Create a Special Day

17 Jul

Nat'l Ice Cream Day

I love ICE CREAM! It evokes childhood memories in a hot, tropical place — Managua, Nicaragua. I was only 5 years old when we moved there. About once a week we would set out on an adventure to make homemade ice cream. Throughout the entire process we would sing – “I scream – You scream – We all scream for ICE CREAM!”

While my mom whipped up the recipe for the creamy delight I would go with my dad to get a block of ice. We had to chip it with an ice pick. I got to help him pack the ice around the metal cylinder – alternating rock salt with the big chunks of ice. We would put the paddle in the middle and I got to hold it while my mom poured in the yummy mix.

Then I got to take a turn moving the handle round and round until it got tough. At that point, my brother and dad would give it the final spins. The reward was in getting to take one of the first tastes off the top.

I commend the entrepreneurs who provide ice cream to their happy clients for setting up a special day or at least taking advantage of its existence. What is your product? Is there a special national or international day highlighting that niche? If not, find out how to set up a special day for your product/service.

What are you doing to promote your business? How are you developing your brand? While I’m at it, what’s your favorite ice cream memory? Or, at least, what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mine is Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. It really does taste like my childhood memory. Now that is powerful! But then again, Hope-Filled Memories are powerful!

 

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Learning from It All

14 Jun

failuresteach2

This is a hard one. It sounds really good in theory but when it comes down to it, I don’t like to think about areas where I have failed. I would rather close the book on them and move forward.

Slow down for a minute and take an inventory of lessons learned, stories to be retold and principles of life that make you who you are.

Here’s my example. Almost two years ago I was fired. For the first time in my career, I was asked to step down from a dream job. It stung! I was angry and frustrated with the whole situation. I had a choice: blame everyone else in anger or learn all I could from this difficult situation.

Here are a few of the lessons I learned:

Use the setback as a reset button

I was working very hard at fulfilling the vision of someone else. I was exhausted at the end of the day and had to time work on my next book. I focused on finishing up my book The Power of Hope in Mourning. It is possible that I would not have ever found the time to do so if I had continued working that job.

Address your beliefs about yourself

I grew exponentially during this time because I began to see that my mistakes did not have be magnified as long as I learned from them. I started treating myself more kindly as I was able to gain God’s perspective on the situation. Initially I was angry at the people involved and at myself for allowing myself to get into this situation. I chose to release the anger and embraced the lessons. This decision made my others did not make me a failure.

Move forward

The main lesson that I learned is that I am resourceful and able to get back up to move forward to do what only I can do. I have a bright future and true success is in my reach. I continue to journal on lessons learned and am so grateful for all the experiences of my life.

Have you ever had a setback like mine? How did you get through it? What did you learn from it?

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Transforming Memories

25 May

gratitiudetransforms

“Gratitude has the power to transform your memories.”

I recently was speaking with a friend who was going through a difficult season with someone. She said the following statement that has transformed my own life, “I am using gratitude as a weapon.”

You don’t usually hear those two works together in a one sentence – gratitude and weapon.

As I pondered her approach I was challenged to apply this principle to my life. I set out to write as many reasons I was grateful for a painful season in my life. It was a time when I had felt personally rejected by someone I loved. As I started writing the reasons I was grateful for this difficult time, my perspective changed.

This time no longer felt like a waste of time. I no longer felt defeated and discouraged. I was able to see the good coming out of the pain. My conversations about the difficulties shifted to sharing great growth and breakthroughs.

How would you describe your painful memory?
How can you use gratitude as a weapon today?
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned during this time?

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate training executive and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Setting the Tone

23 May

attitude-earlnightingham

Your attitude is crucial to your success today. Have you ever wondered how some days everything seems to go wrong? It seems like one mess-up leads to more and before you know it you wish you could just crawl back into bed to start over.

When I was a kid this was termed as “getting up on the wrong side of the bed.”

Choose your side of the bed today. Determine that no matter what happens you will turn it around with a can-do attitude. Smile even when you don’t feel like it. You will send a signal to your body that you are going to make it through today. Not only are you going to survive … you are going to thrive in the midst of it all.

What do you do to switch your attitude?
How do you stop yourself from the downward spiral once it gets started?
Do you have a story of how this really works?

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate training executive and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Keeping Your Vision Before You

25 Apr

DEFINE A CLEAR VISION-E

Revisit your vision statement consistently to keep it fresh and working for forward momentum. #thehopelady

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate training executive and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

Rejoicing in the New Normal

10 Feb

Rejoice in the new

How many times have you heard the saying – Adjust to the ‘new normal?’

It can be hard to do when the changes we do not want to have happen are thrust on us.  I encourage you today to shift your language so you can move forward with hope.

To adjust means to begrudgingly accept what you cannot change. To rejoice means to look for opportunities to grow, to see the good, and to share testimony of hope in the darkest passages of your life. As I look back on the years that my husband was ill with Muscular Dystrophy it seems like we were constantly adjusting to a new level of physical issues in his diagnosis.

In the beginning, I would mourn the loss and take weeks to adjust. Yet, with time, I would adjust and start to feel like it wasn’t so bad after all. I attribute this ability to adjust to my husband’s wonderful attitude that every breath of life is a gift. He lived from a level of grace that I could not understand yet came to incorporate into my own life. My only regret is that we didn’t do more in the relatively good times. The problem is that I foolishly thought it couldn’t get any worse – yet it did. Nevertheless, we laughed and enjoyed great times in the midst of it all.

What is your ‘new normal?’

 What good do you see in the changes that are happening over which you have no control?

 How can you celebrate and enjoy what you have now?

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate training executive and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

 

Remembering Hard Times

1 Feb

God's recipe for the future assures us He is turning the bitter experiences of our lives intoYou may wonder how remembering the difficult periods of your life can inspire hope. Did you survive? Are you stronger? What lessons did you learn?

As I look over the panorama of my life, the times when I struggled have given me the greatest source of stories to inspire others to keep moving toward their goal and purpose in life. As you look back on the hardest seasons in your life do the following:

Be real

You are stronger than you even realize when you get real. Don’t gloss over the difficulties because that is where you can mine the richness of hope and restoration. This does not mean you wallow in self-pity but rather that you learn to tap into the reservoir of your faith and courage. You got through the difficulties and you will continue to grow stronger every day.

Give words to the lessons learned

I was telling a dear friend about a painful experience I had recently. She listened with great empathy and then asked the question, “What is the biggest lesson you learned?” I had to stop for a minute and realize that lessons are hidden in every bitter experience. It was my choice to determine if I would continue to focus on the pain or move forward to put into practice the lesson learned through it all.

My lesson learned is the following: “The rejection I experienced was actually God’s protection so I could continue to fulfill my life’s destiny.”

May you grow in hope and become a stronger HOPE Ambassador to help others going through similar challenges.

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate training executive and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed personally and professionally. Karen is known as The Hope Lady because she  takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. 

 

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