tammy lewis

You're Closer Than You Think

Sometimes as business owners, especially as a start up, we are tempted to get discouraged and quit.  Often times we are right on the edge of our breakthrough when we give up.  I'm here to tell you today that you are closer than you think.

Five years ago, I allowed a friend of to come into a business that I had already established.  One year after being in business with her, it just wasn't working out.  We both hired attorneys to fight for the company that I had built on my own.  You can image the frustration I felt.  I looked around and noticed that the people who were suffering the most were the clients who were caught in the middle.  I decided to contact my attorney to let him know that I had chosen to walk away.  And I did just that.  Crazy huh?  

I decided that I was going to start over again.   After I had signed everything over to her, I went to the Department of Health and Human Services to submit a new application.  Image my surprise when I found out they were not accepting applications, and wouldn't be for the next three years!  I was devastated!  I called back the next day to speak with someone else and they gave me the same story.  What was I going to do now?  I got into my bed and under the covers and cried.  I stayed there for two weeks.  

One day, I decided to go out and get the mail.  There was a letter in there from her attorney wanting me to sign a non-compete.  How dare she do this, after I brought her into my business.  I had just about given up, until I saw that letter.  It lit the fire under me that I needed.  I called back to the Department of Health and Human Services and got the same story.  I was just about to give up and then I started to pray.  I called again and told them my story.  The lady that was on the other end of the line told me not to sign any paperwork from the attorney, but to instead come in the following week for a survey.  When I went in for my survey that day, I was missing ten items from my policies.  She told me what they were and said that normally, they don't license anyone with missing items, but that she trusted  I would get them written and put in my binder.  She licensed me with an effective date that day.

Over the next year, I built my company larger than it had ever been and continued to grow it.  I received many awards and was featured in several magazines, including "Forbes".  The irony in the whole thing is that my ex-business partner sold the company one year later and the person that bought it, handed it right back to me.  He just called one day and handed it over, "Free and Clear."  I was amazed.  So, though things may look difficult, don't rule out the favor of God.  You have to believe before you can see.  Don't give up, because you're closer than you think!

- Tammy Lewis

Overcoming Your Fears

Everyone is afraid of something; whether it snakes, spiders, writing or public speaking. The best way to conquer your fears is to face them head on.

When I was growing up, I was very shy and timid. I didn't like strangers, it was hard to make friends and I didn't like for people to see me eat. I would take my plate into the bedroom.  So, can you imagine having a business with those same qualities? That's exactly how I was. I was so afraid of talking to professionals. I was afraid that I would say the wrong things or not be able to blend in with the conversations, because I wasn't  smart enough.  These are all real problems that people deal with everyday. The one thing that I figured out about myself was that because I was not willing to face my fears head on, I was about to talk myself out of my future. Sometimes we can be our own worst critics. We don't see what other people see in us.

I found a way to get over my fear of large crowds of people at networking events by arriving early. If I was going to be the first one there, then it was like everyone was coming to meet me, instead of me going to meet them. This little trick actually worked and before you knew it, I knew everyone. Since the the industry that I was in was rather small, everyone kind of ran in the same circle. Most of the time it was the same people and if not, someone was there to introduce you. 

After I tamed that lion, I started to visit facilities and introduce myself. I seemed to always find myself in crowds at that point. Before I knew it, I was speaking to small groups. The groups became larger and larger and I am currently planning my first conference.  Can you image that? Me, speaking to hundreds? 

So, I say to you that whatever fear that you are exhibiting that is keeping you from your destiny, it time to face it HEAD ON!

What is your heart telling you?

From the time that you are a small child, there is always someone telling you that you can't do something.  "You can't go outside today." " You can't watch that."  " You can't do that; it's too difficult."  You can actually hear something so much that it will become a part of you.  This is what happened to me.  I was told that I couldn't do things so much that I literally thought that I could do nothing right. 

I can remember being in the second grade and my grandmother telling me that I could do anything that I wanted to do.  That was short lived, as she died early in my childhood, which silenced her voice.  In the fourth grade, I had two teachers that would spend extra time with me, as they must have sensed my low self-esteem.  They would always try and encourage me. The truth was I didn't believe them.  I was told that, "I can't", so apparently, I couldn't.

I moved away after the fifth grade and at that time I began listening to the unqualified voices, again.  Those voices haunted me long into my adulthood. I robbed myself of joy and success, because I was told that I couldn't do things.  One day, I decided that I would take a leap of faith and move to another state.  I was told that I would never make it away from my family.  Guess what?  I made it!  Once that I realized that I could do certain things, I reflected on my grandmother and my fourth grade teacher's voices, that had once been silenced.  I told myself that I would focus on those voices and silence the unqualified voices. 

 I decided to listen to my inner self and my entire life changed for the better.  I became a better person, wife and mother.  I began to focus more on my career.  I went back to school and finished my nursing degree, started and ran a successful business, all while maintaining my household.  I am now a mentor, author, motivational speaker, as well as a business consultant.
I say to you, "Listen to your heart" and never allow anyone to tell you that you "Can't." 

Phil 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."  Dream and Dream BIG!!!!!  What you "can't" do, God "can."

- Tammy Lewis