Sometimes things don't go as planned

…and you can still have a great experience

Sometimes things don't go as plannedHave you ever wanted to fully experience something, but for whatever reason, not been able to experience it in the way you pictured it?

Last year at this time I wanted to be in Asheville, North Carolina, with everyone else in the program I had just joined. It was the first retreat for most of us – the energy and excitement was high.

And I chose not to go.

I could say I couldn’t go, but it was a choice I made. I chose to stay home and honor other commitments.

And I really felt like I was missing out on an important experience.

I really wanted that experience and one of my intentions for the program was to be engaged and participate. This showed up in different ways – participating on the forum, listening to the training calls and being on every Q&A call I could be on, even when I didn’t have a question.

So, I looked for other ways I could still be engaged and participate in the retreat. Thus, the Google Hangout idea was born – I’d have my own version of the retreat at home!

The videos and exercises for the retreat were posted a week or two later and I reached out to the group looking for other people who couldn’t attend and wanted to do it virtually with me.

We watched the videos on our own, did the exercises and then came together for about two hours each for two days. A total of four people participated, three people each day.

It was great! We all received some great feedback on the exercises and were able to provide feedback for others.

What’s my point?

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. You can’t go to the event, the goal isn’t met or priorities change.

And you can still have a great experience.

Think back to the last time something didn’t go the way you wanted it to.

  1. What was your intention?
    If you didn’t have one, what were you hoping for? What would reaching that goal have meant to you?
  2. How can you honor that intention? How can you still experience that?
    What can you do, even small toward that? (Small wins are still wins!) And what can you change or modify going forward based on this experience?
  3. Do it!
    So many times we think about the small things we could do for ourselves, but don’t in favor of other “important” tasks. I encourage you to take some time out of you day or week to honor yourself and your intention. Just because something doesn’t happen the way you thought it would, doesn’t mean you can’t experience it another way.

How do might you apply this? Share in the comments 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!

How Do You Want Your Morning To Feel?

Portrait_Of_Pensive_WomanIt’s the beginning of your workday and you’re already frustrated and tired. You pull yourself away from your email and think about everything that has to be done today. You should make a to-do list, but quite frankly, you just don’t have time for that.

So, you mentally go through the list kept in your head and pick the most urgent task. 30-minutes in you remember that you promised to email something to someone you met networking yesterday. That should be a quick 5 minute task, so you start doing that. It takes a bit longer then expected to pull that information together and 20 minutes and a Facebook check later you’re trying to remember what you were working on at the beginning of the morning.

You get frustrated because you don’t have time to sit around trying to remember what you were doing! You suddenly think of something else that needs to get done and 15 minutes into that task you remember what you were working on earlier.

You’ve only been working for a couple hours and you’re already exhausted and frustrated and you have this nagging feeling that you’re forgetting a really important task. Annoyed, you get up and go to the kitchen to make yourself a cup of coffee, maybe that will jog your memory.

But really, wouldn’t it be nice if your morning looked like this:

It’s the beginning of your workday and you’re calm, collected and a bit excited to get started! You look at the to-do list you created for yourself last night. There’s a couple high priority tasks that you want to do and some phone calls and emails to send.

Good thing you have systems in place for these things.The highest priority task is for a presentation late next week that you almost forgot about and some of your phone calls are to reconnect with people you talked to a few months ago – you would have totally forgot!

You smile thinking about the possible opportunities that will present themselves today and start with your highest priority task, thinking about the people that will benefit from your presentation next week as you work.

After a couple hours (and a quick break for water) you’re done with the first draft of your presentation. You put it away and head to the kitchen for a snack and a break. You’re feeling happy and looking forward to the rest of your day.

Which scenario most looks like your morning right now? Which one do you want it to be?

There’s more going on here than one person took the time to plan their day and the other didn’t. That’s more a symptom than the cause of the exhaustion and frustration.

And it’s not that one person is just more driven than the other, more committed to success (although some people might disagree with me).

The energy between the two mornings is completely different. The first morning is stressful, scattered and tiring, while the second morning is calm, confident and focused.

So, if the planning and to-do lists are just a symptom or side effect, what are they a symptom of?

Take a look at the difference in language between the two. The first morning is full of have to‘s and should‘s, with feelings of worry and stress. The second morning is want to‘s and opportunities, with feelings of excitement and focus.

Again, the language is a symptom, but it get’s us closer. Your language can give you insights to your thoughts and beliefs that might not immediately be obvious. The first morning’s thoughts and beliefs are around not having enough time. While the second morning’s thoughts and beliefs are about opportunities and effortless focus. It doesn’t even occur to her that there’s not enough time.

So, what can you do? One small change you can make is to update your language. When you hear yourself say “I have to” or “I need to” change it to “I want to.” If that seems impossible, ask what would need to happen to be able to change that to an “I want to”?

And of course there are other things you can do too. In the Productivity Insight Process I go deep with you into these topics. We identify exactly where you are and I give you a personalized suggestions for how to shift from the stressful day you’re currently having to the calm, opportunity filled one that you want.

Share with me below what your morning looks like, or what you’re going to change.

Image courtesy of iconmac /

What’s Your Definition of Busy?

Girl WorkingLet’s talk about one of my least favorite words: busy.

According to the definition is:

  1. a. engaged in action: occupied
    b. being in use
  2. full of activity: bustling
  3. foolishly or intrusively active
  4. full of distracting detail

The definition I like and strive for is “engaged in action,” although I might change it to “engaged in intentional forward moving action.”

However, usually when I find myself (or clients) using the word busy, what I really mean is “full of distracting detail.”

This isn’t always the case, but in my past I’ve used it in that way so many times that I have some baggage with the word and tend to avoid it all together.

When you’re busy, which definition are you usually using? What definition would you like to be using?

Share below!

Business Woman Writing In Notebook

Staying Focused

Business Woman Writing In NotebookBack when I was a computer programmer, my job included a lot of troubleshooting for clients. So, when something wasn’t working right, it was my job to (1) determine what the problem was and (2) fix it or find a work around and report it to development.

What does that mean? It means that was no shortage of options when it came to what to work on each day. Quite frankly, some days it was hard to stay focused because there were many important tasks I could be working on at any moment.

Now, fast forward a couple years, I’m an entrepreneur working from home. While I don’t get phone calls from clients with websites or software that’s not working, I still have a lot of important tasks I could be doing for my business at any one moment. And because I work from home, there are also a lot of personal things I could be doing.

And of course, at home, no one but me is going to notice if I’m watching TV, YouTube or doing something else instead of working on one of those important tasks (well, my husband might start to notice).

So, how do you stay focused to work on those important tasks?

Here are some things you can do or consider:

  • Lists. You’ve taken the time to write down all the tasks that you need to do. Yes, it took some time that you could have used working, but it also saved you all that time and energy of worrying that you’re going to forget to do something. And when you remember something else, you have a spot to write it down so you don’t forget it (hint: it’s that same list, don’t start a new one!).
  • Plan tomorrow at the end of today. When you don’t have to think about what the next thing is to do, because you already planned it out, it’s easier to jump into the next task. It’s another reason why creating your master or weekly list is so important.
  • Clarity. You are clear on why the task is important to you, your business and your goals. You know that this task by itself might not be important, it is important to your larger goals.
  • Minimize Distractions.
    • Email / Phone – Close your email (yes, really do that!) and silence your phone. This way you have a solid period of time to work without distractions.
    • Family – You’ve also let others in the house know you’re working and should not be disturbed for 1-hour (or whatever period of time you need) or until you open your office door. However, once the time is up, go engage with your family, play with your kids for a half hour or talk to your husband. Why do this? If your family knows that you’ll emerge from your office and be there for them, they’re more likely to leave you alone for a bit.
    • Noise – If there is distracting noise (or distracting quiet – yes, I occasionally find silence very distracting), find some soothing music to play in the background. Pandora or Spotify are great for that.
  • Just sit down and do it. Personally, this rarely works for me. I need to have one or more of the items above figured out before I can just sit down and do it. And I’m guessing, because you’re here, that you’re probably like me in this regard.

Anything else you do to stay focused on the task at hand? Share in the comments below!

Image courtesy of adamr/