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Breaking Plates & Establishing Priorities

Breaking Plates & Establishing Priorities

“Fitting in is the greatest barrier to belonging.”
– Brene Brown

 

Brene Brown’s quote jolted me awake as I was leisurely sipping my coffee and enjoying my morning reading a few weeks ago. It stopped me mid slurp and made me think deeply (no easy feat at 5:30am) how the need to fit in over the years has at times pinched me off from my gifts, my success, my happiness…my authenticity.

It’s not something I’m comfortable admitting.

To be honest, it makes me cringe a bit.

But I believe it’s more important to share because as a woman who is confident, independent, and most definitely boundary bearing, I still find myself on occasion choosing to hustle for my worth…putting my priorities on the back burner while accommodating the expectations of others.

My ‘fitting in’ of choice over the years was the belief I needed to do it all to be a whole woman as a person in business.

Run a successful business, chauffeur my kids to multiple events (a day), always make family and friends a priority, keep a clean house, work out, keep my shit together, and, of course, make it look easy. And still get a good night’s sleep. Is this ringing true for you too?

I’ve experienced this many times in my 27-years as a business owner.

It’s something I see and hear consistently through my work with women.

We continue to add more and more spinning plates in the air, believing that we can balance them all.

I call bullshit.

We can selectively choose which plates to set down (instead of break) and which to keep as a priority.

It’s important to choose. It’s important to stay one step ahead of dropping a plate, or three. Or maybe the whole damn lot.

Don’t let the breaking plates determine what you do and don’t do.

You get to decide what’s a priority, where you place your focus, and what drops out of focus, instead of stopping to clean up the pieces of broken plates that inadvertently fell.

You’ve got to be clear on your priorities because let’s be honest, ‘WHO’ are those breaking plates? Your children? Your aging parents? Your clients? The people you lead at work? YOU?

Which plates are you breaking each time you add to the plethora you already have up there spinning when you say yes to someone else’s priority? When you accommodate, adjust, fit in, ignore your intuition, and move your boundaries…again?

work-life balance

Priorities

It’s important to say, “these are the things I need to do to accomplish everything I want to accomplish…and there simply isn’t enough time. AND, I get to decide what goes into the priorities and alignment of my life.”

Give yourself the gift of slowing down for an afternoon so that you can get clear what and who you want to be, what you want to create.

There are 24-hours in a day for everyone, no wiggle room there.

How will you prioritize and structure those 24-hours?

How will you fit in your self-care? How will you build in your work, parenting, family & friends, personal and professional growth…your belonging?

What do you need so that you can say no to what’s pulling you off course from your goals and putting your priorities on the back burner, adjusting yourself for the expectations or needs of others?

It’s about aligning with your priorities.

It’s not about balance.

It’s not about keeping 457 plates spinning in perfect balance.

Create your vision then align your goals and daily actions with who and where you want to be. Without apology.

Powerful possibilities come with prioritizing. This I know for sure.

As a result of my epiphany that morning, it has put a megawatt spotlight on the work I do with women, as well as my WHY. 

Clarity is a beautiful thing. It’s impossible to make intentional and aligned choices in our life, and business, without it.

It can also be a double-edged sword at times… highlighting areas that we’d prefer to keep out of view, from others as well as ourselves.  This was the case for me as I was enjoying my coffee that morning.

Digging deeper, becoming more grounded in my gifts and my brilliance (how dare I claim my brilliance for fear of getting too big for my britches…), I was able to see I was the one getting in my way, choosing to experience life through a lens that kept me over-balancing and out of alignment.

When I read those eight little words that morning, it jolted me awake and into alignment, like a chiropractor…with no copay. Win-win.

Work-Life Balance: Vision Required

Work-Life Balance: Vision Required

 

1,800,000,000

That’s the number of results that come up when I Googled Work-Life Balance.

Dayyy-yum.

Clearly, A LOT of people are working on their Work-Life Balance.

How about you? Have you ever searched Google for some guidance, wisdom, and (or most of all) clarity on how to gain control of all the moving pieces of your life?

Let’s admit, the secret to success isn’t working harder and producing more. The law of diminishing return comes into play, and we wind up working more hours with less to show for it. Not exactly the result we’re looking to achieve.

When we come from the perspective of constantly needing to work harder, it leaves us feeling like there’s never enough time, or worse, that we’re not enough.

As a result, we can become consumed by scarcity- not enough time, money, support, tools, sleep, love, etc.- and we can quickly lose our perspective of the woman we want to be, the business we want to build, the life we want to live and the relationships we desire.

Too often our motivation for action is to feel the relief of checking things off our endless to-do list rather than focusing on our long-term vision of what we want; making sure our actions and words are aligned with our vision for work-life balance.

So many women I speak with want to feel like they’re intentionally choosing their life, instead of continually reacting to it.

They want work-life balance but don’t know how to achieve it.

Can you relate?

If we’re playing whack-a-mole all day, totally overloaded and overwhelmed, then go home to more juggling and feeling depleted, it’s nearly impossible to think about the future, or create more joy, fulfillment, ease, and ‘balance’ in our life.

And here’s the big kicker, our thoughts and images of the future, affect the future we experience.

So, I ask you, what is your vision of a fulfilling life? Again, your VISION for your future will affect the future you experience.

Do you want to feel more empowered, like you’re choosing your life, and less at the mercy of circumstances and other people’s expectations, needs, or demands?

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve heard me talk (a lot) about the importance of having a compelling vision for the business you want.

For us to create the business of our dreams, we need to be crystal clear in our vision of what we want our business to look like. To feel like. To provide. To BE.

Working to achieve balance in our lives is no different.

A long-term vision helps us with short-term decision making for Work-Life Balance.
This vision helps us so that we can say ‘YES” to more of what we want and ‘NO’ to what’s keeping us out of balance.

Far too often we say yes to ‘more’ in our lives without making room for it by saying ‘NO’ to something else.

These choices lead to a life out of balance.

Now, I’ll admit, I think balance is a fallacy. I’ll even go so far as to say it’s bullshit.

But clearly, work-life balance is what people are searching for…1,800,000,000, no arguing with that number.

Though I will say, I’ve yet to work with a woman who wants all of the pieces of her life to weigh the same.

It’s not about making everything even; it’s about aligning our actions, thoughts, and priorities with our Vision of a truly fulfilling, intentional life.

Intentionally choosing aligned actions, words, and beliefs, moment to moment, is what will consistently move you closer to your vision so that you can achieve the work-life balance you seek.

Keep in mind as you start moving towards aligning your actions with your desires, old habits die hard, as do old beliefs, stories, and way of relating, or reacting, to others.

As you move from your old habits into a more aligned and empowered way of being, you’ll feel a strong pull back to the familiar when things get uncomfortable (for example, saying no to a really cool opportunity because you realize it’s actually taking your eye, and precious time, off your goals).

It takes a while to embed new habits into daily practice so have some compassion for yourself along the way. With each new choice, opportunity, or request, ask yourself:

WTF?

That is, ask yourself What’s The Function of my goal, action, belief, choice that’s in front of me? Is it adding to my vision of work-life alignment, or is it pulling me away?

Here’s a work-life balance activity that will help you align your actions so that you can achieve your vision:

Alignment Activity for Work-Life Balance: AKA Work-Life Alignment

If you don’t clearly define what work-life balance looks like for you, odds are you won’t achieve it.

Take some time to get clear in these four areas:

  1. Define your Vision of what ‘balance’ is for you in each, work and ‘life.’
  2. Get clear on what your non-negotiables are in each.
  3. Understand the trade-offs that will come with the changes required as you align your actions, beliefs, and goals to your vision.
  4. Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize.
Prioritize your vision for Work-Life Balance or chances are, it won’t happen.

Remember, your images of the future affect your future experience. Be sure to define the vision and images you want or someone else will define them for you.

If you know of anyone who is seeking (or has Googled…) work-life balance, please feel free to forward this email to them. And if you found this helpful, please share.

Work-Life Balance

3-Strategies to Silence Fear and Amplify Success

Fear of Failure

As a business strategist for entrepreneurs and business owners, one thing I frequently see is:

Our fear of failure is creating what we’re trying so desperately to avoid, failure itself.

I know this through experience.

I see this with my clients.

I hear it in conversations with friends, colleagues, workshops given, and conversations shared.

You want to reach more potential clients and know creating videos is what will gain you more visibility (and credibility) with your ideal client…yet you consistently busy yourself with other things because of the fear of looking ‘not so perfect’ on camera and continue to struggle with financial stability.

You cannot be a brand and be invisible

 

You have an employee that continues to do a poor job or has issues with boundaries. Yet you keep her on because at least you know where you need to pick up the slack with her… who knows what issues the next person might bring. (Say nothing about the fear of how long it will take to train a new person)

Not only does this create resentment and an unhealthy work environment, but it also reinforces the UGR’s (Unwritten Ground Rules) about what’s acceptable practice in your business.

You want to take your business in a new, more inspired and aligned direction, but fear keeps you second guessing whether you know what you’re doing, or if you have what it takes. So, you continue doing the same each week, feeling unfulfilled, exhausted and depleted at the end of the day.

Don’t fear failure, fear a lackluster life.

 

We’re always watching ourselves…SO much more closely than anyone else is, trust me.

My Shihan used to say “Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or thinking, they’re too concerned with themselves to notice (for long anyway).

Here’s the thing:

Fear gets in the way of our joy, success, fulfillment, AND our profitability.

Fear will mess with your clarity and high-level thinking.

When your MIND is focused on keeping you safe, it takes away from your ability to be present, to focus, to stretch, to get things done, and to be strategic in your thinking (long and short-term).

How much joy and fulfillment (and success) can you experience in your work and life, if fear is the constant soundtrack running in your head?

People who have succeeded the most, have failed the most. Period. (I want to be clear here, success according to what each person defines as success for themselves, not what society, family, or peers have defined success to be)

Here are three things I believe about fear and failure in business (and in life, to be real):

Fail fast. Fail forward. Fail often.

As promised, here are my strategies for silencing fear and amplifying success:

  1. Recognize what triggers fear for you. Is it a person, a situation, a belief…is it a story from your past that’s no longer relevant or serving you? Get clear on the trigger so you can set structures in place that will allow you to see fear for what it is, a thought in your head (not the saber tooth-tiger waiting to attack). You can then make decisions from a more grounded and empowered place rather than fear.

 

  1. Be vigilant about monitoring your thoughts. Will your thought (fear) propel you towards your goal, or will it keep you safe and playing small? Which of these are more important to you? What is it that you want from this one big beautiful life, and will you allow fear to get in the way of that?

 

  1. Discern between legitimate concerns and what’s simply fear. Take a moment to play your fear out to the end game. Are your thoughts binary/ black & white, with no curiosity?  That’s fear-based thinking and should be challenged. Bring in some curiosity about what would need to happen. Instead of “I don’t have what it takes”, ask “what would I need to make this happen.”

 

What do you do when you experience fear? What tips and tools support you in seeing it for what it is (a thought), and navigating your way through it? I’d love to know, drop a comment below.

Boundaries Without Apology

Boundaries Without Apology

Boundaries.

Everyone has their own opinion, experience, take on them.

A boundary is not a bad thing. It’s not evil. Having healthy boundaries doesn’t make us aggressive. Boundaries don’t make us rigid or unapproachable.

I wrote about boundaries a little over a year ago in Business Boundaries to Protect What Matters (check it out here), yet I felt compelled to circle back around and talk more about this hot topic. Nearly every single business person I work with and speak to tells me that boundaries are impacting their business, what appears to be, at greater speeds and with larger impact. Usually, this is due to a lack of boundaries.

As entrepreneurs, we often avoid and don’t maintain boundaries because we don’t fully understand what they are or how to use them.

One View of Boundaries Without Apology

We tend to look at a boundary as a vertical gate that comes down smashing in front of us that says, “You can’t come near me and I can’t go near you …I have a boundary.” It’s a hard line in the sand, a solid wall slamming between us, BOOM! It’s clear, obvious, hard and divisive. It has negative connotations.

That’s what many of us tend to think of when we think of  a boundary, and it’s why we don’t like them … because they exclude people,. They exclude us from being with people, or energy or relationships.

It feels awful, selfish, and hard to be on the other side of that boundary.

The View from the Other Side

I’d like to offer another, different perspective.

The way I think of a boundary is more like a step-ladder, that “thing” that’s going to help intentionally and confidently lift/move you to the next level, the next tier, a very important component that accelerates the growth to where you want to go and grow to in your business.

Ladder

Envision yourself high up on the ladder, keeping your eye on the prize and climbing towards your goals. Up there with you are the people who rely on you, your family, your team, your business, your community.

And the boundary is if we bend down to accommodate someone else’s priority and do what it is they’re asking or ‘needing’ of us, then guess what happens? The ladder is going to fall over, and the people relying on us (ourselves included) are all going to come toppling down as we bend and break the boundary.

When we step down to accommodate someone else’s agenda and priority, we take our eye off the prize of what it is we’re working so damn hard for. It impacts our growth, our success, our bottom line, our team, and our relationships … and quite often, our self-confidence.

But when we hold our boundary and ask the person to come up the ladder and meet us, then we’re saying “I believe in your ability to meet me where I am, then we can move forward together.”

The Role of the Boundary

The boundary is there so we don’t break our back or topple the ladder and everyone relying on us feels the effects too.

It’s inclusive and empowering, instead of divisive and disempowering.

And here’s the thing, when we lack boundaries, we often feel resentment, frustration, and anger and this it drains our energy and vitality.

A lack of boundaries can make us feel scattered and eats away at healthy relationships with family, friends, co-workers, employees, or even (perhaps especially) with ourselves and our business.

And, with boundaries come a sweet little (well, HUGE) perk: work-life balance.

The Benefits of Boundaries Without Apology

When we have boundaries without apology, we simply get more done in less time and we can gain our life back.  We can begin to enjoy again the things that are important to us, the things that drew us into business in the first place.  Freedom, family, wealth, impact, and more fulfillment in each and every day.

4 Key Boundary-Related Categories

In my 27 years as a business owner, and through my work with many business owners in my coaching career, I’ve identified 4 key categories in our business that we need to be hyper-focused on when it comes to boundaries so that we can build the business of our dreams and live the life we want to experience. They are vision, roadmap, time management, and team. Let’s take a look.

Vision

At one point you had a vision, it may have been to make millions, maybe it was to work 10 months a year and travel 2 months with your family (without having to  worry about paying your credit card bills when you get home), max out your 401K, pay for your kids’ college…and have some left over just to play with

But over time you had to bend because this person needed you, that person needed you, and the kids constantly needed rides to school, games, to friends’ houses.

So the big vision over time began to shrink and now it continues to feel out of reach. Suddenly, it’s so tiny it’s more like “ If I could just make payroll this week”…or “ …just take a damn day off!”

A clear vision of where we want our business to go and grow to, allows us to confidently set boundaries and unapologetically say no to the things that aren’t moving us closer to our goals.

And sometimes, those things might be something that we really want to do, but the payoff/tradeoff is so much sweeter knowing in the long run our short-term choice supports our long-term vision.

Roadmap

Roadmap…AKA Business Plan (air quotes here!)

A business plan isn’t just for banks and it’s NOT boring. It’s actually there to keep us on track so we can  MAKE MONEY (a good thing, right?)!

You probably had a clear plan, a roadmap, at some point but employees came and went, a vendor didn’t pull through for an important job, a big client decided they were going in a different direction, and now all of a sudden your roadmap is GPS on haywire.

Nothing or little makes sense anymore, and you’ve become reactive instead of proactive.

This is when you’re in the biggest jeopardy of falling off the ladder … you’re spinning 50 plates in the air, working on deadlines, trying to coordinate employee schedules, family schedules, negotiating a new contract, (fitting in some self-care), and a veritable plethora of To-Dos.

It feels more like putting out fires than following your vision. I know, I get it, I’ve been there.

Being in reactive mode involves constantly bending down from your ladder to accommodate somebody else’s agenda and priorities. Taking your eye off YOUR vision and goals, and ignoring the boundaries you need to achieve your vision.

Your roadmap is what takes your Big Vision and strategically gets you into motion … it’s what creates a solid path to follow and solid boundaries that say “NO,” confidently, intentionally, and without apology.

Roadmap

 

Schedule some time to reconnect to your vision, to your goals for what you want your business AND life to be. Then back out of your vision to create a roadmap that supports you, defines your choices, and cut the edges in for strong boundaries, and for your success.

Many of my clients and colleagues, tell me they don’t have the luxury of slowing down to get clear, to reconnect. That’s like driving down the highway at top speed and saying you don’t have time to stop for gas.

We know what’s going to happen. Make time for your fuel now or get ready to pull out your AAA card for a tow. (And make sure your membership is up to date.)

Time Management

It seems pretty straightforward. We’re all aware of it. While it’s an easy concept, it’s really, really challenging in healthy execution. It’s TIME MANAGEMENT.

It’s a common “business-speak” phrase. We all know it’s important, but do we always recognize just how much? This area is our NON-RENEWABLE currency. Let that sink in … “non-renewable.”

This is the thing we all have a finite amount of. We only get 1 “noon” on Tuesday this week, ever.  And, here’s the kicker: none of us knows what that finite number is.

We’re operating a budget (our budget of time) with no fiscal transparency. Yet we behave like there’s always tomorrow.

Time Management isn’t really about time blocking, setting reminders, and finding 30 minutes to check our e-mail. There IS VALUE to all of that, absolutely. BUT, just coming in and “Managing Our Time” kind of feels like a time out, doesn’t it?

Time Management is about tying it all together…what’s the VISION? HOW are you getting there? WHAT’S your roadmap look like? WHEN are you moving things forward?

Actual TIME MANAGEMENT IS THE RESULT OF having a SOLID PLAN. The plan is the result of having a VISION you’re really excited about.

Our days are our life in miniature. Be vigilant with your time.

Use the law of linkage when someone is asking, or needing, you to step down from your ladder and not honor your boundaries. Link every choice you make today to your vision of the future you’re working so damn hard for.

THIS will allow you to say “no” and take things off your To-Do list, without apology.

Team

Team. It’s the people, business AND personal. It’s the WHO. Your team is who’s supporting you, AND who’s not … and where are the boundaries drawn?

Some examples of team and boundaries include:

  1. An employee coming in late all the time. THAT is a boundary issue.
  2. Your team being reactive instead of proactive—where is your team?
  3. When YOU’RE coming in early and working late. THIS IS A BOUNDARY ISSUE.
  4. It’s not delegating work you could be handing off because you don’t trust your team. This is a boundary issue … as well as a delegation and communication issue, but those are for another discussion.
  5. It’s dropping what you’re working on and running your kids all over town, for the third time this week. That’s a boundary issue.

Team is how we ACHIEVE more without DOING more.

One of the biggest problems I see with the businesses I work with is they’re taking on too much, and in turn their schedule is overloaded, they’re overwhelmed … and they’re moving in reactive mode.

Be sure to have a competent team that you trust and that can handle the work you’re bringing in … or else if you’re saying “yes” to too many things YOU’LL be consumed 24/7 figuring out how to make it all work. And THAT’S a boundary issue.

Where Now?

Could your boundaries use some updating with your team?  Be transparent.  Let them know what’s working and what’s not. Invite them into the conversation of what your vision is.  Share your roadmap.  Ask them where they feel they can best contribute and what are their strengths?

We can’t do this alone.  A team is what will support us and uplift us. Together we’re stronger (I know, I know, the dramatic music plays here, roll with me…) because it’s true.

Lift your head, look around, who’s your tribe?  Who are your power partners?

Remember, a team is how we’re able to achieve more without doing more. It’s a reflection of us establishing a healthy boundary in our business. A boundary that says, “I do not need to do this all alone and I no longer will.”

Healthy boundaries are what make that happen. WITHOUT APOLOGY.

So, think about each of the 4 categories, and consider these 3 powerful questions:

  • Which category is the MOST painful-annoying right now? (What has the biggest choke hold)
  • Thinking of this area, when did I last feel amazing/supported/etc.?
  • What’s ONE THING you can do differently, today?

 

THIS is slowing down without losing momentum…working ON your business.

It’s focusing on you, it’s focusing on your business….you’re just not doing it at your normal 150 MPH!

I’d love to hear how boundaries have supported you in achieving your dreams, leave a comment below.

How Hiring a Team Can Improve Your Bottom Line

Hiring a first team member or expanding your team can bring a boost to your revenue and help you make more money ongoing. But the decision to hire takes time and processing.

In my work as a business strategist, I help entrepreneurs examine what’s working and what isn’t working in their business and I help them create a strategy going forward. One of the most common problems uncovered was the need for a team to support them to run their business more smoothly and more profitably.

How You Know It’s Time to Hire or Build a Team

While many entrepreneurs know they may some day need a team, when to start the process may be a bit of an unknown. Often, when people are not making as much money as they desire they don’t want to consider adding the expense of team. This time, however, can be exactly the right time to invest in a team for a greater return in your business. So, how is a business owner to know?

Four Red Flags to Start Building Your Team

There are some common red flags in businesses that need to hire or expand a team. When you know what to look for and how to examine the issues, it’s easier to make a plan about moving forward. Consider each of these common scenarios as they relate to your business:

  1. Time Management– He can’t do it all and is under the weight of a huge to-do list. He doesn’t have enough time in his day/week to work ON his business so he’s “stuck” building a business that is solely reliant on him to produce all the work … not leaving time (or energy) to increase his client base, and hence, bottom line.

 

  1. Work-Life balance– He’s trying to do it all, and realizing he simply can’t, yet doesn’t have a plan of action to bring more balance to his day … putting the one thing he’s seeking on the back burner (balance) while he’s putting out fires.

 

  1. Needing to increase profit, but not enough time in the day to do all the work already on her plate AND do the extra needed to bring her business to the next level. So she stays doing the same thing hoping for different results.

 

  1. Not having the “right” clients– This business owner is looking to up her game and work with more luxury clients but needs more time and money to attract said clients. Unfortunately she’s working so hard IN her business that she has no time left over at the end of the day, week, month or quarter to invest what is needed to up-level her game and attract the high-end clients she’s looking to work with.  She wants to add to her team, and knows she needs to, yet she says she doesn’t have the time to onboard and train a new team member.

 

Do any of these sound familiar to you?  Have you experienced one, or perhaps all, of these scenarios at different stages of your business growth?

The Decision to Hire a Team

I know I’ve experienced each of the four red flags at different points over the 27-years I’ve been an entrepreneur. Not a fun place to be stuck spinning your wheels. I found a way out in the way of a team of support and it’s a way for you, too.

As we scale our business, taking it to the next level, we need to achieve more without doing more.

To do this, we need to start offloading some of the spinning plates we’re fighting to keep in the air so we can focus on GROWING our business … and start to gain our life back.

When the business is reliant on you to produce all (or a majority of) the work, it leaves no time to work ON your business … if you’re the one selling, building, and delivering the widgets, who’s doing the work to GROW the business?

Building an effective team is what will support you to, produce more without doing more. This is what I’ve done in my business and I’ve helped my clients to do the same.

How to Get Started with Building a Team

Here are 3 steps to building a team so you can start handing off a few of those spinning plates you’ve been balancing so delicately:

  1. Clarity: Get clear on what the position is you’re filling. What are the specific activities you need this person to do? Which position would give you the most amount of time back so that you can regain some much needed joy in your day AND allow you to focus on growing your business? What is it that you do repetitively that you could start systematizing and hand off to a new hire?

 

  1. Character: Hire on attitude not aptitude…someone could look like a perfect fit on paper, but if they don’t fit the culture, the environment, of your business, it simply won’t be a good fit. It’s easy to work with a new team member that has a positive attitude, but it’s nearly impossible to teach someone how to play nicely in the sandbox if it’s not in their nature.

 

  1. Communicate: Share your vision for your company with your team. Communicate where your business is going, and growing to … and why. Letting your team know your vision and inviting them to participate in it helps them to not only feel successful but to be successful. A successful team creates a successful business. A win-win in my book!

 

Is It Time for You to Build a Team?

When time management and productivity isn’t enough to accomplish all you need to get done in your business, it may be time to consider hiring a team member or expanding your existing team. Be sure you take stock of your current state of your business to determine the right path for you and to find the right people to join your team. If I can support you to determine if it’s time for you to hire and to help you through the process, please reach out here.

I’d love to hear from you. Do you share your vision with your team members? How do you best communicate with your team?  Comment below and let’s start the conversation.

Give me a shout at Lisa@LisaDanforth.com or send me a private message on FB here.

3 Action Steps to Combat the Comparison Trap

When entrepreneurs get caught in the comparison game, there is a choice. Sit there, stuck, and wallow in it or take action.

Why is Their Grass Greener?

As an entrepreneur, do you ever secretly wonder if you have what it takes …and all the other entrepreneurs know something you don’t?

It’s like they’ve got this whole owning your own business thang dialed in with a thriving business, weekends off, joyful family time AND they actually visit their hair stylist more than twice a year. And here you sit, struggling to finish last week’s to-do list!

I know I’ve felt like this over the years, more often than I care to admit. It’s a bit of a “yucky” feeling, to say the least.

It’s dangerous when we compare ourselves to others.

As Theodore Roosevelt said,

“Shoulding” Leads to Doubt and Isolation

After working with dozens of high-aspiring entrepreneurs, I know this: when we feel we should be further along in our business, that we should be making more money, should have a team of ten supporting us by now, or just generally shoulding all over ourselves, it keeps us locked in judgement … and shame. And stuck.

When we judge what or how we’re doing in business, we’re even more guarded about sharing, or exposing, the discomfort of what’s really going on for us.

We stay quiet, pretending everything is moving along like a well-oiled machine, perfect, going great, couldn’t be better!

This keeps us in a cycle of wanting, actually needing, change, yet not willing to raise our hand and ask for the help we so desperately need, be it personally or professionally.

So, we stay the same, settle for more of the same, and sit in silence wondering how the hell we’re going to make a go of it.

This keeps us from connecting—the very thing that often helps us attract the people we’re meant to serve.

Start with Compassionate Curiosity and Make a Plan

If you see yourself in this, even just a little bit, take notice. Become curious about exploring this. Know that every entrepreneur struggles at each level of their business.

The key to success is consistency in the day to day fundamentals of running a business.

It’s having a plan for your business success, creating goals to achieve that success, and consistently showing up …even when you REALLY don’t want to.

When we’re struggling, it can feel like we need to do something BIG to get ourselves out of the spinning cycle.

We don’t.

Something big can be good, but let’s admit it, when we’re struggling, a big idea or project has an amazing amount of potential to become overwhelming, and yet again, we’re stuck in the spin cycle.

3 Success Action Steps

Instead of becoming overwhelmed by a big idea or project, try these three simple tips to move you forward:

1. Be honest with yourself about where you are and what’s truly going on in your business. Approaching what needs to be “fixed” from a place of judgement will only give you more of the same. When you have a better awareness of where you are, you’ll make better choices. Better choices lead to better results. Better results bring the financial abundance and freedom you desire.

2. Get an accountability partner … someone you trust and someone who will not just let you bitch. I always say, when you come to me with a problem, also come to me with 3 ideas on what to do about that problem, then we’ll brainstorm, together. If you don’t have someone in your circle you feel comfortable talking to, expand your circle. Reach out to your local Small Business Association, local networking or business collaboratives, a Meetup group of women entrepreneurs, or a coach. All are great resources for support.

3. Ask yourself and commit to one simple action step that, when taken consistently, would move you closer to your goals. State it, write it down, commit to it, and enlist your accountability partner to support your consistency.

Simple action steps could include:

  • Taking an hour every Sunday evening to plan your week in advance. What gets scheduled gets done!
  • Committing to finding a Virtual Assistant or other support person to take some of the tasks off your list and weight off your shoulders.
  • Find and establish a routine check in with an accountability partner.
  • Or something as simple as starting each day by thinking about your long-term vision for your business. Long-term thinking guides short-term decision-making.

Keep Moving Forward

Taking action, however simple or small, is movement in the right direction. Movement toward your business goals. Movement toward success. Celebrate it and keep moving.

If I can support you to create an action plan for your success click here to book a conversation with me.  I’d love the opportunity to support you and guide you further along your success journey.