Guest Blogs

3 Reasons You Should Manage Your Time Like You Manage Your Money

Published by Time Management Ninja​

Do you remember that well-known quote that asks us to imagine we have a bank account with $86,400 in it that is refilled each day?

The quote goes on to say that we do have that account, but that it is time, not money. The point being to show the value of time, from a year down to a second.

What if you managed your time as closely as you managed your money? Think about it. What would you do if a person came up to you and asked for $500? Would you give it without a thought?

What if the same person came up and asked for 500 seconds (about 8.5 minutes)? Or 500 minutes (about 8 hours)? Chances are you wouldn’t even flinch. We do it all the time. “Got a minute?” and the next thing we know, we’ve spent 20 minutes listening to someone complain.

We wouldn’t hand over our cash on a whim, so why are we so quick to give away our valuable time?

Spend Your Time Wisely

We often have no real concept of time in a way that suggests we can control it. We can set boundaries that honor how we use our time, and we can use our time – just like we use our money – to create more freedom in our lives.

Here are the three biggest reasons why we need to manage our time like we manage our money:

1) The time we have in a day is a precious commodity.

Yep – even more precious than the money we have in the bank. Readily giving up our time to anyone who asks, without consideration, is a sloppy time management practice. It’s like throwing money out with the trash.

2) Your time and how you spend it is also a direct reflection of your self-worth.

As you grow in business, or even as an employee in the company, you begin to value your time and your services more. If you don’t begin to charge what your time is worth, you are slowly dishonoring your time – and there it goes, ticking away again.

3) How you value your time shows up in your service to your clients.

Picture any bargain store. They’ve got low, low prices but the service and selection to match. If you shopped in a higher-end boutique, you might pay a little bit more but you’re more likely to get what you want, and have someone trained in customer service assist you too. The same principle applies to your time. If you’re giving it away for free, what you offer people is going to be a lower level of brilliance than if you saved your time for fewer clients. And we haven’t even touched on your own personal time, which you NEED in order to provide that high quality of service you set out to offer!

Time is Money. Invest Well.

Pay attention to where you spend your time. Where you are giving away your time?

You value your money and invest it wisely, so why not do the same with your time?

How will you spend your 86,400 “time dollars” today?

Banish “Perfect” From Your Business

Published by Workawesome

Put your hand up in the air if you’re a perfectionist!

​At one point in my life, my hand would have been raised in the air – high in the air.

I was definitely a perfectionist until I realized how being a perfectionist was actually holding me back from being as successful as I could be in my work as an international business coach.

I wrote this article in hopes that you don’t let this happen to you.

Perfectionist behavior is a tough topic. So many of us are passionate about what we do. We want to be the best that we can be, make the best things that we can make and give the best part of us that we can give.

Set Up to Fail

Heck, many of us wear the term “perfectionist” like a badge of honor! But what you may not realize is that when perfection is your goal, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

I know, it seems like the opposite, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t being perfect guarantee that you succeed? After all, you’ve done everything right.

You’ve dotted every i, crossed every t, and then probably painted that entire page with a colorful mural, you overachiever you. ​Of course we all want things to be perfect in our businesses and our lives. But does that always happen?

Not necessarily. Real life is messy. Real life is accidentally dotting the t and crossing the i, and then getting dots of blue paint on your brand-new dress. And when you spend all of your time trying to get it right, you’re actually doing it wrong.

The Joy of Finishing

​You’re keeping yourself from the things you can learn along the way. You’re keeping yourself paralyzed in one place instead of moving forward. You’re keeping yourself from the joy of FINISHING IT already.

​We all make mistakes sometimes, but no matter what, you have to keep taking action.

  • Even if it’s imperfect.
  • Even if it’s a disaster, actually.
  • Even if it’s hands-down the worst you’ve ever done.

Mistakes are what help us grow. Mistakes are how we learn.

Seeking perfection also doesn’t allow for some of the greatest discoveries and lessons. If we don’t give ourselves a little breathing room for the unknown, we may never stumble upon the ideas that could boost our business in a whole new way.

Perfection Doesn’t Make the Maps

Do you remember learning about the great explorers throughout history in school? The ones who set sail to continents unknown, having only visions of what they would find there?

The ones who discovered never-before-seen wild animals and weather patterns and geography that made their very hearts stop beating in their chests for a few tremendous moments? The ones who MADE the maps, not followed them?

Do you think at any point they were striving for perfection? Or were they so immersed in the unknown and the thrill of the ride that the very concept of perfection was laughable? I suspect the latter.

​I was reflecting on explorers on a recent trip to Istanbul with my daughter, Jasmine. ​One evening, Jasmine and I were having a fabulous time peeking into the different shops and markets in Istanbul, holding the artisan goods in our hands and taking in the scents of the city.

Well, we took one too many twists and about five too many turns and wound up completely and utterly confused, far away from our hotel.

New Dimensions

It would have been tempting to freak out, flag down the nearest person and make frantic gestures until they pointed us back in the right direction. But we didn’t. We simply went with it.

And a funny thing happened — we somehow ended up safe and sound, right back where we started. And along the way, we found some things we never would have seen if we had stayed on the “right” street the entire walk.

Was the walk perfect? Not when compared to what our plans were. But did it evolve in a perfect way? Absolutely.

​My mother used to bring home these paint-by-number sets. Remember those? They were great. You essentially had an entire picture in front of you with the instructions on how to make it yourself. It was perfect.

But the problem is, when you stay on those dots, you always know what you’re going to get. Isn’t it more fun to go outside the lines a bit and see what you can create? Doesn’t that add an entirely new dimension of life to your artwork?

​Exploration is the same way. Sure, someone could hand you the complete step-by-step instructions to your entire existence when you’re a tiny tot, but then what excitement would there be in waking up every day?

Getting Lost Leads to New Ideas

​As entrepreneurs, we build these elaborate road maps in our heads of what our perfect business should look like:

  • A list of 10,000 people
  • A social media following of 5,000
  • Sixty percent conversion rates on every sales page
  • Six figures in my first year of business
  • Land a show on Oprah’s network

And what happens when you think you should achieve these things and don’t? Or you achieve them, but because you achieved them in a less-than-perfect, roundabout, unplanned for way, you barely congratulate yourself.

You beat yourself up. But life isn’t a track, and you’re not a train! Perfect doesn’t exist. Life is messy. Life is unpredictable.

Getting lost leads to new ideas, space and creativity. Get off the railroad, and allow yourself the freedom to go wherever you choose.

Parting Words

​So if you feel “off track” right now, let it be. Be gentle and kind with yourself and see what comes of it. If feeling less than perfect makes you scared, dig a little deeper into what’s behind it.

Give yourself the time to explore. Your business deserves it. You deserve it. Know that it’s part of life’s adventure, and let it guide you for a change. Then channel the explorers of years gone by, and march forward one imperfect, off-the-beaten-path step at a time.

Schedule Your Rest Time

Published by Freakishly Productive                  

As a business coach, I primarily work with entrepreneurs who are feeling overwhelmed by trying to ‘get it all done’ in a day. One of my passions is helping people to get out of this feeling of overwhelm. One of the ways I do this is through getting creative with how we perceive and manage our time.

I love to help people boost their time management skills as a way of seeing where they can fit more time for themselves in a day. The joy some people experience once they recognize how much time they really have in a day is pretty exciting to witness.

What people tend to forget, however, is this: Your calendar is yours. It’s yours!

That time in those spaces in the calendar, it’s all yours, and it’s all yours to choose how to use it. It is your time. You can take time back under your control.

I know for many people, the calendar is an overwhelming thing. It is a thing to be filled up and then adhered to strictly. It is perceived as a non-malleable tool that you must follow – or beware the consequences.

I want you to know that your calendar is not meant to be a thundercloud. It’s meant to be a gentle breeze, a tool for you to use to maximize the joy in your life.

As you begin to see your calendar as your friend, not foe, I encourage you to schedule rest into your days. Yes, you read that right: Actually put rest times on your calendar.

Rest is so important in our days, and yet, for so many of us, we simply fail to prioritize it.

I absolutely put rest on my calendar. Even just five minute blocks, here and there, or perhaps fifteen minutes in the afternoon, to rest and do something I enjoy has profound results on my productivity.

Rest times are where we truly get to listen to ourselves. To hear what we need. To hear what our next steps might be creatively. To nourish our bodies, minds, spirits on a deep level.

As entrepreneurs, it is vital that we take care of ourselves. And as entrepreneurs with fully loaded calendars, all the more reason to consciously schedule rest into our days.

I love creating my calendar, and I love it even more when I know I am creating a calendar that truly resonates with me. Scheduling in rest, and invitations to pause, are little gifts we give ourselves each day.

The days are gone when the busy-busy-busy, go-go-go mentality was what we needed to have to be successful.

These days, I know for myself, and my clients, we are seeking a much more manageable pace of life. We want to have thriving businesses, sure, but we want to have time to smell the flowers, play with the kids, and dance or meditate while we do it.

We became entrepreneurs because we love our freedom and we want to do what we want, when we want, right?

Your calendar is the tool that can make that happen for you.

This is my invitation to you: Embrace your calendar, love filling it up and fill it up with joy and space for rest. Schedule your pauses. Five minutes, fifteen minutes, half and hour, two hour blocks! Your calendar is yours. Own it and fill it lovingly with your life.

Making a Case for Joy in your Job

Published by Pick the Brain

Recently, I watched a Charlie Rose interview with the King of Bhutan, a small Asian nation commonly known for being the happiest country in the world. One of Bhutan’s biggest goals? A not-so-little metric created by the King himself: Gross Domestic Happiness. This idea that a country would measure its own happiness was seen as a groundbreaking concept, sparking the United Nations to pass its own unanimously adopted resolution to put happiness on the agenda for global development. So, if this movement towards happiness is happening Earth-wide, why aren’t we actively applying it to our own lives as individuals? And why is it so taboo to consider it an active measurement to judge our careers?

I, like many of my fellow Americans, struggle with the concept of happiness in business. I can hear the voices of my father and his father before him calling out “Be productive!” in my head. And these cries for productivity aren’t bound by Monday through Friday or the hours of 9 to 5. They are relentless in their attack on my joy, waking me up on Sunday morning with a need to send “just one email” so urgent it can’t wait until I even step foot out of bed, or interrupting dinner with my husband because it’s the perfect hour to check on a client in another timezone—who may or may not need me.

But this isn’t being productive—and it certainly isn’t being happy. It’s just being busy. And being busy hides us from being present. It hides us from tackling the hard things. It hides us from noticing that we are actually (*ahem*) unhappy.

This past weekend I did that old “Write out your ideal day” exercise, and I was astonished to see just how much I was missing the mark in my career. But the only person who has the power to improve that score is me, just as you are the only person who has the power to improve yours.

I invite you to consider adding Gross Domestic Happiness to your evaluation of your job and use it to create the boundaries that bring you joy. The best part about it is that you can define this in whatever way sounds best to you. It can be the number of times you check your email in a day. It can be having the free time to make yourself a real meal for lunch or indulging in an exercise break in the middle of the day. It can be the freedom to be 100% fully present with your family after 5 PM. Whatever happiness looks like to you, make it a priority in your job just as you would in your personal life. Make Bhutan proud.


5 Ways We Can Apply The Ancient Art of Feng Shui To Our Careers

Published by The Huffington Post

STRESS

As an intuitive business coach, my clients regularly tell me that they feel out of alignment with their careers. Either they work far too many hours in hopes of getting ahead and their regular lives are suffering, or they have thousands of ideas for projects and feel confused about the right moves to make, or they just plain feel paralyzed and uncertain. It's during these times that I like to remind them about the ancient art of feng shui.

Feng shui is a Chinese philosophy of harmony, and in English, feng shui translates to "wind-water," two separate but equally powerful sides of a coin that press up against one another in a perfect balance. We can use the visual of black swirl hugging white swirl in a tight circle and apply it to our careers too. Here are 5 ways to do just that:

1. Stay mindful.
This one is first because that's how important it is. How often in meetings or during work hours are you actually present with what you're doing? Compare that to how often you spend checking your email or your phone or thinking about something you have to do later or feeling self-conscious or wondering if you're doing the right thing. Wouldn't that time be better spent soaking in the world around you? Because in those moments where you're fully present, that's where you can find brilliance.

2. Allow your time to expand.
Have you ever heard of Einstein time? It's the idea that your time expands in proportion to what you're experiencing. When you start loving what you do, it will feel like you haven't wasted any time at all. Every minute will be one you enjoy. And for me--and I suspect the same for you--the more time I can spend in love, the happier I am.

3. Meditate for clarity.
You'll be surprised how often we already know the answers to the questions we're asking. One of the easiest ways to discover that is through meditation. It quiets your mind long enough for the hints and the clues to turn into fully formed thoughts and action steps you can implement in your business. I maintain an hour-long meditation practice every single day. I know for some of you that sounds like a lot, but when I miss it everything feels off kilter. You don't have to begin with an entire hour, but aim to fit in at least 15-20 minutes of solid meditation time per day to achieve clarity for your career.

4. Go with the flow.
Sometimes in your career as in your life, things won't go your way. That's okay. It might be trying to teach you something about your path. Instead of forcing the situation to bend to your will, perhaps it's better to take a step back and adjust your direction. It's the difference between fighting to swim upstream and allowing the current to move you rapidly forward.

5. Set boundaries.
A few weeks ago a woman requested a meeting with me at 8 PM on a Sunday night. In my household Sunday nights are typically reserved for family, but she was insistent that it was the only time that worked for her. Against my better judgment, I gave in and set the appointment. That day my husband had planned things for us to do together, but we had to rush through them in order for me to get back before our call. You can already guess what happened when we got home--she didn't show up! I had sacrificed this quality time with my amazing husband and for what? Remember that you have control over what you say yes to. Set your boundaries and stick to them. Keep your personal time as your personal time and your career time as your career time and honor that commitment to yourself.

These 5 feng shui principles are a recipe for happiness in your career as well as your life. Once you learn to master them you'll achieve the harmony you've been dreaming of.

The Top Two Ways to Achieve Clarity

Published by The Huffington Post

When it comes to your business and your life, are you clear on where you're going?

You may read all the time about the importance of clarity when it comes to achieving goals in your business and life. After all, if you're on a road trip, having a map certainly comes in handy. While our lives are certainly unpredictable and even the best-laid plans can easily be derailed by the universe, it is still helpful to have a clear road-map for our businesses and lives. Otherwise, we're wandering aimless, and we may never really get to where it is we most want to go.

It is one thing to acknowledge the need for clarity, and quite another to actually get clear on what we want for our lives and our businesses. This is why in this article I am going to teach you how to create clarity through two of the most powerful techniques in the change-your-life toolbox: Visualization and verbalizing.

1) Visualization

Visualization is a very transformative way to create clarity for yourself. If you were raised to believe daydreaming is bad, think again. Visualization is powerful. Ask any successful athlete; chances are they include a strong visualization practice in the days leading up to a big race or game.

Most of the time, we stay at surface level, distracted by our every day thoughts, our to-dos, our Facebooks, our families, our bodies, our lunches and more. We exist separate and disconnected from our core self - our heart, values, and joy. When we live in a perpetual state of distraction, it is difficult for us to create clarity at all.

When we stay separate from our heart, we are separate from the universal wisdom or higher power that we have access to within. We lose touch with who we are and our soul's purpose. Accessing our internal guidance through visualization is essential to reconnecting to ourselves, and to create the clarity we need to live a fulfilling life.

What will you visualize for yourself? Start with the idea of a possible future you could build for yourself. What does it look like? What does it smell like? What does it feel like? Who is with you? What takes place here? Press yourself into the details. Follow them and see where they lead.

Walk yourself down this path of visualization as it would look over the span of three months. Then six months. Then a year. Then two years. Then five years. Try to imagine how it would all play out and then use those discoveries to create the clarity you have been seeking. There are no right and wrong revelations in visualization; it's all about how it feels to you. Create clarity for yourself now through visualization and allow it all to reveal itself to you.

2) Verbalizing

I love meditation. It is my favorite tool for staying in touch with a higher power. It gives me time and clarity to know what I want and what I should do. And guess what? It also prepares me to do the next best thing - verbalizing my thoughts to someone close to me.

There is something refreshing and nurturing about talking to someone. We all want to feel connected. You have already recognized your own feelings and ideas. But it just feels good to say them out loud. It can also be scary. If you have come to realize through visualization that your purpose is actually to quit your job and start your own business as a life coach, it can be frightening the first time you share this with someone out loud. The act of saying it will allow you to feel the words resonate in your body, to clarify the rightness of your decision. Stepping into the fear of sharing what's most true to your heart is a vulnerable act, and when we are vulnerable, we are our most pure selves.

Sharing your thoughts with someone lets you hear yourself and see things more clearly. Oftentimes, the person with whom you've shared then sheds even more light on your thoughts and ideas. Don't hesitate to ask others for advice. This is something my father taught me at an early age. People love it when you come to them. They feel flattered and special when you talk about even your tiniest or most candid idea.

When you want to find clarity, sit with a buddy over tea or green juice. Lay everything out on the table. Don't spare even the most absurd idea of yours. Talk. Connect. Collaborate. Listen.

There are some who find it difficult to talk. Don't be afraid to bare it all when you talk your way to clarity. No judgment! Just throw everything out in the open. We have to know what our priorities are in order to be in their flow. Sometimes, it takes talking these through with someone for the priorities and ideas to come out.

You also need to listen to your own thoughts. This will allow you to see a new point of view. Sometimes, the answers are just there all along. When we start talking, we can discover the direction we need to take.

It won't always be easy. Sometimes it's scary to share our thoughts and ideas.

Sometimes you can get overwhelmed with a lot of ideas when you talk. But verbalizing your thoughts is another valuable way of achieving clarity. Work it out. If it fails, keep on going. It doesn't have to be perfect! You just have to keep moving forward.

Whether it is visualizing or verbalizing, or using both techniques, I encourage you to find clarity and mark out the signposts on the path. When we know where we're going, we're much more able to recognize when we're there. Be open to the ways of the universe and hold your plans loosely, but keep your eye on your clear vision and you are sure to reach it.

             Planning Versus Doing    

Published by The Huffington Post​

PLANNING STRESS

© Shutterstock PLANNING STRESS

I want to share a technique I use to keep me out of overwhelm and feeling peaceful and happy in the work that I'm doing.
This is the concept of planning versus doing. It is really easy to get into the 'spin' and be all over our to-do list and feel like we need to power through it. I want to encourage you to step out of that mindspace by approaching it in a more peaceful way.
If you are reading this blog and you know your mind is on your to-do list, then just pause for a moment. Go ahead. Close your eyes, take a deep breath. Come back to reading once you've shifted a little and are not in the 'spin'.
Think about planning. I know I have heard lots of my clients tell me, "I don't have time to plan!" But the truth is, you have to make time to plan. Making time to plan out exactly what you are going to do increases your focus, brings mindfulness in and allows you to be fully present with what you are doing.
Remember to incorporate this into your calendar. If you really pack your calendar so fully with doing-doing-doing, it's hard to take the time required to contemplate. And by contemplate, I'm not talking about meditation (although that's useful too!) Rather, I'm talking about putting on your calendar the time to contemplate the day or even week ahead. Some people find it really works for them to have a "Business Planning Day" once a week, while for others, they take half an hour to an hour at the start of each day to get things planned and organized before diving in.
I promise you, the time you spend planning will be incredibly valuable, productive and great not only for your bottom line, but also your peace of mind. By planning your day, over time you will start to see where you can lump similar tasks together, where you can save time on tasks because you can do them in batches, or what you can perhaps push to a better time. Planning leads to more efficient work time, which leads to more play time!
I encourage you to develop the planning strategy that will work for you. It could also be ten or fifteen minute increments, spread out during the day. This is particularly effective as it really honors the reality of life and unexpected events getting in the way of our planning! Sure, stuff comes up and things don't always turn out as planned, but it is still valuable information, knowing what you plan to do with your time each day.

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