The Shadow Side of The Fantastic Five

The Shadow Side of The Fantastic Five

Your fantastic FIVE…or your flat tire five?

We have all heard it…”You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

I personally believe there to be a lot of truth in it.  I recently spent a lot of time thinking about this over a weekend as I was at the family farm.

It all began with dropping my kid at the airport to go on a medical internship to Poland.  I’ll write another post on all the shit that goes through your mind sending an inexperienced flyer and your first born to another country for two weeks and what you learn around that at a later date.  In the meantime, read on.

It was harvest, so I took a little detour to the family farm vs going back home.  It is rare that I hit harvest when I am free and while there is still cutting to be done.  I hadn’t done so in more years than I can count…probably since before I had kids to be honest (EEK).  It was always my favorite time of year: meals in the field, playing in the wheat, getting suckers at the grain elevator.  This year there were a lot of breakdowns so we weren’t cutting wheat when I got there.

I don’t have the skills to ‘fix your grill’ let alone a combine, so I spent the day shadowing an old pal in his work.

It was a lot of driving, talking, checking cows and water, talking, opening gates, talking.  You get the idea.  I just rode along, looking pretty and being entertained.  It was pretty great, and yet (like always) my brain was processing the whole experience from beyond just being present in the moment(s).

What I learned was:

There are people who get you.

There are people who love to just have a back and forth exchange and don’t lose interest in 5 minutes.

They truly care about your thoughts.

They enjoy meaningful conversation …not just small minded small talk about people.

They aren’t afraid to challenge thoughts and feelings and make you look deeper without some hidden agenda of making you see things their way, but rather just plain curiosity.

They make you laugh.

They know when to shut up.

They can handle silence without needing to fill every single space.

They hear your story without judgment and with compassion..even the really shitty parts and just hold space, no need to offer comment or solution, just bearing witness.

They feel like ‘home’.

There are no replacements for people you have known for what seems like forever and yet sometimes if, in business or the driven high achiever world, we are always asked to evaluate these relationships and be on the constant upgrade.  We are asked to measure them, quantify them, and always choose better people or risk being left behind in your success or greatest potential.

Danielle Laporte suggests that:

“There’s a shadow to the “5 people rule”. it can make us transactional… strands of usery can find their way into the connection, tinges of envious cloying. And in that dynamic, real love will struggle to grow.”

I find there to be immense truth in this.  I always to strive to be a person people feel enriches and adds value to the lives of those around me.  But the reality is, sometimes my shit stinks and I’m not ‘worthy’.  I am not the best version of myself and could be categorized as a person that isn’t elevating my peers to be their highest and greatest self just by being in my presence.  Sometimes life is sledgehammer fucking hard for a whole season, not just a passing minute. How would it feel if I got marked off the list or left behind because of it?

She is right, it can be transactional if we aren’t careful.

There have been seasons of my life that I was in hiding because things were just hard and it felt too peopley out there.  The risk of judgment was high (as if you weren’t already in judgment of yourself). There were always a few (that felt like many) people that couldn’t handle it WITH me.  They just didn’t know why I couldn’t ‘just reach for the better feeling thought’, or ‘change my story’, or all the other self help and spiritual stuff that we sometimes get (and give) in crisis.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that shit like it’s my single only job, and sometimes its simply not enough.  I felt unfit for public consumption.  I felt afraid that if I shared my deepest truths I would be further judged or worse….categorized as one of those people that is ‘dragging you down’ and kicked off the ‘the list’.  So I hid during times when I needed my tribe the most.

We simply have to respect the seasons.  It’s not going to be juicy and delicious all of the time, smelling like roses, glowing like moonbeams and rainbows with unicorns and sparkles everywhere you go.

Sometimes its dark and twisty and your mindset suffers and life and business feel like a giant black hole sucking the life out of you.  You need your tribe more than ever to pull you out.

THAT is when you truly know if you are surrounded by the right people.  Do they love you through the tough times?  Do they see your light even when you can’t? Do they lovingly kick your ass when that’s what you most need without apology for holding you to your highest code of conduct?  Can they offer you a soft place to land and bear witness to the struggle with deep faith and trust that when it’s their turn you will do the same for them?

THOSE are your people.

Who are YOUR people?

I am so blessed to have friends and colleagues old and new.  The old ones keep me around no matter what and stand by in the brightest of lights and the darkest of twists.  The new see the potential and hold me steadfast to the goals and challenge me to think bigger (thanks BAMF).

Find your people.  BE the people you want to surround yourself with…and hold a heart of compassion for the rough spots with grace not just with others but for yourself too.

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Keeping it real, Taking care of you…and a little body confidence for hire.

Keeping it real, Taking care of you…and a little body confidence for hire.

So today I am going to get ‘personal’ which equates to vulnerable.  Vulnerability is something I am always working on.  Demonstrate it, show it, be it.  It is a spectrum of mastery.  I am nowhere near the ‘mastery’ state.  As business owners, we struggle with a host of different confidence levels in a host of different areas in which we work and play.  How you feel about yourself and how you take care of yourself have an enormous impact on how you show up in your business and the amount of visibility you will demonstrate with your chosen tribe of people you wish to serve.

I choose to serve busyaholic entrepreneurs.  Why?  Because I have been one and understand the struggle.  I have been ‘one of my people’ and sometimes I still AM one of my people with regard to the struggle.  I like to ‘push the envelope’ as they say.  It is harder than it looks to find balance in all things, especially when you LOOOOVE to work.  I LOVE what I do so much.  In fact, sometimes I can’t tell the difference between working and playing.

Alas, sometimes I am a walking paradox….

I know that life rules say you need 8 hours of sleep a night.  Say what?! That can cut into my productivity time.

I am intentional about not treating my body like a trash can…and sometimes I eat 4 cupcakes from The Cupcakery in a sitting.

I am aware of the level of exercise my body likes to have and sometimes, instead of exercise, I choose to binge-watch The Vampire Diaries on Netflix.

It’s not always easy….in fact, it’s rarely easy, and for me, it’s never accidental.  It is something I have to commit to, stick to and always be striving for.

Anyone who follows me knows that my platform and I are big on self-care.  For me, self-care comes in many different forms.  It can come in the form of time curled up with a good book, a facial, a massage, a bath, meditation, time in the pottery studio, hours in the sensory deprivation tank (no lie…its a real thing), retreat weekends, and as was the case most recently a little ‘body confidence for hire’.  Nope…I’m not talking about a personal trainer.

I like to try new things, have new experiences, be in ‘the know’.

Inner beauty and outer beauty.  We are always striving for them to match.  Again…not always as easy as it looks.  Sometimes we get shamed into it being ‘vanity’.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with a personal appearance code.  We each get to set and celebrate our own standard and own level of comfort for what we are willing to do to achieve that confidence.  The reality is sometimes even when you are consistent and do the work you still don’t get the results you desire. The outside doesn’t match the inside.  For some of us….when it does, we can shine a little brighter.

I take immaculate care of my skin, probably the thing I spend the most money on.  I am no stranger to the salon to color those ever-persistent strands of glitter in my tresses. Those of you who have seen me live know I have one big one up front…I leave that bit of glitter alone.  It makes me look ‘trendy’ and like I did it on purpose (Thanks Mother Nature!).  Despite the fact that some days no one will even see me in person, I make it a point to dress as if EVERYONE is going to see me today. Those are things that contribute to my personal appearance code.

I even had something done about my frustration with the fact that when I wave…my arms wave back at me.  Ladies (and maybe some Gents) you know you know what I am talking about!

I had some Coolsculpting.  If you don’t know about it, You can get up close and personal with me here and see for yourself.  The Balance Maven teamed up Tarah Taylor and Colorado Laser Spa for a little body confidence for hire.  We did a video, because like I promised…we are keeping it real. I believe there is no shame in buying a little body confidence, especially when you can get it non surgically with zero invasion.

Body confidence and confidence, in general, mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  Much like when I talk about work-life balance, this is purely individual.

You have to do you and do it unapologetically.

For me, it is NOT about keeping up with the Jones’ or comparison or some sort of personal body shame. Though this can be very true for some…no judgment.  We get it. I didn’t choose it because there is something wrong with my size.  Beauty comes in all sizes.  I truly believe that.  It IS about me keeping up with me and what makes me feel good about me.  It’s not about me being resistant to the natural process of aging and failing to ‘grow old gracefully’.  Though, I will say, “Screw that!”  I’m not owning ‘old’ ever, gracefully or not…I don’t care what the number says.  I choose to never have an ‘old’ mindset.  BONUS,if there is a way I can stave off the forces of gravity while I am at it,  I am down with that too…hence the Coolsculpting.

So watch the video here.

We would love to hear how you take care of you and what body confidence means to you.

If you are interested in body confidence for hire you can learn more about Coolsculpting here. Gents, it’s not just for the ladies! This is probably the right moment for me to be clear that I am getting NO commission, perks, or kickbacks from Colorado Laser Spa (other than good feelings, if it gives you permission to do whatever makes you feel good about you).  I just know these things don’t get much attention because we can tell ourselves a story of ‘what will people think or say’ and wanted to put it out there, that it doesn’t matter what others think.  You do you.  Also, in full transparency, I just wanted to help a sister business owner out who has given me some wonderful care over the years and share a little about what she can do as part of this message.  It really is a pretty amazing technology, freakishly easy, with almost beyond belief results… permanently.  No needles, no knives, no scary stuff.

How do you get body and mind confidence?  How are you taking care of you?  Tell us your story!

PS…any mean or shaming comments on the video get deleted.  You’ve been warned. 🙂

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Need more from your business?

Need more from your business?

What would it take to get more from your business?

For some business owners, this is a bit of a conundrum because they are often already feeling overworked and under-rewarded.  Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart.  People often assume that business owners have more freedom than those that are in an employee situation.  More often, the truth is, you don’t clock out….EVER.  Your business is always on your mind.  If you aren’t hustling then business isn’t coming through the door and mouths don’t get fed and roofs aren’t over head, clothes aren’t on backs …you know the story.  Perhaps more accurately, ‘the story that we tell”.

Is it true?

How do you know?

What if it doesn’t have to be this way?

What if you could get more out of your business so you could get more out of your life?  It’s part strategy and part mindset.  You have to have a clear plan of action and a clear belief that it is possible and be willing to tell the story of the outcome you want even if it goes against the grain and is the road less traveled.

What if you had a crystal clear personal vision that was in alignment with your core values and allowed for all your hopes and dreams?  Your business is the vehicle by which these hopes and dreams come true.  So often we get caught in the rat race of being a human ‘doing’ vs a human ‘being’ that we forget to really live. We get so bound by the work that we fail to enjoy its fruits…or even remember they exist.

I have a personal mission to help business owners get more out of each day in their business.  Your day is simply your life in miniature.  How do your days look?  Are you counting the blessings and the joys of the accomplishments or looking at the to-do list and feeling like you fell short?

With the right systems and structures in your business you can have more freedom, more fun AND more profit.  That’s right I used ‘structure and systems’ and ‘FREEDOM’ all in the same sentence.  Structure is what will provide you freedom. It is the systems that give you time and energy back so you have freedom to do more.  More things that make an impact, more things that bring you joy, more things that give back to the world, more things that get you closer to your personal vision and the lifestyle you want to lead… MORE EVERYTHING!

It is always my sincerest hope that people are doing things they love to earn a living or grow a business around and that you get joy in your work days.  The reality is it can’t all be work.  Even for those of us who can’t tell the difference between working and playing becasue we love our work so much…we still need time unplugged to recharge and connect with friends and love ones.

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.” —Lawrence Pearsall Jaacks

Everyone should enjoy that which he describes.  It is my personal favorite quote.

Most often business owners simply lack the tools to get the most out of their bank of time and energy each day, week, month and year.  Check out this FREE tool I created for you to master your time and productivity and harness the power of your business….so you can get more freedom to lead your life by design.  If you want to take the implementation deeper, check out the free masterclass that comes with it.

I asked a lot of questions here…ponder them.  Share in the comments below.  What did you come up with?  Where do you need the most support?

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Dysfunction Junction

Dysfunction Junction

Ever been to Dysfunction Junction?

It’s that place where our dysfunction becomes our function or the new normal.

Do you sometimes feel like chaos has become your daily state of mind…that ‘new normal’ I just mentioned?

Sometimes we tell a story that if we aren’t at full tilt crazy than we are lazy…and our perception of being ‘lazy’ lets the gremlins of Guilt and Judgment and Shame into the car. They fight over who gets to ride shotgun…and sometimes who gets to drive.  If you let them, they will have you buckled up in the back seat, or worse tied up in the trunk with a gag.

Somedays it’s easy to wonder who is leading the charge.  The circus gets of control, the monkeys are in charge and it has become a three rings shit show of epic proportions.

You are not alone.

More and more people are starting to notice the crazy is at a scary level, and they don’t even know where to start to change it.  We have so many stories we tell around it, so many Jones to keep up with and compare ourselves to and not enough hours in the day to get to the bottom of the to do list that seems to get longer vs shorter.

Sound familiar?

I was there once too. It happens one layer at a time, little by little. You think you have got your arms around it and you are in complete control, until one day…you aren’t.  You can’t even find the edges of it to get your arms back around it.  The chaos and a life out of balance are controlling you.

There is a path to freedom, but first you have to clue in on what you want it to look like.  Who do you want to be?  How do you want to live?  It is is not as easy as it sounds when life steals your normal.  Sometimes you can’t even remember what it looks like anymore or who you used to be when life ran at a slower pace.

I was caught in the trap of life living me.  I was miserable.  I cried myself to sleep, cried myself to work, the bathroom at lunch, on the way to pick up kids, in the shower…where ever someone wasn’t looking. You see where I am going with all the tears?  My health was declining.  <Insert high blood sugar, thyroid problems, heartaches, headaches, back pain, weight gain, general anxiousness, crappy skin and hair and general bitchy demeanor here>.  The side effects of stress and lack of fulfillment can amputate years from your life and your spirit.

I had to pull myself out of it for the sake of my health and my family.  I had to set a better example for what life was about and what I wanted my daughters to emulate. I took steps to live with more freedom, more joy, more time and more purpose….best thing was there some fringe benefits too: better relationships and more money. Money can help with the freedom.  Freedom leads to choice.  Who doesn’t want some of those side effects?

Check out this tool I created for you here.  I have created a 7 step system, The Balance Blueprint, to help you start to dig yourself out and avoid some of the pitfalls that befell me.  Its FREE!  The path to destruction is overwhelm.  When we are overwhelmed we don’t know where to start and when we don’t know where to start we don’t take action. This keeps us stuck.  This is your clear plan of action, one step at a time.  I even offer you a free masterclass at the end.  Check it out here!

You can also and find your Balance IQ.  See where your wreck is…do you need the biggest help in your business or at home?  There are tools for each!  We are here to serve.

Drop your comments below and tell me about your biggest life balance challenge? What have you already tried?

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SELL….The other 4 letter ‘S’ word

SELL….The other 4 letter ‘S’ word

Let’s talk about that other 4 letter S word….SELL!

People hear the word ‘SELL’ and they think sleazy, skeevy, used cars, cheesy smile, slicked backed hair…’Boy, have I got a deal for you!’… and now I need to go take a shower.

We get so conditioned to not ever want to be ‘ that guy’ (or gal) or ‘sell anyone something that we shy away from it in our own businesses.

Some of you know me in the business and lifestyle coaching capacity, others of you don’t know me at all.  Either way, most clients don’t realize that I have an entire sales platform of my business where I teach people how to sell authentically and in a very client-centered way and that I build, manage, and serve on sales teams in the corporate setting (by word of mouth only).  My point in telling you this is, I understand the stigma as I have been on all sides of the sales experience.

I recall a time when my mom asked me what I did for a corporate client once and I told her, I was in sales and was building a team to do outbound calling to their leads for an international coaching company and she said, “Oh Gaaawd, I hang up on you people all the time.”  YUP….’you people’.  No one wants to be ‘those’ people.  We have all had that experience right!?, where you hung up on the telesales person?

Why?  because it sucks when people try to sell you something that you don’t want or think you need…or have ever even heard of and do it in a pushy, won’t take no for an answer, you can’t get off your own phone kind of way.

However, People LOVE to be sold to when they are getting something they want and its done in a way where it elevates them and helps them reach the goal.  We become ‘those people’ when we are solely objective focused, numbers based, and monetarily driven without regard for the journey we are taking people on.  People don’t want to be taken for a ‘ride’.

I like to leverage the Platinum Rule vs Golden Rule here.  We are all familiar with the Golden Rule right?  “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”  Well, if you are afraid of sales and you hate to be sold to or like its some sort of violation, and you don’t know what it feels like to experience it as a collaborative, done for and with you not TO you process, ….you won’t do it, in any capacity.

Let’s talk about the Platinum Rule:  “Treat others the way they want to be treated”

Get out of your own way and give them what THEY want, how they want it.  They want to be heard. They want to be understood, and they WANT to be served! They even want to be sold to if they can see and feel the value.  They want permission to say yes to themselves from an outside source, and they will take that permission to heart if it feels like you are in it with and for them…not for you.  Much like you, HOW they want that may differ.  Put yourself in the shoes of the potential client/customer.  This is true for everything from widgets to high end services. Seek first to understand… #platinumrule.  Treat them how they want to be treated.  Support them based on how they are wired and make them feel supported and you have a ‘lifer’.  This is how ‘Ride or Die’ fans are born.   Really listen for what is not being said, build a relationship…not just seeing the end result of winning a contract.

People break contracts, but they don’t break relationships.

Make sure when you are ‘selling’ the receiver is receiving not resisting.  Are they being served?  Do we truly have their best interests at heart?  Can we say with integrity that we have enough trust that the people who are meant to work with us will and that coercive tactics simply for the sake of numbers have no place in our code of conduct?

I can often be heard telling my sales clients, “There are people who can get you higher numbers and higher conversions. If the numbers are your singular focus and highest priority and what is most important to you, I am not your gal.”  With that exclusive priority comes higher attrition, increased payment chasing, and more customer complaints because we sacrificed ‘right fit’ clients for the sake of the numbers….for the sake of ‘THE SALE’.   Let’s also not discount you have a higher percentage of people it sucks to serve (see the last blog post about PITAs).  In the end you don’t win and just as importantly neither do they.  I like to play the ‘long game’  I build relationships not contracts, this translates to higher retentions, greater client experience, and satisfaction leading to better client results, more referrals, and a bigger joy to serve because we have less PITA’s ( yup…you really gotta read that last post on the soapbox)…OH and more money!  YEEEESSS! I still care about you making more money!  You don’t have to ride the numbers so hard with this approach because you have less ‘churn’ to compensate for.  A fringe bonus: you build a tribe of amazing people who are like-minded and collaborative not competitive.  They make the world a happier place and love to pay you what you are worth.

It can take a big mindset shift to be successful at sales, it requires confidence in your process and in the experience you create for those you want to serve and for yourself.  You have to treat it like a collaborative experience.  It is, in fact, the prelude to the dance you will do when you work together.  Show them now who you are and how they will be treated.  That depth of authenticity and heart do not go unnoticed.

Brian Tracy said, “The definition of a sale is a transfer of enthusiasm.”

This concept is independent of the skill sets so many organizations and leaders spend time and money to train on. How do you show up to the conversion conversation? It matters!  Be a passionate leader, take a fierce and loving stand for their possibility.  Don’t fall prey to the fear of sounding ‘salesey’, or being pushy and then let go of their hand when the objections start to fly. It’s when they need you most. Lovingly stay with them, lead them through the dark and help them get through their fears. You can only show up as your best self if you feel great about the process and don’t associate any part of the experience with something that requires slick hair and a creepy smile with a cheesy hand gesture.

You have to master the sale to be successful in business.  Livelihood and sustainability depend on conversion conversations. What parts of this process do you love and hate?  Do you have a process? Where are your biggest stumbling blocks?

Would you like to come to an ‘’ask me anything about sales’ open office hours style call?  Let me know in the comments and I will let you know when the next one is being hosted.

Without the sale, you don’t get clients/customers.

Need a script that feels authentic to your voice and allows you to stand in your truth with confidence?  Grab a spot on the calendar here and let’s see how I can help you define your sales process if you don’t currently have one, or refine what you do have so you get more conversions.

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