No-So-Private Parts

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  • When Chris Brown’s “private parts” were shared with the world, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to link it with the release of his new single, “Look at Me Now.” Of the most recent highly publicized incidents that accompanied product premiers, Brown’s was the most graphic. But Erykah Badu stripped naked in public, and even though Iyanla Vanzant didn’t physically take off her clothes on Oprah Winfrey’s show, she did bare it all in exchange for a book plug. It landed her on the New York Times bestsellers list. Charlie Sheen’s spin-out has made him one of the most popular people in the country. His “Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour is selling out all over.

    Whether we agree with their tactics or not, we can’t argue that their methods had us all talking, and that was the goal. The question is where do they go from there? When you do something so completely over the top, how do your top yourself?

    Sadly, the combination of a bad economy and mad competition among more media outlets than ever before – including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and more – a press release and an appearance on morning radio and TV shows just doesn’t cut it anymore. So, for many entertainers and authors, thinking long-term is the last thing on their minds.

    Click here to hear Nikki Woods’ weekly “What in the Weekend?” report.

    We live in a society now that fosters the idea of instant gratification, and if you think it’s only affecting celebrities, you’re wrong. Everybody from tweens to those at an “ought-to-know-better” age are sexting on their smart phones and using social network sites to put their stuff out there. Literally.

    We all are falling victim, on some level, to revealing way too much about ourselves, and we need to take a moment to ask whether the price we may pay down the road is worth it.

    There are many cultures around the world that believe our souls are captured when we are photographed. I don’t know about that. But I do believe that before we sell pieces of ourselves for whatever the purpose, we should take a moment and recapture the feelings we had before it became about fortune and fame. At one time, for most of us, no matter what our gift is, we did what we do for the love of it.

    Perfect segueway to my thoughts on doing what you love – and how sharing your not-so-private parts will bring you everything you want in life. The saying goes, “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” It’s a piece of advice that has more than its share of skeptics.

    And it’s really easy to see why. It sounds like a very general statement, non-applicable in the real world and very assuming in a way, which makes it a pretty easy target for criticism and sarcasm.

    But it only makes sense that if you love doing something, you will naturally become good at it simply because you love doing it and spend time doing it, more so than the average person. Repetition inevitably leads to improvement. And if doing what you love incorporates your natural talents, you’re likely to become great at it.

    You start to differentiate yourself from others, and that’s when you really begin to put yourself on the path to making money from doing what you love to do.

    Second, if you love doing something, you have that natural fuel that goes along with it. It’s easy to hurdle the obstacles, to put in that extra effort, to go that extra mile when you love what you do simply because you love doing it. That passion fuels your perseverance.

    Enter the critics who say, “That sounds great and all, but not everyone can make money doing what they love to do. Just because you love doing something doesn’t mean you can make money from it.”

    The thing is that when people say that money doesn’t follow if you do what you love, it’s usually because the notion of what they love doing is self-serving. In other words, it just benefits themselves, not other people.

    You have to start figuring out how doing what you love to do can serve other people. In other words, use those not-so-private parts for good, not evil.

    Obviously, everyone’s circumstances are different. What you do, how well you do it, who needs it and how much effort you put into it all matter.

    But let’s consider the low end of the spectrum.

    Let’s say you don’t really make the big bucks, but you make enough for the basics and then maybe a very tiny bit for comfort and savings. And you’re happy with the work you’re doing. When Sunday evening comes around, you can’t wait for Monday to start. There’s not as much stress as before. You feel like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You feel like you’re in harmony with yourself.

    It doesn’t sound all that bad compared to the opposite – working in a high-paying job you really hate that brings along with it a ton of stress, problems and disharmony that spills over into other areas of your life.

    When you’ve effectively created a gap in value that can only be filled by you, people will pay for you to fill it. And once you get a taste of how it’s like doing work you love and getting paid for it, you won’t want to do anything else – so you will find a way to financially make it work.

    Every day, I walk in my purpose and passion, and every day, I try to figure out how I can take that purpose and passion to the next level.

    Do what you love to do. Get good at it. Get great at doing it. Learn all you can about it. Put in the extra effort. Figure out how you can serve others with it. Then, do it.

    And all the good – including money – will follow in its wake.

    Nikki Woods is senior producer of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” The author of “Easier Said Than Done,” the Dallas-based Woods is currently working on her second and third novels. You can friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @nikkiwoods.

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