3 Ways Holding Back Your Truth is Messing Up Your Creative Business

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I’ve been so scared of manifesting.

Not the activity itself but of talking about it.

I’ve been manifesting for years, but I’m often reluctant to use the actual word in my content.

[If you have no idea what I’m talking about check out this post from Amanda Frances about manifesting. She’s one of the people I admire and I’m heading to Bali in a few days for a retreat she’s hosting.]

All my private clients have heard about it or discussed it with me. Yet I’ve had this reluctance to claim it.

I’ve always worked hard to maintain a specific narrative around myself. I’ve held my cards close to my chest in the hopes it would somehow keep me safe.

I guess it has to some extent that I’m still here and doing well. But it’s unclear if it’s more helped or hindered beyond that.

As I’ve started creating more content, I reflected on the fact that I haven’t shared my full truth with my audience. I vowed to start sharing more  because I realized that not doing so would hold a business back in three big ways.


1 | IT KEEPS YOUR FROM CONNECTING WITH YOUR SOULMATE CLIENTS

When you don’t share your truth in your content it makes it harder to find your soulmate clients. You create a barrier they have to see past and connect with your heart. And those are the best clients. The ones that connect with your heart.

It’s the same as with people in real life. If you’re not real. If you don’t show them who you are, then they can’t connect with who you are.  They’re connecting only on the surface or with a facade.

People may appreciate what they see on the surface enough to buy from you. In fact it is possible to still make good money without sharing fully. But you’re going to limit yourself.

Especially as a coach or if you’re charging higher prices for your work. Or any other service or product where someone anticipates a transformation.

If someone is making a big investment they’re going to need to feel your energy. More so than for a lower priced investment.

People buy from the heart. We all make our decision about purchasing something through our emotions first. We then use or reason and logic to justify whichever decision we’ve made. It’s when they feel the emotional connection to YOU that you become the person who must provide it. Without that, they’re in need of the product or service. They may not have been able to feel that you’re the right person to support them through it.

Early in my business, it would happen that someone wouldn’t be familiar with coaching. They would come across me and my work. They would be curious about getting coaching support and schedule a consult. We’d have a call and they would end the conversation committed to invest in coaching.

But not committed to working with me.

As you can imagine, this was frustrating and confusing. It hurt knowing that someone wanted something that I offered but not wanting it from me.

It’s because I wasn’t speaking my truth. I wasn’t being real enough and showing enough of who I am to stand out and resonate on a deeper level.

Even in my business, I’ve been telling a story of inferiority and struggle.  I’m ready to release it.


2 | IT DIMINISHES THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF YOUR BUSINESS

For the heart-centered creative women I meet — they’ve created their businesses...

... not only to make money
...but also to have freedom, and flexibility
...and also because they want to do work that is meaningful and purposeful.

That was one of the things I was eager about when I started my business. Working as a lawyer, as I was before, is important work. And noble. And valuable work. But I was struggling to find meaning and purpose in it.

When you’re sharing what’s real for you, speaking from you heart, your work is going to be more meaningful. Because your marketing and messaging can have impact outside of you.


3 | IT KEEPS YOUR FROM STEPPING INTO THE FULLNESS OF YOUR POTENTIAL AS A BUSINESS OWNER

You’re going to serve and grow your audience best when you’re sharing from your heart. When you share your truth you’re offering a unique perspective that only you can share. It’s one of the things that can  allow you to set yourself apart from anyone else who might provide a service like you.

Sharing in this way is what allows you to become not just a service provider, but an actual leader.

The creatives and entrepreneurs I meet aren’t just doing a job. They’re walking into their calling. They have a desire to serve people in the highest way they can. Without being open about your truth, you can’t do that.

There needs to be a willingness to claim space. To be bold and proud of who we are and what our business represent. I know what a challenge this can.

I was a shy child. I have a strong need to stay quiet and slide under the radar. That felt important to me and I took that on as a sort of defense mechanism. Now as an adult, it can be challenging to accept that I no longer need to keep myself safe in that way.

If you haven’t been able to connect with your ideal clients as powerfully as you know as possible, some things you might consider are:

  • Write out your businesses values and display them on your website

  • Write out what your business believes

  • On your work with me page on your website, be clear and super specific about who your ideal clients are

  • Do a series of blogs, videos, or livestreams about what your business believes

  • Open up about something you’ve been holding  back on

Yes, it can feel frightening to share more of ourselves. But we open ourselves up for more abundance, flow, creativity, and leadership when we do.

I’ll be over here cheering for you!

Xx,
Crystal

4 P’s for Greater Productivity

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One of our biggest enemies as creative entrepreneurs is procrastination. Procrastination is a powerful trap that many of us fall into. Most people procrastinate to some extent at one time or another. But as regular habit it can be demotivating and lead to feeling of guilt and shame. Moreover, it can keep us from achieving our goals.

Procrastination is a habit. And like any bad habit, there are tools, tricks, and other habits that can replace it.

As an entrepreneur, it can feel particularly difficult to overcome procrastination.  There’s often minimal external deadlines and limitations. Plus, building a business is a long game.

There’s a human tendency to overestimate a reward based on its proximity. This video from AsapSCIENCE has an animated video demonstrating this further:

The sooner in time you get the reward, the more valuable it seems. Also known as temporal discounting. Plus, “human motivation is  influenced by how imminent the reward is perceived to be. The further away the reward is, the more you discount its value. This is often referred to as Present bias, or hyperbolic discounting.”


Pomodoro Sprints

Pomodoro sprints are a powerful procrastination overcoming tool.

Created by Francesco Cirillo while a university student. He was struggling to study for his exams. He had a lot of distractions and  and minimal mental focus and concentration. He decided to focus without interruption, distractions, or mind wandering for 10 minutes. He used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato (pomodoro in Italian).

Even  the 10 minutes of uninterrupted focus made a difference.

Pomodoro sprints were born.

It’s a fancy way of saying 2 hour blocks of time with 25 minute work segments and 5 minute breaks.

A full Pomodoro sprint would be:

25 minutes work
5 minutes break
25 minutes work
5 minute break
25 minutes work
5 minute break
25 minutes work
25 minute break

See? Simple.

Nonetheless, this simple technique works well.

All you have to decide is how many sprints you’ll accomplish in a day. If your goal is to get eight hours of work done, then you would plan to complete a series of four pomodoro sprints.

The idea is that when we chunk our days like that, we can work for longer periods of uninterrupted time. This allows us to enter a flow state and operate at our peak performance level.

During each Pomodoro sprint, you’re only working on one project. You’re taking on that project without any distractions or interruptions. You’re creating an ideal environment for you to get a lot done, even in a short block of time.

This is ideal especially for moms and side-hustlers. With focused chunks of time, you’re able to get more done than doing many hours of distracted work.

This is because if you’re focusing on too many things at once, you lose time due to context switching.

When we’re working and we switch to think about something else. Whether its a different task we’re going to work on or checking our phone or email. It takes time for our brain to “recover.” To get back into the flow of what we were previously doing.

Each time we do this, we lose our precious time.

The more we do this in any given period, the more our productive time has diminished.

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Related: 8 Small Shifts to Reach Your Goals Faster

Pomodoro sprints end the time suck of context switching. They force us to give our undivided attention to the task at hand for these short chunks of time.

A few tips for using Pomodoro sprints:

  • If you’re like most millennials, your phone is a hard distraction to ignore. When doing Pomodoro sprints, better if your phone is out of sight and on silent.

  • If there is anyone who needs to reach you or who would disturb you, let them know in advance that all is well. But you can’t be disturbed in the next two hours.

  • Decide what you’re going to do before you start the timer for that first sprint. Don’t let planning seep into the time that you’re meant to be taking action.

  • If your phone is not too distracting, there’s an app called Focus available in the Apple store. It has the timers pre-set for Pomodoro sprints. If it’ll be too tempting to check your phone if you use an app (be honest!) then use a regular timer.

  • Check yourself. At the end of your sprint did you do what you wanted to do? Did you do a good job staying on track? Where could you use improvement?

  • Keep your breaks phone free. I’ve found that the only time I can’t get back in the flow after one of my 5 minute breaks is when I used it for scrolling social media. Now I do my best to stay off my phone even during the 5 minute breaks.


Parkinson’s Law

Another related productivity is Parkinson’s law. Parkinson’s law says that work will expand to fill the time available for its completion.

Why does this matter?

Well, my friend. The more you can estimate how long a project will take, the better you’ll be at planning out your days, weeks, and months. You’ll get more done.

If you allow a week for a two hour task, then the task will become more complex, difficult, and daunting. It will take up the whole week. Even if you’re not doing  actual work that whole time, stress, worry, and tension about doing it will fill space. When we can assess the time a task will takes, we get our time back. The task will maintain its natural state. There won't unnecessary complexity, difficulty, stress, tensions, worry, and complexity.

Overestimating or underestimating how long these take you to do lowers your productivity. Most people lack awareness of how long tasks take until they’re willing to apply this principle.

There’s a pervasive and limiting belief that if something takes longer, its better. It’s higher quality. Most people adopt the idea that it’s better to “work harder, not smarter,” even when they work for themselves.

It’s important to check yourself as you use Pomodoro sprints. You’ll start to become more and more aware of how long various tasks take you.

For example, I know that I can write a 2,000 word blog in about one hour IF it’s not a research based blog. Then it takes me another 60-90 minutes to do any research and edit.  But, if I give myself a four hour block to write a 2,000 word blog, I’ll use that entire period of time. Instead, I give myself one Pomodoro sprint to complete my writing. Then that’s all it takes.

Tips for applying Parkinson’s Law

  • Keep track of how long certain activities take you. Especially the ones you do repeatedly in our businesses. Most people overestimate or underestimate how long something should take.

  • Make it a game for yourself. When you’re assigning time estimates for tasks, trying cutting the time in half. Then treat it as a hard and fast deadline that you have to beat. Don’t do this at the expense of quality work, but try infusing some urgency into your work and see what happens.

  • Time your time-filling activities that don’t have an impact. Things like email and feed reading that “takes a few minutes.” Limit those times to 2-5 minutes. Don't get sucked into those activities.


Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle was first established by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. He  used it as a math formula to describe the unequal wealth distribution in his country. He observed that 20% of the population owned 80% of the country’s wealth.

In 1937 Joseph Duran added a human dimension. He conceptualized the Pareto principle. He used the 80/20 rule to help managers to separate the vital few from the useful many in their activities.

This is also referred to as the 80/20 rule.

So how can we use it to be more productive?

By narrowing our focus. 80% of our results are going to come from 20% of our actions, so we can cut some of those actions that are less meaningful. The ones that aren’t going to translate into results.

Far too many creative entrepreneurs stay busy. But busy isn't always activities that are going to have an impact in their business.

Tips for applying the Pareto Principle

  • Instead of doing more and diffusing your impact. Do fewer activities and devote your time and energy there. On doing the things that matter most and do them well.

  • Where do 80% of your leads come from? Nurture those sources. Where is 80% of your revenue generated? Boost your efforts there? Do 20% of your clients create the majority of cash flow in your biz? Nurture and cherish them.


Going Pro

Last, but not least, to be more productive, be a professional.

Too many people treat their businesses like amateurs. Like an expensive hobby instead of a business.

This is from Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art.

He describes going pro as the way of overcoming resistance. Creators and entrepreneurs will experience resistance at one point or another. The way of moving past is to be a professional, rather than giving into it.

The characteristics of a professional are:

  1. W show up every day.

  2. We show up no  matter what.

  3. We stay on the job all day.

  4. We are committed over the long haul.

  5. The stakes for us are high and real.

  6. We accept remuneration for our labor.

  7. We do not over identify with our jobs.

  8. We master the technique of our jobs.

  9. We have a sense of humor about our jobs.

  10. We receive praise or blame in the real world.

Tips for going pro:

  • Set regular hours for yourself even if you work for yourself. On the days that I’m working I’m at my desk at 9am and ready to work. Same as if I had to show up at an office. Showing up this way allows me to take way more time off when I want. For example, I never work Fridays. I travel almost once a month and for the most part I treat my traveling as vacation and do little, if any work.

  • Get dressed. Or at least shower. I find that I show up in a different way when I shower and get dressed. Like I actually have to interact with other humans in person. It makes it feel more like an actual work day even though going to the office is going down the hall.

4 Small Tips to Become a Great Coach

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I received an email from a lovely woman in my community who had invested in a coach training program and was’t feeling confident in her skills as a coach. She asked a question that I’m sure many others have also wondered — how did you become a great coach.

I felt like she was expecting a deep complicated answer, but I told her what I really think it boiled down to:


1 | I hired a coach 1-on-1

If you ask 5 different people about this you’ll likely get 5 different responses, but here’s my thought on it: hiring a coach to work with 1-on-1 will accelerate your growth unlike any other thing you’ll do. Especially when you’re new in business.

Is it necessary for everyone?

Of course not.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t massive value for the people who do make the decision to invest in a coach to work with.

Nothing can beat the 1-on-1 interaction and feedback. Plus, it’s a different thing to learn about coaching and study coaching, than it is to be powerfully coached.

When I started my business I invested in a year long coach training program and 4 months with a private coach. They were roughly the same investment. I received 10x more value from working with someone 1-on-1.

There was nothing wrong with the training I went through, but I outgrew it way before the year was up. Working with a coach 1-on-1 however, was transformative for me.

Many people become coaches without ever having hired or worked with a coach before. Of course it’s going to feel confusing and overwhelming to start your business. It’s hard to get a clear idea of what powerful coaching looks like without experiencing it first hand.

Plus, if you truly believe in the value of coaching — which, if you’re a coach, I hope you do.

It’s just common sense that you would want to experience it for yourself.

Does this lead to some stereotypes that it’s all just a pyramid scheme? Coaches coaching coaches coaching coaches?

Yeah, maybe.

But, seriously. Who cares?

Therapists have therapists. Doctors have doctors. Teachers have teachers. And even if they didn’t. It doesn’t matter.

Do your beautiful work . Transform people’s lives.


2 | I started

I started coaching people before I felt ready.

Not to say I started charging people willy nilly and helping them without being at all qualified. I worked with A LOT of people without charging at all.

I simply practiced the skills that I’d been learning.

I had 100+ coaching conversations in 3 months just so I could gain that confidence.

Yes, your time and work are valuable and you should be compensated.

But not when you don’t have experience. When you don’t know how to best serve people. When you’re not confident in the transformation provide.

At that point. Anyone willing to be your guinea pig is helping you as much as you’re helping them.

Don’t let your ego keep you from becoming great at what you do.

Because once you are, your earning potential is only limited by the limits you place on it.


3| I continuously invested in my education

I am a learner.

And if you’re going to be a powerful coach, you’ll want to be one too.

Books, courses, retreats, seminars, etc. If you can’t afford to learn, your success will be limited. This doesn’t mean you have to drop thousands on courses and retreats. You can invest in lower end courses, free learning, and books.

Now. This has got to be counterbalanced with creation and productivity and turning within.

There are times for intensive learning. Coaching. Mentoring from others.

And there’s a time to just get out there and do the work. Share the message that’s true for you.

Don’t let learning become a crutch. Or a tool for procrastination or perfectionism.

Be willing to learn. Be willing to implement.


4 | I implemented what I learned

You have to get out there and do the work.

If you think you’re going to learn every single thing about any particular subject before you get started you’re going to get stuck.

As a recovering perfectionist, I’m well aware of this trap.

It can be challenging to subdue those thoughts telling me that I must do it perfectly.

Because if you don’t actually implement what you learn nothing will happen.

I was naturally inclined towards coaching. It's a profession that uses all of the skills and qualities that come most naturally to me. But I wasn’t nearly as powerful or confident a coach when I started as I am today.

There’s only so far that the studying of your art can get you. Eventually you have to get out there and apply it.

I had to coach other people.

I wasn’t sure about it when I started.

I felt nervous and scared and very afraid of messing up.

I had to learn how to create boundaries.

When a potential client was needed a referral for therapy rather coaching.

But I wouldn’t have been able become a great coach if I hadn’t started.

Of course I messed up. Of course I had clients that didn’t experience as much transformation as they wanted. Of course I wasn’t perfect.

But I did it and now I’m a powerful coach. I help clients shift in 15 minutes and after a few months together their whole lives have transformed.

If you’re working on growing your own coaching business, hit reply and let me know! I’d love to hear what you’re working on. If you’re not sure which activities you should be focusing on, be sure to take the Focus Formula quiz so you can get some clear direction.

I’ll be over here cheering for you!

Xx,
Crystal

8 Small Shifts to Reach Your Goals Faster

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I wouldn’t *exactly* call myself a patient person. I know few millennials who do. This impatience arises in my business ALL.THE.TIME.

I find myself wishing I were already there. Despite usually being able to focus on my work, I’m almost distracted in my drive to get the work done.

Basically, I suck the life and fun out of my own work. And I know I’m not alone in this. The times I’ve mentioned this aloud, there’s a chorus of “me-toos” and “I’m the sames” that echo.

Nonetheless, building a profitable and sustainable business is a long-game. Not an overnight scheme.

And…

When I really think about it. I have exhibited great patience in achieving many of my goals. As I’m sure you have to.

So while patience is a virtue. Today I want to give a few small shifts you can make to achieve your goals faster.


1 // Begin with the end in mind

This is basic, but somehow still often overlooked. If you want to truly perform at your best and see the greatest results in your business you have to start with the end in mind.

There’s a story recounted about Will Smith. Someone came into his home and saw that he had post its laid out all over one of the walls. When his visitor asked what he was doing he explained that he was working on a new movie project. He put all of the different elements of his project on different post its. All the characters, scenes, plots twists, etc.

His visitor responded, “that seems overwhelming. How do you even know where to start?”

Will replied, “oh no, that’s the easy part. Of course, I start with the end.”

Everything else is leading up to the end point, so you have to know where you want to go. Same as if you were taking a road trip. Before you can figure out anything else you’ve got to be clear on where you’re trying to end up.

Yet so many skip over this part. They just start working. Doing different tasks willy nilly and hoping that at one point they’ll all come together.

While this has undoubtedly worked for some. It’s not the best approach.

Start with the end in mind. Get a very clear picture of it in your mind.

In fact, the more clearly you can see where you’re going — what that outcome will look like. The better.

If you can hold a mental picture of what you want to create, you’ll open your mind up for imagination and creativity. For different and better solutions. For forces outside of you to support you in reaching your goals.


2 // Focus on the One Thing

If you want to reach your goals faster than focus on one thing at a time.

One of the most pervasive and lease empowering myths of our time is multitasking.

Multitasking is not a thing. It just isn’t.

In one my favorite books, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Pasan, the authors take it further by saying that multitasking is not only NOT a thing, but it’s a lie:

It’s a lie because nearly everyone accepts it as an effective thing to do. It’s become so mainstream that people actually think it’s something they should do, and do as often as possible. We not only hear talk about it, we even hear talk about getting better at it. More than six million webpages offer answers on how to do it, and career websites list “multitasking” as a skill for employers to target and for prospective hires to list as a strength. Some have gone so far as to be proud of their supposed skill and have adopted it as a way of life. But it’s actually a “way of life,” for the truth is multitasking is neither efficient nor effective. In the world of results, it will fail you every time.

We think that we can do it. But in truth, no person is a competent multitasker. If you’ve been priding yourself on multitasking...first of all, stop it right now. All it means is that you’re doing multiple things less effectively.

“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.” — Steve Uzzell

Quitting multitasking cold turkey is the first step. But if you really want to super-charge your business results, than taking it a few steps further.

Narrow your focus. Ideally, to the one thing that will really get you what you want.

In The One Thing it’s defined through the question: what’s the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

We have become so entrenched in a world of doing multiple things that we’ve lost hold of the fact that to see the greatest results in the least amount of time, we must focus on the one thing that makes everything else easier.

This doesn’t mean you have to do one thing all day long and it’s the only thing that you do. But you do need to prioritize.

Prioritizing means putting the important things first. Assigning value to our tasks. Accepting that not all tasks have been created equally — which is most people’s default.

It doesn’t serve us, though.

We spend just as much time on the activities that are not high value. And that won’t move our business forward as we do on the things that are really and truly important.

If you’re not sure what you should be focusing on in your business then take the Focus Formula quiz. In just 11 questions it will let you know what’s really keeping you from seeing the results you want in your business.

With undivided focus we can accomplish our goals and move on to the next thing. It creates a domino effect so that we can continuously accomplish bigger and bigger goals.

For example, let’s say your vision is to have an online course for photographers

  • It opens up 2x per year

  • You enroll 75 students during each enrollment period

  • The course is fully created based off a mentoring curriculum you’ve already established

You have the material, you just need people to sell to. In this case, your one thing might be growing an engaged email list.

Related: How to Turn New Subscribers Into Raving Fans + Nurture Sequence Workbook

Once you know the one thing for you to focus on you’ll determine how to best approach it.

If we stick with the list building example, you might start by brainstorming all the possible ways for you to grow your email list by leading to a content upgrade.

  • Blogging

  • Guest blogging

  • Podcast interviews

  • Paid advertising

  • YouTube videos

  • Social media

  • Livestreaming

But keeping the principle of a narrow focus in mind, instead of doing all of these activities, focus on just one (maybe two). And then pursue that with focused commitment for a period of time and then evaluate your results.

Our sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) is so pervasive and strong that many of us are just scared to narrow our focus. We think if we focus in on one thing we’ll miss out on too much. That we won’t get the results we want. But in reality, the opposite is often true.


3 // Focus on the important and not urgent activities

To figure out if something might fall within an activity to focus on or not is to consider the Eisenhower matrix. Also known as priority matrix.

A priority matrix is just a way of considering whether something should be prioritized.

How do we determine this? Based on the level of importance and urgency of the activity.

Our natural inclination is to focus on activities that are urgent. Regardless of whether they are important. This is a big part of why our days run away with us.

If you’ve ever felt like your business is running you, instead of the other way around, there’s a good chance that you’re approaching the urgent activities of your day as top priorities.

The problem with prioritizing urgent activities in your week is that they’ll always be new and different urgent activities to focus on. The activities that are most critical to your businesses actual growth are going to fall into the category of important and not urgent.

Of course, urgent activities still should get done. But not at the expense of the non-urgent activities.

Easiest way to approach this? Plan your week with the activities in Quadrant 1 as the top priority. That was these activities get designated time on your calendar. If it’s scheduled it gets done.

Approach your day with the activities in Quadrant 2. That way, each day you do still deal with the activities that are important and urgent, without displacing those important and non urgent activities.

The things in quadrant 3 are those that are most easily outsourced. Outsource them if you can.

Things that are not important and not urgent. Just avoid doing them during the work day. They may have their time and place, it’s just not when you’re working.


4 // Be ok being out of balance

Balance, like multitasking, is one of those pervasive myths of our time. It’s not a state that one can achieve and its makes us miserable in the pursuit of it.

Rather than attempting balance, we should strive for counterbalance.

If you’re focusing on one thing than it’ll just be impossible for you to have your focus elsewhere simultaneously.

And that’s ok.

Instead, we can focus on the one thing. Accomplish the one thing. And then focus on the one thing that is now important.


5 // Re-visit your vision and goals daily

It's easy to lose sight of what we’re working towards. And as soon as the vision is out of sight, energy, motivation, and inspiration wane. Everything just starts to feel harder.

If you can keep your vision and goals front and center, your energy and motivation will naturally stay up. You can more easily note the progress that you’ve made. The vision will become more and more real until it actually is your reality.


6// Expect that you’ll achieve your goal

Positive expectation is one of the best states to be in to actually accomplish what you want.

We all know how powerful gratitude is. Studies and celebrities from Oprah to Mark Zuckerburg wax on about the power of gratitude. But we always want more. It’s part of the human experience that even as we achieve and receive, our desires expand.

I bet if I asked you to write down 25 things you want you could come up with a list pretty quickly.

In fact, why don’t you do that right now.

I’ll wait ;-)

Now, my question is: of those things that you wrote down, how many of them are things you already have?

My guess, is not that many. (But please do let me know if I’m wrong!)

And now you’re saying, “but Crystal, I was just following directions. That’s not what you said to do.”

I know, I know.

It’s a little tricky.  But there are many things that you now have that you may be deeply grateful for. But you may not have always had them. At some point it was something you wanted. And now you have it.

And here’s the thing. If I had given that exercise in a slightly different way by asking you to list 25 things you’re grateful for, there’s a good chance that none of the items you listed would be things you don’t yet have.

But we can make the things we want more real, and we can super-charge our gratitude, but conflating the two. Feeling gratitude for the things we desire but don’t yet have. And desiring the things present in our lives.


7 // Be a professional

When we set goals for ourselves it’s almost inevitable that we’ll experience resistance. Resistance is completely natural and experienced by all creators. We don’t need to eradicate resistance. But to create in spite of it.

In Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art he describes moving past resistance by turning pro. Being a professional. The ideas is that amateurs given into resistance and professionals don’t. Our creative work need to be treated professionally — not something to be done when we feel like it and not done when we don’t feel like it.

The characteristics of a professional as described by Pressfield are:

  1. We show up every day.

  2. We show up no matter what.

  3. We stay on the job all day.

  4. We are committed over the long haul.

  5. The stakes are high and real.

  6. We accept remuneration for our labor.

  7. We do not over identify with our jobs.

  8. We master the technique of our jobs.

  9. We have a sense of humor about our jobs.

  10. We receive praise or blame in the real world.

Find a way to apply these concepts in a way that serves you.

For example, I’ve adopted a number of habits that help me turn pro. Things like:

  • Looking at my calendar and planning out my day in advance. Not in a rigid way but just in terms of looking at priorities. Figuring out my one thing for the day. And establishing the other 2 activities I will do IF I accomplish my one thing.

  • Not checking my emails until after I’ve done my first 2 hours of prioritized activities. I know my weaknesses and it’s just easier if I don’t even go through my phone first thing in the morning.

  • I get dressed and brush my hair and get myself at least a little presentable. Even though my office is in my home, I feel more ready to work when I’m dressed as if I at least had to go to a co-working space instead of staying in my PJs.


8 // Turn off your phone

If you want reach your goals faster, than turn off your phone. Or at the very least put it on do not disturb and out of sight.

Most millennials are addicted to their phones. In How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price addiction is described as,

Continuing to seek out something (for example, drugs or gambling), despite negative consequences. In his book The Brain that Changes Itself, Canadian psychiatrist Norman Doidge explains the general characteristics of addition like this: ‘Addicts show a loss of control of the activity, compulsively seek it out despite negative consequences, develop tolerance so that they need higher and higher levels of stimulation for satisfaction, and experience withdrawal if they can’t consummate the act.” That certainly would seem to describe the way many of us feel about our smartphones. And indeed, many technology companies themselves seem comfortable with that term….many of the same feel-good brain chemicals and reward loops that drive addictions are also released and activated when we check our phones.

And for good reason. Smartphones and the apps on them are designed to hook us in.

Price continues to explain:

Not only are phone and app companies aware of their products; neurological effects, but they pack their products with features that will trigger them — with the explicit goal of getting us to spend as much time and attention as possible on our devices. In industry terms, this is caller “user engagement.” ...In order to maximize the amount of time we spend on our devices, designers manipulate our brain chemistry in ways that are known to trigger addictive behaviors….phones and most apps are deliberately designed without ‘stopping cues’ to alert us when we’ve had enough — which is why it's so easy to accidentally binge. On a certain level, we know what we’re doing makes us feel gross. But instead of stopping, our brains decide the solution is to seek more dopamine. We check our phones again, And again, And again.

Social media, especially become a near impossible tough spiral to hop out of.

Make things easier for yourself. You can’t get much done when you’re looking at your phone all day. Even just quick glances significantly impact our productivity because of context switching.

Context switching just means that our brains take time to switch between tasks. Each time you start to do something else, your brain takes time to adjust to that new task. The more we do it, the longer it takes for our brain to settle back into a productive state. The impact increases the more frequently we switch. You can see this through the chart below. Even when it’s referred to as a project, this can even just be checking your phone.

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Each time we take on an additional project we lose another 20% of our time to context switching, This is just loss of time as our brain tries to switch through the various tasks.

This quickly translates to loss of time. If we allow for even just 3 projects (or distractions) in a given hour, our productive minutes are already down to 36. That’s why hours go by and we can’t wrap our minds around how we could have possibly gotten so little done. Although you may have been at or around your desk for 3 hours attempting to work. Between checking your phone for email, a quick scroll through Insta, a few likes on Facebook and your 3 hours of work may have been more like 35 minutes.

This is really just circling back to the point that he more we can focus on the one thing — rather than trying to go back and forth between different activities, the closer we get to accomplishing our goals.

The idea with applying any of these ideas is to start small. You don’t need to implement everything at once but start applying these things little by little. You’ll quickly see how your small shifts turn into massive results.

I’ll be over here cheering for you!

3 Things to Know About Fear to Create a Business and Life You Love

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I was on a flight from Tel Aviv, Israel to Zurich, Switzerland on Tuesday. I had to be up at 1:20am Tel Aviv time to make it on time for my flight to Switzerland. I rarely fall asleep quickly even under the best of circumstances, but when I’m excited about something, such as traveling to a destination where I’ve never been, and staying in a stunning ski lodge (it’s seriously next level, join me on Insta to see what I’m talking about) my insomnia is greatly intensified. Thus even though I tried to fall asleep around 9pm to get several hours of sleep, it was impossible. I slept for a total of approximately 23 minutes.

I got up with Kobi and we headed off to the airport. By 5am my excitement was finally turning into exhaustion — just in time to board the plane. While waiting for the plane to board I suggested to Kobi that we upgrade to business class. He went over to the ticket counter where the woman informed us that you can only upgrade upon check in.

Now, I know that different airlines have policies on this, and I haven’t ever traveled on Swiss Air before, but there have been numerous occasions when I’ve been able to upgrade at the gate, so I was skeptical. I could see from how she was standing that she felt more exhausted than I did and assumed that her response was more about her own tiredness and disinterest in performing the transaction than any official policy.

Anyway.

We board our flight and I see as we walk through business class that there are numerous empty seats despite those passengers boarding first. We then begin our march into the economy class section of the plan where we walk past several screaming and/or crying children, arguing couples, and other mayhem. We sit down and the seats feel exceedingly fall to me. Immediately give Kobi that look that says — “WTF Kobi why isn’t there more space in these seats you should have gotten us business class seats you see that there are so many seats available that flight attendant was obviously lying to us  I’m sooooo annoyed right now.” So even before I can open my mouth to actually say those words, he says to me, “should I see if we can upgrade after take off?”

Of course, I’m thinking, “yes, obviously.”

But instead I say, “no, don’t bother.”

“Are you sure? You look annoyed.”

“I’m not annoyed except by you saying I’m looking annoyed.”

Obviously, I was being super reasonable.

My husband is both stubborn and devoted to my happiness (yes, even when I’m being unreasonable and/or bratty) so he doesn’t drop it.

He’s like, “why not just ask, what’s the worst that can happen?”

And I play out this whole long scene in my head: I ask the question that I think I already know the answer to. The answer is no. Not only does it feel like a rejection but I look like an idiot and all of the other passengers sitting near me on the plane now know that I’m an idiot who asks stupid questions and embarasses herself. How mortifying.

It may sound like a bit of a leap, but this happens. And I know I’m not alone in this.


SO MANY WOMEN ARE AFRAID OF ASKING, SAYING, OR DOING CERTAIN THINGS BECAUSE OF HOW THEY THINK OTHER PEOPLE WILL JUDGE THEM.

I know I’m not the only one who holds back from asking for what she really desires. Not just in life, but in business as well.

Although I’ve certainly found a level of success, it doesn’t escape me how much more is possible if I were willing to just say what I want to say.
...Ask for what I desire.
...Let go of all the fear about what people will think if I’m less than perfect at all times.

Especially because that fear holding me back is just a fear of a feeling — there’s no real risk.


1 | FEAR IN OUR MIND IS OFTEN A FEAR OF JUDGMENT FROM OTHER PEOPLE

Because here’s how the worst case scenario spirals in my mind…

I ask about the upgrade, the attendant rudely replies, “no, you idiot, if you can’t upgrade at the gate why would you be able to upgrade on the flight?!” My sensitive little heart contracts at the harsh tone and rudeness of the flight attendant as the embarrassment and humiliation washes over me.  The rest of the flight I sit in my seat while the other passengers laugh at my arrogance and stupidity. The passengers surrounding me all have extensive networks within my industry and word quickly spreads of my holier than thou attitude and idiocy on the flight and no one ever wants to work with me again. It’s impossible for me to make money in my business and I’m not longer able to maintain my life with my husband who grows tired of me and leaves me. I’m left all alone abandoned and unable to take care of myself…

My worst case scenario changes ever so slightly depending on the context, but it always ends with me being abandoned, hated, homeless, and miserable.

But here’s the worst thing that could actually happen in my real life here on planet earth…

I ask about the upgrade. The flight attendant says, “Unfortunately, no, that’s not possible at this time.” And that’s it.

Even if the flight attendant or one of the other passengers on the flight does think I’m stupid or pompous (1) there’s nothing I can do about it, (2) there’s no way I’ll ever know, and (3) it’s none of my business.

OTHER PEOPLE’S PRIVATE THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS ABOUT ME ARE NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

I can’t know and I’ll have a much better and happier life if I just stay the heck out of it.


3 | YOUR FEAR ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE

And that’s the thing with fear. It’s innate — it’s totally natural and it’s not going anywhere. The point isn’t to get rid of all our fear because that’s just not a thing. The point is to do what you want to do, say what you want to say, ask for what you desire even with the fear.


3 | YOU GET TO MAKE A CHOICE

Fear is an instinctual response. We’ve been equipped with the fight, flight, or freeze reaction as long as we’ve been around.

Instinctual ust means it’s our immediate reaction. Our instincts don’t have to limit us, though.

Just because something is your first reaction doesn’t mean you don’t get a choice. You do.

You can have your immediate reaction of fight, flight, or freeze. Then you can use your intellectual brain, instead of the reptilian one. And decide…

Decide to take a deep breath…
Decide to question your thoughts…
Decide to choose something different…

Yes. You can consciously choose something other than your instinctual fear response.

If you knew that you couldn’t get it wrong — that most of your fears have no basis in reality, what would you do differently today?

Now…

Go do it.

I’ll be over here cheering for you!

Xx,
Crystal

5 Tips to Plan for Productivity Instead of Procrastination

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Have you ever used planning as a weapon?

Not a real weapon.
Obviously.
But as an excuse.
Which can harm...
...it stunts your growth, keeps you from moving forward and creating what you want.

Also known as procrastination.

But we don’t call it procrastination when it looks like planning.

Planning is productive. And powerful. And can be incredible.

But not when it’s actually procrastination.

And here’s why it’s dangerous.

It’s insidious. It’s difficult to tell when you’ve made the transition from planning,  which empowers. Planning helps you get the most out of your days, weeks, months, years, and life. And planning as an excuse so that you don’t have to take action.

‘Cause, if you’re anything like me, planning can be more fun (and less daunting) than taking massive action.

Yep, procrastinating is easier than implementing.

But…

The reward is short lived. When you put off tasks, guilt, worry, and self-doubt replace the inital pleasure. The goals you gently laid out drift further away.

One of the easiest ways to overcome this is learning to recognize…


WHEN PLANNING TURNS INTO PROCRASTINATION

For many small biz owners, planning is legitimate.

A great idea, in fact. When you take the time to plan out your days, weeks, months in advance you can ensure that:

  1. You know where you’re headed

  2. You know what steps to take

  3. You can avoid decision fatigue on a daily basis

The third is perhaps the most important of those reasons. We get tired. Sometimes when we have to make a decision we lean back on what feels easier which may be doing nothing. If you already know what you’re meant to do in a certain time period and you can just sit down and get to work on it.

Welp. That takes out some of the hardest stuff.

But you’ve got to learn the difference between planning and procrastinating.

Here are 5 tips to go from pointless procrastination to productive planning:

TIP #1 “IT’S NOT PRETTY ENOUGH” IS PROCRASTINATION

If you have a plan in place that could easily be followed and is ready to be implemented, then you have a plan. But you decide that it’s not “pretty enough.”

I mean this literally. That you have a plan but you want it to physically look more aesthetically pleasing.

If you’ve ever dealt with this, then you’re my people.

I totally get this and in our Pinterest-drunk-Instagram-obsessed millennial world, it’s almost inevitable that the fascination and urge for everything to be gorgeous would seep into our more practical tools.

It’s ok to like things to be pretty, but if you’ve got your plan in place and then…

...you decide that you need to recreate it in a fresh google sheets so the colors are on brand

...you realize it’s not as perfectly organized as it could possible be so you start from scratch

...you think it would be better in Trello, but you’ve never used Trello so you purchase a Trello course and binge watch it so you can move your plan over

Then you’ve gotta problem. A procrastination problem that you need to nip in the bud.

Your plan, strategy, roadmap, etc is meant to help you get to your goals. It doesn’t need to be a work of art. It needs to help you get your stuff done.


TIP #2 DON’T PLAN TOO FAR OUT

Having a vision for the next 3, 5, 10 years is perfectly lovely. And in some ways can be valuable. But if you’re turning a vision into a step-by-step action plan for the next 17 years, you’re overplanning.

All you need is a plan for the next year, with specific action steps and goals for the quarter ahead of you.

If you’re going further out than that you’re setting yourself up for frustration, burn-out, impatience, and lessened motivation. Your plan is going to change and evolve over time. It SHOULD change and evolve. You’ll never be able to anticipate every possible thing that could happen so don’t waste your time.

Have a vision for the year. And beyond if it tickles your fancy.

And then get specific just for the next 90 days. After the 90 day period, see where you are, re-evaluate, and plan again.


TIP #3 DON’T SPEND MORE TIME ON THE PLAN THAN EXECUTING ON THE PLAN…

I mean, part of the point of creating a plan is to make it so that taking action is easier, faster, and more clear, but if it took you 3.5 weeks to create your plan, which covered approximately 4.2 hours of implementation in your biz…

Well... you already know.

Yet, I know that some of you are doing this! You get so caught up in the planning that you’re losing sight of what is actually going to move the need in your business.

Implementing.

If you’re not sure what you should be focusing on an implementing, then take the Focus Formula quiz to get your unique blueprint to grow your biz.

If you’re ready to just get started creating a plan you can actually implement, then download your free planning roadmap.

Now you should be able to determine if you’re using planning as a valuable tool to support your biz. Or...a tool to help you procrastinate.

Now, don’t be hard on yourself if that’s the case. That’s what happens with heart-centered creatives. The goal is to just raise your awareness and focus on what matters.

Here are two other things to keep in mind as you go from a Power Procrastinator to Productive Planner:


TIP #4: ALLOW THE PLAN TO EVOLVE

So this was already mentioned above, but as they say, repetition is the mother of all learning so it’s worth saying again: allow the plan to evolve.

This is part of the benefit of creating a plan that’s 90 days or less — you can easily try something out and see if there’s any progress in 90 days. Now, that’s not to say if you try something that will long term impact your biz and you’re not seeing massive results from it in the first 90 days you should abandon it.

Au contraire.

You’re much better off recognizing that your biz and the marketing and mindset work you do within it IS all about the long game. But even for something that’s a relatively new endeavor, 90 days should give you enough time to evaluate what’s progressing as it should and what is a time waste.


TIP #5: DEVELOP THE SKILL OF CONSISTENCY

Lastly, develop the skill of consistency. I don’t know if consistency is technically a skill, but as I’ve experienced it, its serve to think of it like a skill rather than a natural talent. ‘Cause consistency can surely be developed, but it may take practice.

What does that look like?

Decide what is most important for you in YOUR business.

For a large number of female entrepreneurs running creative, coaching, or online small businesses, creating content is going to be something they need to do consistency in their business to see great results -- meaning a loyal audience of people interested in their work, a full 1-on-1 client roster, etc.

Content can be for social media, a blog, a video, livestream, whatever they like for their business where their ideal dreamboat clients are going to find them.

People EXPECT that they’ll learn from someone for awhile before they buy from them.

In that case, consistency would be creating some amount of content every day.

As I’ve mentioned “create first” is one of my 2018 mantras so I write every morning. The goal is to write at least 2000 words for an hour. But I don’t force myself through it when it’s not happening. The point isn’t to push yourself through resistance, it’s to take the first few steps.

Most of the time, the resistance melts away once I start and then the ideas, inspiration, and energy just flows.

But not always. And then the point was that I did what I could. If I don’t get to 2000 words, I’m not unkind to myself. I’m not mad about. I just do it again the next day.

If you’re an introvert, but you get the majority of your business from networking and referrals (well, you may want to put some other marketing strategies in place) but you may also want to develop consistency in connecting with people every day.

Consistency is a skill that can be developed. So start practicing.

Make a plan. And then put it into action.

I’ll be over here cheering for you!

Employee to Entrepreneur: 5 Tips for Transitioning from Your 9-5 to Entrepreneurship

There’s are moments in life, epiphanies, when we realize the status quo isn’t making us happy and something has to change. They can sneak up on you, building for months or even years, before you finally have a moment of perfect clarity and see something that should have been obvious for a while.

But sometimes, there’s no warning.

They hit you out of nowhere.

And once you’ve had that moment, there’s no going back.

One of these moments happened to me when I was working as a lawyer. I’d spent years building my career and following a certain path. I really thought I had the whole ‘work thing’ sorted. Until suddenly, I realized I wasn’t happy in my job.

And because I wasn’t content at work, I wasn’t happy in my life.

There was so much I wanted: happiness, freedom, love, but none of it was happening because the ‘work’ section of my life was totally out of alignment. What I was doing didn’t match what I wanted to be doing, and it was throwing everything else off-kilter.

Once I realized this, I knew it was time for a change.

But change is scary.

Super scary.

But it can be so goooood.


The First Stage Of Transition

When you come to one of these revelations and realize that you aren’t happy with your current life or career, the next challenge is to decide to do something about it.

Once you’ve set upon this course, you need to start working towards achieving it. The decision itself is the beginning of this, but the follow-through is committing yourself to a course of action.

You may have been in your current position for years and finally feel like it’s time to change.

Or you may have made a move that doesn’t feel right.

Either way, your life doesn’t have to feel this way. To make a life transition that’s capable of getting you out of the 9-5 grind and into a life of freedom, and transforming the way you feel, you need to gain momentum.

Momentum is what will take you from that first stage of deciding what you want, and committing to taking action, to actually realizing your dream career or life.

Follow these steps to start creating the momentum needed for your own transition...


Tip 1: Use Your Creativity

If you’re stuck in a 9-5 job and dreaming of a different way of working and living, the odds are what you’re considering doing is a big change.

This may just be in the place you work - doing roughly the same thing but from home and for yourself, rather than in an office for your boss.

But it could be something wildly different.

For me, it was shifting from the world of law to life as a coach.

Huuuuuuuge transition!

Look at it this way. Simply changing from one job to another, in which you do exactly the same thing, but for a new company, can be a big shift.

You don’t know the people, the business culture, their methods of doing things, or the rules. It can take a while to get into the swing of things, develop working relationships and friendships with people, and understand areas where you have room to be yourself, rather than rigidly sticking to the corporate game-plan.

Transitioning from a 9-5 to a job you have created for yourself is every bit as much of an upheaval as a simple job change would be, but it comes with a lot of other adjustments on top.

The odds are, one of the things motivating you to make the change is a desire to unleash your creative spirit. To break free from the somewhat analytical world of everyday work and embrace something a little more right-brained.

Even if your new career isn’t a creatively based enterprise, you’re still going to need to harness all the creative potential that has driven you to want this change in the first place.

By switching up your career path and transitioning out of the 9-5 environment you are literally thinking outside the box: the cubicle box, the office box, the corporate box.

Somewhere in there is a box, and you’re standing squarely outside it, looking back in and thinking something like, “I can’t stand it in there a second longer.”

Boxes, by their very nature, are stifling!

So the first thing to do to drum up a little momentum for your transition is to apply all your creativity and out-of-the-box-thinking to ensuring you aren’t accidentally trading one box for another.

Is the dream you have set upon genuinely following your passions, or have you curtailed it because your true dreams don’t feel like a viable career choice?

Because I’ve got news for you: everything is a potential career once you find the right way to look at it, and dedicate yourself to creating it!


Tip 2: Pinpoint Your Power

Everyone has a lot more power at their disposal than they realize. The block standing between you and seizing your power is probably really simple:

You’re not acknowledging it.

Often the things that make us most powerful are things we don’t consciously consider to be a form of power.

Power comes in many forms.

Intellectual power, creative power, bravery, tenacity, resilience…

There’s a deep well of untapped power and potential within you. All you have to do to unleash it is pinpoint exactly what form your unique brand of power takes.

When you do this, you will open your mind up to the transition before you, and find a way to lead yourself down the path that’s right for you.

Perhaps you’re exceptionally good at finding the heart of a problem quickly and really clearly defining it. Or maybe you’re a truly empathetic listener, able to put people at ease and ensure perfect efficiency.

Whatever your form of power is, don’t ignore it during this crucial transition. It will almost certainly play a big role in your new career, but it can be suuuuuper helpful in smoothing out the time before you fully step into your new role.

Uncover your gift and focus on it to help you improve upon and refine your vision for the path you're embarking on. Use it to fuel your motivation and keep that momentum going!

If you’re rooting around looking for your superpower and have no idea what it might be, try asking your family and friends. This is likely something that they are very aware of in you, and greatly appreciate about you, but have never actually verbalized because there was no real need.

People often assume we know our greatest strengths, because they seem too obvious when you’re viewing someone from the outside. It doesn’t occur to people we don’t know we’re amazing at a particular thing, because it seems so obvious to them!

Someone in your life will know what your unique brand of genius is, you just have to ask.


Tip 3: Thin-Slice

A common ‘tactic’ we use when we’re trying to deal with any transition is to wait to make changes. We feel we won’t be ready until we have accomplished a specific thing, got something we’re dreading out of the way, saved X amount of money, or otherwise done something fairly major.

It’s not unusual to fixate on a certain thing and believe its the one thing holding you back.

You can’t move forward until you’ve dealt with this huge, insurmountable obstacle.

For example, you’re lonely and desperate to find the love of your life, but rather than dating and putting yourself out there, you obsess over your diet.

You don’t feel you can find that special someone until you’ve lost X amount of weight.

Then you’ll be in ‘the perfect place’ for the transition into a life of love and happiness!

While you may be onto something in terms of your confidence increasing when you feel you are ‘ready’ for that big transition, the truth is that there is nothing stopping you from dating right now.

Career transitions are much the same. You’re embarking on a new relationship, with a new career and a new life, and you want to be at your best when you do it.

So you put it off, waiting until you’re ‘ready’.

This is really just a delay tactic you’re using to put off facing the upheaval that comes with the transition, and the various fears you have surrounding it.

If you feel like you’re not ‘ready’ to explore your passion and start making big steps towards that new career, start small.

Decide what matters to you and make space for a small part of it in your life.

Thin-slicing.

Slice the tasks that you want to take on in the teeniest-tiny chunks you possibly can. Then take them one thin-slice at a time.

Bonus point if you commit to doing a thin-slice task EVERY day. Extra bonus points if you do it before 10am. That way regardless of anything else that might happen in a day, you’ll know that you’ve taken action to move you closer to your goals.

Be sure to take the Focus Formula Quiz so you can learn which activities you should be focusing on first.


Tip 4: Take The First BIG Step

The more you work your way through those small things you feel ready for, the more you will realize that you really are READY.

Ready to kick it up and take the first BIG step in your transition.

For me, that step was spending time on the side of my 9-5 job, training with a coach of my own, and learning everything I needed to know to become a coach in my own right.

That was a big, huge, scary step. When I first thought about coaching, it felt like I really wasn’t ready for it, that there were a million things I needed to do before I’d be able to start a coaching business.

But after spending time doing small things I was ready for, like researching, following coaches I admired, thinking about the type of work I’d like to do, and how I could help people, I realised that huge big step of committing to a coaching course wasn’t nearly as massive as it first seemed.

I wasn’t giving up my job as a lawyer. I wasn’t burning any bridges or walking away from my 9-5.

I was simply dipping my toe in the water and seeing what it felt like.

There was no pressure to actually do anything with my new coaching skills once I achieved them. I knew that, if I decided it wasn’t for me, I wouldn’t have lost anything but a little time and the money I’d invested in the course.

And that was fine.

That was comfortable. Because my momentum had built enough through small actions to accommodate a bigger one.


Tip 5: Release Resistance

The funny thing is, once you start that momentum going it snowballs. The next step in your journey always seems a little easier than the last, until suddenly you’re quite comfortable with the idea of doing something that, a few weeks or months previously, filled you with dread.

That being said, it doesn’t matter how far you go on your journey, there is always the potential to encounter resistance.

All creatives are bound to experience resistance at one time or another. The point is to create anyway. If you want more support overcoming creative resistance, then check out my posts Create More: Tips for Entrepreneurs and 8 Reminders for Entrepreneurs Feeling Stuck.

One part of the climb is a little harder than expected, and you find yourself lagging. You’re struggling to move yourself any further forward, either because you’re tired, or fed up, or simply because you really don’t want to face the bit that comes next.

It’s really helpful to remember that, even when you’re fully committed to the road and have been traveling down it for a while, it’s never too late to turn back.

If you find it’s not for you, nothing is keeping you from pausing, shifting direction, or turning around and going right back to where you were.

The amount you will have learned along the way will ensure that, even if you end up back at square one, it will be with a much deeper understanding of yourself, and the path that might eventually lead you to that happiness you crave.

Remembering this makes it a lot easier to accept that resistance when you encounter it along the way. You’ll still feel it, because it’s there and there’s no avoiding it; you’ll have to face it eventually. But rather than having this massive pressure to ‘do or die’...to deal with it or fail completely, you know there’s a safety net.

Persevering is considerably easier when you have that safety net.

So take a moment, feel the resistance, acknowledge what it is and what it means to you, and then release it.

The more you’re able to let go of the thoughts and feelings making you resist, the easier it will be to find the path of least resistance.


And Finally…

Remember, you’re not in this alone. Help and support are there if you need it, and you’re in charge of the pace you set during this transition. And you don’t need to figure everything out immediately. You’re better off getting focused and taking massive action.

Not sure what you should be focusing on?

Be sure to take the Focus Formula Quiz so you can get your customized formula to lead you to business success.


Why The Hero's Journey Is The Key To A Successful Brand

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The digital marketing age has given rise to a booming online economy and created some of the fastest growing industries in the world. Coaching and entrepreneurship are increasingly common paths, and there has never been a better time to build your own business.

As awesome as that is, it comes with a built-in problem: standing out from the crowd, amid all that noise is seriously tough.

In order to distinguish yourself in the digital sphere, your brand needs to have one vital thing: meaning.

Searching for meaning in your brand is no easier than finding meaning in your life. But it doesn’t have to be so tough. In fact, it  can be suuuuuper simple.

You need a hero.

Or, more specifically, you need to make your client a hero...


Why Storytelling Is Vital For A Successful Brand

When the message of your brand lacks an underlying purpose, it’s really difficult to connect with your ideal clients. Connection is so important, and the best way to achieve it is to adopt your ideal client’s worldview.

You then need to infuse that viewpoint into your brand at every available opportunity. One great way to do this is through storytelling.

Anything said about you, your biz, and your brand, is essentially part of your story.

Given that most of these things will be said by other people (clients, prospects, readers, competitors, etc.) it can leave you without much control over your own narrative.

It’s up to you to take back control by creating a cohesive, memorable narrative that follows your script. One that represents your dream for your business, and aligns with the values and beliefs of your clients.

Storytelling is powerful in marketing because a story fully engages your brain, making you an active participant in the narrative, rather than a bystander observing something, or being told after the fact.

When you use stories in your brand, it draws people in and makes them a part of the narrative. Your narrative.

When it comes to storytelling and journeys, none is more powerful than The Hero’s Journey, because it is one that every single person instantly recognizes (consciously or otherwise), and connects to on a very deep level.

Stories speak to your ideal clients on a subconscious level through their emotional responses to your tale, and the images and symbols within it.

By developing a brand story that is interesting, unique, and authentic, you can connect with your ideal clients using a message that resonates with them.


What Is The Hero’s Journey?

The Hero’s Journey is a narrative pattern that was first identified by Joseph Campbell. It appears in many of the most popular TV shows, literary pieces, and movies, but it’s also found in the most ancient mythology, of every recorded culture the world over.

It’s a story that has been told in many different ways, featuring many different characters, in times, places, and cultures that span the globe, and yet the core of the story, the structure of it, remains the same.

Here are a few modern examples of The Hero’s Journey at work:

  • Star Wars

  • Toy Story

  • Lord of the Rings

  • The Wizard of Oz

  • Finding Nemo

  • The Lion King

  • Harry Potter

  • Legally Blonde

  • Shrek

Believe it or not, the basic story in all these stories is the same.

It follows a distinct path, with stages that are clearly laid out, in a specific order, each serving a vital function.

As we are led through The Hero’s Journey, we experience various emotional and psychological responses triggered by events in the narrative. These responses are predictable, and occur in all humans regardless of their personality types (the potential exception to this being those who have atypical brain function).

The Hero’s Journey really resonates because it’s designed to show a better version of ourselves, an improved version of our own lives, our own world, with a roadmap for exactly how we can achieve this for ourselves. It shows us that we all have more in common than we imagine, and can all achieve astounding things in the right circumstances.

It’s an empowering message, and if you can harness it as part of your branding, you’re well on your way to phenomenal success.

If you’re struggling to visualize the concept, here’s a great commercial from Visa that sums The Hero’s Journey up perfectly:


The Client’s Journey

Using The Hero’s Journey in your branding can be done in a few ways, but the best (and usually the easiest!) way is to tell a brand story in which your ideal client is the hero.

This will ensure your prospects connect with your brand, recognize the universal truths of your values (which are also their values!), and gain a sense of being a part of something bigger than themselves.

All of your clients have their own story.

They are in the process of becoming.

Exactly what they are becoming will vary greatly depending on your business, but all of them are seeking something. They are in a particular point or place in life, with a specific problem or issue that they need solving.

You are going to provide the solution, and in so doing allow them to transform, and move forward, into a better place.

Businesses that elevate their customers, and can support them in their transformations are particularly valued. They are also seen to hold strong meaning.

In short, it’s already all about the journey for your clients.

Making that journey The Hero’s Journey will not only strengthen your brand, it will improve their experience and the results they achieve through you and your business.

By transforming your client’s journey into a hero’s journey, you will speak to their hearts in a much deeper, more profound, and longer-lasting way.

Here’s another great example from Google:


Use A Story In Lieu Of An Elevator Pitch

You’re probably familiar with the concept of an ‘elevator pitch’ for your brand.

It’s a short, pithy, perfectly formed description of your business that can easily be delivered to someone in the space of an elevator ride.

In other words, when someone asks, “What do you do?” your elevator pitch provides the perfect answer.

It informs people of your industry, specialty, niche and expertise, as well as what makes you unique and different, and ideally why they should choose you over other people.

But it does it in a subtle way.

You don’t stick your hand out, wait for someone to shake it and say, “I’m a graphic designer, hire me!”

Coming up with the perfect elevator pitch for your brand can be really tough. The good news is that you can use a brand story instead.

Having a Hero’s Journey to tell people when they ask you that question is a super-simple way of tapping into people’s emotions, almost instantly, and forming a connection. It’s personal, relatable, interesting.

It will also make them curious.

The only thing we love more than a good story is a great sequel!


Stages Of The Hero’s Journey

The reason The Hero’s Journey is so effective in storytelling is that it’s instantly relatable. This is partly because so many stories familiar to us follow the same path, but largely because that path is frequently one we walk in reality.

We begin with an uneasy hero (our ideal client), who is either uncomfortable in their existence, or unaware of something about themselves or their situation that is profoundly important.

The audience can instantly identify with this state of unease.

The hero is pulled in different directions making them feel a lot of negativity, almost as if they have an illness, yet they remain stuck because change would push them outside their comfort zone.

It’s less painful to stay put than it is to try and find a better situation, even though the current situation is painful.

This starting point is essential as it defines the purpose of your story, and demonstrates that there is a reason for your hero-client to embark on their journey.

To figure out this part of the story, you need to know your ideal client:

  • Who are they?

  • Why are they frustrated?

  • What do they want?

N.B. to make this powerful and effective you should know your ideal client well — ideally, through market research.


The Call To Adventure

Having seen that something isn’t quite right with our hero, the stage has been set for some form of conflict (either internal or external), to compel your protagonist to make a change.

This is known as the ‘call to adventure’ and it can be literal or figurative:

  • Gandalf can turn up at your door with a troupe of dwarves and invite you on a quest.

  • Hagrid can arrive with a birthday cake and a letter from Hogwarts.

  • Your father could head south to be the new Hand of the King, leaving you alone with the step-mother who despises you, compelling you to join the Night’s Watch.

  • Your boyfriend could dump you for not being serious enough and head off to Harvard, spurring you to prove your intelligence and seriousness by getting into Harvard Law.

  • Or you could find yourself at an emotional rock-bottom, and realize that change is necessary if you ever want to be happy.

To figure out the best call to adventure for your brand story, you need to know three things about your ideal client:

  1. What will happen if they don’t answer the call and take action?

  2. What do they stand to lose by doing nothing?

  3. What do they stand to gain by taking that first step?


The Refusal Of The Call

This is perhaps the most relatable part of the whole of The Hero’s Journey.

Your protagonist is in an uncomfortable position, called to action, compelled to make a change (usually for deeply personal or practical reasons) and they resist.

They ignore the call, or out-right refuse it.

Why?

Because fear of the unknown is a very powerful force, and even though the current situation is bad, it feels better than stepping out into a situation that’s unfamiliar.

This part of the story forms an emotional bond with the audience as it invites them into the hero’s perspective, and allows them to really empathize with the situation. We’ve all felt paralyzed at some point by the fear of what will happen if we try to improve our situation, achieve something new, or gain more in life.

To devise this part of your story, ask yourself:

  • What has been holding my ideal client back?

  • What is still stopping them from taking action?


Crossing The Threshold

As the hero overcomes their fears and step out of their comfort zone, they cross a threshold of sorts and embark on their journey into the unknown. This can be a literal threshold, like their front door as they leave to go somewhere new, or a metaphorical one, such as accepting they can’t handle something alone, picking up the phone, as asking a friend for help.

Whatever form the threshold in your journey takes, it involves moving from the known into the unknown.

It is often accompanied by some form of peril - there are guardians watching your front door, and dealing with them is risky, or you are unsure how your friend will react to your admission of need and request for help, they might refuse.

The ‘danger’ however is a test of character, and provided you have the courage to continue forward it quickly fades into the background.

However, the life the hero knew previously has been disrupted.

Even if they were to return to the point at which they began, the experience has already changed them, so they would view the world differently.

They would no longer be able to ignore their unrest. This is important because it means they have no choice but to continue on in the hope of finding a solution to their problem, so they can eventually return and find themselves in a better situation.

For your ideal client the disruption that forces them across the threshold could be a number of things. Ask yourself:

  • What disruption in the market or your client’s life would need to happen in order for them to see that your work is urgent, relevant and needed?

  • What situation would pull the proverbial wool from their eyes and force them to confront reality?

  • How can you help them, providing the solution they need to find comfort and peace in life/work?


The Approach

This part of the story is usually where the hero encounters allies. Other individuals who join them on their quest, either because they are looking to achieve the same goal, or because they care about the hero and want them to succeed.

Essentially, this is where your client becomes part of your tribe, and encounters like-minded individuals who will support them in their efforts at transformation.

But while the camaraderie of this aspect of the story is positive and supportive, there is generally conflict during this phase.

After all, without conflict, there’s no story.

Your hero encounters obstacles that could prevent them from continuing on. This is often in the form of blocks they have that keep them from buying. What are the obstacles in your clients’ way, keeping them from signing up? Consider the following:

  • Are they stuck on the price?

  • Is your/their availability preventing them from taking action?

  • Are they still carrying some fear of the dreaded unknown?

  • Are they experiencing discouragement from others?


Meeting The Mentor

The mentor is a vital character in The Hero’s Journey. All the best heroes have one. Luke had Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, Harry had Dumbledore, and Jon Snow had Lord Commander Mormont.

When your hero reaches the point of fully committing to the quest they will encounter their mentor, who will guide them (consciously or subconsciously, literally of figuratively) through the remainder of the journey.

Now that they have responded to the call, found their courage and continued on, overcoming obstacles and still persevering, your hero reaches a turning point. Forces align in their favor, and they find that, while there are still obstacles to overcome, they have the strength required to face them.

This may come from within themselves, but often comes from the allies they have met along the way, their mentor, or natural forces at work in the world (essentially mother nature).

This phase is all about tests, allies, and enemies.

The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the world outside their comfort zone. They adapt to the unfamiliar and gain the skills needed to move towards their goals.

Think of the training montage that is the staple of a lot of movies: Mulan, Rocky, and The Empire Strikes Back, to name but a few!

Your client enters this phase of the journey when they have bought from you and become your client.

You are the mentor!

You are Yoda!

Consider the following:

  • What’s the promise of working with you?

  • What are the emotional results of working with you?

  • What value do your clients receive?

  • What are your clients going to uplevel by working with you?


The Ordeal

There’s a moment in every Hero’s Journey when they are confronted by one of two ordeals: either death, or their worst fear.

It can be a physical, literal death (think Harry Potter and Jon Snow), or it can be a more spiritual death that sees the hero lay their old life/ways/habits/problems to rest.

Either way, the hero emerges from the ordeal resurrected and renewed. They have a moment of clarity, and rise to greet a new life.

Although this is a positive thing to go through, ensuring the hero finally gets to where they need to be, it can be quite traumatic.

Fear and death are hardly a picnic!

The ordeal separates the hero from their old world, self, or ways that were so familiar, and sets them on a new path.

Your hero needs to really dig deep to overcome this ordeal, and it’s often the thing that made them hesitate and refuse the call initially.

But once the ordeal is over, they begin their transformation. For your client, this is the point at which your help leads to the change they needed in life, or the solution they were so desperate to find.

Go back to answers you came up with when considering why they would resist the call. Consider the following:

  • What are their worst fears about working with you?

  • How can you demonstrate that - despite the fact they will be challenging - they can also be overcome?


The Reward

This phase sees the hero reap the rewards of their efforts. They have won something in the process of facing death, or their worst fear, and they carry that reward with them as they move forward.

It is at this point that the hero reflects, and concludes that, while difficult, the journey was well worth it, for they now have what they wanted/needed all along.

For your clients, this is the point where they give you glowing feedback, and bask in the wonder of what they have achieved with your help.


The Road Back

Every great adventure has two aspects: the journey there, and the road back. Generally speaking, we don’t see much of the journey home. Consider Lord of the Rings, which covers the journey to destroy the One Ring in immense detail, and the journey home as a brief aside.

Now in possession of the reward they sought, the hero can return, secure in the knowledge they are richer and stronger for the journey.

But the journey isn’t quite done yet, as the hero has to pass back across the threshold in order to return home. As with when they were leaving, there is usually an obstacle of some sort here, that can make it difficult for the hero to reintegrate.

After all, they are not the same person they were when they left.

But at the beginning of the story they were unhappy, conflicted with themselves and, despite being comfortable at home, didn’t really want to be there. The journey has honed your hero to the point they are able to find peace, either by settling back into their old life with a new perspective, or moving on to a new life.

Consider Marlin returning with Nemo and Dory to the reef, far more relaxed and content in life despite his worst fear having been realized - he lost his son, but found him again, and has made new friends and discovered new strength in the process.

Frodo returns to the Shire to discover he no longer fits into the world of hobbits, and elects to leave with the elves. His best friend, Sam, on the other hand, settles into a happy and contented life, finally confident and secure enough to win the love of his life.

The final test is reintegration: how will your hero use what they have learned?

For your client, this part of the journey is the bit you need to paint for them in technicolor throughout your marketing. THIS is what they sign up for. They may enjoy the journey, but it’s the payoff they’re really interested in.

  • What will their new life look like?

  • How will it be different?

  • Why will it be better?

  • What will it mean to them?


What’s Your Story?

There’s little I love more than a good story. Taking the time to figure out the Hero’s Journey of your brand is an amazing way to connect with your ideal clients, and create a successful brand. But often the best part about finding your story is getting to tell it! Pop a comment below and let me know the story of your clients’ journey…

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How to Come Up with Lots of Great Content Ideas Fast

Do you already know that you want to use more content marketing to market your creative coaching or online business, but not exactly sure what you should be writing about?

This is for you.

My name is Crystal Marsh Irom of CrystalMarshCoaching.com. In today's video I want to give you three ways you can come up with a lot of great content ideas that your ideal clients and customers really want to know fast. I want to make sure that you're really setting yourself up for success.

Also be sure to grab your content planning template.


Step 1: Get Really Clear on Your Goal

The first thing you're going to want to do is get really clear on your goal. You're creating this content to market your business. So you want to be clear on the exact purpose that it's going to serve. So I'm going to give you an example here so that we're really clear on what you're doing.

Example: let's say, for example, that you're a wedding planner, and that in three months you're going to be launching a brand new course that's going to be teaching other wedding planners how they can start their businesses.

So if you know that that's your goal, that you want to serve your audience, that you want to get them primed for this course that you're creating, you're going to want to make sure you're picking themes within that goal.


Step 2: Choose 3 Themes within Your Goal

So this is your overarching goal, you're going to be serving your audience and building your list with the specific content that's going to be a lead in to your course. So that you have the goal you're going to come up with three themes, two to four themes really, but I usually go with three. So based on what you're covering in your course and what you really think is going to best serve your ideal client so that you're not just writing about everything that you know, because if you're running a business you probably know a ton about your industry and you could write about a bunch of different things, but you don't want to get too spread out.

For example: maybe your three themes are:

  1. How to get new bridal clients.

  2. How to create a really outstanding experience for new brides.

  3. And then, how to build relationships with other vendors so that you have a really strong referral network.

So you've got your goal and then you've got your three themes that fit in underneath the goal.


Step 3: Do a Braindump

Once you have all that information you're going to do what I like to call a brain dump, you are just going to list out everything you can think of that would fit within those themes.

So now you should have at least 10-20 ideas already down. What you're going to do after that is figure out what people are most looking for. So this is going to either verify the ideas that you've already come up with, or it's going to give you subtopics, which you can expand that content even further.


Step 4: Expand Your Content Ideas Further

So the three ways that you're going to do this, ways that you're already familiar with, one is Facebook, mainly Facebook groups, the second way is on YouTube, and then the third way is on Pinterest. So I'm just going to go over to my screen now so you can see exactly what I'm doing, if I'm going into a Facebook group and trying to data mine for this information to come up with these content ideas fast.

HOW TO FIND CONTENT IDEAS IN FACEBOOK GROUPS TUTORIAL

Find topics within a Facebook group. So I went to Savvy Business Owners. This is a group that I know has a lot of female entrepreneurs, but also very creative female entrepreneurs, a lot of people in the wedding industry. So since we're going with the wedding planning example, this is a good place to start. So I want to just see what kind of questions people are asking, what are people wondering about? So I might just go to this search box right here where it says, "Search this group". And I'm just going to type in 'wedding planner', and see what comes up.

Okay, so this person asked about liability insurance, so that's not necessarily something I would want to cover, it's not related to the themes that I already picked. Okay, so, "Looking for a pricing consultant/coach if that's a thing, need some quick five minute advice on strategy and preferably someone with wedding planner familiarity." Okay, so this one is helpful. This is someone looking for information about pricing. So that is something that I might use. So I'll just write down in my notes, "Pricing, how to price your services as a new wedding planner."

Here's another one that might be useful, "As a wedding planner, what would you say your best tip is for a bride? An insider tip, one of those things you wish every bride could understand." So this is another one that I might write down, that could potentially work. Okay, here's another one, "Wedding planner/event planner friends, do you have a newsletter or email list? How do you use it effectively? Not big repeat client field, so I'm not sure what I'd send out." So this is another one that would be really good. Wedding planners are interested in how to use a newsletter and email list.

Here's another one that could be really good, "Wedding planner friends, for those of you who have an assistant or associate planner, what are the things you delegate to this team member?" I have a great girl who works for me ... Blah, blah, blah, blah." Okay, so this is just someone asking, as a wedding planner how do you delegate? So that would be a really good topic for content as well. Here's another really good one. So this person says, "I just wanted to ask if it's just me or are you seeing a massive influx in brides who are almost rude?" I'm not going to read the rest of the post, but maybe that would be a good topic, how to deal with brides that are rude. Here's another one, "Has anyone had success with Google AdWords? I'm a wedding planner and I'm wondering if it's worth a try." So this could be a post about the best advertising methods for wedding planners.

So this is just way to get some examples. Obviously, you're going to use search terms that are specific to what you're looking for, that are specific to your field, and you just do a bit of research. Facebook groups are a really great place to mine for information because you just get to listen in on the conversation that your ideal clients and customers are already having.

HOW TO COME UP WITH CONTENT IDEAS IN YOUTUBE TUTORIAL

So the second way that you can look for really great topics is on YouTube. There's a couple of ways even within YouTube that you can do it. One of the ways is by going to people who are in a similar niche as you, and seeing what are their most popular topics? Don't use this to steal their ideas, obviously. But allow it to get your wheel spinning a bit. So I'm going to, again, just go right on over to my screen and show you exactly how to do that.

So now I'm looking at YouTube. I don't know exactly what someone would be looking for for a wedding planner on YouTube, but since I know that I am promoting this course, which is for people who want to be wedding planners, I'm just going to start there. So I'm just going to put in, 'How to become a wedding planner', and see what comes up. So, How To Become a Wedding Planner, from Bianca Renee. So I might click on her and see if she has other videos about wedding planning, that was the top result.

But it looks like her channel is actually about makeup, skincare, and fashion, so it looks like it's probably something she does but it's not something she actually teaches about. So I'm going to just keep on moving. How To Become A Wedding Planner: What Is Your Why? So that's from Alison, so I might go back to that. It's five years old, so it would be better if I could find something a little bit newer. How To Be A Successful Wedding Planner. This is from Wedding Planning Academy, so okay, I'm going to use this one because it's a little bit more recent and because just from reading the name I can tell that they're going to be talking more about wedding planning.

So I'm going to click over here. What you want to do is figure out people who are your competitors, which of their videos are most popular. So I clicked over so I could see all of her videos, and then instead of having them sorted by date added, which is the default, I'm going to go to most popular and see what's coming up. So, How To Be A Successful Wedding Planner, that was a popular one, but that's a little bit vague. I may use that as a big blog post or a video, but I'm looking for more specific content ideas as well. So, International Wedding Trend Report, so that's from a year ago and that has 25,000 views, so that's a kind of a lot. So that's telling me that people are interested in trends. So that might be something that I would want to write on. I would include that in my list, trends for 2018, perhaps.

Then the next one she has also has a lot of views, 19,000. Mistakes To Avoid As A New Planner. So that's a really good one, I might use something along those lines as well. So I would just go through here and see which of them might be really good topics that would fit in well with what you're doing. So I would do that with several of my competitors to come up with some really great content ideas. So that's how you would use YouTube to come up with content ideas.

HOW TO USE PINTEREST TO COME UP WITH CONTENT IDEAS TUTORIAL

The third resource that you can use is Pinterest. Pinterest is a fantastic place, and frankly, any content you're creating, you should just go ahead and Pin as well, because Pinterest is a search engine, it's not a social media platform. But if you go onto Pinterest, again, I'll just pull up on my screen so you can see exactly how to do this, you can type in some of the search terms that you might be looking for. So just to keep it consistent we'll go over the same examples.

Now I am on Pinterest. So I want to see what kind of things are coming up. Pinterest has this really cool feature, when you put in a search. So I'm going to just, again, go with wedding planner here. What it does is it right away will put in the top search terms. So for wedding planner, the most popular terms is printables, so they it right there for you, they make it really, really clear. So I see that another really popular one is checklist, so that might be really a good one, because I could think of a lot of content that might be related to that. Oh, and then when I click on checklist I see that there's even more things coming up. So that one's obviously searched for a lot. Worksheets, that might narrow it down even further. Wow, these are really, really popular terms, because they're giving you a couple of different things. So, worksheets on budget. So each of those would be really good topics.

So I would spend some time in here exploring and looking at some of the search terms. So I would just go through here and do a little bit of research and see what comes up. So here's one, 'Becoming a wedding planner', so this is perfect, this is right on target. So this one doesn't narrow down any further, but you can still see which of some of the pins are very popular. So you could scroll through some of these and get some inspiration and ideas.

Now let's go back a little bit. Wedding planner. So checklist, it looks like that's probably very popular, so you might be able to come up with a bunch of different checklists and that would be really, really good valuable content that people would be searching for. So I would definitely do some checklists for the day of, for timelines, for budgets, all of those things are obviously very, very popular. So that's a really good way of coming up with content that might be super relevant.

Let's see what happens when just put in, 'how to become a wedding planner', and see if that's a popular topic. It looks like it is. It looks like people have guides on here and all sorts of things. So tips, I would definitely give some tips on how to become a wedding planner, that's up here close to the beginning of the searches, so that looks like something people are definitely looking for.

So the idea is that you're looking for these keywords, these search terms that people are using and just getting inspiration for different things that you might want to write about. But they're telling you already what the most popular things that people are looking for are. So that's another way that you can find great topics for your blogs, YouTube videos, live-streams, etc.

So now you know how to come up with a lot of content ideas really fast. So now that you have all these great ideas you're probably wondering, "How do you put it all together into a content marketing plan?" Don't worry, I've got you covered. I have a free download that you can grab right here in this link. Go ahead and grab that, put together your content plan. I cannot wait to see what you create. If you enjoyed this video, go ahead and give it a thumbs up and be sure to subscribe. I will look forward to seeing you next week with more tips.

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8 Mindset Tips: Get Whatever You Desire

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Where are you holding back your desires

Do you have everything you want in you life?
The work?
The money?
The relationship?
The home?

Do you even know what you truly want?

I keep hearing from women who respond to the question, “what do you really want/” by saying, “I don’t know.”

I don’t think that’s true. I think that you do know. Because you’re the only one who can know. Your desires were placed in our heart and they’re real and true for you, but you’re the only person who can know what they are.

Women keep from admitting what they truly want because of fear that they can’t have it. Fear that if they admit they truly want it, certainly to someone else, but even to other people, and they don’t get it, then they’ll be humiliated.  Seen as less-than. A failure.

But none of that’s true. It’s not how other people will see you. But even more importantly, that’s not what’s going to happen. If you admit what you truly desire, can align with it (meaning believe it’s possible), and take action that’s inspired by it, then it will happen.

If you don’t know that, you’re operating on a flawed premise about what’s possible for you when the truth is...


1 | KNOW YOU CAN BE, DO, OR HAVE WHATEVER YOU DESIRE

There is no universal decree stopping it.

The only thing standing in your way? The limitations you’ve created in your own mind.

The voice in your head telling you…
I’m not good enough…
I’m not smart enough…
I’m not worthy…
I don’t deserve…

All of those lies that our inner mean girl tells us. That we believe and that stops us dead in our tracks.

They are lies, but we don’t call them out.

Instead of stopping that voice and saying it’s not true we listen. We listen to  that and we act in accordance with it instead of what we should be doing…

Asking IS THAT TRUE?
...DOES IT SERVE ME TO THINK THAT?

If we did stop to ask if it’s truth or a story, we’d see that more often than not it’s a story. It’s a flawed premise. It’s just a lie that we’ve been telling ourselves since we were little.

We ALL have these stories that we create. Our success in life isn’t determined by having the stories or not but our willingness to recognize them for what they are. And then tell new stories.


2 | QUESTION THE STORIES WE ALL TELL

There are certain universal stories that we all tell.

Scarcity
...there’s not enough

Abandonment
...I’m unlovable

Humiliation
...if I ____ I’ll fail

Inferiority
...I’m not enough

These stories are sticky. And convincing. And seem so true and have become such a part of the collective unconscious, that for most, at least one is solidly ingrained before puberty.

But they’re not true. They were never true. If you can understand and know that on a deep, soul-level things will click into place.

**IF YOU KNEW THE LIMITATIONS YOU’VE CREATED BASED ON THE UNIVERSAL STORIES WE TELL WERE FALSE, WHAT WOULD YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE?**


3 | QUESTION THE STORIES YOU TELL

In addition to the stories that we all tell, we all tell stories about limitations that seem more personal. These could be based on experiences you’ve had that are not universal such as dysfunction in  your childhood home or events that were traumatic for you.

In what ways do you believe you are uniquely worse off than other humans?
What afflictions, disadvantages, limitations do you have that are uniquely you or limited to a group of people like you?

There is truth to the circumstances. But anything that happened in the past is just that — in the past.

**IF YOU KNEW THE LIMITATIONS YOU’VE CREATED BASED ON YOUR PAST WERE FALSE, WHAT WOULD YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE?**


4 | YOU DON’T NEED TO GET RID OF YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

...You need to learn to ignore them. What we focus on expands. If you can focus on what you want and what you’re creating instead of what you believe is holding you back, you can see your desires expands and your limitations shrink.

At first, you’ll have to more consciously ignore them. That’s why you’re taking the time to imagine what your world is like without those limiting beliefs.


5 | WRITE OUT WHAT YOU WANT

Just write out everything you want. In the present tense using word like I am. I have. I’m doing. Don’t limit yourself or censor yourself. Just get it all out.


6 | TAKE IT TO 212 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT

Now that you’ve considered what your life would look like without limitations and have written down what you really want, turn it up. Stretch yourself.

Allow your desires to reach a boiling point because I know that what you’ve already written isn’t the full extent. You wrote that based on where you are. Where you’re still dealing with limitations. Release them all fully and get back to writing.


7 | LET IT CLICK IN TO PLACE

Read through everything you wrote and start to really feel it. Believe it. See it. Know that this is just s true as anything that happened in the past or anything else that will happen in the future.


8 | RINSE AND REPEAT

Do it again tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that. Watch as things begin to unfold as you’ve written.

I completely believe in you. I had the universal limitations that we all all had and I had a TON of the unique beliefs. I went through stuff in my life that made me feel undeserving and unworthy of love, security, and wealth. But I’ve created a life that makes my heart sing and I’m just getting started. I know that if it’s possible for me, it's doubly possible for you.

CHEERS — to your life!

Xx,
Crystal

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR THE DAY: You always get to make a decision.

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You may not have control over every circumstance in life, but you do have control over how you react to them. At any moment, you’re allowed to make a decision.

I reminded myself of that this morning when I woke up “on the wrong side of the bed.”

Not just because it was the wrong side of the bed, but because I had an intense conversation with my husband, Kobi, last night that got my emotions brewing. And even though it was with my husband, I still get what Brene Brown has termed “vulnerability hangovers.”

A vulnerability hangover is when you feel a sense of heaviness and malaise after sharing something about yourself in a deeply personal way, with a sort of uncomfortable vulnerability.

Last night, we went to a Chris Rock show where he spent time making jokes about his recent divorce. It was funny. But also really sad. As newlyweds, there’s something that strikes close to home listening to a recent divorcee discuss the changes that take place from the first years of marriage to the eventual decline. Especially since brand new marriages aren’t always easy to begin with.

This morning, I woke up with the unease of a hangover which my single beer at the show couldn’t have created.

I closed my eyes and woke up again, but the feeling remained.

In that moment, I had a decision to make: give into this feeling and spend the day in bed or get up, create, and serve.

In reading this blog, I’m sure you can assume the decision I made, but I don’t want you to breeze past it. It wasn’t the easy decision to make and it’s definitely not the direction I always decide to take.

But I CHOSE to remind myself of things I know…

IN ANY MOMENT YOU CAN MAKE A DECISION TO FEEL DIFFERENTLY.

Our feelings show up so quickly at times. They feel out of our control. Like something is happening to us.

Moreover, there are times that we find a sense of satisfaction in the negative feelings. Maybe not as a result of the discomfort of the feeling in itself (although for some that can be enough). But as a result of the unintended benefits of being sad. Or worried. Or victimized.

Perhaps the most common unintended benefit is the way others respond to you. Maybe you receive loving responses. Sympathy. Coddling. Softening.

Kobi is always an incredibly loving husband and nothing makes Kobi act more loving than seeing me sad. I would never purposely manipulate his feelings, but having him do what he can to care for me and cheer me up when I’m sad… well, it’s nice.

Some people may not have such loving partners. If that’s the case, and your partner turns into a  more gentle and loving person when you’re upset, it’s an even bigger benefit.

Another unintended benefit?

For many women who don’t allow themselves time to rest, it gives them permission to indulge in themselves. Like a woman experiencing a breakup, being fired, or taken advantage of, she’s allowed, and even expected, to self-comfort through lounging, eating, and TV binging.

The benefits may vary from person-to-person, but I’m sure you know what they are for you.

This morning, a part of me wanted to experience those two benefits mentioned above. But I reminded myself that I get to make that decision. Because yes, the results of sulking may feel nice to a certain extent, but they wouldn’t feel nearly as good as making a different decision.

A decision to feel better. A decision to shift my thoughts.

I could decide to release the vulnerability hangover
...and the conversation from the night before
...and the useless worries
and have control over my reaction.

While we always have control over our responses, it’s important to note the distinction between shifting my mindset and forcing my way through work that I just wasn’t inspired to do. It’s not about saying that someone who is depressed just needs to think better thoughts. It’s about making a decision to align myself and take action because, ultimately, that’s what I wanted.

Of course there are times when the best thing you can do is to rest and indulge. But I knew that’s not what I needed. I knew that it wouldn’t serve me in this state.

So… I made a decision to get up. And journal, and read, and meditate. And as I did those things, I felt the cloud lift and the inspiration to write again hit.

Then I was reminded: YOU CAN BE, DO, OR HAVE WHATEVER YOU DESIRE.

It’s always fun to think this way, but I really do believe it’s true. Just thinking about it makes me want to move.

Often, when we feel down, it’s because we want to change something about our circumstances. We can’t control our circumstances at all times, but we can control our responses. Which as a result, may change our circumstances over time. It just might not be as immediate as the changes we can make in our emotional state.

Recognizing that I can be, do, or have whatever I desire also reminds me that I often put too much pressure on the timing of things. Whatever I’m wanting… I want it to happen immediately.

It’s an easy trap to fall into: wanting to make things happen. Rather than trusting that everything is unfolding as it’s meant to. I can do my part and that is all.

Things are always working out for you.

Xx,
Crystal

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8 Reminders for Entrepreneurs Feeling Stuck

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As I sat down to write this, I encountered a feeling that I’ve had before. It’s never welcome, despite it’s familiarity.

Feeling stuck. Also known as resistance.

I wanted to just say “forget it” for today.
I wanted to go take a nap.
I wanted to give up.

But then I realized that feeling of wanting was my ego -- that wasn’t the desire of my heart.

My heart wants to create. It wants to follow commitments.

I decide to write Sunday - Thursday every day for the next 3 months. I was inspired after re-reading The Art of War the importance of showing up as a professional. Only 20 days in and I already wanted to quit. And then I reminded myself of a few important things and I want to share those reminders with you....


1. ALL THE CREATIVITY YOU WILL EVER NEED IS INSIDE YOU

This isn’t to say all the creativity you will ever have is already there, but it all comes from within.

Of course we can find inspiration outside of ourselves. But the creativity isn’t coming from outside of ourselves.Humans are infinitely creative beings. It may be the thing that most separates us from other animals.

People sometimes experience a fear around their creativity. A fear that if they create and produce eventually it will just dry up, but it’s not the way of creativity works. As we experience flow and creativity and inspiration we create. Once that has been created we expand. More creativity then flows. It’s continuous and there’s no need to fear or worry that it will cease.


2. RESISTANCE IS UNIVERSAL

Reminding myself that I’m not the only one grappling with resistance is comforting.

In creative online work it’s easy to feel isolated.

As if you're the only one…

...not being as productive as you want
...not creating as much as you want
...not making as much money
...feeling stuck.

Remembering that others, even people who seems like content machines, get stuck. This knowledge is reassuring.  People who are great have also had moments of self doubt and questioning themselves.

The difference between those people and others is that they don’t allow it to define them. They recognize it for what it is -- an insidious, real, but passing sensation, and move through it.

They show up anyway.

They create anyway.


3. FEAR IS UNIVERSAL

Like resistance, fear is universal.

We all experience it.
It’s the same for all of us.
It varies little.
It doesn’t serve us.
It’s boring.

However, it does allow us to develop what is sure to serve us regardless of what we do -- courage.

Courage is one of the most valuable traits anyone can possess because it allows us to stretch beyond ourselves. Developing courage allows us not only to overcome circumstances we didn’t necessarily think we could, but allows us to see ourselves differently.

When we define ourselves by lack, we see more lack. We contract. We play small and that doesn’t serve us or the world.

When we are willing to practice courage, it expands how we see ourselves. A shift in perspective about yourself can jolt you out of your stuckness and into a dimension where so much more is possible. Where grace, ease, flow, and fun are the norm.

Fear is universal, but also learned. The only two fears we’re born with are of loud noises and falling. The myriad other fears we develop along the way: fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of being seen, fear of being invisible...

We learn them along our path, but we can unlearn them if we’re willing.


4. FEELINGS ARE MEANT TO BE FELT

Fear and resistance and all the other negative feelings around our creation are just that -- feelings. Not to say feelings are insignificant, because they’re not. But they’re just meant to be felt.

We resist our negative emotions.
It feels uncomfortable.
We don’t think we should be feeling them.

In the resistance they become stronger and more real.

When we’re willing to feel our emotions they dissipate.

When we feel something we try to push it down. Deny it. Hide from it. Keep ourselves so busy that we can’t really feel it.

If we slow down. Allow it. Welcome it. Accept it and all other parts of ourselves, the discomfort starts to melt away.

You have to try it to understand the power of this.


5. THIN SLICE

Thin slice the actions you need to take into the smallest possible step.  Make it such a tiny step that you’re easily able to take the action.

That counts as progress.

Then take the next teeny tiny step.

This is the way to create whatever you want. We have huge beautiful visions of what we want, but we’re so far away that we don’t even want to try. But that’s like wanting to be in California when you’re in New York and being so mad that you’re not in California that you won’t book a flight. Or rent a car. Or arrange whatever other transportation you fancy to take the trip.

You can get wherever you desire in life. But you have to start where you are with what you have.


6. TAKE ACTION BASED ON HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL, NOT HOW YOU CURRENTLY FEEL

If you don’t ever feel like doing anything.
And you only act when you feel like it.
Then you’re not going to get in motion.
Its physics - an object at rest stays at rest.

If you can thin slice and then be willing to take that teeny tiny action based on how you want to feel -- not based on how you’re feeling now, you can eventually move mountains.


7. CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES

Celebrate your successes. No matter how small

Our desires are constantly expanding. They’ll always expand so long as we’re alive. That is a beautiful thing about being a soul in a human body. But take the time to celebrate the wins you experience.

Without acknowledging your successes, celebrating your successes, and feeling gratitude for your successes, joy and happiness will constantly elude you. Regardless of the material success you achieve.

Slowing down. Celebrating. Recognizing yourself and what you’ve done is the key to enjoying your progress.


8. REST, DON’T QUIT

And when you get tired -- learn to rest, not quit.

We’re all tired sometimes. It’s part of the human state.

The natural inclination is to give up.
We think we’re doing something wrong.
That we’re not on the right path.

But you’re always on the right path. You’re doing the right thing at this moment. And if in the next moment you want something different, you’re allowed to do that.

I believe in you. I know magic is available for you.

Go do the work you’re meant to do. I’ll be over here cheering for you!

Xx,
Crystal

4 Types of Content You Should be Using in Your Content Marketing Strategy

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One of the biggest complaints I hear from entrepreneurs growing their creative, coaching, and online businesses is, “I’m not getting clients consistently enough.”

Which is scary because then there’s no financial stability.

And instability leads to anxiety.

And anxiety...well, isn’t that what you were hoping to avoid on Sunday nights when you were dreaming of leaving your job to start your biz?

If you’re not experiencing consistency, it may be a problem with your marketing strategy.

If you don’t have a lot of cash to spend, then the core of your marketing strategy should be content marketing. (Frankly, even if you are blowing your nose with Franklins, you should have a content marketing strategy.)

To get started, be sure to watch this week’s video where I explain the 4 Types of Content you should be using in your overall content marketing strategy.

You need to have a content marketing strategy so that you can more easily connect with your ideal customers and clients. Content marketing is one of the most effective free ways of your marketing your business creative, coaching, or online business. Your overall marketing strategy should include not only using various mediums for publishing your content, but also the four primary types of content to build a relationship with your audience so that they become clients and customers.

Using each of the four types of content marketing allow you to create a complete and well-rounded content plan — not only because there’s variety, but also because the different types perform well on different platforms. The four types of content are:

  1. Teaching content

  2. Inspirational content

  3. Connection content

  4. Sales content


Teaching Content

For most businesses, teaching content is the cornerstone of your content marketing strategy. Teaching content is the foundational piece of your strategy that will allow you to accomplish three other objectives:

  1. Grow your following

  2. Give your followers value

  3. Establish yourself as an authority

1 | Grow Your Following

One of the best things about teaching content is that it serves your current audience and is most likely to help you grow your audience because people are searching for knowledge.

The three largest search engines: Google, YouTube, and Pinterest cater to people looking for answers to specific inquiries. Some of the most frequently searched for information is “how-to.”

If you are frequently found in search results answering a questions that your ideal customers and clients are asking, that will allow you grow your following quickly beyond the people who are already familiar with you.

Here’s a tip: one of the most popular types of how-to content includes listicles. These are the things you see on Buzzfeed. You know, 7 Ways to Make Your Cake Fluffier, 5 Things You Never Knew About Bird Feeders. This type of content is very attractive and shareable and also does well in the form of an infographic.

Like this ↓

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Beware of the pitfall of this content which is that it can be a little fluffy. Do your best to ensure that you consistently provide valuable content.

Tip: if you think some of your content is basic or fluffy, do some research. It will add credibility to your content, and could give your readers another valuable perspective.

2 | Give Your Followers Value

Teaching gives your prospects a ton of value for free. Before someone is going to be inclined to pay money to work with you, you’re going to want to build up the “know, like, and trust factor.”

Creating valuable content that teaches something is a quick and highly effective way of doing this.

In fact, the more you can give away for free the better. You’re showing your prospects that you have the information that they’re seeking. And that you’re generous with your knowledge and time.

One of the most common concerns people express about this is, “if I give away everything for free, then I won’t have anything to sell.”

This is a myth that needs to be busted right now!

You absolutely could put everything in your paid programs onto the internet for free, but people will still buy a paid offering.

Why?

Because people wants complete systems and A-Z Blueprints. Not all, but many people are willing to pay a premium to receive not just the information, but the information in a clear and easy to follow way so that they can properly implement it and get the best results.

Why?

‘Cause it saves time.

Here’s something to keep in mind: our two most valuable resources are time and money.

What’s great about money is that it replenishes. It comes in and goes out. Just like oxygen. You get money, you spend it on things, and then you get more and so it continues.

Time is not the same way. It does not replenish.

Therefore, many people are willing to spend money — a replenishable resource — if it will save time.  It will serve you well to remember this incredible important principle and keep you from worrying about giving away too much for free.

3 | Teaching Content Establishes You As An Authority

As a teacher, you’re setting yourself up as an authority.

For some people authority sounds like an intense term only established by people with 7- figure businesses or multiple degrees and advanced training. But if you create valuable content that teaches your ideal clients and customers the information they want to know. You’ve taken a shortcut to establish yourself as an authority.

And that’s a big deal because authority is powerful. In 1963 Stanley Milgram conducted a study at Yale University that demonstrated how deep people’s duty to authority is.

In the experiment, two participants met and were placed in separate rooms. One participant was a “student” and the other was the “teacher.” Unbeknownst to the teacher, the student was an actor.

The teacher was instructed to ask the student a question. If the student got the question wrong, the teacher was directed to give the student an electric shock.

Here’s the scary part: when a “researcher” wearing a lab coat told the teacher to keep shocking the student,  even if the student was screaming, kicking, and begging for mercy, the teacher would continue to deliver shocks 65% of the time. All the way up to 450 volts of electricity.

On the other hand, when there was not encouragement from the researcher, the teacher would quit delivering shocks early on.

These were just regular people. This is a clear demonstration of how big the influence that authority has on us.

N.B.: Don’t worry! No shocks were actually given, but the teacher didn’t know that.

Yep, authority is powerful.

Another way to look at authority is like the distinction you learned in English class of showing vs. telling: authority is being recognized by others as someone with valuable information. If you spend time creating content that teaches your audience something they don’t know, you can quickly and easily set yourself up as an authority. It’s the difference between telling people, “I’m great at what I do” and showing people, “I have all this information that I want to give to you,” and then them saying, “wow, you’re great at what you do.”

This content does best as…

Teaching content does very well as long form blog posts and videos for YouTube. Regardless of the form you’re creating, consider creating graphics so that you can share on Pinterest as well.


Inspirational Content

Inspirational content is, as it sounds, meant to inspire.

Inspirational content is…
... the rags-to-riches story
...the single-to-in-love story
...the overweight to fit story.
...the overworked and overwhelmed to organized and calm story.

Depending on your industry, this type of content can be a little bit controversial because people know it.

They recognize it right away, and if not properly contextualized, it can seem stale and trite.

Does this mean you shouldn’t  do it?

Absolutely not. It’s still powerful because everyone wants to be better. We all want to improve.

Indeed, there’s a marketing quote that says we’re all selling the same thing because people are always buying the same thing: a better version of themselves.

Whenever we buy something it’s because we think we will feel or be better in the having of it. People say yes based on the emotion they feel when they think of the outcome of the purchase. That’s why terminology that’s clear, direct, and loud still works to sell, even if as the person selling, it feels “spammy.”

People buy from the hart. We make our buying decisions based on our emotions and then we justify it using our logic and reason.

This content does best as

Social media. Inspirational content can be done genuinely on social media such as Facebook posts and Instagram. Because they’re social media platform, people expect a mix of content. Some will be from family and friends and some is from the brands and businesses they follow. It seems only natural that entrepreneurs would share the stories of their own transformations and those they’ve provided their clients on social media.


Connection Content

Connection content is about is about connecting with your readers at a deeper level. In some ways its similar to inspirational content, because it may also inspire and motivate. However, it may be a bit more messy and vulnerable.

People are drawn to other people.
We want to buy from people.
We want to see the faces of other people.

As a content creator and business owner, when people feel like they can connect with you on a human level, that is compelling.

Yes, they want to see you’re an authority.
Yes, they want to be inspired.
But if they feel they can’t connect — like you’re too far out of reach.
Too special, it’s less relatable.

They may not think or believe that they can actually have what you have.

Connection content is about sharing some more personal information about yourself, but also your values and beliefs. When you take a stand for something, it creates space for your audience to align with you.

Of course, there’s a risk to this: some people won’t agree with you and will be repelled.

That is ok. ‘Cause as you already know — if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one.

If you’re willing to open up and take a stand, you’ll find yourself with a more devoted following.

Here’s where you might get stuck: we worry about what people will think about us. It can be scary to put your truth out there on the internet for anyone to stumble across.

The antidote: build up your confidence. Know that you have a message and your people are waiting to hear from you.

Connection content does best as...

Social media and email marketing. The people who are already following you have a rapport with you that someone who stumbles across your content on Google or YouTube.  You’re showing up in a feed that they’re scrolling right alongside the posts of friends and family. You’re fitting in with the other people in their life and it’s a great opportunity to connect.

If you have a huge and devoted following, then these types of content can do well on other mediums because people may already be interested in you, but it would be much harder to grow your YouTube channel, for example, solely off this type of content. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules. Maybe you’re a fascinating person or are able to discuss your life in a fascinating way. In which case maybe you could establish your following just with connection content. If you do, tell me about it, I’d love to use you as an example!

Connection content also does well in email marketing. If someone is on your email list they’ve already decided they like you enough to allow you into their inbox.. This is a great place to establish a deeper and more authentic connection by sharing more vulnerable stories or taking a stand.


Sales Content

If you’re running a business and want to make money from your content, then sales content is an integral part of your strategy. Seems too simple to be said, but if you’re not selling then you’re not making money. And if you’re not making money then you’ve got a hobby rather than a business.

There are no hard and fast rules that someone absolutely MUST stick to in order to create successful sales content.

There are some entrepreneurs out there who are always selling something and they do incredibly well because of it. However, this works best for people who have already established a following of people who know they provide great value. If you’re still building your audience, then constantly selling without providing other content, may not work for you. You may fatigue your audience before you have the time to gain their loyalty and to establish the know, like, and trust factor that would compel them to buy from you.

If you’re not yet at the point where you have a cult following then here’s a general rule for you to follow: 3:1.  For every three non-sales piece of content you put out, create one piece of sales content.

For some people this may look like every month they’re making one offer after three weeks of non-sales content. For most people, it’s not going to look like that because they’re going to be sending out a series of promotional emails to sell, not just one.

For example, if you have a sales funnel that has 6 emails, then you would have wanted to send out 18 non-sales emails before starting the sales emails. This isn’t a set-in-stone rule, but if you want a guideline to follow, this is a great one.

The whole point with sales is getting your audience to take a particular action -- namely buying your product or service. Start by having them take smaller actions first

  • Comment on a post
  • Share a post
  • Participate in a poll or survey
  • Download a freebie
  • Follow you on social media

Get people used to taking your advice and following your instructions so that when you’re ready to sell, they’re ready to buy.

If you follow this content marketing strategy you’ll not only have a loyal audience, but an audience of people ready to buy from you.

Want help putting your content strategy together?

Be sure to get the content strategy planning template.

9 Small Shifts to Create the Business and Life You Want (My personal reminders and commitments for 2018 and beyond)

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1 | BE PRODUCTIVE

Schedule out your days, weeks, and months. You don’t have to, of course, but people who are doing this are getting further ahead.

Many new entrepreneurs are thrilled to be working on their business full-time, and they immediately adopt the entrepreneurial lifestyle featured on Insta and Pinterest.

But if you want your business to work (and work well), then as you’re building, treat it like a job. Show up. Know what you need to do. Do what you need to do.

Of course, some entrepreneurs, do make multi-6 and 7-figure amounts of money while “doing nothing,” but notice what their “nothing” actually is.  They’re still creating, sharing, connecting, and serving an audience. You haven’t seen what it took for them to reach the point where all they have to do is post a blog once a week, do a live stream every few days, or make a FB post and then lean back and wait to rake in the dough.

Download my Goal Setting Roadmap now, to nix overwhelm, get crystal clarity and be more productive. 


2 | PLAN FOR THE PRESENT

Have a vision for what you’re creating, but keep your planning focused more immediately. If you’re planning for five years down the line, you’re not going to be able to maintain the motivation and enthusiasm.

Research shows that 90 days is about the length of our mental horizon. So keep your focus there. Do you more in-depth planning for the 30 days ahead of you.

Set markers that are achievable ‘cause it helps maintain your momentum when you…


3 | LEVERAGE BASIC MOTIVATION

Humans are motivated by avoiding pain or gaining pleasure.

We are more motivated by the avoidance of pain. But if you celebrate yourself, the burst of pleasure that comes from reward in enough to motivate you as you gain momentum.

If you only get pleasure from the big goals, you reach you’ll lose momentum before you hit those markers. You’ll move back into the place where you’re only motivated when the pain is severe enough.


4 | PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Gratitude not only feels good, but it also gets you to focus on what’s going the way you want instead of what you want that you don’t yet have.

More importantly, gratitude is a potent reminder of how powerful you are. Gratitude allows you to recognize that there was something you didn’t have in your life experience, that you wanted, that you were then able to create and receive into your experience. That’s a mighty thing you’ve done. And you can do it again for whatever else you want.


5 | ENJOY THE BUILDING

Part of being a human is that our desires are going to expand continually. Once we reach the goal we’ve been working on, we want something else. We THINK we want to just “get there,” but that would quickly grow dull.

...And since there’s no “there” to get to, it will serve you to enjoy the process of what you’re building.

Enjoy the creation.

Enjoy the building.

Enjoy the work.

If you can’t ever enjoy the process, you’ll invariably find yourself pushing up against frustration and disappointment.


6 | KNOW THAT WHAT YOU WANT EXISTS

Know that what you want exists. You just can’t see it yet.

In the summer of 2016 I attended a business seminar focused on mindset. I stood up in a room of over 300 entrepreneurs and talked about what I most desired and how devastating it felt that I didn’t have it yet. How unfair it seemed that I couldn’t find love.

The leader looked me in my watery eyes and told me, “it’s here. You just can’t see it.” I looked around the room thinking maybe he had met someone who he thought would be good for me…

It was confusing, but it snapped me out of the story that I didn’t have it. I started thinking, “it’s here, I just don’t see it.”

It was less than a month later that I met my husband.

It existed I just kept telling the story that I didn’t have love, which kept it out.

Whatever you want is already available to you, but you’re too busy focusing on the way things are. What’s right in front of you.

What you focus on expands so as you’re focusing on how things are, how they’re not what you want, that becomes all you can see and you push away what you most desire.

Start recognizing that what you want exists. You just can’t see it yet.


7 | APPLY THE 80/20 RULE TO CREATION V. CONSUMPTION

When you’re ready to scale your business to 6-figures+ be sure to spend 80% of your time creating and 20% of your time-consuming. That means you’ll be producing 4-5x what you consume. Fewer courses. Fewer masterminds. Fewer books. Fewer trainings.

When we start our businesses, it’s natural to want to consume. At least it was for me. I mean I had spent four years in college, three years in law school, and 1,000+ hours preparing for the CA bar, so I wanted to acquire at least that much education for my business…

It makes sense but not how entrepreneurship works. Master your craft. Study and learn, but also implement. You’re never going to stop learning in your business so let go of the idea that you need to know everything even before you start.

Which is a perfect segue into the next point…


8 | YOU’RE NOT A VICTIM OF THE FACEBOOK FEED

Or Insta feed

Or Pinterest

Or any other network that allows for endless scrolling. We feel bombarded.

...So create white space for yourself.

You can curate the feed and be intentional about the content you consume.

If there’s a group you find valuable and want to see posts for, then follow it. Unfollow the rest. You can still stay in the group, and if you think about it and decide to mozy over to the actual group, all the posts will still be there.

Choose 5-10 people whose content serves you. The rest you can unfollow and remain friends.


8| RECOGNIZE THE VALUE OF YOUR WORK

See your work as of high service. You need to recognize your value, even before others widely recognize it.  That doesn’t mean you have to be anyone’s guru or that you have to lie or position yourself falsely. Just see that what you do is of value. If you have a desire to help or serve people, that’s good enough to start.

Grow and get better at it, but realize there is someone 1 or 2 steps behind you who will benefit immensely from your teaching and service.


9 | BE A GREAT STUDENT

Be a great student to become a better leader. And being a great student isn’t the same as consuming massive amounts of information all the time. (See 7)

Being an excellent student means you study, implement, and embody what you learn. That makes you a better student than the person reading two books every week who can’t explain any of the concepts in a clear and succinct way. And who certainly haven’t applied anything learned.

Spend at least 1 hour per day learning.

You can be, do, or have whatever you desire. These are a few small shifts you can make to get you moving in that direction.

My life and business have become more than I ever thought possible for me. If I can do this, than you DEFINITELY can.

I believe magic is possible for you.

I’ll be over here cheering you on!

Want help with any of this? Click here to work with me!

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"I'm Such an Eff-Up" 7 Lessons I Learned from a Big Mistake

I am so ashamed of how badly I effed up.

“I am a horrible person and a horrible coach, of course, I don’t deserve a business that goes well. “
“I’ve ruined everything — how could I be so stupid?”
“I’m such an F-up. I just can’t believe myself.”

This was the thought process after I took one of the most significant missteps of my career.

One of my clients was telling me how much our work together was changing her life. That she would love to help me because of all I’d done for her — was there anything she could do?

I told her the truth — “all those lovely things you just said about me would be great in a testimonial.”  

End of conversation.

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She did write me a beautiful and glowing testimonial all about the transformation and results she experienced in her life and business from our work together.

So, what’s the issue?  

No, she didn’t change her testimonial saying I had pressured her to write it.
No, she didn’t lie and make up results that weren’t true.
No, I didn’t do any of the other things you’re imagining…

I made the mistake already. In the comment about testimonials being valuable in my business.  

This particular woman was a client who another coach referred to me.  
A coach who had been my coach and mentor.
A coach who I adored, admired, and respected immensely.

This coach — when we finished our coaching relationship asked me if I’d be open to taking referrals from her. She was up-leveling her business with a focus on group programs and courses and didn’t have time for all the one-on-one inquiries she received.

I was ecstatic! This was at the beginning of my coaching career, and my lead flow was *ahem* not at the same level as hers.

It seemed like the perfect situation.

(Narrator voice over: “It was NOT the perfect situation.”)

But I signed on the dotted line. Amongst other things, I legally agreed not to ask any of the clients that I served, that she referred, for testimonials.

And then I did the thing I said I wouldn’t do.
And it caught up to me fast.
Three days after I’d spoken to the client, she posted her review on a review site.
Later that day, I got a call from my former coach and mentor.

She said that her team saw a “flood of reviews” come in from clients that she had referred me.

She told me that when her team told her this, her response was, “No, I don’t believe it! I know that Crystal wouldn’t do anything like that. She wouldn’t tear other people down so that she could get ahead. I can’t imagine her trying to destroy my business as she works her way to the top.”

Her words burned my chest, and I felt a sting as tears sprang to my eyes. Even writing it several years after the fact brings a dark, dense, lump into my chest that I paused my writing to feel.

This wasn’t just any person saying this words. This was a woman who I felt deeply connected to…

...who I respected
...who I admired
...who I loved

Whose relationship was incredibly valuable and meaningful to me. I was concerned less about the money and our contractual agreement, but about potentially losing this relationship that felt sacred to me.  I mean, coaching relationships, ARE sacred and this had been my first one. I had shared things with this woman that no one else in my life had ever heard.

And she was telling me that she saw me as a backstabber. An ungrateful, sneaky, climber who would do what it takes to excel.

That was painful.

But what was worse was when I allowed myself to believe it.
It’s like I thought I knew who I was…
I thought I was a kind, smart, loving, caring person.
Ambitious? Yes.
Determined? Yes.
Hard-working? Often enough.
Disloyal? Uhh, not generally.
Untrustworthy? I mean, I don’t think so.
Unkind, ungrateful, deceitful, sneaky backstabbing climber? Well, I never thought of it that way, but maybe.
That was the story I began telling about myself. Because that was what I perceived from this woman I so admired. But what I know now is…


1 | YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE TO BE YOUR SAVIOR

I hired this woman initially as my coach and paid her around $7,000 and was determined to get the most out of the experience. I took a lot of action. I did exactly what she told me. I started seeing results immediately. I was excited to see my fledgling business stand on its wobbly new legs.

Yes, her guidance was tremendously valuable.  I LOVED having her as my coach. But I attributed ALL my success to her.

When we finished our coaching relationship and she talked about sending me leads, I felt like this was exactly what I needed. That this would “save me.”

But I didn’t need any saving.

And what I *actually* needed was to keep doing the work I had started and focus on building my own business.

Regardless, I don’t know if she even thought about it after it happened. But I did. And I kept telling myself the story I created based on what I imagined she felt about me…


2 | FORGIVE YOURSELF

I was punishing myself long after we ended the contractual relationship and I stopped getting leads. I was maybe more pissed at me than she was. I was saying these horrible things about myself, even as the other people around me were reflecting that I was not a bad person.

But here’s where the rubber meets the road…

I’ve read The Four Agreements
I’m a lawyer and now coach
I put a ton of value on my trustworthiness and integrity.
And then I did an action that was out of integrity.

So I punished myself harshly…
...any challenges I had in business I chalked up to not being worthy or deserving of a well-working successful business because I’m an untrustworthy person without integrity
...I kept myself small for fear that I would come on her radar and she would have venomous hatred towards me
...I connected with fewer people within my industry in case they knew her and she felt inclined to tell them to stay away from me because I’m a horrible person

I could go on, but you get the idea.

It’s worth noting, as far as I know, this woman is a kind and respectful person and would never intentionally hurt someone else or their business.

I’m projecting my guilt, shame, and worst fears onto her.

Which doesn’t serve me. What I needed was to extend forgiveness to myself. We all deserve at least that.

I’ll never know if the thoughts I've attributed to her are real or not and the truth of the matter is it doesn’t matter because it’s not my business.


3 | IT’S NOT YOUR BUSINESS WHAT SOMEONE ELSE THINKS OF YOU

The truth or falseness of the story I created in my mind about her is irrelevant and as Byron Katie says, none of my business.

Katie says there are three types of business in the world.

First, there’s G-d or the Universe’s business. This is natural disasters, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, earthquakes, wars, etc. Things that are out of the control of any one individual. That’s G-d’s business and we’d do best to keep our noses out of it.

Then there’s other people’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions, behaviors, words, etc. That’s their business, and not ours.

Then there’s our own business. Your thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. That’s where you need to keep your energy and attention. ‘Cause much of the individual suffering we experience comes from being in someone else’s business. Plus, when you’re in someone else’s business, there’s no one to be in your business and running your life.

I was causing myself so much suffering by holding onto all this stuff.
I hadn’t intentionally done anything.
I did what humans do.
I made a mistake.


4 | YOU’RE ALLOWED TO MAKE MISTAKES

I’m a human. If you’re reading this, you’re a human. And as humans, we’re allowed to make mistakes. We aren’t required to be perfect.

As someone who is actively *overcoming* perfectionism...well...I’m struggling to understand that perfectly.
Some mistakes are bigger than others and will have much further reaching consequences. But you’re still allowed.

I really made two mistakes in this story — of course, going against the contract, but also agreeing to the contract in the first place.


5 | DON’T SIGN SOMETHING YOU’RE NOT IN ALIGNMENT WITH

If you sign a contract, abide by it.
If you don’t want to abide by it, you’re not in alignment with it.
If you’re not in alignment with it, don’t sign it.

There is always another opportunity available to you. There is more coming to you. If you want something, then you receive something that’s close, but not quite it.

It’s ok to say, “close, but not quite. I’ll wait.”


6 | HAVE ANOTHER LAWYER LOOK OVER YOUR CONTRACT.

If you're aligned with an opportunity that requires a contract, have a lawyer (other than yourself) look it over, and listen to them. I had to make that caveat for those of you who are lawyers.
‘Cause I am a lawyer.
But it’s not enough for me to look over my contracts.
There’s no objectivity.

If I were advising someone else on the contract and she had the concerns that I did I would have told her, “don’t you dare sign that without some changes.”


7 | LISTEN TO YOUR LAWYER. AND YOUR MOTHER.

Now, I did seek out another lawyer. My mother.
She looked over the contract.
She told me, “don’t you dare sign without changes.”

I didn’t listen to her.

I wanted it to work. I needed it to work. I felt it was the only way for me to get what I wanted.

Also known as scarcity mindset.


8 | DON’T MAKE DECISIONS FROM A PLACE OF SCARCITY

Fear and scarcity can block your best judgment. If I had been operating from the state that’s most natural to all of us — open to and recognizing the abundance that’s always available, I wouldn’t have signed the contract as it was.

I would have told my mentor, whom I adored, that I didn’t think the arrangement was best for both of us...
I would have recognized that I have infinite creativity and capability needed to build a biz...
I would have known that I can be, do, or have whatever I want without compromising my alignment or integrity…

But coulda, woulda, shouldas are wasted energy. Because everything is happening in our lives as it’s supposed to. I created this experience, as did she.

Do your best Forgive yourself for being. That’s all you can do.

Onward and upward — I know magic is available for you.

Let me know in the comments if this resonates. Have you ever made a mistake in your biz? How did you deal with it?

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How To Find The Perfect Path For Sales Calls

One of the biggest challenges we face as entrepreneurs is getting people to say, “Yes!”

I’ve said it before, converting leads into clients is a lot like dating. You can’t propose on the first date, you have to get to know each other first! That’s where your nurture sequence comes in. And when it comes down to it, everything hinges on that three letter word when you finally pop the question.

Will they say yes and become a new client, or will they say no and leave you hanging?

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One of the most powerful tools in the entrepreneurial arsenal is the sales call. It’s the point at which you get your potential new client on the phone. You chat, you laugh, you finally take the plunge and ask them to commit, and then you wait with baited breath to see what they say.

Sales calls can easily be a terribly stressful experience, and a lot of people avoid them. But if you’re a service provider, there’s really no getting around it - people will want to speak to you before they make a decision.

Sales calls are an incredibly good way of giving leads the final nudge they need, no matter what kind of entrepreneur you are. If you have a service - any kind of service - or a high-end product that requires a substantial investment, sales calls are valuable..

To help you nail them, I’ve created a FREE set of sales call scripts, so make sure you download those. But for now, let’s dig into a few vital areas you need to be aware of in order to figure out exactly how you can rock your calls for maximum conversions...


The Purpose of Initial Calls

The call is the start of your journey with a potential new client, and you want to start on the right foot.

By the time people signup for a free call, they’ve probably been loitering on your site for a while. They’ve devoured your free content, followed you on social media, and possibly signed up for your newsletter.

This call isn’t about demonstrating you’re capable of delivering what they need.

There’s an unspoken assumption that comes with a sales call, which tells you they are already interested, and already believe you’re good enough to merit a look.

They need to speak to you in order to check out your process, make certain you’re the right choice for them, and take the first vital step towards becoming a client.

Just getting on the call is a little leap of faith on their part. They’re giving you their time, and you should reward them for their faith in you.

It’s also important to make it clear there are no obligations. They aren’t agreeing to buy before they get on the call. That’s not what discovery calls are about.

It’s up to you to help them get enough clarity to make a decision about whether they want to invest their money with you. If they decide your service isn’t the right fit (for whatever reason!) they shouldn’t be left worse-off for the experience.

Ideally your discovery calls will be no-obligation and free.

And don’t be worried about not charging money for the call. If nothing else, you will get their details and email address when they sign up, which means that even if they say ‘no’, you have a chance to connect with them and serve them through your mailing list!

(Sidenote: make sure that they give you permission to add them to your list - you need to include an option for them to opt out of your mailing list on the consult call intake.)


Short But Sweet

Another easy mistake to make is to think sales calls should be long. It’s natural to want to give people great value and offer a free hour of your time. But surprisingly this isn’t the best tactic. Keep your sales calls short and sweet, around 15 minutes.

That’s plenty of time for you both to get a sense of who each other are, but not long enough for it to turn into a “pick your brain” session.


Pleasure And Pain

The key to a great call is to focus on their pleasure and pain.

First, you have to tackle their pain:

They're unhappy about something going on in their life, which is motivating them to change.

Their pain is the reason they signed up for the call to begin with, because they believe you have the cure.

Pain is a greater motivator than pleasure, and you really need to motivate them!

So start by asking them directly, what’s not working for them? The most common reason people say no (aside from insufficient funds!) is that their level of discomfort is not high enough.

You need them to be in a fair amount of pain, or they won’t be motivated enough to take action.

Once you’re clear on their pain, you will be able to see how best you can help them. Getting them to verbalize their pain points will also ensure it’s fresh in their minds, which will help with the next part.

Pleasure.

What is it about the solution you are offering that they will love? What’s different and unique to you? Why should they choose you over everyone else?

Having a signature service, offering, or program, is a great way to play up the pleasure factor. A signature offer is a distinct process you take your client through, which helps them move from pain to pleasure.

It’s vital that you paint a really vivid picture of that journey and the transformation they will experience as a result. Paying a high fee for a service with you is taking committed action towards what they want most. They need to very clearly see that you are what they want most (because you have the perfect solution to their pain). If they can’t see that, they won’t commit, and they won’t act.


The Three Cs Of Discovery Calls

Clarity + Conviction + Confidence

These are the three Cs of effective discovery calls, and you will need all of them to make sure that image you’re painting is as bright and vibrant as possible.

Start by asking yourself these two questions:

  1. What is the solution they're seeking?

  2. Is what I have to offer going to solve their problem?

As you formulate answers, consider the three Cs:

Clarity

Your ideal client is in pain in relation to the problem your coaching (or other offering) solves. Make sure you can describe and understand their situation in immaculate detail, so they feel you totally ‘get’ their problem, even better than they do.

And, make sure the offer you have is genuinely a great solution to their pain.

Only propose one program or solution on your call. A confused mind says "No."

Prospects want to know you have clarity about their situation, and see a clear path towards the solution.

Conviction And Confidence

You need to speak with absolute conviction so they trust that you have the solution. To do that you also need to exude confidence that you’re the best person for the job.

You’ve totally got this!

Your conviction will convince them that you’re going to usher them from where they are to where they want to be.

If you’re stuck, here are a few easy tricks to use:

  1. Try the ‘leaky boat’ approach: ask them about their current challenges, and point out all the leaks in their life. Then, explain how your program or offering will fill all those holes.

  2. Roadmap for them of where they're going. Right at the start, tell them what’s going to happen next by saying, "It's my intention today to get a clear understanding of where you are." Throughout the call consistently seek permission from them, and tell them where you're going with the conversation. (Hint: the direction you’re taking should be “I’m going to take care of you!”)

  3. You should already be really clear on exactly what your ideal client’s biggest pain point is, as it will be the core of your marketing message. Focus on their Biggest Challenge (or as I like to call it, the BC!). This is gold!

  4. Dig into that pain - what's the cost of them staying stuck? Really make them think about it, and accentuate their pain. Many people don't want to get into their pain. This is quite natural, but you have to push them into it (gently!), and keep them there so they don’t simply return to the status quo. When a potential client says “no”, it’s because she's thinking, "Where I am is ok. It’s livable." She's lost the pain and therefore the motivation to make a change. To get her to say “yes”, you need to show her that it’s not livable, she shouldn’t have to live with it, she deserves more, and there is a way for her to have better if she’s brave enough to claim it.


Understanding Their Obstacles

When you’re on a call there’s often something standing in the way of your prospective new client moving forward. Sometimes there’s more than one obstacle, and it’s important to identify them and demonstrate your understanding.

If you can do this, they will recognize that you’re offering something they need, and that without you they won’t be able to do this thing alone. That’s suuuuper important, because if it’s merely something they want, they’re not going to be driven to say yes. They might say yes anyway, but they might not, because we don’t always get things even when we really want them.

But when we need them, we find a way to make it happen.

That’s human nature.

The other reason to understand and explore the obstacles they face is that it will help you figure out if you really are the right person to help them. If it turns out you have no solution to the obstacles they face, they’re not your ideal client.

And if they’re not your ideal client, it doesn’t matter whether they want to say yes or not, you shouldn’t be asking.

It won’t serve them, or you, if they are simply not right for you.


Are They A Good Fit?

Discovery calls aren’t just about convincing people to buy from you. They’re also your opportunity to determine if you want to sell to them!

It’s not just about them saying yes; you have to say yes, too!

If you’ve never worked with a client who was a really bad fit, you probably won’t understand why it’s so hugely important to make sure they’re right for you.

When you’re struggling to find clients it’s sooooo easy to say yes to people because they’re willing to work with you. There’s an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach, trying to tell you it’s going to end badly, but you ignore it.

It’s very easy to say yes!

The fact that people are saying yes to you, are willing to work with you, value you, and believe you can help them is a very seductive feeling.

And sometimes there’s no warning, they may even be the perfect client at the start, but somewhere along the way, things start going badly. They fail to show up for their calls, they’re late paying their invoices, it seems everything you do annoys or frustrates them, while they have you tearing your hair out.

Or perhaps you simply have a clash of personalities, one that wasn’t evident from your initial emails.

It doesn’t matter the cause, once you’ve had a few clients like this you’ll understand why your discovery calls are so vital for you, as well as for your prospects.


They’re For Discovery, Not Coaching

It’s seriously easy to fall into the habit of giving people free coaching calls. Like a free trial run before they buy.

This is not what a discovery call is for, and it’s not a good idea. When you’re on a discovery call your mission is discovering whether you’re right for each other.

That’s it.

Over the call, you’ll discuss their lives, and may even touch on subjects that are similar to what you’d talk about in a coaching call. But if you go into full coaching mode, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

People often feel loads better after one coaching call and feel like maybe they don’t need more. At least, not right now. If you give them an hour of free coaching, they have no immediate incentive to signup for more.

If you offer any kind of service it’s really important to give people a taste of what you can do, but not a three-course meal, complete with wine and a few mai tais.

You want them to end the call hungry for more!


Walk Them Through Your Process

Instead of coaching, give prospects a ‘lite’ version of your offer, which walks them through it. You want them to come away with a really clear understanding of how you work.

Talk strategies for addressing their problems, and give them a really quick win.

That may seem contradictory when I’ve said not to coach, but there really aren’t any ‘quick fixes’ to most of life’s problems. You’re not going to solve your prospects big pain point in 20 minutes. But if you can give them a small victory it will not only make them feel good (and naturally want more of that!), it will also prove that you can genuinely help.

Explain what you’ll work on with them, and run through everything they can expect to ensure there’s no confusion. Highlight the benefits of every step of the journey, and use the opportunity to inspire them with confidence in you and your process.

One thing loads of people forget to do is talk prices.

Yes, really!

It can feel really ‘salesy’ and a bit crass, but you can’t presume they know what you charge, and it needs to be clear. When you have your prices on your website you often assume prospects have already looked at them. Even if they have, that doesn’t mean they remember, or that they don’t have questions.

Get really specific.

Tell them exactly how much your offer will cost, and how often. Explain payment plans. Ask if they have any questions and concerns.

It can feel scary doing this, as you’re worried of frightening them off, but remember this:

If they’re your ideal client, they will pay what you ask without complaint.

They may need to take a beat to figure out how they’re going to pay for it, but that’s not the same as thinking you’re asking too much.

All that being said, leave the price talk to the end. Make sure they know exactly what they’re getting before you tell them how much it’s going to cost!

If you want even more help nailing your calls, check out my free discovery call scripts - just download them and use the scripted questions to tease out everything you need to totally rock your sales.


Are You Working Too Hard to Change Your Business Mindset?

As more entrepreneurs become aware of the importance of mindset to success. And release. the idea of hustling for the sake of hustling. There’s been a bit of a mix up.

Now you’re working too hard on your mindset instead of working on the action steps.

We’re all constantly seeking balance. Balancing career and family. Balancing work and leisure. Balancing mindset and action.

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But balance isn’t really a thing. Gary Keller’s book The One Thing digs deep into this concept:

A balanced life’ is a myth — a misleading concept most accept as a worthy and attainable goal without ever stopping to truly consider it...if you think of balance as the middle, then out of balance is when you’re away from it. Get too far away from the middle and you’re living at extremes. The problem with living in the middle is that it prevents you from making extraordinary time commitments to anything. In your effort to attend to all things, everything gets short changed and nothing gets its due….Extraordinary results are achieved by this negotiations with your time.

The antidote to this idea of balance, which is really just an idea, not a way of life, is counterbalance. Meaning allow yourself to the extremes where your focus, time, and energy is at an extreme. And then reign it in and come back to the middle ground.

I went through a while back after I hit an “upper limit”  in my business. I was growing my business — working hard and making a ton of money. But I wasn’t doing the mindset piece. I was just hustling for the sake of hustling and I lost all enjoyment, flow, and alignment in my work.

Now, I do put in a lot of work and I ensure that my mindset is fully aligned with that. And that’s the sweet spot in terms of my business growth (and enjoyment).

But for awhile there, I did what so many do, and I swang pretty far in the other direction and hit an extreme where all the work I was doing in my business was mindset work.

It seemed to be working. I definitely started feeling better. But my business still wasn’t moving forward because I was missing the all important element: action.


1. Action is what brings your mindset work into the real world -- it’s the gateway for the work you’ve done internally to manifest

Mindset work isn’t easy, per se. But for someone who wants to be lazy, it’s certainly easier than taking action.

Mindset work can easily be done by yourself, on your couch or snuggled up in your bed.
It doesn’t require you to create.
It doesn’t require you put yourself out there.
It doesn’t require you serve people.

You focus on yourself and your past, present, and future. If you’ll allow it, it can become indulgent.

But it can also provide massive transformation.

But not without action.

All the mindset work that you do can’t be made real until you take action on it.

Action doesn’t mean hustling all day and night. I mean really, if you’re doing the deep transformative mindset work then the action that you do will start getting easier. Should allow some more fun and flow back into it because you’ll have cleared and released some of the biggest obstacles in your way, rather than pushed through them.

‘Cause yes, everything starts with your mindset.  But it all has to work together.

Here’s why working on your mindset is powerful…

Your beliefs create your thoughts. Your thoughts lead to your actions. Your actions create your results. Based on your results, you create new beliefs.

It’s a cycle. Your beliefs lead to your thoughts, your thoughts create your actions. Your actions lead to your results. As you experience different results in your life and business, you begin forming new beliefs.

Mindset work is powerful because it allows you to change your beliefs, but if you keep changing your beliefs and your thoughts. And then change more beliefs and thoughts. And then stay focused on your beliefs and thoughts, your action and results are out of the loop (literally) and stay totally the same.

The other problem with this loop is that if you’re only looking for blocks, you’ll find more blocks. If you start to feel as if you must clear all blocks before you can take action. You could work on your mindset forever without taking any action.  It’s the equivalent of constantly consuming and feeling as if you need one more course (I’ve said before I’m a total course-whore so I’m totally guilty of this), one more freebie, one more fill-in-the-blank before you’re ready to take action.

It feels like you’re never at a point when you’re done. And with mindset work, you’re not really done. But you have to take action anyway.

Otherwise...


2. Your insistence that you have mindset blocks or money blocks can turn into a block itself

If you reach a point where you feel like, “I have to clear one more block and then I’ll be ready to take action,” then you know that the idea of blocks has become a block.

When we start telling ourselves that there’s something we need to do, be, or have that varies from our current circumstances before we can be, do, or have some other thing then we’re making up excuses to delay action.

Todd Hermann, a high performance coach, says we need to “release the idea of perfect action.”  We also need to release the idea of perfect mindset.

For many people who make personal growth, development, or mindset work a part of their life and business, then it’s going to be a continuous aspect of their life. It’s not something that you spend one month on and then never return to again. As you move into new levels of growth and success, you’re going to return to it. As David Neagle, a success mentor, says, “new level, new devil.”

And that’s normal. It’s totally fine, but that means that you do some of the mindset work. Take action. Assess where you are and keep moving.

If we think that we can’t move forward until all our mindset blocks are cleared. Welp, we’ll never take action again ‘cause we’ll be too busy working hard on our mindset.

Whereas, you’re better off if you...


3.  Work easy on your mindset. Work hard on your action.

We don’t have to work hard on our mindset. The mindset work should feel easy.

If the work you’re doing on your mindset is feeling hard. If you feel stressed and tense and your shoulders up to your ears then you’re making it harder than it needs to be. Let your mindset work be easy for you, just let it flow.

Many of the type A entrepreneurs I meet and work with (and am) get a certain kind of satisfaction from hustling hard.

For me it takes me back to my college days at Claremont Mckenna where I’d pull all-nighters. When I’d take a break from my studying around 10pm because I knew that there were hours upon hours of studying left. Or when I was studying for the California bar and I wouldn’t move my tush from the chair in the back corner of the library for 6 hours at a time.

It felt satisfying. Like I was really accomplishing something.

So when I start working on my business or doing my mindset work, I felt that same focus there. Where I’m really digging in and deep and it’s feeling intense.

But your work on your mindset doesn’t have to be so hard to be transformational ‘cause you can shift in a moment.

Clearing your mindset blocks is just about recognizing an obstacle as self-imposed and letting it go.

We all have fears, and doubts, and limiting beliefs. But while they’re sitting in our heads, they can feel more real and solid than the computer screen in front of you. The shift — releasing the belief — is just about recognizing what’s true.

Depending on you. Your experiences. The way you view your obstacles. Each shift can be easy or hard.

But overall you can let it be easy.

For many people, the easiest way of up-leveling their mindset is going to be by sort of digging in, doing an excavation, seeing what’s there in terms of their thoughts and beliefs and clearing the big stuff out. I have a free workbook you can download here that will help you do just that.

However, it doesn’t always need to be so in depth ‘cause sometimes you can just change your thoughts.

You can just stop thinking or believing something and that’s enough. And that doesn’t necessarily take work if you’re adept at shifting your focus.

Because a belief is only a thought you’ve thought a lot. If you’re able to quickly start thinking and believing something which makes the obstacle you’ve created in your mind moot. Well then, that’s just as good.

For people who like or thrive on that feeling of working hard, it may not be so immediate to just switch to this place where you’ll allow it to be easy.

The sweet spot then is to dig in first and then let it be easy. You’re tricking your mind a bit. If you spend 3-4 hours working on your mindset. Then you can sort of tell yourself the rest is just maintenance. Now the only “work” is letting it be easy and shifting your thoughts and focus.


4.  Mindset is a priority in your week

If you’re prioritizing your months, weeks, and days. (And I hope you are). Then mindset should be treated as a priority. Make sure that you schedule in time to work on your mindset.: to see where you’re holding yourself back. Where you’re creating obstacles for yourself.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to...

SEE WHERE YOUR MINDSET BLOCKS STILL EXIST WHEN YOU SET YOUR GOALS

One of the easiest way to discover where your mindset has room for growth is when you set your goals for the quarter, month, week, etc.

Set goals that are “realistic” but a stretch. As Michelangelo said, “the greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” You may experience some doubt or resistance when setting stretch goals. This is a good clue to where you still have some work to do.

Once you look at your goals, you can just ask yourself: “why don’t I think this is possible for me?

You ask it as a why because it’s going to force your mind to seek an answer. If you just ask “do I think it’s possible” you’re right away going to say “yes, I think it’s possible” and be able to skip over it.

Another question y to ask yourself is, “why wouldn’t _____ think this is possible for me?

Fill in the blank with someone who you feel is critical of you.

This is an insightful exercise because if this is a new goal then you have no actual way of knowing what anyone else would think or say about it. (Especially since we can never truly know what another person is thinking regardless of what they might have to say.)

That means that any thoughts that come up are a projection. You are projecting a thought you have onto that other person — you’re imagining that that thought would come from them, but in truth, it’s coming from your own mind.

Voila.

More beliefs for you to clean up.

Your mindset work may never be done, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard. People love setting goals at the beginning of the year. Why not make sure you actually achieve them by clearing out the (mental) obstacles, taking action, and allow your mindset work to be easy.

If you want to dig in and pull up more of the beliefs that are holding you back download the money mindset workbook and get started.

>> Get my workbook <<

5 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Set Goals They Actually Achieve

It’s the beginning of the New Year so everyone has resolutions and goals on their mind.

And the obsession is understandable — going back to the beginning of time. Well, not the beginning, but 4,000 years and the Baylonions. But at this point, we all know that New Year Resolutions don’t work so as far as I can tell, very few people actually still set them.  

But goals? We still love ‘em.

As I’m writing this it’s January 2, 2018. That means that for some people who haven’t yet set their goals for 2018 yet, they’re feeling behind already. There’s such a mad craze at the end of the year to set goals, but many are setting themselves up for failure even in the way they approach goal setting.

Here are 5 tips for entrepreneur to set goals they achieve.

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Tip #1: Create a vision

So what’s the difference between vision and goals?

Vision is much broader and more all encompassing than goals. Vision is what you’re moving towards.

Jordan Belefort (Wolf of Wall Street) explains, “...your vision for the future serves as a specific target to aim for, but also, without a compelling vision for your future, it is almost impossible to maintain the self-motivation, emotional fortitude, and necessary stick-to-itiveness to break through all the barriers and obstacles that tend to pop up unexpectedly and stand between you and the life of your dreams.”

And it is beautiful and important to have a vision because it keeps you moving forward.

My friend and brilliant coach Alionka shared such a perfect story to explain the importance of vision.

She described a story about a little girl who was going to the park with her father one day. The park was about a 45 minute walk from their home and was her favorite place to go so she was ecstatic when they first made the plan. They had off to the park and she gets tired (as little kids do when walking long distances) and wants to turn around.

The girl doesn’t remember where she’s going so it doesn’t seem worth it. Her father reminds her that they’re going to the park -- when she remembers where she’s going she’s again excited and they merrily continue on their journey.

After another 15 minutes or so she again feel defeated and tired and doesn’t want to continue. This time her father lifts her up on his shoulders so she can see the park. She’s again re-invigorated and she continues and they make it to the park.

Adults are like that too. We start off with great enthusiasm and then we lose our steam and excitement. We just don’t want to continue because we don’t really remember where we’re going. Our vision allows us to again see where we’re going and can put the pep back in our step when we feel like we’re far off.

Take the time to write out your vision in depth -- get all of the details clear so that you can take a look at it when you’re moving off track or losing your excitement for it. Create your vision for both 1-3 years out.

Using an exercise called Vivid Vision is especially helpful when creating your vision for three years out. Vivid Vision is a written document that’s several pages long describing in detail what your business will look like. Imagine yourself in your business three years down the line and answer the following questions:

  • What do you see?

  • What do you hear?

  • What are clients saying?

  • What does the media write about you?

  • What is the buzz about you in your community?

  • What is your marketing like? Are you marketing your good/services globally now? Are you launching new ads?

  • How is the business running day to day? Is it organized and running like a swiss clock?

  • building

  • What do the business’ financials reveal?

  • How are you core values being expressed and used?

The Vivid Vision exercise is valuable because it’s 3 years out. Bill Gates say that, “most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” But the same could be said for three years.

If you’d like to take it a step further and put it deeper into your mind so it seems more real, here’s a powerful meditation from Vishen Lakhiani of Mindvally.

Your vision can also encompass all areas of your life. If you’re anything like me, then your business is a part of your life, but it’s not your entire life so be sure to include how the other aspects of your life fit in with your vision. Buuuuut, that doesn’t mean you need to shoot for perfect balance. Balance doesn’t actually exist. Keith Hammons put it exceedingly well when he said, “the truth it, balance is bunk. It is an unattainable pipe dream...the quest for balance between work and life, as we’ve come to think of it, isn’t just a losing proposition; it’s a hurtful, destructive one.”

You get to decide what you want to focus on — which extremes you want to live at for the year.

If you’re starting an online business, it can be challenging not to get swept up in what other people are creating — a 6 figure business, a multiple 6 figure business, a 7 figure business, etc. But it’s up to you to determine what matters to YOU.

What do you actually want to create?

What do you actually think will bring you greatest satisfaction and fulfillment at the end of the day or year?

I’ll use myself as an example because I did this last year.

And that meant that in 2017 my priority wasn’t my business.

Not that my business wasn’t or isn’t incredibly important to me, because it is. But my why — the reason I wanted to have a business in the first place is I wanted to have flexibility to serve people in the way that I most desired, to make a difference in the lives of heart-centered women, aaaand to make money in a way that I could contribute to my home life financially, but also emotionally by being home when my husband and kids got home. Mind you, I didn’t have a husband or kids when I started my business, but that was truly my vision.

Welp, my vision couldn’t become my reality until I met that person and that was hugely important to me — has been for years.

In 2016 I set it as an intention to finally meet the right person for me. That happened. I met Kobi in August 2016 and we began dating in October, got engaged in January 2017 and married in June 2017. (If you’re curious you can get the full story + pics here).

That meant that 2017 saw a huge shift in my focus. From being single and focusing on growing my business, to meeting someone and focusing on partnership. My focus shifted back onto my business only in Q4 when I launched my signature course (click here to get added to the waitlist). But that’s ok. Whatever your vision is is your vision.

So be good with it.

Be excited about it.

Get behind it.


Tip #2: Choose a theme for the quarter

Based on where your business currently is and what you want to accomplish, choose a theme for the next 90 days. A theme is going to help you stay on track.

The point of choosing a theme is about leveraging the 80/20 rule which says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions.

Often we try to create balance, but balance isn’t really a thing: in business (as in life) not everything is of equal importance. Certain things we need to spend much more time on than others.

Choosing a theme will help you stay organized and focused and will also ensure that you’re focusing on things that are really going to matter in terms of moving your business forward. To break this down even further: make sure that your theme is related to one of the areas in business that are really going to move your business forward.


Tip #3: Divide your goals into quarters. Focus on the quarter ahead of you — first 90 days

Once you’re clear on your vision -- write down all the goals that you want to accomplish in the next year.

Of those goals that you want to accomplish in the next year, which do you want to accomplish in the next quarter—- 90 days?

It’s ideal to set your goal in 90 days or less because research shows that your mental horizon only goes out about 90 days. Once you go out further than the goal is too far out and you can’t maintain enthusiasm for the goal. If it’s less time than that, then you can’t make big moves. 90 Day is the Goldilocks-sweet-spot for getting the most done.


Tip #4 Take Massive action

Take massive action towards your 1 goal.

We overwhelm ourselves by spreading ourselves way too thin. You’re capable of more than you know so don’t disperse your energy. Take massive action and move forward on just one thing. Of course there will be different projects and tasks within the one thing you’re focusing on, but that singularity of purpose will move you forward in an incredible way.

Once you know which one thing you’ll be focusing on, take massive action.

Planning can be more fun than taking action. Especially if you’ve downloaded one of the billions of pretty calendars that are floating around right now. I get it, I’m susceptible (and guilty of that myself). It’s fun when they’re so pretty!

But lehsbereal. Prettiness and fun is probably not what your business is all about. If you don’t actually schedule things in to the pretty calendar and take action on it every month, week, and day. Nothing is going to change.

You’ve got to be willing to take massive action on the activities that you’ve planned so that you can truly move forward.

Here’s the caveat: hustling yourself into the ground is not the same as massive action.

If you do your planning properly then you’re being deliberate and intentional about your time and you’re just taking action. Taking the actions you’ve decided on and moving forward with your life.

You’re going to start getting into hustle mode when you’re putting too much on your plate or starting to focus on activities that are busy work but not moving your business forward.

Don’t be busy for the sake of being busy.

Focus on the money making activities — the activities that are really going to move the needle forward in your business such as:

  1. List building
  2. Content marketing + establishing your authority

  3. Other income generating activities

Look at the decision matrix and determine where your activities fall.

If most of your daily activities are falling in the not important quadrants — welp, that’s why you’re so busy but nothing is happening. If they need to get done, delegate them. If they don’t need to get done, then just stop doing them.


Tip #5 Delegate, delegate, delegate.

If you’re going to uplevel then you need to learn how to delegate. Yes, even if your business is fairly new and you don’t have that much money from it yet.

I get how challenging this can be, but it will serve you powerfully. It’s also an important mental shift you need to make otherwise you’re going to get stuck being an employee of your business.

I get how challenging this is -- because what I do is I get impatient. If someone isn’t available to do what I want immediately I think I should just do it myself. This is an important thing to shift out of though because you’re going to be doing too much.

How to Create More In Your Business: Tips for Female Entrepreneurs

One of my mantras for 2018 is create first.

For some of you creatives that might seem redundant. Or silly. ‘Cause you always create first. It's your natural state.

But not I.

I'm a consumer. Particularly of information. As we were all taught to be. I have always been an incredibly devoted learned — primarily through books. (I was one of those kids that would upset her parents because I wouldn't stop reading and come out of my room. And then when i did come out of my room I was still reading.)

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My love of education is a beautiful characteristic in many ways. Over the years my head has been filled with useful information and a love for learning.

But my head has also been filled with a ton of useless information. And a sort of perfectionism of feeling like I need to know everything before I can get started on something.

As an entrepreneur, this is often a detriment that slows me down.

Is there some value to this?

Of course.

But the truth is that for creatives and entrepreneurs (and creative entrepreneurs) there's so much of value. So much content. So much creativity already inside of us that often it's not necessary that we learn how to do everything right before we start.

If you're anything like me, you'll always be a student. Your thirst for knowledge will never dry up. However, there are ways to counterbalance your consuming with creating. Here are three tips:

Tip 1: Consume information that will help you understand and overcome the resistance to creating.  

Make a point of reading books and consuming information that will help you overcome the resistance, motivate you, and inspire you. Consume information that makes you want to hop out of that cozy worn spot on the couch and over to your desk to work.

The Art of War: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield gave me an understanding of what was happening to me — why I didn't want to take action on the things that I know I really do want to take action on.

Resistance.

Resistance is an invisible force that, "cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It's a repelling force. It's negative. It aims to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work."

Resistance is also internal, insidious, implacable, and impersonal, infallible, universal, and fueled by fear:  "Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer Resistance."

Ah, fear. Of course.

Elizabeth Gilbert describes fear in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear:

My fear was a song with only one note — only one word, actually — and that word was “STOP!” My fear never had anything more interesting or subtle to offer than that one emphatic word, repeated at full volume on an endless loop: “STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP!...I also realized that my fear was boring because it was identical to everyone else’s fear. I figured out that everyone’s song of fear has exactly the same tedious lyric: “STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP!’ True, the volume may vary from person to person, but the song itself never changes, because all of us humans were equipped with the same basic fear package when we were being knitted in our mothers’ wombs.

That describes me. And may describe you. And probably describes a lot of us. That's why it's poignant, relevant, and interesting.

On some level, it's easy enough to recognize that it's fear holding you back from what you want to create in your life. But seeing it on a page. In such an eloquent way. It allows for a shift. A little bit of magic, if you will.

It is natural to feel fear. About the things we create. And about putting them out into the world for other people to see. And potentially criticism. The things that we make ourselves are so precious and personal. It's like a small piece of you that you're making available to others. And for others to harshly judge — well, of course, that feels terrifying.

Yes, that fear is part of what makes us prefer to consume rather than create.

If I'm just taking in more information…
...I don't have to put myself at risk because I'm not sharing anything I've created
....I can learn from other people what they did what worked, and I'll do it exactly like them so that I too can be successful.
...I can appear "busy" and "productive" but don't have to dig into my creative mind and heart.

But calling a spade a spade. Recognizing that you're more than your fear and your basest instincts, (Big Magic reminds us that tadpoles also have this fear response) can be enough to inspire creation. And begin developing courage.

And courage is one of the antidotes to this fear and resistance.

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The other?

Turning Pro.

The Art of War prescribes treating creative endeavors with ten principles one would take from any other professional job:

  1. Show up every day
  2. Show up no matter what
  3. Stay on the job all day
  4. Committed over the long haul
  5. The stakes are high and real
  6. Accept remuneration for labor
  7.  Don't over-identify with job
  8. Master the technique of the job
  9. Have a sense of humor about job
  10. Receive praise our blame in the real world

It all sounds rather drab and rote, but there's a reason for that.

Showing up daily to create allows for a transformation to happen. Eventually, you don't have have to rely on forcing yourself to do the work, but forces outside of you begin to support you:

...when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen...A process is set in motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose...this is the other secret that real artists known and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attract iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.
This is the point we’re trying to reach. Where work and creation feel fun. When we’re in the flow. The flow doesn’t have to be this amorphous, vague concept. Instead, it can be something that you manufacture by showing up and doing the work.

Which takes me to the next point…

Tip 2: Decide on your creating and create first. Consistently.

You don't necessarily have to go from 0 to 60. But you do need to start.

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Decide to create.

Meaning how much are you going to commit to every day. Make sure it's something that you can stick to.

Because here's the thing: even if you're not doing a ton every day, you'll feel the compound effect of your efforts so long as you're consistent.

It's about training your body and mind so that you don't give in to your resistance all the time.

Because here's what happens to most people initially. They start something, and they're not getting any attention for it.

They're doing their work for a period and no one cares. No one pays attention. Because people don't yet have a reason to pay attention.

But when you keep going, people eventually start to take notice.

There are countless stories of people who reached their level of success from showing up consistently.

We look at people and think that they're an overnight success story, but upon a closer look, we see that they've been showing up consistently for months or years.

And here's a practical exercise to get things going…

Tip 3: Write morning pages

Morning pages are an exercise I first learned from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, a book for artists that has value and advice for anyone stuck or unfulfilled in their work. Anyone experiencing Resistance.

Here it is: in a journal, first thing in the morning just free form write for three pages in your notebook. Just write whatever comes up for you. No need to edit or censor, or make it beautiful, you're just writing and getting it all out. No one else will see it. It's just stream of consciousness.

The first few days I did this, all I could think about was the dreams I had or my plans for the day. But after a few days, it shifted. I would get ideas. I would have clarity. It was a little bit of magic I could experience first thing in the morning.

Creative thinking comes during that early morning time. The light bulb moments happen more readily.

For me, it's also helped me feel more organized and lessen anxiety. Plus it puts me in motion. After spending time doing this simple exercise that takes around 25 minutes, I'm prepared to work. I want to work.

Here are some of the other benefits:

  • Writing morning pages center and clear your mind. We all have tens of thousands of thoughts going through our brain each day. Many of them are repetitive. Doing a sort of brain dump first thing in the morning can help you sift through some of the muck so you can think more constructively and creatively.
  • They can help silence your inner critic
  • They lessen resistance
  • It's grounding
  • Helps generate ideas
  • Boosts productivity

It's unnecessary creation. Writing just for the sake of writing.

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Part of my struggle is there's a level of perfectionism. Needing to do things right. And always wanting to get "there." Morning pages are about the process. You're never sharing them with anyone. (And Cameron suggests you not even re-read them yourself).

You're a powerful creator, you simply need to create. Create first.