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Do the thing that scares you most.

Imagine you’re hanging onto a rope. You’re clinging to this rope for your life, as you hang above a dark pit. You cannot see what is at the bottom of this pit, you can’t hear it, smell it, touch it or taste it.

You’ve heard that at the very bottom lies a massive pile of riches, your soul mate, and a book containing instructions on how to fulfill your life’s purpose.

Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting down there, in the darkness. And you can have all of it…

But you have to let go of the rope.

Most of us cling to the rope. We might try to lower ourselves down, to find a flashlight to peer into the darkness, to ask the others dangling around us if they’ve ever been. We try to ease our way into the darkness, not fully trusting the safety of it, never wanting to let go of the rope that is keeping us safe, without realizing that it is actually only keeping us away from what we want most.

We fear the darkness. We create fantasies and stories about what lies beneath to keep ourselves and the others dangling nearby up on that rope. To keep us afraid of the darkness. To keep us in the light, where we know we’re okay.

The others have gone, they let go and they never came back. We make fictional monsters in our minds that gobble up their souls so that we can understand what we believe to be their untimely demise. We tell the others – be afraid of the darkness. We’ve lost many a rope dangler to the monsters waiting to hold us in their depths.

But there are no monsters.

There is no darkness. There is nothing to fear. You’re dangling on a rope literally inches away from everything you’ve ever wanted, but you’re too afraid of the unknown to let go and have it all.

This isn’t a story, this is your life.

That rope is your comfort zone. That darkness is the unknown path ahead of you. And yes, everything you’ve ever wanted really is down there.

Let go of the rope.

Running on courage and vulnerability.

Running on courage and vulnerability.

I’ve written about courage before.

It isn’t something I feel I have enough of. I let things stop me all the time. Some people say that I’m strong, or that I have courage, or that I am brave, but I don’t buy that.

Courage doesn’t come out of a desire for courage. It comes out of a desire to accomplish, create, or change something – a desire that is so strong, it pulls you through fear.

I’ve been battling postpartum depression for the better part of 2 years now.

It started after we had a late-term miscarriage with Ryder, my 3rd pregnancy. I fell into a deep depression, pointed with anxiety, hopelessness, loss of a sense of purpose, anger at myself, and more. I learned something very interesting from that experience.

There are support systems for postpartum depression after giving birth to a live baby.

There are support systems for grief after a stillbirth or infant loss.

There are no support systems for postpartum depression after a miscarriage.

In fact, it took a lot of digging to even admit that’s what it was.

I was depressed through my next pregnancy, and I’ve been in full-blown, darkest days postpartum depression ever since he was born.

I love him. I love him so deeply, so truly, with every inch of my being and every fibre of my soul, I love him completely. And yet somehow, this beast that is PPD convinces me every now and again that he would be better off without me. That they all would. That I need to move on, because I’ll never be enough.

People might think it is courageous of me to share that. It’s not.

I have a desire, deep down in my heart, to not only overcome this pain but to help others overcome it as well. That desire is stronger than my fear – it pulls me through the fear and out, into vulnerability.

After we lost Ryder at 15 weeks, I started running. I hadn’t run since gradeschool so I was a complete mess, but I loved it. I loved the challenge of it, I loved the trails, I loved being alone with my footsteps and getting better every time. I loved feeling myself accomplish something. And I started to love myself.

Pregnancy sidelined my running, and I started up again in January. Now I’m better than I’ve ever been, and I’ve set a goal.

I’m going to run.

For the rest of my days, as long as I can, I’m going to run for the women who have suffered with postpartum depression. Not for “awareness”, not for money, but to encourage them to get out there and run, too, so that they can overcome it. We can overcome it. Together.

I’ll bestow courage upon them – encourage them – by being the desire that pulls them through the fear.

The desire to do that, for them, pulls me through my fear.

I’m not courageous. I’m not brave. I’m not strong.

I’m just a woman going for a run, hoping the people who need to see me will see me and will pick up their shoes and run with me. Fast and slow, trail and road and treadmill, I hope they’ll run with me and learn what they’re capable of and overcome the muck of postpartum depression.

And I hope they’ll know…

Courage doesn’t come out of a desire for courage. It comes out of a desire to accomplish, create, or change something – a desire that is so strong, it pulls you through fear.

The Entrepreneurial Archetype: Can it evolve?

The Entrepreneurial Archetype: Can it evolve?

If you’ve spent, I don’t know, five whole minutes chatting with me it is very likely that the topic of Entrepreneurial Archetypes has come up. You’ll know that these archetypes are the reason you succeed with some systems, fail with others, and should ignore 99% of the cookie-cutter BS advice out there.

And of course, because I practice what I preach, I’ve applied the Archetype technology to my own business. For those of you who may not be familiar, let me give you the low-down on the three primary Entrepreneurial Archetypes:

Communicators: You’ll know when you meet a communicator, likely from the lack of direct eye contact. Head down into their laptops or their projects, they’re the accountants, tech-startup-founders, numbers guys and analytical geniuses. Go to a conference, and *if* you catch a glimpse of one in the wild, they’ll likely be there covering the event – and definitely not hosting or speaking. They have mad skills in technology, systems, processes, and things like growth hacking (Google it.) Think Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Computers? Yes. People? H-e-l-l no.

Supporter/Facilitators: This is likely most of you. In fact, it is about 60% of the entrepreneurial population. Supporter/Facilitators are comfortable having conversations. They like connecting people with each other. They may have some of their own ideas, but can appreciate the value of other perspectives as well. They are really kickass at organizing events, coaching/group coaching, leading small workshops and retreats, and doing collaborative promos. They have a tendency to get bogged down by the mechanical/technical/analytical aspects, because they are so relationship based and *need* that one-on-one interaction. Think Oprah.

Experts: I have one client like this, out of all of them. I spoke with someone else today who was clearly an expert. You’ll know when you meet one, not because they’re hiding in the back of the room like the communicators but because they’re commanding the stage no matter where they are in the space. They have an energy that is unmistakable. They enter a room with all the presence of a freight train – you can’t help but notice. On the plus side, they definitely command attention – on the down side, they’re horrible at building their own audience. They speak to stadiums, have a lot of their own specific ideas, and can enchant anyone around them. Think Tony Robbins or Jim Carrey.

That is just a cursory explanation, but now that you have a crash-course in Entrepreneurial Archetypes, we can explore this idea of evolution. So let’s ask the question:

Can an entrepreneur evolve from one archetype to another?

I’m facing this question now, in my own business. Classically, I have been the Communicator archetype. I would obsessively check my Google Analytics, my mailing list statistics, my open and click through rates. They were my metrics for success and I held onto them. I hid behind my computer screen, always vying for those numbers to increase so that my success would increase with them. And of course, it worked.

In the past, I always viewed archetypes as static – something we’re born with, like our hair colour. It is what it is, and we can try to mask it but it will always be that way at the core.

But now, I’m finding myself changing. When I think of a new project, I’m not thinking of how I can implement a system/process/machine to create it for me, I’m thinking of who I can get involved. Working with clients isn’t about the volume of contacts or the amount of money they make in their businesses, it is about the quality of relationships we build and the quality of life they receive as a result.

It would appear as though I have evolved from classic Communicator into a Supporter/Facilitator role – which could have major impacts for my business in the future.

Rather than publishing ecourses in text form, video could come next. Instead of putting out a home-study course, a private retreat could be in the cards. It would change things dramatically.

And so if we consider it possible for an entrepreneur to evolve from one archetype to another, we have to ask – is this a linear evolution? In other words…

Do we go from hiding to shining in our full glory?

Or is this more of a shift that can go in any direction, at any time? Can you go from Expert to Communicator? Can your archetype change based on your own personal growth in any direction, or do you grow from hiding in the background to shining in the light?

I want to hear from you – have you evolved? Has your archetype changed? Where on the spectrum did you fit when you were younger vs. now? Let’s see if we can find the answer together, and I’ll share any insights along the way!

How to Ignite Your Business

How to Ignite Your Business

You there – yes, you with the business. That entrepreneurial itch. Can we talk for a minute? Pull up a chair.

I’m going to share something vulnerable here with you today, because business isn’t all freakin roses and smiley faces 100% of the time. This might be hard to hear from where you are but there is a very important lesson for you as well.

If you and I have ever talked, or you’ve ever read my newsletter/blog/book/anything I’ve written EVER, you’ll hear me talk about how important it is to focus on the outcome your business creates – what you want to create for others – more than what you want to create for yourself.

I’ve talked about how focusing on doing what you love is a recipe for feeling stuck, how thinking about your niche can actually lead you away from your best chance at success, and so on. There are plenty of reasons to do it, not the least of which is that it makes marketing and selling your products and services way freakin easier.

But this week? This week that point showed up to me in one of the most unexpected ways, and it knocked me flat on my knickers.

I was still “A game” with my clients, but behind the scenes I was wandering around like an extra in Zombieland. Aimlessly staggering around waiting to be the punchline of somebody’s joke (or at least that was how it felt.)

Now I have a new reason to teach you to focus on the outcome right from the start. But to tell you the whole thing, we have to back up a little bit in the “business process” to where you might be, right now.

If you’re starting or trying to grow a company, you probably have a financial goal in mind. Whether that is to make a billion dollars or just to feed your addiction to designer jeans, you know you gotta make da bank. And this “outcome stuff” seems like it might help make that happen.

That’s okay.

When I say to focus on the outcome, I don’t preface it with “forget about the money!” Money is pretty much an essential part of business, otherwise I would be writing a blog about how to start and grow your own hobby. I get that.

And in the beginning, it is healthy – and even beneficial – to be focused on both your outcome and your financial goals. You need to make X amount of benjamins each month to meet your goal, and you want to do it by giving Y group of people benefit Z. Great!

But there will come a point, my dear sweet entrepreneurial friend, where you are making X amount of benjamins. Your designer jeans are covered (and a few pairs of studded Jimmy Choos, too.) Food in the cupboards, roof over head. You’ve “made it” to your goal.

One of three things is likely to happen in this scenario. Either you’re going to “level up” your goal because your initial goal wasn’t what you *really* wanted, or you’ll decide to make more without a specific lifestyle in mind (which is, by the way, how a lot of rockstars end up in rehab…)

OR

You’ll get an existential kick in the arse like I did.

It didn’t happen in an instant. There has been a steady ebb and flow to this realization for a few months. I would get comfortable, feeling like I had finally reached my goal, then get all panicky for no reason and it would turn into a shit sandwich. But as time went on, the comfortable stretches got longer and the sandwiches got smaller, less smelly, and further in between.

Until finally, late last week, it sunk in. I made it to my goals. I had pretty much crossed everything off of my financial checklist that I wanted to create with my business (except for a circus pony, but the city council just isn’t with me on that one…)

And instead of thinking what I always thought I would be thinking in that scenario (aka “YIPPEE!!! WAHOOO!!! I DID IT!!!!”) I was thinking…

Well, what the f*ck do I do now?

Yes, relief was there and some contentment. I certainly wasn’t miserable, but it was hard to get excited, too. I felt kind of lost and directionless. So much of my life (including my childhood) had been about the pursuit of money that without having to pursue it, I felt kind of empty. Not bad, not good, just – “meh.”

Doing what I do has never been all about the money, I just wanted enough to provide for my family and help people in the process. And I had achieved that.

Yes, I still loved (and love!) working with my clients. Seeing their progress brings me so much joy!  But in between those calls and emails, there was something missing.

And that is why your outcome is important.

You, too, are going to meet your financial goals one day. Yes, you could meet your goal by focusing on “doing what you love.” Or you could meet that goal by doing something you hate, just because it is profitable. But if you focus on your outcome, you get to do what I did.

You get to make your business all about the outcome.

That’s right. Once you reach what I call “sustainability” (meeting that aforementioned financial goal), you get to do whatever you want to help the people you want to help.

You can bring in lower end products and services to make things more accessible. You can give away scholarships, do more interviews or blog posts, start a road tour, hire an agent, write a book… Whatever you want to create your outcome, because it doesn’t have to be about the immediate payoff anymore.

The crazy thing is, once you make that switch, that is typically when businesses go from 5 figures to 6, or 6 figures to 7, and beyond. Without worrying about money, you get to focus purely on providing value – and providing value attracts more people to your business, which brings in more money.

(I’ll bet some of this “Law of Attraction” stuff is really starting to make sense right about now…)

I’m getting excited again.

My client calls… I love my client calls. Hand me the most craptastic day in the history of humanity and I’ll still cheer up when I hear a client making progress. But the rest had started to feel a bit mechanical.

Not anymore. I’ve realized that I have the power to focus 100% on what I want to create for others – and that makes me very, very happy. Jazzed. Ecstatic even!

There are going to be some changes around here over the next 6 months. Some big, some small. All meant to help you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams.

The most amazing part? I get the privilege of doing this because I know my outcome. I knew it from day one, what I wanted to create for you. Now I get to realize my full vision with reckless abandon, throwing caution to the wind and doing whatever feels right.

All so that you can do the same some day.

I hope this post has shed some light for you not only on the reason your outcome is the most important part of your business, but on some of the path that may lie ahead for you.

If you’re already focused 100% on what you want to create, great. I’m happy for you!

But if you feel stuck, like you’re on a hamster wheel, just going through the motions… Check back with your outcome. What are you destined to create? That is where the magic happens.

Shine bright, rockstar!

Business: Stop lying, it IS personal.

Business: Stop lying, it IS personal.

That’s what he said, right before he went into a huge rant and tore down a coworker to their very core. But everybody says that, right? “It’s just business” is supposed to mean that you shouldn’t show emotion, it shouldn’t hurt, you shouldn’t be personal or take things personally because it is “just business.”

I’m here to call BS on that lie, because let me tell you my friend, business is nothing if it’s not personal.

I had an experience yesterday that I will never forget, and I have to share it with you. See how you can relate…

I’ve been working with a new client, getting things set up for them to start a new program with me – let’s call them Client A. I’m used to most of my clients working in a very rapid-fire pace, but there were some things this client needed to do before we could start – fair enough.

While this client was getting things in order, another prospective client emailed me asking if we could talk – let’s call them Client B. Sure, why not – I’ll chat with them. My roster is technically full once Client A moves forward, but I’ll talk with them.

But Client B didn’t just want to talk. Client B wanted to work with me – and they were ready to move forward today. So I said “I don’t have the room for you to start today, Client B, but if you can wait a few days I’ll look into my other clients’ program dates and see when I can fit you in.” They agreed. No problem.

Client A was facing more and more challenges in getting started, though, and I couldn’t have a complete picture of my calendar until I knew when they were starting. Client B kept emailing – “any news yet?” And I kept responding, “No, not yet. Just a few more days.”

Days turned into over a week, and then the unthinkable happened for Client A – a big personal matter that needed all of their focus. One that, after my father’s strokes last year, hit close to home. I felt for them so deeply… But I knew I needed to give an answer to Client B.

So I did what the textbooks tell you to do. I did what the boss above would have done. I pulled up my business britches, expressed my condolences, and explained the situation with Client B. I asked if it were possible for Client A to move forward at all, even in the slightest way, so I could tell Client B with certainty.

Sometimes we make decisions based on whom we feel we should be rather than who we are. Those decisions, FYI, are typically wrong.

Client A came back with a no – it will have to wait, the personal matter was priority #1. If we couldn’t end up working together as a result, they were willing to make that sacrifice.

And in that moment, I had a decision to make. I could do the “business smart” thing, take Client B who was ready and willing and able to start right away, and send more condolences to Client A.

But here’s the thing – business isn’t just business. It is personal. It is intensely personal, especially when you spend all day genuinely caring about your clients and their success.

And so I did something that most hard-core business gurus, teachers, trainers, CEOs would write me off for. I emailed Client A:

“Client B can start in September, when another client is wrapping up their program. Your spot is waiting here for you when you get back. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.”

A complete reverse in position, a shocker for Client A I’m sure. Then the email to Client B:

“I’m sorry, my roster is full until September. If you want to lay out a plan of action for then, we can get started after the summer.”

I still haven’t heard back, and don’t know if I will.

And that was the best possible decision I could have made.

It makes no business sense. I mean really, I just turned away a paying client for a client that is *likely* but not *guaranteed* to come on. I turned down money today for the potential of money next month.

But I couldn’t do it any other way. Reading their words, feeling the raw emotion of what they were going through – and then robbing them of something they really wanted to do? I couldn’t do it. There wasn’t a fibre in my being that would let me pull that trigger.

And that, my friends, is why business is personal.

Because sometimes you have to make the choice that will help you sleep at night.

I don’t know what will come of all of this, but I do know that no matter what happens, I can feel good about it.

When you spend your life building a business to serve others, when you spend your days genuinely caring about the success and joy and pain of others, business is deeply personal.

Have you had an experience like this? How did you handle it? Do you have any regrets? Share in the comments!

 

The Story of RADIANCE – behind this very blog.

The Story of RADIANCE – behind this very blog.

That right there.

That photo was taken on a Thursday afternoon. Most people would have been at work, but me – I was at the lake with my oldest daughter, celebrating the end of her first year of preschool with her friends. I absolutely love that photo.

So why am I here sharing it with you today?

Because she is one of my reasons why. My other daughter, my husband, our camping trips, my future flying lessons, and of course, the success of everyone I get to meet are some of the other reasons.

You have reasons, too – and they aren’t all about money. I know that. Not a lot of other “online entrepreneurs” or “business mentors” seem to realize it, but I know it.

Business isn’t just about business.

It’s about designing your life – taking control, experiencing freedom, building something with your own blood, sweat, and tears that takes on a life beyond you. Supporting your family. Taking trips. Checking things off of your bucket list. Growing as a person. Those are just a few of the other things that business is about.

And despite how it might look from the outside, it I’ve had to remember those reasons many times – just to keep going.

I shared with you last week that this blog is turning a new corner. That instead of sharing exercises and practices and stories, I’m going to share with you what is happening in my business. In real life. Like a no-makeup selfie of my business, every time there is something to share.

But for that to make any sense to you whatsoever – for it to have any impact – I have to lift the veil, and tell you the story of how this business came to be. Beyond the typical tales, you’re going to see the struggles, the triumph, and the reality of life behind it all.

And it started with her.

Years ago, Darren (that’s me other half!) and I were getting married in a few months and trying for a baby. Everything was planned out… We had the right house, the right vehicle, Darren had the right job, I was freelancing part time (I had been consulting and writing full time for 5-6 years by that point, but had slowed down once we got married) and everything was humming along.

Apparently not everything in life works out quite the way you plan, and it took a few different doctors to figure things out, but come November… We had an answer and we had hope. We found out in early December that we were expecting our long awaited miracle baby. That’s her above.

Fast forward to September 2nd, 2010. Our daughter was about to turn 1 month old, and Darren had returned to work… But when he came home that day, it didn’t take long to figure out that something was wrong.

He had been fired.

Not just from any job, but from a manufacturing job in the middle of a recession. One in which he had worked his pay up to a level that couldn’t be easily replaced. All less than a month after our precious miracle baby was born.

And I did what any crazy, semi-hormonal, entrepreneurial woman would do in that situation – I told him that everything would be fine, pulled out all of our retirement savings, applied for a loan, and told him to start a business.

The only problem was, he didn’t know the first thing about entrepreneurship and I was rusty on consulting, let alone teaching. We fumbled along for a few months, but I finally recognized that he just wasn’t passionate about making it happen. I started to get back into freelancing, helping him less and less…

Within 2 months, the business had completely failed – having never made a single dime.

Yep, I’m sitting here asking you to trust me with your journey and admitting failure – but I learned several valuable lessons from that experience.

You see, I was rusty on consulting – but I learned how to teach, train, and mentor from helping him move forward.

I learned even more over the next 18 months as I busted my butt day in and day out, freelancing and consulting. I supported our family and one gig after another, we made it through… Barely. We were constantly in emergency mode though, and eventually it just took its toll.

Less than two years after the journey started, we lost our house and moved in with my in-laws.

Ouch.

I love my in-laws from a distance. They’re fabulous to visit, and they will never, ever be thanked enough for the way they graciously took us in. But I was pregnant with our second child when it happened, our first was almost two, and we had just been through a crazy ride – living there sucked.

I tried my best over the coming months to cobble a business together, but again, I was constantly in emergency “get me out of here!” mode, and nothing was working. Clients would try to hire me, but something would stop it from happening.

Our second daughter was born, and came home to their house – my business still not taking off.

It was around then, following all of the “right” advice, doing all of the “right” business-y things, that I realized I had to be missing something. It couldn’t possibly be my skills, not after I had consulted so many companies to such huge growth. No, it had to be something else.

That’s when I discovered the truth behind the entrepreneurial mindset.

Nothing up until that point had been working, so I really believed that it couldn’t get any worse by following this “cooky” trail off into the spiritual realm. I had believed in the Law of Attraction and spirits, energies for a long time. So I began to absorb everything I could about mindset and manifestation. I started to tap into my own intuition more, and develop the innate abilities I’ve had since I was a child.

Teleseminars, webinars, classes, calls, books, blogs, newsletters, ecourses, and anything else I could get my hands on. And things… Things started to shift.

First, an old client came back and offered me work in marketing. Paying work. Good stuff.

So I went back and studied more. I took courses from Joe Vitale to get certified as a Master LOA Coach.

The babies started sleeping through the night. My marriage started to heal. My body started to heal. And then the client came back and offered me full time work as their Marketing Director.

The pay wasn’t great, but at that point, I was grateful. Full time! Paid work! A way out! An executive position! It was everything I thought I wanted. The low pay was supposed to be just a temporary thing, topped up with sales incentives and whatnot.

But then the incentives didn’t show up.

So I went back, and I studied more. And I learned one key thing that has served me more than any other manifestation, business, or marketing lesson I’ve ever learned.

You have to grow a big, brass pair to succeed in life.

You have to ask for what you want, and KNOW that you will get it. You have to be unwilling to accept any option other than success, and know that you will achieve it.

So I went to my client-turned-boss, and I asked. Well, more accurately, I told. I said I couldn’t support my family on that pay, so it was either step up or step out. He stepped up. Two weeks later we moved out of my in-laws and into our own home.

At the time, I thought my corporate job was a lifesaver.

I made them a ton of money in the beginning… But after awhile (I think around the 3rd time I was fired then rehired for the same job…) I realized that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I was yelled at constantly, my expertise was ignored, I was working 50-60 hours a week and being berated for not working enough. It was hell, honestly, and I started taking it out on my family.

I yelled at my kids. I cried almost every day. I wrote and brainstormed and dreamed of the day I had permission to break free. And then my dad had a stroke…

He healed from that one, thankfully. But then he had another. One more round of bedside visits, all night worry-sessions, coming together with the family and I realized enough was enough.

I spent all night one night at the hospital, came home the next day and got called a liar by my boss. I called my mom and cried – I asked for her to tell me it was okay to quit. I just needed to hear it was okay from someone else.

She told me it was okay. I called my boss and quit.

That was the end of October 2013. I had grown their business to over $300k in just months, before they decided they knew better and stopped listening. I decided to do the same thing for others who actually wanted my advice.

Well, after I took a few weeks off to enjoy my new-found freedom anyway!

So come November-ish, I sat down and finished my book. The one you got when you opted in to my newsletter.

I had one client in the spirits business from my pre-ex-corporate days, and that was IT. I marketed my book all November long, offered sessions, in fact I think I did 40 sessions before Christmas!

Aaannnd I walked out of it with no clients.

Zip. Nada. Zilch. My “amazing going to save us” business was going bust faster than you can say “ho ho ho.” And right during the holidays, too.

Our Christmas trip was cancelled, largely due to our inability to pay our rent. I buckled down again into mindset, but this time, I just had to reactivate everything I had learned.

I slowed down my sessions. I didn’t want quantity, I wanted quality.

I checked my mindset every day, before every session, before every activity.

I followed my own systems.

I stepped up and made big requests to start my telesummit.

I worked with my own coach.

And in January? I closed 3 new clients. Total revenue for the month was over $13k.

February slowed a bit, only doing about $4k.

March was hot again at $12k, April around $6k, and May – just last month – I hit $14k.

Do you know what that means? I’m on track for 6 figures – within 6 months, with a total of 600ish on my list.

Do you want to know something though? Do you want to know the best part of it all?

I spent it at the lake, at the park, in the library. I went to my daughter’s preschool. I played and painted pictures, I went camping and hiking, I got to spend my time writing great things and talking with amazing people and helping people reach success.

The best part was, I did what I want when I wanted to – I helped people and I was happy.

You can do it, too.

And no, you don’t have to work with me privately to make it happen. Sure, if we’re the right fit that could speed it up a whole lot – but it isn’t necessary. Nothing is necessary but the right mindset, the will and desire to succeed, and a few skills you can pick up right here on this blog.

That is the point of sharing the real journey. That is the point of sharing everything above, so you can see that no matter what you’re going through, success could be right on the other side. That you could be one small tweak away from achieving what you really want. That business isn’t just about money, but about life – at the root and in the results.

So what comes next?

I have a mentoring practice that supports my family. Great.

I get to hang out with and talk to amazing entrepreneurs doing incredible things. Love that part!

I’ve got a few products and some things kicking around that need more attention. No big deal.

What comes next is what I preach – I’ve done enough of the “Fire” step. I’ve executed and executed until I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that people want what I have. Now it is time to aim and get ready.

You’re going to watch right here on this blog as I move from lead-generating list with a basic opt-in to a full sales funnel, and I’m going to show you how I make every single step work.

The sheer volume of lessons and resources coming down the pipe between now and Christmas is going to make you absolutely GIDDY with delight. I know I’m super stoked for it all 🙂

So what do you think – are you ready for the play-by-play? The reality, the authentic struggle and triumph of it all? Have a question I didn’t answer? Share in the comments!

Shine bright, superstar!

– Cheryl

How to Keep Your Life and Business On Track: An Exercise

How to Keep Your Life and Business On Track: An Exercise

Every month, I do a simple exercise to help keep my business on track. When I first began to use this formula, I thought it would simply help me see how much work I had to do and where to focus my efforts… But the more I used it, the more I realized that this exercise helps in many, many other ways.

Aside from helping to focus my efforts, it also helps to:

1. Show me how far I’ve come, giving me motivation to keep moving forward.
2. Reminds me of my priorities and biggest goals once per month.
3. Actually assist in the manifesting process by creating both gratitude and desire simultaneously, without conflict.

So what is this simple exercise? Well it is the monthly inventory – and I’m going to show you how to do it today. Complete this exercise at the beginning of each month, and you will start to see major shifts and changes in your business.

The Monthly Inventory

The entire process starts out by completing an inventory of my life and work, as it stands, right now. Here is an example from June 2014 (when I’m publishing this post, obviously.)

Inventory:
Family – 9
Career – 10
Health – 8
Finances – 8
Education – 8
Recreation – 10
Charitable – 4
Adventure – 8
Travel – 7
Romance – 3
Relationships – 4
Spiritual – 6

I rate each item on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being completely dissatisfied and 10 being completely satisfied. In the past, things like charity and spiritual have been higher because I’ve been focusing on those areas. But as you can see, I’ve been focusing on my health, recreation, and business – so relationships, charity, and spirit have suffered a bit. Now I know where I need to shift some of my focus to for the month ahead.

Once I’ve completed my inventory, I can set my goals for the next month. For smaller goals, I’ll simply state a deadline. For larger ones that have carried over from months past, I’ll measure my progress. Here is an example you might use:

Revenue Goal: $1000
Revenue Current: $750
Goal Progress: 75%

Client Roster Goal: 10
Clients Current: 7
Goal Progress: 70%

Create landing page for new promotion (June 10th)

Reach out to new partners for promotion and secure 5 (June 25th)

Spend an entire day with friends and family (June 15th)

Take meditation course from MindValley (June 30th)

Now obviously those are not my real goals for the month, I simply made them up here as an example. However, you can see how I have business goals – continuing to build on the success I’ve had – and personal goals that relate to the areas in my life that I rated low on my inventory.

Now I have 4 small goals and 2 large goals to work toward for this month, so aside from my regular client work, those things will be my focus. At the beginning of July, I’ll do the inventory again and create new goals – bolstering the areas that need improvement and staying course with those that are okay as they are.

That’s it.

If there is one caution with this process, however, it is to not get caught up in guilt or shame about areas in your life that are lacking. Perhaps if you, like me, have been focusing on fun, fitness, and finances, your romance and friendships may have suffered a bit. Or you could have gone the other way – spent so much time in spirit-land, swooning your sweetheart and hanging with friends that when you’re being honest, your business isn’t where you would like it to be.

This inventory is not the place for judgement! Do not “should” yourself into a specific goal. You will never be “All 10s”, it is nearly impossible without the zen habits of a Buddhist monk. Where you focus will rise, and where you take focus from will fall. That is okay. This inventory simply points out where you’re not satisfied so that if you choose, you can make it a priority again.

Go ahead – do the inventory and then post a comment here. What did you discover from this process?

Top 10 Motivational Blog Posts

Top 10 Motivational Blog Posts

Feel stuck? Not getting motivated? Today’s post features the best of the best motivational posts from around the web to help you beat procrastination, get things done, stay motivated (even when things suck), and keep moving forward in your business. My apologies for the overlinking to Steve Pavlina, but if you’ve yet to read his articles, you’re missing out on some motivational mindhacking magic!

Enjoy, and don’t forget – if you like a post, make sure to leave a comment on the authors’ blogs. They love that stuff!

1. 1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward

This killer piece from Sparkpeople is intended for fitness motivation, but it can be applied to any area of your life. Pay special attention to the section on guilt. When you waste all day surfing Facebook and feel bad about it, it doesn’t need to be the end of your success!

2. How to Wake Up Feeling Totally Alert

Okay, so I’m still mastering this one… I’m an admitted night owl with a serious hate for mornings. But thanks to this and other posts by Steve Pavlina on waking up early, feeling better, and getting more energy, I’m now doing 7:30am regularly and without as much groaning as 10am used to cause. Just be aware, mornings are often more productive – you may end up more successful if you implement this post.

3. How to Set Goals You Will Actually Achieve

In another gem from Steve Pavlina, he teaches you how to properly set goals. This time, however, instead of using “SMART” systems and all of that jazz, he teaches you how to set goals that feel good and actually get you somewhere. I’ve used this with great success – this one post will change your entire perspective on goal setting.

4. Why Should I Set Goals?

Now that we know how to set goals, let’s get TimeThoughts.org’s opinions on why we should – and what might be stopping you. If you’ve been feeling stuck or procrastinating lately, take a look at the section on “Overwhelm” – it might help.

5. How to Find Inspiration

Yes, this is actually on EzineArticles.com – and normally it is hardly a resource I would consider. But this nice little article gives you 8 quick, easy to digest ideas for when you’re running low on inspiration. When you can’t get inspired, you need something quick and dirty to get you moving again and this little piece will do the trick.

6. What Drives You To Success?

Aside from the absolutely horrid header pattern (sorry), the article itself… Well it is actually kind of a downer. BUT all is not lost. These are the 10 most common motivators to success from the executives who have achieved it. See where you can see yourself. Once you know your true motivation, you’ll find that you can inspire and reward yourself much more effectively.

7. Achieving Peak Motivation

Back to Steve Pavlina’s blog for a little bit of woo-woo – here we have the concept of polarization and the effect it has on motivation. To sum up this concept, we are driven either by love or by fear, and what drives us will dictate how motivated we are and how long we can sustain that motivation. Love conquers all, etc. etc. Check out the article itself for a more in-depth discussion on the concept, and how you can use it to get – well, motivated.

8. Do You Know What You Really Want?

I’ve watched others suffer through this… They had the perfect suburban life all lined up until they realized how much the “American Dream” sucked. I went through a similar version myself with an existential crisis last year. No one is immune to this question, but knowing the answer (and then figuring out what you really do want) can go a long way to motivate you. Check out this short article for a quick tutorial on desire and judgement.

9. Our Limitations Are Self-Imposed

Feel like you can’t do something? Like you’re not the kind of person that ____? Or that _____ doesn’t happen to people like you? Then give this piece a quick read! It will help you understand the differences between real limitations and those that come from your experience and perceptions, so that you can overcome anything that stands in your way.

10. How to Stay Positive When Business is Slow

We’ve all been here… Things just aren’t going (or growing) the way that you want, and it can be tough to stay positive. These 6 quick steps should get you back in your groove and working toward the success you deserve – and a couple of them might even help that success come faster.

So there you have it – my top 10 business motivational posts. Do you have a post on your blog, or someone else’s, that you’ve found especially motivating? Share in the comments!

Make new things possible – love the gap.

Make new things possible – love the gap.

Ever since my husband and I met (over 6 years ago now…) we’ve been campers. We camped on Valentine’s Day (in the snow), over long weekends and late nights (in places you could only walk to), and slept 10 feet from gorgeous lakes seen only by the lucky few with a strong enough truck (or legs) to make it there. He even proposed while we were camping – on a cliff, above the river, in the woods. But 4 years ago, just before my oldest daughter was born, that changed.

Camping with a baby seemed like a crazy idea – especially the way we did it, in a tent in the backwoods. Suddenly our camping concerns were less about beer and a view than about diaper changing stations and climate control. Things changed. We decided that before we would go camping again, the kids would be a bit older and we would (gasp) have an RV.

There Was a Gap Between Where We Were and Where We Wanted to Be.

The past 4 years, we’ve moved twice, had another baby, started (and ended) my corporate career, and launched 3 businesses. Each time, there was a gap between where we were and what we wanted – and we closed it. But the RV remained elusive… Until a week ago, when we finally decided to make the leap.

Days and days were spent driving to dealerships, scanning Craigslist, driving for hours to see a tent trailer that turned out to be a piece of… “Junk”. We were almost giving up hope that we were going to close that gap, until we found it.

A 1995 Dutchmen with a toilet, shower, furnace, fridge and sink. Two beds, just the right size. A table and bench for seating and extra sleeping. And it was within budget! We towed it home on Wednesday night, and left on our first camping adventure as a family Thursday morning.

There were hiccups, of course. The winch stopped working – and we had to replace it (in the campground, with borrowed tools!) The showed leaked. The sink overflowed. The roof dropped a quart of water on Darren’s back at 4am Friday. All hiccups, but all fixable. We were camping, and we were in an RV!

But The Gap Remains.

We bought our first tent trailer, and once we make a few repairs it will be everything we need as a family. It would probably last us well into our old age if we took good care of it. No issues.

Pulling into a campground with tents and tent trailers, we felt like real “grown  up” campers. And then we saw it – the 23′ Creek Side bunkhouse we looked at last year. Hard walls. Proper water supply and holding tanks. Bunkbeds for the kids. A bigger fridge and more storage – all with a $20k price tag.

And we wanted it.

There we were, finally sitting in the tent trailer we’d been dreaming of for 4 years, and we wanted to step up. What we had wasn’t enough. And for a moment, I judged myself for feeling that way.

“Isn’t this what you wanted?”

“Shouldn’t you just be happy?”

“This is just rampant consumerism running through your brain!”

But I stopped myself. That was the gap. It never, ever goes away – every time you reach a goal, the gap will show you something newer, bigger, and better on the other side.

Before the tent trailer the Creek Side seemed a million years away, and yet now it is a simple trade in and a few thousand dollars to get an older model and we’re there. It is within reach in a couple of years.

So I loved the gap.

I loved it for showing me what is possible.

For bringing a dream closer to reality.

For reminding me that when we get the Creek Side, I’m going to want something else. A new truck, a bigger RV, a 5th wheel… Something else newer, bigger, better, and closer to my reality from that point.

The Gap Stretches Your Boundaries.

When you were 16, if you were anything like me all you wanted was to get your drivers’ permit. The symbol of freedom – being able to go off on your own somewhere. But once you got it, you probably wanted your own car. And then a better car (better on gas, faster, sexier, whatever your fancy.)

You didn’t just “get your permit” and stop wanting – having your drivers’ permit opened up new possibilities on the other side.

Embrace the gap for everything it is, and everything it shows you. Allow yourself to reach a goal, then revel in “what’s next”. Love the gap.

What is On The Other Side of Your Gap?

I want to hear from you – what is on the other side of your gap? What is your “big goal” – not the meaningless business one, with the numbers and the comparisons… The real emotional goal. Supporting your family? Getting the bigger house? The fancy car? The freedom to buy an RV and take off camping without having to answer to a boss, like I did?

Do you know how to close that gap? I want to show you – so let’s talk. For 15 minutes, I’ll listen to your biggest goals and refine them into a plan that makes sense for you. One you can actually implement (without the frustration and overwhelm of those boxed “systems” you see elsewhere.) Something that is personalized for you, your goals, your future, and your skills.

I’ll show you how to love the gap, and push it further – to stretch the boundaries of your imagination and reach entirely new goals.

And it’s completely free. No cost, no catch. You, me, and a plan to reach your next big thing. Just click here to schedule a time to chat.

See you on the other side…

– Cheryl

How Jessica Oman Overcame Commitment-Phobia to Launch Her Entrepreneurial Journey

How Jessica Oman Overcame Commitment-Phobia to Launch Her Entrepreneurial Journey

Today’s guest post is courtesy of Jessica Oman, one of the most fabulous guests from the Start Something Telesummit who has so graciously decided to share her story here. She tells the true story of how scary it was for her to start her business, to commit to doing the one thing she does well, and shows off her storytelling chops in the process. Read on!

How I Overcame Commitment-Phobia to Launch My Entrepreneurial Journey

Here’s a little-known fact about me: I’m a commitment-phobe.

Actually, maybe it’s a totally obvious fact. Having a party on Saturday? I’ll respond “maybe” on your Facebook event page. Want me on your dragonboat team? Sure, but only as a spare paddler. Thirty day fitness challenge? Yeah, right. I’m lucky if I get through the first week (where’s my wine?).

So when I decided to start my own business, you can probably guess that I wasn’t all in.

The story goes like this: I was in a job I sort of enjoyed, but couldn’t make progress in. I was being paid way below market value. I felt under-appreciated. I had no power to create or improve systems to deliver a better product to the customers. And, I couldn’t use all of the skills I’d spent six years and $40,000 in university tuition (for three degrees) acquiring. It was frustrating, and I had to do something.

I’d thought about starting a business for a while – something that combined my business education with my strong writing skills and allowed me to have complete control over my work while only working with the clients I wanted. But there were two problems: 1) I couldn’t commit to what I specifically wanted to do, and 2) I only had $170 to fund this new venture, whatever it was going to be.

So I did what one who can’t commit to something does: I started advertising on Craigslist for gigs as a “writer and editor for individuals and small businesses”. I didn’t quit my job, of course. I used my $170 to register my business name, get a set of $5 business cards and buy a piece of software that I don’t even use anymore.

It didn’t take long to get my first gig – and it was a big, nasty one. A $3000 project that I thought was my ticket to entrepreneurial freedom. But I let the client take advantage of my willingness to be helpful, and in the end neither of us were happy. I waffled. Should I keep going? Do I suck at this?

In the story you read when you sign up for my newsletter, you read about how I “never looked back” after launching my business. That’s true – but the official launch didn’t happen until three months after this first hairy, difficult project. That’s right; I spent three months going back and forth about whether I should start a business that, today, does nothing else but teach other people how to start businesses!

Ironic, huh?

So believe me, if you’re thinking about starting a new company and you’re scared to commit, I get it. That was me, too. The thing that ultimately pushed me into entrepreneurship was simply this: the pain of staying at my job or looking for another one was greater than the pain of just quitting and getting on with what I really wanted to do.

When The Pain is Too Great, You Must Commit

This is what I always tell my clients now. When they’re unfocused, indecisive, or scared, I ask them to visualize the new bliss. What is life going to be like when you become an entrepreneur? If your business fails, is that worse than staying in your current situation? If it’s not – then do it. Start something.

It’s not that you can’t pivot once you’re in the throes of owning a business. It’s not that you can’t go back to a regular job if you want to or need to. It’s that while you’re doing this thing, you need to be all in if you want to experience all the success you envision today.

I used those Craigslist ads to learn more about the types of clients I wanted, so I could more clearly define them for myself and refine my business to serve them better. I’m no longer a “writer and editor for individuals and small businesses”. I’m a business planner who trains new entrepreneurs in health care, food, or service-based specialties to plan and launch successful and profitable small companies.

And you can guarantee I’m committed to that.