802.560.5611 lisa@lisadanforth.com

Self-Care Improves Your Health & Your Bottom Line

Self-Care Improves Your Bottom Line

One of the things I often hear from women about their self-care is:

Someday I’ll schedule time for self-care, but right now I have to…”

  • Finish this proposal
  • Get back to a client
  • Post on social media
  • Write a blog
  • Do laundry
  • Get to the grocery store
  • Pick up the kids
  • …you get the picture

In my 27 years as an entrepreneur, and my work with women, what I’ve discovered is:

When we feel better, we do better, physically, emotionally, AND financially.

That means, if taking the day off to go skiing, digging in the dirt, going for a run, hitting the gym, making a pot of soup, or simply taking a nap makes you feel better, PUT IT IN YOUR BUSINESS PLAN.

What gets scheduled gets done. Put self-care in your business plan and mark it on your calendar.

Schedule your self-care like you’d schedule time with a client, picking up your kids, or doing your taxes.
Need even more reasons to improve your self-care? I’ll get right to the “heart’ of the matter:
Self-Care

Self-Care

Physical: Your body is the only one you’ve got. One of the most important resources for any human is their energy. If you don’t schedule time to focus on your health now, you won’t have the energy later to enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. It’s better to take time for self-care now than make time for illness later.

Emotional: Self-care helps us have the confidence to establish healthy boundaries so we can say ‘YES’ to what we want more of, and ‘NO’ to what we want less of. This increases our joy, satisfaction, and self-worth.

Friendships

Social: A 2016 article from the Mayo Clinic states, “Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.”  So yeah, go ahead schedule that get together with your friends. It will help you live longer, be happier, and prosper.

Financial: When we’re stressed, it puts our amygdala on high alert while at the same time decreases our hippocampus function, making us a wigged out forgetful person. Never good for our bottom line, self-confidence, or relationships.

Happiness: The Journal of Neuroscience published a study on happiness and our ‘vision’. The study showed when test subjects who were unhappy (aka, in a bad mood), their visual cortexes, the part of the brain responsible for sight, were not able to process information properly and had difficulty seeing things in plain view (like for example, your keys hanging right on the rack where you last placed them but didn’t see them as you were tearing the house apart looking for them…that ever happened to you?).

The study also showed that happy ‘test subjects’ found what they were looking for 50% more of the time than the unhappy subjects. The next time you’re in a bad mood, put on your favorite music, or whatever puts you in a good mood, so you can be more present, connected, and happy. Your family and clients will thank you.

So, on a scale of 1-10, how did you score on each of these for showing yourself some love and attention?

As Brene Brown says:

“It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.”

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.

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.

Mind Mapping for Success

Do you ever feel like you’re running all week long but when Friday arrives you haven’t accomplished even half of your to-do list…and you’re not quite sure what it is you did all week?

Are there times you’re so darn busy getting things done, you don’t even see what needs to get done?  You feel like you don’t even have time to lift your head to make sure you’re on the right path or totally in left field?

A clear vision of the business AND lifestyle we want is the first step in owning our day and getting out of the day to day chaos that keeps us spinning our wheels.

Having clarity around our vision and our goals is what helps us create strategy, set up systems to our day and to structure our week so that we know what we need to do each day with confidence and intention to create the business AND lifestyle we want.

In today’s video blog I’m sharing 3 tips on how to regain control of your day and your week, so that you can move out of the overwhelm and into action.

 

I’m going to add one more tip… get an accountability partner, say it out loud, commit to it.  Don’t let fear of failure get in your way, fear being in the exact same next year as you are today.

I’d love to hear from you.  What’s worked for you to regain control of your day? Post in the comments below and let me know your thoughts.

Are you ready to take control of your day, week and your success?  Could you use someone who will hold your hand AND kick your butt? Click Here to apply for a complementary Clarity Call to get you moving forward with confidence and intention.

To your success!

Goals Not Clear? Reverse Engineer

I’ve been talking with a lot of women lately about their vision for their business and what their long term goals are… and the answer I’ve been getting more often than not is,  ‘I don’t know’.

As a business strategist, one of the first questions I ask is “what are your goals for your business AND for your lifestyle?” (because let’s admit, they are not mutually exclusive).

If we don’t know what it is we want, how do we create a roadmap to get there?  Success will continue to elude us if we don’t know what it is we need to do each day to move our business forward with confidence and intention.

One trick I use with clients when they get stuck in the ‘I just don’t know’ is to reverse engineer.  They’re usually pretty clear on what they DON’T want, so we write that list, then flip it around.  For example, change:

I’m so tired of being financially strapped to: I want financial stability (then we look at what financial stability means like to them).

I’m tired of working 8-10 hours a day and not moving my business forward to: I want set up structures and systems in my day that support me in getting things done in my business so that I feel successful at the end of the week.

I really hate how little time I spend with my kids and spouse to: I want to create more quality time with my family.

I’m tired of my clothes not fitting to: I’d like to schedule more self-care in my week so I’m able to feel better, be more effective in my workday AND have energy at the end of the day.

I’m tired of always putting others needs ahead of mine and not doing what I need in my business to: I want to set clear and respectful boundaries that support me and the growth of my business.

So tell me, what’s your vision for your business? What goals do you want to achieve?  Don’t know, can’t remember…have no idea how to start?  Reverse engineer to design your roadmap and set your GPS

Vision: The Glue That Binds

Having a clear VISION for what we want our Business AND Lifestyle to ‘look like’ (because they are not mutually exclusive) is the key in achieving our goals. It truly is the magnetic pull that creates a resistance to not be moving towards our dreams.

Without a vision for what it is we want to be, do and have, how can we create a strategy and an action plan to get there?

When we don’t have clear vision of what we want our business to be, procrastination and shiny object syndrome can easily can grab us by the ankles and keep us stuck spinning in circles.  Very. Busy. Circles. (Read more about procrastination here.)

Unfortunately, it’s so damn easy to get bogged down in day to day chaos and overwhelm that can come with running a business (or family, or team, or…fill in the blank) that we lose sight of what it is we wanted in the first place.  We get thrown off course and lack the clarity of where and how to go to get back on track.

It’s not always so easy to slow down, stop the train so we can focus in on what it is we want your life as a business woman to be.  

Far too often when I work with a client for the first time, it takes an hour or two of digging deep before she’ll even admit what her dreams are…she’s not comfortable stating them out loud and putting a stake in the ground that declares ‘this is what I want’.

In the video below I share 3 tips to get started on creating a clear vision and start making it a reality.