THE MAGIC 20

 

 

Happy New Year!

Have you made your resolutions list yet?

I don’t believe in resolutions. And here’s why:

How many years have gone by where you had your resolutions set and then by mid January (about now) you’ve already started to pick them apart and make every excuse as to why you can’t accomplish them?

I know this to be true because this was me a few years ago and I guarantee most everyone else does it too!

This year I want to offer you a different perspective. Instead of making a laundry list of resolutions that you will never accomplish, I challenge you to make ONE promise to yourself. One promise that you can commit to 100%! One promise that you will do everything in your power and control to make a reality for you. Write it down and put it where you can see it and be reminded of it every day.

What this does is it changes your list of one to ten small resolutions into ONE meaningful movement in your life!

For example, I want to travel to San Francisco and Vegas in 2017 to celebrate my 40th… Yeah, it’s a big year for me!!!

I need to make some big adjustments to make this happen. But I am committed 100% to making it work. Whether it’s a financial adjustment or a childcare adjustment…whatever it is, I will figure it out because it means that much to me.

With that being said, when you have your one promise—your biggest dream/goal—you can still get off track. You can still lose focus if things aren’t manifesting fast enough. You can still lose hope that it won’t happen at all.

And when this happens, it can be easy to start making excuses, which further slows your momentum.

So today, I have a fun exercise for you that you can do when the excuses train pulls into the station… toot, toot!!

I have to credit the lovely Marie Forlio for teaching it to me, but I threw my own spin on it.

Exercise: THE MAGIC 20

Get into a quiet, safe space and take a few deep breaths… Make sure your mind is completely clear. On a piece of notebook paper, write down your ONE goal/dream/promise that you want to achieve—THE BIG ONE!!

Write it in BIG, BOLD LETTERS and say it out loud! “My goal is…”

Now for the fun part! Be creative here. Don’t edit yourself and stop judging!! Write down ten excuses as to why you can’t/won’t achieve this goal.

This is a good practice because we all do it. We start to make excuses, which validates to ourselves why something can’t be done. That’s when we spiral into the negative thinking and self-talk. For most of us we kind of live here and get comfortable, which then causes the dream to feel too big to manifest!

But we also know that when we really want something, we can usually find a way to get it!

So write down the excuses you have…let them all out!! What are they? You don’t have enough money, time, resources, love, the right environment—whatever it is that you tell yourself.

When your excuses are written out, write down ten actionable steps you are willing to do to accomplish your BIG goal.

Maybe it’s finding support in a friend, securing another job, selling something, hiring a trainer, buying a membership to an organization, or taking a trip. Maybe it’s even leaving your partner if it’s a bad relationship.

The actions will vary for everyone, but once you do this simple exercise your mind will begin to shift because you’ll see how much is in your control after all!

And don’t forget too that there is a Higher Power at work for us to fill in the rest. The Universe is working hard to bring the right gifts to us, even if they don’t come in the form we may have wanted.

A Coach recently told me that I am more in my masculine energy, which means that I’m a doer. I use logic. I need certainty. This year, one of my goals is to be more in the feminine energy because that’s where you create more beauty, that’s where you experience vulnerability, that’s where you have trust and stronger faith.

Being in the masculine energy is not a bad thing—it’s gotten me to where I am today, but it’s also important to work at balance. I look at most of the people in my life and I see a lot of that masculine energy—that constant doing—because let’s face it, we’re all busy and running around in our lives and not necessarily trusting enough in our own power and that of the Universe!

You need both the masculine and the feminine. You need goals and dreams and maybe sometimes “resolutions” in order to feel a part of something—purposeful if you will. But if you really want to make your dreams a reality this year then stop with the excuses, go after what you want no matter the risks, and bring more TRUST into your life.

Continue to be uniquely you!

 

P.S. Comment below and share your ONE promise!

 

 

If Guilt Could Kill

The Adorable 4 year old

The Adorable 4 year old

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are a mom {and a good one at that) you will relate to this!

Moms walk around feeling like they have to apologize for everything. I know, because I used to be that mom!!

I would yell and curse at my kids out of frustration because I was juggling too many balls and I was completely overwhelmed. My kids got the brunt of my emotions and I really felt like I no longer had control over anything. The worst part was that I had no idea why this was happening.

I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to have many children. That was my dream and my purpose. But then one day, I got a taste of business and fell in love with being my own boss, making my own rules, and setting my own schedule.

So what actually ended up happening in my life was more kids and more inspiration to build multiple streams of revenue. On top of all of this, I didn’t know how to stop the freight train of guilt and the roller coaster of emotions that came with all of this.

I thought, like most of you do, that I could have it all and remain calm, cool and collected while everything and everyone on my path would be fine!!! WRONG!!!

When I took on more business and had more children, I took on more guilt. When I couldn’t measure up to what everyone thought I should be—WAIT, no—what I thought I should be, I took on even more guilt.

As moms, we feel guilty because we are endowed with the intuitive responsibility to take care of our children’s every need. We are the caretakers. That is our JOB! In our minds, we have set up this high standard of what a perfect mom should look like. Then, when shit hits the fan, we feel a world of guilt.

When a conference call runs into dinner and you see the disappointment in their faces, you feel the guilt. When you can’t make the soccer game or the ballet recital, you feel the guilt. When you don’t have date night with your husband, you feel the guilt. When you are utterly exhausted and can’t bear to fold the last load of laundry—you do it because you feel the guilt!

Guilt is a feeling that everyone is familiar with. We feel guilty when we feel responsible for an action that we regret. For moms, guilt is best understood as feeling vulnerable and shameful, especially when it occurs as a result of your children’s reactions to your actions.

Here’s a doozy of a story—

It’s a typical Sunday morning with the smell of bacon and eggs filling my house as my husband plates breakfast for us. The kids are happy and content and so I’m in the mood to take off and get some much needed retail therapy.

Just in time though, we run out of clothes detergent! So I decide to hit TARGET and go shopping without the kids (because we all know you can’t shop with the kids)!!

Before I leave, my adorable 4 four-year old daughter, who has caught wind that mommy’s headed out the door, finds me in the hallway. As I exit the house and get into the car, baby girl is standing there—screaming. The screams are so loud and horrifying, that the neighbors must think she’s actually being tortured with knives and fire.

At this point, I’m sitting in my car debating whether or not to go, practically falling apart because I feel so guilty about what is taking place. I need this hour to myself, but now I’m worrying about what my neighbors think and I’m feeling guilty over the fact that my husband will have to deal with the aftermath. Ugh, I feel terrible and all that’s repeating in my head is: “What a bad mom!!!!”

This experience shook me so deeply and at the same time, it gave me the kick in the ass I needed!!!

I was ashamed that my daughter acted the way she did. After all, what did I do that was so wrong as a parent to have a child act that way? I felt so guilty and pathetic. My feelings were literally crippling and they went something like this:
Stressed.
Sad.
Pathetic.
Ashamed.
Fearful.
Vulnerable.

Sound familiar?

As horrifying as this experience was though, it got me thinking: How do other moms feel and how do they deal with the guilt? How does guilt play into their every day lives and businesses?

For someone like me, I find myself battling guilt often because I work from home. I struggle with separating myself on a daily basis. I struggle with balancing both the personal and the professional.

When you work for yourself though, it’s critical to separate your personal and professional lives. Easier said then done, I know! Some nights you may need to give up time with your family in order to grow your business. It has to be done!

Now, back to that Sunday with my daughter—I ended up giving in. I got out of the car and told her to put her shoes on. I wiped her little crocodile tears and hugged her and put in her in her car seat. Off to TAGRGET we went!

Why? Because I was shaken with shame. I felt like I was being neglectful and that I was unworthy of spending that hour by myself. I didn’t get to take the shopping trip alone that day, but this incident made me realize how much of a problem this really was. For the first time, I decided I wanted to make it stop AND I realized how much I wanted to help other moms deal with their guilt as well, because no one deserves to feel like this.

I also learned from my daughter’s quick recovery that if I do leave the kids behind, they will live. They will not think less of me for making time for ME.

We—you and me—are worthy of time, whether it’s time for work or pleasure, we need to fuel ourselves. When the kids grow up, you want them to see all of you and every spectacular piece of you. You want them to see the beauty in the life that you created for them, but you will only create that beauty if you let go of the guilt. One bad day in their little heads will not last a lifetime and it does not erase all the love and hard work you put in daily.

So if you struggle with the guilt, here are 5 steps to help you LET GO of the guilt:

1. Acknowledge that you feel guilty and explore the WHY.
2. Address the emotion that it is triggering.
3. Set boundaries for your children.
4. Talk through it.
5. Stay consistent.

MOMS, we need to get over it!

You have nothing to feel guilty about! You will be a better mom if you take time out often! You need a resting place in your day. You need to take that call in peace.

We can be kick ass moms and mombosses. We can run corporations, travel, speak, be a student, lead, make money, and still have a family. We don’t need to make the hard choice to be a stay-at-home mom OR have a career. Why should you give up your dreams or not pursue what is joyful because of your children?

How many are giving up on their dreams right now because of the guilt!!??

I think back to the days when I was regretful for having a family because all I wanted was fifteen minutes to get on the phone with a Client or write a blog and my children were battling down my office door. It’s not that I regret being a mom, because that is part of my purpose and my dream, but rather, it’s the guilt that I put on myself for feeling like I had to make a choice.

Choices are not powerless. You put the power behind your choices. If you need time and you’re able to get it, then take it and don’t feel guilty for doing that!

The thing is moms, your kids are growing up to make lives for themselves. Do you really want your daughters to be boggled down with guilt so that it paralyzes them in following their dreams? Wouldn’t you rather have your son find a partner who can also provide for the family and be happy that she’s doing what she loves?

We have to stop apologizing for what we want! No one should spend her life defending herself unless she’s before a judge and jury and that’s another issue.

You have to start taking control and expressing to your family that you have needs. When your kids are grown and off doing whatever amazing things they are doing, you will be left sad and lonely and unfulfilled because you were so busy apologizing and feeling guilty for following your dreams.

It doesn’t have to be this way and I truly want every mom to understand that while part of being a mother is about being selfless, it’s also okay to be selfish sometimes in order to feel a part of something bigger.

To further explore how to get rid of the mom guilt, join me for a very intimate workshop where you will learn the strategies to separate yourself from your kids and talk yourself through the guilt!

You can grab a spot here: https://ifguiltcouldkill.eventbrite.com or sign up on our Elite Workshop page

andydsig

How To Know When Your Goals Are Stunting Your Business Growth

We have a special guest blogger today her name is Sonya Highfield she is the founder of two great companies, Real World Creatives and Sonya Highfield Photography. Sonya is one of our speakers at the next Elite Workshop Sonya Highfield is a creativepreneur in Boston, passionate about living a successful creative life and helping other talented artists do the same. She has been running her commercial and fine art photography business since 2012, and founded Real World Creatives in 2015 to mentor and empower artists to make art & money!

When she’s not working on her businesses you can find Sonya planning her next vacation, doing yoga in her living room, wine tasting, returning library books late, and hanging with her family and friends.

Enjoy!

my-plan-image

How to Know When Your Goals are Stunting Your Business Growth
(And What to Do to Get Aligned with Better Ones)

As a creative business owner it can be overwhelming to figure out what to focus on these days. We want to conquer social media, write a blog with massive reach, serve our clients, create digital products, courses, webinars, podcasts, workshops…the list goes on! We see others doing, doing, doing and we make lists and Pinterest boards and seek out help for creating goals so we can achieve, achieve, achieve. We buy special notebooks and color code our calendars, and write inspiring notes to remind us to STRIVE for those goals! But what should you do when your goals end up weighing you down, not lighting you up? How do you adjust/pivot/start over even, without feeling like you’re a quitter?

Last year I hired a business coaching team that helped me map out all my goals. They encouraged all my ideas and cheered me on to create a 6 month timeline of when I would implement: an online course, a webinar series, a virtual summit with guests, an online membership program and serve clients one-to-one. (Not to mention rock weekly social media posts, a blog and bi-monthly newsletter.) Oh, and this was my second business, as in I was still running my first. But I was pumped to have all these big goals!

After 6 months of working with them I had created one type of one-to-one service, but barely implemented it. I would report every week on what I’d worked on, where I’d gotten stuck and each week they assigned me more tasks, encourage me to try new things, add new goals. What I ended up with was a schedule totally out of whack, being completely overwhelmed and feeling like I was failing because I wasn’t accomplishing any of these goals.

When I admitted these goals were not reasonable to attempt all at once, I felt relieved. When I was able to release these goals and start fresh I found: focus, motivation, inspiration and success! Were these bad goals? Not at all. Was it insane for me to think (and the coaches to not warn) that this would be very tough and really not necessary to do in the first 6 months of a new business? YES. And when I went back to examine them, I realized some were simply options that had been given to me, not necessarily things I wanted to do.

Since I let go of trying to tackle all these goals at once, I’ve been able to create long term and short term goals that are aligned and fit into my vision of business & life this year. (Remember your life? You should be able to work and enjoy it!) I have clarity on what I’m working on, and feel excited and empowered because I know my focused efforts are opening doors, creating connections, and moving my business forward. And doing that little thing we like to call making a living.

So if you’ve created a slew of goals that you’ve been struggling to work through, possibly feeling ashamed about not crushing them yet, I encourage you to ask yourself: Is this right for me? Do I need to do all of this right now? Would I feel happier, less stressed, more focused, more ACCOMPLISHED by actually having fewer goals?

To create goals that align with your big, dreamy business vision you need to think about HOW you really want to connect with customers/clients and HOW you want to make money. Maybe you love to blog but that isn’t how you want to make money right now. Maybe you love finding clients from instagram and it feels like a natural place to spend your time. Maybe you need to get off social media more and get out in your community to find partnerships. Think about what makes sense for YOU and your business, not anyone else’s. And oh yeah, your life! We need personal goals too, for balance and happiness. And I’m guessing yours are similar to mine, in that I don’t want to be burned out and bummed out by my business that I can’t enjoy my days, my friends, family and *gasp* time off!

So take out one of those special notebooks, let yourself examine and rewrite your goals in a way that allows you and your business space to succeed, room to learn then grow and some happy focus.

sonyahighfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://sonyahighfield.com

http://www.realworldcreatives.com

http://www.facebook.com/sonyahighfieldphotography

http://instagram.com/realworldcreatives

andydsig

Tips to finding a Mentor 101

never_stop_learning

The past couple of months have been crazy. It’s the end of summer and the beginning-of-the-school-year activities have begun—paperwork, writing checks, writing more checks, school shopping, events, sports, birthday parties, and on top of all of this, there’s still the daily grind of life. I don’t know about you, but this leaves me exhausted and in desperate need of a recharge.

For me, Fall is the recharge that I really need. It helps me refocus on what is most important. It’s almost like the New Year when we all get into resolution mode.

The kids are back in school and on a schedule. Wedding season slips away and I’m able to file the work that has left me exhausted, yet very proud, deep in the bottom drawer of my desk.

With the smell of pumpkin spice on the horizon and the cool breeze passing through the open windows, it never fails to amaze me how these simple things inspire me to do great things—like start a new project, clean a room, or just sit back and read a good book.

Lately, I’ve been focusing on setting new goals and living my life with more intention.

Specifically, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to educate myself more and utilize the mentors and amazing people I’ve connected with over the summer. How can I incorporate them into the new direction and movement within my business?

I know how important it is to educate others and help them reconnect with what makes them happy, but as business owners, it’s also really important that we seek out all of the education we can.

As a mother of four, it’s hard to spend my evenings at social and networking events, which is typically what people do in my idustry.  I am making these connections more of a priority now because I see how valuable it really is.

Educating yourself, whether that’s through a conference, a podcast, and/or a workshop can be MIND BLOWING and can shift so many things in your business. You’ll walk away with not only a new perspective, but hidden jewels of information to propel your business forward.

Mentors are another great way to help you navigate the next steps in your business.

The truth is though, successful people are very busy and they won’t always be able to offer help. You have to SHOW them that you are worthy of their help.

“Will you be my mentor?” can be very awkward to ask, but if you want someone to invest in you then you have to invest in him or her first and give him or her a reason to believe in you!

We are social creatures, so community and connection is our oxygen. We need to build off of others’ experiences.

Some of your most trusted mentors are right next to you right now. Look to your colleagues, even if they are ahead of or behind you. You want to align with people that can relate to you and your business.

So, here are ten proven tips {I need a mentor 101} to help you find the right mentor for you:

1.) You can find potential mentors in all different places. Seek out someone whom you’d love to learn from and have a message that you align with.

2.) Begin to connect with his or her free content. Listen to their podcast, watch their webinars, or listen to their Facebook live streams. You can learn so much for free just from engaging with their message.

3.) If you’re really loving someone’s content, figure out how you can become more engaged with their community. Get into their space and observe how they operate. You will learn a lot just by showing up!

4.) Become a customer of his or her business and excel. Attend a workshop or buy his or her book and apply the concepts!

5.) Tell him or her how their work has affected you and the impact it has made on you.

6.) Connect with him or her and ask for what you want. Be very specific about the help you need. Avoid being vague.

7.) Have an open heart and mind.

8.) Use his or her time wisely.

9.) Be true to your message as you apply what you’ve learned. Do the best work that you can.

10.) Seek out different and varying mentor relationships. Find mentorships from a network of leaders, so you can get help with all areas of your life and business.

 

“Teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

andydsig