5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

Overcoming fear and anxiety as a business ownerOver time I’ve noticed a trend.  When I start working with clients I create a very safe space in which they can be honest, grow and move forward.  This leads them to share very personal and vulnerable things with me. I am honored and privileged to have their trust.  What surprises me is how surprised they are when they get to know me a bit better. Inevitably every client will say at least once, “I didn’t know that about you. I would never have known that if you didn’t tell me. It makes me feel so much better to know you’ve struggled with challenges too!”

As I’ve been exploring my own unique voice and way of doing things in my business with my mentors and mastermind buddies I get the same reactions.  “Does your audience know this about you?  Seeing more of your vulnerable side would certainly attract me more to you.”  And so, with the loving challenges of my support team, I want to share with you 5 things you probably didn’t know about me and how I’ve navigated them in a way that lets me thrive.

This post isn’t about taking a narcissist TMI plunge all too popular in blogs and social media these days. My intention is for you to:

  • Get to know me a bit better
  • See a connection in our shared struggles (even if yours don’t look the same as mine)
  • Be encouraged that no matter what you may have experienced or be experiencing now that you can succeed, run your business, and live your life by your own design.

So… with all the courage I mustered to write this post, here we go!

Panic and Anxiety

I spent years suffering from a panic and anxiety disorder.  I lived with a constant state of anxiousness and added social anxiety just to make things interesting.  For a time, the panic attacks would get bad enough to warrant a trip to the hospital (but I would never go). While the tendency toward panic and anxiety never fully goes away I have shifted that dynamic to keep it from interfering in any significant way in my life.  I didn’t do it instantly and I didn’t do it alone, but I know it can be done.  I also know what it feels like to live with everything from a low-grade to high intensity amount of anxiety as you try to go about your professional duties and personal life.  These feelings can often be exacerbated by the entrepreneurial journey, but the need not stop you.

While we’re on the topic of un-fun emotions. Let’s talk…


My relationship with fear has had its arcs.  I have been afraid of everything from heights to the up-and-down horse on the carousel (yes for years I would only ride the ones that were bolted down).  These fears were in direct conflict with my insatiable desire for loving life experiences.  My coping strategies have included everything from outright avoidance to white-knuckling it.  When asked, “How could you do those things (travel, adventure, whatever…), aren’t you scared?” I always answer. Yes. Of course I’ve been scared, but my desire to have an experience outweighs my fear and so I keep on showing up.  As long as it is something I really want to do, I will try it (to date I have zero desire to jump out of a plane, but should that change, yes, I would try it.).  I also give myself plenty of emotional recovery time if needed.  As I teach to others, I seek to let fear walk beside me as my teacher instead of having it keep me stuck. [Read more…]

Second-Guessing Yourself Is Costing You Confidence & Money

Indecision Equals Low Confidence and Less MoneyHave you ever needed to make a decision and then just when you thought you knew what you wanted to do, doubted yourself?  In the “I want to do x,y,z…well, I don’t know maybe I shouldn’t?  What if it’s the wrong choice? Maybe I don’t deserve it?” sort of way.

C’mon… tell me you haven’t ever done this, I dare you!

Almost everyone has felt this way at some time or another, but the question is – how familiar is this routine for you?

  • Do you make it a habit to second-guess all your decisions?
  • Do you doubt yourself from the get-go whenever an opportunity or challenge presents itself?
  • Do you adopt inaction/keeper of the status quo as your mode of operation because you don’t want to risk taking action or speaking up because you might not do the “right” thing?

If this rings a bell, it is costing you in many ways.  You may “think” it is insignificant, but in reality it costs you confidence and money.  That’s right, it literally costs you money. Here’s why…

I used to spend hours, days and months, even years locked in analysis paralysis. I could sit in a cup of self-doubt for what seemed like forever. For several years there I made it my full time job.  Here’s a sneak peek from one of those times early in my career.  My boss would give me a new, more challenging assignment.  While I knew I was intelligent and could figure anything out given time and resources, I would almost immediately launch into a panic. I would doubt my abilities, beat myself up because I wasn’t an instant expert at something I had never done before, and literally think “who am I to think I can be any good at this?”   Everywhere I looked all I could see where obstacles and more opportunities to second-guess myself.

So you can see where this was not the best way to go about achieving something, right?  You can see how this behavior kept me from stepping up to do new things and expand my responsibilities into a higher paying position, right? [Read more…]

My Declaration About Money (3 Simple But Not Easy Rules to Live By)

The Declaration of You Blog Lovin’ Tour

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Money is a charged topic and one we don’t like to talk about in our culture. It’s our dark little secrets, more intimate than even sex.  Yep, it’s that taboo.  I believe the reason for this is because money holds so much power and each and every person has her own convoluted, complex (and sometimes dysfunctional) relationship to it.

Because of this emotional charge and the practical necessities of having money I see people go to extremes as a way of protecting themselves. There is the:

Money isn’t the most important thing camp.


Money is the driving force for everything camp.

Unfortunately whichever camp you live in, you are likely an unhappy camper.  That is because while money isn’t everything and it certainly isn’t the most important thing, it does touch every aspect of our lives. You need it to live and how much you need depends on your desired lifestyle. Just don’t mistake lifestyle for having a life.

While having more money can be empowering, it is not empowering in and of itself.  I can’t tell you the number of people who earn multiple six figures or more that feel more trapped and controlled by money than anyone who is scraping by and bootstrapping their way through each month.

My Story

Money drove my decisions before I even consciously knew what was happening.  Beyond all the money messages received as a child growing up in the world, the biggest turning point I remember was when I first went to college. I had ideas about what I would love to study but was undecided on a major. When I posed these questions to my school counselors and parents the verdict was unanimous.  “You’ll never make any money doing those things and you really like nice things and nice things require money.” The gauntlet was down and the decision was made as I walked headlong into majoring in Accounting. A very practical, useful, and potentially lucrative profession, except…

The problem was – I was good at it, but didn’t like it.  If anything, searching endlessly for small details (I once spent an entire weekend searching for $.02 that wouldn’t balance on my damn balance sheets!) made me slightly psychotic.  Yet I marched on following a path I thought I “should” take.

This trend continued into the jobs I chose, the unhappiness I felt in almost 20 years in Corporate, and the desperation I felt in the tug/pull between making money and being happy.  Even when I made the big leap of faith into self-employment six years ago, money (and the lack of it) created untold amounts of angst in me.

It is from this journey that my declaration was born.

No Amount of Money Can Buy What Truly Matters

I always knew on some level that you couldn’t buy the most important and valuable things in life.  Yet it wasn’t until my mother got sick and then died 3 years ago that this lesson got deeply ingrained in my being.  No amount of money, planning, or pleading could change that situation.  It was the most excruciating experience of my life emotionally.  I can still remember the cries of my father wondering what all the financial planning, saving, and waiting was for; nothing else felt like it mattered now in the face of this loss.

I learned that money can facilitate and help mitigate the pain or difficulty of a situation but it can never make it go away.  Conversely money can enhance a joy by making something easier, more elegant, or more elaborate, but it can’t create the joy or happiness itself.

So even when times are tough I point my focus towards what I can do and what is deeper, richer, and more lasting than any amount of money could ever be.

Money is an Exchange of Energy (Use it Wisely)

Neither extreme frugality nor being a spendthrift is the answer.  It’s not about the money, ultimately. It is about the energy (time, energy, effort, etc.) expended in exchange for money that matters.  I can remember years ago reading the classic book Your Money or Your Life (Robin & Dominguez) and being introduced to the concept of trading your life energy for money.  It was a huge awakening for me in that I realized I did not want to trade my life simply for money doing a soul-sucking job that had a million rules, restrictions, and limitations. I wasn’t willing to live only for the weekends and 1-2 weeks of vacation per year.

When you own your own business you may set your own fees and choose your own schedule but you still need to ask yourself the question: Is what I’m choosing to do a wise use of my life’s energy?  This includes how you choose to spend and invest your money as well.

For me personally, if I choose to do something it either needs to 1) Make me money, 2) Save me money, or 3) Give me great joy, meaning, or pleasure.  Otherwise it is an easy thing to say no to.

Money is a Renewable Resource; Time is Not

When I was in my early 20’s and at my first job, someone said to me that it didn’t matter if I didn’t like my job, if I could simply hold on for another 30-35 years, then the pension and benefits would be worth it.  I thought my head would explode!  I was supposed to be this unhappy and trade the entire prime of my life in the illusory hopes that I might have a nice retirement? What kind of security is THAT?

I see business owners I work with make this mistake all the time.  They push, overwork, and stay tethered to the task of growing their business so much so that they don’t take time for their lives.  The self-care, fun, time-off, hobbies, and relaxation get thrown to the side in exchange for the myth that “making it happen” and being more productive is the end-goal.  It’s not.

I always factor in time, value, energy, and fun into the equation of making money.  If I’m miserable, no amount of money could make me happy.  Yes I need money and yes I want to continue to grow my business to earn more money. However, it’s more important to me to do so mindfully than it is to simply plug away at some arbitrary goal while watching time whoosh by.  If I lose sight of that, I return to my first declaration above because like anyone who has experienced loss, I know that no amount of money could buy another hour with someone you love doing something you love.

What have you declared about the way you earn, spend, and relate to money? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below.

Do You Want to Play Hookie from Your Business? [Video]

Remember when you used to dream of being your own boss for the flexibility and freedom to take time off whenever you wanted to without getting permission? Thoughts of a sunny Friday where you just take off to enjoy hobbies, friends, family, good times?

As a self-employed business owner you can do this any time you want. You have permission. You have the power.

But…when was the last time you DID?

This isn’t about blowing off your clients or shirking responsibilities…this is about enjoying your life fully and recharging your body, mind, and spirit so you can serve others and have an impact in the way you want to.

Join me from the cockpit of my kayak as I talk more about playing hookie and enjoying your life.

Is Your Calendar Holding You Hostage?

I can’t tell you the number of times my overwhelmed women business owner clients come to me because they feel like their schedule is running them into the ground.  Each day is carefully constructed with each minute booked (or double-booked) so that if one little thing does not go as planned, everything goes askew. They feel (and sound) breathless as they recount all that is happening, everything that needs to be done, and how it just feels so out of control!

Is Your Schedule Holding You Hostage?

My peeps are smart, intelligent, competent, and achievement-oriented women.  They know deep down that an electronic or paper calendar can’t actually hold them prisoner or control their life.  Why a calendar doesn’t even have opposable thumbs! They know where the delete key is on their keyboard.  Their mouth is quite capable of saying the word No.  And yet, like a hamster on a wheel, they try to keep on running. Deep down they know this isn’t going to work, but somehow if they feel if they could just work harder things will magically get fixed. [Read more…]

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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