the-importance-of-knowing-who-you-are
Motivation

I was super excited to be applying for what I consider an amazing opportunity with a brand.  I’ve seen so much growth with my blog around consistency and authenticity, and the feeling of accomplishment consumed me immediately after completing the application. I finally felt qualified as a new blogger.

Until these questions popped up; “what’s your ethnicity” and “what’s your nationality”?

The questions caused me great concern; not because they were difficult or unrealistic, but because I did not know the answer.  I mean, I’m technically American since I was born in the United States.  But I really wanted to know my genetic composition.  You know, I instantly wanted to know who I was, and was slightly upset that I had no clue about the history of my ancestors. 

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I didn’t even realize the depth of my concern until I was having a conversation with my blog coach Elayna, while at Hispanicize and she began explaining how most Latinas get very offended if you get their nationality wrong. If they are from Brazil and you confuse them for Dominican, they feel slighted.  (Not because the other nationality is less than, but because they are proud of who they are and where they are from.)

I sat there in absolute awe, thinking “how powerful!”  Just listening to the pride, honor and love that they carried for their country and family, was incredible – and something to be admired.  I was saying to myself “I would love to know my nationality, who I am.” During dinner, I shared my frustration with the five Latinas at the table, who were all from different countries. I told them that I was forced to select African American for both questions because I didn’t know where my roots originated.

 And while I’m proud to be an African American woman, I would like to know more about my make-up, who I am.

We need to haunt the house of history and listen anew to the ancestors wisdom.

A few weeks later, I found myself in an interesting place. I was borderline depressed and felt as if I was fading from the person I once knew as me. It took weeks to break free. I could not put my finger on the problem, but I knew I had one.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever felt as if something was not right, but not really sure how to define it?  That was me.  I tried to explain it to a few people close to me, but I couldn’t properly do so.  Then it hit me.  While I am on a journey now to find out more about who I am from DNA standpoint, I also need to find out more about who I am in this season of my life. 

I’m trying so hard to pursue my purpose, and somehow, I keep getting pulled back into the hustle of “just” making money. You know, I’m working for a paycheck because my purpose isn’t sustainable yet.  The weight of my work literally caused me not to be able to write my blog post last week.  I was stuck.

That place of uncertainty had caused me great grief.  I’ve over analyzed and under planned, which left me exhausted.  The feeling of depression was real. I was not imagining those feelings. I told myself, it’s okay not to be okay. But it’s not okay to stay that way.

Peace of mind always comes with knowing who you truly are, where you currently stand, where you posit

There were three things I realized, and deemed noteworthy during my experience about the importance of knowing who you are.  When you don’t know who you are:

·         You will begin filling that void with things and people that are not in alignment with your dreams and goals.

·         You will lack confidence in your purpose, talents and abilities to fulfill your destiny.

·         You will start settling for anything in hopes to have something.

Moms, I was really struggling.  Sharing this story with you is a critical part of my healing. As I type, I feel freer. Knowing that I don’t have to pretend to be perfect while discovering who I am at my core, and living my maximum capacity is invigorating.

The last few weeks, I discovered I must always take inventory and assess how my environment is affecting who I am becoming. Am I staying true to my roots, my core? Or am I feeling stuck because I am taking on the identity of my lack?

Do you know who you are? How are you handling the adjustment of BECOMING?  I’ve decided to order a DNA test and find out more about my heritage.  I’ve also decided to speak life to myself and live in my truth.  I love being me!

 

© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom

 

5-steps-to-finding-your-passion-and-making-it-profitable-1
Motivation

Featured on BlackEnterprise.com

Have you found your passion? I did. Then soon after, I found out that making your passion profitable and being passionate about what you do are very different things.

For more than 15 years, I worked as a nonprofit professional. I strived to be the absolute best that I could be and eventually earned an MBA with a concentration in not-for-profit management.  I loved the work that I was doing to advance missions of hope and love, and I was excited to be considered a top expert in my field.

Years ago, I came across a quote that read: “passion makes complacency uncomfortable.” I began to live by it and committed to seek beyond my complacency and find my true personal passion and prosper doing it! These are five steps I followed to find my passion and make it profitable (and you can too!):

1.       Find your passion by identifying what you love to do so much, that you would do it for free. All of my life I knew that I wanted to help people be great, but I never knew exactly how. Then I became a mom and started to take notice, and ask myself questions. I knew I wanted to continue to do work I loved, but have the flexibility of being home with my son.  A little less than a year ago, I began my journey to connect my desire to help with what I do for a living.

2.       Believe in yourself and in your dreams. After several attempts at entrepreneurship, I took a leap of faith and started a multi-city tour to motivate moms to be great women and extraordinary moms.  Don’t allow your experience or lack thereof to deter you. Some told me it would take years to build my brand and monetization, it look less than a year.  Not only have I made my passion profitable, I am helping others to do the same. Believe it is possible.

3.       Count the cost and consider the bottom line.  While launching a brand and tour at the same time allowed me my fair share of “teachable moments,” as I grow and continue to empower brands along with thousands of women that allow my experiences to propel them to greatness, I am encountering opportunities to overcome greater obstacles….and so will you.

4.       Listen. Learn. Labor. – Have a smart team of believers.  People that believe in your mission, that you listen to, that you learn from and that you labor with.  You can’t do it on your own.

5.       Have balance. Stay true to your reason for becoming an entrepreneur without sacrificing those you love….including yourself. What I am learning as a nonprofit consultant, blogger, and speaker is that I have to be comfortable being my true authentic self. Balance starts with the notion that you can’t please everyone, and, ironically, trying to do so will result in not pleasing anyone.

I followed these steps to define my passion, pursue it, and monetize it.  If I did it, so can you!

© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom

Motivation

WOOHOO!!!  It’s the first day of the 4th quarter of 2016. Boy, what a difference 9 months makes. I entered into this year in a very different place that I am right now. I remember coming across this meme in January that said “2016 is going to be amazing”….and it has been. But not without a few bumps.

As mompreneurs we all have our bad days, but we keep charging forward believing in our hearts that we are needed, our families are worth the sacrifice, and those we serve depend on us.  As I live out my mompreneur dream, I can’t deny my need for a daily dose of motivation.  And lately, I needed it like never before.  I’ve needed the type of motivation that reminds me that I was created to live a life of purpose, in abundance, and financially free. 

One of the best ways that I choose to lift my spirit and remind myself that my happiness comes from within, is by reading quotes that inspire me to live on purpose, pursue my dreams, and stimulate my mind to think strategically.

So I’ve come up with a list of 31 of my favorite quotes that will motivate you and contribute to your overall success.  Please share these quotes every day during the month of October on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you never know if someone in your circle needs the motivation.

Day 1

We become what we think about.” – Earl Nightingale

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Day 2

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

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Day 3

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” – Rosa Parks

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Day 4

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

the-only-person-you-are-destined-to-become-is-the-person-you-decide-to-be

Day 5

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” -Woody Allen

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Day 6

“Start where you are. use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

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Day 7

Ask and it shall be given unto; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Jesus

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Day 8

“I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions.” -Stephen Covey

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Day 9

“Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being.” -Kevin Kruse

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Day 10

The two most important days in your life are the day your are born and the day you find out why.” -Mark Twain

the-two-most-important-days-in-your-life-are-the-day-you-are-born-and-the-day-you-find-our-why-mark-twain

Day 11

“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.” -Abigail Van Buren

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Day 12

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. -Henry David Thoreau

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Day 13

You become what you believe.” -Oprah Winfrey

you-become-what-you-believe-oprah-winfrey

 Day 14

“Strive not to be a success, but rather of value.” -Albert Einstein

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Day 15

 “It’s your place in the world; it’s your life.  Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” -Mae Jemison

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Day 16

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

our-lives-begin-to-end-the-day-we-become-silent-about-things-that-matter-martin-luther-king-jr-picutreDay 17

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

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Day 18

“Happiness depends on ourselves.” -Aristotle

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Day 19

Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

remember-no-one-can-make-you-feel-inferior-without-your-consent-eleanor-roosevelt

 Day 20

 “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” -Joshua J. Marine

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Day 21

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” -Babe Ruth

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Day 22

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford

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Day 23

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” -Bill Cosby

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Day 24

“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” -W. Clement Stone

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Day 25

Your time is limited, so don’t waist it living someone else’s life.” -Steve Jobs

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Day 26

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anais Nin

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Day 27

“Today be thankful, and think how rich you are. Your family is priceless, your time is gold, and your health is wealth.” -Unknown

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Day 28

It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” –George Eliot

its-never-too-late-to-be-what-you-might-have-been

Day 29

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” – Jamie Paolinetti

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Day 30

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” -Steve Jobs

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Day 31

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” -Zig Ziglar

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October will be a wonderful entrance into the 4th quarter of 2016! Use your time wisely, plan for your future and live in the moment.  Share this blog post so that others can join our month of motivation.  I would love to hear which of the quotes listed resonated with you the most.

© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom

 

The-Truth-About-Amazingly-Imperfect-Motivated-Moms-pic
Motivation

For the past few days, all I can think about is you.  It’s like my heart won’t allow my mind to forget who you are, and more importantly who you can be.  I can tell by your body language that things are tough right now.  You are in a situation that seems overwhelming, on a job that is nearly unbearable, and trying to take care of your children which seems impossible…but you should know that you are so capable.  “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” -Booker T. Washington 

Success- is- to- be- measured- not- so- much -by- the- position- that- one -has- reached- in- life- photo

Once you begin to see yourself as your greatest resource, you will make healthier decisions for you and your children.  By that I simply mean, you are not what you do.  Your occupation defines your role in that position only, it does not define who you are.  So STOP acting as if it does.  Okay, so you may be working a job that is beneath your true potential, stop being ashamed or comfortable about it and change it.  Don’t allow it to be a permanent situation, decide to make steps towards your true authentic self – your life’s purpose.
 
If you continue to allow your lack of knowledge and exposure to limit or dictate your future, you will continue to stifle your growth.  You don’t have to know everything, just know who you were created be, and take the very necessary and strategic steps to be her.  I am a true believer that people will achieve to the level of their exposure.  But don’t count yourself out for the lack thereof.  No, you have to get busy.  Surround yourself with people that are like-minded and headed in the direction that you desire to go. 
 
Your destiny is waiting, so be intentional on how you show up.  As a mom, it’s ok not to know how to truly be an engaged parent.  Our children did not come with a manual, so we are flying while trying to repair the wing.  But it’s not ok to buy material things out of lack, because we don’t know how to properly love.  I know that feeling all too well, and I don’t want to raise my son that way.  Being financially responsible is just as important as being physically healthy, they are both needed in order to provide for you and your child.  It’s hard to think of challenges as gifts, especially when the weight of the adversity begins to affect your ability to care for yourself and your children.  But in some ways they are.  They are when you allow your problems to present opportunities for you to grow and learn. 
 
So here’s what I’m going to do. When you don’t feel as amazing as you really are, I will inspire you.  When you settle, and live beneath who you were created to be, I will motivate you.  When your perspective is limited by your lack of knowledge and exposure, I will offer educational opportunities for you. When your insecurities weigh hard and cause you to feel worthless, I will love you back to health. 

Why? Because I want you to know that I believe YOU MATTER! I want you to know that I am more than words on a website.  I have an ear to listen, a heart to understand, and a hand to help you do what’s necessary, and a desire to help you create a better life for your children and family.  So that’s my promise, and I will deliver.  If this helped you, I want to know about it.  Please comment below and share this with someone you know that need to hear it.

© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom

 

Motivation

Several years ago, I had a huge fear. It haunted me, it limited me, and it caused me to shrink. I was afraid of…..success. I know its bananas, but I was. And at the time I felt justified in my fear. It was easier for me to live as a copy than to live authentically, exposing my hurt, wounds, failures and mistakes as an original.

Don’t Let Role Models Kill Authentic Living

With the recent controversy over Melania Trump’s too accurate to be a coincidence replica of Mrs. Obama’s 2008 speech. I began thinking about how easy it is for us to live as a copy of those we admire.  Looking too closely at someone else’s life can cause you to practice their behaviors in your own. Before you know it, you don’t look like you. You look like a cheap version of them. Please don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to admire, and look up to people. But not to the point that you cease to live authentically, as who you really are.

To live authentically and with purpose is not easy

Maximizing your potential comes at a cost. You are constantly being stretched while at the same time being exposed. Exposed to who you are versus who you were created to be.  A few weeks ago, I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Steve Perry on the Prudential stage at the #EssenceFestival. It was ahhhhmazing. But he said something that hit home….well he said a lot of things that hit home. But one of his comments reminded me of how far I have come, and why I must continue to live an authentic life of purpose. He said: “We have to help our children understand that they don’t have to pretend not to be smart.”  

Dr. Steve Perry sharing wisdom on teaching our children how to live authentically

I did that as a kid. I went to Sherman Oaks Elementary, but when I went to play with my cousins in South Central, I pretended to be something I wasn’t. I was ashamed of being a straight-A’s-student and in the top 10% of my class.  I didn’t realize that being smart didn’t make me less fun or funny. I was still the same girl, but I chose not to live authentically, not to shine as bright as I could have living in the shadow of fear.

Choose Authenticity 

I don’t know the truth behind Mrs. Trump’s speech. I really don’t care to know. But what I do know is, she will never live down a moment when she did not rise to her full potential. At a time when it was critical for the world to get to know her, she chose to shrink and give us a cheap version of the already amazing Michelle Obama.  

It happens to the best of us. The Great Girlfriends hosted a podcast about it. I witnessed a panel of women that shared moments of shrinking due to fear and other struggles at The WEALTH Experience. So, it happens….but it does have to happen again. And it does not have to happen to you. 

You were created for and with purpose

Your journey on this path is not by coincidence. Be you boldly, knowing that it’s an injustice to the world for you to be anyone else.  So I’m commissioning you. I’m commissioning you to live your life as authentic and full as possible. Knowing that you have something to contribute. Choose three things that you will do within the next 24 hours that will help you peel back the layers of fear. To live free. To live authentically.

Please post those three things in the comments section, and share this blog post with your circle of friends. Thanks in advance!

© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom

My trip to Nigeria gave me an opportunity to overcome my fear and meet great kids.
Motivation

I recently visited Lagos, Nigeria. I must admit, I was a little reluctant to go initially…but that was based on fear. I’ve been learning not to let the fear of making something happen, cause me to make nothing happen. So I quickly defeated that giant. However, I totally underestimated the impact of what was suppose to be “a speaking engagement”. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I felt as if my heart met more its purpose.

My trip to Nigeria gave me an opportunity to overcome my fear and meet great kids.

I’ve never seen poverty on that level. USAF Global Business Development and the USAF Global Foundation afforded me the opportunity to both speak at a Global Leadership Conference and be part of a greater good. Over the course of a week, I was engulfed with the people, the culture, their plight, and most importantly the potential of making a difference. I am now working with them to provide programs and services in the areas of education, social services, and emergency relief.

I’m excited to help, the schools lacked resources like running water and restrooms not to mention books, supplies, or playgrounds. The more I saw, the more I wanted to help. Their faces are forever engrained in my mind. Some smiling, others hurting, many struggling…but living nonetheless.

It was hard to see the children squatting to use the restroom on the side of the school. Or the mother walking miles to sell peanuts, windshield wipers, candy….whatever in order to buy food to feed her family. Then I began to see just how my transition is creating clarity for my path. I love giving…that’s what I love to do. But not just material things, I love giving hope, inspiration, motivation…opportunity.

At my core I’m a giver. Truly, I am. I love to give, it brings me great joy to be a blessing to others. It’s tied to my DNA, it’s how God made me. Okay, so you should know that I am going through a bit of a transition. My transition is good…it’s just different. So everyday  I’m learning more about myself, and everyday I’m accepting more about myself. I’m becoming comfortable with who I am. The funny thing is, the more I peel back the layers, the more I understand why my transition is essential.

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” –  Jane Goodall   

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." - Jane Goodall

The point is, everything we do should ultimately align with who we are and our purpose. Life is too short for anything else. Knowing why you were created is the second best feeling in the world next to doing what you were created to do.

Nigeria helped get me closer to fulfilling my purpose. So, will I work to help provide running water in the Lagos government schools, absolutely.  Will I continue to encourage moms to be great women and extraordinary moms, you bet. Will I advocate, promote and advance early childhood learning, with all of my heart. But before I can do any of those things, I have to choose to live a life of purpose. That means that I say yes to things that aligns with my beliefs, to uncover my core that I’m always my most authentic self, and be open to the evolution of me. Otherwise, I’m doing what’s best for others and run the risk of not soaring in my own life.

You were created for a purpose….seek it out, it’s in you. Share this, it may help someone make the decision to overcome their fears and pursue their purpose.

© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom

Calculating The Rapid Return: When The Rapid Costs Too Much
Motivation

There are so many things competing for our attention. It’s almost overwhelming when you think about it. I means there’s family, work, school, kids schedules, personal desires, and of course our faith…our quiet time with The Creator!
Calculating The Rapid Return: When The Rapid Costs Too Much

Over the last few weeks I’ve traveled quite a bit. I spent time in Miami for #Hispanicize, I met a lot of amazing people. The content was exceptional and gave me strategy to grow my business. I remember thinking that I could not wait to put what I learned in practice. I wanted a rapid return on the content so that it could work for me.

A few weeks later I was on a plane headed to the International Pastors and Leadership conference.  I was excited about facilitating a session entitled CLEAR Strategies for Securing Sponsors and Partners, I was even more excited about the message that would move me to another level.  Well, my session was AMAZEBALLS (as Gabby would say), I met a group of people in my coaching session that changed my life…and I heard a great word from Pastor Steven Furtick that reminded me to remain true and be authentic. My rapid return was don’t compromise.

Last week I attended Mom 2.0 Summit, and it too was a fantastic experience. I met a lot of great people and brands. I was able to participate in an interview for @Kia and their #KiaMom campaign….greatness. Again, a lot like #Hispanicize I wanted to get home and begin using what I learned to my benefit.

You see, there’s so much going on in our lives. That was just some of what I did during the month of April. How in the world did I think that I could have a rapid return when I don’t have enough time to even create a strategy around all that I learned? I didn’t even have time.

I had to slow down in order to speed up. Perhaps that you too. In order to get a return, which may not be rapid we have to:

·         Admit: Take time to review your life and be honest about the areas that you neglect.

·         Observe: Examine where you need balance.

·         Prioritize: Make a list of what you need to do in order to create balance.

·         Plan: Map out a detailed and intentional plan of action that will give you the most rapid return possible.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the “microwave” mentality where everything is instant…but I still believe that there is a process to growth.  Often times when things come fast, they come at a higher interest rate….meaning we have more to lose. The return may not be rapid, but it will come with consistency.

#BeGreat

The Motivated Mom

 
Latoyia Dennis