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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Things to Think About When Setting Your Prices

If there is one question that can keep you up more than any other as an entrepreneur, it is probably the question about how you value what you do or sell. How do you set effective prices?

Trouble can easily be created when you set your prices too high or too low. It can be very challenging to know exactly where you should be pricing—it’s not an exact science—but there still is some science that can help you. Pricing can be especially difficult if you are just starting out in your business or if you are rolling out something new. How do you know whether it’s the right price and if it is going to work for your audience?

There are three key factors to focus on when setting prices:

  1. Your target customer
  2. How much your competitors are charging
  3. Understanding the relationship between quality and price

It can be a very common mistake, especially in the beginning of your business, to underprice everyone else. It is a common misconception that if you are the least expensive, you will get more volume, purchases, or sign ups. This is simply not always the case. If you have less of a reputation than the competition you are undercutting, you risk being perceived by potential customers simply as cheap. You will see that most people are unwilling to purchase from someone who they believe has less value.

As a dear friend of mine always says, be wary of the bottom feeders or the ones who are just looking for the cheapest price. That person will never be loyal to you, they will always move to the lowest price.

Who is your ideal client?

No matter what you are creating, if you take the time to figure out who your ideal client is, that information will serve you well in the long term. Are they an avid shopper? Coupon collector? Are they more price or value sensitive? Customers need to believe that they are getting the best value for their money. It’s hard to drive value when someone cannot come in and touch something physically, so you have to focus on creating your customer experience.

What are your costs?

Something that absolutely everyone should do, but gets skipped all too often is knowing your costs. What costs do you have do you have to run your business, develop your products or services? Hard costs and soft costs should both be factored into your overall price model. Do you have costs for labor, marketing and selling or operating expenses? Literally, keeping the lights on, using your cell phone for your business, mileage on your car and your personal fixed assets. These are all things that are depreciating in value and being used due to you owning your business.

How much do you need/want to make?

It is also a critical step to define what your revenue target is for the year. From there, you can determine how many of each product or service you need to sell to reach that target, which can in turn shed some light on your pricing structure.

What value do you add?

Always remember your individual value that you bring to the table. Do you add extra services, guarantees or bonuses that your competition do not? What do your customers receive for buying from you instead of someone else? Figure out what your audience will pay for what you are selling, and then consider what you can do to distinguish yourself from the rest. Your pricing will fall into place.

Need help figuring out the answers to these questions? Not sure where to start? Contact me today for one-on-one coaching!

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Permission Granted: You Don’t Have to Make Your Passion Your Job

Guess what you get today? You get my permission (not that you really ever needed it). Ready? Permission granted. You are granted permission to free yourself from “shoulds”, the “woulds” and the “coulds” that can be thrown at us by our daily lives and the media. These things tend to have an uncanny power to stress us out and make us unhappy.

When you set goals for yourself, you probably create an action plan and get going right on it don’t you? I know you do! And sometimes, you find yourself doing it all right, following the plan & meeting the goals and yet you are missing something. There is some element missing from the equation that would’ve made that goal truly fulfilling and satisfying for you. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be nearly impossible to figure out what or why that is for you. The reality is things can always change mid-plan. So many different things can happen in the time frame that you are so focused on your plan that you are distracted and don’t even notice. Then, you wind up reaching your goals & benchmarks and realizing that you are still feeling unhappy.

Sometimes, I think a large part of this can be the alignment or misalignment with your purpose and your passion. Good jobs are financially stable, offer a predictable routine,  and have benefits like sick days, time off and insurance. But, what if you have a “good job” but your true passion is something completely different? What if you are a nurse who loves public speaking, a waitress who feels inspiration in writing short stories or a paralegal who thrives through her photography? All of the sudden it has become a very common theme that if someone is not doing work that they love, there is something wrong. Or worse, that you better feel a burning passion for what you do—or quit and search until you find it. There is a crazy pressure to measure yourself and your success based on whether you truly love your work or not.

Well I’m here to say it is not one thing at the expense of all else. There are certain passions or hobbies that will never make good money. There I said it. Some things were just never meant to be a profit-turning venture. You can enjoy your passions your off time, while also keeping you fulfilling, stable job. I say go for it.

Happiness and fulfillment aren’t always in the same package. I can’t feel right coaching someone starting a business doing something they love, but also isn’t necessarily something that will ever be a profitable, sensible business. Or if it could, it would no longer be any fun anymore. Starting a business means wearing many hats, of which have nothing to do with the thing you are passionate about—like bookkeeping, paying bills, keeping schedules, appointments, managing people, and budgets.

You do not have to leave your job, take off and quit just because your job isn’t fulfilling you. If your job is providing you with things that you value and need for your priorities, you can usually find some other way to use, develop or enjoy your passion. This will still allow you to leave the mark or legacy that matters to you—that’s how I would do it.

I’m lucky to be passionate about being a coach, but I also don’t have to be a breadwinner. I don’t have a weight on my shoulders to support my family financially. I chose this path so I could spend more time with my kids and family while also doing what I love. If I wanted to build a huge business and wanted to define success in terms of extreme growth and profitability, I could do that. But it would also cause a major cosmic shift in our family dynamics, which is most certainly not something I want—at least not right now. I like the time I am around to spend with my kids, responding to emergencies and being here for them while still getting to enjoy my business. When my kids are older, I may shift that to a more growth and profit driven model, but only when it doesn’t affect my ability to spend my time with my family.

So, you’re welcome. Stop listening to the media and getting pushed around that you are some sort of failure if you are just doing a job that suits you and your priorities right now. You are not a failure. You can do a job that serves your family and find ways to fulfill your passions elsewhere in your life. You get to be happy and successful on your terms.

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Defining Your Values is the Key to Your Success

Today we are going to talk about one of my most vibrant, creative clients. I mean inspiration and creativity just oozes out of her and she would love to be able to dedicate herself to helping others find imagination & fulfillment in their lives the way she has in hers. Sounds absolutely wonderful, right? Well, of course! But, there is just one big, burning question. Can she create a successful, happy business from this ideas and be successful on her own terms?

Her values & priorities are things like: being fulfilled, having a creative outlet, doing meaningful work, leaving her mark on the world & creating a legacy she can be proud of. Those are the major, important things to her as well as her family and financial security, of course.

Now, let me just tell you, she has a great business idea. Absolutely so great that I feel honored to be able to help her achieve that and think people will love it! But, she needs to be the one to define what it means to her to consider this a successful business.

Thinking through questions like:

  • Is she looking to quit her job and do this business full time?
  • Does she intend to scale to the point that she can entirely replace her full time, primary source of income?
  • What if it only makes a little money? Will it feel successful and fulfilling at any level of success or does she have a benchmark?
  • Or do you NEED to make enough to replace your income?

Once she has answered those questions, she will need to consider business models that can help you accomplish that. There are many different models and things to consider. One of those things to consider is the investment into your business. Investment will affect your “salary” from your business, which is not something you will be used to after being paid from an outside employer. When working for an employer, you have a salary for your position, but you also don’t pay any of the money required to make your job happen. You don’t have the overhead and expenses that you have as a business and as an entrepreneur. Do not neglect to think about costs to make your salary possible or any team members you need to reach your goals.

Bottom line is if you want to do something that fulfills your purpose and passion, do it. But, in order for it to be a viable, profitable business then it takes some hardcore thinking about things.

Sometimes, the business model that will yield the most success will often create more work than you ever thought you wanted to do. And that work will commonly be far and away from your passions, products or services offerings. Be sure to understand your values and choose a business model that you can keep up with and that aligns with you and will provide success and balance.

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Why is it So Hard for Mompreneurs to See Themselves as Successful?

What is success and what does it mean to you? Success is not the same for every person, so why do we always seem to slip into trying a one-size-fits-all approach to what it means to be successful? Why is is so hard for us to figure out what success really means to us?

This is a topic that repeatedly comes up in my coaching business. Are you trying to figure out what is next for you or what your next step is? It is important when trying to figure that out, that you have a defined idea of what success really means to you. Not only that, but also your own “yardstick” or way of telling if you really measure up to that definition.

Why do we feel so much pressure? The reason you may feel like you’re not measuring up consistently is because you are using the wrong yardstick. Your definition of success get polluted, bent and misshapen as time goes on. Your goals and aspirations will always continuously evolve as you evolve and accomplish certain things that you set out to accomplish. Your yardstick needs to consistently grow and change with you. It’s very hard to remember to do this with your own definition of success.

Sometimes you just really need to understand that when we say “success” we are really searching for a deep-seated feeling of happiness. Success can look so many different ways to different people, but it never fails that it is rooted in happiness. That’s when life starts looking and feeling the way you want it to. It can be very hard to get there and distractions are so easy to get caught up in as a mom entrepreneur. It is easy to get caught up in doing what others “expect” for us to do, instead of following our heart or our own definition of success. Doing what others expect, you would get a lot of external encouragement and acknowledgement, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.

Another common yardstick that can trip you up is the yardstick that measures your physical belongings and current life situation. Maybe you have the perfect house, that new car or the perfect body you’ve always wanted. You can be so proud of those things and accomplishments, but sometimes that is still the wrong yardstick for measuring your individual success.

Research has shown repeatedly that more “things” does not equal more happiness. Keep collecting more things, working out more or going on more luxurious trips that we think will “prove“ to us that we are successful based on what we have seen in society of “successful people”.

It is important to really define success for yourself and keep the important things on your radar so you know if you are on your way. The first step is to determine your own standards. Don’t worry about how other people measure their success, what is truly important to you? After establishing your standards, it is crucial to doing something that is related to your purpose and that is aligned with your passions. And lastly, focus on intrinsic goals, what will make you feel better instead of on money or time based goals.

If you haven’t already, be sure to grab a copy of my book Moms Mean Business, because you will benefit greatly from this being covered in the first 3 chapters as well as the assessments to help you define your own meaning of success!

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Permission to be Successful

We’re gearing up for a month of talking about success: defining and measuring our success, feeling successful, and more. Today, though, I want to give you something really special. It’s permission to be successful.

You have permission to be successful.

So often in our lives we get buried under negative self-talk and our own doubts and fears, not to mention the negativity and doubt of those around us. Sometimes, our own predictions of failure become self-fulfilling. But not anymore!

Everyone deserves success. You deserve success.

Sometimes, we have survivors guilt: our business and life is going well, but our close friend or even partner/spouse is having trouble in certain areas of their lives. This leads us to downplay or feel undeserving of what we’ve achieved. Baloney!

You earned your success.

Don’t let comparison steal your joy! Often we hear that in the context of giving yourself a pep talk when you feel less than about what you have, but it works the other way, too. Allow yourself to feel deserving of success. You are working for it, so let yourself have it!

You have permission to be successful.

Say it to yourself “I give myself permission to be successful.”

For more about success, check out my latest podcast: “Why is it so dang hard for mompreneurs to see themselves as successful?

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How to Squelch Self-Sabotage

Two steps to squelch self-sabotage

Mom entrepreneurs know that in this crazy life we’ve made for ourselves we have to be ever ready and willing to adapt, rethink, redirect, and commit, as decisions are made, projects shift, and offerings change. We set the best goals, don’t we? But if we’re not careful, despite our best intentions, we can get stuck—in the old ways, down that familiar path—and our most common obstacle? That girl in the mirror!

Self-sabotage. We all do it. So let’s set ourselves up for success by learning how to identify it and thwart it so we can get out of our own way and continue in the direction we want for ourselves.

Be honest.

Are you setting goals that you’re really passionate about?

All too often we set goals because we think we should. We do what others want us to do. We make plans based on what the world says “success” means. Ladies, that is not powerful. And when we set goals around anything other than what matters most to us, what we want for ourselves, and what we’re really passionate about, self-sabotage is sure to follow. Give yourself permission to set goals that bring you happiness and make you feel successful.

Are the rules you’ve set for yourself to achieve your goals too rigid?

Let’s be honest. Many of us entrepreneur types have at least a little bit of rebel in us, don’t we? We see a rule and we think, “But why?” and then promptly challenge it. This goes for the rules we set for ourselves as well, especially if they are unrealistic or excessively rigid. Rules are great and help us get where we want to go, but make sure the rules you set are serving you. Rules can be an unnecessary burden or they can be meaningful stepping-stones on the path you choose for yourself. You get to decide!

Are you talking bad about/to yourself?

“You are so lazy!” “Ugh, you should know better by now.” “Again? Really? When will you learn?” Girls, would we say these things to our children? Of course not! Then we shouldn’t be speaking to ourselves in this way. Setting goals is an intention of self-love. We make plans and have hope for our future because we care about ourselves. We need to speak to ourselves accordingly. Positive, encouraging, empowering, affirming words go so much farther than negative self-talk.

Be accountable.

We’re not made to go through this life alone, and the world of business is no exception. Be willing to be honest with a friend or partner you can trust. Share where you know you might engage in self-sabotage. Open up about what you need in order to avoid it or get you back on track when you fall into old habits or patterns. And be that accountability for someone else when they need it. We’re all in this together. A little honesty and accountability go a long way on this journey to success!

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Put Happy in Your Business Plan

happybizplan

I have two questions for you today. I don’t want you to think too much about them—rather go with your gut. These are simple yes or no questions, but the answers will tell you A LOT.

Question 1: Are you successful?

Question 2: Are you happy?

Why does it seem so often that we have different answers for these two questions? Well, no more. Today I’m giving you permission to include happiness in your definition of success. And, as you work toward your goals for this year, I hope you have happiness written into that equation. It will be so much easier for you to get up and go go go every day if you are fulfilled in every area, not just in your business.

Success doesn’t have to look a particular way. I give you permission to make it look however you want it to look. You have permission to design the life that works for you and demand that your priorities matter. You have permission to create your business plan with “happy” in mind, goals that match and support your life stage, grow your company and your career at a rate that works with your personal agenda, and keeps your health, relationships, and personal fulfillment at the center of everything.

Because what’s the point of a definition of success that doesn’t include your happiness?!

Speaking of happiness, have you signed up for my newsletters yet? I send them twice a month and they are another great opporunity to get some coaching with me along with worksheets and other goodies. The next one comes out on the 30th, so sign up today!

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High Payoff Actions: Beyond The Comfort Zone

High Payoff Actions: Beyond the Comfort ZoneWe talked in a PREVIOUS POST about how in order to be successful, we as mompreneurs need to learn to recognize when comfort is driving the choices we make.  Staying comfortable, or in our comfort zones, is something we all struggle with as we juggle all the responsibilities of business and family life.  Well, today we’re going to talk about making that shift to basing our choices on our goals, which are rooted in the values, priorities and vision we’re committed to.  I like to refer to these choices as “high payoff actions,” or HPAs.  HPAs utilize your top moneymaking talents and your very best gifts, deserve your utmost attention, and result in you creating the opportunity and life that you want.

 

Let me give you some examples of what I consider high payoff actions:

 

Directly asking a client to hire you.

Creating a service or product to market to your clients.

Making a follow-up call to someone who has already expressed interest. 

Fulfilling a customer order or completing a customer project. 

Researching your niche market for awesome ideas to emulate. 

 

I would suggest that you aim to do between one to three HPAs each day, at the beginning of the day.  Do what’s most important first, and don’t allow yourself to get distracted along the way by something easier or by what we sometimes refer to as “bright, shiny objects.”  Sure, it’s interesting, but it’s not necessarily going to help grow your business.  Sure, it’s comfortable, but if you’re feeling too comfortable, take a look at your day and be sure you’re incorporating some of these high payoff actions that will ultimately drive you toward success.

 

Now I know that some of you are squirming right now, and if you are, that’s a really good indicator that you’ve probably identified an HPA worth doing.  Some momentary discomfort is so worth it, girls.  You are choosing to act on your goals, deliberately and intentionally, in order to grow, and that’s the reward!  And the really cool thing is that every time you grow outside your comfort zone, you are effectively pushing those boundaries outward to increase the total area of what will feel comfortable to you in the future.  Each time you try something new or accomplish something bigger, you make that circle wider.  So what feels uncomfortable in the beginning will feel successful later, and how sweet that success is!

 

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

What “bright, shiny objects” pull your attention away from high payoff actions? 

What HPA really makes you squirm?  How can you incorporate that into your day? 

 

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