The Confused Millennial is a lifestyle blog for Gen Y based in South Florida. It also offers blog coaching and consulting to bloggers and influencers along with life advice, career & business tips, entertainment and more.
Tomorrow I turn 29!! That’s one year until I’m turning 30 and it has me reflecting a lottttt. Last year when I turned 28 I wrote probably one of my favorite blog posts of all time: Advice To My 18-Year Old Self, which we turned into a podcast episode and went even deeper on a few weeks ago. While doing the podcast episode I think what was most surprising to me was how some of my views from that post have even changed in just this past year alone. Twenty-eight was probably the most transformative year of my twenties. It was full of eye-opening awakenings and internal journeys. But above all else, it’s the year I felt the greatest “return to self.”
What do I mean by a “return to self”?
Well if you’ve been a reader for a while, you know that my #1 secret to living your best life (read more about it here) is unlearning ALL the things you’ve been taught up until this point about yourself, the world and others. It’s a concept Jenna Zoe and I went deep into in our Human Design podcast episode as well. Essentially we have to de-condition ourselves to all these rules and “shoulds” that have been placed on us to quite literally, “return to ourselves” at the spirit level. Our truest essence that’s untainted by limits and fears. It’s a state of pure and unconditional love. It’s a state that I never thought was possible for myself until this year.
How the F did you get here?!
I know “love yourself” is blasted on every pseudo inspirational Instagram quote or journal – but LBH, if you’re anything like me, while I definitely liked myself, I didn’t have an inkling of a clue about what it truly meant to love myself. You see, this past year has been a journey into all things woo-woo (find out what I mean by that phrase here). Not in the “kumbaya” let’s get a f*-ton of crystals and sage everything way – although totally guilt on all fronts; but in a way of truly understanding that I am the creator of everything in my life. That every time I judge or get passive-aggressive with someone else, it simply a mirror of what I haven’t embraced in myself yet. It’s a deep understanding that we are all actually connected as one soul ultimately. You are as much me, as I am you, as we are the trees outside and the earth we walk on. To judge, hate, disrespect, or put anyone (person, plant, animal) down is to judge, hate, disrespect, or put yourself down.
Just the same, to give someone a compliment, to express gratitude, to spread kindness onto others or the world – is to give yourself that same gift. Our words and actions are medicine.
So unlike most of the content you’ll see out there about the “bucket list” to complete before 30 or the like, I want to offer up something different, the gifts to give yourself before 30. And truthfully, even if it’s after 30, still give these gifts. Never stop giving these gifts.
The Greatest Gifts You Can Give Yourself Before 30
Acknowledge you are part of a tribe.
For so many years I thought I was a drifter, a loner. I thought I would never find a tribe or connection. What I realized though, is that we are all connected as one. And while I may not want to spend my time with every person I meet, I do have deep love and gratitude for us all going on this journey together. When I stopped viewing myself as a loner, and accepted the fact that I simply have fewer shared interests than most people, I was able to start finding people I enjoy spending time with. But even more than that, I was able to see just how connected we all are.
Recognize you only have the present moment.
Anxiety was something that I’ve struggled with for the bulk of my life. But I realize now that to worry is to waste energy. Worrying doesn’t change the outcome. In fact, if anything, it only makes a situation worse since you’re lowering your energetic frequencies and coming from a place of fear. Like attracts like after all. So when we choose to remain in the present moment, accepting life for the experience we are currently having, and not the projected experience of what we think will happen, beautiful things become reality.
Let go of “fighting” and spread love.
I was standing in my kitchen with Shaman Durek when he said to me, “you don’t need to fight or be passive aggressive with me.” And it hit me. I spent the last 28 years fighting. Fighting for what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s just and fair… and what did I have to show for it? A few too many stress lines on my forehead if I’m being honest. You can get just as much accomplished by spreading love and not engaging in the chaos.
Make healthy choices.
Whether it’s the food you’re putting into your body, the type of water you’re drinking, the words you’re speaking to yourself, or something else. There are hundreds of thousands of opportunities every single day to make a healthy choice. To to act, not react. It’s okay to take the time to weigh your options. It’s also okay to change your mind. Always strive for solutions rooted in love, harmony, and the highest good.
I remember as a little kid I asked five million questions… and then was labeled as “difficult” and “annoying.” I stopped asking as many questions for a lot of years because I thought it’d make my life easier to conform… but it didn’t. In fact, what I realized is that we should be questioning everything. It’s part of re-discovering who we are. If someone says they saw a dragon, ask them to show it to you! Never accept anything for face value.
Know yourself and advocate for yourself
Part of questioning everything will allow you to truly get to know yourself. What you believe in, what you like, dislike, and so much more. The more you get to know yourself the more you can advocate for yourself. You can still spread love and choose to do what’s right for you. Too often I think we get stuck because we think pleasing others means rejecting ourselves – and sometimes it does mean that – which is why I think we need to advocate for ourselves and not aim to please anyone else. Everyone is here to please themselves and you are not responsible for the emotional state of another. That’s their choice to feel that way.
I wasn’t going to include this one, but recently a lot of people have come into my life who are self sabotaging the F out of their lives. It was frustrating me and then I realized, it frustrates me because I spent so many years doing that too. Sometimes it’s easier to blame others for what’s happening in our lives, but the truth is, when we become brutally honest with ourselves it usually boils down to something we are self-sabotaging. Whether we are afraid of success or failure, or something else – change and growth have often been taught to us as this “scary” unknown – so it becomes easier to drag our heels and self sabotage. The reality though is you’re only causing yourself more pain. The unknown is only “scary” if you choose for it to be scary. Which leads me to…
Realize you are the ultimate creator of everything in your life
The good, the bad, and the ugly – you are the creator of it all in your life. We call in different people, experiences, and situations to help us grow. We can choose to acknowledge that we are the owners of our realities, or play victim and fall a part with resentment. This was the greatest gift I gave myself this past year. Today, when I’m feeling frustrated, bitter, or resentful – I have no one to look at but myself. I don’t need to have a conversation with someone about why they hurt my feelings and get an apology. Instead, I ask myself why I called this person/situation into my life and what’s the lesson I’m trying to learn? Every time I’ve made that shift the situation has resolved itself. My uncomfortable feels dissipate. I realize I am responsible for my emotions and my reactions.
What gifts are you giving yourself this year?
This post is in partnership with Megabus, thank you for supporting brands who support TCM. As always, all thoughts, opinions, experience, and advice is my own.
Last week I had the opportunity to travel with Megabus as part of their Career Coach Program! Megabus is a safe, convenient, and low cost bus service. It takes you from city-center to city-center on an awesome double decker bus! They have free Wi-Fi, outlets to charge all your tech, and tickets starting as low as $1!! I was so surprised to see how cost effective it was to get from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando (just over $20!).
Their Career Coach Program aims to help job seekers expand their search while giving them the training and tools they need to land a new gig. Since, LBH, it can be hard to find work sometimes, especially if it’s outside your city. They offered free round-trip tickets across the country for job seekers – how cool!? Interviewees could complete entry here to receive a redemption code for 1 free round-trip ticket.
Planning for the ride reminded me just how much I love helping job seekers! I knew I had to share some of the tips I prepped for the riders with you guys too! So without further adieu…
The Best 10 Uncommon Job Seeking Tips That Will Actually Help
1. Tap into the hidden job market
Did you know that 80% of jobs are never posted online?!? Meaning if you’re spending all your time combing job posting sites, you’re actually doing yourself a huge disservice and missing out on so many opportunities! Instead, focus on building connections. Talk to the people in your existing network about what you’re looking for and to keep you in mind if they hear of any opening positions. Often times, new hires come from past connections, not a cold resume in a pile of 600 others.
2. Clean up your digital footprint
When was the last time you opened up an incognito/hidden browser window and typed your name into Google? Hopefully it was right before you started your job search! I recommend people Google themselves and check out all of their social media profiles from an incognito/hidden browser window since that’s most likely what a random person will stumble upon if they searched you. – Meaning if you do it from your normal browser, because of how cookies work, it’ll show you results that you’re most likely looking for based on things you’ve clicked in the past. This gives you an opportunity to take down anything you don’t want others to see or be prepared for what others might come across and decide how you want to handle it moving forward.
3. Optimize your resume
Ideally, every resume you submit will be tailored to every job. Meaning you never submit the exact same two resumes, ever. I know that sounds a bit exhausting, but if you’re applying for jobs online it’s especially crucial due to ATS (automatic tracking systems) that filter for key words in your resume.
One fun little hack when applying to jobs online, is to put the job posting through a word cloud like this, and then see which words they most commonly used in the posting. Whatever the top three or so words are should 100% be integrated into your resume! This increases the likelihood you’re hitting on their keyword filters.
4. Expand your efforts
If you’re not tied to your city consider finally taking that leap to the city you’ve always wanted to live in and expand your job search efforts there. For example, how Megabus is running their career coaching program really allows job seekers to network with one another on the ride to expanding their efforts in new cities.
If you’re tied to your city, consider asking people to introduce you to others in your industry for networking coffee dates. Or check out local meetups for professional networking events. Often times there’s more going on in our cities then we realize so be sure think outside your routine.
5. Take notice of opportunities
In any given day, chances are you’re meeting a new person, having a chance encounter, or at least you could be. Every person you talk with is a networking opportunity. Take note when you’re being invited to share a bit of your story and where you’re at. For instance, if someone asked you “what do you do?” or “tell me about yourself?” How would you respond?
PRO TIP: Close with a goal statement or actionable ask! For instance, “Currently, I’m looking for a software sales position at a company with long term growth potential. If you know of anyone in that industry or a company like that, I’d love to hear more about it!”
6. Prep accordingly for the day of the interview.
So your interview isn’t until 11 am… but I’m going to recommend you stay off social media and any texts/phone calls for 3-4 hours before. You see, the last thing you need heading into an interview is getting caught up in unnecessary personal drama, taking your head out of the game. Personally, I had someone in my life that was a massive trigger for me, and I swear she always knew when I had an interview or big meeting set up. Like clock work, she’d call an hour or two before. It drove me wild and I know I can’t be alone.
Another thing to note, if you are taking a service like Megabus, walking, or some other form of transportation that isn’t a car, I typically recommend NOT wearing your interview clothes. I recommend people show up within a half a mile of the interview 45 minutes before the meeting time and find a coffee shop to decompress at. Meditate, get in the right headspace, research the company a little more, and then when you’re settled go to the bathroom and change into your interview clothes.
The other part of this is realizing that the interview *actually* starts the moment you step on the companies property. Meaning make sure you’re dressed appropriately, your not on your phone, and you’re not stuffing your face with food. You never know who is watching or who you may run into that could be important later on.
7. Nail the most common interview question: ‘tell me about yourself?’
This is almost always a guaranteed interview question – but one people rarely prepare for. Make sure you nail your “elevator pitch” right out of the gate. You’ll start off feeling confident; and generally most interviewers know within the first few minutes if they want to hire you or not. Here’s a simple little formula:
a) Start with a defining moment that piqued your interest in this type of work
b) Weave in any strengths or accolades that supported your interest in the work – painting a picture that you’re innately good at it aside from being drawn to it
c) Think about the one skill your interviewer is craving for in this role, and tie it into either your strengths from above, or a testimonial you received from a past employer, colleague, coach, teacher, or friend. So for instance, instead of saying you have excellent time management skills, say you realized you were really great at time management skills when your past employer pointed it out and noted how you’d done the work of 3 employees in the given time!
d) Close with your goal and where you’re at now. Example, “looking for a company that aligns with my values and has long term growth potential.”
8. Remember to interview them back!
Employment is a two way street. Just like any other relationship in your life, you both have to choose each other. Take it from someone who was fired twice in a month (read more here), wanting to work for your employer is essential! So don’t forget to come prepared with your own questions for the company. Consider: How long do people typically stay in this role? Where do they typically go after it? Are their promotion opportunities? Etc.
9. Perfect your post-interview follow up
Send a digital thank-you note in 24-48 hours and make a note of something personal/unique you and the interview talked about that you really enjoyed. Personalizing this can go a long way as it shows you truly care and are detail oriented.
If they are taking some time to make the decision (more than a week), in your email note that you’ll be sending a formal thank you to via snail mail. I think this adds a little extra personal touch and drive – but isn’t necessary if they are making a decision within a weeks time.
One of the biggest mistakes most people make, especially after a long job search, is taking the first offer thrown out. Remember to always ask for more. This is going to set up your earning potential for years to come. If they can’t do more money, see if they can do more vacation days or remote days. Since most people don’t use all of their vacation days anyway, many employers are happy to give more. You aren’t going to lose the job because you asked for more and it can help with resentments you may develop down the road about being undervalued.
What are you top job searching tips? I’d love to hear in the comments!
With this month being my birthday month, the request for some more personal posts, and Father’s Day this weekend, I decided it was time to share a little more about my life. This post is different than what you typically see on TCM… there’s no actionable advice for you to take into your own life. Just a reminder to love your loved ones a little harder, because life is precious and fragile.
This isn’t my first Fatherless Father’s Day. In fact, the majority of these last 27 Father’s day’s have been fatherless for me. But for the last eight years, it’s weighed a little different on me. As I pass the Father’s Day cards in the store, as I scroll by the “Father’s Day Gift Guides” on-line. A knot so big and tight hardens in my chest. I can’t seem to catch my breath as I fight back the tears and anger simultaneous brewing inside of me.
Before the man who I call my dad came into my life, there was my biological father. An alcoholic and abusive man who never earned the title of “dad” in my eyes. When I was four years old, my mom divorced him. He’s from a small country in Europe, and up to that point he spent a good amount of time overseas instead of living with us. Despite their divorce, my mom still sent me to live with him for one month every Summer and every Spring Break. I won’t go into all the details about him and that time in my life, but the short version is that by the age of 10 years old, I told my mom I no longer wanted to visit him.
Despite a phone call at 14, a kidnapping scare later that year, then again two years later (let’s just say stalking runs in my family), and a very unexpected surprise Facebook video chat (I thought I was getting on with my brother…) a couple of years ago, we’ve had no contact in 17 years. I am not mad or sad or any way about it. It’s just the way it is. My past.
The truth is, I don’t believe family is who we are connected to by blood. I believe family are the people who are there for us by choice. Through the good and the bad, not just one or the other. Family are the people who teach us about life and love, who we are as people, and who we want to become. The title of “family” is earned in my book. Which is why the man I call my dad is a man who came into my life when I was seven years old, Roger Taft.
I remember the first time I met him. My mom brought me to his office, where his secretary handed me a pile of individually wrapped presents (they were clothes for my Barbie’s). This wasn’t the first time people had tried to buy my love (read: biological father), but this memory always stood out to me. I felt so special. Maybe it was coming off the string off d-bags my mom had been dating, but I instantly liked this dude as much as I could (I was very protective of my mom as a child).
As an ACOA, I understand that when I like someone or feel vulnerable, I have a tendency to push them away in inexplicable ways. But as a kid, I gave him hell. I mean absolute hell. I called him names, I constantly forced my mom to choose between the two of us. After about four years they broke up because he didn’t feel like there was room in the relationship. But they found their way back together. Over the years, he slowly chipped away at my jaded exterior. Moving in with us officially (even though it basically had felt like we all lived together for years) when I entered my teen years he quickly picked up the roll as “Mr. Mom”.
He worked from home, and found himself in the morning middle school car pool. Making after schools snacks, and chasing away every boy that came near our house. Even so, we would still have the occasional blow out fight. We were so similar and so different. Both strong willed, passionate, sensitive, and opinionated. We would go toe-to-toe on what was for dinner, board games, TV shows, really anything under the sun. You could say we both carried a lot of unresolved anger and were always looking for a fight. Something I still work on to this day. My mom couldn’t take us to restaurants at one point because every meal ended in a food fight. We didn’t know when to stop until the other was upset.
Despite his Harley Davidson, and tough guy appearance, my dad was a mush. A total teddy bear that just wanted to be loved and adored. He wanted to feel wanted and hated how independent my mom and I were at times. Despite all of his flaws, he was my dad and an absolute love of my life. Our love was unconditional. We were family.
My dad was diagnosed with cancer when I was young. I can’t even tell you how old I was because it was something that we just didn’t talk about for many years. He always seemed healthy enough. We would go to the gym during the week, boating on the weekends, and the occasional motorcycle ride. He never seemed sick.
Until my junior or senior year of high school. His cancer kept coming back, and in different forms over the years. He was in experimental treatment after experimental treatment. Finally, the doctors got to a point they didn’t know what to do with him, and basically said it was only a matter of time until he died.
At the same time I was going through a lot. He and I would stay up and watch the Jay Leno monologue every night then talk about life. We spent hours having heart to hearts about friends, relationships, and the world. I trusted him more than I ever trusted anybody, a sentiment I shared at his funeral. He was supposed to adopt me when I turned 18 years old (we didn’t want to get a signature from my biological father).
For all intensive purposes, he was my dad and I was his daughter. We were proud of each other. We had gone through so much to build not only a relationship out of convenience, but a friendship. We mirrored one another’s flaws and strengths. He would tell me when I was being a “little shit” and I would tell him when he was being an asshole. He would write me letters, even when we lived in the same house, just because neither of us ever got mail and he wanted to put a smile on my face.
I left to go to college in 2007. My dad and I would talk every day, multiple times a day as I went to and from class. His cancer was truly starting to get worse. When I was 18 or 19 he took this selfie:
It was shortly before he shaved his head. His hair had started falling out for the first time in his cancer journey. He knew the chemo wasn’t working and didn’t want to keep seeing the patches fall off. When he shaved his once thick silvery locks I cried when I saw him. It was the first time he truly looked sick. Things continued to worsen, he couldn’t eat, he was in pain. He hated the drink they made him have before treatment sessions. I was scared.
He stopped chemo at some point when it officially wasn’t working. His hair grew back, and his spirit came back, only a little sadder. He started to prepare for his death in a way. He called my aunt and grandma to see if they would be there for my mom and I when he died. He kept calling his sons. He kept telling me how proud he was. Other than this sadness, and constant talk about “when he was gone,” he stopped seeming sick again. He could live for another seven+ years the doctors said.
The day it changed
A short while later, the summer of 2009, my mom rushed into my room one morning panicked, “COME, ITS ROGER.” If you know me, you know I am not a morning person. I said “what” and grumbled as I looked at the clock and saw it wasn’t even 7 am yet. She repeated hysterically, “you need to come now, he, he he! I don’t know if he took too many sleeping pills I don’t know I don’t know, just go look...” she couldn’t even get the words out.
Panicked, I leapt out of bed and to our back patio where my dad was sitting. I asked him what was going on, and he just looked at me spaced out, struggling to find words. Frustrated and hitting his knee. He pushed out some gibberish. My mom rushed out behind me, and said “who is this?” pointing at me. He said, “Cleo”. Cleo was his cat that he had since the mid 90s. My mom said, “no, who is this?” he said “Cleo” again.
Totally panicked, I pointed to Cleo and said, “who is that?” and he couldn’t get any words out or said “Jason,” one of his sons. We immediately decided to go to the hospital. Once he was admitted, they ran some tests and discovered he had a stroke.
When I saw him later, he was flipping me the bird per usual and telling me to “fuck off” (a term of endearment in our home — Like I said, we had an interesting relationship). We left that night, thinking things were going to be okay. He had a stroke, but was recovering and we would figure it all out.
The next morning we went back to the hospital, only now he couldn’t speak. He had a second stroke overnight. Possibly had a series of mini-strokes. The next few days are a blur. They intubated him. He couldn’t move his left side, and eventually fell unconscious. My mom called my step-brothers and told them to get here, this was going to be it. It was a few more days until they arrived.
Preparing for death
During my freshman year in college, I had a therapist Cirlean. She was only my therapist for a semester or two, before she took a new position at a different school. During our last sessions, she shared with me how her own father had died the year prior. She told me that if I found myself with my dad on his death bed, to not hold anything back. To let every resentment, piece of anger, and loving thing come out. To feel everything, don’t stuff a thing. Be a mess, be a beautiful mess. Get it all out. Don’t hold a single thing back.
From the morning I went to the hospital, through the next two weeks, thats exactly what I did. I cried and cursed, and felt everything. It was the most painful experience I’ve ever gone through. I refused to leave the hospital except to sleep. I wouldn’t leave until they made me and would arrive as early as possible. My step brothers, mom, and grandma were all worried. They thought I was too young at 19 to be there so much. I had a boyfriend, and a job, and coursework to be doing. But, I didn’t care. I talked to my dad about everything those two weeks. I cursed him for leaving us so soon and cried as I thought about all the things he wouldn’t be there for.
My mom and I decided to sign the “do not resuscitate” order. At that point, my dad was a vegetable. Even if he was ever able to breathe on is own, which was unlikely, he would never speak again and would have extremely limited motor movement. It would have killed my dad to live like that and we knew it’s what he would’ve wanted.
After about two weeks, they moved him to Hospice. I remember the look in his eye when they put him on the stretcher and wheeled him into the ambulance. He looked lost and scared, and then he saw my face and I swear a smile and tear broke out on his face (as much as his facial muscles would allow a smile at the time).
He wasn’t in Hospice for more than a couple days. I remember the last time we were in Hospice was when my grandpa died. I remember my dad and I getting pancakes while my mom stayed back after his passing. And here we were, only a few years later, only he was in the bed this time. My mom was staying with him over night at this point.
On June 1st, 2009 my step-brother drove me home for the night. As we pulled into the driveway my mom called, “this is it, he’s going to pass.” My step-brother was dumbfounded and asked me what we should do. I told him we needed to go back ASAP.
We walked into the room, I gave my dad a big hug, and laid with him for a few minutes when the death rattle started. For those not familiar, the death rattle is a sound a person makes right before they pass. My mom and I hurried out to get the nurses. We don’t think he knew that my step-brother was still in the room, because he told us that as soon as we left, is when he slipped away.
We immediately let the doors and windows open to let out his spirit, and they took him away. The next day, was all thunder and lightning. Lightening actually struck the gate right in front of our car as we tried to get into our neighborhood. We couldn’t help but feel like it was dad. Angry that he had to leave us.
Twenty days later, June 21st, was my 20th birthday. It was also Father’s Day that year. I think that’s when I stopped making a big deal over my birthday. Every year now, Father’s day gets close, and I have no desire to celebrate my birthday. I can’t help but feel the pangs of resentment whenever I see a “Father’s Day Gift Guide” floating around the blogosphere. I want to punch and yell and scream.
Why is it the one parent I’ve had, who I truly felt 100% unconditional love from, is the one parent that no longer walks this Earth? That source of unconditional love is something we all desire, and to lose it, it feels like a giant whole in the Universe at times. I know he would have loved Eric. I know he would be proud of me. I know it might be selfish, because I know what it’s like to have shitty parents, and to have had Roger in my life, even for such a short period of time, is more than most people get. But I can’t help but wish I could have had more.
To my dad:
I miss you more than words can ever do justice. The tear drops still fall, who am I kidding, they downpour, more days of the year than I can count. It seems that after eight years this grief is only more persistent. I wish you could’ve met Eric. I wish I could rest my head on your stomach as we watch TV. I wish I could hear your laugh. Oh your laugh… how you would laugh so hard you would start crying and cursing.
One reader asks: “Hi Rachel! My only question for you is more of a blogging question, if that’s alright. I’m a blogger as well, and I’m not very happy with the email service I’m using right now. Then I opened your beautiful email and got inspired! I love how all the information is organized and appears to be floating in its own little box. So my question is, what email provider do you use? “
So I wanted to introduce y’all to my mailing list provider: MAILERLITE!
I’ve compared Mailerlite vs. Mailchimp vs. Madmimi vs. Convertkit, to try and figure out which is the best email marketing provider for bloggers and small businesses and mailerlite has been the clear winner for me.
If you don’t know about mailerlite you have been missing out! I’ve been with them for almost three years now and have just noticed them getting a little attention and love in FB groups and on the interwebs.
I have used mailchimp, madmimi, and leadpages before and made the switch to mailerlite almost two years ago and couldn’t be happier (I never messed with Converkit since it’s so expensive and just seems complicated). Here is why:
Unlike other more complicated mailing services (*cough* mailchimp *cough*) mailerlite is easy to use, it’s price can’t be beat, and it’s functionality just keeps getting better!
Ease of Use:
Mailerlite is a drag and drop template editor! Basically all you need is your hex codes (for your brand colors) and everything else just falls into place!
You simply start with “campaign” and fill in the subject, language, and who it’s from fields (BONUS: no code for personalization! Just choose from the drop down menu!)
Next, you edit your content. You just drag and drop the type of layout you want.
If you toggle from the “content” option to the “design” option, you’ll see you can use their pre-done color schemes, or create one for your brand that saves for future use.
You’ll also notice in the top right corner, you can actually preview what your email will look like on mobile which is super fun!
After you finish editing, you just choose your recipients and send/schedule! WHAM! It’s literally that easy!
To make things even easier, what I do each week is just click the “campaigns” tab in the menu, go to my last newsletter, and just click “copy”. It will then create a copy of my last newsletter in my “drafts” which I can easily edit.
No joke, my newsletter takes me 10 minutes each week.
Instead of spending a bunch of money on leadpages and leadboxes, you can actually do the exact same thing on mailerlite!
Click “Webforms” then “add new”. Name your form.
You will then be prompted to choose a form type.
It’s literally a pop up on your website. The cool thing with mailerlite is you can turn it off when someone is on mobile (which Google prefers), and you can set the frequency! So I have it set to only show once every few days to visitors and triggered only when people are moving to X out of my site.
You can actually create a landing page with your unique domain name or a generic one. I use this for my Forbes opt-in. It’s literally the same concept as Leadpages, so why pay more?
I have this in my side nav menu and on my home page under my “featured” graphics. Easy to set up, and integrate with WordPress & Squarespace. Can’t recommend it enough!
This is literally the same thing as leadboxes! I have this at the bottom of 99% of my blog posts but here are two examples just to show you how they’ve advance (the first is from a year ago before they did this snazy update to the second one (and I just haven’t updated mine yet):
As you can see, you can change the text, width, colors, gradient, etc.
You can set up a single welcome e-mail for new subscribers (which I highly recommend, so they don’t forget they signed up for your newsletter then mark you as spam if you don’t mail out for weeks!) — or you can set up a series of emails (sales funnels, newsletter course, etc.).
You can also put different subscribers into different “groups” based on what they opted in under, which allows you to send a custom automation based on that “list”.
Okay, I know this all looks good and sounds easyyyy… but what’s it going to cost you?
For 1,000 subscribers and below, you get 100% access to everything FOR FREE!!
Mailchimp only grants you access to some of it’s functionality for your first 1,000!
Other fun things about mailerlite: The free plan also has access to chat & email support if you get stuck or have any issues, you can do A/B testing, tracking, create an “unsubscribe” page & set up auto-resending for non-openers (very helpful when doing a sales funnel!)
Seriously, I don’t get why anyone would use a different mailing provider. They are continuing to grow it, add features, and make improvements.
Also with all the GDPR hoop-la Mailerlite was on top of making sure everything was compliant. They sent out regular emails to ensure there were no unnecessary freak outs. All of their forms now have GDPR check box tools to make sure things are super clear. And they created a “GDPR” segment of your list so you could mail out for re-subscribe confirmation or “forget” them if they didn’t re-opt in. What gems!
Last week we introduced our incredible mentor and friend, Shaman Durek, who took us on an intense spiritual journey in episode 14. This week, I am excited to unpack and share more of his ancient wisdom to help us evolve. He breaks down the shamanic perspective on some of the most common mental health issues – invaluable insight you can bring into your life to start making changes today! Plus he shares some tools and practices to help you raise your intuition levels and increase your psychic abilities!
On top of everything, Shaman Durek reads my veins!! You’ll get a tiny glimpse of the vast tools and skills he uses to help people heal every day.
GIVEAWAY – Enter for a FREE digital meditation from Shaman Durek!!
Shaman Durek is generously offering one lucky listener one of his recorded meditations! To enter, all you have to do is…
Follow me on Instagram: @theconfusedmillennial (bonus entry options will be on my Instagram photo from 5/12 – I’ll share it in my stories a few times through the week in case you miss it!)
14:26 // Every time you bring a negative on something you want to do, such as ‘I don’t have enough money’ or ‘I’m not going to be good enough’―you become a candidate for depression, because you are taking away your ability to move and taking away your ability to be free; you become your own captor.
25:00 // It’s important for us to take the allopathic perspective, and the holistic perspective, and the spiritual perspective, and bring them together to come up with a cohesive understanding of what we’re dealing with, without us feeling helpless or hopeless in any situation; because, we should never feel without power.
Learning financial responsibility in your twenties can be a total game changer for your future. By getting the following six lessons before you turn thirty, you can set yourself up for more financial freedom and peace later in life.
1. Get a side hustle now. Seriously, while you still have the energy and time, get a side hustle. Not only will you save some coin by not spending every evening at happy hour after work, but you will also be earning some cash during that time.
2. Every dollar has a place. In other words, get a budget! Create a budget and assign every dollar to a category. If you have money left over you will spend it on dumb stuff, instead allocate it towards financial goals so you aren’t tempted to waste in on yet another one of Kylie’s lip packs.
3. Set financial goals. Whether they are paying off debt by a certain deadline, saving for a retirement or a home, start thinking about your financial future.
4. Make saving for retirement a necessity. To the previous point, if you are debt free, then saving for retirement via an IRA or 401k should be a fixed cost in your budget. The younger you start saving the more of the compounding interest you can rack in. Plus did you know it’s nearly impossible for someone who started saving for retirement at age 30 to catch up to someone who started saving for retirement at age 20?
5. Building credit takes time, destroying credit takes minutes. Seriously, every time you open a retail card for that 20% off discount, you hurt your credit. Then factor in the fact that most Americans are living in financial chaos, (for example: forgetting to pay the bill on that retail card), and it has the potential to hurt you even more!
If any of these are you:
– You’re new to credit (as in just started using it in the last 6 years) or
-If you don’t have an emergency fund with six to nine months of income in it, or
-If you have had a checkered past with credit
A good rule of them is to only charge what you can pay off in 24 hours.
6. Live below your means. In your twenties you will probably make some nice jumps in your career, which come with nice salary boosts. You should use that as an opportunity to live below your means. Don’t fall into the trap of lifestyle inflation to match your new paycheck. Remember, just because your co-worker comes in with new designer shoes every week, does not mean they don’t have a buttload of debt they are paying off. Dave Ramsey says you have to “live like no one else today, so you can live like no one else tomorrow”… meaning that most Americans are in debt, and if we live below our means when we are young, we don’t have to be tied by debt in our future.
This post is in partnership with Lexington Law, thank you for supporting brands who support TCM. As always, all thoughts, opinions, experience, and advice is my own.
LBH, financial freedom comes from the small, everyday moments. Not just your big purchases like your house or car. And while financial responsibility doesn’t always sound like making the most fun choices, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence to your summer fun. Today, I’m breaking down 13 ways you can celebrate summer without breaking the bank and also giving you some tips for splurging a little! Because at the end of the day, it’s always better to plan for some indulgences than binge later. Your bank account will thank you, I promise!
13 Ways To Celebrate Summer Without Breaking The Bank
– Expand your palette. Try cooking up some new recipes or learning to cook in different preferences (summer vegan recipes anyone?!). It’s a great way to boost confidence, overall health and happiness, and protect your bank account.
– DIY that IG worthy patio area you’ve been dying for. Instead of going out and dropping a G on a luxurious daybed, get crafty and build it! This can be a great way to flex your sewing hands and building skills!
– Go camping and/or watch the stars. Personally, I’m not into sleeping on the ground with bugs, but I’m all for watching the stars! So do whichever you prefer to have your own magical evening!
– Check deal sites. These usually have tons of great things that are pretty affordable. I’m talking half off massages or foot rubs! Or you can let your inner child out and do some fun things like laser tag (there’s usually at least one arcade always running a deal!).
– Plan a staycation. Obvi one of my favorite things to do. Check out all my tips for it here.
– Get outside. There’s a lot to be said about simply getting outside and having some fun. Whether you can hit the beach easily, or maybe go old school and turn on the sprinkles and have a good ol’ fashion slip and slide.
– Have a dance party. Because you can never go wrong with this one.
– Play games. Whether it’s an old card game you used to love or a full on board game night with friends, cut loose.
– Make your own ice cream. I know, I know, summer screamssss for ice creammmm! But what’s a better way to get into the summer spirit than making your own? Go old school with a few coffee tins and roll away (seriously, just google it, I made it in middle school it’s fun and easy!).
– Clean up! Whether it’s a neighborhood clean up, closet clean out, or a beach clean up, it can feel great to give back to your community and help our planet.
– Rearrange your house! The change of seasons always calls for some fresh energy and what better way to breathe new vibes into your old space than to feng shui it all? There’s tons of information on google, but here’s a PRO TIP to get you started: make sure you head points west when you sleep! Especially if you find you have insomnia or nightmares, make this switch ASAP!
– B.Y.O.E. BBQ. Nothing screams summer like bbq’s and fireworks, amiright? While these can be SO much fun, they can also be a burden on the host or planners. Take the pressure off yourself (and your bank account) by asking everyone to bring their own everything OR throw in money for anything you need to pick up. PRO TIP: Preserve your festive decor. TRUTH: my husband may consider me a bit of a pack rat; but I consider myself financially savvy. You see, there was a time in my life, I was always making crafts, hosting parties, and decorating anything I could get my hands on. Which, if I’m honest, was expensive. I got really good at carefully folding all my decor items back up and preserving them in resealable baggie and boxes to ensure that I can reuse them all next year.
While the above list will certainly keep your bank account and budget happy, I want to make sure YOUR happy too! All of those things are super fun (trust me, I’ve done them all!); but LBH, a beach clean up while your friends are diving off their over water bungalows in the Maldives on Instagram can leave something to be desired. So I want to talk about being *smart* when it comes to your summer splurges!
Tip 1: Consider what your ultimate goals are
Before you splurge, I always recommend really thinking about what your ultimate goals are. Sure, you could probably max out a bunch of credit cards and hop on a flight to the Maldives too – but is that really going to help you in the long run? Probably not. Instead of doing what everyone else is doing (booking trips, and traveling) maybe your summer splurge is on something a little more long lasting, like a car (did you know summer is a great time to get a car?).
Be honest with yourself about where you’re at in life and what you really want; then proceed through the next steps.
Tip 2: Budget
If you know exactly what you want to do:
You can determine what it is you want to do, and when you want to do it. Then figure out how much it’ll cost, and divide that number by the number of months until you have to pay for it. So for example, say you want to go to a theme park, a ticket may cost $100, gas may cost $50, a hotel for a night $150, and let’s budget $100 for miscellaneous spending like food and souvenirs. So you’ll need $400 to go to a theme park, and you want to go in August, so that gives you two months. Meaning you’ll want to put away $200 a month to reach your goal.
If you’re not sure what you want to do:
If you caught this post last month on how to *actually* budget using the 50/20/30 rule, this is going to be a piece of cake for you! Just look at your “goal” number in your budget and see what goal can take a backseat – or you can look at your lifestyle number and see if you want to get conservative with it to reallocate some funds to your goals number. This way you have an idea of what you can spend on some summer fun, and then just keep your eyes and ears open for the right opportunity in that range!
Tip 3: Protect Yourself!
One of the best ways to celebrate summer without breaking the bank is being PROACTIVE about your finances. Because LBH, nothing would be worse than to plan your splurge trip, then have your identity lifted the first day you’re there and you have to spend the entire trip in your hotel room arguing with credit card companies and the like. Not only is it a headache, you’re now missing out on the fun you just splurged on!
The Lex OnTrack Identity Theft Protection Tool by Lexington Law is a great way to stay ahead! It’s a monthly subscription service that combines Lexington Law’s credit repair services with identity theft. It allows you to track your FICO® Score, has dedicated US-based customer support, and tons of other tools to help you manage your finances!
In the LexOnTrack platform, you’ll be able to see all of your transactions from all your linked financial institutions which makes it easy to track your financial goals and monthly cash flow. Meaning if you are planning some summer travel or splurges, like we’ve been talking about, it’s a fantastic resource to see the big picture.
Plusss it monitors your identity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will alert you of any suspicious activity. This is CLUTCH when your enjoying you summer travel! Because again, no one wants to spend a trip sitting on hold in their hotel room trying to get their credit cards to work! *No thank you!* To make it even better, they provide $1 million in identity theft insurances which includes any stolen funds and cash reimbursement.
Finally, if you are a victim of identity theft, Lex OnTrack will aim to prevent it, but also helps remove any questionable negative items from your credit report.
Remember to have fun and do your best
Life is short, so make smart choices but don’t deprive yourself. If summer debt did creep up on you, know you aren’t alone. That’s why my friends at Lexington Law are here to help you rebuild your credit!
I am so grateful to have recently had the opportunity to share my home with today’s guest, Shaman Durek! Eric and I start the show by sharing how Shaman Durek came into our lives and is now our beloved friend and teacher. Afterwards Shaman Durek comes for a deep, spiritual, and transformative conversation. There’s a lot of really actionable and valuable advice for building your own spiritual practice packed into this episode, with more to come next week!!
In This Conversation We Cover:
My case of Shamaninic fever
Feeling the need to meet Shaman Durek
Our one-on-one sessions with the Shaman
Shaman bootcamp & healing
The science behind Shaman Durek’s work
What shamanism and the role of a shaman really is (without the woo woo)
Shaman Durek’s life story
The human malfunction in thinking
You can also find me as a guest on Shaman Durek’s new podcast, Ancient Wisdom Today, which is absolutely the best way to get your Shamanic fix, wherever you are, every single week!
This post is in partnership with Amavara Skin Care, thank you for supporting brands who support TCM. As always, all thoughts, opinions, experience, and advice is my own.
Aka my birthday month! Yup that’s right, one more circulation arounddd the sun! I’m both excited and a little in shock that this is my LAST year in my 20s *queue emotions* But more on that to come! First, let’s take a look back at alllll the things I loved in May!
Taking Care of My Skin With Amavara
Since I’m getting older – my skin has definitely been showing it. Growing up and still living in a beach town, means loads of exposure to the sun and other harmful things. Which is why I’m LOVING Amavara! First, if you’ve been a reader for a while you know I’m all about sunscreens with zinc oxide. But most sunscreens with zinc oxide are thick and leave you looking WHITE (I’m talking the old lifeguard days with the coat of white stuff on his nose white).
Amavara uses an EarthWell® Zinc Oxide that rubs in soft and clear! Which makes it perfect for walking around town with Tucker. It’s not oily and is light enough to wear under makeup. Aside from protecting against the sun, and the visible early aging caused by it, it also protects your skin from environmental factors all while still being good for the environment!
That’s right, they use natural identical ingredients to make up their formula plus it’s reef safe (which in case you didn’t know, tons of reefs are dying today because snorkelers and swimmers are jumping in the sea wearing a sunscreen with nano TiO2 which completely destroys the reefs (aka a habitat for our fishes). So if you are traveling to any tropical places, make sure you are aware of what you’re putting on your skin before jumping in the water! otherwise, that reef you’re checking out might not be there next time.
PLUS you can snag 15% off your purchase from Amavara using code confusedmillenial
Seriously, loved writing this post on my favorite podcasts for 20-somethings & confused millennials at heart! Since I don’t have a daily commute, I never thought I’d really listen to podcasts. But then while implementing my Pinterest Strategy each day, I needed something to listen to and before I knew it, I was a podcast junkie! Personally, I love a good mix of business, woo-woo, and entertainment. It keeps things inspiring and fun that way.
Speaking of rest, I can’t talk about self-care if I wasn’t actually taking care of myself could I?!? Which is why I loved stepping up my self-care game these last few weeks and trying out some of these cheap & easy at home spa hacks! I even turned on my “vacation auto-responder” for a week so I didn’t have to respond to emails! It was a great way to ground back down into my self and recharge.
BUDGETING with the 50/20/30 Guideline!
I’m still kind of in awe by y’alls response to this post, How To *Actually* Budget Using The 50/20/30 Rule! It’s something I’ve been teaching for years and always knew it was a fantastic tool, but it was SO cool to see how it’s been benefiting so many of you! Seriously, I love it so much, because it really is budgeting made SO simple!
Finding passion for my work again
This has been building ALL year – but a lot of you know, I thougth about shutting down this blog at the end of last year. You see, I had a job I hated before and never want to go back to it (which is why I shared this post on 5 bad reasons to stay in a job you hate). I made every excuse under the sun to stay in something I didn’t enjoy. But today if I don’t enjoy something, I have the ability to change it and for that i’m grateful.
REAL TALK: I used to be an avid reader. I legit thought I was Belle from Beauty & The Beast. Then I stopped for yearssss! I am slowly getting back into reading and in doing so, realized just HOW many self-help books I’ve read over the years. So I decided to round up 20 of them with my own personal little recommendations last month for you all! I think sooo many of us are in a season of our lives where personal development and self-care are at the forefront of our mind, so I hope you all enjoy! Check out 20 Inspirational Self-Help Books To Read here.
Getting Emotional / Vulnerable
If you caught this podcast episode on the advice to my younger self, you probably heard me get pretty choked up as I reflected back on so much of my life. Aside from these last couple of months being stressful, they were also some of the most eye-opening changes. In the episode E and I talk all about our advice to our younger selves, tips for overcoming self-doubt, and anxiety.
AHH if you’re on my newsletter, you know I geeked out when I first learned about Human Design earlier this year! It’s SUCH a fantastic resource for understanding yourself and others more! So it goes without saying that I had been counting down the days until my interview with Jenna Zoe, Human Design expert! We had SO much fun talking in this episode and it’s currently The Confused Millennial Podcast’s most popular episode to date!! Listen here.
How was your May?! What are you looking forward to in June?!
If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know that my golden rule for living your best life, is to unlearn everything you’ve been taught up to this point. I believe in turning inward and seeking new ways of viewing the world in order to re-discover who we truly are. Which is why I’m thrilled to round up some of my favorite inspiring, self-help style books to shift your inner perspective. While reading these, remember it’s always YOUR choice of what you integrate into your new belief systems, you can take a little from one, and a little from another, or reject the authors beliefs systems (as I share in some of the summaries below). It’s allllll about opening your mind to new heights though, so enjoy and have fun reading these!
Probably the book I’ve read the most on this list (like at least 15 times). Viktor Frankl shares his observations while imprisoned in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. Both a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, he uses his unique knowledge and experience to create a new form of therapy: logo therapy. The first half of the book is his personal experience and observations and the second half of the book is an explanation of logo therapy.
If you’re tired of fighting or blocking what you really want in life then definitely pick this one up! Singer describes how you can free yourself from parts of your ego that are holding you back, harness more of your inner energy/power, and prioritize your life.
In this story, Santiago meets an Englishman who wants to learn the secret of alchemy (turning any metal into gold). Santiago decides to pursue his Personal Legend (similar to your purpose in life) and find a treasure at the pyramids. During his journey he learns to listen to the desert and discovers some deep realizations about the world. I included it on the list because it’s a classic – but tbh, it’s not my favorite.
One of the first books that really helped me sink my teeth into my meditation practice! This is a simple and easy to understand/incorporate guide for integrating mindfulness meditations into your everyday life.
Truth: I’ve never made it through this book in it’s entirety. If you’ve read a ton of self-help books, maybe skip this one; it’s kind of slow. BUT I included it on the list since SO many people I know love and swear by it. I would say it’s a beginners book to owning who you are and overcoming obstacles.
The Violet Flame is a powerful energy healing frequency that can heal past wounds, change the dynamics of a relationship, and so much more. The book breaks down all the uses of this energy, while teaching you how to harness it’s power through practical and spiritual techniques. Personally I use this knowledge in my life almost every single day. While it’s a dense/slow read, the skills are invaluable!
Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love!) breaks down six areas to focus on to find the courage to pursue a creative life. The six areas she covers are: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, and Divinity.
This is an excellent read on how women have lost touch with their intuitive nature – aka the Wild Woman – who is slowing becoming endangered. By reconnecting to our inner Wild Woman we can tap into the stories, wisdom, and knowledge from the past to bring out passion, creativity, wisdom, and a powerful force that can accomplish anything.
Probably one of my favorite Gabby Bernstein books. Although I will say, if you’ve read all of Gabby’s books, they do tend to become repetitive after a while. In this book she teaches readers how to use their inner energetic powers to manifest greatness and clear out any blocks.
Another fantastic book for millennial women looking to explore woo-woo magic. Ruby Warrington breaks down everything from upgrading your thinking, working with crystal, dharma, astrology, tarot and so much more!
My sweet friend Barb Schmidt wrote this book about her own practice. She’s literally one of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet, so you’re 100% going to want to learn from her. She studied under teachers like Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak Chopra, and Marianne Williamson. Everything with her is always very relatable, practical, and actionable.
I was on the fence about putting this book on here. It started off pretty slow for me, and I don’t agree with Manson’s over the top masculine point of view on all matters (I believe we exist in the gray, and this feels very black and white at times). But as I continued reading on in it, I have to admit, it was engaging, captivating, and ended up winning me over with the stories he chose to include. It’s also a wildly popular book that most absolutely love!