21 Days of Being Brave- Day #1 January 11th 2015

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I am crazy.  I know this and I am willing to accept it and admit.

Because of the "CRAZY" I was bold enough to start this website and the association almost 5 years ago.  I was willing to step out in faith and share my rock bottom story in a book and on YouTube.   Some might see these things as just CRAZY...but I see them as being BRAVE.

This is my year of being BRAVE.  I have a one year Be Brave Today Coaching Program for women and what I am realizing is that I need to capture my own brave journey.  (Want to join me in this journey?  We have room for you but you must take BRAVE action and contact me for your interview)

Thus today is the birth of this 21-Day Blog Series.  I am going to share my brave acts, my bolddecisions, my courageous conversations.  All of it!  (Today is January 11th 2015 for those following along)

Being BRAVE is a mindset.

Being BRAVE is an hourly choice.

Being BRAVE is about real relationships (and even changing your relationship status which was a giant BRAVE action that I took yesterday)

Being BRAVE is about saying YES and saying NO.

Being BRAVE is about your next step and staying in the present instead of trapped in the FEAR of the future or the REGRETS and MISTAKES of the past.

Will you Be BRAVE with me?

Today my BRAVE act was making a commitment to a 21-day Fast that was talked about at my church.  I am giving up something that I normally have daily.  I am also adding things in that I want to start (including this blog).

I can't wait to see what God does over the next 21 days.  Let's do this~~~

Love, D

 

diane-nacwesignDiane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She is a “business therapist,” plane crash survivor, author, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend. Find out more about NACWE and why 165 women joined in the first year at www.NACWE.org. Connect with Diane at www.facebook.com/DianeCunningham for fun updates, silly videos, and lively conversation.

What's the Word? Celebrating 2014 Together!

 

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What a year! NACWE has thrived, and we have all accomplished goals together and we've seen our dreams become reality. 2014 has been a year of bravery, new friendships, risks, success, failure, love, loss, and determination. Tonight is New Year's Eve, a time for reflection and celebration. We have a lot to celebrate together!

On our Facebook page for NACWE members, we asked, "What was your word for 2014, and what did you learn?" We got some great responses from some fantastic NACWE members!

 

 

2014Rhoda“My word for 2014 was focus. As a church, we were challenged to read through the Bible this year. God had shown me something when I first (reluctantly) gave my heart to Him, and I picked that back up and totally focused on it. Now, I hope to write about it. My first obstacle has already hit, and, boy, is it a doozy...Help me, Lord!"
—Rhoda Baty

 

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"My word for 2014 was discipline. It helped me grow my business and be obedient to God's call by stepping out in faith."
—Heidi Kilde Kleine

 

 

2014Barbara

"My word for 2014 was also discipline. It helped me complete one of the tasks on my "bucket list"—to write a book about the principles that have evolved in the 3+ decades I have been in the organizing and productivity business. It now exists! Learn more at www.LessClutterMoreLife.com.
—Barbara Hemphill

 

 

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"My word was peace. It has helped me to slow down, re-prioritize, and not get too overwhelmed during the major transitions that took place in my life this year."
—Shannon Whalen Spencer

 

 

2014Michelle

 

 

"Mine was joyful abundance."
—Michelle Bengtson

 

 

 

2014Debbie

 

"Relationships was mine. 🙂 "
—Debbie Saviano

 

 

 

2014Faydra

 

"Mine was freedom, and I didn't find it until yesterday!"
—Faydra Koenig

 

 

 

 

2014Marsha"Magnificent was my 2014 word. I learned to believe that no matter what, I am right where I supposed to be. Therefore, my attitude determines magnificence. The more I lived in acceptance and authenticity, the more magnificent my life became! It was a magnificent year!"
—Marsha Sherrill

 

 

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"Focus—to stay focused on the calling God had for me. I let go of some things and embraced some new ones. By staying focused on God, he shows me the path I need to take each day."
—Joyce Glass

 

 

 

2014Tina

 

"Devoted...As time went by through the year, I came to realize how truly devoted the Lord is to His people and how much more I became devoted to followed Him!"
—Tina Drake-Parmigiano

 

 

 

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"Action! I learned the difference between getting results and staying stuck is action. Goals, plans, and accountability mean nothing without action."
—Kristen Sheehan

 

 

 

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"My word was simplify, and I learned that by simplifying my life, I can eliminate so much stress!"
—Sabine Brandt

 

 

 

 

As we look forward to 2015, we hope you will continue to join us as we work towards greatness together. We will be here to support and encourage you every step of the way. Here's to a great year... and many more!

 

 

The Gift of Grace, Entrepreneurship and a Messy Creative Christmas 

This is the season for gifts, and the frenzy is in full force to purchase, decorate, dress up, and run hither and thither as the days get closer and closer to Christmas.

I am doing Christmas in my own way.

  • I am making creative gifts that are very low-cost and high in the “love factor.”
  • My Christmas tree is a giant canvas that I painted (as pictured here).
  • Zander is running amok as a cat should.
  • And I am heading to California to see my family in a few days!

More important to me than all of the hoopla and the tinsel is the reason for the season, my faith, and my Lord Jesus.  I can’t help to view that through the eyes of my business.  I speak often of the fact that I believe that my business is a gift.  This is one of the core messages that I “preach” to my clients and members of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs.

I wholeheartedly believe that God has given me the business that I have, the clients I serve, the people on my team, and the platform I hold to share my gifts. I feel that it is my duty and my blessing to accept this gift and use it. I intend to use it, learn from it, honor it, and cherish it.  Whenever I think of doing otherwise, I feel like I would not only be dishonoring my Father but also dismissing the people He has given me. I am NOT willing to do that.

I AM willing to love my gift and show it off to the world.

I AM willing to do all that I can and give it everything that I have.

I AM willing to invest my full heart, mind, and intentions.

I AM willing to accept this gift from God.

This past week, I was sent a Grinch-like message, and it made me pause. I had to check my motives. I had to stop to reflect and pray.  I felt afraid to keep sharing my message for a little while, but I am back.

Today, I choose to continue to be me and pray for those who attack me. I am a mess. I am NOT perfect. I know you aren't, either. That is the miracle of the season. We have the gift of GRACE.

I will celebrate my business this season. I will look back on where I have been over the past year and take inventory. I am looking at my future plans, and I'm excited about the thought of opening the box that says "2015" on it.  I hope you choose to do the same with your gift of a business and the gift of this life.

Be BRAVE my friends!

 

Diane Cunningham | Founder of NACWEDiane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She is a “business therapist,” plane crash survivor, author, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend. Find out more about NACWE and why 165 women joined in the first year at www.NACWE.org. Connect with Diane at www.facebook.com/DianeCunningham for fun updates, silly videos, and lively conversation.

Speak Your Truth in Business: Using Speaking to Reach Your Ideal Client (Part Two of Two)

 

[NOTE: This article is the second half of a post on speaking. To read part one, click here.]

Knowing where to speak is the first big step. There are opportunities everywhere you look; you just have to learn how to recognize them. There are two main types of speaking opportunities: live events and one-on-one communication.

When seeking out live speaking opportunities, consider conferences, seminars, and trainings. Maybe you could speak at a book launch or open house. There are always people looking for speakers for professional workshops or corporate lunches. Think about your local Chamber of Commerce. Get in contact with leads groups or associations. They could have opportunities for you to speak at networking lunches or online conferences.

One-on-One speaking is about connecting with others on an individual basis. This is about meeting someone else in person and sharing the power of you. Be authentic.  Share your personal story! Authenticity is the answer. God made you unique, and His timing is perfect. Remember, create a friendship, first. Don’t hunt down a client!

Here are a few tips. Get a behind the scenes helper for webinars. Before any speaking engagement, do a practice run. Write talking points to help you stay on track, and just start where you are. Stop trying to be perfect. The best way to become an excellent speaker is to speak, and speak again.

Use this mnemonic device to help you remember the key points of speaking:

SPEAK

What are your next steps? Start by creating your Speaker One Page. Add a speaking tab to your website, and add Speaker to your business cards. Start asking to be the speaker at events. Visit www.nacwe.org/speaking to see an example.

 

diane-nacwesignDiane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She is a “business therapist,” plane crash survivor, author, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend. Find out more about NACWE and why 165 women joined in the first year at www.NACWE.org. Connect with Diane at www.facebook.com/DianeCunningham for fun updates, silly videos, and lively conversation.

Waiting Out the Storm: A Lesson in Prayer and Patience

tree-164025_640In the storm, the wind rages around me. I cling to His grace.

I come face-to-face with my addictive personality and my controlling nature. I see loud and clear my need to fix things and offer the right answer.

In this moment, I am powerless.

That is always where God needs me to be. . .I just forget sometimes and think that somehow I am running the show. I mistakenly believe that I have a handle on things.

The word for right now is grace.

What does that mean to me? It means that no matter how many times I fall on my face, God still loves me. It means that He already knows that answer. It means that it is not about how I look, how much I accomplish, or what I do. It is not about works. It is not about how much I earn. It is not about my title or my website or my success. It is also not about my failures.

I am waiting. I am in the midst of a very painful life lesson. All I can do is pray. Prayer is the answer. It is my guide. I have done everything else that I can do right now.

I must sit in the discomfort and feel my feelings. I lean into God. I type my prayers, speak my prayers, get on my knees. I pour my prayers out onto this iPad right now.

The waiting feels endless.

I am not good at waiting. I am in the midst of one of the most painful few weeks of waiting that I have ever experienced. I messed up big time. I am praying for mercy. . .for a pass. I am leaning into God for grace.

I am praying for peace, but I am not feeling peaceful. I am seeking answers and resolution. I want to run away from this feeling, but the truth is that I cannot. No amount of booze would wash it down. No amount of food can take it away. I still feel it in my gut, and I still must wait.

Pain is not pretty. It feels like a knife in my gut. A twisting slow turn of the knife. Facing myself over the past days has been a challenge. I want to escape from me. I want to have someone to blame.

Have I learned my lesson? I sure hope so. I don't know what the outcome will be, but I am praying that no matter what it is, I will be strong enough to walk through it. I am praying that God will walk it with me "one day at a time." I am praying for grace and the willingness to surrender my agenda.

I have never been in a situation like the one I am in right now. I have never prayed what I am praying right now.

Dear God, you know what I am praying. You know the answer I want and the current circumstances. You know my feelings and my lack of feelings. You know my heart’s desire and how long I have waited. You know where I am and where I am going. You know my deep aches and secret tears.

I pray for forgiveness and mercy. I pray for wisdom and grace. I pray for Your will to be done.

I ask for your help.

I am yours.

diane-nacwesignDiane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She is a “business therapist,” plane crash survivor, author, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend. Find out more about NACWE and why 165 women joined in the first year at www.NACWE.org. Connect with Diane at  her Facebook page for fun updates, silly videos, and lively conversation.