Let ships be ships.

Angela Jia Kim, Founder of Savor the Success in her Daily Action Planner adheres to the philosophy of  “ships”, specifically 3 ships. The concept of ships is pretty basic in the sense that when ships go out to sea we typically wait for them to return to their origin and hope that something of value to us is on the vessel. Ships usually always return to their dock or harbor (I don’t speak nautical) and if not, then it is often because of a mishap.

Angela educates her clients to send out at least 3 ships on a daily basis. Send out something everyday that will eventually bring something back to you. Invest in sending out ships and you are bound to have a return on 1 or more of those investments.

So, what’s a ship? An email, a phone call, an application, a proposal, a chapter of a book, thank you note, and a blog post, etc. A ship is anything that can bring good stuff that you want or need back to you. The lesson is that the more ships you send out the more likely something good is going to come back to you.

In order to achieve your goals you’ve got to send out ships. Daily ships. EVERYDAY you should be putting something out in the world that could possibly bring you profits or other fruitful opportunities and resources.

I’ve been working on adopting this philosophy as a part of  my life. I looked at my 2015 goals and I made a list of ships that I would have to send out in order to make what matters happen.  Who do I need to call, email, visit, write, or submit items to in order to get stuff done? There are now regularly 3 ships or more  on my daily to-do lists. I ain’t too proud to ask, y’all and if need be, I’ll surely beg.

Bottom line: If you don’t send it then you’ll never know what might be on the other side. “If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.”

2f23fa427b67a967a947ca1fcad48c6eFor 99% of you, building your ideal personal and/or professional life might just include needing the help of other people. The ships will alert them of your presence, your passion, your gifts, your purpose, and how they can help you live your best life. Many of your ships will be mutually beneficial and folks will be happy that they showed up on their side of the coast. Once you’ve put it out there, you no longer control the ship–you’ve given up navigation, you must let it go and play the patience and faith game while you wait for it to make its way back home.All ships won’t come back and all ships won’t come back with a pot of gold attached AND that’s okay. Everything in life can’t be and shouldn’t be a yes. Celebrate those ships that do.

Swallow your fear and courageously send out 3 ships a day. What do you really have to lose?

What are your ships?

Here’s a few of mine for next week:

– Mid Managers’ Institute Application

– Proposals for the NCCWSL (National Conference for College Women Student Leaders)

Prevail Planning Team email

– at least 3 blog posts

– daily Facebook posts

theoryTalks follow up email and Social Change Model reminders

– Christmas Thank You Notes

-Email to Caroline from Well Placed Smile

– invitations for campus partners to participate in EVOLVE

– proposal for two possible student programs

Bon voyage! Thanks for reading.

2014 in review–Thanks for reading!

Nice to get an annual blog report. This helps me set goals for 2015. I know that I need to be consistent and instead of pushing myself to post 5-7 days a week, I’m committing  to posting on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Those are the days that make the most sense to me and are the most doable. I’ve also pledged to post my entries on my personal Facebook page and not just my PeculiarPearl Facebook page as this will provide me with more exposure. I’ve been a bit fearful of doing this BUT I gotta push through that fear and hit SHARE. My goal is to be able to utilize my blog as an arm of my speaking/facilitation career that I have also pledged to build this year and it serves as an alternate form of providing knowledge through my role as a leadership educator. I share my full self and I promise that when I post, I’m being my most authentic self. You are getting the stories that occur at the intersection of all my identities. This blog has been a part of my life since 2011 and it has helped me make meaning of my life experiences. It is the most effective form of reflection that I have in my life. Thank you to those who have taken the time to read, like, comment, and share. I hope you’re just as excited about PeculiarPearl in 2015 as I am as I type this post.

Thanks for reading!

Krystal aka Peculiar Pearl

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I said “no” and it was all okay.

no 2


I said “no” and it was all okay.

Recently, I stepped back from a commitment. I’d thought about it for a few months but I kept plugging away because I’m not great at stepping back–I’m a step forward kinda girl.

After a while I realized that not only was I doing myself harm by not backing down but I was also doing the opposite of a good volunteer and I was actually hurting the organization. I wasn’t fulfilling my end of the bargain.

It all felt like an obligation. Life has too many obligations that we should not be in the business of adding more of the “o” word to our plate. I want to want to do everything that I commit my time to in this world. I want all my “extra” in life to feel like an opportunity or a privilege. I don’t want it to be painful. When I fail to prioritize something time and time again, that is a clear indication that I need to let it go. Please don’t start singing that song from Frozen. I actually am the only person in the world who doesn’t get the obsession with the song or the movie.

It hurt to write my goodbye emails but it also lifted an extremely large burden off my shoulders. Now, I don’t have to feel bad about not wanting to do it and then actually not doing it.

It is my opinion that organizations would rather have a clear “no” than a weak and noncommittal “yes”.

no 3

Don’t worry about being perceived as a “quitter” and don’t walk around thinking that the organization will fail if you walk away. Everyone in an organization should be replaceable. If not, it has bigger problems than you no longer wanting to be involved. Walking away doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the cause and in most cases, it doesn’t mean that you can’t ever be involved again at a later time. All it means is that you are taking the opportunity to take care of yourself —own that moment and honor it.

Look at your plate. Is there an item or item(s) on it that you need to bow out of graciously? Think about your exit strategy.

Why are you backing away? Don’t think about this too deeply because it could be as simple as  you just don’t want to do it anymore. Maybe you want to devote yourself to other activities. Maybe you became too involved too fast and need to examine whether or not this activity meets your overall vision and mission for your life.

Who do you need to tell that you’re taking a time out? The chair of the committee, president of the organization? Maybe you want to send private emails to those folks who you’ve developed relationships with that you don’t want to have hard feelings about your departure. You can still stay connected to these folks. No need to burn bridges. The world is tiny.

Is there any transition that you need to assist with upon your departure? Should you set up a meeting to pass along materials and engage in any knowledge transfer to keep this aspect of the organization stable and poised for success? Don’t just leave the organization high and dry. Also, make sure that you update any communications that have you listed as a member of the group such as your email signature, LinkedIn, business cards, and other social media profiles.

What does the conversation sound like when you communicate with others that you’re no longer involved? You don’t owe people an ounce of an explanation but it would be wise to not bad mouth people or the organization. Perhaps you can recommend others to get involved. Maybe you decide to still support on some level (fiscally, low key volunteer position, and social media promotion, etc.). Don’t be afraid to tell people that you needed to clean up your plate of life. Your freedom to admit and live your truth invites others to do the same.

no complete sentence

Relax! Breathe it away and keep it moving. Think about how you’re going to use this extra space in your life. Maybe you just need to do nothing with it except binge watch a show on Netflix and make it to Barre class more than twice a week. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

If you’re anything like me than you are often the last person on your to-do list AND this right here, the art of stepping back, is helping you to move yourself up spot by spot until that one magical day when you find yourself in the #1 slot.

Say “no” or “goodbye” and watch how your life changes. I am living proof that you can say these words and it all be okay. If you need some help with saying no in a way that feels better to your heart and mind check out this list below:

helpful ways to say no

I encourage you to say “no” today.

Thanks for reading.

Lata Y’all.







What are you doing in the next 1,001 days?

I took some time today to update my 101 in 1,001. I still don’t have 101 things on my list. I need to think more outside the box or just take notice of those times throughout the day when I go, “Wow, I wish I could do that.”

Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post and Thrive, inspired me when she stated that one can easily complete a task by simply taking it off your to-do list. Magic! There are times when I put things on a list and then after a while I wonder, “What was I thinking? That doesn’t matter.” Instead of still working to get it done or just keeping it on the list and feeling like a failure, Arianna just says “Get rid of it.” Done and Done. On to the next!

This list all started with Design Darling. I read over her new list to borrow a few ideas. Check out her blog and her cute boutique. She’s lovely.

https://peculiarpearl.wordpress.com/101-in-1001/ –Check it out! Any suggestions?

Later Y’all.


What’s My Motivation?


Mastery as defined by Daniel H. Pink in DRIVE is the desire to get better and better at something. Therefore, Mastery is a process that one has to be motivated to engage in during their life. Since there will never be a point in our existence during which we’ll be perfect at anything the process of Mastery is never ending like that song they used to sing at the end of Lamb Chop’s Play- Along (I know, now it is in your head. You’re welcome!).

Not everyone feels the way that Daniel and I do about Mastery. I learned that this weekend but I’m not budging. If there was a point at which we could master things then I feel like we’d abandon our capacity for learning more often than we should and that, in my humble opinion, is super dangerous.

Pink says that Mastery is three things:
1. A mindset.
2. A pain.
3. An asymptote.

1. You have to believe that you can actually increase your intellect and talent. You must have a growth mindset. “I can learn.” Some people feel that they were born with all of the capacity they will ever have while others feel that practicing and working hard can increase their strength in a given area or in performing a certain task.
2. It is really hard to master something. It takes all of your resources. Depending on what it is, it might actually take your blood, sweat, and tears. If you think about someone you call “The Best”, think about all they must have gone through to deserve that title. Think about how many times they must have failed along the way and still they work to achieve. This takes a lot of courage. It is brave.
3. Uh, so I forgot what this was because I have suppressed everything I learned in math class due to PTSD. Kidding, but really, I don’t do the math. The a-word is a straight line that a curve approaches but never quite reaches. In essence, mastery plays hard to get with us all. We can get real close but never actually achieve it. I mean, we’re pretty good at chasing things we can’t have, right?

Mastery is a motivator. We want to get better at things. When we see that we’re making progress we want to get even better. This cycle goes on and on and on and on…till the break of dawn?! Okay, perhaps but I mean I wouldn’t recommend pulling all-nighters on a regular basis. However, do you.

We fail to realize that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey. The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after year. The master is the one who is willing to try, and fail, and try again, for as long as he or she lives.” -George Bernard Shaw

It’s hard to stay invested in something if no matter how hard you work you don’t feel like you’re making progress. The harder thing is feeling forced to do something in which you don’t really care to pursue mastery. If you don’t really care about making progress then you probably won’t deliver your A-Game or even your B-Game and I mean, please don’t subject anyone to your C-Game.

There are a few things on my “I’d Really Love To Get Better at This List”:
1. Speaking
2. Blogging
3. Barre3
4. Self-promotion

These are the things that I’m actually investing effort into Mastering…there are a ton of other things I SHOULD be working on but to be honest I don’t genuinely want to. I’m still figuring out how to be an adult. Budgeting, supervision, having tact, romantic relationships/dating–like actually going on one…the little things ;). Gotta find that motivation–perhaps the next time a cat sets up shop on my doormat that’ll do the trick.

What are you attempting to Master these days?
Do you believe that Mastery can actually be achieved?

Oh, and read DRIVE. It is pretty great.

Later Y’all

Put Yourself Out There…NOW!

I am reminded after I do a public speaking engagement that I’m not the only one who enjoys hearing myself speak. Kidding! Like most people, I cringe at hearing my recorded voice. It never sounds like that sound should be coming out of my body.

I have a passion for speaking/presenting/facilitating and anything that aligns with education through verbal communication. I have this pipe dream of having my face on a tour bus while I promote my book, blog, and at every stop I share a message with the masses. Yes, I know the face on a tour bus is a bit much. Let me live.

Fortunately, I’ve been invited/hired to do this type of work with college students and student affairs professionals since my time in graduate school. Clearly, I want to do more and I want what I do to get better.

put yourself out there

In my ever pressing effort to BE BRAVE I sent out a series of emails to people within my network in an effort to pursue opportunities. These emails were first steps in the revived “Invest in Krystal” plan.

Thankfully, I’ve received some positive responses. I stick to a pretty consistent email format:

1. I only inquire about opportunities that align with my personal values. I’ve narrowed down my focus and I know the areas in which I want to have the greatest influence.
2. Because I haven’t seen or spoken to some of my contacts in a while, I take a couple of sentences to reintroduce myself and remind them of how we met.
3. If we’re social media friends, I mention a life instance they posted such as congratulating them on marriage, babies, new haircuts, family vacation, or cool concerts, etc.
4. I’m very direct about why I’m emailing and the intended outcome. Phone call? Opportunities to volunteer? Informational Interview? Advice? In-person meeting? Paid opportunities?
5. Describe my passion for the role at hand.
6. List a few recent experiences in specified area.
7. Resume
8. Thank You!

Once they respond, I follow up immediately to get a date on the calendar or to confirm my interest.

I love public speaking but I’m certainly not perfect and don’t have this art nailed down just yet. So, while I’m sending out feelers into the world, I’m also strength training my big ‘ol mouth :).

Saturday, I’m attending a public speaking workshop led by Heidi Petak called Faithful to Speak and I’m strongly considering investing in a much costly opportunity that will occur in December. I’ve got to take advantage of opportunities to engage in development. If I’m not willing to invest in myself, who will?


I figure if I want to pursue this then there is no time like the present and as with most things, what have I got to lose? This is work but it is work I love and I’ve never walked off a platform and felt wrong or like I did something against my nature. Instead, I feel empowered, motivated, confident, and like I’ve used my gifts for a purpose. I’m also mentally exhausted but it has never felt better. It is also the moment when I feel the most vulnerable and the most authentic. No worries, I’m also a huge ball of nerves and like a hug or a big laugh to calm me down before I make my way into the spotlight. What is millions of people’s greatest fear is my biggest thrill. Rollercoaster, take a hike! I’m giving a speech!

If anything, I would encourage you to reach out and communicate with those people/organizations that you believe in that can help you achieve your dreams. What’s the worse that can happen? You won’t get a response?! Well, then you’re in the same place you are now–you’ve lost nothing. It’s hard to put yourself out there but if you never do then that dream will just be that, a far off vision –a castle in the sky without any foundation. Build the foundation! It gets harder to pursue those magical unicorns as you get more comfortable and as your life sprouts more responsibility.

I’m excited for the opportunities ahead during the remaining days of summer and Fall 2014. I’m going to keep putting myself out there and pursuing mastery as if plays hard to get with me for the rest of my life (such a tease!).

So, what do you need to put on your “Invest in [Insert Name Here]” to-do list?

– Make a list of contacts.
– Research outlets in your area.
– Set up a meeting.
– Make a phone call.
– Send an email.
– Take a class.
– Register for a workshop.
– Gather a group of your friends for feedback.
– Book studio time.
– Post a comment to a blog.
– Start that blog.
– Go to rehearsal.
– Read a book.
– Spend time at a co-working space or office to knock out some tasks.

Pull out your planner or that phone calendar gadget app thingy (I’m still a paper/pen girl) and create a plan of action.

You might be surprised what you get back from the universe. If nothing else, you are demonstrating incredible love for and belief in yourself. That’s a strong message and I applaud you for that investment.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Later Y’all!

Ready to Run

I just completed my third year at my current job. LinkedIn confirmed it for me. I stayed at my last job for four years…one year too long. I was at my undergrad for four years, grad school for two years, and the first 18 years of my life were spent in one place, my hometown. However, four of those years were high school, three middle school, four elementary school, and two primary school.

I was dying to get out of my first job by year three. Couldn’t wait to blow that Popsicle stand called high school by year 3.5, and was bursting for the next step after college. Three is my edge and by year four I have jumped off the cliff.

Eek! Am I a runner?

This pattern explains why I’ve been getting the itch lately. The itch to explore, the itch to roam, the itch to pack my bags and head off into the sunset with my diplomas and dresses in tow. Suddenly, Ready to Run by the Dixie Chicks, enters my head. Oh, btw I LOVE them and don’t care one poop what they said about GWB. #merica that!

My coworker gave me a book about finding my way and I think it was just one more sign that I’ve got to take some time to explore that next step.

My dream: An office of my very own where I am able to read, write, develop, create, counsel, and teach. Self-directed creative freedom. Ample time to be in my educator sweet spot. Speaking to people and sharing lessons. Travel to new cities. Consistent blogging. Perhaps writing a book and/or guest columns. No extraneous bullshit! Either, I’d work for myself or work at an institution ( I still love college) with a supervisor that gets me and let’s me run with scissors. Student and professional development. All these things give me life.

This is what I dream about and now I have to make it happen. I am certainly going to have to make some trade offs in order to do so.

I also need to pray.

I didn’t ever want to be seen as a runner or a quitter but at this point. As I bump into year four, I am starting to think that might be the best thing for me. Perhaps by running away, I will find another place where I belong.


Maybe I have this all wrong and this Year Four has started to ask questions that I can’t answer. Should I buy a house? Where’s Mr. Right? When are you going to start acting like an adult?

If I could answer those then I might not want to run.


I’m just overreacting and will be fine by Friday.

Fingers crossed.


I know that God is going to make all these mountains move and I will be more than pleased, if not immediately then certainly in the future, with what He reveals.

Until then, I’m exploring and keeping my running shoes ready for when He tells me to move.

Later Y’all!

Summer is Here!! Part 2: The Work Edition

I work at a university and fortunately, I get the summer months off from my clients aka my students. I adore them BUT we all need a break from each other and this May-August split is cherished.

My previous post was about my various Nashville/US adventures BUT I still have to work. I have A LOT of work to get done this summer before the youngsters return and invade my world in only the way they can do so.

I have a summer to-do list about as long as the Mississippi River and I have to squeeze it all in around my vacation time and general periods of that feeling I call “I don’t want to do work! Wahhh!” I can’t be the only one that suffers from that condition, correct?

every single day

It is practically June. Yes, June! Deal with it.

Here’s my next steps to success:
1. Refine the list. Currently it is on multiple sheets of paper in three different notebooks and on my computer. I have to make the list practical and manageable. What do I actually need to get done to accomplish my office’s and my goals? What can I reasonably accomplish this summer? What projects can I complete by just taking them off the list? I love that Arianna Huffington has introduced that notion into our world. Check out this video of her discussing “Thrive” with Marie Forleo. Also, just check out Marie Forleo. She’s fantastic and MarieTV is perfect lunchtime professional and personal development.

2. Prioritize my priorities. Just because it is on the list doesn’t mean it has to happen ASAP. There are things that I could push off until July or the beginning of August. A timeline will be super helpful. Deadlines are a MUST! I don’t function well without them. I can then plop all of this information on my calendar. If it’s on my calendar, there is a 97% chance that it will happen. I often print out a template calendar and write it all old school with a pen on a sheet of paper. I’ll then transfer it to my Outlook Calendar.

3. Accountability is so necessary. I will share the list and the calendar with my staff and my supervisor. They can then know what to expect of me this summer and what to hold me accountable for this season. During my 1:1 meetings with my boss, I will use this list as the agenda for our meeting. It is also important that I don’t allow him to keep refilling up my plate with things that are not essential for my or my office’s success. Exploring all options and saying “no” is powerful because if I”m not careful, my list will grow longer and longer.

4. Be okay that everything may not happen this summer and keep plugging away into the fall. If it’s important then it’ll happen. The goal is not to beat myself up but to do the most best essential work I can this summer.

To make everything happen I’m going to have to design and create time and space to focus on the projects at hand.

1. I have to step away from my desk and often my office. I have a table in my office that allows me to think in a more creative and open manner. I don’t know what it is about the table but I am able to sit and stare at my blank whiteboard and then fill it with ideas and outlines for curriculum, workshops, or speeches that I need to write. I also work really well at Starbucks. I think it’s because I feel like College Krystal and that girl was a master at getting sh*t done. No one did it better. I may also hit up the campus library. Arriving to work before everyone else and working on Sundays is also a move of mine when I have a lot to get done. Don’t worry, I’ll make up the weekend time during the week :).

2. Put time on my calendar to just be away. Close my door, leave the office, and just be creative and productive. I can’t let anyone usurp that time. It is mine! Back off! I already block off 3-4pm as Krystal, Inc. so I may just extend that time since I don’t have any student visitors during the summer.

3. I have to be okay with using time to think and not rushing through that process in order to just “do work”. I have a longing for using my creative abilities more at work and because my office was created from scratch, I have a lot of freedom to do just that.

4. Because I’ve packed my summer schedule to the brim, I’m going to have to be way more discriminating about whatever else I add to the list. Pretty sure unless it’s a weekend trip, I can’t leave town anymore than I already am at this time. Some of my weeknights might need to be spent on work. That’s the trade-off and trade-offs can’t be avoided.

What are your tips for getting things done during the summer?

Alright, so now I’m going to get off this blog and get some stuff done. Ready, set, go!

get shit done steps

Lata Y’all

Local Levo & House of Stella

Levo Ladies Take Over House of Stella

Check out the following:
1. Levo League
2. Local Levo in your hood
3. House of Stella in Nashville, TN.

Instagram & Twitter: houseofstella

Addresses: Cool Springs 1709 Galleria Blvd., Suite 1007 (In the Cool Springs Target Shopping Center)
Franklin, TN 37067 ~ map

Nashville 1025 8th Ave. S
Nashville, TN 37203

Lovely mother/daughter duo. Enjoyed hearing their story and learning good tips for starting a business. They are women’s women and want to be helpful to entrepreneurs.

house of stella

Can’t wait to wear my new items or use my free infuser.

Support women owned businesses!

Later Y’all.

What’s Your Brand? Part 3

Now the interaction has occurred…what next? Whatever you do post meeting will determine your Post Presence.

1. Did you send a thank you note?
2. Did you follow through on all action items? Were discussed deadlines met?
3. Did you send an email clarifying action items?
4. If the person attempts to contact you post meeting, are you responsive?
5. If you see the person you met with after the meeting, do you have a congenial interaction?
6. If you post on social media about this interaction, was it in a positive way? Is posting on social media appropriate?
7. Do you chat with others about the interaction and if so, what is the quality of your conversation? You don’t want someone to chat with another colleague or a potential employer about your meeting and hear negative feedback. Be mindful of what you share and who you share with in your environment.
8. If needed, did you schedule a follow up meeting?

This piece is all about follow-up and follow through.

I’m all about a thank you note within the week after the encounter. I take notes during the meeting with little check boxes to ensure that I’m clear on all homework I need to do post meeting. If possible, I complete those items within 1-2 days after the meeting to show my engagement and commitment to the project at hand. I certainly strive to meet all deadlines. If I find myself stalled on a project, I communicate that to relevant stakeholders and keep them aware of my progress.

That’s it. Pre Presence, Presence, and Post Presence. Those three elements are great determinants of your brand. What do you need to do to step it up a notch?

Later Y’all