How do you react to life’s unexpected twists?

The past few days have had a couple of unexpected twists!

Nothing bad happened, just unexpected.

  1. We weren’t able to see Nate’s sister and her husband over the holidays and found out late last week that they were going to be visiting Nate’s parents. So, we spent Sunday afternoon and evening there.
  2. On Saturday I took my car in for an overdue oil change. And I found out that a gasket was going bad and my car was slowly leaking oil. A fairly quick trip was now longer.
  3. And just before I sat down to write this, Nate popped into ask if I could help him with a work task of his this afternoon.

How would you react to these unexpected twists?

You can be honest, no one will know your answer but you 😉

A couple of years ago this is what would have happened:

  1. I would have been frustrated that I didn’t know about their trip earlier and now need to change my plans or stay home alone! (I plan out my week on Sunday afternoons)
  2. Overwhelmed because my car needed work done and now my afternoon of plans needed to change.
  3. Annoyed because apparently my husband doesn’t think I have anything to do this afternoon because my calendar is blank.

Maybe that sounds familiar?

Here’s what actually happened:

  1. I was excited to see my sister- and brother-in-law and catch up with them. Yay family time!
  2. I was relieved that they found the problem before our trip, but concerned that it wouldn’t be done. I shared this with them and they were able to complete the work that day!
  3. I agreed to help him later and I knew that no was an option 🙂 I set the expectation that I’d need to return to my office for a bit later this evening to wrap some things up.

Going from one set of reactions to the other didn’t happen overnight. It’s a combination of:

  • knowing what needs to be done, even if I haven’t planned out the current week, because I’ve taken the time to set goals and plan for them over the month.
  • changing my relationship with my goals, tasks and time. Sometimes my goals felt like they were a square peg and time was a round hole.

Which area currently most trips you up?

I talked about this LIVE on Facebook here.

Let me know what trips you up when life sends you unexpected twists!

I viewed networking as a problem

We all walk into networking events with our own thoughts and attitudes about it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how networking has changed for me in the last two to three years.

How it’s evolved since I noticed that something wasn’t working and started all the reading, programs and research that led to where I am today (part of the story here).

And through this reflection, I realized I had a bit of problem vs opportunity thinking happening.

What I mean by this is three years ago I viewed networking as a problem.

Yes, I viewed networking as a problem.

Networking was a chore to be completed. 

It was something that I did to check the “I went to a networking event this week” to-do off my list.

It wasn’t even a place I could really say I was completely present, because I was so busy focusing on how uncomfortable I was and hoping no one was going to try to “sell” me their services.

How well do you think that attitude worked for me?

Well, if you view successful networking as how many new clients did I generate from networking, then the answer is NOT successful at all!

Seriously, at one point early on I had problems even giving away my services (yep, you read that right).

At some point this shifted and instead of networking being a problem, I started viewing it as an opportunity.

It became an opportunity to make initial connections with potential clients and referral partners.

It became an opportunity to meet new entrepreneurial friends.

And how well do you think this attitude worked?

Again, if you view successful networking as how many new clients I generated from networking, then the answer is it WORKED!

So, how did this attitude shift look?

When networking was no longer a “Yep, I did that this week” task, I started staying a bit after the events to talk with people.

I started talking with and learning about more people, instead of scanning the room looking for someone that fit my ideal client description.

Phone calls and emails after events to people that were interested in what I did or to people that I wanted to learn more about became easier – it was an extension of the opportunity instead of another to-do.

This shift didn’t happen over night.

I didn’t even notice it until I started reviewing what’s changed.

My question for you this week: what shifts have you experienced in the last 2-3 years? Share below.

Do the work and keep showing up

Last week’s topic was about the shift that takes us from beating ourselves up to celebrating where we are and doing the work with less frustration and more ease.

But what causes that shift? What leads to the change in perspective?

This is where I’d argue we really want that magic pill – a pill for that change in perspective. Something that takes us from frustrated and overworked to excited about what’s next.


Me and my coach, Christine Kane

About a year ago I joined a program that I had a gut feeling would help me grow my business in a way that worked for me (meaning I wouldn’t have to start doing things that just felt ick to me, but work wonderfully for others). Yes, the idea of a shift was in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t primarily what I was looking for.

I remember getting on a Q&A call near the beginning of the program, wanting the exact steps that I needed to take that would lead instantly to clients and more money coming in.

Christine didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear – she told me what I needed to hear: keep doing the work, keep showing up.

I was deflated. I knew she was right, but I wanted results NOW. And, as I learned, this is a very common question and problem – wanting the results packaged in a set of easily performed steps.

I did the work and I kept showing up. Without even realizing it, things started to shift.

Then something else amazing happened, I started getting a few more clients here and there.

So what happened? What caused the shift? How did I change?

I did the work and kept showing up.

And what the heck does that even mean?!

It means that I worked on the foundation of my business, I worked on being clear about how I help entrepreneurs (beyond the “this is how the program works”), I focused on one or two ways that I wanted to meet the people who would become my clients, I figured out what worked for me and what didn’t and I played with various habits to support me – I did the work.

I started paying attention again to where I stopped, revisited what I really wanted and I listened to every training and Q&A call with the intention of not just listening, but being engaged – I kept showing up.

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
– Zig Ziglar

Or, said another way:

John C Maxwell Quote

It’s that becoming that people notice. It shows up in small ways: how you hold yourself and talk – your confidence and clarity. And you don’t even realize it’s happening at first.

Do the work and keep showing up.

What does doing the work and keep showing up look like for you? Share in the comments!

Gmail’s Changes: Annoying or Helpful?

Girl emailWhenever I’m talking to someone about what is or isn’t working in their day/business, usually the topic of email will come up. And most of the time it’s mentioned with an exasperated sigh.

I get it, we all get a lot of email and some businesses have more of it than others do. But regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, email can be overwhelming.

So, when I heard Google was rolling out some changes to their email (gmail and apps users), I was intrigued. (Gmail added 3-5 tabs to the main inbox that they will sort your emails into. Primary, Social and Promotions are the three tabs everyone seems to be getting. I also see options for Updates and Forums tabs.)

What I wasn’t prepared for was the rash of emails my inbox received from people/businesses I get newsletters from letting me know that Gmail is now deciding which emails actually show up in people’s inboxes.

Now, I admit it, I subscribe to ALOT of newsletters, but I was still surprised when over the course of 24 hours I received 7 emails on the subject from various people/businesses I’m subscribed to. Since then, about two days, it has slowed down – only 3 more.

Most of them had the tone of “what is Gmail doing!?” and “this will negatively affect your business!” However, a couple had a more laid-back tone of, “hey, Gmail is rolling out some changes, just wanted you to know.” And all had instructions for how to (1) put their emails in the “Primary” tab or (2) remove the tabs all together.

In reading around the internet the general opinion seems to be “GAH! Changes! BOOO…” and “why don’t people just set up their own filters for this stuff?”

And, frankly, when I received the changes, I DID NOT like it. But, I didn’t like it because I’ve set up filters, and a separate email address, to basically serve the same function. Having Gmail filter on top of my filters was annoying.

That said, ALOT of the entrepreneur’s I work with and talk to don’t want to figure out how to set up a filter. And now they can easily ‘teach’ Gmail which emails belong where with a couple of simple clicks.

And for those of us who don’t want the changes, we can very easily turn the categories off.

Sounds like a win to me!

Have you been affected by Gmail’s changes?
Either way, what are your thoughts on this?
Share your opinions in the comments below!

PS. There’s a great article over on mashable.com that outlines the changes, how to move emails between tabs and disable the changes all together. Check it out here!

Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do You Need Seasonal Habits?

summer girlIn the past, summer has been one of my least productive times. With the sun shining and the weather being so nice, my office (which seems so nice and cozy in the winter) feels too warm and not sunny enough.

This used to lead to me doing a lot of work on my laptop at various locations around the house. With piles of whatever I was working on being left at the most recent “work” location. That was fine, until it was left on the kitchen table or on the couch my husband generally watches TV from. Because he knew he couldn’t move it and I didn’t always get around to moving it very quickly.

There’s nothing wrong with working on a laptop, I did it happily for a couple years. However, the traipsing around with it generally meant my posture wasn’t very good. So I’d end up with a sore neck or back. And I would quickly develop terrible habits, usually involving a computer game, Facebook or watching TV.

No wonder summer wasn’t productive for me! If I wasn’t trying to find a new spot to work, I was sidetracked with something else.

This summer things have already started to change. It was time to replace my seasonal habit of being a wondering worker. I decided to stay in my office, it’s where I’m most productive and have fairly good habits.

And, with that decision I realized I needed a new seasonal habit or two. Here are the two habits I added to my day:

  1. I adjust my environment daily.
    My office is on the east side of our house, making it pretty warm in the afternoon. So, after lunch, the window shade goes down and the ceiling fan goes on. Those two small adjustments make a big difference in the feeling of my office.

  2. I take regular breaks.
    One thing I’ve learned about myself is if I’m spending a lot of time on distracting websites, I’m probably not taking quality time for myself. So, if I take a break, I make it count. Meaning I leave my office for at least 15 minutes.

    Generally, this break involves a book (I’m always reading something) and sitting outside on the deck enjoying the sun when the weather is nice. I grab a light snack, set my timer and read.

    My brain gets a break from whatever I’m working on and a change of scenery. And, amazingly, I’m less likely to spend a lot of time on those distracting websites.

Do you have problems staying focused during the summer? What are a couple of small seasonal habits you can adopt?

Share your ideas in the comments below!