Navigating Obstacles [Business Flow Video]

What happens when you hit obstacles?

On the river, sometimes you have to portage because a dam or other obstacle which you cannot pass safely via the water stands in your way. In business we hit all kinds of obstacles. So how do you navigate them?

You need

  • Clear guidance from someone who can help.
  • A supportive team member who can help you.
  • Resilience so you can quickly recover from unexpected challenges and get flowing again.

Watch on to learn more…

Get in the conversation – and comment below… let me know what you do when you hit obstacles?

Break Free of Obsessive Thoughts [Business Flow Video]

Have you ever found your mind going in circles and grinding over and over on something that concerns or troubles you?

Maybe it’s business finances, being able to pay your mortgage, a medical challenge, a sick loved one…

Whatever the topic, your mind just obsessively chews on what is bothering you.

Not productive… but how do you get out of this stress? If someone tells you to just relax or don’t think about it, you want to hit them… because it’s not that simple! So what should you do?

Shift your attention…focus on something else. This video will tell you more about how you can do that and get out of the mind-suck and back into the flow.

 

Tell me how this video helps you by commenting below!

Are You Being Effective Or Just Staying Busy?

Effectiveness not BusyIt can be very easy to become overly-busy when you own your own business. After all there are a myriad of things to do and then more!

When you decide how you are going to invest your time and energy each week, are you asking yourself the right questions?

Or, are you just being crazy-busy?

I was working with a client the other day and as we were going through her new way of scheduling her week based on an in-person intensive we had together she said “It all looks good on paper, but then it just seems like there’s not enough time!”

Can you relate to that? I know I can.

As I delved deeper with her, we discovered the root of the problem was not how much time was available, but rather what choices she could make about how she spends her time.  When I asked her, “Are you working on x, y, z (from her strategic plan) or are you just busy doing stuff?”  The gaping silence answered that question.

I know personally there are some days where I am more effective in one hour than I was the whole previous day. Why? It has to do with choices about:

  • The actions I take
  • The thoughts I think

A magic elixir of what I do and how I do it.  Presence matters in business. We hear that all the time from leadership experts.  It is true, even if it is just you in your office alone on a given day.

So, how do you know if you’re being effective?  The proof is in measured results. [Read more...]

5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

Overcoming fear and anxiety as a business ownerOver time I’ve noticed a trend.  When I start working with clients I create a very safe space in which they can be honest, grow and move forward.  This leads them to share very personal and vulnerable things with me. I am honored and privileged to have their trust.  What surprises me is how surprised they are when they get to know me a bit better. Inevitably every client will say at least once, “I didn’t know that about you. I would never have known that if you didn’t tell me. It makes me feel so much better to know you’ve struggled with challenges too!”

As I’ve been exploring my own unique voice and way of doing things in my business with my mentors and mastermind buddies I get the same reactions.  “Does your audience know this about you?  Seeing more of your vulnerable side would certainly attract me more to you.”  And so, with the loving challenges of my support team, I want to share with you 5 things you probably didn’t know about me and how I’ve navigated them in a way that lets me thrive.

This post isn’t about taking a narcissist TMI plunge all too popular in blogs and social media these days. My intention is for you to:

  • Get to know me a bit better
  • See a connection in our shared struggles (even if yours don’t look the same as mine)
  • Be encouraged that no matter what you may have experienced or be experiencing now that you can succeed, run your business, and live your life by your own design.

So… with all the courage I mustered to write this post, here we go!

Panic and Anxiety

I spent years suffering from a panic and anxiety disorder.  I lived with a constant state of anxiousness and added social anxiety just to make things interesting.  For a time, the panic attacks would get bad enough to warrant a trip to the hospital (but I would never go). While the tendency toward panic and anxiety never fully goes away I have shifted that dynamic to keep it from interfering in any significant way in my life.  I didn’t do it instantly and I didn’t do it alone, but I know it can be done.  I also know what it feels like to live with everything from a low-grade to high intensity amount of anxiety as you try to go about your professional duties and personal life.  These feelings can often be exacerbated by the entrepreneurial journey, but the need not stop you.

While we’re on the topic of un-fun emotions. Let’s talk…

Fear

My relationship with fear has had its arcs.  I have been afraid of everything from heights to the up-and-down horse on the carousel (yes for years I would only ride the ones that were bolted down).  These fears were in direct conflict with my insatiable desire for loving life experiences.  My coping strategies have included everything from outright avoidance to white-knuckling it.  When asked, “How could you do those things (travel, adventure, whatever…), aren’t you scared?” I always answer. Yes. Of course I’ve been scared, but my desire to have an experience outweighs my fear and so I keep on showing up.  As long as it is something I really want to do, I will try it (to date I have zero desire to jump out of a plane, but should that change, yes, I would try it.).  I also give myself plenty of emotional recovery time if needed.  As I teach to others, I seek to let fear walk beside me as my teacher instead of having it keep me stuck. [Read more...]

Why the Work-Life Balance Conversation is All Wrong

Why Work Life Balance is BrokenA few months ago I attended a huge women’s conference with some of the most powerful women on the planet speaking.  So I sat in on a panel of experts discussing work-life integration to see what wisdom I could glean from business owners and CEO’s.  Some of what was spoken on this panel made me want to run screaming from the sardine can of an overcrowded conference room.

When the panel started with introductions, one COO started by saying in her strung out voice “I’ve only had 4 hours of sleep over the last two days.”  I thought – why the hell should I be listening to you about work-life integration?  In my opinion the panel only got worse from there.

If we were truly discussing how to have it all at the right time, I would have expected some wisdom from successful women who have found a way of being at the top of their professional game while also having a personal life they love. Instead, with the exception of the one panelist who was real and offered valuable insights, I found myself desperately wanting to rush the stage and give the others a slap and wake-up call.

It pained me deeply to see a room of several hundred women hanging on the words of a few overworked business owners as if what they spoke was gospel and held the keys to their own sweet yearnings for a career and life that works, particularly those working mothers.

As I listened to their stories, what I really wanted to know is:

  • Why do women have to get to the point of breaking before they cry out for help or are willing to set a boundary?
  • How can you possibly call it work-life balance to go to work early, come home early to catch your child’s event and then spend all night into the wee hours working once again?
  • Why do you have to be available at all hours just because you need a flexible work schedule? What are you trying to compensate for?
  • When did saying No become heresy and a career death sentence?

Story after story of working constantly and showing up at their children’s events only to have their face buried in the mobile device with work made me shake my head.  The one panelist even shared that her own son would ask her after his football games – why are you still working instead of watching my game?  This comment made her feel guilty so she stopped looking at her phone and her son really took notice as it mattered a lot to him. Yet she shared her choice with all the regret of a drug addict missing their hit.

When did work-life balance become a thinly veiled term for trying to have it all by never really being present for any of it? [Read more...]

How to Navigate Through Uncertainty

How to Navigate Uncertainty in BusinessI often hear prospects and clients say they will be more confident and ready to move forward in their business and get a better handle on their schedule once things are more certain.  The problem with this Catch 22 is that there is no such thing as business as usual. Certainty doesn’t exist in the way we yearn for it to. So if you’re waiting for it to arrive, you will be waiting a very long time.

It is human nature to want to feel in control holding a map laid out before us with guarantees.  Mileposts that tell us exactly where we need to go next to achieve what we want.  Warm blankets of security waiting for us at every turn so we know everything will be ok.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my years of being a business owner is that uncertainty is the norm, not the exception.   Learning how to navigate the waters is more important than having any map or heeding definitive advice of what you “should” do.

When I work with my clients this is what I help them do. I always say my biggest hope and commitment is to help them learn how to think differently, relate more fully to the experience at hand, and to navigate the inherent uncertainty with confidence.

In the last 6+ years I have had to navigate my life and growing business through:

  • Transition from corporate job to being my own boss full-time.
  • Not knowing where to go or what to do to find clients while wondering how I was going to pay the mortgage each month.
  • The illness and subsequent death of my Mom.
  • Starting my business right at the turn of the recession of 2008.
  • Several reinventions of my services, offerings, and desired ideal client.
  • Illness and death of two beloved pets.
  • Some minor health speed bumps of my own.
  • Introduction of 3 crazy kittens to the household.
  • Relationship challenges.
  • Unemployed partner.
  • and now upcoming heart surgery and recuperation for my Dad.

Those are just the big ones… I have my fair share of the other, more everyday kind too, all while being the main breadwinner of the house.

I am not unique. I am just like you. A life complete with challenges and celebrations big and small.

I’ve learned a thing or two about how to navigate the uncertainty that I know can help you feel more certain in the midst of it all while not feeling so alone. I want to share those with you. [Read more...]

The Power of Flow [Video]

Do you find yourself struggling or in a state of flow?

Are you working really hard to swim against the current or partnering with the true nature of things to work with more ease and experience better results?

Join me as I offer you a lesson in using flow up close and personal.

Using the river as teacher I will invite you into some thought-provoking contemplation and practical action to get your life and business moving in the direction you want it to.

(takes less than 2 minutes of your time!)

Are You Still Working Like a Dog?

Have you been in business more than a year and are still feeling like you’re constantly working like a dog?

I recently ran into some highly successful and powerful women entrepreneurs.  These are women who have been their own boss for years. Women who have created successful companies, been recognized for their entrepreneurial expertise and philanthropy all while raising a family.  They have my utmost respect for what they’ve created and my gratitude for ways in which they inspired me when I first took the leap.  Yet, when I saw them recently, I felt deep in my bones that these women were weary from the journey and overdue for a kindler/gentler pace.

I Burning the Candle at Both Endsthought: What good is business success if your personal life and well-being get lost in the process?

As a business owner it can be very easy to get caught up in a cycle of overwork where you burn the candle at both ends (and maybe the middle too!).  Even if you purposefully take time to be with family, you might find yourself feeling guilty.  You feel guilty when you are working too much and then feel guilty that you aren’t working when you do take time off.  It’s a nonstop circle of feeling guilty about not being “good enough”.

Personally I hit a point a few years ago when I simply hit bottom feeling frustrated, exhausted, and miserable. I call it the FEM Triangle (like the Bermuda Triangle of unsavory outcomes). No matter how hard I worked, my desired goal was just out of reach. Even when I reached a goal I would immediately create a bigger next-step goal that was just out of reach.  I found myself working evenings, weekends, and everything in-between.  My relationships suffered, I didn’t feel as healthy as I wanted to, and I was not spending time doing the things I love.  This was not the idea of successful self-employed business owner that I had in mind!

What changed for me was making the decision that I would no longer put my to-do list and business goals ahead of everything else in my life or wait until later to enjoy other parts of my life. I would build the business that I want to ultimately have right here, right now, not later after I met some arbitrary, elusive goal.

This decision changed everything.

I firmly believe that you absolutely cannot be successful if you have to compromise one part of your life as collateral damage on the way to business success.  Yes you’ll have a give and take between the different parts of your life at different times, but if you integrate the personal and professional consciously, you never have to worry about work/life balance.  Yes you have to take action and do the work, but if it feels like you’re working like a dog, something is out of whack.

Working this way can be so ingrained as a socially acceptable addictive behavior that you don’t even know you’re doing it.

Let’s take a moment to enhance your inner awareness around this right now. You know you’re in this trap if you find yourself:

  • Dragging yourself through your day mentally, physically, or emotionally
  • Gaining or losing a lot of weight (or yo-yo’ing between the two).
  • Working early in the day, all day long, into the evening, and on the weekends.
  • Skipping sleep to get work done on a regular basis.
  • Telling yourself all this extra work is necessary to pay your dues.
  • Justifying that working late and extra hours is a means to an end.
  • Unwilling to disconnect from technology for a period of time each day and week.
  • Unable to take time off.

Do you see yourself in any of these statements?

If so, now is the time to draw a line in the sand and decide that you want things to be different.  It might feel scary but it can be done.  If I can go from frustrated, exhausted, and miserable to working only 4 days a week most weeks while growing my income and business, you can too.

Take a lesson from what I witnessed in my colleagues.  Financial and business success alone will not miraculously change you from a workaholic to a happy camper with free time. Only you can give yourself permission to claim and create what you really want.

Do you want more from your one precious life than to work really hard (even if you love what you do)?  If so, contact me for an exploratory conversation about how I can help you create more time for all the things you love both in your business and beyond.

photo credit: gfpeck via photopin cc