My 5 Most Powerful Daily Habits

5 Daily Habits for SuccessWe all have habits, some good, some bad. Or shall I say, some that move us forward toward an inspiring future and others that keep us stuck in the past. Habits are where the intersection between life and business becomes even more blurry than usual (and those of you that read me regularly know I have a pretty expanded concept of how life and business intersect). This is why I wanted to share my most powerful daily habits with you.

At first glance you might look at this list and think – What does this have to do with growing your business? My answer is everything. Because you are at the core of your business. The hub. The engine. Without you the business doesn’t go forward (particularly if you are self-employed or in a small partnership). As my earliest personal transformation mentor Debbie Ford would teach us – it’s all about the microcosm of the macrocosm. Meaning what affects one part affects the whole. The tiniest thing is a reflection of the largest thing. A bit metaphysical? Yes. Applicable to your business. Without a doubt.

So here are the most important things I do every day that make me more productive, happier, and a better business owner and human being.

Begin with Gratitude

Every morning before my feet hit the floor, I give gratitude for the day. Regardless of my mood upon waking, I say a prayer of thanks. No matter what is going on in my life or business, today is precious. Being alive, breathing, healthy, with others I love, and in a business of my choosing is a gift. Even when I want to go all crankypants before I’ve even dismantled the snooze alarm, I remember what it was like when my mother was dying two years ago. A humbling and very present reminder of the gift that is today. This attitude informs my day and my business dealings.

Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Daily meditation is one of my integrity anchors that I started in 2003 and faithfully commit to. There is the occasional day that gets missed, but usually another form of meditation takes its place that day (like a very long kayak trip on a quiet lake for instance). This has brought a quality of presence and mindfulness to my life and business that I never dreamed was possible. It directly impacts my clients as well. Whether the intentions behind your practice are spiritual, health related, or strictly business performance related, it works. Avoid burnout, increase creativity, cultivate better relationships, and be a more spectacular leader… that’s an ROI that even the skeptics can get behind. [Read more…]

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 Be Productive When All Hell Breaks Loose

How do you stay focused when it feels like the world is swirling around you?

What should you do?

Where do you start when distractions abound, “life happens”, business deadlines loom, and it feels like all hell is breaking loose around you?

I’m here to tell you that you can be effective. You can be productive even when it feels like an impossibility.

Let me give you a visual and real example.  When we adopted 3 baby kittens and brought them home on an unsuspecting Saturday, everything about being productive in my home office changed. They were only 12 weeks old and for the first few weeks we had them, their access to the house was restricted only to my office.  (Yes, I am crazy, but it was the best room for them to be in and actually be with people during the day and learn where the litter box was going to reside.)

Dealing with Distractions


As you might imagine those first few weeks were like trying to work in the middle of a 3-ring circus with cyclonic tendencies.  I called it working while under kitty siege. There were kittens crawling up my legs, turning off the computer randomly (the power button was on top of their “stepping stool” to the desk), and chasing each other like wild mustangs.  As if that were not enough distraction, the are tragically cute and I just wanted to play and snuggle with them.

But there was work to do. Within that first week of “kitten city” alone, I conducted live Skype video intensives with a client, completed several major projects, conducted exploratory calls with prospects, served my clients, and did my usual marketing and administrative tasks.

You might not have new kittens, but my guess is that you have experienced times like I describe. Whether it is due to small children, teenagers needing something, getting the flu, caring for a sick loved one, navigating a big business challenge, moving your home/office, or some other “life happens” moment, the inevitable bursts of feeling like “all hell is breaking loose” is inevitable.

And, as a self-employed business owner there is still work to be done.

Here’s how I stayed productive without being overwhelmed and how you can too. [Read more…]

The Mantra for 2013: Simplify

At the start of each new year, I find that a theme foSimplify Your Life and Businessr my life and business organically emerges with some conscious intention.  It becomes a guiding force for the year as I make decisions both big and small.  It’s amazing the power this can have on your world.  Last year’s Shed – Sift – Savor trifecta turned my world around.  In fact I have chosen to keep that theme embedded in this year’s choice to simplify.

So what does it meant to simplify?  Frankly, I know at least a few close friends and family that would laugh at the idea that I am simplifying because they consider me “complex” or “difficult”.  They would say, “How could juicing, eating organic, or cooking from scratch simplify your life?” Or “How does launching a new product, traveling to a conference,  or offering a new service make things simpler?”

It actually does because my choices stem from the fact that I am very clear and intentional about what I desire and the choices I make. Sometimes these choices require a bit more effort than status quo. Yet, it serves me because I yearn to get to the root of the experience and the very fundamental nature of why I’m on the planet, why I’m in business, what I most want to experience, and how I most want to feel.  It’s not “right” or “wrong”, it just IS.  I believe you get to choose what you most desire as well, whatever that might look like.

There’s a lot of insight to be found in the definition of the words we toss around so freely.

Let’s look at the definition of simplify:

To make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier: to simplify a problem.

I would add that my desire to simplify stems from a desire to be radical (but not in the way you might think!).  You see I consider simplifying a radical act:

Relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.

My desire is to get to the core of the things that matter.  That pure state where the complex gets simple and the focus is on the true nature of things.  From this Zen-like intention, I find life and business gets a lot easier.  The struggle melts away (or at least dissipates more quickly!).  Desired outcomes manifest more naturally. Enjoying the journey becomes a natural byproduct.

So what does all this mean in terms of day-to-day life in business?

What this looks like from an inner awareness perspective

Simplicity starts from within. You need to give yourself permission for things to have a sense of ease, flow, and “right” nature about them.   This ends the suffering (in fact the Buddhists spell this out in the Noble Eightfold Path).  Regardless of your beliefs, my bet is that you can already notice how much closer you are to your true nature when you allow yourself to be authentic, cut yourself a break, and reduce inevitable complexities into their own little baby steps.

This isn’t rocket science but it is a radical shift in the way most of us go about living and operating in our businesses.

  • Are you willing to rest in and honor simplicity (even when it feels uncomfortable and you just want to fill in that space)?
  • Will you allow it to be safe to be more Zen-like in how you operate in your business?
  • Can you trust that by making choices from a place of simplicity, trust, kindness, and compassion that your desired outcomes will flow?

What this means in terms of practical action: [Read more…]

Laser-Like Focus is the Key to All Growth & Progress

Laser Like Focus for Business SuccessWhether you want to move forward in your business with steady, incremental growth or a big quantum leap, a laser-like focus on what is right in front of you is what is required.

How can the solution to two radically different goals be the same?  Let me explain by way of two distinct stories.

Yesterday I saw a man and woman in our local development walking on the sidewalk. I see this duo almost daily. What makes it unique is the way in which they walk.  He stays patiently by her side as she takes extremely slow, calculated, and exaggerated steps.  Clearly she is recovering from an injury and based on what I can observe, likely at least a portion of it relates to a brain injury.  The focus, patience, and determination she exhibits is what propels her forward and farther each time.

As someone who has rehabilitated more than a few injuries (including a dual Achilles tendon tear), I can honestly say there is nothing like pain and limitation to get you focused on the little things.  I can remember shuffling along at an agonizing pace (after all BOTH feet were injured) while dreaming of the day I went hiking and biking again. It took weeks, months, and frankly a good year before I could do as I please. Progress gets measured by seconds, inches, and steps not leaps and bounds. Yet the underlying law for growth is clear, focused action tied to a greater goal.

What if you want more than incremental forward progress?  The law is the same – clear, focused action.  Let’s look at the moving forward by leaps and bounds crossing chasms as you go story. [Read more…]

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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