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Tuesday, 11th November 2014

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3 Tips On How to Keep Going When You Are Stuck in a Nasty Divorce

Wednesday, 6th August 2014

papersMy first marriage ended by me fleeing to sage brush with six children in tow to get away from a man who had anger issues. Who would have thought later that I would look back and think about how easy it was. My second divorce came out of the blue from a man who suddenly decided that he should have our children with him a hundred percent of the time even though he was bi-polar. He also insisted that I should be granted the privilege of supporting him for the rest of his life so he wouldn’t have to work. Of course he was smoking a pipe dream, but that didn’t stop him from trying to get exactly that.

Since we ran into a stalemate, and we don’t see things eye-to-eye, so far we have spent almost a year in court trying to dissolve our marriage. So how does one keep going and building a better life while something so toxic is going on?

  • Decide that no matter how ugly the situation gets, you will not let outside circumstances determine your happiness.

My former promised me a great ten-year anniversary present. When I arrived home from an out of town trip, I was served with divorce papers. Two hours later I found myself in a divorce attorney’s office in shock. I remember a friend being in the room with me. I needed to leave the room, and I looked at the stack of important papers that sat next to the chair. I was going to take the binders with me, even though I would be back in a few minutes. But then I stopped myself. I knew right then and there I had a choice. I was either going to live a life of distrust and fear, or I was going to trust as it seemed appropriate. I knew that if I distrusted my friend, it would lead to unhappiness. I resolved that I would do things that led to happiness no matter how hard.

  • Seize the opportunity.

No matter how ugly the situation is there is an opportunity for you to turn it around for good. For me, although I was losing my marriage, I knew that with him gone I now had an opportunity to build a life that was in more alignment with what I wanted, and I would have no one now to stop or slow me down. The condition of my life was now going to be in my hands, and if I didn’t like it, all I had to do was change it. Truthfully just to be given this opportunity and to be free of a person whose values were not in alignment with mine made the divorce a good thing.

  • Remember what you focus on now is building the foundation for your future.

When a divorce goes nasty, the mounds of paperwork a person has to deal with, even with a lawyer, can become overwhelming, especially if you live in California. As I was plowing through the mounds and mounds and mounds of paperwork, and other work I needed to do for my divorce, it was easy to become frustrated and irritated. Seriously, there are very few things I hate doing more than dealing with numbers, and it seems most of the divorce work focuses on numbers and details. To get through the work that lay before me, I would focus on what getting through this divorce would create for me. If I did my divorce work, and put everything in order, I knew that I was building a foundation. The more I focused on laying a foundation for a better life as I worked on one problem after another, the easier it was for me to do the work that I did not like. The power of the vision of seeing myself free of all this and free to have the lifestyle that would better serve me, made it possible to endure.

Divorce isn’t a pleasant event, and when it turns for the worse and you are caught in the endless months of legal matters such as: waiting to go to court, making powerful decisions of how you are going to live your life, remember to concentrate on looking for the opportunities, and focus on the foundation that you want to create a life upon. These positive, forward looking thoughts will empower you to get through the difficult days with less trauma and more grace.

How Your Associates Affect Your Bottom-Line

Wednesday, 30th July 2014

happyGrowing up, my mother often would talk to me about how important it was for me to make good decisions on who my friends were. She told me that who I hung out with would have a big influence on me. I always thought that was silly advice. I was who I was, and just because I spent time with someone didn’t mean it would have much baring on me and how I lived my life.

Flash forward. I am now an adult, mother of eight, and still learning just how wrong I was in assuming that others don’t have influence on me. A few months ago I became friends with a person who was extremely passionate about what he did for a living. He was so committed to follow his passion that he walked away from a good paying job to do what he loved. He knew that by doing this he probably wouldn’t be making a lot of money. The truth is that for almost the whole thirty years he has been pursuing his passion, he has barely scraped by. He lost his house and eventually ended up living in his office.

But he is happy. He is grateful for working at what he loves every day. He is committed to working at his passion until the day he dies. Granted, there is a lot of room for growth as he adjusts the way he is following his passion. He is learning ways to create a more profitable business and is implementing what he learned.

By spending time with my friend, I’ve started to catch myself when I get caught up in the grind of my own business, and I’ve started to focus exclusively on what it would take to grow my business. I now stop and look at him and the smile on his face. I then ask myself what choice I need to make to help me feel more passionate about my life and what I am doing?

I have recently made some big decisions, like making time to go back to school, that I wouldn’t have made if I hadn’t hung out with someone that was more committed to his passion than I was at that time.

Bottom line, Mom was right. Be careful who you spend time with. They will influence you.

Swimming in the Rush of Business Change

Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

Business today is a rush of change. The technology and how to best use it in swimmingyour business is constantly moving and growing. Businessowners are drowning in new information, new opportunities, and the promising new ways of running a business. Many work to adapt to the newest and greatest technology, trying to keep up with the way social media changes and the other shiftings in the computer world. So how does a business person navigate through all the mounds of change and glut of information? How do they find a way to grow their business the way they want it?

One of the most helpful modern technologies for getting around to new places is the GPS system. GPS systems outline the routes that you can take to get to where you want to go. They will show you alternative routes, and the GPS never gets upset and is very matter of fact when the driver makes a wrong turn.

There are different levels of help a GPS can provide. I had a GPS guide me when I traveled through Idaho. When I came to a stop, the GPS said, “Now get out and walk.” I was on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. That’s when I knew its guidance had flaws. The same thing has happened when the GPS announced that I have arrived at my destination when I am driving in the middle of an intersection.

I have worked with other GPS systems that function much better than the one that got me lost. Some of my favorite GPS systems are the ones that configure the current traffic and what the best routes are to take, considering the typical parking lot of cars during rush hour.

Just as there are different levels of GPS systems, there are different levels of business coaches. Some coaches are middle of the road, and will get you to the places you want to go some of the time. Others have many more tools as their resources that factor in what direction your business is going, and where gridlock will stop your progress.

No coach can foresee everything that will prevent you from going from point A to point B, but those coaches who are on top of their game have had a lot of experience with helping business men and women through the forest, and their directions will be more clear than the coaches who lack as much experience.

The influx of change that is constantly flooding the market makes it so that a business person may be harming themselves when making the decision to not get the help of a GPS coach who can guide them through the maze. It would best serve the business person to make sure that they get the best kind of GPS system or coach that keeps their finger on the pulse of the market and knows about the changes, so that their directions will keep the congested areas of business in mind.

The Ground Stretch Principle for Real Business Growth

Wednesday, 16th July 2014

After the first couple of years of starting his or her business,  the business owner often shifts the attention from creating a business and getting it going, to how to grow the business.  This is the next stage in business growth, and can be a tricky one if not approached with solid principles in place.

During the first couple of years, the business owner is often  maxed out on time, especially if he/she is wearing multiple hats because there is not enough profit to bring in help.  There comes a point in most businesses where regular profit is coming in, and the owner starts thinking about how to expand in a way that he or she will make more money and not have to work so hard as they had to in the beginning.

It at this point the Ground Stretch Principal comes into play.  In yoga the yogateacher first starts the practice off with some grounding techniques.  The teacher will often have the class take deep breaths and to also set specific intentions for the practice.  This grounding practice helps the yogi student’s mind to settle and prepare for what will be coming and to determine what kind of experience they want to have.

When a business owner desires to progress to the next level in their business, it’s time to take a moment to ground themselves before they start making plans.  This grounding will serve them by delving to a deep center place.  This in turns enables the owner to build their business from a place of power.

After the yoga teacher has led the class through some starting positions, the teacher often guides the class into more challenging positions.  The teacher will then encourage the class to breathe into the posture, thus allowing the student to get deeper into the position.  After the yogi has grounded into the pose, then the teacher will encourage the student to go deeper into the stretch.  I am always amazed at how much deeper I can go the second or third time around after I have given my muscles a chance to understand the position. Eventually the muscles relax into the position, thus giving me the ability to stretch deeper.

This same principle works in growing your business. The more the owner grounds into where they are and then learns what systems and structures need to be in place, then through guidance get into that position, it is time for some grounding.  The owner holds that new way of being in business until he or she is slightly comfortable, then it is time to stretch their abilities a little more and sink into that task.

Grounding and stretching works well to progress in your yoga practice, and the same principles works well if applied to growing your business practice.

Zone Blocks to Increase Productivity

Wednesday, 9th July 2014

taskingWhen creative entrepreneurs research time management and how they can get more done, they are often told they need to put everything on a calendar and schedule it.  I have talked to many creative entrepreneurs who have tried this only to get frustrated.

The reason the creatives get frustrated is that they aren’t wired to follow a schedule and be told that they need to do this exact thing at this exact time and proceed through their day like that.

I have found that most creatives I have worked with do better by implementing an energy management system.  What is an energy management system?  This is a system where the entrepreneur works with the flow of his or her energy and capitalize on it.  For example, most entrepreneurs’ energy is highest in mid-morning, so scheduling  the most important tasks between 10 am-1pm often works well. Doing the most important task first, gives a boost of energy by just knowing that task is handled.  That boost of energy helps a creative person to stay motivated and finish the next thing on the list.

Another important part of energy management is to know what helps you to get the kind of energy that you need to accomplish the tasks before you.  For instance, most entrepreneurs need to do some kind of consistent marketing. I have found that for me to set aside a marketing day is a great way to accomplish one of my least favorite tasks.  I bunch all my marketing-like tasks together to do on Wednesday.  Why Wednesday?  Because Wednesday is the day I get up early and go to a network meeting.  I know by being around all that networking and marketing energy I am more likely to absorb it on that day and to run with it.

I also know that being an introvert and doing all that outgoing stuff,  like talking to people for a whole day, will drain me, so the next day I schedule is an introvert day, and I do my introvert tasks like writing.

Another thing to look at is which day is the best day to get all those annoying little things done.  I love bunching them together and blasting through them.  I often schedule those for days that are filled with interruptions, and it is hard for me to get flow—or in mother language, it’s an early day out of school for my children,  so in-between clients, I am constantly driving back and forth to school.

Now what you need to do probably won’t look the same as mine, but hopefully you can see how I arrange my days around my energy. The environment, and tasks I need to do affect my energy, so if I plan for this, I can show up as my best, to get the tasks done.  Using this perspective, you can draft the perfect energy management system for you.

Transforming Work to Play

Monday, 23rd June 2014

In the 2014 Winter Olympics, there was a lot of talk about the athletes and their performances. Some of the athletes who traveled to Russia to play had sterling reputations because of their past performances. In the world of sports, they have been considered exceptionally talented and have earned recognition for their talent. Yet once they performed on the Olympic stage, many of them couldn’t seem to get their minds in the game. They stumbled, fell, and TV viewers started hearing things like, “This performance was so unlike that athlete.” And, “That performance must be a major disappointment.”

What happened? Clearly these athletes have major talent and have proven it at other times. There could be a lot of personal reasons going on that we as viewers are not privy to, but mindset has to be one of the major contributors.

performanceOne of the attributes that I notice in many of the athletes that didn’t choke at the games was their ability to relax to a point that they could smile and enjoy their experience. I have also observed that singers who are able to be at ease in contests more often do the best.

Why? In the book, Talent is Overrated, the author describes this. When a person reaches true mastery in their field, they are able to see all the systems and structures that take place. Once they master a certain skill level, they develop the ability to look at the whole system. When they reach a level where doing that is easy for them, performing their craft or sport becomes play, while others still have to think about what is going on.

In order for you to prevent being taken out of your game and your performance, it is important to have a regular schedule and cultivate good habits that continually build your skills. These good practices make it easier for you to slip into the zone of your performance so you can smile more and transform your work to play.

How Good are you at Prioritizing

Monday, 16th June 2014

plannerI talked with an entrepreneur today who has many exciting projects going on with a lot of opportunity. When I asked him which project was the most important, he looked at me with sincerity in his eyes and said, “They are all really important.”

If an entrepreneur doesn’t know how to make their “To Do List” and prioritize what is really important and then recognize what is mildly important and then determine what would simply be nice to get done, they are going to end up working harder and getting more and more exhausted. Unfortunately this chaos of lack of crystal clear direction will spin over to other areas of their life, and will create more confusion and pressure.

The first step to stop this “too-much-to-do” and “everything-is-important” nightmare is to recognize that what you are doing is not working, and is also costing you money, time and resources.

Second step is to get really clear about what the most important step is. I have worked with many business owners who get truly lost on this part. Everything has potential and it all ties together in a whole. If you are suffering from this experience, the first questions to ask yourself are, “Are you meeting your bills? Are you bringing home profit?” If you are not, then that is top priority. You are not in business to make work for yourself. You are in business to make a living.

If you do have the bottom line covered, then the next question to ask is what is the most important thing that needs to be accomplished or done in order to get my business to the next level? How strong is my business foundation? Where am I weak? Am I working too much, and if the answer is yes, why?

After you have gotten clear on what is the most important task or goal to accomplish, it is vital for you to make a master plan of what you are saying no to. What is flat out just not that important?

Step four narrows it down to what you are going to say yes to. Hint: in business that should be no more than four things. Write down what that list is.

If you are still struggling on what to say yes and no to, work with a 10 scale. 1 being that you can’t stand the job, and 10 being that you absolutely have to do that project right now.

Step five is to look at all the items that are not on the first thing you must do, and not on the list that you aren’t going to do, and get out your calendar and schedule when you are going to work on each of the other projects as main focuses.

Saying yes to everything is saying no to quality, getting things done, and peace of mind. Getting clear on your top priorities is an essential work to do for your business.

Ways to Stop Working So Hard

Wednesday, 11th June 2014

sleepMost entrepreneurs, once they have a solid foundation under them, want to know how to keep getting the same results financially but also have a life outside of work.

This desire will lead the business owner, if they are truly motivated, to fix the struggle of working constantly by looking into time management solutions. Although time management can be an extremely helpful place to look to find those sought after hours, it is not the place that will provide you with the best results. Oftentimes entrepreneurs will implement more systems, chunk their time, and utilize their schedule more, but if they don’t have the sustainable energy to follow their new plan, they will never get the results they are truly capable of. If you want to work less and sustain your income, or even make more, the first place that you need to look is how you are managing your energy. Are you maintaining a steady blood sugar level so you don’t have those dreaded lows in the early afternoon? (Work requires food intake every two to three hours).

  • Are you getting 7-8 hours of sleep so that you approach your work fresh and invigorated?
  • Have you addressed all major health concerns so you are functioning at your best?
  • Do you have mind-management practices to release a daily build up of stress like: yoga, meditation, regular walks in nature?
  • Do you have some way to connect to the divine, universe, or higher power so you feel a stronger connection to a bigger purpose daily?
  • Are you crystal clear on your mission for work and how it contributes overall so that you are in alignment with your work?

These and other areas are critical to look at to develop a way to manage your energy so that when you are working on a task, you are on fire and can easily flow through what needs to be done and go to the next thing on the list.

Set Yourself Apart from Your Competitors

Monday, 2nd June 2014

How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? This is an important marketing and business question that most business owners find themselves answering on a semi-regular basis. If your business is based on craft or a skill that you love to do not only would you be answering this question based on marketing distinction but the business owners often ask this question from the point-of-view of improving their craft or skill.

The path of mastery is an ambitious journey and one that requires dedication. In


the book Talent Is Overrated, it is explained that scientific research suggests that the more time a person puts into their craft, the more likely he/she will achieve the top mastery level. The book also suggests that one of the biggest determining factors to help you soar in mastering your craft is how often and how well you engage in practice. Not just any practice, but a different method from the average person’s performance while practicing, compared to those who achieve mastery. For the artist and the businessperson, it is important to perform “deliberate practice.” In their heavily researched findings, deliberate practice looks a very specific way.

Before we get into what it looks like, lets first define it. Deliberate practice is a way to engage in an activity that creates growth in skills that you are not strong in. That means that the person practicing is engaged in the part or parts of their craft that they are weakest. They work on it and practice it until they achieve a high level of skill. An example of this in business would be to approach a customer for a sale of your product or service. A businessperson who wants to become top in their field, and if sales happens to be part of it, would ask for the sale, practicing over and over again until they figured out what works and what doesn’t.

Here are the five components, according to Talent is Overrated, that have to be included in deliberate practice:

  1. The task is designed specifically to improve performance, often with a teacher or coach’s help
  2. Repeat the task often
  3. Feedback is given on the result in a consistent manner
  4. The activity is highly demanding mentally
  5. The actual doing of the practice isn’t much fun

If you want to set yourself apart from your competitors in the actual delivery of your craft, the only way to authentically achieve this, according to research, is through dedicating many hours practicing, using the right methods.