15 | Steph's Diary: Operating in Abundance | Pamoja Bags 15 | Steph's Diary: Operating in Abundance

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15 | Steph's Diary: Operating in Abundance

15 | Steph's Diary: Operating in Abundance

This year I'm operating on abundance, and as we wrap up the first month of the year I'm sharing what that means to me.

Sometimes it can be scary to have big dreams and put yourself out there. But for me, what's the worst that can happen if I continue to push through, doing something that I love and enjoy?

This is me at home with one of the new bags that will be available this fall!

Topics Covered:

  • Recognize the power of your thoughts
  • Surround yourself with people with an abundance mentality
  • Create win-win situations
  • Incorporate gratitude in your life
  • Recognize opportunities around you
  • Recognize the power of your thoughts
  • Surround yourself with people with an abundance mentality
  • Create win-win situations
  • Incorporate gratitude in your life
  • Recognize opportunities around you

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Stephanie: I am Stephanie Evans and this is Diaries of a Modern Trailblazer. Take note of the journey and be inspired to forge your own amazing path.

As the first month of the year comes to a close, I wanna talk about abundance because this year I'm operating in abundance. And I say that because I wasn't in a place of abundance the entire year last year. It honestly took some therapy, being in a space to myself to get there, and I have to say that it's truly rewarding, so I want to share what that means to me.

A scarcity mentality is what keeps many of us from achieving our goals. An abundance mindset refers to the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everybody, and believe me, there is plenty out there. No room for envy, but much respect and appreciation for what others are doing. A scarcity mentality sees limitations instead of opportunities and quite frankly, I've had to catch myself from falling into the scarcity mentality trap because at the end of the day, the question is, why not?

One of the big goals for me this month was doing outreach to luxury boutiques, introducing Pamoja and letting them know about the brand and the amazing collection that's going to be available this fall. Essentially pitching them to pick up our product because these bags are amazing.

Um, and I'm, I'm just like so excited about how it's coming to life and the lookbook and line sheets and everything. Like, I'm really, really excited about introducing this collection, and it's been a labor of love, with positive feedback across the board. There were times where I questioned whether or not Pamoja was good enough for these boutiques. Luxury boutiques carrying Bottega, Proenza Schuller, Marni, and other established luxury brands that have some really great bags.

But at the end of the day, I'm pushing for it because I am worthy. Pamoja is worthy. We're worthy to have these bags belong on those shelves. And I had to quickly turn those thoughts around. I know at the end of the day, not everyone is going to say yes. and take a chance to invest in an emerging brand they never heard of.

But what I also know is that there is a void in the market in offering elevated functional bags that are of luxury quality at a moderate price point. My price point is 300 to 900 for this collection, and that can be pricey to some, but I'm not creating for everybody. It's important to carve out my niche and focus on the needs of that customer.

We may have different priorities in life, stepping into new seasons of our lives, facing new challenges. But what I'm getting at is it's important to own it, to have the mindset of abundance positively pouring into yourself.

I came across an article written a few years ago in Forbes that mentioned a few ways we can put this into practice. So, I'll share them and expand upon how I apply these to my life.

The first one is recognize the power of your thoughts. You need to focus on what you have already achieved and what you already have.

My previous podcast guest, Jovanna, um, in our discussion, we had a conversation around goals, and this kind of ties into it because we talked about how, you know, it's great to set goals for yourself, um, directionally in terms of what you're focused on, but it's also important to realize that you're not necessarily going to complete all of those goals to the fullest.

But what is important is that you recognize that you started, you started to work towards those goals. And if you need to continue, if you need to tweak it, that's okay, but recognize that you at least approached it and you're moving forward. You hold so much power with your thoughts and it's important to recognize that.

The second item is surround yourself with people with an abundance mentality. The quality of a person's life. Is most often a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group. I recently joined Sidebar and it's a virtual community focused around accelerating professionally. What they do is curate your professional board of directors in a small group that essentially becomes a bi weekly group coaching setting that has a professional facilitator. In my group, we're all entrepreneurs.

And generally speaking, we have a product based business. I had my second meeting yesterday and I left energized and inspired to hear some of the problems others were facing, the wheels were turning. We were giving each other feedback in the form of a question. For example, one of the questions I posed was, Have you considered doing pop up shops or wholesale distribution to mitigate the risk associated with making a large upfront investment in a physical retail store to better understand where your customer is?

That's something that I've definitely thought about because it's a goal of mine to have a physical retail store. Am I ready for that today? No, not necessarily. But, I'm testing the waters now as I look to expand my collection and go into wholesale, so it's super exciting to be there and just hearing how others are thinking about it as well. I loved it and I'm lucky I have over 20 of these meetings over the course of the year.

But enough about that. The third item was create win win situations. The way in which I'm moving Pamoja forward requires partnerships and at the core of it, that's what it always has been. I mean, Pamoja is a Swahili word for togetherness.

If I win, you win, we win. Wholesale is a partnership between the retailer and Pamoja. If we don't see an opportunity that fits us both, it's not going to work. Showroom discovery room. And, I mean, I know you heard me talk about showrooms—it's still a goal in 2024. Didn't necessarily hit it in 2023, but working towards it for September. So, definitely. It's a partnership between the showroom and Pamoja. If we don't see an opportunity that fits us both, it's not going to work. The list of opportunities is endless. In all of these partnership opportunities, we will both win at the end of the day.

Never hesitate to make that call, or send that email, or set up that meeting for win win opportunities in both your personal and professional relationships. If they never know about it, how is it going to come to fruition? Let me repeat that. If they never know about it, how is it going to come to fruition?

Don't hold yourself back. And this is a big one for me. This is going to be the biggest thing that I work on this year.

The fourth item is incorporate gratitude into your daily life. Uh, towards the end of the year, last year, I started to write down what I'm grateful for on a weekly basis. And I can share what I wrote down from the previous week, uh, which is a week of January 14th.

For me, I'm in Houston, and that week we had really cold weather where it got as low as 18 degrees. So I'm really grateful that I did not have any issues, did not incur any damage to my home with the freezing weather. The heat was running. I got to use my fireplace for the first time, which was really cool. And I'm grateful for that.

I had a one on one meeting with, um, one of my peers in the sidebar group that I mentioned. And what I took from that conversation was that, you know, we, we came into sidebar at our own accord because we want that growth for ourselves and we're going to help each other make it. And after that conversation, one of the things that I mentioned that I'm working on is— I need to amp my marketing strategy and I kind of, I kind of hold myself back and he immediately said, you know, I'm going to share my marketing strategy deck that I paid, um, a agency to put together for me. So I have that template and it's wonderful and I have one too, but it's really cool to kind of compare notes and and see what else I can add to my strategy, so that was awesome.

I did research and emails around the luxury boutiques. I continue to add to that list. I wrote my draft emails, you know, to make sure that it was tailored to who I was doing the outreach to. It wasn't necessarily generic. So that was a big accomplishment for me last week.

And then I had a super productive Saturday where I did laundry, I worked out, showered, before catching up with a friend at brunch. At noon. So I got a lot of stuff done before noon on a Saturday. I watched the divisional NFL playoffs, the Texans versus the Ravens. Unfortunately, our Texans didn't win, but they made it that far. And, um, I'm excited to see what's to come in the next seasons. And then I finished reading The Psychology of Money. So, that was my gratitude from the previous week, and it's really cool to have it written down, you know, just focusing on nothing but the great things that happened over the week. Not the negative, but the positive, and it was so much there.

The fifth thing, fifth and last item here is, Recognize opportunities around you, and for me, ultimately, by having a mindset of abundance, I am able to see more for myself, more for Pamoja, and I'm going to continue to push as long as this is what I'm called to do.

If I had all of the time and the money in the world and I knew I could not fail, this is exactly what I would be doing, and for that, I am truly grateful.

And that's a wrap. So own it and make moves. One day, I want to share your journey on this podcast.