Gaining Inspiration and Motivation from Sonja Elise Freeman in honor of Diva Diamond’s 10 Year Anniversary
Motivation, or lack there of, has the ability to make or break our career, our relationships, our goals and essentially everything else that we put energy into. Motivation is what drives us to accomplish goals, go after what we desire, and to keep pushing in the face of adversity. It’s no secret that hard work pays off, but how the heck do we stay motivated enough to make sure that the job gets done so that we can reap the reward? Well, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sonja Elise Freeman, an inspirational business strategist and the founder and owner of Diva’s Diamonds, who is preparing to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of her brand, and all of the motivation that she has been able to spread along the way. I want to share her professional insight on how we can maintain our motivation and ensure that our goals and desires come to fruition.
Dove: Tell me about Diva’s Diamonds and how you got started.
Sonja: The mission of Diva’s Diamonds: Words to Inspire, Empower and Encourage is to share words that inspire, empower, and encourage women to become FLAWLESS, similar to P.I.N.K. (Possibilities I Now Know) Diamonds. I use the comparison of P.I.N.K. Diamonds to describe how each and every person is not only precious, but becomes flawless with the pressures of life, much like a pink diamond in the earth; one of the world’s most expensive diamonds, by the way. My readers are constantly reminded that I believe in them, that they are loved, that they are appreciated and that they can do anything in their heart to achieve greatness. I remind them that even though the pressures of life may be tough, they can get through it, because they are already flawless; it is just a matter of time when they see it for themselves. Diva’s Diamonds started originally as a blog on blogger.com on July 22, 2010 with my first topic “Walk In Love.” I had accepted my call in leadership in ministry at my church in 2004 and for the last six years I was studying the Holy Bible, freelancing via my business Divine Voices Media with executive administration and event planning for small business owners, solely relying on the kindness of clients for extra payments because it was my only income. I started the blog as a way to release what was going on in my mind that related to my journey of being in love with learning my Christian walk with God. Shortly after, I was led to move away from releasing for myself and more towards motivating others via social media and the blog. It started to catch on with people all over the United States yet no one around me knew about my blog. I started a Facebook page a few months later and that is when my blogging turned more to motivational quotes to inspire people to keep going with their day and to be encouraged during their everyday life. I wrote so many quotes that by the end of the summer I had enough to start writing eBooks. I wrote three eBooks by 2011 and released them on Amazon. I also started a monthly subscription and remained consistent with sharing quotes until 2012. So it all started with a blog but it grew into eBooks, a book club, fitness club, and mentoring. It has also escalated into career consulting services with pageantry, modeling, voice lessons and my first women’s conference last year in NYC.
Dove: What are some things that people can do to stay motivated throughout the day?
Sonja: For starters, I would recommend getting up at the same time every day. This will help you build a routine and stick to a schedule.
Make your bed everyday, this should always be your first accomplishment. Let me tell you, it truly does make a difference when you start your day with this task, so at the end of a long day, you’re reminded of your first accomplishment. This especially makes me smile on days that were particularly awful.
Make the decision to push through no matter what the day brings to you. This can be challenging to do if you have family, significant others or children that can really try your patience and zap your energy. But no matter what, make sure that you commit to getting at least 1 to 3 things accomplished by the end of the day, regardless of what problems may arise.
And lastly, you also want an accountability partner that will commit to you and helping you to achieve your daily goals. I have my own accountability partner, and we have been consistent in holding each other accountable since 2016. We talk every day at the beginning of the day, sometimes during, and we are now starting to do a recap to make sure we are completing what we said we were going to do for the day. We also share anything exciting that comes up, or victories to encourage each other. This became especially important during the pandemic. During this time, it was easy to become distracted or lack enthusiasm to complete tasks. Our anxiety and frustration begun to creep in after four months of quarantine. We found that recapping at the end of the day gives us motivation to stay the course during the day to complete every realistic task we say, and to write down and check off what was being completed. After four years of having an accountability partner, this is the most productive that I have ever been in my life. I’ve finally completed my Diva’s Diamonds Anthology, which combines all three eBooks I wrote in 2010 and released in 2018. I produced five Off-Off -Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and Off-Broadway and Broadway Cabaret musical tribute to Phyllis Hyman called “Strength of a Woman: A Phyllis Hyman Tribute Starring Queen Diva,”. I got accepted into graduate school where I am presently studying for my Executive MBA at Prairie View A&M University College of Business which I will complete in December 2021. I released my 1st Gospel single “This Day” written by the late Dr. Edwin Hawkins and produced by me and it is being placed on a Spotify Playlist with Iwantmyvinyl.com and Reverbnation.com Top Charting Christian Artists for the last 3 months of 2020.
Out of all of my advice, I wholeheartedly recommend getting an accountability partner to stay motivated most of all.
Dove: What are some things that someone can do if they feel themselves running out of motivation?
Sonja: Start by first doing a mental health check with yourself. Ask yourself, “Am I okay? What is going on? Why am I not feeling motivated? Am I feeling sick? Am I frustrated or upset? Where am I in my head that I am feeling like I am running out of motivation?” Once you have asked yourself, then go to a friend, family member or spouse/significant other. Ask to share what is on your mind that you may be carrying around and talk about it. Ask for their advice on letting some things go or how to push through not wanting to do anything or complete a task. The most important thing you can do is talk to someone. No man is an island and there is someone you know that will listen to you. Do not ever think no one wants to listen or cares about you. They even have a free Covid 19 hotline in every state for people to call, ask questions, and get help with releasing whatever is on their minds.
Also, you can pick up a new hobby! I’ve recently started back learning French, lol. I took French in high school and college and I took French Diction for my music requirements as a Voice major during my undergraduate study, yet I have never practiced conversational French. That defeats the purpose of learning French, right? LOL! I learned how to read, write and pronounce French but never practiced, keyword here is practice, speaking French. So now I am speaking French and learning new vocabulary daily. Learning a new hobby or reconnecting with an old one can definitely be a great motivation activity and when you accomplish one thing you would gladly become excited about what you need to get completed again.
Dove: What would you say is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned throughout your life?
Sonja: Now this is a great question! The keywords here are “biggest lesson” are “life.” I would have to say the biggest lessons that I have learned in my life are to be kind to people and remember people’s name. The reason why I say that is because there is great power in treating people kindly. People may not always remember what you do, but they will always remember how you made them feel. If you can think back over your life and think about all the people you have met so far, how many people do you remember that treated you really badly and others who have treated you very well. Now, do you remember what they did for a living or what their claim to fame was in their life? You remember if someone took the time to show you how to tie your shoe, who taught you how to ride your bike, who taught you how to tie a tie, show you how to use chopsticks, who taught you how to drive and who helped you with a major purchase or event in your life. Those people took the time to be kind and patient with you to teach you those activities or were there by your side through it all. You also remember who broke up with you before Valentine’s Day, who fired you for no reason or bullied you in elementary or middle school or interrupted you every time you would talk or ignored you when you needed them the most. I would recommend that everyone that reads this never forget being kind to people, remembering the name of their server the next time they go to a restaurant for drive-thru or pick, the nurse that helps you or your child during a visit, the doorman that opens the door for you daily or the janitor that keeps the building you live in or work at clean and sanitized in excellence. This goes a mighty long way.
Dove: Tell me about your upcoming virtual conference next month in honor of your 10 year anniversary.
Sonja: I am so elated you asked! I am celebrating 10 years of faithfully sharing words of inspiration, empowerment and encouragement online during my virtual Diva’s Diamonds 10th Anniversary & Conference. This conference is comprised of four inspiring women who will join me in celebrating via LIVE broadcast on my Diva’s Diamonds: Words to Inspire, Empower and Encourage Facebook page on Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 11 am CST/12 pm EST. My company Divine Voices Media, a multimedia production and business consulting firm, will also be celebrating 16 years of service. I personally selected four amazing women I have known for over 5 years who are extraordinary in their fields of expertise. I call them my P.I.N.K.(Possibilities I Now Know) Diamonds Speakers and they are Nicole “Epic Shae” Sanders, Founder/CEO of WigSlayers & WigSlayers Unlimited, an international Wig and Beauty Network located on Facebook Groups with 85.9K members and 224 Facebook paid subscribers. Her group has its own commercial produced by Facebook in 2019. My next speaker is Ramona J. Smith, 2018 World Champion of Public Speaking hosted by Toastmasters International. She was victorious over 30,000 speakers from around the world. Carrie Rice, who is an award-winning, inspirational author, off-broadway & film costume director and named NY Top Fashion Stylist by Amsterdam News. Lastly, but by no means least, Nanette M. “The Queenmaker” Weeks, Co-Founder/Executive Producer of Miss Plus World & Empowerment Author and I will host the conference. I’m very excited to have Carrie’s Couture by Carrie Rice as my styling sponsor. Our official beauty sponsor will be a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant, Terrie Lynn Green. And our official jewelry sponsor will be Blingtastic with P by Porsha Pruitt. I just started our “Empowerment Challenge” this week and I am asking everyone to record 30–60 seconds and share what inspires, empowers or encourages them during these challenging times, as well as wishing us a happy 10th anniversary. Use the hashtag: #DivasDiamonds10.
Dove: And tell me how we can reach you on social media.
Sonja: Follow me on Instagram at divasdiamonds. My Facebook is DivasDiamonds, my Twitter is divas_diamonds and you can follow my podcast on BlogTalkRadio: divas_diamonds.
Well there you have it everyone. Amazing advice from a seasoned 10-year professional! Be sure to wish Sonja a happy anniversary and I’ll see you all at her 10 year anniversary virtual conference next month. 👋🏾