Woman of the Week: Tonya


Meet this weeks Woman of the Week Tonya!  I met Tonya several years ago when she owned her jewelry supply business Whole Lotta Whimsy.  She had the best products and the most wonderful customer service.  She is also a jewelry artist that creates beautiful pieces in her brand new home studio in her new home.  She recently made a climate switch from desert living to mountain living and I see her going to all sorts of jewelry workshops to hone her already impressive skills.

1:  If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?
Yesterday is gone. Today is a gift. What will you do with this precious time. Live today like it’s your last!

2:  In the last five years what have you become better at saying no to?
It’s become easier to say no to taking on time consuming tasks or jobs that involve stress, anxiety and anger. I don’t need to start another business, be in a position of leadership (boards, committees, etc), join peer groups, or be the team mom. I am just focusing on me and my work these days and it sure is peaceful and satisfying.

3:  What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the "real world"?
It’s a cliche but it’s true....don’t sweat the small stuff. 
I did a lot of work in my 40’s figuring out my undesirable traits, admitting them, and making a plan to correct/change them. I’m a perfectionist driven by my successes and achievements. “More is more” used to be my motto. So for me, it was always about the small stuff because I’m about the details. It wasn’t good enough to do the bare minimum or even to do the average job. However in the end, if this is your last day on earth, you have to ask yourself, would you seriously waste time worrying or fretting about “that thing”. Pick your battles better in your work, your life, your relationships and your expectations of self. Lastly remember what Voltaire said “the perfect is the enemy of the good”.

4:  What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you've ever made?  (it doesn't need be financial in nature)
The time, teaching, advice, listening and love that I have invested in my child. There is nothing more important in the world than the happiness of your child. I feel a responsibility to make sure that my son, who is now a man, is a productive, empathetic, responsible, loving and joyful part of the greater community of the planet. I also wanted to do whatever it took to teach him how to treat others with respect, kindness and love. 

5:  In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Behavior: moving! Integrating daily workouts and movement has made me more productive, happy and healthy.
New Belief: no one needs to know your opinion and you don’t have to help others all the time. Just listen, nod and agree if you disagree. Voicing your opinion only changes their opinion about you and never about the topic or their passionately held beliefs.
Habit: stop and smell the roses. Seriously, stop to look at the sky, the buildings, the vegetation, etc. Visit more places by yourself, more often, so you have the quiet and you see the details because you are introspective. 
And stop eating carbs...they are evil!

6:  How has a failure, or apparent failure set you up for later success?  Do you have a favorite failure of yours?
There are very few things that I consider a failure. For me they are learning experiences and adventures that make me more successful the next time. If I had to pick one, I would have to say my first retail store because it was not as profitable as I wanted it to be. There are so many things that are part of having a profitable business but when you sign that lease, you have to do whatever it takes to make that location, size of space and business idea a success. That might mean extreme personal sacrifices of blood, sweat and tears but during that experience you will learn a ton. It’s that effort, drive and hard work that makes any experience a successful one. I loved my store and my customers and I learned so much from that experience that helped me make a more successful business with another store, a wholesale company, a marketing consulting company, and a coaching company. Each one lending New failure experiences to the perfect mix of ingredients. My newest entrepreneurial adventure is much more laid back. I’m launching a jewelry and design company. I’ve always been a designer/maker. I’m just manifesting it in a new way!

7:  What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months or in recent memory?
I would have to say that they are experiences at museums. I recently visited Washington DC and spent many days at the museums. They were actually free but so enriching. Not enough Americans take advantage of these treasures. I try to add a day to visit museums in every city I visit!
I also love buying books and researching stories that give me historical info to help my work grow and evolve. 

8:  When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
Step back, take some 4/7/8 breathing (Dr Weil), and remind myself that it’s just a speed bump. Slow down, reflect, understand it’s not a big deal in the scheme of life, and make a new plan. I also remind myself upon waking and throughout the day that this day is a blessing and gift. It is not promised. How do I want that day to exemplify what I want to Do, Be, Have, and Become? Am I in alignment?

9:  What is the book (or books) you've given most as a gift and why?  Or what are one to three books that have greatly influence your life?
Greg Levoy: Callings
Jack Canfield: The Success Principles
Seth Gooding: Linchpin (I think all high school age people should have to read this book)
Malcolm Gladwell: The Tipping Point

10:  What is one piece of advice you would give to a woman that you wish you knew earlier in life?
Take better care of you girl friendships. Keep in touch and follow through.
Follow through with your communications in all areas of life.
Keep family first, always. 
Wake up and give thanks for life. 
Say no more than you say yes. You need to take care of yourself first. 

11:   What do you think about the theory of "the love of your life", what does that phrase mean to you?
I think “love of my life” can be cliche but you certainly can attract that romantic energy by knowing what you want. Most people don’t know what they want and wanting “love” is too vague. Knowing who you desire (just like knowing your target market) can lead to finding “the one”.
You can also have the love of your life through birth. My child truly is the love of my life. We are forever connected.
I do believe you can meet the love of your romantic life, and you know when you do. However it’s not enough. I believe we are not the same people in our 20’s as our 30’s etc. So we have to continue to work on ourselves, our relationships and our communication as we grow. I have been blessed with a husband who is not only my true love but my best friend too! Our love continues to grow and deepen because we put our relationship first and we work on ourselves individually and as a couple. 

12:  What is something that you would find most helpful in your life right now?  (what would be the best problem solved for you)
I have sciatic nerve issues so I will be dedicating more time to stretching and strength training. As I’ve gotten more movement oriented I’ve also gotten stiffer which surprised me! Ah the joys of aging. Physical health is just as important as our mental health. Thanks Sherry for the stretching exercises. I can’t wait to integrate them into my daily habit. 
This week I am hitting my “fifth level”. I can only imagine what I will have learned and achieved at the “sixth level”.

Thank you for sharing Tonya!