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Ep. 25 Turning your passion into a world class calling with Nick Onken

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We're so excited to speak to Nick Onken, photographer, podcast host, and creative entrepreneur devoted to inspiring the world to create their moments and create their life. Nick has photographed personalities such as Justin Bieber, Usher, and Jessica Alba. He has photographed print campaigns for international brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, and Adidas. His work has also been published in magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire.

This episode we discuss how he went from graphic designer to photographer and all the ways that he used his talent and hustle to make it to the top of the photo world. You can find his work at Instagram @nickonken, his podcast Nion Radio, his site nickonken.me, and his awesome hashtag: #createyourmoments.

Check out the show on ItunesGoogle PlaySoundcloud, or Stitcher! (click on each word to take you to that platform) or listen below.

 

 

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Does the "Net" always appear? A message about "leaping" for entrepreneurs.

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Does the "Net" always appear? A message about "leaping" for entrepreneurs.

    If you’re “playing it safe, you’re playing small”     If you don’t jump you don’t have faith     Leap and the net will appear    Don’t have a plan B because it distracts from plan A   I use to be a devout follower of the “Jump the Cliff” Crew. I happily followed all the entrepreneur rhetoric about leaping and not worrying about falling on my ass or to my death and while I do still have that kind of faith in myself and what I am doing, something was missing for me.  When I didn’t leap, I felt like I was being judged (by other entrepreneurs, myself or those pesky books written by the experts!).  When I heard that inner knowing telling me to go slower, smell the roses and maybe jump at a later date, I promptly said to that knowing,  “Shut the hell up. I have some diving to do!”    If I didn’t jump...I didn’t want to face the judging of myself that would come with it soooo yep I jumped and jumped and jumped to the chagrin of my coach who was a BIG fan of jumping.  I didn’t care whether there was a net. I didn’t care whether I leaped to my death because I figured,  “Hey it’s better to get in ring and risk death than to sit on the sidelines.”    In many cases I think that’s true. In most cases. Ok, all cases.  However, sometimes, you shouldn’t jump so fast. Sometimes it’s sexy to have a parachute on your back instead of leaping and blindly hoping a net will appear.  These days, I am more of a fan of the strategic leap.  When you listen to that inner guide saying,  “Patience grasshopper. All things in due timing.”    This leap feels even more exciting because it’s a leap with positive expectation, not hope.  It’s a leap of planning and action, not flying by the seat of your pants.  It’s a quality leap.  A leap where you test, you ask, you refine, you set yourself up for success.  Entrepreneurs don’t talk about this leap...but many of them do it. Behind the scenes.  Yes it’s what I teach.  And it’s what I live now.  And you know what? There’s space in my life. There’s pleasure. There’s joy. There’s the excitement of launching something big but KNOWING I will be ok no matter the outcome. There’s a release of attachment. There’s expansiveness.  It’s what we all strive for...but did anyone tell you that you don’t have to strive?  When you take the strategic leap yes it’s scary. However, it’s less painful.  The strategic leap may not give you the adrenaline rush of Cortisol…  But you will get a hefty dose of endorphins.  One of my clients recently launched her debut music single. We created the plan for the release, I supported her during it and the entire time I kept whispering (and sometimes yelling at her)  “Do what feels good. Celebrate along the way. Acknowledge your small wins instead of racing to the finish line. I know that “so and so” suggested this but do you actually WANT do that?”    So she took a leap. A big one.  She was strategic and planned for pleasure.  She had fun while putting the project together and took care of herself along the way.   Result? - 15,000 views in 24 hours.   No she didn’t have a huge list, thousands of followers or a big affiliate marketing push.  In fact, she never asked anyone to share it at that time.   But they did….over 250 times in that 24 hour period.  That’s THOUSANDS of new people that listened to her music, through friend recommendations. The best kind.  Oh and that huge release party everyone said she should have (but me)…She had a cookout at her house instead that to the turn of 75 people.  No expensive venue or large marketing push to get people to come.  No door minimums to contend with or nasty club owners.  Just love, fun, pleasure and a ton of support. Even MORE than she would’ve had at a club. She has been all over the radio now and she’s getting some international press, managers and industry folk are paying attention.  All because of the strategic leap. Yes she took the jump...a quality one, in divine timing.  And now all else will be left to the Universe to figure out AND that’s how it should be.  Whether you’re thinking of a big move, leaving your job, releasing a product or just going to the next evolution of who you are, I would suggest you take a minute and commit to the leap...but do it strategically. Plan out the steps, course correct and most importantly...follow what feels good.  It’s the path that will lead you to what you want and the true connection you’re looking for. I do it. She did it. You can too.  Now don’t get me wrong, If blind faith is your jam, I say go for it. However for me right now, cliffs are way more fun to jump when you know you have a string to pull and let out a parachute. ;-)  The net will appear whether you strap on a parachute or go flying without one. Just remember, you can’t control the WHEN or the HOW of either.   Either way you choose, just JUMP.   You will only regret it if you don’t when you know you should.  If you know someone who’s thinking of taking a leap or could use this, please share it with them.  Also, connect with me on social media  (IG  or  Facebook ) or comment below and let me know if you’re thinking of taking a leap I’d love to hear about it.  Love you Fiercely,  Jo-Ná   

 

If you’re “playing it safe, you’re playing small”

If you don’t jump you don’t have faith

Leap and the net will appear

Don’t have a plan B because it distracts from plan A

I use to be a devout follower of the “Jump the Cliff” Crew. I happily followed all the entrepreneur rhetoric about leaping and not worrying about falling on my ass or to my death and while I do still have that kind of faith in myself and what I am doing, something was missing for me.

When I didn’t leap, I felt like I was being judged (by other entrepreneurs, myself or those pesky books written by the experts!).

When I heard that inner knowing telling me to go slower, smell the roses and maybe jump at a later date, I promptly said to that knowing, “Shut the hell up. I have some diving to do!”

If I didn’t jump...I didn’t want to face the judging of myself that would come with it soooo yep I jumped and jumped and jumped to the chagrin of my coach who was a BIG fan of jumping.

I didn’t care whether there was a net. I didn’t care whether I leaped to my death because I figured, “Hey it’s better to get in ring and risk death than to sit on the sidelines.”

In many cases I think that’s true. In most cases. Ok, all cases.

However, sometimes, you shouldn’t jump so fast. Sometimes it’s sexy to have a parachute on your back instead of leaping and blindly hoping a net will appear.

These days, I am more of a fan of the strategic leap.

When you listen to that inner guide saying, “Patience grasshopper. All things in due timing.”

This leap feels even more exciting because it’s a leap with positive expectation, not hope.

It’s a leap of planning and action, not flying by the seat of your pants.

It’s a quality leap.

A leap where you test, you ask, you refine, you set yourself up for success.

Entrepreneurs don’t talk about this leap...but many of them do it. Behind the scenes.

Yes it’s what I teach.

And it’s what I live now.

And you know what? There’s space in my life. There’s pleasure. There’s joy. There’s the excitement of launching something big but KNOWING I will be ok no matter the outcome. There’s a release of attachment. There’s expansiveness.

It’s what we all strive for...but did anyone tell you that you don’t have to strive?

When you take the strategic leap yes it’s scary. However, it’s less painful.

The strategic leap may not give you the adrenaline rush of Cortisol…

But you will get a hefty dose of endorphins.

One of my clients recently launched her debut music single. We created the plan for the release, I supported her during it and the entire time I kept whispering (and sometimes yelling at her) “Do what feels good. Celebrate along the way. Acknowledge your small wins instead of racing to the finish line. I know that “so and so” suggested this but do you actually WANT do that?”

So she took a leap. A big one.

She was strategic and planned for pleasure.

She had fun while putting the project together and took care of herself along the way.

Result? - 15,000 views in 24 hours.

No she didn’t have a huge list, thousands of followers or a big affiliate marketing push.

In fact, she never asked anyone to share it at that time.

But they did….over 250 times in that 24 hour period. That’s THOUSANDS of new people that listened to her music, through friend recommendations. The best kind.

Oh and that huge release party everyone said she should have (but me)…She had a cookout at her house instead that to the turn of 75 people.

No expensive venue or large marketing push to get people to come.

No door minimums to contend with or nasty club owners.

Just love, fun, pleasure and a ton of support. Even MORE than she would’ve had at a club. She has been all over the radio now and she’s getting some international press, managers and industry folk are paying attention.

All because of the strategic leap. Yes she took the jump...a quality one, in divine timing.

And now all else will be left to the Universe to figure out AND that’s how it should be.

Whether you’re thinking of a big move, leaving your job, releasing a product or just going to the next evolution of who you are, I would suggest you take a minute and commit to the leap...but do it strategically. Plan out the steps, course correct and most importantly...follow what feels good.

It’s the path that will lead you to what you want and the true connection you’re looking for. I do it. She did it. You can too.

Now don’t get me wrong, If blind faith is your jam, I say go for it. However for me right now, cliffs are way more fun to jump when you know you have a string to pull and let out a parachute. ;-)

The net will appear whether you strap on a parachute or go flying without one. Just remember, you can’t control the WHEN or the HOW of either.

Either way you choose, just JUMP.

You will only regret it if you don’t when you know you should.

If you know someone who’s thinking of taking a leap or could use this, please share it with them.

Also, connect with me on social media (IG or Facebook) or comment below and let me know if you’re thinking of taking a leap I’d love to hear about it.

Love you Fiercely,

Jo-Ná

 

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What Dave Chappelle can teach us all about success.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been a major comedy fan. I started watching stand up comedy when I was 6 year old and while I didn’t understand everything Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor were talking about I was completely enthralled in the experience of watching them on stage. I would watch their stand up specials over and over.

As an adult, comedy is a part of my life weekly. It’s pretty common to catch me at a comedy show on a Friday night in New York City or hear me playing a stand up special on Netflix in the background as I do my work. Laughter is joy and comedy is such an incredible art.

So when I heard that one of my absolute favorite comedians and creative business owner, Dave Chappelle is releasing 3 comedy specials on Netflix I almost broke my nails doing Google searches to find out the date and the backstory.

To my surprise and delight, I found out that two of the specials were ones that he’d filmed while on tour (from his vault and Netflix purchased them) and he will also record one specifically for them this year. The contract was for 60 million dollars. I was DANCING (literally) when I saw this and I’m so incredibly happy for him. What this did for him and what it is teaching the world is such a powerful example of TRUE success. 

 

IF you don’t know, he walked away from a $50 million dollar multi-season contract in 2005 for his VERY popular, Comedy Central show, “Chappelle Show.”  Many people called him crazy and said he was a fool or on drugs. People were disappointed; they judged him and Dave disappeared from the limelight for a few years.  

I had the same initial reaction as most people, “WTF?” However, having seen contracts that were less than favorable to artists and spent most of my life around famous people, I knew there was more to the story than meets the eye, so I applauded his decision.

To hear him speak of it now, he says that the price was “too high” for him and he felt like his audience couldn’t “SEE” him anymore and he was losing the connection and love for what he truly adored, comedy itself. The sacrifice was too great and he wasn’t willing to compromise his integrity for the money. I honor that.

As an entrepreneur you’re often faced with your spouse, parents, employers or children having no idea why you are making a certain choice because they feel differently. “What you have is so “Right” or “You’re on Top of the World or secure. Why would you give that up?”

Every level of your journey you’re going to be faced with high-stake choices that illuminate who you are and what’s in your life. Your audience and loved ones won’t know the backstory, so they are left to their own ideas and assertions.

As I thought of my own decisions in my business, I realized that they led me to an even true version of everything. I learned who my true friends were. I learned who my true supporters were. I learned of my talent, my love, my desires, my worth. I learned of the deep shame that I cared and the limiting beliefs that had plagued my existence and how to eradicate some of them. I learned of the pressure I put on myself to be what everyone wanted and how I had to live my life for me first. I learned of my personal creative power. I learned vulnerability takes an unbelievable amount of strength and courage, but it’s so freeing and beautiful.

I learned of my pure joy and awesomeness that comes from me just being who I am.

I also learned the greatest lesson of them all, I’m human and that does not strip away my divinity, my ability or identity, but adds to it.

I imagine Dave may have learned some of those same lessons.

Here’s a brief list of some of the lessons I think all creative business owners can learn from Dave Chappelle’s amazing example:

  1. Courage - We are all going to be faced with difficult situations. We are going to be faced with challenges that leave us flat on the ground. However, courage is the thing that will allow us to practice everything else in our lives successfully. Without it we can’t go on.
  2. Trust yourself above all else  - Your intuition is the wisest and best guide. While it may not make sense to anyone else or you may get a slew of other opinions (even from your own head) your inner guide will always lead you to the truth that will bring you the most peace.
  3. Honor your virtues & be true to yourself first - You have to wake up with you. You have to go to bed with you. Your character is your greatest asset so no matter what, if you honor yourself first, all else will come in the right timing and people will respect and understand that.
  4. If the price is too high it’s ok to walk away - If you’re not feeling it, whatever it is, even though it may SEEM good, even if everything is at risk, if it doesn’t feel right, you always have the choice to walk away and you should.
  5. Everything you lost will be returned to you 10-fold through pleasure - Dave may have lost 50 million dollars but what he DID was returned to what he loved, became more grounded in his sense of self and came back stronger than ever with even MORE than he bargained for AND with less work. I mean you can’t beat making 60 million for something that’s so easy for you that you did anyway because you loved it.

To me, this is true success. You have what you desire without compromising who you are. 

I’d love to know what lessons you’ve learned on your entrepreneurial journey or what you've learned that I didn't mention. Hit me up on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter and leave a comment. Let’s keep the conversation going.

And if you know someone who could benefit from this, please share it with them. Helping others is the greatest gift.

Love you Fiercely,

Jo-Ná

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The #1 Mistake That Can Shatter Your Business Success.

I’ve had a coach since the moment I opened the doors of my law practice.

It was 2011 when I started and I had a good friend whom I respected a lot invite me to come to an event that her coach was hosting.

I was new, excited, ready to tackle the entrepreneurial world and petrified (which in all honesty motivates me). My friend said to me, “Girl this is the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m on track to make six figures, my clients are happy, I feel fulfilled. YASSSS! That’s all I can say.”

I’m was intrigued like, “What! That comes from working with this one lady? I needed to know what she did. How did it all work? What was the secret?”

At the time, I think I had about $600 bucks in the bank. I gave $500 to her and signed up for her coaching program. It was a huge leap of faith. However, I trusted my friend and I was motivated enough to do the work.

Now, my coach was tough. She didn’t take any excuses, she was highly motivated and her workaholism was like MUSIC to my ears (recovering addict right here!). However, she wasn’t in back pocket all the time.

However you know what was? The community of other women she was supporting. My community.  Those entrepreneurs became my lifeline.

The women I asked for advice from.

The women who GOT me.

The women I partnered with in business.

The women who were in the same boat in many ways but also brilliant in their fields.

The women who gave me so much support, promoted me, gave me wild ideas (that became programs & products) and held space for me to grow in a safely.  

It was a Godsend and I will never forget that time. We became a sisterhood bound together in the battle against broke and broken-ness.

Since then, I’ve never been without one.

Quite often as a business owner; someone who’s putting your voice out in the world, you’re working alone.

And if you’re an introvert (like most creative people tend to be) that isolation can be even worse.

Now, I know that you may be thinking, “Oh Jo-Na I hear you but, I can do this by myself. I’ve got this. I’m good. Blah blah.” Let me tell you something, you can’t and if you try you’re setting yourself up for failure.

You may be able to create your art alone but you can’t run your business alone, have an enriching life or grow as a human without community.

You need people, a network, and a place to work through the perils of your life and running a business as a creative person.

Entrepreneurship ain’t for the faint of heart and neither is your life. Athletes are on teams with a coach for a reason. They can’t win the game alone.

It’s the #1 mistake you will encounter over and over again about why businesses fail...not having enough support.

All the people you admire for their skill, their excellence and their impact have all had the support of their communities.

Yep, Serena Williams

Mmmhmm Oprah Too.

Tony Robbins? Yep.

Janelle Monae? She’s got it.

Sir Richard Branson? He’s in it.

It’s how we thrive as humans. However when you get one, make sure it’s the RIGHT community.

One that inspires you.

One that empowers you.

One that is filled with people who support your ascension and see it as a reflection of their own.

This can be in the form of a mastermind, a support group or whatever works for you.

Now, if you’re interested in joining my Mastermind applications close next Tuesday, May 30th.

This is a group of powerful, high-level creative women READY to make big changes in the world (starting with themselves).

Yes we will work your business.

Yes we will address what’s happening in your life.

Yes we will have a lot of fun along the way and

Yes you will get the momentum you desperately desire.

If you’re ready, I encourage you to apply and if you’re the right fit, you will hear from me on the next steps. I put my heart and soul into working with them so if you’re ready for high-level 1:1 support and a community who’s ready to cheer, support and REALLY help you live the life you want and deserve, fill out the application here.

We’re going there. Hope you join us.

See you next week AND I’ll see you in Mastermind.

Love you Fiercely,


Jo-Na

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