Name: GG Renee
Blog/Business: All the Many Layers
When did you start your blog/business?
I started my blog in late 2012. I’d been blogging as a hobby since 2009, but when I started All the Many Layers, I knew that I wanted to really go for it and make it the foundation of a new business and way of life for me.
What triggered you to pursue your dreams and begin creating the life you want?
There was a point in my late twenties where I was on the verge of a complete breakdown. I was depressed, anxious all the time, disillusioned with life. My mother suffers from mental illness, so I was certain that would be my fate, as well. Plus, I had kids before I really had a strong sense of self, so I was overwhelmed with trying to be everything for them and everyone else when I didn’t know how to be what I needed for myself. So I went to therapy and my counselor encouraged me to write. It kept coming up as something that soothed me when I was younger, so she kept nudging me to get back to it and she gave me reading and writing assignments. That is when the light starting coming back on.
What do you enjoy most about living life on your own terms?
The freedom and inner peace. No matter what growing pains I go through now, I know who I am, what’s meaningful to me and what energy I want to create with my life.
How are you living out your purpose?
In July 2013, I quit my corporate job of 12 years to pursue writing full time. Since then I have been building a platform of books, e-books, courses, and custom services to inspire women who want to live more authentic, creative lives. I’ve married my love for writing with my love for inspiring people. In 2015, I started a consulting service where I provide writing coaching and ghostwriting services to creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs who want to write with more feeling and establish a deeper connection with their audience.
Describe an a-ha moment.
It was a random day at work, business as usual. I was leaning over into my coworkers’ cube talking about who knows what. I was probably giving her some kind of advice. She interrupts me and says, “What are you doing here.” It’s a statement, not a question. I was like, “Wait, what? What do you mean?” She looks at me directly, unwavering and says, “You are wasting your talent here. Wasting it. I need you to get out of here and share your gift with the world. Go.” I’m leaving out the expletives, but trust, she let me know she was not playing. To the point that her tone hurt my feelings a bit, but she got my attention in all the right ways. She didn’t say anything that I didn’t already know, but something about that moment moved me and I’ll never forget it.
What does being free mean to you?
Being free means knowing who you are, what moves you and being brave enough to stay true to it no matter what challenges come your way.
What has been your biggest challenge pursuing your purpose?
My biggest challenge has been changing my thoughts. I had such a defeated attitude for so long. It has taken me years to do the work of changing my thoughts and limiting beliefs. So many times I’ve taken three steps forward, only to take two steps back. It has not been easy, but everything I go through helps me to have more insight to share through my work.
What does your ideal day look like?
I wake up about an hour before the kids and I do my morning rituals. Lemon water, meditation, morning pages and yoga. I wake the kids and get them ready for school. I get home and work for awhile before getting myself ready for lunch with a client, friend, or colleague. After lunch, I work until it’s time to pick up the kids. We chill, check homework, eat, maybe someone has dance or basketball practice. After the kids go to bed, I have time alone or with the mister depending on his work schedule. And the best part of all of this that makes it so ideal is that I have the flexibility to adjust each day as I need to.
What’s one thing that you want people to know about you or your business?
I am just as scared if not more scared than anyone else who thinks they can’t start a business or change their life and I did it so if I can do it, anyone can do it.
What is your biggest fear? And how do you overcome your fears?
My biggest fear is letting down my kids. My partner and kids have made sacrifices in order for me to follow my purpose and I want them to be proud of me and see how being brave and working hard pays off.
How do you stay encouraged?
I surround myself with positivity constantly. To avoid burnout, I take breaks to indulge in what fills me -- music, reading, dancing, time with loved ones. I know that it’s normal to have ups and downs, and I don’t dwell on my setbacks and bad days for too long.
What are you most proud of?
Finding the courage to stand up in my life and show my true colors and create a life that accurately reflects who I am.
How do you support other women?
I make it my business to connect with women who are positive and doing positive things. I feature women on my blog who have wisdom and stories to share that will inspire other women. I do everything I can to go against the stereotype that women can’t support each other and lift each other up.
What is your favorite affirmation or quote?
Just one? Eeek! I don’t have one specific favorite, but I love this one by Maya Angelou:
"A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself."
This quote always comforts and reminds me that when I’m nervous or scared, all I have to do is be myself and my spirit will shine through and speak for me.
What’s your favorite book?
Again, it’s so hard to pick just one. One of my favorites is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It woke me up in so many ways. Not only did it inspire me spiritually, but I also found a special place in my heart for books like this -- I guess I’d call it inspirational fiction? -- where you go on a journey with the main character and gain insights into your own life through their story.
What exciting things do you have planned for 2015?
For 2015, I’m most excited about publishing my third book. I learned a lot from self-publishing the first two and I’m loving the process of implementing what I’ve learned for this third project. I’m also working on a new writing workshop that I’m very excited to roll out.
You can learn more about GG Renee….
The Chasing Free Feature is designed to spotlight women who are living in purpose, pursuing her dreams, and creating the life she wants by doing what she’s passionate about.
Monthly, I'll introduce you to women that are unapologetically living life on her own terms. She's a solopreneur, blogger, small business owner, she may even have a side hustle until she’s able to do what she loves full time. She’s doing the darn thing! And she openly shares her journey with the BeFree Community to help inspire others to be free.
If you or someone you know is living out their dreams and want to be featured on the blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!