Just be YOU!

Last week, my good friend Shawn McBride was in town.  We headed out to Livingston to one of my very favorite restaurants called The Gathering, where they have farm-to-table food and great blue-grass music. While we were chatting with some friends who happened to also be there, Charlie Mars walked in.  Now, I grew up with Charlie's little brother Chad (a fantastic visual artist) - and I also grew up with Charlie's music. From "Broken Arrow" at our high school homecoming to his self-titled album in 2004 to Like a Bird, Like a Plane that I listened to in law school, his music was/is part of the soundtrack of my life. We said a quick hi before everyone went to their own tables for dinner.  

On the drive home, I played Shawn a few of my favorite Charlie Mars tunes, and he remarked that they reminded him of this band he'd just become aware of when he met their lead singer in a coffee shop. I was curious and asked for more details. 

Shawn has a very distinct brand called Do Business Differently (TM).  The brand is trademarked by Shawn's company, McBride For Business, LLC, and one key feature is that he wears really eye-catching suits.  We're talking suits covered in money, purple tuxedos, and polka dots! As a result, people often come up to chat with him about WHY he's wearing said suits - which gives him the opportunity to explain his philosophy of making business fun and different! 

Shawn McBride and one of his eye-catching suits! 

Shawn McBride and one of his eye-catching suits! 


At a coffee shop recently, one of the guys who came up to Shawn mentioned that he was a musician, and ended up giving Shawn a  copy of his CD. 

Guess who it was????? 

Cary Pierce of Jackopierce! I was blown away {and pretty jealous!}.  I mean, that's the other group that was the soundtrack of my youth. I remember listening to "Vineyard" dozens of times from Jackson, MS to the University of Alabama as all 14 of us cheerleaders rode together to summer cheer camp.  

But the biggest thing that hit me about this story is that Shawn was just being himself - honoring HIS brand and working in alignment with HIS process - and that got Cary curious to know more. I doubt Cary Pierce goes around introducing himself to many random strangers in coffee shops. He's probably usually trying to steer clear of attention. But Shawn's brand CAUGHT his attention, and a new connection was made. 

The coolest connections come when we're just being ourselves.  I'm committed to being more fully and freely ME and trusting that the exact right clients are going to be attracted to my own brand and business. 

And I want to encourage you that if you do this, too, you're going to annoy some people. There will be people who do NOT get what you're up to. They might even criticize you or make fun of you. It's your job to let all that roll right off your shoulders and keep being you - the exact you that God made you to be. 

All the quirks. All the idiosyncrasies. All the personality. 

That's when you're going to attract the people who are meant to be part of your life and business. 

So what do you think? Are you being fully yourself in your biz? Leave me a comment below. I personally read and respond to each one! 

Have you found your soul mate workout?

Anyone who has access to TV and print media knows that exercise is good for us! Regular exercise can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of certain diseases, strengthen your body, and improve your mood and sense of well-being.  

With all of those benefits, why don't more of us carve out that recommended 20 minutes a day, six days a week to move? 

If exercise still feels more like a chore and less like a gift to you, would you answer this question? 

Have you found your Soul Mate Workout? 

My soul mate workout is easy to pinpoint.  In her quest to make sure I wouldn't become a couch potato, my mom paid me one dollar for every mile that I ran starting at eight years old (unfortunately, she discontinued this practice somewhere around my high school years).  What started out as an effort by her to get me out of the house and off of my rear end initiated one of my greatest passions.  Even now, I feel so free when I run! There's nothing that compares to moving the body God gave me, in His sunshine, under His sky, breathing His fresh air.  It's incredible! 

Running has also connected me with some truly amazing people.  Through a local running group, I've built and strengthened friendships with various people that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise.  It's been an opportunity for me to minister, too, and share what God is doing in my life.  It's also connected me with a very special guy whom I'll be going to support at the Chicago marathon this weekend! Yep, running is my soul mate workout, for sure.  

So, if you've yet to find your soul mate workout, don't give up!  Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to determine what workout is your "other half":

  1. What type of exercise did I love doing when I was young? 
  2. When can I remember having fun being active?
  3. Do I enjoy exercising alone or with a group? (e.g. would I prefer a class at the gym or lifting weights on my own?) 
  4. Do I like a lot of gear? Am I into technology? (If so, a more gear-intensive form of exercise like biking might keep me motivated!) 
  5. What's my budget for working out? 
  6. Do I like competition or would I rather exercise for fun?  

Through answering the questions above, and trying some different forms of exercise, you'll find that soul mate workout that you've been waiting for.  And it will be magical!  

P.S. Don't give up!  In my life, I've tried the following forms of exercise:  running (yes!!!!), tap dancing, jazz, baton, white water rafting, cheerleading, tumbling, gymnastics, yoga, pilates, barre method, tennis, racquetball, basketball, softball, squash, modern dance, ballroom dance, Zumba, hip-hop, biking, and swimming.  Running always wins!  But I've enjoyed so many other activities while trying to verify that running is indeed my soul mate! Give yourself some time to experiment with different forms of exercise, and I promise  you that you'll eventually come back to the one you adore.  

P.P.S.  Let me know in the comments what YOUR soul mate workout is!