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Archive for Your Business (to be)

Jun
10

We All Need A Push

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We All Need A Push

Seeing that I am a coach, I think that there is a very high value in coaching.  But, if you are looking to start a business or follow your dream on a shoestring budget, you just may not have the cash to hire somebody to keep you on task.

You don’t need to hire somebody.  Really.  You just need a friend who won’t take your excuses.  Just like you may have an exercise buddy, you feel guilty if you don’t show up to burn some calories.  Because you don’t want to let that person down.  Most people have a friend or relative who can say it how it is and not kiss your ass.

That, my friend, is what you need.

So, first you need to find a friend who supports your dream.  This person should not only support your dream, but they should also realize that this is YOUR dream.  They should not be the type of friend who wants to offer a ton of suggestions.  And, if they DO offer suggestions, they should not be the type of friend who will get crabby and upset if you don’t take their suggestions.  This friend should definitely not be a push over.  You don’t want the person who will just go along with the crowd.

Have a sit down with your friend and tell them that you would like their help so you can stay on track.  Explain your vision for your future business, and what you think your first few steps might be.  Then, ask if you can get together or chat on the phone about once a week.  Tell your friend what your “to-do” list is for that week.  The following week, your friend should look over that list and ask what you completed.  If you didn’t complete a task, they should ask you why.  They shouldn’t take your excuses (most of the time).

It really is hard to rely on yourself to keep your goals and tasks in check.  You want to know why?  Because we talk ourselves into believeing our excuses.  When you tell yourself “I was too tired” or “This week was so crazy!” you will accept that and push your tasks to the next week. Or month. Or year.  And all of a sudden you lose some of your passion.

And then you’re telling your grandchildren, “I always wanted to -fill-in-the-blank- but never did.”

And that’s all I have to say about that.

 

photo credit: Robert S. Donovan via photopin cc

We All Need A Push
May
26

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

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Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

I’m a big fan of signs from the universe.  I’m  not really sure if they are REALLY signs from the universe.  Quite honestly, it could just be that my brain is recognizing things that it just wants to see.  But that doesn’t really matter either way.  As long as it makes me feel better about my decisions and it’s working for me, I’m going to keep asking for signs.  It’s sort of like religion.  Not every religion can be right with all those different gods and rules and what not.  But as long as it’s working for the individual, who cares?

I’m going to share a couple of cool stories about signs.  If you think I’m crazy, that’s OK…you wouldn’t be the first person to think that I’m crazy.  And if you think it’s cool, go ahead and ask for a sign from the universe.  See what happens.  I usually ask for my sign while I’m writing in my journal.  The only reason I do that is because life is so crazy with kids, businesses, cleaning and general “stuff.”  I would completely forget what signs I asked for.

My first story is about when my husband and I were looking to buy an existing restaurant/bar.  We had looked at a couple, but they just didn’t feel right.  We were pretty close to buying one very close to our home, but we ended up walking away from it.  And I’m glad we did!  Business would have been much more difficult if we had bought that place instead of the place we did buy.

When we checked out the place we ultimately ended up buying, it wasn’t perfect.  It was dirty.  It was unorganized.  But we immediately saw potential.  The lay out was good and the kitchen was huge.  But it was still a big decision.  We walked around with the current owner, and stopped near the waitress station to have a chat.  I put my hand up to lean on something, and there it was.  There was a hutch.  The exact hutch that I had in my dining room.  The one in my dining room was from my great grandmother.  It had to be from the 1940′s or so.  It was EXACTLY the same.  And we’re not talking some mass produced thing from Wal-Mart or Target.  This was an antique.  It gave me goosebumps, and gave us the final push to make our decision.

Coincidence?  Possibly.  I, myself, don’t believe in coincidence Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

My other story is a bit more recent.  About a yearand a half ago, I was debating on which path I wanted to follow.  This whole life coach thing had been tugging at me, but I just wasn’t sure.  So, when I was writing in my journal I asked for a sign.  I asked that I hear or see the phrase “life coach” in an odd setting.  So, all those emails I get from Oprah didn’t count.  She talks about life coaches all the time.  Here’s how the rest went down, quoted directly from my journal:

Um…HOLY FREAKIN CRAP.  My day was just truckin’ right along yesterday.  Chloe was home sick.  I came home from work and sat with her to watch a show.  We watched Good Luck Charlie.  Late in the show, a character answers a cell phone for his dog grooming business.  He looks at Teddy (a character in the show) and says “It’s my second job.  I’m also a Life Coach.”  I was grinning frm ear to ear!  To hear that on a kids show – what a sign!

So…sign from the Universe, or my brain just seeing what it wants to see?  Like I said, it doesn’t really matter to me.  But it makes me feel like I’m choosing to do the right things.  Try it for yourself!

photo credit: Transguyjay via photopin cc

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign
May
12

Start Your Business In Your Mind

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Start Your Business In Your Mind

 

That was my fortune from my take out Chinese dinner a couple of weeks ago.  And I completely agree.  We are what we think.  It really comes down to what we feel inside.  Now that you know what type of business you are interested in starting, you have to start some planning.  I’m a big fan of a vision board.  Actually, it doesn’t have to be a board.  But it can be.  I use a binder.  I literaly go old school.  I grab a stack of magazines and start cutting out pictures.  I have my binder divided up into sections.  One for business, one for travel, one for personal health and well being, one for family and one for just “stuff.”  Then I grab one of the kid’s glue sticks, a pair of scissors and start old school cutting and pasting.  In order to prep for this post, I took a look through my vision binder.  Some of the things I had in there was to have an iPad (got it), to lose ten pounds (did it) and to write a book.  This blog is the beginning of the book…I think.

So, make your vision board.  And cover all the areas of your life.  It’s not so good to succeed in business but have a crappy home life.  Make your “picture pages.”  (aside:  I’m totally dating myself there.  Remember the song? )

ANYWAY, let’s move on.  I used to look at my vision binder about once a week, maybe more.  But you can’t JUST look at it.  At each picture, I would imagine myself with that item, or experiencing that place.  Close your eyes and really FEEL it.  After I went through my book, that was it.  I’d just let those thoughts go and trust that somehow everything would work its way out.  But the key is that, by looking at that binder at least once a week, those goals were fresh in my mind.  All the time.

Back when my husband and I knew that we wanted a restaurant, but had absolutely no idea how that was going to happen, I would plan it all out.  Sometimes, it was just the two of us chatting over a glass of wine.  Remember, at this time, we had no plan.  But what we were forming was a vision.  During one conversation, we knew that we wanted to use old family photos.  At the time, we thought they would be on the tables, under coats and coats of varnish.  Fast forward about 5 or 10 years.  It didn’t exactly happen that way, but the walls of our dining room and bar are covered with sepia-toned family photos.  And we get compliments on them all the time.

Almost every night (if I wasn’t completely exhausted…I DID have two very small children) I would give myself about ten or fifteen minutes to enter our restaurant.  I would close my eyes and imagine myself opening a door.  It was the door to our restaurant.  I would walk in and it would be dark.  And each night I would discover a new part of the restaurant.  I vividly remember the night that I went to the office.  The feeling I had was just fantastic.  I knew that the office would be where I would do MY work.

I have to say, though, that the restaurant in my head looked nothing like the restaurant we actually have.  BUT, I still, to this day, get this weird feeling every once in a while. When I am the first one at the restaurant for the day and I am putting my key in that door, I sometimes get this overhwelming feeling of “Holy shit, I can’t believe we actually own a restaurant!”

It rocks.

So, the point of this post is that you have to FEEL what you think it will be like to have your business.  Plan some stuff.  What’s the decor?  How do you feel when you open that door, or answer the phone stating the name of your company?  Getting that business into your soul is the first step to making it happen in the “real” world.

 

Start Your Business In Your Mind
Apr
28

What is YOUR Business?

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What is YOUR Business?

Sometimes, you know that you want to do SOMETHING, but you’re not quite sure what that is.  You know you want to be your own boss, but doing WHAT?  Some people are lucky enough to have their eye on the prize since they were young.  My husband, for example, always wanted to open a bar/restaurant.  He’s basically known that since I met him twenty years ago.  So, together, we opened a restaurant with a couple of family members. Me?  Well, I wasn’t quite so sure.  I went along for the ride owning the restaurant, and it’s been a great experience.  But it wasn’t MY goal.  I knew that there was something else I was supposed to do.  I also knew that it wasn’t having a “job.”  I knew deep down that it was a business.

So, I had some thinking to do.  But here’s the thing about thinking.  We have these thoughts, and they’re great.  But they don’t all “stick.”  The moment we’re thinking about something may be great, but then regular life kicks in.  The kids need something, the phone rings, and we lose our focus.  If you want to discover what business is hidden inside of you, you need to quiet your mind and start writing some things down.

So, here’s what I would like you to do.  I want you to give yourself at least twenty quiet minutes a day.  If you’re a mom, that may sound challenging.  Get up earlier, or take your twenty minutes during nap time or after the kids go to bed.  You can find twenty minutes.  For the first ten minutes, I want you to close your eyes.  Then, just empty your brain.  Forget about all that random mind chatter that will go through your head at first.  Don’t think about the chores, or what’s on your schedule tomorrow.  Once your mind is quiet, just ask yourself a question:  What am I supposed to do?  Let your mind just answer that question.  When you feel that your brain is done dealing with that, get your pen.

Now, I like to have a fancy journal.  But you can use that 20 cent spiral notebook you bought back in August.  Whatever works.  Write about what happened in that head of yours.  As you’re writing, add the feelings you had when those thoughts came into your head.  Do this for a week, every day.  Here are some other possible questions you can ask yourself:

  • What does my typical day look like. (Get detailed with this!  When do wake up?  Where do you go? How are you dressed?)
  • What is my normal work schedule (full time, part time, just a hobby?)
  • How do I feel when I’m doing this work?

You get the idea.  Something will come to you.  Most likely, it will be something that you are already pretty good at and that you already enjoy doing.  And think “out of the box!”  Just because you like to bake cupcakes, that doesn’t mean you NEED to open a bakery.  Could you write a book about it?  What about teaching other people to make cool cupcakes?  If you thrive on being organized, you could launch your own business as an personal organizer, write a book or an e-book, do some organizing for small businesses, etc.

So, have fun with this!  In next week’s post, I’ll write about where to go after this first step.  You’ll be doing some Jedi-mind stuff What is YOUR Business?  And if you would like some personalized help along the way, you can always get a free 20 minute session with me.


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What is YOUR Business?
Nov
29

Sometimes Your Path Is Crooked

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We’ve all heard stories about somebody who knew when they were young what they wanted to do with their life.  Those stories, however, aren’t really the norm.  Some of us choose a career or a path and stick with it, for whatever reason.  Maybe we really love it.  Maybe you are just afraid to try something different, for whatever reason.  For those of you who know you are on the right path, are completely happy, and have no desire for change…this post is not for you Sometimes Your Path Is Crooked

Then there are the rest of us.  We try something, like it for a while, then realize it’s time for change.  Sometimes that change can be scary.  (That’s what I can help you with!)  Sometimes the change feels completely natural.  When a big change just “feels” right, it’s really not as intimidating.  My theory is that when you are following what is your TRUE path, what you really should be doing with your life, it’s much easier.

Which brings me to crooked paths.  My path was crooked.  Might still be crooked, and that’s OK.  As I look back on every job that I have had, every path I have chosen, they have all led here.  This current path may lead me to another place.  And that’s OK.  Let me tell you my story:

This is going to sound like the story about the old lady who swallowed a fly.  Everything connects.  But I don’t die (not yet, anyway!).  In high school I learned how to type.  On an actual typewriter.  Now that I’ve dated myself, I’ll tell you that my first long term job was typing.  I was great at it.  Learning how to type led me to be the person who was always nominated to type papers in college, which, by that time, meant sitting at the computer.  My next big job was working at a video rental store (again, dating myself!).  I used my computer and typing skills there, but I gained something else.  Two things, actually.  First, there was a lot of cash handling.  More importantly, though, it was the first time I really had to deal with people.  Some of the customers would be there every week, or more often.  They were my regulars.  I got to know these regulars, and developed relationships with them.  We enjoyed seeing each other.  This was also where I met my friend who always dreamed of becoming a stand up comedian. He was the first person that I pushed along to follow his dream

Next?  Waitress.  Those people skills came in handy.  As I got better as waiting tables, I became a bartender.  Those cash handling skills definitely came in handy.  Then, one day about 3 years into bartending, I had this gut feeling that I wasn’t supposed to be a bartender anymore.  Simply following my gut and not my brain, I moved into management to start making less money and working more hours.  I didn’t like it.  At all.  I eventually went back to waitressing and then bartending, but going through management training was the right thing to do.

I eventually moved on and played bartender at other places.  I got married.  I went to real estate school.  Just as I finished school, I found out I was pregnant.  Holy crap, was my life about to change.  I started selling real estate and stopped tending bar.  When my first child was born six and a half weeks early,  I attended three closings via phone.  I learned many things selling real estate.  One big one was to draw the line between home and work, because the work side could have swallowed me up.  I also learned a TON about marketing yourself and getting your name out there.  This was also the first place I played with a website, which was exciting.  I continued to  sell real estate, had my second child, and retired from real estate when she was one year old.

Then I was mom.  Which was fantastic!  One little problem, though…my brain was turning to mush.  So, I started a business from my house.  I didn’t make a bunch of money, but I was a virtual assistant for real estate agents.  I helped them with their marketing and paperwork.  While I was doing that, I was trying to figure out a way to grab the attention of those real estate agents.  So, I designed some t-shirts over at Cafepress.  I sent some emails with the products at the top, just as attention grabbers.  Well, to my surprise, those items started to actually SELL.  I passed my virtual assistant business along to my adult niece and concentrated on selling on Cafepress and Zazzle.  I started dabbling in affiliate marketing and building websites, also.  All this brings us much closer to right now.

My husband has always wanted to own a bar/restaurant.  We actually tried to buy a bar just after we got married, but that didn’t work out.  My husband was tending bar at a high end hotel, but was frustrated about the way it was being run.  He complained about it.  Often.  Finally, in a fit of sleep-deprived momminess, I snapped at him and said “Why don’t you just shut your mouth and open a fudgin’ restaurant!” (Only I didn’t say “Fudge.” I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!).  And that’s where our current journey began.  We own a restaurant/bar with my husband’s brother and his wife.  Do you see all the things that came into play?  I do all the office work, our website, our social media, payroll. scheduling and what not.  You know what else came in handy?  That little stint in restaurant management.  I really coached my husband to just jump in and follow his dream.  Everything is going well, and we all have our own little job.

But that wasn’t MY dream.  I’ve had a great time playing in my husband’s dream, and I will always be a part of the restaurant.  But me?  My dream?  This is it.  I want  other people to follow THEIR dreams instead of just dreaming about them.

So, I didn’t wake up at six years old thinkining I wanted to grow up to be a life coach.  I’ve enjoyed the ride on my crooked path.  And who knows, there may be much more crookedness in the path ahead.  It seems that just enough of that path is revealed to me as I need it.

Where has YOUR path taken YOU?  And what’s the next step?  What can you pull from all your life experience?  What’s your new journey?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Sometimes Your Path Is Crooked
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Nov
15

Find Your Passion

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Sometimes you don’t really know what you want to do.  There may be some inner feeling that you want to own a business, but doing what?  We’re all good at SOMETHING.  Chances are, you can turn that something into a business.  I have a friend who would be a great personal organizer.  Even her laundry room is organized and spotless.  And she enjoys keeping everything organized.  But she’s not ready to take that leap into owning a business.  She’s a safe person, and isn’t ready to take risks.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  But she’s gotten past this point, she recognizes a path that could make her happy.

So, write a list.  What skills to you have?  And, more importantly, what makes you happy?  What could you do for hours on end without getting bored or frustrated?  After you’ve written your list, start thinking about possible businesses.  Keep on writing.  Think outside the box.  Just because you are good at baking cookies, that doesn’t mean you need to be a baker.  Why not write a book?  Or start a blog?  What about teaching a class, or having a place where kids could have birthday parties and bake cookies?  Maybe a kitchen where other people could come to bake and not mess up their own kitchen.  You get where I’m going.  Let your mind wander…

As you’re letting your mind think about the possibilities, you just might find that one thing that makes your heart leap and just resonates with your soul.  That could be your ‘thing!’  I’ll post some other exercises that will help you on your discovery.  But just follow your intuition!  Trust yourself!

Find Your Passion
Nov
13

Just Get Off Your Ass and Do It

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Well, another adventure started for me.  Becoming a coach has been what I’ve wanted to do for quite a while.  I just had to get off my ass and do it.  I’m just like you, or just like somebody you know.  I have two kids, and started working on opening a restaurant when they were two and four years old.  Now, five years later, I’ve learned quite a bit.  And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Before the restaurant, I had smaller businesses that I could manage on my own while still spending time with my kids.

That’s the key.

I know many moms (and maybe more than a few dads) who would love to have the flexibility of owning their own business so that they can spend time with their kids.  It’s awesome to be able to volunteer at school, pick them up when they are sick at the nurse and head to a movie if they have the day off.  It’s not that difficult!  Everybody, and I mean everybody, has one thing that they are good at doing and they love doing.  Turn that into a business.

Not sure where to start?  Well, just subscribe to this blog.  I plan on offering different tools and videos to get you there!  Come along for the ride Just Get Off Your Ass and Do It

Just Get Off Your Ass and Do It
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