Happy New Year!!

Happy 2011!

Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick in Three Simple Steps

by Miata Edoga

New Year’s Resolutions are a little like chocolate. Sitting in front of you, both seem like a good idea at the time. There’s the promise of wonderful magic. You feel warm just thinking about all the great things it’ll provide, but once you pull back the wrapper, neither seems to have any real substance worth biting into.

Okay, maybe the chocolate thing is just me, but I hope you get my point. I read every day about people who are able to create a plan and change their lives, but talk to many every year who set New Year’s Resolutions only to have them come to nothing. Another year, another resolution.  Like empty chocolate calories, three weeks later the resolution is gone and you’re back at the same spot you were when you began. Why bother with resolutions in the first place?

Let’s face it. Most people have a horrible track record of keeping New Year’s Resolutions. Why is that? How come the gym is packed on January 2nd with good-intentioned individuals huffing and puffing through a workout, only to abandon ship by February 1st? Some blame it on a lack of discipline and our immediate gratification culture. Others blame it on too many priorities and too little time. Although both of these might factor into the reasons people don’t keep New Year’s resolutions, I think there’s a more fundamental problem.

If you want to keep your resolutions this year, it’s really not that difficult. You just need to stop wishing for your goals and create a realistic plan to achieve them. Become serious enough about your future to follow three simple steps that most people never consider.

1)  Write down your goals. Any New Year’s plan should begin with written goals. Why? You’re much more likely to achieve what you want if you commit it to writing and keep the goals in front of you. Your goals need to be realistic and have a concrete time frame.  If you want to lose weight, think about the number of pounds you want to lose and set milestones. Maybe it’s a pound a week. Maybe it’s two pounds. If you’re going to go to the gym more often, turn the goal into a set amount of time you’ll spend at the gym. If your goal is to save for retirement, set an amount you’ll save from each check.

2)  Write out “why” you have a resolution. Going to the gym is a great goal for the first two weeks of January, but how likely is it that you’re going to stay motivated for the next 52 weeks just because you think you “should” work out? However, if you’re working out because you need to be healthy to keep up with children, a significant other, or just live longer, you now have a reason when your initial excitement begins to wane.

3)  Find a coach or friend to hold you accountable. It’s easy to stop managing your credit card debt the first time a “30 percent off” sale appears on your favorite sweater. If you have to report your results to someone, you’ll be more inclined to stay at your goals, to prove to your coach or friend that you mean what you say.

Three easy steps, but they’re each a powerful component of winning the New Year’s Resolution game. Writing down your goals makes them real. Instead of floating around in your head, they’re tangible things that you’ve articulated. Asking yourself “why?” gives your goal clarity, making the path to success bright when life throws a curveball. A big part of achieving what you want involves directing your subconscious mind on a problem. Have you ever heard the phrase “you are what you think about?” Asking “why” creates focus. Focus creates urgency. Urgency creates that extra step each day that may be the difference between gaining nothing and achieving your dreams.

Finally, finding a coach helps you stay on the New Year’s Resolution wagon. I’m always discouraged when I hear people say, “no, I’ll figure this out on my own.” Why reinvent the wheel? If someone else has a good answer to the problem, use their answer. If someone can help you reach your finish line, you’re that much closer to the next finish line beyond the horizon. Plus, a coach or friend is a great person to celebrate with when your resolution becomes reality.

Happy 2011 - I wish you all the very best as you achieve your dreams in the New Year!

©2010 Abundance Bound, Inc.

Abundance Bound was created to support actors, artists and creative professionals in the development of financial stability and independence. To learn how to begin the journey towards prosperity, register for the free resources available at www.AbundanceBound.com

Three Ways to Express Appreciation for Greater Impact

by Jack Canfield

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is the time when most people tend to demonstrate their love and appreciation.  But wouldn’t it be nice to experience that level of joy, love and appreciation every day of the year?

The process begins with us.

Someone once gave me a card that said, “The love I give to you is second-hand because I experienced it first.” In other words, for us to love someone else, we first have to feel the love within us.

To develop the ability to maintain a state of love and gratitude on a more regular basis, we need to make it a habit. We do dozens of things every day on automatic pilot, such as eating our meals, taking showers, or doing the dishes. We don’t have to spend time visualizing these activities or putting them on our to-do lists. We simply do them out of habit. Expressing appreciation on a daily basis will help you turn gratitude into a daily habit with multiple benefits.

3 Kinds of Appreciation

For your appreciation to hit the mark, keep in mind that there are three different kinds of appreciation – auditory, visual and kinesthetic. These are the three ways that our brains take in information, and everyone has a dominant type they prefer. Tailor the type of appreciation you give to suit the person you want to honor.

   1. Auditory people like to hear appreciation. Expressing thanks verbally is the best way to let them know how much we appreciate them. Auditory people are very sensitive to the tones of our voices, so speaking in a caring and compassionate voice is highly effective.
   2. Visual people like to receive things they can see. Letters, cards, flowers, plaques, certificates, pictures and any other gifts are perfect for these individuals.
   3. Kinesthetic people need to feel appreciation. My wife is a kinesthetic person. She loves to do things that make her feel good, such as hiking, getting massages or picking out clothes that feel good to the touch. The best way for me to express appreciation to my wife is with a hug, a kiss or simply spending time with her.

Blend for Impact

When in doubt, use all three types of communication. Tell them, show them and give them a pat on the back. For example, put your arm around your kids when you tell them how much you appreciate them and then follow up later with a card.

Using multiple forms of communication also can strengthen your message. Although I am very visual, I’m also a big fan of physical touch. If you give me a hug, a handshake or a high five, the physical touch multiples the appreciation I feel by a factor of 10!

Keep Score

New habits take 30 to 60 days to lock in. An Appreciation Scorecard is an easy way to build the habit of expressing your gratitude.

When I was working to consciously lock in this new habit, I carried a 3” x 5” card in my pocket all day. Every time I acknowledged and appreciated someone, I would place a check mark on the card.

I set a goal of appreciating 10 people every day. I would not go to bed without achieving my daily quota. I would appreciate my wife and children, write letters to my mother or stepfather, or e-mail my staff. I did this every day for 6 months, until I no longer needed the card as a reminder.

As we build the habit of appreciation, it helps to expand the circle of people whom we appreciate. Our society flourishes because of connections. We literally couldn’t survive without other people. Nobody pumps their own petroleum, turns it into gas, and trucks it into their own town. Other people do it. The food we eat probably has 30 to 40 people involved in it before it gets to our tables. Although they may be strangers, the people who serve us by doing their part in making our society function deserve our thanks, too.

Build Your Appreciation Muscle

To build the habit of appreciation, I encourage you to keep a daily scorecard as I did. Express your appreciation to at least 10 people a day, both individuals you know intimately, as well as virtual strangers who touch your life. Experiment with the different forms of appreciation, and observe how much more deeply your appreciation is received when you find the right way to deliver it for each individual.

* * *
© 2010 The Canfield Training Group
All Rights Reserved.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

3 Tips For Making Space and Opening the Flow For 2011

 by Alicia Forest

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately getting ready for 2011 – planning, organizing, strategizing, visioning, and more. Once again, there are many transitions and transformations on the horizon for me and my business, and much to do to prepare for them, so I’m making space and opening the flow.

Here are some of the ways I’m doing this in my business that you can do too:

1. Clean Up Your Business Time

Time is your only non-renewable resource. If you’ve ever experienced days when you don’t know where the time has gone, but you do know you haven’t accomplished much, then you need to take a serious look at just what is eating up those precious minutes. My coach’s request of you is to track your time for the next two weeks. Like a food diary makes you intensely aware of what you’re eating, a time log will allow you to quickly and easily identify where you’re frittering time away.

Most likely culprits?… Email and TV (yes, I know some of you are ‘watching’ TV while you’re online, and no, that’s not multi-tasking, that’s just pure distraction).

Once you are aware of where your time is going, make a conscious effort to redirect it to more productive – or even more restful – activities. Turn the TV off (or TIVO/DVR whatever it is you must watch and give it your full attention later). And don’t leave your email open all day long! Allot specific time to read and respond to it instead.

You’ll be amazed at how just doing this simple exercise will free up the time you want for more important (and fun!) things. (Be sure to read Part 2 of this article next week where I’ll share more specific and effective tips for handling email overload.)

2. Clean Up Your Business Space

Now is a great time to go through your files – computer and physical – and delete or organize them for moving forward to 2011. I spent several hours going through my physical files recently, shredding lots of documents (I love to purge!), and setting up new files for my new Platinum clients as well as empty files for the ones yet to come. During this process both online and off, I also found a lot of gems I’d forgotten about – pieces of content, systems and processes, tools, resources, audios, and more.

And now that I have a recent visual in my mind of what’s in my files, it’s literally at my fingertips as I move forward in building my business. As for my computer, I actually went so far as to purchase a brand new laptop, and I’m being very discerning about what gets transferred over from my old PC to the new. Energetically and electronically, I can feel how much more open the flow is by doing this.

3. Clean up Your Business Circle

This one can be a bit difficult, but it’s necessary to prune the people you surround yourself with from time to time. It doesn’t mean you have to completely disconnect from them (unless they’re just weighing you down energetically), but do make a conscious choice to spend more time in the company of those who lift you up.

Let me give you a simple example. If you’re on someone’s ezine list just because everyone else is or you feel like you should be, but you either a) don’t read it or b) don’t feel good when you do read it, just unsubscribe and allow the space for something that resonates with you to take its place.

Or maybe you’re part of a mastermind group that you feel you’ve outgrown. Now is the time to graciously bow out. Once you do, you open the space for a new group to form around you that better supports where you are now.

How are you making space and opening the flow for the new year?

Alicia M Forest, MBA, 6-Figure Business Breakthrough Mentor, teaches entrepreneurs how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to breakthrough to 6 figures and beyond so you can live the life you ache for, visit http://aliciaforest.com

Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful day!

Is This REALLY Where I was Going?

by Diana Long

The Key to Planning and Designing a Joyful Business and Personal Life

As this year comes to completion, it is the perfect time to take "stock" of what worked well  for you this year AND what didn't.

Just the other day, one of my newer clients, whom I will call "Julie" as to protect her identity, shared with me that her life and business are running at peak capacity. From the outside looking in, her life looks very, very good.  The catch? She feels like something is missing. She create a big and busy life, but truth be told, she said,"it feels like my life is running me."

After listening deeply, together we identified all the various projects, commitments, and demands she was currently facing.  After getting everything on the table, it became pretty obvious. She had created her own "monster" and it was time to pare down to the absolute essentials. She began to see why she was exhausted and unfulfilled.

In what I like to call the "Aha moment," she said to me in a hushed tone, "Is this where I was really going?"

"I don't think so!"

It's easy to get caught up in the "Millionaire Mindset Bootcamp" bandwagon and follow a model that promises you rock star status in your industry, full of  glitter and gold. If this is what you truly want and it gives you great joy to achieve it, then it is clear. Go for it!

A lot of business owners I've met share that they feel like they're  on a treadmill of working, working and working. To what end?  Often money goals are created out of group-think.  Hey isn't this what everyone wants and is working for? These goals are usually driven  to have more...such as, "I want to break  7  figures in my business." The illusion is that when they make their million dollars, then life will be sweeter and they'll be happy, finally!  So the money goal is set and they put their heads down and work like a dog to try to make that happen. Often they succeed, but at what cost?

With Julie, she was able to get the clarity about what was truly a priority for her and what was no longer truly profitable and/or energizing for her. She had the true clarity about what the important values where for her and this clarity allowed her to redesign her life and business in ways that were much more in alignment for her.

Her question transformed from, "Is this where I was really going?" to clarity. She declared, "Now I know what I want and where I am going AND I'm committed to enjoy ALL my life."

What a  powerful place to be in. To know what you truly value and desire for your business and your life IS THE WAY to having it all!

Here are a few powerful questions that can help keep you on YOUR path (not someone else's):

1.What do I really want? (Be specific about what you really, really want.)

2.What activities/projects give you joy and fulfillment? (Integrate more of these into your life.)

3.What activities/projects/clients take you OUT of your joy? (Let go of old commitments that no longer fit or might even be toxic to your happiness.)

The bottom line is that it can be easy to get pulled into over-committing, over-doing and over-achieving. The good news, though, is that you DO have choice and these simple questions can help to align your business and life plans so that they are an absolute 100% match to your unique-ness!

Discover how you can achieve the results you want for your business and life by partnering with award- winning, life and business coach, Diana Long. Diana offers private and group coaching programs, teleclasses, keynotes, and breakout sessions. Visit www.dianalong.com to learn more.

Is Your Customer Taking "Too Long" to Buy?

by Kim Duke

My 2 cutie-pie nieces definitely have some Diva DNA. (They have my IMPATIENCE gene!)

If we're shopping, walking, getting ready to go on an adventure....and if I'm "dawdling", looking around, basically moving at MY speed and NOT MOVING FAST ENOUGH FOR THEM...they say:

"Auntie - you're taking too longggggggggggggggggggg!!"

Hmm - I'd bet one of my Chanel lipsticks that you're experiencing this with some of your customers too.

Do You Feel Like Your Customer Is Taking Too Long To Buy?

Hey - I've been there. We all have potential customers or customers who we think are ON THE EDGE of buying from us and yet...


They 've expressed interest, they're excited about your product/service, they've even told you they want to buy.

So Why Is Your Customer Being So Pokey??

Well - here are a few reasons:

1) There's No Sense of Urgency. They don't NEED to buy you now. They know you're out there and they'll buy from you if they remember. There's nothing that is motivating them to move faster or to choose YOU over someone else.

2) They're Not Sold. They've thought about it, came close to buying...but something is holding them back. They're not convinced that you're the best choice for their money or time.

3) They're Not Ready To Buy. Hate to tell you this - but 99% of your target audience doesn't need you or think that they need you TODAY. Yet - you've probably dropped out of sight because you feel rejected that they didn't buy. (did I hit a nerve there???)

4) They're Annoyed With You. This happens so easily! If you keep calling and leaving messages "You absolutely have to be using this product" or e-mailing and saying "I'm just checking to see..." Boring. You're not bringing any added value to the table and you've ticked them off.

What Should You Be Doing Instead -Oh Impatient One?

Position yourself EARLY ON as someone who is offering them a special rate/offer/opportunity. Show them WHY they should buy now instead of 2 years from now.

Don't Be Desperate. Truly - desperation stinks. Confidence attracts people whereas a pushy salesperson is a turn-off.

Make Sure You're Talking To The Right People. Are you selling something that there isn't a large enough customer base for?

Create A Proper Follow-up Strategy. Let the customer advise you of the contact they want - instead of the other way around.

Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket. Small customer base= Big problems. Make sure you 're growing your customers through a variety of methods and then keeping in touch with them consistently (with value of course!)

Remember - there are MANY different types of buyers out there. AND - we usually have different purchasing behaviour based on HOW BADLY we want something! I've jumped on decisions to make large purchases in 30 seconds and waited forever for others. (I'm sure you've been there too!)

What Have My Nieces Learned?

As for my 2 cutie-pie nieces (who try to boss their Auntie around sometimes??)

You can't make a woman in stilettos move faster than she wants to.

Kim Duke, The Sales Diva, provides savvy, sassy sales training for women small biz owners and entrepreneurs. Kim works with clients internationally, showing them The Sales Diva secrets to success! Sign up for her saucy and smart FREE e-zine and receive her FREE Bonus Report "The 5 Biggest Sales Mistakes Women Make" at www.salesdivas.com

"How to Get Unstuck – 6 Cures for Anxiety"

by Ali Brown

Last week, I introduced a very valuable way to think about where you get stuck from the perspective of creativity coach Eric Maisel. Maisel outlines 6 stages of a project and why anxiety creeps in at each one. If you missed last week’s article, catch up here.

This week, I’ll discuss what’s needed at each of these points of paralysis. My suggestions are based on Maisel’s recommendations and the hard lessons I’ve learned when I’ve hit these impasses myself.

Stage 1: Wishing - if you’re stuck in daydreaming mode but can’t get your feet on the ground, you’re suffering from Hungry Mind, according to Maisel.

Rx: Feed your hungry mind. Ask yourself what you need to nurture your project so you feel you can move beyond this visualization stage.

Action Items: Take a course, hire a life coach, and attend a networking event to meet people who are doing what you want to do.

Stage 2: Choosing - if you’re stuck here, you’ve probably got 5 different projects in your head and are waiting for the right one to call out to you. Maisel calls this Confused Mind.

Rx: Ask yourself what choices you need to make right here and now.

Action Items: Think about your immediate priorities -- is it to get an income in FAST, or feed your creativity? Be honest about what your deep needs really are, because it makes the rest of these stages much easier to stick to!

Stage 3: Starting - This is the very frightening stage of being stuck with a blank “canvas”, and Maisel says anyone stuck here is overcome with Weakened Mind.

Rx: What’s needed is appropriate strength, and if you ask me, strength comes in small, bite-sized packages.

Action Items: Break your big project into tiny baby steps -- don’t say you’ll write for an hour, say you’ll write for 5 minutes. Don’t say you’ll cold call 10 prospects, contact 1 old work friend and chat them up about your business.

Stage 4: Working - This is for the all-over-the-place worker, in other words, Chaotic Mind.

Rx: The elixir here is Appropriate Order, according to Maisel.

Action Items: Hire a personal assistant to take those redundant to-dos off your plate. Set up a proper workspace if you haven’t already done so. Tell your family that you are NOT available from the hours of 7-9am. Create space and create order for your work.

Stage 5: Completing - This is for the stubborn Critical Mind, never happy with their project and literally unable to stop working on it—even after they’re DONE.

Rx: Maisel suggests Appropriate Appraising by asking 2 questions. 1) What criteria do I need to develop in order to assess my work objectively, and 2) Can I consult someone or something?

Action Items: This could be as simple as an outline of your project with strikethroughs on it to make you SEE that you’ve completed the stages of your project (even though it might not feel like it). If you’ve written a first draft, hire an editor to suggest content edits.

Stage 6: Showing - According to Maisel, if the thought of showing your project paralyzes you, it could be that you’re suffering from Shy Mind or Attached Mind.

Rx: Shy Mind is cured with Appropriate Performing. And practicing Appropriate Detaching can cure Attached Mind.

Action Items:  Sign up for a public speaking class, or post your blog on a ghost site, just to feel the thrill of clicking the “publish” button. For Attached Mind, remember that you are not your business. Once I yank my ego out of my business decisions, it’s easier for me to admit when I need help and what I need to do next.

Remember, anxiety experts all agree that erasing fear isn’t the solution. The only thing you can do is to learn to live with the fear. As the saying goes, feel the fear and do it anyway. What you learn by taking action in spite of fear is that you can always deal with what happens next.

© 2010 Ali International, LLC
Self-made entrepreneur and Inc. 500-ranked CEO Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact. Get her FREE weekly articles and advice at www.AliBrown.com.

5 Steps for Handling Holiday Season Stress

by Janet Gomez

It's December, the month of holidays and parties, so it's generally a stressful time for most of us. It's also the start of the Kapha period when the body just wants to slow down. We do not do ourselves any favours with our hectic livestyles in general but at this time of year it's even more of a challenge.

It is also well known that stress leads to a number of health, especially digestive problems. Indigestion, for example, may later lead to more serious dis -ease. In Ayurveda indigestion is the basis of all physical disease. It is the inability to digest any physical, mental or emotional input.

 What can we do at this time of the year to avoid indigestion? Here are five steps to handle holiday season stress and indigestion.

1. Reduce intake of refined foods i.e processed food, stale food, sugary food in excess. There is plenty of evidence that eating refined foods puts more stress on the body, which has to use more energy to eliminate toxins. The result is that there is less energy for other vital functions.

2. Boost your immune system, your prana, qi, vital energy because this allows you to get back to normal even after difficult situations, even after a short food binge over the holiday period!

3. Do regular exercise - even if it's only 15 mins a day.

4. Have lighter meals. Even if you overeat a few days over the holiday period, make sure that you move back to savouring rather than stuffing your food and eating more plant-based meals quickly.

5. Eat freshly cooked food because this will provide you more energy, and leave you feeling light, balanced and in harmony. Old stale food results in tiredness, lethargy, laziness, heaviness because the food is using up more energy from body to digest it than it is providing. It may even provide toxins that use up even more energy to clean out.

What is your main question about indigestion and how it affects your body? Email me and you could see an article in an upcoming edition answering your question!

Janet Gomez, nutritional consultant, produces the "Nutri-Jyoti News", a free monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. Feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels? Then sign up for her FREE e-course "5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life" on the Nutri-Jyoti home page now. http://www.nutrijyoti.com/index1.htm

Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved Janet Gomez

Get Your Business Ready for 2011 with Ali Brown's 5-day Holiday Sale

Right now is one of the best times to evaluate your business
library. Are their products you've outgrown? Are you finally
ready to start leveraging social media?

Once you know what you need, it's time to get a head start for
2011. For this week only, you can stock up on Ali Brown's
award-winning products for entrepreneurs and save 30% off
everything in her Success Store! It's part of Ali's annual
holiday sale.

The sale started, Monday, December 13, 2010 and ends Friday,
December 17, 2010 at midnight (EST). You must enter coupon code
HOLIDAY30 to claim your 30% discount.

Ali Brown's Holiday Sale
December 13 to Dec 17, 2010
Coupon Code: HOLIDAY30

Whether you treat yourself with one of Ali's products, or give
the gift of success to a loved one, it couldn't be a better time
to get ready for positive action in 2011.

Holiday Hosiery to Give Your Look Sparkle and Shine!

Wondering how to give that same little black dress a different look? What hosiery to wear with a gold dress? Where to get party tights that will still be going strong at dawn?

We love the tights with Italian fashion at www.CoccolareBoutique.com. Your black dress will take on a whole new look with Diamante glitter tights, perfect for New Year’s Eve, or Deco metallic patterned tights, smashing for holiday parties.

If your dress already has sparkle and shine, go for fishnet tights. Gold dresses stand out with camel colored fishnets and matching shoes for a long lean look.

Looking to add a little romance into the holiday festivities? They have a stunning collection of lacy stay up thigh high stockings, or try the Zafferano sheer pantyhose with a thigh high lace effect pattern. If a sweater dress is more your style, choose tights that are heavier and have some texture, like the Dora ribbed wool tights or the Sebille crochet sweater tights.

Whatever your style, these looks are sure to get your noticed, so watch out for the mistletoe!

Coccolareboutique.com, founded by entrepreneurs Susa Monacelli and Cathy Harvey, is an online retail boutique featuring a dazzling array of exquisite hosiery, tantalizing tights, flirty fishnets, kicky knee highs and lovely luxuries.

"Where Do You Get Stuck? The Six Stages"

by Ali Brown

Have you ever been stuck on a project and convinced that you’re NOT making excuses? You really feel like you need to do another week of research or think about your plan a little more? I see this happen when a client has an “a-ha” moment, but can’t get around to taking action. Or another client won’t let go of their pet project and gets stuck instead in an obsessive state of revisions and re-revisions. According to Eric Maisel -- a creativity coach based in the Bay Area -- anxiety is most likely the culprit.

Anxiety is sneaky because it’s hard to detect. It’s a quiet, powerful emotion that can stop your forward progress dead in its tracks. And it’s such a relevant topic that I could easily write 4 blogs on it. But, since I like to keep things simple (and less anxiety provoking!), I will divvy it into a 2-part series. In Part 1 below, I focus on becoming aware of your anxiety triggers (using Eric Maisel’s stages of anxiety). And in Part 2 next week, I’ll close with some tips.

Maisel mostly works with artists, but I find that his stages of creativity apply to entrepreneurs as well. In his insightful book, Fearless Creating, Maisel outlines six stages to a project, which EACH provoke a different type of anxiety:

Wishing – the dream state where you imagine your business, your dream career and lifestyle. It’s a wonderful place to be, but many get stuck here, because let’s face it, it’s fun and safe.

Choosing – this is where you have to pick one. Will it be the online clothing store, the greeting card company or the fashion blog? I’m not saying you can’t do it all, but you have to start somewhere. And picking the ONE can be a little scary.

Starting – Facing the blank page, the mailing list with 10 people on it (trust me I’ve been there). This is where you fight the feeling (almost always false) that you just don’t know ANYTHING.

Working – Staying focused and committed to your project. Not losing steam, or surfing the web when you should be working (hint, Maisel says that all those distractions are just anxiety getting the best of you).

Completing – This is kind of like a spin on choosing because you have to tie up the loose ends and “live” with your baby. Your logo could have over 20 different color combos, and your ezine could follow 100+ formats -- but you just have to get it done and know your end product. This can be scary.

Showing – This is the cliff -- the moment you’re about to take a leap and go public. Maybe it means clicking the “publish” button on your blog, or sending off the sales email to a cold potential client. But this is where you expose yourself and your business, and it can cause a TON of anxiety.

Does any of the above sound familiar to you? Remember, you could feel anxiety at only one phase, or at several phases of the process. Right now, just be aware of where you get stuck.

Then, once you recognize where you get stuck in your own, individual process, you have the key to moving your projects through from start to finish. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week, where I’ll give you some tips on how to push past these stages.

© 2010 Ali International, LLC

Self-made entrepreneur and Inc. 500-ranked CEO Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact. Get her FREE weekly articles and advice at www.AliBrown.com

Why Can't I Stay Positive All The Time?!

by Mariana M. Cooper
Is it because you are getting some sort of internal signal that things are not going to turn out as good as you envisioned and you should brace yourself for disappointment? Or is it that you should just hang in there and go ahead with your plan?

Do you feel that you have made a great decision and start to move forward but then call someone who you know usually shoots you down, to “run it by them for a reality check”, only to have them rip the idea apart and feel like you are back at square one?

If so, your “ego” is at work full force trying to keep you in a weakened state. The “ego” is your inner critical voice that feeds on negativity and holding you back. It thrives on fear, guilt, anger, resentment and all negative emotions.

Every religion and spiritual discipline acknowledges the existence of the ego. It is often called “the opponent,” “evil,” “the darkness,” “the devil,” “the inner critic,” “the saboteur” and many other names. But regardless of the name the ego is in direct opposition to your Intuition.

The ego is very territorial and tries to dominate as much space in your mind as possible. And when you start to recognize it by studying spirituality, meditating, calling in more light and being positive the ego is very threatened. It will immediately try to frighten, distract and distress you.
Your Intuition is the opposite of the ego. It is the “still small voice” of truth that quietly persists and always draws you back to your truth. Solutions that come from your Intuition will “feel” right. They may not be ‘logical’ but they will just “feel” right.

The more you study and grow the more the ego fights as it loses ground!

So the answer is Don’t Give Up! Keep studying, meditating and surrounding yourself with light. Envision light all around you as a protective shield. And ask in your prayers and meditations to have the volume raised on your Intuitive Inner Voice. With consistent practice your Intuition will become the louder voice and you will be able to recognize, trust and rely on it to assist you in all areas of your life!

You may never completely eliminate the voice of the ego. But the true Power is in being able to recognize and discern what is ego and what is Intuition. That is what we all should work towards. Awareness is your most powerful tool!

So Trust Your Intuition!

If you would like to learn more about the ego and how to be able to easily tell when it is getting in your way, register for my free 5 part video series Aha! Intuition by clicking here now! 

Author: Mariana M. Cooper, Aha! Moments, Inc. Marketing & Manifesting Strategist For Enlightened Entrepreneurs.


Smart Women Rest, Recharge & Renew

by Joy Chudacoff 

Recently, I was speaking with a client who is approaching a milestone birthday. She shared with me that what she really wanted as a gift was to retreat for a few days alone without family or friends. She expressed her feelings of “guilt” because she wanted to be alone, and felt anxious about going on a retreat as she’s never really been alone for an extended period of time. This got me thinking about how Smart Women understand that it’s essential to rest, recharge and renew—alone.

Women wear many hats and take care of a lot of people. Most days we work “8 to faint” being mothers, wives, partners, friends, daughters, siblings, business owners and community activists. It can feel uncomfortable to desire being alone because of the overwhelming responsibilities and to-do list; however, it’s necessary if you are to live a passionate, energetic and meaningful life.  

I remember when I went on my first retreat some years ago. I traveled to Ojai, California, to a retreat center. The rooms were basic with no TV’s, no internet, and no phones. Cell phone use was only permitted in the rooms. The retreat center had a “silent” policy, which meant it was understood that no words were spoken at any time or with anyone. Get the idea? The only person I was to be in conversation with was me—my authentic self.

I felt a little uneasy and scared when I arrived. I’d never been silent for 24 hours in my life! There were moments when I wanted to pack up and run home to my family. After a few hours, I eased into my silent retreat and began to enjoy the space and solitude that I had created for myself to reflect, recharge and renew.
How about you? When was the last time you really reconnected with you--your authentic self? If you feel overwhelmed, stuck, or trapped in some area of your life, a retreat may be just what you need. If you’re feeling ready but unsure how to make the most of it, here are a few solutions:
1.  Pick a spot – You get to choose what type of retreat you’d like to experience. Maybe you’d like to retreat at a spa where you can enjoy all of the pampered services. You may want to go “bare bones” to a basic retreat center. And, by the way, you can retreat at your home if you are on a budget; I’ve done this several times.

2.  Say Yes to no phones, TV, or email – this is a really important ingredient to a successful retreat. The idea is to reconnect with your authentic self. If you have someone with whom you must stay in touch, schedule time for a 5- to 10-minute check-in. (I invite you to make arrangements at home so that no check-in is needed, if at all possible.) Those emails and favorite TV shows will be there when you return—I promise.

3.  Practice solitude – I took a meditation class a few years ago, and I make this a part of my life and retreat experience. Don’t panic if you haven’t practiced meditation before. Just sitting quietly is a form of meditation. Focus on your breathing, and free your mind from distractions. Practicing this for just 5 to 10 minutes a day can make a big difference in the quality of your retreat time.
4.  Practice journaling – When your mind becomes quiet and you get centered, you may discover some new ideas and dreams that you’d like to consider once you’ve finished retreating. Bring along some unlined paper, colorful markers, or a favorite pen to record your thoughts.
5.  Sleep in/Take a walk – I’m an early riser; however, when I’m on a retreat, I typically don’t set an alarm. I ease into the process of greeting the day. Retreat centers and spas almost always have beautiful grounds and surroundings. Taking a walk can release those healthy, happy endorphins in your body and support you in feeling gratitude for this special time in your life.
I’ve just spent the last few days doing a mini-retreat here in my home. My husband and children are in Utah with my in-laws having a wonderful time, and I’ve enjoyed some quiet solitude mixed in with the work that I love doing with Smart Women. Practicing solitude has become a necessity in my life. It’s like breathing—I have to have it in order to live. I invite you to start making plans for your very own retreat where you can rest, recharge and renew.  
Anything is possible.  Everything is waiting for you.
© 2010 Joy Chudacoff

Joy Chudacoff, ICF, PCC, is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions®, a Professional Certified Coach to 1000’s of women, Motivational Speaker, and Entrepreneur.  She publishes a weekly buzz generating ezine, Reflections On Life and Business for Women Entrepreneurs.  If you’re ready take your life and your business to the next level, get your FREE Tips, FREE Report and FREE MP3 now at http://www.ProfitsWithPassion.com.


The 8 Skills You Need to be a Great Leader

woman writing about business
by Kristin Marquet

Organizations small, medium, and large need strong minded, smart, and resilient leaders.  Successful leaders have the ability to get others to follow his or her vision.

Leaders have clear visions of goals and objectives.  Leaders are flexible planners.  Leaders are proactive and do not stop until he or she is satisfied with the result. Most importantly, leaders know how to communicate effectively. 

However, the most important leadership qualities are:

1.    Good leaders have integrity and are trustworthy - a leader that control emotions, makes decisions based on logic and fact, and gains the trust of others are the top qualities a successful leader needs.

2.    Good leaders are devoted and committed - successful leaders are devoted to completing whatever needs to be done.  He or she will work tirelessly until the result is great.

3.    Good leaders take personal responsibility and award credit where it is due - A good leader will take personal responsibility for when things go badly or for when a project fails as well as award credit to where it is due.

4.    Good leaders know how to be humble - great leaders aren't arrogant, condescending or mean, but they understand that they aren't better than others are. 

5.    Good leaders respect the views of their team/organizational members.

6.    Good leaders have good communication skills - Leaders need to be able to express themselves effectively.  They must listen to gain new insight into new opportunities.  Good leaders are objective listeners and don't let his or her own thoughts impair his or her judgment. 

7.    Good leaders have ability to be creative and develop fresh ideas while maintaining the core values of the project 

8.    Good leaders are level-headed and have the ability to keep a sense of humor.  Leaders that are levelheaded and down to earth are much more approachable than leaders that are rigid and stiff.  Many times members of the group or organization are afraid to speak up if a leader is inflexible because he or she is afraid of being reprimanded. 

Essentially a good leader is smart, driven, understanding, and levelheaded with the willingness to assert behavior over some members or employees that deviate, digress, or lose interest in whatever the goal is.  Successful leaders have the ability to keep the group focused and motivated while keeping themselves motivated.

With a no B.S. attitude, Kristin Marquet is the founder and managing director of Creative Development Agency (formerly award-winning firm, Marquet Media). Kristin also develops, manages, and implements various internal and external communication and social media initiatives. With a strong eye for creating memorable brands and a diverse range of knowledge, Kristin provides strategic counsel to clients interested in developing successful internal and external communication programs across all media platforms. https://creativedevelopmentagency.com/

Kristin Marquet is a regular contributor to the Secrets of Success blog.

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