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Don’t Be Afraid to Start a Business – 7 Benefits of Being Your Own Boss

You don’t have to be afraid to start a business when you identify your passion and expertise, gain business know-how and form a step-by-step plan to follow.“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” ~ John F. Kennedy

A few years ago, I made a decision that has changed my life and given me so many unexpected benefits. I’ve always been fascinated with the positivity and forward-thinking stance of Life Coaching. So, in 2013, I decided to focus and build my coaching practice. I changed my branding, read books and took online courses to get up to speed with this growing field and to feel more confident and competent.

At times, I would feel discouraged and my own inner critic would creep in with statements like: “You were doing just fine, why did you have to go and change things?” Well, that was just fear of the unknown. And no, I wasn’t doing fine, I wasn’t fulfilled anymore. I was just afraid of making the change. 

But in 2016 it happened. My coaching business really took off! Constantly I’m reminded that I LOVE owning my own coaching business. With each new connection, I get to fulfill my calling, changing lives and changing the world for the better.

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a business owner, or starting your own private practice, then the following benefits that I enjoy may be enough to convince you that you don’t need to be afraid to start a business …

  1. Turn your years of experience into a business asset. Age becomes a plus in your favor, not a minus like it is in the competitive corporate world. Specialize in what you know best.
  2. Work from home or from anywhere in the world. Technology makes it possible to work with your clients anytime, anywhere.
  3. Set your own pace. One possible downside of owning your own business is that you can get a little lazy about sticking to your business routine. But if you create a schedule and stick to it, you’ll find you have a lot of extra time to fulfill other important life pursuits.
  4. Earn the income you want. If you’re willing to hustle, you can design streams of income that fulfill your needs and wants. For example, as a coach, your high-end offering may be one-on-one coaching in person or via Skype. Other streams could be selling your self-published book; hosting fee-based live group coaching, workshops and retreats; setting up do-it-yourself online classes; and presenting paid speaking gigs.
  5. Live with meaning. You get to define what’s important. Being your own boss allows you to incorporate ways to give back to your community.
  6. Pick the people you work with. There won’t be anyone undermining you or stealing your thunder. What you create is only limited by the boundaries you build. You don’t have to put up with toxic situations.
  7. Discover what you’re made of. Your personal growth will be tested in ways that make you a better person. You’ll discover new reserves of resiliency, self-discipline and self-confidence as you make your dreams a reality.

It’s completely normal to doubt or worry about taking the leap into starting your own business. But if you’re convinced this is the right decision for you, you can make it work. If I did it…so can you! Start connecting with people who will support you and learn all you can about running a business. Create a plan and work your way into it.

If you’re not sure what your next step should be, join me and my friend, Nando, at our Women in Leadership Retreat.  We’ll help you outline a plan of action that fast tracks you toward the launch of a new business. Or feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation, in-person, by phone or via Skype.

Is It Time to Hire a Life Coach? Seven Ways to Know if it’s Right for You

If you’re wondering if you should hire a life coach, here are seven very good reasons why you should hire a life coach if you want to feel fulfilled in life

“Amateurs might not have coaches, but professionals do.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Do you want to make extraordinary things happen in your life, career or business? Are you tired of the same, old, dull routine that’s not working for you anymore? Then it may be time to hire a life coach! Life Coaching isn’t counseling or therapy. It’s a highly effective way to achieve excellence in your life as you close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.

By now you realize that highly successful people use coaches to enhance various areas of life that need work. Right now I’m working with a nutritionist to learn how to eat more nutritionally dense meals. It’s great because I’m noticing the eating patterns that sabotage my attempts to stay healthy. It’s like putting things under a microscope and REALLY noticing what is what. Plus, my coach keeps me accountable. He helps me make small changes and handle setbacks with little pep talks here and there. On my own I would come to a cross point and probably just quit.

What benefits can YOU expect when you hire a life coach? I’ll give you seven excellent reasons, but know that there are many more. As you read each one, try it on for size, imagining that you’ve already achieved the benefit. Then ask yourself, “Is this something I want more of in my life?”

Attain clarity. Oftentimes we don’t know what we know. A life coach can ask questions that draw out your inner wisdom. When you decide what’s most important to you, it frees an enormous amount of energy and creates a chain reaction that magnetically pulls you toward your value-based goals and priorities. Ask yourself, “What do I want more of? What do I want less of?”

Gain accountability. Maybe you think you should be able to do it on your own. But in today’s hectic world, we’re easily distracted and discouraged. When you hire a life coach, she can help you identify what’s holding you back and how you can keep your momentum going. And then she can give you well-deserved acknowledgment. Even if your loved ones may never get it, she will. She understands and appreciates how hard you’ve worked and how far you’ve come.

See things from a new perspective. To create change you don’t need someone telling you what you want to hear. You need someone who helps you see things about yourself and your situation differently. The great thing about coaching is that you’ll often identify action steps that you never would have thought of before.

Re-evaluate your values, purpose and vision. We tolerate so many things in life that we don’t have to and really shouldn’t. Maybe you’re so tied up with worrying about what others think or you’re doing what you think you “should” that you neglect what you need and want. A life coach will help you sort it all out so you can set better boundaries that are aligned with your values. You’ll be able to eliminate what drains you and expand what energizes you.

Push past your comfort zone. Do you spend so much time taking care of everyone else, that you don’t have time for yourself? Life coaching gives you the space to think about you, your feelings and what’s important to you. Your coach will help you identify strategies that challenge you and get you past your fears to where you want to be.

Become fully engaged in “being” not simply “doing”. A life coach helps you mindfully focus on the states of being that you want to experience in life, like love, abundance, joy, centeredness, and connection. You’ll find your balance. You’ll slow down enough to notice how you really feel. And those feelings can guide you toward the changes that will benefit you the most right now.

Design your dream life. There’s no fulfillment in just existing. Take purposeful steps to create the life you want that makes you feel fulfilled in every aspect of your life. When you hire a life coach, she can help you identify what’s standing in your way, like your self-limiting beliefs, and help you create action steps that transform your life.

We’ve just skimmed the surface of how you benefit when you hire a life coach. If you want to go from being great to being extraordinary, then feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation, in-person, by phone or via Skype. I’d love to talk with you!

And if you’re anxious to begin the process of self-discovery and excellence today, download your copy of my free 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment and carve out some alone time to go through it. You’ll be glad you did.

Strong Convictions – The Secret to Becoming an Influential Leader in Your Community

Learn how you can model strong convictions in your leadership and experience greater success as you avoid alienating others by being wishy washy or arrogant“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” ~ Ralph Lauren

Have you ever eaten a dish of food that was ho-hum and boring, and then someone adds a secret ingredient that really gives it a zing of excellence? In life and business, the secret ingredient that gives you a zing and makes you stand out are strong convictions.

When you’re strongly convinced that what you do and say matter and that what you offer is of great value to others, your energy shifts and you become more attractive and persuasive. The people you work with feel more at ease. It engenders a feeling of security. It helps everyone concentrate on doing their best work, because they see that everything is under control.

In contrast, uncertainty – the opposite of conviction –is perceived by the brain as a threat. It actually causes a release of the stress hormone cortisol, which disrupts your memory, and puts your physical, emotional and mental health at risk.

How can you model strong convictions in your leadership without alienating others? If you lack conviction, you can gain it through introspection and self-awareness. If you already have strong convictions, you can learn to express them in a pleasantly persuasive and compelling manner. As you read the following section, give yourself a rating on the scale of 1 to 10 for each one, so as to determine your strengths and weaknesses.

 “The Seven B’s of Strong Convictions” that will make your leadership skills outstanding:

Be informed. Know your topic forwards and backwards. When you have an excellent grasp of a subject, you can be absolutely convinced that you’ve chosen the best course of action. You can effectively apply what you know about the subject to real life situations.

Be strong. Make a stand for what you believe to be important and you won’t be swayed by everything that comes along. Use your strength for the good of others. Have the courage to make difficult decisions, take responsibility and do what’s best for the people you’re leading. This means you don’t give up when the going gets tough. You’re willing to take the bullet for your people. You back them up, never shifting blame. Leaders with true conviction are able to encourage others to openly speak up and share their viewpoints even if what they say is hard to hear.

Be tuned-in to your intuition. Your intuition or “gut instincts” are like a sixth sense where you quickly read a situation because you recognize subtle cues. It’s not the same as jumping to conclusions. Rather it takes time and mindful effort to increase your emotional intelligence. Once you learn to identify when you’re being influenced by unfounded assumptions or unresolved emotions stemming from unrelated experiences, you can filter these out. Then you’ll be able to trust your intuition and stop second guessing yourself or playing the “what if” game.

Be positive. See the good in everyone and everything, even in difficult times. Positive thinking gives your brain a chance to focus on stress-free thoughts, quieting fears and irrational thinking. Learn to choose a positive state, and you’ll be amazed at how it boosts your energy level.

Be passionate. Believe in yourself. Believe in your ability to make things happen. Of course, realistically we all have limitations. But the trick is not to accept any limitation without constantly testing their boundaries. Maybe you can’t do it today, but with training, increased knowledge and experience you can do it tomorrow. Don’t give up on your dream.

Be humble. Jump in and do the dirty work when it’s needed. Only ask your followers to do what you’re willing to do. Support, inspire and encourage those around you. Through your actions, prove that you walk the talk, never adopting the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.

Be friends with change. Change is not your enemy. It’s natural to want to feel in control rather than being at the mercy of what life throws at you. Life happens. It’s not a personal failure when you can’t control what happens. However, how your react to it is totally within your control. Focus on that.

When you act with conviction, everyone around you unconsciously absorbs this belief and emotional state. Whether you’re leading a team at work, or you want to increase your self-confidence and grow as a person, or even if you want to be a better role model for your children, conviction is essential to your success. It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Get a jumpstart on fine-tuning your conviction by attending our special talk: Choose Life Enhancing Beliefs on Thursday, August 25th. Nando Raynolds and I will be meeting with you at 600 Siskiyou, Ashland, Oregon to share how NLP can expand your abilities for happiness and excellence. Learn more about it by clicking here or contact me for more details. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

What is Emotional Intelligence and Why Do You Need It to Succeed?

What is emotional intelligence and why do you need it – answer this question and you can hone your EQ skills and become a leader who excels in any field.One of the things I love about my community of women leaders is their passion for finding (and sharing) new resources that help them pursue personal excellence. One of the most important resources you’ll ever find is defining and improving your emotional intelligence quotient. What is that?

Firstly, let me ask you…if you had to pick one over the other, which do you think are the more important skills you can have – learning the “how to” technical skills or the “why do they do that” emotional skills?

While, many people think that having a high IQ (intellectual smarts) is the most essential skill set for excelling in business and life, successful business leaders are proving to be those who nurture their EQ – Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence. This applies to the solo entrepreneur and the leaders of huge corporations – emotional competence is twice as important as purely cognitive abilities.

Why is emotional intelligence so important? Being in business means you’re dealing with thinking, feeling people not inanimate objects. And if you want to motivate a person to do something, you need to make an emotional connection, not necessarily an intellectual connection.

What we’re taught in school about business and leadership is incomplete. They left out the more important skills, which are often termed people skills, soft skills, character building, or personality development. In today’s business world, these skills are now considered the new measuring rod for success. The higher a person’s position is and the more responsibility he or she has, the more emotional intelligence becomes crucial.

But what is emotional intelligence exactly? Happily, it’s a set of skills that anyone can acquire. It’s an essential ingredient for reaching and staying at the top in any field.

“Emotional Intelligence is the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”

This quote is how Daniel Goleman, who coined the term emotional intelligence, defines it. I’ve just finished reading his book, Working with Emotional Intelligence. I highly recommend it to you. He uses real life case studies of star performers to compare the importance of emotional intelligence with intellectual, technical competency. Here are some major takeaways from this book that you can apply immediately to your own life…

Understand how the brain works. Daniel Goleman explains that intellectual intelligence is based on the neocortex, the most recently evolved parts of the brain. This prefrontal area gives you the ability to pay attention to, remember and apply vital information when making good decisions.

Emotional intelligence occurs in the lower or inner brain, the more primitive sub-cortex, specifically the amygdala. Here is where our emotional, preprogrammed “primitive” impulses, “gut feelings” reside. It also stores our accumulated life experiences.

What this means for you: When the mind is calm everything works normally. Your prefrontal lobes introduce your power of reason, judgment and appropriate social behavior and, at the same time, control your emotional impulses. However, when a perceived threat arises, the central, more emotional part of the brain takes over. Worry, panic, frustration, anger, or irritation can kick in.

If you don’t have a high level of self-awareness, these powerful emotions can hijack your rational mind and cause you to explode in ways that you typically wouldn’t. Like when you lose it and yell at your spouse or children. Or you get stage fright so badly you can’t give your presentation. Out-of-control emotions can make the smartest people act crazily.

But the good news is, when you understand how the brain works, you can learn to control your emotions. How?

Researchers are discovering that people who are excelling in leadership roles today have a high level of non-judgmental self-awareness, which leads to controlling their emotions. This is such an important topic I’m starting a series on how to deepen your emotional intelligence. Be sure to visit my website each week so you don’t miss out on any of the articles.

Would you like a head start to honing your EQ skills? I’d love to give you one-on-one support as you fully discover your personal emotional intelligence. Please contact me and we can set up a convenient time for both of us to start working together.

Read related information on Emotional Intelligence:

Women in Leadership Who Excel Have High Emotional Intelligence

Which of These 25 Emotional Intelligence Competencies Will You Master Next?

How to Use Emotional Intelligence Training to Be an Influential Leader

Feeling Trapped in Life? Master Your Inner Game to Free Yourself

If you’re feeling trapped in life, don’t give up, because you CAN free yourself by mastering your inner game, being focused and learning to trust yourself.“There is always an inner game being played in your mind no matter what outer game you are playing. How aware you are of this game can make the difference between success and failure in the outer game.” ~ Tim Gallwey

Do any of the following statements describe how you’re feeling right now?

  • I’m feeling stuck in a rut.
  • I feel trapped in my job.
  • I’m feeling trapped in a relationship.
  • No matter how hard I try nothing seems to go right.
  • I used to be really good at this, but now I just can’t make it work, so I end up trying too hard and second-guessing myself.
  • My fear of failure makes me default to “I can’t” before I even try.
  • I thought I was over that, but it keeps resurfacing again and again to gnaw at me.

The good news is…YOU don’t have to stay feeling trapped in life. You CAN free yourself from these negative mindsets and limiting beliefs. And while it does take some effort, it really isn’t that hard. Especially when you realize you already have the skills, you just need to make the connection between your two selves.

What do I mean by saying you need to connect your two selves in order to free yourself from feeling trapped in life?

Along my personal and professional journey, I discovered a book that helped me transform my inner environment to one that is more nurturing, supportive and all in all more conducive to learning and growing. It’s The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance. The core message of the book is that in tennis like anywhere else in life we usually play two games, an outer game with our opponent (self 1 – some people describe it as the body, which acts), and an inner game with ourselves (self 2 – some people describe it as the mind, which instructs).

We get into trouble when Self 2 (the mind) tries to tell Self 1 (the body) how to do something the latter already knows how to do. This disconnect spirals into second guessing yourself, trying too hard and feeling like a failure (In my opinion, the only failure is giving up. Nothing else is a failure. It’s simply a life lesson).

For example, when you learn to play tennis, your instructor tells you to “keep the eye on the ball” and your brain instinctively positions your arm and moderates your stroke speed to lob the ball back over the net. Later you forget this advice and start missing, so you think your form is off. To compensate, you swing harder or hold the racket differently, and it just makes it worse. Whereas, if you would go back to keeping your eye on the ball and let the brain do its thing, you’ll be better than ever.

We must quiet Self 1 (the body) and let Self 2 (the mind) do what it knows how to do. The best way to quiet the mind is not to tell it to shut up or force it or criticize it. What works best is learning to focus it. Focus means mindfully paying attention to only the aspects of a situation that are necessary to accomplish the task at hand. This requires that you become an observer of your own behavior.

There are four important steps to connecting your two selves:

Step 1: Observe in a non-judgmental way, simply seeing the situation as it is, rather than judging it to be good or bad. Being judgmental only leads to self-doubt and anxiety.

Step 2: Visualize your desired outcome.

Step 3: Trust yourself.

Step 4: Observe the outcome and results in a non-judgmental way. It’s neither right nor wrong. You did your best at this point and time, and that’s good enough.

Learn to be aware of your feelings and your body’s responses so you can overcome the self-doubt, nervousness, anxiety and lapses of concentration that keep you from performing at your best. Master athletes and business professionals know that they can’t win the outer game if they lose the inner one. They know the value of having someone coach them as they Master the Inner Game. If you’re ready to make the commitment to a richer experience in life, please contact me. I would love to partner with you as you learn to get out of your own way to let your best game emerge.

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