How To Grow Your Business By Trusting Your Intuition

By Rachel Allan

You already know the answer. Before you were aware of the question, you already knew the answer. What you lack is the confidence to believe in yourself and trust your intuition.

When you are next deciding and you are not sure, focus on what your body and mind is telling you, this is your intuition guiding you.

Making decisions guided by your intuition will feel right, and will have more chance of successful outcomes. You will be committed to success, because it is on path for your goal achievements.

What is intuition? It is simply a feeling. Have you ever had a feeling that you shouldn’t be doing something or the feeling that what you are doing is just perfect. That is intuition. Next time you are stuck trying to make a decision toss a coin and make your decision based on heads – yes and tails – no. Once the coin gives you the answer how do you feel. Do you feel that it is the right decision or the wrong decision – this is your intuition working.

Here are my four top tips to using intuition in your business:

  1. Does it fit with your goals? The answer is simple

  2. Are you excited about the opportunity or project? Then give it a go

  3. Do you think it may be OK but not sure? Don’t rush a decision – give yourself 24 hours

  4. It doesn’t feel right. The answer is simple.

  5. Have confidence to make the decision

Once you believe in yourself, and trust your intuition, it will make the everyday decision making in your business, and your life, both easier and true to you. If you would like to learn more on intuition check out the free course, Getting Closer to Balance at www.rachel-allan.thinkific.com

Rachel Allan has been a business owner for 12 years, and a mum for 5½ years. On her business-and-baby journey she has learned a lot about life, business and herself. She shares her discoveries (and the wisdom of other parents and experts) with you in her new book, When Business Meets Baby. Rachel is honoured to be Sophie’s mum, and she is also an author, integrated marketer, entrepreneur and property investor. From 2007 she has shared her journey with her business and life partner Craig.

If you would like to discover more about Rachel and the services she offers, visit her at www.rachelallan.com.au.

Mindful Painting: Turning Anxiety Into Art

By Monica Kovach

If you’ve had any experience trying to develop a mindfulness practice, you know it can be hard work. Mindfulness, by nature, illuminates whatever is present - the good, bad, and the ugly. Learning to face all parts of ourselves with compassion and equanimity is no easy task, especially when we’ve learned to hate, fear, and avoid parts of ourselves.

Growing up, I was a pretty anxious kid, but you probably wouldn’t have been able to tell. I was afraid of doing anything wrong, and I got really good at flying under the radar. I learned to value “goodness” and “niceness” so much, that when any aspect of my personality showcased any opposite qualities (like anger or impatience), I worked hard at denying them, and thus, buried them. If you’re having a hard time picturing what this might look like, think: UniKitty from The Lego Movie.

And just like UniKitty, these buried parts of myself were destined to boil over at one point or another, and when they did, it was extreme. Not extreme as in I unleashed hell on everyone around me; because, I was still deeply afraid of negatively affecting anyone. It was extreme in the way that I reacted toward myself.

Self-deprecating shame spirals were a common occurrence, as were migraines and emotional breakdowns in the form of uncontrollable crying. And later, panic attacks.

All of this self-inflicted abuse continued until I learned how stop avoiding the parts of me I didn’t love, and ultimately, accept and love them instead. How did I do this? Mindfulness. And therapy, let’s be honest. But mindfulness was a big part of my therapy journey as well, so yeah… Mindfulness.

This concept and practice of mindfulness is really just about observing what’s happening in the moment - thoughts, sensations, and emotions - without judgment. It’s the “without judgment” part that really tripped me up at first; I would immediately label my thoughts or emotions as “bad” because I learned to do that at an early age.

The thing that really helped me break free from the automatic judgment response was art - specifically painting. I never considered myself a painter; in fact, I went to school for photography and was pretty attached to that identity for my creative outlet. But when I started experimenting with watercolors as a medium to express my inner experience, it just clicked. The way the colors blend, move, and spread across the page matched my inner thought-scape. Their watery nature felt like an accurate representation of subtle, elusive states of mind, body, and spirit. Their fast, fluid unpredictability said “Yes, this is what emotions feel like.” And after a while, I realized that I was practicing mindfulness.

By representing my thoughts and emotions as abstract, fluid swatches of color, I was able to literally observe what was happening in the present moment. I was able to release judgment, knowing that unpredictability is just part of the watercolors’ nature, and that it would be silly to judge a watercolor painting for doing what it does best. How easy it was, then, to replace key words in that sentence: It would be silly to judge a mind for doing what it does best. There’s a fascinating thing that happens when we create something that resonates so profoundly with our inner experience. It’s like looking into a mirror, and seeing all your flaws, strengths, and features. Then, magically, we look at the image looking back at us, and see ourselves with fresh eyes… With compassionate eyes… With loving eyes. It’s this compassionate and loving experience that I was a stranger to for most of my life.

Watercolor painting opened up an avenue for self-expression, authenticity, and ultimately, self-love. And while I still dance with anxiety, my relationship to it has changed; I now realize that it’s just part of the masterpiece that is my fluid state of being.

Monica is an art therapist and career coach, based in Detroit, Michigan. She runs TheGrowthStudio.org, where she helps dreamers, doers, and change-makers find and live their calling.

Managing Overwhelm And Finding Your Zen

By Paula Bailey

Respond to emails. Create new content. Brief VA. Develop new product. Make sales target. Check client agreements. Tweet this. Automate that.

Business can be so busy and so very overwhelming at times!

Ever find yourself in a big mess by mid morning, stressed out by what to do next because everything seems to be vying for your attention and feeling like you’re almost frozen by the overwhelm of it all?

You are not alone! After years of dealing with these feelings myself and now helping other ambitious business owners also conquer the emotional rollercoaster that is running business, I have some key tips for managing the overwhelm and elegantly bringing some zen into your busy day.

Seek First To Understand
Understand what overwhelm is. When we feel the tendrils of anxiety slowing curling around our gut it’s useful to know that overwhelm is really your mind projecting you into a future - a future that doesn’t even exist yet. A future that doesn’t ever have to exist either. Accepting this without judgement on yourself opens the gateway to being able to glide through those moments in business.

Play Observer
Rise above it. With your new knowledge of what overwhelm is, if you catch yourself going ’there’ change it up. Rather than living in it and letting your mind run rampant, rise above it. Literally. Imagine yourself in the clouds. Rise above your body for a moment and look down at  yourself. Play observer. Notice that you are not really in this non existent future and that you can choose to remain present.

Follow These Steps
Now that you are a little more present, follow these steps to move from chaos to zen.

  1. Be Still: Cease everything you are doing in that moment

  2. Now: Feel the seat beneath your bottom. Feel the floor beneath your feet.

  3. Breathe: As you tune into these sensations, slow your breathing down. Take a deep breath in, BIG breath out. Inhale, then exhale….

  4. Gratitude: As you notice the seat and floor beneath you, acknowledge the support they give you. Tune into the infinite support that is around your every second of your day.

  5. Reflect: Keep breathing and your reflect on this moment now. This perfect, now,  silent moment.

  6. Ask: What do I move forward on next? Choose one small thing that you can complete today. Begin it now with the commitment to complete it today.

  7. Peace: Continue on with your day knowing that you can come back to this now moment any time you need by using these simple steps.

I hope this helps to provide mindful peace in those times when business seems to be chaotic and overwhelming. Remember you always have all the resources you need to be make your awesome business the success you desire!

Paula Bailey is a mindset and performance expert for ambitious women in business. Known a the ‘Sassy CEO Strategic Planning Queen’, she teaches her clients how to build and scale their businesses using a unique mixture of mindset, consciousness, performance and planning strategies based on the fastest start companies on the planet. You can find her at paulabaileylive.com

The Joy Of Failure

By Smack Bang Designs

It’s our fault. We screwed it up from the start. We gave a word the wrong meaning. The dudes from Collins got it wrong. The peeps behind Merriam Webster missed the memo. Even the guys from Macmillan stuffed it up.

We made history of a word and left out a crucial part of its meaning. Don’t get me wrong, words have dual meanings and complex concepts for sure. But ‘Failure’ in its current definition has just about the solidity of Aeroplane jelly only 20 minutes into refrigeration. When I read the dictionary definition of failure, my brain does not compute. Because to me, the definition of failure should at least mention a thing or two about learning.

Failure is a state of inability to perform a normal function. Yes that’s correct, but what happens after that? Failure is a state of inability to perform a normal function to leverage change or learning. Better? I think so.

I understand that to some, failure feels like an ending, but I will never stop wholly believing that to fail is to leverage a point of change and learning. Failure is not only a steep and inspiring learning curve, but it is also a door to new experience, understanding and excellence. For those who receive failure with the right attitude, it can be an incredibly motivating kick-in-the-bum to do more, be more and get back on the dang horse. It can provide that perfect ‘a-ha!’ epiphany and draw us out of same-same. I would go as far as to say that failure is vital to our growth and continued approach to reaching our dreams!

  1. CURVY LEARNING
    Some people trade learning curves in Mexican back alleys for cold hard cash and a black eye. Some people trade learning curves for multidimensional designer drugs and raving bush doofs. Some people trade learning curves for family crises with no happy endings. We all trade learning curves for heart-ache, heart-break and a heart-shake. Without these experiences of hardship or ‘failure’, where would we be?

    I currently trade learning curves with a 24/7 revolving door of work, heated encounters with the ATO, a bank balance that constantly mocks me and being a young leader with a lot still to learn.

  2. GLASS CASE OF EMOTION
    Some days I’m in love with what I do for the sheer joy of creating and watching my vision come to life.

    Other days I wait anxiously to find out if something I’ve emailed off has reached the hands of a happy customer who appreciates the work, because if not, obviously I have failed as a human being.

    Other days I frump around because my latest marketing activity seemed to flop faster than an Adam Sandler blockbuster. Then of course there are the dark days where I close my laptop and consider becoming a greenskeeper.

    Like most people, I swing between various emotional states. And when I say swing, I mean a full-blown pendulum action – just ask my darling boyfriend. But even in my lowest of lows, my pitch black days when it feels like all I am is a 6-foot hot mess of epic failure, I still know, deep down in my anxiety-riddled heart, that right in that moment, I’m learning something.
     
  3. HOW BAD CAN IT BE?
    Think about your absolute worst-case scenario. That time you positively longed to melt into the ground below you and die a thousand deaths before gouging out your eyeballs with a teaspoon. When the taste of your perceived failure was so acidic that you couldn’t stand it. And ask yourself, 1. Can you handle it? and 2. Can you learn from it? The answer, will almost always be yes.

    Sometimes you need to hit the bottom of the bathroom floor to find the gemstones. While it can be agonising to endure and wrought with emotion, it’s important to allow yourself the freedom to fail. Often, the very act of failing – the mechanics of the process – reminds you how to muster the courage to see the silver lining in everything (cos just about anything is better than how you’re feeling in the pit!)

  4. BACK ON THE HORSE
    It’s in those dark moments, we need to get all bootcamp bad-ass on ourselves and force ourselves to get back up again. In life, and most certainly in business, real strength means picking yourself back up and trying one more time.

    Even after humiliation, anger and pain.

    Even after your 28th hard drive crashes into eternity with your holy grail of files.

    Even after the phone call politely parting ways with your services.

    Even after the revelation that you’ve missed the cut off to submit your work for a coveted award.

    Up you get, on your feet and face the flame. Stronger, wiser, and more determined than ever.

    You might make a risky business move and end up falling flat on your face. You might pour in your heart and soul into an idea only to find out that there is no market for it. Or perhaps your investment deal that looked oh-so-promising turns sour and leaves you for dead. The book deal crashes and burns. The new manager doesn’t last. The client hates your work.

    You feel like the star of an ‘epic fail’ Youtube montage.

    They don’t come up with monotonous cliches for nothing. For doesn’t kill you really will make you stronger, because when you try your best and learn from the rest, you never really fail at all. So welcome failure with open arms and a new perspective on what it means for your future!

This post originally appeared on Smack Bang Design but has been republished here with permission. For more great life advice visit their website.

The Friday Files

Floating into this week after a blissful babymoon in Noosa and truth be told it's been a little difficult getting back to reality this week after such a lovely break.  

With the exception of a few Instagram posts I actually took my own advice and chilled out, put the laptop away and really disconnected. The end result was a relaxing, soul-filled, loved up weekend with my partner and a chance to sit back and really soak up some deep thoughts about where this business is headed and what's in store over the next few months after the little one arrives. It's exciting, slightly terrifying and thrilling to explore the unknown and allow it to unfold exactly as it should.

This refresh has left me in a great mindset heading into the weekend which is a good thing as next week is set to be BIG.  Our next round of Digital Bravery is set to launch Monday and I'm so excited but there is so much to be done before that so I'll be working through the weekend and putting all the final touches on what will probably be my only course launch this year.

AND I have some other news to share!

I have teamed up with this amazing lady to give our website a long overdue facelift - check it out here and let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to check some of my fav link love from the week below...xx Jac

  • Obsessing over this pilates studio I discovered while away
  • I'm really keen to explore more about kinesiology & business alignment - have you tried it? ⠀
  • Digital Bravery launches on Monday - this is my 'must do' pre-launch ritual
  • I need a little more hygge in my life
  • A few tips on how to grow your network
  • I'm a huge advocate for when bloggers get vulnerable - and real.