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Coaching–Our Way

Change Starts with You (and 3 Steps to Start)

on May 17 in Coaching--Our Way | 0 comments

“Stuckness” sucks. The way out? Realizing that nothing is keeping you glued in place but you. That you don’t need to wait for something to happen to loosen you from the grip of whatever’s got you. And the big realization: That change starts with you. What do you mean, “Change Starts With You?” It starts with a hope, or a thought that things can be better than they are now. Then, exploring how that might happen. Accepting that we do have the power to make change. It’s doing this versus dwelling on the negative, blaming others, shutting down new ideas, thinking it’s not worth the effort, or whatever other negative self-talk may be taking place. All those things cause us to be stuck. You control the dialogue with yourself. If your response to everything is “I can’t, I can’t,” you will stop change from happening. I admit–I’ve been guilty of this before. What I needed to do was turn that around. To really believe the “change starts with you” mantra. Blamethrowing? It’s usually a pretty strong reaction to something.  This is when change makes you, because you are confronted with something–stress, or a specific situation. I remember being in a work environment where everyday was a chore and I dreaded it. I didn’t realize then that change started with me. I felt trapped.  At the time, there was some limiting belief about myself that I didn’t make change, or if I did, didn’t do it fast enough. Or maybe the belief was that I could change others. Have you been there? Either way, change starts with you. In order to make change at any level of “stuckness,” you have to identify a small action you can take and from there gain momentum. This is, in part, what I help Creative Partnering(TM) Engagement clients to do. And I do it based on looking at what they truly want and what they naturally excel at (their strengths). Obviously, it’s highly situational to each individual, but the change has to come from having the courage to take that initial action. Action is the cornerstone of confidence–and change. Action is the cornerstone of confidence--and change. Click To Tweet 3 Steps to Getting Started...

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Knowing Yourself – The Start of Your Success Journey

on April 26 in Authenticity, Clarity Through Strengths, Coaching--Our Way | 0 comments

I believe that success starts with knowing yourself–and defining your version of the word.  When we begin tapping into our authentic selves, we start to uncover what is unique to us. We begin to notice where we have deviated or fallen away from the path that is of our own design. And while perhaps different than what is expected, our idea of success–and our experience of it–is enhanced by our self-knowledge. When you step into knowing yourself, it is the beginning of the journey to owning and embracing your authentic self–and what you are capable of. This knowing is a huge key to capitalizing on positive contributions and appreciating what you can do for others. But knowing, owning, and embracing our authentic selves can be a challenge. There are barriers like competing expectations from within and externally. There are rules we have for others and ourselves about how we are supposed to show up. And some of us don’t want to do the work of self-reflection and discovery. Even for those interested in this process, life seems to have no pause button – when is there time to look inward, to ask the important questions? When we believe in the impact these efforts can have, we carve out the time to do it.  For starters, we are much better equipped to succeed when we operate from a place of knowing what’s important to us and what our natural talents are. A major turning point in life can start us on this path to knowing ourselves–and wanting more for ourselves. It may be an upheaval like a divorce, a layoff, or a health issue that propels us to reexamine what we’re doing in our lives. For me, it started with my cancer success story (which I spoke about on May 22; see video below) But major life changes are not the only reason to evaluate ourselves or “dream bigger.”  Many people simply acknowledge that they can raise the bar on their successes during the course of everyday life. And entrepreneurial-minded leaders understand the necessity of leading themselves in this way. They just need some clarity around what direction to take. This is also where looking inward and knowing yourself can provide the answers–and the necessary actions–for greater success....

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Building an Authentic Business as a Solopreneur

on March 29 in Coaching--Our Way | 0 comments

  As a one-person business, it can be challenging to define your brand if you haven’t tapped into your strengths, your purpose, your ideal clients, and your value proposition. Even if you did this foundational work in the beginning, if any one of these is “off” or changes, it can be hard to achieve alignment as an authentic business. Being aware of the shifts–whether they are within you or in the market–is continual work that is important but not urgent. Most of us are complex. Shaping our complexities into the right offerings (aka productizing our services) and an authentic and consistent brand is difficult to do on our own. We don’t always acknowledge or embrace our strengths and passions. We might have doubts around using everything we can potentially bring to the table. Plus, we have blind spots and distractions. We have to contend with confirmation bias. And finally we have limiting beliefs. In addition to being complex, we are providing value to complex people. We need to identify our ideal clients, understand them deeply, align our skills with their needs, and create messages that attract these people. Most often, solopreneurs or solo service providers (and sometimes even microbusiness or small business owners) feel like they must do all of this on their own! In doing so, they could miss the mark on any one of these outcomes. And in my experience, when solopreneurs are not seeing the results they expect, they don’t always solve the right problem. For example, people will say, “I need to market my business better,” “I need to get my Facebook handled,” or “We need new graphics on our website,” and the list continues.  In many cases, they are assuming promotion is the answer. And throwing money at a solution before undertaking rigorous problem identification is a huge waste. Something I’m 100% against. I want to find the true problem–especially if it is foundational–and solve that. Sometimes solo service providers aren’t even aware that they need to revisit their foundations, but that’s a good first exploratory point in any marketing conversation. In 2013, I had a client come to me with totally different perceived (and mostly tactical) marketing needs. She was feeling the pressure of time-consuming marketing...

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Practicing Learned Inspiration

on March 24 in Coaching--Our Way | 0 comments

I am the first to admit–I’m not always able to see myself with pride and compassion. I suspect we all waiver at times, no matter how much we love ourselves. My theory is “this is constant work.” But that’s also a concept I grapple with. Why does this have to be so much work? Why am I not just perfect as is? How come I found yet another flaw to work on today? This line of questioning is NOT productive. It is NOT healthy. And so I am learning how to “undo” it. I am learning what to do and teaching it at the same time in order to inspire myself and others. Oftentimes, this feeling of lack, of imperfection, of self-doubt arises when we’re in comparison mode. We look at someone under the microscope, maybe dwell on something we see in them (us!) that we don’t like. But what if we observe as if from afar, with compassion? With curiosity? With support just because someone else is human and deserves it? What if we say to ourselves, “I deserve success.”   Instead of comparing ourselves and looking at an accomplished someone with a volatile combination of awe and jealousy, what if we said, “Thank you. Thank you for showing me the way. For proving it can be done. I am happy to see you making change. We are the same. I can make change too. Thank you for shining a light on what is possible for me if I will only CHOOSE it.” And then . . . what if we choose it? This is the two-fold #30DaysofQ2 challenge for today: Spend time choosing it and Practice learning and teaching what you need to do to inspire others....

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Sharing Happiness

on March 23 in Coaching--Our Way | 0 comments

A dear friend sent me a card with this quote: “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle cannot be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” — attributed to Buddha Sharing happiness, even it’s smallest form of a smile, is an important but not urgent action–and can make all the difference in the world. I smile at strangers all the time. Walking to the grocery store, for example. It’s incredible how many people are (a) not smiling at all and (b) not smiling back–or even looking at others as they make their way through the world. Maybe it’s fear, avoidance, or just plain not being in the present. . . Smiling takes so little time and effort. So why is it challenging? Like Chrissie Hynde sings, “I got a smile / for everyone I meet / as long as you don’t try dragging my bay / or droppin no bomb on my street.” (Those might not be the right lyrics but that’s how I sing ’em and I how I live.) When you are happy, share some of it by smiling. It’s contagious. There are bigger ways (of course) to share happiness, which can be Quadrant 2 activities. How are you sharing happiness in big and small ways? Thanks for following the #30DaysofQ2. See below for...

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Learning While Teaching (or Presenting)

on March 22 in Coaching--Our Way | 0 comments

Somewhere along the way I got the idea that I had to know everything about a particular topic to “teach” or “present on” it. And I never considered myself an expert on anything because my definition of expert meant “someone who knows everything.” Logically, I know it is impossible to know everything. That I should not hold myself to this standard. And yet here I am, down-playing my accumulated knowledge and experiences because I am not omnipotent. Am I alone in falling into this trap? The beautiful thing about life is we get to learn. Constantly. And hopefully be changed by that learning. I have–and continue to be given–lessons that I want to share in order to help others. There is never a shortage of lessons and knowledge, until we die. The challenge? Overcoming the feeling that just because there is so much to learn does not mean we are any less capable of teaching what we know. We don’t have to have it all figured out. Beating ourselves up about not being perfect or an “expert” is a waste of time. I think I’ve said that before and it’s because I need to learn it, too. So this is a real meta post. I’m actually teaching something and learning it at the same time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey and in embracing the position as learner-and-teacher without guilt or fear of being an imposter. Bonus: All the leaders I admire have humility as a trait. I know that’s not something everyone agrees on as being valuable. But for me, I think it’s important. Being open to the idea that there is more to learn as a leader IS being humble–and is a good practice. My #30DaysofQ2 important but not urgent action for today:  Live happily in the intersection and trust it is where I can do the most good. Update on March 22, 2108: If you’re interested in topics like these, I invite you to follow me on Medium where I am more active these days–although “active” is a relative...

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