Tag Archives: Business

The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Out on a limb.

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The spirit of an entrepreneur. Is it possible that it exists intrinsically everyone? The brutal truth is ‘no’, it is not in all of us, but in some it lies dormant like a sleeping dragon.

Many of us grow up hearing the same phrases, repeatedly echoing from the mouths of elders. “Go to school. Work hard. Get a good job.” That is success. This is the dream. This is as far as they want or expect you to reach. In truth, now that I am a Mother myself, I can empathize! Perhaps they are  just trying to keep us safe. They want us off the street. They want us to be able to feed ourselves, pay our mortgages and put clothes on our back. Our parents want to know that if they were not around, that we will be ok. It is understandable. Many a respectable life is led this way.

There are a rare few mentors though, that have the sense to inspire a little more. Or perhaps, the entrepreneurial spirit is burning stronger in others by nature. The need to work outside of the basic rules and framework established by school, job, school and then (hurray!) career. Energy and inspiration seems to burn aflame in these fantastic folk. They persist and keep reaching every day for what they want, ‘rules’ be damned! They fail. A lot. But they just keep on going! ‘No’ does not resound harshly and deflating to these ambitious types. It just means not yet, keep going.

Of course, the spirit may move us conventional types later on in our lives too. In my case in particular, the shift was unintentional, unexpected and subtle. I keep reading a quote that inspires me. “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where all the fruit is.” It now has a permanent place on my vision board. A vision board is a fantastic tool for those of us in transition. We are just babies when it comes to following dreams. Vision boards are our baby walkers…helping us to form the permanent ability to walk and then run on our own. Dreaming and pursing those dreams becomes a daily habit, not a random act when you get frustrated with your job.

Psychologically speaking, not every human is capable of thinking this way. For some people, their hardwiring is too permanent. They are not only unwilling to change, they cannot comprehend the need or desire to strive for anything other than security. A steady income is a safe harbour. These folks need offices, desks, deadlines, rules, policies, co-workers to complain to and a boss to lead them. They can be harsh and cruel to the entrepreneurs when someone breaks free of the structure. “You will fail!” “Are you crazy?” “Why would you risk all this?” (insert arm-wave gesture sweeping from worn grey carpeting up to buzzing fluorescent lights).

I can tell you now why branching out on a limb is all worth it. Self-discovery. You will learn more about yourself in a month than you can learn in a decade of working at a JOB (just over broke!). Where are your strengths? Where are your weaknesses? What are your fears? How strong is your vision and your belief? Can you make the changes necessary to achieve your goals? The freedom to dream about possibilities will keep you energized beyond any dose of self-inflicted ‘caffeination’ in your old routine.

So let them bray… it’s ok. To walk a separate line takes great courage and the insights you will gain are tremendous.  So climb up that trunk and stare at the branches. Choose one that looks good to you. One that speaks to you. Take a deep breath and start climbing.

CB

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A fine balance – Sources of positive energy.

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Energy…it flows through us and around us every day. The world is swirling, turning, and teaming with energy. So, why do we all feel so tired? Why do our days feel overwhelming and exhausting?  Is it because we are exhausting our energy stores without knowledge of  how to fill ourselves back up? Are we not making time for the things that create energy in our lives?

With this post I am hoping to give you some options. Ideas on how you may ignite a new spark of energy flowing into yourself instead of the endless river flowing out that you are likely very familiar with.

Idea #1 –Mindfulness practice. A few years ago, I was struggling with my first child as he made his way slowly and steadily into the ‘terrible two’ stage. I was a mess. He was a mess. I could not manage his random tantrums and they threw me so off-balance that I would end up on the floor beside him in tears. I looked for help. It came in several resources. The one that has made the biggest change in my life (and likely thousands of others) is Dr. Dan Siegel. If you have not yet heard about neuroplasticity…get Googling! Your neural pathways can be altered, your habits changed, your fears alleviated and your stress reduced. Books I suggest for learning about how to become more aware of your mind, brain and relationships around you are: Mindsight, The Whole-Brain Child and Parenting from the inside out. Once you begin the practice of disconnecting your emotions from your core belief of self…you can lose the negative and revel in the possibilities for good.

Idea #2 – Success and leadership coaching . There is nothing like a fantastic coach to boost your self-esteem and your drive to surge forward with energy.  Learn time management skills , how to set goals and actually achieve them, how to craft your vision for the future and how to lead without a title. I personally enjoy the teachings of Robin Sharma and think he is a GREAT place to start since he has so many free video resources on YouTube and his website. Jim Rohn’s book Twelve Pillars is a must-read also.

Idea #3 – Rediscover how to communicate. I’m just going to come out and say it. Television is toxic. Victims watch television. If you are sitting in front of the television between 1-3 or more hours a day and you are complaining about your life….then you are your own worst enemy. PUT DOWN THE REMOTE! Take control of your own life. Go out and join a class. Meet new people. Make things happen simply by engaging in conversation and participating in your own life! The only way to reap the rewards of a positive life with great energy is to do the work. Start reading and stop playing the victim. 

Idea #4 – Play, play, play. This point is especially key if you have children and feel so overwhelmed by a busy schedule. There is time for work and a time for play. Separate the two and find joy in games and play again. Rediscover fun and laughter. Swing on a swing. Race across the sand. Stop being so SERIOUS for even just an hour!! Remember that simple things can bring great happiness and good energy.

Idea #6 – Exercise the demons/You are what you eat. This one is so self-explanatory and we KNOW this by now! Exercise takes your energy to a greater level. It is necessary if you do not have  a job that requires physical labour (most of us!). The more you exercise, the more energy you will have and the more time you can commit to becoming  WHO you want to be and getting WHERE you want to be. Learn what a healthy diet looks like and make small changes every day to get you on the track for success.

Idea #5 – Choose your ‘peeps’ wisely. In my short 35 years on this earth, I am sure of only a few things. One of those things is that you cannot change other people. People can only change themselves. If you have friends or co-workers that routinely suck the energy right out of you by way of negative thoughts and comments, then you must simply choose to limit your exposure to them. Move on and surround yourself with those that do impact you positively. The negative ones WILL protest. They will call down your new choices. They will say nasty things to get you back under their dark cloud with them. Let them bray like mules and keep focused on the light ahead! You will be more beneficial to so many more people if  you find the BEST you.

Go for it!

CB

‘Arbonner’ for life: Why I cannot stop smiling lately.

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Reasons to smile… Photo credit Gary Trent Photography, Grand Forks, BC

Reasons to smile…
Photo credit Gary Trent Photography, Grand Forks, BC

6 months ago I started a home-based business with a company called Arbonne. It was not on my radar, nor did I expect the changes that it would cause in my life when I signed on as an Independent Consultant. I am on a really fun part of the ride. The part where you can see what’s up ahead and you just can’t stop smiling.

Let me break it down real quick for you why I am loving this business and what some of the benefits are.

  1. I am the CEO of my own business – HELLO! I am my own boss. If I want to work on my business for only 1 hour instead of 2 today… so be it! No emails need to be sent or manager-types consulted. It’s MY business.
  2. Tax breaks – It only took Robert Kiyosaki and tax guru Sandy Botkin telling me one time what the benefits of being a business owner were going to be. This is huge. I don’t even have to be making money…just trying to make money is good enough for the government. I am creating jobs. Cell phone, car, part of my mortgage, meals, coffee, entertainment costs when with clients or prospects… all going into the excel spreadsheet as business building necessities.
  3. No glass ceiling – I’ll say it. I like to be good at what I do. I like to be really good. But in my health care career, there is nowhere to go. Our profession is unrecognized on so many levels. So imagine my pure delight when I see how possible it is to achieve amazing things in multi-level marketing. Can I set goals, have vision and build belief? You betcha! Do I like to lead? Oh yeah! Do I love the idea of forming a team and supporting them to achieve amazing things in their own lives? Could not be more excited!
  4. Helping others starts here – My team has already started to build. We are growing together. We support each other and know that we will be relying on each other for positive energy, drive and a good swift kick if we get off track. I was BLOWN AWAY when I started to feel the supportive nature of an upline in MLM. People that work above me want me to succeed and will show me exactly what they did to be earning over $100,000 a month. Of course they want me to succeed…that’s the beauty of building a downline. But the kindness and patience is genuine. The encouragement to do the personal development work was real. And the results are fantastic!
  5. Confidence – Who doesn’t have baggage? Who doesn’t have little voices that tell them they will fail? Who doesn’t need more confidence? I listened to my upline, did the reading, set my vision and goals and found my belief. The baggage just started to fall away on its’ own. (Top ten list of personal development books to come on a later post).
  6. Wicked feeling skin and a lighter side to me – There is no denying that becoming a ‘product’ of the Arbonne products is a huge perk. This stuff just makes your skin feel and look amazing. There is a skincare line for everyone: sensitive, aging, men, babies. The health and wellness line has started to help me melt off the stubborn 10lbs that no one else seems to see. All great things especially when my husband gets to see and feel the results!!  There really IS something for everyone!
  7. Networking – Yup, this means talking to people! YES! I am really excited about this perk. I am loving the new connections. I really enjoy interacting with new people everyday and widening my ‘circle’. It’s amazing how when you really listen to people you not only hear some amazing stories but you hear the emotion and begin to understand them as individuals.

I am learning so much…learning to love, learning to listen, learning to live with a fierceness and drive that I could never have imagined. Most of all, learning that my success cannot be obtained if I do not help others succeed around me.  So sign me up as a ‘lifer’… Arbonne has truly ignited a transformational journey in my life.

A Mother’s work is never done… Scheduling for greatness #2

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Today’s post will be a bit ironic as I am not currently home with my children working my ‘Mommy Biz’. I am on a break at my ‘real’ job in health care. So, my absence from my children very appropriately leads me into my first suggestion in scheduling for greatness #2.

1.Engage the help of others! – When I had my first child I though no one could teach him as well as me. He and I had THE best connection. I understood all his words, knew his signals, knew which foods he liked the most and which ones he would probably throw at the dog. So, OF COURSE he was always better off with me at all times, right? HA! When I started to stray from the nest and take a few hours to myself, I quickly saw that my little boy thrived on many occasions when we were apart. He spoke new words, tried different activities, played in new ways and became more bold in his social interactions. Retrospectively…duh! My children were challenged in new ways whenever they were placed in new situations. Not rocket science, right? Well, we Moms want to feel needed… so we may need a gentle reminder that asking for help from others and taking some time away can REALLY be beneficial for both Mom and child. Get a friend or family member to relieve you at least a couple of times per week. The benefits are huge.

2. Get yourself a smart phone. Jump in…it won’t hurt. These little gadgets have been around for long enough for you to know what they are capable of. You name it…there’s an ‘app’ for it. From wicked visual monthly calendars (PocketLife – my Arbonne appointments are pink!) to text apps that keep you in contact with your downline (WhatsApp!), they are cheap or even free and so easy to use. In small home businesses, you are your own assistant, so get organized! Social media is not an option anymore for a small business, so apps like Facebook Pages, Twitter, Pinterest and WordPress can keep you in touch with your client base everywhere you go. Just make sure that you set your limits and don’t try to check your blog views while you should be watching your 3 year old daughter’s ballet recital!! Set personal limits and schedule your business into your day!!

3. Get a journal, keep a list – Go to staples, buy a pen and journal and ignore the looks of disgust from the Millennials staring you down in the process! Every day, journal about your day, set some goals, write down new ideas or to-do lists and just think creatively. You can do this a.m. or p.m. or both! Just seeing the progress I have made in the 25 pages I have documented is inspiring!! Growth, belief, vision, all documented in my own hand. Nothing more beautiful.

Starting a new business? Oh heck, why not?

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Exciting things are a-muck!!!

This pretty much sums up my last few months. Working part time in critical care at a local hospital, raising 2 small children and supporting my husband as he completes his thesis for his EMBA…as if this were not enough to keep me out of trouble!

In December of 2012 I became aware of some really great personal care products sold via network marketing. I was so in love with Arbonne‘s products and their standards, I was compelled to find out more.

So began my journey into the world of multi-level marketing.

There is something so compelling to me about gravitating to a new field of study and just going with it in a huge way. For example: watch some golf, try some golf, have some golf lessons, watch some pros, play tons of golf, become a golf addict…does that pattern sound familiar? A huge learning curve consisting of goal setting, scheduling, prospecting, sponsoring and online marketing ensued. I am LOVING the control and being my own boss!!

There is a huge component of network marketing that centers around personal development. Enter in Robin Sharma and other amazing success coaches. You cannot succeed with this type of business if you do not have focus, momentum, vision and  a clearly understood reason for bothering to try in the first place. I am expected to ‘strive for excellence’, be ‘world-class’ and never settle for mediocrity. Finally! Leadership worth listening to!

My reasons to succeed? Spending time with family and paying off debts. Simple but yet profound in our current rat-race lifestyle. What started as a way to make a few extra hundred dollars a month is changing quickly into one of the most positive, empowering journeys of my life. Who knew? Being brave enough to start my own business has built confidence that I didn’t know I was lacking. I am more centred, calm, reflective and connected than ever before. Those outcomes were certainly not in the brochure!