Do You Know What I did Many Summers Ago?

I was always that kid who wanted to make her own money. Why? Because I wanted to spend my way. In high school, I took a job at TCBY because I loved the product and I figured I could get some free froyo. But then I had to clean out the hot dog stand. Ewww. That was the end for me. I then hopped over to a Hallmark store, which, of course, was heaven for me. I'd spend hours reading sappy cards.

These days, it might not be so simple finding a summer gig for teens It kills me when people thinking they need to wait to be given a job. You can make money on your own! Same goes for teens.

Today I had the honor of being on NBC's Six in the Mix here in Miami. Roxanne Vargas and I talked about summer jobs teens can do from the comfort of their own home. And guess what? The stuff you can do from home can be activities that you love and make you money. 

Watch my segment, and next time you see a younger version of yourself, inspire her to find her calling, live her purpose, and believe she can make a life doing it. 

Much love to you always!

PS - For fun, tell me about your summer job growing up!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO.

How to Stop Procrastinating

how to stop procrastinating

As you might know, writing is my thing. It’s my meditation. I love the power and the peace it brings me. But you want to hear something crazy? For so many years, I would procrastinate the shit out of the getting any sort of writing done.

Not only does procrastinating leave this hanging to do list in our mind, draining us from energy, but it can also make us lose opportunities. I’ll give you an example. My first blog was about dating and how we can see that time as a time for self-discovery rather than a means to an end. I launched that site in 2008. Quick after I scored a few dating columns, speaking opportunities, media mentions, etc. I was on a role.

I knew I wanted to write a book on dating to help those of us who get cray-cray about the process. I finally wrote that book, but I didn’t do it until 2014. Six years later, kids! Crazy. So, of course, once I wrote the book, my work had evolved past just dating. And I had lost a lot of the dating momentum I was experiencing a few years back. If I hadn’t procrastinated, I could have ridden the wave!

So here are three, big mindset shift you can take on in order to avoid ugly procrastination.

FOCUS ON THE GOOD

Focus on the good this action will bring you. Many times, we think about how hard it will be to finish that task, or we bring to mind the negative parts of completing the task. For me, I would imagine that blank, white Word doc that was empty and could be empty for hours. I would think about how my mind was blank or how I might possibly be the worst writer in the universe. My mind is dramatic like that, yes.  

Pump yourself up by thinking of all the good that will come out of completing the task. Focus on the rewards of completing—or even just starting—the task. Keep your mind on all the good it will bring.

YES, YOU CAN

How fun is this statement? “Yes, you can!” And sounds even more fun in Spanish, I think. “Si, se puede!”

Ok, if you can get past my cheesy motivational slogan, you’ll see that at times we procrastinate because we don’t believe we can really do it.

 I remember standing at the top of this small waterfall on vacation with friends. We were all jumping off. It was the thing to do. But I sat there for probably about 30 minutes, doubting the jump. Everyone else had already made the leap around three times, and they were totally enjoying themselves. While worry pants was standing on the top, wondering if she was capable or not. Total waste of precious vacay time, right? I know! 

So you want to cheer yourself on, and remind yourself that you can actually do it. If we’re saying, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,” in our minds, we won’t. So make sure you’re telling yourself a different story. Remind yourself that you can and you will.

ASK YOURSELF “WHY?”

And lastly, if you still find yourself dragging your feet, ask yourself what you’re avoiding. In my early 20s when I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I decided to apply to law school. Isn’t that what most of us think about when we don’t know where to go? Anyway, I just could not get myself to write the statement of purpose I needed to write in order to apply. The truth was: I didn’t want to apply.

 So maybe you’re procrastinating something that you feel you should do, but your heart tells you not to do.  It’s totally okay to bail on a project when your insides tell you it isn’t the right thing. Listen to yourself, be honest, and be kind to my friend, ok?

 Much love to you always.

How to Find a Career You Love

how to find a job you love

Growing up, I wasn’t really surrounded by people who were working a job they loved. Like most immigrant children, what I saw growing up was hard, hard work. The thought of doing something that led to happiness wasn’t even a conversation that was had. I was encouraged to follow a safe route: go to college, graduate with one of those formula-style degrees, where you graduate, get a job, and a good salary.

But for some reason, I always knew there was more. I knew that life was about more than just surviving. In fact, that formula I was taught just didn’t work for me. I tried really hard — against my best judgment – to follow it, but the results it yielded for me, sucked.

I remember applying for law school. Isn’t that what all lost recent grads do? I couldn’t write the admission essay. And I’m a writer. I also remember the time I tried to enroll back into school after graduating to take some prerequisite courses to apply for medical school. Right after, I met up with a friend to tell him how happy I was about what I was doing. And as I was telling him all about it, I was smiling and crying at the same time. We can lie to ourselves, but our bodies will always call us out! I could not stop those tears.

Since the minute I stepped a foot in college and I was asked to pick a major, I was determined to figure out what it was that I loved — what made me light up. It wasn’t always easy. And it’s definitely an ever-evolving process, but I did find happiness.

So it’s true. You can do something you love — even if you don’t know what that thing is just yet. Don’t stop searching for it. To get you started, I wanted to share a few practices I use whenever I lose sight of that light I’m always trying to stay close to.

1.     Follow Happiness

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. Yet you feel confused by the concept, right?  So, try this: As soon as you wake up in the morning, even while you’re still in your bed, set the intention of finding your happiness. When we bring our minds to a focus point, like finding happiness, it will identify it eventually. But we have to do our part by letting our mind know what we want it to focus on, if not it’ll just flow with the wind like a hot air balloon without direction.

When we have no sense of direction, we become frustrated. By setting your internal GPS on happiness, you will start discovering the actions that make you happy. Those actions, ultimately, will offer you a road map to your calling, purpose, dream job … whatever you want to call it.

The things that make us happy are clues. Even if your happiness comes from reading celebrity gossip mags, there’s a career that will fit your interested, I promise you. It’s called film publicity!

Whatever it is that you discover you love, there’s either a career out there already or there’s a way to make money doing it. Keep searching for what you love and let that feeling show you the way. Take the steps it encourages you to take. Don’t think. Just go.

2.     Work on Skills

During this process, it’s really easy to get caught up in the future. “Where am I headed” or “ Where will this all lead to,” you may ask yourself (over and over again). And to be honest with you, that road may not show up for quite some time. You have to be ok with that. You have to understand that this is a time for exploration. The best part of exploration is that you come out with a bunch of new skills.

Now is not a time to worry about mapping out your five-year plan. It’s a time for acquiring skills. Your skills can be writing, sewing, blogging, filmmaking, etc. They’re probably not the end-all for you, but your skills will allow you to communicate and relate to the world.

When you find the actions that bring you joy, you’re going to combine them with your skills to make something really beautiful.

Writing is something I found that made me happy. I started by writing for magazines and online publications. But that wasn’t it for me. I knew there was something more for me. But I didn’t get frustrated by not knowing. I knew it would show we me what it wanted to be when the time was right.

Eventually, I found it. It’s you! And writing and creating content (two skills I picked up as an editor) is how I communicate with you. Make sense?

Pick up your own skills — whatever you’ve been itching to learn and do —, and also appreciate the ones you’re learning in your current job. They’ll help you out one day, promise.

3.     Share Your Work

As you probably already know, I’m a huge advocate for blogging. No, I don’t think everyone needs to be a professional blogger. What I do love about blogging is that it gives you the opportunity to share in a much larger space than what most social media platforms allow us. And when we begin to share, those who are stumbling upon our digital homes, begin to associate us with the things that we’re sharing. That’s how opportunities will come your way.

So let’s say you’re a frustrated attorney right now. All your friends and acquaintances know you as an attorney. But since you’re trying to find a career you love, you’ve decided to start a blog on your love of sustainable fashion. You have no idea where it’s taking you, but it brings you joy. Since this is a new expertise/skill you’re acquiring, you’ve decided to share it in any way possible. Because you’ve done such a great job of letting everyone you know about your new blog, people start associating you with the girl who talks about sustainable fashion. Coincidentally, one of your Facebook friends is coordinating a sustainable fashion show and she invites you to be a guest speaker. Why? Because you’ve shared your work, and she now sees you as the eco fashion lover/expert and not so much the frustrated attorney.

Austin Kleon wrote a great book with that exact title, “Show You’re Work.” It gives all sorts of examples on how you can share your own work and make an impact.

If you put everything you learn today into play, you will be well on your way to finding that dream gig. The more committed you are to taking the steps, the quicker it will come. Let me know how it goes for you in the comments below.

Much love to you always. 

A Month in the Life of Nikki

Oh, April, where did you go? You were full of ups and downs, but mainly ups. Looking back at what you did in a month can make ya feel darn accomplished. Here's what I did, my friends.

 What's up with you, yo? Share, please. 

I wrapped up the first Blogging Bootcamp course with these sexy ladies. The inspiration meter was through the roof. Each of these girls are on their way to change the world, and I got the chance to be their guide. How did I get so lucky? You can check out some of their work here, here and here. 

I wrapped up the first Blogging Bootcamp course with these sexy ladies. The inspiration meter was through the roof. Each of these girls are on their way to change the world, and I got the chance to be their guide. How did I get so lucky? You can check out some of their work here, here and here

Watching a classmates new YouTube videos at Blogging Bootcamp.

Watching a classmates new YouTube videos at Blogging Bootcamp.

I officiated my big brother's wedding. He married this beautiful lady, who now shares my last name. Novo women unite!

I officiated my big brother's wedding. He married this beautiful lady, who now shares my last name. Novo women unite!

They married in Melboune, FL, where they live, so we enjoyed some R&R. Look at my handsome fishy!

They married in Melboune, FL, where they live, so we enjoyed some R&R. Look at my handsome fishy!


I was invited back to speak to the awesome PRSSA group at Florida International University.

I was invited back to speak to the awesome PRSSA group at Florida International University.

The hubby and I snuck in a date night with friends and lots of wine. 

The hubby and I snuck in a date night with friends and lots of wine. 

I was so blessed to speak to a Levo League Miami about blogging and spreading your message.

I was so blessed to speak to a Levo League Miami about blogging and spreading your message.

I launched the Closet Creative podcast. You gotta listen!

I launched the Closet Creative podcast. You gotta listen!

I played with the kiddies in our safe haven, aka home. 

I played with the kiddies in our safe haven, aka home. 

The One Thing to do When You’re Feeling Stuck

Nikki Novo_Hot to get unstuck

Life is never completely smooth all the time. It’s not meant to be. There are times when we’re forced into change, causing discomfort and chaos. Ideally, we flow from the old, to some discomfort, and ultimately into the new with grace.

 But what happens in between the old and the new is that, at times, we get stuck. We get stuck in a place of mourning the old and fearing the new. This temporary destination is almost always expected, but the forces of the universe don’t intend that we stay too long.

 Sometimes we can’t help it. Getting stuck in between the old and the new can be more comfortable – more soothing — than braving the unknown. It’s easier to pitch a tent in this place than to take action towards the life we’re meant to be living. When we hang out in this place of fear long enough, becomes our new. It becomes comfortable.

 If we can wake up, look around, and are able to bring to mind the choices that got us here, we’re way on our way to getting unstuck. Acknowledging the choices that led us to where we are is empowering. Even if the choices were not so great. Once we’re able to connect the dots from choices to how they manifested in our lives, we receive the validation that we do have a say… that what he does mater… what we say and think becomes real.

 Getting unstuck is all about not feeling bad for ourselves. Usually, we’re quick to think that we need something to get unstuck: more money, a partner, more education, a new job. Once we have that, then we’ll be unstuck. Not true. Freedom is in the willingness to see our own power.

 With that knowing, we’ll never feel the need to pity ourselves. We’ll never doubt our abilities.

 We’ve each been given the power to choose, every day and every moment. Choice of thought. Choice of word. Choice of action. And in that strength, we become unstuck.