Category Self Development

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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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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How to Use Mind-Mapping to Organize Your Brain + Prioritize

I know what it feels like to have all of these ideas and dreams and struggle to get started so they can become reality, and if you are anything like me, you literally have one idea after another. I set lots of high goals with doable action steps – every single month for personal, family and business. As a matter of fact, I have a huge whiteboard that aids me in mind-mapping and prioritizing. The filled in whiteboard serves as a constant reminder to stay focused on what I want to achieve. But mind-mapping can get done on a piece of paper as well and there’s also plenty software and apps that are available too! RELATED: Analog Tools to Organize Your Brain (or Business) in the Digital Age A mind map helps you give a visual graph to how everything fits into your world. The process can give you an amazing overlook about

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Healthy Habits for Emotionally Happy Entrepreneurs with Abby Howard

As an entrepreneur, you have to get comfortable living in your own mental space because, well, you spend an awful lot of time there. Negative self-talk, limiting beliefs, and destructive emotional patterns are quarrels that many business owners face daily. Together, social workers turned coaches, Reina Pomeroy and Abby Howard, are helping entrepreneurs establish skills for becoming emotionally healthy… That way our businesses can be healthy and flourish, too (details below on their upcoming webinar that you will not want to miss)! Both of these Gems were sweet enough to chat with me on their journeys, why it’s so important to pay attention to your head space, and how they’ve cultivated their own mental strength. While I had initially planned to pick and pull from each of their interviews to do a combined piece, I just didn’t have it in me to cut any of the personal stories and applicable tips they

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4 (Realistic) Steps to Raise Your Standard of Living

We have grown up with a standard we’ve set at a young age. We are going to go to school. We are going to get a job. We are going to pay our bills. We are going to eat. We are going to have a roof over our heads. It’s ingrained in our head to do those things and meet them each month. It can get difficult at times (a client becomes slow to pay or decides to jump ship and go with someone else). We rely on the money in to survive. But, in a crunch we meet the standards we’ve set. Maybe we eat beans for a week. But, we’re still getting fed. Beano, anyone? RELATED: Writing Goals With Soul But, why have we set the standard to the minimum? Don’t we have goals to live a better quality of life? Don’t we want to be able to take

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Noteworthy Ways Real Entrepreneurs Are Running a Business with Depression

Starting a business is the hardest thing you can do in life. There’s no break, even when you aren’t running a business with depression. After a long day at the office, you get to go home, but as an entrepreneur, your responsibility, your hunger for success, is there every second of every day. I already told you that this comes at a huge cost to your mental health, and the response to that article only further demonstrates the need for this discussion. So, instead of talking about success, we’re here to confront the struggles. Like most mental illnesses, depression is unpredictable (in both its clinical and situational forms). You don’t know what will trigger it, and sometimes still don’t know even when why it’s there even after it sets in. It might stick around for an hour, a day, a few weeks, many months. You never know how long the storm will last, how

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Must Read Books for Every Entrepreneur

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown I’d heard oodles about this book from friends and fellow bloggers. Now that I’ve delved into it myself, I understand why. Daring Greatly speaks volumes about vulnerability and shame and how these two things ultimately control our lives, from the way we parent to the way we love. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a book about vulnerability, or if it would be applicable to my life. Now I can say that I think it would be applicable to literally anyone who reads it. Brene Brown does an excellent job of sharing her research in ways that are easy to understand, fun to read, and deeply profound. There were many instances when I felt like she expressed things I knew, but never quite knew how to understand or verbalize. I think this book would be great for women or men — it’s definitely one of my

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Risky Business: the Mistake I Made When Nothing Was Working

Let me be honest with you, I didn’t anticipate starting this business. In April 2014, I unexpectedly parted ways from my first business endeavor, a public relations firm that I was the co-owner of (all in the same week that I hosted a gala that completely flopped – like literally no one showed up… Plus, I moved into a new house and I also fell down the steps early in the week resulting in a concussion… Super fun times). More on that period in my life here, should my mess help you accept yours. [PS – If you’re struggling with entrepreneurship, feeling burnt out, or just want a space to talk about the real struggles you’re going through in your business, come hang out with us in the Facebook Group.] For so long after that, I bounced from idea to idea of how to run my business and what was going to make it

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