I’m on the cusp of something big. I can feel it. With the help of my life coach, I’ve been exploring new growth opportunities. It’s been a roller coaster week, but here’s where I’ve landed: I’m 100% committed to growing with integrity. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

Growing with integrity means listening to your gut.

Listening to your gut means declining opportunities that may sound and even be full of potential, but simply don’t align with your values. (Side note: I never used to be able to tap into my gut instinct. I often questioned whether I even had one. I eventually found it though. Yay!)

The first indicator I have that tells me something isn’t quite aligning with my values is guilt. I’m talking hit-you-in-the-gut guilt. There are two types.

The first type of guilt technically isn’t guilt at all; it’s actually low self-worth disguised as guilt. It’s a tricky, little bugger. One of my fellow bloggers has some wise things to say about it in her post, No Need to Feel Guilty.

You’ve probably felt this type of guilt yourself. Let me give you an example of what it can look like.

The other day, a friend observed that I seem to be better at self-care than many of the women she knows. Rather than accepting this as the compliment it was (because practicing self-care is something we should be proud of, not ashamed of), I immediately felt the need to point out areas of my life that are less than stellar.

After mulling this over for a couple of days, I realized that my response came from a place of not feeling worthy of the blessings in my life. But dang it, I am worthy. You are worthy. We are all worthy of living a great life without apology — provided we don’t hurt others.

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So, if guilt isn’t low self-worth, what is it? Here’s a definition that rang true for me. Guilt is:

the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously

This begs the question, what is considered an offense? For the purpose of this discussion, it’s a behavior that either insults others or conflicts with your own standards and principles. What conflicts with your standards and principles may not conflict with somebody else’s. In other words, it’s personal.

Growing with integrity isn’t about what others think.

It’s about what you think of what actions you’re taking. Nothing more. Nothing less.

And so, here I find myself, two and a bit years into this Viv for Today adventure, looking for new ways to bring value to a community I cherish while generating some income so that I can spend less time copywriting for my corporate clients and more time immersed in what I truly love: connecting, storytelling, growing, seeking joy, and inspiring others to live authentically.

I think we can all agree that wanting and needing to earn money is reasonable. So how can I do this in a way that aligns with everything I want Viv for Today to stand for? I mean, if I want to make money, I’m going to need to sell something, right?

SELL. Ick. I dislike that word.

It sounds awfully slimy. Yet obviously I’m ok with other people selling stuff because I am and always will be a consumer of products and services that add value to my life, including novels, and self-help books, and food, and physical therapists, and life coaches, and comfy clothes, and jewelry, and beauty products that make me feel pretty.

Would it be so wrong to sell pretty things?

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Last week, I attended a meeting. I was considering becoming a consultant for a well-known brand that sells products I use and love, as do many of my friends. I felt that I could genuinely stand behind their products. However, after giving it some serious consideration, I realized I couldn’t stand behind their multi-level marketing model.

Let’s be clear. I am not saying that I believe multi-level marketing is evil. If I were to accept this opportunity, I could talk to you about products I genuinely like and you could decide whether or not to buy them. And I could do all of this with a clean conscience because they sell ethical, eco-friendly, high-quality products and you’re a grownup. However, …

Here’s what I cannot and will not do.

I can’t and won’t use this space (or any space, for that matter) to encourage you to pursue your dreams of financial freedom by becoming a consultant. And that, apparently, is where the real money is earned; by inviting others to jump on board — others who, in turn, are encouraged to put most of their energy towards inviting others on board, and so it continues.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m into making money. It’s what drives my copywriting business, but it isn’t what drives Viv for Today, and that’s where my heart is. I like sharing stories, and I like sharing stuff I love, but selling business opportunities? That’s not what I’m about.

So, I am declining the opportunity to become a consultant, and here’s what I plan to do instead.

I plan on growing with integrity by listening to my heart.

My heart is telling me to keep writing for some of my favourite online publications and sharing my stories here at Viv for Today.

It’s telling me to open up this space to others who have a story to tell.

It’s telling me to collaborate with inspiring women so that, together, we can spread positivity by hosting virtual and in-person events that inspire others.

It’s telling me to write that book — yes, I really am going to write that book!

And it’s telling me to keep telling you about books, services, and other products that truly align with my values (which I already do) while formerly affiliating myself with the companies behind them.

This way, if, after reading or hearing about them from me, you feel inspired to click on a link and make a purchase so that you can try them for yourself or gift them to somebody else, I can earn a modest commission for having directed you their way. And that enables me to spend more time in this game I’m so passionate about, and less in the corporate game that currently feeds me.

All of the above — that’s what growing with integrity looks like for me right now, and I’m feeling at least one foot taller than I did last week. I can’t wait to roll it all out in the coming weeks and months.

Before I wrap this up, just one more thing.

I’d like to say thank you. Yes, you.

I launched Viv for Today because I’m a sharer. By granting me an audience, you’ve given me the opportunity to express my authentic self in a way that, based on your feedback and generous shares, is inspiring others to do the same and that tickles me pink.

As a bonus, you’ve also given me the motivation to be the most creative version of myself I’ve ever been; the self I didn’t even realize I had in me. Seriously, I could kiss you for that.

Viv for today xo

Before you go …

I believe things happen for a reason. You landed on this page because you’re open to becoming a more authentic, fulfilled and self-aware human being.  So am I. Let’s do this together. Before you leave, take a moment to sign up for MY NEWSLETTER so we can keep in touch.