I Didn’t Make My Goals, Why Bother Making More?

Goal-setting. This is the final topic in our mindset buster series, and it’s a great one to talk about. I was speaking with a client and she was telling me about how she sets goals for her business and her personal life every year, like I’m sure many of you do. She, however, was saying that she always feels like a phony and a fake when she sets these goals because she can never achieve them.

Does this sound familiar? This was me for many years. I hated goals. They felt rigid and prescriptive. I was much more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of gal. You
might be the type of person who can just live in the present and pull things off. If you’re happy working that way, rock on.

However, if you’re a little frustrated about how your life is going or feel like things are a bit out of control, then we should talk. Goal-setting can definitely help alleviate that feeling. The problem isn’t so much in the idea of goals; it’s actually in creating the goals themselves.

Scared of not reaching your goals

My client didn’t see herself as good enough to achieve her goals. She felt like she wasn’t doing it right. She had totally developed this stigma that she was not one of those people who could set or meet goals. She had developed this mindset where she didn’t want to set any more goals because she felt she could never meet them. Like with all of these mindsets, they are hard to see. They are hard to acknowledge. It becomes our way of being. So let’s take a moment to break this one down. Maybe you can find a nugget that might be helpful to you.

My client didn’t see the point of setting goals because, in the end, they didn’t get done and they just made her feel bad. It’s like when you’re a kid and you touch a hot stove and get burned. You remember that and you don’t touch the stove again. It’s good that you learned from the experience. So, it made sense that my client didn’t want to set more goals. It’s a normal, healthy reaction after a negative experience.

Look at why you aren’t meeting your goals

My question for you today is to ask yourself, “What is happening with these goals? Why is it that I’m not reaching them?”

I know most of you are not slackers. It’s probably not just because you’re lazy and not doing the work to meet your goals. There’s something else going on. What I’ve found is that most people struggle with setting good goals or SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that reminds us goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound in order to be great goals.

For example, if you set a goal of doing something “better,” that’s not specific enough. What does that mean? The same applies to setting a measurable goal. What does that mean to you? Does that mean more money? More time with children? You have to specifically define what that means to you.

Are you setting achievable goals?

I’d like to focus on the third point: achievable. This is the component of the SMART goal setting that seems to be the most difficult. Someone may set a goal of earning $20,000 a month. My question is whether that’s achievable or not. In order to figure out if a goal is achievable, you have to look at a few things.

First, consider the cost of your widget or whatever you are selling. I have a client who is a sleep and breast-feeding coach for new moms. If she sells her services at $25 per hour or at $100 per hour and can work so many hours per month, it will affect how much she can earn in a given amount of time. The first step, then, is to simply do the math.

Second, you want to consider your personal circumstances. If you set a goal of working out an hour a day, but you have twin infants and a toddler, no family or friends to provide support, and no extra money to spend on childcare, you simply cannot achieve that goal. If you set a goal of losing 20 pounds the first two months postpartum like a celebrity, but you don’t have someone measuring and cooking your food, a personal trainer telling you what to do each day, and someone managing your schedule and your image like that celebrity, it’s probably not going to happen.

The point is to move you forward

Remember that goals are supposed to help motivate. Sometimes people set goals that are not very motivating. They say, “I should do such-and-such.” If you hear that word “should,” get rid of the goal. It’s probably not worth achieving. Remember you want to be able to get behind your goals. They should keep moving your forward. They should excite you. If you find yourself dragging your feet, your priorities may have shifted since you set your goals. Take some time to revisit them and make sure the goals are helping you achieve the successful, happy life you deserve.

Not sure about goal-setting? Don’t even know where to start? Get in touch, I love helping you find clarity on your goals and priorities!

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Mindset Buster: You Don’t Have to Work All the Time to Make Money

Mindset Buster: You Don't Have to Work All the Time to Make Money

Recently, I took the day off to go to local conference. It was a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs to collaborate with teachers, incubators, a few investors and other entrepreneurs. It was fascinating to listen to their mindsets, and for the purposes of this article, it was interesting to see who wasn’t there. Those of us who hold a mindset of having to work all the time don’t attend conferences like that. In fact, we don’t take days off for any reason because we believe we must be working all the time.

Rooted in the Past

Many of us believe that in order to be truly dedicated to our business, especially one that we have started ourselves, that we must sacrifice everything in order to make it successful. We have to give up family, friends, free time and everything else in order to meet our customer’s needs and do all those things that we need to do to succeed.

On the outside, this seems like a noble idea. We hear it all the time in the business world. We hear that the customer is always right. We hear that customer satisfaction is paramount. It’s a mantra that every successful business seems to repeat.

Combine that external message with all those lessons we might have learned as a child or as an employee in the corporate world. We were probably rewarded as children by our parents and teachers for working hard. One major component of our performance reviews in a corporation probably had to do with our work ethic.

We’ve probably even played that game where we try to look like we’re working hard or very busy to make a good impression on those people around us. If our parents, teachers, friends, coworkers, bosses or customers see us working all the time, they will believe that we’re hard workers, that we’re successful entrepreneurs, that we’re good people.

The funny thing is that many of us probably left the corporate world to start our own businesses to get away from that pressure to need to be working all the time. We probably understood that time spent didn’t necessarily mean productivity or success. We wanted to work smarter, not longer. And many of us probably went out on own in order to free up time for other priorities in our lives.

So what happened? How did we get back to what we were trying to escape? And how do we break out of the mindset of needing to be working all the time?

A Case Study

I was coaching a client a few weeks ago. As we were talking, she was telling me how completely overwhelmed she felt. In fact, she was in that place where she felt like she had so much work she couldn’t even write it all down.

When things get that bad, it’s easy to throw up our hands and just believe that that’s life. The reality, however, is that it is only a symptom. It’s not the reality itself. It’s a symptom of certain patterns of behavior. It’s a symptom of time management issues. It’s a symptom of prioritization challenges. It’s a symptom of this mindset of needing to work all the time.

With this particular client, I asked her to give me a brain dump of everything she does for a whole week. When I looked at her list, I had no doubt that she was overwhelmed. She was trying to do an incredible amount of things, but the bottom line was that it was her mindset that was the problem.

One Major Mindset Change

Although we came up with several ideas on how to change the mindset for this particular client, I want to share with you particularly helpful idea in this article. We need to change our idea of what is an appropriate response time.

We live in a world of instant gratification. We can eat whatever out-of-season food we want. We can watch whatever program we want. We can read whatever we want. And we can do all of those things whenever we want to do them. We live in a world of instant text messages, and we expect an immediate answer. On the flip side, we often feel pressure to answer text messages and e-mails immediately.

This particular client was having every e-mail, whether it was a sales pitch, a greeting from a friend or a request from a client, sent to her phone. She spent all day being distracted by every single e-mail that came in, which made it very hard to focus on her more important work. I encouraged her to set aside time in the morning and in the evening, scan her e-mails at those two times only, and respond accordingly. I reassured her that a 24-hour to 48-hour response time was reasonable.

If you are in a similar mindset, that one change alone will reduce your stress significantly. Give yourself permission to compartmentalize your e-mail to a set time. And watch your time become more available and more productive. This goes beyond e-mail as well—phone calls, texts, Facebook alerts all can WAIT. Focus on the task at hand and let some of those things sit, you’ll feel better and get so much more done.

Need help getting to the bottom of your “overwhelm”? I can help! Contact me today for a free call to see if coaching with me is the right fit for your needs.

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Mindset Buster: Being a Working Mom is Selfish

Being a Working Mom is Selfish

We all have these mindsets that affect what we do, the decisions we make and the perspective that we have about our lives. Sometimes these mindsets can be positive ones that we should keep, and other times, we hold mindsets that can actually hold us back from reaching our full potential.

One very common mindset for mompreneurs is that being a working mom is selfish. Let’s take some time to break this down and see where this mindset comes from and what we should do about it.

I was talking with one client who is a great mom. She puts her kids first. She does things for her family all the time. She set priorities that she holds. She also has her own business. She realized, however, that she always felt guilty for being a working mom. That in the back of her mind she held this idea that being a working mom was selfish.

Before the days of motherhood, I lived a pretty self-focused life. I got to choose what time I’d get up in the morning. I picked what and when I wanted to eat. I selected what I wanted to do during the day and what time I wanted to go to bed. And I never really felt guilty about living like that.

Self-care after motherhood

Now we all know that once we get pregnant, something changes inside us. Something about motherhood gets hardwired into us. Suddenly, we give up so much of that self-focused life. Now everything revolves around our husband and children. We cook what the children like to eat. We nurse all night. We get up at 5 a.m. because that’s when the children are awake. We give up our needs and wants to take care of the long list of things for our family. There’s not often a whole lot left for ourselves at the end.

So when moms decide to go back to work, we often hear in our own minds that it is an act of selfishness. Stunning, isn’t it? Before motherhood, it was accepted that sometimes we do things for ourselves. Then when motherhood set in, we put everything ahead of us. Moms, in general, don’t excel at self-care. We rarely take a break, do something to take care of ourselves, or find something fun to do on the weekends.

If we decide to go back to work or to start our own business, it will make us unavailable at times. It will put something before our children at times. This will definitely happen, and it can look selfish. Even if we are earning money to pay for trips for our family or for college, we can still feed those lovely feelings of mother guilt.

“Stealing” time

When I think back to my early days of coaching, I remember feeling like I was stealing all the time. I had two little kids, and if I spent time with them, I felt like I was stealing time from my business. If I was working, then I felt like I was stealing time from my children. I stayed in that mindset of stealing; I was always stealing from some other part of my life. And I always felt guilty. My most important priorities were in conflict. When I was stuck in that stealing mindset, I was not being productive.

What happens in that mindset is that we start unwittingly sabotaging our business and our happiness. I had one client who was blaming the lack of success of her business on her husband. She felt that he had too high of expectations on what she could deliver in her business and what she could handle in housekeeping and childcare. However, as we talked about it more, she realized that she was actually the one with the unreachable expectations. It was her judging herself.

Breaking through mindset busters

She realized that her work was important. It meant a level of fulfillment for her. It gave her family a financial cushion they wanted. It was beneficial to another community. During the times she felt guilty, she would actually choose to do housework instead of higher priorities for her business for the sole purpose of earning the “good mother” badge. In the end, when she talked with her husband, he was actually very supportive. He was committed to helping support her in her business and pick up some of the household and childcare duties.

So how do you avoid this mindset? The first step is always awareness. If this article is resonating with you, then maybe you have this mindset. If you’re not aware, this unconscious mindset will motivate you to behave a certain way and make certain decisions. However, once you have awareness, you are capable of deciding if you want to continue holding the mindset or to change it. If you decide to change the mindset, you can replace it with a positive affirmation. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with your priorities and find ways to support yourself as a wife, mother, and person.

Is a negative mindset holding you back? It may be, even if you can’t identify it. If you’re stuck and need some help, let’s talk. I’d love to see if coaching is a good fit for you. Get in touch!

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Mindset Buster: Yes, You Are Smart Enough

Mindset Buster: Yes, You Are Smart Enough

As a business coach, I work with a lot of clients who hold particular mindsets that can be helpful or not so helpful in their businesses and in their lives. One of these mindsets that I see often is the “I’m not smart enough” mindset. If you’re a mompreneur who holds that mindset, it might be time to revisit that idea and think about busting up that negative notion once and for all.

Often, it’s difficult to call ourselves out on these mindsets. Many of us do not even see ourselves adopting a negative mindset at all. What I’ve found as a business coach, however, is once we start addressing some of these issues by talking about them, they become clear. And once the awareness is there, we can make decisions about what we want to do about those mindsets.

Some of you might resonate with the “I’m not smart enough” mindset. You might even hear yourself saying things like “that’s just beyond me” or “such-and-such is above my level”. Some of you others might not actually verbalize those words but instead, might have a quiet voice inside you that is whispering the same message. In fact, that voice might be so quiet, you might not even realize it’s there until you start thinking about the topic more deliberately.

Mindset example

One of my clients is a sole practitioner of a communications, marketing, and public relations firm. She’s been in the business for under two years, and she works really hard. Like many others, this mompreneur modeled her business on others she admired. She learned from colleagues and mentors before striking out on her own. After awhile, however, she started seeing her competition capturing bigger clients and more clients. She started seeing her competition being recognized within the larger industry. And she started adopting the mindset that she could not compete. She started believing that she was not smart enough to make it. Once that negativity sets in, it can be crippling to your business and to your life.

After we spent some time talking, we discovered that this practitioner really wasn’t making a fair comparison. She was comparing herself to all those whom she admired. What she failed to see was that her so-called competition was a seasoned veteran in the business with a decade of experience, employed a large team of freelancers and staff, and simply had more monetary resources than she did. She was a relative newcomer to the market, worked as a sole practitioner and had limited time and resources. She was comparing apples to oranges.

The problem with that comparison and the resulting mindset is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you decide to believe that you’re not smart enough and that your competition is better, you will automatically begin to look for evidence to confirm that belief. You’ll literally start searching for evidence to prove that you’re right. That’s exactly what my client did. She had a long list of examples to show me that her belief that she was not smart enough was true.

Challenge your mindset

My challenge to all of you is to think about what mindsets you have about work, your business, and your life. If you have a mindset that is anything less than believing you are doing your very best and that you will achieve your goals, then you might have something to work on. Consider whether you have that little negative voice that is pointing out negative experiences or whether you see positive things, can note your achievements and see your accomplishments. Take stock and consider how your mindset affects your work, your life and yourself.

Here’s a personal example to help illustrate my point. When I was growing up, I never flew anywhere so I had a mindset that I was not one of those people who got on an airplane and went anywhere. It was likely that I’d continue with that mindset, but I had this shift when I was 21 years old that I could be one of those people who flew to places. That mindset could have held me back from doing new things, having new positive experiences, and growing in exciting ways.

I had another client who had a mindset where she thought she didn’t deserve to be happy. She acquired this mindset because of some bad decisions she had made in her life but then held fast to those ideas. That mindset was not a healthy one, and once she worked through that, she discovered she was a person who deserved to be happy.

Today, I challenge you to think about the beliefs you hold about yourself, your business, your life, even your family. Write them down. Think about whether your mindset is helping you support and achieve your goals. If they are, keeping doing what you’re doing. If they are not, decide whether you want to change, whether you’re ready to change, whether it’s time to change. If the answer is yes, then you have some pretty exciting goals to work toward in upcoming months.

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Success Doesn’t Have to Be Hard, So Don’t Make it Harder!

Mindset makes such a difference. During my work with clients lately, I’ve noticed a mindset out there that success has to be hard. It has to hurt a little. It means that you have to be really busy all the time and sacrifice your health, your time, your children and your marriage in order to achieve success.

Are you hiding this sneaky mindset?

Now I know that most of you reading this are shaking your heads and can see how that idea is a ridiculous one. I know you are smart and savvy enough to know, at an intellectual level, that makes no sense. However, even if you think you agree with me, this article could be aimed at you. Why? Because this mindset is a sneaky one. You might not even realize you are holding this mindset, yet it can be affecting your life in a significant way.

Why am I unhappy?

I have this particular client who is an absolute powerhouse. She owns a fitness studio and has amazing willpower over her body and her health. She manages her time well and successfully manages a growing staff of half a dozen employees and teachers. I enjoy working with her, and over time, we’ve come up with many different ideas to increase her sales or improve her hiring or auditing processes. She is a ninja when it comes to executing her business assignments.

Recently she sounded different. When I asked what was going on, she started telling me about some of her family drama. Now, we all have family drama in our lives, whether it be with our own immediate families or with extended family members.

After I listened to her, I reminded her of business success. She had been on such an upward swing. She had reached an amazing level of success with more clients, increased profits, and decreased expenses. She said she knew that, and she knew she should be happy, but she wasn’t.

I started asking her some more questions, and after quite awhile, I finally got her to uncover the cause of her unhappiness. The bottom line was that her business was going so well that it was starting to freak her out. Things were suddenly easier. She was leaving earlier, working in the business less and on the business more. She wasn’t needed as much as she was in her start-up days, and that scared her.

She started telling me about her family. Her father worked in a high-stress job and wasn’t around much. After her father died, her mother worked two jobs in order to provide for her children. She learned from watching her parents that success meant busting your butt, working really hard all the time, and being stressed out. Since she was no longer working so hard, she felt lazy and that trouble was looming around the corner.

As a result of this mindset, she started looking for things to be stressed out about. All the family drama had been there all along, but that when she was focused on her business she didn’t notice. It wasn’t a priority, and it didn’t bother her. However, now that her business was going well, she noticed all these things and allowed them to bother her so she could be stressed about something.

Are you allowing stress in because it’s “supposed” to be there?

Now I want you to think about that. Have you ever focused on a problem where there wasn’t one? Do you have a mindset where things have to be hard? Does stress equal success? Do you believe that success looks only one way?

I want you to sit down with a piece of paper and write down what success looks like to you. What have you learned about success from your parents, your spouse, your friends, your business associates? What have they taught you about success? What instead should success be?

I hate the claim that success looks only one way. That unless you are working 70 or 80 hours per week, you can’t be successful. Unless you grow exponentially and sell your business for millions of dollars, you are not successful. Unless you have sacrificed everything else in your life, you can’t be successful.

I think that’s ridiculous. Yes, I believe in having a solid work ethic. However, I want you to enjoy the fruit of your labor and your hard-earned success. I want you to be able to relax and spend more time with your family. I want you to be happy.

Take some time to bring awareness to it. If you know what your mindset is you can invent a better, new mindset for the future.

Need help sorting out your mindset and expectations? Feeling stuck, but not sure why or how to fix it? It might be time for you to hire a coach! This is what I do with clients day in and day out. Contact me today to find out if I could be the right fit in helping you move forward.

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Busting Mindset Blocks – Getting Out of Your Own Way

When you are going into business for yourself, you are bound to run into some pretty serious obstacles. The biggest obstacle may end up being your own boss. Being your own boss is a mindset. You need to learn whole new skills when it comes to self-discipline. Your mindset blocks can keep you from having the success you are looking for with your business—which is why we’re going to spend some time busting up some of the most common mindset blocks. A mindset block is a belief you have that keeps you from succeeding that you may not even realize you have. Once you have identified and broken through these mindset blocks, you’ll be able to succeed at a whole new level.

Learning the tasks you need to do from day to day to run your business is all skill-based: you can do it, or you can even outsource it. BUT, your mindset is something you can’t outsource and it may be something you have to spend time practicing. It will set the stage for what is and is not possible. Your beliefs about your ability to be a mom and business owner simultaneously will ultimately doom your business to failure or set it up for massive success. If deep down you feel as though you can not succeed at your business, you are not going to take the action your business needs in order to succeed.

Realizing that you need a mindset shift is one of the biggest parts of changing your mindset. Many entrepreneurs out there have no idea that their mindset is holding their business back. It is very important to look to see if you have any limiting beliefs about the progression of your business. You may feel deep down that it is impossible for you to really succeed in your business while also being a good mom. This is a common example of a mindset block that you have to bust through before you can expect to be successful in your business.

Understanding your current mindset is the step in your journey toward success. You need to assess where you are mentally in regards to your business. If you are dealing with some major conflicts in your belief system, take a moment to address these issues. Ask yourself why you feel as though you couldn’t be a great mom and an awesome entrepreneur at the same time (or whatever block you have found). Look deeper at your mindset and keep asking questions about why you have that belief. For this particular mindset, try setting some mom metrics to help you measure!

If you are trying to take your business to the next level, you need to take your mindset to the next level. This is the only way that you are going to find true success—however you define it. Having trouble identifying or breaking through some of your mindset blocks? Get in touch. I’m great at finding and helping you conquer whatever blocks you’re struggling with!

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