Comparison isn’t just the thief of JOY, it’s the thief of EVERYTHING. If you are comparing your business, work, kids, marriage, finances, spiritual maturity, smarts, ___[insert whatever it is for you]___ to any other human being on this earth, you will continue to chase your tail and you will MISS YOUR LIFE. I am typing that in all caps, because I was so there. I chased “big” and “more more more” and “the best” and more followers and — you get the picture — for way too long. Until all of those things I had worked so hard to build by comparing myself to others started to crumble. Anyone feeling that way right now?

Seeing people flooding to Vegas for WPPI brings back crystal clear memories of where I was five years ago. When I first went to WPPI in 2009, I was lost. I remember doing whatever I could just to ‘fit in’. I bought new clothes, I stayed up till 4am, I wore my heart into the ground chasing what didn’t matter. Don’t get me wrong, WPPI is a great thing. It’s not WPPI’s fault that I felt lost. It’s not ANYONE or ANYTHING else’s responsibility but YOURS to follow that narrow path. The path that not a whole lot of people follow. The path that leads to lasting JOY. Open the ears of your heart to what matters. Just because everyone is going in one direction, doesn’t mean you should, too. Everyone could be wrong. Follow the narrow path and do YOU.

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“Doing YOU” means owning your core, your art, your flaws and your greatness. Just thinking about “owning your greatness” feels a little weird, right? More people are truly afraid of success than they are of failure. Why? Because success means you will be called to step out from the masses and be a leader. It means you will be authentically YOU. It means saying YES to what matters and NO to what’s holding you back. It means stepping outside of your safe comfort zone and stepping into the potential that you know you have. For me, taking that risk every single day is worth it a billion times over. I am a different person than I was back in 2009 at WPPI with a different life and a clearer heart. I say that with conviction because just about everything in my life has changed except my email address. God is good.

This week, I’ll be joining some of my dearest friends in leading the Making Things Happen Conference for 100 people from all over the world. I couldn’t be more grateful for an opportunity to hopefully instill in each attendee this simple truth: make what matters happen. Forget the rest.

I could go on, but Jesus says it way better than me… Matthew 7:13-27, NIV84

The Narrow and Wide Gates

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

A Tree and Its Fruit

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Friends, build your house on a firm foundation. Stop comparing and start leading. Do YOU.

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So, I got this shiny new site and suddenly I felt paralyzed. I had poured my entire heart into every pixel. The new shop exploded. I had to hire a shop manager ASAP. We sold out of a lot of things way too fast (great problem, I know). There have been a lot of growing pains. Good growing pains and a whole lot of change.


Friends, change is awesome but it’s also scary, isn’t it? Since our company’s growth (like kudzu) doesn’t seem to be slowing down, I’ve been thinking about how much change I’ve endured in my business over the last decade. From it, here are 5 Things I’ve Learned About Business Growth. I hope these little nuggets help you, too.

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1. I tell this to all of my clients, too. Be prepared for sudden growth. Streamline, simplify, automate, pre-stamp envelopes, take out the trash, clear the clutter and give yourself no excuse not to succeed when “Oprah calls”. In general, it is wiser to use your time to get your back-end organized and streamlined internally than to market yourself externally. Do one in preparation for the other. I learned this the hard way when we first launched Southern Weddings in 2008. Our brand exploded onto the market and I wasn’t prepared, so I ended up working 24/7 and my life suffered. My work suffered. I bit off more than I could chew. I kept thinking that “getting bigger” was the goal. If that is your goal, ask yourself WHY. Now I make decisions from my core – a core that is grounded in what matters most to me – and it never fails. Sudden growth still catches me off guard at times, but I’m much better at navigating those waters now with full sails!

2. Done is better than perfect. And another phrase I say to myself often: One thing at a time.

3. In times of busy business, stick to your CORE. It will guide you and help you make efficient decisions quickly. The goal in growth is not to get “bigger,” it’s to get better. You cannot please everyone. And, if you are doing things right and being very specific to your core, you won’t please everyone. That’s a very good thing. Your goal should be to capture a specific loyal audience, not the masses. We’ve had exponential success by following this model in business. When things get crazy around a launch or magazine release, we are all on the same page because we know exactly what our mission is. These are the little desk cards Nicole made for each of us as a reminder of our core and to be sure everything we do aligns with it. How cute is Henrietta? She is our office chicken mascot. Oh yes.

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I don’t have to micromanage anyone in this office ever. They know what our heart is and they are as passionate as I am about making that heart happen. Specific and small are the new big. Follow your core. Say NO to what doesn’t fit your core, and take big risks in saying YES to what does.

4. Growth is exciting, but be sure to prioritize. And “prioritizing” doesn’t mean letting things slide. It means being more efficient. When you add to your company, don’t forget the rest of your business that still has to run and run well. If your core services fall through the cracks and you spread yourself thin, your growth is pointless. So, be prepared, be efficient, get more help if you can’t do it all and grow wisely. Use your time wisely. Get off Facebook. Make things happen.

5. Don’t wait to start your big idea. Growth is scary because it can mean big life change, but isn’t that risk worth it for what you really want?? The timing will never be “perfect.” As my friend Ritchie says in his new book, The Power of Starting Something Stupid, “Don’t wait. Start stuff!” Stuff meaning the things that MATTER. Take risks. Take risks. Take risks! In the midst of huge transition and growing pains and any time you are overwhelmed, just keep choosing what’s right. One. Step. At. A. Time. But, the point is to CHOOSE. Again: Take risks. Take risks. Take risks. Don’t let fear or a state of “overwhelmed” keep you from moving forward. Don’t wait. Start good stuff!

I love this excerpt from Richie’s book: “I refuse to achieve success at the expense of my life. The two – life success and genuine fulfillment – will have to go hand in hand, because I will not keep my head down for the next forty years only to look up at the end and say, “Now I can finally start living!… Don’t wait. Start stuff.”

I use this quote a lot because it’s true: A year from now, you will wish you had started today. What do you need to start? What is your “stupid” idea that you want to make happen? Leave a comment on this post and I’m going to give away another copy of Richie’s book to a random commenter. Even if you entered on Instagram already, enter again if you didn’t win! I’m so blessed to know Natalie and Richie and to have the opportunity to share my story in this book. I hope you grab your copy before it sells out! I just bought 12 for friends, and one for the winner here : ) Can you tell Gracie loves this book, too?

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OK! Speaking of winners, there are LOTS of winners to announce! All randomly chosen. Congrats to Laura Frances, the winner of my Instagram/Facebook giveaway of Richie’s book. You will LOVE it! And congrats to the three random winners chosen to receive prints from my new shop: Annie {little&ever}, Vanessa from V3 Events and Fiona Cheng! Winners, email me and I’ll get your prizes to you!

SINCERE THANKS to everyone who commented about my launch. Your comments made my heart so full! After working so hard on this new site for a year and a half, it is so wonderful to know that you have been inspired. I hope y’all will come back often : )

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This free download and more can be found here.

And really, I want to hear from you so I can hopefully encourage you or pray for you. Don’t wait. Start stuff. Comment below and tell me what you want to start. And don’t be afraid to comment. I know some of you feel that way and you are not alone. Lurk no more and talk to me : )

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Y’all! I just got major butterflies typing this. It’s so surreal to be writing this post about my new brand and shop. Right after I had Grace, I felt a very strong calling to make a new internet home that would inspire people to live their best lives. A year and a half later, I am SO grateful for the brand that you see before you. There are so many professionals who have made this new brand possible. Ross, Alex, Sasha, Dmitri, Dima, Victor, Alina and the team at Flosites have worked countless hours with me to create a site that translated my heart clearly. (Guys, I have sweet tea and biscuits waiting for you if you ever come to NC!) I’ve never felt more at home.

This site would never have happened without the ladies I have the joy of working with daily. They have worked so hard to help me get the finishing touches together. I have the BEST team! Sincere gratitude to Emily, Nicole, Marissa, Kristin and Emily Ley. You are gooder than grits.

My NEW SHOP is filled with products that were created to inspire small creative spaces. We have so many more products yet to be listed – some are being listed as I type this! We are already almost sold out of some items even before hitting publish on this post. My dad always encouraged me to paint when I was young, so this shop is for you dad. I love you. You don’t know it yet, but I’m coming to visit you next week as a surprise : )

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And, friends, I love surprises. So, there are truckloads of fun surprises in this site! Oh, they make me so happy! Rather than tell you all about them, I invite you to experience them for yourself. Pour a tall glass of sweet tea and enjoy! I look forward to sharing this new internet home with you daily and pray that you are inspired to make things happen. Huge thanks to the Blueberry Fusion gents for creating this video that makes my heart burst with joy! A peek into my world…

To celebrate the new launch, I am giving away 3 gold foil prints from my shop and a pair of my favorite shoes. When I became a mama, I decided it was time to give away all of my uncomfortable heels in favor of something better. Tieks to the rescue!


Win a pair of Tieks in any color you like (I want to win my own giveaway!) and gold foil prints by doing one of the following:

- spread the word about the #lclaunch on social media and link back to my site or this post
– like my new Facebook page
– blog about the new site/shop
– Pin this post or anything on this site! There’s a ton to pin : )
– leaving a comment here with your favorite part (there’s a lot to have fun with here!) of my new brand/shop and let me know about any other links or entries you made

Winners will be chosen at random on February 28th and you can enter as many times as you like. Just be sure to leave comments here with your entries!

Friends, God is GOOD. I am so grateful for this journey and for so many who have encouraged and supported me! Thank you thank you! AHHHH!!!! We LAUNCHED!!!!!!!!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

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You want it. IT keeps you up at night, rings in your heart 24/7. IT is your dream. Have you asked for IT? You heard that right… Have. You. Asked. For. IT? You want something so badly and … you want it to fall in your lap. Things do not happen. They are MADE to happen. – John F Kennedy. (more…)

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Oh, hello. How is it nearing the end of January already? If you are like me, with all of this Goal Setting and forward motion and lots of new ideas that have come to me lately, my “Big List”, as I affectionately call it, is exploding. Anyone else feel that way? Anyone else mildly overwhelmed? Today, I’m challenging you to clear the [Massive Seemingly-Never-Ending] To Do List clutter. No tricks. Just efficient, purposeful action. (more…)

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If you had asked me back in 2009 where I would be in five years, I would have NEVER guessed it would be here. As I start this post, it’s a little surreal thinking about how much has changed in my life. Wow. God is good and He made far more happen than I ever thought possible. Five years ago, I got an email from a planner, asking me “How do you make things happen?” (more…)

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This step pulls me out of burn out, overwhelmed and The Rut every single time: giving encouragement. Now before you pass this off as a wishy-washy challenge, turn it around on yourself. What are things other people have done for you recently that changed your mindset, got you moving forward or lifted your spirits to help you make things happen? They probably had no idea how much their encouragement changed you. (more…)

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And this is perhaps the most important post I could give to you. Read this and ACT on it, friends. This is the meat of what makes my world tick! In the name of getting fired up about what’s most important and dedicating your life to your family and being your best self for you AND your business – today I’m giving you the good stuff. The following is a subject that I am passionate about because of how it has changed my life, my marriage, my family and the quality of my work: Boundaries. (more…)

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To name your fears is to destroy them. Are you feeling overwhelmed, in a hurry and stressed as you read this right now? Hello. Welcome to a little mental break. Imagine I’m sitting right in front of you, looking you in the eyes… take a deep breath : ) I have an important question for you today that will hopefully help you feel much better and take some of the weight off your shoulders. Ready? (more…)

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