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Fall down 7 times…

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Get up 8!  ~Japanese Proverb One of the biggest indicators of success for business AND life in general…is how resilient you are. So why is it sometimes SO hard to bounce back after something doesn’t go the way we had planned? I think it’s because of the stories we tell ourselves.  The meaning we attach to whatever it was that knocked us down. The best lesson I ever learned was that nothing means anything except the meaning we attach to it. If this is a new idea to you…stop and give this some thought!  I’ve taught this to adults and kids for years and there isn’t a single person whose life wasn’t changed by really taking this one in… So why is it, if we get to make up the meaning, that we so often choose a negative story that keeps us down even longer?? I believe it’s all about the triggers.  Whenever something upsetting happens for me, I take a long look at what the event is triggering inside of me. And I allow myself to feel WHATEVER is coming up.  (I used to think that I should always reach for a better feeling if something challenging came up that made me sad or angry or whatever…finally I got that you have to fully FEEL whatever is coming up first before you can really see what’s going on!) The next step is to think about why I’m having the reaction I’m having – and what needs to be healed inside of me that this event is triggering. I apply the “Linda, your hair is green” test… Silly, right? But I have no reaction to that statement because I KNOW my hair is not green!  So if I’m feeling rejected because someone doesn’t want to work with me or my child says something that “hurts my feelings,” I think to myself, how would I be feeling if they told me my hair was green?  I’d be feeling absolutely nothing. No trigger there.  Then I go back to the “thing” that triggered me and I look at what meaning I’m attaching to it. So next time something happens that causes you to have a big reaction…ask yourself what’s really going on.  Didn’t get the client you were going after? What meaning are you attaching to that?  Your teenager raging at you? What meaning are you attaching to that? Your spouse forget your birthday…again? What meaning are you attaching to that? The real gift in this?  The more you make this a habit…the more resilient you will become. And the happier you will be… Remember… Fall Down 7 Times…Get Up 8!...

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Busy or Productive?

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Take some time this week to get REAL and HONEST about how you’re spending your time. Now…note that I didn’t say judgmental!  Just look at how your work week goes… First, think about the goals you have for the rest of this month. We have just a few more weeks till the end of the first quarter of 2013.  Can you believe it?  The year is flying by! Look at income and profit goals, family and health priorities and whatever else needs your focused attention this month. For the next 7 days, keep track of how you’re spending your time. Again, this is not about judgment – it’s about observation. So many entrepreneurs find themselves busy, but not productive. This is an exercise to help you see if you’re as productive as you could be. Log everything – meal preparation and eating time, walks with your spouse, hours sleeping. At the end of the 7 days, look at how you spent your time.  Are you focused on the right activities to get the results you want? Do you need to do more of one thing and less of another? Don’t get to the end of the first quarter without a good look at what’s working and what’s not!...

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Wondering What to DO?

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What do you do when you don’t know what to do next? Do you take a step away from your business and make a strategic plan? Sit for hours in front of your computer screen trying to think your way to a solution? Call your coach and get some clarity on your next action steps? Decide to take a few days off to “clear your head?” You know what happens to most people?  They got immobilized. Frozen in fear. Scared to take any action because it might be the wrong action!  Confused from all the “experts” telling them what they need to do – and not being sure what’s right for them! I’ve been in that place too. And it is NOT a comfortable place!  (And trust me, I’m REALLY OK with sitting with pain and discomfort…but this is not one of those places where I think this is a good idea!) That kind of immobilization cost me a lot of money. And there were a lot of sleepless nights as well! A couple of years ago, I decided I was DONE with wondering… Now I have a plan.  I can’t remember the last time I didn’t know what to do next. You wouldn’t take a trip from Maine to Texas for your cousin Matilda’s wedding without looking at a map and creating a route or a plan to get you there.  Now you might take some side trips along the way or stay a little longer visiting Aunt Sally. When you were ready to get back on the road,  you would “correct and continue.” Recalculate the route and the number of days you need to get there. Make changes in the plan if needed. Same thing with your business. We all need a plan to get where we’re going. What’s your plan?  ...

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Is it LOVE?

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I’ve been working with a lot of different people with a LOT of different challenges lately and there’s one thing they all seem to have in common. Their challenges all look different on the surface: Someone who needs to leave a job they have come to despise. Someone who is having trouble with their teenaged daughter. Someone who feels overwhelmed by the needs of an aging parent…for whom, no matter what he does, he is never quite good enough. Someone who loves their business and is terrified of sales. Someone who is lonely and longs for deep personal, spiritual connection with a friend…as well as a romantic partner.  (I could go on and on…I talk to lots of people every week and they all have some challenge they’re finding it difficult to overcome…) Every single one of them has one thing in common.  Wondering if you’ll be surprised by what it is… It’s lack of love and respect for themselves. The one who needs to get out of the job? She tolerated being treated REALLY badly for years because she didn’t believe she deserved better. The one with the teenage daughter? Again…tolerations of behavior because she doesn’t believe she’s worthy of respect. The one with the aging parent? He’s locked into the drama his Mom has created and believes her needs are more important than his own…because he was never taught how to love himself enough that he couldn’t be manipulated by someone who can only get her needs met this way. And terrified of sales?  (Many of these!) The little voices in his head ask “Who do you think you are?” In her head, “What will people think?” OR “Maybe I’m just not good enough.” And desperately seeking love? She is JUST beginning to see that nothing will come until she begins a deep and profound love affair with herself so that she is attracting the friends who will support and love her for who she truly is…a bright light who will then be ready to welcome in “the one.” So whatever your life challenge is today…ask yourself: what part of this could be improved if I really, truly loved myself starting right now. You can’t erase past decisions that allowed you to be treated in a less loving way than you deserved, but today, right now you can make the choice and take a stand that from this moment forward, you will really, truly open your heart to loving YOU. Happy Valentine’s Day. Celebrate loving yourself today. Don’t spend another day tolerating anything or anyone who makes you feel small. You deserve more. You deserve to be loved. And it begins with first loving yourself....

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Someone needs me…

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This post is for my entrepreneur and commission based sales friends… I used to have a really hard time asking for business. Don’t get me wrong…that didn’t stop me from being successful in several businesses but I wonder how much MORE successful I could have been if I had known then what I know now. THEN, I knew I was good at selling houses. I knew I was good at training real estate agents. I knew I was good at “problem solving” consulting for non profit organizations and large teams. I knew I was good at coaching teenagers, parents, speakers and trainers. But when it came time to “ask for the business” I often became immobilized. THEN, I worried what people would think if I asked them to list their home with me. I worried that people would think me too “salesy” if I offered my services. I worried that people would judge me. I cared so much about what they thought about me that it held me back from offering to help people who really needed me! NOW I know I am good enough. That whatever someone thinks of me is their business not mine. That it is my responsibility/my calling to offer my gifts to other people. NOW I know that I am worthy. NOW I know that someone out there needs what I have to offer and it’s my job to find them. So every morning I wake up and think… “someone needs me today. How will I find them?” And then I take action. It’s changed everything for me.  I have a note on my computer left over from the transitional days from THEN to NOW that says: “What would the ‘good enough, I don’t care what people think’ Linda do?” I leave it there for the times any little bit of self doubt creeps in and threatens to hold me back from what I KNOW I’m here to do. Someone needs you today. What are you going to do to find them? I believe in you.  ...

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Momentum

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One of the keys to a successful business (and personal life as well!) is building momentum…and building it in the direction you want to go! Stop for a minute. Right now.  Take a deep breath and feel where you are. Notice whether you’ve been breathing deeply or shallowly… Notice what you feel in your body. Notice whether your mind is racing. Pay attention to your thoughts. You are building momentum in a direction – is it where you want to go? Momentum isn’t just toward positive outcomes.  It’s just as easy to create momentum in a direction we DON’T want to go. So…take a minute several times throughout your day and ask yourself if the thoughts you’re thinking and the actions you’re taking are leading you to create momentum in the direction you want to go. If not, stop…take corrective action and get going in the direction you want! I believe in you!...

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