Category Life

I’m a Success, but Not Financially

Imagine it’s family game night. Fun right? (I know, not what you expected when you clicked on this link, stay with me…) You pull out Jenga. Because everyone likes Jenga and it’s simple: re-stack the blocks without f’ing everything up and making it fall over. I play Jenga every single day of my life. Only this edition of Jenga is called, “finances as a start up business owner.” It’s not quite as fun, or simple… If I pay the gas bill today, will it be too late to pay my AT&T bill in 3 days without my phone shutting off? Because if it does get shut off, how on earth do I run my business? Can I buy groceries today without having to ask for another extension on my rent due date? How big of an anxiety attack will I have if I spend an hour catching up on my bookkeeping

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10 Things to Treat Yourself to This Month

It’s a precious time of year, one that we must be careful not to get swept away in and take for granted. A small, sweet space between the promises of a new year and the lessons (and stories!) from the one at hand. This month’s 10 Things to Treat Yourself to roundup is a beautiful balance of #GemFinds to help you honor the space between no longer and not yet to set a powerful, but present tone for 2017! 1.) A Statement That Says, “Let’s Cut to the Chase” I’m declaring 2017 the year of directness. No more sugar coating, no more dancing around someone else’s feelings, no more hiding your shine out of fear. The Cut to the Chase Necklace from 7 Charming Sisters is just the reminder you need to protect your own sparkle and not let anyone else waste your shine or your time! If this regal blue piece

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How to Create Real Life Practical Magic

Over Thanksgiving, I dug in to instances of what I call Practical Magic (for more on this concept, you’ll love Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear). After a particularly dramatic day, my fibromyalgia went haywire and I felt myself becoming overwhelmed, unable to stop it, and furious with myself for this inappropriate timing. What did I do? I got a hot shower, the release the water allowed me was striking. I was able to let go of all the effort I had made to keep it together all day long. The liquid hitting the top of my head felt exactly like a spell designed to remove the tension. Real life magic. I was so happy by that comfort that I cried. Practical Magic Method #1: Engage with the elements in full vulnerability Water, fire, earth, air. Dare to depend on them for comfort. Humanity has always done this, and we

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Finding Strength in Loss

My dad was ridiculously determined to make me into a golfer (for real 😂). For years, I was so ashamed because when I thought about memories of him, our stupid fights about golf were often the first thing that came to my mind. I didn’t realize until recently just how important these moments were in shaping me into the [business]woman I’ve become today. Our conflicts taught me how to stand up for myself, to search for reasoning behind things I “had to do”, and how to negotiate (sure, I’ll suck it up and go golfing today if you take me to the mall tomorrow 😝). I’m now grateful for the resistance he challenged me with and I love him even more for it. 8 years ago today he took his life. I’ve spent a long time running from our memories out of fear they would only bring up pain. I can’t help

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Falling into Comfort

In case you haven’t heard, “get out of your comfort zone” may just be the trendiest phrase among entrepreneurs now and forever… And I agree, getting out of your comfort zone is important, well, necessary actually (we even have a guest post on “Why Eliminating Your Comfort Zone Should Be Priority Number One“), BUT in order to get out of your comfort zone, you need comfort. Everyone is like “oh fall, I love you so much” and I’m over here like “It’s time for me to move south”. Fall makes me uncomfortable. I’m not all about dead leaves, or pumpkin spice everything (especially because I’m allergic to cinnamon), and it reminds me that winter is coming and I just can’t deal with that. I am about the fall fashion, though. And why? Because it’s comforting. As we switch from easy, summer styles to chunky, oversized knits I’m reminded how essential

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10 Things to Treat Yourself to this Month (That Do Not Include Pumpkin Spice Anything)

Fall is in the air and while I can get excited about adorable booties (all of my favorites are on my STEP Pinterest board) and chic cozy sweaters (this girl’s got a board for those too), the crisp, cold air is just not my style. So, while everyone else is drooling over dead leaves and anything with the wordage “pumpkin spice” on it, I found a few less basic (did I really just say basic?) things that are perfect for showing yourself a little extra love and indulgence this month… And none of them are pumpkin spice related, promise! =P 1.) Caramel Apple Twizzlers: Move over pumpkin spice everything. Caramel apple is the all time fall flavor. These babies are incredible. Last week, I made a special trip to Target just to buy 5 packs. Not. Even. Joking. ($1.00 for an 8 Pack at Target) 2.) A dress you can style 30 ways:

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How To Battle Perfectionism + Not Let It Break You

I’m not perfect (gasp).  No one is.  No thing is.  It’s a simple idea, and something that should be chalked up to common knowledge.  So, why is it so difficult for me to admit?  Why do I cringe when I read what I wrote to open this newsletter? I’ve long struggled, and continue to struggle, with the idea of perfectionism (our previous Gem of the Week, Steffi Keung also opens up about this in her interview here).  When I was young and naive, I was convinced that ‘perfect’ was something attainable; that I could someday be the perfect person to everyone.  So I worked toward that goal.  I planned to be the perfect son, friend, student, worker, and significant other.  Every detail of every area of my life would be covered.  I would be accepted by all, and I’d excel in everything I attempted. Related Read: 3 Questions to Help You

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From Self-Destruction to Self-Discipline: 5 Tips for Structuring Your Life

My name is Shaun Novak.  Most of you probably aren’t familiar with that name, so allow me to introduce myself.  I’m currently the COO of The Gem.  I’m a musician, vocalist, and music producer.  I’m a dreamer.  Most importantly, I’m a struggling entrepreneur who’s been battling depression for 10+ years.  I’ve been helping Allyn behind the scenes with the development of the site and Gem Nation for awhile now, occasionally peeking my head through the curtain (with a few blog posts here and there), but I’ve recently decided to take center stage on a regular basis.  I’ve racked up countless stories and struggles over the years, so my hope is that someone reading about them can relate and benefit from my experiences and mistakes. Related Read: 5 Powerful Ways Your Business Grows When You Use Your Story (+ FREE workbook inside)  There was a time when I felt like my self-discipline

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