What I’m Thankful for This Thanksgiving

 

I am thankful every day, but on this day, I want to give a special shout out to the awesome people in my life who support, inspire, and hold me accountable. Yes, I’m naming names.

1)      My Mom – She’s an amazing example of resilience, power and resilience. In addition to being raised by her, she’s an amazing reminder to keep my head up and fail forward. I am grateful for our sound boarding and nonsense-checking phone calls.

2)      My Boyfriend – Yep I’m going to get sappy. He’s one of the most hardworking and talented musicians I know. His direct and loving feedback has inspired me to only focus on my collective awesome shit and to lessen the blow of a no or a not yet. He has opened my creative floodgates with getting on stage and feeling fearless in front of hundreds of people. We also have the most killer handshake.

3)      My Friends – Holy shit the friends I’ve accumulated! There’s my friend and neighbor, Tish, who has not only been an amazing emotional support, but has also been a Fairy Dog Mother to my dog Rico Suave.  My oldest friend, Jenna, who after 20 years still laughs and cries with me on our hour-long calls. My super talented friends Debra and Kimberly, who have challenged and supported me to a higher standard of sound and visual expression among so much more. The SocialPreneurs, who every two weeks fill my heart and brain with resources and support to be bigger than what I am. The Monday Night Potluck Crew, who fills my belly with food each week and then makes me laugh it out.

4)      My Clients – 2 years ago I had one client. Today I have 10 and am so inspired by their vulnerability, courage and passion to living a kick ass life. I’m honored to be their coach and so thankful that they believe in me.

5)      Last, but not least, I’m thankful for Me.  I am thankful I didn’t give up when things got tough. I am thankful that I have attracted in such awesome souls. I am thankful that I chose the better and challenging life over the easy. I am thankful I keep trying and pick myself up and do it again if it doesn’t work. I am thankful that I believe and trust in myself.

7 Ways to Cope With Family Chaos During the Holidays

If your blessed with a chill family that just wants to eat and take naps, this blog post is not for you. If there’s a little piece of you that’s dreading sitting across from Uncle Mike as he chews with his mouth open in between marginally racist comments, I’ve got some tips for you.

There’s something about scheduled “togetherness” that brings out the “together mess” in families. From old sibling rivalry to polarizing topics, it’s a challenge to keep your composure and not want to stick your head in the turkey. Before you walk in the door, please read this post.

1)      How do you want to feel when your saying goodbye to your last relative? You are only in control of you. You get to choose how you respond, think and react. If you want to feel right, you may feel that way, but you probably will be exhausted and not very happy with the exchange. If you want to be at peace, think about where you can acknowledge and validate someone without opening up a can-of-debate worms.

2)      Find yourself a friendly ally. If you have a cousin or sibling who helps you stay positive, sit next to them or pick up a charcuterie board with them in the kitchen to get away from any negative spewing.

3)      Meet people where they are. If you know someone is stressed about money, it’s probably not going to make them feel very good if you’re bragging about your new car or expensive shoes. Have a new relationship? Wait to be asked about it. This doesn’t mean you can’t share your good news, but not everyone is in a place to see it as anything beyond self-absorption.

4)      Ask people about more than the weather. Want to know how people are? Don’t ask them how they are. Try something like “what’s the most exciting thing that’s happened since I saw you last?” Also don’t rely on Facebook as giving you an accurate update, most people are only showing you their highlight reel.

5)      Be of service. The best way to stay out of trouble, is to keep your hands busy. Help to set the table, take out the trash, cook a side dish, take care of the gaggle of kids. By being helpful, your ears won’t be sitting ducks for negativity dumping.

6)      Don’t drink. (GASP!) I know It’s a crazy concept, but think about how many family battles have emerged because someone was overly sensitive or rude from too many glasses of wine. Someone needs a clear head to disengage and the best way to make quick decisions is to avoid impairment from alcohol.

7)      Have an exit strategy. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or super triggered, it’s ok to leave, but make sure you have a plan before you get there. You may want to visit a childhood friend or go for a walk. Whatever you need to do to take care of you in the moment, go for it.

 

I hope you don’t need a strategy and everything is awesome a wonderful, but in the event something goes array, you are now prepared with seven options. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Is Your Environment Making You Sick?

I’m not referring to asbestos or living next to a factory spewing toxins in the air (although those are absolutely making you sick). I’m referring to how you live, the people you are surrounded with and the routine you’ve acquired as your own.

I was inspired to write this blog post after meeting with a client today. We went through a visualization exercise where I guided her through a future life scenario. The visualization was general to allow her imagination to fill in the blanks. After she opened her eyes, she wrote down everything she observed.

Everything was about being in nature. Her life was full of love and friends. A big smile came to her face as talking about it took her there. “I’ve really been missing being connected to the woods.”

We discussed her findings and uncovered her longing to be in nature – not to visit, but to create roots in. As a city dweller for almost 15-years, she felt trapped and forced along a pattern that conflicted with her values. (One of her first sessions was focused on identifying her values.) She felt rushed to make time for friends and events and conflicted when she wanted to choose time alone for herself.

As we moved through the session, she came to the realization that she needed to move to be truly happy.

If you’re thinking that moving away is an easy solution to fix your issues, it may be temporary, but this is not in fact the case for this client. If it were said in haste or I need to move this month, I would be able to pick up the urgency and avoidance. Instead her response was aware and composed with a plan of 1-2 years.

If you take a look at the blog on Staying or Going, this is the fourth phase: Going with a Plan. My acknowledging how her current environment works and doesn’t work for her, she can create a logical and longer-term plan that serves her.

So, how do you know if your environment is making you sick?

1)      Do you feel run down and sick all of the time? It may be your environment.

2)      When you think of the people around you, does it excite your or exhaust you?

3)      If you close your eyes and think about the place that inspires and calms you at the same time, where is it?

4)      If you could make three changes to your current environment to make it better for you, what would they be?

5)      What’s a choice you could make for you today to improve your environment?

What I Learned About Podcasting at Guitar Center

I have watched countless hours of YouTube videos trying to understand how to set up, record and launch a podcast. Most of the time i thought they were speaking another language and i was the dumb one who didn’t get it. Plug this, click that, twirl around three times and voila you have a podcast!

I had way too much information and no plan to implement.

I asked a friend who runs his own podcast for suggestions. (Thank you, Mark Phillips of Better PR Now for the help!) His podcast is interview style with a guest in another location. He uses:

  • A Skype recording software (I use a free version I found online)
  • Audio-Technica ATR 2100 microphone
  • Garage Band to edit (free on Macs. I have a PC and use my video edit software - Wondershare Filmora that cost $65 for the license)

I then decided to take my new found knowledge and put the guys at Guitar Center to the test. These guys know their stuff! We asked them about a fancy schmancy set up for speaking and instrumental recording with the set up.

I’d like to think they were impressed with my knowledge of dual outputs to USB and XLR, but beyond that i was having an internal “huh????” moment. These guys were rad and recommended the ideal microphones for the intended set up and swayed us away from the top of line models.

Did you know that Guitar Center also re-sells equipment and offers a 45 day return policy with no questions asked? I didn’t. It’s like having an insurance policy for a Craigslist deal!

These are my buds at Guitar Center. Yes, it took a village to answer my questions!

These are my buds at Guitar Center. Yes, it took a village to answer my questions!

For a higher end recording for musical performances, they recommended the following set up:

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If you can't read their handwriting, here is a breakdown:

Interface (where the mics and instruments get plugged into) Specifications:

  • 480-192 Khz sample rate
  • At least 4 mic pres, 2 line inputs
  • 16-24 bit rate

They recommended the Scarlett 18i8 that will run about $349

Microphones:

  • Blue Spark - $200
  • AKG P220 - $150
  • Rode NT1 -$200

Headphones:

  • Sennheiser HD280 - $99

With cables and everything, it’s about $900 for this grouping, but they said to keep an eye out for Black Friday specials and they price match for a 10 days!

 

I ended up buying two of the Audio-Technica ATR 2100 microphones from Amazon for my set up which will be a direct plug in to my computer. It cost me a little over $130 for the two.

I'll be back to visit my buddies if I need any help!

Your Body Knows Best: Why Are You Ignoring It?

 

Yesterday I met with a client who needed to reschedule the week before. Why? Because she was in urgent care dealing with multiple infections. “I’m going to have some serious lessons learned after this” she said in a text.

The antibiotics started to work her magic as we scheduled our next session. Yesterday we sat down to refocus on her goals, but I wanted to get a sense of what led up to her being in such a dire situation.

"So tell me about the days leading up to going to Urgent Care.”

“Well I hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of weeks, but my schedule was too busy and I couldn’t make time to make an appointment to go to the doctors. I brushed it off and hoped it would go away, but it kept getting worse. I made a doctor’s appointment and the next available appointment was five days away.”

“What did you tell them your symptoms were?”

“I wasn’t very honest with them and definitely undersold what was actually going on. I didn’t want to freak anyone out and thought I could push through.”

But pushing through was the last thing her body did. The next day she had to run out of a web meeting to go to the Urgent Care for what turned out to be three infections, one of which was in her kidneys.

 

I asked her “When did your body start whispering it needed attention?”

“Oh months and weeks ago.”

“When did it start talking?”

“Last weekend.”

“And when did it scream?”

“Two days before I went in.”

 

My client isn’t alone. I’m guilty of brushing aside alignments that I hoped would go away. I’ve ignored things that just weren’t quite right that in hindsight couldn’t been dealt with very easily. Our body knows what we need and when we ignore it, it doesn’t go away, it gets louder until we listen.

 

It turns out, she needed rest and time to herself. She knew she needed it, but didn’t want to admit it.

“What more evidence do you need to know this is what you need?” I inquired.

“I don’t want to know what’s worse than this. I know I need it.”

“So when will you start listening to your body?”

“When it whispers.”

 

I’ll be checking in on her to make sure she’s been sticking to her self-care routine.

For everyone out there going a mile a minute, take a pause and check in with your body. Those around you want you well taken care of before you take care of their needs. Take a nap or make a cup of tea. Your only job today is to take care of you.

Utilize Your Under-Used Promotional Real Estate: Your Email Signature

Do you sign your email with your name? How about your contact details? What about your social media links? A Video?

If you said no to any of these questions, this blog is for you!

 

No, this isn’t an original idea, but it is an under-utilized tactic to get your name and offerings out there. Think about how many emails you’ve sent in the last year and how many impressions you made with those emails. What if you could continue the engagement beyond the words in the body of your email?

If you’re like most business owners, you’ve got a lot of stuff going on and don’t necessarily have the time to draft newsletters or ads all day. In this case, the email signature is your new best friend.

In your signature, you can include:

A picture of yourself (so they know who they’re meeting)

Your contact details (this should be happening any way, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t include phone numbers)

Your website (or 2 or 10 depending on how much you have going on) be sure to label what the site is (i.e. podcast, blog, product)

Social Media accounts (use the logo graphics as much as possible)

Scheduling links (want someone to make an appointment with you, you can include your online scheduler)

A Recent Video (try to keep this fresh every 1-2 months to increase interest from repeat viewers)

 

How do you put it all together?

You can use the signature setting in your email to do simple text, hyperlinks and images, but for formatting and sleek looks, there are signature providers out there for a fee. I used WiseStamp.com to build mine and have had tons of compliments from it.

 

It takes a little time, but the upswing of engagement is worth it!

There's an "I" and "Me" in "TIME" for a Reason: Time Management Strategies with a Client

How are you managing your time? Are you waiting for breaks in the day to appear to tackle your projects? Do you constantly feel interrupted or in a start-stop pattern of work flow?

For most people, this is probably a daily occurrence. All it takes is one email or phone call to bump you out of your zone.

This was also an issue of one of my clients looking to maximize his productivity and efficiency. He found that during his day, he would start a project that needed two hours and would get interrupted half way through with an emergency. After putting out the fire, he would return to the project, but without the same energy and focus leaving him feeling frustrated.

“What should I do?” he asked me.

We looked at his overall schedule on a normal weekly basis and focused on the average time spent over a week in percentages in different categories:

Company Meetings -  20%

Employee One-On-One Meetings – 20%

Technical Troubleshooting – 20%

Project Time- 40%

 

Once we had the percentage, we were able to see that on a daily basis he only had about 2.5 hours a day to work on projects. He was stunned to see how much of his day was redirected to non-project work, but understood based on his management responsibilities.

Then we looked at average flow of his day as most meetings were pre-scheduled and reoccurring at the same time. After sketching it out, we found a potential solution. Between 10am and 1pm, he typically felt a slowdown from outside demands.

“What if you could schedule your project time the same way your meetings get scheduled?”

“But what if someone needs me?” he asked.

“What would happen if one of your team members was super focused on a project and you needed them for something?”

“Well they would wait until they had a natural break to call me back.” he responded. “So, I can do what everyone else on my team does?”

“Why couldn’t you?”

 

It was like a switch had been flicked. He could set up his schedule to get his team members and his own needs met.

I have a meeting with him later today to see how his two weeks on his new schedule went and I’ll let you know how it went.

What can you take away from this?

1) Look at your time as a whole over a longer period of time to determine your average time spent

2) Highlight the priority activity that isn't being served

3) Map out an average day and identify the natural dips of time or where you could build a gap.

4) Plug it into your calendar and keep the standing meeting with yourself and that activity

5) Shift your mindset - by serving yourself, you are better able to show up for your team

 

UPDATE:

Yesterday we had a session and the new scheduling tool was a big hit! Once he knew how much time it took to get tasks done, his anxiety decreased dramatically and his feeling of power as a leader soared.

He admitted it was tedious to think about tasks by the minute, but overall it helped him project manage his day. He also found, by blocking his time out, he could delay a non-critical response until he had a natural break in the process.

When we first addressed the issue of time management, I asked him on a scale of 1-10 (1-low, 10-high) how he thought he was doing. Three weeks ago, he said 3. Yesterday he said 7!

 

After our discussion, four steps emerged from this process:

Step 1: Get the specifics. If you don’t know the specifics, the task is too obscure or large. Chisel it down to steps you can accomplish and know how much time it will take.

Step 2: Plug it into a bigger picture calendar. Use an app or online calendar to do so and make sure you check your calendar before agreeing to a new project or task.

Step 3: Stick to the plan. There’s no point in spending all of that time planning, if you’re not going to get any use out of it. Following your calendar as if the project blocks are scheduled meetings with another colleague.

Step 4: Communicate your wins and boundaries to colleagues. When everyone gets on the same page and is consistent with respecting time, it can open a door of trust and collaboration while decreasing stress and anxiety.

 

 

 

 

Business 101: Don’t Depend On Your Friends

I remember a conversation with a business owner who was convinced she needed to add a virtual component to her business “My friends said they would totally pay for it.”

Immediately my red flags were going off. “Have you asked anyone who isn’t a friend what their interested would be.”

“Well no.”

Our friends want the best from us. They want us to succeed and when it works from them, they’ll support us with their wallets. We rely on them as a shoulder to cry on and an open hand for a high five when we’re celebrating. The problem is they know too much about how the sausages are made and may have a bit of a bias going on.

“Yes, that’s a great idea. Do that!” they say. But when it comes time to launching and earning revenue, it’s a fraction of the fanfare. They weren’t lying to you and they’re not bad people. They want to encourage you, but your friends along are not enough to sustain a business.

Friends ARE great for:

1)      Promoting your business

2)      Referring people to your business

3)      Manual labor

4)      Extra set of eyes

5)      Hugs

6)      High Fives

7)      Drinking pick-me-ups

Friends are safe and if you’ve only been relying on them for feedback, you’re limiting your marketing reach. Take the risk and expand see what happens. If nothing bites, keep trying or shift your focus. Ask acquaintance level friends for their feedback if they are in your target audience.

The friends closest to you are there for your emotional support, but don’t expect them to be your financial support. It only makes things weird in the long run.

After I created and ran The Spring Cleaning Summit last year, I was ecstatic for the clients and friends that showed up. I also was disappointed at the friends I thought I could count on to support the event. As I go forward, expectations will need to take a backseat to gratitude mixed with the risk of the unknown.

If you're unsure about who you should reach out to, take a step back and think about the problem your service or product is solving. Who is most likely to have that problem? Where do they hang out?

Flexing Your Resilience Muscle

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This past weekend I was chatting with two amazing women. Both were children of alcoholism and now in their 20s and 30s had very different perspectives of their childhood. The 30-something woman seemed to take it in stride, understanding that while her upbringing wasn’t ideal, she became extremely self-reliant and a care taker for those around her. The 22-year old woman is married with a young child and was visibly angry and enraged as she told us about her father’s decision to choose alcohol over her family.

We listened to her intently as she brought us to current date and shared the joy of being a new mom and buying a new house.

“You must have a strong resilience muscle.” I told her.

She looked at me puzzled. “What do you mean?”

“Your parents divorced when you were 12 right? That means you have 10+ years of building your resilience muscle. If you work out and lift weights, your muscles get little tears and regenerate making them stronger. The same is true for your resilience muscle. Every time you encounter stress and manage it, your resilience muscle gets even stronger. Imagine that you didn’t have the same upbringing, what would you be missing?”

“I wouldn’t be as independent or strong. I wouldn’t be as good of a mom.  I don’t know if I would know how to deal with stress.”

“Exactly. For every experience that knocks you down and you get back up, you can recall on that experience to pull you through. You can look back and objectively say it’s not that bad.”

We could easily blame our experiences from when we were younger. We can easily point outward. But what if we could appreciate what those experiences built within us? What if we could use the situations that knocked us down as a tool to build us and others up?

What are you currently held back by? How has that person or experience helped you become you? How could you be thankful for that experience?

So flex that resilience muscle and see how strong you really are!

6 Ways to Deal with Difficult Personalities

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We all have at least one person in our lives that strikes a nerve. No matter what they do, we recoil or think the worst about their intentions. We’ve already made up their story line about how they’re trying to make our lives a living hell.

As a coach, I’m supposed to operate without judgment, but I’m human and it’s a daily practice to not revert into past middle school antics. Now that I’ve lowered your expectations, I’ll tell you what’s worked with me to navigate a world filled with people who don’t flow on the same current as me.

1)      Chill the F@$% Out – I have a piece of artwork near my door that highlights this point. Nothing is that serious, yet I can have the tendency of shifting urgency to unimportant situations.

2)      It’s Not About Me – If someone’s having a bad day and vents or has a nasty look on their face, 9/10 it has nothing to do with me. For that 10% if it has something to do with me, unless that person wants to address it, I keep it moving.

3)      Acknowledge that Everyone Has Their Own Crap – We all have our own baggage that we’re coping with. Whether it’s trust issues, insecurities or fear, we’re doing the best we can to make it through unscathed. It’s not a pissing match to see who has it worse off or who has it easier.

4)      Open Up – Once we get through acknowledging our crap, we can drop our guard and stop being an untouchable hard ass. Funny thing is, when we start sharing our most vulnerable experiences, most people will exhale and share with you.

5)      Offer Support – If someone has a difficult personality, they’re usually protecting themselves from a past hurt and push people away before someone hurts them. If you see them challenged by something, offer a hand or ask how you can support them. Even if they decline, the intensive of the trigger will lessen from them.

6)      Change Your Route – If you don’t have to be around the person, but find yourself running into them and getting triggered, shift your route and routine. It may seem like an inconvenience, but I would argue that being fired up and annoyed will take more out of you.

My guess is no one wants to be viewed as difficult, but unfortunately, we don’t know how to get out of our own way. A little compassion and empathy goes a long way, but if the person impacts you on a toxic level, you have every right to stay away and avoid the situation. You are only in control of you and can only change your thoughts, beliefs, behaviors and actions.

Amazon Affiliate Program: Are You Leaving Money on The Table?

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A couple of months ago I heard about the Amazon Affiliate Program. I’m familiar with similar programs from back when I ran a CrossFit Gym and received monthly checks from protein powder sales (man, those days are gone). Essentially for every person who clicks a link through and purchases from the site, you receive a commission from a percentage of the sales. Also known as passive income from affiliate site referral.

If you’re wanting passive income, I wouldn’t expect to get rich from it. It takes effort in messaging, promotion and positioning to call people to purchase from your site. If they go direct, guess what, you don’t make the commission.

Back to Amazon. I was super interested as it seems like everyone has Prime and shops on the site pretty often from electronics to paper towels. So there was already an interest and comfort with the site.

I clicked on the “Become an Affiliate” link at the bottom of www.amazon.com and hit the “Join” button. The process was relatively easy. The ask about your website traffic and industry. The one catch is you must have a purchase from your link within 180 days to be an approved affiliate partner and purchases made by your account do not count.

On my site I’m referring inspirational books and equipment for DIY podcasting, video, and photography since that’s what most of my clients ask about.

There are awesome ways to shorten the code to include in emails without making it look like spam and you can just include an image without all of the Amazon branding and “Buy Me Now” feelings.

To date I have made a whopping… wait for it…. $13! And yes I’m super excited about it.

 

Feel free to check it out and let me know if you have any questions on how to best implement it.

Buzzwords, Phrases and Other Red Flags to Watch Out for in a Future Employer

This week I participate in Surge from Association Success. It was a virtual summit of association industry professionals who came together to address emerging issues. I was honored to sit on a panel with two of my peers and friends as we discussed the topic of creating change without holding a title of power.

As the sessions were pre-recorded, speakers were able to actively engage listeners in a chat feature. It was a lively conversation and one attendee asked me to address this topic in a blog:

“What are the questions we should ask, buzzwords we should look for to see if an employer is a good fit?”

Before we get started in that list, it starts with the jobseeker. Before you apply, have a call with HR or sit down for an in-person interview, you need to get honest with yourself. Chances are you’ve had a lot of baggage from past situations that you may be carrying around with you.

This is your opportunity to repack your bag to your next destination.

 

Step 1: Make a List of Everything You Hated in Your Last Position

Step 2: Next to Each Item, Write the Positive or Opposite Form without Using the Words “No” “Not” or “Never”

Step 3: What Residual Emotional Baggage Are You Holding on to from Your Last Position? What Do You Need to Release It?

 

Another suggestion would be to do a Value Exercise to indicate which values are in alignment or out of alignment with your last positions. (Contact Me If You’re Interested)

 

Now to the Buzzwords…

Keep in mind that words alone will not give you the full picture, so it’s imperative that you do more homework and investigating.

Here are some words I see overused in job descriptions that usually indicate fluff:

1)      Open

2)      Collaborative

3)      Collegiate

4)      Dynamic

5)      Flexible

As in ABC Association fosters an open, collaborative, collegiate and dynamic organization and has flexible programs for its employees. Without specifics, these are bold claims. If your point of contact avoids or generalizes their response, this is a solid indicator that things may not be what they appear.

 

Your next step is to check www.Glassdoor.com. If you’ve never heard of it, Glassdoor is a website and app that hosts millions of company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more. Unlike other jobs sites, all of this information is entirely shared by those who know a company best — the employees.

Imagine Yelp for Employees. Keep in mind that along with employee reviews, a lot of organizations have put HR in charge of adding positive reviews to counter the not-so-nice reviews.

If you see a common theme appear within the last two months, ask about it. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut.

 

There are plenty of jobs out there and once you realize what you want and deserve, you will accept an offer in an organization that is in line with your talents, experience and values.

 

 

9 Ways Make Money Now

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1)      Stop Scrolling on Facebook – Unless you’re messaging people about your business, you’re in time out until you start making money

2)      Name 5 People You’ve Been Meaning To Reach Out To – Pick up the phone, call or email them about a win/win opportunity. If it’s a former client, ask them where they are in the progress and where they need assistance and support. If it’s not for you, refer to another likeminded business. The referral wave is best when initiated.

3)      Follow Up – If you haven’t heard from someone in over a week, follow up with a call or an email.

4)      Create an Interesting Package – You now have a reason to get in touch with someone for your new and exclusive offer. If they aren’t interested, ask what it would take to be appealing or who it might be a good fit for.

5)      Affiliate – I just wrote a post about Amazon Affiliate programs. Reach out to other businesses and see if they have a referral or affiliate program you can promote on your site and to your list.

6)      Get Over Yourself – If you need to make money, your ego needs to take a back seat. Even if you need to walk dogs, run errands or wait tables as you build your business, when you can take care of your basic needs, your grip will open up and so will your opportunities.

7)      Think About Your Ideal Customer – What problem do they need a solution for and what would they be willing to pay for? Is it a Webinar, an e-book, an in-person event or session with you? Build the solution and promote it out.

8)      Ask for Help – Reach out to your network and see if they know of any opportunities. Assuming your ego is on vacation, you won’t say no to something that you perceive as “beneath you.” Get out there and get moving and generate that abundance!

9)      Shift Your Mindset – Envision yourself in an abundant mindset. How are things different? How do you feel? Now bottle feeling up and take a swig of it anytime your inner critic starts chiming in.

How Has Your Self-Perception Changed Over the Years?

Answer these questions as soon as they pop into your head with one word or phrase. For any age bracket you are currently in or have yet to enter, change “was” to “am.”

 

When I was a baby, I was_______________________________.

When I was a toddler, I was _____________________________.

When I was a child, I was _______________________________.

When I was a pre-teen, I was____________________________.

When I was a teenager, I was ____________________________.

When I was in my early 20s, I was ________________________.

When I was in my late 20s, I was __________________________.

When I was in my 30s, I was _____________________________.

When I was in my 40s, I was _____________________________.

When I was in my 50s, I was _____________________________.

In my 60s and beyond, I am _____________________________.

On my last day on this planet, my legacy is:

 

Feel free to share you entries with me by email lauren@laurenlemunyan.com and I’ll send you mine.

Oh Shit! Overload

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In the last two months, I have taken on a lot. I convinced myself that staying busy was the best solution for beating my lethargic tendencies and feeling lazy around my business. Right after Labor Day, I started the 30-Day Blog Challenge and was immediately boosted by the creative charge it sparked inside. I was writing multiple blogs a day, creating artwork, and brimming over with ideas.

The first two weeks felt like a breeze, even with a 4-day intensive certification program for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator program. I felt powerful and unstoppable. I started dabbling with video again and reorganized my website to reflect my new found confidence in working with creative business owners.

Clients signed up and I got even busier. This is awesome. Busy=Profit=Happiness.

So after the 30-Day Blog Challenge was ending, I decided to extend it to 100 days. More is better, right?

I decided to design and produce custom positivity-inspired journals: Awesome Shit List Journals.

I met with a friend to talk about outreach and we decided to create a pilot event for Emerging C-Suite Leaders. No problem, I thought, I’ve got time. We scheduled the event for November 8th.

Around day 50 of the Blog Challenge, I met with a friend about doing a podcast and added another tough deadline on myself: Have 10 episodes ready to launch by November 20th.

I started shooting more video and agreed to host a show for association professionals on YouTube for launch in November.

I have interviewed four guests, learned the ins and outs of podcasting, edited and produced my own shows, created the artwork and have six interviews scheduled.

I’ve been doing all of these projects while working with my clients.

See where I’m going?

More=Even More =Oh Shit! Overload

Today I’m on day #64 of the Blog Challenge and I could quit. I could say no to everything, but I don’t think that I’ll learn my lesson.

I’m doing what most business owners and emerging leaders do. They take on more in hopes that it will progress their business and their career. They spread themselves to thin until stress, illness or an internal wake-up call smacks them in the face.

I’ve been ignoring my oncoming burnout for weeks. My boyfriend warned me about it, knowing my past patterns and habits. I didn’t want to listen. I didn’t want him to be right and for me to have to change gears.

I’ve been doing everything I coach around not doing.  Wake up call.

So what am I doing differently now that I know what not to do?

Building a plan. By understanding my goals and objectives, I can better construct my day and week to work on projects in their appropriate time.

Sticking to the plan. No more squirrel diversions.

Asking for help. I’m here to admit that I suck at technology and refuse to ask for help. I keep trying to MacGyver my way through recording and lighting. The ironic piece is I have at least three friends who have offered to help who are in TV and Radio and do this for a living. Yes, it’s dumb. So if you’re out there listening friends, help please!

Moving after each project. Rather than going go back-to-back with sessions, my goal is to go for a short walk in between. I’ve had days where I don’t get up unless Rico barks at me to go out.

No new projects unless they’re a part of my goals. I’ve been agreeing to do a lot of free or low profit projects. One could argue it’s part of the process in building a brand, but let’s be real, I have bills to pay.

Mandatory rest days. No more waiting until my energy is zapped. One day a week is dedicated to rest, reflection and fun.

 

When I show up as my best self, my clients are better served and so is my bank account.

 

Where are you feeling overloaded? What can you put into practice to find more structure and support?