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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

My Thoughts On Becoming Confident In Your Business

Self-confidence is critical to success and happiness. And yet we all struggle with it in some way. You probably saw my 2013 post on the subject. If not, you should read it. Healthy Self Esteem = Healthy Business.

But I realized that it's been eight years since I wrote that piece. And in the era of the pandemic and all the ensuing turmoil, anger, and yes...even outright hate...our self-confidence may have plummeted. If you were one of the many who became unemployed or lost your business; if you're struggling to pay bills or provide for your family; your belief in yourself may be at an all-time low. Understandable.

So I wanted to share some thoughts on becoming confident again. Confident in your own abilities.  Confident in your dreams and plans. Confident in your future.

To be truly confident, you have to let go of what other people think of you. And you have to let go of how others treat you. 

Self-confidence is a state of mind. But it's a state of mind that you can manage. That doesn't mean you always have to explain yourself. You don't have always "stick up for yourself." When you are truly confident in your self, it just shows. You are who you are. It doesn't matter if your business failed this time. It doesn't matter if you are struggling to keep it going. It doesn't matter if you aren't where you thought you would be by now. And it definitely doesn't matter what anyone thinks or says about it. What does matter is that you are true to yourself and just keep moving forward as best you can. Stop wasting time on people who don't deserve it. You are YOU. And only the BEST people get to be around YOU!

Now is the time to figure out your next best move. Do you need to go back to work to get some income while you rebuild? So be it. There's nothing wrong with that.

Do you need to scale back a bit while you regain your footing? Okay. That's better than quitting.

Do you need to pivot to a different business model that's more feasible now? Not a problem. Adaptable businesses SURVIVE! 

So whenever you are feeling a little down...

Whenever someone you know is giving you grief over a failed or struggling business...

Whenever you...or they...think it's time to give up on the life you want for yourself and your family...

Stand tall, put your shoulders back, pick your head up, and say "So what? I am going to keep living my life and building my dream."

(By the way...that's a classic power pose. Roll your shoulders back to straighten your spine. Widen your stance a bit. Lift your head and your eyes. This slight shift instantly gives you an air of confidence. Not only will you look more confident to those around you. You will FEEL more confident. Isn't it great how body language works?!)

Hope you found this useful. Don't forget to get on my mailing list! I promise I will keep you pumped up, up-to-date on all the latest tips, tricks, and trends, and be your biggest cheerleader...after yourself, of course!


Sunday, August 29, 2021

If You Are Still Trading Time For Money, You Are Limiting Your Growth

Trading hours for dollars limits your growth. It's not entirely your fault if you are. That's how most of us were raised. We had a job that required us to work a certain number of hours for which we were paid a set amount per hour worked. So it's natural that even when we started our own business, we were trading time for money.  

When I started my social media marketing business, I started by offering my services as a content creator. I wrote articles, short reports, and ebooks for my clients. I also created graphics and social media posts. As I grew my client list, I started bumping against a common problem for freelancers - a lack of time.

Offering services gave me space to grow as I started an online business that was truly my own...not network marketing or affiliate marketing. I learned about what my audience wants and how to deliver it. I had the chance to experiment with different projects and discover what my style is.

But as amazing as doing service work is, I still faced a serious limitation - my time. I could charge for the hours I work, but there are only so many hours in the day.

It’s true that you can learn to work faster. But if you're trading time for money, you’ll eventually hit that hard limit on what’s possible, just like I did. That means your potential and income will cap out - unless you change the way you offer your services.

Packages Are the Key to Getting Paid Better for Your Time

Packages work like this: you create an offer like designing 25 graphics, which may initially take you about 10 hours to do. Rather than charging an hour rate for 10 hours of your time, you put a price on the package and a client pays that – having no attachment to the amount of time you’ll put into it.

As your skill increases and you get to know your client’s needs better, you work faster and faster and still get paid like you worked for 10 hours. That’s the power of packages. But that’s not even the best part. Clients love packages too. They like having a clear price and task list to say “yes” to.

Packages Aren’t Really about Time or Money

As an entrepreneur, you don’t just have your skills to offer. You also have your experience and knowledge. When a client purchases your package, they’re paying for all that you bring to the table, not just your time.

Your knowledge is valuable. Your experience is priceless.

When you understand this, your eyes are opened to the incredible impact of your work. It makes it easier to charge more for your packaged services and gives you newfound confidence when speaking with potential clients.

Packages are Perfect for Everyone

The great thing about offering a package is that it can work in just about any industry and for any type of service professional. It doesn’t matter if you’re a copywriter, graphic designer, coach, or another kind of freelancer.

When I began offering packages, I was surprised at how quickly some of my clients said “yes”. I’d been worried that my clients would think my skills were less valuable if they were packaged but I found the opposite was true. I have never been more in demand!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Watch for Your Champions

The Dream Giver is one of my favorite books. It tells the story of Ordinary, who dares to leave the Land of Familiar and pursue his Big Dream. As he overcomes obstacles and challenges on his journey, he meets Champion. Champion is a character that also once chased a dream and now encourages others to do the same.

This story illustrates an important truth—every dream seeker needs to be surrounded by champions. Champions are dreamers who didn’t give up. They kept going even in the face of pressure and ridicule from others. Here’s how to build your own network of champions…

Look for Your Dream Team

Sometimes, we don’t see what’s right in front of us. Maybe you’ve had a dream to get healthy and lose weight for years now. Every month, a co-worker invites you to visit his gym as a guest. You’ve always said no because you were too busy listening to the voices who discouraged you.

Many times, life moves champions into our path right before we realize a dream. You have to look up and look around for these people. They’re usually the ones that are positive and upbeat. They’re challenging themselves and pursuing BIG goals. They’re not threatened when you go after what you want because they know that growing together is powerful.

Double Up

For every naysayer in your life, you need two champions to drown out the doubtful thoughts they plant in your mind. Sometimes, the champions will be people like you that have similar goals. Sometimes, they have drastically different goals but they still believe in and support you.

For those of us who are Christians, Jesus is the ultimate Champion. He is our Advocate and friend. He fights for us on days when we’re too weak to fight. He believes in us even when we feel lost and alone.

Make an Effort to Connect

As you’re looking for champions, make sure you’re willing to reciprocate. Just as you want people around you that you believe in you, you need to believe in others. Listen to their dreams, remind them that they can succeed, and motivate them on the hard days.

Care for your champions. This might be as simple as texting a friend to check-in, writing a “thinking of you” note to a champion who’s been feeling discouraged, sending a care package, or meeting up in real life (or virtually) to chat.

Humans were designed for connection. As The Dream Giver illustrates, we’re not meant to travel this journey alone. Take the time to surround yourself with champions and love on them whenever you get the chance!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Taking A Stand Creates an Invitation

I had always wanted to become a motivational speaker and author. Once my military service was over, I dreamed of writing a book about my experiences and touring the country as a speaker on women in the military. But then came a traumatic divorce, a sick child, and the dream was pushed to the back of my mind. I thought about a few topics that she felt passionate about and even jotted down proposals and book outlines. But life always "happened". Still I never gave up on my dream and promised myself that if the opportunity ever came, I would grab it and go.

Then I met Ken McArthur. He hosted marketing events. I had retired from the military and was working as an event planner. I was excited when Ken hired me to coordinate his events. I was even more excited when one day, after working with him for several years, he invited me to speak at one of his event. .

The seminar led to more speaking engagements...and more contacts. Eventually, it led to the publisher and editor who would help me bring my book to life. 

So now I am a speaker and an author. Maybe not exactly how I had first envisioned it. But perhaps as it was always meant to be. 

Most rewarding is knowing that I have inspired others. My daughter and her husband are working on plans for their consulting firm. My grandson is busily taking steps to create a clothing line. 

When you chase a dream, you're taking a stand for yourself and that’s powerful. It creates a beautiful invitation to others. In fact, your path might just inspire your border bullies before long. Here are a few tips for sharing your journey…

Explain What You’re Doing

When I first actually started writing my book, I discussed it with my husband every week. We'd talk about how much I had written, what I was struggling with, and  what I was doing to finish the book. 

I wanted to share my journey with my husband. I also liked the accountability that it provided. Although he would ask questions and worry about things like the cost for the editor, I didn’t let them hold me back. I realized his doubts weren’t about me—they were his own limiting beliefs. I wanted to inspire him to challenge them.

But I wouldn’t choose to share my story with someone that was toxic. I have a relative that’s negative no matter what I say or do. I didn’t share my journey with her.

Welcome Transparency

As you tell others what you’re doing, don’t be surprised if they’re inspired. I knew my grandson had been listening to me when he brought up his passion for art and design and his desire to create his own fashion line. 

When a friend or loved one starts talking about their goals or ambitions, don’t become the border bully! Offer to support them any way you can. For my grandson, I invited him to artists and designers I know and have offered to help him with his marketing..

Be Patient

I recommend letting people open up naturally. In the past year, I’ve learned that no two journeys are just alike. My daughter's path to her consulting firm and my grandson's path to being a designer look entirely different than my path to becoming an author and speaker. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other.

A person who’s just beginning to understand concepts like personal growth may not be ready to wade into deeper waters. They may not be able to commit to pursuing a BIG goal right away. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t support them. Remind your loved ones and friends that you believe in them and are rooting for their success.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

How to Respond to the Border Bully

I started network marketing back when it was all about home meetings or "seminars" at hotels and restaurants. I frequently traveled for these in-person events. I loved meeting new people and connecting with friends when I traveled.

But my husband at the time was not always supportive. He comes from an older generation (yes, he was a BIT older than me). He had a much different upbringing. He didn't approve of a woman out alone at night. He thought it was dangerous.

Whenever I had an event to attend, he would pepper me with questions. “Who’s driving? Is your friend coming? Where will you be and when? Who will you meet up with?”

Responding to a border bully—even a well-meaning one—can be a challenge. You want to stay kind without losing your cool. Here are a few tips to help you out…

Look for the Nugget

I knew I could easily dismiss my husband's concerns. I could try to negate everything he was saying. But instead, I looked for the valuable nugget in his concern—that someone should know where and when I would arrive at my destination.

I recommend thanking border bullies for their input then answering their questions. “But only give enough information to be kind. I told my husband who I was meeting. I also gave him the phone number of a friend ot two who was atending with me as well as the contact information for the location the event was being held at. He was comforted but not overwhelmed by the details of people and places he did not know.

Ask for Support

Most border bullies just want to support you. They may show this by asking lots of questions (like my husband) or pointing out potential problems, and giving you unsolicited advice and suggestions. Don’t get upset or walk off in a huff when this happens.

Instead, you could patiently say, “Oh, thanks for letting me know about that issue. If you were in my shoes, how would you solve it?” By following up with a question, your loved ones feel like you value their opinion and they’re more likely to become your biggest cheerleaders.

It’s OK to Walk Away

Sometimes, a border bully can’t be supportive. No matter what you say or do, they can’t understand why you’re following your vision or chasing that dream. They may make cutting remarks or constantly make you question yourself.

If someone can’t respect your dream, it’s OK to walk away. This might mean limiting your time around that person, keeping your dreams to yourself, or avoiding contact for a while. This doesn’t mean that you don’t love the border bully; you’re just limiting the impact they can have on your goals. Border bullies are easier to deal with once you know what to say and do. Let them know that you hear their suggestions or concerns and thank them. They’ll feel appreciated and heard.

Friday, July 9, 2021

What Motivates the Border Bully?

Border bullies are the ones that want everything to stay the same. They don’t want you going after that big promotion, writing your book, or launching a brand new business. For every solution you come up with, they offer three obstacles.

Border bullies can make your life frustrating. But stopping them can sometimes be difficult. It can be helpful to identify the root cause that’s making your border bully act out. Here are three common reasons people respond to your dreams negatively…

True Concern for You

When I was stationed in Hawaii, my sister came to visit. She loved the islands. She found a job, met her future husband, and decided to stay instead of going home once her vacation was over.

After some discussion, we decided she would live with me and help with my daughters while my husband was deployed. Perfect plan. I had help with childcare. She had a place to live until she got established. But out mom was terribly upset and worried that something bad would happen. She kept coming up with “what if?” scenarios. What if I suddenly got transferred and my sister had no place to stay. What if my husband returned from deployment and decided he didn't want my sister staying there. It didn't matter what we explained to her. She had another possible reason why it might not work.

Like my mom, the border bullies in your life might be the ones who are closest to you. Because they love you, they’re more likely to resist change for fear it will negatively impact your life. They want to see you stagnate rather than be hurt.

Co-Dependency

My friend Laura battled alcoholism for years. On her thirtieth birthday, she decided to turn her life around. She started taking positive steps by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, reaching out for support, and talking about her journey.

When Laura’s husband began to reactive negatively to her changes, Laura was bewildered. She spoke with a counselor and asked, “Why is someone who loves me trying to sabotage my sobriety?”

As Laura shared more about her relationship with her husband, the counselor suggested that he might be co-dependent. When she's drinking, he gets to step in and be the hero. He fixes the problems her substance abuse causes and without her alcoholism, there’s nothing for him to do.

Fear of the Unknown

When I retired from the Navy, I wanted to go back to school...in my forties. I'd always had a passion for science, but when I was first attending college, money was tight. Although the Navy had always been part of my plans for my future, the cost of college caused me to enlist rather than finish college and go after my commission

But now that I could afford to go, especially since my employer had a tuition assistance program, I was eager to start again.

Unfortunately, my husband wasn’t supportive. He pointed out that I would be taking time away from the girls again, which was one of the primary reasons we had retired when we did. He reminded me how old I would be when I finally graduated and how difficult it would be to get a job in my chosen field at that age.

My husband actually meant well. He was worried about the unknown and all the things that could go wrong. As an OTR trucker at the time, he knew he wouldn't be much help if something happened. He didn’t want to see me struggle to find employment or once again grapple with the overwhelm of home, work, the girls, and now college. 

It’s exhausting dealing with a border bully. But you don’t have to let yours throw your dreams off track. You can respond to a border bully in a way that’s both patient and kind.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Have You Ever Heard Of A Border Bully?

In the book, The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, the main character, Ordinary, discovers he has a dream and decides to pursue it. But the land Ordinary lives in is filled with people who prefer to stick to the status quo, so his dream chasing makes them uncomfortable.

As he is leaving his land to pursue his dream he runs into Border Bullies. These are people who love him and want to protect him, but perhaps their concern is more about protecting themselves. If you suspect you’re encountering Border Bullies in your own journey, here are three common signs to watch for…

Border Bullies Want You to Play Small

When you're chasing a dream, you're going to make other people uncomfortable. If no one in your family has ever owned a business, then trying to start one may cause your loved ones to worry about you.

They care and are well-intentioned but they keep pointing out all of the reasons you can’t do it. They might say the economy is bad, that you’ll never earn enough, or that your idea just won’t work.

Border Bullies Keep You from Growing

You’ve been trying to lose weight for ten years. Now, you’re beginning to see some success. You’ve shed a significant amount of weight and you’re starting to feel good about yourself. Your weight loss has given you confidence and energy.

But now you’re hearing concerns from family and friends. They downplay your accomplishment, make unsupportive remarks, or flat out tell you that you’re bound to gain all of that weight back.

What you have to understand is that border bullies aren’t just worried about you—they’re also worried about what your action says about THEM. If you bust out of the usual way of doing things, what does that say about everybody who stays where they are? Understand that your loved ones may feel judged or abandoned.

Border Bullies Fill You with Doubt

You spent years working hard to get out of debt. Once you had achieved that, you started saving up to spend a year living in Italy. You’ve been preparing for your trip for a few weeks. You’ve looked into courses on learning Italian. You bought a guide book so you’ll know which sights you want to see. You’ve applied for your passport.

But now here come the doubts. Your friends are always telling you why you can’t go to Italy for a year. Maybe they insist that you’re an adult and it’s time to act like one. Maybe they tell you that your goal is unrealistic or dangerous.

What you have to keep in mind is that stepping out of the ordinary will freak out the people around you. They’ll feel sad about the idea of you leaving or worry that you’ll forget about them. So they begin tossing roadblocks your way in the hopes that you’ll abandon your dreams.

It’s draining to deal with border bullies. Fortunately, there are a few solutions that can help put their minds at ease and give you the peace you need. In the meantime, you’ll want to grab a copy of The Dream Giver and read it to get a full picture of what it’s like to encounter border bullies.