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I almost let a thief steal my business…


The New Year has definitely taught me A LOT of tough lessons. Ones that I will never forget. More importantly, it taught me to let no one ever steal how hard I’ve worked to get here. Sadly though, someone almost succeeded in stealing my business.

The events below were four days of my life that I desperately wish I could get back, but I can’t. Instead, I’m ready to stand up, rise and fight this whilst letting others know through my story, through my vulnerability, how to avoid it at all cost. This ONE mistake, this costly lesson, does not and will not define me.

Only a handful of close friends and family know the whole story. Why do I choose to share it now?  For three reasons. 1. That there are some horrible people in the world who deliberately do this to others and not feel the slightest emotion, 2. To make others aware that this can and will happen in business if you’re not paying attention and 3. Because I naturally want to protect my tribe of other entrepreneurs from experiencing what I did. If I help just one, I’ve accomplished my purpose.

Right before the New Year, I was contacted by a man out of state through my event website to plan an upcoming event on February 18. A wedding anniversary for he and his wife and 45 guests. Excited about this new business opportunity, I jumped right in. He sent me what he was looking for in terms of catering menus, colors, entertainment, venue selection, and I sent him my proposal. He had no qualms about paying me up front my full rate and paid me with two credit cards which processed smoothly through my Stripe account. One was for my fee, the remaining balance to be used for me to pay out vendors on his behalf. Not uncommon when you’re in the event industry.

The day the money was deposited into my account from Stripe, I was asked to make one deposit into a Wells Fargo account for the transportation service. The client provided me with the name, company and the account number. When I verified with Wells Fargo the information was accurate, I proceeded with the deposit.

Two days later, I received a random call from a woman in California claiming that the credit card charge was on her stolen credit card. The card was still in her possession. My world was rocked upside down. If you attended my anniversay lunch on January 6, this was just 2 days before I was to get up in front of a crowded room, award my grant and BE the inspiration.

You can imagine the panic in my eyes and in my heart when I heard that. It was as if a ton of bricks just fell on me. I assured her I had no idea and immediately took action to rectify the situation refunding the fee he had given me and reporting it as a fraud. Then, contacted the “said” client and told him I was reporting everything to the authorities and no longer communicating with him due to this activity I was now fully aware of. He never responded after.

This woman was my saving grace, my angel. Without her, I would never have known until I was much further in to helping this “thief” act out his plan. She should have never called me, but she did instead of her bank. She saved me from a much bigger world of trouble and hurt.

I called Wells Fargo about the deposit I had made just a couple days prior and was given no help, just the advice to file a police report.

I did.

I called MasterCard regarding the other charge and spoke to their customer service department who were shocked to hear that I was calling to protect the cardholder and start an investigation for fraud, willing to provide all the information I had to aid their department.

I called my bank. Secret Service. Stripe. Even went into a Wells Fargo Branch to see if a flag could be put on this account noting that funds were “stolen,” which it now has on it. Thankfully, but still not out of the water yet. Their process to actually close or freeze an account is quite daunting. Even the Secret Service cannot get through.

I had a heart to heart with my husband about the situation and shared that unless MasterCard settled the dispute in my favor, which I filed last Friday and am waiting on response in April (50 pages of hard evidence), I could potentially be liable for the $3,500 that now sits in this Wells Fargo account ready for the “thief” to grab.

Sean’s knee jerk reaction to all this? “GET OUT OF BUSINESS!” I don’t think he really meant that, but boy, did it hurt like hell to hear and kept me “stuck.”

You know what? I just about did get out of business. I found myself spiraling down this deep dark hole wondering if I was cut out to be in business.  Questioning everything – why had I let this jerk do this to me? How could I be so naive to be taken advantage of? How was I going to repay this debt if found liable, even though I knew I wasn’t? Why wasn’t anyone willing to help me fix this?

Endless, surmountable questions. Not to mention, feeling ashamed, embarrassed, and alone.

To say this whole incident has made me sick is really putting it lightly. It stole my month. Took time away from enjoying activities with family. In fact, I found out I was liable for this money and had to pay it, until proven innocent, while sitting at Disney on Ice with my daughter Ellie. Can you imagine trying to remain upbeat while watching Disney on Ice?  IT’S HARD!

I even dropped 5 pounds which I highly do not recommend!

I was violated, preyed upon and now left holding the bag while those responsible for scamming me continue to get away with this “profession” of theirs.  It’s completely and utterly disgusting.

BUT! A twist.

I have really good people in my life. My friends. My entrepreneurial tribe within my Gals’ Inspiration Hub. My family who picked me back up and pushed me back out and said “NO, you don’t get to quit!”

An accountability partner that ROCKS and told me in her words, “Tish, DON’T let that a**hole steal what you’ve worked so hard to create. Look at all the people you help and inspire every day. How would they feel if you gave up? Look at what you’ve already accomplished. YES, it sucks! He may have stolen your money and it’s going to be a long process, but use this as your driving force to prove to him he didn’t steal you in the process! Money is just money. YOU will get it back and more.”

I just love that girl. I needed it. No sugarcoating. Just strong words of encouragement to get me to stop throwing that pity party, put my big girl panties on and DO THIS with EVERYTHING I’VE GOT!

Moral of my story?

We will all go through things, unfortunate as they may be, but we will always get past them. We do not stay stuck forever. If we did, we would never  move forward to do what we were meant to do and life would pass us by.

Life is definitely not easy and yes, some lessons are a lot harder to swallow than others. We all make mistakes. It’s our choice to not let our mistakes define us, but instead pick us back up, make us stronger and more prepared for what lies ahead.

Is this a “mess?” YES, but it also a message I personally needed you to hear and spread. Thank you for reading it. 💗

 

 

 

 

 

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Suffering from a When, Then Entrepreneur Mentality?

The world is turning out entrepreneurs left and right, particularly with the economic climate in complete disarray and the lack of security in corporate jobs.  If we can’t get a job, why not create our own, right? The good news? More men and women are ditching the 9 to 5 gig, hopping on the “Live Life on My Terms” bandwagon and making this reality of theirs happen. Love it being entrepreneurial spirited myself.

The not so good news? So many are still stuck in the

“When this, then that” entrepreneur mentality

paralyzed to take those next crucial steps to actually start “living” their desired reality selling their products and services to those who really need and want them.

For instance, do any of these sound familiar? Like you perhaps?

When I know more in my industry, then I’ll be able to…

When I make more money, then I’ll be able to invest more in…

When I finally have my right team in place, then I will move forward with…

Oh, do I see it. Heck, I’ve lived it enough to tell the tale, that if you get stuck in this rut, you won’t get very far.  You will spin, wonder what if, live this life you were not meant to live, but feel like it’s your only miserable choice.

But, it’s not.

How do you get over the “When this, then that” mentality?

You start somewhere, anywhere.

You take a gigantic leap of faith.

You think BIGGER.

You invest in you, your business and in learning what you need to “do” this.

You go all in or nothing.

You get a mentor to guide and encourage you every step of the way.

You just move. You stop second guessing yourself and start taking some serious action.

You put yourself out there and get a tribe behind you.

You get a game plan together,  test  and see what resonates with your people (target market). And if it doesn’t work, which it will, you get back up and try again, then try again and again.

I always learn the most profound things when I go to church. I swear, my pastor looks me dead in the eye when he talks.

He said, “More time does not create more courage. Take the jump.” He’s absolutely right.

If you want to stay stuck in the “When this, then this,” mindset, I hate to say it, but the world may pass you by as you wait for the right time. There is no right time. There is no “it has to be be perfect” time. There is only right here, right now time.

I’m ready to jump in with both feet. Will you?


About Tisha

Book a complimentary Business Strategy Session with Tisha

Hi. I’m Tisha, a business and marketing mentor with over 13 years of experience starting and building a number of businesses. If you are ready to jump in with me, but not sure exactly how to get there, let’s connect over a virtual coffee. My passion is working with startup businesses and small businesses to help them with three things: Mentoring, Mindset & Marketing. I’d love to do the same for you with a complimentary Business Strategy Session.

 

 

 

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How to Keep from Getting Stuck in Business

We start off the New Year with a bang and this plan to “go bigger,” but as the excitement wears off and we think about ALL the things we need to accomplish, it may leave us in more of a stuck place rather than a serene one. I polled several women entrepreneurs the last couple weeks to learn what their biggest struggles are in moving forward with their business and just about all shared it’s 1. business motivation 2. marketing and 3. time management in attempting to “cram” it all in.

If this summed up how you’re feeling, use these five business motivation tips to keep you from getting, and staying, stuck.

Create your vision.
Without vision, we have no direction and we’re just bouncing from one thing to the next. Map out your vision with visuals and inspiration to kick start your motivation, and refer to it often. This can easily be done by creating your own vision board, attending a workshop like my Unfold Your Vision, Shift Your Mindset workshop held in January and May, or even jotting it down on paper.

Map out your ideal day.
When are you most productive? (Hint, for most of us, it’s not between 9 and 5!) What absolutely needs to be included in your ideal day? Exercise, meditation? Client appointments? Mom time? We tend to get frazzled when we have no idea what we’re supposed to be doing every hour. Which hat are we wearing? Is it the business hat, the family hat, or the “I need a break” hat? Whatever “hats” you need to wear during the week, you can. It just takes planning ahead, having your calendar accessible and setting boundaries. For instance, if you allocate one hour of your day to writing a blog post, ONLY focus on that one task. Turn off all other technology and notifications and get it done. If  you’re at the gym, don’t multitask and check your phone while you’re on the treadmill. Be 100% in the moment. That’s your time to incorporate your self-care routine. Don’t hijack it thinking about other things.

Take it in small bites.
I recently had a Dream It, Do It session with a woman who showed  me her to-do list which was a few pages long. I could tell she was as overwhelmed as I was just looking through it. Instead, break it down into smaller, more doable, action steps. Look at two to three tasks that need to be done, do it, and cross if off. Your list will start to whittle itself down, and you, in turn, will accomplish so much more with higher quality.

Get an accountability partner.
When we find ourselves on “Isolation Island” as I like to call it, we can easily lose sight of what we’ve achieved and what we need to do to keep moving forward. Having someone to bounce ideas off of, share your intentions with for the coming week, and be your extra set of eyes and ears may just be the motivation to get you excited about your business again.  How do you look for an accountability partner? Simple! Ask your network, your mailing list or groups you’re in. Chances are someone needs you just as much as you need them. Consider finding someone with a similar target market to yours to collaborate with you.

What you don’t know, delegate!
Perhaps the biggest misconception we tell ourselves being solopreneurs is that we MUST know it all. Not the case! If you aren’t an expert at marketing, that’s okay. Accounting? There are people for that. Just about every thing you can think of, you can find someone for. And it doesn’t have to be costly. There are virtual assistant services ranging from $20 and up that can do every task under the sun. Focus on what you do best, who you want to connect with and creating a business you’re proud of. Just because you are a solopreneur, it doesn’t mean that you have to do everything solo. Find your team, your tribe, and go bigger.

Looking for guidance in your business or business motivation? Schedule a complimentary, 45-minute Dream It, Do It session with Tisha to learn what support is available to you.

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Money Mindset Shifts for Sales SUCCESS

Contributed by Jennifer ‘Sparkle’ Johnson

When you think about selling, do any of these come to mind?

 All sales people are sleazy
 Generating sales is hard
 People will think I’m being pushy and rude if I try to sell them my products/services

Well I have good news for you. First, you are not alone. And second this is an easy thing to shift once you have the awareness. We can adjust our money mindset around the whole sales conversation so that it is easier and more comfortable!

1. Let’s look at all sales people are sleazy. This most likely comes from an experience personally or from someone else you know that felt that way. This usually happens when people try to ‘sell’ us. Often times they do not have good sales skills and are trying anything they can think of in order to get a yes from us!
Your Mindset shift: first of all… you are not going to show up that way! As a coach you have a huge heart for helping people… not wanting to pressure them. You want to have a conversation with them, not sell them. What you do will change their life? Once you communicate that to them, they will want to buy from you.
One thing you can do is create a sales script or outline to help you feel comfortable, and practice with someone. Make sure this is a conversation, and encourage your partner to come up with questions, and objections. This will raise your comfort level, so when these things come up, you will know how to handle them. Remember, it is conversational and it is not you selling them!

2. Next: Generating sales is hard; If you feel like this than YES, it is hard!
Your Mindset shift is: When you come from a place of service and a desire to help people for their greater good, then generating sales is not hard, in fact it can be quite fun and rewarding. When you have a valuable product or service that can help someone who wants help, this is your time to shine and coach them!

3. Now for the biggie: People will think I’m being pushy and rude if I try to sell them my products/services.

This one gets most people stuck in their tracks! No one wants to be thought of as pushy or rude. In fact, just the opposite right? When this concern shows up you really want to give yourself a reality check.

Your Mindset Shift is: First, you are not trying to sell them anything! You are in conversation to see what they are struggling with and then you will evaluate if your product or service can help them with that struggle. If you feel you can help them, then make the offer.

Think of it this way, it is actually you’re responsibly to make an offer to them; It is their responsibility to decide what is best for them at that moment.

Or think if it another way: if you were in a struggle or pain and wanting change wouldn’t you want someone to offer you information on how to get support? Here is a simple example: If I had a flat tire on the side of the road, and the tow truck guy kept driving because he did not want to look pushy …. I would stay stuck until someone else eventually offered me help, and who knows how long I would be stuck in that struggle. The point is, when you can help someone why wouldn’t you? If it is simply because it feels awkward… let’s change that. You offer a valuable service, that improves people’s lives…it is your obligation to offer it to them!

You no longer need to feel uncomfortable with sales! You can now feel good about sales, to have the comfort level & confidence coming from a place of service rather than feeling stressed. You can start to have that confidence right away, when you have an easy step by step system to follow the flow, naturally, when someone has an objection.

I hope this helps you get started with some mindset shifts for your sales success!
Jennifer ‘Sparkle’ Johnson

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How to Get Your Clients to Pay Up When Past Due

past-dueYou did it. The project’s complete. You sent the invoice and the waiting game begins. Fifteen days past the due date. Thirty days. Your mind can’t stop thinking about it. You send friendly reminders to your client that say the invoice is now overdue as you patiently wait and question whether you will ever see a dime of what you worked so hard for.

Sound familiar? Frustrating isn’t it?

In this month’s Gals’ Inspiration Hub, the roundtable question came up for discussion,

What do you do about slow-paying clients and how do you avoid damaging the relationship when you’re constantly reminding them?

This may have been you at one point in your business life, or you may be going through this right now.

You know exactly what YOU’RE worth, but does your client? And why is it taking so long? Are there things you could do to protect yourself in the future?

ALWAYS. 

Here are just a few nuggets shared to help you become more proactive when dealing with clients who, plain and simple, “aren’t.”

1. Have a signed contract and stick to your terms.
In this day and age, someone is bound to pull a fast one over you. Not a matter of if, but when. Make sure before you do any work, you have a signed contract from your client stating exactly what the project scope is and what will incur additional charges. Also add that if payment is late, you reserve the right to charge a % every day it is and any additional expenses to collect payment will be their responsibility.

2. Charge an upfront retainer.
If you are in a service-based industry like accounting, marketing, PR, etc, and are continuously working with your client on a monthly basis, be in control of when you receive payment and what happens when you don’t. For instance, state in your contract that if the retainer fee is not paid prior to the 5th of the month, all work will cease. Trick is to stand by this, too. Put other clients’ work ahead of theirs until you have payment in hand, deposited and on a side note, processed. Too many times a client’s check can bounce. Better you know that it’s deposited and in your account before you resume the work.

3. Have an attorney on call at all times at a fraction of the cost. 
One resource shared this month was Legal Shield’s service in protecting a business owner whenever they need legal advice. For a nominal fee of $39/month, you have access to an attorney who can help review contracts before you send them, and create bona fide legal documents on your behalf. Legal Shield also provides two free apps you may find helpful. Learn more by connecting with our member Diane La Vera in the member directory.

4. Come up with payment terms better suited to your clients’ needs.
In The Sales Blog, the author Anthony Iannarino shares that some of your clients are not lacking the ability to pay, but the willingness to pay. They see you’ve done the work, but something about writing the check is holding them back. Instead, come up with a solution that works best for them and you. Is it a subscription-based plan where every month their credit card is charged for services rendered? Could they do a half payment now, half upon completion, or change terms from 15 days to 30 days? Having a client that’s unwilling to pay doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. Work with them to find the happy medium. If you can’t, it may be time to let this one go.

5. Charge new clients a good faith fee to start working with you. 
This was a clever idea from our member Michele to start charging a fee to her new clients to ensure they have “skin in the game” when working with her. This also eliminates taking on flaky, unreliable clients who are trying to get the most for nothing. Vet your prospects to ensure they are, in fact, your ideal client. Responsible, happy clients make for a happy business and happy you.

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Color Your Financial Legacy

Contributed by Alisa Glutz, Color My Credit

Once you have colored your credit report by dates to identify which accounts have had activity and reported in the last 24 months, FICO factors in 5 things in the algorithm to produce a score based on those accounts. See below.

color-credit

1. 35% Payment history-are bills paid on time? Collections reporting?
(If you have a late reporting on an account, call and request a “goodwill removal” of the late and if a collection is reporting in the last 24 months, call and request them to delete it, if you agree to pay it or provide documentation you don’t owe it. Get it in writing. Record your call.)

2. 30% Credit Utilization -the amount reported once a month by credit cards as a balance versus the limit on the card. (Keep the balance between 5-19% of the limit for optimal results.)

3. 15% Length of history-takes into account the date opened for all accounts open or closed but with a balance. (That’s why when you close an account you opened in 1953 and have used in the last 24 months, your credit score drops! You just lost all that time since it was opened.)

4. 10% Account diversity- do you have a mix of revolving accounts, installment accounts, auto and/or mortgage? (Just remember you want 2-3 revolving accounts because that is used in 30% of the score algorithm. Revolving are credit cards. Installment loans have a set payment every month for a specific term. Mortgages and Auto are other types of accounts factored in.)

5. 10% New accounts or Inquiries.-don’t apply for new accounts unless you are sure you will be approved and make sure to check your report onwww.annualcreditreport.com to make sure the inquiries were approved by you.

Remember this and you will always know the rules of the game!
www.colormycredit.com

 

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10 Ways to Not Become Impatient or Discouraged in Business

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Question for you women business owners.

What happens when your business isn’t moving fast enough, but you’re putting tremendous amounts of time and energy in?

Do you become impatient or discouraged?

Do you think about throwing in the towel and changing course completely?

What if you held on through the struggle? Where would you be?

Over the last month, my church has been diving in to the lovely world of STRESS and the root of it. The simplest definition being that stress occurs when you set an expectation for yourself, but haven’t yet met it. It is the gap from where you are and where you “think” you should be. It creates havoc in our lives, causes sleepless nights, poor dieting and may even turn us into our worst self. It completely consumes us.

But, there is a way to keep stress at bay particularly when it comes to being a business owner.

In the Gals’ Inspiration Hub, I posed the question to 25 women this month and asked them to share how they avoid becoming impatient and discouraged in their business. We can easily fall into this trap if we’re not where we think we should be by now.

Here are the top 10 tips: 

  1. Reflect on what you’ve already accomplished, not on what you “need” to accomplish.
  2. Create an awesome list each week or as Coach Erin Garcia puts it “A Ta-Da List.” Celebrate your success no matter what size.
  3. Read testimonials from past or current clients. This will certainly assure you that what you’re doing is not for nothing. YOU are making a difference in the lives you touch.
  4. Accept where you are and why you are.
  5. Meditate. Set the intention for the day.
  6. Stop the overwhelm. There is no need to put 20 items on your to-do list if you can realistically get only three done today while balancing your priorities.
  7. Live in the moment. What you focus on becomes with time.
  8. Stay in your lane. Realize where your strengths lie and ask for help in your areas of weakness.
  9. Create a gratitude list and refer to it often.
  10. Lastly, my personal fav from Desiree Martinez of All-In-One-Social Media is EMBRACE the SUCK, a term she says is used heavily in the military mom life. Life’s not perfect. Things happen. You have the perfect plan for the day and things go awry. Children get sick. You get sick. The house looks like a tornado hit. Your car battery dies on your way to a meeting. Whatever could go wrong, does. This is when you have to stay strong and take a deep breath. Lean into the slump and know that what you’re working on and what you’re working towards matters.

I recently finished reading The 8th Habit by Stephen R. Covey and he was asked this same question.

What do I do when I get impatient and discouraged?

He responded…

“The fundamental problem when people are impatient or discouraged is in doubting the validity of their ideas, not the ideas. They make eminent sense to most everybody. It’s that they doubt themselves. All I can say is, start slow, and in small ways, make and keep promises to yourself. Let your conscience be your guide regarding what promises to make. Once you make them, however small, keep them. Little by little, your sense of honor will become greater than your moods. As you acquire an increasing sense of self-control, self-mastery, security and competence, you will be able to make larger promises and keep them, go into new fields, leave your comfort zone and take more initiative. It is never too late. Life is a mission, not a career.”

 

P is for Perspective

P Is for PERSPECTIVE

PerspectivePERSPECTIVE

A couple weeks ago, my daughter Ellie had a play date with a friend from her preschool at the community pool in her friend’s neighborhood. As we pulled up in our vehicle (my affordable, yet practical Toyota Camry), her friend and mom drove up in a golf cart. Following the play date, I asked Ellie if she had fun seeing her friend. To that she replied, “Yes, but I wish I was her.”

I was completely awestruck. To say I was hurt was an understatement as I couldn’t understand the reasoning behind it.

“Because…” I questioned.

“She has a golf cart and we don’t.”

A golf cart.

True, we don’t have one in our household, yet we also don’t need one, but that wasn’t what bothered me most. It was that at the super young age of four, it was already starting and it scares me to pieces that children are comparing themselves to one another solely based on their possessions. Not even their possessions, but by what their parents have.

It was then that I had to interject and share with Ellie why I’d much rather be her instead.

And so the long lesson began on PERSPECTIVE with a heavy dose of GRATITUDE; on APPRECIATING what she has and that moments with Mom would far outweigh any possessions as she got older. I brought up the fact that every day I got to spend with her this summer learning and experiencing new things, her friend, whom she wanted to trade places with in a heartbeat, was in school all day without a summer vacation due to her parents’ work schedule.

When I put it into context, she quickly understood that life’s not about things. It’s about the moments, those priceless moments, that make up her childhood.

I can’t expect that she fully understands. After all, she is four. But I do know this. Every day we spend together whether she’s four, 14, or 24, we are creating memories together that will last a lifetime.

You NEVER forget your childhood, whether good, bad or indifferent. Perspective will come one day and I can bet that on that day, she’ll realize how blessed she is to be Ellie Maree Pelletier. Although we may never have that golf cart or other things her friends have, she will absolutely have one thing: the BEST childhood we could give her.

 

 

 

 

Ellies first day of school

A mom entrepreneur’s perspective on freedom

For the past eight years, I’ve been more Mom than entrepreneur, although I tried my darndest to juggle all hats while putting my kiddos’ and family’s needs first. I managed to squeeze a 40-hour work week, no make that 80 depending on the project, into 25 hours while having them, and tried hard to refrain from going a little schizo.

Until today.

August 1, 2016 when I stumbled upon this thing called “mom entrepreneur freedom.”

Ellies first day of schoolThe day my world shifted and my son Caleb entered 3rd grade and my daughter Ellie officially made her way to full-day kindergarten. So proud of them!

Not to sound too overly dramatic, but it was as if the heavens opened up and I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It was the mama moment I’d been waiting for. To finally rid myself of mama guilt and just…

FOCUS!

Let me tell you. It’s pretty surreal. I’m one day into my newfound freedom and was able to sit in my office in complete silence, have time to think, accomplish every task on my to-do list and still eat lunch (while it was hot which never happens!). There were no distractions, no “Mom, I need you” and no TV time to serve as my free babysitter. That alone contributed to my guilt. Oi!

It was a pretty amazing day and I find myself no longer feeling defeated, but completely energized and ready to start down this new journey of mine just as my kiddos are to start theirs. It’s the same gusto I had when I started a business in 2004 before kiddos and was ready to give it my everything.

So am I writing this post to brag about said mom entrepreneur freedom or rub it in?  Not in the very least.

It’s merely to encourage my fellow mom entrepreneurs out there hanging by a thread some days, running from this to that on zero sleep, that it does and will get better. I’m living proof. Do not give up. Do whatever it takes to give it your all now (however much you can give it) and be completely present each day you have with your kiddo(s). These precious moments will never happen again…ever. Take full advantage and make them THE priority.

And when the day comes and you finally find yourself with a full seven hours of complete “you” time, which it will, smile, relax, and know you deserve every happiness and every moment to shine your brightest and BRING IT!

Free Happy Woman Enjoying Nature. Beauty Girl Outdoor

3 Quick Tips for Becoming Your Own Best Friend

Contributed by Karoline Stevens, Journey to Empowerment

Free Happy Woman Enjoying Nature. Beauty Girl Outdoor

I spent last weekend with a group of teen girls at an empowerment camp, where I lead a workshop on “Being Your Own Best Friend.” Of all the topics I could have shared with the teens, I felt this was the most important. Why?

Wouldn’t you agree, that we, especially women, tend to be so darned hard on ourselves?

  • When we get out of bed in the morning, we expect to resemble a model stepping out of Vogue magazine.
  • When we make a mistake, we suffer from our own internal beatings for hours, days, even weeks.
  • When do we really celebrate our awesomeness and successes? We don’t very often, because we tend to be too busy dwelling on our perceived weaknesses and failings.

Well, this sounds dire doesn’t it, and I do hope it doesn’t describe you, but sadly, it described me in the past.

Thank goodness I had great coaches who helped me get over this misdirected, automatic habit and here are 3 Tips to help you do the same:

1. Become Aware of Your Self-talk

Before we can change anything, we need to first become aware of what we are negative-self-talk1doing – often unconsciously – and what effect this may be having on us and our lives. Observe yourself during one day and write down the thoughts that arise when things are not going according to plan, when you are not at your best. What do you say to yourself in those moments? This can be a fascinating and perhaps shocking experiment. It was for me. It is amazing to discover the number of disempowering beliefs and thoughts that hide just below the surface, impacting your confidence and well-being. Check it out.


2. Practice Compassion rather than Judgement

black-woman-looking-in-the-mirrorWith new awareness of what your self-talk really is, you will find many opportunities each day to make new choices. Instead of automatically beating yourself up you can now give yourselves compassion, instead of tearing yourself down, you can build yourself up.

Instead of telling myself “I am such an idiot”, I could say things like, “I’m allowed to make mistakes”, instead of “I never amount to anything” – “I still believe in myself”, instead of “I can’t handle this”, “I will be ok, I’ll get through this.” Repeat and affirm thoughts that give you courage and confidence. Practice saying to yourself, what you’d say to a good friend and notice how relaxed and supported you’ll feel as a result. Relaxation makes for more resourcefulness, creativity and better problem solving.

3. Celebrate your Successes

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Unnoticed by yourself, there may be many times during the day where you excel at something, attempt a new challenge, come up with a great solution to a problem, use your willpower to do something even though you may not feel like it (for example, exercise or stop yourself from eating the second muffin), make a difference to a friend, your company, a stranger, and on and on. What if you started to notice your wins and achievements and gave yourself a pat on the back? We all have a need to be validated and often we look to the outside for someone to validate us. What if that someone was you? Here’s a challenge for you. I invite you to write down and give yourself kudos for at least 5 positive efforts every day for the next 14 days, counting the small as well as the big feats. I’d love to hear from you, and how this simple exercise impacts your sense of self.

Let’s become empowered role models for our teens so they learn from us a new way of being – to be kind to ourselves and to own our innate worth and greatness. Let’s be our own best friends!

If you want more tips like these, claim your free report “7 Essential Keys to Live an Empowered Life” at www.KarolineStevens.com