Top Three Tips for a Successful Summer as a Mompreneur

sunny wall with bicycle

It’s that time of year. The school year is coming to a close or already has, and you may be wondering how you will survive the summer. As a mompreneur, there are mixed feelings when it comes to summer. A part of you is looking forward to spending time with your kids and going on family vacations, but you also must maintain a business. It’s normal to want to power down and go into maintenance mode with your business and enjoy family time, and with a strategic approach, it can be done.

Why is summer so wild?

Getting through the summer without going crazy is the number one topic with my coaching clients around this time of year. There are many reasons why summer tends to be a little stressful. For one, we often tend to give up our routine during the summer. Lack of routine is a contributing factor to some of the stress and chaos in our lives.

Also, kids get bored, and what happens when kids get bored? They sometimes misbehave. Or, they may look to you for stimulation. When we don’t have a routine, everyone gets on a different clock. Your children may stay up later; you may stay up later. This is especially an issue during the summer.

Another reason why summer can be such a challenge is that there is a lack of clear expectations. This is a really critical element to address during the summer. Kids are used to a routine during the school year. Their days are structured and they are constantly being told what to do, where to go, and when. During the school year, they have a consistent schedule. When kids no longer have this routine and structure during the summer, we expect them to figure it out on their own. If there is no routine, your summer will be more stressful.

Three summer success tips

If you want to have a successful and happy summer you must get everyone on board by taking a strategic approach to scheduling, communicating, and setting clear expectations. These three tips will help you have a successful summer for your family and business.

1. Create a Summer Calendar
It’s important to have a visual. Get a poster board for each summer month. Create calendars, and fill them in with events that you know are going to take place. Be sure to have your kids participate. Little kids that cannot read or write yet can draw pictures or use stickers. Note craft projects, and your family summer bucket list. Place the calendars in a prominent place; they must be very visible to the entire family.

2. Have Family Meetings
Family meetings provide much-needed routine and help communicate clear expectations. These meetings do not need to be formal but should take place near the calendar. Meetings can take place at breakfast time while everyone is gathered. These meetings should be weekly, and daily. At the start of the week, go over what is planned for the week, and fill in anything that is missing. Everyone should be clear on the overall plan for the week. Start each day with a meeting. Talk about what is going to happen for the day. For example, discuss who needs to be picked up from where and when. Communicate upfront before the day or week begins.

3. Get Input and Collaboration
As noted when creating your summer calendar, always get input from the entire family when making summer plans. Don’t create a calendar alone and expect everyone to be happy about it. If you engage everyone then they become collaborators who share your expectations. Shared expectations help reduce stress and chaos.

You can have a successful summer from a family and business perspective with careful planning, communicating, and setting clear expectations. Enjoy your summer!

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How to Stay True to Your Family Priorities as a Mompreneur

Have you ever felt like though you are succeeding in business, you are not doing so well as a mother? This can be a very common issue for mompreneurs, and you are not alone.

As a business owner, you have probably set goals, timelines, and measurable metrics for where you want your business to go in the future. But, unfortunately, many of us don’t often do the same for motherhood.

Women who find success with how their businesses are going oftentimes realize after accomplishing their business dreams that they don’t feel successful with their families. There are so many pieces and dynamics at play when you are both a mother and a business owner. One of the biggest is that it is very easy to get caught up (and carried away) in business. Your business, clients and schedule have needs and demands that are right in front of you demanding your attention. You are always quoting a potential client, building a new sales funnel or keeping your many appointments each day. Your business has its own ways of keeping you accountable—we just don’t have those metrics to keep us accountable in motherhood.

Sometimes, even the best laid plans of “making time” (planning to work until 2pm, then have family time from 2pm-5pm) can be sent completely off the rails unexpectedly. Humans can be tricky. Especially humans of the smaller variety! They are sleepy, hungry, grumpy, or just plain fussy. When you make a plan and can’t stick to it for some reason, it can be very difficult for some of us to bounce back when the plans change unexpectedly. These changes can cause stress and unhappiness and, after a pattern of this, it can be tempting to get frustrated and stop trying to plan. You will find yourself drawn to focus more on your business because it is predictable and you are in control. You just feel happier and more relaxed when you make a plan and stick to it—and that’s generally easier with your business than with your family.

Here are the three things I recommend if you see this becoming a pattern for you:

1. You have to force yourself to put real metrics in place. Because we know that best laid plans don’t always work out; but having some plans and some routine helps. Help your children and family members know what to expect because it will help you have much greater chances of accomplishment.

2. Make a point to always minimize your business or work distractions during your allotted family time. Don’t allow yourself to zone out and just get on the internet or check your email “real quick”. Create a very real boundary between work and family time.

3. Plan ahead for quality time. Sit down, free from stress and distractions, and make a hit list of 5-10 quality activities you can do in just 30 minutes at a time (walk around block, going to open swim, craft time). Put things on your list that make you feel successful as a mom—because that’s what this is about!  Now, when a moment comes up where your kids need you, you’ll have a list of activities ready to go and not waste time trying to decide what to do together.

If you can implement just some of these rules and do so with determination, you will feel a huge shift in your ability to “mom” just a little better. You will feel more connected and present in the time that you are spending with your family. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend grabbing my book Moms Mean Business. My co-author Erin and I really dig deep into creating metrics for your business and your family so you feel successful on all fronts.

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11 Steps To Owning Your Path

Owning your path. That sounds like a great idea, right? We’re all on a path, most of them winding, some quite crooked, with a fair amount of bumps along the way. But that path is ours, so let’s dig into what it means to really own it and how we can apply that to our businesses so that we are moving forward into our future with confidence and intent.

  1. VISION. Your vision is your focus—what your eyes are fixed on. Whatever you focus on you get more of. So adjust your focus to the positive, to what you hope for, to where you want to go.
  2. WHY. Things are going to get tough. Things are going to get messy. You’re going to get confused, distracted, discouraged. Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing ensures that your motivation and inspiration to keep moving forward is coming from within, not based on all the external circumstances that you’re facing.
  3. CULTURE. Who you are, how you’ve done things up to this point, your habits, and your mindset are critical forces in determining the path you will choose. All these things come together to make you who you are. Embrace it!
  4. POSSIBILITIES. Don’t get trapped by a “But this is how I’ve always done it” mentality. Open yourself up to the world of possibilities that awaits you when you replace old habits that aren’t serving you with a mindset that says, “This is possible.”
  5. EXPERIENCE. Experience is the skills, knowledge, and expertise that you have acquired over the course of your life. Acknowledge your strengths, the things you are best at, and determine how you may use them going forward.
  6. COMMITMENTS. This is the “owning” part of owning your path. This is where you put a stake in the ground and declare, “It will be done because it matters to me!”
  7. PRACTICE. Practice is the opposite of perfectionism. It’s the opposite of fear. It is being willing to stink at something and keep trying until we get it right. Keep practicing!
  8. SUPPORT. Support is so critical to owning your path—both giving and receiving it. Get the help you need from others and invest time and energy into others to help them on their own paths.
  9. ACTION. This is where the rubber meets the road! Baby steps are still steps. Take action and make it happen!
  10. ACCOUNTABILITY. As internal as owning your path may seem, we need external drivers to keep us on track. Accountability is a good and necessary element of success, whether it is enlisting the guidance of a coach or simply checking in with a likeminded accountability buddy.
  11. CHOICE. This is all about your choice. It’s at the heart of everything. There is freedom in realizing that no one is making you do this, that this path you’re on is your choice, and that nobody can take away the success you find along the way because nobody but you has gotten you there.

I hope these tips help inspire you to really own your path. Do you have others you would add to the list? Let me know on Facebook!

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The Definition Of Insanity

Albert Einstein Quote“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~Albert Einstein

 

Sounds simple enough. Even if it’s not completely insane, I think we can all agree that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something different is at the very least… well, not very bright, right? But yet, I can speak for myself when I say that in business, and especially in motherhood, there have been times I know I’ve been certifiable, according to this definition of insanity! We’ve all been there. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we waste our time repeating actions and patterns that don’t yield the results we want?

 

Let’s take a look at some of the common places in our lives that we could be exhibiting signs of insanity, according to the definition above.

 

  1. Are you struggling with your kids during the same time of day, day after day after day? Before school, dinnertime, bedtime—you know the drill! I refer to it as “the witching hour.” Whenever it is at your house, you dread it, because the same thing goes down every. single. day.

 

  1. Are you having the same argument with your spouse or partner over and over and over again? You know how this one plays out. There is a topic that always sets you or your partner off, without fail. Someone says the word, and it’s all downhill from there—you say this, he says that, and the end result is nothing short of predictable.

 

  1. Are you marketing and networking like crazy but still not getting the sales, new customers, or more money that you desperately need? You’re in massive action. I mean you are just out there making it happen. But it’s not producing the results you’re after.

 

  1. Are you having a hard time finding time for your own health and well-being, even though you claim it’s one of your top priorities? You can just never seem to get enough sleep. It is impossible to find time to exercise. Date nights or girls’ weekends are a thing of the past. These are all things that are important to you, but for some reason or another, they’re just not happening.

 

These four areas are very common pitfalls for us mompreneurs to get stuck in. These are the areas where we tend to compromise some of our best skills, talents, knowledge, and expertise, in favor of getting stuck in a rut of routine that simply doesn’t serve us. So ladies, it’s not really about insanity, is it? Look around you. Look at those kids around your ankles that will one day be great big teenagers. Look at that brand new business that could one day be an empire. Things change. We need to be ready to change along with them.

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

In which area are you exhibiting signs of insanity?

 

What patterns, habits, or routines are no longer serving you?

 

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Top 10 Signs It’s Time To Hire A Coach

Hire a CoachYou’ve got some big goals. You’ve been in business for a while now and you’re ready for things to make a turn for the better. You’re involved in the MomBiz community and consuming as much information as you can. But at some point you say, “That’s it. I’m ready. I’m going to do it.” Is it time for you to hire a coach? If you’re trying to figure out if you’re at that point, this blog post is for you. Is it time for you to stop doing everything you know to do and reach out for help? That’s what I do for a living, girls. You know that. Maybe today isn’t the day for you, but when it is I’d be honored to help you.

 

Here are the top ten signs that you might need to hire a coach:

 

  1. You are overwhelmed. When you’re doing it all as fast as you can, and you don’t even have time to stop and think and plan and have a vision and check in with yourself and make sure that you’re actually doing what you said you were going to do… this is an awesome time to hire a coach.

 

  1. You can’t even remember why you started this business in the first place. Have you “lost that lovin’ feelin’” when it comes to your biz? Chances are your priorities have gotten lost somewhere along the way. You started this business with a set of ideals in place. Let’s get you back to that.

 

  1. You are stuck in learning, learning, learning mode. You absolutely have to keep learning. However, you also have to be the one who leads your team so that your business stays on top, becomes more profitable, and offers more and more value. If you’re off learning, learning, learning, who is minding the shop? This might be the time to hire a coach.

 

  1. Your sales are falling off and you don’t know why. It could be a lot of different things. The market, your clients, your product funnel, types of offers, target audience… How do you know? That’s my job. I can help you figure that out.

 

  1. You’re following the book on marketing to the letter, but you can’t get new clients. The most common reason for this, if you are indeed doing best practices for engagement and content marketing, is that you are just not visible and credible enough to your audience yet. A coach can help you build the credibility and visibility necessary to bring those clients to you.

 

  1. You’re at a crossroads and you need to make a big decision. “Is it time for me to really ramp it up, get a nanny, hire employees, go big or go home?” These are the kinds of decisions you should make with a trusted partner, guide, coach. I would love to help you with that. I can help you make a powerful decision, not one that you felt you had to make under pressure, backed into a corner.

 

  1. Your husband, your family, and your friends have no idea why you’re working so hard. Listen, there is nothing worse than busting your butt, having a passion, and being all fired up about it, and having the people closest to you in your world just not get it. It hurts. I know. I’ve been there. I can help you figure out how to communicate what’s so important to you and why it’s so important to you so that you can get the buy-in you need from the people you love the most.

 

  1. Your partner is putting pressure on you to either make more money or call it quits. Let’s make you some money! A coach can help you choose the most viable path for that goal.

 

  1. You’re doing every single thing you know how to do, you’re doing it as fast as you can, you are working as hard as you can, and you just can’t do anymore. My friend, let’s talk about delegating. Let’s talk about managing your business through processes, systems, and automation, key factors in any successful business.

 

  1. You are ready for a change and you want a guide or mentor who has been there, done that, and can help you. Well, hey, that’s my job. Contact me and let’s talk about how I can help you reach the goals you’re so passionate about.

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

Have you ever worked with a coach?

 

Evaluate these signs today. Is it time to make that leap?

 

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You’re Speaking My Language!

You're Speaking My Language“Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” ~Stephen Covey

 

Being understood is a universal need for all of us, isn’t it? If we can speak and articulate our needs, our thoughts, our desires, then we have a chance of getting those needs, thoughts, and desires met. If we don’t communicate effectively, chances are things are probably showing up as a struggle for us in our lives. So if we need to be understood and our clients need to be understood, what are some ways that our communication strategies can boost our marketing effectiveness?

 

Like, know, and trust.

 

When we communicate effectively, people begin to like, know, and trust us. We’ve talked about this “like, know, and trust” factor many times before. If we’re going to compete in the business world on more than just a price standpoint, this is where it’s at. When your clients like, know, and trust you, the value of your products and services is going to go up. And following that increase in value is a willingness to open the wallet and spend money with you.

 

How do we cultivate this “like, know, and trust” factor?

 

Be yourself. What is your unique voice? Well, when you visit a website, do you prefer a bland earful of product and service offerings, or do you enjoy that feeling of knowing the mind behind the madness before making that purchase? My target market is a market I can relate to because I am one of them! When I create a message, I want my target market to go, “Yep. She must have written that for me.” That feeling of being related to and understood when somebody out there says it exactly the way you were thinking it is priceless.

 

Market yourself. Website, e-zine, newsletter, blog, social media—all these platforms are vehicles for effective and authentic communication with your target market and can be used to create relationships that give you a leg up on the competition.

 

Be interesting. Who is your target market? Answer some important questions about their interests and pain points in order to craft your language to speak to those exact things and cause them to feel understood. What are the top challenges of my target market? What are their favorite things to do? What motivates this group? When you can communicate on a level that matches their priorities and concerns, they know that you “get” them and are more likely to buy from you.

 

Does your target market feel understood?

 

I hope this has been helpful today. I believe this is one of those topics we need to revisit from time to time in order to check in on our language and focus. Are we communicating the way we want to? Are we communicating in the language that our clients speak? Are we communicating in a way that makes them feel understood?

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

Have you struggled with speaking your target market’s language?

 

Can you think of a time when you, as a customer, had that feeling of not being understood?

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Get Real: When “Just” You is Just Enough

Get RealI think it’s fair to say that most of us either are now or started out as solopreneurs in our small businesses. If you’re not familiar with the term, simply put, we’re talking about a “company of one”—a company of one where YOU are the ONE. If you’ve been around MomBiz now for a while, you have probably heard me refer to you as being CEO of your company. Well, when you are a solopreneur, CEO stands for Chief Everything Officer! Now if we’re really honest with ourselves, most of us, at least in the beginning, try our best to obscure the fact that we’re “going it alone” from our market, prospective clients, and competition. I’d like to make an argument today for some compelling reasons to stop the madness and own up to the way things really are. I think the potential outcomes of authenticity just may surprise you.

 

Here are some signs you’re struggling with “just” being you.

 

Let’s go to your business website and take a look at two details. Answer these questions for me. Do you have an “About Me” page or an “About Us” page? How about your contact form? Does it promise to “Contact Me” or “Contact Us?” Use of the “royal we” is one of the main signs that authenticity is a challenge for you. Now if this is you, and you’re really identifying with what I’m saying here, there is no condemnation! When I created my very first website I used that royal we EVERYWHERE. I talked about myself as though I were multiple people. And certainly, I do juggle a lot of roles that can make me nearly schizophrenic at times. But it’s not real, is it? It’s not honest.

 

Why in the world do we do this?

 

If you’re using the royal we at every opportunity, chances are you may be concerned that you won’t be viewed as credible or professional or established enough in comparison to your competitors. First of all, let me tell you it is okay to feel that way. Of course you want to create an image that people can trust. Your motivation is spot-on. But let me remind you for a moment that creating that image—that not quite you image—is an action based on fear. And any time we make choices based on fear, crazy stuff happens. Bottom line is you are trying to be something you’re not, and in turn, the foundation you are building from is the self-limiting belief that you are not enough—not good enough, not worthy enough, not credible enough, not big enough. All of that is just fear talking. None of that is true.

 

Why it’s worth it to let your clients get to know the real you:

 

The real you is a lot more interesting than that image of what you think you should be. If you believe that about yourself, so will others. I invite you to just consider authenticity. Be enough. When you trust you, when you decide that you’re good enough, when you know you have something of value to offer… something kind of magical begins to happen. Your potential clients get to know you.   They like who you are. They trust you, because you’re someone like them. You’re real.

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

Do you struggle with letting your market get to know the real you?

 

How can you demonstrate to others your faith in yourself that you are enough?

 

 

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Ready, Set, Grow!

ready set growSo we’ve determined YOU’RE GROWING. What next? Well, we don’t just want to grow until we split at the seams, do we? While explosive growth can be exciting momentarily, what we really want is to grow successfully—intentionally, focused, with our goals in mind. Your existing structures and systems can only take you so far, as evidenced by some of the crunches you feel as you approach your maximum capacity for sales, for time… for life! Growth is a good thing, so we want to support that growth with positive changes and flexibility in our systems that will allow us to continue to expand our influence and reach outward.

 

Here are some areas we need to examine as we prepare to get growing:

 

Your business plan. Take a look at your current business plan. What’s missing? Let’s narrow the focus a bit by concentrating on what goals you’d like to achieve in just the next 30 days. What strategies do you need to have to make these goals happen? What actions do you need to take to make these strategies happen? Create that 30-day plan for your business and don’t stress out too much about what the extended future holds. One step at a time!

 

Your marketing plan. When you’re full to capacity with clients and orders, it’s easy to get comfortable and discontinue your marketing efforts. Ladies, listen to me when I say that would be a monumental mistake. Do not stop moving forward with your marketing. Create a marketing plan that capitalizes on the great success you’re having and don’t let it waver or wane. It may mean delegating or even outsourcing as you stretch and grow, but keep that marketing plan in front of you and never get too comfortable.

 

Your support systems. Do you have the staff in place to handle the growth you are projecting for the next month? How about the vendors? What about administrative support? Is it time to hire a virtual assistant? A webmaster? Order fulfillment? I know that’s a lot to think about, but what is it that you need in order to follow your plan and allow the growth you’re experiencing to continue? It has to look different than it does right now. These are the “what’s missing” in your current systems.

 

Your high-payoff actions. These are the things that make you money. This is where you need to spend your time. It’s going to be more critical than ever that you keep your focus on these high-payoff actions and know that it’s okay to delegate the rest. Your time is money, so use your time to make money!

 

These are just a few ideas to help you grow responsibly and gracefully. I am so committed to helping mom entrepreneurs have the life they want through the business they want and experiencing that wonderful feeling of success when they find they are doing both. I hope these tips will have you on your way to that kind of success.

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

What’s missing from your business plan right now?

 

What support systems can you add in order to allow growth to continue?

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Growing Pains

Growing PainsPart of defining success is being willing to grow your business beyond where it is today. Growing pains are good! They are often signs that it is time to push past what we know and move toward that ultimate vision we are working so hard to reach. It’s a scary but exciting place to be, isn’t it? A lot is involved in being ready to grow. It requires having the appropriate structures, systems, plans, and mindsets in place to allow that to happen. Well, so often we don’t even recognize that we have outgrown these systems and structures until we feel the pinches and discomfort of that growth. Sometimes we may even perceive this “pain” as failure, when in reality, it’s a big, red flag that not only are we not failing, but it’s time to make some changes and expand what we’re doing to make room for even more growth. So let’s take a look at some signs that can clue you in that it’s time to grow. Are you ready?

Some signs that you are growing:

Higher volumes. This is a given, right? Woohoo! It’s time to celebrate! Higher volumes of orders, clients, or prices are all obvious signs we associate positively with growth.

But not all signs are so positive, are they? Do either of these look familiar?

Longer hours. In fact, you may be working more and more and more, but you still can’t keep up. You may be sleep-deprived, missing out on family time, or neglecting personal rest and recreation. Sometimes it takes becoming completely overwhelmed before finally realizing it’s time to get some help in order to create space for more growth.

Breakdowns. Are you forgetting things? Dropping the ball? Making promises you can’t keep? You may feel as though your whole world is falling apart, piece-by-piece, but if these sorts of things are happening across the scope of your business and personal life, it may a sign that you are outgrowing what currently works for you.

Growth is messy business. If your life is going along just fine and everything feels great and it’s all handled perfectly, then chances are you’re not growing. That’s the status quo. The status quo feels good. It’s “normal.” But we’re not shooting for normal here, are we, ladies? We are pursuing excellence. And excellence requires growth—breaking through the status quo, pushing past what’s currently comfortable for you, moving beyond what you know how to handle, and having the courage and confidence to go after your dreams.

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

Which of these growing pains are you experiencing in your business right now?

Have you ever felt that you are failing, only to discover you have outgrown your current systems?

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Overcoming The Fear Of Marketing

Overcoming the Fear of MarketingI’d say we generally understand “fear” to be a dirty, little, four-letter word.  As mompreneurs, it tends to present in our businesses looking something like this:  “I am scared I’ll look stupid” or “I don’t know how to do that” or “I’m not good enough at that yet to get paid what I want.”  These are all fears that we have.  They typically show up as a little voice inside our heads that we may not even realize we’re listening to.  It’s really sneaky sometimes.  And even though we probably feel like we’re ignoring them a lot of the time, these fears have a loud way of showing up in our lives because they keep us from doing the things that we really want to do.  Marketing is one of those things that we know we need to do, and we know we want the results, but oftentimes are just too afraid to do it, at least in a powerful way.  If you’re someone who struggles with this, I’m hoping I can give you some tools to help.

 

Here are three solutions to overcoming the fear of marketing:

 

1.  Know your target market.  Underneath it all, if you understand your target market—their top priorities, challenges, and what keeps them up at night—then you can become an expert at what your prospective clients need.  If you become an expert on what your prospective clients need, then you’ll gain some confidence in providing solutions that add value to their lives.  When you feel that confidence, it will be so much easier for you to market yourself—to share who you are in this world and what you have to offer.

 

2.  Create your 10-second elevator pitch.  This unique business statement (around ten seconds, hence the name) tells your niche market who you are, what you do, and why they should care.  You’re going to practice this statement again and again and again so that there is absolutely no doubt, even in your most panicked situations, who your target market is, what value you bring to that market, and how to describe yourself in a way that makes that value evident.  This is a practical tool to help you get out of your own way and overcome some of the fears you may have around marketing yourself.

 

3.  See yourself as valuable.  Yes, you are a mom, and a good one at that!  And any time we put the word “mom” in front of “entrepreneur,” that says something about our priorities.  But just because your first priority is being an awesome mom does not mean that you can’t contribute to the world in other ways.  You can do it.  You are smart enough.  You deserve it.  Those fears inside us that talk to us about “But what if…?” and “But I’m not…”—they’re just fears!  Fears are not the truth about who we are and what we’re capable of, and if we’re going to be successful and if we want to share the wonderful work that we’re up to in the world, we’re going to have to stop them in their tracks.

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

Do you have a 10-second elevator pitch?  Share it with us!

 

In what ways can you speak truth to yourself instead of fear? 

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