Happy New Year

Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

Goal Setting 2013: The Odd Place

by Miata Edoga

Maybe you're walking through the woods and a patch of sunlight hits the ground in front of you and spurs an idea for your next artistic creation. You could be dining at a restaurant and the ambiance makes you realize an image of a new way to work.

I know this: inspiration hits in funny places. I actually found inspiration for my 2013 goals last night at a friend's concert.

Her band had spent a ton of time on set construction and paid great attention to the light show. There was swirling fog, lots of color and neat special effects. Not only did my friend and her band bring the little hall alive with music, but all of this "extra" light and imagery enhanced the performance.

There was something awesome about the experience, and it wasn't the lights. It also wasn't just the incredible music. It was the combination of the two together.

People in the audience were mesmerized. Some were dancing. Others swayed to the beat of the song.

I thought to myself, "What would happen if we eliminated one part of the show?"

That's when I realized a money connection: the lights and effects were clearly secondary. The primary key to success in the show? The music. Her band's success playing music made me realize why so many people fail:

Most people focus first on the light show, not on the guitar, keyboard, vocals and drums.

Let's face it: successful money management and practicing guitar both FEEL like hard work. My friend's hands are evidence that she's invested hundreds (maybe even thousands) of hours earning her way toward that stage. The fact that people are moved by her craft isn't a mistake. She was able to bring them to that point through that hard work.

By spending time practicing her "music," she was able to deftly use her instrument on stage and make it look easy.

By contrast, a light show isn't hard work. It's simple. Plug it in and watch the result. In your financial life lights are as obvious as nice cars, expensive parties and exotic gifts.

Here's where people begin their spiral into debt and despair: Creating a light show FIRST before perfecting your craft is a trap.

Many of us want our friends to know that we're successful. To show your "worth" to others, many people take the course of buying nice cars, expensive clothing, great parties and exotic gifts.

The problem is that those are all the "light show" of your life. They visually show everyone just how great your music is....but sadly, in many cases, there isn't any real music. Or if there is, the music isn't good.

Focus first on your music (building assets and cash flow) and THEN work on the light show. If you turn those two around, unfortunately you're bound to fail.

In 2013, a big question I'm asking myself is: how do I create great music with my financial picture? By making next year the 12 month period where you step up your "guitar" practice, the "light show" experiences will become sustainable.

We have great things planned at AbundanceBound for the next 12 months. I'm excited about the future and hope that you are ready to make more leaps in 2013 toward financial security.


© 2012 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

Are You Putting YOU in Your Business and Marketing?

by Therese Skelly

Newsflash - your customers want YOU. The real you. Not the made up, socially acceptable, photo-shopped, watered down, cleaned up version. YOU with all your 'stuff,' all your passion, all your thoughts, beliefs, and magic.

But most of us would rather get a root canal done than put our quirky selves out in the public arena. We have been taught to comply, dress like a professional, go along, get along, and be nice. (Especially for girls...that nice thing is really pounded in to the female psyche.)

So along comes "Auntie Therese" who is gonna ruffle your feathers by saying that in order to stand apart from the crowd, you have to be unique.

The #1 mistake most of us make is that we start out being really passionate, and even obstinate about what we believe, but then somehow create websites that look like a third rate template version with some generic watered down message.

Why? Because we get afraid. Afraid that if we are as real as we want to be, there will be judgment. Folks may think we are weird. Or frauds. Or flakes.

Or we get into the story that what we want to sell just fly in the marketplace. So we dumb-down.

What happens is that your prospects see the site or marketing materials and silent says, "huh?" because they don't get your energy. They probably just click away and you have lost the opportunity to be of service to them.

My work (and what makes me the most passionate) is to get my hands on you and your business so I can help you discover the YOU that is going to be out there.

How do I do this?

By asking questions that pull out of you your brilliance. Here is a list of some of my favorites:

What's your voice?
What do you love?
What are you passionate about?
What are you taking a stand for your clients for?
What are some of your success stories?
Why are you doing this business?
If you had permission to get out there, what would that look like?

When I can get my clients opening up to this level of reflection, they are often blown away. Actually, sometimes they cry because there is a feeling of being more authentic and almost a 'coming home' to the dream they had for their business.

There's nothing better than that as a coach, when I can help someone find their voice and get their brilliance out in the world in a way that allows them to bring all of who they are to the table. That's when money, and satisfaction, and all things good come from.

Now it's your turn! Let me ask you a few questions...

Are you holding back from being fully expressed in your business? If yes, what are you afraid of? What would you have to let go of in order to really put all of you into your work. I bet it's a story....something like, "They won't think I'm professional" or "No one cares if I sing karaoke or home-school my kids....what does that matter." Or you may be stuck on, "But what if some people don't like me or I offend them with what I say?"

Guess what gang - this is where you get to push past your limits. This is why the entrepreneurial journey is like a spiritual path. On this journey, you get to bounce into those scared places in you and use courage to come out on the other side more authentic, more expressed, and of more service. Don't run away from this! This is the work we are all here to do. When I take on a new client, in my mind growing their business is actually secondary. What's first - their transformation. OK, I just came out of the closet on what gives me the most juice. If I can help you transform thru the process of business development, your family is better off, your life is better off, and everyone around you benefits from the work you have done.

That's the challenge for you as we near the end of the year.

How can your business be more like a mission?

How can you use your work to make a bigger difference?

And finally, who do you have to become to make those first two questions real?

So when you are reflecting on New Year's Eve, go a bit deeper. If you do, your business (and life) will be a whole lot more rewarding in 2013!

Big blessings my friends!!!

(c) 2012 Therese Skelly. Discover a simple, yet surprising secret to getting unstuck in your small business by visiting www.HappyInBusiness.com and signing up for her next free workshop and receive a free audio "Uncovering the 7 Biggest Money Drains in Your Business-Tips and Tactics to Stop Losing Money Each Month."

Power Up Your 2013

by Doreen Rainey

Whether we do it formally by writing it down and sharing it with others, or whether we just have a few thoughts that we keep to ourselves, it's hard not to set new goals when a new year approaches.

There are some who make resolutions every year, and then those who absolutely refuse to because they don't believe they will stick to them.

Wherever you may fall when it comes to this, we all tend to get a new burst of energy, a renewed sense of hope and a surge of power about what amazing things are possible for our lives when a new year rolls around.

One thing I've learned over the years is that the energy, hope and power surge most definitely needs to be wrapped around a practical plan for making real progress and experiencing real change. What's a "practical" plan look like?

Here are my top 3 tips to put you on the right path to power up your 2013:

1. Take a look in the rear view mirror.

You absolutely want to take some time to acknowledge what's happened in 2012. What worked and what didn't work? What do you want more of and what do you want less of? What things would you do differently and what would you do exactly the same? What were you biggest moments of celebrations and what were you biggest disappointments?

Important lessons can be garnered from answering these questions. It allows you to clearly see what you want to leave behind and what you want to focus on as you move into your new year.

2. Decide and declare what your top two priorities are.

You can't change everything at once. You can't work on every goal at the same time. You can't have an action plan for many targets. The best thing you can do to position yourself for success is to focus on no more than two areas at a time.

Maybe you want to make changes in your finances, health, career and you want to have more balance in your life. That's too much at one time! Give yourself a break right from the beginning. Give yourself permission to put some of those on the back-burner while you make real, lasting change in just two of them.

3. Be ready to work.

If you want something more or different, you are going to have to do more and different. No matter how it may look on the outside, people who achieve their biggest goals work really hard to get there. Stop looking for shortcuts because there are very few.

I'm talking "blood, sweat and tears" kind of work. I'm talking late nights and early mornings. I'm talking about staring down fear and focusing on results. I'm talking about stop looking to your left and right, thinking "they" have it easier. Believe me, they don't. EVERYONE has to work for it.

If you do set some goals for the coming year, I encourage you to take heed to these three tips. They will help you define real goals, keep you focused and remind you to keep working!

"RADICAL Success Coach Doreen Rainey helps her clients Get RADICAL - by defining success for themselves and getting the guts to go after it. Get her FREE RADICAL Success Starter Kit at www.doreenrainey.com."

© 2012 Doreen Rainey


Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday!

Accessing Your Authentic Message – Part 2

by Christine Kloser

I’m excited to continue this series on Accessing Your Authentic Message!  Why?  Because the power of authentic presence and authentically shared messages has the ability to heal and transform lives… and impact the world.

Too often, I see writers get stuck trying to model what they’ve seen other authors do.  Sometimes they even try to use someone else’s message and just tweak it a bit to fit their own personal style. 

This is not authentic expression; and in my opinion, it’s downright damaging to not shine YOUR unique light in the world.

There’s never been a time when our world has needed your light, love, wisdom, expertise, lessons, guidance, knowledge and inspiration.   It’s “GO” time for accessing your authentic message.

So, here’s the next concept I want to share with you to help you access yours!

Connect With Your Heart

One thing I can tell you after 8 years of working with authors to excavate their true message is that it does NOT reside in your head.

If you ever sit down and try to figure out your authentic message from some kind of mental process, you are likely to miss it all together.  Your thinking may come up with great ideas; it’s good at that.  Yet, it will not provide you with access to your deepest, most powerful, light-shining message!

Your message already resides in your heart.  There is nothing outside of yourself that you need in order to access it.  The point of entry is in the stillness of your mind and the opening of your heart to receive and see what’s already there.

The most powerful method I teach my clients in Get Your Book Done® is to use a meditative practice to quiet their mind, center themselves, relax into the present moment, and wait to see what shows up.

I remember when I interviewed Gay Hendricks and he shared that his best “strategy” for writing so many best-selling books was to meditate before every writing session.  I love that he shared this with me, because it’s what I had been doing and teaching without knowing this is how he wrote his many books.

So, what if you’re not established in a meditation practice?  First, don’t start judging yourself about it because that will get you nowhere.  Rather, start small.  Give yourself 5 minutes before you go to bed or 5 minutes as soon as you awaken in the morning.  Simply focus on your breathing, become present in the moment and ask for your authentic message to be made known to you.

You can take a few minutes through the day at various times to do this.  All you need is to become consciously aware of your breath, perhaps closing your eyes, turning your focus inward and making your heart available to receive the message that’s meant to be shared through you.

Then, be patient with yourself.  You cannot force your authentic message to show up.  Give it time to gestate and reveal itself to you in its right time.

And don’t let yourself off the hook.  Be persistent and diligent about continually and consciously quieting your mind and connecting with your heart with the intention of opening to your authentic message.  You might gain crystal clarity overnight, or it may take a while for more to be revealed.  Either way, it’s all good!   So, stick with it and I trust you’ll experience the great joy of seeing your authentic message take shape.

Christine Kloser is a Spiritual Guide, Award-Winning Author, and Transformational Book Coach whose spot-on guidance transforms the lives of visionary entrepreneurs and authors around the world.  Her passion is fueled by her own transformation in January 2011 when letting go of the last shred of stability and security in her life was how she discovered her truth.  From that place, she fearlessly (and faithfully) went on to quickly create the most abundant, impactful and joyous success of her life.  She now blends her passion for personal and global transformation with her gifts as a transformational book coach – and as a result she's impacting tens of thousands of messengers across the globe.  Get her free transformational author training at www.TransformationalAuthor.com.

Iyanla Vanzant: Take a Risk!

Motivation and inspiration from Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant's "A Slice of Life Today" video series.

After a Business Breakdown

by Barbara Saunders

Get Your Business Back on the Road

Every business has ebbs and flows. That’s part of nature. It takes a lot of energy to run a business. Sometimes it’s natural to go into a ‘dormant’ stage so you can store up energy for a forward thrust. But if you’ve had a total breakdown, you’ll need a little extra effort to get yourself back on the road.

Relax, you’re in good company.

The first thing you need to do is lighten up. Don’t kick yourself because something didn’t work. Walt Disney was fired from his first newspaper job because they said he had ‘no imagination’. Fred Astaire was turned away from the first movie musical production he tried out for because they said he was ‘too skinny and couldn’t dance’. And Oprah was fired as a news anchor because they said she “wasn’t fit for television.”

Working for yourself is putting you ‘out there’ in a big way and when it doesn’t work, it can be devastating. It can leave you feeling worthless, humiliated and like a failure. Especially as a solo, that can be hard to deal with. Isolation can be deadly.

Get your Triple ‘A’ club in place now.
My first counsel is to be sure you’re surrounded by other upward- and forward-thinking solos. Meet regularly in masterminds or just for coffee. These must be people that you trust and feel you can share with. Quality trumps quantity here. Stay away from complainers, whiners, downers, blamers and drains. This is important and your family may not (translate: DEFINITELY NOT) be the best resource for this. A good business coach is indispensable for support and direction or retraining. This is NOT the time to skimp or hold back.

Pull over and step out of the vehicle.

You need to get a little distance so you can calm down. A little perspective can do wonders. Assessing the situation from a distance allows you to look at all sides. The most important thing is to not allow a breakdown to define you. Part of the ‘distance’ you’re looking at is into the Past, as well as into the Future. When you observe the entire timeline of your life, you’re more likely to see that this ‘breakdown’ is just a minor speed bump and not an insurmountable dead end.

Remember this: At ALL times, YOU have the power of choice.

Being a Solo Pro is a road to self discovery. Breakdowns give you the opportunity for the greatest self discovery. Dig into it and be willing to allow change to happen. (FYI: Change is going to happen – might as well go along with it). Review what didn’t work. What could you have done differently?

Consider other models.
While you’re at your breakdown situation, take a few moments to assess your business model. You may have done everything right; things that have worked for others perfectly, but they didn’t work for you. Add yourself back into the equation. You are unique and your strengths and talents may not be the greatest fit for that model. Be open to exploring other models that might fit you better – or make one up that just fits YOU.

Get back on the road.
In business, momentum is essential. Get back in the game. Remember that business is a game that you must be present to win. Don’t sit and stew over the breakdown. Identify what went wrong, fix the problem and get right back out there. I can’t stress enough how important ‘speed’ can be in getting your business back on the road. Here’s why: when you sit and focus on the breakdown, that becomes ALL you can think about. It becomes imprinted on your consciousness. The breakdown will be the first thing you think of when you do try to make a move. It’s at the root of self sabotaging behavior. Instead, when you get right back in the game, the breakdown recedes from a position of importance. As you move forward, it will fade as all of your great ideas take its place.

One last word: FEAR.
Even once you feel that you’ve fixed the problem, fear can immobilize you. Don’t let it. Remember that you are the DRIVER. Fear is just like a ‘check engine’ light on your dashboard. After a breakdown, your subconscious mind is running a check of its systems. That check engine light will go off when it realizes that you’re OK. And you ARE OK.

If you’re still feeling that your breakdown has knocked you too far off course and you can’t possibly get back on the road, I want to invite to take a moment and watch this video of Steve Job’s ‘Connecting the Dots’ talk. Remember that it’s the breakdowns on the road of life that eventually help determine where we end up.

Author Info: Barbara Saunders is a publication designer and has run a successful solo pro business for more than a decade. She is the Solo Pro Success Coach and the Director of the International Association of Self-Employed Communication Professionals and the Solo Pro Academy. She also hosts the Solo Pro Radio show everyday at 10am Pacific and 1pm Eastern It’s our mission to build community and help creative solo pros build and run successful businesses by providing support, innovation, tools, and strategies. Our goal is to liberate our members from the feast and famine cycle.


5 Unique Challenges of Promoting Professional Services

by Liz Lynch

Having worked in a professional services capacity for the majority of my career, whether it be in a firm, from inside a corporation, or as the face of my own company, I know that the marketing tactics that work for retailers, product companies and consumer services aren’t as effective for selling business expertise.

If you’re struggling to attract clients on a consistent basis and fill your practice, it’s not your fault. Here are 5 of the biggest challenges I see in selling and promoting professional services:

1) You’re selling the invisible. People can’t hold your service in their hands, can’t look at it, or weigh it. They have a hard time grasping what it is you do and how exactly you can help them. Professional service providers need to do a much better job of translating what they do into how that actually helps potential clients.

2) Your potential clients aren’t frequent buyers. They’ve probably never bought a service like yours before so they don’t know how to tell you apart from everyone else who does what you do. They don’t know what criteria to evaluate you on or what they should expect from working with you. And all of this leads to them not being sure about needing your service in the first place or how to much to pay for it. So a lot of education is needed.

3) Joint ventures and partnerships can help you greatly. Because your service is not an impulse purchase and likely something they’ve never purchased before, most of the time, they’ll get a recommendation from someone they know. That’s why having referral relationships to get others spreading the word about you and recommending you are especially valuable in your profession.

4) Promoting your business can’t be hype-y. You have a reputation to uphold with the kinds of clients that you want to reach. They’re high-end, and you always want to be seen as an expert and trusted advisor in their eyes, not a used car salesman. Promoting your business has to be done in a professional way. You can’t do anything that’s gimmicky or sales-y or high pressure.

5) You’re really selling yourself. This is perhaps the worst part of having your own practice. Haven’t you thought more than once how much easier it would be to sell a product or somebody else’s service? Selling yourself is just so uncomfortable. You don’t want to seem boastful, and when there’s rejection, it’s hard not to take that personally. So what I find is that many professionals are afraid to go too far out on a limb to promote themselves, which means they never get traction and getting clients is a continual struggle.

So, what can you do to address these challenges? In the next issue of Smart Networking Success, I’ll share my top tips for professional service providers to promote themselves authentically and confidently. In the meantime, I’d love to see you me on December 18th for a special year-end Q&A call for the Smart Networking community.

© 2009-2012, Liz Lynch International LLC

Liz Lynch, author of Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and Online, works with 6-figure professionals who have great expertise but suffer from “promo-phobia.” To learn how to get better known and attract the opportunities you deserve, visit www.LizLynchOnline.com.

How She Does It: Alicia Vandeschuere of rosieMADE, LLC

Alicia Vandeschuere is the founder of rosieMADE, LLC which has the mission of "empowering women through commerce and community." While she was in working in corporate, she witnessed the unique challenges that women face while navigating corporate politics and the corporate ladder. Alicia set out to create a community where women would be empowered economically and supported as they entered entrepreneurship.

Alicia is stopping by the blog to share her experiences with starting her company and her vision for creating the rosieMADE network.

Deb Bailey: This is such an exciting idea, Alicia. How did you get started as an entrepreneur?

Alicia Vandeschuere: I thought entrepreneurship would be a nice change from the corporate environments I had been working in. I've always been a really hard worker that delivered exceptional business results (along with my teams, of course). I felt it was time to bet on myself! Plus, it would provide a greater flexibility for my life stage (I'm a new mom), as well as geographic flexibility (we relocated to be closer to family). It also gave me a path to support two things that are important to me: USA products/jobs and the empowerment of women!

Deb: Are there any “lessons learned” that you’d like to share?

Alicia: The biggest lessons have been in regards to selecting business partners. Not knowing where to look for good service providers, I've ended up with a few partners that weren't a great fit for my business and work style. I've learned that I have to always be fair, but put the business first, even if it means making a switch. I rely on my “gut instincts” more than I used to. 

Deb:  So, who are your ideal customers?

Alicia: Our ideal customers are women who are looking for great, USA made gifts for others (or even themselves). Our customers are excited about voting with their dollars for women friendly companies, and appreciate that we reinvest a portion of every sale into resources and grants for women entrepreneurs.

Deb: What are some of your successes and challenges?

Alicia: Being a start up, our biggest challenge is getting our message out. We want to do good things, we want to help our vendors and women entrepreneurs. BUT…we need traffic and support to get there. I'm sure this is every start ups or small business's challenge.

For our successes, we set small goals, and celebrate each accomplishment. Whether it's for Facebook likes, additional newsletter subscribers, orders, or press, we're constantly setting goals and working to achieve them.

Deb: Thanks for sharing those! What’s your vision for your business?

Alicia: My hope is that rosieMADE will become obsolete! When women and women friendly businesses are not disadvantaged, our mission will no longer be relevant. Unfortunately, the statistics show that women and their businesses still have a lot of room for advancement. Until then, our vision is to increase awareness and support.

Deb: Alicia, thanks for visiting the blog. Please let everyone know where they can find out more about you and rosieMADE.

Alicia: Certainly! You can find us here:


Want Your Clients to Get Better Results? Do These 3 Things

by Therese Skelly

Want to be a better coach or service provider? Take better care of your clients? Get even more rocking results?


I have some good stuff for you in this article. After hosting a biz retreat for 4 days, and seeing the beyond belief results, I can honestly say, that there were some strategies that emerged that in retrospect added to the power to create huge shifts.

You can also use these for any business you have! So let’s rock and roll...

#1 – Decide to play your biggest game possible

Does that sound silly? Kinda trite of cliché? I know. Every Life Coach in the world is telling you that. AND, I also know that there’s something you would probably love to do or offer, but haven’t yet allowed yourself to do it.

Here’s what happens…

You may be making your decisions based on ‘will they buy this or not.’ On one hand that is reasonable marketing advice. Market research, target market needs, etc. But you can't hide out here forever, playing small and being afraid to take risks.

Better yet, listen to your desire! Listen to the program or product that is calling you to create it. Say yes to the thing that scares the pants off of you. THAT’s what playing the biggest game means. Instead of playing safe, TAKE NEW ACTION. Start selling something that will bring you joy. Because here’s what I know….if you have the desire, there is an audience out there that you can serve.

I have been saying for years that I wanted to do retreats, and finally got sick of just talking about it, so my action was to plop down $3k to rent the space even before I had sold the program out. The willingness to lock myself into that commitment made it much easier to pick up the phone and start inviting the right people. So after you decide, just move forward! No backing out! Just offer it. When you say yes to the bigger game you play, you become a far better model for your clients.

#2 – Give first and profit second

This retreat had a ‘feel’ to it that I wanted to convey. It would have netted me an additional $4200 if I had the participants pay for their own lodging and food. But when I got the vision of how I wanted the retreat to be, I ‘got’ that I wanted to create a really soothing and supportive and peaceful environment. All the food was organic, vegetarian, healthy, and yummy! The space was big and magical. My clients didn’t have to deal with crappy hotel food or bland, boring meeting rooms.

I will say this. There is a place for profit. You absolutely SHOULD be paid very well. And then there is a time when you just add extra value, give more, and shoot for creating a much different or unique experience.

Where can you do that in your biz?

If you are always focused on cutting corners and trying to get every last cent out of your clients, their results and retention will reflect that.

So ask yourself….where could you spend a bit more $ to give your clients that little extra that lets them know you care?

You want to be thinking about the LIFETIME value of the client. So while on one hand I may have ‘lost’ that $4200, the reality is that I’ll very likely more than make it up in the next few months because the clients will want more. One person will be booking a VIP day with me as a result of seeing the work at the retreat, and I’m banking on being able to serve the others in different ways as well in the future. That’s how it goes. By focusing on the experience and not always leading with the bottom line, you will be seen in a much different (better!) light.

#3 – Expect more of your client than they think they are capable of

Whoa Nelly! Getting a little ‘drill instructor-ish” with this one, but let me explain. You as coach or healer or service provider should know what’s possible if people work with you. But more than that, you MUST have a belief in your clients’ ability to transform that is bigger than any fear, doubt, or concern that will be encountered along the way.

Day one of my retreat I said these words ----


I can say that because I know that the journey is often one that scares the heck out of most people and that they usually stop and never get to that sweet other side.

So it was my job as coach and facilitator to push, very lovingly, on those places where I saw the clients playing small, defaulting to their old beliefs or ideas, or not stepping in to play the bigger game they totally can be playing. Now let’s talk about you.

Because here is the caveat...

You have to be ‘walking the talk’ as well! You can’t expect your clients to go through the fire, be unstoppable, do Whatever It Takes to be their most powerful selves, if you are not willing to do the same in your own life or biz!

I always tell my students and clients to BE THEIR BRAND! And that means that whatever you want to teach, you get to live into. Most often that comes because of contrast. I’ll give an example. A few years ago when things were challenging for me financially one of my dear biz girlfriends said, “Look, your business is called Happy in Business so if you can’t figure out how to be happy RIGHT HERE, you can’t own that name!” Harsh, but true.

Your turn.

Where can you live more fully into what you teach so you can say, ‘Yeah, this stuff REALLY works!”

Here’s what I know…

The more you invest in yourself, the more powerful YOU become, the more your clients will benefit. It’s way cool! So your #1 job isn’t to get more ideas to grow your biz. No. Your most important work is to become the powerful leader you are meant to be!


(c) 2012 Therese Skelly. Discover a simple, yet surprising secret to getting unstuck in your small business by visiting www.HappyInBusiness.com and signing up for her next free workshop and receive a free audio "Uncovering the 7 Biggest Money Drains in Your Business-Tips and Tactics to Stop Losing Money Each Month."


Seriluna Chic & Natural Skincare

Recently one of my contacts sent me information about a new skincare, spa and loungeware company called, Seriluna (www.seriluna.com). I love trying out bath & body products, so I was especially excited when I received samples to try out.

When you're trying out skincare products with names like, "Love Your Body Butter" and "Shea Butter Revitalizing Lotion" you know you're in for a treat. I'm certainly someone who is always looking out for products that are nourishing to dry skin - especially when winter comes. Busy entrepreneurs don't usually take time out for pampering, but you don't have time for the trip to a spa, try one of these wonderful products.

Not only does Seriluna have an online store (where you can check out their full line of head-to-toe skincare and loungeware) but they also are providing entrepreneurial opportunities if you're looking to create some additional income for the holiday season. 

Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Seriluna wants its clients to feel completely pampered, which is why the spa quality, natural products are available exclusively through Independent Seriluna Consultants. From a casual patio gathering to a sophisticated evening cocktail party, or a “Spa Happy Hour,” Seriluna Consultants offer an intimate and entertaining opportunity that emphasizes the importance of relaxation in a hectic and stressful world, focusing  on wellness and natural beauty.

"Seriluna's mission is to help women create financial security for themselves and their families by providing reasonably priced, natural skincare, spa products and loungewear to their network of friends and family," says Steve Schuster, Founder & CEO of Seriluna, "We believe that through our simple direct sales approach, women can earn extra money doing what they love surrounded by the people they love.  We are excited to support women who would like to start their own business and create something for themselves while nurturing others and enhancing their well being and natural beauty."

Seriluna’s beauty and spa brand assures women they will experience a transformation through technologically advanced, nutrient-rich, and high performance, formulations that improve their appearance, overall skin health, as well as provide environmental protection.  All of the natural products are made in the USA.

To find out more visit www.seriluna.com or call 888-380-2931.


Female Entrepreneurs, Dating Agencies and Love

Whether you are just starting your own business or you've been running a company for a while, as a female entrepreneur you probably have very little free time. With a drive for success and a strong work ethic, you may find that you have had hardly any time to focus on your love life. This article discusses dating in the modern world for the female entrepreneur looking for love.

Why successful women need help finding happiness in love.

As a successful woman you probably find it hard scheduling time in your calendar for friends and family, let alone finding time to actively go out and search for singles to start dating! Although the thrill from business achievements is great, it is also important to think about life outside work. Everyone wants to fall in love but some of us just don't seem to have the time to do it!

Relationships can be hard work - especially at the beginning when you are getting to know someone and you are working out whether you want to commit to something more serious. As a busy woman focussing on your career, you won't have time to trawl through bars and clubs looking for the one, so it is important to find other ways to meet new people.

Benefits of signing up to a dating agency

As a powerful business woman you are successful because you are used to going out and getting what you want. Instead of sitting around waiting for the perfect date to find you, signing up to a dating agency allows you to take control. You are in charge of specifying what you want in a relationship, what sort of partner you are looking for and what personality traits are important to you. 

Dating agencies have become very popular with both female and male entrepreneurs because they cut out all the nonsense. Instead of wasting time getting dressed up for a date with someone you know nothing about, you can carefully select potential dates based on compatibility. As intelligent women we like someone who can challenge us mentally, so getting to know someone a bit before we meet in person can help us make sure the first date will be interesting and stimulating.

Meeting people online

One of the most convenient ways to meet new people is to sign up to a dating agency online. All the information is a just a few clicks away, so you can easily update your profile and search for singles on your lunch break. Online dating sites like eHarmony UK take the time to get to know you, so they can match you up with people based on important similarities, such as intelligence and ambition. These sites also have useful information and dating tips, and relationship advice - an essential if it's been a while since you made time for a first date!

Obviously one of the biggest obstacles for female entrepreneurs looking for love is lack of time. With a busy work schedule you probably need to organise your dating calendar like you organise your meeting schedules! You can easily keep up with the latest dating updates if you follow eHarmony on Twitter. If you can only afford half an hour here and half an hour there looking for love, that's fine. You can conveniently read through people's profiles in your free time.

As a successful business woman you don't want to mess around on bad dates meeting boring people. Make the most of modern dating agencies which allow you to pick and choose your men. With dating sites all the cards are on the table, so when you meet up for a first date you can relax and enjoy yourself.

Author Bio
Tracey Chandler is a freelance travel writer who contributes regularly to travel blogs worldwide and female-interest publications on matters of the heart.

*Sponsored Post*


3 Essential Steps to Overcome Busy-ness Fatigue

by Barbara Saunders

Do you feel like you’re chasing your tail but not moving forward?

Often, Solo Pros can find themselves in a tail-chasing loop where they spin around doing admin tasks, marketing tasks, networking and more, but the income doesn’t follow. Here are 3 essential steps that will help you get back on course.

The first thing to do is STOP and catch your breath. You’ve got to break the stress cycle that you’ve been caught up in. It’s like you’ve been revving up your engine and not going anywhere. Forcing yourself to stop and shifting that wasted energy will help prevent a burn out. Just like your car, constant revving without going anywhere can do some serious damage to your engine.

So basic self care is necessary to get your perspective back. Take a walk, a hot bath, or turn on some favorite music and get away from the ‘tasks’ for a little while. Then come back with a fresh slate.

We get ourselves locked in the ‘tail chasing’ syndrome when we’ve lost focus or direction so here are three essential things to get it back – and do some fine tuning as well.

Step 1: Review your positioning

Is your business custom fit to you and your personal way of doing business? Or did you set up your business like you thought it was ‘supposed’ to be based on some generic formula – or even worse – did you pattern your business after your past job?

If you’ve been trying to position your services on a faulty foundation, it comes across in all of your communication. It sounds stilted, artificial, or hypey. Take a moment to ask yourself if you’re allowing your ‘BEST’ self to show up in your business. When you clearly define what you’re truly best at, it’s easy to present yourself as an expert. You can then blog, answer questions, make proposals, and more – from a position of conviction that you really are good at what you do. That confidence and credibility then come through authentically in your messaging.

Step 2: Fine tune your ideal client description

Do you really know who your best clients are? What they really want? If you’re not clear on who you’re talking to – what you say doesn’t really matter. You don’t connect. Your message will not resonate with them. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. You waste your time and energy marketing to generic ‘leads’.

Take a few minutes to talk to your best – highest paying – clients. Ask them what’s going on in their business. Don’t try to sell your services. You’re on a fact-finding mission. LISTEN. What are they complaining about? What words are they using to describe the frustration and what they want? Why focus only on the highest-paying clients? Because – not only are they the ones you want more of – they’re the ones that understand the value that you can provide. Ask them what they like about what you’ve done for them. What didn’t they like? What could be better?

Take copious notes from these conversations (you only need to do 3-5 to get a clear picture). For each client, write a description of them: age, race, sex, temperament, education level, industry, etc… Then add your notes about what they told you from your interview. Use THEIR words. Do not put it into your own words. Why? Because when you use their words in your messages to them, it will resonate more with them. They will see that you ‘get’ them. It gives you credibility.

Step 3: Revise and package your services

Take the information from your ‘favorite client’ interviews and create packages of services that meet their specific needs. Include those things that they were frustrated with. Many times that might include something very easy on your part to put together like checklists, ‘battle plans’, templates, formulas, or even some done-for-you items that cost you nothing but are extremely valuable to your client.

Think ‘high-end’ service – like little luxuries – that make the client feel well taken care of.

Here’s the end goal: Get away from clients that don’t pay you what you’re worth. They tend to require more hand holding and are more trouble over all. Focus on attracting the higher-paying clients who value the services you provide – clearly define what you’re delivering (that’s why packages are better!). Then review that list of tasks that’s been driving you nuts. Since you’ve streamlined your business model, focused more clearly on specific ‘ideal clients’ and are communicating more clearly, you will be able to eliminate at large segment of your to-do list.

Author Info: Barbara Saunders is a publication designer and has run a successful solo pro business for more than a decade. She is the Solo Pro Success Coach and the Director of the International Association of Self-Employed Communication Professionals and the Solo Pro Academy. She also hosts the Solo Pro Radio show everyday at 10am Pacific and 1pm Eastern It’s our mission to build community and help creative solo pros build and run successful businesses by providing support, innovation, tools, and strategies. Our goal is to liberate our members from the feast and famine cycle.

Building a Steady Stream of Clients in Professional Services: 6 Success Secrets

by Liz Lynch

It may seem like a difficult puzzle to put together to get all of your networking and promotional activities working to attract maximum clients with minimum effort, but successes are all around you. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

However, there are no silver bullets either. A lot of what growing your business is is simply knowledge plus action. Knowing what to do and then actually doing it. What a concept!

Just like losing weight or getting in better shape. There is no magic potion, just discipline and following a formula of eating less and exercising more, and doing that day after day after day. Even though the concepts may seem like common sense, they’re not common practice.

Successful firms DON’T do extraordinary things, they do what is necessary and they do it consistently. Are you following in their footsteps and modeling their success?  Here are 6 things successful professional service providers do to build a steady flow of clients year after year:

1) They prioritize getting clients. 

You may think you’re already making this a priority, but truth be told, are you really doing everything you can, using all the channels you can and building all the relationships you can to stand out to your target audience? Successful firms invest time into figuring out what works and they invest time into putting their ideas into practice.

2) They have more irons in the fire. 

Successful professionals aren’t just doing one or two things to attract clients. They have a website, a Linkedin profile, a Twitter page, a blog. They speak at industry conferences, and hold one-on-one meetings with their best clients. They also train their whole staff to be more comfortable with networking to increase involvement and cover more of the market. It’s not just the responsibility of a few people in the company to build all the relationships.

3) They build greater name recognition. 

As a result of being more active in their industry, and not holing themselves in their office doing client work all the time, successful professionals are more well-known. This gives them a huge leg up in getting referrals because they’re top of mind for many people. It also helps them with outreach. When they’re trying to build partnerships with other leaders in their industry, because they have a name, they’re more likely to get a positive response.

4) They stoke desire for their service. 

Selling professional services can be challenging because it’s intangible. Prospects can’t touch it or see it, so how can do these firms bring it to life and make it more real? By illustrating their expertise through articles and case studies. This helps educate their potential clients on problems they may not even know they have, and it showcases them as the expert who can help solve those problems.

5) They focus on relationships. 

Any partner in a professional service firm will tell you that getting business is all about relationships. Having great relationships with their clients at all levels of the company so they can build support for their ideas, and also spot potential areas for additional engagements is key. They also have diverse relationships within their industry and community that helps them attract more opportunities as well.

6) They treat business development as ongoing process. 

Building relationships and promoting their firm is not a one-time event, but something they’re continually doing. They fit their key activities into their weekly schedule, usually working through a long-term plan that lays out their priorities so they know exactly what to do. They don’t arrive at the office on Monday saying, “What should we work on this week?”

Now, if you already know all of this but aren’t doing it, we need to fix that right away. There’s a lot I’ve learned running my own consulting business for the last 12 years that I would love to share with you.  Join me on December 1st for an ENCORE of my SPECIAL TRAINING “From Trusted Advisor to Thriving Rainmaker: 21st Century Strategies for Consultants, CPAs, and Financial Planners.”

© 2009-2012, Liz Lynch International LLC

 ”Liz Lynch, author of Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and Online, works with 6-figure professionals who have great expertise but suffer from “promo-phobia.” To learn how to get better known and attract the opportunities you deserve, visit www.LizLynchOnline.com.”

Speaker Coach & Author Jezra Kaye on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Jezra Kaye, President of Speak Up for Success, is a speaker coach and an entrepreneur who started her own business in 2006, after ten years of writing speeches for top corporate executives.

She now teaches people from all backgrounds and industries how to present themselves and their ideas.

Her new book is called Speak Like Yourself... No, Really!  Follow Your Strengths and Skills to Great Public Speaking. Her book takes you step-by-step through the process of becoming a great public speaker, and has the same insights and exercises that Jezra shares with her private speaker coaching clients.

Speak Like Yourself... No, Really!: Follow Your Strengths and Skills to Great Public Speaking is available on Amazon, from your local bookseller, or at Jezra’s site, SpeakUpForSuccess.com.


Can an MBA Help you Become a Better Entrepreneur?

So you're a budding entrepreneur, and you've got your sights set high, just as they should be. You look to entrepreneurial greats like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, and you learn that not only did they not pursue and advanced degree, but they didn't even finish college.

Perhaps you've considered the possibility of going back to school to get an MBA to better prepare you for the challenges you'll face as an entrepreneur. On the other hand, you may think you don't need it because you see examples of successful, degree-less entrepreneurs everywhere. Of course, you certainly don't need an MBA. But here's how it may help you in your future entrepreneurial goals:

1. An MBA will teach you the business lingo you need to convince investors.
If anything, getting an MBA degree will teach much of the business language that you may not know. Starting and maintaining a business requires meetings with investors, lawyers, and many other specialized professionals. When you go to business school, you'll learn about the lingo so that you can be more effective and persuasive on the funding front.

As female entrepreneur Virginia Raemy notes in an interview with The Next Women, getting funding for her start up was possible precisely because she had an MBA.

2. An MBA gives you an instant network of like-minded professionals to help you nurture and achieve your goals. 
Entrepreneurs, as you probably know by now, are a very different breed of animal. Most of your friends probably aren't entrepreneurs themselves. When you enroll in an MBA program, you'll meet hundreds of people who are just like you. They share the same dreams and goals. In this environment, you'll be more motivated to follow through with your business plan when you're surrounded by those who want to help you succeed. Think of it as instant networking.

For example, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business offers specific networking events for women entrepreneurs! Most B schools offer similar opportunities uniquely tailored to women.

3. More MBA programs offer concentrations in entrepreneurship now than ever before.
You may be reticent to jump on the MBA bandwagon because you think that most of the courses are geared toward those who want to work for businesses, not found them. While this may have been true in the past, now, more and more programs are offering specific entrepreneur concentrations so that you can learn all the skills it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, as noted in this Reuters article.

Don't get me wrong-an MBA is a serious investment, and if you can't afford it now, it's better to wait until you can or consider options. At the end of the day, and MBA isn't absolutely essential for success. But it might be able to get you to success more quickly. Good luck!

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer and entrepreneur. She enjoys writing about women in the workplace, education, small business trends and more. Originally from Hartford, Mariana is an expert on education in Connecticut. Mariana welcomes your comments below!


Support Small Business Saturday®

Support your favorite small business.

This November 24th is Small Business Saturday®, a day to celebrate and support the local small businesses that boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods across the country.

The Secrets of Success blog is proud to take part in Small Business Saturday, and we’re encouraging everyone to Shop Small® here on November 24th.

Most importantly, get out there, Shop Small, and let’s make this November 24th
the biggest day of the year for small business.

To learn more, visit ShopSmall.com.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Because of the longstanding traditions of the holiday, the celebration often extends to the weekend that falls closest to the day it is celebrated. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Historically, Thanksgiving had roots in religious and cultural tradition. Today, Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated as a secular holiday.
-from Wikipedia

How Long Do You Keep Trying?

by Doreen Rainey

One of the questions I often get is "how long do I keep trying"?

If they are pursuing their own business: "How long do I try?"

If they are working to improve a relationship: "How long do I try?"

If they are hoping to excel at their current employer: "How long do I try?"

Have you ever felt that way?

Have you felt like you've been working, trying, pushing, committed, focused and in hot pursuit of something you really want - something you really believe in - and it's just not happening.

Maybe you have already given so much. Your time, resources, effort, blood, sweat, tears and your heart and soul. And still....it's not coming together.

Jim Rohn has said: How long should you try? Until.

Not only do I believe this quote, but when I speak and coach, I often say that you should never give up. That when you are faced with the choice to stop or to keep going - you should always choose to keep going. However, let me clarify exactly what I mean.

When I say never stop...to never give up. I'm talking about the ultimate goal: To live a life where you are joyful, fulfilled, and connected - having a sense of purpose and accomplishment that is truly individually defined by you. That when you wake up - you are fully energized and excited about what opportunities are before you, yet also grateful and reflective of all that you already have and have already accomplished.

And it's on THAT goal that I say "never stop" and "keep going."

Now, in the quest to achieve that ultimate goal, you may start some things, stop some things, change directions, reevaluate, realign your resources, adjust your efforts or alter your circle of influence.

You may choose to let some ideas go, let some people go, seek out other options or continue on the current path. You may need to leave a job, apply for a new job, start a business, close down a business, seek out new relationships or continue to foster the ones you have. You may need to move across the country or down the street or make the decision to sell everything and travel the world.

While life is a journey, we should absolutely be clear on our destination - it's not a certain position in our company, a certain revenue goal in our business, a list of letters behind our name, a certain weight or size, or a particular number in our bank account.

It's about living full out. Doing, being, giving and having on a level that gives you deep meaning and an all consuming feeling of contentment. It's about the quest for inner peace, fulfillment and making a contribution.

And on THAT goal - we never stop trying.

"RADICAL Success Coach Doreen Rainey helps her clients Get RADICAL - by defining success for themselves and getting the guts to go after it. Get her FREE RADICAL Success Starter Kit at www.doreenrainey.com."

© 2012 Doreen Rainey

Putting Fear in Its Place

by Jack Canfield

As you move forward on your journey from where you are to where you want to be, you are going to have to confront some of your fears. Fear is a just a natural part of living.

Whenever you start a new project, take on a new venture, or put yourself out there, there’s usually some fear involved. Unfortunately, most people let fear stop them from taking the necessary steps to achieve their dreams.

Confronting your fears is a very necessary step in achieving success.

There is simply no other way.

Fear can be a helpful emotion, as it tells you when you need to be extra careful, keenly aware, and cautious. Fear is not an emotion that is telling you to stop. In fact, it’s telling you just the opposite!

Acknowledging your feelings of fear helps you know when you are stepping out of your comfort zone. It points your awareness to areas where you could improve and grow.

Successful people also feel fear. Yet they don’t let it get in the way of anything they want to do—or have to do. They understand that fear is something to be acknowledged, experienced, and taken along for the ride. They have learned, as author Susan Jeffers suggests in her must-read book, to “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway®.”

Fear is more of a signal that we should stay alert and cautious. We can feel fear, but we can still move forward anyway.

Think of fear as a 2-year-old child who doesn’t want to go grocery shopping with you. Because you must buy groceries, you’ll just have to take the two year old with you. Fear is no different. In other words, acknowledge that fear exists but don’t let it keep you from doing important tasks.

Also realize that so many of our fears are self-created. We might frighten ourselves by fantasizing negative outcomes to any activity we might peruse or experience. Luckily, because we are the ones doing the fantasizing, we are also the ones who can stop the fear and bring ourselves into a state of clarity and peace by facing the actual facts, rather than giving in to our imaginations.

If a fear is too great for you to overcome, try breaking it down into smaller challenges.

Try starting out by doing the parts of the project that don’t scare you so much. You need to give a speech in front of a large group? Try giving your speech in front of a small group of people who care for you. Work your way up until you are able to feel the fear but still move forward. As you do you will build your confidence and eventually you won’t feel fear surrounding those issues because you’ll have done them enough to count it as a skill.

As you move toward your goal, don’t attach yourself so much to the outcomes.

Keep moving toward your dream doing everything you can to create what you want, then let it go and see what shows up. Sometimes the universe will have a better idea in mind for you and present a better opportunity when you were expecting something completely different. Don’t let fear keep you from moving forward. Even if the horrible outcome that you imagined happens, the universe will always provide for you another way to succeed. So be on the look out!

Trust that no matter what occurs, you are smart enough and strong enough to keep looking for, and attracting, opportunities.

If you are willing to try new experiences in spite of your fears, then more new experiences will present themselves for you to try. And the more you try, the more you are likely to succeed!

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 FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

Author JoAnneh Nagler on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

JoAnneh Nagler is the author of The Debt-Free Spending Plan: An Amazingly Simple Way to Take Control of Your Finances Once and for All. She's a Debt-Free Living Coach, writer, and artist.  She was a fund developer and grantwriter for more than 20 years, writing for causes in economic development, housing, health, human rights, youth, arts and the environment.  She has written for Rob Reiner’s I Am Your Child Campaign, and for the Oprah Winfrey Use Your Life Award-Winner Food from the ‘Hood in Los Angeles, among many others.

For the past eight years, she has been a personal Debt-Free Living Coach, helping individuals and couples learn how to use The Debt-Free Spending Plan to revolutionize their relationship with money. She is happily married to her husband Michael, a writer, teacher and activist. www.debtfreespendingplan.com

Date: Wednesday, November 14th
Time: 8:00 pm EDT


How to Be an Extreme Encourager and Change the World

by Christine Kane
Long ago, when I first shared my dream of becoming a professional musician with one of my friends, she knitted her brows and said, “Huh?”

The dire warnings she fired off didn’t surprise me. Hey, most of us have had a lifetime filled with this kind of “practical advice.”  And I was used to giving up in the face of it.

During this fumbling stumbling time, I met a man who became an unlikely best friend and mentor.  He was a brilliant jazz musician as well as a self-employed computer programmer.

One night, I told him my dream.  Without even blinking, he said, “Honey (he always called me Honey), you’d be fabulous. That’s perfect!”  And he meant it.

At that moment, I felt like flying.  I had never experienced such direct and truthful support without a single “practical” warning attached.  This friend set me free by offering one simple thing:


That moment was not only the launch point of a successful entrepreneurial path for me – but also for me choosing to be an encouraging voice to others.

Encouragement is more than just a fleeting moment of motivation.  It’s a genuine boost of hope and glimpse of possibility.   Yes, there might be work to be done. But encouragement reminds us that it CAN be done.

Think about the last great idea you had, or the last big decision you needed to make.

Who did you most want to call for support and solutions?

Be THAT person.

It’s called being an Extreme Encourager, and those of us who choose this role would love it if you’d join us.

Here are the club rules:

An Extreme Encourager is a Leader
Whether you’re a business owner, an artist, an entrepreneur or a CEO – you must own your role as a leader. What this means is that you take seriously the enormous impact and influence you have on the people around you.

The friend I mentioned? The one who encouraged me?  He went on to a leadership role at Apple in Cupertino. No surprise. He didn’t take lightly his impact and influence.  You shouldn’t either.

An Extreme Encourager Models a Courageous Life
The best encouragers are the ones who live it. Whether they’re just getting started, or they’re veteran risk-taking pioneers – the encouragers are the ones who want a bigger life for themselves and are willing to “go there.”   This is why my jazz musician friend could simply offer encouragement when my other friend could not.

•  An Extreme Encourager Actively Listens
Encouragers know that encouragement doesn’t mean you just tell people to “buck up” or “get over it.” They know how to listen.  This means looking at the speaker, listening to her, setting your agendas and judgments aside, and honoring the wise soul who is sharing her heart with you.

•  An Extreme Encourager Avoids Clichés
Avoiding clichés is a natural result of actively listening to someone. Being an extreme encourager doesn’t mean that you blindly tell people “You can do it!” or “Let go of fear!”  It’s deeper than that. It’s seeing the truth of the other person, especially when they cannot.

•  An Extreme Encourager Acknowledges Fear (But Doesn’t Give it Power)
  Face it. We all get visits from the hooglie-booglies. These are the voices that tell us we can’t, or we shouldn’t, or we’ll fail, or we’ll look stupid. An encourager doesn’t focus on those voices because she knows they they’re trying to hook her.  An encourager simply acknowledges that the voices are there and that you can’t make them go away by arguing with them. An encourager knows that those voices aren’t the truth. They only SEEM like the truth.

•  An Extreme Encourager Believes in Miracles As Well as Work
Extreme encouragers are mystics of sorts.  They know that the so-called “woo-woo” stuff is more real than the so-called “logical” stuff.  They celebrate the divine as a simple fact of everyday existence and don’t get caught up in the “prove it” mindset.

•  An Extreme Encourager Knows that the Goal Shapes the Goal-Setter
She knows you’ll develop the needed character traits as you go. In other words, you’re ready now, even if you’re not perfect yet!  I shudder when I read advice that discourages people from trying something because of character traits “required” in advance. “You shouldn’t _________ if you’re not disciplined.” “If you don’t have focus, you can’t be a ___________.” Most of the successful people I know developed these traits as they went.  I certainly did.  Encouragers understand the huge potential for growth in the human spirit, especially when someone takes the biggest risk of all and begins to follow her heart.

Has encouragement helped you?

In the comments below, share a story of how someone’s encouragement helped light the way.

And of course, if you NEED a little encouragement – just ASK!

Christine Kane is the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She helps women and men Uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly Uplevel You eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://christinekane.com.

Five Tips for Balanced Living

Enthusiasm for alternative wellness is rising. I believe that the most important health practices happen before you have problems. Said differently, we reap what we sow. Healthy living over a lifetime adds up. Not always but often.

I recently I went to see a new, highly recommended acupuncturist, Dr. KS Tsay. He is the real deal, the acupuncturist that the acupuncturists go to. Dr. Tsay's command of English was about as good as my understanding of Chinese meridians. After a brief "conversation" where I shared that I was a healthy eater, a regular exerciser, etc., he told me to eat less sugar.
I felt like a kid caught with my hand in the cookie jar (literally). I was (sugar) busted. Later, on the table, he proceeded with his assessment, pulling down my eyelids, prodding and, of course, poking me. Again he chided me: "Less sugar. Stick out tongue. Ah, yes, see? I know. Less sugar, you hear me? Less sugar!"
Sometimes we can be so focused on all the complex things to improve our health that we forget the simple ones (like eating less sugar).
After my treatment, Dr. Tsay sent me on my way with a list of 20 Balanced Living Suggestions, all of which are brilliant in their elegance and simplicity (and which I have posted in my Free Resources section on my website). Here are a few of them:

  • Cultivate a cheerful and optimistic way of looking at life.
  • Chew your food well.
  • Go to bed early.
  • Spend at least one hour a day outside.
  • Try to help others in every way you can.
Ah, if only it were so simple to live them. All we can do is our best, right? And try every day to make good choices for better, balanced living. And now I'm off to buy fish and seaweed!
About the author: Camille Preston is the founder and CEO of AIM Leadership, an organizational development company committed to developing powerful, authentic leaders. She is the author of Rewired: How to Work Smarter, Live Better, and Be Purposefully Productive in an Overwired World. She is a psychologist, executive coach, writer, facilitator, and highly sought-after public speaker. For more than twenty years, she has guided leaders, executives, policy makers, professionals, and individuals alike to new heights of leadership, performance, efficiency, and greater happiness and fulfillment.

AIM is one of the country’s premier leadership development firms with a dozen associates and hundreds of blue chip, Fortune 500, government, nonprofit, and private clients around the globe, including NBC, Zappos, MGM Mirage, Citrix, the Corporate Executive Board, Mars, Verizon, GE, Capitol One, the US Army, and others. http://aimleadership.com/

Author Q&A: The Debt-Free Spending Plan

JoAnneh Nagler, author of The Debt-Free Spending Plan: An Amazingly Simple Way to Take Control of Your Finances Once and for All is visiting the blog today to answer some questions about her new book. 

JoAnneh is a Debt-Free Living Coach, writer, and artist.  She was a fund developer and grantwriter for more than 20 years, writing for causes in economic development, housing, health, human rights, youth, arts and the environment.  She has written for Rob Reiner’s I Am Your Child Campaign, and for the Oprah Winfrey Use Your Life Award-Winner Food from the ‘Hood in Los Angeles, among many others.

For the past eight years, she has been a personal Debt-Free Living Coach, helping individuals and couples learn how to use The Debt-Free Spending Plan to revolutionize their relationship with money. She is happily married to her husband Michael, a writer, teacher and activist.

Deb Bailey: Please share why you wanted to write your book?
JoAnneh Nagler: I wrote this book because I was in trouble with debt myself and I couldn't find anything on the personal finance shelf to help me.  What I did find was, "get out of debt--it's a bad idea--and now here's how to invest."  Yikes!  Invest?  In what dream world?  I could barely pay my rent and minimums and I was in trouble!

Deb: Who do you think will benefit from reading your book?
JoAnneh: Anyone who has ever said, "I can't manage my finances."  Anyone who feels hopeless, or needs help with debt, or has a lack of clarity about her or his spending.  The book was written for people who hate numbers, never liked math, or rarely balance their checkbooks.  It's based on simple addition--anyone who can add can do it.  No digging up past spending disasters.  No blame or shame over money in your relationship.  No deprivation.  Just start from today and get clarity with the Plan.

Deb: Would you describe the Debt-free Spending Plan?
JoAnneh: Sure!  The Plan is a simple, easy, five-minute-a-day approach to living within your means.  Again, it's based on simple lists--there is no need to learn a new software program--which, in my experience just makes debtors panic.  The Plan is a planning tool, not a tracking tool.  Most books promote detailed tracking of expenses, but I can track all day long and still overspend at the grocery store and still never fund a vacation.  

The Plan very simply divides Bills from Daily Needs, lets you set the priorities in spending categories, and makes sure you learn how to make savings meaningful.  For instance, dying for a new iPad?  An outlet shopping day?  Great! Plan for it.  The premise is to learn to live well on the cash you have by living within the amounts you set out for yourself each month.  You address your debt, not adding to the credit-roller-coaster of high-ticket balances, but your focus is on learning to live well on your cash.

Deb: What do you feel makes your book different from other books about money? 
JoAnneh: There's so much that's different!  It's easy, it's simple, and it doesn't require an archeological dig into your past spending history or your childhood.  (A lot of books do.)  It's a present moment tool--you give yourself the dignity of starting a whole, new, clean financial history.

The biggest payoff, I've found, is that you stop fighting about money in your relationship.  I call it "The Aphrodisiac Quality of a Spending Plan." Who knew that being more responsible and living debt-free would make you feel more amorous toward each other?  But it does!  And, the Plan shows you how to make money decisions together, without micromanaging each other's daily spending.  Each partner gets his and her autonomy in spending, but you learn to plan together. 

Deb: Why do you think that money is such an emotional issue?
JoAnneh:  It has to do with our sustenance, our sense of fulfillment, and our ability to live and love well in the world.  We've been duped a bit though, into thinking that "more is better" and "big is necessary."  What I have found by living debt-free is that I have more freedom, more choices, and I have done more creative things that I've wanted to do in my life.  I'm more creative about how I do them, but I do them!  I downsized my monthly living expenses significantly to write my book, and I was able to do it because I had clarity in my spending.  My mantra is, "No Debt, No Drama."

Deb: Any advice that you feel would be key for woman entrepreneurs to learn from your book?
JoAnneh:  Absolutely.  Understand that debting to get a business off the ground puts us in a serious pressure cooker to succeed, and then our budding projects don't get the dignity of a normal growth arc. Instead we get desperate because we ran up debt to fund them, and our desperation most often leads us to failure.  Think "Slow, steady steps."  Fund everything you do as you do it.  Your projects will be supported, they will grow at a good pace, and you will stay sane.

Deb: What inspires you to do the work you do? 
JoAnneh: I was in so much trouble myself once--and now my Plan has helped so many.  It was my dear friend Theresa who said to me, "You have to write this down.  This has changed my life, my marriage and my whole approach to money."  She really pushed me to do it, and I'm so glad I did. 

Lastly, there's a huge inspiration from my life:  my husband and I were married, got into terrible debt--which really took us down and limited our choices--and then got divorced.  More than a decade later we came back together and married each other again--this time with a promise to use no credit cards, personal loans, etc.  We are so happy now!  We have money choices, just not money drama.  It's amazing how not having that pressure opens us up to each other.  There's a whole chapter in my book about this and tons of examples of how to do the Plan as a couple. 

Deb: Where can people find your book?
JoAnneh: You can find it at online retailers and stores across the country

Deb: Please share your website and social media URLs
Back to Top