I Dare You!

June 10, 2015 by  
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We all love a good dare, don’t we? Remember when we were kids, how those simple words, often delivered with a smirk and a twinkle in the eye—“I dare you”—were all it took to bring us to action? Well, I’d like to challenge you with a little dare today. Feel free to let it take you back to the days when you just couldn’t resist. This is one dare that I believe has the power to change the course of your business and your life. Are you ready for it?

I dare you to reach out and connect with three of your past clients or customers today in a meaningful and authentic way.

What—you thought there would be more?

Okay, admittedly there is more to this dare than initially meets the eye, because this really is a loaded challenge if you’re paying attention.

In this age of social media, we connect with so many people on a daily (or even hourly) basis. But these connections are for the most part brief, shallow, and when you’re in business for yourself, ultimately with sales in mind. So when I say “reach out and connect,” I’m not talking about “liking” a status on Facebook; I’m not talking about re-tweeting something a past customer posted on Twitter; and I’m not talking about sending a canned sales proposition via email.

I’m talking about reaching out to someone you have lost touch with in a meaningful and authentic way. This could be a handwritten letter on beautiful stationary just to let someone know you’re thinking of them, a card that you take the time to choose just especially for that person, even a heartfelt, personal email to follow up on something you saw they were up to on Facebook lately. I’m talking about fostering real relationships just for the sake of fostering real relationships. I’m talking about staying connected to the world in an authentic way just because we are humans and that’s what we’re made to do. I’m talking about putting aside the business to be about the business of life… just because. No business card. No coupon. No call to action—just because.

As entrepreneurs, so much of our lives is automated. We have systems and processes in place for nearly everything we do. And that’s great and necessary and efficient. But today is a gift I’m giving you, should you choose to accept it. Today I dare you to just be a good human. Today I dare you to rekindle that little magical spark that happens when you reach out with genuine affection and a desire to just connect with another person in this great big automated world that we share. Did you take the dare?

Leave me a comment about your experiences. We can all use a little encouragement in this business of being human!

What Type of Business is Best for You?

May 22, 2015 by  
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What kind of business is best for you? Are you hearing me? Do you think about this? I think we all get to a point in life and business where we need to evaluate if what we are currently doing is what we need to continue to do, or if it’s time to move on to the next thing. Let’s take a look today at some helpful considerations when beginning to make that big decision, because as entrepreneurs, we are multifaceted, multitalented people; we can do anything! But what’s BEST?

  1. Your interests and passions. Each of us has “a thing.” That thing (or things) that we are just super passionate and lively about. What are you excited about? What do you get worked up about? What brings you joy? What animates you?
  2. Your skills, talents, and experience. Everybody is good at some things and not others. Make a list. What are you good at? What training do you have? What types of jobs have you held in the past? What types of activities do you do in your spare time?
  3. Your geographical preferences. Do you prefer to work from home in your jammies or do you like the commute-to-the-office concept? Is the type of work you’re most interested in confined to a specific community or locale, or can it be done virtually, worldwide? Do you have little kids at home, necessitating a home office, or are you free to travel or be away from home during the day?
  4. Your preferred business model. The sky is the limit here. Passive streams of income, in-person coaching, video trainings, group programs, product based storefronts—virtual or brick and mortar. Consider your personality, goals, and potential offerings. All these affect the type of business model that will ultimately be best for you.
  5. Your availability. How many hours per week do you want to work? How many CAN you work? Be honest about your lifestyle and the needs of your family at this stage in life. There is a time and a season for everything. Maybe you can give 15 hours per week or maybe you can dig deep and give 40. There is no wrong answer except that which doesn’t serve you.
  6. Your income requirements. This is absolutely up to you. What kind of business are you considering and what type of income is it able to generate, given your needs and availability? How much income do you need in order to make ends meet? Consider overhead and possible staffing needs, supplies, and last but not least, time.

These are just a few ways to evaluate what type of business may be best for you right now. Things change—we change—and because of that, sometimes our business needs to change as well. Change can be good. Take the time to discover what’s best for you!

Prioritizing Your Health

May 11, 2015 by  
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We hear it all the time. “You SHOULD prioritize your health.” “You SHOULD exercise.” “You SHOULD eat right.” Well, I’d like to propose that prioritizing your health is not at all about what you SHOULD do. It’s about what’s right for YOU—what you need, want, and works for your stage in life, business, and family. I think most of us do WANT to prioritize our health, at least to some degree or another; however, many things get in the way of putting that motivation into practice. Let’s address some of the most common issues that can present as challenges to putting ourselves first when it comes to our health.

What is the main obstacle to you making your health a priority?

  1. Work. If work is what’s keeping you from taking the time to take care of yourself, it’s time to make some boundaries. I think we can all agree that when it comes to work, especially as mom entrepreneurs, we could work 24/7 and still not run out of things to do. Make your schedule. Stick to it. When “work time” is over… it’s actually over! Feel free to move on to what’s next—time for family, time for hobbies, time for healthy meal prep, time for YOU!
  2. Family. If family is what’s keeping you from making your health a priority, it’s time to ask for help. Running a business is hard, especially when yourkids are young and depend on you for nearly everything. If you can’t afford a full time babysitter or daycare, or it’s just important to you to be available to your children, consider utilizing a “mother’s helper.” Pay a trustworthy pre-teen in the neighborhood a few dollars an hour to simply play with your kids for a little while so you can take a walk or pop in an exercise video or work on preparing a healthy dinner. Taking that well deserved break can make all the difference in your productivity and your health, both physical and mental!
  3. Busyness. If it feels like much of your day is occupied by shuttling kids, meeting with clients, busting out deadlines, it’s time to plan ahead. It can be challenging to take the time to eat well. When you’re in the car and your stomach is rumbling, that fast food “restaurant” at the next light is a very real temptation. When you’re chained to your desk and the clock is ticking, anything quick, from a box or a bag, may be your first instinct. But there are ways around that processed food trap. Try throwing an extra large smoothie together in the morning and drinking half for breakfast and the other half for a snack later. Have veggies and fruits cut up in the fridge, along with some healthful dipping options like hummus or yogurt dip. String cheese or nuts are handy options for portable snacks that pack a high protein punch to satisfy hunger on the go and keep the urge for junk at bay. A little creativity and a bit of planning is all it takes to set yourself up for success!

So wherever you are and whatever your biggest challenges to prioritizing your health, there are steps you can take to a healthier, happier you. Make a goal. Make it a small one. Make a change toward health because it’s important to you. You’re worth it!