Today is a guest post from Debbie Vinyard from happyfirst.com. We met through Spark&Hustle over on twitter.com. We both attended the same event, but unfortunately only met through twitter. From all the guest bloggers she is the person I’ve known for the shortest amount of time, and so I am honored that she responded to my request. I love her spirit, and I am so happy I get to share this post with you all! Please visit her company’s website and support what she is doing at happyfirst.com. This is a narrative of her time in Florida during hurricane Debby!
Look at your life as one big adventure….
I’m sitting here with my husband and 2 boys (one is on the computer, the other asleep on the couch) looking out at the ocean from our rented beach house in the Florida panhandle. We were kinda bummed driving in Saturday, as Hurricane Debby was coming in (hmmm, my name is Debbie!). It rained all day yesterday. I’m an optimist so I just decided it was going to be fun and an adventure no matter what happened. It is just great to be on vacation, take a break and re-energize. Our friends are flying in today.
Anyway, it is funny how people are put in my path every day-you just have to look! I went to the Dallas Spark and Hustle convention (for entrepreneurs) last week and that is how I connected with Gloria Marie. I don’t even think we met in person, it was after the event that we connected online. And I just love her! I think we have a lot in common; we both love to inspire others.
A little bit about me – I have always been an optimist and an entrepreneur. I have always loved life and looked at it as a big adventure. There are not enough hours in the day to do all that I want to do! I have been an entrepreneur since I was in junior high, started making and selling candles from my kitchen. In college, I started out majoring in fashion illustration, but somehow ended up in accounting and getting my CPA. I was always good with numbers and figured I would make more money with an accounting versus a fashion degree. Did the whole public accounting then corporate thing. Hated it. I learned you must follow your passion! While still in the corporate world and then after I stayed home and had kids I started some businesses on the side, including a clothing line, an aerobic clothing store, embroidering baby bibs, and designing stationery.
In 1995 When my second son was only 6 weeks old, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Went through chemotherapy and radiation. (go to http://happyfirstblog.com/2011/my-hodgkins-lymphoma-survivor-story/ to read my story) While going through this, I kept telling myself I was going through it for a reason, that there was a bigger plan for me. And I think that plan was to encourage and inspire others. Years later, in 2007 I launched HappyFirst.com – a fun, hip clothing line-tee shirts, hoodies, yoga wear and baby and toddler stuff too.
The egg is my logo-represents new beginnings, breaking out of your shell. I believe that everyone has creativity inside and they will be happiest when they discover it and use it! My quote has been “find your passion and pursue it”-well, something happened with my tees-one of our popular tees is “Happy Chick” with an egg. Then a friend suggested doing a “Hippie Chick” with a peace sign in the egg and from there the Chick tees took off-people wanted Yoga Chick, Runner Chick, Tennis Chick, etc-coming out with new ones all the time! In fact, we will be coming out with “Chick” baseball caps in the next few weeks! So Happy First has also turned into a way to express your passion One of my friends is shy, but she said when she wears our tees she can connect with others because it is a way to strike up conversation.
Back to this morning. It wasn’t raining so I decided to take off for a run. I thought it would be a good way to brainstorm what to write about for Gloria Marie. Well, I take pictures all the time and was taking a picture of a Starbucks with palm trees (we have that in common Gloria Marie!) and another runner came up to me and said, “are you taking a picture of that bear? BEAR???? WHAT BEAR???? I turned around and there was a huge black bear across the highway!!! I tried to get some pics, got one where you can “bearly” see him! So I made a new friend (the runner not the bear), as I usually do, and we pointed out the bear to other runners and then I told the people hanging out at the Starbucks. Then, I got back to our beach house and there was a huge rainbow stretching across the ocean!
So what is my point in all of this? I don’t know! Not really! I think my point in all this is that you need to be open to all the adventures that lie ahead of you. Take time with yourself and think about what you love to do. See my blog post Find your passion and pursue it to help you get started then just do it! You don’t have to quit your job or drastically change your life, just start adding some creativity to your life. And see what happens….
About Debbie Vinyard
A dreamer, a doer and a survivor, Debbie’s fun-loving approach to living is the spirit behind Happy First – a company devoted to inspiring people to pursue their passions and discover their infinite capacity for true happiness. Visit happyfirst.com and the Happy First Blog, follow on twitter, or like on facebook!
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