Category Life

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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The Importance of Structure

The Look The Audrey Petite Carryall in White & Ruby from KYLA JOY ($548 – Save 15% with code ALLYN) // Gold Open Bangle from Drew & Co. ($45.85) // Similar Polka Dot Dress from Ralph Lauren ($104) // Similar Pearl Necklace from Carolee Jewelry ($55) // Bryant Park Stud Pierced Earrings from Carolee Jewelry ($45) The Lesson Not too long ago, I thought everything I wanted was on the other side of freedom. If I only had more time, I could make more money and feel released of this stress.  If I just get this one more thing done I can be done for the day (and then 7 more one more things later it’s 11:30 at night). If I spend this night in catching up on emails, I’ll be free later in the week (it doesn’t work like that, the emails never stop).  I wanted to be my own boss because I wanted to

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How Many Meanings Can You Make with the Time That You Have?

The Look: Blue Taylor Tassel Crossbody Bucket from 88 Handbags ($45) // Coachella Rose Stainless Steel Watch from Escape Watches ($150) // English Factory Cranberry Dress from SerenDipity Boutique ($85) // Aldo Sandals // Styled by Christina Imberlina The Lesson: I want to write about saying no, but I believe in saying yes to as many experiences life can bring you. I want to tell you everything happens for a reason, but sometimes it just doesn’t. I want to show you how to balance life, but life itself is unbalanced. I’ve been at this blogging and writing thing for some time now. Sometimes the words flow out a million miles an hour, ending up all over the place. Sometimes the words can’t be found, anywhere, no matter how many stones I turn over. I always write truth. Things I’m feeling. Things I’m going through, that I’ve gone through. I often feel conflicted because sometimes I think my beliefs don’t stay firm.

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Act like You Know What You’re Doing

For my skimmers, here’s what you’ll find in this post: one look + one life lesson. This one’s on the opportunities you’ll create for yourself when you simply act like you know what you’re doing.  The Look: Endless Rose Double Breasted Romper from SerenDipity Boutique // Drew & Co Zircon Gold Hoop Necklace ($48.14) & Gold Open Bangle ($45.85) // Amazfit Activity Tracker ($80.00) // Ella+Mila “Purple Reign” Nail Polish ($10.50) // Alterre Shoes Mist Grey Mule ($145.00) // Styled by Christina Imberlina The Lesson: I first got bit by the New York Fashion Week bug in September 2013. We weren’t going to leave for NYC until 9/5, BUT one night when I was working through my chaotic inbox, I received an invite via Fashion GPS for the 10th Annual Style Awards. I instantly RSVP’d and without hesitation printed out the confirmation barcodes that landed in Gmail. After Googling what the Style Awards were (that was the last year they held them I believe) I was on

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What is Balance?

For my skimmers, here’s what you’ll find in this post: one look + one life lesson. This one’s on trying to figure out whatever the hell this “balance” thing is everyone talks about…  The Look: Tidal Cool Custom Dress, Gloria Wallet in Taupe from 88 Handbags, Amazfit Activity Tracker ($80), Pave Ball Drop Earrings (Similar from Rebecca Minkoff – $48), Aldo Shoes (Similar from Nine West – $50 ON SALE) The Lesson: I have no idea, so if you’re coming here for an answer, in all fairness, I did ask you first (by the title). Traditional definition of balance (à la Google) – an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Yawn. (I know, there are times in life when we wish and hope and long for steadiness more than anything else, but you’re really just reaching for it out of comfort. What’s the first thing you do when you reach

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No One Has Their Shit Together

When you first meet me, I’m pretty quiet. I might not have a ton to say. I may not have a ton of questions to ask you or answers for you, but that’s because I do a lot of listening. Not in a judgmental sense, but out of an intention to learn. To actually hear your story. To connect with your energy and not just the words coming out of your mouth. The more you listen, the more people tell you. I’ve had a lot of conversations. I’ve listened to a lot of stories. I’ve heard a lot about life. I’ve had a lot of wisdom, vulnerability, courage, and confession shared with me. And while I’d never disclose the words and revelations composing these exchanges, the one thing I am constantly reminded of is: nobody has their shit together. Is this you? Another day, another to-do list that wasn’t performed in its

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Just like the Rio Olympics, Go for Gold

Believe it or not, our olympian friends in Rio are just like us with huge obstacles to overcome and self-motivation that could move mountains. They work long hours like you do. They cry, want to give up, and feel burnt out sometimes. They even deal with tough competitors that have no mercy or empathy to whether you succeed or fail. It is truly an inspiration to watch the athletes compete and earn the medals they bring home to their countries, families, friends and most importantly themselves. But my gosh, the stories behind the dreamers and do-ers are what really make you want to go for gold in your everyday life. Even though none of us (just making an assumption here, but if we have any past, present, or attempting olympians among our readership, please do step forward – we’d love to interview ya!) are in the market for gold, silver or

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8 Self-Development Books that are Actually Worth Your Time

Plenty of people have given self-development books that are actually worth your time a bad rep, but why? I have read more than half of the books on this list and the other 1/4 are on my to-discover list. Life is an unwritten journal. Each day is a new page and every month becomes a new chapter. So exploring other people’s approach to life is helpful when learning how to write and unlock your own story. First you envision what your best life looks like, and then you get to create the enjoyable/tough/wouldn’t change it for the world parts of your life. All these books below will help you continue your journey in truth. If you are ready to dig deep and make many break-throughs, then these are the books for you: You Are a Badass | By: Jen Sincero This book will give you a good kick in the ass and make you

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