Celebrating Milestones

As women we tend to be so busy working our way through the to-do list that we don’t take the time to stop and celebrate. Then we wonder why we’re so exhausted and feeling unappreciated. Go figure.

Do you take time to celebrate milestones and accomplishments? Or, do you just let them pass by with barely a breath before you’re onto the next thing?

This week I happen to be celebrating a personal milestone – my partner and I have been together for 20 years – no small potatoes! And it got me to thinking about taking time to celebrate in general.

I used to always be so focused on the next thing on the list, getting more, and achieving more that I would actually dismiss what I had accomplished and what was right in front of me. I would literally pooh pooh away whatever accomplishments I had. I never felt good enough. Somehow, someway, I thought if I got better (at whatever I was pursuing) that then I would be worthy and it would validate my existence. Then and only then would I feel good enough, like I “arrived”, like I mattered. You can imagine the death spiral this created inside of me, right?

It’s worse than a glass half empty. It’s a glass half empty with a hole in the bottom.

You know what? It’s something you can never fill from the outside…

You can appear to be dizzyingly busy and line up metaphorical (and actual) trophies on a shelf, but it’ll never fill that hole.

There came a time in my journey when I first did some personal transformation work and things changed. (This work would end up being a huge catalyst not only for my personal life but for me starting my business.) At one point I was literally asked to make a list of accomplishments. Everything I had accomplished in my life up to that point and and ongoing daily list of accomplishments (personal acknowledgments if you will). What a foreign concept, right?

celebrating achievements
Credit Image: pepemczolz via Flickr
Here’s what I learned through that initially awkward exercise. I had accomplished quite a bit. In the absence of comparison to this person or that person, there was a sense of pride, progress, and meaning. In the absence of striving I could actually enjoy the journey and realize more of what I wanted. Seems contradictory but its not. [Read more…]

Roadmap to Self-Employment: What is Your Why and Who?

So you’ve determined that you want to be self-employed and that you’re cut out for the entrepreneurial journey. Now what?

The decision to be your own boss can come with a big rush.  Like a YORK Peppermint Patties commercial of the days gone by.  That’s fine for a while (like maybe an evening of some fine cocktails), but then what do you do?  This is where business planning comes in.

Take heed of the well-worn quote:

“She who fails to plan, plans to fail.”

That said, you don’t’ want to fall into planning paralysis either.  I’ll talk more about business planning and whether or not you need a business plan in the next installment in this series. For now, let’s focus on the big picture WHY.

A few very important questions to ask yourself:

  • Why do I want to be in business for myself?
  • What positive impact do I want to have on others?
  • Who do I want to serve?
  • In what way do I want to serve them (i.e., what is your product or service?)?
  • Who am I and what do I stand for as a person?

It can look tidy to line these questions up in a bulleted list like something you can knock off your to-do list before lunch, but these questions require some serious introspection. [Read more…]

3 Focused Activities of Successful Business Owners (No Apologies Video)

Successful business owners focus the quality of their actions in three distinct ways.

If you’re just running on a never-ending to-do list in your business you are doomed to fail. Without perspective and time to bring quality attention to the whole of your business, you will simply run on a treadmill forever, unable to grow, expand, or breathe. This leads to burnout, limited business potential, and ultimately failed businesses. Working “in” your business is doing the tasks that need to be done to serve your customers and run day-to-day operations. Working “on” your business is about taking a step back to look at strategy. Doing things such as marketing, building alliances, planning, and other big-picture tasks. Disconnecting from your business allows you to refuel, take a break, and stay on top of your game. Successful self-employed business owners divide their time between these three crucial types of business activities.

Stepping Out of Time

Last week I had the opportunity to take a new adventure to a tiny island.  I had no idea what to expect other than that it would be quiet and free of all the trappings of day-to-day life (technology for instance).  I’ve been a fan of islands, having visited a few in my time. Monhegan Island in Maine being closest to my heart.

What I received was a chance to disconnect and so much more.

Smith Island Ferry, Captain Jason II

Smith Island Ferry, Captain Jason II

To give you some context, Tylerton, MD is part of Smith Island and is located 13 miles off the Eastern Shore of Maryland between the Tangier Sound and the Chesapeake Bay. It consists of less than ½ square mile of land and there are no vehicles on Tylerton.  A non-vehicular ferry (basically a 45 foot boat) services the island daily.  (Occasional choppy, exhilarating passages come at no extra fee too!)

We stayed at the Inn of Silent Music, which is an idyllic gem in this town anchored by a Methodist church and fueled by the life of the watermen. This space and the incredible hospitality of hosts Rob and Linda Kellogg (who inspire me greatly I might add) makes this one of our top 5 inn experiences ever.

Inn of Silent Music

Inn of Silent Music

So, what made this trip and place so special?

The opportunity to not just disconnect, but step out of time.  As you know I am a huge fan of disconnecting regularly. It is the only way to avoid burnout as an entrepreneur and frankly if you’re not disconnecting, you can’t hear the whispers of your intuition. Without your intuition (an integral part of Intuitive Intelligence®, right?) you’re not navigating your life and business with a fully working compass.

The 3 days we spent on Tylerton felt like stepping out of time as time stood still as perspective and possibility expanded in front of my eyes and inside my heart.  This type of expansion and perspective is not the type of thing you can DIY or get at home.

Let me explain… [Read more…]

What is Your WHY? (No Apologies)

Why did you start your business? If you’re thinking about starting one – what is your motivation? Your WHY, your purpose, your deeper calling is the foundation on which you build. You need to be moving toward something versus just running away from something (like running away from working for corporate for instance). So who are you? What do you stand for? What is the change you most want to see in the world? What part do you want to play in bringing that change about?

These are deep questions. You won’t have all the answers and what you discover may never be the “final answer”. We spend our lives living the questions and living into the answers. Yet without taking time for self-reflection and building your business on your deeper WHY, you will not be able to withstand the risks, hard work, and inevitable bumps along the way.

Start right where you are and drop anchor using your deeper WHY as you navigate each day in your business.

Want to create a strong foundation of purpose and systems in your business so you can grow quickly in a way that feels good to you? Contact me and learn how.

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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