Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Inside Out Series ~ Your Relationship with Money

I saved this post in the Inside Out Series for last and I must admit I have struggled with verbalizing this portion of the series. I feel that money is an extention of what feelings and emotions we are dealing with on the inside. How we relate to ourselves and others is often translated in our relationship with our money.

I believe that our relationship with our money gives us some of the most valuable insight into our core beliefs and most people are terrified by what they will uncover. Our relationship with money is one of our tougher relationships because it is so personal and revealing. Once we develop an awareness around our relationship with money, this will become a catalyst for change.

As I was doing some research on money I came across an article by Joan Sotkin called "Money Feelings" that addresses this very concept extremely well. I couldn't have written it better myself!

Here's to working from the Inside-Out!

Until next time....

Monday, October 1, 2007

Inside Out Series ~ Physical Appearance

The common theme to this series has been "the outside is a reflection of what is going on inside." What does your physical appearance say about you?

Now when I talk about your physical appearance I am not talking about the aspects that you have little control over (i.e. the shape of your nose, how big your ears are etc.). I am talking about your personal grooming habits. Which can range from super sloppy to very chic.

How much of your personal appearance is reflective of your "true" self?

Your "true" self comes without judgment of something being good or bad - it just is. Judgements come from our perceptions based on our environment and experiences AND often contains other people's perceptions that are placed on us.

So, when you are being your "true" self, you just ARE.

Take a moment and consider your personal appearance:

What is your personal style?
What does your appearance say about you? Is it an accurate statement?
How much of your appearance is dictated by outside influence?
How much of your appearance is influenced by how others perceive you?

As we examine these thoughts, most of us will find that at least part of our physical appearance is dictated by fear. Fear of how others perceive us. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of not fitting in.

Here's an example:

One day I saw a really cute hat and LOVED it. My original thought was "I can't buy that because I'm not a "hat" person. Everyone will think I am trying to be someone I am not." Ever had a thought like that run through your head?

And then, I caught myself. How can wearing a hat be considered "being someone I'm not" if I really want to wear a hat? If I'm attracted to the hat... then wouldn't that be something that is "me"? Hmmm... this is were I started to become very aware of how much other people's perceptions of me really factored into the decisions I made.

See, if something really isn't "you" then there would be no attraction to it. Who's to say I am not a "hat" person just because they are not part of my everyday style? I like hats... so I am a "hat" person.

This can factor into other areas in our lives as well.
Where might other people's perceptions of you be holding you back from embracing your "true" self?
What kind of impact is that having on your life?
What is the worst that can happen as a result of you being your authentic self?
What is the best?

Until next time...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Inside Out Series ~ What about Self-Care?

I wanted to apologized for the delay in getting this next post out. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity!

Self-Care is one of my favorite topics to talk about. Most of our self-care habits are developed generally as a result of beliefs passed onto us and behaviors learned.

Let's define what self-care is. It is often that I come across people (women especially) who consider self-care OR focusing on one's self to be selfish in the most negative of aspects. I consider self-care to be love of one's self and of others. Love is a generous, abundant and a positive feeling. When you love someone or something you want it have the best of care. So, why is it so hard for us to give the best of care to ourselves?

It's amazing how many of us hold a general belief system that we must put others first and ourselves last. If you really stop a moment and think about that you will realize that thinking pattern is completely backwards - it doesn't even make sense. Take a car for example.... what happens if you forget to fill it up with gas? It runs out! When it runs out, is it helpful to us? NO - we are not able to get where we need to go. If we keep our gas tanks full, the places we can go are limitless.

Same with our self-care. Most of us approach the idea of putting others first with the right heart, but go about it the wrong way. Consider this: If you are not filling up first, how helpful to others are you REALLY able to be? If you are running on zero and you are trying to give from empty - what are you giving? Stress, depleted energy, resentment, anger, irritation, obligation etc. Now imagine this: You are overflowing with energy, love, gratitude, excitement etc. - now you have an abundance to give and you are able to give more. Does that make sense?

What does self-care really involve?

First of all, self-care is a mindset. It is valuing yourself mind, body and spirit. It is BELIEVING that you deserve the care that you are able to give yourself and being open to receiving that care.

What care do you give to the development to your mind?
What belief do you hold about learning new things? "I'm too old OR I am a lifetime learner."
How do you stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone?
How often do you challenge your way of thinking?
How open are you to trying new things?
How many books do you read?

What kind of food do you fuel your body with? Is your fuel healthy?
How consistent are you with keeping all systems running efficiently with exercise?
What types of things do you do just for you?
When is the last time you relaxed and did nothing?
What type of bodycare products do you use? Do they smell good and make you feel good? Are they good for you (healthy)?

When is the last time you had fun?
When is the last time you laughed? Cried?
What is your creative outlet? If you do not have one, why do you suppose that is?
How does your true personality shine through?
How do you express yourself?

  • What do you believe about yourself to be true that has a direct influence on any of the above aspects of self-care?
  • How is this belief helping/hurting you?
  • If how you take care of yourself were the instructions for how others treated you, how have you been telling others to treat you?
  • What needs to change? How willing are you to make those changes?

Another interesting aspect to consider if you are parents: What message is your self-care or lack of self-care sending your children? Remember, children do as we do - not as we say!

I am so looking forward to your insights and thoughts around this subject....

Until next time...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Inside Out Series ~ What Does Your Car Say About You?

In continuing our "Inside Out" Series we are going to move on our focus to our cars (or vehicle). While our attention for this part will be on our cars I want you to tuck away this information in relation to other possessions as well.

First, I am going to ask you: What does your car look like?

Now, I am not talking about what type of car you have, but what condition your car is in. Is it well taken care of? Regular maintenance: oil changes, tune ups, car washes? Is it clean? Vacuumed? Is it free of clutter?


Does it look like a dusty road ate it up? Your traveling closet? Your moving trash can? A car needs oil?

Our care of our possessions, such as our cars, can be reflective of our care for ourselves.

How so?

As mentioned at the very begining of this series, what is going on on the inside is manifested on the outside.

Think about the condition your car is in right now.
What might be some of the reasons for the condition it is in right now?
How is the care of your car similiar to care of yourself?
How is it different?
How might the care of your car/possessions add to you accomplishing your goals?
How might it subtract from you accomplishing your goals?

Again, I would love for you to add to this discussion - what's your thought?

Until next time...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Inside Out Series - What We Can Learn About Ourselve By Looking At Our Homes

As I mentioned in the earlier post we can learn a lot about what's happening within ourselves if we take a closer look at what's happening externally.

We're going to spend some time considering our home or environment in which we live.

Energetically our environments have a huge effect on whether we are really living up to our potential and can often times be part of a self-sabatoge cycle.

Clutter Queen VS. Neat Freak
This area is one that I really want to address. I feel that a lot can be learned by taking a look at which label by which you would define yourself.

Clutter Queen: The collector of clutter. You would fall into this category if you have things in your house that you don't know what to do with so you pile it on a table, shove in a closet, fill a drawer or leave it on the floor. You tend to be overwhelmed by the term "organize" and panic at the thought of creating systems to accomplish organization.

Clutter creates a huge blockage of creative energy which prevents one from moving forward and embracing their full power. This is especially true when a big fear is being tapped into. Most people will find that their clutter prevents them from doing something they know they can do. For example: If there is a fear of success then you might find clutter factoring into paying your bills late and creating financial difficulty, therefore preventing financial success.

So, a few questions to consider:

  • Where are you limiting yourself with your clutter?
  • What fears might be at play here?
  • What would happen if you were to eliminate your clutter?
  • What scares you about that?
  • How would you have to change your thinking in order to change your enviroment?
  • What would it take for you to let go of the clutter?

Neat Freak: You would fall into this category if you have a system of organization for everything in your house, you go through your mail immediately and have a place for all items in your home including your car keys. The one thing that generally will drive you nuts is if something is NOT in it's designated place.

While clutter can create a blockage of energy, a Neat Freak will often find it hard to release and let go. When a person is unable to release or let go they close themselves off to new opportunities. This person may be unable to fully experience the present because they are so focused on something that needs to be done or put away.

Questions to consider:

  • What opportunities would be available to you if you were to let go of your expectations of how things must be done?
  • What are you "missing" out on?
  • What would happen if you were to fully experience the present moment?
  • How would you have to change your thinking in order to do that?
  • What would it take for you to accomplish that?

Somewhere in Between: This category applies to you if you find you are one way or the other depending on the area/room in your house. You might be a Neat Freak about the kitchen, but a Clutter Queen in your bedroom.

Depending on the room you can gain valuable insight into different parts of yourself. For example if a person is a Clutter Queen in the bedroom there may be a fear of intimacy or a feeling of low self-worth.

If you find yourself in this section, start by determining which category applies to each room in your household. After you have examine the questions under each category and add the questions:
  • What does this room represent for me?
  • What does me being a Clutter Queen OR Neat Freak in this particular room tell me about myself?
I hope you have enjoyed this first article in the "Inside Out" series. Please share your discoveries and thoughts about yourself in relation to your home with me in the comments area. I look forward to the discussion!

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

From the Inside Out

We all know that sustainable changes happen on a core level. Meaning that in order to make lasting changes they need to come from the inside out. Sometimes determining what changes need to be made can be hard to figure out.

What's going on internally is often reflected externally. We can gain some valuable insight into what is going on with our thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviors by taking a look at ourselves from the outside.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks I wil be examining five different areas and what they say about us from the inside out.

We will take a look at:

  • Our finances

  • Our homes

  • Our vehicles

  • Our physical appearance

  • Our self-care

Stayed tuned for the 1st post in the Inside Out Series!

Until next time...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

OK Sleepyhead

Have you ever had a moment where you are sleeping and you wake up with a thought or idea that pops into your head and then you go back to sleep. You then wake up to realize that you remember you've had a great idea, but cannot for the life of you remember what it is.

Well, this happened to me the other night.... I woke up early in the morning with a thought that was provoking and I wanted to write about it here on my blog. I remember thinking as I was semi-awake that I really should get up and write myself a quick note - that's how great the idea was. Of course I thought, "I'll remember" AND I didn't. Now it's been driving me nuts!

How many of you have had this happened and what do you do to hold onto the thought or idea?

I know that some of the best ideas come from our subconscious which often shows up in our dreams or semi-awake thoughts.... I'm curious as to what others have tried to hold onto these great ideas.


Until next time...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Resistance ~ How Does It Show Up In Your Life?

I was forwarded an email today from a friend about resistance being an either/or attitude vs. a both/and attitude. I found this to be especially serendipitous since I was working with my coach around some resistance I've been feeling internally to a change that I feel needs to be made.

This article was from Dr. T's Timely Tips and I found it really thought provoking.

What really hit me was that when you find your attitude to be either/or - Either is has to be this way OR it has to be this way, you are creating resistance. This resistance creates a block that prevents you from truly being open to possibilities.... that truly great minds embrace a both/and attitude. Dr. T mentions an example of a person wanting a dessert that is both hot and cold, hence the hot fudge sundae was born.

This was a lightbulb moment for me. I have a delicate and challenging relationship with my mother, which most of us can relate to in some form or another, and I want to be more emotionally connected to her, but feel resistance due to previous hurts.

I'm working through this with my coach - I recognize that this block that I hold onto only holds me back from being the best me I can be. I get off of the phone and this article is in my inbox.

What I've realized is that my relationship with my mother has always been an EITHER/OR situation for me. Either I connect emotionally and open myself up to hurt OR I put the shield up and protect myself, at the same time losing out on a deeper relationship with my mother.

What I have just been opened up to is: What prevents me from both connecting emotionally, lowering the "shield" and being able to protect myself from being hurt a the same time?

Who says the only way to protect yourself from hurt is to emotionally block yourself off from a person? What I've realized is that although I have the wall up, I am not necessarily protected from being hurt - I still get hurt. I still feel the emotions and I lose the potential for a better relationship with my mother at the same time.

So, now the question is: How do I shift my mindset from either/or to both/and? Definitely food for thought!

How about you?

Where are you creating resistance with an either/or attitude that prevents you from living life to it's fullest?

How would your life be different if you were to shift your mindset to both/and?

I am really interested to hear your thoughts and comments around this new awareness - please share them with me!

Until next time...

P.S. - Email me if you would like a copy of this article.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

One Word Meme ~ Fun

One Word Meme
I've been tagged by 4FabMoms. A fun idea. Simply cut and paste these questions onto your blog, answer them and then find other blogs to tag! It's fun and easy and something a little different!You can only answer each question with ONE word.

1. Where is your cell phone? Bed
2. Relationship? Married
3. Your hair? Brown
4. Work? Home
5. Your sister? Two
6. Your favorite thing? Reading
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your favorite drink? Iron Butterfly
9. Your dream car? Volvo
10. The room you’re in? Bedroom
11. Your shoes? None
12. Your fears? Ocean
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Me
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? Aunt
15. What are you not good at? Sewing
16. Muffin? Chocolate-Chip
17. One of your wish list items? California
18. Where you grew up? Minnesota
19. Last thing you did? Email
20. What are you wearing? Lounge
21. What aren’t you wearing? Socks
22. Your pet? Two
23. Your computer? Laptop
24. Your life? Great
25. Your mood? Sleepy
26. Missing? Coffee
27. What are you thinking about right now? Coffee
28. Your car? Intrepid
29. Your kitchen? Messy
30. Your summer? Fast
31. Your favorite color? Green
32. Last time you laughed? Yesterday
33. Last time you cried? Yesterday
34. School? Yes
35. Love? Life

I've tagged:
Melissa Hilmerson at The "Caddy" Shack
Jenn Givler at Create A Thriving Business
Shonna Strom at 2 Girls 2 Boys and 2 Pugs

Have Fun~ Until Next Time....

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

"Simple Strategies to Effectively Work From Home"

Thanks to Smart Moms ~ Smart Business for inviting me as one of their guest speakers!

“Simple Strategies to Effectively Work From Home”

Learn how to engage the right mindset to work from home effectively along with realistic time management strategies and lessons on setting boundaries.

(download the worksheet to help you take notes - a PDF file)

When Is The Last Time You Did Something For Fun?

Really think about that? We all lead busy lives and sometimes we forget to purposefully do something for fun. So, when is the last time you did something just for fun?

Here are some fun ideas:

  • Read a juicy novel
  • Have a popcorn and movie day
  • Spend the day at the beach
  • Have a bonfire
  • Designate pajama day
  • Go on a date
  • Host a "Girls Night Out"

Ok... I know there are a ton more ways to have fun - What do you do for fun? Post your comment and let's see what we can come up with!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Our Inner Critic

"We are our own worst critics" I think many of us find that to be a true statement. Today was a perfect example of my critic popping up to work me over. I was invited to participate in a panel discussion for a "Marketing to Women" seminar that was held today. First thing that pops into my head when I was first approached about it was "Why would you want me to be one of your experts on marketing to women? What do I know about that?" Gotta love those inner critics :-)

I actually was thinking about it so much that I finally really had to ask.... response: "Suzy, you're perfect for this panel - your market has always been women." Umm - Oh, I knew that. So, by now I'm starting to catch the fact that I've allowed my inner critic to come out and play with me.

So, today is the day, - I wake up... things start off on the right foot and then, my morning takes a nose dive. I'm printing brochures, run out of yellow ink (my printer won't print anything unless all the ink cartridges have ink in them). Ok, not a big deal. I run into town, pick up ink - remembered I ran out of business cards (big no, no), so I pick up some printable ones (got to work with what you've got), head back home and start printing. I get half-way through and the black ink runs out. UGH! I do not have time now to make a second trip - so I have brochures, no business cards.

As I am driving to the seminar, my "fun" little critic starts right back at it. "What kind of business woman are you? Everyone knows you don't attend these types of events without business cards. Do you really think people are going to take you seriously?" (nevermind that I DO have brochures)

At this point, I'm getting sick of myself. Come on, Suzy, snap out of it! I now consciously shift my focus from what I don't have (i.e - business cards) to what opportunities have now opened up to me as a result of this. Here's a few of them that I came up with:

~ Everyone will relate to me - I'm human!

~ It's great I didn't bring the cards, with the brochure they will now know more about who I am.

~ I can use this opportunity to really connect with others and get their business cards.

And then I reminded myself to just have fun! You know what - I did! I released the morning and went the flow. Not only did I have tons of fun, meet great women (martini "date" next week), I felt really good about my contribution on the panel discussion and received great feedback as well.

Moral of the story: Tell the inner critic to "shut-up" :-)

Until next time....

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Purpose Can Be Found In Everything

The above is a foundation principle that was taught and embraced in the coaching course I just finished up this spring. I really connect with this because it connects with the concept of free will vs. the saying "Everything happens for a reason" which implies that no matter what choices you make the outcome will always be the same.

This principle came up for me the other day as my husband and I discussed some big changes that are coming up in our near future. He just accepted a new position with a company that he has wanted to work with for years. The funny thing is, he was on the verge of being offered a position with the exact same company, just in a different location, about two years ago and it fell through. About six months or so after that whole debacle (or so we thought at the time) the account fell through for that company and the man who ended up with the position had to relocate or was out of a job.

As we reflected over the events the past two years, we realized that the choices we made on our end led us to where we are right now. It's interesting if you take time and reflect over past events and choices, you will start to see a pattern that leads you to exactly where you are at this moment in time. What purpose can be found in your past choices, circumstances and the events in your life? How might you use that information to shift directions from this point forward?

Until next time....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Simple Successful Habits

I've been tagged! Rebekah author of The Day of a Mom tagged me as part of an ongoing meme , the theme being "Simple Things that Make You Successful."

I believe there are a few elements that contribute to true success.

1. Connection to the creative source.
I believe in that we as humans were created. I feel that in order to experience true success you need to be connected to or have a relationship with that creative source. (For me that creative source is God)

2. Relationship with yourself.
How many people actually spend time getting to know themselves? When we are thinking about getting married and partnering with someone for life, we date. Dating allows us to build a connection with that other person. We spend time getting to know who they are on a core level. What likes and dislikes they have. What kind of personality they have. Their beliefs. What they are passionate about. What their principles they embrace. What dreams and goals they hold for themselves and the future. What changes they want to make for themselves.

How many of us actually know those things about themselves? Don't you think it might be just as important to develop that level of relationship with yourself? How are you to know if you are successful if you don't even know who you are, what you want and how you define success in the first place?

3. Surrounding yourself with people who build you up.
What type of people are you surrounded with? What relationships make up your inner circle? Are they energy drainers - people who take, take, take and suck you dry? OR are they people who are generous and full of abundance. People who fill you up and allow you to reciprocate?

I believe these are the starting points for establishing a successful life pattern. How do you feel you are doing in each area? What areas need some changes? Feel free to contact me if you are serious about making changes to get you on the path to your own success. Click here for your complimentary coaching consultation.

Tag - Your it!
Melissa Hilmerson at "The Caddy Shack"
Neil Patel at Quick Sprout
Jenn Givler at Create a Thriving Business

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Effective Time Management Strategies

Typically time management is one of the most challenging areas to master, especially for women. Here are some strategies to consider for effective time management.

Creating your Absolute Yes List

Keeping the ultimate vision of what you want to create in your life and business will help you determine your YES list.

Ask yourself these questions when being asked to do something:

  • Does this bring me closer to my ultimate vision?

  • Do I feel good about doing this?

  • Do I really want to do this?

If you do not answer ALL three questions with an absolute YES then you should absolutely not commit to the request - even if you feel obligated.

Create Your To-Do List the Night Before

Not only will creating the list help you fall asleep faster, you will wake up with purpose and intention every morning. Doing this will keep you focused and productive.

Put Yourself on Your To-Do List

Self-Care FIRST - Care of others SECOND

It's simple: You cannot provide for others and be effective at anything if you are running on empty. Not only will it cause emotional and physical stress, but greatly impede your productivity over time.

Allow for Flexibility

You want to create a daily routine which helps you stay organized, but don't schedule everything down to the minute or you will never stick to the routine. Leave enough time in your schedule to be flexible to change your mind or agenda for the day.

Try NOT to Multi-Task

Seems crazy huh? Here's the thing about multi-tasking: When you are multi-tasking you are doing many things at once, but you are not doing one thing well. If you are feeling the need to multi-task then you have too many things on your to-do list and you want to re-visit them with your absolute yes questions.

Doing things sequentially allows you not only to dedicate your full energy and focus towards that item, it actually increases productivity. You will accomplish more if you are not splitting your attention between multiple things at once.

These are just a few strategies for managing time. If you feel this is definitely your main area of concern, I'd love to work with you to create your perfect time management solution. Please feel free to contact me at Growth In Action ~Empowerment Coaching and Training to set up a complimentary consultation.

Until Next Time...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Set the Example

I was watching Oprah's show on putting yourself first and Oprah's resident life coach said something that I thought was amazing.

She said that children pattern their parents. You need to Love Your Own Life!

If you only love your children and not yourself, they grow up into people who can't love themselves.

Children do not treat themselves the way you treat them, they treat themselves the way you treat YOU!
This is true with friends and other loved ones as well.

Set the example and LOVE YOURSELF!

Until Next Time...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Opportunities to Network

As I attended my younger cousin's graduation party this last weekend I was reminded of how important it is to always bring business cards, marketing brochures, samples etc. You never know who you will meet, even at a family event. Fortunately for me I did bring my business information and was able to make a couple of really good connections.

I feel this topic deserves a little bit of attention. Here are some strategies for making the most out of any event - remember everywhere you go there is an opportunity to network and build new relationships.

Always remember who you are and what you have to offer.

When you work for yourself you always should be conscious of who your ideal client is. If you are conscious of this when you are at social events then you will easily find opportunities to offer your services to those who you meet without being inappropriate. Some of the best business relationships are those that are developed in social situations.

Carry your business cards at ALL times.

Often times when attending social events we assume that we don't need to bring our business cards. Again, social events can be the best opportunities for you - AND if you are in business for yourself business cards should be on you at ALL times!

Be inquisitive.

The best way to determine is someone you meet can benefit from your services is to ask lots of questions. Rule of thumb is Who, What, Where, When and How - Avoid questions that require a yes or no response. Using open ended questions engages conversation by requiring an in-depth response. Using these types of questions allows you to get a better sense of who the person is and determine what their needs might be.

Examples of open-ended questions:

How do you know _____?
What do you do for a living?
What do you love about your job?
Where do you find you are most challenged?
What are you passionate about?
What does your husband/wife/SO do for a living?
What's your favorite way to relax?
Who is your ideal client?
If you could do anything, What would it be?

Ask to follow up.

When you do establish interest and hand out your contact information ask for theirs in return with permission to follow-up to continue your current disscussion. Then bring the subject back to social topics and enjoy!

With all of the graduations, weddings and family reunions you are sure to build new relationships. Go forward with intention and have fun!

Until next time...

Monday, June 4, 2007

7 Simple Tips to Running a Successful Business From Home

Most likely you've decided to start a home-based business for a variety of reasons. Some of them may include: staying home with your children, having more time for yourself and your family and creating an enjoyable lifestyle.

Here are 7 Simple tips to keep you on track for success!

Tip 1: Put yourself at the top of your to-do list.

This is one of the most important things that you can do. Women tend to nurture everyone else and forget about themselves. Keeping your self-care as a number one priority enables you to be more, do more and give more.

Fill yourself up first and you will always be overflowing.

Creating daily nurturing rituals is an easy way to do this! Start your day with a nurturing morning routine which may include writing in your journal with your favorite morning beverage followed by stretching and taking your "Sensational" shower using your favorite pampering products. This a simple, but great way to start out your day!

Tip 2: Take care of your body.

Exercising and eating healthy keeps you full of energy and your mind sharp.


"Healthy Eating Habits" by Dawid Michalczyk.

Women's Fitness Tips by LifeTips

Tip 3: Get Organized.

Getting organized keeps your creative energy flowing. When your life, home or office become cluttered it blocks the flow of energy and prevents you from achieving maximum success.

My sister Melissa, owner of The Business Caddy gives helpful advice to small business owners and entrepreneurs to run efficiently. In her blog The "Caddy" Shack she provides 8 Simple Ways To Keep Your Home Office Organized & Functional.

Tip 4: Create Your Business Schedule.

This is especially important and often times hard to do especially with young children. Setting and working a consistent business schedule not only builds momentum in your business, but reduces stress in long run.

Where women often face obstacles in this department is GUILT. Women tend to feel guilty if they are not devoting 100% of their time to their children (After all isn't that why we work from home in the first place?).

I recently watched an Oprah show dedicated to women putting themselves first. One of her guests, Dr. Oz, made a terrific point about women and children.

Here's what he had to say in a nutshell:

"Children pattern their parents. You need to love your own life – If you raise children and you only love them and not yourself, they grow up into people who can’t love themselves. Children do not treat themselves the way you treat them, they treat themselves the way you treat you."

So, value your business and the purpose it serves - set the example!

Tip 5: Be Consistent.

Whatever business you run, consistency is the key. Set up your systems and work them. Inconsistency creates stress and dissatisfaction which leads to diminished results.

Tip 6: Have Fun.

Enjoy what you do! If you're not enjoying it you won't do it. I like to stick fun into my daily routine. So, you've set aside time for your business, yourself, your family and children and all your must do tasks - put fun in between! Have a dance party with yourself and your children. Watch your favorite movie with popcorn. Play a game. This is why you work from home - to enjoy your life!

Tip 7: Celebrate!

Celebrate every success. Be in gratitude. Celebrate others. This attitude opens you up to new opportunities and bigger things.

Following these tips will start you on your way to achieving all you envisioned with your home-based business. Here's to your success!

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What is Stress Anyway?

What is Stress?

Stress is a response the body produces to protect and support us. How does your body use stress?

Stress is generally considered being synonymous with distress. Distress is defined as “physical, mental or emotional strain or tension”

When this type of stress is constant, it becomes harmful. Cortisol, a steroid hormone released by our bodies in reaction to stress to help get us through challenging situations. Scientists have recently realized that the brain also uses cortisol to suppress the immune system and tone down inflammation within the body. So, persistent distress depresses your immune system and shuts down your body’s ability to heal itself. Common conditions associated with chronic stress are heart disease, cancer, depression, eating disorders… the list is endless.

There is such a thing as good stress – good stress has a positive effect. It keeps us motivated, increasing our productivity. And as mentioned earlier, it produces the hormone which helps us through challenging situations.

So, the question is… How can you tell when the line is crossed between stress that is good for you and distress?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question. The reason is that, what is good stress for one may be distress for another.

A good example of this is by observing people on a steep rollercoaster ride. Some are hunched down in the back seats, eyes shut, jaws clenched and white knuckled with an iron grip on the retaining bar. They can't wait for the ride to end so they can get back on solid ground. But up front are the wide-eyed thrill seekers, yelling and relishing each steep plunge and loving every minute of it. And in between you may find a few with an air of nonchalance that borders on boredom. So, was the roller coaster ride stressful?

How can you gain awareness around what’s causing you distress or bad stress?

STOP. This is the 1st step in identifying what causes you stress. You actually need to spend the time getting to know yourself better and recognize any symptoms you may or may not have.

Do a System Check. Figure out what you are tolerating. Tolerations are things that bug you, drain your energy and could be eliminated. We typically tolerate more than 50 things on an ongoing basis.

Here are a couple of tools to help you identify where you are stressed and what you are tolerating:

Stress and Health Self Test

Stress Release Trigger

We’ve taken the first couple of steps in maintaining healthy stress. In addition to these action steps it’s vital to create balance within your life. Balance is the key to health. It’s what we a coaches strive to help our clients create.

Even when we implement all these steps, we are human. We occasionally are going to have stressful days. We all know those days… nothing seems to be going right, we have a to-do list a mile long, everything takes twice as long as it should, we feel as though nothing is actually getting accomplished AND all of those physical symptoms we experience when we’re stressed start to creep up – headache, tight muscles, queasy stomach, heart palpitations.

What can you do when this happens? This is where the “Stress Release Trigger” comes in. You can train yourself to release stress in seconds. Here’s how it works:

Find a ritual that is relaxing for you. For some of you it may be taking an aromatherapy bath, a foot massage with lotion in your favorite scent, deep breathing with your favorite aromatherapy, exercise with your favorite music… whatever it is make sure it involves different senses and is easy for you to do every time you are stressed. So, for those of you who are constantly on the go and need something quick and easy, a few deep breaths with your favorite aromatherapy may be just the thing for you OR if you love to take baths (as I do) and you spend more time at home, this may be an excellent 15-20 minute ritual you develop for yourself.

During your ritual you want to empty your mind and focus on the senses that are stimulated by your ritual.
The key is training yourself to release stress with a trigger. It takes 21 days to make or break a habit. So, it is vital that you use your ritual EVERY time you are stressed for 21 days to train yourself in releasing stress immediately. Once you develop the trigger effectively, the moment you engage – the symptoms associated with stress … chaotic mind, headache, tight muscles etc., go away. Leaving you refreshed and re-focused and ready to proceed. For those few moments out your day, you actually get more accomplished than if you continue your day stressed out. My trigger involves a hot aromatherapy bath and literally I've gotten to the point where the second I completely submerge myself I am instantly relaxed. Try it and share your experience with "Stress Release Triggers."

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Empowerment through Choice

What is the one thing that will always make you feel empowered?
It is the ability to make a choice. The problem is that we often forget that there is a choice in absolutely everything. Even if external circumstances prevent us from doing what we prefer, we have a choice in how we are going to approach the situation. We have control over our attitude, thoughts and feelings.

Being "Stuck":

I often hear people talk about being "stuck" at their jobs. When asked why they don't move to another job that would be more fulfilling, their reply: "I can't because I need the health insurance" OR "I can't because I've built up my retirement" and it goes on.

Do you notice anything interesting about those responses? They all revolve around the word "can't". The word can't is disempowering... it's pretty reasonable to assume if your thought processes around your job involve the word can't, that you would feel "stuck", because according to you, you can't do anything about it.

What else did you notice about those responses? The one thing that I find interesting about them is that if you really dig deeper, you often find that these individuals place high value on their health insurance benefits or retirement packages and although they are unhappy and dissatisfied, the value of these benefits outweigh their dissatisfaction. So, essentially they have made a choice... the benefit to cost ratio tips in favor of the reason they stay.

Empowerment Via Choice:

Here is how we are empowered through choice: We are empowered when we are aware that we are choosing something.

Instead of being "stuck" - ask yourself "What reasons do I give for staying in the current situation?" "What do do I gain?" "What do I lose?" "What is more important to me right now?"

Once you answer those questions you will have made your choice. AND as you are going through the questions and answers you will become aware of the fact that you are making a choice.

The next step would be to ask yourself: "How do I choose to feel about this decision?" This is where attitude comes in....

You Have The Power To Choose!

I found another interesting article on the "Power of Choice" by Chuck Gallozzi - check it out!

Until next time...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Jumpstarting Productivity

I don't know about you, but I find that my days are most productive when I start my day early. I remember the most productive time in my life included a schedule of exercising, cleaning and reading all before 8 am. I had never been a morning person (still not) - still at that time in my life I had committed myself to that routine and eventually it was automatic. My productivity was high and I felt a strong sense of accomplishment. So, now I have been trying to get myself back into that routine so as to capture that high level of productivity and I just can't seem to get my behind out of bed in the morning.

I am the classic "snoozer." I always start with good intentions - I go to bed at a reasonable hour, I set my alarm clock for 6am..... and then 1-2 hours later after hitting snooze over and over I finally get going with my day.

I was starting to wonder if I would ever be able to get back into that routine and here I come across an article. Steve Pavlina produces a very successful blog and his How to Become an Early Riser definitely caught my attention.

He draws attention to the correlation between early rising and high productivity. Along with his observations around how much time you gain by rising early, he shares an interesting system for becoming a habitual morning person.

So, if you are like me and wish you were a morning person - check out his article and try it out. Let's see what success we have in our new commitment to ourselves. I'll keep you updated!

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sales 411 cont...

In a previous post, I touched on selling self-acceptance and choosing a new thought around what selling really is. Today, I want to focus on something you've probably heard before and I think that it is an important component to success.

"People don't care about what you have to say until you care about what they have to say"

How true is that? Think about that for a moment - It is part of our nature as humans to want to be heard. Most people go through life just trying to be understood and when we are around someone who truly listens to us it is a breath of fresh air. And, what do we want to do? We want to be around those people as much as possible. Be part of their inner circle. We talk about them to everyone we know because they are the most genuine authentic people. They really hear us.

When we own a business or represent a business, we need to truly be in touch with what our clients need. We need to know what their challenges are, what they are excited about, who they are, so that we know how to best serve them. The only way to do this is to listen.

Listening is one of the best ways to sell. If you are in touch with your potential customer/client you will know how to work with them and create a win-win situation.

Be In Service of Others

Building on listening, let's go into service. I'm not just talking about excellent service on the part of us, our business/product, I'm talking about being IN service of others.

When meeting another person for the first time, do you screen them for potential customer status? That's a given. What about if they do not have a remote chance of being in need of you or your product? Do you write them off and move on to the next one?

What would happen if you looked at each person in terms of what you can do for them instead of what they can do for you?

Think of the people that you really like to do business with. What characteristics do they embody? How much of their success do you feel is in direct proportion to their ability to listen and really help you?

My challenge to you:

Practice really listening to everyone you connect with this week and find one way that you can be in service of them that exceeds their expectations. Comment on your experience at the end of the week.

Until next time....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Breaking the Rules

I stumbled across a great blog - I Help You Blog and there is a fantastic challenge that of course I can't pass up. 101 Great Posting Ideas for Your Blog challenges it's readers to pick one of the 101 posting ideas and write a great post about the topic.

I have decided to focus on great food for thought that I found in a book I am currently reading called Breaking the Rules: Removing the Obstacles to Effortless High Performance by Kurt Wright.

He proposes that weaknesses do not exist, only strengths. One example he highlights is that you cannot measure darkness except in relation to light. Darkness is light measured in degrees up from zero, therefore you only posess degrees of strength.

So, it might look something like this: You posess two different characteristics, one is self-confidence and one is self-discipline. Previous to this you might consider self-confidence to be your strength and self-discipline your weakness. But, since weakness does not exist then you need to re-evaluate.

We recognize that we only have degrees of strength, so if we were to use a scale starting from zero, (0-10) where would you place your different strengths? It might look like this: self-confidence might be a 10 and self-discipline might be a 2. They both are strengths and self-confidence is stronger.

If you were to accept this belief as true, how would that change the way you operate going forward? What benefits could you see from adopting this new belief system? What would be different as a result of your new beliefs about yourself?

Here's another interesting thought Kurt brings out in his book - you probably are aware and familiar with the Law of Attraction by now and he points out that energetically we cannot recognize a strength in another if we ourselves do not already posess it. He challenges us to verbally acknowledge and engage others in conversation around a strength we notice in them. By doing this we ultimately provide ourselves with a mirror in which we are able to generate awareness by acknowledging and exploring our own strengths, which in turn makes them stronger.

Who do you know that you embody strengths you admire? How might you verbally acknowledge them this week? In acknowledging them, what do you notice about yourself?

I had fun writing this post and I hope you have enjoyed it. I'm curious what your thoughts are on this - share them!

Thanks to I Help You Blog for the wonderful inspiration behind this tidbit.

Until next time...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sales 411

Here's an interesting thought: Everything comes back to selling. Think about that for a second. The world revolves around sales.... every business regardless of what they do, have to sell. Every person sells. You sell your favorite movies, favorite books, favorite restaurants, favorite shoes. You even sell yourself on ideas and thoughts.

Here's another interesting thought:
Most people hate the very idea of the salesperson, yet we all fall under that category in one fashion or another.

The question is: How do I embrace my inner salesperson?

Acknowledge that you sell on a continuous basis in your day to day life.

Admit it. You do it. You just don't think of it as selling.... You would probably say "I'm just sharing my favorite_____________with so and so.

Hmmmm - Sharing. Replace the word selling with sharing. There. That feels better doesn't it? Isn't funny how changing a word can alter your perspective? When it was selling, you shuddered. Now that it's sharing, you feel all warm and fuzzy. We all like to share - we like to share our things, our thoughts, our ideas, our favorites, ourselves. Stop and think about that for a moment..... It's the same thing.

Choose a new thought.

When you choose to think of selling as sharing, it shifts the way you feel about it. When you feel empowered by something you will be more successful at it. For all of you who own businesses or work for a business (um, that would be everyone), this is vital.

What thoughts do you entertain around selling? What new thought might you choose instead? What is one thing that you can do today to embrace your new thought?

To be continued.......

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Today Is A New Day

It's important for each of us to remember each day is a new day. What happened yesterday, last week, last month or years ago does not matter. Each day offers us a fresh start. Every morning I make a point to ask myself - "Who am I going to be today?" Each day offers the ability to choose to be the person we strive to be even if we've made different choices the day before.

So, I ask you: "Who do you choose to be today?"

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A Day of Caring

Often times when we start something new we go, go, go and then it's easy to start putting our self-care on the back burner. I'm finding this on my journey with my new coaching business - I am so excited and there are so many new things to explore. I have started to let some other things slide. So, I have decided that I need to get back to walking the talk and have declared today a day of caring. I am allowing myself to take a step back and care for myself today. I challenge you to the same. What is one thing you can do today to honor yourself? Here is an article I found to help with your day of self-care: Stress Management: Ten Self-Care Techniques

Enjoy & Until next time....

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Enter the World of Blogging

This is my very first foray into the world of blogging. I am excited by the possibilities as well as nervous about putting myself out there.

Here's a little about me:
I have been happily married for almost 9yrs now to my hubby Erick and have a fun and amazing little boy named Isack who is 7. I have been self-employed for what seems like forever and have been extremely appreciative for the opportunity this has allowed me to stay at home with Isack as well as the time to pursue all the different things in life that interest me.
I have a huge love for natural health and am passionate about helping women create more choices in their life. I believe that women shouldn't have to choose between being a great mother and wife OR having a successful career - Women can be all that they want and choose to be, successfully!

My very first introduction to the world of business was with Sensaria Natural Bodycare. I have represented them for 5 years now and it has been and continues to be of the most amazing experiences. Sensaria has opened up many different opportunities for me, one of which is the world of personal life and business coaching. My first experience with a life coach came a few years ago and that experience really helped me to stretch outside of my box and take ownership for the life I wanted to live. I felt so empowered by the experience that I knew that this was another path that I needed to walk down.

I am proud to say that I have just graduated from an
ICF accredited coach training program - Ipec Coaching - and will complete my certification within the next few weeks! My coaching practice Growth In Action has stretched and challenged me to really be the best that I can be. My focus with this blog along with my Core Insight newsletter (sign up at Growth In Action website) is to offer my readers a resource for personal development, self-care and business development along with fun. I hope you enjoy! Until next time.....