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WHAT ARE THE MAKINGS OF A LEADER?!

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Melody Garcia is an Award Winning Writer, Speaker, and Influencer.  She is a leader and a mover and a shaker.

I had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with this incredible BADASS woman.  We had such an amazing conversation, and we talked for hours AFTER the interview.   There was so much to say, so much to feel and a whole wide range of curiosity that we got to explore!

Melody is the founder of ONE NIGHT ONE VOICE.  And incredible movement that swept the rug from beneath her feet.  In our interview she shares the INCREDIBLE story of how One Night One Voice came to fruition, and the ABSOLUTE MIRACLES that rolled out in front of her.  

Her story is a true hero’s journey.  We talked about her beginnings in the Philippines and how the horrible murder of a family member and a corrupt government changed her life overnight.  We get into divinity and being led by your inner knower, god, the universe.  How ONE PRAYER activated every gift she had, and set the course for everything that followed.  Her life, her career path, and all the other amazing miracles that riddle this story.

Above all Melody is an activist.  She volunteers for Unicef and has an awesome column in Manila Up! International Magazine called Life Journey.. a story of breakdown to breakthrough, she co-authored a book coming out in March called Women Who Influence and now she is the host of her own TV show called Melody in Motion! With Manila Up TV!

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It doesn’t get any more exciting than getting to sit down and interview someone who is on THE LITERAL BRINK of blowing up in this world.  And this world will be in good hands!

So what are the makings of a leader? And why does Melody Garcia have these qualities?!

1. She has a huge heart and cares about more than just herself
2. She gives back in a HUGE way, when and where she can
3. She sees opportunities and grabs them... AND THEN she hits the ground running
4. She follows her heart and her faith in a higher power and she TRUSTS that things will unfold the way they need to
5. She says YES, and she keeps saying yes to see where that will take her

There are so many things that make a great leader and Melody posses A LOT of them.  So take a page out of her book (figuratively and literally) and start showing up in a BIG way for yourself, lead with your heart, know your purpose and trust that everything will unfold.  And more than that, bask in the awesomeness of what does unfold. 

Watch the whole interview to hear EVERYTHING about her story here: Melody Garcia Interview

You will laugh, you will cry, you will be amazed <3

Much love,

Kat Schulte

#creativityfairy

Want to get to know Melody yourself?! You can follow her below!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melodyliezl
Instagram: @Melodyliezl
Twitter: @MelodyGarciaVIP
To watch Melody In Motion, download the app: ACTV-05

www.manilaupmagazine.com
 


 

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10 Phenomenal Book Written By Women That Have Impacted My Life

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10 Phenomenal Book Written By Women That Have Impacted My Life

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017  I wanted to make a list of my top 10 books written by women that have impacted my life.  I think you will notice a theme here perhaps.  I love this topic so much.  There are so many women out there busting their butts to achieve their dreams and not in lieu of other people achieving their dreams.  These are women who have been extremely successful in their lives who want to empower the masses to be just as successful.  These books have filled my life with joy and happiness and I highly recommend ANYONE giving them a read (or a listen)!

 

  1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear- Elizabeth Gilbert
    I have to give this book mad props.  I have listened to the audio book over 5 times and I keep coming back to it.  It has such beautiful wisdom about life and creativity and a perspective that I love and admire. I am constantly telling all my clients to read this book and I hope you do too.

  2. Yes Please!- Amy Poehler
    This is such a great book.  Witty and real.  She made me laugh, made me cry, made me think she was a bit of an asshole sometimes.  It has everything.  

  3. The Prosperity Factor- Kelley Keehn
    This woman is a powerhouse in business and finance.  She honestly made me think about life and money in a way I could have never imagined.  Everyone needs to read this book!

  4. The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith- Gabrielle Bernstein
    For all y’all spirit junkies (another title of one of her books) this is the book that will shift you into embracing miracles.  Into understanding and seeing the universe in a whole new perspective.  I highly recommend this book.

  5. Bossy Pants- Tina Fey
    This is another classic for people who like a little comedy with their self improvement.  Tina Fey is witty and enjoyable to read.  She has great perspective and it comes with a laugh.  

  6. Not That Kind Of Girl- Lena Dunham
    This is an intense book.  It gets deep into the psyche of what it’s like to be sexually assaulted.  Major trigger warning, but still a fantastic read!

  7. Harry Potter- JK Rowling
    Yes.  This had to be here, as it is one of the greatest series ever to be written and although it is not self improvement and most of these are, if you haven’t hopped onto the Harry Potter bandwagon, get on it.  This WOMAN is one of the highest grossing authors of all time.  

  8. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?- Mindy Kaling
    I like Mindy Kaling.  There is a lot of controversy about her but I think that she has some great things to say about being a woman and more so an ethnic human being in this world.  Funny, enjoyable, and a great message

  9. The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up- marie Kondo
    As a person who keeps WAY TOO MUCH stuff, I am a huge fan of the message of this book; Keep only what brings you joy.

  10. The Bedwetter: Sarah Silverman
    Although I am not a huge fan of her comedy, I think this is a pretty great story from a legendary woman in comedy.  She was easily one of the first female comedians to tackle extremely heavy subject matter in a way that actually made people laugh.  


There are a few honorable mentions that I have not yet had the privilege of reading by are on my reading list.  These women have great blogs and vlog and incredible companies.  So I definitely think they are worth checking out!

 

  1. She Means Business- Carrie Green
    I am awaiting for my copy to come in the mail.  I have been following Carrie for a long time, and I have been a long standing member in her membership club called The Female Entrepreneur Association.  I have connected with Carrie and her team on many occasions and she is seriously such a loving person who wants people to succeed in this world.  Her Ted Talk is great, her blog is great, and she is genuinely lovely soul.   Pick up her book! It’s getting such amazing reviews!

  2. Get Rich Lucky Bitch- Denise Duffield-Thomas
    Her website is packed with great content and I love her blogs.  Her book has long been on my list to read!

  3. The Conquer Kit- Natalie MacNeil
    Another badass business woman who is helping people build businesses.  Lots of great content and loads of value!  

 

As a business woman and a woman in general, I feel like I constantly need a lot of guidance and support.  I dole it out as much as I need it.  We all do, so I wanted to honour the women who have been changing the business world and creating possibility for a more equal work environment and inspiring people like you and I to continue forward in our pursuits!

I hope this list gives you a little of that guidance!

Much Love,

Kat Karpoff
 

 

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5 Productivity Hacks for the Creative Entrepreneur to Get You Over Procrastination FOREVER, so You'll Finally Get Shit Done

5 Productivity Hacks for the Creative Entrepreneur to Get You Over Procrastination FOREVER, so You'll Finally Get Shit Done

 

“Procrastination is like masterbation, at first it feels good, and then you realize you are fu*$ing yourself.”

 

I know us procrastinators all feel like this.  And honestly, it’s totally okay.  What we actually need to understand is why we feel the need to procrastinate on our creative projects so adamantly.  One major problem is there is no deadline for creative fun...unless you want to take your creativity and make a living from it, then you have a problem.

 

Here are my five hacks and some explanation to get you through procrastination FOREVER, so you can finally get your shit done, and into this world!

 

1. Decide on an idea and run with it to the the end.

 

As creatives we have loads of idea’s.  Don’t ever talk yourself into believing that you only have one great idea in you and you’ll never have any more.  Idea’s are endless, this is a symptom of a creative mind.  If you don’t think this is you, it’s not that you aren’t creative, it’s more likely a trust issue.  

 

So with all these great idea’s we hum and haw over which one to put the work into so that we can actually do something with it.  Some of us, do this forever and never get anything done.  I know more creatives that have a bunch of half baked brilliant idea’s that need to be shown some tender love and care and get finished.

 

So now that’s over.  You need to decide on ONE and see it through, and you need to continue to do that until all your exciting idea’s come to life, one at a time.   This is the only way that you can even enter the playing field of being a working creative.  Now take all your genius idea’s, list them 1-10 in order excitement and follow the next 4 hacks.

 

2. Outline your idea, so you know where you’re going.

 

Whether you are a graphic designer, a writer, or a performer.  You have to have a game plan.  Or a path in which is on the way to your destination.  An outline is a great way to create that map.  

 

Take the idea you love, and outline it.  Create all the steps and chapters involved and give a brief description of what that might look like.  

 

This shouldn’t take up a lot of your time and you can work on it as you go if new idea’s for the outline come up.  But outline everything, so when you feel stuck and like you want to quit, you can still look at your outline and take another step forward.  All the rest is fear.  And fear will come up a lot because fear is the glass ceiling that you are trying to break through, when you get close, you press up against it and start feeling like you’re suffocating.  You aren’t, you’re going to break through as long as you keep moving forward.  Onwards and upwards!!  (yup, I did it ;))

 

3. Don’t second guess yourself. Ever.

 

This is what I mean by fear.  When we start down a path that will change our lives for the better, we start to second guess everything.  It’s never just about our work, it’s our lives.  Starting on your creative path isn’t easy, but it’s not hard forever.  You have to finish something, and when we decide to do this, we put our idea on a pedestal, make it mean everything to us, and then second guess everything because what if the idea that was going to change my life, isn’t going to change my life!  What if I pour everything I am into this and it goes nowhere?!  What if no one likes it, cares about it or even wants to LOOK AT IT?!!!

 

These are all the thoughts that you’ll have, and there will be more, but now you will continue on.  You will follow your outline, you will have a daily routine, and you will take everything one step at a time.  These are just thoughts, not based in truth and none of our business right now.   Right now we have to finish our project before we can even know if we’re on the right track.  So don’t second guess yourself, don’t question if this was the right decision, and don’t let these thoughts stop you.  Ever.

 

4. Never look back until you have fully finished.

 

Building on what I just said, these thoughts will feel like they are about to stop you in your tracks.  Don’t let them.  AND don’t ever look at your work until it’s finished.  (This mostly pertains to writing.)  When we start looking at what we have done, we start to judge ourselves so harshly.  So don’t look at it until it’s finished.  Your first draft is your real starting point.  Or your first prototype or experiment or painting.  There always has to be a first before there can be anything amazing.  Nothing brilliant is created, it’s refined.

 

This is because of the ways our minds work.  Our minds work in cliche.  So the first thing that comes out is cliche and that drives us nuts and sends us into a spiral of not good enough.  But you are good enough, because after your first draft you get to go back and clean up all those cliche parts and put YOU into it.  That is why as an actor, you cannot play with the character without memorizing, (in scene/character study) after memorization, you can actually put the character in your own voice.

 

If you look back before it’s finished, most people get so down on themselves that they don’t finish.  So don’t shoot yourself in the foot.  Don’t re-read or re-write or do any kind of clean up until your first draft is done.

 

5. Other people’s opinions matter, but in the end it is your opinion that matters above all else.

 

Putting our finished product into the world can be hard.  And you definitely have to ask the opinions of others so that you can get a clearer picture of the outcome of your vision.  Does it hit or sink in?  Are people getting it?  Who’s getting it and who’s not (ie. figuring out your audience)?  Is it being well received?  Whilst all these things are important (and please put it into the hand of someone you trust before anyone else), you must take everything with a grain of salt.  Everyone has the right to their own opinion, and they will give it to you.  Feedback is a creative exercise. Do you think the feedback will bring value?  Or do you think that person didn’t quite get your vision?  

 

In the end YOU have to love what you put out.  You have to believe in your creativity and your view of this world and how and who it speaks to.  You have to be proud of what you created, everything else is for the birds.  So listen to your heart, and if someone has a great idea that inspires you to tweak or change something in your project, humbly thank them. It’s all good. But make sure you you don’t compromise to make anything that you’re not happy with, because you have to show up the next day.  So you have to be proud of yourself, no one else’s thoughts or opinions matter.

 

Much love,

 

Kat Karpoff

 

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Everything You Have Been Taught About How To Live Your Life Is A Bunch Of Crap

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Everything You Have Been Taught About How To Live Your Life Is A Bunch Of Crap

Yesterday I was being interviewed by a local magazine, whom I know and have worked with in the past and they had some reservations about writing an article about me and my company because they didn’t know if it was a conflict of interest or not.   That never crossed my mind, not because the fact that, of course, I would like more exposure with my business, but because I was so grateful and saw it as a really supportive thing to do for another woman entrepreneur in the community.  It was completely fine in the end of course because they did decide to interview me, which I am extremely grateful for.  But it also got me thinking…

The more and more I work with our generation and anyone spearheading entrepreneurship (or just living life) right now the more I realize that this is a completely new generation and there are no rules.  No one knows where we are headed or what the world will look like in the next decade, and that is because we are at the forefront of it right now.  We have created so much change, growth and connection that no one has ANY idea where this is all headed.

We all have realized that a lot the rules and guidelines that have been put upon us (things like “be a polite little girl” and “don’t speak out of turn” or "the customer is always right”) is bogus.  There is a time and a place for everything.  So I would encourage you to go with your gut.  In the case of this magazine I really did see it as supporting the community and not a conflict of interest.  But there may be times when they feel differently and a different choice will have to be made.   Go with your gut and take bold chances because NO ONE knows what’s “right” and “wrong” anymore.

There is one trendy topic that a LOT of people are on about right now, and that is AUTHENTICITY..  We hear it all the time, “be authentic” “sell authentically”  and on and on.  But what does that actually mean?  To me that honestly means show up as YOU.  Sell like you would sell, be who you would be, dress as you would dress, speak as you speak.  And above all act out of your truth and be honest.  It doesn’t matter if you’re selling YOU or if you’re selling toothpaste.  People want to see you show up as you are.  THAT is authenticity.  It doesn’t mean any ONE thing.  It means being you and not compromising on that.  So if you have to make a hard decision or if you have to launch a new product, do it with your personal flare.  Don’t try and show up with someone else’s voice in your head telling you how things SHOULD be done.  NO ONE knows and there was someone who came up with those rules too, and those rules were probably true to them...in the 1930’s.  So stop now.  Be you and that is it.  Make every rule, sell every product, and show up to everything as you, with no apology for being who you truly are.  

And the beautiful thing about this is that the people who speak your language, and who get your message, will become your customer.  And the people who don’t will become the customer of the person that resonates with THEM.  And that is what you want.  I promise you.  And there are SEVEN BILLION people on this planet.  There are more than enough people who are going to pick up what you’re putting down.  So put yourself out there and see what happens!  And hey!  Let me know what happens!  All the best to all of you!  

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How to Learn When Learning Is Hard

You don’t know how to do something?  Learn.  And quit whining about it.  Everyone has to do it.  If this sounds harsh, I’m sorry.  Think of your best friend saying it to you, because no matter how harsh something your BFF says, you know it comes from a place of love.  And if it doesn’t, get a new BFF, but that’s another problem for another day.

Seriously though, you have to suck it up.  I don’t care if you need to yell and scream on the way but make a plan to do it.  

Why do I feel so strongly about this?  

I have had to reinvent myself so many times in my life and with every time has come a PLETHORA of new skills that I have to learn.  Recently I have taken on one of the most challenging learning curves I have had in my short and full life.  AND IT IS A STRUGGLE.  But the more I see it as that the HARDER it is.  When I break things down step by step and focus on one thing at a time, I am actively teaching myself that I CAN DO IT!  And so can you.  We all can.  The beauty is, I start with what I can do and I go from there.  When I need help I ask, and people help.  AND PEOPLE HELP.  It's great for my self esteem and it's a necessary lesson that we all have to learn. We all put so much pressure on ourselves.  But we can't know what we haven't learned.  So give yourself a break and take it step by step.

Starting a new business?  Need to learn how to run that business?  LEARN.  Learn about social media marketing.  Learn  how to create and maintain a website.  Learn how to tell people about what you do without sounding like an infomercial.  We all have to learn something to do something.

Are you just becoming a painter?  Learn how to mix colours or what the different brushes are for, or even what you are good at and LIKE to paint.  

Becoming an actor?  Train in a way that makes you feel like you can really do it.  Like you know how to drop your ego and create a new human being into this world.  Learn how to memorize and how to look someone in the eye.

It’s the same in any and every profession.  So if you feel like you are stuck because you have to learn something that’s hard to learn.  Just do it.  Despite the resistance.  Despite the scariness.  Despite the ego that keeps telling you that it’s hard and you can’t and why should you have to and why can’t you ever just catch a break in this life?  

All that BS is keeping you from what you love and what you KNOW makes you happy and a life that is rich and full.  So suck it up.  Ask for help.  Learn what you must so that you can TEACH yourself that you can do anything and get through anything.  And you know what, eventually you’ll start believing it.

Now that all the agonizing and whining is out of the way (and don’t worry, that’s usually the first step) how do you learn something that you’re having difficulty wrapping your head around?  It’s like everything.  Take bite size pieces and tackle them one by one.  

Building a website and not techy?  Let’s say you’re dirt broke and you’re starting a new business or venture and you HAVE to have a site.  Don’t start with building a whole site.  Start with your home page.  The page that says what you do, why you do it, and why someone needs to hire you or buy your product.  

Writing a script?  Do you have all these idea’s and thoughts and images and everything that you are thinking is going to make up the most epic trilogy and next billion dollar franchise?  Start with getting something on paper.  Start with a beginning, middle and an end.  Start with a THEME.  Start with a SYNOPSIS.  Or even just a SCENE that you have built the story around.  Start.

Above all. Start.  

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the time, the resources or the bla bla bla.  Do what you CAN do and start heading in the direction.  Progress doesn’t mean moving forward in leaps and bounds, it means moving forward no matter how big or small the step you take.  You can do this.  Just breathe and do what you can do right now.

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Living a Creative Life

Creativity takes many forms, like,  cooking, cleaning, eating, reading, writing, acting, photography, massage, entrepreneurship and even in just the way one carries themselves.  But when you let any kind of creativity in your life fall to the wayside, that's when you see a life slowly drain from someone’s eyes.  Because to me creativity is life.  It's what motivates and entices.  It's when you feel fulfilled in whatever you are doing and everything that you do becomes fulfilling.  There is creativity in driving a bus when you smile and make everyone feel seen as they walk on.  There is creativity in getting the numbers right on someone’s tax return and scoring them a nice pay-check back from our scroungy government.  There is a beautiful art to being able to communicate a subject that is hard to wrap your head around in school and inspire people to give a shit about learning. There is definitely creativity in putting a needle in someone’s arm going through another round of chemo and making them smile even if it's just for a second.  

There is creativity in every walk of life and no one should ever feel like they can't express what it means to be a kind  human with a sense of creativity in anything that they choose to do.

There are occurrences that happen in a creative life, and in anyone’s life, that I see over and over again that hold people back from their true potential.   We all make excuses "I'm too tired." "I don't have time." "Everything is so expensive." These are all true i'm sure but the fact remains that if you're a writer, you must write. If you're an actor, you must act.  If you're a painter, you must paint. You have to flex the muscles of every creative skill that you want to pursue or they'll never develop.  And I get it, sometimes dreams or goals can be lofty and painful. They can pierce your skin and clench your chest.  They can feel so heavy but they can also make you soar.  If you're goal is to write a feature film and sell it, the only thing that you can control is that you sit your ass down and write it. Then rewrite it because a first draft is never good.  Then write it again, and then have someone edit it, and then write it again.  

You can't control if it'll be a hit or it will even sell.  You can only control you.  And what can you do? You can write.

A problem that a lot of us have right now is that we can't help crawling into our gross noggins and firmly planting our cabooses there.  No one wants to be in their own head, it’s not a friendly place.  We all know, that is where judgement for everyone and everything lies.  Including ourselves.  That's where that creepy little voice comes from that says, "Did you see how that person looked at you?  It's because you're a gross bitch. "  

Whatever your voice says to you, it's a big liar and so the best thing to do is to break up with it.  And the only way out of your head is out there.  

Out in front of you.

Take your finger and hold it about a centimeter in front of your face.  

You are now cross eyed.

But half of you is now out of your head and the other half is judging yourself for even doing that.  

The better thing to do instead of playing into my little joke is to get a person, preferably that you like, and sit them in front of you and get them to tell you about an important time in their life in 5 minutes. No more, no less.  And just listen.  Don't say anything, don't comment, don't think about your story that you have that you want to tell them so that you can relate.  It is not a conversation.  Listen and go on the ride of that story with them.  Then switch and fully tell them your story and have them fully listen.  

Getting out of your head takes time and practice, but trust me, you've had the experience. If you are a movie person, like I am, and you are watching a beautiful scene and you start sobbing and at the end of the movie you take a huge breath because you haven't been breathing. That's being out of your head.  Do that with someone else.

Or go for a hike.  I often walk in the woods and my mind is going on and on about how I am stuck or how my family is annoying, whatever goes on in there and all of a sudden I look up and notice the green.  The incredible beauty of the different greens and the different facets of light that touches the leaves and all of a sudden I am out of my head. I am present with the world around me.

So all in all, be creative, whatever that might mean to you and get out of your head.  It's a more beautiful world out there and you will be happier.

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