Have you ever been stuck in a rut? I have. Several times. Literally! I can't remember the first time I got stuck in a rut, but I do know that I was living in Ghana at the time and I was very young. It was on a muddy road leading up to our house. The rains had fallen earlier in the day and we all knew to expect that there would be mud and difficulty trying to navigate the muddy roads, but we did not expect to get stuck. One minute the Renault was cruising at a slow, humming pace and the next thing we heard were tires spinning and no movement. The driver got out of the car to inspect the cause of the problem; we were stuck in a rut. For months on end, cars belonging to the residents of New Achimota, where we lived, had driven through the mud, leaving deep ruts in the road. The problem is that we all had to drive this particular road in order to get to our houses, but nobody deemed it their responsibility to fix the holes in the road. So every time it rained, we had to deal with the mud and the ever deepening tire tracks.

I can't quite remember how we got out of the rut, but somehow, we did. My guess is that some Good Samaritans came along and helped the driver push the car out of the rut. There are always Good Samaritans in Ghana. 
Now I ask you again, have you ever been stuck in a rut? This time I mean figuratively. Has your life ever become stagnant, your tires of complacency and comfort just spinning in the same place. Did you stay there? Are you still sitting there? Or did you find a way to get out of your rut? I would love to hear your stories, so please share them by clicking "reply."

Many people get stuck and stay there, mostly because they feel comfortable with where they are. And some stay because of excuses for why they can't move forward. What we all need is a push; be it a push from a Good Samaritan, or a push we give ourselves. My Good Samaritan came in the form of my husband who is never afraid to tell me the truth. I was slacking, and I knew it. I was using the excuse of being a first-time mom as the reason why I couldn't do this or that...why I couldn't seem to move forward. For a while, I was taking on new clients, but my lack of interest and determination showed. I was asking for extensions and using my lack of sleep as a reason why I could not stay late into the night to finish up a project. Thank God that this lackadaisical approach I had towards my work did not have lasting implications. Had this gone on for much longer, I'm sure it would have. But along came my husband's many voices of reason, just in time to kick some sense into me. This is our life! This is your career! It's not just about you! I'm working full time so that you can concentrate on growing your business! You don't get to slack while I have to go out into the world everyday whether I like it or not! Get yourself together!

The shaking was needed, and here I am, unglued and passionate again. Now I stay up late to get work done, and I have found a way to balance work and being a mother that doesn't leave me wanting to pull out my hair at the end of the day. I've even been able to squeeze in daily evening walks without obsessing about deadlines and feeling guilty and incompetent. Yes, my daughter has changed the way I work and I am better for having found a way around it, instead of making one excuse after another. And do you know what ungluing myself from that rut has done for me and for business?

I'm happier, more relaxed, and feeling more accomplished. This has attracted new clients. Positivity breeds positive results. When you're fired up about your passion, people see it and are attracted to it through the energy you emit. The same can happen for you, you just need to come unglued. Get someone to help you push your car out of the muddy rut and move forward. Whatever you have started, you can finish it. If you want an excuse not to, trust me, you will find one. There are hurdles and obstacles everywhere we turn, but we can't let those excuses rule our lives. Talk yourself out of it. Hopefully, this will serve as the first push you need. I look forward to hearing your stories. 
 
 
The managing editor of The Brielle Agency, Nicole Twum-Baah, has joined the writing staff of Christian Community News Magazine, a print magazine managed by Woodstock-based food pantry, Papa's Pantry. The magazine features family-friendly, Christian issues and faith-based articles, and is published on a bi-monthly basis. For more about CCN Magazine, visit their website at https://issuu.com/papaspantry
 
 
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In February 2016, Malaka Grant, a seasoned writer and author of adult and children’s books, reached out to the managing editor of The Brielle Agency after a mutual friend mentioned her services to Malaka. What makes Malaka’s hiring of The Brielle Agency unique is the fact that she came to us after a failed editing job by another editor. Her book Madness & Tea is a compilation of personal stories and fictitious accounts of stuff going on in her head. It is a rambling, as she calls it, “over nothing” that is as intriguing as it is funny. Already conversant with her style of work, Nicole did not hesitate to take on this challenge, and she’s glad that she did. The work was completed in two weeks and handed over to a very happy and appreciative client.

Madness & Tea has since been published and is now available for sale. Find it at the following stores below:


 
 
It's been quite some time, but the break is over and we're bring back Inspirational Mondays!!! The first issue will be released on Monday, June 27. Until then, here's a blast from the past, our last entry, enjoy!

Whose Dreams Are You Really Living?

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Photo credit: Lorenaknapp.com
A recent conversation with a friend left me with this question that I now wish to throw to you. Whose dreams are you living? My friend has just graduated with a Master’s degree in Nursing. She is very proud of her latest accomplishment, and rightly so. She has been working on getting her Master’s for quiet some time now.

However the thing is this, when she called me to ecstatically share the good news, something she kept repeating struck me as odd. She kept referring to “her nay-sayers,” those people who always said she couldn’t do it, and she seemed to derive some sort of satisfaction from finally being able to prove them wrong.

Now, I have to agree that there is no sweeter revenge than to accomplish that one thing that many doubted you were capable of achieving. But, when that achievement becomes all about them, then where does that leave you?Many times, in our quest to seek “revenge” on the people who have doubted us, belittled our capabilities and questioned our intelligence, we set out on a journey that is all about proving them wrong, whether consciously or unconsciously. In the same way, we may even live our lives to prove people right. I almost went to law school because people said I would be good at it. But I know better now. And while it wasn’t easy convincing people - and even myself - that I would rather spend my days outside the courtroom, they eventually came to accept it.

So, I ask you again, whose dreams are you living? Just think about it very carefully. Are you a doctor today (wishing you had listened to your inner painter) because someone in your distant past said you would never be allowed to operate on a frog let alone a human being? Or, are you a teacher today (wishing you had listened to your inner dentist) because someone said you were good at it? Or, are you pursuing something that you believe deep down, despite all the outside voices around you, that you were called to do. Whose dreams are you really living?