SHELF HELP... those online classes we buy to get "better" that we sort of look at and then file away on the virtual shelf only to buy the next....
I woke up a little out of flow. I could feel the constriction that happens after riding a huge wave - tide goes in and the tide goes out. And because that expansiveness and ease I feel when I'm in flow is so awesome, to be out of that felt so small and difficult. And I started to panic - 'wait! I'm not done flowing. Come back to me' I shouted at no one in particular. Sitting alone in my thoughts I started worrying that I'd never ever be in flow again, that it was a one time deal. 'Quick, grab a book. Surely there's wisdom there that will force your way back into it'.
And then I laughed.
Force myself into flow.
Haahaahaaa - not gonna happen.
I put the pile of books down.
The only way to get back is to let go. Surrender again. Allow the tide of flow out so that it can flow back in.
And as I felt my control loosen and took some deep breaths, I slid right back into the water.
'If' is one of my favorite words.
'If' lives in the land of possibility, creativity, imagination.
'If' creates space.
'If' is non-confrontational, non-threatening, a white flag in the sea of battles fought in our minds.
'If' is the question I ask of myself when I want to create more, learn more, see more, BE more.
'If' is the question I ask my clients when they are feeling stuck and they just can't seem to see their own answers staring them in the face.
"If' takes us out of absolute truths we've convinced ourselves are true and allows us to see other paths.
IF you were to have the support you needed, what would you be able to create? IF time weren't an issue could you get this done? IF you knew what to do next, what do you think that step would look like? IF this project succeeds, how would that feel? IF this project fails, what would be the worst thing that would happen? IF there were no way to fail, what would you create? IF I were given a really great Kate Spade bag for Christmas, what color would it be? (okay the last one was for the benefit of any family who might be reading this…. and it'd be green).
"I wonder IF I could make that" precedes most of my jewelry making and what if is the question I asked prior to publishing my magazine, launching a new site and 10,000 other things I've created in my life.
'If' opens us up to unlimited potentiality.
Allow yourself to practice childlike curiosity and ask yourself 'if'…
This is a tenuous subject for me and I'll tell you why - I personally am standing against on the the biggest ways to make tons of money in coaching.
Unpersonalized Group Programs.
Now, as a business person go ahead and offer them - Power to you. As an entrepreneur, I'm here to tell you that I won't be taking any more anytime soon.
Why? Because they are like wire hangers... they promise a safe haven for my delicates to be off the floor and hung neatly but in actuality, they harm my clothes, and they bend and break and snag. Their greatest use is breaking into cars (not that I do that regularly...).
Here's the thing - I don't need more information. I need more quality and depth. I want to take a class that is all about ME. I don't want to romanced by empty promises like the wire hanger with a heart - that if I just take this one course I will magically start making millions of dollars from my private yacht only to get into the coursework and it's nothing new. There's barely any more than what I heard in the free promotion. And not all of it resonates with me so I end up implementing only a little of what I paid a lot for.
Not to say that they're all the same. I have learned some useful things but most of the information is telling me to do things just like everyone else. Even when the marketing for the programs tells you that it will help to be you.
Listen, I don't want to be like everyone else.
AND to be really honest - one formula DOESN'T fit everyone any more than those wire hangers aren't built to properly support a pair of ski pants for more than a few days. (I don't own ski pants but if I did I can imagine the wire hanger drooping in the center).
The minute got over the hype and I stopped looking for answers in the piles of people in the mass classes and hired a personal coach my life changed. And each subsequent coach has polished me a little more and a little more.
So no more wire hangers. If I want to concentrate on an issue I go into a semi-private or private coaching relationship with someone who specializes in exactly what I need. I'm not hanging at the dry cleaner's on a fricking wire hanger. It's me and one of those plush fluffy hangers covered in satin with faux-pearl buttons to hold up the straps.
700 Beautiful Fans - and I walked away. WTF was I thinking? Each and every one of those people was a hard earned Like. I paid for ads, I begged and pleaded, I invested all my marketing ninja skills into getting a number.
I'm not going to say it was easy - one of the most important qualities I like to infuse into my business is really loving my community so what would my community say when I moved? Would they be mad at me? And my ego really kicked in overtime, asking beautifully judgmental questions like what would people think of a marketing coach with no fans?
But here's the thing - my rebranding has brought in more clients than I've ever had before, my fan page engagement is off the hook (with 1/4 of the fans I used to have), I have been invited to speak and participate in more events, and have total clarity every morning when I wake up so it's easy to choose what is in alignment with me and my brand.
Because it's not about how many people are on your list or how many fans or followers you have. It's NOT about your numbers.
It's about 2 things...
MORE IS NOT MORE!!!
See here's the thing - and I'm going to be really honest with you - I get a majority of my business from Facebook. And here's the secondary thing - it's not really from my fan page. It's from the relationships I take the time to nurture. My business doesn't come from having fans - it comes from building trust and relationships. It comes from taking the time to know all of the people who join me on their path.
And it took walking away from an outdated page for me to really GET that it's not about the numbers. Ever. It's about reaching the people inside your box and being of service to them.
So I have to ask you - what are you holding onto that is no longer in alignment with you or your business because you're afraid of letting it go? Let me know below...
Last week one of the most amazing coaches and mentors, Debbie Ford, died. Debbie Ford has been a driving force in the world of self growth, specializing in her Shadow Work and her most recent book Courage about her process driven approach to conquering our fears, accepting our flaws and tapping into our potential. And here's the thing - it was published at a time when she needed more courage than ever - in the middle of her 2 year fight against Cancer.
It brings tears to my eyes when you think that this person who has conquered so much in her life and has taught millions of people to step up and love themselves and shine was in the background suffering.
Every day we are confronted with hundreds of choices that either make us feel confident and strong or rob us of the things we desire the most. When we lack confidence, we feel unworthy of having what we want, of speaking the truth, of making decisions that improve our lives. When we feel weak, helpless, or powerless, we lack the strength to ward off the thoughts of defeat, negativity, and fear that fill our minds and prevent us from moving forward and living in harmony with our deepest desires.
For decades, Debbie Ford has been helping people break free from the emotional baggage that has held them hostage. In Courage, Debbie Ford provides a life-altering path to discovering confidence and authentic self-expression. By learning to accept all of who we are, including our histories, our flaws, our misgivings, our weaknesses, and our fears, we discover that what keeps us stuck and feeling weak is nothing more than an illusion of the past. By showing us how to be confident, stand in our strength, and feel great about ourselves, a new self emerges with the power to accomplish anything. Introducing seven guiding principles, Ford expertly leads readers out of the common pitfalls of fear and insecurity and into the strength, power, and freedom of a courage that has been present all along.
She was in fact coaching what she knew intimately which is why her messages made such an impact. They were authentic and tested. You knew that if it worked for her it could work for you.
Even after a lifetime of teaching her calling her life was not perfect. And neither is yours, or mine or all of the other people that we compare ourselves to each and every day. "I want to be just like her" will never happen because what you want to be like is the public persona. It's not reality. Like Debbie they can just as easily be in the background suffering.
Things in our life derail even the enlightened.
And we have two choices: Keep putting on the face that you have it all together or draw on the pain and the mistakes and the Shadows like Debbie did and teach from that space. Learn from that space.
Thank you Debbie Ford, Queen of Shadow Work, for your inspiration that I hold in my heart and in my coaching practice.
You can find more stories about Debbid Ford here.
Oprah says, "Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher." And it's so true but it's something I stumble with all of the time. There was a time when I was absolutely everywhere - I was at all the local events and online on every social network all of the time. I accepted every Facebook friend request, followed back on Twitter and took business cards from people whose services I would never need. Why? Actually, I have no idea. I guess it felt good to have large numbers of contacts, like I was validated and popular.
And then one day I realized as I was flipping through my streams that I didn't like most of the posts. There were complaints and political rants, senseless negativity and humor that was not humorous. I don't even want to go into the GIF posters. So I began the process of unravelling all that I had built. 1,000+ connections on LinkedIn and I realized that I hated using the site. It made me tense and felt like a task I 'had' to do. So I deleted my account and it felt so freeing! I had no idea that having my energy was being tied up in something so silly was a giant waste of my resources. It wasn't lifting me up and deleting felt like an anchor being cut off.
What else was dragging me down? I started looking at my stream differently. Every time I saw a post I didn't like or a person pop up that made me feel less than happy I deleted, removed, unfriended or muted. I was a total post Nazi. I started following people who inspire me, not just businesses that wanted me to like them, friends or no. I asked myself if what the person was delivering was something that would lift me up, add value to my life, make me smile just to see their name.
The energy I put into my brain is the energy that can be used to make my life amazing - or it can be the energy that drags me down. It's a choice.
I'm not obligated to be friends with anyone or to read or see anything that doesn't move me. I control my stream - me, it's my stream and I choose to be lifted.
You know how you have this great idea about something and all you can do is tell people about it because you're so excited and you ask everyone's opinion? I totally get it - I love getting people's opinion on all of my multi-passionate ideas. Hey, what do you think about this? And so I ask for their opinions... and somewhere in their masked enthusiasm I hear it - that one little tone or word or sentence that makes me no longer be in love with my idea. It's such a let down.
It's like when I put on an outfit and I love it. I mean the shoes, the accessories, the colors all fit my mood for the day and I walk into my Great Room and my kids look at me and kind of crinkle their noses like there's something they just don't like. I no longer feel like I'm rocking my look, I feel like I look stupid. Okay, my son is 11 and a BOY. Do I really think he has a better fashion sense than I do? No. Does it still make me question myself? Yep. Every time. How about asking me if you should date someone? Why would I know that for you and why would my opinion on who you should like and not like matter? What - should I arrange a marriage for you too since I obviously know what's best for you even better than yourself?
In a perfect world we just wouldn't listen. But let's get real, we listen. Especially when the dream is really big and personal. Why? Because the really big ideas are scary and quite honestly we love having a way out for ourselves... it confirms that little nagging voice on our shoulder that says 'See, I knew it would never work and someone else agrees. Forget even trying when other people agree that it's a stupid idea."
What is more realistic than not listening is to just stop asking. Stop questioning and start telling. YOU know when an idea or dream is right FOR YOU because it feels really good inside and it scares you in a really great way, like a tingly anticipation. Other people will never feel that way about your dreams so why are you asking for their opinion on what you should do?
Instead of asking "Should I", say "I'm Going To". You are the only one who really knows if it's right or not for you. Trust yourself enough to not have to go running to others for guidance.