Motivation & Inspiration!
We all have obstacles… here are some ways to help you go over, around and through!
Today is Saturday! I just came in from sitting out back on my patio with my dog and a cup of coffee. The skies are DEEP blue, there is a cool breeze and the sun is bright and bold! Best of all, the humidity is VERY low and the temps are in the low 70’s. For me this is the perfect weather. I decided to do my morning meditation our there. Today’s guided meditation was about Abundance, Prosperity and Success. It was the perfect way to start the weekend!
During my mediation I had a light bulb moment… I choose to make this the summer of creativity! My 2 favorite ways to be creative are Baking/Cooking and Writing! SO my new goal is to work those in daily in addition to my meditation practice. I am finding my new normal after the death of my momma. To find my balance I want to incorporate the things I like to do in life, instead of just the things I “should” do.
I started Mediating on February 13th 2018 at the suggestion of my counselor. Today marks 146 days of consecutive meditation. Am I good at it… No. But who cares. Even if you do meditation “wrong” you still benefit. Does my mind wander. Yep! You betcha! However, I do have days where I am more focused and less wandering. I highly recommend trying it. If you are new… try an app. There are a bunch out there. I started with Calm and moved to Insight Timer. Insight Timer is the app that helped me to make it to 146 days. I suggest you try some out and stick with the one YOU love! If you are seeking inspiration, motivation, balance or just some “me time” I highly recommend trying meditation. It isn’t easy at first, but keep trying… you will learn how it can benefit you, even if you aren’t perfect at it!
A few days ago I started cooking and/or baking daily. I have always loved to be in the kitchen and try new recipes and perfect family traditional recipes! I baked Watermelon Cupcakes with my daughter, made funnel cake, made the Carnival Cruise Line Melting Chocolate cakes (YUM)!, and I even made up a recipe for Strawberry hand pies! I have been researching homemade bread, pizza dough, doughnuts and more! On the savory side, I have made pretzel roll hot ham and cheese sandwiches, my husbands family traditional Haluski (see the recipe here), and tried Goulash (one of my momma’s favorites! They all turned out great so far! For me, baking and cooking is relaxing. It has a methodology to it and an order to it that is calming for me. Cooking may not be your thing… but take a moment to stop and think of something that makes you happy!
And finally writing. Yes, I have a lot to say. I have always wanted to write a book. I have 2 book outlines made up, but so far I have not written the books! I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I am going to make a goal to write something every day. It can be in my journal, or a blog post or maybe a chapter of one of the books! I am going to just leave it at… I will write each day! I am excited to bring you topics about the things I am excited about, mad about, reminisce about… anything! So stay tuned! I plan to have some great content here in the coming days, weeks and months!
HAPPY 4th of July 2018!
Yes! I am working on a holiday! Many entrepreneurs make the choice to work whenever they can… although I am a big supporter of balance and making sure there is down time and time to rest, recharge and recover! Today I decided to put in some time to work ON my business, and will relax a bit later with family!
Last night I had a bunch of dreams… I do dream a lot, but one stuck out in particular. I dreamt that I was helping people through life coaching instead of just business coaching. I know Life Coaching has a stigma to it. There are many out there who call themselves a “Coach” but have zero qualifications to do so… That’s not me! Check out my About page to see why I am qualified… but I digress…
ANYWAY… today I decided to amp up the life coaching side of my business. You see, I just lost my momma on May 8th. She passed away peacefully after a long illness. I was her caregiver for 10 years. In that 10 year time I was also raising my 2 children… they are now 14 & 12… so they were 4 & 2 when my husband and I began being the sole caregivers for my mom. I have been in the sandwich generation for over a decade now. In that time I have made some mistakes, had hard decisions and learned A LOT! In the past few weeks the loss of my mom made me think about what I want to do with the rest of my life. I LOVE COACHING, but I did neglect my coaching business in these last few months of my mother’s life. Do I regret it… NO! Emphatically NO! But, I DO have to rebuild my business. When an entrepreneur doesn’t work… they don’t get paid! That is a fact!
Now, I could look at this as a negative, but I choose to look at this as a positive. I get to redesign my business AGAIN! While my passion is for helping small business owners and entrepreneurs grow their businesses… I also have a passion for those raising their children and those caring for their parents or sick partners. I plan to help BOTH!! In the next few months you will see more Lifestyle blogs in addition to business tips! My expertise in the DISC behavior patterns can help in BOTH areas. So now I can help MORE people!
I took time this morning to re-categorize all the blogs I have written to date, so that you can find the type of information you need more quickly… you can see a list of the categories at the bottom of every web page on this site! I will update my entire site to reflect my new goals as well.
My goal is to write more with more engaging content… so check back often!
Again… Happy, Happy 4th of July! I do plan to work a bit more then go spend some time with my family! I will be making homemade Halushki today! YUM! (with REAL Dough not egg noodles – yuck!) LOL
Have a super day! Hope to “see” you back here soon! Please check out the new categories and let me know what you think!
I have recently been trying something new in my business… Facebook Live videos! This has been on my “to-do” list for months… maybe years, but for some reason I never made the time to do them. For many, the thought of doing a live video causes a panic attack! I’m not one of those people. I don’t mind being on video or speaking live, as long as it is on a topic I am familiar with. So why wouldn’t I fit these in?? What was I waiting for?
A few weeks ago, I decided to really look at what was holding me back. When I took a moment to sit down and evaluate what was going on… a TON of negative thoughts flooded my mind! “What if no one watches?” “I don’t look good enough today” “What if I majorly screw up on LIVE FEED??” What if I am more boring that I think I am?” I know I have value and what I share is, at the very least, entertaining to me (he he!) So, what is the solution?
I thought… what would you tell your coaching clients? Well, I’d say feel the fear and do it anyway. So that is what I did. Last month I did my very 1st Facebook Live EVER! I was in the parking lot outside where I was about to host the networking group I run. I just popped on from my car got it done and published it. I decided no one would see it so I didn’t review it. I had said on the video that I would be doing “a lot more of these… but 2 weeks passed, and I didn’t do another one. Hmmmm…
The 2nd video I did was a spur of the moment thing where in reality I just did it for me. I was having a stressful week and needed to get some things off my chest. It was a bit of rambling with a good tip at the end. To my shock I had 164 people view that Live post! What?? For me I thought that is amazing! Problem solved right? Wrong… I let another 2 and half weeks go by with no videos. What gives?
The 3rd Video I forced myself to do. I am in the process of re-growing my business after a series of unfortunate events that took me away from nurturing the business I had grown. I need to move forward and step out of my comfort zone! So, I popped on and made some announcements of where I will be over the next few weeks, what is going on with the relaunch and what I plan to do… including more Live Videos! Yay me! I said I would be coming back later this week with a specific topic. My plan was to do it Wednesday… but guess what… I didn’t!
A 4th video was “due” as I promised so I again reminded myself that we are looking for progress NOT perfection. You see I have a bit of an issue with perfectionism. I am learning to live with, around, and through the perfectionism through my new-to-me meditation habit, but that is a story for another day. On with video 4! I sat at my desk to begin and the negative talk started instantly! First, I realized the lipstick I put on was too dark for AM… but decided to push thought anyway. Then my computer crashed. I rebooted and pushed through again. The dog started barking, but I said… Progress Not Perfection! I took a deep breath and started the Live recording in hopes that I would be able to share my screen with something to look at while I shared the info. You guessed it… I couldn’t share my screen. The whole time I was thinking to myself… wow this probably sucks! But I persisted! I continued and acknowledged as I went when I was feeling something off, laughed out loud at myself a few times and got through it. When it was all over I had a strong urge to just delete it. For some reason I didn’t. I decided to watch my video back. GASP! To my pleasant surprise, the video wasn’t bad! I got the information out that I wanted to in a clear and concise manner. Was it perfect? NO! But I came across as real and a person. Technology was not my friend, but it turned out ok! My lipstick was too dark, but I bet no one noticed and if they did who cares? I laughed out loud at myself and hope others got some joy in addition to the information I shared!
Later that morning I had a call with a good friend and colleague, Dr. Robert Zeitlin. I was telling him all about the “botched” Facebook Live and how I watched it back… and he said, “Wow, even million-dollar actors often don’t like to watch themselves on recordings?” So true!! We chatted a bit more about it and I realized that by playing it back and being brave enough to watch myself in an imperfect way, I was able to find peace with it. I am in a field where Know, Like and Trust are even more critical that most professions! My clients and potential clients need to know I am REAL, that I can feel the fear and do it anyway, just like I tell them to do! But more importantly, I realized that nothing is ever perfect. No matter how much we hope, pray and strive for perfection… in most cases it just isn’t. AND THAT’S OK! Now I can’t wait for Monday to do the next promised installment.
What do you do to psych yourself up to do something scary?
If you are a business owner these words probably make you cringe… I’m looking for a product or service that is “reasonably priced”, “inexpensive”, “affordable” or heaven forbid “cheap” … OR “I don’t want to spend too much, can you change your price?” Um What!?!? Am I right? We all hear these words and phrases “too many” times in our careers. Some come back with the cliché, “You get what you pay for”, but that one isn’t often welcomed as often as, “I want a deal!”
I have a dear friend who is a phenomenal baker… and when I say phenomenal, I mean it! (Seriously if you want her number let me know!) But I digress… Recently this fabulous baker posted her frustration on social media about this very subject. She was shocked that again, someone was trying to negotiate her set price. At first, I was relieved that someone else feels that way too and I’m not the only one! She got DOZENS of comments commiserating and a few bringing up similar atrocities (but that’s another blog post for another day!) I sat with it for a few days and couldn’t let it slide… this isn’t right! Do the people know how rude it is when they question pricing or come right out and ask for a discount? Every entrepreneur and business owner struggles over providing fair pricing for what it really takes to provide the service or product expected. Pricing is by far something we most question and re-evaluate, then question again. It’s enough to drive you insane! The bottom line is… If what we offer was “easy” you wouldn’t need to HIRE someone else to do it for you. Therefore, there is talent and skill involved, not to mention time consumed to provide the product.
It makes me wonder, is it that they don’t value what we are offering, or is it that they want to make sure they aren’t taken advantage of? Or maybe they’re just jerks and want everything free or at a discount?
High Quality – Low Price??
As a service provider, I sometimes get insulted when someone questions my price. Heck, I am literally one of the least expensive coaches I know! I have been told I should raise my prices by colleague many times. I offer a lot of value, customized and precise information that can help my clients drastically change their business (and their life) for the better… isn’t that worth paying for? The best one is, when I offer exactly what they are looking for, but they “have to think about it”. Sometimes I ask… What do you think a fair price is? I rarely get an answer.
I don’t have a magic secret to keep this from ever happening, but I do have some tips to include in your sales conversation to reduce the chances of a “misunderstanding”.
If you sense there is an issue with price, here are a few questions you can ask to determine if you want to continue to try to work with this client…
- On a Scale of 1-10 how important is this to you and/or your business?
This is a great question to determine how serious they are in looking to buy your product or service. If they are a 9 or a 10, then ask more questions to see if you can get them to the buying stage. If they are an 8 or below ask them why they are that low.
- How would it feel to reach your goal through my services? Or How would it feel to have my product solve the problem or fill the need for you?
Here we are trying to help them see the value in what you are offering. You can discuss why you are so talented and skilled in your field and reassure that you believe they will be in great hands with you!
- Would you be open to help finding the money in your budget for (Product or Service)?
Sometimes they just need help problem solving. They may not have considered other ways to find the money to pay for your excellent product or service. If they agree, you can offer suggestions and brainstorm in where they can free up some funds to take part in your services or purchase your product.
- What would it cost you to remain in the same place or not accept my product/services? Cost in Time? Cost in Money? Cost in Stress?
There are more costs than money in some cases. Sometimes you offer a peace of mind that it is taken care of. Sometimes you save the client tons of time in the process. Ask them why they thought to hire someone in the first place and how much the savings in time, money and stress is worth to them.
- What do you think is a “fair” price?
I mentioned earlier I sometimes ask this. This is kind of a loaded question. I find I get to this point when I have gone through several other questions and feel I am not getting anywhere. This can help you determine if they are being realistic or just plain unreasonable. If they don’t have an answer, I usually follow up with how I came to set my pricing, I explain my training and my level of expertise. At that point either they will purchase, or it is time to move on as they don’t see your value. You could go so far to give them a scenario to consider… ask if their boss didn’t pay them or took some money out of their paycheck because they wanted a “deal” or they didn’t have the budget for the time they put in at work… how would that feel? Well, maybe that is too far. LOL, but I’d love to know how they answer. Sometimes I think people forget this is our livelihood… we can’t pay our bills with “thank you’s” and positive reviews.
- Tell me why you believe can’t afford it at this price… Spouse doesn’t see the value? No $ in Account? Paying for other things? Business not making enough?
Getting to understand their hesitation can be eye opening. Maybe it isn’t about the money after all. Maybe they need more information to decide. Maybe it is the money and they are not able to afford your caliber of service. If that is the case, try to help with another solution… refer them to a lesser expensive provider… they will not get your quality, but you will leave a positive impression by trying to be helpful without compromising your standards.
- What is your WHY? Why are you doing this?
Why did they seek you out in the first place? What problem are they trying to solve? Reminding them why they need help can sometimes help them see the value.
The bottom line is… Don’t compromise your pricing or your value to land a client… 9 times out of 10 they will be more hassle than it is worth. You are Talented, you are Skilled, you bring VALUE, and you Deserve to be paid! Entrepreneurs and small business owners unite! Each situation and business model is unique. Keep providing high quality products and services and stand behind your pricing! The clients you are meant to work with will come!
We have all been there… We are expecting payment and something “goes wrong”. Sometimes it is as simple as a digital “glitch”, but there are times when a client does not pay on time. As an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you are most likely managing your cash flow by the contracts you have or the invoices you have sent. At times, a missed or unpaid invoice can send your whole budget into a tizzy. There is a lot of emotion around money on both the business owner and the client’s part. The best thing you can do is create a plan for how you will handle this when it happens, to avoid reacting in an emotional way instead of a professional way. Here are some tips to help you create your system for non-payment.
Be sure you have a full system! Think your payment process through from start to finish. Be sure to let your clients know the following:
1. Be as basic and specific as what forms a payment do you accept… Cash, Check, Credit Card, PayPal, other merchant services, etc… As well as lengths and terms for payment plans.
2. Have a written refund policy. Have it clear, concise and in regular print (not fine print). If you have a contract or a standard invoice have it print it on that. You can even consider having them initial that they read it.
3. Past due/Late payment policy with set fees. This should be consistent throughout your business. Have a set late fee, with a set period that you consider a payment to be late. 3 days, 5 days, 7 days? My suggestion is no longer than 14 days.
4. What is your returned check/payment policy and fee? Be sure you know what your bank will charge YOU. Bank fees have gotten out of hand… you want to be sure you recoup at least the bank fee along with a little extra for your administration costs to reach out to collect the debt. If you have a recurring payment option, how many payments need to fail before your recurring stops. Will your system retry the payment in a few days? Check with your merchant provider for guidelines to this.
5. If you provide a service, make it clear that services will not continue until the client payments are up to date. You want to also be clear as to if you are willing to make up sessions or time that the client was past due.
6. Decide the length of time you plan to attempt to collect the debt before taking legal action.
7. All your expectations, terms and conditions should be readily available to your client… it should be written in contracts or on receipts and can be listed on your website. Always include your contact information so that if there are any questions you can be reached easily.
8. It is a great idea to have your lawyer look over your contracts and Terms & Conditions to make sure you are compliant. You will also have someone who is familiar with your terms to contact if you need to take legal action.
Once you have your system I place… there may be a time you need to enforce it. Here are some tips on how to not burn bridges as you try to collect payment…
1. Always give your client the benefit of the doubt. Reach out to them and ask if they are aware they missed the payment. Sometimes it was a complete oversight, problem solved… sometimes they are having a financial hardship. See if there is a way you can work together to get the payment made. Be careful of breaching your own policies… if you change the terms of a contract be sure to send it to them in writing and save a copy for yourself.
2. Be sure the client understands the policies and the contract they agreed to. Offer to answer any questions they have. Be available.
3. Be diligent about follow up. Tell your client when the next payment is due, if another late fee will be assessed, etc.
4. Do not be standoffish… like I said early… money is emotional. You can feel devalued, taken advantage of… even betrayed. Understand that threatening, badmouthing or the silent treatment is not going to resolve the issue. Keep open lines of communication if you can and do your due diligence for the time you set before you begin to take legal action.
5. When it is time to take legal action, the best practice is to first send an official letter stating when you will be taking the issue to a lawyer or the courts. Be sure you have all our ducks in a row… copies of signed contracts or invoices, print outs of emails with date stamps, etc.
6. Most of all…. STAY PROFESSIONAL. Your feelings are hurt, but if you start mudslinging or talking badly about a client… it just makes YOU look bad.
I hope you never find yourself in this situation, but if you do, having a plan in place can be a sanity saver!
This morning I turned on Good Morning America, as I do every morning, only to be greeted yet AGAIN with the sad news of another mass shooting… this time the worst in “the history of American mass shootings”. The fact that I just typed… “the history of American mass shootings” brings a tear to my eye. We as a country and the world have faced many tragedies recently… 3 devastating hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, wild fires, excessive heat warnings, floods, social and economical unrest, and now another mass shooting. As our country faces pulling together after this recent tragedy, I am paused to consider the diverse ways people respond to tragic events. You see not everyone handles tragedy the same. And that is OK! But it is helpful to understand that some will not grieve the same way you do. When we understand that we can help each other heal instead of judging.
As a coach and DISC practitioner I live for analyzing behavior patterns and solving problems. In crisis, I have seen some people rush to activism, some get to work to avoid thinking about it, some people rush to solitude, some rush to be with the people they love, some people research to find all the facts and try to make sense of it all. The point is… we all handle things differently.
Most high “D” behavior styles will pause reflect and move on. They will keep busy with things they can control and act on. They will allow themselves little downtime and little time to process. To others this may seem harsh or insensitive… but, this is just how a high “D” handles crisis.
Most high “I” behavior styles will flock to groups to be around people, some will start a fundraising effort, some will make signs or create (repeated) social media posts of support… a “we’re in this together” mentality. They may share information that is not backed by fact, but more based on emotion. To others this can seem irresponsible or rash in the respect that they can stir up emotions in others.
Most high “S” behavior styles will shelter at home… surround themselves with what is comfortable, known and familiar. They will bring their loved ones close and make sure they are OK without sharing much about their own feelings. To other this may look like they are keeping their head in the sand… and to an “S”, that is just what they want in crisis!
Most high “C” behavior styles will watch all the news stations, read articles, listen to the radio, scan social media, gather information, and some will even try to figure out a plan to “make things better” or make sense of something that may not make sense. They are looking for logic… something to solve, an answer. A high “C” will need as much information, angles and stories as they can get, even if it is upsetting to them. To others this may seem like punishment… “Why are you doing this to yourself… turn off the TV”, But they can’t.
There is no “Right” or “Wrong” way to handle tragedy… what is most important is to give people the freedom to process without judgement of how they “should” react or respond. My goal in this article is to bring to light the fact that we are all different, yet all beautiful. As we try to understand what is going on in our world… remember to give people grace… give people the space to grieve or be angry or whatever emotion comes up for them… without judgement. We will get through this. Sending love and hugs to you all!
Being a woman entrepreneur can be tough. Women need interaction and support by nature. As entrepreneurs, we sometimes feel isolated and in need of a community. OR we may just need a way to get some critical business education, but since we are not part of a corporation we don’t find as many opportunities to keep learning and growing.
In 2014 I was looking for a group to join that had mostly (if not all women) with the ability to socialize, network, refer and learn. Women tend to network and communicate a little differently than men do. Co-ed networking groups are ok… but I really wanted to find one with women. I struggled to find such a group in the area. As the good little entrepreneur I am… I created it! I designed a group for women business owners and entrepreneurs that offered a social gathering over coffee and/or tea, where we could share about our businesses and be educated in a variety of different areas. 3 years later we have a thriving group where we help each other, lift each other up, educate each other and build our business together. I call it… Pottstown Women’s Networking Group!
We meet the 2nd Friday of each month at Productivity Pointe in Pottstown, PA. There is a Facebook group so feel free to check us out! https://www.facebook.com/groups/PottstownWomensNetworking/
My challenge to you is to evaluate where you are meeting your clients and who is in your support community. If you don’t have one… create one. You will find that with a support community and a social outlet it is easier to build and grow your business!
Today I sort of messed up my schedule. I thought I needed to be at my first event at 10 am… well it turns out I didn’t need to be there until 3 PM. I decided instead of driving back home the 45 minute drive and then returning again, I would instead set up shop and work on other things until my 3 PM event. In usual “Mindy Style” I didn’t plan well for my meals… something I struggle with but am working on. I knew it would be good to get a solid meal in before the event, so at 12:30 I decided to go to the local Bertucci’s for a solo lunch! I didn’t hesitate because I do eat alone from time to time. The funny thing is, when I tell someone I ate at a restaurant alone they get a shocked look on their face. “What was that like??” “Did you feel weird?” Now, I’m not talking drinking a cup of coffee at Starbucks slumped over a laptop… I’m talking a full lunch in a busy restaurant alone…gasp!
Upon arriving I said “Just me” and smiled, the host only hesitated for a moment before putting back all but one menu and lead me to my table. I sat down and figured out what I wanted and decided I wasn’t going to linger on my tablet or cell phone… I was going to observe and relax for the time I was there.
So, here is what I observed-noticed:
- The older people in the restaurant were engaged in conversation, while the younger ones seemed to be on their phones. (An unfortunate sign of the times I guess). The groups seemed to be in deep conversation, leaning in.
- I was served much more quickly than the other tables with 2 or more patrons. I didn’t have the chance to ask if that is by design or if they assume you don’t want to sit alone for “too long”. The tables with groups they seemed to time the meal at a steadier pace. I don’t think they were rushing me, but wanted to make sure I was taken care of. Food came out one after the next… I think I was seated and finished in about 20 minutes!
- I was checked on constantly… almost as if they wanted to make sure I wasn’t lonely LOL!
- I noticed no one would look at me. I could see people looking around the restaurant but they seemed to skip over me… especially eye contact. Except for one little boy, who on his way out with his mother and sister stopped at my table and said, “Good Morning!” with a huge smile on his face. His mother quickly rushed him away saying don’t bother that woman. But I quite enjoyed his interaction and was glad I could say “Good Morning” back before he was out of earshot! I wondered if HE thought I might be lonely and needed a friendly hello?? I did smile at a woman across the room… but she quickly looked away.
- There was 1 other person in the restaurant eating alone… She had her tablet and phone going and never looked up even when the wait staff checked on her. I wondered… could she be that busy or is she feeling embarrassed a little to be eating alone?
So, have you ever eaten alone? How did it make you feel? I loved the fact that I got to eat all 3 rolls in the Bertucci bread basket (my absolute favorite with their seasoned oil! YUM!). I loved looking around and really seeing the décor and the people there. I was content not looking at my electronic devices and just “being”, enjoying my meal. Don’t get me wrong… I love to eat with family, friends and colleagues as well! But once in a while I think it is great to do things outside of the norm. Eating alone can be very empowering and relaxing at the same time. Give it a try and let us know how it makes you feel!
Did you ever notice that life is more exciting if you have something you are looking forward to? I certainly believe that to be true! When I have a vacation or a visit with a friend coming up, I tend to look at the calendar a lot, counting the days and making my plan to fit everything in that needs to be done surrounding the event. There is a positive buzz and even if other things aren’t going great, I have “Something to look forward to!”
I have a dear friend who moved away a few years ago. I miss her terribly. However, if I know specifically when I will get to visit with her again, face to face, it seems to make it better. I have a more positive outlook and I know the end date (or goal), so I don’t seem to harp on how much I miss her, but instead on when I next get to be in her space.
Sometimes it’s not a BIG event. It might be something smaller like lunch or coffee with a friend. Today I had a FULL schedule of work to do. Some was exciting, some not so much! However, I planned ahead and sprinkled in lunch with a friend to break up the day. So this morning when things weren’t going my way, I simply remembered I’d have a break soon and be able to catch up, chat and laugh with my friend over a yummy meal at one of our favorite meeting places. I came back to my office feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of my to-do list!
The same is true in your business. When you have nothing to look forward to it gets pretty dull and mundane! BUT … When you are diligently working toward a fantastic goal or event, “work” is exciting and invigorating! When work is exciting and invigorating you draw people to you and your business!
The best thing about it… YOU get to control what you get to look forward to in your business. It could be a presentation you have coming up, it could be a HUGE opportunity you are looking for, it could be writing your first book, it could be acquiring that next amazing client. It’s all up to you!
I have a vision board on the “back splash” of my desk. This vision board has specific goals in pictures of things I want to achieve or have. When I find myself getting in a rut I take a good hard look at the vision board. I choose something to work for… to look forward to! I set a SMART goal around it (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive). Once I set the goal, I make a plan on how I plan to reach it. Because after all, a goal without a plan is just a wish! And voila! I now have something to look forward to! I can then make smaller goal posters or notes to remind me what I am working toward. AND, when I meet with people to network my excitement will ooze out of me and get them excited too!
What are you looking forward to? If you don’t know… go find something!
When I was growing up my mother would tell my sister and me many stories. As an adult and mother to my own kids now, I find myself remembering and sometimes retelling the stories I once loved to have told to me. One of my favorites was the house with the Golden Windows. It is a story about perspective and appreciating what you have when you have it. It can also be about not comparing yourself with others… I found this version of the story online… tell me what you think you can learn from it…
(This is actually a picture of my neighbors window I took to remind me of MY golden windows)
The House with the Golden Windows
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in a simple, small, and shabby-looking house. When she would be outside playing in the yard, she often glanced over the fence and across the valley and noticed a large house high on the hill. This house had “golden windows” that glistened every time the sun shone on it and the girl would dream about how lovely it would be to live there instead of in the ordinary house like hers.
A few years later, when the girl was a little older, her mother gave her permission to ride her bike a little further up the street. She rode up the street, across the valley, and up the hill until she reached the house, with the golden windows, that she always admired from the distance.
As she dismounted from her bike, gazing at the house, she was a bit disappointed in what she saw up close. The house was abandoned and dilapidated. The front yard was surrounded by weeds taller than her and the “golden windows” were actually plain and dirty, reflecting only the neglect of the house.
Feeling so sad, she didn’t go any further. Heartbroken over the false illusion of her dream house, she mounted her bike and headed back to her house. As she glanced up, ahead of her in the distance, there was a sight that really amazed her. Across the valley on her side of the valley was a little house and the windows glistened just as golden as the house she was just leaving. It was the sun shining on her little house.
It was then that she realized, she had been living in her “golden house” that she always dreamed of from afar. But her house was filled with love and care. It wasn’t abandoned like the house she often dreamed of someday having. Instead, everything she dreamed of was right there in front of her. In reality… she WAS living her dream!
MORAL: Things aren’t always greener on the other side. The way we view things aren’t always how they really are. We need to appreciate the things we are given and make the most of it.
We often compare ourselves and/or our businesses to others. We are often comparing apples to oranges or our own challenges/weaknesses to other’s strengths. When they look at us… they see the golden window too! In the summer months when things tend to slow down and become more relaxed it gives us time to criticize and compare. I challenge you to instead revisit and reevaluate what you are doing. What is working? What isn’t working? Take the time to live in the moment, dream, create, and change things up. Ask someone you trust to tell you what they think of your business or what you are doing right in your life. Then remind yourself that you ALREADY have golden windows! How will you let your golden windows shine??