Sheri Riley, the creative marketing powerhouse behind some of the world’s biggest celebrities like Usher, TLC, Toni Braxton, and Coca-Cola to name a few, wrote a book a few years ago called Exponential Living, Stop spending 100% of your time on 10% of who you are, that resonated with me. I’m sharing my big takeaway lessons that have impacted my personal and business life especially recently.
First, let me set the scene for you as to why Sheri even wrote this book.
Throughout her twenties, Sheri held positions in the entertainment industry specifically at the most successful record label in Atlanta, LaFace Records, where she worked with the most influential multiplatinum artists of the nineties. She also launched a promising career and had lifelong friendships and business partnerships. Even though many would consider this a dream job, Sheri says that she was also miserable and that she didn’t have a life beyond her career.
This brought on an epiphany that something major had to change in her life. She wrote in her book: “Though I was a “power broker” in the industry, my hair was falling out and I came home every night to an empty apartment- I was single then-where I drank wine and watched movies by myself.” She knew she had to have the courage to give up the career track she was on to have both the career and the full life that she desired. She quit her high-power job, to pursue her purpose of being a full-time speaker, life strategist and author, and went on a path that she describes as living in your power, your truth, your peace, your wholeness, your integrity.
This was her aha moment! And the reason I bring it up here is that I think many of us are working our tails off, hustling to the core, and if we’re not careful, we’re gonna work ourselves into the ground, and then one day we’re gonna pop up and say, “Wait. Was this what I was working so hard for, to feel burned out and overworked and tired?” We’ve got to be mindful of this. I know we’re creating businesses we love, but just don’t work yourself into the ground, okay?
Here are the 4 lessons I Learned
Pursue peace and a positive mind
Sheri says in the book “Throughout my life’s journey, nothing outside of me has ever given me peace-not my bank account, not nice vacations, not a good marriage. It wasn’t until I began to say this phrase aloud to myself every day “I pursue peace with a positive mindset and I live in the power of peace,” that my stress and anxiety began to abate.” She goes on to say that it was only through the power of managing her thoughts and through prayer and meditation on scripture that she found the peace she was so desperately seeking.
Have you ever thought that you will be at peace when you pay your bills comfortably, when you hit 6 figures in your career or business or when all is well in your life?
Pursuing peace means making it your intention every minute of every day. It means consciously and deliberately choosing peace instead of letting anxiety, stress and urgency hijack your thinking. It means to recognize that the time you spend resting, praying, and meditating or anything else that activates your sense of peace is just as important as the time you spend working. Peace allows you to achieve your goals without stress and anxiety.
Sheri writes several things that are responsible for human unhappiness in her book: Here are two that I want to highlight:
We fail to control negative thinking. Can you relate?
This is the tendency to let our internal negative conversations take up space in our thoughts. Sheri advises dealing with this issue by watching your thoughts and halting the negative ones and then channelling those negative thoughts with empowering ones instead. (This is what I say when negative thoughts rear in my mind; “Am not thinking about that!”) One of the best things I’ve ever done is build a toolbox of things I can pull from when I get knocked down. I write on a 3×5 card what the Bible says about the situation I may be experiencing and when those negative thoughts of fear or self-doubt or whatever it comes to me, I pull out my card and read it aloud. It’s a toolbox I can use when negative thoughts come to me when I need to remember who I am, whose I am and why I’m doing what I’m doing.
It’s filled with tools that help me believe in myself even in moments when it feels like no one else does. It’s filled with quotes and Bible verses that I can pull from. I keep this toolbox on my bedside table. I also use the notes App on my phone to store my collection of these uplifting notes. It’s free to do. If this sounds like something that you need and doesn’t yet have an easy way to start, just highlight quotes, Bible verses or stories that deeply impact you and save them all in one place that you can reference quickly.
2. We shut God Out
This is when we disregard our connection with God. To be happy, we must be open to having a fellowship with God and letting him touch our lives every day. I have found that when I try to control things I experience anxiety and stress but when I let go and let God, I enjoy my day and can focus on what I need to do. I use this analogy with the things that I have no control over. It’s like being in a plane and the pilot tells you to buckle up your seat belt and enjoy the ride. I can choose to panic every time the plane hits turbulence or I can choose to relax and enjoy the ride as I have no control over what the plane will do at 30,000 feet.
Only You Can Be the Best You
Be yourself; everyone is already taken ~ Oscar Wilde
Having confidence in yourself does not mean confidence in your accomplishments; your degrees, your job title, your position or all the roles you play. Being the best you is separating who you are from all the things you do. What are your qualities? What do you love? What makes you laugh? What are your quirks? When all goes wrong, Sheri says that “who you are should remain your rock”. Who you are is your heart, your character, your values and the fearfully and wonderfully made person that you are.
Gratitude honours what is present in our lives. It’s possible to find a million things to be grateful for- your health, your life, your home, your children, and your friends.
Here are some of the benefits that are scientifically proven benefits of gratitude
- It improves your physical health and makes you more likely to exercise and practice good self-care
- Improves mental health
- Improves sleep
- Raises your self-esteem and reduces the social comparison
- It helps you develop resilience
I hope these 4 lessons that I have learned from Sheri Riley have given you a new perspective on how to live a more fulfilling life and run your business from a place of empowerment and truth.
The number one thing that I want to accomplish through this blog post is for you to be motivated to take action and reclaim balance in your life and business. To help with this, I created a free Clarity Journal for you. Clarity on who you are, what you want and how you’re going to get it, is associated with high self-esteem. This Clarity Journal will help in all areas of your life, so you can focus on only what matters, take consistent action every day, have balance in your life and become unstoppable. Click here to claim your free Clarity Journal.
PS. If you’ve been loving what you’re reading here, can you please do me a favour? Can you send or just share this blog post with a friend? Send it to them via text if you want, link up to it, and just let them know, “Hey, if you’re dealing with overwhelm, you’re dealing with stress, you want things to be easier, this is the blog post to read.” It’s the biggest way you can support me and make an impact in the lives of other entrepreneurs that you know. So, shoot them a little text with a link to the blog post or a previous one you loved. And thank you so much in advance from the bottom of my heart.