is good when it’s the result of growth and insight. 

October 1, 2016 the changes will kick off with a new website look. The new site will reflect Launch’s new mission, premiere new blog post content, and a new video series. Launch is an educational resource and the website will be a hub, a library of all things real-life; free and paid courses, ebooks and published books, stories from ambitious young adults like you, and an actionable weekly newsletter.

The new, focused, mission means I’ll be able to help more of you, and in turn, you’ll be able to help others. 

Thank you for sticking with me through years of clouded attempts, major failures, and small successes. I’m tempted to delete every blog post and video I’ve posted in the past, but it’s all part of the journey.

If you’ve ever asked yourself or someone else, what is Launch? Thank you. I have asked myself that as well, and not having an answer challenged and drove me to concretize the abstract. I knew I wanted to help and I knew who I wanted to help, but I didn’t get clear enough on how best to help and of what value I could be to the people the work served. I encourage you to do the same with whatever you’re working on or struggling with; start at the finish-line of your success and then walk backward until you reach the work you can do today.

See ya soon!

Lia

Work Hard & Have Fun | Guest Post

IMG_0686“Work hard and have fun” was something I learned this past year from my history teacher. She applied it to the material we were learning, and to real life.

Her classroom served as a testament to this statement. It wasn’t gray and bare like others; she had quotes, and colorful paper covering cork boards. There was always Bon Jovi playing and students always working. She fit the description of “Work hard and have fun” perfectly. Somedays we would spend the first half of class just talking and laughing but when it was time to work, everyone got to it. There was this unspoken agreement that this is how class worked and we all followed it without question.
I think this teacher left an imprint on me that this isn’t always how life works, but this is how it should.

To reach something you really want, you need to put in the time and patience to achieve it, but you also have to have fun or you’ll go mad. I don’t mean go to a spa resort or have a five course meal every time you feel over worked. But listen to your favorite music, eat the cake that’s taunting you, have a friend over to help boost your morale, or just get some fresh air.
Even though history isn’t my favorite subject, and for half the year I dreaded her class, I’m so glad I had that teacher.

Written by Maddie R
Blog: Sundaysaresunny.com
Instagram: @Sundays.are.sunny

What Do People See In You?

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I sat at the head of two, rectangle shaped tables, pushed together end-to-end, and listened to my class talk. There had to be 7 different conversations going on at once, and yet, I heard nothing. No, I hadn’t gone deaf- my mind, amidst an epiphany, had muted the noise in the room to allow me to process, and it was in that moment that I finally understood. I understood what my teachers, coaches, and mom had been saying about me all those years growing up. See, I was the kid; the student and athlete that my schoolteachers, dance teachers, lacrosse coach, and mom said didn’t work up to her potential. I didn’t know what in the world that meant, and for that reason, I hated hearing it. I never understood how I was failing to work up to something I’d never shown them I could do. So I just added it to the list of weird things adults said, but never bothered helping kids understand.
Years later, as I sat looking at my students, I saw in them what my teachers had seen in me. I could see everything they were capable of becoming, all their latent abilities, sparks that were waiting to be flamed into fire, all they could achieve and accomplish. My teachers saw in me a student who had the ability to excel, even if she didn’t have the desire. They saw what I was capable of achieving if I were willing to work harder; I wasn’t. They saw what could be. When I sat with my class that day, I saw the same thing in them, potential. As the volume of the room slowly turned up, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and knew that helping them recognize their potential and put great work into the world would be my work.

Dreaming In The Face of Racism

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 3.47.45 PMRecently I wrote a guest post for the blog of UK author, Siobhan Curham. Siobhan has a new book called Moonlight Dreamers and during an email conversation with her I expressed my hurt over recent events in America. Siobhan invited me to write on that subject and to share how difficult it has been for me to write content to inspire young adults, and encourage them to go after their dreams when their reality is such a nightmare. Below is the post I wrote for her blog:
We learned his name in childhood.
We heard his speech as teens.
As adults, we understand the magnitude of the dream.
The stated dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were many. His most well known dream was that one day, his children would be able to live in a nation where they were judged by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin. That was 53 years ago. His dream, that the creed of all men being created equal would be the foundation on which justice stood, has yet to be realized. The reality of the black experience in America is this: Same Rights, Different Freedoms.
This has been a very tough few days as a writer, as a mentor, as a black American, and as a dreamer. It has been difficult to hold onto my ‘why’, and to write content that teaches and motivates young dreamers, when their reality is a nightmare. I’ve never been anything other than black, so it’s a posture I’m used to, but a weight that never abates. Waking up to new, old news comes with the emotion of fear, the thought of, what if someone I know is next, what if I’m next, and a physical pressure on my chest that makes taking a breath big enough to fill my lungs, feel impossible.
It’s hard to dream at times like these. Actually, it’s harder to be awake at times like these. This week I vacillated between thinking, what’s the use and this is why you must continue. For two days the former thought won me over as my hurt heart, confused mind, and the feeling of helplessness numbed me.
I have returned to feeling, I have brought my anger and fear under submission to rational thought and informed action, and in doing so, a new dream has surfaced.
My work is in service of the ambitious young adults who desire to live up to their potential and to put great work into the world.
Now more than ever, you, the dreamers, need me, and I you; we need each other.
I dream of a peaceful world.
I aspire to be part of the change I want to see in the world.
I long to see young adults grow up in a world where the fear that can arise when encountering someone different is overshadowed by a deep, resounding love for all mankind.
I promise to continue to write and work for you so that my dreams, your dreams, and those of Dr. King’s may be actualized.
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” –Edward Everett Hale
What can you do?
Speak up; do not allow fear to silence you.
Speak out; use your platform, whether it’s big enough for just your two feet to stand on or expansive enough to hold up many. Do not shy away just because you think your doesn’t voice matter.
Take action; in the UK, US, and elsewhere, use the power you have as a citizen to advocate.
Engage with people you wouldn’t normally befriend. Do not cower from those with an opposing opinions; education can be obtained in the respectful debate.

How To Be Rich

The NBA players getting new contracts right now, they’re rich. The people signing their paychecks, they’re wealthy. But this isn’t about how to get rich, this is how to be rich.

Rich In…
Wealth Of…

The people you see on YouTube with lots of subscribers, and who are able to earn a great living by making videos, they began with non-money related intentions. They found something that filled a void, met a need, or that seemed fun and worth giving a try, and they kept at it.

When you create something because you love it, because you can’t not create it, you are both rich and wealthy. Just like video content creators who’ve been at it for years. They are rich in experience and have a wealth of knowledge, they’ve put in the time, they’ve created a system and consistently meet their goals. They found something that excited them and because they’re passionate about it, stay consistent, and share what they do, others now look forward to what they do.

It’s summertime (for most of you), and while you have every right to take 3 months off and relax, DON’T! Get up, eat some fruit, drink some water, and do something. Learn something new, go somewhere you can afford, make a new friend, start a business, the thing you see other people doing and are envious of or wish you could do, try it.

Start something. Do something. Make a difference. Matter. Don’t just exist.

Wealth is created. Riches accrue. 

It’s How You Say It

#COINTRACKER16 (1)Ever been in the awkward position of being within earshot of an argument? Have you ever been hanging out with your friend and their boyfriend or girlfriend and a disagreement starts brewing; or even worse, everything’s fine and all of a sudden your parents start getting into it?
Since you can’t do what you’d love to, which is disappear into thin air, you do what’s second best, you stay out of it. You know better than to jump in or to offer your input or opinion. You do have an advantage though, because as the person not involved in the argument, you aren’t emotionally invested and therefore you listen objectively.
I’ve been in that position before, objectively listening to married friends argue, and among the thoughts that go through my mind are, Why are you yelling? Why are *you* mad? What I usually realize, that they’re too fired up to consider, is that they’re both saying the same thing, they’re just failing to effectively communicate their point in a way that the other can receive it in that moment.
One of my favorite books is Love & Respect by Emerson Eggers. The book is about how women place value on feeling loved while men tend to value being respected. When I hear an argument or find myself in a disagreement with someone, I think about whether the lack of communication and excess of frustration is because someone doesn’t feel heard and/or respected. If that isn’t the case, it’s usually a matter of tone.
You know how it is when someone, especially a parent, tells you something you probably need to hear but they say it in a smart mouthed, nasty, condescending, or belittling manner? It doesn’t matter if it’s the greatest advice ever, when it’s delivered ‘wrong’, it’s ineffective. Many times, good advice falls on deaf ears because it’s delivered with a sour tone.
Sweet Advice + Sour Tone = Deaf Ears
As you know, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. If your goal is to help, inform, or correct, than speak when you are able to do so with a polite and respectful tone. If you’re too mad, aiming to hurt, or don’t quite have the desire to do so yet, then shut up.