Woman Wednesday: Jen

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Jen, Green Bay, Wisconsin

“You can do what you set your mind to. Everything takes work, and learning is a constant part of life. If your dream is to one day own a business that makes money, you need to make sure you have all the skills and knowledge to make that happen.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: In a few words, my passions are my family (including my collies and cat), my business, and flyball. I own Candy Social Media. I am a digital marketer helping real estate agents and mortgage brokers generate exclusive prequalified leads. I also offer social media management, social media strategy, and social media marketing and consulting. My main focus, however, is on generating leads for real estate agents.

 

 

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I found this passion when I realized that my previous passion for technology simply wasn’t there anymore. I felt the fire burning out. Back in 2003, I was overwhelmed with technology, and I was excited to help people. I finished my degree in network security from the local technical college. I was president of the computer science club there for two years while attending college. I really enjoyed being in charge of the club, and I enjoyed the extra responsibilities involved of being president.  I moved on to get my bachelor’s degree in business management. I enjoyed learning about business management. I yearned to be in front of technology. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and learn more about it.  From 2007, I have worked in the technology field in various roles from being level 1 support to network administrator. All of these required some sort of certification requiring me to renew it every three years. As if spending 10k on my education wasn’t enough, Corporate America wanted me to spend another $500 to $10,000 dollars to show that I know my stuff.

 

 

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Pictured: Jen and her collie, Candy.

 

I was tired of not being recognized for my knowledge and education that I worked hard for. I wasn’t able to move up in management positions because of my lack of certification.  One day, the job that I enjoyed required the support team to learn to programme of C++ or C#. I knew that it was too detailed for me to do. I quit my job and decided that I wanted to work for myself. I wanted a career change.

 

I saw this 9-5 killer ad on Facebook. I signed up for the webinar. I didn’t have the money to pay for the course, but I talked with other people who joined the course. It changed their lives, and they were able to make a living. The business involved creating websites that focused on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is difficult to keep up with because of the fact that almost every second, it’s changing. By the time I finally knew what I was doing, something new came out. I tried that for about 6 months. It didn’t work out. I went back to work for someone else at a college. The people there showed me that I didn’t have a passion for helping people in technology. I was reminded that I didn’t want to work for someone else. I wanted to make myself money; I did not want to make money for someone else. I saw another ad for a social media manager. People pay you to play on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et cetera. I spent the last year learning about how to engage, the software required, the content required, et cetera. This is all great, but you aren’t making money from your knowledge. It’s an expensive hobby. From there, I signed up for one more class of how to prospect your clients and reaching out to our potential clients. Then I jumped in! 

 

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Up until about October, I was friends with a digital marketer who was looking for different people to complete his challenges. I signed up for his challenge and immediately was blown away. The first thing I learned was sales. I learned about how to get the clients. And from October, I have been able to gain the knowledge and confidence for me to put myself out there connecting with real estate agents and mortgage brokers. I was too scared to reach out to clients. I thought if I friended them on Facebook and made nice with them and offering them advice about social media, they will ask me to be their social media manager. Nope. This isn’t the way things work. You have to put yourself out there constantly to make yourself known. I have reached out more to potential clients in the past three days than I have in the past year.

 

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Outside of business, I am passionate about health and pets! I have three collies and one cat.  My company is named after my dog, Candy. Candy is a 14-month-old border collie who gets to travel the country with me (attending flyball seminars and tournaments). Flyball is the past time passion that I enjoy doing when I am not working. It’s something that makes me happy.  I was able to train Candy from my past experience training with Gunner. Gunner is a 2-year-old border collie who knows flyball, but he seems to have a jock mentality [laughs].

 

Q: How has your past experience shaped you?

A: All of my past experiences and education and personality really helped to develop who I am today. The motivation and ambition have to be there every day. Also, never let your disability get in the way of your dreams! I have a stuttering disability and rather than hiding behind it, I use it to my advantage to work harder! I am sacrificing time being spent on training my dogs and time with my boyfriend, but in the end, I am putting time into my company, which means that I am putting time into myself. I am finally living the life that I want to without having to worry about paying those bills or worrying about my cell phone bill being cut off! And it’s nice knowing that if I need an extra day off, I don’t have to call my boss hoping that she or he will give me the time off.

 

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: You can do what you set your mind to. Everything takes work, and learning is a constant part of life. If your dream is to one day own a business that makes money, you need to make sure you have all the skills and knowledge needed to make that happen. If you would like to do what I do, you will also need the right software. It is also important to have the capital to put into your business. I worked a part-time job to have money to put into my business.

Also, always make time for those who matter in your life.
Happy Holidays from my family to yours!
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Join Jen’s Social Women Group! Click here!

Click here to check out Candy Social Media.

 

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Woman Wednesday: Kristin

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 

 


Q and A with Kristin, Blogger of  The Tiny Red TornadoAnnapolis, Maryland

“There will always be so many outside opinions of people that think they know better or think they know you, but nobody knows you better than you. Also, nobody knows your vision better than you! Trust in yourself.” 

 

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A:  This is a tough question; I have so many passions! My two biggest passions are women’s empowerment and art. My mom is a fiercely independent person, and my dad has always allowed her the freedom to be that. Throughout my entire life, I have appreciated that my parents were very clear that I could do whatever I set my mind to as long as I worked hard. They made it even more clear that I could do it by myself. Although my mother was super great at the encouragement part, she was not so great when it came to fashion choices. This one outfit always sticks out in my head; it consisted of purple corduroy pants and a white turtleneck with poodles all over it. It was, and it still is, 100% the most hideous outfit ever known to humankind. I am convinced that outfit is the reason I am so deeply passionate about art, more specifically, the beauty and fashion industry.

 

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Right now, I am a store manager of an ALDO shoe store by day and a lifestyle blogger at The Tiny Red Tornado by night. It is the holiday season in retail; a lot of my time is spent at my store. In regards to my blog, I am currently working on a body positivity series centered around women’s empowerment and self-love. This is very special to me because all women of all sizes have felt some sort of discomfort in their own skin for various reasons. It is my hope that we can all come together on this one issue and show the world that there is more to women than the outward appearance. We are CEOs and mothers. We are hardcore businesswomen, and at the same time, we can be guests at a stuffed animal tea party. We play with the big dogs, and we play with Thomas the Tank Engine. We watch Ted Talks and we watch Mickey Mouse Playhouse. Full disclosure, I am not a mom. I am an aunt to a wonderful ginger dude. My mom is a working mom, my sister is a working mom, and I am a working aunt. There are days I babysit all day long, and I am typing up things for my blog while watching Moana on repeat and pushing toy trucks around the floor. We can do it all, and we should love ourselves while we do it!

 

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: Trust yourself. You know what is best for you and for your passion, whatever that may be. There will always be so many outside opinions of people that think they know better or think they know you, but nobody knows you better than you. Also, nobody knows your vision better than you!

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years! Oh gosh, I loved my childhood! I don’t have any sad stories that shaped me or brought me to my passion. I have two very loving parents that let a small girl dream big and supported her through that. I also grew up with two super cool sisters that were my built-in best friends. My parents helped me pay for a summer program when I was in high school at the fashion school I later attended! I did a fashion merchandising and design program for high schoolers at VCU Arts, and it was genuinely life-changing. I was obsessed with the school, with the city, and with the education. I had always wanted to go to fashion school after high school, but my very practical dad could not see how that would support me in life, and he viewed it more as a hobby. Long story short, I applied to VCU Arts, and I was accepted and off to fashion school. I went with my dad cheering me on every step of the way! Honestly, my parents and my sisters are my biggest supporters. My little sister has always looked up to me (even though physically she looks down because I am the shortest of all three of us). We have always been close. Most of the time, she is the person I hang out with. My older sister has always been an old soul, so a lot of times she would act as a mother to me. She is the one I have had my definite ups and downs with throughout life, but I think it is because we are way more similar than we would like to admit. I would never admit this to her face, but I admire her. She made a life plan for herself at age three, and she fulfilled everything she set out to do. I have issues sticking to a diet, and she has never missed a step!

 

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Similar to my older sister and I, my mom and I have not always seen eye to eye. We found our footing around the time I turned 21, and for that, I am forever grateful. We have a lot in common that I didn’t always realize. Some of it great and some of it not so great, but weirdly the not so great stuff bonds us in a way that only we understand. My dad is the person I get my personality from. My childhood was amazing, and I have many things that have shaped me into who I am today, but nothing more than my dad. He taught me the value of a dollar, the value of hard work, and the value of myself. My family and I found out that my dad is battling Melanoma. I would say that this is the biggest thing that has shaped me because it puts life into a whole new perspective. My passions are still the same, but now they mean even more to me because my dad has always supported them even when he may not have understood. I work hard for myself because I have dreamed since I was a little girl to build a business doing something I love, but also to do something meaningful that helps others. I  work hard for my dad and for my family because life is short and they believe in me. Even on my days when I am exhausted and ready to fall asleep at my computer, I keep typing because my support system is downstairs cheering me on.

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: If there is only one thing you gain from my story, then I hope you learn that you can do whatever you want to do as long as you work hard and keep a solid support system while doing it! Secondly, you can fall in love and have a family, but still be a feminist.

 

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Photography by: Chanel Photography

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: This is my favorite question! I am a pretty hardcore feminist! I get so angry when people frown upon feminism or call women who identify themselves as a feminist, “man-haters.” I don’t hate men. I do not run around screaming that women are superior to men, and I certainly don’t demand things that I haven’t worked hard for and are well deserved. I define feminism as someone who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. We are equals. One is not superior to the other. I am a feminist because I believe that women are members of society that deserve a voice, and that voice deserves to be heard. We are strong, courageous, capable, and intelligent. Feminism is being independent and loving yourself for that. It is believing in yourself that you can do it all on your own and then doing it! Feminism is empowering and supporting other women.

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Get in touch with Kristin:

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Hillary

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


Q and A with Hillary, Milford, New Jersey

What I want others to learn from my story is to simply never give up! Whatever it is you are doing or trying to achieve in life, just don’t give up. There will always be bad days and even worse days. Learn to accept it, deal with it, and ride that wave with your middle finger in the air! Because at the end of it all, you WILL have your day, your chance to shine, your happiness, your dream life.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: My main passion is helping people. I am a huge giver, and I always have been. I always put other people before myself. Growing up with the saying “Treat people how you want to be treated,” has always stuck with me. I’ve just learned to put more of an effort into helping people in the hopes of being a happy, successful woman.

As far as personal interests, I am a beach lover! I love the summer and warm weather. I enjoy: vacationing / traveling, being active, being one with nature and everything around me, cooking, baking, being a mom, simply being with my daughter, and teaching my daughter everything she needs to know about life, the world we live in, and raising her to be a strong woman.

My work includes: online marketing, digital marketing, affiliate marketing, and being an entrepreneur.

 

 

Q: How did you find this passion?

A: My childhood, as well as my depression and anxiety, has a lot to do with my passion in wanting to help others. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life. I was never really given a hand to hold, shoulder to cry on, or that “good warm hug.” Once I started helping other people, getting the recognition and the feeling of ‘thanks’ just became an addiction. I am currently working on growing and scaling my business in order to achieve a healthy and adventurous future for my family and me. 

 

 

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Q:What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: What I have learned that I would like others to know is to simply change your mindset. If you want something, and you want it bad, tell yourself “I want it, I’m going to get it.” And then do whatever it takes to go and get it, but with a positive mindset. It is easier said than done, but I did it. I’m doing great!

I’ve taken punches and beatings my whole life (physically, emotionally, and verbally). But when I changed my mindset and told myself “I need to start my own business so that I can better my life for my family and for myself,” things than started falling perfectly into place. The mind IS a powerful thing. I recommend others to invest in learning more about it. The mind does control us. If we can learn to control IT, then the waves will always be perfect.

A quote that I live by on a day to day basis: “Be happy with what you have instead of always wanting more.” –Robin Sherrerd, my father

And be patient! Your time will come.

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: What I want others to learn from my story is to simply never give up! Whatever it is you are doing or trying to achieve in life, just don’t give up. There will always be bad days and even worse days. Learn to accept it, deal with it, and ride that wave with your middle finger in the air! Because at the end of it all, you WILL have your day, your chance to shine, your happiness, your dream life.

Anyone who is ever feeling alone, just know that it makes you that much stronger to be a loner and accomplish so much.

In reaching out to you all that struggle with mental health issues, know that it is okay to talk to strangers. I’ve been medicated my whole life. Up until two years ago, I was told that I have what is called “treatment resistant depression” and severe anxiety, along with a few others. I took a turn for the good though, and instead of turning to friends, I turned to my new friend, the internet. I joined groups on Facebook, and yet again, I had the constant POSITIVE and uplifting support from others who were in the same boat as me.

You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by STAYING there. So take action. There’s no success without failure either.

Just know this, there is ALWAYS someone out there waiting to hear your story, waiting to hear about your success, your goals, and your hopes and dreams. So always keep your fins up…remember, ride that wave. 🙂

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up with divorced parents and a mother who was always negative. Having to live with my mother, there was nothing but negativity around me. Between always fighting with my father, arguing with my stepfather, the constant yelling, and my mother leaving us to go out to bars, I was always very sad. All I ever wanted was to live with my father, an all around happy, gentle, kind and positive person. Because we saw very little of him, and because I was surrounded by negative energy, I soon became suicidal.

I didn’t do well in school. I always put my all into absolutely everything, but unfortunately, I had learning disabilities. I needed to always be pulled out of class or be in a separate “smaller” classroom. Therefore, I was always embarrassed and worried what others thought of me. I wrote my first suicide letter to a close friend in 7th grade. She made the right decision in letting someone know, and to make a long story short, I was then diagnosed with depression and put in therapy and on medication.

Later on in life, because of my constant insecurities and doubts about life, I somehow ended up in my first serious relationship during my high school years. This unfortunately, led to rape. I did not know it was, I thought it was normal to be bullied and tortured. It was the only thing I was familiar with. 

After years of praying, attempting suicide, and being beaten, I managed to get out and away- only to be in more abusive relationships later on. So with all that, I always just wanted to escape, go away, move away, or run away. I went through beauty school in high school, and I was lucky enough to graduate early so I could go away to college. My dream finally came true when I was able to get into University of South Carolina. I could escape all the negative energy and people that I was surrounded by.

For the first time in my life, I actually experienced what we call “happiness.” I had great friends, great roommates, great teachers and supporters. I had good grades, got two side jobs to make money. I had the beach, warm weather, happy and friendly people everywhere I went. I was truly happy. However, my learning disabilities came back to haunt me, and I just couldn’t pass the placement tests for my upcoming semester without paying a fortune. I ended up breaking down and calling my father. At the time, he had told me “School is not for everyone.” With a heavy heart, I wiped my tears and picked my head up and accepted that. I worked hard to try and take over paying rent in order to stay living down there, but I ended up having to move back with my mom. 

Then I met my husband, we had our daughter, and were constantly struggling financially. Money and other issues in our relationship truly broke us. After having my daughter, I was on a mission to find a job that would allow me to stay at home with her and make a good income. I came across online marketing through Facebook. It was just something that continuously kept sparking my interest, no matter how many times I would turn away from it. I joined groups on Facebook, and soon enough, I became a part of an amazing community.

The constant POSITIVE and UPLIFTING support I keep getting is what keeps me going. I didn’t lose faith. It is something that I feel is now a part of me. 

I was quite lost for a few years, but I simply never gave up. My past has now led me to being a very successful mom entrepreneur of an online marketing business . Slowly, I am taking action in getting my family and myself to where we truly belong.

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me is being the strong women we were meant to me. Whether in a perfectly healthy relationship or not, or no relationship at all, it to me, means truly standing up for yourself. Be strong. Don’t worry about other peoples’ negative thoughts or sayings.

We are strong. Our strength runs so deep. We are our own warriors.

 

 

To join my team and start your journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur in online marketing, click below:

https://www.trainings.successwithhillary.com/

To start your own business in online marketing click below:

http://successwithhillary.com

To learn more about how I started my business click below:

http://promo-leveragedaffiliate.successwithhillary.com

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Katherine

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.


 

Q and A with Katherine, Hunterdon County, New Jersey 

“I believe we can really change the world through kindness and how we treat those in our daily lives. In order to make a difference in the world, we don’t always have to do grand gestures. Doing small things with great love can have just as great of an impact on the world.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: There’s a few things in my life that I’m really passionate about. The first thing is my faith. My faith is something that has always been important to me, but recently, I’ve really been trying to grow in my relationship with God and allow my faith to inform all aspects of my life. God is so good, and I’m so grateful for how I’ve seen Him work in my life. In my free time, I share a lot about my faith on Instagram and on my blog, Loves Jesus & America too!  I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we recently bought a house & farm in the town we grew up in. We’re really passionate about farm living and renovating our home! I work as an occupational therapist in a school for children with special needs and also at a hospital with elderly patients. My job is really fulfilling, and I love being able to help people everyday.

 

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Katherine in Paris, France. Read more about Katherine by clicking here. 

 

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Pictured: Katherine on her wedding day.

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A:  My younger years are really special to me. I was so blessed to grow up in a big family, being the oldest of 4 children. I had such a wonderful childhood. The home my husband and I bought is actually right next to the house I grew up in, and we are so excited to be so close to family! Growing up, I was always hanging out with neighborhood friends, playing outside, and volunteering. Volunteering from a young age really instilled in me the importance of giving back to my community & serving others.

 

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Q:What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: Something valuable I’ve learned that I would like for others to know is that it is more important to cultivate meaning in your life than it is to rack up accomplishments. I used to be so concerned with achieving things. I never found time to rest and to enjoy the present moment. Working hard is incredibly important, but we need to find balance and meaning in our lives beyond that, whether it be through relationships, faith, hobbies, or rest. That’s why I love My Lilianas so much! It is a company all about women working hard and supporting one another, but also living their lives fully and enjoying the present moment.

 

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Pictured: Katherine wearing her Lilianas

 

Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: Something I would like others to learn from my story is that at the end of the day, what matters most is how we love those around us. Saint Mother Teresa once said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” I believe we can really change the world through kindness and how we treat those in our daily lives. In order to make a difference in the world, we don’t always have to do grand gestures. Doing small things with great love can have just as great of an impact on the world.

 

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Pictured: Katherine, and her high school sweetheart ~ husband, Dominic. 

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: To me, feminism is embracing the beauty of being a woman and the person God created me to be. God created women with beautiful talents, gifts, and capabilities that are unique. True feminism to me is embodying and embracing these gifts that are unique to women and using them to benefit our world and help others.

Check out Katherine’s Blog! 

LovesJesusandAmericaToo.com

 

Katherine’s Instagram Profile to Follow: 

@katherineocello

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Sam

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.


 

Q and A with Sam, Sunshine Fields, New Jersey 

“There’s such a disconnect now with the way we ‘should’ live our lives and the way we want to live our lives. I graduated college, received a degree, got a good job in a good city, and I’m sure to many that would be a total success story, but it wasn’t the end of mine.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: My largest passion is people- helping people and working with people. I think that’s partially why I wanted to start up my own businesses (so I could do that all of the time).

 

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My two current businesses are Forest & Farm and Sunshine Fields NJ (both I’m working on with my other half and partner of 4 years, who totally also deserves credit)! His name is Matt.

 

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Forest & Farm is our woodworking and home decor business. It basically started by us building all of the furniture for our first apartment together. Matt is an engineer, and I’m an artist. Together, we figured we’d DIY our way through everything (coffee tables, shelves, dinner tables, dressers…), and eventually, everything in our home became handmade! We wanted to share that with others, so we started wholesaling, retailing, and opened up our own Etsy shop. We are constantly doing custom made projects for people.

 

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Sunshine Fields is a 115+ acre family flower farm (Matt’s parents primarily grow wholesale flowers there, but we decided to open up to the public for the first time ever this year!) The two of us planted pumpkins together, cut a 5+ acre corn maze together, and crafted all of the games and activities for this two-month long fall festival. Again, we wanted to share this with others. This farm is such a peaceful place, filled with beautiful flowers and family, and we felt it was so worth opening to the public.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: As a young kid, I heavily enjoyed four (…well, five) things: art, animals, music, being outdoors 100% of the time, and being a tomboy. I had fears, but generally, I always identified myself as a strong girl capable of learning anything (from learning how to play guitar in middle school to learning how to skate in college.) There’s never really a limit to what you can do.

 

When I was 14 years old, I ended up entering a beauty pageant (pretty unlike my tomboy self) for Filipino-Americans in the US (I’m half Filipino, half Irish), and I ended up winning that thing. I’ve always felt sensitive talking about it, mostly because I never wanted to feel any sort of entitlement or be different than anyone else. I really only wanted to win to break this negative facade of pageants and complete the charity work. I think it was a huge pivotal moment in my teen years and in becoming who I am. I had this opportunity to actually do something. When you’re that young, and you fly to the Philippines, and you live out this dream of helping others and donating yourself and your heart to others, it’s a little wild. I’ve always had that in the back of my heart (this feeling of a desire to be a part of something greater than myself).

 

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Fast-forward to me sitting at a desk in an office in the corporate world. It just couldn’t cut it for me. I had multiple internships and jobs in New York City. I left those for smaller non-profits, and I tried out a whole bunch of career opportunities. As cool as the experiences were, there was just something that never really felt right. I couldn’t shake this feeling that I could really do something and really start something, so I left those jobs to try to figure it all out. It’s still a little crazy to say that [laughs], but I figured it’d be worth a shot.

 

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Q:What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: There’s such a disconnect now with the way we ‘should’ live our lives and the way we want to live our lives. I graduated college, received a degree, got a good job in a good city, and I’m sure to many that would be a total success story, but it wasn’t the end of mine.

 

If I had gone to college and if someone would have told me that starting up two businesses at 23 years old would be difficult and impractical, maybe it would have made me want to do it more (…maybe)! I mean, just to know that the thought would even possible at all would have been pretty cool. We should feel more empowered to do this. I think I’ve been going through this process of both losing and finding myself throughout the things that I’ve done. It’s really (really) hard to put yourself out there and chase an idea, or a dream, in a vulnerable state. It takes courage, and it’s underrated.

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: Take the plunge, and do what you like to do. You have nothing to lose. Trust me, literal blood, sweat, and tears and every penny I have has gone into everything I’ve done. Im still terrified. Its still really dang hard, but there is still nothing to lose (…& I should really take my own advice)! There is nothing more rewarding than doing it.

 

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ETSY: www.etsy.com/shop/forestnfarm

 

Sam’s Instagram Profiles to Follow: 

@sunshinefieldsnj & @forestnfarmco

 

 

 

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