Have you been searching for your life purpose, and no matter how hard you search, it seems so hard to find? Let me tell you, I’ve been there, sister, and it was so frustrating. And what I can tell you now is that what you’re looking for isn’t out there.
It reminds me of the quote by Paulo Coelho where says, “The meaning of life is the meaning you give to your life.” So in this episode, we’re going to discuss how you decide your purpose and how you live it out.
Bonjour and welcome to The French Kiss Life Podcast, where personal development meets style. I'm Tonya Leigh, certified master life coach and the hostess of this party, where we explore how to live artfully and well. Each week, I'll be sharing inspiring stories, practical tips, and timeless wisdom on how to elevate the quality of your everyday and celebrate along the way. Let's dive into today's episode.
Hello, my friends. Bonjour. Hola. I say hola now because we just brought on the most incredible woman to the French Kiss Life team. Her name is Lynn and she is Latina. And so she would be very proud that I’m speaking a little bit of Spanish, even though it’s French Kiss Life.
But you guys, I just had the most surreal moment. So, many of you may know this, but at the beginning of the year, I chose the word CEO as my guiding word for this year. And it’s all about being the CEO of not only my business, but my life, like really evolving to that next level of leadership.
And then, right before I started recording this, I went onto Slack, which is our team communication center, which, by the way, has basically alleviated email for me, which is a blessing. But I was on Slack and I was looking at all of the people on our channel.
There are 20 people involved in French Kiss Life right now. And I was just mind-blown. I’m like, whoa, it is happening, because part of being a CEO this year is really bringing in the right people and really surrounding myself with people who embody the same values.
And I remember, I think it was Dan Sullivan that says, “You don’t need to know the how. You just need to know the who.” And, you all, when I heard that, I was, like, mind-blown because I think we can get so caught up in how am I going to do this, how am I going to reach a million women in the next five years? And I don’t need to figure that out.
I need to surround myself with people who are gifted and experts in different areas and trust that the right people are showing up. And so, I just want to give a big shout out to my team right now because they work so hard behind the scenes to make sure our clients, our community are cared for, that they have what they need.
And what I can tell you from our team meetings, we love this community so much. And it’s that container of love that, I think, is what makes French Kiss Life so amazing. So, shout-out to my amazing team. And now, it’s time to give a shout-out to someone in the French Kiss Life community. This is the part of the show where I do a Community Spotlight.
And today, I want to spotlight a very special lady in the community. And her name is Marsha Rios. And she not only continues to inspire me, but I think everyone in the Slim, Chic, and Savvy community would agree that she is so full of wisdom and love and she’s just a beautiful, beautiful soul. And she left me a review on iTunes with the title of Tonya Leigh Just Keeps Getting Better.
Here’s what she said, “Tonya Leigh has been my coach for three years and still amazes me with her insight and inspirational focus. It’s hard to even think of where to start in explaining the value she adds to my life and those of countless others. In her French Kiss Life community and podcast and through her extraordinary paid programs, Tonya makes it crystal clear there is a range of challenging experiences universal to us all. Yet, she makes you individually feel you are seen and heard, that whatever touches you touches her. She has proven herself as a wise and capable woman with a true heart for transformational change. She is rare. But those who love her and listen to her are growing by the moment, and what’s not to love about that? Here’s to Tonya.”
Well, here’s to you, Marsha, truly. As I said earlier, it is such an honor to know you and to support you and to have you in the community. And the reason why I chose your review is based on the title, Tonya Leigh Just Keeps Getting Better.
Here’s the thing; if you all go back and look at some of my first videos or even go back and listen to some of my first podcasts where I am literally just reading them from my blog, you will see the evolution and you will see the change. And I hope that by watching me grow and me sharing the challenges and the failures that happen along the way will inspire you to do the same.
I deeply believe that our lives are a masterpiece and there’s so much more to be created, right? It’s not done, no matter where you are in your life right now. And you may be going through the most horrendous experience. I want you to realize there is another brushstroke. You’re just a thought away from shifting your life.
And so I want to be an example of that. I truly want to be an example of what it is like to French Kiss Life and sharing that journey with you all. And so I hope I continue to get better. But as I tell my clients, I want to get better from a place of enoughness, meaning we are enough right now and everything we create is just the cherry on top.
So, if you want to be featured in an upcoming Community Spotlight, all you must do is leave me a review on iTunes. I love when things rhyme. But seriously, if you want to know how to do that, head over to frenchkisslife.com/itunes and we walk you through how to leave a review. And I just want you to know, I’m really grateful for all of you who are part of this amazing, amazing community. So, without further ado, let’s dive into today’s episode.
Let’s talk about finding your life purpose. I want you to notice how you feel when I say that. I remember a woman telling me many years ago, “You just need to find your life purpose.” And I remember how frustrated I was. At the time, I was working 12-hour night shifts. I was overweight. My purpose was just to simply pay the bills. I couldn’t fathom figuring out my life purpose. But it seemed to me that so many other people had figured it out.
And so then I began to think, well if I could just figure out my big grand life purpose then my life will be complete. I will finally be enough. I will have arrived. And so I started asking myself, what is my purpose? What is it that I’m supposed to be doing?
And the more I went down that rabbit hole, the more frustrated and miserable I became because – here’s the thing I’ve noticed – your mind loves to keep you in a state of confusion, in a state of familiarity, in a state of staying where you are. So my purpose could have been right in front of my face, and actually it was the whole time. But my mind was always trying to convince me that that’s not your purpose, that’s not it, you should try this, you should try that.
And so I was spinning in this just world of confusion and, like, what is wrong with me? Why can’t I figure out this thing that everybody else seems to have figured out? And that is when I realized something that really changed me. And it’s this; my purpose is being a human being. That’s it. There’s your life purpose.
But I promise you, I’m going to give you more than that. But truly, your life purpose is whatever you decide. And before I did this episode, I actually looked up the definition of purpose, and here’s what it is; a purpose is the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists.
I realized, I got to decide why I existed. I got to decide why I was doing something. My purpose was simply me being intentional and deciding how I want to show up in every moment of my life, who I wanted to be. And the beauty of this is, I could be scrubbing out my toilet or recording this podcast and living out my purpose.
I will tell you all; I didn’t come into this world and at a very young age know that I wanted to have a company one day. I didn’t know I was going to mentor women. That was not even in my world at one point.
Now, there are people from a very young age, they know they want to be doctors. They know they want to be a lawyer. They know they want to be a writer. But that wasn’t me. And I suspect many of you listening can relate.
The other day, my daughter asked me, she’s like, “Mom, how did you find your purpose.” And I was like, “Babe, I’m still living it. My purpose is just to be a human being experiencing this thing called life.” But then I started to think about what has led me to this moment – and this is not my last moment, hopefully, but to this moment.
And it’s this – and this, I think, will be a game-changer for you; I stopped trying to find my purpose and I started to deliberately show up in my life as the woman I wanted to be. So I practiced being more confident, more loving, more kind. And by doing that, things did begin to change.
But then there’s another piece of this puzzle that I’ve been able to reverse-engineer and realize it’s what led me to this moment. And let’s go back to when I was working as a critical care nurse and I was really working on my beingness. Because at the time, I was working night shifts, I was working in a cardiovascular ICU and so I was like, “Okay, this is my life right now. I’m going to show up in it deliberately. I’m going to decide how I want to feel in my life right now.”
And so what happened, all of that energy that I had used resisting my job, thinking that I needed to go out there and find my purpose, now it was like creative energy and I started to think about other things I would love to experience.
And so I decided to go to sommelier school. I didn’t know why, I was just really interested in the world of wine. And that led me into becoming a food and wine writer and all of these amazing experiences at food and wine festivals, super, super fun.
And then I realized, the next step for me was I wanted to go back to school. And some of you may have heard this story before, but I’m going to tie it all together because it’s so important when it comes to living your purpose. And so I was just like, “I want to go back to school and get a liberal arts degree.”
Ii went back to school, discovered I loved writing, so I started writing. Then I hired a life coach and I was like, “Ooh, I really love this whole personal development world,” because I realized I had been unknowingly coaching myself for a while and women were seeing the changes in me. And I was like, “I’m going to go and learn how to be a life coach.”
All of those moments in my life were projects. Really think about this. They were projects that I was curious about. And so I went and did them. And then they led to the next step. Then there was another project that led to the next step.
I was not one of those people who knew what the outcome was going to be. I just kept showing up in my purpose, participating in projects that I was excited about. Even to this day, I don’t know what the ultimate outcome of my life is going to be. But what I do know is this. And this is exactly what I shared with my daughter; my purpose is whatever I decide it to be. And my purpose is who I decide to be as a woman.
And I have decided that my purpose is to be a woman who French kisses life. And what that means for me is living artfully and well by how I think, showing up with intention, living a life of elegance, embracing my failures, understanding that that’s just part of the process, and really appreciating and having so much gratitude for this experience of life and all that it holds; the good and the bad, the hard and the good times.
And then beyond that, I get to choose projects that I’m curious about. In fact, right now I’m working on a project that I’m not really talking about. It’s in my secret garden for now. But it requires going back to school and I’m having such a good time. And I don’t know what the outcome of this is going to be, but I know I’m having so much fun and it’s something I’ve been curious about and I’ve thought about it for years now. And so I created space in my calendar this year to do it.
But it’s a project, right? And I know that, if nothing else, it would have fulfilled my curiosity and I think a life of following your curiosity is such a well-lived life. And so I told my daughter, I’m like, “Babe, take the pressure off of yourself to find some big life purpose outside of you. Decide who you want to be as a human. What do you want to represent, and then live that out no matter where you are, no matter if you’re ordering a cup of coffee at Starbucks or you’re sitting with me watching Netflix? You get to live out your purpose. And that way, it’s with you for the rest of your life.”
And then above and beyond that, find that next project. And it doesn’t even have to be something that you’re super passionate about. It may just be a curiosity that you have or something you’ve just been wanting to do. Maybe your next project is just cleaning out your closet. Or, let’s say, for example, your curiosity is around cooking, maybe your next project is to enroll in a cooking class. Maybe your curiosity is around social justice. It’s something that your heart’s just been tugging you towards for a while. Maybe your next project is to volunteer for an organization that you are super aligned with.
But no matter what the project is, know that your true purpose is who you get to be in that project. Your purpose is who you get to be in every moment of your life. Your life purpose is something you get to decide. And I think that’s amazing news, you all. You don’t have to go out there and find it. It’s not hiding out somewhere. In fact, it’s been within you all along. What do you want your purpose to be? Who do you want to be as a woman? Do that and then go find those projects that align with your answer.
And again, it may be I’m going to clean out my basement this weekend, or it may be I’m going to write my book this year. But ultimately, at the end of the day, your life purpose is whatever you decide it to be. So stop the frantic search of finding your life purpose and start embodying it instead, and then go find projects. And I really, really deeply believe that when you do this, you’re going to be at the end of your life looking backwards and thinking, “Wow, I really, really French kissed my life.”
Now it is time for a J’adore. This is the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And today’s J’adore, I feel, is such a great example of this episode. So, part of who I want to be, my purpose, is being a woman in love with her life, feeling abundant, feeling joyful, feeling just in love.
And so one of the projects that came out of that for me a few years ago was I wanted to become financially savvy. Money was something that was so complicated in my mind. And not only was it complicated, but I had a lot of fear around it. Like a lot of people, I grew up in a very lack and scarcity mindset, and so money was something, for the longest time, I just thought, I’m not going to look at it because I don’t know what to do with this. Which, you all know, does not solve your money problems, it just makes them worse.
And so finally, I mustered up the courage of, like, I’m going to really become financially savvy. And so I thought, what does a financially savvy woman do? She gets a financial investor, someone to invest her money. And so a friend of mine introduced me to someone and I basically handed him all of my money and said, “Here, go invest it, do what you do and make me a good return.”
Now, in the process of all of this, I was learning about investments on a very amateur level. But after a year of him investing my money, I looked at my returns and I was like, “Something is off. This is not right. I know I should be earning more on the money that I’ve given him.”
And so I took a step back and I was like, “Okay, what are my options?” Because I didn’t trust myself enough to invest, I don’t know a lot about the market in terms of being willing to go out there and buy stocks on my own, but I knew that I should be getting better returns.
And not only that, I had the sneaky suspicion that the fees that I was paying him was not a good idea. And this was all just gut instinct. And so I took a step back and I was like, okay, Tonya, what are your options? And around that same time, I came across a website called Wealthfront.
And what Wealthfront is, is a robo-investing website. So basically, these two guys came together, they realized that investing is really a science, not an art, and they build portfolios based on your wants and your dreams. So you go onto the website and you plug in, like, I want to save up enough money to buy a home or for retirement or to send my kids to college.
You plug in your age and how long you want to do that within, the timeframe, and then they create portfolios for you. And I love it because I don’t have to think. And what it has shown, historically, these robo-investment sites are matching the sites, if not doing better, than regular investment people. Can you all tell? My terminology is not the best around this, but I know when things are working and I know when they’re not.
And what I can tell you is that since I have opened up my account with Wealthfront, my rate of return is amazing. And I feel so good knowing that I am building my wealth. And that is something that I want for this community. I want us to be women who are savvy with our money, that we do know how to not only make money, but grow our money, to know where to put our money.
And I’m a big believer in having a diversified portfolio, whether that’s stock or real estate or whatever you choose, I think it is important to have diversified portfolios. But Wealthfront is one of those pieces of the puzzle for me.
And then, I just found out, they just started a savings account that gives you 2.57% return on your cash savings account, which is one of the highest in the industry. At most banks, I think the average is 0.1%. Really think about that; 2.35% versus 0.1%. Over time, the compound effect of that is pretty enormous. And so, as you can see, I’m very passionate about this topic and I am such a fan of Wealthfront.
Now, I have to put a disclaimer in there. I am not a financial advisor and this is not something I insist you do, but I do want you to check it out and see if it feels like a good fit for you. They have incredible tools on the website where you can go in and fill out that data I was telling you about before and they’ll make recommendations.
But if you’ve been looking for a way to invest your money that’s not overwhelming or intimidating, check our Wealthfront. In fact, if you go to frenchkisslife.com/wealthfront, you will get an invitation from me and you’ll get your first $5000 managed for free, which is crazy as well.
But do go check it out because, again, one of the things that I want for all of us is financial abundance and feeling confident around our money, because I know what it’s like to struggle in this area. And I also know that it doesn’t have to be that way.
So, there is my J’adore for this week. Thank you all so much for tuning in and go out there and French kiss your life. Cheers.
If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss lifestyle, let’s start with a makeover; a mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The 3 Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs by visiting FrenchKissLife.com/mindset – because after all, mindset is the new black.