Do You Have Healthy Boundaries?

boundary_full“Boundaries are imaginary lines we establish around ourselves to protect our souls, hearts and minds from the unhealthy or damaging behavior of others. It is recommended to extend your boundaries at least two or three times beyond where they are”
Thomas Leonard, Coach Inc.

Last week, we activated the electronic dog fence for our dog, Brady. Until then, we had kept him on a leash, tied him on a long-line to the tree, or he ran around our neighbor’s yard and even worse, into the street. Teaching him the boundaries of the fence over several days got me thinking about how we establish (or don’t establish) boundaries in our own lives.

Similar to the electronic dog fence, boundaries are an imaginary line of protection that you draw around you. This is done to protect your soul and what’s important to you. You cannot grow without boundaries.

When a person has healthy boundaries, fear diminishes significantly and trust is rarely an issue. Your family members and friends respect you more and they you can begin to grow more both emotionally and developmentally.

When someone’s boundaries are weak, they attract needy and disrespectful people into their lives. People without good boundaries end up wasting much more energy to keep life going for themselves. And it’s very hard to move forward or grow when you feel drained or even violated.

Three steps you might want to consider in order to have extensive boundaries:

1-Review (or set or reset) your boundaries around your time, relationships and spirit

2-Be willing (and patient) to educate others on how to respect your new boundaries

3-Make a list of the 10 things that people may no longer do around you, do to you or say to you.

It’s helpful to see that having weak or undefined boundaries can be a source of great friction and energy for you. In fact, you may have learned to do quite well with this type of energy (albeit expensive and toxic as it is).

So, I urge you to set new boundaries and see that you will begin to attract people who have a similar respect for themselves, and you’ll have more room to grow because you aren’t being drained.

Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.

3 Networking Tips That Work Every Time

thrivenetIf you’re anything like me, you’re probably attending AT LEAST four to five networking events every month. And that can be brutal. Because some are effective, some are fun, some are extremely boring and not worth the effort and most are just ho-hum.

Networking, in whatever form, is a necessary evil. In order to keep your pipeline filled, you’ve got to participate.

But how can you be most effective in your networking efforts?

Here are 3 tips that work every time:

1-Be sure you are networking where your ideal clients are hanging out. Ideal clients–what’s that, you say? Ideal clients are the yummy, wonderful clients you would work with, all day long for free if you could. They are the clients you can’t wait to see, have the most fun with and love serving! Start building an ideal client profile around them if you haven’t already. And be sure to ask them where they network or just hang out! Likes hang together, remember the old adage, “birds of a feather, flock together”? So be sure you are attending networking events, or social gatherings or meet-ups where other ideal client types are also hanging.

2-What’s Your Intention Before Entering The Room? You must have an intention before entering a networking meeting. Perhaps it’s meeting a specific person you know is going to be there, maybe it’s meeting a certain number of people, or maybe it’s working the four corners of the room—systematically. That, can be a challenge. Whatever your reason for attending a networking event—be sure you have an intention or goal for yourself.

3-Have a kick *ss elevator pitch! Yes, you must have a really good elevator pitch that will PULL ideal clients in towards you. You must communicate what you do in a way that a 3rd grader can understand what you do. And it’s important that people will understand EXACTLY who you work with and who they should refer to you. The more clear you are about who you work with, being able to describe who they are and what you do for them (results you bring) the more likely you are to get referrals!

While these three tips may seem obvious and you might be saying to yourself, “I already know this”. In my experience, I don’t see a lot of people practicing these three tips at the networking events I attend (and I attend a lot!)

So take stock in how you are approaching your networking and I’d suggest you incorporate these three tips to make your efforts more effective and efficient!

Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.

What I Learned in Charm School

leashWe recently acquired our rambunctious, new puppy, Brady this winter. And because it’s important to us that we have a well-trained dog, we’ve (well, read me) have been taking Brady to dog training classes. Liz Langham, of Tree Frog Farm is a very talented and gifted dog trainer and behavioral specialist, and I’ve really been enjoying her classes. Brady has graduated from “Puppy Class” and is currently in “Charm School”.

I must admit, I’m very interested in how much dog training material applies to humans as well!

Here’s the nugget I learned today.

Liz, the gifted and talented dog trainer from Tree Frog Farm, was giving us a demonstration on leash walking. She was demonstrating the example of how many people grip very hard on the leash, because they believe that they will be in more control of the situation, rather than having a more relaxed hold.

“Try relaxing your grip and give a little more leash”, she advised us.

She also shared a tight grip on the leash, not only makes your hand and arm cramped and tired but the dog can also feel the energy of your grip through the leash.

Bingo!

A light bulb went off for me!

I thought to myself, hmmm, where else (besides my dog’s leash) am I gripping too tightly, holding on, trying to control the situation, and ultimately the outcome?

I realized that there were many. And that my “tight grip” in every instance, had no reflection on whether it was a successful outcome or not, in fact, in all cases, it had zero impact of a successful outcome, and in at least one of the examples (my children’s behavior) it often had just the opposite effect.

Where are you “gripping” in your life or business? Trying to control an outcome, behavior or situation?

“Try relaxing your grip and giving a little more leash.” And watch what happens.

Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.

3 Ways to Add More Time to Your Day

moretime“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to.’” – Lao Tzu

This week, many of my clients expressed their concern about the feeling of just not having enough time. They expressed concern that they moved from activity to activity through the day, or they had scheduled out the next seven weekends with different friends and activities and it just felt as if there wasn’t enough time to pack in everything they wanted to get done.

We need to realize this is a mindset, like the mindset of never having enough…money, love, patience etc. It’s a story we tell ourselves.

The fact of the matter is, we all have exactly the same amount of time as the next person, including the great masters such as Mother Theresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, or Steve Jobs. It’s how we approach it and our mindset that creates the reality for each of us.

Here are three ways to create more spaciousness in your day and create more time. 

1-Stay in the present moment

So often we try to do two even three things at the same time. Our minds are constantly planning the next activity or thing we need to move to next. Try to be totally present in each and every moment.

For example, the next time you are eating your lunch, just try and focus on the foods you are eating. Focus on your chewing, the taste of your sandwich or soup, how it feels in your mouth. Be very present with your lunch partner, truly listening to what they are saying. None of this is easy the first time, but it really helps your mind slow down and stop moving to the next thing before you’ve even finished the present activity.

2-Add 5 minutes to each transition

One of the things I’ve been playing with the last few weeks is to try and insert five minutes (at least) between each activity. For example, I try to arrive at each and every appointment five minutes early, so I have the time to just sit still and focus on my breath for a couple of minutes before my appointment shows up. I have found this to really help me be more present, not to get so stressed, and to feel more spacious with the time available to me. I do not feel as rushed or harried, as when I showed up to everything “right on time”.

3-Change your story around not having enough time

We all have the same amount of time each and every day. Yet, some of us create the story that there is never enough time. All day long, we make choices in how we will parcel out the 24 hours we are given in a day. We need to first take a hard look at how we are spending those hours and ask ourselves if they are in alignment with our values, mission and goals.

We need to stop staying we don’t have enough time and start saying, “I have plenty of time to choose to do the things that are important to me”. Because it is important to realize that we are telling ourselves a story, and using a scarcity mentality about time.

Ask yourself this question, “what do I need to change in my life or schedule to make me feel more abundant about the time I have available everyday”

The Lao Tzu quote above is so perfect. Time is absolutely created and we have the ability to create what it is we want each and everyday in the 24 hours we are given. What are you creating? What story are you creating for yourself around the availability of time? How will you change it to allow yourself to feel more spacious with the time you are given, to feel you have just the right amount of time to do what you choose to do?

Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.

Work/Life Balance…Is It Possible?

worklifebalanceThis week, I had the honor of facilitating a group discussion around healthy work life balance with a group of serious entrepreneurs. It was quite an interesting discussion. For me, the most impressive part of the discussion was learning about the passion each of these entrepreneurs hold for their own business.

These are people who’ve given up corporate jobs and salaries, homes, cars and some of the luxuries of life to pursue their dream. It was totally inspiring!

Most of these entrepreneurs are working 14, 15, 16-hour days and would appear to have no time for self-care.

And yet….

Many of them know it’s the most important thing for them to do. And many of them learned the hard way, what a life led imbalanced brings them.

Here’s a partial list of the things many of them said they do to help them lead a more balanced work/life:

  • Yoga-even for 10-15 minutes a day
  • Walking outside everyday
  • Exercise once a day (one entrepreneur exercises twice a day)
  • Reading a book everyday
  • Writing in a journal
  • Playing with their kids
  • Looking at the sun for a few minutes
  • Playing music/playing a musical instrument
  • Figuring out what your “other” passion is, (besides your business) then doing it
  • Saying “no” more often
  • Tremendous self-care such as massages, reflexology (look for people needing people to work on to get their license and come at a much reduced rate)

As entrepreneurs, we tend to work a lot of hours, because there’s a lot to do and a lot to accomplish, however, all the entrepreneurs in my group agreed that it was crucial to take time for yourself.

Are you taking time for yourself, even if it’s for 10 minutes a day? What will you start doing to bring more self-care and balance to your life?

Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.

Measure, measure, measure

SMAC-success-tape-measureI had the opportunity this week to listen to a very successful entrepreneur from my local area named Bob Johnson. He owns Scratch Bakery in South Portland, Maine and is famous for his incredibly, delicious bagels. People come for miles (many 15-20 miles) and wait in line on a Saturday or Sunday morning to pick up their bagels.

One of the success tips he shared with the group was around measuring where you are in your business, which is one of the things I teach my clients.

It’s not always something I’ve been good at, in fact, in the past it’s clearly one of my big weaknesses. Because it’s not always fun, or pleasant to measure where we are in our business at any given point.

So if you were like me, perhaps you are sticking your head in the sand around how much you are actually bringing in for receivables. Or maybe you know you might be spending a bit too much on your expenses, but you don’t know exactly how much, so you think it’s probably better not to look!

Or perhaps you’ve put a new product or a new promotion in place, or maybe you’ve upgraded your website or Facebook page. But, you aren’t looking at your analytics to see whether any of your investment made a difference or moved the meter.

In order to have a successful business, you must measure a certain number of things on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Here’s a list of the minimum number of things you need to measure in your business:

1-Receivables–How much money are you bringing in on a daily (yes, I said daily) basis? You must know at the end of every day, before you go home, how much money you brought in that day. This is a must-do daily discipline.

2-Expenses–How much is going out on a daily basis? One could argue to look at expenses on either a daily or a weekly basis (weekly is the minimum). You must know how much is going out on a daily or weekly basis and to whom and where. Expenses can creep up on us, and it’s important to keep on top of them and be sure expenses are justified and well spent dollars.

3-Customer Satisfaction–are your customers happy with your product or service? Do you have a way to measure that satisfaction? Perhaps you don’t have the most sophisticated means in which to measure this, but you must have something in place, a way to communicate with customers on their experience with you, your product or service.

4-Website and Social Media–we are all spending a lot of time and money on our website and social media, but are we measuring what kind of return we’re getting for it? Do you measure how many likes you have, how many people are viewing your website on a weekly basis, what blog is the most popular, what page on your website, do people spend the most time on? What social media is driving the most people to your website? There are lots of things to measure here and you don’t have to do everything. But I would suggest you pick the top 5-6 things that matter most to you and your business and put a system into place to start measuring them and studying the results.

5-Your current growth goals for your business—I’m sure you’ve put some thought into your goals for this year, including how much you’d like to grow in your business. Are you measuring your progress to your goals?

It’s so important to look at these areas of your business and set up a system to measure them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I have seen the most transformation amongst my clients who implement a measurement system for their business. It’s amazing to see the growth, progress and success of entrepreneurs who start paying attention to their numbers on a regular basis. And I hope this will include you!

Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.

Are You Doing Too Much?

doing_too_much“We can do no great things – only small things with great love.”
Mother Theresa

This week I had several different conversations with clients where they were feeling very overwhelmed. Not that things were going poorly. In fact, things were going pretty well in their business and things had really picked up for them.

This time of year, when we’ve started working on our new goals for the year, business starts to pick up and we start feeling that inner push and pull that we must get things moving along for the New Year, we can begin to feel overwhelmed with it all.

And many times when we begin to feel overwhelmed, it gets us stuck, stressed and our productivity levels go way down. We find ourselves just wanting to stay in bed and read a good book all day, or lay on the couch and watch our favorite TV shows, or hang out in social media all day.

It could be because you are trying to do too much.

Here are some things you might consider if you are doing too much and feeling overwhelmed:

Simplify. Try and find a few things that you want to accomplish within a short time frame-say three months and do your very best to push all other activities and ideas, out later in the year. Work to complete the few items you’ve identified, until you’ve completed them and then, and only then add new ones to your list. Remember, KISS (keep it simple, stupid)

Hire Help. Where can you hire someone to help you? Maybe it’s a housekeeper, maybe a virtual assistant, maybe a personal assistant or concierge. Any of these kinds of personal services can be purchased on a project basis, or a once a month basis. It does not have to be over the top costly. And, once you figure out your hourly rate, and you find yourself spending time on things you could hire for less than your rate-it starts to make good economical sense to start to look for these opportunities.

Schedule Self-Care Time. Get your calendar. Right now. Schedule at least one hour this week, for yourself. It can be to go to the gym, go to the mall, take a walk, schedule a massage, anything that would feel good to you to do for a minimum of one hour. Go ahead, put it in your calendar right now. Because overwhelm is an indication that more energy is going “out of you” than coming in to keep you going.

What do you do when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed? Share your comments and thoughts below—I’d love to hear from you!

Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.

The True Meaning of Self-Discipline for Your Success

quotes-with-self-discipline_10364-3My son Cade, recently began taking karate lessons. I don’t know a lot about martial arts, although for a very brief period between ages 10-11 I took judo lessons, because my mother thought it would help me be more ‘well-rounded”.

Cade is taking a form of karate called, “Chun-Kuk-Do”, which claims to cultivate high character in the lives of individuals.

In a handout he recently received, there’s a section on “The True Meaning of Self-Discipline for Your Success”. Which is defined as “doing what you should when you should do it-whether you feel like it or not. And without being told multiple times by anyone.”

Wow.

It really struck me that this definition absolutely gets at the essence of self-discipline. When I think about my own business and a lot of the things I don’t like doing, but must do such as administrative tasks, or sometimes writing my newsletter and there doesn’t seem to be anything obvious to write about. Or when I need to be doing more marketing, or following up with prospects.

If I just “did what I should, when I should do it-whether I feel like it or not”. It seems an almost over-simplified concept, yet when I think about the places in my life where I lack self-discipline, or where my clients lack self-discipline, the practice can be very challenging.

So I ask you to look at your own business or life. Where are the places where you could use more self-discipline, that if applied would make a big difference in your business, or your quality of life? Someone once told me that many times making small changes in your life can make major differences in your life (or business). And the foundation to doing that is in self-discipline.

What are you willing to start doing that maybe you don’t feel like doing, but know by doing so, would make a major difference in your business? Let me know in the comments section below-I’d love to support you in your effort!

Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.

How to Use Your Body to Create Confidence

Public-Speaker-Enthusiastic-WomanLearning to present with confidence can take time and practice. Like you, I’ve sat through many presentations at my networking group, some of them good and some of them, well, not so good.

This week, I watched a wonderful, smart, talented woman give her ten-minute presentation and I cringed through the entire thing. It wasn’t so much what she was saying, but what her body language was portraying. She looked scared when she walked to the front of the room. She overcompensated by trying to look confident by putting her hand on her hip. Then she tried to look relaxed by leaning against the table with one hand. It all came across as unprofessional, awkward and self-conscious.

As you probably know, communication is 80% body language, 15% tone and 5% actual words. Yet, most people spend the most amount of time working on the actual words to their presentation and not giving any thought to their body language.

Here are a few tips that you might want to consider around your body language (and practice), the next time you have a presentation so you convey total confidence, even if you’re not feeling it.

1-Consider using a power pose before you go on stage. Research has shown that if you can put yourself into a power pose (this would be in private) for two minutes. Here’s a great video that explains how it works.

2-As you move to the front of the room or podium be sure you are standing tall, breathing and moving slowly with grace, confidence and sureness-even if you aren’t feeling it. Visualize yourself exuding confidence! There’s nothing worse than someone looking scared and nervous, with their shoulders hunched.

3-Keep your hands to your sides or use them while gesturing. Do not put them on your hips or lean against a table, podium of anything else within reach. That just makes you look sloppy, with lack of energy, like you need something to prop yourself up.

As the research shows, body language is everything in your presentation, so be sure and practice in front of a mirror, or perhaps consider having someone videotape your presentation. That way, you can see for yourself how you come across!

Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.

What Will You Stop Doing in 2014

stop_doingThis time of year is often filled with goal-setting, intention-making and feeling like we have a clean slate on which to create what we want in our lives. All good and well.

However, one of the things that I continually see happening is that people create the things they want to start doing and just try and add it to the already long, overwhelming list of things they are already doing!

It’s no wonder so many times by February or March of the new year, we get lost in our goals and end up becoming overwhelmed and just giving up

So here’s a thought.

Why not take some time figuring out what you’re going to stop doing in 2014—in order to make room for the new? These might be things like volunteer work, board work, or extra-curricular things you’ve taken on.

Or they might be bad habits, over-scheduling and your lack of ability to say “no”. Whatever the case, I challenge you to make a list of 10 things you will STOP DOING in 2014 and post it near your computer or desk and make a plan to stop doing them as soon as you can. Perhaps some of them will just be a temporary stop, but others should’ve perhaps, come off the list years ago.

So, go on. Be brutal and put your list together today. And feel free to share your list below in the comment section because your item(s) might be super helpful to others!

Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.