Friday, 26 August 2016

Her Wisdom - Sam Bell

In this Her Wisdom post I want to introduce you to Sam Bell from Brand IT Girl, she has had a massive influence on me and my ability to take the plunge and design a brand look and create a consistent style for not only my blog but my social media and the content I publish. Sam has given me so much courage and insight to believe in my ability and grow my skills, but also to get some clarity on where and how I want to move forward, she's been a great mentor and become a good friend and her story is just as inspirational, I hope you enjoy reading more about the wisdom and insight Sam has gained in life and find some for yourself - enjoy!

Q.1 - How do you start your day? Can you tell us more about the first 3 things you have to do to get your day started?
Once I am up and into the office, the first three things I do are clear my inbox, check in on social media and make a to-do list. I feel that it’s important to check in with email and social media before writing my to-do list because often there will be something in there that I need to action that day. I will always select three goals for the day and only one is the master goal - so that’s like the main thing that I have to get done. The other two goals are still important too but I put less focus on them and then anything that is option or lower priority are bonus goals and these can roll over to the next day.

Q.2 - Share your favourite piece of wisdom and why it means something to you.
When I was in high school I was struggling with relationship issues (because as you know, relationships in high school are high stakes!) and I was also the lead role in a musical. The musical director was a hard but fair woman; in her early 60s at the time, with fabulous hair and excentric clothes, and I had all but convinced myself that she didn’t like me.

This one day I was in my dressing room attempting to get ready for that night’s show and I was crying the makeup off faster than I could put it on (obviously a boy had broken my heart… oh the drama!) . Word had trickled out to my director that I was a bit of a mess. Now being a lady who made it her business to know everything about everyone, she already knew exactly what had happened and why I was upset and rumbled into my dressing room on her standard 4 inch heels and shook her bangled wrists at me. What she said that night has stuck with me:  “Women like us don’t settle for second best”. And that was it. She turned on those killer heels and left me to contemplate the words she had said.

Now it was most certainly in relation to whatever injustice I had suffered at the hands of that 18 year old boy (I can’t recall what went down, but I can imagine it was hard at the time), but I knew she was also speaking to me as a person and giving me a message I would take with me through life.

Women like us don’t settle for second best. And I never have. Be it in relationships, in personal achievements or in business - I will only be the best I can be and I do that by putting my whole heart and soul into whatever I am doing. That’s something I want to say to my community of ladypreneurs and bloggers: my friends, women like us don’t settle for second best!

Q.3 - What is your go to thing for comfort when it all gets too much?
When I am feeling overwhelmed I will make a cup of tea and take a few moments to just switch off. I have an armchair in my office and I will take that cup of tea, sit down and just close my eyes for a few moments and breath. The very next thing I do, is I call my partner, Gavin, and we talk through the issue at hand and we come up with a strategy. Nine times out of ten, it’s nowhere near as bad I thought it was! Talking to someone when you are feeling frazzled and overwhelmed is so very important and we all have someone we can turn to when the going get tough and we just need to talk it out - I am just lucky that I have a life partner that also doubles as my business partner and biggest fan!

If you don’t have that someone that you can turn to when it gets too much, then I recommend joining a Facebook group. There are so many of them out there that you could join and they are just full of people like you who need some support and encouragement along the way. Inside my course Be Your Own Brand Stylist, there’s a beautiful community of people who all support each other and likewise that is replicated in the FREE Facebook Group, Brand It Society, which is open to everyone to join (head over and join us now! When you just don’t know what to do or what decision to make, putting it out to a community like this can give you so much clarity and focus and not only that, it can help you to see the things from someone else’s perspective!

Q.4 - Who are the women that inspire you?
There are a few different women that inspire me but my number one is of course my Mum! So cliche, but she’s the pinnacle of how a mother’s love can uplift a person and she’ll always be my number one lady. I just hope I can be as good a mum as her!

I am really lucky because my Mum, my sisters, Tilly and Caitlin, my step Mum, my partners Mum and his sister, Nicole, and my Nan before she passed away - they are all incredible women! They are all so unique in their own ways and between them give me so many perspectives and teach me so much about life, it’s actually crazy to think I am so blessed!

Beyond my incredible family of strong women I have one major role model that I have always looked up to. Now you might laugh at this, but it’s Xena Warrior Princess! Do you remember that 90’s TV show? I actually have all the DVDs! All jokes aside about whether or not she is a lesbian, she’s a great role model for women! She’s strong, independent and healthy - not like some of the women we see in the media. She has flesh on her bones but her strength makes her stunningly beautiful! She will stand up for herself and the people she loves and she can be tender and compassionate regardless of what is happening in her life. It’s a shame she’s a fictional character because she is someone I would love to meet!

Q.5 - How do you see yourself and what makes up your sense of identity?  
I see myself as being a resilient and determined person. Sometimes my family jokes that when I decide I am passionate about something, I go from zero to obsessed overnight and to be honest, there’s a lot of truth in that! I feel like if I don’t put my whole heart and soul into what I am doing, then it’s not really worth doing anyway. This often leaves me feeling frustrated because time might not permit or other people may not be willing to put as much of themselves into the task at hand, but it’s who I am!

So in a way my determination, passion, ambition and resilience are all tied up together and underpin who I am as a person. But for you to understand where this comes from, I think I need to share one part of my history that people often never would guess about me: I have battled a lifelong illness called Rheumatoid Arthritis which rendered me crippled and, at some points, in a wheelchair in my early years and then again through high school and through some parts of my Undergraduate, Honours and Masters degrees. Going through that kind of physical limitation made my determination even great to do the things I put my mind to. I have a few wonderful friends who I met through a camp for kids with the disease when we were growing up. Kids that were by all definitions sicker than I was, and they were the strongest, kindest and most determined people I had ever met. They showed me that there’s no limit to what I could do. And so, I just keep on doing!

Q.6 - Do you have a favourite dish or recipe that makes you feel good or gives you a much needed boost?
I am a massive pasta fan - to be honest it makes me feel a little sick and bloated afterwards but if I am celebrating something or if I am feeling down, it’s my happy place! My favourite pasta recipe to make at home is Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni. Oh boy. I could eat that all day!

It’s pasta tubes stuffed with a spinach and ricotta mix then placed in a lasagna dish, is covered with a diced tomato based sauce with cheese on top. It’s incredible.

Q.7 - What's challenging you right now?
Right now I am feeling challenged by all my ideas. What a wonderful problem to have! I have so many ideas, so many things I want to do within my business but there always a level of fear. I do suffer from a bit of imposter syndrome and it’s been hard for me to push past that and get my latest product to market. It extends beyond my business too. I teach at the University of Sydney, Australia and this semester I am delivering a lecture to a really large cohort of students and that little voice creeps in and accuses me of not knowing what I am talking about! I seem to keep coming back and having to face those fraud feelings before every new project but I feel like that path to reassurance in my mind is becoming more easily accessed - so it’s becoming easier to push through it and achieve what I want to achieve. The biggest thing I have learnt is that the more you push through those feelings and do it away, the easier it gets.

My other big challenge is productivity. With all of these ideas, I struggle to bring them to life! It’s so hard to remember that everyone on earth has the same amount of time in a day and people achieve amazing things in the the time they have. It’s like they say: “you have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce - so work it girl!” and I try to remember that, but I always seem to find myself saying that there’s not enough time. So one of my big challenges at the moment is to work on my time management, systems and also to automate as many things as possible in order to really start to maximise the time I have!

Q.8 - Tell us more about your latest or next project

UPDATED: Sam has now launched her new branding project The Boutique...

The Brand It Boutique is an online platform for female entrepreneurs, online business owners and bloggers from all around the world.
Inside the Boutique you’ll find monthly trainings, monthly downloads with coaching for fitness, recipes and mindset and a support community of women just like you!
If you want to take your branding to the next level I highly recommend joining and you can do so by clicking *here - I'm a member myself!


*This page contains affiliate links - I may be compensated if you click on the link and make a purchase.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for featuring me Karen! (ps. love the new blog design!!)