Consider it pure joy

Happy Tuesday! Yes it is Tuesday and yes you are getting a blog. Back on track with my Tuesday posts. Small round of applause for me!

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. First, I misplaced my phone and when I findit, it was on the ground and the screen was cracked. At this point I think I just need a phone with an armored case. It was working for a day or two then stopped. I finally got a replacement phone yesterday after two weeks. Two weeks with no whatsapp. The day after, I found out my great aunt passed away. She was very close to the family and it was a tough loss. After that, it simply felt like I was wading through mud every day. I was getting things done but it felt like it was taking forever. The funeral was the following week on Thursday July 1st. And my busiest weekend for Tropsical was that weekend.

Now the week of the 21st-27th, our local electrical company lost power a few times. I had a pretty sizable inventory of pops in the freezer. I lost over 300 Popsicles. I then focused on restocking and even changed how I organized the freezer. So the weekend leading up to the funeral, I was busy daily producing Popsicles. Friday night, electricity goes again. Thankfully, I didn’t lose any pops then. Saturday something told me to move half of the pops necessary for the second event. I ended up losing 200 Popsicles Saturday afternoon. I rush to make a new batch in time for the event. With ten minutes left before they are ready, electricity goes again. When I started the business, I shed some blood during my setup and I feel like I sweat every time I make my pops. At this point, I can officially say Tropsical has gotten my tears. It is by the grace of God that I made it to the wedding.

I survived the weekend madness although ultimately I could not make it to the event on Sunday. Sometimes you need to know your limits and when you are physically and emotionally drained, the right thing to do is take a break. Although it wasn’t really a break because my son had his graduation on Sunday. This weekend tested me and there were a few times I wanted to call friends for support but I realized I would only be looking for sympathy. I was already doing all that could be done in the moment so there wasn’t much help anyone could provide.

This weekend taught me to trust God and myself. God will guide us if we listen. The solutions to my problems came to me in little whispers and had I been focused on the problem, I wouldn’t have found the solution. At one point, I posted a scripture which I will post below. I persevered and trusted my ability to provide the service requested. I didn’t get hung up on what went wrong but focused on solutions and came up with a plan to avoid the same thing from happening again. A lot of times we see the success stories but don’t know what it took to get there. I am sharing this so someone else who is struggling can know that it isn’t always rainbows and sunshine but if they keep going, they can succeed.

I am even more confident in myself and my abilities. Starting my own business has taught me so much about myself. Building a brand is hard work but it is rewarding. I truly love Tropsical and I love hearing feedback from clients. Last year, I started with no real idea where it would take me. Late last year, I said I wanted to supply pops for a wedding. Today I can say I have been a part of two lovely weddings. I am excited about the future and the new adventures ahead. So if you are doubting yourself, this is your reminder to cut that out, get focused and believe in yourself! You got this! Whatever dream or goal you are in pursuit of, seek God and know that you are capable. Have a wonderful week and be sure to follow @tropsicalsxm. Now that the phone situation is fixed, my regular posts will resume.

Reflections for re-direction

Last Sunset of 2020

It’s 2021!! Thank God! I know a lot of us were sick of 2020. The new year has brought some changes and a new direction for me, but let me rewind to 2020 first to bring you up to speed.

I decided I would celebrate my birthday in March and began making plans. Friday night was Girls Night Out and Saturday night was a lovely dinner with some special people. Honestly I was feeling like I overdid it Friday night but then lockdown happened and I was happy that I got to party and spend so much time with my friends. My birthday weekend confirmed that “partying” is no longer for me and I am O.K with that. After the hurricane and the birth of my son, I really didn’t go out much (at all) and I kind of felt like I was missing out but that weekend confirmed that I wasn’t.

Tropsical. Oh Tropsical. I love the pops and pouches with a passion. Officially accepting the title of entrepreneur and living that life is teaching me a lot about myself and life in general. It’s only been about 6 months and I am excited about how the brand will grow. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes to make things happen. Being responsible for every single detail can be terrifying but also rewarding. So salute to all entrepreneurs out there. One piece of advice I will give is: just start. You may not feel ready but in some ways you are never truly ready. The journey helps prepare you.

The final quarter of the year was a test! I really started getting serious about my personal growth about halfway through the year but those last three months almost took me out. The struggle was real trying to juggle my personal life as a single mom with the professional side. Between milestone celebrations and orders, I felt like I barely had time for myself. (That’s because I didn’t). I work hard but I tend to neglect myself. For example, I will work 8-10 hours and “forget” to eat. Also I underestimated Tropsical. Thanks to everyone who purchased from me. Y’all are the best!

December 2020 showed me who I was. Some things I am proud of, like how much of a bad ass I am. Yes I will toot my own horn because I usually don’t. But y’all have no idea how many late nights and early mornings I had. ( Unless you are an entrepreneur yourself and I salute you)

But it also highlighted my weaknesses and some things I thought I had dealt with. There was a period of my life where I really didn’t like who I was and I had to get serious. A lot of soul searching and work led me to Empower ( an empowerment conference held a few years ago) and a person I was happy with. A recovering alcoholic may think they are doing good because they haven’t had alcohol but they also avoided being in the same room with a bottle. The true test comes when you can sit in the room with the bottle and not feel the urge to drink. I feel like similarly we avoid situations that we know will bring out the worse but we should also be able to handle ourselves in those situations as well.

Tired and cranky is not a good look on me. Neglecting myself can lead to resentments and that’s not what I want for myself. In 2020 I did the hard work of naming my habits and weaknesses so I know what needs to be healed. The amazing thing is we all know the answers to our own questions. We know what we need to do in order to heal. The difficulty is in doing the work. Every day you have to wake up and be intentional, obedient and disciplined. Create a routine that you feel comfortable with and go for it. There are always exceptions to a rule but those exceptions should never become the rule.

2021 I just want to be and feel better. I believe in Tropsical and in order for me to give my best to the brand, I need to be at my best. January has barely even started and I already “messed up” but I am not letting one mistake affect the rest of my year negatively. The reason I know I messed up is because I took the time to write down the things that I want and don’t want in my life. But we are also human. I mentioned in one of the previous blogs not to let an error be your setback.

Write down your monthly goals and then break them down into weekly goals. Then show up every day and do your best. Don’t beat yourself up when something doesn’t go as planned. Use it as a learning experience. Ask yourself why you slipped up and be honest with the answer so you can fix it next time. Life will continue to send you “tests” for you to improve.

Some things I want to mention:

• My awesome, creative friend has started a video blog on his Facebook providing moments of maturity every Monday! The first episode is already out so be sure to check it out! FB: Cameron “Cam Era” Hyman | IG: @itscameronhyman

• A vision board has helped me over the years and this year I am probably going to join Claire’s event which will be held later this month. She also has packages available if you prefer to work on one by yourself in the comfort of your home. Twitter: @E_Claire7

If you aren’t already, please follow me on IG @motherlovingdiva

Friendships also = shared thoughts :)

Happy Sunday!

Phew! (wipes beads of sweat off of my forehead)

I am late with my blog this week but for good reason. This past week I really was not feeling so driven or productive. I acknowledged the feelings when they first appeared but I also embraced not doing anything extra. It is really hard for me to do nothing and I already had a to do list that was growing. I got a lot completed this week but I did not push myself to do more. It was very foreign to me to be so nonchalant. For example, on Friday I had an appointment with my daughter and due to unforeseen traffic delays, I realized I would be late to the appointment. About fifteen minutes later, I realized I would be so late it did not make sense to go. Normally I would have hustled and cut corners in order to make the appointment. Instead I contacted them and let them know that I would be unable to make it due to traffic and asked to reschedule. Guess what? The sky did not come falling down! They gladly rescheduled. 

In life, we tend to have these assumptions or expectations in mind of how things are going to turn out and we are usually wrong.

We stress ourselves trying to meet these fictitious standards when in reality, the very same people we are trying to keep happy, are not even holding us to those standards. Honest communication does go a long way. I am not saying be lazy and take the easy way out but if you have done your best and you see it won’t work, communicate that and find another solution. I would have skipped lunch and stressed sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and arrived annoyed and not enjoy the experience. We need to learn to be present in the moment while going with the flow. If it feels like you are trying to pull a tire through a mud pit then you may have to pause and re-evaluate. Some situations will be mud pit situations that you need to get through to become stronger but even then there may be a smarter way. (Sorry, the vision of someone walking with a tire over their head popped into mind LOL).

On Thursday, I was a part of a Facebook Live with Keoma discussing how people are coping financially since COVID 19 and what it is like starting a business during a time of crisis. (The link is below so you can check it out.)We were sharing great tips on how to manage money and saving for a rainy day but what stood out to me was when we touched on networking. We are not meant to go through life alone and it does take a village to raise a child. As a person, you do need friends. You need that support group for when life throws some punches but also to celebrate the victories. It is the same when starting a business. Your friends should support you. I am grateful for the friends I have because they have been there with me. Whether liking, sharing, offering feedback and assistance, showing up, purchasing and simply being there. They encourage me when I have doubts and listen when I run my ideas by them. My tribe is amazing!

This topic may be triggering for some people and I totally get it. The tribe that I have now does not consist of childhood friends. It does not even entirely consist of college friends. My tribe is a mix of all. I used to think that my friendships would not last and as I got really close with someone, something would happen and we would drift apart. I have learned that is O.K. Those persons were needed for growth but they did not need to stay in my life or my time was up in theirs as we both grew. That does not mean that you have to dislike the person. Friendships like any relationship, are two- way streets. You both should be pouring into one another. Again, honest communication is also needed. I have a very close friend that I don’t see often and I was missing her. Another friend while discussing business questioned whether I was utilizing my friendships to the max. Guess what? That put fire under me to get up and go see my friend and I am so happy I did. 

We can be tough and hold our friends to a standard we would not live up to. Here is where we need to be honest with ourselves. Someone may not be there, not because they do not want to be but because they are busy with their own lives. We tend to forget that our friends have their own lives too. They may be going through something and wondering why you have not noticed and reached out and you are sulking because you think they do not care anymore. All of my friends are busy, half of them are working for themselves and the other half is juggling full time jobs and their own businesses. I support them all of the time and if I cannot support financially, I speak to them and do my best to support in other ways. 

In June I had my first pop up with boozy pouches from Tropsical and I am overwhelmed by the support I have been receiving from friends and strangers. My social media friends have shown up and shown out. People I know casually have shown up and supported. During the Facebook live we mentioned that once you start moving and doing for yourself, support and assistance shows up in various forms. There are people willing to assist you to make your dream come true but you have to do the heavy lifting. No one is going to build your dream for you. Some people will come with ulterior motives and that’s where you have to know yourself and trust your judgment. But I believe the world is full of good people and you should surround yourself with people who love you genuinely. Be kind to others, support others and build your network. You never know who will be the one to help you accomplish your dream. 

P.S Check out some links below the picture!