How to Handle Criticism from Yourself & Others

February 5, 2016 by  
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This time of year can feel like a lot of pressure with some year end wrap up, new products, growth and renewed goals and aspirations. Unfortunately, when you have so very much going on, it can be easy to allow yourself to become vulnerable to other people’s opinions or criticisms.

Being vulnerable can also causes you to reflect back on your short-comings and compare yourself to others and their seemingly amazing accomplishments. It can be very common to carry around negative self talk and that weight can very easily drag you down into unhealthy thoughts and patterns.

It can be internal criticism within yourself or external criticism comparing yourself to others and both are equally as dangerous and damaging. This quote is a personal favorite of mine…

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Teddy Roosevelt

If you spend time comparing yourself to others, you are stealing your own joy. When we feel dragged down and engage in negative self talk, it can be very easy to slip into the habit of allowing ourselves to compare ourselves to others unrealistically.

Comparisons are really always unfair not in your favor, if you are in a negative mind space, you are looking through a filter of yourself that will always make you come up short.Don’t compare your worst self to someone else’s highlight reel on Facebook or Twitter. That is a skewed perception.

In this way, there is no way that you will ever be able to make a fair, unbiased comparison. And what do you have to gain from comparison? Making yourself feel bad will certainly not help you get the enthusiasm or energy to improve and get to where you want to be in your business or life goals.

We often compare certain metrics that don’t really, genuinely matter to us. You can’t allow yourself to compare yourself to others that don’t even align with your goals. Your priorities are different than others and comparing them to yourself to them will just drain your energy and foster negativity, unnecessarily.

When you are comparing yourself to someone else, one way to redirect that energy is to realize that you are focusing on the wrong person if you are spending time comparing yourself to others. The only person worth reflecting on and comparing yourself to is yourself. You will come out ahead if you only comparing yourself to yourself.

You are always in the process of becoming, changing and growing. You are a product of your decisions. Ask yourself these questions:

What are you doing today that you could not have done 2 days, 2 months or 2 years ago? What ground have you covered? It fosters such positive energy and can only prove to push you forward!

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Oh Crap. Now What? I Hate This.

January 25, 2016 by  
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Sometimes, being an entrepreneur can be very trying and difficult on all of us and we will begin to feel like we have made a mess that we will never be able to fix. Have you ever felt a loss of control or disheartened and frustrated in your business? Have you felt like your business somewhere along the way just got away from you and your initial plans?

I hate to hear when someone I’m working with feels disenchanted with their work because something isn’t going the way they think it should be. They jumped in because they really believed in something and thought they could create a business around themselves and their families, but it hasn’t gone as smoothly as they were hoping. They were sick of being the “grunt worker” and wanted to start bringing home some of the lion’s share, some of the pride and acknowledgment as well as some of the profits.

These are all great reasons to start a business. But unfortunately, more often than not, I wind up talking to people who feel like things grow out of their control and don’t know where to go from here. In the beginning, they felt like they owned their business and now it feels like their business owns them.

Are you feeling hated on or bossed around by your business a little bit?

Now, honestly, all of us feel a little unmotivated some days. Sometimes you get up and your business just doesn’t fire you up like usual and you can’t put your finger on exactly why that may be. Sometimes, it just means other external or internal factors are in the way of your normal go-getter entrepreneurial spirit. It absolutely does not always that you need to be done with your business and wipe your hands of the process. It doesn’t always mean that your business has run it’s course and is done, sometimes it’s just a phase.

But what do you do when you really realize you are over it and don’t like the way that it is going? You decided that it’s not an attitude issue or a phase and you feel like your business has grown away from you? You find yourself considering a big change like going back to work, changing major business plans or finding new clients or a new niche. Whoa there, slow down!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is a normal cycle and a normal growth pattern for an entrepreneur. Sometimes your business will grow in a way that doesn’t necessarily align with you or your original plans or ideas and you will need to learn how to handle when this happens.

One of the first things to do when you are feeling miserable in your business is to take a step back. Look objectively at the situation and consider if there are things you dislike but are doing anyway out of a feeling of obligation? A first major step towards helping your situation is taking ownership of the fact that under no circumstances do you HAVE to do anything you do not want to do in your business. It feels like you HAVE to do things a lot in business, but it’s just untrue. you are making a choice.

You have to set very clear boundaries in your business or you can get lost on your vision. In the hustle and bustle of being an entrepreneur, you have forgotten about your initial boundaries when you started your business.

You slide into bad habits and you never feel strong and confident enough to be direct with clients to help them to realize and abide by those boundaries. Do not fear being perceived as rude. Your clients can’t abide by rules and boundaries that you never tell them are there. You can be direct and strong while also being careful, gentle and respectful. Simply telling your clients gently about your boundaries can help shift the dynamics back to what you do and why. Cut out the excess. Let your clients know that you value both their and your time and need to focus on the task at hand.

Are you feeling burnt out on your business? Chances are you need to check back in with your priorities and ensure they are setup to support you in your business. Could your priorities have possibly shifted? You may be experiencing this pain and difficulty because your priorities have evolved and you need to recognize. It’s important to consistently re-evaluate your business to ensure that as much as you work for it, it also works for you.

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Setting Goals for 2016 – What Do You Want to Get Done?

January 15, 2016 by  
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It’s here. The end of 2015. Is it just me or does it feel like it just got here?

Last week we talked about acknowledging and appreciating your ground covered and things accomplished this year. We also talked about taking the time necessary to reflect as to why you maybe didn’t accomplish some different things you had initially set out to do? Did you struggle to find the motivation or inspiration to push yourself just the little bit further? Did you learn something from your audience or market and decide to switch gears to some new, different goals?

The holiday season is usually the time that I sink in and slow down just a little. I don’t take on new crazy goal setting or new challenges. I slow down and enjoy family, food and some time to just breathe and reflect. So this week, we are just going to do an exercise with thinking, no pen or paper required.

Things to consider really thinking about:

  • Why you do your business?
  • What knowledge and skills you have acquired so far in your career?
  • How is that going to affect your life and business next year?
  • How is your life going to change next year?
  • Is it going to be the same?
  • Are you expecting a new baby?
  • Have kids leaving for college?
  • Are you going through separation or divorce?
  • Moving states or cities?
  • Job change for your partner or spouse?

Your lifestyle is absolutely going to impact your business and the goals that you set for yourself. Help yourself by consider your life and the changes you will experience before setting any goals for 2016. Considering your life and any changes can help you make your goals more realistic and achievable.

Are you hoping / planning for growth in your business in 2016? In what manner? Is this finally your year for scaling up? Considering some new employees or a new partner? How about a new passive income stream or branching out your services by offer a new live event or presentation? Could you benefit from a new marketing strategy?

This is not putting pen to paper. This is just about really thinking on your goals and hopes for 2016. Time for reflection on 2015 and projection for 2016. What most fires you up and gets you most excited? These are what will help you bring new business and profits. It feels great to acknowledge yourself and the work you put in to yield your results. Productivity makes us feel powerful and good. Stressed out and overwhelmed happens when we are stretched too thin.

Think about what you want your life to be like in 2016. Not goals. Separate. Just what you want your life to be like in 2016. Is your business too demanding for you right now? Is it taking over your home life? Your marriage and time with your children? Are you taking care of yourself and your mind, body and spirit? Taking care of family and life and business can be too much sometimes. Acknowledging when it’s too much is a powerful thing.

How do you want to FEEL at the end of 2016?

We will talk in January about how to make that happen for you and your business. We will discuss how to create an action plan to get you there. But for now, Happy Holidays and thank you so much for listening / reading along with me in 2015!

When I resume podcasting in January, I will officially have been podcasting for 7 years. Holy cow! I think that is a huge accomplishment and maybe deserves a celebration! I am bad at thinking of that stuff though, so please let me a comment with any ideas you may have!

And also, if you have any questions or have a big decision to make this year, I’d love to help you. Find out more about working with me.

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How to Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

December 22, 2015 by  
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This is a notoriously busy and crazy time of year for everyone, myself included. Between business, personal and family engagements it can be hard to keep up. Today’s blog is about taking the time needed to really step back and reward yourself for the past year and set yourself up for success in the coming New Year.

Shift Your Focus

We are going to go over an end-of-year / closure exercise that I did with one of my coaching clients who is a psychic and tarot card reader. She is somewhat on the “fringe” of society and convention with what she does, so to speak. We were first got together she struggled with accepting what she does, the value she possesses and presenting herself to others with confidence.

We were speaking and she was going over in her mind all of the things she had said she would accomplish and hasn’t yet and was beating herself up about it. I had to ask her to stop and take the time to really acknowledge the ground that she has covered since we started working together. She has developed the confidence and ability to articulate to other what she does and place herself in front of her audience and that is huge ground to have covered.

Share Your Wins

There is so much power in sharing your successes with a group who really supports and encourages you. It’s a great feeling to share your accomplishments and allow yourself to be celebrated. If you don’t have that environment yet, find a group or individual that aligns with you, understands what you are up against and can genuinely support you and celebrate your “wins” with you.

Recognize the Importance

My psychic client was not accustomed to celebrating herself, acknowledging her successes, being proud of and rewarding herself. Feeling accomplished and successful will make you feel good, as helping celebrate others will feel amazing for you.

When you have to hunker down and push through being not motivated, knock downs in business and in your personal life, you need some padding. Some “emotional money in the bank”, as I like to call it. Being acknowledged is banking some of that emotional currency that you can “withdraw” when you need a little push, a little spark and a reminder that is is all worth it in the end to accomplish your goals.

Develop a Reward System

Consider developing a reward system for yourself when you accomplish tasks that you find you tend to procrastinate or let fall through the cracks. A different reward for the size (and pain) of the task you completed. It may look something like this:

Small reward for finally sitting down and writing a letter or email to someone that you have been putting off (like a customer service issue, for instance). Maybe go for a walk or a run, listen to some favorite music.

Medium reward for entering a couple months worth of receipts that have been piling up into your bookkeeping software. Consider possibly lunch or dinner with a friend or a treat just for yourself.

Large reward – get good at knowing where your profits are (net income vs net expenses) goal to be more profitable and completing your books for months. Large rewards can be subjective for all of us but maybe consider a small road trip to a nice dinner or show?

The type, size and kind of rewards will be different for all of us, but they are important to have in place ahead of time to give you just that little extra incentive that we all sometimes need to get things accomplished. Recognize how much ground you have covered this year instead of focusing on things you wish you had done. Celebrate your accomplishments and put some rewards in place to help you knock out some more of your goals.

Let’s jump into 2016 with some power!

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How to Land Your First (or Next) Client

November 13, 2015 by  
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Today I want to cover some of the fundamentals of how to land your first client. I realize some of us have been in business for a long time and are far removed from the wonder and excitement of that long-anticipated first client, but many of these basic principles bear repeating from time to time along the journey. So whether this is your first client or simply your next, take time to refresh your mind and your business with these rudimentary, yet powerful and effective strategies.

Know your target market’s pain points. What problem does your ideal client experience that you can solve? You may offer an amazing, impressive, ingenious product or service… but if it doesn’t address a specific problem that your market has, chances are you’re not clear on who your audience is and what they need most. So do your research and be sure that there are people out there who need what you have to offer.

Know how they spend their money. What do your potential customers or clients spend their money on? Do they buy things for themselves, for their families, for their businesses? Do they pay top dollar for spa treatments and expensive technology or are they more practical and pragmatic? What are they willing to invest in? Do your homework. Understanding your market’s financial profile will give you a better picture of who they are, what they’re interested in, and how you can best serve them.

Know your Unique Business Statement. Do you have a UBS? If not, get one! If you know who your ideal client is and what they need, and you understand what they spend their money on, the next thing you need is to be able to tell them who you are, what you do, and why they should hire you—in 10 seconds or less. If you can’t do it quickly, then you’re not focused enough, because being great at what you do isn’t the be all and end all; you’ve got to be able to say it so that people can understand it.

Know your value. I can’t tell you how many small business owners or mom entrepreneurs come to me with the idea that because they are small, or because they are just starting out, they’re not worth much above nothing. If you feel that way about yourself, you’re not doing you or your clients a service. You can offer a small sample of your product or services, but don’t give away the farm—know your value and stick to it.

Know how to make your sale. Ask them to hire you. Seems simple, doesn’t it? But how many times do we find ourselves in a situation where we are just not prepared to make that sale? Have your calendar ready. Have your terms of payment lined up. And then ask them to hire you!

I hope this has been helpful. These are just some really simple steps to take to land your first (or next) client, and I think we can all revisit them along the way. Now go out there and put them into action!

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How to Know When the Time is Right For a Startup

October 26, 2015 by  
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If you’re a mom, you have probably, at some point in your life, asked the question, “When is the perfect time to have a baby?” The answer is inevitably, “Never!” We can never be 100% prepared to do something we have never done before. It’s true with starting families and it’s true with starting businesses. However, there are a few things we can do to wisely evaluate the timing of a startup to maximize our likelihood of success. Here are some questions to consider if a startup is in your future:

1. How about those finances? It’s all about the money, honey! Okay, so maybe it’s not ALL about the money, but let’s be honest—we’re not just cultivating a new hobby here, so we’ve got to talk about compensation. How much do you want to make? How much do you NEED to make? This is different for everyone, so take stock of your particular circumstances. Does your husband have a good, stable, full-time job? Can you pay the bills and keep the lights on with his income alone? Perhaps you have the freedom to develop and grow a startup right now without the pressure of needing a large amount of profit immediately. On the other hand, if your situation is such that your number one priority RIGHT NOW is financial gain and security, then it may not be the right time for a startup, unless you can hang onto your day job as a safety net.

2. Are you established? This is a HUGE factor in whether or not now is the right time for a startup. Do you already know how to do what it is you are planning to do in your business, or are you starting up a business that is totally new to you? You may already be working in your niche and with your target audience. If that is the case, it may not be much of a leap to starting your own business in that market. If you are just entering your chosen field and are not already acquainted with your ideal client, that doesn’t necessarily mean that now ISN’T the time for a startup, but you will need to factor in the extra time and energy it will take to build your business from the ground up. It can be done, but be realistic and understand the level of commitment it will take to be successful over time.

3. Do you have the support you will need for a startup? Support comes in many forms. Maybe it’s having your spouse or partner’s buy-in on how you’re spending your time, what resources you’re using, and how much financial contribution you are able to make when you hit the ground running. Perhaps it’s having friends or family who are able to shoulder some of the childcare needs you may have so that you can devote time to the business. Who is going to help you run your life, your family, and your business when you need support in these areas? If you’ve got these helps in place, now may be a great time to get started. If not, take the time to put these supports in place before you launch your business. It will give you a better chance at success when you are ready to get moving with things.

So these are just a few tools you can use when deciding when the time is right to start your business. I hope they help you find the clarity you need to confidently move forward when that time comes!

The post How to Know When the Time is Right For a Startup appeared first on Mom Biz Coach Business Coach for Mom Entrepreneurs.

11 Steps To Owning Your Path

October 16, 2015 by  
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Owning your path. That sounds like a great idea, right? We’re all on a path, most of them winding, some quite crooked, with a fair amount of bumps along the way. But that path is ours, so let’s dig into what it means to really own it and how we can apply that to our businesses so that we are moving forward into our future with confidence and intent.

  1. VISION. Your vision is your focus—what your eyes are fixed on. Whatever you focus on you get more of. So adjust your focus to the positive, to what you hope for, to where you want to go.
  2. WHY. Things are going to get tough. Things are going to get messy. You’re going to get confused, distracted, discouraged. Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing ensures that your motivation and inspiration to keep moving forward is coming from within, not based on all the external circumstances that you’re facing.
  3. CULTURE. Who you are, how you’ve done things up to this point, your habits, and your mindset are critical forces in determining the path you will choose. All these things come together to make you who you are. Embrace it!
  4. POSSIBILITIES. Don’t get trapped by a “But this is how I’ve always done it” mentality. Open yourself up to the world of possibilities that awaits you when you replace old habits that aren’t serving you with a mindset that says, “This is possible.”
  5. EXPERIENCE. Experience is the skills, knowledge, and expertise that you have acquired over the course of your life. Acknowledge your strengths, the things you are best at, and determine how you may use them going forward.
  6. COMMITMENTS. This is the “owning” part of owning your path. This is where you put a stake in the ground and declare, “It will be done because it matters to me!”
  7. PRACTICE. Practice is the opposite of perfectionism. It’s the opposite of fear. It is being willing to stink at something and keep trying until we get it right. Keep practicing!
  8. SUPPORT. Support is so critical to owning your path—both giving and receiving it. Get the help you need from others and invest time and energy into others to help them on their own paths.
  9. ACTION. This is where the rubber meets the road! Baby steps are still steps. Take action and make it happen!
  10. ACCOUNTABILITY. As internal as owning your path may seem, we need external drivers to keep us on track. Accountability is a good and necessary element of success, whether it is enlisting the guidance of a coach or simply checking in with a likeminded accountability buddy.
  11. CHOICE. This is all about your choice. It’s at the heart of everything. There is freedom in realizing that no one is making you do this, that this path you’re on is your choice, and that nobody can take away the success you find along the way because nobody but you has gotten you there.

I hope these tips help inspire you to really own your path. Do you have others you would add to the list? Let me know on Facebook!

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Get Organized and Be More Productive

September 9, 2015 by  
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We’ve all heard the expression “A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.” Of course some may counter with “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of an empty desk?” But I digress. In all seriousness though, I think we can probably all agree that our environment and its level of tidiness or organization does have at least some degree of impact on our mental state, particularly when it comes to doing our job well. Nobody thrives in the center of chaos. It’s distracting, aggravating, draining. In fact, it can be downright paralyzing at times. So let’s highlight a few easy steps we can take to clear out some of the clutter and make room for productivity!

Take the Paper Challenge

To take the paper challenge, you will need: a timer, a trash bag, a file folder, and a box with a lid.

  1. Set a timer. 5-10 minutes should be plenty of time. Now run through the house just as fast as you can. Pick up any paper that is obvious trash and throw it in the trash bag.
  2. Now for the file folder. The file folder is an “action” folder. This is where you’ll put any papers that require some action. This could be bills that need to be paid, school forms that need to be filled out and turned back in, notes reminding you to make phone calls, appointment reminders, etc.
  3. Next comes the box. There is a reason why I specified that the box have a lid. “Out of sight, out of mind.” The visual distraction of clutter is what has the potential to suck the productivity out of us, so put a lid on it! The box is for any papers that belong somewhere else. This could be anything from tax forms to medical statements to kids’ artwork—anything that needs to be put in a designated spot for long-term safekeeping.

Simplify your Digital Spaces

As we exist in an era that is increasingly paper-free, and as we streamline more and more of our processes digitally—on the computer or even our smartphones—we find that those spaces can become cluttered as well.

  1. Delete, delete, delete. Can’t remember the last time you used an app? Delete it. Done with a document? Delete it. Get rid of out-of-date programs, duplicates, and memory-hogging files if they’re not absolutely necessary.
  2. Organize. If you can’t delete it, organize it! Create category folders on your computer and phone to organize the things you need to hold onto. Utilize cloud storage with Dropbox or Google Docs to clear up space and keep things tidy.

These are just a few simple ways to declutter your workspace and increase productivity. In just a few minutes you can take control of your environment, clear your mind, and feel great about the space you live and work in so you have more energy and focus for the things that matter most. Now go set that timer and have a productive day!

Permission to be Successful

September 4, 2015 by  
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We’re gearing up for a month of talking about success: defining and measuring our success, feeling successful, and more. Today, though, I want to give you something really special. It’s permission to be successful.

You have permission to be successful.

So often in our lives we get buried under negative self-talk and our own doubts and fears, not to mention the negativity and doubt of those around us. Sometimes, our own predictions of failure become self-fulfilling. But not anymore!

Everyone deserves success. You deserve success.

Sometimes, we have survivors guilt: our business and life is going well, but our close friend or even partner/spouse is having trouble in certain areas of their lives. This leads us to downplay or feel undeserving of what we’ve achieved. Baloney!

You earned your success.

Don’t let comparison steal your joy! Often we hear that in the context of giving yourself a pep talk when you feel less than about what you have, but it works the other way, too. Allow yourself to feel deserving of success. You are working for it, so let yourself have it!

You have permission to be successful.

Say it to yourself “I give myself permission to be successful.”

For more about success, check out my latest podcast: “Why is it so dang hard for mompreneurs to see themselves as successful?

How to Squelch Self-Sabotage

August 26, 2015 by  
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Mom entrepreneurs know that in this crazy life we’ve made for ourselves we have to be ever ready and willing to adapt, rethink, redirect, and commit, as decisions are made, projects shift, and offerings change. We set the best goals, don’t we? But if we’re not careful, despite our best intentions, we can get stuck—in the old ways, down that familiar path—and our most common obstacle? That girl in the mirror!

Self-sabotage. We all do it. So let’s set ourselves up for success by learning how to identify it and thwart it so we can get out of our own way and continue in the direction we want for ourselves.

Be honest.

Are you setting goals that you’re really passionate about?

All too often we set goals because we think we should. We do what others want us to do. We make plans based on what the world says “success” means. Ladies, that is not powerful. And when we set goals around anything other than what matters most to us, what we want for ourselves, and what we’re really passionate about, self-sabotage is sure to follow. Give yourself permission to set goals that bring you happiness and make you feel successful.

Are the rules you’ve set for yourself to achieve your goals too rigid?

Let’s be honest. Many of us entrepreneur types have at least a little bit of rebel in us, don’t we? We see a rule and we think, “But why?” and then promptly challenge it. This goes for the rules we set for ourselves as well, especially if they are unrealistic or excessively rigid. Rules are great and help us get where we want to go, but make sure the rules you set are serving you. Rules can be an unnecessary burden or they can be meaningful stepping-stones on the path you choose for yourself. You get to decide!

Are you talking bad about/to yourself?

“You are so lazy!” “Ugh, you should know better by now.” “Again? Really? When will you learn?” Girls, would we say these things to our children? Of course not! Then we shouldn’t be speaking to ourselves in this way. Setting goals is an intention of self-love. We make plans and have hope for our future because we care about ourselves. We need to speak to ourselves accordingly. Positive, encouraging, empowering, affirming words go so much farther than negative self-talk.

Be accountable.

We’re not made to go through this life alone, and the world of business is no exception. Be willing to be honest with a friend or partner you can trust. Share where you know you might engage in self-sabotage. Open up about what you need in order to avoid it or get you back on track when you fall into old habits or patterns. And be that accountability for someone else when they need it. We’re all in this together. A little honesty and accountability go a long way on this journey to success!

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