It’s NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to make a Brave Yes business move — a change, a pivot, creating a YES offer, or implementing the Brave Yes mindset — when you are bogged down by stress, burnout and overwhelm.
Running a business often means a non-stop to-do list. We never reach the end. There’s always more. More to do. More to dream up. More to make happen. More to build.
At the center of all that, is you — the CEO and founder, the visionary behind the business.
And your energy, your capacity and your needs.
The idea of Work-Life Balance seems kind of simple compared to the tangled up threads running through a CEO and her business.
Add to that the possibility of living through a pandemic while also caring for yourself, pets, a house and a family.
In other words, if you’re exhausted, it’s no wonder.
This week, on the Brave Yes CEO Show, I”m talking about what it means to hold more than our business — what happens as a result and why it’s important to honor where we are and build a business from that space.
As founders, we’re not just juggling business and life. There are so many nuances running deep and leaving ruts in our days.
Among my own clients, here’s what they have been juggling beyond their own business:
— Covid mitigation
— Covid recovery
— Health scares and crisis
— Home Repair issues and fiascos
— Health care bills
— Mental Health matters among spouses and children
— Aging, ailing parents
— Job loss
— Virtual Learning Days
As we are juggling all of that, we’re also juggling the cleaning, the meals, the laundry and scheduling all the appointments, filling out all the paperwork, making sure all the Is are dotted and Ts are crossed.
And, in the back of our mind is this … how are we going to bring in the income next month?
And my clients aren’t alone.
Last August, I was gleefully looking forward to FINALLY, FINALLY having 5 full weekdays to do my creative work and serve clients.
And maybe also take time for myself.
But the week my kids returned to school — a school that we quickly learned was not right for them — my husband had a heart attack, toppling everything we knew to be true. Shock. Despair. Fear.
And while I still ran my business, I think I made it look too easy. I was tired of being strong. I needed help. So I got help.
I didn’t share that I made a few changes in my life to make it through. Thankfully my business was doing well enough I could re-hire my house cleaner. I shored up my own foundation a bit by taking on an additional bigger client with more consistency and predictability — which was a very good move for me generally. I learned to lean on people.
Until then I was going it alone. Carrying the burdens quietly.
This is not how we create an environment for Braver Business moves. In my Braver CEO framework, I focus a lot on what it means to empowering yourself to do the hard things.
But that all must start with a foundation of wellbeing … A foundation of YES, I have the energy to do this now.
I’m rejecting the idea that we need to be stronger, push harder and keep trying to get where we want to be — without first acknowledging that this is hard, hard, hard stuff we’re doing and making sure that capacity planning — which takes into account where we are, who we are and what our life circumstances are — as we plan out the future of our businesses.
Your business needs to serve you and your whole life.
You are holding so much more than a business as the CEO of your little Queendom. This notion that all you have to juggle is life and work over simplifies it all. I reject themes of hustling, of showing up no matter what because frankly, you are holding so much more than a marketing plan in your head.
No wonder you forget what you need to do on a Monday. The weekend was filled with chaos.
Take a moment to hold space for yourself, for the many parts of your life that are weighing you down, holding you back, keeping you stalled. Honor that this is your life right now. You are where you are. It is what it is.
To invest in your capacity and planning a business that honors where you are and who you are right now and that you may not have the full on support, the thriving environment, the team, the capabilities you need right now to BE the business you want to have in the future. You are growing through the gap and going through your own expansion slowly, on your own terms. There’s power in that.
Let’s focus on building your capacity AND a plan that honors your capacity. There are so many creative ways to do business. You don’t have to be locked into one vision. It’s far easier to create a vision that is doable than it is to create a vision that deflates your passion and your desire for change.
Creative flow will not show up if you are feeling zapped emotionally or energetically.
This is the biggest obstacle I see with my clients who struggle with accessing creative flow consistently.
Let’s hop on a ZOOM call and discuss the ways in which you can both build your capacity and confidence this year to see your Brave Yes dream through to the finale. Schedule here.
Take a moment to really think about that question.
If you are an entrepreneur or small biz owner like I am — knowing what you stand for is essential and will impact your business. But you should also know what you don’t stand for so you don’t end up chasing too many shiny objects. I always work with my female founder clients on the art of saying no — so we can make room for the Brave yeses. We have to clear the field — our energy field and life field — to make space for what we do stand for.
If you are a leader or changemaker in your industry and you have had some ideas of what you stand for but don’t know what to do with it because corporate or government culture is getting in your way … know that you have so much more power than you think. Living your purpose and letting what you stand for doesn’t have to be a flaming hot cheeto in the room. You can be quiet and subtle — unless you are ready to uplevel and do something bigger in your life or career. Then that’s where good career coaching or life coaching can help you. Quiet and powerful is possible.
If you are a creative person who wants to put your creative passion on the front burner of your life and you aren’t sure what that looks like yet … then I encourage you to play with your purpose and your passion in creative ways. The best artists and writers and creatives aren’t overthinking and putting too much time into planning. They are just doing the messy work of being imperfect.
What it Means to Lead more Courageously
When I started my first real blog — Awesomely Awake — my mission then — as is my mission now — was to help the world wake up. It has since fallen so asleep I’ve lost hope on what is possible for true mindfulness and presence practices — which I still use very much in my coaching work because I am a forever fan.
My life word is in fact AWAKE. But the purpose behind the blog and the coaching work I did back then was to wake people up. I was so tired of seeing people walking around like zombies on their phones and not engaging in the world around them.
Now it’s just the way it is for so many but I am still very much all about this — even if over the past year and a half has meant a reliance on tech in a bigger way than ever.
We are also seeing a movement for many to use tech less — so maybe there is hope yet. Peloton’s sales are dropping because people are going back to gyms. I stood for waking people up and that’s what I began to write about.
The movement and followers came along with me.
That eventually led to mindfulness and well-being programs for moms and the abundant mama project, which was rooted in mindfulness and spiritual practices to navigate the hardships of motherhood.
I think that by being here, listening to me, you too are awake — and maybe you are also tired.
Tired of hustling.
Tired of the daily grind of keeping up.
Tired of doing the same things over and over that aren’t working.
Tired of not thriving or flourishing but rather feeling like you are drowning in not enoughness and to-do lists that serve others best interest.
Now I stand for something else — well, lots of things — but mainly this — we need a diverse body of women — including you — to be at all the tables where decisions are being made, in the rooms where policy is being shaped, leaning in and not leaning out. We need women to show up, be seen and let their brilliance be known.
The world is very broken and awake women like you need to save us — to lead more courageously.
Once you know, you know. It’s like the gates of heaven opening up.
The sun rising.
The cloudy skies clearing.
It’s magical and energizing.
We don’t always know. We aren’t always able to get to clarity on our own. So find a partner to discuss this with. Share ideas. Be honest with each other. And if you don’t have a trusted partner for this exercise, try it with a mentor, coach or therapist, even.
Because .. doing something with what you stand for is likely the very key to your own well-being and happiness.
Perhaps you’re thinking … well, crap, I stand for a lot and I can’t choose and I get overwhelmed and I don’t even know how to move forward and actually DO something and take action because of that — and if that’s true, you’re not alone.
I’ve been there. Most of my clients have been there. Many times.
I call people like you — and myself — multipossibilitarians.
If only we could do it all! If this is you let’s chat. I am a master at helping you discover your strengths to match your potential.
OR, If the answer lights you up. — what are you going to do about it?
I work with creator, entrepreneurs and changemakers who are ready to uplevel or make a pivot in your life, work or business. Perhaps YOU are looking for a coach to help you design your Brave Yes around this very question is what you need for the new year. Let’s chat. I offer complimentary coaching sessions with women interested in coaching with me so we can see if we’re a good fit. Learn more here.
Do you ever have to drag yourself out of bed? Do you wonder what the most energizing morning routine would be to start your day? Are you tired of waking up and grabbing your phone when you could be doing other things? Have you been frustrated that you don’t get up early enough to take time for yourself — or to work on a creative project or dream?
If you are nodding your head to any of those, it sounds like you need some super morning motivation to get out of bed and feel great about your day.
There are a lot of reasons why getting out of bed is hard for you. I could list any number of issues I’ve heard over the years from my clients who are trying to design more meaningful lives with impact and purpose. They tell me they get to bed too late or don’t get enough sleep. They share that they love how cozy their bed is on cold mornings.
But sometimes not wanting to get out of bed is a stress or trauma response to the stress or burnout you may be feeling in your life due to being unhappy at work or in a relationship or in your career.
I work with women on finding what I call Soul Alignment … which means we get to the root of what’s zapping your energy and motivation and help you realign so you can live a more fulfilling life of meaning, purpose and impact.
Mornings are often one of the best places to infuse the tools you need to bounce forward from all that stress. Even in the middle of a really hard moment we can use our morning habits to feel stronger and more in control of our lives.
I’ve have had a consistent and powerful morning routine for more than 10 years. This past year I tweaked it to be even more impactful for myself and I am a better mother and wife when I take that time for myself.
Lately, with the addition of a new puppy, I was reminded how hard it can be when life feels crazy to make yourself get up and do what needs to be done.
But I quickly learned, again, that getting up early and sticking to my morning routine is absolutely my top priority each day.
While I begin my day with meditation, yoga, coffee and writing, I also work in nearly all of these other habits as well. These are what help me show up for my early morning client calls with a smile and ready to support them.
10 Energizing Habits to Boost Your Morning Motivation
Many of my private coaching clients hire me because they have big goals for themselves and they want to learn how to be more self-disciplined to reach them.
Being more disciplined is a highly sought after aspiration.
After all, we spend years establishing bad habits — starting in our teenage and college years — and then we spend the next half our life trying to undo any destructive patterns and behaviors.
And so when my clients aren’t as self-disciplined as they want to be, they often fall into a shame spiral thinking there is something wrong with them.
The shame spiral story says that because they didn’t do X Y or Z, they aren’t capable or able to make things happen for themselves.
They need to be more self-disciplined, they say.
They need more willpower, they think.
They need to stop being so distracted, they say, frustratingly.
Often, though, that’s not actually their issue at all.
If learning how to be more disciplined is causing you a ton of frustration and to think negatively about yourself you might be doing it wrong.
My coaching work with women is rooted in the flow of feminine energy with a touch of strategic, masculine power.
What this means is that we work with YOUR energy, YOUR inner longings, YOUR spiritual needs AND your goals to create a path forward for you.
You don’t just set a new habit goal and go after it because you want it.
You cultivate it, step-by-step.
Habit formation is so much harder than it seems — because after years and years of following destructive patterns it’s hard to start something new or to make a change in your behavior.
Some women — free spirits — are not born to follow a rigid system.
As a creative, I totally get the free-spirit mindset.
And yet, as a creative soul, I’ve become one of the most self-disciplined people I know.
Over the past decade — especially in the past 2 years — I have created beautiful bookend routines with powerful, sacred rituals tucked inside for myself.
And I created my new habits through slow-building rhythms, routines and rituals.
As a coach, I would never ask you to FORCE anything on yourself that isn’t working.
A great example of this was a client that came to me because she wanted to follow her purpose and passion. But through her early coaching sessions she was focused mostly on losing weight and she got caught up in that narrative so much that she felt she couldn’t move forward with finding her passion until she looked better.
By the end of her coaching package, though, she learned to love herself regardless of what she looks like and she realized she’s not cut out to be a business owner … not yet anyway. Instead she found her joy, confidence and motivation in being more fit and healthy by waking up early for a new passion — riding horses.
The habit she wanted was to eat a strict diet but it never fit her, it never felt good.
The rhythm and routine she ended up finding was getting up early to ride horses.
The latter was chosen out of pure soul alignment.
Her health and well-being will follow her new rhythm.
You don’t need self-discipline, you need rhythms, routines & habits
The top ranking definition of self-discipline on Google is this: “the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.”
That’s a super harsh, masculine way to create change and get things done, don’t you think?
Playful experimentation with rhythms, routines and habits has always been the best way for me to make a change in my life.
So let’s talk about what it means to have rhythms, routines & habits.
I believe strongly that the solutions to being more productive and making a bigger impact at home and at work is encouraging you to work with your feelings and emotions and to earn how to embrace them and use them to create rhythms in your many seasons of life.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, Rhythm “is movement, fluctuation, or variation marked by the regular recurrence or natural flow of related elements.”
And this is exactly what I work with my clients on to create their ideal days and weeks so that they make the impact in their life that they are longing for because they fully realize life is short and they have dreams to realize.
There is no shame in wanting to achieve things — after all pride is a positive emotion worth cultivating.
But how you go about achieving things is where most people get caught up.
I’ve been inspiring women to build beautiful morning routines for the better part of the last decade.
I believe that the most game-changing impact move you can do for yourself is create a powerful, sacred routine to start and end your days.
Routines are different than rhythms because they operate on rituals that build on each other. Much like how it’s pretty common to shower, brush your hair and dry your hair, routines have a 1-2-3 pattern to them.
But first, before any routine can be built, you have to have the first step in the routine nailed down.
A good routine happens without needing to plan or think. It happens naturally, without force and without needing much of your energy to make it happen, One thing just flows into the next. You have many automatic routines in your day already.
An example is my bedtime routine. Once I get into bed, I put on my eye mask, write in my gratitude journal and my evening journal and then read a novel. I do this without thinking about it, without analyzing it or resisting it. It just happens every night like clockwork. My morning routine is also super ritualized but much longer in that it lasts an hour or longer.
This is often what women want to form the most in their lives.
There are bad habits to stop. And positive habits to start.
A habit, by definition is: : “an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.”
Involuntary is the secret power here.
When you get up and meditate each day without second guessing or resistance, then you’ve created a meditation habit.
You don’t need self-discipline, you need rhythms, routines & habits
When you put a few habits together, consecutively, that forms a routine.
When you put a couple routines together in your day, that creates a rhythm.
None of this is self-discipline.
It’s practice. It’s trial and error. It’s slow-building progress and it’s the only way to create momentum.
When I started a daily writing practice — finally — in 2020, it was only because of the two habits I had formed prior to that that made it possible for me. If I hadn’t already mastered my meditation and yoga habits, I know I would not have mastered the daily writing habit — a habit I had wanted to build in for years.
You must be patient with building rhythms, routines & habits
When we stop forcing ourselves to be more self-disciplined, we open ourselves up to grace and self-compassion.
Building new rhythms, routines and habits takes time and practice. You may encounter some setbacks from time to time.
That’s where being patient — and giving yourself grace — comes in and gives you the loving forgiveness you need. When you can finally let go of the force and hustle of habit formation, you will find flow and ease.
With my clients, we are almost always shifting and changing the direction of the rhythm and routines as they are building and growing because after experimentation you may find that it’s not working. It can take time to find the right flow and rhythm for you.
And that is my final piece of wisdom here … if you are trying and trying to build a new habit or routine and it’s not working that means it’s time to tweak things and try a new way.
WANT TO CREATE GOALS AND FIND CLARITY AND VISION FOR YOUR LIFE? If you would like to explore private coaching to help you create momentum and impact in your busy life, let’s chat about what you need to do differently. I offer a FREE Soul Clarity Session to any woman interested in exploring private coaching with me. Learn more here.