Life Coaching Articles

Purpose and Power: What Are You Creating?

your purposeThroughout each day, we receive several opportunities to live our purpose. Every decision we make is a choice to live that purpose or not. We can choose to live a life of creating outcomes or one of escaping circumstances. Each generates a result, but only one paves the way for our purpose and the meaningful results our purpose creates in our lives and in the lives of those we touch. This choice, to create or escape, is our power. It’s the sword we wield to command outstanding and rewarding results.

Whether we realize it or not, Continue reading

Peace, Faith and Waiting: What to Do When We Hate the Wait

peace, faith and waiting

Living in faith is a four-step process:

1.  Ask God what to do.
2.  Listen for the answer.
3.  Act in faith on His guidance.
4.  Repeat until the goal is achieved.

Today, we are focusing on Step 3: Act in faith on His guidance and specifically, how to find peace when God asks us to…. …. …. wait…. and then… …. wait a little more and then ……….. wait until what feels like an eternity has passed us by (woof).

It is a fact: Continue reading

2 Steps to Resist Restlessness and Reclaim Your Joy | Life Coach Article

Often times on our path, we hit a moment (or several) of wanting to be further ahead. We want to be over the mountain and through the woods. We feel ready to be there and flying high in our accomplishments. The reality, and much to our dismay, is that we aren’t there causing us to not experience joy. God hasn’t placed us at the finish line just yet. Our time has not come and we sit waiting and squirming like a toddler in church until the last hymn is sung.

What happens when we want to skip ahead of God’s plan? We begin to Continue reading

Finding Peace in the Unknown

finding peaceWe are raised to know that if we do x, then y and z will occur. If we study hard, we will get good grades. If we are disciplined, our skills will improve. If we do our chores, we will receive a reward. But when we transition into adulthood, it’s not so simple anymore. If we go on a dates, we may not find our true love. If we work our butts off, we may not get the promotion we want. If we take a leap of faith and release aspects of our lives, we may not know what will happen. It can be exhilarating and daunting all at the same time. The future is ambiguous. Most of us aren’t equipped to respond to that uncertainty and will instead spend it in anxiety and stress. We don’t have peace. And what happens when we live in the stress and anxiety? We are more likely to move away from our goals and perhaps, choose the worst-case scenario — quit building towards our dreams altogether.

I’m here to tell you that if you feel anxiety, stress, discouragement and frustration or have abandoned your dreams, you don’t have to feel that way and you can hold those dreams close to you and create peace in your journey. You can take power over your path once again and live peacefully as you travel towards the light at the end of the tunnel. You can do this by understanding one simple truth:

If it’s in your heart, it’s meant for you. It will ultimately happen.

God places our purposes in our hearts; sometimes, he gives us one grand view and at other times, he dangles the carrot so we move an inch closer to the dream he has given to us. It’s our compass and it’s how we know where to go. The result? Feeling total meaning and joy. Not a bad deal, right? God gives us a purpose, we know that the contents of our heart is our beacon and if we can stay the course, we will be fulfilled (Pretty rad stuff if you ask me).

What’s in your heart? What is it that you want for your life? What is it that you want for today? That is your path. Inch by inch, mile by mile. Follow it. Live it. Create peace in your path.

 

Have you made a leap of faith or chosen to turn a page in your life despite the uncertainty that awaits you? If so, tell us about it! We love these stories!!

Insights to Happiness | Coaching Challenge

Did you all read Elisa’s story from our last post? What a major life lesson she shared with us! She did and had everything you can think of that could make a human being happy, yet she wasn’t. She had a great job, she and her team performed like all-stars, she purchased a new home, had a fantastic local support system and she traveled the globe and volunteered in something she is passionate about. Looking at Elisa’s life from a high-level view – we can all say “Wow. She’s made it. She must feel overwhelming joy and happiness.”

But what Elisa shares with us is that even though she had her biggest year ever and accomplished several of her goals, she didn’t feel happy. More importantly, she shares with us that the lack of Continue reading

Make Your New Years Resolution About Time | Creating The Best Year Ever

The other day I was listening to some talk radio and the host brought up the point that we humans in our modern world should have an incredible amount of free time compared to our grandparent’s day and age. With the technology of the dishwasher, we can hit a button and have our dishes cleaned while we do something else. We can drive up to a restaurant, never leave our cars and have dinner in about 3 minutes. And in fact, we can have toilet paper and other necessities placed on our doorstep so we never have to leave the house (Hallllllo! We have Amazon!)! But with all that extra free time – he posed the question – What are we doing with it?

If I’m going to be honest with myself, I would say I spend a lot of it perusing facebook, texting with someone, watching the latest show on tv, getting fired up about world issues or our political climate and then spend resulting time feeling irritated or depressed about our current events. I’m not creating a focused or productive environment for myself. I’m filling up my time with entertainment, which does not align with my goals for myself.

So this is what I want you to spend 5 minutes doing today. A short exercise. Continue reading

My Biggest Year and I Wasn’t Happy | Elisa Shares Her Eye Opening Experience

I choose happiness. That’s what I do. I choose it. I’ve always known it’s a choice and so that is what I live by. But this last year – no. Didn’t happen. It was one of the biggest years of my life and I wasn’t happy and in fact, I couldn’t choose to be happy no matter what I told myself.

I moved to a new city for a promotion. I became Manager. I served a team of 5 and we absolutely killed it. Each year our company awards 3 people in the entire organization ‘all-star’ of the year; all 3 winners were from my team. And everyone on the team surpassed their sales quotas and made a ton of money.

It’s easy to say ‘Oh it was a money driven year; that’s why she couldn’t be happy’. But not true. I also Continue reading

Leading the Way | Jamal Robinson, Entrepreneur and Visionary (Part 2)

Desiar Jamal Robinson

In Part 1 of our interview with Jamal Robinson, Entrepreneur and Owner of Desiar Eyewear, Jamal shared with us his insights, lessons learnt and personal philosophies that push him forward. This week, learn more about the man and the driving forces behind his success.

Part 2: Be Inspired | An Interview with Jamal Robinson

V-of-G: What does the word ‘success’ mean to you?

Jamal: Success to me is family; it’s the driver for of who I am. No matter the amount of worldly or monetary success I achieve, that’s what is important. It’s leaving a legacy. I want to make my family proud and leave something for the world that wouldn’t be around if I wasn’t there.

 

V-of-G: Who inspires you?

Jamal: The older I get, the better understanding I have of family. My grandparents for example; hearing their stories, they really inspire me. Hearing about my ancestors inspires me. My mom and dad inspire me. My dad was in multi-level marketing and listened to motivational speeches on tapes. He would play these when we would go on soccer trips. Those messages were engrained in me early on. My mom, she is a hustler; she works harder than anyone I know. I get my work ethic from the both of them.

And then I also look up to people like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, to name a few. I really like to study people. I studied Daymond John when I got started. I really like to study Jay-Z and people like that. I put a lot of effort in reading up on them and watching their moves.

 

V-of-G: What daily habits or routines keep you focused and motivated?

Jamal: My family. Everything I do is for my family. I can’t take my foot off the gas pedal because I’ve made a commitment.

I’ve committed to myself my expectations of life. I’ve committed to being an entrepreneur. I’ve committed to global impact. I’ve committed to wanting to impact others for the better. I’ve committed to running successful business ventures. I committed to these things and committed that to myself. What keeps my eye on the prize, I have a family and beautiful girlfriend that, God willing, will one day be my wife. I’ve committed to being a provider for our family. Those things are what keep me going.

V-of-G: If you could give a gift to everyone on this planet, what would it be?

Jamal: Love. I think that is the one thing that everyone can share with everybody. If you take away hate, prejudice and instead you give love, you receive it. It’s the ultimate gift.

 

V-of-G: What change do you want to see in this world?

Jamal: That people believe in themselves; I think that belief enables people to go beyond their own expectations. I think that is one thing as I mature and get older, that drives me to be successful (besides being a competitive person). It’s also for the little boy or girl seeing that if I can do it – they can do it too. That belief can’t stop you. At the core of our accomplishments is belief. That’s a change I’d love to see in the world from the most senior person to the youngest. There is never a limit to believing.

Check out Desiar’s latest product offering #MadeInIndiana – produced in Huntertown, IN!

hoosiereyewear

Where can you buy Desiar Eyewear? Find their product lines at www.desiar.com, Longe Optical and Christopher James Menswear in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Products will soon be available in Houston, Texas.

V-of-G: What is your role in developing that change?

Jamal: My vision is to change the world in business and philanthropy by creating global enterprises that enables others to live their dreams. What that breaks down to is the companies or the charitable organizations that I’m a part of, align myself with people whose vision is to do just that. So no matter the industry or sector, that is what I feel my role and responsibility is as a businessman and entrepreneur – to create, start, run, grow businesses and bring along team members that are passionate about that entity or that business. And do that, not just in a confined area, but in a global perspective. And the same front for the non-profit sector too. My role is just moving up my vision, creating global enterprises that help others pursue their dreams. As long as I keep that vision in me, I’ll feel like I’m doing my duty in this world.

 

V-of-G: How has spirituality played a role in your success?

Jamal: I’m a Christian and I believe that God has a destiny for me. I’m just on the road He’s laid out.

At the beginning of the morning, I think that anything that happens after this point is a bonus. And when I go to the sleep, that’s a double bonus. I made it through the day.

If I don’t go sleep today and God takes me, then I’m okay with that because I know where I’m going. And that’s all based on Faith.

 

V-of-G: How do you know how to identify God’s guidance?

Jamal: God has always been with me; I just haven’t always been on the same page as him. He is with all of us. But we have to acknowledge his presence and also what’s required of us. That’s part of being human. He gives us options and it’s up to us to decipher. It’s acknowledging he is with us; temptations will always be around and that is the decision he gives us. There is nothing we can do about that. But for me, it’s just acknowledging his presence and being as intentional as I can with doing what’s right. I’ll always fall short, there is only one perfect person. But I don’t have to intentionally fall short and say ‘Oh well, God has my back’. I need to always learn and do better. The more I expose and dive into the bible or going to church or putting myself around spiritual leaders, the more perspective I have.

 

V-of-G: What advice do you have for someone who has a dream?

Jamal: I believe in you. Anything you want in life, you can make happen. The quote I love the most is by Steve Jobs – “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” That’s my encouragement to anyone.

I believe in you; there are no limits in life, just take a look around. Follow the 4 words. If you have the dream, believe it. If you believe it, do it. If you do it, repeat it – success or failure; start the process again.

 

V-of-G: What advice do you have for someone who finds themselves discouraged as they work towards their goal?

Jamal: My advice would be “I’ve been there too.” We all get down; we are human. It’s not bad to feel that way. You don’t have to sulk in it or pay attention to it. We all fall short. If you are feeling down or not able to reach your goals, it’s okay. You took a swing; and that is the biggest part. You are taking action. You have 2 options in life: you can sit where you are at or you can say you want to do something different. Each second of the day we have a choice. I would encourage them to acknowledge they are in that space and it’s okay to feel down. But also, you have an option to pick yourself up. We’ve all been there.

 

 

This concludes our interview with Jamal Robinson, Entrepreneur, Visionary and Philanthropist. Please leave your comments and let us know what you think!

Leading the Way | Jamal Robinson, Entrepreneur and Visionary (Part 1)

Jamal Robinson-social

Jamal Robinson: Doer, Visionary, Love

Occupation: Entrepreneur and Owner of Desiar Eyewear, Founder and Chairman of Believe In The Dream, Inc.

Alma Mater: IPFW (A.S. Business Management)

Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Age: 28

This month, we met with Jamal Robinson, Entrepreneur, Owner and Designer of hand-crafted, luxury brand eyewear, Desiar, and Founder and Chairman of Believe in A Dream, Inc, a non-profit providing mentorship and development of children in Northeast, Indiana. Truly inspired by Jamal’s energetic and tenacious approach to life, work and play, we here at Verge of Greatness had to ask him how he continues to innovate and push forward on his path to success – in all things life and work. Here’s our interview with Jamal.

Note: Because Jamal gave us so many juicy morsels of wisdom and insight; we had to split the article into two parts! Be sure to stay tuned for Part 2 where you will discover more about Jamal, his vision and his key advice for those following their dreams.

Part 1: Be Inspired | An Interview with Jamal Robinson

V-of-G: To get started, tell us about Desiar.

Jamal: The name came from ‘desire’. It started in my college dorm room, basically bedazzling sunglasses with Swarovski Crystals. I saw a video with R Kelly; he had diamond glasses. I couldn’t afford to buy them so I decided to make them myself. I bought a couple packs of crystals and started prototyping. I would wear them to nightclubs and people started commenting on them. They would take them off my head and take pictures with them. And that was really the start.

I did that for several years; I was really interested in fashion and music and the whole lifestyle. I would sneak back stage and try to get a pair of glasses to a celebrity and one of the times it worked; that celebrity was Soulja Boy. It was really a confidence booster to continue the journey of designing.

Desiar in a nutshell, I always kept the core the same: ‘Design with innovation with unique materials. How can we incorporate those things into the product?’ It started with custom sunglasses. And then I realized I couldn’t make a lot; I was working with a partner at the time who said let’s make the glasses overseas. Now, the core is still the same: Design, Innovation, Unique Materials. I’m always looking for how I can differentiate from typical eyewear.

 

V-of-G: How has Desiar evolved since its infancy?

Jamal: From a product standpoint, we are always improving and focusing on the quality of the product. I still have the first glasses we made and tons of samples from the crystal line. At the time, I was so pumped about those glasses like I am with our current line. Our product line is always getting better; I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from a manufacturing standpoint.

From a growth standpoint, I went to pitch to Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear company. At the time, I was buying glasses from the mall kiosk and bedazzling them on my parent’s kitchen table. And I went to the world’s largest, most reputable eyewear company and I told them we were the hottest thing and they needed to buy our products. I was 21 at the time. They kindly laughed me out of their offices, but I told them I would come back.

4 years later, I did come back and they purchased our product. We were sold throughout the US through their channels. It was a sign of never giving up; it was a small win and a big win because they bought our product. I’m understanding the distribution portion of our business better and better every year.

I will never say I will never have it all figured out. I am enjoying the process of learning of how can I be better, how can I take care of our customers better, how can I represent brand better. For evolution of me, it’s ‘How can I be better?’

 

V-of-G: How have you evolved?

Jamal: I’m intentional on progress. I don’t take success as accidental; I don’t think it’s lucky. I may get a break but I’m just intentional on being better every day. That’s something when I started Desiar, I just didn’t know or have the experience. But the more life experiences I have, the more perspective I have on how I can be better. I put myself around people that are better, smarter, more talented than me and just try to soak it up as much as I can. I try to learn as much as I can and I’m intentional about that. I don’t take it for granted, nor do I think things will come to me. If I hear or see something that could be of benefit, I take action. You never know which opportunities could go by you if you don’t say something.

 

V-of-G: Tell us about your slogan. ‘Dream. Believe. Do. Repeat!’

Jamal: It’s a motto I have about life; it’s a saying I love to talk to young people about – just believing in themselves. With my parents being encouraging to think outside of the box, I knew that if I wanted something, I could go do it. If I worked hard enough, I could get it. When I went off to school, I realized my peers didn’t grow up in that same environment. I started speaking at my high school. My speech was around these 4 words.

If you can dream it, you can believe it. If you can believe it, you can do it. If you have done it, you can repeat it.

The only thing that stops us in life is ourselves. If I were to fail, crash and burn with Desiar – if I stop — that’s on me. But I’m going to repeat the process. I’ve had left and right turns with Desiar but as I get those right turns, I continue to grow. I repeat the process so I keep growing. I never stop dreaming because if I do, I put a limit on where it can go.

V-of-G: What has been your biggest challenge or hurdle? How did you overcome it?

Jamal: Personally, being prideful is a challenge. When I was younger I wanted things because of what they looked like and I would do things to show off, which wasn’t the right reason to be successful. I didn’t overcome it; God did. God can humble you quickly. Pride can be something that can kill you quick and I’ve seen it and experienced it. For me faith is a driving force for my life. God is definitely continuing to work on me and make sure that the aspect of pride is quieted. If not, it can distract and has distracted me.

I’ve also failed a lot. I tried tons of businesses before Desiar. I’ve lost investor’s money. It’s the dark side of being an entrepreneur. I’ve learned a lot through these trial and errors. The first line I ever did had a lot of details, the adhesive was faulty. It was all the money I had to invest. Being a 20-something and having all my eggs in, I couldn’t even sell 1/3 of the product. That is something I learned and had to get through.

Every time I step up to swing, I swing for a homerun but don’t always hit it. I’ve learned a lot between the lessons and failures but I think that gives me the eye of distinction of what I do today. I’ve never given up and I won’t give up. From what I’ve seen about the people I read about, it’s perseverance. I believe in it; I’ll figure it out. I’ll work harder and learn more.

Some of Desiar’s customers include entertainment artists and professional athletes Soulja Boy, Kaiya Wolff, Trey Songz, Jimmy Butler and Spencer Kane!

Desiar-eyewear_Soulja Boy      Jimmy Butler-DESIAR

Kaiya Wolff      Spencer Kane

Trey Songz_DESIAR

V-of-G: What keeps you moving forward in the face of adversity?

Jamal: I could be naive but my vision is way bigger than the obstacles that come today. I have a beautiful girlfriend, a family, 10 nieces and nephews. They all look at me; I imagine my own kids one day, I’ll never give up. If I quit, what does that show them? If I win big or if I lose big, I always keep my word, even in my losses. I’ve always remained honest with myself and others in my successes and failures.

The reason I do what I do is bigger than me. It comes down to Legacy and Family. And if my nieces and nephews and one day my children and wife, God willing, can be okay with what I’m doing and where I’m at in life, I’ll always fight for them and persevere for them.

No matter what the outer world thinks, I fight for myself because I know what God has given me and I won’t let those talents go to waste.

Hearing about other people’s journeys help too. That’s what I love about bio’s and memoirs, reading up about people, studying people. Steve Jobs left Apple at 1 share and got kicked out of his own company at age 30. Elon Musk left Paypal with $180B and invested all of it in new projects and he ended up having to borrow money for rent! And Walt Disney, too. For those people to get where they got, it was by no means overnight. I just have to continue to remind myself to never let my highs be too high or my lows be too low.

 

V-of-G: What has been your biggest success thus far – in your company, in your life?

Jamal: For Desiar, distribution to Luxottica. I mentioned the story of going in there 4 or 5 years earlier and them saying no thank you and coming back and placing an order for distribution. They typically don’t do that with independent brands. Along with that, I’ve had partners along the way that have believed in my vision that have supported the venture financially. I have a lot of skin in the game, and my partners have skin in the game. Having people that believe in where the business is going and your vision as the leader has also been a success. You can’t survive without having the capital. I started with no money. I literally started from nothing. Again, to go through the journey, having support has been a success.

For my life, enjoying the process and understanding this is all a process. That has been the fun part to me. It’s never ending. That’s maturity or understanding; life is a process. That is the biggest success.

I’m on this journey but God is in control. I can plan all I want, set goals all I want, be committed all I want but at the end of the day, I’m not in control. It’s knowing that but being intentional about what I can control.

 

V-of-G: What do you attribute your success to? What are the keys to success?

Jamal: Perseverance and really believing in myself and my vision. No matter if it’s a business or raising capital or in life, a lot of people said no. If had stopped, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Perseverance has a lot to with that and I also believe in what I do. And since I believe in what I do, I make it happen.

 

V-of-G: What volunteer or extra-curricular activities are you involved with?

Jamal: I’m very passionate about the youth. I take that from my dad. He worked in Ft. Wayne Community Schools for 20 years which included my high school. I hated it at the time but now I hear stories that my dad really helped a lot of students get through school or family or relationship issues; he was a conflict mediator. I get that passion for youth from my dad since I’ve seen that he has made over people’s lives.

When I started my for-profit business, at the same time, I started my non-profit which is called Believe In A Dream, Inc. I am the current Chairman of the board and Founder of the organization. We have 3 core areas: Business Education, Math and Sciences, and Performing Arts. We primarily focus on Northeast Indiana with that core mission.

I’m also on the board of Ft. Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce, Ft. Wayne Community School Foundation Board, United Way of Allen County Board and The Doermer School of Business (IPFW) Alumni Association Board.

 

V-of-G: What’s next for Desiar?

Jamal: We are opening our first retail kiosk in Houston, TX in August. It’s a part of our distribution plan. We are looking to open 2 by end of year and 5-10 in the Southeast by next year. We are also in final stages of doing a revision for the Made in Indiana line. I’ll be able to get out the second version by the fall.

 

***Stay tuned for Part 2 of Jamal’s insightful interview and learn more about creating, expanding and developing possibilities in your life and business.