Tag Archives: work-life balance

Want to Give Your Business a Check Up? Here’s How.

Photo Credit: Alan Strakey on Flickr.

I swear I could open my own office supply store.

For real.

I could start with the 25 empty notebooks in every size and color, stacks of vinyl accordion files and the giant box of colorful vinyl paper-sorters/filers/holders that are in my closet right now.

We could move on to the three boxes of file folders, the big heavy box of specialty papers in all kinds of pretty designs, and the shoebox full of highlighters, Sharpies, flip chart markers and pens.

For now, we’ll skip the Post-It notes and ‘flags’.

(I’ve considered starting a 12-Step group: Office Addicts Anonymous!)

But actually, it’s all good.

The truth is that I’ve been cleaning out that office, tossing out countless bags of trash, recyclables, and donations. This is just what’s left. And yes, that’s funny.

But it’s also better. Way better.  Continue reading

Your 7 Step Guide to Planning Content for an Entire Year (and Writing Your Blog with Ease)

Photo by Your Best Digs on Flickr

December is for Decisions.

White lights or color?
Real tree or synthetic?
Rudolph or Charlie Brown?

And if you own a business, those December decisions are critical.

This is when you decide what you want to accomplish, and what you want your business to do in the coming year.

Is it time to raise your prices? Hire new team members? Create a new program? Maybe just get more rest and have more fun? (Yes, those are business goals, too!)

Whatever your goals, careful, in-depth, advance planning is the key to making sure you reach them.

And one place this will absolutely save your sanity is in planning your blog.

Writing fresh articles and creating new content week after week can be a daunting task. So I developed a process that enables me to not only be strategic and deliberate about the content I write, but makes the actual task of writing easier.

When I sit down to write to you each week, I already know what I want to cover, and how that topic fits into my messaging as a whole – week by week, month by month, all year long.

The key is taking the time to do the work to get clear up front.

And no, that isn’t easy.

But if you’ll follow my lead, set aside a few hours and work your way through the process I outline for you here, you’ll thank me all the way through next year. :)

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A Top 10 List: What I Love About Life as an Entrepreneur

Photo Credit: “Worth the Hurt” by Chris Greevebiester on Flickr.

“Remember – you are both a scientist, AND a business owner.”

Those were my parting words to a client I’ve been working with in Ireland, as we wrapped up coaching for the initial phase of her new business.

And she got it.

In just the short time we’d worked together she was already beginning to think like a business owner, even while developing an idea that could make a huge difference in the world.

And that’s just one thing I love about what I do.

Here in the U.S., we’re wrapping up the Thanksgiving holiday. Gratitude is on our minds, and indeed – being grateful makes a huge difference in how you feel at any moment.

But there’s always a hint of lack in there too.

When we focus on being grateful for what we have, just behind that is an awareness of what we don’t have, too.

Can you feel it?

So I coach my clients instead to raise their energy by noticing what they love and appreciate – about their business, their lives, their relationships, their day….you name it.

Tapping into what you love and appreciate creates a sense of celebration, so that you operate from joy, rather than struggle.

And I like that.

Even over the holiday, I’ve consulted with others about their businesses. Those conversations light me up.

What does that for you?
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Making Tough Decisions Leads to Happier Business Owners

Photo Credit: Portobay Hotels on Flickr

“Well – I did it,” she said.

There was no fanfare. No high fives. No confetti drifting down from the ceiling.

If anything, there was uncertainty in her voice, as if she wasn’t quite sure how to feel, or what to say. She’d made her choice, and she’d mailed the letter. Should she be proud? Excited? Worried? Maybe terrified?

She was all of the above.

As the owner of a thriving counseling practice, Holly had experienced her share of success. When she opened her doors a few years earlier, she couldn’t imagine that anyone would actually pay her for what she did.

Do you really think I can do this?” she asked.

You know me. You know what I said to that.

So she made the decision, signed a lease, set up her space, and opened her doors. And because she had a strong network — and was really really good at what she did — it didn’t take long for her days to fill.

Word got out. Her phone rang off the hook. And before long, there were too many people wanting too much of her for too many hours a day.

If you’re just starting out, that sounds great! Too many clients? Really? Ohhh to have such a problem!

And yet – it wasn’t just her clients. It was her family. Her friends.

Her own soul.

All of them wanted her attention, her energy – and she had less and less of that to give.

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How One Daily Habit Helps Sustain Your Success

I wasn’t at all sure I could still do this.

A friend invited me to join her for an overnight hike to LeConte Lodge, a roundtrip of roughly eleven miles to the top of Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It was a very steep, straight up (and straight down), kind of hike. And I hadn’t done anything like that in a very long time.

But I had no intention of missing this opportunity.  So of course I said a big, happy yes.

And then, on the day of the hike, it rained.

And rained.

And rained.

It rained so hard the creeks overflowed, and new waterfalls were born where none had been before. There were times when I felt like I was hiking through a car wash, with a 1,000 foot drop-off at my side.  

And there were times when it was immensely beautiful, with water dancing off the rocks and mist in the trees.

So I slogged along in my own wet little world, tucked under rain gear, singing every rain song I could think of. (Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head…)

I tried not to think about how soggy my boots were, how hard it was to breathe, or how much farther I had to climb.

It was steep. Messy.

Intense.

Continue reading