A motivational self-story
Where I begin
Wherever my head goes, my body follows. I tell myself this every day, even though I don’t really have to. I know it. If I had to define myself in abstract terms, those would be it. I don’t mind being painted with the same brush in both my personal and professional life, because I believe that my business success has been largely driven by my core and my essence, by who I already am as a person. The characteristics and qualities that make me the Cheyanne Brae that many know as a loving and devoted daughter, sister, friend, and spouse-to-be, are the same characteristics that also make me Cheyanne Brae; entrepreneur, renovator, investor, builder, and successful businesswoman.
One fundamental truth that has driven much of my life’s direction is that when I know something in my life isn’t right, I change it. As simple as it may sound, it requires mention, because I’ve learned over the years that I am of the minority in this way of thinking. I’m often puzzled by the predominant mentality of the vast majority; that things happen to us, as people. This sits strangely with me because I believe we create our own reality, or at the very least, we control it. Our actions dictate our outcomes.
I forgot to thank him
Epiphanies come in wildly colored packages sometimes and can be delivered by unconventional methods. Mine came in the form of an inconsequential comment by a passenger while I was working at my job as flight attendant manager. He was very pointedly expressing his displeasure at the level of pepper in the pepper satchel, which seemed to be of great significance to him at that moment. Little did he know the great significance that he was having on me. In that role, I’d been the subject of such mindless callousness many times before, but on this day, at this moment, the impact of this man’s ridiculous outburst was just the swift kick in the rear I’d been needing. This idiot, unbeknownst to him, had just handed me, on a silver platter: my breaking point. I knew at that moment that the time had come for me to make a change. It wasn’t a wish or a possibility, it was a decision.
The moment of clarity
I should qualify that I had been gradually working toward a change already, and this was not an impulsive decision driven by a stranger’s remark. But it was a defining moment in my propulsion forward. In fact, I’m not an impulsive person at all. On the contrary, I am quite methodical and strategic. Everything that I have achieved in my life has been the result of a careful process that I employ inherently:
Thought, action, result. Those three words, in that order, dictate my life.
I walked away from Mr. Pepper Satchel that day heading almost directly into my boss’ office, seeking an unpaid twelve-month leave. Bold? Indeed. But you can see how this was the natural next step in the progression by which I swear. The thought was now embedded inside my head, and it was clear I needed to get into action mode. No sense waiting and hoping that good things come along and change my life for me.
So I took a bold but calculated leap.
My usual approach
I already had a plan. This is a huge part of who I am. I had put a lot of thought into what I was going to do and exactly how I would achieve it. For a period of time, it had been necessary to keep the job I had, the job I was no longer happy with even though I was actively pursuing a new avenue, and it demanded of my full attention. Success is no fluke, it’s hard work. The transition required a dual commitment of me for a period of time. But rather than viewing it as a hindrance or an obstacle, I chose to see the situation as an opportunity to maintain a certain security while advancing my dream.
I’m not one to jump into something blindly. I’m a planner. Part of effective planning is determining the tools you will need to collect in preparation for execution. So I went about identifying the tools I already had and listing the ones I’d need to acquire in order to complete my success kit. For me, much of my tools had to come in the form of knowledge. I was entering an industry I knew little about, so I endeavored to change that.
I read books, attended seminars, and followed every lead that promised discovery. I collected knowledge and proceeded to plan how I would apply that knowledge. I also factored in my own limitations and weaknesses, which are a part of reality. We all have strengths and weaknesses, but it’s how we apply them that matters.
I am happy to admit when I suck at something. It far beats playing wonder woman and attempting to do everything on my own, with mediocre results. For instance, I have neither the aptitude for accounting, nor the desire to learn it, but I wasn’t about to let that be a show-stopper. Accounting is a significant and necessary element in successful business. So the solution was obvious and simple: get an accountant. This was promptly added to my list of tools.
Resources are often right under our noses, without us even being aware of it. At any given moment, you might find yourself in the company of someone who has something to offer you in the way of knowledge or experience that will be of great relevance to you and your success. I’ve always grasped opportunities to seek what I am after. I’ve used the resources at my disposal to my advantage. Another example, while I continued to work at a job I knew I was leaving, rather than simply muddle through my shifts grudgingly counting the hours, I relished the last few moments that I had there, and I made use of the resources that this position offered me. Businessmen, travelers from every walk of life were in my presence every day, many with much to contribute…if I only asked. So I did. Not everyone will graciously divulge of themselves, and it’s important to respect the boundaries of privacy, but for the most part, I found people to be quite willing to share their success stories, and offer advice and helpful tips. You won’t get the answer if you don’t ask the questions, and the worst that can happen is you get turned down, and end up right where you started, no better or worse.
So upon signing the employment leave, the transition for me from planning to execution (thought to action) was now in full swing. Armed with my list of tools, I proceeded to acquire them. Knowledge and learning remained at the top of that list, and I knew where I would get that. I surrounded myself with a team of people who had the knowledge and expertise I lacked. I completed my tool kit and rendered myself fully equipped.
All systems go
A four bedroom home started it all. Applying what I’d already learned through my careful planning stages, I strategically bought a home in a family orientated suburb. I knew it would sell and I would live there until it did. Make no mistake about it, the work was hard, but I have a driven work ethic, so I welcomed the challenge. To save money, I donned the goggles and the gloves, picked up the hammer and started to demolish myself. I did whatever I knew I could do on my own. The rest, I contracted out, and I watched and I learned. This is my business, and I will take full responsibility for its success or its failure. It is fully within my best interest to know as much about my business as is humanly possible to learn. I participated fully in the entire process, making it mine as I absorbed the multiple facets and elements that surrounded me. This first experience would set the course for the next, and so on. So the more I could grasp this time around, the less I would have to pay for the next time.
Luck is for the unprepared. Whoever said that was a genius. My first “flip” was a huge success, and not by accident. All the hard work I put in, the planning, the perseverance, the learning and researching, the pursuing, and the hands-on… the sheer commitment… it all paid off, handsomely. It was incredible to see that even the seemingly menial questions I had asked of innocent passers-by in my life had contributed to my plan coming to complete fruition. As I said, though, action; result. This was the moment of result.
What a rush! I knew then that I was rolling. Not that I had ever had any real doubts, but it was just all real now. I was armed and ready to move on to the next property.
Although I was flying figuratively, the irony is that I was also very much aware that I would not be returning to the friendly skies, at least not in an employment capacity. I love to fly. I fly for fun and for thrills, and my career in the industry had not been an accident either… but I knew now that it was over.
And so it went, and so it goes. I’ve continued along the path I set out for myself, and the results continue to come directly from thought followed by action. That is the story of Cheyanne Brae in a nutshell. Where my mind goes, my body follows.
But of course, the story doesn’t really end there. This major evolution in my life was not at all an isolated event. It is part of who I am and continues to manifest in greater opportunities. In much the same fashion as my pivotal career direction change came to be, various derivatives continue to present obvious new pursuits, opportunities, which I choose to meet halfway with thought and action.
For instance, my building experience quickly revealed an industry-wide need for a financial tool to help to new investors crunch the numbers in the early stages. I thought of it, took action, and the results are incredible. Workshops are another great opportunity for me to supplement my income streams while providing a much-needed training service within the industry.
By offering my knowledge, I create an opportunity for others to succeed. What they do with it is their choice.
To the aspiring entrepreneurs reading this; I have offered here only a taste of what’s to come, but certainly enough to get you thinking. I hope you will stay tuned and read my book next year.
Success comes in many shapes and colors and it really comes down to each one of us deciding for ourselves what it is that we want out of life, and then going out and getting it. I know it sounds like a cliché but it’s true. Limitations are usually self-imposed. I have little sympathy for those who wish they had riches and do absolutely nothing to achieve it.
My mother raised us alone, on a dime, and yet she somehow managed to instill in my brother and me that whatever we wanted, we could have. She quite literally told me to figure out what I wanted in life and set out a plan to make it happen. Lists became a constant companion of mine. Some have blankies or stuffed toys, I had lists of things I was going to acquire. My upbringing certainly played a huge role in my approach to life.
Today, I have a successful business and wonderful partner in life, who by the way is also a business partner, and a significant contributor to my success. Much of what I’ve accomplished thus far was done so in partnership with Chris. We are truly a team in every sense of the word, and come the summer, we’ll seal the deal in a ceremony of marriage.
So please, dear readers, take from this what is pertinent, and what can help you in your pursuits. Collect these tips I offer as I collected those of others, and utilize every morsel to your advantage. Life won’t hand you your future. Define it for yourself, plan it, and go make it happen.