The Top 5 Podcasts I’m Listening To

I have to say I’m late to the party when it comes to Podcasts. Honestly it took my boyfriend having his own, for me to explore the great land of Podcastia. (PS – Check out www.thecircuslife.com  I’m on a couple of the shows).

1.       How I Built This

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for 30 years, you know most of the companies featured on this show. What I absolutely love is the first person account of the process including the inspiration, failures, and internal anchors each entrepreneur relied on. Rather than thinking “these guys are special,” you can actually walk away with applicable lessons learned. I look forward to every week when this comes out.

2.       A Well-Designed Business

So I’m not an interior designer, but this podcast covers way more than the industry basics. From Facebook advertising to your internal struggles with pricing and knowing your worth, each show can be useful to any industry – and the host is from New Jersey!

3.       The Ask Gary Vee Podcast

Continuing on the New Jersey host theme – Gary Vaynerchuk is my spirit animal. Shout out to Hunterdon County! If you don’t like cursing, this one isn’t for you. His in your face language and advice gets right to the heart of the matter. He calls out imposters looking to get rich quick or seem like they are on social media and support the every day business owner as they navigate the new tech landscape. There’s content every day, so you’ll never get bored.

4.       The Side Hustle School

I have to say I was initially turned off by this show. The host’s tone was so flat and Pacific Northwest (sorry Seattle and Portland friends!). Once I got past my initial bias, I got in a groove of listening to these 5-9 minute episode. Chris walks you through the business basics of an original side hustle and then gives his take on what principles work for the business. I love him way more when he goes off script! The coolest thing is I heard about my friend’s business – District Karaoke on one of the shoes. This is great for people looking for quick content digestion.

5.       The Moth

I love this podcast for true escapism. If you’re on a long car ride, load several episodes up and go for a ride. You can’t help but get transported into each storyteller’s life. Each story is 5-15 minutes long and will at a minimum make you think and at a maximum make you ready to make social change.  If you ever have the chance, check out a live show at Howard Theater.

A Day in the Life of Rico Suave The English Bull Dog

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7:00am – Ooooh the sun is up all for me! Time to go see it!

7:05am – Sweet! Mom is moving in bed. Better start grumbling so she knows I’m ready to start my day.

7:06am – Hmmm.... that didn’t work, time up my game into a higher pitch so she can hear me.

7:07am – Doesn’t she know who I am. I have people to see! (BARK)

7:10am – Chow time! This feels more like an appetizer, but it’ll do for now. It’s time to see my adoring fans downstairs and outside. Hope I don’t have to run into that a-hole Teddy in the elevator.

7:15am – Ahhh it’s my people. Yes scratch behind the ears and right next to my tail. Yes, I know I’m adorable. Feel free to join my Instagram and follow my life.

7:20am – Well that was quick guess it’s time for a nap.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZz

9:20am – Mom, are you stillllll working? Guess I’ll sit at your feet and lick my paws. (She hates when I do that hahahaha)

9:25am – Damnit, now I’ve got the bootie on. That was a colossal fail. Ugh. Guess I’ll sleep some more.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

4:00pm – That was the best dream about squirrels and butt rubs. Life is grand. Wait isn’t it time for more food?! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!! Fix me a pot pie!

5:00pm – Ugh can’t believe I had to wait an hour! One day I’ll be treated like the prince I am.

5:05pm – Sweet! Time to see the evening addition of my fan club. They’re extra affectionate at night. I can’t imagine what they do all day, but man some of them look rough. Good thing I’m there to pick up their spirits.

5:45pm – Mom, it’s time to play. Stop typing and talking. I’m right here……

6:00pm – Ooh this moose toy looks good, I think I’ll just suckle a little biiiiiiiii……

ZzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZ

9:00pm – (Rico it’s time for bed) What?! I’ve been sleeping all day. It’s party time. Get real woman! Here’s my toy now throw it! THROW IT NOW! COME ON THROW IT! Fine I’ll lick my paws again.

9:15pm – Damnit! The bootie again!

How To Break Your Social Media/Cell Phone Addiction

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This topic was suggested by a friend after a call for topics on my journey of 30 blog posts in 30 days. Keep in mind I am not a behavioral psychologist and all of the opinions and suggestions are things I’ve done myself and these may or may not work for you. Translation: take this with a grain of salt.

I would like to address the term addiction. Perhaps for the sake of this post, we’ll call it a dependency. I’ve seen what addiction can do and believe me Social Media and Cell Phone usage doesn’t come close to the damageof drugs, alcohol, gambling addiction, etc.

Now that we’ve got that squared away, when we talk about a dependency it’s related to a behavior or a habit that has been created over time (this is when you click on this link and pick yourself up a copy of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business). Each habit begins with a cue or a signal followed by the behavior and the assumed reward.  In order to nip the behavior, we have to start with the cue.

Questions to Ask Yourself

1)      What makes you look at your phone?

2)      What triggers you to engage on social media?

3)      What feels normal or manageable?

4)      What feels out of control and crosses boundaries?

From what I’ve observed, most cell phone and social media use acts as a distraction or a time fill. You could be waiting in line, sitting in a meeting, “watching” little Jimmy’s baseball game. You’re physically there, but everything else is checked out making you about 15% effective where you are. (If you drive and do this, stop immediately.)

There is an expectation to be on call, but when you’re actually fully engaged in your life, your time is much more valuable and valued by others. You won’t waste 3 hours straight commenting on cat videos or reading opinion pieces. You’ll be out living in the world.

That’s not to say to do away with Social Media and smart phones, but rather to create a healthy relationship where your primary relationships (family, friends and your colleagues) are given fully focused time first. When those relationship needs are met, you will feel more engaged to check in, post and comment in your allotted time and then shut it down.

Goal: Create a Healthy Relationship with Social Media

How Do You Do That?

1)    Identify the Trigger (see above)

2)    After you’ve identified the trigger or cue, you can take several approaches:

a.     Remove the trigger – i.e. Delete Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter App from your phone. You’ll have time throughout the day to check it on your computer or during your allotted hours. In this scenario, put the App in a sub-folder or put it on the last page of your Apps.

b.     Reduce the trigger – Turn off the alerts or notifications (especially the sounds) for all of the guilty Apps including your email and text messages. At a minimum, this should be on vibrate.

c.     Schedule time for Social Media or email on your phone.

3)    Create household rules and stick to them – i.e. meal time is phone free or cell phone use only between 7 and 9pm. It may seem strict, but you asked for it. Remember?

4)    Instead of commenting on a post, call the friend or family member and have a real conversation.

5)    Don’t sleep next to your phone or have your phone in your bedroom. If it’s an emergency, they will call and you will hear it.

 

Try them out and let me know how it goes after 30 days!

10 Things You Should and Shouldn't Do When Starting a Business

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In June 2016, I walked away from an 11-year career in association management to start a full-time coaching practice. Here is what I learned in the process of being a business owner and what I would and wouldn’t do differently.

1)      Have a Plan – I thought if I had a website, I had a business. People will get what I’m trying to do and will hire me right? So wrong. First my website was a jumbled mess of all things coaching, buzz phrases and lofty ideals. My lack of simplicity and clarity was a red flag that I probably should’ve been more organized and had a plan. This is where working with a mentor or coach is critical. They’ll be able to identify your blind spots and work with you to create a comprehensive plan to avoid the confusion and frustration later on.

2)      Have a Financial Cushion – Thankfully I had this from a house sale earlier in the year before leaving my job and I live relatively modestly for DC.  Money has been a huge fear trigger for me and being able to see months of expenses in my bank account was my saving grace.

3)      Have Clients – Oops forgot about this one. I had been coaching for over a year before I left my job, but at the time of my departure I didn’t have a single paying client. This was intentional on my part to light a huge fire under my butt and start hustling. It worked the first month and then distraction set in (see #6).

4)      Know Your Niche – I started as an Executive Coach for nonprofit executives only I left the nonprofit world and thought I would make a much better Life Coach, so I gave that a try. Then I decided to get grounded in Business Coaching for new businesses and start-ups. It’s nice to think that you’ll have this all figured out when you start, but most of it comes from trial and error and preferences. Be willing to explore first and dig into who your ideal client and market is. Believe me it makes marketing and website copy that much easier to write.

5)      Don’t Think It’s Going to Happen Overnight – This should probably be in the number one spot. While I was getting certified as a coach, I was convinced the clients would come flocking in with little to no effort. I would be swimming in dough and vacationing for months at a time by month 6. SO WRONG. This is a fickle grind that is reliant on individuals deciding whether or not they work with you. Sometimes you have amazing months and sometimes contracts stall out. The key is moving forward each day and staying consistent with networking, marketing and follow up. If one area doesn’t work, try something new or if the clients aren’t coming in, get certified or read up on new technologies during your slow period. Just keep moving!

6)      You Will Be Tempted to Go Back to the 9-5 – It is freaking scary out there on your own and anyone who tells you differently is full of it. The security of a paycheck is tempting, I almost fell for it twice (once in July/August and Once in November/December) it knocked me off of my business development game, but I learned a ton about myself in the process (check out the blog post on that one).

7)      Health Insurance Is a Glorious Thing – If you don’t have it, get it. Nothing is worse than feeling like crap and not taking care of yourself when you have to run the show. Get checked out on a regular basis and stay healthy. My stubborn self has had to learn this lesson the hard way, but thankfully I have people in my life who actually want to see me healthy and don’t put up with my BS excuses.

8)      Get Set Up on Quickbooks ASAP – It’s super easy and cheap and your accountant will love you come tax season. You’ll know where you stand financially at any moment with the online version and won’t have to guess if someone has paid or not or if you can make your bills that month. Knowledge is power – get you some!

9)      Remove All Negativity From Your Life – There will be doubters disguised as friends and family. They come under the cloak of security and protection, but underneath it is full on pessimism and nay saying. Put them in a box and share what you want, but know that your business is sacred territory meant only for a select few who understand your passion and pursuit. This is where you share the highlights of your story and not your diary. The details worry people who don’t get it. It’s okay. They’ll understand when it comes together or maybe they won’t. It comes down to you keeping yourself healthy across the board. I have had to move away from several friends and family members throughout this process. You can love them, but sometimes it needs to be from afar.

10)   Trust in the Process and Believe in Yourself – Here’s the thing I wouldn’t have walked away from a secure position if I wanted to live on the edge of uncertainty. I’m pretty risk averse, actually. What I do know about myself is I won’t give up trying until I’ve exhausted every option and I’m pretty resourceful. In the last 15 months, I have created a client base and support system that keeps a roof over my head, food in my belly, love in my heart and laughter in my gut. I am thankful every day that I made this move. It’s certainly not for the timid or indecisive.

 

If you’re thinking about taking the leap or have made the bold step into business ownership, I’d love to chat with you.

7 Lessons for Kids and Adults from the First Day of School

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You’ve seen all of the adorable photos on Facebook, but what can we learn from the First Day of School as an adult? (Side note: I don’t have children, so all of my kid lessons are a trip down memory lane of my own experiences).

1. Get to Bed at a Reasonable Time and Set Your Alarm Clock

Kid Lesson: Nothing is worse than being in a rush or a complete cranky head on the first day. Sure you’ve got butterflies in your tummy, but these hours are critical for setting you up for your big day.

Adult Lesson: Get yourself to bed with an anticipated sleep time of 8 hours. You’re going to have moments where you wake up, but aim for 8! Plan for your morning to have enough time to charge and go! (Meditate, Shower, Breakfast, Daily Review, and Commute)

2. Make Sure Your Supplies are Prepacked in Your Backpack

Kid Lesson: The night before make sure all of your notepads, colored pencils and TI calculators are packed up. No waiting for the morning to get the homework done!

Adult Lesson: Review your schedule for the next day. Charge up your cell phone near your work bag (HINT HINT: It should not be in your bedroom) along with your planner, keys, and anything else you may need for the day. Feel free to pack your gym bag for the next day and don’t forget your shoes and/or sports bra.

3. Pick Out Your Favorite Outfit that Makes You Feel Super Confident

Kid Lesson: Set out clothes the night before. A groggy head doesn’t always make the for the best color coordination!

Adult Lesson: If you’re feeling ambitious, pick out your clothes for the week including those visits to the gym. It may seem like a lot of work on Sunday night, but once you’re in the groove of the week, you’ll be happy you put the effort in to grab and go.

4. Eat Breakfast

Kid Lesson: Sure, you may not be hungry, but I’m sure your tummy will be grumbling without food by 10am. Your brain needs nutrients to keep it going and so does your body, fuel it up before you go!

Adult Lesson: Yes, you may be in a rush or doing a fast (disregard this if that’s the case), but most adults who are too busy to eat breakfast or lunch do serious damage when it comes to dinner time and over-consume calories leaving you lethargic and unmotivated at the end of the day. By taking the pause to eat good food, you’re practicing self-care which lowers your stress levels and anxiety. Give yourself 15-minutes at least, the world won’t end without you writing an email.

5. Pack Your Lunch

Kid Lesson: I know all your friends eat pizza and sloppy joes, but packing your lunch saves more money for activities and makes you feel better throughout the day.

Adult Lesson: I know you’re colleagues go out to pick up lunch, but do you really want to be spending $10+ a day on fried or unhealthy foods? Pack a lunch that you can take with you so you can take part in the social aspects of lunchtime. Your wallet and waistline will thank you!

6. Know Your Schedule (And Locker Combination)

Kid Lesson: Figure out which friends you’ll have in each class and plan your best route through the halls starting on Day 1! If you’ve got a locker, start memorizing it now – nothing is worse than having to wait for the custodian to come to let you in.

Adult Lesson: Ever have those nightmare about high school where you forget your locker combination or course schedule? The easiest way to alleviate this pressure and anxiety is to be prepared. Review your schedule, put critical passwords in a safe space (use Google to save them or another App if you prefer), plan the night before to prevent the craze of the morning from taking over.

7. Smile and Enjoy It

Kid Lesson: It’s your first day, take it all in. There will be more days to come, but now you’re set up for success! Soon you’ll be older and wish you could go back to these carefree days.

Adult Lesson: Each day is a new day. If you didn’t like the way yesterday went, you have the opportunity to enter with a fresh perspective and approach. You are in the driver seat. Vroooooom!

30 Day Blog Post Challenge

 

It’s September 5th, the day after Labor Day, and if you’re in the Northeast, it’s Back to School Day.  I don’t know about you, but I used to love the first day of school. It was your chance to set the tone for the school year with your new haircut and cool new outfit from Wet Seal and an attitude that said I’m smart and approachable.

Now I’ve been out of school for a few years (holy crap it’s been over a decade since college!) and I’ve decided to set some hefty goals for myself this month. As part of goal-setting with my clients, the key is accountability, which is why I’m putting this out on the interwebs.

So here are my goals for the next 30 days (yes, we’re going into October):

1)      Blog Every Day for 30 Days (this is 1 of 30)

2)      Exercise for 1 Hour Every Day

3)      Read for 1 Hour Every Day

4)      Get MBTI Certified (Classes start on the 12th)

5)      Bring on Five New Clients

I’ll be tracking my progress each day through Facebook and my website, so check in and create your own 30 Day Challenge. I’d love to hear it and support you in the process!