“How in the world do ya’ll do it?!” That question is spurring my “Snapshot in the Life of” series, which starts after this paragraph! In the wake of many days scrambling to balance and manage my many new priorities, I’ve enlisted the help of a few friends who seem to juggle a million priorities effortlessly. Obviously, everything takes effort but these women are more seasoned in their careers and know how to take advantage of their time, while still living life. It was really meant to be a personal message between them and I but I’m sure so many can benefit from them, so I’m sharing. I will ask each person the same set of questions. Let’s meet my first friend: Sonia Harris!
I met Sonia a few years ago and one of my first thoughts was, whoa! I have never met anyone so energetic and smiley. She’s literally a bouncy ball of cheer and energy. A native Californian, she loves helping people, and gets to do so everyday through her natural health and wellness company, It Works! global. Her success there has enabled her to pursue one of her personal dreams – surprise her mother with a brand new home. Needless to say, I want in on how she gets down so here goes:
Shaloma: As a daughter, friend, traveler, and full-time entrepreneur who spends a lot of time meeting people, how do your balance your priorities? Is there a pull and tug with what to choose and when?
Sonia: ah, the mysterious question! Balance is something that’s always come natural to me (it’s the Libra in me I guess). But when I leapt into full time entrepreneurship, I had no idea what I was doing. There was a different level of dedication, motivation and action it forced me into. So I faced challenges that left me overwhelmed in the beginning. For the most part though, I have a very “driven” personality. Once I see what I truly want, nothing stops me from running towards it relentlessly. When my vision is clear, so is my focus; therefore certain things (or people) around me who are not bringing me closer to grasping that vision will temporarily be placed on the back burner. It may sound harsh, but it’s facts. When you have a focus, it’s imperative to know what you can and cannot handle on a day-to-day basis. I learned quickly – I can do anything, but I cannot do everything! Therefore, being able to say NO or NOT RIGHT NOW unapologetically + openly communicating with others helps maintain my balance!
I too get overwhelmed, when I place a lot on my plate. In these moments I force myself to take a step back and regroup what’s important and the goal! I learn daily how to prioritize and plan ahead and each day I get a little better.
Shaloma: What does an average day look like for you? Or average few days?
Sonia: An average day for me varies. By nature, I’m a morning person so I have a 3am start time for personal development and writing in my gratitude journal. I’m in the gym by 5am for about an hour. Then I shower, have a greens berry and reply to emails or messages regarding products until about 8am. Then I’ll connect with business partners on the phone; I seek to change a life using our products or mentor a new entrepreneur with the business opportunity. Some days, I may have in-person meetings and other days, I may just do everything from home. It truly just depends!
From a strategic perspective, you’ll usually catch me planning out my tasks for the [next] day the night before! When I wake up organized, my days run smoother.
Shaloma: How do you handle social media? So many of us get caught up in mindless scrolling and neglect our own goals and priorities while admiring those who accomplish theirs. Do you deal with that? If not, how do you quell the desire?
Sonia: This is a great question. It was a challenge in the beginning of my business simply because I work a nice percentage of my business via social. It’s very easy to get caught up in scrolling, and before you know it 4 hours have passed (UHM YES, I KNOW!) and you’ve gotten nothing accomplished! Improvement happened when I started to set “self check” alarms on my phone throughout the day. These were just simple “how’s that to-do list coming” alerts, and they kept me focused. After a while, checking off my to-do list and feeling accomplished felt better than mindless scrolling. Now I only get on social media with a purpose: to post or interact. I give myself a time limit so I’m not distracted. I’m also very conscious of what I allow myself to see – our news “feeds” are powerful so if one isn’t mindful, it can pollute their minds. So I “hide” or remove anything that’s a distraction.
Shaloma: I had the privilege of watching you rise to success, and I’m sure that has come with lots of learning lessons. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Sonia: Firstly, thank you for that statement. You are correct – anytime you’re growing there are mounds of learning lessons. It’s funny you asked me this because a few nights ago, I wrote a letter to my “newborn entrepreneur self” lol. As Myliek Teele would say, I can be “ignorantly ambitious” so in this letter I awakened to a few things:
- Success to me isn’t money, status, titles, fancy stuff etc. It is waking up when I choose, being debt free, having the freedom to go AND grow as I please, being able to help others and purchasing the quality foods I enjoy.
In the beginning of my journey I was caught up in the glitz of success and what it meant to look successful to others-it’s exhausting and will leave you unfulfilled. I quickly learned by trial and error that it was a-okay for me to still be the free spirited minimalist and remove myself from what others expected.
- Be comfortable in your skin, whatever that may be. I’ve learned life is a journey and it will throw all kinds of twists and turns your way, so being comfortable with yourself in the confident times, uncertain times and desert times is key. There have been many days where I’ve had to hold the vision and trust the process.
- Understand that you know nothing. The biggest mistake I’ve made has been thinking I knew more than I truly do. The know-it-all syndrome stunts growth more than anything because it cuts off the circulation to life being a beautiful teacher. Wisest move you can ever make is remain the student – even while you’re wearing the graduation cap!
- Perfection is a mirage. The further you move away from it the more fulfilled + happy you will be.
- Know that it’s okay if everyone doesn’t like you. Being an acquired taste is honorable.
- There are so many lessons but I’ll leave it at this one: Believe in yourself more than you ever thought was possible. Possess the faith of a child about every single one of your dreams + protect that dream; it’s just as valuable as your heart.
Shaloma: Wow. That was so great. I could really just sit on that but lastly, what is your why that keeps you going in the “messy middle” between projects? In other words, why does what you do matter?
Sonia: My why is my mother and everyone who’s watching me. She’s worked too hard for me not to strive for excellence. And I want everyone who’s watching to see every single struggle, fear and how even when I’m scared, I do it anyways. God gets the glory for it all.
Sonia is my friend.
Sonia is a brave free-spirited entrepreneur.
Sonia has defined success for herself.
Be like Sonia.