"When was the last time you felt really excited?
When was the last time you felt passionate? I'm not talking about sexual passion. Though that is what most people think about when the word is used. I'm talking about life passion. When you have passion in your life, you wake up excited about the day ahead of you, and you take projects on with enthusiasm. With passion in your heart, you become the woman who goes for it … even when you're going for daunting or difficult things.
A passionate you is a powerful you, but if you're like most women, you probably haven't felt the fire in a long time. (It's tough to feel passionate when you're drowning in your own life, isn't it?) If you're deep in the drowning part right now, you may doubt that passion is possible for you, but that's just not true.
Passion is possible, and you can claim yours TODAY.
(I promise. Keep reading.)
The topic of passion itself can feel tough to grasp. What's the big deal anyway? Who cares if you have it? What difference does it make? The thing is, it can make a pretty big difference. You see, a life without passion can turn you into a member of "The Walking Dead." (In case you haven't watched the popular show, those are flesh-eating zombies I'm referring to. Super fun to watch on TV. Super stinky to live like one.)
If you're stuck in zombie-land, living on autopilot, going through the motions, and just trying to make it through the day, this blog is for you. A life without passion is a life without joy. You deserve so much better than that! Let's light your fire. Like right now.
Step 1 – Name your strengths.
You were born with gifts. In the coaching world, we call these attributes strengths, which are natural talents you're born with. Strengths are things you do so easily; you're not even sure they're important or impressive. How could something so natural matter that much?
Hear me now. There is no mistake in you. Each strength you were born with was given to you by design, and when you connect with these gifts, you become more authentically yourself - which makes you feel more passionate.
You probably already know what your gifts are. They're the talents people acknowledge and rely on you for. Maybe you're a great listener, or you organize effortlessly. Perhaps you're a persuasive communicator or a brilliant teacher.
Write down three of your strengths right now. If you're not sure what they might be, ask a close friend or family member for input. (Positive people only please. Do not ask a critical person for feedback.)
Once you've got your list, start consciously bringing these skills with you into new situations. Look for ways to add value by offering up what you're good at. You'll be amazed at how much more enjoyable everyday activities become when you participate while using your strengths.
Ah, the passion is starting to bubble.
Step 2 – Define what you value.
In Western society, the term value refers to morality. We're not talking about that here. In the life coaching world, when we talk about values, we're talking about what you value.
What are you interested in? What lights you up? When you bring qualities that excite you into your daily life, you really start burning. (In a very good way.) As it turns out, the things you're interested in are clues to your values. You can start to uncover them with a few questions.
- When you go into a bookstore (physical or virtual), which section do you head to? Why?
- Which blogs or podcasts do you seek out each week? Why?
- If I could give you a free day (where all your stuff would get done just the way you wanted it to), what would you do with the found time? Why?
Your answers to these questions can help you name what you value. For example, I'm addicted to self-help books, and the first blogs I seek out every morning can be found on Swaay.com (who I'm lucky enough to write for). Why? Because I love to learn and teach, and I value wellness, growth, and the perspective of real women.
How about you? What do your answers tell you about what you value? Once you've got an idea, start trying your attributes on for size. When you've landed on an authentic interest, you'll know because it will feel right.
I've had clients tell me they feel more like themselves when they're in the realm of values. It's as if your square-pegged-self has finally found an opening that fits just right. (No more shaving those edges.) Authentic values invite you to engage with life, and all engagement stokes the fires of passion.
Now we're smoldering.
Step 3 – Live purposefully.
The greatest myth told about life's purpose is that it's some mysterious thing you're supposed to do or find. But thinking about it that way will actually keep you from finding it. Your life purpose isn't about any one thing you do. Your life purpose is about how you do everything you do.
You find your life purpose when you begin living with purpose.
Living with purpose is about approaching your experiences with a combination of service and intention. How will you add value? What can you offer to improve the situation at hand? How can you make a positive impact? When you meet life with this level of awareness, you do it differently, and if you want to feel passion, the way you do life matters.
Okay — it's time. Let's create your personal passion formula. Because that will help you do life on purpose. Your recipe has three parts. (We covered each part in our steps in this blog, so you're ready.)
Strengths + Values + Purpose = PASSION.
My passion formula is Teacher + Transformation + Empowerment = KIM ON FUEGO.
Your strengths____ + Your values____ + Your purpose____ = YOU ON FUEGO
Please don't read this passively. Roll your sleeves up, and craft your formula. Then start using it in real life. When you do, you'll be amazed at how things change for the better. You'll behave like your best self and start making choices that help you build your best life. You'll make contributions, focus on solutions, and start to meet your experiences with a new level of openness and intention.
No matter what's going on in your life right now, you can feel passionate again.
No more zombie living for you, okay? Start using your passion formula. Make a note on your smartphone and refer to it before you hop on social media. Write your recipe on a notecard, and carry it in your wallet or briefcase. Share your formula with our community and me in the comments below. I want to know what you!
My mission is your empowerment. That's why I'm here. If you haven't already joined my community, please do it by entering your email (www.kimberlyfulcher.com). Until we meet again, know that life is happening for you.
You've Got This!
Originally published at www.kimberlyfulcher.com
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It seemed like everything happened overnight because, well… it did.
One moment, my team and I were business as usual, running a multi-million-dollar edible cookie dough company I built from scratch in my at-home kitchen five years ago and the next we were sitting in an emergency management team meeting asking ourselves, "What do we do now?" Things had escalated in New York, and we were all called to do our part in "flattening the curve" and "slowing the spread."
The governor had declared that all restaurants immediately close to the public. All non-essential businesses were also closed, and 8.7 million New Yorkers were quarantined to their tiny apartments for the foreseeable future. Things like "social distancing" and "quarantine" were our new 2020 vernacular — and reality.
What did that mean for us? Our main revenue source was the retail part of the business. Sure, we offered delivery and take-out, but that was such a small portion of our sales. I had built a retail experience where people from near and far came to eat edible cookie dough exactly how they craved it. We had two stores, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, which employed over 55 people. We have two production facilities; an online business shipping cookie dough nationwide; a wholesale arm that supplies stores, restaurants, and other retail establishments with treats; and a catering vertical for customizable treats for celebrations of all sizes. And while business and sales were nearly at a complete halt, we still had bills. We had payroll to pay, vendors we owed, services we were contractually obligated to continue, rent, utilities, insurance, and none of that was stopping.
How were we going to do this? And for how long will this go on? No one knew.
As an entrepreneur, this certainly wasn't my first-time facing challenges. But this was unprecedented. Unimaginable. Unbelievable. Certainly unplanned. This control-freak type-A gal was unraveling. I had to make decisions quickly. What was best for my team? For my business? For the safety of my staff? For the city? For my family and unborn baby (oh, yeah, throw being 28 weeks pregnant and all those fun hormones in there, it's real interesting!). Everything was spiraling out of control.
I decided to take the advice I had given to many people over the years — focus on the things you can control. There's no point worrying about all the things you have no control over. If you focus there, you'll just continue spiraling into a deeper, darker hole. Let it go. Once you shift your perspective, you can move forward. It's not going to be easy; the challenges still exist. But you can control certain things, so focus your energy and attention on those.
So that's what I did. I chose, for the safety of staff and customers, to close the retail portion completely — it wasn't worth the take-out and delivery volume to staff the store, open ourselves up to more germs and human contact than absolutely necessary.
I went back to our mission and the reason I started the business in the first place — to spread joy. How could we continue to bring happiness to people during this uncertain time? That's our purpose. With millions of people across the globe stuck inside, working from home, quarantined with their families, how can we reach them since they can't come to us? So I thought back to how and why we got started.
Baking, for me, has always been a type of therapy. I could get lost in the mixing bowl and forget about everything else for a moment in time. Sure, I have a huge sweet tooth, but it's about the process. It's about taking all of these different ingredients and mixing them together to create something magically sweet and special. It's about creating and being creative with the simple things. It's about allowing people to indulge in something that brings them joy — a lick from the spatula or a big batch of cookies.
It's about joy in the moment and sharing that joy with others. So my focus is back on that, and it feels good.
We could still ship nationwide, straight to people's doorstep. So we are making it easier and less expensive to send the ultimate comfort food (edible cookie dough) by introducing a reduced shipping rate, and deals on some of our best-selling packages.
In a way for us, it feels like we are going back in time… back to our roots. When I first started the business, we were only shipping nationwide. There were no stores, no big team, no wholesale. It was just me, a small crew juggling it all, and we made it work then. And we'll make it work again. We have to leverage our online business and hope it floats us through this time.
We are focusing our digital content strategy on sharing recipes, activities, and at-home treats with our engaged, amazing social following so they bake with their families and stay busy at-home. We started live baking tutorials where our fans can bake-along with me and I can share all the tips and tricks I've learned over the years with them.
I've leveraged the cookbook I published last year, Hello, Cookie Dough: 110 Doughlicious Confections to Eat, Bake & Share, to come up with fun content and additional things to do at home. We started shipping it and our at-home baking mixes for free to encourage people to get busy in their kitchens!
And as a business, we will continue to connect with our community to bring them joy and focus on what we can control, including our attitude and outlook first.
During times of uncertainty, which this certainly is, you should do the same. Identify the things you can control and focus your time and energy on those things. Distract yourself with the positive. Force yourself to stop asking and worrying about all the what-ifs. Do what you can for the moment and then the next moment. Make a list, and take it day-by-day.
It's going to be okay. You will be okay. We will all be okay.