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Try New Mediums

paintSometimes I get stuck working with the same art medium over and over. I love the feeling of fabric and so I make a lot of things with it. But then I look over at my vision board and I think ok what’s next on my list of goals? Do I want to use the same method I have been doing or do I want to venture out and try something new. Paint is often a medium I turn to get my mind going. I love squishing it, molding it, adding texture to it to make it something else.
What’s a new medium for you to try out?

Why I hate the Question: What Do You Do?

marissa2We’ve all been there. It’s a social event where you might know one or two people. You strike up a conversation with the person next to you and the dreaded question appears: “So, what do you do?”

For some people answering that question is quick and simple:

  • “I’m a nurse.”
  • “I teach grade 4 kids”
  • “I’m a communications director for the federal government”

But for some of us, we cringe inside. It isn’t because we have nefarious jobs and we’re worried what the other person will think of us. It’s because it’s hard to explain exactly what we do. Especially if we have day jobs that pay the bills and evening or weekend passions that we work on that feed our minds or passions. Maybe we have multiple jobs to make ends meet, or maybe we’ve recently made the leap to become an entrepreneur.

The first time I noticed myself cringe at the question was my 10-year high school reunion. I had former classmates asking me “So what do you do now?”

After the 10th time I was asked, I exclaimed “Who cares what my job is – tell me about the experiences you’ve had over the past 10 years. What have you built, who have you met, what great conversations have you had, where have you travelled?” Some of my former classmates recoiled because it made them uncomfortable. Talking about jobs was a safe topic that didn’t really let people know anything about you. Some of them jumped right in and we had spirited discussions about great memories they had built over the past 10 years as we turned into adults.

Think about how this applies when you’re job hunting or looking to an employee to your company. We list skills on a resume as keywords with what we do to attract a recruiters attention  and we rely on an interview to turn the keywords into relevant experiences. If we only rely on what we do, we often miss who we are in our careers.

Move beyond the question “What do you do?” and more into “Who are you?” and you will find you build stronger interactions and set a great foundation for both professional and personal relationships.

 

Lean in to Feminism

My dear friend Natasha runs a very successful blog called The Stay at Home Feminist and recently posted her struggle with being just that. Read her very thoughtful post about it here.

I was lucky enough to get a lovely pre-release copy of Arianna Huffington’s newest book Thrive. Listen gals, I do recommend this book. It really validated some of these thoughts about women and our drive to be everything in our lives – whether it be professional caretakers or professional cubicle dwellers. She also has read it and I think we can agree there is a big breath of fresh air in that book instead of the stale void of MUST get to the top strategy of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In that consumed on a whirlwind trip around China a few years ago. Maybe I would have felt differently about the message in Lean In if I was tucked at home on my custom built couch with my Starbuck’s latte in hand, but I was tromping around scenic China with squatty potties and displaced farmers asking me if I wanted to buy trinkets for American dollars.

I hated Lean In. I don’t have kids, but it was a gross book. It was filled with privileged two-parent nanny supplemented homes based in the Silicon Valley. It had nothing of the life most women are living.

Should we lean in? Or should we actually step back and let those who need to fight to the top get to the top. I’ve spent a good decade obsessed with getting a title on a career to prove to some imaginary force the extent of my self-worth. For what? A shallow life filled with exhaustion, junk food and poor relationships.

In the last two years I’ve stepped back and pursued a non-paying career. People constantly ask me “Does it make you money?” and are shocked when I confidently say “No but it makes other people money and it is changing the way we consume goods locally.”

They chide me with their thoughts of how I could make money but I keep smiling through it because I know that one day, they will see why I did it.
I was recently nominated for a recognition award and I keep looking at that unfilled form that focuses more on my achievements at a corporate day job than what I am trying to achieve “on the side”

What I said on Natasha’s blog – Keep on bringing that change – if you feel the results, then you’re doing it right.

Tea Bombs & Sticky Notes: Tools to Say “Hey I’m Here if You Need Me.”

This post was prompted by teabmba recent Facebook status by a friend of mine, Tad Hargrave, who has recently experienced a personal event that left him with new perspectives on the world and inhabitants. I’ll leave him to elaborate on any personal details, but he called out to his friends:

“If you have someone in your life who you know is struggling, it can be hard to know what to do or say. But all you need to do is let them know they’re still in your thoughts. That, even though you’re so busy that you love them and keep wondering how they are. Simple.” (Tad Hargave, January 7, 2014)

I think it’s also important to reach out to the people who don’t share their troubles too. I know that I often don’t share when strife is coming at me. I tend to internalize, brew it & stew it until it boils over out of control and I’m left with a bigger mess to clean up than if I had asked for help. I have been blessed with amazing friends (and my fantastic husband) who ask me how I am and don’t expect or accept a simple “I’m good.” They demand details knowing it’s hard for me to lie or skirt the full story when asked direct questions. Some of these friends I met through our Mercer Collective markets this year – so not a long friendship – but DEEP friendships.

I like doing anonymous things for people I care about and even for people I don’t know well. There are good deeds I have put in place, that some people have never found out it was me that did it for them. Nominations for award recognitions, cards left on their computer keyboard, unsigned postcards mailed to them, handmade gifts found in their bag… When I can’t be anonymous, I pick random people I know and Tea Bomb them. (I send them a collection of loose teas I sell on the side to their house). I assume that because their name popped into my head that something is telling me they are the right person it needs to be sent to at that time.You

Just think about friends & family who left us too soon and we had no idea the turmoils they faced prior to their departure. Sometimes we can’t reach them. But, if we all took a moment to recognize those special in our lives, maybe we can be a significant force in their lives.

Doesn’t have to be huge. I also keep sticky notes handy with me – I will write things like “I appreciate you” “I need you in my life” “You make me smile” “When we laugh together, the world slips away” “You are important” and then give them to people, either directly or anonymously by sticking them in a book they are reading, in their open bag or the back of their electronic device. I like thinking they don’t know when the message will get to them, but I always hope it’s the right time.

I’m not putting this out there as a rah rah look at me go. I just wanted to give you some ideas on how you can go out and make small differences in someone’s life. I can guarantee you, I’m actually quite selfish at times and I will admit that I often put my needs before others. But I also find that the more I do these small random acts of kindness, hugs of faith, or handshakes of recognition with my friends & family, the more I include other’s needs in my decision making. I think it’s making me a better person. I’m also keeping Post-It & Sharpie in business with my quests to let others know they are needed, wanted, important, vital and loved.

What do you do or what are you going to do? Have you had someone be there for you – from asking or seemingly random? We have a new year ahead, let’s be there for someone we know in small or big ways!

Workplace Bullying

I am not the biggest fan of the term bullying. Mostly because I think it has become the cool thing to support without anyone actually doing much to solve the issue. Do you think bullying is always about the person being bullied? It has a huge impact because we hear about the negative side effects like poor self-esteem, cutting and suicide. But what about the Bully?

How does one learn that behaviour? How does one assume that behaviour is ok to exhibit? I think we’ll find in most bullies’ baggage a healthy helping of abuse, neglect and being bullied themselves. I really do not think bullying is a natural reaction to a situation. I think it is absolutely learned. Of course, I have no psych background to back that up. Just a feeling I have.

So little bullies grow up to be big bullies. And the bullied maybe grow up to be bullies when they suddenly decide they just aren’t going to take anyone’s crap anymore.

And then we have workplace bullying. Adults intimidating each other to get what – a raise, recognition, work being done for them?I have seen a few scenes of this played out over the years.

  • A company owner is not achieving the success he had hoped to achieve so he looks at his employees to determine which one is the cause of the problem, despite it most likely being a lack of leadership.
  • Co-workers who force others to do their work for them, claiming they don’t know how to do the project. If a co-worker says no, it’s reported as not being a part of the team.
  • Purposely leaving co-workers out on team lunches or coffee breaks.
  • Saying words like “How can you not figure this procedure out? It’s so easy”

So how do we stop the cycle? Well I don’t know. Happy to hear what others think that’s for sure.

From the Blog

How to Take Action

Waiting to Exhale

If you’re waiting for something to happen in your life – losing weight, getting your products perfect, to have more time, to have someone swoop in with the perfect
opportunity – chances are it won’t happen unless you take some significant action.

What have you been holding off while waiting for something else to happen?

If you’re ready to get your products and packages out the door but are struggling with pricing and selling,
sign up for my free 3 day online course called How to Charge Your Worth.

Being Visible & Visibility for Entrepreneurs

The one secret to making money online if you ask most business experts is visibility. They will ask us are you being visible? Or they will say we have a limiting belief about being visible.

The underlying truth is – sure, if no one knows you’re offering or selling something how will they know it even exists to take it?

But here’s the thing visibility works both ways. You, as the seller, can see me, the customer. In the past few weeks, several contacts on FB have sent me messages asking to partner with me on their projects. To spread the word, be affiliates, provide content, etc.

Except the messages were very obviously cut and pasted. Now I’m not asking you to write out 500 paragraphs to each person when the info is the same but take the time to at least make the intro about me. Ask me how I am doing. How is the project I’m working on going. Heck, even how is your cats? Go on my newsfeed and find something you’re interested in about me. Please be interested about me before you send me a message on FB asking me to do something for you.

If this isn’t a step you can take – send me an email. It’s less personal. You can be less personal. I can delete it there easier than the FB message.

Studies show though, when we call customers by their name, even if it’s initially shocking to them, they buy more with us.

You return to the coffee shop where someone says “would you like your usual?”

You come back to the mechanic that says “last time you were here, I remember I wanted to check your brakes – ok if I take a peek at those on this visit?”

It gets harder when your brand hits thousands and millions but even Team Forleo sends cards & flowers to people in this group to share in their successes years after they paid the money to get in.

How can you see your customers?

Stop Right Now – How Business Experts Keep Entrepreneurs from Succeeding

STOP!!! No wonder we are always questioning whether we can make it as entrepreneurs. Spend a few minutes online & you’re targeted with a barrage of well meaning business experts and their exclamations of stop doing this and stop doing that. STOP! So we do. We stop.

We stop experimenting. We stop trying new things. We stop putting ourselves out there for fear someone is going to yell STOP at us. Next thing we know, we’ve stopped our business all together. Yikes!

We force ourselves to opt-in to regurgitated content that starts with “The exact steps I took to make $20k in 20 minutes” because if we just do that, we won’t have to stop, right?

We dream of negative self talk and we watch others moving ahead and achieving their dreams and “Damnit why can they do it and not me?”

The secret: The autocorrect in their head sees all the “stops” being thrown at them and changes it to “start”

So my fabulous entrepreneurs, rise up! 2016 is here and we have permission to start our lives. To all the copywriters who thrive on stop, I challenge you to start.

Thoughts vs Thinking

youWe think 60K-70K thoughts a day and 90% of the day’s thoughts are the same as the day before.

Thoughts are not the same as thinking. Thinking is the creation of new ideas. So if we spend 90% of our day on what we’ve done before, how do you work with your creative intuition to get outside your thoughts?

We also lose attention 6-10 times a minute, so we need practice at being present.

When you work with a coach, their job is to help you redefine your relationship to your story, stay present, not drift and help you imagine what could be.

If you can’t work with a coach, what are some ways you can help yourself practice intent and presence so you can focus on imagination and creativity?

One of the ways I do this is to live as if my future is now and I play with it. I set my intentions and I practice those intentions every day. My mixed media vision board, my to do list/planner, my interactions with others, are all studied. I feel the results of those intentions before they happen. I feel into how achieving that future reality will affect my life, my family’s life and even my coaching clients’ lives. I envision the look on my husband’s face when I tell him my launch reached 50K. I feel the hand on my mouse as I transfer that money into my bank account and into my investments. I even go so far as to picture which room in my house I just paid off with that achievement. smile emoticon I go stand in that room and say “You’re paid for already”

What do you do? If you’re not practicing intent already, what WILL you do?

What it's like to be a Business Coach

What it’s like to be a Coach

What it's like to be a Business CoachI get asked this often- what is it like to be a coach? Well it’s stunning and awe inspiring and so incredibly rewarding. There is so much noise in the world today and as humans we absorb most of it which can create a bit of clutter in our minds.

With coaching, we allow a trust and rapport to happen with someone where we can remove the noise, clean out the clutter and actually dive into where we are going in our lives – whether it is personally or in business.

I am a transformational business coach for creative entrepreneurs – this includes artists, designers, photographers, coaches and healers. I work on both sides of the equation. I invite my clients to not only explore new ways to run their business but also to dive deep into their own stories, limiting beliefs and upper limit blocks in order to move ahead in their creative business.

A Day in the Life of a Business Coach

Well I spend a lot of time listening. Not only to my clients but my own inner intuition. I also believe in diverse income streams and I know a lot of coaches have their income coming in from a variety of sources in addition to coaching – teaching, mentoring, consulting and a host of other side projects that light them up.

I think those drawn to coaching are the idea sorters of the world. The brave souls who dare to reach into the ether, pull out the amazing unique ideas in the world and then bring them to earth for our clients. And we do it without ever offering a should or could. We dwell in the world of would and “why is that important for you?” We thrive in the “What else?” We explore silence with our clients because it holds all of the answers.

Coaching isn’t about creating large incomes of money (but you can and some coaches do). it’s not about reaching fame or publishing a lot of books. It’s behind the scenes support and holding a lot of space.

If you ever want to explore if coaching is for you – please reach out. I love helping others find their perfect purpose in the world and if coaching is calling you, it can help to talk to other coaches about their experience.

30 Steps to Building a Business for Entrepreneurs

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone just laid out all of the steps you need to take to build your business? A checklist that you could just follow? Well you COULD join my 30 day FREE Course and get all of the steps delivered to your inbox with examples, resources and information from the top industry experts or you could just print off this list below. The list is not exhaustive but it’s going to get you started and help you ensure you’ve got the basics covered.

 

Enjoy!

  1. Get Clear on Your Product
  2. Get Clear on Your Message
  3. Get Clear on Who is going to Buy Your Product
  4. Get the right support – Virtual Assistant, Lawyers, Copy Writers, Accountants, a Coach (like me) – don’t try and do it all yourself
  5. Incorporate – make it official
  6. Learn about Taxes
  7. Get a Name or use your own
  8. Buy a domain
  9. Set up a website
  10. Get an email service provider
  11. Get a customer management tool
  12. Learn about Landing Pages
  13. Learn Online Marketing
  14. Learn about Social Media
  15. Learn about email marketing
  16. Create a Facebook Group vs a Facebook Page
  17. Develop a customer service model
  18. Create a blog
  19. Guest post on other sites
  20. Learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  21. Build an opt-in lead magnet
  22. Send out Newsletters
  23. If you’re product-based – learn about wholesaling
  24. Learn about Joint Venture Partners
  25. Learn about Affiliate Partnership
  26. Passive Income options
  27. Sales Funnels
  28. Repeat Customers/Customer recognition programs
  29. How to be visible
  30. Traditional Marketing

Ok I could keep going here. Does this seem overwhelming? This is where coaching comes in and is incredibly valuable when you’re setting up a new business. I take my clients out of the spin cycle and moving forward on the track that is right for them.