Do you want to master mind with Master Minds?

Do you want to master mind with Master Minds?

This November, myself and a few of my colleagues are hosting the Money Mindfulness and Success Retreat in the beautiful hills of North Georgia. This retreat is dedicated to holistically nurturing our minds, our finances and our dreams through mindfulness, masterminds and mentorship.

Why Every Person Should Take a Mini-Retirement

Why Every Person Should Take a Mini-Retirement

I am at the end of my five-week mini-retirement completing a yoga certification in Thailand, and I know for sure that this trip was a necessary part of my personal and professional journey.

Thailand Yoga Retirement Journey Conclusion

Thailand Yoga Retirement Journey Conclusion

When you are able to step out of your normal life for an extended period of time, you can actually perform an honest and accurate assessment of your life and who you are as a person. I am so happy to have discovered that my life is exactly how I want it to be. 

Karma Yoga & My Thai Massage Epiphany

Karma Yoga & My Thai Massage Epiphany

I have finally reached my last weekend of freedom during my Yoga Teacher Training program. We have been in class about 13 hours per day which I have to add to my personal 1 hour workout at 5 am. Needless to say, studying philosophy, yoga sutras, muscles and bones all day has been a bit of a departure from my regular life. 

Lifestyle Design – Maximizing Your Travel Finances

Lifestyle Design – Maximizing Your Travel Finances

Speak of travel and most people think it’s a big chore, a tortuous affair they simply do not want to endure. I, however, have personally experienced the joys of a successful journey, and am happy to repeat it all over again.

Lifestyle Design - Live Where You Want

life is sharing

You can pretty much live anywhere you want if you’re willing to see the upside of sharing your space. Gone are the days when it was each to his/her own. Today’s global and fast-changing economy lends to and encourages a sharing mentality when it comes to living spaces, especially in unique and sought after destinations. Not only is this a budget-friendly and easily accessible option these days, but it also adds to your lifestyle experience by introducing you to like-minded individuals. life is sharing

I have traveled around the world and stayed in beachfront villas, for a price cheaper than the 3-star hotel in an unspectacular area of town. The only caveat is that I had to share. For the inexperienced, it might seem like an alien concept but once you have surrendered to the convenience and practicality of shared living spaces, you will always be open to such an option should it be made available, and might even actively seek it if you truly enjoy such a living arrangement.

IMG_1153

I have used and recommended several such services including the famed Airbnb.com – websites like these assist the sharing community in finding awesome and interesting places to stay, no matter the geographic location or the preferred amenities. And the best part is, you are sure to find something within your budget range. It is this combination of multiple factors that makes shared living a positive experience for most people that opt for it. Of course, taking the necessary precautions before using such facilities and doing your own background checks are important, and that is where social media plays an integral role.

Now more than ever, since the concept of social proof has been established, we can rest assured that our safety will not be an issue as we frolic to our dream destinations anywhere in the world. Be it a bed and breakfast in the neighboring state or a room rental in another country, you will easily find feedback and referrals for shared living spaces anywhere across the globe. Review websites are many and sometimes the same properties are listed on different forums so you can easily point out a scam if you notice one. Most places though are well aware of the power of social media and proactively work to garner good reviews – word of mouth is a big part of the sharing community.

Remember that shared living does not have to be a temporary arrangement. Many people I know live in shared accommodations on a permanent basis. Sharing a duplex, an apartment or a bigger home is not out of the ordinary these days. With the floating employment population in most cities, youngsters, and in some cases, even experienced professionals, willingly choose to share living quarters with other individuals. The reasons could be many but the fact is, should you choose to, then shared living is available and accessible to you.

Looking for roommates in the local newspaper ads section and at the larger grocery stores’ notice boards might work but most times, simply putting word out in your social and professional circles should do the trick. You can also guarantee that the referring parties might have implemented some amount of vetting as to the eligibility of such individuals, thus saving you any hassles as far as the credibility or dependability of your new roommates and their tolerance for sharing a living space with you.

No proverb lends itself more to this scenario than this one you probably heard early on as a child – where there is a will, there is a way. If you want to live in a certain area, location, destination, city, etc. you can easily find a way to do that – and one of the top solutions in such cases is shared living. Designing a lifestyle to your liking can be a feasible option, and easily so. Finding the right channels to accomplish it is all you need, and you are on your way to living wherever you want.

Watch out for posts in the next few weeks that tell you more about sharing services for travel, clothing and more.

###

About Dr. Roshawnna Novellus: A Wealthy Yogi that helps people achieve their inner an outer goals through smarter financial decisions. Curator of Goal Diggers Club, a community of savvy goal oriented individuals that pride themselves on living a fabulous life. President of Novellus Financial, a concierge style tax and financial strategy firm. Author of Budgeting is More Liberation Than Limitation, a simple guide of how to change your mindset about money so that you can jump-start reaching your dreams.

Inclusive Economics

Hope Global Forum

I’m still feeling inspired and warm after bearing witness to the amazing inclusive economics talk given by Former President Bill Clinton at the Hope Global Forum in Atlanta, GA. The purpose of the conference was to explore the why and how to expand free enterprise on the global level. These numbers panels, discussions and work sessions explored how empowering communities with access to technology, electricity and capital made them economically better as a whole. It is interesting that being a capitalist often means that you do not consider being conscious to communities or the negative externalities generated by the work that you do. For instance, if you can market a beverage to a community, why not market one that is better for health and well being while still seeking to enhance your profit margin? Going the more conscious route is actually possible. Hope Global Forum

Philippe Bourguignon, CEO, Exclusive Resorts, pushed the limits of my understanding of globalization and economics. He discussed how the additional two billion people born in Asia, Africa and Latin America within the next 20 years are going to force us to change our business models, and on how we interact with the rest of the world. The leaders will finally have to adapt to the strategy of appealing to the new marketplace. His talk focused on how income inequality is of critical concern when looking at economic disparity within. When evaluating economic stability, we must assess if people have the opportunity for upward mobility in a society. If they do not have upward mobility, they lose hope and the society becomes less stable. The conclusion is simple - for a society to remain stable, fair and to progress, people must have hope and believe that they are part of the economic system.

Prior to hearing the address by Former President Bill Clinton, Kat Cole, the President of Cinnabon Inc., really inspired me with her perspective on conscious capitalism. She talked about her experience moving from Hooters of America, Inc. to Cinnabon in a statistically unlikely progression, which is inspirational as it is. But beyond that ‘inspirational against all odds’ story, I was also inspired by her passion for being a conscious capitalist. Though Cinnabon is not known for being an advocate for social welfare and change in the world, Kat Cole pledges her time to organizations that support women and children, nutrition, and homelessness prevention. She explained that being a connected capitalist helps by serving as a bridge between the two communities. The bridge-work is necessary to foster communication, progress and inclusion. According to her Twitter handle, Kat considers herself a Connected-Creative-Conscious-Capitalist. According to Conscious Capitalism http://www.consciouscapitalism.org/aboutus, there are four main principles to consider when engaging as a capitalist:

  • Higher Purpose
  • Stakeholder Orientation
  • Conscious Leadership
  • Conscious Culture

These principles show us that business strategy needs to incorporate economic inclusion and social externalities when evaluating outcomes. Also, by addressing the economic impact to communities, a capitalist can start to build trust with the communities, which will lead to support and drive customer adoption. By having this as part of the equation, society is progressed, not harmed, by innovation.

Absorbing such wisdom from speakers such as Kat Cole had already made me extremely happy that I attended this conference. At this point, whatever Former President Bill Clinton planned to share would be icing on the cake. He discussed several scenarios about inclusive economics on HIV/AIDS medications and community building in regions across the Caribbean and Africa. He mentioned how negotiations were easier when people understood the big picture on why certain decisions were better for the sustainability of the society as a whole. He also made a point to address how financial literacy is paramount in inspiring hope, entrepreneurship, and economic inclusion, especially in rural societies.

Being in the same room with someone of that stature is a feat in itself, but being in a position where my personal passion aligns directly with the purpose of the talk had me excited on a whole other level. I have been passionate about financial literacy for years, so much so that I have devoted my life towards it for the past five years. I have turned down opportunity after opportunity in the technology space because I really think that understanding money is more paramount to the stabilization and sustainability of society than producing the next great mobile app. Former President Bill Clinton and the other speakers brought up so many amazing talking points such as:

  • Poverty is not believing in yourself (?? Meaning unclear for reader)
  • You model what you see
  • Wealth comes from confidence, self-esteem, mentorship, and aspiration
  • All it takes is a positive influence to succeed
  • The only thing sustainable is a living that you can earn
  • You should measure impact by the lives that you change, not the money in your bank account
  • You have to be a change agent by picking up the people left behind
  • Education helps everyone in society, not just those receiving the education

Over the last couple years, I have become a bit disheartened because it seems that Americans place so little priority on economic and financial literacy. They would rather distract themselves with things offering little positive impact on their economic standing and happiness than make a conscious effort to change. At times, it is ignorance but most feel so discouraged that they don’t think they have enough control in their lives to make something happen. In reality, people in either of these cases have lost financial hope. It is financial hope that encourages people to keep on the path to their dreams. It is financial hope that inspires people to make better lives for themselves and their families. It is hope in general that pushes most of us to live lives full of accomplishment, service and gratitude. What do you have if you don’t have hope?

After attending this inspiring conference, I am encouraged to continue with my passion of being a change agent in the economic and financial literacy space. Even if I help only inspire one person to live an easier, more economically stable life, I know that I have succeeded in my duty to teach and mentor others.

 

###

About Dr. Roshawnna Novellus: A Wealthy Yogi that helps people achieve their inner an outer goals through smarter financial decisions. Curator of Goal Diggers Club, a community of savvy goal oriented individuals that pride themselves on living a fabulous life. President of Novellus Financial, a concierge style tax and financial strategy firm. Author of Budgeting is More Liberation Than Limitation, a simple guide of how to change your mindset about money so that you can jump-start reaching your dreams.

Fitness for Travel

IMG_2682

I just finished an Om Yoga class with the Wealthy Yogi and I'm dead! I'm writing this blog post from the afterlife. My legs feel like Rick James' after the beat down he got from Eddie and Charlie Murphy. Seriously though,  I am an avid traveler and I'm realizing that during my travels I expect a lot from my body. I've tried surfing, climbing mountains, biking through cities, and climbing bridges. I even learned to swim as an adult! I do not want to be on the sidelines while everyone else turns experiences into Instagram moments. There is also the physical toll that long haul trips take on your body to consider.  Being in a plane 13-16 hours and ending up in a different time zone can be rough. Sitting in a match box seat and having to climb over your neighbor to get to the bathroom requires level 2-3 yoga moves. Eating high sodium, barely palatable airplane meals will increase your blood pressure. Lack of sleep will increase cortisol levels and leave your body in a stressed state. By the time you make it to your destination, you can be sluggish and ready to sleep instead of ready to explore. To date, my strict regimen of donuts and fork lifting has not prepared me for my adventures. Sure, I'm pretty sexy, but I'm not fit. And I would like to be in better shape. I expect a lot from my body and I'm putting zero in. So I'm turning over a new old leaf and hoping that my twisted up body rebounds enough for round two. Now if I could just get up off the floor!  

So go do it (encouragement)

Karen

Don't Live with Fear

I learned today that 50 percent of the students in the yoga program quit their job so that they could participate. Fifty percent had and continue to have enough courage and self-reliance to decide that the best move for them was to leave the hustle and bustle in their life of exchanging time for money, for a journey of mental, physical and spiritual growth. I find this concept both amazing and rare.

I decided to take time to educate friends, family, colleges and clients that I would be away for five weeks studying yoga in Thailand. It’s funny how many people told me that fear of attending a residential retreat in another country would prevent them from ever attempting to try the experience. Traveling has never been a source of fear in my life. I grew up near the border of Mexico and would often cross the border to go shopping or visit friends. I enjoyed how easy it was to have a different realization of life. I continue to realize that the majority of people do not wish to ever leave their secure home environment. I understand that many don’t have the resources to leave home and enjoy growing experiences. However, it’s hard for me to understand why people would be willing to pass up the opportunity that travel provides. We must realize that all challenges in life help us grow. I’ve told people before that I’m more afraid of giving a presentation in front of a room full of 100 people than hitchhiking in Europe, and I gladly give talks as much as possible. Really, all fear that we have is just based on experiences, or how our perceptions relate to the experience. The funny thing is that we have no idea if our preconceived feeling is or is not true. Following this, as long as we’re comfortable and happy with the boundaries set by our notions of the human experience, we will be fine.

image

image

As an entrepreneur, I really don’t have a job to quit, but I did decide to push the pause button on my life. I was in contact with my team members in charge of marketing, public relations and branding intensely the first week of my journey. Then I realized that although I was physically on the other side of the world (12-hour time difference), I was still in my stressed out frame of mind. One day, I actually spent almost the entire day in the hotel room without taking in the natural beauty of my new environment. Luckily I realized that I wasn’t abiding my right action and that it was time for me to step back and be mindful. I decided that I could still be goal-oriented, but it had to be within the context of defined boundaries of time and intellect. If I start getting too stressed, I have to stop. I figure that it’s time for me to retrain myself so that I can have a better life.

fun group picture

fun group picture

It’s funny, I sent an email to my book publisher and my favorite writer detailing why I had limited time to contribute. They both replied that they were not worried and I should focus on enjoying my trip and learning as much as possible. For some reason this response from both of them surprised me. Apparently, I’m so used to people not understanding the value of vacation that I am surprised when I encounter someone who does. All I can say is that both of them are welcome to stay on my team for as long as they are able. Sometimes surrounding yourself with the right people is the most essential step to making a change in your life.

Fear is one of the most toxic emotions that a person can have. One of my favorite quotes is:

“Holding onto anger is like holding on hot coals, it is you that gets burned.”

Although anger and fear are different emotions, the same premise applies. Fear prevents most people from trying anything new. This can include a new food, new career, new philosophy, new way of thinking or new environment. What most don’t realize is that trying new experiences allows us to collaborate our lives and gives us the experience to create more skillful experiences. I’d recommend that everyone ask himself or herself if they’d rather be more or less skillful in figuring out their life path. Most would choose to be more skillful and wise.

I have been reflecting on what action would I focus on in the New Year. Last year my goal was to refine my self-compassion. I focused on that all year and can honestly say that I’m gentler with myself when it comes to balancing the needs of my body and the goals that I set for my life. This upcoming year I want to grow in another internal area: fear. While fear has never prevented me from making decisions, it has caused me useless suffering. I am one of those people who thinks about every possible outcome before pushing forward with my initial desire. Since I have enough courage to go after whatever I want in life, this analytic process is essentially useless. For this reason, I’m going to make a concerted effort to not do analysis in reaction to a fearful emotion.

Now I'm off to prepare my lesson for my first class.

###

About Dr. Roshawnna Novellus: A Wealthy Yogi that helps people achieve their inner an outer goals through smarter financial decisions. Curator of Goal Diggers Club, a community of savvy goal oriented individuals that pride themselves on living a fabulous life. President of Novellus Financial, a concierge style tax and financial strategy firm. Author of Budgeting is More Liberation Than Limitation, a simple guide of how to change your mindset about money so that you can jump-start reaching your dreams. 

My Fabulous Life Inspiration

I am sitting up in bed with another great idea from my bliss session in Mexico. I absolutely love reading a good book while experiencing the kiss of the breeze and the beauty of the waves crashing along the shore.

I realize that so many of my questions have been answered over and over again. But like most people, I tend to forget that I already know the answers to most of my questions. This trip to Mexico, while not my most extravagant adventure, was one of the best vacations that I've had in a long time. It was so wonderful because I was actually fully present and could see and experience the beauty of my life directly. Too often, I've found it much easier to live in the past or the future rather than focused on the present.

During the last several years, I've been on a mission to change my definition of success from the constant accomplishment of new goals to having simple gratitude, compassion and ability to love in a variety of circumstances. This trip to Mexico gave me a confirmation that my path is the right path.

The fact that I experienced mindfulness on this trip was really a hidden treat. I traveled to Mexico to support and witness a dear friend getting married to the love of her life.

I would not miss her wedding for anything in the world. Yes, I am extremely sentimental. I originally met this friend in an airport in Japan while we were both on our way to our solo trek to Bali and Singapore.

Go figure, two young black successful women that decided to do the exactly same thing at the exact same time. Needless to say, we were and continue to be soul mates. I love so many characteristics about her. In fact, I often describe her as an upgraded version of myself. If I had to pick my favorite trait about her, it would be the fact that she sees and attracts the ultimate good in others. She collects friends all over the world from all different races, religions, philosophies and points of view. Her friends all have in common they way that they treat life with love, compassion, fun and inquisitive excitement. I'd pick people with these characteristics anytime. Beyond being a friend magnet, she is a force to be reckoned with in the corporate world, and accepted me as part of her family from the beginning. I think she is the first person that I met that has been able to integrate both self-love and the pursuit of a strategic corporate path in a way to support a fabulous balanced life.

Over the years, my view of success has really changed. I must admit that originally I followed the path of most Westerners in believing that success was defined by titles and/or money. But, I luckily realized that there were other things that really made me happy. I am all about finding mentors with whatever goals that I have in life. With this line of thinking, I've always tried to surround myself with friends who could inspire my growth. A selection of people of those people would include those who have the ability to be happy in the midst of uncertainty and chaos and still figure out a way to pursue their life goals.

One such friend is Erika. We have known each other since 7th grade and lived on the same street in San Diego, California. We spent junior high, high school, and college together and remained friends even to this day. It's funny that for most of our lives, most people could not understand why we were friends as we had such different personalities as demonstrated when I was voted most likely to succeed and she was voted most fun in high school. What some people don't realize is that people can have different external paths in life, but have the same internal values. It's funny how although we treat life differently, we both value financial strategy and don't believe in debt. We both find inspiration in listening to dharma talks daily. And, we both know that love is the only thing that matters. I guess we have all of the important components in common after all.

Over the course of the trip in Mexico, I gave myself the time to soak in the knowledge offered by the Four Hour Workweek. Reading the book was both timely and exactly what I needed. The overall premise of the book is how to design your life in a way that supports your passions, creativity, priorities, and your need to feel alive. I was surprised to discover that most of the main points discussed in the books are in alignment with my overall philosophy in life. I felt like the book was a reminder of the wisdom that I've collected about life over the years. However, the book did force me to put a mirror up and do a self-assessment to determine if my life as an entrepreneur was in alignment with the previously mentioned essential elements. By doing this assessment, I realized that I needed to tweak the way that I have been sharing my passion for teaching people how to create a fabulous life by making smarter financial choices. Thus far, with Novellus Financial, I have been primary working on one to one consultations instead of group activities that can impact a greater number of individuals. As it is my mission to help as many people as possible create the lives of their dreams, I decided to change my business model to one that can help more achieve financial balance. I have been known to work constantly, but taking the time to feed my mind reminded me that we cannot achieve everything by brute force alone. Sometimes we need to sit in peace in order to see where we are in life and where we need to go. Both the book and the trip allowed me the much-needed strategy session/entrepreneurship retreat that I needed to ensure that my livelihood continues to stay in alignment with my overall purpose.

Four Hour Workweek

Life is a collection of decisions. I realize that the moments and experiences that I remember most clearly are those when I took a chance and followed my own path. This path at many times included dealing with experiences that involved a great deal of uncertainty, learning new concepts and being completely unrealistic.

My largest leap of strength was leaving my plush Washington, D.C. consultant life to move to a city without any guaranteed support system or social network. I decided to do this because I wanted to live in a city where I could truly be happy. I felt intense internal happiness every time I visited Atlanta over the 10-year period since I attended Georgia Tech. As such, I decided that I loved myself enough to change my physical environment from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta. When I arrived, I decided to apply my supper analytical nature to help establish my friendships, professional network, and social life. Based on previous experience, I decided to rapidly amass at least 5 circles of friends through a two-phase friendship algorithm approach. Phase 1 required my attending every single activity that I was invited to within the first three months of friendship, especially those that would show selflessness and support. Phase 2 allowed for a relaxed approach to accepting of social activities allowing for inclusion of self-compassion, priorities, interests and conflicting commitments in the decision-making process. This strategy worked like a charm, and I never lacked for the feeling of friendship, support or belonging in my new home city. It took the decade of my 20s to learn how to identify and cultivate mutually beneficial friendships, and I feel extremely grateful that the universe has responded so lovingly to this need.

I realize that all of these decisions were made in my pursuit to create lasting happiness. Through study and meditation I learned that happiness really is about being able to set an intention and rest in the present moment. I learned that all we need to is how to navigate through the ebbs and flows of life knowing that everything changes. However, what we can do is design a life full of our utmost enjoyment. Being a Wealthy Yogi and teaching people how to craft their desired life is my mission.

###

About Dr. Roshawnna Novellus: A Wealthy Yogi that helps people achieve their inner an outer goals through smarter financial decisions. Curator of Goal Diggers Club, a community of savvy goal oriented individuals that pride themselves on living a fabulous life. President of Novellus Financial, a concierge style tax and financial strategy firm. Author of Budgeting is More Liberation Than Limitation, a simple guide of how to change your mindset about money so that you can jump-start reaching your dreams.