Posts tagged #entrepreneur

I took a "treat yourself" week-end and amazing things happened.

Last week I was feeling all the feels; everything felt heavy, emotional and uninspiring. I needed something, anything, to get me out of my funk.

I decided to take a break. From my business, social media...everything.

I had a Treat Yourself weekend (well, 4 days, really). I went away, disconnected, re-connected with friends, went to the movies, went out for ice cream, watched the sunset while sitting on the beach, read a new book sitting outside a cafe...you get the idea. I did all the things I love to do, and it felt amazing.

I also did a lot of journaling and mindset work. Specifically around my messaging, where I want to be, and how I want to help. It just flowed from me.

Sunday afternoon, when I was coming back from all of this pleasure, I decided to check messages, Facebook, etc. And you know what? I had people waiting to join my group, messages from folks asking about my services and an amazing fellow coach wanting to chat about a collaboration.

This was all while I was just focusing on my joy and living my best life.

You guys, it CAN be this easy.

Don't get me wrong, all that didn't happen by magic; I did the aligned work and followed my strategies. But, it was when I decided to back off and focus on pleasure and my WHY, that it all started to fall into place.

This has happened before, where I back off, just enjoy my life and wonderful things happen, but I always seem to forget it or think it's a fluke.

You guys, it's not a fluke. 

Do the work, take aligned action and then go out and experience JOY. Get inspired, live your best life. The Universe will reward you, I promise.

Posted on June 6, 2019 .

Do you have a business manifesto?

Do you feel you are going in circles with your business sometimes? You get a new idea, start to work on it, change your mind, get another idea...lather, rinse, repeat. Usually, ideas don't work out if they don't align with your business. What you need is some way to test all of your ideas to see if they fit. What you need is a business manifesto.

What is a manifesto?

A manifesto is a formal declaration of what you you believe in, your values, your purpose, and your goals. It is pretty much a mission statement on steroids. This formal declaration will give you a rule in which to make all your business decisions. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't happen.

Step 1: Identify

Your manifesto is made up of your guiding principles. So, in order to write them out, you need to identify what they are. To get your idea muscle pumping, I've got an exercise for you. Using the questions below write down whatever comes to mind for each topic. Brainstorm it out - fast and furious. Don't be worried about what is right and wrong at this point. You'll have time to edit later -- but first, idea generation!  Try to write down five to ten responses for each topic.

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • What do you believe in?
  • What do you want to accomplish?

From your list above, circle the key phrases that excite you and make you all tingly.

Step 2: Organize

Next, start organizing your manifesto in an outline using the key phrases you circled. The way you organize your principles is how you tell your story, so be thoughtful with the order.

Try cutting out your ideas or writing them on a sticky note or note card. It makes it easy to experiment and reorder your ideas quickly.

Step 3: Make it powerful

Now that you've identified and organized your principles, write out your manifesto in sentences using powerful language. A few power words include: amazing, blissful, bold, breathtaking, courageous, daring, excited, magical, spectacular, triumphant, wondrous. You get the idea.

Viola! Now you not only have a badass business manifesto, you have a guide to go by for all your business decisions.

I'd love to hear your manifesto, share it below in the comments!

 

Posted on January 12, 2017 and filed under Business Management.

You Deserve a Break!

Entrepreneurs have a reputation for burning the midnight oil, and with good reason--it takes a lot of time, energy and other resources to make sure your awesome ideas get off the ground and grow into something amazing. But, if you're thinking of skipping your vacation, think again. A break can actually mean a whole lot of improvement in your business and life. I know what you're thinking, I don't have time! I can't leave everything for a week! What about my clients?? Don't worry, we've rounded up a few tips to help you keep your vacay stress-free.

Make a Plan

The more you plan your vacation, the more likely you are to take it. Schedule your time off weeks, or even months, in advance and be sure to tell everyone about it. This works two-fold; people can plan for your absence, and, if you panic and back out at the last minute, you'll be stuck answering everyone's questions of "Aren't you supposed to be away right now?" Who wants to deal with that?

Delegate or Postpone

For each task, including your ordinary day-to-day responsibilities as well as emergency situations that might pop up periodically while you’re gone, decide whether to delegate or postpone your action. To delegate, designate one of your team members  to take on the task in your absence. This is a great opportunity to utilize your Virtual Assistant. Haven't hired one yet? Now is the time! To postpone, deem the task “unimportant,” and know that you’ll handle it only once you get back. Once you've determined how tasks will be handled, you should be worry-free for your getaway.

Disconnect

Disconnecting may seem like simple step, but in reality, it's probably the most difficult. Who else is glued to their smartphone? *raises hand*  When you’re on vacation, it's your chance to disconnect from the world. Turn off your phone, disconnect your Internet and try not to turn on any of your gadgets. Doing so could serve as a gateway back into worrying about work -- it’s almost unavoidable, and who wants that while you're sipping margaritas under a beach umbrella?

Practice

Ok, if the thought of leaving your business for a week sends you into a full blown panic attack, start with baby steps. Schedule an afternoon off to start; turn off your phone and go to a movie or a museum. Once you’ve become comfortable, try taking a single whole day off every once in a while. From there, you can scale to two-day, three-day or even weeklong vacations and more. Like anything else, you’ll get better with practice and experience.

Being an entrepreneur requires significant dedication, but that doesn't mean you're not entitled to a break. In fact, taking some time off is one of the best things you can do for yourself,  your friends and family and, of course, your business. Whether it's a short weekend getaway or a few weeks of deep retreat, going on vacation needs to be on your calendar. The only question now is, where to? 

Posted on December 18, 2016 and filed under Productivity.

Don't Stress--Handle Difficult Conversations Like a Pro

Life would be so much easier if we just didn’t have to have “the talk.”

Some of us have made dodging difficult conversations an art form while others dive into them like a bull in a china shop. There is no easy way of having a conversation with someone that may very well hurt their feelings, put them on the defensive, or make you feel uncomfortable. However, depending on your approach, hard conversations with others can actually lead to personal breakthroughs, mutual understandings, and can even strengthen relationships rather than destroy them. Having a difficult conversation with a client is bound to happen at some point, so brush up on this skill now.

Remember: People aren't mind readers

In both personal and professional relationships, the other party does not know what you’re thinking unless you tell them. No matter how obvious you think your being about the problem, until you hold a conversation, not all of the information will be out in the open. In all seriousness, the offending party probably doesn’t know that they are doing something that upsets you, so holding a conversation is the first step to finding a solution.

Do note: confrontational conversations aren’t arguments. They are used to bring issues to the table in a calm and coherent way to produce some kind of desirable result.

Take a Breather

When you feel upset or otherwise emotionally charged about a situation that involves the other person, it can make having a difficult conversation feel that much more difficult. Emotions can take over leading to a total breakdown of the conversation and leaving the situation completely unresolved. You may say things you don’t mean, feel like you weren’t being heard, or cause the other person to get defensive.

Angry about something and want to call the person out right when they upset you? Think again. Wait 24 hours if possible, and an hour at the very least. The goal of confrontation isn’t to yell at someone, but to find a solution that works for both of you.

Always Have Them Face to Face

In our technology-driven world, it’s easier to send a text or email to say what we can’t say in person. The problem with this approach is that online communications can be taken out of context and be completely misinterpreted. Without human components like tone of voice, body language, and personal presence it’s hard to get the complete story.

If you find an online or text conversation is leading into an uncomfortable space, stop and redirect. You could say something like: “I sense this conversation is going in a direction that might be better spoken about in person. It’s important to me that we continue this. Can we find some time to talk more in person?” If an in-person conversation is not possible, speaking by phone is your next best option.

Plan Out Your Points and Have a Solution Planned

Be able to succinctly address the issue that’s bothering you. Try to make this less about emotion (unless the issue truly is about emotion) to make the conversation most constructive. Don’t just state the issue, but also state the requested solution.

Consider the Other Person's Point of View

Sometimes we may come into conversations with our own one-sided point of view. This can be limiting and doesn’t take the other person into consideration. There are always two sides to a story but if we don’t put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, we will never get the full picture.

Look at the big picture. Maybe the communication breakdown was because you didn’t give clear directions. When you are willing to see the other person’s perspective, you learn what you can do to improve and move the relationship forward. If possible, get an outsiders take on the situation; a fresh set of eyes might help you see things more clearly.

Similar to other soft skills, it takes time to be comfortable with confrontational conversations. Follow these few steps to continue maintaining relationships and hopefully working towards what works best for everyone. What conversation have you been avoiding that you can now have with a little more ease?

Posted on July 30, 2016 .

Getting Past Social Media Burnout

Ok, I can't be the only one who sometimes feels completely overwhelmed by all the different social media platforms out there, and the pressure to be a rock star on all of them. Who can keep up with this?? I know I struggle and I have a feeling there are others out there who feel the same (I can see you nodding your heads), so let's chat about a few ways to avoid that feeling and get back on track.

Limit Your Social Networks

Let's be honest, you don't need to have an account on every platform out there; you DO NOT need to be everywhere. Pick a few that really resonate with you and focus your efforts. When you're using social media for business, determine which channels include your target audience and focus on creating an active, engaging presence on those.

Think Quality Over Quantity

This ties in with limiting your accounts. On your business accounts, your audience would rather see a few thoughtful posts a week than countless photos of what you're eating and your vacation pics (you're really just making us jealous, so please stop). Also, don't be afraid to curate content, if someone else's blog or article speaks to you and you think your audience would appreciate it too, then share it! Plus, it's a great way to connect with your colleagues, and they will be likely to turn around and share your awesome content in return.

business coach, entrepreneur

 

Work in Batches

Plan and prepare! You MUST have a strategy for your posts or you will definitely lose steam. Make lists of what you are going to post. KNOW what you are going to share a week from now. Will things change? Yes! But you sure won’t miss a day if you know what’s coming. To be efficient with your time, create graphics and edit photos in batches, write out your post descriptions, gather links and be ready to go. There are a number of really great, user friendly, scheduling programs out there. Pick one, learn the ins and outs and you'll be on your way to batching heaven.

Focus on Your Existing Followers

Yes, we all know that social media mavens who have thousands of followers and we think, what the heck? Why am I not attracting that many people? Don't sweat it, it's better to build a relationship with your existing followers, and really understand what they're looking for. From there, you can create and deliver thoughtful, relevant posts. Always try to think from the perspective of your client. What do they need to know? What inspires them? Motivates them? Amuses them? Post that stuff!

Set a Schedule and Boundaries

Here's where things get tricky; yes, I know how addicting Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., is. But here's the thing, you NEED to set a boundary for yourself on this. Promise yourself that will stop checking your phone at a certain time and eliminate the mindless scroll.  Focus instead on relaxing, spending time with your significant other if you have one, etc. One of the boundaries that I have set for myself is not checking social media on my phone when I am with friends (or family.) I want to be fully present when I am with them, not mindlessly scrolling through feeds. Also, it's ok to unfriend, unfollow or block folks who are negative or are stressing you out. Life is too short for that drama.

Schedule Time to Connect with People in Real Life

Finally, and probably most importantly, don't let your real, in-person connections with those around you fall to the wayside. Sure it's great (and easy) to connect with people over social media, but it will never be the same as hearing some one's voice and seeing their face. In person. Schedule a weekly coffee date with a friend and plan a get together with those close to you. Put these things in your calendar. Call your friend. Call your sibling. Send some one a card via snail mail just because.

What do you think? Can you try a few of these tips to get you out of your social media funk? Let us know how it goes. Plus, always remember that we're here to help you out, so let's chat!

 

Posted on July 24, 2016 .

Yes, You CAN Take a Vacation!

Entrepreneurs have a reputation for burning the midnight oil, and with good reason--it takes a lot of time, energy and other resources to make sure your awesome ideas get off the ground and grow into something amazing. But, if you're thinking of skipping your vacation, think again. A break can actually mean a whole lot of improvement in your business and life. I know what you're thinking, I don't have time! I can't leave everything for a week! What about my clients?? Don't worry, we've rounded up a few tips to help you keep your vacay stress-free.

Make a Plan

The more you plan your vacation, the more likely you are to take it. Schedule your time off weeks, or even months, in advance and be sure to tell everyone about it. This works two-fold; people can plan for your absence, and, if you panic and back out at the last minute, you'll be stuck answering everyone's questions of "Aren't you supposed to be away right now?" Who wants to deal with that?

Delegate or Postpone

For each task, including your ordinary day-to-day responsibilities as well as emergency situations that might pop up periodically while you’re gone, decide whether to delegate or postpone your action. To delegate, designate one of your team members  to take on the task in your absence. This is a great opportunity to utilize your Virtual Assistant. Haven't hired one yet? Now is the time! To postpone, deem the task “unimportant,” and know that you’ll handle it only once you get back. Once you've determined how tasks will be handled, you should be worry-free for your getaway.

business coach, entrepreneur

Disconnect

Disconnecting may seem like simple step, but in reality, it's probably the most difficult. Who else is glued to their smartphone? *raises hand*  When you’re on vacation, it's your chance to disconnect from the world. Turn off your phone, disconnect your Internet and try not to turn on any of your gadgets. Doing so could serve as a gateway back into worrying about work -- it’s almost unavoidable, and who wants that while you're sipping margaritas under a beach umbrella?

Practice

Ok, if the thought of leaving your business for a week sends you into a full blown panic attack, start with baby steps. Schedule an afternoon off to start; turn off your phone and go to a movie or a museum. Once you’ve become comfortable, try taking a single whole day off every once in a while. From there, you can scale to two-day, three-day or even weeklong vacations and more. Like anything else, you’ll get better with practice and experience.

Being an entrepreneur requires significant dedication, but that doesn't mean you're not entitled to a break. In fact, taking some time off is one of the best things you can do for yourself,  your friends and family and, of course, your business. Whether it's a short weekend getaway or a few weeks of deep retreat, going on vacation needs to be on your calendar. The only question now is, where to? 

Posted on July 10, 2016 .

5 Tips for Working with a Business Coach

If you're feeling stuck and want to learn how to take your business to the next level OR you need help getting an idea off the ground, then hiring a coach can help shift your business (and life) in a major way! If you've never worked with a coach before, or felt like you didn't get what you needed out of previous coaching sessions, read on for some tips on how you can make the most out of working with a new business coach.

 

Business Coach

BE HONEST & TRANSPARENT

Most coaches will either have a pre-chat with you or send out a questionnaire before your first session to get a better understanding of where you are in your business. This is not the time to make your business seem better than it is. You hired this coach because you needed help, so be real about the concerns you have and what’s really going on in your business. They are not there to judge, only to help! Something like money can be an uncomfortable thing to talk about but this is the time for you to lay it all out in the open & allow someone to help you.

NO QUESTION IS TOO SMALL

No one knows everything and you shouldn't feel ashamed to ask whatever you need in order to gain clarity in your business. There is no such thing a small or dumb question.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP

During a coaching session you will receive a huge amount of information which can seem overwhelming. If you don't understand something, don't be afraid to ask your coach to repeat themselves or dig a little deeper into the topic. This is a business investment & you shouldn't leave the call more confused than you were before.

TAKE NOTES

Like I said, a coaching session can be filled with a lot of information so don’t rely on yourself to remember it all. During your call jot down quick notes and main points of what was discussed. Some coaches also offer recordings of the session, or detailed notes; ask if this something available to you.

DO THE WORK

Your coach can literally hand you everything you may need to take your business to the next level but if you don't do something with that knowledge, then you basically just wasted your time and money. After your session, take what you learned and actually implement it into your business. Read back over your notes, take your coaches suggestions about what to change and put forth the necessary steps to make your business better. At the end of the day, it all boils down to what YOU do.

We know, it can all seem overwhelming, that’s why it’s great to have someone in your corner, rooting for you and your success. Let us help you out!

Posted on May 15, 2016 .

Achieving Goals--Yes, you can really do it

Last week we talked about choosing and setting strategic goals. In this post we're going to chat about how to actually achieve them.

Think about the goals you've picked, are they considered SMART? Meaning, are they specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely? A goal of 'I want to live in Spain' is awesome (and we want an invitation to visit once you get there), but not very attainable as written. What do you need to do/get/achieve before you get there? Make them SMART as your first step. From there, here are a few tips to help you better strategize:

Break down big goals. Look at your list of goals, are there are any that seem big, overwhelming, and omg I can't believe I'm actually going to do this? If so, break them down into small steps. For example, if one of your goals is to launch an online course some of your steps would be:

  • Choose a topic
  • Find a platform
  • Create an email list for the launch

By breaking the goals down, they seem less overwhelming.

Set a timeline. Google calendar is your friend. Use it to set milestones you need to reach in order to achieve the larger goal. Take your smaller steps and map them out on the calendar. This can be done in weekly or monthly increments. Breaking it up into smaller steps can help things seem less overwhelming and daunting, and scheduling them out keeps you on track, Remember, baby steps will still get you there.

Make time to work on them. Yes, I know this seems like a silly tip because obviously you're going to work on these, they're your goals! While I hope that's true and that's certainly what we want, often times our work days get away from us just by working on our regular projects and deliverables to clients. Goals can sometimes get pushed to the back of the line of priorities. This is why you have to set aside time for them. Here are a few tips to find extra time:

  • Stop saying yes to things you don't really want to do or have to do.
  • Hire out and automate as much as possible. Hootsuite anyone? And don't forget, we can help!
  • Plan everything out. Seriously folks, use the calendar (can you tell I'm a planner?)
  • Stop doing things that are not moving you in the direction you want to be going. I'm not only talking about work things here. Yes, binge watching Netflix is sometimes necessary, we get it, but not every night/weekend. Separate your work time and play time and stick with the schedule (there I go again with the schedule. I'm like a broken record).

Goals are important and they should be big, but they shouldn't be overwhelming. Take a deep breath, break them down into smaller steps, plan them out and you can definitely get there. Remember, we're always here too. Let's chat!

 

Posted on January 24, 2016 .

Setting Goals--Getting Strategic in 2016

Everyone makes resolutions at the start of the new year. Losing weight, stop smoking, exercise more...we've all tried them. But how many of us stick with them? Let's change the conversation, let's go with goals instead of resolutions; focus more on what you want to accomplish rather than give up or sacrifice. Let's talk about what we want to GAIN this year rather than lose. But do you know how to set strategic goals? How about the next steps to achieve them? This is the first in a two-part series on goal setting and achieving; now let's get going!

Here are a few questions and thoughts to get you started on setting your goals for the week/month/year. Remember that these can be small steps or big, glorious dreams. We like them both around here.

  1. What is your intention for the upcoming year? What do you want your life/business to look like in a year?
  2. How do you define success? Is it a monthly income goal, more time with your family, or the ability to work from the beach. Whatever it is, figure it out.
  3. What projects did you enjoy the most in 2015? What was it about it that you liked?
  4. Alternatively, what projects or clients were a drain on you? What was it about them that was an issue?
  5. What does your ideal workday look like?
  6. What is unique about you and your business? What can you offer that no one else does?

A few examples of goals we've set around here include attending 3 strategic networking events and conferences, guest blogging on a few of our favorite sites and attending 4 training classes or webinars. Use a site like Skillshare to find classes and trainings on just about any topic out there. We believe learning and expanding our knowledge base is a way to success!

Use these questions as starting points for your strategic goals; take your time really thinking about them and answer honestly. If you're stuck and can't get started, remember that we're great at brainstorming around here and would love an opportunity to get you going in the right direction. Let's chat!

 

Posted on January 18, 2016 .