How I Manage Full-Time Gigs In Marketing/Communications, Curating A Magazine, Freelancing, and A Blog

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What you commit to and how you commit to it says a lot about how much you value your life and how bad you want to succeed. – AJ

Let me just keep it real, I surprise myself on the mornings I have time to apply a full face of makeup and curl my hair. Working full-time, curating a magazine, managing my own blog and freelancing can be so draining at times. I’d be lying if I said there were enough hours in the day to get everything done. I’d also be lying if I told you that I do not get burnt out or feel like giving up at times. It’s a part of life to feel overwhelmed. It’s also a part of life to have control over your day. Here are a few ways I manage creative directing a magazine, marketing/communications, freelance, and a blog.

I Am Brutally Honest When I Don't Have Time

I do not say yes to every project. I do not give others who’ve hired me unrealistic expectations on when I can have something done. I am not always motivated or inspired, so when working on a project I always factor in days when I don’t even want to look at a computer screen. You can’t be the one to always say yes to it all. I am sure I never stretch myself too thin.

Have More Than One Means of Communication

*Cues Kevin Gates - Two Phones* But, no really. I carry two phones daily and sometimes an iPad. Granted, one is my work phone and the other for my personal/professional life, but it helps. When you have too many things going on at once, all in one device it gets hectic. You lack storage space and you pretty much never catch a break. With multiple devices, I have the flexibility to manage separate calendars so I am not mixing work-related events with events for my blog etc. It’s also a lot easier to manage email accounts and incoming calls. You have to want to be organized at all times.

A large part of having multiple hustles is being able to allocate your time efficiently in order to effectively manage all that you do in one day.

I Am Big On Time Management

I do not believe in being late. I do not believe in waiting to the last-minute to get things done. I also do not believe in people wasting my time so I try my hardest not to do the same to others. It’s also important that I am managing my time so I am 100% healthy as I work. I travel a lot more than before for work purposes. Whether locally or hopping on an airplane, it’s a lot to take on daily. Time management is so crucial because literally, every minute counts. Plan ahead. Make time for down-days, in other words, pencil in days where you do absolutely NOTHING! Keep a planner, update your calendars frequently. You have to have a great morning schedule so you’re up on the go early. If you need help with a good morning routine click here.

Always Keep Your Eyes on What’s Ahead

Thinking of what you’re working toward without focusing on the destination is important. You don’t want to get so caught up in focusing on where you want to be that you miss the journey, but you also have to remind yourself that it will not be this hard forever. I worry A LOT!!! I worry if I am doing too much, if I am not doing enough, will I be everything or do everything I desire to do, will I have to work this hard forever? How I don’t drive myself crazy is, I keep in mind that all my hard work will someday pay off. I know that the sacrifices I make and have made will someday soon pay off. Don’t think about how hard it is in the moment, think about how sweet it’ll all be when it finally pays off.

Need more inspiration on how to balance a full-time job and blog or simply needing a reminder of why it’s important to even have a job? Check out a previously published post on these topics, cheers!

Morning Routines That Can Help You Make The Most of Your Day

everal months ago, I left my job to focus on finding a better opportunity that best fits me. I have been adamant about pursuing only opportunities that I am deeply passionate about. Since I’ve been fun-employed I’ve found myself busier than I was before I stopped working. A while ago, I shared with you what a typical morning looks like for me while working my 9-5. You can click here to read that post. Now that I am working independently I see a strong importance in maximizing my time in the mornings. Because I am busier, it is even more important to take time out of my mornings to curate a solid routine to help me make the most of my day. Here’s a list of morning routines that help make my days more successful.

A Bottle of Water Followed by A Morning Stretch

A lot of people laugh when they realize that I sleep with a bottle of water in bed with me or next to the bed. It is important to me that the first thing I intake in the morning is water. Over time, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my alertness, physical strength and focus when I intake water and when I do not. Stretches followed by my morning water is another important part of my morning routine. When I engage in morning stretches my body feels less tense. It provides a sense of calm and relaxation. Similar effects occur for me when I meditate in the morning. Meditation is also another successful method to add to your morning routine.

Reading for At Least 20 Mins

Our mind is powerful. What you consume in the morning tends to have a lasting mental impact throughout the rest of the day. Reasons why it is imperative for me to center in on self before checking my phone, email or even answering phone calls. I find myself to be in a really great head-space when I read at least a chapter from the book I am reading at the time. Most of the books I read are about finding personal balance mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Starting your morning with a thought-provoking read can really help to transform the way you tackle your day. Also, consider adding in a healthy read before bed. Opting for a book instead of Instagram really changes the way you get rest.

A Good Skincare Routine

A morning for me really isn’t a good morning unless my skin is glowing. It’s been weeks since I’ve worn makeup. I have found a new level of comfort in not wearing it daily. I recently shared a list of products that have assisted with my skin glow up. You can check that post by clicking here. Glowing skin just does something for me personally. I feel beautiful. I always feel more than ready to step out into the world and conquer it. When time permits I even throw in a facial with my favorite face mask from Glossier.

A Cup of Tea/Coffee and/or Breakfast without Electronics

I recently tweeted about the importance of disconnecting from the world outside of you when you’re in the heart of intimate moments with yourself and others. It’s easy to be distracted during those moments of peace and tranquility. What we often forget when we indulge in our distractions is we’re taking time away from ourselves that we cannot get back. Value your peace. Value your intimate moments with self or those close to you., the morning time is the perfect time to take on this habit. 

Pull A Tarot Card

I get the question all the time “do you still read tarot?” Yes and No! Tarot is something that has long time been a part of my life. Late last year I received a message from spirit to stop offering my services on a public level. It’s been months and I still do not know why I received the message, but I never argued with it. However, tarot plays a huge role in my personal life. It’s one of my favorite, most sacred practices. Almost daily I pull a card or two to get a feel for the things I need to focus on most on a conscious and subconscious level. I often describe tarot as being the tool that leads one home to themselves. It’s often the tool that connects to the deeper parts of ourselves, the unknown/unseen. It’s become one of my favorite ways to learn more about myself and how to evolve beyond any blockages I may not be aware of, any obstacles or unseen forces. (Disclosure: tarot is a great practice, but I am very much aware that there are many people afraid of tarot. There are many great tarot readers online who do daily pulls to assist you in guidance. My favorite is @tatiannatarot. If you’re not yet ready to trust yourself with the cards, Tatianna wisdom and years of experience is a great starting point for beginners.

Creative Consulting Full-Time, Yikes!

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Creative Consulting Full-Time, Yikes!

As scary as the journey has been for me, in late March of this year I finally decided to do what was best for me and my personal brand. I've ventured off on the road to independence and I am now offering my Creative Consulting Services full-time. What does this mean? 

My job as a Creative Consultant varies depending on your company/brand needs. I act an advisor to my clients, providing counsel through the lens of marketing and communications in order to optimize press value, brand recall, social engagement, and ultimately, ROI. I am currently working with a limited number of clients to ensure that I am delivering maximum results with both consulting and implementation. 

My regular hours of operation for my creative services are Tues-Thurs 9 am - 5 pm. All request for services must be sent to contactingamber@gmail.com. 30 min consultation calls are FREE. During the consultation call, pricing for services is discussed. Following our discussion, I can also provide (via email) a packet with a full list of services along with my consulting package which breaks down each service in full detail. After consultation, all potential clients will be presented with a survey to help me better assist with their business needs.

In case you wondered, I am still managing my blog, don't worry! Also, I am still creatively managing and directing all things in relation to The Core Magazine. Please note, I typically get 10 + direct messages on social media daily. Any inquiries sent via social media will be overlooked. If you're interested in viewing a list of services offered please click here. Looking forward to learning the ways I can help propel your business forward.

Best, 

AJ

Welcoming July Intentionally.

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So, to no surprise at all, my newsletter is late. It’s late for no other reason than I didn’t realize it was a brand-new month. If you know me, you know I am on time for EVERYTHING. When I am late for anything people worry. The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for me. I am in a space where I don’t really know if I am coming or going. The other night on a drive home from Chic-Fil-A, everything in me wanted to continue driving to Los Angeles. I literally was just ready to go without a care in the world.

That’s been me lately. I am ready for something new. I am ready for a spark. I am ready to experience the joys of manifestation, but because it has not been happening as I thought it would or when I thought it would, I’ve been a little doubtful. I have been really fearful, and it’s had a huge impact on my everyday mood. Fear is crippling. Because of fear I’ve been afraid to continue to live. I’ve been afraid to continue to have fun. I’ve been overwhelmed with anxiety and at times unfocused. I am lacking faith. I am never this way. I pray to God every day to restore my heart and mind back to its normal joyful state.

I pray for the strength to continue to keep moving forward while walking in true faith. It’s true that even as much as we pray, we still experience those feelings. The key is, not allowing these feelings to become you. It’s important to not allow yourself to continue to question your process by seeking answers from sources outside of yourself when God has already revealed to you the answers. Your time is coming. The manifestation has commenced. It is one thing to know these things, say these things, but it is a whole other thing to believe and walk in what you believe. Live like as if the reality to dream about already exist. Live as if everything you desire, you already have. Be mindful of your thoughts. There is power in the mind and in the tongue. Focus only on that which you do want, not what you do not want.

Last year sometime, I wrote a blog post about how I overcome the thoughts and feelings of feeling like a failure. I thought that today was an opportune time to relive this blog post and reshare in today’s newsletter. Our fears, powerless emotions and thoughts only have the power we give them. Never forget this fact.
 
When I Feel Like I’ve Failed Myself

Today I am a complete, incompetent mess. I feel insignificant, inadequate and undeserving. I feel unloved and deprived of what it is I need to thrive and be great in life. I stopped counting. I stopped looking ahead. In fact, I stopped believing that there is still time for me. I’ve run out of time. I am a failure. Success does not await me. My time has lapsed more than once. I guess I’ll give up now.

These aren’t necessarily my real feelings today.

However, I do feel like this every now and then. How many of you get these same random feelings of despair? How many of you feel like because you didn’t win in the moments you were expecting to that you’re a complete failure? You won’t always cross the finish line with every attempt toward a victory. You just won’t, face that fact. Because we don’t win does not mean we’re any less incapable of achieving success. It just becomes easier for us to hold our losses captive. It’s just easier for us to determine the fate of our future based on our shortcomings. We have to learn to STOP this destructive habit.
One disappointment isn’t the end of the world. You handle all adversities by reminding yourself life will go on and one derailment doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Tell yourself:

 

When I Feel Like I've Failed Myself

Today I am a complete, incompetent mess. I feel insignificant, inadequate and undeserving. I feel unloved and deprived of what it is I need to thrive and be great in life. I stopped counting. I stopped looking ahead. In fact, I stopped believing that there is still time for me. I’ve run out of time. I am a failure. Success does not await me. My time has lapsed more than once. I guess I’ll give up now.

These aren’t necessarily my real feelings today.

However, I do feel like this every now and then. How many of you get these same random feelings of despair? How many of you feel like because you didn’t win in the moments you were expecting to that you’re a complete failure? You won’t always cross the finish line with every attempt toward a victory. You just won’t, face that fact. Because we don’t win does not mean we’re any less incapable of achieving success. It just becomes easier for us to hold our losses captive. It’s just easier for us to determine the fate of our future based on our shortcomings. We have to learn to STOP this destructive habit.

One disappointment isn’t the end of the world. You handle all adversities by reminding yourself life will go on and one derailment doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Tell yourself:

It Always Looks Better When It Isn’t Yours

We are often distracted by lives that aren’t ours. We are thrown off our course of living because another person’s life appears more successful or appealing than our own. Reality sets in and you realize with every scroll on Instagram and Twitter you’re not where you want to be because everyone appears to be living a better life than you. The truth is, we convince ourselves that the grass is greener on the other side. It’s all smoke and mirrors, boo. The beauty of life is, we don’t all live it the same. We aren’t always on the same path at the same time. It always looks better when it isn’t yours. The key is learning to appreciate all that you have right now.

It Could Be a Hell of a lot Worse

9 times out of 10 it could be worse than it already is. You’re stressing yourself out over what life has become presently all while forgetting there is not one obstacle that you’ve failed to overcome. No matter how heavy the burden was, it was lifted… You prevailed. You're built for adversities. You’re built to overcome the difficult things life throws your way. It isn’t the end of the world when life pitches you a curveball. Fight through it and keep pushing.

Stop Living for the Outcome and Start Living In the Moment

We’re all way too pressed to see all of what is in store for us for the future. We rush life. We risk our present happiness by stressing of what’s to come in the future. Do you know how much time we all waste? How often we miss the opportunity of being happy because we’re stressed about things we can’t even foresee happening? I can tell you for free that your life process is far more fulfilling that than the destination the process leads you to. You can’t handle the destination if you’ve spent all of your time ignoring the valuable lessons on the journey. Life is full of hardships, ups and downs, heartbreaks and negative account balances, it gets better. While we can’t claim every victory as our own, our losses are preparing us for one big ass win, embrace it!

Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Be Blessed. 

Why I Learned to Stop Counting Who Doesn't Show Up and Valuing Those That Do

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For some time, I've felt like the black sheep. Not for one particular reason but for many. With a very divided upbringing and being bullied in school, I always felt like I had to make my own way. But during this time of making my own way, on this journey, I've felt very much alone. It wasn't until adulthood that I felt I had real friends or even real genuine people around who truly cared. Imagine going your entire life feeling lonely... Empty at times.  My journey was 85% of me trying to avoid meeting people in which the relationships resulted in me being repeatedly wronged by people I loved. I was living in avoidance of life continuously repeating itself.

The funny thing? No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I feared, life still fu*king happened. Fear does not prevent life from running its course. Fear actually makes it easier for life to run a number on you because you live expecting it. And anytime anything slightly resembles what you're afraid of, you run... I spent half of my life running. I also spent the same amount of time pointing the blame. I held people hostage with my hatred. Condemning the ones who never showed up to clap for me. Condemning the ones who walked away when all I ever wanted them to do was to stay. I love you, how can you not love me? How can you not want to stick around? Look at me, I'm being successful, clap for me? Why aren’t you clapping for me? Why don't you care? These were all of the questions that I had, but did they truly matter? Did it matter if people showed or not? My eagerness to be desired, liked, validated and appreciated, was strong. But it also stood in the way of two very important relationships. The one with God and myself.

Then one day I stopped counting. I stopped living for those who weren’t living for me. I stopped being worried about the people who were no-shows. I stopped looking around for validation or appreciation. I clapped for my damn self when there was no one else. I turned my back on the idea that I needed anybody to approve of my greatness. I forgave the people I felt caused me to hurt and I moved forward with my life. I sought healing. I sought out to love myself so these feelings that I felt wouldn’t ever reoccur. Here is why we need to learn to stop counting who doesn't show up. When life comes to an end and we stand before God on judgment day, it’ll just be ourselves and our creator. We will have harbored on these old feelings for most of our lives. Carrying around hatred and unforgiveness because we wanted man to be what only God can be to us. If we aren't careful we can spend our whole lives overlooking the people who do appreciate us and show up for us.

We can forget to acknowledge those people because we’re too worried about those that are never there. Stop counting. Stop keeping track. If they were meant to be there they would be. Life is about growth and progression. We cannot progress nor can we grow if we are stuck on why the world does not clap when we do a job well done. Now is the time to learn that you are valuable despite who sees your effort. You are meaningful despite who sees your power. And your success is unlimited despite who refuses to clap when you accomplish great things. Turn your back on the people who don’t see how much of a gem you are, but run toward those who do.

Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Be Blessed.