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Happy Black Woman 2Winter is here and no matter where you live in the country; it’s cold. Staying positive and happy through snow and freezing rain storms is tough. The harsh weather and lack of consistent sunlight has the power to negatively impact your mood and have you longing to curl up in bed in instead of tackling the day. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the mood altering effects of winter. Here are five tips to make you happier now and keep you smiling through the spring:

Minimize Distractions – Don’t let your email or phone interrupt your flow. Turn your phone to silent for part of the day and close out of your email. Schedule a set amount of time in your day to respond to emails and voice mails. This will help lower your stress levels and keep you happiness quotient high by allowing you to concentrate getting your to-do list done.

Spend Time Helping Others – Schedule at least 15 minutes a day to help someone else. This could be writing a LinkedIn Recommendation for an old colleague or even editing a friends resume. Doing something selfless will always make you feel good.

Happy Black WomanChange Your Scenery – Being trapped at a desk all day is bound to wear your down eventually. Try taking your standing conference call at a coffee shop or scheduling your 1:1 meeting for a walk around the block. Even a small change in scenery can re-energize you and make you smile.

Acknowledge Your Happiness Sources – Before you start writing your to-dos, list three things that you are grateful for at the top of the page. They can be work-related, like “I am happy to work with a supportive team” or personal, like “I’m looking forward to having dinner with my friends later today.” The point is take a time each day to ground yourself in happiness.

Schedule A Joyful Me Moment. –  Don’t sit around waiting for happiness to strike. Take control of your mood and add a cheerful mini me moment to your day. That can be going to the gym or grabbing a chocolate chip cookie from your favorite bakery. It can be a small moment. The point is for you to have scheduled happy time on your calendar each day. If you won’t invest time in your happiness, who will?

Try these tips to have a happy day today. Also, share your own #HappyDayEveryday tips with us on Twitter.

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Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress

I once had the misfortune of listening to a business coach tell a room full of entrepreneurs, “you shouldn’t care if you employees are f***ing happy.” This business coach has made a ton of money and is pretty successful at her trade, but boy is she way off about how you should treat your employees. Besides the fact ignoring how the people around you feel will make you an awful individual, there are real business implications to not making sure your employees are happy working for you. Here are three great reasons to in invest in your employees happiness.

happy woman black workHappy employees equal happy clients

If your employees are happy, they keep your customers happy. This is especially important when it comes to face-to-face sales, relationship building and customer service. Companies like Zappos have mastered the art of leveraging happy employees to grow the bottom line and you should too.

Happy employees are more productive

The Container Store, a staple on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to work, uses the 1=3 rule at their store with much success. That is, they believe that one happy and productive employee will produce more quality results than three unhappy job coasters. So, they pay top wages, nearly double the industry average to secure and maintain the top talent. With sales of more than $800 million with only 67 US locations, those happy employees are proving them right.

Happy employees want to invest in where they work

Happy employees want to see their company succeed. This means investing more time, energy and better ideas. They will not only be vested in their personal growth, but also the growth of the organization as a whole. Happy employees are excited about coming to work and are more likely to act in the organization’s best interest because they feel apart of something bigger.

It’s important as business owners and managers to make sure that your employees are happy. Happy employees make the road to success a lot smoother and can make the time to get there much shorter. You may not be able to please everyone, but you should try to make the people who have a direct impact on your business success happy when you can.

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Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress

Happy WomanWe all have dreams and goals we want to accomplish in life, whether they be to start or run a successful business, have a happy family, be in a position to give back to the community or all of the above.  With everything going on in our lives it’s easy to get distracted and forget that we started with a dream or goal in mind.

Follow these few tips to ensure you live your life, and run your business the way it was meant to be; full of intent and purpose.

Define Your Goals

The most important part of creating a life or business of intent, is clearly defining your intention. Writing down your on goals and intentions not only makes them official, but creates a starting point for creating a path to achieve your goals.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Your goals are yours and yours alone. If you don’t hold yourself accountable, who will? Are you making choices full of intent? Are you taking steps to achieve your goals? Review your goal list often to remind yourself why you started down this road in the first place. Self-correct when you stray from your original intention or find yourself being lazy or lacking focus.

Start Tracking Your Progress & Achievements

It is important to write down your goals and intentions, but it is just as important to track your accomplishments and successes along the way. By keeping tabs and celebrating your achievements you’ll reinforce your original intentions, ensuring you stay on the path. This is also a great way to motivate yourself by showing how far you’ve come from the beginning.

Take Your Goals Everywhere

Having reminders of your goals is great way to keep on track and a vital way to stay motivated to keep moving forward. Create several copies of your goals and put them everywhere: your car, your purse, and even keep a photo copy on your phone. This gives you a way to bring yourself back to your dreams when you feel yourself getting lost in the craziness of everyday challenges. Giving yourself an easy way to realign yourself to your goals will be priceless in helping you live each day with intent.

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tape over mouth“No, is a complete sentence.”

That is best statement I’ve heard in a long time. Those two little letters have a lot of power in your life.  If you are a entrepreneur than I am sure people depend on you. And, sometimes you may find yourself saying, ‘yes’ to them when you really want to say no. Sometimes you’ll let the words, ‘I’ll try’ slip out,  when you rather say, ‘absolutely not.” And sometimes you’ll mumble, ‘can I let you know?’ when  you really want to say, ‘have you lost you ever-loving mind?”

Entrepreneurs and especially solopreneurs are A-type personalities. We don’t want to disappoint or have people think less of us. We like being the hero, the person that comes through. The problem doing that all the time is we end up stretching ourselves thin, leaving no time for ourselves.

You have a lot on your plate and need to feel comfortable prioritizing your time. It is absolutely acceptable to turn down a request, if you do not want to do it. After all, if you try to focus on everything; you won’t be able to do anything effectively.

No, is one of the most powerful words in your vocabulary (ask any two year-old). Here are a few tips to help you use it like a pro:

Don’t feel Bad:

If the idea of saying ‘Yes’ to something makes you cringe or you get a lump in the pit of your stomach, you should say ‘no’.  Saying ‘yes’ is an affirmation of your mind and body that you are in agreement with the request and doing the request brings you (and not just the person asking) some sort of satisfaction. If you doubt saying ‘yes’ for even a moment, then you should trust your gut and say, ‘no.’

Know Who You Are Trying To Please:

Sometimes the idea of saying ‘no’ makes us feel guilty, so we decide to say ‘yes.’ This usually stems from some desire to not make the person asking upset or think less of you. So, you let yourself feel bad in order to have them feel good.  This “disease to please” can become a never ending cycle and only you have the power to stop it. If your intentions are to keep them from becoming upset then you will succeed at the cost of your own comfort and time. Only say ‘yes’ if you truly want to help and you feel happy to do it.

Say ‘No’ the right way:

Say ‘no’ with enthusiasm and skip the excuses. Excuses leave the other person room to come up with work arounds for you to get their request done. Remember, ‘no’ is a complete sentence. Practice saying it. If you don’t want to sound too harsh, practice saying it with a smile. You don’t have to deliver the ‘no’ in a negative tone or with a frown for it to be effective.

Don’t Apologize:

Avoid, using the words, “I’m sorry” when you decline a request. Let’s be real. You’re not sorry. You just don’t want the person asking to think you are being mean or dismissive. Be confident when you say ‘no.’ Saying ‘no’ is a choice just as asking a request or favor is a choice. You shouldn’t apologize for making the choice you feel is right for you.

I’m not suggesting that you go around saying ‘no’ to every request in your life, but you should only say ‘yes’ when it feels right. Saying ‘no,’ doesn’t make you a bad person. Saying ‘no’ when you mean it opens opportunities to do more of the things that make you smile when people ask.

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Happy Black womanBeing an entrepreneur comes with its own set of ups and down. Add to that the daily stresses of life and you’ll find that your emotions can vary wildly throughout the day. No one is happy 100% of the time, but I think happiness is something we all strive for each day. Happiness is important, and it contributes to how effective and productive we are at our jobs. Here are some tips to make this and everyday, a happy day:

 

Know what makes you happy

Slow yourself down and think about what exactly makes you happy. We are all unique and have different needs to make us happy. It is important for you to identify what these needs are so you can focus more energy and attention on that versus other less joyful moments. Meditation can be a huge help here. Take some quiet time  and allow yourself to look within and reflect.

Be grateful

It is important to be grateful for the things that make you happy. By simply acknowledging how grateful you are for them, you’ll feel happier. When we focus on the good, we are able to minimize negative thinking.  So go ahead be thankful for all the wonderful people, pets, joyous moments and accomplishments in your life. And, while you’re at it…take a moment to be happy that you have so much to be happy about.

Banish negativity, and embrace the positive

Negativity is everywhere, and crops up at the worst possible times. It’s a energy-suck and life is too short to let it get the best of you.  Happy people surround themselves with positivity as much as possible. Pay attention to how you feel after you interact with people in your life. Do the encounters leave you consistently feeling over-joyed or just sad? You need to determine what emotional environments you allow yourself to dwell. That is not to say, everyone around you will always be having a good day, but bad days should be the exception not the norm.

 Do something nice for yourself

If you haven’t seen the Parks & Recreation Treat Yo Self episode, I may question how committed you are to happiness in general.  It’s easy to get caught up in our day to day lives and sometimes we need to take away. All that stress and anxiety needs time to decompress, and doing something nice for yourself is a good way to start. Take a warm soothing bath, get yourself a well-deserved massage, or buy yourself that tech toy you’ve been eying for the past few months. It doesn’t always have to be something expensive or extravagant, but it should be something that puts a smile on your face.

Understand you deserve happiness now

Surprisingly, a lot of people feel like they don’t deserve happiness. Some feel they are too busy to enjoy happiness or that they need to put others before their own happiness.  Worst still some people think they’ll forgo happiness now and magically end up happy later in life. Let me be clear: you deserve to be happy and you deserve to have happiness now. I want you  to look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself you deserve happiness and today will be a good day. Even if this sounds silly, doing so will help you start the day in a positive way and become your daily opportunity to put a smile on your face. After all, if you can’t make you smile, who can?

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