invest in yourself

Run to the roar

By Tracy Goodwin

I’m a presentation skills/voice technique expert.  I teach women how to make captivating and engaging presentations but what I’ve discovered over the years is that what I really help women do is run to the roar.  

What does that mean?  Well, nine times out of ten when a woman comes to see me for help with presentations what I quickly discover is that what they really need help with is learning how to be confident and have the courage to speak their truth.  

Almost always on the first visit my clients sit before me in tears, powerful, strong women who fall apart at the idea of expressing their thoughts and ideas and doing so beautifully.  There is no doubt that these beautiful women need share their messages to the world, the tragedy, they are terrified to do so.  Yes, being a great speaker, a great story teller requires skills but the core problem lies in courage and confidence.

As women, much more so than men we get bogged down in hurting others.  Over the years I’ve seen this have a boomerang effect and it is the women themselves, protecting others that get hurt.  We get hurt because while protecting others we don’t speak our truth.  All the things we don’t want to say we hold inside for fear of upsetting others or what will others think or how will others react.  It’s a veritable prison we live in, not communicating our truth and we are often times tortured because we instinctively know what needs to be said, it’s just hard to muster the courage to say it.

It’s absolutely essential that we speak our truth, not only for ourselves but for others who can and will learn and grow from our messages, our experiences.  

The best part, the freedom that ultimately comes from stepping into what we think will create a self-inflicted prison.  We are already in the prison and we must break out.  But how do we break out of this prison, how do we muster the courage, the confidence to speak our truth?

First, we have to celebrate the victories.  I believe we function out of two boxes, the dings and the victories.  I see this issue with every woman I work with.  On the left is the ding box and on the right is the victory box.  The ding box is over flowing with hurts.  These hurts could be opportunities when the truth was shared and shot down, times people hurt us, cheating husbands, bad bosses, anything really.  

The ding box is where we put all of our focus and we seem to forget that the victory box is even over on the right.  The ding box reminds us constantly of all the times that we were hurt, the times we perceived failure when we spoke our truth.  We have to switch our focus off the ding box and onto the victory box which at the moment might look a little empty.  It becomes essential to start celebrating even the smallest victories in communication and speaking our truth.  Every little win we have must go into the victory box and be celebrated.

As we build up our wins, our victories, our focus starts to shift to the right and the victory box starts to get fuller and the ding box starts to be less noticeable.  

If we focus on the communication victories, celebrate them, then we can start to build our confidence, our courage and we can begin to be honest with others and say what we need to say without fear.  The fear becomes minimized because the dings are no longer stealing our focus; our focus is now on the victories.

The next step is in how to must the courage to even make that initial comment, tell that initial story, state that initial truth so we can have that victory.  

I call it run to the roar.  

In our minds we have this horrible story about what will happen if we speak our truth, say what we need and want to say.  We get completely paralyzed by what people will think, what people will say, what might happen.  The fears are a giant lion waiting to roar.  But, the lion is only in our mind.  We avoid the roaring lion at all cost.  We avoid what we need to say, we try not to hurt or upset others and in the process we torture ourselves and the lion gets bigger and bigger because what we need to say is screaming in our heads to get out.  

The only way to achieve victory, the only way to be able to be free to speak your truth, share your message is to run to the roar, to run straight into the biggest fear you have.  The biggest fear might be letting go an employee, telling your husband something, informing a co-worker or client of a problem with the relationship…run straight to it!  

I promise you, only one thing will happen when you do.  The roaring lion will become a tiny kitten.  You will say what you need to say and you will survive it and you will celebrate your ability to say what you needed to say, you will then have a victory in the victory box to focus on and the next time you need to speak your truth, you look to the victory, you say what you need to say, celebrate it and have another victory.  

In a very short amount of time, once you’ve run to the roar, you will have a full victory box of communication and speaking efforts that you celebrated because you executed them so successfully.  

The end result, freedom from the prison of not saying what you need to say, speaking your truth.  Freedoms that will give you the confidence to communicate on any platform you choose whether it is in a presentation in front of hundreds of people, on a video, or simply in water cooler conversation.

The freedom, the victories, the confidence and the courage come first.  The reframe of focus from dings to victories is where you start.  I believe that speaking skills, effective communication skills, voice training, all are very important.  But, the most freeing piece is learning to celebrate yourself and your message, truly believing people want to hear it, knowing they can benefit from it and letting go of what you perceive they are thinking.  

It is from that freedom that beautiful stories can and will be told and lives will be changed for the better.  My greatest hope for you, you will from this moment forward, run to the roar and finally be free to speak your truth.

Tracy Goodwin has spent years specializing in training speakers and actors, business people and anyone who has dreaded getting their voice out.  While over the years, even before she became a full time expert coach, people sought her out to train them how to improve their voice, reduce their accent and become better speakers.  But, what she really loves to do is build massive confidence because that’s the foundation.  

Far too many adults show up at her door with no or low self-esteem, unsure of how they will ever get clear on their message, find their voice and speak it to the world beautifully.  In the last 10 years Tracy’s focus has been on creating effective communication strategies to help build confidence and encourage women to speak their truth to the world.

Tracy can be found at Captivate The Room. Tracy works privately one on one with clients, offers online programs, live workshops and has downloadable courses in voice technique, presentation skills, accent reduction and most recently Rock Star Public Speaking for Kids and Teens.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

5 self-care tools that will give you blogging super powers

By Sarah Magdalena Love

Consistently providing inspiring high-quality content can be a huge challenge, especially if you are just starting out. If I am honest, it took me a while to really understand that taking care of myself is time very well spend, especially in the most stressful times. 

Self-care is about so much more than staying hydrated and doing the odd yoga class – it can help you stay spiritually grounded, it connects you to the big Why of your work and it supports you in staying true to your message.

Here are the my five favourite tools I recommend for people who are full of ideas, but are sometimes (like me) running low on creative energy: 

Find a meditation practice that works for you

If I had to name one thing that changed my life for the better, it would definitely be meditation. It gives me clarity, strengthens my vision and keeps me on track. Many of us quit when we dip our toes into a practice that just isn`t right for us because it starts to feel like a burden before it can become a positive habit. But the truth is that you don`t have to sit in silence for an hour every morning – there are countless short, guided meditations that are really easy to integrate into your life.

Look around for a teacher that really inspires you, maybe even find something tailored to creatives and entrepreneurs. If in any way possible, I would also recommend creating a dedicated meditation space. If you have somewhere beautiful and cozy to sit down with a tea and a vision board, getting out of bed and being a little creative firework will become so much easier. 

Integrate movement into your day

We all know that yoga is awesome and that maybe starting to run regularly would make us feel better, but we rarely have the time to make all those “shoulds” happen. 

Taking tiny breaks to shake it out can make a huge difference to your work though – try using the 7 fitness app for a full body workout in seven minutes, bonus points if you listen to “Flawless” by Beyonce. 

I also stream yoga videos online because I want to stay inspired through new practices, but I often don`t find the time to go to a studio class. 

Create a life worth writing about and make your desk THE place to be

Constantly running through routines and feeling stuck in life does naturally reflect in our writing. Even fancy studies show that it`s super important to regularly take breaks from all social media, do something completely different, to go see a new place and go on an adventure in nature. The best ideas always come to us when we stop trying to make them happen. Currently I am trying to go and explore a new neighbourhood every other week, but I also love visiting quiet, peaceful libraries with actual paper books and no WIFI. 

To make sure my return is creative and productive, I treat myself to fresh flowers and have an aromatherapy burner with lemon and geranium oil on my desk. I really do love my space and I make keeping it clear and lovely a priority, even on the wildest deadline. 

Celebrate Monday morning like it’s your birthday

I try to sit down towards the end of the week and make a priority plan for the next week, that way I don`t wake up on Monday feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what to do next. I also don`t schedule any fixed appointments before noon on Mondays, because I love to start the week super mindfully with a hot bath, a nice book and a second breakfast in the garden. I think the added chill totally pays off because I am able to carry it through my week and work with more focus. 

Say no with love

It’s cool to say yes to life, snacks and naps, but sometimes you have to get better at saying no when you need to in order to take care of yourself. Clearing your calendar of dreaded items creates space for new creative adventures that will transform into fuel for your blog. I also use unroll.me to clear my inboxes from anything that doesn`t positively contribute to my life or business because life is too short to waste even 30 seconds a day to delete unwanted emails. 

I totally believe you can do this!

Sarah Magdalena Love is a holistic life coach, a digital strategist for bloggers and creative entrepreneurs, a yoga teacher and a writer. She lives in Berlin with her little dog Orlando and offers Wordpress design & setup programs that include 1:1 coaching and tons of inspiration. 

Connect with Sarah on her blog, her Facebook page, on Instagram and on Twitter.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

The 3 biggest mistakes I made in the first year of my business

By Cassie Mendoza-Jones

I’ve been working in my business for just over four years now. My clinic work (I’m a kinesiologist, naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist) involves plenty of learning, integration and processing, and has done since I opened my clinic doors back in 2011, not to mention my work as a writer, blogger and business owner. Needless to say, there’s a lot do to each day, and there has been from day dot.  

It has meant I’ve learnt so much, and sometimes those early lessons – the lessons I learnt in the first few days, weeks and months of business - get lost in the momentum of growing my business today. 

Part of my work is also mentoring practitioners on how they can create a wellness business that not only feels like them, but also works for them and supports both them and their beautiful clients, readers and clients-to-be. 

For me to be able to do this, I really had to tune in and remember what it was like to wake up one day and find myself the owner of a pretty little wellness biz, knowing very little about how to actually run my own business. 

So in the spirit of sisterhood and support, I thought I’d let you in on 3 of the biggest mistakes I made when starting my biz (I can promise you – there were plenty more than 3, but this is a good start!):

THE FIRST MISTAKE 

I wasted money, time and so much energy time on non-digital, printed advertising and… wait for it… letter box drops. 

(I know, what was I thinking?)

You see, in my first year, I worked in a lovely clinic with other practitioners. A few of them were doing letterbox drops, and even though I intuitively felt it wasn’t a great thing for me to be doing, I decided to go ahead with it. 

I figured I had nothing to lose, so I printed a ton of flyers, and then I walked around dropping them in people’s mailboxes! Oh, the joy. 

I remember a couple of days after I’d done it, I was walking down a street on which I’d dropped some flyers, and I saw my flyer ripped in half on the sidewalk. I was devastated. I’m glad I experimented with this though, because I knew quite quickly I’d never do it again! 

I’m not saying printed media isn’t great, but for me, in the initial stage of my business, it did absolutely nothing to grow my audience or attract new clients. All it did was make me feel lousy and ‘small’ in the wide world of business. 

Not only that, there’s only a very small chance you’ll receive feedback from printed advertising – you can’t track it the way you can track digital marketing. 

You can’t respond to comments, questions or queries, and you certainly can’t expect people are going to quickly and easily grab your flyer and go and type in your website URL to check out your site the way they could if all they had to do was click on a link.  

So yes, my letterbox drop was an absolute waste of time, money and resources, but a valuable lesson because it made me realise that wasn’t the right way to spread my energy in this world.

Your reminder: "Truth: Follow your intuition, not the crowd."

THE SECOND MISTAKE

I thought people disliked me or that I was a bad practitioner if I had slow client days, or empty calendar days, or if clients rescheduled or cancelled.

I would berate myself and criticise myself for days over a simple client cancellation. All this nasty inner critic stuff – and complete lack of self-compassion – put myself in such an intense downward spiral of self-doubt, when in fact, all it meant was that I could use that extra time for something else; maybe more research, business-building techniques, rest and self-care. 

Your reminder: Your self-worth isn’t based on how full your calendar is.

THE THIRD MISTAKE

I rushed… everything!

I rushed the creation of products, I rushed my writing, and I rushed my client and clinic research. I basically rushed my days, from morning until night. Why? Well… I didn’t trust my voice, and I didn’t slow down enough for it to find me. 

Being scared of not knowing what my ‘unique voice’ sounded like, and what my unique talents were, and not trusting my own worth when it came to my words and my work was punishing. The only thing I knew to do in order to help me get away from that pain was to rush through my days, my work, my purpose-driven schedule, and fast. 

As an example, I remember during the design process of my first eBook, I was still finding typos while my designer was designing it and asking for feedback. That’s definitely not how I do things these days. 

But back then, I’d reply with “Oh yes I love that font, but um, can you please change the 6th word ‘XYZ’ on the 57th page, in the 1st paragraph to the word…”

Just days before writing this post, I came across the following quote from Natalie Goldberg in her beautiful book, Writing Down The Bones:

“Learn to trust the force of your own voice. Naturally, it will evolve a direction and a need for one, but it will come from a different place than your need to be an achiever.”

Let your voice evolve from a space of stillness, quiet and compassion. It certainly won’t evolve when you’re rushing around like a headless chicken. (I know from experience.)

My lesson in trusting my own voice and in being patient and not rushing the process took me a little while to absorb and integrate (and okay I’ll admit, while I’m now better at not rushing, I still need to work on being patient…), but it feels so much easier now that I trust my voice.

And I trust my voice because I trust my worth. 

Heads up: You can too.  

Your reminder: Trust your voice. Trust yourself. Trust your words. Trust your place in this business, blogging, and creative world. You’ve earned it (whether you think you’ve ‘done enough’ or not).

Cassie Mendoza-Jones is a kinesiologist, naturopath and writer. She works with women who feel stuck, unworthy and disconnected to themselves. She shows them how to increase their self-care, self-worth and self-acceptance on every level, while making it all feel like it’s the most natural thing in the world. (Truth: it can be.)

Meet Cassie + get ready to find the most balanced, centered version of yourself at Elevate Vitality and Heartfelt Harmony. Also follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter

 

Take care of the greatest asset in your business - YOU!

By Anna-Nicole Del-Re

Running your own business can be one of the most rewarding things you have ever achieved in your life but running your own business doesn’t come without stress. There is the worry of do I have enough clients? Keeping your team motivated and achieving what you need them to do. Paying the bills can also bring stress levels to an all time high. Taking this all into consideration, putting yourself first can really be the last thing on your mind. 

As a leader and business owner, it is imperative that you stay strong and healthy and don’t burn out; fall sick or else your business could really suffer as a result. 

Here are some great tips of how to take good care of you as a business owner:

1. Exercise- Kick off your morning before you start your working day with a fast paced walk, run, yoga or personal training session. This is a great way to not only keep your health in check but you will feel motivated and focused when you start your working day. We are normally exhausted after a working day, so getting exercise in first thing in the morning is a great way to keep up an ongoing exercise regime. 

2. Book a Massage- At least once a month or more if you can, book a nice relaxing massage. Find someone who knows your body and who can identify where to release tension. For one hour you can switch off and walk out feeling relaxed and re-energised. When you go for your appointment, schedule your next one in then and there. That way it is already in your diary and you have some “me time” locked in every month. 

3. Drink Water- It’s a basic piece of advice but drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day keeps you hydrated and gives you more energy. Fill a jug up first thing in the morning and drink that throughout the day. Even schedule into your diary a reminder so if your day runs away with you, this will keep you in check. (Throw in a piece of lemon to make the taste even better.) 

4. Block Out Time- Schedule a time in your day where it's all about you and your work. Constant interruptions with phone calls, emails and meetings can get overwhelming. Give yourself some headspace to tick things off your list and get through the tasks that are important to you not everyone else. 

4. Meditation- One of the best ways to calm the mind, meditation is a powerful tool for high achieving entrepreneurs. Purchase some guided meditations and you will feel a million dollars afterwards with a clear mind. It is also a great way to allow new ideas to come through and give you new areas of focus and drive.  

5. Switch off on weekends- Yes we love our work as entrepreneurs but make sure it doesn't become your whole life. Make time for catching up with friends and family and enjoying the simple things like going to the movies, reading a book and relaxing at the beach. If you work all weekend there will come a time when you might end up resenting your work because you have allowed no time for you. 

6. Find a Hobby- Give yourself something that you look forward to outside of your work. Something that you are also passionate about and you feel motivated to do each week. Maybe take up a short course, learn to sail, enjoy a new sport or do something crafty. 

7. Invest in a Life/Business Coach- This is such an important investment if you are running your own business. This person is your soundboard and will help you stay on task to achieve those life and business goals that are so important to you. As your business is a big part of your life you will feel so much better being able to express your feelings to someone who is on the outside and not involved in your business. They will become a great support and mentor for you and someone you truly value in your life. 

8. Eat Well- A nutritious diet full of wholefoods is great to keep your mind stimulated. Steer away from processed sugars, heavy carbohydrates that make you sleepy and sluggish. Create a weekly meal plan and even go see a nutritionist or dietitian who can help you create the best meal plan for your schedule. 

With all this in mind, always remember you are the greatest asset in your business. Your success is inspiring to others and the world needs you to keep doing what you love. Take good care of you mind, body and soul and the universe will always give you more. 

What you do to take better care of yourself as a business owner?

Anna-Nicole Del-Re loves to be creative and organised. She loves projects and most of all loves seeing people and businesses like yours reach their true potential, achieving business success. She's brought over 10 years of experience together and formed Creative Empire, a business support service to help you with all your business ideas, planning and execution. She believes building a business is one of the most creative things you can do and she can’t wait to share the journey and help you build your empire.

Photo Credit: Unsplash 

8 Ways to bring self care into your business

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By Samantha Sutherland

I read yesterday that intentionally bringing pleasure into your life is just as important as decreasing stress as it turns on our parasympathetic system, which is all about rest, restoration, connection and calmness. In fact, pleasure has been scientifically proven to strengthen our immune systems and lengthen our lives!

As all business-builders know, the stress of launches, juggling all the balls, caring for a family and burning the candle at both ends while we try to get it all done can weaken our immune systems (who here has ever got a cold while launching? Nah, me neither ;)) make us tired and miserable, and can sometimes make us question why we’re even doing all this.

So now science is telling you what your body already knew – it’s time to introduce some self care into your life.

If you look after yourself – physically, emotionally and spiritually – then you’ll have more energy to bring to your blog, your business and your clients. Your business is limited by the energy you have to give to it, and your energy is limited by the way in which you fill your cup. 

But in today’s world, where we spend so much time stressed and caught up in being busy, many of us have forgotten how to even bring self care into our lives. So how do we do it? Here are some ideas. 

1. Listen to some music

If you can add dancing around the living room to that, do it!

One of my favourite teenage memories is driving the eight hours from Eden on the NSW south coast to Sydney, with my sister, singing a Greece medley for most of the way. I have the kind of voice that makes people ask me to stop singing, but I still get so much joy from it! 

How can you create music? What do you love to listen to?

2. Laughter

I love to laugh. One of my favourites is this video of Jimmy Fallon and Emma Stone having a lip sync battle. But be careful here; this isn’t a green light to spend the next hour watching random YouTube clips. 

Try playing a game with friends, drawing some eyebrows on your baby or dog, a laughter yoga exercise (it’s basically fake laughing until it turns real, and it always does!) or watch an hilarious movie (Coming to America, anyone??).

3. Touch

Go and get a massage or facial, give out some free hugs or hold hands with someone you love. 

Many women find it difficult to allow ourselves this kind of indulgence. If you’re looking for permission, here it is! It will be good for your business if you go and get a massage.

4. Spend time in nature

Mountains or ocean, forest or stream. Nature has a completely calming effect on us and for me, creates conversations that don’t arise in any other place. Take off your shoes, dig your toes into the dirt and just ‘be’ in nature. 

Take a picnic to the woods with you. Swim at sunrise in the ocean. Turn your face to the sun, close your eyes and smile. How can you get nature to touch you, wherever you are?

5. Meditation

I’m a fairly recent convert to meditation, but am finding that it’s bringing me a level of calmness and peace that I didn’t use to have. 

The simplest way is to take 5 minutes (trust me, if you’ve never done it before then 5 minutes will feel like a long time!), sit up straight, and just focus on your breathing. 

In breath. Out breath. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath. Simple! 

Oh so hard. But through the difficulty, you will create space in your life, focus in your mind and peace in your heart. 

6. Gratitude

Do you recognise what’s already wonderful in your life? Try taking the time each evening to write down three things for which you are grateful. It could be a morning cuddle with your kidlet, a beautiful sunset, a friend who always makes you happy. 

Simple things are what make up our lives, so it’s important to recognise those simple things and be grateful for them. To paraphrase Brene Brown, many of us ignore the ordinary moments in search of the extraordinary, but the ordinary moments are what makes up our life.

So notice the ordinary and appreciate it.

7. Connection

This is always the biggest one for me. I love afternoons spent lazing and chatting with friends, nights drinking wine and laughing, and 80’s movie-and-pizza marathons in someone’s living room. 

Even so, I sometimes find a month has gone by and I haven’t seen my bestie. Do you get the connection you need? Or are you too busy being busy to fit in what is most important?

8. Choose your own adventure!

What brings you happiness and joy? What are the things that you love spending time doing? Write them down and commit to making time for them in your life.

If you’re like me and you love a good list then feel free to print this off and use it like a checklist.

Are you doing these things regularly? Are you prioritising self care in your life?

And maybe the biggest questions of all;

Are your business, family or friendships suffering because you’re depleted from a lack of self-care?

Can you afford to not look after yourself?

And if you feel too busy for self-care and pleasure, then what are you building this business and this life for?

Samantha Sutherland is the excitable founder of The Everyday Adventure where she encourages women to live through play in their everyday spaces. It's possible to live your life joyfully, full of freedom, connection and adventure! She runs in person retreats and events, a Fun-Life Overhaul Challenge and blogs regularly. She's a corporate refugee who is a certified Health Coach, a mother of one as well as being chief fun-maker of The Everyday Adventure. Come join us and be happy! Connect with her on Instagram, on Facebook and via email: info@theeverydayadventure.com

Photo Credit: The Everyday Adventure