Monthly Archives: January 2013

Flying Solo

Today’s blog is brought to you by my good friend, client and Marketing Rep for Presidential Lifestyle, Toya Nicole. She is a go-getter who finds her way around the world with ease.


This past October I went on an AMAZING 7 day Italian vacation to Venice, Florence and Rome. I traveled with a group of 4 close friends and once there we met up with our travel group of over 20 people. It was great to sight-see,  shop and indulge in food and wine with a group of great people!

After returning home I had a conversation with an associate of mine. She said something that really perplexed me: “When I’m blessed to be wealthy and I get a husband I want to travel too!”

**PAUSE** Say What??

I was confused as to why a working woman in her 30’s would be waiting on a man or sudden rush of wealth before stepping outside her city and enjoying a vacation! I told her to take advantage of the freedom and flexibility she has now as a single to travel and that there are tons of great travel deals available.

That really got me thinking about how many people aren’t traveling because they can’t find friends, family or significant others to go along with them. That’s should not stop you. Plenty of people I know (married and single) opt to travel solo at least once a year to getaway and enjoy some “me time”.

You don’t have to wait on anyone; plan a solo trip on your own!

Here are some tips on how to plan and make the best of flying solo on vacation:

1.       Do your Research

First  determined where you want to jet set off to, then figure out your itinerary! There are plenty of online resources available to help you figure out where to dine, shop, entertain and explore. Trip Advisor and Yelp! are my go-to sites because of the rankings, traveler photos and user reviews included that give you an idea of what to really expect. Official city websites also provide event calendars, maps and comprehensive information on local tours. You can even walk into a nearby travel agency to chat with the “experts” about your upcoming plans, no obligation to book your trip with them!

A married friend of mine recently parlayed a work trip to Albuquerque, NM into her first solo weekend getaway to Santa Fe. Once she found out she was going to Albuquerque, she started searching for Santa Fe deals and was able to find a Hotel + Spa deal on Groupon Getaways. Since she was originally there for work she didn’t have to pay for the flight or rental car, she only had to cover her personal expenses that weekend! Based on online reviews she found nice places to dine and do some shopping. It was an awesome trip!

2.       Be Friendly

Even though you are on the trip to enjoy being with yourself, making connections while there can make the trip more interesting. Don’t be afraid to casually chat with the hotel bartender or smile at other tourists you see while out and about. Maybe you can link up with another group of people to go to dinner or a local tour with so you don’t feel so alone, if that is an issue for you. I find that when people are on vacation they are much more open to meeting new people and making “fast friends”.

Before I moved to Chicago, I spent a weekend there ALONE! The friend I was supposed to meet up with ended up having to travel to Atlanta, so I found myself flying solo and instead of staying in the hotel, pouting and ordering room service, I got out! I went to see “Wicked the Musical” and ended up on a row with 2 other people traveling to Chicago solo. We chatted during intermission and after the show and they gave me ideas of other places to check out.

3.       Be Safe

I think it goes without saying that while you are traveling you should always be aware of your surroundings.  Make sure you pick a travel destination that is known to be safe and recommended for tourist travel.

The U.S. Dept of State updates their international travel warnings and details on locations to avoid daily.

(see link: )

Even when you are at a safe resort, precautions should still be taken:

-When you check in at the hotel, ask for 2 keys and let them know someone else will be joining you later.

-Try not to be outside of your hotel late at night, if you do, have a cab called ahead of time so you aren’t spotted walking down the streets alone.

– Don’t leave the hotel with your passport, keep it locked in the hotel room safe. You don’t want to risk it being stolen or lost while you are out and about.

Our interests in certain activities and travel won’t always align with our friends and family. Don’t be afraid to travel and venture out on your own and make the most of your time away.

Have you taken a solo trip? How was your experience? Tell us about it.

Toya Nicole is a savvy marketing consultant, storyteller, chocoholic, music lover, world traveler and bargain finder from Chicago. Stay in touch with her as she blogs about life lessons and all things travel on her blog: and Twitter @MsTravelChic.


Focus on C.A.L.M. to create a peaceful life


Harmony (Photo credit: Jamison Wieser)


This year’s blog is going to focus on Career And Lifestyle Management. All year I will work to give you a little wisdom here and there about pursuing your business goals without losing sight of your personal goals. It is important to excel in your career but you cannot neglect your personal life in the process. Understand that the word management does not translate into the word balance. However, it can translate into the word harmony.

Harmony is different than balance. You have harmony when things move together at a different rate, temperature or pitch. They move in a way so that they compliment each other, not compete with each other. When you listen to an orchestra all the instruments are not playing at the same time at the same pitch. Balance by definition means equal. You have to apply the same amount of weight on one side that you have on the other. Your career and personal life can move together in concert like an orchestra. They do not have to be balance. You only have so many days and hours in a week and in order to afford to have a personal life you have to give a good majority of your time to your business life.

Your work may call for you to spend 75% of your time at work and 25% of your time with your family. This may be the best you can do, the most realistic mix for the lifestyle you want to live. In a later blog I will give you a formula on how to figure out exactly how much time you spend in each area in your life. Once you have this answer you can decide if that is the life that you desire or decide if you need to make adjustments.

Do you want to love your life? Well in order to do that you have to have the right mix of career & lifestyle. You have to know when to do what you have to do verses what you want to do. Knowing where to apply the delicate mix between hard work, discipline, and sacrifice along with experiencing the attitude of carefree enjoyment makes for a harmonies life. It is not easy; it takes practice and attention but you can do it. We will figure it out together. I will share with you what I learn and you can share what you learn; the result will be our happy lives.

Harmony…Now That’s Presidential!

The Bright Side of Divorce

When I endeavored to write something bright and positive on a subject as dark as divorce, I thought about some of the most common reasons that people give for staying in bad marriages. Reasons like, they would be breaking a covenant with God, the negative impact on the kids and finances, and being lonely and possibly never marrying again. There are more, but after a while they all start sounding like excuses to stay in a bad situation; more out of fear and comfort than out of any real belief that it would be pleasing to God, best for the kids and financially or emotionally profitable. To illustrate and support my beliefs, I offer my own personal defenses and also provocative quotes from writers who have found eloquent words to convey the smart, brave and responsible reasons for choosing happiness.

I’m breaking covenant with the person God sent to me: God didn’t put most people together. Most people put themselves together with a person they were drawn to based on superficial things like physical attraction, financial security, and biological clocks ticking out of control. If it was deeper than that – for example, love and companionship, it was still most likely guided by your own personal feelings and not some spiritual experience. Having a wedding in a church does not make it a spiritual union. I’m a Christian, but when I married my husband at age 26, I didn’t dare ask God’s opinion for fear he would discourage me. I loved my fiancée with all my heart and did what I wanted to do at the time. Well, we’re divorced now. Turns out, we were husband and wife, but not friends.  As difficult as it was, I was brave enough to choose happiness for myself and we divorced. By doing that, I gave myself the chance to be in a relationship today with a man who is my best friend and confidante; something I never knew was possible.

“What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else.”
― Stephanie KleinStraight Up and Dirty: A Memoir

The kids will suffer: They might; but not nearly as much as they will as a result of spending their childhood in a home filled with negative energy. It is very important for children to see their parents lovingly interact with each other. Not only does it teach them what to expect and seek in their own intimate relationships later, but it also fosters a sense of security. Children who grow up in homes where there is constant tension, fighting or just obvious distance between their parents, are always on edge; always mindful that at any moment, all hell could break loose and it could all be over. So you’re not doing your kids a favor by subjecting them to you and your spouse’s dysfunction. You may think you are being selfless and making an honorable sacrifice, but staying in a bad marriage for this reason is actually selfish. Children are very resilient. If you and your spouse act maturely and responsibly and separate in such a way that puts them first, they will be fine. Children are better off in a one parent peaceful environment than in a hostile one with two parents.

“Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy’s staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.”
― Jennifer WeinerFly Away Home

My finances will suffer: As miserable as it is to be in a broken relationship, it’s hard for me to believe that anyone would worry about finances more than getting to a point of peace. But if this is a concern, I can only offer that happiness and optimism breed productivity and success. The negative energy that is present in bad relationships can drain your energy and enthusiasm,   making it impossible to focus on going to the next level professionally. Without even realizing it, your self-esteem plummets and the confidence you need to go for a promotion or new job is non-existent. Taking a stand for yourself and your happiness is empowering and makes you feel like you can do anything. If you have that, the sky is the limit.

“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying…”
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love:

I don’t want to go back to being single and lonely: Loneliness sucks, but chances are you were already lonely if your relationship was bad. Couples who don’t want to be together anymore are normally emotionally distant; so much so that you can feel alone even when you’re together. When I was married, there were many times that I felt lonely when my husband was right beside me. I would want to talk but his body language and short, disinterested responses clearly conveyed that he did not.  Also, dispel the myth that being single is synonymous with being lonely. Being single is wonderful when you love life and yourself! It’s a magical time when everything can finally revolve around YOU. You can take a trip, change jobs, go back to school or plan a weekend trip with your friends without having to “OK” it with anyone. If you’re choosing to look at it from only the perspective of not having a partner, you’re missing the beauty of it. Besides, the happier, more confident “you” is more likely to attract and keep the attention of a great guy or girl that you’re truly compatible with.

“I remember one desolate Sunday night, wondering: Is this how I´m going to spend the rest of my life? Married to someone who is perpetually distracted and somewhat wistful, as though a marvelous party is going on in the next room, which but for me he could be attending?”
― Suzanne Finnamore,   Split: A Memoir of Divorce

Conclusion:  I’ll end simply with the following quote:

 “Your relationship may be “Breaking Up,” but you won’t be “Breaking Down.” If anything, you’re correcting a mistake that was hurting four people: you and the person you’re with; not to mention the two people who you were destined to meet.”
― D. Ivan YoungBreak Up, Don’t Break Down

Choosing happiness….Now that’s Presidential

Felicia is a Writer/Editor and Attorney. You can find her blogs at: Lounge Around Atlanta ( and The Other Half of the Journey ( As I mentioned she worked on The Art of Starting Over. She has a writing and editing service: Word Mogul (website: email:

Your commitment to happiness

An emoticon with a smile. For more emoticons i...

As they say, Don’t worry…be happy!

How hard is it for you to be happy? Have you tried? I mean really tried. And by trying I don’t mean have you demanded that people do things your way or have you grinned and bared it? That’s not what happiness is about.

When you are flexible you will find that people are a lot more willing to do things your way. It just flows that way. Surprisingly enough without even trying very hard, just by simply being open, you will find yourself happier. If you don’t express yourself you will never attract happiness. You don’t have to be pushy or fussy; you just need to learn to communicate. If you pretend that everything is ok you will never have the pleasure of getting what you really want. In fact, you may never even learn what you really want.

Happiness takes a little work, a little research and a little flexibility. The research is finding out what and who makes you happy, the work is learning to communicate, calibrate and refrain and the flexibility is waiting for things to unfold, trusting others and choosing to listen when you want to talk.

If you try these things you will attract happiness but you have to be committed. Don’t stop because you feel yourself struggling, choose peace. Know that trouble passes and that happiness is mostly based on your perception. Don’t push happiness away being evil, judgmental, inflexible and fearful. When you are happy you will know it because your smile will be brighter, you will say yes more often and you will get your way. A peaceful feeling will come over you and the butterflies in your stomach will be from excitement not from fear.

It will be a process but once you begin to feel the harmony between the things you want and the things you have you won’t stop. You will attract more happiness and before you know it you will start helping others find their happiness. It will feel so good.

The first sign of happiensses…Now That’s Presidential!

It’s 2013, what are you doing to be more Presidential this year?

The Walking Dead theme

Song’s in the key of life…your theme music begins here.

I am so excited about this year because I feel like I have had a steady flow of success for the last 2 years and I am sure this year will be the same or better. A few months ago my first book “The Art of Starting Over” A 30 day guide to creating more power, peace and pleasure in your personal life was launched. This was a big step for me and I am very proud of this accomplishment. However, it is just the beginning.

Writing the book was the easy part (2011), publishing the book was a lot of work and research (2012), and marketing and distribution of the book is an ongoing full time job of tasks for 2013 that I will need a lot of help with, but I am not afraid to ask so I know I will receive it.

Today you should make plans for how you will behave in 2013. This is not a resolution in the old sense of the word. In the world of Presidential Lifestyle a resolution is something you plan to give up. So in order to get to your Presidential Lifestyle I urge you to resolve – give something up, evolve – add something to your life and accompany that with goal setting.

For example these are my plans for the New Year:


No excuses, no complaints.

Don’t spend money on Mondays.


Do something toward marketing the book every day.

Ask for what I need.


Complete 350 financial plans for clients & prospects.

Get $3 million new assets under management.

Build a support group of 5000 people that read the blog, the book or support me.

Begin CFP classes by September.

My overall theme for this year is to be tenacious, strategic and relationship oriented. I choose two theme songs this year Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys and She’s a Bad Mama Jama by Carl Carlton.

I suggest you pick a theme song that every time you hear it you want to get up and conquer the world. Make it a song that personifies who you are becoming and play it as often as you like. You are amazing, you deserve your own them music. So pick a song, set your goals and be ready to evolve into that wonderful, presidential person from your dreams.

Send me an email to I would love to see your resolutions, your evolutions and your goals. Have a peaceful and productive 2013!

Planning…Now That’s Presidential!