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Nicole Antoinette wants to live in a world with less bullshit. She helps people change their stories – the ones they tell about themselves to themselves. She’s the founder of A Life Less Bullshit, an online powerhouse that provides simple, actionable and powerful strategies for ditching what you think you should want in favor of what you actually want. She’s been featured on sites like LifeHack and the Huffington Post UK, and recently we got to steal a few minutes of her time.
Sure! LLB is more than my business, it’s my life philosophy. I want to cut through what people say we have to be, or what we have to do.
LLB really started to come about in 2011 when I made some pretty major life changes. I was the party girl who didn’t really do anything athletic; and I decided to quit drinking, pick up running, and blog about the messiness of it all. LLB really started to take shape through my desire to run a half-marathon. I blogged about the entire training process, and I refused to be fake about it. I shared every gritty detail and I found that people really connected with it.
People started following my journey and asking how they could do something similar. I woke up one morning and realized that my story could be about helping people believe a better story about themselves and I wanted to draw some lines around that.
I started with helping people who were beginners to the running game. I mean, real beginners. I partnered with a running coach and offered a beta training guide to help beginners train for and complete a significant race. Over a hundred people downloaded that first guide – and things have just continued to evolve and grow from there.
I think it has to do with reversing the Pinterest effect. There’s this tendency we have to want to show the best version of ourselves to the world – the neat, pretty, well put-together parts. That means, generally, that we talk about things after they’ve happened and we’ve had some time to put together our thoughts.
But for me, I want to make a conscious effort to talk about things as they happen. I find that it’s more empowering to talk through things than to share our results after we’ve accomplished something.
I think that we never stop being afraid of things and we never stop wanting to be liked by people. But, I’ve found that the more you allow yourself to be open and honest, you develop skills to control the fear, rather than letting it control you. I believe in taking 100% ownership of your life. We create our own reality based on our thoughts.
Running really taught me this. I was notoriously a procrastinator – you know, the type that would write papers the night before they were due. But you can’t wait when it comes to running. You can’t cram all your training miles in the night before a marathon and expect to finish that race. Running taught me how to say, “Hey, I’ll just do that” rather than hiding stalling or over-planning.
Hands down, by reminding the people that I serve everyday. The internet has this wonderful way of instantly connecting people – I write a post and publish it, and suddenly I’m talking with people through comments and social media to further their stories.
I ask myself every morning, “How can I help someone today?” It’s easy to get bogged down in faceless tasks and to-do lists, especially when you own your own business, but I’ve found that starting with this question gives heart to every single one of my tasks.
What a great question to ask! It’s got to be something about the fact that we are all storytellers, and the most important story you tell is the story that you tell yourself about yourself.
Start with a tiny step. What’s one thing you can do in the next 24 hours to move your dream forward? Every step is important, and we never really know how we feel about something until we try it. Big sexy dreams happen one unsexy step at a time.
Oh, when that first round of half marathoners completed their first races. When you do the impossible thing in your life, everything else suddenly opens up. Watching those runners struggle through the process, fight through the doubt, and then cross the finish line – that was really incredible.
The next big thing for both myself and LLB happens in 2015. My friend Liz and I are going to run from LA to New York City in five months. Right now, this seems totally impossible and there are a lot of things to figure out between now and then. But, my hope is that this becomes a community-supported kind of thing where I can meet lots of people and share lots of stories along the way.
Nicole is making a statement by help people ditch what they think they want in favor of what they actually want out of life. What is it that you actually want out of life?
Ashley Ambirge is the witty and creative CEO of House of Moxie, Inc. and founder of The Middle Finger Project Blog. Through The Middle Finger Project she has helped small business owners take their first steps toward success with some encouragement, humor, and a dash of sarcasm. Recently she took time out of her busy jet setting schedule to sit down and talk to us. Here is a bit about her inspiring story.
Well, after being at my first job for a while I got a big head and realized I could do copy writing on my own so I decided to quit my job and start my own copy-writing business. I failed miserably.
So, I went back to work for an ad sales company. After I had been there for a couple years I starting getting a big head again and felt like I wanted to do more. My only purpose there was to make other people money and I wanted something more rewarding and meaningful than that. So I finally decided to quit my job again and that’s how The Middle Finger Project began and now it has grown into a million dollar online business.
The Middle Finger Project is a place for anyone who is thinking about starting their own business or wants to live life more but are too scared to take those first steps or aren’t quite sure how to start. We serve as a community and support for everyone wanting to take those next steps.
I love to travel and did a lot of research on the positive effects that traveling has on a person and it truly helps people grow. Everyone kept coming to me saying they wished they could travel as much as I did, so I wanted to give people a way to do that and put their money where their mouth is.
The other week someone asked me what it is to live a life with purpose and my response to that was to live a life ON purpose. We can get so caught up with just going with the flow that we forget to live our life and get caught up in every one else’s flow of life. With traveling you are forced to make different things a priority and get out and see things that you normally wouldn’t go and see. It truly just enhances your life a lot.
This is going to sound childish but there is one thing that ties everything together and that is at the end of the day I just want people to have fun! It’s not the end of the world if something doesn’t work. You can recover from that. We take life so seriously and I just want people to have some fun.
No, I never thought about giving up. The first time I failed I just got pissed off. And then in the beginning when TMF wasn’t doing well I got pissed off again and realized I was done. I was done screwing around and I was going to get serious. So I decided to move to Chile and started doing things the right way. As a case study, I updated my progress week by week and made it public for people to follow. It gave me motivation because I couldn’t slack off. And I’m actually in the process of turning those weekly updates into a book to help others who are getting started see what worked and what didn’t work.
Proving it to myself. I have to prove myself every single day. There is never a day where there is not a single thing on my to-do list and everything is constantly changing. I have to keep improving and prove to myself that I can do it. Keep making your goals bigger and bigger and keep going after them.
Create a platform – the world is crazy and loud and competitive and you have to make yourself known.
Right now I’m obsessed with expanding the platform and optimizing and creating that community feel. I want TMF to be a household brand.
Ashley is making a loud statement that everyone should do what they want and have fun doing it. Because life is short and we should enjoy it while we can. What have you been holding back on doing?
Looking to start a fashion line, but not sure where to begin? Our Label Rebel Isabella Rose Taylor used Customized Girl at the beginning of her career to create one-of-kind designs to test the market. She created an amazing website to sell her fashion line and had Customized Girl do some of the initial printing for her shirts and tanks. Since then, her brand has exploded into a thriving business. She’s been featured on The Today Show, in the Wall Street Journal, and in a ton of other amazing shows and newspapers. And get this: she is twelve years old! Yeah, she is a rather incredible young person.
After things really took off, she needed to produce her line at a higher volume. She eventually began purchasing from a local vendor, but she still uses Customized Girl today for samples. If you have the itch to start your own fashion line, Customized Girl just might be the solution to help you get started, like it was for Isabella! Here’s more about Isabella and the story behind her designs and business.
Isabella Rose Taylor is a 12-year-old fashion designer and fine artist from Austin, Texas. With a penchant for design and a lifelong passion for art, Isabella began designing when she was just nine years old, and launched her first clothing collection in February 2012 on her website at www.isabellarosetaylor.com. In September 2012, Isabella debuted her 2013 fall collection in her first runway show during Austin Fashion Week. Isabella quickly caught the attention of the national media and was profiled by The Associated Press that same month. In 2012, she won the Rising Star Award for Fashion at Austin Fashion Week. Currently, she has been chosen as an “Emerging Designer” for the WWD-MAGIC Emerging Designer Showcase.
Isabella’s fashion collection is a natural extension of her lifelong passion for art. She believes fashion and art are inextricably connected. This sentiment is reflected in her motto, “If art had legs it would be fashion.” Isabella began painting when she was three years old and continues to paint every day. A prolific artist, she had her first two gallery shows in 2012 when she was 11. Her paintings were shown at the 2002 Gallery in Austin and at Kristy Stubbs Gallery in Dallas, where they sold out in a matter of months. Currently, Isabella’s paintings can be purchased through Kristy Stubbs Gallery in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, she has appeared on the TODAY show and the Steve Harvey Show.
Isabella is also a published writer and poet. She previously served as an editor for Amazing Kids! Magazine and was on the advisory board for Creative Kids Magazine. She is also a member of Mensa and a Davidson Youth Scholar. At only 12 years old, she is a full-time college student pursuing a degree in Art. In 2012, she won the Scholastic Art & Writing Gold Key Award for her couture. Isabella lives in Austin Texas with her family.”
Are you a Label Rebel making a statement with your own custom apparel? Let us know! We’d love to talk. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the official Customized Girl hashtag #LabelRebel and send out a picture of you wearing your customized apparel. You might be the next Label Rebel featured on our blog and website!
Valentine’s Day is not just for boyfriends and girlfriends or husbands and wives to celebrate, it’s also a day for families to spend time together and appreciate their love as a family! With Valentine’s Day landing on a Friday this year, it gives families even more of an opportunity to celebrate because there are no early work meetings or school schedules to keep the next day. So, what do you have planned?
There’s a good chance you’re all working on gifts to give one another for Valentine’s Day, and not just any gift, but one that’s personalized, simple and meaningful. If you’re looking for a custom Valentine’s Day gift that is going to knock the socks off your family, we have some great products for you to personalize and make your own! Below are some of the gifts you can customize for mom, dad, the kids and even your family pet!
Yes, custom shirts can be a great motivator for those that made the New Year’s resolution to get into shape, but customized shirts are also fun for the non-gym goers too! Maybe your New Year’s resolution for 2014 is to enjoy things a little more and not to hit the gym, because let’s face it, some of us are not all that cracked up about fitness.
Instead of running on the treadmill, many of us would rather be getting our cardio in by doing a little shopping! So for those of you who are resisting the New Year’s resolution trend of working out, we have anti-workout shirts that will express everything you love besides push-ups and sit-ups. We have tons of great anti-workout shirts based around all the good stuff in life like pizza, naps, and of course, shopping! If we don’t have a design that expresses what you would rather be doing than working out, create your own using our design center.
What do you love more than working out and would put on an anti-workout shirt?
What do you get your man on Valentine’s Day? Guys always seem to have it easy. They know every year we’ll love getting chocolates and flowers, but flowers really don’t work for guys, so what do we do?
This year for Valentine’s Day, give the person you love a little Valentine’s Day surprise by creating custom underwear that is for his eyes only. Your boyfriend, fiancé or husband will love the customized undies with his name on them, and you’ll love them too!
We have a wide selection of intimates available for you to customize and you can even customize matching boxers with your name on them for him! You can also customize a matching camisole to go with the underwear you created for the perfect one-two punch that is sure to knock him out on Valentine’s Day! With a personalized gift like this, there is no way he will be able to resist being your Valentine!
With Valentine’s Day about a month away, now is the time to start thinking of the ways you will be celebrating the day of love. Some already have their Valentine’s Day date locked up while some are waiting for a visit from cupid. While a lot of emphasis is put on having a valentine, the day can also be about conveying other things you love in life and couldn’t live without; and the best way to do that is with I heart anything custom shirts!
Customize a shirt to represent something or someone you love by using our design center to add any art or text to create the perfect shirt to wear on Valentine’s Day! Custom I heart anything shirts will show the world what you love while also being festive for the holiday!
I Heart British Accents
I Heart Music
I Heart My Boyfriend
I Heart Mardi Gras
I Heart My Pug
I Heart Mustaches
I Heart Black Friday