Have you ever had a dream so big that you didn’t know where to start?

Confetti aftermath from my EricaMintu.com Blog Launch Party

Today starts a pivotal moment in my life as I’ve finally taken the initiative to kickstart my dream of being a Lifestyle Blogger. AKA: I’ve kicked myself in my own butt to put plans into action steps and take that leap of faith to simply “begin”. You know, that’s required sometimes to get plans on paper to become reality. Currently, I’m sitting on a plane flying back to Knoxville, Tennessee from Las Vegas. It’s October 27th, 2018. I’m sure you’re wondering, ‘Why now?’

What happened in Vegas that has made you upset with yourself for putting something off that I’ve been meaning to do for a year? Well…let’s just say that I’ve had the opportunity to listen to some incredible public speakers and monsterprenuers when I travel to Vegas. I’ve only been twice and both have been credited by being encouraged to go for real estate, personal growth opportunities, and to attend conferences where these magical nuggets are all served up on a silver platter for the taking.

In February of this year, I had the opportunity to listen to Grant Cardone, Lori Harder, Ed Myelette…I can continue name dropping if need be. My mind was on sensory overload and I contemplated my next life moves of what new business I wanted to create and how I am going to leave my legacy. I wrote down my action plan and knew I needed to make the leap of faith actually happen. On that particular plane ride, I skipped the snack offered by the flight attendant…wait…who am I kidding. Y’all know I love my apple juice and pretzels when I’m flying. I’m like a small child waiting for their reward for being good while sitting on the plane as they approach.

But in all seriousness, I took that plane ride to write some things down. As with most phenomenal beginnings it began on one of the most inconspicuous items that’s usually left to get rid of the scraps. Yes, I wrote them down on an airplane napkin. I sketched out some ideas for my blog logo. I played around with different “fonts” and scripting. I thought about all the topics and things that I wanted to do write and share my outlook on. In those moments I realized that I couldn’t select one main “topic” to base my blog on. That my niche was undefinable. I am simply too multi-faceted and have interests in all kinds of topics. I learned that from looking back at my past, my current following was interested in simply me being me. Which is what I will talk about in my posts to come: Lifestyle, Fashion, Design, Beauty, Entrepreneurship, and Health + Fitness.

Literally, within a few key breaks in a line here and a couple triangles there, voila. I had my blog logo with the help and input from my better half, Jay. I’ll get around to really filling you all in on him in later posts. You have to realize, that was a big moment for me. We collaborated. He supported me and was doodling away to help me and asking me what I wanted to happen with my blog. Jay fully dived in on tackling the task at hand that was a dream of mine and I’ll forever be thankful for that.

“Don’t walk off this plane until you have a logo.”

I will never forget when he said that.

Then, we talked about success and growth and how to 10X our lives in every facet.

I was ready, or so I thought I was at the time.

I went home and bought my domain, spent money on all kinds of photo editing software, and knew my next blog mission-send my rendering in for a hungry graphic designer to win my love and approval via Fivver.

Boom, did it.

Then, the daunting task of WordPress. Yep, that’s it. That’s where I stopped.

I told myself, who are you kidding? Erica, you aren’t this techy. You’re going to have to now really pay someone to help you jump start this dream and take time away from what you’re currently doing, which is work all the time, to do something that won’t make you money, will take more time, and probably won’t have anyone read it but alas, you’ll FINALLY be a blogger.

I hope my own list of excuses made you uncomfortable, because, as soon as I re-read it (now that it’s quite some time later than Oct. 27, 2018) I was disappointment in my own self-doubt. I’ve been my own hold up but I’m working on that!

So, in that moment when I was ready to trail-blaze my own path in my journey blogging, inadvertently, I set up my own roadblock. How stupid of me and ignorant. I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t believe in myself. I also took the fear of not knowing and let it push away a personal desire instead of suiting up for battle and charging in headfirst.

Again, this is where a strange thing happened.

I AM usually that person.

I don’t hesitate to take risks, though, I do think rationally through my decisions in life. But, I don’t ever hold myself back. I typically like challenges and embrace changes. I think it’s fun to figure out innovative solutions and quite frankly, if I can’t have that “Aha” moment before I start, I have faith that I’ll find it once I get my feet moving and assess as I go. Yet, in this blogging idea bubble, I told myself that it’ll distract me from my full-time career and I will be criticized beyond what I’m personally ready for.

Time elapsed.

February 2018 to now, as I sit on this plane flying at some unknown altitude. I’m all jacked up and motivated from this conference and hell bent on typing this as the pilot just announced we are experiencing turbulence and just flashed the fasten your seatbelt sign back on. I’d rather vomit on my computer and smack the side of my head to make my eyes focus on this sea of words I’m spitting out than let myself approach another roadblock.

Silently, I do hope that this jostling around will stop because I’ve already asked the kind older woman listing to a portable CD player beside me to get up because I just HAD to have my venti iced green tea before I hopped on a 4+ hour flight.

Let me just tell you that going to conferences and having life altering opportunities to listen to various speakers can really hit you in the feels. It’s an experience that feels like someone is throwing cold water in your face when you’ve been looking in the mirror watching yourself celebrate the small victories with a pat on the back or nice dinner for accolades.

Well, I’ve been sitting here reflecting since 5AM on what I need to do to get un-stuck and aligned with what I want my heart’s plans are for my blog.

Yesterday, I had one of those experiences.

I finally got to not only listen to an influential speaker, but I got to meet and chat with E.T.

Yes, THE Eric Thomas.

Talk about getting the pen and paper ready to take notes and mentally preparing myself at the thought of growing on a trajectory like he fought to achieve.

Alright folks, there you have it. I listened to apparently just the right amount of people saying the same thing pretty much but in various languages, gusto, and flair, that it opened my eyes. I told myself, Erica, it’s time. Get your IDEA of making things ‘perfect’ out of your OCD head and ‘Let’s go all in!’. Shameless and free endorsement for the conference I just left, which was so fittingly called the, “CINC All In Summit”.

I also learned that there is not a magic number of keynote speakers to listen to or finding the perfect one that just really has everything ironed out and gets you on a personal level without even knowing you.

Nope. Not that at all.

It’s about having that moment of clarity when the clouds of doubt and obstacles that often we set up for ourselves, are just demolished with one simple step. I listed to E.T. (Eric Thomas) speak, amongst other influential success stories, and realized that I wasn’t moving forward with a dream that I really have because I was standing still. I don’t even want to get home without knowing that I can say I have in fact started. This is my first post, so naturally, I will in fact have to post it to become a blogger.

Now, at this point, I feel like I must reiterate that thing I just mentioned. The part where you get to this Aha Moment and just demolish all the dumb things that are holding you back. That’s all it takes. I have this sense of peace that I do want to commit and do this for myself. Who cares if no one reads it. That’s not going to offend me at all. That doesn’t mean I’m not accomplishing something. I’ll be accomplishing a goal just in posting this and I will only continue to climb. In this moment, as I crank out on this keyboard all the fantastic nuggets that I took away from that conference, I’m not satisfied but hungry to gain some headway on this leg of the race for chasing my dreams. I’m going to write and post as often as I want because it’s not a matter of success and failure. This opportunity is unique in the fact that it will actually be therapeutic and fun for me to have something for myself. I cannot fail if I’m making myself happy and if I do something that I want to do.

Are y’all ready for it?!

Here it is. Here is my blog, EricaMintu.com

This is the beginning of opening the door into my world and seeing those candid, real slivers of my life and my personal branding. Let me preface this for all the strangers who are even contemplating on tuning in for this as I begin to post, but I’m very raw and real. I don’t filter out my thoughts and stand firm on my beliefs because that’s what my parents instilled in me. To be quite honest, a secret fear of mine was that I would feel too exposed. I set up another roadblock after my WordPress one as a default in case my girl, Taylor came through and just snip snapped my blog together. She has some experience with helping others and I’ve been talking to her tentatively planning going over my lovely online format over drinks and a girls night of education on the cyberspace that I don’t know how to fly in. I have been lying to myself thinking I was doing my goal a favor by postponing it until winter when my skin would grow thicker to online scrutiny or when the season of crappy attitudes and negative thinkers would just go away into a warm-front of positive outlooks and inquisitive readers. At this point, I really just don’t care about anyone or anything that could hold me back and I want to start with myself.

Just curious, are you hungry yet? I know I’ve been talking and all this reading can really encourage one to grab a snack at this point and slap me with judgement number one…this lady has no clue what she is doing as a self-professed blogger. She can’t even concisely tell us about herself. Remember this is supposed to be her introduction. Shouldn’t she have said hey, blah blah, I love fashion, I’m effortlessly cool but I won’t blatantly say it so I’ll be cute and build up some interest? I don’t know, should I? Maybe. I told ya’ll I haven’t got this figured out but I assume you can see now for yourself that I am stubborn and I’m on a mission to write my blog so la-tee-da, this is me doing it on a plane and I will walk off here like I own this aircraft because I’m winning up here for taking my own immediate action step.

Let me introduce you to the real course of this meal. I’ve started with the teaser, the appetizer, and the introduction as to why I’m doing what I’m doing. I think it’s important to know someone’s “Why”. I wanted to write a blog, and the answer is simple. It’s because I want to inspire others while being true to expressing myself. Now, we can enjoy the meat and potatoes, the full entree is about to be served up hot. If you are going to be reading a personal branding blog, then you clearly want to know that person since they aren’t talking about a niche or segment of their life with a fine-tooth comb that they are just killing it in. Yeah, I don’t really have that. I have a multitude of interests and questions. I embrace being a lifelong learner and want to find a deeper knowledge of my interests and myself.

Embracing my diversity is something that I take pride in and am thankful for being different. My parents grew up in their own respective countries. My mother immigrated from the Philippines and my father was raised in South Korea. As for my sister and myself, that’s a completely different story. We were a blended family of multicultural descent who were both born and raised in Eastern Kentucky. For those who don’t know, that’s where the infamous Hatfield’s and McCoy’s lived, and their feuding family’s story is rich in the town where I grew up in. Pikeville, Kentucky could be noted for many things. Often times, people associate it with hillbillies, coal, and bluegrass music. However, there is much more to my hometown. It is full of wonderful people who truly come together as a community to support each other through life’s victories and battles. Regardless of any stereotype that has been thrown at me for either where I was born or either of my parents, I can truly say it’s been a triple threat having such 3 minorities shape my personality in such an unconventional way. Trust me, there aren’t many Pacific Islander, Asian, and Appalachian individuals all wrapped up into one person. But…I am proud to say I’m one of them and I do have a few other girlfriends who fully embrace this uniqueness and having small town influences with overseas cultures mold their character. We like to call ourselves, “Apalasians” and our ties to faith, family, loyalty, work ethic, humility, and having large personalities, in general, is true to our unique roots. 

I am so thankful for my small-town upbringing and my multi-cultural influences that my parents were taught and then adapted as they raised some strong, first generation American women. Now you’ve got the deets. So, we can already cross the awkward bridge of pin the tail on the donkey that people play as they often try to assume my ethnicity. You know that saying, about what assuming does. I couldn’t be happier to be me and have all the blessings of not only one but three to even five major cultural influences impact my life and shape me as a whole. My interests stem from my diversity and how exciting it is to see something that’s different. This transitions across my style, hobbies, and friendships.

As I prepare to put myself out there for the world to see, I think it will be clear that I’m all over the board with my activities and life’s story thus far. I live to serve God and my faith is the foundation of my life. My goal is to always make a positive influence on at least 1 person for every hour of the day. Consciously, I’ve worked on this in my adult years. It’s easy to do if you life a faith filled life and have a best friend and leader in the Lord. I love being different and “weird” and embracing being in a place in my life where I am undeniably happy.

Never give up!