Month: January 2019

What am I influencing?

Monday was the Martin Luther King Jr. day of service here in the United States and many of us were off from work. I would love to say I took to the streets to volunteer at a local shelter but I didn’t. I was actually sleep til noon and eating leftovers with my husband. We’ve both been fighting this annoying sinus/cold thing that has held it’s grip for two weeks. Thankfully, meds have finally brought us down to a level yellow situation. While wrapped in balnkets and catching up on shows we stumbled across the Netflix documentary “Fyre: The greatest party that never happened”. Ninety minutes later and I was fascinated with Billy McFarland. I was also asking myself, “What am I influencing?”

McFarland is a wealthy millennial currently serving a six year sentence in federal prison for defrauding investors out of 27 million dollars. His most notable business venture was a credit card rewards company targeted to socialites called Magnesus. The signature black card was a credit card for hipsters with exclusive membership deals and rewards. Stars like Rick Ross and Ja Rule added to it’s initial credibility. However, it turned out to be nothing more than a sham. Billy was adept at not just selling products, but atmosphere.

Billy eventually meets up with rapper Ja Rule to discuss a joint venture for an app called Fyre allowing users to book recording artists directly. Some time later Billy begins working on a side project to create a larger than life music festival of Woodstock proportions for the same wealthy crowd who bought into his Magnesus membership. It would be called Fyre Festival. Billy employed the help of a top social media management team and several celebrity influencers like Kendall Jenner to spread the word about this weekend festival in the Bahamas. The promotional videos and IG posts are a hit. Everyine who’s anyone wants tickets to this litty event. All because a few models on yachts made it look glamorous.

The promo didn’t just sell the festival, it sold a lifestyle. It’s this phenomenon, the ability to monetize your life, that has characterized my generation (aka millennials) as a whole. Over time what was once only used on a desktop during a lunch break or weekend afternoon has become apart of daily living. Our phones are now extensions of our person. Verbal and visual expressions of our lives and personalities. Or at least, the version we wish were reality. After watching the Netflix doc, we immediately watched the Hulu version, which gave a little more back story on Billy along with an interview. Both documentaries left me questioning my own motives.

I started SPS in 2014 after blogging for LookUp internet radio station a few years earlier. I wanted my own little cirner of internet to share the three things I loved most: music, my faith, and my style. It was a hobby that I now plan to turn into a business. However, I am motivated more than ever after watching the documentary to make sure my intentions aren’t vain. What’s the end game? Is it to have thousands of followers for the sake of validating my self esteem? To get free merchandise in order to brag about my wardrobe? To overshare my home and relationships in order to seem “transparent”?

As a Christian first and blogger fifth, the moment I make SPS all about my ego and not my purpose I’ve failed. My primary purpose in this earth is to bring glory to God. Fortunately, He allows us to use all of our gifts to do so. So I’ll use my wit, my humor, my singing voice, and my sense of style to bring others joy. Share the gospel with them. To lifts their spirits. To raise their confidence. But if it’s all in the name of likes and retweets than it’s meaningless.

I want to hear from you. Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen either documentary and how you feel about them.

Dress//Boohoo , Blanket Scarf//Uniqlo , Boots//Go Jane

5 Ways to Guarantee an Epic New Year

After the Christmas trees are gone, the lights are taken down, and you’ve used all your gift cards it hits you. Two thousand eighteen is OVER. Congratulations dear, you’ve lived to see another year! This is the first Monday of many and it’s time to hit the ground running. We’re one week into the new year. By now you’ve been inundated with vision board party invites, email challenges, and downloads. You most likely have one of two reactions: excitement and motivation or annoyance and overwhelm. Whichever shoe fits, let me help by showing you 5 ways to guarantee an epic new year.

Get Honest

Before you go guns blazing into the new year full of adrenaline it’s best to pause and gain some clarity. Take a moment and ask yourself “How do I really feel about last year?” Self assessment and introspection is a must for growth. What were my accomplishments? What were my mistakes? How can I improve based on the lessons I’ve learned? It’s important to identify what was good, bad, and ugly about last year so you can make any necessary changes.

Get Organized

Now that you’ve established what did/didn’t work well, you can begin setting goals for the year. These goals should be “S.M.A.R.T.” meaning: specific, measured, achievable, relevant, and time bound. For example, one of my goals is to improve my kidney health. Specifically, lower sodium intake. I can measure this by not cooking with salt unless absolutely necessary. If it is, I can use Himalayan sea salt. It’s achievable because I’ve done it before in 2014 after surgery. It’s relevant because I still have stones in my left kidney. I see my urologist this month and will schedule a follow up in June, making this time bound.

Get Physical

This could either be obvious to you or out of place but hear me, you can’t achieve any of your goals if your unhealthy. Playing off of my goal in the previous step, an annual physical is a must. One of the most neglected areas of our lives is the area of health. Get a complete physical. Start the year with counseling or therapy sessions. Then adjust your goals if necessary to include what’s needed to be your healthiest self. Be good to your mind and body.

Get Offline

I know, you’re thinking, “Really Shakira?” but hear me out… Yes as a blogger I spend time online daily. We all do. I even hope that you’ll continue to stop by my neck of the internet and read these blog posts. However, we all need time away from the electronics. A Facebook comment and an Instagram like are great. Sharing viral videos and creating content is awesome. But making out with my husband and spending time with my friends is better. It’s okay to unplug. Your followers will survive.

Get to Work

Finally, the last step in this process is the most crucial. You can assess, plan, get the lab results, and power down all you want. None of this matters if you then fail to do the necessary work to accomplish said plans. Last year I had about three goals that failed to achieve. Why? Because I didn’t do the work. Even with having unexpected surgery and being on medical leave, I could’ve achieved those goals. If I’d had a time table in place with realistic steps they would’ve been accomplished prior to surgery. I encourage you to do the work this year. That’s the only thing standing in the way of your success.

I hope you’ve found this to be helpful. Leave me a message in the comments and tell me what your goals are for the year. Let’s hold each other accountable. I promise if you do these 5 steps, your year will be AWESOME!!

Coat//Thrifted , Scarf//H&M , Top//Uniqlo , Shoes//Donald J. Pliner

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