aroma beverage breakfast brown

Tips For New Managers

Everything that I am, I’ve worked hard to become. Don’t ever be afraid to be ambitious!   

In June 2016, I was promoted to my first management position at IPSY. Though I was eager to make my transition & take on new responsibilities, leading & motivating my team, I remember that I still had a lot to learn. This is why I want to share my tips for new managers today.

Up until my promotion, I was only responsible for my success in my role. It’s always been easy for me to identify how to fulfill my expected tasks & responsibilities, both quickly & efficiently. But now as a leader, I know that my success is dependent on the performance of my team. Their ability to exceed expectations reflects on me as an effective leader, & I can’t feel confident as a “GOOD” boss without seeing my team happy & thriving. So if you’re currently stressing about your transition into a management position, here are some tips to hopefully inspire you & get you started in this next chapter of your career!

Define your personal definition of a “GOOD” boss 

Think about every boss you’ve had in your career. Over time, I’m sure you’ve developed a clear vision of how a good boss looks & acts. Use your former bosses as a guideline into who you want to become. Focus on the positive qualities you want to develop as well as the negative qualities that you want to avoid. 

To me, a good boss takes a genuine interest in everyone around them & wants to see everyone succeed. They are effective communicators & believe in the abilities of their team without needing to micromanage. A good boss knows how to delegate responsibility & work toward overall success for the benefit of everyone. They give praise & credit when it’s due, & they have high emotional intelligence. When you create your personal definition of a good boss, you know what you’re striving for. It’s hard to be an effective leader if you don’t have a clear & succinct idea of what a successful leader looks and acts like.

Once you’ve defined what you need to do to be a good boss, focus on identifying your strengths & weaknesses. No one expects you to be perfect during your initial transition, but identifying the areas where you can improve will help over time. Self-awareness is the first step to improving. It’s always been easy for me to be a good listener. I’m also resourceful, inspiring, & motivating, but I personally have trouble delegating tasks, due to my pride. It’s important to identify where improvement is needed, rather than pretending that your leadership style is perfect. 

Learn about your team & take a genuine interest

It’s important to know your team and take a genuine interest in their growth. How can you help someone succeed, when you don’t even know who they are or how they think? I prioritize having bi-weekly 1 on 1 meetings to catch up on my team’s personal lives as well as to ensure that they feel supported enough to be successful. By asking engaging questions, I’m able to identify any challenges they may be facing. I also strive to instill them with a growth mindset. Just as I’m doing my best to grow, learn, & improve, I want them to believe in themselves & reach their full potential. 

I always want my team to be able to talk to me about anything that may be hindering their performance & not be afraid to use their sick days & Vacation/PTO (Paid Time Off) when they’re feeling burnt out. Maintaining a good work/life balance is just as important for my team as it is for me.

Create a fun working environment

No one should be forced to work in a boring work environment surrounded by robots. The majority of my day is spent working alongside these individuals, and I want to create a fun working environment where they feel free to express themselves. I want to keep morale high, so I prioritize positive team engagement. 

I don’t shy away from acknowledging success & showing my appreciation for hard work. We dress up according to themes on Thursdays, (Check out the past Theme Thursdays I’ve featured on my Instagram!) & I plan birthday celebrations, team lunches, happy hours, & team offsites. Work should be fun because I want my team to be excited to get out of bed every morning. 

Becoming a new manager can be daunting, but hopefully, my advice will help alleviate any anxiety you may be currently feeling. Be upfront & honest with your team & ask for feedback. They’ll understand while you’re learning & still adjusting to your new role. Whenever I ask my own team for feedback on my management style, I’m continually pleasantly surprised by their kind words & compliments. I love seeing the growth, improvement, & success of my team members over time. I promise that it will all be rewarding in the end. 

XO Denise

anonymous couple lying on hill at seaside and enjoying sunset time

When You’re “Just a Friend”

“You, you got what I need but you say he’s just a friend. But you say he’s just a friend” – Biz Markie

With the passing of Biz Markie (RIP) on Friday, July 16th, I felt compelled to listen to his smash hit “Just a Friend”. It also inspires today’s blog post. Finding love is so hard nowadays because we’re terrified of cutting off all of our other options & defining a relationship as exclusive. But the longer you collect friends & push away the option that wants to call you their own & be more than friends, the longer it will take you to find true love.

“So please listen to the message that I say

Don’t ever talk to a girl who says she just has a friend” – Biz Markie

After my first 2 boyfriends, the boys that I dated in my early 20s only wanted to be friends with benefits or took their sweet time & let me walk away completely for days, weeks, or even months before deciding to finally call me their “girlfriend”. It wasn’t until my late 20s/early 30s that I became more firm with setting my relationship boundaries. After the first few dates, I let my man know that I’m only looking to spend time with someone who’s looking for something real. Young adults need to pull out their dictionary or at the very least Google the definition of friend. A friend is someone with whom you share a mutual affection, excluding sexual relations. Yes, you can hang out & spend time with your friends. But you DO NOT engage in anything sexual with your friends.

Biz Markie warned society in September 1989 when he released his song. Don’t ever talk to someone who says they have a “friend”. Anyone who calls their romantic interests “friends” knows EXACTLY what they’re doing. I don’t recommend ever willingly putting yourself in a love triangle. Because whether you’re chosen over other options or not, it’s not a winning situation any way you try to spin it. If someone you’re dating says you’re a friend or has other people whom they keep in touch with that they are also friends with, without delving deeper into their actual “friendship”. Take it as a major red flag!

You deserve a relationship that is real. The person you end up with should love you & exclaim it proudly because you’re not just their friend. You should be their whole world, & they should be yours! Don’t feel bad for setting boundaries & rejecting new romantic partners because they have a “friend” or only want to label you as their “friend”. Know that you are enough & worthy of an exclusive relationship.

XO Denise

dry rose flower next to broken heart shaped cookie

Karmic Relationships

If you’ve had unsuccessful relationships, know that it’s common to have several relationships in your lifetime. Not everyone immediately meets their soulmate & lives happily ever after with them. While all relationships have their ups & downs, karmic relationships are typically doomed from the start to teach you necessary lessons to become a better person. Different from the well-known, loving relationship of two soulmates, a karmic relationship is often dramatic, tumultuous, & temporary.

Karmic Relationships

I believe that every relationship I’ve entered into so far has been a karmic relationship. I now take ownership of my past karmic behaviors, as I’ve definitely been a karmic partner to others in the past. But the key indicator of a truly loving relationship is genuine care, honesty, kindness, & unconditional love. Here are some examples & key indicators that you’re in a karmic relationship, or you are actually the karmic.

Abuse

Any form of abuse can be present in a karmic relationship, including emotional, financial, physical, psychological, sexual, etc. I am very self-aware. Through reflecting on my past relationships, I can admit that I was physically abusive to one of my exes.

On a road trip, my boyfriend wanted to drive Highway 1 from SoCal back to my home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Being young & impatient, I hated that this transformed a normally 5 hour car ride into a 12+ hour road trip, because he needed to stop several times to take pictures. I was moody & rude to him the entire drive up, because let’s face it, I was selfish.

I hated that he wanted to do what he wanted despite how I felt. At 18 years old, I expected him to bend over backward to make sure I was happy. I basically chose to throw a tantrum like a child in his car. As a way to cheer me up & lighten the mood, he decided to swerve the car back & forth along the road. He laughed as he watched me sway with the car, thinking it was funny & that it would make me smile.

Instead, it made me even more angry. I yelled at him for driving recklessly because another car could come rapidly around one of the turns, cause him to swerve off the road completely & off a cliff, killing us both. I called him annoying & immature, & I started to physically hit him on his arms, back, & shoulders to stop him from swerving in fear for my life & my safety. At the time, I felt justified for being physically abusive towards him, but considering how I behaved that entire day, I can see now that we were both karmic to each other in our karmic relationship.

Cheating

Cheating, emotional or physical cheating on any level, is another indicator of a karmic relationship & karmic behavior. Within the same college relationship, we both cheated on each other. Since he lived in SoCal & I lived in the Bay Area, we were only physically together for about 8 months during the year for school.

The Summer before we broke up, he started cheating on me with his co-worker at the gym he worked at. And the semester before that, I emotionally cheated on him with my TA. By breaking his trust, he no longer trusted me to have any male friends. And while I thought it was ridiculous at the time, I don’t blame him for that anymore. Discovering that he had been cheating on me all Summer with his co-worker a month after we broke up is what hurt the most.

As someone who has emotionally cheated & found out about other options my past boyfriends hid from me, know that entertaining other options & emotionally cheating is just as bad as physically cheating on your partner. If you already have a replacement or possible replacements lined up, you never truly loved your partner or respected your relationship with them.

By learning from emotionally cheating on my boyfriend, I don’t tolerate cheating of any kind. When I’m in a committed relationship, I ignore anyone who slides into my DMs or offers to buy me a drink at a club. Because in order to find a committed partner, I know that I need to fully commit to my partner too.

If my ex boyfriend suddenly has a new girlfriend days or weeks following our breakup, I can now recognize & accept that I was in a karmic relationship. Just as I am faithful & loyal to my current partner, I need & want my partner to choose me & only me.

Insulting & Unsupportive

Karmic relationships are often conditional. If your partner only wants to date you if you act, behave, or look a certain way, you’re probably in a karmic relationship. If your partner endlessly tries to change you, puts you down, or is unsupportive of your hopes & dreams, they’re probably a karmic partner.

As outlined in my Palm Springs blog post, I’ve had a lot of issues with past karmic partners. One of my exes told me that the “sexy” faces I make are unattractive. Another ex was obsessed with me & tried to control everything I did down to how I ate. My other ex told me that I was charging too much for my Oracle & Tarot services right before I decided to launch in February 2021.

But I’m happy to say that going forward, I only want to date someone who loves me exactly as I am. I don’t want to be with someone who wants to control me. And I only want to date someone who supports my ambition, drive, & entrepreneurial mindset. I know what my time & energy is worth. So whether I want to change my career to become an Interior Designer, go back to school for my MBA, or raise my pricing for my Oracle & Tarot services, because I feel overbooked, my future partner will support me & believe in me just as much as I believe in myself.

The Relationship Ends

Karmic relationships are meant to come to an end once the lesson has been fulfilled. They can start out as passionate & all-consuming, then quickly burn out as quickly as they started. So considering that I’m still single & none of my past relationships have lasted, I can only assume that they were all karmic.

For a long time, I was a firm believer in not giving second chances. As someone who believes in true, unconditional love, my heart has been dragged through the mud, stabbed, & stolen without my love being returned more times that I’d like to admit. Now I’ve learned that while I’m still allowed to love unconditionally, getting a second chance to win my heart is a privilege. I should never continue to give love to a person or a situation if it compromises my integrity.

Have you ever been in a Karmic Relationship? How did it end? And what did you learn from it? Let me know in a comment below.

XO Denise

SOURCES

MindBodyGreen

chrysanthemum on pile of books on table

Words of Wisdom

I am lucky to have the most amazing family members. Because of them, I have lots of great advice from over the years. But today, I’m going to share two of my favorite words of wisdom that I hold closest to my heart.

“Accept the fact that you’re a dork, & your life will be a lot easier.” – My Dad

While I forget the context, this is one of my favorite things my Dad has ever said to me. In life, we often get too caught up in how others view us. Too many people are prisoners to their ego. Instead of being authentic & genuine, they’re too busy trying to look “cool”, desperate to not be labeled as weird or different. By accepting the fact that I’m a dork, I’m able to escape my ego. I can be myself without fear, which in turn makes my life easier as well.

“It is your greatest misfortune if you have never met me.” – My Great-Grandmother, Leonora San Agustin

My great-grandmother, Leonora San Agustin, is one of the most influential women in Asia. She became the first female Chemical Engineer in the Philippines in 1939. This quote is one of my favorites. She inspires me to always be myself, & anyone who isn’t for me. The loss isn’t mine. It’s their misfortune if they never get or want the opportunity to meet me. My Lola Leonie is a go-getter, & she always succeeds in anything she put her mind to. She is brilliant, & I know that she passed down her intelligence & writing skills to me. Please check out this brilliant article she wrote in 2007 at 92 years old!

What are the best words of wisdom or advice given to you? Please share them in a comment below.

XO Denise

black punching bag

Fight Productively

I think we can all agree that fighting with others is never fun. My older sister, Danielle, is a Libra rising. Libra’s hate conflict & disharmony when it comes to their life, among friends, family, & even pets. As a little girl, she once screamed between two little boys on the playground who were about to fight. Ironically, her scream stopped the two boys in their tracks. They stood there wondering why she was screaming & forgot all about why they were fighting to begin with. My sister is also usually quick to yell & break up any fights between our dogs. Growing up with someone who highly values fairness & justice taught me a lot. We’ve only been living together again since June. But in these past 10 months, I’ve learned about my communication & what I need to do to keep the peace. This is something that I’ve decided to term as learning how to “fight productively”.

The Importance of Communication

My sister & I’s communication has always struggled since we were kids. After my younger brother was born, I felt like she abandoned me. She suddenly didn’t want to spend time with me or play with me anymore. She became a 2nd mom to our brother. It hurt a lot the way she would completely ignore me at times. As a Capricon sun (me) & a Cancer sun (her), we also have completely opposite personalities. We fought pretty regularly until I moved away for college when I was 18.

I am very blunt, direct, & solutions-focused in the way I communicate. She, on the other hand, is overly emotional, sensitive, & talks through her thoughts. She tends to ramble on until she finally gets to her point. I need to constantly watch my tone with her because she often assumes that I’m mad at her. In reality, if I’m focusing, the tone of voice changes because my mind & thoughts are elsewhere. Sometimes, I respond out of courtesy, but this usually leads to a fight, due to her assumption that I’m being snarky.

Finding a Solution

To combat this issue, we ask each other non-work-related questions whenever we’re on a break from work, during lunch, or after work hours altogether. I always want her to feel heard & comfortable with talking to me because it’s never my intention to be mean. By limiting important discussions & questions to certain times of the day, I’m able to focus on the topic at hand & devote all of my brainpower to fixing whatever issue or upcoming plans that we need to sort out when it’s easier for me to be focused. There’s a huge difference in the way we communicate. We prevent a lot of unnecessary, meaningless fights.

Another way to think of it is if you have a favorite sports team… it’s natural to always want your team to win. You will automatically brand any opposing team as the enemy, so when your team plays well & gets that win, you’re more likely to celebrate. Having winners & losers are definitely more fun when it comes to sports, but not so much when it comes to your relationships.

Key Takeaways

If you continuously fight with your family members or your romantic partners with the intention of “winning” the argument, there isn’t actually a good reason to celebrate. Because in shouting & shoving your opinion down the throat of the other party to “win”, all you’re really doing is ensuring that they “lose”. When you proactively chose to make the other party a “loser”, you both lose in the end. By making someone else feel like a “loser”, you lose empathy, intimacy, togetherness, & so much more in your connection with them.

When you choose to fight productively, you focus on finding the best solution for both parties, not winning. Resolving conflict in your everyday life should be about respecting each other’s point of view on the issue & working together to ensure that everyone feels heard, loved, & respected. The best possible outcome will always be one where you feel happy & positive that you’ve both won with the final solution. At the end of the day, ensuring to always nurture & create a healthy relationship dynamic is the real “WIN”.

XO Denise

you got this lighted signage

The Importance of Communication

Being empathic & intuitive runs in my family. My innate gifts definitely help me with my Oracle & Tarot readings. But being a “psychic” healer doesn’t mean that I automatically know everything that is happening, did happen, or will happen in the future. If I tried to channel the energy of every person on the planet, I’d be exhausted & overwhelmed all the time. I keep my energy protected. I don’t attempt to channel the energy of another person until I’m about to pull cards for a reading. Once in a person’s energy, I trust my intuition to create a narrative. I chronologically sort the messages I receive to help me give the best advice, depending on the person’s unique situation. But at the end of the day, only the person that I’m reading knows their truth & story. That’s why I always promote the importance of clear communication.

Communicate Your Needs Clearly

During a reading, I may pick up that someone is keeping secrets or doesn’t feel confident enough to express their feelings when it comes to their connection. I’m not a licensed therapist. But it’s general knowledge that keeping secrets & not expressing how you feel is detrimental to all relationships. A lot of women want their partners to read their minds without having to communicate their expectations. But that’s not realistic. Even my own father who is very intuitive needs my mom to tell him when she needs or wants something to feel appreciated & loved. After 37 years of marriage, it’s my parents’ ability to communicate their needs that make their relationship so long-lasting & successful.

Clearly communicating your expectations to your partner will ensure a happy & healthy relationship dynamic. If you need your partner to attend every social event that you’re invited to with you, say so. If you want them to make a huge deal about planning something special for your anniversary & birthday, tell them. The average person is not a mind reader. Expecting someone to cater to your every desire & wish, without telling them what you need, will only cause disappointment.

Release Your Expectations

My parents have always set a great example. My mom attends social events without my dad. While both of my parents are introverted, my mom is more of a social butterfly. My dad needs more alone time to rest & recharge on the weekends. Mom often goes to family gatherings with me & my sister or one of my aunts. My mom never drags my dad to a party because it’s “expected” as her husband.

Don’t get me wrong – my dad will still gladly attend weddings & milestone events with my mom with advance notice. My mom just knows her husband, so she sets her expectations accordingly. For example, my mom doesn’t expect my dad to surprise her flowers, take her out to fancy dinners, or plan weekend getaways. My mom has only received flowers from my dad three times, & each time was when one of my siblings or I was born. My mom prefers to have a fancy dinner as a family, & she prefers to plan vacations all together as a family as well.

Expectations without clear communication will always cause disappointment. But at the same time, expecting your partner to drop everything in their life to cater to your every need, is extremely unfair & one-sided. It is not your boyfriend or your husband’s “job” to read your mind. If you don’t clearly tell your partner what you need, it’s not a requirement for them to attend every social event, buy you flowers, or surprise you with gifts. If you’re upset that your partner can’t read your mind, that’s not their problem. It’s up to you to communicate your needs & wants. Then, it’s up to them to step up to fulfill it. And if it’s not something they’re able or willing to do for you, tell you.

What do you want?

The average woman doesn’t give out “gold stars” to their boyfriend or husband for doing what they’re “supposed” to do. Most women expect their partner to attend every party & buy them presents for every occasion. When pointing out that a partner feels under appreciated, most women are shocked. They often think that their partner could be doing much more to make them happy. But I always do my best to truthfully point out that no one likes to feel under-appreciated. I advise that what they may consider as “expected” behaviors, their partner may consider to be above & beyond anything that they’ve done for any of their exes.

In a relationship, I personally love good morning & goodnight texts, sporadic kisses, & bouquets of flowers, just because. I also consider a man cooking me breakfast, lunch, or dinner as the sweetest gesture. It’s also a dream of mine to be surprised with a trip to a new destination that I’ve never been to but have always dreamed of going to or simply being told to “pack a bag” & be whisked away for an unexpected weekend adventure. Since I haven’t had a man step up to give me these things yet, I choose to regularly give them to myself. My morning wake-up alarm says “Good Morning”. My pug, Pogi, gives me sporadic kisses throughout the day. I have a monthly fresh flower subscription from Bouqs. And I plan trips for myself within the US & internationally as often as I can.

Key Takeaways

It’s important for you to identify what you need & want in a relationship. Then clearly communicate those expectations with your partner. And when they do good, always show them your appreciation. Do your best to not let your expectations cloud your judgement. Especially if you haven’t communicated what you need to your partner at all, speak up. Until you do, you are the only one responsible for ensuring those needs are met.

Not even a “psychic” will automatically know how to cater to the needs of another individual. We’re all unique in our own ways, so what one person may want & expect in a relationship may be different from another. Take responsibility for yourself, express your needs, & communicate as much as possible to prevent any unnecessary conflict in your relationship. And when your partner can’t give you what you need, evaluate what’s a deal breaker & what you’re capable of giving to yourself, before starting a fight or threatening to break up with or divorce them. Take my parents as good example. If you know your partner & you know yourself, you shouldn’t have to worry about being happy & staying happy in your relationship.

XO Denise